Emilio Castelar said to me one day, "Toledo is the most remarkable city in Spain. You will find there three strata of glories, - Gothic, Arab, and Castilian, - and an upper crust of beggars and silence."

I went there in the pleasantest time of the year, the first days of June. The early harvest was in progress, and the sunny road ran through golden fields which were enlivened by the reapers gathering in their grain with shining sickles. The borders of the Tagus were so cool and fresh that it was hard to believe one was in the arid land of Castile. From Madrid to Aranjuez you meet the usual landscapes of dun hillocks and pale-blue vegetation, such as are only seen in nature in Central Spain, and only seen in art on the matchless canvas of Velazquez. But from the time you cross the tawny flood of the Tagus just north of Aranjuez, the valley is gladdened by its waters all the way to the Primate City.

I am glad I am not writing a guide-book, and do not feel any responsibility resting upon me of advising the gentle reader to stop at Aranjuez or to go by on the other side. There is a most amiable and praiseworthy class of travellers who feel a certain moral necessity impelling them to visit every royal abode within their reach. They always see precisely the same things, - some thousand of gilt chairs, some faded tapestry and marvellous satin upholstery, a room in porcelain, and a room in imitation of some other room somewhere else, and a picture or two by that worthy and tedious young man, Raphael Mengs. I knew I would see all these things at Aranjuez, and so contented myself with admiring its pretty site, its stone-cornered brick facade, its high-shouldered French roof, and its general air of the Place Royale, from the outside. The gardens are very pleasant, and lonely enough for the most philosophic stroller. A clever Spanish writer says of them, "They are sombre as the thoughts of Philip II., mysterious and gallant as the pleasures of Philip IV." To a revolutionary mind, it is a certain pleasure to remember that this was the scene of the emeute that drove Charles IV. from his throne, and the Prince of Peace from his queen's boudoir. Ferdinand VII., the turbulent and restless Prince of Asturias, reaped the immediate profit of his father's abdication; but the two worthless creatures soon called in Napoleon to decide the squabble, which he did in his leonine way by taking the crown away from both of them and handing it over for safe-keeping to his lieutenant brother Joseph. Honor among thieves! - a silly proverb, as one readily sees if he falls into their hands, or reads the history of kings.

If Toledo had been built, by some caprice of enlightened power, especially for a show city, it could not be finer in effect. In detail, it is one vast museum. In ensemble, it stands majestic on its hills, with its long lines of palaces and convents terraced around the rocky slope, and on the height the soaring steeples of a swarm of churches piercing the blue, and the huge cube of the Alcazar crowning the topmost crest, and domineering the scene. The magnificent zigzag road which leads up the steep hillside from the bridge of Alcantara gives an indefinable impression, as of the lordly ramp of some fortress of impossible extent.

This road is new, and in perfect condition. But do not imagine you can judge the city by the approaches. When your carriage has mounted the hill and passed the evening promenade of the To-ledans, the quaint triangular Place, - I had nearly called it Square, - "waking laughter in indolent reviewers," the Zocodover, you are lost in the dae-dalian windings of the true streets of Toledo, where you can touch the walls on either side, and where two carriages could no more pass each other than two locomotives could salute and go by on the same track. This interesting experiment, which is so common in our favored land, could never be tried in Toledo, as I believe there is only one turnout in the city, a minute omnibus with striped linen hangings at the sides, driven by a young Castilian whose love of money is the root of much discussion when you pay his bill. It is a most remarkable establishment. The horses can cheerfully do their mile in fifteen or twenty minutes, but they make more row about it than a high-pressure Mississippi steamer; and the crazy little trap is noisier in proportion to its size than anything I have ever seen, except perhaps an Indiana tree-toad. If you make an excursion outside the walls, the omnibus, noise and all, is inevitable; let it come. But inside the city you must walk; the slower the better, for every door is a study.

It is hard to conceive that this was once a great capital with a population of two hundred thousand souls. You can easily walk from one end of the city to the other in less than half an hour, and the houses that remain seem comfortably filled by eighteen thousand inhabitants. But in this narrow space once swarmed that enormous and busy multitude. The city was walled about by powerful stone ramparts, which yet stand in all their massy perfection. So there could have been no suburbs. This great aggregation of humanity lived and toiled on the crests and in the wrinkles of the seven hills we see to-day. How important were the industries of the earlier days we can guess from the single fact that John of Padilla, when he rose in defence of municipal liberty in the time of Charles V., drew in one day from the teeming workshops twenty thousand fighting men. He met the usual fate of all Spanish patriots, shameful and cruel death. His palace was razed to the ground. Successive governments, in shifting fever-fits of liberalism and absolutism, have set up and pulled down his statue. But his memory is loved and honored, and the example of this noblest of the comuneros impresses powerfully to-day the ardent young minds of the new Spain.

Your first walk is of course to the Cathedral, the Primate Church of the kingdom. Besides its ecclesiastical importance, it is well worthy of notice in itself. It is one of the purest specimens of Gothic architecture in existence, and is kept in an admirable state of preservation. Its situation is not the most favorable. It is approached by a network of descending streets, all narrow and winding, as streets were always built under the intelligent rule of the Moors. They preferred to be cool in summer and sheltered in winter, rather than to lay out great deserts of boulevards, the haunts of sunstroke and pneumonia. The site of the Cathedral was chosen from strategic reasons by St. Eugene, who built there his first Episcopal Church. The Moors made a mosque of it when they conquered Castile, and the fastidious piety of St. Ferdinand would not permit him to worship in a shrine thus profaned. He tore down the old church and laid, in 1227, the foundations of this magnificent structure, which was two centuries after his death in building. There is, however, great unity of purpose and execution in this Cathedral, due doubtless to the fact that the architect Perez gave fifty years of his long life to the superintendence of the early work. Inside and outside it is marked by a grave and harmonious majesty. The great western facade is enriched with three splendid portals, - the side ones called the doors of Hell and Judgment; and the central a beautiful ogival arch divided into two smaller ones, and adorned with a lavish profusion of delicately sculptured figures of saints and prophets; on the chaste and severe cornice above, a group of spirited busts represents the Last Supper. There are five other doors to the temple, of which the door of the Lions is the finest, and just beside it a heavy Ionic portico in the most detestable taste indicates the feeling and culture that survived in the reign of Charles IV.

To the north of the west facade rises the massive tower. It is not among the tallest in the world, being three hundred and twenty-four feet high, but is very symmetrical and impressive. In the preservation of its pyramidal purpose it is scarcely inferior to that most consummate work, the tower of St. Stephen's in Vienna. It is composed of three superimposed structures, gradually diminishing in solidity and massiveness from the square base to the high-springing octagonal spire, garlanded with thorny crowns. It is balanced at the south end of the facade by the pretty cupola and lantern of the Mozarabic Chapel, the work of the Greek Theotocopouli.

But we soon grow tired of the hot glare of June, and pass in a moment into the cool twilight vastness of the interior, refreshing to body and soul. Five fine naves, with eighty-four pillars formed each of sixteen graceful columns, - the entire edifice measuring four hundred feet in length and two hundred feet in breadth, - a grand and shadowy temple grove of marble and granite. At all times the light is of an unearthly softness and purity, toned by the exquisite windows and rosaces. But as evening draws on, you should linger till the sacristan grows peremptory, to watch the gorgeous glow of the western sunlight on the blazing roses of the portals, and the marvellous play of rich shadows and faint gray lights in the eastern chapels, where the grand aisles sweep in their perfect curves around the high altar. A singular effect is here created by the gilded organ pipes thrust out horizontally from the choir. When the powerful choral anthems of the church peal out over the kneeling multitude, it requires little fancy to imagine them the golden trumpets of concealed archangels, who would be quite at home in that incomparable choir.

If one should speak of all the noteworthy things you meet in this Cathedral, he would find himself in danger of following in the footsteps of Mr. Parro, who wrote a handbook of Toledo, in which seven hundred and forty-five pages are devoted to a hasty sketch of the basilica. For five hundred years enormous wealth and fanatical piety have worked together and in rivalry to beautify this spot. The boundless riches of the Church and the boundless superstition of the laity have left their traces here in every generation in forms of magnificence and beauty. Each of the chapels - and there are twenty-one of them - is a separate masterpiece in its way. The finest are those of Santiago and St. Ildefonso, - the former built by the famous Constable Alvaro de Luna as a burial-place for himself and family, and where he and his wife lie in storied marble; and the other commemorating that celebrated visit of the Virgin to the bishop, which is the favorite theme of the artists and ecclesiastical gossips of Spain.

There was probably never a morning call which gave rise to so much talk. It was not the first time the Virgin had come to Toledo. This was always a favorite excursion of hers. She had come from time to time, escorted by St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. James. But on the morning in question, which was not long after Bishop Ildefonso had written his clever treatise, "De Virginitate Stae Mariae," the Queen of Heaven came down to matin prayers, and, taking the bishop's seat, listened to the sermon with great edification. After service she presented him with a nice new chasuble, as his own was getting rather shabby, made of "cloth of heaven," in token of her appreciation of his spirited pamphlet in her defence. This chasuble still exists in a chest in Asturias. If you open the chest, you will not see it; but this only proves the truth of the miracle, for the chroniclers say the sacred vestment is invisible to mortal eyes.

But we have another and more palpable proof of the truth of the history. The slab of marble on which the feet of the celestial visitor alighted is still preserved in the Cathedral in a tidy chapel built on the very spot where the avatar took place. The slab is enclosed in red jasper and guarded by an iron grating, and above it these words of the Psalmist are engraved in the stone, Adorabimus in loco ubi steterunt pedes ejus.

This story is cut in marble and carved in wood and drawn upon brass and painted upon canvas, in a thousand shapes and forms all over Spain. You see in the Museum at Madrid a picture by Murillo devoted to this idle fancy of a cunning or dreaming priest. The subject was unworthy of the painter, and the result is what might have been expected, - a picture of trivial and mundane beauty, without the least suggestion of spirituality.

But there can be no doubt of the serious, solemn earnestness with which the worthy Castilians from that day to this believe the romance. They came up in groups and families, touching their fingers to the sacred slab and kissing them reverentially with muttered prayers. A father would take the first kiss himself, and pass his consecrated finger around among his awe-struck babes, who were too brief to reach to the grating. Even the aged verger who showed us the shrine, who was so frail and so old that we thought he might be a ghost escaped from some of the mediaeval tombs in the neighborhood, never passed that pretty white-and-gold chapel without sticking in his thumb and pulling out a blessing.

A few feet from this worship-worn stone, a circle drawn on one of the marble flags marks the spot where Santa Leocadia also appeared to this same favored Ildefonso and made her compliments on his pamphlet. Was ever author so happy in his subject and his gentle readers? The good bishop evidently thought the story of this second apparition might be considered rather a heavy draught on the credulity of his flock, so he whipped out a convenient knife and cut off a piece of her saint-ship's veil, which clinched the narrative and struck doubters dumb. That great king and crazy relic-hunter, Philip II., saw this rag in his time with profound emotion, - this tiger heart, who could order the murder of a thousand innocent beings without a pang.

There is another chapel in this Cathedral which preaches forever its silent condemnation of Spanish bigotry to deaf ears. This is the Mozarabic Chapel, sacred to the celebration of the early Christian rite of Spain. During the three centuries of Moorish domination the enlightened and magnanimous conquerors guaranteed to those Christians who remained within their lines the free exercise of all their rights, including perfect freedom of worship. So that side by side the mosque and the church worshipped God each in its own way without fear or wrong. But when Alonso VI. recaptured the city in the eleventh century, he wished to establish uniformity of worship, and forbade the use of the ancient liturgy in Toledo. That which the heathen had respected the Catholic outraged. The great Cardinal Ximenez restored the primitive rite and devoted this charming chapel to its service. How ill a return was made for Moorish tolerance we see in the infernal treatment they afterwards received from king and Church. They made them choose between conversion and death. They embraced Christianity to save their lives. Then the priests said, "Perhaps this conversion is not genuine! Let us send the heathen away out of our sight." One million of the best citizens of Spain were thus torn from their homes and landed starving on the wild African coast. And Te Deums were sung in the churches for this triumph of Catholic unity. From that hour Spain has never prospered. It seems as if she were lying ever since under the curse of these breaking hearts.

Passing by a world of artistic beauties which never tire the eyes, but soon would tire the chronicler and reader, stepping over the broad bronze slab in the floor which covers the dust of the haughty primate Porto Carrero, but which bears neither name nor date, only this inscription of arrogant humility, HIC JACET PULVIS CINIS ET NIHIL, we walk into the verdurous and cheerful Gothic cloisters. They occupy the site of the ancient Jewish markets, and the zealous prelate Tenorio, cousin to the great lady's man Don Juan, could think of no better way of acquiring the ground than that of stirring up the mob to burn the houses of the heretics. A fresco that adorns the gate explains the means employed, adding insult to the old injury. It is a picture of a beautiful child hanging upon a cross; a fiendish-looking Jew, on a ladder beside him, holds in his hand the child's heart, which he has just taken from his bleeding breast; he holds the dripping knife in his teeth. This brutal myth was used for centuries with great effect by the priesthood upon the mob whenever they wanted a Jew's money or his blood. Even to-day the old poison has not lost its power. This very morning I heard under my window loud and shrill voices. I looked out and saw a group of brown and ragged women, with babies in their arms, discussing the news from Madrid. The Protestants, they said, had begun to steal Catholic children. They talked themselves into a fury. Their elf-locks hung about their fierce black eyes. The sinews of their lean necks worked tensely in their voluble rage. Had they seen our mild missionary at that moment, whom all men respect and all children instinctively love, they would have torn him in pieces in their Maenad fury, and would have thought they were doing their duty as mothers and Catholics.

This absurd and devilish charge was seriously made in a Madrid journal, the organ of the Moderates, and caused great fermentation for several days, street rows, and debates in the Cortes, before the excitement died away. Last summer, in the old Murcian town of Lorca, an English gentleman, who had been several weeks in the place, was attacked and nearly killed by a mob, who insisted that he was engaged in the business of stealing children, and using their spinal marrow for lubricating telegraph wires! What a picture of blind and savage ignorance is here presented! It reminds us of that sad and pitiful "blood-bath revolt" of Paris, where the wretched mob rose against the wretched tyrant Louis XV., accusing him of bathing in the blood of children to restore his own wasted and corrupted energies.

Toledo is a city where you should eschew guides and trust implicitly to chance in your wanderings. You can never be lost; the town is so small that a short walk always brings you to the river or the wall, and there you can take a new departure. If you do not know where you are going, you have every moment the delight of some unforeseen pleasure. There is not a street in Toledo that is not rich in treasures of architecture, - hovels that once were marvels of building, balconies of curiously wrought iron, great doors with sculptured posts and lintels, with gracefully finished hinges, and studded with huge nails whose fanciful heads are as large as billiard balls. Some of these are still handsome residences, but most have fallen into neglect and abandonment. You may find a beggar installed in the ruined palace of a Moorish prince, a cobbler at work in the pleasure-house of a Castilian conqueror. The graceful carvings are mutilated and destroyed, the delicate arabesques are smothered and hidden under a triple coat of whitewash. The most beautiful Moorish house in the city, the so-called Taller del Moro, where the grim governor of Huesca invited four hundred influential gentlemen of the province to a political dinner, and cut off all their heads as they entered (if we may believe the chronicle, which we do not), is now empty and rapidly going to ruin. The exquisite panelling of the walls, the endlessly varied stucco work that seems to have been wrought by the deft fingers of ingenious fairies, is shockingly broken and marred. Gigantic cacti look into the windows from the outer court. A gay pomegranate-tree flings its scarlet blossoms in on the ruined floor. Rude little birds have built their nests in the beautiful fretted rafters, and flutter in and out as busy as brokers. But of all the feasting and loving and plotting these lovely walls beheld in that strange age that seems like fable now, - the vivid, intelligent, scientific, tolerant age of the Moors, - even the memory has perished utterly and forever.

We strolled away aimlessly from this beautiful desolation, and soon came out upon the bright and airy Paseo del Transito. The afternoon sunshine lay warm on the dull brown suburb, but a breeze blew freshly through the dark river-gorge, and we sat upon the stone benches bordering the bluff and gave ourselves up to the scene. To the right were the ruins of the Roman bridge and the Moorish mills; to the left the airy arch of San Martin's bridge spanned the bounding torrent, and far beyond stretched the vast expanse of the green valley refreshed by the river, and rolling in rank waves of verdure to the blue hills of Guadalupe. Below us on the slippery rocks that lay at the foot of the sheer cliffs, some luxurious fishermen reclined, idly watching their idle lines. The hills stretched away, ragged and rocky, dotted with solitary towers and villas.

A squad of beggars rapidly gathered, attracted by the gracious faces of Las Senoras. Begging seems almost the only regular industry of Toledo. Besides the serious professionals, who are real artists in studied misery and ingenious deformity, all the children in town occasionally leave their marbles and their leap-frog to turn an honest penny by amateur mendicancy.

A chorus of piteous whines went up. But La Senora was firm. She checked the ready hands of the juveniles. "Children should not be encouraged to pursue this wretched life. We should give only to blind men, because here is a great and evident affliction; and to old women, because they look so lonely about the boots." The exposition was so subtle and logical that it admitted no reply. The old women and the blind men shuffled away with their pennies, and we began to chaff the sturdy and rosy children.

A Spanish beggar can bear anything but banter. He is a keen physiognomist, and selects his victims with unerring acumen. If you storm or scowl at him, he knows he is making you uncomfortable, and hangs on like a burr. But if you laugh at him, with good humor, he is disarmed. A friend of mine reduced to confusion one of the most unabashed mendicants in Castile by replying to his whining petition, politely and with a beaming smile, "No, thank you. I never eat them." The beggar is far from considering his employment a degrading one. It is recognized by the Church, and the obligation of this form of charity especially inculcated. The average Spaniard regards it as a sort of tax to be as readily satisfied as a toll-fee. He will often stop and give a beggar a cent, and wait for the change in maravedises. One day, at the railway station, a muscular rogue approached me and begged for alms. I offered him my sac-de-nuit to carry a block or two. He drew himself up proudly and said, "I beg your pardon, sir; I am no Gallician." An old woman came up with a basket on her arm. "Can it be possible in this far country," said La Senora, "or are these - yes, they are, deliberate peanuts." With a penny we bought unlimited quantities of this levelling edible, and with them the devoted adherence of the aged merchant. She immediately took charge of our education. We must see Santa Maria la Blanca, - it was a beautiful thing; so was the Transito. Did we see those men and women grubbing in the hillside? They were digging bones to sell at the station. Where did the bones come from? Quien sabe? Those dust-heaps have been there since King Wamba. Come, we must go and see the Churches of Mary before it grew dark. And the zealous old creature marched away with us to the synagogue built by Samuel Ben Levi, treasurer to that crowned panther, Peter the Cruel. This able financier built this fine temple to the God of his fathers out of his own purse. He was murdered for his money by his ungrateful lord, and his synagogue stolen by the Church. It now belongs to the order of Cala-trava.

But the other and older synagogue, now called Santa Maria la Blanca, is much more interesting. It stands in the same quarter, the suburb formerly occupied by the industrious and thriving Hebrews of the Middle Ages until the stupid zeal of the Catholic kings drove them out of Spain. The synagogue was built in the ninth century under the enlightened domination of the Moors. At the slaughter of the Jews in 1405 it became a church. It has passed through varying fortunes since then, having been hospital, hermitage, stable, and warehouse; but it is now under the care of the provincial committee of art, and is somewhat decently restored. Its architecture is altogether Moorish. It has three aisles with thick octagonal columns supporting heavy horseshoe arches. The spandrels are curiously adorned with rich circular stucco figures. The soil you tread is sacred, for it was brought from Zion long before the Crusades; the cedar rafters above you preserve the memory and the odors of Lebanon.

A little farther west, on a fine hill overlooking the river, in the midst of the ruined palaces of the early kings, stands the beautiful votive church of San Juan de los Reyes. It was built by Ferdinand and Isabella, before the Columbus days, to commemorate a victory over their neighbors the Portuguese. During a prolonged absence of the king, the pious queen, wishing to prepare him a pleasant surprise, instead of embroidering a pair of impracticable slippers as a faithful young wife would do nowadays, finished this exquisite church by setting at work upon it some regiments of stone-cutters and builders. It is not difficult to imagine the beauty of the structure that greeted the king on his welcome home. For even now, after the storms of four centuries have beaten upon it, and the malignant hands of invading armies have used their utmost malice against it, it is still a won-drously perfect work of the Gothic inspiration.

We sat on the terrace benches to enjoy the light and graceful lines of the building, the delicately ornate door, the unique drapery of iron chains which the freed Christians hung here when delivered from the hands of the Moors. A lovely child, with pensive blue eyes fringed with long lashes, and the slow sweet smile of a Madonna, sat near us and sang to a soft, monotonous air a war-song of the Carlists. Her beauty soon attracted the artistic eyes of La Senora, and we learned she was named Francisca, and her baby brother, whose flaxen head lay heavily on her shoulder, was called Jesus Mary. She asked, Would we like to go into the church? She knew the sacristan and would go for him. She ran away like a fawn, the tow head of little Jesus tumbling dangerously about. She reappeared in a moment; she had disposed of mi nino, as she called it, and had found the sacristan. This personage was rather disappointing. A sacristan should be aged and mouldy, clothed in black of a decent shabbiness. This was a Toledan swell in a velvet shooting-jacket, and yellow peg-top trousers. However, he had the wit to confine himself to turning keys, and so we gradually recovered from the shock of the shooting-jacket.

The church forms one great nave, divided into four vaults enriched with wonderful stone lace-work. A superb frieze surrounds the entire nave, bearing in great Gothic letters an inscription narrating the foundation of the church. Everywhere the arms of Castile and Arragon, and the wedded ciphers of the Catholic kings. Statues of heralds start unexpectedly out from the face of the pillars. Fine as the church is, we cannot linger here long. The glory of San Juan is its cloisters. It may challenge the world to show anything so fine in the latest bloom and last development of Gothic art. One of the galleries is in ruins, - a sad witness of the brutality of armies. But the three others are enough to show how much of beauty was possible in that final age of pure Gothic building. The arches bear a double garland of leaves, of flowers, and of fruits, and among them are ramping and writhing and playing every figure of bird or beast or monster that man has seen or poet imagined. There are no two arches alike, and yet a most beautiful harmony pervades them all. In some the leaves are in profile, in others delicately spread upon the graceful columns and every vein displayed. I saw one window where a stone monkey sat reading his prayers, gowned and cowled, - an odd caprice of the tired sculptor. There is in this infinite variety of detail a delight that ends in something like fatigue. You cannot help feeling that this was naturally and logically the end of Gothic art. It had run its course. There was nothing left but this feverish quest of variety. It was in danger, after having gained such divine heights of invention, of degenerating into prettinesses and affectation.

But how marvellously fine it was at last! One must see it, as in these unequalled cloisters, half ruined, silent, and deserted, bearing with something of conscious dignity the blows of time and the ruder wrongs of men, to appreciate fully its proud superiority to all the accidents of changing taste and modified culture. It is only the truest art that can bear that test. The fanes of Paestum will always be more beautiful even than the magical shore on which they stand. The Parthenon, fixed like a battered coronet on the brow of the Acropolis, will always be the loveliest sight that Greece can offer to those who come sailing in from the blue Aegean. It is scarcely possible to imagine a condition of thought or feeling in which these master-works shall seem quaint or old-fashioned. They appeal, now and always, with that calm power of perfection, to the heart and eyes of every man born of woman.

The cloisters enclose a little garden just enough neglected to allow the lush dark ivy, the passionflowers, and the spreading oleanders to do their best in beautifying the place, as men have done their worst in marring it. The clambering vines seem trying to hide the scars of their hardly less perfect copies. Every arch is adorned with a soft and delicious drapery of leaves and tendrils; the fair and outraged child of art is cherished and caressed by the gracious and bountiful hands of Mother Nature.

As we came away, little Francisca plucked one of the five-pointed leaves of the passion-flowers and gave it to La Senora, saying reverentially, "This is the Hand of Our Blessed Lord!"

The sun was throned, red as a bacchanal king, upon the purple hills, as we descended the rocky declivity and crossed the bridge of St. Martin.

Our little Toledan maid came with us, talking and singing incessantly, like a sweet-voiced starling. We rested on the farther side and looked back at the towering city, glorious in the sunset, its spires aflame, its long lines of palace and convent clear in the level rays, its ruins softened in the gathering shadows, the lofty bridge hanging transfigured over the glowing river. Before us the crumbling walls and turrets of the Gothic kings ran down from the bluff to the water-side, its terrace overlooking the baths where, for his woe, Don Roderick saw Count Julian's daughter under the same inflammatory circumstances as those in which, from a Judaean housetop, Don David beheld Captain Uriah's wife. There is a great deal of human nature abroad in the world in all ages.

Little Francisca kept on chattering. "That is St. Martin's bridge. A girl jumped into the water last year. She was not a lady. She was in service. She was tired of living because she was in love. They found her three weeks afterwards; but, Santisima Maria! she was good for nothing then."

Our little maid was too young to have sympathy for kings or servant girls who die for love. She was a pretty picture as she sat there, her blue eyes and Madonna face turned to the rosy west, singing in her sweet child's voice her fierce little song of sedition and war: -

  "Arriba los valientes! 
  Abajo tirania! 
  Pronto llegara el dia 
    De la Restauracion.

  Carlistas a caballo! 
  Soldados en Campana! 
  Viva el Rey de Espana, 
    Don Carlos de Borbon!"

I cannot enumerate the churches of Toledo, - you find them in every street and by-way. In the palmy days of the absolute theocracy this narrow space contained more than a hundred churches and chapels. The province was gnawed by the cancer of sixteen monasteries of monks and twice as many convents of nuns, all crowded within these city walls. Fully one half the ground of the city was covered by religious buildings and mortmain property. In that age, when money meant ten times what it signifies now, the rent-roll of the Church in Toledo was forty millions of reals. There are even yet portions of the town where you find nothing but churches and convents. The grass grows green in the silent streets. You hear nothing but the chime of bells and the faint echoes of masses. You see on every side bolted doors and barred windows, and, gliding over the mossy pavements, the stealthy-stepping, long-robed priests.

I will only mention two more churches, and both of these converts from heathendom; both of them dedicated to San Cristo, for in the democracy of the calendar the Saviour is merely a saint, and reduced to the level of the rest. One is the old pretorian temple of the Romans, which was converted by King Sizebuto into a Christian church in the seventh century. It is a curious structure in brick and mortar, with an apsis and an odd arrangement of round arches sunken in the outer wall and still deeper pointed ones. It is famed as the resting-place of Saints Ildefonso and Leocadia, whom we have met before. The statue of the latter stands over the door graceful and pensive enough for a heathen muse. The little cloisters leading to the church are burial vaults. On one side lie the canonical dead and on the other the laity, with bright marble tablets and gilt inscriptions. In the court outside I noticed a flat stone marked Ossuarium. The sacristan told me this covered the pit where the nameless dead reposed, and when the genteel people in the gilt marble vaults neglected to pay their annual rent, they were taken out and tumbled in to moulder with the common clay.

This San Cristo de la Vega, St. Christ of the Plain, stands on the wide flat below the town, where you find the greater portion of the Roman remains. Heaps of crumbling composite stretched in an oval form over the meadow mark the site of the great circus. Green turf and fields of waving grain occupy the ground where once a Latin city stood. The Romans built on the plain. The Goths, following their instinct of isolation, fixed their dwelling on the steep and rugged rock. The rapid Tagus girdling the city like a horseshoe left only the declivity to the west to be defended, and the ruins of King Wamba's wall show with what jealous care that work was done. But the Moors, after they captured the city, apparently did little for its defence. A great suburb grew up in the course of ages outside the wall, and when the Christians recaptured Toledo in 1085, the first care of Alonso VI. was to build another wall, this time nearer the foot of the hill, taking inside all the accretion of these years. From that day to this that wall has held Toledo. The city has never reached, perhaps will never reach, the base of the steep rock on which it stands.

When King Alonso stormed the city, his first thought, in the busy half hour that follows victory, was to find some convenient place to say his prayers. Chance led him to a beautiful little Moorish mosque or oratory near the superb Puerta del Sol. He entered, gave thanks, and hung up his shield as a votive offering. This is the Church of San Cristo de la Luz. The shield of Alonso hangs there defying time for eight centuries, - a golden cross on a red field, - and the exquisite oratory, not much larger than a child's toy-house, is to-day one of the most charming specimens of Moorish art in Spain. Four square pillars support the roof, which is divided into five equal "half-orange" domes, each different from the others and each equally fascinating in its unexpected simplicity and grace. You cannot avoid a feeling of personal kindliness and respect for the refined and genial spirit who left this elegant legacy to an alien race and a hostile creed.

The Military College of Santa Cruz is one of the most precious specimens extant of those somewhat confused but beautiful results of the transition from florid Gothic to the Renaissance. The plateresque is young and modest, and seeks to please in this splendid monument by allying the innovating forms with the traditions of a school outgrown. There is an exquisite and touching reminiscence of the Gothic in the superb portal and the matchless group of the Invention of the Cross. All this fine facade is by that true and genuine artist, Enrique de Egas, the same who carved the grand Gate of the Lions, for which may the gate of paradise be open to him.

The inner court is surrounded by two stories of airy arcades, supported by slim Corinthian columns. In one corner is the most elaborate staircase in Spain. All the elegance and fancy of Arab and Renaissance art have been lavished upon this masterly work.

Santa Cruz was built for a hospital by that haughty Cardinal Mendoza, the Tertius Rex of Ferdinand and Isabella. It is now occupied by the military school, which receives six hundred cadets. They are under the charge of an inspector-general and a numerous staff of professors. They pay forty cents a day for their board. The instruction is gratuitous and comprehends a curriculum almost identical with that of West Point. It occupies, however, only three years.

The most considerable Renaissance structure in Toledo is the Royal Alcazar. It covers with its vast bulk the highest hilltop in the city. From the earliest antiquity this spot has been occupied by a royal palace or fortress. But the present structure was built by Charles V. and completed by Herrera for Philip II. Its north and south facades are very fine. The Alcazar seems to have been marked by fate. The Portuguese burned it in the last century, and Charles III. restored it just in time for the French to destroy it anew. Its indestructible walls alone remain. Now, after many years of ruinous neglect, the government has begun the work of restoration. The vast quadrangle is one mass of scaffolding and plaster dust. The grand staircase is almost finished again. In the course of a few years we may expect to see the Alcazar in a state worthy of its name and history. We would hope it might never again shelter a king. They have had their day there. Their line goes back so far into the mists of time that its beginning eludes our utmost search. The Roman drove out the unnamed chiefs of Iberia. The fair-haired Goth dispossessed the Italian. The Berber destroyed the Gothic monarchy. Castile and Leon fought their way down inch by inch through three centuries from Covadonga to Toledo, halfway in time and territory to Granada and the Midland Sea. And since then how many royal feet have trodden this breezy crest, - Sanchos and Henrys and Ferdinands, - the line broken now and then by a usurping uncle or a fratricide brother, - a red-handed bastard of Trastamara, a star-gazing Alonso, a plotting and praying Charles, and, after Philip, the dwindling scions of Austria and the nullities of Bourbon. This height has known as well the rustle of the trailing robes of queens, - Berenguela, Isabel the Catholic, and Juana, - Crazy Jane. It was the prison of the widow of Philip IV. and mother of Charles II. What wonder if her life left much to be desired? With such a husband and such a son, she had no memories nor hopes.

The kings have had a long day here. They did some good in their time. But the world has outgrown them, and the people, here as elsewhere, is coming of age. This Alcazar is built more strongly than any dynasty. It will make a glorious school-house when the repairs are finished and the Republic is established, and then may both last forever!

One morning at sunrise, I crossed the ancient bridge of Alcantara, and climbed the steep hill east of the river to the ruined castle of San Cervantes, perched on a high, bold rock, which guards the river and overlooks the valley. Near as it is to the city, it stands entirely alone. The instinct of aggregation is so powerful in this people that the old towns have no environs, no houses sprinkled in the outlying country, like modern cities. Every one must be huddled inside the walls. If a solitary house, like this castle, is built without, it must be in itself an impregnable fortress. This fine old ruin, in obedience to this instinct of jealous distrust, has but one entrance, and that so narrow that Sir John Falstaff would have been embarrassed to accept its hospitalities. In the shade of the broken walls, grass-grown and gay with scattered poppies, I looked at Toledo, fresh and clear in the early day. On the extreme right lay the new spick-and-span bull-ring, then the great hospice and Chapel of St. John the Baptist, the Convent of the Immaculate Conception, and next, the Latin cross of the Chapel of Santa Cruz, whose beautiful fagade lay soft in shadow; the huge arrogant bulk of the Alcazar loomed squarely before me, hiding half the view; to the left glittered the slender spire of the Cathedral, holding up in the pure air that emblem of august resignation, the triple crown of thorns; then a crowd of cupolas, ending at last near the river-banks with the sharp angular mass of San Cristobal. The field of vision was filled with churches and chapels, with the palaces of the king and the monk. Behind me the waste lands went rolling away untilled to the brown Toledo mountains. Below, the vigorous current of the Tagus brawled over its rocky bed, and the distant valley showed in its deep rich green what vitality there was in those waters if they were only used.

A quiet, as of a plague-stricken city, lay on Toledo. A few mules wound up the splendid roads with baskets of vegetables. A few listless fishermen were preparing their lines. The chimes of sleepy bells floated softly out on the morning air. They seemed like the requiem of municipal life and activity slain centuries ago by the crozier and the crown.

Thank Heaven, that double despotism is wounded to death. As Chesterfield predicted, before the first muttering of the thunders of '89, "the trades of king and priest have lost half their value." With the decay of this unrighteous power, the false, unwholesome activity it fostered has also disappeared. There must be years of toil and leanness, years perhaps of struggle and misery, before the new genuine life of the people springs up from beneath the dead and withered rubbish of temporal and spiritual tyranny. Freedom is an angel whose blessing is gained by wrestling.