Travel Letters: Salamanca (1883)

DEAR WILLIAM, — And so aunt S too is gone, and the old house is empty ! I only received your letter last evening, and all the night, as I rode here in the train, I was thinking how strange it was. These three who began their lives so near together, long ago, and who have kept so close to one another all the while, now going almost hand in hand into the other world. How pathetic it used to be to see aunt S sitting there, full of pain, trying to do some little bit of good in her curious ways, with her queer little tracts, and her vague desire to exhort everybody to be good. I always thought she must have been one of the handsomest of the sisters when they were young. Surely, no end that we could have dreamed of for them could have been more perfect. But how we shall miss them !

Such a dear old town as this is ! I am here alone. Mr. Brimmer stayed at Madrid. I shall meet them again on Tuesday or Wednesday at Burgos. Nobody here speaks a word of anything but Spanish, and I have the funniest time to get along. This morning I spent two hours in the cathedral, with an old priest with whom I talked in Latin. One of the towers of the cathedral gave the suggestion, I think, of the tower of Trinity Church in Boston. You will find a cut of it in Fergusson’s ” Architecture ” in my library. The whole town is a wilderness of architectural delight. Convents, churches, cloisters, colleges, and towers everywhere. How I wish you were here this afternoon. A good long letter from Arthur yesterday. Very bright and busy. Well, ours is the generation for the next twenty years, then we shall go as they have gone, and a new set of youngsters take our places. It is all right.