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Title: Sun and Shadow in Spain
Author: Elliott, Maude Howe
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        SUN AND SHADOW IN SPAIN

              [Illustration: THE ARAB QUARTER, TANGIERS.]



                            SUN AND SHADOW
                               IN SPAIN

                                  BY
                               MAUD HOWE
             AUTHOR OF “ROMA BEATA,” “TWO IN ITALY,” ETC.

                    WITH PICTURES FROM PHOTOGRAPHS
                      AND ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOR

                                BOSTON
                      LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY
                                 1908


                          _Copyright_, 1908,
                    BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

                         _All rights reserved_

                       Published November, 1908

                            The Tudor Press
                           BOSTON, U. S. A.


                                  To
                            ISABEL ANDERSON
                               THIS BOOK
                                  IS
                       AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED



                            _CHILD’S PLAY_


_On the silver sands of First Beach in the Island of Rhode Island,
children were at play digging foundations, raising fortifications,
laying out the parks and streets of a city. They worked long and hard;
time was short, and the tide was coming in. Each wave, as it hissed and
broke upon the beach, sent its thin line of foam a little nearer the
brave outer wall of the town. Then came the inevitable inundation; the
children shrieked with glee as the city wall crumbled, the church
steeple toppled down, the courthouse collapsed. When nothing of the
thriving sand city remained, save its trees and flowers,--floating
bunches of red and green seaweed--the children, tired with much digging,
sat down and looked across the water._

_“What is over there?” asked the youngest, pointing an uncertain finger
to the East._

_“That is the Atlantic Ocean,” answered the eldest, “the nearest land is
the coast of Spain.”_

_“When I grow up I shall go there,” said the youngest, “to see what
Spain is like.”_

_After many years the child sailed across the Atlantic from the New
World to the Old, passed between the Pillars of Hercules, through the
“southern entrance of the ocean,” and landed on the Rock of Gibraltar.
Sitting there by the lighthouse of Europa Point, and looking back across
the waste of waters, the child had a vision of the city on the sands.
This Rock, this last spur of Europe, how many sand cities has it seen
washed away by the tides of time? The Calpe of the Phœnicians, the Jebel
al Tarac of the Arabs, the Gibraltar of the Spaniards. Where Queen
Adelaide’s lighthouse now sends its ray of light out into the darkness,
the famous shrine of the Virgen de Europa once stood. Here, once upon a
time, Jupiter, in the shape of a milk-white bull, plunged into the sea
with the lovely Europa on his back, and swam with her to Crete, where
she became the mother of Minos, whose ruined palace has just been
discovered in that wonderful island of Crete. The land, more steadfast
than the sea, keeps in its breast some of the things men prize most. In
the palace of Minos they found a small, finely modeled, gold figure of a
man with a bull’s head, cast in memory of the son of Jupiter and the
lovely Europa._

_As the stars pricked out from the blue, the child perceived they were
the stars she knew at home, and that the constellation of Taurus was
visible,--Taurus, the bull, still the animal of worship and of sacrifice
in the Peninsula._

_“When I have seen what Spain is like, I will tell the other children
about it,” said the child; then she took out the guidebook and opened
the map._



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

   I. THE THORN IN SPAIN’S SIDE                                        1

  II. A SIBYL OF RONDA                                                27

 III. THE WHITE VEIL                                                  58

  IV. THE BLACK VEIL                                                  82

   V. SEVILLE FAIR                                                   109

  VI. A HOUSE IN SEVILLE                                             136

 VII. CORDOVA                                                        166

VIII. GRANADA                                                        195

  IX. TANGIERS                                                       217

   X. MADRID                                                         251

  XI. THE PRADO                                                      279

 XII. CARNIVAL                                                       300

XIII. TOLEDO                                                         315

 XIV. THE BRIDE COMES                                                343

  XV. THE KING’S WEDDING                                             364

 XVI. WEDDING GUESTS                                                 373

XVII. HASTA OTRA VISTA                                               393



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


THE ARAB QUARTER, TANGIERS.                         COLORED FRONTISPIECE

                                                                    PAGE

OUR LADY OF O., SEVILLE                                               58

SEVILLE CATHEDRAL                                                     64

ENTRANCE TO COURT OF ORANGES, SEVILLE                                 68

THE SCULPTOR MARTINEZ MONTANES                                        72
  In the Prado Museum.

PORTRAIT OF MONTANES’ SON                                             72
  In the Prado Museum.

PORTRAIT OF PHILIP II. _Coello_                                       85
In the possession of John Elliott.

PORTRAIT OF VELASQUEZ, BY HIMSELF. DETAIL OF “LAS MENINAS”            96
  In the Prado Museum.

PORTRAIT OF HIS WIFE. _Velasquez_                                     96
  In the Prado Museum.

THE GIRALDA, SEVILLE                                                 107

BULL-FIGHTERS                                                        122

SPANISH GYPSIES                                                      122

ST. JOSEPH AND THE INFANT JESUS. _Murillo_                           164
  In the Provincial Museum, Seville.

THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. _Murillo_                                        164
  In the Cathedral, Seville.

THE MOSQUE, CORDOVA                                                  167

THE MOSQUE, CORDOVA                                                  188

LA PUERTA DEL SOL, TOLEDO                                            188

GATE OF JUSTICE, ALHAMBRA. In color                                  195

COURT OF LIONS, THE ALHAMBRA                                         196

GARDEN OF THE GENERALIFE, GRANADA                                    196

WINDOW, TOWER OF THE CAPTIVE, ALHAMBRA                               199

GYPSIES OF GRANADA                                                   203

LA PUERTO DEL VINO, GRANADA                                          207

A COURT OF THE ALHAMBRA                                              207

RETABLO, CARVED IN HIGH AND LOW RELIEF. _Roldan_                     211

MOORISH COLUMNS IN THE ALHAMBRA                                      214

TANGIERS. In color                                                   218

STREET IN TANGIERS                                                   226

SPANISH PEASANTS                                                     232

ALI AND ZULEIKA                                                      232

DETAIL FROM “THE MAIDS OF HONOR.” _Velasquez_                        259
  In the Prado Museum.

DETAIL FROM “THE SURRENDER OF BREDA.” _Velasquez_                    279
  In the Prado Museum.

THE TIPPLERS. _Velasquez_                                            282
  In the Prado Museum.

THE DUKE OF OLIVARES. _Velasquez_                                    285
  In the Prado Museum.

VENUS AND CUPID. _Velasquez_                                         288
  National Museum.

DON BALTASAR CARLOS. _Velasquez_                                     291
  In the Prado Museum.

DETAIL FROM “MOSES.” _Murillo_                                       300
  In the Prado Museum.

DETAIL FROM “MOSES.” _Murillo_                                       308
  In the Prado Museum.

TOLEDO BY MOONLIGHT. In color                                        326

DETAIL FROM “THE BURIAL OF COUNT ORGAZ.” _Greco_                     341

VILLEGAS IN HIS STUDIO                                               376

THE SPINNERS. _Velasquez_                                            379
  In the Prado Museum.

THE DOGARESSA. _Villegas_                                            394
  In the possession of Mrs. Larz Anderson.

THE DEATH OF THE MATADOR. _Villegas_                                 398
  In the possession of the artist.

IMPERIO. _Villegas_                                                  408
  In the possession of Miss Dorothy Whitney.



                        SUN AND SHADOW IN SPAIN



I

THE THORN IN SPAIN’S SIDE


If you will look at the general map of Spain and Portugal, you will see
that the outlines of the Peninsula suggest the head of a man--a broad,
square head, with a high forehead and plenty of room for a large brain.
The profile, lying sharply cut on the blue Atlantic, shows a crest of
disordered hair, a slightly swelling forehead, a long, sensitive,
aristocratic nose with a sharply cut nostril, firm lips set close
together, a fine chin tapering to a small pointed beard, a slight
fulness under the chin; the throat, set well back and surrounded by a
blue collar--the Straits of Gibraltar--joins the head to the
shoulders--the continent of Africa. The more you look at the face, the
more certain you become that it is a familiar one, that it is the face
of one you hold dear, till at last complete recognition flashes upon
you; it is the face of Don Quixote de la Mancha! Look again; it is a
face such as Velasquez painted, not once, but many times; it is the
typical Spanish face, proud, high-bred, reserved.

So you need not land alone and unwelcomed upon the shore of fabled
Hispagna, now looming dim and blue upon the horizon, now growing
distinct and green. Two great spirits, Cervantes and Velasquez, come to
meet you! Their hands are stretched out to you; if you so elect, they
will walk with you in all your wanderings, and with their help you shall
know Spain.

Gibraltar, a lion couchant, head on paws, fronts the sea. Cross the bay
from Algeciras, the lion rears its head--a lion no longer--the pillar of
the coast of Europe, blue at first, then purple; when you are close in
its shadow you look up at a grim gray mountain towering above you. It
greets you like an old friend. You have known it under many names; first
as Calpe under its first master, Hercules, for that glorious old fellow,
the first “Great African Traveler,” was here. Wishing to show other
travelers who should come after that the “inner seas,” where it was safe
to sail, ended here, he took up a mountain and tore it in two to make
the bounds; half he set down in Africa, on the south, half in Europe, on
the north. These are the Columns of Hercules; the African column is
Abyle; the European, Calpe.

“_Ne plus ultra_,” said Hercules, as he wrapped his lion’s skin about
him and set sail for Libya to call on Atlas. Every time you write the
sign for the dollar ($) you draw the Columns of Hercules and the scroll
for his parting words, “_Ne plus ultra._”

Carthage was here! The poor Carthaginians built a tower on Calpe, to
watch for the dreaded Roman galleys sweeping down from Ostia, while in
Rome’s senate implacable Cato thundered his eternal “_Delenda est
Carthago._” Of course the Romans were here,--it is impossible to escape
them; wherever you travel in Europe or Africa you are always meeting
those grave ghosts!

Tarik was here; he and his Berbers, sailing over from Morocco, landed on
Calpe, and built a magnificent castle fortress to protect their retreat
and keep open the way back to Africa. Moors and Berbers made a long stay
in Europe; they held the Rock seven hundred years, until Moor and
Mahomet were driven out by Ferdinand and Isabel,--a service Spain holds
the Christian world has too soon forgotten. A pitiful flying remnant of
the Moors of Granada took ship at Gibraltar and sailed back to Morocco,
leaving behind them the imperishable Legacy of the Moor, taking with
them the keys of their houses in that lost paradise, Granada. Since
Tarik landed, the Rock has stood fourteen sieges, has passed from
master to master, but this is still the Hill of Tarik (Jebel Tarik),
though we pronounce it Gibraltar.

So, coming after Hercules, Carthage, Rome, Tarik, we are here! We landed
at night. As we passed down the steamer’s companionway to the tug, the
_Kaiser_ roared a hoarse farewell, her screw beat the “inner sea” to a
white lather. From the upper deck a girl’s handkerchief fluttered, a
man’s voice cried “Good luck!” Two thousand Italian steerage passengers,
the menace and amusement of the voyage, chaffed and laughed at us from
the lower deck. For nine days the steamer _Kaiser_, sailing on even
keel, had been all our world; a creature-comfortable world, with only
too much beef, beer, and skittles.

“There are no boats but the German--except a few of the English--fit to
cross the Atlantic,” a fat Hanoverian drummer said at dinner, that last
evening on board; “Germans and English are the only sailors.”

Don Jaime, the Andalusian, who sat opposite, looked at him.

“_Claro_,” he assented, graciously, in Spanish, “but--do you happen to
know how many Germans and English Columbus had with him on his caravel?”

The Hanoverian only grunted, like the pig he was.

The tug sheered away; we looked up from our dancing cockle-shell to the
_Kaiser_, looming vast above us, shutting out the stars. The glare of
her lights, the throb of her engines were still the all-important facts
of the universe, until--a long finger of light stretched out from
Tarik’s Hill and touched us.

“You see?” said a voice in the dark beside us, “the searchlight!
Gibraltar never sleeps.”

The searchlight faded, the tender turned her nose to shore. The
_Kaiser_, a little floating bit of Germany, was left behind; before us
towered England, a mighty Rock hung from peak to base with chains of
diamond lights. The tender drew alongside the Old Mole. At the gate a
young English sergeant in a smart uniform looked us over.

“Are you a British subject, sir?” he said to J., the first man ashore.
J. said he was.

“Pass in, sir,” said the sergeant; then to me: “British subject, marm?”

“I am an American----” I began.

“One shilling, if you please, marm; after gunfire only subjects may
enter Gibraltar without----”

“That is to say,” I explained, “I am the wife of this gentleman; _you_
may consider me a--a British sub----”

“Very good, marm, certainly,” murmured the sergeant, consolingly; “pass
in.”

“So an American birthright is only worth one shilling?” J. jeered, and
the international incident was closed, for the moment.

We slept at the Hotel Cecil, a comfortable house, with Spanish waiters
and Hispano-Anglo fare. At breakfast we made the acquaintance of a
pretty young officer, who wore his watch in a leather bracelet on his
wrist. He laughed at our impatience to have done with tea and marmalade
and be off to see the sights.

“Not much to see in Gib,” he said, “a beastly place! There’s the
Trafalgar Cemetery, if you care for that sort of thing. See that old
chap with the beard? If you want a guide he’s the best. He’s lying in
wait for you, a real Rock Scorpion; don’t let him sting you on the
‘tips.’ He’s a native; must have come into the world before the law
forbidding aliens to be born in Gibraltar.”

We thought that law must be hard to enforce. He said it was, but that
there was so little living room on the Rock “they” were very strict
about it. All ladies, except the wives of British subjects, must cross
over to the main land before the birth of their children. Spain, he
said, liked the law, because in the old days it had sometimes happened
that sons of Spaniards born on the Rock had refused to serve in the
Spanish army, claiming to be British subjects.

We asked how long strangers might stay in Gibraltar. He said that
generally speaking they might stay as long as they wished. The hotel
proprietor would get us the necessary permit; it might be extended for
ten days. The Governor, Sir George White (he who was in command in
Ladysmith when the garrison was relieved), was very exact about such
matters.

Again commending us to Old Scorp, our friend with the watch bracelet
left us, and we went out “for to admire and to see.” We avoided Old
Scorp, a little gray creeping man with shabby European clothes, but he
saluted us with the air of one who bides his time.

First we explored the North Town, crouching at the Rock’s base.
Waterport Street, the main artery of trade, lies at the lowest level,
the town rising in a series of terraces two hundred feet above. Houses,
churches, hospitals, barracks, stables, all built of a uniform gray
limestone, seem to have been honeycombed out of the Rock. The names at
the street corners have a bold British military flavor; Prince Edward’s
Ramp, Bomb House Lane, Devil’s Gap Steps, Victualling House Lane, Ragged
Staff Stairs. The shops are small and stuffy, with stale meagre wares;
the high-sounding names over their doors, Moorish, Spanish, Jewish
names, such as Alcantara, Barabiche, Vallerinos, Montegriffos, show in
whose hands the trade of Gibraltar has fallen. There are many names
beginning with Ben, such as Beneluz and Beneliel. I believe that all the
“Bens” are of Moorish descent: I have known a good many such, their
dark, impenetrable eyes, their skilful hands, the frequent touch of
genius they show, are a part of the Moor’s Legacy.

It was still early morning; the sky was a vault of blue fire, the air
was keen with the salt and seaweed of the Mediterranean. The orange
trees in the garden of the old Franciscan convent--now the Governor’s
house--were covered with fruit and blossoms; there was a sound of
bugles, the tramp of a regiment in Commercial Square; the soft cracked
bells of the old cathedral clanged the hour; from far away, where the
gunners were at practice, came the deep boom of cannon. Color, life,
movement all around us! This was no time to dream, to remember, to
entertain ghosts; breathless we looked through the kaleidoscope to-day
at the gay little pieces flickering with the pulse of time!

North Town has the most variegated population in Europe; to match it one
must cross the Straits to Tangiers. A British officer passed on a small
milk-white stallion; an Ethiopian, with gold earrings, and a beauty line
gashed on either cheek; a pair of sharp-eyed Jewish children, books
under arm, on their way to school; an Andalusian widow, draped like a
Tanagra figurine with soft dusky veils hanging to her shoe; another
officer of higher rank, a blond man with a face like a mask, who gave us
one quick challenge of the eye as he went his way--and I was aware that
I was a guest, while he was at home, a master in his own house. He was
followed by two ladies, his British wife and daughter, all fresh and
shining with soap and energy. Both were Saxons, with hair like spun gold
and calm blue eyes; they wore London clothes, and drove an English cob
in an Irish jaunting car. They were at home, too, and looked as if the
earth belonged to them. There were many soldiers loafing in twos and
threes, marching in files, walking singly--all with a jauntiness, a
buoyancy, that no other mere mortal men possess. Some of them--oh,
joy!--wore real uniforms with red coats; dull clod-colored khaki is good
enough for war, in peace there is no excuse for it.

The dash of winter in the air that was as the elixir of life to the
English, making their horses prance, their cheeks glow, their eyes
sparkle, affected the other inhabitants differently; the Spaniards
looked pale, the Moors ashen. We met Don Jaime, black sombrero pulled
over the eyes, black capa thrown over the shoulder, toga-fashion,
muffling mouth and chin and showing an amber plush lining. The Don
uncovered with a noble gesture, but we did not stop to speak to him, he
was in such evident terror of taking cold. There were frigid tears in
the almond eyes of Mr. Pohoomull as he stood at the door of the
Indo-Persian Bazaar inviting us to enter. Though he wore a lovely gray
embroidered cashmere cap and a Persian lamb coat, his teeth chattered.
We lingered somewhat, beguiled by his Benares trays, Burmese silver,
Persian carpets, ivory elephants, and were only saved from bankruptcy by
the vision of a figure in the street, more truly Oriental than anything
in Mr. Pohoomull’s shop. A tall, bronzed Moor in a green turban, a pink
kaftan, yellow slippers, and a big hairy brown _sulham_, drawn over his
head and falling to his knees, walked slowly down the middle of the
road, driving before him with a rod as long as himself a flock of green
and bronze turkeys. We followed to the Moorish market, where he entered
into discussion with another Morisco in a white _sulham_ and red morocco
slippers, presumably touching the price of turkeys. As an excuse to
linger near, we bought pistachio nuts in a fresh lettuce leaf, dates
from the desert on their yellow stalks, golden apples of
Hesperides--they called them tangerines--with dark, glossy leaves. The
market was noisy with the bickering of poultry, pigeons, and netted
quails in wicker baskets. In the English market on the other side of
the way, we bought for half a _peseta_ violets, roses, and splendid
Tyrian purple bourganvillia. The flower sellers, a group of withered
women sitting on the ground, looked like the Fates. The fish market was
a picture. The fish of the Mediterranean seem brighter colored than
other fish. Like wet jewels the red mullet, like silver the turbot, like
many-colored enamels the big variegated conger eels the Romans liked so
well. Gibraltar, which produces nothing, is splendidly victualled. The
beef comes from Morocco, the vegetables from Spain, the fruit from every
Mediterranean port. At the fruit stalls were bunches of Spanish grapes,
long, purple, white, hanging thick overhead, a background for Barbary
baskets filled with citrons, persimmons, cocoanuts, apples, and pears.
In the foreground were heaps of black olives and smooth green melons,
the latter a cross between watermelon and cantaloupe. The Spaniards know
how to keep them fresh half the winter. The vegetable stalls were quite
as handsome in their way, the color used skillfully in broad masses.
Deep chrome gourds, violet eggplant, a long cane basket of vermilion
tomatoes and gray-green artichokes; the beauty of color so enthralled us
that we were not quick enough in making way for a majestic British
matron, followed by a neat Spanish maid. The lady must have been at
least a colonel’s wife--if such go to market--for she looked through
us, without seeing us, as if we had been so much glass. To make amends,
the little servant gave us soft welcoming glances, but we felt abashed
and went sadly away. As we left the market, we saw our young officer of
the watch bracelet sniffing at the carcass of a mighty new-killed
pig--then we knew that he was of the “commissariat.”

Outside the market we met the turkey-herd again; he had sold no turkeys,
but added a pair of white ones to his flock. As we stood admiring him,
Patsy joined us, kodak in hand.

“I must snap that Moor,” he said; “please stand before me. If he sees me
he will be frightened and think I mean to do him a mischief.” Patsy
adjusted his camera; he was on the point of turning the button when a
policeman interfered:

“Beg pardon, sir, it’s against the rules to photograph the
fortifications.”

“But I wasn’t,” Patsy explained. “I was only taking a shot at that old
boy with the turkeys.”

The man pointed to the bastion behind the Moor; it would certainly have
come within the kodak’s focus. We tried to comfort Patsy by reminding
him that Gibraltar was a fortress, that we were here on sufferance; but
he was much chagrined and kept repeating that he was not a spy. At that
moment of discomfiture we heard a voice, deep as an organ note, behind
us, rumbling out the words:

“I am the book.”

We turned and saw Old Scorp.

“I am the _Century_.”

“Looks old enough to be,” murmured Patsy.

“I am _Harper’s Magazine_.”

“Indeed? You scarcely look it,” said J.

“Don’t you see?” I cried, “he is the _guide_, he has been mentioned in
_Harper_ and the _Century_.”

“Take him along!” begged Patsy. “He knows the ropes; he’ll keep us from
getting into any more scrapes.”

Old Scorp had crawled in our wake all the morning; his time had come; he
claimed us for his own. From that moment till we left the Rock, we were
scarcely out of his company, except when asleep or at meals. When not
busy guiding travelers, he acted as Moorish interpreter of the law
court. A little gliding man, like a composite of all the peoples who
have held the Rock, his clothes were English, his manners Spanish, his
fanatical eyes were Berber, his energy, in spite of his age, ancient
Roman, his keenness as to pounds, shillings, and pence was Phœnician,
his manner of cracking a nut--where had I seen that action? In the
monkey cage at the Zoo.

The original inhabitants of Gibraltar, a tribe of half-tame, tailless
apes, still hold the steep west front of the Rock. They are descended
from those apes of Tarshish sent to Solomon, together with peacocks,
ivory, and gold, every three years. They live on the summit, where the
sweet palmetto and the prickly pear grow. In summer, when man and monkey
grill upon the arid Rock, the soldiers at the Signal Station save water
for their poor relations, and look the other way when the simian troop
goes on a raid to rob the Governor’s fruit garden; they even keep a sort
of parish register of monkey births and deaths. How these blue Barbary
apes, the only African monkeys in Europe, ever found their way here, is
a mystery, like the presence of the Basques in the Pyrenees.

“I wonder if they were here before the convulsion of nature that tore
apart the coasts of Africa and Europe,” Patsy ruminated.

Why not say, when Hercules tore them apart? It’s so much prettier!

From the market-place we went to the parade-ground, a quadrangle
surrounded by solid stone barracks, where a squad of the King’s Own were
drilling. Inside the barracks a military band played Sousa’s “Stars and
Stripes Forever.” The King’s Own were brisk, young, and fresh-looking
newcomers, with the beef and beer of Old England still in their blood;
they will not have such pretty complexions when they leave, after three
summers on the Rock. The climate that we found delicious in December
must be terrific in July. Scorp admitted that it was a trifle warm,
though it suited him; we could fancy him basking on the Rock, as if he
belonged in one of its crevices. At luncheon we asked Bracelet how he
found the summer here. From what he said, Gibraltar cannot be a nice
place when the black levanter blows, the dark cloud cap settles on the
summit, the clamminess comes into the air, and the stifling east wind
takes the heart out of a man and sets his nerves jangling, till he feels
like Prometheus chained to the burning Rock. They make out very well in
the winter, Bracelet said, with the warships coming and going, people
from home running down to the Hotel Maria Cristina over in Algeciras,
and occasional shooting trips in the Atlas Mountains. Of course, the
great institution is the Calpe Hunt.

“Fox hunting _here_?” Patsy interrupted.

“No, no, over there.” Bracelet nodded towards the narrow ribbon of sand
that ties the Rock to Spain. “In the old days, though, the place swarmed
with foxes. Rockwood and Ranter, the first couple of hounds an old
parson had out from England, gave ’em some rattling good runs up the
face of the Rock.”

More ghosts--the ghosts of the first two foxhounds whose names, Rockwood
and Ranter, are a matter of history. Never was such a place for ghosts
as Mons Calpe!

Patsy catechized Bracelet about the hunting half through luncheon; that
was not fair. He asked more than his share of questions; when it comes
to dogs, horses, or sport of any kind, men never are fair, they are so
greedy. I had a hundred questions I wanted to ask, but I had to listen
and pretend to be interested. From November, after the rains are over,
till March, when the ground is too dry to carry the scent, they have two
joyous runs a week. It’s the only thing that makes life here possible.
The ride to the meets is almost always along the Spanish beach; some of
them are a goodish distance; Long Stables, for instance, is thirteen
miles away, Almoraima is twelve. We could imagine the relief of a gallop
in the salt air after being cooped up on the Rock. There is every sort
of country,--thick woods, coverts, crags; only, Bracelet complained, no
jumping, because there are no fences or hedges in this benighted land.
Everybody hunts, of course. An old gentleman, a sort of Nestor of the
chase, died as he had lived, following the hounds. He was drowned at
Washerwoman’s Ford the other day, on his way home from the meet. Quite
a decent exit, wasn’t it? To die in the saddle at the end of a day’s
hunting. He was a goodish age, too, turned seventy-six.

We had one disappointment: demanding to be taken to St. Michael’s Cave,
we learned that it was no longer shown. Scorp, who in his far-off youth
had known it well, was easily led to talk of the mysterious cave. I was
the only one of the party who had grace to listen. The others were
welcome to monopolize Bracelet--young, handsome, full of delicious
insularity; I preferred the little old gray man. There are many
impetuous merry lads; there is but one Rock Scorpion! There was
something reptilian about the man. His language, full of Oriental
allegory, moved sluggishly along, then broke into sudden bursts of
antediluvian slang, and on every possible occasion stung us with the
words, “You tip the hand.”

“‘_Metuendus acumine caude_,’ Ovid says of the scorpion,” Patsy quoted,
“or, as one might say, Fearful with the sting of his tip!”

According to Old Scorp, the entrance to St. Michael’s Cave is now one
thousand feet above the sea, about two thirds up the face of the
mountain. Once upon a time the sea was level with the cave. Had not he
and his brother, when they were boys, found fossil shells there, and the
remains of a sea beach outside? The entrance was low, he remembered,
but inside it was big as the Mosque of Cordova. Its wonderful stalactite
columns, fifty feet high, looked like yellow alabaster; there were
pointed arches springing from column to column. Lighted up with blue
fire, as he had once seen the cave, it was a sight that, man or boy, he
had never seen equalled. Except for its being so dark, those who lived
here had a fine commodious dwelling. Yes, men have lived, fought, and
died in the great cave, and left their flint knives, their stone axes,
and their bones to tell the tale. Women have lived and worked there;
they left their necklaces, their anklets, their bone needles, their
household pottery behind them. There have been feasts here, for amphoræ
with traces of wine have been found. There were other caves--oh, many!
sea caves and land caves; some “professors” say that the old name Calpe
means caved mountain. Whether or not that is true, Scorp, of his own
knowledge, assured us that the Rock is full of secret caverns. As if
these were not enough, the English are always burrowing and tunnelling.
They have dug three tunnels under the Rock; in one they found what is
more precious than gold, good water. No, we might not see the tunnels,
not even the last of the smaller caves--the secrets of the mountain are
jealously guarded.

Listening to the old man’s talk, we climbed a street of stairs cutting
directly through a tangle of narrow alleys where Jews and other aliens
live, to the upper level of North Town, where we found the Church of the
Sacred Heart, its doors hospitably open. As it was the only door in
Gibraltar, except the Cecil’s, that had not been shut and barred against
us, we went in. The smell of the incense, the red light of the candles,
was pleasantly familiar; the statues of saints and Virgin greeted us
like old friends.

“I haf a friend in Brooklyn, Unity States,” said a voice beside us. “He
send me weekly paper. I hope you know my friend--his name is----. Mebbe
he spoke with you of Father Jims, of the Sacred Heart?”

Father Jims was young and soft-eyed, with a face such as Murillo painted
in his “St. Joseph and the Holy Child.” He was so sure we had come to
find him out, with some message from his friend, that it went to our
hearts to undeceive him. He said he meant shortly to go to Brooklyn;
from what his friend wrote, _there_ was a rare field for missionary
work! Father Jims was a Catalan; his eyes burned with a zeal that
augured well for his mission among the heathen of Brooklyn. He showed us
the modest treasures of his church, and presented us with a picture of
St. Bernard, the patron of Gibraltar. As we parted we gave him a little
money for his poor; he took it with a radiant smile I shall not soon
forget. Among all the tremendous impressions we brought away from
Gibraltar, the smile of the little Spanish servant maid in the
market-place, and the smile of the poor Catalan priest in the church,
are the kindest, and will perhaps remain with us the longest.

Near the church is the fine new hospital; an inscription tells that Lord
Napier, of Magdala, laid the foundation stone.

In Lord Napier’s hospital there are women nurses. Teaching and nursing
nuns are in charge of several charitable institutions, and in the post
office reigns a postmistress; so, though Gibraltar is the most mannish,
English-speaking place I know, there is plenty of civic and charitable
work for women. It was strange to learn that the place is a colony and a
port, as well as a fortress. On this tiny speck of earth you can find
all the complex machinery of civil, military, and colonial existence, as
neatly organized as life in an ant-hill. As to the port, it is now of
consequence as a coaling station only. Prosaic enough, compared to the
palmy days when it was the first smugglers’ headquarters of the
Mediterranean! Tobacco is still smuggled into Spain, where it is a
government monopoly, and is, consequently, very bad and very dear. The
smuggling is largely carried on by dogs. The poor innocents are taken
out in a boat at night from Gibraltar; when near the Spanish coast,
small water-tight casks filled with contraband tobacco are fastened on
either side of them, they are put overboard and swim to land. They learn
not to bark or make a noise, but to scramble silently ashore into the
arms of their _contrabandista_ partners, just as in the days of the
Deerfield Massacre, babies in New England were taught not to cry on
account of the Indians.

After luncheon we went to see the “Galleries.” Our Scorp convoyed us;
Gunner Wilkinson, a lean old war dog, received us and led the way into a
dim passage, with sanded floor and whitewashed roof, tunnelled out of
the bowels of the Rock. The narrow gallery ascends at an easy slope, now
and again widening out into a small chamber, as a Roman catacomb expands
into the chapel of Christian martyr or saint. Only here, in this aerial
catacomb, instead of the statue of a saint, stands a great gun, its
black nozzle poking through a loophole. The Gunner explained the
working, patting the gun as one pats a favorite horse. At the lightest
touch the monster swung smoothly on its swivel, and the loophole was
free for us to look out at the magnificent view. Below us was Gibraltar
Bay, the cork woods of Algeciras, and the blue line of Sierras beyond.
We were in no hurry to leave the gallery, as we should probably never be
here again. Gunner Wilkinson refused a shilling, but accepted a cigar;
and finally understanding that we really were interested in his
wonderful Cyclopean galleries, he unbent and gossiped about them in a
friendly way.

During the “Great Siege,” a non-commissioned officer, Sergeant Ince,
heard the commandant, General Eliott, say that he would give a thousand
dollars to be able to drop shells on the enemy from a certain point
where the Rock’s face was a sheer precipice. The practical genius of the
plain soldier found out the way. If there was no place for the guns on
the Rock, make a place for them in the Rock. So the famous Rock
Batteries, at Ince’s suggestion, were blasted out of the living cliffs.
They had done great service in their day, but now, frankly, this cannon,
that to me looked so deadly, was quite out of date. The real guns were
mounted--elsewhere! Yes, La Vieja (the old dog) had a new set of teeth;
she could bite now as well as bark. Beyond this the Gunner would say
nothing of the modern defences, nor of those secret forbidden parts of
“Gib” I longed to see. His talk was all of old wars, old heroes, of
Ince, who rose from the ranks and was made an ensign of the Royal
Garrison Battalion as a reward for his batteries. One day, when he was
an aged man, riding to his work on an ancient nag, he met the Governor,
the Duke of Kent, the father of “_the_ Queen.”

“That horse is too old for you, Mr. Ince,” said the Duke.

“I like to ride easy, your Royal Highness,” Ince answered meekly.

“Right,” said the Duke, “but you deserve a better mount.”

A few days later the Duke sent Ince a fiery young horse, far too
spirited for the old overseer to manage. The next time the Duke met Ince
he was riding his shambling nag. The Duke stopped and asked where the
new horse was. Ince confessed that it was more than he could manage, and
begged leave to send it back to the Duke’s stable.

“No, no, Overseer, if you can’t ride him, put him in your pocket,” said
the Duke handsomely. Ince took the hint and sold the horse for a good
price.

Gunner Wilkinson talked of Nelson’s visit and the banquet given him in
St. George’s Hall, the magnificent rock chamber at the end of the
galleries, as if it had all happened last year, and first, last, and
always he talked of the great siege.

A red flash, a puff of white smoke, a dull roar told that a yacht had
just entered the harbor. As I looked through the narrow loophole,
watching the sailors furl the sails, I glanced across the bay to the
cork woods of Algeciras, and the lower foothills of the Sierras--and
again I _remembered_ the past. This is the thirteenth of April, 1783,
the great day of the “Great Siege,” that began on a September morning
three years before, when Mrs. Skinner touched off the first gun of the
defence to General Eliott’s signal, “Britons strike home.” This day, the
allies believe, will see the obstinate garrison that has held out so
long, against scurvy and starvation within, as well as the enemy’s guns
without, come to terms. The old General who has lived for more than a
week on four ounces of rice per diem, just to prove how little a man
need eat to live and fight, will hoist the white flag before evening
gunfire. Down there in the bay lies the combined fleet of France and
Spain, forty-seven “sail of the line”--real line of battleships, with
white figureheads and wings and pleasant windowed balconies astern, and
nice brass cannon shining through long rows of portholes. Alongside
these three deckers and frigates are the strangest craft Gibraltar Bay
has ever seen--ten famous unsubmergible, incombustible, floating
batteries; uncouth monsters with bulging sides padded with wet sand, and
hanging roofs covered with damp hides. Those Algeciras hills are
crowded with spectators, come from all over Spain, to see the fall of
Gibraltar. For eight hours the besiegers’ five hundred guns roared and
spat fire and shells, and the garrison’s ninety and six answered with
Boyd’s deadly hot shot. The bay was a gallant sight at sunrise--who
would have seen it at evening gunfire? Not the people who had come to
watch the great victory; they melted away from the hills like summer
snow, for the victory was to the “old dog!” The indestructible floating
batteries were destroyed, the beautiful ships sunk or in flames, their
sides blackened, their sails tattered. That day’s fight cost the
garrison something less than two hundred men, and the allies more than
two thousand.

“Old Eliott stood there on the King’s Bastion during the fight,” the
Gunner said. I wondered if he had shouted the slogun of his people in
the debatable land. The Gunner asked what that might be. I gave him the
old border cry of the Black Eliotts:

“My name is little Jock Eliott, and wha’ daur meddle wi’ me?”

Wilkinson, chuckling grimly, repeated it, surmised that “per’aps ’ee
did,” and gave this parting anecdote:

When, after peace was declared, the French commander, Duc de Crillon,
visited Gibraltar, Eliott showed him Ince’s galleries. De Crillon
called the attention of his suite with these words:

“Notice, gentlemen, that these works are worthy of the Romans.”

(Shade of Scipio Africanus! didst hear and wert appeased?)

While in the Gunner’s company we heard much rolling of drums and
sounding of “tuckets”; some military business was going on not far away.
It was stirring to the pulses, and made us feel martial and
bloodthirsty. We parted with the Gunner at evening gunfire; when we
shook hands my bones crunched in his mighty grip, but I believe I did
not flinch. We marched back to the hotel, keeping step to the march a
military band was playing in the Alameda. That night, just as the floor
of my room at the Cecil began to heave with the slow even roll of the
_Kaiser_, a strain of sleepy lullaby music melted into my dream. I
roused and looked at the watch. It was ten o’clock; the bugler at the
barracks was playing “taps” on a silver bugle. It was all true! We were
here, sleeping in the “Key to the Mediterranean!”



II

A SIBYL OF RONDA


Dawn in a garden of Andalusia.... To the south, across the Straits of
Gibraltar, the faint purple outlines of the Atlas Mountains mark the
mysterious coast of Africa. To the north, beyond the green _vega_, four
ranges of clear cut Sierras Gazoulos rise, one behind the other, from
gray, vaporous valleys of mist. The only sounds are the rhythmic
breaking of waves on the beach; the short breathing of a herd of
goats--black, tawny, and white, with coarse hair and fierce, yellow
eyes, and the crisp crunch, crunch of their teeth cropping the roadside
grass. The night flowers hang their heads and go to sleep, the day
flowers lift their faces to the sun; the smell of heliotrope drenched in
dew is an unforgetable thing. Breakfast is memorable, too; dates from
Morocco, and rich Spanish coffee flavored with cinnamon, served under an
arbor of Marechal Neil roses.

So began our first day in Spain, at a place the Romans called Portus
Albus, and the Moors--they settled here soon after landing on Gibraltar,
Jezirat-I-Kadra--“the green island.” Can you derive the modern name of
Algeciras from that? You must. Our old friend Tarik was here,--witness
the great aqueduct he built, that still brings Algeciras his royal gift
of water, always the legacy of Roman or of Moor.

To-day, Gibraltar is England’s key to the Mediterranean; yesterday,
Algeciras was the Moors’ key to Spain. They held the Peninsula seven
hundred years, think of it!--nearly twice as long as white men have held
America; then it was wrenched from them, the door was locked against
them. Less than three hundred years ago our ancestors landed on Plymouth
Rock, but how should we, in New England, feel if the Indians, the
Mexicans, or the Canadians rose up and drove us out of our stately
cities, our green pastures, our fertile wheat fields? The Moors made a
brave stand at Algeciras--it was their last ditch--and put up a good
fight here. In the year 1344, the town was besieged by Alonzo XI of
Castile, with the help of crusaders from every part of Christendom. The
siege lasted twenty months. Chaucer, writing forty years later,
describes a true knight as one who “had fought at Algecir,” as we might
say of one of Thermopylæ’s Three Hundred or of Balaclava’s Six Hundred.
In 1760, four hundred years afterwards, the Spanish King, Charles III,
rebuilt and fortified the place, “to be a hornet’s nest against the
English.” For one hundred years Gibraltar and Algeciras--now deadly
places, both of them bristling with guns, full of dynamite--have
glowered at each other across the bay. The other day the English came
again to Algeciras. Armed this time with British capital, they have
built one of the hotels of the world here, and called it the Reina Maria
Cristina, as a compliment to the Spanish Queen Mother.

“We did not expect to find such a fine hotel in Spain,” I said to the
capable English manageress.

“Ah, well! we hardly count this as Spain, you know!” she answered, with
a fine insular contempt for all things “foreign.”

“She’s right!” cried Patsy. “_Por Dios._ Shall we never get out of
England?” and willy-nilly he carried us off to lunch at Don Jaime’s
_fonda_, in the old part of the town.

The Don was waiting for us on a bench outside the inn door, smoking his
inevitable cigarette, in the soft spring air. He looked a little bleary
about the eyes, as if he had not had enough sleep.

“Don Jaime is up early to-day for our sake,” Patsy explained; “as he
goes to bed at four in the morning, he does not usually appear before
two in the afternoon.”

“The morning is a disease,” said the Don. “I find it best not to go out
until the day is well aired.”

“Please observe,” Patsy interrupted, “that this place has a proper odor
of garlic; at last we are out of the smell of English roast beef!”

The Don sighed. “Nevertheless, I comfortably recall the roast beef we
had at school in Stoneyhurst,” he said; “it was rare, with plenty good,
red gravy.”

“That was all right in England; we’re in Andalusia now. Let’s begin with
an _olla_, then a dish of rice, saffron, _pimientos_, and little
birds,--and wine from that fattest wineskin. I counted ten of them
outside in the road, leaning jovially together against the wall of the
_fonda_.”

When he got his wine from the “fattest wineskin”--it tasted a little of
the “leather botelle”--Patsy raised his glass.

“We will drink,” he cried, “to everything Spanish, _muchachas_, _ollas_,
_dons_, _torrones_, and _fondas_, and confusion to all interlopers.
Isn’t this jolly little place better than the Maria Cristina? Isn’t the
company more friendly and far more diverting? See the notary and the
doctor at the table near the door; at the next, the priest and the
professor (they’re both taking snuff); that fat, military man with the
green gloves is a colonel of infantry. Those swell English officers you
admired so much at the Reina Cristina simply own the hotel! We’re
admitted to the smoking and billiard rooms purely on sufferance. I like
your inn best, Don Jaime.”

“Ah, well,” said the Don, “I like bath every morning, and all that
luxushness when I stayed at the Reina, though it was much pain to put on
cocktail coat every night for dinner.”

“Treasure every gem of speech he lets fall,” murmured Patsy, “they grow
rarer--don’t you notice?--as his English comes back to him.”

“He’s always been like that,” said J., “it’s because he learned English
when he was young.” “Some days he speaks as well as you or I, then again
he talks a hodge podge no man can understand.”

“What’s the matter with the wine, Don?” cried Patsy. “You don’t like
it.”

“Wine is not agreeable to my belly,” said the Don. “I will take to keep
you company, _un poco de ginebra, de campaña_, with much water.”

“You must not expect ice,” Patsy explained.

“You will not hanker for it,” said the Don, taking a clay water bottle
from the shelf behind him. “This _alcarraza_ is--how you say? holey--no,
porous, keeps water as cold as you might drink him, by evaporation.” He
poured out the water and put the _alcarraza_ back. It had a rounded
bottom and could not stand upright. The Romans used the same kind of
vessel; you see them at Pompeii. They were made in this shape because
they were used to pour libations of lustral water to Vesta, and would
have been defiled if they had been set down on the ground.

By this time the fruit was put on the table. All the other guests had
left the room except the priest and the professor, who were playing a
game of dominoes. A large melon was placed before J. He looked at me as
he cut it:

“You remember what I have always said? Till you come to Spain it is
impossible to know what a melon can be.”

“No earthly melon can taste as good as this one smells,” said Patsy. “It
is as if all the spices of Arabia had been let loose in this room!”

The servants had withdrawn, the clatter of the dishes had ceased. Some
one opened a window; from the garden came the music of a guitar played
by a master hand, a man’s voice singing a song of Andalusia:

    “_Me han dicho que tu te casas,_
     _y asi lo dice la gente,_
     _todo sera en un dia_
     _tu casamiento y mi muerte._”

(They have told me thou art to wed, so people say; all shall be in one
day, thy marriage and my death.)

Don Jaime’s thimbleful of gin and his two cups of black coffee--he ate
scarcely anything--had waked him up wonderfully. He smoked, with my
permission, between the courses throughout lunch, flicking the ash from
his cigarette with the phenomenally long nail of his little finger; his
hands were white, handsome, and exquisitely kept. Lunch over and the
serenade finished, Don Jaime settled his old black _sombrero_ jauntily
on the side of his head, buttoned up his threadbare coat--its darning
was a work of art--and declared himself ready to show us the town.

“You would like to paint it red, wouldn’t you?” said Patsy.

“White better is suited to that climate,” said Don Jaime. _His_ slang
was current in the England of the sixties, and he took ours literally,
but he laughed buoyantly because Patsy laughed.

Algeciras is a clean, pretty town, with neat, whitewashed houses,
handsome iron gratings to doors and casements, and curious metal
gargoyles and gutters painted green. Here and there from a window, or,
in the more important houses, from a balcony like a small grated out of
doors boudoir, leaned a handsome Algeciras girl, her dark, smooth hair
beautifully dressed, with a bright flower worn over the middle of the
forehead,--a pink rose, a white camelia, or one of the gorgeous red or
yellow carnations one must come to Andalusia to see. We walked in the
_alameda_, a well laid out promenade, with neat little gardens, each
with a small pavilion on either side. We loitered in the city square,
admired its beauties, and the handsome uniforms of the smart, well set
up Spanish officers, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes outside the
more fashionable cafés.

“_Miré_ (look)! this is the bull-fighters’ café,” said Don Jaime, as we
turned into a side street, “and there is Bombito, the first matador in
Spain. He has come down from Madrid for the bull-fight to-morrow.”

An open door gave a glimpse of a tawdry interior with large mirrors, red
plush seats, and atrocious decorations. At a table near the window sat
the matador, a magnificently built man, with a frank, open face and a
courageous eye. He was dressed in Andalusian costume,--a short,
close-fitting coat like an Eton jacket, red sash, very tight trousers,
wide-brimmed hat of hard gray felt. His hair, tied in a cue, was turned
up under his hat; his full ruffled shirt was fastened by large diamonds;
a superb cabuchon ruby burned on his finger. Around him sat a group of
_aficionados_, the fancy, the young bloods of Algeciras. As we passed,
Bombito, looking up, recognized Don Jaime. The matador smiled and
nodded, and the _aficionados_ turned to see the fortunate man to whom
Bombito waved his hand.

“Spain at last, Spain of the songs I have sung, the pictures on fans and
guava boxes I have collected,” Patsy burbled joyously.

“_Quando los matadores matan en la corrida, van a la plaza bonitas con
flores y abanicos._” (When the matadors are killing in the bull ring,
come the pretty girls with flowers and fans.)

Not far from the plaza, as we were passing a house of quality, with
seraphic green gargoyles, Don Jaime halted and looked sharply across the
way. A correct young man, in a rakish gray sombrero, stood at the
opposite corner waiting, not loitering like us; it was evident that he
was here with a purpose.

“Behold the _novio_!” said the Don; “I feared he dead or married.”

Patsy asked who the gentleman with the varnished boots might be, who was
gazing at an upper window with a white blind; he, apparently, did not
see us. The Don explained that he was a _novio_ (fiancé) _haciendo el
oso_ (doing the bear). He had heard it said that every afternoon, for
five years, this faithful lover had stood outside the window of his
beloved for exactly three hours!

“Is he mad?”

“Is love lunatics? Then must be vasty, crazy palaces by all Spain. He
follow one antique custom, what we call ‘_cosas de España_.’”

Sunset found us far from the town on a lonely path skirting the coast.
We looked through the ragged, blue cactus hedge at the beautiful view;
watched the flame kindle and flash out from the lighthouse on Isla
Verde; the ferry boat, _Elvira_, pass on her last trip from Gibraltar to
Algeciras. A few steps further on the path brought us out upon a bold
headland where, out of sight of the town, an old house sloughed and
sagged on its foundations. A large fig tree grew on one side of the
porch, a cork tree on the other; a tame lamb lifted its head from
nibbling the grass and bleated a long “ba-a-a.”

“Picturesque, isn’t it?” said Patsy. His gaze, idly roving over the
landscape, concentrated and grew intent as the door opened, and a girl
in a red dress, with a yellow handkerchief over her head, came out of
the old house. It was as if a rough oyster shell had opened and shown
the perfect pearl it held.

“I say, don’t you think it wicked to be so handsome?” groaned Patsy.

With a light, graceful step the girl walked to the edge of the cliff. A
straggling path led down to the beach where an old, patched boat lay on
its side. On a shelf of clean sand, below a tiny, ill-kept kitchen
garden, lay an elderly man dressed in good black clothes--it was Sunday.
The girl, evidently his daughter, called him to come in, the sun had
gone down, he would catch cold. The old fellow obstinately refused to
move; he was very comfortable where he was. Then, seeing us, he
scrambled to his feet:

“Olá, olá! Engerlish, Engerlish!” he hailed us gleefully, waving an arm
over his disreputable head. Two grave men of his own class, who passed
at that moment, reproved him sternly, but he was in the incorrigibly
merry stage and continued to wave and shout:

“Engerlish, Engerlish! How much? Very dear, goddam.”

“This is my third visit to Spain,” said J., “and that is the first
drunken man I have seen even here.”

“_Claro_,” said Don Jaime, “we are not afflict with that vice of
drunkenness.”

A rusty brown water spaniel, lying near the old drunkard, rose, yawned,
stretched itself fore and aft, and sniffed at Patsy’s boots.

“Notice where the hair is worn off his back?” Patsy murmured, taking a
burr out of the dog’s long, flapping ear. “A strap has done that--a
strap, I suspect, that fastens together two little water-tight kegs
filled with tobacco from Gibraltar. Smuggler! Is the old fellow your
partner? Where’s the entrance to the smuggler’s cave? Don, we’ve
discovered a _contrabandista’s_ den!”

“May be!” laughed Don Jaime.

The spaniel lost interest in us and sat down to search for fleas. The
girl had persuaded her father to come indoors. She supported him as he
staggered towards the house.

“I’m off; it must mortify her to have us see him.” Patsy strode ahead;
we followed. Soon the fierce, prickly blades of the blue cactus hid the
house from view.

“A pretty gel, not?” was the Don’s comment.

“I wonder what her name is?” said Patsy. “Dolores, Pepita? It was worth
the price of the journey just to see her face!” He was silent during the
rest of the walk, keeping well ahead of us and singing snatches of an
old song:

    “_vous connaissez que j’ai por mie_
     _une Andalouse a l’oeil lutin----_”

We left Algeciras before daylight for Ronda. If the Spaniard sleeps late
at home, on his travels he must be an early bird,--the trains all seem
to start between midnight and cockcrow. Don Jaime remained behind. Some
night, he explained, when he felt particularly fit, he would omit going
to bed; otherwise he must pass all his life in Algeciras; to get up in
time for that hobgoblin train was not possible.

Across the bay we could make out the faint silhouette of Gibraltar
against the ashen sky, a black lion asleep under the pallid day-star.
The swift-coming dawn little by little transformed it to a gray lion
dormant on an amethyst sea. Long after the great caved mountain was lost
to sight, a distant growl shook the air.

“Morning gunfire at the Rock,” said Patsy, “that’s the last we shall
hear of the British Lion for some time.”

Sunrise came while we were in the heart of a dark forest. The hoary old
trees had mighty, wide-spreading boughs, covered thick with small,
gray-green leaves like the ilex; the trunks were old and frail--some of
them mere hollow shells that might have housed a dryad or a satyr. They
stood well apart from each other, the undergrowth and dead wood
carefully trimmed away from their roots.

“See how well cared for the forest patriarchs are,” said Patsy. “They
must be kept alive as long as possible, like some old people, because
they are the main support of the community.”

Gold-tipped arrows of sunlight now began to pierce the thick green
shadows of the forest, and striking the old trunks and the heavy lower
branches brought out their wonderful tints.

“Look at those gorgeous rainbow trees! See the colors,--mother of pearl,
carmine, violet, lavender,--what does it mean?” I cried.

It meant, I found, that this was the cork forest, and that the bark of
the cork trees had lately been cut. Those rainbow colors soon fade,
however, like the pink and white complexion of youth.

At the next station stood many cars laden with rough cork.

“The coarse, outer layers are used for fishing nets and life preservers.
To even things up,” Patsy explained, “they keep the fine, inner pinkish
layers to bottle up those two great life destroyers, the drugs and
liquors of the world.”

The way now led over the Sierra Rondena, through the wildest, most
beautiful part of Andalusia; past thickets of gum cistus, covered with
glorious, golden-hearted, white blossoms; across green _vegas_ enamelled
with clumps of amber gorse; through waves of daisies, white and yellow,
regiments of scarlet poppies marching through the pale green wheat,
multitudes of cornflowers, morning glories, and ruby-headed alfalfa,
king of all the handsome clover tribe. In this company of old friends a
stranger flower stooped through the fields, half drooping, half
mourning, a purple hood pulled over its head almost hiding the small
blue bells hanging from the bending stalk. In that holiday crowd it
looked like a hooded monk, a purple _penitente_ at a carnival. I could
never learn its true name, so we called it the Spanish Friar....

“Lift thine eyes, oh, lift thine eyes to the mountains, whence cometh
help!” sang Patsy.

Intoxicated with the flower feast, the way had brought us within sight
of the distant Sierras without our being aware. The mountains came to
meet us, nearer, nearer; then, all at once, we were in their midst; the
tall blue peaks came crowding all about us. As the engine panted “up,
up” the mountain pass, the way crossed a flashing mountain torrent
leaping down, down to the _vega_ and the sea beyond; it looked more like
a river of emeralds and snow than mere green water and white foam.

“Andalusia, once Vandalusia, named for the Vandals, who tarried here
before their wild dash across the Alps down into Italy. Andalusia,
‘ultima terræ’ of the ancients, the uttermost parts of the earth, where
good old Jonah longed to flee, small blame to him,” Patsy maundered on,
sleepily giving us bits of guidebook information.

“Andalusia, Vandalusia, Vandalusia, Andalusia.” The wheels sang it like
a lullaby. “Anda----”

“Ronda, Ronda!” cried the guard. We rubbed our eyes, snatched our
belongings, tumbled out of the compartment to the platform, and almost
into the arms of the Sibyl of Ronda, patiently waiting for us there,
like Fate. She was a tiny old woman, draped like a Tanagra statuette, in
veils of soft, rusty black: her face was like a damask rose that has
withered on its stalk; the eyes alone, diamond bright, were young, full
of fire. With a tremulous hand she offered J. a box of matches. An
officious young man, with oiled hair and a green cravat, pushed her
rudely aside. She was not to trouble the gentlefolk, responsibility for
whose welfare in Ronda he assumed. Was he not the “offeecial” guide? Did
he not speak English?

“We can speak English ourselves, and we don’t want a guide,” J.
interposed. “We want a philosopher and friend. If we must have somebody
to toot us about, I vote we take the Sibyl.”

“What? Prefer an old thing like that to an active young man like me?”
The official guide was incredulous!

“Isn’t she a little old?” I ventured.

“Did you ever see handsomer wrinkles? They are perfectly classic,” said
J.

“And the twinkle in her eye!” Patsy supported him. “Wrinkles and
twinkles against stall-fed guidebookery? The old girl for me. She’s
over eighty, she says; she was born in Ronda; has lived here all her
life. She must know more about it than that Algerine pirate with the
emerald tie. Past eighty, you said, didn’t you?”

“_Ochanta dos; perro en Ronda los ombres a ochanta son pollones_,” the
Sibyl answered. I am eighty-two, but in Ronda men of eighty are only
chickens.

“I understand her Spanish!” cried Patsy. “That settles it; sealed to the
Sibyl! I’ll go bond she will let us in for something worth seeing.” As
usual, Patsy and J. had their way, and the active young man, angry and
chapfallen, watched us with a sinister look, as we pottered slowly along
beside the Sibyl. Our guides were mostly chosen for beauty, or charm. On
the whole the plan worked well enough.

The Romans showed their usual colossal common sense in choosing the site
of Arunda. Rome always was the model city they kept in mind. Three
things, they rightly held, were necessary to a city; a not too distant
view of mountains, to uplift the soul of the citizen; a fine climate to
stimulate his body; a river for boys to swim and fish in, and for men to
traffic by. When they found this high, fertile plain shut in by an
amphitheatre of mountains, with one lone hill in the midst, surrounded
and cut in halves by a rushing river, they built their city of Arunda
on the cleft, river-girt rock we call Ronda. The Moors, who cleverly
dovetailed their towns and their civilization into what Rome left, built
their town of Ronda with the ruins of Arunda. We found remains of both
Roman and Moorish walls. The modern town, built by the “Catholic Kings,”
Ferdinand and Isabel, is remarkable chiefly for the wonderful view from
the _alameda_. You look down a sheer six hundred feet to the green
_vega_, and the turbulent river Guadelevin fretting and fuming below.
After roaring and raging through the Tajo, the deep chasm that divides
Ronda, the river tumbles with a series of mad leaps and bounds to the
plain beyond. Cutting a few antics with eddies and whirlpools,
Guadelevin finally gets himself in hand, and goes soberly to work; turns
the wheels of the old Moorish mills, makes flour for Ronda, as the Moors
taught him to do; lends his strength to a new labor, for, marvel of
marvels, old Moorish Ronda is lighted by electricity. In summer, when
the river shrinks to a mere thread, its waning power is carefully
husbanded and the water is led by pipes to do its work. Water, always
water, alpha and omega of civilization! No town that could not be well
supplied with water from the snowy Sierras or from some mountain lake
was ever founded by Roman or Moor. Their wisdom is clearer now than
ever before. What city prospers, lacking the Siamese twins of successful
manufacture, water power, and electricity?

A flock of evil-looking birds hovered over a lonely thicket of
tamarisks, close by the foot of the wall.

“From there,” said the Sibyl, pointing to the tamarisks, “they throw the
dead horses over the walls, after the bull-fights. The vultures soon
pick their bones!” Grrrr! The ugly word spoiled the lovely view.

The Sibyl lived in the old, Moorish part of the city, that is called the
Ciudad. She led us through the steep, narrow streets, pointing out the
show houses. Here lived the grim Moorish king, Almoneted. He drank his
wine from the skulls of enemies whose heads he had cut off, made into
goblets, and inlaid with splendid jewels. Patsy, in his rococo Spanish,
wondered if Almoneted had hoped to inherit the courage that once flashed
from the sockets he stopped with emerald and ruby. The Sibyl twinkled
all over at his suggestion.

“_Claro_,” she said, “it was doubtless his idea.”

She showed us the Mina, an underground staircase of three hundred and
sixty-five steps, one for every day in the year, like the churches in
old Rome, leading down to the river. It was built so that, in case of
siege, Ronda should not be cut off from water. Moorish caution! The
Romans of Arunda apparently never contemplated such a possibility. The
houses of the Ciudad are oriental in character, with blank, whitewashed
walls, and rare, grated windows; they are all built to look as much
alike as possible, in order to avoid attracting attention. The doors are
the only distinguishing feature; all of them are massive, and built for
defence; some are of walnut, some of oak, iron barred, iron bound,
studded with bronze bosses or brass ornaments. Oh, redoubtable doors of
old Ronda! What stores of wealth, what moons of beauty did you guard for
the jealous Moors that made you?

The Sibyl understood all Patsy meant but could not say. The moment their
eyes met, flash, flash, a secret code was established between them.
Thanks to her, one of those mysterious doors was opened to us, and we
saw the interior of one of those old Moorish houses, whose key, perhaps,
is treasured by some Moor of Morocco to-day, for when they were driven
back to Africa, the Moors took the keys of their houses in Andalusia and
Granada with them, against the day they should return and reclaim their
lost paradise. These keys have been handed down from generation to
generation; some of them hang to-day in the Moorish houses of Tangiers
and Tetuan.

When we were tired with much sightseeing, the Sibyl hospitably took us
home to rest. In the patio of her house we found enchanting Moorish
columns with slender shafts, and capitals that must have been copied
from the Corinthian capitals the Romans used so much in Spain, only
these are lighter and less formal, and have more feeling of the lovely
form of the curling acanthus leaf. The patio, a survival of the Roman
atrium, is an open court in the middle of the house, surrounded by a
roofed corridor, where, during the warm weather, the life of an
Andalusian family centres. In the Sibyl’s patio stood an old Moorish
well with an Arabic inscription. I cast longing eyes at it.

“Whatever you see,” said J., “admire nothing that can be carried off by
the modern Vandals, who have looted Italy and are looting Spain. If you
do, she’ll sell it.”

“The old Vandals were a decent lot in comparison,” Patsy agreed.
“History has maligned them. If they did ‘lift’ a little property now and
again, they, at least, left the owners the privilege of enjoying a
virtuous indignation! These modern buyers, spoilers, barbarians, buy the
victim’s consent, add ignominy to spoiliation!”

A pair of goldfinches gossipped about their housekeeping in a wattle
cage hung near the old Moorish well. A lemon tree in a glazed
earthenware pot (it had one green lemon) and some gorgeous double
carnations, variegated dark red and yellow, planted in a petroleum can,
stood close to the well where they could be easily watered. As she
passed, the Sibyl pinched off a dead leaf with a touch that was a
caress,--these were her growing things, this was her pleasaunce.

In the living-room, which was the kitchen, too, was a quaint, carved
stone fireplace. On the balcony outside was a gilt iron grill,
surmounted by a battered pomegranate “final,” sure some day to find its
way into a “collection.” The house was clean, in spite of the horde of
children it sheltered, the Sibyl’s great-grandchildren, for whose sake
she sells matches at Ronda station.

The mother sat on a low stool rocking a wooden cradle with her foot; her
hands were busy shelling _garbanzoz_, chickpeas, for the _olla_. Twin
infants, lusty as Romulus and Remus, slept in the cradle; a pair of
babes a size larger played with each other’s toes in a long,
bath-shaped, wicker basket; a girl of five pretended to help her mother
with the _garbanzoz_. As we entered, the mother rose, welcomed us with
grave ceremony, offered us food and drink and assured us that this house
and everything it contained was ours: “_Esta muy a la disposicion de
Vmd._” It is very much at your disposal, the pretty old phrase goes.

Her face was plain beside the Sibyl’s, time had etched every line
_there_ with an artist’s fine care, but she had the grace, the reserve,
the proud bearing of the Andaluz that poets have praised before, and
since, De Musset, whose Andaluz lived in Barcelona, and was a Catalan,
after all. As the youngsters were very near of an age, when the mother
offered to give us everything in sight I asked if she could spare a
baby? She looked almost pretty as she unbent, smiled, patted the
biggest, and answered, with a twinkle like the old woman’s, that there
were none too many--indeed, that there were four more at school.

“Nine children, what a fine large family!” The Sibyl shrugged her
shoulders, rolled up her eyes, and lifted a withered hand to heaven in
protest.

“Granny doesn’t think it much of a family; she had seven boys and seven
girls.”

“It is true,” the Sibyl nodded, and stroked her lean flanks with
tremulous hands; “this,” she looked at her grandchild as if she expected
great things of her, “is the seventh daughter of my seventh daughter.”

When, our visit over, we rose to take leave, spokesman Patsy produced
the phrase from his vocabulary that he had been conning:

“_Muchas memorias. Adios._”

The Andaluz put this aside as too final. “_Hasta luego_,” she said, with
her slow, sweet smile,--“Till we meet again.”

“_Vamos!_” said the Sibyl, and showed the way to the door.

As we left the house of many children, we met a cavalcade of gay young
people riding out of town. The men rode horses, the girls mules or
donkeys. The woman’s saddle was curiously made with crisscross arms and
a back like an armchair. They were evidently well to do farmer folk; all
wore good clothes and were well mounted. Several of them had ruddy,
northern complexions. The Sibyl laid this to the excellent climate,--“In
Ronda, we do not know when it is summer,” she said. The last of the
cavalcade to pass was a large, gray mule with as pretty a couple as you
might see, seated on his broad back. We felt sure they were bride and
groom. The man, a handsome fellow, full of the lust of life, sat very
straight in saddle; the slim girl on the pillion behind, her arm about
his waist, was full of bridal coquetries. She wore red stockings, a rose
behind her ear, a lace-trimmed petticoat. An old, yellowish, time-worn
guitar was slung over her shoulders by a cherry ribbon. As they rode
past us, both young people smiled and nodded to the Sibyl.

“Your friends?” Patsy asked.

“My relatives.” Proud that we should see them, and that they should see
us, her face kindled; so did Patsy’s. We all walked on through the
tortuous Moorish _calle_ with a lighter step, a braver heart for that
chance meeting. It seemed as if we had caught some reflection of the
hope, health, and love shining in their young faces.

“I play the guitar myself, after a fashion, not Spanish fashion, alack!”
said Patsy. “Shade of Espinal! I won’t leave Ronda till I have had a
lesson. He lived here, Espinal, who gave the fifth string, perfected the
guitar, made it what it is--what it can be in a Spaniard’s hands.”

A tall, arrogant-looking priest, with head held high, passed at this
moment and challenged us with the eye, as the British officer had
challenged us at Gibraltar. It seemed that he was master here, as that
other had been master on the Rock.

“If I were a priest of Ronda I should hold up my head,” said Patsy,
“just because Espinal was a priest. He did other things worth doing
beside giving us the fifth string: invented the decima, wrote a book,
Marcus de Obregan, that’s read to-day, three hundred years after;
translated Horace--a pleasant task--lived to be eight years older than
the Sibyl, died at ninety, still in the ring, still fighting. I like
Ronda; let’s buy a house and settle here!”

“Almoneted’s house for choice,” said J., and they began alloting
quarters forthwith. The window with the north light should be the
studio, the room on the courtyard far from noise, the library. In every
town we visited, and they approved of, they made plans for passing the
rest of our lives there.

       *       *       *       *       *

The convent chapel smelt of lavender. The sunlight pouring through the
rose window over the high altar was so strong that you saw tiny motes
floating in the sunbeams. They could not have been dust, for the chapel
was immaculate, a temple of purity from the worn marble flags under foot
to the swinging silver lamps overhead, all freshly trimmed like the
lamps of the wise virgins. The Virgin’s lace handkerchief was a triumph
of clear starching. She was dressed in black and wore only a few of her
jewels--the Sibyl said--because it was Lent; we should see her at
Easter! The Virgin’s velvet dress was in the style of the sixteenth
century; she wore a hoop, a ruff, and a long pointed bodice.

The Sibyl was not devout. She took the holy water to cross herself,
mechanically, and made the most indifferent little duck for a courtesy
as she passed before the altar. She looked with a cold eye on dear San
Antonio di Padua, though he must be popular in Ronda, from the number of
candles burning before him. Her indifference was in marked contrast to
the piety of two freshly powdered young ladies, who were coming out of
the chapel as we entered. They were of the great world; their combs and
shoes were unquestionably from Paris.

“But the eyes, the eyes are Andalusian, and the torrents of black hair
piled and puffed under those blessed black mantillas!” murmured Patsy,
as they passed, smelling sweet of heliotrope and rice powder. The taller
had a rosary of gold and pearls in her left hand, a fan in the right;
the pearls slipped through her fingers, her lips moved; she was
evidently “telling her beads.” As they passed the statue of Santa
Teresa, both knelt and crossed themselves with extraordinary reverence.

“Remember what Don Jaime said,” Patsy reminded us; “that the common
people of Spain take their religion very easily; everybody did when he
was young, till the Queen Mother made it fashionable to be _devote_,
when she came to Spain, bringing back the Jesuits and all the rest of
them in her train. As a boy, the Don never remembers having seen a monk
or a nun.”

In spite of her “indifference,” the Sibyl had held stanchly to her
proposal that we should visit the convent where she had learned to sew
and to embroider. Mass was just over, the priest had left the altar, the
sacristan was snuffing out the candles. We had a glimpse of black veiled
figures passing slowly behind the altar from one unseen chamber to
another; they were followed by slighter, more lightly moving figures in
white that flitted ethereally where the others walked solidly. Two by
two they passed behind the altar with a noiseless step. When the last
one had vanished, the priest and the sacristan disappeared into the
sacristy, and we were left alone, with San Antonio and the other saints.

One end of the chapel was shut off by two heavy iron gratings, one
behind the other. On the other side of the grill was a close-latticed
screen, through which we could see a heavy, black curtain; the movement
of the folds showed that we were being watched by some one on the other
side of the triple barrier. After a short delay a novice slipped quietly
into the chapel, a sprite of a girl with bright eyes and rosy cheeks,
dressed in white serge and crisp linen. She asked us for “alms for the
Holy Sacrament.” Patsy produced our offering. The little novice’s eyes
opened roundly as her small red hand closed on the coin; she courtesied,
so prettily, and flitted away as lightly as she came. As she passed the
grill, she breathed some word of necromancy--it sounded like
“blankichisserando.” Then, silently, the black curtain was withdrawn; we
saw a stout red porteress with a bunch of huge keys in her hand, a key
turned grudgingly in a rusty lock, a hinge squeaked, the lattice parted,
the convent walls flew back! We had a glimpse of veiled figures flying
helter skelter; then through the grim, double iron grating we looked
into the _sanctum sanctorum_ of the nuns. A long, lonely room with rows
of uncomfortably narrow, high-backed benches and narrow tables, over
which hung some good crystal chandeliers filled with wax candles. Though
it shone with neatness, it was the most cheerless living-room
imaginable. In the middle, close to the grating, stood a tall, graceful
woman, who looked like a Vestal of ancient Rome. Her taper, aristocratic
hands were folded in a clasp that suggested strength rather than
meekness; her small head, finely set upon the shoulders, was held high
and proudly.

“The Abbess wishes to speak with you,” whispered the Sibyl.

“How long,” asked the Abbess--her voice like a far away chime of silver
bells,--“how long do you remain in Ronda?”

I said our stay was short, no one had told us how much there was to see
in Ronda.

“There is but one Ronda in the world,” she said. The bells sounded
nearer. The Sibyl nodded agreement. “It is the truth,” she murmured.

“You are of Ronda?” I made out to ask.

The Abbess shook her head, and answered with a splendid pride, “_Soy
hija di Granada_” (I am a daughter of Granada), as if that were the
proudest title in the world. There was more bronze than silver in the
bells now.

“What is the work you do in the convent?”

“We pray for the entire world.” Her voice all silver again. Then, as an
after-thought and of far less consequence:

“We have a school of needlework. Our embroidery is not unknown outside
of Ronda; it has been heard of even outside of Spain.” I felt abashed
that I had not heard of it.

“You will, perhaps, return to Ronda for the fair in May? Many strangers
are here then. Should you come back we shall always be glad to see you
at the convent.”

We felt that we were dismissed. I thanked the Abbess as best I could, in
my halting Spanish, for her courtesy. She smiled a cold, holy smile;
her last words were a benediction:

“_Vayan Vds. con Dios!_”

I had a glimpse of the little novice standing on tiptoe looking at Patsy
over the Abbess’s shoulder, with round, bright eyes, then the black
curtains drew noiselessly together, the stout red porteress shut the
wooden lattice with a loud clang, and turned the protesting key in the
lock. The cold beauty of the Abbess, the fresh comeliness of the novice,
were hidden behind the triple barrier: curtain, lattice, and cruel iron
bars in double rank. No outstretched hand from within that grating could
ever touch another hand reaching to meet it from the other side.

“We shall come back to Ronda for the fair,” said Patsy, cheerfully, as
he took leave of the Sibyl at the station. “If not this year, another
year. The Abbess has invited us: mind that you are here to meet us at
the train!”

The Sibyl smiled, a brave, old, withered smile, and waved her tiny,
wrinkled hand:

“_Hasta otra vista!_”

She would do her best to keep the tryst!



III

THE WHITE VEIL


Concepcion sitting in the patio under a golden shower of yellow
Bankshire roses! That was our first impression of Seville. Pemberton,
tall and lean, stood beside her, nervously twirling his stick. We
hurried down to the courtyard; introductions followed.

“_Mes amigos_, Concepcion. She doesn’t speak a word of English--all the
better for your Spanish. She is Sevilliana born. We will do our best
between us to show you the town in--how many days or hours do you mean
to stay?”

“Weeks or months, rather; you don’t know what you are letting yourself
in for,” warned J.

“The longer the better. Concepcion is sometimes busy with the children,
housekeeping, or millinery. I never have anything to do.”

Concepcion welcomed us with soft eyes, a gracious flurry of civilities,
glanced at her watch, and looked meaningly at Pemberton.

“Yes,” he said, “it’s time to start. The

[Illustration: OUR LADY OF O., SEVILLE.]

ceremony of Rending the White Veil, the first act of the drama, begins
at ten o’clock.”

It was the Wednesday of Holy Week. We had timed our arrival in Seville
with an eye to that service. Had it not been for Concepcion, we might
have missed it, after all. It was wonderful enough to sit in the patio
with the paired Moorish columns, the green and blue _azulejos_,
listening to the fountain, and the green love-birds in their gilded
cage, looking at Concepcion, her little feet tucked under her chair, her
fan gently agitated, her mantilla almost as black as her curls.

Outside, in the Plaza del Pacifico, the sun lay hot on the tawny earth;
among the glossy green leaves of the orange trees, golden fruit and
waxen blossom hung side by side. The air was sweet with the smell of
them. A little boy took off his jacket and fluttered it like a _muleta_
(the matador’s red cloak) in his companion’s face. In a moment the two
boys were hard at it--playing at bull-fighting. We lingered to watch
them.

“Seville is even better than I remembered,” said Patsy. “I must have
been here before (I knew that he had not); I seem to have known it all
my life. What a lot of our friends, dead and alive, came from here! The
Emperor Trajan was a Sevilliano, so were Don Juan and Velasquez, so is
Villegas. Figaro, brass basin, white apron, and all, met us at the gate
last night when we arrived, and ran beside the carriage, pointing out
the black arrows at the corners showing the way.”

Was Rossini ever in Seville? Not that it signifies; he devined it all,
if he did not see it. His creatures, Figaro, Rosina, Don Bartolo, are of
the glorious company of its ghosts.

Seville is a siren city. The river Guadalquiver throws an arm about her;
genius, when it may, follows suit and embraces the darling of Andalusia.

“I’ll show you Figaro’s barber shop some day,” said Pemberton over his
shoulder. “It’s near my place. Yes, I’m a householder. You know the
proverb? ‘Whom God loves, he gives a house in Seville.’”

“Find us one, and we’ll settle here, too!” Patsy exclaimed.

“We will talk about that later,” said Pemberton. “Now, I am taking you
to the cathedral. Before you see it, I ask you to consider the immortal
resolution passed by its founders before the first stone was laid. ‘Let
us build,’ they resolved, ‘a monument that shall make posterity declare
that we were mad.’ That was a good bluff, wasn’t it?”

“The only thing about posterity that you can bank on,” Patsy sagely put
in, “is that it won’t say what is expected of it!”

“_Claro!_ Posterity, you and I and Concepcion here, say those men were
the sanest of their time. They, their architects, and their artists
support this city to-day. I don’t know how the taxes could get paid
without the money you travelers bring. The cathedral is the thing that
draws you, and the pageants and _fiestas_--they have all grown up out of
it, are part and parcel of it. The ‘monument’ of those ‘madmen’ is the
Heart of Seville. I wish we had a few such lunatics at home. _They_ only
thought about building the house of God. We waste ourselves in inventing
ingenious devices for heating and lighting the churches of men, and let
slip the great opportunity!”

We were walking, while Pemberton poured out his vehement torrent of
talk, through a narrow, twisting _calle_, innocent of sidewalks, between
tall Morisco houses with openwork gates, catching tantalizing glimpses
of patios where roses riot, fountains sing, cedars whisper. If there be
jealous iron-bound doors in gracious Seville, like those of grim, old
Moorish Ronda, they stand hospitably ajar. As we turned a corner,
Pemberton stopped us with a gesture:

“Look,” he said, “the Giralda!”

Across a plaza where fringed palms rustle, at the end of a _calle_ still
in faint lilac shadow, stood a tall square tower of tenderest rose
color. The Giralda, once the minaret of old Abu Yacob’s mosque,
dominates Seville as the Giglio of Giotto dominates Florence, by its
imperial right of beauty. The bronze Victory on the summit turned
lightly with the breeze; her Roman helmet, her standard, and the olive
branch in her hand sharply etched against the fiery blue sky. In the
belfry the old green bells--all Christians baptized--San Miquel, el
Cantor, Santa Maria, la Gorda, swung to and fro, calling the people to
prayer as their predecessor, the muezzin, once called them.

“It is very late,” murmured Concepcion. She spoke slowly, distinctly; I
understood her then and after. My Spanish was “coming back to me:” at
sixteen I could chatter like a magpie in West Indian Castilian. We
hurried on, losing the Giralda to find it again standing like a tall
sentinel beside the cathedral. This was our first meeting with Gothic
architecture in Spain. The pure lines of pointed window and door, the
airy, flying buttresses, the graceful parapet crowning the roof rose
stately above us, solemn and inspiring, a very gospel carven in warm
gray stone.

“The cathedral is the Heart of Seville,” said Pemberton, “it is a unique
thing. No church in Christendom, no Greek temple or Buddhist shrine can
compare with it. Not because it is the largest Gothic cathedral and the
third largest church in the world, but because it has breath, because it
is alive.”

An aged beggar, clean and respectable, lifted the heavy leathern curtain
that hung over the door. “_Una limosna por el amor de Dios_,” he
whispered. Concepcion dropped a _perro chico_ (literally a small dog, a
copper coin worth one cent) into his trembling old hand.

“_Dios se lo paga a V._,” said the beggar, a neat, self-respecting
mendicant whose voice lacked the whine of Italy. God himself will pay it
to you!

In the rich, dusky spaces of the nave, near the _puerta mayor_, a marble
slab is let into the pavement. Carved upon the slab are the familiar
device of the three brave caravels and the proud motto, “_á Castilla y á
Leon, mundo nuebo dié Colon_.”

“This is the tomb of that good son, Ferdinand Columbus,” said Pemberton.
A cord tightened round my heart. “That’s a link with the past that
holds, isn’t it?”

From that moment it seemed as if we all caught fire from Pemberton, saw
through his eyes, felt with his intensity of feeling. The sweeping
aisles, the steadfast columns, the soaring arches of that cathedral
seemed elemental things, like their prototypes, the forest lanes, the
giants of the primeval wood. We could almost feel the spring of pine
needles underfoot, smell the resin, see the sunlight striking through
the tops of tall pines swaying together, arching the forest path.

The _coro_ the distinguishing feature of Spanish cathedrals--it is like
a chapel set down in the middle of a church--interferes less with the
impression of the whole building at Seville than in any other cathedral
we saw. In the outer aisles, which are free of the _coro_, you have an
uninterrupted view of the entire length of the building, and can realize
its sublime proportions, get a sense of the harmony of the whole; the
ease with which the vast columns uphold the roof, and divide the whole
space into its proper parts. In itself, the _coro_ is like an
exquisitely wrought gem in a chaste and simple setting. It is shut off
from the nave on the side of the _puerta mayor_, by a marble façade
containing fine bas-reliefs, and a painting of the Virgin by Francesco
Pacheco, father-in-law and teacher of Velasquez. On the side towards the
_capilla mayor_ and the high altar, the _coro_ is isolated by a
magnificent wrought-iron screen where, high up in groups of threes, hang
the golden mass bells. Around the interior of the _coro_ runs a double
row of choir stalls, marvels of wood carving, in part grotesque, where
the carver’s fancy ran riot and reproduced the faces of the men, beasts,
and devils that had haunted his childish dreams.

[Illustration: SEVILLE CATHEDRAL.]

Those goblin, demon heads are carved low down, where the hand rests, the
knees push. They are worn away, polished smooth by the rubbing of the
palms and the calves of generations of monks. Safe above, where the
uplifted eye strikes, are the heavenly visions,--angels, saints,
prophets, the Virgin in glory, fresh as the day old Nufro Sanchez carved
them. In the middle of the _coro_ stands the tall _facistol_ holding the
yellow vellum music books open at the page where the monkish
illuminators painted their most beautiful miniatures.

“There’s Villegas’s picture,” J. whispered, as we passed the _coro_,
“the old choirmaster holding up his baton, scolding the choristers. I
know every inch of this church; there’s not a corner he has not
painted.”

“And how he has painted it!” sighed Pemberton; “as a man paints the
portrait of his mother. How you feel the artists, dead and alive, who
have worked here; that’s part of the fascination of the place.”

“Put the camp chairs there,” said Concepcion. She had found us the
perfect position, between the _coro_ and the _capilla mayor_. “Did he
tell you that screen is gilded with the first gold that came from the
Americas?”

The ship that brought that first gold must have been the size of the
Mayflower, from the amount of “first gold” it is supposed to have
brought to Spain.

There was no crowd, only a few women dressed like Concepcion, all in
black; some poor bodies, a sprinkling of tourists, and one brown
Franciscan. The sunlight pouring through the painted window of the
Assumption stained the nearest columns blood-red, sapphire, emerald. In
the _coro_, sombre and rich, the crimson and scarlet cloaks of the old
canons, sitting slumbrous in the stalls, glowed like jewels in the dusk.
Grouped in couples about the _facistol_ were the choir boys, their
black-letter scores held between them. The high altar of the _capilla
mayor_ was covered by a thick, White Veil, that hung from the groined
roof to the floor. Two by two the tonsured acolytes in long purple
gowns, with tassels of gold and violet, prepared for the service,
dressed the pulpits, laid ready the missals. The three officiating
priests appeared, each preceded by a pair of altar boys in scarlet and
ivory, carrying silver candlesticks twice as tall as they. The priest at
the middle pulpit was a big, powerful man, with a fine resonant voice.
His intoning of the gospel was masterly; Concepcion said the finest in
Seville, if not in Spain. The old priest with the delicate, spiritual
face, like a wax mask with jewel eyes, and the high treble voice, must
have been as good at intoning in his day. The little boys who held the
candles close for his old eyes to see, leaned towards him with a
pleasant, human tenderness. It was easy to see there was love in their
service.

“_Et posuit eum in monumento_,” the old priest quavered out the last
words of the story, as it is told by Luke; the three celebrants left the
altar with much ceremony of book and bell and kiss ecclesiastical, and
took their stand before the white veiled altar; the purple acolytes
swung their gold censers till we saw the glowing coals; the smoke of
frankincense and spice rose up in clouds. There came a moment of
strained silence. The only sound was the clinking of the censer chains.
The air between priests and people was thick and blue with incense.

Brrrrrrrrrrm, brrrrrrrrrrrm! The silence was shattered by a loud clap of
thunder, another and another, as if a fierce tempest had sprung up
outside. While the thunder rolled and echoed through the aisles, the
White Veil was rent from top to bottom, fell to the ground, and
disappeared as if by magic. In its place hung the Black Veil. Before
this stood in studied attitudes the big priest, the old priest, and a
little priest. The brown Franciscan kneeling by the great tenabrium had
thrown back his head in ecstasy.

“Look,” whispered Pemberton, “the Saint Anthony of Murillo; I will show
you the picture in the baptistry; it’s the one the figure of Anthony was
cut out from and sent to New York. They have put the piece back, but the
‘joining’ shows.”

We came out of the cathedral into the light and perfume of the Court of
Oranges, sat down upon a sun-warmed marble bench, and looked up at the
pigeons flitting about the Giralda. A little cloud floated before the
face of the sun, a shadow fell upon the fountain.

“That fountain where the women are gossiping is the old Moorish _midhâ_,
where the musselmen washed before prayer, as I have seen them do in
Turkey. Women weren’t allowed in the Court of Oranges then,” mused
Pemberton. “Where we sit, the temples of Astarte and of Salambo once
stood. It’s curious how you catch the echoes of the older religions in
these ceremonies of Holy Week. Some of the rites were practiced before
Rome was. The mosque, the Moors who worshipped there, seem things of
yesterday, in comparison.”

“Almost of to-day, that cry, that man are more than half Arab.”

“_Agua, agua fresca!_” The cry twanged of the Orient. The water seller,
lean and brown, with impenetrable black velvet eyes, turned into the
courtyard. He was dressed all in white, with

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO COURT OF ORANGES, SEVILLE.]

odd, hemp-soled shoes,--a grave man who offered water from his clean
cup, then passed on his way, his cry growing faint, fainter, till it was
drowned in the clangor of _el Cantor_, the great, green, bronze bell of
the Giralda.

The afternoon of Holy Wednesday found us in the Plaza de la
Constitucion. Before the florid façade of the Casa de Ayutamiento a
grand stand had been built. In the center was a dais hung with crimson
velvet, garlanded with flowers. Under a gold embroidered canopy stood
three gilded thrones.

“For the King, the Queen Mother, and the Infanta Maria Teresa,”
Concepcion explained. Opposite, across the plaza, Pemberton pointed out
the Audienza, a handsome Renaissance building, over whose door were the
arms of Charles V, the Pillars of Hercules with the old motto borrowed
from the old hero, _ne plus ultra_. A marble column shows where the
public executions once took place. The plaza, scene of tournaments,
bull-fights, and carnival fêtes, was crowded by those who could afford
the best seats for the processions of penitence, the famous pageants of
Holy Week. The audience assembled in twos and threes, the dark,
full-bosomed Andalusian women, with fan and mantilla, the men in uniform
or afternoon dress. In a neighboring box sat a young girl with a lovely
oval face, masses of wavy black hair, and eyes like cool, brown agates.

“That is Luz,” said Pemberton, “called the prettiest girl in Seville.”
He looked at Concepcion as he said it.

“There is a woman who is as beautiful,” I said, truthfully, and knew
that Pemberton was my friend for life.

Luz had many visitors (the seats in her box were never empty), they came
and went like moths about a candle. One remained, a monk in a brown
habit, the Franciscan of the cathedral. In spite of his rope girdle, his
bare sandaled feet, he had once belonged to that world of fashion where
Luz rules, and where he was still at home.

A fanfare of trumpets rang out above the babble and the laughter. Fans
were closed, flirtations broken off. Luz turned in her seat; all eyes
were fixed on the corner where the Calle de Serpientes turns into the
plaza. Down the narrow street, out into the full light of the square,
rode a troop of resplendent cavalry,--white Andalusian horses with
delicate, high-stepping feet, men who sat straight in the saddle, in
spite of rich trappings and gorgeous uniforms. The _penitentes_
followed, sombre, masked men in long, purple velvet gowns, the train
folded over the arm, showing violet silk stockings and silver-buckled
shoes. From their tall, pointed caps hung down the antefaces covering
the entire head, falling low upon the breast: through the eyeholes one
caught the flash of dark eyes. In their gloved hands they carried silver
staffs of office ten feet high. Behind walked the _Nazerenos_. The
foremost carried a large cross; the others, standards of the order, or
flaming torches that smoked and flickered as they walked. Before the
_penitentes_ passed in front of the grand stand, they spread out their
trains that trailed behind them on the ground. In the midst of these
maskers strode a band of Roman centurions,--helmets, cuirasses, spears,
and standards with the familiar S P Q R glancing in the sun. The music
to which they marched had a melancholy refrain, a sort of insistant
grieving that knocked at the heart.

“The funeral march of Eslava; you will know it well before Easter,” said
Pemberton.

“_Ai, ai!_” A great sigh breathed by a thousand people as the first
_paso_ came in sight,--a huge float moving, as if miraculously, down the
Street of Serpents out into the plaza. On a base of wrought silver, at
the height of a man’s shoulder, stood a life-sized statue of the Virgin.

“_Nuestra Señora de la Vittoria_,” murmured Concepcion.

The statue, of painted wood, was sumptuously dressed. The front of her
robe was of costly lace; over this fell from the shoulders a train of
black velvet, two yards long, heavily embroidered in gold arabesques.
The hair was real. On the head sparkled a stupendous diamond crown.
Slowly, slowly the float drew near, wrapped in a cloud of incense from
the censers of the _penitentes_. A rain of flowers fell from window and
balcony; the velvet and gold baldequin over the Virgin’s head was almost
hidden by lilies and roses. At her feet were flaunting daffodils in
silver vases, and row on row of blazing candles at various heights. She
was covered from throat to waist with superb jewels, strings of pearls,
diamonds, and sapphires. Her wrists were laden with bracelets, in her
hand she carried a lace pocket handkerchief. As she entered the plaza a
tremendous peal shook the soft air; the vast green bells of the Giralda
seemed to fling themselves like live creatures towards Mary. The glitter
of the gewgaws, the glow of the candles lighted up the face, showed the
tears (pearls of great price) on the cheeks, the beauty and tenderness
of the expression.

“A masterpiece by the sculptor, Montañes, the friend of Velasquez,” said
Pemberton. In spite of all the frippery of the dress you feel the hand
of the master sculptor in the painted statue. The

[Illustration: THE SCULPTOR MARTINEZ MONTANES.

_Velasquez_]

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST’S SON

_Greco_]

loving, tender face, the feminine outstretched arms divinely express the
eternal womanly.

“_Miré, Miré, Vd! el Rey y la Reina!_” whispered Concepcion. She had not
been too much engrossed to see the young King and his mother take their
places. The _paso_ turned slowly as if on a pivot till the queen
celestial faced the queen terrestrial. The King uncovered and saluted,
the Queen Mother, Cristina Maria, courtesied,--so they stood facing each
other for a single heart-beat, then the King left the dais, walked down
into the plaza, and took his place at the head of those masked men.

“Don Alfonzo is the Elder Brother of the Confraternity of the Cigar
Makers,” whispered Concepcion. “See, he escorts their patron, our Lady
of Victory, through the plaza.”

To the mournful grieving of Eslava’s dirge, the Virgin of the cigar
makers, escorted by the King, disappeared on the way to her station in
the cathedral.

“_Te dea major eris!_” murmured Pemberton, “so they carried Salambo
through Seville. I hope you admired the dress; it was new this year, a
present from the ladies of Seville. It cost one hundred and fifty
thousand _pesetas_; I know because I helped pay for it. You saw there
were bread riots last week, not fifty miles from here? It’s the old
spirit of Seville, the spirit that built the cathedral during the
hundred years when Spain was pouring out blood and money like water in
defence of the faith. We can always get what we really want in Seville,
and most other places!”

During the long waits between the acts of the drama of the Passion, the
little dramas of every-day life went on all around us. In the boxes the
young people looked into each other’s eyes, the _duennas_ manœuvred,
encouraged the eligible, frowned on the ineligible. A slim young officer
in a cloak slipped a note into Luz’s hand as he passed her box, and only
the Franciscan saw it. In the crowd below, the flirt of an orange skirt
challenged beauty in the grand stand.

“Imperio, the dancing girl,” said Pemberton. “She’s come home for the
fêtes. That old fellow, her father, is the crack matador tailor; he
makes all Bombito’s toggery.”

“_Miré_,” whispered Concepcion, “The Lord dressed in a handsome tunic of
cloth of silver, embroidered in gold.”

The entry into Jerusalem, a realistic float, was passing. It represented
the Master mounted on an ass, Peter, John, and Sant Iago kneeling before
him. This was followed by a large _paso_, illustrating the Betrayal in
the Garden. Peter, sword in hand, Judas--he was always dressed in
yellow, the color of treachery--the Roman soldiers as well as the
Christ, are all the work of Montañes. It is said that Montañes while he
was at work on this, often got up at night to look at it, and was once
overheard to say, “How could I have done anything so beautiful?” In
spite of the Master’s ruby velvet robe and the tawdry gilt rays behind
his head, the thing took hold of one, the picture “bit” into the memory
plate and will not easily be erased. There was a moment of silence as
the scenes of the Passion were presented in these wonderful vivid
pictures, but as soon as each paso swung by the grand stand, the
laughter and flirtation began again. The tragic _paso_ of the
Crucifixion was escorted by a brotherhood of boy _penitentes_ followed
by a band of child musicians. Directly behind the cross marched a tiny
drummer in uniform, beating a big drum. If he was not a dwarf, he could
not have been more than four years old.

“What a funny little boy!” murmured Concepcion, wiping the tears of
laughter from her eyes. The supreme scene of the Crucifixion, the
figures all by Roldan, the sculptor who spares no grim detail of pain,
was followed by stifled laughter. The merriment struck an awful
anti-climax.

“Remember,” Pemberton explained, “you are seeing this thing for the
first time; these people have seen it all their lives; familiarity
breeds, not contempt, but a certain callousness. The young women are so
strictly guarded, you must not blame them if they ‘make eyes’ a little.
This is one of their few chances to see and be seen.”

“Do you make as much of Christmas as of Holy Week?” I asked Concepcion,
to turn the conversation. “Which is the greater _fiesta_?”

“There are three great _fiestas_ of the Church,” she answered, “but
Christmas is, undoubtedly, the greatest. There is a saying, ‘Who does
not fast on the vigil of Christmas is either a Turk or a dog.’ This is
true for people of our religion, for at midnight the Niño Jesus was
born. I do not know how it is with you, for we are Catholics and you are
Christians.”

“In what does the difference lie?”

“In the manner of baptism. You are baptized all over in a great vat with
water only; we, with water, oil, and salt that is put in the mouth.
There are also other ceremonies,--there is the godmother who holds the
candle.”

“What are the Christmas services like?”

“Ah, you must return, if only to see the dancing of the _seises_ in the
cathedral. I am told this can be seen only at Seville. The _seises_ are
boys, who wear curious dresses and long blond curls. It is an ancient
custom,--my husband says, in memory of the Israelites dancing before the
ark, but I think differently.”

“At one time there was an effort to break up the dance of the _seises_,”
Pemberton interrupted. “Some busybody complained to the Pope that it was
a heathenish thing. The result of the meddling was a papal bull ordering
that the dancing should stop when the dresses were worn out. That was
long and long ago; the dresses have not worn out yet. They are renewed a
piece at a time, one year a sleeve, another year a cap, so the day has
never come when they are completely outworn. Our _seises_ still dance at
Christmas, Corpus Christi, and the feast of the Conception--that’s my
wife’s _fiesta_, you know.”

“The Christmas ceremonies in the villages are also interesting,” said
Concepcion. “I once saw a procession when the Niño Jesus was carried
through the streets. It was a very large image, the size of a big baby.
It had a beautiful head, and was nicely swaddled. One Christmas as they
were carrying him on his procession (this was years and years ago),
there was a quarrel in the crowd and one man stabbed another. The Niño
Jesus grew pale and turned his head on one side, so that he might not
see that dreadful sight. He has remained in that attitude ever since. I
myself have seen the Niño. Yes, it was a wonderful happening. It is a
much venerated image and has always remained in the care of the good
Franciscan monks.”

Concepcion saw that I was interested, that Pemberton was busy explaining
things to the others, and, out of the immense goodness of her heart, she
went on to speak to me of religious matters.

“I have always heard it said,” she began, “that there are seven
religions.”

“I, too, have heard it, indeed, my pastor has written a book on the
subject;[1] can you tell me their names?”

“Not all of them. There are Catholics, Christians, and those who worship
Mahomet. There are the Israelites,--they have the strangest religion!
They worship a calf’s head. In their church they put on the queerest
garments, gather round a great calf’s head in the middle, and sing such
a curious hymn, ‘Wow, Wow!’ It sounds like that. It would make you
laugh, only they will not let you into the synagogue, and if you do just
manage to peep in, they drive you out.”

I told her of the wailing of the Jews outside the wall of Jerusalem,
hoping to rouse some sympathy for them, but Concepcion could feel none.

“Though,” she acknowledged, “our Lord _was_ an Israelite. He did not
become a Catholic till he was thirty-three years old, when He had
Himself baptized by San Juan Battisto. Before that He occupied Himself
with preaching His religion.”

I asked Concepcion which of the saints was her especial patron.

“The blessed saints are all very good,” she answered, “but I myself do
not put much dependence on them. I place all my hopes on the Virgin.”

As Concepcion talked, the sun went down; long shadows fell across the
plaza. The pale rose-colored Giralda glowed a deeper pink in the sunset,
and then faded. The new moon came up in the faint lavender sky and hung,
a golden scimitar, the evening star beside it, over the tower. In the
minaret where the muezzin once cried his shrill “_Allah il Allah_,” San
Miquel and el Cantor, rocked and pealed, saluting each float as it
passed.

“See, the crescent and the star over the Giralda,” said Pemberton; “the
cross gleams red on the cathedral. Mary reigns in Mahomet’s place, and
her robe is worked in the arabesques of the Moors.”

Walking home, we came upon a _paso_ at rest in a side street. The velvet
hangings that fall from the base to the ground were parted. We caught a
glimpse of the hidden motive power, twenty-five or thirty men, with
quaint, padded turbans on their heads, the ends hanging down and
covering the shoulder. The water seller in his white garments was in
attendance. He filled and refilled his glass, passing it to the thirsty
bearers, who drank, and mopped their faces silently. The masked
_penitentes_ stood at ease, fanning themselves, the _Nazerenos_ trimmed
their torches.

“_Vamos!_” The leader struck the ground with his silver staff; the
velvet hangings fell in place (the embossed pattern was so contrived
that the air holes were invisible), and the heavy _paso_ moved steadily
down the _calle_ on the heads and shoulders of those hidden men.

In the processions of Holy Thursday and Good Friday afternoons, the
mysteries of the Passion were represented again and again with endless
variations. The _pasos_ seemed to grow more splendid, the dresses and
accessories more lavish. The brotherhoods, called _hermandads_ or
_cofradias_, have charge of the floats, called _pasos_ or _andas_, the
statues, and all the paraphernalia of the pageants. There is a certain
rivalry between them; some excel in one particular, some in another. One
of the treasures I remember was a huge and very beautiful crucifix of
tortoise shell and silver. The dresses of _penitentes_ and _Nazerenos_
were never alike; some were in white with blue masks, some in black and
silver. They all followed the same plan, the head and face were so
disguised that it was impossible to recognize the man in the penitent’s
dress. The _Hermandad_ of _Nuestro Padre Jesus de la Passion_, founded
in the sixteenth century, is the oldest brotherhood. In its early days
the _Hermanos de Sangue_ scourged themselves as they walked barefoot
through the streets. Those who carried the torches were distinguished
from the flagellants by the title _Hermanos de Luz_.

“Brothers of light,” Pemberton translated it. “Who would not be glad to
deserve such a title? To be a true ‘Brother of light!’”



IV

THE BLACK VEIL

    _Tres jueves hay en el año_
    _que relumbran mas que el sol;_
    _Corpus Christi, Jueves Santo,_
    _y el dia de la Ascencion._

    Three Thursdays in the year
    Shine brighter than the sun;
    Corpus Christi, Holy Thursday,
    And the day of the Ascension.


“Hark, Pan pipes!” said J., “don’t you hear that lovely thin music of
the shepherd’s flute?”

“Here in Seville? Is it possible?”

“Why not? All things are possible when you are living half in the tenth
century, half in the twentieth!”

The sylvan melody, shrilling louder, pierced the city’s drone. At our
gate the piper paused and played his little tune again. He was a tall
young man with a bold eye and a gay lilt of the head. His blue apron
was tucked under his jacket, he wore a red rose behind his ear. There
was something free and debonair about him that spoke the youth of the
world; his music stirred the blood. I could have followed him and his
pipe through the streets without a thought of the business of the day.

“A wandering knife grinder from La Mancha,” said J., pulling out his
sketchbook. “Find some scissors or something for him to sharpen. Can’t
you keep him busy a moment, while I try to draw him?”

He would not stay; you cannot deceive a Manchegan. He saw at a glance
there was “nothing doing” for him in our patio; sounded his flute and
went lightly on his way, his wheel at his back. If knives were to grind,
he was ready to grind them even on a _fiesta grande_ like Holy Thursday.

Before his music was out of earshot, Concepcion appeared at the gate, a
pink japonica in her hair, her fan the same color, a shade darker.
Behind her, like a tall, thin shadow, came Pemberton.

“Another fan? Do you never carry the same twice?”

“Oh, yes, she has to, poor child,” said Pemberton. “She possesses only
fifty-five fans; Luz, I hear, owns three hundred and fifty. You’re
feeling fit, I hope? We have a long day before us. We go first to San
Lorenzo to see the monument,--sepulchre you call it in Italy.
Concepcion says we shall be in time to see the arrival of the royal
party. They must go on foot like the rest of us to-day; not a bell may
ring, not a wheel turn in all Seville, this week, from Wednesday night
till Saturday noon.”

Only the wheel of the Brother of Light, the wandering knife grinder of
La Mancha!

The Plaza San Lorenzo was filled with people, the trees with small boys;
a mannerly crowd with no hoodlums; indeed, I think the genus does not
exist in Spain. Soon the word was passed: “They are coming.” The throng
shifted, a way was made for the king’s halberdiers, fierce men with
twisted moustachios and bronzed skins, the very flower of the army.
Their duty is to guard, day and night, the person of the King. The civil
governor, Lopez Balesteros, followed with his aides, and the Alcalde of
Seville, a bulky, puffing man. His gown and his fat made it hard for him
to keep the pace of those tough, quick-marching swashbucklers. Last,
surrounded by his major domos of the week and his gentlemen of the
chamber, the King, long of leg, slender of body, with the heavy,
underhung jaw, the slovenly nether lip of the Hapsburgs, a boyish
dignity, and a frank smile all his own. He wore a smart uniform with a
white plumed helmet.

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF PHILIP II. _Coello_]

“Don Alfonzo has as many incarnations as Jupiter,” said Pemberton.
“To-day he is a major general of cavalry. Notice that gold chain and
tell me, if you can, what it is.”

The chain, wide and flat, with elaborately wrought links, was flung over
the King’s shoulders. From it hung a little gold animal uncomfortably
tied by the middle; its head and legs all flopping down in a dreadful
way, like a horse being hoisted on board ship.

“By the great horn spoon!” cried Patsy; “it’s the grand order of the
Golden Fleece! I would rather own that than be King of Spain.”

The golden toy hung on the young King’s breast just as it hangs in
Alonzo Coello’s portrait of Philip II. Beside the King walked his
mother--she looks a bigot worthy of Philip’s house--and his sister, the
Infanta Maria Teresa, enough like him, in spite of her white mantilla,
to be his twin.

Sanchez Lozano, Elder Brother of the Parish Confraternity, José Ponce,
the archpriest, and half a dozen other bigwigs met the royalties at the
door of San Lorenzo. The bigwigs made oration, long and loud, the King
took off his helmet and mopped his crimson face. It was a cruelly hot
day for the season.

“They work the boy hard,” said Pemberton. “He was at the cathedral at
half past nine, this morning, and led the procession to deposit the
Host in the monument. Next he went to the church of San Salvador; this
is his third sepulchre. They have walked him all over the place; warm
work in that thick uniform. If every Spaniard earned his salt as
honestly as Don Alfonzo, Spain would not be where she is to-day.”

Pemberton heard afterwards, from one of the Brothers, what passed in the
church while we waited in the plaza. The King, after praying by the
sepulchre, a flower-decked, candle-lighted space before the altar, and
admiring the _pasos_ of the Virgin of Solitude and the Christ of Great
Power, talked with the elder Brother, asked if he too, walked masked in
the procession of penitence. Sanchez Lozano said that he did, and
reminded Don Alfonzo that Isabel II, the King’s grandmother, and
Ferdinand VII, his great grandfather, had been members of this
Brotherhood. The King and the Infanta, without more ado, took the oath
and signed the articles of the Brotherhood.

“Of course it had all been cut, dried, and smoked beforehand,” Pemberton
added. “Royalty does not often have an opportunity to enjoy the
unforeseen!”

When they came out of church, the King had faded to a healthy pink; we
no longer feared apoplexy for him. The gorgeous, sweating company
crossed the plaza, the crowd cheered, the ladies in the balconies
clapped hands and waved ’kerchiefs.

“Come,” said Pemberton, “to see beauty, follow in a monarch’s wake. We
shall find the handsomest women of Seville inside the church.”

A dozen ladies, their flushed, excited faces reflecting the royal smile,
clustered about the sad Virgin. A señorita, in black gauze with pink
camelias in her hair and bodice, tapped a silver money tray with a
copper coin:

“Did they desire to purchase a photograph of our Lady?” She spoke to me,
she looked at Patsy.

A nun in a coarse habit passed; the rough woolen of her gown caught in
the hem of the young lady’s silk dress, and showed a pair of little feet
in flesh-colored silk stockings and satin shoes.

“At the feet of the young lady,” said Patsy, “I desire greatly to
purchase a photograph. Will she do me the divine favor of choosing?”

“I kiss the hand of the horseman. It appears this large one is the most
good; it is, as well, the more dear.”

The slight lisp, the smell of jasmines, the turn of wrist, as the pink
fan opened and shut, were all familiar. Where--when--had we seen her?
Patsy knew: it was Luz of the agate eyes!

I forget what day it was that Pemberton and I stayed at the cathedral
after mass to hear the Archbishop’s sermon, but this seems a good time
to tell about it. The Archbishop was a refined, silvery old ascetic, who
looked like Cardinal Newman. He preached as the students of the Theatre
Français talk, as if speech were first a fine art, second an expression
of thought. Pausing now and then from exhaustion, he poured out an
eloquent appeal to love the Mother of God. After service the Archbishop
was escorted to the episcopal palace near the cathedral, by a sacristan,
carrying a silver mace, another with a tall, double cross, and six
haughty young priests in new purple silk gowns.

“Do you notice,” asked Pemberton, “the difference between the Italian
and the Spanish priests? The Italian looks at you sidelong, when you are
not looking; sizes up your feeling about him and his church. Your
Spaniard is a bird of a different feather; he doesn’t give a maravedi
what you think of him. You are on trial, not he. The only question is,
are you what you should be? That he is, there can be no peradventure.”

We joined the crowd of women and beggars following the Archbishop in his
fine violet robe, scarlet moire skull-cap, and amethyst cross. A
wild-eyed woman with a bruised face threw herself at his feet, holding
up a despairing hand as if in appeal. Tired and feeble, the old man
paused patiently, and said some words of fatherly comfort. She kissed
the great sapphire on his transparent old hand and drew back weeping, as
if ashamed.

“The heart of man changeth not,” said Pemberton. “In the days of the
Inquisition there were priests tender-hearted as the Archbishop. He
could not send a cat to torture or the stake. That big priest, with the
brutal jaw, the one who limps, looks cruel as Torquemada; he would
condemn a man to la Parra (the dungeon in the Bishop’s Palace over
there) as quick as winking--if he could!”

The shadow on the sun-dial over the palace door pointed to twelve. We
followed the women into the handsome courtyard, hung with blue and
striped hangings, and watched the Archbishop totter feebly up the fine
marble stair. At the door he turned and gave the episcopal blessing, two
fingers raised, and went indoors with his escort. He was followed by
people bearing gifts of fruit and cakes. Four strong men carried up a
large tray of yellow frosted pyramids stuck all over with candied
cherries.

“Red and yellow, the Spanish colors,” said Pemberton. “I hope Torquemada
and the others stay to luncheon and eat up those pyramids; they would
not be good for the Archbishop.”

On Holy Thursday afternoon, the ceremony of the Washing of Feet was
celebrated in the cathedral. The King, it was said, would take the first
rôle; the Archbishop, however, officiated in his place. On a platform
before the high altar stood the benches for the apostles. The twelve
poor old men who impersonated them came toddling in, each carrying a
clean, fringed towel over his shoulder. They took the shoe and stocking
from the right foot. One old fellow, Concepcion’s friend, the beggar at
the cathedral door, was so infirm that he could scarcely untie his shoe.
He persisted bravely, though, and to him Torquemada, who assisted the
Archbishop, first presented the silver basin. The pauper placed his foot
in it, Torquemada poured water from a silver flagon; the old Archbishop,
kneeling, kissed the beggar’s foot.

“Isn’t it a pleasant ceremony?” said Pemberton. “Poor old chaps, no
wonder they look so proud. To-day they have dined with the Archbishop in
his palace, and those fine new clothes are their very own for keeps.”

The service was followed by the singing of the _tenebrae_. It was
growing dark in the cathedral; all the light and color were concentrated
in the _coro_, glowing like a live jewel in the centre of the shadowy
church. An aged crone, a battered derelict on life’s stream, drifted
by, touching here and there at altar and at shrine, as at so many
friendly ports. She came to anchor before our Lady of Good Counsel, and
took out her rosary. At every _pater noster_ she kissed her beads. Those
pathetic, mumbling old lips must have had sore need of something to
kiss. She pressed them over and over again on the cold glass that
covered a little chromo of Our Lady of Good Counsel, set conveniently
low in the wall, for the kisses of the forlorn old lips that missed
perhaps the warm cheeks of child or grandchild. Outside the _coro_,
below the black veil that hung before the altar, stood the vast bronze
_tenebrium_, with its fifteen great candles. An acolyte with a long
torch kindled the candles, and the first lamentation rang through the
cathedral. One by one, as each pitiful lament commemorating the
suffering and death of Christ trailed into silence, a candle was
extinguished, till the fourteen symbolical of the apostles were all put
out. It grew darker and darker; at last only the taper at the top
remained alight in memory of Christ, the unquenchable light of the
world.

Later that evening we returned to the cathedral for the miserere. The
Calle de Sierpes was filled with a holiday crowd. In the balconies
outside the cafés, at the street corners, were groups of young and old,
little children, graybeards, and grandams; during Holy Week it seemed
that nobody in Seville went to bed.

“_El Liberal!_” A newsboy offered the sheet, wet from the press.

“_Agua, agua fresca!_” The grave water seller followed close on his
heels.

“_Dos por uno perro chico_,” cried a correct old man, with beautifully
curled silver hair and beard, selling shoe laces. A woman who looked
like a caryatid, with a basket of royal purple flags on her head, bought
a pair of laces. A young girl with a dimple, carrying her boots in one
hand and two large dried codfish in the other, accidentally jostled me.
The caryatid, evidently her mother, cried, “_Cuidada!_” rather sharply.

“_Dispense V._,” said the dimple, blushing and distressed at the
mischance.

“_Manos blancas no ofendan_” (white hands never hurt), said Pemberton.

“What good manners these people have!” I said, as we passed on, leaving
the girl still under the shadow of the caryatid’s displeasure.

“The finest manners in the world,” Pemberton agreed.

In the cathedral flickering torches shone on a vast congregation met to
hear Eslava’s miserere: matadors, gypsies, nuns, babies, beggars,
beauties of court and theatre. Every girl in a mantilla looked a
heroine, every lad with a straight back, a hero, in that witchery of
light and shadow. From our places neither orchestra nor musicians were
in sight, only solemn columns, long aisles, and twinkling lamps before
pictured Nativity and Pietá. Two votive candles were burning before
Santa Teresa, showing the wax ex-votos of little hands, legs, and feet,
hanging from long braids of hair around the shrine. Near the _puerta
mayor_ a blaze of glory shone from the white and gold monument over the
tomb of Ferdinand Columbus, where the Host had been that morning
deposited to remain till the first mass on Saturday morning, surrounded
by kneeling monks.

“I fancy,” said Pemberton, “that here, in the cathedral where he was
chapel master, Eslava planned his miserere,--caught, while he sat
dreaming at the organ, the divine harmonies it repeats.”

The twin organs called and answered each other, the deep notes thrilled
and thundered through the aisles. The clear boy voices scaled the
heights of song; the mellow altos held the middle ground, the deep
basses welded voices, organs, instruments, into a full glorious harmony
that swept the soul. The miserere over, one by one the great _pasos_ of
the afternoon’s procession, taking on a new and awful beauty in the dim
cathedral, swung slowly down the aisle, halting at the monument on the
way to their several stations.

“This seems to link Columbus with the _fiestas_,” said Pemberton, “and
makes me feel that I, too, have some part in them,--he is so much more
ours than theirs!”

As we came down the steps of the cathedral, we passed the knife grinder
of La Mancha. He had taken off his apron, and left his pipe and wheel at
home. As he strolled along under the burning stars, he hummed a snatch
of the music we had just heard, and hummed it correctly.

“Rich and poor, vagrant and King, there is room for us all in the Heart
of Seville,” sighed Pemberton.


_Good Friday_

That night the King slept in the old palace of the Alcazar. Did he
sleep? In the gardens the nightingales were singing to split their
throats; palms and orange trees rustled, fountains whispered of things
that might well keep a lover awake. Here in the old palace of the
Moorish kings lived the beautiful Maria del Padilla, beloved of Pedro
the Cruel. Here died the royal Moor, Abu Said, murdered by his host, Don
Pedro, for his jewels. The rarest, the great spinel ruby, Pedro gave to
Edward, the Black Prince. Henry V wore it in his helmet at
Agincourt,--to-day it glows in the front of England’s royal crown.
England, always England! How often, for good or evil, the fates of the
reigning houses of Spain and England have intertwined!

“Ena,” sang the nightingales; “Ena,” rippled the fountain,--for the King
was a lover. If he slept that night it must have been to dream of the
yellow hair and the blue eyes of the English princess who, one happy
day, shall wander with him through the mazes, gather the roses of that
matchless garden of the Alcazar.

There was serious business for Don Alfonzo that Good Friday morning. As
he came down to the patio (passing the splendid chamber where Maria de
Padilla bathed, and where Don Pedro’s courtiers showed their gallantry
by drinking the water of her bath), the drums and fifes of his
halberdiers sounded the royal march. Lopez Ballesteros, the Governor,
was waiting; with him, Garcia Pierto, Minister of Grace and Justice.
Preceded by the halberdiers, followed by the Court, they all set off
together for the cathedral. The way was lined by soldiers with furled
flags. In the _capilla mayor_ a throne had been placed for the King;
here he sat with his grandees and generals (one of them called Pacheco,
a descendant, perhaps, of the old painter, writer, and familiar of the
Inquisition, who taught Velasquez), and listened to the singing of the
Passion. The great Crucifix of Montañes was then uncovered, and the
royal party moved to the _coro_, where the King performed the act of
adoration, and made his offering of an ounce of gold.

At the act of adoration, Don Alfonzo was confronted by his Minister of
Justice, carrying a basketful of parchment scrolls, each tied with a
black ribbon.

“Señor,” said the Minister, “do you pardon the condemned felons whose
names are written here?”

“I pardon them, that God may pardon me,” answered the King. One by one
he untied the black ribbons and retied the scrolls with white silk cord.

The wild woman with the bruised face the Archbishop had comforted that
day in the street, had forced herself as near the front as the guard
allowed. She peered between two halberdiers, watching the ceremony with
desperate eyes. Was the name she loved among the fourteen names of
felons condemned to death, written on those white decrees of pardon?

“Did you ever,” asked Pemberton, “see a ceremony so touching, so human,
in the dead cathedrals of England, or even in St. Peter’s?”

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF VELASQUEZ, BY HIMSELF.]

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST’S WIFE. _Velasquez_]

We left by the Door of the Lizard, passing under the big stuffed
crocodile that gives the name.

“See that horrid beast!” said Concepcion. “A present from the Sultan of
Turkey to Alonzo el Savio, whose daughter he wished to marry. I think
our Don Alfonzo will take nicer presents when he starts for England
to-morrow.”

I asked if the people were pleased with the proposed marriage.

“Mad about it,” said Pemberton. “The Princess Ena will have a warm
welcome; may she bring as good luck as Elenor Plantagenet brought, when
she came to marry Alfonzo III of Castille. Their daughter Berenguela
(she was a rare one), joined Leon and Castille, and practically laid the
foundation of United Spain. Look for the woman, you know, and you will
find her at the bottom of most things practical!”

On the borderland of sleep that night, I was overtaken and called back
to earth by the wail of Eslava’s dirge. I sprang up and ran to the
balcony to watch the passing of a midnight procession. It was very late,
the air was chill, the stars pale, the _calle_ deserted, save for the
_penitentes_ and _Nazerenos_ (_hidalgos_ all) in white gowns, black
antefaces, and scapularies. On the first _paso_ stood the Virgin of
Solitude, who, by rule of the order, may only be absent from the church
of San Lorenzo for the two hours after midnight on Good Friday. The
second _paso_ represented Calvary. The body of the Christ nailed to the
cross shone pale and ghastly in the torchlight; the footsteps of the
masked men sounded like muffled drums in the funeral march. Before the
Christ walked a female penitent representing Santa Veronica: her hair
fell over her shoulders in a dark flood. She carried in extended hands
the handkerchief, whereon, the legend says, the Master dried his face on
his way through the Street of Sorrows, leaving the impress of His
features on the linen. A second penitent followed the cross, a young
woman all in white, who personified Mary Magdalen, carrying a box of
ointment. There was something familiar about this Magdalen. As she
passed, a rose fell from a balcony, catching in her curls. She looked
up; could it be Concepcion, walking so painfully with bare feet over the
rough cobbles?


_Sabbado de Gloria_

“_Vayan Vds. con Dios_,” said the beggar at the cathedral door, lifting
the heavy leather curtain for us.

The black veil still hung before the altar, the bells had not yet
spoken. Life seemed at a standstill. There was no present, only the
momentous past, in the Heart of Seville that bright Saturday of Glory.
In the _coro_ a pair of stooping, weedy old men--twin brothers--with
ancient bassoons under their arms, several violins, flutes, and bass
viols, added their music to the voices of the choir. There was an acute
sense of waiting, of holding the breath in anticipation of some great
event. Concepcion was very silent. There were dark rings under her
dovelike eyes. In a moment all was changed. The bells of the Giralda
burst out in sudden clamor. Thunder once again rolled through the
cathedral, the black veil parted and fell to the ground, revealing the
_retablo_ of Dancart. In this wonderful altar-piece the sculptor has
carved in larchwood the story of the life whose last hours on earth
Seville has been living over again during the last three days! It is all
here, told once again in faithful, loving art. Instead of wandering from
chapel to shrine to read it pictured in marble, wood, color, miniature,
and fine needlework,--an Annunciation here, a Nativity there, it is all
here in the _retablo_ illustrated by a series of marvellous wood
carvings. Concepcion studied them with me, pointing out her favorite
panels.

“Behold the blessed Saint Anne, the grandmother of God, San José,
husband of Nuestra Señora. These be Peter and Paul,--two of our saints.”

“They are saints of us all,” Pemberton interrupted, “Christians as well
as Catholics. Peter and Paul pray for us all!”

Concepcion was glad of that. “You asked,” she said, confidentially to
me, “something of the blessed saints. At the convent where I was
educated, they have a great reverence for San José. Last year the nuns
were in much need of a house in the country where they might go in
summer. So they tied a little house around the neck of the statue of San
José. Well, what do you think? Last August a lady died and left the
convent her country house. Would you believe it? The house is exactly
like the little house the sisters tied about San José’s neck. The other
day, being in great need of a pig, they tied a small pig about the
saint’s neck. That prayer has not been answered, but the sisters are
sure that they will have their pig before the month of Mary is over.”

“Prophecies sometimes fulfill themselves,” said Pemberton. “What
Concepcion tells you is perfectly true; I know the house; it is just
possible some one in the convent knew it, too. Do not say so to
Concepcion. If she had not ‘taken up’ with me, she might, some day, have
been the prioress of that convent.”


_Domingo de la Resurrecion_

There was little sleep in Seville the night of Sabbado de Gloria! The
streets were crowded, the music and the laughter only stopping when the
Easter bells began to ring. Under our windows three boys squatted on the
ground playing at cards and rattling dice. They were “flush of cash”;
_perro chicos_ and _grandes_ clinked as they changed hands.

“_Cacahuete!_” cried the peanut man. The largest cardplayer bought a
double handful of nuts, dividing them fairly with the other two.

“_Eá! los altramuzes!_” The seller of lupins, a peasant in a brown capa,
stopped at the hail. After some haggling, the second sized boy laid in a
stock of the large green lupin beans the people eat at all odd times of
day and night. The _chicos_ munched their lupins, spat, and munched
again, their game of _brisca_ going cheerfully on, not without some
discussion. The smallest lad, he who wore a working blouse and a blue
cap, won heavily. At the end of the hand he scooped the coppers into his
pocket, scrambled to his feet and strolled jauntily away singing:

“_En los sopas y amores los primeros son los mejores_” (with soups and
with loves, the first are the best).

“_Vengo sofocado!_” (I suffocate with rage) cried the big boy who had
lost most. “_Maldita sia tu estampa!_” (accursed be thy beastly
portrait).

Was he mean enough to draw out of the game when he was winning? The
winner crossed the street, loitered outside a sweets shop opposite,
flattened his snub nose against the pane, and gazed at the goodies. At
last he entered the shop, reappearing with a paper bag full of sweets of
Jijona, cakes of almond paste and honey. The cakes were shared equally,
the big boy shuffled the cards, the little one “shook” for deal, and the
interrupted game of _brisca_ began again.

Let into the wall of the corner house was a shrine with a lamp before
it. The light fell on the face of a pretty girl behind the iron bars of
the lower window. She was talking eagerly with a soldier standing
outside in the street, a lover, plucking the hen turkey, as the saying
goes.

Easter morning we went to the cathedral by the sacristy, filled with
kneeling women in black mantillas. A long line of penitents waited
outside each confessional: as we came in, Torquemada slipped into the
one nearest the door. At the altar rail knelt a row of communicants. An
old priest and a young server walked up and down the ever recruited
line, administering the communion. The server carried a lighted candle,
the priest a gold chalice with the wafer. At each communicant they
stopped, the priest took a wafer from the ciborium, made the sign of the
cross, and placed it in the mouth of the person before him.

“See how quiet all this is,” said Pemberton; “and this is the real
thing! Now for the cathedral, the stage of the church, the last act of
the drama. Nowhere in the world can you see so splendid a mass as you
will see to-day.”

Archpriests and priests were glorious in priceless embroidered
vestments. Boys and acolytes must have been chosen for their beauty. The
little fellows were like cherubs; the elder lads, like angels. The boys
stood in groups of three, the candles burned in threes; the _retablo_
was lighted by trios of candles,--the mystic number was repeated at
every point. On the lower altar steps stood the scarlet and ivory altar
boys, each holding a mighty silver candlestick, so tall that the base of
the candle stood at the height of the shoulder, and the winged silver
angel supporting the taper rose far above the head. From every spire of
the great _retablo_ sprang a crucifix, the highest towering up in to the
dim roof. Under this crucifix was a painted, wooden group of Virgin and
Child. Directly below, in a straight line, one behind the other, stood
the three celebrants in their Easter splendor. At one side blazed the
vast paschal candle.

“It is of the most fine wax,” Concepcion whispered, “and of the weight
of twelve kilos.”

At the moment of the elevation, two stiff, gawky tourists, Germans, I
think, stood by, guidebook in hand, staring at the ceremony with no
pretence of being anything but spectators.

The Archbishop held up the wafer in his transparent old hands; thick
clouds of incense rose; at every tinkle of the golden mass bells,
Concepcion, kneeling beside me, crouched lower. A young deacon in a
white robe motioned the outlanders to kneel. They paid no attention; he
approached and whispered what he had said in pantomime; again they
refused. Then, like a young archangel, he drove them from the place with
his silver staff. They shrugged stiff, protesting shoulders, and moved
on.

Mass over, a procession formed. Two cherubs walking backwards, held open
the illuminated missal for the Archbishop to read the prayers; followed
Torquemada and the other priests, the old canons from the _coro_, the
choristers, their long goffered white sleeves folded over their arms,
their black letter scores held between them, singing as they walked, to
the bassoon accompaniment of those two old weedy brothers. Near a
gigantic, faded fresco of Saint Christopher, the ferryman with the Niño
Jesus on his arm, they stopped beside the tomb of Columbus, a brand new
bronze monument in the aisle that makes the right arm of the cross--a
place of high honor. Here the first prayer was recited. We waited by
the tomb, watched the procession with the glittering cross, the lights,
the incense, the booming bassoons, move slowly down the aisle, stopping
at one and another of the chapels.

“As a work of art that monument is simply impossible,” said Pemberton;
“humanly, it means something. You catch the idea? Those four kings in
armor stand for Castille, Leon, Arragon, and Granada. In that
sarcophagus they bear on their shoulders lies what is left of the dust
of Columbus.”

A vision of life’s morning came back to me! The cathedral at Santo
Domingo City on Easter day; my father, my mother, and myself standing by
the place in the worn brick pavements that then covered the dust of the
Great Admiral. There had been a mass, with incense and candles, and
splendid priests, that Easter in Hispaniola, and we had watched, in the
plaza before the cathedral, Judas burned in effigy!

“Columbus was born to wander!” said Pemberton. “Even his poor bones have
no rest. From Valladolid, where he died, they were taken to Seville;
from Seville to Santo Domingo; from Santo Domingo to Havana; from
there,--read the inscription, that tells the story.

“_Quando la ingrata America se emancipe de la madre España, Sevilla
obtuvo el deposito de los restos de Colon y su ayutamiente eligio este
monumento._”

“The sculptor was a poor artist and a good Spaniard,” said Pemberton.
“In spite of the thing’s being so baroque, taken with the inscription,
and the date, 1901, it is moving; it expresses the pride and humiliation
of this brave people who won the new world only to lose it. I tell my
friends here that the loss of Cuba and the Philippines was the dawn of a
renaissance, the beginning of a new Spain. It was cutting back the vine
that had gone to wood. Now the sap runs, there is new life, fresh
growth. Knockdown blows are what men and nations need to get up their
muscle. He said it,--your father: ‘Obstacles are things to be
overcome!’”

The pigeons fluttered in and out of the Giralda, careless of the great
bells swinging to and fro, and the shadow of their wings wove a new
pattern on the face of the roseate tower.

“Christ is risen!” The bells rang out the triumphant pean. A shadow
larger than that cast by a dove’s wing passed over the face of the
Giralda.

“Take Concepcion home with you,” said Pemberton, quickly, in English;
“she did not see it. Do not, if you can help it, tell her.” He led the
way to a side street, made some excuse to his wife,

[Illustration: THE GIRALDA, SEVILLE.]

and left us. We took Concepcion home; an hour later Pemberton joined us.

“There was nothing to do; of course she was quite dead. One leaps to
certain death from the top of the Giralda. You remember that woman with
the bruised face who spoke to the Archbishop? It was she; _his_ name,
you see, was not written on one of those decrees of pardon!”

Later in the afternoon, Concepcion appeared, a black chenille dotted
mantilla of the old style over her head, a white _manton de mantilla_
worked with purple grapes, draped, Andaluz fashion, over her shoulders.

“Are you ready?” she cried. Her eyes flashed, her cool, olive cheeks
were flushed. She smiled more than usual, for the mere pleasure, it
seemed, of showing teeth that were as matched pearls on a string.

“Are you ready?” she repeated. “_Tengo mucha prisa_” (I am in a great
hurry).

“Ready--for what,--where are we going?”

“_A los torros, los torros_ (to the bulls)! Did he not tell you? My
husband has taken seats for us all _a la sombre_” (in the shade).

So this week of vigil, penitence, and prayer was all a preparation for
the Easter bull-fight!

“I have seen Bombito, the matador, ride by on his way to the
_corrida_,” said Concepcion, “it is time, _vamonos a la calle_!”

There was a disappointment in store for Concepcion; she was met at the
entrance with the announcement, “No bull-fight to-day on account of the
picadors’ strike.”



V

SEVILLE FAIR


The Guadalquiver was a swollen, tawny flood, whirling dead leaves and
dry branches down to the sea.

“Look,” said Pemberton, “the river has piled enough firewood against the
piers of Triana bridge to keep a thrifty family a month.” A small boat,
sculled by an old fisherman with gold earrings and a blue jersey, crept
slowly towards the largest pile of brushwood at the middle pier. “I’m
glad Isidro comes in for that bit of luck; he is a good sort, brings us
fish every fast day, and doesn’t know I have a _bula de cruzada_ and may
eat meat o’ Fridays. We shall see him at the house soon; when the river
is at the flood we sometimes get shad,--an advantage of living in
Seville.”

As he roped the driftwood to the stern, the old fellow sang in a high,
quavering voice a popular _copla_:

    “_Antiquamente eran dulces todas las aguas del mar;_
     _se baño mi amor en ellas y se volvieron salas._”

    (Once on a time all the waters of the sea were sweet;
    My love bathed in them and they turned salt.)

Other women are praised as sweet, the Andaluz as salt! Andalusian salt
is the supreme quality, wit, sparkle, humor, grace combined.

A white yacht, a fine lady of the sea, lay alongside the river bank near
the Paseo de las Delicias. Sailors were busy polishing brass that shone
before, scrubbing decks already clean as starched damask. A blond viking
sitting aft, mending a sail, sang a stave that told where he and the
yacht _Peerless_ hailed from.

    “I wish I was in Baltimore, O, O, O, O,
     A dancing on the sanded floor a long time ago!”

By the Torre del Oro, the _Buenaventura_, from Malaga, a rusty freight
steamer, was taking on cargo. The stevedores, like busy brown ants,
trotted to and fro, stooping under bales of cotton from the Isla Mayor
in the delta. The mole smelt tarry and sea-faring; looked prosperous,
bustling, alive. Watching sailors, stevedores, longshoremen, we tried to
visualize our emotions, but alas, the set pieces of sentimental
fireworks, prepared beforehand, wouldn’t go off! We reminded ourselves
that here, in this port of Seville, the Tribunal of the Indies, the
whole trade of the Americas once centred. From the shadow of that old
Moorish tower of gold, the Spanish galleons sailed for the new world,
carrying the yeast and ferment of young adventurous blood, bringing
back--a poor exchange--the ingots of the Incas. Alas! No ghost, not even
of Columbus sailing up the Guadalquiver that Palm Sunday of his triumph,
could materialize in that vital atmosphere of oozing kegs, fish-nets,
and oakum. A swart gypsy dropped a line into the river, a crane flapped
across the sky, a fish leaped, flashing silver in the sun; the
wonderbook of life was still to read; history and its ghosts must wait
for old age and winter fireside.

It had rained for three days and nights, to the discomfort of flocks,
herds, dealers, breeders, gypsies, and _compradores_. From Ronda and
Utrera in the south, from Huelva in the west, from Aguilar, Lerida, from
all over Andalusia, the animals were being driven in for the _Feria_,
the great animal fair that follows the _fiestas_ of Holy Week.

The thrifty ones, early on the ground, were already settled in the city
of tents and cottages, that had sprung up on the Prado de San Sebastian.
The laggards fared badly; the downpour had made the roads worse than
ever. The inns were crowded, for even those who usually slept, cooked,
and ate in their covered carts struggled to get under shelter while that
torrential rain lasted. Then, just in time to save the situation, the
sun came out.

From the quay we drove along the bank of the Guadalquiver, through
orange groves washed clean and smelling of rain, and olive groves where
the little, silvery leaves were still dark with the wetting. From a rise
in the sodden road we saw the entire horizon, felt the sky like a fiery
blue cup overhead; at the edge, where it rested on the earth, there was
warm, colorless light; in the middle, deep cobalt. It was impossible,
early as it was, to look at the sun; there was not a fleck of cloud
anywhere. Though the earth was drying as quickly as sun and soft air
could contrive, the middle of the road was still a lake of mud.

“_Arré, arré!_ dog of a horse!” the sounds of blows and curses shattered
the crystal silence. A brave, blind horse again and again made a mighty
effort, stretching its lean neck and straining its poor body to pull a
_carreta_ out of the muddy rut where the wheels stuck fast. His master
encouraged him by striking him over the head; his companion, a starved
dog, by snapping at his heels. Pemberton’s hand tightened nervously on
his whip, as if he would have liked to lay it about the man’s ears:
Patsy was over the wheel like a flash, and out in the muddy road.

“What a pity, my friend, your wife and children must get out to lighten
the load,” he said; “it is the only way; I have had great experience in
such matters. You help them, while I----” he had the bridle in his hand,
and was petting the panting horse as he talked. A gaunt woman suckling
an infant sat in the back of the _carreta_; a little girl leaned against
one knee, at the other crouched a boy shaking with fever; a raven
drooped in a battered cage, near a big drum half hidden by a heap of
spangled and velvet rags; a pair of castanets and a tambourine lay in
the girl’s lap. By these poor possessions, their tools of trade, we knew
them for what they were.

“Mountebanks, on their way to the fair,” said Pemberton; “poor things,
one can hardly hope they will add much to the gaiety of nations!”

“See you later,” said Patsy, waving his free hand to us. We drove on and
left him haranguing, hectoring, but helping, always helping, that
forlorn family of _feriantes_ (fairgoers).

After those three last days of Holy Week, when from one end of Seville
to the other we never met wagon, carriage, or beast of burden, it came
like a surprise to find the streets crowded with all sorts of
interesting vehicles. The heavy traffic is carried in big, picturesque
carts drawn by bulls, oxen, donkeys, and mules. The cattle are
magnificent, especially the bulls, who answer easily to the goad. The
backs of these draft animals are shaven in patterns, the work of gypsy
_esquiladores_. In the cold weather a blanket covers the shaven part,
its limits outlined by a neatly cut border. A monogram, a coat-of-arms,
even a sentence describing the owner’s virtues, is sometimes shaven on
the rump. The yoke is bound to the horns of the cattle, as you see it in
the old Greek vase pictures; the beasts pull with the head, all the
weight and strain coming on the neck. This has a fine pictorial effect,
but is far harder on the creatures than yoking at the shoulders.

An ox cart, with a cruel load of stone, drawn by two patient,
cream-colored bulls, lumbered along on archaic solid wheels that
shrieked for axle grease. The bulls, strong, beautiful, worthy to draw
the car of Dionysius, moved their heads restlessly from side to side. As
the cart jounced over a loose cobble, their poor noses trembled with
pain. A street porter stood waiting till the cart had passed to cross
the road. He carried a heavy load on his back, secured by a strap
fastened round the forehead; he trembled, too, and seemed, like the
bulls, to be working at great disadvantage.

Pemberton shook his whip at the bulls. “Cowards,” he cried, “failures,
outcasts of the ring; too timid or too kind to fight,--unworthy the
short, merry life of the fighting bull, good for nothing but work!”

A blue cart with ochre stripes creaked by, behind a tandem of four mules
led by a white donkey, all jingling with little bells, the harnesses gay
with red tags, tassels, and brass nailheads.

“_Firmé, firmé macho!_” The muleteer, a jolly young chap with a proper
“going to the fair” look to match his team, cracked his long whip over
their heads. A dog tied to the bridle of a tiny donkey, almost hidden by
his load of cabbages, cleverly piloted the ass through the crowd; the
owner, a stalwart woman laden with vegetables, followed at a distance.

“And some people say animals can’t reason!” Pemberton exclaimed. “That
dog has got more sense than many men I know. The woman is Costanza,
Isidro’s wife, who brings us our vegetables every day; that boy tagging
behind is Concepcion’s godson.”

We were now close to the Feria, and the way was crowded with _feriantes_
and cattle.

There was a sense of joyous life in the air. Everybody was in holiday
humor, as if the sun had dried all tears, driven away blues and vapors,
if such exist in golden Seville.

“During the three days of the _Feria_,” Pemberton explained, “Seville is
deserted; life centres here, in the Prado San Sebastian; trade,
business, society are bodily transported from city to fair ground. It’s
really a democratic festival; a great annual outing for all classes. The
morning is the time to see the business end; the evening, the social.
We’ll begin with the market, where the animals are bought and sold.”

At the mule mart business was brisk, handsome carriage mules as well as
pack mules changing hands at good prices. To know what a carnation or a
mule can be, you must go to Spain, where both grow larger and handsomer
than anywhere else. There is a legend of a mule belonging to the first
Don Carlos, over fifteen hands high. Theoretically, the mule has the
privilege of drawing the royal carriages. Though Don Alfonzo prefers an
automobile, the little children of the late Princess of the Asturias
take their airing every day behind a spanking four-in-hand of swift,
black mules.

Up and down the middle of the Prado San Sebastian rode the jockeys,
showing off their horses. A tall, black stallion, with red nostrils,
curvetted past. The man on his back--he rode like a centaur, man and
beast seeming one piece--had a familiar look; where had we seen that
ruddy face, those handsome legs, that striped blanket before? The
fretting stallion jostled a white horse ridden by a weather-beaten old
trader.

“_Perdone Vd. amigo mio!_” said the young _chalan_, lifting his gray
felt sombrero. Then we recognized the Sibyl’s friend, the bridegroom of
Ronda.

“_No es nada amigo_,” answered the man on the white, as politely; the
exhibition of good manners was as fine as the horsemanship.

“I will give you twelve thousand _reales_ for the black,” said a
gentleman in a cloak, to the man from Ronda.

“_Caballero_, if I could only afford to make you a gift! Try him, he has
the perfect _paso Castellano_!”

“Twelve thousand, not a _real_ more.”

“_Antes muerto que cansado!_” (He’d die sooner than tire.)

“Twelve thousand, not another maravedi.” The bargain was finally struck,
_chalan_ and _caballero_ going off together to bind it.

“The pace of these Andalusian horses,” Pemberton pointed out, “is easy
as a rocking-chair; there is nothing like it. It comes from their
galloping with the fore feet and trotting with the hind. Arabian blood?
Ah! there is the mystery of the Cordova breed. Where did they get it? De
Soto took out a lot of the stock to America; they ran wild on the
western plains: our bronchos are their descendants. Though the build has
changed, you recognize the family traits in the American mustang.”

The white, a beautiful fiery creature, with floss-silk mane hanging to
his knees, a tail that would have swept the ground had it not been
knotted up, Patsy was convinced must be an Arabian.

“He looks it,” Pemberton “allowed.” “The Arab horse, unfortunately, is
not what it once was; it has been spoiled--by what, do you think? The
Mauser rifle! In the old days a Bedouin’s safety depended on his horse’s
speed; to outride his enemy and the reach of his enemy’s spear was his
prime need. Then it was a matter of life and death to keep up the breed.
The old order changeth, even in the desert. Now, the Bedouins are armed
with rifles; no horse can travel as fast as a rifle bullet flies; the
Bedouin grows careless, his horse deteriorates. In England, where
they’re all mad, there’s one man mad, or sane enough, to put his heart
and his money into trying to save the noble race from extinction, the
sort of a thing only a poet like Wilfred Blunt would try to do.”

“_Tres, ocho, todos_,” from behind a gypsy tent came the staccato cry of
the _morra_ players. Two men faced each other, throwing out the hand
with a quick movement, each crying at the same moment his guess of the
total number of fingers shown; a dangerous old game, ending, too often,
in a fight.

There was great animation in the pig market; the prices were the
highest in years; the demand for sucking pigs was larger than the
supply. A magnificent old Mother Grunt, with a litter of black piglets
snuggling about her, wore the blue ribbon of the prize winner round her
fat neck. The owner, a well-dressed young farmer, stood beside the
likely family.

“May I have a photograph of the pig?” I asked.

“The honor is great,” said the farmer, “but the photographer lives far
from here, and to-morrow I put the earth between us.”

“How foolish thou art!” explained a shrewd old farmer, carrying a white
lamb in his arms. “It is the little black box of the stranger lady that
makes the picture.” They all struck attitudes, the kodak snapped, I set
the film for the next shot; the farmer wished to look into the kodak
where he thought he could see the photograph of the prize pig. The
matter was explained to him, and the offer made to send him a photograph
when the film should be developed. J. handed him his pencil and
note-book, and asked him to write his name and address.

“_Ojalá_, if I only knew how to write!” he sighed. “It is greatly to be
lamented. I should value a portrait of my sow; she is without
peradventure the finest I have raised. I shall not meet her again, for I
have sold her to a _labrador_ of Jimena.”

“Tell me your name; I will write it in this book, where it will not be
forgotten.”

“I call myself Basilio, name of baptism, Miquel; name of father----”

“That is not necessary; from what town?”

“Pueblo of birth, Escacena del Campo, Provincia de Huelva.”

Finding us interested in live stock, Miquel showed his other animals,
and led the way to the roped-in corral, where a bunch of his sheep stood
hanging their patient heads, as if shy to find themselves so much
admired. The merinos were superb, with fine, silvery fleeces; the horns
of the old wether might have inspired the Ionic order! The mere rumor of
such splendid creatures would account for the cruise of the Argonauts.
As handsome in their way were the small, brown sheep, with black faces
and adorable, close-curled, black horns. While Miquel and J. exchanged
views on sheep, a seedy, shabby gentleman in shiny clothes and a frayed
shirt joined us. He took off his hat with a flourish, and made me a deep
bow.

“Missis, I am Renaldo Lopez, ex-ofeecial de marina,” he said, in a bass
voice, deep as a lion’s. “I offré my service to accompany and visit
monuments; gib Spanish lessons (spik vero Castellano, no Andalusian) in
pupils resident or in professor home, prices moderates.” He recited the
words as if repeating a lesson. I thanked him, accepted his card, and
turned back to handsome Miquel, who was explaining to J. that besides
raising the best wool in the province, he was not behind the rest of the
world in the matter of wheat; he would dare say his was the best grown
within a hundred leagues. If we passed near Escacena del Campo we must
stop at his farm. He could show us the sister of the prize pig, whose
photograph we _would_ remember to send? The poor, shabby-genteel
ex-ofeecial de marina, could not believe that Miquel, grower of the best
wheat, raiser of the fattest pigs and the finest sheep in the province
was more interesting to us than he was! Though he could not read or
write, Miquel could carry on civilization’s two great basic
industries--provide for the clothing and the feeding of man, and do it
well! The professor of Castilian clung to us until an appointment was
made for a lesson, then he departed, and we wandered off to the
refreshment stands.

A group of handsome girls were gathered round a huge cauldron outside a
neat booth, from which floated a delicious odor of fried cakes.

“Who’s hungry?”

“Everybody!”

“Soledad!” A tall girl in a clean, print dress, a scarlet shawl pinned
across her shoulders, a geranium in her coarse black hair, answered
Pemberton’s call.

“Serve _buñuelos_ for all.”

I asked Pemberton why he had used the second person instead of the
third, in speaking to Soledad--what a name! It means solitude.

“It is the custom. The poorest Spaniard addresses the richest gypsy as
‘thou,’ on the ground that the Gitano is the inferior race. These people
are _buñoleras_; they travel all over Spain from fair to fair, frying
these _buñuelos_, a sort of sublimated fritter, their specialty. No one
else has the art. I know this family; the women are a good sort; the
men,--lazy rascals! Last summer they stole two of my sheep; lassooed
them, lifted them clean out of the fold. I traced them to their camp.
What do you suppose I found? Instead of my white sheep, two black sheep;
they had the stuff all ready, and clapped the creatures in; by the time
I got there they were already dyed.”

An elderly woman, vigorous, bronzed, with the bold, unwinking eyes of
the Romany, stood beside the cauldron making mysterious passes with a
long spoon. Soledad waited by her side with a hot dish, and in a
twinkling a pile of golden bubbles was before us, light, dry, exquisite
as only fritters fried in pure olive oil can be.

“Fried air, with a trifle of pastry around it,

[Illustration: BULL-FIGHTERS.]

[Illustration: SPANISH GIPSIES.]

is not exactly filling at the price,” said Pemberton; “let us try some
of those _bocas de la isla_, another specialty of the _Feria_.” The
_bocas_ are a sort of shell fish of peculiar shape, tasting rather like
a shrimp. Soledad, watching us cautiously taste them, said to reassure
us:

“But--they are the most exquisite--what a flavor! They are the claws of
lobsters that have been torn off and thrown back into the sea, where
they turn into _bocas_!”

“Cocoanuts, dates, _torrones_ of Alicante!” a bright-eyed Levantine,
smelling trade, hurried up to us. We bought a handful of large dark
Tetuan dates, a green cocoanut, a long thin bottle of attar of roses,
and--a _torrone_--a paste of blended honey and almonds, that should be
reserved for saints, since none others can be good enough to deserve it!

Luncheon over, we took leave of Soledad, and made our way to one of the
humbler streets of the _Feria_ in search of side shows. There was a
choice of attractions, all of them decent. In one tent we saw a tame
gorilla and a fat woman; in another a troupe of trained fleas shown off
by an Italian. An air from Rigoletto, played by an orchestrion with
drums, horns and cymbals drew a crowd of rustics. From a large tent came
the twang of a guitar, the crack of castanets. A group of saucy gypsy
lasses laid violent hands upon us Gorgios, whose palms, whether or no,
they were bound to read.

“Brazen hussies,” said Pemberton good-naturedly, buying them off; “a cut
below those others, but virtuous,--who doubts it may get a knife thrust
in the back!”

Outside the last and poorest amusement tent, we found Patsy’s
mountebanks. An old carpet was spread on the ground before the tent
door; the woman in a spangled, maroon velvet robe, a gilt filet in her
faded hair, beat the big drum. The raven, with the aid of the little
girl and a pack of cards, was ready to tell fortunes. The man in pink
tights balanced cleverly on a rolling ball: the boy stood with
outstretched arms, first on the father’s shoulders, and then climbed
dizzily to his head. The turn ended in a clever somersault.

“_Ollé, ollé!_” the crowd encouraged.

“_Que te hace trabajar?_” cried the mountebank, the clown’s strident
voice is the same the world over, “_Que te hace trabajar?_” (What makes
you work?)

“_El hambre!_” (hunger), answered the pinched child.

“_Tiene razon!_” (he is right), laughed Miquel, the farmer. The crowd
applauded; a few coppers rattled in the girl’s tambourine.

We came upon Patsy, lost since morning, outside a booth of primitive
farming tools. The sickles, the rakes, the spades, shaped properly like
spades in a pack of cards, even the hoes, had a certain rustic beauty
that woke the Adam in every boy that passed, and made his fingers itch
to handle them. Patsy balanced a mighty scythe knowingly, as one who has
known the trick of mowing.

“That is just what I want for my picture of ‘Time and the Woman,’” said
J.; he looked with longing at the scythe.

“Of course, it is the very thing,” said Patsy; “it has a lot of
character. It doesn’t look as if it had been turned out by a machine
with a thousand others. Listen to this bell!” He tinkled the clapper of
a beaten-copper sheep bell. “What a silver note! One wouldn’t mind being
wakened by this, when the cows go to pasture at daylight!”

“These juggets,” Pemberton led the way to a booth where coarse glazed
pottery was displayed, “are nice in color, aren’t they?”

“The green and yellow bowls are just the thing to put about the Cornish
place for the birds to drink and take their baths from,” said Patsy.
“Let us have a lot sent home with the scythe and the bell. How you feel
the Moorish influence in the design,--you can’t get away from _that_,
can you? You might as well try to subtract the Norman from the English,
as to subtract the Moor from the Spaniard; you come across him every
moment, in the manners, in the language--all the words beginning with
_al_ are Moorish; in the dress,--the mantilla is the survival of the
_yashmak_; in the sense of color and design, that flat, blue dish is a
thing of beauty and absolutely Moorish in spirit.”

“I can’t enthuse about it any more than I could about the Alhambra, the
Alcazar, or anything else that recalls the presence of those brutes in
Spain,” interrupted a small, keen-eyed man who had been listening to the
talk.

Patsy was the first to recover his speech.

“That is a new point of view and very interesting,” he said. “Does all
Oriental art affect you so, or only Moorish?”

The little gentleman answered with another question: “You are
Protestants?”

We could not deny the fact. The stranger sighed impatiently. “Ah well,
that explains many things! No traveler who is not a Catholic can
understand or appreciate Spain.”

“You can enjoy a lot you don’t understand.” Patsy stood to his guns.

“You miss the history, lose the background of the tapestry,” the
stranger went on testily. “I am tired of this fool talk about Moorish
art; the Mosque of Cordova spoiled by being turned into a Christian
church, and all the rest of it. Rubbish! I say it was a good thing to
do!” His eyes shone, his cheeks burned, he held up a hand enforcing
attention. “Listen to what I tell you,--Hell is not too hot, nor
eternity too long to punish the sins of the Moors against the Christians
of Spain.”

“Do you know where you are standing?” Pemberton struck the earth with
his heel as he said it. “This is the old _quemadero_, the burning-ground
of the Inquisition. On this spot two thousand persons, many of them
Moors, were tortured and burned alive in one year. Is there any circle
in your Inferno for the Grand Inquisitors?”

“What is the use of remembering such disagreeable things? They are much
better forgotten!” cried the stranger, irritably. “I took you for
persons of more sense!” and he went off in a huff.

“I wish he had liked us better, I liked him so much,” murmured Patsy.
“It’s the first rule of travel, isn’t it?--talk with people you would
not be likely to know at home, and learn their creeds.”

“The second rule,” said Pemberton, “is, visit different epochs as well
as different countries. I have visited in the Middle Ages, the Dark
Ages, the Ages of Stone and of Iron; only the Golden Age I have not
found. Seville comes nearest to it! Follow the old trade routes, go
where the bagmen go, make friends with traders and drummers. The gods of
Greece came into Rome in the chapman’s pack. Avoid, on your life, the
smug hotels, the tourist tickets that make the great pleasure route of
the world so comfortable, so safe, so dull. Take the checker and chance
of travel. There is as much adventure left in the world as is good for a
man, if he will take a risk or two!”

“The third rule is, buy no thing; spend all your money on impressions;
they will be good as new when mementos are lost, stolen, or in the dust
bin!”

“The fourth rule,” said J., “is go slow. Yesterday three hundred
tourists saw Seville in four hours. They were driven all over the place
in batches, each man and woman of them tagged with the card of the hotel
where they were billeted to dine. The _Liberal_ said this morning that
it was better to be four hundred years behind the world than to be in
such a hurry. I am not sure the _Liberal_ is not right.”

That afternoon, Concepcion called for us in a smart two-seated cart
drawn by fawn-colored mules with silken ears, varnished hoofs, and
jingling bells. It was “up to her,” Pemberton said, to show us the
social end of the _Feria_.

“_Estoy vestida de maya!_” she cried gleefully; “does it please them?”

“How well dressed she is, a preciosity!” Patsy’s vocabulary was growing.
To be _vestida de maya_ means to wear the lovely old Andalusian costume,
still good form for _Feria_ and bull-fights. Concepcion wore a yellow
crape _manton de Manilla_ (the fringe was ten inches long) embroidered
with butterflies and roses; a white, blond lace mantilla, gold satin
skirt with overdress of black net and chenille dots, lace mittens and
tiny gold shoes. She carried the sort of fan collectors outside of Spain
keep in a glass case,--the sticks of delicately carved mother-of-pearl;
the painting, charming, eighteenth century miniature work. The artist
had represented the two serious affairs in woman’s life:
religion,--illustrated by a scene from sacred history, Jerusalem with
David standing before Saul; and love-making,--illustrated by an Arcadian
vale, where a patched and powdered shepherdess and a silk-stockinged
shepherd looked fondly at each other.

Concepcion took us first to the Parque Maria Luisa, once royal property;
now a people’s pleasure ground, more garden than park, with thickets of
camelias, white, red, and pink, and wildernesses of roses climbing over
rustic arbors, hiding dead trees, or blooming sedately in well-trimmed
beds. We would have lingered in this paradise among the palms and orange
trees--from an ilex grove the long, trilling cadence of a nightingale
gave warning that the evening service of song was beginning--but
Concepcion objected that there was nobody there, and gave the order: “To
Las Delicias.”

Four lines of carriages moved at a foot pace up and down the wide
_paseo_. Groups of horsemen, officers and civilians picked their way
through the throng. The promenades on either side were crowded with
pedestrians. The defile of beauty was dazzling; the _señoritas_ were all
smiles and animation, using their eyes to deadly purpose; in Andalusia
flirtation is not a lost, even a decadent art. Patsy, wounded on every
side, groaned aloud, “I wish I was a Turk, I wish I was the Sultan of
Turkey!”

“In his heart, every man is a Turk!”

“Starts so,--some learn that the best of all is to come home from a
flower show, and find the single rose in the flower-pot on the
window-sill, sweeter than all the rest.”

So they gossipped in the carriage, while the mouse-colored mules fretted
at the slow pace!

The west end, the fashionable quarter of the toy city of the _Feria_,
has neat toy streets, dainty _casetas_ like dolls’ houses, cafés, and
clubs. From Conception’s account, it would seem that the Alcalde had
merely waved his wand, and from the bare ground of the old _quemadero_
the fairy city had sprung complete.

“You hire your _caseta_ for the week,” Pemberton explained, “and send
out what furniture you need from your town house.” As it grew dark,
garlands of many-colored lights festooned the way; firefly lamps
twinkled among the shrubbery, lanterns like great, illuminated fruits
bloomed out from the dark trees; it seemed that we were wandering in
Aladdin’s palace. Between the Moorish arches of the Circole de
Labradores we caught a glimpse of a pretty ball-room, where a crowd of
waltzers swayed to the music of the Thousand and One Nights. Outside a
private _caseta_ painted like a Japanese tea house, Patsy halted and
stood immovable, till, as one by one the crowd moved on, we edged our
way to the front. The _caseta_ was open to the street. Across a tiny
verandah we saw the charming interior. An elderly, bald gentleman sat at
a piano playing the letter air from La Perichole. In a corner a group of
ladies talked together; a little girl in white came and hung over the
piano, watching the musician’s fingers.

A tall young officer with a roving blue eye and gold hair lying in crisp
little curls on an ivory forehead, stood leaning against the wall,
talking with a small, dark youth with a hawk nose, and black,
impenetrable eyes where the fire smouldered but did not flash.

“That good-looking boy is Martin O’Shea,” said Pemberton; “Irish--need
you ask? The family has been settled here a hundred, perhaps three
hundred years; his eye has not lost the Celtic light, or his tongue the
edge. The other is Benamiel, Moorish descent, of course; they’re both
dangling after a certain girl, a friend of Concepcion’s. Oh! that is
part of the fascination of this wonderful, aloof, old Spain; you can
trace the races here so clearly; somehow the strains don’t seem to have
become so blurred, so mixed, as in most parts of Europe.”

The two young men cast impatient looks at a curtained door at the back.
“_Pronto_,” the signal came from the inner room. The music changed to a
throbbing _seguidilla_, the curtain trembled, and out tripped two pretty
girls _vestida de maya_.

“Do you see who it is?” whispered Patsy.

The taller was Luz, the other could only be her sister. Their castanets
clicked, almost as naturally as fingers snap, as they took the first
pose of the dance. One foot advanced, the other behind supporting the
weight of the body; the right arm raised, the left extended, just as you
see it in the dancing faun of Herculaneum. O’Shea took down a guitar
from the peg where it hung, and swept the chords with that curious
ringing touch of the Spaniard; Benamiel marked time by beating with his
feet, clapping with his hands. The dance began. It was very graceful,
above all very expressive, that was the great quality; it seemed the
natural, spontaneous expression of those two lovely young creatures’ joy
in life, of their super-abundant vitality, of the young blood coursing
through their veins. Though every posture, each bold advance and timid
retreat was old as Egypt, the dance had all the beautiful freshness of a
primitive art.

“_Viva la gracia!_” The cry came from a man in the crowd, Miquel, the
farmer of Huelva.

“Good work for amateurs,” said Pemberton, “but wait till you’ve seen the
Imperio, then you will have an idea of what Spanish dancing is!”

“Why,” Patsy asked, “doesn’t that other girl dance?”

“Just because she is not a girl; she was married two years ago. It would
not be good form; she has had her turn, now she must take a back seat
and give the others a chance. Thank God we’re still at that stage of
social development.” The young woman, a small _morena_ (brunette) with
a skin like a creamy magnolia blossom just beginning to turn brown, was
very little older, and quite as pretty as the twin dancing stars; her
foot tapped the floor, while her sisters danced and she sat talking with
the elders.

“I think this could not happen outside of Spain, the most democratic of
all countries,” Pemberton went on. “Here every man is equal, not merely
in the law’s eye, but--what’s far more important--in his own eyes, and
proves it by allowing no other man to show better manners than he. These
girls, the fine flower of Seville, may safely take their part, add their
beauty and their grace as the crowning attraction of the _Feria_,
because the man in the street will be as polite to them as the gentleman
in the drawing-room.”

“_Bendita sea la madre que ti pario_,” blessed be the mother that bore
thee. It was Miquel’s parting compliment to the señoritas, as he made
his way out of the crowd. In the _caseta_ visitors came and went; Luz
was surrounded by admirers. An old man servant handed a tray with
_agraz_, a drink made of pounded unripe grapes, clarified sugar and
water, and _bolardos_, little sugar cakes to dissolve in this nectar of
Andalusia. The _seguidilla_ was followed by a _sevilliana_. When the
buoyant feet seemed tired O’Shea sang _copla_ after _copla_: the last
he might have learned from his mother. It is at least as old as he:

    “_Dos besos tengo en el alma_
     _que no se apartan de mi;_
     _el ultimo de mi madre,_
     _y el primero que te di._”

    Two kisses I have in my soul
    That will not part from me;
    The last my mother gave me,
    And the first that I gave thee.



VI

A HOUSE IN SEVILLE


Rodrigo, Pemberton’s son, a grave child with eyes of brown fire, met us
at the gate of the patio; by his side stood a white lamb, with a wreath
of yellow primroses round its neck.

“You recognize the fleece of Huelva?” said Pemberton, “this is one of
Miquel’s flock; every child must have its pet lamb at Easter, you know.”
He opened the ancient iron gate,--the bars were lilies, tenderly wrought
as if of a more precious metal,--and we passed through the _Zaguan_
(vestibule) into the patio paved with marble, surrounded on all four
sides by a corridor like a cloister. Behind the Moorish columns,
graceful as palm trees, were walls lined with _azulejos_, blue, green,
yellow glazed tiles of fascinating design, bewildering color. In the
middle of the patio a jet of water leapt from an urn, danced in the sun,
broke into a shower of living diamonds, fell laughing to a marble basin.

“In summer we practically live in this patio, that long bamboo chair is
my favorite place. I lie there and read, or puzzle out the designs on
those tiles,--they’re over a hundred,--and listen to the fountain and
the birds. What more does a man want in hot weather? Take care, Rodrigo,
don’t drown him!”

The child was trying to make the lamb drink; the gold fish darted from
side to side in fright as its pink nose ruffled the water.

“We’re still living up-stairs; by Corpus Christi we shall have
_embajado_, as they say here. That means, moved down-stairs. It’s the
universal custom--the poorest house in Seville has two stories, the
upper for cold weather, the lower for hot; you can’t fancy the
difference in the climate. When moving day comes, the awning is drawn
over the patio, we bring all the furniture from the upper to the lower
rooms--exactly the same size and shape, so everything fits--hang
pictures and mirrors in the corridor; put the piano here, the plants
from the terrace there between the columns. We’ll have a look at the
summer quarters, if you like; it may give you some idea of how we live
in Seville in hot weather.”

We followed him through large, dark rooms, high-ceiled and airy; caught
glimpses of a mighty marble bath in a cool green chamber, of a kitchen
where they cook with charcoal, and finally halted in a place mysterious
as an alchemist’s laboratory. There were cauldrons of beaten copper,
measures for wet and dry, an antique balance with brass weights, strange
glass vessels, a press, an old still. As we stood admiring a huge marble
mortar, Concepcion came into the laboratory. She wore a short white
dress and apron, and, on her chatelaine, a bunch of big keys.

“Always on time!” Pemberton exclaimed. “At half past nine every morning
Concepcion unlocks the _despensa_, and gives out whatever is needed for
the day.”

“The grapes for the _agraz_ are pounded in that mortar,” said
Concepcion, who saw I was interested in the strange vessels, “and those
big stone rollers are used for crushing and grinding the chocolate.”

“Do you remember how good the smell of chocolate is, when they are
making you a cup at home?” said Pemberton. “Imagine what it must be to
have the whole house filled with it! Ah! the making of the chocolate is
an important event. Rodrigo and I are always impatient for it to begin.”

“When the time has come to make the chocolate,” Concepcion went on, “the
cacao is bought. It comes in great sacks,--the best from the Havana,
cinnamon from Ceylon--being sure it is the most fresh--sugar the finest,
and supreme vanilla. When all is ready, we call the _chocolateros_, two
good men, who make the chocolate under my direction, according to a
family recipe. When it all is finished, it is poured out into those
large troughs to cool. Then it is cut in squares; each large square is
just big enough to make a cup of chocolate for grown-up people; and the
little squares to make the children’s chocolate. When hard, it is put
away on these shelves; as the cupboard is airy it keeps itself for a
year.” When she learned that some housekeepers bought their chocolate
ready made, Concepcion was scandalized. “It will be mixed with flour of
chestnuts, or other inferior things; there is no chocolate like the
Andalusian!” she declared.

In the _despensa_, a cool, stone grotto, hams, sausages, dried herbs,
onions, and scarlet peppers hung from the roof; a dozen bloated
goatskins leant against the wall.

“The oil,” Pemberton explained, “was brought in from the farm on
mule-back this morning. When it settles, we shall draw it off in those
_amphoræ_;” he pointed to a row of two-handled, red clay jars. “Those
_tarros_ are full of pork,--we killed a hundred pigs last November. The
best of the meat is sent in town to us, the rest is kept at the farm for
our work people; we feed our laborers in Andalusia, you know, and feed
them well.”

Concepcion told us that she herself always gave out the day’s
provisions; this was important, else disastrous things might happen. She
stood by and saw cook take the pork from the _tarro_, where it was
packed in the “butter of pig,” or the game from the smaller barrels.
These lower ones were full of the partridges Pemberton shot last season;
some days he got a dozen, some days twenty. Those that were not eaten or
given away were slightly boiled and packed in the butter of pig. They
would keep six months if great care were used in taking them out, and
only the wooden spoon touched the pig butter. If, as had happened, a
careless servant puts in her hand to take out a partridge or a bit of
pork, the whole _tarro_ is lost; nothing can save it from going bad. The
same is true of olives, put up in those tall _tinajas_. Once a human
hand,--a metal spoon is almost as bad,--is dipped into that home-made
pickle of vinegar, water, lemon, salt, and laurel leaves, the whole
_tinaja_ is ruined.

“These nice comfortable-looking round jars are made especially to hold
Manchegan cheeses,” said Pemberton. “They’re like Parmesan, only better,
made of sheep and goats’ milk mixed. Once a year they bring them from La
Mancha to sell; we always lay in a large stock; packed in those jars,
with enough oil poured in to cover them, they keep indefinitely. Here
is the cook. The momentous council of the day is about to open. Come,
I’ll show you the rest of the house, while Concepcion gives the orders.
We’ll have a look at the roses first.”

Behind the patio was a second court, with orange and lemon trees; at one
end grew an ancient cedar with hollow trunk and strange roots, like
splay feet, that gripped the earth. A whiff of orange blossoms, the
tinkle of a guitar, the voice of an unseen singer chanting a low wailing
_malageña_ greeted us as we entered. The walls were a living glory of
roses; the yellow Bankshires hung in starry bunches; the white rose
vines flung out floating banners of green, thick sprinkled with rose
snow. A golden pheasant strutted and preened itself in the sun; from an
aviary came the chatter of a happy family of birds.

“_Hijo de mi alma_,” Pemberton said to Rodrigo, “you may not take the
lamb up-stairs; stay with him till we come down.”

Rodrigo, nothing disappointed, drew out a little cart, and seating
himself in it turned the wheels so that the cart slid along the stone
path in the middle of the garden, the lamb trotting beside; back and
forth, back and forth, we heard the rattling of those wheels (I can hear
them still) as the lonely boy and the lamb played together.

“Did you ever see a game of football?” Patsy asked the child. Rodrigo
had only seen pictures of football, but he had seen _pelota_, and he
could hit the bull’s-eye with his arrow three times out of five.

“Rodrigo is a Spaniard; he is going into the army,” Pemberton said, as
he led the way up-stairs to the winter quarters. “My grandmother was a
Spaniard; my parents called themselves ‘cosmopolitans’; some other
people called them disgruntled Americans. I’m a man without a
country,--one of that kind is enough in a family!”

He flared up with sudden passion. To make a diversion J. complimented
him on the winter parlor, a bare, comfortable room with a few good
pictures, the necessary furniture and a refreshing absence of junk.

“No little tables of jointed silver fish and jade idols here?” he said.
“We’re still half Orientals in Seville; we don’t suffer from the
dreadful ‘too much’ that is stifling you in America!”

The winter kitchen, all white marble and tiles, had a gas range, the
most modern thing in the house, and deal tables scrubbed with soap and
sand till you saw the grain of the wood. Something was said about the
exquisite neatness of the house.

“Andalusians,” Pemberton assured us, “are remarkably clean people. Did
you notice our _calle_? You don’t often see a street so well kept. Each
householder is obliged to take care of the part before his house;
competition is a good principle in street cleaning.”

The upper corridor, giving access to the winter rooms, was shut in with
glass; it led to the _azotea_, a terrace that overhung the court of
roses. The flowers here had more sun and air than in the patio; the
carnations were as big as coffee cups, the damask roses as large as
saucers. A second flight of stairs led up to the winter bed and
dressing-rooms.

“These mattresses are of carded wool,” said Pemberton; “the
blankets,--feel how light and soft they are,--were made at the farm,
spun and woven by an old woman, the last survivor of my grandmother’s
servants. These sheepskins are spread under the mattresses for warmth,
for tiled floors are cold. The fleece is of three years’ growth; see, it
is as fine as silk.”

Laundry, drying-room, and terrace for bleaching and airing, were at the
top of the house. The keen smell of good gum camphor met us on the
stair; it came from a brass-bound cedar chest, standing open on the
terrace. A dozen of Concepcion’s feather fans dangled from a line.

“Now that you’ve seen the house in Seville God has given me,” said
Pemberton, “look at the view; it’s the best thing about it!”

Below us lay the city with its narrow _calles_, sunny plazas, shining
houses. In every patio, on every terrace and roof garden were flowers
and caged birds. The air was musical with bells, song, laughter. Outside
the old Roman city walls, spread the green Andalusian _vega_, with the
yellow river, gleaming, where the sun touched it, like clouded amber. In
the distance the _vega_ was shut in by a circle of blue Sierras; snow
lay on the shoulders of the hills, at whose feet the fruit trees were in
blossom.

“Can anybody ever be sad in Seville?” cried Patsy. “Do people ever die
or grow old here? Are there such things as tears?”

“There is a young lady down-stairs who must have shed a quart of tears
since yesterday,” said Pemberton. “Come and help Concepcion comfort
her.” He led the way down to the drawing-room. Sitting beside
Concepcion, whose hand she had been holding, was a pretty girl, wearing
a dress much too large for her.

“_Mi amiga_, Señorita Trinidad Fulano,” Concepcion introduced her
friend, who tried to look as if she had not been crying. Our hostess
then bustled out of the room, and returned, followed by a neat maid with
a tray of preserved sweet potatoes, some _huevos dulces_, a sort of
sweetmeat made of sugar and yolk of egg, a delicate decanter, and a
straw basket containing twelve long thin glasses no bigger round than a
walking stick.

“A _caña_ of manzañilla,” said Pemberton, pouring out a clear amber
liquid. “It is light for Spanish wine, no headache in it.” Patsy,
Concepcion and Trinidad were already chattering together like three
magpies at the other end of the room. In the solemn silence that
accompanied the tasting of the manzañilla, Concepcion’s voice rang
clear.

“For a woman to call herself beautiful, she must possess the nine
essentials of beauty. Three things must she have that be black,--the
hair, the eyes, the lashes; three that be red,--the lips, the palms, the
cheeks; three that be white,--the hands, the neck, and the teeth.”

Trinidad nodded. “_Claro_,” she said, “she has expressed it divinely.”

“Trinidad could hardly say less,” Pemberton observed, “seeing that she
herself possesses the nine indispensables. That is a Moorish proverb,
though Concepcion learned it from the nuns, like the saying that the
_sal_ a _morena_ wastes in a minute would last a blonde a week and a
half. It is a good thing you came in to-day; Trinidad is cheering up
already. She has been tremendously harried--had a visit from an angry
parent this morning, and a visit from a despairing lover last night. He
stood in the _calle_ outside her window, talking with her till past
twelve o’clock. You see she’s _en deposito_ with Concepcion.”

At this moment Concepcion glided across the room--she moved with that
peculiar poetry of motion of the Spanish woman--and joined us.

“Trinidad is very distinguished, no?” This was always her highest
praise. “And intelligent, and instructed; _Ave Maria Purissima!_ she can
speak three idioms.”

“You don’t understand what being _en deposito_ means,” Pemberton went
on, ignoring the interruption. “Having lately come of age, that is
eighteen in Andalusia, Trinidad made application to a magistrate by
means of an official document written and signed by herself stating that
she wished to marry José Maria Benamiel; that her parents, with no
sufficient reason, forbade the marriage; that----”

“_Pobrecitos!_” broke in Concepcion; “they have been making love
these four years. He is a youth the most well-bred, the most
distinguished----”

“Yesterday,” Pemberton continued, “the magistrate called on Trinidad’s
father----”

“He came in a carriage,” Concepcion reminded him.

“And after a heated interview, took Trinidad away from her father’s
house and brought her to ours. Here she will stay _en deposito_ for
three months. During this time, Concepcion is responsible for her.
Trinidad is free to see Benamiel, always in the presence of some
responsible third person, and her parents are free to visit her.
They----”

“They are people the most egotistical, the most _interested_!”
Concepcion burst out. “Can you imagine? they denied her clothes, _por
Dios_! it is the truth: that is my dress she is wearing! who ever heard
of so great a shame? Not one handkerchief allowed those hard-hearted
ones their daughter to take away from their accursed house!”

“It is true, they all lost their tempers,” said Pemberton lightly, “and
behaved foolishly. I fancy we shall see a portmanteau before night;
between ourselves, Trinidad might very well have kept on the dress she
came away in yesterday. It is not a bad system, the _deposito_; it gives
time for both love and anger to cool off. The girl is out of coercion
here; she has a chance to make up her mind whether or no Benamiel is
really the man for her. At the end of the three months, if she still
wants him, she may marry him without her parents’ consent.”

“Do you think she will?”

“Pretty safe to. The old people will give in; there is nothing really
against Benamiel, only they preferred O’Shea! Small blame to them.
O’Shea did not know that Trinidad and Benamiel had already settled
things between them. When he found it out he went back to Cordova, where
he is stationed, and, Trinidad says, wanted to give to Benamiel a
bracelet he had bought for her. Nice boy, O’Shea. Why is it that the
nice girls always take the wrong--well, there’s no use opening that
chapter, if you must be going--it is time for your Spanish lesson--we’ll
tackle it some other time when we have the night before us!”

       *       *       *       *       *

Don Renaldo, the ex-ofeecial de marina, was waiting to give Patsy and me
our lessons in _vero Castellano_. His method was simple; he talked,
while we listened. He began by explaining his rusty mourning suit, as he
drew off his worn old leather gloves. “It is the thirtieth anniversary
of the death of my father,” he spoke slowly, so that we might follow
him. “All the masses celebrated to-day in the church of San Sebastian
will be applied to the repose of his soul.” Patsy said he would like to
hear one of the memorial masses, but it was already too late, they were
all over.

“He was the most kind of fathers, the most benevolent of men, his
benevolence was the cause of all his misfortunes in this world! To
oblige a friend he signed his name to a note, understanding that it was
a mere form. With those two strokes of the pen he signed away his
fortune.”

“He did not have a benevolent friend!” Patsy ejaculated.

“_Hombré!_ He was a _caballero_, a gentleman of distinction--but--it is
the truth, of business he was as ignorant as _mi pobre papa_! The
catastrophe that ruined both, killed my papa; his friend died soon after
of shame. Then Tio Jorge, my rich uncle, took me and brought me up as if
I were his heir. Every year we went to Paris together; we lived with
great elegance on the Rue de Rivoli; we had a box at the opera; I had my
own carriage; my clothes came from Poole; at that time I was very
elegant, and not, people said, bad looking. I am old now, but then!” He
sighed and rolled up his eyes at the recollection of his elegant youth.

“You’re not old, you’re in the prime of life,” said Patsy. Though Don
Renaldo was not even elderly, he had given up the fight, went shabby and
unshaven, with buttons missing from his frayed shirt.

“Suddenly Tio Jorge had a stroke of apoplexy,--I was at Monte Carlo at
the time. I hurried to his bedside and took all care of him till he
died. It was very sad, but it was my duty to see everything done as he
would have wished. His funeral was the most luxurious ever seen in
Valladolid. He was followed to the grave by the aristocracy, civil and
military authorities, and whole communities of monks and nuns. There was
a multitude of carriages, and to every coachman I gave a _propina_ of
fifty _pesetas_. After the funeral the will was opened. Well, what do
you think he left me?”

“That depends upon whether or not you were the only heir,” Patsy
answered soothingly.

“He left me nothing! Money, palace, horses, plate, jewels, everything
went to found a home for the widows and daughters of navy officers! the
preference always to be given to the handsomest ones. The will was
published; there followed ridicule the most painful from half the papers
of Europe, from the Argentine, from all over the world. They called Tio
Jorge a modern Don Juan Tenorio!”

“The old hunks deserved something worse than to be laughed at. I hope
he’s getting it now,” murmured Patsy.

“May be--but that was not true; he was not an immoral man. He believed
that beautiful ladies had greater difficulties to contend with than
others.”

“He might have left you a life interest,” said Patsy; “the beautiful
ladies could wait.” While Don Renaldo did not allow himself to criticise
Tio Jorge, our sympathy was as balm to him.

“I gave up my home, I gave up Paris--where I was too well known. I had
frequented the best society. I came to Seville where I have no friends,
where many travelers come;” he dropped into English. “I offré my service
to accompany and visit monuments, gib lessons, recommend the hotels!”

“Everybody is bothered about money one way or the other;” Patsy tried to
encourage him; “as long as you live, you either have got to earn the
money you spend, or spend money that other people have earned. Brace up,
_Amigo_! Think how much more fun it is to earn your own money than to
spend money some other fellow has had the fun of earning!”

Don Renaldo looked steadily at him, groping for his meaning. “At first I
envied people who have money,” he confessed; “now I envy those who have
work that they enjoy.” He took up a book Patsy had told him was written
by a friend of ours. “Your friend must be a very rich man.”

“He just makes the two ends meet without lapping!”

“How could he afford to print this book? The binding is elegant, paper,
print and engravings, superior; it must have cost a great deal!”

“So the publishers say.”

“_Ojalá!_ If I could only write.”

Poor, pathetic soul, if he could only do any useful thing. A fortune
had been spent on his education. He could ride and shoot straight, he
could dance, and fence, and play every game under the sun, but his life
investment yielded a small, precarious income. His only dividend-bearing
stock, all that stood between him and starvation, was a passable
knowledge of the French and English languages, part of the
accomplishments of his elegant youth.

The lesson over, Don Renaldo gone, Patsy summed up his case. “A spent
shot!” he said, “a poor thing, as capable of taking care of himself as a
year old baby; more coals to Tio Jorge!”

       *       *       *       *       *

One happy day, when we had almost given up hope of ever seeing him
again, Don Jaime strolled jauntily into the patio, his sombrero
gallantly cocked on one side, his worn coat carefully brushed, his
trousers newly creased, a bunch of violets in his buttonhole. He was
greeted with shrieks and screams of joy. Black coffee and _un poco de
ginevra de campagna_ (his only vices) were immediately ordered for him.

“I arrive only at middle night yesterday,” he said, when accused of
desertion. “I have made a loose, my brother-in-law, he is daid.” Patsy
asked if it was the husband of his sister who had died.

“Ah, no! brother to my woman. Me, my father, my grandfather were all
unique childs; I have no sister--only a half a sister, Candalaria,--no
brother, no honkle, no haunt; I am a widow and a horphan.” We expressed
sympathy for his loss. The Don assured us that his brother-in-law’s
death was a release.

“Poor man! he was secluded in--how you say? an insanitorium these long
years. When he was daid, he had himself embaumed and transported to
Cadiz, where is the pantheon of himself and his wife.”

“We were just starting to drive to Italica,” said J. “You’ll go with us,
Don? Where’s your _capa_? You’ll need it; it’s cold this afternoon.”

“Ah, no! I am warm inside, since I drinked the _ginevra_,” he patted his
stomach. “Ah well, it is heatier in Sevillia than in Cadiz, where I goed
to escort the catafalque of my brother.”

After that J. and Patsy took the Don away from me, and all that
afternoon they kept him to themselves. I followed in another carriage
with Pemberton. Bursts of riotous laughter came to us from their cab, as
they passed us on the Alameda of Hercules. At the foot of that pleasant,
shady mall, our coachman drew up under a pair of tall, gray granite
columns.

“The old columns are from a Roman temple,” said Pemberton. “These
guardians of the town,” he pointed to the battered old statue that
stood on either column, “are Hercules the founder, and Julius Cæsar the
second founder of Seville. Oh, yes! Hercules was here; he stopped and
rested by the river, and founded Seville that time he wandered through
the Peninsula, driving the lowing herds of Geyron before him.”

We had crossed the tawny Guadalquiver, and were driving through Triano,
the potters’ suburb, named for the Emperor Trajan. An open doorway gave
us a glimpse of a man working a wheel with his feet, and holding a newly
moulded clay vase in his hands against the swiftly turning wheel.

“They still make the _azulejos_, and the pottery in Seville, as they did
in the days of the Moors--how do I know? In the days of the Romans!
Remember, when you come to build your house, that the tiles of Triano
are the best, cheapest, and handsomest in the world; that Seville is a
port; and that they can be shipped to you at a fair price. Shall we stop
at the factory and see them? The place supplies the whole of Spain with
crockery. Patsy would fall in love with the big garden pots, and the
pretty jugs.”

The most interesting thing we saw in the factory was the potter himself.
Behind the splendid showrooms, where the fine majolicas and the common
wares of the common people are displayed, in a dark, dank little corner,
sat a man, half his body out of sight, working the potter’s wheel. He
sat on the edge of a square hole in the floor; his legs were hidden, but
his feet were busy turning, turning the wheel. He was old and poor. His
red hands had been in the wet clay who knows how many hours--how many
days? He was spiritless and sad in face and bearing, but oh! the skill
of those poor red hands! The shapeless lump of soft wet clay was thumped
first upon the revolving stand, then as if by magic, though we saw it
with our eyes, it took shape, grew lovely and alive under those hands
that looked so sodden, and yet could turn that gray mud into shapes of
beauty. A cup for a dying man’s broth, a vase for a bride’s rose, a
basin to bathe a new-born child: as each was finished he held it up for
a moment for us to see, then laid it down beside him with the others. I
put a coin in the red, clayey hand. He gave a little mechanical nod, a
word of thanks, and went back to his work. He earns less than an
unskilled child would earn at home. It is doubtful if he can read or
write. He works from dawn to dark--the sight of him gave me great pangs
of homesickness! Pemberton could tell me of no movement to help this man
to a freer life, to a day whose working hours do not absorb every
heartbeat of power. There is only charity! Bread for the hungry, salve
for the sick, almshouse for the worked-out human beast of burden. Oh!
that I could help him to pass through the Gate of Hope into the
Hospitable Land, where every one has his chance, where the ranks are
always open.

Triano was already behind us, and we were out upon the Aracena road that
runs to the north. Tramp, tramp, tramp, the sound of marching men came
towards us out of a cloud of dust. A little farther on we passed a
regiment of small brown soldiers; mere boys, most of them. They all wore
sandals; some had stockings, some were without. They must have been on
fatiguing work, they looked so tired and footsore. In the fields, a band
of peasants were cutting the ruby alfalfa; the air was fragrant with the
honey-sweet smell of it. The harsh whetting of scythes, the soft swish
of sickles through the clover, the song of the leader of the mowers, an
oldish man with a red handkerchief tied round his head, marked the time
for the march of those weary soldiers,

    _Adiós padre, y adiós madre,_
    _adiós iglesia del pueblo,_
    _que voy á servir al rey_
    _los ochos años que lo debo._

    Goodbye father and mother;
    Goodbye church of the village.
    I must go and serve the king
    For the eight years that I owe him.

One of the last of the soldiers, a superb blond man towering above the
others, repeated the refrain of the mower’s song:

    “I must go and serve the king for the eight years that I owe him!”

“Nothing has changed since Strabo praised this pleasant valley,” said
Pemberton. “We still use sickles, and we still take the young men from
the work of the fields, and turn them into soldiers, food for
gunpowder.”

Coming mysteriously towards us, down the straight white road, were half
a dozen little moving heaps of newly cut clover. We could not see, until
they were upon us, the legs of the tiny donkey trotting along under each
fragrant load.

“In Greece,” said Pemberton, “when they want to say a man is a clever,
long-headed chap, they call him an ass. Of all asses, the Spanish is the
wisest. The peasants work them hard, abuse them a little, but they love
them and treat them like members of the family; that is why they are so
intelligent.”

We were passing through gray olive groves, between fields of emerald
wheat: golden butterflies hovered about the wild lavender growing by the
wayside. Here and there, peeping from orchard and ploughed field, were
bits of ruins, all that is left of the once splendid forum, the temples
and palaces of the old Roman city of Italica. At the guardian’s hut,
where we stopped to inquire the way to the circus, we saw a few poor
antiquities, some Roman lamps and fragments of sculpture. The guardian
was absent, and we looked in vain for a trace of the fine Roman mosaic
pavement discovered a hundred years ago, of which we had heard.

A poor monk, Fray José Moscoso, built a wall round it, hoping to
preserve the precious thing, but Soult’s French soldiers destroyed it by
turning the enclosure into a goat pen. There is an engraving of this
mosaic in the Biblioteca Columbina at Seville. When the archæologists
come to Spain,--or rather when the Spanish archæologists carry their
work farther,--there will be a rich treasure trove. Very little
scientific excavation has been undertaken yet. The soil, so rich in
archæological as well as in mineral and agricultural wealth, has hardly
been scratched. That is one of the interesting things about Spain,--it
has still so much to do. With all its wonderful, romantic past, it is
still a young country, with a great future before it. The Spaniards have
been so busy keeping the East out of the West, fighting the battles of
other nations, keeping those wretched Bourbons on the thrones of Italy
where they were not wanted, opening up the New World and making Spanish
America, that they have neglected Spain. That was yesterday. To-day all
is changed. Spain has pulled on the seven-league boots of the giant
Progress, and is striding manfully ahead, making up for lost time.

It is easy enough to turn one’s back upon the great army of ghosts at
Seville in Fair time, when life is at the flood and the pulses leap with
the thrill of it; in Sevilla Vieja, the old Roman city of Italica, it
can’t be done. Here are none but ghosts, and one old gabaloonzy man who
acts, in the absence of the true guardian, as our guide; he is a
shepherd and his sheep crop the grass that grows over Italica. He
stopped his knitting to pick a wild orchid rooted into the crumbling
arch of the old Roman amphitheatre.

“_Miré_,” he said; “this is the bee flower. Can you see the bee?”

His needles clicked again, the only sound in the great circus save the
noise of the sheep cropping the grass of the arena. In and out of the
crimson alfalfa and the wild thyme, buzzed the wild bees gathering
honey. They made a soft humming, at first confused, then growing clearer
and clearer, till the faint hints of meaning in their song seemed to
grow into words:

“Scipio Africanus founded me,” sang the bees, speaking for Italica, “as
a refuge for his veterans after the great war with Carthage.”

Out of the shadowy archway leading to the wild beast dens, a stronger
shadow fell on the grass. Here, in the city his love and care
established for the old soldiers who followed him to victory and
immortal glory, I saw magnanimous Scipio, and at his side, a fainter
pair, Allutius the Celtiberian prince, with the fair woman both men
loved, and whom the Roman, when he learned that she was affianced to
Allutius, renounced, refusing all ransom, and asking as his only
recompense the friendship of Allutius for the Republic. It was not
stranger than all the rest that the shade of the bride looked like
Trinidad.

“Three Emperors I gave to Rome,--Trajan, Hadrian, Theodosius!” ran the
song of the bees, speaking for Italica forsaken.

Trajan--the good emperor of whom Rome still gossips and has so little
harm to say? Why, it was only the other day that standing by your tomb
in the Eternal City, in your forum, in the shadow of the great column
that bears the record of your triumphs, I heard the old story, told and
retold by poet, painter and sculptor; how clear it echoes through the
ages! As you rode forth to battle, a poor widow stood at your bridle and
would not let you pass, crying out for justice for her son, whom your
soldiers had ridden down and killed, innocent of ill. You stopped on
your triumphant way and gave that justice the poor woman cried out for,
then rode on to victory. Five centuries after your death, in the time of
Pope Gregory the Great, your skull was found, with the tongue still
alive, so the great Gregory was able to hold parley with you.

“Trajan! Trajan! Where art thou?” cried Gregory.

“In hell,” answered the Emperor.

“Why art thou in hell?”

“Because I was not baptized!”

At hearing this the grief of Gregory was so great that he went into the
old church of St. Peter, and wept for Trajan in hell. And the tears of
Pope Gregory fell down into hell, and quenched the flames of Trajan’s
torment.

I tell the tale as it was told to me by Giacomo Boni, at the foot of
Trajan’s column in the city of Rome. The spirit of Trajan has laid hold
of Boni, even as it laid hold of the great Gregory, and he, too, arises
to demand for Trajan the Just the tribute of our love.

When the others came back, I told Pemberton what had happened in the old
circus, while they had been hunting for the forum of Ubs Italica.

“You’ll find us dull company after such!” he laughed. “Visits from
Scipio Africanus and Trajan are more exciting than one’s neighbors, and
much more easily returned.”

“The trouble is such friendships are so one-sided!” Patsy objected.
“What can I do for Marcus Aurelius? The greatest Spaniard of them all.
He has done so much for me. His ‘Meditations’ made me think for the
first time in my life.”

“Haven’t you learned yet that you can never return a real benefit to the
person who conferred it? You can only hand it on, pay the debt to the
first needy person you meet. Are we not all debtors to Greeks and
Barbarians? All we can ever do for the dead is to keep their names from
dying; and, what is so much more important, keep alive the flame that
was in them, kindle other souls as they kindled yours. The fire
Prometheus stole from heaven never goes out; it is carried from soul to
soul as one torch is kindled from another, till the whole earth shall be
lighted and no dark places left. The shame of shames is to have received
that fire, and let the flame of it go out in you!”

A peasant man and woman, evidently strangers, strayed into the arena,
and stood staring at the moss-covered stones. The man, a decent fellow
with a pleasant smile and no teeth, greeted the knitting shepherd.

“This perhaps is the ruin of some great palace?” he said.

“It is the bull-ring,” the shepherd corrected, “they say there was a
city here once; you can see where the streets were; there are also bits
of old churches and houses.”

“_Valgame Dios!_” exclaimed the stranger, “perhaps this was an important
town, before it was ruined a hundred years ago or more!”

“_No se sabé_,” said the shepherd indifferently. He called his dog, who
began to herd the sheep, running round and round them in a circle and
barking furiously. The sun was westering; it lacked but an hour of
setting; we were five miles from our dinner, and reluctantly we turned
our backs on Italica, the buried city, with its twice ten hundred years,
and drove back to Seville.

“It is a pestilential trait,--this pulling down old cities to build
new;” said Pemberton, as we drove through the wretched village of
Santiponce. “They pulled down Italica to get building material for
Seville. Only the other day, hardly more than a hundred years ago, they
took some of the stone of the old circus to make the road to Badajos.
Men build cities as birds build nests; not many birds are satisfied with
last year’s nests, not many men with other men’s cities.”

“Have you heard,” called Patsy from the other carriage, as with derisive
hoots they passed us on the old Roman road, “Don Jaime goes with us to
Cordova.”

“As you please,” said the Don; “or take ship and make a little crusade
in the Mediterranean,--to Morocco, if you will.”

The next day we left Seville, stopping on the way to the station for a
last look at the cathedral. We entered by way of the Court of Oranges,
paused beneath the orange trees laden with fruit and blossoms, and drew
long breaths of the delicious fragrance. Here Concepcion and Trinidad
joined us. Both wore the mantilla, still _de rigeur_ for early mass.
Concepcion had a yellow rose in her curls to match her fan. Trinidad
carried a bunch of white rosebuds; she was wearing her own dress to-day;
it showed the curves of beauty better than that loose frock of
Concepcion’s! Both young women looked fresh as roses with the night dew
still on them, and smelt pleasantly of orange-flower water. As we stood
gossiping by the old fountain, a pretty altar boy in white and scarlet
finery came towards us, swinging a gold censer to keep the coals alight.
As he passed he looked at Trinidad, and seemed to swing the censer
towards her: for a moment we saw her in a cloud of blue incense smoke.

We made the tour of the cathedral, and took leave of Murillo’s Guardian
Angel and his San Antonio. A shaft of sunlight carried the stain of the
painted glass, ruby, topaz, emerald, to the columns under the round
window of the Assumption. The golden mass bells tinkled; they were
saying mass in the

[Illustration: ST. JOSEPH AND THE INFANT JESUS.

_Murillo_]

[Illustration: THE GUARDIAN ANGEL.

_Murillo_]

chapel royal before the silver altar where Saint Ferdinand is buried.
Alive, he was King Ferdinand III; dead, he became a saint, because with
his own hands he had carried fagots to burn heretics. A sound of hammers
echoed through the great cathedral.

“The _fiestas_ are over,” said Pemberton; “they are taking down the
monument over the tomb of Ferdinand Columbus.”

As we passed out through the Puerta del Lagarte under the great
crocodile, the twin organs thundered, the choir sang a deep “Amen,” the
bells in the Giralda clanged a parting peal.

“Heavens!” murmured Patsy, as from the train window we looked back at
the darling of Andalusia, lying in the fold of Guadalquiver’s arm, “what
a beautiful world this is!” He blinked as he said it, as if there were
tears in his eyes.

    “_Quien no ha vista Sevilla,_
     _no ha vista maravilla._”



VII

CORDOVA

_Other towns may be better to live in. None are better to be born in
than Cordova._--EL GRAN CAPITAN


“The old Roman engineer who built Cordova Bridge did a good piece of
work,” said Patsy. “See, those are his foundations; they are solid
still,--it is a good bridge yet! The arches are paltry, modern things
beside them; they were put up centuries later by a Moor called As-Sahn.
It does not seem fair that his name should be remembered, and the
Roman’s forgotten.”

The Roman’s work is not forgotten, and will not be, while Cordova Bridge
stands, and while the city arms remain a bridge on water. The weeds push
between the great stones, a lovely enamel of orange lichen covers the
staunch old piers, around which the amber Guadalquiver laps and murmurs.
The white highroad follows the river south to Seville; the way north is
barred by a range of purple Sierras.

Not even in Italica is the mark of Rome stronger

[Illustration: THE MOSQUE, CORDOVA.]

[Illustration: THE MOSQUE, CORDOVA.]

than in Cordova; the old bridge, the names of the streets, the memories
of the famous Roman citizens who were born here, bring imperial Rome to
mind at every moment. The Romans came to Cordova as conquerors carrying
the eagles through Spain; they made the city the capital of Hispania
Ulterior, and called it the Patrician Colony because so many of the
Romans who settled here and married the graceful, dark-eyed Cordovese
women were of patrician descent. The Roman rule, harsh at first, grew
gentler, for while Rome ruled, Christianity came to Cordova, and pagan
slavery softened to a milder form of vassalage.

“A man can do one of two things with his life,” Patsy philosophized,
“Build it all up into a monument to his own memory, or lay it down in
paving stones--or a bridge--for other people to walk over. Which is the
best worth while? As if one could choose!” He dropped a stone into the
water, and watched the circles spread into larger and larger rings.

We had arrived at Cordova too late to see the Mosque, and had come
directly from the station to the bridge to watch the thin current of
life and traffic pulsing in and out of the dead alive old town. There is
no place like a bridge for gathering impressions of a strange city.

“Hé hé, Macho!” an old muleteer with gold earrings threw a stone at the
brown mule, leader of his team, just in time to prevent his running into
a donkey that was crossing the bridge in the other direction, laden with
paniers full of terra cotta jars. Before the mule train had disappeared,
we heard a great clatter and rattling of loose screws and rivets, as an
old chaise came lumbering along the white highroad from the direction of
Seville, and stopped at the bridge gate. The custom-house officer,
dozing on his bench, woke up, and asked the usual tiresome question.

“Have their Graces anything to declare?”

The gentleman Grace, apparently deaf, behaved as if he had neither seen
nor heard the officer, and had only stopped to flick a horsefly from his
fat white mare. The lady Grace shook her silver curls.

“No, nothing to declare,” she said.

Strapped to the back of the chaise was a cylindrical, horsehair trunk,
studded with brass nails.

“What might this contain?” The officer touched the trunk.

“Only our garments; we have been spending a week at the hacienda.”

“Open it, please. How is this, a ham?”

“Our own. The tax was paid when the pig was killed; twelve _pesetas_. It
was far too much.”

“That is another matter. You must pay the tax on provisions brought
into the city as well.” The officer weighed the ham, and began to make a
calculation with pencil and note-book. “There is also to be added the
fine for not having declared the ham.”

The lady’s eyes snapped angrily, as she gave the officer a piece of her
mind. “You are a miserable loafer! It is to pay salaries to such lazy
fellows as you that honest people are robbed of their honest money!”

It was growing late. By the time the ham was settled for, the vivid blue
of the western sky had turned soft apple-green. We climbed a crazy stair
to the window of the gate, to avoid a drove of cattle driven across the
bridge by a _vaquero_ in a brown _capote_. The comfortable smell of kine
came in at the window. On the other side of the Guadalquiver, in the
golden haze of dust kicked up by those silly, helter-skeltering cows,
lay Cordova. Before us rose the great Mosque; in the centre the towering
masonry of the Christian Cathedral stood out in bold outline against the
distant Sierra. The sun set quietly in the quiet sky; a few minutes
after, the whole heaven was aflame with the glorious crimson after-glow;
the river ran red; the whole earth shone with the reflection. The sunset
was like the death of some great and unsuspected saint, some humble man,
the glory of whose life is only known when he has gone and the whole
world is filled with the light of the soul that has just passed from it.

“The moon will soon be up,” said Patsy. “Let us wait for it. We are not
likely to see sunset and moonrise from Cordova bridge again.”

The custom-house officer made room for us on his wooden bench. As we sat
watching the swallows flit back and forth over the river, Patsy told us
stories about the great men who had lived at Cordova, and we all made
believe we saw them cross the old bridge. A tall military man with a
clanking sword passed through the gate.

“There goes Marcellus, the Tribune who conquered Cordova for Rome; our
friend the engineer must have come here soon after him; isn’t it a pity
we can’t find his name, when such silly ones are remembered?”

“He built a good bridge; does it matter whether he was called Caius or
Cassius?”

“Why, yes, it matters to me,” Patsy persisted. “There was another
Marcellus who came to Cordova later, in Julius Cæsar’s time. How talent
runs in families! Cæsar sent him to rebuild the town after he had half
destroyed it for taking Pompey’s side in that old quarrel we boys used
to fight over again at school. The Senecas came from here, too; there is
a square named for them. You remember the story about Seneca’s wife?
When Nero sent word that Seneca must die, both he and his wife opened
the veins in their arms. Seneca, who was much older than his wife, died
first, whereupon Madam’s women bound up her veins, and she lived several
years after. There was talent in that family, too; the father was a
writer, and Lucan, the poet, was either a cousin or nephew. Hullo! Look
at the folds of that old beggar’s capa; doesn’t it look like a toga? Now
remember that cantankerous face of Seneca’s in the bust at the Naples
Museum, and if you can’t see Nero’s tutor pottering over that old bridge
you’ve no imagination!”

The swallows had all gone to their nests; the soft, fumbling flight of a
pair of small bats wove a pattern against the fading sky.

“That portly gentleman on the white mule might well be Hosius, one time
Bishop of Cordova. You never heard of him, perhaps, but you must have
heard of the Nicene Creed,” Patsy went on. It was evident that we had to
listen to all he knew about Cordova.

“The next time you hear that creed repeated, remember Hosius, Bishop
here in Cordova for sixty-three years; he presided at the Council of
Nicea when the creed was made. That was after he had failed in the task
Constantine set him of persuading Arius to give up the Unitarian heresy.
Think how often he must have ambled over this old bridge.”

It always has been hard to persuade people to give up the Unitarian
heresy! Whenever I hear the Nicene creed, I shall think of Bishop Hosius
whom, that night of nights, we saw ride across the old Roman bridge at
Cordova on a white mule.

“The one I should like best to have known of all the great men who ever
lived at Cordova was the Caliph Abd-er-Rahman. What a man he was!
Servant of the compassionate, they called him. That is his Mosque, those
are his palms; he planted the great-grandfathers of those trees with his
own hand. If you could make Seneca’s toga out of that old beggar’s
_capa_, can’t you see Abd-er-Rahman’s bournous in that young fellow’s
cloak? He is as dark as an Arab; the red handkerchief knotted round his
head under the sombrero makes a decent turban. He has the swagger of a
_torrero_. Conqueror of bulls, conqueror of men, where is the
difference? Toga, bournous, _capa_,--all three garments are practically
the same.”

“What do you suppose Gonsalvo de Cordova, El Gran Capitan wore?”

“A cloak like the rest of them, I fancy. There are a great many things
named for him in the city over there: a theatre, a paseo, I don’t know
what else. In poetry they call him the Scourge of Islam. When I showed
Don Jaime a rather steep bill, he whistled, and said ‘They have made you
out the account of _el Gran Capitan_.’ The size of the bills he
presented to Ferdinand and Isabel for scourging the infidel is the thing
he is best remembered for in Cordova.”

“That’s gossip; history says he really was a great captain,” I
protested.

“According to the proverb, it is the blood of the soldier makes the
great captain,” said Patsy. “As to history, Martial says;--’Give up
frivolous fable and read history!’ He also says, ‘Fool that I was! Why
did I not follow the advice I gave Mamura?’ But, truly, isn’t to-day’s
gossip, to-morrow’s history?”

“To-morrow’s history will be rheumatism if we stay mooning here any
longer,” J. said firmly. “Right about face, homeward, march!”

After dinner, as he sat writing postal cards to be despatched to the
four corners of the earth, Patsy made acquaintance, over the inkstand,
with the Argentino. He was a tall man with a close-cut, pointed beard
that had been gold and would soon be silver, and fiery brown eyes that
would always be young.

“So you are an American, too?” I heard him say to Patsy. “Are you from
the States?”

“Yes; I took you for a Spaniard.”

“No, I am an American from the Argentine.”

We left Patsy and the stranger plunged in talk. Half an hour later,
Patsy brought his new acquaintance to our room.

“It’s raining so hard we can’t go out,” he whispered; “this is the most
comfortable place in the house--he is a kind of an American--”

“This is ‘a good Son of the Way,’ that is what the Arabs call a
traveller,” said the Argentino, looking at Patsy. “He makes a friend as
a sailor makes a sweetheart, between tides, waiting for his ship to
sail.”

It was pouring now. Beside the noise of the rain on the roof we heard,
every now and then, a strange sobbing sigh.

“Grrr! Isn’t that a creepy noise? If I were not broad awake and looking
at you all by electric light, I should believe those were the ghosts of
the great men of Cordova lamenting the departed glory of their city.”

“I wish they were,” said the Argentino. “They could tell me just where
the old Iberian village stood, when the Phœnicians came punting up the
river and discovered it, just as our people poked up the rivers in
America, and discovered the Indian pueblos.”

“Tell them what you were telling me,” said Patsy. “He has been here ever
so long, and has ferreted out a lot of interesting things about
Cordova.”

“There is not much to tell that you don’t know. The old game of
civilization is going on in the world to-day just as it was then. You
have only to cross the Straits of Gibraltar, and go over to Morocco and
up into the Atlas Mountains to find a Kabyl village very like the
primitive Iberian pueblo the Greeks and Phœnicians found here. The
French may be a little quicker about civilizing Morocco than the
Phœnicians and Greeks were in civilizing the Peninsula, though I doubt
it.”

“You said,” Patsy insisted, “that you had seen some things in a museum
that gave you a pretty clear idea of how they lived in Cordova, when it
belonged to Carthage.”

“I saw some recent finds made in a mound not far from here,” said the
Argentino. “A bust which they call the Lady of Elche that has something
of the early Greek feeling. After seeing these things and reading all I
could lay hands on about them, I came to the conclusion that Cordova
must have been a pretty civilized place under the Republic of Carthage.
The people had gold and silver vessels,--the Greeks have a story that
the anchors of their galleys were gold. They certainly had ivory combs,
for I have seen them, and Greek vases and Celtic pottery--geometric
raised patterns and all--and coins stamped with a winged horse. Then we
know all about their wool, what fine cloth they made, and that famous
scarlet dye of the kermes that ran the Tyrian purple so hard in the
markets of the East.”

“Those markets of the East another republic hankers to supply,” Patsy
put in.

    “Take up the white man’s burden and put it on the back
     Of every yaller nigger and kick him when he’s slack.
     They’ve got to wear our cotton, they’ve got to drink our gin,
     And pay our missionaries to save their souls from sin.”

He threw open the window and leaned out.

“It has stopped raining. My wig! do you smell the flowers? I can make
out jasmine, acacia, and mignonette. Spanish flowers seem to grow with
their perfume already triple distilled.”

“They are the most fragrant in the world,” said the Argentino. “Don’t
sleep with your windows open, if you are afraid of headache! Now you
want to go to bed, this Son of the Way and I will say good night to
you.”

A few minutes later Patsy’s laugh, a whiff of the Argentino’s cigarette,
some broken fragments of their talk floated in at the window, as they
walked up and down in the garden outside.

“The original inhabitants of Spain--what they call the Iberians--” said
the Argentino.

“Where did they come from?” Patsy interrupted.

“Nobody knows; they weren’t Aryans. In the Neolithic Age a very dark
race, with long heads, and thick curling hair inhabited the whole
Peninsula--”

“I do not propose going back to the beginning of time to-night;” said J.
as he shut the window. “That boy’s thirst for information--easily
acquired--will get us into trouble yet. Don Jaime comes to-morrow. How
will he and this new friend get along?”

I had already asked myself that question.

       *       *       *       *       *

“Did the norias keep you awake?” Patsy asked at breakfast the next
morning. “What we heard last night was not the sighs of ghosts, but the
noise of the pumping machines that supply the houses with water!”

Our rooms looked into a walled garden, with flower-beds framed in
geometrical designs, surrounded by nice thick box borders. There was a
superb syringa in full bloom that looked like ivory and smelt like
honey. The jasmines were trained against the wall. The roses were
glorious. In an outer court, where the poultry lived, a patriarchal
fig-tree shaded a row of old-fashioned wooden beehives. Under a pergola
covered by grape-vines stood a tiny house no bigger than a sentry-box;
in the house sat Vicente. His voice waked us each morning with a fierce
but tremulous cry:

“_Andar_, Morisco!”

Close to the sentry-box was the noria. Morisco, a tall mule hitched to a
pole, and blindfolded so that he should not grow dizzy, walked round and
round in a circle, faithfully pumping the water, while Vicente
alternately slept and exhorted him to “go!” The red-haired waiter told
us Vicente’s story. In his youth he had been head gardener on a
Grandee’s estate. For twenty years he had been attached to the hotel. He
was now ninety-five years old. A few months before his wife had died, at
the age of one hundred. Until then, Vicente had lived at home. Now that
there is nobody to cook and wash for him, the proprietor gives him a
room in the hotel, his food, his clothes, a little money for cigarettes;
for his companion, Morisco.

As we entered the garden, Vicente awoke with a start, lighted a
cigarette, and jerked the mule’s bridle.

“_Andar_, Morisco!” The patient mule, who had worked while Vicente
slept, trod his weary round a little faster, the clatter of his hoofs
mingling with the droning creak, creak of the noria.

A brown girl passed from the outer court, where she had been taking down
the washing, half hidden by the pile of linen in her arms.

“_Hé, hé!_ _Basta aqua_, Vicente!” she cried, and went into the hot
laundry with her linen.

“_Muy bien_, Rafaela.” Vicente sneezed, relighted his cigarette, with
trembling hands unharnessed Morisco, and toddled off with him to the
stable. In a few moments the old man came back, and pottered about the
garden, making his tour of inspection. Nothing escaped his wise old
eyes. He crushed a snail that was devouring a velvety pansy, nipped off
an overblown peony, stripped the buds and foliage so ruthlessly from a
fine red carnation that I had to ask him the reason.

“This work should have been done in September, but I was not here then.
We shall have poor carnations this year.” From the look of them--they
were only just coming into bloom--they would have taken a prize anywhere
out of Spain.

“The carnation plant has need of cleanliness like a person. What I take
off is its misery. See, these are nothing but leaves; they do no good,
they only take the strength. These are children; there are too many of
them! Sacrifice these three little buds, and in fourteen days this large
one will make a carnation so big.” He joined his palsied hands at the
finger tips to show me the size. He had thrown some of the “misery”
carelessly on the ground, some he had laid carefully in a pile.

“Those I threw away are nothing but leaves and children. These others
are little plants, you see the difference? I shall plant all these; not
one must be lost. It is so late many will not grow, but I shall get
some good ones. Very soon they will throw out roots, then I shall
transplant them; next season they will bear. The carnation is only good
for three years; the second season is the best. See, this is an old
plant. We will help it to give its last flowers. They will be small, but
of a good variety.” He stirred the earth about the roots, and mixed with
it a trowelful of rich loam.

“One might almost live in a place where they grow such flowers!” J.
began.

“No, one might not!” cried Patsy.

“Vicente has been a famous gardener in his day!” the waiter had said it
more than once. That explains why the pear trees were so well pruned,
the oranges so healthy, why the carnations of Cordova still bloom in my
memory. A peacock strutted down the brick path, hopped on the wall of
the noria, spread the glory of his tail, turned his proud head to show
the sapphire sheen of his neck, and gave his strange cry, “mahor mahor.”

The laundry window was open. We could see Rafaela’s pretty head bent
over her ironing, and catch the words she sang:

    _Contrabandista es mi padre,_
    _contrabandista es mi hermano,_
    _contrabandista ha de ser_
    _aquel á quien dé mi mano._

    Contrabandista is my father,
    Contrabandista is my brother;
    Contrabandista he must be
    To whom I give my hand.

“The trouble with Cordova is, it is dead and not buried,” said Patsy.
“It may comfort you to know it was the first town in Europe to have
paved streets. I believe they never have been repaved since.” We were
picking our way over the abominable pavement of the Plazuela de Seneca.
A little farther on, near the Seven Corners, is a large house with
carved stone façade, handsome iron gratings, and something distinguished
about it that caught our attention. It stands in a deserted plaza where
the grass grows between the paving stones. For five minutes we had met
nobody, not even a cat or dog. We peeped into the patio. There was no
living thing there except a fountain and a tame quail asleep in a cage.

“The palace of the Sleeping Beauty!” murmured Patsy. We went round
behind the house to explore. The frowsy little street at the back was
fragrant with a smell of new baked bread that made us hungry. Through a
half-closed gate we saw a courtyard full of beggars. An inner door
opened, and the lady of the silver curls whom we had first seen on
Cordova Bridge came out followed by two servants carrying baskets filled
with bread. The beggars formed in line and shuffled past the lady, who
gave a loaf to each and received a blessing in return.

“Bread is given out at this house every Saturday,” said a little
gentleman in a black stock, who was passing. “Last year, when there was
a death in the family, they gave alms for nine days. The _pordioseros_
have no better friend in all Cordova than the mistress of this house.”

As the last beggar hobbled from the court, a carriage drawn by a pair of
sleek mules drove out, with two ladies and a gentleman. Just then Don
Jaime came round the corner in search of us; he bowed to the ladies.

“Who are your friends?” Patsy demanded.

“The old it is Duquesa B. It is no longer young, but conserved very
good, eh? Her daughter it is appelled Rafaela. Was Queen of Beauty at
the _Yuego Florales_. To the elected poet she gave the prize, a natural
rose.”

“He means that they have a Contest of Poets every year here,” said
Patsy. “A theme is given out, a jury appointed, then the poems just
stream in from all over the province. From what the Don says, this old
dustheap of a Cordova wakes up a little at fair time. What luck that we
saw the Beauty!”

“Did you see who was sitting opposite her?” asked J. “It was O’Shea.”

“He’s easily consoled for Trinidad.” In spite of Patsy’s natural
jealousy, that meeting with O’Shea was a comfort to us all. It seemed to
bring us out of musty, dusty Cordova’s dead past, and link us with
dear, living Seville. In the cool of the afternoon, the streets woke up
a little; there were more carriages than one would have supposed
possible in the Paseo of El Gran Capitan.

That evening we went to the theatre. The performance began at half-past
eight. The price of box was five pesetas for each play. There were four
different pieces, each lasting about an hour. The advantage of the
system is, you can drop into a theatre early or late, and are not
obliged to pay for more of the performance than you see. The first play,
about a _contrabandista_ and his sweetheart, a _cigarrera_, was full of
gunshots and morality, and highly applauded, though the acting was
mediocre. Patsy, who discovered several pretty girls in the audience,
asked the Don if the women of Northern Spain were as charming as in the
South.

“Not all women in Andalusia is beautifool,” the Don admitted, “but _all_
is gracious; the young gels have a naturality. The Madrileñas, it is
affective their manniers for to speak, it is different from the
Andaluz!”

J. and I were satisfied with two plays. Patsy and Don Jaime stayed for
the last, an operetta.

“I like him better the music, it is the end representation,” said the
Don.

The next day Pasty had a great deal to tell us about Cordova. “There are
about twenty of the old aristocratic families who still live here,” he
said. “There is literally nothing for the young men to do but loaf about
the Club of Friendship, where, Don Jaime says, half the nobility of the
province have been ruined by gambling. Some people he knows have had to
sell their silver. They had a complete silver service, tureen, vegetable
dishes, plates, platters, all the rest of it, for every day. They only
used their English porcelain for best; now they have to use it every
day. The same people had solid silver basins and pitchers, and dozens of
those stunning old repoussé silver trays and platters they used to make
here. You see the Don knows Cordova well; he can tell you more about it
in an hour than you could get out of books in a year.”

The Don twirled his mustache and ran his fingers through his hair. “I
have a custom to come to Cordoba every winter,” he admitted. “At that
season all families is at their coontry place in the hills for the
shootings. In the _coto_ of my friend it is no luxury, all comfort. The
ladies go very simple, put a handkerchief over the head, or an old hat;
the children is dressed very plain, like the poor.”

“Is the sport good?” asked Patsy.

“In my youth it was more plenty the black beasts (wild boar). Now is
much deer, hares, rabbits, partridges.”

“Do you care about shooting?” I asked. The Don never walked a step, if
he could avoid it, and got up at two in the afternoon. I could not think
of him in the light of a sportsman.

“It is the preferred sport of all Spanishes men as of the English,” he
answered. “The ladies like the coontry very mooch; some of them kill the
game. We have large fires of great tree troonks, no small pieces of
woods like in the city. In the evening it is very sociable; we gather at
one house or another; there is singing and dancing. Ah, yes, the most
pleasant life is in the coontry. If the guests come far, they spend the
night. It is all so simply, no like England. One large room for all the
ladies; one for all the gentlemen.”

I asked the Don if they stayed in their country places in summer.

“No, in the spring they return to Cordoba. The hot is very strong; here
the houses is prepared for the hot. All people sit out in the court. In
soomer, they go to take another climate. The Sierra is not good for the
health, it is very humid.”

“He was telling me last night,” said Patsy, “about the time Queen Isabel
II came to Cordova. He was only a boy then, but his father was at a
banquet the Marquis de Benemeji gave for her at Quita Pesares--Away
Cares; isn’t that a good name for a garden? The old gentleman must have
plied a better knife and fork than the Don, for Jaime remembers to this
day the way his father rolled up his eyes when he told them about the
good things they had to eat. _Aroz a la Valenciana_--baked rice with
fish, quails, green peas and artichokes; saddle of veal larded and
roasted with aromatic herbs and manzanilla, rice boiled in cream with
the name of the best guest at each table traced in powdered cinnamon,
_natilla_, a wonderful kind of cream, and _ojaldres_,--a sort of pastry,
light and brittle as a butterfly’s wing, which they eat with chocolate.
When they had eaten and drunk all that they could, the Queen said
good-bye and started to go. What do you suppose she found at the door? A
brand new coach, Andalusian style, with eight splendid _caballos
antigrados_ (Cordovan horses with yellow skins marked like tigers)
harnessed Andalusian fashion, with silver bells and silken tags. The
Queen hopped into the coach and drove away. She took it back to Madrid,
where, the Don thinks, we can see it still in the royal stables. He says
Cordova has traditions to live up to.

“When the Queen’s son, Alfonzo XII, came here, the days of coaches were
gone by. The Grandee at whose house the King stayed had the railroad
tracks laid through the streets to his door, so that the King should not
have the trouble of driving from the station to the house.”

“Speaking of railroads,” said J. “I think I’ve had enough of Cordova.”

“So have I, this season,” Patsy agreed. “Next year, when I make the tour
of all the _ferias_ of Spain, with my friend the Mountebank, I shall
come back to Cordova and enter the Contest of Poets.”

From that moment till we left, I spent every waking hour in the Mosque,
the thing best worth seeing in Cordova. Outside, it looks more like a
fortress than a sanctuary. It has battlements, towers and buttresses
quite in character with the militant Mahommedan religion, and hopelessly
out of character with the Christian. It is grim, forbidding, and
tremendously impressive all at once! The gates, the gates alone, give a
hint of the beauty inside! The light, interlaced, horseshoe arches
resting on slender columns, and the rich mosaic over the Puerta Arabe
are like a foretaste of a feast. In the splendid court of Oranges, where
the trees are planted in long aisles (they originally were a
continuation of the aisles of the Mosque), there are five fountains, and
fifty beggars and guides. As we were making a bargain with the youngest
guide to keep the others at bay, the Argentino came up and offered his
services in the place of a guide.

“I have had them all,” he said; “and picked their brains like a
corbie.”

We sat on a bench and watched the women drawing water at the fountain
while the Argentino--he spoke English rather better than any of us--and
Patsy talked like two Trappists, newly absolved from the vow of silence!

“Think of the Mosque first as the most perfect thing left of the Cordova
of the Caliphs, the city of Abd-er-Rahman, whom you tell me you saw
cross the old bridge the night you arrived. I have not been so
fortunate, though I have had a sense of him more than once sitting here
in his court. If it were not for the Mosque, the story of Moorish
Cordova would be to me as the Thousand and Second Story of Scheherezade.
Even so, I can hardly believe it. This, a city of a million
inhabitants--think of it! Those silent, God-forsaken streets full of
people, the place fairly humming with business. Thousands of looms
weaving stuffs, tissues, carpets. You know what Cordova leather was? It
has never been equalled. As to their blacksmiths, their silver and
goldsmiths, there are none like them in the world to-day that I know.”

Patsy took a brown paper parcel from his pocket. “Here are some rather
nice bits I have picked up.” He showed a close silver chain, supple as a
serpent, and a fascinating pair of gold filigree earrings studded with
small emeralds.

“You’re in luck. These look like real old Cordova

[Illustration: THE MOSQUE, CORDOVA.]

[Illustration: LA PUERTA DEL SOL, TOLEDO.]

work. The jeweller’s art is the hardest to kill of all, except the
cook’s. They make nice jewelry here still; the pastry and the orange
flower sweetmeats of Cordova are the best I have eaten in Spain. Of all
the arts of Cordova, the cook’s and the jeweller’s alone survive! Man is
still greedy; woman--may I say it?--still vain.”

“But wasn’t the University the great thing after all?” said Patsy.

“Right! You can’t say it too often or too loud. When you hear the Jews
abused, speak up, tell the old story over again. In the Dark Ages, when
in the rest of Europe, Greece and Rome were forgotten, asleep, seemingly
dead, the spirit of Athens and of Rome was alive here in Cordova. Art,
philosophy, science,--our great inheritance from the older
civilizations--were held in trust for you and me right here by the Jews
and Arabs of Cordova.”

“That won’t be forgotten while Dante is read.” Patsy quoted a line from
the Inferno:

    “Averrois che il gran commento feo.”

“No, six words from Dante give a man a patent of nobility in the
Republic of Letters that outlives any title an emperor confers. Well,
that Averroes, that same Hebrew Jew whom Dante met along with those
other Cordovans, Seneca and Lucan, in the place of the sighing,
unbaptized spirits, lived and wrote his great Commentary on Aristotle
here in Cordova. He probably walked through this court every day, he
washed perhaps in that fountain; ate oranges, may be, from those
trees--how should I know the life of an orange?”

“Those two men,” said J. to me, “would rather talk about a thing any day
than see it.” So we left Patsy and the Argentino reconstructing old
Cordova, and went to look at the Mosque.

Inside we soon lost ourselves in a forest of columns, with long aisles
running in every direction. Every path we chose led to beauty. The
columns are of many different marbles, porphyry, jasper, Africano,
alabaster, verde antique; of all styles, and many periods. We found some
from the old Roman temple of Janus; some with smooth polished shafts;
some twisted, with Roman, Arab, Byzantine or Visigothic capitals. The
mosque has been compared to the bed of Procrustes,--if the column was
too short, it was lengthened by adding a base; if too long, it was sunk
into the ground. Whatever the columns might have been originally, they
now are all of the same height, and serve to hold up the beautiful
double arches that support the roof.

We found our way to the Mihrâb, a wonderful little octagonal chapel. The
roof is a shell hollowed from a single block of marble, the walls are
of marble finely carved. A deep groove is worn in the pavement by the
knees of the pilgrims who made the tour of the Mihrâb seven times, for
in those days a pilgrimage to Cordova was as good as one to Mecca.

    “Los Moros que te labraron
     capilla del Zancarrón
     merecián ser Cristianos.”

“That means the Moors that made you, chapel of the bare bone, deserved
to be Christians,” said Patsy, coming up behind us. “Bare bone, because
one of Mohammed’s shin-bones is supposed to have been worshipped here.”

    “Si hoy mismo resucitaran
     aqui en Cordoba los moros
     cada cual se iba á su casa.”

the Argentino capped the _copla_. “That means if to-day the Moors here
in Cordova rose from the dead, each could go to his own house,--because
the houses are so little changed, I suppose, and because their
descendants have kept the keys.”

As if in answer to the challenge, there came slowly towards us, down a
narrow aisle of flanking columns, two tall Moors, dressed all in white.
They had left their shoes at the door of the Mosque; each carried a
prayer rug. They entered the small, seven-sided chapel that leads to
the holy of holies, and placing their rugs upon the ground stood under
the pineapple dome with bowed heads. There we left them on the threshold
of the Mihrâb, in the Mosque of their fathers.

“Haven’t we seen the impossible thing?” cried Patsy. We were outside the
church in the hot sunshine, having left those grave Moors undisturbed in
the shadowy mosque.

We had seen the impossible thing, the only thing worth seeing, as the
only thing worth doing. Since the Conquest of Granada, it is as
difficult to see a Moor in Spain as to meet an Iroquois in Broadway,
but,--we had not dreamed them! They were real Moors in the suite of the
envoys of the Sultan of Morocco at the Algeciras Conference, who had
taken advantage of a few days recess, and come up to see Cordova.

As we stood absorbed in thinking of those Moors, whose red morocco
slippers lay before us on the steps, we did not notice what was
happening just behind us.

“Off with your hats, heretic Jews!” The words were hissed in Patsy’s
ear,--he stood nearest the church door; his hat was knocked off his
head. “Take that, and that, and that!” He was hit in the face three
times with a fan by a small lady in black satin.

The Argentino drew us quickly aside, as a procession of priests came out
of the door. One carried something that was hidden by the rich vestment
hunched over his shoulders and covering his hands.

“They are taking the sacrament to some sick person,” the Argentino
explained. At that moment Don Jaime, who had come up without our seeing
him, tried to pour oil upon the troubled waters.

“These are strangers, Señora, they did not know that his divine majesty
was about to pass.”

The little old lady was nothing appeased; she gave us one last furious
look, and muttering “Accursed heretic Jews!” followed the priests with
the sacrament.

“That’s the same spirit that more than once has drenched this city in
the blood of its best people,” said the Argentino. “In Abd-er-Rahman’s
time the church of St. Vicente that stood here, on the site of the
Temple of Janus, was divided between Christians and Musselmans. They
worshipped under the same roof till Abd-er-Rahman bought the Christians
out and built this Mosque. The Christian priests left the church
peaceably, in procession, carrying the pictures and relics of the
saints. Afterwards the Mohammedan Marabouts and the Christian fanatics
stirred up all the strife; they are equally responsible for the throat
slitting, burning, and torturing; there’s not a pin to choose between
them. That old lady would send us to the stake to-day if she could.
Priest and woman, the old allies! Do you know, Señor, that the future of
Spain depends upon the education you give your women.” His eyes flashed
as he asked Jaime the question. The Don looked back at him with
withering scorn.

“The _ladies_ of Spain receive the education best suited to them,” he
said gravely.

“They know how to use their fans,” said Patsy; his nose had begun to
bleed. “That I should be assaulted for the first time in my life by a
little old lady with a fan,--wonderful! I will say she’s the livest
thing I’ve seen in Cordova.”

“You saw who she was?” said J. “The lady with the silver curls who
didn’t want to pay duty on the ham, and who gives bread to the beggars
of Cordova every Saturday.”

[Illustration: GATE OF JUSTICE, ALHAMBRA.]



VIII

GRANADA

    _Quiero vivir en Granada_
    _porque me gusta el oir_
    _la campana de la Vela_
    _quando me voy a dormir._

    I like to live in Granada
    Because it pleases me to hear
    The bell of the Vela
    When I am going to sleep.


“Who’s there?”

“People of peace.”

Encarnacion opened the door of the bell tower just a crack. Though the
sun had not set, it was already dark inside the watch-tower of the
Alhambra. The walls are six feet thick; the windows, narrow slits on the
winding stair, let in very little light. Encarnacion carried a classic
brass lamp for olive oil. She shaded the flame from her eyes with a
long, hairy hand, and the light shining through showed how thin it was.
Maria, the younger sister, as grim looking, though more timid in her
bearing, stood behind, peering over Encarnacion’s shoulder.

“It is the young _caballero_ and his friends,” she whispered.
Encarnacion threw the door wide open, the two sisters smiled hospitably
upon us like a pair of kind ogresses.

“But come in.”

“Come in.”

They echoed each other as if they were singing a perpetual duet.

“They are welcome.”

“Welcome.”

“Will they be pleased to enter?”

“To enter!”

We followed the sisters to a square room with enormously thick walls. A
range was built into one corner, a charcoal fire smouldered under a tiny
grate, where something that smelt very good bubbled in an earthenware
pot. Four cages of canaries hung against the wall. A brindled cat stole
in behind us, licked its whiskers, fixed fierce, unwinking eyes on the
birds. Maria threatened him with her finger.

“Bad little cat! Who killed the young robin in the myrtle hedge? And now
you make eyes at these? He knows too much to touch them; he looks and
looks at them, and then goes out and chases the wild birds.”

In the middle of the room stood a round worktable covered with sewing. A
jacket, half cut out of red cotton, lay near a pair of shears. From an

[Illustration: COURT OF LIONS, THE ALHAMBRA.]

[Illustration: GARDEN OF THE GENERALIFE, GRANADA.]

opening in the dark, vaulted ceiling over the worktable, dangled a long
knotted cord.

“That is the rope of the _campana de la Vela_!” said Encarnacion.

“Is it true that it is you who ring the bell of the Vela?”

“Yes, once every half hour, from eight o’clock in the evening till four
in the morning, we ring the bell in the watch-tower.”

“You sit up all night to do it? Isn’t it dreadfully cold?”

“Yes, it is often very cold. In winter we have a fire.” Encarnacion drew
aside the chintz curtains that hid the lower part of the table, and
showed a copper brazier covered with a wire netting that stood
underneath.

“We kindle the charcoal, put our feet close to the brazier on this
wooden shelf, and wrap ourselves up in heavy shawls and hoods. We manage
very well, we are so used to it.”

“What do you do with yourselves through the long winter nights? How do
you pass the time?”

“There is always plenty of work; we take in sewing. Sometimes one of us
reads aloud to the other.”

“Do you two live here quite alone?”

“Sometimes our brother is with us, not always,” sighed Encarnacion. “I
have been the portress of the Torre de la Vela since the night the
tower was struck by lightning and our father and mother, now in glory,
were killed.”

“Now in glory were killed!” echoed Maria.

“What a terrible thing! When did it happen?”

“Long and long ago,--the year Maria made her first communion. We were
waked by a great crash. The tower shook, the bell rang as never before,
there was a thick smoke. It was easy for us to escape, we slept below;
our brother slept above, near our parents. He saved his life by clapping
a towel over his mouth, and creeping down-stairs on his hands and
knees.”

“On his knees,” Maria crossed herself. “Virgin mine! May the Lord
receive them into Paradise in their shoes!”

“The bell gives the signal for opening the sluices,” Encarnacion went
on; “it regulates the irrigation of the vega. Each piece of land has its
hour for letting on the water. On still nights you can hear the bell
thirty miles away.”

High up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains over Granada, the Darrow, a
mountain torrent flowing down from the eternal snows on the summits, is
caught, tamed, and led off into small channels that spread, like the
veins of a man’s body, all over the vega. Moors’ work this; perhaps the
greatest part of their legacy to Spain, for water

[Illustration: WINDOW, TOWER OF CAPTIVE, ALHAMBRA.]

is wealth. Thanks to the Moors, the vega of Granada is the garden of the
Peninsula; the hemp grown here is the finest, the olives and grapes are
the best. The land bears three crops a year in succession,--wheat, beans
and corn. Part of it is now given over to the new sugar beet industry;
the beets grown here are enormous. The soil is light and clean; you will
not find a stone in a whole field. The regulation of the complicated
system of irrigation, the life blood of Granada, is in the hands of
Encarnacion and Maria. To live in a tower, of all others in a tower of
the Alhambra, and spend your life helping to make Granada green and
beautiful, seems a pleasant existence, even if it be a lonely one. To
wake when others sleep, and sleep when all the world’s awake, always
seems a hard fate.

“Your birds must be a great company to you,” I said to Maria.

“_Claro._ We raise them ourselves. Would you like to see the little
ones? We keep them in our bedroom where it is warmer.”

“Do me the favor,” Encarnacion relighted the lamp, and showed the way up
the heavy stone stairway.

The neat upper room where the sisters slept had three beds. In spite of
the thick whitewash on the walls, we could still make out the graceful
lines of the old Moorish arches and windows. A palm branch, a crucifix,
and a chromo of the Madonna of Lourdes appearing to Bernadette, hung
between the beds. At one end of the room was a long table with the
breeding cages of the canaries, whose loves and nurseries the sisters of
the tower guard so tenderly.

“See this little one;” Maria put her face close to the cage and made a
little singing sound. “He’s getting strong now; he was weakly at first,
and I thought we should lose him. It would be a pity; his father is our
best singer.” The canaries, all in a flutter at being waked up,
chattered and scolded at her.

“Maria will take them up to see the view,” said Encarnacion; “if they
will excuse me, I will go down in case some one else should call.” I am
afraid Encarnacion knew we liked Maria best.

Down in the town of Granada the bells were ringing like mad, the
nightingales were singing in the Duke of Wellington’s elms, that shade
the long, steep road leading from the town to the red city of the
Alhambra, perched high above it. At the foot of the tower was a carpet
of wild flowers, anemones, wild callas, and many other blossoms I did
not know.

“Is the snow always there?” J. asked, pointing to the Sierra Nevada.

“I was born in the tower,” said Maria; “I have lived here all my life,
and I have never seen those mountains without snow. That is the _campana
de la Vela_,” she pointed to a huge bronze bell hanging in the turret.
“You should see the tower on the day after New Year. How many girls come
up to see the view that day! They believe, foolish ones, that she who
rings the bell on the second of January will get a husband before the
year is over.” Maria smiled, with grim close-shut lips. Had she ever
been weak enough to try the charm? For Encarnacion it was unthinkable.

“When Don Alfonzo was here we asked him to ring the bell. Though he
laughed very much, he would not. From what we hear, he will be married
before New Year all the same.”

In the Torre de la Vela they know all that is going on. It was growing
dark; the stars were pricking through the blue; down in the city of
Granada the lights seemed to reflect them.

“Is that the Gypsy quarter?” I asked Maria. I could just make out doors
like the one leading to Aladdin’s cave, in the face of a hillside far
below.

“Yes, that is the Albaicin. You have been there?”

“Not yet; to-morrow we shall go to see some Gypsy dancing.”

Maria shrugged scornful shoulders. “Take care they don’t pick your
pockets. The Gitanos are great thieves; they are taught to steal from
the time they are babies. You may like what you will see. When there are
no ladies,” she held up her hands in horror, “their dances are not to be
imagined or described. Do not let him go by himself.” She looked at
Patsy, leaning over the parapet absorbed in the view. “They are
deceitful hussies! The dances they dance when men go alone are very
different from what you will see!”

“That would be a hot walk without the shade of those trees,” said Patsy.
“Pleasant that we should remember the Iron Duke in Spain most of all for
his elms. Who loves his fellow men, plants trees. The English _are_
civilized, confound ’em! The longer you’re in Europe, the more you have
to think of England as the Great Friend.”

There was no excuse to linger longer. The sisters had invited us to sup,
and we had declined.

“Go you with God,” said Encarnacion, she came with us to the door.
“To-night when you hear the _campana_ de la Vela, think of Maria and me
in the tower.”

“In the tower,” echoed Maria over her shoulder.

The next day we drove to the Albaicin, by the road of the Sacred
Mountain. The base of the mountain is honeycombed with gypsy cave
dwellings. The caves are built, or rather excavated,

[Illustration: GIPSIES OF GRANADA.]

at four different levels, and entered from rough terraces. The gypsy
settlement seemed a sort of primitive community, like those from which
Tangiers and Naples must have developed into the terraced cities they
are to-day. Higher up the mountains are the sacred caves where hermits
once lived. On the summit is a large church and a religious house.

“That old gentleman Don Jaime gave me the letter to,” said Patsy, “told
me that the priests who live up there are no end of swells. They can’t
‘get in’ on anything but merit, not even royal patronage. They must show
that they have the goods; must pass a stiff examination. Each one has
his separate establishment, with his own house and garden and servants,
and draws a pension of from three to five thousand pesetas a year. Most
of them are great ‘orators’; they are sent for from all over Spain to
preach, and jolly well paid for it. They always get twenty-five dollars
a sermon, and have been known to get forty! Spain’s the place for
priests; when I take orders I shall come here to live!”

The gypsy King met us at the entrance of his cave; a swart hulk of a
man, with the voice of a bull and bold piercing eyes. Behind him stood
his son, looking just as the King must have looked at twenty. The boy
had a mop of coarse black hair--the King’s was iron gray--low forehead,
strong white teeth, that curious veiled eye that later in life grows
fierce and bright; body, hands, feet, exquisitely turned, color a rich
olive, the look of race that is better than beauty, and the glow of
youth that is best of all. It was small wonder the two ragged girls
plaiting straw in the dust of the hot yellow road looked at him with
longing eyes.

The door of the cave, fitted flat against the hillside, seemed to lead
into the bowels of the earth. The cave, literally scooped out of the
mountain, was divided into four decent whitewashed rooms, comfortable
and clean enough. We went directly from the road into the largest; it
was of fair size, with rough beams running across the ceiling and with a
tiled floor. We were expected; great preparations had been made for our
visit. A row of rush-bottomed chairs stood against the wall. Beautifully
polished copper saucepans of many sizes were placed on a shelf, with
some wild peonies stuck in a beer bottle. I somehow fancied that the
saucepans would be for sale if we took a fancy to them. A small inner
room, perfectly dark, led from the living room; it had a bed with a
white crocheted quilt. On the left of the entrance was a cave room that
served as a kitchen; on the right, a sort of property room,--where half
a dozen women and girls with powdered faces and fresh flowers in their
hair were waiting. The eldest, a fierce old woman with a beak like a
parrot’s, dusted a chair for me.

“This is my house,” she said. Pointing to the King, “He is my son, these
are all my family.” She seemed surprised at my asking if there was any
other cave as good as hers.

“No,” she said, “this is the best; cool in summer, warm in winter, and
clean, as you can see.”

The musicians, the King’s son and another youth with oiled hair and
clean new jackets, took their places, twanged their guitars and the
_fiesta flamanca_ began. First a dance by two women, while the others
sat by, clapping their hands, tapping with their feet, keeping time to
the music.

“More power!” cried the King.

“_Dalé, dalé_,” droned the chorus. The guitars twanged louder, the
hand-clapping redoubled. Little by little the dancers woke up. The
youngest woman was sixty, the oldest girl ten. This was a little
disappointing to Patsy, though they all did their best and gave us good
measure. The children were evidently students being carefully trained;
the old women were all good artists, and intent on preserving and
handing down the traditions of their art,--but the thing was somehow
curiously academic! The old mother took a tambourine from the wall and
shook out the music from it in fine style. “Tire yourselves!” she
cried. After the second dance, she handed a tray with glasses of wine.
Each succeeding dance was better than the last. The best of all was the
one the old woman gave us at the end. Only once was there an approach to
what Maria had hinted at. A woman with a bad face gave us a Jaleo, a
gross, wriggling dance with unpleasant contortions of the body,
wonderful as an exhibition of skill and strength, but not quite decent,
and lacking the grace, the beauty, and the dignity of the old woman’s
performance.

“Haven’t we had enough?” said Patsy, at the end of half an hour. “You
saw those men tip the wink to our coachman as we passed? The whole
village is on its good behavior. We are not to be shocked, annoyed, or
begged from; it’s all put down in the bill we must pay the ruffian King
for protecting us from his tribe, preventing us from seeing the real
thing and giving us this fake show.”

Patsy was all wrong--because he was disappointed in the age of the
performers! You can see a young and handsome Spanish dancing girl in any
music hall in Madrid. The gypsy cave in the mountainside, where the
dancers of the past and the dancers of the future meet, was worth a trip
to Granada!

[Illustration: LA PUERTA DEL VINO, GRANADA.]

[Illustration: A COURT OF THE ALHAMBRA.]

Of course we spent most of our time in Granada at the Alhambra. Some
things must be experienced to be understood. Falling in love is one,
Niagara Falls another, going down a toboggan slide a third, the Alhambra
a fourth. The old simile of the oyster came to mind as freshly as if we
had invented it,--just as every pair of young lovers imagine they have
invented love! The heavy walls are the outside of the oyster; the fairy
courts and halls painted with the tints of rainbow, dawn, sea, and
moonlight are the inside of the shell. The pearl? In the room of the Two
Sisters the winter apartment of the sultana, I had a vision of Irving’s
Linderaxa. I could not remember how he described his pearl of the harem,
but the face I saw or dreamed of as I sat in that fairy palace was the
fairest woman’s face I ever saw. Her skin was like warm ivory, her hair
an aureole of flame, her eyes, gray stars, her smile, the smile of the
imperishable child.

I asked Patsy if he was disappointed in the Alhambra.

“Yes,” he said, “disappointed the right way. After the Acropolis, it is
the best thing I ever saw. The lovely color, the movement of it all!
Will you tell me how any people could invent a written language as
decorative as this?” We were in one of the great halls looking at the
Cuffik inscriptions that form one of the most fascinating and
characteristic of the wall ornamentations.

“It is all based on Persian art, but it is even more joyous, don’t you
think? You know the Koran discourages, if it does not forbid, the
representation of any living creature in art. That is like the ‘Thou
shalt make no graven image.’ Man and beast are practically ruled out of
Arab art. Do you miss them? I don’t. After the gross use of men and
animals,--remember the great bearded bullmen of the Assyrians, and the
hawk and cat headed gods of Egypt,--this endless variation of leaf and
flower and geometric design is refreshing. Why it is like a vegetarian
diet to a sailor man who has had scurvy from living on salt beef.”

The guardian, who had long tracked us, here buttonholed J., and poured
out a flood of familiar information. We listened mechanically, as he
talked, until he said something we had not heard twenty times before.

“Last week two Moors from the Algeciras Conference were here. I myself
took them about. They showed no enthusiasm. In this room the older one
said to me, ‘These are sentences from the Koran,’ as if I did not know
that before! In spite of all their pretended indifference, I knew very
well what those Moors were feeling. It is a very deceitful race; they
always hide their emotions.” The guardian spoke as scornfully of the
Moors as Maria had spoken of the gypsies.

“Do you notice how they all dislike what they call deceit? The Spaniard
is a truthful person, and honest. I don’t know why it is surprising, but
after some of the countries we have traveled in, it comes like a shock!”
said Patsy.

A long straight path of gold sand between two lines of tall, black
cypresses leads to the old Moorish garden of the Generalife, near the
Alhambra. Every other tree is clipped square at the top, the alternate
one towering to a pointed spire. There is always a sound of gliding
waters; in the early morning and evening, when the birds’ matins and
lauds are sung, you can hear the nightingales and the merles. In the
patio of the cypresses, under the shade of immemorial trees, is a great
sheet of still green water like a vast chrysophrase, where you can study
the cloud shadows, or your own reflection--if you are handsome--like
Narcissus, or watch the greedy gudgeon and gold fish devour the bread
you throw them. We passed through a long, flower-bordered path with a
thicket of laurel, aloes and pomegranate for a background. A hundred
tiny jets of water, like white aigrettes, waved among the green, and
lost themselves in the shrubbery. We climbed the long Stairway of the
Cascades, cheered by the babble of the little streams of water that run
down the tops of the balustrade on either side. In the mirador at the
top we rested, and looked down on the wonderful garden with its
terraces, cedars, clipped myrtle hedges, thousand and one fountains.

“The Bankshires are only beginning here; in Seville the rose madness was
at its height,” said Patsy. “We have travelled with the rose; we
couldn’t have managed better if we had tried.”

From the mirador you see the Sierras with the eternal snow fields
glistening on their summits. “The Moors certainly understood the use of
water,” said J. “I have never seen anything quite so good as this garden
even in Italy.”

There was music in the air, the rushing sound of water from those
melting snows cunningly led down the mountainside and set here to dance
and sing, to cool the heat and beguile the leisure hours of long, hot,
summer days. Patsy watched with fascinated eyes a joyous _saldadore_ of
water leaping and singing under the shade of an oak.

“Water is to these people of the south what fire is to us northerners,”
he said. “They are the two living elements, and they both dance. Dancing
is the natural expression of joy in life; it is copied from dancing
spray and dancing flame. David was quite right to dance before the ark.
I had a

[Illustration: RETABLO, CARVED IN HIGH AND LOW RELIEF. _Roldan_]

Shaker nurse who danced with me when I cried; I suppose that is why I’m
so fond of it.”

Granada cathedral is so hemmed in with trumpery little buildings that it
is impossible to get an impression of it as a whole. The mushroom growth
will have to go. Each succeeding tourist wave sweeping over Europe, as
the Goths and Vandals swept before them, sweeps away some such trash,
and uncovers hidden gems of architecture. The interior of the cathedral,
though over ornate, has some splendid architectural effects, and is rich
in every sort of treasure ecclesiastical. I remember a curious white
marble statue of the Virgin with a black marble cloak, and a very
charming painted wood group of St. Anne, St. Joachim and Mary, a good
example of one of the arts you must come to Spain to see. Painted wood
statuary, wrought iron work, ecclesiastical embroidery and--dancing have
all been carried farther in Spain than anywhere else in Europe.
Montañes, Roldan, and Alonzo Cano, succeeded in making their painted
wood statues and bas-reliefs as dignified as if they had worked in
bronze or marble. Just as Luca della Robbia did with terra cotta. There
is a polychrome carved retablo of the Entombment in Seville, by Roldan,
that is a true masterpiece of sculpture. The outer figures are modelled
in such high relief they seem almost free; those in the middle distance
are in ordinary high relief, the more distant in low, almost flat
relief; the background is a painted wood panel. This does not sound
encouraging, but the material a masterpiece is made of is of little
consequence; it may be wood, marble, iron, gold or woven wool,--if a
master uses it, a masterpiece is produced.

As I was sketching the wonderful wrought iron screen that shuts off the
tombs from the main part of the chapel royal, I heard two women’s
voices: “You have made a mistake, I think. The tombs of Ferdinand and
Isabel are on the right,” said an alert, gray-haired woman.

“Thank you; I know,” said a clear young voice. The last speaker, caught
red handed in the very act of laying flowers on a tomb, was annoyed. She
saw that I, too, looked with disfavor on the alert gray-haired lady with
the guidebook, and by mutual consent we made acquaintance beside the
tomb of Juana la Loca, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabel, and her
husband, Philippe le Bel.

“Poor things!” said the girl who had laid the flowers between the two
marble figures lying side by side.

“Poor things! Tell me their story if you remember it.”

“They were married when Juana was seventeen, and Philippe eighteen. She
was very pretty, but he was the handsomest man in Europe. They only had
each other ten years; even then they were not allowed much peace! At
first they lived at his court in Brussels where they were very happy;
life was not quite so strict and straight laced as at the Spanish Court.
Isabel was a great queen, but I don’t think she could have been a nice
mother. She sent a priest to be Juana’s confessor, a grim Spanish bigot.
Phillippe laughed at him so much that Juana refused to confess to him.
That was the beginning of all their troubles! The priest came back to
Spain and told tales, set her mother against Juana. When she came home,
to be with her mother when her child was born, Isabel tried to prevent
her returning to her husband,--locked her up. Did you ever hear of such
a thing?”

She spoke as if it was happening now; her face was flushed; she clinched
and unclinched her hand.

“But they couldn’t keep Juana; she was like a raging lioness; they had
to let her go back to her husband. Then Isabel spread the report that
Juana was mad,--and made arrangements in her will to prevent her ever
reigning. Juana wouldn’t have cared about that; all she wanted was to be
let alone, to have a little peace and happiness in her life. After
Isabel’s death, those two poor things made their great mistake,--they
came back to Spain. Somebody who was jealous of their happiness poisoned
Philippe. Nobody knows whether Juana’s father Ferdinand was responsible
for the murder or the Inquisition. I think it was the Inquisition; those
cruel inquisitors did not want anybody to be happy, and Philippe was too
liberal, too open-minded to suit that terrible Cardinal Jimenez. Juana
and Philippe were at Burgos at the time. When it was all over, the
friends who were with her at the deathbed told Juana that her husband
was dead.

“No,” she said, “not dead, asleep!” You see, then, she really did go
mad. They had Philippe embalmed and put in a leaden coffin; from that
day Juana was never separated from his body. Wherever she went she took
it with her; for twenty years she travelled all over the country with
it. I saw her coach, the first that ever came to Spain, in Madrid. In
those days, when royalties travelled, they stopped at convents or
monasteries, if there was no royal residence near. Poor Juana was so
jealous she would never go into a convent, for fear the nuns might look
at her beloved! Philippe dead had his pages and his suite just as if he
had been alive. Finally, Juana was shut up at Tordesillas. There she had
the coffin placed in a chapel leading from her room, where she could
always see it.

[Illustration: MOORISH COLUMNS IN THE ALHAMBRA.]

Here is a photograph I bought of Pradilla’s picture of Juana.”

The picture shows the sad procession on a windswept hillside outside
Burgos just before dawn. The coffin stands on an iron bier, with two wax
candles at the head and foot. A priest reads the service from his book.
Juana’s ladies stand or sit exhausted on the ground. A group of pages
and gentlemen in furred dresses stand near a fire kindled in the open.
Juana, in a long black dress, stands beside the coffin looking down.
“Dead? No, asleep!” she seems to say.

“For forty-seven years Juana watched beside the body of her husband. He
died at twenty-eight; she lived to seventy-four. Their son, Charles V,
gave Juana as fine a tomb as Isabel’s. I think she deserved it. A great
lover is as rare as a great queen. Come with me and see the vault. That
old battered coffin is Philippe’s, the very one Juana carried about with
her. I touched it the other day. It made it all seem so real!”

We were standing by the royal vault, looking down through a grating at
the coffins, when a fair young man with blue eyes strolled through the
chapel and joined us.

“Haven’t you been here long enough, Joan?” he said. “Let’s get out of
this stuffy old church.”

“All ready, Philip; I was only waiting for you.” She looked at him with
adoring eyes, smiled kindly at me, and went off leaning on his arm. They
were as pretty a young couple as you could see, and their names were
Philip and Joan! It could hardly have been by chance that they were
here. I fancied that the bride had contrived to include a pilgrimage to
the tomb of the true lover, Joan the Mad, in their wedding journey.

    _Amor es como el vino_
    _guárdate á tiempo_
    _y te sabrá más dulce_
    _cuanto mas viejo._

    Love is like wine;
    Guarded with time
    It shall taste to thee sweetest
    When it is oldest.



IX

TANGIERS


We sailed from Algeciras for what Don Jaime called our “little crusade
to Morocco.” The Don could not go with us; he was called to Madrid, he
said, on important business. Patsy, who went down to Algeciras a day or
two before us, had something to tell about the Conference then in
session. The Moroccan delegates had arrived at night, bringing the
ladies of their harems with them. They had landed between two and three
in the morning, so the few curious persons waiting on the dock only
caught an unsatisfactory glimpse of muffled figures passing from the
vessel to the waiting carriages. Private houses had been prepared for
the Moorish delegates; most of the Europeans, and Mr. Henry White, the
American delegate, stayed at the Hotel Maria Cristina.

At the opening meeting of the Conference on the sixteenth of January,
1906, the president, the Duc d’Almodovar, declared that the reforms to
be introduced into Morocco must be based on the triple principle of the
sovereignty of the Sultan the integrity of his states, and the open
door. The poor Moroccan delegates, who did not want any reforms at all
introduced into their country, were only allowed to read their little
speech at the second session, and as it was in Arabic, nobody understood
much of it.

We had a perfect day for our trip across the Straits of Gibraltar from
Europe to Africa. It took two hours and a half, and seemed much shorter
than crossing the English channel. At one point we could see at the same
time the white houses of Tangiers, and the gray Moorish fortifications
of Tarifa, the southernmost point of Europe. The currents are very
strong between the two coasts. A French steamer lay wrecked upon the
rocks close to Tarifa Point light. The sea was like a silver shield. On
the Spanish coast there were long stretches of tawny sands among the
gray and purple rocks, with here and there an ancient Saracen
watch-tower.

“Trafalgar Bay lies in that direction,” said Patsy, pointing to the
northwest. “Nelson must have looked at these yellow cliffs, as he lay
dying on the deck of the Victory, thinking, perhaps, of the white cliffs
of England.”

The winds that blew over Trafalgar Bay caught the great Admiral’s last
command, “Anchor,

[Illustration: TANGIERS.]

Hardy, anchor,” and his last request whispered to his trusty Captain,
“Kiss me, Hardy!” If you ever sail that way, listen to the wind
whistling in the shrouds. If you have ears to hear such things, you may
catch the echo of that whisper.

The coast of Africa, as we approached it, was not more arid than the
opposite shore.

We anchored in the bay far out from Tangiers, a white town set like a
pearl on the edge of an emerald crescent. Near the right point of the
crescent, Tangiers climbs up the hill from the yellow sea sands to the
green heights of the foreign embassies and villas; at the extreme point
stands the lighthouse. America cleared the Mediterranean of Barbary
pirates; and the great European powers built the lighthouse, as they
have built the post-offices, the hospital, and every other modern thing
in Morocco. While waiting for the health officers, we watched the fish
darting through the clear, beryl-green water. Presently a lighter with a
load of bulls closely wedged together drew up alongside the steamer. A
rope was passed round the horns of two of the bulls, and they were
hoisted on board in pairs, in what seemed a cruel manner. The whole
weight came on their horns, their necks were stretched out, their poor,
frightened eyes, blank with terror haunt me still. They made no noise;
most of them hung limp; a few struggled and only succeeded in kicking
each other.

We and our luggage were rowed ashore in a small boat. The sea was alive
with half naked bronze men in sacking bournouses, who waded back and
forth, carrying enormous loads of terra cotta tiles from a lighter to
the land. On the pier a splendid person in a long blue garbardine, white
turban, and yellow slippers, met us with a card and a bouquet of
flowers.

“My name is Ali,” he said; “I am your friend.” He laid his hand to his
lips, then to his forehead with the grave and lovely salutation of the
East.

Ali led us before three magnificent, white-robed Moors, sitting
cross-legged on the floor of the custom-house, smoking long chibouks.
These officials paid no attention to us; indeed, they seemed unconscious
of our presence. The two younger men went on with their conversation;
the elder, kingly as Saul, looked silently across the sea towards that
lost paradise of his race, Andalusia. Our luggage was laid down at their
feet; they did not even glance at it. After a few minutes, the youngest
Moor took his pipe from his mouth, and waved his hand slightly in our
direction.

“All right,” said Ali, “good custom-house, yes?”

The bearers took up our portmanteaus, and we passed into the narrow
crowded street where no vehicle can go, and where Ali had hard work to
protect me from the surging crowd of heavily laden porters and donkeys.
It was market day. Ali piloted us through a maze of narrow, twisting
lanes, and markets thronged with strange figures: Moors in white
bournouses, Jews in black caftans, negro slaves with gashed faces, wild
looking hill men with blue eyes, who looked at us more fiercely than all
the rest. The buyers and sellers outshrieked each other. The long sharp
cry of the water-carriers, the braying of donkeys, the yelling of man,
woman and child, mingled with the hammering of the tin and coppersmiths
in the bazaars.

In the vegetable market we met a tall old Sheik with a long beard,
dressed in a lovely pea-green _jellabiyah_, with turban to match, and
salmon colored undergarments. Ali salaamed to him.

“Health be with you!”

“And with you be peace!” The Sheik’s voice was like distant thunder. He
carried a large basket. The seller of vegetables received him
respectfully, if less cordially than Ali. The Sheik cast a critical eye
over the vegetables, then laid his hand on a bunch of young carrots, a
string of fresh onions, some ruby radishes and some long green beans.
Whatever he touched, the dealer put into his basket, saying, “Take it,”
each time more faintly.

“God increase thy goods!” said the Sheik, when he had considerably
diminished them by half filling his own basket.

“And thy goods, also,” answered the dealer cheerfully, as the old man
pottered off to the butcher’s, next door.

“He is holy man,” said Ali; “they all give to him.”

The butcher’s gifts--a skinned sheep’s head, with awful staring eyes,
and other gruesome things, were too horrid to look at. We waited till
the Sheik passed on to the bread sellers, a group of white shrouded
women sitting against a wall. They were as carefully veiled as if they
had been young and lovely ladies. Each had a cushion before her with
flat loaves of bread. When the middle one gave the Sheik a loaf, there
was the rattle of bangles, and a glimpse of a hand that might have
belonged to the Cumaean sibyl.

Outside the market, in the midst of the mad hurly-burly, there appeared
an incarnation of that Oriental calm we had begun to believe the Moors
had left behind them in Cordova. Down the middle of an evil-smelling
lane, a man on horseback rode slowly towards us. The squalling crowd
made way for him, flattening itself against the wall.

“Welcome!” said Ali, as the stranger passed in the odor of sandalwood.

“Twice welcome,” answered the horseman. He was fairer than many
Spaniards; his brown beard and moustache were beautifully combed and
curled, he had a high aquiline nose, eyes like dark jewels, thin
pencilled eyebrows. He was dressed all in white; his _sulham_ of finest
wool had a silk braid round the edge, and tassel hanging from the hood
drawn over his head. He turned his horse to avoid us. Except for that
slight motion of laying the reins against the animal’s neck--the action
showed a slim brown hand with an ancient turquoise ring--he gave no sign
of having seen us. It is a sign of Arab as of British breeding, not to
look too much at strangers.

“That was an Arab gentleman,” said J.

“Now I know just how Abd-er Rahman looked!” murmured Patsy.

The horse was a spirited chestnut, with a skin so thin the veins showed
under it, and delicate, proud feet that he planted scornfully in the
unspeakable filth of the lane. Later, in Blacksmiths Square, where we
lingered to watch two men shoe an old white mare--one held her foot, the
other put on the shoe--a servant led the chestnut up to the smith. The
man stopped work, patted the chestnut and kissed it, while his helper
fed it with little cakes. Though there were a dozen horses and mules
waiting their turn to be shod, the chestnut took precedence over all.

Ali explained this favoritism. “That horse, he have been to Mecca,” he
said. “That make him very holy.”

For all his holiness the homely smell of the chestnut’s scorched hoof
when the hot shoe touched it was in no wise different from the old white
mare’s!

Seeing the horse fitted with a set of new shoes reminded J. and Patsy
that while in Morocco they must each buy a pair of real Morocco
slippers. Ali had a friend who was a slipper seller, so we hunted him up
in the quiet, back street where he lived. We found him in a tiny bazaar
like a big box, hung with slippers of every size and color. The others
were so long choosing their shoes, the street was so deserted, that I
ventured to walk on alone. From an open doorway came the drone of
childish voices reciting a lesson; an Arab school was in session. Twenty
very little boys sat upon the floor, rocking slowly back and forth,
reciting verses from the Koran in a sort of singsong chant. The
schoolroom was a dark, dank hole, its only light coming from the door.
Dazzled by the blinding light of the street, I did not at first see the
schoolmaster, a young man of eighteen. He sat near the door, writing
out sentences from the Koran with a reed pen, in a large book like a
ledger. He had just reached the bottom of the page, had dipped his reed
in a fascinating bronze inkstand worn in his sash, and I was silently
admiring his beautiful Arabic handwriting, when he looked up and saw me.
A tiny boy, who could not have been more than three, just then smiled at
me. He was such a bonny child, so like one of the children at home, that
I kissed my hand to him.

“Christian dog!” The master’s rattan whizzed through the air, and came
down whack, whack, on each side of the boy’s head. Then all the little
children scowled and bit their thumbs at me. The master tore the neatly
written page from the book, crumpled it up, threw it at me, and
retreated across the room, the book under his arm, cursing me as I
believe I was never cursed before.

At that moment Ali came running up, and after a few angry words with the
schoolmaster, hurried me away.

“They no like you,” he said. “I am your friend; I take care of you.”

The page had been torn from the book because the shadow of a Christian
had fallen upon it! After that, Ali became as my shadow. When I wanted
to stop and admire the tower of the great Mosque,--it has a poor,
far-away likeness to the Giralda--he would not let me stay, telling me
that it was not safe for Christians to linger near the mosque or the
tombs of saints.

The Great Socco, the big market-place outside the city gate, is the most
Oriental thing you can see without going to India. The bazaars of
Constantinople, the Muski of Cairo, even the streets of Jaffa, are
European compared to it. The Socco lies on a bare hillside; it is shut
in with walls, and entered through a handsome Moorish gate. A restless
stream of camels, asses, beggars, traders, fruit-sellers, veiled women,
jugglers and snake charmers pulses ceaselessly back and forth. A caravan
from Fez was starting that day, another had just arrived. The camels
snarled and grunted as the drivers unloaded their bales of merchandise
and dates. Near the gate, in a corner of comparative peace, an audience
had collected about the one-eyed story teller. He beat his drum as we
came up. Ali gave him a piece of silver, and we were allowed to stand on
the edge of the crowd and listen to the tale of the Fisherman and the
Genie told in Arabic with dramatic gestures, and listened to with
breathless interest.

There was an encampment at one end of the Socco, extending outside the
gate along the road to Vez. The tents were small and poor, the people
who lived in them wild, and, at the same time, wan

[Illustration: STREET IN TANGIERS.]

looking,--the most wretched of all the wretched people I have ever seen.
They belong to a tribe of Berbers from the country, driven by famine
into Tangiers. The blue eyes of those half-naked, half-starved hillmen
shone with a fierce light; the black-eyed Moors looked gentle beside
them. Blue eyes mean white blood! The wild hillmen have not forgotten
where it comes from. They remember that long and long ago, in Roman
days, a tribe of Vandals and Alans--some say eighty thousand
people--crossed the straits to Morocco and never came back, though three
hundred years later some of their descendants came over to Spain with
Tarik, our old friend of Tarik’s Hill, and conquered Christian Spain for
the Crescent.[2]

Outside the Socco, on the road leading up to the villas, we came upon a
white umbrella with an artist we knew by sight sketching under it,
guarded by a soldier. His was the first Christian face we had seen since
we left the steamer; it seemed an age, it was but a few hours ago. We
greeted each other as if we had been old friends! He knew Tangiers well,
had been here three months sketching, therefore he had a great deal to
tell us about Morocco and the Moors. I noticed during all our stay that
the people who had lived longest in Morocco were the least positive in
what they said about the Moors! My first question to the artist was
about the Berber tribe.

“During the Algeciras Conference,” he said, “the Sultan feeds them with
bread every day, so that it may not be said that he cannot take care of
his own. They tell me here that the day the Conference adjourns, there
will be no more bread given away in Tangiers.”

Before lunch time J. and Patsy adopted, or were adopted, by a Hebrew
Jew. Israel was his name; Christian, compared to the fierce Moslem
horde, was his nature. He was a neat young man, educated at the school
of the Israelite Alliance in Tangiers, pleasant and well mannered, his
chief defect being that he wore silly European clothes, when he might
have worn lovely Oriental robes. He quickly confided to us that he was
engaged to be married, and that his Rachel was suffering from acute
dyspepsia. He didn’t _say_ dyspepsia, but he illustrated it with
unmistakable sounds and gestures.

“Let her take one of these after every meal.” Patsy handed Israel a
bottle of soda mint tablets. Israel bent himself double with bowing.
Meanwhile he and Ali gabbled together; the word _hakem_ (physician) was
repeated several times. The soda mints worked well; they suited Rachel,
and Patsy’s reputation as a physician was made. That was the beginning
of all his glory, and our discomfort.

At luncheon there was quail for him, larks for us. When we rode out, he
had the best mount. The pillows of his bed were soft as down, ours hard
as brickbats. That night Ali consulted him about his daughter, who
seemed to be suffering from bronchitis. A box of Brown’s bronchial
troches was unearthed from my medicine chest and given to Ali. Though
the troches were mine, the credit was Patsy’s!

I saw three prisons in Tangiers: the prison of the Moors, the prison of
the Jews, and the prison of a Prominent Citizen’s wives. In the first
two, hideous and squalid past belief, criminals are kept; in the third,
the mothers of the prominent citizens of to-morrow, in whose hands lie
the future of Morocco. This prison, called a harem, was the most
dreadful of all, though it was clean, handsome, had a large patio,
marble columns, and whatever else passes in Morocco for luxury. I was
received by the Prominent Citizen’s four wives. The favorite, an
enormously fat young woman, sleek and sleepy as a cat, had painted eyes
and finger nails reddened with henna. After the first greeting, the
other women paid little attention to me; the favorite, who was younger,
had some questions to ask.

“Are you married? How many children have you? I have a son.
She”--looking at a woman who sat near, a sour-faced creature of Chinese
type--“has only daughters. This morning we saw you pass in the street. I
know that everything is different in your country. You travel, we stay
at home; you go out unveiled, we may not show our faces to any strange
man. There were two men with you this morning; were they your two
husbands?”

I tried to explain Patsy. It seemed stranger to her that he was only our
friend travelling with us, than if he had been an extra husband.

A servant brought in a copper machine like a Russian samovar, and the
Chinese looking wife made tea for us with fresh green tea leaves and
mint. It was very sweet, and not just what I am used to in the way of
tea, but I managed to drink one small tumblerful; the ladies of the
harem drank glass after glass. I had brought a present of some goodies,
and when these had been distributed the conversation became more
animated. The women all examined my dress, hat, gloves and jewels, with
greatest interest. The favorite cried out at the close fitting French
waist, held her hands to her own fat sides, and shook her head at the
very thought of confining those Atlas mountains of flesh with stiff
whalebone. I told her that I thought her dress much more comfortable,
and far prettier than mine; this pleased her more than anything I said.

From the corridor round the patio heavy green doors led to the women’s
sleeping rooms. They had no windows; no light or air could ever
penetrate those dreadful places, quite empty save for the
beds,--mattresses laid on the floor covered with gay quilts,--and
several large clocks hanging on the walls. In the part of the harem I
saw there was literally nothing except divans, beds, and little stands
for trays,--things to sit on, to sleep in, to eat from. There must have
been rooms where the cooking and housework goes on, but I did not see
them. The rooms were empty, the faces of the women were empty. It seemed
the height of irony that where time is of so little value there should
be so many timepieces. The English lady who arranged the visit for me
goes often to this and other harems.

“The women’s lives are so dull, any visitor is welcome,” she said. “One
rule I have had to make. I must choose the subject we talk
about,--otherwise, they would talk of unspeakable things. They are so
coarse and dull. Poor things!”

The poorer women seem better off than the well-to-do, because they have
more occupation. They cook, wash, and make the clothes for themselves
and their children. They must be very strong, for I saw women carrying
the most enormous loads of faggots. Divorce is not uncommon among them;
the divorced woman is always given back her dowry. A bride is brought to
her husband’s house heavily veiled. It is for her to lift the veil; if
she refuses, the marriage does not go on. I heard of a girl who for
three days kept her veil down, and was then sent back to her parent’s
house.

It was pleasant after a day spent in the muck and confusion of Tangiers,
to mount Zuleika, the big gray donkey, and ride up to the European
quarter for the sunset. My saddle was like a little chair set sideways
on the mule, with a swinging board to support my feet. Ali walked by my
side, Abdul, the mule driver, just behind.

“Arrree!” Abdul cried, and twisted Zuleika’s tail till the poor creature
screamed.

“Stop!” said Ali. “By thy head, do not that again. Dost thou not know
that Christians would rather see a man beaten than a beast?”

“_Mashallah!_” muttered Abdul. Israel, running beside Patsy, holding his
stirrup, told him in French what the other two said, so they were
usually silent in Israel’s presence.

[Illustration: SPANISH PEASANTS.]

[Illustration: ALI AND ZULEIKA.]

We were on our way to see our friend Mme. Hortense, whom we found
waiting for us on the terrace of her pleasant house. She had kept her
word, and provided a characteristic Moorish entertainment for our
afternoon’s visit,--a snake charmer. His long bag of snakes moved as the
mass of serpents writhed and wriggled. One after another he took the
long pythons from his bag and let them coil and twist about his body.
Last of all he took out a small, vicious looking serpent, and held it to
his mouth. The snake bit his tongue, or appeared to do so, for drops of
the snakecharmer’s blood fell on the white marble pavement.

“You’ve seen enough?” asked Mme. Hortense. She spoke to the snake
charmer with the voice of authority; he gathered up his dreadful linen
bag and departed.

“_Allahu akbar!_” The cry of the Muezzin in the minaret of the mosque
came faintly up to us on the heights.

“Progress?” said Mme. Hortense in answer to my question, as the
ridiculous shambling figure of the snake charmer left the terrace.
“Among the Jews, yes, if you call it progress! When I came here,
thirty-four years ago, your boy Israel’s father and all the rest of
them, wore the fez and the kaftan. Now many of the younger ones wear
straw hats and trousers. They have built themselves comfortable houses
in the worst possible taste. The schools of the Israelite Alliance have
really accomplished a miracle. For the Moors there is no progress,
believe me. In all these years they have not advanced one step. Here in
Tangiers they are on their good behavior, of course; the city is well
policed by the European powers. There is no public slave market here,
you must go to Fez to see that; but as to real advance,--look at that
blind man! His eyes were put out for stealing.”

Down the hot road under the blue cactus hedge a poor pock-marked blind
man cried for alms. Mme. Hortense threw him a coin, a tall, shrouded
woman who was passing, a bare brown child astride on her hip, picked up
the money and gave it him.

“God increase thy goods,” said the blind man. Then as he wandered down
the hill led by his dog, tapping with his cane, “God vouchsafe thee a
good evening. May thy night be happy!”

“He is my cook’s son,” said Mme. Hortense. “All my servants are Moors,
except my Jewish chairmen,--no Moor will carry a Christian. I like the
Moors best. At the time of the last uprising I asked my favorite servant
what he would do if our house were attacked. He said, ‘I would lie down
on the ground before you. That means that you belong to me and that they
must kill me before they touch you.’ I think he would have done it,
too. A good Moor has no vices; he neither drinks nor smokes. The doctors
will tell you what good blood they have; a wound heals with them in half
the time it does with us. Of course I know the servant class best, that
is natural. The better class do not like us,--can you blame them? A man
my husband knew, quite a great personage in his way, got into evil ways
from associating with Christians; in fact, he drank himself to death. He
was a sacred person, of the family of the prophet. The faithful believed
the liquor he drank was turned to milk as it touched his lips, and that
he died without sin; all the same, the wise ones hold us at arm’s
length.”

“Progress!” Mme. Hortense came back to my question. “Last week a man
from the interior came to Tangiers on business. It turned out that it
was important for him to stay here longer than he had planned; but, at
some sacrifice, he persisted in returning to his home on the day
originally fixed. It leaked out through his servants that before leaving
home he had walled up the door of his house. There was a well inside,
and the house was provisioned, as if for a siege, but the women would
grow restless if he delayed his return too long!”

While Mme. Hortense talked, there appeared before us on the terrace, as
if by magic, a lean man with very few clothes and bare, sinewy arms. He
was a juggler, and as we sat there looking down on the flat white
houses, the minarets, the sea beyond, listening to Mme. Hortense’s
stories of life in Tangiers, the juggler pulled from his mouth length
after length of rose-colored ribbon, till he stood in a pink bower
miraculously produced from his interior. A string of large, dangerous
looking needles followed the pink ribbons from his inexhaustible maw.

“_Baraka, baraka!_” Enough, enough, cried Mme. Hortense. The juggler
bowed and was gone as he had come, silently, and as if by magic.

I never knew where Ali slept or when he ate. If I wanted him at the most
impossible time, he was always there! One morning when the voice of the
sea and the song of the birds called me out into the garden for the
sunrise, I thought I had escaped him. Before I reached the end of the
oleander walk he was at my side. Then came the natural, if unreasonable,
demand: “Ali, I am so hungry, get me something to eat.”

“He cook, he hurry up; lady, wait ten minutes.”

“I can’t wait. Get me a glass of milk.”

“Pick your pardon, lady, no can squeeze the buffalo before he had his
breakfast.”

Such strange and interesting creatures lived in that garden: wonderful
long-tailed Japanese cocks with their neat little hens, a lame gazelle,
a white peacock, some blue Australian pigeons, and many other
birds,--and they all had their breakfasts before I had mine. When Ali
finally brought it on a tray and set it on a table under a mammoth
mulberry tree, I was so busy with the bread and honey--orange blossom
honey; when I took the lid off the jar, the perfume was as strong as if
I had held a bunch of orange flowers in my hand--that I did not notice
two gentlemen who were waiting for their breakfast. The buffalo had been
squeezed by this time, for the gentlemen’s servant brought them dates
and milk.

My neighbors were an odd pair: an old man who looked like Jumbo, with
wise small eyes, and gray wrinkled skin like an elephant’s, and a young
man, his son or grandson, who could not have been more than twenty,
though the lower part of his face was covered with a full soft beard.
They were Orientals, I thought, and they would have looked better in
turbans and robes than in European dress. They talked together in a
language whose very sound was unfamiliar. They seemed so remote, so
unconscious of my presence, so much more like figures out of the Arabian
Nights than fellow travellers, that when the older man came up to my
table, spoke to me in perfect English, and asked me if I would like to
see _La Dépêche Morocaine_, the French daily newspaper, I was as much
astonished as if the Sheik of the market-place had spoken to me in my
own tongue. We talked about the weather, the view, the picturesqueness
of Tangiers; when the ice was well broken I found that he wanted to talk
about things at home.

“It is many years since I was in America,” he said. “I rarely meet an
American.” Where _did_ he live? “When I have the good fortune,” he made
me such a bow as Solomon might have made the Queen of Sheba, “I like to
hear how the Great Experiment is working out.” Then followed a searching
examination about affairs at home. His questions showed a complete
ignorance of detail, a good grasp of large issues. He read me as if I
were a book he only had time to skim through. After I had told him what
I could about “the working out” of what he called “the Great
Experiment,” I asked him to tell me something about the Sultan of
Morocco and his brother Muli Hafid. He asked permission to smoke; an
Indian servant brought him a nargileh. When it was drawing nicely, and
the smoke came cool to his mouth after passing through the water in the
crystal jar, he spoke as one who speaks with authority.

“I have known Abdul Aziz and Muli Hafid since they were boys. They are
both weak men; there is little to choose between them. I knew their
father, Muli el Hassan, before them. He was a strong man; he ruled this
people by might, the only way. He was clever, too, pitted the strong
tribes against each other so that they punished one another: thus all
were kept in order, and the balance of power preserved. When he died,
the power remained in the hands of the young Sultan’s mother and the
Grand Vizier: people said he was her lover,--that is as it may be. Then
the Vizier died, the young Sultan took the reins, and everything was
changed. The English got hold of the boy, as they have got hold of so
many a weak young ruler before him. Abdul Aziz became so completely
under English influence that it was said in the bazaars he wore English
clothes under the native dress. He is not only a weak, but a
pleasure-loving person; the two things usually go together. His favorite
amusements are playing polo and going out at night in one of his many
automobiles.” This he said scornfully, and pulled so hard at his pipe
that the water bubbled in the vase.

The young man looked at me and laughed. “Would you rather he took to
ballooning, father? Even a Sultan of Morocco must amuse himself. I knew
a fellow the Sultan took a fancy to. One sign of his favor was that he
accepted my friend’s riding crop and cigarette case and forgot to make
any return present. He told me a good story about Abdul Aziz: One day
he was riding with him, when they met the Sultan’s caravan on its way
from Tangiers to Fez, bringing Abdul Aziz a grand piano. It had come on
to rain, as it sometimes can rain in Morocco! The Sultan insisted on
having the piano unloaded from the camels’ backs and put together. Then
he sat down and strummed on the piano in the middle of the pelting rain,
and the camels and the camel drivers and all the escort stood round, or
sat on their horses, and waited, on the road to Fez.”

“That was like him,” said the old man. “It was when he had become so
unpopular with the people on account of the English influence that he
remitted the taxes for four years as a bid for popularity. Taxes once
lifted from a people like this are not easily put on again. The country
was nearly bankrupt; the Sultan was at the last gasp financially. As
usual he appealed to the English for help. Just then the understanding
between England and France was complete: France was to withdraw from
Egypt and leave England a free hand there; in return for this, England
was to withdraw her influence and support from Morocco. Egypt was worth
more to England than Morocco; the Sultan was sold for forty pieces of
silver.”

“More than he is worth!” said the boy. “France or England, does it
matter which? They are the only two civilized countries in Europe.”

“There is only one country that can civilize,” said the old
man,--“England!”

“It would have gone on well enough, if William the Wilful had not put
his finger into the pie,” said the boy resentfully. His sympathies were
evidently with France.

“We were in Fez when the German Emperor made that famous visit to the
Sultan,” said the old man. “I have never seen the people so moved. They
were in a frenzy of joy; they thought they were saved!”

“That bubble was soon pricked,” said the boy.

“Perhaps, but the Conference sitting over in Algeciras would never have
come off, if it had not been for his visit.”

“What will the Conference accomplish?” I asked.

“It will insure what the diplomats call ‘the integrity of Morocco’ for a
little longer, that is all.”

“How will it end?”

The old man stroked his long gray beard with a truly Oriental movement
of the hand. “Keep your ear to the ground,” he said; “the end of Islam
is not yet. There are more Mohammedans than Christians in the world;
they still make converts. I myself knew an English Lord who became a
musselman.”

“Instead of quarreling among themselves, let the Christians unite!” said
the young man.

“Strife there must be. The young tigers wrestle together, or they would
not be strong to wrestle with the enemy when it is time to go out into
the jungle and kill!”

We might have gone on gossiping till dinner time,--_they_ were in no
hurry,--if Ali had not reminded me of an engagement that could not be
postponed; I had been invited to tea with the Lady of Tangiers.

The house of the Lady of Tangiers is set on the edge of a high cliff.
Far, far below, at the foot of the cliff, the waves break into white
foam flowers, and the seagulls flit and swoop in restless flight over
the emerald sea. House and garden are shut in by a high wall. A man on
horseback was waiting in the road outside the gate, surrounded by a
horde of beggars and cripples. A pair of white shrouded women stood a
little apart, each with a child on her shoulder. The horseman was armed:
a pair of pistols and a knife were stuck in his sash, a rifle was slung
over his shoulder; at his left side hung a long sword. Man and horse
were both of pure Arab breed; there was a certain likeness between them.
Both were thin and wiry, with delicate feet, fierce, flashing eyes,
thin, quivering nostrils. The man sat impassive as a bronze statue, and
gave no sign of having seen our queer cavalcade as we rode up,--Zuleika,
the big gray donkey, with me in my ridiculous chair saddle on her back,
Ali running beside, and Abdul hanging on to her tail. The horse pricked
its dainty ears, whinnied, and turned its head to look at us.

“_Es-salem alekum!_” Health be with you, said Ali, who never allowed
himself to be ignored.

“_U alekum es-salem!_” and with you be peace, answered the Arab on the
horse.

The sound of footsteps inside the garden caused great excitement among
the cripples. The gate was opened and a servant came out leading a
beautiful little boy of four or five. At the sight of the boy, a fair
child, with brown curls and pretty, gracious manners, a howl arose from
the beggars and cripples. They tried to get hold of him, to kiss his
hands or touch his garments. The servant and the man on horseback kept
them back as best they could. The horseman laid about him with the flat
of his sword:

“By the life of the prophet, room there for my lord the prince! _Yalla!_
Go on!”

“I am under thy protection, save me!” cried the oldest beggar; he was
rather cleaner than the rest, and was allowed to touch the little foot
before the horseman caught up the child, set him before him, put spurs
to the horse, and galloped off joyously in a cloud of dust.

“_Al Allah!_” cried the old beggar.

“_Al Allah!_” echoed the cripples, waving their crutches and their
maimed stumps after the pretty child.

Ali gave my card and letter of introduction to the servant. I was
invited to enter the garden. Ali waited for me in the road outside. Near
the house was a little flower bed, with a few homely English flowers;
some one had been at work among the marigolds. Outside the door stood a
large rocking-horse, a drum and a toy trumpet. I had not long to wait in
the reception room, before the Lady of Tangiers appeared. She greeted me
heartily.

“Come in,” she said, and led the way to a large comfortable, English
drawing-room. I suppose I showed some surprise at finding myself in so
thoroughly British an interior, for she said:

“I lead a double life. With the Arabs, I am an Arab; with the Europeans,
I am a European. We will have our tea here first,--you will like my tea
better than my daughter-in-law’s; then I will take you into the Arab
part of the house and introduce you to my son’s wife.”

At the first glance the Lady of Tangiers looked the full-blooded English
woman she is by birth. As I talked with her, I felt something Oriental
in her expression. You cannot live three parts of your life among an
alien race without catching something of the racial look. First, and
last, and all the time, I felt her to be a woman of power. The servant
who brought the tea said something to her in Arabic.

“Were there many children waiting in the crowd outside the gate?” she
asked.

I told her I had seen only two.

“They can wait, or come to-morrow,” she said. “Their mothers have
brought them to be vaccinated. When I first came here I once spoke to my
husband about a child I thought should be vaccinated, as there was so
much small-pox about.”

“How is it done?” he asked.

“I know how it is done,” I said, “and I can do it. That was the
beginning. Now I vaccinate hundreds of children every year. That is the
sort of missionary work I believe in. There is not the slightest use in
sending Christian missionaries to any Mahommedan country, unless they
are willing to work without direct religious teaching. Civilize first!
Teach the women and the girls to cook and sew, something about the laws
of health, and the care of children.”

The Lady of Tangiers is a member of the Church of England, by the way.

I asked about the pretty boy I had met at the gate.

“That was my little grandson, Muli Hassan, going out for his afternoon’s
airing. All those people hanging about were waiting to see him start. To
them he is not only a noble, but a sacred person. My husband was of a
great family. He was descended from the Prophet,--but I am of the oldest
family in the world; I am of the Adam and Eve connection!” Her eyes
danced as she said it. “In certain respects, my grandchildren are
brought up English fashion, as my children were. When my oldest boy was
perhaps twelve days old, my mother, who had come out from England to be
with me, thought that it might please my husband’s old nurse to see the
baby have his bath; so she called her into my room. My husband was
asleep in a neighboring room. Suddenly he was waked by the old nurse,
she was past eighty, shaking him by the arm--usually she would not have
dared to disturb him--and crying:

“Come, come quickly! The Christians are murdering your son, they are
drowning him!”

My husband hurried to my room. “What does this mean?” he cried out. When
he found out what it meant, he threw himself down on the divan and
laughed till he cried.

When we had finished our tea, my hostess took me into the part of the
house where her son’s wife, the mother of Muli Hassan, lives. As she was
receiving native visitors in the reception room, the Lady of Tangiers
showed me into the bedroom; a large, handsome, airy room with windows
opening seawards, and comfortable brass beds. We had not been there
long,--I had not had time to take in half the beauty of the outlook from
those windows,--when I heard behind me the soft patter of bare feet on
the tiled floor, and the daughter-in-law was at my side. She was a
pretty woman, with a refined, intelligent face, who received me with a
charming Oriental reverence. The nails of her hands and feet were
reddened with henna, otherwise she was not painted. She wore a pretty,
simple, green tissue robe, with a robe of dotted muslin over it.

“May thy day be white as milk,” was her first greeting. Then, “How is
thy health?”

“She is sorry she cannot speak your language,” said the Lady of
Tangiers, “you must not think her an uneducated person on that account.
She reads and writes Arabic beautifully.”

The young woman was in mourning for a relative: she would wear it for
forty days, she told me. Her mourning consisted of not wearing silk or
jewels,--the most sensible mourning I ever heard of. She was so fair,
except for her melting eyes and coal-black eyebrows, that in European
dress she might easily have passed for an Italian. As the other guests
were waiting for the daughter-in-law, our visit to her was short.

“_Yalla bina_,” now let us go, said the elder woman.

“To Allah’s protection,” said the mother of Muli Hassan.

We returned to the English drawing-room, where I stayed as long, perhaps
longer, than good manners allowed, while the Lady of Tangiers told me
things that I hope she will some day tell the world. While I was
listening, entranced, there came the sound of a childish voice crying
“Grandmama!” The little Prince Muli Hassan had come back from his ride.
I had stayed an unconscionable time, and my visit, the most interesting
episode in all those interesting Moroccan days, had to come to an end!

While in Tangiers our party was much broken up. J. and Patsy made
several riding trips with Israel, leaving me to potter about the Socco
with Ali, or to prowl with Mme. Hortense in the bazaars, where I bought
a long, salmon colored cloth gabardine with wide sleeves and fascinating
silk buttons and loops; and a fine _sulham_ like the one the Arab
gentleman wore. Both are men’s garments, though they pass muster very
well, on the other side of the Straits of Gibraltar, for a woman’s.

Our greatest pleasure we all enjoy together,--a dinner at one of the
foreign villas on the heights. It was nearly dark when I mounted Zuleika
and rode under the stars and a thin crescent moon to our friend’s house.
All the company except ourselves belonged to the diplomatic circle. They
were as agreeable, well dressed, and well bred as such people are the
world over. The dinner was excellent, the talk, for me, of absorbing
interest. After dinner, as we were sitting talking together in the
pretty drawing-room, admiring the Arabic curios our host had collected,
we heard, faintly first, then gradually growing louder, the sound of a
shepherd’s pipe, like the flute in Tristan and Isolde.

“I thought you might like to hear a little Arab music,” said our host,
leading the way to an open-air concert room. In the corner made by two
sides of his house, rugs were spread upon the ground, lanterns hung
among the rose covered walls, and six native musicians squatted
on the ground. Their instruments were a lute, a tambourine, a
reban,--two-stringed fiddle--and the shepherd’s pipe. The leader was a
handsome dark man with dreamy eyes, and the face of an enthusiast. He
threw back his head and began a song that was like a wail; the others
joined in from time to time like a chorus.

“They are singing,” said the host, “the Lament for Granada!”

When anybody says Tangiers to me suddenly, _this_ is what I see! The
Arab musicians sitting cross-legged on the ground under the stars, and
the thin crescent moon. I hear the high wail of the Moorish pipe, the
throb of the drum struck by the hand, the voices of the Moorish
minstrels mourning for the Moors’ lost paradise, singing the Lament for
Granada.



X

MADRID


“Señora, this is my mother,” said Pedra the Vestal, who took care of our
sitting-room fire.

“I am glad to make your acquaintance,” said Pedra’s mother; she shook my
hand heartily, and looked at me with keen, kind eyes. “In regard to the
washing, I will call for it on Mondays and bring it back on Fridays. If
mending is required, there will be an additional price.”

“Where do you wash the clothes?”

She was astonished at the question. “In the river, where else?”

“And where do you hang them out to dry?”

“On the river bank, near the palace of the King.”

When Pedra the Vestal knelt on the hearth blowing the bellows, she
looked more than ever like a Tanagra figurine. She built up the fire
with odd little chunks of dark red wood that give out a strange perfume
of the forest, and burn as slowly as soft coal.

“What sort of wood is that?” I asked.

“Who knows? The wood of a tree,” Pedra looked over her shoulder with the
flashing smile that made everything she said pass for wit.

“I know; it is ilex,” said her mother. “In Segovia I used to gather it
on the mountain. Here it costs too much, we burn charcoal.”

“Is Madrid dearer than Segovia?”

“Madrid is the dearest place in the world, and the coldest.” She wrapped
her faded plaid shawl about her shoulders. There had been a slight snow
flurry that morning; it was proper Christmas weather, but Pedra and her
mother took it as seriously as we take a blizzard. Pedra was straight as
a lance, hard as marble, built of stuff that wears well, judging from
her mother. The elder woman was not one of those mothers who serve as a
dreadful warning of what a daughter may become, if she had lost youth
and freshness; she had kept her health and strength, a fiery spirit, a
tough fibre.

The next time she came in to mend the fire, Pedra’s bright eyes were
dull and red. It took only a little coaxing to find out her trouble.

“My mother brought bad news,” she said. “My brother has married a girl
who is not worthy of him. Though we are poor, Señora, our family is an
old one; there is none more respected in Segovia. After all the
sacrifices we made for Juan to keep on the little shop that was my
father’s,--to marry beneath him, it was unworthy, it was ignoble!” The
tears came to her eyes again. Here was Castilian pride, indeed.

We had come to Madrid meaning to keep house for six months or more. We
soon found that a furnished apartment at a moderate price in Madrid is
as rare as a roc’s egg. We spent several days driving up and down the
streets of the quarter where we wished to live, looking up at the
houses. A large sheet of blank paper hung at the end of a window or
balcony means unfurnished apartments to let, in the middle, furnished.
We could find nothing available. It seemed as if we must give up our
plan of passing the winter in Madrid. Then came the great invitation.
Our old friends Don José and Doña Lucia Villegas asked us to share their
large comfortable home. When we found they really wished us to accept
this unparalleled hospitality, J. and I moved over to their delightful
apartment, and Don Jaime found a modest hotel for Patsy.

The Villegas’ house is opposite the handsome new National Museum on the
Paseo Recoletos, a wide avenue laid out in the grand style of the Champs
Elysées.

Madrid is a modern capital; at first it seemed as if we had left
picturesque Spain behind us and come to a modern European city, a
little like Paris, a little like Brussels, and not at all like the Spain
we knew. Then, as we began to learn our way about the city, we found
that beside the new Madrid, with its splendid boulevards, its
conventional new houses and cafés, its air of prosperous business, there
was an old Madrid, full of quaint corners and picturesque buildings.

The palace of the King stands at the edge of this old Madrid, boldly
planted on the high land above the river, where the old Moorish Alcazar
once stood, a magnificent situation for a royal palace. The façade
fronts and dominates the city; the rear looks out on vast stretches of
royal demesne.

“This looks more as a palace should look than any I ever saw,” said
Patsy. We had driven over one sharp clear morning to see Guard-mounting.
“All grand and white and shining. The sort of a palace where lovely
princesses with golden hair always live in poetry,--sometimes even in
history.”

On the right of the palace is the noble Plaza de Armas, where, besides
the guards pacing up and down their beat, there was a continual coming
and going of all sorts and conditions of men. In a sheltered corner,
under the very palace windows, two boys were playing at marbles. This
was all in keeping with what we had seen and heard of the democratic
character of the people. At one end of the Plaza, the long narrow
arches of the peristyle frame a stupendous view. Behind the palace runs
the river Manzanares; beyond lies the royal park of the Casa de Campo,
with its masses of green trees, broken here and there by the glint of a
lake, or the spire of one of poor Isabel Second’s expiatory chapels.
Beyond the park, the bare plains of Castile sweep grandly to the north,
rising to the stern snow-capped range of the Sierra Guaderrama.

It was all dearly familiar, because Velasquez has painted that blue-gray
landscape, that silver light sometimes hardening to steel, those snow
mountains, not once, but many, many times, as the background of his
pictures.

“The Manzanares is not much of a stream compared to the Guadalquiver,”
said Patsy. “That must be the bridge the Frenchman meant, when he
advised the King of Spain either to sell his bridge, or to buy a river!”
He pointed to a big handsome bridge, curiously out of proportion to the
size of the meagre river.

Not far from the palace, along the river bank, was a gorgeous,
tremulous, swaying mass of color,--scarlet, blue, orange, every tint of
the rainbow.

“That,” said Patsy, “looks like the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Those
might be the fluttering pennons of Leon and Castile, Navarre and
Aragon.”

“Don’t look too closely, or you will lose the illusion. That is the
drying ground, where Pedra’s mother and the other washerwomen of Madrid
hang out their clothes.”

“Standards of heroes, standards of heroines, what’s the odds? They _are_
heroines. I stood and watched them yesterday, their petticoats kilted up
to their knees, rubbing and scrubbing and singing at their work.”

A young American artist painted an admirable picture of the drying
ground with its many-colored garments not long ago. He worked in summer,
close to the river when the water was low, and caught a fever that put
an end to all his painting!

Fronting the palace is the large oval Plaza del Oriente, with a good
equestrian statue of Philip IV, surrounded by a circle of quaint marble
statues of Visigothic and Spanish kings and queens, from Berenguela to
Isabel the Catholic.

“We know Philip IV better than all the rest of them put together!” Patsy
exclaimed, as we walked round the royal group. “Thanks to the genius for
making a likeness of that young man shown by Velasquez, whom he engaged
as his _valet de chambre_ at a salary of eleven dollars a month. Philip
young, thin and cadaverous, Philip old, fat and blowsy; I know his face
as well as I know my own. People who want to be remembered by posterity
should be very polite to the painters and sculptors--even to the
writers--of their day. Strange they don’t realize it!”

Madrid was gay with Christmas bustle; streets and shops were crowded;
Pedra was busy with the presents that poured into the house for Lucia
and Villegas. From Granada came a cask of oil, from Malaga a small
barrel of grapes, from Jerez a cask of olorosa, from Tangiers a box of
oranges, from Seville a flagon of cologne, the finest in the world,--it
smells of fresh orange blossoms.

One morning, a few days before Christmas, I heard a strange hob-gobbling
noise outside in the passage. I opened my door; there was Pedra, flushed
and out of breath with the effort, trying to get two large speckled
turkeys up the terrace stairs.

“_Miré_,” she said, “observe these fine birds, Señora, a present from
the country. I shall mix a dish of corn meal and hot water for them,
that will be the food of luxury, fattening besides. Poor animals! they
shall live well until Cisera wrings their necks.”

Cisera, the Tuscan cook, followed the procession up the terrace stairs,
and felt the larger turkey.

“In a week,” she said, “he will be fit to kill, perhaps sooner.”

When the turkeys had been fed with the food of luxury, Pedra showed me
another gift that had just come for Villegas. “Don José will like this
more than all the rest, you will see!” she said.

Villegas is the Director of the Prado Museum. What Pedra called the best
present was a “testimonial,” with his photograph and a complimentary
address signed by all the employees of the Prado. He gave the dreadful
thing with its impossible plush frame the place of honor, and hung it up
himself in the hall.

Cisera killed the larger turkey, and stuffed it with pistacchio nuts for
the Christmas eve dinner-party. As we were all sitting together, waiting
for the last guest to arrive, Gil, the melancholy Gallegan man-servant,
threw open the door and announced:

“The Bohemian Gentleman.”

A big blond man with dancing blue eyes and a ruffled shirt came in,
followed by Pedra, carrying in her upraised hands a tray with two
enormous hams (she looked like the picture of Titian’s daughter with the
fruit).

“A good Christmas!” the Bohemian made Lucia a grand bow. “I have brought
you a pair of hams from Prague!”

“The best hams in the world,” Villegas patted one of them. “I was afraid
you had forgotten this year!”

“They should be good; the pigs were raised on

[Illustration: DETAIL FROM “THE MAIDS OF HONOR.” _Velasquez_]

my father’s farm, and, I was assured, were fed on nothing but milk.”

Before the turkey made its appearance, Villegas had discovered that
among his guests were people of seven nationalities, and that four
languages were being spoken at the table.

“This,” he said, “is the Tower of Babel.” The name stuck for as long at
least as that hospitable house was our home.

“What,” I asked Don Jaime who sat beside me, “is the Bohemian
gentleman’s name?”

“Of baptism or of family?”

“Both, particularly of family.”

“Ah!” the Don relapsed into Spanish, “nobody can pronounce it; it begins
with a cough and ends with a sneeze. He is called Don Carlos the
Bohemian, because he comes from Bohemia. He copies royal portraits in
the Prado for the Archduke Eugenio of Austria; no one has made such
copies of Velasquez since Villegas left off painting them!” The Bohemian
saw we were speaking of him, for he looked over at us.

“This lady, whose name I did not catch,” he said, “is an American?”

“Oh, no!” cried little Serafita, who gives music lessons to the Infanta;
“she is English, Yankee, from New York.” In Madrid, American means South
American, unless the contrary is stated.

I asked Serafita, a sparkling Andaluz with a drop of Hebrew blood in her
veins, if many of her pupils worked seriously. “Only a few,” she said,
“more give up their music when they marry. It is the same with their
other studies. The women I know drop their reading and studies when they
leave school. If one cannot talk with them about the fashions or the
last ball, they have nothing to say. You North American women can speak
on every subject. Our women are not less clever, but our men do not wish
us to be improved, for they know that we are naturally more intelligent
than they themselves, and if our minds were cultivated they believe we
would not be content always to stay at home.”

Villegas had lately sat for his photograph, and as Lucia wished opinions
on the likeness, the photographs were handed round the table. When they
came to Don Jaime he counted them, and told me that there were twelve,
and all alike, adding with a sigh that if there were only twelve
Villegases, all alike, and he could dine with all of them, he could then
be sure of twelve such dinners a year!

Before Villegas came to Madrid, and took Don Jaime under his wing, the
Don often had no dinner--so he confided to Patsy. One does not exactly
dine when one spends two cents a day for food. “Under such
circumstances,” the Don said, “it is best to invest all your money in
bread of the day before; it costs less than fresh bread, and goes
farther.”

While we were still at table, there came a tremendous ringing at the
door-bell. There was a lull in the conversation as Gil opened the front
door. “A message and a box from the bedchamber of the King for Don
José!” cried a loud voice in the hall outside.

“Put down the box. Don José is dining,” Gil replied firmly.

“Give him the message then as I give it to thee. Here are the pantaloons
of his Majesty the King. They must be returned by the fifteenth of the
month, when his Majesty wishes to wear them.”

We looked at each other in astonishment.

“I am painting the King’s portrait,” said Villegas; “as he is not very
fond of posing they have sent me the clothes to work from before the
next sitting.”

“The Infanta’s wedding is on the eighteenth,” said Lucia; “perhaps they
are wanted for that. Be sure nothing happens to them at the studio.”

It was nearly twelve when the Bohemian, the first to make the move, rose
to go. They keep late hours in Madrid, even later than in Paris. Don
Carlos was reproved for breaking up the party so early.

“I promised,” he said by way of excuse, “to be at the Countess Q’s for
midnight mass.”

“I should not have thought that _misa del gallo_--cockcrow mass was
exactly in your line!” said Don Jaime. “You grow devout with years!”

“Ah, well--I know the music will be good, they will give selections from
Carmen. Besides, I promised I would stay and help them out with the
supper and dance after the mass.”

Just then Gil brought in a curiously shaped old bottle covered with dust
and cobwebs.

“Try this before you go,” said Villegas; “it is Trafalgar 1805, the year
of the great vintage of Jerez and of the great battle.” He himself
poured out the wine, with greatest care not to shake the bottle.

“It is good enough,” said the Bohemian, with another of his grand bows,
“to drink to Doña Lucia’s health, and,” raising his glass, “to the
portrait of the King.”

“The portrait of the King!” We drank the toast standing.

The next morning we walked over to the studio with Villegas and Lucia,
Gil following with the box from the bedchamber of the King. As we left
the Tower of Babel, Cisera came running after us.

“Don José, you have forgotten your brushes;” she put a bundle of
paint-brushes done up in a newspaper into his hand. Villegas tucked
them in his pocket and thanked Cisera; it is her privilege to wash the
brushes, and she allows no one else to touch them. The studio is in the
Pasaje del Alhambra, rather a picturesque place for Madrid, not more
than half a mile from the house. Though it was late, after ten o’clock,
the streets were very uncomfortable on account of the floods of water
pouring through them. The extreme dryness of the soil and the air makes
it necessary to flush the streets twice a day! A pair of wild looking
gypsy girls were standing by one of the corners, watching the water
pouring from the hydrant. The taller girl was very handsome, the shorter
one seemed older, and had an ill-tempered face, with a head shaped like
a snake’s. They stood gaping at us with the dazed look of country people
unused to a city. They were so poorly dressed I rather thought they
would beg of us.

“What a type!” said Villegas, looking at the handsome girl, a beauty
with rough black hair hanging over the eyes, and a half fierce, half shy
expression.

“What character in that head, eh?”

“She has exactly the face you have been looking for,” said Lucia. “Ask
her to come to the studio and pose.”

They spoke to the handsome girl, who seemed to agree. At this the elder
girl caught her by the arm and dragged her back.

“No, no, you shall not go!” she cried. “Do you know what he will do? He
will look you in the eyes fixedly, fixedly, like this, and while he is
looking at you, he will suck your blood!” At this the two took to their
heels and ran for dear life.

“You see how difficult it is to get models in Madrid!” Villegas laughed.
“One is driven here, by force, to paint portraits!”

We were passing a house in a garden where an old retired General and his
old wife sat opposite each other on the porch in large covered invalid
chairs, keeping a sharp lookout on all passers-by. They were both deaf,
and imagining other people heard no better than they, talked quite
audibly about the people in the street.

“There goes Villegas, the painter,” said the wife. “He seems amused
about something.” (Don José had laughed to tears over the gypsy’s
warning). “What do you suppose his servant is carrying in that big box?”

“What ridiculous curiosity,” growled the General; “isn’t it the same old
box?”

“No, I never saw it before. I wonder what he _has_ got in it!”

As we reached the corner of the Barquillo, Villegas exclaimed: “There’s
the Novio. He must have been ill, he looks rather pale; I haven’t seen
him for a week.” The novio, a pallid young man in a plaid suit, stood in
a protected angle of the side-walk, looking up at a window at the top of
a high house where a roguish girl’s face looked out from between the
curtains. The young man was talking with his fingers in the deaf and
dumb language.

“He talks so fast I cannot read what he says,” said Villegas. “But one
can guess; one has either heard or said such things oneself, is it not
so?”

At the opposite corner the old flower woman, who sat stooping and
huddled under her black shawls like the eldest of the Fates, chose from
her stock a white hyacinth and silently handed it to Villegas, who gave
her a coin, took the flower and walked briskly on. The old woman sat up
a little straighter, after he had passed, and set her flowers in better
order. It is characteristic of Villegas that people always sit up
straighter and put their affairs in better order when he has passed
their way.

Angoscia, the glove-maker of Granada, who takes care of the studio, and
serves as a draped model, opened the studio door: it is almost
impossible in Madrid to get either male or female models to pose for the
nude. Angoscia is a pretty young woman with an almost perfect face,
beautiful hands and feet, but with a tendency to grow stout.

“You have been eating maccaroni again!” said Lucia.

“No, no, I swear by the Virgin I have not. I eat nothing, I starve
myself, I am hungry always.”

“Or _torrones_. You are much fatter than before Christmas; that comes of
giving you a holiday!”

Poor Angoscia, looking worthy of her name--it means anguish--made a
diversion by asking what we had brought in the box. Lucia, with her
help, then unpacked a fine cocked hat, a red and blue military coat and
waistcoat, a pair of short white cloth knee breeches, the belt linings
and pockets of heaviest satin, a dainty sword and sword belt. Angoscia
drew the damascened Toledo blade, pretty as a toy, cruel as death, from
its sheath; it glinted in the sun and flashed its reflection in her soft
brave eyes. Everything in the box was most carefully packed, each silver
button and bit of silver lace separately wrapped in black tissue paper
to keep it from tarnishing. At the very bottom of the box was a long
thin morocco case. This I opened, gave a scream, and almost dropped the
case that contained the ensign of the Order of the Garter. The garter
was of dark blue velvet bordered with gold. The letters were separate,
of very thick gold, attached by invisible rivets to the velvet. After
the legend “Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense” the velvet strap was heavily
embroidered in gold thread, the tab and buckle were finely chased gold.

“A beautiful piece of work!” Villegas turned it over in his hand and
nodded approval. How all good workmen feel a good piece of work!

“Edward the Black Prince was made the first knight of the Order of the
Garter after Crécy, when he brought the great ruby back from Spain,”
said J.

“Where is it worn?” That was a serious question. By this time the
clothes were on the mannikin, the palette was set, Villegas unrolled the
great sheaf of brushes, and was ready to go to work.

“On the left leg below the knee,” said J. There was some argument on the
point, finally settled by appeal to a Van Dyke portrait in the Prado.

“They have forgotten the shoes!” cried Angoscia.

“There is nothing remarkable about them: any low evening pumps will do
till the next sitting,” said Villegas.

“Mariano Benlliure has a pair!” cried Jaime, and went off in a cab to
borrow them. He came back with two pairs of patent leather pumps nicely
fitted on wooden lasts.

“Mariano must be very rich,” said Jaime. “I will pawn the pair you don’t
use, send him the ticket, and when he wants to wear them he can redeem
the shoes.”

At last the mannikin was dressed with the King’s clothes and put in the
right pose and Villegas got to work. He did not like to paint from the
mannikin; he said it looked too stiff, and would spoil the portrait, but
that it would be impossible to put the King’s clothes on a model!

“If Don Alfonzo had only given me a sitting instead of going hunting
to-day!” he sighed, squeezing more yellow ochre on his palette to paint
the garter; “I should like to have gone into the country too!”

“A hundred years from now who will care whether the King went hunting
to-day or not? Somebody may be glad that you stayed in your studio and
worked.”

“_Quien sabé?_” sighed Villegas.

“He is never satisfied!” said Lucia.

“The day he is satisfied, he will be finished!” laughed J. Villegas, who
likes company when he works, and can endure a dozen people talking in
the studio without listening to a word that is said, went steadily on
with his painting, laying on the bold, firm strokes of color in a manner
all his own.

In those days there was much to do in Madrid about the Infanta Maria
Teresa’s wedding. The trousseau and presents were exhibited in the great
dining-hall of the palace. The jewels given by the King, Queen Maria
Cristina, and the bridegroom, Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria, were said to
be fabulously fine. There were fifty dresses with shoes to match, among
other items, and all the rest of the outfit was on the same scale. The
bridegroom and his parents arrived in Madrid some days before the
wedding. His mother, the Infanta Paz, was the sister of the bride’s
father, Alfonzo XII, so it was a family affair and a deal of
entertaining went on in the palace of the King. Prince Max of Bavaria,
the bridegroom’s father, took little part in the merrymaking, but
slipped off whenever he could to the hospitals to have a look at the
interesting cases, and compare notes with his confrères, the surgeons.
The story was told of his coming home late to lunch one day, and saying
to the guests invited to meet him, “I have made such a successful
operation this morning; cut off a man’s leg. It all went well; the
patient stood it admirably!”

“Even royalties are becoming emancipated,” said Patsy; “they have
practically gone on strike. Can you blame a man for refusing to spend
his life standing round waiting on the chance that he may be wanted to
fill a throne? Here you have a royal explorer, like the Duke of Abruzzi,
and a royal surgeon, like Prince Max, real professionals, not amateurs;
what are we coming to next?”

We were driving along the gay crowded Calle Acalá, on our way to the
wedding.

“They have a fine day,” Patsy went on. “I saw a few icicles on the
fountain of Cebele this morning, but they’re all melted now. At home we
should call this mild weather for January; here they act as if it were
ten below zero.”

Every carriage or automobile we passed was hermetically sealed; not a
crack of a window was left open, and the Madrileños were muffled in furs
to the eyes. The climate of Madrid is not half so black as it is
painted; half the bronchitis and lung troubles we hear about come from
too much wrapping up and too little fresh air! The only open carriages
to be seen in Madrid at this season belong to the royal family. They set
a good example in that direction, at least.

The chapel royal of the palace, where the wedding took place, leads from
the glass enclosed gallery that surrounds the courtyard at the second
story, and communicates with the bedchamber of the King and the other
private apartments. Each door is guarded day and night by two tall
halberdiers, in whose hands lies the safety of the King. They are picked
men, the very flower of the army, the type of Spanish soldier history
and romance have made familiar. They look as fierce, proud, and terrible
as the men who marched with Cortes. The young officer in lovely white
broadcloth uniform and shining feathered helmet, who took us in charge
at the palace door, delivered us over into the hands of a halberdier in
a cocked hat and short clothes, who led us through the gallery, empty
save for the guards pacing up and down. The four men on duty at the
chapel door stood like breathing statues; they never moved their eyes;
they hardly seemed to wink. Though they were relieved every fifteen
minutes, as long as flesh and blood can stand the strain, one of the big
handsome fellows fainted, before his quarter of an hour was over.

Our halberdier--his name was Pedro--led us up a private stairway covered
with a blue Aubusson carpet, sprinkled with roses and lilies so lifelike
that you could almost pick them, then to a little, dark, secret stair
leading to the grated balcony, where we were to sit, as if in a private
stage box, and see the royal wedding. We were spectators, not guests, as
only the Court and the diplomatic circle were admitted to the floor of
the chapel. Don Jaime soon joined us; he had made the unprecedented
sacrifice of getting up at ten o’clock, so that he might tell us who all
the great personages were.

“To the left sit members of Government and his wifes. Next Greats of
Spain”--usually called Grandees--“Major-domos-de-semana, Gentilhombres,
_corps diplomatique_, authorities, mayor and members of city, dames of
court, generals, chamberlains, suite of bridegroom.”

“_Solo Madrid es corte_;” only at Madrid is there a court, according to
the old saying. The arrival of this famous Spanish court was the most
impressive feature of the whole gorgeous pageant. The ladies, wearing
long velvet trains and white mantillas, entered the chapel one by one,
bowed before the altar, crossed themselves, and with consummate grace
and dignity, above all with perfect calm, made their way to their
places, where they spread out their trains and settled themselves like
so many brilliant birds of paradise. There was no noise, no confusion,
no crowding; it had all been calculated to a nicety. There was plenty of
time, and plenty of space for everybody; this above all else made for
the great distinction of the ceremony. The Chinese minister and
secretary, in their embroidered silk gowns, their mandarin caps and
peacock feathers, were the most picturesque figures in the diplomatic
tribune. Chief among the Grandees were the Knights of the Golden Fleece.
Patsy asked the name of one whose face seemed familiar.

“Is Pidal, Duke of Veragua,” said Jaime. “He receive the order on the
anniversary of 1892, as proof of worthy to be descendant of Columbus. He
is the elevator of the finest bulls in Spain; you will see them at the
next _corrida_.”

“Are all the seven Spanish Knights of the Golden Fleece here?”

“No, not Count Cheste. Has nineteen seven years, is more ancient of army
and of literature. It is a poet.”

The King’s clothes had been returned in plenty of time for the wedding;
care had been taken of them, they looked as good as new when, to the
music of the Lohengrin march, Don Alfonzo walked into the chapel,
leading the bride with one hand, the bridegroom with the other.

“It’s just like the opera,” Patsy whispered. “Wagner made no mistakes in
his stage directions; he knew all the traditions of the Bavarian Court,
and must have seen a royal wedding or two.”

The bride wore orange blossoms in her hair; the front of her satin dress
sparkled with diamonds, the train of white velvet, bordered with ostrich
feathers, hung from the shoulders and was carried by a page.

“Her code is three metres long,” the Don told us.

The bride knelt at the altar, made her first prayer, then crossed the
church, passing the three officiating cardinals in their arrogant
scarlet robes, to the prie-dieu where her mother knelt apart from all
the rest. She stooped, and raised the Queen’s hand to her lips. The
Queen, who wept openly throughout the ceremony, kissed her cheek; the
bride then rejoined the bridegroom, a kind looking, round-faced young
man, with thick brown hair. The ceremony was performed by the Archbishop
of Toledo, Cardinal primate of Spain, a subtle-faced old man with silver
hair and benevolent manners. The King knew his mass perfectly; he kissed
his prayer-book and crossed himself at all the proper times, and
throughout the service prompted the bridegroom, who seemed ill prepared
and had evidently not been so well drilled.

“_Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!_” the King struck his breast
three times with his clenched fist, as he said the words.

“What do you suppose Don Alfonzo’s _maxima culpa_ is?” murmured Patsy.
“I don’t believe he has had much chance to commit one. Villegas might
say it is his not liking to pose. Some old fogy might say it was his
habit of riding his horse up the palace stairs. I would not give a fig
for a young man in his position who didn’t do that; it is a time-honored
custom of gay young princes! It wasn’t _his_ fault that he was born a
king; he can’t be expected to forfeit all the fun he might otherwise
have enjoyed as heir to the throne!”

While the Archbishop knotted the white satin scarf, symbol of the
marriage tie, about the young couple’s shoulders, Don Jaime hurried us
down to the gallery to see the cortége pass from the chapel to the
private apartments. Our halberdier, Pedro, had kept us a place opposite
the chapel door. The gallery was lined with these superb guards. They
stood shoulder to shoulder, their steel halberds flashing in the
sunlight that streamed through the glass sides of the gallery.

“The _alabardaros_,” Don Jaime explained, “are a particularity, all must
be of so great length.” He added that they all held rank two grades
below what they had held in the army; that the soldiers had been
sergeants and the general formerly a field marshal.

The fateful music of Mendelssohn’s march thrilled through the gallery,
the waiting crowd behind the halberdiers swayed at the sound as
wind-flowers shaken by the wind.

The wedding party came out of the chapel behind four mace bearers,
stalwart men in black velvet, with gold maces over their shoulders.

“The Infanta Isabel, the King’s aunt, _es muy Española_!” she is very
Spanish--whispered Jaime as a gray-haired, hearty-looking woman passed,
bowing and smiling.

“I like her,” said Patsy; “she looks a thoroughly good sort; she has
twice been heir to the throne, before the birth of her brother Alfonzo
XII, and again after his death, before our Don Alfonzo was born. Trying,
wasn’t it? She seems to be the most popular of the elder members of the
family.”

The Infanta Eulalia is not so well known as her sister, the Infanta
Isabel, because she has been little in Spain and prefers to live in
Paris. She looked very much as she did when she was in Chicago, at the
time of the World’s Fair, very elegant, very graceful, more
cosmopolitan, less _Española_ than her sister.

The Queen walked with Don Alfonzo. She wore a long ash colored dress, a
white lace mantilla, a diamond diadem, and the finest pearls I ever saw.
She neither bowed nor smiled.

In the clear sunlight of the gallery, at a range of ten feet, one saw
the dreadful look of suffering in her face. It must have been a trying
day for her. Her eldest daughter, Princess of the Asturias, had died
only a year before, leaving four little children: _her_ marriage had
been so unpopular that it nearly caused a revolution, and there had been
none of the rejoicing and merrymaking her sister, the Infanta Maria, was
enjoying. Besides this recent grief, what bitter memories must have
surged up in the Queen’s heart. Her own marriage and all of the tragedy
and suffering that it held. Hers had been a state marriage; her
bridegroom met her at the altar with a heart still sore for his adored
Mercedes, his first wife dead in the first year of their marriage. Then
came her husband’s early death, after a cruel, lingering illness; the
summoning together of the ministers, to whom she announced that there
was still hope of an heir, for besides her three daughters, she was
again with child: the birth of that child, Alfonzo XIII, one of the very
few who have been born King, twenty years of passionate devotion to the
care of the delicate boy’s health, his education, his religious
training. Twenty years of intense, unresting effort to keep the throne
for her son,--all this among a people to whom she was ever “the
Austrian,” is still the Outlander. And now, after all that she has done,
another woman is to usurp her place. Her son will marry within the year
a woman who has been bred a Protestant.

As she passed, without a look at the people, it seemed that for once the
mask of the Queen had dropped from the grief-ravaged face of the woman.

The young people were in the gayest mood. Don Alfonzo nodded and smiled
to right and left, the bride and bridegroom came along, laughing and
talking together, like any other happy young couple. There was youth and
hope in their faces; they were still far from the stereotyped bow, the
dreadful mechanical smile of the elder royalties.

“_Felicidad eternal!_” said Don Jaime, as the bride passed us.

“A good word,” Patsy echoed it as the doors closed behind the wedding
party. “Eternal felicity, may they be as happy as if they had not been
born in the shadow of a throne.”

[Illustration: DETAILS FROM “THE SURRENDER OF BREDA.” _Velasquez_]



XI

THE PRADO

    _Por las calles de Madrid_
    _se pasea un valenciano_
    _con un clavel en la boca_
    _y una rosa en cada mano._

    Through the streets of Madrid
    A Valencian was straying
    With a pink in his mouth
    And a rose in each hand.


Little Don Luis the Valencian took the pink from his mouth, when he met
Villegas coming up the steps of the Prado Museum. “I was going away,” he
said, “but I will turn back with you. Anything for an excuse not to go
to work!”

“Work!” Villegas fairly snorted! “You call painting work, when it is the
only thing you like to do? Caramba! There are some things in this world
hard to understand!” Villegas was disappointed. He had waited an hour at
the studio for Luz, who never came for her sitting; this was quite
natural the day after the court ball.

The head porter met us at the door; any of the famous painters whose
pictures hang in the room of the great portraits might have been glad to
have him for a sitter. He was a handsome man of the grave Castilian
type, with a big, square black beard and skin like alabaster. He wore a
broadcloth overcoat down to his heels and a gold laced cap.

“These are my friends,” Villegas introduced us. “You will give them any
help they may need.”

The porter bowed gravely and we all followed Villegas into the Museum.
He had come to make his morning rounds, and little Don Luis offered to
be our guide while he looked over his mail.

“I was too discouraged to paint to-day,” said Don Luis, “so I came for
help to the great artists, whose work is here. They seem to hold out
their hands to me, and say: ‘we have travelled the road you find so
hard; we, too, have known discouragement and despair!’ I always go away
from the Museum as from the company of my best friends, full of courage
and hope.”

“The way I feel, after seeing a play of Shakespeare’s,” murmured Patsy.
“Clever work discourages you; great work puts heart into you, makes you
feel you can go home and do something as good, that you might even have
done that.”

Villegas, who loves the pictures under his care as if they were his
children, is not satisfied with the Prado, and is always hoping they may
some day have a museum worthy of them.

“The three arts should be united, as they were in Greece,” he said.
“Oh, for a building that should be as a perfect casket for the two
jewels, painting and sculpture. Other museums may illustrate the history
of art better than the Prado, none possesses more masterpieces of
painting!”

“He has performed miracles since he became Director,” said Don Luis;
“not only in the care and hanging of the pictures, but against the risk
of fire. He has put in all the latest fire extinguishing apparatus. He
is right, though, we must have a new building, and, it appears to me, he
will get it for us!”

The Prado was built for a Natural History Museum, and the light in many
rooms, especially on the upper floor, is very bad. Many valuable
pictures cannot be shown for want of space, others can hardly be seen
for lack of light. In spite of these drawbacks, the Prado is the most
delightful Museum I know. It soon became to us, as to Don Luis, a second
home. The first impression is of an immense hospitality; there is no
entrance fee to pay; the Museum is free to all. Then the guardians are
all so kind and, nearly all, so good-looking. The man who takes your
umbrella or walking stick treats you with courtesy and respect, not, as
in some galleries, as if you were a criminal or a lunatic bent on poking
holes in the canvases.... Every museum has its climate or atmosphere;
the climate of the Prado is genial and cordial beyond compare.

The first impression we received of the pictures was a great joy that
there are so many surprises among them. A few of the Velasquez and the
Murillos we knew already, but as a whole the collection is less familiar
than any other I have ever seen. The vast majority of the pictures were
new to us. No work of art that has become well known through endless
copies and reproductions can make the impression these undreamed-of
splendors make. As Patsy said, “they hit you hard like love at first
sight!”

Last, but not least, the Prado is comfortable! It has wood floors, and
is properly warmed. You can spend a morning there without that fear of
catching cold that haunts you in the chill marble-paved galleries of
Italy.

In the long hall of the Spanish School, Villegas joined us. We were
looking at a portrait of Marianna of Austria, the second wife of Philip
IV.

“This is a copy of the Velasquez made by his son-in-law, Maza,” said Don
José. “It formerly passed as a replica by Velasquez himself.”

“And how do you know now that it is not?” asked Patsy.

“You shall see.” Don José called an attendant, and ordered that the copy
be carried into the

[Illustration: THE TIPPLERS. _Velasquez_]

Velasquez room and placed beside the great original.

“Observe that it lacks the extraordinary silvery tone peculiar to
Velasquez and, besides, is too accurate a copy! Velasquez would never
have had patience to copy mere accidents of brush-marks, or kinks in the
folds of the dress, if he had been copying one of his own pictures. He
would preserve the tone, the spirit, the pose of the original, but he
would not go seeking to make the same strokes with his brush. The very
mechanical accuracy helps to prove this a copy made by a faithful pupil;
thus it is!”

The sixty-seven Velasquez pictures are all together in one room. They
are admirably hung, in the chronological order they were painted, so
that you can follow the painter’s work from the beginning to the end.
The impression produced is of a wonderful living autobiography. Every
picture is a page on which you may read some momentous event in the
artist’s life. You trace his development from the Adoration of the
Kings, the earliest picture, to St. Anthony the Abbot visiting St. Paul,
perhaps the latest. It is an autobiography that cannot be read at a
glance. In that first visit, made in the company of artists to whom the
Velasquez room is holy as Mecca to the Mahommedan, I was introduced to
the genius who, for the next six months, I was to study and try to
understand.

“Why did Velasquez paint so many pictures of fools, dwarfs and
gabaloonzy men?” Patsy asked. We were looking at the portrait of El
Primo, the dwarf, holding in his tiny hands a big book, looking out from
under his slouch hat and long feather with the humpback’s sharp, uncanny
eyes.

“Because he could always get one of them to sit for him when the royal
sitters disappointed him,” sighed Villegas; “they had more time than the
courtiers, and were perhaps the most vigorous and characteristic
subjects for painting of all the people he lived among.”

We passed on to the idiot Child of Vallecas. The poor, vacant face seems
to flicker at you from the canvas, the weak, wasted hands with the pack
of cards never took hold of anything, not even life itself, save with a
faltering grasp. At first, when you begin to study Velasquez, you feel
it monstrous that his genius should have been wasted on such ridiculous
deformities; in the end you accept them all, for the sake of the genius
that has immortalized them.

“Look at that hand!” said Villegas, as we were standing before the
portrait of Montañez, the sculptor. “How it is painted! With nothing,
you may say--zip-zap, two strokes of the brush, and it is a

[Illustration: DUKE OF OLIVARES. _Velasquez_]

hand. To create something out of nothing--colossal!”

“That is a good copy,” said J. A canvas, still wet, stood on an easel
near the Montañez.

“Ah, yes--you may say so. That is made by an American--a certain Hibson;
he has talent if you will; he will arrive! notice what I say, that man
will go far.”

In Spanish G is pronounced H. The “Hibson,” of whom Villegas foretold
great and serious things, the new star on the artistic horizon, in an
earlier incarnation, achieved fame as the creator of the Gibson Girl!

“I saw that effect of sky this morning. Velasquez painted that
background on a day like this.”

We were standing before the portrait of the Duke de Olivarez, with the
bare blue plains of Castile and the snow-capped Guaderrama behind him.
You feel the keen, clear air with the bite of the wind from the snow
mountains, as you look at that picture of the Duke on his prancing
war-horse of the best Arabo-Velasquez breed!

“Look at that dog! It is nothing, painted with nothing, when you look
close at it; take two steps backwards, and it is everything.”

It was the dog in the Meninas, one of the details Villegas never failed
to look at as he passed.

“That is a canine dog,” said Patsy. “Dogs in pictures almost always
have a human expression. These of Velasquez look as dogs must look to
each other; it is as if they were painted by one of themselves!”

The Meninas has a separate room to itself. Look at the picture long
enough, and the illusion seizes you that you are really looking into a
room of the gloomy old palace of the Alcazar, the Court of Philip IV,
where Velasquez lived and worked the greater part of his working life.
You can walk into that room where he stands at work before a big canvas,
look over his shoulder, see the portrait he is painting of the King and
Queen; you can even touch him on the arm that supports his palette.

“He paints pictures no longer,” cried little Don Luis the Valencian.
“Like a god he creates a world with light and atmosphere, plains and
mountains. Into that world he puts kings and queens, buffoons and
beggars.”

“And soldiers and horses!” said Villegas, stopping before the “Surrender
of Breda,” a great spacious picture with a gray-blue sky, and room
enough in it for all the sublimity of victory, the tragedy of defeat. In
the background the distant town of Breda still smokes from the
besiegers’ shells. In the nearer distance, marching up the hill, is a
company of the victorious soldiers armed with the long lances that give
the picture its nickname. The men’s faces are grave, they show no
exultation to the group of the defeated enemy standing opposite to them.
In the foreground Justino de Nassau, the defender of Breda, offers the
key of the city to the victorious general Spinola. De Nassau’s knee is
slightly bent--it is a stubborn knee and hard to bend--as he holds out
the key. Spinola has neither hand free to take it; one holds his baton,
the other is laid in what seems almost an embrace, on De Nassau’s
shoulder. “Take back your key,” he seems to say. “To-day it was our turn
to win; to-morrow it may be yours.”

What was it Grant said to Lee about needing the horses for the spring
plowing? There you have the magnanimous spirit of Velasquez’s “Surrender
of Breda” in a nutshell.

“My friend,” said Villegas to a stout German artist, who was working
away in grim earnest at a copy of the “Lances”; “your color is too hot,
remember the cool silver-grays; always try for them!”

“_Ach Gott_, you have said it!” cried the poor man, squinting from his
copy to the original; “why could I not myself before have seen it?” Then
he broke into profuse thanks to the Herr Director, who hurried on to
escape them.

“I have a plan,” said Villegas, “for a new arrangement of this room.”
We had passed into the long gallery of the Spanish School, from which
the Velasquez room opens. “Here, opposite this entrance, I shall hang
the Titian portrait of Charles V on his war-horse; it is too much
sacrificed where it is now. Near this I shall hang some Tintorettos and
some Grecos. In this way it will be possible to trace the influence of
each of these masters on the other: the influence of Titian on
Tintoretto, of Tintoretto on Greco, of Greco on Velasquez.”

The head porter, who had come hurrying up to Villegas, now delivered his
message.

“They have telephoned from the Palace that the King of Portugal will be
at the Museum in half an hour.”

These sudden entrances of royalty upon the scene added enormously to the
interest of our life in Madrid. The marriage of the Infanta, the
betrothal and the marriage of the King brought more royal visitors to
Madrid that season than usual, and they all came to the Prado. The
Museum has for them an especial attraction apart from the artistic
interest. The Prado contains portraits of the ancestors of most of the
royal personages in Europe, and they are naturally interested in seeing
their family portraits. The collection begun by Charles V, and
constantly added to by his descendants, is essentially a royal
collection. Isabel II generously

[Illustration: VENUS AND CUPID. _Velasquez_]

gave the pictures to the Spanish nation. How generously that gift is
shared with the artists and art lovers of all nations, every visitor to
the Prado knows.

Villegas hurried off to prepare for the visit of Don Carlos, the King of
Portugal, and little Don Luis, still glad of an excuse not to go back to
work, offered to take me to see Don Carlos the Bohemian. We found him in
a big barrack of a lumber-room smelling of paint, turpentine and
varnish, at the top of the Prado. He was at work on a copy of the
disputed portrait of Don John of Austria. He threw down his palette and
ran to meet Don Luis, rumpling up his hair with desperate hands.

“Was I mad to undertake it?” he cried. “It is the fourth Antonio Moro I
have copied. Not another, not for a million.”

“Not for a million, no; what couldst thou do with it? But for--well,
something else--yes, as many as thy grand duke will find room for in his
museum!”

“The work that accursed Fleming put into a picture. I tell thee it is
brutal to work so hard; he had the patience of a saint!”

“Or a Coello or a Pantoja. It is not a Moro! Thou hast some patience
thyself; it is not bad, thy copy!” Don Luis looked critically at it; “a
little crude. How many glazes hast thou given it?”

“Only eight.”

“Ah! thou seest? thou wilt get the tone soon. There is nothing wrong
with the drawing; the worst of the work is over with that.”

“Blessed be thy mouth!”

Don John, the Conqueror of Lepanto, is a young man standing with the
lion of Alcazaba at his side. He wears a shirt of mail the rings as fine
as those of a lady’s purse, and every ring is painted. The fringe of the
cushion is painted thread by thread, you can almost count the hairs in
the moustache.

“How can you know where to begin?” I asked. The copying of this
life-sized full length, painted with the detail of a miniature, seemed a
desperate undertaking.

“I know how the devil worked! I studied and studied him till I got his
secret; ah, there is no one like him; he is a despair! See, first I draw
everything in black, white and gray, down to the last detail, then I get
my tone with a series of thin glazes. Each one must be quite hard and
dry before I give it the next. It takes a lifetime, you may say!”

A delightful copy of the Velasquez portrait of little Prince Baltasar
with the gun and the dog stood against the wall. “Thou hast a good thing
there,” said Don Luis; “and once Velasquez was hard for thee to copy!”

[Illustration: DON BALTAZAR CARLOS. _Velasquez_]

“How he baffled me! Now I have learned as much of his secret as a man
can learn; rather twenty-five Velasquez than one Moro. This is the last,
if I live to finish it!”

I told Don Carlos about the King of Portugal. “He always comes to the
Prado when he is in Madrid,” he said. “He is a fair painter himself, for
a king. There is a portrait of his worth seeing in the Museum of Modern
Arts.”

“I think he once complimented thee on a copy thou wast making?” said Don
Luis.

“Perhaps he did,” growled Don Carlos. He smoothed out his towsled hair
and went back, grumbling still, though less violently, to his work.
Somehow the energy of despair had become the energy of courage; little
Don Luis the Valencian with the pink in his mouth had turned the water
of drudgery to the wine of work!

Madrid was perpetually _en fête_ during the visit of the King and Queen
of Portugal. We had visions of them flitting by like figures in a
panorama, on their way to the bull-fight, driving to the gala
performance at the opera, reviewing the troops. The review began with an
open-air mass, the salute of the flag by the new recruits, and the
defile before the two kings, Don Alfonzo and Don Carlos. The artillery
was much applauded, especially the mountain battery, a troop of mules
with cannon on their backs. The cavalry, a fine body of men and horses,
galloped by the grand stand at breakneck speed. One company, all mounted
on white horses, preceded by two lines of buglers, came flashing past
with a splendid dash and brilliancy that pleased Don Carlos, for he
clapped his great hands and cried “Bravo.” After the review the two
kings rode down the Paseo de la Castellana side by side. Don Carlos, an
immense man with a strong likeness to his uncle, Victor Emanuel, was in
uniform; he wore the broad blue ribbon of Charles III, and a row of
other decorations on his coat. He rode a gigantic sorrel horse. He
seemed very popular, for there was a deal of hand clapping and hurrahing
as he passed. The young King rode beside him, looking gallant and
boyish; he had a happy genial smile for everybody. Queen Amelia, a
beautiful woman, built on a generous plan to match Don Carlos, followed
in a _daumont_ with four horses and two postilions. How often I have
remembered the answer of a Spanish diplomat to my question that day:

“Is Don Carlos as popular at home as he is in Madrid?”

“I fear not. He spends too much money. If the things were done here that
go on in Portugal, Spain would be in revolution from one end to the
other.”

Don Luis had more time for Patsy and me in those days than any of our
friends. He was always ready to take us to see sights or studios. One
day we surprised him in his own studio, an eyry at the top of a tall
building. A card pinned to the door by a thumb tack told us where to
knock. A little old lady with a white cap tied under her chin opened the
door. She had a kind face, wrinkled like the skin of a late russet
apple, and eyes like Luis’. She led us along a narrow passage--so low
Patsy was forced to stoop--to a little door where she tapped.

“Is it thou, Mama?” called Luis from inside. “Come in, if thou art
alone.” When he heard Patsy’s voice he ran to let us in. The studio, an
attic with a slanting roof, was filled with piles of canvases stacked
against the wall.

“Ay! _Virgincita!_ don’t sit down on the palette,” cried the old lady,
“nor on that sofa; this chair is quite safe!”

On an easel stood the picture Luis had been working on, a palace
interior. There were flowers, jewels, light, warmth, and atmosphere in
the pictured room, above all there was luxury; that was the thing most
insisted upon.

“This is the papa, and this is the mama.” Don Luis’ mama in her cotton
cap hung over the picture as she described it. “How it is painted, this
lace! And the jewels, they shine as if they were real; is it not true?”

When we had admired all the pictures Don Luis would show us, they were
not many, he was afraid of boring us, Patsy reminded him of his promise
to take us to the Rastro.

“Go thou with them now,” said mama. “He has not been out to-day; he
needs the air.” She pushed him from the studio.

“If thou wilt promise not to dust”----

“_Ojala!_ what a son I have! I promise, if thou wilt go, nothing shall
be touched. I swear thou shalt find the studio as thou dost leave it.”

The Rastro is a vast rag fair, a city within a city, where the poor of
Madrid who cannot afford to buy at first hand may buy whatever they need
at second hand.

“We will go first to Las Grandes Americas,” said Don Luis, leading the
way into an enormous enclosure surrounded by high brick walls. “This is
the quarter of the building materials. Here you can buy doors and
windows, girders, ceiling beams, stairs, everything necessary to build a
house. Across the way are fittings, fireplaces, stoves, gas fixtures,
plumbing. Here you can furnish your house, your studio, even your
church!”

If we had been bent on picking up antiquities, we might have found some
nice things in the quarter where the refuse of the churches is
gathered. There was a Madonna dressed in a fine silk robe, standing in a
little shrine, a cherub’s head in carved wood, a gilded ciborium, a
carved bas-relief of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina, the patrons of
Seville.

It was a sharp, clear day, we stopped to warm our hands at a fire of
fagots kindled on the bare ground in the middle of an old book stall. A
pale, near-sighted priest, on the other side of the fire, stood first on
one leg then on the other, drawing up one foot at a time under his gown
for warmth. He had his long nose between the leaves of a parchment book,
and looked absurdly like a learned crane as he shifted from foot to
foot.

The firelight brought out now one name, now another, as the flames
flickered and the light played along the backs of the old books. On a
sudden the immortal name Don Quixote leapt from the shadow in letters of
gold. You can always pick up the best books cheap because, like bread,
they are among the necessaries of life.

“Bayard Taylor’s Voyage to Japan! I never knew he went to Japan. It
looks so lonely among all these Spanish books, I must rescue it!” said
Patsy. Don Luis bought him the volume for three _perros chicos_.

“Here’s your Spanish and English dictionary,” said Patsy, who has the
scent of a ferret for old books. “How much for the dictionary?” The
dealer, a lean, dyspeptic man in black, who looked like his kind the
world over,--the old bookman is a type apart,--sold us the dictionary, a
large, clean and most precious book, for four pesetas. A shabby
photograph album stood on the shelf next the dictionary. As Patsy opened
it, a photograph fell from the torn leaves. Don Luis picked it up.

“_Pobrecita!_” he showed the faded photograph of a young girl in the
dress of thirty years ago. He turned it over and read what was written
on the back.

“_Mi Corazon!_”

“What a lovely face!” said Patsy.

“Too lovely to be sold for old paper!” Don Luis crushed the photograph
in his hand, threw it on the fire, and watched it burn till nothing was
left but blackened cardboard.

In an old print shop, among heaps of dusty engravings, stood a picture
of a Roman model in a _ciociara_ shirt. The canvas had a hole knocked in
it and lacked a frame.

“Manuel’s Rosina!” sighed Don Luis! “Painted the second year we were at
the Spanish Academy in Rome. He died last summer and all his things were
sold for his widow!”

“Come away,” I cried, “it has grown cold!”

On our way from the Rastro to the Tower of Babel we passed through the
Pasajé del Alhambra. Villegas and J. were just leaving the studio, so we
all walked home together. It was the hour at which the old General and
his wife (the couple who always watched for Villegas as he passed their
house on his way to and from his work) usually started for their
afternoon drive. The proud porter stood at the gate in his best uniform,
with all the General’s coats-of-arms and his wife’s woven into the
yellow galloon trimmings. A carriage with two men in livery drove up to
the door. A young woman came out of the house, followed by three flossy
white poodles, their topknots tied up with strawberry and buff,--the
General’s colors.

“We call her the dog governess,” J. explained.

“You are to take the dogs out, Tomaso,” she said; “nobody will drive
to-day. _They_ are both ill; I am going for a walk.”

Tomaso, the coachman looked exactly like the eldest poodle; he glanced
scornfully over his shoulder at the dogs sitting up grandly, with their
dear little paws in air. Their manners showed a martinet’s training. The
governess held up a warning finger.

“Sit up, Prim,” she said. Prim gave a reassuring bark, and the General’s
carriage drove solemnly through the big bronze gates, on the way to the
Park of the Buen Retiro.

“How horrible to have to drive every day!” said Patsy, “as if it was not
enough to have to eat and sleep away so much time. If anything is to be
exercised, rather my body than my horses!”

“_Se sabé!_” Villegas agreed.

“The General was well till he was put on the retired list,” said Don
Luis. “People say he is only ill because he is idle.”

“Moral, don’t let yourself be put on the retired list,” said Patsy.

“What a great, big, beautiful profession is art!” cried Villegas; “a man
is not retired till he goes blind or loses his wits! Titian was at work
on a picture when he died, at ninety-nine. If the pest had not carried
him off, he would have been alive now, is it thus?”

“_Claro!_” Don Luis agreed. “The artist’s is the only calling for a man
of sense and imagination, except, of course,” with a bow to Patsy, “the
writer’s.”

“For us,” said Patsy, “the race-course is never closed. Heat after heat
may be lost, the Great Futurity Stakes always remain open! Don Luis
knows his picture may end up with a hole knocked through it in the
Rastro, but he hopes, in his heart believes, that it will one day hang
in the Prado. And, who knows? a generation or two from now, some
traveller may pick up my book in Las Grandes Americas for three _perros
chicos_!”



XII

CARNIVAL


“To-day is the _fiesta_ of San Antonio the Abbot,” said Pedra, when she
came in to light the fire. “The Señora should go to see the blessing of
the animals at his church.”

Fasts, feasts, everything connected with the Church has far greater
importance in Madrid than in Rome. One gets some idea here of what the
power of the church was in Italy before 1870. Pedra, who was very
devout, never let me forget a saint’s day. It was like living in ancient
Rome, this strict observance of the days of _fest_ and _ne fest_.

“Then this must be your mother’s _fiesta_, her name is Antonina,” I
said.

“No, Señora. There are two San Antonios and two religions; the patron of
my mother is San Antonio of Padua,--see, here is his picture; his
_fiesta_ comes in June.” A photograph of Murillo’s Vision of Saint
Anthony hung on the wall.

“How can you tell the difference between the two?”

[Illustration: DETAIL FROM “MOSES.” _Murillo_]

“But it is so easy! San Antonio the Abbot is an old man with a beard; he
is always represented with a pig; he carries a bell. It is said that
whenever he rings his bell all the animals kneel down. San Antonio of
Padua is young, and has no beard. It is he who grants so many favors. To
him I burned the candle when the Señora lost her brooch; she found it
the day after, she remembers.”

Don Jaime, old pagan, took me to see the blessing of the animals. He
brought me a little image of the saint with a pig following at his
heels, as a dog follows.

The Abbot was very wise, Jaime explained; he knew, good man, that in
case of hunger, pig is better eating than dog. In Madrid people are
rather indifferent to him. All the Antonios the Don knew claim San
Antonio of Padua for patron because he is more aristocratic. Only the
peasants will have the Abbot for their patron, because he takes care of
their animals.

As we drew near the church, we met a great number of horses, mules and
donkeys on their way to be blessed. A white horse with the _paso
castellano_, a beautiful silky mane braided with bright ribbons and a
pretty silk head-stall, was so exactly like the horse the young dealer
from Ronda showed at the Seville fair that I half believed it to be the
same animal. The man who led him wore Andalusian dress, and a carnation
behind the ear. Man and horse picked their way through the crowd of
loafers, women, children and sweetmeat-sellers, to the church. A priest
soon came out followed by an acolyte all in scarlet like an embryo
cardinal, and from the church steps the priest sprinkled the horse with
holy water, the acolyte swung his silver censer, the incense rose in a
blue cloud. From a side window a sacristan passed the young man a bag of
fodder that had been blessed, and with the payment of a little money,
the ceremony was over.

The church was full of kneeling people; the altars were ablaze with
candles. I wished to go in to see the Goya, a picture of the Last
Communion of Saint Jerome.

Don Jaime said I had better see it another time; to-day there were too
many people. There was some small-pox about--not enough to be nervous
over--but to avoid contagion it was well to keep out of the churches. If
there is a desperately sick child in the house, of course one goes
continually from the bedside of the child to the church and prays for
its recovery. The old grandmother, or the little children who can do
nothing to help, can at least spend the morning in the church, out of
harm’s way, praying for it!

At dinner Antonina, a fairy of five who lived next door, brought in a
plate of _rosquitas de San Antonio_, delicious little crisp cakes baked
only this day in all the year. Jaime, who had come in while we were
still at table, ate one of the cakes as a reward for having been to
church.

“In England,” the Don remembered, “they eat hot cross buns on Good
Friday and pancakes on Shrove Tuesday; they have forgotten the
_rosquitas_ of Saint Anthony and the _tortas_ of San José.”

On the nineteenth of March, the _fiesta_ of San José and of all his
namesakes, I asked Pedra if we should have one of the tarts of St.
Joseph for dinner.

“In all Madrid there is no house so poor that the _torta_ of San José
will not be eaten to-day. He is the patron of the church, and as such we
all must venerate him.” It was a busy day for Don José Villegas; a flood
of visitors, cards, letters, telegrams and presents poured through the
Tower of Babel from daylight till midnight. He sat in his study busy
writing notes of congratulation and sending despatches to all the other
Josés of his acquaintance. I looked over the cards; there were the names
of statesmen, artists, poets, singers, musicians and bull-fighters, all
linked together into a sort of fraternity, because they bore in common
the name of good Saint Joseph.

In almost every circumstance of life or death, the Church plays a
leading part. The wife of a friend of Don Jaime died while we were in
Madrid, and the Don arranged that I should see the funeral procession
and one of the many services. The cortége was headed by four men dressed
in white broadcloth short clothes and Louis-Seize coats, white wigs,
silk stockings and three cornered hats; each carried a long white staff.
The hearse was a gorgeous white affair, drawn by four white horses with
sweeping ostrich plumes. It was preceded and followed by a large company
of priests, monks and choristers carrying wax candles and chanting a
miserere. The mourners followed on foot. More than a week after the
lady’s death I went with Jaime and his sister Candalaria to the house of
mourning. In the private chapel we listened to a long service lasting
over an hour. The chaplain of the family officiated, reciting the
rosary, the litany and many prayers. This was the last and ninth day of
these services. When it was over, I went home, Don Jaime and Candalaria
remaining behind to speak with the mourners. Afterwards they told me
something of the visit. Candalaria found the ladies of the family in one
room surrounded by a crowd of women friends dressed in mourning.

“They all talked at once,” said Candalaria, “saying the same thing over
and over again. ‘Poor soul! So young to die! So good, so devout! What
will her husband do without her?’”

The Don had found the widower in another room with his men friends about
him. He told the Don that his greatest grief was that his wife had died
suddenly, without having time to make a confession or receive the
sacraments. The Don wondered what possible sin she could have had on her
soul. Everybody said, and he believed, that the dead woman was very
nearly a saint.

Candalaria--her name means Candlemas--is a Majorcan. When I asked Don
Jaime to tell me something about the island of Majorca where she lives,
he said: “In Majorca all properties is oranges. It has a fine weather as
well.” I said it must be a pleasant place to live.

“Candalaria she finds it so. She is bery clever, she plays piano and
biolin.” Jaime always assumed b and v to be interchangeable in English
as they so often are in Spanish. “Her husband is topographic engineer.
Candalaria helps him to draw the geographic carts.”

Don Jaime’s sister is married to an officer of engineers; she draws so
nicely that she often helps her husband in making his army maps. She is
a small, energetic woman with consuming eyes, fiery, energetic,
practical, everything Don Jaime is not. She had come to Madrid to see
her brother and the carnival. Jaime introduced us to her, and during her
stay, we were often together.

“In your country, Señora,” Candalaria said when we first met, “you have
the largest of everything of the world. Is it rivers? The Mississippi.
Is it a cataract? Niagara. Is it mountains? The Andes. Your fortunes are
also the largest. Where we count in millions of _reals_, you count in
millions of _duros_.”

It was Candalaria who presented me to Doña Emilia Pardo de Bazan, one of
the leading Spanish novelists, a gray-haired woman with a powerful face.
Doña Pardo Bazan spoke with me about the position of women in Spain.

“I look for nothing from the women of my country,” she said; “whatever
is done to improve their position must be done by men. Our laws are
good. Women have a right to enter some of the universities and some of
the professions, but they take no advantages of these privileges. It is
the fear of ridicule that keeps them back.”

I told her that we used to hear a great deal about the fear of ridicule
in the old days at home, and that it had been proved a bugbear. She went
on to say that she had been asked to help form a woman’s club and had
refused; she knew it would be of no use, because it would be laughed at.

At the reception where I met Doña Pardo Bazan I was introduced to a
pretty Marquesa Fulano and her prettier daughter. “Tell me,” I said to
the Marquesa, “the title of Doña Pardo Bazan’s most important book.”

“I do not know it,” was the answer; “she writes for gentlemen, not for
ladies. I will enquire, if, among the many books she has written, there
is one that you could read.”

Though I never saw the Marquesa again, I read _La Tribuna_, one of the
writer’s strongest novels, and I know the Marquesa and I should not
agree about what books a woman may with advantage read. I know, too,
that everything is to be looked for from the women of Spain, for whom
Doña Pardo Bazan--I have heard her called the foremost literary woman in
Europe--has done so much.

I asked Jaime how many children Candalaria had.

“Eleven,” he said; “that gives me eleven to remember in my will. To whom
God sends no children, the devil sends nephews and nieces.”

The carnival Candalaria had timed her visit for, was well worth seeing.
It was a famous year in Spain for pageants of all sorts. The King’s
engagement and approaching marriage put everybody in a good-natured,
money-spending mood. Great enthusiasm was expressed for what was always
spoken of as “the English alliance.” Whenever the King gave his
ministers the slip, and ran off in his automobile to see the Princess
Ena at San Sebastián, everybody was delighted.

Carnival began the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The chief feature was a
parade of cars, or floats, competing for prizes offered by the
municipality. The parade took place in the splendid avenue that, under
various names, runs through the new quarter of Madrid from north to
south.

Lucia, Patsy and I started from the Tower of Babel soon after three
o’clock. We had not driven far, when we caught sight of Villegas in the
crowd at the corner.

“I knew he was dying to come with us all the time,” murmured Patsy; “in
spite of what he said.”

“Angoscia disappointed me; they are all mad;” sighed Villegas, as he
climbed into the carriage.

“That is well,” said Lucia. “Thou hadst need of a holiday; thou hast not
taken a day of repose this year.”

“Though the premium is offered for the best car, the best car will not
get the premium, thou wilt see.” Jaime called to Villegas from his cab,
following at a foot-pace, along the Castellana.

“_Se sabé!_” Villegas agreed. The “best car” came creaking towards us, a
vast float drawn by four gray oxen with gilded horns and
gold-embroidered head-dresses. Two Catalan peasants

[Illustration: DETAIL FROM “MOSES.” _Murillo_]

walked beside, driving the oxen: they wore wide sombreros, and bright
_mantas_ folded over the shoulder. The car was an excellent
representation of the House of Congress, with its Greek façade, white
columns, timpanum, and bronze lions on either side the door. Behind the
columns was a brazen pot filled with men dressed as locusts. The car was
greeted with roars of laughter and applause.

“Thou seest?” said Jaime to Villegas. “The government devours the
country like locusts! It is true! We have the best people in the world,
and the worst government!”

“_Bravo!_ _El Congreso!_” yelled the people in the carriages. “_Muy
bien!_” The crowd that lined the sidewalks answered with cries of
“_Magnifico!_ _Bravo!_ _El carro satirico!_”

Jaime was right, the prize was not awarded to the Congreso, but to the
parrots. A mammoth cage in the middle of a float with a big sham parrot
hanging on a ring and all around the cage a group of _señoritas_ and
_caballeros_ dressed to look like parrots with green velvet coats, gray
satin vests, red velvet caps and big beaks.

“It almost deserves the prize, only the Congreso should have had it!”
said Patsy.

As the Government appoints the judges, that was hardly to be expected.
The second prize was awarded to a wagon-load of toy soldiers in French
uniform. They stood stiff as wooden dolls, till you looked close and
saw, under the soldiers’ caps, the faces of pretty girls and laughing
lads.

“Seville, the Feria, Concepcion!” cried Patsy; “this is magic!”

It was little short of it. On the float coming towards us was the patio
of an Andalusian house with Moorish columns and _azulejos_, from which a
_maya_ and a _mayo_ looked out on the crowd. The _maya_ wore a black
chenille overdress with a yellow satin skirt and a rose in her hair like
Concepcion.

Down the middle of the Paseo de la Castellana, the most fashionable part
of the route, a line of gaily decorated tribunes had been built; these
were filled with well-dressed people.

“That is the tribune of La Pena, the fashionable club in the Alcalá,”
Patsy said. “The next is the Press Club. This is the Artists’ Club, and
this last is the tribune of the French Colony.”

The crowd of men, women and children in the stands were armed with
flowers, huge sacks of confetti, and rolls of colored paper ribbons,
which unwind when they are thrown, like rockets or lassos. In a white
carriage drawn by four silver-gray mules with postilions and outriders,
sat two beauties dressed in silver. Passing in the other direction was a
car with a representation of Carthage. The Carthaginians were
splendidly dressed. As car and carriage met, a pair of dark Carthaginian
men lifted a bag of violet confetti and poured it down on the white
carriage, so that we saw the beauties through a purple haze. The effect
of the changing colors was dazzling. Violet, declared at Paris _the_
color of the season, predominated over all others.

“This,” said Patsy, “is like walking through a gallery of living
impressionist pictures.”

“_Maestro!_ _Ay Maestro!_” we were passing the tribune of the Artists’
Club, when, bifferty! a long yellow streamer coiled about Villegas’ neck
and flew out behind. Soon the landeau was hung in a maze of paper
ribbons, every color of the rainbow, tangling in the wheels, wound round
the hubs, filling the carriage, half strangling us. A fine victoria with
a harlequin and a mask in pink satin, stopped close to us. A servant was
sent to our carriage and presented Lucia with a pretty porcelaine
_bonbonnière_ of caramels. It was growing late and people began to be
hungry. The flowers were exhausted; chocolates and candies hailed into
the carriage. In the cab behind, Candelaria unpacked a box of
sandwiches, a bottle and two glasses.

“_Un poco de ginevra de campana?_” said Don Jaime, offering a glass to
Patsy.

“Luz, Luz, Luz!” The cry came from a box of caramels filled with young
_caballeros_ done up like bonbons in pink paper. Luz, lovely as
daybreak, smiled as her carriage passed the caramels; we saw her through
a storm of rosy confetti. We drove down for a last turn to the end of
the Castellana.

The sunset was pink, gold and violet, to match the prevailing tone of
the carnival. Against the sky the Guaderramas stood out boldly with the
eternal white confetti on their summits. Our carriage halted by the
statue of Isabel the Catholic, sitting on her horse between her good and
her evil genius, Columbus standing at her bridle and just behind her the
cowled, sinister figure of Torquemada.

“Don Alfonzo!” The young King in his automobile flew by, a dent in his
bowler hat, his coat covered with confetti. He threw a bunch of roses to
a _señorita_ dressed like a strawberry, sitting in a basket of fruit,
the other strawberries all answered with double handful of pinkish
confetti, and cries of “_muy bien!_” He was supposed to be incognito and
was throwing flowers and confetti just like any other jolly boy of
nineteen. Of course everybody recognized him, but the fiction of the
incognito was strictly respected, which seemed very sensible. It must be
supposed that he needs a little fun for his soul’s sake, like the rest
of us. He got his full share that afternoon.

Last of all we drove through the Alcalá, Madrid’s main artery, to the
Puerta del Sol, the city’s mighty heart. The rest of Madrid sometimes
sleeps a little; here the life blood pulses ceaselessly to and fro.

“I have been in the Puerta del Sol at every hour of the twenty-four,”
said Patsy, “and I have never found it empty.”

The streets were guarded by the Ramonones,--mounted police, polite,
energetic, keeping an order that was wonderful, considering the vast
crowd, and was most of all due to the crowd’s desire that order should
be kept.

It was growing dark, the electric lamps twinkled out of the lavender
mist. Just ahead of us, on the prize-winning car of the parrots, they
were burning red Bengal lights. At the corner of the dark street where
we must turn to reach home, a fine carriage, full of elegant maskers,
passed us. A Pierrot in green satin stood on one step flirting with a
Turkish lady, a contrabandista on the other whispered to an Andaluz. As
we drove by in our modest carriage, the red Bengal lights of the parrots
lit up Don José’s face. From the grand carriage came the cry:

“_Villegas! gloria de la patria!_”

“They are all mad!” said Villegas; “_vamos!_ it’s time to go home.”

Ash Wednesday morning the streets were full of sweepers trying to get
rid of the green, pink and red papers, the trampled débris of the last
three days’ frolic. We met Luz coming out of San Isidro Real. She was
all in black, wearing the mantilla. On her forehead the priest had
traced a cross of ashes. The church was filled with fashionably dressed
men and women, many of whom we had seen the day before at the carnival.
Each came out into the sunlight with the cross of dust and ashes on the
forehead, in token of the day of mourning. In the stable-yard behind the
church we saw the ruins of the second prize winner, the toy soldier
cart. The little sentry box hung in the right place, the stiff green
trees, the dummy soldiers in their smart French uniforms stuck up oddly
from the cart. The merry group of live soldiers, the pretty girls and
saucy boys were scattered; perhaps some of them were in the church. As
we stood watching the wreck of the prize winner, men began to take the
car to pieces and to pull off the remaining decorations.

“_Sic transit gloria mundi_,” said Patsy; “I’m for the Prado and glories
that do not pass so quickly.”



XIII

TOLEDO


Our winter in Madrid wore pleasantly away; we basked in the Sun of
To-day, gave hardly a thought to the Shadow of Yesterday. Fate wove the
thread of our existence into her tapestry of life in the Spanish capital
in the year 1906; a many-toned fabric with touches of gold and silver,
sinister crimson and sombre black. Now that the web is finished and hung
up in the hall of memory, I see that in the earlier part rose color is
the predominating tone.

“It’s as good for a nation as it is for a person, after they have been
in mourning, to come out into the world again and take an interest in
other people’s affairs,” said Patsy. “The Conference, whatever it may do
for Morocco, is being very good for Spain.”

The two absorbing topics of conversation were the Algeciras Conference
and the King’s marriage. From our friends in the diplomatic world we
heard a deal of talk about what was going on at Algeciras, where the
representatives of thirteen Powers were discussing the vexed questions
of the State Bank of Morocco which it was proposed to establish under
European control, the policing of the unhappy country by France and
Spain, the administration of customs, and the various reforms proposed
to the Sultan. On all sides we heard compliments for our representative,
Mr. Henry White, _par excellence_ the peacemaker of the Conference. I
was told by a distinguished diplomat that Mr. White’s exquisite tact and
good feeling “saved the situation more than once.”[3] Besides keeping
the peace, the American delegate put in a good word for the Jews, asking
that they might have religious tolerance in Morocco. His plea was
seconded by Sir Arthur Nicholson, the English delegate, and the Duke of
Almodovar who, ignoring the little detail of the expulsion of the Jews
from Spain, reminded the delegates that his country had an especial
interest in the Hebrews of Morocco, who still spoke the Castilian
language, and were the descendants of Spanish Jews. The English,
seconded by the Americans, made a plea for the gradual abolition of
slavery in Morocco, against the public sale of men and women in the
slave markets of the interior, and for the improvement of the prisons.
It was pleasant to see England and the United States aiding and abetting
each other in all these humane efforts.

The Moroccan delegate, Sid Hach el Mokri, Ancient Inspector of Weights
and Measures at Fez, and his colleague did little but protest against
the reforms the Powers proposed to institute at the expense of Morocco
and under the direction of the Diplomatic Corps at Tangiers. Hach el
Mokri cried out that he was there to see Morocco’s income increased, not
decreased, and that many of the proposed reforms had not been included
in the programme of the Conference. Patsy, who had seen Sid Mokri and
made an excellent photograph of the old man in his white bournous, with
his long white beard and piercing eyes, had a sneaking sympathy for him.

“After all, the world will be a tame place when there are telephones and
electric cars everywhere,” he said. “If Morocco does not want to be
civilized our way, or any other way, why should she be?” The Powers are
cutting and carving the revenues, the commerce, the future of that
unfortunate country as if they were masters of the situation. They are a
long way from it! Before France gets the little Germany means to let her
have, she must pay dear for it, even if England stands by to see fair
play.

I had a sudden vision of the garden in Tangiers and the strange old man
who had talked with me of Moroccan affairs. I seemed to hear his
brooding voice utter, as if in prophecy, “Keep your ear to the ground;
the end of Islam is not yet!”

Our Spanish friends were naturally even more interested in Don Alfonzo’s
affairs than in those of the Sultan of Morocco. It was wonderful how the
courtship of one pair of lovers made a whole nation in love with life!
There was a delicate thrill of expectation in the air. Spain drank deep
of the three great cordials, youth, hope and love, forgot the old pain
in the new rapture. Every detail of the King’s wooing was eagerly
discussed. The news that the Princess Ena had been received into the
Church of Rome and renounced the errors of the Protestant faith was a
“world event.” Her decision to take the names, Victoria Eugenie, gave
great satisfaction. It was rumored that the Empress Eugenie had given
her a wedding present of a million _pesetas_, and would make the future
Queen of Spain her heir. Older people recalled the poor young Prince
Imperial’s early attachment to Princess Beatrice, Princess Ena’s mother.

“The Empress was a Spaniard,” Candalaria reminded me; “a Montijo of
Malaga. My parents knew the family. It is quite natural she should wish
her money to come back to Spain. My father was at the funeral of her
son, the Prince Imperial. He saw the great English Queen, Victoria, and
her daughter, Princess Beatrice, when they drove over to Chiselhurst to
lay a golden laurel wreath on the coffin of the young Prince Napoleon
IV, as they called him, killed in the Zulu war, fighting for the
English.”

We had all become so absorbed in the pleasant social life of Madrid, so
taken up with current matters of public and private interest, that the
many journeys we had planned were put off and put off. Had it not been
for a chance question of Patsy’s, we might never even have seen Toledo,
we were living--except for those golden hours in the Prado--so
completely in To-day. One brilliant March afternoon Don Jaime greeted me
at the door of the Museum with his cheery “Good day, Missis.” The Don
liked to go with us to the Prado; he was interested in Patsy’s art
education and, if neither Villegas nor Don Luis were present, would hold
forth on the merits of the pictures.

“Good afternoon, Don,” said Patsy; “what’s the news?”

“There are very few news. You receive some lollipops?” The Don’s
intercourse with English-speaking people, broken off when he left
school, led him to suppose that to be happy they must be continually fed
with lollipops.

“Nuns of Concepcion Convent has secret of preparing those sweets, same
like Benedictines’ liquor secret.”

Knowing his poverty, I was troubled by the little presents he was
forever making one or other of us, of which Patsy’s lollipops were an
example.

“It’s his way of keeping his end up,” Patsy maintained. “The Don expects
to die rich, to leave his family rolling in money. He has an invention
for a flying machine half worked out. On his paternal _heredad_--a piece
of waste land in the Sierra Rondina--there’s a rich iron mine, and a
spring of sparkling mineral water, better, he says, than apollinaris.
The joke of it all is, I believe what he says is perfectly true. He will
never ‘realize’ on spring or mine, though perhaps Candalaria’s eleven
may!”

“You look festive this morning, Don; where did that sporty rose come
from?” Patsy asked. The Don always had a flower in his buttonhole,
though he often had not a dollar in his pocket.

“It is monthly roses,” said the Don, settling the bud in his coat; “they
give every moon. Let us now to the parlor of the great Velasquez.”

We always began with the Velasquez room, studying some one picture, and
passing the rest in review. Don Jaime professed great admiration
for the portrait of the Fool of Coria, one of the _hombres de
placer_--literally, men of pleasure--of the court. The fool is seated on
a stone, with a gourd on either side; his hands rest idly on his knee.
It is a wonderfully pathetic picture, with a heartache in it for those
who have some knowledge of those weakest of our brothers, the
feeble-minded.

“How dreary Philip’s court must have been,” sighed Patsy, “if that
pitiful creature could add to its gaiety.”

“_Claro_,” said Don Jaime, “but, _Canastos!_ It is a most fine portrait.
Look again, you will see in the face the idiotness of that man.”

_Canastos_, baskets, was the Don’s favorite oath; it was the only
exclamation of impatience either he or Candalaria had ever heard their
mother use. That morning the Don insisted on our looking more carefully
at Ribera’s pictures than suited Patsy. The Don himself felt little
sympathy with them, but, as a Spaniard, it was his duty to interest us
in all the well-known painters of the Spanish school. Ribera--we knew
him better by his Italian nickname, Spagnoletto, little Spaniard--the
Don said, painted for the Church. He was in no sense a court painter,
was probably prejudiced against all court people on account of Don John
of Austria’s unhandsome treatment of his daughter in their unfortunate
love affair. The Church at that time was under the sway of the
Inquisition, where we must lay the blame, if the Ribera room was, as
Patsy insisted, a little like the chamber of horrors.

“This painter,” said Don Jaime, “lived in one epoca of inquisition and
hell influences. In all his paintings are seen foreheads full of
wrinkles for pain, eyes terrified by the fear, and naked flesh teared,
or sullen martyrs, saints and gloomy friars.”

“Why couldn’t he always paint like that?” said Patsy, pausing before a
fine poetic Magdalen. “The drawing is as good, the modelling as
astonishing, the color as rich as in those morbid cruel pictures. The
mission of art is to inspire, not to terrify; you can never make me like
Ribera, Don.”

The Don himself was more depressed than any of us by what he had seen.
He mopped his bald ivory poll with his silk handkerchief--it was scented
with orris--and sighed as we left the room:

“Everything it is so truthful, so to make fear, that everybody feel a
relief, a joy of living, when he is gone from that parlor.”

“Now let’s go and play with the Venetians, as a reward of merit,” said
Patsy. “I have not seen those lovely Titians for a week.” Patsy’s
beloved Venetians can be studied better in the Prado than anywhere
outside of Venice. The Don, filled with a sudden access of zeal for the
Spanish school, would not let us go until we had given some time to the
work of El Greco.

“Here are seven paintings of the lifes of saints by El Greco,” he said.
“Every one so thin and transparent and of so greenish tones that they
looks more than saints, like spirits who took the human form,
notwithstanding they keep their impalpables. The intelligent people say
that in this consist the worth of this painter, because he translated on
the cloth the _asceticismo_ of his _epoca_.”

“You will never convince me that Greco is one of the world’s great
painters, however important he may have been to the development of the
Spanish school,” said Patsy. “A man who paints people eight feet high,
who makes his angels goblins, his saints lunatics, is not sane; and
without sanity there can be no great art.”

“You must go to Toledo,” said Don Luis, who had joined us, “before you
can judge El Greco. You see his sacred pictures at a great disadvantage
in a museum. They need the dim religious light of the churches or
monasteries, for which they were painted. Only the portraits look well
here; those, you must admit, are among the great portraits of the
world.”

Patsy was not quite ready to agree to this yet, Don Jaime meanwhile
acknowledged that fashion in art is as capricious as it is in dress;
perhaps the people who have made El Greco the fashion, not to say the
rage of the moment, claimed too much for him. In spite of this, like Don
Luis, Jaime considered El Greco among the first of portrait painters.

“Speaking of fashion in dress,” said Patsy, stopping before an anonymous
portrait of a lady in a yellow turban, “at what period did they wear
that extraordinary headgear?”

“It must have been in the time of King Wamba,” laughed Don Luis, as much
as to say, “before the flood.”

The name of King Wamba was like the kiss of the faithful hound on the
cheek of the enchanted prince. Patsy awoke from the enchantment of
To-day and remembered Yesterday, remembered Wamba and Wamba’s capital,
Toledo, remembered that all the records of that wonderful life of many
yesterdays we call history was waiting for him to read, not three hours
away from Madrid.

“I would not go to Toledo for the sake of El Greco,” Patsy declared,
“but for King Wamba’s sake, and to buy a Toledo blade, I would go twice
as far!”

So our trip to Toledo--one of the best of our Spanish adventures--came
about. We cancelled all engagements, gave up seats for the opera, and
the very next day started with little Don Luis for Toledo. The train
took us past a small hillock, on which stands a church marking the exact
geographical centre of Spain. Toledo is a walled town, built, like Rome,
on seven hills. It stands high above the plain, surrounded on three
sides by the Tagus, a rushing yellow river (Martial says its sands are
of gold) that girdles the city, and keeps the _vega_ around it a lovely
green oasis in the arid Castilian plain. The road from the station
passes through a rocky gorge and leads to the imposing bridge of
Alcantara. From here the view of the stern fortress city is superb. We
drove round the walls (Wamba’s walls) and saw the towers, the splendid
gates, with the portcullis in more than one still perfect; and finally
climbed the height, to the commanding ruin of the Alcazar.

The hill of the Alcazar dominates Toledo, as the Acropolis dominates
Athens. The Alcazar is an immense square building, with four towers
surmounted by pointed roofs. Time, the supreme colorist, has laid on his
matchless glazes of sun and shadow; the darker parts are rich saffron,
the lightest, mellow gold. Seen from the distance, it is a broad
imposing mass, simple, strong, overpowering all other architectural
features of the city by its size and its situation. When you enter the
splendid ruin, and stand in the patio with its fine double arcade of
Corinthian columns, you are reminded of the courtyard of the Farnese
palace in Rome, designed by Michaelangelo.

“If we could know the history of this old ruin,” said Patsy, “we should
know the history of Toledo. Here, where we stand, on the very highest
point of this granite rock, the Romans built their _castellum_. From its
ruins rose the Visigoths’ citadel, and, still later, the Moors’ Alcazar!
The word means the palace of Cæsar: that shows the Moors did not forget!
Kaiser means Cæsar, too; how many other things did the great Julius give
his name to? I wonder. Think of the people who have lived between these
four walls, and have looked out upon this glorious view! The Cid,
Ferdinand and Isabel, Charles V and Philip II, just to mention a few
stars.”

As in some families the youngest child who can speak “asks the
blessing,” it fell to Patsy, youngest and most ardent of the party, to
impart all inevitable information. The plan worked well, in spite of
J.’s occasional restive “Use your eyes!” It was never necessary to tell
_him_ what to look at.

“That,” said Patsy, map in hand, pointing to the lower levels of the
town, “is the Bridge of Alcantara, literally the bridge of the bridge.”

The great bridge leaps boldly across the river, supported by one large
and one small arch. There

[Illustration: TOLEDO BY MOONLIGHT.]

is a rugged watch-tower on the Toledo side; the tower that for so many
centuries stood opposite has disappeared.

“The Bridge of San Martin is on the other side of the town. When you
cross it, please cry out, ‘My eye, Betty Martin,’--Yankee for _mihi
Beato Martino_, to me blessed Martin, an old crusading war cry heard in
Toledo before. The walls of Wamba extend from the Bridge of Alcantara to
the Bridge of San Martin. The river runs round three sides of the city;
the walls on the fourth make it impregnable.”

“We may as well have Wamba’s story now; we shall have to hear it some
time,” sighed J. “I want to sketch the bridge from here. Fire away,
boy!” Patsy, loaded and primed with information, fired.

“There isn’t much to tell! I always liked Wamba because, for a long
time, I confused him with Wamba, son of Witless the Jester, in Ivanhoe,”
Patsy confessed.

“That’s the way he always begins his longest yarns,” J. groaned.

According to Patsy’s yarn, this real Wamba was the last of the great
Gothic kings, who, in spite of the tricks of his enemies, the churchmen,
has left his mark on Toledo and on Spain. Wamba was an old soldier who
lived just at the time when the Gothic power was on the wane, and Rome,
for a second time, was becoming mistress of Spain. When the Gothic
nobles elected him King, Wamba at first refused the throne. Then they
gave him his choice of death or kingship, and he was finally forced to
accept. He taught his people what they had almost forgotten, ‘to fight
the good fight’; in his time there was a last flicker of the old Gothic
spirit. But Wamba was too free and independent to suit the churchmen,
and they contrived to give him a sleeping draught that threw him into so
deep a trance that his followers thought the King was dead. He was
prepared for burial, as is still the fashion for great personages, as if
he had been a monk, and a tonsure was shaved on his head. When he came
to himself, the churchmen maintained that a man who had worn the dress
and the tonsure of a monk could never again reign as King. So, having
reigned against his will, wisely and too well, he was forced to abdicate
against his will, and retire to a monastery where he ended his days.
Staunch old fellow that he was, the Church was too strong for him, as it
has been for most political reformers from that day to this.

The Visigoths laid hold upon our imagination at Toledo as the Romans had
at Italica, and the Moors at Cordova. Those fair northmen came to Spain
when Rome had grown old and feeble, her iron hand relaxed. The Romans
had come as conquerors, carrying the eagles through Spain. They marched
rapidly; twenty miles a day was their average. They smote Spain--Iberia
they called it--hard, and left their imperishable mark upon her. The
coming of the Visigoths was more a vast migration than a conquest. They
moved slowly, wandered rather than marched, encumbered with women and
children, flocks and herds. They wandered over Europe, crossed the
Pyrenees and settled the Peninsula. The impress they have left on Spain
is as different from the Roman as their coming differed from the
triumphal progress of the Romans.

“It is not so easy to find traces of the Visigoths in Spain as of the
Roman or the Moor,” little Don Luis had assured us.

“That is a pity,” was Patsy’s answer, “for the Visigoths were the nicest
people who ever came to Spain!”

They have not left so strong a mark on things material as Roman or Arab;
they seem never to have held the land as firmly. Was it because they
brought their wives with them, and neglected the dark-eyed Iberian
women, skillful, like the dancing girls of Gades, in the dance with the
castanets? To find traces of the Gothic occupation do not look for vast
ruins of temple, circus, aqueduct or bridge. A few capitals in the
Mosque of Cordova, the bas-relief of a hunting scene in the Museum, the
city walls and the ruins of the palace of Wamba at Toledo--we saw little
else to remind us of the Gothic rule in Spain, as far as material things
go. The crown of King Swinthila at Madrid was the most impressive relic
of the Visigoths we saw. It is of gold, surrounded by rosettes of pearls
and sapphires, in a delicate red paste cloisonné setting.

The Visigoths’ legacy to Spain was immaterial and immortal. Search for
traces of the blue-eyed northmen, and you will find ideals that still
survive in the Spaniards’ deep inborn sense of the equality of all men
(at least of all Spaniards), and in the Spanish woman’s honesty. The
Visigoths treated their wives as their equals, expected them to do their
share of fighting the enemy and of providing food for the family, gave
them control of their own property, and a right to half the common
household stock. They only obeyed their King so long as they approved of
him. “King shalt thou be as long as thou dost right. If thou dost not
right, no King shalt thou be.”

The influence of this immortal spiritual gift, these ideals of the
independence of the individual and the equality of the wife with the
husband, survive to-day in the temper of the modern Spaniard. I found
them in Pedra’s mother, Antonina, the washerwoman who so frankly shook
hands with me on our first meeting; in the fact that in Spain to-day no
man may leave more than half his fortune away from his wife; that the
Grandee is free to wear his hat in the presence of the King, his wife to
sit in the presence of the Queen. The legacy of the Goth survives in the
ideals and the virtues of the race. The Spaniard has the virtues of the
north as well as the ideals; he is truthful, honest, clean and, above
all, he is independent.

The sketches were nearly done; we all had settled into silence, and
worked, or dreamed half the morning away, looking out across that green
_vega_ or down at the old Moorish mills, far below in the Tagus, until
Patsy, whose sketch was finished first, declared he could not live
another hour unless he was possessor of a Toledo blade. Wandering in
search of one, down into the lower part of the town, we soon lost
ourselves in a labyrinth of narrow winding streets with high Oriental
looking houses. At every corner we were brought to a standstill by some
picturesque doorway, church or tower. These straight curving lanes, with
scarcely one open square or space, must make Toledo a comfortable summer
city. One has but to pass July in the modern quarter of Rome to know the
folly of laying out a southern city with wide avenues and open squares,
because they have proved comfortable and suitable for Paris or London.
Every town has to reckon either with heat or cold as its chief enemy.
Where heat is the more to be feared, as in Toledo or Rome, narrow
streets with tall houses, where the shadows lie cool, are the best.

“Do you believe,” asked Patsy, “that I shall find a blade ‘with so fine
a temper that it can be curled up like the mainspring of a watch?’”

Don Luis would not promise, but he guided us to the shop where we could
buy the best wares for our money. The dealer welcomed us and invited us
to examine his stock of swords, daggers, _cuchillos_, long pointed
knives, _navajas_, clasp knives, and _puñalicos_, little deadly knives
worn in the garter: one bore the motto, “I serve a lady.”

Patsy had little money to spend; the edge of his enjoyment in spending
it was keen as the blades he turned over so carefully. We were the only
customers; the dealer seemed in no hurry, the shop--cool, comfortable
and smelling of fresh mint--was a pleasant place. The sunlight,
streaming through the windows, glinted on the weapons. Patsy handled the
deadly things as skillfully as he had handled the scythe at Seville
Fair. The dreadful inherited knowledge of killing was in his fingers;
that strong, nervous hand could, if need be, use that rapier as it could
use the scythe.

“How much for this dagger?” Patsy asked at last.

The dealer named a moderate price for the beautiful weapon. The handle
and sheath were of iron, finely damascened with gold. The blade, sharp
and flexible, as the dealer proved by bending it double, was of shining
steel, a “Toledo trusty” such as Mercutio says a soldier dreams of.
Patsy read the motto on the hilt; “Who lacks courage need place no faith
in me!”

“Do you realize,” he said, “that since the days of the Romans these
Toledo blades ‘with the ice-brook’s temper’ have been the most famous
weapons in the world?” Then, in spite of my murmured, “Whatever will you
do with it,” he offered half the price that had been asked. We had done
little shopping in Spain, and had come from a long stay in a land where
the same article has many prices. The dealer stroked his pointed beard
with a white well-kept hand, as if to hide the chilly smile that curved
his thin lips, and politely repeated his price. Though he was willing to
show his wares, he did not seem anxious to sell them.

“I had forgotten we were in Spain,” murmured the crestfallen Patsy; “in
Toledo, the ‘Heart of Spain!’” Without more ado he bought the dagger and
a lady’s pocketknife with two sharp blades.

While the trade was making, I studied the tradesman. He might have been
descended from one of the Toledan hidalgos, immortalized by El Greco’s
portraits. He had a thin nervous face, with great hollow eyes and a
large sharp-cut nose. We got to know the type well before we left
Toledo, for the citizens are of a distinct type. Just as in Seville we
were always meeting Murillo Madonnas walking about the streets, and in
Madrid Velasquez portraits, in Toledo we were continually meeting the
hidalgos of El Greco.

From the shop where weapons are sold, we went to the Military Academy
where soldiers are made. The cadets were just coming out from recitation
as we looked into the courtyard to see the fountain cast from captured
guns. They were gallant looking lads, full of pranks and tricks, as they
streamed down the long staircase into the patio and out into the
_calle_, past the wonderful carved stone doorway of the Hospital Santa
Cruz. Don Luis sent in a message begging that a certain young cadet,
Candalaria’s son, might have leave of absence to lunch with us. Leave
was granted, and the cadet, his name was Pepé, as smart a young blade as
you could see, escorted us through the confusing labyrinth of narrow
_calles_ that lay between the Military Academy and our hotel. Pepé was
well known at the hotel; after his visit we were even better treated
than before.

“What is best worth seeing in Toledo, after the Academy?” Patsy asked.

“The Fabrica de Espadas, where your dagger was made,” said Pepé
promptly. So after lunch J. and Patsy, escorted by Pepé, went off to the
Weapon Factory, leaving Don Luis and me to run lightly over “the chief
attractions.”

“Look up my brother, Gregorio,” Pepé flung back over his shoulder, as
they swung off together. “He is free this afternoon; he knows all about
churches and museums, if you care for such dull things.”

“Yes,” said Don Luis, “we will look up Gregorio. He knows a good deal
about Toledo.”

Gregorio, Candalaria’s eldest son, was unlike any other member of that
interesting family. He was small and fragile, with piercing brown eyes.
He came, rather unwillingly, to show us the cathedral.

“Gregorio wished to go into the Church,” Don Luis told us. “His father
and Candalaria did not like the idea. They never opposed the boy, but
sent him to Toledo to spend a year with a priest cousin, who is the
greatest bore in the family; the plan was that old fox Jaime’s, it’s
working out well. From what Pepé says, Gregorio is not so bent on taking
orders now as he once was.”

Gregorio took us to the cathedral, a fine building, so hemmed about by
smaller ones that we could get no view of the whole. The exterior of a
stone originally white, is now tanned by sun and weather to a delicious
mellow tone. The ruddy tower faintly recalls that greater glory, the
Giralda. Some parts of the cathedral are in severe Gothic style, some
very florid; this shows that it was a long time in building. The main
entrance is perfectly gorgeous, the stone fretted and carved like so
much petrified lace; the outer gate is only opened to admit the reigning
sovereign. The interior is marred, like Seville and Cordova, by the
_coro_. The stained glass is sumptuous. Over the main door is a
thirty-foot rose window, in each transept a smaller rose. The afternoon
sun, pouring through these and the graceful pointed windows in the
different parts of the church, did much to counteract the cold,
whitewashed walls. The vast white stone columns, with their prodigal
carving, were stained ruby, amber, emerald, the seven colors of the
rainbow, by the sunlight falling through those jewel windows. The
cathedral is a museum in itself. One of the treasures is a small carved
wooden statuette of St. Francis, by Alonzo Cano. The saint stands with
his arms folded; the marvellous face of carven ivory, the agate eyes,
look at you from the dark shadow of his cowl. Eyes and face reminded us
of a pair of Egyptian statues at Cairo, whose discovery Marriatt Bey
described: the workman who first entered the tomb where they were found
came hurrying out in terror, crying, “There are live people in there; I
saw the shining of their eyes!”

Our first visit to the cathedral, with Gregorio to protect us, was the
best. When we went back without him, we were harried by the
_silencieros_, vulgarly called dog-beaters, fierce beadles with long
staves who pursued us, would not let us look at what we wanted to see,
and tried to make us look at things we did not care for.

From the cathedral Gregorio took us to the Archbishop’s palace,
connected with it by a covered bridge, high up in the air, like the
Bridge of Sighs at Venice.

“The Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo, Primate of Spain, lives here,” said
Gregorio. “He passes through that bridge when he goes from the palace to
the cathedral. I would take you to call upon him, but we should not find
him at home. He goes every afternoon to the new convent he has founded,
to see how the workmen are getting on.”

“Let us follow him to the convent,” said Don Luis, an adorable cicerone,
bent on showing us all sorts and conditions of men and works. After a
little coaxing, Gregorio agreed to take us to see the Archbishop. We
must not object, he stipulated, to stopping for a lady, he mentioned her
name.

“You will be doing our friends a great service,” said Don Luis, “for she
is not only very distinguished and beautiful, but exceedingly kind.”

She was all Don Luis said, and more! Among the visions that arise when
the magical name Toledo is spoken, none is more vivid than Engracia’s
dark, mobile face. She was one of those women born to command. From the
moment she appeared to us, standing on the steps of the old Toledan
palace, daintily holding up her white linen skirt, embroidered with
purple grapes, we all, even Gregorio, obeyed her.

We drove directly to the convent where we were promptly admitted by one
of the sisters of the new order founded by the Cardinal. She wore a
simple black gown with a thin lace veil, not unlike those of Spanish
women of the lower class,--the best dressed women in the world to-day,
from the artist’s standpoint. The sister showed us into the parlor, and
went to announce our visit to the Cardinal. From the adjoining room came
the sound of sweet high voices singing the rosary; we caught a glimpse
of rows of little girls sitting demurely with folded hands.

Gregorio explained that this was a teaching sisterhood. He wished to
interest Engracia in the convent. There was still room for a few more
novices. Each novice must bring a dot of four thousand dollars, which
insured her support for the rest of her life. While Gregorio was
describing the joys of life in a Toledo convent, the Cardinal sent for
us. We found him in the garden, attended by his secretary and the Lady
Superior. They had been inspecting some mason work. The Cardinal was a
fine subtle-faced old man with an authoritative manner, and a
straighter, more dominating eye than any Roman cleric I know. Though he
wore a simple black habit, with only a thread of scarlet and the scarlet
moire skullcap under the shovel hat, I recognized him at once as the
splendid prelate in the vermilion robes who had officiated at the
Infanta’s marriage, and who would, Gregorio said, celebrate the marriage
of the King.

Imperious Engracia knelt before the Cardinal, and kissed his emerald
ring. He asked about her husband and parents, whom he had known, and
then began to talk with her about his convent. He had founded this new
order to resist the teaching of socialism and atheism to the masses. He
had talked the plan over with Leo XIII, “a fine, great pope,” who had
sympathized deeply with his scheme. Pope Leo, however, had feared it
would be difficult to carry out the plan. It was a moment when convents
and religious orders were being broken up everywhere; those already
existing could only be maintained with the greatest fostering. He
hoped, however, that the Cardinal might succeed, and blessed his
undertaking. The whole idea of the new order was to teach the true value
of the Church. The sisters were to have far greater liberty in coming
and going than in the older orders. This was borne out by the free and
frank bearing of the five or six sisters we saw. I was struck by the
simplicity and directness of their manners. Compared to the Abbess of
Ronda, who might have belonged to the time of Santa Teresa, the Superior
of the Toledo Convent _seemed_ a modern person belonging to our epoch.
Was she? To this day I cannot make up my mind! Can we pour new wine into
old bottles, and mend the old garment with new cloth? That is the
question!

We parted with the Cardinal at sunset. He shook hands kindly with us,
and with old-fashioned courtesy invited us to come and see him again if
we should return to Toledo.

We spent much of our too short time in Toledo in studying the pictures
of that strange and interesting painter, Domenico Theotocopulos, called
El Greco because he was a Greek, a native of Crete. The portraits in the
little Museum of San Juan de Los Reyes are among the best examples of
his individual and peculiar manner. Greco is a realist; he paints what
he sees with splendid fidelity

[Illustration: DETAIL FROM “THE BURIAL OF COUNT ORGAZ.” _Greco_]

and power. His most famous picture, the Funeral of Count Orgaz, in the
church of San Tomé, is a fine illustration both of his strength and his
weakness. In the lower part of the canvas we have the dead Count, with
the priests and the mourners about him. Here all is real; the dead man
in his armor, the Bishop in his mitre and gorgeous robes, the long line
of attendants and mourners, and the lovely head of the young boy are all
portrait studies. In the upper part, where the heavenly vision is
painted, Greco has left the realm of the real and entered that of the
ideal. Instead of raising us to the seventh heaven, he lets us down upon
the earth. Saints Augustine and Stephen, who appear in the clouds as a
heavenly vision attended by a heavenly host--things imagined and not
seen--are grotesque, almost ridiculous.

Don Luis was right; it is only at Toledo that one can really understand
El Greco. The religious pictures at the Prado had offended us; they had
seemed the work of a madman. At Toledo one gets a true understanding of
his original and extraordinary personality. He neither saw nor painted
as other men see and paint. There was much that was morbid, something
that was mad in his vision; but there was, besides, much that was
sincere, honest and lucid. El Greco, who is now ranked as second only to
Velasquez by many critics, by some as his equal if not superior, seems
to have become so thoroughly saturated with the Spanish sentiment that,
though his name is a constant reminder of his nationality, he is
invariably spoken of as if he were in truth a Spaniard. The strange and
wayward genius, who has so touched and influenced the imagination of
Velasquez, of Sargent and so many other famous painters, was a true son
of Hellas. To Greece belong his glory and his laurels.



XIV

THE BRIDE COMES


In March Sir Maurice de Bunsen, the new English Ambassador, presented
his credentials to the King. We went over to the palace to see what we
could of the ceremony. There had been a sudden change in the weather. It
was very hot waiting in the Plaza de Armas outside the palace. The
_chicos_, playing at marbles instead of basking in the sun, had moved
into the shadow. There were very few spectators; Mrs. Young, the wife of
one of the English Secretaries, fair and cool in a white summer dress,
her maid armed with a kodak, and perhaps a dozen other people.

“What do they mean,” said Patsy, “by saying that in Madrid you must not
put away your overcoat till the fortieth of May?”

“Wait a little and perhaps you will know,” said a familiar voice. It was
the Argentino, who had lately come to Madrid; the chance acquaintance
begun at Cordova was ripening into something like friendship.

Two lines of soldiers in fresh blue uniforms with green trimmings and
gloves were drawn up between the gate of the plaza and the palace.
Punctually at the appointed hour the band struck up the Spanish national
air, there was a ruffle of drums and a fine gala coach from the royal
stables came rumbling along the Calle Bailen at the heels of four noble
horses with head-dresses of long nodding blue ostrich plumes. The coach
was of gold and crystal with beautiful painted panels. The liveries of
coachman, postillions, outriders, palfreniers and men-in-waiting who
walked beside, were blue and gold to match the splendid trappings.

“The coach is empty, there is nobody inside,” cried Patsy. “What does it
mean?”

“This,” said the Argentino, “is the _coche de respecto_ for the
Secretaries of Embassy. In the days when people travelled by post or on
horseback, important personages always had a led horse or an extra
carriage in case of accident.”

“What accident,” laughed Patsy, “could happen between the Embassy and
the palace?”

“One never knows; it is one of the picturesque old customs the Spanish
Court preserves, even though the need of the _coche de respecto_ may
have been outlived.”

In the second coach--as handsome in every detail as the first, the only
difference being that the feathers and decorations were red instead of
blue--rode Mr. Fairfax Cartwright, Mr. George Young, and two other
English Secretaries of Embassy, looking magnificent and uncomfortable in
stiff gold-laced court uniforms. Mr. Young made a little gesture of
recognition to his wife, the others did not look out of the window.

The Ambassador’s _coche de respecto_, drawn by six horses, was even
finer than the other. The liveries, trappings and feathers were red and
yellow, the Spanish colors. There were six coaches in all, four for the
Englishmen, two for the escort. In the last rode Sir Maurice, a tall
fair man, with the First Introducer, both radiant in court finery. They
had driven down the Calle Bailen in single file; at the plaza the
shining coaches were drawn up into two lines, three abreast, with an
escort of mounted cavalry on either side. They advanced at a snail’s
pace, crossed the palace yard where the soldiers stood at attention, and
approached the three doors of the palace to the music of the military
march. The ambassador drove in through the middle door.

“That is the royal entrance,” said the Argentino. “Sir Maurice passes
through it to-day because he brings letters from King Edward; he is not
likely ever to go through it again.”

While we waited to see them come out, a private brougham with black and
silver liveries drove up to the door by which the Secretaries had gone
in. We caught a glimpse of Lady de Bunsen in a white dress with feathers
in her hair, on the way to her audience with the Queen.

“She has come early,” said the Argentino, “so that she may see the
finest sight of the ceremony, the halberdiers guarding the grand
staircase while the Ambassador passes in and out of the throne room.
They stand two on each step in that old swashbuckler uniform,
silver-buckled shoes, cutaway coats, knee breeches and cocked hats,
holding their big halberds so that the blades touch. The Ambassador
walks up and down the stair between two flashing lines of steel. It
really is worth seeing.”

We waited till the audience was over, watched the Ambassador and his
suite drive away in the same state as they had come, and a little later
the halberdiers march out of the palace and down the Calle Bailen to
their barracks.

“There goes Pedro,” murmured Patsy, as the halberdier who had made room
for us at the Infanta’s wedding swung by. “The soldiers on duty in the
yard looked like any other soldiers. These chaps could only be
Spanishers. The fire in the eye, the haughtiness, are perfectly
colossal!”

“And the fierce curl of the _bigotes_. You know what _bigote_ means?
When the Spanish soldiers were in the Low countries, they fell in with
the English--you remember Uncle Toby says ‘our army swore terribly in
Flanders.’ Every time the British soldier swore he twisted his moustache
and said ‘by God!’ The Spanish imitated him, twirled his moustachios and
cried ‘bigote.’ By and by he connected the action with the words,
imagined the oath had something to do with the moustache; to this day
the Spaniard calls his moustache a _bigote_ in memory of that swearing
English army in Flanders--or, some people say, of the swearing German
soldiers of Charles V.”

We lingered after the other spectators had gone, and the _chicos_ had
begun their game again; palace and plaza had a strong fascination for
us. We looked through the arches of the peristyle across the bare
Castilian plain to the snow-capped Guadarramas.

“The Escorial lies in that direction,” said the Argentino. “On clear
days it can be seen from the palace. Do you suppose when he looks out of
window, Don Alfonzo ever thinks about that black marble sarcophagus
waiting for him over there?”

That seventh wonder of the world, the Escorial, palace, monastery and
mausoleum all in one, was built by Philip II. It is a proper monument to
a man who is remembered as having laughed rarely, and loudest when he
heard of the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew. The Escorial expresses
Philip’s dour personality as no other building that I know expresses any
other man’s. From the moment you catch sight of the gloomy pile, built
in the shape of a gridiron, in memory of Saint Lawrence, you feel if
ever place was haunted, the ghost of Philip haunts that gray grim
tragedy in stone.

“I am glad,” said Patsy, “that I saw the Escorial; I shall be glad never
to see it again. The places where people have lived for me, rather than
those where they are buried. This palace is a thousand times more
interesting than the Escorial. Think how much we know about the people
who have lived here! When Napoleon first saw this palace, he said to his
brother Joseph--he had just casually made him King of Spain: “You will
be better lodged than I.”

(Poor Joseph did not enjoy the lodging long; he was glad to escape from
it alive and fly to Bordentown, New Jersey, where he lived in semi-royal
state at Point Breeze. Here, an old letter preserves the fact, my
grandmother Ward dined with him, and wore an “embroidered cambric dress
and a lilac turban.”)

“We are interested not only in the people who have lived here, but in
those who live here now,” Patsy went on, as a closed carriage drawn by
four black mules dashed by. “There go the King’s nieces and nephews.”

The little Prince of the Asturias, the heir to the throne, bowed, smiled
and waved his tiny hand in quaint mechanical greeting to whoever might
be looking. The youngest child, still happily unconscious of his rank,
wriggled in the English nurse’s arms like any other baby out for its
airing.

“The boy has learned his part well,” said the Argentino. “He’s not like
the little prince Imperial: when the Empress Eugenie threatened to
punish him, he made the dreadful counter threat, ‘_je ferai des grimaces
au peuple_’ (I will make faces at the people). There you see the
difference between real and upstart royalty!”

The day after the Ambassador’s audience seemed to us the coldest of the
winter. The trees in the Recoletos had a wedge of snow down one side,
the side that faces north and gets the full force of the wind sweeping
down from the snow fields of the Guadarramas. Engracia’s vivid face was
tingling with the cold when she blew into the Tower with Don Luis that
morning and announced that she had come to take us into the country for
the day.

“The motor is at the door;” she declared, “luncheon is ordered. We go
first to El Pardo to see the royal hunting chateau, and then on to our
own shooting box where my husband joins us.”

From our first meeting at Toledo, not a week had passed without some
pleasant incident for which we had to thank Engracia.

The city was soon left behind and we were bowling along a road smooth as
a billiard table cut through the heart of a wood. The cool breath of the
forest was in our faces, the smell of the woods in our nostrils, a
mingled perfume of tree, moss, wild creature, and under all, binding
them together like ambergris, the mysterious scent of decay. The air was
full of wood noises, the peace and calm of the wilderness lay on either
side of us not twenty feet away from a road as good as the Paseo
Castellana.

“For the first time,” said Patsy, “I envy Don Alfonzo. I should hate to
live in a palace, to have the power of life and death, to pass my life
under a microscope, but I must say I should like to own El Pardo.”

“Velasquez often stayed here with King Philip and his brothers,” said
Don Luis. “No wonder they all liked it. Court etiquette relaxed, the
artist was treated as the friend. One understands why he painted so many
portraits of the royalties man and boy, in hunting dress, with gun and
dog. They were not only tremendous sports, but caramba! in these woods
there was freedom, even for a king, even for a genius!”

Engracia on the front seat scanned the covers with keen eyes.

“Look!” she cried. “There is a deer; if I only had my gun, what an easy
shot! There goes a red fox scuttling across the road. Ah! that was a
hare.” A bright-eyed furry creature gave us one timid glance, flattened
its ears and leapt into the bracken.

At the chateau we were refused admittance. Engracia, used to seeing all
doors fly open before her, sent for the official in charge, an old
friend of hers.

“Don Fulano, these are my friends; they are very anxious to see the
chateau. Surely we may come in?” Engracia entreated.

Don Fulano, a grave Castilian, regretted, evaded, apologized, finally
confessed. All ordinary rules should be set aside for Engracia, but he
himself had received orders from His Majesty that no one should be
admitted to the grounds. The work of putting the chateau in order for
the bride had begun.

Engracia sparkled with excitement at the news. In that case, of course,
we would not dream of asking; how natural, how charming of Don Alfonzo!

As we could not see the house, Don Fulano took us to a neighboring
casino where, he said, the royal guests would go for tea. Here we
wandered in the garden; Engracia picked a spray of orange blossoms,
tucked it in her belt; then, like a fairy godmother, witched us away in
her motor to the shooting lodge, where we found her serious husband and
her five-year-old son. The shooting box stood on a piece of high cleared
ground surrounded by a thick wood; it seemed delightfully sylvan and
remote from feverish Madrid.

“We come here three days a week,” Engracia said when we were seated at
luncheon. “Whenever the pace gets too rapid in town, I fly out here for
a rest.”

Her husband laughed. “For a change of activities,” he said. “Engracia is
a good shot, these are her trophies.”

The antlers of a stag hung over the fireplace, the floor was spread with
skins. Engracia, pouring tea at the head of the table, nodded towards a
shelf laden with silver cups.

“There are his trophies,” she laughed. “I have not yet won a prize.”

“You shot the birds we are eating,” said the husband. “Isn’t that more
important?”

After lunch the people who knew how to shoot went off with guns and left
me in the lodge with a bright fire crackling in the chimney and
Engracia’s little son for company.

It was part of our luck, as Patsy said, that we should have had that
sharp crisp day for our expedition, our one experience of life in a
Spanish hunting lodge. Even the weather was on our side!

We drove back through the town of El Pardo, a sleepy place on the bank
of the Manzanares. Cattle were drinking in the river; in a meadow where
we stopped to admire some fine oaks, a flock of half-tame magpies were
hopping over the grass.

In spite of April hailstorms it was a forward spring, the fruit trees
put on their bridal dresses early to welcome the bride. In the Buen
Retiro purple and white violets bloomed so thick that the air was
scented. The laburnums shook out long golden clusters, the wistaria
unfurled amethyst blossoms. The honey-sweet smell of the acacias in the
Recoletos came in at the windows and drove us abroad early and late. It
was impossible to stay indoors with the trees in flower, the streets
abloom with children and girls. The crowd of vehicles in the Paseo was
so great that horses and automobiles moved at a foot pace.

In the noon hour the working men and their families, who in winter had
sought the sunny corners for their out-of-door feasts, hunted for the
shadow of tree or kiosk. We were on friendly terms with several of
these family groups, and had often been invited to join them at their
meal. Patsy, consumed with curiosity to know just what they had to eat,
made an excuse to stop one day and talk with a mason, just as the man
left off work.

“Not two minutes after twelve,” Patsy told us afterwards, “the mason’s
wife and children came trotting up with the family dinner. The wife
carried a kettle of hot _puchero_, the eldest girl a dish of sausage and
garlic, neatly tied up in a clean napkin; one boy had the bread, another
the fruit, a middle-sized child plates, spoons and knives for the party.
The father said there were few days in the year when his children did
not dine with him; he believed in family life. He could not give time to
go home, so the family came to him and they all dined together in the
open air at the nearest sheltered corner.”

The house where the mason was at work was being swept, garnished and put
in apple-pie order for some of the wedding guests, who were to lodge
there. It was a good season for the working people. It may be that
Madrid is always as fresh, smart and tidy as it was in that year of
Grace, 1906, but it seemed to us that everybody tried to add to the
general festive air by a little private gilding and varnishing on his
own account. Don Jaime bought what he had threatened to buy for years,
a new set of teeth. Pedra made herself a scarlet bodice, in which she
looked prettier than ever. At the palace an army of furbishers were
touching up, silver-plating, gilding and polishing. Work was pushed at
the royal stables. The fifty state carriages needed for the wedding
pageant, with the harnesses, liveries, and ostrich plumes for the
horses, were renewed or furbished up to look as good as new, at a cost
of half a million duros.

The hostlers at the studs of Aranjuez had extra work, for the eight
cream-colored horses chosen to draw the bridal coach must have coats
like satin on the King’s wedding day. Aranjuez, a royal summer
residence, is a place lovely with the noise of running waters and the
songs of nightingales. The elms here were brought out from England by
grim Philip II, who laid out the garden so well that I relented a little
towards him when I saw it. The court no longer goes to Aranjuez, and the
royal stud is not what it was in the days when camels and lamas were
raised there; but it is still an interesting place, if I only had time
to tell about it! During the wars of the last century the French
destroyed the breeding stables, but in 1842 they were restored and
stallions were imported from England.

Extra hands were taken on at the Madrid Tapestry Manufactory.
“Everybody who owns a tapestry wants it in order of course,” said the
Director who showed us over the factory. A dozen men were at work upon a
famous set of ruby velvet hangings emblazoned with silver, priceless
things, not only unique but beautiful.

“You will see these hanging from the front of the Duke of Cestus’ palace
all through the fêtes,” the director said.

“Suppose it should rain!” I cried horrified.

He shrugged his shoulders; “The Duke takes the risk,” he said. “The king
is not married every day.”

The last Friday in May the Princess Ena, her mother and her two brothers
entered Spain. We heard then for the first time that she wished to be
known in future as Queen Victoria.

“That shows courage,” was Patsy’s comment. “A great name is a good thing
to try and live up to, to be sure!”

Don Alfonso met the Princess at the frontier and they all travelled
together to El Pardo. All Madrid, at least all fashionable Madrid, rode,
drove, motored or ballooned out to meet them. Patsy of course managed to
be there with Don Jaime. They described the arrival of the bride as a
brilliant scene. All the great people were there in their best clothes;
there was an overwhelming amount of gold lace; they all looked and
behaved just as they should. “It was more than ever like Lohengrin,” was
Patsy’s summing up.

I begged for particulars and learned that the Princess looked beautiful
as she drove to the chateau in a carriage drawn by four mules; Don
Alfonzo on horseback at her right, the Prince of the Asturias at her
left.

“What did she wear?”

“Such golden hair, such a color, such blue, _blue_ eyes!” That was all
the satisfaction I got out of Patsy. Don Jaime was incoherent with
enthusiasm.

“_Muy guapa, divinamente guapa!_” he kept repeating. “And what a health,
grace heaven! Not only for a Princess but if only a simple gel!”

By this time Madrid was upside down with excitement. The hurry-flurry of
the final preparations was contagious. Most people really were busy, the
others thought they were. Don Jaime got up at twelve o’clock, instead of
two, and Patsy insisted, sometimes forgot to go to bed at all. The
wedding guests were pouring into the city by every train.

“I am becoming hardened to royalty,” Patsy announced one evening. “I
have seen three royal princes and four Ambassadors Extraordinary arrive
to-day. The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Crown Prince of Sweden
drove straight to the palace.”

All the King’s relations and the direct heirs to thrones stayed at the
palace. The other visiting Princes and Ambassadors Extraordinary were
lodged at the best private houses. We heard that the owners would accept
no pay for the use of them; it was honor enough to be allowed to lend
their houses to the King for the use of his guests.

“It may be the custom in other countries,” said Patsy, “but I doubt it.
There’s something chivalresque and Spanish about it!”

One of the envoys let it be known that he wished to give various
entertainments during his stay in Madrid. He was told that he had but to
give his orders: the house and the corps of servants were at his
disposal. Only, Spain reserved the right of paying all the bills. In a
commercial age such things are pleasant to meet with.

The Austrian Grand Duke stayed not far from the Tower at the palace of
the Duke of Medina Celli, the representative of an elder branch of the
royal family. At every coronation, the head of this house makes a formal
protest, and asserts his hereditary claim to the throne. He ranks next
to the King and has the second place at all ceremonials.

When the great people had all arrived, Villegas took an afternoon off
and drove us about the city to show us where they were staying. Outside
each palace or house where a distinguished guest was billeted a sentry
box, painted with the national colors of the guest, had been placed and
a sentinel posted. Over the handsome house allotted to Mr. Whittredge,
the American Ambassador Extraordinary, floated the stars and stripes;
the sentry box before the door was painted red, white and blue.

The American Consul at Madrid was an angel. It may not be set forth in
the civil-service examination papers that applicants for consulships
must prove angelic character; it is probably one of those traditions
mightier than law. How else could they face the cares of office without
becoming hopeless misanthropes? Our Consul made us welcome at the
Consulate, over whose door a rusty American eagle spread his painted tin
wings. In whatever trouble J. or Patsy or I found ourselves, we rushed
to No. 8 Calle Jorge y Juan and either the Consul, or his angelic clerk,
or his cherubic office boy, rescued and comforted us, smoothed out our
difficulties, set our erring feet on the right road. One morning when
the pressure on every official in Madrid, even the officials of foreign
governments, was almost at breaking point, Patsy dropped in at the
Consulate. He found the Consul opening his mail.

“Isn’t it a pretty large order to read all those letters, Mr. Summers?”
he asked.

“Listen to this,” sighed the Consul:

     “‘_Dear Sir_: My daughter and I arrive in Madrid on Saturday
     morning. As I hear the city is full on account of the wedding fêtes
     I must trouble you to engage rooms for us. They must be in a
     stylish, but not too expensive house. We wish to go to the wedding,
     the ball at the palace, and all the other entertainments. If you
     should be unable to secure us invitations, kindly ask the
     Ambassador to attend to the matter.

                                                           Yours truly,

                                                  MRS. EMERALD GREEN.’”



Just then a telegram was brought in by Pepé, the cherubic office boy.
The Consul sighed again as he read it aloud:

     “Please wire answer to my letter immediately, stating address of
     rooms. Am sending large trunk to your care. E. G.”

“Friends of yours?” asked Patsy.

“Never heard of them.”

“Wife and daughter of Congressman?”

“Emerald Green, it’s not a name I know.”

“Do you get many such letters?”

“Tons of them; it’s all in the day’s work.”

The ring in his voice was characteristic of the time. Nobody minded the
extra trouble they were put to, everybody gladly lent a hand to help
those two young people get married. If a household is turned topsy turvy
when a daughter is married, it is not strange that a city should be
turned upside down and inside out when a King is wed. Mr. Collier, the
American Minister, must have been as much pestered as the Consul; he
always had time for us though, and we brought away pleasant memories of
him and of the Legation where we were hospitably entertained.

Of all our friends, the Argentino alone held aloof from the joyous
bustle; a week before the wedding he left Madrid.

“I’m off for Barcelona till all this pother’s over,” he said. “Come with
me. What interest have we republicans in royal marriages?”

“The interest of seeing what we cannot see at home.”

“Ah! that’s the difference between your republic and mine; we do not
forget, be sure that you do not.”

“Don’t be cryptic,” said Patsy, “I never knew what a good republican I
was till I came to Spain.”

“Though Spain is one kingdom, the more free people in the world is the
Spaniard,” Don Jaime protested. “If he have a little money he do what
he like. United States is one republic; there no man can do what he
like.”

“He can think as he likes,” retorted the Argentino, then persuasively to
Patsy, “you’ve seen enough of old Spain and its pageants. Come with me
to Barcelona, have a look at new Spain. There’s a great fight on there,
that really is the most important thing that is happening in Spain.”

“What sort of a fight?”

“The eternal fight between Yesterday and To-morrow, between new ideas
and old. The liberals are making a brave stand. They are trying to get
control of the vast sums of money now expended by the Church, which they
wish to use for the public schools. There are not half enough schools to
go round even in Catalonia, the brains, the nerve center, the place that
does the thinking for Spain. Only thirty per cent of the people can read
and write; that’s not enough.”

“Too much monks, nuns and priests expulsed from France,” sighed Don
Jaime; “enough came before from Cuba and Porto Rico. The priest he know
what happen in every man’s house before the husband.”

“Which is worse?” asked Patsy, “the rule of the priest, the soldier, or
the shopkeeper?”

“We have not time to argue that question to-day,” laughed the
Argentino, “for the last time will you come to Barcelona?”

“No,” said Patsy, “I can see enough of the sort of fight you speak of at
home. I may never have another chance to see a king married.”



XV

THE KING’S WEDDING


Madrid was astir early the King’s wedding morning. We left the Tower at
seven o’clock, in order to get to the Puerta del Sol before the cordon
of troops was drawn. We were to see the procession from the Hotel de
Paris which stands at the angle of the Calle Alcalá and the Carerra San
Jeronimo. We should see the marriage pageant cross the Puerta del Sol,
the bull’s-eye of the city, pass down the Alcalá on the way from the
palace to the church, and return by the way of the Jeronimo. Our
friends, the Larz Andersons, had invited us to spend the day with them;
we arrived in time for early coffee.

“How could you,” said J, “ask Villegas to let us see the show from the
Prado when you had this invitation up your sleeve? This is the best
place in the city.”

“I thought it would be so interesting to watch it from the royal
museum.”

“So did a few hundred other people! They have been worrying and
harrying him for a month. No one is allowed inside the Prado to-day, not
even the head porter.”

“I think Don José might make an exception for his family and--for us.”

“Not even for himself. He is responsible for the safety of the pictures.
Do you realize what that means?”

Villegas is responsible for one of the world’s greatest treasures, and
is uneasy about the safety of the building that contains it. No wonder
Lucia complains her husband does not sleep as well as he once did.

We waited for the procession in the dining-room of the Paris, a
comfortable low-ceiled room with a suggestion of a ship’s dining cabin
about it. A table had been engaged for us in the window. The last guest
to arrive was Don Jaime, who strolled in leisurely after the streets had
been closed to other people for two hours. The Don had on a new coat, a
white waistcoat and a gardenia in his buttonhole; it was pleasant to see
him dressed for once as he deserved.

“I passed the nuncio of the holy Pap driving to the church,” he said.
“They will not tardy greatly now.”

A few minutes later the first of the fifty gala wedding coaches came in
sight. Though of varying degrees of splendor they were all on the same
general plan of those we had seen when Sir Maurice de Bunsen presented
his credentials. That day one Ambassador and his suite had been escorted
in state to the palace; to-day the whole court and all the wedding
guests must be transported from the palace to the church. Could the
wonderful carriages, the proud horses, the ostrich plumes, the
trappings, wigs, galloons and silk stockings hold out?

They did; they grew finer and finer. One coach was of tortoise shell,
one blue and silver, one purple and gold lacquer. All the shining
company of princes, grandees, ambassadors extraordinary, court ladies,
maids of honor, was magnificently conveyed in gala coaches drawn by
noble horses with nodding feathered head-dresses, all attended by grooms
in satin liveries. It was a torrent of dazzling splendor that wearied
the eyes and stunned the imagination.

“I have been forty years in diplomacy,” said a dapper old gentleman with
a single eyeglass, who sat at the next table; “I have seen most of the
royal marriages of my time; I never saw anything to compare to this.”

The bride rode with her mother in the tortoise-shell coach; they were
talking together as they passed. Princess Beatrice looked pale and
grave, the bride happy, expectant, calm, as every bride should look. In
the last coach, a marvel of crystal and gold, rode the King behind eight
proud cream-colored horses. They ambled daintily along, tossing and
tossing their heads so the long ostrich plumes nodded in time to their
high stepping. Where, when, had we seen horses like these before? While
we waited for the wedding party to come back from church, I remembered.

It was in Scotland just ten years ago this August, the season when Ben
Marone puts on his imperial purple veil of heather, that we stood
together outside the inn at Braemar waiting to see the royal carriage
from Balmoral pass. Soon four, perfectly matched, cream-colored
ponies--very like the King of Spain’s horses--came racing in sight at
the top of their speed, drawing a large, plain, old-fashioned carriage.
On the box sat a Highlander in tartan and filibegs.

“‘Twull be the Queen and Princess Beatrice,” said one of the villagers.

The carriage came within our line of vision. “Ay, ’tis her Majesty.”

On the back seat sat an old woman in a shabby black cloak and bonnet, a
younger lady in black beside her. The Queen was old and very tired of
state and ceremony; she looked neither to the right nor to the left, but
straight before her, as the villagers pulled forelock or curtsied. She
seemed to be thinking deeply, was perhaps looking into the future. If
she could have foreseen that her little granddaughter--the one for whose
future she might have felt the most concern--would assume the name she
had made illustrious, would she have been pleased?

“They will be coming back from church in a moment.” Patsy, whom we had
not seen that morning, brought the news. “I saw them go into San
Jeronimo’s. The bride wore a white dress like others I have seen, only
longer; her veil was lace--not that flimsy stuff; it did not cover her
face.” He was proud of having observed, and remembered so much.

Soon after we heard the joyous marriage music, and the long, glittering
procession began to pass again, much in the same manner as before, only
the Queen sat beside the King in the crystal and gold coach with the big
crown on the top. As they passed through the Puerta del Sol they bowed
and smiled to the people; their happy young faces were flushed with heat
and excitement. When the coach had disappeared down the Calle Mayor I
confessed my plan to the company.

“I am going to leave you, to slip round by the back streets to the
Youngs’ house, opposite the palace. From their windows I can see the
procession turn from the Calle Mayor into the palace yard and drive up
to the door.”

“Do not let her go,” I heard Don Jaime say emphatically in Spanish; he
added something that I did not hear.

“It will be very hot,” said Lucia.

“Ninety in the shade,” Patsy agreed. “One of us will have to go with
you.”

“Luncheon is ready,” said our hostess.

“Iced melon in the hand is worth a good deal in the bush,” said J., “but
of course I will take you if you really want to go.”

“It’s pretty jolly here,” murmured Patsy.

“Champagne?” whispered the waiter.

“Take at least a biscuit, and you must drink the bride’s health before
you go,” said the prince of hosts.

It seemed too bad to break up the party. They were evidently serious
about not letting me go alone. I yielded and stayed.

The restaurant was filling up with men in uniform and ladies in court
dress who had come from the wedding; most of the people staying at the
hotel were of the diplomatic world. At a table near us sat Mrs.
Cartwright, looking as handsome in her white court dress as when
Villegas painted her when she was a bride. At another table the King’s
former tutor, Señor Merry del Val, a handsome, distinguished man
(brother of the Cardinal), and his charming wife. It certainly was very
jolly in that pleasant company, talking over the dresses, the coaches
and the coming fêtes.

If I had not stayed at the Hotel Paris, if I had gone to the Calle
Mayor, I should have seen the gay procession of coaches, with the
attendant postilions and _palfreniers_ walking on either side, turn into
the palace yard one by one, till there was only left in the Calle Mayor
for the crowd to gape at the _coche de respecto_ and the King’s coach.
Then suddenly out of the heavens fall what at first looked like a great
bouquet, not unlike those that had been showered down from window and
balcony all along the route; then a blinding flash, a dreadful crash, a
cloud of smoke; and when that cleared away the crystal coach shattered,
the brave horses staggering on a pace or two, the King looking from the
wrecked coach and crying:

“It is nothing; we are neither of us hurt.”

“Nothing?” But that is what King Umberto said, when he fell mortally
stabbed at Monza.

The wheel horses reeled and fell, done to death, their shining sides,
their white plumes all dabbled with blood. The King jumped out--his coat
torn from his back--and helped out the bride. They were neither of them
hurt, as he had said. The Queen was pale but wonderfully calm and
brave,--till she looked down and saw the hem of her wedding dress
covered with blood! Then through the distracted crowd, a small phalanx
of resolute men pushed their way to the front, tall men in uniform, who
surrounded the Queen, walked with her through the awful carnage down the
Calle Mayor, across the palace yard to the door of her new home.

Who were they? Where did they come from? Some said they were the staff
of the British Embassy, who had seen the accident from the Youngs’
windows; some that they were six tall life-guardsmen, who had played
some part in the pageant. The important thing is, they were Englishmen;
they and Sir Maurice de Bunsen, the English Ambassador, appeared, as if
by magic, at the moment they were wanted.

No whisper of the tragedy reached the Paris. In the restaurant the gaily
dressed people lingered at the tables, toasting the bride. Our party was
one of the first to break up. A friend drove me to the Consulate, where
finding the Consul had not returned, I waited to see him. He came in
shortly, white as a ghost, and cried out for a glass of water. From Mr.
Summers I heard the first account of the horror. He had seen the bodies
of the innocent people killed by the bomb carried by. He had counted
eight soldiers, seventeen civilians, all strangers to him. One he had
known by sight, a little girl, the five-year-old daughter of a great
house. He had seen her a few minutes before standing on a neighboring
balcony with her parents. “Such a little body,” he said; “where the face
had been, there was a twist of child’s curls, nothing more; the face was
gone.”

What awful sights I had been spared! I carried the news home to the
Tower. Villegas had not yet come back, the others had heard nothing.

Lucia clapped her hands to her heart when she heard of the outrage. “God
grant,” she said with white lips, “that it was not an Italian who threw
the bomb.” She is a Roman; her first fear, her first hope were for
Italy.

“What was that thing Don Jaime said to you at the Paris, when I proposed
going to the Youngs’ house?” I asked Patsy.

He said “Do not let her go; the police fear that a bomb will be thrown
in the Calle Mayor.”

If the police knew so much, why could they not have averted the horror?

This was never explained.



XVI

WEDDING GUESTS


“_Los Reyes! los Reyes! Bueno, Bueno!_” Don Jaime waved his sombrero
wildly over his head and ran across the wet grass, followed by Patsy,
who had snatched off his Panama and was roaring as if this were a
football game:

“Hip, hip, hurrah! The Queen, the Queen!”

It was the morning after the wedding; considering the hour--it was still
early--there were a great many people sitting in the chairs or pacing
slowly under the trees of the Recoletos. All Madrid was drawing its
breath, trying to steady its nerve by a little air and exercise. Without
warning, without escort, the King and Queen whirled by in an open
automobile. The bride and groom had slipped out of the palace and had
been driven to the hospital to see the eighty people who were wounded by
the bomb that had been meant to kill them. They had flashed through the
Puerta del Sol, through the most crowded quarter of the city, and were
now returning to the palace, attended only by a chauffeur.

“_Bravo va!_” cried the seller of orgeat from his booth; then, yielding
to enthusiasm, he vaulted over the counter, left the till unprotected,
and joined in the chase.

“_Viva, viva!_” The crowd in the Recoletos lost its head; women waved
parasols, men hats or handkerchiefs. The applause was fine, spontaneous,
electrical.

“They’re game!” cried Patsy. “He’s a man, and I guess she’s a good deal
of a woman.”

They looked so brave, the blonde bride so grave, so loyal, so fresh,
that we were all moved; there was heart in the cries of _viva_, _bueno_,
_bravo_, that followed them, applause of a very different calibre from
the rather perfunctory toasting and hurrahing of yesterday.

There was but one dissentient voice. I heard the old gentleman who had
been forty years in diplomacy say: “It is against all precedent! Without
even an escort! It will be much criticised.”

It may have been criticised at Court; the people liked it. Don Alfonzo
is wise enough to know that the applause of the gallery is more
important to the actor than the appreciation of the stalls.

The wedding fêtes lasted a week. The gala performance at the opera, the
bull-fight, the battle of flowers, the balloon race, the ball at the
palace and all the more private festivities such as dinners and
luncheons, had been carefully planned, so that no hour should hang heavy
on the wedding guests. Time had to be made for one more function, the
funeral of the officers and soldiers killed by the bomb. It took place
the very day after the disaster. I did not see that black pageant of
death, I wish I had; but J. saw and told me about it.

At very nearly the same hour as that gorgeous marriage procession, there
passed over the same ground, through the Puerta del Sol and down the
Alcalá, a long string of black hearses. The first two, the coaches of
honor, were splendid with sable trappings; on the top lay the arms of
the dead officers. The King, the Prince of Wales, and most of the other
royalties walked in the procession that followed.

In spite of the gloom cast by the dreadful disaster, the fêtes went on
with slight modifications, as if nothing had happened. The ball at the
palace was changed into a reception. Dancing when so many mourned their
dead was out of the question. It was decided that the King and Queen
must not appear at the battle of flowers. It was too dangerous; the
deadly bouquet that masqued the bomb held a warning.

For perhaps a day there was a panicky feeling. The crowd was nervous,
keyed up; it would take nothing to make a stampede. I was never allowed
to go out alone lest “something should happen.” Very soon, however,
Madrid recovered its tone. Crowds of orderly, well-dressed people
thronged the streets day and night, admiring the magnificent
illuminations, the splendid decorations. Where other cities use bunting
and cotton cloth, Madrid used satin, silk, damask, brocade. The fronts
of the houses were brave with rich embroideries and priceless
tapestries. The famous ruby velvet hangings covered the façade of the
Duke Cestus’ palace, the pattern of the silver blazonry outlined at
night with electric light. During the whole week those priceless
treasures hung exposed to the burning sun, or to the chance of rain,
which fortunately never came.

Villegas was busier than ever, devising schemes for decoration, giving
advice about a costume, receiving a distinguished visitor. He was
continually summoned to the Prado to show the pictures to one or other
of the wedding guests. Some days he hardly did more than look into the
studio, where Cisera always had his brushes ready, and Angoscia, the
model, waited, sometimes all day, to pose for one little half hour.

One morning we met the Maestro on the stairs--J. had the studio next
door to his. “Just in time!” cried Villegas. “I was afraid I should not
get you. They have telephoned from the palace that

[Illustration: VILLEGAS IN HIS STUDIO.]

we must meet the Prince and Princess of Wales at the museum. They
haven’t given me time enough even to go home and put on a black coat.”

Villegas had on his funny little blue studio jacket, buttoned up to the
neck, a jacket not quite like any other; he designed it for himself when
he was a student. I never saw him in any other coat, except when on
Court duty.

It was so late that Villegas and J. jumped into a cab; Patsy and I
followed them on foot.

“We are in time,” said Patsy, as we drew near the Prado; “there are the
red legs.”

Each of the King’s guests was provided with two carriages, a court
carriage and a state-department carriage. The every-day carriages, in
which they drove about in the morning and did their shopping or
sight-seeing, were handsome but simple landaus with the royal
coat-of-arms on the panels. The main distinction was the red stockings
and blue velvet breeches of the servants. Patsy always kept a sharp
lookout for the red legs.

There were more people than usual going into the museum, most of them
country folk come to Madrid for the fêtes. Patsy and I stood in the
crowd and watched the Prince and Princess get out of the carriage with
Mr. Keppel, the equerry. Villegas met the Prince at the door and asked
leave to present his English pupil (J.). Then they all disappeared
together into the Prado, Villegas leading the way with the Princess. She
is tall, slender, with pretty yellow hair and an air of great
distinction; there is a strong family resemblance between her and the
young Queen.

Villegas said that the Princess, like most of the royalties he escorts
over the museum, was greatly interested in the royal portraits. When the
pictures are artistically important like the Velasquez, the Moros, even
the Goyas, he is able to tell all about the originals; but when they are
of mediocre value, by unimportant painters, poor Villegas is harrassed
with fear lest he may not always give the right name, date and title.

The Prince admired immensely, and seemed to enter into the spirit of the
Velasquez “Siege of Breda.” When the magnanimous attitude of the
conqueror was pointed out--he cannot take the keys of the city because
both hands are occupied, the Prince said:

“That was so nice of him!”

He paused a long time before Paul Veronese’s picture of the Marriage of
Cana. On the table before the Saviour is a dish of meat that, the Prince
pointed out, resembled a roast sucking pig. “But,” he said, “they were
all Jews; they would never have eaten pork!”

J. said this showed that the Prince really looked

[Illustration: THE SPINNERS. _Velasquez_]

at the pictures and thought about them; many of the people he has helped
Villegas take through the museum walk through as if it were a duty to be
got over as soon as possible. The Prince asked how much various of the
pictures were worth. He studied carefully St. Paul and St. Gerome in the
desert, by Velasquez (the dear one with the ravens flying to the
hermitage carrying loaves of bread in their beaks to feed the unthrifty
old saints).

“How much is that picture worth?” he asked. “Almost anything, isn’t it?”

Villegas says royalties never know what things cost. They may have a
sense of the value of money, but no sense of the value of things.

The Prince lingered longest in the portrait room. Well he might--it
contains some of the consummate portraits of the world!

“That is very fine,” said the Prince, pointing to Van Dyke’s portrait of
himself with his patron the Earl of Bristol; “and that Cardinal of Pavia
by Raphael, and this Holbein. Yet one hears more about John Sargent’s
portraits. I don’t think them as good as these, do you?”

It was very hot in the Ribera room, where they had lagged a little
behind the others. J. took off his hat to mop his brow, and for the sake
of being cooler did not put it on again.

“Keep on your hat,” said the Prince. Supposing this was merely
politeness J. forgot all about it, and a few minutes after did the same
thing again.

“_Please_ put on your hat,” said Mr. Keppel; “we don’t want to attract
attention to the party.”

“Yes, yes,” laughed the Prince lightly, “we don’t want to attract
attention!”

That, then, was the reason such short notice of the visit had been
given--they did not wish to attract attention! The only person who
showed the least nervousness was the detective from Scotland Yard, who
followed with the Chief of the Madrid police. The detective, J. said,
“was in a blue funk; he seemed to see a nihilist in everybody who came
within bomb-shot of the Prince.” While they were lingering in the Ribera
room, the detective begged Mr. Keppel that the Prince should keep up
with the Princess and Villegas; “they must all keep together; it was too
dangerous, too difficult for the chief of police to watch them if they
scattered.”

We heard that the English police had informed the Spanish before the
outrage that a man had been observed practising throwing various
articles from a balcony, as if gauging the distance to the street.

The shadow of fear darkened every sunny hour of these festival days. It
was with us when we started at eight o’clock one golden June morning to
drive to the review, held on the Castilian plain eight miles from
Madrid. We had tickets for the grand stand of the Senate. We were a
little late; by the time we arrived the seats were all taken. We were
turning sadly away when Patsy espied Don Luis.

“Here is the Key!” he cried. “He will get us in somewhere.” Don Luis was
called the Key because he contrived to open every door to us. How did he
manage it? It was not with a silver key; Don Luis was very poor. He had
an uncle who stood high in office; he was never caught without the
uncle’s card, the open sesame of many doors. This time it opened the
military tribune, where we found admirable places. This tribune was less
crowded than the others; most of the military were busy with the
manœuvres. It was a morning of extraordinary emotions; there was a
thrill of controlled excitement in the air; every face wore a smile,
every heart held a fear. The royalties were all present; the young
Queen, looking fresh and rosy, drove by with her mother-in-law. Don
Alfonzo, in the uniform of an officer of halberdiers, rode at the wheel
of her carriage. All through the fêtes the young lovers were the centre
of interest; we saw them so often that we grew to feel quite intimate
with them.

All the ambassadors extraordinary were there, and all the royalties. We
saw the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Crown Prince of Sweden, the
Russian Grand Duke Vladimir, the Duke of Genoa, Prince Albert of
Prussia, and Prince Louis Philippe, the young Crown Prince of Portugal;
a lovely looking lad, about whose future consort, young as he was, the
court gossips were already busy.[4]

We trembled for these great people, come together from every part of the
world to take part in the wedding celebration; our hearts were full of
fear and pity for them.

“It seems,” said Patsy, “as if the Reign of Terror had returned, only
instead of being in France alone it is over the whole world. A list has
been found of Anarchy’s next victims, headed by----” he whispered three
great names.

Meanwhile the infantry regiments, the backbone of the army, were
marching by. The men were well dressed, well looking, full of dash and
vigor; they marched worse than any troops I ever saw.

“When it comes to the drill, the steady hammer, hammer, hammer, of the
drill sergeant, they haven’t it in them,” said Patsy. “They may get it,
they haven’t it now.”

The music was very bad; the military bands lacked the same thing that
the soldiers lacked,--training, the stiff, hard, daily grind, the thing
that makes the difference between every man and his brother, between
every nation and her sister. What remains, if marching and music are
bad? The glory and insolence of youth in those squadrons of cavalry and
artillery dashing by. The vast arid plain soon became like a battlefield
as soldiers describe it and as painters of battles try to paint it. The
bands of cavalry began to pass slowly, the officers in advance, picked
men, with picked horses, as gallant a troop as I ever saw. The officers
rode with the naked sword raised as if for a charge. Just after they
passed our stand, the pace quickened from a trot to a canter, to a mad
gallop, as each troop swung short round an imaginary curve and
disappeared in a cloud of dust. The dust they raised gave the effect of
dust and smoke combined. A real battle-field must look like a thing
seen on the stage with transparencies of dust and smoke. Through the
veil of gray haze, we caught glimpses of distant squadrons marching and
countermarching, pack mules with mountain batteries, engineers with
field telegraph apparatus and pontoon bridges, long boats made very
squat and solid so they will not easily capsize, and longer planks to
lay upon the boats.

“They can bridge a river in fifteen minutes,” said Don Luis.

“The Guadalquiver or the Manzanares, perhaps,” murmured Patsy, “hardly
the Amazon or the Mississippi. These pontoons are metal, the latest
thing. Ours are of wood; we shall soon have them of metal like these
Spanish ones.”

“Who told you so much?” I asked.

“I heard Lieutenant Grant say so,” said Patsy. “Didn’t you see him drive
by with our Ambassador? I should like to ask him if this looks to him as
it does to me, like a miniature Gettysburg.”

We were thankful when the review was safely over and everybody gone home
safe and sound. It seemed to us the most dangerous of all the fêtes. The
distance covered was so great that to protect all these royal people
must have been well-nigh impossible.

“Lightning never strikes twice in the same place,” said Patsy. “The
only thing to do is to assume that there is no danger.”

The most original of all the fêtes was the balloon race. Engracia sent
us invitations to the Park of the Society of Aeronauts to see the start.
We found all Madrid in the large enclosure; what was more important, we
found Engracia in the midst of that crowd of smartly dressed people.

“The race,” Engracia told us, “has been arranged as a compliment to the
Queen. She and the King will see it from their windows. All the balloons
will pass over the palace.”

“Wind and weather permitting,” laughed Patsy. “Isn’t this the latest
word in the way of Sport? I never heard of such a thing in New York or
Paris.”

“_Claro!_” the _Madrileña_ flashed out at him. “You think Spain is
behind the rest of the world, yet you must come to Madrid to see a
balloon race.”

The centres of attraction were the thirteen balloons entered for the
race. Each monster air ball swaying in the stay ropes was surrounded by
a group of people. Engracia led the way to one where the crowd was
thickest.

“It is a good thing to have a friend in every place, even in the
inferno,” she said. “I have a friend who is going up in that balloon. It
must be terrible to go alone!”

Way was made for Engracia; Patsy and I followed, and took a good look
at the balloon at close quarters. It was shaped like a globe with a
stovepipe coming out of the bottom. The basket car was small and high,
coming up to the armpits of Engracia’s friend, a man of average size.
The color of the balloon was like a modern warship’s neutral gray, the
tint most easily confounded with cloud or smoke. Patsy peeped inside the
basket, hoping to see some interesting apparatus for steering or at
least guiding the flight.

“Nothing inside,” he reported, “except a few bags of sand just like
those:” he pointed to the sand bags hanging from the outer edge of the
basket. “That,” he showed a small instrument shaped like a pedometer
hanging in the shrouds, “is to measure the distance, and that to gauge
the velocity of the wind.”

“What, nothing more? No modern contrivance to help them navigate the
air?”

“Nothing but sand,” said Patsy. “It takes a lot of two kinds of sand.”

It was such a breathless afternoon: it seemed as if there could not be
wind enough to lift the great captive swaying awkwardly in its ropes.
The breeze must have come up without our noticing it, for there was a
sudden commotion in the crowd, and we were all ordered to stand back.
Engracia waved a last adieu to her friend.

“_Abour!_” she cried, as the balloon shot up to a great height. “If he
had only taken some one with him!” There was something terrible in the
loneliness of that solitary figure in the balloon.

In a few seconds another balloon shot up; it was perhaps lighter than
the first, for it seemed to overtake it immediately. The two great
balloons drifted nearer and nearer to each other; when just above our
heads they noiselessly collided.

“_Por Dios!_” cried Engracia, and hid her face.

There was a slight depression in each balloon, then they sprang apart,
like two vast rubber balls, and sailed off, each in a slightly different
direction, neither the worse for the collision.

Taking advantage of the light breeze, the remaining eleven balloons were
loosed and shot up to a great height. Soon the whole fleet looked no
larger than so many toy balloons. We watched them sail away over the
palace of the King, where the young Queen was watching for them,
forgetting perhaps for a moment her terror, as the balloons sailed over
the palace, over the bare plains of Castile, towards the Guadarramas,
and the grim Escorial, her last home.

In the Park of the Society of Aeronauts, there was a deal of jesting, as
the toy balloons sent off by Engracia and a dozen other ladies, followed
the real ones.

“They all behaved,” said Patsy, as we drove home after the race, “as if
there were no such things as bombs; courage, it seems, is still an
aristocratic virtue.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The night of the reception at the palace was very dark. The sky looked
like black velvet; the streets blazed with clusters, chains, pyramids of
light. The Puerta del Sol was a sea of sparkling flames, that shone on
triumphal arches, flags, flowers, and the entwined letters A and V.

The servants at the palace recognized Villegas. They did not even look
at our invitation, but motioned us to pass with him through that door we
knew so well from the outside. We found ourselves in a big shining hall
at the foot of the _escalara principal_, a magnificent double staircase,
guarded by fierce marble lions and fiercer halberdiers standing on each
step, their halberds touching, making a line of flashing steel on either
side, just as the Argentino described--a sight “well worth seeing
indeed!” We lingered at the foot of the stair to watch some of the
people pass up.

“Who is that?” I asked, as a lady of superb bearing walked slowly up the
stair. “I think she is the most distinguished looking woman I have seen
in Spain.”

“That is the Duquesa San Carlos,” said Engracia, who had just come in.

“And who is that?” A beautiful Saxon woman in white satin and rubies was
passing.

“That is one of the English party, Lady Castlereagh.”

As each Grandee or Ambassador passed, the halberdiers saluted by
striking the marble stair with their halberds. It had a fine effect,
like a peal of thunder or a salvo of artillery. When we had seen a few
of the King’s guests go up, we followed after them.

Bang, bang! the halberds came down again in another salute. I looked
behind to see who was coming. Nobody, we were the only people on the
stair.

“Can that be for you?” I cried.

“Oh, no!” laughed Villegas. “For this,” touching the decoration he wore,
“or possibly for the Director of the Prado.”

We entered a room paved with marble, ceiled with porcelain, hung with
ivory satin embroidered in gold. It was filled comfortably, not crowded.
Many of the uniforms were very handsome; some of the ladies were
sumptuously dressed, with beautiful jewels, others wore very simple
evening gowns. In Spain you cannot judge people by what they wear; they
dare to be poor here as nowhere else. The King and Queen were receiving
the Ambassadors in the Salon de Embajadores. This we could not see at
the time. Later in the evening we went in and admired the superb throne
with its four steps guarded by big gilt lions, the rock crystal and
silver chandeliers, the painted ceiling by Tiepolo, representing the
“Majesty of Spain.” Standing under this picture, the King said to one of
the Ambassadors:

“Well, here I am, you see. I came very near not being with you
to-night!”

A little later the King and Queen made the tour of the apartments
leading from the throne rooms. The crowd here was so great that we could
see nothing but two lines of people bowing and curtseying as the royal
cortége passed down the middle.

“Come,” said Villegas, “you can see nothing here.” He led us through
hall after hall. I caught glimpses of a marble room and a porcelain
room, of cabinets filled with precious pictures, sculpture and
bric-a-brac. We halted in a perfectly empty gallery hung with the most
astonishing tapestries.

“Flemish,” said Villegas, “but unlike any others ever made in Flanders.
_Miré_, they are worked with silver and gold thread.”

While we were looking at the wonderful tapestries, and puzzling out the
subjects, Isabel and Larz Anderson came into the room. We were all
studying the tapestry representing the “Conquest of Tunis” when we heard
voices, and suddenly, without a moment’s warning, the royal party
entered the gallery. The King and Queen walked first. Don Alfonzo wore a
white broadcloth uniform. The Queen looked charming; there was no trace
of what she had endured in her radiant complexion or her calm blue eyes.
She wore white satin brocaded with little pink and blue velvet flowers,
and on her head the new diamond crown made especially for her, Engracia
had told us about. It was small, of the real classic shape, like the
crown of the queen in Walter Crane’s picture book.

The King and Queen both bowed and smiled to the Andersons and ourselves.
Then Don Alfonzo, recognizing the Maestro, waved his hand and cried out
in a cheery genial voice:

“_Ai Villegas, com’ esta V.?_”

Queen Maria Cristina, who was walking next, stopped, called Villegas,
and gave him her hand. The Infanta Isabel, the Infanta Eulalia, and the
Infanta Maria Teresa, all stopped and spoke to him. The tall Swedish
Crown Prince followed suit, and the Russian Grand Duke Vladimir, who
seemed overjoyed at seeing him, patted him on the shoulder.

When the royal cortége swept out of the room, I was breathless with
surprise and excitement.

“They all seem to know you,” I cried. “What is the bond between you and
the Russian Grand Duke?”

“_Quien sabé?_” said Villegas. “He has been at my studio; and the Czar
once bought a picture of mine.”

That reminded me of the portrait of the King. I persuaded Villegas to
take me to the room where it hangs--and holds its own--among the other
royal portraits.



XVII

HASTA OTRA VISTA


“Are you painting?” Don Luis, the Valencian, put his head into the
studio. “Am I too early? The fandango is to-day, isn’t it?”

“_Adelante!_” cried Villegas, “the ladies have come. Imperio will be
here soon. I am only preparing my work for to-morrow.” He stood before a
new canvas making a charcoal drawing of Angoscia.

“He cannot waste five minutes!” sighed Lucia.

“It seems that we are either working, or getting ready to work, day and
night. Where does life come in?” asked Don Luis.

“Turn the head this way,” said Villegas to the model. “Hold the guitar
better--so.” Then to Don Luis: “To those accustomed to work, work is
life.”

“I have noticed,” said the Argentino, who came in at that moment with
Patsy, “that only working people know how to play. That’s the reason
artists play so much better than the rest of us.”

“What did you see in Barcelona that made up for missing the fêtes?” I
asked the Argentino.

“A woman clerk who sold me a railroad ticket. A butcher’s shop where the
meat was cut up and sold by women,” he answered.

There were cries of protest from all the party. “That’s going a little
too far if you will,” the Argentino acknowledged; “but it’s a sign of
progress--things will adjust themselves. I saw the cathedral too; that’s
a joy forever. I hardly knew the old city--expensive buildings are
springing up everywhere in the _art nouveau_ style, pandemonium in
stone, an echo of the ‘greenery-yallery Grosvenor Gallery’ nonsense, the
tag end of the ‘æsthetic’ movement. Big granite buildings with window
frames, whole façades even, carved into flowers. Lilies, poppies, what
you like. No more idea of architecture, of style, of subordinating parts
to the whole, than--than----”

“That comes of progressive republican ideas,” growled Don Luis; for once
our cheerful Valencian was out of sorts.

“You have no sympathy with them?” I asked.

“Frankly, I have never had time to occupy myself with such matters,” Don
Luis confessed. “I don’t know if a Republic is good for the arts or not.
The Republicans I know are all barbarians. They come to the Prado; I
hear them say to the guides,

[Illustration: THE DOGARESSA. _Villegas_]

‘Are these dingy old pictures all you have to show?’ I once took a
Chilian to Rome. When he saw the Sistine Chapel he was furious. ‘Why do
the writers deceive us?’ he said, ‘we have better chapels in
Valparaiso.’ Suppose Don Alfonzo should order a hundred portraits of
himself--people might laugh but nobody could stop him. If the President
of the Argentine ordered twenty, or five, or even one portrait of
himself, and paid for it out of the public money, would you reëlect
him?”

“Art is a luxury,” the Argentino began.

“Ah, there’s your mistake, it’s a prime necessity, it is the great
civilizer!” Don Luis was roused. “North Americans are not so ignorant of
art as South Americans,” he added, remembering there were two present.
“They are the great buyers now. Villegas’ Baptisimo is in New York, and
now his Dogaressa has gone to Washington.”

Here Patsy plunged into the talk and reminded Don Luis of the Age of
Phidias, the painters of the Dutch and Venetian Republics. The great
periods of art had little to do with the form of government under which
they flourished. Art was a rare and wonderful flowering of the human
intelligence, the fairest flower on the tree of life. It depended on the
development of the race, not the will of the ruler.

“That may be,” said the Argentino, “but if we are ever again to have a
great art, the artist must be protected, his trade must be taken as
seriously as the baker’s or the plumber’s. If art is the fine flower of
civilization, it must in its very nature be the costliest of
products--so to most people it seems a luxury.”

“Is religion a luxury, is poetry a luxury? Is anything that lifts the
ideals, or stimulates the imagination a luxury?” cried Don Luis,
passionately.

The old arguments were brought forward and threshed out, the discussion
became heated; meanwhile Villegas worked on steadily. On the flat bare
canvas a dim foreshadowing of what would be Angoscia’s perfect face grew
and grew under his hands. While the others talked about art he was at
work upon his latest masterpiece, the portrait of Angoscia.[5]

This was our last visit to the dear studio in the Pasaje del Alhambra,
where for six months J. had worked, where we had all been so happy
together. Our stay in Madrid was drawing to a close; we counted the
hours now as misers count gold.

“The picture the Czar bought is of the same subject as this,” said J.,
pointing to The Death of the Matador.

The wounded matador lies on a litter in the chapel of the bull-ring. An
old priest stands at his head, reading the prayers for the dying. A
group of gorgeously dressed bull-fighters stand about him, their eyes
fixed on their comrade’s pale face. At the back of the picture an
opening in the wall gives a glimpse of the crowded arena, where the
spectators are watching the great game of death, unconscious that a few
feet away one of the heroes of the _corrida_ is dying, gored to death by
the last bull.

While I was looking for the last time at the picture, Don Jaime came
into the studio with a stranger, an immense man, deep in the chest,
broad in the shoulders, small in the hips. His head was scarred, so were
both his hands. He wore his hair brushed down on his forehead. At the
first glance he looked like a priest, at the second like a prize
fighter.

“Jaime has kept his word,” whispered J., “that is--the most famous
matador in the world.”

“That is something I have seen more than once,” said the matador,
looking at the picture. “In my time there was a mass before every
_corrida_, when the priests carried the oils of the extreme unction in
procession. I stopped that; it took the heart out of a man.”

The matador came nearer the picture, studied it carefully, taking now
the attitude of one figure, now of another. “_Muy bien!_” he said,
nodding his great head in approval.

“You cannot know,” said the Argentino to me, “how good that picture is.
No one who is not familiar with the ways of _torreros_ can know. See the
one who crosses himself, and bends his knee--it is exactly their manner.
See the civil guard in the corner explaining to the other how the
accident happened--look at his hand, it tells the story.”

“How many bulls have you killed?” asked Patsy of the matador.

“In twenty-five years I killed three thousand five hundred bulls.”

“Were you ever afraid?”

“I was afraid many, many times. On those occasions I never put my faith
in the Virgin, but rather in my legs and ran as fast as I could. The
bull, however, is the noblest of animals and the bravest. He never makes
a cowardly attack from behind; he is so frank! He is terrible, though; a
man needs nerve to face him when he comes into the ring pawing the earth
and bellowing.”

“Will you tell me about the bull that was the hardest of all to kill?”
asked Patsy.

The matador’s face changed: “He was a white bull,” he said, slowly, “and
he didn’t want to fight. When he first came in, he put his muzzle in my
hand. He followed me about like a little

[Illustration: THE DEATH OF THE MATADOR. _Villegas_]

dog. I led him with the cloak wherever I wanted him to go. Yes, that was
the hardest bull of all to kill.”

J., who had been looking at the matador ever since he came into the
studio, nodded his head as if satisfied.

“He’s the man,” he said. “I had forgotten the name; I remember the face.
I saw you kill a bull in Cadiz once. I wonder if you remember it? The
bull put his head down to charge, and you put your foot between his
horns, stepped on his head, ran along his back and jumped down behind.”

“Ah, that happened at Cadiz? No, I don’t remember. The Cadiz audience is
the best in Spain, the most intelligent, the most sympathetic; it has
the best knowledge of the art. It is not like the Madrid audience, that
must sit in judgment and criticise. The American audience is good,
especially the Mexican. Yes, the Americans have a real understanding of
the art.”

“Have you ever been wounded?” asked Patsy.

“Often; twice badly. Once I spent three months in bed; that was not
amusing, I can tell you. The bull’s horn went through my thigh and
wrenched the muscles apart. I recovered though. The wound of the bull’s
horn is a good wound; one either recovers from it, or dies quickly.”

“Have you any scholars?” asked Patsy.

“No,” sighed the matador. “My art is one that does not allow of
disciples. A man cannot be trained to it if he has not the gift. It is
an inspiration, like poetry.” He sighed. “It is five years since I
retired. It seems twenty-five.”

He was silent a few minutes, looking down as if distressed; then he
brushed back his hair with a spirited gesture and glanced again at the
picture.

“Most of us end that way,” he confessed. “I have escaped to become an
alderman and interest myself in the hygiene of the city that once
criticised me!” Then to Villegas: “It was kind of you to ask me to see
Pastora Imperio; I have not seen her since she was a child. Her father
used to make my professional clothes. They tell me she is a great
dancer.”

Villegas had arranged that Imperio should dance for us at the studio.
The others had seen her often and were never tired of talking about her.

“Until I saw Imperio dance,” said Patsy, “it was always a mystery to me
why Herod had John the Baptist’s head cut off to satisfy the whim of a
dancing girl. Now I quite understand it.”

While they were discussing her, Imperio walked into the studio with her
mother, followed by her brother Dionisio and another youth, each
carrying a guitar; behind them came attendant nymphs with sisters or
mothers, the inevitable chorus that keeps time with hand clapping, foot
patting, and encourages the performance with cries of _ollé_, _ollé_,
and _andar_.

The two studios had been made miraculously neat and tidy. They smelled
of turpentine and beeswax. Gil and Cisera had been at work half the day
preparing for the fandango. They had spread two tables in the inner
studio where J. worked; one with tea and cake for us, the other with
sandwiches, sliced sausages, and manzanilla, a thin, white wine, for the
performers.

First we had songs; the curious long-drawn chanted wailing songs of
Andalusia that have more of the East than of the West in them. To our
ears they were a trifle monotonous but to the Spaniards, to the
Andalusians especially they were tremendously moving. Dionisio, a
strange-looking youth of eighteen, with odd slate-colored eyes and a
lovely smile, threw back his head and wailed out couplet after couplet.

     “This I tell to you; to see my mother, I would give the finger from
     my hand--but the finger I need the most to use.

     “My stepmother beat me because I prayed for my mother; my father
     turned me out of doors. Where can I go to be a little warm?”

     There was a shadow walked behind me. It was the spirit of my
     mother. It said to me, “to give thee life, I gave my life.”

“_Ay de mi!_” cried Imperio and shivered.

     “I am in prison on account of a bad woman. Tell the jailer when I
     am dead not to unbar the door, for even dead, I would not see her.”

“_Virgin!_” sighed Dionisio’s mother.

Imperio repeated the words slowly to me, line by line. I can see her
now! her burning green eyes fixed on mine, her face that made all the
other faces seem expressionless in comparison. She was at once
immortally young and immemorially old. Her face was young, the spirit
that looked from those marvellous eyes was immemorially old. The grace
of her wild chaste dance is world old and has come down from the ages. I
despair of making any one imagine her! Small, lithe, graceful as a young
tigress from the jungle, now laughing like a child, now brooding like
the world spirit.

When I could not understand what she said she was furious;--I must have
had a bad teacher, she herself would teach me Spanish. When she arrived
with her mother she was demurely dressed in a pretty white frock like
any other young Andaluz. Her short, thick black hair was curiously
arranged in curls on either side of her face, held in place by
tortoise-shell combs set with turquoises. I gave her a pair of crimson
peonies I had bought from the old flower woman at the corner. These
evidently decided the color of her dress. After a while she disappeared
behind the vast canvas of the Death of the Matador, that takes up the
whole end of the studio, and from this improvised dressing room she soon
reappeared in a scarlet moreen skirt, and a manton de Manila draped
gracefully _a la maya_, about her lithe figure. She had stuck the
peonies in the curls on either side of her pale face.

Dionisio and the other lad began to play a strange droning, wailing
chant; the chorus clapped hands keeping time. Imperio sat watching till
she caught the right rhythm, then she sprang to the dance, the castanets
on her fingers. What it all meant, I cannot begin to tell. It seemed the
primitive expression of the joy, the pain, the mystery of life. As she
made “the charm of woven passes,” like Vivian--only Vivian was bad, this
child was virginal and pure--the combs dropped out, the short, black
hair clung about her face and neck, the color surged to her cheeks; she
seemed as one filled with the divine fury of the dance; a pythoness, a
Bacchic priestess, might have looked like this. We had seen in Granada,
in the Gypsy King’s cave, somewhat similar dances given by very old
women and little girls of ten or eleven. These were as the past and the
future. Imperio made the dance part of a glowing, splendid, breathless
present. Life called to life, the life blood in our veins danced in time
with those wonderful gestures of arms, of feet, of the whole perfect
body of the creature. I believe she drew power from us, that it was all
give and take. She gave us youth and the dance, the dance which is the
natural expression of the lust of life; and we gave her the elixir of
our sympathy. Suddenly she stopped and broke forth into song--singing a
long panegyric of Seville:--

     “_Ay Sevillia, la poblacíon mas hermosa del mundo emtiero, la
     ciudad que yo amo mas que mi madre._”

     Ah Seville town the most delightful in the entire world, city that
     I love better than my mother.

The flexibility of her body was unbelievable. I can see now the little,
little hands held over her wild head, the fingers snapping rhythmically,
for the castanets were soon thrown away and her fingers themselves
marked the measure to which she danced; the impatient tapping of the
feet, the wild leaps in air when she seemed to grow taller, to tower
above us and her own original self, and finally the abandon of her last
pose, the final attitude; the head thrown back, the red lips parted,
the gasping breath coming from between the small perfect teeth, the left
arm down, the right arm thrown above her head, her whole body quivering
with the ecstacy of the dance--it was worth coming to Spain--just to see
one of Pastora Imperio’s poses!

“I have never seen dance any gel as Imperio,” Jaime exclaimed. “More
gracious, great spirit in her _figure_ (he meant face) always smiling!”

“There’s something half dramatic, half religious about this,” said
Patsy--“like David’s dancing before the Ark or like the Pyrric dance,
don’t you think?”

“Maybe,” Don Jaime agreed, “I have not seen La Davide, nor the other
dancer, La Pyrrique, you speak of. In Spain the dance is according to
the region; in Madrid, the madrileña, in Seville the sevilliana, in La
Mancha the manchego, and so on. The base of all our Spanish dances is
oriental; this is rather correct, any lady may see it. Imperio dances
with the entirety of the corpe. The French dance with toes, feet, and
legs only.”

“Who taught you to dance?” I asked Imperio, “your mother, was it not?”

“Nobody!” she exclaimed proudly. “I have danced since I was eight years
old.”

“She see her mother dance every day since she were born. She imitate her
dancing as her walking, but do not know--each of them have their own
manner.”

“That dance is as old as Eve,” said the Argentino, “Imperio adds the sum
of her own personality to it, and it is new again.”

“Will Imperio dance to-night?” I asked.

“Always at the Kürsaal after middlenight,” said the Don. “How a pity you
cannot go Missis. There are some French and English performers would not
please ladies.”

“Ask her to tell you about her doll,” said Villegas; “her mother says
that she still plays with it on rainy days when she has to stay at
home.”

“Don’t you think Imperio dances better in the studio than in the
Kürsaal?” Patsy asked.

“_Claro!_” the mother smiled and agreed with him.

“_Natural_,” said Villegas, “we are all _Sevilliani_, born in the same
parish, baptised from the same font in the cathedral. When I first came
to Madrid--to copy Velasquez--I was just sixteen years old
then--Imperiou’s mother was the first dancer in Spain. How is it? Have
you forgotten the dance you gave before Queen Isabel at the palace?”

The grave, fat, middle-aged woman said she remembered something of the
dance.

“Well, show us how it went.”

“Yes, little mama,” said Imperio kindly, “show us how you danced before
the Queen.”

The old dancer rose with a curious action springing with one step from
her chair to the first position of the dance. Then with a noble
solemnity she danced the same dances, only not with the same spirit as
Imperio; that would have been incongruous. She danced with the most
magnificent and splendid dignity as became the mother of a family. Patsy
was right, so might David have danced before the Ark. Little saucy
Imperio sat by and encouraged.

“_Viva tu madre, ollé ollé!_” she cried, clapping her little hands.

Dionisio nodded kindly to his mother, looking at her with eyes that were
her very own. The gentle mother, so long relegated to the second place,
danced and rejoiced in the tardy attention and applause of the company.

“Isn’t it time for refreshments?” asked Patsy. “They all look as if they
needed something to eat.” We adjourned to the inner studio where the
dancers and musicians fell upon the good things with the appetite of
demigods and heros. Imperio seeing that I was not eating anything, came
across the room holding between a small thumb and finger a thin slice
of sausage which she offered me, which I made out to eat.

Don Jaime seemed in a dream, he had felt the dance deeply; Patsy tapped
on the shoulder. “Wake up,” he said, “have you forgotten where you are?”

“It is like the lotus,” sighed the Don, “it make you forget all the
world.”

Imperio had changed her dress again; the fandango, the very best
_fiesta_ of all we saw in Spain, was over.

“Show us my portrait, Maestro,” she said, pointing to a veiled picture
on an easel.

Villegas threw back the curtain and showed us a second Imperio standing
with one hand raised above her head, one held behind her back, a red
matador hat upon her short curls, the emerald fire in her eyes. Patsy
stared at the picture, then at Imperio, once more a demure child in a
white frock as she was when she came into the studio, save for an added
touch of color in her cheeks.

“To the life!” cried Patsy.

Villegas rubbed his fingers over the canvas; “It needs a little scraping
down,” he said, “a little repainting, the color is too thick. It is like
her, yes? _Quien sabé!_ She is different from the

[Illustration: IMPERIO. _Villegas_]

rest. When she falls in love and marries she will be like the others.
You have seen, I have tried to paint the first dancer of Spain in her
flower.” Then he went with the dancers to the door.

“Villegas says,” Patsy quoted him, “‘that an artist should leave behind
him a true picture of his own time; that he should be like a phonograph,
preserving the character of his own period to posterity. The matador and
the dancing girl are two of the most characteristic figures of the Spain
of his day; he has painted both supremely well: he seems to be doing the
thing he set out to do!’”

       *       *       *       *       *

All too soon after the _fiesta_ came the day we had fixed to leave
Madrid. Not till then did I realize the strength of the spell Spain had
laid upon me. We were going to Rome--even that could not console me--for
the spell of Spain, so dark, so noble, so tremendous, is not to be
shaken off once you have yielded to it.

The promise the child made so lightly, “to see Spain, and tell the other
children what it is like,” has yet to be kept. I did not begin to see
Spain, I have told but a halting story of what I did see. It was enough
to make me love Spain, to love the Spaniards. They are more like us
Anglo-Saxons than any people I have lived among. Villegas says, “In
every one of us Spaniards there is a Sancho Panza, and a Don Quixote.”
That is as true of us as it is of them.

Several of our friends came to the station to see us off as is the
pleasant custom of a land where people are rich, because they have time
to be kind. Lucia, hospitable to the last, came followed by Gil carrying
a great net basket with a roast capon, some _torrones_, and a bottle of
Valdepeñas. Engracia, the lovely soft-eyed, willful beauty of Madrid,
brought us chocolates from Paris, a characteristic gift, for she is a
true Cosmopolitan: _mi paisano_, Robert Mason Winthrop, Secretary of the
American Legation, who had been endlessly kind and added in a thousand
ways to the interest of our life in Madrid, brought a bunch of wonderful
Spanish carnations.

Don Jaime and Patsy were both more cast down at parting than either
wished the other to realize.

“Come and see us in America, Don,” said Patsy, “We will give you the
time of your life.”

“Though I would like to take another climate,” said the Don, “I have not
the _dinero fresco_, fresh money as you say. I have not the habitude to
spend very mooch to voyage; I could not justificate the emprize at
present.”

“Where is Villegas?” asked J.

“There he comes,” said little Don Luis, the Valencian, “bearing the
flowers of San José.”

Villegas was hurrying along the platform with a great sheaf of
annunciation lilies in his arms.

“_Adios, adios_,” we cried from the window as the train began to move.

“No, no!” came a cordial chorus from the platform.

“_Hasta otra vista._”

                   *       *       *       *       *

                         _BOOKS BY MAUD HOWE_


                              ROMA BEATA

                    _Letters from the Eternal City_

     _With illustrations from drawings by John Elliott and from
     photographs. 8vo. Cloth, gilt top in box, $2.50 net_

No aspect of the Roman kaleidoscope escaped her notice, and for the Pope
and peasant her comprehension and sympathies were alike quick and
ready.--_Boston Herald._

This is a clever book, and an engaging one. The author has observed
Italians and Italian life with an intelligence no less sympathetic than
acute. By temperament as well as by training she was fitted to
appreciate the glamour of Italy--that embodied romance of nature, art,
and history. In these sketches, marked by humor, discrimination, and
womanly grace and gentleness, she does much to draw the reader under the
spell which she herself has felt so deeply.--_New York Tribune._

Sparkles with humor and runs over with unique and entertaining
experiences such as could not possibly fall to the lot of the ordinary
tourist. A dozen illustrations, from Mr. Elliott’s drawings and from
photographs, add a decorative touch to this tempting volume.--_Dial_,
Chicago.


                             TWO IN ITALY

     _With six full-page illustrations from drawings by John Elliott.
     Crown 8vo. Cloth, gilt top in box, $2.00 net_

A book of delightful rambling sketches of Italian life. There is hardly
another American so capable of interpreting Italian life and
character.--_Chicago Tribune._

The stories are full of humor and color, picturesque bits of real life,
touched by a skilful hand.--_Philadelphia Telegraph._

Not since the publication of Howell’s “Venetian Days” have we had books
by an American so full of Italian sunshine and so soft with Italian
atmosphere as are the writings of Mrs. Elliott.--_Chicago Interior._


     LITTLE, BROWN, & CO., _Publishers_, BOSTON


FOOTNOTES:

[1] James Freeman Clarke’s “Seven Great Religions.”

[2] The other day a Moroccan embassy to the German Emperor asked for
his help against the too drastic rule of Morocco’s new masters, the
French, on the strength of that old kinship. Blood is thicker than
water. The blue eyes of William of Hohenzollern may have looked with
something akin to sympathy into the blue eyes of the Berber hillmen
when he went hunting among them on his famous shooting trip to Morocco,
the beginning of so much diplomatic palaver!

[3] (Mr. White’s good offices eventually won a public expression of
gratitude from the head of the German Government.)

[4] The Crown Prince of Portugal and his father, Don Carlos the King,
were killed in the winter of 1908. The dreadful murder was curiously
glossed over by the newspapers as a “political crime,” and outside of
Portugal at least has apparently been quickly forgotten. The boy was a
sweet-faced youth with charming manners. I cannot think of him without
remembering the superstition that “whom the gods love die young.” As I
look back at those fabulous fêtes in the light of the dreadful double
regicide, there seems something curiously suggestive and characteristic
in the representatives sent by the different monarchs to the King of
Spain’s wedding. It must be an openly accepted fact that there is great
risk in attending such a celebration. The Kaiser thriftily sent his
uncle, the Czar sent another uncle, Russia, Germany, Austria, Italy,
all sent old men, uncles or cousins of the sovereign, whose lives
were not particularly valuable. England (so like England) sent the
King’s only son; Sweden sent the heir to the throne, and Portugal,
unsuspicious, trustful in the character of its solid, serious,
law-abiding people, sent the heir to the throne. The countries that
have suffered most from the assassins of Anarchy--Austria, Russia, and
Italy--risked only a small counter on the dreadful hazard.

[5] The picture is owned by Miss Dorothy Whitney of New York.





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