There was no more heat in the radiators of the hotel there than at Burgos, but for that evening at least there was none needed. It was the principal hotel of Valladolid, and the unscrubbed and unswept staircase by which we mounted into it was merely a phase of that genial pause, as for second thought, in the march of progress which marks so much of the modern advance in Spain, and was by no means an evidence of arrested development. We had the choice of reaching our rooms either through the dining-room or by a circuitous detour past the pantries; but our rooms had a proud little vestibule of their own, with a balcony over the great square, and if one of them had a belated feather-bed the other had a new hair mattress, and the whole house was brilliantly lighted with electricity. As for the cooking, it was delicious, and the table was of an abundance and variety which might well have made one ashamed of paying so small a rate as two dollars a day for bed and board, wine included, and very fair wine at that.

In Spain you must take the bad with the good, for whether you get the good or not you are sure of the bad, but only very exceptionally are you sure of the bad only. It was a pleasure not easily definable to find our hotel managed by a mother and two daughters, who gave the orders obeyed by the men-servants, and did not rebuke them for joining in the assurance that when we got used to going so abruptly from the dining-room into our bedrooms we would like it. The elder of the daughters had some useful French, and neither of the younger ladies ever stayed for some ultimate details of dishabille in coming to interpret the mother and ourselves to one another when we encountered her alone in the office. They were all thoroughly kind and nice, and they were supported with surpassing intelligence and ability by the chico, a radiant boy of ten, who united in himself the functions which the amiable inefficiency of the porters and waiters abandoned to him.

When we came out to dinner after settling ourselves in our almost obtrusively accessible rooms, we were convinced of the wisdom of our choice of a hotel by finding our dear Chilians at one of the tables. We rushed together like two kindred streams of transatlantic gaiety, and in our mingled French, Spanish, and English possessed one another of our doubts and fears in coming to our common conclusion. We had already seen a Spanish gentleman whom we knew as a fellow-sufferer at Burgos, roaming the streets of Valladolid, and in what seemed a disconsolate doubt, interrogating the windows of our hotel; and now we learned from the Chilians that he had been bitterly disappointed in the inn which a patrician omnibus had borne him away to from our envious eyes at the station. We learned that our South American compatriots had found their own chosen hotel impossible, and were now lodged in rapturous satisfaction under our roof. Their happiness penetrated us with a glow of equal content, and confirmed us in the resolution always to take the worst omnibus at a Spanish station as the sure index of the best hotel.

The street-cars, which in Valladolid are poetically propelled through lyre-shaped trolleys instead of our prosaic broomstick appliances, groaned unheeded if not unheard under our windows through the night, and we woke to find the sun on duty in our glazed balcony and the promenade below already astir with life: not the exuberant young life of the night before, but still sufficiently awake to be recognizable as life. A crippled newsboy seated under one of the arcades was crying his papers; an Englishman was looking at a plan of Valladolid in a shop window; a splendid cavalry officer went by in braided uniform, and did not stare so hard as they might have expected at some ladies passing in mantillas to mass or market. In the late afternoon as well as the early morning we saw a good deal of the military in Valladolid, where an army corps is stationed. From time to time a company of infantry marched through the streets to gay music, and toward evening slim young officers began to frequent the arcades and glass themselves in the windows of the shops, their spurs clinking on the pavement as they lounged by or stopped and took distinguished attitudes. We speculated in vain as to their social quality, and to this day I do not know whether "the career is open to the talents" in the Spanish army, or whether military rank is merely the just reward of civil rank. Those beautiful young swells in riding-breeches and tight gray jackets approached an Italian type of cavalry officer; they did not look very vigorous, and the common soldiers we saw marching through the streets, largely followed by the populace, were not of formidable stature or figure, though neat and agreeable enough to the eye.

While I indulge the record of these trivialities, which I am by no means sure the reader will care for so much, I feel that it would be wrong to let him remain as ignorant of the history of Valladolid as I was while there. My ignorance was not altogether my fault; I had fancied easily finding at some bookseller's under the arcade a little sketch of the local history such as you are sure of finding in any Italian town, done by a local antiquary of those always mousing in the city's archives. But the bookseller's boy and then the boy's mother could not at first imagine my wish, and when they did they could only supply me with a sort of business directorv, full of addresses and advertisements. So instead of overflowing with information when we set out on our morning ramble, we meagerly knew from the guide-books that Valladolid had once been the capital of Castile, arid after many generations of depression following the removal of the court, had in these latest days renewed its strength in mercantile and industrial prosperity. There are ugly evidences of the prosperity in the windy, dusty avenues and streets of the more modern town; but there are lanes and alleys enough, groping for the churches and monuments in suddenly opening squares, to console the sentimental tourist for the havoc which enterprise has made. The mind readily goes back through these to the palmy prehistoric times from which the town emerged to mention in Ptolemy, and then begins to work forward past Iberian and Roman and Goth and Moor to the Castilian kings who made it their residence in the eleventh century. The capital won its first great distinction when Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile were married there in 1469. Thirty-five years later these Catholic Kings, as one had better learn at once to call them in Spain, let Columbus die neglected if not forgotten in the house recently pulled down, where he had come to dwell in their cold shadow; they were much occupied with other things and they could not realize that his discovery of America was the great glory of their reign; probably they thought the conquest of Granada was. Later yet, by twenty years, the dreadful Philip II. was born in Valladolid, and in 1559 a very famous auto da fe wag celebrated in the Plaza Mayor. Fourteen Lutherans were burned alive for their heresy, and the body of a woman suspected of imperfect orthodoxy after her death was exhumed and burned with them. In spite of such precautions as these, and of all the pious diligence of the Holy Office, the reader will hardly believe that there is now a Spanish Protestant church in Valladolid; but such is the fact, though whether it derives from the times of the Inquisition, or is a modern missionary church I do not know. That auto da fe was of the greatest possible distinction; the Infanta Juana presided, and the universal interest was so great that people paid a dollar and twenty-five cents a seat; money then worth five or six times as much as now. Philip himself came to another auto when thirteen persons were burned in the same place, and he always liked Valladolid; it must have pleased him in a different way from Escorial, lying flat as it does on a bare plain swept, but never thoroughly dusted, by winds that blow pretty constantly over it.

While the Inquisition was purging the city of error its great university was renowning it not only throughout Spain, but in France and Italy; students frequented it from those countries, and artists came from many parts of Europe. Literature also came in the person of Cervantes, who seems to have followed the Spanish court in its migrations from Valladolid to Toledo and then to Madrid. Here also came one of the greatest characters in fiction, for it was in Valladolid that Gil Blas learned to practise the art of medicine tinder the instruction of the famous Dr. Sangrado.