A Spanish Hidalgo, by El Greco
A Spanish Hidalgo, by El Greco







Introduction: Practical Hints 1
España la Heroica: Verses 12
In the Basque Country: Loyola 13
Burgos and the Cid 33
Valladolid 55
Oviedo in the Asturias 79
The Sleeping Cities of Leon 104
Galicia 121
Salamanca 142
Segovia 159
Saint Teresa and Avila 183
Evening in Avila: Verses 212
Madrid and the Escorial 213
Toledo 229
Cordova and Granada 258
Vignettes of Seville 274
A Church Feast in Seville 293
Holy Week in Seville 302
Cadiz 316
A Few Modern Novels 326
Estremadura 351
Aragon 369
Minor Cities of Catalonia 385
Barcelona 395
Gerona and Farewell to Spain 420


A Spanish Hidalgo, by El Greco Frontispiece
Burgos Cathedral from the Castle Hill 36
The Façade of San Gregorio, Valladolid 58
The Cathedral of León 108
View of Salamanca from the Roman Bridge 142
Façade of the University Library, Salamanca 154
The Alcázar of Segovia 182
House of the Duque de la Roca, Avila 196
Isabella of Portugal, by Titian
      Prado Gallery, Madrid
Tomb of Bishop San Segundo, by Berruguete, Avila    256
Los Seises, Cathedral of Seville 299
St. Francis of Assisi
      A wood-carving by Carmona, Museum of León
A Roadside Scene in Spain 354
The Cathedral of Sigüenza 374
Cloisters of San Pablo del Campo, Barcelona 403
A Street Stairway, Gerona 420


"Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee,
All things are passing,
God never changeth.
Patient endurance
Attaineth to all things,
Who God possesseth
In nothing is wanting,
Alone God sufficeth."


"All national criticism in bulk is misleading and foolish, and I look on the belief of Spaniards that Spain ought to be great and strong as the most promising agency of her future regeneration."

As Minister to Spain, in a letter Oct. 20, 1877



TRAVEL in Spain to-day is attended with little hardship and no danger whatever. Even if one barely knows a word of the language, it is not foolhardy to explore the distant provinces. Commit a few simple sentences to the memory and have courage in using them, for Spanish is pronounced just as it is spelled, with a few exceptions soon observed. The merest beginner is understood.

When a trip into Spain is planned it would be well to send for information about the kilometric ticket to the Chemins de Fer Espagnols, 20 Rue Chauchat, Paris. They will mail you, gratis, a pamphlet with a map of the country, where is marked the number of kilometers between the cities; from this it is easy to calculate how large a ticket to buy. The more kilometers taken at one time, the cheaper it is. Thus a ticket of 2,000 k. costs 165 pesetas; one of 5,000 k. costs 385 p., and so on. We got a 10,000 kilometric ticket for two people, first class, good for ten months, paying for it 682 pesetas. If the ticket is bought outside of Spain you pay for it in francs, whereas if bought in Spain, you pay in pesetas, which are about fifteen per cent less than francs. Provide yourself with your photograph, and at the first Spanish town—Irún, if you come from Paris, and Port-Bou if from Marseilles—as there is always a pause of some hours on the frontier for the customs, it is a simple matter to buy your carnet kilométrique in the station. It is only on one or two short local lines that these tickets are not accepted. Unfortunately the new rail from Gibraltar up to Bobadilla, by way of which many tourists enter Spain, is one of these disobliging minor lines. In fact many who start their trip from the south have found difficulty in procuring a kilometric ticket till they reached Seville or Granada; this confuses the traveler, and makes him decide the ticket is too complicated for practical use. If he comes to visit merely the southern province of Andalusia, which is what most people see of Spain, with a run up to Madrid for the pictures, then, unless several are traveling as one family, there is little gained by the carnet, since a few hundred unused miles are sometimes wasted. But for the complete tour of Spain the kilometric ticket is the most satisfactory arrangement. Besides the reduction it makes in the fare, it saves the confusion of changing money in the stations. You go to the ticket office before boarding a train, have the coupons to be used torn off, and are given a complementary ticket to hand to the conductor on the train. It is well to buy the official railway guide as it saves asking questions, for Spanish trains, though they crawl at a snail's pace, start at the hour announced, and arrive on the minute set down in the time-table.

Thirty kilos, about sixty-six pounds, are allowed free in the luggage van, but for an extensive tour it is better to send trunks ahead by some agency, and travel with only the valises taken with you in the carriage. These the mozo, or porter, carries directly from the train to the hotel omnibus, which—another good custom of the country—is always in waiting, no matter at what hour the arrival. First class travel in Spain is about the same as second class elsewhere; second class is like third class in France, except on the express route from Paris to Madrid, and in Catalonia, where second class is comfortable.

A hasty sketch of our tour may help later travelers. We entered from the north, by Biarritz, a far better way of seeing the country in its natural sequence than the usual landing at Gibraltar. One feels that the north of Spain, in the truest degree national, untouched by the Moor, has never had justice done it. If a transatlantic liner touched at one of the northern ports, such as Vigo, Santander, Bilbao, it would open up an untrodden Switzerland with fertile valleys and noble hills. No pleasanter summer tour, on bicycle or afoot, could be made than through the Basque provinces, Asturias, the national cradle of Spain, or in beautiful Galicia with its trout rivers. In summer the climate is cool and pleasant, and the most isolated valleys are so safe that any two women could travel alone with security.

Our first stop was at Loyola in the Basque country; then a week in Burgos; a short stay at Valladolid and Palencia; over the Asturian Mountains to Oviedo; back to León City, and from there across other hills to Galicia, seeing Lugo, Coruña, and Santiago in that province; from Coruña to Santiago by diligence, as no rail yet connects the two cities. We returned to León province from Galicia, skirting the Miño River which divides Spain and Portugal; stopped a night at Astorga, some days in Salamanca, and made a short pause in Zamora.

Time must not be a consideration in touring these unfrequented cities of middle Spain, for their local trains are few and far between. Only twice a week is there direct communication between Salamanca and Medina del Campo, the junction station on the express route. But if you accept once for all the slowness of the trains, the occasional odd hour of arrival or starting, the inconvenience of a distantly-set station, you cease to fret and scold as do most hurried travelers. We ended by finding the long railway journeys rather restful than otherwise. Usually we had the Reservado para Señoras carriage to ourselves, except on the express line from Paris to Madrid, and we soon learned how to make ourselves comfortable for a whole day's journey, seizing the chance of taking exercise during the long pauses in the stations, and enjoying the human-hearted scenes there witnessed; for a Spaniard greets and bids farewell with the same unconsciousness, the same absence of mauvaise honte as when he prays or makes love.

Also I found the topography of the country of endless interest during the long train trips; to climb up to the great truncated mountain which is central Spain, to see how the still higher ranges of mountains crossed it, how the famous rivers flowed, the setting of the historic cities,—I never tired of looking out on it all. Somehow I have got tucked away a distinct picture of Spain's physical geography, no doubt due to the leisurely railway journeys, which are not so slow that the proportion of the whole is lost, as foot or horse travel would be, nor yet so fast as to jumble the picture, as with the express trips in some countries.

Spain is not beautiful like Italy, nor of the orderly finished type of England or France; she has few of Germany's grand forests. There is no denying she is a gaunt, denuded, tragic land; the desolation of the vast high steppes of Castile is terrible. Only the fringing coasts along the Atlantic and the Mediterranean are fertile. Nevertheless, unbeautiful as is the landscape, it possesses an unaccountable magnificence that grips the mind; we never took a night trip unless forced to it, so strangely interesting were the hours spent in looking from the car window.

After Salamanca we went to Segovia, then across the Guadarramas to the Escorial, and slightly back north by the same mountains to Avila. Segovia and Avila are true old mediæval cities of the inmost heart of the race, España la heróica incarnate. Again passing through the hills, whose cold blue atmosphere Velasquez has made immortally real, we went to Madrid. From there, south, we struck the beaten tourist track with pestering guides and higher prices in the hotels. Up to this we had driven, on arrival in a town, to the first or second hotel mentioned in Baedeker, and the average charge had been seven pesetas a day, all included. The provincial hotels gave a surprisingly good table; excellent soups, fresh fish, the meats fair, and all presented in a savory way; the fact that many men of the town use the hotel as a restaurant has much to do with the generous menu. The rooms were cold and bare, but clean, for not one night of distress did we spend during the eight months' tour. Of course certain modern comforts were completely lacking, but we were grateful enough for clean beds and wholesome food. The taking of money for hospitality is thought degrading by this chivalrous people, so the traveler should not judge them by the innkeeper class with whom he comes in contact. I found courtesy as a rule and honesty even in the inns; having valises that could not lock, I yet lost nothing. From Toledo on, we began to go, not to the best hotel mentioned in the guide book, for that now had an average charge of twenty-five francs a day, but we chose some minor inn, such as the Fonda da Lino, in Toledo, once the first hostelry in the city before the "Palace" variety was started for the American tourist.

We had spent October and November in seeing the northern provinces whose piercing cold made us only too glad to settle for the four winter months in Andalusia; a day at Cordova, a fortnight in Granada, a trip to Cadiz, and the bulk of the time in Seville, the best city in Spain for a prolonged stay, though Barcelona also can offer good winter quarters. In April we went north into Estremadura to see the Roman remains, then returned to Madrid for another sight of its unrivaled gallery, and also because all routes focus from the capital like the spokes of a wheel. We continued east to Guadalajara and Sigüenza, stopped some days at Saragossa, then descended by Poblet to the warm fertile coast again, to tropical Tarragona and that industrial anomaly in an hidalgo land, Barcelona. After spending some weeks there, in the beginning of June we left Spain by the Port-Bou frontier, stopping at Gerona on the way out.

Thus we had seen some twenty-five Spanish cities—some twenty-five glorious cathedrals!—in a leisurely journey of eight months. Any spot along the southern fringe is suitable for the winter, any spot along the northern coast for the summer, but in high cold middle-Spain travel for pleasure must be limited to early autumn or late spring: we froze to death in Burgos and Salamanca during October, and again shivered and chattered with the April cold of Guadalajara and Sigüenza.

As to guide books, Baedeker is as good as any, though the Baedeker for Spain is not equal to that firm's guides for the rest of Europe. Murray's "Hand-book" is more entertaining, but is rather to be kept as amusing literature than used as a guide book, much of it being the personal opinions and prejudices of Richard Ford, and bristling all over with slurs at Spain's religion. It does not seem reasonable for English-speaking travelers to see this original country through the eyes of a clever but crochety Englishman who wandered over it on horseback eighty years ago: we should not like a European to judge America by Dickens' notebook dating back to the forties.

There are two bits of advice I would give to those who would thoroughly enjoy traveling in the Peninsula. Pick up as soon as possible something of the tongue or you miss shadings that give depth and strength to the impression. If one knows Latin or French or Italian, it is easy to read Spanish. And I would beg every unhurried traveler to carry in his pocket the "Romancero del Cid," Spain's epic, and "Don Quixote," her great novel, the truest-hearted book ever written. I defy a man to while away a winter in Spain with el ingenioso hidalgo his daily companion, or sit reading the "Cid" above the Tajus gorge at Toledo, and not learn to love this virile, ascetic, realistic, exalted, and passionate land, where a peasant is instinctively a gentleman, where a grandee is in practice a democrat, where certain small meanesses, such as snobbishness, close-fisted love of money, are unknown.

The second advice is to bring to Spain some smattering of architectural knowledge, or half the charm of lingering in her old cities is lost,—also is lessened one's chance to catch unaware the soul of this mystic, profoundly religious race. Here I should end, as I head these lines of introduction with the words: Practical hints. And yet, just as it is well nigh impossible in Spain to dissociate the churches themselves from the religious scenes daily witnessed under their Romanesque or Gothic arches, so I cannot help begging the traveler, along with his smattering of architecture to bring a little liberality toward a faith different perhaps from his own, a little openness of mind. To one who goes to Spain in the holier-than-thou attitude, she is dumb and repellent,—she who can be so eloquent!

In each of her cities is a cathedral built when faith was gloriously generous and untamable, and in them one feels, unless blinded by prejudices of early environment or birth, that here indeed man is bowed in the humble self-abasement of worship, here is not only æsthetic beauty but a burning soul; the incense, the lights, the inherited lavish wealth speak with the spirituality of symbols, of ritual, that utterance of the soul older than hymns or voiced prayer.

This record of the journey through Spain will be called too partial, and yet I started without the slightest intention of liking or praising her. A month before going to Spain, on reading in the Bodleian Library certain accounts of St. Teresa, about whom I had but vague ideas, I exclaimed in distress, "What a morbid mind!" I went far from sympathetic, but bit by bit my prejudices dropped away. With the cant and smug self-conceit of northern superiority, I expected among other jars a shock to my religious belief. And after eight months I left Spain with the conviction that magnificently faulty though she is with her bull-fights, a venal government, and city loafers, she can give us lessons in mystic spirituality, in an unpretentious charity, in heroic endurance, in a very practical not theoretic democracy.


Deep learned are the poor in many ways,
Their hearts are mellowed by sweet human pain,
And she has learned the lesson of the waifs,
This sadly-ravaged, stern, soul-moving Spain!
Rugged and wild, wind-swept, and bleak, and drear,
She has a ruined splendor all her own,
It seizes even while you ask in fear
The reason man should choose this waste for home.
Her cities rise, ascetic, lofty, proud,
Forever haunted by high souls that dare,
And from her wondrous churches rings aloud
A heaven-storming radiance of prayer;
With psalm, with dance, with ecstasy's white thrill,
Her mystics dared to lose themselves in God,
Theirs was unflinching faith, fierce, varonil,
A force as true to nature as the sod.
Reward must come: perhaps from her to-day
May spring the needed saint, to think, to feel,
To grope triumphantly, to point the way
To altars where both Faith and Science kneel.
Upon her ashy mountain height she stands,
Eager to step into the forward strife,
Her eyes are wide with hope, outstretched her hands
To meet the promise of new coursing life:
Steadfast her cities to the desert face,
Snow mountains loom across the silent plain:
Take courage, O exalted tragic race!
Courage! Christ's always faithful grand old Spain!
Castile, 1908.


"The only happy people in the world are the good man, the sage, and the saint; but the saint is happier than either of the others, so much is man by his nature formed for sanctity."—Joubert.


"Whoever has been in the land of the Basques wishes to return to it; it is a blessed land."—Victor Hugo.

THE Basque is still one of the sturdy untouched peoples of the earth; they make still the unmixed aborigines of Spain. Their difficult dialect remains a perplexity to the etymologist, some believe it to be of Tartar origin. They themselves claim to be the oldest race in Europe and that their language came to Spain before the confusion of tongues at Babel. They derive their name from a Basque phrase meaning "We are enough," that fittingly describes their character of self-sufficiency; the mere fact of being born in the province confers nobility. Life for centuries in the isolated valleys that never were conquered by Moor or foreign invader has bred in the Basque a passionate independence. He would never join with the neighboring kingdoms of Navarre and León until his special privileges were ratified; and though these privileges were the important ones of exemption from taxes and military service, he succeeded in keeping them intact until his sympathies with the Pretenders in the Carlist wars lost him his ancient rights. To-day the Basques must pay taxes and serve in the army like the rest of Spain, but their soldiers are usually employed in the customs, or as aids to the local police. Their red cap, like the French béret, and brilliant red trousers are a familiar sight among the valleys.

Of the three Basque provinces with their 600,000 people, the smallest, Guipúzcoa, is a good epitome of national characteristics. The sinuous valleys now serve as the passageway for the rushing mountain river, now spread out into a plain where the villages are set. Each town has its shady alameda, its plaza, and a court for playing pelota, a kind of tennis, the game of the province. There are frequent casas solares,[1] or family manor houses; one of these I remember wedged in with its neighbors, in Azcoitia, unnoticed by the guide book, only by chance we looked up and found it looming above the narrow pavement; blackened with age and scarred as if crashed with blows of warring times, it was a speaking record of old Basque life. In any other country but Spain, the carelessly rich and unrecorded, such a fortress-house would be a lion in the district,—from this very unexpectedness Spanish travel is of unflagging charm. The strong primitive Guipúzcoans cling to their patriarchal customs. The men and boys sit before their doors making the cord soles used in peasants' shoes; the women in groups of twenty or more, wash clothes in the public trough or down by the river. The industry of all is unflagging. The roads are among the best built in Spain, along them go creaking carts, each wheel made of a solid block of wood bound in iron and emitting a prolonged agonizing squeak. The cream-colored oxen that drag them have their yokes covered with sheepskin, another century-old custom. The carts sometimes carry pigskins filled with wine, three legs in the air, and the unique casks are mended with a kind of pitch that lends a disagreeable flavor to the wine, but these highlanders will not yield an old usage.

No sooner did we cross the Puente Internacional that connects France with its neighbors over the Bidassoa River—scene of historic meetings—than we found ourselves in the wooded Basque provinces of the northern Pyrenees. The country was fertile, the small farms cultivated with activity; on the hills were heavily-laden chestnut trees, in the valleys, orchards: we often passed trainloads of red apples carried unpacked in the open cars like coal. Not far from the frontier the train skirted what appeared to be an inland lake surrounded by hills, when suddenly I noticed an ocean steamer and some fishing smacks lying at anchor, and looking closer I saw that a narrow passage led through the hills to the ocean breaking outside,—another of Spain's unheralded effects. This was the beautiful inland Bay of Pasajes, the port from which young Lafayette sailed for America.

At San Sebastián, the most fashionable summer resort in Spain, and still gay with Madrid people, for the season holds till October, we saw the first bull-ring, a circular building of red and yellow brick in the Moorish style. To find a plaza de toros here in the north was disconcerting. Spain's national game has withstood the will of kings, Papal bulls, the dislike of a large proportion of the Spanish people who petitioned the Cortes in 1878 for its abolishment, and the odium of foreign races. Until this debased cosa de España is done away with it will remain a stumbling block to even the most sympathetic of travelers.

At Irún, the frontier town behind us, we had taken our tickets for Zumárraga, two hours away. There we were to leave the railway and drive into the valleys to Loyola, where in an old castle the hidalgo vizcaíno, Don Iñigo de Loyola, was born. Our guide book gave but the slightest information. It was raining drearily. With trepidation and sinking hearts we looked out at Zumárraga as the train drew near. Would this, the first night in Spain, cold and wet, be spent in some miserable tavern in a town of a thousand inhabitants, and perhaps the next morning would a rickety diligence take us up the valley? We stepped from the train reluctantly; at the last minute we were tempted to turn back. But a porter had seized our valises, and muttering something incomprehensible about Loyola and an automobile hurried us through the station. And there, beyond, stood the wonderful thing, sign manual of modern comfort—a great red automobile with a gallant chauffeur! We sat down on our luggage and burst into a hearty laugh. It began to dawn on us that perhaps the tour of Spain was not going to be the series of hardships and privations we anticipated.

For the sum of three pesetas each (fifty-four cents) we were whirled up the winding valley. The mountains rose precipitously from the road and its accompanying river, reminding me of the valley in the Pistoiese Apennines that leads down to the Bagni di Lucca. In the motor diligence with us were a few courteous Basques; an elderly architect, with the finely-chiseled features of the country, pointed out a sight here and there, among others the birthplace and statue of Legazpi, conqueror of the Philippines. I think he took us for countrywomen of his young queen, and, trying to emulate his politeness, we were silent as to our nationality; later we discovered that this was quite unnecessary, for there is not the slightest prejudice in Spain against the United States. We passed a building by the river and were told it was an electric power-house; almost every part of the country is now lighted by electricity. "You are very up-to-date!" we exclaimed. He replied by a shrug of delighted self-depreciation, a proud smile of conscious superiority aping the humble, not out of place in a Basque whose mysterious language Adam spoke, so ancient and difficult a tongue that the devil who once tried to learn it, they say, had to give up in despair. Our opposite neighbors in the diligence, countrymen whose loss of teeth made them appear aged, sought also to show some courtesy. Each wayside shrine was named with glistening eyes,—St. Anthony; the hermitage on the hill above, St. Augustine; here, St. John. One began to understand religion was no mere Sunday morning service with this people.

After six miles the valley opened out and we came to Azcoitia, a town of some five thousand inhabitants where is manufactured the bóina, the typical cap of the province. The automobile went slowly through the narrow cobbled streets, under the high houses and the cliff-like church, then sped over two miles of a beautiful valley, with mountain rising behind mountain in the evening light, and at length we reached Loyola.

Here one of the great discoverers of new strength, of untried powers in the human soul, one of the holiest men of Christendom, saw the light in 1491, the year before the discovery of America: in the life of St. Ignatius are several coincidental dates to give us pause. Surely it was to these peaceful Basque hills that his thoughts turned when, a knight in the worldly court that surrounded Ferdinand and his second wife Germaine de Foix, Ignatius in gazing at the stars would feel with sudden potency the pettiness of man's grandeur, and during his religious life, when he craved at the sunset hour to be alone to meditate, he must have recalled this lovely valley of his birth. With emotion I saw in the distance the huge quadrangle of the convent that now surrounds the Santa Casa: the thought of what this spot has given to the world, of the thousands of chosen souls linked to-day by one will to work for good in every land, can well make Loyola a place to stir the heart.

At a little past six we left the automobile which was to run farther up the valley, and a porter from the inn led us through the park the Jesuits have planted for the people. The Hospedería de Loyola was a large building with a porticoed entrance at right angles to the convent, more like a monastery than a hotel, with polished staircase and corridors, neat bare rooms, and a long white refectory. The table was excellent, one course followed another at the one o'clock luncheon and the eight o'clock dinner. There was fresh fish from San Sebastián (to which daily another motor diligence ran), there were home-made preserves, and we had our first taste of the universal garbanzos[2] of Spain, a chickpea shaped like a ram's head. The waitress, the first of many Carmens and Dolores, was a wonderful old woman who grew so intent on teaching us her language that she would insistently repeat the name of each dish she passed. She managed to convey to us by pantomime, for our Spanish as yet was of the meagerest, that there were eight ladies from Madrid in the hotel, living upstairs in retirement as they were making a Retreat. They had come last Saturday;—talk, talk, talk,—and the animated little woman gesticulated to show. Then the Retreat began,—did we know what "the Exercises" were? Off she walked with bowed head and downcast eyes. So it would be all week. The next Monday we should see them, they would come to table with us, and it would be talk, talk, talk again. During the week we occasionally saw a lady in black, her head covered with a veil, cross from the hotel to the Santa Casa where the meditations were held. In the convent the Jesuits were conducting another Retreat attended by fifty men from different Spanish cities: these lived in the seminary with the priests.

At table with us were some Spanish people of a kind the tourist does not usually meet. One of them, a deeply religious man from Barcelona, on his first visit to the Santa Casa, following the example of St. Francis Borgia, knelt to kiss the floor of the room in which the patron of the Basques was born. Another, an elderly woman fond of lace and jewels, and probably longing for the gayeties of San Sebastián, was waiting in this quiet spot while her daughter made the Retreat. When the eight days were ended we met this daughter, a beautiful girl with the charm of manner and quickness of intelligence that we found as a rule among Spanish women. The afternoon the two Retreats closed was a pleasant sight. The valley was fragrant from the rain, on the mountains the chalets stood out strangely near in the clear air. Carriages and touring-cars rolled up, pretty wives to fetch their husbands to claim their wives. All were happy and natural, but one felt around one the atmosphere of the higher things of life, an exaltation that only religion can give. Religion is ineradicably woven into the every-day life of this race: a Spaniard is half mystic by inheritance. The power to understand the spiritual is not the gift of a few but of all. It gives to the peasant woman, to the uncouth lad serving Mass, an intelligence above themselves.[3] Before the late dinner that last evening in Loyola, a tall Spanish woman with her four daughters automobiled over from San Sebastián; she came to join her husband who had been following the "Exercises." He now sat with us at table, a man of the grave dignity and fine presence we were later to meet frequently. That night when passing through the corridors we heard the sounds of prayer in their rooms, the wife and children making the responses to the man's deeper voice.

The convent of Loyola is the center of civilization for the countryside. All day there is a ceaseless come and go to the church, or to the Santa Casa for silent prayer. At one each day troops of children go to the door of the convent with baskets and tins, and food is given them to carry to the aged and decrepit of the town. An hour later some dozens of lads in blue smock and bóina, playing their ceaseless pelota, flock into the building for a half hour of doctrina. Then at three the young novices come out gayly for their ramble over the mountains and as they pass before the church each instantly removes his hat as walking they repeat together a prayer. Happy those whose formative years are passed in hardy discipline among these uncontaminated Basque hills! The peasants of the valley, when the bell sounds the hours, pause to remove their caps in salutation. Every morning they cross the fields from Azpeitia on the raised path beside the river, or they come from Azcoitia, two miles down the valley, to attend the morning services. No one who has not seen a Spanish priest's attitude of devotion can understand its appealing beauty. These Jesuits and their attendant young novices (there are about two hundred students in the seminary) approach the altar with solemn reverence, without a trace of self-consciousness, and slowly and beautifully say the Mass. "The Jesuit seems to love God from pure inclination, out of admiration, gratitude, tenderness, for the pleasure of loving Him," wrote that subtle critic, Joubert: "In their books of devotion you find joy because with them nature and religion go hand in hand." A Basque congregation is worthy of such ministers. All kneel without bench or chair, the men on folded handkerchiefs, the women on the circular straw mats scattered over the pavement. We were fortunate enough to attend a late Benediction, not a customary service in Spain as we found later. The thrilled exaltation of the singing in which all joined, the aged as well as children, is impossible to describe. It was a triumphant full-hearted adoration trying to voice the inexpressible; the organ ran riot, strained to its utmost, to accompany the ecstatic singing.

Every Sunday the peasants drive in from the mountains to attend the afternoon service, and after it they stand to chat for a placid hour on the wide steps of the church. Arm in arm the young girls stroll up and down in the park before the convent. I looked on at this scene of contentment that told of frugal, upright living, with the sad thought of France deprived of such wholesome beauty, of the peasants round the Grande-Chartreuse, poverty-stricken and desolate since the industrial monastery was closed. Happily for the future of Spain, she has at hand a neighbor to give her the lesson in time.

The convent of Loyola was built by the Austrian wife of Philip IV to enclose and preserve the Santa Casa, and it was by her presented to the Jesuits. The church whose dome overtops the convent is in imitation of the Pantheon. Unfortunately, as are most Jesuit churches in Europe, it was erected in a bad period, and overloaded with ornament. The Company of Jesus was not founded until the golden age of architecture was well past; Churriguera, archmaster of bad taste, was in vogue when they built. But at Loyola if the twisted pillars of decorated marble are hideous, the ample flowing staircase that leads to the church is a beautiful feature, reminiscent of Italian villas.

The soul of the valley is naturally the Santa Casa itself, the casa solar of the saint's fore-fathers. The lower story is of rough-hewn stone, and once the whole building was the same, but a jealous king leveled the fortress-houses of the Basque nobles and the upper stories were rebuilt in ancient brick. Above the entrance door the arms of the family are carved, two wolves and a pot. The tradition is that the knights of Loyola were so generous to their retainers that even the wolves came to share their hospitality. In many of the rooms daily Masses are said; the four stories have been inlaid with mosaic, carved wood, and gold leaf, the gifts of devotees of the Basque patron. One room is pointed out as the saint's before his conversion, another as the one in which St. Francis Borgia said his first Mass, giving up a brilliant career, as viceroy, admiral, Duke of Gandía by inheritance, favorite of Charles V, to consecrate himself to the service of the altar. At this memorable Mass he gave communion to one of his sons, married to an inheritor of the Santa Casa, a niece of St. Ignatius. So many were the communicants another day that the Mass lasted from nine to three. Such rare instances of Christian perfection make the ancient house a chosen spot.

The story of St. Ignatius' life is told throughout his casa solar. On the staircase is a window showing him as a courtier. He was skilled in knightly exercises, fond of the saddle and equally fond of rich attire: good-looking, high-spirited, truthful, and brave, he was a favorite with his soldiers. The scene of his wounding at the siege of Pamplona is given; he lies on the ground with his leg shattered. A long year of convalescence followed, and we see him reading the books that wrought his marvelous change of heart. He sought the monastery of Montserrat, above Barcelona, to beg counsel of a learned man concerning the vocation he felt within him. His military training made him dream of forming a spiritual knighthood to battle for the salvation of souls: "Company of Jesus" is a military term. At Montserrat he performed the vigil of the armor, like a true knight watching till dawn before the altar; then exchanging his fine robes with a beggar he went forth, "el pobre ignoto peregrin." In a cave of Manresa he lived in seclusion and prayer, verifying on himself in agony of spirit the knowledge which was later to guide the troubled souls of others who sought light. "His experience in this solitude was an epitome of the psychology of the saints; and it smote him all the more intimately because he was utterly without foreknowledge of the spiritual life, and fought out his fight alone, like the first Fathers of the Desert." In the cave of Manresa was forged his Excalibur (to use again the vivid phrase of Francis Thompson, own brother to Crashaw in his flashes of celestial intuition), there originated the "Spiritual Exercises," the work used to-day in the Retreats. "It has converted more souls to God," wrote St. Francis de Sales, "than it contains letters."

Eighteen years were to pass before St. Ignatius founded his Order. They were years filled with wanderings in Spain and Europe, a student at universities, a humble but joyous pilgrim to Jerusalem. One day while he was reading the eighteenth chapter of St. Luke the words, "And they understood none of these things" brought before him with sudden force the realization of his own untrained mind, the fact that he must be educated himself before he could help others. So at thirty this remarkable man began his scholastic studies in Barcelona, in Cardinal Ximenez's famous university of Alcalá, in Salamanca. One day, in the streets of Alcalá, as he was led to prison on a false accusation, the proud young grandee of Gandía passed him. This was the first sight Francis Borgia had of the man who later was to lead his life. Then followed some years of study in Paris. 1530 found him in London at the time of the agitation of Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine of Aragon, again a coincidence in Ignatius' life that he should visit at this critical moment the land soon to desert a church for which he was destined to raise so powerful a defense. There was another notable Spaniard in England then, not a humble summer student begging his way like the Basque hidalgo, but a scholar of Corpus Christi College, distinguished and lauded, to attend whose lectures the King and Queen used sometimes to spend a few days in Oxford. This was Juan Luis de Vives, born in the great year 1492, the precursor of Bacon and Descartes, a man of such vast erudition and impartial judgment that he has been called with Erasmus and the French prodigy, Budé, the intellect of his century. Vives stood forth courageously as defender of his country-woman when the divorce question arose; he was imprisoned for a short time, forfeited his position and pension, and finally left England altogether.

Loyola now took his degree as Master of Arts in Paris, and gathering round him some young men of earnest life—among them the future apostle and martyr in the East, St. Francis Xavier from Navarre—the memorable band of seven students made the vows of poverty and chastity in the crypt of a church on Montmartre on the Feast of the Assumption, 1534. Thirty years later the remembrance of that hour made one of the seven, Rodríguez, feel his heart swell with ineffable consolation. Literally these ardent souls fulfilled the letter of the Gospel for the way of perfection: "If thou wilt be perfect go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor." "If any man will come after me let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me." "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." Their founder with superhuman perspicacity prayed it might be so. The world's hate is their alembic of purification.

Ignatius returned to Spain to arrange with Xavier's family—he also was of the northern mountain race of Spain—and with the kindred of three others of his followers. He crossed the Pyrenees by footpaths, and descending to his own valley of Loyola preached down by the river in Azpeitia. Later in Italy the band of Montmartre met again, working in hospitals, preaching, and converting souls to God. It was in Venice, many years after his wounding at Pamplona, that Ignatius Loyola was at length ordained priest, and in Rome, in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore said his first Mass. When the projects of the small band were submitted to the Pope, he had the inspired wisdom to discern in humble beginnings a future great movement and exclaimed: "Digitus Dei est hic!"—truly the finger of God. The new Order approved, Loyola was elected its general; like a military company, the first law was the unhesitating obedience of the soldier to his leader, the unbreakable power that lies in many working as one. The Compañía spread over the world, reforming monasteries, giving help to the poor, persuading the rich to purer lives, reconciling husbands and wives. Within a few years Francis Borgia gave up his dukedom to join them, and his accession brought to the Order many Spaniards of high rank. The founder continued to live in Italy between Rome at the Gesù and Tivoli: he died in Rome in 1556.

In the Santa Casa we followed this remarkable life in scene after scene. There is a touching picture of the grown man at school among lads half his age, of the crypt of Montmartre, and of the final scene in Rome. His face was said by St. Philip Neri to have shone with compelling personality. In speech he was grave and admirable, a never-tiring student of the Bible; that, and the "Imitation of Christ" were the only books he much valued. "To see Father Ignatius was like reading a chapter of the 'Imitation,'" they used to say of him.

We lingered for some days in the beautiful Basque valley, following the winding paths among the mountains, loitering in the two little towns near by in the pleasant discovery of rare old windows and portals. Most of the houses had a picture of the Saviour on the entrance door. Each new-born child is brought to the parish church of Azpeitia where St. Ignatius was baptized, and each boy is called by his name, though only the eldest in a family has the privilege of using it. The saint's hymn is the national hymn of the Basques.

It was a raw autumn morning when we left Loyola. The light was just filling the valleys as we passed the sweeping steps of the church up which the peasants were mounting to beg a blessing on their working hours. The influence of their loved patron is as vivid as if he had lived but yesterday, so truly can one human mind, touched by divine grace, with no thought of self, in sublime earnestness, rouse mankind to shake off its apathy, to aspire to the highest. If only another such knight might arise to-day to fight the modern battle of Christianity!


"The epochs in which faith prevails are the marked epochs of human history, full of heart-stirring memories and of substantial gains for all after times. The epochs in which unbelief prevails, even when for the moment they put on the semblance of glory and success, inevitably sink into insignificance in the eyes of posterity which will not waste its thoughts on things barren and unfruitful."—GOETHE.

PASSING through the fertile Basque valleys, the train mounts the Pyrenees by a series of skillfully-engineered tunnels. This natural barrier between France and Spain, is far from being the straight rampart of school geographies. It is a wide expanse of ramifying hills and intricate valleys, a jumble of mountains that explains why Spain remained isolated from northern Europe until the days of the railway.

When we reached the crest of this watershed between the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean, we had a noble view of the villages far beneath. Around us was a strange outcrop of white rock, and the descent to Vitoria was barren too: with every mile the scene grew bleaker till the rustling woods of the Basque valleys behind seemed a dream.

Beyond Miranda, the first town of old Castile, the desolate scene appeared in its full awfulness. The plain lay like brown dunes of sand, "as for the grass, it grew as scant as hair in leprosy." It was indeed the haunting landscape of "Childe Roland." Passing over this wide stretch, the train again mounted, this time not to cross another range of hills, but to climb to the great truncated mountain which forms the center of Spain. Three-fourths of the area of this imagined orange-laden land is this tragic central plateau, comprising Old and New Castile, León, and Estremadura. Most of the historic cities are on this bleak upland, almost 3,000 feet above the sea, wind-swept, wintry, and made still colder by the snow mountains that cross it from east to west. Riding for days through the monotonous scene you begin to wonder not that Spain should be poor, but rather that she, an agricultural land, should have made so good a fight against such heavy odds. The guide books that so harshly criticise, saying hers is a land where Nature has lavished her prodigalities of soil and climate yet shiftless man has refused her bounty, seem to forget that only one-fourth of the country is the traditional rich south. The fruitful provinces form but the fringe of the Peninsula.

It was early October when we mounted the Pass of Pancorbo. A fierce wind was blowing. It suddenly blew open the door of our compartment, and flung it back, smashing the glass. It was impossible to draw it to in the fierce gale, and this little incident added to the desolation round us. We looked down through the open door on the white road of the Pass, over which Napoleon's armies poured a hundred years before to plunder Spain with ruthless cruelty, and yet, so hidden is the guidance of things, that seeming disaster waked the country from its long abasement.

Having reached the great central steppes, the same melancholy scene continued. The land was scorched and calcined. Everything was a dull brown. Villages were undistinguishable from the plain, and the churches from the villages; man, his ass, and his dog, were all the same dull tone. Even the brown deserts of Egypt failed to give me as powerful a sensation of the forsaken. The plateau was treeless, except for an occasional wind-threshed poplar, and an isolated moth-eaten poplar can be the final touch of desolation. At times, miles from any village, a solitary figure guided his oxen and plow in a stony field, or silhouetted against the sky a tandem of five or six mules slowly crawled along. Since the villages are far apart, each worker must leave his home long before dawn to reach his distant field, and after sunset plod back patiently to the aldea.

Forlorn as it all appeared one saw that every inch of the soil was under cultivation. The peasants are as attached to their cheerless tract, which has its one hour of green bloom in the spring, as are the Basques to their beautiful valleys. The fields are passed from father to son, and are acquired with the same zest as are teeming English farms; a stern soil and still sterner climate has made a peasantry full of grit and courage. Hardy and undepressed they gathered round the train with pleasant greetings, for the long pauses in the stations are moments of sociability from one end of Spain to another. The sad landscape continued up to Burgos, one might say to its very gates if it were not that the townspeople have planted avenues of trees near the city.

As we approached we had a splendid view of the Cathedral towers dominating the town. There was something magnificent in the souls of the old builders who made a temple such as this in the midst of a desert, as if they defied the arid desolation to conquer their soaring faith. The great structure rose doubly impressive from the juxtaposition of richness and sterility, of the spirit's triumph over the material that makes Burgos as impressive in its way as Toledo with its more imposing setting.

Copyright, 1910 by Underwood & Underwood Burgos Cathedral from the Castle Hill
Copyright, , 1910 by Underwood & Underwood
Burgos Cathedral from the Castle Hill

"Nuestro país es el país de las anomalías" says the critic De Larra, and the first step in Spain strikes this note. She is a land of violent contrasts; level plain and broken sierra, elysian garden of Andalusia and tractless wastes of Castile, frosty Burgos and sunny Seville. She is the home of the hidalgo and home of the strongest existing democracy between man and man, only equaled by early Rome. It was in Burgos we first noticed what we later saw frequently, the labrador who drove his master's carriage, enter the inn with him and sit at the same table to eat, master and man alike in their dignity. She has a peasantry beyond praise for its virile industry, and she has a class of city loafers the idlest that ever encumbered a plaza. Cradle of exalted mystics and mother of realistic painters, this land of racy personalities never allows one's interest to flag.

We spent a week in Burgos, and not once did the sun shine. The cold was piercing. At the corner of every street a biting wind seized and buffeted one about; besides being on a mountain, there are still higher mountains near, and snow has been known to fall in June. Wind and cold, however, were soon forgotten once inside the Cathedral. Our first visit was within the hour of arrival, at dusk when details were hidden. The great temple rose around us mysterious and awe inspiring. Though almost with the first breath of wonder came a sense of bewilderment,—what was this heavy wall rising some thirty feet in the center of the church, that hid the altar and blocked up the nave so that only an encircling aisle was left free? So confusing was it I could not at first tell by what door we had entered, where was the east, where was the west end?

Books of travel all tell of this placing of the choir, or coro, in the nave of Spanish cathedrals, but one can read them and imagine nothing like the reality. I had pictured an open platform running down the center of the church, whereas high walls are built round the coro as well as round the capilla mayor, thus making a smaller church within a larger one. Wherever the inner church opens on the other, they have placed a towering metal screen called a reja. A narrow passageway, fenced by an open rail, usually runs from the altar enclosure to the coro, and the people gather close to this, under the transept-crossing tower; thus, practically, the priest at the altar and the canons chanting in the choir are separated by the congregation. It is hard to make the picture clear. I feel that no explanation can prevent this arrangement of Spanish cathedrals coming as a surprise to the traveler.

The evening of our first visit, we wandered round in the dusk bewildered by the blocking coro, and at length entered the chapel of St. Anne, where a service was going on. The side chapels of Burgos are churches in themselves, they often belong to private individuals, this of St. Anne being, for instance, the property of the Duke of Abrantes. It was now crowded with people of all kinds,—officers in uniform, a few ladies in hats but the bulk of the women in black veils. From a small balcony on one side the litany was sung.

Before the altar was what appeared to be a black covered bier, so I thought we must have stumbled on some special service for the dead. This would account for so large a gathering on a weekday, for at first one fails to grasp the every-day religious attitude of the Spaniard. Looking closer at the bier before the lighted altar a human figure was outlined under the dark pall. How displeasing, I thought, not to use a coffin!

Suddenly the head of this recumbent figure unmistakably moved. With a shiver I looked round me. No one appeared to notice what was to me so terrifying, yet they were gazing over the bier at the altar. Strange visions floated through my imagination, made up of memories of Charles V's funeral before his death, and of contorted accounts of Spain and her ways. Perhaps it was not an unusual custom here, thus morbidly to sample beforehand one's own funeral service. Then, as the litanies continued, now the solo from the choir, now the full-voiced responses of the people, I realized these sweet evening melodies could hardly be the dirges of a burial. The supposition of a living corpse was too bizarre in the midst of this composed crowd.

I fastened my eyes on the round head of the bier, and again it moved, but this time so thoroughly moved that the mystery was solved. With a breath of relief I knew this was indeed a quiet evening service and what had seemed a bier was merely one of the many marble tombs before the altars of old churches, covered over with a dark mantle as they sometimes are. What I had imagined the round head of a corpse, or future corpse, was the veil-draped head of a living woman, seated on a higher chair than usual between the tomb and the lighted altar. So ended my first and only romantic episode in Spain.

I mention it as showing with what vague notions of terror the average English-speaking tourist enters this harmless land. He comes full of the prejudices inherited from the days of the Invincible Armada, when a Spaniard was to an Englishman his satanic majesty incarnate, and this in an age of which Froude himself, the enthusiastic chronicler of Drake, says: "Perhaps nowhere on earth was there a finer average of distinguished and cultivated society than in the provincial Castilian cities."

Strange how tenaciously we cling to disproved ideas, I thought, as the next day we examined the beautiful tomb of Bishop Acuña which had caused my fright. Spain is as safe to-day as any civilized country. Yet we met two Californian ladies traveling with pistols, about as needed here as firearms in the lanes of Surrey or the brigand-infested hills of Massachusetts. Little by little the traveler who keeps an open mind learns that the cruel and morbid Spaniard of the popular fancy has no existence except in his imagination. Unfortunately there will always be some travelers here who see the heads on death biers move and carry away the gruesome tale to swell the old prejudices, who will not wait long enough nor look deep enough to find their living corpse a noble old bishop in alabaster who has lain in peace some hundred years.

Every day of our week in Burgos found us several times in the Cathedral. I used to arrive for the High Mass at nine, though before daybreak until nine there had been many services in the side chapels; it is still the custom with most Spaniards to kneel in recollection every morning. Strangely enough, I soon grew reconciled to the clumsy coro. It enabled the people to approach close to the altar in a peaceful secluded spot. Here at Burgos one can kneel on the altar's very steps, beside the big sanctuary lamp and the silver candlesticks that rise higher than a man. The onlooking tourist, who often spoils Italian churches for those who go to pray not to sightsee, in Spain is not permitted his ill-timed liberty. He can wander freely through the outer cathedral, but during the Mass, he cannot enter this inner temple unless he conforms to the accustomed usages. All must kneel at the moment of the Elevation or else leave. The lesson was taught us soon, for when the first morning in Burgos a lady near by in the chancel inadvertently began to read in her guide book, a verger in red plush cloak, bearing an authoritative silver staff, approached, and kindly but firmly showed her out.

The richness of Spanish cathedrals at first is overpowering, that they are too rich and overloaded is a criticism which is quite justified, but it is the profusion of strength, not the cluttering of details to hide a weak understructure; it is a profusion that speaks the nation's character, her burning faith, her oriental generosity. In antique silver, jewels, vestments, wood carvings, tombs, they are veritable museums of art. A Spaniard has given generously to the church in all ages. Though even when prosperous he is content to live with a frugal simplicity hardly understood by our luxury-loving time, it is a law of his nature that his ideas of grandeur and of beauty should find their free expression in the House of God. I often had the sensation that the beggar kneeling in these truly royal churches felt himself a part of them; his own poor home was but one side of the picture, he could claim this other home as well.

It was at Burgos we first met in the churches minor features that are essentially Spanish. The organ pipes flare out like trumpets; the reredos, or retablo, made up of carved wood panels, rises sometimes to a hundred feet behind the altar; and there is the metal-work of the great screens or rejas. This last was an art de propia España, and her churches would lack half their sublimity without the massive fretwork of iron or brass that shuts in the richly-decked altars. At Burgos we especially noticed the reja of the Condestable chapel, with graceful wind-blown figures at the top. In the choir, round the lectern were piled ancient psalm books, some of them three feet high, their calfskin covers strengthened with metal claspings. The naturalness with which these priceless books are treated shows how happily bound to preceding generations, with no break of revolution and destruction, is this old land. This thought of the antiquity of her usages is a very potent one to every Spaniard, and the stranger too finds the purple robed canons chanting in their choir-stalls more impressive because for six hundred years in this same Cathedral they have intoned daily these same psalms.

Another national talent is her carving in wood. The choir-stalls here were a revelation. The masters of this art, Berruguete, Vigarni, Montañés, may not be known to the rest of Europe, but they are locally very famous. Their intense realism appeals to the popular mind, and though in later centuries this realism degenerated into the bad taste of hanging the statues with robes, enough of earlier art remains to make one overlook these lapses. Should not a poet be judged by his best lines? Why must an image in wig and jewels blind one to the remarkable carved statues found side by side with it?

The wood carvers of Spain speak the same language of sincerity as the mystic writers, and a knowledge of Luis de León, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa, makes one better appreciate the sculptors. Not that they too are mystical. They do not soar so high. It is only a few chosen souls here and there through the centuries who can walk that perilous path, and probably they can express themselves only through the more intangible medium of speech. But these wood carvings are the fruit of men who understood the mystics and who worked in a like spirit of intense faith. I should say it was not in her paintings that the religious essence of this race was to be found, not in the somewhat posing monks of Zurbaran, nor in the gentle religiosity of Murillo's madonnas. Though a master of color, Murillo is too often akin in spirit to Carlo Dolce and Sassoferrato. It is the fashion to call these typically religious painters. But in the carved biblical scenes of retablo and sillería is shown more truly the inner spiritual intelligence of the serious Spaniard. Velasquez spoke for the reality of his time, its chivalry, its material force; and these masters of wood carving in more halting speech expressed the religious aspirations of the people. They worked with a realism that is often painful, yet the intensity with which they felt the scenes they depicted links them with the mystics. The wood carvings have not had justice done them, perhaps because they are for the most part painted, which certainly detracts from them. Fortunately choir-stalls were left in the natural wood, those at Burgos being a rich dark walnut with the polish that time only can give. We spent many happy hours studying this twelve years' work of the sculptor Vigarni. The seats are carved with grotesque, fantastic creatures, half man, half beast, the arm of the chair now made by an acrobat bent double backward, now by a monster with a tail in his mouth, or some bat-like demon. There is a frieze of Old Testament scenes too high to be well seen, but below them the New Testament story is told from the Annunciation to the Doubting Thomas after the Resurrection. Though the simpleness of earlier times is shown in the miniature devil that passes from the possessed man's lips, and in Mary Magdalene's dropped jaw of surprise when she meets her risen Lord, these carvings are not merely curious, they are soul-touching and beautiful. The type of face is the high-boned one the Spaniard prefers, with well-cut brows and aquiline nose. Notice the solemn beauty of Christ's face in the qui ci ne pecato. In the panel, the blind cured, seldom has the expression of absolute faith been better rendered than in the raised face of the old blind man. Do not pass by the Garden of Gethsemane with the three Apostles lying heavily asleep, the human shrug of the shoulder and outstretched hand of the Master: "Could ye not watch with me one hour?"

While the Cathedral of Burgos shows much florid later work, especially the central tower and that of the Condestable chapel, under the too ornate additions the ancient purer church is plainly perceptible. It belonged to the Gothic of the Northern-France type, for pilgrims to her shrines and to fight in her crusades, brought foreign ideas to Spain at so early a date that it is useless to speculate about what a native architecture might have been.

Some of the smaller churches of the town are worth visiting, such as San Nicolás, with a stone retablo which is a tour de force of handicraft; San Lermes, and facing it the hospital of San Juan, where we first met the escutcheoned doorways of Spain, which, if kept within bounds, are arrogantly effective and national. Throughout the city are good examples of domestic architecture, such as the Casa del Cordón, built by the Constable of Castile, Don Pedro Fernández de Velasco, whose sumptuous tomb lies in the center of the Condestable Chapel, and whose pride as a Castilian speaks in the family proverb:

"Antes que Dios fuese Dios,
O que el sol iluminaba los peñascos,
Ya era noble la casa de los Vélascos."

"Before God was God, or the sun shone upon the rocks, already was the house of Velasco noble."[4] Above the entrance to his house the girdle of St. Francis connects his arms with those of his wife, as proud as he, for she was a Mendoza. One rainy afternoon we spent in the Museo over the Gateway of Santa María, and there, step by step, traced Spain's art history,—statues from the former Roman city of Clunia in this province, a remarkable enameled altar-front of the Byzantine period, Romanesque and Gothic relics from the monasteries out on the plains, a Moorish arch found in situ, and tombs of that transition time from Gothic to Renaissance which in Spain was so flourishing a phase of art.

Much as there is to hold one in the town, the bleak uplands outside have a desolate fascination that calls one out to them. There is an excursion to be made not far away to the Monastery of Miraflores, where Isabella built for her parents "the most perfectly glorious tomb in the world." Personally I prefer the quieter art of a Mino da Fiesole to this work of Gil de Siloe, rich though it is. The tomb is white marble, octagonal in shape, with sixteen lions supporting it. The weak Juan II lies by the side of his queen, who is turned slightly from him to read in her Book of Hours, in a natural attitude, as if she said pleasantly, "Now do be silent, I must read in peace for a few minutes." At Miraflores is a wooden statue of St. Bruno, with a keen and subtle face of the same ascetic type as that of the young monk we watched praying quite oblivious of the gaping tourists. It is of this statue that Philip IV remarked: "It does not speak, but only because he is a Carthusian monk." The indifference to strangers in the mystic young penitent before the altar was our second meeting with a trait found in the average Spaniard. He does not care an iota what the stranger thinks of him. He is not like the Italian, inclined to put his best foot forward. He will not change his ways because they are criticised; you can admire or you can dislike, it makes little difference to him; and this quiet poise, in peasant as well as grandee, is not fatuous, for its root lies in an innate self-respect. He feels he is loyal to his God, to his King, and to himself,—what better standards can you have?

Avenues of trees lead out to another house of the Benedictine rule, a convent for nuns founded by the sister of Richard Cœur de Lion. Many ladies of the royal line have retired to Las Huelgas, the nuns brought their dowries, and the mitered abbess held the rank of Princess-Palatine, with the power of capital punishment. The church has outside cloisters for the laity; the cloisters within the convent are never seen except on the rare occasions of a king's visit, when all who are able crowd in at the moment he enters. We were standing before the chancel where so many knights had performed the vigil of the armor—among others Edward I of England was knighted here—when a nun entered the coro, and in her trailing white robes bowed toward the altar—rather it was the slow courtesy of a court lady. We shrank away with the feeling that we had intruded uninvited on a ceremony, that the days of the abbess, Princess-Palatine, were the reality and we, inquisitive guide-book tourists, the anacronism, a sensation not uncommon in Spain.

Burgos is the birthplace of the national hero, the Cid Campeador, "God's scourge upon the Moor." This contemporary of William the Conqueror, whom the erudites of the eighteenth century tried in vain to prove a mythical character,[5] may be said to dominate Spanish literature. Spain's epic, the "Romancero del Cid," has made its hero the historic Cid for all time, just as Shakespeare's genius vitalized a Henry V. Don Roderick Díaz de Bivar was born under the castle hill of Burgos in 1026, some small monuments standing on the site of his casa solar. He was a champion of popular rights, generous, chivalrous, faithful ever to his wife Jimena, a true guerrilla warrior, like the men of his age, sometimes crafty and cruel. The Cid was every inch a man, as his fellow countrymen are eminently varonil, his hold on the heart of the people is secure. There are no poems in the world whose lines ring and clang more valiantly than the "Romancero." Here is untamed red blood and courage:

"With bucklers braced before their breasts, with lances pointing low,
With stooping crests and heads bent down above the saddle-bow,
All firm of hand and high of heart, they roll upon the foe.
And he that in a good hour was born, his clarion voice rings out,
And clear above the clang of arms is heard his battle-shout,
'Among them, gentlemen! Strike home for love of charity!
The Champion of Bivar is here—Ruy Díaz—I am he!'
Then bearing where Bermúez still maintains unequal fight
Three hundred lances down they come, their pennons flickering white;
Down go three hundred Moors to earth, a man to every blow;
And when they wheel, three hundred more, as charging back they go.
It was a sight to see the lances rise and fall that day;
The shivered shields and riven mail, to see how thick they lay;
The pennons that went in snow-white came out a gory red;
The horses running riderless, the riders lying dead;
While Moors called on Mohammed, and 'St. James' the Christians cry."[6]

Wandering minstrels sang these chansons de gestes for centuries, till they were a very part of the nation. The wooing of Jimena is strong with the unconscious vigor of those times. The Cid had slain her father in combat:

"But when the fair Jimena came forth to plight her hand,
Rodrigo gazing on her, his face could not command;
He stood and blushed before her; then at the last said he,
'I slew thy sire, Jimena, but not in villany:
In no disguise I slew him, man against man I stood,
There was some wrong between us, and I did shed his blood.
I slew a man, I owe a man; fair lady, by God's grace,
An honored husband thou shalt have in thy dead father's place.'"

And to the end the free-lance warrior proved a gallant husband. The ballad of their wedding feast was often in my mind in the silent streets of Burgos.

"Within his hall of Burgos the king prepares the feast,
He makes his preparation for many a noble guest,
It is a joyful city, it is a gallant day,
'Tis the Campeador's wedding, and who will bide away?
They have scattered olive branches and rushes on the street,
And the ladies flung down garlands at the Campeador's feet,
With tapestry and broidery their balconies between,
To do his bridal honor, their walls the burghers screen.
They lead the bulls before them all covered o'er with trappings,
The little boys pursue them with hootings and with clappings,
The fool with cap and bladder upon his ass goes prancing
Amid troops of captive maidens with bells and cymbals dancing."[7]

The old poet must have written with his eye straight on his subject; those eleventh century urchins baiting the bulls are startlingly realistic. When the Cid died, at Valencia, in 1099, still called on the maps Valencia del Cid, he was placed in full armor on his battle horse, Bavieca, and brought to San Pedro de Cardeña, eight miles from Burgos. Thither Jimena retired, and on her death was laid with her husband. The faithful horse, famous in the "Romancero" as Jimena herself, was buried under a tree of the convent near his master. For the Cid had left word, "When you bury Bavieca, dig deep. For shameful thing were it that he should be eaten by curs who hath trod down so much currish flesh of Moors." To-day Bavieca's master does not lie in the quiet dignity of San Pedro. After various vicissitudes his remains are kept in a chest in the city hall of Burgos, not the most appropriate of sepulchers for a national hero.

On the last day of our stay in the old Gothic city, we climbed the hill from which it doubtless got its name, Burg, a fortified eminence. The castle where the Cid was married is a complete ruin, for when the French evacuated the fort in 1813 they blew it up. On every side stretched the level melancholy plain, and silhouetted against it was the elaborate stone lace-work of the Cathedral. For long I looked out on the remarkable landscape, so far from beautiful yet so thought arousing. Little by little I was learning how a race can be ascetic to its inmost core yet express itself in grandiose architecture; exalted in soul yet the most realistic people in Europe; serious and dignified, yet childlike in their zest of life. Here was man in his unsubtle vigor, not so liberal that he had no creed left, not so polished that he had lost the power of first wonder and emotion. Life was lived here, not analyzed and missed.


"They have no song the sedges dry
And still they sing,
It is within my heart they sing as I pass by,
Within my heart they touch a spring,
They wake a sigh,
There is but sound of sedges dry
In me they sing."

FROM Burgos to Valladolid the monotonous Castile plain continued, unbroken by any hill and hardly a tree. Yet evening on the level steppes has a charm of its own. Like sunset at sea, nature has a free sweep of canvas on which to paint her pageant; details eliminated, the essential remains. One carries away many such memories from the silent plateau, till little by little the affection of the grave Castilian for his home is understood.

On leaving Burgos there had occurred an amusing station scene. The man at the ticket office told us we could not start till the following day, as the train, on the point of arriving, was already full. So in discouragement we turned back to the distant hotel. Half way there a messenger from the station overtook us to say they had telegraphed ahead that there would be a few seats in the second class. We returned in time to board the packed train, and since it was the express to Madrid the second class carriages were excellent. As was the custom all over Spain, the hotel bus at Valladolid was waiting, and drove us immediately to the inn, where we had the usual bare but clean rooms, and the usual well-cooked generous dinner: if the trains were to pick us up as they chose, at any rate we were not going to starve or be eaten alive.

It is well to have the first view of Valladolid by night as we did, under an early moon, for in the daytime it is modern, flat, and unpicturesque, a sharp contrast to Burgos. The moonlight soon tempted us out to explore the town. In the Plaza Mayor all was animation, an unbroken promenade of people under the arcades before the gay shops, officers in bright uniforms, and ladies in Parisian hats; it might have been any provincial city in Europe. Apart from this active lung of the town, the quiet streets were so deserted that our footsteps roused a startling echo. We passed under the huge fragment of the Cathedral, a nave only; the transepts stand roofless, and a new ruin is as depressing a thing as there is in life. The architect of the Escorial who designed this, Herrera, gave his name to the pseudo-classic style, "art made tongue-tied by authority," that followed the Plateresque abuse of ornament, just as his in turn was succeeded by the fantastic prancing art of Churriguera, again a reaction. An example of this last, the University, stood in the square near the Cathedral, and even the kindly moonlight could not soften the overladen meaningless mass; the cold severe lines of Herrera were dignified and regrettable in comparison. For me a Churrigueresque building is the ne plus ultra of bad taste in architecture, and Spain has a wealth of them. That man can raise a Santiago and a León, and some four hundred years later a San Isidro of Madrid, that the same race can carve a Pórtico de la Gloria and the Transparente of Toledo, show interesting possibilities of retrogression! Alas! we thought, after the strong old Gothic of Burgos, is Valladolid going to be just barren like its Cathedral and chaotic like its University? We went on in the moonlight and came to a white gleaming plaza where a church of the thirteenth century stood isolated, Santa María la Antigua, with a beautiful Lombard tower, and also that feature peculiar to Romanesque art in Spain, an outside cloister for the laity. This was decidedly better.

The next morning when we came to explore the town, though we found no Gothic, we had our first introduction to a phase of architecture which is confined to the Peninsula. It coincided with Isabella's reign, and was a characteristic outburst of its new wealth and conquests, appropriately efflorescent and grandiose, though if carried one step beyond it would be decadent. This short period is called Plateresque, from platero, silversmith, for its elaborate surface decoration of scrolls, medallions, and heraldic ornament is sublimated smith's work. It occurred during the transition from Gothic to Renaissance, so it combined itself with either one or the other of these styles. It may be dull to give these pedagogical details and yet, as I hinted, if one is to understand Spain, one must have some smattering of architecture. Valladolid is worth stopping to see on one's entrance to Spain, if it were only for the clear-cut summary it gives of the different schools, always excepting Gothic. As it and Salamanca were the two places where the silversmith's art flourished, so they are the two centers for the best Plateresque buildings. They happen to be, unfortunately, the two cities that suffered most from the French invasion. Their churches and colleges were pillaged and battered, and though in modern times they have been restored, the first touch of perfection, "the first fine careless rapture" can never be recaught.

The Façade of San Gregorio, Valladolid
The Façade of San Gregorio, Valladolid

Valladolid has three notable examples of Plateresque, San Pablo, San Gregorio, and the Colegio de Santa Cruz. If you have a weakness for the art of the builder this introduction to the rich and admirable expression of Spain at the zenith of her material power is an occasion. There is an excitement in coming on something original which has not been hackneyed by photograph. Thus, when I first entered the square where San Pablo's façade rises, I stood still in astonishment; I had never seen anything like this, and at first I could not tell if I liked it or not. Tier on tier soared the carved shields and crests, bizarre but nevertheless stately. Close by was the even stranger façade of San Gregorio, one vast crest with elaborate arabesques and statues. Being founded by the great primate of Toledo, Cardinal Ximenez, it was appropriate to meet here in the courtyard with some Mudéjar work, Christian and Moorish elements combined. It was in this convent that the Dominican, Bartolomé Las Casas, "Apostle of the Indians," spent the last twenty years of his energetic, troubled life, writing his history of the Colonies. He died at the advanced age of ninety-two, "A man who would have been remarkable in any age of the world," says Ticknor, "and who does not seem yet to have gathered in the full harvest of his honours." The third of the Plateresque buildings, well within Renaissance lines this last, the College of the Holy Cross founded by Cardinal Mendoza, now contains a grammar school, a library of some thousand volumes open to the public, and the Museum of the city.

On no account should the Museo be missed, for it holds a wonderful collection of wood carvings, an art which is to Spain what Italy's frescoes are to her: these statues were gathered chiefly from convents sacked by the French. Valladolid was personally associated with this national development, for most of the master-carvers lived at one time or another in the city. Spain's best sculptor, Berruguete, worked for years for the monks of San Benito, the retablo of whose church is now in detached statues in the museum. He had studied under Michael Angelo, and though he had a distinct personality of his own, he plainly showed Italian influence. His pupil, Esteban Jordán, lived here, also the exaggerated Juan de Juní, and a more famous master, Alonzo Cano, painter and architect too. Cano, who died a canon in Granada Cathedral, is said to have fled the town—his house is still pointed out—when accused of the murder of his wife, though later investigations have thrown doubt on the whole story. This irascible master, one of the warmest hearted of men underneath, taught drawing to the Don Baltasar Carlos whom Velasquez painted, and I fear the infante found him very cross at times. Velasquez and Cano were friends and must have talked over that charming little prince. Cano was indeed a character. When a corporation demurred at the price of a statue he had made for them he shattered the image with a blow; and on his death bed he could not bring himself to kiss an inartistic crucifix, saying, "Give me a plain cross that I may venerate Jesucristo as he is pictured in my own mind."

The room of coarsely-carved statues, formerly used in the Holy Week processions, should be passed with a glance, but the collection of smaller works deserves long study. The most beautiful group I thought was the Baptism in the Jordan by a later carver, Gregorio Hernández, of Galicia, who died in Valladolid in 1636. His art is not classic, indeed most Spanish sculptors cared little for the ideal perfection of the human body, their strength lay in the individual portrait, not in rendering a type. Hernández softened the crudity or the realist school to which he belonged by depicting nobility of face and bearing. The scene of the Jordan is a panel with the two chief figures life-sized in full relief. The Baptist, his well-modeled limbs strong from life in the desert, leans forward to pour the river water on the head of his Lord, with an expression of such vivid rapture and awe that it holds you spellbound. There is little in art that can surpass this in emotional sincerity. The story of the Gospel is told to its fullest possibility. What the sculptor felt in every fiber he has succeeded in making others feel, and though an expression so poignant may not be highest art, it justifies itself by its direct appeal to the human heart. It is told of Hernández that he never undertook a work till he had first prayed. He has here also a statue of St. Teresa, spoiled by the heavy paint, and a bust of St. Anne, successfully colored. Even if you are prepared to find the wood carvings painted it frets you; it almost spoils the statues, but it was the custom and must be accepted. "Es la costumbre" is a closing argument in a country whose link with the past has never been rudely broken.

If her remarkable wood carvings come as a surprise, so will some of the practical developments of this small progressive city. The hospital that looks out on the leafy park of the Magdalena is run in approved modern fashion. A brisk young doctor who spoke English, having learned from a friend in the English College here, showed us over the wards with legitimate pride. They radiated from a big central rotunda; on both sides of each ward were large windows and at the end of each a pretty altar. There were five hundred public beds, and private rooms were to be had for the sum of two dollars a week! The greeting between doctor and patients was a pleasant thing to see,—he chatted and joked with the children, and, as we left, stopped at the door to lift with real kindness an ill man who had just arrived in a gayly-painted country cart. The newcomer was a gentle-faced Castilian, whose sons had brought him in from the plains; as the stalwart boys carried the trembling old man I thought of another touching hospital scene. Perhaps Rab and his friends came to my mind because bounding round us on our visit to the hospital was a beautiful Scotch collie. "Laddie" was an unfamiliar sight on a Spanish street; he belonged to the English College and is a great pet of the seminarians.

In Valladolid are two foreign institutions: the Scotch college, founded by a Colonel Semple in 1627; and the English, which continues the foundation of St. Albans, and has relics of its name-saint of the third century. It was endowed in Spain by Sir Francis Englefield, who retired here after the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Some forty English students are educated for the priesthood and return on their ordination for work in their native land. Naturally the great hour of this college was during the religious persecutions under Elizabeth, when it was death to be a priest in England. Twenty-seven from this one small group were executed. Their portraits hang along the cloisters: Cadwallader, Stark, Bell, Walpole, Weston, Sutheron,—each of the heroic band started from these quiet halls to meet a martyr's death.

Controversy is out of date, I hope, to-day. But there is such a thing as fair-mindedness, and a visit to Spain at every step shows she has not had her share of it from English-speaking peoples. With every chapter of our guide book railing at the Inquisition, I could not help feeling that these martyred Englishmen should not be so completely forgotten. Not that the tu quoque argument excuses persecution on either side. But an age should be judged by its own ethics or true views of history are impossible. The New Englanders who, two hundred years later than Isabella's institution, hanged a few Quakers on Boston Common were none the less moral men; and General Robert E. Lee fighting for slavery in the nineteenth century is a man we have a right to admire. The mere fact of the Inquisition being founded by that magnanimous woman called by Bacon "an honor to her sex and the cornerstone of the greatness of Spain" should tell us its motives were sincere. Her age had not yet learned the lesson, which we have acquired slowly, bit by bit through experience, that political or religious existence is possible with divided factions, not only possible but that a nation is more vigorous because of them. As Bishop Creighton wisely says: "The modern conception of free discussion and free thought is not so much the result of a firmer gasp of moral principles as it is the result of the discovery that uniformity is not necessary for the maintenance of political unity." Isabella's age agreed that persecution was necessary to preserve Christianity. And since only Spain was in immediate contact with Islam, and centuries of crusade against the invading infidel had the natural result of making the Spaniard sternly orthodox, it was there that the Inquisition flourished.

It dragged on for over three centuries, and from 1481 to 1812, 35,000 people were burned,[8] these numbers being Richard Ford's, to whom the Inquisition was as a red rag to a bull. The German scholar Schack acknowledges that all the Moors and heretics burned in Spain by the Holy Office do not equal the women witches burned alive in Germany during the seventeenth century alone. In France, in the one night of St. Bartholomew, almost as many victims fell as during the whole three hundred years of the Inquisition. Of England the publishing of recent investigations makes it needless to speak; blood flowed in torrents there. Besides those well known ones who met death under Mary Tudor, the Catholic martyrdoms give such details as the "Scavenger's Daughter," that cramping circle of iron; "Little Ease," where a prisoner, could not sit or stand or lie down; needles thrust under the nails; the rack-master of the Tower boasting he had made Alexander Briant longer by a foot than God had made him; the general custom of cutting down the victim from the gallows while still alive to tear out his heart and quarter him,—accounts that put the Autos da Fé in the shade. In the annals of Spain is not a scene that equals the blood curdling horror of the martyrdom in Dorchester, England, of Hugh Green in the year 1642.[9] Yet an Englishman, a Frenchman, a German, if fanaticism or cruelty are mentioned, makes his inevitable trite reference to the Spanish Inquisition. It has been made the scape-goat of all religious persecution. Abuse has so fixed the idea that it was a barbarous machine controlled by contorted natures to whom bloodshed was a revelry that any effort to place it in a truer light is sure to be called retrogression. I am far from attempting a defense of this painful aberration of the Christian mind, but what I hold is, if a student went to the records of Alcalá and Simancas, open free to all, not to search out the hundred mistaken cases from the ten thousand proven ones, the method up to this, but, following the first law of intellectual work, investigation without preconceived bias, if he tried to understand this phase of man's slow development per errorem ad veritatem, then the thin-lipped, gleaming-eyed, bloodthirsty Inquisitor of the popular fancy would be taken from the pillory where he has been pelted these centuries past, and his mistaken sincerity stand justified by the conditions of his time.

The records prove that the Holy Office was used seldom against scholars but against relapsed Mohammedans and Jews, false beati, sorcerers, and witches. "Ningún hombre de mérito científico fué quemado por la Inquisición," is the clear statement of one of the greatest of living scholars, Menéndez y Pelayo, and he who would cross swords with that erudite champion must be sure indeed of his assertions. Not one Spanish thinker or statesman, such as Bishop Fisher, Sir Thomas More, the Carthusian priors, Houghton, Webster, and Laurence, the poet Robert Southwell, the scholarly Edmund Campion, and a host of others,[10] graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, executed for their faith during the hundred and fifty years of religious persecution in England, not one man of like standing was put to death in Spain. Had he been, some righteous hater of the "ferocious Inquisitors," would ere this have produced his name and works. Archbishop Talavera was accused but was finally justified; if the poet Luis de León was imprisoned, he was set free on examination. It was not his own countrymen but Calvin in Geneva, who had the Spanish scholar, the Unitarian, Miguel Servet burned alive, and it was the mild Melanchthon who wrote to the reformer saying: "The Church owes thee gratitude. I maintain that the tribunal has acted in accordance with justice in having put to death a blasphemer." In Germany at that period the civil courts inflicted capital punishment on sorcery, blasphemy, and church robbery; had the same law held in Spain the number of the Inquisition executions would be appreciably lowered. Lord Bacon, who was a just and humane man, mentions as a matter of course that in his time the English civil courts used torture: the Peninsula was not ahead of its time in this respect.

As for that debated subject the effect on the Spanish character of the Santo Oficio, prejudices have built up so twisted a labyrinth that the best way out for one who would keep his level-headed balance is to hold fast to the thread of internal evidence. Unconscious of writing history for the future, hence his unassailable veracity, Cervantes tells in detail of the life in court and tavern, in the town and on the desolate highways after the Inquisition had flourished for more than a century. Does he portray a degraded race, finger on lips whispering, "Hush, or you will be overheard"? If the Spaniard was ground down in fear and deceit why is it that to-day, of all the peoples of the continent, he is the most independent in character? It has been said that a burgher of Amsterdam does not differ more from a Neapolitan, than a Basque from an Andalusian, yet in this trait of sturdy independence all Spaniards are alike; the historian Ticknor wrote during his stay in Spain, "The lower class is, I think, the finest material I have met in Europe to make a great and generous people." If under the Inquisition "every intellectual impulse was repressed,"[11] how dared theologians and philosophers, such as Vives, Isla, and Feijóo boldly attack with their pens superstitions and degenerated religious customs? Is the poetry of Juan de la Cruz, Luis de León and the prose of Teresa, the work of souls who feared to adore their God freely? And is it not undeniable that the two golden centuries of Spanish art and literature flourished under this bugbear horror, this "coco de niños y espantajo de bobos," as Menéndez y Pelayo calls it?

Used chiefly against Judaism and Islamism, occasionally the Inquisition became the tool of a tyrannic king for private vengeance. Indeed, there are some historians such as von Ranke, Lenormant, de Maistre, who hold it to have been more a royal than an ecclesiastic instrument, fostered by the Hapsburgs to augment their autocratic rule.[12] Certainly all confiscated property went to the Crown.

Man's slow development per errorem ad veritatem, slow indeed one may say, in the face of certain realities of our own time. Happily the generations of cant and holier-than-thou are passing, and we are looking history more honestly in the face. It is dawning on us that religious persecution in 1492 is no more frightful than slavery in 1860 or an Opium War in 1843.

Modern Spain realizes the wrong of persecution, the farce of a religion of love using the sword, as thoroughly as does every other civilized country. Outside the church of St. Philip Neri in Cadiz is a tablet proudly commemorating the abolition of the Inquisition within its walls in 1812.

To return to less nettlesome themes. The little English College, so interesting a memorial of past history, a forgotten haven of refuge in Old Spain, must be a peaceful memory to look back on by priests whose later lives are spent in Birmingham or London slums. The pleasant sitting-room of each inmate, the recreation hall with its theater, the library, with the latest English books jostling old Spanish tomes,—all spoke of contented full days. We turned the parchment leaves where the college records for its three hundred years in Spain have been kept, where each student is mentioned, from the troubled first days down to the group of ten who had arrived from England a week before our visit, among them a young Reginald Vaughan, nephew of the Cardinal.

With up-to-date hospital and busy manufactures, Valladolid does not seem like an ancient capital of the Spanish court. We would read in our guide book that the miserable Juan II had his favorite of a lifetime, Álvaro de Luna, beheaded in the big square; that here Juan's noble daughter married Ferdinand of Aragon; and that, seated on a throne in the Plaza Mayor, Charles V pardoned the remaining Comuneros, the rebels who had dared assert the federal principle against his centralization of government, Spain's last outcry before she sank under the blighting tyranny of her Hapsburg and Bourbon rulers. Such past happenings were interesting, but they would have the same meaning if read of in London or Boston. However, there were two memories of Valladolid that were vivid enough to haunt one as one walked about its hum-drum streets: they are associated with the saddest hours of two supreme men.

No. 7 Calle de Cristóbal Colón is the insignificant house where Isabella's High Admiral died in 1506, in obscurity and neglect, his patroness dead, and Ferdinand ungrateful. A hundred years later, in another small house, now owned by the government, Cervantes lived in poverty. Unknown and undivined he walked these streets, looking at the passers-by with his wise, tolerant eyes. Fresh, perhaps, from writing the monologue on the Golden Age, delivered by the Don over a few brown acorns of inspiration, Cervantes in threadbare cape went to his humble scrivener's work, the golden time of justice and kindness existing only in his own gallant heart. It was in Valladolid that the ladies of his household, widowed sisters, niece, his daughter and wife, sewed to gain their daily bread, and as if penury were not enough, here they were thrown into prison because a young noble, wounded in a street brawl, was carried into their house to die.

Cervantes' life reads like one of the romantic tales he loves to digress with in his great novel, when grandee, barber and priest, court lady, Eastern damsel, and labrador's daughter, gather round the inn table—the servants a natural part of the group—in the easy meeting of the classes which is still a reality in Spain. Born at Alcalá, Cervantes' first bent was toward literature, but having gone to Rome in the suite of a cardinal, in Italy he joined the army against the infidel. He fought at Lepanto, where his bravery drew on him the notice of Don John of Austria, that alluring young leader of whom one of his state council wrote, "Nature had endowed him with a cast of countenance so gay and pleasing that there was hardly anyone whose good-will and love he did not immediately win." It makes a pleasant picture, the visit of this high-spirited young hero to his wounded soldier in the hospital of Messina. Later, Cervantes fought at Naples, at Tunis, in Lombardy, making part of his century's stirring history, and all the while storing his mind with the culture of Italy. It was when returning to Spain that some Algerian pirates took him prisoner. His five years' captivity in Africa stand an unsurpassed exhibition of grandeur of character, proving that the highest gifts of mind and heart go together in perfect accord. Loaded with chains, twice brought to be hanged with a rope around his neck, his knightly spirit rose above all misery. There were twenty-five thousand wretched Christians then in bondage in Algiers. Cervantes waited on the sick, shared his food with the more destitute, encouraged the despairing,—a Christian in the fullest sense of the word is the testimony of a Fray Juan Gil, who, belonging to a brotherhood for the redemption of prisoners, worked for his release. In this harsh school "donde aprendió a tener paciencia en las adversidades"—the adversities that were to follow him all his life—was chastened to self-effacement and a sublime patience an ardent spirit that by nature chafed against wrong.

What wonder that the late flowering of this man's soul, the book written when past middle age, should be of chivalry all compact, a nobility of sentiment exposed half seriously, half in jest! What wonder that in the midst of laughter the voice breaks with tenderness for the lovable caballero andante! His Quixote is Cervantes' own unquenchable spirit. A bitter experience of life never deadened his faith in man nor dulled his heroic gayety. With exquisite humor he realized the alien aspect of such trust and love and faith in the disillusioning realities of life, so he veiled it all under the kindly cloak of a cracked-brained knight. The wandering adventures of a fool make the wisest, most human-hearted book ever written.

Toward the end of his slavery, when Cervantes passed into the hands of the viceroy of Algiers, Hassan Pasha, his force of character gained influence over the tyrant. But he asked too high a ransom for the captive's family to pay. The priest who had watched the young soldier on his deeds of mercy, worked indefatigably for his release. A letter was sent to Philip II to beg aid for a soldier of Lepanto. At length three hundred ducats were raised. Hassan Pasha asked a thousand. Already was Cervantes chained to the oar of a galley, bound for Constantinople, when at the last hour Father Gil, helped by some Christian merchants, succeeded in raising five hundred ducats, which ransom the Viceroy accepted.

At thirty-four years of age, Cervantes again stepped on Spanish soil. But the world was then much as it is now; years had passed since Lepanto,—he was forgotten. His patron Don John of Austria had died in Flanders two years before his release. He joined the army once more and fought in the expedition against the Azores; then seeing there was no chance of advancement, he returned to his first career, that of letters. His plays and poems had small success: a pathetic phrase in the scene where the cura burns Quixote's books and comes on an epic by one, Cervantes, "better versed in poverty and misfortunes than in verses," has deeper meaning when his checkered career is known.

Twenty-five years of obscurity and abject poverty succeeded each other, his lot so lowly it is hard to trace his steps. Whole years remain a blank. The brave heart never flagged, no bitterness tinged his kindly tolerance. This Castilian hidalgo of ripe culture earned his bread in the humblest ways. 1588 found him in Seville as commissary victualer for the Great Armada. Tradition says he visited La Mancha, the desert he was to immortalize, to collect tithes for a priory of St. John, and that the villagers in anger cast him into prison, where he conceived the idea of his novel. This child of his wit he hints to us was born in a jail. The sad years in Valladolid followed, and there in 1605, at fifty-eight years of age, he published the first part of "Don Quixote."

Its success was immediate. The grace of the style, the inimitable humor, and the underflowing current of mellow wisdom, made it from the start, what Sainte-Beuve called it, "the book of humanity." However, its publication did not much better Cervantes' fortunes. He retired to Madrid, where he lived on a small pension from the Archbishop of Toledo. A French noble visiting Spain asked for the famous author, and was told, "He who had made all the world rich was poor and infirm though a soldier and a gentleman."

In 1613 appeared his "Novelas Exemplares," a remarkable collection of tales which gave Scott the idea of the Waverley novels. The second part of "Don Quixote," equal to the first in vigor and charm, appeared when Cervantes was sixty; "his foot already in the stirrup," he gives us in a preface, the moving description of himself. In the latter part of his life, according to a custom of the time, he became a tertiary of the Franciscan Order, and on his death in 1616 they buried him humbly in the convent of nuns in Madrid, where his daughter was a religious. Ill fortune still pursued him, for to-day there is no trace of his last resting-place.

It is with thoughts of this heroic life—this man lovable as his own Don, with a gentle stammer in his speech, and the kindly wise look in his eyes, his left hand maimed from Lepanto, his shoulders bowed and his chestnut hair turned to silver by the ceaseless calamities of life—it is with such memories one looks down from the high-road on the small house where he wrote his masterpiece. Columbus on his deathbed, and Cervantes in poverty writing "Quixote"—two such associations make a visit to Valladolid memorable.


"It is perfectly ridiculous to pretend that, because they dress the Madonna and saints in rich robes, the Spaniards are ignorant that a statue is but a symbol. They sing their faith, we whisper ours, but the words have the same meaning, and the same thought is in the mind ... Draw a bias line enclosing the Basque provinces,—Navarre, Castile, Aragon, Catalonia, and you have there old religious Spain as she appears in history, with a vivid and practical faith, an irreproachable clergy, a piety of the heart reflected in the manners."—RENÉ BAZIN.

WE left Valladolid toward evening, in order to stop over a night in Palencia, before going north to Asturias. The cathedral of Palencia is well worth the pause, even though the visit may be limited to a night in the Continental Inn and a hasty daybreak visit to the church; the small cities of central Spain are of so individual a character that each stamps itself separately and indelibly on the memory.

The dawn was just breaking on a raw, rainy morning when we walked through the silent streets of the town. In spite of the early hour, near each of the water fountains stood a long row of antique-shaped jars, some of red clay, some like old silver. For each housewife places her jar in line, and when the drinking water is turned on, each fills her crock in turn, according as it was put in the row. At the biblical wells of Palestine the Syrian women to-day use ugly, square Rockefeller oil cans, but happily conservative Spain is not partial to innovations. It was on this early morning walk that I first noticed the white palm leaves, some six feet in length, fastened to the balconies or above a window. One finds them all over the country. They are from the palm forests of Elche in the south, and each Easter new ones are blessed and hung out on the houses, some say to guard against lightning. Later, in Madrid, we saw one decorating the King's palace.

The Cathedral of Palencia is of the same tawny yellow as the plains about it. The east end is early Gothic, the western part of a later, weaker period. Like Salisbury it has the uncommon feature of two sets of transepts; the clearstory is carried round the church, unbroken by rose windows at the west or transept ends. The interior in the dim light of a rainy October morning was picturesque past description. There are times when the chances of travel bring one to a spot at just its perfect hour. Thus we saw this church in a moment of such exquisite half light and quietude that its memory is a possession for life. Behind the High Altar rose an isolated chapel, set detached in the midst of the ambulatory, and through its iron rejas were seen the blurred glimmer of candles, the veiled kneeling figures of the people, an aged white-haired priest at the Altar; high upon the wall the coffin of the ancient Queen Urraca. The effect was indescribable,—austere, ascetic, yet with a passionate glamour essentially Spanish. A masterpiece could an artist make of this detached chapel, lighted for divine service each day at dawn with such unconscious naturalness.

Architects may say that Spanish cathedrals are exaggerated and overloaded, that they lack the restraint and purity of line of Chartres, Amiens, and the Isle de France churches which are the world's best Gothic. All this may well be true, yet Spain can smile securely at criticism. She has a soul in her places of worship, a soaring exaltation of the imagination that imparts the assurance of a living faith. Firmly and ardently she believes in Jesus Christ, her Redeemer, and with all her lofty intensity she prostrates herself in worship.

We wandered round the dusky aisles, deciphering tombs, some of whose effigies held their arms raised in prayer,—only a Spaniard could endure to look even at such a tiring attitude! But the time for loitering was limited. The transept clock, a knight, a Moor, and a lion, sounded the warning we must heed if we were to catch the early train for the North. The thoughtful innkeeper had saved us some precious minutes by sending the hotel omnibus to wait outside the Cathedral, and we rattled—in its literal sense—to the distant station. The city was at last fully awake, and each water jar had now an owner; one by one they followed each other at the pump, with pleasant greetings and chatter.

Then again stretched the tawny plains. The fields of León were tractless wastes of mud from the rain of the past weeks. Seen from the car window, each village on the truncated mountain was the exact copy of its neighbor, the same monotonous note of color in adobe wall and denuded steppe. It was in vain to look for some distinction to mark one group of mud houses, called Paredes de Nava, birthplace of Spain's best sculptor Berruguete, from a similar mud-emblocked place called Cisneros, feudal home of Cardinal Ximenez's family; the imagination had to supply the difference.

Every one must come prepared for Spanish trains to go at a leisurely pace—about fifteen miles an hour is the average of the express route. From Palencia to Oviedo was a twelve-hour trip, and the distance covered was a hundred and sixty miles. Of course one crossed the Cantabrian mountains, the continuation of the Pyrenees along the northern coast, and they are no slight barrier since they sometimes rise to a height of 8,000 feet.

We passed the city of León toward noon, when there came a respite from the dull treeless plain, for, beyond the town stretched a thinly-wooded district which gave the first reminder since leaving the Basque valleys that the season still was autumn. After central Spain, the bleak hills that now began seemed positively beautiful,—so many pleasures are relative.

Slowly the train climbed the mountain wall that from earliest times has protected the Asturian principality from the invader. Near the summit, emerging from a tunnel several miles long, we looked out over a glorious panorama, the beauty not being relative this time, but as truly magnificent as some of Switzerland's show views. The storm had covered the peaks with freshest snow, the sky was a frosty dark blue, mountain rose behind mountain for miles, the white road was flung a sinuous ribbon round the folds of the hills; below lay fertile valleys of greenest grass with greenest trees and happy nestling farms. The secure mountain wall gave the Asturian courage to build a home wherever his whim chose. He was not forced like the Castilian by centuries of Moorish inroads to herd in a compact town.

As the puffing train waited for breathing space on the crest of the pass, a group of peasants boarded it. They wore the white wooden clogs of the province that differ from ordinary clogs by having stilts, a couple of inches high, to lift them above the mud; and they brought with them, on a sledge, as wheels are of no use up these steep hills, an antique curiosity of a trunk. We began to hope that old costumes and customs still held in this isolated corner of the world, though the engineering of the road in the descent was disturbingly up-to-date,—a series of loops, cuts, and sharp turns; sometimes three parallel lines of rail over which we were to pass lay one below the other, sometimes directly across the valley we saw our trail; a distance of twenty-six miles is covered where a crow would fly seven.

The principality of Asturias has given its name to the heir apparent of the Spanish crown since the 14th century, when a daughter of the Duke of Lancaster married the Spanish king's eldest son, and her father claimed for her a title equal to that of Prince of Wales to the English throne. The connection by marriage between Spain and England has been a frequent one. It began in the 12th century, when Henry II's daughter married Alfonso VIII of Castile; later the Plantagenet Edward I had for wife a Spanish infanta. From the two daughters of Pedro the Cruel, who married into the English royal family, on one side descended Henry VIII, from the other, by a marriage back again in Spain, sprang Isabella the Catholic. After the ill-fated union of Isabella's daughter with Henry VIII and that of Mary Tudor and Philip II, connection by marriage between Spain and England ceased for centuries. To-day, as all the world knows, the young queen of Spain, Doña Victoria, with the same blonde hair as Isabella, is an Englishwoman, and a rosy little prince bears the title of these distant mountains.

It is a fitting title for the heir to the throne, since this province is the cradle of Spanish nationality, and never was vassal to Roman or Moor. The people are a mixture of the aboriginal Iberians and the Visigoths who were here finally merged in one people and here reconstructed the Spanish monarchy. So proud is an Asturian of his origin that he thinks, like the Basques, that his mere birth confers nobility; every native of the province is an hidalgo. Did not the Asturian lady, the duenna of the Duchess, remark to Don Quixote that her husband was hidalgo como el Rey porque era montañés?

When in 711 the last of the Gothic kings, Roderick, was defeated by the Moors who had lately crossed from Africa, a remnant of the Christian army took refuge in these northern mountains. At Cavadonga, an historic defeat was inflicted on the Moslem army in 718, by Pelayo, Spain's first king, chosen leader because he was the bravest of the people. The Moorish chronicle, too close to the struggle to see its vital issues, speaks of "one Belay, a contemptible barbarian who roused the people of Asturish."

Without Cavadonga the face of Europe had been changed. Had not the Mussulmans from Africa met this repulse, they had pushed on beyond the Pyrenees before the Franks were strong enough to withstand them. Often rose this thought when reading the sentimental regrets for the Moors in Spain found in guide books and histories. Had Spain not warred for eight hundred years against the invader, had she not endured with such Spartan courage the insecurity of life and property caused by ceaseless forays from the south, European civilization had been put back for centuries. Like most virile nations, she has the defect of her qualities, and when the final victory was hers she went too far. But this should not blind us to the nobility of the Reconquista.

Within reach of Cavadonga, sacred to every Spaniard as the cradle of his race and religion, I could not help asking the cause of the ceaseless regret for the Moor. A lover of the picturesque, like Washington Irving, has a right to gloss over the days of the Alhambra, but it seems strange for serious history to hold up the Mohammedan in Spain as a model of cleanliness, industry, and tolerance in contrast to the Christian, in face of the centuries of piracy by sea, the barbarity of African prisons where thousands of Spaniards languished in chains, and also—a thought that often came to me when walking through the filthy, narrow streets in Moslem countries—if the Moor in Spain is to be so regretted, why are not the northern cities of Africa models for modern Christians to emulate? The Moor came from them, and many of his race left Spain to return to them. I would not belittle the Arab civilization in the Peninsula, for under the Ommiade dynasty, Cordova reached a distinguished height of culture, but what I object to is the partisan spirit that places Moors on one side to be praised and extenuated, and Spanish Christians on the other to be condemned. Facts are so distorted that many think the re-conquest of Andalusia meant the substitution of backward ignorance for an enlightened rule, whereas the Moors themselves, long before the coming of their northern conquerors, had destroyed their own higher civilization. The flower of their culture (always an exotic, for Islamism as hitherto interpreted is incapable of strengthening it) was withered before Alfonzo VI and the Cid had set foot further south than Toledo.

Under the Ommiade caliphs, for about five generations, life probably resembled the golden picture drawn for us as typical of Moorish sway. A few able rulers disguised the fact that the government was never anything else but a despotism. This siglo de oro was well over by 1030. Some barbarous warrior tribes, from Africa, the Almoravides, swept away the feeble remains of Ommiade rule, to be in their turn routed by other African invaders, the fanatic Almohades. These last persecuted Averroës as holding views too liberal for a true Mohammedan, and the scholar died in misery and exile, just as in the same century the remarkable Spanish-Jew, Maimonides, was accused of teaching atheism by his fellow Israelites. Rejected by his own people, the fame of Averroës came later through his study by European Schoolmen. His teachings, like most of what is of value in Arab learning, was of Greek origin, and had reached him by way of Persia, which never wholly conformed to the set tenets of Islam. Why do the anti-Spanish historians never mention that in the same era in which Averroës, the philosopher, was persecuted by his fellow-believers, a college of translators under the patronage of the Archbishop Raimundo of Toledo, from 1130 to 1150, put into Latin the most scientific works of the Moors?

Mohammedan civilization in Spain, from decay within, was completely disintegrated by 1275. The caliphs of Granada led the lives of weak voluptuaries, artistic but decadent; no rose-colored romancing can veil their essential decline. Isabella's court, traveling with its university, with the learned Peter Martyr instructing the young nobles in Renaissance lore, so that a son of the Duke of Alva, and a cousin of the King are to be found among the lecturers of Salamanca, presents a noble contrast. When the Reconquista was achieved, and after three thousand seven hundred battles, the Spaniard was again master in his own land, grievous mistakes were made, until finally, in 1609, in a panic of fear that the corsairs of Africa were uniting with their co-religionists along the Spanish coasts, the Moriscos were expelled. Spain inflicted this blow on herself at an ill moment, since already from the enormous emigration to the New World, her crying need was population. But this act of bad government whereby she threw away over half a million of her inhabitants (always remember, however, far more Moorish blood remained than was lost, for nine centuries of occupation had well infiltered it through the southern provinces) did not drive out the intellectual and moral backbone of the land as we are given to understand. The Moors of Isabella's day were not the liberal-minded, cultivated people they had been under the Ommiade caliphs four centuries earlier, and the persecuted Moriscos of Philip III's time were far lower in standing. Also it cannot be questioned that Valencia, the province that expelled them, whose rich soil to-day supports a crowded population, quickly filled up, and soon showed with its irrigation the same industry that seemed peculiar to the Moors. It was central Spain, eminently "old Christian," that when its people flocked as adventurers to America, could offer neither fertile soil nor inviting climate to lure new settlers. The quotations usually cited to prove that Valencia was irremediably devastated by the Expulsion are taken from men who wrote within a few years of the disaster; it would be an easy matter, following the same sophistry to quote aspects of our South a generation ago that could make the Civil War appear an irremediable blight.

Seeking for the cause of the tendency to overrate the Moor at the expense of his hereditary enemy, it seems to me it is to be traced to that period of rancor, the Invincible Armada, when religious and political passions ran so high that it was forgotten that the hated Spaniard was before all else a Christian, and on his heroic struggle for the Cross had hung the civilization of Europe.

The capital of the Asturian province is Oviedo. Alfonso II, the eighth king that followed Pelayo, made it his chief city, but in spite of its antiquity it is a disappointing town. I had pictured an unspoiled bit of the past, locked in as it is by mountains whose valleys reach to the city gates, with curiously-named saints still serving as titulars, with the oldest remains of Christian architecture in the Peninsula. But the reality is a smug, commonplace, successful little city of slight local color. The mansions are Renaissance, not mediæval; if you stumble on an ancient street it soon brings you to a straight new boulevard. Children in English clothes and ladies dressed like Parisians walk in the park facing a line of pretentious apartment houses. I asked in the shops for pictures of the Cámera Santa. They could only give me postcards of the model prison and the model insane asylum. Sleepy little Palencia, with its rows of classic water jars waiting—time no consideration—till the water was turned on in the fountains, it seemed hardly possible we had left it only that morning. The remote old world may be found in central Spain, but as this is the land of anomalies, the mountain provinces of the north are busy to-day with mines and commerce. It remains but a question of time for Bilbao, Santander, Gijón, Coruña, and Vigo, the northern harbors, to become commercial centers. They are awake at last and keen to enter the struggle.

This industrial tendency is what we agree in calling progress, and Spain has been censured for her backwardness in entering the world's competition, so it is not justifiable to regret the unambitious past. But who can be consistent in the home of el ingenioso hidalgo! From the moment of entering Spain till we left I leaned now to one side, now to the other, glad and proud one day to see her new industries, a model hospital or asylum, and scoffing the next, at a hideous new boulevard that had relieved a congested district. This land of racy types and vigorous humanity may be doomed to have factory chimneys belching smoke, to have lawless mobs of socialists and pitiful slums in cities where now is frugal poverty, where a beggar lives contentedly next door to a prince, because he feels the prince recognizes him as his fellow countryman and fellow Christian: progress and wealth are bought with a price. Oviedo, just entering the competition, and fast sweeping away its picturesque past, made me glad to be in time to see something of the old ways of Spain.

The lion of the city, the Cathedral, adds to this inconsistent feeling of disappointment. It is the only cathedral of the twenty and more we were to see that has removed the choir from the nave and placed pews down the center of the church. At Burgos the heavy blocking mass of the coro in the nave had startled and bewildered me, but soon I grew so accustomed to this Spanish usage that a church without it seemed incomplete. Oviedo has modernized its side chapels, recklessly sweeping away carvings and sarcophagi. It thought the tombs of Pelayo's successors, the early kings, were cluttering rubbish, so a good plain stone, easy to decipher, has been put up in place of the ancient memorials!

The Cathedral is perpendicular Gothic of the 14th century. The west façade has a spacious portico, whose effect, however, is lessened by the church being set so that you descend to it from the street. On one side of the portico rises the tower, bold and graceful, showing from its base to its open-lace stone turret an easy gradation of styles. This is the tower that runs like an echo through a powerful modern novel set in Oviedo, "La Regenta," by Leopoldo Alas. "Poema romántica de piedra," he calls it, "delicado himno de dulces líneas de belleza muda." Out of the south transept open cloisters that made, the first day of our visit, a charming picture in the sunshine after the weeks of cold rain; the red pendants of the fuschia bushes caught the long-absent warmth with palpable enjoyment. The shafts of the pillars here were oval shaped, not a wholly successful change, as in profile view they appeared unsymmetrical. Out of this south transept also opens the gem of the church, the Cámera Santa, which has escaped the general renovation as being too closely bound to the historical and religious past of Spain to be tampered with. Alfonso el Casto in 802 built this shrine, raised twenty feet from the church pavement to preserve it from damp. A small room with apostle-figures serving as caryatids leads to the sanctum sanctorum where the famous relics are kept. They were brought here in a Byzantine chest from Toledo when the Moors conquered that city, and probably there are few collections of old jewelers' work equal to them. Here is kept the cross Pelayo carried as a standard at the battle of Cavadonga more than eleven hundred years before. Few can help feeling in Spain the charm of continuous tradition. Never were her treasures scattered by revolution; that this was Pelayo's very cross is not problematic but a fact assured by unbroken record.

A printed sheet describing the sacred objects in the Cámera Santa is given to each visitor. It would be easy to turn many of these relics of a more naïve, less logical age, into ridicule. To one, however, who tries to see a new land with comprehending sympathy, to which alone it will reveal itself, these relics, brought back from the Holy Land by crusading knight or warrior bishop, are tender memorials of a great hour of Christian enthusiasm. One of the strongest traits of Spanish character is reverence for all links that bind it to its past, especially its religious past, and happy it is for such old treasures that they find shelter in a land where a Cámera Santa is still a shrine, not a museum. "¡Triste de la nación que deja caer en el olvido las ideas y concepciones de sus majores!"

If Oviedo itself is disappointing to those who seek the antiquely picturesque, the countryside that encircles it is doubly lovely. On a bright Sunday morning we walked out a few miles to see the church of Santa María de Naranco, built by Ramiro I back in 850. It was a steep scramble up the mountain side, for the road was like a torrent bed. Peasants on donkeys passed, on their way into the town for their day of rest, some with brightly decorated bagpipes groaning out their merriment. To avoid the sea of mud in the high road, we took short-cuts up the hills, following a peasant who, seated sideways on her donkey, balanced on her head a huge loaf of bread. And her bread, round and flattened in the center, was the exact shape of the loaves chiseled, centuries before, in the Bible scenes of Burgos choir-stalls. The old woman smiled and nodded as she smoked her cigarettes, watching us pick our way with difficulty where the tiny hoofs of her ass trod lightly. What cares a Spanish peasant whether the road is good or bad when he has a sure-footed donkey to carry him!

At length we reached the small church built by the third king after Pelayo. It is a room thirty-six by fifteen feet, with a chamber at the east and another at the west end. Along the north and south walls are pillars from which spring the arcades, and these pillars and arches make the support of the building; the walls merely fill in. This is the earliest example in Spain of the separation into active and passive members; whether the idea came from Lombardy or was of native birth is not known.

We climbed still higher up the red sandstone hill, among gnarled old chestnut trees, to where the ancient church of San Miguel de Lino stands. The oriental windows, being in Spain, would naturally be thought of Moorish origin, but their Eastern source antedates the Moor. They came from the Byzantine East, by way of the Bosphorus, not the Straits of Gibraltar. They are reminiscent of the time when the Goths, before their invasion of Spain, lived around the Danube.

On July 25th the scene near these two churches is a striking one. The village of Naranco is emptied of its folk that pious morn, as the peasants, in the same tranquil beauty as in old Greece, lead their garlanded oxen and heifers up to San Miguel. So unchanging are Spain's customs that the festival is paid for out of the spoils taken at the battle of Clavigo (in 846), where tradition says the loved patron of the Peninsula, the Apostle St. James, "él de España," came to fight in person. We were not so fortunate as to see this feast of Sant Jago, but we stumbled on a beautiful minor scene. As we returned by Santa María de Naranco, a group of peasants stood round the priest on the raised porch of the church, the center of interest being a baby three days old. Few women can resist a baptism, that solemn first step in a Christian life, so we drew near. The father was a superb-looking youth of about twenty, in a black velvet jacket; his crisp curly hair, his glow of color, and the proud outline of his features made him fit subject for the artist. The godmother, his sister it seemed from the resemblance, was a buxom girl in Sunday finery; the godfather was a younger brother of fourteen, who awkwardly held the precious burden. The old priest wore the wooden clogs of the people and made a terrible racket with every step. From the porch he led the way into the church, and after pausing half way to read prayers,—a scuffling old sexton held aslant a dripping candle,—they came to the baptismal font in the raised chamber at the west end. The young father went forward to the altar steps to kneel alone, and the godfather, with great earnestness, gave the responses. Then the cura poured the blessed water on the tiny head, and to prevent cold wiped it gently. The ceremony over, his wooden shoes clattered into the sacristy, the sexton blew out the candle, and the agile godmother claimed her woman's prerogative and tossed and crooned to the young Christian as she tied ribbons and cap-strings. The two strangers who had witnessed this moving little scene under the primitive carving of the Visigothic church wished to leave a good-luck piece for the small Manuela. But when they put the coin into the hand of the young parent who still knelt before the altar, he returned it with a beautiful, flashing smile. In halting Spanish they explained their good-luck wishes, and in that spirit the gift was accepted.

Seen from Naranco, the red-tiled roofs of Oviedo encircled by far-stretching mountains made a romantic enough scene. Seated on the trunk of a chestnut tree we watched the sun set over the exquisite valley. Immediately round us on the hillside had once stood the city of King Ramiro, obliterated as completely as the earlier Phœnician and Roman settlements in Spain. The dead city where we sat, the town below, distant from the bustle of the world yet fast approaching it, the glow and sweep of the sunset,—it is at moments such as these that the mind enlarges to a swift comprehension, untranslatable in speech, of the passing breath the ages are. The mountains change, the rivers capriciously leave their beds,—especially in Spain, where bridges stand lost in green meadows and are left undisturbed, for does not a proverb say, "Rivers return to forsaken beds after a thousand years?" And Spain has patience to wait! Whether it was the new-born child, the forgotten city, the up-to-date town below, or just the sun setting over that illimitable expanse of mountains, Santa María Naranco gave one an hour of the higher philosophy.

In the after-glow we walked back to Oviedo. Along the way the returning country people greeted us with ease and dignity: "Vaya Usted con Dios," the beautiful salutation, "Go thou with God," heard from one end of the land to the other. The beggar gives you thanks with it, the shop man dismisses you, the friend takes farewell, but its pleasantest sound is in the country, heard from the lips of clear-eyed peasants passing in the evening light.

This peasantry is by instinct well-bred, proud of a pure descent, by nature a gentleman, a caballero. A traveler's life and pocket are absolutely secure in these unfrequented northern provinces of "dark and scowling Spain." For a century those who have turned aside from the beaten track have brought back the same tale of courtesy and hospitality. There is much of Arcadian gentleness among these unlettered people. The Spanish labrador may not read or write, but he cannot be called ignorant; statistics here do not guide one to a true knowledge. The country people hand down in the primitive way, from one generation to the other, a ripe store of human wisdom, that often gives them a wider outlook on life and a deeper strength of character than that of the educated man who shallowly criticises them. They are unspoiled and very human, the women essentially feminine, the men essentially manly; daily this note of virility strikes one,—one grows to love their expressive, beautiful word, varonil. "The man in the saloon steamer has seen all the races of men, and he is thinking of the things that divide men,—diet, dress, decorum, rings in the nose as in Africa, or in the ears as in Europe. The man in the cabbage field has seen nothing at all; but he is thinking of the things that unite men,—hunger, and babies, and the beauty of women, and the promise or menace of the sky." When one can say a thing like that, one is born to appreciate Spain. Will not Mr. Gilbert Chesterton go there and study some day her untamable grand old qualities and describe her as she should be described? If such a country population had had good government during the past three hundred years instead of the worst of tyrannies, where would it stand to-day? Though such a surmise is foolish, for perhaps it is because of its isolation that the Spanish peasantry is racy and vigorous. Knowing the hopelessness of battling against corruption in high places in Madrid, it lived out of touch with modern life, elevated by its intense faith, the hard-won inheritance from the Reconquista,—and a peasant's faith is his form of poetry and ideality, which when taken from him makes him lose in refinement and charm.

Back in the Basque provinces the new idea had dawned on us that this was not a spent, degenerate race, but a young unspoiled one, and every excursion in the country parts of Spain made deeper the assurance of red blood coursing in her veins. Corrupt government has deeply tainted the city classes, has made loafers, and men who open their trusts to the silver key, but the heart of the people is sound. It has been tragically wounded by rulers to whom, an heroic trait, it has ever been loyal. If a country after centuries of misrule had the same power to govern herself as a nation that had had enlightened government for the same length of time, would not one of the best arguments for good government be lost? It may be a long time before Spain learns the restraint of self-rule. But go among the vigorous mountaineers of the north, talk with the patient, sober Castilian labrador, watch the Catalan men of industry and you will see the possibility of her future. A noble esprit de corps controls the Guardia Civil who are the keepers of law and security in Spain, to whom a bribe is an insult. Let the same spirit extend to the other departments,—to the post, to the railway, the civil government; let the judge sit on an impregnable height; let the priest of Andalusia have as solemn a realization of his office as the priest of Navarre, of Aragon, of old Castile; let the women be given a wider education (though may nothing ever change their present qualities as wives and mothers), and Spain is on the right road.

Cavadonga was merely a two days' trip from Oviedo, yet we had to forego it. The weather was too abominable; while Málaga on the southern coast of Spain has an average of but fifty-two rainy days in the year, this city on the northern coast has only fifty-two cloudless days. The thought of a rickety diligence over miles of muddy roads kept enthusiasm within bounds. After a short pause in the Asturian capital we took the train back to León. The valleys were a veritable paradise; now we skirted a wide river flowing under heavily-wooded hills, now we crossed fields covered with the autumn crocus, and saw from the balconies of the farmhouses yellow tapestries of corn cobs hung out to dry.

Some day, not so far distant as an ideal government in Spain, the lover of independence and untouched nature will come to these northern provinces instead of going to hotel-infested Switzerland. The temperate climate, the trout and salmon rivers, the courtesy of the people, make these valleys between the mountains and the sea an ideal tramping and camping ground for the summer.


"I stood before the triple northern porch
Where dedicated shapes of saints and kings,
Stern faces bleared with immemorial watch,
Looked down benignly grave and seemed to say:
'Ye come and go incessant; we remain
Safe in the hallowed quiets of the past;
Be reverent, ye who flit and are forgot
Of faith so nobly realized as this.'"

THERE have been many efforts to divide Spain into right-angled departments similar to those of her neighbor France. The individual land throws off such efforts to bring her into geometric proportion: never can her thirteen immemorial divisions, her thirteen historic provinces be wiped out. Each is an entity with ineradicable characteristics and customs. Their boundaries may seem confused on a paper map, but they are reasonable in the flesh and blood geography of mountains and river valleys, or the psychological geography of early affiliation and conquest.

No Alfonso or Ferdinand will ever be King of Spain, but King of the Spains, Rey de las Españas. Mi paisano, the term which stands for the closest bond of fellowship, is used by an Aragonese of an Aragonese, by a Catalan of a Catalan, never by an Aragonese of an Andalusian, or a Catalan of a Castilian. The independent Basque provinces, (where the monarch is merely a lord) the free mountain towns of Navarre, stiff-necked Aragon, these never will merge themselves in Old Castile. Nor can Catalonia, self-centered, humming with manufactures and seething with anarchy, understand pleasure-loving Andalusia, that basks under fragrant orange trees as it smiles its ceaseless mañana. Valencia and Murcia, where crop follows crop in prodigal fruitfulness are the antithesis of desolate Estremadura, and of that immortal desert of Don Quixote the denuded steppes of New Castile, to their north. And the mountain provinces of Galicia and the Asturias, of idyllic hill and dale, yet with seaports fast awakening to commercial life, look with little sympathy on the sluggish province of León that borders them.

Industrial advancement is on its gradual way in Spain, but there is not a hint of its movement in this oldest of the separate kingdoms. Zamora, Astorga, León, Salamanca, the romantic cities of the earlier days of chivalry, lie asleep; the whistle of the railways has failed to rouse them. You must lay aside all theories of modern comfort here, and make the tour in the spirit of a pilgrim lover of the antique and picturesque. What else could be expected in a province where the peasantry still embroider their coarse linen sheets with castles and heraldic lions, in a land where even the blazonry of a city rings with a psalm, Ego autem ad Deum clamavi. The centuries of forays have bequeathed a hardy endurance to the people, but they are the cause at the same time of the scanty population of the plains, the tragic evil of central Spain.

We got to the city of León the day of a horse fair. Fresh from wide-awake Oviedo, it was like stepping back into an older world; here was old Spain much as it was in the time of Guzmán[13] the Good, the defender of Tarifa in 1294, whose casa solar faced the plaza where the fair was held. The peasants who bargained in groups, wore toga-draped capes and wide-brimmed felt hats edged with an inch of velvet; every horse in Spain must have been gathered there, and an equal number of kind-eyed woolly little donkeys, essential factors of a Spanish scene. "The Castilian donkey has a philosophic, deliberate air," wrote Théophile Gautier on his sympathetic tour in the Peninsula seventy years ago, "he understands very well they can't do without him; he is one of the family, he has read 'Don Quixote,' and he flatters himself he descends in direct line from the famous ass of Sancho Panza."

A step beyond the horse fair brought us to massive Roman walls with frequent semi-circular towers; León's name comes from Augustus' 7th Legion who fortified it against the highlanders of the north. Built into the walls is the remarkable church of San Isidoro encrusted with later work, but with the strong Romanesque lines still prominent. The pilgrims who flocked from Europe to Santiago Compostella in the Middle Ages were partly the means of bringing this style into Spain; thus San Isidoro is of Burgundian origin, just as Santiago Cathedral resembles Saint-Sernin in Toulouse, and the Catalan churches show Lombard features. Though the Spaniard adapted the style to his own character, adding the original feature of outside cloisters for the laity, its importation nipped in the bud a just beginning national architecture, whose loss cannot but be regretted. San Isidoro has a privilege seldom given, the Blessed Sacrament being exposed every day of the year, and always before its lighted altar one sees veiled figures kneeling. It served as the pantheon for the kings who followed Ordoño II—twelfth in descent from Pelayo—who removed his capital from Oviedo here, and the ancient burial chamber still has ceilings painted in the stiff Byzantine manner with obscure color, hard lines, and lack of perspective, probably the oldest paintings in Spain. The "Romancero" tells how Jimena, the gallant, golden-haired wife of the Cid, came here after the birth of her child to attend Mass. She wore the velvet robes given her by the king on the day of her marriage, a richly jeweled hair-net, gift of the Infanta Urraca, her rival; around her neck painted medals of San Lázaro and San Pedro, santos de su devoción, and so beautiful was she that the sun stood still in his course to see her better. At the church door the king met her and escorted her in honor, for was not her husband away fighting the infidel for his monarch? There is so true a ring to the old ballads that Jimena lives a real personage.

"Oviedo la sacra, Toledo la rica, Sevilla la grande, Salamanca la fuerte, León la bella" runs an old verse on Spanish Cathedrals. And the Cathedral of León merits its name. It is harmoniously beautiful, pure French-Gothic, graceful and elegant, classic if the word is permissible for the unrestrained individualism of Gothic art. Built in one age without intermission, in 1303 the Bishop announced that no further contributions were needed, and the centuries since have left the church untouched. Here no cold Herrera portal usurps some lovely pointed work and Churrigueresque extravagancies are not prominent: the late restorations have followed the first plans.

Copyright, 1910, by Underwood & Underwood The Cathedral of León
Copyright, , 1910, by Underwood & Underwood
The Cathedral of León

Always excepting the Pórtico de la Gloria in Santiago, the west doorways of León Cathedrals stand for the best in Spanish sculpture. The statue of the Virgen Blanca in the center is famous. Around her the saints and apostles are grouped in appealing attitudes;—out of proportion though they may be as to hands and feet, their sincerity covers all flaws: here, a homely face with care-worn wrinkles of goodness; there, one beaming in satisfaction to be standing in such a chosen band. The lunette over the central door is delightful. On one side, in Heaven, a clerk plays the organ, while a boy blows the bellows, and groups stand chatting near, for a Spaniard's idea of bliss, in those days also, took the form of ease and desultory talk. Hell, on the opposite side, not to be outdone, has two urchins blowing bellows as well, not to make music but to quicken a fiery caldron into which devils are thrusting the sinners. The enjoyment of the old sculptor in his Heaven and Hell was too keen to be confined in the lunette and he has spread himself over the curving of the arches; in spite of time and retouching these three doorways show exquisite detail chiseling.

"About their shoulders sparrows had built nests
And fluttered, chirping, from gray perch to perch,
Now on a miter poising, now a crown,
Irreverently happy."

Within León Cathedral all is quiet and solemn, a true beauty of holiness. There is no clutter of side chapels in the nave but a sheer sweep of windows filled with the jeweled glass of Flemish masters.[14] These windows come as a surprise in a land where churches are guarded from the sun, and often the open triforium and clearstory, as at Avila, are walled up later to darken the interior. The chancel and choir are worth detail study. The coro seats have panels carved with single figures,—saints with their emblems, warriors with raised visors, placid-faced nuns, thoughtful bishops, gallant pages with their crossed feet gracefully poised,—all of a noble type, with high brow and aquiline nose. Spain has comparatively nothing to show in the way of frescoes, she had no early Masaccio, no Giotto, no Filippo Lippi, to paint the costumes and features of his generation, but wood carvings are her substitute; in them, and in her unrivaled tombs can be read the contemporary history of warrior, bishop, and page. The retablo of the High Altar is of the same simple elegance as the rest of the church. The usual towering one of carved scenes would have been singularly out of place, it is appropriate for the big dark interior of Seville Cathedral, but here are grace and restraint instead of grandeur and mystery, and most suitable are the ancient paintings of varying sizes, gathered from scattered churches and framed together. Radiating round the chancel are chapels that give to the exterior view of the apse a truly French-Gothic air, flying buttresses supporting the cap of the capilla mayor.

Romanesque, Gothic, and Plateresque are each well represented in León City. In the last style is the noticeable convent of San Marcos that stands isolated outside the town beside the swift blue-green river. The Knights of Santiago built a resting-place on their pilgrimage route back in the 12th century, but the present building is of Isabella's day, and the architect has given free rein to his silversmith's arabesques and medallions, and scattered pilgrim shells all over the façade of the church. We tried to get into the Museum, now in the convent, as it contains some good wood carvings, but an aged beggar at the door explained "Mañana," the easy "to-morrow," as prevalent in León as in Andalusia,—then rising to the occasion as only an Italian or Spanish beggar can, he swept open his toga-draped cape, smiling as he pointed to the entrance door: "To-morrow, after your morning chocolate, it will be open for you."

It was sunset as we turned away. The long mass of San Marcos stood boldly against the red glow of the sky. The horizon was outlined by the blue mountains of Asturias. With our imagination filled with the old days when pilgrims flocked here from England, from the forests of Germany, from the Po and the Danube, suddenly over the ancient bridge rode a troop of cavaliers on prancing steeds, in cloaks and plumed hats. The kindly blessed illusion hid the fact that our pilgrim-knights were sturdy peasants in the national capa, riding their long-haired horses back from the city fair.

"Sin el vivo calor, sin el fecundo
Rayo de la ilusión consoladora
¿Que fuera de la vida y del mundo?"

asks one of Spain's poets of the 19th century, Núñez de Arce, and in his native country it takes but little effort of the imagination to repeople the solemn churches, the narrow city streets, or the treeless plain with the romantic figures of the past.

The following day at dawn, after a miserable night in rooms like icy death, a true pilgrim night of endurance, we took the train for the west. As we entered the railway carriage Reservado para Señoras a sleepy railway-guard stumbled out of the further door; all through the journey in the north, we roused these cozily-ensconced railway-officials, for so rare are ladies alone on this route, that the conductors have fallen into the habit of sleeping in the carriage reserved for them. When our tickets were collected we were given many a severe look for daring to upset a cosa de España.

On the way from León to Astorga, little over thirty miles, the realization of the old pilgrim route is vivid. Before reaching Astorga comes the paladin's bridge,[15] of Órbigo, where in the reign of Isabella's father ten caballeros andantes challenged every passing pilgrim to a bout of arms; if a lady came without a cavalier to fight for her, she forfeited her glove, if any knight declined to fight he lost his sword and spur. The age of knight errantry which Cervantes has haloed with a deathless charm, breathes in this historic Pass of Honour. The leader, Suero de Quiñones, came of the great Guzmán family, to which St. Dominic belonged, and of which the Empress Eugénie was a scion. To show his captivity to his lady, every Thursday he wore an iron chain round his neck, but when victor in this tourney, it was removed with solemnity by the heralds. Suero's sword is to be seen to-day in the Madrid Armory where in an hour more of Spain's real history is learned than in years of reading.

The Roman walls of Astorga, seen from the railway present an imposing appearance: here, as at León and Lugo, the frequent half-circular towers do not rise above the crest of the walls. Astorga must have looked just like this when the pilgrims rode by to the shrine of St. James. A closer inspection spoils the illusion however, for the proud city that once ranked as a grandee of Spain is to-day a very tattered and worn hidalgo, and there is a sad air of desolation about its plaza and crumbling walls. Whether or not it was because our ramble was by early morning before the inhabitants were astir, at any rate I brought away a picture of a depopulated town. There were but a few silent worshipers under the clustered piers of the late-Gothic Cathedral, whose reddish tower is the important feature of the distant view. What had tempted us to pause a night in Astorga was the wood-carved retablo by Becerra in the Cathedral, but we found it by no means equal to the work of the carvers in Valladolid. Becerra had studied under Vasari in Rome, and the influence is shown too plainly. There is a curious weather cock on the church, a wooden statue called Pedro Mata, dressed in the costume of a singular tribe that lives in some thirty villages near by. The origin of the Maragatos is involved in mystery; some say they are the descendants of Moors taken in battle, some of Goths who sided with the Moors. During all these centuries they have kept separate from the people about them, like gypsies they marry only with themselves. They should not be confounded with gitanos, however, for the Maragatos are honest and industrious; they are the carriers of the countryside, with the privilege of taking precedence on the road. Here and there in Spain one stumbles on a strange, isolated relic of the past such as this. Astorga was still sleeping, in the literal as well as figurative sense, when we left; a walk on top of the walls looking out over the León plain, a regret that we could not sketch the artistic church of San Julián, with its faded green door and crumbling portal, and we turned south. On the train I discovered that a five franc piece given me in change by the innkeeper, was nothing but a bit of silver-washed brass advertising the cakes of one Casimiro in Salamanca, and I, seeing the king's effigy, had thought it a genuine Spanish dollar,—it is easy to be caught napping in León.

Zamora is not many miles from Astorga and like the other sleepy towns of the province, it too seems to feel it has a right to a long pause in obscurity after its heroic centuries of Moorish warfare. The great hour of the city was the time of the Cid; the "Romancero" should be in one's pocket here. One of its stirring incidents is the death of King Ferdinand I, in 1065, and its sequel of battles and sieges. The king lies on his deathbed, holding a candle, great prelates at his head and his four sons on his right hand. With the fatal propensity of Spanish rulers to bequeath discord, he divides his kingdom among his sons; to Don Sancho, Castile; León to Alfonso; the Basque provinces to García; the fourth son already was of enough importance, "Arzobispo de Toledo, Maestre de Santiago, Abad en Zaragoza, de las Españas, Primado." The king's daughter Urraca, she who had given the Cid's wife, Jimena, her jeweled hair-net, now complains bitterly that she is left out of the inheritance, so her dying father gives her the fortress-city of Zamora, "muy preciada, fuerte es á maravilla," and "who takes it from you let my curse fall on him." In spite of which threat her wicked brother Sancho, besieges the city,—a Spanish proverb for patience runs: "No se ganó Zamora en una hora." With Sancho comes his chief warrior Roderick Díaz de Bivar, given the title of Cid Campeador, Lord Champion, by the Moorish envoys who here met him. The Cid had wellnigh fought an entrance into the city when the intrepid Urraca ascends a tower—to-day called the Afuera Tower—and delivers her famous scolding.

"¡Afuera! Afuera! Rodrigo,
El sóberbio Castellano!"

"Out! Out! Rodrigo, proud Castilian! Remember the past! When you were knighted before the altar of Santiago, and my father, your sponsor, gave you your armor, my mother gave you your steed, and I laced on your spurs! For I thought to be your bride, but you, proud Castilian, set aside a king's daughter to wed that of a mere Count!" And the ballad tells how the Cid, hearing her upbraiding with emotion, retired with his men.

The only present attraction of the decayed town is its Cathedral, set high above the Duero on the edge of the bluff along which Zamora stretches. It was built by the Cid's confessor, Bishop Gerónimo, the dome above the transept crossing being an original feature which the bishop was to elaborate later in the old Cathedral of Salamanca; as Trinity Church, Boston, is copied from this last, Zamora has a special interest for the visitor from New England. We had a four hours' pause there, ample time to see the city. It was raining so dismally that my fellow traveler decided not to face a certain drenching, as the long-drawn-out town had to be traversed before reaching the Cathedral. In an unfortunate moment I started out alone for what I supposed would be a leisurely exploring of a venerable city. Fleeing in distress would better describe the reality, for every hooting boy and girl in Zamora followed at my heels. Whether it was a white ulster or an automobile veil tied over my hat as the wind was high, or just the unaccustomed figure of a stranger in those narrow streets, an excited crowd pursued me the whole length of the town. In front, walking backward, open-mouthed, went a dozen urchins, and behind came a long brigade I hardly dared look back on, it so increased with every step. Men hastened to their shop doors to wonder at the crowd, and the passers-by stood still in astonishment; a feeling of horror came over me at such publicity. In vain I fled into churches in the hope of escaping the relentless little pests; when I emerged they greeted me with howls of pleasure. I angrily shook my umbrella at them, but that only added to the glorious excitement. Here and there a kind woman came to the bothered stranger's help, and scattered the crowd. The children merely scampered down side streets to meet me again in still greater numbers at the next corner. It is easy to laugh now that it is over, but at the time there is small amusement in fleeing through a foreign city pursued by forty hooting youngsters, to have them press round you in a stifling circle when you pause to look in your book, to have them gaze long and seriously at you, then burst into uncontrollable laughter so that in desperation you begin to feel if you have two noses or six eyes. We had decided that in most of the unfrequented towns of Spain, the children were a nuisance; in Zamora they were positive vampires. A visitor in the future had best wear black, a black veil on the head, a black prayer-book in the hand, as if on the way to church, then resembling other people, the children may let her pass. But a white ulster and a red guide book are magic pipes of Hamelin to lure every idle child in Zamora. In spite of wind and rain, and a lengthy disappearance within the Cathedral, it was only on reëntering the station, several hours after they had first seized on their prey, that the unsolicited escort left me, and even then they hung round the door till the shriek of the engine told them the escaped lunatic who had given them so splendid an afternoon's entertainment was out of reach.


"Blessed the natures shored on every side
With landmarks of hereditary thought!
Thrice happy they that wander not lifelong
Beyond near succour of the household faith,
The guarded fold that shelters, not confines!
Their steps find patience in familiar paths
Printed with hope by loved feet gone before
Of parent, child or lover, glorified
By simple magic of dividing Time."

JERUSALEM, Rome, Santiago,—perhaps this claims too much for the Spanish pilgrimage shrine? It would not in the Middle Ages, when the Christians of all Europe flocked there to pray beside the tomb of St. James the Elder, the patron of Spain invoked in the battle cry of her chivalry for a thousand years, "¡Santiago y cierra España!"—"St. James and close Spain!" A Latin certificate used to be given to every pilgrim, and it was kept among family records, for there were properties that could only be inherited if one had gone to Santiago Compostella. To-day Spaniards are the only devotees, though as I write I see that a band of English pilgrims with the Archbishop of Westminster at its head is visiting the far-off corner of Galicia. Though few travelers turn out of their way there, it is one of the most characteristic spots to be seen in Spain, a solemn old granite city, with arcaded streets and vast half-empty caravansaries darkened with humidity and age.

It takes over fifteen hours to go from León to Santiago, but the journey is a beautiful one, with mountains and fertile valleys, and rivers such as the Sill and that gem of the province, the Miño. At Monforte the railway branches, one line goes to Túy and Santiago, and the other turns up to Lugo and Coruña. We took this last, tempted by accounts of Lugo.

It is indeed a unique little city, walled around without a break by Roman battlements forty feet high, on the top of which is the fashionable promenade of the town. With its walls and the view from them, it closely resembles Lucca. Lugo was a surprise in various ways. It had a hotel, the "Fernán Núñez," so up-to-date that it boasted a tiled bathroom with hot water and a shower bath. Not only the comfortable inn but the streets of the town were a model of propriety. As always, our steps turned first to the Cathedral, spoiled outside, as is unfortunately the way in Spain, by those two disastrous centuries, the seventeenth and eighteenth, but within being of the lovely transition period, Romanesque as it merged into Gothic, with the arches just slightly pointed. The irrepressible Churriguera has worked himself into the inside of the church too; his canopy over the High Altar is abominable, though it would take more than that to detract from the simple solemnity of such a church. Lugo is one of the holiest spots in the Peninsula, like San Isidoro in León, it claims the privilege of perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, only more privileged than León, exposed night as well as day. So proud is the province of this ancient custom that the Host is represented on the shield of Galicia.

No matter at what hour you enter the Cathedral, there are worshipers; two priests always kneel before the tabernacle, and they never kneel alone. The scenes of humble piety drew me back to the church again and again with compelling attraction. To me a Spaniard praying unconsciously before the altar is unequaled by any act of worship I have witnessed; not even the touching Russian pilgrims in Jerusalem kissing the pavement in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, nor the Arab at sunset kneeling alone in the desert, can impress more powerfully. It seemed as if this tranquil shrine of Lugo spread an influence of uplifting thought through the whole contented little town; in the quiet afternoon a withered grandmother knelt with her hands on the head of a little tot of six who repeated the prayers that fell from the old lips, or three young women of the upper class sought a retired corner of the church to repeat together their daily chaplet; now in a side chapel, a peasant thinking herself unobserved, in a glow of devotion, encircled the altar on her knees.

On leaving the west door of the Cathedral, we ascended the inclined path that leads to the promenade on top of the walls. It was sunset, an exquisite hour to look out on the well-wooded countryside, through which meandered the trout-filled Miño. In the distance were mountains. No wonder the Romans, who ferreted out most of the choice spots of Europe, used to come to this city for the thermal baths. The handsome modern Lugonians strolled around the ramparts, pausing to chat here and there in the semicircles made by the numerous towers of the wall. Now a white-haired matron draped in the national mantilla, loitered leisurely by, with some of the higher ecclesiastics of the Cathedral; now a mother and two grave, pretty daughters passed, watched discreetly by the young beaux. Evidently far-off little Lugo, tucked away in the unknown northwestern corner of Spain, had a social life that sufficed for itself, with no envy of Madrid and San Sebastián. The local contentment found everywhere in the country struck me as admirable. Will "progress" unsettle it? We could have stayed a month in Lugo. To fish in the Miño, to ramble over the fertile country, to feel about one peaceful, contented human beings, would make a summer there a happy experience.

When we went on to Coruña, a commercial town that, like seaports the world over, has a rough populace, we were glad to have first seen Doña Emilia Pardo Bazán's loved province at pretty Lugo. In travel there must always be, I suppose, some places that one slights; one knows if one stayed long enough they might show a pleasanter side. We treated Coruña in this way. Sir John Moore, buried at midnight during the Peninsula War, was our association with the town before going there, and for all we saw of it Sir John will remain the chief association of the future. We only saw the flat, commercial district that skirts the bay, not the headland where the old town lies. Slatternly beggars pestered us, bold, bare-legged girls stood mocking at the unaccustomed sight of foreign women traveling; it was with relief we took the diligence that started at noon for Santiago.

I shall never cease regretting that we did not wait till the following day, when an electric diligence makes the journey, for that eight hours' trip over the hills to the capital was for us the only horrible experience of our tour in Spain. I wish I might blot out its memory, but as I am setting down frankly everything that occurred, this scene of cruelty must be told of, too. In the omnibus with us were but two other people, and there were five horses; there seemed no reason to foresee trouble. For the first relay of twelve miles all went well, and we enjoyed looking back from the hills on the blue Atlantic where the headland of Coruña jutted boldly out. Our drivers treated the horses with consideration and dismounted at every ascent. But, alas, for the second relay, we changed men and changed animals. Two young vagabonds were now on the box, driving four such miserable, bony nags that it tore the heart to see the sores the rope harness had made. We protested at the use of such horses, but in vain. Twelve miles lay behind, twenty-four were ahead, there were no inns, so we hesitated to desert the diligence, but had we realized the two hours of purgatory we were to face, we had dismounted and walked back to Coruña.

One young wretch drove with loud cries and slashing blows; the other alighted to beat the quivering animals up the hills. They guided so recklessly that we were once dashed down the bank into the gutter, and soon after run into a hay-cart and the wheels unlocked with difficulty. When at length they began to strike the spent beasts over the eyes our anger burst all bounds. In a heat of fury never before experienced, and I hope never again, we attacked those two brutal boys. I do not think they will soon forget that scene. At first they replied with impudence and went on lashing the horses. But impudence soon ceased. When two women are in earnest and are fearless of consequences, and have stout umbrellas, they win the day. The twelve miles of their escort over, and new horses harnessed to the diligence—those four pitiful, bleeding victims led away!—the two scoundrels slunk off, sore on arms and shoulders as well as shamed in spirit, for the country people who gathered round supported our protest. The remaining miles to Santiago finished well, with good drivers and stout horses. But never will the horror of those two hours leave me. In fairness I must add that this was the only scene of cruelty I saw during the eight months in Spain, and again and again I noticed plump happy donkeys who were treated as members of the family. It is far-fetched to account for this unfortunate instance by the bull-fight, since in countries that have no such spectacles, veritable skeletons are made to haul cabs, and poor jades are used for drag horses. But I cannot help seizing on this opening for a little tirade against the national game of Spain, which Fernán Caballero, who loved her home with passionate affection called, "inhuman, immoral, an anachronism in this century." The sports of other lands are open to harsh criticism. I do not think a Spaniard is more cruel by nature than an Englishman; in both nations is a certain proportion of coarsened characters,—the northern country may keep them better out of sight in the slums.

Northern Europe is to-day more humane to animals than southern Europe, because the women of the north have had greater freedom and have entered into philanthropic interests such as this. Kindness to animals is a modern movement everywhere (may the shade of St. Francis of Assisi forgive this half statement!) Spain need not be too discouraged by being behindhand. The bony exhausted horses used within my own remembrance on our American street-car lines, to drag cars laden each evening to twice the beasts' strength, would not be tolerated to-day, and this change has been wrought by societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, the membership made up chiefly of women and children. Would that Spanish ladies could be pricked to action by the statement of a living French novelist, made in ignorance of late conditions in America and England, that kindness to animals is a Protestant virtue. It is neither Protestant nor Catholic, but common to all human societies where women are allowed to aid with their gentler instincts in the public welfare of their country. The bull and the man are sport and skill, that part I can understand. It is the agony of the horses that is a disgrace to these shows, worn-out nags who can make no resistance are used, and when the bull gores them, their entrails are thrust back and the dying beasts pricked on to the fray. Herein lies the great difference between bull-fights to-day, which are debased money-making spectacles only taken part in by professionals, and the more chivalrous sport of earlier times when the hidalgo was toreador, and proper steeds that could defend themselves were used.

The bull-fight is found in Spain so early that its origin from the Roman period in the Peninsula, or from the first Mohammedan conquerors, is disputed. The Cid took part in a game, and games celebrated the marriage of Alfonso VII's daughter Urraca to the king of Navarre. During the reign of Isabella's father, Juan II, the corrida de toros was much in vogue. Queen Isabella herself disliked the sport, and in one of her letters she vows never to witness it. On the birth of Philip II in Valladolid, Charles V killed a bull in the arena. The fiestas continued under the Hapsburg Philips, until the advent of the French Philip V, in 1700. He so slighted this national sport that gentlemen ceased to take part in it, and it sank to its present level. It is now so well paying an affair that the only way to reform it would be through concerted action on the part of Spanish women. It is a crusade worthy of them.

A night of rest in the hotel at Santiago and the painful scene of the day before was somewhat dimmed. Early in the morning I started out to explore the old pilgrim city. It has a distinct character of its own, seldom have I felt so decided a place-influence. It is very solemn, very gray, very stately and aloof. On many of the houses the pilgrim shell is carved; the streets are paved with granite and the vast hospices are of the same severe stone, moss-grown and damp; grass also grows between the big granite slabs of the silent, imposing squares. Santiago does not belong to our age. Modern towns do not name their streets after twelfth-century prelates, "Street of Gelmúrez, 1st Archbishop of Compostella," makes a novel sign.

Here, as all over the land, the Cathedral was the magnet. I walked along the dark, arcaded streets in a Scotch drizzle, passed under Cardinal Fonseca's college and came out in the plaza before the west entrance. The west front is a baroque mass which those who can endure that style say is most successful. I cannot endure that style. It seemed to me doubly a pity that this late front should mask the chief treasure of Galicia, the Pórtico de la Gloria, which stands as an open portico to the church, fifteen feet within this west door.

Enthusiastic description had led us to expect much of what may be called the supreme work of Romanesque sculpture, in fact, it was this portico that had decided us for the long trip to Galicia. We were not disappointed. "Es la oración más sublime que ha elevado al cielo el arte español." Neither photograph nor words can describe it; it is one of those matchless works that body forth the best of an age. The model of South Kensington does not give its nobility, for it is the setting before the lofty dim Romanesque nave that makes it a unique thing. When later, in Constantinople, I saw Alexander's sarcophagus, the thought of Santiago sprang instantly to my mind. Both bring a feeling of sadness;—one, simple flowing Greek of the best period, the other, crabbed, original, mediæval,—they are alike in the absolute sincerity with which each embodied the highest then attainable. Over the carvings of both are faded traces of color that give the finishing touch of the exquisite.

The Archbishop, Don Pedro Suárez, in 1180 gave the commission for this portico to a sculptor named Mateo, whether Spanish or foreign is not known; he lived in Santiago till 1217. He must have been a close student of the Bible, for his symbolism is profound and harmonious. Above the central arch is a solemn Christ, of heroic size, at his side the four Evangelists, figures of youthful beauty: the lion and the bull have settled themselves cozily in their patron's lap. Large angels on either side carry the instruments of the Passion. Very fine statues of the Apostles stand against the pillars of the central doorway. In the tympanum are small figures typifying the Holy City of Isaiah, and on its arch are seated, on a rounding bench, the twenty-four ancients of the Apocalypse, with musical instruments and vases of perfume. This is perhaps the most beautiful part of the portico. For hours one can study it. Some of the heads are thrown back in revery, some turned together in conversation. "The four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb having everyone of them harps and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of the saints" (St. John, Rev. V, 8). The carvings of that age were somewhat grotesque, but here the types are ideal, as beautiful in their way as Mino da Fiesole or Rossellino. When Master Mateo had finished his work, he made a statue of himself below the central column of the portico, kneeling toward the altar and humbly beating his breast; on this figure was written "architectus." Humility and a consummate profession of faith such as this went hand in hand.

It is anticlimax, after the Pórtico de la Gloria, to speak of the other sights of Santiago. On the plaza before the west end of the Cathedral stands the dignified Hospital Real, founded by Isabella and Ferdinand as a pilgrim inn. Two of the four patios are quaintly carved, and probably amuse the convalescents of the modern hospital lodged now in the building. It was a joy to find so many of Isabella's good deeds still bearing fruit. The nuns took us down to the big kitchen, white-tiled and spotless, where we saw the four hundred fresh eggs that arrive daily from the country; the tidy patients on the verandas showed clearly that no one suffered privations here. As we were leaving, the old chaplain of the institution ran after us to beg us to return to see something of which he was evidently vastly proud. When he ushered us into a tiled bathing room and turned on the water that dashed up and down and round about from every kind of new contrivance, he looked at us with a self-complacency that was adorable, as if he said: "There, you water-loving English, we're just as fond of it as you!" The excellently managed institution reminds one that this province produced Doña Concepción Arenal, sociologist and political economist, and withal a most tender-hearted Christian, whose books on prison organization and reform have been widely translated, and are quoted as authorities by the leading criminologists of Europe. For thirty years this admirable woman was inspector of prisons. She died at Vigo in 1893, and Spain has since erected statues in her honor.

In Galicia, as in Catalonia, there has been a revival of dialect literature. The Gallego tongue was the first in the Peninsula to reach literary culture, and in the Middle Ages two ideal troubadours wrote in it. Had not Alfonso el Sabio written chiefly in Castilian, thereby fixing that as the leading tongue, as Dante did the Tuscan in Italy, it is probable that the dialect of Galicia had prevailed. Portuguese and Gallego were the same language up to the fifteenth century, hence it is that the great critic Menéndez y Pelayo always includes Portuguese writers in his studies of Spanish literature.

Galicia is fortunate in having an able living exponent, the Señora Emilia Pardo Bazán, whose novels are full of the charmed melancholy of the province. The Gallego is derided in other parts of Spain, his name is synonymous with boor, for he is judged by the clumsy mozo who seeks work in the south. "The more unfortunate a country the greater is the love of its sons for it. Greece, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, prove this, and the nostalgia is strongest in those of Celtic origin. Ask the rude Gallegos of South America what is their ambition—'To return to the terriña and there die' is the answer."

In a collection of essays "De mi Tierra," Madam Pardo Bazán has told of the learned Benedictine, Padre Feijóo, the Bacon of Spain, whose caustic pen did away with so many of the superstitions of his age. It may be a bit pedantic for me to give biographies in these slight sketches, but it seems as if a truer idea of the race is conveyed in such lives than could be given in any other way. This native of Galicia, Padre Feijóo, had few equals in the Europe of his time in liberality of view. He was born of hidalgo parents near Orense, where his casa solar stands, still lived in by a Feijóo of to-day. He entered the Benedictine Order and in their cloisters passed most of his long life of eighty years, for half a century living in their Oviedo house. His unflagging industry, his clear intellect, and simple uprightness, won the admiration of all who knew him. "After fifteen years' intimate acquaintance with Feijóo," wrote a scientist of the day, "never have I met, inside religion or out, a man more sincere, more candid, more declared enemy of fraud and deceit." Not till he was fifty did Feijóo commence to write. In 1731 appeared the beginning of his "Teatro Crítico," essays that have been called the first step of Spanish journalism, written as they eminently were to communicate ideas to others. He had the passion to know why, a never-tiring love of investigation. Adopting the Baconian experimental method, he attacked the superstitions and pseudo-miracles around him. ¡Ay! de mí Inquisición! Were you asleep that you did not clap this independent thinker into your capacious dungeons? So strong was Feijóo's influence that Benedict XIV curtailed the number of feast days on his mere suggestion.

This learned Benedictine monk was ahead of his age in many ideas. Are the stars not inhabited? he asked. Before Washington, he maintained that the Machiavellian theory of government, intrigue and diplomacy, which was then universally accepted in Europe, was inferior to friendly loyalty and honor. He preached compassion to animals generations before the age of our modern, humanitarian theories. With the painful remembrance of the diligence ride in Galicia, I was glad to find one of her sons advocating this. Feijóo stands out more prominently because of the intellectual desert around him. "The eighteenth century was an erudite, negative, fatigued." The Bourbons brought formality and sterility to spontaneous Spain. A dry soulless learning killed the creative power, and in every branch, art, music, and literature, the artificial rococo flourished. The two exceptions of vitality were Feijóo and the painter Goya. Had Padre Feijóo lived in our age, he might have been that great man hailed by De Maistre: "Attendez que l'affinité naturelle de la science et de la religion les ait réunies l'une et l'autre dans la tête d'un homme de génie! Celui-là sera fameux et mettra fin au dix-huitième siècle qui dure encore." How much longer are we to wait for him,—this great man!

If the only harrowing scene of the tour in Spain is to be associated with Galicia, so is one of the happiest, a day of such kindly chivalry that we felt the spirit of Isabella's time still endured. It was the chance of railway travel that introduced a modern knight to us. The journey back to Castile from Galicia is a most trying one. Some day perhaps an enterprising ocean line will put in at Vigo and run an express directly across country to Madrid; we were too early for such ease. From Santiago we had to take an afternoon train to Pontevedra, and there spend the night. At 5 A.M. (oh, those unforgettable, dark, cold railway stations of Spain!) we again took the train. It was dawn before Redondela was reached, and exquisite as a dream seemed the rías, the fiords of Galicia, with wooded mountains sloping to their shores. It is not hard to prophesy that this will be a great summer resort of the future.

At Redondela we changed trains, getting into the express for Monforte, the only other occupant of the carriage being an elderly man, blue-eyed, very tall and erect, with the air of distinction so frequently found among Don Quixote's countrymen. We had noticed him the night before in the Pontevedra hotel, and had thought him an Englishman, till in offering some service about our luggage he spoke in Spanish. As we were to spend fifteen hours in the same railway carriage, we soon entered into conversation. He came from Madrid each summer with a family of sons and daughters to spend some months in a castle among the mountains of Galicia. Evidently he was a lover of sport and of country life, for as we ran alongside the Miño River, with Portugal just across on the opposite bank, for hours he sat gazing out in enjoyment, and drew each beautiful thing to our notice. At noon we reached Monforte, where we had dinner in the station buffet. When we called for our account, to our astonishment the waiter told us it was settled already. We could not understand what had been done, till the proprietor himself came to explain. It seems it is a custom all over this generous land, for a man when he is with a lady or has spoken to her, to pay for everything she orders; tea, luncheon, even her shopping purchases. He does this with no offensive ostentation, but so quietly that he often slips away unnoticed and unthanked. Several travelers have since told me that they too met this hospitality; it had at first embarrassed them, but as there was not the slightest impertinence nor even the personal about it, as it was merely an act of chivalrous respect, done with superb detachment, when the confusion of being paid for by a stranger was over, they remembered only the charming courtesy.

The attentions of our kind host, for he seemed to look on two strangers in his land as his guests, did not stop at noontime, at tea he brought us platefuls of hot chestnuts. He tried to while away the hours pleasantly, playing games on paper in French and English; with all his dignified gravity the Spaniard is not blasé. Our struggles to learn his tongue rousing sympathy, it was from him we first heard of the pretty high-flown phrases still in daily use, how you bid farewell with, Beso à V. la mano (I kiss your hand), or A los pies de V. (I am at your feet); that the Usted, shortened to V., with which you address high or low, is a corruption of "Your Majesty." Somehow there seems nothing absurd in addressing a Spanish peasant as "Your Majesty." The love of abbreviations is a curious trait in a people with such leisurely ways; thus, a row of cabalistic letters ends a letter: S. S. S. Q. B. S. M., which means that your correspondent kisses your hand—su seguro servidor que besa su mano.

Then the interest which we evinced in the institutions and progress of Spain made him put his cultivated intelligence at our service, and we learned more in a day than in all the previous weeks. When I inquired into the vexed religious question he was able to explain much. As a rule, republicanism in Spain means avowed atheism and socialism; it has been well said that the republicanism of all Latin countries turns to social revolution. The socialists are a small, but well-organized band, international in character since their movements are directed from centers like Paris. They are chiefly in industrial cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, and Bilbao, where secret societies of anarchists abound, disguised as clubs for scientific study. The majority being of the rabble, repudiating all authority, ("civilization, that is the enemy!") their disorders would be called mob uprisings did they occur in Chicago, but deceived by the term "republicanism," the journals of England and America gave them too lenient a consideration. By no means devout himself, he assured us that what we saw on every side was for the most part very genuine religion, not sentiment with no result; for in those places where observance had slackened there was a marked difference in moral restraint, so potent a factor for morality was religion still in Spain. That there were faults none denied, but he had traveled enough to know the flaws of other countries too well to be despairing of his own.

He wrote for us a card of introduction to the big hospital of Madrid; he sought out a friend in another carriage, the son of the Admiral in Ferrol, who was rather up in statistics. Had we seen the asylum near Santiago where the insane are treated with such success that noted cures had been obtained? Had we met the archæologist of the province, a canon in the Cathedral? In short, from the questions and suggestions we realized that the average tourist goes through this reserved country half blind. Glad were we for this chance of insight. When in the dusk of evening it came time to descend at Astorga, our stopping-place for the night, and our fellow-traveler stood there shaking hands, with warm friendliness in his blue eyes, we felt there was no more thoroughbred specimen of manhood than a Spanish hidalgo.


"L'homme n'est produit que pour l'infini."
"Il y a des raisons qui passent notre raison."
"Se moquer de la philosophie c'est vraiment philosopher."

SALAMANCA is in León province, and in comparison with the hour of its prime, as it is to-day it too is very like a sleeping city. It is hard to realize that this dull, small town was a grandeza de España, ranking with Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, that once 10,000 students flocked here from all over Europe, and every young Spaniard turned here as naturally as a modern Englishman to Oxford or Cambridge; Cervantes' "Novelas Exemplares" give the picture. To-day there are barely a thousand students, chiefly from its own province; among the ten universities of Spain the former leader takes a very lowly place. Madrid, the continuation of Cardinal Ximenez' University of Alcalá, may be called the modern Salamanca in intellectual leadership.

Copyright, 1910, by Underwood & Underwood View of Salamanca from the Roman Bridge
Copyright, , 1910, by Underwood & Underwood
View of Salamanca from the Roman Bridge

In the Spanish Oxford one looks in vain for the numerous colleges of the city on the Isis. Alas! Salamanca is half a ruin. The French, in the Napoleonic invasion, destroyed the whole northwest quarter of the town to make fortifications, undoing in a few brutal hours the work of centuries of culture and piety. In his despatches of 1812 the Duke of Wellington wrote: "The French among other acts of violence have destroyed thirteen out of twenty convents and twenty out of the twenty-five colleges which existed in this seat of learning." Twenty out of twenty-five colleges! The thought of Oxford's tranquil, age-crowned buildings makes one grasp the tragic wreck of the Spanish university; never while in Salamanca could I forget the desolate tract to the west, lying still a heap of ruins, untenanted save by wandering goats, those nomad creatures that give the culminating note of squalor to deserted districts.

Our train approached the city across the plains from Zamora, through plantations of isolated trees and past droves of black sheep whose guardian stood patiently under the rain. For some time in the distance we saw the prominent church towers. Salamanca lay on the old Roman road, the Via Lata, that connected Cadiz with the north, but the Roman associations here are slight. As in Zamora, the Cid and his feats dwarf other interests, so here it is the picturesque days of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that fill the mind.

Go down to the Roman bridge over the Tormes and while away an hour watching the passers-by, and the old times seem to live again. Below in the river bed women wash and chatter from morning till night, spreading the gayly-colored clothes, red, yellow, and purple, over the stones to dry. If it is Sunday, into the city pour the hardy peasants for their one day of rest from the ungrateful work of the fields: girls in pale blue woolen stockings and smart, black pumps sit sideways behind their cavaliers on the long-haired nags whose backs are often shaved into a pattern; now out of the city jogs a brisk old woman on her donkey, laden with a month's purchases, an unpainted rush-bottom chair topping the pile; she nods to the strangers, franceses, she thinks, for a Spaniard takes all foreigners for his neighbors over the frontier: now a cart passes, whose shape and hue seem taken out of a romantic watercolor; then a young peasant in wide-brimmed sombrero, leather gaiters, silver buttons as big as dollars on his vest, clear-eyed and proud of carriage: then, salt to the picture, rides a burly cura, sitting well back on his tiny ass, a ridiculous figure were it not for his sublime unconsciousness, his innate self-respect. Ever the unspoiled, the vigorous, the untamed! Just so they came into Salamanca in the past when students with swords and velvet capes walked the streets, and so I hope they may do some hundred years from now, for such lives of frugal contentment are unequaled. Localism and provinciality have been forced on Spain by nature, and it is this very provincialism which is her charm for the traveler. Fresh from a prosperous, new world, he may often long for certain changes here, for more widely diffused education, for free libraries, a more secure self-government; but such material prosperity is bought with a price. Remember that not in the length or breadth of this land are to be found the degraded human beings, vicious in soul and brutalized in shape of skull and feature, such as exist by the thousands in the slums of industrial countries. If the Spanish peasant must lose his hardy independence, if his frugal contentment, his heroic patience must pass with the old order of things (that lets a heap of ruins in the heart of a city lie untouched during a hundred years!) I cannot help wondering whether the price is not too high to pay. I am repeating myself, but the words come to one each day—it is beyond human nature to be consistent in Spain; she has the faculty, despite her glaring faults, of battering down one's Philistine certainty of northern superiority.

The bridge, the plaza, and the cathedral; study your types there and you begin to know the real Spaniard. Not soon shall I forget, at Mérida, in wild Estremadura, as I loitered on the bridge, a countryman stepping forward with the dignified, proud look of his class: "¿Es más bonita que París?" he asked, the interrogatory note added only in courtesy, so sure was he of my affirmative. Sleepy little Mérida, all a ruin, Knights Templars' castle as well as Roman theater and aqueduct, to the fellow paisano of Pizarro and Cortés, was finer than Paris. It is glimpses like this that make the prejudiced stranger judge the so-called backwardness of the country in kinder fashion. Where else could one see stately-moving cream-colored oxen pass unnoticed through the chief thoroughfare of a capital, a common sight in the Puerta del Sol of Madrid, where else will the customs officer of a big town stand to count with a pointing finger the skipping sheep driven past him, as on the Alcántara bridge at Toledo, where else will groups of goats be milked from door to door in a great commercial city like Barcelona? Salamanca, being the center of an agricultural district and off the express route, presents daily, scenes from the Georgics.

Architecturally the old university city, despite her disasters, is of first importance. She has two Cathedrals, the smaller more perfect one of 1100, finding shelter by the side of its huge successor, to whom it yielded its rights as metropolitan in 1560. The exterior of the new Cathedral is over-rich and meaningless, it promises little for what it holds within, where the lofty Gothic piers and arches have so impressive an air of majesty that architectural flaws are forgotten. It proves how much longer Gothic lasted in Spain than elsewhere in Europe. The triforium here is replaced by an elaborately-carved balcony that runs round the church, and high up are medallions colored with gold and Eastern hues, an enamel-like decoration which has been beautifully and sparingly used; the inner circle of the clearstory window and the round windows of the west end, have jeweled chains of color that modern churches could well imitate. As usual, the side chapels are full of treasures, and the sacristy boasts the very crucifix the Cid carried in battle. There is one bad defect: its apse has not the dim, mysterious curve of a cathedral, the east end being square, like a cold secular hall. Nestling under this gigantic pile is the loveliest thing in all Salamanca, the catedral vieja, its title in the old Latin proverb "fortis Salmantina." It is a small, Romanesque-transition church, unused, but in good repair, left unchanged by a sensible bishop when the services were removed to its more pretentious rival. The carvings of the capitals are boldly massive, there is a noticeably good, painted retablo, and among the numerous tombs—a Gregorovius could make a fascinating volume of Spain's alabaster knights and bishops!—there is one that is specially appealing. It is in a chapel opening off the cloisters; a warrior in armor lies on his sarcophagus, beside him his wife, with a child's innocence of face, dressed in the nun's robe worn while her lord was fighting the Moors, with high pattens on her feet, a dainty little Castilian gentlewoman, mother of the prelate whose stately tomb fills the center of the chapel. The old Cathedral is so tucked in among buildings, that only one view of the exterior can be got, from a terrace leading from the south door of the later church, a view that a New Englander will return to often with a homesick feeling, for just such a scaly-tiled tower, window for window, line for line alike, rises in Copley Square, Boston. This cupola shows Byzantine influences since Spanish Romanesque was orientalized through Mediterranean trading.

Of all the memories of a journey in Spain the happiest are the hours spent in her cathedrals, the starting out expectant, often with no map or book, for there are frequent glimpses of the church towers to guide; the first entering the noble structure which man's living enthusiasm raised, the first passing from one chapel to another in astonishment at the treasures they guard. Pierre Loti has a sketch on Burgos Cathedral, seen once only on a late afternoon, just as the verger was closing it, and he describes how unhappily he was affected by the lavish material wealth. Pure artist that he is in his theory of seizing on a swift impression, the test may be successful for Philae or for the Parthenon, but it will not do for a Spanish cathedral, which is too complex, and can well hide its soul from the hasty tourist. May M. Loti forgive me for saying it, but certainly the way in which he saw Burgos differs little from the lightning-flash method of the Yankee tourist he despises. I think he must have had a cross indigestion that late afternoon, or perhaps it was his Huguenot blood rising in protest. Another of his countrymen, equally sensitive, "le délicat Joubert," gives a less on-the-surface judgment: "The pomp and magnificence with which the Church is reproached are in truth the result and proof of her incomparable excellence. From whence, let me ask, have come this power of hers and these excessive riches except from the enchantment into which she threw all the world? She had the talent of making herself loved, and the talent of making men happy ... it is from thence she drew her power."

Spain is richer than all other lands in church furniture: except for the uprising of 1835 against the monasteries, a movement more political than religious, there has been no terrible iconoclastic mania, such as in France and England; the cities which were looted, like Valladolid and Salamanca, during the French invasion, suffered in a different way. Then, too, Spanish cathedrals do not part with their art treasures; the gifts of personal and inappropriate jewels when they have accumulated too needlessly are sometimes sold for the benefit of the church, but the art treasures made for the service of the Altar are not parted with. In Valencia it is told that Rothschild's agent tried in vain to buy Benvenuto Cellini's silver pax there: $10,000 $15,000, $20,000, he offered: "Las cosas de la catedral no se venden," was the answer. "$50,000," said the agent. The Cathedral was poor and needed repairs. "It is useless," was the firm answer of the Chapter, "We do not sell the things of the Altar." In Salamanca the verger told us that an Englishman had offered an immense sum for the iron screen round the tomb of Bishop Anaya (his mother the dainty little lady in pattens) and though the screen was in an unused chapel of the catedral vieja, it was refused. These unsullied temples of the Holy Spirit, where stately ceremonials are still an every-day occurrence, differ in every city, the carven wealth of Burgos, the soaring grace of León, the solid grandeur of Santiago, Toledo, a dream of His House, Seville, rising imposing past expectation, the small, dark symmetry of Barcelona, the solemn space of prayer before Avila's high altar, Sigüenza's tomb-filled chapels, Saragossa, draped with priceless Flemish tapestries for the feast, Palencia dim and holy at daybreak, worship-bowed Lugo,—indelible memories of beauty and exaltation, the cathedrals of Spain are not mere artistic memorials of the past, their soul is not fled. Such churches cannot but have an influence on the people among whom they rise. If on one of different race they impress themselves with the actuality of a living experience, what must they mean to those whose childhood and old age have known them in solemn moments. I came across an autobiographical bit by the novelist Alacón, describing the influence on him of one of these great churches of the past. He grew up in the small Andalusian city of Gaudix, like many Spanish towns its great day being well over; the only grandeur left, the only palace inhabited, was the iglesia mayor: "From the Cathedral I first learned the revealing power of architecture, there first heard music and first grew to admire pictures; there also in solemn feasts, mid incense, lights, and the swell of the organ, I dreamed of poetry and divined a world different from what surrounded me. Thus faith and beauty, religion and inspiration, ambition and piety were born united in my soul."

On the way to the Cathedrals each day we passed through the arcaded plaza, which at the noon and evening hours was thronged with an animated crowd; we noticed once more the democratic relation between the classes, smart officers in pale blue uniforms strolled up and down chatting with plain countrymen whose capes, tossed over the shoulder, let the gaudy red and green velvet facing be seen. The daily walk brought us past the House of the Shells, whose walls are studded with the pilgrim emblem, and one day as I paused to look into the lovely inner court, the owner came out, prayer-book in hand, on her way to church, and with the grave courtesy of her race, she invited the stranger in to examine her romantic dwelling. Most of the buildings in the city are a light brown sandstone that suits the gorgeous surface decoration of Isabella's period, here seen in its full glory. There is no pure early-Gothic in the city; Romanesque-transition is found in the old Cathedral, and late florid-Gothic in the new Cathedral, later still some baroque extravagances, since Salamanca claims a doubtful honor as the birthplace of that exponent of bad taste, José Churriguera. But the style that is supreme here is the Plateresque, the silversmith period when late-Gothic and Renaissance met: the façades seem as if molded in clay, so lavish is their work. In one respect Salamanca has been more fortunate than its rival Oxford, in having used a stone soft in appearance, but so durable that the chiseling is almost as finished to-day as when first cut. Everywhere in the town this Plateresque work is found; at times more Renaissance than Gothic, as in Espíritu Santo, a convent like Las Huelgas for noble ladies, or as in the beautiful patio of the Irish College; the Dominican church of San Esteban is more Gothic than Plateresque.

Like the Jesuits, the second of the monastic orders whose cradle is Spain, may well be proud of the record in its native land. The society of Ignatius can boast besides its saints, scholars like Ripalda, Lainez, Salmerón, Isla, Suárez, Mariana, the great historian, and Hervás y Panduro, "the father of philology," who has been credited by Professor Max Müller with "one of the most brilliant discoveries in the history of the science of language." And the Dominicans can claim a de Soto, a Melchor Cano, Luis de Granada, Las Casas, defender of the Indians, and, fame of this special monastery of Santo Domingo, a Diego de Deza, the protector of Columbus. With this learned man, tutor to Isabella's only son, lodged the discoverer years before his memorable voyage, and it was in a room called De Profundis, leading from the cloisters, that he first explained his theories to the community who espoused his cause with perseverance, in opposition to the stupid savants of the University. They, appointed by the Queen to investigate his claims, found them "vain and unpractical," not worthy of serious notice. On the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, a memorial statue was put up in the square near the mediæval tower of Clavero: on the pedestal are reliefs of his two patrons, Isabella, and Fray Diego de Deza, "gloria de la orden de Santo Domingo, protector constante de Cristóbal Colón."

Imposing as is San Esteban, the triumph of the Catholic Kings' heraldic style of architecture is the façade of the University Library, as autobiographic of its age as is Santiago's Pórtico de la Gloria of an earlier century. It is one mass of delicate carving, badges, medalions, and scrolls, increasing in size as it rises, so that an effect of uniformity is obtained. There is the true ring of that chivalrous generation in the inscription, "The Kings to the University, and this to the Kings," you raise your head proudly with a flash of the eye, feeling for a moment that you are almost a Spaniard yourself.

Façade of the University Library, Salamanca
Façade of the University Library, Salamanca

Opposite the library's façade is a statue of one of the University's noted men, that attractive personality, Fray Luis de León. Tall, stalwart, for he came of a warrior race of Spanish grandees, ascetic, with intellectual forehead, a man capable of sainthood, of the type noble, he faces the school where he studied as a youth and passed a later life in research and teaching. In Luis de León is found an equilibrium of character, a magnanimity united with genius, which often distinguished the men born in the siglo de oro. This Augustinian monk was a deep theologian, ahead of his times, as most deep thinkers are; he made a translation of the Songs of Songs too advanced for the age, and his enemies accused his orthodoxy to the Inquisition. For five years he lived in confinement, and it was during this semi-imprisonment that he wrote his great mystic book, "Los Nombres de Cristo," and also some of his lyrics. The University remained loyal to him by refusing to place another lecturer in his seat; then when he had justified himself before the Holy Office, he was set at liberty, and a host of friends accompanied him back to his post. He entered the lecture hall quietly, after his five years of absence, and opened the discourse with rare tact, a generous, high-minded overlooking of personal rancour: "Gentlemen, as we were saying the other day." This famous mot of Luis de León, "como decíamos ayer," shows a quality unexpected in Spain, but characteristic often of her sons, that of amenity, a kindly tolerance of the world's foibles, found in Cervantes, and to show it has not died out, this same amenity was a predominating trait of the late distinguished novelist, Don Juan Valera. Luis de León, true follower of his patron Augustine, knew that there is no sin that one man commits that all men are not capable of, if not helped by God. "Even while he aspires, man errs."

Had the erudite monk been merely a scholar, he had been a personality in his own day, but would not be alive for us; but he can claim an enduring fame. Professor Menéndez y Pelayo calls him the most exalted of Spanish lyric poets, and names his "Ascensión," "Al Apartamiento," "A Salinas," "A Felipe Ruiz," "Alma Región Lucient," "La Noche Serena," as the six most beautiful of Spanish lyrics. Learn them by heart, he says, and they will astonish you with each repetition. Luis de León had the Wordsworthian note of simple living and high thinking, of a personal love of nature, long before the Lake School: the "Ode to Retirement" might have been penned at Grasmere. Everything led his soul to God; he fed on the mystics and rose to their height and serenity of thought. From his love of the classics came his sobriety of form and purity of phrase; he is a true Horacian, penetrated as well by the spirit of the great Hebrew writers, with the espíritu cristiano added, yet though drawing his culture from many sources he is personal and modern. Such praise from the great critic sends one to an enthusiastic study of Fray Luis, and a knowledge of his poems makes the visit to his tomb in Salamanca more than one of mere curiosity.

Like most of the cities and villages of León province, this one too lies asleep, resting on its former honors, though there are hints, such as the new hospital, that she is rousing herself to life. She feels a confidence in her own future, as is subtly shown in the decoration of the plaza, where empty spaces are left for the names of coming great men. It is with this city of the past that the most homelike memory of our tour in Spain is associated, the happy hour round an English tea-table eating bread and butter, and chatting at last, oh so eagerly, in one's native tongue. It was the rector of the Irish college who gave us this delightful taste of home, and fresh from six weeks of freezing, stone-paved rooms, of cinnamon-flavored chocolate, how we appreciated his hospitality! The school of young seminarians is housed in one of the five remaining of the University buildings, but only moved here when the original college, founded by Philip II and dedicated to St. Patrick, was demolished by Ney and Marmont's soldiery.

We found our host in his library poring over a Greek book with a professor from the University, and we were welcomed with the heart-warming kindness of his native land. The professor obviously hoped the invading Americans would not tarry long, but he little knew that a Celtic host in the heart of Spain and a cozy tea-table at the critical hour of a raw, bleak day made a combination not to be resisted; we lingered into the late afternoon and left reluctantly indeed. I would wish for all travelers a friendly visit to the Colegio de Nobles Irlandeses, that they might see the tall, northern-looking lads pacing up and down the sculptured sixteenth-century courtyard, might pause in the Chapel, and look out from the library windows over the city, with a genial cicerone to name the churches and colleges; then Salamanca would not seem a dead city, but a peaceful, contented survival of the past.


"No hay un pueblo esclavo
Si no lo quiere ser:
¡Cantad, españoles!
Cantad! Cantad!"

(Hymn sung May, 1908, for the centenary of Dos de Mayo.)

WE reached Segovia at five o'clock in the early morning of November first after an indescribably fatiguing day and night of travel, the one confusion of our tour in Spain, and partly owing to a mistake in the usually reliable guide book. It may be of help to other travelers if I describe this misadventure. On returning from Galicia, we had left the express route at Astorga, and pausing there a night, took the local line south to Zamora and Salamanca. After a stay of some days in the old university city, we were lured out to a small town, fifteen miles away, Alba de Tormes, where St. Teresa died. It seemed unnecessary to return to Salamanca in order to go on to Avila, since a diligence ran to Avila from a town not far from Alba de Tormes. Our book gave the distance of this ride as fourteen miles, whereas fourteen leagues, more than three times fourteen miles, would be nearer the truth. For, on reaching Alba we found it was a diligence journey of over ten hours; with the roads in a frightful condition after a month's rain, the trip was out of the question. So spending the night at Alba de Tormes, we went back to Salamanca, there to find it was not the special day for the train that connects directly with the express route south. Whereupon it seemed best, rather than to wait a couple of days for this train, to take the long trip round by Zamora and Toro to the junction Medina del Campo, whence the express route to Madrid branches, one line passing by Avila, another by Segovia.

It happened to be eight minutes before the starting of the train, when I went to the ticket office at Salamanca with my carnet kilométrique, yet nevertheless the agent refused me the tickets, saying that his office closed five minutes before the starting of each train. "But there are yet eight minutes," I exclaimed. His personal watch said five; so we were obliged to start without the usual complementary tickets. We decided to descend at the first stop and there have our kilometrics torn off, but before reaching this station the conductor came to collect tickets, and by his face, false and mobile, we knew we were in for a struggle. We explained our dilemma and offered the one peseta, ninety centimes, which was marked in his book and our own, as the full first class tariff for twelve kilometers. He contemptuously refused and demanded eight pesetas each for that short ride of eight miles. We did not hesitate to refuse; whereupon when we reached the stopping station he tried by confused explanations to prevent the agent there from giving us the necessary complementary tickets. But fortunately in the hurry to procure them during the few minutes of our pause, I had stumbled in stepping from the carriage and slightly cut my hand on the pebbles. This roused the Spanish sense of chivalry and the agent moved aside the conductor and gave me what I asked. We again offered this latter the lawful fare for the eight miles we had ridden without tickets, and again he demanded eight pesetas. On reaching Zamora, he boldly brought up the Chief of that station, a trickster in league with him, and both demanded the unjust fare. A Spanish gentleman was passing, and seeing two ladies in trouble, stopped to ask if he could be of assistance. When we explained the case, he asked us to give him the lawful fare and turning to the station-master and the conductor, presented it to them with a scathing rebuke: like beaten dogs they slunk away. Several times gentlemen came to our aid in this way, as if it hurt their pride to have their race so misrepresented.

It is this petty thieving among a class that should be above it, such as postal clerks and railway officials, that rouses the traveler's harsh criticisms of Spain and makes him so unjust to her. The radical cure lies in the men being better paid, for their salaries are such pittances that many of them look on extortion as their right. The tourist can do something toward lessening the abuse, by firmly refusing to be cheated. Our experience was that firmness always won the battle; if one is of a fiery temperament there is a scene, if one is phlegmatic, one sits immovable as a rock and lets the other storm. If one yields finally one has the scene as well as the putting of oneself in the wrong.

To continue our day of ill-luck. From Zamora, we crawled along the dull, local line to the junction Medina del Campo, which we reached at eleven at night. We then changed our plans and got tickets for Segovia, deciding to leave Avila till later. At Medina we spent six weary hours in the waiting room, strolling up and down the windy platform, entering the buffet now and then to drink coffee, trying to rouse imaginative interest by thinking this was the spot where Isabella the Queen had died. But in vain, it was too dismal. How we abused Baedeker! And how we abused Spain and her railway system! Trains came and went, men muffled in their cloaks entered and left the dark waiting room, we the only impatient ones. A Spaniard accepts such things in full piety. Whoever heard of going faster than twenty miles an hour and what more natural than to wait in a station between trains half a night?

At two o'clock that raw windy morning we boarded the express to Segovia and finding the ladies' compartment full, for we were now on the direct route from Paris, we had to force ourselves into the carriage with two furiously cross, sleepy Frenchmen.

High, cold Segovia, almost 3,000 feet above the sea! A wind, de todos los demonios, was blowing that bleak first of November, and to give the final small touch of ill-luck, it lifted and bore away to the mysterious darkness outside, a treasured veil that the sun had at length toned to a rare tint. We stumbled into the ill-lighted station-buffet for more hot coffee, sending the luggage ahead to the sleeping hotel; for the faithful hotel-omnibus had been there waiting as usual. Strange memories remain of Spain's station restaurants,—the flitting waiters filling the bowls of coffee for the silent travelers, (no man is more silent than a traveling Spaniard);—frugal enduring scenes, not a touch of comfort, one eats to live indeed. "The French taste, the Germans devour, the Italians feast, the Spaniards se alimentan!"

As the dawn was breaking we left the station and walked, buffeted by the gale, through the mournful streets that lead to the town, passing on the way the Artillery Academy, where the country's crack regiments are trained. As we descended to the market place below the steep hill on which Segovia is built, a sight greeted us that repaid a thousand fold for the dreary day and night of unnecessary travel, for guide-book blunders, personal stupidity, dishonest officials, collarless, cross Frenchmen and even lost automobile veils. For there, rising one hundred and fifty feet in noble dignity and proportion, its boulders held together by their own weight, without cement or clamping, stood the giant Roman aqueduct that Trajan left his native land, and framed by its arches were hills, villages, and churches, under a sky of delicate rose. Never was there a lovelier sunrise, fragile, shell-like, dewy.

We climbed the steps that mount to the city beside the aqueduct, pausing again and again to look at the stupendous thing. Then we passed through quiet streets, with Romanesque doorways at every step (Segovia with Avila has the best portals in Spain) till we reached the hotel. Though, later, the night in Medina del Campo station revenged itself in a twenty hours' sleep, we were now too deeply fatigued to rest, and so soon were afoot again. A stone's throw brought us to the central square of Segovia, on one side of which is prominent the apse of the late-Gothic Cathedral. We pushed beyond it, here and there pausing to study some ancient doorway or to enter a carved courtyard, till at length the street ended in the big open space before the superbly set Alcázar, and we looked out on that memorable view.

With the towering Roman aqueduct on one side of the town and this Castle at the other, Segovia may claim to be one of the most picturesquely set cities in the world. The view from the Plaza de la Reina Victoria before the Alcázar is one of the unforgettable sights of the Peninsula, of the inmost fiber of Castile. On the horizon lies one of Spain's sad, isolated villages. A winding road leads to it, along which plod the familiar carriers of the land, brothers of Sancho's patient Rucio; the rocky hills stretch away, dotted with ancient churches. Close to the city lie oases of trees and gardens such as the monastery enclosure of La Parral, with its noticeable stone pines. The Alcázar with its bartizan towers is built on a lofty crag that rises like the prow of a giant ship above the meeting of two bosky little streams, the Eresma which yielded the "trout of exceeding greatness" whereon Charles I of England supped in this castle, and the peaceful brook, Clamores. Thus in one landscape are united hardy uplands, leafy parks, a mediæval town with church towers and fortified castle, making a scene whose individuality is beyond beauty, whose profound charm never palls. Here one communes with the silent, inner soul of Spain, the land of Isabella, of Garcilaso, of Teresa, of Cervantes, not a trace of whose spirit is found in Madrid, but in such spots as Toledo and Avila and this.

Segovia merits a prolonged stay. There were two Englishwomen in our hotel, who had passed months painting in the unfrequented city and found it a treasure house for the artist. It is full of Romanesque churches of the 11th and 12th centuries; so many are there that some are unused and falling into decay. The two best are San Martín and San Millán; the first, in the center of the town, surrounded by noticeable houses, has outside cloisters, that serve as a sunny lounging place for the people. From San Martín you can descend to San Millán by the steps beside the Plaza Isabel II. Apart from the church itself, with colossal animals carved on its capitols, the view from its porch is a most beautiful one, including the aqueduct, the Cathedral, and climbing houses, part of whose foundations it is plain to see are the apses of ancient churches.

Segovia's Cathedral is not Romanesque like most of her churches, but late-Gothic, designed by the same architect who did Salamanca's new Cathedral, and like it, though a poor thing exteriorly, the inside is dignified and effective: it is more fortunate than its sister church in having a curved east end, not Salamanca's cold hall-like apse. The cloisters of Segovia belonged to the earlier Cathedral; they were taken down and skillfully reset here; the pillars being elliptical in shape like Oviedo, are not thoroughly pleasing. In a chapel opening out of the cloisters is the touching, small tomb of the prince whose nurse dropped him by accident from a window of the Alcázar, back in the 14th century; and a good example of the countless rare tombs of Spain is the bishop, with an exquisite ascetic face of chiseled marble, who lies in the passage leading to the cloisters.

As we were in Segovia on All Saints' Day, we went to the celebration in the Cathedral, saw the prelate—the train of his red robe held by bearers—met at the church door by the canons and conducted in state to his throne. The vergers were very gorgeous; the leader carried a silver staff and wore a white wig and a white robe, his two assistants also in white wigs but with red velvet robes. The following day, All Souls', these vergers were dressed in mourning, and in the center of the black-draped church was placed, with true Spanish realism, a covered bier. On All Saints' Day there was really good music on the organ whose pipes flared out over aisles and choir; also an excellent sermon to which all listened in rapt attention, officers, peasants, and grave faced hidalgos standing in a characteristic group around the pulpit. The best way to learn Spanish and to learn more than the lip language of this race, is to listen to the sermons. Their eloquence is natural and contagious, and the peroration, delivered with brio, is often an artistic treat. Attend the sermons and frequent the early morning services, and you stumble on scenes of unobtrusive piety that tell you, despite some Spanish pessimists, that the soul of religion still lives in this land of the latest crusaders. As Sunday was the day we had set for the trip to La Granja, I went early to the Cathedral, and at Mass in a dark chapel of the apse, I watched long two gallant little lads of twelve and fourteen, smart in their artillery uniforms, swords, and white gloves. They went to Communion with their mother, who, like most Spanish women in church, was dressed in black with a draped veil, a fashion that lends an air of distinction to the plainest. This group of three remained to pray after the others had left the chapel, remained as a pleasure really to pray, the serious, high-browed, little faces bent over their books of devotion as they read the After-Communion devotions by the light of a tall candle placed on the floor beside them; then their blue eyes closed in such sweet, unconscious piety that it touched the heart strangely. And when, their prayers over, they left the Cathedral, each seized the mother's arm with a gay scamper of delight—she probably on a visit to them—and now for a whole day of vacation and enjoyment!

In the same uniform as the small Communicants of Segovia Cathedral, other embryo artillery officers fill the city. At our hotel was a table where a number of the older students dined each day. They were well-bred lads with inborn sedateness, never boorish nor loud-voiced; noblesse oblige still is a reality in spite of the dissipated, smart set in Madrid by which we too often generalize. I shall not soon forget the look of pained displeasure with which they watched the over familiar treatment of the waiter by a foreign lady.

It does not seem to me too harsh a statement to make that Spain's neighbor across the Pyrenees, has little of this chivalrous idealism among her boys. There are exceptions of course; the manly carriage of the brancardiers of Lourdes, those bands of young men who voluntarily serve as bearers of the crippled and stricken, show that a remnant still exists of the race of the Rochejacqueleins, of the Montalemberts, of those who can serve, unpaid, an ideal. Frenchmen themselves will not maintain that such are the average. Whereas the average Spanish, like the average English lad, has a strong dash of the Quixote and is capable of disinterested enthusiasm. Proof of this radical difference is that first important step in manhood, marriage. In Spain there is not the pernicious system of dowries; as a rule it is personal attraction that wins a husband. French people will assure you, that though one may be hump-backed and villainously ill-tempered, if there is a dot one is married; one may be grace and intelligence incarnate, without the dot one goes unwedded to the grave; the shrewd, interested love of money is in young as well as old. Spanish young people are romantic. Midnight serenades and evening hours of chatting by the reja are signs that hint marriage here is more than material settlement, love more than an impulse of nature; Spain's novels tell of this idealism. In many vital points the Spanish people are more akin to the English than to their Latin brothers.

The Sunday morning that we took the diligence for our country excursion started cloudless. La Granja lies seven miles outside Segovia, on the Guadarrama Mountains, and is the residence of the Court for part of each summer. The diligence rattled down the precipitous streets of Segovia, passed under the towering aqueduct, "the devil's bridge" the peasantry call it, then mounted the swelling hills to the palace at San Ildefonso. It had formerly been a farm belonging to the monks of La Parral; Philip V turned it into an artificial French pleasure ground, and built a formal chateau, a Bourbon creation that is strangely out of place on the rugged hills. The park is well-wooded but all rural charm is spoiled by the neo-classic fountains, some of them like monstrous dreams. Before we reached the leafy avenues of San Ildefonso, the sky became overcast and a heavy rain began. Five minutes after leaving the diligence we were so drenched that it seemed as sensible to explore the palace grounds as to pause chilled and wet in a miserable hotel. Then when we found the diligence did not return to Segovia till the evening and that no carriage would start in the storm, in an ill moment we decided to walk back to the city. A wind that cut like a knife made it a feat beyond our strength, and some miles along that bleak way, when a cart passed, we abjectly begged a passage. Yet, standing patiently under the drenching rain, oblivous to the tearing wind, the contented young shepherd girls watched their flocks.

If this poor imitation of Versailles has little in itself to charm the tourist, La Granja has been the scene of so many striking events in modern Spanish history that it merits a visit. It was there that Godoy, favorite of Charles IV's wife, signed away Spain to Napoleon, the criminal act that led to such glorious consequences. For then Spain, the country which had lain downtrodden under three centuries of misrule, shedding her blood in wars for her wretched kings' personal ambitions and giving her treasure for their extravagance, awoke suddenly to life when she found the king had outraged her. Two young heroes, Daoiz and Velarde, artillery officers, turned the cannon on the French invaders in Madrid, that memorable Dos de Mayo, 1808, and the War of Independence began, the starting point of regeneration, the second Cavadonga.

That outburst of national vigor has never had justice done it. We know the Peninsula War from the English point of view, a ceaseless disparagement of Spain's part in it.[16] It is true that without the English armies the war would have dragged on in disorderly, guerrilla fashion, for misrule had robbed the people of skill in self-government and organization. But remember the glorious year 1808, whose centenary all Spain was celebrating during the months of our visit, was before the arrival of Wellington's troops. The Dos de Mayo, the Battle of Bailén, where a Spanish general with Spanish troops brought about the surrender of twenty thousand of Napoleon's trained soldiers, and the sieges of Saragossa and Gerona, unmatched in all modern history for heroism, were in 1808-1809. It is just to remember that when Germany, Austria, Italy, and Russia yielded in part to the invader, Spain stood firm against him, and the nation that Europe thought unnerved and debased "presented a fulcrum upon which a lever was rested that moved the civilized world."

La Granja has witnessed later historic scenes. When Charles IV betrayed his people, the nation chose as their king his son, the miserable Ferdinand VII, who ungratefully repaid their loyalty. Poor Spain, she has had kings who would have wrecked a less vigorous race. At La Granja, in 1832, Ferdinand VII changed his will and made his infant daughter, Isabel II, his heir, instead of his brother, Don Carlos, whom he had previously acknowledged, thus leaving behind him an inheritance of civil war. From the days of Urraca and Isabella the Catholic, women could inherit the throne in Spain, just as they can in England. But in the 18th century under the Bourbon kings, who loved all things French, the Salic Law was introduced and continued in force till Ferdinand VII changed it at La Granja. The king had a full right to revert to the earlier custom, as the Salic Law was an innovation in Spain, and the grandson of Ferdinand's daughter, Isabel II, the present young Alfonso XIII, is in truth the legitimate king of the Spains. Don Carlos, on Ferdinand's death, rose in rebellion, and for seven years a frightful, fraticidal struggle ravaged the country. This civil war, stamped out in 1840, again burst into flames during the disorders of 1872. To-day, however, the Carlist faction claims but scattered adherents, chiefly in the northern provinces. The peaceful termination of these troubles has been solidified by that noble and truly wise woman, the present queen dowager, María Cristina, whose strength of character and sincerity of aim may be said to have safeguarded her son's inheritance during his long minority.

Another scene took place at La Granja in the early years of Isabel II' reign, while her mother was regent, a far different regent from the later Cristina. Though the Constitutional factions had rallied round Isabel, as the Absolutists had gathered about Don Carlos, it was only through force, inch by inch, that the Spanish Crown yielded to the people's demand for a constitutional monarchy. Thus, at La Granja in 1836, the queen mother was intimidated by the army into affirming again the Constitution of 1812.

This last century in Spain has been a period of such ceaseless insurrection, such rapid, ill-considered changes of ministries, that it seems, on hasty survey, to be a hundred years of political chaos. Perhaps a slight sketch of the events may help to a better understanding, for running through the century, a thread to the labyrinth, is the nation's slow, stumbling, but ever forward advance to constitutional rule. With each disorderly, seemingly unconnected insurrection, a step ahead was taken, so that to-day an absolute monarchy is an impossibility in Spain. She may have taken longer than many European powers to shake off the incubus of the divine right of kings, but on the other hand, she has achieved her comparative independence without a king's execution or a terrible, bloody cataclysm. There has never been in Spain the bitter separation of nobles and people; together they both worked for their freedom, keeping a fraternal relationship that is uncommon in history. The Spanish temperament, like the English, has an intense loyalty and love of tradition; it finds its happiest condition under a monarchy, but the history of the 19th century shows it must be a constitutional monarchy; a modern king rules for the good of the people since he rules by will of the people.

To give a hasty sketch of political progress. Godoy, Charles IV's unscrupulous minister, brought Napoleon's armies into Spain under the pretext that they were on their way to conquer Portugal. When some seventy thousand French troops were on Spanish soil and the people found their king a slave to the so-called visitors, they suddenly awoke to the truth, the tocsin of alarm sounded in Madrid, and from one end of the land to the other they took up arms. Then followed the Guerra de la Independenzia, 1808 to 1814, that proved to Europe Spain was alive and vigorous, again in the arena of the world's struggle. During the war a representative body met at Cadiz, thus renewing the Cortes that had flourished before the Hapsburg dynasty stamped it out. At Cadiz, in an outburst of patriotism, the Constitution of 1812 was drawn up: for the invader, war to the knife; Ferdinand VII to be their lawful king; abuses such as the Inquisition abolished; the sovereignty of the people upheld; "religión y rey, patria é independencia," truly Spanish watchwords.

When in 1814 Napoleon was forced to accept Ferdinand VII as King of Spain, that ungrateful king came back to his loyal people, and his first act was to restore the absolute monarchy of his ancestors, to declare the Constitution of 1812 null and void, to try to galvanize the Inquisition into life. It was not long before the disorders of his government led some of the colonies in America to declare their independence, and finally Spain too uprose. The Riego insurrection of 1820, proclaiming again the Constitution of 1812, was the first of the frequent pronunciamientos (the uprising of the army against absolute monarchy) that continued down to 1870. Louis Philippe declared this insubordination of the army a menace to other thrones of Europe, and took this pretext to send French troops into Spain to uphold Ferdinand's absolutism: the Trocadero defense was during this second invasion of the French.

Always ceaselessly agitating, despite temporary defeat, went on the people's struggle for a constitution. While Ferdinand VII lived there was little hope for modern ideas, but when he died, the Constitutionalists espoused the cause of his infant daughter, Isabel II. All advance was retarded by the Carlist War that followed Isabel's accession, during which war occurred what a Spanish quaker has called the "pecado de sangre," the brutal massacre of the monks and destruction of such unrivaled centers of art as Poblet in Catalonia, more a political act than a religious, as the monks were Carlists. This war so confused and embittered the issues at stake that it is difficult to follow with consistency the political parties. The government was consistent only in its instability, having now a Queen Regent, now an Espartero, banishments, executions, riots, barricades, revolts,—it seemed indeed as if Spain were sown with Cadmus teeth.

Still through the darkness one can follow a light. The Constitution of 1837 asserted boldly the sovereignty of the people. Though the Constitution of the forties was lenient to absolute power, the Cortes was now included in the government, a marked advance since Ferdinand VII's day. The Constitution of the fifties was a further advance toward national independence. In the midst of political rancors, the war with Africa, 1860, came as a noble interval when feuds were put aside and all fought together against a common enemy. As in the old days, poets and novelists enrolled themselves in the army, and the young grandees served as common soldiers, in fidelity to the vow of their ancestors, knights of Santiago, of Calatrava, and of Alcántara, that when Spain was threatened by the Saracen, their descendants would serve in the ranks, on foot, and in person.

Then, this brilliant war over, the old strifes returned in force, Prim, O'Donnell,[17] and twenty minor parties. Queen Isabel II was banished in 1868, and the first interregnum since Spain was a monarchy occurred. Then followed the short-lived rule of Amadeus I, Duke of Aosta and son of Victor Emmanuel, called by invitation to rule in Spain. His chief upholder, Prim, was assassinated before Amadeus reached Madrid, and the new king found himself in so equivocal a position, that after two unhappy years he resigned gladly. Under the influence of Castelar, most brilliant of orators and a man who sincerely loved his country, a Republic of two years' duration followed. Spain was never intended for a republic; discontent continued general, the ministry changed eight times in this short period, and at length all warring factions agreed that the only hope for stable government lay in the restoration of Spain's lawful king, Isabel II's eldest son.

Isabel in Paris abdicated in his favor, and in 1875 Alfonso XII returned to his native land. He came not in the same spirit as had Ferdinand VII in 1814. The sixty years of disorders had led to a solid result, Alfonso XII came back as a constitutional king. The Constitution of 1876 was a reconciliation of monarchical principles and those of a democracy. The new king died before he had reached the age of thirty, and his son Alfonso XIII, born after his father's death, was represented by his mother till his majority. To María Cristina of Austria, Spain owes an unending debt of gratitude. Under her wise rule the country had some years of the peace she so needed; and even what is termed disaster, the recent loss of colonies, is a blessing in disguise. Spain to-day needs all her strength for herself.

As the abuses of centuries are not reformed in a year and as nothing on earth can be perfect, there is much to be desired still in Spain's political life. Her constitution is an excellent one in theory, but in practice it is crippled by the dishonest elections. Political power is left in the hands of an unscrupulous minority who work for personal, not national aggrandizement, and the distrust such elections have engendered keeps the better element of the people aloof from the government. Only fifteen per cent of the Spanish people vote. The king has, like England's ruler, the right of absolute veto. If Spain is now so blessed as to have for her king a worthy descendant of Isabella the Catholic, the remedy for the political dishonesty may be close at hand. Young Alfonso XIII has an intelligence of the first order; he has been trained under a high-minded and truly Christian woman; he has married the daughter of a race that well understands constitutional rule; personally he is loved by his people with an affection not hard to understand, for despite his thin, plain face, the young king is eminently distinguished and simpático. Often in Seville, seeing him galloping back from polo, or returning from a week's hunt in the wilds of the sierras, our intense hopes went out to him. In his hands, it is slight exaggeration to say, lies Spain's future. If Alfonso XIII gives his intelligence and life-blood to his people, who can foresee to what heights this strong, uncontaminated race may climb? The past century's outburst in literature and art hint the possibility of a second siglo de oro.

La Granja has led me far afield. It does not stand for Spain's best, an artificial, foreign creation where passed hours of the nation's abasement. Segovia is the real Spain. Descend from the Alcázar to the river, cross the bridge, mount to the ten-sided chapel of the Knights Templars, and sitting on the steps of the granite cross, look back on the stretching city. There lies the Spain whose fiber is capable of regeneration: generous, patient, indomitable, faulty, but with manly faults, untouched by taint of luxury and greed, with blood in her veins, and ideals in her soul. Wander down by the Eresma past the hermitage, and encircle the town by the footpath beside the tree-hidden Clamores. High above, its yellow stones gleaming in the sunset light, rises the fortress which stood firm for Isabella in her critical hour, and from whence she started in state to claim her heritage. Will the young king of Spain to-day show the world that Isabella's heritage is worth the claiming?

The Alcázar of Segovia
The Alcázar of Segovia


"All great artists are mystics, for they do but body forth what they have intuitively discerned: all philosophers as far as they are truly original are mystics, because their greatest thoughts are not the result of laborious efforts but have been apprehended by the lightening flash of genius, and because their essential theme is connected with the one feeling, only to be mystically apprehended, the relation of the individual to the Absolute. Every great religion has originated in mysticism and by mysticism it lives, for mysticism is what John Wesley called 'heart religion.' When this dies out of any creed, that creed inevitably falls into mere formalism."


MYSTICISM is St. Teresa's highest glory. To write of her with admiration and even enthusiasm, leaving untouched this acme of her genius, as certain of her biographers have done, is to describe the shape, the hue, the grace of a rose and omit to tell of its scent. On all sides her character was notable; in strength of will, in that most uncommon of qualities, common sense,[18] in vigorous administration, in sincerity of purpose. Carmelite nun and restorer of the strictest order of Carmelites, she was not in the least a withered ascetic but a well-bred Castilian lady of winning manners and pleasing appearance, who in courtesy, dignity, and simplicity, embodied in herself the best of Castile. From every word she wrote breathes a generous character. Her robust virility of mind, her complete absence of sophistry or of self-consciousness, help us to understand the love she roused among her nuns, and the respect she gained from the foremost men of her time.

"We cannot stir ourselves to great things unless our thoughts are high," wrote this soul of heroism. Yet, with all her supremacy of intellect, Teresa was so delicately witty, so gay—peals of laughter were often heard in her cloisters—so shrewd, that never in her was found the least trace of the pretentious. Anecdotes are told of her practical good sense. The first night of the foundation in Salamanca, in the solitary garret when the frightened little nun, her companion, exclaimed, "I was thinking, dear Mother, what would become of you, if I were to die," "Pish," said Teresa, who disliked the exalté, "it will be time to think of that when it happens. Let us go to sleep." Then her vehement protest to those who thought prayer alone sufficient for salvation: "No, sisters, no: our Lord desires works!" Her swift sweeping aside of the aristocratic spirit in her convents; let there be no talk of precedence, "which is nothing more than to dispute whether the earth be good for bricks or for mortar. O my God, what an insignificant subject!" "I have always been friendly with learned men," she wrote, and pleasant milestones in her burdened life are her interviews with some remarkable minds of the time. "Knowledge and learning are very necessary for everything, alas!"—This last exclamation made in naïve apology that she could only translate in halting language her inner life of the spirit, she whose witchery of style makes her read to-day even by the scoffer.

The human personality of the saint lives in her writing, where is found the fragrance of her own special soul. "I cannot see anyone who pleases me but I must instantly desire that he might give himself entirely to God, and I wish it so ardently that sometimes I can hardly contain myself." "Humility alone is that which does everything, when you comprehend in a flash to the depth of your being, you are a mere nothing and that God is all." "Oh, Lord of my soul! Oh my true Lord, how wonderful is Thy greatness! Yet here we live, like so many silly swains, imagining we have attained some knowledge of Thee; and yet it is indeed as nothing, for even in ourselves there are great secrets which we do not understand." "Do you know what it is to be truly spiritual? It is to be the slaves of God; those who are signed with His mark which is that of the Cross." And that supreme cry of the saints in all ages: "¡Señor! ¡O morir ó padecer! My God! either to suffer or to die!"

It is inevitable sacrilege for anyone in this generation, which has traveled so far from the days of faith, to touch on Teresa's raptures and locutions, for in sheer ignorance we profane what is holy. The saint herself foresaw our difficulty. "I know that whoever shall have arrived at these raptures will understand me well; but he who has had no experience therein, will consider what I say to be foolish.... However much I desire to speak clearly concerning what relates to prayer, it will be obscure for him who has no experience therein.... Some may say these things seem impossible, and that it is good not to scandalize the weak.... I consider it certain that whoever shall receive any harm by believing it possible for God in this land of exile to bestow such favors, stands in great need of humility; such a person keeps the gate shut against receiving any favors himself." So unparalleled was her life of ecstasy that at first the saint doubted if it were heaven sent or not; she submitted herself humbly to the tests of that inquisition age till at length her own good judgment told her that this "joy surpassing all the joys of the world, all its delights, all its pleasures," was from God, because of its after-effects, an added peace, a deeper humility, a more ardent and practical love of souls. But her clear brain and transcendent honesty made her see the risk for weaker minds: "The highest perfection," she warns, "does not consist in raptures nor in visions, nor in the gift of prophecy, but in making our will so conformable with the will of God that we shall receive what is bitter as joyfully as what is sweet and pleasant."

Mysticism skirts indeed perilous precipices, but St. Teresa walked the narrow path securely, her eyes uplifted, oblivious of the dangers below. I dare not touch on her marvelous life of the spirit.[19] All I can say is, go to her own works, read them in their pure, native Castilian, do not be content with the few extreme quotations given perhaps by those who would discredit her; read her in various moods, as you do the "Imitation," and I doubt if she fails to convince you that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our negative philosophy, that a few rare souls have risen to supreme heights because they were really humble and really holy, that religion has preserved from total loss the subtlest faculty of man, and faith stood up bravely through centuries of intellectual contempt to battle for it. Recently I came across a review of some works on psychology by that able young English novelist, Robert Hugh Benson; it ended with these suggestive words:

"In Psychology, science and religion are very near to one another, for its subject is nothing else than the soul of man. Science in her winding explorations has been for centuries drawing nearer to this center of the maze: she has traversed physical nature, the direct work of God, and philosophy, the direct product of man.... Is it too much to hope that when science has advanced yet a few steps more she may have come to Faith with the human soul newly discovered in her hands: 'Here is a precious and holy thing that I have found in man, a thing which for years I have denied or questioned. Now I hand it over to the proper authority. It has powers of which I know little or nothing, strange intuitions into the unseen, faculties for communication which do not find their adequate object in this world ... a force of habit which is meaningless if it ends with time; an affinity with some element that cannot rise from matter as its origin. Take it from my hands for you alone understand its needs and capacities. Enliven it with the atmosphere it must have for its proper development, feed it, cleanse it, heal its hurts, train it to use and control its own powers, and prepare it for Eternity.'"

Let the reader before he opens the "Way of Perfection" know the saint's "Life"[20] which she wrote, by the advice of her superior, when forty-six years of age; it is an autobiography worthy to rank with Augustine's "Confessions." Read also the few hundred racy letters written after the press of the day while the convent slept. Chief of all, let the reader, if he is practical, know that inimitable book of her fifty-eighth year, the "Foundations," with its Cervantes-like pictures of the people and customs of the time. Perhaps only those who have traveled on Spanish country-roads, those tracts of mud or rocks, can appreciate the hardships endured by this aged woman as she went from city to city to found her houses; in heavy snows to Salamanca; to Seville in a covered cart turned to purgatory by the direct rays of the Andalusian sun, with fever and only hot water to drink; rivers overflowed by heavy rains; boats upset in the rivers. The last foundation was at Burgos, barely four months before her death, the jolting cart in which she rode from Palencia having to be pulled out of the ruts and she entered the coldest city in the Peninsula on a raw January day in a heavy rain, there to find further troubles.

Familiar with Teresa's physical endurance, her cool-headed business ability, her candid hatred of shams and pretence, then approach her loftier self and read the "Camino de Perfección." The treatise on prayer in the "Life," (Chap. XI to XXII) prepares one for this second book, which she wrote for her sisters and daughters of "St. Joseph's" in Avila, "those pure and holy souls whose only care was to serve and praise Our Lord, so disengaged from the things of the world, solitude is their delight." Through the "Way of Perfection" runs her beautiful exposition of the Pater Noster, with digressions to right and left as her thoughts arose. She tells of the intangible land of worship in magic-laden words that draw the cold heart to the far realm of contemplation wherein lay the source of her strength. The "Camino" leads one to her last book, the "Interior Castle," a glorious pæan to God, a courageous exploring of the untrodden realms of the soul that is truly one of the triumphs of the spirit, and when we consider it was written by a woman of sixty-two, worn out with labors and penance, living in a poor little convent, it is an incredible feat of genius. In all literature is found nothing loftier nor more ethereal: "Oh, 'tis not Spanish but 'tis Heaven she speaks!"

Teresa belonged to the race of the true mystics because she was a great saint. It has been said that sainthood, the divine hunger of the soul to do or to suffer pro causa Dei is as difficult to define to the imagination as genius. The materialist may scoff at it, but it remains a primitive part of human nature against which argument beats itself in vain. Its form may change with the times, the Eastern anchorite and the mediæval ascetic may give way to the administrative bishop needed in his age; to a knightly paladin such as that "Raleigh among the Saints" who led his Free Lances to the fight for the salvation of souls; to a large-hearted philanthropist like Vincent de Paul, with his unresting Sisters of Charity; to a scholar of the schools, a Newman; to the reformer in our ugly modern cities; under varying vestures the spirit is the same. In the compelling power of her saints lies the force of the Church; to the saints of the Catholic Reformation, to Philip Neri, Charles Borromeo, Francis Borgia, Francis de Sales, Francis Xavier, Ignatius Loyola, the Church owes her rehabilitation. These great souls rose in every land to purify abuses, to drive the money changers from the temple: they were the leaven in the hundred measures of meal. Macaulay noted the fact that since the middle of the sixteenth century Protestantism has not gained one inch of ground, and this is due to these saints of the Catholic Reformation; for deep in man's heart lies a reverence for simple goodness that overrides all disputes, and when such saints arose in the church that was called a sink of iniquity, men paused; those who had passed from her ranks did not return, but none after followed them. Had Luther been gifted with more of this personal sainthood, the fatal division that bequeathed centuries of hate and warfare might have been avoided, and the simpler method of example, of holiness of life, have sufficed for reforming Renaissance Rome intoxicated with the revival of pagan culture. Such regrets are futile, a mere weighing the weight of the fire, a measuring the blast of the wind; and they are ungrateful, too, since the spirit of that troubled time roused among other great souls, a Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada.

The writings of this remarkable woman have the same allurements for us to-day as when they flowed almost unconsciously from her pen, for besides her mysticism and her sainthood, she was a poet, of the race of those whose thoughts make rich the blood of the world. Her little nuns tell that when she wrote her hand moved so rapidly, it seemed hardly possible it could form human words, while in her face was an expression of exaltation. "She ranks as a miracle of genius, as perhaps the greatest woman who ever handled pen, the single one of all her sex who stands beside the world's most perfect masters," is the testimony of the ablest English critic of Spanish literature. She wrote with her eye direct on her soul's experience, with the glorious courage to give the naked truth regardless of consequences, and she will be read as long as sincerity of soul-expression is the poet's best gift and while the conflict of faith and unbelief remains the highest of human themes.

Mystic, saint, and poet, she can claim yet another title, that of philosopher. By the road of self-study, she reached that sublime height of metaphysics, the intellectual vision of the Absolute. The further Psychology advances, the more wonderful is found her knowledge of the soul and its moods and powers. "The highest, most generous philosophy that ever man imagined," wrote the scholar, Luis de León. "Sainte Térèse a exploré plus à fond que tout autre les régions inconnues de l'âme, ... elle explique savamment, clairement, le mécanisme de l'âme évoluant dès que Dieu la touche ... une sainte qui a vérifié sur elle-même les phases sur-naturelles qu'elle a décrites, une femme dont la lucidité fut plus qu'humaine" is the appreciation of Huysmans. Not only orthodox believers yield her this preëminence: Leibnitz read and deeply admired her; a recent French critic of the skeptic school compares her to Descartes. Hyperbole is inevitable in speaking of this "sweet incendiary," and all who know her books feel the same enthusiasm. "A woman for angelical height of speculation, for masculine courage of performance, more than a woman," wrote the old English poet, Richard Crashaw, whose "Flaming Heart" is touched with her own potency:

"Oh thou undaunted daughter of desires!
By all thy dower of lights and fires;
By all the eagle in thee, all the dove;
And by thy lives and deaths of love,
By thy large draughts of intellectual day;
And by thy thirsts of love more large than they;...
By all the Heav'n thou hast in Him,
(Fair sister of the seraphim!)
By all of Him we have in thee;
Leave nothing of myself in me,
Let me so read thy life that I
Unto all life of mine may die."

Spain may claim the glory of having appreciated this her greatest daughter. She is a colonel of artillery; she is a doctor in Salamanca; the manuscript of her "Life" was placed in the Escorial and the King carried the key; at country inns they tell of the night she rested there, as if it had been yesterday; her devotees to-day sign their letters "su amigo teresiano." It was reserved for later generations of different race to explain what they could not understand by calling it hysteria and epilepsy. Richard Ford's account of the saint is so wide of the original that Froude, no lover of Catholic Spain, says it is not even a caricature; the article on her in the Encyclopedia Brittanica is a disgrace to intellectual thought.

Spain stands indifferent to such criticism. She knows herself secure in her mystics who seem to have left the race an intuitive understanding of the life of the soul. This inherited intuition has, of course, its dangers, for all intelligences are not those of a Teresa de Jesús. It needs indeed "large draughts of intellectual day" to be a mystic. Valdés' novel, "Marta y María" shows this mistaken insisting in the nineteenth century on conditions of life suitable to the sixteenth. But because smaller minds have imitated her disastrously, their neo-mysticism need not be considered a serious menace in modern Spain, since following a saint, even haltingly, is not by any means an easy life to choose.

St. Teresa and Avila: her name evokes that of her native city as instantly as St. Francis' that of Assisi; every stone in Avila breathes of the heroic woman. Our first visit was to the small plaza under the city walls, where the casa solar of the Cepeda family stood. Teresa came of the untitled gentry of Castile, de sangre muy limpia, and a Spaniard's pride in his blood, untouched by Moorish taint, by crime, or illegitimacy, is as strong to-day as then: perhaps it is this pride, in peasant as well as noble, that makes the democratic relation of the classes in the Peninsula.

At right angles to the mediocre church built in commemoration, on the site of the Cepeda house, stands the mansion of the Duque de la Roca, which gives a good idea of the solid escutcheoned homes of the hidalgo. Many such dignified houses are scattered over Avila, making a stroll in her streets full of the charm of surprise; their chief adornments are the doorways, truly splendid old portals with coping stones sometimes nine feet deep radiating round the entrance. In one of these solid Romanesque houses Teresa was born in 1515. Through a city gate before her house, I looked out on just the same scene she had known during the first eighteen years of her life; the rocky plain, through which the river wound, stretched to a spur of the Guadarrama mountains, capped already with the winter's snow. Leaving the venerable little plaza, I descended the steep street that led to the river bridge, in the spirit of pilgrimage still, for the child Teresa and a small brother wandered here alone one day on their way to seek martyrdom among the infidels. Met by an uncle beyond the bridge, the runaways were brought home. Truly in the saint's life, the child was father to the man, her days bound each to each in natural piety, despite that short period which her too tender conscience ever regretted when, as a pretty girl, love of fine clothes and flattery allured her. It is told of these remarkable children, that, hearing the word "Forever," they clasped their little hands and gazed wide-eyed in each other's faces, overcome by its stupendous meaning.

House of the Duque de la Roca, Avila
House of the Duque de la Roca, Avila

When Teresa was eighteen she went to visit a married sister who lived at a distance, and on her return stopped to see an uncle who had just taken the resolution of entering a monastery. The religious feeling in her partly awoke, and she too desired the life of the cloister, but her parents not finding strength to part with her, one morning she and a brother slipped away from home, and after he had conducted her to the Carmelite Convent of the Incarnation outside the walls, he went on himself to beg admittance at the Dominican Convent of St. Thomas. For over twenty-five years Teresa lived in the Encarnación: during the first twenty years she was miserable in bodily health and as miserable in spirit, for the saint had not yet found her vocation, and the laxity of the rule allowed the nuns to see much of the world, to receive visitors and hear the gossip of the town. "I was tossed about in a wretched condition, for if I had small content in the world, in God I had no pleasure. At prayer time I watched for the clock to strike the end of the hour." Strange words for this future great genius of prayer! Her conversion, the change of heart that sooner or later, disregarded or welcomed, comes to all who live with any depth, came to Teresa as she was approaching her fortieth year. She had been roused to more serious thoughts by her father's death, and one day in the oratory she suddenly seemed to realize in a figure of her crucified Saviour the unspeakable wonder of his sacrifice:

"Thy hands to give Thou can'st not lift.
Yet will Thy hand still giving be,
It gives, but O, itself's the gift,
It gives tho' bound, tho' bound 'tis free."
"Love touch't her heart, and lo! it beats
High, and burns with such brave heats
Such thirst to die, as dares drink up
A thousand cold deaths in one cup."

With the inflowing of true religion, Teresa longed for a stricter life, for the original rule of Mount Carmel as conferred by Innocent IV in 1248. She was misunderstood by those around her, her locutions and visions doubted; as a natural result of the false beata of that day, she was considered a woman who for the sake of notoriety pretended to sainthood. Only after years of semi-persecution did the ring of truth and the ethical fervor of Teresa's words convince the learned men who examined her, and she was allowed to leave the Encarnación to found the convent of St. Joseph, her first house of the barefoot or descalzos Carmelites.

Associated so closely as is the Encarnación with the saint, it is with emotion one looks down from the city on the pleasant oasis it makes in the rocky plain. Teresa had there the memorable interviews with St. Francis Borgia, just returned from a visit to his friend and former lord, Charles V at Yuste; with the mystic poet, St. John of the Cross (whom Coventry Patmore has followed in his "Unknown Eros"); with St. Peter of Alcántara, who too held that "the cornerstone and chief foundation of all is humility." These devout men confirmed Teresa in her belief in the divine origin of her prayer: "There is no pleasure or comfort which can be equal to meeting with another person to whom God has given some beginnings of the same dispositions," she wrote, harrassed by the petty suspicions around her.

A tenderer association than the Encarnación is that of San José, her first foundation. The convent lies outside the Puerta del Alcázar, Gate of the Castle, past the plaza where the townspeople stroll under the arcades, and peasant women sell fragrant celery from the big saddle-baskets they lift from their donkeys' backs to the pavement. The visitor is shown treasured relics by the nuns, the quaint musical instrument their mother played on, her drinking jug, and wooden pillow, a letter in her strong, clear hand-writing. During the later strenuous years of her life the saint ever looked back lovingly here. "I lived for five years in the monastery of St. Joseph at Avila, and those now seem to me to be the most peaceful part of my life, the want of which repose my soul often feels." From the age of fifty-two to her death at sixty-six (1582) this wonderful woman traveled over Spain, founding her reformed order, sixteen convents for women and fourteen monasteries for men. While on a visit of inspection at Alba de Tormes the end came; with her favorite words of the Psalmist, "A contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise," she passed, as she had written in her "Way of Perfection," "not to a strange country, but to her native land."

Avila is worthy of her saint, Avila of the Knights, Avila the Loyal, the King's Avila. It is one of the most perfect examples existing of the fortified towns of chivalry. Built on an eminence, it is completely encircled by grand old walls, forty feet high, whose sameness is broken by some eighty-six towers; two of these here and there are placed close together and arched, so as to make a gateway. Below the town on every side stretches a plain, so strewn with shattered rocks that it is easy to picture it the scene of some battle of giants. The Cathedral may be called part of the city ramparts, since its apse forms one of the eighty encircling towers; the walls are so thick that the radiating chapels round the chancel are not seen in the exterior view, being quite lost in the depth of stone and mortar. Our inn, the Fonda Ingles, looked out on the square before the Cathedral, a windy spot, where the gusts from the mountains seized and tossed the men's long capes. Like Burgos and Salamanca, Avila is on the truncated mountain of central Spain, and one is reminded of its 3,500 feet of altitude by the bitter cold. Nothing can pierce so sharply as the wind of the Castile plains. Each day we crossed the gusty plaza to the church and so grew to know it with the heart-affection Spanish cathedrals win. The large windows have been walled up to darken the interior, for Spain, the hardy, the all-enduring, ignores the frosts of eight months of the year to provide against the summer heats. The details of Avila Cathedral are truly lovely; a double-aisled ambulatory round the warm space of the High Altar, a retablo of ancient pictures, isolated marble shrines between chancel and choir near which kneel groups of black-veiled worshipers, gleaming brass rejas, a carved coro where the canons chant and where are massive illuminated hymnals on the lectern, all make up one's ideal of a house of God. Do not miss the sacristy, one's ideal too of what a sacristy should be, with antique silver wrought by the De Arfe family, with painted and gilded cabinets, and alabaster altars cut like ivory.

St. Teresa's city is small: one can encircle its walls several times in a constitutional, yet every walk discovers new treasures. We were constantly stumbling on yet other of the imposing portals that exist in their perfection only here and at Segovia, and in the sleepy squares or courtyards we found some of the roughly-hewn stone animals, the primitive god of Druid days, used later by the Romans as milestones. From these comes another title for Avila, Cantos y Santos. An easy afternoon walk can be taken to Son Soles, a hermitage on the lower slope of the mountains, whither the saint must have gone in the summer evenings when the sunset glorified the plain and hills, for the customs of Avila to-day are those of Avila in the sixteenth century. A path led us across the aromatic fields, and country men in wide-brimmed velvet hats gazed at us with clear, fearless eyes, grave yet courteous, like true Castilians. In the meadows we met a gentleman of the town pacing slowly, book in hand; one would have time in the home of the mystic for such fruitful hours of pause, such sessions of sweet silent thought. On the way to Son Soles, just on the outskirts of the town, stands Santo Tomás, the Dominican monastery that long supplied missionaries to the Philippines. Before the High Altar is a white marble mausoleum of Isabella's period, worthy to rank with that of her parents at Miraflores,—the truly touching tomb of her only son. He lies with calm upturned face, a crown on his thick locks, his gauntlets thrown beside him. The royal prince was educated with ten young nobles in a former palace near this church. Generous, handsome, a scholar and musician, with the fair future stretching before him of the first king to rule the Españas rich and united, he died suddenly at Salamanca in 1497, turning all the conquests, all the discoveries of his parents' reign to dust and ashes. The Queen bowed her head in submission, saying "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be his name": but it is told that she often came to sit in her special stall of the raised choir here, to gaze with broken heart on the white tomb of her son. Had he lived would Spain's evil day have been averted? One can almost believe so; for tyrannic government came in with the Austrian, who ruled here because of Don Juan's death. Charles V, Isabella's grandson, was not a Spaniard; he could little understand the system of individual city rights that prevailed in the country he came to govern. Spain can boast she was one of the earliest of European nations to teach the municipal doctrine that the state has freedom if the town is free. We too completely forget that it was nearly a century before the celebrated Leicester Parliament that Burgos in 1169 had popular representation. When the Austrian arrived, with his autocratic idea that all power should be concentrated, the Castilian cities rose in the Comuneros rebellion, but they were ruthlessly put down and for three hundred years the land's vigor and wealth were exploited for the benefit of one family. I am sure that as she sat pondering in the choir stall of Santo Tomás Isabella foresaw what a tragic loss to her cherished land was the death of her only son. Avila can link the names of Isabella la Católica and Teresa de Jesús, the two most incomparable women in whom the sex has culminated, both born on the bleak invigorating steppes of Castile, in the same province, within the same hundred years, both making an indelible impression on their race, both leaving a deathless heritage of aspiration and onspurring pride. Is there any wonder that a people who can claim two such heroines look at one with fearless eyes?

Avila is rich in tombs. There is a second lovely one in Santo Tomás, that of Prince John's attendants, and down by the river bridge, the picturesque chapel of San Segundo holds a most beautiful work by Spain's best sculptor, Berruguete. The kneeling bishop has so gentle an expression that it is hard to believe he could hurl a Moslem chief from the city walls above this hermitage. In the Cathedral, behind the High Altar, is another Berruguete tomb, Bishop Tostado, whose industry has passed into a proverb; he is here represented with speaking, alert expression, leaning forward, this tireless pen suspended in his hand.

The tomb of St. Teresa is not found in her native city, for she was buried where she died, at Alba de Tormes, some miles from Salamanca. Not long after her death Avila stole the saint's body—strange to our modern notions are those old disputes over relics—but through the influence of the Duke of Alva it was restored to his town.

Admiration for St. Teresa tempted me to Alba de Tormes, but to those who would go thither I must say, resist the temptation. Unfortunately, the spirit of religiosity, which is to religion what sentimentality is to sentiment, has taken possession of her burial place. If you do go to Alba, however, make it a day's excursion from Salamanca. The evening was over before we reached the town, and we drove in darkness from the station, bumping over the ruts of an awful road. Railway and villages seem often at enmity in Spain; though we had passed directly by the gleaming lights of Alba, we ran on some miles further before stopping in its station, hence the necessity of a drive of several kilometers back to the town. The inn was most primitive, being merely the poor house of a country woman, our waiter at table her ten-year old son dressed in corduroys. A friendly pig met us in the front hall, coming out from the kitchen to look at the unaccustomed foreigners; nevertheless, the house was clean and the landlady got out fragrant linen for the bedrooms. On our admiring a picture of their great patroness, the kindly woman, after dusting it, presented it with the customary polite phrase of "this your picture," which was no mere formality, since the next morning when she found it secretly restored to its former place, she rushed out to thrust it again on us as we were stepping into the diligence. This generous landlady, our grave little garçon, the night watchman the sereno, calling the hours, a daybreak view from the plaza of the vivid green meadows along the river, these are the pleasant reminiscences of Alba. Opposite the inn stood the church where the saint is buried, but willingly would I blot out its memory. An excitable monk was our guide. He turned on the electric light with a spectacular air, as if that, not the great relic, was the boast of the church; he showed the saint's silver tomb, her heart hung round with votive gifts, archbishop's rings and diamond coronets, then he led us to the revolving door of the convent, whence personal mementoes were passed us for inspection. Lowering the lights, he bade us look through a grating at the back of the church, and suddenly the electricity was turned on in an interior room, and there on the cot lay the image of a Carmelite nun asleep. The whole thing was in the worst possible taste, on a level with the bad Churrigueresque architecture of the same period. A spot worthy of silent pilgrimage, where one of God's greatest saints breathed her last prayer, "Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies," this solemn cell of her death-bed has been turned to a vulgar show. How Teresa's intelligent simplicity would sweep aside such ill-judged honors! In silent protest at the tawdriness surrounding them, lie the patrons of this Alba foundation, Don Francisco Velasquez and his wife Doña Teresa, distinguished, superb effigies in stone, hidalgo como el Rey. Doña Teresa, in the delightful way of Spanish ladies on tombs, is reading tranquilly in her book of devotions.

With this example before us of the pass to which religious extravagance can be carried, it may be time to touch on a tendency in Spain that is a distress to the northern Catholic who is less childlike in his inward life. Of course, since there is every kind of temperament, there must be every kind of taste; perhaps I am too much guided by personal likes or dislikes. However, I feel that those who crave the appropriate and simple will agree with me that making allowance for an emotional people, a coquettish shepherdess under a glass case on a church altar, (such as I saw in Cadiz,) is misunderstood religion. One of Spain's wisest sons, the philosopher Vives, agitated against the dressing of statues, and the Council of Trent later prohibited the bad usage. Why is not their advice followed? I do not mean to criticise the little country shrines whose inartistic decoration is often most heart-moving; in a remote village certain things are touching which elsewhere are displeasing. It should be the effort of the Spanish clergy to discourage the extreme devotion to special altars and statues. Artificial and roccoco in sentiment and expression, it is a menace to religion in the Peninsula. Spain has the vital Christian faith, she is unspoiled by the tinsel, beneath the symbol is a soul; but, if she insists on clinging to what the modern mind finds ugly and insincere, she may lose many to whom the inner religion of a St. Teresa would appeal. People seldom will see both sides justly; to rid themselves of an irritating detail, some will throw away the whole. There are not a few whose antipathy to religion has been caused by this blind clinging to the non-essential: the novelist Pérez Galdós, I should say was such a case. Though his stories prove that he has never grasped what interior religion means, has never gone to the fountain head and drank of the pure, mystic waters, but has tasted only the contaminated streams of the valley, yet it cannot be denied that some of the religiosity he depicts is a phase that exists only too truly. The evil is the result of ignorance, not of malice. For this reason it would die a natural death were the Spanish clergy given a wholly rounded education. I do not refer here to the learned canons or monastic orders, but to the parochial clergy. Spain watches her neighbor France too closely, let her look further afield and she will lose her fear that education and skepticism go hand in hand; in England and America the priesthood is with the advancing tide, not against it: knowledge never yet harmed religion, but ignorance cripples her. Science should have no silly terrors for priests whose church is the greatest proof of evolution through the ages, advancing relentlessly so that what is worth retaining of man's increasing knowledge finds its inevitable place in her body, but advancing slowly, (impatient abuse cannot hurry her magnificent conservatism); a complete organism, a living entity ever changing, yet ever the same.[21] We can hardly expect the clergy of a land where tradition is a sacred thing, to be in the vanguard of modern thought, but they at least should not forget their own noted men of learning. Ximenez, Luis de León, Feijóo, Isla, Suárez, Balmes,—the names come crowding—all of them churchmen, who, the more they knew, the deeper grew their faith.

After this vexatious visit to Alba de Tormes, it was with trepidation that I came to Avila, there to find Teresa's vigorous, truly-spiritual personality the living presence of the proud, high-minded little Castilian city. And a happy coincidence the night of our arrival gave proof that her generous enthusiasm, her unresting love of souls, were not things of the past. Having spent the day at the Escorial, at ten in the evening we took the express to Avila. In the carriage Reservado para Señoras, we found ourselves with three religious of the Sacred-Heart; a touch of home for me were their familiar fluted caps, buttoned capes, and silver crosses. The few hours of the journey fled all too swiftly in delightful talk; like nuns the world over, they were gay and happy as children, with the serene youth of the convent life in their faces. One of them was so distinguished a woman that it was a fascination to look at her.

These fragile nuns were to travel through the cold night—and a raw November gale was blowing over the uplands of Castile—to take a steamer at Bordeaux, for they were pioneers, on their way to found a house in a distant part of South America, where education was backward. Three weeks of winter sea, then some tropical days on horseback, before they reached their desolate new home! Truly the heroic spirit of St. Teresa is alive to-day, and fair sisters of the seraphim still walk among us.


Around about the town stand eighty gray stone towers,
That make a fitter crown, a hardier show than flowers
For what is high and brave—the tawny Castile plain—
So patient and so grave, incarnate soul of Spain.
You have made sweet the ways of penury and care
With dawn and sunset praise and white still hours of prayer,
Old town of mystic saint! Secure you ask: Does peace,
Or restless seeking plaint come with your wealth's increase?
An answering sound of bells across the upland goes,
To each field-toiler tells a message of repose,
And mounting to the sky's slow-darkening, tranquil dome
The heart-calm echoes rise of peasants lingering home.


"They who wrought wonders by the Nile of old,
Bequeathing their immortal part to us,
Cast their own spirit first into the mould,
And were themselves the rock they fashioned thus."

THESE two spots, products of men of small idea and nature, are happily so close together that they can fall under the same abuse. Coming from the north, to stop at the Escorial either from Avila with its grand walls of the eighty towers, or from the crag-set castle of Segovia, is such an abrupt transition from heroic times to the doctrinaire centuries that followed them that it is but too easy to be unfair to Philip II's huge pile. A better way is to go out to it from Madrid; then, somewhat accustomed to cold commonplace, the Escorial gives less of a jar.

We descended to it from Segovia. Knowing Herrera's lifeless architecture—"a syllogism in stone" it has wittily been called—on that side I did not expect much, but accounts of the setting of the Escorial, of its grand solitary position in the mountains, made me hope for some kind of effect. People see things in such different ways. I could discover no grandeur whatever in the position of the rectangular ashy-colored building. The lower slopes of the Guadarramas rise behind it, but at a little distance, and the town comes between it and the sierras. It was not solitary, it was not imposing. At close range, after we had walked up the leafy avenue from the station, even the appearance of unity was lost, and it seemed nothing but a big block of good town houses like many that fill the square between four city streets. Window after window, alike inadequately small and unadorned; just like any monotonous line of town houses. We stood aghast at the pretentious, ineffectual mass which they call the eighth wonder of Spain. For us to-day there is little wonder in spending fifty millions in one lifetime to put up myriads of doors, stair-cases, and courtyards, to use two thousand pounds of iron to make the door-keys; we are accustomed to the feat. The pity is that every tourist in Spain comes here, and one in a thousand goes to Poblet or León, those other pantheons that are proper burial places for sturdy old kings. I am not sure that the Hapsburgs in Spain merit anything worthier than an Escorial.

At first we thought it might be the side which we approached that gave so poor an effect, so we proceeded to encircle the building; on all four sides passing by window after window we saw not one inch of stone carved worthily, and to our astonishment we found it faced the mountains. Fancy a blank, rocky wall, a quarter of a mile away and fancy such a stupidity as choosing this to open on, instead of the wide horizon of the opposite side. Does this not give the key to the Escorial? It and its builder had no imagination. Since we were here we had to see it all, so we let ourselves be guided hither and thither, through courtyard after courtyard, down one dull corridor after another, in and out of rooms where little interested,—a dreary waste of a place. In the picture gallery overlooking the gardens we got our first introduction to that eccentric genius, El Greco, at his worst here, with sick color and elongated figures; we thought him quite mad. Nevertheless, the picture gallery was a respite; it was good to meet again Tintoret's rich visions of Venice, the full superb shoulders of his women, the gold brown of the robes. Ranged in cases there were also some embroidered vestments that were noticeable.

The church of the Escorial is so coldly formal and pretentious that it lay like a load on our spirits. There is something frightening in the way man unconsciously expresses his own nature in the material work of his hand; he may think himself very big, unless he really is he is certain to betray himself, if he paints or writes or builds. This correct, somber church exactly represents the religious ideal of a Philip II. Heaven, so close to one under the soul-feeding Romanesque vault of Santiago, in Seville or Toledo's Gothic aspiration, is very far away under this limited dome; the propriety here is that of a bigot, who would see heresy in the soar of Gothic, and backwardness in the bare solemnity of Romanesque.

We were shown the usual tourist-sights, the seat in the choir where Philip sat when news was brought of the Battle of Lepanto, which broke another inroad of the Mohammedan on Europe; also the life-size marble crucifix (spoiled by too long an upper lip) which Benvenuto Cellini made, and which was carried on men's backs from Barcelona to Madrid. Statues of Philip and his father, with the ladies of their households, kneel on either side of the altar, rich bronze-gilt work, but hardly in character with a church. Then we descended to that acme of dreariness and morbid misanthropy, the sunken chamber where are buried the royal family of Spain since Charles V; one somber coffin rose above another in the dark place. And art can make death so beautiful, art like the tombs at Miraflores and Avila! Happy beings to have escaped this dreadful hole of burial, we exclaimed. Could only a century separate Isabella in her Castle of Segovia, or in the white marble peace of her sepulcher at Granada, from her descendants' costly ideal of a palace and a mausoleum? As we stood shivering with the formality and melancholy of it all, with sympathy for the present happy young King and Queen who must lie here some day, a little touch of sentiment took away some of the oppression. We saw on the tomb of Alfonso XII a fresh wreath of chrysanthemums. Then, feeling that any more subterranean darkness was insupportable, we hurried up the steep staircase from the Pantheon, through the heavy-bound church, and out in the courtyard—dreary enough, too!—breathed the fresh air with relief.

In the library of the Escorial was the first place where I had seen the gilt edges of books, not their leather backs, presented to the reader, a rich, strange effect which later in the Seraglio at Stamboul I noticed again. We stopped long to examine the portraits that stand between the book-cases. Philip II was pale-eyed, anæmic and white-visaged, with drooping, hypochondrical corners to his mouth. And I had pictured him scowling and black and forceful! The Escorial should have told me that not a forceful personality could have built it but rather a stubborn ability and dogged patience, a narrow consistency, all in character with his pale eyes. The swift degeneration of the Hapsburg line is easily to be read in these portraits. Charles V (in Spain Charles I), keen of face and energetic, has a great-great-grandson, Charles II, last of the line, so rickety and idiotic that no caricature of used-up royal blood could go further.

Weary of sight-seeing where so little roused the imagination, we descended to the gardens, stiffly restrained too, but pleasant to loiter in. So close was the monotonous mass of gray stone above us, one did not have to look at it, but could gaze out on the wide view toward Madrid. Then at sunset we went back to the church for an evening service, that hour of prayer, restful and beautiful all over Spain. The Pater Noster was recited, a litany was chanted, a meditation was read slowly with pauses while the people listened with bowed heads and closed eyes. Then followed the primitive, centuries-old Latin hymns, the glory of the church, in which is incorporated for all time the piercing piety of the Middle Ages. I too closed my eyes to shut out the formal church, and for some forgetful moments I could dream that those quavering voices of old and young, so simple, so sincere, were in some unspoiled mountain village, perhaps in that most soul-satisfying temple of all the world, the Lower Church of St. Francis:—Assisi and the Escorial,—the human mind is capable of wide deviations, from the religion of humble love to this haughty contortion of it.

The most fatal effect of the Escorial was to fix the capital in Madrid, a spot, as Ford observed, that had been passed over in contempt by Iberian, Roman, Goth, and Moor. Up to the building of the Escorial the choice of a capital had wavered, at times, in Valladolid, in Toledo, or in Seville. Philip's mountain palace caused to be the chief city one of the worst situated towns in Spain, on a waterless river, with no commercial prospects, roasting in summer, swept by icy winds the rest of the year. It too, like the Escorial, lacks all soul for the traveler. Not a church worth looking at, all of them seventeenth and eighteenth century abominations with fat cupids, prancing angels, and posing, self-glorifying saints, not a cathedral in the capital of a country which has the largest number and most heart-satisfying cathedrals of the world.

I daresay if one lived in Madrid and had a full active or social life one might like it; there must be some cause for the proverb "From Madrid to heaven, and in heaven a peep-hole to look down on Madrid." As a city it can never be anything but second-rate; the new residential part near the parks is like the good districts of any average town. The famous Puerta del Sol is filled at every hour of the day and night with such a rabble of loafers and vociferating peddlers that it takes courage to push one's way through. As the Court was absent we missed seeing the brilliant morning hour of guard mounting before the Royal Palace. Occasionally some local sight would remind us we still were in Spain, the original and untamed. Ladies in mantillas would pass on their way to the late Mass at midday, a brougham drawn by handsome mules would go by, or, if it were a holiday, a few girls of the people wore embroidered shawls. But taken as a whole, for the sightseer Madrid is just a weariness of the spirit.

Except, of course, the pictures, and I must add, the Armory. We hurried off to the Prado, up the steps past the bust of the vigorous saturnine Goya, along the far-stretching hall, with hardly a glance for the white monks of Zubaran, or El Greco's strange canvases, till midway, we turned to the left into the large hall that holds the Velasquez masterpieces. It is a sensation in one's life, this first meeting with Velasquez at the height of his powers. The wonderful Doria Pope in Rome, the few pictures in London and Vienna whet the appetite for the supreme feast in Madrid. It is an unprecedented collection of one master that no glow of enthusiasm can exaggerate. Canvas follows canvas, all the work of secure, triumphant genius, with brush handling so free that it seems impossible he painted more than two hundred years ago. Don Carlos stands dangling a glove in an absolutely natural moment of nonchalance, Philip IV and the pompous Duke of Olivares ride their proud steeds out of magnificent skies, the gallant little Don Baltasar Carlos dashes at us on his pot-bellied pony, or stands a baby hunter in the Guadarramas. Velasquez painted him later, a grave, dignified lad of about fourteen, always with a fearless, straight look, and he also painted his piquant Bourbon mother, Philip IV's first wife; his second a wooden-faced Austrian, mother of the doll-like, big-skirted infantas. Had Don Baltasar Carlos lived, surely the race had not ended in a Charles II.

You walk about the Velasquez room bewildered, sorry for the copyists who have set up their easels before work that tells so unflinchingly each slip of a talent what it is to be a master. Portraits and genre studies; the lovely bent neck of the weaving girl, the breathing livingness of the Maids of Honor, the displeasing dwarfs,—each canvas is an achieved success.

At the end of the hall hangs what swiftly became my favorite of all pictures seen, the "Surrender of Breda," called "Las Lanzas," from the soldiers' spears ranged against the sky. It is a canvas about the size of the "Night Watch" in Amsterdam. The two armies fill the background under a sky that is a glorious harmony of cold blue and rose. In the foreground the Fleming, Justin of Nassau, advances to surrender the keys of Breda to its conqueror, the Marquis Spínola, general of the Spanish forces, though by birth a Genoese. Spínola has dismounted, and bends to meet his enemy, vanquished now, hence in his knightly creed, his friend. With a subtle, delicate shrinking he has placed his hand on his opponent's shoulder, and in his face is an expression of such high chivalry, of such generous effacement of self, of all that is best in man of courtesy and noble-mindedness, that the tears spring to the eyes. You return to it again and again and come away refreshed and ennobled. Only a man loyal himself to the core could render such an emotion, only a technical genius of the first rank could fix so fleeting an instant; this truly is thinking in paint, and it places Velasquez side by side with Leonardo da Vinci as a master of the intellect. I think it is very pleasant to learn that Velasquez knew the General he has immortalized, and you feel he must have known, too, the superb Spanish hidalgos who stand in the group behind the Marquis. On his first trip to Italy, the painter sailed in the same vessel to Genoa with Spínola, and probably sketched him then. I like to imagine the meeting of two such spirits of chivalry.

Isabella of Portugal, by Titian. Prado Gallery, Madrid
Isabella of Portugal, by Titian. Prado Gallery, Madrid

Were the Prado only Velasquez and the Spanish artists, it would be among the first of galleries, but it is astonishingly rich in Italian masters as well. It has the best equestrian portrait in the world, Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg, a picture to be studied long and often. The Emperor has risen from illness, he has had to be lifted upon his horse, but he has pluckily girded himself to take command. The Venetian red of his plumes and scarf is splendid. Titian has another of the Emperor, standing with his Irish hound, near it a gem of woman portraiture, Charles' lovely wife, Isabella of Portugal. It seems a strange irony for such an exquisite creature to have been the mother of a Philip II. Philip was fortunate in his daughters, too, demure, formal little maidens, who stand with the sedate propriety of Spanish infantas, and in his sisters, whose long, aristocratic faces Antonio Moro has left us. Charles V sent Moro to England to paint Queen Mary for her young bridegroom, and here she sits in her rich crimson leather chair, erect and stiff and insignificant, her auburn hair and homely face not one to charm her future husband still in his twenties, she not far from the fatal forty. A deeply pathetic portrait this. Good woman she was personally, despite having been made the scape-goat for a system, yet one can read in the pinched shrewdness of her mouth that she lacked her grandmother's height of brain, nor was she capable of her mother's dignity of sorrow, whose grand insulted womanhood Shakespeare has rendered so magnificently.[22] There are many other notable portraits in the Prado; a stately matron and her three sons by Parmigianino; a rich pigment of color, Rembrandt's wife; Raphael's Cardinal,—the acute, keen, Italian face so different from the Spanish type; a striking Count de Berg by Van Dyke. Mantegna has a small canvas, the "Tránsito de la Virgen," with the apostles gathered round the couch, a graphic glimpse through the window behind of Mantua. Mantegna put thought into his work, and he compels thought from others; this "Tránsito" drew me to it in the same browsing study as that small triptych in the Uffizi.

Then upstairs are more Italians. The facile Veronese has here, curiously enough, a really impressive scene, Christ and the Centurion. There are many Rubens, and some peaceful Claude Lorraine sunsets and sunrises, offering the needed siesta of quiet in a full collection. And downstairs in the basement are the primitives, Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, Memling, mystical enough to refresh the soul of a Huysmans. The gilded backgrounds of these celestial annunciations, these interiors of so intense and breathless a reverence, have always seemed to me a pure symbol of the uncomplicated perfection of their faith, the unquestioning mental background of the age.

After Velasquez it is not easy to feel much enthusiasm for the other Spanish painters. Murillo can only be really known in Seville, in whose gallery he predominates as does Velasquez here. It is a coincidence that both of Spain's first painters should have been born in the same Andalusian city, within twenty years of each other, and that the ashes of both should have been scattered to the wind in the French invasion. Zurbaran's white-robed monks,—he painted Carthusians as Murillo did Franciscans, and Roelas the Jesuits,—are always effective, but they miss being taken seriously by a dash of pose in them. As for Ribera's martyrdoms, (his portraits are very fine,) if chance led us into his room, one glance and we fled; it is not pleasant to see people disemboweled. The same shuddering horror you feel before some of Goya's, as for instance that awful but tremendously moving blood-red Dos de Mayo. Goya is almost too crabbedly individual to be liked unreservedly. He is in a way the Hogarth of the South, with a gruesome, fantastic imagination, quite pitiless to the vices or follies of his generation; witness the portrait of the Infanta María Josefa, or the appalling group surrounding Charles IV, "a grocer's family who have won the big lottery prize," Gautier cleverly said of it. At times you think Goya had no elevation of soul, then you come on a portrait that shows he could see something besides the weakness of human nature. He was a true Aragonese, stubborn, energetic, analytic. And it should never be forgotten that he painted in that desert of art, the eighteenth century, and swept aside the weak methods of generations to return to Velasquez's vigor of technique.

No visitor in Madrid can possibly miss the Prado gallery, but it is not difficult to omit the Armory; for, discouraged by going to see sights not worth the effort, you may think the Armería just the usual dull collection found in capitals, of interest only to the specialist. No greater mistake could be made. This Madrid museum is like nothing of its kind in Europe, it is an unrivaled show, one hour there and you learn volumes of Spanish history.

It consists of a large hall, down whose center is massed a splendid array of horsemen, caparisoned in historic armor. The manikins have been fitted out thoroughly. Their gauntleted hands hold the polished spears, and ostrich plumes wave from their helmets; they give an astonishing effect of life. Among the thirty-odd suits worn by Charles V, here is the identical one Titian painted in the equestrian portrait, decked with the similar doge-red scarf and plumes. There is the gallant little Baltasar Carlos' suit of mail; the armor of that Bayard of Spain, Garcilaso de la Vega; of the hero of Lepanto, Don John of Austria, and some of the banners and ship-prows of his victory; the suit of Charles' general, the Marquis of Pescara, Vittoria Colonna's husband; the tent of Francis I at the battle of Pavia; the arms of Juan de Padilla, who led the uprising of the independent cities against Charles. History is followed from earliest times in raw gold Visigothic crowns, the sword of Pelayo at Cavadonga, the sword of the great slayer of Moors, King Ferdinand el Santo of Castile, and the winged-dragon helmet of as mighty a battle leader, King Jaime el Conquistador of Aragon, down to the last stage of the seven hundred years' crusade, in Isabella's armor; that of the Gran Capitán; Boabdil's engraved with Moorish letters; and, finally, the surrendered keys of Granada. Spain's majestic hour lives again here.

As we left the Armoury, a present-day scene presented itself and it struck me as very characteristic of a country where the grandee, shopkeeper, and peasant live side by side in friendliness. Before us lay the big courtyard of the Royal Palace, the King's very doorstep as it were, and it overflowed with hundreds of children, nursemaids, families, and soldiers; the crowd being chiefly of a popular character. They tell of strict Spanish etiquette, but it appears to me as if the people here get nearer to their king than elsewhere. Rough boys and men were pouring into the Armoury to wander with pride among the plumed knights, and by their glance they showed they felt themselves part of the stirring past. Each knew himself a cristiano viejo[23] whose forebears had struck a blow for the Reconquista.


"But changeless and complete
Rise unperturbed and vast
Above our din and heat
The turrets of the Past,
Mute as that city asleep
Lulled with enchantments deep
Far in Arabian dreamland built where all things last."

TOLEDO has been compared to Durham, but it is the similarity between a splendid lean old leopard and a beautiful domestic cat. The largest river of Spain, the Tagus, without a touch of England's lovely verdure to soften it, sweeps impetuously round the Spanish ecclesiastic city, through a wild gorge from which it derives its name (tajo, cut) and above the river-cliffs rise sun-whitened houses, innumerable monasteries, and church towers, in a compact, imposing mass. Across the river is a barren wilderness, solitary as if never trod by foot of man, and this, close to an historic city. Stern and a bit fanatic,—for she has lived for generations, with sword in hand to guard her altars,—Toledo represents ascetic, exalted Castile as completely as palm-crowned Seville, stretching out in the meadows by the winding Guadalquivir sums up the ease-loving character of Andalusia. The thought of the Moor is never long absent in the fertile southern province, but here, though for a time he ruled as conqueror, every stone of the city tells of crusading Christian ideals.

Most travelers run down to Toledo from Madrid for merely a day, whereas it is eminently a spot for a pause of several days. Not only once but a second and a third time should you cross the Alcántara bridge and climb the silent hills beyond it. From there Toledo stands up in haunting majesty, one of the imperial things in the world. Wild footpaths lead along the hills, so you can follow the immense loop of the river and return to the city by St. Martin's bridge.

The desolate Tagus is as unchanged by the centuries as the hills confining it. Toledo's first mayor, the Cid, looked on much the same scene that we know, nor could it have been very different when, earlier, the last of the Gothic kings, Roderick, saw the fair Florinda bathing by St. Martin's bridge,—which untimely spying the legend says brought the African invasion on Spain; the same as when King Wamba ruled here, and his name is synonymous with "as old as the hills"; the same as when the city's patron, Leocadia, was hurled down from the cliffs in Dacian's persecution.

Once inside the Puerta del Sol (a real gateway, not a plaza where a gate once stood, like its Madrid namesake), we found ourselves in a fretwork of narrow streets where we got lost at every turning. These twisting passages were so built that if the city walls were captured, the people could still offer a stiff resistance. Zig-zag up and down the lanes go, every few yards coming to a small triangle, out of which lead three narrow ways,—which to choose is ever the bewildering question. Push on boldly, the tortuous streets are worth exploring at random, and if you wander long enough you are sure to find yourself before the Cathedral or in the famous Zocodover Square. Morning and afternoon we were out exploring, with a good map to guide us, yet up to the very last day, we lost the way half a dozen times. The constant uncertainty was fascinating; only in such unhurried rambles does the genius loci reveal itself. Now we stumbled on San Cristo de la Luz, in whose diminutive chamber are Visigothic capitals, Moorish arches, and a Christian retablo; it was here Alfonso VI heard his first Mass in the conquered city, the Cid Campeador at his side. Now we stopped to see the empty church of El Tránsito, in the Mudéjar style, built originally as a synagogue, and we found there an astonishingly beautiful arabesque frieze. This Mudéjar style (Moorish and Christian architecture mixed) has here what I think is its most perfect example, Santa María la Blanca, also a former synagogue, then a church, and at present national property.

As usual, our first visit after arrival, was to the Cathedral, not so easy to find as in most places, since it is not set on the highest part of the city, and is shut in with cluttering houses. As usual, too, like most Spanish churches, the exterior is meaningless; but the interior is a vigorous, pure Gothic, which is called the most national expression of this style in Spain. Like Seville, the ground plan is a sala, or hall; though the aisles here lessen in height so rapidly that they give a far different effect from Seville's lofty nave. The double-aisled ambulatory as at Avila is unique and beautiful in its effect. Spanish Gothic may be less artistically faultless than that of France, but certainly its massive grandeur and even its very extravagance render it many times more picturesque.

The primate of Spanish cathedrals is the richest in tombs, paintings, rejas, carvings, vestments, and jewels, even after the French carried away some hundred weight of silver treasure. Unfortunately, it was here we began to feel like tourists and to experience the jaded weariness of the personally conducted. We had wandered freely over the churches of the north, for a slight fee the verger had unlocked the choir and separate chapels, and then had gone off to let us examine them undisturbed. Here the flocking tourist has brought about the pest of tickets for each separate part of the church, and the guide, when one pauses to loiter, impatiently rattles his keys. And one longs to loiter in the most perfect coro of Spain, where Maestro Rodrigo, and Berruguete, and Vignani carved; in the sala capitular, or the Alvaro de Luna chapel of florid Gothic, where the beheaded Grand-Constable lies guarded by four stone knights of Santiago.

Since Spanish cathedrals were gradual growths, here is to be found, in a mass of violent sculpture called the Transparente, the bad taste of the eighteenth century. The bishop who erected the Transparente lies buried near by, covered by a mammoth slab of brass, on which, in bold letters, you read, "Here lies dust, ashes, nothing," an epitaph whose ironic, fatigued simplicity does not ring true; very different from that genuinely humble epitaph in Worcester Cathedral, that one impressive word "Miserrimus." Transparente and tombstone are subtly allied, not inappropriate memorials of one who was instrumental in bringing the academic Bourbons to the Spanish throne in 1700.

In the sacristy is a beautiful picture, the Expolio, "Stripping Our Lord before the Crucifixion," by El Greco, the strange Byzantine Greek who drifted to Toledo and in his forty years there because more Spanish than the Spaniards. In his case the accident of birth was nothing; though born in Crete of Greek parents, refugees from Constantinople, El Greco was a true Castilian soul. He had known Venice in the days of Tintoret and Titian, but it was only when he came to Toledo that he found the atmosphere, mystic and chivalrous, in which his genius could develop. His was the spiritualized mysticism of a Teresa or a John of the Cross, with little of the conventional piety of Murillo. And he has rendered the Spanish hidalgo as has none other, on his canvas "they live an inner life, indifferent to the world; sad with the nostalgia for a higher existence, their melancholy eyes look at you with memories of a fairer past age that will not return. They are the dignified images of the last warrior ascetics."[24]

There is no denying that some of El Greco's pictures are aberrations; when I first saw him in the Escorial gallery, I thought him eccentric to madness. Thanks to Professor Raphael Domenech of the Prado School of Art, I looked a second time and learned to appreciate him. "What he did ill, no one did worse, but what he did well, no one did better." Toledo has many of his masterpieces. In the Church of Santo Domingo is his "Ascension" and the two Saint Johns; in Santo Tomé, his splendid "Burial of Count Orgaz." The chapel of San José and the churches of San Vicente and San Nicolás have some good examples of his, and the Provincial Museum has a remarkable series of the apostles with a truly noble representation of their Master. El Greco—by the way, his real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulos—lived with princely magnificence, his friendship sought by the cultivated society round him, and on his death he was buried in San Bartolomé, regretted by the whole city. His sumptuous way of life was continued by his son, who built the cupola that covers the Mozarabic Chapel of the Cathedral.

This brings us to perhaps the most interesting survival of the past that exists in Spain, the Mozarabic Mass, said every morning in the western end of Toledo Cathedral. Mozarabic means Mixt-Arab, and is the name applied to the Christians who were under Moorish rule. Living isolated from their fellow-believers they kept to the old Gothic ritual. In the eleventh century the Christian conqueror of Toledo, Alfonso VI, after an artless trial by fire of the rival books, introduced the Gregorian liturgy, used by the rest of Europe. The learned Archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Ximenez, thought the Gothic ritual too interesting a national memorial to be lost, so he endowed a chapel with its own chapter of canons.

The morning after our arrival, I hastened down to the Cathedral to hear a Mozarabic Mass. It puzzles me how Ford, the traveler, could have written of it as he did, as if its simplicity put to shame the later rite, for a Catholic could to-day attend the Mozarabic service with no striking feeling of difference. In some respects it is simpler than the Gregorian Mass, in others more elaborate; thus, for instance, the Host is divided into nine parts, to represent the Incarnation, Epiphany, Nativity, Circumcision, Passion, Death, Redemption, Ascension, and Eternal Kingdom. The kiss of peace is given before the Consecration; the Credo is recited after the offertory.

In my eagerness to be in time, I arrived half an hour too early, so I whiled away the minutes watching the altar boys prepare for the ceremony. It was easy to read, in their air of proprietorship that their duties were an achieved ambition, the reward of good conduct. One of the lads climbed up on the big brass eagle of the lectern and gave it an affectionate polish; then, having partly illuminated the altar,—during the ceremony more candles were lighted,—they whipped out their smart red cassocks, and stood side by side in severe precision, to salute the eight canons, "Buenos Días!" altar boys and dignitaries bowed with leisurely Spanish courtesy. In their preparations the small acolytes had found the supply of altar wine somewhat short, so more was sent for. During the solemn moments of the Mass, a messenger arrived with an offensive flask. With rustling dignity in his trailing red gown, the majordomo of ten swept across the chapel to thrust out the tactless blunderer, and the look of apologetic confusion on his cherub face, as he returned to his post of honor, was adorable.

Some German tourists noisily came into the chapel, and refusing to kneel at the moment of the elevation, the verger, in a spirit the founder would have applauded, pointed with his silver wand, a silent but inflexible dismissal. This first morning of my visit, too, a group of hardy countrymen came to the Mozarabic Mass; with cap in hand and cloak flung toga-like over their muscular shoulders, they knelt on one knee, as instinctively graceful as the shepherds in Murillo's "Nativity." When the service was over, in respectful quiet despite their arrogant carriage, these unlettered men rose and passed out to loiter in the Cathedral for a half hour. "The rank is but the guinea's stamp, the man's the gold for a' that," rings often in the ear in Castile.

Cardinal Ximenez, founder of the Chapel, was Castilian to the core, and Toledo for him, just as for El Greco, was fittest home. He was born in 1436 in the province of Madrid of an old family that had fallen in his day on moderate circumstances. In Spain, Ximenez is often called Cisneros, for there two surnames are used; the first following the Christian name is the patronymic name of the father, the second that of the mother. Sometimes a man uses his paternal surname alone, more seldom his mother's family name alone, as in the case of Velasquez, whose father was a de Silva.

A studious disposition early destined Ximenez to the priesthood, and following a few years' study in Alcalá, which he was to raise to a world-known university, he went to Salamanca. After a long stay in Rome, on his return to Spain he wasted some precious years in an unfortunate ecclesiastic dispute. His true worth was not discovered till he went, when over forty, to serve in the Cathedral of Sigüenza, where Cardinal Mendoza, the future "Rex Tertius," was then bishop. Recognizing the new chaplain's remarkable powers, he made him his vicar-general. But Ximenez, in the face of every chance of rapid advancement in the Church, felt within him a longing for the retired life of prayer. He chose the strictest order of his day, and entered the Franciscan monastery of San Juan de los Reyes at Toledo. All who know Toledo will remember it, built in the bizarre, flamboyant, often overladen but always grandiose style of Isabella and Ferdinand. On its outer walls hang iron chains, the votive offerings of Christian captives ransomed from the Moors in Africa, and one cannot help thinking that the concentrated mind of the new novice received an indelible impression from these souvenirs of Moslem barbarity, a bias that found later expression in his stern treatment of the Moors of Granada and his crusading siege of Oran.

Ximenez had sought a life of prayer in San Juan de los Reyes, but a personality such as his could not help but rise in acknowledged supremacy above those around him. The fame of his intellect and holiness soon drew to his confessional the leading minds of Toledo, and he found himself, to his distress, again in touch with the world. He retired to a more isolated Franciscan monastery, and gave himself up to years of study and prayer. Men seemed then to find time for the long spaces of tranquil thought that solidify character; holding the highest posts that ambition could achieve, they seemed to know themselves as dust before the wind. The key-note of to-day is breadth not intensity, and it sometimes seems as if our scattered knowledge leads to a more superficial outlook on the elemental and eternal verities, that universal education tends to universal mediocrity. Why have so few to-day the old-time spaciousness of vision? Is it because education then meant the development of the soul as well as of the intellect, because in acknowledging that there are an infinite number of things beyond reason they attained what Pascal calls the highest point of reason? "Ever learning and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth" we seem indeed. Wholly-rounded opportunities were given in that age. Poets and novelists then were soldiers in the roving wars of Europe,[25]—Garcilaso, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón, these last two priests as well, and Garcilaso making a holy end helped by a grandee who was a saint, and Cervantes dying in the habit of the Assisian. But I suppose this carping comparison is just the never-ending tendency to look on a previous day as better than one's own. Jorge Manrique felt the same way:

"á nuestro parecer
Cualquiera tiempo pasado
Fué mejor"

and he wrote his immortal "Coplas" in the golden age of Isabella herself.

To return to Ximenez. After a long period of retirement he was made, against his will, confessor to the Queen at Valladolid. There exists an account by a witness of the sensation his thin, ascetic face caused in the court, as if an early Syrian anchorite had wandered thither. Three years later, on the death of Mendoza, the Queen's influence in Rome had Ximenez named his successor in Toledo. So angry was her confessor that he left the court. Isabella, gallant woman of heart and brain, who so enthusiastically perceived greatness in others, appealed to the Pope to order Cisneros to accept his see.

Up to this the Archbishops of Toledo had been men of great lineage who lived with splendor. And a striking succession of master minds they make, lying ready for an historian to group in a remarkable record; scholars, statesmen, founders of hospitals and schools, now a prelate of saintly life, now a leader of armies like Archbishop Rodrigo, who having borne the standard of the Cross in the thick of the fight at Las Navas de Tolosa, chanted the Te Deum of victory on that memorable field, the first Christian foothold in Andalusia. Of all the primates of Toledo, Mendoza, "Tertius Rex," had been highest in rank and power. The monk who succeeded this prince of the church dropped all pomp and lived like a humble Franciscan. Again the undaunted Isabella appealed to her friend the Pope to advise the new Archbishop to keep up the dignity of his see before the people. Cisneros yielded outwardly, but under the veneer of display he led the ascetic life.

The Queen's insight into character had judged right. Mystic contemplator though he was, Ximenez was a born ruler: prudent, courageous, and firm. He straightened difficulties and reformed abuses. As his own moral character was stainless and his disinterestedness well proven, there was happily no inconsistency in his preaching. Gomez tells that the moral tone of society, lay and ecclesiastic, was so improved by the energetic bishop that "men seemed to have been born again."

As to Ximenez' much criticised attitude toward the Moors, it was at one with its age. To reproach him with it is as unreasonable as to condemn Marcus Aurelius for having persecuted the Christians, or George Washington for having silently accepted negro slavery. A man, no matter how great his character, is limited somewhere by the standards of his period. The fifteenth century was far from being radical in the privileges it extended to free opinion. Even some generations later we find, in the Palatinate, when the Elector Frederick III turned from Lutheranism to Calvinism, in 1563, he forced all his subjects under pain of banishment, to turn with him. Within a few years his son changed them back to Lutheranism, only to have them, under the next ruler, constrained with severe punishments to again accept the Heidelberg catechism. The religious history of most of the states of Europe prove that the same theory was held: "cujus regio, ejus religio." Ximenez can plead more excuse for his attitude since in Spain was the problem of the more radical difference of Christianity and Islam. He felt, and the constant later revolts somewhat justified the idea, that a newly conquered people is not likely to remain loyal, when they are bound together against their ruler in an antagonistic creed. So he went to Granada in 1499 to labor for the conversion of the people.

At first he used much the same methods that prevail to-day in some of our cities, what we may call the soup-kitchen missionary system to evangelize the emigrant. Ximenez instructed the Mohammedan in doctrine, and he also gave presents to impress the oriental mind. So effectively did the method work that immense numbers of citizens embraced the faith. On one day four thousand were baptized. So far the treaty of the Conquest was not violated, since the conversions were voluntary. When, however, there was a revolt of those Moors who were angered by seeing the rapid spread of Christianity, harsher methods than persuasion were resorted to. The letter of the treaty was kept but its spirit, that reflected Isabella's magnanimous tolerance, was stretched indeed. The first uprising turned to open rebellion, and when this was put down, the majority of the citizens let themselves be baptized to avoid exile and confiscation. Though the two great prelates, the gentle Talavera and the indomitable Ximenez, burning with zeal, went about the city catechising and instructing the poorest, there were many thousands of Mohammedans who hated the religion to which outwardly they conformed. A child to-day can understand the futility of such conversions. No one denies that Ximenez was stern. He who loved learning with the passionate devotion of a Bede or an Erasmus, (we all know the remark of Francis I when confined at Alcalá, "one Spanish monk has done what it would take a line of kings in France to accomplish"), this same humanist scholar burned in public bonfire the Moslem books, only reserving the medical ones for Alcalá: surely this is proof of his grim sincerity.

When Isabella died, Ximenez took Ferdinand's side against his impertinent Austrian son-in-law. Philip I did not live long enough to involve Spain in an internecine war, her curse for ages; and it was the great statesman's hold on the government, at the time of the young king's sudden death, that saved the country from a revolution. Ferdinand had the man to whom he owed Castile, created a Cardinal, and he also appointed him Grand-Inquisitor.

Many hold the erroneous opinion that Ximenez was one of the founders of the Holy Office in Spain. It was established ten years before he came to court as Isabella's confessor, and it was only now, in his sixty-first year that he had control in it. True to his reforming character he set about changing what abuses had crept in. He fostered the better religious instruction of the newly converted; and he prosecuted the inquisitor Lucero, who had been guilty of injustice.

The great Cardinal-Archbishop was over threescore and ten when he undertook the expedition to Northern Africa. He had long burned to plant the Church again where it had flourished under St. Cyprian and St. Augustine. As the pirates of Oran were a terror in the Mediterranean, it was against that city he set out in the year 1509. His address to the troops before the battle, encouraging them against an enemy who had ravaged their coasts, dragged their children into slavery, and insulted the Christian name, roused the men to an heroic charge up the hill of Oran with Spain's battle cry Santiago! on their lips. Of the vast treasure found in the city, Ximenez who had spent a fortune to fit out the expedition, only reserved the Moslem books for his University of Alcalá. For it must not be forgotten that in the midst of state questions, this remarkable man was carrying on the building and endowing of an University to whose halls the learned minds of Spain and Europe were invited. He was printing at his own expense the well-known Polyglot Bible, the first edition in their original texts of the Christian Scriptures. From his early years a close student of the Bible, he had learned Chaldaic and Hebrew for its better study; every day on his knees he read a chapter of the Holy Word. Besides these interests he found time to build various hospitals, libraries, and churches, to organize summer retreats for the health of his professors, to print and distribute free works on agriculture, to give dowries to distressed women, to visit the sick in person, and to feed daily thirty poor in his palace.

Ferdinand, a good ruler, but suspicious and ungrateful, never had much love for the Cardinal. Yet on his deathbed he left him Regent of Castile, saying that a better leader on account of his virtues and love of justice could not be found to reëstablish order and morality, and only wishing he were a little more pliable. Some idea of Ximenez' genius may be gathered from a hasty review of his Regency, which covered the last two years of his life. It stands an astonishing feat of noble activity. He brought order into the finances and paid the crown debts. He introduced the militia system into the army, proving that men fight better when they defend their own homes. He strengthened the navy to help break the Moorish pirate Barbarossa who controlled the sea. He restored the dockyards of Seville. He crushed a French invasion in Navarre, and put down local disorders in Málaga and other places, for the nobles took this opportunity to again assert themselves. He adjusted troubles with both the ex-queens, Juana la Loca and Germaine de Foix. It was just four months before his death that the Polyglot Bible was finished. When the young son of the printer, dressed in his best attire, ran with the last sheets to the Cardinal, Ximenez exclaimed fervently: "I thank thee, O most high God, that thou hast brought this work to its longed-for end!" To-day the more scientific methods of philology have put the Complutensian Polyglot in the shade, but none deny that for its period it was a notable work.

Another of Ximenez' reforms, little known, was his advocacy of Las Casas in the crusade against Indian slavery in the American colonies. As early as 1511, a Dominican preacher named Montesino gave a sermon in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, before the governor Diego Columbus, in which he thundered against the ill-treatment of the natives. The monks were threatened with expulsion by the rich settlers unless Montesino retracted, whereupon on the following Sunday, the brave reformer not only repeated his previous attack but added fresh proofs. Against fierce opposition the Dominicans refused the sacraments to every one who owned an Indian slave. But they could not end the evil, so the passionate Las Casas, whose whole life may be said to have burned with fury for this cause, returned to Spain to plead for the Indians.

The Regent took up the question with interest, and the commission which he organized and sent out to the Colonies is a model of reforming government worthy of study. Just as it was about to start, fourteen pious Franciscans came down to Spain to offer themselves for the good work. Among them was a brother of the King of Scotland,—a rather delightful episode of the cosmopolitanism of religion. Ximenez also issued a proclamation forbidding the importation of negro slaves, for the colonists had already learned that one negro did the work of four Indians. Should not this act of farseeing wisdom, be set against his stern treatment of the Moors?

Ximenez ruled as Regent of Castile from the time of Ferdinand's death to the coming of Charles V to his distant possessions. The Cardinal-Archbishop, alert in mind and body though over eighty, was on his way to meet the young Emperor on his landing in the north, when he died suddenly at Roa, in the province of Burgos. He was buried in his loved Alcalá, and his tomb still rests in the dismantled town whose University has been removed to Madrid. Just thirty years after the Cardinal's death, one of the world's supreme geniuses was born under the shadow of his University, as if a compensating Providence would reward the Franciscan friar's unresting love of letters. Ximenez has received scant justice, but if the atmosphere of culture which he created at Alcalá, had aught to do with making Cervantes what he was, the stern educator did not live in vain.

In Toledo it takes no effort of the imagination to people the streets with the figures of the past; it is every-day life that drops away, and the surprise is that one does not meet some intellectual-faced cardinal, some hidalgo in velvet cloak or chased armor. The stone effigies on the tombs of Spanish churches make it easy to picture a certain very splendid presence that once walked, in youth's proud livery, these silent streets. Garcilaso de la Vega is a pure type of the grandee, Spain's Philip Sidney, a courtier, a soldier, a poet whose gift of song made him the idol of the nation, he is one of the alluring figures of history. By writing in Virgilian classic verse, he changed the rhythm of Spanish poetry from that of the "Cid," of Juan de Mena and Manrique. "In our Spain, Garcilaso stands first beyond compare," wrote a contemporary poet, a judgment held later by Cervantes and Lope de Vega.

This lovable hero was born in Toledo while Ximenez was still its active if aged Archbishop. He came of distinguished stock, the first Garcia Laso de la Vega was the favorite of Alfonso XI in 1328. This later namesake had for father a knight of Santiago, lord of many towns, ambassador to Rome, and one of Isabella and Ferdinand's councilors of state; on his mother's side his lineage was still more illustrious, she was a Guzmán, another of Spain's families whose prominence continued for centuries.

Garcilaso, who early showed his love for the liberal arts, received a finished education. At fifteen he became guardsman to Charles V, and his qualities of heart and brain soon won him the affectionate admiration of the court. "Comely in action, noble in speech, gentle in sentiment, vehement in friendship, nature had made his body a fitting temple for his soul." And Spain can show this harmony in many of her sons. Some untranslatable words describe Garcilaso, hermosamente varonil, the superb manhood of beauty. During the Emperor's wars in Italy he fought bravely, and at the Battle of Pavia, where Pescara's lions of Spain carried all before them, he won distinction. He was not merely a soldier in Italy, his richly-endowed nature avidly seized on her art and learning. Cardinal Bembo calls him "best loved and most welcome of all the Spaniards that ever come to us." Like Sir Philip Sidney, the young poet was not destined to reach middle age; a short thirty-three years is his record. At a siege near Fréjus, in the south of France, he fell wounded into the arms of his dearest friend, the Marquis de Lombay, and in spite of Charles V sending his skilled physician and coming in person to visit the wounded knight, he died. He was buried among his ancestors in the church of San Pedro Mártir, in Toledo, "where every stone in the city is his monument," wrote the euphuistic Góngora.

Truly that age was past rivalry in the appealingly noble characters it produced, fine spirits of heroism, fit inheritors of Isabella's period that had prepared the soil for such a flowering. A Garcilaso de la Vega is the bosom friend of a Francis Borgia, a Francis Borgia communes with a Teresa de Jesús with the intense pleasure of feeling souls akin, an Ignatius Loyola serves as guide to a Francis Xavier, and so on, these noted lives touch and overlap. What an array the first fifty years of the sixteenth century can show! 1503 Garcilaso was born, also Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, the noted diplomat and patron of letters; 1504 Luis de Granada, the religious writer; 1506 St. Francis Xavier of Navarre, who died the great missionary of the East; 1510 St. Francis Borgia; 1515 St. Teresa, "fair sister of the seraphim"; 1529 Luis de León, Spain's best lyric poet; 1534 Fernando de Herrera, another poet; 1542, St. John of the Cross, that mystic flame of Divine love; 1545, the dashing hero of Lepanto, Don John of Austria; and final glory of this half century, and of all centuries, 1547, Miguel de Cervantes. The opening of the next century was fecund in men of creative genius: 1599, Velasquez; 1616, Calderón; 1617, Murillo, but to one who loves España la heróica, the earlier age is dearer.

The gray city on the Tagus is worthy of such citizens, "fit compeer for such high company." So many are her associations that one turns aside in irresistible digressions. In a palace near Santo Tomé, Isabella of Portugal, Charles V's wife, died: to those who know Titian's portrait of her in the Prado, she is a beautiful, living presence. Francis Borgia who in early youth had married one of her ladies in waiting, was the equerry appointed to escort her dead body to Granada, where it was to be laid in the Chapel Royal. When the coffin was opened to verify the Empress, she who had been all loveliness so short a time before was changed to so horrible a sight that the Marquis de Lombay is said to have exclaimed, "Never more will I serve a master who can die!" The Hound of Heaven was in pursuit of grand quarry here. A few years before, the death of Garcilaso his friend had sobered Francis. Now came the loss of his cherished wife, with whom he had lived in truly holy wedlock: in Catalonia where he was the Emperor's viceroy, a lady asked the Marquesa one day why she of such high standing and beauty dressed so plainly, and she answered how could she do otherwise when her husband wore a hair-shirt beneath his velvet. Lombay succeeded to his father's estates and the title of Duke of Gandía, his children—who eventually rose to distinction—were a natural temptation to stifle the higher call of which he was conscious:

"For, though I knew His love who followed,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside."

It was a tremendous decision to make, completely to relinquish a future of international influence; relentlessly the heavenly Feet pursued:

"I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurried chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed,
Majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
'All things betray thee who betrayest Me.'"[26]

The compelling Voice won. Having settled his children, the Duke of Gandía gave up titles and estates to enter the Company of Jesus, of which he has been called the second founder, so fruitful were the years of his generalship.

The death of Isabella of Portugal is connected with another foremost member of the Compañía. The Pope sent Cardinal Farnese to carry his condolences to the Emperor, and the papal suite lodged in a house of Toledo near that of a widow named Ribadeneyra. Her willful, high-spirited and captivating boy Pedro attached himself voluntarily to the embassy, and so won the notice of the Cardinal that he was taken back to Rome, where, by another hap-hazard in his life, he fell under the influence of St. Ignatius Loyola, became his loved pupil and future biographer. The books of this delightful Pedro, telling the early history of the Jesuit Order make as solidly interesting a bout of reading as can while away a month. He was not only the confidant of the first General, but of his two successors, Lainez and Borgia, he helped St. Charles Borromeo in his reforms at Milan, and lived long enough to rejoice on the day of his great master's beatification, 1609.

In Toledo many a time Cervantes strolled, here he has set several of the interesting "Novelas Exemplares"; St. Teresa founded one of her houses here, described in her "Libro de las Fundaciones," a companion book to the "Novelas"; that prodigy of improvization, Lope de Vega, also placed some dramas in these dark winding streets; and in the Jesuit house the historian Mariana, a friend of Ribadeneyra, browsed over his work, called by Ticknor "the most remarkable union of picturesque chronicling with sober fact that the world has ever seen."

Our days in Toledo sped all too fast. For me it is one of those few fascinating cities of the world that rouses a recurrent longing to return. The impressive, solitary walk above the Tagus gorge at the hour of sunset is an unforgettable memory. Another walk leads to San Cristo-in-the-fields, the legend of whose crucifix, with one arm hanging pendant, has been told by Bécquer; beyond this church, across the vega, where the Tagus spreads out in relief from the confining gorge behind, is the Fábrica de Armas, where good Toledan blades are made, so elastic that they are packed in boxes curled up like the mainspring of a watch. Within the town the rambles are endless, now down the step-cut hill, past the Plateresque façade of Santa Cruz hospital, founded by Cardinal Mendoza; now out by the one sloping side of the city to another hospital, where the sculptor Berruguete died, and lies buried near his last work, the marble tomb of the founder, Cardinal Tavera. One day in the narrow street, hearing the sound of singing, I entered a monastery church, to listen for an enchanted hour to a choir of male voices admirably trained.[27] There is about this town an atmosphere that makes you sure that real peace and holiness lie within the looming convent walls under which you pass. The wise Chinese statesman, Kang Yu Wei, who has toured the world studying its religions, said he found in a monastery of Toledo an impressive spirit of devout silence.

Tomb of Bishop San Segundo, by Berruguete, Avila
Tomb of Bishop San Segundo, by Berruguete, Avila

We carried away a beautiful last picture of the "Crown of Spain," as her loyal son Padilla called her. We were to catch the night train to Andalusia, at Castillejo on the express route. It was a night with an early moon. So white and romantic lay the city streets that we sent the luggage by the diligence and went on foot to the distant station. When we crossed the Alcántara bridge, we turned to look back at the climbing mass of houses and churches. With a feeling of sadness we gazed at the old mediæval city, so far from the fret of modern life. This was to be, we thought, our last impression of the Castiles. Andalusia, enticing, warm in the sun, facile, impudent, lay ahead. Farewell to the grave, courteous Castilian! Farewell to the valorous stoic-heart of Spain!


"The art of the Alhambra is eminently decorative, light, and smiling; it expresses the well being, the repose, the riches of life; its grace lay almost entirely in its youth. Not having the severe lines that rest the eye, these works paled when their first freshness faded. Theirs was a delicate beauty that has suffered more than others from the deterioration of its details."


IN his "Terre d' Espagne," M. René Bazin speaks of the faded city of Cordova, and the term is singularly exact. It is a tranquil, faded ghost, not a nightmare ghost, but an aloof, melancholy specter. I have been haunted by it often since the day and night spent there. Dull and unimportant as it now is, hard to be imagined as the Athens of the West with almost a million inhabitants and an enlightened dynasty of Caliphs, yet, like a true ghost, vague in feature, Cordova succeeds in making itself unforgettable. The past covers it like a mist. It gave me more the sensation of the Moslem than any other spot in Spain: Allah, not Christ, is its brooding spirit.

We strolled hither and thither through its preternaturally quiet streets which are lined with two-storied white or pinkish houses. Every few minutes we stopped with exclamations of delight to gaze through the iron grilles at the tiled and marble patios, here seen for the first time. "A patio! How shall I describe a patio!" exclaimed De Amicis, when he first came into Andalusia. "It is not a garden, it is not a room, it is not a courtyard, it is the three in one,—small, graceful, and mysterious." They are so spotless a king could eat off their paving-stones. Isolated from the stir of the world, they breathe that intimate quiet of the spirit felt in the pictures of the Primitives. To wander for the first time over a city filled with these oases, gives that exhilaration of novelty which as a rule the traveler has long since lost with his first journeys.

I should not say our very vivid impression of Cordova depended on chance details,—the hour of arrival, a personal mood, the weather. Of course the strangeness was heightened by our coming from the north, through a cold night of travel on the train that made the transition from the central plateau of the Castiles to the semi-tropical coast belt of Andalusia, an abrupt one. Toledo, the last seen Castilian town, had been so distinctly Christian in spite of Moorish remains, and our night-flitting over the level sea of La Mancha was so possessed by that español neto, the adventuresome Don, that suddenly to awake among palm trees and oranges gave the sensation of another race and climate. It was this province with its astonishing fertility that had been the land of Elysium of the ancients.

Having grown familiar with the orderly streets of Cordova by day, it was quite without fear that we took a night ramble. Not a soul was astir. What were they doing, these cloistered people? It was as deserted as Stamboul at night, more lonely even, for here was not a single yellow cur to bay the moon, nor the iron beat of the watchman's staff; and though like the Orient in some aspects, these streets were far too orderly and the houses too spotless. Perhaps there lay the source of the indefinable fascination; this was neither East nor West, but a place stranded in time, made by circumstances that never will be repeated. The Oriental influenced the Spaniard deeply, a psychological as well as a racial influence. I often felt that the dignified gravity which so distinguishes a Spaniard from his fellow Latins is a trait acquired unconsciously from his Arab neighbors: nothing like it is found except among races whose ancestors dwelt in the desert. Also the excessive generosity and hospitality of the Spaniard are oriental virtues, just as the Andalusian procrastination and acceptance of fate are oriental failings. We too often forget that there were generations when, religious hatred quieting down, the two peoples lived side by side in friendly consideration. If the Christian gained from the Moslem, the Moor in Spain was influenced no less potently by the standards of the European. He became a very different being from his brother in northern Africa. He learned to gather libraries, to express himself in buildings where he translated his nomad carpet into colored stucco; much of his traditional jealousy was laid aside and Moorish ladies appeared at the tournaments to applaud their Moorish cavaliers who tilted with the same rules of romantic chivalry as the Christian knights. Moslem civilization could even boast some femmes savantes. The stimulus of the two opposing races gave Spain just the impetus she needed, and the conqueror lost with his very victory. When all men think the same way without the spur of competition, inaction and ill-health are sure to follow. Perhaps the upholders of law and order need not worry too much to-day over the anarchists and socialists in the commercial districts of Spain: is not the health of a nation quickened by struggle?

The soul of a Spanish city is always the Cathedral, and Cordova has what it called one, but it is no more a Christian church than the Caaba at Mecca. The canons in Charles V's time tore out the center of the Mosque and built a Plateresque-Gothic capilla mayor and coro. It was an ignorant thing to do, and when the Emperor saw their work he exclaimed in disgust, "You have built here what anyone might have built elsewhere, but you have destroyed what was unique in the world!" Nevertheless, those old canons had some excuse. They felt that they could not pray in a proper Christian manner under the low, oppressing roof of Islam. Instead of "Christe Eleison," it was "Allah illal allah, ve Mahommed recoul" that came to their lips in abominable heresy, so in desperation they put up the incongruous enclosure and tried to shut Islam out.

A building every one of whose stones has been laid in earnest faith, seems to have a spirit that will never desert it, let the ritual change as it may. Santa Sophia is Christian in spite of eight thousand Mussulmans prostrated there on the 27th of Ramazan: the Gregorian chant still echoes in Westminster Abbey. So here the canons' efforts were in vain, the Mezquita makes heretics of us all, we turn to the Mihrab as the holy of holies, not to the High Altar.

The Mihrab is a dream of art, the mosaics are richer and softer in hue than an eastern rug. Leo, the Christian Emperor on the Bosphorus, sent Byzantine workmen to teach the Caliph this art. The enclosing carvings have the distinction of being in marble, not in the customary plaster, also a Christian innovation. "Let us rear a mosque which shall surpass that of Bagdad, of Damascus, and of Jerusalem, a mosque which shall become the Mecca of the West," said the founders in the eighth century; and there is a tradition that the Caliph himself worked an hour a day with the builders. It is truly "unique in the world," for nothing was ever like these myriad aisles, forty in one direction crossed by twenty in another, with nine hundred short pillars of every kind of marble—green, red, gray, brown, fluted white—holding up the roof. These pillars are baseless and only thirteen feet in height; and arches of an ugly red and yellow spring in two tiers from column to column. The effect is incredibly original and eccentric,—a veritable forest of pillars. The fatalist spirit of Mohammed, the acceptance of life's limitation, is insistent here, the desert Arab's attitude of adoration, forehead prone to earth, is forced on you: to kneel with upraised face is impossible under so low a roof; were there the usual hanging balls and roc's eggs, even the Inquistor-General himself would have genuflected toward Mecca! As I wandered about the Mezquita, the two creeds seemed to formulate themselves more distinctly for me: one, soaring and idealistic, channel for the loftiest aspirations of the soul, the other a magnificent step forward from the lower forms of worship about it in the East, nevertheless limited, so far and not beyond, not cleaving to the impossible, to the unattainable. "Be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" was not taught by Mohammed. Islamism is a very noble average, and perhaps because men in general are the average, it may seem better to satisfy them. Christianity is a religion for the chosen souls of humanity, only by aiming at the impossible can the best in man develop. The majority of us are not chosen souls, hence we have the bitter inconsistencies between the theory and the practice of our faith to-day; and yet, once the vision of the unspeakable soul-paradise of the mystic has been conceived of, to rest satisfied with an average religion is impossible. Islam makes men happy with a dreaming bliss that veils the sun, Christianity bids you look up at the sun whether it blinds you or not, and here and there arise souls that can bear the vision and help weak eyes to see.

When we left the Mosque, the obsession of the East still continued in the courtyard, where about the fountain sat groups of idlers only wanting the fez and turban for completion. Once the Mezquita opened on this court, there was no dividing wall, the trees planted in symmetrical lines carried on the rows of columns within, and an absolutely enchanting sight it must have been to look from this orange grove far into the dim interior of the Mosque, lighted every evening with some five thousand hanging lamps.

All tourists in Spain go to Granada, so they know the confusing station of Bobadilla where trains from north, south, east, and west, meet and exchange passengers; the journey from there on to Granada gives a beautiful glimpse of Andalusia; picturesquely set towns, scattered white villas, olive groves, even in winter the grass as green as spring. As apples, in the Basque provinces, and carrots at Toledo, so here oranges were piled up in masses. The last thirty miles of the journey were through the historic vega, a veritable garden of Eden in fertility. Before we reached Granada it was dark and above the city was rising an early moon as big as one in a Japanese print. The proprietor of the Pension-Villa Carmona in the Alhambra grounds was there to meet us, and we soon rattled off for the long drive up to the Moorish citadel.

A night arrival at Granada enhances the romantic effect. It is mysterious to turn in from the noisy streets of the town at the Carlo Quinto gate and under the heavy foliage of elm trees slowly to mount the Alhambra hill; there is a gurgle and rush of running water on every side, one has the feeling of being in a thick Alpine forest. The horses mount slowly, wind and turn, pass through various gates and at length you are in the small village of the citadel, and in three minutes can walk right into the Caliph's palace. Spain cannot show many such beautiful northern parks, with a growth of ivy and a shimmer of arrow-headed leaves under the elm trees where nightingales sing in season.

It was Ford I think who started the statement which most guide books have gone on repeating that the Duke of Wellington planted these elms ("the Duke" occupies more space in Murray's Hand-book than los Reyes Católicos themselves!) He may have planted some, but a certain old book of travels, yellow with age, tell us that just these same elm trees were growing and just the same kind of songster singing in 1789. "The ascent toward the Alhambra," wrote the Rev. Joseph Townsend in that year, "is through a shady and well watered grove of elms abounding with nightingales whose melodious warbling is not confined to the midnight hour; here, incessant, it is equally the delight of noon."

This part of Granada is charming. But the city below is so dirty and ill-conditioned that it would spoil the Alhambra for a long stay. Even in the darkness on the night of our arrival it was easy to discern what a different aspect it had from most Spanish towns, which, while they are often poor, are frugally clean and self-respecting. In Granada the people appeared ill-tempered, if you paused anywhere, diseased children gathered in a persistent begging circle, and the fierce copper-colored gypsies were so diabolically bold in glance and act that they made a walk in any of the suburbs too dangerous to be repeated. We had often turned off the beaten track in the Asturias, in Galicia, and Castile, without the least fear, but Granada will remain for me the one thoroughly disagreeable, frightening spot in Spain.

Described as the Alhambra has been, it would be fatuous to try it again. I can only give superficial personal impressions. There is no use in disguising that this style of architecture disappointed me enormously. I could admire its extreme elegance, the details of the artesonado ceilings, the ajimez windows, I could acknowledge it was fairy-like, a charming caprice, exquisite jewel-box work: as a whole it left me quite cold. It was too small, it lacked height, there was no grandeur about it,—and all so newly done up with restorations! The first visit gave me an effect of trumpery, and even after I had seen it daily for two weeks, I could not forget that these mathematically correct designs, one yard very like the next, were imprinted by an iron mold on wet plaster. This was skilled artisan's work, not the intellectual thought of the architect; here was no cutting of enduring, masculine stone with the individual freedom of genius. Decorations of Cufic mottoes are effective, but they can never compete with a Parthenon frieze, with a Chartres or Santiago portal. Fantasy was here, not imagination; again I felt the bound limit of Islam.

Enough for the negative side. For praise, if the Alhambra itself is disappointing, its setting is imperial. The view on which you look out from its romantic ajimez windows has few equals in the world, and accounts easily for the supremacy of this spot in man's thought. You look down on the ravine of the Darro, the white Generalife near by, across the river, the piled-up houses of Granada backed by near hills covered with cactus. From the Torre de la Vela is a grander view. The vega with towns and historic battlefields lies below, and you try to pick out Santa Fé, which sprang up in eighty days to house the Christian troops, or Zubia, where Isabella was almost captured, or Puente de Pinos, which the discouraged Columbus had reached when the Queen's messenger brought him back to arrange for the great voyage. On this tower, after seven and a half centuries of Moorish rule, the first Christian standard was hoisted by Cardinal Mendoza, on January 2d, 1492, festival still of the countryside, when the fountains play again in the Alhambra, and down in the Royal Chapel the Queen's illuminated missal is used on the altar. All Christian Europe rejoiced with Spain, and Henry VII in England had a special Te Deum chanted in gratitude. While on one side is this tropical vega on the other is the glorious Sierra Nevada, clothed in perpetual snow. So close are the mountains that on certain days it seemed as if a short hour's walk could reach them, closer than the Jungfrau to Mürren. It is the most untarnished expanse of snow I have seen on any mountains. We often climbed the tower for the sunset, and one evening a genuine Alpine glow made the Sierras magnificent past description. "Ill-fated the man who lost all this!" Charles V exclaimed.

There was a lesser view we grew attached to, that from the strip of garden called the Adarves, warm in the sun under the vine-covered bastions. It was laid out by the Emperor, and it fronts the snow range looming above the green mass of park trees. Almost every day we would bring books and sewing there—December, with mountains 12,000 feet high beside us!—and the gardener would set chairs for us at the stone table. Work and books would be dropped for long minutes to look out on those astonishingly noble mountains. If only the city below were well-ordered and clean like Avila or Segovia or Seville, this would be the spot of all Spain for a long stay.

We had to descend at times to the repulsive town for sightseeing. We hunted up the Church of San Gerónimo, where the Gran Capitán, that true Castilian knight alike renowned as general and diplomatist, Gonsalvo de Cordova, was buried. Once around his tomb seven hundred captured banners were ranged, but the church since it was sacked in the French invasion has been unused. It was appropriate that the Great Captain found burial in Granada, since it was here he trained the famous legions he was to lead to victory in Italy. Isabella on her deathbed listened with thrilled interest to the news of Gonsalvo's exploits at Naples. Another day, to see the view of the Sierras from the Church of San Nicolás, we climbed the Albaicín quarter, so squalid and poverty-stricken that the very sheets hung out to dry were a fretwork of patches, and the smells of goats and pigs were awful. A swarm of deformed beggars gathered round us, and I must confess to driving them off indignantly. Then as we descended the hill, down the twisting oriental passages, I was reproached by a little episode that showed a charity wider than mine—not good utilitarian ethics perhaps, but good early Christianity—a woman, poorest of the poor, at a turning of the lane was giving her mite to one more stricken in misery. Is it any wonder Spain can win affection with her good and her evil lying close beside each other in a grand primitive way? Whenever I joined her detractors and abused her, within the hour she would offer some silent rebuke.

Still another walk was the beautiful one along the Darro, then up the steep hill between the Generalife and the Alhambra. In that deserted lane one morning as I was passing alone, suddenly the gypsy king stepped out, a startling image of brutal, manly beauty, with his blue-black hair topped by a peaked hat. He approached insolently, with a glance of contemptuous, piercing boldness, struck an attitude, and holding out a package, commanded: "Buy my photograph." With beating heart I hurried by, to turn into the safe Alhambra enclosure with a tremor of relief.

The Cathedral of Granada is a pretentious Greco-Roman building, good of its kind, but I do not like that kind. Out of it leads the Royal Chapel, where "los muy altos, católicos, y muy poderosos Señores Don Ferdinando y Doña Isabel" lie buried with their unfortunate daughter, Juana la Loca, and her Hapsburg husband. These two elaborate Renaissance tombs, the wood carved retablo and a notably fine reja, make this Capilla Real a unique spot. Isabella the queen left a last testament that breathes the fine sincerity of her whole life: "I order that my body be interred in the Alhambra of Granada in a tomb which will lie on the ground and can be brushed with feet, that my name be cut on a single simple stone. But if the king, my lord, choose a sepulchre in any other part of our kingdom, I wish my body to be exhumed and buried by his side, so that the union of our bodies in the tomb, may signify the union of our hearts in life, as I hope that God in his infinite mercy may permit that our souls be united in heaven." It seems as if a king whose life-long mate had been an Isabella of Castile might have had more dignity of soul than to give her a trivial successor. When Ximenez heard of her death, sternly-repressed man of intellect though he was, he burst into lamentation. "Never," he exclaimed, "will the world again behold a queen, with such greatness of soul, such purity of heart, with such ardent piety and such zeal for justice!" And the Cardinal had known her in the undisguised intimacy of the Confessional and stood side by side with her through years of difficult state guidance. The astute Italian scholar, Peter Martyr, who lived at her court, said that at the end of the fifteenth century Isabella had made Spain the most orderly country in Europe, and another foreign scholar, Erasmus, tells us that under her, letters and liberal studies had reached so high a state that Spain served as a model to the cultivated nations.

From one end of her land to the other this incomparable woman has left her mark; at Valladolid the remembrance of her marriage; Segovia whence she started out to claim her kingdom; at Burgos the tomb of her parents; Salamanca where her son was educated, and whose library façade is in her grandiose style; Avila where this only son lies buried; Santiago where her hospice still harbors the needy; Seville where she gave audience in the Alcázar; her refuge for the insane here in Granada;—hardly a city that she did not visit and endow:

"If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness,
Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government
Obeying in commanding, and thy parts
Sovereign and pious, else could speak thee out
The Queen of earthly queens."


"Mi vida está pendiente
Solo en un hilo,
Y el hilo está en tu mano, dueño querido.
Mira y repara,
Que si el hilo se rompe
Mi vida acaba."

"El secreto de la vida consiste en nacer todas las mañanas."—RAMÓN CAMPOAMOR.

THE outburst of spring in Seville is something unforgettable. With roses in bloom during December and January, the winter was like the summer of some places, and so we realized with surprise during February that a genuine spring was beginning. The bushes and hedges put on fresh coats of green, and barely a month after the trees had been stripped of their myriad oranges, the same trees were covered with white blossoms. To sit beside the lake in the park on a sunny March morning seemed like being in an ideal scene of the theater; hard, white pathways wound in every direction between miles of rose hedges; an avenue of vivid Judas trees led to a blue and white tiled Laiterie, where society came each morning to drink a hygienic glass of milk, and the graceful girls played diavolo with young officers; the groves of orange trees filled the air with an almost overpowering scent; children threw crumbs to the ducks in the pond; high up in the palm trees they were doing the parks' spring cleaning by cutting away the spent leaves.

With such a winter climate it is strange that Seville was deserted by foreigners till the Easter rush. During the four months of our stay we had no need of fires, and sometimes there were days so warm that we did not start for the customary constitutional till toward evening. Every single day of the winter we took a walk in the same direction,—to the Delicias parks. Such monotony at first seemed a very limited pleasure, but before the winter ended we had grown to be such true Sevillians that we liked the placid regularity, and whenever we went further afield the roads were so abominably kept that we were glad to return to the shady fragrance of the park. We gradually learned to sit on the benches with the contented indolence of the southerner, watching the carriages roll by, family coaches a bit antiquated, the women well-dressed but not with the Madrileña's elegance. As the same people passed day after day, we soon had favorites among them. One young girl, like a rose in her bloom of quick blushes, was having the golden hour of her life; all winter we watched her in the Delicias, at the theater, in church, and she never appeared without her cavalier somewhere in sight: a man in love here, like a man at his prayers, has no false pride to disguise his devotion. His carriage openly pursued hers in the park, the coachman an eager abettor of the romance. They would often alight, and while her mother and small sister loitered far behind, the happy novios were allowed to ramble side by side through the lovely paths. It seemed to us that we were no sooner settled in some retired nook of the pleasure grounds than these two sympathetic young people would come strolling past, and her sudden blush in recognition of the two strangers whose interest she felt, was very charming to see,—so too thought the young man at her side, for he always paced with his head bent irresistibly to hers. Life can offer worse fates than to be in love in the springtime, under Seville's flowering trees.

This happy starting with romance has much to do with the contented marriages of the race: here, as I said before, is little of the pernicious "dot" system of France and Italy; good looks and attractive personal qualities win a husband. Spanish women make excellent wives, their first fire and passion turning to self-abnegation. They are spared the ignoble competition that luxury brings; except in Madrid and among a small set in a couple more of the big cities, most Spanish ladies dress with extreme simplicity in black; the mantilla having more or less equalized conditions. It is still the custom for a mother and her daughters to go to church before eight every morning; often I saw them returning as I sat drinking my coffee on the hotel balcony. For church they wear the black veil that so much better becomes them than the big hats donned for the afternoon drive. Strangers are inclined to take for granted the idleness of women's lives in a city like Seville. I had slight opportunity of judging for myself. From a friend, however, who happened to have letters of introduction to a Sevillian whom she thought a mere social butterfly after seeing her drive by idly every afternoon, I learned that being taken into the intimacy of this pretty, fashionable woman, it appeared that she rose before seven every day and had never once missed giving each of her four children his morning bath.

When we occasionally lingered late in the Delicias at noon, we would see the cigarreras from the great tobacco factory come out to spend their siesta. The proverbial beauty of these girls is much exaggerated, but the fresh flower in the hair worn by every woman of the people, old and young alike, gives a decided charm. Sometimes they would dance together under the trees, just for the mere pleasure of motion, and sing the passionate coplas of the province, of the very essence of a people, impossible to translate:

"Nor with you nor without you
My sorrows have end,
For with you, you kill me,
And without you, I die."

Or this other, a majo to his chosen one:

"Take, little one, this orange
From my orchard grove apart,
Be careful lest you use a knife
For inside is my heart."

The majo of Andalusia is the peasant dandy of Spain, and truly he is superb. As he gallops in from the country on his proud-necked stocky Andalusian horse—by instinct he knows how to sit a horse—or when he walks by jauntily in his short bolero jacket, with the springing gait of youth and dominating manhood, a duchess must look at him with admiration. The city loafer of Seville is a miserable specimen, and his insolence on the street is a constant outrage, but the country labrador does much to redeem him. One day we walked back across the fields from Italica, and passed many of these self-respecting peasants who gave us the proud, courteous salute of the north, but no sooner were we within the city limits than began the bold staring, the jostling and remarks peculiar to Seville alone.

All classes and conditions are met with in the park. Once a week the black soutanes and red shoulder scarfs of the seminarists of San Telmo give an added note of color. One of the lads, happening to know a Spanish acquaintance of ours, often stopped to chat. He told us details of their life, that at Easter and for the summer each returned in secular dress to his family, and if, during his years of preparation, he found he was not suited to the priesthood, he was free to leave at any time. Thus this lad had entered with ten others, of whom only three remained. "Soon only two, I fear," he added, with his clever mundain smile. "They tell me I'm too fond of society." Yet I have seen English ladies, true to their Invincible Armada traditions, shake their heads in pity when the seminarists passed, and sigh: "Poor young prisoners!"

We made other acquaintances in the placid Seville parks; the venders of peanut candy, of the delicious sugar wafers for which you gamble on a revolving machine, above all our Agua! Agua! friend. This last would polish the glass with an agile turn of the wrist, then bend slightly and from his shoulder pour down the crystal stream with undeviating aim. No people on earth drink water like the Spanish; it is a national love. A tot of four will stand spellbound before the fat dolphin of a park fountain, calling in beatific ecstasy, "Hay agua!"

Though the Delicias is the favorite haunt, one can while away an afternoon in the garden of the Alcázar, on its pretty tiled seats. When we went through the Moorish palace, its restorations seemed so gaudily done that again I felt the sensation that this was trumpery. As at the Alhambra the fact of its medium being plaster, not enduring stone, spoils Moorish art for me. Some evenings for the sunset we climbed the Giralda, the only height from which a view over the fertile country can be got, for Seville's great drawback is its flatness; there is not one high spot for loitering at the close of day as in most Italian towns. From this cathedral tower, the view down on the white roofs of the city holds one spellbound; groves of palms show the parks, neat terrace gardens on the tops of the houses, and not a vestige of a street. No wonder, for the passages called streets are barely wide enough for three to walk abreast, and they twist and bend in true oriental fashion. We used to turn in behind the Alcázar, and wander hap-hazard, past Murillo's house, round and about north of that chief thoroughfare, the Sierpes. For surprises and romance this town has no equal. Tucked away in the narrow lanes is patio after patio, not, like those of Cordova, merely spotless and tranquil, but imposing with white marble columns and pavements, for Italica, nearby, an obliterated city that lays claim to three of Rome's emperors, Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius, was stripped to adorn the younger Seville. The exterior of the houses is insignificant, just two or three stories of plain plaster walls, all beauty being kept for the inside, for the patio, with its central fountain and walls of colored tiles. We used often to pause at the open grille to gaze in with delight, agreeing with the old German proverb, "Whom God loves has a house in Seville." They say that in summer-time the family moves down from the upper story to live around the patio, over which an awning is stretched, and every evening animated tertulias are held there. A June walk at night in these lanes must be paradise: "Quien no ha visto á Sevilla, no ha visto á maravilla."

All over the city are small churches that antedate the Cathedral, with noticeable twelfth century portals, timber roofs, and often a Moorish tower. The best are Omnium Sanctorum and San Marcos: and a lovely bit to sketch is the façade of Santa Paula with its Italian faience decoration. The peaceful patio of the chief Hospital—a church in the center—must be a nook of repose loved by the convalescent. I could not see that the ill or aged suffered in Spain, despite the general abuse of her institutions. What is it about Spanish ways that makes most Englishmen so pessimistic over her? It seems to me that an Englishman should be sympathetic here, for so many of his traits he has in common with the Spaniard, such as sincerity, independence, loyalty to national ideals, to their rulers and creed. A prominent London publisher, in a new series of travel books, has lately reprinted Richard Ford's "Wanderings in Spain," thereby perpetrating a grave injustice, for in this book is gathered, with no sense of proportion, the abuse expurgated (chiefly because of its length) from his "Murray's Hand-book of Spain." Ford visited Spain when she was torn by the disorders of civil war, after three centuries of ill-government. A sad picture of England could be made by the foreign visitors who happened to witness the Lord George Gordon riots or the industrial agitations of the Midlands, or who visited the poorhouses, schools, and prisons described by Dickens and Charles Reade, yet who would maintain that such a picture was true as a whole, or print such a book to represent England to-day? Why must a different justice be meted out to Spain? Ford could be enthusiastic over the Castilian peasants' manhood, over the security of life and purse throughout the northern provinces, and the gentle kindness of the country women, the hospitality of whose kitchens he sought, but when it comes to the national religion he fills his pages with false statements. "One never pelts a tree unless it has fruit on it," a Spaniard will say as he shrugs his shoulders.

There is no doubt that the travelers in Spain then as well as the travelers of to-day see many things that have cause to distress them, but it should never be forgotten that in cities like Seville, the disease and vice which are kept out of sight in a distant slum in northern towns, are here right in the open eye. The poorest here live in the same block with the rich, a juxtaposition that may lead the outsider to see only the evil of a place, but for the native has the happier result of a more human primitive relationship between the classes than in most countries: poverty has never been looked on as pitiable in Spain: haughtiness and snobbishness are almost unknown here.[28]

I must also add, to be quite honest, that, often, the impudence of the Sevillian street loafer and the exasperating pursuance of the beggar children, made me break out in Invincible Armada abuse myself; then some slight episode would occur to reprove me. One day we paused to watch a very ugly little girl of five nurse her wounded dog. She was pity incarnate, she had rolled it in her poor shawl and rocked it backward and forward. When she gently touched the bandaged paw tears came to her eyes. We often passed her during the winter, and feeling our sympathy, unconscious of its first cause, the little tot would wait shyly till we had gone by, then dash after us to thrust into our hands two tiny bunches of orange blossoms or violets, and then tear away in confusion, refusing to be thanked. That she so ugly and poor had won two friends intoxicated her warm little heart, and she regularly prepared her offerings of answering affection, to have ready when the strangers passed: every characteristic of this untrained child of the street was admirable. Another time a stationer sent his young apprentice of fourteen to show us the way to a book-binder's. We offered the boy the usual fee, when he flung back his head proudly with a flush; his name was Emilio Teruel y Nobile, and the high-minded young descendant of Aragonese or Castilian blood bore it worthily. Having shown us the shop we sought, and realizing that we now recognized him as an equal, he made his farewell with a poise and reserved grace that were splendid. Later we occasionally passed Emilio, and the equality of the greetings exchanged, not the slightest presumption on his part, is a thing only to be found in caballero Spain.

To follow the church feasts that so diversify and brighten the year for these southern countries, also helps one to see them more justly. On the 19th of March, St. Joseph's Day, a large crowd filled the Cathedral to listen to a sermon, almost the best I have ever heard, wherein the sanctity of the family and the dignity of labor were held up as needed models in the world to-day. Before the lighted altar of St. Joseph I noticed a magnificent looking hidalgo, muy hijo de algo y de limpia sangre, with three equally grandly built young sons beside him. Such men had never been raised amid city temptations. The line of the four profiles was so similar it was striking. When they rose from prayer, the self-forgetful prayer of the Spaniard with bowed head and closed eyes, the lads pressed about the father they revered, they laid their hands lovingly on his shoulder, the youngest stroked his back as he talked to him; two of the group were probably named José, and the father had come in from a country town to pass his saint's day with his boys at the University. All over the city, cakes and presents were carried openly, for everyone named Joseph (and the Pepes are legion) was keeping open house, and his friends were pouring in to offer congratulations.

In Spain moving scenes are witnessed when the Viaticum is brought to the dying: the inmates of the house go to the church to escort the priest back in procession, the sacristan gives each a lighted candle, then at the door on their return, the servants kneel to receive "el Señor, su Majestad." Sir William Stirling-Maxwell has told of a duchess in Madrid, returning from a ball past midnight, that when a priest passed carrying the sacrament to the dying, she resigned her carriage to him and returned home on foot. It is said that if in a theater the tinkle of a passing bell is heard, actors and audience fall on their knees.

In Seville, in spite of there being none of the mild festivities the foreigner finds in Rome or Florence—not a single tea party!—we never had time to be bored. No sooner were the celebrations for December 8th over than the Christmas fiestas began. Flocks of turkeys were driven through the streets and sold from door to door, and it was comical to see one of the awkward creatures step stiffly into the corridor leading to a patio, gravely crane his neck about to observe the romantic white-marble propriety within the gate, and his stupefaction when the iron reja opened to him with too warm a welcome, alas! In the shop windows were exposed all sorts of useful gifts, silver-necked flagons full of yellow oil, and ornate boxes of cakes. The Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was very solemn under the lofty piers of the Cathedral. The people gathered there seemed to be meditating on the mystery they commemorated, and at the words of the Gospel, "Et Verbum caro factum est," all fell spontaneously to their knees.

Not long after the New Year, the King and Queen, to escape the icy winds of Madrid, came to pass a month in the sun-warmed Alcázar. It was Doña Victoria's first visit to Seville, so the city made it an occasion; triumphal arches were put up across the streets, the fences of the parks were painted crimson and gold, there was a great clipping of trees and repairing of roads,—a bit late this last (but truly Andalusian) for the royal carriages had to grind down the scattered stones,—also, the private houses put on new coats of whitewash. Platforms for seats were built along the route from the station to the Alcázar. We hired chairs on the steps of the Lonja opposite the Cathedral, as it did not seem likely that the old custom of going direct to the church to sing a Te Deum of thanksgiving would be set aside. We were in place early and watched the animated crowds passing,—there was no pushing or crowding. Deputaries in gold lace and medals dashed by; the balconies on all sides, hung with the national colors, were filled with pretty women. The clamor of the Giralda bells told the waiting people the train had arrived; then, as the royal carriage passed, Doña Victoria was given an enthusiastic reception: her bright golden hair and brilliant complexion won cries of "Bonita!" "Simpática!" "Guapa!" Before the cigar factory, where its five thousand employees were grouped, a band of the handsomest cigarreras, in red and yellow silk shawls, stepped forward to present the Queen with a fan made of flowers, on whose floating ribbon was painted a genuine Andalusian welcome:

"Tienes el mismo nombre
Que la Patrona,
Tienes 'ange' en la cara,
Tienes corona,
Dios te bendiga!
Eres la más hermosa
Que entró en Sevilla."


"Thou hast the same name
As our patroness,[29]
Thou hast the face of an angel,
Thou art a queen,
May God bless thee,
The fairest that has come to Seville!"

The loud exclamations of delight in the robust health of the little Prince of Asturias pleased the Queen, and as she passed through the cheering mass of people, she made very gracefully the foreign gesture of greeting, the fingers bent back rapidly on the palm. As the night journey had tired her, the doctors ordered her immediate entrance into the Alcázar, postponing the Te Deum till the afternoon; and Seville, who clings tenaciouly to old customs, was distinctly displeased.

The group that stood on the Cathedral steps later in the day was superb. There was the Archbishop in cope and miter, with his silver crozier, the canons in purple robes, the acolytes bearing the historic crosses carried on festivals, and all the chief citizens of the town. For just this occasion the huge western doors were thrown open, giving a new aspect to the nave; through this door the King is the only one privileged to pass, but on this her first entrance, the Queen too. The Archbishop on first coming to his church and when carried out to his burial passes under this portal. The King and Queen, led by the Archbishop, now walked up the nave, chanting Te Deum laudamus, and before leaving they went to kneel in the Royal Chapel where, before the High Altar, lies King Ferdinand the Saint who conquered Seville in 1248, after five hundred years of Moorish rule. Here on November 23d, anniversary of his entrance to the city, a Military Mass is said, and the colors are lowered as the garrison files past. To a Sevillian that day of 1248 is as alive as the Battle of Lexington to a New Englander.

This being a first visit, some brisk sightseeing was done. They automobiled out to Italica to see the Roman amphitheater there; and the day after her arrival Doña Victoria redeemed the good-will of the Sevillians by driving, in black mantilla, to visit a church in a poor part of the city where is an altar to Our Lady of Hope, dear to expectant mothers. In the Lonja, where the Indian archives are kept, Don Alfonso pored over the maps of Mexico and the autographs of Cortés and Pizarro; in the Museo, the Queen again touched the sentiment of the Spanish women by preferring Murillo's realistic "Adoration of the Shepherds." The Duke of Medinaceli got up some splendid provincial dances and tableaux in his Mudéjar Casa de Pilatos, one of the show places of the town. We happened to meet the pretty peasant girls who had taken part returning home, singing and waving to the crowd, like birds of paradise, in their rose and lemon silk shawls. There seemed to be a congenial companionship between the young royal people. They were at ease together. The King, extremely fragile-looking, has a thin Hapsburg face so eminently sympathetic that sometimes when he would give an affectionate grin at his applauding subjects he made one rather wish to be a Spaniard one's self. With the irresistible impulses of youth he would sally out from the Alcázar to explore the city on foot, like any other happy, free mortal, but sooner or later the cry "El Rey!" would gather a crowd and force him back to his state. One day he had to jump into a fiacre to escape the crush, and it was very jolly to see the descendant of the severe Philip II, of the inflated, pompous Bourbons, dashing through Seville, laughing at the good sport. We often met him riding back from Toblada in the late afternoon from polo, and it certainly appeared as if the affection of his countrymen went with him. I should say few kings are loved as is young Alfonso XIII, and Seville especially prides herself on being muy leal. Did not Alfonso el Sabio (tenth of the name, as this Alfonso is the thirteenth) give the city the famous nodo, seen everywhere as the town crest, for just this trait of loyalty six centuries ago? So several times a day an eager crowd gathered to watch the King pass, or to cheer for the rosy little Prince of Asturias who drove out with his titled governess and two nurses,—one of severe English propriety, the other a romantic Spanish peasant—behind four big mules decked with Andalusian red trappings and bells. A whole series of fêtes were preparing when the tragic assassination of the King of Portugal and his eldest son at Lisbon put a stop to the rejoicing. The sensation in Seville was enormous, as the Portuguese Queen had brought her two sons the year before to follow the services of Holy Week here, and her mother, the Countess of Paris, lives in an estate near the city. Don Alfonso had just gone for a week's big-game hunting to the Granada mountains, when he hurried back to take part in the funeral service held in Madrid at the same hour as that in Lisbon. On his return to Seville his changed appearance showed what a shock the tragedy had been; not relationship alone but friendship united him to Portugal.

Before the Royal visit ended there was a grand review of the troops in the park, where Don Alfonso wore a new uniform, that of the Hussars of Pavia, in commemoration of the great victory of Charles V in Italy four centuries before. Audience was given the envoys from the new King of Sweden in the Ambassador's hall of the Alcázar, which it was said had not been so used since Isabella's day. A mild form of carnival was followed by Ash Wednesday, when the King and Queen and court attended the services in the Capilla Real of the Cathedral, before St. Ferdinand's silver tomb. As they passed out between the dense mass of people, my heart sprang to my mouth when I saw a man struggling to reach the King,—fortunately only a humble petitioner, but the Lisbon assassinations had filled everyone with terror. The royal visit over, came Holy Week, but that and the dancing of the seises merit some pages to themselves.


"I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth."—PSALMS XXV, 8.

"When after many conquerors came Christ
The only conqueror of Spain indeed,
Not Bethlehem nor Golgotha sufficed
To show him forth, but every shrine must bleed,
And every shepherd in his watches heed
The angels' matins sung at heaven's gate.
Nor seemed the Virgin Mary wholly freed
From taint of ill if born in frail estate,
But shone the seraph's queen and soar'd immaculate."

THE eighth of December is a great day in Spain, but more especially in Seville where they look on the Immaculate Conception as their special feast, symbolized, hundreds of years before the dogma was defined, by their fellow townsman Murillo, in the seraphic purity of his Concepción. The celebration began on the day preceding the eighth with an early-morning peal of bells that lasted half an hour, and was frequently repeated during the day. Nothing can express the mad, exultant peal of Spanish bells: one strong metallic dong backward and forward,—or rather over and over, for the bells are balanced with weights and make the complete circle when in motion,—with a running carillon of more musical minor notes. We mounted to a roof terrace to watch the ringers in the Giralda, who in reckless enjoyment, let the rope of the revolving bell toss them aloft, a perilous feat that has led to fatal accidents, but high up in that Moorish tower, above the palm and orange-growing city, a triumphant tumult filling the air, it must be easy to lose one's balance of common-sense.

Toward evening of the Víspera de la Pureza, every one placed lights along the balconies, which were draped with blue and white, those of the Archbishop's palace, under the Giralda, being hung in red and yellow, the national colors. A military band played in one of the smaller plazas, and the Seville girls flocked out in full enjoyment, each with the customary rose or bright ribbon in her hair. The people of the upper classes entertained their friends in open booths around the square.

Then on the eighth itself, the bells fairly out-did themselves in tumultuous clamor, calling all to the Cathedral, that haunting soul of the city, La Grandeza, the noble, the solemn, its special title. Sevillians love to boast that it is bigger than St. Peters in Rome and cite its 15,642 square meters of ground area to St. Peter's 15,160. It is truly one of the most imposing churches in the world; vast and dim, the lofty Gothic piers make double aisles as they rise in springing arches to the roof. I have seen tourists enter laughing and chatting, but before they take ten steps instinctively their voices are lowered and they walk reverently with half-bowed heads. This serious temple to God is worthy of the men of big ideas who decided "to construct a church such and so good it never should have its equal," to accomplish which vow the canons sacrificed their personal revenues, and for a century the Cathedral Chapter ate in common.[30]

December eighth I was in place early, in time to see each lady carry in her own folding chair and set it up in the matted space between the altar and choir: surely it is in church that the Spanish woman is at her best, in her severe black gown, with her veil draped over a high hair comb and gathered gracefully about the shoulders and waist. When she kneels she makes a sign of the cross, which has national additions. After the usual sign from forehead to breast, left shoulder to right, she carries her thumb crossed over her first finger to her lips. I am told this is a token of fidelity to the faith of the cross, and is often a way by which Spaniards recognize their countrymen in foreign countries. And since Seville out-does Spain in most customs, here are still other additions. They precede the sign of the cross by making a small cross on the forehead, lips, and breast; and there are many who even precede this by a first regular sign of the cross, thus making two signs of the cross with the gospel symbol between. All this is done so rapidly that it takes several days of close observation to decipher it.

Gradually the church filled for the great feast, until a solid mass of people knelt or stood in the transepts, covering every foot from which the High Altar could be seen; there was no crowding or impatience, for this was not for them a show, but their daily place of prayer. The onlooking tourist too often forgets this vital difference. In most cases he is ignorant of the meaning of church ritual; mental prayer, meditation on the feast celebrated, the unspeakable spirituality of the Mass are undivined by him; it is curiosity or æsthetic pleasure that usually brings him there. As I thought later during the Holy Week, it must be a soul weariness to sit during long hours, through ceremonies one cannot follow intelligently. On this festival, first there was a procession round the church to bless the various altars dedicated to the Blessed Virgin ("For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things." St. Luke i, 48-49). Over the first altar visited hung Luis de Vargas' celebrated picture of Adam and Eve, the Generación, painted in the sixteen century to symbolize to-day's doctrine. Before the procession walked officers in uniform, then groups of acolytes, bearing antique silver crosses and the six-foot silver poles that end in handsome candle shrines. Seville gentlemen in dress suits followed, and then the Archbishop in cope and miter, with canons, beneficiaries, and choristers in vestments rich in gold and embroidery. The long imposing train passed slowly round the outer aisle. To those who remained before the altar, the chanting of the procession came but faintly, so colossal is the church, though like all well-proportioned things it is only from effects such as this that one realizes its size. The solemn High Mass proceeded, now the deep magnificently male voice of the organs, now the delicate stringed instruments, with human voices, for the Spaniard fearlessly follows his impulses of worship and presses every talent into the service of the altar. Twenty laymen were grouped in the coro about a priest who led with his baton, and beside them stood the chorister lads who were to dance that afternoon before the tabernacle, as David once danced before the Ark of the Covenant. Their mediæval dress, a singularly pleasing Russian blouse of blue and white, with white breeches and slippers, was worn with so unconscious a grace that they were a charming sight as they sang in clear childish treble.

The altar, one blaze of light, was approached by twelve steps, up and down which the bishop and canons swept in their gorgeous robes. Below the steps stood twelve silver candlesticks higher than a man, and close by were displayed the priceless flagons and trays used on high feasts. Every accessory of Seville's Cathedral is on a vast scale; the retablo of carved scenes towers to a hundred feet; the gilded rejas, wrought by the monk of Salamanca in the same disregard for man's limitations in which the whole Cathedral was built, and whose dark fretwork enhances the brilliant scenes they enclose, all tell of an age of ardent faith when men gave of their best.

Los Seises, Cathedral of Seville
Los Seises, Cathedral of Seville

The service over, the Archbishop passed to the sacristy which for this day was thrown open to the people, and they thronged in to kiss the episcopal ring, and to gaze at the Murillos and other masters. Then his vestments laid aside, the prelate, accompanied by a dense crowd, crossed the square to his palace, but before leaving the church, he paused by the chapel of Gonsalvo Núñez de Sepúlveda, who in 1654 left a fortune to the Cathedral that this Octave of the Immaculate Conception should be fitly celebrated. Even after the three-hour service some people lingered in the side chapels, and the choristers, in their picturesque costume, gathered in the capilla mayor of the partly deserted church to continue their songs of praise: not for outer effect alone had these hymns been taught them, but to glorify One unseen but all-seeing. The spirit of inner worship was not lost in its outward symbolization.

During the Octave, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and unceasing were the offices of praise and song. In the late afternoon of each day came the dance of los seises before the Altar, perhaps one of the most poetic customs remaining in Christendom. The Archbishop, in red robes, again entered the chancel surrounded by the canons, and they all knelt, some here, some there, in unconsciously artistic groups,—the strong firm profiles like those of the donors in Italian pictures. Some knelt in meditation, others affectionately watched the dance of the lads; they too, as boys, may have been choristers. It is more a quiet rhythmic stepping to music than a dance, and all the while they sing in their clear, high voices. Twice the music stopped, and for a few seconds the lads moved slowly to the sound of their own castanets. This unique custom commemorates the Christian's entry into the conquered Moslem town more than six hundred years ago, when the children are said to have danced and sung for joy. These twentieth century Christian lads, their part now over, passed up the steps of the altar into a small sacristy behind it; and the musicians continued a lovely concert of sacred music, a last half hour of peace and prayer that seemed like the benediction of the great darkened church on the bowed groups of worshipers.

I came away from the Cathedral every evening with the feeling that there are many and various ways of praising God. Yet so much criticism has this Seville custom roused, that, a few hundred years ago, the Pope ordered its discontinuance, allowing the dance to go on only as long as the costumes then in use should last, but the people, who love their old usages, succeeded in evading the decision by successive patching of the suits. This is the story. Certainly the graceful costumes to-day show no tatters, and they are worn so carelessly that they make no suggestion of masquerade. For the many who crave a quieter form of worship, the grave cathedral services of Northern Spain may be more congenial, but when as many desire magnificence and display, why should not they too be satisfied? The church allows for all tastes and temperaments, knowing man is not cast in one mold. The Puritan in her midst does not have to turn Dissenter; she has her Salvation Army—so I call the pilgrimage-going crowds; the ascetic fulfils the hard law of his nature side by side with the enjoyer of human affections and graces. Seville's feast, rich with old traditions, is appropriate in this southern city. To linger each evening in the vast church lighted only by solitary candles against each pier, to wander behind the kneeling groups listening to the soaring voices of man and violin, to pause beside a certain tomb in the south transept where four mammoth figures of bronze, ungainly on close view but in a half light majestic, bear on their shoulders a bier which holds the remains of Cristóbal Colón,—such hours of loitering quicken the imagination and leave behind them memories of beauty.


"A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance."

ECCLES. iii, 4.

AN overcrowded picture rises with the thought of Seville's Semana Santa,—glittering lights, statues laden with jewels, weird masked figures in nazareno costume marching to the sound of funeral dirges, cries of street vendors and children,—all is noise, movement, color, a true Andalusian scene. Spectacular effect is the first impression of the week, a gorgeous pageantry that suits the Sevillian's temperament but is not so congenial perhaps to the northerner, who would have the commemoration of his religion's solemn hour a more tranquil time of prayer.

Happily there are other memories carried away as well as this chief one of noisy confusion. Never to be forgotten was the Cathedral echoing at midnight to the sound of Eslava's "Miserere" sung by hundreds of trained voices. Every inch of the vast church was packed. Men and women stood in silence, with upraised faces, as they listened to the music of the old canon who once sat in this choir. The lightest mocker would be awed to silence under those soaring arches. For majesty, for a contagious religious emotion, the Cathedral of Seville at the time of its feasts is only to be rivaled by Santa Sophia during Ramazan, on that memorable Night of Power when eight thousand Mussulmans kneel prostrate under the floating circles of lamps. These two stand supreme; so different in the setting,—the one rich with color, an open blaze of light beneath the wide Byzantine dome, the other dim, mysterious Gothic,—they are alike in the genuine thrill of worship they give the onlooker of every creed.

Familiar with her Cathedral in its every-day aspect, having seen the celebrations of December 8th, the Christmas Midnight Mass, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, it was cruel to find its grand tranquillity violated during the Holy Week. It is the processions, called the pasos, that are the cause of the disorder. A paso is a huge platform, on which are placed carved statues representing scenes of the Passion. Each float is carried by some thirty men, and its weight must be enormous, for besides the statues there are silver candelabra, gold and silver vases, and usually a canopy of embroidered velvet upheld by silver poles. Could one but look on them as mere spectacular shows, they would be most picturesque pageants, but to dissociate them from religion is impossible. The custom is an ancient one and is still prevalent in many towns of Spain, through happily, in the smaller places, its original purpose to edify and rouse the people to rememberance of the holy season, has not been lost sight of in extravagant display as at Seville.

Each of Seville's numerous parishes has one or two of these pasos, and an unworthy rivalry exists between them as to which will make the best show. They are supposed to be scenes of the Passion, such as the Flagellation, Christ before Pilate, the Descent from the Cross, but for the most part they consist of single figures—a Crucifixion followed by a Nuestra Señora de Dolores, another Crucifixion followed by another single representation of Our Lady, and so on in monotonous sequence, a repetition that makes the spectator fix his attention, not on the scene represented but on details such as the embroidery of the robes, the display of rare jewels, the elaborate canopy. The pasos struck me as the result of that regrettable tendency in Spain, the accentuated devotion to a special shrine or statue. No doubt it arose in reaction against the Moorish enemy's hatred of images, but the patriotic tendency has been carried too far. It will ever misrepresent the Spaniard's innate Christian belief. As these processions blocked the city streets, one heard on every side, not alone from those of differing creed, exclamations of "Pomp! Show! Childishness!" And the criticism was almost justified. Many strangers leave Seville confirmed in the wrong idea that its religion is an affair of tinsel and lights. Spain cares little what outsiders think of her, but here is a case in which she should consider the discredit that a degenerated custom brings on her religion; she should sacrifice an old tradition. Like the processions of Havana, the pasos should go. The northern Spaniard agrees with the stranger in his dislike of the noisy spectacles that so incongruously commemorate the saddest death-scene of the ages, and there are many Andalusians, too, who wish for their abolition. In fact, it is the rabble and the innkeepers who agitate in their favor; these last keep petitions for their foreign guests to sign, begging that the processions be continued. Seville need not fear she will lose prestige should she drop them, that the tourists will no longer flock to her each spring; she is only beginning to be known for having a winter climate surpassing that of Rome and Naples; pasos or not, visitors will inevitably increase.

The objectionable processions began to march late in the afternoon of Palm Sunday, and it is hardly much of an exaggeration to say they went on marching night and day throughout the following week. They were so long that they took five or six hours to pass a given spot. Starting back in the narrow streets of the town, they passed down the Sierpes which was lined with spectators' chairs, defiled before the City Hall, where the Mayor rose to salute each paso in turn, then went on to the Cathedral,—entering by a west door, crossing before the altar, and leaving by the door near the Archbishop's palace. With each paso marched the religious confraternity of its parish, a secular brotherhood of men belonging to all ranks, who are banded together for charitable work. The King belongs to one of these fraternities and when in Seville marches in line, but the year of our visit he was represented by the military governor of the province. The officers of the army also marched. Most of these brotherhoods wore Nazarene costume, in white, purple, or black, with the high-peaked head gear through which only the eyes showed. Some walked devoutly, others in disorder. Membership in religious brotherhoods is often hereditary, and it was touching to see a little child of four, in full regalia, marching with the grown men, planting his silver staff at each slow pace with the gravity of a majordomo. A band of music went with each fraternity, and the blare of brass instruments, the torches, the masked faces, make indeed a confused, wearying spectacle.

Most of the onlookers hired chairs for the week along the streets, on balconies, or in that most chosen spot, the square by the City Hall; the populace thronged to the Cathedral, where the procession could be seen free, and there the crowd was dense to suffocation, chiefly made up of the disorderly element from Triana. The chatter and movement made me ask, could this be a Spanish church, where irreverence is unknown? Everyone seemed oblivious of the Tenebræ in the coro. They buzzed and moved about in an unseemly scramble for seats, so that only faintest echoes of Jeremiah's gloriously intoned Lamentations could be heard. The sexton rose now and then from the noisy groups on the choir steps to extinguish one by one the candles on the big triangular candlestick, a noble object of bronze used only at this season. And I had looked forward for months to hearing, in this grand Gothic Cathedral, my favorite service of the church year, the solitary service that haunts one with its subtle beauty from one's childhood. The disappointment was keen, it gave just the final touch to my dislike of the pasos.

There were times when I tried to be just. Seeing the men lift their hats respectfully as each group went by, the women cross themselves with tears in their eyes, the babies look on in awed wonder, I tried to drop prejudice and to see the spectacle as does a southern Spaniard: the noisy scene is so associated with his earliest, tenderest memories that he cannot but look at it in a different way. One evening near me, a handsome young countryman,—moved out of all self-consciousness by the Virgen santísima he so loved, in her wonderful robe and jewels, under a canopy richer than any earthly queen's,—this gallant young majo stood forward suddenly from the crowd and, with his eyes fastened on the glittering mass, sang a copla of praise with the heart-piercing note of the folk-song. So faultlessly artistic a moment made me look leniently on the pasos for a time, warning me, "Lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." But to be consistent in this home of untamed personalities is impossible! For soon a float of extravagant bad taste would go by; horses with tails of real hair; clumsy velvet robes hiding the excellent carving of the statues (and some of them are the work of the best sculptor of Seville, Montañés, whose portrait by Velasquez hangs in the Prado); worst of all the Mater Dolorosa, covered with inappropriate jewels, some willed her by former generations, others lent by rich Sevillian ladies of to-day, in her hand the lace handkerchief of a coquette: criticism would leap to full life again.

That the pasos violated the quiet of the Cathedral, that they reeked of the baroque period of bad art, these are not the only complaints against them. They turn all Seville into a picnic week. We began to ask ourselves if this noisy excitement commemorated a solemn time, what would the following week of the Fair be like? The Andalusian can hold revelry with zest and vigor for fourteen unbroken days. Easter week was to open with the Italian opera and the first bull-fight of the year; there were to be three days of horse and cattle show, followed by three days of the grand Feria, when the whole province pours into Seville, and the nights are one glare of fireworks; maja and majo are then out in all their finery, and the families of the upper classes live in open booths on the fair grounds, where they pay visits and dance the national dances in public with the easy democracy of true Spaniards. Much as we hoped to see this typical feast, it began to dawn on us early in the week that there were limits to endurance. The hurrying crowds, the blocking of the streets, the noise of vendors, of clashing music, made the fatigue indescribable. Sleep at night was out of the question, noisy Triana roamed the streets; brass bands would sound, and in nervous excitement one would spring to the balcony. The hotels were packed to an uncomfortable extent. By Good Friday all desire to stay over for the Fair week was extinguished; we were very close to physical collapse. So, taking a night train, we slipped away from the turmoil to have a peaceful Easter Sunday in unspoiled Estremadura. There also they were having pasos, but pasos of such simple devotion, humble, and primitive, that one knelt with the crowd in prayer as they passed.

Before this final, hasty desertion, however, I had dragged myself, worn out with a sleepless night, to the lengthy services in the Cathedral each morning. There, happily, was nothing to criticise. The Holy Week ceremonies customary to all Catholic Christendom, were carried through with dignity; only, since this was irrepressible Spain, there were some local additions, and most beautiful ones. Such was the waving of a huge flag, black, with a large red cross, like the banner of some military order, before the High Altar, while some special prayers were read; love of country and love of God seem so inextricably interwoven here. On Palm Sunday the Cathedral was filled with the stately white leaves, six and ten feet long, from the palm forest of Elche; each canon carried one and each verger; the priests and acolytes who served the Mass bore each his palm, and they waved and swayed around the altar in lovely symbolization of the Entry into Jerusalem twenty centuries before. Pictures like that never fade. A year later in Palestine, it rose vividly before me, while driving out to Bethany, when we passed some hundreds of humble Russian pilgrims tramping back from the Dead Sea, each of whom bore a palm. For in very reality they were following the route of entry into the Holy City. Seville Cathedral on Palm Sunday morning was not unworthy to be grouped with that moving scene. The excessively long Gospel was chanted in the customary different keys by three canons, one standing in the Epistle pulpit, one in the Gospel, and the third on a rostrum erected between the two. Near me several Spaniards of the artisan class followed in Latin every word of the lengthy chanting. The tourists present who knew not what was read, fretted and moved incessantly. No intelligent person should attend a Holy Week in either Seville or Rome without a special book, picked up anywhere for a couple of francs, in which the services are given in Latin and English, or Latin and French. Without the liturgy to voice these ceremonies, they must be weary hours indeed. And yet of the hundreds of visitors on this Palm Sunday, literally, not one followed with a book, and many perhaps held themselves competent to criticise what they had seen.

Expectant of the sensational, the tourists filled the great church on Holy Thursday morning, when the white veil was withdrawn: it was done so swiftly, at the opportune words of the Gospel, that there was nothing spectacular about it. Two days later, at the moment in the Mass when every bell in the city bursts out in joyous acclamation of the Resurrection, the black veil was rent; that we missed seeing. Some days before Holy Week a towering temple of wood, white and gilt, a hundred feet high, had been erected in the nave over the tomb of Columbus' son. This pseudo-classic temple, completely out of touch with the Gothic church, was to serve as the repository of the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday, and it was for the center of such shrines that the old silversmiths of Spain, the de Arfe family, made their priceless silver monumentos. Such repositories are customary in all Catholic lands on Thursday of Holy Week, for in the midst of sorrow, the Church celebrates the foundation of the Sacrament that has brought joy and solace to mankind. She commemorates the events of the week chronologically. Before the altars are dismantled for Good Friday, she typifies by lights and flowers, her gratitude for that passover supper in the upper room. It is a general Catholic custom to visit a number of these lighted shrines on Holy Thursday, and in Seville this usage leads to one of the charming things of the week, like an oasis of peace in the midst of the arid pasos. Everyone pays these visits on foot. During two days not a carriage is allowed in the city, the King himself must walk. Their silk mantillas, black or white, draped high over their combs, wearing jewels and carrying flowers, the ladies of Seville went from church to church, to kneel in graceful groups around the exposed Host, and the men in frock coats and high hats stood in the rear, in simple attitudes of prayer: the Spaniard and the Mussulman are alike in their unconsciousness at their devotions. The next day all would wear deep mourning, but to-day is a feast of rejoicing. Each one goes in quiet composure, as if her mind dwelt on the hours of peace her communions had brought her. Again I felt the same impression that the Christmas midnight Mass had given me; that the imagination of this people was busy with the past event they were celebrating. Does not lack of comprehension of old usages often mean lack of the shaping power of the imagination?

From one parish church to another I followed these fascinating women. Here was true Seville, not seen in the Cathedral's tourist crowd, nor under Parisian hats on the Paseo. Wandering through the network of streets north of the Sierpes, I paused to look into the spotless patios distant as they ever seem from the fret of life. A touch of summer was in the air; the marble courtyards were decked with flowers, and one heard the notes of singing birds. Two dark-eyed ladies came out from a tranquil patio; they wore white mantillas in honor of their visits to the Blessed Sacrament. They set me dreaming of Seville in its summer aspect, when the skies are blue in the fragrant night. Nowhere on earth are women more alluring and essentially feminine, nowhere has man fashioned his house so fitly for charm and romance.

By chance, on Holy Thursday, I stumbled on another local usage, full of the same racial flavor. Returning from the Cathedral, where, amid a throng of sight seers, the Archbishop had carried the Host to the lighted monumento, I happened to drop into the Church of the Magdalena. It was filled with its own parishioners, since most Spaniards leave the Cathedral services of this crowded week to the visitors. Near the door were seated three separate groups of ladies and young girls, belonging unmistakably to the aristocracy; each wore a black mantilla,[31] and in their tight-fitting black gowns and long white gloves, they were indescribably elegant. They were the ladies in waiting of the various altars, their duties to tend them, and like the men's brotherhoods, to help in the charitable work of the parish. The Magdalena Church is dark, so on the table before these daughters of Eve stood a pair of high candlesticks, between which lay an open tray soliciting contributions for their special shrines or charities. Young beaux entered the church and as they passed the table, dropped a duro or a paper bill in the different trays, according as they felt devotion to such and such an altar, or to judge by the glances that passed between the givers and receivers, as they felt devotion to its fair caretaker. Unexpected scenes like this, unmentioned in the guide books, give to this city its allurement, enhanced doubly because the actors are so unconscious of their picturesqueness.

And as unpleasant things fade away, leaving only the happier memories, two scenes stand out unforgettable in Seville's Holy Week: Eslava's "Miserere," echoing at midnight through the Cathedral whose name is fittingly the Grandeza, and that other picture, enchantingly Andalusian, the ladies in mantillas paying their silent visits to the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday. The pasos fade to a blurred background of pomp and glitter.


"Para que yo te olvidará
Era menester que hubiera
Otro mundo, y otro cielo,
Y otro Dios que dispusiera."


—"The sea tides tossing free,
And Spanish sailors with bearded lips,
And the witchery and beauty of the ships,
And the magic of the sea."

IN the midst of the warm Seville winter the thought of sea breezes tempted us to Cadiz for a week. The hundred miles' run down there was through a charming corner of Andalusia, with orange groves, olive plantations, woods of stone pines, hedges of cactus, in the meadows herds of most royal bulls. It was the eighteenth of January, yet the fruit trees were in blossom, and over the streams floated a lovely white-flowering verdure. We passed Jerez, source of English sherry, where on our return to Seville we stopped some hours to see the bodegas and sample the native wine. As we neared the coast big pyramids of salt covered the marshes, telling of another industry; in fact, every part of Andalusia which I saw was well cultivated, despite the guide book laments over its backwardness.

Soon came whiffs of the sea air. The first view of Cadiz, set right out to sea, is very striking. Only a narrow strip of sand, eight miles long, connects it with the mainland, and as we skirted the coast, past San Fernando,—where there is a naval station and an astronomical observatory,—the compact, sturdy little city out in the Atlantic made a stunning picture; the sea so very blue, the town so dazzlingly white.

And inside the treble line of walls and moats that defend its one land-entrance, the "silver dish," as its citizens love to call it, has as individual a character as its distant prospect. It is miraculously clean, its streets seem swept and scrubbed like a Dutch village. Down these narrow lanes you catch the gleam of the sea to east, to north, to west. When it rains, Seville turns into a muddy distress, but well-drained Cadiz grows more proper still in wet weather. The patio of the rest of Andalusia is not found here, for being confined to its ledge of shells, the town could not spread itself about, but had to build itself up in the air. On top of the high houses, whose vivid green balconies add to the general air of trig neatness, are miradores, small towers formerly built by the merchants as look-outs from which they could spy their returning galleons. The view of Cadiz from a mirador is like nothing else ever seen: the clean whiteness of hundreds of roof terraces, the church towers of colored tiles and a host of other miradores, made it seem like a second city in itself, suggestive of the Orient; a strange city set in the blinding blue circle of the ocean.

The town is almost surrounded by high sea walls, four miles of them, and on the Atlantic side the surf breaks in thundering eternity, throwing up spray twenty feet high. There is something splendidly plucky about Cadiz. One of the few spots in Europe forced to battle for her existence, with a devouring enemy at her door, she thrives and continues century after century. She is the oldest town in Spain, founded by Phœnician mariners more than a thousand years before the Christian Era.

"Ah when the crafty Tyrian came to Spain
To barter for her gold his motley wares,
Treading her beaches he forgot his gain,
The Semite became noble unawares."

Spain has influenced them all, all the strangers, the heterogeneous throng, that have gone to the making of the Spanish race. Phœnician, Roman, Iberian, Goth, Jew, and Moor, she has imprinted on them all her own distinguishing mark, has breathed into them her own intense soul. For this psychological reason it is true to say that Seneca was a Spaniard, that the wonderful Jew Maimonides and the Moor Averroës, and the Gothic bishop, Isidoro, Doctor of the Church were all of them Spaniards. The Catalan, Ramón Lull rang out the national note with no uncertain sound, mystic hermit and active missionary. And with the centuries "christened in blood and schooled in sacrifice," the spirit grew more convincingly apparent: Domingo de Guzmán, Francisco Ximenez, Gonsalvo de Córdova, Luis de León, Iñigo de Loyola are very brothers with a like high fealty that tells what majestic mother nurtured them on her battlefield of ages.

Cadiz, the oldest spot in Spain, has known each of the conquering races in turn. She was four hundred years old when Rome was founded. She has had tremendous ups and downs of fortune; at her height during the age of the Cæsars, who saw her importance as key to Andalusia, then with the fall of Rome dropped into insignificance, her name almost forgotten. She rose again with the discovery of the New World, whose ships of treasure anchored off her ramparts. A strange outlook on the passing of power lies in the statement that in 1770 this town was a wealthier place than London. With the loss of the Colonies, Cadiz has sunk back to be a mediocre city in the world, but she is contented and self-respecting.

Though so remotely ancient, there is nothing of old architecture here. The ramparts have been turned into esplanades, where it is a joy to walk, for the views are beautiful past description; now across the bay to the mainland and the mountains of Ronda, and down on the quay of the town itself with its bay full of fishing boats; then to the north the eye seeks farther along the coast toward Palos whence three caravels, the Pinta, the Niña and the Santa María turned westward on a memorable third of August, 1492. On the other side of Cadiz is the ocean itself and I hope the enterprising town will some day carry the park along this western wall, where the rollers break so magnificently. Just past the public gardens, a narrow causeway leads to the lighthouse of San Sebastián, set well out to sea, a favorite walk for us at sunset time to watch the fishing boats with their high prows come sailing back to the harbor each evening. The sunsets we saw in Cadiz were flaming pink and gold and red like those of the world on the other side of the Atlantic; also we saw a sunrise exquisite as a dream. It was here the ancients first met the suggestive wonder of the open ocean, and their philosophers pondered over the phenomenon of the tides. They thought that subterranean animals or winds sucked them in; and the sun, they said, when it had sunk in the western ocean, returned to the east by subterranean passages,—guesses about as wise as some that we are making to-day on phenomena of the soul.

I do not know if it was just chance good fortune, but Cadiz will always be an exhilarating memory. Its air was so bracing, balmy yet full of vitality. The moral atmosphere seemed joyous and contented; a hurdy-gurdy would strike up below in the street with the bang of a tambourine, and from all the windows near, pennies would gayly rattle down. The people were courteous without second thought. A working man walked out of his way for ten minutes to direct us through the complicated streets, and then ran off with a laugh to avoid the fee; a shopman straightened eye-glasses and genuinely refused to be paid for so small a service; wonder of wonders when our luggage got carried in the wrong hotel diligence, the landlord refused to let us pay. Three such episodes of disinterestedness in one morning give one a pleasant impression of a place; and this town has presented itself to other travelers as happily. Byron, to whom this "renowned romantic land" as he called her, was eminently sympathetic, wrote to his mother, in 1809, "Cadiz, sweet Cadiz! it is the first spot in the creation. The beauty of its streets and mansions are only excelled by the loveliness of its inhabitants, the finest women in Spain."

Cadiz is enough of a place, with a bishopric and a garrison, to have the air of a capital; we noticed many men of the best hidalgo type, like those who stand behind Spínola in the "Surrender of Breda." In the park was an outdoor theater; children played diavolo; and nice little Spanish girls walked up and down with their English governesses. One could write or sew outdoors without exciting a glance of surprise. We used to spend hours under the palm trees of the Alameda sewing and reading and watching the groups about us, for in spite of its being mid-winter, the air was warm enough for spending the day out-of-doors. Cleanliness and godliness: Cadiz can boast of excellent public institutions. The new hospital that faces the Atlantic breezes, and where only a fraction of a franc is paid daily, could well be envied by the rich of new world cities. Its poor house is noted, and it has a host of minor charities; a Casa de Viudas for widows, a Casa de Hermanos, a Casa de Locos for the insane, tended, as are the others, by alert, willing nuns. It is a public-spirited little city, with a school of music and art, an Instituto whose physical laboratory is the best in Spain, two Public Libraries, for that of the Bishop is also open free to the people.

The tourist sights here are soon seen; the Capuchin church where Murillo painted his last picture, and where he fell from the scaffold, soon after dying in Seville from the accident. There are two Cathedrals, one so sacked by English bucaneers that there is little to be seen, and the other a quite dreadful eighteenth century affair. The dull Museo has some good modern works, a bishop's head in profile by García y Ramos that is first rate art; and there is a triptych by a very early painter, Gallegos, the Spanish Primitive, which to my mind is more religious than the Murillos and the Zurbarans. It is a Pietà, and the eyes of the mourners are naïvely red from weeping, like Francia's Pietàs in Parma.

Almost impregnable walls and moats shut off the isthmus that leads to the mainland, and their strength explains how Cadiz could have defied the French for two years during the War of Liberation, without suffering the horrors of the Gerona siege. The blockade began in 1808, soon after the heroic Dos de Mayo in Madrid. Quintana's poem rang like a trumpet call over the land: "¡Antes la muerte que consentir jamás ningún tirano!" No idle boast! Spain was celebrating the centenary of the second of May during our visit, and the scenes were moving and patriotic. You realized Lord Peterborough's remark, that this was an unconquerable land if her people resisted the invader. Statues and tablets for the war heroes were unveiled, and songs and marches composed for the anniversary. The artillery officers organized a splendid parade of children that marched under the arch of Montleón, where Ruiz, and Velarde, and Daoiz fought, and there the King, holding the baby Prince of Asturias in his arms, showed him how to kiss his country's flag. Memorial Mass was said in the street outside the house where Velarde died, and toward evening one of the Madrid parishes marched out, its priests leading, to the cemetery where the Dos de Mayo victims were buried, and deposited wreaths in patriotic reverence.

Cadiz' old church, St. Philip Neri, is where the permanent endurance of the first outburst of patriotism in 1808 was made possible. Here the Cortes met again after three hundred years' suppression under the Hapsburgs and Bourbons, here they abolished the Inquisition, and here they drew up the Constitution of 1812, which was to be tossed backward and forward during the next half century of disorders, to emerge finally with victory.

An eloquent priest was the first speaker to open the historic meeting, and as he laid down the program, the sovereignty of the nation to lie in the Cortes, and the King to exist for the people, not the people for the King as heretofore, Spain again had her foot on the ladder of progress. No wonder that the national military air of Spain is the Marcha de Cádiz. The clean, smokeless, plucky little city has right to a proud stand out in the Atlantic. Her age-long enemy, the ocean, had trained her well to strike a first blow for freedom.


"Don Quixote is not, as Montesquieu pretended, the only good Spanish book, which in reaction against the national spirit, ridiculed the others. It is rather the epitome of our national spirit, war-like and religious, full of sane realism and none the less enthusiastic for all that is great and beautiful."—Don Juan Valera.

IT was the German philosopher Hegel who called the "Romancero del Cid" the most nobly beautiful poem, ideal and real at the same time, that the Epic Muse had inspired since Homer. Ideal and real at the same time, herein lies the first characteristic of Spanish literature, of to-day as well as of the past. No keener realistic pictures of a nation were ever drawn than in "Quixote," yet no book was ever more idealistic; and the path plowed so deeply by Cervantes, has been followed by the modern novelists of Spain. Their feet are well planted on the ground, but they do not think it necessary to prove they walk the earth by wallowing in its mud. These modern Spanish romances tell of the passions and sorrows of virile men and women, and at the same time they can boast that they are free from the moral evil so rampart in French novels. "Quixote" is not exactly a prude's book, yet the "jeune fille" can read it unharmed and Cervantes has served in this point as a standard.[32]

St. Francis of Assisi A wood-carving by Carmona, Museum of León
St. Francis of Assisi
A wood-carving by Carmona, Museum of León

Few realize the delightful field of modern fiction that lies ready to be explored once enough Spanish has been mastered for reading. After three months' study only we found we could take up and enjoy "Don Quixote," for contrary to the popular idea, its language is no more archaic than is the English of Hamlet or Henry IV; a great genius fixes the tongue in which he writes.

The best of the novelists of this last half century, when the revival came about, are Valera and Pereda. Some would make a triology by placing Pérez Galdós side by side with them. For instance the historian Altamira, being in sympathy with the frankly revolutionary theories which Galdós advocates, calls him the first, the Balzac of Spain, but the Balzac of a people is never against the traditions of his race as Galdós often is. "Toda comparación es odiosa" the dear Don warns us. Personally I give the first place to Valera and Pereda, in whose work is found the note of literature; Pereda the strength of the northern mountains, Valera the allurement of the south. Happily for their permanence and their value as human documents, the Spanish writers are local. Each describes his own province, his own paisanos. Doña Emilia Pardo Bazán paints her Galicia; Alacón his Andalusia; Valdés and Pérez Galdós are more cosmopolitan and I should say lose by it; Blasco Ibáñez writes of Valencia, Leopoldo Alas has vivified the Asturias.

The revival of the novela de costumbres, which suits the Spanish temperament, just as the romantic or fantastic tale suits the German, may be said to have been started by that talented Sevillian authoress who wrote under the name of Fernán Caballero. She had not the gift of a good style, and most of her books are already of the past, but in "La Gaviota," published in 1849, her passionate love for Spain and its ways has made a novel that is likely to endure. The tale tells of many old customs: how on the night of November 2d, the Brotherhood of the Rosary of the Dawn rises to pray for the souls in Purgatory, how one of the sodality goes from house to house to rouse the others, striking a bell and singing:

"I am at your door with a bell;
I do not call you; it does not call you;
'T is your mother, 't is your father who call you,
And they beg you to pray for them to God."

And each member rises and follows the fraternity. A land does not lose that has such customs among its peasantry, that weaves in its religious belief with the inextricable souvenirs of home and childhood. A Spanish child is brought up on songs of the Passion and the Virgin as naturally as we on Mother Goose. When he sees a chimney-sweep he exclaims "El Rey Melchor!" for the visit of the Three Kings of the East is real to him. He knows the owl was present at the Crucifixion, whence his terror-stricken cry of "Crux! Crux!" that the kindly swallows relieved the Saviour of the thorns, and the gold-finches of the three agonizing nails:

"En el monte Calvario      En el monte Calvario
 Las golondrinas Los jilgueritos
 Le quitaron á Cristo Le quitaron á Cristo
 Las cinco espinas. Los tres clavitos."

The serpent according to Spanish lore, went proudly erect after his success with Eve, until down in Egypt one day, he tried to bite the little Infant Jesus, whereupon St. Joseph indignantly rebuked him and ordered him never to rise again. The rosemary is loved and given away as presents because when formerly a common plant, once the Blessed Virgin hung out on it to dry the clothes of her divine Infant, and it became forever green and fragrant. The children at play sing these legends and folk-songs; on Christmas eve they dance their "Alegría! Alegría! Alegría!" A suggestive young writer of Granada, Angel Ganivet, says that in Spain Christian philosophy did not remain hidden in books, but worked its way into the very life of the people, where it is found in the popular songs and customs: "Nuestra 'Summa' teológica y filosófica está en nuestro 'Romancero.'"

Fernán Caballero started the revival of the novel and its flowering soon followed. Don Juan Valera, though always interested in literature, had been prevented by his active life from himself writing till middle age. When in 1874 "Pepita Jiménez" appeared, it took his countrymen by storm, and this first novel, written by chance, was soon followed by others; a true creative artist had tardily discovered his genius. I cannot speak of Don Juan Valera without an admiration which to those who do not know his works may seem extreme. From his books his personality stands out as clearly as that of Cervantes, equable, high-minded, with that mellow wisdom which has gleaned the best from a life full of opportunities. In his "Discursos Academicos," two volumes that make enchanting reading—enchanting and academical do not often go together—he disclaims the title of thinker, yet he was a profound observer. His satire is of that kindly quality that leaves no sting. He has charm, that salt of the writer; he is never exaggerated nor embittered. This quality of amenity he shares too with his master, whom he can write of with an absolute comprehension just as Cervantes himself could make a Quixote because he was akin. It was a happy chance that the last words of the modern novelist (over eighty and blind, yet alert in mental interests) should have been the unfinished paper for the Royal Academy, to celebrate in 1904 the three hundredth anniversary of "Don Quixote." His Spanish blood let Valera understand the heights of mysticism, skeptic though he was by force of circumstances; he could write with enthusiasm of St. Teresa. On woman he held advanced ideas, he advocated her highest education, especially the cultivation of letters, for he said that if man alone wrote half the knowledge of the human soul would be lost; civilizations where women are not given education and knowledge never arrive at their full flowering; it is as if the collective soul of the nation had clipped one of its wings. His own culture was an all-round one. He had the intimate knowledge that residence in foreign lands gives: English thought, German, Italian, Austrian, American north and south, the Orient and its religions, in every country his literary interests had been alert. Thus he had a curiously minute knowledge of the North American poets. Of his own race essentially, he yet was cosmopolitan in the higher meaning of the word. All that went to make up dislike and division between nations he deplored as ignorance of man's higher destiny of brotherhood. It is not hard to read between the lines sometimes of his sensitive shrinking in his travels under the uncomprehending criticism of his native land; the world, especially the English-speaking world, has but a veiled contempt for things Spanish. He has righted his country in his books without a touch of aggressive impatience, by simply describing things as they are.

Valera has set his romances in the Andalusia he knew best. He was born at Cabra in the province of Cordova in 1824, the son of a naval officer and the Marquesa de Paniega. He received the best of educations and when twenty-two accompanied the Spanish ambassador, the poet-duke de Rivas to Naples. Then followed half a life-time of diplomatic posts: Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Dresden, St. Petersburg, as Minister Plenipotentiary to Washington in 1883 and later to Brussels, finally as Ambassador to Vienna. He was also a member of the Cortes, a Councilor of State, and was one of the embassy sent to Florence to offer the Crown to Amadeus I. During the two years of the Republic he retired, but returned to active life on the advent of Alfonso XII. Although a man of the world Valera was a born artist. Only in his first romance did he show the hand of the novice. His literary style is a simple and limpid medium that leaves behind unfading pictures of country and town; he has done what Balzac calls adding new beings à l'état civil.

"Pepita Jiménez" came out in 1874, "Doña Luz" in 1879, two vignettes of Andalusian women immortalizing two very different types; Pepita of grace, passion, charm, compact, of the very heart of femininity, adorable despite her failings, achieving her own happiness against all odds; Doña Luz, idealistic, dignified in mind and manner, of the type of a Vittoria Colonna, proudly bearing the heart-outrage fate sent her, since her soul, for her the essential, had found its mystic way out. I do not think that in any fiction there is a more subtly given relationship than that of this noble creature Luz and the Dominican missionary from the Philippines, Padre Enrique, scholar and dumb poet. What with a Zola had been revolting, with Valera is humanly heart-breaking and spiritually ennobling, it could shock no piety; only a man of elevated character and the most sensitive discernment could so touch on undefined emotions. The friendship of Doña Luz and the doctor's captivating daughter is a warm-hearted relationship of two young and pretty women declared impossible by many novelists. This tale of beautiful and tragic sincerity had been preceded by another, also set in one of the smaller Andalusian towns, and written with the lightness of manner and seriousness of matter that show the master hand: "El Comendador Mendoza," I cannot help feeling veils much of the author's own self. These stories show the soundness of the simple people. Swift marriages are looked on with disapproval; how, they ask, can esteem or true knowledge of character be gained in a few months.[33] So in Spain the opportunities allowed the novios, the young people who choose each other from mutual attraction, are unheard of in France or Italy. High-born or lowly, a Spanish girl can savor the romance of life, without disrepute, by talking at the reja during the midnight hours; before marriage she is allowed a freedom of speech, a sal, a self-development, denied her sisters in other Latin countries.

It is not possible to touch on all of Valera's stories, for his vein once discovered, proved a rich one. His longest novel has a poorly-chosen name, "Las Ilusiones del Doctor Faustino" and is not very well constructed, not enough is eliminated for art; but always there is the charm of the south, the midnight talking at the reja—those happy novios of Spain!—the drowsiness of the noontime siesta, the vivacity of the evening tertulia, that innocent way of diverting themselves every night from nine to twelve, the same group of friends meeting year after year. Constantly, as I read Spanish novels, I say a people that get so much out of so little are a lovable people, wholesome and of vigorous promise.

It was indeed with very different eyes that I looked out on the distant towns as we passed in the train, they were peopled now with living people, a Pepita, a high-minded Luz, a philosophic Don Fresco, a kindly Doña Araceli, I felt that I was not quite a stranger here, now that Don Juan Valera had lifted from me the curtain of ignorance and prejudice that hides the everyday life of Spain.

The same year that saw the appearance of "Pepita Jiménez" brought to light another tale that will last as long, it does not seem too much to say, as the "Quixote" itself. In "El Sombrero de Tres Picos," Alacón has achieved a masterpiece. It is a slight tale of a few hundred pages, in the genre style, a picture of the old régime before the French invasion of 1808 broke down the Chinese wall of the Pyrenees. No description can do justice to its crisp, sparkling charm, to Frasquita, beautiful as a goddess, Eve herself, with a laugh like the repique de Sábado de Gloria; to her ugly, ironical, adorably malicious and sympathetic husband Lucas, the vibrant note of whose voice won all hearts, to whom his Frasquita was más bueno que el pan. Lucas and his wife are Shakespearean creations. Then there is that pompous vanity, the Corregidor, Don Eugenio de Zúñigo y Ponce de León, in his red cape, gold shoe buckles, and hat of three peaks. What a scene is that of the Bishop's visit to the miller's garden! And in what country but democratic Spain would a bishop stroll out with canons and grandees to while away a friendly hour with a miller? Inimitable tale, Spanish to the core, it is this that make a nation's glory, a "Don Quixote," a "Sotileza," a "Doña Luz," a "Sombrero de Tres Picos."

Don Pedro Antonio de Alacón belonged, like Valera, to an old family of Andalusia, but not in the elder novelist's fortunate circumstances; one of ten sons, he had more or less to place himself in life. He was born in Gaudix in 1833; studied law at the University of Granada; and naturally gravitated toward Madrid, the center of political and literary interests. He flung himself headlong into the republican anti-clerical ideas of that troubled time, but in later life his theories toned down so that he ended as a believer and a liberal conservative. Throughout a long political career Alacón kept his honor unstained; although often with friends in power, it was only after twenty-one years of politics that he accepted a post, on the advent of Alfonso XII, whose return he had advocated long before it came about. He had begun writing when very young, thus "El Clavo," a powerful sketch, was done when barely twenty. Like many of Spain's authors, he turned soldier when the call came, and served in the 1860 campaign in Africa of which he has left a vivid chronicle, "Diario de un Testigo de la Guerra en Africa." "El Sombrero" was followed by "El Escándalo," a novel widely discussed in Spain. The story opens strongly, but it scatters toward the end; Alacón is better in the tale than in sustained work. He can snap his fingers at our criticism, his Corregidor and his Molinera have made him one of the immortals.

To another modern novelist, to Pérez Galdós, I feel I am not fair, but I find so much of his work antipathetic that, as he has not a good style and often offends good taste, I cannot force a liking. Brunetière speaks of the intolerance of the naturalist school of novelists, the intolerance of the free-thinker. Those who advocate the extreme republican, anti-clerical theories in Spain have this intolerance to a marked degree. Pérez Galdós is so biassed that he distorts his characters from their natural evolution by making them voice his own ideas. The "roman à thèse" may win a greater fame for the first hour, but it is sure to pass with the changing questions of the time. The much-praised "Doña Perfecta" struck me as absurdly untrue to human nature. The heroine is presented as a not uncommon type of religious development, naturally where there is intense religious feeling there is a bigot here and there, but this Lady Perfection is not a consistent human being, but a monster. While anxious for her nephew to leave she yet urges him to stay, no reason why; she could easily have rid herself of him yet she brings about his death. Her character of the beginning does not match with her character of the end (the novelist offends several times in this way). The thin-visaged, oily priest-villain gives an aside over the footlights: "I have tried tricks, but there is no sin in tricks. My conscience is clear": evidently old-fashioned melodramatics are not yet extinct. It is quite impossible for a well-bred Spaniard to have insulted his kind hosts, as does Pepe, by telling them crudely that their Christian belief is a fable as past as paganism, "all the absurdities, falsities, illusions, dreams, are over," to-day there is no more multiplication of bread and fishes, but the rule of industry and machines. I think most people will feel that the characters of this book can intrigue and murder and throw in realistic asides as much as they will, we do not hate them because they fail to convince us that they ever really existed. They are just mouthpieces for their author's theories. In another novel, "Gloria," a beautiful passionate girl of sixteen is incapable of being the pedantic prig Galdós makes her in the opening chapters. Happily for the romance and for the weary reader, once the novelist warms to his story, religious discussions go to the wall and he presents a moving tragedy. Would that he could have kept up to the level of parts of this novel, that which presents Gloria's uncles, for instance, but he is very unequal. After scenes so true to life that they are a joy, he will indulge in the pseudo-giantesque of some of Hugo's purple patches, and only high genius can take such liberties. Thus in a tempest a church lamp falls; it breaks the glass of the urn in which lies the Dead Christ, it slaps St. Joseph in the face, it knocks the sword from the hand of St. Michael, and finishes its zig-zag career by crashing into a confessional. Lamps of anti-clerics only seem to act in this all-round, satisfying way; realists, like Pereda and Valera, are incapable of such exaggeration. Some critics hold "Angel Guerra" and "Fortuna y Jacinta" to be the best of Galdós. His "Episodios Nacionales" are a series of novels on the events of the past century in Spain. In spite of vivid scenes, they seemed to me long-winded and confusing; one must be Spanish, they say, to appreciate them.

Benito Pérez Galdós was born in 1845 in the Canary Islands. He has been an artist, a lawyer, a politician, and a journalist; in twenty years he has produced forty-two volumes, a record which makes his inequalities easy to understand. Personally he is a sincere and upright character. Although an avowed free-thinker he sits in reverence at the feet of his fellow novelist, Pereda, an ardent believer, and it was to be near him that he fixed his home in Santander: "Our master," he calls him, "a great poet in prose, the most classic and at the same time the greatest innovator of our writers."

Far below Pérez Galdós, who, if not the first, is a distinguished and talented novelist, is Blasco Ibáñez, of the same school of anti-clerics and extreme republicanism. His stories are vigorous, crude studies of Valencia, that province which the proverb says is "a paradise inhabited by demons," and because so local, the books are valuable; personally I lay down such a tale as "Flor de Mayo" or "Arroz y Tartana" depressed and sick at heart. Ibáñez lacks ideality and elevation of sentiment; he pictures ignoble lives in monotonous detail, all is labored description, for the characters never speak themselves, the author describes their conversation. One sentence of Sancho, one sentence of the Don and you know who speaks! It is to this minor novelist that a recent French book, "Les Maîtres du Roman Espagnol Contemporain," by a Monsieur F. Vézinet, devotes a fourth of its pages, while dismissing Pereda contemptuously, and not even mentioning "Sotileza," his great sea-masterpiece. Under the guise of literary criticism, the French writer veils a polemic against religion: "For Christians actually do find solace in a belief in a future life," is one of his remarks. On meeting in Spanish fiction a dignified reserve in scenes of passion, this teacher of young men—he is professor in the Lycée of Lyons—supplies the pepper lacking by telling how a French naturalist would have described the same scenes.

Another Spanish writer of the free-thinking school, but of good literary quality, is Leopoldo Alas, author of "La Regenta," and a caustic, intelligent critic who under the name of Clarín did much to prick Spain awake to intellectual interest. Though born in Zamora (1852) he so associated himself with Oviedo, where he studied and later was professor in the University, that he may be called a son of the Asturias. "La Regenta" is a powerful psychological novel, set in Oviedo, somewhat long drawn out, for the minute following of Ana Ozores in her downfall too closely approaches pathology. Ana, who resembles a little her namesake of Russia, (Alas has treated the real issue with the same uncompromising morality as Tolstoi) is a brilliant, lovable woman, capable of the highest, a girl who at sixteen can read St. Augustine with emotion; but she is fatally doomed by the limitations of a woman's life in her station. The acute Alas here puts his finger on a real evil in his country, the lack of wide interests for the women of the upper classes if no family duties are given them. They seem to have forgotten Isabella's day when Doña Lucía de Medrano lectured on the Latin classics in the University of Salamanca, and Doña Francesca de Lebrija filled the chair of rhetoric in the University of Alcalá, when the Queen read her New Testament in Greek, and her youngest daughter, the unfortunate wife of Henry VIII, won the admiration of Erasmus by her solid acquirements. To-day the idleness enforced by fashion leads often to morbid religiosity or to moral disaster. Toward the end, "La Regenta" like "El Escándalo" flags, especially is the canon De Pas a failure. Such a man would have been either a great saint or a great sinner, never could he have steered the mean middle course he did. In this book, unlike the average romance, is much of the trail of the serpent of Zola's school, more the result of a too warm partisanship of the French novelist than innate in Alas.

The talented Padre Coloma, author of "Pequeñeces," may be called, like the professor of Oviedo, a man of one novel. Born in Andalusia (1851), a literary protégé of Fernán Caballero, he led the life of a man of the world till about twenty-five, when a violent change of heart caused him to enter the Jesuit Order. There he has passed uneventful, useful years of study and teaching. His book, which is a harsh satire on the vices of the smart set of Madrid, made an immediate sensation. I cannot say I find the Padre Coloma a great writer by any means, he is too unequal; whole chapters drag heavily. But some of his scenes deserve the highest praise, such as the presentation of the heroine Currita Albornoz, or that truly noble description of one of Spain's proud usages, the twelve grandees of the first rank presenting themselves before their new monarch, the young Alfonso XII, on his return in 1875, a picture that rings with the heroic spirit of the past.

We turn next to a novelist with so long a list of books to her credit that it is impossible to enumerate them, the Señora Emilia Pardo Bazán who has been called the most notable woman of letters in Europe. Her salon in Madrid is one of the best known in the capital, but she has so deeply associated herself with her native province (born in Coruña in 1851) that she is the boast of every Gallego. Mountain lands are noted for the loyalty they rouse in their sons, but few such enthusiasms equal that of Doña Emilia. She has told of the lonely hills, the chestnut forests, the never-failing streams of the Norway of Spain, and made alive the ancient usages, and the crabbed originality of the peasantry. "Los Pazos de Ulloa" (pazos is dialect for palace) and its sequel, "La Madre Naturaleza," have in them the very breath of outdoor life,—the last is an idyll in prose. She describes the untrained young cura leaving Santiago to step into the unhappy coil of events in the ruined manor house, his vain efforts to help the pathetic young wife and her brutalized husband. The tragedy is carried on to the second generation, and we see the two children growing up in solitude and desertion, roaming the countryside day and night, Perucho, blue-eyed, handsome as a Greek statue, the girl Manolita slender and dark; then the heart-breaking misery of the end. Work such as this is exquisite and sure to last. Madam Pardo Bazán edits one of the best reviews in Madrid, and she has written many stories that treat of life in the capital, but, like the novels of Valdés, they might have been written elsewhere, in Paris or St. Petersburg. It is in the novels of her loved paisanos she will live.

English-speaking people probably know Palacio Valdés better than any other Spanish writer, for his novels, of the regulation Parisian type, have been repeatedly translated. I care not at all for the Madrid novels, but sometimes in a dashing local romance he carries all before him: such is "La Hermana de San Sulpicio," sal salada, that untranslatable phrase of Andalusia where sparkle and verve are considered as highly as beauty in women. The story is facile, witty, light both in manner and matter, full of laughter following swift on tears, like its sprightly chatterbox of a heroine, an alluring creature who is sincere underneath the sparkle. Seville and the brilliant summer life of its patios, the sky raining stars, lovers talking all night at the reja in the scented air,—no one would tell on an enamorado, the very men drinking in a tavern send out a glass to the patient lover to wish him good luck. The friendly equality of the different classes is shown again here, and other traits not so praiseworthy, such as the intensity of local antipathies, the Andalusian's contempt for the Gallego, the Catalan's for the Andalusian. A Barcelona business man grumbles all day in Seville: "A glass of cognac 30 c. one day and 35 c. the next in the same café. Is that business?" Two men from the northern mountains meet: "You too are from Asturias?" asks one. "No, from Galicia." "Then you are not mi paisano," and the first turns away in disdain.

While the mundain, easy stories of Palacio Valdés are translated and widely read, one of the first of Spanish novelists is scarcely known outside his own country. Don José María de Pereda was born in 1835 and died in 1906, the year following Don Juan Valera's death. He is a true son of the Montaña, the coast country round Santander, whose Picos de Europa rise to a height of 9000 feet, and he has described his home with beautiful realism in some robust and primitive tales: "Escenas Montañesas; "El Sabor de la Tierruca"; "Sotileza," called his best, a very strong picture of fisher folk; "De tal Palo tal Astillo," which, like Galdós' "Gloria," is greatly spoiled by being a "roman à thèse"; "Peñas Arriba," and many others. Pereda is a champion against skepticism and the weakening luxury of cities: he is so partial to his patria chica that he often abuses the patience of readers by his too free use of its dialect. With him, plot and action are of slight account, for his interest lies in the eternal human characters and in the countryside that molded them. A realist more exact than Flaubert, he yet fulfills the prophecy of Huysmans as to the best type of novel for the future: "The truth of the document, the precision of detail, the condensed, nervous language of realism must be kept, but it must be clarified with soul, and mystery must no longer be explained by maladies of the senses. The romance should divide itself into two parts, welded or interbound as they are in life, that of the soul and that of body, and it should treat of their reaction, of their conflicts, of their mutual understandings." M. René Bazin has described a visit to Pereda at Polanco, his beautiful estate near Santander, where he led a life of cultured retirement, proving the theory which his books preach, that one's native home is the best paradise. To the French visitor, with his nation's swiftness to discern high distinction, it seemed as if it were Quixote himself, the man who came forward to meet him, of the pure hidalgo type, long face and aquiline nose, with that noble gesture of the hand that said, "My house is yours."

Of Pereda's books, my favorite is "Peñas Arriba," which does for the mountain folk what "Sotileza" does for the coast life of the Montaña. It was while writing this that there fell on him the heart-rending blow of his young son's suicide, and a cross and date long stood in the rough draft of the novel to mark the separation of the past from his saddened later life: only by force of will could he continue. Much of himself shows in the tale, which would entice a Parisian himself to live contentedly on a mountain side. There is a scene, the death of the squire of Tablanca, which indeed proclaims a master hand. Spain's best critic, Don Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo (himself from Santander, born 1856) writes of Pereda: "For me and all born de peñas al mar, these books are felt before judged, they are something of our mountain land like the breezes of the coast, one loves the author as one does one's family."

Perhaps it is not fair to speak of a writer who is not a romancist, when good minor talents among the novelists have to be passed over, but I cannot resist ending with the name of this famous scholar, Menéndez y Pelayo,[34] who may be said to be discovering Spain to herself after her long discouragement. His books are on the history of philosophy and literature: "Historía de las Ideas Estéticas en España"; "Horacio en España," being graphic pages on the lyric poets; "Crítica Literaria"; "Ciencia Española," "Calderón y su Teatro," and others. Faithful to the best traditions of his race, he is boldly asserting her past, her poets, her scientists, her mystics,—they have been ignored too long; he holds that the peoples of the mediodía are the civilizing races par excellence. All the warring factions of Spain agree that here is a man of stupendous talent. "Every time I meet him, I find him with a new language. Never have I met a student of such prodigious erudition," wrote the skeptic Alas. Menéndez y Pelayo may be called a literary phenomenon. Before twenty-five he had ransacked the libraries of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Belgium, and was given a professorship in the University of Madrid. To-day his reputation is European among scholars. His profound knowledge of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew literatures, helps a swift, unerring sense to perceive the best. His work is not only that of a scholar, for it has in it the life-giving touch of imagination, which is wisdom, and makes a writer a classic.

An anecdote that has the ring of the simplicity of a Cervantes or a Valera, the self-effacing of a Luis de León, is told of the young scholar of twenty-two. When spending an evening with some celebrated men where wit and learning flowed fast and copious, he poured out quotations so erudite and spontaneous that in modest embarrassment he took a paper from his pocket as if quoting from it. At the end of the evening a friend seized on the magic bit of paper, to find it a washerwoman's bill. Praise cannot hurt such a man. When a race can produce in a short fifty years a Pereda, a Valera, a Menéndez y Pelayo, have we the right to call it spent and out of the running?


"I have always felt that the two most precious things in life are faith and love. As I grow older I think so more and more. Ambition and achievement are out of the running; the disappointments are many and the prizes few, and by the time they are attained seem small. The whole thing is vanity and vexation of spirit without faith and love. I have come to see that cleverness, success, attainment, count for little; that goodness, 'character,' is the important factor in life."


LITERALLY worn out with the noise of Seville's Holy Week, we took the night train, that chill, rainy Good Friday, and left the Andalusian excitement behind. As carriages are forbidden in the city on both Holy Thursday and Good Friday, we had expected to walk to the station—they told us that the King, the year before, had walked to his train—but the regulation ceased at sunset on Friday and we were able to drive.

As usual we had the Reservado para Señoras compartment to ourselves, and so exhausted were we that we slept heavily with only an occasional waking to look out on the cold hills we were crossing. There was a moon which hurrying black clouds obscured fitfully. Under the somber sky the desolate hills seemed like the fantastic sepia drawing of a Turner: swift unforgettable memories one carries away from night journeys in Spain.

We left the train at Mérida, now a poor place with some few thousand inhabitants, but up to the fourth century a splendid Roman city, the capital of Lusitania. The castle built by Romans, Moors, Knights of Santiago, and bishops; the theater, the aqueduct, the bridge, the triumphal arch, and the baths show what it once was. We could not have visited this solitary province at a happier hour. Field flowers made the countryside as beautiful for the moment as Umbria or Devonshire; the wheat fields, always so articulate and lovely, had their own charm even after the magnificent outburst of roses and orange blossoms a month earlier in Seville.

Mérida is small,—frugal and neat, as are the larger number of Spanish towns. As we explored it, the people greeted us with kindly "Vayan Ustedes con Dios"; we had left behind the tourist-infested south with its insolent city loafers. It seemed too good to believe that we had come again among the grave, dignified Spaniards of the north. In order not to miss the Holy Saturday services, I hastened to the Cathedral. There was a cracked old organ and the singing was little better, but devout, heart-moving peasants rose and knelt, up and down, during the long Flectamus Genua! Levate! ceremony of that day, and the bells burst into the riotous clamor they seem to achieve so individually all over Spain. It may have been ungrateful, but it was without the slightest regret that I thought of the display going on at the same hour in Seville.

We had taken the trip into Estremadura to see the Roman remains, the best in the Peninsula. The ruins are more fortunate in their setting here than in many places, for there are none of the bustling cafés nor electric cars of Nîmes or Verona. Paestum is more poetic, Baalbec a hundred times more grandiose, but Mérida on a showery, sunshiny day in spring is an ideal spot for musing and rambling. In the city itself are some ancient remains, such as a temple of Mars, and the fluted columns of a temple of Diana built into a mediæval house, which, by the way, has a lovely Plateresque window, but most of the ruins lie completely outside the present town. The amphitheatre, when we saw it, had a comfortable troop of goats asleep in the warm shelter of its oval, and the remarkable theatre, known as Las Siete Sillas, from the seven divisions of its upper seats that crown it like a coronet, was gay with poppies and buttercups,—the national colors gleamed everywhere. Swallows in cool, metallic, blue-black coats, dipped and swept in their swift, graceful way. Looking out on the view which embraced Mérida on one side and a line of rugged hills on the other, we lingered for hours in that Theatre of the Seven Seats. Children, like gentle fawns, one by one crept out from the town suburbs and gathered in a smiling, lovable circle round the strangers. We talked to them tranquilly, our map of their city seemed a fascinating wonder to them. They came and went smiling; now one returned to the town to fetch his mother, now a shy little girl laid an armful of poppies beside us, with no thought of pennies, but just out of primitive human kindliness. The dear Don's age of gold seemed a reality. And a day before we had angrily scattered those diabolical little pests, the street children of Seville! Could these enchanting little people belong to the same race, and live only a hundred and fifty miles away? Journeys in unfrequented parts of Spain give one a truer picture than is possible for the hurried tourist on the beaten track; every time we turned aside into the unspoiled country we met the people and ways which Cervantes has described. Never were gentler human beings than those little girls of Mérida, those young mothers, those big half-awkward lads, whose gazelle eyes would gaze at us inquiringly, then turn to look at the scene we so obviously admired, then back to us with pleasure at our appreciation of what they too held most beautiful. We are told that peasants get no æsthetic pleasure from landscape, but I am sure romantic Roman ruins and perfect spring-time weather had much to do with giving those children faces of such pure outline.

Copyright, 1910, by Underwood & Underwood A Roadside Scene in Spain
Copyright, , 1910, by Underwood & Underwood
A Roadside Scene in Spain

Perhaps later, when the sun scorches the first freshness, Mérida may be a desolate enough spot; we probably knew her best hour, the lovely April of her prime. We were loath to tear ourselves away; we read to our interested audience accounts of their city's past, when Emperors' armies marched along the Roman road that led from Cadiz north, and alert to catch the meaning, they listened with that vividness of the eye that shows the imagination is roused. Then from the daily paper we read to them that in Madrid on Holy Thursday, two days before, the King had washed the feet of a dozen poor men, kissed them in humility, then waited on them at table, assisted by the grandees of Spain; that on Good Friday he had set free some criminals. When the bishop's words rang through the church: "Señor, human laws condemn these men to death," Don Alfonso answered with moved voice: "I pardon them, and may God pardon me!" And somehow, Alfonso XIII is not jarring or theatric among such ancient usages of Spanish Christianity. Very modern with his automobile, his polo, his careless ease, this charming king is one with his people in a radical sympathy with ways that symbolize soul and heart emotions.

Mérida has a bridge built by the Emperor Trajan. And it has ruins of a very stately aqueduct standing in wheat and poppy fields. This is built of stone and brick ranged in regular lines, and though only about a hundred feet high, is truly majestic, the entrancing touch being given by the hundreds of storks who have built nests on the top of the arches. Some of our little friends had accompanied us through the fields to the aqueduct, and when we took a final ramble through the town, many were the smiling greetings, "Buenas Tardes." Mérida is too small to have visitors pass a day there without making friends among its courteous people.

We took an evening train on to Cáceres ten miles away, for its hotels sounded inviting; and a second happy day, a holy and tranquil Domingo de Resurrección, gave us another memory of Estremadura. Cáceres is an unspoiled mediæval town climbing up a crag, just such a place as Albrecht Dürer loved to paint. It is very individual. From the plaza with its acacia trees we mounted the steep grass-grown streets, past one baronial mansion after another, with old escutcheoned doorways blazoned with plumed helmet and shield. In one of them, the house of the Golfines, los Reyes Católicos stayed on a visit. Nowhere in the world save in Spain could such a bit of the Middle Ages stand untouched and unnoticed, giving one that thrilling sensation of the traveler, the meeting unheralded with a very rare thing. The views caught between the granite mansions were lovely, for Cáceres lies in the most cultivated district of the county. Across the river rose another steep crag, turned into a Way of Calvary, with a picturesque church crowning it.

The town has some excellent hotels, and we were well-fed and slept well for five pesetas a day in one of them. Easter Sunday morning I awoke to the sound of bleating animals, and looking out, there at every doorway was tied a tiny white or black lamb, with a bunch of soft greens to nibble on. It is the custom for each family to have this symbol of peace and innocence on the Christian Passover. All day long the children played with them, and toward evening when the toy-like legs trembled with fatigue, the little boys carried the lambs across their shoulders as shepherds do. In the midst of patriarchal ways, we kept congratulating ourselves that we had escaped the noisy city to the south, whose Easter crowds were pouring in eager excitement to the first bull-fight of the year; it was the thought of the scene being enacted in Seville that made us a little unjust to the city where so happy a winter had been passed.

After Mass in a gray old church on the hill, a procession formed to carry the pasos of Cáceres. Each house was hung with the national colors, and on the balconies tall men of the hidalgo type and proud Spanish ladies (Madrid has not drained the provincial places of their leading families) knelt respectfully as the cortège passed. The statues were simple and poor, they were borne by pious peasants, and the silent crowd dropped to its knees on the pavement with a prayer. Not a tourist was there, save two who felt so in sympathy with old Spain that they disclaimed the title. To think that the gorgeous materialistic pasos of Seville had once begun in this way! Easter afternoon made as pastoral a memory as the hours in Mérida. We walked out with the people to the hill of the Stations of the Cross. Life seemed a happy and normal thing when all, old and young, grandee and peasant, gave courteous greeting to those who passed; also it was a joy to hear pure Castilian after the somewhat slovenly Andalusian dialect.

However, the week in Estremadura was not to end on an idyllic note. We attempted an excursion beyond our strength and got well punished; the moral is, avoid all diligence journeys in Spain, they are only for those who have the nerves of oxen. The real reason why we had come into this little-visited province was because that old emperor born in Italica near Seville, Trajan, the bridge builder, had in the year A.D. 105 put up one of his bridges at Alcántara, a town now on the Portuguese frontier. Such a reason sounds slightly absurd, but many who read certain descriptions of the bridge must feel the same impulse to hunt it up. Richard Ford calls it one of the wonders of Spain, "the work of men when there were giants on the earth," worth going five hundred miles out of one's way to see as it rises in lonely grandeur two hundred feet above the Tagus River. So it no doubt appeared to the English traveler who stumbled on it eighty years ago, for it was then an unrestored, picturesque ruin, probably unused since one of its arches had been blown up by the English in the Peninsula War. At any rate, it was such glowing words that enticed us into the wilderness of Estremadura.

It is strange in Spain how little they know of districts that lie at no appreciable distance. At the inn at Cáceres we asked for information about Alcántara, and they could give none. The landlord himself came over to our table to look at us in astonishment. "But there is nothing to see there!" he assured us, too polite to ask the question that showed in his voice,—why were two ladies seeking a dismal spot such as Alcántara? I positively blushed as I answered there was a bridge. "A bridge!" He beat a hasty retreat to his wife in the office, where their merriment burst out. The next day he told us, that having inquired, he found we could take the train to Arroyo, an hour away, whence a diligence ran in a short time to Alcántara. We left the train at Arroyo, and on the other side of the station found the smallest diligence ever seen, so packed already with big countrymen that we could just force our unwilling selves in. When we were well started, we found to our consternation that we did not reach Alcántara before ten hours, the distance being about thirty miles. Una legua una hora runs the saying, and this part of the world is ruled by its wise old proverbs. Too late to turn back, we tried to make the best of it. When in each of the desolate villages long pauses were made, we got out to visit the market or church. In the first village the altar was dressed with coarsest but freshest linen. Artistic pewter, unconscious of its charm, held the water and wine, and a score of sturdy young peasants came in from selling in the plaza outside, knelt on the very steps of the altar, then having made their serious preparation, each bashfully approached a white-haired priest who sat there all market day in readiness to hear confessions. The dismallest corner of Spain has compensations.

The first ten miles of the journey reminded me of New England, with its stone walls and semi-cultivated land. The next ten miles were indeed the proverbial desolation of Estremadura; hardly an inhabitant was to be found on those bleak hills. We had stumbled on one of the three days of the yearly fair of Brozas, so we passed flocks of sheep, cattle with a royal spread of horns, and dozens of the nervous Andalusian horses. Even automobiles went by, and one Portuguese noble drove abreast three truly glorious cream-white mules. Seeing them, one could understand how a mule here can cost more than a horse. The fair was held in meadows outside the town, and it looked so animated that we should have liked to stop, but no time was given us. A mile outside Brozas we found we had to change from the tiny diligence, a primitive enough way of travel, and to continue the remaining miles to Alcántara in the mail cart, which consisted of a board laid across two wheels, and that one seat had to be shared with the driver. Fuming did no good, not another vehicle would take us. The cold wind howled across the treeless upland, our umbrellas could not break its biting force, and we were far too thinly clad from the warm Seville winter; I could feel the chill seize on me that was to lead to a month's bad illness. The final touch was when the young scamp who drove the mail cart found it impossible to forego his eternal cigarette, which, despite remonstrance, he smoked continuously. That evening (we had left Cáceres in the pitch dark at 5 A.M.) we were set down at an inn whose spacious rooms and staircase told of former prosperity, but so shrunken was its hospitality that it could offer nothing fit to eat; yet, curiously enough, the old landlady made the best coffee I have tasted in Europe. We kept her busy grinding and boiling it.

Alcántara is one of the most God-forsaken places in the world. Pigs walk the ill-kept streets, and the vast buildings of the monkish-knights who formerly guarded the frontier pass are crumbling into such universal ruin that the lanes are a mass of broken rubbish. They are not romantic ruins, but depressing and almost terrifying. When we climbed down the precipitous hill that led to the bridge, our shoes were cut to pieces by the flinty stones.

And the bridge, that lode-star of our pilgrimage, worth going five hundred miles to see! We thought with exasperation of the sixty we were wasting on it. No doubt Trajan did build it eighteen centuries ago, but they have chipped off the beautiful gray toning of ages, filled in with mortar the boulders after they had stood unaided till our time, and made a modern boulevard from Portugal. All solitude and sublimity are well eliminated from the scene. We sat on the benches of that banal little park and glared at the disappointing thing. The Tagus, Lope de Vega's hidalgo Tajo, was here a low stream, yellow with mud, flowing beneath bleak, unimposing hills. The bridge, in spite of its two hundred feet of height, did not appear as high as the aqueduct at Mérida, an effect due probably to the arches standing on stilts. And it may sound blatant, but a memory of once passing under that superb thing the Brooklyn Bridge, at dawn, made this ancient monument suffer in comparison. The ludicrousness of our having traveled out of our way to see this sight struck us at last, and when we recalled the Cáceres landlord's astonishment, and that of Brazilian friends at Seville who had tried to persuade us our Estremadura plan was quite mad, we too burst into a hearty laugh, soon sobered at the prospect of the next day's weary return to Arroyo. We climbed back to the inn and dined on glasses of coffee.

The following morning, after some more glasses of our only modus vivendi, we explored the decayed town. In it is a pearl of architecture built by the Benedictine knights in 1506, the now ruined church of San Benito, with lofty slender piers, one of the most gracefully proportioned of semi-Renaissance things. Truly was the transition from Gothic to Renaissance a most harmonious moment in Spanish architecture. This interesting discovery could not do away with the fever and cold of the awful drive back to Arroyo. Such petty miseries are best passed over. More dead than alive, late the second night we reached again the comfortable hotel at Cáceres, where we were glad to pause a few days to pick up strength to push on.

Our plans had been to go to Trujillo, the birthplace of Pizarro. It was Estremadura that produced many of the rude, energetic conquistadores of Peru and Mexico, and the province never has recovered from that drain on its population. Just as the number of Jewish and Moorish exiles and the loss to their country's vitality has been exaggerated for partisan reasons, so there has been an underestimation of the more serious drain which Spain suffered when hoards of sturdy adventurers set out for the New World. The emigration was untimely; it came a century too early. The country had just been brought from political chaos to law and order by Isabella's great reign; but before the fruit of her planting could ripen (by peace and its natural sequence of settled trade) it was plucked from the bough. I have never been able to see that the expulsion of two hundred thousand Jews, the execution of thirty-five thousand heretics, and the exile of under a million Moriscoes, are sufficient causes to explain Spain's decay. Other countries of Europe, prosperous to-day, suffered from evils quite as bad. Why did Segovia, with an "old Christian" population independent of Moorish banishment, have thirty-five thousand weavers of cloth in the beginning of the seventeenth century and but a few hundred in the next generation? A score of questions similar to this can be asked to which the hackneyed explanation of the Inquisition and the expulsion of the Moors gives no answer.

The causes of Spain's decay must be sought farther afield than in single acts of bad government which crippled the country for a time but were not irremediable. Through emigration, just when with the ending of the seven hundred years' crusade the nation should have turned to peaceful industries, she lost her agriculturists and her possible traders. And following swift on this, for emigration does not permanently weaken a strong race, Spain was bled of her best blood by Charles V's senseless European wars. She profited nothing by them, in fact they lowered her to the position of a mere province in the Empire. The treasure that poured in from the New World was poured out over Europe, it merely passed through Spain. American gold was a curse for her; it undermined the national character; the spirit of adventure, not of patient work, was fostered. The policy of the Emperor was continued by his descendants, and for two hundred years more Spain was at war. Anæmia of the whole race followed: so true is it that the nation of fighters to-day runs the risk of being the nation of weaklings to-morrow.

Good government might have helped the ill, but Charles V pursued in that line a policy as fatal as his continental wars. He tried to force on these subjects whom he never understood an iron autocratic rule, ruthlessly crushing their tenacious spirit of independence. The death of Ximenez and the execution of the Comuneros leaders may be said to mark the ending of the sensible old régime of self-centering her resources, exclusive and provincial perhaps, but it had been Spain's salvation. To meet the expenses of ceaseless wars in Europe, when the first influx of colonial gold ceased, the Peninsula was heavily taxed: a fourteen per cent tariff on all commodities will soon kill trade. For the same reason, to pay for wars, the currency was debased under Philip III; and the Crown held monopolies on spirits, tobacco, pottery, glass, cloth, and other necessities, a system always bad for commerce. The agrarian laws were neglected, too much land was in pasturage, which tends to lower the census, and too vast tracts were held by single nobles. The loss of population went on; in 1649 an epidemic carried off two hundred thousand people. The economic discouragement was aggravated by a host of minor reasons, such as the insecurity of property along the coast from African pirates; a too generous allowance of holidays; the prejudice against trading inherited from crusading ancestors; and there being no alien element—for this Moor or Jew would have served—to give the spur of competition which keeps a nation in health. Hapsburg and Bourbon misgovernment and wars blighted Spain for three centuries. But to-day new life is stirring in her. She is returning to Ximenez's wise rule of not scattering but of concentrating her powers. Happily those unhealthy growths, the colonies, are lopped off at last:

"Passed into peace the heavy pride of Spain.
Back to her castled hills and windy moors!"

In the mountains, not far from Trujillo, lay Yuste, the solitary monastery to which retired that dominating figure of his age, Charles V, who was so decidedly interesting as a man, but so pernicious as a ruler. When he came to this distant inheritance he could scarcely speak the Castilian tongue; he did all in his power to stifle the indomitable character of the race,—and alas! he succeeded but too well in starting her downward course. Yet the magical something in the soul of Spain vanquished even him, as it had impermeated the conquering Roman, the Goth, the Israelite, and the Arab. With all Europe from which to choose, Charles came back voluntarily to the Peninsula, to its most untamed province, to spend the last days of his jaded life.

Reading at home accounts of Yuste, it had been easy to plan a trip there, and to Guadalupe, the famous monastery which also lay among these hills; but one diligence drive can quench all further foolhardy adventuring. With a feeling that illness was threatening, and it was wiser to get away from this "extrema ora," we again took the local line to Arroyo, and there gladly boarded the express that passed through from Lisbon to Madrid.


"O World thou chooseth not the better part!
It is not wisdom to be only wise
And on the inward vision close the eyes,
But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart
Save one that faith deciphered in the skies,
To trust the soul's invincible surmise
Was all his science and his only art.
Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine
That lights the pathway but one step ahead
Across a void of mystery and dread.
Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine,
By which alone the mortal heart is led
Unto the thinking of the thought divine."

IF it is one of the coveted sensations of a traveler to stumble unexpectedly on some rare spot that is overlooked and unheralded, as was our experience at Cáceres, there is a second emotion that is close to it,—the return to a favorite picture gallery, especially if in the meantime one has gone further afield, has learned to know other schools, and adjusted ideas by comparison. A return to the Prado can give this coveted sensation.

The winter in the south had familiarized us with the Spanish painters; Murillo now seemed more than a sentimentalist, had he painted for different patrons he had been a decided realist; Toledo had showed that El Greco was to be taken seriously. No sooner were we back in Madrid than I hurried off to the Museum, and, looking neither to the right nor left, to give freshness to the impression, walked straight to the Velasquez room. In the autumn the last look had been for the "Surrender of Breda," and to that unforgettable, soul-stirring picture I paid my first return homage. It impressed me even more powerfully than before. Never was there a more sensitively-rendered expression of a high-minded soul than that of the Marquis Spínola[35] as he bends to meet his enemy. It is intangible and supreme, only equalled by some of Leonardo da Vinci's expressions. For those who hold enshrined a height to which man can rise, the face of this Italian general will ever be a stimulus; he would appeal to the English sense of honor, the chivalry of a Nelson; the heart-history of such a man could be told only by a novelist of true distinction, such as Feuillet; there is something in Spínola's reserved tenderness that Loti might seize in words. Velasquez shows us a man of the world, but he has conveyed as only genius could how this warrior for España la heróica kept himself unspotted from the world, and this the painter could convey, because he himself was nobly idealistic, realist of the realists though he was. Not only in her mystics and novelists but in her painters and sculptors, Spain shows this union of the real with the ideal.

Hours in the Velasquez room slip by unnoticed. The portrait of the sculptor Montañés was of more interest now that we had seen his polychrome statues in Seville, those especially memorable ones of St. Ignatius Loyola and St. Francis Borgia in the University Church. The hidalgo heads by El Greco, the flesh tints, alas, turned to a deathly green, called up Professor Domenech's words on the grave Spanish gentlemen in their ruffs—"sad with the nostalgia for a higher world, the light in their eyes holds memories of a fairer age that will not return; images of the last warrior ascetics." This eccentric artist has in the Prado a striking study of St. Paul, an intensity in his face on the verge of fanaticism, a true Israelite, such as only a semi-oriental like El Greco could seize. Another picture that struck me with even profounder admiration than before was Titian's Charles V on horseback. And again I studied long the portraits of the pale Philip II, of his dainty little daughters, his sisters, his most lovely mother, and that pathetic English wife of his. Probably no northerner can see fairly both sides of Philip's strange character, just as I suppose no Spaniard can judge Elizabeth Tudor as does an Englishman. Nevertheless, there is a trait in Philip that all can admire—his filial loyalty.

We could have lingered in Madrid for weeks just for this gallery, but we had to tear ourselves away. A journey south to Murcia and Valencia had been planned, but the necessity of passing a cold night on the train made us decide now against it. Those two provinces, with Navarre, are the gaps of our tour in Spain: health and weather will change the firmest of plans. We left Madrid for Aragon, pausing in a couple of the Castilian cities to the east.

In the capital the parks had been bursting into leaf, but it was still chill winter outside on the plains. Treeless and verdureless Alcalá, the city of Ximenez and birthplace of Cervantes, looked far from inviting. When we left the train at Guadalajara, the landscape was so depressing that its Arab name, "river of stones," seemed dismally appropriate. Again, as at Segovia in the autumn, a wind de todos los demonios was blowing over the land,—raging would be the more exact word. The town was melancholy, so was the weather, and we had a distressing personal experience. When the diligence set us down at the inn, we were told there was not a bed to be had that night in all Guadalajara, for it was the election, and even the hotel corridors would be used; we would have to go on to Sigüenza by the night train. The wind and the cold made the prospect a dismal one; early spring travel in northern Spain is not a bed of roses.

We went out to explore Guadalajara and its chief lion, the Mendoza palace, built by the Mæcenas family of the Peninsula whose history has been called the history of Spain for four hundred years, so prominent were they as statesmen, clerics, and writers. The palace is in the Mudéjar style, the exterior studded with projecting knobs; the inner courtyard is coarsely carved with lions and scrolls, capriciously extravagant and yet within bounds enough to be effective. The Duke del Infantado entertained Francis I here, and surely the French king with memories of Blois and the chaster styles which his race follows, must have examined with curiosity this very different architecture of his neighbor, the intense individuality of whose conceptions could almost silence criticism. The Mendoza palace is now a school for the orphans of officers, and when the little nun, happy and fond of laughter as the cloistered usually are, showed us about, we saw pleasant circles of young girls sewing under the forgotten gorgeousness of the artesonado ceilings.

Then at midnight, wind howling and rain pelting, we crossed the muddy square that lay between the Sigüenza station and the town's most primitive inn. There they did the best they were able for us, but nothing could lessen the glacial damp of those linen sheets: the illness begun at Alcántara went on increasing. With chattering teeth and beating our frozen hands together to put some sensation into them, we realized we were back again on the truncated mountain which is central Spain, thousands of feet above the roses and oranges of Seville.

The following day was Sunday, with a sacred concert of stringed instruments in the Cathedral, a good Gothic church, noticeably rich in sepulchers. In one chapel especially, that dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury by an English bishop who accompanied Queen Eleanor to Spain, when you stand among the tombs of those warriors, bishops, and knights of Santiago, you feel the thrill of the past. Cardinal Mendoza, "Tertius Rex," was at one time bishop of this Cathedral, having for vicar-general the priest Ximenez: Don Quixote's friend, the delightful cura, was "hombre docto graduado en Sigüenza."

The Cathedral of Singüenza
The Cathedral of Singüenza

The chill, little city was far from stimulating; at another time it may appear differently, impressions are so dependent on weather and health. The peasants wrapped in their blankets had a beggarly aspect after the dandy majo of Andalusia. I daresay were Seville three thousand feet above the sea, the bolero would be worn less jauntily. The Cathedral visited, there was little to detain us, so we bade a ready farewell to glacial sheets and ice-crusted water pitchers to continue the route to Aragon, west past Medinaceli, where a Roman arch stood boldly on the edge of its hill.

The semi-royal family of Cerda, Dukes of Medinaceli, has possessions all over the country: forests near Avila, the Casa de Pilatos in Seville, lands near Cordova, a castle at Zafra, and vast tracts in Catalonia. It descends from Alfonso el Sabio, whose eldest son, called la Cerda, from a tuft of hair on his face, was married to a daughter of St. Louis of France, and left two infant sons, who were dispossessed by their uncle, Sancho el Bravo. For generations they continued to put forward their claims on every fresh coronation.

After entering Aragon the climate grew warmer. We were descending gradually, and soon fruit trees in blossom, and vineyards, appeared among the broken, irregular hills. Calatayud, birthplace of the Roman poet Martial, was extremely picturesque, with castle and steeples. The long hours of the journey were whiled away watching the Sunday crowds in the stations, many of the men and women in the astonishingly original costume of the province. By the time we had reached Saragossa we had descended to about five hundred feet altitude, and it was pleasantly warm.

The capital of Aragon is commonplace in appearance, flat, modern, and prosperous. The noisy electric cars and the bustling streets made it an abrupt change from the small Castilian cities just left. As always, our first walk was to the Cathedral—Saragossa has two, and the chapter lives for six months in each alternately. The Seo is an ancient and beautiful structure, the Pilar is a tawdry, cold-hearted object, such as the eighteenth century knew how to produce, a mixture of the styles of Herrera and Churriguera. It is a pity that one of the most revered shrines in Spain should be housed in such vulgarity. Outside, seen from the bridge over the Ebro, the many domes of different sizes, covered with glazed tiles of green, yellow, and white, are not bad, but within is a soul-distressing mass of plaster walls, and ceilings of Sassoferrato-blue. The High Altar, however, has a treasure, the celebrated alabaster retablo of Damián Forment, one of the best of national sculptors, who worked between the Gothic and Renaissance periods, and who was helped to ease of expression by Berruguete, lately returned from Italy.

The holy of holies of this new Cathedral is, of course, the chapel of the Pilar, and about it are always gathered devotional crowds. To a Spaniard it is naturally a sacred spot, associated as it is with his earliest memories; there is not a hut in all Aragon that has not an image of the Pilar Madonna; but to the Catholic of another land, who never heard of this cult till coming to Spain, it is impossible to feel the same devotion, especially when it is surrounded with such bad taste. I tried to arouse imagination by recalling what the Pilar had meant for this city in its hours of danger, how during the siege of 1808 they kept up courage by exclaiming, "The holy Virgen del Pilar is still with us!": one of the witticisms of the siege was:

"La Virgen del Pilar dice,
Que no quiere ser francesa."

Just as in Andalusia the chief ejaculation is "Ave María Purísima!" and in the mountains of the north, "Nuestra Señora de Nieve!" so in Aragon, "Virgen Mia del Pilar!" springs to the lips in time of joy or trouble. However, emotion cannot be summoned on command, and I left Saragossa unmoved by her special shrine of devotion. Had it been in the solemn old Cathedral, sympathy had come more readily. The Seo, like most Spanish churches, is spoiled outside by restoration, but within it is not unworthy of the coronations and councils held there. Ferdinand el Católico was baptized at its font; and near the altar is buried the heart of Velasquez's handsome little Don Baltazar Carlos, who died of the plague at seventeen. The church is high and square, like a hall; it is rich in mediæval tombs, Moorish ceilings, pictures, and jewels. Some truly glorious fourteenth century tapestries were still hanging in place after the Easter festivals, on the day of our visit; and as a council was to be held in the church on the following day, a row of gold busts of saints, Gothic relic holders, stood on the altar. The sacristy was a treasure house, from its floor of Valencian tiles to its vestments heavy with real pearls. The enthusiasm of the priest who showed us the Cathedral told of the personal pride most of his countrymen feel in the house of God; again, as at Burgos, I felt that these people considered their churches as much their abode as their own simple homes, that one supplemented the other, and hence much of the contentment of their frugal lives.[36]

We were stupid enough to go hunting for the leaning tower of Saragossa, not knowing that it had come down in 1893, and the search led us through the narrow streets of the older town, where the mansions of dull, small bricks, as a rule, have been turned into stables and warehouses, like the former palaces of Barcelona. Outside the city, flat on the plain, stands what was once the Moorish, later the Christian, palace, the Aljuferia, now serving as barracks, in which are embedded a few good remains, such as a small mosque and a noble hall of Isabella's time, with that suggestive date, 1492,—Granada and America.

On our first arrival at the hotel in Saragossa, they had informed us we could stay but a few days, as the centenary celebration of May 2d, 1808, was approaching, and every hotel room was engaged. The town so hum-drum to-day has a stirring history to look back on. In modern times she has stood a siege as heroic as any in the Netherlands, but Spain has lacked a Motley to make her popular. I can only repeat, justice has never been done to the outburst of patriotism which began in Madrid with the Dos de Mayo, 1808. Murat's savage slaughter on that May day made the whole of Spain rise in almost simultaneous defense, to the astonishment and admiration of Europe. Saragossa chose for her leader against the invader the young Count Palafox, assisted by the priest Santiago Sas, and by Tío Jorge ("Uncle George") with two peasant lieutenants. The French closed in round the city, but the victory of Bailén in the south raised this first siege.

Then in December of 1808 four French marshals with twenty thousand men again surrounded Saragossa, and it must not be overlooked that, built on the plain, she had slight natural means of defense. "War to the knife" was the historic answer of the town when called on to surrender, and the bones of over forty thousand citizens at the end of the siege bore testimony to the boast. To embarrass the enemy they cut down the olive plantations around the city, thus destroying with unselfish courage the revenue of a generation, for it takes some twenty years for the olive tree to bear fruit. They sacrificed all personal rights to private property by breaking down the partitions from house to house till every block was turned into a well-defended fortress. Organized by the intelligent Countess of Burita, the women enrolled themselves in companies to serve in the hospitals and to carry food and ammunition to the fighters; a girl of the people, Ajustina of Aragon, whom Byron immortalized as the Maid of Saragossa, worked the gun of an artillery-man through a fiery assault. Ajustina lived for fifty years after her famous day, always showing the same vigorous equilibrium of character; though Ferdinand VII rewarded her with the commission of an officer, she seldom made use of the uniform of her rank nor let adulation change the humble course of her life. The siege lasted up to the end of February. In the beginning of that month the daily deaths were five hundred, the living were not able to bury the dead, and a pest soon bred; the atmosphere was such that the slightest wound gangrened. Sir John Carr, who visited Spain the year of the siege, heard detailed accounts from officers who had taken part in it: "The smoke of gunpowder kept the city in twilight darkness, horribly illumined by the fire that issued from the cannon of the enemy. In the intervals which succeeded these discharges, women and children were beheld in the street writhing in the agonies of death, yet scarcely a sigh or moan was heard. Priests were seen, as they were rushing to meet the foe, to kneel by the side of the dying, and dropping their sabers, to take the cross from their bosoms and administer the consolations of their religion, during which they exhibited the same calmness usually displayed in the chambers of sickness." Even after the French had forced an entrance into the city, there continued for weeks a room to room struggle: "Each house has to be taken separately," Marshall Lannes wrote to Napoleon, "it is a war that horrifies." "At length the city demolished, the inhabitants worn out by disease, fighting and famine, the besieged were obliged with broken hearts to surrender, February 21, 1809, after having covered themselves with glory during one of the most memorable sieges in the annals of war, which lasted sixty-three days." (Travels in Spain, Sir John Carr K.C.). Truly can the testarudo aragonés of Iberian blood boast of the title of his capital, siempre heróica!

The Aragonese is manly, enduring, and stubborn; the special laws of this independent province, the Fueros, are worth close study from those interested in the gradual steps of man's self-government; under an ostensible monarchy they gave republican institutions. This is an address to the King: "We, who count for as much as you and have more power than you, we elect you king in order that you may guard our privileges and liberties; and not otherwise." Nice language for a Hapsburg or a Bourbon to hear! Aragon was united early, by a royal marriage, to Catalonia, and a few centuries later Ferdinand's union with Isabella bound both provinces to Castile, Ferdinand also conquering Navarre; it was under the first of the Bourbon kings, Philip V, that Aragon lost her treasured Fueros.

We saw nothing of the neighboring Navarre, and I cannot say we saw much of sturdy Aragon, since Saragossa was the only stopping-place, but a long day on the train going south gave us a fair idea of its general character. And constantly through the day rose the remembrance that it was here in this kingdom happened the delightful Duchess adventure. Never has the scene been equaled,—that witty, high-bred lady and hermano Sancho of the adorable platitudes and proverbs—("Sesenta mil satanases te lleven á ti y á tus refranes"! even the patient Don exclaimed)—brother Sancho quite unembarrassed—was he not a cristiano viejo?—stooping to kiss her dainty hand.

The landscape of the province was rather desolate, though relieved from monotony by the snow-covered wall of the Pyrenees that continued unbroken in the distance to our left. The Spanish side of the great range of mountains is abrupt in comparison with the French slopes, which are gay with fashionable spas, and fertile with slow, winding rivers, such as the Garonne. In Spain the rivers descend with such rapidity that they pour away their life-giving waters in prodigal spring floods, and during the rest of the year the land suffers from drought; there is a saying here that it is easier to mix mortar with wine than with water.

It happened that on our train was a band of young soldiers returning to their homes after their military service, as irrepressible as escaped young colts. Such songs and merriment! Such family scenes at each station! Mothers and little sisters, blushing cousins and neighbors had flocked down from the villages on the Pyrenees slopes to welcome them. A touch of nature makes the world akin; we found ourselves waving, too, as the train drew away, leaving the returned lad in the midst of his rejoicing family. At the fortress-crowned town of Monzón we saw the last of our happy fellow travelers. There a young soldier led his comrades to be presented to a majestic old man with a plaid shawl flung over his shoulder like a toga, and the son's expression of pride in the noble patriarch was a thing not soon forgotten. In Spain few journeys lack a primary human interest, something to give food to heart or soul.


Romanesque is the Trappist of architecture, ... on its knees in the dust, singing with lowered head in a plaintive voice the psalms of penitence.... This mystic Romanesque suggests the idea of a robust faith, a manly patience, a piety as secure as its walls. It is the true architecture of the cloister.... There is fear of sin in these massive vaults and fear of a God whose rigours never slackened till the coming of the Son. Gothic on the contrary is less fearful, the lowered eyes are lifted, the sepulchral voices grow angelic.... Romanesque allegorizes the Old Testament, and Gothic the New.—J.-K. HUYSMANS.

IN his valuable book on Spanish churches, Street is justly enthusiastic over the form that Gothic architecture took in the province of Catalonia, and especially over the now unused Cathedral of Lérida, which he calls the finest and purest early-pointed church in Europe. It was such praise that induced us to stop over in the dull, little city, crowned by the hill where the ancient Cathedral stands. Its history of ten sieges, and Velasquez's "Philip IV on horseback entering Lérida in triumph," somehow had suggested a grandiose impression that is far from lived up to by the modern town.

A pause of three hours between trains seemed to give ample time to see the Cathedral, but the scramble into which the visit to Lérida degenerated was proof that no limited period is ample time in this country of leisurely ease. Could we have gone direct to the citadel, all had been well, but as the hill is now a fort, with the old church turned into a dormitory for soldiers, much red tape was required to visit it. We hurried along the interminable crowded street that stretches beside the river, asking right and left for the office of the military governor. Wrongly directed, we burst into the somnolent quarters of the city authorities and made our request for a permit. With a slow dignity that no flurried haste could move, the provincial governor sent us to the private house of the military big-wig. There a precious half hour went by in the drawing-room with his handsome wife, who did not seem sorry to break the monotony of her exile by the strangers' visit. In came the genial governor waving the permit backward and forward for the ink to dry, and another half hour of social chatting went by, the very ink of Spain being gifted with dignified slowness. A soldier was put at our disposal to serve as guide, a young man as tranquil as his superior, for we climbed the hill at a snail's pace, and once inside the fort were stopped here and there by sentries who, letter by letter, it seemed to our impatience, spelled out the written paper. When finally we stood before the Cathedral, the soldier escort told us we must pause there while he went to seek the commandant of the fort. Precious minute after minute went by, till at last, the clock telling us we must soon be starting back to the station, we took the bull by the horns and entered the church without further delay.

A strange spectacle presented itself. In every direction were ranged cots, clothes hung about and washing troughs added to the confusion. The beautiful old church had been floored half way up its piers and down these improvised rooms we could see other rows of narrow beds. It was so cluttered that I could hardly get oriented; where was the nave? which were the transepts? We could see that the capitols of the pillars were grandly carved, that here was the beautiful clearness of form, the noble solidity of early Gothic, but the confusion of the soldiers' dormitory made it impossible to study the church with any satisfaction. Except for the architect, Lérida to-day hardly repays a visit. The soldiers stood round in astonishment at such unexpected visitors, so we were soon glad to confine our examination to the exterior portals and the tower.

Just as we were on the point of leaving, the commandant appeared, shook us warmly by the hand and prepared to take us over the fort. Like the military governor and his wife, he beamed with the interest of something new; the cordiality of all was perfect, but nothing, nothing, could hurry them. We explained that we had come to see the church alone, that our time unfortunately was limited, and we must now leave to catch the train for Poblet. He took a disappointed and bewildered farewell; up on his citadel in the land of pause and leisure such new-world notions of speed were disconcerting. With a hasty look at the noblest early-pointed church in Europe, a grateful handshake to the colonel, we hurried down the precipitous hill and jumped on the train just as it was moving out, our valises being flung in to us desperately at the final moment.

Soon the broken, fertile hills of the province of Catalonia closed in around us, and the country grew so charming that we were glad to have planned to pass a night near Poblet. From the train we saw the prominent brown mass of the monastery buildings, but, of course, we ran on some miles before stopping in a station. There we found a Catalan cart, two-wheeled with a barrel vaulted awning, and drove to the primitive hotel at Espluga. The landlord offered us his cart to drive out to Poblet, two miles away, but the bumps and ruts of the road from the station made us prefer to walk. The ill-kept roads and the not wholly cultivated fields told clearly that the industrial monks were no longer masters of the valley.

Poblet stood for monastic pride, only nobles entered as monks, the mitered abbot was a count-palatine and ruled the peasantry as their feudal lord; the revenues were enormous, but as Benedictines are invariably cultivated men, they were spent on ancient manuscripts, and in the ceaseless energy of building. When the mob came from the neighboring towns in 1835 to sack the convent, they shattered the very treasure they sought. In their blind ignorance they did not know that chiseled alabaster, wrought doors and windows, and carven cloisters, represented the hidden gold they were seeking. This uprising in Spain against the monasteries, the "pecado de sangre," was a political more than a religious affair; in the first Carlist war, the countryside here was Constitutional, while the monks of Poblet were firm for the Pretender Don Carlos. The havoc the mob wrought is heart-rending; and yet though empty and partly destroyed, Poblet is still one of the finest things in the Peninsula.

On our way out to it we happened to take a wrong turning, which fortunately led us to encircle the walled-in mass of buildings before entering, and gave us some idea of their great extent. It was a veritable town; there were hospices for visitors, hospitals, a king's palace, an abbot's palace, a village of workshops for the artisans, since in every age the monks had been builders. Every style was represented, each stage of Romanesque and Gothic; Poblet is indeed to-day one of the best places in Europe to study architecture, and the guardian told us that students from every country flock here in the summer time. Artists too are a familiar sight sketching the beautiful vistas, the arched library, the pillared sala capitular where effigies of the abbots lie so haughtily that one can almost understand the fury of the rabble, the imposing length and strength of the novices' dormitory where swallows now flit, the pure early Gothic of King Martin's palace, the odd little glorieta of the chief cloister. Pleasant quarters can be found in the caretaker's house, which is more convenient than living at Espluga down the valley. We wandered for hours through courtyards and cloisters that show the subtly simple proportions of Catalan art. The church of the monastery was built during that rare moment when Romanesque turned to pointed work; it is very narrow and severe and impressive. The once superb alabaster retablo is mutilated, and the tombs of the Aragonese kings are scattered. The bones of Jaime el Conquistador are now in Tarragona Cathedral. Poblet served as the Escorial of the rulers of Aragon and Catalonia, and is many times more worth visiting than Philip II's rigid pile in Castile. I strongly urge everyone who goes to Spain to turn aside from the beaten path to see this unrivaled Cistercian monastery, which it is no exaggeration to say is one of the most artistic groups of buildings in the world. The evening of our visit the sunset glorified the pretty rural valley whose brooks bounded merrily down the hillside. "Laugh of the mountain, lyre of bird and tree," Lope de Vega calls the gurgling, clear waters.

We took a long hour to loiter back to Espluga, accompanied by a racy old character, Sabina, and her tourist donkey. The peasants returning from cutting wood up in the mountains above us gave a new greeting, "Santas Noches," reminiscent, no doubt, of the former masters of the valley.

Then the following day we took the train south of Tarragona, to the "Little Rome" that is the reputed birthplace of Pontius Pilate, of which Martial sang, and where Augustus Cæsar wintered. The landscape was a delight, showing the most unrivaled cultivation of soil I have ever seen, flowering orchards, fields of wheat and poppies, the very vineyards that Pliny has described; the sensation of the earth's lavish bounty, of the fecundity of the sun and the intoxication of growing things was overwhelming. And a week before we had been freezing in Sigüenza!

On the train was an amusing company. Some dozen people came to one of the stations en route to escort an alert, keen-eyed little bishop, who mounted nimbly among us. Everyone bent to kiss his episcopal ring, and even when some shrewd business men entered the carriage later, and saw that a bishop was its occupant, they too knelt to kiss his hand in salutation, republican Catalans though they were. I could not take my eyes off the delightful little prelate, so happily unconscious of his purple satin skull cap with its St. Patrick's green rosette on top, and his equally vivid green woolen gloves. Then when we reached Tarragona, down he stepped briskly, and instead of entering an episcopal carriage as we expected, he got into a public diligence and drove off like a true democratic Spaniard.

The Mediterranean at Tarragona was brilliantly, startlingly blue. As it burst on us in its sun dazzling wonder it seemed as if the bleak high table-land of the country behind was a nightmare of the imagination. Surely a whole continent must separate such luxury and such aridness.

We wandered about the white, glaring city, glad to bask in warm sun and drink in the salt air, happy too to be back again by the inland sea that has known the great nations of the earth, to be part again of the marvelous belt of ancient civilization that encircles its blue water. Tarragona was surrounded by cyclopean walls, the huge boulders of Rome below, and the smaller mediæval stones above. The blinding sun made the Cathedral so dark that it was long before we could see our way about. It is solemn and very earnest, with a fortress-like apse, and with cloisters the most perfect in the country. The doorways and capitols are so curiously carved that they merit detail study. The Roman urns, a Moorish prayer niche, and so on, down through the centuries, showed again how clearly architecture in Spain tells her history. The chief retablo is of extreme beauty, with large statues and smaller scenes combined harmoniously; in it the restraint that distinguishes the Catalan school is very apparent.

On leaving Tarragona, the railway followed the coast for some time, then to our disappointment branched inland to loop round to Barcelona. When we realized that we could have taken the line that runs the whole way by the sea, we were annoyed at our mistake, though later we were grateful to it, for the inland route gave a noble view of Montserrat, that astonishing serrated ridge of gray rock, a cragged comb of stone, geologically a puzzle of formation, which abruptly rises out of the plain. For an hour the train drew nearer and nearer to it, so we got an admirable view. Our proposed ascent of the mountain was never to take place, and this was to be our only glimpse of the shrine to which thousands of pilgrims flock each year, where St. Ignatius Loyola sought counsel and made his vigil of the armor. When Barcelona was reached the illness which had been fastening itself closer since the unfortunate drive to Alcántara declared itself unmistakably, and many proposed excursions, such as Montserrat, Manresa, Ripoll, with its unique portal, had to be foregone. To leave a country with some of its best things unvisited is an open invitation to return,—which theory may be good philosophy, but is not wholly adequate in stifling regrets.


"He who loves not, lives not."


"Solemn the lift of high-embowered roof,
The clustered stems that spread in boughs disleaved,
Through which the organ blew a dream of storm
That shut the heart up in tranquillity."

I WONDER if, to the reader, when hearing the name Barcelona there rises one sovereign picture,—Isabella and Ferdinand's reception of Columbus on his return from the New World. It may have been some print seen in childhood that impressed itself indelibly on my imagination, but always with the name Barcelona I seemed to see los Reyes Católicos seated on their throne listening to the man whose genius was so well bodied forth in his face and bearing. Around stood gentle-eyed natives of the Antilles, with their ornaments of pearls and gold, lures that were to rouse the rapacity which exterminated those Arcadian peoples, and to break the heart of their great discoverer. Heart-break and defeat lay in the future, this was an hour of enthusiastic hope. When Columbus had finished his peroration, the Queen and the court fell on their knees in a spontaneous burst of exaltation, and together intoned that king's hymn of victory, the Te Deum.

It was the unknown Barcelona that called up this scene of Spain's heroic hour; the city as it is to-day has blurred and dimmed the picture. There is a striking statue of Columbus on a column that faces the harbor, but it is not of him nor of his patrons that you think here. The Castle of Segovia, the walls of Avila or Toledo, the Alhambra hill, Seville's Alcázar, these are romantic spots that make

"the high past appear
Affably real and near,
For all its grandiose air caught from the mien of kings";

but I defy the imaginative lover of old times to call up the romantic in the modern capital of Catalonia; seething with industrial life, with revolutionary new ideas, she is too aggressive and prosperous for sentimental regrets.

Barcelona's position as an industrial force cannot be called unexpected. She has ever been in the stir of big events, Italy's rival in commerce through the Middle Ages, when she served as the port of entry and exit for the armies and fleets. In all times she has enjoyed a climate that may well be the despair of commercial cities of the north; the summer heats are tempered by sea-breezes, the winters are warmer than at Naples. Hearing reports of roses in bloom there in January, we had dreaded the heat of a May in the city, but during the five weeks of our stay, the bracing spring air was like that of New England. Her natural setting, too, is good; the harbor guarded by the lofty fort of Monjuich, while behind stretch mountains which lay far from the mediæval town, but to-day, when Barcelona covers an area twelve times as large, they are immediate suburbs and their names are familiar signs on the tramcars.

The province of Catalonia is perhaps the most individual of the thirteen strikingly different provinces of the Peninsula. The Catalan is more Spanish than French certainly, but he is always more Catalan than Spanish. Independent, self-interested, intractable, strong-headed as an Aragonese, industrious, successful, in him is found slight trace of the hidalgo of Castile. It is hard to believe that this hive of born business men is in a land whose ideal of happiness is to do nothing. The idleness, the high-bred courtesy of the Castilian, are as unfamiliar here as in the Stock Exchange of New York; indeed Barcelona, with her streets filled with well-dressed, briskly-moving crowds, each intent on his own business, is more allied to the new world than to the old. Adieu, indeed, to the toga-like capes, to mantillas, to midnight serenades. A Catalan has no time to waste chatting by alluring rejas.

Catalonia has been called the Lancashire of Spain, and Barcelona its Manchester. If the comparison is fit in regard to commercial success, it is inappropriate in one respect, for, built by a Latin race, to whom is natural a sense of beauty, Barcelona, though as keen after money as the English town, has cared better for her interests. The sunlight is not darkened by the miles of factory chimneys that so oppress the heart in the black country. There are hundreds of belching chimneys, but they are kept out of sight in the valleys behind, where each factory stands isolated in the fields, often in a planted enclosure: this leaves the city proper free of traffic, smoke, and the whirr of machinery. The gay Rambla is edged with shops, and handsome apartment houses line the tree-planted avenues. Few towns have the force of will and continued patience to build themselves symmetrically; they are generally the result of hap-hazard, and only when too late the possibility of some river or sea front is discerned. Barcelona realized some fifty years ago that she was to be one of the conglomerations that modern cities tend to become, so she called on her engineers for plans, and from one of those submitted she chose an able design; Ensanche, extension, is the name for the new districts. Of course if a whole city consisted of these wide, regular streets, it would be monotonous, but here was already enough of narrow-lane picturesqueness to satisfy the artist. The walls that encircle the congested older town were pulled down, the opened space was turned into an esplanade, and radiating from this nucleus, streets two hundred feet wide were laid and were immediately planted with double rows of plane trees. To-day the vistas down these far-stretching avenues, the sunlight filtering through the leaves on groups of nurses and children, the rapidly-moving crowds, the smart two-wheeled Catalan carts, the whirling automobiles, give the city an air of joyous prosperity. Behind the big apartment houses, the law requires a planted space to be kept open, so that people of very mediocre income live in houses and in districts that only the rich of other towns can command.

The material success of the people has found an outlet in their architecture: Poblet, school for the builder, is not far away. Since some of the houses were put up during the exaggerated phase of l'art nouveau, they are overloaded with whirling ornament, quite as bad as Karlsruhe, but the majority are in dignified good taste: take, for instance, the new University buildings, or that brown stone block near the beginning of the beautiful Paseo Garcia, Nos. 2 and 4, if I remember rightly. The sculptors too have inherited the skill of the early masters of Catalonia. Most of the modern churches (not Señor Gaudi's curious experiment, the Church of the Holy Family!) are built consistently in one style, the walls carved in situ as in old times; the effect is such that one prays the days of painted plaster may never return. It was good to notice, too, that the new churches discarded the tinsel-decked altars of the eighteenth century, the bane of Peninsula shrines. Barcelona builds as a rule in the Catalan manner; the early architects of the province, though influenced by Lombard and French masters, may be said to have achieved a national style. It is worthy of enthusiasm with its singular purity of line, a proportion that is hardly Spanish. Like Chartres, it has "the distinguished slenderness of an eternal adolescence." In nothing is it akin to Isabella's efflorescent Plateresque-Gothic. Its clustered piers, and arches carried high aloft, have been used as successfully in civil as in religious architecture, witness the Lonja, or Exchange.

The new town, with its prosperous homes and shady avenues, tended to make us overlook old Barcelona, yet we only had to step aside from the thronged Rambla and we found ourselves in dark, narrow streets, that at dusk especially made us shiver with apprehension. Forcibly they warned us that this was one of the most turbulent cities in Europe, where lawless socialists gather and plot, where some recent bomb-throwing outrages were the reason for groups of the Guardias Civiles on every corner. The red gorro, the Phrygian cap worn by the city porters, seemed too realistic when met in dark lanes, where the men pushed rudely by, your sex here no prerogative. With Philistine relief we used to return to the sanitary, orderly avenues of the Ensanche, patrolled by placid policemen in crimson broadcloth coats. A word of praise must be given to some of the municipal institutions of Barcelona, such as the corps of city porters, each with a small district in which to render help. The hospicio, or work-house, is considered one of the best organized in Europe. As long ago as 1786 an English traveler, the Rev. Joseph Townsend, wrote of another of Barcelona's institutions: "No hospital that I have seen upon the continent is so well administered as the general hospital of this city. It is peculiar in its attention to convalescents, for whom a separate habitation is provided, that after they are dismissed from the sick wards they may have time to recover their strength." Also her excellent city police are worthy of praise. The rest of Spain could emulate them, for it was our experience that the local police were an incompetent set; we soon learned never to apply to them in case of difficulty, but to wait till an alert Civil Guard[37] passed, when we were sure of intelligent help.

Cloisters of San Pablo del Campo, Barcelona
Cloisters of San Pablo del Campo, Barcelona

It is the old town, congested and gloomy though it is, that, set side by side with the new, makes Barcelona unique. There are to be found primitive churches, such as Santa Ana, or San Pablo del Campo,[38] once, like St. Martin-in-the-Fields, placed among meadows; dim old churches similar in design, Byzantine cross form with a low dome over the center and with cloisters that make solemn oases of repose in the busy city. A later period built churches whose somber walls tower high above the crowded houses; such are Santa María del Pino and Santa María del Mar, characterized by wide hall-like naves. In the width of their nave lay the triumph of the Catalan masters. It was in the last named church that a pious woman of the town noticed one day a gray, emaciated man resting, among a group of children, on the steps of the altar, in his face a light of convincing holiness. Fresh from the spiritual battle in the Cave of Manresa, a grand self-mastery the reward of his struggle, no wonder the face of Ignatius compelled the reverence of the passer by.

The Cathedral of Barcelona is a typically Catalan-Gothic church. For an eglesia mayor it is small, but so true are its proportions and so skillfully is it lighted that it gives the effect of grandeur. As the clearstory windows are mere circles, on first entering one is in complete darkness, but gradually out of the gloom looms that loveliest feature of the building, the chancel, lighted by rare old glass, with slender piers and lofty stilted arches rising from pavement to vaulting in an unforgettable beauty of symmetry. The retablo of the High Altar is in character, articulate and graceful, unlike the usual, overladen reredos of Spain. Incense, prayer, soaring aspiration, the symbolization of this presbytery is a perfect thing: again vividly came the conviction that temples such as these have had and ever will have a vital influence on a race.

Barcelona may be a shrewd commercial center, that in its material pride, in order not to be classed with the improvident, brutally repudiates most of the cosas de España; she may print books whose every word is an insult to government and religion; she is still deeply Spanish in the earnest piety of the larger proportion of her citizens. A Catalan may tell you, especially if you belong to a northern race and a different creed, that what you see is all form, lip-religion, that the men here, like intelligent men the world over, are free-thinkers. It is an easy matter for the prejudiced visitor to get all his misconceptions confirmed by a native, no one is more bitter in abuse of his country than a Catalan. Fortunately, one has one's own eyes wherewith to see. But first I must quote from a recent letter to the London Times from the Rev. James R. Youlden, in answer to a pessimist on the religious condition of Spain:

"In the city of Barcelona, the largest, most modern and most industrial of Spanish cities, the good attendance at Mass, not only of women and children but of the men, is most remarkable, as is also the number of communicants. I have myself often given Holy Communion on a Sunday morning in the church of San Pedro to such large numbers, fully one-third of them men, that my arms have ached in conveying the sacred particles. Masses are celebrated every hour, and in some churches every half hour from 5 A.M. to 12 midday in all the twenty-four parish churches of the city (to say nothing of numerous convent chapels) in the presence of large and often crowded congregations. A visit to the church at any time from 8 till 12 on any Sunday morning would dispel some of the illusions of your Madrid correspondent."

A good test of the sincerity of religious conviction is what it costs the purse; new churches, like those of Barcelona, are not built by lip-religion. I spent several Sunday mornings sitting on one of the side benches of the Cathedral, learning that the Catalan, disunited from his mother land on many points, is ineradicably national in his creed. This was Spain, with the grave reverence of the smallest child, where the church is a loved home, a frequented refuge for meditation and strengthening prayer. Now a handsome and satisfied matron enters, followed by five or six children, the boys dressed as English sailors, little Battenbergs, the girls with hats like flower gardens; they cluster round their mother at the door, and she passes each the blessed water with which to sign themselves. Behind this group come some alert young artisans; each instantly drops on both knees to make his salutation to the Altar—lip-religion does not care to disarray its Sunday suit like this—and each blesses himself in the swift national way, with the final carrying to the lips of the thumb and first finger crossed, a symbol of fidelity to his faith. May this custom never die out in Spain! From the first hour of her eight hundred years' crusade, from Cavadonga to Granada, her religion has been her glory, interwoven with her nationality, like that of the Jews of old, and if she understands her enduring interests, this Christian faith to which she has clung so loyally will be her aspiration in the future. When her men pass the High Altar without salute, when the street children cease to run in daily to kneel before a shrine, throwing their scanty skirts over their heads if a handkerchief is lacking, when politics and religion are synonymous, that day Spain may be called degenerate, but not now, while lamps of sincere conviction burn before her altars.

Ascension Thursday fell on a perfect day in late May, the warm sunshine tempered by a sea breeze; everyone was out gallantly in new summer suits. The houses were hung with the national flag, but the fairest decoration of the city were the hundreds of First Communicants who thronged the streets, accompanied by proud mothers and relatives. Each little girl in her quaint, long, white skirt, tulle veil and wreath of flowers, carried a new pearl chaplet or prayer book, and each boy wore a bow of white satin on his left arm. Few things are more appealing than an innocent-eyed child on this solemn day, and in after years, for those who have known such hours of purity, few memories are more indelible. As I passed through the old city, its dark streets lightened by these groups, I could not help exclaiming, "Why, when she can present a scene of such loveliness and hope, must Barcelona so blindly envy her neighbor across the Pyrenees!" Not long after leaving Spain, I stopped in a village in the mountains of Dauphiny, half Catholic, half Huguenot. Both churches were practically empty. The children of the town, except those of a few stanch families, walked in a public procession to honor the mayor, behind a banner bearing the inscription, "Ni Dieu, ni maître." One cannot deny there are many in Barcelona whose aspiration would be satisfied with a similar procession in her streets, but the majority still prefer an Ascension Thursday of First Communicants.

Before the west door of the Cathedral are remains of ancient houses which, like Italy, bear the signs of guilds, for this city always differed from the rest of Spain in looking on trade as an honorable career. A street behind the Cathedral leads to other specimens of domestic architecture. Be sure not to be discouraged by the cold Herrara front of the House of the Deputation. It masks a Gothic building which, if properly restored, as well as the Casa Consistorial, or Town Hall, which stands opposite to it, would make of this formal plaza one of the most interesting squares in Europe. The city's renewed pride in the Gothic of its province, her skillful architects, her wealth, should tempt her to the task. Be sure to go into both these buildings. In the Town Hall are some lovely ajimez windows that show the restraint of the Catalan style: they attenuated the features as far as strength would allow, but they knew just where to stop. The result is grace, lightness, a subtle something of proportion. In the Deputation House hangs the Catalan painter Fortuny's "Battle of Tetuán," unfinished, with a dashing rainbow-hued charge of horsemen that stirs the memory of Spain's grand forays into Africa.

In exploring Barcelona one notices unfamiliar names on the shops, here are no longer Alvarez, González, Pérez, García, but strange Catalan names, such as Bosch, Cla, Puig, Catafalch, Llordachs, Petz. On every side, in shops, in the tramcars, one hears the dialect spoken, rather rough sounding and wholly unintelligible to the traveler who knows only Castilian. In no other of Spain's provinces is so much made of local differences. The names of the streets are written twice on the street corners, in Catalan and in Castilian, a ridiculous arrangement, for in these proper names the differences are slight; as Calle de Cortes, and Correr de les Corts. To appease his thirst for self-assertion, the practical Catalan has marked his streets in a less adequate way than the rest of the Peninsula he looks down on: the clearness of the street directions, each tile generally holding one bold letter, had been a satisfaction all over Spain. This brings me into hot water at once, the vexed ever palpitating Catalan question. Is this province, Spain's richest and most progressive, to continue under the Spanish crown, to ally herself with France, or to be independent? She tells us in anger, she pays more than her share of the taxes, that she is an isolated commercial and industrial force in a nation that is preëminently agricultural, whose laws are made to foster the farmer at the expense of the trader: the loss of the colonies was an advantage for the rest of the country whose crying need is population, but for Barcelona it was a severe blow. Spain has hard problems to solve, with thirteen inhabitants to the square mile in some provinces and one hundred and eight to the mile here in Catalonia.

Books of open sedition are freely published, one picks them up in the waiting-room of a doctor's office, in the bank, on the stalls. This is no new phase. From early times Catalonia has only considered her own interests, now joining with France against Spain, now changing sides, as she thought to benefit herself; for her the nation is a secondary consideration. History proves she has been ineradicably selfish; hence her success, a sophist may say, but there is something higher than self-aggrandizement, the success of giving her strength to reforming the abuses she proclaims. No one denies there is crying need for political and financial reform at Madrid, though it is not to be brought about by such a book as Señor Pompeo Gener's "Cosas de España," which but widens the breach. One discerns it in the ignoble jealousy of the Castilian, which rankles in the Catalan mind; for instance in speaking of Castilian literature of the nineteenth century he stops short at Fernán Caballero and makes no mention of the distinguished modern novelists. A writer who holds up Herbert Spencer as the ne plus ultra of philosophy (Spanish free-thinkers are a generation behind in certain phases of thought) need not be taken too seriously, but the "Cosas de España" voices what is serious.

"Ah Castillo Castillano! why have we ever known you!" exclaims the Catalan poet Briz, in his celebrated poem, "Cuatro pals de Sanch," the blazon of the province, its four red bars. "If to us remains only one of our four bars of blood, to you we owe the loss, thou kingdom of the castles and the hungry lions. But, O Castillo Castillano, alas for you, if you break our last pals de sanch!" This bitter spirit of revolt makes this grand old province that should be Spain's bulwark, Spain's weakness instead.

Would Catalonia gain by any of the changes she dreams of? Surely under the formalism of France, her self-willed independence would chafe and break loose, for independence is a characteristic of all Spaniards, in all ages, now and always; one cannot exaggerate it. Also the heart of the province is too deeply religious to live under the "Liberté" of her neighbor. In the United States religious liberty is little talked of, but is a solid fact, wherein the new world gives a needed lesson to the old, with its narrow horizons and petty disputes. In France, where this liberty is vaunted, it is a farce: no Catalan could long tolerate such freedom. Again, if this small state were independent, where would she stand? A thought that strikes one forcibly after a tour of the province, whose towns, Gerona, Lérida, Tarragona, are of mediocre importance. Catalonia independent would be practically one city, Barcelona, whose trade the central government could cripple by prohibitory tariffs. Her pride would suffer more as one of the smallest, weakest states in Europe, than it now suffers under its lawful king, part of an old race that once led the world, and which if only this discontented daughter would generously help, has red blood enough to again play a prominent part. Spain needs just such help as the Catalan can give, she needs his grit, his industry, his progressiveness. Could he now bear the overweighted burden in a better spirit, before many years it would be lightened. The north is awakening to industrial life; Bilbao, Santander, Gijón, Coruña, Vigo, will soon be strong trading centers, and the older commercial city can gather supporters to work for fiscal autonomy, since the chief grievance is the centralized system of government in Madrid. Let her agitate in a constitutional way for a system like the separate state arrangement of our union. The opposition of two vigorous sides is a sign of life in a nation. Discussion means change and advancement. For full vigor both sides are needed, the conservative to serve as brake on the democrat's too swiftly-turning wheels. An important cause of Spain's decay,[39] according to Don Juan Valera, came from all classes thinking the same way; drunk with pride on the ending of the centuries of crusade against their Moorish invader, with the discovery of a new continent the people lay back in slothful inertia, without the prick of dispute to rouse them. Opposition and struggle are essential to vigor, but disloyalty saps a nation's strength. Let them strike straight-front blows from the shoulder, for Madrid needs rousing, but let them not stab in the back. Often when wandering among the old tombs of Spain, those effigies of the grand-masters of Santiago, Calatrava and Alcántara, the plumed and helmeted knights of the noble brows, I recalled some ringing lines of Newbolt's. Every boy of Barcelona should know them by heart, they are not so needed in Castile:

"To set the cause above renown,
To love the game above the prize,
To honour while you strike him down
The foe that comes with fearless eyes.
To count the life of battle good,
And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood
That binds the brave of all the earth."

Her intense local patriotism has a more sympathetic side than double-naming her streets and bearing a jealous grudge against her central government. This is the revival of her provincial literature. The interest in dialects and folk lore is a tendency common to many countries to-day, but in Catalonia the movement is on a grand scale. There newspapers and magazines in dialect are circulated, poems and novels are printed not for the literary alone but for the populace. Men of undeniable genius have written in the local tongue, one of the first to use it being that strangely interesting character of the thirteenth century, Ramón Lull, seneschal of Majorca, troubadour, mystic hermit, philosopher, missionary, and his final glory, martyr for the Faith; he is honored in the Church as el beato Raimundo Lulio. By less than ten years he missed being the contemporary of the gentle Assisian, the habit of whose tertiaries he wore; he wandered through Italy while Dante was writing his visions, in that wonderful century called dark, that can claim a Thomas Aquinas, a Bonaventura, an Abertus Magnus, an Elizabeth of Hungary, a Dominic, an Anthony of Padua, and that scattered over Europe such witnesses of its upleap of aspiration as Amiens, Chartres, Westminster, Salisbury, Cologne, Strasburg, León, Toledo, Siena.

Lull was born in the capital of the Balearic Islands, which lie a day's sail from Barcelona, and having passed an apprenticeship at court under Jaime el Conquistador of Aragon, he led in Palma a life of pleasure and dissipation till his romantic conversion at thirty-two. Núñez de Arce has enshrined the legend in verse: so violent was the seneschal's pursuit of a fair lady of the city that he once on horseback followed her into church to the scandal of the people. The poet gives the final scene that cured his passion, when she who was so exquisite without, to repell his advances, exposed to him a hidden cancer. The shock changed the worldling to a saint. Distributing his goods to the poor, he retired to a mountain, and spent some years in prayer. Later in his energetic career he returned to this hermitage to pass again periods in meditation for his spiritual strengthening, being the first to show that special faculty of the Spanish mystic, the double life of solitary ecstasy and active charity. The desire to convert the Mohammedan took such possession of his soul that at forty he put himself to school, like the great Basque patron of a later day, and in Paris he studied logic and Arabic in preparation for his future career.

Lull attained fourscore years, the latter half of his life being dominated by his burning purpose to convert Islam. One pope after another as he mounted the chair of Peter was beseiged by this astonishing man, and he wandered from court to court urging the universities to teach the oriental languages, that missionaries for the East might be fittingly prepared. Little success crowned his efforts for popes and kings had troubles nearer home. The Catalan enthusiast came at an inopportune moment; the last two Crusades under St. Louis of France had left discouragement behind. However, before his death he had the satisfaction of seeing chairs of Hebrew and Arabic founded by a pope, by a French king, and in Spain and England. The indefatigable man visited Austria, Poland, and Greece; he advocated the protection of the Greeks against Moslem incursions, a result only achieved in our own day; he stopped in Cypress, traversed Armenia, Palestine, and Egypt, zealously expounding the Gospel. His first visit as an apostle to Northern Africa was a failure. There is something touching about this old missionary of six hundred years ago being driven out of Tunis—he and his loved library—and embarked with harsh orders never to return. Not in any spirit of patronage did he labor for the conversion of souls, but wiser than many to-day he carried with him true knowledge and respect for the Mohammedans. His liberal intelligence assimulated much that was of value in their ideas, especially from those heretics of Islam, the Persian Sufis, or mystics.

A second time when over seventy Lull ventured across to Africa, and again he—and the books—were violently expelled. I fear our blessed Raimundo was a bit of a visionary, he thought to convince by intellectual debate. The king of England learning of the old scholar's chemical studies, with the curiosity of the period in regard to the philosopher's stone, invited him to London, and lodged him with the monks of Westminster Abbey. Chemistry was merely a side issue in the life of the great missionary. Just short of his eightieth year, with untiring courage and magnificent faith, he set forth once more on his final apostleship to the Mohammedan, and once more preached in Egypt, Jerusalem, and Tunis. At Bugia he was stoned by the furious populace, who left him for dead on the beach, and some Genoese merchants carried away his almost lifeless body. Before they reached the harbor of Palma the martyr had died, and his townsmen buried him with honors in the church of his master, St. Francis.

Lull's books, the "Ars Magna" and the "Arbor Scientiæ," are filled with the curious system he evolved for reducing discords. He tried to co-ordinate and facilitate the operations of the mind, to simplify all sciences by showing them to be branches of one trunk. Much of his theory may be fanciful and impractical, but it was a truly suggestive idea based on the profound truth of the unity of knowledge. He explored many branches of the human mind, and left works on medicine, theology, politics, jurisprudence, mathematics and chemistry. The accusation of alchemy is untenable, for he made his experiments in scientific good faith, and wrote against astrology. For three centuries, down to the time of Descartes, Lull was considered a leader of the intellect, and his books were recommended by the universities of Europe.

The Catalan dialect has been used by men of marked talent in our own time. The whole of Spain should be as proud of Padre Jacinto Verdaguer, as all France is of their Provençal, Mistral. Verdaguer's "Atlantada," called the best epic of the century, was crowned in 1855 at the Floral Games, festivals which are held in Barcelona each year, for competitions in verse and prose, and to revive the national dances.

This intellectual movement rouses the stranger's enthusiasm, and if it keeps itself dissociated from politics,—those abominable politics that sink every noble thing they fasten on, patriotism, education, religion, art,—the revival may prove more than a passing phase. Alert in literature, in music, in the sciences, in municipal progress, and commercial success, what need has this city to be jealous of the capital; they are too different for comparison. Madrid lacks much that Barcelona can claim; a Catalan could emulate some Castilian qualities. Each vitally needs the other.



"I count him wise
Who loves so well man's noble memories
He needs must love man's nobler hopes yet more!"

"Una restauración de la vida entera de España no puede tener otro punto de arranque que la concentración de todas nuestras energías dentro de nuestro territorio. Hay que cerrar con cerrojos, llaves, y candados todas las puertas por donde el espíritu español se escapó de España para derramarse por los cuatro puntos del horizonte, y por donde hoy espera que ha de venir la salvación; y en cada una de esas puertas no pondremos un rótulo dantesco que diga: "Lasciate ogni speranza," sino este otro más consolador, más humano, muy profundamente humano, imitado de San Ajustín: "Noli foras ire; in interiore Híspaniæ habitat veritas."

ANGEL GANIVET: "Idearium Español."

THE day drew near for our leaving Spain. Eight months had passed since we entered from the north of the Pyrenees isthmus, and now we found ourselves at its southern exit. They had been months filled with an absorbing and unexpected interest; we had come into Spain for a mere autumn tour, and she had forced us to linger. And I must repeat that I came with the average pessimistic idea that she was a spent and more or less worthless country, till what I saw about me daily changed me to a partisan. It was a hard farewell to take now. When Spain is allowed to show herself as she is, she wins a regard that is like an intense personal affection.

A Street Stairway, Gerona
A Street Stairway, Gerona

At dawn on the early day in June set for our departure we left Barcelona; before night we would be in France, but the leave-taking was to be broken by some hours in Gerona. As usual it was the fact of its possessing a first-rate church that determined us to stop. This was to be the last of the grand cathedrals which more than those of any land, even of France with their purer art, had realized my ideal of worship and reverence. As Gerona was in Catalonia, good architecture was to be expected, but this was better than good. The Cathedral which dominates the town was worthy of its stirring memories. An imposing flight of eighty steps, like that of the Ara Cœli in Rome, ascends to its west portal. At the head of this staircase we paused to look out on the panorama of the Pyrenees—mountain rose behind mountain, the foreground hills well-wooded, those beyond covered with snow. Here was no stupid Escorial facing in to a blank wall. The old masters with vivifying imaginations had brought the glories of nature to worship with them, had hung as it were in their porch, this lovely landscape.

Within the Cathedral the first impression is its spaciousness. The width is astonishing; indeed the hall-like nave of Gerona is the widest Gothic vault in Christendom, and were it longer by two bays, no cathedral of Europe could have surpassed the effect. The wide nave of Catalan churches is a national feature that here reaches its acme. The choir of Gerona is on a smaller scale, and the meeting of the two makes a curious feature, not bad inside, but in the exterior view extremely ugly. Probably in time the choir would have been enlarged to fit its monstrous nave. The men in those days started undertakings as if they could never die, but later generations have lacked their enthusiastic ambition.

By happy chance we were in time to assist at a last High Mass in a Spanish cathedral. It is no exaggeration to say one's heart felt heavy in listening to the solemn chanting, watching the reverence of priests, acolytes, and congregation, to realize that this was for the last time. The last time we should see the kiss of peace carried symbolically from the priest at the altar to the canons in the choir, the last time we should hear the clamor of the wheel of bells. I looked up to where they hung on the wall and nodded them a little personal farewell, so often had they charmed me. Farewell to sedate Spanish piety, to the devotional unconsciousness of individual prayer. Over the frontier, during the coming summer at Luchon, I was soon to hear wooden signals clapped during Mass to guide the wandering attention of the people, to see the children scamper out in obvious relief.

The chancel of Gerona is a gem. The iron reja that shuts in the capilla mayor is of the plainest, like a wall of stacked spears guarding the holy of holies. There is no towering retablo, which would be out of character with slender Catalan piers; instead, behind the altar is a marvelous reredos of silver carved in scenes, and surmounted by three Byzantine processional crosses,—all ancient and priceless enough to be the treasure of a national museum. The altar and the canopy over it are also of silver, retablo and altar being placed where they now stand in 1346. The effect of iron reja and precious shrine is faultlessly artistic; we sigh here for a beauty as completely lost for our copying as is the tranquil perfection of these gravestones, the sculptured stelæ of Athens.

The service over, we proceeded to examine the church. The cloisters are oddly irregular in shape, and look out on the snow-topped Pyrenees. So beautiful was the prospect that I added this cloister setting to the dream-cathedral Spain tempts one to build. It would have the cloisters of Tarragona with this outlook of Gerona's; also Gerona's altar and retablo, though the reredos of Avila and that of Tarragona are worthy rivals. There would be the grand staircase of this Cathedral, and it would ascend to a western portal like León's, with Santiago's Pórtico de la Gloria within; the north and south doors would be Plateresque from Salamanca and Valladolid. The cathedral would be set on Lérida's crag, with the city of Toledo climbing to it and the Tagus churning below. The nave would be Seville's, and Seville's windows would light it and her organ thunder there. The choir would be Toledo's, carved by Rodrigo, Berruguete, and Vigarni, the chancel Barcelona's stilted arches. How they could be combined is hard to solve, but round this capilla mayor would run the double ambulatory of Toledo, and the apse outside have León's flying buttresses,—the apse which the old mystics held as symbolic of the crown of thorns about the head of Christ (the Altar). Rejas from Burgos, Granada, Seville, would guard the chapels, and tombs of knights and bishops from Sigüenza, from Zamora—from every town of Spain in fact—would line the walls: tapestries and treasures from Saragossa; a via crucis by Hernández and portrait statues by Montañés; a sacristy like that of Avila; a sala capitular copied from the Renaissance grace of San Benito in Alcántara; and a wealth of side chapels,—a Condestable chapel, a San Isidoro, a Cámera Santa, a San Millán, a Santa María la Blanca, and an isolated shrine like Palencia's, standing in the ambulatory. And always beneath the vault of this cathedral would be found far-off little Lugo's solemn adoration, and there would be processions as imposing as Andalusia, with the piety of Estremadura, or the Basque. The Giralda, built in the warm red stone of Astorga tower, would stand close by, and not far away, a monastery, line for line, like Poblet. Sitting in a Spanish cloister looking out on the Pyrenees, one drifts into dream-pictures of the ideal cathedral.

Gerona has a few other churches worth examining, that of San Feliu, with two Roman sarcophagi and several early Christian ones with wave-like lines. We rambled about the plaza where a fair was in progress, and at every turning kept bidding farewell to familiar scenes of Spanish life; we were not again to hear the peace-bringing "Vaya Usted con Dios!" not again to assent to the cordial "Hasta luego!"

The city is massively built, but it has a battered look, and no wonder. During the French invasion, Gerona stood a siege as terrific as any in history, yet who of us has heard of it? In May, 1809, a French army surrounded the city where there were only three thousand soldiers for the defense, yet for seven months the town defied the invaders, and that with half a dozen breaches in the walls. The women shouldered guns and drilled in a battalion formed by Doña Lucía Fitzgerald; old men and children piled up the earth of the ramparts; cloistered nuns, at a higher call, left their convents to nurse the wounded to whom they gave up their cells, so many priests fell fighting on the walls that no services were held in the churches, there was only the burning of candles; no one bought or sold, for every shopman was a soldier. When a gallant English volunteer died on the ramparts, he exclaimed that he lost his life gladly in a cause so just for a nation so heroic.

The French drew closer and closer, and slowly the city starved. The hardships endured were incredible. They ate rats and mice, yet no thought came of surrender. A hot August dragged by, in September the French attacked fiercely and on both sides the men fell like flies. Who was the soul of this indomitable fortitude? The order and subordination told of a master mind, and Gerona had one, Don Mariano Alvarez de Castro, the inflexible governor. He it was who enrolled the women and children in the defense; his lofty spirit never wavered, and his force of character gave him so accepted an authority that he was able to direct a hopeless defense without recourse to cruelty. The siege of Gerona was not stained by any brutal act.

The blockade drew closer. By October literally all food was gone, and the people began to fall in the streets to a foe more terrible than bullets. Governor Alvarez stood like a rock of courage. When he passed up the Cathedral steps where the heart-rending groups of the dying lay, his very presence gave hope: if there was a faint-hearted citizen in Gerona, he was more afraid of that iron man than of the French. Never would the governor have yielded, but toward the close of the year he fell ill in the infested air, and as he lay in delirium the city capitulated. With hundreds of dead bodies lying unburied in the streets, there was nothing else to be done.

Then followed a scene which did honor to the invader; it rings with the same chivalry that Velasquez painted in the "Surrender of Breda," where Spínola bends to meet the conquered Nassau, the same spirit that made those Frenchmen of an earlier day carry a certain wounded knight, their prisoner, on a litter from Pamplona across the mountains to his castle of Loyola. The foreign troops marched into Gerona in a dead silence, with not a gesture of triumph, moved to awe by the corpses that covered the pavements and to reverence by the few hollow-eyed, living skeletons that met them. The moral victory lay with the conquered. When food was offered the starved people, even that was at first refused. Don Mariano Alvarez, taken prisoner on his bed, died mysteriously, poisoned, some say, in the fortress of Figueras not long after. And all this horror and heroism was only a hundred years ago!—we too walked the streets of Gerona in silent reverence.

Then once again on the train; more volcanic hills, more dry rivers that showed what the spring torrents must be like, and in a few hours Port-Bou, the Spanish frontier town, was reached. We stood at the car window looking out sadly on the last of Spain as the train swept round the blue inlets of the Mediterranean.

Farewell to this great Christian democracy where the simple title of Don is borne by king and people alike, to the "nation least material of Europe," farewell to a grave, contented race, whose leaders left noble works as noble as their lives, whose writers were soldiers and heroes, where artists prepared for religious scenes by fasting and prayers, where mystics were not negative and inert, but emerged from their union with God with more power for practical life, whose women have by instinct the dignity of womanhood, untainted yet by luxury, a land that can boast the two first women of all ages and countries, an Isabella of Castile, and a St. Teresa.

Some may think I carry admiration too far. Carping criticism of Spain has been pushed to such an extent that it is time to swing to the other side: where there can be no joy, no admiration, there can be no stimulus. I like to take M. René Bazin's words as if addressed to me: "Vous avez raison de croire à la vitalité de l'Espagne. Elle n'a jamais été une nation déchue, elle a été une nation blessée."

A wounded nation but not one stricken to death. She is recovering. Let her but be patient and aspire slowly; disciplined, tried in the fire and purified, by living without the ceaseless upheavals of the past century, by industry, by commerce, with no encumbering colonies to drain her blood, with the Catalans calling the Castilians "paisanos," she will get back her former strength and brio. Her literature, her art, are lifting their heads.

My prayer for Spain in her rehabilitation is, that she may not diverge from her national spirit and traditions, may modern ideas not change her unworldliness and her stoical endurance, "su esencia inmortal y su propio carácter." May she guard her faith, her glory in the past and her aspiration for the future, the faith of the Cross that has struck deeper root here than in any spot on earth, but remembering always that her own greatest saint warns her: "In the spiritual life not to advance is to go back." May she never lose the virile independence of character that so distinguishes her people, the pride of simple manhood that looks out of the eyes of her honorable peasantry and makes their innate courtesy. No nation was ever formed so completely by the chivalry of the Middle Ages as Spain. May she always be España la heróica!


A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z


Acuña, tomb of Bishop, 40, 41

Africa, 74, 86, 87, 178, 230, 245, 246, 337, 409, 416, 417

Ajustina of Aragon ("Maid of Saragossa"), 381

Alacón, Pedro Antonio de, 151, 328, 335, 336, 337

Alas, Leopoldo, 93, 328, 341, 342, 349

Alba de Tormes, 159, 160, 200, 205-210

Albertus Magnus, 414

Alcalá de Henares, 28, 67, 73, 142, 238, 244, 246, 249, 342, 372

Alcántara, 359-364, 394

Alcántara, St. Peter of, 199

Alfonso II, el Casto, 90, 94

Alfonso VI, 87, 116, 129, 231, 236

Alfonso VIII, él de las Navas, 50, 84

Alfonso X, el sabio, 134, 291, 375

Alfonso XI, 250

Alfonso XII, 179, 180, 217, 333, 337, 343

Alfonso XIII, 50, 174, 180, 181, 182, 217, 287, 289, 290, 291, 292, 351, 355

Alhambra, the, 86, 258, 265-272, 280, 396

Almohades, the, 88

Almoravides, the, 88

Altamira y Crevea, Sr. Rafael, 327

Alva, Duke of, 65, 205

Alvarez de Castro, Mariano, 426, 427, 428

Amadeus I (Duke of Aosta), 179, 333

America, the U. S. of, 9, 16, 18, 41, 64, 128, 140, 209, 332, 370, 397, 411

America, South, 90, 177, 211, 248, 290, 319, 332, 364, 365, 366, 395, 397

Amicis, Edmondo de, 259

Amiens, cathedral of, 81, 415

Andalusia, 2, 37, 87, 102, 105, 112, 151, 178, 189, 225, 230, 242, 257 259, 316, 317, 319, 333, 336, 343

Aquinas, St. Thomas, 187, 414

Aragon, 79, 105, 226, 372, 375-384, 391

Architecture, 9, 36, 42, 43, 48, 54, 81, 91, 147, 151, 232, 295, 385, 393, 400, 403, 421. See Gothic, Romanesque, Plateresque

Arenal, Doña Concepción, 133

Arfe family, the de, 202, 312

Armory, Madrid, the Royal, 114, 220, 226, 227, 228

Arroyo, 360, 363, 368

Astorga, 4, 105, 113-116, 141, 159

Asturias, 4, 79-103, 105, 112, 267, 341, 346

Asturias, Prince of, 84, 85, 288, 291, 324

Athens, 149, 268, 423

Augustine, St., 18, 155, 156, 189, 246, 342

Augustus Cæsar, 107, 392

Averroës, 88, 319

Avila, 6, 159, 160, 162, 164, 166, 195-212, 213, 216, 269, 273, 396

Azcoitia, 14, 18, 23

Azpeitia, 23, 30, 31


Baalbec, ruins of, 353

Bacon, Lord, 28, 64, 69, 135

Bailén, battle of, 172, 380

Balearic Islands, 415

Balmes y Uspia, Jaime, 210

Baltazar Carlos, infante, Don, 60, 221, 227, 378

Balzac, Honoré de, 327, 333

Barcelona, 7, 8, 26, 28, 140, 146, 216, 345, 379, 394, 395-419, 421

Basque Provinces, 4, 13-32, 36, 79, 83, 101, 105

Bazán, Doña Emilia Pardo, see Pardo Bazán

Bazin, M. René, 79, 258, 347, 429

Becerra, Gaspar, 115

Bécquer, Gustavo Adolfo, 256

Bembo, Pietro, Cardinal, 251

Benedict XIV, 136

Benedictine rule, the, 48, 49, 135, 136, 225, 364, 389

Benson, Rev. Robert Hugh, 188

Berruguete, Alonso de, 44, 60, 82, 205, 233, illustration 256, 377, 424

Bidassoa, river, 15

Bilbao, 4, 91, 140, 412

Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente, 328, 340, 341

Boabdil, 227

Bobadilla, 2, 265

Bonaventura, St., 187, 414

Borgia, St. Francis (de Borja), 21, 26, 28, 30, 191, 199, 240, 251, 252, 253, 254, 371

Borromeo, St. Charles, 191, 255

Borrow, George, quoted, 283

Boston, U. S. A., 64, 118, 148, 224

Bourbon kings in Spain, the, 72, 136, 171, 173, 234, 324, 367

Briz, Francisco Pelayo, 411

Browning, Robert, 34

Brunetière, Ferdinand, 337

Budé, Guillaume, 28

Byron, Lord, 321, 381

Byzantine Influences in Spanish Art, 48, 94, 96, 108, 148, 262, 403, 423

Bull-fight, the, 11, 16, 127, 128, 129, 309, 358

Burgos, 4, 33-54, 55, 56, 57, 92, 95, 148, 189, 201, 204, 273, 424


Caballero, Fernán, pseud (Doña Cecelia B. von F. de Arrom), 127, 328, 329, 330, 343, 411

Cáceres, 356, 357, 358, 359, 362, 364, 369

Cadiz, 7, 71, 143, 176, 178, 316-325

Calatyud, 376

Calderón de la Barca, Pedro, 240, 253, 327

Calvin, John, 68

Campion, Edmund, 68

Campoamor, Ramón de, 179, 274

Cano, Alonzo, 60, 61

Cano, Melchor, 153

Cantabrian mountains, 82, 83, 84, 102, 112, 122, 124, 347, 348

Carmelite Order, the, 183, 189, 198, 199, 200

Carmona, Salvador, see illustration 327

Carr, Sir John, 381, 382

Castelar y Ripoll, Emilio, 179

Castile, 6, 12, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 54, 55, 79, 83, 101, 105, 165, 184, 196, 201, 204, 211, 212, 228, 229, 238, 245, 247, 257, 259, 267, 282, 397, 411, 429

Catalan language, 409, 414, 418

Catalan question, 409-414

Catalonia, 3, 79, 101, 105, 134, 253, 383, 385, 388, 391, 392, 396, 397, 400, 404, 405, 409, 410, 411, 412, 414, 419, 421, 429

Cathedrals, Spanish, 38, 42, 43, 108, 149, 150, 151, 202, 219, 233, 261, 404, 421, 422, 423, 424.
Avila, 110, 150, 201, 205, 232, 425.
Astorga, 115, 425.
Barcelona, 150, 403, 404, 424.
Burgos, 36-48, 54, 148, 150, 424.
Cadiz, 323.
Cordova, 261-265.
Gerona, 421-424.
Grenada, 271, 424.
León, 47, 57, 108-111, 150, 415, 424.
Lérida, 385, 387, 388, 424.
Lugo, 122, 123, 124, 425.
Oviedo, 92, 93, 94, 108.
Palencia, 80, 151, 425.
Santiago, 57, 107. 130-133.
Salamanca, 108, 146-148, 152.
Saragossa, 151, 376, 377, 378, 424.
Seville, 111, 150, 216, 232, 285, 287, 289, 292, 293-315, 424.
Segovia, 165, 166, 167, 168.
Sigüenza, 150, 374, 424.
Tarragona, 393, 424.
Toledo, 150, 216, 232-238, 415, 424.
Valladolid, 56, 57.
Zamora, 117, 118, 424

Catherine of Aragon, 28, 224, 342

Cavadonga, 85, 86, 94, 102, 172, 227, 406

Cellini, Benvenuto, 150, 216

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 69, 72-78, 142, 155, 166, 189, 228, 240, 249, 250, 253, 255, 326, 349

Charles I of England, 165

Charles V (Charles I of Spain), Emperor, 26, 39, 72, 129, 199, 204, 216, 218, 223, 227, 249, 251, 253, 261, 265, 269, 292, 365, 366, 367, 368

Charles II, 218, 221

Charles IV, 171, 175, 226

Chartres, Cathedral of, 81, 268, 400, 415

Chartreuse, La Grande, 24

Chesterton, Mr. Gilbert K., 100

Churches, Spanish:
Alcántara; S. Benito, 364, 424.
Asturias; S. M. de Naranco, 95, 96, 97, 403.
S. Miguel de Lino, 96, 403.
Avila; Encarnación, convent of, 197, 199.
S. José, convent of, 190, 199, 200.
S. Segundo, 205.
Son soles, hermitage of, 202, 203.
S. Tomás, 197, 203, 204, 205.
Barcelona; S. Ana, 403.
S. M. del Mar, 403.
S. M. del Pino, 403.
S. Pablo del Campo, 403.
Burgos; Las Huelgas, convent of, 49, 50.
Miraflores, convent of, 48.
S. Lermes, 47.
S. Nicolás, 46.
Cadiz; S. Felipe Neri, 71, 324.
Capuchin church, 323.
Gerona; S. Feliu, 425.
Granada; S. Gerónimo, 270.
Madrid; S. Isidro, 57.
León; S. Isidoro, 107, 108, 123, 214, 425.
S. Marcos, 111.
Salamanca; S. Esteban, 153, 154.
Espíritu Santo, 153.
Seville; S. Magdalena, 314.
Omnium Sanctorum, 281.
S. Paula, 281.
S. Marcos, 281.
University Church, 371.
Segovia; S. Martín, 166.
S. Millán, 166, 425.
Toledo; S. Bartolomé, 235.
S. Cristo de la Luz, 231.
S. Cristo de la Vega, 256.
S. Domingo, 235.
S. M. la Blanca, 231, 425.
S. Juan de los Reyes, 239.
S. Pedro Mártir, 252.
S. Tomé, 235, 253.
El Tránsito, 231.
Valladolid; S. Cruz, 59.
S. M. la Antigua, 57.
S. Gregorio, 59.
S. Pablo, 59

Churriguera, José de, 25, 123, 152

Churrigueresque Architecture, 25, 57, 123, 152, 207, 219, 376

Cid Campeador, the, 50-54, 87, 108, 116, 117, 129, 147, 230, 231

Clavijo, battle of, 47, 96

Coloma, Padre Luis, 343

Colonna, Vittoria, 227, 333

Columbus, Christopher (Cristóbal Colón), 72, 78, 153, 154, 268, 301, 395, 396

Comuneros, uprising of the, 72, 204, 227, 366

Constantinople, 75, 131, 217, 234, 260, 262, 303

Constitutions of Spain, 174, 176-180, 204, 324, 382, 383

Cordova, 7, 87, 258-265, 281, 332

Córdova, Gonsalvo de, Gran Capitán, 227, 270, 319

Cortés, Hernán, 113, 146, 290

Coruña, 4, 91, 122, 125, 126, 344, 412

Cranmer, Thomas, Archbishop, 68

Crashaw, Richard, 27, 191, 194, 198

Creighton, Mandell, Bishop, 64

Cromwell, Oliver, 65


Dante Alighieri, 134, 414

Daoiz, Luis, 172, 324

Darro, river, 268, 271

Democracy, Spanish, 37, 49, 73, 92, 99, 100, 112, 144, 152, 168, 202, 204, 228, 238, 284, 309, 336, 345, 355, 358, 382, 392, 428

Descartes, René, 28, 194, 418

Deza, Diego de, 153, 154

Dickens, Charles, 9, 282

Domenech, Sr. Rafael, 234, 371

Dominic, St. (de Guzmán), 114, 319, 414

Dominican Order, the, 59, 153, 197, 203, 248

"Don Quixote," 9, 75, 76, 77, 85, 92, 105, 107, 138, 170, 259, 326, 327, 328, 331, 335, 341, 347, 354, 374, 383

Dos de Mayo (May 2, 1808), 159, 172, 176, 225, 323, 324, 379, 380

Douro, river, 117

Dupanloup, Félix Antoine, Mgr., 189

Dürer, Albrecht, 356

Durham, 229


Ebro, river, 376

Edward I, of England, 49, 84

Edward VI, of England, 68

Egypt, 35, 417

Elche, 80, 310

Eleanor Plantagenet, Queen of Spain, 49, 50, 374

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), 215, 220, 234, 235, 238, 370, 371

Elizabeth of England (Tudor), 63, 372

Ellis, Mr. Henry Havelock, quoted, 314, 379

Emmet, Dr. Thos. Addis, 66

England, the English, 6, 9, 40, 63, 64, 66, 84, 112, 121, 140, 149, 170, 172, 175, 180, 209, 282, 316, 332, 352, 359, 370, 398, 405, 406, 417

English College, Valladolid, 62, 63, 71, 72

Erasmus, Desiderius, 28, 244, 272, 342

Escorial, the, 56, 194, 211, 213-219, 234, 421

Eslava, Miguel Hilarión, 302, 315

Espartero, General, 178

Espluga, 389, 390

Estremadura, 7, 34, 105, 145, 351-368, 425

Eugénie, Empress, 114

Eyck, Jan van, 224


Ferdinand I, el Magno, 116

Ferdinand III, el Santo, 50, 227, 289, 292

Ferdinand V, el Católico, 19, 72, 245, 247, 249, 272, 378

Ferdinand VII, 173, 174, 176, 177, 179, 381

Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Gerónimo, 70, 135, 136, 210

Fernán Caballero, see Caballero

Feuillet, Octave, 371

Figueras, 428

Fisher, John, Bishop, 68

Fitzmaurice-Kelley, Mr. James, quoted, 193

Flaubert, Gustave, 346

Ford, Richard, 8, 65, 195, 219, 236, 266, 282, 359

Fortuny, Mariano, 408

Forment Damián, 377

France, the French, 6, 24, 33, 46, 66, 104, 108, 144, 149, 163, 169, 189, 251, 276, 347, 349, 371, 383, 397, 400, 407, 410, 421, 423, 427

Francia, Francisco Raibolini, called, 323

Francis of Assisi, St. 47, 128, 195, 218, illustration 327

Franciscan Order, the, 77, 225, 239, 240, 249, 414, 417

Francis Borgia, St., see Borgia

Francis I, of France, 244, 227, 373

Francis de Sales, St., see Sales

Francis Xavier, St., see Xavier

French Invasion, the, 35, 54, 58, 65, 142, 150, 157, 172, 176, 177, 232, 270, 323, 335, 380, 382, 425, 426, 427

Froude, James Anthony, 40, 195


Galdós, Benito Pérez, see Pérez Galdós

Galicia, 4, 61, 105, 121-141, 159, 344, 345

Gallegos, Fernando, 323

Gandía, Duke of, see Borgia, St. Francis

Ganivet, Angel, 22, 330, 420

Garcilaso de la Vega, 166, 227, 240, 250-252, 253

Gardner Collection, Boston, Mrs. J. L., 224

Gaudix, 151, 336

Gautier, Théophile, 20, 107, 226, 295

Gener, Sr. Pompeo, 410

Germaine de Foix, Queen of Aragon, 19, 247, 272

Germany, 6, 66, 112, 173, 237, 328

Gerona, 8, 173, 179, 323, 379, 412, 420-428

Gibraltar, 2, 3, 96

Gijón, 91, 412

Godoy, Manuel, Prince of the Peace, 65, 171, 175

Goethe, Johan Wolfgang von, quoted, 33

Gomez de Castro, Alvaro, 242

Góngora y Argote, Luis de, 252

Gothic Architecture, 46, 57, 80, 81, 93, 108, 111, 115, 123, 147, 153, 165, 167, 201, 216, 232, 233, 261, 303, 307, 364, 374, 385, 387, 391, 393, 403, 422

Goths, in Spain, the, 85, 96, 98, 115, 219, 227, 230, 231, 235, 318, 319, 368, 378

Goya, Francisco, 136, 220, 225, 226

Granada, 7, 60, 88, 217, 227, 239, 243, 244, 253, 265-273, 336, 406, 424

Granada, Luis de, 153, 252

Gregorovius, Ferdinand, 147

Greece, 96, 134, 234, 416, 423

Guadalajara, 8, 372, 373

Guadaloupe, 368

Guadalquivir, river, 230

Guadarrama Mountains, 6, 170, 214, 221

Guardia Civil, the, 101, 401, 402

Guipúzcoa, 14, 15

Guizot, François-Pierre-Guillaume, 70

Guzmán el bueno, 106

Guzmán family, the, 106, 114, 251

Guzmán, Domingo de, see Dominic, St.

Gypsies, Spanish, 115, 267, 271


Hadrian, Emperor, 281

Hapsburg Kings, in Spain, 70, 72, 129, 204, 214, 324, 367

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrick, 326

Henry II of England, 84

Henry VII of England, 269

Henry VIII of England, 28, 85

Hernández, Gregorio, 61, 62, 424

Herrera, Fernando de, poet, 252

Herrera, Juan de, architect, 56, 57, 213, 376, 408

Hervás y Panduro, Lorenzo, 153

Hobson, Lieut. Richmond Pearson, 370

Hogarth, William, 225

Holy Week in Seville, 302-315

Hugo, Victor, 13, 339

Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 183, 187, 193, 225, 347, 385


Ignatius, St., see Loyola

Infantado, Duke del, 373

Inquisition, the, 64-71, 136, 155, 176, 245, 324, 365

Invincible Armada, the, 40, 76, 90, 279, 283

Ireland, 66, 134, 178, 179

Irish College, Salamanca, 153, 157, 158

Irún, 2, 16

Irving, Washington, 86

Isabella I, the Catholic, 48, 64, 72, 85, 89, 129, 133, 137, 154, 162, 166, 173, 180, 182, 203, 204, 217, 227, 241, 242, 244, 245, 252, 268, 272, 273, 292, 342, 379, 402, 429

Isabella II, 166, 173, 174, 177, 179

Isabella of Portugal, Empress, 223, illustration 253, 255

Isidoro, San, 107, 319

Isla, José Francisco de la, 70, 153, 210

Islamism, 65, 87, 88, 243, 262, 263, 264, 268, 417

Italica, 278, 281, 289, 359

Italy, the Italians, 5, 30, 60, 74, 96, 107, 173, 223, 224, 251, 270, 272, 276, 280, 281, 334, 349, 352, 370, 377, 408


Jaime I, el Conquistador, 106, 227, 391, 415

James, St., apostle, él de España, 97, 114, 121, 246

Jerez de la Frontera, 316

Jerusalem, 27, 121, 123, 263, 310, 311, 417

Jesuit Order, the, 20-32, 153, 225, 255, 343

Jews in Spain, the, 67, 70, 88, 318, 319, 332, 364, 365, 367, 368

Jimena, wife of the Cid, 50, 52, 53, 108, 116

Jimenez de Cisneros, see Ximenez

John of Austria, Don, 73, 76, 227, 252

John of the Cross, St. (Juan de Yepes), 44, 70, 199, 234, 252

Jordán, Esteban, 60

Joubert, Joseph, 13, 24, 149

Juana la loca, 247, 271

Juan II, 48, 72, 113, 129

Juan de la Cruz, San, see John of the Cross

Juní, Juan de, 60


Lafayette, General de, 16

La Granja, 168, 170, 171, 173, 174, 181

Lainez, Diego, 153, 255

Lancaster, John of Gaunt, Duke of, 84

Lannes, Jean, Marshall, 382

Larra, Mariano José de, 36

Las Huelgas, convent of, 49, 50, 153

Las Casas, Bartolomé de, 59, 153, 248

Lea, Henry Charles, 70

Lebrija, Doña Francisca de, 342

Lee, Robert E., General, 64

Legazpi, Miguel Lopez de, 18

Leibnitz, Gottfried Wilhelm von, 194

Lenormant, Charles, 70

León, city of, 4, 83, 105, 106-113, 114, 122, 214, 424, 425

León, province of, 4, 14, 34, 82, 104-120, 142, 157

León, Luis de, 44, 68, 70, 154-157, 193, 210, 252, 319, 349

Leonado da Vinci, 222, 370

Lepanto, Battle of, 73, 75, 216, 227

Lérida, 335-388, 412, 424

Lilly, Mr. W. S., quoted, 183

Llorente, Juan Antonio, 65

Lockhart, James Gibson, 52, 53

Lombardy, 57, 74, 96, 107, 400

London, 28, 220, 319, 417

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, quoted, 316

Lorraine, Claude Gelée, called Claude, 224

Loti, M. Pierre, 148, 149, 371

Louis IX of France, St., 50, 375, 416

Louis Philippe of France, 177

Lowell, James Russell, quoted, 104, 110, 121, 395

Loyola, 4, 16, 19-32

Loyola, St. Ignatius, 17, 19-32, 153, 191, 252, 255, 319, 371, 394, 403, 415, 427

Lucca, 17, 122

Lucero, Diego Rodríguez de, inquisitor, 245

Lugo, 4, 114, 122-125, 425

Lull, Ramón (Raimundo Lulio), 319, 395, 414-418

Luna, Alvaro de, 72, 233

Lusitania, 352

Luther, Martin, 192


Macaulay, Thomas Babbington, 191

Madrid, 2, 6, 7, 77, 80, 101, 114, 141, 142, 146, 160, 166, 169, 172, 176, 179, 213, 216, 219-228, 231, 277, 286, 287, 292, 336, 344, 349, 355, 369-372, 410, 412, 419

Maimonides, Moses, 88, 319

Maistre, Joseph de, 70, 136

Málaga, 102, 247

Mallock, Mr. W. H., quoted, 210

Manresa, 27, 394, 403

Manrique, Jorge, 241, 250

Mantegna, Andrea, 224

Maragatos, the, 115

Marcus Aurelius, 242

Mariana, Juan de, 153, 256

Maria Cristina of Austria, Queen-Dowager, Doña, 174, 180

Martial, 376, 392

Martyr, Peter, 89, 272

Mary I of England (Tudor), 66, 68, 85, 223, 224, 372

Masaccio, Tommaso Guidi, called, 110

Mateo, Maestro, 131, 132

Mecca, 261, 263

Medinaceli, family of, 290, 375

Medina del Campo, 4, 160, 162, 164

Medrano, Doña Lucía de, 342

Melanchthon, Philipp, 68

Memling, Hans, 224

Mena, Juan de, 250

Mendoza, family of, 47, 242, 252, 373

Mendoza, Diego Hurtado de, 252

Mendoza, Pedro Gonzales, Cardinal, 60, 238, 241, 242, 256, 268, 374

Menéndez y Pelayo, Marcelino, 67, 70, 134, 156, 348-350

Meredith, George, quoted, 55

Mérida, 145, 352-356, 363

Messina, 74

Michelangelo Buonarroti, 60

Mino da Fiesole, 48, 132

Miño, river, 4, 122, 124, 125, 138

Miraflores, Monastery of, 48, 203, 216

Mistral, Federi, 418

Monforte, 122, 137, 138

Montañés, Juan Martinez, 44, 308, 371, 424

Montesquieu, Charles, 326

Montserrat, 26, 27, 394

Monzón, 384

Moore, Sir John, 125

Moors, the, 3, 13, 50, 51, 53, 67, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 94, 96, 115, 116, 117, 129, 148, 178, 196, 205, 216, 219, 227, 230, 235, 239, 243, 244, 249, 258-270, 289, 300, 304, 313, 318, 352, 364, 365, 367, 369, 393, 415, 417

Moorish Art, 258, 267, 268, 280, 281, 294, 379

Moriscos, Expulsion of the, 86, 89, 90, 365

More, Sir Thomas, 68

Moro, Antonio, 223, 224

Motley, John Lothrop, 224, 380

Mozarabic Mass, the, 235-238

Mudéjar Architecture, 59, 231, 232, 280, 290, 373

Müller, Prof. Friederich Max, 153

Murat, Joachim, Marshall, 380

Murcia, 105, 372

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban, 44, 225, 234, 237, 253, 280, 293, 298, 323, 370

Mystics, Spanish, 10, 11, 12, 22, 27, 183, 186, 187, 191, 193, 195, 198, 212, 242, 319, 331, 371, 414, 415, 428


Napier, Sir Wm. F. P., 172

Naples, 74, 270, 332, 397

Napoleon I, 35, 172, 173, 176, 382

Navarre, 14, 29, 50, 79, 105, 247, 372, 383

Navas de Tolosa, battle of, Las, 50, 242

Nelson, Horatio, Admiral, 370

Neri, St. Philip, 31, 191

Newbolt, Mr. Henry, quoted, 413

New England, 64, 118, 148, 289, 361, 397

Novels, Modern Spanish, 93, 134, 170, 195, 326-350

Núñez de Arce, Gaspar, 112, 415


O'Donnell y Jorris, General Leopoldo, 178

Olivares, Conde Duque de, 221

Ommiade dynasty, the, 87, 88, 89

Oran, siege of, 239, 246

Ordoño II of León, 108

O'Reilly, Count Alexander, 178

Ormsby, John, 51

Osuna, Duke of, 47

Oviedo, 4, 79, 90-103, 106, 108, 135, 341, 342

Oxford, 28, 68, 342, 143, 152


Padilla, Juan de, 227, 257

Paestum, ruins of, 353

Palafox, Count José, 380

Palatinate, the, 243

Palencia, 4, 79, 80, 91, 190

Palestine, 80, 94, 311, 416

Palma, 415, 417

Palos, 320

Pamplona, 26, 30, 427

Pancorbo, Pass of, 34, 35

Pardo Bazán, Doña Emilia, 125, 134, 135, 328, 343-345

Paris, 1, 28, 29, 142, 146, 415

Parma, 323

Parmigianino, Mazzuoli of Parma, called, 224

Parthenon, the, 149, 268

Pasajes, 16

Pascal, Blaise, 142, 240

Patmore, Coventry, 199

Pavia, battle of, 227, 251, 292

Pedro I, el Cruel, 84

Pelayo, King, 85, 90, 93, 94, 95, 108, 227

Pereda, José María de, 327, 328, 336, 339, 340, 341, 346, 347, 350

Pérez Galdós, Sr. Benito, 209, 327, 328, 337-340, 346

Persia, 88, 417

Pescara, Fernando Francisco d'Avalos, Marquis of, 227, 251

Philip I, el Hermoso (Archduke), 245, 271

Philip II, 75, 85, 129, 157, 213, 216, 217, 219, 223, 291, 372

Philip III, 90, 366

Philip IV, 4, 48, 221, 385

Philip V, 129, 171, 383

Philippines, the, 18, 203, 333

Phœnicians in Spain, the, 98, 318

Pirates, Moorish, 87, 89, 239, 246, 247, 367

Pizarro, Francisco, 146, 364

Plateresque Architecture, 57, 58, 59, 111, 152, 153, 154, 256, 261, 353, 400

Pliny, 392

Poblet, Monastery of, 8, 106, 177, 214, 388-391, 399, 425

Polyglot Bible, the, 246, 247

Pontevedra, 137, 138

Pontius Pilate, 391

Port-Bou, 2, 8, 428

Pórtico de la Gloria, 57, 109, 130, 154, 268, 424

Portugal, 4, 134, 138, 176, 291, 292, 349, 359, 361, 363

Prado Gallery,—Madrid, the, 220-226, 369-372

Prescott, W. H., 113

Prim, Juan, General, 178, 179

Proverbs, Spanish, 108, 117, 156, 219, 228, 240, 257, 281, 283, 328, 334, 360, 383, 413

Pyrenees, the, 15, 29, 33, 86, 383, 384, 420, 421, 422, 425


Quiñones, Suero de, 114

Quintana, Manuel José, 323


Ramiro I of Asturias, 95, 98

Ranke, Leopold von, 65, 70

Raphael Sanzio, 224

Reconquista, the, 86, 89, 101, 227, 228, 268, 269, 319

Redondela, 137

Rembrandt van Rijn, 221, 224

Renaissance Art in Spain, 48, 58, 59, 91, 115, 152, 153, 154, 158, 203, 205, 239, 256, 271, 364, 377, 425

Reyes Católicos, los, 133, 154, 239, 266, 271, 357, 383, 395

Ribadeneyra, Pedro de, 255, 256

Ribera, José de, Lo Spagnoletto, 225

Ripalda, Gerónimo de Martinez de, 153

Ripoll, Abbey of, 394

Rivas, Angel de Sáavedra, Duque de, 332

Roderick, last of the Gothic kings, 85, 230

Roelas, Juan de las, 225

"Romancero del Cid," 9, 50, 51, 52, 53, 108, 116, 250, 326

Romanesque Architecture in Spain, 48, 57, 94, 107, 111, 118, 121, 131, 132, 147, 148, 152, 164, 166, 196, 216, 385, 391, 393, 403

Romanes, George J., quoted, 351

Roman remains in Spain, 7, 47, 107, 114, 122, 143, 146, 164, 165, 202, 352-356, 359, 362, 375, 393, 425

Rome, 30, 73, 115, 192, 220, 238, 241, 250, 255, 281, 294, 305, 311, 319

Ruiz de Alarcon, Juan, 327

Ruiz y Mendoza, Lieut. Jacinto, 324


Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustus de, 77

Saints, Spanish, see headings, Alcántara, Borgia, Dominic, Ferdinand III, John of the Cross, Loyola, Xavier, Teresa

Salamanca, 4, 28, 58, 89, 105, 142-158, 160, 167, 184, 189, 194, 203, 205, 273, 298, 342, 424

Sales, St. Francis de, 27, 191

Salic Law, the, 173, 174

Salisbury, cathedral of, 80, 415

Salmerón, Alfonso, 153

Sancho Panza, 107, 165, 228, 334, 341, 383

Sancho II, el Fuerte, 116

Sancho IV, el Bravo, 375

San Sebastián, 16, 20, 21, 22, 124

Santander, 4, 91, 340, 346, 347, 348, 412

Santayana, Prof. George, quoted, 213, 293, 318, 367, 369

Santiago, Compostella, 4, 107, 109, 121, 122, 125, 130-134, 141, 273, 344, 424

Santiago, knights of, 111, 178, 250, 352, 374, 413

Saragossa, 8, 173, 376-382

Sassoferrato, Giovanni Battista Salvi, of, 45, 376

Schack, Adolf Fred. von, 65

Scott, Sir Walter, 77

Segovia, 6, 159-182, 213, 217, 269, 273, 365, 396

Seises, dancing of, los, 12, 297, 298, 299, 300

Seneca, 319

Servet, Miguel, 68

Seville, 7, 37, 76, 181, 189, 219, 225, 230, 247, 270, 273, 274-315, 323, 327, 345, 351, 371, 374

Shakespeare, William, 50, 224, 273, 327, 336

Sidney, Sir Philip, 250, 251

Siege of Gerona, 173, 425-428

Siege of Saragossa, 173, 380-382

Sierra Nevada, the, 269, 292

Sigüenza, 8, 238, 373, 374, 375, 392

Siloe, Gil de, 48

Simancas, Archives of, 67

Soldiers in Spanish literature, 73, 240, 250, 252, 337, 414

Soto, Domingo de, 153

Southwell, Robert, 68

Spencer, Herbert, 210, 411

Spínola, Marquis, 222, 322, 370, 427

Stirling-Maxwell, Sir William, 286

Street, George E., 110, 385

Suárez, Francisco, 153, 210

Switzerland, 83, 103, 269


Tagus, river, 9, 229, 230, 256, 359, 363, 424

Talavera, Fernando de, Bishop, 68, 244

Tannenberg, M. Boris de, 348

Tarifa, Siege of, 106

Tarragona, 8, 391, 392, 393, 412, 424

Teresa, Saint, 10, 44, 62, 70, 159, 166, 183-212, 234, 252, 331, 429

Theodosius, Emperor, 281

Theotokopaulos, Domenikos, see El Greco

Thompson, Francis, 27, 254

Ticknor, George, 59, 69, 256

Tintoretto, Jocopo Robusti, called, 215, 234

Tirso de Molina (Gabriel Téllez), 327

Titian, Tiziano Vecelli, called, 223, 227, 234, 253, 372

Toledo, 7, 9, 36, 57, 87, 88, 94, 108, 146, 219, 229-257, 396, 424

Toledo, Archbishops of, 77, 88, 116, 241, 242

Tolstoi, Count Lyoff, 342

Tormes, river, 143, 206

Tostado, Bishop Alfonso de Madrigal, el, 205

Toulouse, 107

Townsend, Rev. Joseph, 266, 401

Trajan, Emperor, 164, 281, 356, 359, 362

Trujillo, 364, 367


Urraca, of Zamora, Doña, 108, 117


Valdés, Sr. Armando Palacio, 195, 345, 346

Valencia, 53, 90, 105, 140, 150, 340, 372

Valera y Alcalá Galiano, Juan, 155, 326, 327, 328, 330-336, 339, 346, 350, 413

Valladolid, 4, 55-78, 129, 149, 219, 241

Van Dyke, Sir Anthony, 224

Vargas, Luis de, 297

Vasari, Giorgio, 115

Vega, Garcelaso de la, see Garcilaso

Vega Carpio, Lope Felix de, 240, 250, 256, 327, 363, 391

Velarde, Pedro, 172, 324

Velasco, Pedro Fernández, Constable, 47

Velasquez, Diego de Silva y, 6, 45, 60, 220, 221, 222, 238, 370, 371, 385, 427

Venice, 30, 215, 234

Verdaguer, Jacinto, 418

Veronese, Paolo Caliari, called, 224

Vézinet, Monsieur F., 341

Victoria-Eugenia, Queen of Spain, Doña, 18, 85, 165, 181, 287, 288, 289, 290

Vigarni, Felipe de, 44, 45, 233, 424

Vigo, 4, 91, 134, 137

Villena, Marqués de, 47

Vives, Juan Luis, 28, 70, 208

Vincent de Paul, Saint, 191


Wamba, King, 230

Wars, Carlist, 14, 173, 174, 177, 282, 389, 381

War, Peninsula, 125, 172, 323, 359, 379-382, 425-428

War, Spanish-American, 18, 370

Washington, George, 136, 242

Watson, Mr. William, quoted, 229, 396, 420

Wellington, Duke of, 143, 172, 266

Westminster Abbey, 262, 415, 417

Wesley, John, 183

Weyden, Rogier van der, 224

Women, Spanish, 21, 100, 102, 117, 130, 133, 184, 204, 206, 272, 276, 277, 290, 295, 313, 314, 328, 333, 334, 342, 354, 381, 426, 428, 429

Wood Carvings, Spanish, 43, 44, 45, 46, 60, 61, 62, illustration 327

Worcester, cathedral, 233

Wordsworth, William, 156, 379


Xavier, St. Francis, 29, 191, 252

Xerez, see Jerez de la Frontera

Ximena, see Jimena

Ximenez de Cisneros, Francisco, Cardinal, 28, 59, 82, 142, 210, 236-250, 272, 319, 366, 374


Yuste, Convent of, 199, 367, 368


Zamora, 4, 105, 116-120, 143, 159, 160, 161, 162, 341, 424

Zaragoza, see Saragossa

Zola, Emile, 333, 343

Zumárraga, 16, 17

Zurbaran, Francisco, 44, 220, 2251

The following typographical errors have been corrected by the etext transcriber:
husbands, husbands to claim their wives.=>husbands to claim their wives.
folded handerchiefs=>folded handkerchiefs
masssive Roman walls=>massive Roman walls
Leôn Cathedral>León Cathedral
direct rout from Paris=>direct route from Paris
Philip V turned into an artificial French pleasure ground=>Philip V turned it into an artificial French pleasure ground
You walk about the Valasquez room bewildered>=You walk about the Velasquez room bewildered
one throughly disagreeable=>one thoroughly disagreeable
Chrismas fiestas began=>Christmas fiestas began
á l'état civil=>à l'état civil
a politican, and a journalist=>a politician, and a journalist
good literary quailty=>good literary quality
sense to preceive the best=>sense to perceive the best
and to that unforgetable=>and to that unforgettable
hotel corrridors would be=>hotel corridors would be
where Agustus Cæsar=>where Augustus Cæsar
she is too agressive=>she is too aggressive
Murray's "Handbook"=>Murray's "Hand-book"
Alba de Tormés=>Alba de Tormes
Oviedo la sacra, Toledo la rica, Sevilla la grande, Salamanaca la fuerte, León la bella=>Oviedo la sacra, Toledo la rica, Sevilla la grande, Salamanca la fuerte, León la bella
Parmegianino, Mazzuoli of Parma=>Parmigianino, Mazzuoli of Parma
El Greco (Domenikos Theotocopoulos)=>El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)


[1] From the Latin word solum, ground.

[2] "C'est un pois qui a l'ambition d'être un haricot et qui réussit trop bien." THÉOPHILE GAUTIER "Voyage en Espagne."

[3] "Las inteligencias más humildas comprenden las ideas más elevadas; y los que economizan la verdad y la publican sólo cuando están seguros de ser comprendidos viven en grandisimo error, porque la verdad, aunque no sea comprendida, ejerce misteriosas influencias y conduce por cáminos ocultos a las sublimidades más puras, alas que brotan incomprensibles y espontáneas de las almas vulgares."

Angel Ganivet: "Idearium Español."

[4] When the Duke of Osuna, the Spanish Ambassador to England in Elizabeth's reign, dropped some pearls of price from his embroidered cloak, he disdained to pick them up. A nobler form of Castilian haughtiness was that of the Marqués de Villena who, refusing to live in his palace after a traitor (the Constable de Bourbon) had been lodged there, set fire to it. There is something that appeals to the imagination in many of the privileges of Spanish nobles. Thus the Marqués de Astorga to-day, is hereditary canon in León Cathedral, because one of the Osorios fought in the battle of Clavijo, in 846.

[5] The blood of the Cid flows to-day in the veins of Alfonso XIII through his descent both from the French Bourbons and from Spain's earlier royal house. A daughter of the Campeador married an infante of Navarre, whose granddaughter married Sancho III of Castile. The son of this king was the good and great Alfonso VIII él de las Navas, who, married to Eleanor of England (they both lie buried in Las Huelgas), was grandfather alike of St. Ferdinand III of Castile and St. Louis IX of France.

[6] Translated by Ormsby.

[7] "Ancient Spanish Ballads," translated by Lockhart.

[8] Llorente, a bitter assailant of the Inquisition, gives the number of victims as 31,900. Llorente was traitor to his country during the invasion of the French and fled ignominiously on their defeat, pensioned during his later years by the freemasons of Paris; he falsified Basque history to win the corrupt Godoy's favour (von Ranke's statement); an ex-priest he assisted in church robbery. Would Benedict Arnold be accepted as an authority on the American Revolution? The Encyclopedia Brittanica, even in its ninth edition, has in its sketch on Spain, the following curious assertion—"bigotry and fanaticism which led to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of victims at the hands of the Inquisition." Even the political victims in the Netherlands under the inexorable Alba, who did to death some 18,000 people, cannot swell the number to a fraction of this statement. And if the Netherlands' victims are to be laid to the door of religious persecution, then must the massacres in Ireland of the inexorable Cromwell come under the same heading: as an Englishman judges Cromwell apart from his crimes, so a Spaniard sees more in Alva than his felonies. History presented to us in parallel columns would do much toward giving us fairer views.

[9] Described by an eyewitness, the brave gentlewoman, Mrs. Willoughby. See: "English Martyrs," Vol. I and II of the C. T. S. Publications: 22 Paternoster Row: London. Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet in "Ireland under English Rule" (Putnam's Sons, N. Y. 1903) gives occurrences equally terrible.

[10] I do not mention in this list Archbishop Cranmer and his fellow prelates, Latimer and Ridley, since having been persecutors themselves they may be said to have reaped under Mary Tudor what they had sowed under Edward VI. They were condemned and executed by the laws which they had made and put in force against Unitarians and Anabaptists.

[11] H. C. Lea, whose ill-digested mass of facts torn from their proper context are as representative of Spain as the accounts of a foreigner who had studied only the police reports of America, would be of us.

[12] "L'Inquisition fût, d'abord, plus politique que religieuse, et destinée à maintenir l'Ordre plutôt qu'à défendre la foi," says the Protestant historian Guizot (Hist. Mod. Lect. II).

[13] Every Spanish child knows the story of Guzmán el bueno at Tarifa. The rebel infante threatened to kill Guzmán's son, were the city not surrendered, whereupon the hero flung his own knife down from the walls; rather the death of him he loved best than disloyalty to his trust and king. The boy was killed under his father's eyes.

When the tomb of this national hero was opened in 1570, the skeleton discovered was nine feet long, just as Jaime I el Conquistador, a contemporary of Guzmán, was found to be of gigantic proportions when the pantheon of the Aragonese kings in Poblet was sacked in 1835.

[14] "León Cathedral is indeed in almost every respect worthy to be ranked among the noblest churches in Europe. Its detail is rich and beautiful throughout, the plan very excellent, the sculptures with which it is adorned quite equal in quality and character to that of any church of the age, and the stained glass with which its windows are filled some of the best in Europe."

G. E. STREET: "Gothic Architecture in Spain."

[15] "Libro del Paso Honroso" written by an eye witness, Pero Rodríguez de Lena. Prescott says that no country has been more fruitful in the field of historical composition than Spain. The chronicles date from the twelfth century, every great family, every town and every city had its chronicler. Compare the minute details we have of Cortés in Mexico about 1517, with the meager accounts we find of the North American settlers some generations later.

[16] It is amusing to find Napier, whose "History of the Peninsula War" is one of the most one-sided of chronicles, laying down the law in this fashion: "The English are a people very subject to receive and to cherish false impressions, proud of their credulity, as if it were a virtue, the majority will adopt any fallacy, and cling to it with a tenacity proportioned to its grossness."

[17] Frequently in Spain one comes on Irish names among the leading families. The O'Donnells, Dukes of Tetuán, have had several generations of distinguished men. In the 18th century Count Alexander O'Reilly led the Spanish armies in the New World and the Old, and when Governor of Andalusia, he so reformed economic conditions in Cadiz that a beggar was unknown on the streets. He too was followed by an able son. Reading Spanish books the traces of Irish exiles are many: thus a Doña Lucía Fitzgerald organized and drilled a woman's regiment during the siege of Gerona in 1808; and the beautiful wife of the poet Campoamor was a Doña Guillermina O'Gorman.

"We're all over Austria, France, and Spain,
Said Kelly, and Burke, and Shea."

[18] "L'un des signes distinctifs des mystiques c'est justement l'équilibre absolu, l'entier bon sens." J.-K. Huysmans: "En Route."

[19] "La Mystique est une science absolument exacte. Elle peut annoncer d'avance la plupart des phénomènes qui se produisent dans une âme que le Seigneur destine à la vie parfaite; elle suit aussi nettement les opérations spirituelles que la physiologie observe les états différents du corps. De siècles en siècles, elle a divulgué la marche de la Grâce et ses effets tantôt impétueux et tantôt lents; elle a même précisé les modifications des organes matériels qui se transforment quand l'âme tout entière se fond en Dieu. Saint Denys l'Aréopagite, saint Bonaventure, Hugues et Richard de Saint Victor, saint Thomas d'Aquin, saint Bernard, Ruysbroeck, Angèle de Foligno, les deux Eckhart, Tauler, Suso, Denys le chartreux, sainte Hildegarde, sainte Catherine de Gênes, sainte Catherine de Sienne, sainte Madeleine de Pazzi, sainte Gertrude, d'autres encore ont magistralement exposé les principes et les théories de la Mystique." J.-K. Huysmans: "En Route."

[20] It has been said that there never was a spiritually minded man, who, knowing Saint Teresa's works, was not devoted to them. In his "Journal Intime," that most distinguished prelate of modern France, Mgr. Dupanloup, wrote: "La vie de Sainte Térèse m'y a charmé.... J'ai rarement reçu, dans ma vie, une bénédiction, une impression de grâce plus simple et plus profonde."

[21] "Just as the Church of Rome has absorbed Platonism in the doctrine of the Logos and of the Trinity, and has absorbed Aristotelianism in the doctrine of Christ's real presence in the Eucharist, so we may naturally expect that in its doctrine of its own nature, it will some day absorb formally, having long done so informally, the main ideas of that evolutionary philosophy, which many people regard as destined to complete its downfall; and that it will find in this philosophy—in the philosophy of the Darwins, the Spencers, and the Huxleys—a scientific explanation of its own teaching authority, like that which is found in Aristotle for its doctrine of Transubstantiation.... It may be said that the Roman Church itself developed without being conscious of its own scientific character, just as men were for ages unconscious of the circulation of their own blood.... Like an animal seeking nutriment it put forth its feelers or tentacles on all sides, seizing, tasting, and testing all forms of human thought, all human opinions, and all alleged discoveries. It absorbs some of these into itself, and extracts their nutritive principles; it immediately rejects some as poisonous or indigestible; and gradually expels from its system others, condemned as heresies, which it has accidentally or experimentally swallowed." W. H. Mallock: "Doctrine and Doctrinal Disruption." 1900.

[22] Moro made a replica of this portrait (or perhaps the Prado picture is the replica) which Mary gave to her Master of Horse. It now fortunately is in America, in Mrs. J. L. Gardner's notable collection in Fenway Court, Boston. It is hard to recognize in the Mary of the Flemish Master the queen of whom Motley wrote in his "Dutch Republic": "tyrant, bigot, and murderess ... small, lean and sickly, painfully nearsighted yet with an eye of fierceness and fire, her face wrinkled by lines of care and evil passions."

[23] "Io cristiano viejo soy, y para ser Conde esto me basta"—old Spanish proverb, quoted by Sancho Panza. Proverbs, which Cervantes called "short sentences drawn from long experience," often show the qualities of a race. In many of the popular sayings of Castile is found the strong feeling of manhood's equality:

"Cuando Dios amanece, para todos amanece."
"Mientras que duermen todos son iguales."
"No ocupo más pies de tierra el cuerpo del Papa que el del sacristan."

[24] See the frontispiece: Portrait of an Hidalgo, by El Greco.

[25] "Nunca la lanza embotó la pluma, ni la pluma la lanza,"—old Spanish proverb.

[26] "The Hound of Heaven": Francis Thompson.

[27] "Donde hay música, no puede haber cosa mala."—Spanish proverb.

[28] "Spain is one of the few countries in Europe where poverty is not treated with contempt, and I may add, where the wealthy are not blindly idolized."—George Borrow: "The Bible in Spain."

[29] Our Lady of Victory is the patroness of the cigarreras.

[30] "O trois fois saints chanoines! dormez doucement sous votre dalle, â l'ombre de votre cathédrale chérie, tandis que votre âme se prelasse au paradis dans une stalle probablement moins bien sculptée que celle de votre chœur!"

THÉOPHILE GAUTIER: "Voyage en Espagne."

[31] "One of the commonest types among the Greek figurines, certainly representing the average Greek lady, might be supposed to represent a Spanish lady, so closely does the face, the dress, the mantilla-like covering of the head, the erect and dignified carriage, recall modern Spain."

"The Soul of Spain."—Havelock-Ellis.

[32] The same trait is shown in the astonishingly fecund theater of Spain, where is found for one golden century the indelible mark of the race. First came Lope de Vega with his dashing picaresque comedies de capa y espada, that more induce to laughter than to vice, the vigorous and supple Lope, whom all nations have "found good to steal from." Then followed the powerful Tirso de Molina, a dramatist of vision and passion, and Ruiz de Alacón with his high ethical aim and equal execution, and finally Calderón, who in the midst of his plays shows himself an exquisite lyric poet. In Seville we used to see what would here be a dime-museum crowd pouring into an hour's bit of frolic, such as Benevente's "Intereses Creados," of the true cape-and-sword type. Those plays which we personally saw proved to us Valera's words, that erotic literature rises in sadness and pessimism, not in the hearty bravura and zest of life of the Spanish theater.

[33] "Es menester mucho tiempo para venir á conocer las personas," is one of Sancho Panza's wise saws.

[34] See "L'Espagne Littéraire" by Boris de Tannenberg (Paris, 1903).

[35] "Surely chivalry is not dead!" exclaimed Lieut. R. P. Hobson when describing the courteous treatment he, as prisoner, had received from the Spanish officers: "The history of warfare probably contains no instance of chivalry on the part of captors greater than that of those who fired on the 'Merrimac.'" The gallant American's account of his feat in Santiago harbor proves that Spínola's spirit survives on both sides of the Atlantic.

[36] "In Gerona Cathedral there was a cat who would stroll about in front of the capilla mayor during the progress of Mass, receiving the caresses of the passers-by. It would be a serious mistake to see here any indifference to religion, on the contrary, this easy familiarity with sacred things is simply the attitude of those who in Wordsworth's phrase, "lie in Abraham's bosom all the year," and do not, as often among ourselves, enter a church once a week to prove how severely respectable, for the example of others, we can show ourselves."

"The Soul of Spain"—HAVELOCK ELLIS (1908).

[37] An idea of Spain's romance of soul can be gathered from the rules and regulations of her national police, the Civil Guard, who may be called the descendants of Isabella's Santa Hermandad.

"1. Honour must be the chief motive for the Civil Guard, to be preserved intact and without a flaw. Once gone, honour can never be regained.

" ... 3. The force must be an example to the country of neatness, order, bearing, good morals and spotless honour....

"8. The Civil Guard ought to be regarded as the protector of the afflicted, inspiring confidence when seen approaching.... For the Civil Guard must freely give his life for the good of any sufferer.

" ... 9. Whenever a member of the Civil Guard has the good fortune to render a service to anyone, he must never accept, if offered, a reward, bearing in mind that he has done nothing but his simple duty.

" ... 27. The Civil Guard will refrain with the greatest scrupulousness from drawing near to listen to any knot of people in street, shop, or private house, for this would be an act of espionage, altogether outside the office and beneath the dignity of any member of the force."

That such rules have molded her exemplary constabulary, no one will deny who has traveled much in Spain. They are loved and respected by the people; witness this popular song:

"Atenta á la vida humana
Siempre la Guardia Civil ...
Y por eso en todas partes
Benediciones la acompañan,
Por eso Dios la protege
Cuando al peligro se lanza,
Por eso la canto yo
Con el corazón y el alma:
Viva la Guardia Civil
Porque es la gloria de España!"

[38] This most beautiful church, dating before the Crusades, one of the most ancient, with the Asturian churches, Santa María de Naranco and San Miguel de Lino, in all the Peninsula, was totally destroyed by the socialist mob, in the riots of July, 1909.

[39] "El principio de la salud está en conocer la enfermedad."—Old Spanish proverb.




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