I have sometimes thought that a symptom of the decay of true kinghood in modern times is the love of monarchs for solitude. In the early days when monarchy was a real power to answer a real want, the king had no need to hide himself. He was the strongest, the most knowing, the most cunning. He moved among men their acknowledged chief. He guided and controlled them. He never lost his dignity by daily use. He could steal a horse like Diomede, he could mend his own breeches like Dagobert, and never tarnish the lustre of the crown by it. But in later times the throne has become an anachronism. The wearer of a crown has done nothing to gain it but give himself the trouble to be born. He has no claim to the reverence or respect of men. Yet he insists upon it, and receives some show of it. His life is mainly passed in keeping up this battle for a lost dignity and worship. He is given up to shams and ceremonies.

To a life like this there is something embarrassing in the movement and activity of a great city. The king cannot join in it without a loss of prestige. Being outside of it, he is vexed and humiliated by it. The empty forms become nauseous in the midst of this honest and wholesome reality of out-of-doors.

Hence the necessity of these quiet retreats in the forests, in the water-guarded islands, in the cloud-girdled mountains. Here the world is not seen or heard. Here the king may live with such approach to nature as his false and deformed education will allow. He is surrounded by nothing but the world of servants and courtiers, and it requires little effort of the imagination to consider himself chief and lord.

It was this spirit which in the decaying ripeness of the Bourbon dynasty drove the Louis from Paris to Versailles and from Versailles to Marly. Millions were wasted to build the vast monument of royal fatuity, and when it was done the Grand Monarque found it necessary to fly from time to time to the sham solitude and mock retirement he had built an hour away.

When Philip V. came down from France to his splendid exile on the throne of Spain, he soon wearied of the interminable ceremonies of the Cas-tilian court, and finding one day, while hunting, a pleasant farm on the territory of the Segovian monks, flourishing in a wrinkle of the Guadarrama Mountains, he bought it, and reared the Palace of La Granja. It is only kings who can build their castles in the air of palpable stones and mortar. This lordly pleasure-house stands four thousand feet above the sea level. On this commanding height, in this savage Alpine loneliness, in the midst of a scenery once wildly beautiful, but now shorn and shaven into a smug likeness of a French garden, Philip passed all the later years of his gloomy and inglorious life.

It has been ever since a most tempting summer-house to all the Bourbons. When the sun is calcining the plains of Castile, and the streets of Madrid are white with the hot light of midsummer, this palace in the clouds is as cool and shadowy as spring twilights. And besides, as all public business is transacted in Madrid, and La Granja is a day's journey away, it is too much trouble to send a courier every day for the royal signature, - or, rather, rubric, for royalty in Spain is above handwriting, and gives its majestic approval with a flourish of the pen, - so that everything waits a week or so, and much business goes finally undone; and this is the highest triumph of Spanish industry and skill.

We had some formal business with the court of the regent, and were not sorry to learn that his highness would not return to the capital for some weeks, and that consequently, following the precedent of a certain prophet, we must go to the mountain.

We found at the Estacion del Norte the state railway carriage of her late majesty, - a brilliant creation of yellow satin and profuse gilding, a bovidoir on wheels, - not too full of a distinguished company. Some of the leading men of New Spain, one or two ministers, were there, and we passed a pleasant two hours on the road in that most seductive of all human occupations, - talking politics.

It is remarkable that whenever a nation is remodelling its internal structure, the subject most generally discussed is the constitutional system of the United States. The republicans usually adopt it solid. The monarchists study it with a jealous interest. I fell into conversation with Senor - - - , one of the best minds in Spain, an enlightened though conservative statesman. He said: "It is hard for Europe to adopt a settled belief about you. America is a land of wonders, of contradictions. One party calls your system freedom, another anarchy. In all legislative assemblies of Europe, republicans and absolutists alike draw arguments from America. But what cannot be denied are the effects, the results. These are evident, something vast and grandiose, a life and movement to which the Old World is stranger." He afterwards referred with great interest to the imaginary imperialist movement in America, and raised his eyebrows in polite incredulity when I assured him there was as much danger of Spain becoming Mohammedan as of America becoming imperialist.

We stopped at the little station of Villalba, in the midst of the wide brown table-land that stretches from Madrid to the Escorial. At Villalba we found the inevitable swarm of beggars, who always know by the sure instinct of wretchedness where a harvest of cuartos is to be achieved. I have often passed Villalba and have seen nothing but the station-master and the water-vender. But to-day, because there were a half dozen excellencies on the train, the entire mendicant force of the district was on parade. They could not have known these gentlemen were coming; they must have scented pennies in the air.

Awaiting us at the rear of the station were three enormous lumbering diligences, each furnished with nine superb mules, - four pairs and a leader. They were loaded with gaudy trappings, and their shiny coats, and backs shorn into graceful arabesques, showed that they did not belong to the working-classes, but enjoyed the gentlemanly leisure of official station. The drivers wore a smart postilion uniform and the royal crown on their caps.

We threw some handfuls of copper and bronze among the picturesque mendicants. They gathered them up with grave Castilian decorum, and said, "God will repay your graces." The postilions cracked their whips, the mules shook their bells gayly, the heavy wagons started off at a full gallop, and the beggars said, "May your graces go with God!"

It was the end of July, and the sky was blue and cloudless. The fine, soft light of the afternoon was falling on the tawny slopes and the close-reaped fields. The harvest was over. In the fields on either side they were threshing their grain, not as in the outside world, with the whirring of loud and swift machinery, nor even with the active and lively swinging of flails; but in the open air, under the warm sky, the cattle were lazily treading out the corn on the bare ground, to be winnowed by the wandering wind. No change from the time of Solomon. Through an infinity of ages, ever since corn and cattle were, the Iberian farmer in this very spot had driven his beasts over his crop, and never dreamed of a better way of doing the work.

Not only does the Spaniard not seek for improvements, he utterly despises and rejects them. The poorer classes especially, who would find an enormous advantage in increased production, lightening their hard lot by a greater plenty of the means of life, regard every introduction of improved machinery as a blow at the rights of labor. When many years ago a Dutch vintner went to Valdepenas and so greatly improved the manufacture of that excellent but ill-made wine that its price immediately rose in the Madrid market, he was mobbed and plundered by his ignorant neighbors, because, as they said, he was laboring to make wine dearer. In every attempt which has been made to manufacture improved machinery in Spain, the greatest care has to be taken to prevent the workmen from maliciously damaging the works, which they imagine are to take the bread from the mouths of their children.

So strong is this feeling in every department of national life, that the mayoral who drove our spanking nine-in-hand received with very ill humor our suggestion that the time could be greatly shortened by a Fell railroad over the hills to La Granja. "What would become of nosotros?" he asked. And it really would seem a pity to annihilate so much picturesqueness and color at the bidding of mere utility. A gayly embroidered Andalusian jacket, bright scarlet silk waistcoat, - a rich wide belt, into which his long knife, the navaja, was jauntily thrust, - buckskin breeches, with Valentian stockings, which, as they are open at the bottom, have been aptly likened to a Spaniard's purse, - and shoes made of Murcian matting, composed his natty outfit. By his side on the box sat the zagal, his assistant, whose especial function seemed to be to swear at the cattle. I have heard some eloquent imprecation in my day. "Our army swore terribly" at Hilton Head. The objuration of the boatmen of the Mississippi is very vigorous and racy. But I have never assisted at a session of profanity so loud, so energetic, so original as that with which this Castilian postilion regaled us. The wonderful consistency and perseverance with which the role was sustained was worthy of a much better cause.

He began by yelling in a coarse, strident voice, "Arre! arre!" (Get up!) with a vicious emphasis on the final syllable. This is one of the Moorish words that have remained fixed like fossils in the language of the conquerors. Its constant use in the mouths of muleteers has given them the name of arrieros. This general admonition being addressed to the team at large, the zagal descended to details, and proceeded to vilipend the galloping beasts separately, beginning with the leader. He informed him, still in this wild, jerking scream, that he was a dog, that his mother's character was far from that of Caesar's wife, and that if more speed was not exhibited on this down grade, he would be forced to resort to extreme measures. At the mention of a whip, the tall male mule who led the team dashed gallantly off, and the diligence was soon enveloped in a cloud of dust. This seemed to excite our gay charioteer to the highest degree. He screamed lustily at his mules, addressing each personally by its name. "Andaluza, arre! Thou of Arragon, go! Beware the scourge, Manchega!" and every animal acknowledged the special attention by shaking its ears and bells and whisking its shaven tail, as the diligence rolled furiously over the dull drab plain.

For three hours the iron lungs of the muleteer knew no rest or pause. Several times in the journey we stopped at a post-station to change our cattle, but the same brazen throat sufficed for all the threatening and encouragement that kept them at the top of their speed. Before we arrived at our journey's end, however, he was hoarse as a raven, and kept one hand pressed to his jaw to reinforce the exhausted muscles of speech.

When the wide and dusty plain was passed, we began by a slow and winding ascent the passage of the Guadarrama. The road is an excellent one, and although so seldom used, - a few months only in the year, - it is kept in the most perfect repair. It is exclusively a summer road, being in the winter impassable with snow. It affords at every turn the most charming compositions of mountain and wooded valley. At intervals we passed a mounted guardia civil, who sat as motionless in his saddle as an equestrian statue, and saluted as the coaches rattled by. And once or twice in a quiet nook by the roadside we came upon the lonely cross that marked the spot where a man had been murdered.

It was nearly sunset when we arrived at the summit of the pass. We halted to ask for a glass of water at the hut of a gray-haired woman on the mountain-top. It was given and received as always in this pious country, in the name of God. As we descended, the mules seemed to have gained new vigor from the prospect of an easy stretch of facilis descensus, and the zagal employed what was left of his voice in provoking them to speed by insulting remarks upon their lineage. The quick twilight fell as we entered a vast forest of pines that clothed the mountain-side. The enormous trees looked in the dim evening light like the forms of the Anakim, maimed with lightning but still defying heaven. Years of battle with the mountain winds had twisted them into every conceivable shape of writhing and distorted deformity. I never saw trees that so nearly conveyed the idea of being the visible prison of tortured dryads. Their trunks, white and glistening with oozing resin, added to the ghostly impression they created in the uncertain and failing light.

We reached the valley and rattled by a sleepy village, where we were greeted by a chorus of outraged curs whose beauty-sleep we had disturbed, and then began the slow ascent of the hill where St. Ildefonso stands. We had not gone far when we heard a pattering of hoofs and a ringing of sabres coming down the road to meet us. The diligence stopped, and the Introducer of Ambassadors jumped to the ground and announced, "El Regente del Reino!" It was the regent, the courteous and amiable Marshal Serrano, who had ridden out from the palace to welcome his guests, and who, after hasty salutations, galloped back to La Granja, where we soon arrived.

We were assigned the apartments usually given to the papal nuncio, and slept with an episcopal peace of mind. In the morning, as we were walking about the gardens, we saw looking from the palace window one of the most accomplished gentlemen and diplomatists of the new regime. He descended and did the honors of the place. The system of gardens and fountains is enormous. It is evidently modelled upon Versailles, but the copy is in many respects finer than the original. The peculiarity of the site, while offering great difficulties, at the same time enhances the triumph of success. This is a garden taught to bloom upon a barren mountain-side. The earth in which these trees are planted was brought from those dim plains in the distance on the backs of men and mules. The pipes that supply these innumerable fountains were laid on the bare rocks and the soil was thrown over them. Every tree was guarded and watched like a baby. There was probably never a garden that grew under such circumstances, - but the result is superb. The fountains are fed by a vast reservoir in the mountain, and the water they throw into the bright air is as clear as morning dew. Every alley and avenue is a vista that ends in a vast picture of shaggy hills or far-off plains, - while behind the royal gardens towers the lordly peak of the Penalara, thrust eight thousand feet into the thin blue ether.

The palace has its share of history. It witnessed the abdication of the uxorious bigot Philip V. in 1724, and his resumption of the crown the next year at the instance of his proud and turbulent Parmesan wife. His bones rest in the church here, as he hated the Austrian line too intensely to share with them the gorgeous crypt of the Escorial. His wife, Elizabeth Farnese, lies under the same gravestone with him, as if unwilling to forego even in death that tremendous influence which her vigorous vitality had always exercised over his wavering and sensual nature. "Das Ewig-Weibliche" masters and guides him still.

This retreat in the autumn of 1832 was the scene of a prodigious exhibition of courage and energy on the part of another Italian woman, Dona Louisa Carlota de Borbon. Ferdinand VIL, his mind weakened by illness, and influenced by his ministers, had proclaimed his brother Don Carlos heir to the throne, to the exclusion of his own infant daughter. His wife, Queen Christine, broken down by the long conflict, had given way in despair. But her sister, Dona Louisa Carlota, heard of the news in the south of Spain, and, leaving her babies at Cadiz (two little urchins, one of whom was to be king consort, and the other was to fall by his cousin Montpensier's hand in the field of Carabanchel), she posted without a moment's pause for rest or sleep over mountains and plains from the sea to La Granja. She fought with the lackeys and the ministers twenty-four hours before she could see her sister the queen. Having breathed into Christine her own invincible spirit, they succeeded, after endless pains, in reaching the king. Obstinate as the weak often are, he refused at first to listen to them; but by their womanly wiles, their Italian policy, their magnetic force, they at last brought him to revoke his decree in favor of Don Carlos and to recognize the right of his daughter to the crown. Then, terrible in her triumph, Dona Louisa Carlota sent for the Minister Calomarde, overwhelmed him with the coarsest and most furious abuse, and, unable to confine her victorious rage and hate to words alone, she slapped the astounded minister in the face. Calomarde, trembling with rage, bowed and said, "A white hand cannot offend."

There is nothing stronger than a woman's weakness, or weaker than a woman's strength.

A few years later, when Ferdinand was in his grave, and the baby Isabel reigned under the regency of Christine, a movement in favor of the constitution of 1812 burst out, where revolutions generally do, in the south, and spread rapidly over the contiguous provinces. The infection gained the troops of the royal guard at La Granja, and they surrounded the palace bawling for the constitution. The regentess, with a proud reliance upon her own power, ordered them to send a deputation to her apartment. A dozen of the mutineers came in, and demanded the constitution.

"What is that?" asked the queen.

They looked at each other and cudgelled their brains. They had never thought of that before.

"Caramba!" said they. "We don't know. They say it is a good thing, and will raise our pay and make salt cheaper."

Their political economy was somewhat flimsy, but they had the bayonets, and the queen was compelled to give way and proclaim the constitution.

I must add one trifling reminiscence more of La Granja, which has also its little moral. A friend of mine, a colonel of engineers, in the summer before the revolution, was standing before the palace with some officers, when a mean-looking cur ran past.

"What an ugly dog!" said the colonel.

"Hush!" replied another, with an awe-struck face. "That is the dog of his royal highness the Prince of Asturias."

The colonel unfortunately had a logical mind, and failed to see that ownership had any bearing on a purely aesthetic question. He defined his position. "I do not think the dog is ugly because he belongs to the prince. I only mean the prince has an ugly dog."

The window just above them slammed, and another officer came up and said that the Adversary was to pay. "THE QUEEN was at the window and heard every word you said."

An hour after the colonel received an order from the commandant of the place, revoking his leave of absence and ordering him to duty in Madrid. It is not very surprising that this officer was at the Bridge of Alcolea.

At noon the day grew dark with clouds, and the black storm-wreath came down over the mountains. A terrific fire of artillery resounded for a half-hour in the craggy peaks about us, and a driving shower passed over palace and gardens. Then the sun came out again, the pleasure-grounds were fresher and greener than ever, and the visitors thronged in the court of the palace to see the fountains in play. The regent led the way on foot. The general followed in a pony phaeton, and ministers, adjutants, and the population of the district trooped along in a party-colored mass.

It was a good afternoon's work to visit all the fountains. They are twenty-six in number, strewn over the undulating grounds. People who visit Paris usually consider a day of Grandes Eaux at Versailles the last word of this species of costly trifling. But the waters at Versailles bear no comparison with those of La Granja. The sense is fatigued and bewildered here with their magnificence and infinite variety. The vast reservoir in the bosom of the mountain, filled with the purest water, gives a possibility of more superb effects than have been attained anywhere else in the world. The Fountain of the Winds is one, where a vast mass of water springs into the air from the foot of a great cavernous rock; there is a succession of exquisite cascades called the Race-Course, filled with graceful statuary; a colossal group of Apollo slaying the Python, who in his death agony bleeds a torrent of water; the Basket of Flowers, which throws up a system of forty jets; the great single jet called Fame, which leaps one hundred and thirty feet into the air, a Niagara reversed; and the crowning glory of the garden, the Baths of Diana, an immense stage scene in marble and bronze, crowded with nymphs and hunting-parties, wild beasts and birds, and everywhere the wildest luxuriance of spouting waters. We were told that it was one of the royal caprices of a recent tenant of the palace to emulate her chaste prototype of the silver bow by choosing this artistic basin for her ablutions, a sufficient number of civil guards being posted to prevent the approach of Castilian Actaeons. Ford aptly remarks of these extravagant follies: "The yoke of building kings is grievous, and especially when, as St. Simon said of Louis XIV. and his Versailles, 'II se plut a tyranniser la nature.'"

As the bilious Philip paused before this mass of sculptured extravagance, he looked at it a moment with evident pleasure. Then he thought of the bill, and whined, "Thou hast amused me three minutes and hast cost me three millions."

To do Philip justice, he did not allow the bills to trouble him much. He died owing forty-five million piastres, which his dutiful son refused to pay. When you deal with Bourbons, it is well to remember the Spanish proverb, "A sparrow in the hand is better than a bustard on the wing."

We wasted an hour in walking through the palace. It is, like all palaces, too fine and dreary to describe. Miles of drawing-rooms and boudoirs, with an infinity of tapestry and gilt chairs, all the apartments haunted by the demon of ennui. All idea of comfort is sacrificed to costly glitter and flimsy magnificence. Some fine paintings were pining in exile on the desolate walls. They looked homesick for the Museum, where they could be seen of men.

The next morning we drove down the mountain and over the rolling plain to the fine old city of Segovia. In point of antiquity and historic interest it is inferior to no town in Spain. It has lost its ancient importance as a seat of government and a mart of commerce. Its population is now not more than eleven thousand. Its manufactures have gone to decay. Its woollen works, which once employed fourteen thousand persons and produced annually twenty-five thousand pieces of cloth, now sustain a sickly existence and turn out not more than two hundred pieces yearly. Its mint, which once spread over Spain a Danaean shower of ounces and dollars, is now reduced to the humble office of striking copper cuartos. More than two centuries ago this decline began. Boisel, who was there in 1669, speaks of the city as "presque desert et fort pauvre." He mentions as a mark of the general unthrift that the day he arrived there was no bread in town until two o'clock in the afternoon, "and no one was astonished at it."

Yet even in its poverty and rags it has the air of a town that has seen better days. Tradition says it was founded by Hercules. It was an important city of the Roman Empire, and a great capital in the days of the Arab monarchy. It was the court of the star-gazing King Alonso the Wise. Through a dozen centuries it was the flower of the mountains of Castile. Each succeeding age and race beautified and embellished it, and each, departing, left the trace of its passage in the abiding granite of its monuments. The Romans left the glorious aqueduct, that work of demigods who scorned to mention it in their histories; its mediaeval bishops bequeathed to later times their ideas of ecclesiastical architecture; and the Arabs the science of fortification and the industrial arts.

Its very ruin and decay makes it only more precious to the traveller. There are here none of the modern and commonplace evidences of life and activity that shock the artistic sense in other towns. All is old, moribund, and picturesque. It lies here in the heart of the Guadarramas, lost and forgotten by the civilization of the age, muttering in its senile dream of the glories of an older world. It has not vitality enough to attract a railroad, and so is only reached by a long and tiresome journey by diligence. Its solitude is rarely intruded upon by the impertinent curious, and the red back of Murray is a rare apparition in its winding streets.

Yet those who come are richly repaid. One does not quickly forget the impression produced by the first view of the vast aqueduct, as you drive into the town from La Granja. It comes upon you in an instant, - the two great ranges of superimposed arches, over one hundred feet high, spanning the ravine-like suburb from the outer hills to the Alcazar. You raise your eyes from the market-place, with its dickering crowd, from the old and squalid houses clustered like shot rubbish at the foot of the chasm, to this grand and soaring wonder of utilitarian architecture, with something of a fancy that it was never made, that it has stood there since the morning of the world. It has the lightness and the strength, the absence of ornament and the essential beauty, the vastness and the perfection, of a work of nature.

It is one of those gigantic works of Trajan, so common in that magnificent age that Roman authors do not allude to it. It was built to bring the cool mountain water of the Sierra Fonfria a distance of nine miles through the hills, the gulches, and the pine forests of Valsain, and over the open plain to the thirsty city of Segovia. The aqueduct proper runs from the old tower of Caseron three thousand feet to the reservoir where the water deposits its sand and sediment, and thence begins the series of one hundred and nineteen arches, which traverse three thousand feet more and pass the valley, the arrabal, and reach the citadel. It is composed of great blocks of granite, so perfectly framed and fitted that not a particle of mortar or cement is employed in the construction.

The wonder of the work is not so much in its vastness or its beauty as in its tremendous solidity and duration. A portion of it had been cut away by barbarous armies during the fifteenth century, and in the reign of Isabella the Catholic the monk-architect of the Parral, Juan Escovedo, the greatest builder of his day in Spain, repaired it. These repairs have themselves twice needed repairing since then. Marshal Ney, when he came to this portion of the monument, exclaimed, "Here begins the work of men's hands."

The true Segovian would hoot at you if you assigned any mortal paternity to the aqueduct. He calls it the Devil's Bridge, and tells you this story. The Evil One was in love with a pretty girl of the upper town, and full of protestations of devotion. The fair Segovian listened to him one evening, when her plump arms ached with the work of bringing water from the ravine, and promised eyes of favor if his Infernal Majesty would build an aqueduct to her door before morning. He worked all night, like the Devil, and the maiden, opening her black eyes at sunrise, saw him putting the last stone in the last arch, as the first ray of the sun lighted on his shining tail. The Church, we think very unfairly, decided that he had failed, and released the coquettish contractor from her promise; and it is said the Devil has never trusted a Sego-vian out of his sight again.

The bartizaned keep of the Moorish Alcazar is perched on the western promontory of the city that guards the meeting of the streams Eresma and Clamores. It has been in the changes of the warring times a palace, a fortress, a prison (where our friend - everybody's friend - Gil Blas was once confined), and of late years a college of artillery. In one of its rooms Alonso the Wise studied the heavens more than was good for his orthodoxy, and from one of its windows a lady of the court once dropped a royal baby, of the bad blood of Trasta-mara. Henry of Trastamara will seem more real if we connect him with fiction. He was the son of "La Favorita," who will outlast all legitimate princesses, in the deathless music of Donizetti.

Driving through a throng of beggars that encumbered the carriage wheels as grasshoppers sometimes do the locomotives on a Western railway, we came to the fine Gothic Cathedral, built by Gil de Ontanon, father and son, in the early part of the sixteenth century. It is a delight to the eyes; the rich harmonious color of the stone, the symmetry of proportion, the profuse opulence and grave finish of the details. It was built in that happy era of architecture when a builder of taste and culture had all the past of Gothic art at his disposition, and before the degrading influence of the Jesuits appeared in the churches of Europe. Within the Cathedral is remarkably airy and graceful in effect. A most judicious use has been made of the exquisite salmon-colored marbles of the country in the great altar and the pavement.

We were met by civil ecclesiastics of the foundation and shown the beauties and the wonders of the place. Among much that is worthless, there is one very impressive Descent from the Cross by Juan de Juni, of which that excellent Mr. Madoz says "it is worthy to rank with the best masterpieces of Raphael or - Mengs;" as if one should say of a poet that he was equal to Shakespeare or Southey.

We walked through the cloisters and looked at the tombs. A flood of warm light poured through the graceful arches and lit up the trees in the garden and set the birds to singing, and made these cloisters pleasanter to remember than they usually are. Our attendant priest told us, with an earnest credulity that was very touching, the story of Maria del Salto, Mary of the Leap, whose history was staring at us from the wall. She was a Jewish lady, whose husband had doubts of her discretion, and so threw her from a local Tarpeian rock. As she fell she invoked the Virgin, and came down easily, sustained, as you see in the picture, by her faith and her petticoats.

As we parted from the good fathers and entered our carriages at the door of the church, the swarm of mendicants had become an army. The word had doubtless gone through the city of the outlandish men who had gone into the Cathedral with whole coats, and the result was a levee en masse of the needy. Every coin that was thrown to them but increased the clamor, as it confirmed them in their idea of the boundless wealth and munificence of the givers. We recalled the profound thought of Emerson, "If the rich were only as rich as the poor think them!"

At last we drove desperately away through the ragged and screaming throng. We passed by the former home of the Jeronomite monks of the Parral, which was once called an earthly paradise, and in later years has been a pen for swine; past crumbling convents and ruined churches; past the charming Romanesque San Millan, girdled with its round-arched cloisters; the granite palace of his Reverence the Bishop of Segovia, and the elegant tower of St. Esteban, where the Roman is dying and the Gothic is dawning; and every step of the route is a study and a joy to the antiquarian.

But though enriched by all these legacies of an immemorial past, there seems no hope, no future for Segovia. It is as dead as the cities of the Plain. Its spindles have rusted into silence. Its gay company is gone. Its streets are too large for the population, and yet they swarm with beggars. I had often heard it compared in outline to a ship, - the sunrise astern and the prow pointing westward, - and as we drove away that day and I looked back to the receding town, it seemed to me like a grand hulk of some richly laden galleon, aground on the rock that holds it, alone, abandoned to its fate among the barren billows of the tumbling ridges, its crew tired out with struggling and apathetic in despair, mocked by the finest air and the clearest sunshine that ever shone, and gazing always forward to the new world and the new times hidden in the rosy sunset, which they shall never see.