When he talked, he was on the level of Morote and Zozaya, which is nothing more nor less than the level of everybody else; but when it came to action, he did amount to something, and that something was dangerous. My only experience in politics was gained with Lerroux.

According to this view, the State is the best possible state, and its organization is considered so perfect that its laws, discipline and formulae are held to be sacred and immutable in men's eyes. Maura and all conservatives must be reckoned in this group, and Lerroux too, appears to belong with them, as he holds discipline in such exalted respect.

Behind the monarchy lies the republic of 1873, behind Canovas and Castelar, Pi y Margall; the republic has merged into and was, in a sense, the foundation of the constitutional system of today. Even popular leaders such as Lerroux are quick to recognize this fact, and govern themselves accordingly.

One Sunday, seven or eight years ago, on coming out of my house and crossing the Plaza de San Marcial, I observed that a great crowd had gathered. "What is the matter?" I asked. "Lerroux is coming," they told me. I delayed a moment and happened on Villar, the composer, among the crowd. We fell to talking of Lerroux and what he might accomplish.

Lerroux wished to organize his party into a party of law and order, so that it might be capable of governing, and also to have it friendly with the Army. I was of the opinion that it ought to be a revolutionary party, not in the sense that I was thinking of erecting barricades, but I wished it to contest, to upset things, and to protest against injustice.

What Lerroux wanted was a party of orators who could speak at public meetings, a party of office-holders, councillors, provincial deputies and the like, while I held, and still hold, that the only efficacious revolutionary weapon is the printed page.

The only difference between the men was in the results attained, and in the manner of their exit. Hence I say that Lerroux was not only base, but obtuse and absurdly wanting in human feeling and revolutionary sympathy, when he concurred in the execution of the stoker of the "Numancia."

I had met Lerroux in the days when El Progreso was still published, having called once with Maeztu at his office; afterwards I saw him in Barcelona in a large shed, which, if I recall rightly, went by the name of "La Fraternidad Republicana," and then I was accompanied by Azorin and Junoy. Villar and I went upstairs and greeted Lerroux in the offices of El Pais.

Shortly after, I was nominated as a candidate for the City Council, and I addressed a number of meetings, although always coldly, and never at high tension. While I was with Lerroux, I was never treated save with consideration. Why did I leave his party? Chiefly because of differences as to ideas and as to tactics.

"Estevanez has spoken of you to me," he said. "Is he well?" "Yes, very well." A few days later, Lerroux invited me to dinner at the Cafe Ingles. Lerroux, Fuente and I dined together, and then fell to talking. Lerroux asked me to join his party, whereupon I pointed out the qualifications which were lacking in me, which were necessary to a politician.