The people did not look very healthy as to build or color, and there was a sound of coughing everywhere. To be sure, it was now the season of the first colds, which would no doubt wear off with the coming of next spring; and there was at any rate not nearly so much begging as at Toledo, because there could not be anywhere. I am sorry I can contribute no statistics as to the moral or intellectual condition of Cordova; perhaps they will not be expected or desired of me; I can only say that the general intelligence is such that no one will own he does not know anything you ask him even when he does not; but this is a national rather than a local trait, which causes the stranger to go in many wrong directions all over the peninsula. I should not say that there was any noticeable decay of character from the north to the south such as the attributive pride of the old Castilian in the Sheridan Knowlesian drama would teach; the Cordovese looked no more shiftless than the haughtiest citizens of Burgos.

They had decidedly prettier patios and more of them, and they had many public carriages against none whatever in that ancient capital. Rubber tires I did not expect in Cordova and certainly did not get in a city where a single course over the pavements of 850 would have worn them to tatters: but there seems a good deal of public spirit if one may judge from the fact that it is the municipality which keeps Abderrahman's mosque in repair. There are public gardens, far pleasanter than those of Valladolid, which we visited in an interval of the afternoon, and there is a very personable bull-ring to which we drove in the vain hope of seeing the people come out in a typical multitude. But there had been no feast of bulls; and we had to make what we could out of the walking and driving in the Paseo del Gran Capitan toward evening. In its long, discouraging course there were some good houses, but not many, and the promenaders of any social quality were almost as few. Some ladies in private carriages were driving out, and a great many more in public ones as well dressed as the others, but with no pretense of state in the horses or drivers. The women of the people all wore flowers in their hair, a dahlia or a marigold, whether their hair was black or gray. No ladies were walking in the Paseo, except one pretty mother, with her nice-looking children about her, who totaled the sum of her class; but men of every class rather swarmed. High or low, they all wore the kind of hat which abounds everywhere in Andalusia and is called a Cordovese: flat, stiff, squat in crown and wide in brim, and of every shade of gray, brown, and black.

I ought to have had my associations with the great Captain Gonsalvo in the promenade which the city has named after him, but I am not sure that I had, though his life was one of the Spanish books which I won my way through in the middle years of my pathless teens. A comprehensive ignorance of the countries and histories which formed the setting of his most dramatic career was not the best preparation for knowledge of the man, but it was the best I had, and now I can only look back at my struggle with him and wonder that I came off alive. It is the hard fate of the self-taught that their learning must cost them twice as much labor as it would if they were taught by others; the very books they study are grudging friends if not insidious foes. Long afterward when I came to Italy, and began to make the past part of my present, I began to untangle a little the web that the French and the Aragonese wove in the conquest and reconquest of the wretched Sicilies; but how was I to imagine in the Connecticut Western Reserve the scene of Gonsalvo's victories in Calabria? Even loath Ferdinand the Catholic said they brought greater glory to his crown than his own conquest of Granada; I dare say I took some unintelligent pride in his being Viceroy of Naples, and I may have been indignant at his recall and then his retirement from court by the jealous king. But my present knowledge of these facts, and of his helping put down the Moorish insurrection in 1500, as well as his exploits as commander of a Spanish armada against the Turks is a recent debt I owe to the Encyclopedia Britannica and not to my boyish researches. Of like actuality is my debt to Mr. Calvert's Southern Spain, where he quotes the accounting which the Great Captain gave on the greedy king's demand for a statement of his expenses in the Sicilies.

"Two hundred thousand seven hundred and thirty-six ducats and 9 reals paid to the clergy and the poor who prayed for the victory of the army of Spain.

"One hundred millions in pikes, bullets, and intrenching tools; 10,000 ducats in scented gloves, to preserve the troops from the odor of the enemies' dead left on the battle-field; 100,000 ducats, spent in the repair of the bells completely worn out by every-day announcing fresh victories gained over our enemies; 50,000 ducats in 'aguardiente' for the troops on the eve of battle. A million and a half for the safeguarding prisoners and wounded.

"One million for Masses of Thanksgiving; 700,494 ducats for secret service, etc.

"And one hundred millions for the patience with which I have listened to the king, who demands an account from the man who has presented him with a Kingdom."

It seems that Gonsalvo was one of the greatest humorists, as well as captains of his age, and the king may very well have liked his fun no better than his fame. Now that he has been dead nearly four hundred years, Ferdinand would, if he were living, no doubt join Cordova in honoring Gonzalo Hernandez de Aguila y de Cordova. After all he was not born in Cordova (as I had supposed till an hour ago), but in the little city of Montilla, five stations away on the railroad to the Malaga, and now more noted for its surpassing sherry than for the greatest soldier of his time. To have given its name to Amontillado is glory enough for Montilla, and it must be owned that Gonzalo Hernandez de Aguila y de Montilla would not sound so well as the title we know the hero by, when we know him at all. There may be some who will say that Cordova merits remembrance less because of him than because of Columbus, who first came to the Catholic kings there to offer them not a mere kingdom, but a whole hemisphere. Cordova was then the Spanish headquarters for the operations against Granada, and one reads of the fact with a luminous sense which one cannot have till one has seen Cordova.