Some of the palaces looked down from the narrow street along the hillside above the cathedral, but only one of them was kept up in the state of other days; and I could not be sure at what point this street had ceased to be the street where our guide said every one kept cows, and the ladies took big pitchers of milk away to sell every morning. But I am sure those ladies could have been of noble descent only in the farthest possible remove, and I do not suppose their cows were even remotely related to the haughty ox-team which blocked the way in front of the palaces and obliged xis to dismount while our carriage was lifted round the cart. Our driver was coldly disgusted, but the driver of the ox-team preserved a calm as perfect as if he had been an hidalgo interested by the incident before his gate. It delayed us till the psychological moment when the funeral of the dean was over, and we could join the formidable party following the sacristan from chapel to chapel in the cathedral.

We came to an agonized consciousness of the misery of this progress in the Chapel of the Constable, where it threatened to be finally stayed by the indecision of certain ladies of our nation in choosing among the postal cards for sale there. By this time we had suffered much from the wonders of the cathedral. The sacristan had not spared us a jewel or a silvered or gilded sacerdotal garment or any precious vessel of ceremonial, so that our jaded wonder was inadequate to the demand of the beautiful tombs of the Constable and his lady upon it. The coffer of the Cid, fastened against the cathedral wall for a monument of his shrewdness in doing the Jews of Burgos, who, with the characteristic simplicity of their race, received it back full of sand and gravel in payment of the gold they had lent him in it, could as little move us. Perhaps if we could have believed that he finally did return the value received, we might have marveled a little at it, but from what we knew of the Cid this was not credible. We did what we could with the painted wood carving of the cloister doors; the life-size head of a man with its open mouth for a key-hole in another portal; a fearful silver-plated chariot given by a rich blind woman for bearing the Host in the procession of Corpus Christi; but it was very little, and I am not going to share my failure with the reader by the vain rehearsal of its details. No literary art has ever reported a sense of picture or architecture or sculpture to me: the despised postal card is better for that; and probably throughout these "trivial fond records" I shall be found shirking as much as I may the details of such sights, seen or unseen, as embitter the heart of travel with unavailing regret for the impossibility of remembering them. I must leave for some visit of the reader's own the large and little facts of the many chapels in the cathedral at Burgos, and I will try to overwhelm him with my sense of the whole mighty interior, the rich gloom, the Gothic exaltation, which I made such shift as I could to feel in the company of those picture-postal amateurs. It was like, say, a somber afternoon, verging to the twilight of a cloudy sunset, so that when I came out of it into the open noon it was like emerging into a clear morrow. Perhaps because I could there shed the harassing human environment the outside of the cathedral seemed to me the best of it, and we lingered there for a moment in glad relief.