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aiforded the first glimpse of Spanish life and character. Its neat railway station was draped with flags and bunting, and on the platform was a group of officers of the royal guard, standing apart from those privileged citizens who had been admitted within the barriers. Beyond, clearly seen through the gates and station windows, struggling for a glimpse of the distinguished visitor, were the villagers and the country people, who, denied admission to the yard, were none the less active in their demonstrations of curi. osity.
As the train drew up at the platform, General Grant alighted from his carriage. The ranking officer of the del. egation, a general on the staff of Alfonzo XII., advanced, and, saluting the visitor, welcomed him, in the King's name, to the Iberian Peninsula. He stated that he was directed by His Majesty to place at the General's disposal the special railway carriage of the King, and to beg an acceptance of the same. General Grant expressed his thanks in a few words, and accepted the proffered courtesy. The train moved out of the little village toward the war-begrimed city of San Sebastian - the last stronghold of the Carlists.
At San Sebastian, General Grant was received by Emilio Castelar, ex-President of the Spanish Republic. To the well known statesman and journalist, General Grant was exceedingly cordial. He concluded his remarks by saying: “ Believe me, sir, the name of Castelar is especially honored in America." Here, as at Irun, were gathered many people to see General Grant, and he was presented to the town officials and the distinguished citi. zens. The contracted harbor reflected the green of the tree-covered hills that encircle it so nearly, and beyond the cone-like isle at its mouth was the sheen of the noonday sun on the Bay of Biscay.
Leaving this place, the road leads southward toward Tolosa and Vergara. At both of these stations a squad of soldiers was stationed. The usual military guard had been doubled in honor of the American General. After wind. ing about the hills beyond the station of Tolosa, the train suddenly leaves the defiles behind and smoothly skirts the side of a great hill, giving the occupants of the carriages a grand view to the southward. Near at hand are seen the peaks of the Pyrenees - only the extreme western spur of the range, to be sure, but very formidable looking barriers to railway engineering. Altogether, the journey is a charming, Swiss-like ride, creeping, as the traveler does, through what were once dangerous mountain paths, and where, even yet, the railway coaches are alternately in the wildest forests of scraggy pine and the long-leaved chestnut.
Passing the summit, the descent southward is soon marked by a radical change in the aspect of the country. Villages are met more frequently, until, winding toward the west through the Welsh-looking hills, the train dashes into Vittoria. Here the General was received on alighting by the civil and military authorities attached to the King's military and civil staff. He repaired at once to his hotel. The 'annual manæuvres of the Spanish ariny were being held here, and the King and his entire staff were in Vittoria. At night the General strolled out through the tangled streets of the old part of the town. He inspected the bazaars in the Plaza Nueva, and the pretty streets in the new portion of the city. The Alameda was crowded with people, and the General seemed to enjoy the life al fresco almost as much as the citizens of the capital of Alava.
The following morning General Grant was received by King Alfonzo at the Ayuntamiento, or residence of the Alcade, quite a palace in its exterior and interior adornments. The King, who speaks English fluently, said that he had long had a curiosity to meet the General, whose civil and military career was so familiar to him. He said there was no man living whom Spain would more gladly
honor. The interview was long and cordial, and much good feeling was shown on both sides.
At eleven o'clock, General Grant, King Alfonzo and a splendid retinue of generals, left the King's official resi. dence to witness the manæuvres that were to take place on the historic field of Vittoria, where the French, under Joseph Bonaparte and Jourdan, were finally crushed in Spain by the allies, under Wellington (June 21, 1813).
King Alfonzo and General Grant rode at the head of the column side by side, His Majesty pointing out the objects of interest to the right and the left, and, when the vicinity of the famous field was reached, halting for a few minutes to indicate to his guest the locations of the different armies on that famous June morning. As they proceeded thence, General Concha was called to the side of the King and introduced to General Grant. Several other distinguished officers were then presented. The weather was very fine, and the scene was one of great interest to the American visitor. General Grant spent all day on horseback, witnessing the manæuvres.
The King and his guest, returned to the city late in the afternoon. At night he dined with the King, and the next day General Grant reviewed the troops, and at night he left for Madrid. Altogether, both at the palace and on the field, General Grant's reception was royal in pomp and attention, and will be likely to impress the reader with the opinion that in no country has the reception of our great soldier been more free, manly and royal than in Spain. Met at the frontier by representatives of His Majesty, escorted to the presence of the monarch, shown a review on the battlefield of Vittoria, and treated in all ways as the especial guest of the sovereign, the ex-President certainly received in this case every mark of consideration and honor that a king could bestow upon a visitor. General Grant, it is true, has expressed in Europe the sense of his satiety with the military shows of life, and they might have hit his individual taste more accurately in some other way; yet a review on a famous battlefield is a piece of historic pageantry aside from ordinary reviews; and an honor in which history itself is called upon to pay tribute to a visitor is not to be had every day.
The General was especially favored in the conditions under which he has visited the various nations of Europe, meeting all its great statesmen on friendly terms. Beaconsfield, Bismarck, Gortschakoff, Gambetta and others have chatted with him familiarly, and he has heard much from them about the socialists and their crazy theories. In Berlin he heard from Bismarck's lips his hot indignation over the recent wounding of the Emperor, and now in Spain he actually witnesses an attempt on the life of a king. With all the horror of the crime and contempt of the criminals which must have entered his mind, he has, doubtless, pondered over the state of society in Europe which makes these atrocious attempts seem epidemic. He must have recognized a social disease, to diagnose which the statesmen he met did not bring unbiassed minds. It would be curious to know his impressions on the subject of misgovernment in Europe.
The excitement occasioned by the attempt on King Alfonso's life was intense. The criminal fired from the sidewalk in front of house No. 93 Calle Mayor, not far from the arched entrance to the Plaza Mayor. He aimed too low, however, and the ball passed through the hand of a soldier standing guard on the opposite side of the street. The King saw the flash, and, with an involuntary movement of his hand, checked his horse momentarily. He then rode tranquilly onward toward the palace. Several women who were standing near the man who fired pointed him out with loud cries, and he was at once secured. He did not make the slightest attempt to escape. Terrible in. dignation was manifested among the people forming the crowd that almost immediately gathered from the bazaars and the markets in the Plaza Mayor — that doleful old enclosed square, where the autos da fe and the fiestas reales took place during and even since the days of the Inquisition, but now given over to the venders of dates, pomegranates and base metal jewelry. 'Attempts were made to wreak summary vengeance upon the assassin when he was on his way to the Gobierno Civil. Thence he was soon removed to the Captain-Generalcy.
The prisoner displayed great coolness during his commitment. He insolently drew a cigar from his pocket, which, after having struck a match, he coolly lit and began to smoke. He is a very thin man, of medium height, wears a light mustache, and has his hair closely cropped. He admitted the crime, and triumphantly declared himself a socialist and internationalist; but, when interrogated as to who his accomplices were, denied that he had acted in concert with any one.
He said that he came alone from Taragona purposely to kill a king. This was his first serious disappointment in life.
General Grant was standing, when the shot was fired, at a window of the Hotel de Paris (situated at the junction of the Carrera San Geronimo and the Calle de Alcala), overlooking the Puerta del Sol. This hotel is a long distance from the scene of the attack, but looks across the great central plaza of Madrid, directly down the Calle Mayor. General Grant, who was following with his eyes the progress of the royal cavalcade which had just passed across the Puerta del Sol before him, said that he clearly saw the flash of the assassin's pistol. The General had already "booked" for Lisbon by the night train leaving at seven o'clock, and therefore could not in person present his congratulations to King Alfonso; but to Senor Silvera, the Minister of State, who called soon after and accompanied him to the railway