The high aquiline nose which is characteristic of the autochthonic race abounds in San Sebastian, but we saw no signs of the high temper which is said to go with it. This, indeed, was known to me chiefly from my first reading in Don Quixote, of the terrific combat between the squire of the Biscayan ladies whose carriage the knight of La Mancha stopped after his engagement with the windmills. In their exchange of insults incident to the knight's desire that the ladies should go to Toboso and thank Dulcinea for his delivery of them from the necromancers he had put to flight in the persons of two Benedictine monks, "'Get gone,' the squire called, in bad Spanish and worse Biscayan, 'Get gone, thou knight, and Devil go with thou; or by He Who me create . . . me kill thee now so sure as me be Biscayan,'" and when the knight called him an "inconsiderable mortal," and said that if he were a gentleman he would chastise him: "'What! me no gentleman?' replied the Biscayan. 'I swear thou be liar as me be Christian. . . . Me will show thee me be Biscayan, and gentleman by land, gentleman by sea, gentleman in spite of Devil; and thou lie if thou say the contrary.'"

It is a scene which will have lived in the memory of every reader, and I recurred to it hopefully but vainly in San Sebastian, where this fiery threefold gentleman might have lived in his time. It would be interesting to know how far the Basques speak broken Spanish in a fashion of their own, which Cervantes tried to represent in the talk of his Biscayan. Like the Welsh again they strenuously keep their immemorial language against the inroads of the neighboring speech. How much they fix it in a modern literature it would be easier to ask than to say. I suppose there must be Basque newspapers; perhaps there are Basque novelists, there are notoriously Basque bards who recite their verses to the peasants, and doubtless there are poets who print their rhymes: and I blame myself for not inquiring further concerning them of that kindly Basque banker who wished so much to do something for me in compensation for the loss of my worthless letter. I knew, too cheaply, that the Basques have their poetical contests, as the Welsh have their musical competitions in the Eisteddfod, and they are once more like the Welsh, their brothers in antiquity, in calling themselves by a national name of their own. They call themselves Euskaldunac, which is as different from the name of Basque given them by the alien races as Cymru is from Welsh.

All this lore I have easily accumulated from the guide-books since leaving San Sebastian, but I was carelessly ignorant of it in driving from the hotel to the station when we came away, and was much concerned in the overtures made us in a mixed Spanish, English, and French by a charming family from Chili, through the brother to one of the ladies and luisband to the other. When he perceived from my Spanish that we were not English, he rejoiced that we were Americans of the north, and as joyfully proclaimed that they were Americans of the south. We were at once sensible of a community of spirit in our difference from our different ancestral races. They were Spanish, but with a New World blitheness which we nowhere afterward found in the native Spaniards; and we were English, with a willingness to laugh and to joke which they had not perhaps noted in our ancestral contemporaries. Again and again we met them in the different cities where we feared we had lost them, until we feared no more and counted confidently on seeing them wherever we went. They were always radiantly smiling; and upon this narrow ground I am going to base the conjecture that the most distinctive difference of the Western Hemisphere from the Eastern is its habit of seeing the fun of things. With those dear Chilians we saw the fun of many little hardships of travel which might have been insupportable without the vision. Sometimes we surprised one another in the same hotel; sometimes it was in the street that we encountered, usually to exchange amusing misfortunes. If we could have been constantly with these fellow-hemispherists our progress through Spain would have been an unbroken holiday.

There is a superstition of travelers in Spain, much fostered by innkeepers and porters, that you cannot get seats in the fast trains without buying your tickets the day before, and then perhaps not, and we abandoned ourselves to this fear at San Sebastian so far as to get places some hours in advance. But once established in the ten-foot-wide interior of the first-class compartment which we had to ourselves, every anxiety fell from us; and I do not know a more flattering emotion than that which you experience in sinking into your luxurious seat, and, after a glance at your hand-bags in the racks where they have been put with no strain on your own muscles, giving your eyes altogether to the joy of the novel landscape.

The train was what they call a Rapido in Spain; and though we were supposed to be devouring space with indiscriminate gluttony, I do not think that in our mad rush of twenty-five miles an hour we failed to taste any essential detail of the scenery. .But I wish now that I had known the Basques were all nobles, and that the peasants owned many of the little farms we saw declaring the general thrift. In the first two hours of the six to Burgos we ran through lovely valleys held in the embrace of gentle hills, where the fields of Indian corn were varied by groves of chestnut trees, where we could see the burrs gaping on their stems. The blades and tassels of the corn had been stripped away, leaving the ripe ears a-tilt at the top of the stalks, which looked like cranes standing on one leg with their heads slanted in pensive contemplation. There were no vineyards, but orchards aplenty near the farmhouses, and all about there were other trees pollarded to the quick and tufted with mistletoe, not only the stout oaks, but the slim poplars trimmed up into tall plumes like the poplars in southern France. The houses, when they did not stand apart like our own farmhouses, gathered into gray-brown villages around some high-shouldered church with a bell-tower in front or at one corner of the fagade. In most of the larger houses an economy of the sun's heat, the only heat recognized in the winter of southern countries, was practised by glassing in the balconies that stretched quite across their fronts and kept the cold from at least one story. It gave them a very cheery look, and must have made them livable at least in the daytime. Now and then the tall chimney of one of those manufactories we had seen on the way from Irun invited belief in the march of industrial prosperity; but whether the Basque who took work in a mill or a foundry forfeited his nobility remained a part of the universal Basque secret. From time to time a mountain stream brawled from under a world-old bridge, and then spread a quiet tide for the women to kneel beside and wash the clothes which they spread to dry on every bush and grassy slope of the banks.

The whole scene changed after we ran out of the Basque country and into the austere landscape of old Castile. The hills retreated and swelled into mountains that were not less than terrible in their savage nakedness. The fields of corn and the orchards ceased, and the green of the pastures changed to the tawny gray of the measureless wheat-lands into which the valleys flattened and widened. There were no longer any factory chimneys; the villages seemed to turn from stone to mud; the human poverty showed itself in the few patched and tattered figures that followed the oxen in the interminable furrows shallowly scraping the surface of the lonely levels. The haggard mountain ranges were of stone that seemed blanched with geologic superannuation, and at one place we ran by a wall of hoary rock that drew its line a mile long against the sky, and then broke and fell, and then staggered up again in a succession of titanic bulks. But stupendous as these mountain masses were, they were not so wonderful as those wheat-lands which in harvest-time must wash their shores like a sea of gold. Where these now rose and sank with the long ground-swell of the plains in our own West, a thin gray stubble covered them from the feeble culture which leaves Spain, for all their extent in both the Castiles, in Estremadura, in Andalusia, still without bread enough to feed herself, and obliges her to import alien wheat. At the lunch which we had so good in the dining-car we kept our talk to the wonder of the scenery, and well away from the interesting Spanish pair at our table. It is never safe in Latin Europe to count upon ignorance of English in educated people, or people who look so; and with these we had the reward of our prudence when the husband asked after dessert if we minded his smoking. His English seemed meant to open the way for talk, and we were willing he should do the talking. He spoke without a trace of accent, and we at once imagined circles in which it was now as chic for Spaniards to speak English as it once was to speak French. They are said never to speak French quite well; but nobody could have spoken English better than this gentleman, not even we who were, as he said he supposed, English. Truth and patriotism both obliged us to deny his conjecture; and when He intimated that he would not have known us for Americans because we did not speak with the dreadful American accent, I hazarded my belief that this dreadfulness was personal rather than national. But he would not have it. Boston people, yes; they spoke very well, and he allowed other exceptions to the general rule of our nasal twang, which his wife summoned English enough to say was very ugly. They had suffered from it too universally in the Americans they had met during the summer in Germany to believe it was merely personal; and I suppose one may own to strictly American readers that our speech is dreadful, that it is very ugly. These amiable Spaniards had no reason and no wish to wound; and they could never know what sweet and noble natures had been producing their voices through their noses there in Germany. I for my part could not insist; who, indeed, can defend the American accent, which is not so much an accent as a whiffle, a snuffle, a twang? It was mortifying, all the same, to have it openly abhorred by a foreigner, and I willingly got away from the question to that of the weather. We agreed admirably about the heat in England where this gentleman went every summer, and had never found it so hot before. It was hot even in Denmark; but he warned me not to expect any warmth in Spain now that the autumn rains had begun.

If this couple represented a cosmopolitan and modern Spain, it was interesting to escape to something entirely native in the three young girls who got in at the next station and shared our compartment with us as far as we went. They were tenderly kissed by their father in putting them on board, and held in lingering farewells at the window till the train started. The eldest of the three then helped in arranging their baskets in the rack, but the middle sister took motherly charge of the youngest, whom she at once explained to us as enferma. She was the prettiest girl of the conventional Spanish type we Lad yet seen: dark-eyed and dark-haired, regular, but a little overfull of the chin which she would presently have double. She was very, very pale of face, with a pallor in which she had assisted nature with powder, as all Spanish women, old and young, seem to do. But there was no red underglow in the pallor, such as gives many lovely faces among them the complexion of whitewash over pink on a stucco surface. She wrapped up the youngest sister, who would by and by be beautiful, and now being sick had only the flush of fever in her cheeks, and propped her in the coziest corner of the car, where she tried to make her keep still, but could not make her keep silent. In fact, they all babbled together, over the basket of luncheon which the middle sister opened after springing up the little table-leaf of the window, and spread with a substantial variety including fowl and sausage and fruit, such as might tempt any sick appetite, or a well one, even. As she brought out each of these victuals, together with a bottle of wine and a large bottle of milk, she first offered it to us, and when it was duly refused with thanks, she made the invalid eat and drink, especially the milk which she made a wry face at. When she had finished they all began to question whether her fever was rising for the day; the good sister felt the girl's pulse, and got out a thermometer, which together they arranged under her arm, and then duly inspected. It seemed that the fever was rising, as it might very well be, but the middle sister was not moved from her notable calm, and the eldest did not fear. At a place where a class of young men was to be seen before an ecclesiastical college the girls looked out together, and joyfully decided that the brother (or possibly a cousin) whom they expected to see, was really there among them. When we reached Burgos we felt that we had assisted at a drama of family medicine and affection which was so sweet that if the fever was not very wisely it was very winningly treated. It was not perhaps a very serious case, and it meant a good deal of pleasant excitement for all concerned.