Besides this and those other histories there were energetic portraits and vigorous landscapes in the Modern Museum, where if we had not been bent so on visiting the Archaeological Museum, we would willingly have spent the whole morning. But we were determined to see the Peruvian and Mexican antiquities which we believed must be treasured up in it; and that we might not fail of finding it, I gave one of the custodians a special peseta to take us out on the balcony and show us exactly how to get to it. He was so precise and so full in. his directions that we spent the next half-hour in wandering fatuously round the whole region before we stumbled, almost violently, upon it immediately back of the Modern Museum. Will, it be credited that it was then hardly worth seeing for the things we meant to see? The Peruvian and Mexican antiquities were so disappointing that we would hardly look at the Etruscan, Greek, and Roman things which it was so much richer in. To be sure, we had seen and overseen the like of these long before in Italy; but they were admirably arranged in this museum, so that without the eager help of the custodians (which two cents would buy at any turn) we could have found pleasure in them, whereas the Aztec antiquities were mostly copies in plaster and the Inca jewelry not striking.

Before finding the place we had had the help of two policemen and one newsboy and a postman in losing ourselves in the Prado where we mostly sought for it, and with difficulty kept ourselves from being thrust into the gallery there. In Spain a man, or even a boy, does not like to say he does not know where a place is; he is either too proud or too polite to do it, and he will misdirect you without mercy. But the morning was bright, and almost warm, and we should have looked forward to weeks of sunny weather if our experience had not taught us that it would rain in the afternoon, and if greater experience than ours had not instructed us that there would be many days of thick fog now before the climate of Madrid settled itself to the usual brightness of February. We had time to note again in the Paseo Castellana, which is the fashionable drive, that it consists of four rows of acacias and tamarisks and a stretch of lawn, with seats beside it; the rest is bare grasslessness, with a bridle-path on one side and a tram-line on the other. If it had been late afternoon the Paseo would have been filled with the gay world, but being the late forenoon we had to leave it well-nigh unpeopled and go back to our hotel, where the excellent midday breakfast merited the best appetite one could bring to it.

In fact, all the meals of our hotel were good, and of course they were only too superabundant. They were pretty much what they were everywhere in Spain, and they were better everywhere than they were in Granada where we paid most for them. They were appetizing, and not of the cooking which the popular superstition attributes to Spain, where the hotel cooking is not rank with garlic or fiery with pepper, as the untraveled believe. At luncheon in our Madrid hotel we had a liberal choice of eggs in any form, the delicious arroz a la Valencia, a kind of risotto, with saffron to savor and color it; veal cutlets or beefsteak, salad, cheese, grapes, pears, and peaches, and often melon; the ever-admirable melon of Spain, which I had learned to like in England. At dinner there were soup, fish, entree, roast beef, lamb, or poultry, vegetables, salad, sweet, cheese, and fruit; and there was pretty poor wine ad libitum at both meals. For breakfast there was good and true (or true enough) coffee with rich milk, which if we sometimes doubted it to be goat's milk we were none the worse if none the wiser for, as at dinner we were not either if we unwittingly ate kid for lamb.

There were not many people in the hotel, but the dining-room was filled by citizens who came in with the air of frequenters. They were not people of fashion, as we readily perceived, but kindly-looking mercantile folk, and ladies painted as white as newly calcimined house walls; and all gravely polite. There was one gentleman as large round as a hogshead, with a triple arrangement of fat at the back of his neck which was fascinating. He always bowed when we met (necessarily with his whole back) and he ate with an appetite proportioned to his girth. I could wish still to know who and what he was, for he was a person very much to my mind. So was the head waiter, dark, silent, clean-shaven, who let me use my deplorable Spanish with him, till in the last days he came out with some very fair English which he had been courteously concealing from me. He looked own brother to the room-waiter in our corridor, whose companionship I could desire always to have. One could not be so confident of the sincerity of the littlecamarera who slipped out of the room with a soft, sidelong "De nada" at one's thanks for the hot water in the morning; but one could stake one's life on the goodness of this camarero. He was not so tall as his leanness made him look; he was of a national darkness of eyes and hair which as imparted to his tertian clean-shavenness was a deep blue. He spoke, with a certain hesitation, a beautiful Castilian, delicately lisping the sibilants and strongly throating the gutturals; and what he said you could believe. He never was out of the way when wanted; he darkled with your boots and shoes in a little closet next your door, and came from it with the morning coffee and rolls. In a stress of frequentation he appeared in evening dress in the dining-room at night, and did honor to the place; but otherwise he was to be seen only in our corridor, or in the cold, dark chamber at the stair head where the camareras sat sewing, kept in check by his decorum. Without being explicitly advised of the fact, I am sure he was the best of Catholics, and that he would have burnt me for a heretic if necessary; but he would have done it from his conscience and for my soul's good after I had recanted. He seldom smiled, but when he did you could see it was from his heart.

His contrast, his very antithesis, the joyous concierge, was always smiling, and was every way more like an Italian than a Spaniard. He followed us into the wettest Madrid weather with the sunny rays of his temperament, and welcomed our returning cab with an effulgence that performed the effect of an umbrella in the longish walk from the curbstone to the hotel door, past the grape arbor whose fruit ripened for us only in a single bunch, though he had so confidently prophesied our daily pleasure in it. He seemed at first to be the landlord, and without reference to higher authority he gave us beautiful rooms overlooking the bacchanal vine which would have been filled with sunshine if the weather had permitted. When he lapsed into the concierge, he got us, for five pesetas, so deep and wide a wood-box, covered with crimson cloth, that he was borne out by the fact in declaring that the wood in it would last us as long as we stayed; it was oak wood, hard as iron, and with the bellows that accompanied it we blew the last billet of it into a solid coal by which we drank our last coffee in that hotel. His spirit, his genial hopefulness, reconciled us to the infirmities of the house during the period of transition beginning for it and covering our stay. It was to be rebuilt on a scale out-Ritzing the Ritz; but in the mean while it was not quite the Ritz. There was a time when the elevator-shaft seemed to have tapped the awful sources of the smell in the house of Cervantes at Valladolid, but I do not remember what blameless origin the concierge assigned to the odor, or whether it had anything to do with the horses and the hens which a chance-opened back door showed us stabled in the rear of the hotel's grandiose entrance.

Our tourist clientele, thanks I think to the allure of our concierge for all comers, was most respectable, though there was no public place for people to sit but a small reading-room colder than the baths of Apollo. But when he entered the place it was as if a fire were kindled in the minute stove never otherwise heated, and the old English and French newspapers freshened themselves up to the actual date as nearly as they could. We were mostly, perhaps, Spanish families come from our several provinces for a bit of the season which all Spanish families of civil condition desire more or less of: lean, dark fathers, slender, white-stuccoed daughters, and fat, white-stuccoed mothers; very still-faced, and grave-mannered. We were also a few English, and from time to time a few Americans, but I believe we were not, however worthy, very great-world. The concierge who had so skilfully got us together was instant in our errands and commissions, and when it came to two of us being shut up with colds brought from Burgos it vas he who supplemented the promptness of the apothecaries in sending our medicines and coming himself at times to ask after our welfare.