It was hard, after being shut up several days, that one must not go out after nightfall, and if one went out by day, one must go with closed lips and avoid all talking in the street under penalty of incurring the dreaded pneumonia of Madrid. Except for that dreaded pneumonia, I believe the air of Madrid is not so pestilential as it has been reported. Public opinion is beginning to veer in favor of it, just as the criticism which has pronounced Madrid commonplace and unpicturesque because it is not obviously old, is now finding a charm in it peculiar to the place. Its very modernity embodies and imparts the charm, which will grow as the city grows in wideness and straightness. It is in the newer quarter that it recalls Rome or the newer quarters of Rome; but there is an old part of it that recalls the older part of Naples, though the streets are not quite so narrow nor the houses so high. There is like bargaining at the open stands with the buyers and sellers chaffering over them; there is a likeness in the people's looks, too, but when it comes to the most characteristic thing of Naples, Madrid is not in it for a moment. I mean the bursts of song which all day long and all night long you hear in Naples; and this seems as good a place as any to say that to my experience Spain is a songless land. We had read much of the song and dance there, but though the dance might be hired the song was never offered for love or money. To be sure, in Toledo, once, a woman came to her door across the way under otir hotel window and sang over the slops she emptied into the street, but then she shut the door and we heard her no more. In Cprdova there was as brief a peal of music from a house which we passed, and in Algeciras we heard one short sweet strain from a girl whom we could not see behind her lattice. Besides these chance notes we heard no other by any chance. But this is by no means saying that there is not abundant song in Spain, only it was kept quiet; I suppose that if we had been there in the spring instead of the fall we should at least have heard the birds singing. In Madrid there were not even many street cries; a few in the Puerta del Sol, yes; but the peasants who drove their mule-teams through the streets scarcely lifted their voices in reproach or invitation; they could trust the wise donkeys that led them to get them safely through the difficult places. There was no audible quarreling among the cabmen, and when you called a cab it was useless to cry "Heigh!" or shake your umbrella; you made play with your thumb and finger in the air and sibilantly whispered; otherwise the cabman ignored you and went on reading his newspaper. The cabmen of Madrid are great readers, much greater, I am sorry to say, than I was, for whenever I bought a Spanish paper I found it extremely well written. Now and then I expressed my political preferences in buying El Liberalwhich I thought very able; even El Imparcial I thought able, though it is less radical than El Liberal, a paper which is published simultaneously in Madrid, with local editions in several provincial cities.

For all the street silence there seemed to be a great deal of noise, which I suppose came from the click of boots on the sidewalks and of hoofs in roadways and the grind and squeal of the trams, with the harsh smiting of the unrubbered tires of the closed cabs on the rough granite blocks of the streets. But there are asphalted streets in Madrid where the sound of the hoofs and wheels is subdued, and the streets rough and smooth are kept of a cleanliness which would put the streets of New York to shame if anything could. Ordinarily you could get cabs anywhere, but if you wanted one very badly, when remote from a stand, there was more than one chance that a cab marked Libre would pass you with lordly indifference. As for motor taxi-cabs there are none in the city, and at Cook's they would not take the responsibility of recommending any automobiles for country excursions.