Such things do not really matter; the guide-book's object of interest is seldom an object of human interest; you may miss it or ignore it without real personal loss; but if we had failed of that mystic progress of the silver car down the nave of San Pablo we should have been really if not sensibly poorer. So we should if we had failed of the charming experience which awaited us in our hotel at lunch-time. When we went out in the morning we saw a table spread the length of the long dining-room, and now when we returned we found every chair taken. At once we surmised a wedding breakfast, not more from the gaiety than the gravity of the guests; and the head waiter confirmed our impression: it was indeed a boda. The party was just breaking up, and as we sat down at our table the wedding guests rose from theirs. I do not know but in any country the women on such an occasion would look more adequate to it than the men; at any rate, there in Spain they looked altogether superior. It was not only that they were handsomer and better dressed, but that they expressed finer social and intellectual quality.

All the faces had the quiet which the Spanish face has in such degree that the quiet seems national more than personal; but the women's faces were oval, though rather heavily based, while the men's were squared, with high cheek-bones, and they seemed more distinctly middle class. Men and women had equally repose of manner, and when the women came to put on their headgear near our corner, it was with a surface calm unbroken by what must have been their inner excitement. They wore hats and mantillas in about the same proportion; but the bride wore a black mantilla and a black dress with sprigs of orange blossoms in her hair and on her breast for the only note of white. Her lovely, gentle face was white, of course, from the universal powder, and so were the faces of the others, who talked in low tones around her, with scarcely more animation than so many masks. The handsomest of them, whom we decided to be her sister, arranged the bride's mantilla, and was then helped on with hers by the others, with soft smiles and glances. Two little girls, imaginably sorry the feast was over, suppressed their regret in the tutelage of the maiden aunts and grandmothers who put up cakes in napkins to carry home; and then the party vanished in unbroken decorum. When they were gone we found that in studying the behavior of the bride and her friends we had not only failed to identify the bridegroom, but had altogether forgotten to try.