of my companions as he cast aside his cloak, and, on
my responding, to be asked by one of them, " EngHsh,
Seiior ? " They were typical Spaniards from the
country on their way to Madrid, and, through that
one of their number who could speak Enghsh toler-
ably, made the rest of the journey for me delightful.
How they did laugh, first at myself and then at them-
selves, when I told them I had suspected they were
As we journeyed on I noticed on every station
platform these flitting, heavily cloaked, and muffled
men. It was the same in Madrid, whether in the day-
time or at night. Curiosity led me to make inquiries
BANDITS AND POLITICIANS 127
as to the reason for this strange national habit. I
learned that the one great fear in Spain is of pneu-
monia. Everybody hves in dread of it ; and as
Spaniards have not yet learned to breathe through
their nostrils, every Spaniard covers up his face with
his cloak in uncanny fashion whenever he goes out
of doors if the weather is at all cold or windy, as a
precaution against swallowing the dreaded germ.
Pohtics in Spain are still very much an unknown
quantity. If there is a country in the world where
the people would be justified in appropriating the
discarded verse of the EngHsh National Anthem, and
singing with heart and voice, " Confound their politics,
frustrate their knavish tricks," that country is Spain.
Election methods in Spain, I was assured, put even
those of Tammany in the shade. Liberals and Con-
servatives alike are charged with being equally un-
scrupulous. Some of the methods employed were
explained. The first step in an election is to appoint
new governors in all the provinces, and these receive
express orders to secure the triumph of the Govern-
ment candidates at all costs. The Governor accord-
ingly sends for the mayor and village magistrates,
and tells them direct that the Government considers
it necessary in its own interest that such and such
a one should be elected. The mayors need no further
instructions. If they dare to act contrary to the
Lord Pontius (as the common people designate the
Governor), they know that, justly or unjustly, they
128 AMONG THE HERETICS
may expect a lawsuit regarding their municipal
accounts, and that a heavy fine will assuredly follow.
Nominally there is universal suffrage in Spain, but
even in Madrid the electors' Hsts are tampered with ;
and to a still greater extent in the villages, where
whole piles of voting papers are secretly thrown into
the ballot-box by the presiding official.
At the time of a recent election my informant had
to present a petition to a newly-appointed Governor,
because a mayor acting contrary to the law had pro-
hibited religious assemblies of more than ten persons.
The Governor's decision was entirely in his favour,
as, in his opinion, not onty Protestants (whom he
also looked upon as Christians— a very important
concession from a Spaniard), but Jews and Moham-
medans were entitled to complete freedom of religion.
On the other hand, the Governor requested my friend
not to enforce his rights too strongly at that critical
juncture, for there were two bishops in his province
whose support was absolutely necessary to him, as
he had been commissioned to gain the election at all
costs. " I told him frankly," said my friend, " that
it was of no interest to me to put hindrances in the
way of his policy, but that I should be obliged to have
recourse to the Press if any of our co-rehgionists
should be taken prisoner — a thing by no means
impossible." " In such a case," answered the
Governor, " I myself would intervene, for under no
circumstances could I allow that to be done. Leave
BANDITS AND POLITICIANS 129
the matter in my hands and I will speak to the
magistrate." And the man kept his word.
Some weeks later this same official sent for an
influential mayor who belonged to the opposite party.
The mayor excused himself on the ground that he
was ill and unable to travel. After a week the
Governor inquired whether he had recovered. The
answer was in the affirmative, but that he had no
money for the journey. Thereupon the Governor
ordered the captain of the Guardia Civil to conduct
him on foot to the capital. As the place was more
than forty miles distant, the poor mayor arrived at
the Government buildings in a rather exhausted con-
dition. His superior allowed him to rest awhile, and
then greeted him with a most friendly smile. He
made inquiries concerning the state of the municipal
budget, and then told him that the Government con-
sidered his influence to be of great importance in
the elections. The mayor, being just then in a very
meek frame of mind, promised all that was required
of him. Nevertheless, when the elections came on
he supported the candidate of the opposite party,
an action that the Governor did not fail to remember.
Although in the elections this particular Governor
did not hesitate to bring any kind of pressure to bear
on his subordinates, he was generally regarded as
a good official, being incorruptible and relentless in
attacking intemperance and gambling. While many
Governors obtain large profits by allowing gambling
130 AMONG THE HERETICS
hells, despite the heavy tax on them, he imposed such
large fines on the players that in the whole province
" not even a rat dared play," as a critic expressed it.
About this time a professional player from a neigh-
bouring province came and commenced his business
in an inn in the town of the mayor just referred to
who had failed the Governor. During the gambhng
a murder took place, but the Governor was not
informed of it till two days after. He did not fail
to take advantage of his opportunity, and with keen
delight imposed a fine of 500 francs on the mayor
for allowing gambling in his district. He exacted
an equally high penalty from the owner of the tavern,
and also from the Ueutenant of the gendarmerie for
delay in giving notice.
A Governor possesses absolute power in his pro-
vince, and mayors, as this gentleman learned, do
well not to incur his anger.
ESCORIAL AND THE DEVIL OF THE SOUTH
Four miles or so outside Madrid, high up and sur-
rounded by snow-capped mountains, is the famed
monastery of Escorial, said to be the largest building
of its kind, and, with the exception of the Egyptian
Pyramids, the largest heap of granite in the world.
Spaniards refer to it with pride as the eighth wonder
of the globe. Its interest for me lay in the fact
that it was built by the Monster of the Inquisition.
Philip II. is said to have ordered its construction in
fulfilment of a vow to thus commemorate the Battle
of St. Quentin, though history does not record which
side won, and it is alleged that both armies ran for
their lives. On an historic occasion, when the French
Ambassador in Spain was taken to see this monastery,
he shrugged his shoulders and pertinently remarked,
" What a big fear must the king have had who made
such a vow ! "
Fact, fiction, or tradition apart, however, Escorial
commands admiration. It was built in the days
when Mexico and Peru emptied their treasures into
the lap of Spain, and it represents enormous wealth.
It was placed under the charge of the Order of St.
132 AMONG THE HERETICS
Jerome, and at one time housed no fewer than 400
monks ; but to-day the Augustinian monks — Luther's
order — are in possession. The enormous pile of
buildings occupies a vast quadrangle, divided by
numerous interior courts, which, with towers at the
four corners and the lofty church at one side, are
allowed to give it the shape of a gridiron, the instru-
ment of St. Lawrence's martyrdom. Indeed, this
emblem of the gridiron confronts one at every
turn, whether on the walls, the doors, the
windows, and even on the altars and vestments in
This church, called the Temple, is undeniably
beautiful. Its fagade is adorned with colossal statues
of six of the Kings of Judah who took part in the
construction or re-dedication of the Temple at Jeru-
salem. On each side of the high altar of majestic
marble are oratories of black marble, intended for
the use of royalty, and above them are kneeling
effigies of Charles V. and Philip 11. , and several
members of their families. There are more than
forty minor altars, all richly adorned with picture
The statue of St. Lawrence is of huge proportions.
The trunk and hmbs came from Rome, but he has
a new modern head, and by his side is the gridiron on
which St. Lawrence is said to have been roasted.
Tradition tells that when St. Lawrence had been on
the grill for some time he observed to his tormentors,
THE DEVIL OF THE SOUTH 133
" Turn me to the other side, for I think this side is
Philip II. is credited with asking the Pope of that
period for the bones of St. Lawrence to be sent to
Escorial ; but the Pope replied that it was impossible,
as all the ten men who had been employed to dig
him up had died. From this fact he concluded that
there was evidently an objection on the Saint's part
to have his bones shifted. The gridiron was, how-
ever, sent along to Philip, and still rests beside the
statue of St. Lawrence at Escorial, in a highly gilded
Up in the monastery choir I sat in the seat where
PhiHp received the news of the victory of Lepanto.
The seat, which is similarly constructed to the choir
stalls, commands an uninterrupted view of the high
altar perhaps 300 feet away. The choir stalls are
cunningly devised, and fitted with seats which allow
the priests to rest while they appear to be standing
through the long recitals of Mass.
Another striking feature at Escorial is Benvenuto
CeUini's colossal statue of Christ, which was lost for
a time but was mentioned by Goethe as having been
last seen in Escorial. Erected on a balcony, it over-
looks the great court of the monastery where the
soldiers of Spain stood during the celebration of Mass
before proceeding on their mission to subdue the
Protestants in Holland. On each flagstone in the
court, it is recorded, stood a soldier, who from his
134 AMONG THE HERETICS
position could plainly see the statue of Christ behind
the improvised altar.
In the Palace apartments of Charles III. and his
successors are preserved wonderful tapestries repro-
ducing paintings by Goyen, Teniers, Rubens, and
Wouvermans. In the salon of the Halberdiers are
frescoes giving a panoramic representation of the
Spaniards in their conquest of Granada. Queen
Isabella, says the legend, made a vow that she
would not change her shirt until Granada had been
taken, and she wore that shirt for eighteen months !
Whether legend speaks truly or not, it is a fact
that to this day creamy horses in Spain are called
Philip 11. , called by the Hollanders " The Devil
of the South," died, like Herod, eaten by worms,
" a death," as the aged FHedner once remarked,
"reserved by God for the persecutors of His
Visitors to Escorial may still see the chair in which
Philip was carried about during his last days. He
died in a vestry adjoining the church, the door of
which looks directly on to the high altar. In his last
moments this fiend of the Inquisition implored the
priests, whose fanatical servant he had willingly
been, to tell him what he could do should he be
condemned at the bar of God, as in his life he had
done all they had asked of him. On this he rested
his chances for mercy in the next world ; but
THE DEVIL OF THE SOUTH i35
evidently suffering from qualms of conscience in
the presence of death, he exclaimed to these priestly
advisers who haunted his bed, " I throw the responsi-
bihty of it all upon you. I ask you to tell me if
there is anything wanting yet for my salvation, and
I protest before God that it is your own responsi-
bility if I have left anything undone, for I am
prepared to do it all."
Then he asked for the relics, of which he had
brought 365 to Escorial, one for every day in the
year. They brought the principal ones — three
priests — and each bore a relic. One brought the
knee and a bone of the holy San Bastian, with a
piece of skin still attached to it. Another brought
a rehc of St. Alban. The third brought a bone of
the arm of St. Vincente Ferrer. These they put on
Phihp's knee, hoping he would get better. Then,
when the Church had done all it could, says the
biographer, with a withering sense of irony, Philip
resigned himself to the doctors.
Philip was suffering from gout, then from fever,
which resulted in ulcers and sores, and in these
the worms bred. The bed was packed with relics
on either side of the body ; but neither relics nor
doctors could save him. It was a fearful ending for
a man who had vowed that should his son become
a heretic he himself would bring the wood to burn
The library of Escorial is famous for its priceless
136 AMONG THE HERETICS
manuscripts and unique collection of Arabic works,
though some thousands of volumes were stolen in
the time of Napoleon, when the whole collection was
removed to Madrid and narrowly escaped being
carried off to Paris. There are books of rare worth
and beauty, more particularly the missals and
prayer-books of kings in the thirteenth, fifteenth,
and sixteenth centuries. These are hand-painted
and hand-printed in gold throughout. There is a
copy of the Four Gospels in gold lettering, prepared
by direction of Conrado II. and Enrique III., and
The wall at one end of the library is occupied
with a fine painting of the Heronimede Friar, Gose
de Siquenza, the librarian at the time of the In-
quisition, and the man who originally arranged the
whole collection. Though a Roman Catholic, he was
ultimately condemned to the dungeons because he
" knew too much." Before sentence he wrote out
his defence, and the original manuscript is now in
the library of Halle University. How it came there
is a mystery.
On the library walls also hang several paintings
of Charles V. of Germany and Charles I. of Spain,
who said in scorn of Martin Luther, "This monk,
he shall not convert me ! " Charles was the father
of Philip II.
I was fortunate in having Pastor Fhedner with
me at Escorial as guide and interpreter. He re-
THE DEVIL OF THE SOUTH i37
counted a good story with himself as the " plot,"
which well illustrates the spirit of Rome. Four or
five years ago the uncle of the Kaiser was visiting
Escorial, and after inspecting the treasures of the
library signed his name in a specially prepared album,
as did the members of his suite. Pastor FHedner,
being a German, was with the Royal party by
invitation, and he also signed the book. Of course,
Pastor Fliedner is a heretic in the eyes of the Roman
hierarchy in Madrid, and when later they discovered
his name in the album the page of signatures was
promptly torn out and the book sent to Madrid for
the Grand Duke to sign afresh 1
THE INDULGENT AND THE INDULGED
Rome is a most indulgent mother to her children,
but it is always for a consideration. In Spain,
through all the centuries she has inculcated a
system of morals which has produced a lower
standard of morahty than is to be found anywhere
else in Europe, though in Italy it is bad enough
in all conscience. Rome's code of morals in actual
practice, whatever it may profess to be in theory,
amounts to this — anything is lawful provided the
Church makes something out of it.
It is the universal testimony of Protestant
evangelists and pastors that the chief difficulties
in their work of evangelising Spain are the indiffer-
ence of the people to religion and the low moral
standard taught by Rome and ingrained in the
life of the people.
I asked a well-known citizen in Madrid whether
the traffic in indulgences still went on in Spain,
and he assured me that Rome reaped a rich harvest
from this bartering of morals. I asked him where
these indulgences were to be obtained, and he took
me to an ecclesiastical book depot. Here I had
THE INDULGENT AND INDULGED i39
the choice of as many indulgences as there are sins
in the decalogue. My friend read them over to me
in English, and I selected three. They cost me
about nine shilHngs in English money. One offered
all the rewards and blessings of the crusades without
the trouble and expense of harnessing up a fiery
Arab steed, or clothing myself in a suit of mail.
Another allows meat to be eaten on fast days for
a period which I am afraid has now nearly expired.
A third is an indulgence against stealing, and was
the most expensive of the three. Under Rome's
code of ethics in Spain steahng is no moral crime
if you are armed with an indulgence — that is to
say, if the Church is allowed to share the spoil.
The indulgence I purchased gives me immunity
against moral consequences so long as the theft
does not exceed 700 pesetas, or their value. Beyond
that a further indulgence, a more expensive one,
is necessary. People in England or Australia or
America will scarcely credit that such an unholy
traffic as this can be in operation. Yet in Spain
it is as natural and common for a Roman Catholic
to seek to avoid the consequences of a breach of
the moral law by purchasing an indulgence from
the Church as it is to buy a ticket when he is going
on a railway journey.
Talking on this subject with the head of a large
educational institution in Madrid, he observed :
*' Let me show you how this indulgence business
140 AMONG THE HERETICS
affects the life and character of the people. Here
is a case within my own knowledge. It is typical
of what is going on every day :
" A little girl from our school went to confession
last week. Among the questions put to her by the
priest was —
" ' Did you eat any meat at the last fast day ? '
" ' Yes, Padre.'
" ' That is very bad. Don't you know that it
is a great sin ? '
" Well, Padre,' pleaded the child, ' you know
my father does not take any account of religion.
He eats meat on fast days. We have to eat what
he eats, or go without food.'
" ' Still, it is a very great sin you have com-
mitted, and you must get an indulgence.'
" * But I have no money, Padre ; we are very
" ' Don't you ever go to market ? '
'"Oh, yes. Padre.'
" ' Well, it is easy when you go to market to
buy for your mother to keep back at one time
five centimes, and at another ten centimes until
you have enough to buy the indulgence.' "
And so the child is taught to commit a real
sin in order to condone a fictitious one.
I was told at first hand of an architect who had
been attending Protestant services and reading the
Bible. One day he went to the priest for advice
THE INDULGENT AND INDULGED 141
as to lending out his money at usury. It is a
common practice in Spain, and is connived at by
the priest, because he shares in the plunder. He
is usually the third person, the obliging friend who
introduces the borrower to the lender, and claims
a commission from both.
In this instance the reading of the Bible had
quickened the architect's conscience. He had
talked the matter over with his wife, and they had
agreed that in future lending operations they would
ask a lower rate of interest.
In the meantime he determined to explain
matters to the priest, and seek his advice. " Do
you lend your money on purpose to get this high
rate of interest, and for the sake of making money ? "
asked the priest ; " or do you do it because you
have a wife and family to think of and want to
bring them up well and educate them ? "
Of course the architect pleaded guilty to the
" Oh, then," responded the casuist, " you are
justified in demanding the high rate of interest."
The incident further illustrates the standard of
morahty inculcated by the priests. But in every-
thing their ultimate object is to make their victims
contribute to the Church exchequer.
CHECKMATING A NUNCIO
It is not only in Russia that one can never take
anything for granted, especially if he be a heretic
and engaged in Protestant propaganda work. The
iron hand of Rome is over everything in Spain,
and it has been the priests rather than the politicians
who have barred the way to liberty and progress.
One of the evangelical pioneers in Spain was Pastor
Fritz FHedner, who founded the missionary college
at Madrid, and also the Jesus Church, as the build-
ing in Calle Calatrava is called. The difficulties
which he encountered constitute one of the most
thriUing chapters in the history of Protestant
evangelism in the Land of the Toreador.
Three of his sons are bravely holding the fort
and extending the work in various parts of Spain.
From one of them I learned the story of now the
missionary college came to be built. It is almost
a duphcation of Pastor Fetler's experiences in St.
Petersburg, only the one is ancient and the other
modern history, and to an Enghshman it reads like
Plans were drawn for a building estimated to
CHECKMATING A NUNCIO i43
cost ;^i2,ooo. Having obtained permission to build,
after a year's patient waiting the work was started.
Immediately a police officer came along and pro-
hibited the building. Pastor FHedner went to the
Lord Mayor, who said : "It looks as if you were
building a church." " No," explained Mr. Fliedner,
"it is a college." " But you have there a steeple
in the plan." " Oh, that innocent little tower is
only an architectural ornament." " But you have
a bell also." " Quite true, but you see we have a
big clock there and the bell above it. But if you
object to the bell, I shall take it away and lower
the tower by so much, and then, perhaps, you will
permit the building." " We shall see ; bring the
The next plan was brought, and that again had
to be examined by the municipal architect. This
person fell ill, and for a fortnight Mr. Fliedner
visited his house every day inquiring for his precious
health. At last he recovered, and the plan was
approved. " But," interposed the Lord Mayor,
" we must first finish the side street." " How long
will that take ? " " Oh, only four or five days."
But it lasted seven long months, and Mr. Fliedner
went daily to and fro to the Government offices,
to the Town Hall, to the Notary, and to the
Ministry to try to push matters forward. It
was all in vain, as is every efifort in Spain to
accelerate speed in civic matters. Then the
T44 AMONG THE HERETICS
Liberal Ministry fell, and the Conservatives came
" Now only God can help," thought Mr. Fhedner,
as he sought for an audience with the Prime Minister.
Canovas was very kind, but explained : "It would
cause us the greatest trouble to let you build such
a house with a steeple and a bell ; the ladies of the
aristocracy would at once overwhelm us with their
visits. It is impossible."
"Mr. President," was the answer, " you have
known me for years ; therefore you are aware that
I never tried to make outward show. I got this
plan just as it is from Germany, but I am wilhng
to take away the bell, as I have already consented
to do, and besides I shall take away whatever you
desire, for my only object is to have a big school."
" It is true that we have always got on well together,"
remarked the Prime Minister, " but you will have
to take away something more." " I shall take
away whatever you like, Mr. President," responded
the obliging pastor.
Next the new Lord Mayor had to be won over.
" If I have my way," said he, " you will never
get permission, because this thing goes against the
sentiments of the nation."
Eight days later the Lord Mayor's permission
was given, provided the small tower of the building,
the bell, and the clock were removed. This was
agreed to, but scarcely had the workmen com-
CHECKMATING A NUNCIO i45
menced to dig for the foundations than another
poUce officer came and ordered a cessation. But
this time the workmen declared, as they had been
advised, that they would not cease unless com-
pelled by force to do so, as the Prime Minister had
The officer first went and ascertained that the
Prime Minister had actually given permission, and
then he went and informed those who had sent him
to hinder the erection of the college, viz., the Arch-
bishop of Madrid and the Nuncio of the Pope,
Monsignor Cretoni. When they heard that Mr.
Fliedner had got the permission, they were furious.
They telegraphed to Rome. The Cardinal Secretary,
Rampolla, wrote in the name of the Pope to the
Queen Cristina of Spain, that she might hinder
When Monsignor Cretoni brought her this letter,