One of the first errors of our search for the Archaeological Museum, promoted by the mistaken kindness of people we asked the way, found us in the Academy of Fine Arts, where in the company of a fat and flabby Rubens (Susanna, of course, and those filthy Elders) we chanced on a portrait of Goya by himself: a fine head most takingly shrewd. But there was another portrait by him, of the ridiculous Godoy, Prince of the Peace, a sort of handsome, foolish fleshy George Fourthish person looking his character and history: one of the miost incredible parasites who ever fattened on a nation. This impossible creature, hated more than feared, and despised more than hated, who misruled a generous people for twenty-five years, throughout the most heroic period of their annals, the low-born paramour of their queen and the beloved friend of the king her husband, who honored and trusted him with the most pathetic single-hearted and simple-minded devotion, could not look all that he was and was not; but in this portrait by Goya he suggested his unutterable worthlessness: a worthlessness which you can only begin to realize by successively excluding all the virtues, and contrasting it with the sort of abandon of faith on the part of the king; this in the common imbecility, the triune madness of the strange group, has its sublimity. In the next room are two pieces of Goya's which recall in their absolute realism another passage of Spanish history with unparalleled effect. They represent, one the accused heretics receiving sentence before a tribunal of the Inquisition, and the other the execution of the sentence, where the victims are mocked by a sort of fools' caps inscribed with the terms of their accusal. Their faces are turned on the spectator, who may forget them if he can.

I had the help of a beautiful face there which Goya had also painted: the face of Moratin, the historian of the Spanish drama whose book had been one of the consolations of exile from Spain in my Ohio village. That fine countenance rapt me far from where I stood, to the village, with its long maple-shaded summer afternoons, and its long lamp-lit winter nights when I was trying to find my way through Moratin's history of the Spanish drama, and somehow not altogether failing, so that fragments of the fact still hang about me. I wish now I could find the way back through it, or even to it, but between me and it there are so many forgotten passes that it would be hopeless trying. I can only remember the pride and joy of finding my way alone through it, and emerging from time to time into the light that glimmered before me. I cannot at all remember whether it was before or after exploring this history that I ventured upon the trackless waste of a volume of the dramatists themselves, where I faithfully began with the earliest and came down to those of the great age when Cervantes and Calderon and Lope de Vega were writing the plays. It was either my misfortune that I read Lope and not Calderon, or that I do not recall reading Calderon at all, and know him only by a charming little play of Madrid life given ten or fifteen years ago by the pupils of the Dramatic Academy in New York. My lasting ignorance of this master was not for want of knowing how great he was, especially from Lowell, who never failed to dwell on it when the talk was of Spanish literature. The fact is I did not get much pleasure out of Lope, but I did enjoy the great tragedy of Cervantes, and such of his comedies as I found in that massive volume.

I did not realize, however, till I saw that play of Calderon's, in New York, how much the Spanish drama lias made Madrid its scene; and until one knows modern Spanish fiction one cannot know how essentially the incongruous city is the capital of the Spanish imagination. Of course the action of Gil Bias largely passes there, but Gil Blas in only adoptively a Spanish novel, and the native picaresque story is oftener at home in the provinces; but since Spanish fiction has come to full consciousness in the work of the modern masters it has resorted more and more to Madrid. If I speak only of Galdos and Valdes by name, it is because I know them best as the greatest of their time; but I fancy the allure of the capital has been felt by every other modern more or less; and if I were a Spanish author I should like to put a story there. If I were a Spaniard at all, I should like to live there a part of the year, or to come up for some sojourn, as the real Spaniards do. In such an event I should be able to tell the reader more about Madrid than I now know. I should not be poorly keeping to hotels and galleries and streets and the like surfaces of civilization; but should be saying all sorts of well-informed and surprising things about my fellow-citizens. As it is I have tried somewhat to say how I think they look to a stranger, and if it is not quite as they have looked to other strangers I do not insist upon my own stranger's impression. There is a great choice of good books about Spain, so that I do not feel bound to add to them with anything like finality.

I have tried to give a sense of the grand-opera effect of the street scene, but I have record of only one passage such as one often sees in Italy where moments of the street are always waiting for transfer to the theater. A pair had posed themselves, across the way from our hotel, against the large closed shutter of a shop which made an admirable background. The woman in a black dress, with a red shawl over her shoulders, stood statuesquely immovable, confronting the middle-class man who, while people went and came about them, poured out his mind to her, with many frenzied gestures, but mostly using one hand for emphasis. He seemed to be telling something rather than asserting himself or accusing her; portraying a past fact or defining a situation; and she waited immovably silent till he had finished. Then she began and warmed to her work, but apparently without anger or prejudice. She talked herself out, as he had talked himself out. He waited and then he left her and crossed to the other corner. She called after him as he kept on down the street. She turned away, but stopped, and turned again and called after him till he passed from sight. Then she turned once more and went her own way. Nobody minded, any more than if they had been two unhappy ghosts invisibly and inaudibly quarreling, but I remained, and remain to this day, afflicted because of the mystery of their dispute.

We did not think there were so many boys, proportionately, or boys let loose, in Madrid as in the other towns we had seen, and we remarked to that sort of foreign sojourner who is so often met in strange cities that the children seemed like little men and women. "Yes," he said, "the Spaniards are not children until they are thirty or forty, and then they never grow up." It was perhaps too epigrammatic, but it may have caught at a fact. From another foreign sojourner I heard that the Catholicism of Spain, in spite of all newspaper appearances to the contrary and many bold novels, is still intense and unyieldingly repressive. But how far the severity of the church characterizes manners it would be hard to say. Perhaps these are often the effect of temperament. One heard more than one saw of the indifference of shop-keepers to shoppers in Madrid; in Andalusia, say especially in Seville, one saw nothing of it. But from the testimony of sufferers it appears to be the Madrid shop-keeper's reasonable conception that if a customer comes to buy something it is because he, or more frequently she, wants it and is more concerned than himself in the transaction. He does not put himself about in serving her, and if she intimates that he is rudely indifferent, and that though she has often come to him before she will never come again, he remains tranquil. From experience I cannot say how true this is; but certainly I failed to awaken any lively emotion in the booksellers of whom I tried to buy some modern plays. It seemed to me that I was vexing them in the Oriental calm which they would have preferred to my money, or even my interest in the new Spanish drama. But in a shop where fans were sold, the shopman, taken in an unguarded moment, seemed really to enter into the spirit of our selection for friends at home; he even corrected my wrong accent in the Spanish word for fan, which was certainly going a great way.