I put these facts at the service of the reader for what use he will while he goes with us to visit the cathedral in Valladolid, a cathedral as unlike that of Burgos as the severest mood of Spanish renaissance can render it. In fact, it is the work of Herrera, the architect who made the Escorial so grim, and is the expression in large measure of his austere mastery. If it had ever been finished it might have been quite as dispiriting as the Escorial, but as it has only one of the four ponderous towers it was meant to have, it is not without its alleviations, especially as the actual tower was rebuilt after the fall of the original seventy years ago. The grass springs cheerfully up in the crevices of the flagging from which the broken steps falter to the portal, but within all is firm and solid. The interior is vast, and nowhere softened by decoration, but the space is reduced by the huge bulk of the choir in the center of it; as we entered a fine echo mounted to the cathedral roof from the chanting and intoning within. When the service ended a tall figure in scarlet crossed rapidly toward the sacristy. It was of such imposing presence that we resolved at once it must be the figure of a cardinal, or of an archbishop at the least. But it proved to be one of the sacristans, and when we followed him to the sacristy with half a dozen other sightseers, he showed us a silver monstrance weighing a hundred and fifty pounds and decked with statites of our first parents as they appeared before the Fall. Besides this we saw, much against our will, a great many ecclesiastical vestments of silk and damask richly wrought in gold and silver. But if we were reluctant there was a little fat priest there who must have seen them hundreds of times and had still a childish delight in seeing them again because he had seen them so often; he dimpled and smiled, and for his sake we pretended a joy in them which it would have been cruel to deny him. I suppose we were then led to the sacrifice at the several side altars, but I have no specific recollection of them; I know there was a pale, sick-looking young girl in white who went about with her father, and moved compassion by her gentle sorrowfulness.

Of the University, which we visited next, I recall only the baroque facade; tha interior was in reparation and I do not know whether it would have indemnified us for not visiting the University of Salamanca. That was in our list, but the perversity of the time-table forbade. You could go to Salamanca, yes, but you could not come back except at two o'clock in the morning; you could indeed continue on to Lisbon, but perhaps you did not wish to see Lisbon. A like perversity of the time-table, once universal in Spain, but now much reformed, also kept us away from Segovia, which was on our list. But our knowledge of it enabled us to tell a fellow-countrywoman whom we presently met in the museum of the University, how she could best, or worst, get to that city. Our speech gave us away to her, and she turned to us from the other objects of interest to explain first that she was in a hotel where she paid only six pesetas a day, but where she could get no English explanation of the time-table for any money. She had come to Valladolid with a friend who was going next day to Salamanca, but next day was Sunday and she did not like to travel on Sunday, and Segovia seemed the only alternative. We could not make out why, or if it came to that why she should be traveling alone through Spain with such a slender equipment of motive or object, but we perceived she was one of the most estimable souls in the world, and if she cared more for getting to Segovia that afternoon than for looking at the wonders of the place where we were, we could not blame her. We had to leave her when we left the museum in the charge of two custodians who led her, involuntary but unresisting, to an upper chamber where there were some pictures which she could care no more for than for the wood carvings below. We ourselves cared so little for those pictures that we would not go to see them. Pictures you can see anywhere, but not statuary of such singular interest, such transcendant powerfulness as those carvings of Berruguete and other masters less known, which held us fascinated in the lower rooms of the museum. They are the spoil of convents in the region about, suppressed by the government at different times, and collected here with little relevancy to their original appeal. Some are Scriptural subjects and some are figures of the dancers who take part in certain ceremonials of the Spanish churches (notably the cathedral at Seville), which have a quaint reality, an intense personal character. They are of a fascination which I can hope to convey by no phrase of mine; but far beyond this is the motionless force, the tremendous repose of the figures of the Roman soldiers taken in the part of sleeping at the Tomb. These sculptures are in wood, life-size, and painted in the colors of flesh and costume, with every detail and of a strong mass in which the detail is lost and must be found again by the wondering eye. Beyond all other Spanish sculptures they seemed to me expressive of the national temperament; I thought no other race could have produced them, and that in their return to the Greek ideal of color in statuary they were ingenuously frank and unsurpassably bold.

It might have been the exhaustion experienced from the encounter with their strenuousness that suddenly fatigued us past even the thought of doing any more of Valladolid on foot. At any rate, when we came out of the museum we took refuge in a corner grocery (it seems the nature of groceries to seek corners the world over) and asked the grocer where we could find a cab.

The grocer was young and kind, and not so busy but he could give willing attention to our case. He said he would send for a cab, and he called up from his hands and knees a beautiful blond half-grown boy who was scrubbing the floor, and despatched him on this errand, first making him wipe the suds off his hands. The boy was back wonderfully soon to say the cab would come for us in ten minutes, and to receive with self-respectful appreciation the peseta which rewarded his promptness. In the mean time we feigned a small need which we satisfied by a purchase, and then the grocer put us chairs in front of his counter and made us his guests while his other customers came and went. They came oftener than they went, for our interest in them did not surpass their interest in us. We felt that through this we reflected credit upon our amiable host; rumors of the mysterious strangers apparently spread through the neighborhood and the room was soon filled with people who did not all come to buy; but those who did buy were the most, interesting. An elderly man with his wife bought a large bottle which the grocer put into one scale of his balance, and poured its weight in chick-peas into the other. Then he filled the bottle with oil and weighed it, and then he gave the peas along with it to his customers. It seemed a pretty convention, though we could not quite make out its meaning, unless the peas were bestowed as a sort of bonus; but the next convention was clearer to us. An old man in black corduroy with a clean-shaven face and a rather fierce, retired bull-fighter air, bought a whole dried stock-fish (which the Spaniards eat instead of salt cod) talking loudly to the grocer and at us while the grocer cut it across in widths of two inches and folded it into a neat pocketful; then a glass of wine was poured from a cask behind the counter, and the customer drank it off in honor of the transaction with the effect also of pledging us with his keen eyes; all the time he talked, and he was joined in conversation by a very fat woman who studied us not unkindly. Other neighbors who had gathered in had no apparent purpose but to verify our outlandish presence and to hear my occasional Spanish, which was worth hearing if for nothing but the effort it cost me. The grocer accepted with dignity the popularity we had won him, and when at last our cab arrived from Mount Ararat with the mire of the subsiding Deluge encrusted upon it he led us out to it through the small boys who swarmed upon us wherever we stopped or started in Valladolid; and whose bulk was now much increased by the coming of that very fat woman from within the grocery. As the morning was bright we proposed having the top opened, but here still another convention of the place intervened. In Valladolid it seems that no self-respecting cabman will open the top of his cab for an hour's drive, and we could not promise to keep ours longer. The grocer waited the result of our parley, and then he opened our carriage door and bowed us away. It was charming; if he had a place on Sixth Avenue I would be his customer as long as I lived in New York; and to this moment I do not understand why I did not bargain with that blond boy to come to America with us and be with us always. But there was no city I visited in Spain where I was not sorry to leave some boy behind with the immense rabble of boys whom I hoped never to see again.