In a strange country all the details of life are interesting, and we noticed with peculiar interest that Spain was a country where the prescriptions were written in the vulgar tongue instead of the little Latin in which prescriptions are addressed to the apothecaries of other lands. We were disposed to praise the faculty if not the art for this, but our doctor forbade. He said it was because the Spanish apothecaries were so unlearned that they could not read even so little Latin as the shortest prescription contained. Still I could not think the custom a bad one, though founded on ignorance, and I do not see why it should not have made for the greater safety of those who took the medicine if those who put it up should follow a formula in their native tongue. I know that at any rate we found the Spanish medicines beneficial and were presently suffered to go out-of-doors, but with those severe injunctions against going out after nightfall or opening our lips when we went out by day. It was rather a bother, but it was fine to feel one's self in the classic Madrid tradition of danger from pneumonia and to be of the dignified company of the Spanish gentlemen whom we met with the border of their cloaks over their mouths; like being a character in acapa y espada drama.

There was almost as little acted as spoken drama in the streets. I have given my impression of the songlessness of Spain in Madrid as elsewhere, but if there was no street singing there was often street playing by pathetic bands of blind minstrels with guitars and mandolins. The blind abound everywhere in Spain in that profession of street beggary which I always encouraged, believing as I do that comfort in this unbalanced world cannot be too constantly reminded of misery. As the hunchbacks are in Italy, or the wooden peg-legged in England, so the blind are in Spain for number. I could not say how touching the sight of their sightlessness was, or how the remembrance of it makes me wish that I had carried more coppers with me when I set out. I would gladly authorize the reader when he goes to Madrid to do the charity I often neglected; he will be the better man, or even woman, for it; and he need not mind if his beneficiary is occasionally unworthy; he may be unworthy himself; I am sure I was.

But the Spanish street is rarely the theatrical spectacle that the Italian street nearly always is. Now and then there was a bit in Madrid which one would be sorry to have missed, such as the funeral of a civil magistrate, otherwise unknown to me, which I saw pass my cafe window: a most architectural black hearse, under a black roof, drawn by eight black horses, sable-plumed. The hearse was open at the sides, with the coffin fully showing, and a gold-laced chapeau bras lying on it. Behind came twenty or twenty-five gentlemen on foot in the modern ineffectiveness of frock-coats and top-hats, and after them eight or ten closed carriages. The procession passed without the least notice from the crowd, which I saw at other times stirred to a flutter of emulation in its small boys by companies of infantry marching to the music of sharply blown bugles. The men were handsomer than Italian soldiers, but not so handsome as the English, and in figure they were not quite the deplorable pigmies one often sees in France. Their bugles, with the rhythmical note which the tram-cars sound, and the guitars and mandolins of the blind minstrels, made the only street music I remember in Madrid.

Between the daily rains, which came in the afternoon, the sun was sometimes very hot, but it was always cool enough indoors. The indoors interests were not the art or story of the churches. The intensest Catholic capital in Christendom is in fact conspicuous in nothing more than the reputed uninterestingness of its churches. I went into one of them, however, with a Spanish friend, and I found it beautiful, most original, and most impressive for its architecture and painting, but I forget which church it was. We were going rather a desultory drive through those less frequented parts of the city which I have mentioned as like a sort of muted Naples: poor folk living much out-of-doors, buying and selling at hucksters' stands and booths, and swarming about the chief market, where the guilty were formerly put to death, but the innocent are now provisioned. Outside the market was not attractive, and what it was within we did not look to see. We went rather to satisfy my wish to see whether the Manzanares is as groveling a stream as the guide-books pretend in their effort to give a just idea of the natural disadvantages of Madrid, as the only great capital without an adequate river. But whether abetted by the arts of my friend or not, the Manzanares managed to conceal itself from me; when we left our carriage and went to look for it, I saw only some pretty rills and falls which it possibly fed and which lent their beauty to the charming up and down hill walks, now a public pleasaunce, but formerly the groves and gardens of the royal palace. Our talk in Spanish from him and Italian from me was of Tolstoy and several esthetic and spiritual interests, and when we remounted and drove back to the city, whom should I see, hard by the King's palace, but those dear Chilians of my heart whom we had left at Valladolid - husband, wife, sister, with the addition of a Spanish lady of very acceptable comeliness, in white gloves, and as blithe as they. In honor of the capital the other ladies wore white gloves too, but the husband and brother still kept the straw hat which I had first known him in at San Sebastian, and which I hope yet to know him by in New York. It was a glad clash of greetings which none of us tried to make coherent or intelligible, and could not if we had tried. They acclaimed their hotel, and I ours; but on both sides I dare say we had our reserves; and then we parted, secure that the kind chances of travel would bring us together again somewhere.

I did not visit the palace, but the Royal Armory I had seen two days before on a gay morning that had not yet sorrowed to the afternoon's rain. At the gate of the palace I fell into the keeping of one of the authorized guides whom I wish I could identify so that I could send the reader to pay him the tip I came short in. It is a pang to think of the repressed disappointment in his face when in a moment of insensate sparing I gave him the bare peseta to which he was officially entitled, instead of the two or three due his zeal and intelligence; and I strongly urge my readers to be on their guard against a mistaken meanness like mine. I can never repair that, for if I went back to the Royal Armory I should not know him by sight, and if I sought among the guides saying I was the stranger who had behaved in that shabby sort, how would that identify me among so many other shabby strangers? He had the intelligence to leave me and the constant companion of these travels to ourselves as we went about that treasury of wonders, but before we got to the armory he stayed us with a delicate gesture outside the court of the palace till a troop for the guard-mounting had gone in. Then he led us across the fine, beautiful quadrangle to the door of the museum, and waited for us there till we came out. By this time the space was brilliant with the confronted bodies of troops, those about to be relieved of guard duty, and those come to relieve them, and our guide got us excellent places where we could see everything and yet be out of the wind which was beginning to blow cuttingly through the gates and colonnades. There were all arms of the service - horse, foot, and artillery; and the ceremony, with its pantomime and parley, was much more impressive than the changing of the colors which I had once seen at Buckingham Palace. The Spanish privates took the business not less seriously than the British, and however they felt the Spanish officers did not allow themselves to look bored. The marching and countermarching was of a refined stateliness, as if the pace were not a goose step but a peacock step; and the music was of an exquisitely plaintive and tender note, which seemed to grieve rather than exult; I believe it was the royal march which they were playing, but I am not versed in such matters. Nothing could have been fitter than the quiet beauty of the spectacle, opening through the westward colonnade to the hills and woods of the royal demesne, with yellowing and embrowning trees that billowed from distance to distance. Some day these groves and forests must be for the people's pleasure, as all royal belongings seem finally to be; and in the mean time I did not grudge the landscape to the young king and queen who probably would not have grudged it to me. Our guide valued himself upon our admiration of it; without our special admiration he valued himself upon the impressive buildings of the railway station in the middle distance. I forget whether he followed us out of the quadrangle into the roadway where we had the advantage of some picturesque army wagons, and some wagoners in red-faced jackets and red trousers, and top-boots with heavy fringes of leathern strings. Yet it must have been he who made us aware of a high-walled inclosure where soldiers found worthy of death by court martial could be conveniently shot; though I think we discovered for ourselves the old woman curled up out of the wind in a sentry-box, and sweetly asleep there while the boys were playing marbles on the smooth ground before it. I must not omit the peanut-boaster in front of the palace; it was in the figure of an ocean steamer, nearly as large as the Lusitania, and had smoke coming out of the funnel, with rudder and screw complete and doll sailors climbing over the rigging.

But it is impossible to speak adequately of the things in that wonderful armory. If the reader has any pleasure in the harnesses of Spanish kings and captains, from the great Charles the Fifth down through all the Philips and the Charleses, he can glut it there. Their suits begin almost with their steel baby clothes, and adapt themselves almost to their senile decrepitude. There is the horse-litter in which the great emperor was borne to battle, and there is the sword which Isabella the great queen wore; and I liked looking at the lanterns and the flags of the Turkish galleys from the mighty sea-fight cf Lepanto, and the many other trophies won from the Turks. The pavilion of Francis I. taken at Pavia was of no secondary interest, and everywhere was personal and national history told in the weapons and the armor of those who made the history. Perhaps some time the peoples will gather into museums the pens and pencils and chisels of authors and artists, and the old caps and gowns they wore, or the chairs they sat in at their work, or the pianos and violoncellos of famous musicians, or the planes of surpassing carpenters, or the hammers of eminent ironworkers; but these things will never be so picturesque as the equipments with which the military heroes saved their own lives or took others'. We who have never done either must not be unreasonable or impatient. It will be many a long century yet before we are appreciated at the value we now set upon ourselves. In the mean while we do not have such a bad time, and we are not so easily forgotten as some of those princes and warriors.