I linger over these sordid details because I must needs shrink before the mention of that incomparable gallery, the Museo del Prado. I am careful not to call it the greatest gallery in the world, for I think of what the Louvre, the Pitti, and the National Gallery are, and what our own Metropolitan is going to be; but surely the Museo del Prado is incomparable for its peculiar riches. It is part of the autobiographical associations with my Spanish travel that when John Hay, who was not yet, by thirty or forty years, the great statesman he became, but only the breeziest of young Secretaries of Legation, just two weeks from his post in Madrid, blew surprisingly into my little carpenter's box in Cambridge one day, he boasted almost the first thing that the best Titians in the world were in the Prado galleries. I was too lately from Venice in 1867 not to have my inward question whether there could be anywhere a better Titian than the "Assumption," but I loved Hay too much to deny him openly. I said that I had no doubt of it, and when the other day I went to the Prado it was with the wish of finding him perfectly right, triumphantly right. I had been from the first a strong partisan of Titian, and in many a heated argument with Ruskin, unaware of our controversy, I had it out with that most prejudiced partisan of Tintoretto. I always got the better of him, as one does in such dramatizations, where one frames one's opponent's feeble replies for him; but now in the Prado, sadly and strangely enough, I began to wonder if Ruskin might not have tacitly had the better of me all the time. If Hay was right in holding that the best Titians in the world were in the Prado, then I was wrong in having argued for Titian against Tintoretto with Ruskin. I could only wish that I had the "Assumption" there, or some of those senators whose portraits I remembered in the Academy at Venice. The truth is that to my eye he seemed to weaken before the Spanish masters, though I say this, who must confess that I failed to see the room of his great portraits. The Italians who hold their own with the Spaniards are Tintoretto and Veronese; even Murillo was more than a match for Titian in such pictures of his as I saw (I must own that I did not see the best, or nearly all), though properly speaking Murillo is to be known at his greatest only in Seville.

But Velasquez, but Velasquez! In the Prado there is no one else present when he is by, with his Philips and Charleses, and their "villainous hanging of the nether lip," with his hideous court dwarfs and his pretty princes and princesses, his grandees and jesters, his allegories and battles, his pastorals and chases, which fitly have a vast salon to themselves, not only that the spectator may realize at once the rich variety and abundance of the master, but that such lesser lights as Rubens, Titian, Correggio, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Veronese, Rembrandt, Zurbaran, El Greco, Murillo, may not be needlessly dimmed by his surpassing splendor. I leave to those who know painting from the painter's art to appreciate the technical perfection of Velasquez; I take my stand outside of that, and acclaim its supremacy in virtue of that reality which all Spanish art has seemed always to strive for and which in Velasquez it incomparably attains. This is the literary quality which the most unteclmical may feel, and which is not clearer to the connoisseur than to the least unlearned.

After Velasquez in the Prado we wanted Goya, and more and more Goya, who is as Spanish and as unlike Velasquez as can very well be. There was not enough Goya abovestairs to satisfy us, but in the Goya room in the basement there was a series of scenes from Spanish life, mostly frolic campestral things, which he did as patterns for tapestries and which came near being enough in their way: the way of that reality which is so far from the reality of Velasquez. There, striving with their strangeness, we found a young American husband and wife who said they were going to Egypt, and seemed so anxious to get out of Spain that they all but asked us which turning to take. They had a Baedeker of 1901. which they had been deceived in at New York as the latest edition, and they were apparently making nothing of the Goyas and were as if lost down there in the basement. They were in doubt about going further in a country which had inveigled them from Gibraltar as far as its capital. They advised with us about Burgos, of all places, and when we said the hotels in Burgos were very cold, they answered, Well they had thought so; and the husband asked, Spain was a pretty good place to cut out, wasn't it? The wife expected that they would find some one in Egypt who spoke English; she had expected they would speak French in Spain, but had been disappointed. They had left their warm things at Gibraltar and were almost frozen already. They were as good and sweet and nice as they could be, and we were truly sorry to part with them and leave them to what seemed to be a mistake which they were not to blame for.

I wish that all Europeans and all Europeanized Americans knew how to value such incorruptible con-nationals, who would, I was sure, carry into the deepest dark of Egypt and over the whole earth undimmed the light of our American single-heartedness. I would have given something to know from just which kind country town and companionable commonwealth of our Union they had come, but I would not have given much, for I knew that they could have come from almost any. In their modest satisfaction with our own order of things, our language, our climate, our weather, they would not rashly condemn those of other lands, but would give them a fair chance; and, if when they got home again, they would have to report unfavorably of the Old World to the Board of Trade or the Woman's Club, it would not be without intelligent reservations, even generous reservations. They would know much more than they knew before they came abroad, and if they had not seen Europe distinctly, but in a glass darkly, still they would have seen it and would be the wiser and none the worse for it. They would still be of their shrewd, pure American ideals, and would judge their recollections as they judged their experiences by them; and I wish we were all as confirmed in our fealty to those ideals.

They were not, clearly enough, of that yet older fashion of Americans who used to go through European galleries buying copies of the masterpieces which the local painters were everywhere making. With this pair the various postal-card reproductions must have long superseded the desire or the knowledge of copies, and I doubt if many Americans of any sort now support that honored tradition. Who, then, does support it? The galleries of the Prado seem as full of copyists as they could have been fifty years ago, and many of them were making very good copies. I wish I could say they were working as diligently as copyists used to work, but copyists are now subject to frequent interruptions, not from the tourists but from one another. They used to be all men, mostly grown gray in their pursuit, but now they are both men and women, and younger and the women are sometimes very pretty. In the Prado one saw several pairs of such youth conversing together, forgetful of everything around them, and on terms so very like flirtatious that they could not well be distinguished from them. They were terms that other Spanish girls could enjoy only with a wooden lattice and an iron grille between them and the novios outside their windows; and no tourist of the least heart could help rejoicing with them. In the case of one who stood with her little figure slanted and her little head tilted, looking up into the charmed eyes of a tall rubio, the tourist could not help rejoicing with the young man too.

The day after our day in the Prado we found ourselves in the Museum of Modern Art through the kind offices of our mistaken cabman when we were looking for the Archaeological Museum. But we were not sorry, for some of the new or newer pictures and sculptures were well worth seeing, though we should never have tried for them. The force of the masters which the ideals of the past held in restraint here raged in unbridled excess: but if I like that force so much, why do I say excess? The new or newer Spanish art likes an immense canvas, say as large as the side of a barn, and it chooses mostly a tragical Spanish history in which it riots with a young sense of power brave to see. There were a dozen of those mighty dramas which I would have liked to bring away with me if I had only had a town hall big enough to put them into after I got them home. There were sculptures as masterful and as mighty as the pictures, but among the paintings there was one that seemed to subdue all the infuriate actions to the calm of its awful repose. This was Gisbert's "Execution of Torrejos and his Companions," who were shot at Malaga in 1830 for a rising in favor of constitutional government. One does not, if one is as wise as I, attempt to depict pictures, and I leave this most heroic, most pathetic, most heart-breaking, most consoling masterpiece for my reader to go and see for himself; it is almost worth going as far as Madrid to see. Never in any picture do I remember the like of those sad, brave, severe faces of the men standing up there to be shot, where already their friends lay dead at their feet. A tumbled top-hat in the foreground had an effect awfuller than a tumbled head would have had.