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-.:t<)' V ^Sa/VV ^ *^^^^^^ V 













VOL. n. 










Alfieri and hia School contimieil - ^VS^ ^ 


Co the FroM Writers and Epie and Lyric Poets of Italy, daring the 
EightsmtliCeatavy. •....«... «.,.«...«<*. '.'.* ^1 

Origin of the Spanish Langtt^jcr ami Poetiy.-^Foem of the Cid * 57 

Spanish Poetry of the Thîrteeiktlt C^tttiy.— Itottitfces of the Cid S5 

On Spanish LiteratarOi daring the Foarteenth and Fideenth Centories. . 1€0 


Age of Charles Y.— The Classics of Spain : Boscan ; Garsilaso ; Men- 
dofaj Miranda; Maiitaaiayar««.-«..«...^«'*«« «^««^ 1^ 


Spanish Literature of the Sixteenth Centory coatiniied.— Hervera ; 
FoncedeLeon; Co i f aa t e» ^ Mi Poic <|ttfarotp. ^ é.^.*. MM 

On the DnuBiasof Carrantes • 183 


Novels and Romanees of Cervantes ; the Araoeaaa of Don Alouo de 
Eieilla i06 

On the* Bomantie Drama.— Lope Felix de Tega Caipio ,« •/ 933 


Continoation of Lope de Vega Pige 264 


Lyrie Foetrr of Sptio, «t the dose of tlie Sizteentli and comnence- 
ment of the SeTeoteenth Century.— Goncon end hii foUowen, Que- 
Tedo, YiUegai, lU: 7i «87 

Don Pedro Ctlderon de In Barcn 316 

Oonclosion of Calderon 341 


C«nelttiion of the Spnnish Drninn,— State of Letton during the reign 
of the home of Boorbon. — Gondmion of the History of Spaniih 
Literatore 36S 


8tate of Poftogonie litetatan until the middle of the Sixteenth Centiny 389 

Luia do Camoeni : Lniiadas , 424 

Sequel of the Lunad 461 


Ifieeellaneous Poeas of Camoens : GilVieente; Rodrignei Lobo ; Cor- 
teieal ; Poitngueie Histerianfl of the Sisleenth Century 4SI 

OonthraatioB of the literatue of Portugal.— ConcluBlon 623 








Alfieri and his school eantiaiied. 

Thb pnblicatioii of Alfieri*9 first foar tragedies was, perhaps, 
the greatest epoch in the Kterary history of Italy, during tne 
eidliteenth century. Up to that period the nation, contented 
with their languid love-plots and effeminate dramas, considered 
the rules of dramatic composition to be firmly established, and 
the boundaries of the art for ever stationary at the point at which 
their tragic writers had fixed them ; attributing the fatigue 
whidi they felt during the representation of pieces, which had 
no attractions to rivet their attention, to the want of poetical ta- 
lents in the authors, and not to the false idea which they them- 
selyes had formed of the art The sudden appearance of four 
omnpositions so novel, elevated, and austere, immediately led to 
an inquiry into ihe essence of the dramatic art Alfieri at- 
tempted to throw o£f the disgraceful yoke, under which, in 
Italy, the human intellect laboured, and evenr high-minded Ita- 
lian, who lamented over the humUiation or his country, was 
united to him bv the bonds of mutual sympathy. Thus was the 
taste for the noblest species of tragedy mingled with the love of 
gknry and ot liberty. The theatre, which had been so long con- 
sidered the school of intrigue, of languor, of effeminacy, and of 
servility, was now regarded by the first Italians as the onlv 
Burse df mental vigour, of honour, a^d of public virtue. Their 
critics at last dareid, with noble pride, to turn their eyes to the 
dramatio writers of other nations, whose superiority had long 
been a humiliating reflection. Though divided in opinion upon 
the laws and the essence of the drama, they all united in ap- 



planding the elevation, the nobleness, and the energy of Alfieri's 
sentiments ; and opinions, which, till that time, had been banished 
from Italy, burst rorth at once, like the long suppressed Toice of 
public feeling. Even within the narrower boundaries of the 
critical art, we are astonished at the profundity and variely of 
knowledge which were at this period displayed by men whose 
talents had been hitherto unknown, and who would never have 
exercised any influence over the national spirit, unless some 
great genius like Alflei^i had prepared the way for them. Thus 
we find in a letter from Renier de Calsabigi to Alfieri, an ac- 

Îuaintance with the ancient drama, with that of France and 
England, and with the defects peculiar to each, which we could 
scarcely have expected from a Neapolitan. 

The labours of these critics proauced an effect on the mind 
of Alfieri, which is manifested m his subsequent works. The 
four tragedies which he first published were only a small portion 
of the number which remained in his desk. At three different 
periods he successively submitted these tragedies to the judg- 
ment of the public. In the interval between these publications, 
he observed the general impression which they produced, and 
with the assistance of some of his friends performed the dramas 
himself, exposing them, by every means in his power, to the test 
of theatrical representation, which could scarcely be done in 
Italy in a satis&ctory manner. He gradually MeÊameà his 
style, and adapted his otHnpositionA by new correctianB, te the 
general taste. His dramas were thus distributed into three 
classes, distinguished by the period of timr paUieatioBr M wefl 
as by the various alterations which they had undergone în. cas- 
sequenoe of the successive changes in tne avthor*s system» 

At the same time with the PhUip, whidi was published in 
178% appeared Potgnices^ AsUigone, which is a sequel to the ki- 
ter, and yirgmUu The three latter dramas» which dkpbiy k«ni- 
ties of the first order, have, iit common with the PMHp, a œitaân 
luirdness of style, and exhibit traces of tl» aothar's orignal 
acerbity, notwUhstandlDg all the pûns wfaîdi he took to eonscft 
ttat fault in the later editions. They resenble each attwr stffl 
more in the author's obstinate attachment to hiv syslon ; io die 
stifihess cf the action, in the bitterness cf the scathneuts,. and 
in the baldness both (^ the action and the poetry. J^tiielaalair 
these dramas the attachment of Alfieri to the lawaaf «uiy \am 
led him into a strange error. The murder of Virginia I^ Ym» 
îaSaN rouses the people, and at the same time earages Appin 
Claudius. The people erv to arms» and exdaini: ^ Appias \b a 
tyrmt— let him perish f * Alfieri, thmking that hia tnnedT, Mug 
entitled Virginia^ necessarily terminated with the oeatk e£ his 
heroiBe, lets the curtain drop upon the people aad. the lîctan in 
the midst of the conflict, so that the audience it igmnaat oC the 
result, and whether Appins or the peopfe trinnpk. To laave 
any action unflni^ed at the eonchision of a dnmo^ is ar grow 


violation of the unity ; for it induces erery one to believe that 
9u<di action was totally independent of the unity. The rigorous 
notions which compelled the author to let the curtain fall exactly 
ten lines after the death of Virginia, are still more out of place, 
when we consider that Appius is almost as important a person- 
am as she, and that his dsmger and destruction, by which Vir- 
gmia is avenged, and her death is justified, complete the essential 
action of the poem. 

Among the tragedies of Alfieri, of the second period, we shall 
select the Agamemnon^ in order io give some idea of a Greek 
drama of four characters, the interest oS which does not arise 
from politioed events. The scene, which is laid in the nalaoe of 
Aigos, opens with a very beautifol soliloquy of ^gisthus, who 
imagines himself pursued by the shade of Thyestes, demanding 
vengeance. This he promises. Bom in shame, the offspring 
of imantry and incest, ne believes himself called upon by destiny 
to commit the crime. Hour after hour, he awaits the return of 
the conqueror of Troy, and he promises the shade of his father 
to immolate him and his famdy. Glytemnestra seeks him, 
wishing to divert those painful thoughts which are so plainly de- 
picted on his countenance. JEsisthus only speaks to her of his 
approaching departure, and of the necessity of avoiding the 
si^t of the son of Atreus, the enemy of his race. He can bear 
«eitbor kU «ngar mir hie cotttempt; and to the one or tlie otiier 
W M iMfliUe diat be must he exposed. He thus wounds the 
piîde wÛcb Cljteiimefltra feels in the object of her love, and 
excites a»d direets ngpaiiist Agamemnon, the irritation cf his 
delirioas spouse. Clytemnestra at last beholds in Agamemnon 
only the murderer of Iphigeuia. Bite cidls to mind with bitter- 
ness that horrible sacrifice, and trembles at the name of such a 
father. AU her affections are concentrated in JEgisthus and her 
children, and she loves to Uiink that ^eisthus will be a more 
tender &ther than Agamemnon io Electra and to Orestes. 
Electra approaches, aiMl Clytemnestra, in order to speak with 
her, prevails upon JEgisthus to leave them. 
. Electra relates the various reports which have spread through 
Argos, respecting the Chrecian fleet. Some assert that contrary 
wiâs have driven it back to the mouth of the Bosphorus ; 
others, that it has been shipwrecked on the rocks ; while others 
again believe that they see the sails near the shores. Clytemnes- 
tra demands with sarcastic bitterness» whether the gods wish 
that another of her children should be sacrifioed for flie return 
of Agamemnon, even as one perished on his departure. The 
character of Electra is admirable throughout All her speeches 
are foil of tenderness, respect, and devotion to her &ther, and of 
affection and deep pity for her mother's aberration. She hints 
to her cautiously and sorrowfully, that she is aware of her 
fresh dislike to Agamemnon, and that the Court and the 
public, as well as herself, are acquainted with the cause of it 


Beloved mother^ 
What art thou doing 7 I do not belieye 
That a flagitious pasBioD fires thy breast. 
loToluntary fondness, sprung from pity, 
Which youth, especially when 'tis unhappy, 
Is apt to inspire, these, mother, are the baits 
By which, without thyself suspecting it, 
Thou hast been caught Thou hast not hitherto 
Each secret impulse rigorously examined : 
A bosom conscious of its rectitude. 
Hardly admits suspicion of itself; 
And here, perchance, there is no ground for it ; 
Perchance thy fame thou yet hast scarcely sullied. 
Much less thy Tirtue, and there still is time 
To make atonement with one easy step. — 
Ah 1 by the sacred shade, so dear to thee. 
Of thy def oted daughter ; by that love 
Which thou bast ever shown and felt for me— 
That love of which to-day 1 am not unworthy ;* 
How can I more persuasively abjure thee? 
By thy son's life, Orestes' life, I pray thee 
Pause on the brink of this tremendous gulf; 
Beloved mother, pause. Afar from Argos 
Banish ^iathus: Stop malignant tongues 
By thy deportment : with thy children weep 
The hardships of Atrides, and Anequent 
With them the sacred temples of the Gods 
To implore his swift return. — 

Clytemnestra is moved; she weeps, she accuses herself and 
she likewise accuses the blood of Leda which runs through her 
veins ; and the momentary flash of truth which passes across 
her mind, whilst it Ms to convince her, fills her with terror. 

* amata madre, 
Che fai 7 Non credo io, no, che ardente fiamma 
II cor ti awampi ; involontario affetto 
Mistu a pietà, che giovineiza inspira 
Quando infelice elP è, son questi gli ami, 
A cui, senxa avvedertene, sei presa. 
Di te, finer, chiesto non hai severa 
Ragione a tè ; di sua virtu non cade 
Sospetto in cor conscio a se stesso ; e forse 
Loco nun ha : forse ofiisndesti a pena 
Non il tuo onor, ma, del tuo onor la foma. 
E in tempo sei, ch' ogni tuo lieve cenno 
Sublime ammenda esser ne pud. Per l'ombra 
Sacra, a te cara, della uccisa figlia ; 
Per quelP amor che a me portasti, ond' io 
Oggi indegna non son ; che più? Ten priego 
Per la vita d'Oreste ; O madre, arretra, 
Arretra il pie dal preeipizio orrendo. 
Lunge dà noi codesto Egisto vada : 
Fà che di tè si Uccia : in un coo noi 
Piangi d'Atride i casi : ai templi vieni 
II suo riterno ad implorar dai numi. 


At the beginning of the second act ^gisthus and Cly temncs* 
tra dispute upon the steps most expedient to be taken. The 
ships of Agamemnon now enter the port He lands and ad- 
yanoes towards the palace, upon which ^gisthus proposes to 
make his escape ; but Clytemnestra, mad with lore, will listen 
io no advice, nor see any danger. If prudence bids her hasten 
the flight of her lover, it is her part, she says, to fly with him, 
like Helen. JEgisthus, who beseeches her to suffer him to depart, 
endeavours, by the apprehension of his absence, to add fuel to 
her love and jealousy. He, in fact, wishes to be prevented from 
g<nng, and Cljrtemnestra begs him to remain a single day, exact- 
ing an oath from him that ne will not quit the walls of Argos 
before the ensuing dawn. He consents, and Electra appearing, 
begs her mother to fly to the king. Clytemnestra, instead of an- 
swering her daughter, solemnly requests ^gisthus to repeat his 
oath ; and this appeal, which she again makes at the end of the 
scene, after Electra has manifested her aversion for ^gistlius, 
and the dread with which his stay inspires her, fully displays all 
Clytemnestra*s passion, and makes the spectators shudder. 
JEgisthus, being left alone, rejoices that his victims have at length 
Êdlen into his snares, and again promises the shade of Thyestes 
to avex^ upon A^^amemnon and his children the execrable re- 
past of Atreus. He at length retires on beholding the approach 
of Agamemnon, accompanied by Electra and Clytemnestra, and 
surrounded by the soldiers and the people. 

Alfieri has skilfully delineated m Agamemnon the tender 
feelings of a good king returning to his people, of a patriot 
restored to his country, and of a kind father again embracing 
his family : 

At last I see tbc wishcd-for waits of Argof : 
This ground which now 1 tread is the lored t^pot 
^here once I wandered with my inrant feèt. 
illi that I see around me are my iViends ; — 
My wife, my daughter, and my fakbftil people, 
And you, ye household gods, whom I at last 
Ketiirn to worship. — What hate Î to wish ? 
What does there now remain for me to hope ? 
How long and tedious do ten years appear 
Spent in a foreign country, far from all* 

* Rireggio al fin le sospirate mura 

D'Argo mia : quel ch'io premo, è i) auolo amato, 
Che nascendo calcai : quanti al mio fianco 
Veggo, amici mi son ; nglia, eonsorte, 
Popol mio fido, e Yoi, Penati Dei, 
Cui finalmente ad adorar pur torno. 
Che più bramar, che piu sperare omài 
Mi resta, o lice ? Oh come lunghi, e gravi 
Son due lustri Tissuti in strania terra 
Lupgi da quanto a' ama ! Oh qnanto è dolcc 
Vol. il. • 2 


Tkc beart holds dear ! With what profound delight, 

After the labours of a bloody war, 

Shall 1 repose ? Oh home, beloved asjlum, 

Where peace alone awaits us, with what jo j 

Thee I revisit ! But am I, alas I 

The only one tbat tastes of comfort here ? 

My wife, my daughter ! silently ye stand 

Fixing upon the ground unquietly 

Your conscious eyes ? O heaven, do ye not feel 

A joy that equals mine in being thus 

Restored to my embrace ? 

Clytemnestra is agitated, and Electra is in fear for her ; but 
her presence of mind is restored by the very sound of her own 
voice ; and as she proceeds her answers become more intelligi- 
ble. Agamemnon himself alludes to the misfortune which has< 
deprived him of his other daughter, and which he regards 
as a divine ordinance to which his paternal heart is yet unable 
io bow. 

Oft in my helmet bonnetted 1 wept 

In silence : but, except the father, none 

Were conscious of these tears.* 

He inquires for Orestes, and longs to embrace him. He asks 
whether he has yet entered upon the paths of virtue ; and whc- 
^ther, when he hears of glorious achievements, or beholds a bran- 
dished sword, his eyes do not sparkle with ardour. 

Agamemnon .and Electra appear at the commencement of the 
third act ; and the king inquires from his daughter what is the 
cause of the singular (mange which he has remarked in Clytem- 
nestra. He is less surprised at her first silence than at the stu- 
died and constrained manner in which she afterward addressed 
liim. Electra, compelled to give some reason for this change, 
attributes it to tlie sacrifice of Iphigenia, and thus gives Aga- 
memnon an opportunity of exculpating himself to the audience 
from all the odium which that sacrifice had cast upon him. He 
then asks how it happens that the son of Thyestes is in Argos. 

Ripatriar, dopo gli affanni tanti 
Di sanguinosa guerra 1 Oh vero porto 
Di tutta pace, esser tra suoi ! — Ma, il solo 
8on io, che goda qui 7 Consorte, figlia, 
Voi taciturne state, a terra incerto 
Fissando il guardo irrequieto ? Oh cieto ! 
Pari alia gioia mia non è la vostra, 
Nel ritornar fra le mie braccia ? 

* lospesso 
Chiuso nell' elmo, in silenzio piangera, 
Ma, noi sapca, che il padre. 


He is astonished at learning that fact for the first time on his ar« 
rival, and he perceives that every one mentions his name witJi 
repugnance. Etectra replies that iEgisthus is unfortunate, but 
that Agamemnon will judge better than she can whether he is 
worthy of pity. iEgisthus is afterward brouglit before him, and 
informs him that the hatred and jealousy of his brothers have 
driven him from his country. He represents himself as a pro- 
scribed suppliant ; he flatters Agamemnon to obtain his favour ; 
he is humble without debasing himself, and treacherous without 
creating disgust. Agamemnon reminds him of the family en- 
mities, which should have induced him to look for an asylum in 
any other place than in the palace of Atreus : 

Hitherto, iEgislbus, 
Thou wert, and still thou art, to mc unknoirn ; 
I neither bate nor love thee ; yet, though wiiiiog 
To lay aside hereditary di»cord, 
I cannot, without feelinc; in my, breast, 
I know not what of strange and perplea'd feeling, 
Behold the countenance, nor hear the Toice 
Of ono that is the offspring of Thy estes.* 

As lEgigihus, however, implores his protection, he promises 
to employ hit influence among the Greeks in his favour, but he 
commands him to leave Argos before the morrow. As iEgistfaus 
leaves the king, Clytemnestra enters. She is much agitated, 
and fears lest her hpsband has discovered her inconstancy. She 
rejects the consolatory attentions of her daughter, and the hope 
which she had endeavoured to excite in her breast, that it was 
still possible for her to return to the paths of duty. At length 
she retires to indulge her melancholy reflections in solitude. 

The fourth act opens with a conversation between Clytemnestra 
and ^gisthus. ^gisthUs takes leave of the queen, who aban- 
dons herself to the impetuosity of her passion. This scene, 
which leads to such fatal consequences, is managed with infi« 
nite art. ^gisthus, while he appears submissive, tender, and 
despairing, aims only at instilling poison into the heart of his 
victim. She despises infamy and danger. She wishes to follow 
him, to fly with him. He, however, shows her the folly of her 
projects, and the impossibility of executing any of them. He 
represents himself as surrounded with dangers, and her as lost ; 
and for a long time he refuses to mention any means of avoiding 

* EgistOi a me tu fostt 
E sei finora ignoto, per te stcsso : 
lo non t' odio, ne t' amo ; eppiir, bench' io 
Voglia in disparte por gU odi nefandi, 
Senza provar non so qual moto in petto, 
No, mirar non po^s^io, nc udir la vocf*, 
l.a vocp pnr, del f;çlio ili Tie«te. 


tlic evil. At last he tells her that one resource remains, though 
an unworthy one. 

Mats, Another stepi perhapt, e'en now remains, 

But tinbecoming — 
Clt. ' And it is ? — 

Agis. Too cruel. 

Clt. But certain — 

^Gts. Certain ! ah, too much so I 

Clt. How 

Canst then then bide it from me ? 
£Gia. How canit thou 

Of me demand it?* 

Clytemnestra still hesitates ; she wavers ; she considers all 
the pretended causes of hatred towards Agamemnon ; all her 
own and her lover's dangers ; and she then asks what other step 
she can take ; to which £gisthus answers — None. But as he 
utters this word, the dark glaring of his eyes at once informs the 
queen that he thirsts for the blood of Agamemnon. Clytemnes- 
tra tremblingly strengthens herself to commit the crime, and 
iEgisthus chooses that moment to tell her that the king has 
brought Cassandra with him, that she is his mistress, and that 
he intends speedily to sacrifice his wife to her. The approach 
of Electra compels the guilty pair to separate. She perceives 
with terror the agitation of her mother, and forebodes the crimes 
of ^gisthtts. She beseeches the king to dismiss him immediate- 
ly. Agamemnon attributes her terror to thé hereditary enmity 
between the blood of Atreus and of Thyestes, and feels that he 
would be wanting in hospitality, if he should hasten the banish- 
ment of an unfortunate stranger. He then consults Clytemnes- 
tra, who, at the very name of £gisthus, betrays the most extreme 
emotion. Demanding the cause of her disturbance, he laments 
with her the death of Iphigenia, and attempts, but in vain, to 
dissipate her suspicions respecting Cassandra. 

At the commencement of the fifth act Clytemnestra appears 
alone with a poniard in her hand. She has bound herselfby an 
oath to shed the blood of her husband, and she prepares to per- 
petrate the crime ; but, in the absence of .Sgisthus, remorse 
attacks her. She is shocked at the enterprise, and casts away 
the dagger ; when JSgisthus again making his appearance, re- 

* £gi8t. • . Attro partito, forse,' or ne rimooe .... 

Clit. Edè? 

Kg IS T. Crudo. 

Clit. Ma certo. 

EuisT. Ah! certo. 

Pur troppo !.. 
Ci IT. E a me tu il celi ? 

E(ris T E a me tu il chiedi. 


kindles her fury. He informs her that Agamemnon is acquainted 
with their love, and that on the morrow they mast appear before 
that stem judge, when death and infamy will be their portion 
if Atrides is suffered to lire. Persuading her to persevere, he 
arms her with a more deadly dagger ; with that which sacrificed 
the sons of Thyestes. He hurries her into the apartment of her 
husband, and invokes the shade of Thyestes to enjoy the infernal 
revenge which is to be accomplished by the wife of the son of 
Atreus. Daring this terrible invocation the cries of Agamem- 
non are heard, who recognises his wife as he dies. Of Clytem- 
nestra, who returns to the stage distracted, ^gisthus takes no 
notice, whilst the palace resounds with terrific cries. JEgisthus 
perceives that the time is now come when it is necessary to show 
himself in his true colours, and to gather the fruit of his protracted 
hypocrisy. He determines to murder Orestes and to mount the 
throne of Atreus. Electra, rushing in, accuses iBgisthus of the 
crime ; but seeing her mother armed wiA a bloody poniard, she 
recognises with horror the true assassin. She seizes the dagger, 
in order to preserve it for Orestes, whom she has placed in a safe 
retreat. The horrid truth now flashes upon Clytemnestra*8 
mind ; she sees that ^gisthus has been gratifying bis hatred and 
not his love, and she mes after him to preserve the life of her 

^amemnon was published by Alfieri at the end of the year 
1783, with five other tragedies, Oresteâ^ Rotnwnda, Octcma, Ti- 
moUonf and Meivpe. The Orestes is a continuation of Jigamem" 
no», with an interval of ten years, and the drama opens on the 
anniversary of the murder of the king. The action from the 
commencement of the piece is more violent ; the hate nourished 
hy the virtuous characters is more atrocious ; and Alfieri thought 
that he liad adopted a subject more conformable to his talents. 
The result, however, was in contradiction to that idea. In or- 
der to afiect the feelings, it was quite necessary for him to mingle 
at least some portion of tenderness with the natural acerbity of 
his genius ; but, by a total abandonment of it, he fatigues the 
spectators with a reptesentation of uninterrupted rage. Elec- 
tra, ^gisthus, Clytemnestra, and Orestes, seem to be always 
prepared to tear one another to pieces. The fury of the latter 
is so unceasing and approaches so nearly to madness, that we 
can easily comprehend how it was possible for him in the last 
act to mnrder his mother without knowing her. This fury is too 
monotonous to excite any interest. Rosmunda, a Queen of the 
Lombards, who put her husband, Alboino, to death, in order to 
revenge the munler of her father Cunimond, has furnished Al- 
fieri with the subject of another of his tragedies. This drama, 
which vras in the highest ûivour with the author, has enjoyed 
very tittle auccess with the public. The two female characters, 
Rosmunda, and Romilda, the daughter of Alboino by a former 
wife, both of them driven on by the most furious spirit of re- 


Tenge, are engaged from the opening of the drama in a war of 
hatred and outrage, which disgusts the spectator. All the cha- 
racters share in this tedious combat. Almachilda and Ild^^Taldo 
emulously vituperate each other and Rosmunda, who, in her 
turn, attacks them and Romilda. Nature, the true gradation of 
the passions, and theatrical effect, are alike sacrificed to this uni- 
versal fury. The subject of the drama is not Rosmund's first 
crime, but is entirely the author s own invention, in which he 
has been by no means happy ; for the plot is not natural, and 
the developement resembles that of a romance. The two trage- 
dies of Octavia and Timoleon' both appear to me to be open to 
the objection of exaggeration. In the first, the vices of the cha- 
racters, and in the second, their virtues, are on too gigantic a 
scale. Neither the madness of Nero, nor the fratricide of Timo- 
leon, although it restored liberty to Corinth, is, in my opinion, a 
fit subject for the drama. Merope is the last piece of the second 
class, and, perhaps, th Aest It is at once interesting and cor- 
rect in feeling. It is remarkable as being a completely new con- 
ception, notwithstanding the Merope of Maffei and of Voltaire. 
The coincidence in the subject may render an analysis of it un- 
interesting, and they who wish to compare the three dramas 
should read them entire. 

Among the tragedies which made their first appearance in the 
third edition, I shall select Scud as affording the best extracts. 
This play, which was a favourite with the author, has likewise 
maintained its place upon the stage. The naked and austere 
style of Alfieri suited well with the patriarchal times which are 
there represented. We do not require the first king of Israel to 
be surrounded by a numerous court, or to act solely by the in- 
tervention of his ministers. We cannot forget that he was a 
shepherd-king. On the other hand, in this drama, Alfieri occa- 
sionally indulges in an oriental richness of expression, and in- 
deed it is the first of his tragedies in which the language is ha- 
bitually poetical. 

At the first dawn of day, David, clothed in the habit of a com- 
mon soldier, appears alone at Gilboa, between the camp of the 
Hebrews and that of the Philistines. It is God who has led him 
thither ; God, who has protected him from the pursuit and the 
frenzy of Saul ; God, who has conducted him to his camp, in or- 
der to give firesh proofs of his obedience and his valour. Jona- 
than, coming forth from the tents of the king to pray, finds his 
friend, and recognises him by his hardihood. He tells him how 
his father Saul is tormented by an evil spirit, and how Abner, his 
lieutenant, takes advantage of this circumstance to sacrifice all 
whose merit has given him ofifence. He then informs him that 
Michal, the sister of Jonathan and the wife of David, is in the 
camp with Saul, her father, whom she is comforting and consoling 
in his a£Sictions, and from whom she has begged, in return, that he 
will restore David to her. He addresses David with a mixture 


of respect and love : regarding him both as the friend of his heart 
and as the messenger and favourite of God. The tender, faith- 
ful, aiuJ constant nature of David, is painted in the finest man- 
ner. The Lord triumphs over all his affections ; but his enthu- 
siasm, however exalted, does not distinguish the natural senti- 
ments of his heart. Jonathan informs him that Michal will soon 
leave the tents, and join him in his morning prayers ; and, as 
she approaches, he persuades David to conceal hinself, in order 
that he may guard her against the surprise. Michal is a tender and 
sofifering woman ; she has no other thoughts but of David ; all hef 
fears and all her desires centre in him. As soon as Jonathan h^ 
prepared her to expect the return of her husband, David throws 
himself into her arms. They are all of opinion that David ought 
to present himself before Saul, previous to the battle which the 
latter is about to fight with the Philistines ; and that Michal and 
Jonathan shall prepare the way for his reception, while David 
himself awaits âieir instructions in a neighbouring cavern. 

The second act opens with a scene between Saul and Abner. 
■Saul is lamenting over his old age, the succour of the Almighty 
withheld fiK)mhim, and the power of his enemies, with which he 
is deeply afifected. His langnage is that of a noble but dejected 
soul. Abner attributes all the misfortunes of the king to David : 

♦ Thou 'rt deceired — 
All my calamities may be referred 
To a more terrible cause. — And what 7 wouldst thou 
Conceal from me the horror of my state ? 
Ah ! were I not a father as I am, 
Alas ! too certainly of much lored children. 
Would I now wish life, victory, or the throne 7 
i should already, and a long time since, 
Headlong have cast myself *mid hostile swords : 
I should already, thus at least, at once 
Have closed the horrible life that I drag on. 
How many years have now pass'd since a smile 
Was seen to play upon my lips ? My children, 
Whom still I love so much, lî they caress me, 
For the most part inflame my heart to rage : 

^ Ah ! no ; dériva ogni sventura mia 
Da piu terribil fonte !— £ che 7 Celarmi 
L'orror vorresti del mio stato 7 Ah, s'io 
Padre non fossi, come il son, pur troppo ! 
Di cari figli — or la vittoria e il regno, 
£ la vita vorrei ? Precipitoso 
Già mi sarei fra grinimici ferri 
Scagliato io, da gran tempo ; avrei gia tronca 
Cosi la vita orribile eh' io vivo. 
Quanti anni or son, che sul mio labro il viso 
Non fu Tisto spuntare 7 I figli miei 
Ch'amo pur tanto, le pià volte all' ira 
Mttovonmi il cor, se mi accarexzan — Fero, 
Impaziente, torfoido, adirato 
Sempre ; a me stesso Incresco ognora e altriii ; 


Impatient, fierce, incenced, and turbulent, 

I am a burtbcn to myself and others* 

In peace I wish for war, in war for peace : 

Poison coneeaPd I drink in erery eup — 

In every friend I see an enemy : 

The softest carpets of Assyria seem 

Planted with thorns to my uosolaced limbs : 

My transient sleep is agonized with fear — 

EiuHi dream, with imaged terrors that distract me. 

Why should I add to this darlc catalogue — 

Who would belioTe it ? — The sonorous trumpet 

Speaks to my ears in an appalling Toice, 
• And fills the heart of Saul with deep dismay. 

Thou seest clearly that Saul's tottering houso 

Is desolate, bereft of all its splendour ; 

Thou seest that God hath cast me off for erer. 

The character of Saul througbout the whole drama is consist- 
ent with the representation of it in this scene. He impetnously 
abandons himself to the most contrary passions, and the latest 
word which he bears awakens a new storm in his soul. He ea- 
sily believes his glory tarnished and his power departing ; he 
menaces ; he punishes ; and his own fury appears to him afresh 
instance of that Divine vengeance under which he is perishing. 
Aimer attributes his violence and bis aberration of mind to the su- 
perstitious terrors which Samuel and the prophets of Rama have 
excited, and which the enthusiasm of David has nourished. Jo 
nathan and Michal, who enter at this moment, entreat him, on 
the contrary, to believe that his jpower and glory are connected 
with the return of David, whom they announce as the messenger 
of Grod, and the pledge of Divine protection. When the mind 
of Saul is thus warmâ, David enters and throws himself at his 
feet He calms by his submissive deportment the first burst of 
anger which his appearance has excited ; he repels the accusa- 
tions of Abner, and proves that, bi from laying^ snares for the 
kine, he had his life in his power in the cave of £n-jedi, where, 
whue Saul was sleeping, he cut off a portion of his garment, 
which he now presents to him. Saul is convinced ; he calls Da- 
vid his son, and commends him to the love of Michal as a re- 
compense for his sufferings. He then commits to him the com- 
mand of the army, and begs him to arrange the order of the ap- 
proaching battle. 

Bramo in pace far guerra, in guerra pace ; 
Entro ogni nappo ascoso tosco io hero ; 
Scorgo un nemwo in ogni amfico ; i molli 
Tappeti Assiri, ispidi dnml al fianco 
MisonO} angosem il brofo sonno ; iaogni 
Terror. Che più ? Chi V crederia ? Spavento 
M* è la tromba di guerra ; alto spaTonto 
£ la tromba a Saul 1 Tedi se è Iktta 
Vedova omai di suo splendor la easa 
Di Saul ; Tedi, ee omai Dio sta meeo. 

^f Tâfi itiLffÂHS. t7 

'^ At the ctaimëiic^kietit of the fliird act, Abncr gîtes an ac- 
toihat to David of the order of battle wWcb he had proposed 
when he conceiTed himself to he sole general. He unugles 
tome bitter irony with his report, which David treats with noble 
coldness. The latter approves of the military dispositions, and 
confides the execution of them to Abner, mingling praises of his 
valour with the counsels which he gives him. Swircely has Ab- 
ner 4epartÊd; when Michal appears, to inform her husband that 
the general, having seen Saul, has awakened with a single word 
all his former fury, ^e fears that David will again be forced to 
ily, and she swears to accompany him in his exile. Saul now 
appears with Jonathan, and displays symptoms of strong insanity: 

Wko, who «re ye 7 Who speaiks of pure air here ? 
This ? Ijji a thick impenetrable gloom» 
A land of darkness, and the shades of death. 
Ah, see ! more nearly it approaches me — 
A fatal wreath of blood sarroonds the sun — 
Heard'st thou the death-notes of ill-omeii'd hirds? 
With loud lamc|iia the Vocal air resounds 
That smite my ears, compelling me to weep ; 
But what, do ye weep also !♦ 

He then asks for David, and reproaches him in turns for his 
pride (for deep jealousy is the true madness of Saul,) and for the 
enthusiastic toi^e in which he speaks of €rod ; since the Divinity 
is his enemy, and his praises are insults to Saul. He is asto- 
nished at beholding the sword which David had taken from Goli- 
ah, and which had been afterward dedicated to God in the taber- 
nacle of Nob, and he becomes furious when he learns that 
Abimelech has restored this sword to David. But even this fury 
exhausts itself. He relents ; he melts into tears ; and Jonathan 
invites David to seize upon this moment to calm the frenzy of 
the king by his songs and his harp. David sings or recites 
some lyrical effusions, of which he changes the metre according 
to the subject, to suit the temper of Saul's mind. He first implores 
the protection of Crod ; then he sings of martial glory in the 
stanza of the canzoni ; but upon Saul exclaiming that âiese are 
the songs of his youth, and that henceforward relaxation, obli- 
vion, and peace must be the portion of his old age, David sings 
the hymn of peace in harmonious and tender strains. Saul is 

* Chi scte vol ? — Chi d*' aura aperta e pura. 
Qui favella 7 — Qaesta 7 ê caligiri densa, 
Tenebre sono ; ombra di morte~^h mira ; 
Più fni t' accosta ; il vedi ? Il sol d'intomo 
Cinto ha dl sangue ghirlanda funes|a — 

OdltucantodlsinfstriaugelH? . ' ' ' 

liOgàfaiieunpiaAtosall'aereéispftiidè, > • -' 

> Che me ptreoolc^ vo a lii|rifw wà t£on%^ ' .' " 

. Ma^e? Vo^pii^Toipvrpîuge^?-^ < ..,. 

Vol. II. 3 



aagry with -himself that he oan be moved bv such effimioate 
compositions, and David again commences his war-song. Ia 
animated dithyrambic verse he paints the glory of Saul in his 
battles, and represents himself as marching in his footstqis» 
This allnsicm to another warrior exasperates Saul ; in his mry 
he attempts to transfix the minstrel who has dared to introduce 
the mention of another^s exploits, and David escapes with diffi- 
culty, while Jonathan and Michal restrain the ai^^er of the king. 
At the commencement of the fourth act, Midial inquires &rom 
Jonathan, whether David may yet retuni to her father*» teil; 
but she is told liiat although the frenzy of the kins has passed 
away, his anger still remains. Saul then enters* and orders Mi- 
chal to go in search of David. Abner accuses the latter, the 
general of the king's choice, with being absent in the hour* of 
battle, and brings Abimelech, the high priest, whom he had dis- 
covered in the camp, before the monarch. At the sight ci him. 
all Saul's fury against the Lévites is again awakened, and on 
learning his name, he charges him with having dared to grant 
protection to David, and with having restored to him the sword 
of Goliah. Abimelech answers him with all the haughtiness of 
an enthusiast ; menaces him with the vengeance of God, which 
is suspended above his head ; and irritates, instead of intimidating 
him. Saul recalls the cruelty of the priests, and the death of the 
king of the Amalekites, who, after having been made prisoner» 
was put to death by Samuel ; and he gives back menace for 
menace. He orders Abimdeeh to be led to death, and commanda 
a detachment of his troops to proceed tb Nob, to destroy the 
race of priests and prophets, to burn their abodes, and to put to 
the sword their mothers, their wives, and their children, their 
^ves, and their flocks. He changes the whde order of battle» 
which had been determined upon in concert with David, and he 
resolves to commence, the engagement on the ensuing dawn* 
Ho repulses Jonathan, who entreats him not to incur the sin of 
this sacrilegious act ; he repulses Michal, who returns without 
David ; and Jie declares that if David is seen in the battle, all 
the swords of Israel shall be turned against him. Sbiunning 
every one, he exclaims» 

I to BBjself am Uft — piy^lf alon», 
Unhappj king ! myself alone 1 dread not. 

The fifth act commences with Michal leading David from his 
retreat She informs him that dangers are closing round him, 
and entreats him to fly and bear 1^ along with him. David 
wishes to remain to fight with his countrj'men, and to perish in 
battle ; but as soon as he 'hears that the blood of the priests has 
been shed, that the camp ia polluted* and the ground stained 
with it, he acknowledses that he ckd never combat in Ihis place, 
and resolves to fly. He i», however, uA*i«^iliing to '^arry away 

or THB ITALIAK8. 19 

wMe him a daughter who ii her fiiliier't Bole oonsoiation, or to 
impede hia Aourie through the deserts, as he necessaiîly must IS 
•he aooompaaies him. He therefore supplicates and oammiuids 
her to remain. Their separation is tender and tow^ing, and 
Darid takes his lonely way tiirough the craggy passes of the 
jmountaiBs. Searoely has he departed, when Michal hears the 
flonnds of oonffiot at the extremity of the camp, and groims pro- 
ceeding from the tent of her father. Saul is again furious ; the 
ooess of his delirium is redoubled by the remorse which op- 
^nesses him. He sees the shade of Samud menacing him, of 
Ahtmelech, and of the rictims slain at Nob. . His way is on 
every side obstraoted by the bodies of the dead and by carnage. 
He ofiers up his supplications and entreats that at least the anger 
of God isay pass away from the heads of his children. His 
delirium is truly sublime, and the apparitions which torment him 
fill the imagination of the spectator. Suddenly the shadows 
diaappear ; he only hears Une cry at battle whidi approaches 
neareit and neai^. He had resolved to engage the ensuing 
morning; but it is yet night, and the Philistines are witinn his 
«amp. Abnér arrives wil^ a handful of soldiers, and wishes to 
«any the king to ttio mountains to a place of safety. The Phi- 
listines surprise the Israelites, and Jonathan perishes with aH his 
hrothera. The army is oomj^etely routed, and only a few mo- 
asentt* space remains for flight Of this, Saul obstinately refuses 
totakeadyantage; he orders Abnerto bear Midial to a place of 
safely, and forces her to leave him, and he then remains akmè on 
the stage: 


Oh mj cUUiea, 
I wu a &ther— Sm thyielf àtont, 
O King I Of tbj to many friends and senrants. 
Not one remaint. — Inexorable God! 
le Uiy retrflmtorj wntti appeased 1 
Bot Ibott renain'et to me, O eword ! Nair eOBM, 
Mj faithful lerraat ia esttemity. 
Hark I hark! the bowlings of the insolent Tictors ! 
The lightning of their burning torches glares 
Before my eyes already, and I see 
Their swords by thousands. Impiooe PUUstiae! 
Thou Shalt find me, but like a king, hevei dead.* 

* Oh figU niei 1— Fui padre!— 
Becoti solo, O rè ; non un U resta 
Dei tanti aasici, o seni tuol.— 8ei paga, 
D» inesoiahii Dio tenribil iiat-- 
Ma to ml neti, O braado, aU'oltiia' aspo. 
Fido ministro, or irienL— Eeco». ^gli arit 
0011' insolente fincitor : sul dglio 
Gîà lor fiaeeole ardent! baleoarmi 
Veggo, e I» spade a aiille.-«Biaplo flKate, 
lie troferaiyina aliaen da ffe, ^ul— moiie. 


As hù speaks tkeee words he fells, transfixed bj his ownsword. 
:The victorious Philistiiieii surrouBd faimiit « crowd, i^itik blaztiiff 
torches and bloody swords. White they Are mdung with loud 
ci'ies upon Saul, the curtain falls. 

This tragedy is essentially different from the other dramas of 
Alûerl. It is conceived in the spirit of Shakspeare, and not of the 
' French drama. It is not a conflict between passion and duty, 
wl^ich furnishes the plot of this tragedy. We here find a repr^ 
sentation.of a noble character, suffering under those weaknesae» 
which sometimes accompany the greatest virtues, and governed 
by the fatality not of destiny» but of human nature. Th^re is 
scarcely any action in this. piece. Saul perishes, the victim, not 
of his passions, not of. his crimes, but of his remorse, augmented 
by the terror which a gloomy imagination has cast over his soiri. 
IIi^ i3 the first heroic madman, who, if my memory be correct, has 
been introduced into the dassical drama ; while in the romantie 
theatre,. Shakspeare and his followers have delineated with ter- 
rible truth this moral death, more shocking than oar natural dis- 
solution; this melanehtdy catastrophe in the drama of real itfe, 
whicl^ tliough ennobled by the rank of its victim, is yet notom- 
fined toi any one class» and, thoi^h exhibited to owr eyes in the 
persoi) of a king, menaces us all alike. 

,. At the same time with ScuU, appeared the eight last tragedies 
of Alfierl In Mary StunH, the scene is laid, not at the melaii^ 
choly termination of b^ long captivity, but at the period when 
«he entered into the consipir^y with Bothwell aeauist her hus- 
band, and tarnished her fame with the blood of me unfortunate 
Daruley. The conspiracy of the Pazzi in 1478, to restore liberty to 
Florence, is the subject of the secmid of these tragedies. The 
catastrophe is striking, and the situation of Bianca, the sister of 
the Medici and the wife of one of the Pazzi, distracted between 
her affection for her brothers and her husband, forms the chief 
interest of the dmrna.- Don Gardais a second tragedy drawn 
from the history of the Medici, after that ambitious family had 
gained possession of the sovereign power. Don Garcia, one of 
the sons of Cosmo I. was the instrument of the terrible ven- 
geance of his father..;* by whose order he slew, with his own 
hand and in the obscurity of night his bt-otfaer whom he did not 
know, and was himself, in his turn, put to death by the tyrant 
The fourth tragedy is Agis, king of Sparta, whom the £phori 
put to death for attempting to augment the privileges of the peo- 
ple, and to place bounds to the power of. the aristocracy. The 
plot of Sophonisba is the story of the mistress of Massinissa, 
who killed herself to avoid being led to Rome in triumph. The 
next tragedy is the Elder Bruins, who judged his own sons. The 
next Myrrha, who died the victim of her sinful passions. The 
last of these dramas is founded on the story of the younger J^- 
<i», the assassin of Csesar. Among these latter tragedies we 
shall find Mary Stuart the conspiracy of the Pazzi, and the two 

Bi^tases lam ■ irbhrfcy of cJur - ^ttiây^ftnd attention. Wc have 
alre&d]f> ««pend«d 90 imi«l^''tiliiè4n the tiieatrè of Alfieri, tikat 
we cannot afford to give any more^ analyses ; but we must not 
quit so celebrated an author without saying a few words upon 
his other works. 

Previously to so doing, however, we shall, in order to termi- 
nate our history of the Italian Theatre, give some account of 
those tr^edians who, suooefidii\g Alfieri ^k that great man for 
their model, and who shaœ at this moment the halian stage in 
common with him. The first of these is Vincenzio Montî of 
Ferrara, of whom we shall again spe^ in the pext chapter, when 
we come to mention his .epic fiompoi^itioofiu .Hïb àârUtodemo is 
one of the most affeotinc of ail the Italian tn^ies. This 
Messenian, who, to gain fiie suffirâges of hisffellpw^iitixens, and 
to attain the r^al power, Idas voluntarily' oîéted 'j^ bis daughter 
as a sacrifice to the Gods, appears upon tb» stagey fifteen years 
after the commission of tUi^ crime, devoured with remorse «t kW- 
ving outraged nature to serve his anibitioii.' \ The Union of this 
remorse with the heroism' which he dlspla>y3v'i|i hi^ puUic capa- 
city, and with his affectiou tuwards anodier daughter, «who has 
been long lost to him, and whom he believes to biK a Spartan 
captive, affords ample opportuuity fdr une, %Hn^, and for pro- 
ducing strong emotion ; but ^n truth, there là^yery little action 
in the drama, whicE is filled with negotiations- with the envoy of 
Sparta, entirely foreign to the pâmons of the hereof the piece ; 
and when at the conclusion, he kills himdell^ hlâ death is caused 
rather by his fifteen yeaxç of remorse, . than by any thing which 
passes in the five acts of the tragedy. Yet we* reoo^ipiise the 
school of Alfieri in theloftiness of the charactet^ in the energy 
of the sentiments, in the simplicity of the action so devoid of in- 
cident, in the absence of all foreign pomp, ^d in the intoi^ 
sustained without the assistance of love. We likewise remark 
the peculiar talent of Monti, in which he' ex()elled Alfieri ; his 
harmony, his elegance, and his poetical language, which, while 
they charm our minds, never fail to delight our ear. . 

Monti has written another tragedy, enUtled QaUotto Manfrtdi; 
the subject of which is drawn from the Italian chronicles of the 
fifteenth century ; a period so fertile in tyrants and in cringes. 
This Prince of Faenza, the victim of his wife's jealousy, was 
assassinated by her order and nnder her own eyes. In > this dra- 
ma, likewise, Monti approachcf^ Alfieri in the nakedness of the 
action, in the energy of the characters, and in the eloquence of 
the sentiments. He has adhered but too closely to his model in 
his neglect of all local colouring. This national tragedy would 
possess many more charms, did it but present a lively picture tp 
the spectators of the Italians of the middle age.* 

* As a specimen of the talents, of Monti| I bave Mleoted tbe seene in which 
Zambrino eicites Matilda to assassinate her husband. The situation resembles 
that of ^gisihus and Clytemnestra, in tbe drama of Alfieri. 


.Qome less eelebraM aathim alio haro p0^ 
wd tbe modek w)ii<ck. Aifien bequeatked to them. Among Uieie 

Matilo. Ifeco ti fieta 

Ogi\i colloquiqi il crudo, {Manjreii) e. «0 bCA i» 
Perché lu vietaj accu^aior ti leine 
Be' tradtmenti «uoi, I* infâme tresca 
• T«aen»i uoculu ^r tal uodo, «i penMu 
9mi lio #oiaff«ti4o. 

Zavb. Io taccio. 

Matilo. Ho d' uopo io forae 

Che tu mef «oti 7 Si ; me kola inu nde 
II tiranno altraggiar , quaedo mi prita 
ÏMV wmeo i«a«l| eke radduleiriiii 
Soi«a'l0 piBiit, ed atciugarmi U pian to : . . 
Ma oe sparsi abbasiauza ; or d ira, in teno 
II eor caogiommi ; ed ei ton gli occhi ha rottt 

4C410. \ Ah ! Principalia. U cMo 

M'd testinpQ, che mi agomenta solo 
Pe* tuoi maJi il pensiero ; iu me li sfoghi 
Come pie ruol ASanfredi, e mi panisca 
Vf aver atelato alia Uadita màglio 
La iHpovfk infiaiioltà ; aoipao doUUO 
Che aQmofo.traMitor mai non perdona* 
Pi tè dttolmi Inftitlcc. Alia ttia mente, 
TuBesto e truce*, un avvenir «*affaceia 
Che fa '«EMDarBi it eaor aul tuo deaUaob 
T« del iMHitortei tu par oeiapra, dotma, 
Hai perduto l'amor. 

Matild. Ma non perduta ' 

La mit ^n^tta ; ed io fttrrè ; pagaiH 
DoTMbi « .prezzo d'anima e di taiigue ; 
81y coiup^%IVr6. 

Zamb. Ma d' un ripudio 

Megfio non fora tollerar Taffronto ? 

Matild. Di ripudio che porii 7 

Zémm, E chi potria 

CoApartone? Non vedi? Bi por BUsa 
D'amor délira. Posaederla in mogUei 
Abbl sicuro che ti pensa, e due 
Gapinie il letto marit<il non poote. 
A scaceiÉme te pofci« \ îk tuo diipetto 
Ifia di meisi abbondante, e 4i pretvati. 
L'odio d' entrambi, Tinfecondo uodo, 
D'un successor nécessita, gran possa 
Di forti amicij e basterà per tutti 
Di Valentino l'amistà. Pi Room 
L'oracolo fta poi mite « cortese, 
Iiitercessore Valentino. £ certo 
II trionfo d'EIisa. 


Anzi, la morte. 
Vies meeo. 


£ dove 7 


A trucidarla. 



Che Manfiradi è coo lei 7 L'ho Tiato io 


Fnrtinro entrarri col fkTor delP ombn, 

B^aerrar P uido aospettos o o eheto. 


iwMty ««Util» AtoinwMhn B^iditf BolqgM* «ii eutbomaatid 
lofer of the dnam. i«fao atten^fted, «nd BonctUBMs impr«deiitt]r» 
(omdBBOW.disooitttiiiiahii^ri Hedkd young m the year 
17B6. lie has imiMed Alfieri iiot in tbe oenatmctk» ei iiig 
plot bot in ids ekxiiienoe» hi0 precteioi^ and Im Iwanic dialogue! ^^ 
But tbe WMt ùàtb&A of ati tbe iuitatora cf Alûeri b Giovaimi 
Batdsta NieooliBi a Florentine by birth, who ia vtrj reeentiy 

ATTielnai Pweediio, • tatlo fBtvnio 

Iùol tiiensio, a BuJIa iateti, e oula 

XM più $0 4M, 
MinLP. Ahtaei! Qfniparola 

Mi dri2za i crini, tâMt dicestl, basCa 

Bafta cMi, aoa proMgcilr. .L'haï HêH» 

Tu f teaaa, noa è vtr? P«ku 
Sajhb. TaeehaCa : 

Oht facilita r aveMft I 
Matuo. Ebbeis tS prey^, 

Tiriamo an f«la^ ob Dio! Bpateaca» O tena, 

La ToragÎBi loa : qaast' eaiipi iagblotd 

Nel ealor daila colpa, a quaste mora 

£ V inUra citià ; torga una fiamina 

Che B dJTori, a me con e»«i, e qjuantl 

VIsoa rihaMj, cha laftde oiar» 

Dal tahuBO toadir. 
Zamm» (Pnogi, proacgai 

Damone tutelar, col mala tqtta 

E testa e cQor. di rabbia e ai Tcleno» 

£ d'aoa anidtnà Uuiwla, pwa» 

Sanaa nittura di pietà.) 
Uatild» Spergiuro I 

Bafbaro ! fioalmanta io ti ringrazio 

I>ena tua reicà. Coti mi ipogli 

Di iiualMqua viaior*o. E tu dal fodfo 

Eeei, farro di mona: a queaia panta 

La mia Yeadetta laccommaado ; it tuo 

Snuda, Zambrino. 
Zaum. T\>bbedifcd. 

MATiLBk AndSiuiai 

* The following lines, froia the eomiaaneaaieolof hii Evtrvee, aieandaatljr 
ia the maaner of Alfieri i — 

Adalulvo. Paria, mio rè, ehe Tuoi ? 

AEiavjbUM. Coolbttaii 

Aaau EaawloehiBdi? 

Aawf • K tn omI dai^ 

Se a me ta Io rapiitL 
Ad aIm Accoei foraa . • ? 

AaioT. No, bramo, ifègOi a io un coougHo* 

Adal. Intendo* 

Vuoi pariai di Rotriide ; a lei lol pan«i, 
E non Ti?i che a lei. 
Aaiov. Perdona, amieo, 

AUa.BÛa dabolena ; io la comprendo, 
E quasi la detesto. JiUoI^ S^ ,1. 

^ ù» TKi jaawmkrfOML 

kumm in Jtalf .Mi?tlie ailthdr> «/U^d^ifcdy'ènt^ iPoly watf. 
Fromthe woniHNit materials of tiie aiieieiit.iiifdioib^t'aiul the 
trite inoideut of a hisman 'sacriftoe, lie< kas< fanned aMi»st beau*^ 
tilul tragedj, in wiitch love is the ooMpiCuous pàssIdD. PO' 
lyxena, tne daughter of Priam, was, aooording' totke tsaditloii the 
betiK)thed bride of Achilles at the period o£ ids death, and «ras 
the yictim imiKM^ated by Pyrrhas on the tomb of. His father^ 
after the capture of Troy. Niccolini, however, supposes that 
Polyxena. in the division of the captives, falls to the lot of Pyr- 
rhus, as Cassandra to Agamemnon ; that she is bi^ved by him, 
and loves him in her turn ; but that the Gods have forbidden the 
return of the Greeks to their own country, until one of the 
daughters of Priam has been sacrificed by the hand of him who 
is dearest to her, to appease the shade of Achilles. The power 
of his fanatical feelings, which are well described throughout 
the whole drama, excites, in the breast of Pyrrhus, the most 
violent contest between filial piety and love. Polyxena at last 
dies by his hand, precipitating herself upon the sword with 
which he was about to strike Cak^has. We find in this iove-plot, 
and in the sacrifice, some traces of the French school and the 
drama of Metastasio ; but the purity of the conception, the sim- 
plicity of the action, the grandeur of the charactersr which are 
all of the first cast, without confidants or idle attendants, and the 
power and elevation of the language, springing from the energy 
of the sentiments, and expressed with precision, are all of them 
worthy of a scholar of Alfieri. The merits to which this trage- 
dian may lay an exclusive claim, are tlie lively representation of 
the time and scene of the drama, the locality of the poetry, if I 
may so express myself, and the many allusions which it contains 
to Grecian manners and history. Niocolini, fresh from the pe- 
rusal of Homer and of Virgil; has preserved more <^ the cus- 
toms and opinions of the Greeks, than may perhaps be allowable 
in the modem drama. He calls up to our imagination and im- 
presses into his service all the poetical traditions which we find 
in the classics, while he enriches his poem with all the antique 
magnificence of the ruins of Troy ; for it is within the yet 
smoking walls of that city that the scene of his tragedy is laid.^ 

* I shall give a feir extracts from this tragedy, which was re|»Mefttid in 
1811, aiKJ which raised such brilliant ezpectatidns of the young author, whoM 
first attempt it was. Calchas describes to Ulysses Uie apparition of Achilles t 

Calcaxte. Pirro 

Coi Mirmidoni suoi sfidava in goente 
£ la Grecia, e gli Dei, dove d'Achille 
S' erge il sepolero : in retia era ogni bmcta,(t) 

t This is an error in costume ; it was only in the middle ages that the lance 
was ever put in the r^st. 



But to return lo^ Alfieri. In tiie collection of his works, pub- 
Jiahed during his life, of eight yolames, fire contain his tragé- 
dies, which are known to erery one; and the other Ihree are 

£ teso ogni arco, allor che i passi miei 
Guida iDcognita forza : ah ! oerto un Pio 
M' enpi«a di le» cVio puk mortal non era. 
Yolo in mej^xo allé schiere, affiroqto Pirro 
£ grido : ^ueste alia paterna tomba 
Son le Tittime care? Ah ! sorgi, Achille, 
Sorgi, e rimire del!' imaiio Pirro 
Le sacrileghe impreae, ed arxosaiaei 
D'esser gli padre. Allor dai marmi un cupo 
Gemito a'ode : nell' incerte deatrè 
Tremano I^te, le contrarie scbiere 
Unisoe la paura, il snol Tacilla, 
li cielo tuona, agli sdc^nati flutti 
L'ira s'accreace del présente Achille; 
Orrendo ei stette sulla tomba : in oro 

Gli spiendean V arrai emule al sale, e flamma . 

Dell' antieo fliror gli ardea negll ooehi. \ 

Cosi li Tolse nel funesto sdegnp 
Contxo il figUo d' Atreo. Tu, frole ingrata. 
Tu, grida a Pirro, mi contrasti onore 
* In Tano* Trema, I'ostfa io scoigo, il fern 
A me promesM. II saeenlote, il saague 
Sa PolisaenA. Allor Term^iia Iucd 
Dall* armi sfoIgorA maggiore, immenso, 
TorMflu^ Affhi lW ^w^It^ toflkbA» ■^^oott^ 
Fra i lampi il capo, fira le nobi, e sparrel 

Mysmû^ Mo IK Sc 2. 

In the same act Cassandra is suddenly seised with the prophdic fer? or, and 
rereds to Agamemnon the tanort of the future. 


CASSAsnaA. I Numt 

A tua crudel clemenza egual mercede 

Daranno, io tel predico. 
koAM. £ quale ? 

Cas. Un figlio 

Simile a te ; che ardisca, e tremi, e sia 

£mpio per la pietÀ ; che non a'appelli 

Innocente, né reo ; ehe la natura 

Vendichi e ofieuda ; a che mi reodi, Febe, 

InutU dono ! . . lUo non oadda ? . . Ahi dove 

Sono ! Che Teggo ! patria mia, raffiwia 

II pianto^ e mira «uir fiuboico lido 

Le flamme ultrici. .Già la Greoia nuota ' 

Dalle tue spoglie oppressa. .Orribil notte 

Siede sul mare . . II fulmine la aqaatda . • 

Ah ! chi Io Tihm 7 . .Tardi^O Dea, conosci 

I Greci, tardi a ▼eadkarmi impogni 

La folgore patetma. .Eccoai in Aigo: 

Tenebre eguali allé Trotae stanao 

Sovra la reggia Folapea : dipteto 

Suonan gli atri regali. .Imbdlefliaiio 

Yeodica PAsia, e U nefanda score 

Cade pur sul mio coUo. Ah I grasisi Numi, 
Vol. 11. 4 

96 ON THE LtT&aATtRfi 

filled with hif political works and poemi, wifli which Tety few 
persons are acquainted. A long treatise On the Prince and on 
LUeraium forms one of these YoTumes, and may, in point of ele- 
gance and force of style, be compared with the best writings in 
Sie Italian language. It is rich in thought and high sentiment ; 
and treats, with profound ability and in every view, of that im- 
portant question, the protection which it is said a prince ought to 
extend to literature, and the corrupting e£fects of this patronage 
upon literary men. The extreme bitterness, however, of tne 
author's manner, and the affected style, which is evidently imi- 
tated from Machiavellî, toke away all our pleasure in the perusal 
of this book. We are so well acquainted, before commencing it, 
with the prejudices of the author, that we sometimes combat 
(pinions to which we might have yielded, had they been less 
roughly presented to us. Alfieri,'like Machiavelli, treats every 
inquiry as a question of utility and not of morality ; but bxB 
excessive bitterness has at least this advantage, that it does 
not conceal the contempt which he feels for those who stand 
in need of his melancholy counsels, and to whom they are ad- 

The next volume contains another Ions dissertation On 7)f- 
ranny,iti which the same faults are observable, with even a gneater 
exaggeration of principle, and with reasoning more palpably 
&dse. His panegyric on Trajan, which he supposes to have 

Alfin liberm io loao, e già ritroTo 

L'ombre de* miei. «Che ditii t Ah I ch' io t tneggio. 

In ttie fint icene of the fifth aet, Polyxena htnog determined to die, in 
order to eipiate the love which the is ashamed of feding for her iither'i 
mnrdereri tboe tnkei lea? e of her sister Cassandra : 

Gerto il mio fato, 
Non cereame perché. Meco sepolto 
Bêsti ci6, cbe a te daolo, a me Teigogna 
Sarin, se ta il sapessi. A quest* arcano 
Pono il mio sangue : ne aequlstarne onoie, 
Mn non perderlo è il ihitto. Io non t' inganno ^ 
Son giusti i Nomi, e la mia morte è giosta. 
Ï4k madré assisti ; to le ascioga il pianto, 
E in consoler la sventurata, adempi 
Pur le mie Teci. Esser sostegno, e guida 
Agi* infermi anni suoi tu dei, ne troppo 
, Bammentarmi all* afflitta ; ilsuodolore 

Accreseeresti. SnI matemo Tolto 
Ai tuoi baei, O Cassandra,%gglungi i miei. 
All' ombre io seenderA, ma questa enra 
Verra meco iasepolta. A PriamOi ai flgU, 
Dl lei ragionerft. IMrd che teeo 
Lasciai la madre. Ah ! tn mi guardi, e piaogi ! 
Deh ! col tuo duol bhi Aineatandi, d^gra, 
II placer della |Borte* 


l»een written by Plmy, is a very favourable spécimen of Alfieri's 
powers of eloquence, it indeed, true eloquence can exist, when 
the autiior writes under an assumed character, and imagines him- 
self ibe creature of another age, under the influence of other 
manners, and of other circumstances. 

Alfieri also attempted to write an epic in four cantos, in the 
oUwa ttma, entitled Eirwia FerwUcoto, The hero is Lorenzino 
de* Medici, açd the catastrophe is the murder of the contempti- 
ble Alexander, first duke of Florence. A conspiracy like this 
IS perhaps little fitted to be the subject of ^ epic poem, in which 
we rather look for truth and nature, and an acquaintance with 
the human heart, than for the rich colourings of the imagination. 
In this poem, although the plot is' in itself full of interest, it*is 
yet rendered cold and flat by the ornaments with which the poet 
has surrounded it. All the supernatural part, the appearance 
of Liberty, of Fear, and of tiie shade of Savonarola, produced 
no other impression than a cold allegory would do. The poet 
does not appear to feel the truth of his verse any more than his 
readers. The liberties, also, which are taken with historical 
racts m the arrangement of the incidents, in the character of 
Lorenzino, and in the death of Alexander, appear to me to in- 
jure, instead of au^mentinç the effect; and to conclude, the style 
IS absolutely destitute of dignity and of poetical attraction. It 
is not, however, reasonable to judge Alfieri by a work which he 
never avowed, and which, in all probability, he regarded as un- 
finished at the time when it was published without his consent. 

Five odes on the independence of America, nearly two hun- 
dred sonnets, and some other poems in various styles, complete 
the collection of Alfieri's works, as they were published in his 
life time. His posthumous productions, which b^an to make 
their appearance in 1804, and which extend to thirteen volumes 
m octave», have occupied the attention of Italy, and indeed of all 
the literati of Europe, without adding much to the author's re- 
putation. His Md, which he whimsically entitled a Tranielo' 
gtâM, is a composition in which he has attempted to blend to- 
getiier the lyric and the tragic style of poetry, and to unite the 
a^ody of the opera with the most powerful workings of the 
flings. The allegory however, is fetiguing upon the stage, 
wd the versification of Alfieri does not possess the loftiness^ 
Tite fascination which are requisite to adapt it to music The 
Z^ ^^^ is cold and uninteresting^^ Two tragedies on the 
Jtory of Alcestes follow: one is from Euripides, and is merelva 
J«tppy translatoon ; the other, which is on the same subject. 4e 
port has recast and treated in his own manner. For ten years 

âhr hi. "f^'^'l^ ^ir ^r^'^fo' ^^ stage. In thatinterval not 
gv his Ideas, but his character itself, sustained a change he 
b^been softaied down by the' domestic afiections ; andWs AN 

Sï^''^i^?ï^ ^y ^^ ^'^ *^^°^^' tragedies. Conjugal 
^^Omm » beaotrfully pàted in it ; an^ The inte'rviftitiiïof 



sapematural powers and of the chorus, togetiier with à ha{^y 
terminatioii, give it quite a different character. Yet the seal 
of geniuB is most stronffly iBupressed upon his earlier tragedies. 
The comedies of Alneri, or which there are six, are contained 
in two volumes; and in all probability they will never be played 
upon any stage. It is difficult to conceive how this celeroated 
man could ever have entertained the whimsical idea of making a 
comedy a vehicle for his political sentiments. The four first, 
which are in fact only one drama divided into four parts» are 
written to illustrate the monarchical, the aristocratical, the demo- 
cratical, and the mixed form of government He has entitled 
them, One, Few, Too many, and The ^niidoU. They are all in 
iamÛcs, like his tragedies. The scene of the first is laid in Per-' 
£ia, and the subject of it is the election of Darius to the throne 
by the neighing of his horse. The drama turns upon the fraitd 
' of X>arius*s groom, who, by an artifice, makes his master*s steed 
lUeigh before any of the others ; and the king's ingratitude in 
sacrificing his horse to the sun, and then raising a statue to him, 
forms the catastrophe. The scene of the second, the drama of 
aristocracy, is laid at Rome, in the house of the Gracchi ; the 
subject of it is the contest between the latter and Fabius, for 
the consulate. Their defeat, and humiliation, induces them to 
propose an Agrarian law. The scene of the third drama. De- 
.vipcracjf,x>r Too many, is laid at the coart of Alexander, and the 
orators are introduced who have been despatched to the king by 
the Athenians. These orators are ten in number, and are divided 
into two parties, of which Demosthenes and iEschines are the 
leaders ; and they are in turns oourted and mocked by Alexan- 
der and his courtiers. Their baseness, their jealousy, and thek- 
venality, are fully displayed in the drama, which, however, can 
scarcely be said to boiast of any action. The drama of Mixed 
Government, or, as it is also singularly entitled. Mix three Poisons 
and you tot// have the ^Hdote, is a plot of his own invention, and 
the scene is laid in one of the Orcades. It was, to a certain ex- 
tent, a new idea to choose heroic characters to fill the parts in a 
comedy. In the present age, a taste has arisen for the comedy 
of common life ; and Alfieri has expressed his dislike to this 
manner of debasing the dramatic art, and of associating poetry 
with the most vulgar «sentiments and circumstances. It is strange, 
however, that he should himself have felt no disgust at attri- 
bu^g vulgarity of manner, of feeling, and of language, to mepi 
whose very names, rendered so familiar to us by history, lead mm 
to expect something elevated and noble from them. He seems 
to have thought it necessary to introduce into his comedies the 
most distin^ished men, merely to display their low and vulgar 
qualities. He has endued them with aU the passions which their 
rajak should have engaged them most anxiously to conceal ; he 
has attributed to them language which they would have blushed 
;to hear ; and he expects to excite laughter by exposing ihe po- 


vérty and crften the grossness oi great Buenos wit Very little 
praise is due to a writer who enter^ias us at an expense like this, 
but Alfieri has not even so fiur succeeded. To make vice ridica- 
lous, it is not neoessary to excite repugnance ; but Alfieri, in bis 
comedies, produces in the reader a deep disgust for the society 
into which he is introduced, and a hunuliating sense of the de- 
pravity of the human race, which erea in the highest ranks can 
be thus debased. Of the two remaining comedies ^ Alfieri, the 
one entitled La FineHrina is v^y fantastical : the scene is laid 
in Hell, and the comedy, la &ct, consists of the dialogues of tiie 
dead dramatised. The other is entitled Tke Dworct ; not be- 
cause a divorce is the subject of the piece, but because tbe au- 
thor concludes by laying down a maxim that a marrkge in Italy 
puts the parties upon precisely the same footinff as a divorce 
elsewhere. This is the only one of his dramaswhidi can fairly 
be classed with modem comedies. Tke characters in it ate 
finely drawn, and it contains a true, but very severe, representar 
tion of Italian manners. ^ All the personages are mere or less 
vicious, and tiiere is, therefore, very little gayety in the piece i 
for it is impossible to laugh at any thing whic^ powerfully ex- 
cites our indignation. The author manifeats in these dramas die 
powers 0Î a great satirist, J^ot of a successful dramatist 

The satires, which entirely fill the third volume of AMeri's 
posthumous works, have had greater success in Italy tbazrall his 
other compositions, notwithstanding their occasional obscurity, 
the rnggedness of the verse, and their prosaic style. Alfieri had 
something of the cynic in his character, which affects his lan- 
guage, when he is not elevated by the dignity of the sock. The 
rest of his posthumous works consist of translations fimn the an- « 
cient authors, the productions of his latter years, after he had 
renounced dramatic composition, and when Uie want of occupa- 
tion, which he never felt until an advanced age, had indoeed 
him to study Greek. 

The two last volumes contain the life of Alfieri, written by 
himself, with that warmth, vivacity, and truth of feeling, which 
throw such a charm over confessions like these, and which never 
Ëdl to interest the reader, although the author, honestly display- 
ing his faults, sometimes «appears in no very amiable li^ht if 
the study of the human heart, even where the individual has no 
daim to a rank above mediocrity, is so attractive, how much 
more precious must those confessions be which present us with 
portraits of men distinguished by their talents, who have, from 
time to time, influenced the opinions or the characters of their 
contemporaries ; who have struck eut new paths, led the way to 
new glories, and created new schools of poetry ; and who, ha- 
ving impressed their character upon the age in which they 
lived, are cited by posterity as having constituted the ^ory of 
t&eir times ! The study of the human mind becomes stiU more 
interesting, "^hen the individual is no less remarkable for his in- 


tdlectual quafities than for his personal character ; and when he 
possesses that inexhaustiUe fountain of genius which tinctures 
every thing which it touches with its own colours. It is in his 
Memoirs alone that we can become acquainted with Alfieri.* 
Extracts from them can give no adequate idea of that boiling im- 
patience of character, which perpetually propelled him towards 
some indefinite object ; of that melancholy agitation of spirit 
which affected him in every relation of society, in every situa- 
tion of life, and in every country ; of that imperious want, ^hich 
he ever felt in his soul, for something more free in politics, more 
elevated in character, more devoted in love, more perfect in 
friendship ; of that ardour for another existence, for another uni- 
verse, which he vainly sought with all the rapidity of a courier, 
from one extremity of Europe to another, and which he was un- 
able to discover in the real wprld ; and of his thirst for that poeti- 
cal creation which he oxp#^rienced before he knew it, and which 
he was unable to satisfy, until casting off the passions of his 
youth, his thoughts turned to the contemplation of that new uni- 
verse which he had created in his own bosom, and the agitation 
of his soul was calmed by the production oi those masterpieces 
which have immortalized his name. 

* Alfieri was deacended from a rich and noble family, was bom at Asti, in 
Piedmont, on Ûie feventeenth of January, 1749, and died at Florence on the 
eighth of October, 1803. Hia firit tragedy, Cleopatra, which he afterward 
regarded as unworthy of being published, was acted for the first time at Turin, 
on the sixteenth of June, 1775. In the seven following years he composed 
the fourteen tragedies, which form the first part of his works. After having 
renounced dramatic composition, he began, at the age of forty-eight, to learn 
Greek, and made himself completely master of that difficult language. Hie 
connexion for more than twenty years with a lady, not less distinguished by 
her character and wit than by her rank, proves that he united many amiabk 
qualitiea to those faults which he has with so much candour displayed. 


On the Prate Wrilen and Epic and I^fric Poets of Italy, during the Eighteenth 


Although we have devoted the five last Chapters to the Ita- 
lian poets of the eighteenth century, we have not yet proceeded 
farther than the dramatic writers. Metastasio, Groldoni, Gozzi, 
wid Alfieri, almost at the same time,, carried the opera, comedy, 
farce, and tragedy, to the highest pitch which those compositions 
ever reached in Italy. Those authors have, therefore, Justly 
assumed their rank among the classics of which their country is 
proad» wMJe their reputation has extended itself beyond the li- 
mits of their native land, and has become the f^ory ik the as^e. 

There were, however, other Italians who, at (bis period, de- 
voted thenvielves to other branches <rf literature; and who, with- 
out being able to take the place of the great men of the sixteenth 
century, yet proved that the ancient genius of the nation was 
not absolutely extinct The individual who approached most 
nearly to the spirit of earlier times, and who almost appeared to 
belong to another age and another state of things, was Niooolo 
Fortei^rnftrni. the author of Hicciardetto, the last of the poems ^ 
diivalry. With this author terminated that long series of poeti- 
cal romances, founded on the adventures of Charlemagne^s 
l^rs, which extended from the twelfth to the eighteenth century. 
NicGoIo Fortinguerra, or Forteguerra, was bom at Rome, (n 
1674, of a fiunily originally from Pistoia ; he was educated to 
the priesthood, and was made a prelate by the Roman Court 
This was one of the reasons which induced him not to publish 
his poem under his own name, assuming that of Carteromacho, 
which is a translation of it into Greek. He displayed at an 
early period his talents for verse ; but he had little idea of ever 
beoonunff an author, and it was a sort of challenge which gave 
birth to his poem. He happened to be residing in the country 
with some persons who were enthusiastic admirers of Ariosto^ 
and who, discovering some hidden meaning in every freak of the 
poet's imagination, fell into ecstasies at the richness of invention 
displayed in the Orlando Furioso, and at the time and labour 
which so highly wron^t a plot must have cost the poet Forte- 
guenrst on the contrary, in Arioisto's grace found a proof of his 



facility in composition. He maintained that all his brilliant 
creations were the sport not the labour, of his poetical imagina- 
tion, and declared that however much- he admired them, he could 
not think them inimitabla The discussion, at last, became so 
animated, that Forteguerra engaged to write, in four and twenty 
hours, a canto of a poem in &e same style, which he promised 
to read to his friends on the evening of the ensuing day. It was 
not the poetical charms of Ariosto that he undertook to equal. 
He only wished to prove that this species of composition was 
far from being difficult, and that by the assistance of the super- 
natural and the romantic, related in a lively manner, it was very 
possible to captivate the reader without wasting much labonr. 
The first canto of Ricciardetto was composed under these cir- 
comstanceâ, and surpassed the expectation both of the friends of 
Forteguerra and of the author himself They begged him to 
continue it, and this romance was all vnritten with the same faci- 
lity, and in an extraordinary short space of time. More deli- 
berate corrections no doubt were necessary to prepare it for the 
public eye. 

Ricciardetto is therefore the product, in some degree, of the 
pleasing talents of an improvisatore, the creature of that fertile 
imagination, that natural harmony, and that simple and infantine 
gayety which characterize the Italians. The« stanzas display a 
negligence which only the beauty of so poetical and sonorous a 
language could ever have rendered agreeable ; but they often 
possess the superior merit which results from the ardour of in- 
spiration. The versification is frequently careless and heavy» 
but oooasicmaUy it displays all the brilliant colours of a southern 
imagination. A few portions of the romance are of the highest 
order of poetry, while in others the habitual liveliness and free- 
dom give an air of charming simplicity to tli« easy style in which 
they are written. The principal hero is a youn^r brother of 
Rinaldo, but all the Paladins of Charlemagne are mtroduced in 
Ibeir proper characters. The comic part of the romance is dis- 
played* in broader relief than in Ariosto. The manner of that 
great poet appears to have been blended by Forteguerra with 
that or Bemi and Tassoni ; and, indeed, he equals all his pre- 
decessors in wit and pleasantry. A slight tincture of profanity 
occasionally adds to tne piquancy of the poem ; for the prelate 
thonght he might make free with his own property. The hypo- 
orisy and sensual passions of the monks, m general, and of 
Ferrau, who had become a hermit, in particular, are the objects 
of this very diverting satire of Fort^nerra.* He died on the 
se^enteoith of February, 17S5. 

* The fint «ppeartnee of Fem», and hb diipiite with Rinaldo ahont An- 
gtUoSy plaeo htm biutaUtf and his derotion in cvnow oppoiitioa : 


There eidsted some celebrated prose writers in the eighteenth 
century, though their works are seldom found in libraries, and 
excite but little curiosity. The long thraldom to which the in- 
tellect of the Italians had been subjected, prevented them 
from raising themselves to the same rank as other nations, when* 
ever reason or philosophy was the object of their labours. Even 
after they had partially recovered that liberty of which they had 
been so long deprived, they were compelled to tread in the foot- 
steps of the foreign philosophers who had preceded them. In 
the works of tiieir most ingenious and profound writers, we find 
them frequently stopping to discuss common-place truths, or 
trite sophistries, of which all the rest of Europe had long been 
tired ; but which they, with perfect good fidth, brought forward 
as ii^enious, deep, and novel ideas of their own. It is, besides, 
exceedingly difficult for those who can only devote themselves 
to philosophy by incurring a sort of rebellion, to examine any 
system with impartiality. Their intellect is either acted upon 

VU pur frateWo mio, eb* io ti perdono : 
JB presa Ferraù Is dûcipUm 
Batteast forte si, che parre ud tooao. 
Diase RinaMo : Sino a domattina 
Ver me, leguita pur cotesto suono t 
Ma quella fnoe è troppo piccolina ; i 
8' io fossi in tè, O Ferraà beato, 
Mi (Vusterei con an bel correggi&to. 

Io ti Torrei corregger con modestis 
Se si potesse, (disse Ferraù;) 
Ma to sei troppo la solenne bestia, 
B a diila giusta, non ne posao più. 
Bisse Binaldo : Disprezzo e molestia 
Sofierta in pace è grata al boon Gesu ; 
Ma tu seiy per la vergine Maria, 
Romito falso, c pià âîceon di pria. 


A quel dir Ferraù gti die sul gnigno 
La disciplina sua cinque o sei Tolte : 
E Rinaldo affibiogli un cotai pugno, 
die gU fè dar dugento giravolte. ^ 

Ma nel mentre cbe ognuno urla e scbiamazza 
S'ode un gran piochio all' oscio della cella, 
Ghe introna a' combattanti ia carraHa» 


£ grida Femmte : Ave Maria ; 
£ mena iotanto un pugno al buon Rinaldo '■ 
Gridano : Aprite, quelli della ria. 

Nkn si nraove, ed in pugnar stà saldo. ^ 

For Petraa daB' oste si disvia 
£ sbuffiindo» per l' ira e per Io caldo. 
Si af&ccia al bocolino della chiave, ^ 

Poi spranga Poscio con pesante trave. 

Canto //i. ai. 69. 

Vol. II. 5 


thronghout life by the prejudices in which they have been edu" 
cated, or else they reject them with such Tiolence, that tiwy 
look with a hostile feeung upon these questions from the const* 
deration of which they had been exduded ; and attack with bit- 
terness the most consolatory truths, because they have been in* 
culcated by those whom they despise. The little importance of 
the prose writers of Italy prerented us from dwelling upon them, 
in giving an account oi the literature of the seventeenth cetftiury ; 
and we shall therefore take this opportunity (^ presenting a new 
of what has been accomplished in l^t department <^ letters, 
from the sixteenth century to our own times. 

In History alone have the Italians any claim to merit» at a 
period when every other kind of inspiration seemed to have for- 
saken them. We shall always read with pleasure the works of 
Fra Paolo Sarpi, the Venetian, who lived between 1553 and 
1SS3, and who defended with ffreat courage the authority of the 
sovereign and the senate of Venice against the power of the 
Popes, notwithstanding their excommunications and their attempts 
at assassinatioa His History of the Council of Trent, which 
was published under the assumed name of Pietro Soave, con- 
tains a curious account of the intrigues of the Court of Rome 
at the period of the Reformation. The History of the Civil 
Wars of France, by Enrico Caterino Davila, the son of a Cy- 
priote, and born in 1576, is a work of still greater interest. He 
very early conilected himself with the Court of France, and 
Catherine do* Medici was his godmother. In his gratitude 
for this kindness he has sometimes suppressed in his history, the 
relation of many crimes in which she was involved, and of which 
the other historians of France have endeavoured to show that 
she alone was guilty. After the death of Henry III. and the 
capitulation of Paris, Davila served for five years under the 
banners of Henry IV. In 1599 he was recalled to his family 
at Venice, and there, occupied at the same time with his civil and 
military duties, he composed his History, which comprehends 
the civil wars from 1559 to 1598, and displays a profound know- 
ledge of the times, the characters, and the intrigues, upon which, 
however, he has perhaps been a little too diffuse. He was assas- 
sinated in 1631, during a journey, on account of some insimifi- 
cant quarrel. With less talent, less nature, less thought, and less 
depth. Guide BentivogUo has yet ac^juired considerable reputa- 
tion by his History of the Wars of Flmders, and by the Account 
of his Embassies. He was despatched in 1607 as Apostolic 
Nuncio to Flanders, where he remained in that diaracter until 
1616. The four following years he spent in France ; and pro- 
cured a cardinal's hat on the eteirenth of January, lè^l. Too 
great a pretension to elegance of style, a dechired partiality for 
3ie Spaiiiards, an interested zeal for the Roman court, and a su- 
perficial understanding, derogate considerably from the value of 
his History ; though the precision and clearness of his style 


entitle him to a higher rank than many of his coimtrymen. 
Battiflta Nani« the hiatorian of Venice. for a period included be- 
tween the years 1613 and 1673, is the last of the writers of 
this age* who, by his narratiTe talents and his merits as a prose 
writer, has obtained some degree of reputation. 

The Italian authors who in the eighteenth century hare been 
celebrated for their prose writings, are rather philosophers than 

Ç)eta^ Among these may be mentioned Francesco Algarotti. of 
enioe, (171^—1764,) the fnend of Frederic II. and of Voltaire, 
in whom we find a rare and happy union of scientific knowledge, 
taste, philosophy, erudition, and benevolence. His works have 
been ooUeded in scTenteen volumes, 8to. Venice, 1791 — 1794. 
Xavier Bettinelli, of Mantua, (1718 — 1808,) a Jesuit and jpro- 
fessor* whose numerous writings are comprised in twenty-jfour 
volumes, in ISmo., should likewise be noticed. The fine arts, 
philosophy, and polite literature, fill the greater portion of these 
vdumes. The letters of Virgii to the Arcadians, in which the 
author attacks, with considerable wit, but with great injustice, 
the reputation of Dante and Petrarch, soon broa^t hmi into 
notice» but «ined him a crowd of enemies. Algarotti and Bet- 
tinelli are of that class of men of taste who follow the spirit of 
the age, instead of leading it into new paths, and whose r^^puta- 
tion, by soaring too high in their own day, rarely survives diem. 

Abocit the same period flourished the celebrated Marquis Bec- 
caria, who, in his Treatise on Grimes and Punishments, has de- 
fended with such animation the cause of humanity ; and the 
Cavalière Filangieri, the author of a valuable work on Legisla- 
tion. Neither of these productions properly belong to literature 
as we are considering it, which may likewise be said of the Re- 
volutions of Italy and Germany, by the Abbate Denina. The 
style of these works is but a small portion of their merit, and a 
translation of them would fully supply the place of the originals. 
From what has been said, it may be gathered that there are no 
prose writers among the Italians of the eighteenth century, whose 
compositions can induce a desire, in those who are ignorant of it, 
to become acquainted with the Italian language. 

We have now treated of Italian literature mm its first origin, 
when the language was in its infency, down to our own days ; 
and we have taken a view (tf the writers of every kind, and of 
every age. To complete this portion of our work, it only re- 
mains to say a few words respecting the poets of Italy contem- 
porary ^ith ourselves, the commencement of whose fame we 
have ourselves seen, and upon whom the ju^^ment of the public, 
anticipating that of posterity, has not been passed without a pos- 
sibility of appeal. The account which we are about to give of 
these writers is a matter of some delicacy. Their present re- 
putation is confounded with thehr real fame. They all stand 
pretty nearly upon the same level ; nor does it become us to de- 
cide upon pretensions upon which the public voice has not yet 


pronôupced a determinate judgment. We shall therefore ocmsi* 
der ourselves bound to bestow an almost equal degree of atten- 
tion upon all those who possess any degree of celebrity. 

The present race of literary men in Italy attempt to supi^y, by 
a greater depth of thought, the deficiencies of the imagination, as 
may be observed on a comparison with the poets of the sixteenth 
century. The study of philosophy has replaced that of the 
classics ; the intellect has, momentarily at least, shaken ofif its 
chains ; new ideas have been spread abroad, and the knowledge 
/ of foreign languages and letters has gone far to diss^ate the pie» 
judices of the Italians ; who, instead of being, as they were for- 
merly, an isolated people, have now become members of the great 
literary Republic of Europe. 

The first among these modern poets, with reference both to 
the period at which he flourished, and to the extent of his talents, 
is Melchior Cesarotti, whom Italy lost a few years since, at an 
advanced age. He was one of the most learned men of his 
country, and, having an excellent knowledge of the classical lan- 
guages, he translated Homer with no less of the spirit of a critic 
than of a poet But the admirers of antiquity will never pardon 
him for having, by various alterations, attempted to render the 
works of the father of poetry more conformable to the taste of 
the times ; for having dared to adapt Homer to a standard of 
taste and sentiment, which will, in all probability, soon be aba< 
lished, while the beauties of the great original will never pass 
away. It is the admirable monument so prized by every succes- 
sive age which we require a translator to present to us, not the 
new Iliad of Pope or of Cesarotti.* 

"^ As an example of the versification of Cesarotti, and to enable the reader 
to |»erceive in what manner he has preserved or altered the original, we 
have given below the celebrated «cene between Priam and Achilles, where the 
former demands the body ol his son. (Iliad xxiv. v. 4S6 to 606. Trans. 657 
to 689.) 

£cco è in vista d'Achille : a quella vista 

Un tamulto d' affetti, un gruppo, un nembo, 

L'anima gli rimescola, ne scoppiano 

Mai repressi singulti ', ognun si volge, 

Scosso I'Eroe fi&o sel guarda, il vecchio 

Prja Che M ravvisi» a pie gli casca, e man 

A lui streUe o ginocchia, ah pietà, gridà. 

Divino Achille, il padre tuo t' implora ; 

Per tuo padre pie ta. Mirati ionanzi 

Un iromagine sua : canuto e careo 

IVanni e di cure in sua solinga reggia, 

£ cinto forse di perigli anch' esso, 

Langue e sospira» e chiama il figlio • ah'l figlio 

Ei rivedrà, fra le sue braccia un giorno 

Cadra per gioia ; me tapino ed orbo, 

Diserto me ! tutto perdei ; piil speme, • 

f là conforto non bo : di tanta prole 



The latter poet, perhaps, deserves more &ine for his transla- 
tion of Ossian. He appears to have been deeply penetrated 
with the spirit of the ancient Caledonian, and has preserved 
mnch of his dim and gigantic gi'andeur. With a very harmoni- 
ous ear, he has always chosen the most proper metre to express 
the lyrical inspiration of the bard of Morven. These odes, which 
display a greater variety in the disposition of the rhymes than is 
to be found in the works of any other of the Italian poets, appear 
rather to be the offspring of native inspiration than translations. 
There is a great deal of genius displayed in the form which he 
has given to these compositions, as well as much truth and pre- 
cision in the fidelity with which he has rendered the original ; 
and as there are none who ait^ able to read the songs of the son 
of Fingal in their primitive language, I should recommend the 
perusal of the translation of Cesarotti in preference to the prose 
of Macpherson ; since in the former we have all the charm and 
harmony of vm-se, without which, poetry must always appear 
monotonous and affected. 

Cesarotti is very voluminous, both in his translations and in 
his original compositions. The last edition of his worhs consists 
of thirty volumes. The modem Italians are too much addicted 
to prolixity, and we lose all desire to become intimately acquaint- 
ed with such interminable writers. 

Lorenzo Pignotti of Arezzo, who died at Pisa, in which Uni- 
versity he was one of the professors, has acquired considerable 
celebrity by his fables, which are thought to surpass his other 
poems, though many of the latter are highly b^utiful. The 
Italian language appears to be peculiarly adapted to this spe 
eies of composition. It has preserved a sort of infantine sim- 

(CihqiumU del mio talamo fecondo 
Brano i frutU) omai gia pochi, ( AcIiiUe, 
Troppo tel sai) restano in vita : io vidi 
L'un dopo Faltro, di sanguigne morti 
Contaminar gli occhi paterni ; e quello 
Ch' era il primo e M miglior, quel che fn solo 
Mio loctegno e mia speme (oimè, nomar)o 
Pur non ardîaco) per tua man mel toise 
li fàto inesorabile. Ti basti, 
Placati alfin, terribil Dio ; tremante 
A te ricorro • lagrimoao ; idi rendi 
Gli aranzi a me délia straziata salma 
Ch' Ettor già fÛ. ^elle in compense aecogli 
Ch' io reeai meco, preziose offerte 
Che a te consacre ; delF età cadente 
Bispetta i dritti ; ti disarmi il sacro 
Carattere paterne ; e se pur rago 
6ei dello strazio mio, pensa che immenso 
Lo aoffiro già, non mai provato in terra 
Dal cor d^in padre, poicbè adoro »bacio 
Laiktal destra, quella destra, oh Dio ! 
Che ancor del sangae de' miel flgli è tinta*. 


plidty, abMlately necessary to a relater of faUes» who demands 
to be believed when, like a child, he attribntes to inanimate ob- 
jects, or to creatures depriyed of reason, hnmaa passions, senti- 
ments, and language. Pignotti relates these fiibles with infinite 
grace; his style is perfectly picturesque; and he always pre- 
sents an image to the eye of his readers. In his versification he 
is very harmonious ; sometimes writing with great latitude, and 
at others confining himself within the most severe rules, yet 
always preserving an air of playfulness, as though he did not fed 
the retters with which he had shackled himself. Facility is es- 
sential to grace and simplicity, nor does it ever abandon him. 
Sometimes, however, Pignotti is too di£fuse, and from a fear of 
confining himself within too narrow limits, he trespasses upon 
the patience of his readers. The most cdebrated writers of &- 
bles have, we know, frequently done nothing more than trai^s- 
late firom another language &bles which seem to be as ancient as 
the world itself In this way Pignotti has followed La Fontaine, 
Phœdrus, £sop. and Pilpai. A few, indeed, are of his own in- 
vention, but they are not in general his best The m<nrai of a 
fiible should rather be addressed to man as a member of a social 
community, than as one of the fashionable world. The passions, 
the vices, and the errors of the human race form admirable cari- 
catures when represented in animals ; but the follies of fashion- 
able society have not enough of nature in them to suit the same 
Krpose. jPignotti, however, appears to have addressed his fii- 
ÎS to fops and coquettes. The resemblance between the per- 
sons intended to be satirized and the creatures introduced in the 
&bles, exists rather in the writer's wit and imagination than in 
the objects which are thus compared, and these uttle poems con- 
sequently want truth.* When he versifies an old subject Pig- 

* The fables of Pignotti are til too long to allow me to eitraet any at fall 
length. I shall only give the commencement of the elefenth, It Ragno^ which 
will convey some idea of the ease of the poet's versificatioQ, and of his talent 
at painting. 

Vedi, leggiadra FiUide, 
Quel fraodolento insetto 
Che ascoso stà nell* angolo 
Del obbliato tetto 7 

E che nel foro piccolo 
Mezzo si mostra e cela, 
Attento ai moti tremuli 
Delia sua fragil tela ? 

Ci narrano le favole 
Che bestia si seUrosa 
Fà già donzella amabiJe 
E alpar di te vezzosa^ 


noftti soon fidls into ihe oontnury error. The writer of fiibles 'm 
always liable to one of two faults ; too great study, or too much 
trifling: If he is desirous of instilling wit into lus verses, he is 
apt to forget what kind of compositions he is engaged upon, and 
becomes affected ; and tC on the contrary, he n<^ects ingenious 
and hrilliant ideas, he easily Mis into common-places. The 
beasts who are introduced are adlowed to possess neither as much 
wit as men, nor less. The French writers of fables who have 
suooeeded La Fontaine, have erred by an excess of wit ; the 
Italian authors, by an excess of simplicity. 

Pignotti did not confine himself to the composition of fables 
only, for he has left some odes and a poem, in blank verse, en- 
tifled The Shode af Pope. Pignotti was well acquainted with 
Bngliah literature, but the turn of his mind, and the peculiarity 
of Us talents, 4id not fit him to take full advantage of that eii^ 
dunstaace. He was of the classic not the romantic order of 
poets. Comctness pleased him more than genius ; and Pope, 
whom he has celebrated in his verses, appeared to him the first 
of English poets. 

The poems of Luigi Savioli, of Bologna, are entirely ama* 
tbry ; and none of the poets of the present age so completely 
remind the reader of AÛacréon. There is the same grace in the 
images, the same soilness in the versification, the same expression 
of fond and happy love without any mixture of deep and pas- 
sionate feeling. Like Anacreon, we may imagine this poet 
seated at the festive tabic and crowned with roses at his mis- 
tresses side He seems not to have been made to experience the 
torments of jealousy, or the impetuosity of anger, or, indeed, 
suffering under any of its forms. The metre which he has se- 
lected he never changes. It is a stanza of four short verses, of 
which the first and the third are edruccioH of eight syUables, and 
do not rhjrme together ; the second and the fourth are lines of 

£ anch' essa dilttlaiasi 
Come tu appvnu ftd» 
I più briilaoU gioTsai 
Ferir co' luoi b«i raL 

Ora UDO igutréa ieiiers^ 
Ma imwiB finks « bogiaido. 
Coo un linguaggio tacite 
Pares dkesae, to aido ; 

Faceia si beo pingsa 
Che i eaori anche i pia timidi 
ABiicurar parea, ^. 

But this fable, coDtaining about one hundred ftnee^ is too loas for the asre 
parpoee of drawing a eomsariton between the coquette and the spider, and 
between her admirers and flies. 


«even syllables, and rh]rme together. The eiflfect of these little 
Terses is sinculariy musical and agreeable to the ear, prodnciiig 
something of the same feeling of delight to which the poet aban* 
dons himself. 

Savioli might be called a Pagan poet, for he neyer steps oat c^ 
the heathen mythology, which, in his creed, seems to form part 
of the worship of love. This is so completely in harmony with 
the habitual reelings of the poet, and has become so natural to 
him, that we judge him as we should judge a classical author ; 
and we feel no dislike to what, in his case, is a species of wor- 
ship, while, in other poets, it is merely an allegory. His poetry 
is highly picturesque ; each separate couplet makes a bcautifel 
little pa&ting, which we gaze at with delight as it passes, though 
it vanishes almost as soon as it is formed. It is quite impossible 
to give any idea in a prose translation of the graces ol a poet, 
whose charm consists entirely in his style. To give them in 
verse is, it must bé admitted, a difficult ^^k, though a very use- 
ful one, to those who wish to excel in the poetical art IHie 
odes ti) Venus,* to Destiny, and to Happiness, will give woiBa» 

^ O Figlia alma d*£gioco, 

L^iadro onor deil' aeqve^ 
Per eui le graxie appanrero 
£ '1 riso at mondo nacqae. 

O moUe Dea, di ruTido 
Fabbro, gelosa eura* 
O del figliuol di CJnira 
Beata an di f eatora. 

Teeo il garzon cni temono 
Per hi gran face eteraa, 
Ubbidiensa e imperio 
SoaTemente alterna. 

Aceesie a te le tenere 
Fanciulle alzan la mano, 
Sol te ritrota invocano 
Le anticbe nadri mTano. 

Te siiUe corde Eolîe 
Saffo ioTÎtar solea, 
Quando a qaiele i langiiidi 
BegU ocebi amor togUea. 

E tn richieita, O Yenere, 
Sovente a lei icendeati, 
Poita in obbUo V ambrosia 
E I tatti aurei ^leiti. 

n gentO carro Idalio 
Ch'or le colombe addoppia, 
lieTe traea di paieem 
Nera amoroaa coppia. 


notion of Sayioli's rich poetical style, and of those animated 
paintings contained in his lyrics, which are too seldom found in 
the French language. 

Giovanni Gherardo di Rossi, a Roman hy hirth, of whom we 
have, in one of the preceding chapters, already spoken as a 
comic poet, resembles SavioUrin many respects, in his amatory 
poems. Like him, his imagination rcTcls in the classical mytho- 
logy 9 his style, like his, is graceful ; and the pictures wliich his 
poems present are all Anacreontic. He has given the name of 
Pichireaque and Poetical Trifles to some pleasing epigrams, which 
are illustrated by still more pleasing engravings. Perhaps, 
however, he has relied too much on the graver of the artist ; and 
the epigrams, indeed, would not be of much value without the 
explanation of the prints. Rossi has more wit but less tender- 
ness, in his love songs than Savioli, and therefore less nature. 
We perceive the poet*s hand rather than his heart. In his fables, 
<^ wnich Roussi has published a volume, we find similar faults ; 
there is more wit and less simplicity in them than in those of 
Pignotti. Rossi had the talent, but not the inspiration, of a 
poet What he wished to be, he was ; and since his path was . 
entirely of his own choice, he might, perhaps, with advantage 
have attempted a higher style of ^^oetij^ in which wit is mxxe 
valuable, and in which natural grace and the forgetfulness of the 
poef 8 sdf are less essentially requisite. 

After Savioliand Gherardo di Rossi, may be ranked Gio. Fan- 
toni, a Tuscan, better known by the name of Labindo, an appel- 
lation which he received as an Arcadian. In his amatory poems 
we find much ease, grace, and voluptuousness. In his odes, he 

E mentre udir propizia 
Soleti il flebîl canto, 
Tergean le dita rosee 
Delia fanciulla il pianto. 

£ a Doi por anco inaolito 
Ricerca il petto ardore, 
£ a noi 1' eaperta cetera 
Dolce risuona amore. 

Se tu m' awiflti, io Pallade 
Abbia m tuoI nimica : 
Teeo eUa innanzi a Paridc 
Perde la lite autica. 

A ehe raler pod P £gida 
Se 1 figllo too percote 7 
Qael che i suoi dardipossono 
L' asta immortal non puote. 

Meeo i mortali innalzino 
Solo al tuo noiiie altari : 

Citera tua dîTcngano 
Il ciel, la terra, i mari. 

Vol. U. 6 


has attempted to imitRte the different metres whkih Rarcice has 
employed, at ieast as far as the language permitted him, and he 
has likewise endeavoured to preserve his style of thinking, and 
Hie tvm of his wit ; bat it was, periiaps, ttie consciousness of 
ijiis imitation whidi deprived Fantoni of that freedom of style so 
essential to a lyrical poet Labindo, who attadied himself to the 
court of Charles Emmanuel Malespina, Marquis of Fosdinovo, 
did not forget the interests and the destinies of Europe, in the 
beantifM mountains of Lunigiima, where the sovereign rules over 
a oouBtTfof two or three square miles, and a population of a few 
himdred inhalntants. Of all the Italian poets of this period, he 
is the one in whotie works we find tlie most frequent allusions to 
public events. He speaks witli enthusiasm m the victories of 
the English during the American war, and of the explcnts of 
Admml Rodney. As the period approached when his own 
ooun^ was, at lengtb, to experience the horrors of war, of wMch 
she had so }on£ been an indifferent spectator, Labindo imme- 
ifeately petoeiVM how disgraceftil a timid line of conduct would 
be to him, and in \m Ode to Italy, in 1791, we discover flie 
truest <psrtrioti9m; patriotism, whi<m tau^t his countrymen to 
seek fbr «ndependence and glory in the rmrmation of their man* 
ners and in their •own energies and virtues.* 

^he Cavtdiere Ippolito Ffndemonti, of Verona, is the first of 
the Italians whose poetry is thougfatfol and melancholy. The 
loss %f a friend, and an illness, which attacked himself, and which 
be«iMksidered fttal, made a deep hnpression Bpon his mhid of lire 
vanity of Më. Detachii^ itself from the contemplation of its 
own feeling, bis heart turned with eagemeas to the pieasnres of 
nature, ana to tlie delights of the country and of solitude. In 
his little poem on the four portions of the day he muses on his 
own tomb, a humble stone, unmarked by any inscription. 

Or dnida, or scrva di straniere genti, 

Raccorcio il crin, breve la gomiaf il ftttiore 
Salle piume adagialo, i di laojaenti 

PaMi oziofa, e di tua gloria tmnemorv. 
AUe mense, alle danze, i figli tooi 

Ti seguon sconngliati, e il nostro orgoglio 
Più non osa vantar Duci ed firoA, 

Cbe i •piraoti nel marmo m Cmpidoglio. 

Squarcia le rtêii dell' obbrottrio ; al en ne 

L' elfflo riponif al sen I' utbergo ; delaali 
Dal lungo «onno, suite vette alpine 

Alia difesa ed ai trionfi apprestati. 
Se il mar, se 1' onda che ti parte, e «crra 

Vaoo fia sebeiloo a un rineitor terribUei 
Sarba la tomba nel I* £speria terra 

All'audaca itraoierfatoinviiicibUe; 


Oh. ilMn, thus «ofUj to the tUciit bed 

Of the dtrfc tomb let me mt length descend ; 
WboM Ihe Meftk path whioh now on eorth I tread. 

So d«tr and xot eo mui, ehaH teva an ead* 
J>aj aball letura ; but thU ««eonecioua head 

Shall oerer froo» its pillow damp ascendt 
Nor on the iieMs and all their tenants ezxt. 
Nor wateh the setting sua*» aweet parting rays. 

Yerehante, across these pleasant hillst one day. 
In search of me some much-loTed (Hend will come, 

And ashing for bm, as he takes his way. 
Some peaaaal-boj will load him to my tiMib ; 

hi/ tomb— thia aameUse atooe-*-where oft I stray, 
And rest my weary limbs as 'twere my home, 

And sit unmoTed and sad, or to the breeze 

Four all my soul^ poetie oesiasies. 

And these dark groTos, which o'er me gaatly sigh. 

In death ah»re my peaceful grave shall nod» 
And the tall grasa. so welcome to my eye» 

Of er my head shaH deck the verdant sod. 
** O happy thoa I* my friend perchaaee shall ery, - 

** 1%a ealm ««d lonely path whiah thou hast trod 
Hath kd thy feouteps t^ a hoUer stato, 
And half deçeÎTed the stem decrees af Fa^.*** 

Several other of Pindemonti's poems are, like the foregoing, 
something in the styJe of Gray. It is singular to hear the genius 
ik the North thus using Italian accents, imd it is difficult to ima- 

* O cosi dolcemente della fossa 
Nel tacito calar sen tenebroso 
£ a poeo a poco ir terminand' io possa 
<èuesto Tiaggio oman caro e affhsBoso ; 
hfa U di ch' or parte, riederà ; qaest' 
Io più non alxarè dal lor riposo ; 
Né il prato, a la gaatil sua varia prola 
Rivodrè pih, ne il dolce addio del sole. 

Ferae per qoeati aoMBi eolH mi gioma 
Vokera qnalche amieo sphrto il passo, 
E ehiedendo dl me, del mio soggiomo 
Sol gli fia moatro seaza noma un sasso 
Sotto qaeir elce, a eai sovente or torno 
Per dar ristoro ol fiaoco errante a lasso. 
Or pensoso ed immobile qaal pietrai 
Ed or Toei Febée vibraodio all' etra. 

Mi coprirà qnella etaes' amhia marto, 
L' ombra, mantr' io vivea, si dolee avnta, 
S V art», da' miai Inmi era conforto, 
Alhnr sol capo mi sarà oreKiuti* 
Feliee tè, dira forse el, che icorto 
Per ana strada è var solfaiga e mnUt 
Xa d* onde fai altro suol meglio si fsreSt 
GHnngeati quasi ad iaganiiar la Parca. 

La Scra^ at It, p. 75. 


gine a thoughtful spirit breathing forth its feeliugs amidst all the 
gayeties which nature displays in Italy. We become attached 
to Pindemonti, for all his sentiments are noble and pure. This 
delicacy of feeling may be observed in his love-verses to an 
English lady ; in his lines to a mother who had resolved to nurse 
her own children ; in those on liberty ; and in his address to 
Frederic IV. of Denmark, supposed to be written by a lady of 
Lucca, who was beloved by the prince during his residence in 
Italy, and who, after his departure, shut herseu up in a convent, 
being unable to conquer her passion. Others of Pindemonti*8 
compositions are of a still more foreign interest He had travel- 
led much, and we have odes of his on the Lake of Geneva, the 
glaciers of Bossons and the cascade of Arpinas ; names which 
we are more astonished to find in the mouth of an Italian, than 
in that of an American. 

It has been said that Pindemonti was a traveller, nor indeed 
did he travel without benefit ; and yet he has written a little 
poem, fiill of ingenuity and wit against the prevailing passion 
for travelling. With a knowledge of foreignlands, he has yet 
preserved an affection for his own country, which is always the 
mark of a noble mind. The following verses are most pleasing : 

* Oh ! happy he, whose foot hath never atrajM 
O'er the sweet threshold of his native land ; 
Whose heart hath never been enthrallM to those 
He ne*er again mast see ; whose spirit mourns not 
For those that live, though ever dead to him. 

A little further on he thus proceeds : 

t And if the importunate 
Stem hand of death should seek thee, dost not fear 
That it should find thee in the wretched chamber 
Of some poor hostel, far from all thy friends, 
'Mid unaccustomed faces, in the arms 
Of ihine hired servant, who, though erewhile faithful, 
Corrupted by temptations on thy travels. 
Now casts a greedy eye upon thy maUs, 
Furabhed with snow-white linen, silks, and goods 

* Oh felice chi mai non pose 11 piede 
Fuori delta natia sua doice terra ; 
Egli il cDr non lasciè fitto in oggetti 
Che di più riveder non ha speranza, 
£ ci6, che vire ancor, morte non piange. 

t Se l'importuna 
Morte ta tuoI rapir, brami tu dunque 
Che nella stanza d' un ostier ti colga 
Lunge da tuoi, trà ignoti Yolti, e in braccio 
D' un senro, che Me\ prima, ma guasto 
Anch' ei dal lungo viaggiar, tuoi bianehi 
Lini| le sate, e i preziosi arredi 


Of price, till in his heart at least he kills thee ? 
No pious kinsman comes, no weeping friend, 
To close thine eyes ; nor can thy languid hand 
Chsp frith faint grasp some dear and faithful palm. 
Thy dying wandering eyes in Tain would rest 
Uppn some much-loved ol:rject, till at length, 
Discerning naught they love to gaze upon, 
They close' amid thy sighs. 

The Cavalière Pindemonti, the brother of the Marquis whom 
we mentioned in a preceding chapter, has likewise written a tnt- 
gedy, the hero of which is Arminius, the great antagonist of the 
Romans, and the liberator of Germany. We have not space, to 
give any extracts from this piece, as we have already occupied 
ourselves so long with the drama. It will be sufficient to men- 
tion the general im]>ression which this tragedy leaves upon the 
mind, — ^that it is the composition of a high-minded man, who has 
delighted to describe a noble character. 

The Abbate Aurelio Bertola, of Rimini, was the friend of the 
Cavalière Pindemonti to whom he addressed several of his po- 
etical productions. He died about the year 1798, leaving three * 
volumes of poems ; among which his feibles hold the highest 
rank. In grace and simplicity he surpasses Pkgnotti, though he 
is inferior to him in harmony and colouring. His manner of re- 
lating a story is so perfectly infantine, that to translate his poems 
as they deserve would require even greater talents than he him- 
self possessed. It would be necessary to endow a language, by 
no means so expressively simple as his own, with those graces, 
which in him are the spontaneous gift of nature. I shall, how^ 
ever, venture to give the fable of the Lizard and the Crocodile. 

* A Lizard, one day, 

In a weak little Toice, ' 
To a Crocodile said, 
'* Oh, how much 1 rejoice 

Mangia con gli occhi, e nel suo cor t' uceide 7 
Non pietà di congiunto, non d' amico 
Yienti a chiuder le ciglia ; debilmente 
Stringer non puoi con la mano mancante 
Una man cara, e un caro oggetto indamo 
Da' moribondi erranti occhi cercato, 
GU chini sul tuo sen con un sospiro. 

* [The Translator fears that, in the English version, the reader will doubly 
feel the force of M. de Sismondi's obserration, TV.] 

Una loeertoletta 
Diceva al cocodrillo ; 
O quanto mi diletta 
Di Ttder finalmente 



At length to bek«ad 
One of mj UUle fettily 

So great and ao bold ! 

I have come Aftj milet, Sir, 

To look in jour face ; 
For you 're rery much honoured 

By all of bur race. 

Though we creep though the herbege 

And chinks in the groond» 
Tet the true ancient bload, Sir» 

Within us is found." 

Throqgfa all this politeness 

King Crocodile dosed ; 
But Just as 'twas ended 

His eyes he unclosed ; 

And asking the moaning. 

The Usard, elate, 
Began the long story 

Again to relate. 

But, as he thus open'd 

His mouth to reply. 
The Crocodile, snoring. 

Again shut his eye. 

The admiration of Bertola for Cressner, with whom he was ae- 
qnainted at Zurich, and upon whom he wrote an eulogy, in some 
degree shows tiie nature of his talents. Though he has not com- 
poMd any pastorals, yet his poems display the same sort of loTe 
for the eountry, and the same delicacy and tenderness of feeiixig; 
mingled with some degree of affectation. We feel as though we 
were satiated with milk and honey. 

Un della mia famiglia 
Si grande e si poteate I 
Ho fatto mille migHa 
Per ? eninri a Tedm : 
Sire, trà noi si serba 
Di Toi mamoria vira, 
Benche Aiggiun tra I' erba 
E sassoso sentiere. 
In sen perè non langâe 
L' onor del prisco sangne* 
L' aofibio rè domÛTa 
A questi coni|>limenti; 
Pur sugli nitnai accent! 
Del sonno si riscosse 
E addimandd chi fosse ; 
La perentela antica, 
II cammin, la Aitica, 
Quelle gU toma a dire : 
Ed ei toma a domfara. 

Foeefa xrii. p. 29. 


Qmeiite Bondi of Pum» is knoum «s the avthor of tiro to- 
hoiios of po«i. A cansone on tiie abolition of the Jesuits gives 
as to understand that he was himself a memher of that order. 
When he believed that he had for ever abandoned the eai-es of 
Diis life, tiie sappression of the Jesuits again threw him into the 
world. His indignatioii against the supreme Pontiff, who had 
thus oouaeoted to the dispersion of his most faithful servants, is 
expressed with astrength of feeling which we rardy find in the 
Ituian poets. Except upon this smgle occasion, when he was 
aiiimate!| by personal hiterest Bondi seems to be destined to fill 
Hie office of Poet Laureate of the feast ; which indeed may also 
be said of Beitola, and some others. The amiable Abbate was 
invited to the aeigUbouring mansion, where he was entreated to 
write an epithalamium for a marriage, or some congratulatory 
verses at a christening, or some stanzas for the fête of the Lord 
or the Lady, or some pretty couplet on a journey, or on some M- 
kggiaiura more gay than usuaL Bonai accomplishes all this 
task-work in an ingenious and sometimes a graceful style, but 
without any traces of inspiration. A light little poem, La Gi- 
arnaia ViUereccia ; A Dcty in tfce Cowfdry, is written with liveli- 
ness and elegance ; but if the flatteries addressed by Horace to 
Augustas are tiresome to us, how can we be expected to endure 
those of Bondi to Silvio Martmengo, whose cnly merit, as far 
as we know, was, that he was the possessor of a country-house 
not fer from Bologna, at which our author used to be hospitably 
entertained. Among these poems, written by particular desire, 
there are a great number of sonnets of whidi I luive perused only 
a few. They appear, however, richer in ideas, and less full of 
pompous phrases than the generality of Italian sonnets ; but who 
has tbe courage to read such a collection through ? 
. A poem on Conversation, some descriptive verses written on a 
journey, some lines to Nice, and a few amatory canzoni, address- 
ed to an imaginary fair one, complete the catalogue of Bondi*s 
works. In every one of his poems tiiere may be remarked the 
absence of the estro, or true creative inspiratioa. If an Abbate 
will be poetical, let him write religious poems, if sutb be his 
talent, or let him forget, and suffer us also to forget, that he is 
an Abbate. I know not whether, in fact, Bondi was of a warm 
temperament ; but his amatory effusions oertainly appear to me 
not to be inspired by love. Because he was a poet, ne imagined 
it necessary to sing the charms of Nice and Lyooris ; and this, 
too, without displaving any real passion or real tendiemess, be- 
cause he was an Abbate, and most, therefoi^ be eontent with dis- 
playing the ingenuitv ol his wit With rqgard to his didactic 
poems, they are not devoid either of wit or ot imagination ; but 
we require other attractions to relieve and give a zest to compo- 
sitions of so cold a character. 

Giuseppe Parini, a native of Milan, who died at an advanced 
age during the revolution, is equal to Savioli in his love-poems : 


and, like him, is an imitator of Anacrecm. His veraes display 
real inspiration, and feelings both delicate and tender ;.ana hi» 
love always appears to be an overflowing ef happiness. He ha» 
imitated the Rape of the Lock in his Day of a Man of iJu World, 
With much wit, elegance, and refinement, he supposes himself 
giving a lecture on the employment of the morning, the day, and 
the evening, to a young gentleman, who neither knows, nor 
wishes to Imow, any other occupations than such as luxury and 
pleasure can afford. He has painted high society with some de- 
licate satirical touches ; and whilst he has adorned that efifemi* 
nate life with all the graces of his pencil, he has yet succeeded 
in making those, who devote themselves to it, asnamed of ih&r 
uselessness and unreal virtues.* Parini, indeed, was a man of a 

* We adduce, in the history ofH fa? ourite dog, an example of Parini's talent 
in paifitingy and of his manner of conTejing a moral lesson. 

^ Or le sOYTiene il giorno, 

Abi fero giorno ! allor cbe la sua bella 
Vergine cuccia, delle Grazie alunna, 
Giovenilmente vezzeggian^, il piede 
Yillan del servo con I' eborneo dente 
Segno di lieve nota : ed egli audace 
Con sacrilego pie lanciolla ; e qnella 
Tre Tolte rotoU6 ; tre Tolte scosse 
Gli scompigliati peli, e dalle molli 
Nari soffiô la poWerô rodente. 
Indi i gemiti alzando : aita, aita ! 
Parea dicesse ; e dalle aurate Yolte 
A lei I' impietosita Eco rispose ; 
E dagi' innmi chioatri i mesti ser? i 
Asceser tutti ; e dalle somme stanze 
Le damigelle pallide tremanti 
Precipitaro. Accorse ognuno ; il volto 
Fu spruzzato d' essenze alia sua dama ; 
Ella rinrenne alfin : l' ira, il dolore, 
L' agitavano ancor : folminei sguaridi 
Getto sul senro, e con langnida voce 
Chiam6 tre volte la sua cuccia; e questa 
Al sen le corse ; in suo tenor vendetta 
Chieder sembroUe : e tu vendetta avesti, 
Vergine cuccia, delle Grazie alunna. 
L' empio servo tremè^; con gli occhi al laolo 
Udi lut Btia condanna. A lui non valse 
Merito quadrilustre ; a lui non valse 
Zelo d'arcani uffici : in van per lui 
Fu pregato e promesso ;' ei nudo andonne 
Deli' assisa spogliato, ond* era un giomo 
Venerabile al vulgo. Invan novello 
Signor sperô ; che le pietose dame 
Inorridiro, e del misfatto atrote 
Odiar 1' autore. II misero si giacque 
Con la squallida prole, e con la nuda 


hij^h mind, who, amidst the rarioas reyolations which we have 
witnessed, deserved and obtained the respect of all parties. The 
love of liberty and the love of virtue, which were united in his 
heart, give a noble character to his verses ; and ahhough there 
are few of them written on subjects of public interest, yet even 
in his most trifling piedes, we recognise the pen of an honest 
man and a good citizen. An Epistle to Sylvia, who, in 1795, ap- 
peared in a dress of a new fashion, which was called A la Vic- 
time, presents a hire mixture of beauty and of energy, of gal- 
lantry, and of indignation. Parini makes his mistress blush for 
having dared to adopt a dress, the name of which alone recalled 
such terrible crimes. He shows the danger of becoming familiar 
with images of «amelty, and in so doing be displays a warmth of 
heart, a (telicacy of feeling, a severity of virtue, and a paternal 
tenderness, which render this little piece truly eloquent and 

Onomo Menzoni the dder, of Ferrara, is one of those reli- 
eionists, who, gifted with real eloquence and (Nriginal fervour, 
devote themselves to the career to whidi their vows have bound 
them. He has scarcely written any other than religious poems, 
which owe their reputation to the boldness of invention, and to 
the richness of imagery which they display. The poet's ima- 
gination, however, is generally exercised upon very trite subjects, 
and hii^most brilliant images are confined within a very narrow 
eirde. Menzoni never attempted any great religious poem. His 
compositions consist, for the most part, of some *sminêts on tjie 
Solemnities of the Church; and, whatever maybe his reputation, * 
he can never become a popular writer. The first fts well as the 
most celebrated of these sonnets, has be^i tranalated into French 
verse by an illustrious lady, by whom it was recited in the Aca- 
demy m the Arcadians. 


When JefU0, littering his lut mortiU sigh, 
Open*d the grares, while shook the earth's wide bound, 

Adam, his head, in terror at the cry, 
UpraisM, and started from the rending ground, 

Consorte a lato, sulla via spargendo 
Al passeggiere inutile lamento. 
E tu, vergine cuceia, idol ptaeato 
Dalle ▼ittime umanCf ieti superba. 

R Mtszogiomo, p. 100. 

*. Qnando Gesù eon V ultimo lamento 

Schittsse le tombe, e le montagne 8C09se, 
Adamo rabufiato e sonnolento 
liev6 la testv^ soTra i piè rizsose. 

Vor. M. 7 


Erect. He c«sU his troubled eye* around, 
Fiird with deep fear aad dim perplexttj, 

And a.'-ks, while doubt aod dread bis heart astoand, 
Who:se is the bloody form and pallid eye. 
But when he knew him, on hi« furrowM brow, 

And on bi« withered cheek and hoary head. 
In deep remorse be dealt the furious blow ; 

And turning, weeping, to his contort, said, 
While all the mountain echoed with his wo, 

*' Through thee I sold our Saviour to the dead!'* 

Another sonnet, by Menzoni. though of a very different chas, 
enjoys almost an equal reputation in Italy. It is burlesque both 
in the subject and in the rhymes. In other respects it is a true 
monkish sonnet, lieartless and unfeelix^. He complains of his 
misfortunes in being compelled alone to supply all the wants of 
his family. He complains of the voracity of his mother, of the 
silliness of his brother, of the coquetry of his sister, and of all 
the cares which these incumbrances produce. The mere sound 
of the verses and their whimsical rhymes, have contributed, more 
than the ideas,* to the fame of this sonnet* 

Le torbide pupille fintorno raotie 
Piene di maraviglia e di s|m?«nto, 
£ palpitando addimandè chi fosse 
Lui che pendeva insanguinalo e spcnto. 

^ Come to eeppe, aHa rugosa froBte, 

AI crio canuto, ed allé guance emorte, 
Colla pentita man fè danni ed onte. 

Si volte lagrimando alia consorte, 
£ gridô st, che rimbombonne il monte : 

10 per tè diedi al mio signer la morte. 

The following is the French translation alluded to in the text. 

Quand Jésus eipiralt, à ses plaintes funèbres 
Le tombeau s'entrouvrit, le mont fut ébranlé. 
Un vieux mort l'entendit dans le sein des ténèbres, 
' Son antique repos tout à coup fut troublé : 
C'était Adam ; alors soulevant sa paupière, 

11 tourne lenteroept son œil plein de terreur, 
£t demande quel est, sur la croix meurtrière, 
Cet objet tout sanglant vaincu par la douleur. 
L'infortuné le sut, et son pâle visage, 

Ses longs cheveux blanchis, et son front sillonnéy 
De sa main repentante éprouvèrent l'outrage. 
£o pleurant, il reporte un regard consterné 
Vers sa triste compagne, et sa voix lamentable, 
Que l'abtme, en grondant, répète au loin encore, 
Fit entendre ces mots : Malheureuse coupable ! 
Ah I pour toi, j'ai livré mon Seigneur à la mort î 

* Una madré che tempre è malaticcia, 
£ non ha parte che non sia malconcia. 
Pure si mangia un sacco di laisiccia 
£ si bere d'iureto una bigencia ; 


The Abbate Giovan-Battista Casti, who died a few years since, 
at a yery advanced a^e, is accounted one of the most prolific 
authors d Italy : bat the greater part of his works cannot be 
noticed in this place. His best production is his mock-heroic 
poem oi Gli ÂrUmali Parlanti ; in which, he has given an epic 
form to his apologue, and, like £sop, endowing animals with ' 
oilman passions, has pleasantly enough satirized the character of 
political revolutions; the high sentiments which are promul- 
gated ;i the secret selfishness of the heads of successive parties ; 
and the intolerance of those who will allow of no salvation out 
of their own pale, and who regard the reigning sentiments as 
immutable principles. He *paint8, in a very lively manner, the 
democratic eloquence of ^é dog, the aristocratieal pride of Ihe 
bear, the jovial disposition of Lion I., and the vices of Lion H. 
The joke is, however, rather tedious. It seems impossible that 
the interest of the reader should be sustained daring a fable of 
twenty-six cantos in length, with more than six hundred lines in 
each canto ; and the slovenly and negligent style of Cast! does 
not contribute to remedy this defect. 

At length we oomte to Vinoenzio Monti of Ferrara, whom 
Italy, with one unanimoas voice, has recognised as the first of 
her living poets. Fickle to an excess, irritable and full of pas- 
sion, the sentiments of the present moment govern him with un- 
bounded sway. £very feeling, and every conviction, is full of 
impetuosity and fury. Whatever object his thoughts are em- 
ployed upon, his eyes immediately behold ; and as it stands be- 
fore him, a flexible and harmonious language is ever at his com- 
mand, to paint it in the brightest colours. Persuaded that po- 
etry is only another kind of painting, he makes his whole artbon- 
sist in presenting to the eye of his reader the pictures which his 
own imagination has created ; and he never writes a single verse 
which does not in this manner display some image to the eye. 
Educated in the school of Dante, he has again introduced into 
Italian poetry some of those bold and severe beauties, which 
adorned it during its in&ncy ; and he thus proceeds from picture 
U> picture, with a grandeur and dignity peculiar to himself. It 
is singular that wiSi so much severity in his manner and style, a 
man of his passionate fedings does not display a greater con- 
stancy in his principles. In many other poets this foult would 

Un psio di Sorelle, t cui atropiecia 
^mor le gote, ed i capegli «cconeity 
Ma oella testa impolTerata e riccia 
Loro 000 lascia di cervello un' oocîa ; 

Uo pîceielo fratello Gosi conzo 
Che dalla oùcia oon distingue il coceio, 
L 'aequa dal ? ino, dalla pappa il bronso ; 

Ecco ci6 di cbe spetso io mi corruceio : 
Uue' poi cbe mi faoo' ire il capo a soozo 
Seae un Telo, na «pada, ed an capaccio. 


not be perceived ; but circumstanoes have broaght the versatility 
of Monti into more conspicuous notice, and his fiune depends 
upon works which perpetually display him in contradictory 
lights. Living in the midst of the revolutions o( Italy, he has 
generally chosen political subjects upon which to exercise his 
pen, and he has in turns celebrated every party as it became the 
successful one. We may suppose, by way of excuse, that be 
writes like an tmpromsafore, that he works himself into an ish 
spiration upon any theme, and that he seizes with avidity upob 
any political sentiment, however foreign it may be to lus own 
feelings. In these poUtiod poems, which display such opposite 
principles, there is not perhaps sufficient variety of invention and 
style. ^ La Baangliana is the most celebrated of them. The 
readers of Monti will soon perceive that the author, who always 
copies Dante, not unfrequently copies himself. 

Hughe Basville was a French envoy, who, at the commence- 
ment of the revolution, was massacred by the people of Rome, 
for attemptinff to excite an insurrection against the pontifical 
authority. Monti, who was then the Papal poet, as he afterward 
was the republican Laureate, supposes that at the mmnent of 
Basville*s death, a sudden repentance snatches him from the 
pangs of the reprobate, and withdraws him fit>m the punishments 
which he so richly deserved for his philosophical principles. In 
expiation of his sins, and as a sort of commutation for the tor- 
tures of purgatory, he is condemned by the ordinances of Divine 
justice to traverse France, until the crimes of that country have 
received their due reward, and to contemplate the misfortunes 
and reverses, which he had contributed to produce by the share 
which he took in the revolution. An angel conduce Basville 
from province to province, in order to show him the desolation 
of this beautiful country ; and after leading him to Paris, that 
he may witness the execution of Louis XVI., bids him behold 
the allied armies ready to rush down upon France, to avenge 
the death of the king. The poem ends without the reader beinjg 
made acquainted with the issue of the war. It is divided into 
four cantos of three hundred verses each, and, like the great 
poem of Dante, it is written in the terza rima. Not only many 
tiorms of expression, many epithets and whole verses, are bor* 
rowed from the Divina . CotMdiaf but the general idea of that 

e»em seems to have been here imitated. An angel conducts 
asville through the suffering world, and this faithful guide, who 
sustains and consoles the hero of the poem, plays precisely the 
same part which Virgil sustains in Dante. In thought, senti- 
ment, and suffering, Dante is the prototype of Basville. Monti 
has scarcely preserved in him any traces of his revolutionary 
character. He makes him feel more pity than remorse, and he 
seems to forget, when he thus identifies himself witii him, that 
he had before represented Basville, perhaps without any real 
grounds, as an infidel and a most ferocious revolutionist 


The Basyigliana is remarkable, perhaps beyond erery other 
poem, for the majesty of the verse, the nobleness of expression, ' 
and the richness of the colouring. In the first canto, the soul^of 
BasFiiie bids adieu to his body: 

And then he cast a glance upon the cone. 
His earthly consort, in whose every Tcin 
Anger and zeal bad opened life's red source. 

Oh sleep in peace t he said : oh ! of my pain 
Beloved companioa, till that final day. 
When the great trumpet arakens thee again ! 

And lightly on thee press the earth's cold clay, 
Nor rudely hloar the winds of heaven o'er thee, 
Nor ever traveller taunt thee on his way I 

Beyond the tomh there dwelU not enmity, 
And on the Messed shore, where now we part, 
Juatiee and mercy reign triumphantly.* 

In the second canto, Basville enters Paris, with the angel, hit 
guide, at the moment of the execution of Louis : 

The Shade upon bis guide, whose eheeka were slaln'd 
With tears, in wonder gazed, and on each street, 
^ Along whose bounds slili deepest silence reign'd. 

Mote was the brhzen trumpet, and the feet 
Of artiians were heard not, nor did sound 
Of anvil, or of saw, the strangers greet ; 

A whisper only tremBHngly crept round, 
'Mid guarded hioks, and fearful questionings. 
While grief within each heavy heart was found.t 

* Foeeia P ultimo sguardo al eorpo affisae, 
6ià sue coosorte in tita, a cut le vena 
ftdegno di selo e di ragion traéaae ; 

Dormi in pace, âicendo, O di mie pene 
Caro compagne, infin che del gran die 
L' orrido squillo a risvegliar ti viene. 

Lieve iatanto la terra, e doici e pie 
Ti aien Paore e le pioggie ; e a te non diea 
Parole 11 passegger scortesi e rie. 

Oltre U rogo non vive Ira nemiea, 
E neir ospite suolo ove io tl lasso, 
Giuste son Palme, e la pietade è antka. 

t E P ombra si slupia qoioei ? edendo 
Lagrimoso il soo duca, e possedute 
Qutndi le stradb da sileniio onundo. 

Mnto de' bronzi U saero iquillo, e mola 
L'opre del giomo, e m^to Io stridore 
]>elP aspre incudi, od délit stght argute. 


Vokei were heard, confaeed murmaringi, 
The voice of maoy a mother, who in fear 
Her trembling arras around her infant flingi ; 

Yoicea of wives, who, as their husbands dear 
Pass oVr the threshold, on their footsteps press, 
And stay their ardent course with eigh and tear; 

Bat woman's love and kindly (eniierness 
Were conqucr*d by their fury's fiercer power, 
Which tore them from the coiyugai caress. 

We haire elsewhere spoken of the two tragedies of Monti, 
which are the pride of the modern Itali^in theatre. We are happy, 
in concluding this account of the literature of Italy, to he able to 
contemplate a man of genius, who, still in the prime of his age, 
may yet enrich his language with masterpieces worthy of being 
placed by the side of those of the greatest writers of his coun- 
try ; more especially if, yielding only to the dictates of genuine 
inspiration, he should refuse to sacrifice to the interests of the 
moment, a reputation which was made to endure for ages. 

We have attempted by the extracts which we have made, and 
by tlie fragments of translations which we have introduced, to 
make the reader acquainted with the poets, who, during the last 
five centuries, have shed such lustre upon the Italian language ; 
or rather o^r object has been to awaken curiosity and to induce 
the reader to judge for himself. Italy still possesses another 
class of poets, whose fugitive talents leave no traces behind them, 
but who yet give birth for the moment to a very lively pleasure. 
We should convey an exceedinjriy imperfect idea of the poetry 
of Italy, did we omit to say a few words of the Impramisatari. 
Their talent, their inspiration, and the enthusiasm which they 
excite, are all most illustrative of the national character. In them 
we perceive how truly poetry is the immediate language of the 
soul and of the imagination ; how the thoughts at their birth take 
this harmonious form ; and how our feelings are so closely con- 
nected with the music of language and with the rich graces of 

Sol per tutto un bisbiglio ed un terrore, 
Un domandare» un sogguardar sospetto, 
Una mestixia che ti piomba al cuore ; 

E eupe Toei di confuso affetto, 
Voei di madri pie, che gl' innocent! 
Figli si serran, trepidando, al petto ; 

Vod di spose, che ai mariti ardenti 
Contrastano 1' uscita, e sugle soglie 
Fan di lagrime intoppo e di lamentL 

Ma teneresEa o carità di moglie 
Yinta è da ftiria di maggior possanza« 
Cht dall* amplesto coiyugal U Kioglit. 


descriptioii, that the poet displays resoarces in Terse, which he 
never appears to possess in prose ; and that he, who is scarcely 
worthy of being listened to in s|)eaking, becomes eloquent, capti- 
vating, and even sublime, when he abandons himself to the in* 
spiration of the Muse. 

The talent of an improwisatore is the gift of nature, and a 
talent which has frequently no relation to the other faculties. 
When it is manifested in a child, it is studiously cultivated, and 
he receives all the instruction which seems likely to be useful to 
him in his ai*t. He is taught mythology, history, science, and 
philosophy. But the divine gift itself, the second and more har- 
monious language, which with graceful ease assumes every ar- 
tificial form, this alone they attempt not to change or to add to, 
and it is left to develope itself according to the dictates of na- 
ture. Sounds call up corresponding sounds ; the rhymes spon- 
taneously arrange themselves in their places ; and the inspired 
soul pours itself forth in verse, like the concords naturally eli- 
cited from the vibrations of a musical chord. 

The improwisatore generally begs from the audience a suh- 
jeet for his verse. The topics usually presented to him are dhiwn 
from mythology, from religion, from nistory, or from some pass- 
ing event of me day ; bat from all these sources thousands of 
the most trite subjects may be derired, and we are mistaken in 
supposing that we are rendering the poet a service in giving him 
a subject which has already been the object of his verse. He 
would not be an improwisatore, if he did not entirely abandon 
himself to the impression of the moment, or if he trusted more 
to his memory than to his feelings. After having been informed 
of this subject, the improwisatore remains a moment in medita- 
tion, to view it in its various lights, and to shape out the plan of 
tke little poem which he is about to compose. He then prepares 
the eight first verses, that his mind during the recitation of them 
may receive the proper impulse, and that he may awaken that 
powerful emotion, which makes him as it were a new being. In 
about seven or eight minutes he id fully prepared, and commences 
his poem, which often consists of five or six hundred verses. His 
eyes wander around him, his features glow, and he struggles with 
the prophetic spirit which seems to animate him. Nothing, in 
the present age, can represent in so striking a manner the Py thia 
di Delphes, when the god descended and spoke by her mouth. 

There is an easy metre, the same which Metastasio has em- 
ployed in the Partenza a JVtce, and which is adapted to the air 
loiown by the name of the w9tr of the Imprcwisaiori, This mea- 
sure is generally made use of when the poet wishes not to give 
himself much trouble, or when he has not the talent to attempt a 
higher strain. The stanza consists of eight lines with seven syl- 
lables in each line, and divided into two quatrains, each quatrain 
being terminated by a veno ironco, so tiiat there are properly 
only two of the lines rhymed in eadi qillttrain. The singing 


lustains and strengthens the prosody, and ooverfl, where it it 
neoesoarjr, defectiye verses, so that the art is in this form within 
the capacity of persons possessing very ordinary talents. All 
the improvvisatori,- however, do not sing. Some oi the most cele- 
brated aidong them have bad voices, and are compelled to de- 
claim their verses in a rapid manner, as if they were reading 
them. The more celebrated Improw^salori consider it an easy 
task to conform themselves to the most rigid laws of versifica- 
tion. At the will of the audience, they will adopt the terza rima 
of Dante, or the ottava rima of Tasso, or any other metre as coa- 
itrained ; and these shackles of rhyme and verse seem to aug- 
ment the richness of their imagination and their eloquence. The 
fiunous Gianni, the most astonishing of all the improvvisatori, 
has writtai nothing in the tranqniUity of his closet which can 
give him any claim to his prodigious reputation. When, how* 
ever, he utters his spontaneous verses, which are preserved by 
the diligence of short-hand writers, we remark with admiratioB 
the lofty poetry, the rich imagery, the powerful eloquence, and, 
oocasionally, the deep thought whidi they display, and which 
place their author on a level with the men who are the ^ory of 
Italy. The famous Gorilla, who was crowned in the Capitol* 
was distingqisbed for her lively imagination, her srace, and her 
gayety. Another poetess, La Bandettini, of Moaena, was edu- 
cated by a Jesuit, and from him acquired a knowledge of the 
ancient languages, and a familiarity with the classical authors. 
She afterward attached herself to scientific pursuits, that she might 
render herself equal to any theme that might be proposed to her, 
and she thus rendered her numerous acquirements subservient 
to her poetical talents. La Fantastici, the wife of a rich gold- 
smith of Florence, did. not devote herself to such abstruse 
branches of knowled^ ; but she possessed from heaven a mu- 
sical ear, an imagination worthy or the name she bore, and a fa- 
cility of composition, which gave full employment to her mdo- 
dious voice, Madame Mazzei, whose former name was Landi, 
a lady of one of the first Êimilies in Florence, surpasses, perhaps» 
all her compeers in the fertility of her imagination, in the rich- 
ness and purity of her style, and in the harmony and perfect 
regularity of her verses. She never sings ; and absorbed in tiie 
process of invention, her thoughts always outstrip her words. 
She is negligent in her declamation, and her redtation is theit- 
fore not graceful ; but the mom^t she commences her sponta- 
neous effusions, the most harmonious language in the world seems 
at her bidding to assume new beauties. We are delighted and 
drawn forward by the magic stream. We are transported into 
a new poetical world, where to our amazement we discover man 
speaking the language ^of the .gods. I have heard her exert her 
tidents upon subjects which were unexpectedly offered to her. 
I have heard her in the most magnificent otkna rima celebrate 
the genius of Dantéc of Machiavrili, and of Galileo. I have 

01^ THE ftFANlARDS. ôl 


heatA her in ierza titna lament the dqMurted glory and the lost 
libêrtieé of Florence. I haTe heard her compose a fri^ment of 
à iragedjr, on a subject which tiie tragic poets had neyer touched, 
86 as to give an idea in a few scenes of the plot and the catas- 
tMplfe ; and lasOy I hare heard her pronounce, confining herself 
ti^ tbf6 same gÎTen rhymes, five sonnets on five difierent subjects» 
Bût ft is neceMary to hear her, in order to form any idea of the 
proàigiouà power of tins poetical eloquence, and to feel convinced 
lâîàt a dation in ^boêe heart so bright a flame of inspiration stiU 
hatha, &4s ilot yet aooomplished ner literary career, birt that 
there stiil perhaps remain in reserve fer her greater glories than 
toy widch she rata as yet Acquired. 


«f fhe Bçoiidi liftaf^ «ad PMlry. Poem of the Cid. 

We mair be considered as inaking the toor of Europe for tiie 
t^arpose of examiiiing, nation by nation, and country by country, 
the eflect which was produced by the mixture of the two graat 
races of men, the northern and the southern. We are thus pre- 
sent, as it were, at the birth of the modem languages, and of 
that genius and literature with which they were accomjMUEiied. 
We remark the local circumstances which modified each simul- 
taneous developement. We behdd the formation of national 
taste and genius ; and we are enabled to understand in what * 
manner ea<£ nation of Europe mated a literature which differed 
finom tiie rest, not only in the rules which it laid down, but like- 
wLne in the object which it proposed to itself, and in the means 
whidi it took to secure the accomplishmait of that object 
Havii^ already traversed Provence, the North of France, and 
Itaiyv we now snive at Spain; and in proportion as we advance; 
the difficulty of our Um increases. With the language <î 
which we aie now about to treat, we are not so fiunmariy ac- 
quainted as with the Itadian, nor is it indeed generally known 
Spanish books, moreover, are rare in France and difËcult to be 
procured ; and there are scarody any of the Writers in that lan- 
guage whose works have been translated* and whose &me has 
becmne general throughout Europe. The (Germans alone have 
itadied Sie Uterary history of Spain with zeal and attention ) 
and, ndtwitiistanding the efforts I have made to procure the Ori- 
ginal authors in the most celebrated libraries of those Italian 
iorwns over which Spanish princes have reigned, I siiall yet be 
compelled occasiondly to mm my judgment on the citklit of 
other writers, and to consult the German authors, Boutterwefc.- 
Vol. II. S 


Dieze, and Scblegcl. The number of Spanish writers, also, is^ 
very considerable, and their fecundity is most appalling.. For 
example, there arc more drançias in the Spanish, than in all the 
other languages of Europe put together ; and it cannot be al- 
lowed us to judge of these compositions by specimens chosen by 
chance fiom the bulk. I'he very peculiar national taste of the 
opauiards likewise augments the difi^culty we feel in becoming 
acquainted with them. The literature of the nations upon whicn 
we have hitherto been employed, and of those of which we have 
yet to treat, was European ; the literature of Spain, on the con- 
trary, is decidedly oriental. Its spirit, its pomp, its object all 
belong to another sphere of ideas — to another world. We must 
become perfectly familiar with it before we can pretend to judge 
of it, and nothing could be more unjust than to estimate by our 
notions of poetry, which the Spaniards neither know nor regard, 
works which have been composed upon absolutely different prin- 

On the other hand, the literature of Spain will amply repay 
the labour which an examination of it requires. This brave and 
chivalrous nation, whose pride and dignity have passed • into a 
proverb, is reflected in its literature, in which we may delight 
to find all the distinctive traits which characterize the part which 
the Spaniards have acted in Europe. The same nation which 
opposed so strong a barrier to the Saracen invaders, which main^ 
tamed for five centuries its civil and religious liberties, and 
which, after it had lost both the one and the other, under Charles 
V. and his successors, seemed desirous of burying both Europe 
and the New World under the ruins of its own constitution, has 
also displayed in its literature, the loftiness and grandeur of its 
character, and the power and richness of its imagination. In its 
early poems, we again behold the heroism of its ancient knights ; 
and in the poets of its brightest age, we recognise the magnifi- 
cence of the court of Charles V. ; when the same men who led 
armies from victory to victory likewise held the first rank in the 
empire of letters. Even in the universal decay which succeed- 
ed, we behold the loftiness of the Spanish character. The poets 
of later times sunk under the weight of their riches, and yielded 
to the strength of their own efforts, less for the purpose of van- 
quishing others, than of surpassing themselves. 

The literature of Spain manifests itself in sudden and fitful 
lights. We^admire it for an instant and it is again lost in obscu- 
rity ; but these glimpses always induce a desire to see more of 
it. The first tragic writer of the French stage borrowc»d his 
grandeur from the Spaniards ; and, after tlie Cid, which he imi- 
tated from Guillen de Castro, many tragi-comic pieces and chi- 
valric dramas transport us into Spain Thé celebrated romance- 
writer, Le Sage, has displayed all the gayety of a Spaniard*s 
genius ; and Gil Bias, though the production of a Frenchman,, 
is completely Spanish in manners, in spirit and in action. Don 


Quixote is well known to every nation as one of the most ani- 
mated, witty, and pleasant satires in the world. A few novels 
translated by M. de Florian, and some ^dramatic pieces which 
Beaumarchais has adapted to oar stage from the Spanish, have 
once more awajkened our curiosity with res^rd to this peculiar 
country, yet without satisfying it ; and its literature is still very^ 
little known to the French. 

At the period of the subversion of the empire of the West, 
during the reign of Honorius, Spain was invaded about the 
year 409, by the Suevi, the AJani, the Vandals, and the Visi- 
goths. This nation, which for six centuries had been subjected 
to the dominion of the Romans, and had completely adopted the 
language and civilized arts of its masters, experienced those 
bhanges in its manners, its opinions, its military spirit, and its 
language, which, we have already observed, took place in the 
other provinces of the empire, and which were, in fact, the ori- 
gin of the nations which arose on the overthrow of the Roman 
power. Among the conquerors, the Visigoths were the most 
numerous, which may be considered as a fortunate circumstance 
for Spain, since, of all the northern nations, the Goths both of 
the east and the west were by &r the most just and enlightened ; 
affording^ greater protection to the vanquished, and establishing 
among them an excellent system of legislation. The Alani yréte 
subdued by the Visigoths ten years after their entry into Spain ; 
and ten years later, the Vandals passed into Afri^ for the pur- 
pose of rounding that warlike monarchy which was destined to 
avenge Carthage and to pillage Rome. The Suevi, who had 
preserved their independence for a century and a half, were at 
las^ overcx>me in their turn in the year 585. The dominion of 
the Visiiçoths was thus extended over all Spain with the excep- 
tion oi a few maritime towns, which still remained in the power 
of the G reeks of Constantinople ; and which, by their commer- 
cial pursuits, acquired great riches and an abundant population. 
The ancient Roman simjects who were elevated by the laws of 
the Visig-oths to a level with their conquerors, being educated in 
the same manner, admitted to the same public employments, and 
professing the same religion, were speedily confounded with 
them; and when, in the year 710, Spain was invaded by the 
Mossulmen, all tlie Christians who inhabited that country were 
amalgamated into one people. 

It is the opinion of the Spaniards themselves that their lan- 
guage was formed during the three hundred years of the Visi- 
gothic dominion. It is evidently the result of a mixture of the 
Gennan with the Latin, the termination of the words in the 
latter language being contracted. The Arabic afterwards en- 
riched it with a number of expressions, which preserve their 
foreign character in the midst of a language derived from the 
Latin ; and this circumstance has, no doubt, had an influence on 
the pronunciation of the language, although not so much as 


to changé its genius. The Spanish and Italian, possessing a 
opnunon origin, yet differ in a very striking manner. The syl* 
lsi>les lost in the contraction of words, and those retained, are by 
no means the same in both ; insomuch that many words derireâ 
in each tonsue from the Latin, have little resemblance to one an- 
other.* The Spanish, more sonorous, and more full of a^iratea 
and accents, has something in it more dignified, firm, and im* 
posing ; while, on the other hand, having been less cultivated by 
philosophers and by orators, it possesses less flexibility and pre* 
cision. In its grandeur it is occasionally obscure, and its ponp 
is not exempt from being turgid. But notwithstanding these di- 
versities, the two languages may still be recognised «s sisters, 
suad the passage from the one to the other is certainly easy. 

There are no remains of the Spinish lancuam during the do- 
minion of the Visigoths. The laws which they promulgated 
were in Latin, in which language their chronicles also were writ* 
ten. Some people pretend that in these produetiiiiis traces of the 
Spanish character are tobe fi»und. The Visigoths manifested an 
extreme jealousy with regard to their women, by no means com* 
mon to the other northern nations ; but all that remains of their 
history and their manners is too scanty to aUow us to fi>rm any 
judgment respecting them. 

The extreme corruption of the Goths, under their later sove- 
reigns, was the cause flf their ruin, at the period when the Arabs 
were extending their conquests in Africa. Roderick having 
driven the sous of Witiza, the legitimate heirs to the throne^ 
into exiles mortally ofended Count JuUan, the covemor ot the 
provinces situated on both sides of the Straits m Gibraltar, ^y 
dishonouring his daudtter. Julian and the sons of Witiza placed 
themsdves under tne protection of the Moors. Mosa, the 
Moorish commander in Africa, despatched Tarifia, or Tarikh, in 

* A few geoeral rules on the traDiformsttoiu which diibrent letters have 
undergone, mty enable us to recognise words which have passed from one 
language to another. F, which is in fiict a strong aspiimtet is often changed In 
Spanish into A, and sometimes the h into /. Thus faMmri, to speak, is Mfar 
in Spanish ; in ltaiian,/oBe(liir ; and as the i and th^ v «re continually used 
for one another, this word is, in fact, precisely the same in both languages. 
The j, which is strongly aspirated by the Spaniards, is frequently substituted 
for the liquid I, so that hijo and figUo are the same wevd. The 1 liquid, in 
Spanish, is alwajs used instead of the pi qf the Latins, and the pi of Uie 
Italians. Thus, p^onuf, Latin, ttsno, Spamsh, pians, Italian ; Picnus, Latin» 
UenOf Spanish, pt<no, Italian. The Spanbh dk supplies the place of (he L^tin 
«4, and the lUllan tl. Foetus, kêcho, faUo; diefics, iUko, êtHa, The Spanish 
terminate their words with coneonants more frequently than the Italians ) 
and the language b full of words euding in mr^ cr, et and at. The iaflaitire 
of Terbs, sod the plural of nouns, are terminated by coosonjiots ; but the 
former are accentuated, and the latter not. In short, the Italians have softened 
down the pronunciation of the Romans, while the Spaniards have preserved a 
great numlter of harsh syllaUes, and have multifilied aspirates in the letters tr, >, 


the year 710, witii a Ifaasulmen army to their assistanoe, and to 
these £orees all the mahaontent VisigoUis united themselTea. A 
pitched battle was Sought between the hostile armies, each con- 
sistugof nearly a hundred thousand men, at Xçres, on the bw- 
dets St the Guadaleta, from the nineteenth to the twenty-sixth 
day of July, 711. The Goths were Tanquished ; a defeat which 
their king, Roderick, could never repair ; and by this battle the 
monarchy of the Goths was destroyed, and Spain was subjected 
to the Af ussulmen. ' 

A few valcnnons chieftains, however, retired into the mountains, 
and especially into that Vast chain which extends akmg the 
northem part of the Peninsula. In 716 they drove out of one 
portion of the Asturias the Christian governor, whom the Arabs 
had placed there ; and tibey at length sucoeeded in establishing 
their independence. This example was imitated ; andfirom these 
fugitives proceeded the kiras of Oviedo» descended finun Pda- 
gins, one of the prmcescf me fiuniiy of the Visigoth kings; the 
kings of Navarre, thé counts of Castile, the counts of Soprarbia, 
who afterwards reigned in Aragon, and the counts of Barcel o na; 
princes who were destined at a future time to reconquer the Pe* 
ninsula from the Arabians. But by kr the greater number of 
the Christians submitted to the yoke of the Moors, who granted 
them the fullest toleration in religious matters, and who freely 
oommnnicated to them the knowledge of which they were them- 
selves masters. In a former chapter we have given some account 
of the literary splendour of Spain during the government of 
the Moors, aAd of the influence which they exerâsed over the 
Christians. By a ibi^sh poUey, however, common to aU Mussul* 
men conquerors, they negleeted to amalgamate the vanonisbeis 
and the vanquished ; and throughout all their successes uey Oj^ 
pressed the nations whom the^ tie(d tributary to them, by whom 
they were hated in letom. It was by these means that they 
suDolied the Soantards. who had taken refiue in the numn* 
tains, with powerful allies in the Moorish provinces. 

These mountaineers, who hl^l preserved the reUgÛNi, the laws, 
the hoooax, and the liberty, of the Visigoths, together with the 
use of Aeir Romaic language, did not all speak the same dia- 
lect in Catalonia thje Provençal or Limousin, which so lone 
encaged our attention, was spoken. In Asturias, in old Castile, 
and in the kingd<Mn of Leon, the Castilian prevailed ; and in 
Qalicia, the GMhgo^ whence the Portuguese bad its orijfin. In 
Navarre, and in some parts of Biscay, the Basque was still 
poeserved ; a Celtic dialect, or, according to others, of African 
or Nnfnidian origin, prior to the conquests of the Romans, whkxh 
never intermingled with the Spamsh language, nor exercised any 
iiKfluence over its literature. When (he Christians, profithig by the 
extinction of the Caliphate of the Qyimiades of Cordova, and 
the divisi<m of the Mussolmen into a number of petty princi* 
began, posterior to the year 1031, to recover Spain fimn 


tiie Saracens, they introdHced into tiie South the language which 
they had preserved amidst the mountains ; and Spain was di 
vided into three lons^itudinal portions, of which the inhabitants of 
each spoke a separate language. The Catalan, in the states of 
Aragon, extended along the Mediterranean, from the Pyrenees, 
to the kingdom of Murcia ; the Castilian occupied the centre of 
the country, and extended likewise from the Pyrenees to the 
kingdom of Grenada ; while the Portuguese was spoken firom 
Gaiicia to the kingdom of Algrarves. * 

The Christians who had preserved their independence amidst 
the fastnesses of the mountains, were illiterate and rude men, 
though high'Spirited, courageous, and incapable of bearing the 
yoke. Each valley regarded itself as a separate state, and at- 
tempted by its own strength to render itself respected abroad, 
ancl to maintain its laws and manners at home. These valleys 
had received Visigoth Kings, Counts who administered justice, 
and led the troops to battle. Their authority continued to sub- 
sist after the destruction of the monarchy, but they were rather 
considered as military leaders, and as protectors of the people, 
than as masters. Every man by defending his own liberty, be- 
came cognizant of his own rights. Every man was aware of the 
power with which his own valour endowed him, and exacted to- 
vrards himself the same* respect which he paid to others. A 
nation composed for the greater part of emigrants, who had pre- 
ferred liberty to riches, and who had abandoned their country, 
in order that they might preserve amidst the solitude of the 
mountains their religion and their laws, were not likely to recw- 
nise, to any great degree, the distinctions which fortune created. 
The son of the governor of a province might often be seen 
clothed in very homely garments ; and the hero by whose valour 
a battle had been gained, might be found reposing in a hut 
The dignity of the people of Castile, which is observable even 
among the bej^ars, and their respect for every citizen, whatever 
may be his fortune, are peculiarities in Spanish manners, which 
may no doubt be referred to the period of which we are speak- 
ii^. The forms of the language, and the usages of socie^ es- 
taUished at this period, beoune an integral part of the national 
manners, and disphiy their ancient dignity even at the present 

Civil liberty was preserved as perfect in Spain, as it can be 
under any oonstitutH>n; The nation seemed to have created 
kings, in order that the authority, which necessarily devolved 
upon the sovereign power might be circumscribed within nar* 
rower limits. Their object was to provide themselves with able 
captains, with judges of the lists, and with chieftains who might 
serve as models to a gallant nobility ; but they yet watched with 
jealousy any attempts to qxtend the royal prerogative. Judges 
were appointed, to whom the nation might appeal under ordinary 
circumstances, and legal forms were established, by which the 


lieôplè were a«thorized %o redst by £(»oe abuses of power. AU 
classés were admitted to an equal share in the représentation, 
a»d every Spaniard was taught to place a dne value on bis pri- 
vileges as a citizen, and on his nobility as a Visigoth. The 
Court, the general nobility, and the equal balance ot ranks, of 
which no one was suffered to feel degraded, preserved in the 
manners, the language, and the literature of the Spaniards, a 
kind of elegance, and a tone of courtesy and high-breeding, 
with somewhat of an aristocraticai character of manners, whi^ 
the Italians lost very early, because they owed their libealies to 
a democratical spirit. 

When political liberty ^as onoe properly appreciated, reUgious 
servitude could not kmg coi^ûiue to exist; and the Spaniards 
therefore, until the time of Oharlts V., maintained their inde- 
pendence, in a great d^pree, i^ainst the church of < Rome, of 
i^ch they subsequently became the most timid vassals, when 
once deprived of their free constitution. . The religious inde*- 
pendenoe of the Spaniards has been little remarked upon, be- 
cause the native Writers of the present day are ashamed of (he 
&et, and have endeavoured to conceal it, while foreign authors 
have formed their opinion of that nation from its situation during 
their own time. We shall, however, have occasion to remark, in 
examining the early Spanish poets, that even in the wars with 
the Moors, as early as the eleventh century, they ascribe lo their 
heroes a spirit of charity and humanity for their enemies, as a 
quality highly honourable to them. All their most celebrated 
men, as Sernard de Carpio, the Gid, and Alfonso VI., had com- 
bated in the ranks of the Moors. About the twelfth century, 
as we have already said in treating of the Troubadours, the 
kings of Aragon granted free* liberty of conscience in their 
states to the Paulicians, and to the sectaries, who afterward ac- 

Sdred the name of Albigenses. *They likewise tock anns in 
eir defence in that deadly crusade which was headed by Simon 
de Montfort ; and Peter IL of Aragon was slain, in 1213, at the 
battle of Muret fighting against these crusaders, in the cause of 
religious toleration. In 1368, two princes of Castile, brothers 
of Alfonso X., quitted the banners of the infidels, under which 
thev had served at Tiinis. to give their assistance, at the head of 
eight hundred gentlemen of Castile, to the Italians, who were 
endeavouring to throw off the tyranny of the Pope, and of 
Charles of Anion. At the conclusion of the same century, 
(1282) Peter HI. of Aragon, voluntarily exposed himself to the 
thunders of the Church, in order to rescue Sicily from the op^ 
pression of the French. He and l^is descendants lived under 
s^tence of excommunication for nearly the whole of the four- 
teenth century ; nor ever consented to purchase the repeal of 
tho^e censures by any concession of their rights. In the great 
schism of the West, (1378) Peter IV. embraced that side which 
was regarded by the Church as schisgiatic ; a course which vra^ 


suited to his pdUtîoâl interests, sinee Peter de Luna, who was 
afterward Aiiti'p(^)e, under the name of Benedict XIII. was his 
subject. His suoeessors stUl oosftinaed to eonntenanee the 
schism, notwithstanding the efforts of al) the rest of Christendcsn 
to extinguish it Alfonso V. of Aragon again renewed it after 
the council of Constance, and eten after &e death of Benedict 
XIII. He consented in 14^ to the deposition of that shadow 
cf a Pope, which he had himself UMated ; an act of cendesoen- 
sion which was repaid by the Hoi j Pontiff with great iaorifiees. 
Until the reign of Chaiies V., this monarch, his son, and his 
successors on the throne of Naples, were in a State of almost 
perpetmi hostility with the Popes. We are net inclined to at- 
ttibnte any extraordinary merit to the Afagenese sovereigiis, on 
account of these prolonged nkmtnsts with fiie chareh. ft is Mt 
to be doubted that th^ fré^pKntly sanriitoed theiar i^Ugton to 
their temporal intoresto on those occasions ; but a nation* which, 
dnring three centuries, tiTce tn a stote of almost conststit tmk- 
troversy with the papal powmr, and despised its exootttttodcar 
tions, was undoubtedly ftur removed linom that blind flLith and an* 
perststkms subndssion, to which Philip II. ultiniately saeoeeded 
in reducing it The last stmggles in defenos of the liberties ef 
Aragon occurred in the year 1486 ; when tlie people rose to «cf- 
pel the introduction of the Inquisition, whtcè Ferdinand the 
Cathdlp attempted to impose upon thei*. To resist the ests< 
blishment of this odious tribonu, the whole population took up 
arms. The grand inquisitor was put to deatii, and his infomooi 
agents were expelled from Aragon. 

Although the minds of the Spaniards were not ditifecteè tothe 
subtleties of scholastic theoiogyi yet their ardent and passkMurte 
imaginations produced among tfiem some mystics» who, confeund- 
ing together love and religion, mietnok the aberrations of their 
feelings for divine inspirationt. These wnre almost the wAy sec- 
taries whom the Roman Ghuroh had ooéaiiott to eottdema in 
Spain. Even at the period when they enjoyed the greatest rè- 
lijnous liberty, few men devoted themselves to the exanunatioB 
of the orthoaox dogmas, or to the discussion of points of ftitb. 
The Jews and the Mussuimen remained steady in their belief, 
while the Catholics likewise persisted in their faiHi without 
taking ^e trouble to examine the grounds of it ; and religion 
was only employed to furnish oceasi<mal matter of contr o versy in 
a convent, or the subject of ahymiT in honour of some saint 

The literary men of Spain have collected with great diligence 
the earliest remains of their native poetry. D. Tromas Antonio 
Sanches, libranan to the king, hi 1779 puMished four octavo vo- 
lumes containing specimens of the most ancient Castilian poets, 
of whose works he had been able to procure manuscripts. The 
first in the collection is the poem of the Cid, whidi, in ins opi 
nion, was written towards the middle of the twelfth centonr, that 
is to say, about fifty years after the death ci the hero. Althonglf 


the Cid, both in versification and in langage, is almost abso- 
lutely barbarous, it is yet so curious on account of its simple and 
&ithfiil descriptions of the maui\crs of the eleventh century, and 
still more on account of its date, it being the most ancient epic in 
the modem languages, that we have determined to present a de- 
tailed anadysis ci the poem.* 

In order to give the reader some idea of the place where the 
scene is laid, it will, however, be necessary to make a few pre- 
vious remarks on the situation of Spain, ak the period when' the 
Cid was written. Sancho III. of Navarre, who died in 1034, 
had united almost all the Christian states of the Peninsula under 
one dominion, having married the heiress of the county of Cas- 
tile, and obtained the hand of the sister cf Bermudez III. 
the last king of Leon for his second son, Ferdinand. The As- 
turias, Navarre, and Aragon, were all subject to him, and he was 
the first who assumed the title of Sang of Castile. To him the 
sovereign houses of Spain have lookâ up as their common an- 
cestor, f<»: the male line of the Grothic Eangs became extinct in 
Bermudez III. It was in the reign of 4his Sancho, suraamed 
the Great, that D. Rodrigo Laynez, the son of «Diego, was bom, 
to whom the Spaniards gave the abbreviated appellation of Ruy 
Diaz, while the five Moorish Generals whom he had vanquished 
bestowed upon him the title of Es Sayd, (or, my Lord,) whence 
the name of the Cid had its origin. Muller conjectures that* 
be was born about the year 1026. The castle of Bitar, two 
leagues from Burgos, whence he took his name, was probably 
the plaoc of his birth, and perhaps a conquest of his father's. On 
the female side he was descended from the ancient Counts c^ 
Castile ; yet, though his birth was illustrious, he was compara- 
tively poor, before his valour had acquired him riches as well as 

D. Sancho divided his states among his children : D. Garcia 
became King of Navarre, D. Ferdinand, King of Castile, and 
D. Ramirez^ King of Aragon. The Cid, who was a subject of 
D. Ferdinand, entered upon his military career under that mo- 
narch's banners, where he displayed that marvellous strength 
and prodigious valour, that constancy and coolness, which raised 
him above all the other warriors of Europe. Many of the vic- 
tories of Ferdinand and the Cid were obtained over the Mooi^ 
who being at that time deprived of their leader and without a 
central government, were much exposed to the attacks of the 

* The MS. wfaieh haj been presenred, bean the date of 1207^, or 1345 of 
the Spaabh era, though it is certainly not the moit aneient. M. fiaynooard 
has promised us a Provençal poem on Boetbius, anterior to the year 1000, 
and which must consequently he of higher antiquity than the poem of the Cid. 
This discovery is due to M. Raynouard, ivho as yet is the only person who pos- 
sesses tiM means of forming a judgment upon the compositien. [This poem 
mav be found in BaynmnBtrdt Vol ii. p. 4. Tr. j 
Vol. ir. 9 


Christians. It was when tiie young Hescham el Mowaied, the 
last of the Ommiades, was on the point of receiving at CJordova, 
in 1031, the oath of all<^ance of all the Moors of SfMUn* and of 
being raised to the throne as Emir el Mumenin, (MiramoHn, or 
Emperor of the West,) that a sudden cry was heard among the 
people : " The Almighty hath turned away his eyes from the 
race of Omajah ! Reject ye the forsaken one !** The result was, 
that the Prince was compelled to take to flight, and to abandon, 
his throne ; and that every noble and powerful individval ren- 
dered himself independent in one or another of the cities of 
Moorish Spain as Emir or Cheick. 

The arms of Ferdinand and the Gid were not, however, always 
directed against the infidels. The ambitious Monarch toon af- 
terward attacked his brother-in-law, Bermudez III. of Leon, the 
last of the descendants of D. Pelagius, whom he despoiled cf his 
states, and put to death in I0d7. He subsequently attacked and 
dethroned his eldest brother, D. Garcia, and afterward his 
younffer brother, D. Ramirez, the former of whom he likewise 
sacrificed. The Old, who had received his earliest instrncticMis 
under D. Ferdinand, made no scrupulous inquiries into the jus- 
tice of that prince*s cause, but combating blindly for him, ren- 
dered him glorious in the eyes of the vulgar by these iniquitous 

It is also in the reign of Ferdinand, that the first romantie 
adventures of the Gid are said to have occurred ; his attachmeut 
to Ximena, the only daughter of Gount Gormaz ; his duel witik 
the Gount, who had mortally injured his father ; and lastly his 
marriage with the daughter of the man who had perished by his 
sword. The authenticity of these poetical achievements rests 
entirely on the romances which we shall examine in the next 
chapter ; but though this brilliant story is not to be found in any 
historical document, yet the universal tradition of a nation seems 
to stamp it with sufficient credit 

The Gid was in habits of the strictest friendship with the 
eldest son of Ferdinand, D. Sancho, surnamed the Strong, and 
the two warriors always combated side by side. During the 
lifetime of the father, the Gid, in 1049, had rendered trifantary 
the Mussulman Emir of Saragossa. He defended that Moorisn 
Prince against the Aragonese, in 1063 ; and when Sancho suo^ 
cceded to the throne in 1065, he was placed, by the young King, 
at the head of all his armies, whence, without doubt, he acquired 
the name of Campeador. 

D. Sancho, who merited the friendship of a hero, and who 
always remained faithful to him, was, notwithstanding, no less 
ambitious and unjust than his fether, whose example he followed 
in endeavouring to deprive his brothers of their share of the pa- 
ternal inheritance. To the valour of the Cid he owed his victo- 
ries over D. Garcia, King of Galicia, and D. Alfonso, King of 
Leon, whose states he invaded. The latter prince took refuge 


among tke Moors, 'vrith tbdlOnff of Tdledo, wbo affonkd him a 
generous asylum. D. Sancho amr Imvii^ also stripped his «is* 
tera of tiieir Infaeritsnoe. wasshdnin 101^ before Zamonu vhere 
the last of his sisters, D. Urraca, had fortified herself. Alfonso 
VI^ leoalled from the Moors to aseend the vacant throne, after 
having iak^i aii oatii, adminûtered by the hands of the Cid, that 
he had been in no degree accessary tp his hi-other*s death, en- 
deavoured to attach that cdefarated leader to bis interests, hy 
psomiaing him in marriage his own niece Ximena, whose mother 
was sister-in-law to Fei^nand the Great and Bermudea III. 
the last King of Leon. This marriage, of whidi historical evi- 
dence remains, was celebrated on the 19th of July. 1074. The 
Gid was at that time nearly £fty years of age, and had survived 
his first wife Ximena, ti»e daughter of Count Gormaz, so cele' 
hrated in Ibe Spanish and French tragedies. Being soon aAer* 
ward dcspatehed on an embassy to the Moorish princes of SeviUe 
and Cordova, the Cid assisted them in gaining a great victory 
over the King of Grenada ; but scarcely had the heat of Ibe 
battle passed away, when he restored all the {msoners wtram he 
had taken, with arms in their hands, to liberty. By these con- 
stant acts of generosity he won the hearts of his enemies as wdl 
as of his friends. He was admired and risspeoted both by 
Moors and Christians. He had soon afterward occasion to ciaim 
Ihe protection of the former; for Alfonso VI. instigated by 
these who were envious of the heroes success, banished turn from 
Castile. The Cid upon this occasionHook refuge with his friend 
Ahmed el Muktadir, King of Saragossa, bywhom he was treated 
with boundless confidence and respect. He was appointed by 
him to the post of governor of his son, and was in &et intrusted 
mnth the whole administration of the kingdom of Saragossa, 
durmg the reign of SoBCçh £1 Muktamam, from 1081 to 108£i, 
within whidi period he gained manv brilliai^ victcwies over the 
Christians of Aragon. Navarre, and Barcelona. Always gene- 
rous to the vanquished, he again gave liberty to the prisoners. 
Alfonso VI. now began to regret that he had deprived himself 
of the services of the most valiant of his warriors ; and being 
attacked T)y the redoubtable Joseph, the son of Teschfo, the 
Monrbite. who had invaded Spain with a new army of Moors 
from Africa, and having sustained a defeat at Zakika, on tlie 23d 
of Octolner, 1087, he recalled the Cid to his assistance. That 
hero immediately repaired to his standard with seven thousand 
soldiers, levied at his own charge ; and for two years continued 
to combat for his ungrateftil sovereign ; but at length, either his 
generosity in dismissing his captives, or his disobedience to the 
orders of a prince far inferior to himself in the knowledge of the 
art of war, drew upon him a second disgrace about the year 
1090. He was s^ain banished ; his wife and son were imprisoned, 
and his goods were confiscated. It is at this period that the poem, 
from which we are about to make some extracts, commences. 



It is in fact the fragment of a complete history of the Cid, tlie 
beginning of which has been lost • 

The opening, as it has been transmitted to ns, is not, deficient 
either in dignity or in interest. The hero is departing from 
Bivai% his native place, where every tiling bears the marks of 
desolation. .The doors are torn down, the windows driven in^ 
and the rooms usually appropriated to the protection of treasure 
and valuable effects, are broken open and empty. The falcons* 
mews are deserted, and within them neither falcons nor hawks 
are to be found.* The hero weeps as he quits these scenes ; for 
to shed tears was never deemed by the ancient knights to be in- 
consistent with their character as brave men. He traverses 
Burgos at the head of sixty lances. The friends of a knight 
ever remained faithful to him in misfortune. The anger of a 
king could not separate those who had pledged their faith to 
each other in battle ; and those who had mardbed beneath the 
triumphant standard of Rodrigo, cheerfuDy fdlowed him into 
exile. The citizens of Burgos, crowding to their doors and 
windows, wept as he passed, and exdaimed. ^*0 God! why 
didst not thou give so good a vassal a good Lord V None* 
however, ventured to invite the fugitive to partake cf the rites 
of hospitality ; for Alfonso had in his anger dedared, that who- 
ever, in the city, should receive him, should forfeit his goods and 
be deprived of his eyes. The Cid, after having thus traversed 
the capital of Castile, was compelled to leave it by the opposite 
gate, without meeting a single individual who dared to oÉet him 
an asylum. 

The language of the poet frequently does not rise above that 
of a barbarous chronicler ; but he relates his incidents with great 
fidelity, and places them, as it were, before our eyes. He tdls 
us how the Cid, advancing towards the borders of the Moorish 
territories, found that he lacked money to carry on the war ; and 
as all his property had been sequestrated by order of the king, 
how he borrowed irom a Jew five hundred marks of silver where- 
with to equip his troops, giving him, by way of pledge for repay- 
ment, two heavy cases filled with sand, which, as he pretended, 
held his treasures, and which he commanded the Jew not to open 
until a year had expired. This deception, the only one of which 

♦ I'he Tollowing are tlie opening lines : 

De )of sus QjoB tan fuertemientre lorando, 
Tomaba la cabeza, e estabalos catando : 
Vio pucrtas abiertas, e uzos sin cafiados, 
Alcandaras racias, sin pielles e sin maiitos 
£ sin fatrones, e sin adtores mudados. 
Sospirè mÎQ Cid, ca macho avie grandes cuidados 
Fabtô.mlo Cid, bien e tan mesumdo. 
Grade a ti, senor padre, que esta? en alto, 
T/nin mt hrvn bucUo m\cn enemi^o? mf»!os. 


or THfi «PAMIAUDS. %S 

thé Spanish b»ro was eter goaty, scarcely merited the- naune» 
since his word, which was alone worth a treasure^ was pMged 
£>r tbe restoration of the money. The first Meorish spoils ena- 
bled him to repay the loan. The Cid had left Ximena, with las 
daughters, at the abbey of St Peter ; and she, hearing of his ar- 
rival at that i^ace, commanded her six ladies to oondact her to 
his prestinc^ : 

BAT ejM were fall oC tears, snd she «oak apon tbe tfoor,' 

And she tried to ki«« his baods, and cried, Merej, Casa^eador I 

Oh I Born in bappj.bour,* to the evil of tbe land 

Tour enemies have made you here a bani«h*d man to stand. , 

Mercy ! ols gallant Beard, to thee I bring thy daughter» fair, 

Who stUI art in tbeir early years, and under Qod's gooé care* 

That you will quit us soon, I see will be our fate. 

And even while we live 'tis doomM that w« live separate ; 

Give us, for Holy Mary's sahe, your counsel ere too late.t ' 


The Cid placed his hand upon his bushy beard, and embra'» 
cing his daughters, strained them' to his breast for they were 
very dear to him. As his eyes filled with tears, he sighed and 
exclaimed: . • \ 

Xtmena I fhirest woman, as my soul to one you *re dear. 

But we must part, and I must go^ and you must> tarry here. 

Still, if it pleases God, and tbe Holy Virgin too, 

I hither will return to my daughters and to you ; 

III marry them, and pass again some happy days with thee ; 

Now forewell, honeurM lady, sometimes think of me. 

Three hundred cavaliers attached themselves to the fortunes 
of the Cid, and in company with him abandoned Castile.} Don 
Rodrigo, banished fi*om his native land, still continued to combat 
against the enemies of his prince and his faith. On the first day, 
he captured Chatillon de Henarez, and after having divided the 
booty among his soldiers, he aband<H(ied the castle to the Moors» 
and advanced further into their territories. He soon afterward 
besieged Alcocer, and after having gained possession of that 
strongly fortified place, was in his turn besieged in it by three 
of the Moorish kings.^ He had no hope of succour, and already 
the stores of provisions were beginning to fail, when, inspiring 
his soldiers with the courage of despair, he^ttacked ^e Moors, 
and routed them, wounding two of their kings, dispersing their 
whole army, and possessing himself of a vast booty. He imme- 
diately despatched an ambassador to D. Alfonso to compliment 
hhn on these victories, and to present him with thirty horses 

* [The Cid was called, " The born in happy hour.*' Tr.] 

t Sanchez» v. 265. t. i. p. 241. 
I Saoehfz, t. 4t2.^p. 246. 
.^ SancheZr v. 64»'>, p. 254. 


taken fifm the Mtt>i9g, as Us ihw^ of Oe ]diuMtar, Witte ^^ 
agtmis>iii^e he insÉraoted the aiessesger to have a thousand m^Mes 
said for the good of his soul, at tibe Cfauvch of 6t Marjr <rf 
Bwgos. Alfonso, softened by tk» trihnte of resjpact, peiwtted 
tiie Cid to lery trootis in Caustile, where the nstte of tibe here 
dvew numbers of warnors to his standard. He sold to th9 
Moors of Calatayud the fortress of Aloocer, whieh he was una* 
ble to defend, and divided the money among the soldiery. 
When the Moors of Alooeer beheld him depart, they lamented 
and exclaimed, " Go, my Cid ! and oar prayers go with you, 
while here we remaip overwhelmed with benefits.'** 

The conquests of the JCid excited the jealousy ef the other 
Christian princes of Spain ; and Raymond III. Count of Barce- 
lona, an aUy of the Moors, whom Rodrigo had attacked, defied 
him to battle. In vain did the Cid attempt to accommodate these 
differences ; he was compelled to give battle, and was victcNrious, 
CoQDit Raymond himself bciing taken prisonier. The Counts 
»wofd« sumamed Cdada, worth a thoij^sand marks of silver, was 
the rieb trophy of this victory. The Count, ashamed of his defeat, 
and disdaining a dishonoured life, rejected the food which was 
offered him : 

" I will not eat a monel for the sun of nU Spain'i wealth ; 

Not for my souPs salvation, do, nor for mj body's health. 

Since, by such vagabonds as these, I have been Tanquished," 

Mow listen what my Cid, Buy Dias stmi^tway to him said : 

" Eat, Count, this bread, and drink this wine, and do as 1 oomBMtid, 

And speedily from prison free, believe me, you shall stand ; 

Or elsewise you shall never more behold the Christian land.** 

pon Ravmond answered him : '* Eat yourself, Cid, and rejoice, 

But as for me, I will not eat ; so leave me to my cfaoiee.t 


He maintained tiiis resolution tiU the third day: and whilst 
they were dividing their immense booty, they were unable to 
make him eat a single morsd of bread. At last tiie Cid said 
to him: 

Eat, Comt, or ne'er again Christian visage sUI thoa see} 
But jf you Mill consent to eat» and give content to sm, 
Yoo and your Gbildren twain shall presently be Ocee.! 

* Sanchez, 7. 855, p. 261. . 

t A mio Cid Don Bodrigo grant cocinal adobahan , 
B\ Conde Don Beniont non gelo presia nada. 
Adocenle los comeres, delante gelos paraban ; 
£1 non lo quiere comer, a todos los sozanaba. 
Non combré un bocado por quanto ha en toda Espaiia, 
Antes perderé el cuerpo e dezaré ei alma : 
Pues que tales malcalzados me rencieron de batàtta. 

V. 1095, p. «67. 

X Mio Cid Ruy Dias odrides lo que dizo. 
Corned, Conde, deste pan, e bebed deste Tine ■ 


Th» Count wu moTed^ and deaiandîng wtter to wadi hif 
lutoda» Le ate, and the Cid placed him at lil^rty. 

D. Rodfi^ now torned hia arms; towards aie Soath« tboof^ 
he still reHBjned in the eastern parts of Spain. He took Alieant. 
Xerica, and Almenar, and preyed for the siege of Valencia, 
to whieh he inirited att the chivalry oi Castle and Aragon. 
Ajfter a si^ie of six months tiiat city capitulated * Here he es- 
tablished a bishop, and sent for IQmena and his daughters, be- 
fore whom he marched to do them honour, mounted on his good 
horse BaUeoa, thé name of which is no less celebrated in j^aia 
than that of the Gid himself Sean^ly had Ximena safely ar- 
rived ast the Alcazar, or jtedace of the Moorish kings, when 
YooaoiiC the EmpwrOr of Morocco, landed with an army of 
fifty thousand men. The Cid soon received, intelligende of 

This newt «nto my Cid Ifaas ludilenly being giv«ii^ 

He cried, <* Tijanks to God, mj Father who is ia HesTSa, 

That all thai I possess is hen before my sight, 

There 's Valeaeia whieh i gained, and whkb I hold a» my right ; 

Valeneia I will never yield, hut only with mj life. 

Now, praised be God aad the Viigia, my daughters and my wife. 

Those bJosstegs of tile land» have travetted to thii shore. 

And now sbaJI I put on my arm% and uever Isafe them more. 

My daughters, aad my wife likewise, shall see me smite the fee. 

And to gain a home in foreign lands, the way to them 111 show ; 

And how 1 furnish bread to tbem they by tbeir eyes shall Icbow.** 

His daughters and his wife, firom the towers of Alcaxar, 

Their eyes they Ufled op, and beheld the tents of war- 

" Whaf hi this matter, Cid 7 God heep you safe from harm P 

'< Too need not, honoured Lady," said he, " feel the least alam. 

The rieboB which are shown to us are sreat and marrellous. 

For scarcely hare jou here arrived, woen God vouchsaletb us 

For these, our dearest daughters, a marriage-portion thns.** 

The Cid imme^tely gavé battie to the Moorish kii^, and 
destrored neariy his whole army, earrying off likewise a pfodi- 
gkms booty, a portion of which he despatched, by way of payiii^ 
hoottge, to King Alfonso, who oflfered to restore him to mvonr» 
provided he would give his two daughters in marria^ to Dieeo 
Ma Fernando, the sons of Gonzales, Count of Carion. The ^ 
flmpCkm of the ffetels which Mlowed these marriages completes 
the trst fAti of the poem, which eontains 2^^ verses. 

The Çkd bad bestowed the hands of his daughters on the sons 
of Carion only at the solicitation of the King. He regarded 
the marriages with great regret ; and, indeed, on the very day 

Si lo que digo ficieredes, saldredes de catiro 

Si non en todos ruestros dias non reredes Christianiimo. 

* According to MoHer, whose DissertsUon on the Cid has been often con- 
•alted by us, Valencia yielded to the hero in A|Anl, 1094. 



of the nuptials, his son84n-law showed themselves little worthy 
of such an alliance. A lion, which Rodrigo used to keep fest- 
ened up in his palace, broke its chain, and rushed into the hall, 
where the festivities were conducting. The commotion was uni- 
versal ; but the terror of the children of Canon equalled that of 
the women. They retreated behind the guests, whilst the Cid 
advancing towards the lion, took him by the chain, and led him 
back to Ms den. On the arrival of a fresh Moorish force on the 
shores of Valencia, the old warriors of the Cid beheld their ap- 
proach with joy, as they furnished an opportunity of again ac- 
quiring fame and riches ; but his sons-in-law sighed for their 
peaceable retreat in the castle of Carion. The bishop of Valen- 
cia, more warlike than the young princes, seeking the presence 
of the Cid, exclaimed : 

To-day, of Holy Trinity will I recite the mau. 
And for that purpoae from the town now hither do t psav s 
To do that holy dvty I atand jour ranka before, 
Ai» well aa for the great desire I have to kill a Moor : 
Fain would I grace my holy gaib, and sanctify my hands, 
And now good license do I ask to march before your bands. 
My banner and my arms I bear, and if it pleases God, 
Right soon will I n^oice my heart, and cover them with blood. 
Your noble soul, my Cid, thus içladly would I cheer. 
But if this favour you deny, no more I tarry here.'" 

The prayers of this prelate, though not of a very Christian 
character, were heard, and at the commencement c^ the combat, 
he overthrew two Moors with his lance, and put to death five 
more with his sword. The exploits of the Cid were still more 
brilliant He slew Bucar, the Moorish king, who led the ene- 
my, and gained possession of his sword named Tizon^ valued at 
a thousand marks of i gold. The sons of Carion, however, 
trembling in the midst of veteran warriors, and exposed to the 
ill-dissembled contempt of all the Cid*s companions in arma, lan- 
guished to return to their native place, and besought Rodrigo to 
permit them to carry their wives to Carion, to bestow upon them 
the investiture of those seignories and castles which they had 
promised them as their dower. The Cid and Ximena beheld 
their departure with the darkest forebodings, and their daughters 
Donna Elvira and Donna Sol, though they shed a flood oi tears 
on this separation from their father, could not refuse to aooom 
pany their husbands. Rodrigo overwhelmed them with presents, 
giving to his two sons-in-law, in addition to very considerable 
treasures, the two swords Colada and Tizan, which he had won 
from the Catalans and the Moors, and at the same time he 
charged his cousin, Felez Munos, to accompany the travellers. 
The sons of Carion had, however, married the daughters of the 

— ■ ■ ■ ■ 

* V. af380. p. 320. 

6r TBll SFAKlAftDS. 73 

Cid only from avaricioiis motires, for they thought fhemselves 
infinitely thdr superiors in birth, and as the cowardly are ever 
perfidious, they resolved to rid themselyes of the burthen on 
their journey, and then, carrying off their treasures, to espouse 
the daughters of the king. They commenced their treacherous 
proceedings agadnst the Moor Aben Galvon, King of Molina, 
Arbuxuelo, and Salon, an ally of the Cid, and his best friaid. 
On their journey he had loaded them with presents, and enter- 
tained them with brilliant festivals ; and, in return, the Infants 
of Canon meditated his assassination in order to gain his trea- 
sures. A Moor laHnado, that is to say, who was acquainted with 
the Spanish, overheard the plot, and gave his master warning of 
it. Aben Galvon sent for the Infants of Carion, and reproached 
them with their inâonous ingratitude: 

If I did not respect the Cid, tlie worid both far and near 

How justly I had dealt witk yoa should very shortly bear. 

The daaghters of my faithful Cid no more should wend with you ; 

Nor ever more, believe me, Carion sboold you view : 

Bat now I do dismiss you both, as villains and traitors too* 

A gentle fareweU, ladies, both : 1 wish to hear no more 

Of theee your husbands ; but may Heaven great blessings have in store 

For maniées that please my friend, the g^aat Campeador. 

The Infants of Carion continued their journey until they ar* 
rived at the oak forest of Corpès. 

The mountains there are high, and the bcanehes s#em*d to vast 

Upon the clouds, and wild beasts did the travellers BMlest. 

They found a pleasant orchard, tliroogb which a streamlet went. 

And there they presently resolved that they would pitch their tent ; 

That by them and those they brought with them the night might there be Mnt. 

They pressed their ladies to their hearts, with the words which love alEivds ) 

But when the morning came» it seem*4 they had forgot those words. 

Orders were given by them to load their baggage-^a rich store ; 

The tent in which that night they slept was folded up once more ; 

And the servants who had eare of them had all pwihM on before- 

The Infhnts so had ordered it, that no one should remain. 

Excepting Donna Elvira and Donna Stol, thehr wives twain. 

lie rest had pnsVà hefoie, and these four remain'd alone, 

When to thehr wives Ihey seid : "In these nMntains wild and lone. 

With shame shall you be eovered : as for us we travel on. 

And leave yon here, for you ne*er »haU see the lands of Carion. 

Tea may carry Ais news to the Cid, and say, we take our vengeance thus 

Fei the geed jiMt he play'd on uh when he let his lion loose.** 

The Iniknts imagined that, in order to pnnre their courage» or 
ratter in ridicule of their timidity, ttie.Cid had undiained the 
lion on the day of their nnptiak. 

Thus bavins said, these traitors false their mantles they did doS; 
And from their coward shoulders their pelises did put off; 

Vol. W 10 


And they took the honet' reins, which wkeo their wtrta did see, 
** la the name of God," cried Donna Sol, " we si^pplicate that ye^ 
Ai ye have two treochaot swordf, Colada and Ticon, 
With them will slay us speedily, that wc, when we are gone» 
The martyr crowo not shamefully ouiy be reckon'd to have woB. 
But whip us not like fdaves ', lest when we are beaten, jou. 
By the blows which you have given, shall be degraded too.' 


Their supplications, however, were useless. The In&nts 
lashed them with the thongs, until the blood started from the 
wounds. They fell senseless upon the ground, and their husr 
bands left ^em as dead, a prey to the birds and the wild beasts. 

Felez Munoz, however, whom the Cid had directed to accom- 
pany them, uneasy at their delay, waits until the party passes. 
When he sees the two Infants unattended by their wives, with- 
out disooverinff himself^ which would undoubtedly have occa- 
sioned his death, he returns and finds his two cousins stretched 
upon the earth and weltering in their blood. 

" Cousins ! gentle cousins 1* cried he, " waken you I pray ; 

For the love of God, awaken ; and hasten while 'tis day. 

Lest the night arrive, and wild beasts should eat ns on oar way.** 

At hb cries, hi^ cousins both their senses did regain. 

And opening their eyelids, saw Pelez Munos again. 

" Make an effort, cousins, for God*s sake, cousins dear. 

For if the Infants miss me, they ^11 follow my footsteps here ; 

And if God should not assist us, we all must die, I fear." 

" For the love of the Cid,* our father," Donna Sol she cried out first, 

" Bring us some water, cousin, to quench our raging thirst" 

Feles Munoz hearing her complaint, a stream of water sought. 

And in his hat, which lately in Valencia he had hought. 

To satisfy his cousin's thirst, some water straightway hronght ; 

They cruelly were torn, but he did exhort them so. 

That their eourage he restored, and they both declar'd they'd go ; 

So he plaeed them on his horse, and with his mantle he 

Did cover them, and he took the reins, and they joamey'd joyfully 

Through the oak woods of Corpès, and out of that wild country. 

At twilight, they had pass'd the hills, and reach'd the Douro's side, 

Where Felez Munoz left them, for Santesteban, to provide 

Horses and habits fit for them, and every thing beside. 

The daughters of the Cid found an asylum at Santesteban, 
with Diego Tellez, and here they remained until Ae news of 
the outrage had reached Ben Rodrigo, who sent for his daugh- 
ters to Valencia, and promised them that if they had lost a no- 
ble alliance, he would procure them one still better. Before he 
attempted to avenge himself, he despatched an ambassador to 
King Alfonso,* representing to him that it was through his 
means that the marriages had taken place, and that the Infants of 
Garion had outraged the kii^ as much as their father-in-law. He 
then demanded that in a Conference, Junta, or Cortes, this Cause, 

V. «960. p. 342. 


hi wUeh his honoar was oamnutted, should be judged by the 
kingdom. Alfonso felt the insult which had been offered ta the 
Cid and to himself, and he convoked at Toledo the Cortes of the 
ooonts and noblea to adjudge this eause at the expiration of seven 

The very animated and dramatic description of the Cortes is, 
perhaps, the most interesting portion of the volume. Its value, 
as an historical painting, or representation of manners, is even 
greater than its poetical excellence. It would, however, be more 
easy to translate the seven hundred and forty verses which com- 
pose the catastrophe, than to preserve their spirit and features 
in an abridgment The Cortes are assembled at Toledo.* The 
grandees of Castile arrive in succession at this city. Count D. 
Crarcia Ordonez, the enemy of the Cid, is among tiie first He 
€ncou)*ages the Infants of Carion, and promises them his assist- 
ance, and that of the numerous party which he had formed in 
* the kingdom. The Cid at length arrives, attended by a hundred 
anights, among whom are the bravest of those who, in conjunc- 
tion with him, had conquered the kingdom of Valencia. He 
lias requested them to provide themselves with their best arms, 
in order to be ready for the <)ombat, if attacked ; but at tiie same 
time, he desires them to appear in their richest habits and man- 
tles, that in the great assembly of the kingdom they may wear a 
pacific aspect As soon as the Cid enters the assembly, the 
Grandees all rise to do him honour, except those who had taken 
part with the Infants of Carion. Alfonso himself testifies his 
gratitude to the hero of Spain, and his indignation at the out- 
rage (tfered to him. He appoints judges to decide between the 
Cid and the Infents, selecting them from such as had not yet es- 
poused either side. 

The Cid, instead of immediately relating the insult of whidi 
he complained, reminded the judges, that at the time when he 
gave away his daughters in marriage, he had bestowed upon 
those, whom he believed his sons-in-law, two swords of great 
price, Colada and Tizon, which he had won, the one from the 
Count of Barcelona, the other from the King of Morocco. He 
demands that the Infants, who had returned his daughters to 
him, should likewise restore this property which had ceased to 
belong to them, and which formed a trophy of his valour. 
Count Garcia advised the Infiints to concede this point iu 
which they were evidently wrong, and to yield up the swords. 
Rodrigo then demands that they should restore three thousand 
marks of silver, which they had received as a dowry with his 
daughters, to which they could make no claim. The Infimts are 
compelled to yield in this instance also, and they pay this debt 
'by borrowing from their friend^, or mortgaging tneir lands. 

* V, 3005. This city had been lately conquered from the Moors. 

76 ^ an the literature 

This pretended moderation of the Cid« who seemed deiiiMs.of 
recovering his precious effects, instead of trusting to the jndg- 
meni of Uod to dear his honour, jftduced the Iniants to believe 
that they should onlv have to dispute with him fitfr the posseasiMi 
of this property. As soon, however, as the hero had recovered 
his riches, and had given his two swords to Pero Bormuev and 
]V{artin Antolinezr two of his most biithful relatives and lieute- 
nants, he again addressed the fcing.^ 

" Justice and merey, my Lor4 the King, I beseech you of your gctceSt 

" I hare yet a grie?ance left behind, which nothing can efface. 

** Let all men present in the court attend and Judge the case, 

*' Listen to what theee Counts haTo done and pity my disgrace. 

** Dishonoar'd as I am, I cannot he to base, 

" But here before I leaTc them, to defy them to their face. « 

" Say, Infants, how had 1 deserred, in earnest or in jest 

'' Or on whateTcr plea you can defend it best, 

** That you should rend and tear the heartstrings) from my breast? 

** I gave you at Valentin my daughters in your hand, 

" I gave you wealth and honours, and treasure at eommaiid : 

" Had you been weary of them, to co? er your neglect, 

^ Tou might have left them with me, in honour and respect. 

Why did you take them from me, Dogs and Traitors as you were ? 

"In the forest of Corpès, why did you strip them there 7 

" Why did you mangle them with whips ? Wh^ did you leave them bare 

^ To the vultures and the wolves, and to the wwtry air? 

** The court will hear your answer, and judge what you have done. 

'' I say your name and honour henceforth is lost and gone." 

* [The remaining translations of the specimens from the poem of the Cid 
are borrowed from the Appendix to Mr. 8outbey*s " Chroaiele of the Cid." 
Nothing can surpass the spirit and simplicity of this version, which indaeei 
us to regret that the author has not been prevailed upon to publish a complete 
translation of the " Spanish Homer." The eitracts given in Mr. Southey^ 
Appendix were, he informs as, communicated to him by a gentleman well ac« 
qvainted with the Spanish language : and he adds, that he had never seen 
any translation which so perfectly represented the manner, character, and 
spirit of iu origtnaL TV.] 

t *' Merced ay, Bey è Senor, por amor de caridad. 
" La raneura maior non se me puede olvidar. 
'* Oydmc toda la cort, e pésevos de mio mal. 
" De Ids Infantes de Carion qoem* desondraron tan mal, 
" A menos de riebtos no los pnedo dezar. 
" Decid que vos mereci Infantes en juego 6 en rero : 
*' O en algnna ruon aqui lo meiorare à Juuicio de la eertv 
** A quemVdescubriestes las telas del corason ? 
" A la salida de Valencia mis lyas vos di yo, 
'* Con muy grand ondra è haberes à nombre. 
** Quando las non qnerledes y a canes tray dores, 
" Por que laa sacabades de Valencia sas onocee ? 
" A que las firiestes à einchas à à espolones? 
'* Solas las dczastes en el Robredo de Corpès 
** A las bestias fieras è à las aves del mont. 
" Porquanto les ficiestes menos valedes vos, 
'* Sinon recndeder vealo esta cort." - 

09 THB SPANIAasS* 77 

Tk« C«ant ItoB Gueia WM dM int to ftee : 

' We cxvn jour favour, my Lord tko Kia^, 700 ire alway just and ttbe ; 

*' The Gid b come to joor cowrt io fvcb an oocoutb goiM^ 

" He baa left bu beard to grow and tied it m a braid, 

'* We are half of ub astooiib'd, tbe other half afVaid. 

" The blood of the G01111U of CarioD k of too high a liae 

*' To take a daughter IWmd his home though it were for a eooenbiiia. 

** A concubine or a leman from the lineage of the Cid, 

" They could have done no other than leave them ai tiiey did : 

" We neither care for what be sajt nor foar what he may threat. ** 

With that tbe noble Cid rose up from bia aeat { 

He took bia beard in bis band : '' If this beard is Ihir and era», 

" I must thank the Lord above» who made both earth and heaven ; 

'* It has been cheriabed withraspect and therefore it has thriven : 

" It never suffered an affront since the day It first was worn. 

" What business, Count, have you to apeak of it with seom ? 

" It never yet was shaken, nor phiefc'd away nor torn, 

" By Chrbtian nor by Moor, nor by maa of woman bom, ft 

" As yours was oaoe, Sir Count, the day Cabra was taken ; 

" When I was master of Cabra that beard of yours was shaken, 

" There was never a footboy in my eamp but twiteh*d away a bit ; 

" Tbe side that I tore off grows all uneven yet." 

Ferran Gonzalfs started upon the loor, 

He eried with a load voice, " Cid, let us hear no more ; 

'* Tour claim for goods and moaey was satisfied before : 

** Let not a feud arise betwixt our friends and you; 

" We are the Couats of Carion, from them oar birth we draw. 

El Condo Don Gareia en pie se levantaba ; 

*' ft! creed ya. Key, el meior de toda Espana. 

" Vesos Mio Cid alias eortes pregonadas ; 

" Dcx6la erecer è loenga trae la barba. 

"Los unos le ban miedo è los otras espanta. 

" Los do Carion son do natural tal, 

" Non gelas debien querer sua 4Jas por barraganas ; 

" O qoien gelas diera por parkins d por veladas. 

" Derecho Icieron porqoe las ban desadas. 

" <èaanto el dice non gelo predamos nada.** 

Esora el Campeador prboa' a la barba ; 

" Grado à Dios que Cicio è tlerra manda, 

" Por eso es luenga qae à delieio foe criada. 

" Que habedea vos, Gonde, por retraer la mi baiba? 

** Ga de quaodo n&sco à deheio Aie eriada ; 

'* Ca non me priso à ella 4jo do miirier nada, 

^ Nimbia meso Qjo de Moro nin de Chriatiaao, 

'* Gomo yo à vos, Conde, en el Gastiello da Cabra^ 

** Qoando pris' à Cabra, è à vos por la barba, 

" Non y ovo râpas que non moâO su pulgada ; 

'* La que yo mesé aun non es egaada." 

Ferran Gontales en pie ae Ievant6 ; 

A altaa voces ondredes* que Ihblo. 

" Dexaaedes vos, Cid, de aqaesta razon ; 

" De vuestros haberes de todos pagadoa, sodei. 

" Non creeies' barala entre vos a nos. 

*' De Natura somos de Condes do Carioa ; 

" Debiemos casar eon ^as de Bayes 6 de EnparadoreB ; 

^* Ca non pertenecien (Qaa de Infanaonas. 

♦ VnhtMj tmtbreies. 


" Daugfaten of Bmperon or Kingt wera t uateii for our dagree, 

*' Webold oonelfes too good for a baroo^ sueh oa Ibee. 

** If wa abaodooM, at yoo «ay, and left and gate tham o*cr, 

*' Wa YOiicb that we did right, and prise ourielfea the mora*" 

The Gid looked at Bermuaz, that was sitting at his foot : 

** Speak thou, Peter the Dumb, what ails thee to sit BMite 7 

" My daughters and thy nieces are the parties in dispute. 

" Stand furth and make reply, if yoo would do them right ; 

** If I «huuld rise to speak, jou cannot hope to fight." 

Peter B^rmues rose, somewhat he had to say, 

The words were strangled in his throat, they coald not find their ways 

Till forth the? came at once, without a stop or stay. 

" Old, ill tell yon what, this always is your way ! 

** You bare always sened me thus ; whenever wa have coma 

*' To meet here in the Gortos, you call me Peter the Dumb. 

" I cannot help my nature ; I never talk nor rail ; 

" But when a thing is to be done, you know I never fail. 

" Fernando, jfa have lied, you have lied in every word : 

" Tou have been honoured by the Gid, and favoured and prafarr'd. 

" 1 know of all your tricks, and can tell them to your face : 

" Do you remember in Valantia the skirmish and the chaaa ? 

" Too asked leave of the Gid, to make the first attack : 

" Yoo went to meet the Moor, but you soon came running back. 

" I met the Moor and kilPd him, or he would have kill'd yoa ; . 

" I gave you up his arms, and all that was my due. 

'' Up to this very hour I never said a word. 

" You praised yourself before the Gid, and I stood by and heaid» 

" How you had kill'd the Moor, and done a valiant act, 

" And they believ'd you all, but they never knew the fact 

" Porque las dezamos ; dereeho flciemoa nos ; 
''Mas nos preciamos, sabet, que menos no." 
Mio Gid Buy Diaz à Peru Barmuez cata ; 
" Fabia, Pero Mudo, varon que tanto callaa ; 
" H>o las he ^as, è to primas cormanas, 
" A mi lo dicen, a ti dan laa oreiadas. 
" Si yo reapondier*, tu non entimraa en araMa.'' 
Paro Bermues conpez6 de fablar : 
Detienes' le la lengua, non puede delibrar, 
Mas quando enpiesa, sabed, noP da vagar. 
*' Direvos, Gid, eostombras habedes talea ; 
** Siempre en las oortaa, Pero Mudo me lamadas. 
" Bien lo sabades que yo non puedo maa ; 

Por lo que yo oviei' a far por mi non Bumcaift. 
** Mientes Ferrando de qaanto dicho has : 
" Por el Gampeador mucbo valiestes mas. 
"Las tos manas yo te las sabré contar ; 
" Miembrat' quando lidiamos cerca Valencia la grand, 
** Pedist' las feridas primeras al Gampeador leal : 
" Vist' un Moro, fustel* ensaiar ; antes fugiste que al ta alagagf^ 
" Si yo non uvjas* el Moro te jugàra mal, 
" Pasé por ti con el Moro me off de aiontar : 
*' De los primeros colpes ofle de arrancar ; 
'* Did el cavallo, tobeldo en poridad : 
" FasU esto dia no lo descubri à nadi. 
'' Dalant' Mio Gid, è dclante todos ovistate de alabar, 
" Que mat&ras el Moro è que fieiaras bamaz. 
"Grovierontelo todos, mas non saban hi verdad. 
" B orna fermoao, mas mal barragan. 




" Yoo cure UiU enoqgh and hanibome, but eowtrdly and weak: 

" Thoa tongae without a hand, how can you dare to «peak? 

"Then** the stoiy of the lion thoukl never be forgot : 

** Now let us hear, Fernando, what answer have you got 7 

" The Cid was sleeping in his chair, with all his knights aronnd, 

" The cry i? eut forth along the Hail, That the Hon wan nnboundy-^ 

** WhAt did you do, Fernando 7 like, a coward a» you were, 

" Tou slunk behind the Cid, and croucbM beneath his chair. 

" We press'd around the throne, to &bield our Lord from ham, 

" Till the good Cid awoke ; he rose without alarm ; 

" He went to meet the iioo, with hi> mantle on his am ^ 

"The lion was abash 'd the noble Cid to loeet, 

" He bow'd his mane to the earth, bis muzsic at his feet. 

" The Cid by the neck and mane drew him lo his den, 

" He thrust him in at the hatch, and came to the hall again : 

" He found his knights, his ?assals, and all his valiant men ; 

" He ask'd for hb sons-in-law, they were neither of them there. 

" I defy you for a eoward and a traitor as you are ; 

"For the daughters of the Cid you have done them great unriKht, 

" In the wrong that they have suffer'd, you stand dishonour'd «|otte* 

" Although they are but women, and each of ypu a knight» 

" I bold Uiem worthier far, and word I plight» 

" Before the King Alfonsa npon this plea to fight ; 

" If it be Qod his will, before the battle part, * 

" Thou Shalt avow It with thy mouth, like a traitor as thou art." 

Uprose Diego Gonzalez and answered as be stood '• 

" By onr lineage we are Counts, and of the purest blood } 

" This match was too unequal» it never eonld bold good ; 

" For the daughter» of the Cid we acknowledge no regret, 

" We leave them to lament the chastisement they met* 

" Leneua sin manos, cuemo osas fablar? 

'* Di Perrando, otorgs esta rezon ; 

"Non te viene en miente en Talencia lo del Leon, 

^ 4è«tndo durmie Mio Cid è el Leon se desatô 7 

" fi tu Ferrando que ficist' eon el pa^or 7 * 

" Metistet' tras el escano, de Mio Cid el Campeador, 

" Metistet' Ferrando, porô menos vales boy. 

" Nos cercamos el escano por coriar nuestro Senor, 

" Fasta do daspertô Mio Cid el que Valencia gan6. 

'* Levantes' del escano è fues' poral Leon : 

*' El Leon premiô la cabeza, à Mio Cid espero, 

" Dezos' le prender al cuello, è & la red le meti6, 

"Quando se tomô el buen Campeador 

" A 80S vasatlos, violes aderredor. 

" Demandé por sus Yemos, ningono non fallô. 

" Riebtot' el cuerpo por male d por traydor. 

" Estot' lldiaré aqui antèl Rey Don Alfonso 

*'For fijas del Cid Don' LWira è Dona Soi. 

" Por quanto las dezastes menos valedes vos. 

'* Elias son mugieres, è vos sodés varones ; 

« En todas guisas mas valen que vos. 

'* Quando fViere la lid, si ploguiere al Criador, 

" Tu lo otorgaràs agulsa de traydor. 

" De quanto he dicho verdadero sere yo." 

De aquestos amos aqui quedô la razon. 

Diego Gonzalez odredes lo que dizo : 

*' De naturasomos de los Coudes mas limpios. 

** Estos casamientos non fuesen aparecidos ^ 

** Por coneograr con Mio Cid Don Rodrigo. 

80 ON TBE LITfiR4.VUft£ 

" It waifoUow tlim throoili life r«r t MaaAit èoi aj««t: 

*' I «tand upon this pita to combat wkb the be«t, 

'*Tbat having left them at we did, our honour is ÉMrtai'd." 

Uproie Martin AntoUnex when Diego eea^d t 

" Feace, thou lying mouth 1 thou traitor eowavd^ peaee I 

** The etory of the lioa «hould have taught yoo shmue at Icait : 

" You nith'd out at the door, and ran away «o hard, 

'* Tou fell into the eiepool that was open in the yard. 

^' We dragg'd you forth in alt men'e ligbt, dripping from tha drain ; 

** For ihanie, never wear a mautle, nor a knightly roho ogaiB I 

" I Aght upon this plea without more ado, 

" The daughters of the Cid are worthier far titan you. 

** Before the combat part >oa ahall avow it true, 

*' And that you have been' a traitor and a coward too." 

Thus was ended ihe parley and challenge betwixt these Cwo« 

Assur Gonsalei was enleriug at the door 

With his ermine mantle tramng along the floor ; 

With his sauntering pace and his haidy look, 

Of manners or of courtesy, little heed he took*: 

He was flushM and hot with breakfast and with drink. 

" What oh, my masters, your spirits seem to sink I I 

" Have we no news stirring from the Cid Rvy I>iax of Blvar ? 

** Has he been to Riodivima to besiege the vrindmille there ? ! 

" Does he tax the millers for their toH, or is that practice past T 

^ Will he make a match for his daughters, another like the last f* 

Munio Gustiox rose and made reply ; 

*' Traitor I wilt thou never cease to slander and to lie t , 

M Ton breakfast before mass, yoo drink before yon pray ; ! 

** There is no honour hi your heart, nor troth in what you say ; 

M Yoo cheat yonr eomrado and your Lord^ you flatter la hatny : 

" Porque dexamos sus ^as ann no nos repentîmes. 

** Micntra que vivao pueiden haber sospiros. 

*' Lo que les ficiemos series ha retraido ; esto lidiaré a tod' el an» ardid»» 

" Que porque las dexamos ondrados somos nos.** 

Martin Antolioex en pie so levantaba ; 

" Cala, alevoso, boca sin verdad. 

"Lo del Leon non se te debe olvidar ; 

" Salistc por la puerta, metistet' al corral ; 

" Fusted meter tras la viga lasar ; 

" Mas non vestid' el maato nin el brial •* 

" Hyo lo lidiaré, non passera por al. 

*' Pyas del Cid por que las vos dexastes ? 

" En todas guises, sabet, que mas valen que tos. 

" AI partir de la lid por tu boca lo diras, 

** Que eras traydor è mentiste de quanto dicho bas.'' 

Destos amos la raxon fincô. 

Asur Gonzales entraba por el Palado ; 

Maiito armino è un brial rastrando ; 

Bermeio viene, ca era almorxado. 

Bn lo que fablô avie poco recabdo. 

" Hya varones quien vi6 nunca tal mal 7 

" Quien nos darie nuevas de Mio Cid el de Bibar ? 

" Pues* a Riodounrna los molinos picar, 

** E' prender maqnilas como lo socle far'** 

" Quil* darie con los de Carton a casar* 7" 

Bsora Mono Gustioz en pie se levantô : ' 

" Cala, alevoso, male è traydor, 

" Antes almuerzas que bayas à oracion ; 



" ¥our hatred I despise, your frienâship I defy : 
'* False to all mankind, and most to God on high. 
"I shall force you to confess that what I say is true.'' 

Alfonso here imposes silence upon the assembly. He declares? 
that he grants permission to the challengers to fight, and that 
by them the cause shall be decided. At this moment two am- 
bassadors from Navarre and Aragon enter the assembly, and 
demand of the Cid. with the consent of Alfonso, te grant his two 
daughters in marriage to the two Kings or Infants of Navarre 
and Aragon ; a request sufficiently singular after the adventures 
which they had undergone. Rodrigo, at the solicitation of Al- 
fonso, accedes to the demand. Menaya AJvar Fanez, one of the 
Cid*s friends, takes this opportunity of again defying either of 
the InÊints who may be inclined to meet him. The king, how- 
ever, again imposes silence, and declares that the three first 
couple of combatants are sufficient to settle the octestion. He 
was desirous of adjourning the combat till the following day 
only, but the Infants of Carion demand three weeks in order to 
prepare themselves ; and as the Gid wishes to return to Valen- 
cia, the king takes under his own protection the three knights 
who were to combat for him. He promises to preside at the 
combat on the plains of Carion ; and having appointed the two 
parties to meet there in one and twenty days, he announces that 
those who fail to qipear shall be accounted vanquished, and 
reckoned as traitors. Don Rodrigo then unties his beard, 
which hitherto he had kept bound in sign of his affliction ; he 
thanks the king, and taking leave of all the grandees, to each of 
whom he offers a present, returns to Valencia. He endeavoured 
to make the king accept his good horse, Babieca ; but the mo- 
narch answered that the charger would be a loser by the change, 
and that it was fit that the best warrior in Spain should possess 
the best horse to pursue the Moors. 

After a delay of three weeks, Alfonso proceeds to Carion with 
the three champions of the Cid. On the other side the Infants 
of Carion arm themselves under the superintendence of the 
Count Garcia Ordoîîez. They beg the king to forbid their ad- 
versaries to use the two good swords Colada and Tizon, which 
they had restored, and which were about to be used against their 
late masters. The king replies that they had restored them in 
the Cortes without drawing them from their sheaths, and that it 
is now their duty to procure good weapons. He directs the 

" A los que das paz, farta^Ios adcrredor. 
" Noil dices verdad omigo ni à Scnor, 
" Falso à todos è mas al Criador. 
*' Kn tu amistad non quiero aver racion. 
*' Faccrtcio dcrir que la) crcs qual digo yo.'* 
Vo'. W. ^^ 


barriers to be raised ; he names the heralds and the judges* and 
then thus addresses them : 

" Infants of Carion ! Attend to what I say :* 

" You should have fought this battle upoo a former day, 

'' When we were at Toledo, but you would not agree ; 

*' And now the noble Cid ha^ sent these champions three, 

" To fight in the lands of Carion, escqrted here by me. 

*' Bè valiant in your right, attempt no force or wrong ; 

'* K any man attempt it he shall not triumph long, / 

" He never shall have rest or peace within my kingdom more." 

The Infants of Carion are now repenting sore ; 

The Heralda and the King are foremost in the place, 

They clear away the people from the middle space : 

They measure out the lists, the barriers they fix : 

They point them out in order, and explain to all the six : 

'* If yoa are forc'd beyond the line where they are fizM and traced, 

'* Tou shall be held as conquered and beaten and disgraced.** 

Six lances length on either side an open space is laid. 

They share the field between them, the sunshine and the shade. 

Their office is performed, and from the middle space 

The heralds are withdrawn, and leave them face to face. 

Here stood the warriors of the Cid, that noble champion, 

Opposite on the other side, the Lords ol Carion. 

Earnestly their minds are fix'd each upon his foe ; 

Face to face they take their place, anon the trumpets blow. 

They stir their horses with the spur, they lay their lances low, 

They bend their shields before their breasts, their face to the saddle*bow. 

Earniestly their minds are fix'd each upon his foe. 

The heavens are overcast above, the earth trembles below. 

The people stand in silence, gazing on the show : 

"* " 0yd que vos digo, Infantes de Carion ; 

''Esta lid en Toledo la ficierades, mas non quisiestes vos ', 

" Estos très cavalleros de mio Cid cl Campeador, 

''Hyo los aduj* à salvo a tierras de Carion. 

** Habed vuestro derecho, tuerto non querades vos ,- 

'* Ca qui tuerto quisiere fazer, mal gelo vedare yo ; 

'* En todo mio regno non habrà buen sabor." 

Hyales va pesando àlos Infantes de Carion. 

Los Fieles è el Rey ensenaron los moiones. 

Librabanse del campo todos aderredor ; 

Bien gelo demostraron à todos seis como son, 

Que por y série vencido qui saliesc del moion. 

Todas las yentes esconbraron aderredor 

De seisastas de lanzas que non legasen al moion. 

Sorteabanles el campo, ya les partien el sol ; 

Salien los Fieles de medio ellos, cara por cara son. 

Desi vinien los de Mio Cid à los Infantes de Carioiu 

Ellos Infantes de Carion à los del Campeador. 

Cada uno dellos mlentes tiene al so. 

Abrazan los escudos delant' los corazones ; 

Abaxan las lanzas abueltas con los pendoncs ; 

Enclinban las caras sobre los arzones ; 

Batien los cavallos con los eépolones ; 

Tembrarquerie la tierra dod eran movedorc?. 

Cada uno dellos mientes tienc al so. 

Todos très por très ya juntados son. 

^'uidanse que esora cadran muerto?, los que estan ad'erre^ito: 


âlermuez the first challenger firat in combat closed, • 

He met Ferrui Gonzales, face to face opposed ; 

They nuh together with such rage that all men count them dead, 

They «trike each other on the shield, without all fear or «Iread. 

Ferran Gonzales with his lance pierced the shield outright. 

It pass'd Bermuez on the left side, in his flesh it did not bite. 

The spear was snapp'd in twain, Bermuez sat upright. 

He neither flinchM nor swerved, like a true steadfast knight. 

 good stroke he received, but a belter he has given ; 

He struck the shield upon the boss, in sunder it is riven. 

Onward into Ferran's breast the lance's point is driven, 

Full upon his breast-plate, nothing would avail ; 

Two breast-plates Fernando wore and a coat of mail : 

The two are riven in sunder, the third stood him in stead. 

The mail sunk in his breast, the mail and the spear-head, 

The blood burst from his mouth that all men thought him dead* 

The blow has broken his girdle and his saddle girth. 

It has taken him over his horse's back, and borne him to the earth. 

The people think him dead as he lies on the sand ; 

Bermuez left his lance and took his sword in hand. 

Ferran Gonzales knew the blade which he had worn of old. 

Before the blow came down, he yielded and cried, ** hold !" 

Antolinez and Diego encounter'd man for man. 

Their spears were shiver'd with the shock, so eagerly they ran. 

Antonilez drew forth the blade which Diego once had worn. 

Eagerly he aim'd the blow for the vengeance he had sworn. 

Right through Diego's helm the blade its edge has borne, 

The crest and helm are lopt away, the coif and hair are shorn. 

He stood astounded with the stroke^ trembling and forlorn. 

Pero Bermuez el que antes rebtà, 

Con Ferran Gonzalez de cara se jont6 ; 

Feriense en los escudos sin todo pavor ; 

Ferran Cronzalez à Pero Bermuez el esctidoP pasô -, 

PrisoP en vacio, en came noP tom^'i : 

Bien en dos lugares el astil le quebrô ; 

Firme estido Pero Bermuez, por eso nos' encamd ; 

Un coipe recibiera, mas otro firiô ; 

Qnebrantô la boca del escudo, apart gela echo ; 

Pasdgelo todo que nada nol' valiô ; 

MetioP la lanza por los pechos, que nada noP rali^ ; 

Ties dobles de loriga tenie Fernando, aquestoP presto* 

Las dos le desmanchan, è la tercera fincô : 

El belmez con la camisaè con la guarnizon 

De dentro en la carne una mano gela metiô ; 

Por la boea afoera la sangreP saliô. 

Qnebrar onle las cinchas, ninguna noP ovo pro ; 

Por la copia del cavaDo en tierra lo ech6, 

Asi lo tenien las yen tes que mal ferido es de muert. 

£1 dez6 la lanza, è al espada metiô mano. 

Quando lo vio Ferran Gonzalez, conuuo àTizon. 

Antes que el colpe esperase, dizo, " venzudo so," 

Otorgarongelo los Fieles, Pero Bermoez le dezo. 

Martin Antolinez e Diego Gonzalez firieronse de las lanzas ; 

Taies fueron los colpes que les quebraron las lanzas ; 

Martin Antolinez mano metiô al espada ; 

Relumbra ted' el campo, tanto es limpia è clara. 

Dî6P on colpe, traviesoP tomaba ; 

El casco de somo apart gelo echaba ; 


He tvavpd bii stvonl aboirc his head, be made a piteous cry, 

*' O save me, «ave me from that blad^, Almighty Lord on high V* 

Antolincz came fiercely on to reach ibo fatal stroke, 

Diego's courser rearM upright, and through the barrier broke. 

Antolioez has won the day, though his blow was mbs'd, 

He has driven Diego (rom the field, and sinnds within the list. 

I must tell you ul Munio Gustioz, two combats uuw are done ; 

How he fought with Assur Gonzales, you shall hear aitcn. 

Assur Gonzales, a fierce and hardy knight, 

He rude at Munio Gustioz with all his force and might : > 

He struck the shield and pierce^d it through, but the point came wide. 

It passed by Munio Gustioz, butwiit his arm and side : 

Sternly, like a practised knight, Munio met him there. 

His lance he lerellM steadfastly, and through the shield him bare ; 

He bore the point into his breast, a little beside the heart ; 

It took him through the body, but in no mortal part ; 

The shaft stood out behind his back a cloth-yard and more ; 

The pennon and the point were dripping down with gore. 

Munio still clench'd his spear, as he pass'd he forced it roand. 

He wrench'd hiop from the saddle, and cast him io the ground. 

His horse sprung forward with the spur, he pluck'd the spear away, 

He wheel'd and came again to pierce him where he lay. 

Then cried Gonzalo Asurez, "For God*s sake spare my son ! 

*' The other two hare yielded, the field is fought and won.'' 

Las moncluras del yelmo todas gclas cortaba : 

Alia lebô el almofar, fata la cofia legaba ; 

La cofia è el almofar todo gelo lebaba ; 

Rax6P los pelos de la cabcza, bien à la carne legaba. 

Lo uno cayô en el campo e lo al suno fincaba. 

Quando deste colpe ha fer id o Colada la preciadn, 

Viô Diego Gonzalez que no escaparie con alma. 

Bolviô la rienda al cavalio por tornase de cara. 

Esora Martin Antolinez recibidr con el cspaUa. 

Un colper diô de lano, con el agudo noP tomaba. 

Dia Gonzalez espada tiene en mano, mas non la ensaiaba, 

Esora el Infante tan grandes voces daba, 

*' Valme, Dios glorioso, Senor, ècuriarm' desta espada !" 

£1 cavallo asorrienda e mesurandol' del espada, 

SacfSr del moion, Martiu Antolinez en el canpo fincaba. 

Esora dixô el Rey, *' ?enid vos a mi compana, 

"Por quanto avedes fecho, vencida avedes esta batalla." 

Otorgangelo los Pieles que dice Terdadera palabra. 

Los dos ban arrancado : dire vos de Muiio Gustioz 

Con Asur Gonzalez como se adobô : 

Firiense en los escudos unos tan grandes colpcis : 

Asur Gonzalez, furzudo è de ralor, 

Firiô en el escudo a Don M uno Gusiioz. 

Tras el escudo falsoge Ui guarnizon ; 

En vacio fue la lanza, ca en carne nuP tomu. 

Este colpe fecho, otro diô Muno Gustioz, 

Tras el escudo falsôge la guarnizon. 

Por medio de la bloca del escudo quebrantô. 

Nol* pudo gorair, falsôge la guarnizon. 

Apart' le prisô, que non cabel corazon. 

Metier por la carne adentro la lanza con el pendon. 

De la otra part una braza gela echo : 

Con el did una tuerta, de la siella lo encam6, 



The heralds aad king AJfonsp prodaim that the champions of 
die Cid hane ooaquered. The latter, however, are conveyed 
during the night from the lands of Carion, and return to their 
leader, lest the vassals of the Infants should avenge the discom- 
fiture of their lords. 

The two hist verses ot this poem infoim us that the Cid died 
on the Day o[ Penteoost, without stating the yeax or the mode 
of his death. Commentators have supfmed that it was on the 
i9th oi May, 1099 ; and MuUer has fconjectured that it was in 
the month of July, in the same year. In examining, in the next 
chapter, the romances or ballads of the Cid, we shall meet with 
some circumstances relative to the death of the Spanish hero. 


Spinisli Poetry of tibe ThirtMath Century.— iloBuneet of the Cid. 

Thc Cid has already occupied much of our time, nor can we 
yet dismiss him. This hero, who was more instrumental than 
even the princes whom he served, in founding the monardiy of 
Castile, and who, during the course of his long life, led the con- 
quering arms of his sovereign over nearly a quarter oi Spain, is 
intimately connected with all our ideas of the glory, the love, 
and the chivalry of the Spanish nation. In the foi^round of 
Jieir history and of their poeti-y, thc Cid stands conspicuous, 
while the renown of his name ells the age in which he lived. 
So dear, indeed, is his memory to the Spaniards, that the form 
of their most sacred and irrevocable adjuration is derived from 
his name ; affe de Rodrigo, by the feith of Rodrigo, says the 
Spaniard, who would strengthen his promise by recalling the 
ancient loyalty of this hero. 

It is said that the original Chronicle of the Cid was written 
in Arabic a few years after his death, by two of his pages, who 
were Mussulmen, and that from this chronicle, the poem of 
which we have given some extracts was taken, as well as the 
romances which we are about to notice, and many of the most 
admired tragedies on the same subject in the Spanish drama. 
The poem, though a most Christian performance, bears some 

AI tirar de lalanza eo tierra lo ecb6. 
Bermeio salio eJ astil, è la lanza è el pendon. 
Todos ae cuedan que ferido es de moert 
La lanza recombro è aobrél 0e parô. 
Dixo Gonzalo Asurez, noPfirgades porDios. 
Venzudo es et campe qaando este 9e acab^. 


traces of its Arabic origin. The style in which the Divinity is 
spoken of, and the epithets which are applied to him^ bear traces 
of a Moorish, rather than of a Catholic pen. He is called the 
Father of Spirits, the Divine Creator, and other names, which 
as they are sufficiently accordant with Christian notions, the 
poet has preserved, although they betray their Mussulman ori- 
gin. This poem, which is anterior by a hundred and fifty years 
to ' the immortal composition of Dante, bears evident marks of 
its venerable antiquiiy. It is without pretension and without 
art, but full of the finest nature, and gives an excellent idea of 
the people of that age, so different from those of our own. We 
live among them, as it were, and our minds are the more com- 
pletely captivated, because we know that the author had no de- 
sign to paint a brilliant picture. Just as he found them, the 
poet has exposed them to our view, without the least desire to 
make an exhibition of them. The incidents which strike us, 
bore no extraordinary character in his eyes. There was to him 
no distinction between the manners of his heroes and of his 
readers, and the simplicity of the representation, which supplies 
the place of talent produces a more powerful effect 

With regard to the versification, I scarcely know any produc- 
tion more completely barbarous. Many of the lines are Alexan- 
drines, that is, lines of fourteen syllables, with a ceesura on the 
sixth, which is accentuated ; but many others consist of fifteen, 
or even eighteen syllables, so that the author seems to have ar- 
ranged his expressions without ever attempting to adapt them 
to his Ihetre. Many of the lines are doubtless altered by 
transcribers, but more have been left unfinished by the poet 

The rhyme alone enables the reader to discover that the com- 
position is in verse, though even that is so barbarous, that some- 
times we have considerable difficulty in ascertaining its exist- 
ence. The Spaniards distinguish their rhymes into consonant 
and assonant rhymes. The latter, as we have formerly explained 
them, consist in the repetition of the same vowel. When the 
Spaniards had become more famUiar with poetical composition, 
and had laid down certain rules of art the assonant rhymes be- 
came as regular as the consonant If the rhyme was not com- 
plete, being only framed from the vowels of the two last syl- 
lables, it was prolonged, and all the second verses of the romance 
were terminated by the same assonant rhymes. In the poem of 
the Cid, the assonants are very incomplete, and fail to satisfy 
the ear. The poet rhymes the same vowel for fifteen, twenty, 
or even thirty lines, until he fatigues himself in endeavouring to 
discover more words suited to his purpose, and he is thus com- 
pelled to abandon his former for some new rhyme, which in its 
turn must share the same fate. This was the infancy of versi- 
fication, of poetry, and of language in Spain, but it was the 
manhood of national spirit and of heroism. 


Before entering upon the romances of the Cid, which were 
composed more tBan a century after the ancient poem, we must 
for a short time dismiss the hero, and notice some remains of 
Spanish poetry, which belong to the thirteenth century. San- 
chez has published the works of two writers of this remote pe- 
riod, of whose lives he has likewise given us some account The 
first is Gronzalez de Berceo, a monk, and afterward a priest, at- 
tached to the monastery of Saint Milian, who was bom in 1198, 
and died about the year 1268. Nine poems by him have been, 
preserved, making together upwards of thirty thousand verses. 
To judge merely firom the language and versification, these pro- 
ductions would seem to be posterior to the ancient poem of the 
Cid, though they cannot be compared with that composition in 
point of simplicity and interest The metre is the same, but 
more carefully managed, and the lines are Alexandrines, son^- 
times consisting of four dactyls, sometimes of four amphibrachs, 
which are always carelessly put together. The verses consist 
of couplets, of four lines each, and the lines of each couplet 
conclude with the same rhyme. This was the metre to which 
the Spaniards gave the title of verios de arU mayor, and which 
they reserved for their more serious works, while they destined 
the livelier measure of the redondilhaa for their romances and 
songs. The former continued to he employed to the end of the 
fifteenth century ; and Gronzalez* de Berceo was the master of 
this style of poetry, which was regarded as the most' noble, 
while in fact it was the most monotonous of all. 

Gonzalez de Berceo, who was educated and passed his life 
among monks, scarcely posFsessed a single idea which was not to 
be found within the precincts of a monastery. His nine poems 
are all upon sacred subjects, and they treat rather of the Chris- 
tian mythology, than of Christianity itself. The first contains 
the life of St. Domingo, or Dominick of Silos ; not the celebrated 
founder of the order of friars-preachers and the Inquisition. The 
poet gives an account of his religious infancy, when, amidst the 
shepherds and guarding his fiock, he nourished his pious Êincies ; 
âr his reception in the monastery of St Millan ; the noviciate 
which he was compelled to undergo, and the courage with which 
he resisted Ferdinand I. of Castile,* who demanded a contribu- 
tion from the monastery, to assist him in carrying on the war 
against the Moors ; so that St. Dominick was a sort of contem- 
porary of the Cid, though his life is far from presenting the 
same degree of interest The second part of the poem contains 
the miracles which St Dominick wrought during his life ; the 
third, those which were worked by his intercession after his death. 
I have endeavoured to discover some extract remarkable for the 
imagination, the piety, or even the whimsicalit}' which it dis- 


* Copia 83. 


plays, that 1 might give some idea of the style of a poet, whose 
elegance and purity have been celebrated by Sanchez ; but I 
must confess that I am unable to meet with a single striking 
passage. Every part is equally careless, common-place, and dull ; 
the languie and the thoughts being those of monks of all ages, 
in which we in vain attempt to discern any characteristic marks 
of their times. I shall venture, however, to translate an account 
of a miracle which St Dominick wrought after his death, for the 
delivery of a captive from the Moors. Such is the natural taste 
of man for the marvellous, that the most absurd miracles gain 
our attention. We conceive that the romancer displays imagina- 
tion, while, in fact, it is our own imagination which is in Bddon ; 
and tre rejoice Whenever we read of a triumph over the powers 
of nature, the subjection to which is so insupportable to us. 

*' I wish,'' says Gronzalez de Berceo, " to relate to you a pre- 
cious miracle, and do you open your ears to listen to it. Let 
your &ith therein be firm ; and the good father St. Dominick 
will become greater in your eyes. In a place called Coscorrita, 
not far irôm Tiron, there was bom a valiant soldier, named Ser- 
vant who in fighting against the Moors was taken prisoner by 
them. This valiant soldier fell to the share of some cruel men, 
who led him in chains to Medina Cell, where they loaded him 
with irons, and enclosed him in a narrow cell surrounded with 
thick walls. The Moors by every means rendered his prison 
odious to him, and hunger and the weight of his fetters torment- 
ed him. During the day he was made to labour with the other 
captives, and at night he was shut up under dismal bolts. Often 
did they inflict stripes upon him, and wound his flesh ; but what 
was more grievous stilt were the blasphemies which he heard 
these miscreants utter. Servants only resource during his suf- 
fering was Jesus Christ. O Lord ! cried he, who oommandest 
the winds and the sea, take pity on my pain, and deign to look 
down upon me. O Lord! I have no hope of succour, but from 
thee. I am tormented by the enemies of the cross ; I am mal- 
treated because I venerate thy name. O Lord ! who sufieredst 
for me death and martyrdom, may thy mercy succour me in my 
sins ! When Servan had finished his prayer, midnight was past, 
and the hour arrived when the cock was used to crow. Under 
all the weight of his punishments he still slept, but he despaired 
of his safety and of his life. Suddenly, in the midst of his pri- 
son, appeared a resplendent light ; and Servan awakened, and 
was afraid. Raising up his head, he called on his Creator, and 
making the sign of the cross, he exclaimed : O Lord ! help thou 
mc ! Then it seemed that he saw a man clothed in white, as 
though he were a priest prepared for mass ; and the poor cap- 
live, terrified at the sight, turned aside his head, and threw him- 
self upon his face. The vision then addressing him, said, Servau. 
fear not, but know that God hath heard thee, and hatli sent me 
hither to release thee. Trust therefore in God, who will snatch 


thee from dftogfir. My Lord ! antwered Une captive, if thim art 
li& whom tbou anyeat tell me ia tiie name of 6od« and his glch 
rîoiM aiotber,.wiiitjt is-.thj name, lest I be deceived hj a lying 
spirit The holy messenger answered bim ; i am brother Do^ 
mioick. fonyiorly a monk. I was abbot of Siloa, tboo^h imwor-* 
ihff jand there are my bones interred. My Lord ! said the cap- 
tive; how m«^ I escape bienoe, when I cannot eren disengage 
mysdf from my irons ? if thou indeed art the physician who is 
to heal me, without donbt thou bast a remedy for titfs evjL Then 
St. Doaàm<Si gav^ bim a mallet made entirely of wood, witiioat 
ttlhér iron or steeL which yet broke the stoniest bars as you 
woaM pomd gailkik in a mcnrtar. ¥nien Servan had bDoken 
thoongh the bars of his prison, St Dominick bade him go bcavaly 
fitfth. SerTau answered, that the waUs of his prison were very 
high, and that he had no ladder wberewitji to scale them ; but 
the holy messenger, sitting upon the top of the waU, let down a 
eord, one end of which tiie eaptire fastened round his waist 
while the celestial messenger held the other in his hand, and sit* 
tinç above him, pulled him op with his irons on as easily as if be 
had been a Utde bundle, and placed him on the outside of his 
prison. The good oonfeasor then said to him. Fly, my friend ; the 
gates are open, and the Mussuknen are asleep ; thra shalt meet 
with no trouble, for thou art under good protection, and shalt be 
far enongh off by day^break. Do not tbou hesitate as to thy 
place of refuge ; but proceed directly to my monastery, with thy 
chains ; place them upon my sepuidire* where ray body reposeth, 
and tbou shalt encounter no obstade, and mayest drurt in me 
A&ev having instructed him in tbis manner, the white figure dis- 
appeared from his eyes. Servan immediately commenced his 
journey, and meeting with no obstacle, and finding no gate shut 
against him, when day apf)eared, he was far on nis way. At 
length he arrived at the monastery, as he had been comautnded. 
It happened that a festival was held there on that day, it being 
tbe annlfcersary of the day whereon thé church had been conse- 
crated, and many piiests were there assembled together, with a 
crowd of the neighbours. A Cardinal of Rome, who appeared 
as Iq^ate, was presiding over the assembly, and had brought with 
him a number of bishops and abbots, who formed a brilliant as- 
temfaly. The captive, still loaded with his irons* in squalid gar- 
ments, send wretchedly shod, appeared in the midst of them. His 
hair was uncombed, his beard was kmg, and he feU in prayer be- 
fore the sepulobre of the confessor. My lord and lather, he 
eiied, it is unto thee that I onghl to retom thanks, that I 
again appear in a Christian land. It was by thy means that I 
escaped from prison ; by thee have I been healed, and even as 
thou didst command, am I come to o&r up to thee my chains. 
The report of the &vour which the confessor had shown hïmr 
was quickly noised through all the town, and there was neither 
bishop nor abbot, who did not show Servan marks of his esteem 
Vol. II 19 


The ksgate liimself did not refese to chaht tbe cântiol^ Tihilooê^ 
in coftjpan^ with a man so fovoared by H^ayeti, and moreover 
granted general pardond to the people, trilile all |iersons aeknov- 
ledged the' power of the holy confessor, after so marvelloos a 
miraele. A treasure like this, a tight so shining as this, sfaoald 
east its rays from a rich shrine ; and if they* before valued it as 
a precious relic, they now estimated it still more highly. The 
legate Richard preached his fame at Rome, and the Pope ac** 
knowledged him to be a most accomplished saint." 

The next poem of Gonzalez de Berceo is a Life (ji St. Millan, 
the founder of the monastery to which the poet belonged. The 
Saint died in 594, before the invasion of Spain by &e Momrs. 
The various miracles which he wrought form the subiect of a 
second book ; and his appearance, long after his death, at the 
battle of Simancas, in 934, when the Moors were conquered, is 
related in a third book. If we are to believe a tradition which 
does not rest on any very solid foundations, this battle delivered 
the kingdom of Ovtedo^ from a tribute of a hundred maids, 
which was yearly paid to the Mussulmen. The courage of seven 
young girls of Simancas, who, beiiig destined to this nte, cut off 
tiieir hands, that the Moors might reject them, inspired the peo- 
p}e who groaned under this yoke with spirit to throw it off. Ber- 
ceo has made no use of this poetical tradition, which has fumisb- 
ed Lope de Vega with the subject of one of his most brilliant 
tragedies, Lm Donzellas dt Simancas. The monkish poet has 
suppressed every heroic circuknstance, in order to bring forward 
his miracles. He has sacrificed the glory of his countrymen to 
that of his saint, and the life and interest of his poem to a narrow 
and degrading superstition. 

Another production of the thirteenth century, which has also 
been published by Sanchez, is the poem of Alexander, written 
by Juan Lorenzo Segura de Astorsa. The editor assures us 
that his poem is not a translation of that which Philippe Gaul- 
tier de Châtillon wrote in Latin in the year 1 180, and which was 
afterwards turned into French verse by Lambert li Cors and 
Alexandre dc Paris. However, there is certainly a great simi- 
larity between the two works, which display an equal mediocrity. 
There is neither invention, nor dignity, nor harmony, to be found 
in this ccmiposition ; and yet the absolute ignorance of antiquity 
in which the world was plunged at the period when it was writ- 
ten, renders tbe work interesting. For the author, unable to 
describe times of which he knew nothing, had recourse to those 
with which he was acquainted, and bestowed upon the heroes of 
Greece the manners, the sentiments, the prejudices, and the edu- 
cation- of a Spaniard of the thirteenth centory ; nor is he ever 
able to get rid of his Christian phraseology. He dubs Alexan- 
fl*^r a knight on the Feast of St. Antherins, the Pope, (the third 


4if January.) *He assures us, " that the young prince being im- 
patient to ivage war againBt the Jews and the Moors, believed 
that he had already conquered the territory of Babylon, India, 
and l^pt, Africa, and Morocco, and indeed all the countries 
oyer which Charlemagne had reigned." These anachronisms 
eJEclte only à passing smfle ; but the most interesting and curious 
part of the work is that in which, in a Greek story, the manners 
and opinions of the thirteenth century are described : as, for ex- 
ample, in the lessona which Aristotle gives to his pupil.f '* Mas' 
ter Aristotle, who was his teacher, had been all this while shut 
up in his chamber, where he had been composing a logical syl- 
logism, and had not, day or night, tasted any repose." When 
Alexander appears befoi^ him, inflamed with a desire to deliver 
his country from4he tribute which it paid to the Persians, Aris- 
totle recapitulates all the advice which he had formerly given, to 
fit him for the career which he was destined to run. *' My soUf'' 
says he, '* thou art a learned clerk ; thou art the son of a king, 
and thou hast much perspicacity. From thine infancy thou hast 
shown a wonderful regard for chivalry ; and I hold thee to be 
the best kmght of all who now live. Remember, that thou ever 
take counsel upon thine undertakings, and discourse thereof with 
thy vafisals, who shall be more faitliful to thee when thou thus 
consnitest them. Above all, beware of the love of women ;. Ç>r 
when once a man hath turned towards them, he pursueth them 
everiafltingly, and daily becomes less valiant ; nay, he is in dan- 
ger even of losing his soul, the which would be a great offence 
unto God. Beware how Ihou trustest thy a0kirs to a man of 
low birth : be not drunken, and frequent not the taverns : keep 
firm and true to thy word, nor love nor listen to flatterers. When 
thou sittest in judgment, judge according to right ; and let not 
avarice, nor love, nor hatred, weigh in thy decisions. Beware 
of showing thine anger among thy vassals. Never eat separate 
from them and apart, and appear not to be tired of them, if thou 
wouldst preserve their love. When thou leadest thine armies, 
do not leave the old warriors and carry with thee the young sol- 
diers : the former are wise in council, and in the battle they will 
not flee.*' The arms and the equipments in which Alexander ap- 
pears on the day when he is- dubbed a knight, are highly pre- 
cious. Some are the workmanship of the fairies, others of Vul- 
can ; and every piece is gifted with some enchanted power, 
strengthening the courage, the virtue, aud the chastity qf the 
"wearer. *' All the riches of Pisa and Genoa would not have 
bought his tunic ; and, as to Bucephalus, when he was harnessed, 
he was worth more than all Castile.**| Having clothed himself 
in these arms, Alexander, with a small retinue of knights, sets oft' 
ixk search of adventures to try his prowess. At some distance 

♦ T. if,. Copia 78. ♦ Copia .30. t Copia 79. 


from his own temtory, he meets with a king whom thé poet 
calls Nicholas, who asks Alexander his name and occaptttion.* 
Alexander answers, " that he is the son of Philip and Olympia* ; 
that he is journeying through the world to exercise his strength; 
seeking for adventures in deserts and plains, sparing some and 
despoiling others ; and that none can say that they have dared 
to treat him with disrespect." It was not, we see, without rea- 
son, that Don Quixote always reckons Alexander in the number 
of knights errant, and compares Rosinante to Bnoephsdas. The 
ancient poets of Spain knew no other heroism than that of chi- 
valry, and had no conception of grandeur which wfts not ga- 
thered from the romances. The hero of La Mancba, who ma 
studied history in their pages, was sure to find a knight «rraat 
in every hero of antiquity. ■ 

The martial poetry of Spain, a poetry truly national, and Com- 
pletely in accordance with the manners, the hopes, and die re- 
collections of the people, was inspired 1^ an enthusiasm which 
in its turn it contributed to nourish. Of this poetry we have 
already had some specimens in the history <^ the Cid, and we 
shall soon meet with others in the romances. The two poems of 
Berceo and of Lorenzo Segura have given us some idea of the 
poetry of the monks during the same period, the pedantry of 
which betrays the ignorance of the authors, and in which the 
absence of truth in the incidents, in the feelings, and in the 
language, shows clearly that all the inspirations of nature were 
banished from their gloomy convents. We shall terminate the 
literary history of Spaiii, during the thirteenth century, with 
some account of a royal poet Alfonso K. of Castile, who was 
bom in 1221, came to the crown in 1S5S, and was named Empe- 
ror of Germany bv four of the electors in 1257. After having 
been deposed by his son, he died in 1284. Alfonso vras sur- 
named the Wise, from his acquaintance with astronomy and che- 
mistry, and is known by a system which he proposed as to the 
arrangement of the heavenly bodies, and which subjected him to 
a charge of impiety ; a treatise which must be considered merely 
as a commentary upon the complicated system of Ptolemy, 
to which he had devoted his attention. Alfonso, though he wag 
not a good sovereign, was yet a great patmn of letters, and in- 
troduced into Europe the sciences, arts, and manufactures of the 
Arabians. He invited to his court many of the philosophers 
and learned men of the East whose works he caused to be trans- 
lated Into the Castillan, in which language he likewise directed 
the decisions of the courts, and the laws of the Cortes to be 
framed ; and ip this earliest Spanish code, which is entitled km 
Partidat, is found that remarkable sentence which struck the at- 
tention of Montesquieu : The de^t cuU down the tree, hd lAe 

TT .' I ; ' ' — ■ — 

t Copia 119. 


1MB îHonmck pirmus it In fact, this monarch t?as the first to 
give tiuiit impulse to the KteratHre of Spain, which was in the 
sttoeeedfug centary so greatly aoodlerat^. His writings oon- 
tribnted very considerably to the advancement of science, and 
somethli^ to the progress of literatare. There is still preserved 
in jnanoscript at Toledo^ a book of Canticles in Gafician, writ- 
ten by him in honour of the Virgin Mary. The music for the 
first line of each canticle is given as if for chanting. Two 
other productions in Castillan by the same royal author also 
Survive. The first of these is a book of Complaints, U KImto de 
2« QnoTêiM, composed between 1^2 and 1S84, in which Alfonso 
complains of his son Don Sancho and his nobles, who had 
rebelled against him and driven him from his throne. To judge 
from the commencement, this poem, which is written in verses 
ie mrie maiif&r, and in octave stanzas consisting each of two qiuh 
irmns, appears to be worthy of the sentiments which ought to 
sustain a deposed monarch. The other poem which is entitled 
The book of Treamrty or The Philosophera Stone^ is a pretended 
exposition of this hidden knowledge, which had long employed 
the attention of Alfonso, and which he asserted had been com- 
municated to him by an Egyptian sage. The introduction to 
this work is the only intelligible portion of it It consists of 
eleven stamsas, in which the author recounts the mode in which 
he became possessed of the grand arcanum of the alchemists.* 
When he comes to explain the secret itself, the reader is pre- 
sented with thirty-five stanzas of eight lines each, in cipner, 
which it is impossible for any one to comprehend ; although a 
key is given, which is in fact just as intelligible as the ciphers 
themselves. When we recollect that Alfonso was deposed by 
the Castiliajis for baring debased the coin, by alloying the silver 

Hic rolloTviug are the tiro first stanzas of the lÂhro dd Tetoro 

Llego puea la ttmM. à los ism oidoi 
Quen Uerra de Ëgipto «n «abio vivia, 
£ ccjo su saber oi qoe facia 
Not OS los casoa ca non son venidos : 
Los astros juzgaba, è aqueftos movidos 
Por dispoflicion del cielo, fallaba 
Los casos quel tiempo futuro ocultaba, 
Bien fuesen antes por esie entendidos. 

Codicia del sabio mono mi aficion, 
Mi pittffla e mi lingua, eon grande homildad 
Postrada la altera de mi màgcstad, 
Ca tanto poder iicne una pasîun. ^ 

Cun roegos le fiz la mia peticion, 
£ ai la mandé con mis mensageros. 
Aveivs facieitdas è mnchos dineros 
Alii le ofreci coji santa intencion. 


with copper, and Lssuing it as a pure silver coinage, we cannot 
help suspecting that the noble sovereign of Castile, and Emperor 
of the Romans, has bequeathed an enigma to posterity, which is 
incapable of explanation, and that his ciphers are absolutelj 
destitute of all meaning. He had a great desire io propagate 
a belief that he had attained immense riches by his knowledge 
of alchemy, in order that he might impress his enemies and 
strangers with a high idea of his power. . 

The desire of celebrating the achievements of a hero, gave 
rise to the first attempt in Spanish poetry. To the same feeling 
did the art owe its perfection ; while the verses were adapted 
to music, in order to render them more popular. The measure 
of these early romances, or redot^dilhas^ was completely the 
reverse of the Italian; it ohanged from long to short the verse 
containing four trochees, with an occasional defective verse. 
With regard to rhyme, each second line terminated with an as- 
sonant, while the first lines were unrhymed. It was in this metre 
that the deeds of many a brave Spaniard, and more especially 
of the Cid, were celebrated by anonymous poets. These ro- 
mances were taught by mothers to their children, recited at fes- 
tivals, and sung by the soldiers before battle ; and being trans- 
mitted from mouth to mouth, long before they were committed 
to writing, they changed tbeir shape with each variation of the 
language, though they preserved their spirit under every altera- 
tion. The first romances of the Cid were probably composed 
soon after his death, and others were added at different periods, 
though it is difficult to assign their proper dates. They are ge- 
nerally filled with minute details, and have an air of truth about 
them, which pioves, that, at the period of their composition, the 
hero of Spain was still well known. So completely national 
was his history, and so connected with the state of Castile, that 
every Christian soldier, in the achievements of the Cid, became 
acquainted with the glories of his country. In the three cen- 
turies which preceded the birth of this hero, and in the two 
which succeeded, the history of Spain presents nothing but one 
continued struggle with the Moors ; and it would have been 
difficult to distinguish the various sovereims who succeeded 
one another, during these five centuries, if the glory of the 
Cid and of his companions had not formed so custinguished 
an era. 

These popular romances were collected at the commencement 
of the sixteenth century by Fernando del Castillo, and reprinted 
in 1614, by Pedro de Florez, in one volume in quarto. In 
these collections, all the romances of the Cid are to be found, 
though not in chronological order. Herder, a German poet and 
philosopher, a few years ago formed a collection of them, and 
arranged them so as to present a complete biographical account 


df the hero, tnaslating them into verse of the same measare» 
with a scnipulouâ fidelity peculiar to the Germans.* 

The life o( the Cid may be divided into four periods ; contain- 
ing his exploits under Ferdinand the Great under Sancho the 
Brave, under Alfonso VI., and in the principality of Valencia, 
which he had conquered, and of which he had constituted him- 
self sovereign. The hrst period comprises his youth, the time 
at which Corneille has laid his tragedy. t The second presents 
the history of the civil wars of Spain ; and the third, and apart 
of the fourth, correspond with the poem which we analyzed in 
the last chapter ; the conclusion of the fourth contains the old 
age and death of the hero4 

. * There existed long before Herder's work appeared, a collection entitled 
TVaoro escondido de todos Ua masjamosos Rommuts assi antifguoSf como modtmoSf 
dtl dd: por Praiie. Meige, Barceiwie, 1626, 8vo- This little selection, in- 
stead of the seventy romances which Herder has translated, contains only 
forty, many of which are of little importance. The same romance is often 
Aiiferently giTen in different collections ; for, as they were the property of no 
one, every editor altered them according to his taste. Thus the translations 
of Herder, who was acquainted with all the originals, and who has, with 
great taste and judgment, selected the best, arc- superior to all the Spanish 
eollectiona. [The laigest coi/ectioxi of the ballads of the Cid appears to be 
that whieh is mentioned by Sarmiento : Hiaioria dtd mtiy valeroso CaoaUero el 
Cid Ruy Diaz de Bkoar^ ra Romancée en lenguage atUiquo, recvpUadot por Juan 
de Eiscohar: 5eotUa, 1638. This volume contains J 02 ballads. See Southey's 
Chron. of the Cid, pref. z. Mr. Sou they designates the greater part of these 
poems as utterly worthless. The reader, from the specimens here presented, 
may perhops hesitate before he concurs in ao harih a censure. TV.J 

t Corneille borrowed his Cid partly from these romances, as he confesses 
in his preface, and partly from two Spanbh tragi- comedies : one by Diamante, 
and the other by Guillen de Castro. By a strange historical error, the French 
poet has laid the scene at Seville, a city at that time a hundred leagues distant 
from the Christian frontieri and which remained unJer the Mussulman do- 
minion for two centuries afterward. It was only in the old age of thé Cid, • 
that even Toledo and New Castile Were recovered from the Moors. The 
French critics, who have passed their judgments on this masterpiece of Cor- 
neille, have never given themselves the trouble of forming an acquaintance 
with the hero of the tragedy. La Harpe supposes him to have lived in the 
fifteenth century. Voltaire, when he reproaches D. Ferdinand with not taking 
better measures for the defence of his capital, forgets that at that period the 
King of Castile commanded a small territory, the inhabitants of which were 
perpetually under arms ; and that the attacks of the Moors were not formal 
expeditions, but rapid and unexpected incursions, executed as soon as the 
project was formed, and which could only be met by the bravery of the sol- 
diery, and not prevented by the policy of the pfiuce. 

X [In the original, the remainder of this chapter is occupied with prose 
translations into French, of the ballads of the Cid as given by Herder in his 
German version, and by occasional remarks on those extracts by M. de Sis- 
mondi. As Mr. Lockhart has favoured the public with metrical translations 
of several of the mo3t interesting ballads of the Cid, calculated to give the 
reader a very pleasing idea of the singular character of the originals, it ap- 
peared adrisable to the editor to substitute specimens, selected from Mr. 
ï.ofkhart's translations, instead of attempting either to verbify Herder, or t>i#* 


loi t^ ballad of the yoiuig Cid/ Bodrigo i» represented a» 
riding with his fether, Diego Lftynes, to do homage to the king. 
Three hundred gentlemen acoompanj the father and son on ttiis 

All talkios with eaek oUmf tltiu along their waj tb«y pM^d, 
But now they've C9mif to BurgOf» and met the kins at last ; 
When thcj came near his nobles, a whisper through ihem ran : 
'* He rides among the geatrj that slew the Coimt Locaa.'^ 

With vaiy haughty gestuM, R*drigo reigned Ua heiw, 

Bight scornMly lu: shoaled whAn be heard t^m oo diacourse^ 

*Mf any of his kindred or vassals dare appear, 

The man to give them answer on horse or foot is here/' 

No one, however, dares to notice the defiance, and Diego Lay- 
nez desires his son to kiss the good king's hand. Rodrigo*s an- 
swer was a Tery short one : 

" Had aay other said it, his pains had well baao paid ; 
But thou. Sir, art my fathfer — thy word nust be obty'd :^' 
With that he sprang down KgfaUy, before the king to kaeal. 
Bat as the knee was bending» out leapM his blade of steel* 

The king drew back in terror, when he saw the sword was bare-; 
** Stand back, stand back, Rodrigo, in the devil's naose beware : 
Toar looks belpeak a creature of father Adam^s mo«M, 
But in your wild behaviour you 're Hke some lion bold." 

When Rodrigo heard him say so, he leap'd into his seat. 
And thence he made his answer with visage nothing sweet ; 
" rd^hink it little honour to kiss a kingly palm, 
And if my fhthers kiss'd it, thereof ashamed 1 am." 

When he these words had otter'd, he turn'd him <Vom the gate, 
His true three hundred gentles behind him foUow'd straight ; 
If with good gowns they came that day, with better arms they went ; 
And if their mules behind did stay, with horses they 're content 

originol Spanish ballads, in case he should be able to discover them. He had, 
indeed, resolved at one lime to translate into English verse some portions of 
the ballads of the Cid, contained in the collection of Spanish Romancu, 
published by M. Depping: Samlimg dtr httien aUen Spaniahen Historichen 
RUter und Mmtrishen R^anzetty 4'C' von Ck. Depping^ Leipzig^ 1S17 ; a col- 
lection of which M. de Sismondi would, doubtless, have availed himself, had 
it been published at the period when this work was ««ritten. The appearance 
of the Jineient Spanish Ballads induced the editor it abandon this design, under 
a full persuasion that Mr. Lockhart's versions were far superior to any thing 
which it would be in his power to produce. He has, therefore, made a selec- 
tion from the eight ballads of the Cid, given by Mr. Lockhart, connecting the 
fragments, when necessary, by an explanatory text. The matter thus substi* 
fnted occupies from p. 96 to p. lOt. TV.] 

* TThis ballad h the fiftli in F.scol)ar's concclion. TrA 

OF TUE SP4;^IARK>5. 97 

Dieso Laynez haying been insulted by Count Gomez, the 
lord of Crormaz, the young Rodrigo challenges him to single 
combat, and slays him. In consequence of this affair, Ximena 
Gomez, the daughter of the Count, demands vengeance from the 
king, against the youthful Cid.* The monarch is disturbed in 
his court at Burgos by aloud clamour at his palace-porch, where 
he finds the &ir Ximena Gomez kneeling and crying for Ven- 

Upon her neck disorder'd haog down the lady'a bair, 
And floods of tean were slreamiog upon her bosom fair ; 
Sore wept she for her father the Count that had been slain. 
Loud cursed she Rodrigo whose sword his blood did stain. 

They tarnM to bold Rodrigo, I wot his cheek was red ; 
With haughty wrath he listen'd to the words Ximena said— 
"Good king, I cry for justice ; now as my voi<b Uiou hearest, 
So God befriend the ehiidren that in thy land thou rearest. 

The king that doth not jastice, hath forfeited his claim 
Both to his kingly station, and to his kingly name ; 
He shpuld not sit at banquet, clad in the royal pal], 
IMor should the nobles serve him on knees wilhln the hall. 

Good king, f am descended from barons bright of old 
That with Cestilian pennons Pelayo did uphold ; 
Bat if my strain were fowly as it is high and clear. 
Thou still should'st prop the feeble, and the afflicted hear. 

For thee, fierce homicide, draw, draw thy sword once more, 
And pierce the breast which wide I spread thy stroke before { 
Because I am a woman my life thou need'st not spare, 
I am Ximena Gomez, my slaughter'd father^s heir. 

• Since thou hast slain the knight who did our faith defend. 
And still to shameful flight all the Almanzors send, 
Tisbut a little matter that I confront thee so; 
Come, champion, slay his daughter, she needs must be thy foe.** 

Ximena gazed upon him, but no reply could meet, 

Uia fingers^held the bridal, he vaulted to bis seat ; 

She turn'd her to the nobles, I wot her cry was loud, 

Bat not a man dunt follow ; slow rode he through the crowd. 

There is considerahle douht with regard to the authenticity 
of that portion of the Cid's history, which relates to his marriage 
with Ximena Gomez.! From the hallad of the Gid*s courtship, 
however, it appears that the fair Ximena, haying pardoned 
him for the murder of her father, asked him from uie king in 
marriage : 

* [This ballad is the sixth in Escobar. 7r.] 
t [See Southey's Chron. of the Cid, p. 6. TV.] 
Vol. II. 13 


To the good king Fernando, in Borgos where he ley, 
Came then Ximena Gomez, and thus to him did say ; 
'* I am Don Gomez' daughter, in Gormaz Count irai he, 
liim slew Rodrigo of Bi?ar in battle Taliantly. 

Now I am eome before you this day a boon to craye, 
And it is that I to hosbaiad may this Rodrigo have : 
Grant this, and I shall hold me a happy damosell ; 
Maeh honoarM shall I hold me, I shall be married well. 

I know he 's bom for thriving, none like him in the land, 
I know that none in battle against his sp^ may stand ; 
Foigireness is well pleasing in God oor Saviour's view, 
And I forgive him freely, for that my sire he slew."» 

The king is highly pleased with Ximena*s request, and iu- 
fitantly despatches a messenger to Rodrigo, who; leaping upon 
Bavieca, speedily maàes his appearance before the monarch. 
Fernando informs him that Ximena has granted him pardon, and 
offered him her hand : 

'' I pray you be eonsentinga my gladness will be great, 
Tou shall have lands in plenty to strengthen your estate.'' 
" Lord King," Rodrigo answers^ "in this and aU beside, 
'* Cbmmand and I'll obey you, the girl shall be my bride." 

But when the fair Ximena came forth to plight her hand, 
Itodrigo, gazing on her, his face could not command : 
He stood and blush'd before her ; thus at the last said he, 
" I slew thy sire, Ximena, but not in villany. 

" In no disguise I slew him, man against man I stood. 
There was some wrong between us, and I did shed his blood ; 
" I slew a man, I owe a man : fair lady, by God's grace. 
An honour'd husband shalt thou have in thy dead father's place." 

The ballad of the Cid*s wedding contains many curious traits 

of national manners : • 


Within his had of Burgos the king prepares his feast, 
He makes his preparation for many a noble guest. 
It is a joyful city, and it is a gallant day ; 
Tis Uie Campeador's wedding, and who will bide away 7 

Layn Calvo, the Lord Bishop, he first eomes forth the gate, 

Behind him comes Ruy Diaz, in all his bridal state ; * 

The crowd makes way before them, as up the street they go ; 

For the multitude of people their steps must needs be slow. 

The king had tnken order, that they shonld rear an arch 

From house to house all over, in the way where they must march. 

They have hung it atl with lances, and shields, and glittering helms, 

Brought by the Campeador from out the Moorish realms. 


They have scatter'd oliTe-branches and rushes on the street, 
And ladies fling down g^arlands at the Campeador's feet ; 

or TUS SPAKlAftl>S> 09 

With tapMtry and broidery, their btleonies between. 
To do hjf bridal honour their wiJIs the burghers screen* 

They lead the bulls before them, all cover'd o*er with trappings, 
The little boys pursue them with hoptings and with clappings ; 
The fool with cap and bladder upon his ass goes prancing 
Amidst troops of captive maidens, with bells and eymbals dancing. 

With antics and with fooleries, with shouting and with laughter, 
They All the streets of Buigos, and the defil he comes alter ; 
For the king had hired the horned fiend for sixteen maraTcdis, 
And there he goes with hoofs for toes to terriiy the ladles. 

Then comes the bride Ximeoa:— the king he holcts her han^ 
And the queen, and all in fur and pall, the nobles of ttie land : 
Alt down the street, the ears of wheat are round Ximena flylog, 
Bat the king lifts off her bosom sweet whatever there is lying. 

<èuoth Suero, when he saw it, (his thought you understand) 
" Tis a fine thing to be a king ; but heaven make me a hand f 
The kin|{ was rery merry when he was told of this. 
And swore the bride ere eventide should give the boy a kiss. 

The kins went always talking, but she held down her head. 
And seldom gare an answer to any thing he said. 
It was better to be êUent among such a crowd of folk. 
Than ntter words so meaoingies» as she did when she spoke. 

The Talour of Bodriffo was equalled by his humanity. The 
ballad of Thé Cid and &e Iraper, exhibits this quality ina strong 

H« has ta'en some twenty gentlemen along with him to go. 
For he will pay that ancient vow he to St. James doth owe ; 
To ComposteUo, where the shrine doth by the altar stand, 
The good Rodrigo de Birar, is riding through the land. 


Where'er he goes much alms he throws, to feeble folk and poitr, 
Besid^ Uie war for him they pray, him blessings to procure ; 
For God and Mary Mother, âieb heavenly grace to win, 
hand was ever bountilnl ; great was his joy therein. 



And there in middle of the path, a Leper did appear ; 
In a deep slough Uie leper lay, none would to help come near ; 
With a loud voice he thence did err, " For God ov Saviour^ sake, 
From out this fearful jeopardy a Christian brother take." 

When Boderic heard that piteous word, he from his horse came down, 
For aU they said, no stay ne made, that noble champion ; 
He reach'd his hand to phick him forth, of fear was no account. 
Then mounted on his steed of worth, and aide Ae leper nonnt 

* [The CiA and the Leper is the imUfih rbmnce in Btcolte : ani see 
Sonthey's Chron. of the Cid. p. 8. TV.] 

,100 un THE LlTIûKATUAfi 

Btfhi&d bim rode tk« leproua man ; when to their hoitelrie 
They came he mftde him eat with hiai at tahle cheerfallj ; 
While all (he re«t from that poor guest with loathing shrunk away, 
To his own bod the wretch he led, beside hinp there he lay. 

All at the mid hour of the night, while good Rodrigo slept, 
A breath came from the leprous man, it through his shoulders crept ; 
Right through the body, at the breast, pess'd forth that breathing cold, 
I wot he leap'd up with a start, in terrors manifold» 

He groped for him in the bed, but him he could not find. 
Through the dark ehamber groped be with very anxious mind. 
Loudly he lifted up his voice with speed a lamp was brought, 
Yet no where was the leper seen, though far aîid near they sought' 

He Um'd him to his chamber, God wot perplexed sore 

With that which had befallen ; when lo ! his face before 

There stood a roan all clothed in vesture shining white. 

Thus said the vision, "Sleepest thou, or wakest thou. Sir knight f 

** I sleep not," quoth Rodrigo, "but tell me who art thou. 
For, in the midst of darkness, much light is on thy brow V* 
*' I am the holy Laxarus, I come to speak with thee ;- 
I am the same poor leper thou savedst for charity. 

Not vain the trial, nor in vain thy victory hath been ; 
God favoara thee,, for that my pain thou didst relieve yestree|i« 
There shall be honour with thee in battle and in peace, 
Success in all thy doings, and plentiful increase. 

Strong enemies ihall not prevail thy greatness to undo, 

Thy name shall make men's cheeks full pale, Christians and Moslems tou; 

A death of honour shalt thou die, such grace to thee is given. 

Thy sottl shall part victoriously, and be received in heaven." 

When he these gracious words had said, the spirit vanish*d quite ; 
Rodrigo rose and knelt him down — he knelt till morning light ', 
Unto the heavenly Father, and Mary Mother dear. 
He made his prayer right humbly 'tUI dawn'd the morning clear. 

Tbe subject of the next ballad is Baoieeu, the Cid*a charger, 
whose fame has been celebrated in almost every romance wUch 
has recorded the exploits of his master. He is also mentioned 
in the Cid's will "When ye bury Bavieca, dig deep; for 
shamefel thing were it that he should be eat by curs who hath 
trampled down so much currish flesh of Moors.** Rodrigo like- 
wise directed that his dead body should be placed in armour, 
upon Bavieca, and so led to the church. After this ceremony 
had been performed, no man was again suffered to bestride the 

È liant charger. Bavieca survived hiii master about two years^ 
ving lived, according to the history, full forty years. 


The king lookM on him kindly, as on a vassal true. 
Then to the king Ruy Diaz spake, after reverence due : 
" O king, the thing is shameful that any man beside 
The liege loid of CluiUle himseir stiouUl Bavieca ride; 


OF TBfi %fÉMlAm$0 101 

For neitlMrSfife otr Afwtj «oukl «MÉhir ditq{0f teioK 

So gocA ê»kê,ÊaA eorte» tho Jbeat befito my kUg } 

But that 700 maj behold him and know him to tibe core, 

I'll make Urn go as ha was wont when his nostrils tmelt the Moor.*' 

Wich that the Cid, clad m he was in mantle fiiR'd and wide» 
On BaTieca vanlUiig, put the rowal In his aide. 
And ap and down, and round and round, so fierce was his career, 
StreamM like a pennoa on the wind with» fiuy Diaz' minif ere. 

And tU thai saw them praia'd Ihem ; thajr landed man and hone» 
As matched well, and rivaiiess for gallantly and force ; 
Ke'er had they lopk'd on horseman, mjgbt to this knight come near, 
Kor on other chaigar worthy of siuJi a cavalier* 

Thus to and fro i^rushing the fieree aad furloua steed 
He snapt in twain his hiSier reigft— " Qod pity new the Cid ! 
'' God pity Diaz !*' cried the lords— but when they look'd again, 
They saw Buy Dial mliog him with the fragment of his reign ; 
They saw him proudly ruiuig with gesture firm aad calm, 
Like a true lord commanding, and obeyed as by a tamb. 

Aad so he led hàm foaming and panting to the king, 
But, *' No," said Don Alfonso, ^' it were a shameful thing 
That peerless BaTteea should ever be bestrid 
By any mortal but Birai^-mount, mount again, my Cid»* 

Tbe Exeomnmnieaihn of Ae Cid is certainly of a very apo^ 
cryphal character. The ballad, however; is an entertaining and 
Carious one. 

n was when firom Spain across the main, the Cid was come to Roma, 
He chanced to sea chairs four aad Aree, beneath St. f etei^ dome ; 
"Now telU I fnjf what chairs be they 7** " Se?en Uop do sit theaoa» 
Aa well doth fuitiiOl at the foot of the holy Alhar*s thvoae. 

The pope he sitteih abore them alli that they may kiss his toe, 
Below the keys the fiower-de-Ws doth make a gallant show ; 
For his poisanoe thawing of France next to- the pope may sit, 
The nat man law, allm a row, as dotb tkm itation At." 

«* Ha !" quoth the Cid, " now God forbid I it is a shame I wis, 
To see the Castle* planted beneath -the flower-de-lys.f 
No harm 1 hone, good father pope, although I more thy chair ;" 
In pieces small he kick'd it all ('twas of the ivory fair.) 

The pope's own seat, he from hts feet, did kkk it far away, 
And the Spanish chair he planted upon its place that day ; 
AboTe them all he planted it, and Imigh'd right bitterly. 
Looks sour and bad 1 trow he had, as grim as grim imght be. 

Now when the pope was aware of this, (he was an angry man,) 
His lips that night, with solemn rite, pronounced the awful ban ; 

* The drms of CastHc t The arms of Rrance. 

102 ON TBS tITlRATI7U> &C. 

The cone of Ged who died on rood, was on Ihtt •innei'f 1ieftd« 
To Hell and wo man'a aonl mutt go, if onee that cnne be 

I wot when the Cid was aware of this, (a woful man was he,) 
At dawn of daj he came to praj at the blessed father's luee ; 
" Absolire me, blessed fkther, hare pitj upon m% 
Absolfe my soul, and penance I for my sin will dree !' 

" Who is this tinner,** qnoth the pope, " who at my foot doth kneel ?*' 
" I am Rodrigo Diaz a poor baron of Castile — " 
Much marfellM all were in the hall, when that word they heard kim fay,— 
" Rise np, rise np,** the pope he said, *' I do thy gvilt away : 

I do thy gailt away," he said "and my énrse I blot it oat ; 
God sare Rodriffo Diaa, my Christian champion stoat t 
I trow if I had known thee, my grief it had been sore 
To curse Rny Diax de Birar, God's scoqrge upon the Moor." 

I feel no regret in haying so long dwelt upon the times of the 
Cid. The brilliant reputation of that hero, at the oommfenoe- 
ment of the Spanish monarchy, eclipses the glory of all who 
either preceded or followed him. Never was a reputation more 
completely national, and never in the estimation of men, has 
there been a heroin Spain who has equalled Don Rodrigo. He 
occupies the debâiteabfe ground between history and romance^ 
and, the historian and the poet both assert their claims to him. 
The ballads which we. have been examining are considered by 
Muller as authentic documents ; while the poets of Spain have 
chosen them as the most brilliant subjects for their dramatic 
compositions. Diamante, an old poet, and subsequently Guillen 
de Castro, have borrowed from the early romances the plots of 
their tragedies of the Cid, both of which furnished a model to 
Corneille. Lope de Vega, in his «âlmeiuM de Two, has drama- 
tised the second period of the warrior*8 life, and the death of 
Sancho the Strong. Other writers have intA)duced other inci- 
dents of his life upon the sta^e. No hero, in short, has ever 
been so universally celebrated by his countrymen, nor is the 
fame of any individual so intimately connected as his, with all 
the poetry and the history of his native land. 


Ob Spnisb lâtentore, dorijig th« Fowteenth Mid FiAeenth Ceatoriea» 


In the formation ot her language and her poetry Spain pre- 
ceded Italy very considerably, though the pn^press which she 
afterwards made was so slow, that it was difficult to distinguish 
it From the twelfth, until the end of the fifteenth century, when 
the spirit of Italian literature began to exert an influence in Spain, 
e?eiy productiim of value which proceeded from the pen of a 
Spaniard is anonj^nous and without date ; and although, perhaps, 
in the songs and romances of these four centuries, tibe progress 
of the language and of the versification may be traced, yet in 
the ideas, in the sentiments, and iu the images, there is so much 
similarity as to prevent us.firom dividing this portion of the lite- 
rary history of Spain into separate epochs, and from assigning 
to eaeh a distinctive character. 

This uniformity in its literary history is likewise observable 
in the political history of Spain. During these four centuries, 
the Spanish character was strengthened, confirmed, and de- 
veloped, but not changed, by the national successes. There wa» 
the same chivalric bravery exercised in combats against the 
Moors, and exercised too without ferocity, and even with feel- 
ings of mutual esteem. There was the same high feeling of ho- 
nour, and the same gallaiit bearing, nourished by rivalry with a 
nation as honourable and gaUant as themselves ; a nation with 
whom the knights of Spain had been often mingled, with whom 
they had sought an asylum, and with whom they had even served 
under the same banners ; and lastly, there was the same indepen- 
dence among the nobles» the same national pride, the same pa- 
tQotic attadiments which were nourished bv the division of Spain 
into separate kingdoms, and by the right of every vassal to make 
^^ upon the crown, provided he restored the fiefs which he held 
from it 

Spain, from the commencement iji the eleventh century, was 
divided into five Christian kingdoms. It would be no easy task 
to present, in a few words, a picture of the various revolutions to 
which these states were exposed, though the dates of their pro- 
gress and decline may be succinctly stated. The kingdom of 
Kavarre, which was separated very early from the Moors by the 
Castillans, gradually extended itself on the side of Gascony. 


But, notwithstanding its frequent wars with the neighbouring 
states, notwithstanding various accessiiHis of territoory, foUowra 
inirariably by new partitions, Nayarre remained wiuiin nearly 
the same limits until the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, who 
oonquered it in 1512. The kingdom of Portugal, which was 
founded in 1090, by Alfonso VI. of Castile, as a provision for 
his son-in-law, extended itself during the twelfth century along 
the shores of the Atlantic, and at that period was comprised with- 
in the limits which, notwithstanding its long wars with Castile, 
it has since preserved. The king&m of Leon, which formerly 
extended over Galicia and the Asturias, was the most ancient q£ 
all, and the true representative of the monarchy of the Visigoths, 
fibving been founded by Pelagius and his descendants, it was to 
extend its frontiers that those heroic combats were fought, which, 
at the present day, fill the poetical history of Spain ; and it was 
for the purposeof establishing the independence of this country, 
that the semi-ÛLbulous hero Bernard del CarpÂo slew the I^a- 
din Orlando at Roncevalles. The ancient house of the Visigoth 
kings became extinct in 1037, in the person of Bermudez ill., 
and the kingdom of Leon then fell into the hands of Ferdmand 
the Great <» Navarre, who united under his sceptre all the Chris- 
tian states of Spain. On his death» he again severed Navarre 
and Castile in fiwour of one of his sons ; and the kingdom of 
Leon, governed by the house of Bigorre, preserved an independ- 
ent but inglorious existence until the year 12S0, when it was fin* 
the last time united to Castile by an intermarriage of tiie sove* 

in the eaA of Spain the resistance of the Christians had been 
less effectual. At the foot of the Pyrenees, around the towns of 
Jaca and Huesca, and in the littie county of Soprarbia, the 
tingdom of Aragon took its rise. Soon afterwards, the expedi- 
tion of Charlemagne against the Moors, laid the foundation of 
the county of Barcelona, then confined by the shores of the sea. 
From this feeble origin a powerful monarchy arose. Aragon, 
reunited to Navarre under Saucho the Great, was a|ain se- 
vered from it in 1035 ; Saraj^ssa was woq from the Moors in 
1113, and the victories of Alfonso the warlike, who was in vain 
defeated at Fraga, in 1134, tripled the extent of the monarchy. 
Three years after his death the state of Aragon was united to 
that of Barcelona, in 1137, by marriage ; and a second Alfonso, 
in 1167, added Provence to tne same sovereignty. James I., in 
1238, conquered the kingdom of Valencia, and his successors 
uniteid to it the Balearic Isles, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and 
lastly the kingdom of Naples. The monarchy àS Aragon had 
arrived at its highest pitch of glory, when Ferdinand of Aragon, 
in 1469, intermarried with Isabella of Castile, and founded, by 
the unicm of the two crowns, that powerful monarchy, which 
under Charles V. embraced all Spain, and threatened the inde- 
pendence of the whole world. 

But the most powerful of the monarchies of Christian Spain 
vas Castile, which, as it ii^rited the oonduests, the grandeur, 
and the glory of the other states of the Feninsula, demands a 
more particular examination. By the assistance of the kings of 
Oriedo and Leon, part of New Castile succeeded in throwing 
off the Mussulman yoke, though, until the year 1028, the sove- 
reign only bore the title of Count. Sancho III. of Navarre, 
by his marriage with the heiress of Castile, united the sove^ 
reignty to his other states ; from which it was again separated in 
1035, in favour of Ferdinand the Greirt, who first assumed the 
title of King of Castile. The victories of that monarch, and of 
his son Sancho the Strong, rescued all Old Castile fh>m the 
Moorish yokes New Castile was at that period a powerful 
Mussulman kingdom, the capital of which was Toledo. It was 
at the court of one of the kings of Toledo, that Alfonso VI., 
when pursued by his brother, sought an asylum. He afterward 
proceeded, in 1072, with the assistance of the Moorish monarch, 
to recover the inheritance of Sancho the Strong. Deaf to the 
voice of gratitude, Alfonso VI. did not hesitate to despoil Hiaia, 
the son of his benefaetor, of his dominions. In 1085, he con- 
quered Toledo and New (}a0tile. The Moors, who, when they 
arrived in Spain, were better soldiers than the GpthSf very 
qui<^y lost this advantage. The use of baths, and other luxu- 
ries and delicacies, to which they had been unaccustomed, soon 
«enervated them. They were vanquished in every combat where 
they were not infinitely superior in numbers ; and they frequently 
submitted to become the vassals of a few knights, who esta- 
bUriied themselves among them. Alfonso VI. in his dominions, 
the extent of which he had almost doubled, counted more than 
two millions of Mussulman subjects, to whom he was engaged 
by the most solemn oaths to preserve their laws, their worship, 
and all their privileges. The Christians, who, though inferior 
in number, had obtained the ascendancy over tliis still powerful 
people, were not united among themselves. An inveterate jea- 
lousy separated the Gonquerors, who called themselves Montants, 
on account of their residence in the mountains, from the Moça- 
labians, or freedmen of the Moors. Rdigion, which ought to 
have united them, was a new source of dispute and ookitention. 
The Christians who were found in New Castile when it was de- 
livered from the dominion of the Moors, had preserved in their 
chnrches a particular rite iu the celebrntion of divine service, 
which was designated by the name of the Moçarabian ceremcmy. 
The conquerors wished to establish the Ambrosian ceremony ; 
and the choice between the two forms of worship was referred 
to the judgment of God, in declaring which the policy of the 
iBonarch, suiid not the jealousy of the priests, was fortunately the 
principal instrument. The two rituals were cast intd the fire, 
and instead of th^ single miracle which was expected, the spec- 
tators were ai^nished with two ; both the riti^s were taken out 
Vol. H. 14 


and exceedingly difficalt to please, with great fidelity, and wa» 
by him named governor {adelantado mayor) of the Moorish fron- 
tiers. For twenty years he carried on a successful war against 
the Moors of Grenada, and died in 1362. His principal com- 
position is entitled Count Lucanor, and isi, it may be said, the first 
prose work in the Castillan language, as was the Deoamer<Hi, 
which appeared about the same time, in the Italian. Count Lu* 
canor, like the Decameron, is a collection of Novels» but in every 
other respect the works are entirely difiTerent. Lucanor is the 
production of a statesman, who wishes to instruct a grave and 
serious nation in lessons of policy and morality, in the shape of 
apologues. The Decameron is the lively offspring of a man of 
taste, but of dissipated manners, whose object is rather to please 
than to instruct. Prince Juan Manuel places his hero, Connt 
Lucanor, in very difficult circumstances, with regard both to 
morals and to politics. The Count asks the advice of his friend 
and Minister Patronio, who answers him with a litUe tale, which 
is related with much grace and simplicity, and applied with wit 
and ingenuity. There are forty-nine of these tales, and the mo- 
ral of each is contained in two little verses, less remarkable for 
their poetical merit than for their precision and good sense. The 
first of these novels is translated below. When we are engaged 
in discussing the merits of productions almost entirely unknown, 
it is proper to present the reader rather with examples than with 

One day Count Lucanor thus bespoke his counsellor Patronio. 
'* Patronio, thou knowest that I am a great hunter, and that I 
have hunted more than any man before ; and that I have invent- 
ed and added to the hoods and jesses of my falcons certain con- 
trivances which are entirely new. Now they who are maliciously 
inclined towards me speak of me in derision. They praise the 
Cid Ruy Diaz or Count Fernando Gonzales, for the battles they • 
have fought, or 4he holy and blessed king D. Ferdinand, for all 
the conquests which he achieved ; but they praise me for having 
accomplished a great thing in bringing to perfection the hoods 
and jesses of my falcon». Now, as sncli praise is rather an in- 
sult than an honour. I pray thee counsel me how 1 may avoid this 
irony upon a subject which, after all, is praiseworthy enough." 
"My Ijord Count," said Patronio, "that you may know how to 
conduct yourself in this case, I will relate to you what happened 
to a Moor who was king of Cordova." The Count bade him 
proceed, and then Patronio thus spoke : 

" There was once a Moorish king of Cordova, whose name 
was A1-Haquem. He governed his kingdom with tolerable dis- 
ctetion, but he did not exert himself to accomplish any great and 
"honourable exploits, as kings are in duty bound. It is not 
enough in them barely to preserve their dominions. They who 
would acquire a noble fame, should so act as to enlarge'their ter- 
ritories Wthomt iitfustîoe, and thus gain the applause of their 


subjects during their life, and at their death leave lasting mona- 
ments of their great achievements. But the king of whom we 
are speaking ca^ed nothing about all this ; he thought only of 
eating, and amusing himself and spending his time idly in his 
palace. Now it happened one day that he was listening to the 
music of an instrument of which the Moors are very fond, and 
which they call albogon. He observed that it did not sound so 
well as he could contrive to make it; so he took the albogon, and 
made a hole underneath opposite the others. The effect of this 
was that the albogon yieldcni a much finer note than before. This 
was a very clever inventiont but not exactly suited to a royal 
personage. The people in derision pretended to praise it It 
passed into a proverb, and, when sp^iking of any useless im- 
provement, they say : ' It is worthy of king Al-Haquem himself' 
This saying was so often repeated, that it came at last to the ears 
of the king, who inquired its meaning, and in S|Mte of the si- 
lence of those whom he questioned, be msisted so pertinaciously 
on an answer, that they were obliged to explain it to him. When 
he knew this, the king grieved sorely, as, after all, he was in 
truth a very good king. He inflicted no punishment upon those> 
who had thus spoken of him, but he made a resolution in bis own 
heart to invent some other improvement which should compel 
the people to praise him in good earnesti He set his people to 
work to finish the great mosque of Cordova. He supplied every 
deficiency, and fiiudly completed it, and made it the most beau- 
tiful, noble, and exquisite of all the Moorish mosques in Spain. 
Praise be to the lîord, it is at this day- a church, and is called 
St Mary's. It was dedicated by that holy Saint Kin^ Ferdi- 
nand, after he had taken Cordova from the Moors. When the 
king had finished it he said, that if his improvements on the al- 
bogon had hitherto exposed him to derision, he expected that for 
the future he should be applauded for the completion of the 
mosque of Cordova. The proverb was in fiict changed, and even 
unto this day, when the Moors speak of an addition superior to 
the object to which it is attached, they say : King Al-Haquem 
has mended it" 

It is evident that Patronio did not give himself much trouble 
in disguising his instructions. The apologue is little more than 
a repetition of Lucanor*s own stonr. The counsel is sensible 
and just enough, but it must be contessed that it does not display 
fflnch wit In general we must not look to the writers of the 
fourteenth century for quickness, precision, wit and polish. 
Those qualities are only produced in an age of high civilization, 
and by the collision of inteUect The education which was be- 
stowed In castles, and the severe discipline of the feudal system, 
acted upon the imagination rather than upon the judgment 
The writers of the middle ages are most valuable when tliey 
give us pictures of themselves ; for human nature, which in 
every statie is ITorthy of observation, is still mcHre so when it has 


not cast off its native simplicity. Of the rariotts compositiODS 
of those writers, their poetry is tiie most remarkable ; m there 
the imagination supplies the deficiencies of knoiHedge, and depth 
of feeling the want of variety. In matters of thought, however, 
their goal has been our starting-|4ace, and we can only look finr 
infonnation from their writings, so far as regards them, and not 

Prince Juan Manuel was likewise the author of some didactic 
pieces on the duties of a knight, whiph have not oome down to 
us. Some of his romances are, however, preserved ; they are 
written with a simplicity which adds to the irahie of compositions 
in themselves tender and touching. The Spaniards heia not yet 
renounced that natural style of expression, which at once pro- 
ceeds from and affects the heart They still faithfully presenred 
it in their romances, though they had already begun to abandon 
it in their lyrical poetry. Some amatory efinsions by Prince 
Juan Manuel have survived, which bear evident marks of this 

A short time after Prince Juan, flourished Pedro Lopez de 
Ayala, who was born in Murcia, in 1332, and died in 14Q1, after 
having filled the offices of Grand Chamberlain, and Grand Chan- 
cier of Castile. His poems, which were promised to the pob- 
lic by Sanchez, have, I oelieve, never yet been printed. Thej 
would possess, in a greater degree than the poems of Prince Jmn, 
that interest which results from the exhibition of strong political 
passions, and from the developement of a character, which would 
seem to forebode to the individual a stormy and troubled life. 
Ayala, who had previously been in the service of Peter the Cruel, 
afterwards attached himself to the party of his brother, Henry 
de Transtamare, and justified the revdtc^ the Castillans by his 
writings, as he had aided it with his arms. In his chronicle of 
the four kings under whom he had lived, Peter, Henry U., John 
I., and Henry IH. he paints in the blackest colours the ferocity 
of the first and it is chiefly upon his authority that the accusa- 
tions rest which have cast sncdi infiuny upon ^e memory of this 
ancient tyrant of Spain. Ayala, who first translated Livy into 
the Castâian, was tne first likewise to lead the way in adapting 
the narrative style of the ancients to modem history. Among 
his poems, the most celebrated is his Rimado de fMlaeêo, which 
vras written in prison, for the express purpose of rendering 
Peter odious to Ms subjects, and of conciUating their good wiH 
towards his brother. H^ fought by the side of Henry at the 
battle of Naxera, and ti^ther with Duguesclin was taken pri- 
soner by the English, the allies of Peter the Cru^, on the third 
of April, 1367. He was afterwards carried to En^and, and he 
has in his poems drawn a terrible picture of the gloomy prison 
in which he was confined, the wounds under which he was suf- 
ferins, sind the chains with which he was loaded. His Itimëd» 
de paîacio, contains sixteen hundred and nineteen eopfait or stan- 


tti, Tary mg in the Biete and ike BOidber of Aeir lia^ PofitkM^ 
jnorals, and religion, are aJtemately the subjects of Lopez de 
AjMb muse ; and Sanchez assures ns, that his writings are re- 
plete with proibond learning, knowledge of the world, and high 
rdUgwoB ftelings. He passes some s^yere censures on the great 
statesnten, as well as on the ecclesiastics of his day ; but the 
great corruption of hoth classes during the fourteenth century 
|uti6es the bitterness of his satire. Lopez de Ayala, after his 
release, hecame one of the oouwellors of Henry, and his am- 
bassador to France ; but he was again taken prisoner in the year 
1MÔ, at the battle of Aljubarrota, which was fought against the 
Portuguese. This double captirity made him feel most sensiUy 
all the gnevaaees attached to the loss of liberty, and tinctured 
his poetry with a soleianity of imagery and a melancholy tone of 
seatiment, which give it an elevated character. Yet it is proba- 
ble» that the greater part of the poems, which hè has dated from 
his prise», were in âust composed when he had recovered his 
libôty, and after he had been raised by John I. to tiie highest 
dignities in the kingdom. At the period when Ayala wrote, the 
other poets of Spain composed little else than amatory verses ; 
but in all his numerous productions there is scarcely a single 
verse to be found, which touches upon a profiine passion M uiy 
of them* it is true, are filled with that divine love which borrows 
the language of human passion, and are evidently the production 
of a man devoted to mysticism.* 

It is to a contemporary of Prinoe Juan that we owe the Ama- 
dis of GauL the best and most celebrated of the romances of 
ehivdry. Vasoo Lobeira, whom the Spaniards acknowledge to 
be the author, was a Portuguese, who was bom in the latter part 
of the thirteenth century, and died in the year 13%. He wrote 
the four first books of the Amadis in Spanish ; but for some 
«Bezi4«hMd reason his work did not become generally known 
until the middle of the fourteenth century. This celebrated 
romance was certainly an imitation of the French romances 
of ehivaky, whidi, in the pfeceding century, had acquired so 
high a reputation throughout Europe, and had produced such 
important effects on its literature. The French have even some 
j^etensions to the first inventicm of the Amadis. But whatever 
nay he the truth with regard to that fact, the work became na- 
tmliiied in Spain by the avidity with which it was read by all 
Glasses, the enthusiasm it excited, and the powerful influence 
which it exerted over the taste of the Castillans. The perpetual 

* I ba^e perused the poems ef the arch-priest of Hits, irritCeo aboat the 
year 1^3, which Sanchez has published in his fourth Tolame of the CoUedon 
de Poestos CoMtdUtnat* They may perhaps afford some idea of the Rmaio de 
Pàlacio, as they are written in irregular stanzas, and contain all the politics 
and morality of the author and of the age. They are none of them^ howe^er, 
sufficiently iatortfsting to merit insertion in this work. 


errors iu geography and fiistoiy escaped the attention oi- readers, 
who were utter strangers to those branches of knowledge. The 
diffuse and yet sti£f style of the narrative, instead of bemg a 
reproach, was in accordance with the manners of the age. It 
seemed to present a stronger picture of those Gothic and cbi- 
valric virtues which the Moorish wars still cherished in Spain, 
and which the Castilians delighted to attribute to their ancestors 
in a greater degree than the truth warranted. The brilliant 
fairy mythology of the East, with which a commerce with the 
Arabians had rendered the Spaniards acquainted, assumed ireA 
charms in this romance, and captivated the imagination. Love, 
also, was painted with an excess of devotion and of voluptuous 
tenderness, which affected the people of the south much more 
powerfully than the same sentiments would have influenced the 
French. The passion of love tlius represented was so submis- 
sive, so constaift, and so religious, that it almost seemed a virtue 
to entertain it ; and yet the author has denied to his heroes none 
of its privil^es. He has effectually captivated inflammable 
imaginations, by confounding the allurements of voluptuousness 
with the duties of chivalry. 

The celebrity of the Amadis de Gaul, and its numerous imi- 
tations, together with the frequent translations of all the French 
romances of chivalry, have given the national poetry of Spain a 
very animated and chivalric character. The spirit of these po- 
pular works passed to the romances, which were equally popular, 
and it is to the fourteenth century that we owe those poetical 
tales for which the Spaniards are so eminently distinguished. In 
most of these romances, we may remark a touching .simplicity of 
expression, a truth of psdnting, and an exquisite sensibility, which 
invest them with the highest charms.* Some of them are still 

* The Romancero general, collected by Pedro de Florez, and printed tt 
Madrid in 1614, in quarto, iras probably only a bookseHer't epecaladon. It is 
ft confuMd eoUection of all the popular ronances, displaying neiUier taste nor 
critical acumen. It is a painful task to wade through this immense eoUection^ 
It is divided into thirteen parts, which, instead of distinguishing the contents, 
render the whole more confosed«i But the reader will be rewarded for hiis 
labour, should he have the courage to undergo it. There are many romances 
as simple and beautiful as the following, in which we recognise kt an Suiu- 
pean language the imagination and melancholy sentiments of the Anhiaii% 
from whom the Spaniards borrowed many of their popular songs. 

Fonte frida, fonte frida, 
Fonte frida y con amor. 
Do todas las avezicas 
Van tomarconsolacion, 
Sino es la tortolica 
Que esta biud3 y con dolor ; 
For ay fuera a passar 
£1 tray dor del roy sen or, 
lifts palabras que cl dezia 

OF THE 6PAN1AR116. Hi 

ibore distingnitilied by the powers of inTention which they dis* 
jday. When this is the case, they form Uttle chivalric romances, 
the étkct of which is lively and impressive in proportion to the 
brevity of the poem. The author strikes at once iiito the mid- 
dle of his subject, and thus produces a powerful effect upon the 
imagination, and avoids long and useless introductions The 
wes&est memory was able to retain these romances. They weror 
mmg by the soldiers on t)ieir march, by the rustics in their daily 
labours, and by the women during their domestic occupations^ 
The knowledge of their ancient history and of chivalry wa^ in 
this manned diffused throughout the whole nation. Few indf^ 
vidnals were able to read, or indeed had any kind of literary in- 
8tructi<m ; and yet it would have been difficult to have found 
among them one who was not acquainted with the br^iasit ad» 
ventures of Berhard de Carpio, of the Cid, of Don Oayferos, 
of Calaynos the Moor, and of all the Icmghts of the tim^ of 
Amadis, or of the court of Charlemagne. The people, no dotfbt^ 
derived verj^ little real instruction from indulging in these wnr^ 
suits of the imagination. History was confbunded in their mind 
with rontdoice, and the same credit was given to probable events; 
atad to marvellous adventutes. But this universal acquaintancisf 
with the exploits of cfafvaf ry, and this deepinterestrin characters 
of the noMest and most elevated cftst ^cited a àational feeling 
of a singularly poetical nature. The Moors, who were, in almost 
every viilage, intermingled with the Christians, were still more 
sensible than the latter to the charm of these romances, and 
stiH more attadied to the love of music. Even at the present 
day they can forget their labours, their griefs, and their fears, to 
abandon themselves wholly to the pleasures of song. They are 

Lleoas ton de trajcion ; 
Si tu quisisset senora 
Yo seria to semdor ; 
Veta de ay enemlgo 
Malo faUo eoganador, 
Que ni poso en ramo rerde 
Ni en prado que tenga flor, 
% Que ai el agua hallo dara 
Turbia la bevio yo, 
Que DO quiero aver marido 
Porque h^os no aya no, 
No quiero plazer con ellos 
Ni menofl conaolacion ; 
Dexame tri«te enemigo 
Malo falflOt mal traydor, 
Que no quiero ser tu araiga 
Ni casar contigo do. 

It is difficult to explain in what consists the «harm' of this little romance, 
unless it be in the air of tpith and the absence of 'all design for w^ich it in so 
remarkable. It was certainly highly appreciated by the Spaniards, and the 
romance has been annotated upon by Tspla. 
Vol. 11. ». 15 


pi'Obably the authors of many of the Castiiian romances, and 
others have, perhaps, b^en composed for their amusement The 
Moorish heroes were certainly as conspicuous in those works* as 
the Christians; and the admiration which the writers endeavoured 
to excite for the ** Knights of Grenada — gentlemen, although 
Moors:" Caballeros GrarMdinos — aunque Moras hijas Salgo: 
strengthened the ties between the two nations, and by cherishing 
those benevolent feelings, which their priests in vain attempted 
to destroy, inspired them with mutual affection and esteem.* 

Bernard del Carpio, who has been celebrated in so many ro- 
mances and tragedies, belonged equally to both nations. The 
romantic and often fabulous adventures of this Gastilian Her- 
cules, are peculiarly suited to poetry. In these romances we 
have an account of his parentage, being the offspring of a secret 
marriage between Don Sancho Diaz, Count of Saldana, and 
Ximena, the sister of Alfonso the Chaste, a marriage which that 
king never pardoned ; of the long and wretched captivity of the 
Count of Saldaîia, whom Alfonso threw into the dungeons of 
the Castle of Luna, after having deprived him of his eyes ; of 
the prodigious strength and prowess by which Bernard, who 
had been brought up under another name, proved himself 
worthy of the royal stock from which he sprang ; of his efforts 
to obtain his father's liberty, which Alfonso had promised him as 
the reward of his labours, and which he afterwards reinsed ; of 
that king's last treacherous act, when, after all the ccmquests oC 
Bernard had been surrendered to him as the ransom of the 
Count of Saldana, he strangled the unfortunate old man, and de* 

* The Spaniih devotees were et one period mueb scandalized at the number 
of their poets who had sung the lores and exploits of the infidels. In the 
Romancero General there is a romance against this pretended impiety. 

Renegaron a su ley 
Los romancistes de Espana ; 
Y ofrecieron a Mahona 
Los primicios de tus gracias. 

In the same place we meet with a more liberal poet,trbo is unwilling that 
the Spaniards should abandon this portion of their national glory. 

Si es espaiiol don Rodrigo 
Espanol lue el fuerte Audalla 

Si una gallarda espanola 
Quiere baylar, dona Juana, 
Las Zambras tambien lo son 
Pues es Espana Granada ; 
Y entienda el misero pobre 
Que son blazones de Espana 
Ganados a fuego y sangre 
No (como el dize) prestadas. 



livered only bis breathless body to his sou ; of the first alliance of 
Bernard with the Moors to avenge himself; ef his second alliance 
with them in order to defend the independence of Spain against 
Charlemagne, and of his victory over Orlando at Koncevalles. 
Every incident of this ancient hero's life was sung with tran- 
sport by the Castilians and the Moors. 

Another series of these romances relate to a more modem 
period of history, and comprise the wars between the Zegris and 
Abencerrages of Grenada. Every joust, every combat, and 
every intrigue which took place in the court of the later Moorish 
kings was recited "by the Castilians, and all the old romances 
are again met with in the chivalric history of these civil con- 

The extreme simplicity of these romances, which are not re- 
lieved by a single ornament, would seem to render them pecu- 
liarly easy of translation. There is, however, a singular chann 
in the monotonous harmony of the Spanish redondilha, in which 
the short lines v of four trochees each follow one another with 
great sweetness, as well as in that imperfect but reiterated 
rhyme with which the second line in each stanza of these ro- 
mances terminates. These rhymes, which preserve the image 
by the repetition of the same sound, produce a general impres- 
sion in unison with the subject. Thus the assonants are gene- 
rally spirited and sounding in martial songs, and sweet and 
melancholy in the amatory and elegiac romances. I shall at- 
tempt, however, to give the reader an idea of two of these ro- 
mances. The first is merdv a relation of a simple fiust in the 
history of Spain, which is told with all the melancholy circum- 
stances attending it The subject is the destitute condition of 
Boderic, the last Idng of the Goths, after his defeat The great 
battle of Xeres, or of the Guadaleta, which, in the year 71 1« 
opened Spain to the Mussulmen, is deeply impressed upon the 
memory of all the Castilians, who daim, even at the present da^, 
to be the heirs of the fflory of the Goths, and who delight in 
tradi^ back their nobihty and their departed power to these 
semi-mbnlous times. 


* The hoits of Don Rodrigo were scattered in diemay, 
When lost was the eighth battle, nor heart nor hope had they ; 
He, when he saw that field was lost, and all his hope was flown, 
He turned him from his fijiog host, and took his way alone. 

* Las bnestes de don Rodrigo 
Desmajamn y huyao, 
Qnando en la oeta:fm bataila 
Sos enemigee ▼eoeian. 



His hone wai bleeding, blind, and lame — ^he could no farther go ; 
Dismounted without path or aim, the king stepped to and fro : 
It was a light of pity to look on Roderio, 
For sore athirst and hungrj, he staggerM faint and sick. 

All staio'd and strew'd with dust and blood, like to some smouldering brand 
PluckM from the flame Rodrigo show'd ; his sword was in his hand : 
Bol it was hacked into a saw of dark and purple tint ; 
His jewetl'd mail had many a flaw, his helmet many a di&L 

He cltmb'd unto a hill-top, the highest he could see ; 
Thence all about of that wide route, his last long look took he ; 
He saw his royal banners, where they lay drenchM and torn ; 
He heard the cry of rictory, tke Arabs' shout of scorn. 

Rodrigo deza sus tierras 
Y del real se salia, 
Solo ra el desventurado 
Que non Uefa compania. 

£1 cavallo de cansado 
Ya mudar no se podia, 
Camioa por donde qnieré 
Que no le estorra la fia. 

£1 rey va tan desmayado 
Que sentido no tenia, 
Muerto va de sed y haabre 
Que de toHo era maniilla. 

Yva tan tinto de aangre 
Que una braza parecia ; 
Las annas lleva abolladas 
Que eran de gran pedreria. 

La espada lieva heeha sierra 
De los golpes que tenia, 
£1 almete de abollado 
£n la cabeça se huiulia^ 

La cara llevaTa hinchada 
Del trabfljo que snfria ; 
Subiose en cima de un cerro 
£1 mas alto que yeya. 

DAide alU mira su gente 
Como yra de rencida, 
Dalli mira sus randeras 
Y estandartes queTtenia. 

Como estan todos pisados 
Que la tierra los cubria. 
Mira por los capitanes 
Que ningono parecia. 

Mira el eampo tinta en sangre 
La qoal aoroyoi eoraia, 
£1 triste de tw aquasto 
Gran manzilla en si tenia. 

' OF THB S7ANIA&D8. 117 

He loûkM for the hnttt captatna that had lad the hoatf of Spain, 
But all were fled, exeeot the dead,— and who coald coont the sliuii 7 
Where'er his eye could waader all bloody waa the plaio ; 
And while thaa he said the tears he shed raa down his cheafca like nm- 

Last DJght I waa the King of Spain — to-day no king am I : 
Last ni|§^t fair sastles held mi train, to*iiight where «ball 1 lie ? 
Last night a hnodred page« did serve me on the knee, 
To-night not one 1 call my own ; not one pertains to me. 

O lackless, luckless was the hour, and cursed wae the daj 
When I was born to have the power of this great seignory 1 
Unhappy me, that I should see the sun go down te- night 1 . 
O death, why now so slow art thou, why fearest thou to smite ?* 

I shall confine myself to giving a few extracts only firom ano- 
ther and mnch longer romance ; 9iat of the Count Jilarcoa, apon 
whidi a German writer of fhe present day has founded a tra- 
gedy. It commences with a touching description of the grief 
of the Princess Soliza, the royal Infanta, who has heen secretly 
betrothed to the Count Alarcos, and abandoned by him. The 
Infanta remains in retreat and beholds with sorrow the flower 
€)f her days consuming away in solitude, fcur the Count is mar- 
ried to another lady, oy whom he has seyeral children. After 
oono^slUig her grief fcr a long time, the Princess reyetls flie 
cause of h^-unks^NpiA^^ ^ ^^ father. The king is exceedingly 

Llorando de los sus ojos 
J>esta manera desia : 
Ayer era rey d' Espana 
Oj no lo soy de una Tilla. 

Ajer villas j eastOlos 
Oy ninguno posseya ; ' 

Ayer tenia criados 
T gente que me servie. 

Oy no tengo una ahnena 
One imeda dexir que es mia. 
Desdiehada fne la Inra 
Desdichado fue aquel dia. 

En que naci y heredé 
La tan grande senoria. 
Pues lo avia de perder 
Todo Junto y en un die. 

O nuHSBte porqae no fiencs 
T Uevas esta alma mia 
De aqueste eueipo mezqnino 
Pnex se te agrad^ceiri^ ^ 

* [This spirited translation la the teit k bonnwnd from Mr. Leekhart's 
Anelent Spanish Ballads. Tba Lapentatioii af Dan Hoderie is mentioned in 
the seeond part of Don <èaizote, in the chapter of the piippet>ihow. TV.] 


indisnant and thinks his honour so deeply wounded, th^^t the 
death of the Count's wife can alone wipe out the stain. He 
fummons the Count to his presence, and treats him with mingled 
courtesy and dignity, demanding fram him at the same time on 
his obedience as a subject, that his Countess shall be put to 
death. The marriage, in his eyes, is illegal ; the Countess had 
usurped his daughter's rights, and brought dishonour on the 
royal house. Alarcos, who had bound himself by prior vows to 
the Princess Soltza, considers it his duty as a man of honour 
and a loyal vassal, to grant the satisfaction which the king de- 
mands. Hé, therefore, promises to execute the royal orders, 
and proceeds in search of the Countess : 


In sorrow he departed, d<g«ctedly he rode 
The weary journey frocn that place, unto his own abode ; 
He grieved for his fair Countess, dear as his life was she ; 
Son griered he for that lady and for his children three. 

The one waa ye( an infant upon its mother's hreast. 
For though it had three nurses, it liked her milk the beaL 
The otheA were young children that had but little wit, 
Hanging about their mother's knee while nursing she did sit. 

The Countess meets her husband with her accustomed' tender^ 
ness, but vainly endeavours to discover the cause of the grief 
which she observes in his countenance. Alarcos, however, sits 
down at table with his family. 

The children to his side were led, he loved to have them so, 
Then on the board he laid his head, and out his tears did flow ; — 
" I fain would sleep— I fain would sleep," the Cooot Alarcos said ; — 
Alas I he sure that sleep was none that night within their bed.t 

* Llorando se parte el Conde 
Llorando sin alegria, 
Llorando a la Condesa 
Que mas que a si la queria. 
LlorohB tambien el Conde 
Por très hjjos que tenia. 
El uno era de teta. 
Que la Condesa lo cria. 
Que no queria mamar 
De très amas que tenia 
Si no era de su madré. 

[The whole ballad of the Count Alarcos and the Infanta Soliza ia translated 
by Mr. Lockhart, p. 803. From his Torsion the elctraeta in the text are bor» 
rowed. TV.] 

t Sentose el Conde a la mesa 
No cenava ni podia ; 
Con sas h^oa al costado. 
Que auy aueho loi queria. 

or THE 8PANIABDS. 119 

Tbe «pparent Mtgue of the Count induces tiip CoimteM to 
«oocmipany faim herself to bis chamber ; but no sooner are they 
•lone, than the Count fastens the door. He then inforais the 
iady that the Kins; has discotered their union, which he considers 
injurious to liis honour, and that he has promised the Princess 
Soliza to avenge her. At last he informs the Countess that she 
must prepare to die before daybreak : 

** It maj not be, mioe otUi is strong ; ere dswD of dajr you die.*"" 

She begs, in her in&nt*s name, that he will spare her ; but the 
Count bids her for the last timo to press to her h^rt the child 
which was clinging to her bosom : 

. " Kiss him that lies upon thy breast, the r^t thou may^st not see»''! 

She then submits to her fate^ and only asks time to repeat her 
Me Maria. This the Count presses her to do with speed, and 
she throws herself upoi^i^r knees and prays briefly but fer- 
vently. She still begs a further respite, that her infant may 
take the last nourishment it will ever, receive fi^om her bosom; 
but the Count will not allow her to waken the child. The un- 
fortunate, lady then pardons her husband» but predicts to him 
that ere thirty days shall pass, the King, the Princess, and him- 
self, must appear oefore the judgment seat of God. The Count 
at last strangles her with a handkerchief which he throws round 
her neck. The prophecy is subsequently accomplished. On 
the twelfth day after the murder, the Princess dies suddenly. 
On the twentieth the King follows her; and on the thirtieth the 
Count himself is called away. 

This romance will probably recall to our recollection some of 
our common ballads, in which we find the same natural and 
simple sentiments, together with the same improbability of si- 
tuation. Thus in some of the tales of our infancy, as in Blue- 
Beard for instance, the atrocious conduct of the hero is related 
with the utmost simplicity, as if it were a matter of very com- 
mon occurrence, and the greatest interest is excited by an inci* 

Echo se sobre los hombros, 
Hizo conao se dormia : 
De lagrimas de sus ojos 
Teda la mesa cubria. 

* De morir aveisy Condesa, 
Antes que amanesca el dia. 

t Abrazad este chiauito 
Que aquesto es el que os perdia, 
Pesa me de os, Gondesa, 
Quanto pesar me podia. 


dent wUeh appears to be impossible. là feet, the (Spanish to* 
manees, like our popular tales and ballads, had their obscure 
birth among the people. We remark in them the same infantbae 
imagination which appears to be rioh in proportion to the igùo- 
ranoe of the world which it displays, and which heeds not the 
boundaries of the possible or of the probable, provided it can 
express the true sentiments of the heart In poetrj, as well as 
in religion, faith may be said to be of the highest importance. 
To feel deeply we must believe without examining. The most 
poetical ages are those in which credit is given to the most in- 
coherent notions. Among the Spaniards, the credolous ima- 
gination of the earlier a^s has been preserved in greater purity 
than among us. They never inquire froili their poets, their ro- 
mance writers, or their dramatists, whether their incidents are 
possible. It is sufficient that they are affected by the images and 
feelings which are presented to them. The judgment is alto- 
gether neglected. Some literary men in trermany and even in 
France, who prefer poetry to every other intellectual pursuit 
have exerted tnemselves to revive tMsAredulfty, so favourable to 
the power of the imagination. They seize upon spme incoherent or 
improbable subject by which they flatter themselves they sUttl 
render their work more poetical ; and they thus lose the advan- 
tages of their own age, without reaping the benefits of ahotfaer. Ig- 
norance must be natural and not assumed, before we can pardonlt 
and join in its prejudices. If a knight of the fourteenth century 
were to relate to us the story of the Count Alarcos, or of Blue- 
Beard, we might give him our serious attention ; but we coidd 
only be expected to smile if it were told us by one of our oôtt- 

During the commotions which incessantly agitated the reigios 
of the descendants of Henry de Transtamare, some men of high 
character appeared among the proud nobility of Castile. Thej^ 
directed the Cortes, they placed bounds to the royal authority, 
and even threatened to depose the sovereigns. But while their 
minds appeared to be thus engrossed with politics and ambition, 
we behdd with surprise the same individuals passionately at- 
tached to poetry, and often, in the midst of fitctions and camafié, 
devoted to the interests of literature. The reign of John II. 
(1407 — 1464,) during which Castile lost all its power and nearly 
all its consideration abroad, is one of the most brilliant epochs 
of CastiUan poetry. That feeble monaf ch, perpetually menaced 
with the subversion of his throne, still preserved some credit in 
the midst of the continual revolutions which harassed him, by 
his taste for poetry, and by attaching to him many of the first 
men of his kingdom, who, being themselves distinguished poets, 
gladly crowded to his literary court. 

One of the first of these poetical courtiers was the Marquis 
Henry de Villena, who, on the paternal side, was descended from 
the kmgs of Aragon, and on the maternal, from the kings of 


CamUle. fiis MpataÉMi bad ei^endcditieif into both ki]igd<^ 
HUtneif a poet and a patron ei jmU, ht alleaipted to estaUiBb 
» Ala|^ iiB acadeiiiy of TroiAadoars, for thé cohîTatbii o( 
tbe Pmvwiçd laiigntge, on tbe laodal of the aeademy of &e 
Iteal Chaaei at fiwADiiae. He at the amo time foaaded a sU 
adbur mstîtalibn m Oastlke, ander the name of ConÊiéùrio de Im 
CNm Oiancia» devoted to Caspian poetry. To tbis aaaenbly 
kè-ileclpeated a poeÉi, entîâed Lm Gen/m Ciencia, in which be at- 
Mnfrta to ibow noir eiaentially neoeraaiyis tbe anion between 
omajtian ^aod imapnition, and bow eapedicnt it was, in 
the ooWvatloa of nakleni iiteratare^ to profit by tbe progress 
wbksh had been nade in deasieai pursuits. He died in 1434. 

A punil of the Mandais de Vilfena, Don Inigo Lmoz de Mesi- 
dottu Blna^puiB dte SavtiHana, was one of the fiMt nom 
«aUteaM Ipoeta of the eoart of John U. He was bom on tbe 
i#St ef Anmuài 1M%, and died on the twenty-fiMi of M«roh, 
MM. Bannent by Ms politiea} and nâlîlary Tèrtues» as well as 
hy hiataA and rraihes, he was destined to acquire no small in- 
llnasfla ia the state. Tbe setetifty and purity of bis manners 
oontribnted no less to his reputation than bis lore for literature 
and science. It Is asserted that strangers were in the habit of 
▼isifinff dsGle solely for the purpose of bebolfling this accom- 
j^ished cavalier. Durins; the internal commotions of that king- 
dom, he did not invariaply attach himself to tbe fortunes of 
Kinff Job», though that monarch frequently attempted to regain 
tha&iewlslMpof a nnui whoor be biglily esteemed, and to whom 
he bad been in the habit of confiding the most important affairs. 
A letter by him to the PHnce of Portugal, on the ancient poets 
ct Spain, is still preserved ; a Uttie work remarkable for the 
erudition and the sound criticism which it contains. Sanchez 
has reprinted it and added a commentary ; and in many of the 
vreoeding pages -are btfre been much indebted ta this volume. 
In Hie midst of tbe jrevohftfons at court and of his victories over 
the Moors, Santillana found time to compose some Tittle poems 
fall of that martial ardour and gallant feeling which at that 
period dialf ngvished the Spanish nation. It was on occasion of 
bis exploits at the battie of Olmedo in 1445, in which the king 
of Castile vanquished the king of Navarre, that Mendoza was 
created Marquis de Santillana. The first marquisate in Castile 
had been oeeated in favour of the house of Vitlena, but it had 
already reverted to the crown. Santillana was the second. 

The works of the Marquis de Santillana owe their principal 
Imputation to that which, in our eyes, is now their greatest defect, 
their teaming, or rather their pedantry. The passionate attach- 
ment to learning, which reigned in Italy in the fifteaoth century, 
had also become prevalent in Spain. • The allegories which the 
Mat«]uis frequentlv borrows from Dante, and the numerous 
«âtations for which he seems to-have put all antiquity imder con- 
tributicm, render his poems dull and fatiguing, ilis CeTiiiloquio. 

Vol. II. 18 



or ColUeiion of a hunidrcd maxima on miorala and pMics^ tacb 
inculcated in eight short verses, was composedfor the instmc&m 
of the Prince Royal, afterward Henry IV. of Castile^ aad has 
enjoyed a high reputation. It has been printed seVenl timea Ib 
Spain and in other countries, and commentaries have been added 
to it Bat several other little poems, of which I know (mly tbe 
titles» more powerfully eicite my cariosity ; such are The Pntytr 
of iht JVobli, Tho Tears of Quee» Margaret, and La Oomoâuta^ 
it Ponxa. Under the latter title, the Marquis de Santillana de» 
scribed the battle of Pons», in which Alftmso V. €i Aragon, and 
the King of Navarre, were made prisoners by the Genoese, on 
the fifteenth of August, 1435. Another carious work is the dia- 
logue between Bias and Fortune,, which the Marquis at the 
time when he was detained in prison onacoount of his wposition 
to the arbitrary measures of the king, composed and phced at 
the commencement of a Life of the Greek pnilosopher. By the 
side of these productions, which are evidentiy the OMnpoMtion 
of a man who has mingled in important affiirs of staler we .find 
some light poems possessing all the simplicity and eweetnets of 
the most pleasing pastorals.*' 

*** As for example, tbe folloiving senanaf or lerecadey to the shepherdess de 
la Finojosa. [The English version subjoined has been kindly commonicated 
by Mr. Wifien, to whose elegant pen tbe Editor will have more than one of' 
portonity, in tbe couie of this woi^, of ackuowiedgiag hie obijurtsai Tr*} 

Moxa tas fermosa 
Non vi en la firontera, 
Como una vaquera 
De hi Finojosa. 

Faeiendo la via 
De Calateveno 
A santa Maria, 
Vencido del sueno 
For tierra fragosa 
Ferdi la carrera. 
Do vi la vaquera 
De la Finojosa. 

£n an verde prado 
De roses y flores, 
Guardando ganado 
Con otros pastores, 
La vi tan ferroosa 
Q,ue apenas creyera 
Que foeee vaquera 
De la Fiaojosa. 

Non crio las rosas 
De la primavera 
Sean tan fermosas 
Xln àri tal mènera - 

I ne'er oa the border 
Saw girl fair as Rosa, 

The charming milk-maidem 
Of sweet Finojoea. 

Onee oMking a jonmty 

To Saou Maria, 
Of Calataveno; 

From weary desire 
Of sleep, down a valley 

1 strayed where yovag Esoa' 
I saw, the railk*maiden 

Of lone Finojosa. 

In a pleasant green meadow,- 

Midst roses and graMOt, 
Her herd she was teodiag^ 

With other (hir lasses ; 
So lovely her aspect, 

I could not suppose her 
A simple'milk*maidea 

Of mde Finojosa. . 

I think not primroses 

Have half her smile's sweetness, 
Or mild modest beaoty ; 

(Î speak with discreetness.) 

ur TU1& 6PAMiAm^8« 


Jim de Mena, who was bortf at Cordova in 141% and died in 
1456, wa« another of the poets of the court of John IL, and was 
patronized by that monarch, and by the Marquis de Santittana. 
lie is called by the Spaniards, the Ennius of Castile. From his 
education at Salamanea he had deriTed mnch more pedantry 
•than learning; and a journey which he made to Rome, and 
dudng whidi he became acquainted with the writings of Dante» 
instead of inflaming his poetical zeal, seems to have fettered his 
tastev and converted him into a frigid imitator. His great work 
is entitled El Labyrintho, or las irucienio Copias ; an all^orical 
cemposition in tetradactylic verses of ei^t lines each, descrip- 
tive of human life. His object is to describe every era of his- 
tory, to honour virtue, to punish crimes, and to represent the 
power.of destiny. Implicitly following the allegories of Dante, 
be commences by wandering in a desert, where he is pursued by 
voracious wild beasts. Here a beautiful woman takes him under 
her protection. This is Providence. She shows him the three 
wheels of destiny, which distribute men into the past, the pre- 
sent, and the future, according to tiie influence of the seven 
planets. Numerous pedantic descriptions, conveyed in tiresome 
all^pories» form the bulk of this work, which still finds admirers 
in ^pain, on account of the patriotic enthusiasm with which 
Jnaa de Mena speaks of the celebrated men of his country.* 

Fahlando sin glosa, 
9i tntea supiera 
Ptt qoella vaquera 
Dtt la Finq{4 

Nod tanto mirara 
Stt mocha beldad 
Porque ua di(jara 
En mi Hbefdad ; 
Mas diza, donosa, 
Por sabar qnien era 
Aquella vaqaera 
De la Finojoea. 

bad I beforehand 

But known of this Rosa, 
The handsome milk-maiden 
or &r Fincjosa ; 

Her reiy great beauty 
Had not so subdued. 

Because it bad left me 
To do as I would. 

1 have said more, oh fair one ! 

By learning 'twas Rosa, 
The charming milk*maiden 
Of sweet Finojosa. ' 

^ I have seen an edition of the tresdenio Cùpias of Juan de Mena, printed 
at Toledo in 1547,/oUo, Ul gsoiii. accompanied by a Tery diffuse and affected 
commentary. Few works appear to be more difficult to read, or more tire- 
some. In order to s^ive an idea of the Tersification of this celebrated poet, 
who little deserres his reputation, I have extracted two stanzas In which he 
deaeribes the machinery of his poem. 

BoWiendo los ojos a do me mandava, 
Vi mas adentro muy grandes très ruedas ; 
Las dos eran firmes, immotas y quedas, 
Mas la del medio boltar no cessera. 
Yi que dd>azo do todas estava 
Cayda por tierra gran gente infinita, 
Que avia en la Trente cada qual escrifa 
£1 nombre y la soerte por donde passera. 

1(4 oii VBB LinsmATUBE '^ 

The Spanish poets of the fifte«ith century, htyvrever, Mleiy 
undertook works of any length. Their poems m general weie 
merely the expression of a single sentiment a single image, era 
single witty idea, conveyed with an air of gallantry. These fib 
gitive piect's, nsnally of a lyrical nature^ m many respeet» re- 
semble {he songs of the ancient Tronbadoars, and have he^i 
aniled in a work which may be reçurded as a complete Oonee* 
tion of the Spanish poetry of the fifteenth century. This weA 
is entitled the Caneionêro Chneral, w Cdleetion of Songs. R 
was commenced in the re^ of John II. by Alfonso de meuu 
and was ccmtinned l»y Fernando del CastUlo, who pnUished it 
in the efeuiy part of the sixteenth centary. Since thfkt period it 
has had many additions made to it, and has heen frequently re- 
printed. The earlier editions oontain the songs and lyrical poems 
of a hundred and thirty-six wri; ^raW the fifteenth centary, he- 
sides a number of anonymous pieces. In Ais Conetofienn the 
devotional poems are placed at the commencement of tte veinme. 
BoutterweK, with whose opinion I am happy to corrobon^ my 
own, has expressed his surprise at the absence of feding and 
enthusiasm which these compositions betray. They contam, 
for the most part wretched attempts to play upon wmdBt and 
even upon letters ; as for instance, i^pon Aie letters composite 
the name of Mary. Scholastic definitions and perscmffleatienB 
still more frigid, are found in others of these poems.* The 
amatoqr pieces which fill the greater part of this work are very 

Y vi que en U una que no se mom, 
La gente que en elU «via do ser, 
T la que debazo esperava caer, 
Con turbido telo mi morte eubria ; 
Y yo que de aquçlto muy poco sentia 
Fiz de mi dubda compHda palabra, 
A mi ii^iadora, rogando que me abra 
Aquesta figura que ;o no entendia. 

St, 56 and 67. 

The only portion of the whole poem which* potseues any interest, ii titc 
episode of the Count de Baelna, jorerwhelmed together with his soldiers by 
the flowing of the tide, at tfao siege of Gibraltar. But as there was neiiber 
allegory nor enigma to be explained in this part of the rohime, the commen- 
tators bare neglected it, considering it unworthy of their notice. 

* It was regarded as a high eflTort of th,e poetic art, to describe the most 
incomprehensible mysteries in a few rerses, which thus formed a mass of con- 
tradiction. The following ctncion of Soria is an instance : 

El sy, sy, el como no se 
Desta tan ardua quistion. 
Que no alcança la razon 
Ad onde snbe la f^. 




aUnoMiM» end fttiffiÛBg. Tke Castiliaii poets of fiiifl {(«rfod 
tppearlo iMvve fhoàgat it mcemij to dwell «pou, Ma to draw 
oat tiwAr Mbfeot, as long as they oocdd give a new torn to the 
pieèedù^ ideas aad expressions. To this they fi^qoently sk* 
eriieed tnilli and feeing. If we sometimes discover in Aem 
. tkt sane poveity of ttioaglit wMch we remark among the Troo-^ 
hadoovt, we may likewise ébserve the sai«e simpHei^, together 
wUh a pmnp and power of expression peenlfar to the Spudsh 
wiiters. It was not any imitation of the Trotthadonra whieh 
pr o duced this resemMunoe, the cause of which may he tratsed 
iothat «pirit of romantie love wMdk pervaded the whole South 
4f Enrape. In Italy, aller the thne Of P^otrarch, that sphrit 
yielded to tiie porertaBste which an acquaintance with the cfaiisi^ 

8er Diot ombre, y ombre Dioi, 
Sir SMflat y ao mmtaâf 
9or «a Mr, e«tnmo« dot, 
T on on Mr DO ser yguftl» 
Es tiempre, lera» no fue. 
Sioflipro foOy 7 siempre son, 
OMiapre 000^ SUM ao ooa Sae» 

Y atqm Ja raxoo 06 fé. 

At other times dieee roKgioai poenc dMpfagr, if not move xeaioii, et leait 
■lore iomgiBatioB ; es en esuaple, we mej quota tke Ibttowiaf liaeeby Aloozo 
4e Plnnsa, m leer de StmeU OOeUtM di 8tma: 

Tree fioroe Teetigloe, sobenios gigentesi 
Gontrerioe |«spotaoe del bien openur, 
Sslieron eenota eon voe a.Udier» 
En dieetne eof elloty ligerot, Toleatei. 
Ifftfl oiftabateUa par voe ecoeptaotes 
liOe eenetof tree ? otoe de roe aiaencieles, 
Cavilgin amadoe, 7 en fuerçaeygualee 
Se heilaa en campo loe aeys bataJlantes. 

Loe snoe eolazan los yelmos daquende, 

Loe otres las Tanças eqgoçan dallende* 

Y nnoe a otroe so dexan ?enir, 

Y danse reeuentros de tante fieresa, 
Qne ereo lldiantes de tal fbrtateza 
En jostas «e Tier on jamas combctir. 
Ia saneta pobreza ya hizo salir 

AI monde del rende del goipe primero. 
La ftaerte obedience al diablo romero 
Hizo las armas en eamj^ rendir. 

£ desta manen Toncidoe los dos, 

Qnedaron senon sabrjectos a tos. 
El bianco candlo de mas ezeelemia 
En el que Jastava la casta donseHa 
•Encnentray derrfba, por âena tropelhi 
La cane que baze nmyor reslstencia : 
One 1 mundo, la came, e M gran Lucifer 
Nunca mas armas osasscn bizer 
Con la graadeza oe Toestra [foteneia. 

E aqoesta batalla de (res contra très 

for estas très copies se sopo despoe;:. 


cal authors introduced; but in Spain the writers of lovftiKNigs 
were by uo means so refined, and were rather passicmate than 
tender in the expression of their feelings. The sighs of the 
amorous Italians were converted among the Spaniards into cries 
of ffrief. Burning passipns and despair, the stormy feelings, 
and not the ecstasies of the heart, are the subjects àf the Spa- 
nish love-songs. One very characteristic peculiarity of these 
songs is the perpetually recurring description of the. combats 
between reflection or reason, and passion. The Italians, on the 
contrary, interested themselves much less in displaying the tri- 
umphs of reason. The Spaniards, whose habits were more 
serious^ endeavoured to preserve, even amidst their follies, aa 
appearance o( philosophy ; but their philosophy, thus strangely 
and unseasonably introduced, is productive of a most incongm- 
ous effect 

Perhaps no poets have ever equalled the Spanish in describing 
the power of love, when the heart is abandoned to its impe- 
tuosity. Thus in some stanzas, by Alonzo of Garthagena, after- 
ward archbishop of Burgos, we meet with a storm of passion, to 
which the now neglected measure of the versos de arte snayor, 
which is well adapted to describe the emotion of the heart adds 
great truth and nature. 

* Oh 1 fieree if this fltme that seizes my breath, 
My body, mj soul, my life, and my death ; 
It burns in its fury, it kindles desire, 
It consumes, but alas i it will ncTer expire. 

How wretched my lot t No respite I know, 

My heart is indiilerent to joy or to wo ; 

For this flame in its anger kills, bums, and destroys, 

My grief and my pleasures, my sorrows and joys. 

* La fuerça del fnego que alumbra que ciega 
Mi cuerpo, mi alma, mi muerte, mi Tida, 
Do entra, do hiere, do toca, do llega, 
Mata y no muere su llama encendida. 
Pues que hare triste, que todo me ofende 7 
Lo bueno y lo malo me causan congoza, 
Qiiemandome el fuego que mata, qu*enciende. 
Su fuer^a que fuerça que ata, que prende. 
Que prende, que suelta, que tira que alloxa. 

A do yre triste, que alegie me halle. 
Pues tantos peligros me tienen en medio, 
Que Uore, que ria, que grite, que calle, 
Ni tengo, ni quiero, ni espero remedio. 
Ni quiero que quiere, ni quiero querer. 
Pues tanto me quiere tan raviosa plaga. 
Ni ser yo vencido, ni quiero Tencer, 
Ni quiero pesar, ni quiero plazer. 
Ni se que me diga, ni se que me haga. 


In thé nldflt of «jcb perils» mil methoda I try 
To eteue ikom wtf teto^I weep, Uogb» and «igk ; 
I wooldoape, 1 would wish for «ome respite from grief. 
But have not a wish, to wish for relief 

If I vanquUh thb foe, or if TenquishM I be, 

Is alike in the midst of my torments to me ; 

I weuld please, and displease, but, between me and you, 

I know not, alas ! what 1 say or I do. 

Many of the amatory poems of the Spaniards are parafrfurases 
of prayers and devotional pieces. This mixture of divine and 
human love, which was mt the result ci any improper feeling, 
may well be regarded at the present day as highly proiane. 
Thus Rodriguez' del Padron wrote The Seven Joys of ïove, in 
imitation of The Seven Jot^ of the Virgin Mary. He likewise 
published T%e Ten Commandments of JLooe. Ou the other hand 
Sanchez de Badajoz wrote the Testament of Love, in which he 
has whimsically imitated the styie of the notaries in making the 
final disposition of his soul. He occasionally borrows- passages 
from Job and other parts of the old Testament, in order to give 
his Testament a scnptural character.^ 

Foes que haré triste con tan ta fa (iga 7 
Aqoien me mandays que mis males qoeze ? 
A que me mandays que siga que diga, 
^e siesta, que haga, que tome, que dexe ? 
Dadme remedio que yo no lo hallo 
Para este mi mal que no es aseondido ; 
'<lne muestro, que encubro, que sufro, que caUo, 
Por donde de vida ya soy despedido. 

ïïese three stanzas are among the most celebrated specimens of ancient 
Spanish poetry ; as we may gather from the numerous commentaries of which 
they have been the sul^t. The first In date Is by Carthagena hioMolf, who 
has extended the saoM thooghts Into twenty stansas. 

* AoMDg die profane productions of these very pious indbldiials, the 
following appears to om to be one of the most highly wrought : El Paiernoiter 
de ims mugereêf keeko per Setazar : 

Bey alto a qoien adoramos, 
AInmbra mi entendimiento, , 

A loar en !o que cuento 
A tl que todos llamamos 
Pater water, 

Porque diga e! dissavor 
<^ las crudas damas hazen, 
€omo nnnca nos complazen, 
* La sopUeo a ti senor 

Q,\d es in cttlif. 



In the works of the Spaaish poets we find regular farms ot' 
composition, whi«^ are pecoHarly adapted ta lyrieal poetry, as 
the Italians had their sonnets, and the P t o 'He n çals tbeir refrôv- 
anges. In the first rank must be placed the canctonit properly so 
called, which resemble epigrams or madrigals in twelye lines. 
The four first lines present the idea, and the ei^ht which fallow 
develope and ap|4y it* The VUlancieoê oontam a single senti- 

Forqoe las heziste belasy 
Dizien loio coo la lengua, 
FbrqM nm caynn eo ■ 
Do msi devotM éaasdta^ 

Pero por su Tana eloria 
ViêQdoae tan ettim«08«i 
llui 4|QaiidM, tao aaMdn, 
No Im cabè ea la SMUotia 

JVbvMfi Ikuoi* 

Y alignas damaa que Tap 
Sobre intéresse de aYer, 
Dizien eon macho plazer 
Si cosa alguna las datf 


Y con este dessear 
Loeorasy pompas j arreos, 
Por cnmplir Men tus desseoa 
No se curan de buscar 

Jlilfmfln Anon. 

Y estas de qvien no se esconde 
Bonded que ea ellaa se cuida, 

A cosa (fxe se les pida 
Jamas niofuaa reapondo 
FiaL . 

Mas la que mas alto esta 
Miralde si la hablays, 
Si a darle la combidays 
Sereys cierto que os dira 
Vnkmttts tiM, &c. 

' * The following cencion, lilEewise by Carthagena» is very much in the 
Spanish spirit and taste : 

No se para que nasci, 
Pues en tal estremo eato 
Que I morir no qiiiere a mi, 
T el biTir no quiero yo. 

Todo el tiempo que biviere 
Tore muy justa querella 
De la muerte, pues no quiere 
A mi, queriendo yo a ells. 


ment, expressed in two or three lines, and enlar|;ed npon in two 
or three little couplets.* The comments, which Boutterwek 
happily compares to musical yariations of a well-known air, 
are foQuded upon a distich or a quatrain from some other author, 
esioh yerse of which is the theme of a couplet, and forms the 
last lincf 
The poetry of Spain up to the reign of Charles Y. may be 

Qoe fin espero de aqui, 
FiMi la maerte ne D«go ; 
Porque claramente vio 
Qae era nda para mi. 

* A tiUaneUo^ by Eseriva, is bere given : 

<ène aentis eoraqon mio 
No dezis, 
Que mal e« el qne sentii 7 

Que tentifltes aquel dia 
Qnando ml senora Tistes, 
One perdistee alegria? 
Y dee qnando deepedietee, 
Como a mi nnoea bolristes ? 
No dezis, 
Donde estajs que do ▼enie? 

Qn'ee de tm, qa'en mi no liallo, 
Common» qmen os egena 1 
Qu'es da tob, que aooqoe eallo, 
Yoestro mal tambien me pena ? 
Quien os at6 tal cadena 
No dezisy 
Que mal es el que sentis? 

f Tbe foDowing motto was the deriee of a knigbt : 

Sin Tos, y sin Dlos, y ml. 
Qlota de don Jcrge JUiumqni» 

Xo soy quien Ubre me ▼!, 
To qnien pndlera ohidaros, 
Yo soy el que por amaros 
Estoy des«|iie os conoci 
Sin l>ios y sin tos y mi« 

8tn Bios porque en tos adoi^, 
8m V09 pnes no me qoereys, 
Pues «in mi ya esta deeofo. 
Que vos soys quien me teneys» 
Assi que triste naci. 
Pues que podiera olvidaros, 
Yo soy el que por amaros 
Esto desque os eonoei 
Sin Dies, y sin vos, y mL 
Vm.. 11. 17 


divided into various classée. First, the nnnances of Chiv»liy, 
wkich almount in number to upwards of ft thoosand, and which 
were at once the delight and instruction of the peepie. These 
compositions, which in fact pos9e8s more real merit more sen- 
sibility, and more invention than any other poetry of that femoie 
period, have been regarded by the learned with disdain, while 
the names of their authors have been entirely forgotten. The 
lyrical poems are animated with great warmth of passion and 
richness of imagination ; but they frequently display traces of 
too great study and refinement, so that the sentiment suffers by 
the attempt at fine writing, and concetti usurp the place of true 
poetical expression. The allegorical pieces were then placed 
in the first rank, and are those upon which the authors founded 
their chief claims to glory. From the versification alone we may 
perceive the high estimation in which this style of writing was 
held by the poets themselves, since the versos de arte mayor 
(the highly artificial verse) were always made use of These 
poems are generally frigid and high-flown imitations.of Dante. 
as little qualified to rival the Divina Comedia as the Dettamondo 
of Fazio de' Uberti, or any other of the allegories of his Italian 
imitators. In the course of four oenturies the poetry of Castile 
made no perceptible progress. If the language had become 
more polished, and the versification a little more smooth, and if 
the literary productions of that period had been enriched from 
the stores of foreign countries, these advantages were more 
than outweighed by the introduction of pedantry and fidse 

The art of prose composition had likewise made a very slow 
progress. Some writers of this period have been transmitted 
to us, particularly the chroniclers ; but their style is overloaded 
and tiresome. Facts are heaped upon facts, and related in in- 
volved sentences, the monotony of which equals their want of 
connexion. Notwithstanding this; they attempt in imitation of 
the classical authors, to give the speeches of their heroes. These 
orations, however, have nothing of the spirit of antiquity about 
them, no simplicity, and no truth. We seem as if we were lis- 
tening to the heavy and pedantic speeches of the chancellors, or 
to the oriental pomp of the Scriptuies. 

Boutterwek, however, discovers considerable merit in some 
of the biographical writers, and mentions with praise Gutierre 
Diez de Gamez, who wrote the Life of Count Pedro Niiio de 
Buelna, one of the most valiant knights of the court of Henry 
III. The following is the description given by Gamez of the 
French, after the expedition of Du Guesclin against Peter the 
Cruel had given him an oppcntunitv of observing that people. 
** The Frendi are a noble nation ; tney are wise, prudent and 
discreet in all that appertains to a good education, to courtesy, 
and to good manhers. They bestow much pains upon their gar- 
ments, and dress richly; they attach themselves strongly to 

''op the SPANIARDS. 131 

every thing wldeh is proper for tbem ; tfaej are, betkks, frank 
and Uberal ; they de]ig<ht in giving pleasure to every one ; they 
hoaomr straa^çers much ; thejr are skilfal in giving praise, aaud 
they heslow it freely on noble actions. They are not auspieioni ; 
they do not aUov thdr pique or anger to endure long, and they 
never attack another's honear, in word or deed, nnless, perhaps, 
their own he exposed to danger. They are courteons aoad 
graeeftil in speech; they have mnch g^ety, and take great 
pleasnre in lively conversation, which they much encourage. 
Both they and the French ladies are of sai amorous complexion, 
upon which Ihey pride themselves." 

The Spaniards were tliiis initiated in q>ic lyric, and alleeari- 
cal poetry, in history, and in philosophy. They advanced in 
these varions pursuits by thdr own exertions, opening thehr 
own way, without the assistance of strangers. Their progress, 
horwever, was necessarily slow; and until the period when 
Charles V. united the rich provinces of Italy to his empire, they 
derived little assistance from the advanced state of literature in 
ether parts of £urope. , They thus became proud of what they 
owed to their own inbellectual exertions. They felt attached to 
these national objects, and their poetry has, therefore, preserved 
its own strong and original colours. The drama thi|s arose 
among them before they bad intermingled with other nations, 
and being formed on the ancient CastiKan taste, and suited to 
the nanners, the halnts, and the peculiarities of the peo|rfe for 
whom it was intended, it was much more irregular than the 
drama of the other nations of Europe. It did not display the 
same learning, nor was it formed upon those Ingenious rules to 
whidb the Greek philosopAiers had subjected the art of poetry. 
Its object was to xffeet the hearts of the Spaniards, to harmonise 
with their opinions and eustoms* and to flatter their national 
pride. It is on this account, therefore, that neither the satirical 
remarks of other nations, nor the criticisms of their own men of 
letters, nor the prizes of their academies, nor the favours of their 
princes, have ever succeeded in persuading them to adopt a sys- 
tem which, at the present day, is predominant in the rest of 

The Spaniards refer the origin of their drama in the fifteenth 
century, to three works of a very dissimilar kind : the mysteries 
represented in the churches, the satirico-pastoral drama entitled 
Mntfù Rebulgo, and the dramatic romance of CaUxkiê and 
Jthiibmu^ or & CdêsHtM. J%e Mfsttrits with which their reli- 
fçîoue solemnities were acoompani^, and in whioh the most gross 
Imffooneries were introduced into the representations of sacred 
wnt, had inoontestably a considerable influence on the Spanish 
drama. Tiie Autos sacrameKtaleê of the roost celebrated autJMjirs 
are formed, for the most part, on the model of t^ese pious ihroes. 
The text, however, liias not been preserved, and we cannot com- 
pare them with subsequent attempts. The Mnf^o RtMf^o, 


which was written in the early part of the fifteenth century^ 
during the reign of John 11. in oraer to ridicule that monarch 
and his court is rather a pditical satire in dialogue, than a 
drama. La CeUgHnti, however, merits the attention of all who 
wish to trace the true origin of the drama among the modems. 
This singular production, the first act of which was written by 
an anonymous author towards the middle of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, at a period when the Parisians were passionately fond of 
the Mysteries and Moralities whidi were represented by the 
Fraternity ci the Passion, and the clerks de la Bazoehe, but 
long before any attempt at dramatic composition in any other of 
the modem languages, displays much real comic talent The 
dialogue is citai spirited, lively, and gay ; the characters are 
tolerably drawn ; the plot is intdligible and well conducted ; and 
in the language of the lovers there is much warmth, passion, and 
feeling. The first author left the production incomplete. He 
exdtes our interest by his description <^ the passion with which 
the beautiful Melibœa had inspired the younp Calixtus. He 
apprises us of the obstacles which the relatives of the two 
lovers had opposed to their union, and he introduces Calixtus to 
a sorceress, or a sort of confidant called Celestina, who engages 
to forward his views. The storehouse in which Celestina de- 
posites her philtres and charms is deveriy described, while her 
artful speecnes and the flattery which she bestows on even the 
meanest domestics are told with great liveliness. In the dia- 
logue, we alike recognise the author's acquaintance with the 
Latin language, and an imitation of the national manners. The 
plot was completed by the unknown author, but th^re was no 
indication of the catastrophe. Femand de Rojas, having got 
possession of this fragment of a comedy about the year . 1610, 
added twenty acts to the first which was itself very long, 
and thus extended the drama to a degree which totaUy exduded 
its representation. He involves his characters in the most ro- 
mantic adventures, and gives a tragical conclusion to the drama. 
Celestina is introduced into the house of Melilxea, where she 
corrupts the servants by bribes. By her charms and magical 
arts she deceives the lady, .who yields to their influence. 
Scarcely, however, has she incurred the guilt than her relations 
avenge their sullied honour. The domestics, who had been em- 

Eloyed by Celestina, perish by the sword or bv poison, and she 
erself is poniarded. Calixtus is likewise killed, and Melibiea 
throws herself from the top of a tower. Thus the romance suc- 
ceeds to comedy, and the interest which wit excites yields to tiie 
spirit of curiosity. Few works, however, have been more suc- 
cessful than this drama, commenced and finished in so different 
a 8[>irit at ^e distance of fifty yean, and by two authora unac- 
quainted with one another, ëome enthusiastic persons have 
praised la CtktIÙMj not only as being a masterpiece, in a literary 
point of view, but as a most moral work, and as the most salutarv 


lesson ever given to youth to avoid irregularity and vice. 
Others have, with great reason, asserted that it was more preju- 
dicial to good morals to publish the details of depravity, even 
for the purpose of stigmatizing them, than to pass them over in 
silence. The church was consulted, but its decision was not 
altogether consistent. La Cdestina was prohibited in Spain, and 
approved of in Italy, while numerous translations rendered it 
Imown in almost every country. The Spaniards still glory in 
this national production, which, according to them, opened the 
career of the drama to the modems. 


Age of Charles V. The Classics of Spain: Boscan; Garcilasoj Mendoza; Mi- 

raoda ; Montemajor. 

The Spanish nation had, for a long period, dissipated its 
strength in internal contests. It had for four centuries attempted 
to expel its most industrious inhabitants from its bosom, whUe it 
had prodigally expended its blood in aggrandizing alternately 
the sovereigns of Castile or of Aragon, of Navarre, or of Por- 
tneal ; or in struggles against their prerogative. This nation, 
unknown it may almost be said in Europe, and which had taken 
no part in European politics, became at length united under one 
crown at the commencement of the sixteenth century. Spain 
now turned against other nations the prodigious power which 
had been hitherto confined within her own bosom. While she 
menaced the liberties of all the rest of Europe, she was deprived 
of her own, perhaps without remarking the loss, in the agitation 
of her many victories. Her character sustained an entire change; 
and at the period when Europe was gazing with astonishment 
and terror on this phenomenon, her literature, which she formed 
in the schools of the vanquished nations, shone out in its full 

The power of the Spanish nation, at the end of the fifteenth 
century, had received accessions fully sufficient to shake the 
equililirium of Europe. Alfonso V. of Aragon, after having 
oompleted the conquest of Naples, had, it is true, left that king- 
dom to his natural son ; and it was not until the year 1Ô04, that 
Ferdinand the Catholic by the most revolting treachery, re- 
covered those dominions. Sicily, Sardinia, and the Balearic 
Isles had been already united to the crown of Aragon. The . 
nmrria^ of Ferdinand with the queen of Castile, without con- 
Bolidatinff the two monardiies, gave that ambitious prince the 
<*ommand of all the armies of Spain, of which he speedily 


availed himself in Italy. Grenada was conquered from the 
Moors in the year 1492, by the united troops of Ferdinand and 
Isabella. In the same year Christopher Cdumbus diseovered 
those vast countries, so remarkable for their riches and for their 
happy situation, in which the Spaniards found a new home, and 
from whence they drew treasures with which they flattered 
themselves they should subdue the world. In 151% Ferdinand, 
as regent of Castile, conquered Navarre ; and the whole of thai 
extensive peninsula, with the exception of Portugal, yielded to 
the same power. When* in 1516, Charles V. added to this mo- 
narchy, the rich and industrious provinces of the Low Conntries, 
his paternal dominions, and in 1619, the Imperial Crown, with 
the territories inherited from Maximilian, in Austria, Hungary, 
and Bohemia, the novelty of this extraordinary power, which so 
greatly exceeded the authority of any European potentate since 
the reign of Charlemagne, was certainly sufficient to turn the 
head of a youthful sovereign, anà to inspire him with the fatal 
project of founding an universal monarchy. The reputation 
which Charles V. acquired by his victories, the respect and' fear 
with which he impressed all the other nations of Europe, the 
glory of the Spanish arms, which he triumphantly led into Italy, 
France, and Germany, into countries whither the standard of 
Castile had never penetrated, all tended to deceive the Spanish 
nation, and to inspire them with an enthusiastic attachment to 
him whom they regarded as their hero, but who was, in ftet, 
studiously endeavouring to subvert their laws and their ooiisti- 
tution. The dreams of ambition in which the king and the na- 
tion equally indulged, were fatal to both. Charles V. in the 
midst of his victories, and notwithstanding the immense extent 
of his territories, was always, in proportion to his sitnatîoa, 
weaker and poorer than Ferdinand and Isabdla, his immediate 
predecessors. In every enterprise he was deprived of the fruits 
which he should have gathered, by the want of soldiers and of 
money ; a want unknown to the former monarchs. The taxes 
cdlected from Italy, Spain, Flanders, and Germany, tc^pelber 
with all the treasures of the new world, were not suffieient to 
prevent his troops frcmi disbanding for want of pay. The pro- 
digious levies, which were perpetually making in all the snbjeet 
states, never enabled him to meet the enemy with superkv num- 
bers in the open field ; and, although he l^d succeeded as heir 
to very large territories, and had acquired others by union witii 
the imperial crown, he did not add a single province to his stales 
by the sw<Nrd : but was, on the contrary, compelled to eontract 
his hereditary territories on l^e Turkish frontier. The Spaaish 
nation, the only one among the states subject tu him, which he 
was enaUed to preserve from foreign invasion, was, in his mino- 
rity, despoiled by Cardinal Ximenes of a portion of its privi- 
leges. Intoxicated with the victories of their soverôgn» tbey« 
day by day, surrendered more. The brare knif^ts, who had 


bten «bconstomed to fight only for the interests of their country, 
and to make war as long and in such manner as it pleased them, 
now coDMEiyed it a point of honour to display the most impladt 
obedience and deTotion. Perpetually combating in quarrels 
which they little understood, and in which they took not the 
slightest interest, they entirely reduced their duties to the ob- 
serranoe of the most severe discipline. In the midst of nations 
with whose language they were unacquainted, and whom they 
regarded with contempt, they signalized themsehes by their 
inflexibility and their cruelty. The first of European soldiers, 
they united no other qualifications to that character. To the 
enemy, the Spanish infantry presented a front of iron ; to the 
onfortimate, an iron heart. They were invariably selected for 
the execution of any cmel project, from an assurance that no 
sympathies would stay them in the performance even of the 
most rigorous commands. They conducted UiemselTes in a fe- 
rooious manner, during the wars against the Protestants in Ger- 
many, and they displayed equal cruelty towards the Catholics 
in the sacking of Rome. At the same period, the soldiers of 
Cortes and PizarTo,in the New World, gave proofs of a ferocity 
whioh has been the opprobrium of the Gastilians ; but of wkieh 
no installée is to be found in the whole history of Spain before 
aie retgnof Ferdinand and Isabella. Cruelty seemed to become 
the chMaeteristic of the Spanish soldiery, as dufiicity, of their 
ehiefii. The most celebrated men of this age sullied themselves 
with aots 4jf treadiery, unequalled in history. The great 
Os^^ain, Oonsalvo de Cordova, Piero Navarro, the Dulœ de 
Toledo, Antonio de Leva, and the most illustrious Castiiians, 
Who serted under Ferdinand the Catholic and Charles V., made 
M^t ^ their word, and even of the most sacred oaths. So fine- 
^ntly are tiiey accused of assassinating and poisoning their 
aihersaries, that, though we should suspoid our belief in cadi 
inéivjdual ease, yet, when we consider how nmneioas the aeeu- 
BStMMis «ve, tbey necessarily tarnish the charactefs.of these pre* 
tmidad heroes. At the same period, the clei^ gained in power, 
ia protoortioia aa morality lost its nifluenoe. The Inquisition was 
estahhshed im 1478, in Castile* by the united authority of Ferdi- 
MBd and Iso^liielia. It was armed with extraordinary powers in 
ovder to repHeas the «Moors, against whom there was not the 
slightest necessity for adopting such rigorous measures, even in 
the height of their power ; and at this period, they had long 
ceased to be formidable.* Ferdinand, who was the most crafty 

* imn èe Torqwsttsds, a ËominicAn, tlis cénîéëwar of iMbaOa, wboa be 
Macsd %éUtt her narriage to take an aath, that if ercr At a<e«nded the 
thram, the waald «laikloy att her power in penecuting heretic» and iofideU, 
vru the ftrst Grand laqaisitor. In the ipace of fourteen yean he sommoned 
before the hoTj tribanal, a hundred thooeand pereone, and eoadenmed six 
thaaaittd to (he il«ine9. 


of kings, altfaongh his zeal for the fnquifiitioii had procured him 
the title of the Catholic, did not in fact take any interest in rdi- 
gion. He would never have devoted liimself so eagerly to the 
establishment of the Inquisition, had he not regarded it as a 
powerful political engine, by which he might be able to terrily 
the nobles, and to reduce the people to dependence. It was ne- 
cessary that a generation should pass away before the Spaniards 
could become inured to tlie sanguinary proceedings of the In- 
quisition, and that infernal system had scarcely b^ firmly es- 
teblished, when Charles y. commenced his reign. The revolts 
ing spectacles of the autoa dafé probably inspired the Spanish 
soldiers with that singular ferocity for which they were remark- 
able at this period, and which was so foreign to their national 
character. The Jews, against whom the people were much ex- 
asperated by jealousy of their commercial prosperity, were the 
first victinis <» the Inquisition. Though they formed a large 
proportion of the population, they were almost entirely extir- 
pated. The Moors were next abandoned to the fury of the holy 
tribunal. The severities to which they were exposed drove 
them to resistance, and their resistance drew upon them fresh 
sufferings. The ancient ties, which had formerly connected the 
two people, were broken, and a spirit of irreconcileable hatred 
sprang up between them. The Inquisition never remitted its 
labours, until having converted one portion of the Moors, de- 
voted another to the fagot, and reduced still greater numbers 
to absolute ruin, Philip III. was at last prevailed upon to expel 
from their homes six hundred thousand of these unfortunate 
creatures, the relics of a numerous and powerful nation. The 
Inquisition then turned its watchful eye upon the Christians 
themselves ; anxious that no error or dissent in matters of fidth 
should exist within the Spanish territories. At the period of the 
Reformation, when the intellect of all Europe was occupied 
with religious controversies, the holy office succeeded . in pre- 
venting the establishment in Spain of any of the refonned opi- 
nions. All who attempted to introduce them were i|p sooner 
discovered, than they were committed to the flames. Terrified 
by this example, the rest of the nation anxiously avoided all 
metaphysical studies and religious speculations ; and with them 
they abandoned every intellectual pursuit which might lead them 
into such frightful dangers upon earth, while they exposed them, 
according to their instructers, even to more fatal perils in another 
state of existence. 

Thus it appears that the reign of Charles V., notwithstanding 
the blaze of glory by which it is surrounded, was no less de- 
structive to Spain than to Italy. The Spaniards were at once 
despoiled of their civil and religious liberty, of their private and 
public virtues, of humanity and of good faith, of their commerce, 
of their population, and of their agriculture. In return for these 
losses they acquired a military reputation, and the hatred of the 


nations among whom they had carried their arms. But, as we 
have had occasion to observe in speaking of Italy, it is not at the 
moment when a nation loses its political privileges that the pro- 
gress of the intellect is stayed. It requires the lapse of half a 
csentury before the spirit of literature declines, or becomes ex- 
tinct Whilst Charles Y. was laying the foundation for the 
&Ise wit, the tumid style, and the affectation which, with other 
defects, distinguish Gongora and his school in the succeeding 
age, he produced an entirely contrary effect upon his contempo- 
raries. He roused their enthusiasm, by placing before their 
eyes their national glory ; and he developed their genius, while, 
by the mixture of foreigners with Castillans, he matured their 

After the union of Aragon and Castile, the superior import- 
ance of the latter country induced the Spanish monarch to 
transfer the seat of government to Madrid. The Castilian now 
began to be considered as the language of all Spain. Tbe 
limonsin, br Provençal, which was still preserved in the legal 
proceedings of tbe Ajragonese, and amons the common people, 
had been abandoned by authors and poets for the language of the 
court It was, however, from among those who thus alraindoned 
the native language of Aragon for that of Castile, that an indi- 
vidual proceeded, who, in the reign of Charles V., produced an 
entire revolution in Castilian poetry. He had never become 
attached by early association to the harmony of Castilian verse, 
or to the spirit of Castilian poetry, and he probably found the 
poetry of Italy more analogous to the Provençal, to which he 
had been from his in&ncy accustomed. He was, in fact, endowed 
with a gracseful delicacy of style and a richness of imagination, 
which enabled him to introduce a purer taste, and to ffive 
his own personal feelings an ascendancy over those of a whole 

The name of this author was Juan Boscan Almogaver ; he 
was bom a1x)ut the close of the fifteenth century, and was of a 
poVLe &mily at Barcelona. He had served in his youth, and 
afterward devoted himself to travelling ; but on his return to 
Spain in 1526, he became acquainted at Grenada with An<î)rea 
Navagero, then ambassador from the Venetians to the Emperor, 
and a celebrated poet and historian, who inspired him with the 
classical taste which then reigned in Italy. His friend ixarcilaso 
de la Vega associated himself with him in the project of effect- 
ing a reformation in Spanish poetry. Both of these writers 
were distinguished by their correct and graceful style, and both 
despised the accusations of their adversaries, who reproached 
them with endeavouring to introduce into a vaUant nation the 
effeminate tastes of the people whom it had subdued. They 
went so far as to overthrow all the laws of Castilian versification» 
in order to introduce new canons, founded upon a system dia- 
metrically opposite to that which had hitherto prevailed. In 
Vol. U. 18 


this attempt they succeeded. The ancient Castilian metre emt* 
sisting of short lines, which was the true national measure, wa» 
always composed of a Ions syllable preceding a short one. In 
feet four trochees succeeded one another. Soscan introduced 
iambics instead of trochees, as in Italian, and the lines were thus 
composed of short syllables preceding long ones^ In the redon- 
dUhas they seldom made use of more than six or eight syllables, 
and in the verses de arte mayor of twelve. Boscan abandoned 
both these forms, and adopted the heroic Italian yerse of five 
iambics, or ten syllables, and the mute. When we remembo* 
that the greater part of the ancient Spanish romances were 
neyer rhymed, but merely terminated with assonants, and that 
in determining the yerse, the ear was guided only by the quan- 
tity, it is cunous to see a nation consenting to the loss of an 
harmonious metre, in which they had always found delight, and 
adopting a measure directly contrary to that which they had 
before employed. 

Bosctn, who was one of the instructors of the too celebrated 
Duke of Alya, ended his days in a pleasant retreat, in the 
bosom of his fkmily and his friends. He died before the year 

The first volume of Boscan*8 poems contains his youthful 
compositions in the ancient Castilian taste. The second consists 
of sonnets and songs in the Italian style. Although in the latter 
poems we easily trace an imitation of Petrarch, yet they exhibit 
much of the spirit of "U Spaniard. Boscan has happily caught 
the precision of Petrarch's language, but he has rarely preserved 
the sweetness of his melody. His colours are stronger, and his 
warmth is more impassioned, but it does not affect us so much 
as the deep and sweet feelings of the Tuscan poet The per- 
petually recurring conflicts between the reason and the passions, 
so favourite a theme with the Spanish poets, fatigue us by their 
monotony. The merit of lyrical poetry, and more especiaUy of 
sonnets, dq)ends so much upon the expression and the harmony of 
the language, that I have no hopes of being able to give any idea of 
the charm of Boscan*s poetry to those who are not acquainted 
with the Spanish. Indeed, that precision of style and that rare 
judgment which constitute his chief merits, will, when he is com- 
pared with the other Spanish poets, give his compositions an air 
of studious refinement and affectation, if they are judged by 
our own rules of criticism.^ 

* I bave thought it right to subjoin a few specimens of the poems of Boscan 
for tlie benefit of the Spanish scholar, but I have not rentured to translata 
them. The first soooet, which is of a melancholy cast, cafiuot be wb^l? 
freed from the charge of affectation : 

Aun bien no fuy salido de la cuna, 
Ni de Tama la leche huTc dcxado. 


The third Tcdume of Boscan's poems ocmsists of a trandation 
or imitaiioa of the poem of Hero and Lea^ter, usually attributed 
to Musœus. The language is pure and elegant, the versifiea- 
tion natural, and the style of the narrative at once pleasing and 

Qaando el amor me turo eondennade 
A aer de loi que liguen bu fortaaa ; 

Pjome lue^ miserias, de uoa en una, 
Por huerme coitumbre en ra cuydado, 
Deipges, en mi d^n golpe ha descargado 
Qaanto mal hay debaxe de la luna. 

En dolor fuy eriado y foy nascido, 
]>ando d'vn triste pasto en otro amargo, 
Tanto que si hay mas passo es de la mnerte^ 

O ooraçon, que siempre has padecido, 
Dime, tan fuerte mal como es tan laigo, 

Y mal tan laigo, di, como es tan iiierte ? 

Hie following sonnet b of a no less melancholy description : 

Dexadme en paz, o duros pensamientos f 
Baste OS el dano y la wergutDCtL hecha. 
Si todo lo hé passado, q«e aprovecha 
iDTentar sobre ml nueros tormentos. 

Nafara en mi perdio sus mo? imientos. 
£1 alma ya a los pies del dolor se echa ; 
Tieoe por bien, en regie tan estrecha, 
A tantos easos, tantos snfrimientos. 

Amor, fortima y maerte qu^es présente. 
Me lloTan a la fin por sus jornadas, 
T a mi cuenta derrta ser Uegado. 


To qvando a caso afloza el aecidente« 
Si buelTo el roatro, y mûro las pisadaa, 
Tiemblo de ver por donde mi ban passado. 

The following is the conclusion of his poem of Hero and Leander, which, 
at it eontaios about S,80a Tcnes, may be considered his principal work : 

Canta con bos suave y dolorosa, 
O Musa, los amores lastimeros 
Que en suave dolor fiieron criados. 
Canta tambien la triste mar en medio, 
T a Sesto de una parte, y de otra Abydo, 

Y amor aca y alia yendo y vioiendo. 

Y aqueila diligente lumbrezUla, 
Testigo fiel y dulce mensagera 
De los fieles y dulces amadorei. 

Pero comiença ya de cantar Musa, 
£1 proceso y el fin de estes amantes, 


noble. In the same yolume we find an elegy under the name of 
Capitula, and tiro Epistles, one of which, addressed to Diego 
de Mendoza, gives us a pleasing picture of the poet enjoying, in 
his country retreat and in the bosom of his family, the happiness 
of domestic life. 

I cannot conclude without mentioning a fragment of Boscan. 
in stanzas of ei^ht lines each, giving a description of the King- 
dom of Love, which was probably designed to form part of aii 
epic poem. The verses are remarkable for the harmony of their 
style and for their elegance of expression, which enable us to 
comprehend the praises which the Spaniards have bestowed 
upon a writer whom they regard as their first classical poet. 
But the ideas, the sentiments, and the thoughts, are all that can 
be transferred from one language to another. When the beauty 
of poetry consists merely in its harmony and its colouring, it is 
in vain to hope that it can ever be appreciated by foreigners. 

Garcilaso de la Vega was bom in 1500, or, according to others, 
in 1603, at Toledo, of a noble family. He was the friend and 
rival of Boscan, the disciple of Petrarch and of Virgil, and the 
man who contributed most towards the introduction of Italian 
taste into Spain. He was a younger son of Garcilaso de la 
Vega, counsellor of state to Ferdinand and Isabella ; who, ac- 
cording to the romances and the history of the wars of the 
Moors of Grenada, displayed great bravery in single combat 
against a Moor, on the Vega, or plain of Grenada. In remem- 
brance of this act of heroism Ferdinand bestowed upon his 
family the surname of Vega. Although designed by nature for 
a rural life, and although his poems invariably manifest the be- 
nevolence and the extreme mildness of his character, his bril- 
liant but troubled life was passed amidst the turmoils of a camp. 
In 1529, he was attached to a Spanish corps which valiantly 
repulsed the Turks in Austria. A romantic adventure with one 
of the ladies of the court, in which he was engaged at the insti- 

ftion of one of his relatives, drew upon him the displeasure of the 
mperor. He was banished to one of the islands on the Da- 
nube, where he employed himself in the composition of some 
piclancholy poems. In 1535, he accompanied CJharles V. in his 
hazardous expedition against Tunis. He returned from thence 

£1 mirar, el hablar, el entenderse, 
El yr del uno, el eapcrar del otro, 
£1 dessear y el acudir conforme, 
" ' La lumbre muerta, y a Leandro muerto. 

Boscan, who surrived Garcilaso by fire or six years, was desirous of pab- 
lishing bis own works in coiuunction with those of faia friend. He announced 
four foluroes of poems, three by himself, and the fourth by the poet, who, in 
concert with him, had reformed the taste of the Spaniard». He did not live 
to finish this work, and his poems, together with those of Garcilaso, appeared 
after his death. I am only acquainted with the edition of Venice, 1553, 8vo, 


to Sicily and Naples, where he wrote several pastorals. In the 
following je^, upon the invasion, of Provence by Charles V. 
he had uie command of a body of eleven companies of infiaintry. 
Being despatched by the Emperor to attack a fortified tower, 
he was the first to mount the breach» when he was mortally 
wounded on the head. He died a few weeks afterward at Nice^ 
whither be bad been conveyed, in 1536.* 

The poems of this writer present few traces of his active and 
troubled life. His delicacy, his sensibility, and his imaginaticm, 
remind us of Petrarch more than even the works of Boican. 
Unfortunately, he occasionally abandons himself to that refine- 
ment and false wit which the Spaniards mistook for the language 
of passion. Among the thirty sonnets which Gardlaso luis 
left, there are several in which we remark that sweetness of lan- 
guage and that delicacy of expression which so completely cap- 
tivate the ear, together with a mixture of sadness and of love, of 
the fear and the desire of death, which powerfully expresses the 
agitation of the soul. The translation of one of these sonnets 
of Garcilaso, although it should give only a &int idea of his 
poetry, wiU afford a picture of the singular nature of Castillan 
love; a j[>assion which even in the fiercest warriors assumed so 
submissive and so languishing a character : 


If lamentations and eomplftints coold rein 

The coune of riTen as they rollM aloog. 

And move on deaert hills^ attir'd in song, 
The saTage forests ; if they could constrain % 
Fierce tigers and chill rocks to entertain 

Tht soundj and with less urgency than mine, 

Lioad tyrant Ploto and stern Proserpine, 
SaA and subdned with magic of their strain ; 
Wby win not my Taxations, being spent 

In misery and in tears, to softness soothe 

A bosom steel'd against me 7 with more ruth 

^ It wu amother Garcilaso de la Vega, but of the same family, although 
bis mother was a PeruTian, who wrote the History of Peru and of Florida. 

t Si qaezas y lamentos pueden tanto 
Qo^enfrenaron el curso de los rios, 
Y en los desertos montes y sombrios 
Los arboles moTieron con su canto ; 

Si conTertieron a escuchar su Ilanto 
Los fieros tigres, y penascos fries. 
Si en fin con menos casos que los mios 
Bazaron a los reynos del espanto : 

Porque no ablandarà ml trabijosa 
Vida, en miseria y lagrimas passada. 
Un cora<:on comigo endarecido ? 


Ab aar of wnai altoBtîM ahwUd be l«Bt 
The ?oice of him that mbums kimaalf for lof t, 
l^an that which loirowM for a forfeit ghott ! 

Bat the most celebrated of Oardiaso's poems is that in which 
be has given a model to the Spanish writers, whidi has beoi 
imitated by numbers wUb haye never been able to equal the ori- 
gmaL This poem is the first of his three Edogues. It wu 
written at Naples, where he Mi inspired at once with Die srâit 
of "Virgil and of Sanazzaro. Two shepherds, Salido and Ne- 
moroso, meeting one another, mutually express in verse the tor- 
ments which they have suffered ; the one from the infidelity, the 
other bom die death, of his shepherdess. In the comnlamts of 
the fimner lliere is softness, delicacy, and submission, and in those 
of the latter, a depth of grief; while in both we find a purity of 
pastoral feeling which appears more remarkable when we remem- 
ber that tiie author was a warrior, destined a few months after- 
ward to perish in battle. 

The shadow, at all events, of a pastoral is capable of being 

Ceserved in a translation; whilst an ode or a sonnet is frequently 
tL In order to produce its full effect, an edogue has, however, 
need of all the ornaments peculiar to that style of composition. 
If it is deprived of even one of the illusions with which it is in- 
vested, its defects become visible, and we are struck with its in- 
sipid monotony. The translation is injurious to the poet, even 
mm its apparent fidelity, which exposes the feeUeness of the 
composition, whilst it suffers the charm to evaporate. On the 
other hand, we should conamunicate a very vague idea of the 
early poets of Spain did we only give the opinions (ji their 
critics without presenting a single example of their own senti- 
ments and thoughts. The following are a few stanzas from this 
celebrated eclogue: 


Through thee the eilenee of the shaded gien. 
Through thee the horror of the lonely mountain 

Con mas piedad doTria ser eseuchada 
La Tox del que se llora por perdido, 
Que la del que perdio y Uora otra cosa. 

[The aboTe translation, as well as that which follows from the Eclogne, 
is borrowed fivm Mr. Wiffen's Tery elegant and spirited translation of tbe 
works of Garcilaso ; to which he has preflied an able Essay on Spantili 
Poetry. 3V.] 


Por ti el silencio de la selta umbrosa, 
Por ti la esquifidad y apartamiento 


Pleased me BO leu then theretert of mn ; 

The l>reeie^ the suniner wood« and InoU fottBtaia» 

The pinple leae» white lily of the lake, 

Ware eweet for thy aweot eake ; 

For thee the fragraot primroee, diopt with dew, 

Wat wiah'd, when firat it hlew. 

Oh, how eompletely waa I ta all thia 

Myaelf deceiving I Oh, the different part 

TÙX thou wen acting, covering, with a kiaa 

Of aeeming love» the traitor in thy heart I 

This my aevere misfortune long ago 

Did the soothai^ying raven, aai&ig by 

On the black storm, with hoarse sinister ciy, 

Cleariv preaage | in gsntleneaa of wo» 

Flow forth, my teara, 'tia meet that ye ahonld flow I 

How oft when alnmhering in the foreat brewB, 
(Deeming it fancy'a myatical deceit,) 
Have I beheld my fate in dreama foreshown. 
One day methonght that from the noontide heat, 
I drove my flocka to drink of Tagua* flood, 
And, under curtain of ita bordering wood. 
Take my cool akeata, but arrived, the atream, 
I know not by what magic, changed its track, 
And in new channela, by an uniuiîad way, 
Boird ita warpM vratera back : 
Whilat I, acorch'd, melting with the heat extreme, 
Went ever following In their fl%hl^ aatny. 
The wixard wavea : in gentleneas of wo, 
Flow forth, my tears, tis meet that ye should flow. 

Dei solltario aMmte me agradaba. 

For ti la verde hierha^ el fresco viento, 

£1 bianco lirio y eolotada roaa 

T dulce primavera deaeaba* 

Ay ! quanto me enganaba ! 

Ay ! quan difcrente era, 

Y quan de otra mancra 

Lo que, en tu falao pecho, ae eaeondia t 

Bien claro con an voz me lo decia 

La ainiestra comqa repitiendo 

La deaventura mia. 

Sal id ain duelo lagrimaa cofriendo. 

Qnantas voces dormiendo en la floresta 
(R«putàndolo yo per desvario) 
Vi mi mai entre suenos, desdichado ! 
Soiîaba que en el tienpo del estio 
Llevaba, por pasar alU la siesta, 
A beber en el Tigo mi ganado : 
T despues de llegado, 
Sin saber de quai arte, 
Por deausada parte, 
T por nuevo camino el agua ae iba : 
Ardiendo yo con la color estiva, 
£1 curao enanogado iba siguiendo 
Del aqua fugitive. 
Satid sin d^elo lagrimas corriendo. 

* * * * 


Bat though thou wilt not come for my sad takei 
Leave not the landscape thou hast held so dear ; 
Thou may*8t come freely now without the fear 
Of meeting me, for, though my heart should break, 
Where late foraaken, I will now fonake. 
Come, then, if this alone detain thee, here 
Are meadows full of verdure, myrtles, bays, 
Woodlands, and lawns, and running waters clear, 
BeloT'd in other days ; 
To which, bedew'd with many a bitter tear, 
I sing my last of lays. 

These scenes, perhaps, when I am far remoT'd, 
At ease thou wilt frequent 
With him who rifled me of all I loVd. 
Enough ! my strength is spent ; 
And leaWng thee in his desir'd embrace, 
It is not much to leave him this sweet place. 


As at the set of sun the shades eztentf*» 
And when its circle sinks, that dark obscure 
Rises to shroud the world, on vriiich attend 
The images that set our hair on end. 
Silence, aad shapes mysterious as the gra^e : 
Till the broad sun sheds, once more, Som the wave 
His lively lustre, beautiful and pure ; 
Such shapes were in the night, and such ill gloom 
At thy departure ; still tormenting fear 
Haunts, and must haunt me, until death shall doom 

Mas ya que à soccorerme aqui no Yienes^ 
No dexes el lugar que tanto amaste ; 
Que bien podras venir de mi segura. 
To dezaré el lugar do me dezaste : 
Ven ; si por solo esto te detienes. 
Yes aqui un prado lleno de Terdun, 
Ves aqui una espesura. 
Yes aqui una agna dara, 
En otro tiempo cara, 
A quien de ti con lagrimas me quezo ; 
Quizâ, aqui hallarâs, pues yo me aligo, 
Al que todo mi bien quitanne puede ; 
Que pues el bien le dezo, 
No es mucho que el lugar tambien le quede. 


Como al partir del sol la sombra crece, 

Y en cayenda su rayo, se levanta 

La negra escuridad que V mundo cubre ; 
De do viene el temor que nos esparita, 

Y la medrosa forma en que se offrece 
Aquello, que la noche nos encubre, 
Hasta que el sol descubre 

Su loz pura y hermosa ; 

Tal es la tenebrosa 

Noche de tu partir, en que he quedado, 

De sombra y de temor atormentado ; 


The 80 auch'Wish'd for sun to re-appear, 
Of thine angelic face, mj août to cheer, 
BeiOigent from the tooib. 

* * * * * 

Poor loat Eliza ! of thy locki of ffold 
One treaaur%d ringlet in white silk f keep 
For ever at ray heart, which when unroird, 
Fresh grief and pity o'er my spirit creep, 
And my insatiate eyes, for hours untold. 
O'er the dear pledge will like an infant weep : 
With sighs more warm than fire, anon 1 dry 
The tears from off it, number, one by one, 
The radiant hfeiirs, and with a Io?e-knot tie ; 
Mine eyes, this duty done, 
GiTo over weeping, and with slight relief, 
1 taste a short forgetfulness of grief. 

The two other eclogues of Garcilaso are regarded as inferior 
to the first They are all three of considerable length. He has 
likewise written a few elegies, of which one was composed at 
the foot of Etna. His poems, when collected, form only a single 
small volume, but sucb is the power of harmonious language 
when accompanied by harmony of thought, that the few poems 
of Garcilaso de la Veg^ hare secured him an immortal reputa- 
tion, and gained him the first rank among the lyric and pastoral 
poets of his nation.* 

Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, the third of the Spanish 
classical poets, was one of the celebrated politicians and gene- 
rals who distinguished the brilliant reign of Charles V. He 
acted a principal part in the important events of that period ; 

Ilasta que mnerte el tiempo determine 

Que a ver el deseado 

Sol de tu Clara rista me encamine. 

Una parte guardé de tus cabellos, 
Eliss^ enrueltos en un bianco peno. 
Que nunca de mi seno se me apartan : 
I)esc6jolos, y de un dolor tamaào 
Ënternecerme siento ; que sobre ellos 
Nunca mis ojos de llorar se hartan. 
Sin que de alU se partan, 
Con suspiros calientes, 
Mta que la llama ardientes, 
Los enzugo del llanto, y de consuno 
Casi los poso y cuento uno a ano ; 
Juntandolos con un cordon los ato 
Tras esto el importuno 
Dolor me dcza descaosar un rato. 

* [To the translation of the poems of Garcilaso de la Vega by Mr, Wiffen» 
the Editor has. already acknowledged his obligations. A Spanish JÊnthoUgy 
has been recently announced by the same gentleman* Tr,] 
Vol. U. If) 


but the extreme severity of his character has left an unfavoara* 
hie impression of him on the minds of those who know him only 
in the pages of history. He was bom at Grenada about the 
commencement of the sixteenth century, of an illustrious family. 
To the study of the classics he united that of the Hebrew and 
Arabic tongues. Scholastic philosophy, theology, and the civil 
law, likewise shared his attention. While still a student at Sa- 
lamanca,, he wrote the Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, the first and 
pleasantest of those memoirs of rogues, for which the Spaniards 
have manifested a peculiar taste. Being distinguished by 
Charles V. as a man well qualified to be emnloyed in the most 
important transactions, he was appointed Amoassador to Venice 
soon after he had left the university. From thence he was de- 
spatched to the Council of Trent, to protect the interests of the 
£^lperor, and his speech to this assembly in the year 1545 ex- 
cited the admiration of all Christendom. In 1547, he proceeded 
with the title of Ambassador to the Papal Court, where he 
directed the movements of the Imperial party, throughout 
Italy; endeavouring to ruin all who were attached to the French 
cause, or who preserved any love for the ancient liberties of their 
country. He was, at the same time, named Captain-general 
and Governor of Sienna. In concert with Cosmo de* 5f ediei 
he succeeded in enslaving thiff last of the Republics of the Middle 
Ages, and, with a sceptre of iron, he crushed the spirit of liberty 
which still animated the Tuscans. Detested by Paul III., 
whom he was directed to humble even in his own court, hated 
by all the friends of liberty, governing only by severity, a^d in- 
cessantly exposed to the knives of assassins, he still retained his 
power till the reira of Julius III. by whom he was appointed 
Gonfaloniere of the Church. It was not until the year 1554 
that Charles V., yielding to the instances of all his Italian sub- 
jects, recalled to his Court this detested minister. During his 
residence in Italy, amidst the agitations of his life and the seve- 
rities of his government, he was still actively occupied in the 
encouragement of letters. Since the time of Petrarch, no one 
had devoted himself with equal ardour to the collection of Greek 
manuscripts, while he at the same time attempted to preserve 
firom the injuries of time those works of art which reflect such 
glory on antiquity. In furtherance of this design, he caused 
the convent of Mount Athos to be examined, making use <^ the 
public character witli which he was invested, and employing the 
credit which lie enjoyed even at the Court of Soliman, to promote 
the interests of literature. Neither his public duties, nor his 
studies, nor the ruggedness of his character, preserved him 
from the influence of love. During his stay at Rome, his gal- 
lantr]^ and intrigues procured him almost as many enemies as his 
severity. After the death of Charles V., in a dispute which be 
had at the Court of Philip II. with one of his rivals, the latter 
drew a poniard, but Mendoza, seÎKinsf his adversarv, threw h\n\ 


over a balcony Into the street We are not told whether the 
490|[iseqiiences of the fall were Êital, but Mendoza was committed 
to' prison. JOoring his captivity the aged minister employed 
himself in composing love-verses, and complaints : Redandilhtu, 
êsiando preso por una ptndencia ^ue two en paiacio. Being ba- 
nished to Grenada, he was an attentive observer of the progress 
of the Moorish revolt in the Alpuxarra, of which he afterward 
vrrote an aoooont ; a work esteemed one of the masterpieces of 
Spanish history. He occupied himself during the rest of his 
life in literary pursuits, and in translating and commenting upon 
a work of Aristotle. He died at Valladolid in 1675. His li- 
brary, which he bequeathed to the King, forms one of the most 
valuable portions of the collection of the Escurial. 

The Spanish have placed Mendoza only in the third rank of 
their poets, Boscan and Garcilaso de la Vega occupying the two 
first places ; because, on a comparison between him and them, 
they discover considerable harshness in his verses. Boutterwek, 
on Ibe other hand, considers his Epistles to be equal to those of 
Horace. He was the first to give perfect models of this kind of 
composition to his countrymen. With &e exception of two, 
which are somewhat fetiguing love-complaints, the rest are all 
didactic ; and though full of philosophical discussion, they are 
yet written in a neat and easy style. The happy mixture of 
opinion and description preserves them firom the charge of mo- 
notony. Great correctness of judgment, and a thoroi^^ know- 
ledge of the world, form the principal merit of the thoughts. 
In nis Epistie to Boscan he describes domestic life very de- 
liçhtfiilly. The first verses contain a beautiful picture of the 
Wife of iBoscan. We are astonished to discover in the tyrant of 
Sienna so xnuch delicacy and so much sensibility.* 

* To la Yeru, Botcan» j yo la reo, 

Que lof que amamot, remos mas (emprano, 
Kela, en eabello negro y bianco arreo. 

£lla. te cogen con blanca mano 
Laa rans ubas, y la frata eana, 
Dtilees y freicos dones del rerano* 

Mln, que diligencla, con que gana 
Viene al noero aerrieio, que |>onipcna 
Esta con ei trab%jOy y quan pfana. 

En blanca leche colorada rosa 
Nunea para so amisa yi al pastor 
MosclaTt que pareclesse tan hermosti 

£1 Tcrde arrayan tuerce en derredor. 
De tu sagrada (rente, con las flores 
Mezdando on immortal a la labor. 



Nor are we less surprised at finding this ferocious man 
entertaining in the midst of his ambitious career a wish for 
retirement, and for the happiness and repose oi domestic 
life. In his epistle to Don Luys de Zuniga he thus expresses 

* Another world I seeki a resting place, 

Sweet times and seasons, and a bappj home, 

%Vhere I in peace may close my mortal race ; 
There shall no evil passions dare presume 

To enter, turbulence, nor discontent ; 

Lova to mj bonoar'd king shall there find room ; 
And if to me his clemency be sent, 

Giving me kindly wherewithal to live, 

I will rejoice ; if not, will rest content. 
My days shall pass all idk fugitive. 

Careless my roeaU,*ana at no solemn hour ; 

My sleep and dreams such as content can give. 

For cima van y vienen los amores, 
Con las alas en vino remojadas, 
Suenan en el carcaz los passadores. 

Bemedie quien qnisiere las pissadas 
De los grandes, que el mundo governaron, 
Cuyas obras, quiza, estan olvidadas. 

Desvelese en lo que ellos no alcançaron, 
Duerma descolorido sobre el oro. 
Que no lea quedara mas quo llevaron. 

Yo Bosean no proeuro otro tesoro 
Sino poder vivir medianamente, 
Ni eacondo la riqueza, ni la adoro. 

Si aqoi hallas algnn inconveniente, 
Como discreto y no como yo soy, 
Me deaengana luego incontinente ; 

Y Sino ven con migo adonde voy. 

* Otro mundo ea el mio, otro lugar, 

Otro tiempo el que buaco, y la ocaaion 
De Tenirme a mi casa a descansar. 

Yo Tivirè la vida sin paaaion, 
Fuera de descoutento y tur]>ulencia, 
Sirviendo al rey por mi aatufacion. 

Si con migo ae eatiende au elemencia, 
Dandome eon que viva en medianeza 
Holgareme, y aino taré paciencia, 

£1 deaeanao mezclado eon percza, 
El comer desouydado y a su hora, 
£1 dormir sueîio libre de tristeza. 




Then will I teO hoir, in my days of fomWf 

Into die Eut, Spain's conqaering flag I led. 

All uodiimay'd amid the fiery shower ; 
While young and old around me throng in dread. 

Fair dl^nes, and idle monks, a coward raee, 

And tremble while they hear of foes that tied. 
And haply some ambassador may grace 

My humble roof^ resting upon his way ; 

His route and many dangers he will trace 
Upon my frugal board, and much will say 

Of many valiant deeds, but hell conceal 

His secret purpose from the light of day ; 
To mortal none that object bell reveal ; 

His secret mission yon shall never find. 

Though you should search his heart with pointed steel. 

The sonnets of Mendoza are deficient in that grace and hamumy 
wUch form the charm of Boscan*s sfyle. In all of tbem^ how« 
eyer, the lainage is correct and noble. The following is a very 
characteristic specimen, as it exhibits the national taste and the 
prevailing spirit of gallantry, together with some traces of those 
troubled scenes through which the author had passed. 


* Now by the Muses won, I seize my lyre ; 

Now roused by valour's stern and manly call, 
I grasp my fiaming swor4, in storm and An, 
To plant my banner on spqie hostile wall : 

Sen tiré que, con nano vencedora 
Rodea por levante las enseiias 
Lm esquadra, de poniente domadora. 

Loe Biinos, las doniellas, y las duanas, 
tmê clerîgos (eobarde carmaga) 
Estaran escpchando, hechos pedfts. 

Vendlrà un embasador de mn linage. 
For Ventura, eansadodelcamino, 

Y ponene ha a eontar aoa el ?iage* 

Pint«]À las jomadas con el vino 
Ed la mesa, y diranos sus hazanas : 

Y tendra muy seereto a lo que vino. 

No le podreys sacar con dos mil manas 
Lo que hombre querria que hablaase, 
f^ Aunque lo escudrineys por las entranas. 

* Aora en la dolce ciencia embevecido, 
Ora en el uso de la ardiente espada, 
Aora con la mano y el sentido 
Poesto eo segoir la plaça levantada. 


Now sink my wearied limbs to silent restp 

And now I wake and wateh the lonely night ; 
But thy fair form is on my heart impress'd, 

Through every change, a vision of delight ! 
Where'er the glorious planet sheds his bcwnsp 

Whate? er lands his golden orb illames, 
Thy memory ever haunts my blissful dreams, 

And a delightful Eden round me blooms : 
Fresh radiance clothes the earth, the sea, and skies, 
To mark the day that gave thee to mine eyes. 

The canzoni partake of the same character. They aare blamed 
for their obscurity ; a common defect in Spanish poetry, arising' 
from liie too great stady bestowed by the writer. Mendoza 
did not confine himself to compositions on the Italian modd. 
The ancient Castilian style attracted his attention, and he en- 
deavotired to carry it to a higher state of polish and perfection. 
His redondilhas, in little stan^ of four verses, his quitUiUas, in 
stanzas of five verses, and his Mlancicos, are more finished than 
those of the andent school, while they are at the same time 
more suited to his genius than the poems which he has written 
in the Italian metre. He left many satirical poems under bur- 
lesque names, but the inquisition forbade them to be printed. 

Mendoza, however, acquired a higher reputation by his prose 
compositions, which form an epoch in the history of Spanish 
literature. The comic romance of LatarUlo de Tonnes, the 
first of its kind, has been translated into all languages, and read 
in everjr nation of Europe. It was corrected and enlarged by 
the addition of a second part, by a writer named de Luna, who 
is otherwise unknown ; smd it is in this altered form that it is 
now known to the public. The wit of every nation has in it 
something peculiar, and in Lazarillo de Tonnes we find the ge- 
nuine Spanish vein. It seems that the grave dignity of Uie 
Castilians would not permit persons of rank to be made the sub- 
ject of laughter, and the romance-writers Âerefore chose for 
their heroes jpersons insensible to all shame. The humour of these 
works consisted in contrasting all kinds of ignoble vices with 
the reserve and dignify of the national manners. Lazarillo de 
Tonnes is an unfortunate youth, who was bom in the bed of a 
torrent, was educated by tne mistress of a negro, and who afler^ 

On el pesado cuerpo esté dormido, 
Aora el alma atenta y desvelada ; 
Siempn en el coraçon tendre escolpido 
Tu ser, y hermosnra entretallada. 

Entre gentes eatranas, do se encierra 
El sol fuera del mnndo, y se desvia, 
Dui'aré y permaneceré deste arte. 

En el mar en el cielo sa la tiem 
Contemplar6 la gloria de aqnel dia 
Que tu vista figura en todo parte. 


ward became the guide of a blind beggar. He recounts all the 
tricks and thefts of which he was gi^ty until he arrived at the 
high honour of espousing the housekeeper of a clergyman. It 
is surprising to find M endoasa, still a student at Salamanca, so 
early and so well acquainted with the vices and manners of the 
lower orders, and painting beggars and r(^e8 with all the live- 
liness and satirical power which Fielding only acquired by long 
experience of the world. The description of Castillan manners 
which Lazarillo fiives us is highly curious, from the period at 
which it was written. It must be dated about the year 1500, 
towards the commencement of the reign of Charles V., befi>re 
the wars in which that monarch engaged, or the mania of emi- 
grating to America, had impoverished CastOe, and changed its 
ancient manners ; and before that sumptuous parsimony, that 
stateliness united to extreme poverty, and that proud spirit of 
idleness which distinguished the Castilians from the Aragonese 
and the Catalonians, nad deprived Castile of its agriculture, its 
manu&ctures, and its commerce. Lazarillo is perpetually tor- 
mented with hunger, and never receives from his master a suffi- 
ciency even of dry bread to satisfy his craving appetite. He is 
even compelled to employ a thousand artifiioes to break off the 
comers or the loaves, and he then persuades his master that the 
rats have done the mischief. At length he enters the service of a 
noble esquire, who passes a portion d[ the day at church, and the 
remainder in lounging, arranging his mustachios, and striking 
his sword against the pavement Dinnerrtime, however, never 
arrives in tms gentleman's establishment ; and Lazarillo is coko- 
pelled to support his master by the bread which he has stolen in 
the streets. He next becomes a gentleman-usher to seven ladies 
at once. The wives of the baker, the shoemaker, the tailor, and 
the mason, are ashamed of walking the streets and going to mass 
without an attendant to foUow them in respectful style, with a 
sword by bis side. As none €f these ladies are able alone to 
support such an establishment, they arrange the matter among 
themselves ; and Lazarillo by turns attends upon them all. 
Other scenes no less amusing, follow, all exhibiting the national 
Mings of the Castilians, who are ashamed ci their actual con- 
dition, and desirous of appearing what they are not, haughtily 
preferring dependence and misery to the degradation of labour. 
Numberless romances have been written in imitation of Lazarillo 
de' Tonnes. This style of writing, has been called by the Spa- 
niards El Giuio Picareaco; and iif we may believe them, no 
b^gars of any country have ever equalled theirs in artifice, 
roguery, and subordination to their own private police, which 
always acts in opposition to that of society. The romances of 
Guzman dlMfaracht, and of Picara JusUna, together with many 
others, have been translated into almost all languages, and were 
the models of Gil Bias. The father of this large family possessed, 
without doubt, a large fund of comic talent since he has found 


80 many imitators. In bim we may remark qualities in which 
fais suooeftsors hare been unable to equal him, a soundness of 
intellect, a just and solid judgment, toffether witii those profound 
▼iews of society which indicated that M endossa was destined for 
a statesman. Lazarillo de Tonnes is the last Spanish work in 
which the Inquisition is attacked as odious and ridiculous. The 
Holy-office afterward acquired the art of making eren those 
whom it was destroying commend its proceedings. 

The second Work in prose by M endoza, which was written in 
his old age, and after he had retired from public life, Tht ERb- 
Uvy of ikt War of Grakoaa, has conferred upon him more real 
fiune. Taking iSallust and Tacitus alternately as his models, he 
may be said to have assumed a station near those colossal authors 
of antiquity. His style, which is exceedingly elegant, may per- 
haps oocasionaUy betray the study of the writer ; but the sim- 
plidfy of the narrative is the more remarkable, inasmuch as the 
art of presenting the subject to the eye of the reader, and of in- 
teresting his feelings, appears almost to be carried to perfection. 
The statesman appears in almost every page. We immediately 
perceive that Mendoza was fully aware of the errors of Philip, 
who by his extreme severity and imprudence drove the Moors 
into reoellion. He does not, indeed, pronounce any direct opi- 
nion, but the reader easily collects it ; and so sensible of this was 
the Spanish government that the work was not permitted to be 
printed until the year 1610, thirty-five years after the death of the 
author, and then not without great alterations. The edition of 
1776 idime is complete. 

The revolt of the Moors of Grenada, the subject of this his- 
tory, broke out in the year 1568, in consequence of the cruelties 
and fiuiaticism of Philip II. In the preceding reign the public 
exercise of their religion had been interdicted ; and they had 
been compelled, under pain of death, to make an external pro- 
fession of Christianity. A fragment from Mendoza respecting 
the fresh rigours of Philip will enable us to estimate at once the 
style of the historian, and the policy of the Spanish court 
'* The Inquisition,*' says he, " now began to torment them more 
than had been usual. The King ordered them to abandon the 
Moorish tongue, and with it aH commerce and communication 
among themselves. He deprived them of their negro slaves, 
whom they treated with the same tenderness as their own 
children. He compelled them to throw aside their Arabian 
habits, in the purchase of which they had spent considerable 
sums, constraining them to adopt the Castillan dress at a great 
expense. He foiled the women to walk abroad with their faces 
unveiled, and compelled them to open all their houses which 
they had been accustomed to keep closed, both which commands 
appeared an intolerable violence to this jealous nation. It was 
announced to them also, that the King was desirous of taking 
from them their children, in order that they miçht be educated 


in jCaBtUe. Tbey were interdkfeed froni the use of their baths» 
wfaîch were at once necegsary and detightfitl to them ; and at 
Ike same time their music, their songs, their festivals, aU their 
u^ual amusemeats, all their cheerfiil assemblies, were fi>rbidde& 
All these new orders were promulgated without any additkm te 
the guards, without despatching any fresh troops, and witiiout 
any reinforcement of the old, or establishment of new garrisons^*' 
The Moors soon began to collect arms and ammunition in the 
rugged mountains of the Alpuxarra. They chose as therr king 
the young Fernando de Valor, a descendant oi their ancient 
sovereigns, who assumed the name of Aben-Humeya. Grenada 
was too strong to be surprised ; and they had received only 
very inefficient succours from the Turkish £mperor Seltm. 
Notwithstanding their weakness, they defended themselves for 
«eight months in the mountains, with unconquerable valour, 

linst a numerous army, commanded by Don John of Austria. 
%e ferocity of the Spaniards displayed itself in a frightful 
manner during this war. Not only were prisoners without num- 
ber put to the sword, but the inhabitants of whole tillages in ^lie 
.plains, who had taken no part in the insurrection, were massacred 
'On suspicion of holding intelligence with the rebels. Aben- 
HameyH and his successor Aben-Boo, were both assassinated 
by Moors, to whom the Spaniards had promised an mdemmHyM 
that price. The rest of the inhabitants of the Alpuxarira ifi^m 
«old into slavery* while those of the plains wer^ dragged from 
.their homes, and driven in troops into the interior cf Castile, 
wherie they peiisbed miserably. Philip, that be knight act with 
perfect justice in this affair, consulted a theokigtan on the 
conduct which it behooved him to pursue with regard ..t^ 
the Moors. The latter, whose name was Oradici,. answered 
that *' the more enemies he destroyed, the fewer would remain." 

The great reform which was wrought in the poetry of Caa» 
tUei by the example of the Italians, was not without its partitaiM 
in .P<^gal. In this new school, we must grant the first rank ttH 
two Portuguese, Miranda and Montemayor, who distinguished 
themselves by their compositions in both languages. Saa Mi- 
randa, who was born in 1494, and died in 1658, may be more 
especially claimed by the Portuguese ; and in treatmg of the 
literature of that country, we shall again have occasion to men- 
tion him. In Castili'an. he wrote only a few pastorals, which 
resemble Theocritus much more than the paatorab of Garcilaso 
<le la Vega. He was passionately attached to the country, nor 
oould he bear a residence elsewhere. It is evident that he 
wrote without art abandoning himself, to his feelings, and~ de- 
-spiting the rules which separate one sty4e of composition from 
another. His pastorals, therefore, sometimes resemble the Ita- 
lian canzoni, at others the Latin ode, %vhi!e they occasionally 
-Approach the epic. This mixture of style has drawn down upon 
him the wiath of the critics, and none of has ied4^ue8 are con^i- 

Vox. 1!. 20 




4ered as models, though in many of them may be found very 
beautiful specimens ot the various styles of composition. 
The fdlowing lines» from the first eclogue, appear to me to 
contain that melancholy sensibility which constitutes the chief 
eharm of the Northern poets, but which, with the exception 
of the Portuguese, is seldom found among the writers of tb« 

^ Then fare thee well ! Tor on this carthlj scene 
The pleasures ef to-day fly ere the morrow, 
And aJl is frail and lugitire save sorrow ; 
But io thai region where thou sitt'st serene, 
Tbat^bion vain shall meet thine eyes no more 
Which warrM with thee upon this mortal shore, 
Burning that breast which no» lies still and cold» 
What thy clear eyes behold, 
Amid those regions bright. 
Are not the vain shows of a false delight, 
Such as erewhile thou knew'st in this dim bound ; 
But such as aye shed peace and l^ht around ; 
While calm content thy bosom fills, 
Free from the ills 
Which ever in these stranger realms are found. 

^korge de Montemayor was bom at Montemor, in Portugal, 
rabout the year 1520. As his family was very obscure, he trans- 
lated into Castillan the name of the village at which he was 
bom, and he assumed it as his own. H« had received no edu- 
43ation, and served as a common soldier in the Portuguese army. 
<On account of his love of music and his fine voice, he was at* 
tached to the chapel of the infant Don Philip, afterwards Philip 
II., daring his progresses through Italy, Germany, and the Low 
Countries. He thus became acquainted with the world and the 
Court, and familiarized himself with the Castilian dialect which 
he adopted in preference Xo the Portuguese. His attadiment 
to Spain was increased by his passion for a beautiful 'Castillan 
lady, to whom he has given in his poems the name of Marfida. 
This Marfida was the divinity of his verses ; but upon his return 

"* Vete, buen Diego, en paz, que en esta ticrra 
£1 plazer de oy no dura hasta a nianana, 
Y dura mucho quanto desaplaze. 
Alia aora no ves la vision vana^ 
<lue acà viviendo te hi^o tanta guerra, 
Ardiendo el cuerpo que ora frio yaze. 
Lo que alia satisfa^c 
A tas ya clarus egos, 
No son «anos «ntcios 
Dc que ay per esto oerros mwchedumbre ; 
Mas sicmpre una paz bucna en clara lumbre, 
Cbntentamiento cierto te acoropana, 

' No tanta pesadambre, 
PjB)bio «Cà f « per esta iierra es^ran» 


to ISpamfrom a journey on wJiicb he had accompanied the Cbinit 
he found her married. He now endeavoured to dissîçate hi» 
ch9|^in by deyoting himself to a romantic eomposition, in which 
he repref ented the faithlese fair one as a shepherdess, undor the 
name of Diana, whilst he bestowed upon himself the appellation' 
of Syrenus. This tedious pastoral, which reached the seventh 
book, ought rather to be considered as a vehicle for the expres- 
sioB of the wrlter*s feelings and for the amatory effusions of his 
muse, than as a romance. J^o work In Spain, smce the Amadts* 
had been so successful. As the Amadis had been the progenitor 
of a numerous family of cMvalric romances, so a crowd of pas- 
toral romances succeeded the Diana. Montemayor returned 
home by the command of the Queen of Portugal ; but the rest 
of his history is unknown. He died a violent death in Spain or 
in Italy^ about the year 1561 or 156^ 

The prose writings of Montemayor have more harmony and 
elegance, and in general more simplicity, than those of his pre- 
decessors ; nor does he forsake this style of writing, except in 
his philosophical disquisitions on the nature of love. There^ 
and indeed wherever he attempts to be subtle or profound, he 
becomes pedanticw It is evident from his admiration of the 
scholastic rules that he ia a novice in them. The grace, harmo*' 
ny, and delicacy of his writings have placed him in the first 
rank of Spanish poets. 

The scene of Montemayor^s pastoral is laid at the foot of the 
mountains oî Leon. The period it is more diiHcult to determine. 
The geography, the names, and every reference to real manners^ 
and customs, are modem. The mythology, however, is pagan. 
The shepherds and shepherdesses dance together on Sundays : 
bat they invoke Apollo and Diana, the Nymphs and the Fauns. 
The shepherdess Felfsmena is brought up by her aunt, the ab- 
bess of a nunnery ; and her chambermaid, when she is endea- 
vouring to excuse herself, calls upon the name of Jesus. Yet 
she accounts herself under the protection of the pagan divinities. 
Venus, who has been irritated against her mother, has condemned 
her from her btrth to be unfortunate iu love, while Minerva has 
endowed her with a moit niaitial spirit, and ^iven her the supe- 
riority over the bravest warriors. The adventures of Abin- 
ilarraes and Xarifa, who were contemporary with Ferdinand 
the Catholic, are related as having occurred in early times ; but 
when the heroes visit the court, or meet with any prince, the 
names which are introduced are entirely (ictlttaus. Indeed the 
Diana of Montemayor is laid in so poetical a world, and is so far 
removed from a!l reality, that it is perfectly useless to notice 
auachionisms or improbabilities. With regard to the mixture 
of the ancient mythology with modern fictions, it was the errcr 
of the age. Learning, after de itinerating into pedantry, had 
become so intimately connected with the creations *;]' poet ly, that 
it would Iiavo been deemed an ofTonro both aii^Minst t:\'^io. jukI 


Saddenly, three ehépbèrtleflf es, wWo were refreshing themselves 
at ibhe: Ibwitein. are ;fittaeked by three downs who are in lore^ 
wiAi<tiieiii4 and who hare clothed and armed theftisèlTes like 
sffraiges^ . Syrénaa and Sjrlvanus in vaiir attempt to resoae the» ; 
the cemfaat is too Unequal, and indeed their languUhisi^ «ongs 
do not prepare us to find in them very valorous warriors. The 
shepherdess Felismena, however, whom Pallas ihas endowed 
with unequalled bravery, unexpectedly arrives to succour them. 
She successively slays ail the savages, and restores her compa- 
nions to liberty. She then relates her adventures with Don 
Felix de Vandalia, who had conducted her to the court of the 
Princess Augusta Cesarina. O ther shepherdesses are introduced 
in a similar manner, and we are entertained with the loves of 
Belisus, and Arsilea ; of Abindarraes, one of the Abencerrages 
of Grenada, and the beautiful Xarifa; and of Danteo and 
ï)uarda, two Portuguese, together with the verses which they 
compiosed in their own language. The groundwork of many 
other plots is laid, which the author never finished, though be- 
fore the conclusion of the seventh Iniok the wishe.s of several of 
the lovers are fulfilled. Felicia, who is a shepherdess, and a 
witch at the name time, influences the hearts of some of the 
lovers by her potions. Sy enus and Sylvan us both forget 
Diana. The latter falls in love with Selvagia, who returns nil 
passion, and they are happily married. Syrenus becomes in 
different to the charms of his former mistress, and Diana, who 
does not re-appear upon the scene until very late, is seized with 
a deep melancholy on beholding herself abandoned by him to 
whose afiections she had herself been faithless. Here Monte- 
mayor concluded the wo k. Several persons, among whom the 
most distinguished is Gil Polo, have taken up the Diana at this 
place, and made that shepherdess the heroine of ianuraeiable 
romances, less rich in adventures than in high-wrought sentl- 
mients and in elegant verses. 

These, then, are the men who are properly called the classics 
of Spain ; who, during the brilliant reign of Charles V.. and in 
the midst of the disturbances which the ambitious policy of that 
prince created in Europe, changed the versification, the national 
taste, and almost the language, of Castile ; who gave to the 
poetry of that country its most graceful, its most elegant, and 
its most correct form ; and who have been the models of all who. 
from that period, have had any pretensions to classical purity. 
It is certainly a matter of surprise to find so few traces of a war- 
like reign in their compositions ; to hear them, amidst all the in- 
toxicating excitements of ambition, singing only their sweet 
pastoral fancies, their tender, their delicate, and their submissive 
love. Whilst Europe and America, were inundated with blood 
by the Spaniards, Boscan^ Garcilaso, M endoza, and Montemay- 
or, all of them soldiers, and all of them engaged' in the wars 
which at this period shook the foundations of Christendom, ào 


^oribed themaeWes as sliephttrds weaving /^arlands ijiAtfwergi or 
as lovers tremblingly beseechinn^ the fevoar of a glance from 
their mistresses, while they stifle their complaints* suppress all 
the feelings of nature, and even renounce jealousy, lest it shoald 
render them not sufiieiently submissive. There is in these 
verses a Sybaritic softness, a Lydian luxury, which we might 
expect to meet with in the effeminate Italians, whom servitude - 
èas degraded, but which astonishes us in men like the warriors 
4i Charles V. 

There exists, undoubtedly, a moral cause for this discordance. 
If Garcilaso de la Vega and Montemayor have not exhibited 
their own feelings in their poetry f if they have abandoned the 
habits, the manners, and the sentiments to which they were ac« 
customed, in search of a poetical world, it was becaiuse they 
were disgusted with the realities around them. Poetry was at- 
tempting its first flight, when the Spanish nation lost every thing 
but the ^lory of its arms ; and even this glory, soiled as it was 
by so many horrors, and prevented by the severity of discipline 
from becoming an individual feeling, was voiceless to the heart 
of the poet. 

There was a noble spirit of martial enthusiasm in the ancient 
poem of the Cid, in the old romances, and in the warlike poems 
<xf the Marquis of Santillana : in short the same inspiration ap> 
peared wherever the national honour was conoemed. The 
Grand Master of Calatrava. Den Manuel Ponce de Ltoêu who 
in all the Moorish festivals appeared upon the Vega, or plain of 
.Grenada, accompanied by a hundred kuiglits. and after a cooT'- 
teous salutatioa to the king, offeied to contend in single combat 
witi) the nobleat and b/avest of the Saraceus, that he might thus 
contribute by a feat of arma to the pleasures of the day, iqpheld 
in these combats the honoui of the Castillans ; and, indeed, his 
poetical bravery was a fit subject ior romance. In a war which 
was really national, the rivalry in glory was sufficient to keep 
alive the ardour of the combatants, while reciprocal esteem was 
the consequence of the length of the contest. But Garcilasp 
de la Vega, Mendoza. and their compeers were perfect strangers 
to the French, tiie Italians, and the Germans, against whom they 
aarched. The army, of which they formed a part, had already 
begun to delight in blood, in order that they nilght supply, by 
the excitement of ferocity, the absence of national interest. 
When, therefore, they left the field of battle, they attempted to 
forget the fierce and cruel feelings which they blushed to ac- 
knowledge, and they cautiously abstained from introducing them 
into their poems. 

The effeminate languor and the luxurious enjoyment of life 
and love^ which peculiaily ehai:acterize the Spanish poetry of 
^^ age» are discoverable in an equal degree in the Latin and 
"Greek poets who wrote after the extinction of their national lir 
terties. Propertius and Tibullus, as well as Theocritus, somi^ 


tknes hiAii^e in a degree of laufptor and tenderness, ^rkick 
often apprbaches to insipidity. They appear prood of exhibiting 
their effisininacy, as if for the purpose of demonstrating that they 
have voluntarily adopted it and that they have not yielded to it 
fionv the influence of fear. The enervated poetry of the S|Mudali 
classics was, perhaps, suggested to them hy similar motive*» and 
by their desire to preserve the dignity of their character; but 
for this very reason the Castillan pOetry of the reign of Charlet 
v. was of a transitory nature, and at the highest pitch of its De- 
putation the symptoms of its approaching decay might be dis- 
tinctly seen. 


Spanish Literature of the Sixteenth CenfarrcAntmued. — ^Hcrrera; Ponce de Leam*j 

C errantes ; his Don Quixote. 

When we consider to what extent genius and talent are ii 
▼idnai qualities, and how such qualities are modified by differ- 
ence of opinion, of character, and of circumstances, we feel 0Q^ 
prised at the uniformity in the progress of the human mind; 
whether we compare with one another the distinguished indi- 
viduals of the same period, and remark how they all partake df 
the spirit of the age ; or whether we observe tiie progressive 
advance of literature and taste in different nations, imd June aas- 
oessive epochs when epic, and lyric, and dramatic poetry have 
fleurished The reign of Charles V., to which we devoted tbc 
last chapter, and with which our attention will be occupied duriof 
a portion of the present, was the age of lyric poetry in Castile 
That inventive spirit, that love of the marvellous, and that active 
curiosity which had. in the preceding century, produced so maw 
romances to celebrate the heroes of Spain, and so many chi'- 
valrous tales in imitation of the Amadis to astonish the itnaginMr 
tion by super-human exploits, suddenly deserted all the Spantsh 
authors. The art of conceiving new characters, of edcbwing 
them with sentiments, of placing them immediately belore onr 
eyes, and of giving reality to imaginary incidents, was not y(ft 
discovered, for the drama had not yet been introduced. The 
reign of Charles V. was rich in great poets, hvA a sameness is 
observable in them all. Their object was merely to express» m 
harmonious numbers, the mo«t noble and delicate leeUags of* the 
«eul. The taste for pastoral poetry, which ^as adopted by «M 
of them, added still more to this nniformity ; for not only did. H 
induce'them to confine the action of their poems within sCrioler 
bounds, and to indnlee only in sentiment but it even made than 


•^reject aU sentiment not oonfonnaUe to die pastoral character. 
Tne poets of Spain, during the reign of Charles V^ are there- 
fore very indistinctly known, even to those who are best ac- 
quainted with the literature of that country. They leave an 
impression on the mind of a harmonious kind of musing, of an 
exù^me delicacy of sentiment, and of a languid and intoxicating 
Boftness ; but the thoughta to which they gire rise speedily Êtde 
from thé memory, like the strains of swçet music, which leave 
iu> traces on the ear. When once the sounds have ceased and 
the charm is fled, we in vain attempt to recall them. It would 
be a difficult task to convey an idea of these Ijrric poets in a few 
desultory translations ; and, indeed, I am myself but imperfectly 
aioquainted with them. I have searched ror many of them in 
vain, in the libraries to which I have had access ; and were they 
before me, there would still remain the impossibility of ade< 
quately translating them. 

It is therefore to historical notices, to a few rapid analyses, 
and to cnticiama, for the most part original,* but occasionally 
borrowed, that we must confine ourselves upon the present oc- 
casion, as we have hitherto been compelled to do. until we arrive 
at the noblest ornaments of Spain, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, 
and Calderon, whose fame belongs to all nations, and whose 
genius has pierced into every language. 

Among the lyrical poets of the aee of Charies V. there still 
remain two to be mentioned, whom the people of Castile r^ard 
as classical, Herrera and Ponee de Leon. Upon these wnters 
we must not consume much time. Ferdinand de Herrera, who 
recdved the surname of the Divine, and who has been placed at 
the head of the lyric poets of Spain more from party-spirit* 
than from anv just appreciation of his jnerits, passed his Me in 
obscurity. All that is known of him is, that he was bçm at 
Seville about the year 1500, and that ahër having very fully 
experienced the power of love, he entered into the dinrch at an 
advanced age, and died about 1578. Herrera was a poet of 
vigorous talents, and full of ardour to launch into a new career 
in contempt of the critics of his age ; but the new style of com- 
position, which he was so desirous of introducing into Spanish 
poetry, was modelled in his own mind on a predetermined plan. 
. His expressions are never suggested by his feelings, and in the 
midst of his greatest beauties we cannot avoid observing the 
artifice of tlie poet. His language is extraordinary, and its at- 
tempt at elevation renders it often affected. Herrera thought 
the poetical diction of the Spaniards, even in theit best attempts, 
much too commonplace ; it appeared to him to resemble prose 
too nearly, and to be far beneath the dignity of classical poetry. 
With these ideas, he attempted to compose a new language. 
He separated, according to his own conceptions, the noble from 
the ignoble words ; he changed the signification of some to suit 
them to poetical purposes ; he used repetitions which seemed to 

Vol. il 21 


him to give additional energy ; be introdnoe^ transpositions naore 
analogous to the genius of thé Latin language than of hia own ; 
and he even formed several new words, eiuier by the nnioii of 
other Spanish words, or by adoption fh>m the Latin. Tliese 
innovations were considered by the party who patronized Her- 
rera as forming the perfection of true poetry, while at the pre- 
sent day they are rather an object of reproach to him. The real 
dignity of his language, the harmony oS his verse, and the ele- 
vation of his ideas, must, however, be acknowledged. 'Heitvra 
is the most truly lyrical poet of Spain, as Chiabrm is of Italy ; 
his flight is completely Findaric, and he soars to the loftiest 
heights. Perhaps to a genius so rapid and so impetoou» as his, 
the ancient form of the ode, with its short ana regular mea- 
sure, would have been better fitted, than the long stanzas 
of the Italian canzone which he has adopted, and which are 
more suited to rounded, harmonious, and somewhat effeminate 

Among the canzoni of Herrera, those which were oonposed 
on the battle of Lepanto must be placed in the first rank This 
batlle was not only the most glorious victory which the Spamsh 
arms had achieved during that century, but while it promised 
the most happy consequences in securing the stability of the 
monarchy at home, and the permanency of its Italian posses- 
sions, it fiilly gratified the religious enthusiasm of the nation, 
Herrera himself was animated by this feeling, and for once his 
poetry is the expression of his real sentimehts. It breathes n 
confidence in the protection of the God of armies, a pride in 
the triumph over such redoubtable enemies, and a hatred of those 
enemies as poetical as it is unchristian. The langaage, whidi 
is occasionally borrowed from the Old Testament, gives majesty 
to the verse.* 

* El soberrio tinoo, coofiftdo 
En el grande aparato de lus Davef, 
Que de lo« muestroe la cerviz cautita, 

Y las manos aTira, 

AI oilniaterio inj;itto de tu estado ; 
Derribô con loa braxos auyot graret 
Los eedros mas eicelcos de la cima ; 

Y el arbol, que mas yerto se sublima 
Bebio agrnas agues, y aCrevido 
Piso el rando ouestro j defendido. 

Temllaron los perquenos, confandidos 
Del impio furor «uyo, alzd la Trente 
Contra to, senor Dioz ; y con semblante, 

Y con pecho arrogante, 

Y tos armadof brazos cstendidos, 
Moviô el'ayrado tuelln aquel potente : 


An ode of Herrera to Sleep possesses a very differenf 
kind of merit ; §^oe of language, a pictorial talent, and 
lurent delicacy of composition. Though all these may escape 
in the translation, the truth of the sentiments must at all events 

Ode to Slekf, 

* Sweet Sleep ! that throogb tbe itarry path of n^ht. 
With dewy poppies croivo'd, ptirsuest thj ilight| 
Stiller of hiimao woea ( 
That flhed'st o'er natttre'f bres«t a soft repose ', 
Ob ! to these distant climates of the West 
Thy slowly wanderini; pioioDs turn ; 
And with thy influence blest, 
Bathe tliese to?e-burthen*d eyes that erer burn 
And find no moment's rest ; 
IVhile my unceasing grief 
Refusai all telief I 

O hear my prayer 1 I ask it by thy lore, 
Whom Juno gave thee in the realms above. 

Sweet Power, that dost iaipart 
Gientle oblivion to the suffering heart, 
Beloved sleep, thou only canst bestow 
A solace for my wo Î 

Cercô su corazon de ardlente sana 
Contra las dos Esperias, que el mar bana. 
Porque en ii confiadas lo resisten, 

Y de armas de tu fe y amor se viaten. 

DIxo aquel insolente y desdetîoso. 
No eonocen mis iras estas tierras, 

Y de mis padres los ilustres hechos 1 
O valieron sus pechos 

Contra ellos eon el Cngaro imdroso, 

Y de Dalmacia y Rodas en las goenras 7 
Qftika las pado Itb^ar? Qoién de sus manos 
Pttdo salvar los de Austria y los Germanos } 
Podr& su Dios, podra por suerte ahora 
GuardaDas de mi diestra iencedonu 

* Soave sueno, tû que en tarde buelo, 
Las alas perezosas blandamente 
Bates, de adormlderas coronado, 
Por el poro, adorraido y vago cielo ; 
Yen a la ultima parte de Ocidenie, 

Y de licor sagrado 

Bana mis ojos tristes, que eanudo, 

Y rcndido al furor de mi tormento, 
No admito algun sosiego; 

Y ei dolor dMconorta al suûimie&to. 
Yen 4 mi humUde ruego. 

Yen a mi mego huaûlde, o amor de aqoella 
Que Juno te of^ecio tu ninfa bella. 


Thrice happy be the hour 
My weary limbs shall feel (hy sovereign power I 
Why to these eyes alone deny 
The calm thou pour'at on Naturels boundlMa reign ? 
Why let thy votary all neglected die^ 
Nor yield a respite to a lover's pain 7 
And must I ask thy balmy aid in vain ? 
Hear, gentle Power, oh hear my humble prayer, 
. And let my soul thy heavenly banquet «hare. 

In this extreme of grief, I own thy might ; 

Descend and shed thy healing dew ; 

Descend, and put to flight 

Th* intruding dawn, that with her garish light 

My sorrows would renew. 

Thou bear's t my aad lament, and in my face 

My many griefs may*st trace I 

Turn then, sweet wanderer of the night, and spread 

Thy wings around my head ; 

Haste, for th' unwelcome mom 

Is now on her return 1 

Let the soft rest the hoars of night denied, 

Be by thy lenient hand supplied. 

Freah from my summer bowers, 

A crown of foothing flowers. 

Such as thou lov'st, the fairest and the best, 

I ofier thee ; won by their odours sweet 

Th* enamour'd air shall greet 

Divioo sueno, gloria de mortales, 
Regalo dulce al misero afligido, 
Sueno amoroso, ven a quien espéra 
Cesar del ezercicio de sus males ; 

Y al descanso volver todo el sentido. 
Como sufVes que muera 

Lejos de tu poder, quién tuyo era? 
No es dureza olvidar un solo pecho 
En veladora peua, 

Que sin gozar del bien que al mnndo has h^chq 
De tu vigor se ageoa? 
Ven sueno alegre, sueno ven dichoso, 
Vuelve a mi alma ja, vuelve'el repose. 

Sienta yo en t%l estreeho tu ^prandeza ; 
Baxa, y esparce liquido el rocio ; 
Huya la alva, que en torno resplandece ; 
Mira mi ardiente llanto y mi truteza, 

Y qu&nta fuerza tiene el pesar mio, 

Y mi frente humedece, 

Que ya de fuegos juntos el sol crece. 
Toma, sabroso sueno, y tus hermozas 
Alas suenen ahora ; 

Y huya con sus alas presurpsas 
I A desabrida aurora ; 

Y lo que en mi faite la noche fria, 
Termine la cercana luz del dia. 

or THC 8FÀNIARD8. 166 

Tky «Avent $ oh Âan^let Ay iMUid 

EquTMi tkeir Mtenee bland. 

And o'er mj eyelids pour delicious rest. 

Enchanting Power! soft as the breath of Spring 

Be the l%ht gale that sleers thy dewy wiog ; 

CoQMy era the tan «acaiidi the pnrpie Bast, . 

Come, end my woes ; eo, erown'd with heftfenly charms, 

May fair Parsithea take thee to her arms. 

Luis Ponce de Leon is the last of the great poets who ren- 
tiered illustrious the age of Charles V., and who shed fuch 
splendour upon that new epoch of Spanish literature. Diffiuring 
from those whom we have hitherto noticed, his inspiration is en^ 
tirdy of a religious cast Indeed, his whole life was consecrated 
to piety. He was bom at Grenada, in 1527, of one of the most 
illustrious families of Spain, and manifested in his early youth 
that religious enthusiasm and disposition to retirement which 
renderea him indifferent to fame and to worldly pleasures. His 
heart, which was mild and tender, was never a prey to the dark 
fanaticism of the monks; moral and religious contemplations 
formed his only deUght, without inducing a contempt for others, 
or a spirit of persecution. At sixteen years of ftge, he entered 
into the Order of St Augustine at Salamanca, and applied him- 
self with ardour to theological studies, in which ms writings 
gained him considerable reputation. Poetry was to him a re- 
laxation, while the exquisite sensibility to harmony, which nature 
had bestowed upon him, and his fine imagination, were exercised 
by the study of the classics and of Hebrew poetry. He was 
cruelly punished for having made a translation of the Song of 
Solomon. Not that he was supposed to have sought for impro- 
per images in that mystical composition, or to have attempted 
to present in a worldly light the amours of the king of Jerusa- 
lem, which he regarded as purely allegorical, but because the 
Inquisition had prohibited in the strictest manner ttie translation 
of any portion cf the Bible, without special permission. Ponce 
à% Leon confided his version, under an injunction of secrecy, to 
a single firiend, who indiscreetly showed it to others. The author 
wag in consequence denounced to the holy office^ and immedi- 

Una corona, 6 sueno, de tas flores 
Ofrezio, tu produce el blando efeto, 
Bn los desiertos cercos dé mis c{jos ', 
Que el ayre entretexido cod olores 
Halaga, y ledo mueve en dulce afeto ; 
T de estos mis enojos 
Destierra, manso sueâo, ioe despojos. 
Yen pues, amad* sueno, ven lirtano, 
Que del rico oriente 
Despunta el tiemo Febo el rayo cano. 
Yen ya, sueno clémente, 
Y aealMurà el dolor. Asi to Tea 
En brazof de tu can Pasitea, 

166 Off Tfl£ LlT£RàTUR£ 

ately cast into prison, where he passed are years sepaiaied from 
human society and deprived of li^t Even in this sitiiatiaii* 
he experienced, in the purity of his conscience and in the stteogtk 
of his religious principles, that serenity and repose whidi inno- 
cence alone can confer. He was ultimately restored to his dig- 
nities,* and re-estahlished in his monastery. His talents raised 
him to the rank of Vicar-general of the province of SalamancSt 
which he continued to fill until the period of his death in l&9h 
No Spaniard, it is said, ever expressed in poetry the intimate 
sentiments of the heart with a more happy mixture of ek^gance 
and of sensibility. He is, wi(hout exception, the most eortect 
of all the Spanish writers, and yet the poetical form which his 
thoughts assumed, was with him a matter of only secondary 
consideration. The classical simplicity and dignity of expres- 
sion, for which the ancient authors, and more especially Horace, 
whose Works he had deeply studied, are remarkable, were the 
objects of his emulation. His resemblance, however, to Horace 
was the result of too deep a feeling ever to give him the appear- 
ance of an imitator. In his versification he substituted a short 
rhymed measui^ for the long stanzas of the canzoni, and bv that 
means also he approached more nearly to the poetry of the an- 
cients. But whilst the compositions of Horace generally 
breathe only the Epicurean philosophy, those (i Ponce de Leon 
unfold the love of God in mystical verse, and the whole world 
of moral and religious feelings. The sentiments adopted by 
Ponce de Leon are so very £fierent from my own, and I have 
such an imperfect comprehension of religious ecstasies and alle- 
gories, that I am unable properly to appreciate the merit which 
is attributed to him. I shall content myself with giving, in a 
note, the most celebrated of his odes on the I^fe of the 
Blessed. To despoil it of its versification, and of its correct 
and harmonious language, would be doing an injustice to the 

* Alma region lucientei 
Prado de bien andança, que ni al hielo, 
Ni con el ra^o ardiente 
Fallece, fertil t uelo, 
Producidor eterno de consuelo. 

De purpura y de nieve 
Florida la cabeçacoronado, 
A dulcea paitos muere 
Sih honda ni cayado 
£1 buen paator en U tu hato amado. 

£1 va, y empoi dicbosas 
Le siguea lui ovejas, do ha pace 
Con inmortalet roaaây 
Con flor que sîempre naee, 
Y quanto mas le goza, maa renace. 

' There «le thiee beokE of Ponoe de Lecm'Hworks. The first 
oontains his original compositions ; the second, his translations 
tiwa the Classics ; the third, his translations of the Psalms and 
of tiie hook of Job. In these versions his object has been to 
mal» the ancients speak as diey would have spoken, had they 
lived at his time and had their langnage b^n tiie Castilian. 
Parsuin^ this prindple, he was more properly an imitator than 
a copyist, and has only given' an imperfect idea of the ancient 
authors. His exami^Ie was generally followed ; and all the 
transtetio&s îtom the andents into Spanish verse are execated 
apon the same principle. 

These, then, aie the celebrated men, who daring the reign of 
Charles V^ gave a new character to Castillan poetiy. A few 
others, thouâi of minor reputation, deserve to be mentioned. 
Fernando d*Aca5a made an elegant translation of some portions 
of Ovid, and has been celebrated for the grace and feeling which 
he has displayed in his elegies, his sonnets, and his canzoni. 
Gutiere de Cetina was the first happy imitator of Anacreon in 
the Spanish language. Pedro de Padilla, a Imight of St James, 
was the rival of Grarcilaso in pastoral poetry ; and Caspar Gil 
Pdo continued the romance of Montema^or, under the name of 
JMnms en€unarad€i, with so much talent, that the continuation has 

T dentro a la monttna 
Del alio bien lai gui», y en la vena 
Del goio flel lae bana, 
T lee da mesa îlena, 
Pastor 7 pasto el solo y snerte buena. 

T de ta esfera quando 
A enmbre toca allissimo subido 
El sol, el fMteandOy 
Pe an hato eenido, 
Con diUee eon deleyta el eanto oido. 

Toca el rebel sonoro 
. T el inmortal dul^or al alma passe, 
Con que in?ileee el oro, * 

Y ardlendo se^traspassa 

T lan^a en aquel bien libre de tassa. 

O soOf o Toz si qniera 
Pequena parte alguna decendiesse 
En mi sentido, y Aiera 
De si el aima posiesse 

Y toda en ti» o amor, la conrertiera. 

Conoceria donde 
Sesteas dolce esposo, y desatada 
Dette prision adonde 
Padeee, a tn maneda 
Viviré junta, sin vagar errada. 


beenngurdedas superior to the work itiei£ intli^ l«iUkiii^âiiii 
polish of the versificatkHi. 

Although this was the period at which Ariosto had attaiBetf 
the height of his fame, and Italy was inundated with duTalcie 
epics in imitation of the Orlando FuriosOi Spun, which still 
respected and paid serious homage to the smrit of chivalry, 
never encouraged an imitation of a style so fitshionable in the 
country which she had taken as her model Ariosto 'had only 
been translated into careless and Êdiguing prose; and und^ this 
disguise, hjis poem became a mere romance of chivalry. No 
Castilian poet would have suffered himself to adopt the half- 
jocular tone of the original. There were during the age of 
Charles y. manv attempts among the Spaniards to produce an 
epic poem, but tney all &iled These were the compositions of 
the king*s flatterers, and Charles was invariaUy their hero. 
Thus we have a Cktrloa Famoèo by Louis Zapata, CarUm ViUh 
rioao by Jerome de Urrea, and a CaroUa by Jerome Samper, all 
which are now, as they deserve to be, forsotten. 

On the other hand, a man of considerable talents, D. Christo* 
Tal de Castilleio, devotûig himself ta the ancient style of Spanish 
poetry, save &e preference to the redandUhat, or verses com- 
posed oftbur trochees, over the Italian models. He had travelled 
to Vienna with Charles V., and in that city he remained as se- 
cretary of state to Ferdinand I. Hb verses exhibit spirit, 
grace, and ease, together with no small share of humour. But 
notwithstanding the enthusiastic admiration which these who 
are attached to the early literature of Spain express for him, he 
cannot be classed among the poets who are celebrated for their 
creative genius.* Disgusted with the world, he returned in his 
old age to Spain, where he died in a monastery, in 1596. 

^ As t tpeetiiieii of the style of this celebrated writer, I htve selected the 
foHowing little son^p, which appears to me to possess aU the grace of Aaacreoo, 
with an the gallantry of a Castilian : 

For anas huertas hermosas 
Vagando, muy linda Lids, 
Texio de lyrios, y roaas 
Blancas (Viscas y olorosas 
Una giiirnalda florida ; 
Y andando en esta labor, 
Viendo a deshora al amor 
En las rasas escondido, 
Con las que ella a? ta texido, 
Le prendio como a traydor. 

£1 mncbacho no domado, 
Que nanca penso prendersci 
Vicndose preso y atado, 
AI principio muy ayrado 
PugnoTa por defenderse. 


HHherto tlie attention of the reader has onlf been called to 
the w^rls of poets and of schdars, with whom, however cele* 
birated they may be in liieir own oonntrj, he was probably nnaio 
qnàinted ; bat we are now aboat to introduce one of those indi* 
vidoals whose celebtHy is bounded by no language, and by no 
cquntrv, and whose names, not confined to men of learnings to 
men id taste, or to any one dass of society, are spread through- 
out the wortd. It will readily be supposed that Miguel Ceryantes 
is here alluded to, the celeb/ated author of I>on Quixote. He 
stands foremost in that huid of classic authors who cast such 
giory on the reigns of the three Philips, during the latter part 
of me sixteenth^ and the commencement ot the seventeenth 

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was bom in poverty and olv 
scurity, in 1649, at Alcala de Henares. He assumed the title of 
SRdaigo^ or gentleman, but nothing is known of his family or 
early education. The only circumstance relative to this with 
which we are acquainted is, that he was sent to a school in 
Madrid, where he acquired some knowledge of the classic^ 
During this period, he read with extreme avidity all the poets • 
and romance-wnters of Spain, and set the highest value, eyea 
at this early period of his life, on elegance of diction and on 
the purity m the Castillan language. He wrote in his youth 
a number of poems and romances, as well as a pastoral romance 

Y en 808 alas estriTando 
Forcejara peleando, 

Y tcnta?a, (aunque desiiudo) 
De desatane del nodo, 
Para ralerae bolando. 

Pero viendo la blancnra 
Que 8tt8 tetas descubrian, 
Como lecbe fresca j pura, 
Que n 811 madre en faermosura 
Ventila no conociao ; 

Y au rottro qae encan der 
Era bastante, y moTer 
Con 8u mucba loçania 
Los mîsmos Dieses ; pedia 
Para dexarae veneer. 

Baelto a Venus, a la hora 
Hablaadole desde aUi, 
Dixo, madre, Emperadora, 
Desde oy mas, busca seàora 
Un nuevo amor para ti. 

Y esta nueva con oylla. 

No te mueva, o de man z ilia ; 
Que aviendo yo do reynar, 
Este es el propio lugar 
Ed qiie se pofiga mi ailla. 
Vol. II. ^^2 


for the small reminder <if our joaney.' The good studait did 
as I desired. We then drew bk, iod proceeded at a mofe 
moderate paee. As we rode on, we talked ci my illness, but the 
student gave^ me little hope, saying: ' It isan hydropsy, which 
all the water in the ooean, if you conld divdcit wonld not cure; 
yon must drink less, Senor Cervantes» and not neglect to eat for 
this alone can cure you/ *Maiiy other p<»ple/ said I, *have 
told me the same thing ; but it is as impossible for me not to 
drink, as if I had bc«n bom for nothing but drinking. My 
life is pretty nearly ended, and to judge by the oniekness of my 
pulse, I cannot live longer than next Sunday. You have made 
acquaintance with me at a v^y unfortunate time, as I fear thati 
shall not live to show my gratitude to you ^r your obligin^oon- 
duct* Such was our conversation when we arrived at the bridge 
of Toledo, over which I was to pass, while he foUow^ another 
route by the bridge of. S^ovia. * As to my future history, I 
leave that to the care of fiukie. My friends will no doubt be 
very anxious to narrate it and I should have great pleasure in 
hearing it* I embraced him anew, and repeatâ the ofifer of my 
servioes. He spurred his ass and left me as Ul incUned to pro* 
seeute my journey, as he was well disposed to do so. He had, 
however, supplied my pen with ample materials for pJeasaotry. 
But all times are not the same. Perhaps the time may yet ar- 
rive when, taking up the thread which I am now compelled to 
break, I may complete what is now wanting, and what I &in 
would tell. But adieu to gayety, adieu to humour, adieu, my 
pleasant friends ! I must now die, and I wish for nothing better 
than speedily to see you well contented in another wwld.** 

In the. cdm gayety with which Cervantes contemplated his 
approaching fate, we recense the soldier who fought so va- 
Ittiitly at Lepanto, and who so firmly supported his five years* 
captivity in Algiers. A few days afterward, Cervantes dedi-< 
cated this work to the Count de Lemos, who, in his old age, had 
granted him protection and assistance. The dedication is dated 
the nineteenth of April, 1616. " I coidd have wished,** sayv he» 
" not to have been called upon to make so close an appUoatioii 
of those ancient verses, which commence with the wocds: 
fVUh foot already in Uu sHrrup: for with very little alteration I 
may truly say, that with my foot in the stirrup, and even now 
e3q)eriencing the pains of dissolution, I address to you, Senor, 
this letter. Yestmay I received extreme unction. To-4ay 
I have again taken up my pen ; the time is sh<Mrt ; my pains in> 
crease ; my hopes diminish ; yet do I ^ppeatly wish that my life 
mi^t be extended, so that I might as[aui. behold you in Spain-? 
The Count de Lemos was then on his road from Naples» nnd 
was expected at home. Cervantes died on the twenty-third of 
April, 1616, aged sixty^seven years, four days after he had writ- 
ten this dedication. 

To Don Quixote Cervantes owes bis immortality. No work 

OF THK 9rANIÀ)iJ)9. 173 

of any language ever exhibited a more exquisite or a mcnre 
8[^ightly satire, or a happier vein of invention .worked with more 
striËi^ suoeess. Every one has read Don Qoixote ; and, in- 
deeid, the work cannot be analyzed, or given in fragments. 
Every one is acquainted, with the Knight of La Mancha, who, 
losing his reason over his books of chivalry, inmguies that he 
lives in the times of Paladins and enchanters ; w)^, resoWed to 
imitate Amadis and Orlando, whose histories he has read with 
soeh delight, moonts his lean and ancient steed, braces on his 
rusty armour, and traverses woods and fields in search of adven^ 
tores. Erei^ common olijeet is transformed by his poetical ima»* 
^nation. Giants, Paladins, and enchanters, meet him at every 
step, and all his misfortunes are not sufficient to undeceive him. 
But the Don, with his faithful Rosinante and his squire Sancho 
Panza, have already taken their places in our imagination ; every 
one is as well acquainted with them as I am myself. There is 
Dothine left for me to say on their character or history, and I 
must, tibfirefiire, confine myself to a few observations on the views 
which the author entertained, and ou the spirit which animate 
him in the oompositton of thk work. 

This diverting tissue i& lauglmble and original adventures 
will, therefore, only furnish us with serious relecttims. . If we 
wish to taste ail the humour which is affiirded by the heroism of 
the knight, and the tenror of tiie souire, when, in the middle of 
a dark n^ht, they hear the sound of a fulUng-milL we must read 
Bon Quixote itself No extract could give any idea of the adr 
ventures at the inn, which Don Quixote mistook for an «i- 
chanted castle, and where Sancho was tossed in a blanket It is 
in the work itsel£ and there only, that we can enjoy the wit of 
the fine contrast between the gravib^, the measured language, 
sod the manners of Don Qoixoto, and the ignorance and vulga- 
rity of Sai^o. We must l^ve it \o Cervantes alone to sustain 
both the interest and the humour of his work ; to unite the live- 
liness of imagination, which> results firom the variety of adven- 
tures, with the liveliness of wit which displays itself in «the de- 
lineation of character. Those who have read the work itself 
woold not for a moment be contented with an extract ;. and with 
regard to those who have not read it I can only congratulate 
tten on the pleasure which they hare yet in stoite. 

The most striking feature in the composition of Don Qnucote 
is Ihe perpetual contrast between what may be called the poeti- 
eal and the ftfosaic spirit The imagmati<», the feelings, and aU 
the generous qualities, tend to raite Don Quixote incur esteem. 
Men of elevated minds make it the object <^ their lives to de- 
fend the weak, to aid the oppressed, to be the champions of jus- 
tice and innocence. Like Don Quixote, they evei^where dis- 
' cover the image of those virtues which they worship. They 
believe that disint^estedness, nobility, courage* and chivalry, 
are still in existence. Without calculating upon, their own pow- 


«n, they expose tbeinselTes in tbe service of the nngrateful, and 
sacrifiée themsdvBS to laws and principles altogether nxïa^narjr. 
The' devotion of heroism and Uie illusions of virtne are the no- 
blest and most affecting themes in the history of the human rtKse. 
They are the true suojed» of the highest species of poetry, 
which is nothing but the representation of disinterested feelings. 
A character, however, which excites our admiration, wheÀ viewed 
from an elevated situation, is often ridiculous when seen from 
the level of the earth. 'Error is a fertile source of laughter ; 
and a man who sees nothing around him but heroism and chi- 
valry, is certainly sufficiently prone to error. Next to sudi er- 
Tors as these, striking contrasts are, perhaps, most produc^e of 
risible effects, and nothing can be more powèrihlly contrasted 
than poetry and prose ; the romance of the imagination, and the 
petty details of social life ; the valour and the great appetite of 
the hero ; the palace of Armida and an inn ; the enchanted prin- 
cesses and Maritoma. 

These considerations may account for the fact, that some per* 
sons have considered Don Quixote to be the most melancholy 
book that was ever written. The ffromdwork and moral -cf the 
jxmiBnoe are, in feet, of a moumfiu character. Cervantes has, 
in some deéree, exhibited the vanitv of noUe fecJhigs and the 
illusions of heroism. He has described in Don Quixote an ac- 
cottqdiahed man, who is, notwithstanding, the constant object of 
ridicule; a man, brave beyond all that history can boartof ; whb 
al&onts. the most terrific, not only of mortal, but of supernatural 

Cfrils ; a man whose high sense of honour permits him not to 
sltate for a single moment in the aocompliskment of bis pro* 
Ittises, or to deviate in the slightest degree from truth. As dis- 
iatêfrested as brave, he combats only for virtue ; and when he 
QêTOts A kingdom, it is only that he may bestow it upon his 
ftôthM squire. He is tiie most constant and most respeotfol of 
lovers, the most humane of warriors, the kindest master, the 
most accomt^ished of cavaliers. With a taste as refined as his 
intellect is cultivated, he surpasses in goodness, in loytfty, and 
In bravery, the Amadises and the Oriandos, whom he has ebosen 
for Us moMs. His most generous enterprises, howevCT, end 
Mly in blows and bruises. Hi» love of ^ory ia the bane of those 
around him. The giants, with whom be believes he is fightitig, 
are only windmiUs ; the ladies, whom he delivers from enchanters, 
are Iwurmless wome^, whom he terrifies upon their journey, and 
whose servants he nmltreats. While he is thus repsAring wrongs 
and redressing injuries, the baobelor, Alonzo Lopez, very pro- 
fwrly tsifs him : '* I do not precisely understand your mode c^ 
rsAréssing wrongs ; but as for mjrseif, you have -matfe me crooked 
when I was straight enough before, and have broken my leg, 
whi<^ will netièr be set right all the days of my life; nor do I 
uiideMtand how ym repair injuries*, for that wbidi I have re- 
ceived fiom you wHl never be repaired. It was the most unfor- 

^F 7HZ Bj^ÂiSHXSLDS^ ll5 

tottitte aLdvenlttre tbat ever biypened <iO me, when I met you iA 
fleacoh of ^dventuies."* The coocloBion whi6h we draw from 
the pennal «f Don Quixote is, that a high degree of enthusiasm 
ia not imfy pcejydicial to the indiyidiial who nourishes it, and 
who w thus cesolred to sacrifice himself to others, hut that it is 
eqaally daagekons to society, the spirit and Institutions of which 
it «onntesacts and throws into disorder. 

Althomgh a work which treated this question seriousjiy and 
logioedly, would be as melancholy as degradmg to humanityi yet 
a satire, written without bitterness may still he a gay and hrdy 
praduetion, becaose it is evident that not qdIj the author ^ the 
ridieule, but those against whom the ridicule is directed, are 
themselves sosoeptiUe of generosity and high feeling. It i» 
among such persons that m^e ought to look for a Don Quixote. 
Thei^ was, in &ct, a sort of knight-errantry in the character of 
Cenrastes. It was the love of glory which led him to desert 
his studies and the enjoyments of life, for the banners of Mare* 
Antonio Coknnn; wuch prompted him, thoup^h never taised 
above th« rank of a common soldier, to rejoice in having lost aii 
aim zt the battle of Lepanto, that in his own p^son be mi^ 
exhibit a monmneat ctf the noble&t nuHtary achievement i» 
ChHstendom ; which excited, by the hardy bravery which h^ 
displayed durii^ his capttvify at Algiears, the «steniflhment and 
respect of the Moors ;- and which at last, after he had received 
extcemff unction, and with the knowledge that he could uQt live 
until the next Sonday, enabled him to bok upon d^th with thfit 
gay indifference, wUidi is manilesled in the preface and dedicfab^ 
tory epistle of Persiles and Sigismunda. Jn these latter wii- 
tin^i, it appears to me that we may discover a resemblance be<- 
tsretn himself and the imdeoeived hero^ who beioomes amscious 
of the vanity of glory, and the illusion of that career of zxaber 
tion, which was always in^eded by misfortunes. If it be true 
that ''to ridicule oneself is the highest eibrt of .good tastei'" we 
find muck in Cervantes to di^fSay the ridicule which miffht 
attach evm to his most generous attempts. Every en^u- 
siastic miind, like his, readuy joins in pleasantry which does 
not spase tiie individual mmaelf, nor that wjuch he most 
lofet and legpecitB, if a;t tlie same time it does not d^^rade 

This piinsîtive idea in the Den Quixote» this oontrast between 
the hetoio and the vn^arworld, and this ridieule of enthusiasm, 
are not the mimohjtcû wfaieb Cervantes had in view. There .is 
another aîNBAiipparent still, and.of more direct application but 
ytkkk is: now enthrdy forgotten. The literatuxe of Spain, at th^ 
pciiod when JQMm >(i^jUKût appealed was overrun with boob of 
ehivali^fopthe;mo8t|iartniis€raUe compositions, by whicbthe 

*" ■ • • t T — • - r - I ■ 


national spirit ivus misdirected, and its taste cormpted. We 
have done ample justice in the preceding chapteifi to the rab- 
limity of that poetical invention in which knight errantry lad 
its origin. This chi valric mythology probably jcontrilyated more 
than any other to impress the imagination with notkms of mo- 
rality and honour, and thus to produce a beneficial effect on the 
character of modern nations. Love was purified by this spirit 
of romance, and it is probably to the authors of LaiMselca, of 
Amadis, and of Orlando, ^faat we owe that spirit of gallantry 
which distinguishes the nations of modem Europe nom the 
people of antiquity, as well as that homage towards women* and 
that respect, bordering upon adoration, with which the Gredu 
wereperfectiy unacquainted. Briseis, Andromache, and Penelope, 
humbly and tremblingly resign themselves to the arms iji the 
conqueror, at once his mistress and his slave. Good faith in 
modern times became the handmaid of force, and dishonour was 
then, for the first time, attached to fiadsehood ; which, though 
looked upon as immoral by the ancients, was never oonsideied 
to be shameful. The sentiment of honour was connected with 
our very existence; disgrace was rendered worse than death; 
and to conclude, courage was made a necessary quality, not only 
to the soldier but to man in every rank of society. 

But if the genuine romances of chivalry had so happy an in- 
fluence on national manners, the imitations of them were no less 
fatal to the public taste. The imagination, when it has no foim- 
dation of reality upon which to rest and no reference to the oon* 
gruity of things, is a quality not only frequent, but even vulgar* 
There have been, it is true, a few nations or a few ages, to which 
it has been denied ; -but, when it does exist, it is endemic through- 
out a whole nation. The Spaniards, the Italians, the Proven* 
fais, and the Arabians, have all their own peculiar castcf imagi- 
nation, which is distinguishable in every individual, from the 
poet to the peasant If this imagination is not subjected to the 
restriction of rules, it is astonishing to observe the number and 
variety of the extravagancies into which writers are hurried. 
In the examination <rf JDon Quixote^s Ufarary, by the Cnrate and 
the Barber, they mention many hundred chivalrous Fooanoes 
which Cervantes condemns to the flames. It does not appear 
that the feult-even of the worst was that they were destitole of 
imagination» There was imagination in Esplandian, in the con- 
tinuation oi the Amadis of Ckut in the Au^ftdis of Greece, aid 
indeed in all the Amadises. There was imagination in Floris- 
mart of Hircania, in Palmerin d'Oliva, and in PkliMni of Eng- 
land ; for all these books were ridi in enchantments and giants 
and battles, in extraordinary amoars and marveiioQs ndventnies. 
In the vast field through whkai the roomaoe writers mîd^t wan- 
der without encountering a sinsde obstade, it was always in their 
power to tread a new path. Jfany of them» however, did not 
submit to be guided by nature, who ought to be our mistress 


even in works of fiction. The conséquence is, that wc continn- 
ally meet with catkses disproportioned to the efiects, characters 
Without Hfiitj, incidents without oonneÂon, and a spirit of exag- 
geiBtîon» whidi, at the first liew, seems to be the result of t]^ 
immnation, but which in iaet chills it, and by its absurdity dis- 
guste the reader. There is thus no probability in these compo- 
sitions ; not only not the prt^bility of nature, which we do not 
look for, but not even the probability of fiction. Even in pro-. 
di^es and inftiry-tales, a certain probability must be preserved, 
without whi<Sb miracles cease to be extraordinary and striking. 

The facility of inventing these productions, and the certainty 
of sudb stangie adventures being read, opened the field of litera- 
ture to a crowd of inferior writers, unacquainted with all that an 
mtfaor ought to know, and more especially with every thing 
ivhich tends to form a graceftil style. The Spaniards, already 
addicted to far-fetched and antithetical expressions, and imitating 
in tiiis the taste of the Africans and of the Arabians, passionately 
devoted thouAelves to a puerile play upon words, and to that 
tortured and inflated style which seems to be the result of a dis- 
eased- imaginatioh, and which, when it is considered to be a per- 
&edon, is* in the power of the- meanest intellects. . This is the 
style which Cervantes touches upon in hb FtUdano de Sylva : 
'* The reasmt of the unreasonableness which you impute to my 
reason so weakens my reason^ that it is with reason that I com- 
plam of yoor beauty ;" and again : 'Sl'he high heavens which 
dkineiy fortUyyour divinity oy their stars, and which make 
you merit the mercy which your greatness merits." 

Whilst the fashionable trriters thus overthrew all the rules of 
wrokability, cf taste, and of composition, the multiplicity of the 
hooks of ehiralry had the worst influence on the feeling» and 
the judgment of the' readers. The Spaniards began to esteem 
nothing but bombast and inflation, both in conversation and in 
aetionr. They devoted themselves entirely to the perusal of 
these amply authors, who fed the imaginatioii without employing 
any other m the Êumities of the soul. History became dull and 
tiiesone when compared with these extravagant fables. They 
lost that lively sense of truth which distinguishes it wherever ft 
is met with. They were anxious that their historians should 
mm^ in their gravest narratives, and even in the annals of 
their own country, circumstances only worthy of figuring in an 
old woman's tale. Of this the Greneral Chronicle of Spain 
by Francis de Guevara, Bishop of Mondonedov aflbrds a suffi- 
cient instance. The romances of chivalry were, it is true, the 
inventions of men of an elevated character, and they inspired a 
taste for noble sentiment ; but of all books these are the last to 
emvey any instruction. Strangers as the authors were to the 
wovidt it is impossible to apply any of the matter which we there 
meet with to the concerns of rea life, or, if we do so, H is at 

Vol. II. 2f^ 

t78 Û» Tit£ LlXERATtfJlB 

Ihc risk o£ Yftolaliog all propriety a«d correetnets of feeUng ftod;' 

It was therefore a usefal and patriotic design in Cervantes to 
exhibit, as he has done in Dan Qmxotê, the al>use of the books 
of chivalry, and to overwhelm with ridicule those romances 
which are the creations of a diseased imagination, giving birth 
to incidents and characters which conld never have esisted^ In 
this attempt Cervantes was completely saccessfuL The ro- 
mances of chivalry ended with Do» QwjMfe. It was in vain 
for subséquent writers to contend against so witty and inge- 
nious a satire^ and to expose themselves to the chance ef find- 
ing that they had been earicatui^ even before they made their 
appearance. It would be very desirabfe if in every style of 
composition, after we have once secured the masterpieces, we 
eould thus place a barrier against a crawd of succeeding imi«- 

The vigorous talents which Cervantes possessed are power** 
fully manifested in his comic productions, in which we never 
find him trespassing against either religion, or law, or miNcals. 
The character of Sancho Panza is an admirable contrast to that 
of his master. The one is full of poetry ; the other, of prose. 
In Sanch^are displayed all the qualities of the vulgar; sensur 
ality, gluttony» idleness», cowardice, boasting, egotism, and cun*- 
ning, afl of them mingled with, a certain degree of worth, fide- 
lity, and even sensibility. Cervantes was awaie that he conld 
not place on the foreground, mere especially in a eomic romance» 
an odious character. In spite of all his ridicule, he wishes San- 
cho as well as D<m Quixote to attract the affections of Hie read- 
er ; and though he has invariably pla<^ the two cluuracters in 
contrast, he has not given virtue to the one and vice to the other. 
Whilst the madness of Don Quixote consists in pursuing too fiir 
that lofty phUosophv which is the offspring of exalted minds; 
Sancho errs no less in taking for his guide that practical and caK 
culating philosophy on which the proverb (^ all nations ate 
founded. Both poetry and prose are thus turned into derision ; 
and if enthusiasm sufiers in the person of the knight, egotism 
does not escape in that of his squire. 

The general plot of the Don Quixote^ and the chain of inci^ 
dents which it contains, are absolutely prodigies of wit and ima- 
gination. The province of the imagination is to create. If it 
were admissible 4o make a profane implication of the words of the 
Evangelist, the imagination represents the things which are not 
as the things whicbare ;; and indeed the objects whidi have been 
once presented to us by a powerful imagination, remain impressed ~ 
upon the memory as though' they possessed an actual existence; 
Their form, their qualities, their habitudes, are so marked out 
and determined, they have been so dearly exhibited to the eye. 
of the mind, they have so palpably assumed their place in the 
creation, and they form so distinct a link in the «ceneral chain of^ 


feing, tbat we conM with greater facility deny existence to real 
«obj^s, than to these creatures of oar imagination. Thus Don 
Quixote and Sancho, the Goremante and the Curate, have taken 
a place in our imaginations from which they can never be re- 
mold. We become familiar with La Mancba and the solitudea 
of the Sierra Morena. All Spain lies before our eyes. The 
manners and customs «ind spirit of its inhabitants are painted in 
this &ithful mirror. We derive a more accurate knowledge of 
this singular nation from the pages of Don Quixote, than from 
tiie narratives and observations of the most inquisitive tra- 

Cervantes, however, did not devote himself to wit alone. If 
his principal hero was not calculated to excite dramatic interest 
he has yet proved by the episodes which he haa introduced into 
his romance, that he was anie to excite a livelier interest by the 
exhibition of tender and passionate sentiments and the ingenious 
disposition of romantic incidents. The different st<Hries of the 
sbepberdess Mafcella, of Cardemo, of the Captive, and of the 
Curious Impertinent, form almost half the work. These episodes 
are infinitely varied both in the nature of the incidents, in cha* 
racter, and in language. They may, perhaps, be blamed for 
some d^ree of tedioasness at the commencement and for an 
oeeasional pedantry in the opening narrative and the dialogue. 
As soon, however, as the situation of* the characters becomes 
animated, they immediately rise and develope themselves, and 
the language becomes proportionably pathetic. The tale of the 
Curious Impertinent which is perhaps more faulty than any of 
the otiiers in its tedious tsommencement terminates in the most 
toudiing manner. 

The style of Cervantes in liis Don Quixote possesses an in- 
imitable l)eauty, which no translation can approach. It exhibits 
tbe nobleness, tiie candour, and the simplicity of the ancient ro« 
inancea of dnvalry, together with a liveliness of colouring, a 

Îfecision of ei^ression, and a harmony in its periods, which 
ave never been equalled by any other Spanish writer. The few 
passages in which Don Quixote harangues hii) auditors, have 
gained great celebrity by their oratorical beauty. Such, for ex- 
ample. are his observations on the marvels of the Age of Gold, 
ivhieh he addresses to the shepherds, who are offering him nut». 
In this dialogue the language of Don Quixote is lofty and sus* 
tained ; it has all the pomp and grace of antiquity. His words, 
like his person, seem always surrounded wUh cuirass and mo* 
rion ; and this atyle becomes more amusing when contrasted with 
tbe plebeian language of Sancho Panza. He promises the latter 
the govemmeat of an island, which he always denominates, ac- 
coriJUng to the ancient language of the romance writers, inmla, 
and not ida. Sancho, who repeats this i^ord with much empha- 
sis, does not exactly comprehend its meaning ; and the mysteri* 


ous language which his master employs raises hid expecttttlon m 
proportion to his ignorance. 

The most extensive learning, and an intellect at omse wioiUi 
and refined, are exhibited in the Don Quixote. It was tiie casket 
which Cerrantes delighted to store with all his most ingOMOua 
thoughts. The art of cirittcism appears to haveoocupied a great 
share of his attention. This obserTation will apfdy to manj a»* 
thors ; and, indeed, the art of compositic» is a «ibject to which 
«rery writer ought to devote the most mature refleotiofti The 
examination of the library of Don Quixote by the Ourater for** 
nishes us with a little treatise on Spanish literature, foil of rcr 
finement and correct judgment ; but this is not the ofdy oocu^n 
upon which the subject is introduced. The prologue, and rnfàny 
of the discourses of Don Quixote, or of the other characters 
who are intioduced, abound in critical remarks, aometimcs seri- 
ous, sometimes playful, but always correct, novel, and isteteat' 
ing. It waa, doubtless, in order to obtain pardon for ikt aevvfity 
with which he had treated <^hers, that he was by no maana 
sparii^ upcm himsdil In the library of Don QuiBotei tiie Cu- 
rate aeks the Barber: "What is the book placed side by < side 
with the Cancionero of Maldonadè f " ** It is the Galatea of 
Miguel Cervantes," said the Barber. *^ Tim .Cervantes h^a 
long been my friend," rejoined the Corate, ** and I know ke bM 
much more to do with misfortunes than With poetry. Hia book 
does, indeed, display a little power of invention ; it 9ÈtmÊ at 
something, but it reaches nothing. We must waitfor the aeaond 
part which he promises (whidi Cervantes never published:) 
who knows whether, when it is corrected, the autlrâr nay^ not 
obtain the mercy which we are now compelled to refoae him V^ 

Cervantes, three years before his death, vn'ote another work 
more immediately devoted to criticism and literary satire; it 
was a poem in terza rima, in eight cantos, of about three hundred 
verses each, and entitled A Journey to Pomoanit. Cervantea, 
tired of his state of poverty, and impatient to obtain the name 
of a poet though he asserts that heaven baa refused him the re- 
quisite talents, departs on Coot from Madrid for Oartbagena: 
'' A white loaf, and a few pieces of cheese, which I placed in iny 
wallet, were all my provision fi)r the journey ; a weight not too 
heavy for a pedestrian traveller. Adieu, said I to my humble 
habitation; adieu, Madrid! Adieu, meadows and fountains» 
from whence flow nectar and ambrosia ! Adieu, society, where^ 
for one truly happy man, we find a thomand lost pretenden te 
happiness! Adieu, agreeable and deceitfiil reaidence! Adieu, 
theatres, honoured by well-praised ignorance, where day after 
day a thousand absurdities are repeated !" The poet on his ar** 
rival at Carthagena is reminded, by a view of the sea, of the 
glorious exploits of Don John of Austria, under whom he had 
served. While he is seeking for a vessel, he sees a light boat 
approach, propelled both by sails and oars, to the sound of the 

k)v vas. fiPAiaA&ns» 181 

most hanaonioQs muBioal ûMtranieHbi. Meronrft with his 
winged feet, and his Caduceus in his hand, inrites Cervantes in 
the most flattering manner to embark for Parnassus, whither 
AxM>Uo has sammaned all his faiUiful poets, to protect himsetf 
by their assistamoe against the invasion of bad taste. At the 
same time he exhibits to him the extraordinary oonstraction of 
the vessel, into which he invites Imn to enter. From prow to 
.ooopit is composed entirely of verses, the varions styles of which 
a re ingenioosjy rc3>resented by tiie different purposes to which 
Va^y are applied. *. The spars are made of long and melancholy 
■degiee ^ the mast of a prolix song ; and the other parts of ^e 
vessef are' formed in a similar manner. 

Mercàiry then presents to Cervantes a long catalogbe of Spa- 
nish poets, and asks his advice as to the propriety of admitting 
or rejecting each individual. Tins question gives Cervantes ad 
opjportn&ity of characterizing the contemporary poets in a few 
brief verses, which at the present day are exceedmgly obscure. 
It is often-very difficult to determine whether his praises are 
ironical or sincere. The poets now arrive by enchantment, and 
crowd into the vessel, but a violent tempest overtakes them. In 
the adventures which (Succeed, the marvellous is mingled with 
the satirical. The names introduced are all of them of unknown 
personages, and the produotkm isobsenre, atid to my apprehen- 
sion fanning. A few passages, indeed, notwithstanmng the 
frequent satirical allusions wmch are scattered through them, 
still display many poetical charms. The commencement of the 
third canto may be cited as an instance : 

* Smo(rth«riiding TerieB were iti oars ; by the»» 

ImpellM, the royal galley, Qurt and light, 

Won her clear conree o'er unretwtiag leai. 
The BaiU were spread to the extremest neight 

Of the tall mast. Of the most delicate thought, 

IVoTen by Loto himself, in colours Inright, 
The ▼arioiis tissiie of thosa sails was wrought. 

Sod winds upon the poop, with amorous force^ 

BreathM sweetly all, as îf they only sought 
To waft that bark on her miotic course. 

"The Syrens qport around her, as she holds 

Her rapid Toyage through the waters hoarse. 

£ran los remos 4e la real galera 
De esdnyolosy y dellos eoopetida 
Se deslizaha por el mar« ligera. 

Hasta el tope la Tela iba tendida, 
Hecha de moy delgados pensaaientosi 
De vartoslizos por Amor tegida. 

Soplaban dnlces y amorosos Yientos 
Todos en pops, y todos se mostraban 
Al gran Tiage solamente atentos» 


Wliieli, Uke sD&e tooiry gtment'i flowing foldi, 

Roll to and fro ; and on the expuise of men 

Bright azure tints the dazzled eye beholds. 
Upon the deck the passengers are seen 

In converse. These discuss the arts of Tersei 

Arduous and aiee ; those sing ; aod all between, 
Others the dictates of the muse rehearse. 

Cervantes pleads hb own cause before Apollo, and sets fortb 
the merits of nis different works with a degree of pride which 
has sometimes been censured. But who will not pardon the 
proud, feeling of conscious superiority, which sustains genius 
when sinking beneath the pressure of misfortune ? Who will 
insist upon humility in a man, who, whilst he formed the glory 
of his age, found himself, in old age and in sickness, exposed to 
absolute want? Was it not just that Cervantes, to whom his 
country had denied all recompense, should appropriate to him- 
self that glory which he felt that he had so truly merited? 

Las sirenas en tomo nar egaban 
Dando empellones al hazel lozano, 
Con enya ayuda en Toelo le UoTaban. 

Semcjaban las aguas del mar cano 
Colehas encarngadas, 7 hacian 
Azules tIsos por çl Torde llano. 

Todos los del bazcl se entretenlan 
Unos glosando pies dificultosos, 
Otros caatabaa, otros componian. 


On Afe DraaiM of Cerraiitea. 

The comic powers which GenranteB bad manifested in hif^ 
Don Quixote seemed eminently to qiuJify him for dramatic at*- 
tempts. We have already seen that his first literary composir 
tions were of this class ; but, althoug^h he had considerable' suc- 
cess in this career, he likewise expenenced some mortifications. 
He did not at that time conceive that his dramatic talent was 
proportioned to the superiority which he afterward manifested 
in other branches. Thus, when compared with Lope de Vega, 
whose fertility is so wonderful, bis dramas are but few in num- 
W. This mi^ht, perhaps, have afforded a reason for commencing 
our notice of the Spamsh Theatre by examining the works 
of Lope before those of Cervantes, had we not wished to pre- 
sent to the reader, from the mouth of Cervantes himself, a history 
of the early progress of the dramatic art in Spain. The ex« 
tract is taken from the prefaioe to his comedies : 

*'I must entreat your pardon, dear reader, if you should see 
me in this prologue a little overstep my accustomed modesty. 
Some time since I happened to find myself in company with a 
few friends, who were discoursing about comedies, and other 
matters relating thereto, and they treated this subject with so 
much subtilty and refinement, that they appeared to me almost 
to approach perfection. They spoke of tne man who was the 
first in Spain to free the Drama from it» swathing-bands, and to 
clothe it in pomp and magnificence. As the oldest of the com: 

Sny, I remarked that I had frequently heard the great Lope de 
aeda recite, a man equally celebrated as an actor and a scholar. 
He was bom at Seville, and was by trade a gold-beater. As a 
pastoral poet he had great merit ; and, in that species of compo- 
sition, no one, either heCore or since his time, has surpassed him. 
Although I could not judge of the excellence of his poems, for 
I was then but a child, vet some of them still remain in my 
memory ; and recalling these at a riper ace, they appear to me 
to be worthy of their reputation. In the time of this oelebrated 
Spaniard, all the apparsitus of a dramatist and a manager was 
contained in a bag, and consisted of four white cloaks, bordered 
vith gilt leather, n>r shepherds, iour beards and wigs, and foujr 


crooks* more or less. • The dramas were mere dialilgaeg, or 
edogues between two or three shepherds and a shepherdess ; 
and these conversations were enliyened and prolonged by two 
or three interludes, in which négresses were introduced as «xm- 
fidantes, or go-betweens ; and, occasionally, some clowns and 
Biscayans made their appearance. At this time there was no 
scenery ; no combats between Moors and Christians, on horse- 
back and on foot ; no trap-doors by which figures might appear 
to rise from the centre of the earth. The stage was merely com- 
posed of four square blocks of wood, up<m which rested five or six 
Slanks, so as to elevate the actors afoot or two above the ground. 
To angels or spirits descended in clouds from heaven. The 
sole ornament of the theatre was an old curtain, supported 
at both ends by strings, which separated ttie dressing-room from* 
the audience. At the back were placed the mustcitos, who sang 
without uny guitar some ancient ballad. Lope de Rueda at last 
died, and, on account of bis celebrity and excellence, was buried 
between the two choirs in the great churèh at Cordova, where 
he died, in aie same place where that renowned madman Loois 
Lopez is interred. Naharre, a native of Toledo, succeeded 
Lope de Rueda. He attained great celebrity, more especially 
in his representation of a meddling poltroon. Naharro added 
something to the scenic decorations, and changed the bag, in 
wfaidi the wardrobe was contained, for trunks and portman- 
teaus. He introduced the music upon the stage, which had been 
fermerly placed in the back-ground, and he took away the beards 
, from the actors ; for until his time no actor ever appeared 
without a fidse beard. He wished all his actors to appear imdi»- 
guised, with the exception of those who represented old men or 
dianged their diaracters. He invented scenes, clouds, thunder, 
lightning, challenges, and combats ; but nothing ^ this kfaid was 
carried to the pemction whidi at this day wel>éhoId, (and it is 
here that I must trespass upon my modesty,) until the time 
when the theatre of Madrid eiAibited the Captives of JUgient, 
ivhich is my own composition, Mumardia, and the JVanfal Engage- 
ment It was there that I made an attempt to reduce the come* 
dies of five acts into three. I was the first to represent the 
phantoms of the imagination, and the hidden thoughts of the 
soul, by introducing figures of them upon the stage, with the ' 
tiniversal applause of the spectators. I composed during this 
period from twenty to thirty dramas, all of which were repre- 
sented without a single cucumber or orange, or any other missile 
usually aimed at bad comedians, being thrown at the actors. 
They proceeded through their parts without hisses, without con- 
fusion, and witliout clamour. I was at length occupied witfi 
other matters, and I laid down my pen, and fwsook the drama. 
In the mean time appeared that prodigy. Lope de Vega, wha 
flfnmediately assumed the dramatic crown. He reduced under 
his dominion all the farcc-writers, and filled the world with ex- 

, or THE SPAHUEDS. 185 

^eBtat aluljireQ-eoiitrivrà comedies, of which he White so urniiy, 
that they coald not be comprised in ten tfaousand pages. What 
is no leas surprising, lie liimself saw them all represented, or 
was oredibly assnred thai Ihey had been so. All his rivals to- 
getiier have not written a moiety of what he himself achieved 
«4one, Notwithatanding this, as God grants not all things to 
every one, the laboars of Doctor Ramon, who was the most 
laborious wriior after the great Lope, have been much esteemed. 
The ingenious plots of the licentiate Miguel Saùchez, and the 
giaFity of Doctor Mescua, have likewise met with ap- 
plause^ which has also been granted to the wisdom and prodi- 
lffsm% yowi^t of invention of the Canon Tarraiga, to the sweet* 
nass of Guillen' de Ga^a to the refinement of Aguilar/ to the 
sonorous pomp and grandeur of the comedies of Luis Velei 
de Guevara, to the polished wit of P. Antonio de Galarza* 
whose dramas sare written in a provincial dialect ; and, lastly, to 
the love-plotaof Gaspard d*Aviia; for these, as well ai^ some 
others, assisted the great Lope in the creation of the Spanish 

' Such» then, was the first age of the Spanish theatre, and, if 
we may . believe Sdilegd and Boutierweh, dramatic poetry 
never assumed in Spain more than two different character^* 
They consider the first kge^ that of Cervantes and Lope de 
Vega, as one of barbarian grandeur ; the second, that of. CaUe*' 
ron, as the perfection of romance. They scarcely concede the 
title of poets to those writers, who in the last century abandoned 
the eiample of their predecessors to become subject to the th^ 
atiical laws of the French. I do not share in the admiration 
which the (jerman Critics profess for the romantic theatre of 
Spain; while» on the other hand, I am not inclined to despise a 
branch of literature to which we owe the great Corneille. As 
it is my oUeot rather to enable the reader to judge for himself, 
than to ofl^ my own opinions, I shall present such extracts 
from Cervantes^ from Lope de V^ga» and firom Galderon, as wiU 
afford some idea of their respective merits and defects; 

The fragment of Cervantes, which we have just translated/ 
represents the Spanish drama as still in a state of uncultivated 
barbarism, even after the middle of the sixteenth oentujy. If 
w^ ciKmpare these pastoral dialwues, diversified with indecent 
interludes, with the comedies of Ariosto and Machiavelli, or 
with the tragedies of Trissino and Rucellai, it must be acknow-* 
ledged that the Italians were at least half a century before the 
Spaniards in all the mechanical parts of the dramatic art In 
Italy, indeed, it must be remembered that men of the highest 
gemus, seconded by Ae munificence of their princes, attempted 
to revive the dramatic representatioiu of the ancients ; whilst 
in Spain, mountebanks and pretendeni composed and recited 
their own dramas, frequently without committing them to wri- 
Hjosm and without any other pbject than th^t $ amusing the 

186^ Um THE LiTfiRATCRB 

pqnilaee^ and rendering the repreeenMcm a source of pnâ to 
thenselFes. Cerruites himself ODoki not aecnrately tell wIm^ 
ther he had written twenty or thirty comedies^ Those pablisied 
by him in his old age are not the same which were yepresenteA 
on the stage, which, with the exception of two; have béai lest. 
This yery dissimilar origm has impressed an tndeliUe chaniefar 
on the drama of the two conntries. The Italian -«limmatintB 
wrote to please the learned ; the Spanish, to please tiie peoj^ 
The former, influenced by an imitation of the ancients, wbile 
they possessed more method, refinement, and taste, manilesêeA 
something of a pedantic spirit, and servilely adopted the tide* 
ci composition oy which the ancients were goremed. Th» 
latter, on the contrary, recognised no rule bat that ef eonfonniniff 
themselTes to the spirit of Uie nation and to the taste of the p9^ 
pulaoe. Their dramas» therefore, eoihibited more y^[Ottr and 
mor^ nature; and were mote in harmony with Hie spirit of the 
pei^Ie for whom* they Wêrè composed, Ibfm the prôductiena of 
the Italian dramatists. By their absolute neglect^ howetor, of 
the ancients, these writers deprived themsdves of all the advan* 
tages of experience, and the dramatic art among them weii, con- 
sequently, as inferior to that of the Greeks, as the popolalion of | 
Madrid and ScTille, from whom tiie laws of. the draoMt eaMwated, 
were inferior in point of intelli|;enoe, taste* and polish, to the 
people of Athens,, where every cttisen received som^degsee i^ \ 

The condusion of the sixteenth and the commenceinent 0[ ûke- 
seventeenUi century was a very learned epoch. The Spenlsb 
sdidart of this pmod, becoming disciples of the dasaimi «u* 
thorsv upheld with as much fervour as La Haipeand MarmenM» 
among the Fren<^ the poetical system of Aristotle and the 
rules of the three unities. The dramatic writers, while th^ rcF- 
cognised the authority of these rules, neglected to not n|[M>tt mm, 
for they were compelled to follow the taste of the pubhe. None 
ef them were accpiainted with the nature of the independence 
which they possessed, or of that system of romande poetry 
wluksh has been only in our own days developed by the Oer^ 
mama On the contrary, the Spanish dramatists confessed in & 
curious manner the superiority of the laws whidi they negleeted. 
Lope de Vega, in some verses addressed to the Aca&mjr^f 
Poetry at Madrid, exculpates himself from this charge in the. 
following manner i 

* I write a play ! Tbtn, ere I pea a line, 
IMer f U lock* and keys let rau confine 

* Lope de Vega, ArU rauvo it kacer ComêMu en esU titrnpo 

Y quando be de eacribir ana comedia 
^ £ii«ia|ro Im preOepfo» con seis ilavea ;. 

OF TBS SPÂlfflRDS. lj8T 

Attrttleaof ârt*-Nezt, Plautua! Hiitbyioom, 
And, Terence, time, to quU forth witb the room, 
ïitêt ye upbraid me. — Books can apeak, though dumb, 
Aod telf unwelcome truths. By other laws 
' I write, laM down by those who aeek applause 

Fron Tttlgar mouths ; what then 1 the vulgar pay ; 
Tk9j loTo a fook^and let them have their wi^. 

Cervmitea in the first part of his Dob Quixote (ch. xItVu.^ in- 
troduces & canon of Toledo, who, after blaming the Spaniard» 
idth some asperity fbr having perpetually violated the laws of 
the dramatic art, regrets that the govemment has not established 
a censor for the drama, who might have pbwer to prevent the re*- 
presentation of pieces, not only when they are injurious to morals, 
but likewise when they offend against the laws of classical poetry. 
The censor would be sufficiently ridiculous who should maintain 
upon, the stage the three unities of Aristotle ; and those authors 
have a strange idea of authority who imagine that a censor must 
possess a, more, just and correct taste than the public, and that a 
kixig can bestow «^pon his favourite the power of discriminating 
bedreen the good and the bad in literature, while the academies 
of the learned) and the assemblies of the ignorant, have not yet 
been able to agree on the subject of abstract beauty and ex- 

If the magistrate thus proposed by Cervantes had been instituted^ 
and had he been, thosigh it be a most improbable supposition, in- 
accessible to intrigue, to &vour, and to prejudice, he would in aH 
probalnlity have forbidden the representation of the dramas of 
Oervantes, since they are by no means constructed upon those 
classical rules, the neglect of which the poet so deeply regrets. 
The tragedy of Numantia and the comedy of Life in AJgiers^ 
idiich we. are about to analyze, are the only two which have been 
preserved out. of twenty or thirty dramas, written in 1682, soon 
ailier the author's relefuse from captûâty. Those which he pub* 
lifihed in 1615 were never représente^, and therefore merit less at- 
tention ^ though it is from the preface to the latter that we have 
drawn^tfae history of the ^amatic art already presented to the 
reader. When Cervantes speaks of this work of his old age, his 
^pUcity and gayety have in them something touching, for it is 
evident that he was sufieiing an inward mortification, more severe 
in proportion as his poverty rendered success desirable to him. 

^^ Some years since," says he, ^^ I returned to the ancient occu* 

Saeo uTèreneSo y Plàuto de mi estudio, 
Varaque mû bm lieii voeea, qds eoeie 
Da^ gridoe la vesdad aa lîbros mudos ; 
Y escribo por é\ arte que inventaTon 
1^08 que etvulsaraplaoso pretendieron ; 
For qo^ comolatf ^paga el vulgo; ei juste 
iiahMe4n tteeio, pira d^te gusto. 

V .- 


Wim,t0 die «Kkf on frlUch «h^ rtct ! Tkese ivtllft 

Bear sh«melbl witneM to jour weak attempUi . 

T^at boast of nothing Roman but the name. 

What ! when the whole world trembles and bows down 

Befiire the name of Roma, will you alaae 

Betn9 her eUims to empire, and eclipse ■ 

Uer universal glorj here in Spain ? 

Scipio then directa various refoims. He orders the women to be 
removed, and that nothing shall be introduced into the army which 
can be productive of luxury and effeminacy ; and he then expresses 
his . confidence that, as soon as discipline is re-established within 
the camp, it will be an easy task to vanquish the^ handfiil of Spa- 
niards who have shut tliemselves up within the walls of Numantia. 
Caius Marius answers in the name of the rest, and promises that 
the soldiers shall show themselves true Homans, and submit cheer- 
fully to the most rigorous discipline. 

Two Numantian ambassadors now present themselves before the 
general and the army. They declare that it was to the severity, 
avarice, and injustice of the generals who had hitherto commanded 
in Spain, that the revolt of Numantia was owing ; that the arrival 
of Scipio, with whose virtues they are acquainted, and in whom 
they place the fullest confidence, had now induced them to sue as 
ardently for peace as they had before courageously sustained the 
war^ Scipio, however, demands a higher satisfaction for the in- 
sults offered to the majesty of the Roman people. He refuses all 
overtures for peace, and dismisses the ambassadors vrith an exhorta- 
tion to look well to their defence. He then informs his brother, 
that, instead of exposing his army in freèh engagements, and 
moistening the soil of Spain with Roman blood, he has detenmned 
to surround Numantia with a deep fossie, and to reduce the place 
by famine. .}Ie therefore orders aie army to commence the cir- 

In the second scene (and between each sceiie some time is sup* 
po^ to have elapsed,) Spmn is introduced in the figure of a 
woman, crQwned with towers, and bearing in her hand a castle, as 
a' symbol of those castles from which are derived the name and 
ILnas of Castile. She invokes the mercy and favour of heaven, 
^d complains bitterly of her state of perpetual bondage. She has 
seen her. riches alternately the prey of Uie Phœnician and of the 
Greek ; and her most valiant sons divided among themselves, com- 
bating with one a;noth0r, when they should have united their arms 
against the common enemy. . 

Namantia only, careless of her Hood; 

Has dared to draw her iMnbig swbrd/and stfttto * 

For that old liberty she long har cherish VI. 

Bat now, oh grief! her tinfo of'dôotn is near; * ' , ' 

Her latal hoar aporoaches, and her lift 

Is waning to Hs elose ; tut her bright fame -■*■' 

ShaU stUf survive, and, like the Ph«n&, ttvst 

Mire glorions firm her ashes. 

llhe ciffCdknvdktMD' bàag liôW'iaoeoniplblwdY the Kiimtntlans 
hftte . to «onteiid agaiuBt hmf er, -indibut any ofypoiftittity of «ti* 
gaging wkb the enenf; One side of the ^ ia waaiied \iff â«e 
Uouio, flkid the Spaufds therefore address thenaelveaio that 
riYer, beaeeching fasn to &Yotn^ the people of NtmantkCr a»d«è 
a#e]l hiâ wateis, so as to prevent the Renaana ftom etécéÊlg tbtr^rs 
mad nacfainea on Ha banks. The Douf o^ followed by three trilltiii^ 
8tfr«ana8,auivsnce8*iipon the sta|^, and declaims thsft he haa made 
the greatest efimts-to remove the Roniantr from the wall^'of Nti^ 
Boumtia, bat in ?ain ; that the iktiJ hour is armed, and &ait theoftlj^ 
eenaslation lie has left is éÊnveà' from Protéos, who haa teveafed 16 
him the future glories reserved for the Spaniards, and the humilitP- 
lioBs to which âe Hotnana are destined. He précKols- Che tioto^ies 
of Attila mud' the oonqueals of the Goths, which are «o' renovate 
8paiii>; tiM.titleof '^ Most Oatholie^ ' wkieh wiUbe bestowed npoiyM^ 
kings ; and laatfy, the giory'of Philip 11. Mips will imke the larilw»- 
riaaof Fortogal to the two kingdomsof Spain. 

in tkeeecond «ct the Nnmairtiana aie seen au a emM o d in connèfl^ 
Theo g ane a ioqnirea fton his oountrymen by what raefcfis lâiey ^kn 
' eacMupe irein*ihe cmel veagaane^of their enemies, who, without 
dning to eoBibat with them^ have redvuMâd them to pei^lyy him- 
g». €oMèâÉoproi>osesthataiioffiErrshairbei3iatdeto^l^llomÉM 
to decide the fiite of Ifce two nations by single combat, éaê that if 
ifaiB is refused, they shemld try the efll^t of a sortie thi>ough th« 
tomei waà attempt to open a passage' tlâfôogh tiiéeiiemy.' Others 
praàent .support this prepositiQn, and at âe sannfe tibe describe 
their despair and the suJOTerings which they endure fifobi iiminej 
They fifcewiae propose sacrifices to appease the gods-, and auguries 
to;aKertaiji theâr wishes. 

Hie scenes in the dramasof Cervantes are asdiitiSKC' as the acts. 
They aeenn intended in the Nomantia to exhibit the sentimenAB and 
idata of & whole peopl«, under the various aspects of pobhe afftdï^; 
Toaedonapliah tins design we are sometimes introduced into thé 
asBenririiesbf &e nobles; at others, simple citisens é^peitt npotf 
the.stage^ and ocoasionally aUegori<^ personagd^ eome forward. 
The saoocad scene of tiiis act i^ betweeik two' mAiaiitiaii soldien, 
Iferàndro and Leoncio; the former, die lover of Lira, a ymmg' 
dnnel of Nomantia, was on the eve of marriagis, when the ntap-» 
tiok were deferred on account of the war and the public mlifof^ 
tunes. I^eoncio accuses him of forgetting, in his passion fbr hi» 
Hùstrcin, the dangers of his country. Morandro thus rtdpUes : 

Never did lore teach lover cowardice: 
Have I e'er been a truent ttom my pott 
To visit ber I love 7 Ueve I e'er dosed 
Mjr eyes in slumber when my eepteln watehM ? 
Have I e^er fail'd when duty ealra on me, 
Because ray heart was fill'd with her sweet image t 
K, tben^ these things be not otjected to me, 
%Vby will yoa Name me for my passioaate love ? 

1||2 om TAB UTttUTOEE 

TiM.4ii}ogu6 is mtemipted by-the «nvral of the people amT the 
priests, with the victkD ajid the inoeose for the sacrifiée to Jupiter. 
As the priests proceed in the saerifioial ceremonies, the moet terri^ 
Ue presages present themselves. The torches wâl not hght ; the 
Bm^Ae curl» towards the West, and the inTooations are answered 
with thundsr* It is curious to remark the expediente hgr which the 
auth<» proposes to imitate thunder : ^^ Herev'^ says he, ^ a noise 
must be made by roUmg a barrel full of stones, and fire-wo^ 
mttt be let ofT" In the air, eagles are seen pouncing upon vul- 
tuces, and tearing them in their talons. At last the victim is car- 
rifDd away by an infernal spirit, at the moment when it is about to 
be slain. 

Marquino, a magician, then endeavoym- in his turn to discover 
the will of heaven by enchantment; He l y pr o ac h cs a tomb where^ 
HiTM hours previously, a young Nonmtkai had been buri^ who 
hjÊfk died of hunger, aftd he invoked hb spirit from the infernal 
regions. Hb address to4he spirits of darknen is singidarly poeti- 
0^.. He speaks in that commwidiag style, and «t* the eame time 
with ihst oonten^t and anger, with which the poete have gifted 
tbo0d magiciitn» who have not allowed themselves to b ec p ss e^ tfae 
slaves of Lucifer. The tomb opens ; the dead rises, buC moves 
noU MMiuino by fresh enchantinent bestows snimaiioiu and com- 
pels ithe body to speak- The corpse announces that Numantia 
wiU neither be the conquered^ ftor the conqueror; but that he^ 
eitixens shall destn^ one another. The corpse then si^s again 
into the tomb, and Marquino in despair stabs himsdU^aiid fells into 
the same graure^ 

The thi^AQt again leads us into the Roman camp. Sdpio con- 
gratulates himself on having reduced Numantia to the last extremity v 
without finding it necessary to expose his soldiers. In the mean 
time a solitary trumpet is heard from within the walls. Oorabino 
then, appears with a white flag in his hand« He proposes to ter- 
minate the quarrel by single combat, on ecMidition that if the Nu> 
mantian champion is vanquished, the gates of the eity shall be 
opened ; if, pn the contrary, the Roman combatant is overcome^ 
that the siege shall be raised. At the same time he flatteiS'the 
R<Mnans.) by assuriog them that from the valour of their championei 
th^ may count upon a victory. Scipio rejects with ridicule a pro- 
posal which would place him on equal term» with the enemy, at a 
time when he is assured of the comiûest. 

CoralMnO) left alone on the walls, overwhelms the Romans wiitk 
vituperation. They, however, hear him not, and he retires. The 
next scene represents the interior of Numantia. The council of 
war is assembled, and Theogenes having given an account of the 
feilure of the sacrifices, of the enchantments, and of the challenge, 
proposes again to make a sally. The warriors di'éad thé opposition 
of their wives, whom they will be compelled to abandon. Tlie 
romen, ii^ormed of the proposed sortie, crowd around the coun-' 

ci]-<S&iimber with their infkats in their anus, and each, in eloquent 
ianguage, demands to share the fortunes of her husband : 

* Wlitt if U that yott wisb<, bfave warriors Î 
Hare» Umbi your férrawfol faociea work'd on too 
To fly OB and forsake as r Do ye tbUik 
To leave Hia virgiae of Namaotia 
A spoU to arrogant Itonans» and your pons» 
Tour free*boni sons» in bondage to tbe foe 7 
Were it not better that your own right hand 
Àt once should take the life wMeh ye hare giren ? 
Would you, then, feed the Boman avariée 7 
Would you, thea, sulfiur them In oiUust pride 
To triumph o'er us^ while with foreign hands 
They pillage all our mansions ? 

* a ♦ ♦ » 

If you are waO resolved to attempt the soKie, 
Than take OS with yoo. It wUl be life to us 
To perish by your sidas. Nor wiU ye thus 
Shorten our way to death, for famine ever 
Threatens to cut the thread of Ufe in twain. 

Anotber woman then presents her children to the senatowof Nu- 
lanantia, and thus speaks : ^ 

Oh, ehOdren of most desolata mother^ why. 
Why speak ya aot, and why with aonag tMn 
Do ye aot sapplieate your emel sins 


* <|tta peasais, varonoi eliros? 
Bevolveis ana todavia 
En la triste fantasia 
De dezarnos y ausentaros 7 
Qaereis deaar,» per vaatura 
A la RoBiana airaganeia 
Las viigines de Numancia 
Pira mMTor desventura ? 
Ta los libres hyoo aaesfros 
<|nereis eselavos dezallos? 
No sera mi|)or ahogalios 
Con los propios braios vuestrov 1 
Huereis hartar el deeeo' 
Be la romana eodicia, 
Y que Mumfe su Iqjusticia 
Pe Buestro justo tvofeo ? 
Seràn por ageaas manos 
Kuestras casas deirlbadas ; 

* * * » 

Si al foro quereis salir, 
Llevadnos en tal MHda ; 
IPorque tandremoe por vida 
▲ vuestroe lados morhr. 
No apresureis el canuBO 
Al morir^ porque su estaatbra 
Cuidado tiene la hmabre 
De cefeenario eonuao. 

194 Olf TUS LiTiSlUWIIBv, 


Nottodeéert jott? Dotli it not miAm 

That (errilile fainioe sboald oppress your lives. 

But nuist you alf o prore the bitternet s ' ^ 

or Roman rigour 7 Tell them that ye were 

Begotten free, free born, and that yoor mothers^ 
^...-^our wretched mothers, nurt'd you%ti1t in fireedoitt t 
^ And tell them, if our fate so adrerse is, 

They who have giTen you'lilb shaft take it baek. 

O walls I if ye can speak, ezelatm aloud, 

A thousand times repeat, " Numantians ! 

Numantians! Liberal*'* 


After several of the women have spoken, Theogenes answers- 
their complaints with great tenderness. He swears that they shall 
not he abandoned by their husbands, but that living or dying they 
shall still be protected. Lastly, he endeavours to persuade the Nu- 
inantians te adopt a still mc^e desperate course, aod not to leave 
within the walls of Numantia a single relic of their persons or their 
property to adorn the triumphs of the enemy. He proposes that 
m the middle of the great square of the city a pile should be raised, 
upon which the citizens should themselves cast all their riches, and 
that to mitigate for a few hours at least the hunger which consumes 
them, the Roman prisoners should be slain, and eaten by the soldiery*. 
The people immediately adopt this frightful resolution, and separate 
in order to put it into execution. Morandro and Lira remain -done 
upon the stage, and a terrific scene of love, struggling with &mine, 
succeeds. Lira, to the passionate exclamations of &r lover, only 
answers that her brother had. died of hunger the preceding day^ 
tbat on that very day her mother had perished, and that she herself 
is on the verge of death. Morandro determines^ to penetrate into 
the Roman camp in search of food to prolong the life of his mistress. 
Leoncio, his fiiend, notwithstanding, his remonstrances, resolves ta 

^ H(jos destas tristes madrés 
Que es esto 7 Como no hablais 7 

Y con lagrimas rogais 

Que no os dexen vuestros padres 7 
Btota que labambre insaita 
Os acabe con dolor. 
Sin esperar el rigor 
Do la aspereza romana. 
Decildes que os engendraroo 
Libres, y libres nacistes ; 
¥ que vuestias madrés tristes. 
Tambien librea os criaroa. 
DeoUdes que poes fa suerte 
Nuestra va tan de caid%. 
Que como os dieron la vida 
Ads! mismo os den. la muerfe.. 
O muros desta ciudad, . 
Si podeis bablad, decide- 

Y mil teccs repetid 
?9bfflfiUtino9. llbcttad ^. ^. 


*K^?™S.*°^ *"™' *"^ *^® *^® ^^^^'^^ ^^ ^^^ *h® obscurity of night 
BùaU afford them an opportunity to make their attempt. 

1 wo citizens now announce tJiat the pUe is lighted, and that the 
«Uiabrtante are eagerly heaping upon it all the remains of their pro- 
perty. Men, loaded with burthens of rich and precious articles, 
are seen passing over the stage towards the pile. One of the Nu- 
mantians then declares that as soon as their riches are 4:onauHied, 
^e women, the chUdren, and the old men, will be aUmassacred by 
^^'7u' *"" ^^'^f ^^"^ ^"^ ^ conquerort. A Numantian 
kL^« ^1^ M '""^"^""^^^^J^àing by the hand her litUe son, who 
bears a viJiiable packet She holds an infant at her treast ; 

* Moma. Oh life, most cniêl and most hard to bear ! 

-ooT. ^;WT 1 will no ooe give a UtOe moroei 

Of bread, for all the»e richea ? 
_._ «o, my son f 

»«• 2** .^' "^"^ *"S'** ^^ nowish ihce, my cbîld, 

>»ov« Muet I tbea die of hunger ? mother, motber 

I aak one mortel only, nothine more. * 

BoV°"' ^ '^^^^^' what pwn thou giv'lt me ! 

Wish for it, then ? 

"*• I wiah for it, bat know not 

Where I may seek it. 

Tf .. «„. . . ^Vhy not buy it, mother ? 
ir not, ni buy it for myaetf, and give 
To the first man I meet, even all these riches— 
Ay, for one single moMel of dry bread. 

Mother. (To Wtn/àn<0 And thou, poor creature. 

Why chng'st thou to my breast ? dost thou not know 
^at in my aching breast despair has ebanged 
The milky stream to Mood ? Tear off my^ ieab. 
And so coQient thine hunger^ for my arma 
Are weak, and can no longer clasp thee to me. 

^f ADRE. duro vivir mtflesto Î 
Terrible y triste agonîa ! 

H ijo. Madré por ventnra h abria 

i^ttien nos dièse pan por csto ? 

M^ORK. Pan, B^o, ni aun otra cosa 
Que semeje de comer ! 

Mijo. Pues tengo de percer t 

De dura hambre rabiosa ? 
Con poeo pan que me deis. 
Madré no os pediré mas. 

M^DRc. Hgo, que penas me das ! 

Hijo. Pues, que madré no querets ? 

Madré. Si quiero, ma qu6harë. 

Que no se donde buscallo t 

tf jjo. Bien podeb màdre comprâflo, 
Si no yo lo eompraré ; 
Mas por qoitarme de afan 
Si alguno conmigo topa, 
Le daré tadaesta ropa 
î*or un mend%o àt pan. ' 



Son of m J toiil, wUli wkat €tn 1 fwtaia UimI ? 

£▼611 of my w Mted fleah, there tcarce leatine 

Enough to Mtiafy thj era? ing haoger. 

Oh hunger, hunger ! terrible and fleree. 

With what most cmel pangs thou tak'sC my IMh ; 

Oh wary what death doet thou prepare for me ! 
8oT« Mr mother 1 let us hasten to the plaee 

We seek, for walking seems to make me worse. 
MdTUta. My child, the house is near us, where at length 

Upon the burning nile thoa may'st lay down 

The burthen that-tliMtteaiuft. 

I almoAt repent o£ hmug introdaced this terrible sceoe^ so full 
of cruel sufferings. It is the prison of Ugolino rendered ten times 
more horrible. The calunity being extraded over a whde city, 
famine contends with the most tender, as well as the most passionate, 
feelings. It is because sufferings Kfce these have reaJly existed, 
because the very name of war recalls them to our minds, that 
such scenes ought not to be repres^ted. The misfortunes of 
Œdipus have passed away: the feast of Thyestes wiB never 
again be celebrated ; but who can say that in some city eiqpoeed to 
the horrors of a siege, a nameless mother may not, like the Numan- 
tian matron, be nourishing her in&nt with blood instead of milk, 
struggling against the excess of suffering which human nature was 
notformâ to support? If, indeed, we could succour or save her, it 
would be weakness to fear the shock which so frightful a picture 
produces ; but if.6loquence and poetry are employed without object 
to give efiect to suah descriptions, how can we experience any 
pletmre in emotions which border upon so terrible a reality ? 

At the commencement of the fourth act the alarm is sounded in 

jMfADai. Que mamas triste criatura t 
No sientes que a mi deepecho 
Sacas ya del flaco peeho 
For leche la sangre pura 7 
Liera la carne a pedazos 
T procura de hartarte. 
Que no pueden mas llefarte 
Mis floxos cansados brazos I 
H^os del anima mia 
€on que os podré sustenter, 
Si a penas tengo que os dar 
Be la piropia come mia? 
O hambre terrible y ftierte, 
Gomo me aeabas la vida ! 
O guerra solo Tenlda 
Para causarme la muerte i 

HiJ«« hiadre mia, que me fine, 
AguQamos & do vamos, 
Que parece que alaigamos 
La hambre con el camino. 

MADag. HMO cerci^ esta la casa 

Adonde eseharemos luego 
En mitad del Tirio fuego 
El peso que te embamza«# 

OF THE SmillAM^. 197 

ihe Roman cunp, and Scifâo demands the cause of the twmdt 
He leania that two Numantiaiis have broken thfough the barriers, 
«nd, after killing several soldiers, have carried off some biscuit fron 
a tent ; that one of them again passed die wall, and gained the 
city, but that the other had Iraen slain. In the foUowing scene we 
End Morandro again entering Nwnantia, wounded and Meeding. 
He is weepiJig over his friend's &te, and the bread which he is ear- 
jrying to l^ra is moistened with his tears. He lays before her this 
last offering of affection, and ex|Mres at her feet Lira reiuses to 
touch the sustenance which has beoi so dearly bought ; while her 
httle brother seeks rellige in her arms, and dies in convulsions. A 
8(Mer now i^pears i^kmi the stage pinsuing a woman whom he is 
endeavouring to kiU, for an cvder has been issued by the senate ù[ 
Numantia, that all the women should be put to the «word. He, 
however, refuses toslay lira, and bears away with him to the fimeral 
pile the two bodies which lay before her. 

War, Famine, and Sickness, now appear, and dispute for the 
ruins of Numantia, Their description of the calamities which the 
city has 8u£fered, is cold, when compared with the preceding jBrij^t- 
fulacenes. Theogenes then passes over the stage with hiBwife,liis 
two sons, and his danghter, <umducting them to the pile, where 
they are to die. He informs them that they are to peiirii by ins own 
hand, and his children sulmiit to their ftte. Two youths, Viriatus, 
and Servius, flying before the soldiers, cioêa the stage ; the first en- 
deavours to reach a tower which will a^ird him a refiige, but the latter, 
being overcome by ftmine, can proceed no frrther. Theogenes, 
who has despatched his wife and dnldren, returns and beseedbes a 
dtizen to put him to death ; the two, however, determine to fight 
near the pile, upon which the survivor ia to cast himsdf. The 
Romans perceiving the stillness which reigns in Numantia, Cains 
Harius mounts upon the wall by a ladder ; and is shocked to see 
the city one lake of blood, and the streets all filled with ibe dead» 
Scipio fears that this universal massacre will deprive him of all the 
honour of a triumf^. If a single Numantian captive could be 
found alive to be chained to hb car, that honour would be his ; but 
Cains Marios and Jugurtha, who have traversed all the streets, 
have met with nothing but gore and corpses. At last, however, 
they discover Viriatus, the young man who has taken refiige at the 
top of a tower. Scipio addresses him, and invites him, with kind 
"Words and promises, to deliver himself up. Viriatus rejects these 
offers with indignation. He is unwilling to survive his country : 
luid after heaping curses upcm the Romans, he precipitates himseu 
£rom the tower, and falls hfeless at the feet of Scipio. Renown, 
with a tnnhpet in her hand, terminates the tragedy by promising 
eternal gl(»y to the Numantians. 

The NumanHa was acted several times in the earlier part of the 
life of Cervantes, whilst the nation was stiU warm with the enthu- 
inasm which the victories of Charles V. had produced ; and whilst 


the reverses wMeh they began to experience under Philip 11. made 
them doubly resdute not to stain their ancient glories. We may 
imagine the efTeot which the Numantia must have produced if it 
'was represented in Sar&gossa, as it has been asserted, during ffae 
siege of that city ; we may conceive how deeply the Spaniards must 
have felt the sentiments of national glory and independence which 
breathe throughout the drama, and vrith what animation they must 
have prepared for new dangers and new sacrifices. We thus see 
that the Uieatre, which we have denominated barbarous, did in fact 
approach much nearer than our own, to that of the Greeks, in the 
energetic influence which it exerted over the people, and in tibe em- 
pire with which the poet ruled his audience. We cannot, at the 
same time, -avoid being struck in the Numantia with the ferocity 
which reigns throughout the whole drama. The resolution of the 
Numantians, the details of their situation, the progress of the plot, 
and the catastrophe, are all terrific. The tragedy does not draw 
tears, but the shuddering horror which it induces becomes almost a 
punishment «to the spectator. It is one symptom of the change 
which Philip II. and the autoê dafê had wrought in the character 
of the Castillans ; and we ûuûï soon have occasion to notice others. 
When the soldiers of fanaticism had acquired these ferocious quali- 
•ties, titerature itself did not wholly escape die infection. 

There is still another dnuna by Cervantes, I^ in Algiers : El 
Dratode Argel: which has been called a comedy ; but neither that 
.tiUe, nor the name of Cervantes, must lead us to ^qpect in this piece 
the same humour which reigns throughout Don Quixote.^ To the 
gloomy picture which is represented in this drama, no reUef is 
afibrded either by tiveliness of plot, or by amusing delineation of 
character. Cervantes did, indeed, in his interludes condescend to 
excite laughter ; but the object both of his comedies and of his 
tragedies was to awaken terror and pity. All his compositions 
were adapted to excite popular feehng on the topics of pofitics or 
religion ; to strengthen the pride, the independence, or the fiinati- 
cism of the Sp^iards. His dramas were distinguished into trage- 
dies and comedies according to the rank of the characters and tiie 
dignity of the action, and not fit>m any reference to the liveliness 
or the gravity of their subjects. 

Cervantes, as we have already stated, had been detained for five 
years and a half a captive at Algiers, and his own sufferings and 
-those of his companions had made a deep impression upon him. 
He returned to Spain vrith feelings of violenf hatred against the 
Moors, and with an ardent desire to contribute- towards the rcr 
demption of those prisoners who had fallen into the hands of the 
Mussulmen. His comedy of Ltfe in Algiers ; another drama 
which he published towards the close of his life, entitied, hot 
Bmos de Argd; his tale of the Captive in Don Quixote, and that 
of the Generous Lover, were not mere literary works, but chari- 
jtable endeavours to serve his brother captive9, and to excite public 
opinion in their favour. His object was to rouse the nation and the 


\aiig himself affainst the Mnssulmen, and to preach a kind of era 
fSBde for the dcwverance of all Christian captives. 

To accomphsh this end he proposed merely to give to the ptibhe 
a sketch of the life of the captives in Algiers^ and a descriptioa 
of the interior of their habkaitions. He therefore employed no 
dramatic action, no plot, and no catastrophe ; nor did he pay the 
least regard to the laws of the unities. He only collected into one 
point of view the vatious sufferings, pains, and humiliations which 
w&re consequent upon slavery among the Moors. The truth of the 
picture, the pfroxiiiiity of the scene, and the immediate interest of 
the spectators,, sunphed the want of art, which is visible in this 
drama, and exertea, it may easily be believed, a more powerfiiT in- 
fluence over the audience. 

Ltfe in Algiers coiitanns various adventures, unconnected with 
one another, except in the community of suffering'. The princ^Ni] 
characters are AureUo and Sylvia, an affectionate pair who are ex« 
posed to the soticitations of éheir mistress and master. The reli« 
gion and conjugal fidelity of Aureho having induced him to repress 
all the advances of his mistress, Zara, hé is at last tempted with 
enchantments ; but the demons soon perceive that they have nO 
power over a Christian. He is then expoeed to the seductive in^ 
fluence of Occasion and Necessity, who are personified by the 
dramatist, and who make various suggestions to the captive, which 
he at last succeeds in expelling fi-om his mind. At the conclusion 
of the piece, both Aurelio and Sylvia are sent home by the Dey on 
the promise of a large ransom. 

Another captive of the name of Sebastian relates^ with extreme 
indignation, a spectacle of which- he had been a witness ; the re- 
prisals exercised upon the Christians by the Mussulmen. The 
conduct of the Moors, however, at which the captive expresses 
such horror, appears only to have been a just retaliation^ A Moor, 
who had been forced to submit to the ceremony of baptism at 
Yalentia, being afterward exiled with his countrymen, had taken up 
arms against the Christians. Being made prisoner in an engage- 
ment, he was recc^nised as having been baptized, and was dieUvered 
over to the Inquisition, who condemned him to be burnt as a re- 
lapsed infidel. His relations and friends, eager to avenge him^ 
bought a Valentian captive of the same class of Inquisitors, from 
among whom his judges had been appointed, and inflicted upon 
their ctq>tive a similar death. If the rigour of such reprisals cotdd 
have suspended the frightful proceedings of the Inquisition, this 
attempt to terrify the Spaniards with the consequences of their own 
barbarity would have been grounded upon good reason. The re- 
taliation in this case did not inflict the punishment of the guilty 
upon the innocent, for every Inquisitor was bound to participate in 
the* same crime. The anecdote is founded on fact, and die Inqui- 
fdtor burnt by the Algerines was the monk Miguel de Aranda. 

One of the most affecting scenes in the drama is the Slave- 
market. The public crier offers to sale a father and mother and. 

«09 ON f HX UniUTVM 

Itteir two cUldren, who are to besold in aepaiate lote. The retig^ 
nation of the fiither, who in this dreadfiil cahoity does not forgel 
to confide in the goodness of God, the tea» of Ifae mother, and 
the childiflh conviction of the younger captives, that no power lipoid 
earth can dispose of them contrary to the will of Uuûr parents, 
altogether fenn a firightfiil picture, the troth of which is the more 
impressive from the circumstance that the characters are anonymovs, 
and that in the present age such scenes may happen daily at Algiers 
or in our colonies. The merchant who is about to )m one of the 
children makes him open his mouth, m order that he may see 
whether he is in good health. The unhappy child, uncoDsciow 
that it is possible for him to suffer greater griefs than thoee which 
he has ahreeuly experienced, imagines that the merchant is going to 
extract a decayed tooth, and assuriug him that it does not ache, 
begs him not to pull it out These little incidents more forcibi; 
describe the horrors of slavery than tiie most laboured eloquenee 
could do. In the child is cohibifted a touching ignorance of the 
destiny which awaits him ; in the merchant a cold and cakulatiqf 
interest contrasted with a sjiensibility which he bdudds wkhoat 
any emotion* We sufifer in common with the whole human race, 
which we here see degraded to the c<mdition of the brotes. the 
merchant, who is in other respects a worthy man, after giving 131^ 
piastres for the youngest of the children, thus addiesses him : 

If sacHAHT. CoBM hidier. ekild. 'tis tins to co to rsat* 
JvAV. Stgnor, I will not leave my molier herot 

To go with an J one. 
MaTsaa. Alu t my eUM, thou ait no lonfer oiiaef 

But hie who boQ^t thee. 
IvAV. What r then, hate yoo, SMther, 

Forsaken me 7 
If «TBBa* O HeaTons ! how cmel are je ! 
MaacHAMT. GoBM, haiten, boy. 
JvAV. Will ye go with bm, bvether 7 

Fi4jiGii€0« I cannot, Joan, tb not in my power,— • 

May Hearen protect you, Joan ! 
MeTBca. Oh, my child. 

My joy and my delight, God won*t foiget thee! 

* MBECADsa. Ven nina, Tente a holgar. 
JvAM- Senor, no hé de dezar 

Mi madie por ir con otro. 
Madrs. Yég h^o, ^ae ya no eras 

Sine 4bI que te ha eomprado. 
JvAK. Ay ! madre I haveis me dexado ? 

M^naa. Ay cieloî quae cruel, eras I 
M sacAD. Anda, rapes, ven con mig». 
JuAV. Vamonos jnntoe, hermano ? 

FaAMcuco. No i^do, ni enta en mi mane, 

£1 cielo Taga contigo, 
Mabri. O m blcn-y mi sJegria 

No te olvide de ti Diet ! 



OF Xm SPAlfiAKD5« 

OOtlitrlMattttr! wUiher «9 ttey bear m«. 

▲way fro» you ? 

Penait me, worthy Signor, 

To speak a momeat in my infant's ear 7 

Grant n» this saiall contantmeoC ; ? ery soon 

I flhall know aaqght bat grief. 

What you would smy. 

Say now i to-night is the last time. 


la the first time my heart e*er felt sneh grief. 

Pray koea me with yoo» mother, for I Imow not 

Whither he'd earry me. 

Alas, poor child I 

Fortune forsook thee eren at thy birth ; 

The heafena are overcast, the elements 

Are turbid, and the very sea and winds 

Are all combin'd agaiost me. Thou, my child, 

Know*at not the dark mbfortunes iato which 

Thou art so early plung'd, but happily 

Laekèst the power to comprehend thy fate. 

What I would era? e of theo, my life, since I 

Must never more be blessM with seeing thee. 

Is that thou never, never wilt fomt 

To say, as thou wort wciat, thy Ae Maty; 

For that bright queen of goodness, gnoe and vfrtue. 

Can loosen all thy bonds and give theo firee4om« 






Yot. II. 

Ûonde me Ileviui sin tos. 
Padre mio y madra mfa ! 
Qnieres quo hable senor 
A mi hyo un memento 7 
Dame ese breve contento 
Pues sera etemo el dolor. 
Qnanto quisteres le di 
Pttoa eeié la ves postrera. 
Siji pues esta es la. primera 
Que en este trance me vL 
Tenème con vox aqni, 
Madré, que Toy no se donde. 
La Tontnra se te ascondo 
Hgo, pues yo te porf. 
Hase escnrtcido ei delv, 
Tuibado Toa démentes 
Conjnrado mar y vientoa 
Todos en mi desconsoelo ; 
I9o eonoees tu desdibha 
Aunque estas bien dentro dellBj 
Puesto que el no conocella 
Lo poedes tener por dieha. 
Lo que te ruego afaaa mia 
Pues ya el verte se me impide. 
Es que nûnca se te olvide ' 
Rezar el Ave JUsfAs, 
Que esta Reyna de bonded 
De Yirtod y gracia Uena 
Hade librar tu cadena 
T ponerte en libertad. 
Mira û mala eristian» 
Qae c<nuiejo d6 ai asuctiichpi 










Behold the wleleed Ohrntiu, h6w the eoaowli 
Her innocent child* Ton wiihi theii« Uni your child 
Should» like youneif, continue etlll hi error. 
mother, mother, may I not remein 7 
And must these Moon then carry me awty ? 
With thee, my child, they rob me 6f my treainresw 
Oh I am much afinûd I 

Tie I, my child. 
Who ought to fear at seeiog thee depart. 
Thou wilt forget thy God, me, end aiyseif, 
What eUe can 1 expect from thee, abendoiiM 
At tueh a tender age, among a people 
Full of deceit and all iniquity 7 
Silence, you Tiilanoue woman, if you would not 
Haye your head pay fdr what your tongue hai done. 

In the iilUi act Juan is introduced as a renegade. He has beear 
seduced by the dainties and rich clothing which his master has ghren 
him. He is proud of his turban, and «hsdains ^e other captives^ 
saying, that it is a sin in a Massulmair to remom in conversation 
with Christians. Cervantes has inserted a scene between Juan 
and his mother, who is in despair at bis i^>ostacy. The «other, 
however, does not again appear ; her grief muat have been too^ 
poignant for repi^esentatibn^ 

The escape of Pedro Ahrarez, one of the captives, who beii^ 
unable any longer to bear the horrors of slaveiy, resolves to cross 
tile desert, and endeavour to reach Oian bv following the line of 
the coast, forms anotfa^ independent plot. He prepares ten poundaf 
of biscuit, made of eggs, flour, and honey ; sAd with 4ifl stock of 
proviâons and three pair of shoes he enters upon a joivney of sixty 
leagues, through an unknown country, and over a burning desert 
infested with wild beasts. 

In one soenethe captive is introikiced eonsoltiiig with Saavedra, 
Endier which name, m all probability, the driuhotist intended to re-- 

- 8é, que no eetaba horiaeho 
Como tû, false li^ana. 
JkfAif. Madre, alfln que no me quedo ? 

Que me I]e?an eetof Moros t 
Masek CoatigOTtnmiateeooMii 
Jviiir* Afé que me ponen mtedo* 

Manmi» Mas miedo me queda à xnir 
00 Tcrte Ir k do ras,. . 
<èue nunca te acovdaras 
De Dios^ de ti, ni de mi. 
Porque estes tus tiernos aùo» 
Que prometen sine aqoesto T 
Entre iniqua gente puesto^ 
Fabricadora do eagaiios ? . 
fâz^nr CaUa, viôe, mala pies% 

Sbio quieres per laas meiigue 
Que lo que dice tu lengua 
y eoiga a pq^ tu eahtfÇt^ 

4>r THK SEiLlflAJID^. S03 

l^reseufc hîœseUl îa anoiher, we find him in the jnidBt of the 
desert, where hé k irand^ûg after having lost Ids way ; his ptov!-* 
«ioee «f^ eidiaiiâted,.his clothes are in tatters, his shoes are vfotn out, 
and he is tormented with hunger, and reduced to such an eztreina 
of weahnej|9, that he ean witb diffiiculty walk. In this state o£ 
distress he invokes the Virgin of Montserrat, and presently a lion 
appearing crouches down at his feet. The captive finds his strength 
restored > the lion becomes his guide ; he recomm^iees his Jour- 
ney,, and when he appears upon the stage the third time, he has 
neskilf amved at Oran. 

Towaj^ds the c<mclusion^ the fifth act the arrival of a monk of 
the ord^r of the Trinity is announced, bearing with him a sum of 
money for the redemption ef the captives. The prisoners throw 
the^iselves^m their knees in prayer, and the curttia falls, leaving 
the spectators to conclude that they are all redemied. 

Such are the two dramas which alone r^Min, of the twenty or 
thirty which were composed by Cervantes in his youth. They are 
-curious specimens of the character which that great genius gave 
to the national drama of Spaim, at a period when it was in his power 
to model it accor-dmg to Ins wilL The theatre of the ancients was 
not unknown to Cervantes, for^ in addition to the opportunities he 
had enjoyed of becoming acquainted with it in the learned Ian* 
jguages, he was very familiar with the Italiani, and consequently, 
with, the efibrts vhich had been made at the court of Leo X. to 
revive the scenic representations of Greece and Rome. In Spain,» 
indee4v during the r^n of Charles V. Perçz de OUva had trans^ 
iated tfa^ Ëiectra of Sophocles, aiui the Hecuba of Euripides; 
Terence, also had been rendered into Spanish by Pedro Simon dé 
Abril, aod Plautus had appeared in a Castilian dress. Cuvantes, 
Jbowever, thought that the modems ought to possess a, dramas 
which should represent their own nunners^ opinions^ and chacactor.» 
and not th<^e of antiquity. He iSbrm^^ indeed, his idea of tragedy 
upon the models of the ancients; but that which he beheld was 
not what we discover in their dramas. The dramatic art appeared 
to him to be the art of transporting the audience into the midst of 
events ealcnkted, from their politieal or religious interest, to make 
the jj^ai profound impression upon the mind ; tragedy, the art of 
making the spectators sharers in the most brilliant historical inci- 
dents ; and' comedy, of introducing them into the houses of indi* 
viduak, and* of laying b^re their vices or their virtues. He at- 
tached Uttle importance to that which has become a matter of such 
consequence in our eyes, the space of time which is «ipposed 
to elapse between each scene, and the power of transferring the 
actors from place to place; He paid the greatest attention, on the 
contrary, to that which we have considered as a defect in the an- 
deot drama, the poetical and religious, pr lyrical portion, whicb 
juoong the Greeks was the province of the chorus, and which 
• Cervant^ wished p> reproduce by the aiçl Qf afl^gorioal person* 

The ancteuU, who made religious spectadefl of their tragedies; 
always aimed at representing tiie coarse of Providenee or Fate» 
as linked with human actions. The choruses, which during the 
progress of the drama, shock our ideas of proprietjTt apimred 
to &em to be necessary for the purpose of interpreting the will 
of the Divinity, of recalling the thoughts from terrestrial to 
higher objects, and of re-establishing the tranquillity of the soul 
by the delights of lyrical poetry, after the passionate excitement 
of theatrical eloquence, ouch likewise was the end which Cer- 
vantes prq>08ed t4> himself, in the creation of his allegorieal per- 
sonages. He did not allow them to mingle in the action like sa* 
pematural beings, nor did he make any of the incidents deoend 
upon their agency. Indeed, like the dioroses of the anmiits» 
they might be rejected from his dramas altogether without any- 
void being perceived. His aim was to give us an idea, tfarongii 
their means, of the corresponding progress of the universe, and 
of the designs of Providence. He wished to enable us to behold 
in his dramas the things invisiMe, as though they were material, 
He wished to transport his druna from tiie real world into the 
seakn of poetry ; and he endeavoured to accomplish this object 
by the assistance of the most elevated language, whioh he could 

Rut into the mouths of these unearthly beines, by the magic d 
jrical poetry, and by the employment of the radest figures. 
These objects, which are altogether ezduded from our drama» 
but which were much consid^ed by the ancients, have been but 
imperfecdy attained by Cervantes. Perhi^s he did not posseas 
in a high degree the lyrical talent If there are any suUiaie 
passages in his plays, they are to be found in the diakmes, and 
not in the rhapsodies of his dlegorical characters. Moreover, 
the introduction cf^ileeori(ralj>ersonage8 upon the stase appears 
to be directly contrary to tae «iMBcï^ï^rr^ the draipa, which, as it 
appeals as well to the eve as to the ear, ought not to admit of 
ODjects which never can have a visible existence. When Famine 
or Sickness appears in the Numantia, and Occasion or Necessihr 
in the Life in Algiers, the action of the drama is arrested. 
These metaphysical abstractions destroy at once tiie illusion» 
the vivacity, and the interest of the drama, and the attention is 
effused by these varying appeals to the intdlect and to the 

In the Numantia Cervantes has scrupulously observed the 
unity of action, the unity of interest, and tii6 unity of passion. 
No episode is mingled with the terrible plot The whole people 
are animated with one idea, and partake of the same suffering. 
Individual wretchedness is swallowed up in the general cala-^ 
mity, which it only serves to render more striking. The story 
of Aforandro and Lira presents us with a picture of what every* 
lover in Numantia must have suffered ; and inst^ of detracting 
from the interest serves to concentrate it There are no traees 
cither in this play, or in the Life in Algiers, of that insipid spirit 

of gallantry vlucfa has infeflted the IVeiieh theatre f^ 
and whidi hai been erroneously attrihated to the Spanish. In 
Cervantes, and generallv in the Spanish dramas, we never see a 
hero in love, but when he ought to be so ; and their language» 
figurative and hyperbolical as it is» according to the bad taste of 
the nation, is still passionate and not gaUant The unity which 
'Was so risorously observed in the Numantia, was completely 
abandoned by Cervantes in his Life in Algiers. It is strange 
that he did not perceive that it is that quality alone which is the 
basis at harmony ; which preserves the relation of the various 
parts ; which distinguishes the productions of genius from real 
life, and the dialogue of the drama firom the conversations of 
society* life in Algiers is consequently a tirescnne play, and 
loses its interestas we advance in it, notwithstanding it possesses 
tome beautiful scenes. 

Hitherto we have only animadverted upon the errors of the 
art ; in ofeer points of view, we may perceive that it was in it» 
infimcy. Thus Cervantes has formed a &]se idea of the patience 
of his audience. Supposing that a fine speedi must produce 
the same effect upon tiîe stage as before an academical assembly, 
he haaftvmiently made his characters trespass beyond every 
boundary, Iioth df natural dialogue and of tb» reader's patience. 
He who in his narrative sMe was so excellent who in his ro« 
uanees and novels so completely possessed the art of emting 
and of snstainmg interest, of saying mnaoMely what was proper 
and stoppii^ exactly where he should, yet knew not how much 
the pub^ would be williag to hear fixmi the mouth of an actor. 
Many of the Spanish dramatists appear to have been equally 
ignorant upon tnis point 

The two dramas of Cervantes occupy an insulated station in 
the litnartue of Spain. We discover not after him sot instance 
of tiiat terrible majesty which reigns thnnisbout the Numantia» 
ot that simplicity of action, that natural dialogne, and that truth 
of sentiment £ope de Vega introduced new plays upon the 
^age; and the public, captivated by the pleasure oi pursuing an 
intrigue through its thousand windinsa, became disgusted with 
the neprcsent&on of powerful and deep emotions, which pra^ 
duced not the effeet of surprise. Cervantes himself gave way 
to the national taste, without satisfying it in the eight plays 
wUdi he published in his declining years ; and the Castillan 
JËaAjlùM nay be said to have left us only one real specimen of 
Ms dnuaatie genius. 


Cbrvaktss was eminently gifted with the narEMtiTe talMt» ^ 
quality whidi «eeus to be intimately oonneeted- wi&dnuaitio 
powers, since, in order to possess it, an aotkor most be eapaUa 
of understuidtng and adhering to Âe unity of his aanaliTe. 
That onity is tto oanteal point to.wUeb all tiie other portiona of 
the work have reCsresce, and npon which thqr all depend. The 
€piflodes are thus eonneeted with the main aetion« and neirer 
fiUigoe the mind ; the plot ezcitea the attention; andthecatii9^ 
troj)ie dears away all ttie mysteries at onee. It is monover re* 
qnisite, as in the tomatie art, to be capaUe of giving the cokniffft 
oif tmth and nature to ewry objeet, and tile appearance of coni> 
d^eness and jHrobabiMty to every chamoter ; to bring éventa 
be6>re the roader by words, as the dramatiat doea by action ; to 
say exactly what ought to be said, and ncythiag iaclher. U ia in 
fiict this telent that has conferred upon Cervantes. Us mmssv 
tality. His most celebrated works are those romances in wbUi 
the richness of his invention is relieved by the diaama c£ his 
style, and by his happy art of arranging the inodBnts.and bring- 
ing tliem before the eye of the reader. We have.afareadyspfdwn 
of Don Quixote, whidi merited a separate examination, and we 
must content ourselves with bestowing less time cm die pastoml 
roannoe ef OalaUm, on that of Pêrmks and SiB;itmmdai and on 
the coHectipn of little take which Cervantes baa csUed his Ett 
M^flary Nàntk, In giving an ideaof the UteratmreoCa ooontry* 
it aeems^ proper' to detail all the worka of odebrated authoin» 
nnd to pass rapidly over lliose who have net attained Aa firat 
rank. By studying the fermer, we are enabled to observe not 
only the intdlectucd progress of the nation, but lifceffrise its pe* 
euliar tast^ and spirit, and frequently even the mannera and hia- 
tory cS the people. It is much more agreeable to contonplate 
the Castilians as they are painted in &e works of Cervantea. 
than to attempt a picture of our own, which must necessarily be 
less jblthful than the native delineation. 

Cervantes had reached his sixty-fifth year when he published, 
under the name of Exemplary or Instnu^ve Novels, twdve 
beautiful tales, which though âiey have been translated into 


l^t&Éûk, ai« moi gaienSfy know^L* Tfeds spedes of eoii&poaitioti 
^m», iMÊtÈge the tone df GervaisteÉ, tmkiMiwn.iii modem litera- 
txréi fer lie did not tàfce Booeicio and the Italian Noir^elUts as 
hi» inodëb, imy more than Mànnontèl lias done in hia Confei 
Motwm: Thcffte tale# a^e, ià faist, little roièancea, in wbieh Ibve 
Sa âoKcflifely inti^odneéd; éuad i^eté ihé adrentnres aenre aa a 
T^lude flnr ]^8sitaate aentimetfta. 

Thé érat novtdl la entitled, La Giîdmth, or fhê Oipêy Oîrl 
fttad eobtaaaa an intéi^tii^ piëtore of that race of people, who 
were Ibnnerly spread over ah Earope, Âpugh they nowhere 
anbmitted tii^sàrea to the laws of society. About the middle 
of tteMurteenth century thia wandering race first appeared in 
!Ehirope, and Were by some considered to be a caste of Parias 
pho had escaped fiom India, and were caHed'iiidiffiHrently Egyp- 
fSéma aM Bofaemiaaa. Prom'that period down to the present 
dWy they hare e o m tt ti ued to wander through the yarions cou'n;- 
tkiea of Earope, siAsiating by petty thefts, b^ levying^ coottriba- 
tiôna Ob the simersfitioaa, or by the share winch they often took 
in' festivals. They have now almost entirely disappeared from 
many of the nations of the continent The rtgorons police. of 
FVaaacer Italy, and GerâMuoiy, dôea not aaffer the enstenoe of a 
rade of Tagabonds wlio pay na regard . to the rights of property 
and who despise the laws. Thore are still, liowever, nombers of 
theëe peoide t6 bo fetind in Bnj^and, irhere the legirfature for- 
merly iaiKstioned audi ^mel enactments against them that it was 
ibona impossible to put Aem into ezecntion. Many, likewise, 
«Iffl eidàt in Rtosrfa, and some in [^[laln, where the mOdness of 
Mie dhiale and the w9à features of the countir ate highly fa- 
▼oaraMe to that nnconfined «nd wandering Hfe, for wm<m the 
AdheatfÉna seem to have derrred a taste from the eastern na- 
tf ona. The des^rtpitiott of the oonHtaiunitT which they formed 
In the tiîi^é of Cervantes is more cnrious l^om i^e circumstance 
of "Sieir Mmbeira at that period being greatcfr, and tikeir liberty 
inére eailipiete» than at any subs^aent time ; 'while thé ^^oper- 
afitioâ àf tiie people afforded them a readier support. Tneir 
mamieMi; Vttit laws, and thehr characters, were conseouently at 
that perM dereloped witii much more trutii and simpudty^ 

The hetoiiie of tiie fiorst tale, who is caHed Preciosa, accom- 
panied by three young girls of about fifteen years of ase, like 
keraelf^ frequents the streets of Madrid under the si^rmtend- 
enoe of an old woman, for the purpose of amusing the public in 
the coflèe^houses and other public places, by dancing io the 

* [TlMia Is an £agUsh traariation of iSu WaLtmflÏMxj Novell bj SitelfSD, 
WU0I1 wM lafublbhed in 174^ A atw tranrfation has Utelj appeaiad m two 

▼ols. 12mo. London» 1829.. The extract iWna The GiptyOùif given Id thi 
texe, has been (raBBcrtt»ed ftom these Tolames. 7r.] 

«mud of the tambourine» whieb sbe Mpietiines aefXMupaiiÛM. hf 
fiOQ^s and v^rs^ occasionally of her own extemponui^eiia qoiq- 
position, or else obtained from poets who. were employed by the 

Sipsies. The noblemen osed to invite th€im into thqir hmaes» 
lat they might have the pleasure of u^fHOg them daince^ and the 
ladies in order to have their fortunes told them. Pxpmosa, who 
was modest and much respected» yet possessed thaï ripraeityof 
mien and that gaye^ and promptitude ot repartee which so re- 
markably distinguished her race. Even in religious festivals 
she would amear and chant songs in honour of the saints and 
the Virgin. In all probability, this apparent devotion of the 
Bohemians, who never take any part in public worship» protected 
them in Spain, where they were called Chr%$tùma$ fiTumoè^ from 
the animadversion oC the Inquisition. The delicaey and beauty 
of Preciosa gained the heart of a cavalier, not more cKstbaguisbed 
by his fortune than by his figure ; but she refiised tcaeocft bis 
hand, unless he consented to pass a probation of two years by 
residing among tibe gipsies, and sharing their mode of life. The 
address of one of the oldest gipsies to Sie cavalier, who assumes 
the name of Andres, is remarlcable for that purity and elegai^ 
of ^angua^ and that eloquence of thought which, are peculiar 
to Cervantes. The gipsy takes Preciosa by the hand, and p^re^ 
sents her to Andres : 

" We Impropriate to you the eonqmiionshqp of this young glHf 
who is the flower and ornament of all the gipsies to be found 
throughout Spain. It is now virtuoudy placed within your own 
power to consider her either as your wife, or as your mistress. 
Examine her thoroughly, weigh maturely wh^er she is pleasing 
to you, find out whetbcar she has any defect, and should you 
fancy that you are not csiculated for each other, throw your ^es 
around upon all the other gipsy girls, and yoo.shall have the oh- 

i'ect of your selection,^ But we warn you that whien ouoe you 
tave made your choice, you cannot retracju awtmiist )be oou-* 
tented with your fate, xio one dares to encroach . up^ his 
friend, and hence we are shielded from tiie torments of jealoui^. 
Adultery is never committed among us ; for if in any instance 
our wives or our mistresses are detected in infrii^ing our laws, 
we inflict punishment with the utmost severity. You must also 
be apprised that we never have resort to courts of justice ; we 
have our own jurisdiction, we execute judgment ourselves, we 
are both judges and executioners, and after r^[ular condemna- 
tion, we get rid of the parties by burying them in the m oun t ains 
and deserts, and no person whatsoever, not even their parents, 
can obtain information of them, or bring us to account for their 
deaths. It is the dread of this summary jurisdiction which pre- 
serves chastity within its natural bounds ; and thence it is, as I 
have already stated, that we live in perfect tranquillity on this 
score, so dreadfuHy mischievous and annoying in other sodets^s. 
T^ere are few things which we possess, fiiat we do not pg^s^ss 


in common ; but wives and mistresses are a sacred ei:ception. 
We command tbe whole universe, the fields, the fruits, the herb- 
age, the forests, the mountains, the rivers, and the fountains, 
the stars and all the elements of nature. Early accustomed to 
hardship, we can scarcely be said to be sufferers ; we sleep as 
soundly and as comfortably upon the ground as upon beds of 
down ; and the parched skin of our bodies is to us equal to a 
coat of mail, impenetrable to the inclemencies of the weather. 
Insensible to grief, the most cruel torture does not afflict us, and 
under whatever ibrm they make us encounter death, we do not 
shrink even to the change of colour. We have learned to de- 
spise death. We make no distinction between the affirmative 
and the negative, when we find it absolutely necessary to our 
purpose. We are often martyrs, but we never turn informers. 
We sing, though loaded with chains in the darkest dungeons, and 
our lips are hermetically sealed under all the severe inflictions 
of the rack. The great and undisguised object of our profession 
is * furtively to seize the property of others, and appropriate it 
to our own use ;' thereby invariably imitating the plausible but 
perfidious exan^.ple of the generality of mankind under one 
mask or other, in which however we have no occasion to court 
witnesses to instruct us. In the day we employ ourselves in in- 
significant, amusing, trifiin^ matters, but we devote the night 
and its accommodating darkness to the great object of our pro- 
fessional combination. The brilliancy ot glory, the etiquette of 
honour, and the pride of ambition, form no obstacles to us as 
they do in other fraternities. Hence we are exempt firom that 
base, cowardly, and infamous servitude, which degrades the il- 
lustrious unhappy voluntarily into slaves." 

Such was the singular race of people who lived the life of the 
uncultivated savage, in the midst of society; who preserved 
manners, a language, and probably a religion of their own, 
maintaining their independence in Spain, England, and Russia, 
for nearly five hundred years. It may be supposed that the 
Gipsy Girl terminates like every other romance, the heroine of 
which is of low birth. Preciosa is discovered to be the daughter 
of a noble lady, and her real rank being discovered, she is mar- 
ried to her lover. 

The second novel, which is entitled The Liberal Lover, con- 
tains the adventures of some Christians who have been reduced 
to slavery by the Turks. Cervantes lived in the time of the fa- 
mous corsairs Barbarossa and Dragut The Ottoman and Bar- 
bavy fleets then claimed the dominion of the Mediterranean, and 
had been long accustomed, in conjunction with the fleets of 
Henry II. and the French, annually to ravage the shores of 
Italy and Spain. No one could be assured of living in safety. 
The Moors, running the light vessels on shore, used to rush 
sword in hand into the gardens and houses which adjoined the 
sea, generally attending more closely to tbe seizing of captives. 

Vol. H. 27 


than to the acquisition of plunder, from a conyiction that ibàf 
wealthy iiidividuais whom they thus carried iâto Barbary, and 
shut up in the slaye-yards, or condemned to the hardest iabomr» 
would gladly purchase redemption from this horrid serTÎtude 
even at the price of their whole fortune. In this slat^ of terrorr 
during the reigns of Charles V. and his successors, did the peo- 
ple live who dwelt upon the shores of the Mediterranean. Si- 
cily and the kingdom of Naples, not being the resiflenoe of 
their sovereign, were more particularly exposed to the cruelties 
of the Barbary powers. They were, in fact, without a marine» 
witiiout garrisons, without resources for defence ; in short, with- 
out any other than a vexatious viceregal governmentt which op- 
pressed without protecting them. It was in their gardens, neai: 
Trapani, in Sicily, that the liberal lover and his mistress Leonisa 
were made captive. They meet each other again at JNicoea, in 
Cyprus, two years after the taking of that city, in 1571 ; and 
iheiT adventures possess the double merit of powerful romantic 
interest and great fidelity of character and description. Cer- 
vantes, who had fought in the wars of Cyprus and in the Greek 
seas, and who during his captivity had become well aoauainted 
with the Mussulmen and with the condition of their Christian 
slaves, has given to his eastern tales a great appearance of histo- 
rical truth. The imagination cannot feign a more cruel moral 
infliction than that to which a man of a cultivated mind is sub- 
jected, when he falls, together with all the objects of his fondest 
affection, into the hands of a barbarian master. The adventures» 
therefore, of Corsairs and their captives are all of them singu- 
larly romantic. At one period, the French, the Italians, and the 
Spanish, borrowed all their plots from this source. The public» 
however, soon became fatigued with the same unvarying fictions. 
Truth alone possesses the essence of variety ; and the imagina- 
tion, unnourished by truth, is compelled to copy itself. Every 
picture of captivity which Cervantes has presented to us is an 
original, lor he painted from the memory of his sufferings. The 
other descriptions of this kind appear to be merely casts from 
this first model. Romance writers should not be permitted to 
introduce the corsairs of Algiers into their tales, unless, like 
Cervantes, they have been themselves inmates of the slave- 

The third tale, entitled Binconete a%d CorUdMo, is of another 
class, though completely Spanish. It is in the Picartseo styles 
of which the author of LazarUlo de Tormea was the inventor. 
The history of two young thieves is related in this novel with 
the greater homour, inasmuch as the wit of the Spanish writers 
was peculiarly reserved for the description of vulgar life. It 
seems that they were only permitted to ridicule such as bad ab- 
solntely cast aside all pretensions to bonoui*. It is from those 
writers that we have invaridUy borrowed our descoriptions ot the 
social life and orgi'mixation of the community of thiayes and 


beggars, and it is among them alone, I am inclined to believe, 
that they ever existed. The company of robbers of Seville, and 
the authority possessed by their chief, Monipodio, are pleasantly 
described in this norel. The most laughable portions of it, 
bowever, and which are very correct as far as regards both Spain 
and Italy, are those in which the strange union of devotion and 
licentiousness among these vagabonds is described. In the place 
where the thieves assemble there is an image of the Virgin, 
with a throne for the offerings, and a vessel of holy water near 
it Among the robbers an old woman arrives, " who, without 
saying a word to any one, walks across the room, and, taking 
some of the holy water, devoutly falls upon her knees before the 
image; and after a long prayer, having kissed the ground thrice, 
and raised as often her eyes and hands to heaven, rises, places 
her offering on the throne, and walks out again." All the tlueves, 
m turn, make an offering of silver; for which purpose they re- 
serve part of their acquisitions, to be employed in masses for 
the souls of their deceased companions, ana of their benefactors. 
Thus a young robber, who conducts Rinconete to the meeting, 
to the question — • Perhaps, then, you follow the occupation of a 
thief f* replies : * I do so, in the service of God, and of all wortliy 
people V 

In genera] we are apt to imagine that this corrupt and unruly 
portion of society, who violate without ceasing all laws, divine 
and human, are infidels in their relifi^ous opinions ; as it is diffi< 
cult to believe that those who feel any sentiments of religion, ' 
would attach themselves to such infamous and criminal occupa- 
tions. When, therefore, in the countries of the South, we re- 
mark assassins, robbers, and prostitutes, scrupulously fulfilling 
all the observances of religion, we immediately accuse them of 
hypocrisy* and imagine that, by this show of Christianity, they 
merely wish to deceive those whose eyes are upon them. This, 
however^ is an error ; for in the South of Europe all ttese peo- 
ple, the refuse of society, are really under the influence of rdi- 
Sious feelings. The malefactors, when they become numerous, 
nd or form an abandoned priesthood, who, living upon their 
offerings, and partaking the produce of their crimes, are always 
ready to sell them absolution. The criminal commits the offence 
with a determination to repent of it, and in the expectation of 
absolution : while the priest confesses him with a conviction that 
the faith is in him, and that the repentance is sincere. Scarcely, 
however, does the penitent leave the church than he returns to 
his criminal habits. By this shocking abuse of religion, the 
priest and the offender silence their consciences in the midst of 
all their iniquities. Their religion is not a salutary curb: it is 
an infkmous contract, by which the most corrupt men believe 
thai they may purchase a license to satisfy all their evil propen* 
sities. The voice of conscience is stifled by their faith in tlte 
act of penitence : and the impious and infidel robber wonid 


never reach the same degree of depravity, which we may remark 
in those villains so zealous and so pious, who have been painted 
by Cervantes, and of whom we find the models in Italy as well 
as in Spain. 

The first three novels are of a very dissimilar cast ; the nine 
which follow them, complete the varied circle of invention. The 
Spanish' En fçliak Lady, it is true, shows that Cervantes was much 
more imperfectly acquainted with the heretics than with the 
Moors. The Lictnliate of Glass, and the Dialogue of the Iwo 
Dogs of the Hospital of the Resui*recHon, are satitical pieces, dis- 
playing much wit and incident. The Beautiful Cltar-woman re- 
sembles a love-romance ; and The Jealous Man of Estremadura 
'is distinguished by the excellence of its characters, by its plot, 
and by the skill with which the catastrophe is brought about 
We have, in this tale, an example of the prodigious power of 
music over the Moors. An African slave, whose fidelity had 
resisted every temptation, cannot be persuaded to be unfaithful 
to Ills trust, except by the hope of being taught to play upon the 
guitar, and to chant ballads like the pretended blind man, who 
every evening rouses him to ecstasy by his music. The novels 
of Cervantes, like his Don Quixote, lead us •nto Spain, and 
open to us the houses and the hearts of her inhabitants; 
while their infinite vai-iety proves how completely their au- 
thor was master of every shade of sentiment and every touch 
of feeling. 

We have already related that shortly before his death Cer- 
vantes was employed upon a work, the dedication to which he 
composed after he had received extreme unction. It is entitled : 
The Sufferings of Persiles and Sigismonda, a JVbrthem Story: 
and to this work more than to any other of his literary labours 
did he attach his hopes of fame. The judgment of the Spanish 
has placed this production by the side of Don Quixote, and 
above all the author's other works ; but a foreigner will not I 
should in aiin/, concede to it so much merit. It is the offspring 
of a rich, but at the same time of a wandering imagination, 
which confines itself within no bounds of the possible or the 
probable, and which is not sufiiciently founded on reality. Cer- 
vantes, who was so correct and elegant a painter of all that fell 
within the sphere of his observation, has been pleased to place 
the scene of his last tale in a world with which he had no ac- 
quaintance. He had traversed Spain, Italy, Greece, and Bar- 
bary ; he was at home in every part of the South. He has, 
however, entitled this romance a Northern story, and his com- 
plete ignorance of the North, in which his scene is laid, and 
which he imagines to be a laud of barbarians, anthropophagi, 
pagans, and enchanters, is sufficiently singular. Don Quixote 
often promises Sancho Panza the kingdoms of Denmark and 
Soptabisa ; but Cervantes, in fact knew little more of these 
countries than his knight The King of Denmark and tlie 


King of Danea are both introduced, though Denmark and Danea 
are the same country. One half of the isles of that countr}', 
he says, are savage, oeserted, and covered with eternal snows ; 
the other is inhabited by corsairs, who slay men for the purpose 
of eating their hearts, and make ' women prisoners in order to 
elect from among them a queen The Poles, the Noiwegians, 
the Irish, and the Ent^Ush, are all introduced in their turns, and 
represented as possessing manners no less extraoidinary, and a 
mode of life no \etis fantastic ; nor is the scene laid in that re- 
mote antiquity, the obscujity of which might admit of such fa- 
bles. The heroes of the romance are the contemporai ies of Cer- 
vantes ; and some of them are the soldiers of Charles \'., who 
were marched with him into Flandeis or Germany, and who af- 
terward wandered into the not t hern countries. 

The hero of the romance, Persiles, is the second son of the 
King of Iceland ; and his mistress. Sigismonda, is the daughter 
and heiress of the Queen of Friseland, a country which has es- 
caped from the chart, but which is now supposed to have been 
the Feroe Islands, where the very veracious travellers of the 
fifteenth century have placed many of their adventures. Sigis- 
monda had been betrothed to Maximin, the brother of PersileSt 
whose savage and rude manners were little calculated to touch 
the heart of the sweetest, the most beautiful, and the most per- 
fect of wothen. The two lovers make their escape at the same 
time, with the intention of travelling together on a pilgrimage to 
Kome ; no doubt for the purpose of obtaining from the Pope a 
dispensation from Sigismonda s engagements. Persiles assumes 
the name of Periander, and Sigismonda that of Auristela ; and 
during the whole of the romance they appear under these names: 
they pass as brother and sister ; and the secret of their birth and 
history, with which I have commenced my account of the novel, 
is not disclosed until the termination of the work. Their pere- 
grinations through the North are contained in the first volume ; 
through the South, in the second. Exposed to more dangers 
than would be amply sufficient for ten reasonable romances; 
captured by savages, and recaptured ; on the point of being 
roasted and eaten ; shipwrecked innumerable times, separated 
and re-united, attacked by assassins, by poison, and by sorcery, 
and at the same time robbing all they meet of their heaits, they 
run greater risks from the love which they inspire than could be 
occasioned by hatred itself The mvishers, however, who dis- 
pute for them, combat so fiercely among themselves that they 
are all slain. In this manner perish all the inhabitants of the 
Barbarous hle^ where a whole nation of pirates are consumed in 
the flames which they have themselves lighted. On another oc- 
casion, all the sailors of a vessel fight until none are left ; but 
this was necessary, that our travellers might have a fit convey- 
ance. This romance is indeed a singularly bloody one. Besides 
those who thus perish by wholesale, the number of individuals 


who die or kill themselves would almost fill the ranks of an army. 
The history of the hero and heroine is interspersed with a thou- 
sand episodes. Before they arrive at the end of their jonmey, 
they collect a numerous caravan, each memher of ifhich in turn 
recites his adventures. These are always, of course, most ex- 
traordinary, and manifest great fertility of invention. Many of 
them are amusing, but it appears to me that nothing is more fa- 
tiguing than the marvellous ;• and that there is never so great a 
similarity, as between productions which resemble nothing else 
in nature. Cervantes, in this novel, has fallen into many of the 
errors which he so humorously exposed in Don Quixote, t 
cannot suppose that in Don Belianis or in Felix Mars of Hircania 
more extravagance is to be found than in these volumes. The 
^ style of the ancient romance-writers, it is true, did not possess 
so much elegance and purity. 

Among the episodes there is one which appears to me to be 
interesting, less on account of its own merits than because it re- 
minds us of an amusing tale of one of onr celebrated contempo- 
t^U'ies. Persiles, in the Barbarous Isle, discovers, among the 
pirates of the Baltic, a man who is called Rutilio de Sienna, 
who is a dancing-master, like Monsieur Violet among the Iro- 
qi^ois. In his own country he had seduced one of his scholars, 
and had been imprisoned preparatory to his suffering a capital 
punishment. A witch, however, who nad fallen in love with him, 
opened the doors of his prison. She spread a mantle on the 
ground before him. " She then desired me to place my foot upon 
it and to be of good courage, but for a moment to omit my devo- 
tions. I immediately saw that this was a bad beginning, and 1 
perceived that her object was to convey me through the air. 
Although, like a good Christian, I held all sorcery in contempt 

Jet the fear of death in this instance made me resolve to obey 
er. I placed my foot on tiie middle of the mantle, and she 
also. At the same time she muttered some words which I could 
not understand, and the mantle began to ascend. I felt terribly 
afraid, and there was not a single Saint in the Litany whom m 
my heart I did not invoke. The enchantress, doubtless, per- 
ceived my terror, and divined my prayers, for she again com- 
msinded me to abstain from them. ' Wretch that I am.' exclaimed 
I, ' what good can I hope for, if I am prevented from asking it 
from Grod, from whom proceeds all good V At last I shut mv 
eyes and suffered the devils to convey me whither they would, 
for such are the only post-horses which witches employ. Afler 
having been carried through the air for four hours, or a little 
more, as I should judge. I found myself at the close of the day 
in an unknown country. 

" As soon as the mantle touched the ground, my companion said 
to me : * Friend tlutilio, you have arrived at a place, where the 
wholehumanracecannotharmyou.* As shespoke these words,she 
embraced me witii very littl* reserve. I repelM her iHth all my 

Ù9 7Hfi Sr^HliftB^. 215 

fltreqgtb, wà perceivac) that she had t^en the figure of a wolf. 
Hie sight firo^e my senses. However, as o^n ha^peo^ in great 
daoger^, when the Fer^ hopelessiiess of e9cape gives us despe- 
rate strepgth, I seized a hanger which I had by my side, and 
with UDspeakaUe fury plvnged it into the breast of what ap- 
peared to me to be ^ w(à£^ b^t which as it fell lost that terrine 
shape. The enchaiiiress, bathed in her blood, lay stretched at 
my feet 

" Consider, Sirs, that I was in a country perfectly unknown 
to me, and without a single person to guide me. I waited for 
Bvmy hours the return of day, but still it appeared not, and in 
the horizon there was no sign which annoonced the approaching 
sun. I quitted the corpse which excited in my heart so mvaSk 
fear and terror, and minvtely examined the appearance of the 
heavens. I observed the motion of the stars, and irom the oouise 
which they pvrsued, I imagined that it should already hav:^ 
been day. As I stood in uiis state of confusion, I heard the 
voipe of pe(^le approaching the spot where I wa^. I advaiioed 
towards them, and demanded, in ^u^^^^^^ ii^ what country I 
might be. One of them answered me in Italian : * This country 
is Norway ; but who are you who question us in a tongue so 
little Jcoown T 'I am,' said I, *a wretch who in attempting to 
escape from death have fidlen into his hands ;* and iq a few 
vords I related to them my journey, and th^ death ot the ^- 
chaiitress. He who h^d spo^Len appeared to pity me, and said : 
*You pught, my good friend, to be very thankful to heaven* 
which has delivered you out of the power of wicked sorcerers* 
of whom there are m^tny in these northern parts. It is said, in- 
deed, that they transform themselves into he-wolves and she- 
wolves, for tliere are enchanters of both sexes. I know not how 
this can be, and as a Christian and a Catholic I do not believe 
it, potwithsta^iding experience demonstrates the contrary. It 
may, indeed* be said that their transformations are the illusions 
of the Devil, who, by God*s permission, thus punishes the sins of 
this evil generation.* I then asked him the hour, as the pight 
appe^ed to me very long and the day came not. He iieplied* 
ihaX in these remote regions the year was divided into four por- 
tons. There were three months of perfect night, during which 
the son never appeared above the horizon ; three months of day- 
break which were neither day nor night ; three months of un- 
interrapted daylight during which the sun never set ; and lastly, 
three months of twilight : wat the season then was the morning 
twilight, so that it was usejess to look for the appearance of day. 
He added, that I must postpone until the period of perfect day 
ny prospect of returning home ; but that then vessels would 
sail with merchajidise to £,QgIand, France, and Spain. He in- 

rured whether I was acquainted with any oocupatioiji by which 
eould support myself until my return to my own country. I 
replied, that I was a dancing-master, very skilful in the saltatory 


art, as well as in the nimble use of my fingers. Upon this, my 
new friend began to laugh most heartily, and assured me tbs^ 
these occupations, or duties, as I called them, were not in fashion 
in Norway, or in the neighbouring countries." Rutilions host 
who was the great grandson of an Italian, taught him to work as 
a goldsmith. He afterward made a voyage for commercial pur- 
poses, and was taken by the pirates, and carried to the Barbarous 
Isle, where he remained until all the inhabitants were destroyed 
in a tumult, when he escaped, together with Persiles and Sigis- 

In this episode we recognise the pen of the author of Don 
Quixote. The insignificance of the hero and the greatness of 
the incidents are here as pleasantly contrasted as in Don Quixote 
are the valour of the hero and the petty nature of the incidents. 
This humorous spirit, however, and this ironical style of treating 
his own story, only manifest themselves occasionally in this 
work, which in its serious marvellousness is often fatiguing. 

It has appeared to me that we may perceive in the works of 
Cervantes, the progress which superstition was making under 
the imbecile sovereigns of Spain, and the influence whion it was 
acquiring over the mind of an old man surrounded by priests, 
whose object it was to render him as intolerable and as cruel as 
themselves. In his novel of Rinconete and Cortadiilo, Cer- 
vantes makes a skilful and delicate attack upon the superstitions 
of his country, and a similar spirit is observable in his .Don 
Quixote. The episode of Ricoto the Moor, the countryman of 
Sancho Panza, who relates the sufierhigs of the Moors, for the 
most part Christians, on their banishment fiom Spain, is highly 
touching. •* The punishment of exile," says he. " which some 
esteem light and humane, is to us the most terrible of all. 
Wherever we roam we lament Spain, for there were we bom, 
and that is our native country. Nowhere have we found the 
asylum which our misfortunes merited. In Barbary and in 
every part of Africa, where we had hoped to meet with a friendly 
reception, an asylum, and kind treatment we have been more 
injured and more outraged than elsewhere. We knew not the 
benefits which we possessed until we lost them. The desire 
which we almost all of us feel to return into Spain is so great 
that the greater part among us. who like me understand the lan- 
guage, and they are not few, have returned into this country, 
leaving their wives and children without support It is now 
only that we feel by experience how sweet is that love of our 
country, which we formerly used to hear spoken of." With 
whatever reserve the established authorities are alluded to in 
this story, and in the equally affecting story of his daui^hter Ri- 
cota, it is impossible that it should not excite a deep interest for 
so many unfortunate wretches, who aggrieved in their religion, 
oppressed by the laws, no less than by individual tyranny, had 
])een driven with their wives and their children, to the number 

OF THK t»AiriAEra. SI 7 

of six himâred thouiaiid, from a oountry whefe tbey had been 
established for more than eight centuries; a country which 
awed to them its agriculture, its Commerce, its prosperity, and 
no inconsiderable part of its literature. 

In PersUes and Sigismonda there is a Moorish adrenture* the 
time of which is laid near the period of their expulsion from 
Spain. But in this place Cervantes endeavours to render the 
Mussulmen odious, and to justiiy the cruel law which had been 
put in execution against them. The heroes of the romance ar- 
rive with a caravan at a Moorish village in the kingdom of Va- 
lencia, situated a league distant from the sea. The Moors hasten 
to welcome them; offering their houses, and displaying the 
most obliging hospitality. The travellers at length yield to 
these entreaties, and take up their lodging with the richest Moor 
in the village. Scarcely, however, had they retired to repose, 
when the daughter of their host secretly apprizes them, that 
they had been thus pressingly invited in order that tbey might 
be entrapped on board a Barbary fleet, which would arrive in 
the night for the purpose of transporting the inhabitants of the 
village and all their riches to the shores of Africa, and that their 
host noped by making them prisoners to procure a large ransom. 
The travellers, in consequence of this intelligence, took refage 
in the church, where they fortified themselves ; and in the night 
the inhabitants of the viUage having burned their dwellings, set 
sail for Africa. Cervantes on this occasion speaks in the per- 
sonof a Christian Moor: "Happy youth! prudent king ! goon, 
and execute this generous decree of banishment ; fear not that 
the country will be deserted and uninhabited. Hesitate not to 
exile even th^^ who have received baptism. Considerations 
like these ought not to impede your progress, for exnerience has 
shown how vain they are. In a little while the lana will be re- 
peopled with new Christians, but of the ancient race. It will 
recover its fertility, and attain a higher prosperity than it now 
possesses. If the lord should not have vassals so numerous and 
so humble, yet those who remain will be £eiithfiil catholics. 
With them the roads will be secure, peace will reign, and our 
prooerty will be no longer exposed to the attacks of these robbers." 

This work leads us to hazard another remark on the character 
of the Spanish nation. The hero and heroine are represented 
as patterns of perfection. They are young, beautiful, brave, 
generous, tender, and devoted to one another beyond any thing 
which human nature can be supposed to attain, yet with all tiiese 
rare qualities they are addicted to falsehood, as though they had 
no other occupation. Upon every occasion, and before they can 
possibly know whether the fidsehood will be useful or prejudicial 
to them, they make it an invariable rule to speak directly con- 
trary to the truth. If any one asks them a question, they de- 
ceive him. If any one confides in them, they deceive him. 
If any one asks their advice, they deceive him ; and those 

Vol,. II. 28 

il8 ^^ V^£ LlTEftATUftE 

who are most attached to them, are most surely the object» 
of this spirit of dissimulation. Amaldo of Denmark, a noble 
and generous prince, is from the beginning to the end of 
the romance the victim of Sigisraonda^s duplicity. Sinforosa, i» 
no less cruelly deceived by Persiles. Policarpo, who had shown 
them great hospitality, loses his kingdom by the operation of 
their artifices. £very falsehood, however, proving successful, 
the personal interest of the hero is supposed to justify the mea- 
sure, and what would to our eyes appear an act of base dissimu- 
lation, is represented by Cervantes as an effort of happy pru- 
dence. I am aware that foreigners who have travelled in Spain,, 
and merchants who have traded with the Castilians, unanimously 
praise their good faith and honesty* Such authorities must be 
believed. Nothing is more common than to calumniate a pebple 
who are separated from us by their language and their manners ; 
and those virtues must indeed be real which can triumph over 
all our national prejudices. The literature of Spain,, at all 
events, does not strengthen our confidence in the good faith of 
the Castilians ; not only is dissimulation crowned with success 
in their comedies, their romances, and their descriptions of na- 
tional manners, but that quality absolutely receives greater 
honour than candour. In the writers of the northern nations 
we discover an air of sincerity and frankness, and an openness 
of heart, which we may look for in vain among the Spanish au- 
thors. Their history bears a stronger testimony even than their 
literature to the truth of this accusation, which hangs over all the 
people of the South, and induces a suspicion of want of faith, 
which their sense of honour, their religion, and the system of 
morality which is current among them, would seem to justify. 
No history is soiled by more instances of perfidy than that of 
Spain. No government has ever made so light of its oaths and 
its most sacred engagements. From the reign of Ferdinand the 
Catholic, to the time of the administration of Cardinal Albeioni* 
every war, every public treaty, every relation between the go- 
vernment and tha people, is marked by the most odious treachery. 
Their address, however, gained the admiration of the world, 
and they contrived to separate truth from honour. 

There is now only one work of Cervantes which remains to 
be noticed, the Galatea, his earliest composition, which was pub- 
lished in 1584, in imitation of the Diana of Montemayor. After 
Don Quixote, this production is most generally known to fo- 
reigners. The translation, or rather the imitation of it by Florian 
has rendered it popular in France. The Italians had already 
shown a great taste for pastoral poetry ; they did not, like the 
ancients, content themselves with writing eclogues, in which a 
single sentiment was developed in a dialogue between a few 
shepherds, without action, plot or catastrophe. To the sweet- 
ness, the spirit and the elegance which belong to pastoral pro- 
ductions, the Italians added romantic situations and powerful 
'prissions. Thev had composed several pastoral dramas, some of 


which have heen presented to the notice of the reader in the 
earlier part of this work. The Spaniards had been still more 
deeply captivated by these pastoral fancies, which, by recalling 
to the mind the feelings of our childhood, accord admirably with 
the yielding indolence of soathem feelings. Their drama in its 
origin was entirely pastoral. Incited by the same taste, they 
produced many long woiks, which were, in fact, nothing more 
than tedioas eclogues. The six books of the Galatea form two 
octavo voinraes, and yef these constituted only ttie first portion 
of the work, which was never finished. Florian soon perceived 
that a tale of this length would not be agreeable to the taste of 
^his conntrymen ; and he therefore worked up the incidents while 
he abridged the romance, and while he retrenched the poetical 
portions, added to the geneitil interest. Cervà:\tes has been 
blamed for having mingled too many episodes with the principal 
tale. It is said, that he has attempted too many complicated 
histories, and introduced too many characters, and that he has, 
by the quantity of incidents and names, confounded the imagina- 
tion of the r^der, who is unable to follow him. He is also 
blamed for having, in the earliest of his works, when he was yet 
comparatively ignorant of what constitutes purity and elegance 
ct style, employed an involved construction which gives his work 
an appearance of affectation. I should be also inclined to impute 
it to him as a fault though this accusation more properly falls 
upon the class than upon this individual work, that he is almost 
cloying in the sweetness and languor of his love-scenes. When 
we read these pastoral romances, we may imagine ourselves 
bathing in milk and honey. Notwithstanding these observa- 
tions, the purity of its morals, the interest of its situations, the 
richness of invention, and the poetical charms which it displays, 
must ensure to the Galatea an honourable place in the list of 
Spanish classics. 

Among the contemporaries of Cervantes there is one whose 
name is frequently repeated, and whose work has preserved 
considerable celebrity without being ever read. Don Alonzo de 
Ercilla was the author of the Araticana ; a poem which has been 
sometimes cited as the only Spanish epic. This idea, however, 
is by no means well grounded ; for there is not perhaps, any 
nation which has more frequently attempted the epic style than 
the Spanish : indeed, the Castillans reckon thirty-six epic poems. 
It is true that none of these rise above mediocrity, or are wor- 
thy of being compared with the admirable productions of Ca 
moens. or Tasso, or Milton. Ercilla, however, has no greate^r 
pretensions than the rest for we find nothing in his writim^'» 
which can raise him absolutely above the ranks of his rivus. 
The Araucana would, in all probability, have been forgotten, , 
together with the thirty-six pretended epics, if Voltaire had not 
chanced to bestow upon it some fresh celebrity. On the publi- 
rnntion of his Henrtade he subjoined an Essay on Epic Poetry, 


in which he reviewed the variooB poems which different natioDA 
had presented to dispute the epic palm. The Spaniards had no- 
thinç better than the Araucana, of which Cervantes had said« 
in his inventory of the library of Don Quixote, that it was one 
of the best poems in heroic verse which the Castilians possessed. 
and that it might be compared with the most famous prodactioDS 
of Italy. Vdtaire ezammed it, and judged it with the more in- 
dulgence on account of its obscurity. He placed Ercilla, where 
we may well be astonished to find him, by the side of Homer, of 
Virgil, of Tasso. of Camoëns, and of Milton. He insisted upon 
his valouf and upon the dangers which the author had experi- 
enced, as though they added to his poetical merits ; and in a &- 
vourable analysis he cited several passages which display real 
beauties. The longest is taken from the second canto : it is the 
speech of Colocolo. the oldest of the Caciques, who, surrounded 
by chiefs all aiming at the supreme power, calms the furious 
passions of his ambitious countrymen, and proposes a just and 
simple mode of choosing a commander in chief. Voltaire, in a 
comparison which he institutes between this speech and that of 
Nestor in the Iliad, gives the preference to the eloquence of the 
savage, and eagerly seizes upon this opportunity of placing hia 
own, in opposition to a commonly received, opinion. If ErciUa 
is indebted to Voltaire for his celebrity, the obligation is in some 
d^ee reciprocal. In all probability the perusal of the Araucana 
suggested to the French poet the beautiful conception of his Al- 
zire, and opened to his view the vast field which the sanguinary 
struggle between the Ancient and the New World, and flie con- 
trast between the independence of the Americans and the fiina- 
ticism of the Spaniards, afforded. 

Don Alonzo de Ercilla y Zuniga was bom at Madrid, in 
1Ô33 ; or, according to other writers, in 1540. He accompanied 
Philip IL, then Infant, as his page, into Italy, the Low Coun- 
tries, and afterward into England. From thence be proceeded, 
at the age of two-aud-twenty, with the new Viceroy of Peru, to 
America. He had been informed that the Araucans, the most 
warlike people, who formed and still form a powerful republic, 
had thrown off the yoke to which, on the Spanish invasion, they 
had momentarily submitted. In this war be engaged with great 
ardour. It was a contest in which, even as a subaltern, no in- 
considerable glory was to be acquired. The Araucans, who 
were governed by sixteen Caciques who possessed equal powers, 
did not recognise any single supreme chief, except in the event 
of war. Then it was that they submitted to the most rigorous 
discipline ; they did not disdain to learn from their enemies the 
art of war ; with a body of horse they opposed the cavalry of 
the Spaniards ; in a short time they learned the use rffira^arms, 
and employed with great address those which they won from 
their enemies, though they were unable themselves to manufac- 
ture gunpowder. Their invincible coi^rage, their discipline, and 


their oofntempt of death, qualified them to expel the Spaniards 
jGroin their country. Fatal reverses, however, succeeded their 
first victories ; and in the time of Alonzo de Erdlla, the Spa- 
niards flattered themselves with the hopes of suhduing the Aniii- 
cans. It was in the middle of this war that Eroilla undertook, 
with all the ardour of youth, to compose an epic poem on it 
This idea he pursued in the midst of adl the dangers and fatigues 
of the expedition. In a wild and uncultivated country, and in 
the presence of an enemy, his days and nights were passed in 
the open air. He continued, nevertheless, the composition of 
his poem, noting down the adventures of the day, sometimes 
upon scraps of paper which he had by chance preserved, whidh 
wodd scarcely contain half a dozen lines, and sometimes on 
pieces of parchment or skin which he found in the cabins of the 

In this manner he completed the fifteen first cantos, or first 
part of his work. He was scarcely thirty years of age yrhtA 
he returned to Spain to indulge the fond idea, that he had se* 
cured his fune, both as a warrior and a poet He anxiously 
waited for the grateful acknowledgments of his sovereign and 
his country ; but the sullen monarch, to whom he dedicated his 
Arancana, deigned not to notice either his verses or his valour. 
Erdlla, humiliated by the neglect of bis sovereign, believed that 
he might still by fresh efforts acquire sufficient renown amonc 
his countrymen to attract the attention of the court. He added 
a second jMurt to his poem, and inserted in it the grossest flatte- 
ries of a prince, little entitled to praise, but who has yet been 
always regarded with enthusiasm by the Spaniards. In this 
second part he also related the most brilliant events of Philip*8 
reign, and a^in waited with impatience, but in vain, for the ho> 
nours and rewards which he conceived himself to have merited. 
The Emperor Maximilian II. bestowed upon him, it is true, a 
diamberlain^s key ; but without adding to this honour any of 
those pecunisiry acknowledgments of which Ercilla stood press- 
ingly in need Depressed and discouraged, the poet forsook his 
own countrr^ resolving to seek in foreign lands, and no doubt at 
the court of Maximilian, those rewards which Castile had refused 
to him. In his travels, during which he composed a third part €t 
his poem, he dissipated the remainder of his fortune, and expe- 
rienced, as he advanced in years, the hardships of poverty. 
Nothing is known of his history after his fiftieth year ; but the 
conclusion of his poem shows htm struggling with those misfor- 
tunes fix>m which so few of the great poets of Spain have been 
exempt After mentioning some new exploits and victories of 
Philip II., which would form a poetical theme, he renounces for 
himself so ungrateful a task ; a task which has produced to him 
neither recompense, nor glory, and with the following melancholy 
lines he disappears firom our view : 


* Ah I who shAll tell how oft the ocean's roar 

I brar*d in every clime ; now spreading forth 

My daring canvass to the freezing North ; 

Now conquering on the far antarctic shore 

The Antipodes ; while in the chancing skies 

Wondering I saw new constellations rise ; 

Now tempting unknown gulfs) with daring prow, 

To snatch a wreath to bind thy royri brow, 
' Where tbe cold southern zone the blissful day denies. 

Ercilla concludes by declaring, that, renouncing a world 
which has ever deceived him, he will hencefoiward consecrate 
to Grod the small remains of life, and weep over his faults, in- 
stead of devoting himself to the Mi? ses. 

There is in the courage of Erciiia, in his adventures and his 
misfortunes, a sort of romantic attraction, which induces us to 
expect to find him a* great poet as well as a great man. Unfor- 
tunately the Araucana does not confirm this favourable impres- 
sion. Indeed it can scarcely be regarded as a poem : it is rather 
a history versified and adorned with descriptions, in which the 
author never rises into the true poetical sphere. The Spaniards 
appear to have always failed in the epic, in consequence of the 
false ideas of it which they have entertained. Lucan has always 
been in their eyes the model of epic poets. They seem to have 
thought that their duty consisted in relating historical facts in a 
more impressive manner than the historian ; but they have never 
attended to the unity of interest and action, of the value of 
which they appear to have been unaware. They never distribute 
the incidents according to the impression which they wish to pro- 
duce ; suppressing, enlarging, and adding to them, according to 
the requisitions of an ait which is essentially creative. They 
sacrifice every thing to historical accuracy ; and yet it is not to 
that, but to poetical truth, that they ought to have attended. 
Ercilla prided himself upon his veracity and accuracy ; he chal- 
lenged even those who were best informed relative to the war of 
Arauco to point out a single error. His poem, therefore, is 
sometimes merely a rhymed gazette, which, not possessing the 
interest of novelty, is intolerably fatiguing. From the com- 
mencement, which he has imitated from Ariosto, he invokes 
Truth alone ; he nobly tells us how faithful he will prove to her, 
but at the same time he shows us that to her he has sacrificed all 
the charm of poetry. 

Quantas tierras corri, quantas naciones 
Hacia el eiado none atraresattdo ; 
Y en BUS btgas antarticas regiones 
£1 antipoda ignoto conquistando. 
Climas pasé, mudé constelaciones, 
Golfos iMavegables naregando, 
Estendiendo, senor, vuestra corona 
Hasta cast la au5tr8l frigida zona. 



Nor love, nor Ioto'i doUghts, ih' imf^nionM how, 
The tender thought, the heart's respoiuite throe. 
Nor lady fair, nor knight in amorous wo 
"Waking the lute beneath the myrtle bow'r, 
Attract my Muse ; bat deeds of highest name 
1 siog ; when, waking at the call of Fame, 
Spain's valiant sons unsheaih'd the glittering blade. 
And o'er the unsubdued \rauc-an laid 
The iron-burden'd yoke, his spirit proud to tame. 

Themes worthy of renown I shall rehearse : 
A people in the wilds of Nature bred, 
Who to a king ne'er bow'd the subject head ; 
Their deeds of bold eniprize shall in my verse 
Be song ; their native wealth, and fruitful soil. 
Enriched by industry, and patient toil ; 
And of their proud defence the Muse shall tell. 
How fir'd with freedom's flame the conquered fell, 
Adding new triumph to the conqueror's spoil. 

And thou, illustrious Philip, deign receive 
My humble labours ; thy benignant smile 
Shall every sorrow from m> heart beguile. 
And a rich guerdon to th> poet give : 
Truth prompts my song, nor from her sacred line 
All uncorrupted shall it e'er decline : 
Despise not thou the offering of the Muse, 
However poor ; nor gracious, oh refuse 
To lend thy royal name : her honours all are thine. 

After having devoted two stanzas more to the dedication, Er- 


No las damas, amor, no gentîleças 
De cabal le ros canto enamora^^os. 
Ni tas oioestras, regatos, ni terne^as 
De amorosos afectos y cuidados ; 
Ma» el valor, los hechos, la» proeças 
De aqueliob Espanoles esforçados 
<iue a la cerviz de \raueo nu domada 
Posieron duro yugo por la espada. 

Cosas dire tan bien harto notables 
De gen te que a ningun rei obedecen, 
Temerarias rmpresas mémorables 
Que cetebrarse con raçon merecen ; 
Baras indostrias, terminos luables. 
Que mas los Espanoles engrandecen, 
Pues no es e! vencedor mas estiinado 
De aquello en que el veucido es reputado ? 

Suplico OS, gran Felipe, que mirada 
Esta labor, de vos sea recebida, 
Que de todo favor necesitada 
Quede con darse a vos favorecida ; 
£s relacion, sin corromper, sacada 
De la verdad, cortada a su medlda. 
No desprecieis el don, aunque tan pobre 
Para que aatorldad mi verso cobre. 


cilia begini his poem widi a description of Chili wUdi he giyes, 
not in the language of the Muses, bat with a prosaic exact- 
ness which even a historian might wish to decline, and to 
resign to the mere statistical writer. It is not only inconsistent 
with poetry, but even totally irreconcileable to all elevation of 

* fUaning from North to South, Chili extends 
ikloDg the late diicover*d Southern sea ; 
Between its eastern and its western ends, 
Measur'â across where it is found to be 
The broadest, *tis a hundred miles. It bends. 
South latitude, from the twenty-seTonth degree 
To that point where the ocean's waves are met 
By those of Chili, in a narrow strait 

Six more stanzas, nearly in the same style, complete the 
description of Chili and Arauco. Ercilla nerer peroeived 
that in poetry it was necessaiy to paint the climate or the coun- 
try; that he ought to have brought before our eyes the wild 
mountains of the Andes, in the bosom of which lived the Puel- 
ches, the most formidable tribe in the confederated Republic of 
Arauco, instead of simply informing us that the mountains were 
a thousand leagues in len^h ; that he ought to have painted tbe 
varied hues of the vegetation, so different from that of Europe ; 
the climate, which within a very short space presents all the ex- 
tremes of heat and cold ; in short, that all the various embellish- 
ments of the scene, to which he was about to introduce us, ought 
to have been presented to our view. At the opening of his epic; 
Ercilla shows that he knew not how to describe like a poet He 
has even forgotten to reject the scientific words of north and 
south, east and west, which their foreign origin renders unplea- 
sant in the Spanish lang^uaffe. His description of the manners 
of the Araucans, of their division into sixteen clans, under six* 
teen chieftains or Caciques, agrees exactly with the present con- 
dition of that warlike people, who compelled the Sfpaniards to 
respect their liberties. That description, however, is very &- 
tiguing, because the forms of verse, if they do not facilitate tibe 
composition, contribute only to embarrass it ; and when they are 
made use of in prosaic details, require amplifications and artifi- 
cial expedients, which render them more heavy than mere pnwe. 

The territory of Arauco had been conquered by Don Fedre 

Es Chile oorte siir de gran longura, 
Costa del nooTO mar del sur Uamado, 
Tendra del Peste a oeste de angostura 
Cien mitlas, por lo mas ancho tornado. 
Bi^o ^^^ poio antariteo, en altura 
De reinte y siete grados prohingado, 
Hasta d6 el mar Oceano y Ghileno 
Mexclan sus agoas, por angusto seno. 


de Valdivia; who founded there seven Spanish cities. The con- 
querors» however, soon rendered their yoke insupportable to the 
vanquished Araucans, who at length revolted, and assembled 
t<^ther for the purpose of naming their general or Toqui. It 
is in this assembly tiiat Colooolo, the oldest of the Caciques, 
afler delivering a long harangue,* proposes an expedient worthy 
ot a barbarous nation : that a heavy beam should be brought, 
and that the man who can bear tlie weight the longest shall 
have the honour of commanding. All the Caciques successively 
make trial of their strength, but Caupoiican, the son of Leocan, 
bears away the prize. During two days and nights he sustains 
the beam upon his shoulders, and when, on the third day, he 
throws it down, he shows the assembly, by the activity of his 
leap, on ridding himself of his burthen^ that his vigour is not yet 
exhausted. ^ 

It was this Caupoiican who animated for such a length of 
time the courage of the Araucans, who led them from victory to 
victory, and who, when subsequently overwhelmed by the fresh 
succours which arrived from Peru, still supported the constancy 

* [if. de dûmondi informa us that tbis speech fass been translated by Vol- 
iaire^ who has expressed his admiration of it. This version, which is rather 
•loqnent than fhithful, has led Boutterwek to observe, that Voltaire eookl ap- 
preefato oratorical beaatj, but had an imperfect perception of poetical excel- 
lence I a chai|^e which M. de Sismondi repels with much warmth. The French 
translation is subjoined : TV.] 

*' Gaeiqttes, iMustns défenseurs de la pattie, le désir ambitieux de commander 
n'flit point ee qui m'engage à voua parler. Je ne me plains pas que vous di&« 
putîex avec tant de chaleur un honnear qui peut-être serait dû à ma vieillesse, 
et qui ornerait mon déclin : c'est ma tendresse pour vous, c'est l'amour que je 
dois à ma patrie, qui me sollicite à vous demander attention pour ma faible 
voix. Hélas t eomraènt pouTons-noua avoir assez bonne opinion de nous-' 
mêmes pour prétendre à quelque grandeur, et pour ambitionner des titre^ 
fastoeitx» nous qui avons été les malheureux sujets et les esclaves des Espag- 
nols? Votre colère, Caciques, votre fureur ne devraient-elles pas »'exerccr 
phitAt éontre nos tjrans ? Pourquoi tournez-vous contre vons-roêmes ces 
armes qui pourraient exterminer vos ennemis, et venger notre patrie ? Ah 1 
si voaa voulez périr, cherchez une mort qui vous procure de la gloire , d'une 
main^ brisez un joug honteux, et de l'autre, attaquez les Espagnols, et ne 
répandez pas, dans une querelle stérile, les précieux restes d'un sang que hn 
dieux TOUS ont laissé pour vous venger. J'applaudis, je Pavoue, K la ftère ému- 
lation de Y08 eourages ; ce même orgueil que je condamne, augmente léapoirquA 
je conçois* Mais que votre valeur aveugle ne combatte pascontre elle-même, et 
no se serre pas de ses propres forces pouf détruire le pays qu'elle doit défendre. 
Si vous êtes résolus de ne point cesser vos querelles, trempez vos glaives dans 
Aon sang glacé. J'ai vécu trop long-temps ; heureux qui meurt sans voir ses 
eottpoliiotea nnUietireox, et malheureux par leur foute 1 Ecoutes donc ee quo 
j'ose ▼oas proposer ; votre valeur, 6 Caciques ! est égale ; vous êtes tous égale- 
ment illustres par votre naissance, par votre pouvoir, par vos richesses, par vos 
exploits ; vos âmes sont également dignes de commander, égalemem capables 
de enlgaguet Punivers : ce sont ces présens célestes qui causent vos querelles» 
Vous nuques de chef, et ehoeun de vous mérite de l'êtra ; uinsi, pMsqn^l a'j a 
aucune diferensce entre vos courages, que la force du corps décide ce qu^ 
l'égalité de vos vertus n'aurait jamais décidé." 
Vol. II. "29 


of his couutrymcn in the midst of their reverses. No incon^ 
sidcrable interest might have been attached to the hero of the 
poem, and to the generous people whom he commanded ; our sym- 
pathies might easily have been awakened in favour of these half- 
naked savages, who were compelled to contend against all the 
advantages which their superior knowledge of the art of war 
gave to the Spaniards. But such neither was, nor ought to have 
been, the intention of Ercilla. H is object was to interest the reader 
for the Castilians and for himself, for we frequently find him 
fighting valiantly in the midst of his countrymen. The composi- 
tion Is, in fact, rather a journal than an epic. Animated as he was 
by his martial ardour, he has yet failed to communicate any por- 
tion of his enthusiasm to the reader ; he cannot make us enter 
into the cruel passions of the Spaniards ; he cannot make us ac- 
cessaries to their avarice and their fanaticism. We wade with 
pain through his long military details, all arranged in chronolo- 
gical oixler, through the history of his skirmishes, and the minute 
incidents which seem to require that we should be interested in 
the particular fortunes of every common soldier. As the con- 
quest of America was attempted by a handful of Spaniards, 
every individual, in fact, possessed considerable importance, and 
might imagine that he singly influenced the fate of empires. 
Thb species of war, in which we see more of the soldier, and 
less of military evolutions, is, perhaps, the best fitted for the pur- 
poses of poetry ; but in order to turn this circumstance to ad- 
vantage, Ercilla ought to have described the individual adven- 
tures of the soldiers, or he ought to have excited our attention 
by introducing some strongly-marked characters, or some promi- 
nent acts of heroism, which might dignify events intrinsically 
insignificant. The march of fourteen nameless soldiers, who 
are sent to reinforce the army of Valdivia, is a meagre subject 
for a whole canto of an epic poem. 

The author's style varies in the three parts of which his work 
is composed. The first portion, comprising the fifteen cantos 
wbich he wrote in America, is the most purely historical, the 
most devoid of all adventitious ornament, and the most fatiguing 
from the minute details of the war which it presents. In the 
second part, which was written in Europe, Ercilla was desirous 
of correcting the monotony of his subject, of which he had pro^ 
bably been made sensible, bpr the introduction of incidents 
possessing a greater degree of'^ national interest, and which, at 
the same time, should be more gratifying to the monarch to 
whom the poem was dedicated. In his seventeenth canto he 
describes tne battle of St Quentin, and in his twenty-fourth^ 
that of Lepaxito, without attempting however to connect them 
with his subject. The third and last pait, whidi concludes 
with the thirty-seventh canto, exhibits more ornament, though in 
general foreign to the subject and misplaced. In this portion of 
the work we meet with the description of the wonderful art and 


the cnchautcd gardens of the magiciaa Fiton, which coaM neyer 
have belonged to the wild deserts of America. Magic itself is 
boand to observe poetical truth. In the twenty-eighth canto, 
the beautiful savage, Glaura, recounts to Ercilla her intrigues 
and adventures with Carioian, in much the same terms, and with 
the same feelings, as might have been expected from a Spanish 
lady. Ercilla himself relates, during a long march, to his oomr 
panions in arms, the true history of Dido, Queen of Carthage, 
whom Virgil, he says, has calumniated in making her die of love 
for iEneas. This iiarrative alone occupies the thirty-second and 
thirty-third cantos. 

The course of the liistorical events, however, presents a tort 
of epic unity. The situation of the Spaniards m Arancô con- 
tinues to grow more and more critical, until the moment of their 
receiving reinforcements from Peru, after which period thejr ex- 
})eriencc no reverses. The capture of the Araucaa chief and 
liis frightful punishment should have formed the termination 
of the poem. With that incident the present analysis con- 

Caupolican, hunted from one retreat to another, and after 
every defeat again appearing in greater strength, is at length 
surprised and taken prisoner by the treachery of one of his 
soldiers. He voluntarily discovers his name to the Spanuurds, 
and declares that he has the power of treating with them so as to 
bind the whole nation. He engages that the Arauoans shall with 
himself embrace Christianity, and submit to the dominion of 
Philip, and represents that his captivity may thus be the 
means of procuring peace to all Chili; but he announces to 
them at the same time, that if it is necessary, he is equally pre- 
pared for death : 

* Nor spoke the Indian more, but with an ejo 
Intrepid, and a spirit all elate, 
With unblanch'd cheek, the last decree of fate 
Calmly axvaited ; or to lire or die 
To him was equal ; fortune's tempest dread 
Could frown no further Tengeance on his head ; 
Though bound a captive, and in fetters, still 
)^one through his soul th' unconquerable will ; 
His aspect nobly bold, (rom innate valour bred. 

Scarce h^d he told his name, than too severe 
A doom was passM — precipitate resolve ! 
ImpaPd, with arrows pierced, he should absolve 
His love of country, fiut no dastard fear 

* No dtjo el Indio mas, y la respuesta 
Sin turbacion, mirandole atendia ; 
Y la importante vida, o miierte prcsta 
f'allando, con igual rostro pedin ; 


Appaird bU spirit, no appealing look 
For mercy cried : fortune be would not brook. 
Though death agaiost him rais'd hi* iierj dart, 
With thousand tonnent^ armM, his valorous heart, 
Nor secret dread, nor mortal shudder shook. 

* Yet in a moment by God*s awful power 
Upon his 80«1 a mighty change was wrought ; 
The light of faith beam'd on him, and he sought, 
Amid the perils of that mortal hour, 
To share the Christian's baptism, and the sure 
Promise of bliss, that ever shall endure ! 
Castile's proud sons in joy and pity gac'd, 
While the barbarian tribes stood all amaz'd. 
And gushing tears their warrior eyes obscure. 

And now arrivM the sad though happy day, 
Which death and Christian baptism to him gare ; 
Though that the body slew, yet this should save 
His parted spirit from eorruption's sway. 
, 'Midst wondering crowds to death he then was brought, 
And the high doctrine of redemption taught. 
That bade him to resign his mortal breath, 
With firmest hope, to triumph ofer death. 
While on the life to eome repos'd his silent thought. 

His warrior brow no gorgeous feathers deck, 
His feet unsandall'd, to the silent plain 
Naked he came, dragging his weighty chain, 
That elasp'd with fell embraee his royal neck, 
Whence hung Che hangman's rope. A martial band 
And hosts of bristling spears around him stand, 
And weeping crowds, who ask if this be true. 
That sorrowing sight that meets their shuddering view, 
This last sad triumph o'er their native land. 


Que por mas que fortune contrapuesta 
Procuraba abatiiie, no podia, 
Goardando, aunque Tencido y preso, en todo, 
Cierto termine libre, y grare modo. 

Per6 mudole Dios en un memento, 

Obrando en el su poderosa mano ; 

Fues eon lumbre de fé y conocimientd 

Se quiso bautizar y ser Christiano : ' < 

Cause lastima, y junto gran contento J 

AI drcunstante pueblo Castellano, ' 

Con grande admiracion de todas gentes 

Y espanto de los barbaros présentes. 

I<uego aquel triste, aunque felice dia 
Que con solemnidad le bautizaron, 

Y en lo que el tiempo escaso permitia 
En la fé rerdadera le informaron ; 
Cercado de una gniesa compania 
Di bien armada gente, le sacaron 
A padecer la muerte consentida, 
f'on csperenra ya dc mejor Tida. 


Thus to the bloody scaflTold be drew Bigb, 
That diftaat from tbe camp an arrow's flight, 
Raited on the piaiD, speared before hii nght, 
And to the gazing croird was seen on high. 
AseendJng tiien the stage, with brow elate, 
He saw the dread preparatives of fate ; 
Saw, withoQt change of temper or of blood, 
The armament of death, thai round him stood, 
With placid mifiB, as in his firee-bom state. 

Now reach'd the sommit, with an eye serene 
From side to side he turns his gazing view, 
Admiring tho vast crowd that round him drew, 
The sad spectators of the deathly scene ; 
Wondering, his people askM how fortune's might 
Could hurl their monarch from his native height 
Of glory ; nor were bounds to their amaze. 
While pthering fast around with tearAil gaze, 
They view the coming scene with terror and affright. 

Then near unto the pointed stake he came, 
Where he ere long should pour his mortal breath 
In the dire conflicts of a torturing death: 
But here no tenon shook his manly frame : 
*^ Pleas'd I submit, since destiny hath cast 
This bloody die ; soon is the Journey passed ; 
Contempt and proud despite shaU arm my souJ," 
He said, "to quaff misfortune's bitter bowl, 
Nor feel we that dread stroke Uiat comes the last." 

Descalzo, destooado, a pie, desaodo, 
Dos pesadas cadenas arrastraado, 
Con ana soga al cueBo, y gnvMo iiado 
Pe la qual el verdugo iba tirando : 
Cercado entono do armas, y el menudo 
Pueblo detras, mirando y remirando 
SI erai posible aquello que paeaba, 
<lue wlsto por kw ojosi aun dudaba. 

Besta manera pne«, liege al Tabiado, 
Que eataba un tiro de awo del asiento, 
Media plea del suelo levantado, 
De todas partes a la virta esento. 
Donde con el esfoer^o aeostumbiado, 
Sin mudança y senal de sentimientO) 
Por la escala sahio, tan i es em buelto 
Como si de prisiones ANfasoello. 

Puesto ya ea lo maa alto, rebolviendo 
A an lado y otro la serena frente, 
Estuvo alii parade un rata, viendo 
£1 gran concurso y maltitud de gente, 
Que el increible caso y estnpendo^ 
Atonita miraba atentamente^ 
Teniendo a marahBa, y gtan'aspanto 
Haver podido la fortune tanto. 


The busy hangman now approach'd hU aide 
To seize his prey, a branded negro slave, 
The wretched freightage of the Atlantic wave. 
This last indignity too deeply tried 
The Monarch's spirit, though with soul unmoved 
He yet had every frown of fortune provM ; 
He could not brook, though in this bloody strife, 
So base an ending to bis noble life, 
. And all indignant thus the hostile chief repro%M. 

" Oh deed unworthy of the Christian race ! 
Is this your boasted honour, this the dower 
Of noble valour in her dying hour, 
To bid me perish by a baud so base ? 
Death b a full atouemeot, and life fled, 
We war no longer with the helpless dead : 
This is not death, but mockery and despite, 
Thus to afflict my spirit in her flight, 
And heap this dark dishonour on my head. 

" Amidst your swords that now so silent rest. 

That drank my country's blood, and in the strife 

Of furious battle thirsted for my life, 

Can none be found to pierce my warrior breast ? 

Whatever sorrows on my head descend, 

Whatever griefs my suffering heart may reud. 

Let not a slave's polluted touch disgrace 

Gaupolican, the latest of bis race ; 

Nor such a deed of shame his hour of death attend." 

Llegose el mismo al §àkOi donda havia 
De ser la atroa sentencia ejecutada ; 
Con un semblante tal que pareeia 
Tener aquel terrible trance en nada. 
Diciendo: pues el bado, y sucrte mia 
Me tienen esta muerte apar^ada, 
Yenga, que yo la pido, y yo la quiero, 
Que ningun mal ay grande, si es postrero. 

Luego llego el verdugo diligente. 
Que era un negro Geloffo mal vestido, 
£1 qual viendole el barbaro présente 
Para darle la muerte prevenido, 
Bien que con rostro y animo paciente 
Las afrentas demas havia sufrido, 
Sufrir no pudo aquella, aunqoe poatrera 
Diciendo en alta vox desta manera. 

Gomo que en Christiendad, y pecho honrado 
Cabe cosa tan fuera de medida, 
Que a un hombre como yo, tan senalado, 
Le dé muerte una mano asi abatida 7 
Basta, basta morir al mas culpado ; 
Que aifin todo se paga coo la vida» 
T es, usar de este termlao con migo 
Inhamana vengança, y no castigo. 



So spoke the indignant chief, and sudden turnM 
Upon the miscreant slave, and though oppressM 
With galling we^t of fetters, on the breast 
He smote him fierce, and from the scafibld spurn'd. 

Gaupolican, whom the very men who were inflicting upon him 
the most atrocious punishment continually exhorted to patience 
and resignation, repented of this act of impatience, or rather he 
summoned to his aid the heroism peculiar to the Americans, 
that imperturbable qpurage, which enables them to ti'iumph oyer 
human malevolence. No longer offering any resistance,^ 
he again assumed an air of Indifference, whilst racked by 
cniel pains, he was set up as .a mark for the arrows of the 
Castilians : 

t Then from the ranks ateppM forth a chosen band 
Of archers, six in number, but as true 
As death the feathered weapons which they drew. 
At thirty paces firom the diief they stand ; 

No huTiera alguna espada aqui de qnan tas 
Contra mi so arranearan a pôrtia ? 
Que usada a nuestras miselras gai^otas 
Cercenàra de un goipe aquesta mia ? 
Que aunque ensaie su fuerça en mi de tan tas 
Mèneras la fortuna en este dia, 
Acaba no podra que bnita mano 
Toque al gran general Caupolicano. 

Etto dicho, 7 alcando el pié derecho, 
Aunqtie de las cadenas impedido, 
Di6 tal coz al Terdugo, que gran trecho 
Le ecltô rodando a bajo, mal herido. 

* Repreliendido el impaciente hecho, 
T el del subito enojo redueido, 
Le sesitaron despues eon poca aiuda 
Sobre la punta delà estaca aguda. 

No el aguaçado palo pénétrante, 
Por mas que las entranas le rompiese, 
Barre aendole el euerpo, fa bastante 
A que al dolor intento se rindiese. 
Que con sereno termino y semblante, 
Sin que labio ni ceja retorciese, 
8o8<^ado quedo, de la manera 
Que si asentado en talamo estuviera. 

t En esto, seis flecheros senalados, 
Que prevenidos para aquello estaban, 
Treint» pasos de trecho desTiados, 
Por orden y de espacio le tiraban ; 


And though for taitny a year their bows had sped 

Their bloody shafts, and strewn the 6eld with dead, 

Yet at so great a name a sudden fear 

Their courage check'd : they (hit the rising tear. 

And from their trembling hearts their faintfag iptrtts fled. 

But cruel fortnue, whose atenging hate 
Had ftird so deep the martyi*8 cup af W0| 
That soon the bitter drai^ght must OTerflow, 
Herself now urc'd the bloody stroke of fate ; 
And as her hand the straining bowstring pressa, 
A hundred amws pierced the ehieftain^ breasi : 
Nor fewer would suffiee to free a way 
For his great spirit from her home of elay, 
And to its warrior soul giro its eternal rest. 

Y aunque en toda maldad i(iercitadoa| 
Al despedir la flécha ?aeilaban, 
Temiendo poner mano en un tal hombre, 
]>e tanta autoridad y tan gran nombre. 

Mas fortuna erual, que ya tenia 
Tan poeo por hacer, y tanto hecho, 
Si tiro alguno aneso alii aalia, 
Forçando el cuno le traia derecho ; 

Y en broTe, sin denur parte vaeia, 

JOe eien fleehas quedo pasado el pacho, 
Por d6 aquel grande espiritu hecho fiiera. 
Que por menos heridas no cupien. 


Oa the RoBumtic Dnma. Lope Felix de Vegi Cerpio. 

In treating of the various branches of the literature of the 
South, we haye hitherto ventured to criticise, with t}ie greatest 
freedom, authors whose reputation entitles them to the utmost 
respect Without regard to mere arbitrary rules, we have not 
hesitated to express our praise or our censure, according to the 
impressions wluch we have received from the perusal of those 
works, which are admired as masterpieces of genius by other 
nations. If, in pursuing this course of criticism, we have exposed 
ourselves to the imputation of deciding in too peremptory a 
style, on subjects with which we have only a partial acquaint- 
ance, we may, perhaps on the other hand, justly claim the merit 
of candour and impartiality. By fully explaining the feelings 
with which we have been inspired by the study of individual 
works, we have discharged our duty with greater fidelity, than 
if we had only echoed the public sentiment and added to the 
number of those who join with indifference the voice of common 

But the topic which it is now intended to discuss embraces 
Gonsideratioms of peculiar delicacy. It cannot be altogether di- 
vested of nationsLl pr^udices. On the subject of dramatic 
literature the nations of Europe have divided themselves into 
two conflicting parties ; and, refusing to observe any degree of 
reciprocal jiustice, they exasperate each other with mutual insult 
and contempt. Each country has erected its fiivourite author 
into an idol, against whom all hostile criticism is prohibited. If 
the French pay their adorations to Racine, the English worship 
Shakspeare with no less devotion; while Calderon, in Spain, 
and Schiller, in Grermany, are objects of equal veneration. To 
compare one of these authors with the others would be to offend 
at once all their admirers. Should it be practicable to point out 
a blemish in some &voured writer, it is not easy to urge the ob- 
jection with success. Far from conceding the point his parti- 
zans will convert into a beauty the fault which they cannot con- 
ceal They imagine that the national honour depends upon a 
superiority which they hold to be too clear taadmitof any ques- 

VoL. IL 30 


lion ; for, in tlie wannth of controversy, the disjiutants reject 
the very idea that their own opinion may, by possibility, not be 
free fran error. 

It was oar intention, in a work of this natnre, to make an im- 
f^tial display of the opposite systems adopted by different na- 
tions, and to explain the peculiar tenets of each, as well aa to 
detail the armaments apon whidi they founded their attacks upon 
the theory of their adversaries. We would sladly have believed 
that we had shown ourselves equally sensiue to the beauties of 
these opposite sects, and that, whilst we endeavoured to catdi 
and to indicate the point of view in which our subject is seen 
by foreign naticms, we had succeeded in avoiding their pre- 
judiees. Without asserting a jurisdiction over the rules of other 
schools, we have treated, with due severity, those writers, how- 
ever iUustriouSi who rejected indiscriminately all rules alike. 
Leaving to every theatre the observance of its own practical 
laws, it has been our aim to overlook national mtems» and to 
prefer the contranplation of a general theory of peetry, which 
may embrace them all. Our anxious wish to observe a strict 
impartiality has not been properly appreciated. B^ both parties 
we have been considered as avowing hostile opinions. While 
the English critics have rebuked with severity the preferenoe» 
which, in peaking of Alfieri, we have given to the classical 
school, the French have censured with noTess asperity the teate 
Ibr the productions of the romance authors, which we have not 
attempted to disguise, whilst remarking on the works of CaJde- 
Ton. The result of our exertions to interfere with neither party, 
has been, that each has, in its turn, disavowed us, and endea- 
voured to drive us into the arms of the other. 

We shall, however, persist in our determination not to range 
ourselves under any party-banner. We shall repeat our appeal 
to the enlightened minds of those who decide upon all other 
questions with iaipartiaMty and justice. We would ask, how it 
happens that great nations, as highly civilized as ourselves^ to 
whom it is not posaibie to refiase the merit of erudition, of cor- 
rect taste, of imagination, of sensibilitv, and of every mental 
faculty essential to perfection in criticism or in poetry, should 
maintain an opinion diametrically opposite to our own on sub- 
jects which they understand quite as well as ourselves ? Is it 
not manifestly true that different nations, in tlieir estimate of 
Hie dramatic art, consider it in detached portions, and that eacb 
selecting some favourite quality, proportioBS its pmise or censure 
to the dSegpee in which this requii^ite haa been observed or ne- 
glected by the auUior ? From the nature of this art, a certaiu 
d^ree of improbability mvst be submitted to by all,' but dif- 
ferent countries disagree as to the particular concessions whidi 
must in this respect be made ; and, whilst they shut their eye» 
to ^e established licenses of their own stage, they are mutually 
disgusted by those which arc allowed iu forei^ theatres* It 


euttiot be diqpnited tiiat the law of intrinric beauty and genuine 
taite is pamnovit to all tbese nationai jarisdictions : this law it 
is the buine«8 of a phâosopèer to explore. He will not fail to 
reoegnisc its operatioin when he perçoives the union of several 
rival nations in one common sentiment ; and he will draw a de- 
cided distinction between those rules of criticism wlûch are of 
arbitrary dictation, and those which have their foundation in the 
very nature of things. 

Altboii^ every nation possesses, with regard to dramatic li- 
terature, its own peculiar taste and rules, yet each may be ar- 
ranged under one of the two banners which are now raised in 
opposition flirooghout all Europe. To distinguish these two 
conflietînç systems, ttie epithets cS das$kal and rmBotMe have 
been empkoyed ; terms to which it is perhaps difficult to a(ttach 
any definite meaning. Those ancient authors, whose authority 
has been called to their aid by the Ften^ and the Italians, are 
denominated by them cUtssical, Their own writers, when they 
have adhered with sufficient closeness to these models, have been 
honoured with the same app^lation ; and a closateol taste is de- 
scriptive of tiie greatest purity and perfection; nor have the 
critics ef Germany, of i^^and, and of Spain, ^sputed the 
propriety of this term. They have acquiesced in bestowing the 
tkle of elamcal on every literary production which belongs to 
the Boman or to the Grecian School. But these nations» deeply 
hnbued vrith the ideas and the feelings of the middle ages, inu^ 
gine that they possess a more valuable fund of poetry in their 
own antiquities than exists in those of foreign countnes. De- 
ligfatiiw in the stndy of their old popular traditions, they have 
hcoioe KKmed that style of chivalric poetry which nourishes pa- 
triotic feefings, and which magnifies our ancestors so greatly in 
the eyes o£ ueiir posterity.. To this poetry the Gennans have 
given the epithet of romanHc, because the Romance language 
was that of the Troubadours, who first excited these new emo- 
tions; because the civilization of modem times commenced 
with tiie inse of the Romance nations; and because the dii- 
valrie poetry, like the Romance langua^, was stamped with the 
twe&dd dnaracter of the Roman world, and of the Teutcmie 
tribes which subdued it But whatever may have induced the 
Gtxinans to adopt this name, a subject upon which they them- 
selves hold various opinions, it is enough for us that they have 
thos appropriated it, and there b no reason why we should con* 
test it with them. 

This distribution into tiie classical and romantic schools wa» 
extended by the German critics to all the branches of literature, 
and even to the fine arts. But as the two system^ are in no 
point so directly 4>pposed to each other as in all that relates \a 
the theatrical airt, the term romantkt when it was adopted by 
the Frencîi, was exdusively applied by them to that system of 
dramatic composition, which differed most essentially from their 


own. It may be readily conceived that the principles of the 
classical school are in direct hostility not only to that which is 
intrinsically wrong, bat also to that which is only wrong as 
being forbidden by arbitrary rules. Of this drcamstanoe the 
French critics have availed themselves. They have designedly 
confounded the universal rules of good taste with their own nar- 
row laws ; and they have distinguished the classical system as 
that which observes all the rules, and the romantic as that whidi 
disregards them all. Because a new species of composition has 
arisen among them, the mélodrame, remarkaUe only for its fidse 
and exaggerated sentiment, its improbability, and its violation 
alike of classical rules and of natural good sense, it is immedi- 
ately asserted that the mélodrame belongs to the romantic 
school. Because indifferent authors, in every branch of letters, 
revolt against the rules which they are unable to observe, it is 
maintained that the romantic system is destitute of all genins» 
and that the poetry which constitutes the delight of the English» 
of the Germans, and of the Spanish, may be best described as a 
simple negation of all the beauties of French poetry. AmoDg 
other inconveniences, it is to be observed that this mode m 
reasoning may be turned with full effect against those who em- 
ploy it. The theatre of other civilized nations has also its rules, 
nowever they mav differ from our own. With some of these 
the French have thought proper to dispense, for the purpose of 
introducing some stage-effect, which they consider as preferable; 
while the Germans, the English, and the Spanish, on the other 
hand, regard the French theatre as utterly devoid of that tmtii, 
that life, and that poetical colouring which they so much admire. 

In pursuing, then, our inquiry into the system of the romantic 
drama, we shall regard it as it has been developed by its ad- 
mirers, and, above all, by the German critics, in their remarks as 
well on the works of the Spanish and of the English as on their 
own authors. We shall investigate the abstract tendency of its 
principles, before we inquire how those principles have been 
practically enforced ; and we shall endeavour to discover rather 
what has been intended, than the success with which the at- 
tempt has been accompanied. The most zealous partisans of 
the Romance writers are not so bigoted as to deny that they 
have their faults, or to attempt to convert those very Êiults into 

In one point, at least, all countries have fully agreed. The 
dramatic art is considered by them all as an imitotion of nataie» 
which brings before our eyes actions and events which occurred, 
or which might possibly have occurred, without wituesses, in 
times long past, and in places iar remote. By presenting as 
with a lively representation of the play of human passions, it 
affords us at once improvement and delight In order to adapt 
the sentiments and passions of the scene to those of the specta- 
tor, and to impart instruction with effect, the observation or some 


degree of trutli is iiidiapeiiiable. But as we are thus introduced 
to scenes which, in the ordinary course of events, we never 
could have witnessed, we must to a certain extent acquiesce in 
improbabilities. By whatever system it may be regulated, the 
stage is always an enchanted spot ; and, when we have permitted 
the magician to transport us by his art to Athens or to Home, we 
have scarclv left ourselves the right of objecting to the farther, 
exercise of his powers. 

• The object which the dramatist means to represent, must de- 
termine the> degree to which truth and probability may be vio-^ 
lated, on introducing historical facts or real personages into tiie 
precincts of the art Nor must it be forgotten, that in all the imi- 
tative arts, the copy should never present us with an exact trans- 
cript of the orignal. It would appear that a portion of the 
pleasure which we derive from this source, consists in observing, 
at the same time, the points of difference as well as of coinci- 
dence. It would be absurd to paint a statue and to array it in 
real garments. The picture which has all the advantoge of 
colours, is never brought out in relief. Upon the same principle 
the drama ought not to oorrespoud* in every respect, with the 
scenes which we daily witness in real yib. The mimic powers 
of the art are not without their bounds ; and it is even neces- 
sary that its decepûons should not be altogether concealed from 
our view. 

According to all the commentators upon the drama of the 
Greeks, that species of composition always commenced with the 
diorus. This lyrical portion of the poem, improbable in itself, 
but at the same time more highly poetical than the rest, was the 
first sonrcse of delight to the spectetor. In the chorus, the poet 
placed his prindpal glory ; and, through this medium, the senti- 
ments of the assembled people were expressed. On the merit 
cf the chorus depended the success of the tragedy. In the es- 
timation of the Greeks, the manners, the chuacters, the pas- 
sions, the «incidents, and the catastrophe, were of very subordi- 
nate interest With them the action of the drama admitted of 
great brevity. The catastrophe alone, with the assistance of 
me chorus, was sufficient to occupy the theatre. For this reason 
we find dhat, of all those subjects which the Greeks selected for 
the stage, and which have reached our times, the greater part 
would not supply sufficient action for a modem play. We look 
in vain for a regular plot and a catastrophe. We find only a 
developement of the story in beautiful lyrics. It necessarily re- 
sults that the Greek tragedies are confined to very strict limits, 
and comprise but a few hours. Yet their authors were far from 
observing those limits with the severity which is so much in- 
sisted upon at the present day. 

At the period of the reformation of the French theatre, under 
the auspices of Louis XIV^ the national taste had been per- 
verted Dy those romantic reveries winch formed the only literary 


Btadies in Ae finrinomUe dattes d toctety. The kmg romances 
id lMCidprMèdew[AofSettMry,ài which 
tfaan tiie namet, were then eageriy pernsed bj the courtier as 
well aa by the eitizen. To a&pt tabjeeta of andeiit hiitor|r t» 
the taite of those who then decided on the merit of dcamaiic at- 
tempts, it was neeestar^ to invest them with a tentimeKtal dia- 
guise, which» although it is now regarded as in the highest de* 
gree ridiculous, was esteemed at that time to be an indispensable 
re^iisite. Men of real genius, and Racine in particular» who 
far excelled all others, after haying deqply imbibed the genuine 
and masculine beauties of dassual antiquity, were caUed upon, 
to resuscitate them before an audience which was oriy acquainted, 
with tiiem through the medium of tiieir romantic inierptetatioiL 
It is orroneoos to conclude diat Hie talents of Racine were ex- 
dusively adapted to the expression of tenderness and lore. 
The fact is, that these sentiments alone were required from bim 
far ihe^pirit of the age. In point of timeand place, an intngue 
Of tiie romantic drama is, aUnost of necessity, eitre»dy con* 
fried. Racine found the rules already established, which pre- 
scribed twenty-four hours as the duration of the action, and meed 
the scene to a single spot The opeiation of these ndes gave 
him little concern ; ïor a compliance wiA them, on his part was 
a work of no difficulty. His daims to our admiratbn are not 
built upon this foundation. The subjects which he was cmn- 

Klled to treat, were capable of ben^ restricted lo very narrow 
ands. But we cannot too highly apolaud the prodi^ioas 
genius which has enaUed him to c&ak tnese subjects, and to 
place the productions drawn from the Romance writers of that 
age on a level with the most glorious creations of ancient (ireeoe. 

In the writings of Racine, howcTer, the French tfaoitre dia« 
plays some improbabilities wHh which foreign critics hare often 
reproached it. For ourselves, so completely are we reconciled 
to tiiem by the genius and autlKNrtty of the poet, that we cannot 
CTcn perceive them. Thus, he has systematically blended to> 
gether manners so totally opposed to each other as those of the 
chivalric i^es and of ancient Greece. Nothing can possibly be 
more distinct than the language of Romance» loaded as it is 
wkh titles of honour and terms of servile respect, and the di^ 
nified simplicity of the antique. In addition to this, the Ei^lish 
particidarly condemn his invariable custom of uniting heroic 
verse with rhyme, and of conveying his senthnents in a strain 
of language so uniformly elevated as almost entirely to suppress 
the abrupt and natural impulses of the mind. 

Under sudi artificial regulations, it is asserted, by fordgn na- 
tions, that truth and nature can never be found. To this posi- 
tion let us be allowed to reply, that such among us are the 
settled rules of the art ; that we imitete nature, not under her 
prosaic but under her poetical forms ; and that, as the sculptor 
c^ves animation to the marble blodk, so our great masters of 

▼erse have infoied Itfe înito the nomtoiiouf and itetely akxan- 

It wa« HàB mutom ef the Spaniarda to icpreBcnt on the tteffe, 
not only tke giett incidents of thek natkxud history, but «so 
those oompUoated intrigues, those feats of dexterity and tvns of 
fortone, which delighted their imagination and reminded them 
of their Moorish romanoei, which were infinitely more fertile in 
adventures than those of the French. The Engliiâi, ydio had 
oidy just emerged from a state of oivil war&io, and were on the 
point of plnigiog into it once more, preferred the representation 
at those auMre potent passkNBs» which influence pnUic men. 
They dwelt with delight on the exhibition of deep and energetio 
diaraeters» tftniggling under the most momentone èîreomslanoes, 
and they loved to contemplate the courae of the statesman thn>ngfa 
the career rf natioiml events. Possessing greiÉer infermotion 
and more steadiness than either of these nations, the Cïemtfms 
aimed at reviving on ikmi stage the aDcnee of real history, in 
their natural ecdours. In thdar charaoters, in their kngnaffe, and 
in the train of events, they j^urtioularly insisted on Bie eh* 
servance of truth and reality. They seemed to lay a strict in- 
junction on the poet, that he should conceal nothing front thdr 

PsopoBmg to themselves 4be attainment of oUeets so différant 
from otir own. these thr^oe nations required, in die a«tsan of thek 
dramas» greater latitude both of tone smd spaoe. Neither the 
Eastern fictions of the fij;$t> nor the poUliGaland historical pieces 
of ihe others, could be subjected to tim rule of the foar«sd- 
twenty hours. In the management of auoh rabjects, it was 
necessary either to confine the soeaie irepresentation to tim ea- 
tastrc^Ae alone, or to substitute recitals in the flace -of aotmnr^ 
an arrai^ement which is desti'uetive ofaU dramatic e&et; or to 
permit the poet to compress the lapse of time before theses of 
the spectators. The essence of the romantic jsystem consists, 
ihen, in tike privilege whidi ^ bas granted to the dramatist of 
condensing suecessive events on use same scene and into tiie 
stme day, by a kind of theatrical magic ; upon the same prin- 
ciple that the nm^e of the fancy enab^s us to survey the same 
events in their proper colours, upon the perusal of a few brief 
pages, and in the lapse of a few short hours. 

Against this license of the romantic stage, of which the an- 
<^qU perhaps diecUned to avail themselves only because tliey 
•coald not change their scenery nor dispense with the presence of 
file chorus, the authority of Aristotle and the argument of pro»* 
bability have been strongly urged. With reqiect to the autho- 
rity of the Stagyrite, the advocates of the romantic school seon 
to reply, with good reason, that hb dodrine of the unities is con- 
tained in a very obscure treatise, of the genuineness of wUcfa 
some doubts may be entertained. Nor, it .is farther contended, 
is it eaay to explam why <he name of Aristofle, vHiidh on phiin- 


sophical questions was once esteemed all powerful, skoidd ever 
have been allowed much weight in the solution of poetical diffi- 
culties. To a nice perception of the fine arts, his dry, metho- 
dical» and calculating eenius must have rendered him an utter 
stranger ; and the faith which is yet extended to his oracular 
judgments, is nothing more than a relic of that usurped domi- 
nion, which, three centuries since, he exercised over all the 
schools and over every branch ci the human understanding. 

Nor have the same critics less forcible reasons to urge, on the 
question of probability. It is readily admitted, they observe; 
that the scene of these representations is a stage, open on one 
side to our observation ; that the actors, insteaia of being ab- 
sorbed in their own feelings and business, address themselves to 
the audience ; that they speak our native language, and not that 
of the characters which they have assumed ; that the latter, al- 
though often supposed to be natives of different countries, uni- 
formiy speak the same language ; and that the theatre represents, 
at the pleasure of the dramatist, the time and the place to which 
the action of his piece relates. Having carried our concessions 
to this point, can the tragedian be said to trespass too far, when, 
like A«>r, in the opera of Marmcmtel, he assumes the power of 
laying open to our inspection, with his magic ring, the different 
ecufices and places where the train of events, which we are in so 
supernatural a manner admitted to behold, is transacting Î When 
a particular fact has required, in point of historical truth, a long^ 
space of time, and a transition to various countries, for its ac- 
complishment, the spectator is reduced to a choice between in- 
convenience on the one hand, and improbability on the other. 
If he does not determine to follow the course of time, and the 
regular succession of places, he must permit the author to ooDect 
his personages in the same apartment, and to effect all their ope- 
rations in the short space of time occupied by the representa- 
tion. We shall then find conspiracies organized at the. very 
foot of the throne i and we shall see the conspirators meet, dis- 
perse, and re-assemble, in the prosecution of their plans, mthin 
the lapse of three hours, in violation not of truth and probability 
alone, but of possibility itself It cannot be contended that one 
of these methods is more repugnant to probability than the 
other, provided the time is supposed to elapse and the scene is 
changed, whilst the curtain is dropped and the illusion is, for a 
moment, suspended. This mode is adc^ted even upon the 
French theatre, where the imaginary extent of time allowed to 
a representation, is arbitrarily fixed at twenty-four hours. It 
must, however, be confessed that, in the romantic plan, every 
change of scene produces a momentary dissipation of the de- 
ception. Having once transported ourselves into another time 
and country, we lose all recollection of this first act of the ima- 
gination, and, thinking no longer of ourselves, we live in the fic- 
tions of the drama. On the occurrence at a change ùi scene. 


we are restored to our consciousness, and we begin to consider 
into what country we have been carried, what time has passed 
since the last scene, and what new exertion of imagination the 
author wtH next require. The latter, od his part finds himself 
compelled to enter into new explanations, to suspend the scene, 
in order to make us acquainted witii the intermediate incidents, 
and thus to retard the progress of the action. But it cannot be 
doubted, on the other luind, that, from this enlarged license, the 
most striking effects are elicited. Instead of long and cold nar- 
rations, every important scene may, by this means, be brought 
OB the stage ; much greater truth is given to the picture of man- 
ners ; and the poet, introducing us into the interior of every 
mansion, penetrates more effectually into the secrets of Ae heart 
Sul^eets of the greatest magnitude may be represented ; and 
mighty revolutions are no longer confounded with paltry in- 
trigues, which are concerted and developed in the course of a 
few hoars, and with the aid of trifling expedients. 

We certainly attach too much force to the authority of our 
three great tragedians, when we oppose the dramatic rules of the 
Frenc» schod to those of all other nations, and pass an unquali- 
fied oensure upon the latter. It is not to these great writers 
that we owe the r^^ations of our stage. These were esta- 
VlÎAbed long befc»^ by authors of no extraordinary talent, who 
were then in possession of the stage. In the year 155% Jodelle, 
in his Ckopairct, observed these rules with scrupulous exactness ; 
and from that period the herd of critics no longer admitted of 
any tteviation. Tet Comeilie, when he composed the finest of 
all his works, the Cid, had but a very confused idea of them, 
and consequentiy incurred the severe animadversions of the 
erudite. Nor, in the best of his succeeding pieces, in Lea Ho- 
retcet and Gmno, did he observe either the unity of action or that 
of intereet. The hostile criticism which be encountered, forced, 
at last, upon his notice those rules which have been sanctified 
by the bigotry of the learned ; but it is unfortunate that in the 
tery instances in which he has most closely adhered to them, 
his eiforts are least worthy of his high reputation. Racine, 
acria, found subjects of love, of intrigue, and of gallantry, in 
almost exclusive possession of the French stage. To this pre- 
sent sfwit of the age he was compiled to submit and, as to- 
pics of this nature require neither length of time, nor a wide 
nn^ of i^tces, finr their developement he felt very little inoon- 
vemenee from ^ observance of the three unities, while labour^ 
ing under the much more ftrmidable difficulty of exhibiting only 
amorous hetoes. With the most patiietic eIoq[uenoe, with the 
most irresistible truth, and with the ^most exquisite sensibility, 
he portrayed alt that is affecting and tragical in love. But the 
nies to which he oonfermed and which he rendered subservient 
to the production of such inimitaUa beauties, bdonged, not so 
much to himself, as to Pradon, who in Ae public estimatk», was 

Vol. 11 31 

ll^i'i ON TUE LlTluKATLfKE 

stili more gallant, more romantic, and consequently, more perteci. 
At a much later period, Voltaire found himself still more nar- 
rowly circumscribed by these rules of art which it was alway» 
the endeavour of little minds to draw closer. He exerted him- 
self to procure for the drama a wider ranse ; and he attempted 
paths which had hitherto been regarded oy the French as im- 
practicable. Gallantry was excluded from his scenes, and k>Te 
was only retained in its tragic character. He drove from tlie 
stage that crowd of spectators, whose presence, being destructive 
of all pomp, decoration, and animated action, reduced the tra- 
gedy, of necessity, to a mere formal dialogue. Different na- 
tions, in all their variety of manners and of costume, ariB pre- 
sented to us, instead of the ever-repeated mythology of the 
Greeks. We are affected by the sentiments of personages of 
our own religion and of our own country. Yet did V(^taire ex- 
perience incessant embarrassment from the rules which he found 
established on our stage. Hist(H*y cannot possibly be subjected 
to the limits of the four-and-twenty hours; and from history, 
therefore, he was altogether precluded. The plots of most of 
his tragedies, and among these of his most admirable pieces, of 
Zaire, of Mzirtt of Mahomet, and of Taucred, are altogether 
fictitious. Nor did the fables of mythology afford him a greater 
choice of subjects. In his remarks upon his (Edîpus, he observed 
to M. de Genonville, that this sterile subject might possibly 
suffice for one or two scenes, but certainly not for a whole tra- 
gedy. He expressed a similar opinicm of the PhilocUtes^ of 
Electro, and of Iphigenia in Taurida. This observation might, 
indeed, be extended to almost all those tragedies of the highest 
class, in which, with a strict observation of the classical rules, 
the catastrophe alone is introduced upon the stage, whilst the in- 
tricacies of the plot, and indeed the whole action of the piece, 
are comprised in recitals which are rather of an epic than of a 
dramatic nature. In the romantic system, the first act of the 
tabic would properly commence on the day when Œdipus, driven 
from the altars of Corinth, and branded by the imputations of a 
dreadful oracle, quitted his country, to prevent the possibility of 
committing the threatened crime, and to pursue the path of gloiy 
which had been traced by Hercules. The second act would 
comprise his meeting with Laius, and the assassination of that 
king. In the third we should discover him at Thebes, and vrit- 
ness the deliverance of that city from the fury of the Sphinx. 
The fourth would show us the fatal rewards which are bestowed 
upon him by the people ; the. throne of Laius, and the hand of 
his widow. These are tlie necessary steps in the tragedv, and 
the constituent parts of its action. Upon these are founded all 
the anxiety and all the terror of the catastrophe, which in itself 
is only sufficient to occupy the fifth act All these previous 
parts of the action, which cannot be arranged under any unity 
of time or of place, are not less essential to the classical tragedy 


than to tliat of the romantic school. They are all introdaced hy 
Voltaire into his play ; but to eflFect this, he has made the first 
four acts consist of mere recitals, which are addressed, for the 
most part by (Edipus to Jocasta. A dramatist of the Romance 
school, who assumes the privilege of showing us different places, 
■and of carrying us through successive periods of time, with the 
same freedom as a writer of romances, an epic poet,- or any indi- 
vidual who describes events real or imaginary, would have 
placed all these incidents before our eyes. Had he possessed 
the genius of Vdtaire, he would have produced the most striking 
effect from the scene of the Temple, and from that of the death 
of Laius, which, even in a forced and declamatory recital, make 
so strong an impression. The French manner of treating the 
subject to which Voltaire has adhered, is, it is true, far more 
artraeial. But the poet sbould net purchase this advantage at 
the expense of too great sacrifices. Voltaire has, in his Œdipus. 
Mien into this error ; and, for the sake of preserving the unities 
of time and place, he has violated all the rest In the first in- 
stance, the abridgment of the proper action of the piece having 
rendered the subject too slight, he was compelled to introduce 
a subsidiary plot, which almost entirely occupies the three first 
acts ; the arrival and the danger of Philoctetes. under the suspi- 
cion of being the assassin of Laius. If the action be doulne, 
the interest also is divided. The mutual love of Jocasta and of 
Philoctetes has ho kind of connexion with the feelings excited 
in favour of OSdipus. If it is intended to interest us, it is a 
breach of the unity. If it fails in awaking our sympathy, it is a 
very unfortunate digression. Consider^ in any other light 
•this attachment is still more objectionable. In a drama which is 
founded on incidents of so dreadful a nature, the passion of love, 
of whatever description it may be, must necessarily destroy the 
unity of its tone and complexion. When we are alworbcd in the 
fate of a hero, who has innocently perpetrated . the crimes of 
parricide and incest we are not much disposed to listen to the 
eflusion of lovesidc sentiments. But more than this, the unity 
of manners is in this instance equally violated. These, in 
Greece, shouM have been represented with strict regard to na- 
tional truth. The love professed by a knight for a princess, in 
the midst of à splendid court is here out of place. The early 
princes of Greece held no tniurts ; their wives and daughters, 
in the tinoe of Homer, were not queens and princesses ; nor was 
Philoctetes formed in the school of Amadisi The unity of man- 
ners, indeed, is more than any other completely sacrificed. The 
most essentia] part of the action, upon which the interest is 
founded, and which ought above all others, to affect the feelings 
of the audience, is entirely withdrawn. Long recitals are intro- 
duced in its place, clothed in the language, and subject to the 
rules, c€ epic poetry. But our object on visiting the theatre is 
to receive impressions by the eye, as well as by the ear, and to 


enter, with all tiàe energy of our souli, into the action pregettted 
before us. If« <m, the contrary, we would give its full efieel to a 
mere narration, we ought to seek the solitude and siienoe of the 
closet When our senses are no k>Qger excited, and when our 
imagination is undisturbed by the intervention of any real ob- 
ject, the mind will most successfully create its own theatre, and 
bring to our view the objects described by the poet 

The tragedy of Œdipus Mras written while Voltaire was yet 
very young. In the maturity of his genius he would not have 
fallen into the errors which iiave been here pointed out But, 
at the same time, it is probable that he would not then have writ* 
ten on the subject of Œdipus. It would have occurred to him, 
tlmt this drama could not be treated with strict regard to the 
unities, by any but Greek authors. By them the cfaor«s and 
the lyrical portion of the work, whidi we have entirdy eatdndnd, 
were Yesarded as the essence of the tragedy ; and they w«re 
thus enabled to dispense with the action. But it wa» snbocqnent 
to the composition of Zaire, that V(^ire wrote bis JUelaiik et 
GuescUtK In this piece he designed to give an example of a 
tragedy entirely French, and to exeite the fe^ings of the spee- 
tators by the introduction of the most distinguished names of the 
monarchy, and by the recollection vi the moat chivalrio and 
^poetical of all its^ wars. But, by the difficulties resnltiiig from 
the rale which confines the time of action tx> twenty4(Nir hours, 
ho was compelled to adqpt a plot of mere invention ; and, inotead 
of deriving any advantage from the charm ot national associa- 
tions, he turned these very cireumstances against hUnsdf ; a ne- 
cessary consequence, when those associations are at perpetnal 
variance with the gi^tuitous inventions of the poet 

The rules of the Fr^ich theatre, by ccnnpelling the dranalist 
to draw his resources almost entirely from the heart, to Ûnt esr 
clusion of incident have given rise to many masterpieoes ; be- 
cause men of the highest genius, restricted to these Umiti» have 
depicted the dcjpth of sentiment and tlie impetuosity of pMsien, 
with a decree of truth, precision, and purity of taste, nne(|QalM 
by any oâer nation. They are, however, compeiled to foreya 
that which is the end and object of the romantic tragedy. Their 
drama is not like that the school of nations, wherein they may 
loam under a poetical guise the most brilliant portions of their 
history ; where they may animate themselves by the contempla- 
tion 01 ancestral honours, of glory, and of patriotism, till they 
have engraved upon their hearts, by behdding with their own 
çy^, the imposing lessons of past ages. 

Unity of aotion is essentially requisite in every djrama, as in- 
deed in efery intellectuai cpeation. This it is which gives us 
the clear peroeption of harmony and beauty, which captivates 
our attention, and which preserves the due relation between the 
whole and the several parts* It is this unity which establishes 
)K>unds, though with considerable latitude, to discrepanoies of 

OF THB $fAUlaM»»* i45 

iijue and place. The diftaooe of twie aaiipnUy mggm^ to Ae 
imagination a mmber of iniprmediale actions between one 
scene and another, b£ interests created or destroyedt and of 
efaao|^s in the relation of affitirs, wbicb embarrass and fatine 
the mnd. It is necessary, therefore, that the spectator, in M- 
lowing the persons of the drama firom place to phice, and day 
after day, shoald always be occupied with one single idea, and 
should consider the actors as engaged with the interests of the 
drama. If he should imagine thm emploved upon other actions 
unknown to himself, those actions, in wni<£ it is imposs&bie that 
Us mind can be interested, distract his attention, and weaken 
the eftet of the drama upon his mind by withdiuwing it from 
the unity of the subject We shall have occasion to remark 
that these boondaiies have been ill preserved in the remaoilie 
theatre, and that the liberty which gaye rise to this poetical 
iaaovation has but too frequently degMierated into license. 

These obserrations are not applicable le the Spanish theatre 
ddy ; they may be applied to all foreign literature^ with the 
exception only of the Italian. All the northern, aa weU as 
the southern nations, have refased to submit to the pretonded 
dominion of Anstotle; and it will be impossible fior u« to 
rsMsh the chanas of their literature if we do not possess a pré- 
viens aofuaintauoe with their critioal canons, and if we learn 
not toju^jo of their drama by the rules which their own poets 
hare pffcqpioyed to tbemselvef^ and not aooording to our own pre- 

Wi<h reg^pi to tboSpamaids» as Car aa we have hitherto ok- 
anôsed their literatmne, we have seen that it is much kss classi- 
cal than that of oth^ nations ; that it is mnch less formed opofi 
thnmodel of the Greeks and the Romans, less sub|eeted to the 
laws and criticism of literary legislators, smd, in short, that it has 
preserved a snoere origÊnal and independent ebaraoler. It is not 
tkat the fi^fMaish writers have possessed no models to ibUow« or 
that they hawo nevear bemi imitators for their earliest meeleiB 
veie die Aj»bians. It was frmn the Arabians that they derived 
fteir eUmr poetry. In the sateentb century , thmr muitmre vift 
the Itahaaa gpave a uew life, as it were, to their literatnre. and 
disnged botm its spirit and its form. It is a singer iaeti that 
they who introduced the riches of foreign btudamtotbe bterair 
tareof Caatile, were not sohobrs bnt wanifn. The Spewsb 
Umversitiaa» nnmerens, rich, and powerfid as they were by their 
ynvileipes, wore altogether subject W monastic induonee. The 
priaaipalof limse privileges was then, aait still is, the r^t of 
mfiisii^ to follow the progress of scienee, and of mmniidniogaU 
aaeient abuses and obsolete modes of instrudÉon as their moit 
pro e ioœ patrimonii» Spain took little part in that zealous cul- 
tivation of the leaminff and poetry of the ancients, wfaÂoh gave 
S9 madi life to the sixteenth century. Among her poets no one 
is distii^uished for Us aehotaatie reputation, or for InsoieeBenee 
in Greek or Roman composition. On the contrary, they were 


generally warriors, whose active and elevated souls sought even 
a wider range than that of martial action. Boscan, GarciUsso, 
Diego de Mendoza,' Montemayor, (Xstilejo, and Cervantcfs, all 
distinguished themselves in the field. Don Alonzo de ErcBia 
traversed the Atlantic and the Straits of Magellan, seeking 

flory and danger in another hemisphere. Camoens, among the 
Portuguese, was a sailor and soldier, as well as a poet This al- 
liance between arts and arms produced two effects on the litera- 
ture of Spain, which were equally advantageous. In the fiivt 
place, it conferred a noble, valorous, and chivalric character upon 
the writings of the Spaniards ; a character rare in every nation, 
where the sedentary life of the poet enfeebles his spirit ; and 
secondly, it divested their imitations of every appcÂrence of 
pedantry. The Castilians, indeed, borrowed from other nations, 
more especially from the Italians ; but they were only imper- 
fectly acquainted with what they borrowed, and therefore, when 
they wished to avail themselves of it, they modified and adapted 
it to their own ideas. The Arabians, the first instrueters of the 
Spaniards, were ignorant of the drama ; the Ph>vetiçaiB and the 
Catalans had very little more knowledge of it; nor could the 
Spaniards themselves boast of a theatre before the time of 
Cnarles V. They studied very slightly, and Ifiought still lett 
of imitating the classical drama ; but their officers had beheld, 
in the wars of Italy, the theatrical representations whidi adorned 
the court of Ferrara, and of other Italian princes. In eittnhitkiii 
of these spectacles they attempted to establish sometfaine le- 
sembllng tnem among themselves, and to introduce into their 
own country an amusement which was ihe ornament of those 
nations in which they had borne arms. 

The Italian dramas were in verse, though not of the nMit 
harmonious kind, and it vras soon found that the language po^ 
sessed no good dramatic metre. The Spaniards nniled an 
Italian metre to their own national verse — the redondilhas, or 
the trochaic verses of eight syllables, in which their ancirat ro- 
mances were written. The dialogue, whenever vivacity is de- 
manded, is in redondilhas, sometimes rhymed in quatrains, sone- 
tlnes tn stanzas of ten Imes ; occasionally with assonants in the 
second lines ; but always with a ]yri<ail movement, the verse 
-being that which forms the most impassioned measure of tbe 
French ode. Whenever the dialogue rises to eloquence, or the 
poet wishes to give it dignity and grrandenr, he employs the he- 
roic verse of the Italians either in octaves or tercets ; and when- 
ever one of the characters expresses some sentimelit or compari- 
son, or detached reflection, which has been suggested to him, 
Ihe poet gives -it in the shape of a sonnet. 

The choice of these various metres has produced a more ex- 
tensive effect than we should at first imagine, upon Ae drama ef 
Spain. In other laYigiKiges it seems to have been the object of 
the authors to mako Ihe rerse of their dramas resemble Moquent 

OJT THK SPANljUiD». 4(4? 

))rose. They attempt to give their langua^ the tone of nature, 
and to oompel every ehai'aetcr to sj^akas a real individaal 
would eipress himself under the same lurcuinstances. The 
Spaniards, on the contrary, having made choice of lyric and he* 
rcHC metres, endeavoured, above every thing else, to give a 
poetical character to their dramas» Their object was not to 
represent what the situation of their characters demanded, but 
to adapt the subject-matter to the form which they had selected. 
Lyrical verse would be ridiculous, unless «ustained by richness 
and grandeur oi imagery. The same, is the case with heroic 
verse, unless it conveys corresponding sentiments. The ottaiDa 
tima would be misplaced, if the sentence was not proportioned 
to the length of the metre ; and lastly, the sonnets must be 
clpthed with that sententious pomp, and polished with those eew* 
Mi, whidi are the distinctive characteristics of that daaa of 
poems. It was necessary to pass from one of these metres to 
another ; it was necessary that they should all be found in the 
i^ame tragedy ; nçr did any question arise whether it was natural 
that the characters, amid the tumults of passion, the commotions 
of terror, and the .anguish of grief, sboidd employ the most &r- 
fetched. comparisons to express a common idea. The only qoes- 
tion was, whether a good sonnet was not thus produced. They 
did not require dramatic but lyrical probability, which is mudb 
more easily obtained. They did not regard a long speech, with 
reference to the circumstances in which the speaker was placed* 
or to the impatience of the spectators, or of the other charac- 
ters.. They • inquired merely whether the lines were intrinsi* 
cally good and poetical ; and, if they were, they were applauded. 
In shœrt, they never considered the relation of the parts to the 
whole, but the perfection of the parts themselves; they lost 
s^ht of the unity of the composition in admiring its details, and 
in their love of art they entirely abandoned nature. 

The Italian poets, before Alfieri, generally laid the scene of 
their dramas in ancient times or in distant countries. The Spa- 
nish poets, on the contrary, are essentially national. The greater 
part of thdr pieces are drawn from their own times, and from 
the history of Spain. Those in which the scene is laid in other 
countries or in fabulous times, still give us a representation of 
their own aiaainers. They thus possess the advantage of dis* 
paying a more animated and faitÛul picture of nature than the 
Itanan dran&as, which are all conventional. The Spanish the- 
atre bears the strong impress of those, illustrious times in which 
it flourished, when the pride of the nation was roused by its 
victories, and its mUitai^ spirit shone in every compo6iti<»i. As 
liberty had been lost for upwards of a century, the gentlemen of 
Spain placed their pride in chivalry. They became romantic, 
as it was no longer in their power to be heroic, and entertained 
exaggerated notions upon the point of honour, which in noble 
!<ouU fills the place of patriotism, when that sentiment ha^ 

S4d an THB LirfiEATURE 

ceamd to exitt The poet when he represented past tinefl, 
did not dare to invest his oaTiliers with die independoioe whieh 
their fathers liad enjoyed. He endowed them with all his own 
political fears, and his own religions superstitions. He painted 
them as obedient to ttieir kings, submissive to their priests, 
and full of a slavish spirit at which tiie ancient nobles of Cas- 
tile would have bhished. Notwithstanding these mAittlU 
representations, the Spanish theatre stiB exhibits pictwrea eveij 
way worthy of exciting our liveliest curiosity. 

We have already seen in a former chapter what aooovdkur to 
Cervantes, was the origin of the Spanish theatre, and wtet Co^ 
vnntes himself aoeomplished in its cause. We have likewise 
seen how he admired the genius of the man, wha in his timer 
cfeatod as it were the drama of hit country, and atone gave 
Inrth to more theatrical compositiotts than perhaps the unitel 
literature of all other nations can produce. Lope Felix de Vega 
Carpio was bom at Madrid on the twenty-fifth of Novemhtf , 
1663, fifteen years after Cervantes. His relationt, who were 
noUe, thouffh poor, gave him a liberal education. In conse- 
quence of their death before he virited the universihr,' he wss 
sent thither bjr the Inquisitor-(}en«ral, Don Jefommo M uunl a n et, 
Bishop of Avila, and he completed his studies at Aleak. Irro- 
digies of imagination and learning are related of him at this 
early period. The Duke of Alva, soon after his marriage, took 
him into his employment as secretary ; but being forced into an 
aflfoir of honour, he woumied his adversary dangerously, and 
waa compelled to seek his safety in fi^;ht He passed some 
years in exile at Madrid» and on nis return lost his wife. The 
grief which he feh upon this occasion, added to his r^Hgnm 
and patriotic zeal, drove him into the army, and he emberhea en 
board the Invincible Armada, which was inteided to aubdae 
England, but whidi only fixed Elisabeth more firmly mpcm the 
throne. On his return to Madrid, he MÛn married, and ibr 
some time lived happily in the boscmiof his fiunily; but the 
death of his second wife determined him to renounce the worid 
and enter into orders. Notwithstanding this change, he con- 
tinued to the end of his 1^ to cultivate poetry wilh so W0nde^ 
ful a fooîlity, that a drama of more than two thousand fines, in- 
termiuled with sonnets, forsa nmo, and ottooe naia, and ea- 
Kvened with all kinds of snenected incidents and intiignes. 
fiequently cost him no more than the labonnrf a* siMle dsy. 
He tells ns hiuMctf that he has produced more than a randred 
playsv whkh were repreaenAed within feur^and^wenty hours 
after their first oonoeptian.* We must not fiMrget what w« have 
before said of the wendeifnl foeffityof the ItaMan impretûabni; 

* Puf mas de ciento, ea hotSf veynte y ^«tn>, 
Ptitron ût hi8 mm» at anitro. 

1 ' 


aud it is not more difficult to compose in the Spanish metres. 
Jn the time of 'Lope de Vega, there existed many Castilian im- 
proTÎsatori, who expressed themselves in verse witn the same ease 
as in prose. Lope was the most remarkable of those improvisa» 
tori ; for the task of versification seems never to have retarded 
his progress. His friend and biographer Montalvan, has re- 
marked that he composed more rapidly than his amanuensis 
could copy. The managers of the tlieatres» who always kept 
him on the spur, left him no time either to read or to correct his 
compositions. He thus, with inconceivable fertility, produced 
ei^teen hundred comedies and four hundred JhitoasacrametUales; 
in all two thousand two hundred dramas, of which about three 
hundred alone have been published in twenty-five volumes in 
quarto. His other poems were reprinted at Madrid in 1776 
under the title of the Detached Works {Obras Sudtas) of Lope 
de Vega, in twenty-one volumes in quarto. His prodigious li- 
terary labours produced Lope almost as much money as glory. 
He amassed a hundred thousand ducats, but his treasures did 
not long abide with him. The poor ever found his purse open 
to them ; and that taste for pomp, and that Castilian pride which 
is gratifiai by extravagance and embarrassments, soon dissi- 
pated his wealth. After living in splendour, he died almost in 

No poet has ever in his lifetime enjoyed so much glory. 
Wlienever he showed himself abroad, tbe crowd surrounded 
kim, and saluted him with the appellation of the prodigy of no- 
ture. Children followed him with cries of pleasure, and every • 
eye was fixed upon him. The religious College of Madrid, of 
which he was a member, elected him their president {Captllan 
mcttfor.) Pope Urban VHL presented him with the Cross of 
Malta, the title of Doctor of Theology, and the diploma of 
Treasurer of the Apostolic Chamber; marks of distinction 
which he owed at least as much to his fanatical zeal, as to his 
poems. The Inquisition, too, appointed him one of its familiars. 
In the midst of the homage thus rendered to his talents, he died 
on the twenty-sixth of August, 1635, having attained the age of 
seventy-three. His obsequies were celebrated with even royal 
pomp. Three bishops in their pontifical habits officiated for 
three days at the funeral of the Spanish Phœnix, as he is called 
in the titlepage of his comedies. It has been calculated that he 
wrote more than twenty-one millions three hundred thousand 
lines, upon a hundred and thirty-three thousand two hundred and 
twenty-two sheets of paper. 

In examining the works of Lope de Vega, we shall pursue the 
same method which we have employed in our observations upon 
less voluminous authors, and we shall attempt to make the 
reader acquainted with them rather through the medium of a 
detailed analysis, than by judging them in the mass and by 
general ideas. For my own part I am only conv^sant with 

Vol. 1!. 32 


thirty of bis dramas, one-tenth mel^ly <^ tiie number which has 
been published, which is itself but a sixth part of those whidi 
he composed. But even this acquaintance with his writings is, 
I imagine, quite sufficient to enable us to form an opinion of his 
talents and defects. 

The essence of the Spanish theatre is intrigue. In all their 
pieces we discover a complication of incidents, love-affairs, stra- 
tagems, and combats, which are sufficiently extraordinaly, more 
especially if we measure them by our manners, and whi^ it is 
by no means easy to follow and comprehend. It is said that 
strangers experience infinite difficulty in following the thxead of 
a drama represented upon the stage of a Madrid theatre, while 
the Spaniards themselves, who are habituated to this intrigue 
and romantic adventure, can trace the plot with surprising hd- 
lity. The complicated structure of the plots of the Spanish 
dramas is so essentially connected with the literature of that 
country, that it is necessary to consider and to explain it I 
shaU, therefore, trace the plot of the first comedy now analyzed, 
and which is one of the most simple in its nature. In the resit, 
I shall content myself with examining those portions of them 
which strike me as the most remarkable for ingennity^^ poetry, 
or for the representation of manners. 

The Di9crut Recenge {La Discreta Vengança) which I proj^e 
to.analvze, is the first play of the twentieth volume. It is a 
national and historical drama, one of that class which has always 
appeared to me to possess the greatest portion of real merit 
The scene is laid in Portugal, in the reign of Alfonso III. 
(1246-1279.) The hero of the piece is Don Juan de Meneses, 
the favourite of the King, who was compelled to defend himself 
against the dark intrigues of a number of envious courtiers. 
At tiie opening of the drama, he is seen with his squire Tdlo 
waiting until his cousin, Donna Anna, of whom he is ena- 
moured, shall leave church. His rival, Don Nuno, accompanied 
by his friend Don Ramiro, then arrives with the same object of 
paying attention to the lady. At length she appears at the 
church-door, and, upon her happening to let her glove fall, the 
two gallants throw themselves forwards to catch it. This inci- 
dent causes a dispute between them ; angry looks pass, and de^ 
fiances are interchanged. Donna Anna, in order to prevent a 
quarrel, decides against her cousin in favour of Nuno, to whom, 
however, she is indifferent Having dismissed her two lovers. 
Donna Anna returns to the stage to justify herself to Meneses, 
and to satisfy him that she has only preferred his rival in order 
to prevent a dangerous quarrel. This scene, which is a sort of 
exposition of the plot is intended to give us an insight into the 
happy love of Meneses, his jealous £sposition, and the rivalry 
of Nuno. 

The second scene represents the council of state of king 
Alouzo. In the English and Spanish dramas, it is not the entnr 


of a fresh actor which constitates a new scene, hat the re-ap- 
pearaaee of the diaracters in a gituation or place which has no 
immediate connexion with tbe preceding scene. Alonzo had 
heen ndsed to the throne of Portugal by a party who had de- 
posed Don Sancho his brother» a negligent, voluptaous, and in- 
capable prince. Alonzo had been married to a French princess, 
(Matilda, the heiress of the connty of Boulogne,) a lady of fifty 
years of age, while her husband was a youth. Haying no child- 
ren hy her, and having abandoned the hope of a family, he was 
desirous of divorcing the princess, who had not followed him 
into Portugal. The reasons of state» the wish of settling the 
succession to the crown, on the one hand, and on the other the 
rights of Matilda and the gratitude which Alonzo owes her, are 
discussed in council with much dignity. Vasco Nuiio and 
Ramiro persuade the King to demand a divorce from the Pontiff 
Clement IV., which the latter could not refuse. Don Juan de 
Meneses, on thé contrary, is desirous that the King should di- 
vide all the pleasures of royalty with her from whom he derived 
his subsistence when he had no realm of his ofm. Alonzo puts 
an end to the discussion, which was growing warm between 
Nnno and Meneses, and desires the latter alone to remain, 
whose fidelity he had experienced in his greatest misfortunes. 
He informs him that he has not only determined to divorce 
Matilda, but to marry Beatrix, the daughter of Alfonso X. of 
Castile, who had offered the kingdom of Algarves as a dowry. 
Having selected Don Juan as his ambassador to the court of 
Seville, he commands him to depart the same night, and to pre- 
serve the strictest silence. Don Juan frankly avbws that he 
feels great regret in being compelled to leave his cousin Anna 
de Meneses at the moment when he is disputing her love with a 
rival who may bear away the prize ; but Alonzo promises to at- 
tend himself to the interest or his friend, and to watch over his 
mistress. Juan does not place such implicit confidence in this 
promise, as not to order his squire Tello to keep guard at night 
around the mansion of his beloved. He religiously preserves 
the secret intrusted to him, and departs without taking leave of 
Donna Anna, being compelled even to neglect an appointment 
which she had herself made with him for that evening. 

It was not without good grounds tliat Meneses had ordered 
Tello to keep guard during the night. Nunc, Ramiro, aqd their 
squire Rodngo, approach the mansion of Donna Anna. It was 
the hour at which she had appointed to meet Don Juan, whom 
she imagines she sees in the person of Don Nuno. Tello, who 
is watching, contrives by an artifice to learn their names, but, 
as ^ey are three to one, he does not yet dare to attack tiiem. 
While he is observing them at a distance, the King, who wishes 
to keep his promise, and to watch over the mistress of Don 
Juan, appears at the bottom of the same street Tello, without 
recognising him, accosts him and requests his assistance, and a 



scene takes place which, whimsical as it is, from ite exe«iB of 
chivalric spirit, yet possesses a character of great tnitii ana on- 
ginality : 

Tello. a cayalicr ftdvances to the grate ; 

Strange as it is, Til speak at any rate. 

Alonzo. Who'» there ? ^ . j ' i 

Tg,.,,o. Putupyouraword! One who demanda 

Naught but a favour, Signor, at your hands. 
ÀLOWXO. So late, and in this lonely place address'd. 

Who, think you, will attend to auch request? 
Tbli^o. He who boaaU gentle blood ; and you are he. 

As in your noble countenance I see. 
Alohzo. True, I'm a gentleman ; and, by God's grace. 

One also of a known and noble race. 
TsLLo. You know the laws of honour then; the best 

Of all the code is to defend the oppress'd. 
Aloxzo. But first 'tis meet we know who 's in the r^ht. 
Tbllo. To cut the matter short, pray, will you fight? 
Alohzo., You're not a robber! I can scarce thmk so, 

Judging yen from your cloak. 
Tbixo. No, marry, no. 

Fear it not. , , , 

Alohzo. Well ! what would you have me do ? 

Tkllo. Behind that grating does an angel dwell. 
And he who loves her left me sentinel, 
To guard her safety in his absence hence. 
You «ce those men Î You see the difference : 
»Tis three to one. Now, if you'll lend a hand, 
I'll cudgel them till none of them can stand. 
Alonzo. You 'te puzzled me. I am a knight 'tis true, 
And therefore am I bound to stand by you. 
And yet, methinks, 'tis indiscreet in us 
To- meddle In a stranger's quarrel thus. 
Tkllo. Fhol never fear! let but the rascals see 
That I have got another man with me, 
ril settle them, though three or thirty-three. 
Alonzo. Fear ! in my life 1 never yet knew fear ! 
I only dread our enemies should hear^ 
Of this adventure, and should say of it 
Thai it displays our rashness, not our wit 
Tell me his name whose place to-night you fill, 
I promise IMI stick by you, come what wilL 
Tello. Exceeding good— your promise — his name is 

Don Juan de Meneses. 
Alonzo. Why then this 

Most lucky is ; Jiis dearest friend am I ; 
So take your sword, we'll strike them instantly. 
Tkllo. You gentlemen there ! peeping through the blind, 

March off! or I shall break your heads, you'll find. 
Ndxo. Pray are you arm'd to carry the thing through? 
Tbllo. Arm'd! like the devil. 

Rodrigo, Kill the rascals, do. {Tkey fight,) 

TcLLo. Now help, Sir Knight. 

lloDRioo. The bully fight*, I swear ! 

NuNo. Forbear, or you'll disgrace this hoose,'-ft>rbear ! 
Tkllo. A coward's poor excuse I 
Alonzo. Follow them not. 

TcLLo. Oh let me kins a thouyand times the spot 

or THE 8PAI9IAEDS. 253 

On wfaicli yon flttnd. Oould b«l tbe king faavo seen 

Yoar yalorous deeds, yoa shortly wo«ld lUiTe been 

His general ftt Ceuta. 
Alohzo. Sir, my rani 

Is soeb, tbat aft his table I bave drank. 
Tbllo. What feints 1 what tfanista ! what qoieknen! and whid ira I 

May I not know what I so much desire, 

Your name ? 
Aloxzo. rd really tell you, had 1 power ; 

Come to the palaee your first vacant hoar. 
Tku.0. But a I come, how shall I know you then f 
Alokzo. Give me some trifle that you prize not ; when 

Tou see me next, m hand it you ajain. 
Tello. IVe naught about n^e that is useless. Yes, 

Pre got my purse whieh very useless i% 

For it Is alitays empty — htttf take this ! 
Alonzo. What, eaiipty ! 
TcLLo. Ay, good Signor : squires like me 

Boast very little surer, as you see. 

We may easily itna^ne that a retj diverting scene oectiîft in 
the second act, when the king restores his purse to Tefio. and 
thns discloses his name. The monarch inquires whether Tello is 
willing to receire a present ; and the sqnire answers him hy say- 
ing, that when his fiither died he gave particular directions that 
one hand shonld be left oat of the grave, in order that he might 
he able to receive what any one might be disposed to ffive him. 
The king then bestows a pension upon him and the dignih^ of 
an Alcalde of St. John, to which office is attached (he privilege 
of having a key to every fortress. 

In the second act Don Jnan de Meneses returns to Portugal 
with Beatrix of Castile. This princess, the most amiable and 
beautlfal woman of her age, feels as lively a passion for Alonzo 
as that with which the monarch is himself inspired. With the 
approbation of the council of state the marriage b celebrated 
(lé6%) before a dispensation for that purpose has been obtained 
from Kome. The attachment of Alonzo to Beatrix only 
strengthens the gratitude which he feels towards Meneses. To 
him he confides the direction of all his affairs. Every petitioner 
is referred to him ; and the jealousy of the courtiers is thus 
augmented and confirmed. His ruin is sworn by all ; and they 
attempt to destroy him by the most perfidious artifice. Nuno, 
above all, endeavours to wound him in the tenderest point. He 
demands from the king the hand of Donna Anna de Meneses. 
He already possesses uie approbation of her father, and he pro- 
mises to procure her own consent under her hand. Don Juan 
undertakes to offer no opposition to their union, provided he is 
furnished with this proof of the infidelity of his mistress. Nuno 
deceitfully procures a paper by which I)onna Anna appears to 
give her consent The jealousy of the two lovers is thus raised 
to the highest pitch ; but a meeting and an explans^on take place, 
and they mutually forgive one another. 

In the third act Nuno attempts to awaken the jealousy of 


Donna Anna, by persuading her that Don Juan is in love with 
Inez, one of the maids of honour to the queen ; whilst his finend 
Don Ramiro addresses her, and makes proporâls of marriage as 
if from Don Juan. Inez receives the overture with sreat joy, 
and announces it to the queen. This news reaches ue ears of 
Donna Anna on every side, and in an interview with her lover, 
instead of soothing him, she excites him to challenge Don Nana 
She tells him that when she prevented a quarrel formerly, her 
love only was in question, but that now her jealousv is awakened ; 
that his danger is nothing in comparison with her sufferii^ ; 
and that she can no longer listen to the voice of prudence, be- 
fore Don Juan is able to meet Nuno, a fresh intrigue at court 
exposes him to the greatest danger. The Pontiff refuses the 
dispensation for the divorce of the king and his marriage with 
Beatrix. The king and the princess are overwhelmed. The 
Countess of Boulogne being unwilling that her marriage should 
be dissolved, had written to Rome to oppose the divorce. The 
enemies of Don Juan present to the king a foiged letter, as from 
the Countess to Juan, in order to establish an understanding be- 
tween those parties, and to induce a belief that the fitvonrite 
had been secretly intriguing at Rome against the king and 
queen. Alonzo is enraged at the idea of being betrayed by his 
niend. He orders him to be arrested, and without examination 
or hearing he condemns him to death. The office of arresting 
him is given to his enemies, and Don Juan is taken into custody 
by the hands of Ramiro. The scene ii^ which Don Juan is ar- 
rested, is exceedingly fine. The speech of lyoa Juan is full of 
noble poetry. 

* Jqam. I yield me to the king*! commvids, nor fear 
To lofe the royal favour, oo his truth 
Securely resting. From theae prison walls, 
Like Joseph, shall I step Tictoriously 
In glory. Yet I grieve, noble Ramiro, 
My tongue may utter not what my heart would — 
Yon understand me. 
Rah. All things have their end, 

And so shall thy captirity, and then 
Fair answer will I grant thee if thoa teek*st iL 

* Obedezco del rey el mandamiento ; 
No triste de perder del rey la gracia, 
Porque de mi verdad estoy seguro, 
Que saldré de esta carcel con vitoria, 

Y sera de Joseph corona y gloria. 
Pero de no poder, Ramiro noble, 
Dezirte las palabras que pensaba, 
Que tu me entiendes ya. 

Ramiko. Todo ae acaba, 

Y esta prîzion ae actbari may presto ; 

Y a responderte me hallar^ dispuesto, 
Sempre que tu quisieres. 


JvAV. So be it» ftnd tteae words of thine tlMJl bé 

My conaoltcion. 
Vasco. It b little mtiog 

To cast defiance et the very aomest 

When yoa are rendering up your sword ; and yet 

Methinka it hath not shed such blood in Afrie 

That it shonld blanch the check of bold Ramiro» 
JvAN. Yasco de Acuna, I do marvel not 

At these adverse mutations of my fortwie, ' 

But yet I do admire to see ye three 

Building ambitious hopes upon my nun. 

Because the king Is but a man, and ye 

Think to deceive him. Maogre all the envy 

Bred in you by his favours shown to nve, 

AU of you know how well this swordj which now 

I render up, has served the king at Coimbra, 

And at Algarves, too, if not in Afrie. 

Bat wherefore do I weakly tax myself 

To satisfy your furious hate? There, take it jr 

But know that speedily ye all shall pay me 

For this fool injury. 
^OMo» Wert thoa not prisoner 

Thoo would'st not thus have boasted. 
JuAM. My good firiend Nuno, be not so hard with me. 
BÎamibo. Advance I March forward, guard. 
JuAV. TeUo ! 

TnLLo. My Lord I 

JuAir. Tello, reoMmber yon relate this scene* 

The biting taunt of Nano, who reproaches Jiian with pre* 
suming, not on his strength, bat on his weakness, could not be 

JtiAir. Pues, yo tomo 

£ssa palabra por consueto mio. 

Vasco. No es tîempo de tratar de desafio, 

Quando por fuerça has de dezar la cspada. 
Ki pieoso que en Africa banada 
Se vio de tanta sangre, que amentce 
Cavalleros que son como Ramiro. 

JcAir. Taseo de Acoiia, nunca yo me admiro 
De las adversidades de fortune : 
Admirome de ver que esteys haziendo 
Lances los très en mi» porque os parezca 
^e el rey es hombre, y que enganar se puede. 
La embidia queteneys de qne me estime ; 
Bsta espada que oo doy. bien sabeys todos 
Que en Coymbra servie, y en los Algarbes, 
Si en el Africa no, mas que me canso 
£n dar satisfacion a vnestra fliria ! 
Tomad la, y estad ciertos que esta injuria 
Me pagareys muy presto. 

Nvno. A no estar preso 

No hablaras tan sobervio. 

JvAN. None amigo 

Menoa rigor* 

Ramiko. Camioa, alerta gaarda. 

JvAif. TeHo. 

Tello. , Seoor I 

JrAH. Diras lo sQcedido. 

^6 «N tUU LIT£]UTi/&£ 

put into the mouth of any man who was not highly senaitiTe 
upon the point of honour. In fact, the traitors of the Spanish 
stage are never cowards like those of the Italian. The public 
would not have suffered so shameful a representation. 

The energetic love of Anna de Meneses succeeds in deliver- 
ing Juan from prison. This she accomplishes through the means 
of the faithful Tello, who held the key of the fortress, and by 
the zeal of Inez, who fearlessly exposes herself on behalf of him 
whom she believes her lover. Donna Anna and Juan experi- 
ence a peculiar pleasure in availing themselves of these deceitful 
practices, and as soon as tlie latter is at liberty, instead of at- 
tempting to justify himself he tums upon his enemies their own 
arms. By his procurement, certain forged letters are conveyed 
to the king, from which it would appear ihèt the en^nies of Don 
Juan have been guilty of the very treasons with which he had 
been charged. The hostile courtiers are, consequently exiled, 
and Juan is restored to favour, while the general satisfiBbction 
is augmented by the news which at this time arrives of Hie death 
of the Countess of Boulo^e, by which the legality of the nup- 
tials between Alonzo and Beatrix is firmly established. 

I fear that this lonff analysis of a comedy of Lope de Vega 
may be thought both fatiguing and obscure ; and that it may be 
said that too much attention has been bestowed upon a work 
which probably did not cost its author more than four-and- twenty 
hours. It appeared to me, however, that this' was the only mode 
in which I could give an idea of the peculiar invention and effect 
of Lope*s comedies, and of the new character which he gave to 
the Spanish drama. His plays are no less removed from the 
perfection of the romantic writers than from that of the authors 
of antiquity. Nothing else could be expected from the unex- 
ampled velocity with which he wrote. Some of his productions 
are very rudely composed, though generally lighted up with 
some sparks of genius. It was by these brilliant traces of su- 
perior talent, as well as by the wonderful fecundity of his pen, 
that Lope de Vega wrought so great a change in the dramatic 
literature of his country. Cervantes had originated the idea of 
a grand and severe style of tragedy ; but after the appearance 
of Lope, neither tragedy nor comedy, prc^rly speaking, were 
to be found. Novels and romances usurped the Spanish stage. 
A Spanish comedy, as Boutterwek iustly remarks, is properly 
a dramatic novel : like a novel, its interest may be either of a 
tragic, or comic, pr historical nature, or it may be purely poetical 
The rank of the characters cannot assign the class to which it 
belongs. Princes and potentates, in their places, contribute to 
the carrying on of the plot, as well as valets and lovers, and thej 
are all mingled together whenever the exigencies of the story 
render it probable. Neither the keeping of character, nor a 
satirical vein, is essential either to the Spanish drama or to the 
novel. The burlesque and the tender, the vulgar and the pa^ 


thetic may be mingled together without destroying the spirit of 
the piece, for the object of the poet is not to keep alive any one 
certain emotion. He does not attempt to give a longer duration 
to the interest or to the emotion of the spectators Sian to their 
laughter. The whole piece turns upon a complicated intrigue, 
which excites their attention and curiosity ; and he thus fills his 
historical plays with the most extraordinary adventures, and his 
sacnsd dramas with miracles. 

The comedies of this nation, which have appeared since the 
age of Lope de V^a, may be classed under the distinctive 
heads of sacred and profime. The hitter branch may be again 
sabdivided into heroic, historical, or mythoiogica], and eomedUa 
of (he chak and the 9W0td, which depict the fadiionable manners 
and pursuits of the day« The sacred comedies represent either 
the lives of saints or sacramental acts. Of these two dusses tiie 
first is constructed on the model of the mysteries, whidi were 
anciently performed in the monasteries, while the latter is almost 
entirely confined to allegorical subjects intended to celebrate the 
feast ot the Holy Sacrament In course of time, to these dif- 
ferent dasses ol dramatie performances were added a kind of 
prologue, called a commendation, loa^ and interludes, etilremefesk 
which, when accompanied with music and dancing, were termed 

In the comedies of the doak and the sword, cm*, as they might 
poperly be called, of intrigue. Lope has scarcely regurded pr»- 
iMimlify in the order and connexion of his scenes. His chief 
object was to exdte interest by the situations in which his cha- 
racters were placed, and by the working up of his plot One 
intrigue is interwoven with another, and the intricacy of the 
plot increases, until the author, to terminate the whole, cuts 
asunder all the kiu>ts which he cannot otherwise unravel, and 
marries all tbe couples who present themselves to him as candi- 
dates for that ceremony. Reflections and maxims of prudence 
are frequently to be met with in the course of his comedies, but 
morality, strictly so called, is never introduced into them. The 
public for wbom he wrote would not have permitted him to dilate 
on a subjeet with which they conceived that they were suffi- 
ciently edified from the pulpit His gallantry, on which every 
intrigue is founded, is of the most extravagant nature. Not the 
slightest regard is paid to its decorum ; and if it is partially re^ 
gmated by the principles of honour, it is never influenced by 
those of morality. When the passions are portrayed, they pos- 
sess all the character of the impetuous temperament of the na- 
ticm. In the reveries of his lovers. Lope exhibits a fund of ro- 
mantic declamation, and of jmx ieaprH, quite inexhaustible. 
" LoM txeuHê t»ery iking'^ was the maxim of the fiishionable is- 
habitants of Madrid ;.and, on the authority of this adage^ all 
kinds'of deceptions, perfidies of the basest nature, and the most 
«eandaloiia intrigues, are represented witlMHit wj féMrve. H» 

Vol. II. 33 

256 oH vue LITËRATUU 

cavaliers draw thsir swords on every trifliiig oooastiMi ; and to 
inflict a woand or even death upon their adversaries is considered 
as a circumstance of very little moment 

The sacred pieces of Lope de Vega depict, in v^ry faithful 
colours» the religious spirit of his times, and in common with his 
other works, present an eiact picture of the prevailing manners. 
They are a strange mixture of catholic pietv, of fantastic ima- 
gination, and of noble poetry. The Lives c» the Saints possess 
more dramatic effect &an the Sacramental Acts; hut, on the 
other hand, the rdigpous mysteries in the latter are expressed, 
by means of the aUegories, with greater dignity. Of all the 
dramatic works of Lope the Lives â the Saints are writtoi with 
the least observance <h the rules. In them we discover the most 
inccmgruous union of characters. AU^orical personages, buf- 
Ibons, saints, eountr^en, sdiolars, kings, the imoA Christ, God 
the Father, the Deyil, and all the hetero^neous beings which the 
most grotesque imagination can conceive, axe here made to act 
and to converse together. 

All these jHeces are, at present, known by the general design 
nation of the Gran Comedia, or thé Comediafamoêm* whether thi^ 
event is fortunate or unfortunate, comic or tragic. Yet in the 
edition of bis dramatic works whidi Lope himaelf publisheA 
we find several pieces distinguished by tne name of tra^ediee^ 
Of theses the &Dle was in general borrowed from antiquity. 
Lope seemed to imagine, that no mod^B action was suffimnuy 
dignified to deserve the title of tragic But these pieces po saess 
neither a grander develepement nor deeper emotions, nar a more 
elevated strain of language, to authorize the distinction. The 
style is universally the same. The author has endeavoured i» 
render it poetical, but not to give it an air of grandeur. He 
has enriched it with the most briUiant images, and has adorned 
it by the efforts of his imagination, but he has failed ^ther to 
dignify it, or to give it an uniform elevation. His characfctfs 
speak like poets, not like men of distinguished rank ; and in 
whatever tone they commence their conversation, they never 
preserve it There are two pieces of Lope de V^^ whioh 
bear the name of tragedies ; one is aititled The Binrmnp rf 
Jbme, or «Yero; the other, ThemadniirepidIkiêbimd.arOvfSmii, 
both of which must be ranked among his very worst prodnetâotts, 
and deserve no attention. 

Notwithstanding the harshness and coarse style which distin- 
guish most of the dramas of Lope de Vega, it cannot be said 
that the reader is ever fiattigued by their perusal, that the action 
flags, or that we feel that languor and inqpatienoe which are al- 
most invariably occasioned by the inferior tragedies of Freack 
authors oi the second rank Our curiosity is awakened by the 
rapidity of action, bv the multijplicity of events, by ihà increasing 
confusiou, and by tae impossibility of fiareseeing the devekqpe- 
ment ; and it is preserved in all its vivacity from the first soene 


to the conclttsioii. His pieces are often open to severe criti- 
cism, and indeed they are sometimes even below criticism ; yet 
tbey uniformly excite a desire to discover the event It is pro- 
bable to his art of explaining all the circumtsanoes by the acts 
of his characters, that hoipe owes this advantage. He always 
opens his scenes by some imposing event, which forcibly at- 
tracts and captivates the attention of the spectator. His per- 
formers proceed to action immediately on their entering the 
stage, and he discloses their characters more fully by their con- 
duct than by a recital of anterior occurrences. The curiosity is 
awakened by his busy scenes, whilst we are generally inatten- 
tive during the redtals which explain the French pieces ; and 
yet an attention to these recitals is absolutely requisite in order 
to understand the whole drama. 

In the piece whidi we have just analyzed, the auarrel between 
Don Juan de Meneses and Nunc his rival strikes the specta- 
tors by its vivacity, by the fear of some impending danger, and 
by the interest which Anna de Meneses takes in appeasing 
them. His principal characters have already been displayed, 
each circumstance is developed in its proper place, so that inere 
is no need of any other exposition. The two dramas of Lope 
de Vem which mllow that which we have just mentioned, par- 
take of the same Spanish and chivalric character, and possess 
the same merit The poet always attracts the eyes, and com- 
mands the attention, of his audience, from the commencement of 
the piece. In Lo Cierio par lo Dudoio ; ITu Certain for the 
IkmtfuL a drama founded on the jealous rivalry €Â Don Pedro 
kmg of Castile, and his brother l5on Henry, both of whom are 
easmomred of Donna Juana, daughter of the Adelantado of 
Castile, the scene opens in the streets of Seville in the midst of 
the festivals and rejoicings on the eve of Saint John. The jocund 
strains of musical instruments and of the voice are heard on 
every side ; dances are made up before the audience ; the nobi* 
lity of the kingdom partake in the diversions of the people, of 
avail themselves of that opportunity to carry on their mtrigues ; 
and at last Don Henry ami Don Pedro are introduced in a man- 
nor sufficiently striking to awaken seneral curiosity. Each of 
ttem recognises the other, whilst endeavouring to obtain access 
to the house of his mistress, and they mutually attempt to conceal 
theaiselvee from each other. 

In the foUovring {day, Pobrtza no et vîUsa ; PovtrHf is no crime : 
in which the scene is laid in Flanders during the wars of Philip 
II., and under the government of the Count de Fuentes, the 
oommenoem^Eit is in the highest degree attractive and romantic. 
Bosela, a Flemish lady of high birm, has retired to her gardens 
at a short distance from Brussels. She is there attacked oy four 
Spamsh soldiers» who» long deprived of their pay and enraged 
by hunger, attempt to rob her of her jewels. Mendoza, the 
wo of the ]^eee, who was serving as a ^private soldier in the 


same army, unexpectedly arrives, meanly apparelled. He de* 
fends the Flemish lady, recovers her jewels, and oondncts her 
to a place of safety. Having gained her affections by this gene- 
rous action, he confides to her care his sister, who has accompa- 
nied him to Flanders, and he departs to the siege of Catelet, 
with the Count de Fuentes. 

Lope de Vega appears to have studied the history of Spaia 
and to have been filled with a noble enthusiasm for the glory of 
his country, which he incessantly endeavours to support. His 
dramas cannot be strictly called historical, like those of Shaks- 
peare ; that is to say, he has not selected the great events of the 
state, so as to form a politieal drama ; but he has connected a 
Tomantic intrigue with the most glorious occurrences in the re> 
cords of Spain, and has so interwoven romance with history, 
that eulogies on the heroes of his nation become an essential 
and inseparable part of his poems. It was not to afford the 
audience the pleasure of witnessing a ridiculous battle, as in the 
effeminate theatre in Italy, that &e si^ of Catelet in which 
Mendoza distinguished himself, is partly displayed on the stage ; 
it was for the purpose of affording the Count de Fuentes, in ar- 
raying his army, the opportunity of rendering to each of his 
officers, and to each of his brave warriors, that tribute of gl<Nry 
which posterity has accorded to them. Although these pieces 
are inferior to many others in point of composition, yet the pa- 
triotic sentiments of the author, and his zeal for the glory of his 
nation, give them a deeper interest than is possessed fay those 
which are more distinguished by poetical beauties. 

In the fiiithful picture of Spanish manners which he has pre- 
sented to us, the most striking and most incomprehensible fea- 
ture is the extreme susceptibility of Spanish honour. The 
slightest coquetry of a mistress, of a wife, or of a sister, is an 
insult to the lover, the husband, or the brother, which can only 
be obliterated by blood. This mad jealousy was eommunicated 
to the Spanish by the Arabians. Its existence among the latter, 
and indeed among all Oriental nations, may easily be accounted 
for, because it is in accordance with their national habits. They 
keep the female sex in close confinement ; they never pronounce 
their names, nor do they ever seek any intercourse with them 
until they have them absolutely in their power. Indulging only 
emotions of love and of jealousy in their harams, they seem in 
every other place to forget the existence of the sex. The man- 
ners of the Spaniards are entirely c^posite. Their whole lives 
are consecrated to gallantry. Every individual is enamoured 
of some woman who is not in his power, and makes no scruple 
of entering into the most indelicate intrigues to gratify his jns- 
sions. The most virtuous heroines mAe assignations in the 
night-time, at their chamber windows ; they receive and write 
billets ; and they go out masked to meet their lovers in tbe house 
«f a third person. So ecmipletely is this gallantry supp6rte4 


by the spirit of chivalry, that when a married woman is pursued 
by her hnsband or by her fether, she inTokes the first person 
yifbom she chances to meet, withont knowmg him or disclosing 
herself to him. She reqaests him to protect her from her im- 
pertinent pursuers, and the stranger thus called upon cannot 
without dishonouring himself, rmse to draw his sword to pro- 
cure for this unknown female a liberty perhaps criminal. He, 
however, who thus hazards his life to secure the flight of a co- 
quette, who has himself made many assignations and written 
billets, would be seized with unappeasable fiiry if he discovered 
that his own sister had inspired any person with love, had enter- 
tained that passion for another, or ha<i taken any of those liber- 
ties which are authorized by universal custom. Such a cir- 
cumstance would be a sufficient motive in his ^yes to put to 
death both his sister and the man who had ventured to speak 
to her of love. 

The theatre of Spain every where affords us examples rf the 
practical application of this singular law of honour. Besides 
various pieces of Lope de Vega, many c^ those of Calderon, and 
among others the Zodv Spectre, and T^ DeeoHon of ike Cross, 
place in the clearest lignt the contrast between the jealous fury 
of a husband or a broker, and the protection which they them- 
selves afford to any masked damsel who may ask it ; who, as it 
often happens, is one of the identical persons they would have 
the greatest desire to restrain if they had known her. But the 
argument which a Castilian philosopher advances against 
these sanguinary manners in a comedy of an anonymous au- 
thor of the Court of Philip IV. is still more esrtraordi- 
uarr. A judge is speaking of a husband who has put his wife 
to death : 

Our wortdly Itwt be bas obey'd» 

Bnt Bet tboM Itwfl wfaicb Ood bit made. 

Mj otber self, now, is my wife ; 

It is tben clear, tbat if my life 

I must not take, I caooot do 

Tbat Tiolenee to ber. Tis true, 

Man very rarely can ootttrol '. 

Tbe imiMilee wbiob first moves bis soul.^ 

* El moatanes Joan Pasqnal, y primer assistente de SeviUa, de on infeirie 

Complio COD dnelos del mundo 
Mas BO con leyes del cielo ; 
Mi mtiger es otro yo : 
T poes yo a mi no me debo 
Dar la maerte, claro esta 
<tue a ella tampoco. Ta ? eo 
Qae raro ee el que es senor 
l^e sQ pfjmer norfnlenf o. 


▲ giaffahr moniHty* whieb woald protulnt nrarder, only when 
it reieiiiDlai iiiicide! 

In Lo CiêHo per lo Ihiiaeo* of Lope de V^a, Donna Joau 
prefers Don Henry to his brother the kin^s^, Don Pedro. To 
Ikim she remains constant in spite of the passion of the monaTeh. 
who was neith» less amiable, less yoang. nor less captiTating. 
She endeavours in various ways to make known her attaehment 
to Don Henry ; and at last when the king is on the point of re- 
oeivinff her hand, she begs to speak to him alone, hoping lo fnt 
keradf finom him by a singular 

iVAVA* Don P«dro, I hare Tantared to confide 

In jonr known valour and your generous wisdonit 
To speak with you thus frankly. You must know, 
Don Henry did address me, and I answerM 
H» suit, though with a grave and modest cairiage. 
Never from him heard I unfitting words ; 
Never from him did I receive a line 
Trenching upon mine honour ; jet, helteve me^ 
If I have answei'd not your love, 1 have 
A deeper motive than you think of. Listen ! 
But no I how can I tell such circumstances, 
And yet the hazard only may be blamed — 
Doth not my cheek grow pale 7 

Tb« Kwo. Oh, I am lost! 

Jnana, I am lost ! my love begets 
A thousand strange chimeras. What chaU I 
Believe of this thy treachery — of thy honour ? 
Oh sneak, nor longer torture me ; I know 
The hazards wherewith lovers are environ'd. 

JvASA. 1 seek choice words, and the diignise of rhetorie, 
And yet the simple truth will best excuse ma. 
I and Don Henry (he was speaking to me) 
Descended the great staircase of the palace— 
I cannot tell it-— will you let me write it? 

Tbb Knio. No, tarry not, my patience b eihausted. 

JvAHA. I said we did descend the ctairease.— No, 

Not the doom'd crintnal can be more moved 
Than I am at this tale. 

Tan K»o. In God's name, haitea I 

JoAtf ▲. Wait bat a little while. 

Tbb Kino. Ton torture ae. 

JuANA. Nay, I wiU teU yoa all. 

Tbb Koro. Oh, end the tale 1 

My blood creeps through each artery drop by drop. 

JVAMA. Alasl my lord, my crime was very lighL 
Well, Henry then approaeh*d me. 

Tbb Kufo. Well t and then ) 

JuAMA. His month (*twas by some fatal accident) 

Met mine. Perchance he only sought to speak ; 
But in the obscurity of night he did 
Unwittingly do this discourtesy. 
Now then you know the hidden fatal reason 
Why I can never be yonr wife. 

rnis Drama has been lately revifed Bad acted at Madrid. TV.] 


Thk Kino. I know, 

Jdtna, that this Ule is the mere coiaage 
Of your own brain. I know too, that Don Heniy 
Hath not yet aought hie exile, that he liogera 
In Seville, plotting how to injure me. 
1 know that they will «ay it ill beeomes 
One of my rank to stmnfe for yomr kiTo ; 
That wise men, and that fools will all agree 
In telling me I have forgot my honour. 
But 1 am wounded. Jealousy and love 
Ha?e blinded me ; I e<|ually despise 
The wise man and the fool, and only seek 
To satisfy the ii\inry I feel. 
Vengeance exists not nndebased with fbry, 
Nor lOTe-onlaiiited by the brsath of folly. 
This night will I assassinate Don Henry, 
And he being dead, I will espouse thee. Then 
Thou never canst compare his love with mine. 
'Tis true that while he lives I ean*t espoose thee, 
Seeing that my dishontur lives in blm 
Who hath tisurpM the place reserved for ma; 
But while I thus avenge this crime, I feel 
That it hath no reality, and yet 
Though thine adventnre be all Ihlse, invented 
* To nîake mé yield my wtshee and reaoanoa 

My aarrii^Be, it sofieea that it hath 
Been ooly told to me, to seal mv vengeance i 
Or if love makes me credit aught of it, 
Héttf/ shaH die and I will wed his widow ; 
Than theogb the tale thou tellesC ware diaeof et^ 
Thine hanoiir and mne own wiU be uni^iii'd. 

It ig neitber a, tyrant nor a madman who gpeaka. Don Pedxo 
reaoWes to comodt fratricide, not like a monster, bat like a 8p^ 
nianL delicate upon a point of honour. He despatckeg asaas* 
aini fc^ different routes to disooTor his brother. In the mean 
time, ikm Henir marries Juana ; and the Kmg, when he thus 
finds the cvkl without remedy and his honour onimpaired, pardons 
the two lot «r& 


CMtintlioB of XiCipe de Vcfk 

It is not merely on his own aoooant that our &rtlier atte&tidii 
is directi^ to the poet whom Spain has designated as the phounx 
of men of genius. Lope de Vega merits our attenti<m still 
more, as having exhibited and displayed the spirit of his own 
age, and as having powerfully influenced the taste of succeeding 
centuries. After a Ions interruption to the dramatic art, and 
a silence of fifteen hundred years» on the theatres of Greece 
and Borne, Europe waa suddenly surprised with the renewal of 
theatrical representations, and turned to them with delkrht In 
every quarter the drama now revived ; the eyes as weU as the 
mind sought a gratification in the charms of poetry, and geniiis 
was required to give to its creations action and life. In Italy» 
tragedy had been already cultivated by Trissino, Rucdlai, and 
their imitators, during the whole of the sixteenth eenturr, Vut 
i;rithont obtaining any brilliant success or attracting the admira' 
tion of the spectators; and it was solely during the perkd 
which corresponds to the life of Lope de V^ (1562-1635) tktt 
thé only dramatic attempts of which Italy has reason to boaM 
before those of Alfieri, appeared. The Amyntas of Taaao was 
published in 1572 ; the I^astor Fldo in 1585 ; and thé crowd cf 
pastond dramas which seemed to be the only rmresentntiai 
adapted to the national taste of a people deprived of their inde- 
pendence, and of all military glory, were composed in the years 
which preceded or immediately followed the commencement of 
the seventeenth century. In England, Shakspeare was bom 
two years after Lope de Vega, and died nineteen years before 
him, (1564-1616.) His powerfiil genius raised the Englisb 
theatre, which had its birth a few years before, from a state of 
extreme barbarism, and bestowed on it all the renown whi«di it 
possesses. In France, Jodelle, who is now regarded as a rode 
author, had given to French tragedy those rules and that spirit 
which she has preserved in her maturity, even before the biitii 
of Lope de Vega (1532 to 1573.) Gamier, who was the first t» 
polish it, was a contemporary ot Lope. The great OomeiOe^ 
bom in 1606, and Rotrou, bom in 1609, attained to manhood 
hefixre the death of Lope. Botrou had, before tiiat event giv«te 


ideven or twelre pieces to Uie theatre ; but Corneille did not 
publish the Cid until a year after the death of the great Spanish 
draniatist In the midst of this universal derotion to dramatic 
poetry, we may well imagine the astonishment and surprise pro- 
duced by one who seemed desirous of satisfying -himself the 
theatrical wants of all Europe ; one whose genius was sevav 
exhausted in touching and ingenious invention ; who produced 
comedies in verse with more ease than others wrote sonnets ; 
and who* during the period that the Castilian tongue was in 
vogue, filled at one and the same moment, with pieces of endlesB - 
variety, all the theatres of the Spanish dominions, and those of 
Milan, Naples, Vienna, Munich, and Brussels. The influence 
which he could not win from his age by the polish of his works, 
he obtained by their number. He exhibited the dramatic art as 
he hsbd conceived it, in so many different manners, and under 90 
many forms, to so many thousands of spectators, that he natural- 
ized and established a preference for his style, irrevocably de- 
cided the direction of Spanish genius in ,the dramatic aft, and 
obtained over the foreign stage a considerable influence. It is 
felt in the plays of Shakspeare and of bis immediate successors ; 
and is to be. traced in Italy dur'mg the seventeenth century, bat 
more particularly in France, where the great Corneille formed 
himself on the Spanish school ; where Rotrou, Quinault, Tho- 
mas Corneille, and Scarroo, gave to the stage scarcely any other 
than pieces borrowed from Spain; and where the Castiliau 
names and titles and manners were for a long time in exclusive 
possession of the theatre. 

The pieces of Lope de Vega are seldom read ; they have not, 
to my knowledge, been translated, and they are rarely met with 
in detached collections of Spanish plays. The original edition 
of bis pieces is to be found only in two or three of the most ce- 
kîbrated libraries in £arq>e.* It is, therefore, necessary to re- 
gard more dosely a man who attained such eminent fame ; who 
exercised so powerful and durabfe an influence not only over 
his native country, but over all Europe, and over ourselves ; and 
with whom we have, nevertheless, little acquaintance, and whom 
we know 4>nly by name. I am aware that extracts from pieces, 
often monstrous, and always rudely sketched, may probably dis- 
gust readers who seek rather the masterpieces of literature than 
its rude materials ; and I feel, too, that the prodigiou» fertility 
of Lope ceases to be a merit in the eyes of those who are fatigued 
with its details ; but if they were no longer interesting to us as 
specimens of the dramatic art they deserve our attention as 
preseaUng a pidbai*e of the manners and opinions then prevalent 
in Spain. It is in this point of view that I shall endeavour ta 

* There a a copy in the Bibliothèque Royale at ?ari»i but the 6Kh ^'l 
«stii vohimei are wanting. 

Vol. 11, 31 

966 ON TUK LlTfiRATUftE 

trace' in them the prejudioet and manners of the Spantiwie, 
their conduct in America, and their rdigioas sentiments at an 
epoch which, in some measure, corresponds to the wars of the 
Lea^pe. Those too, to whom the Spanish stage in its rude stste 
is without interest, cannot he indifferent to the diaracter of a 
nation, which was at that time armed for the conquest of the 
world, and which, after having long held the destinies of Prajioe 
in the balance, seemed ou the point of reducing her nnd^ its 
yoke, and forcing her to receive its opinions, its laws, its manneta, 
and its religion. 

A remarkable trait in all the chivalrous pieces of Spain is the 
slight honour and little remorse inspired oy the commission o( 
murder. There is uo nation where so much indifference has 
been manifested for human life, where duels, armed rencounters, 
and assassinations, have been more common, arising from ^g^ter 
causes, and acccmipanied with less shame and regret All the 
Spanish heroes, at the commencement of their story, arc in the 
predicament of having slain some powerful man, and areoUised 
to sec^ safety in flight. After a murder they are exposeoC it 
is true, to the vengeance of relations and to the pursuit of jus- 
tice, but they are under the protection of religion and public 
opinion ; they pass from one convent and church to another, until 
they reach a place of safety ; and they are not only fevoured by 
a blind compassion, but the whole body of the clergy make it a 
point of conscience, in their pulpits and confessionals, to extend 
their forgiveness to an unfortunate, who has given way to a sud- 
den movement of anger, and by abandiming the dead to snatch 
a victim from the hands of justice. The same religious preju- 
dice exists in Italy ; an assassin is always sure ^ protection 
under the name of Christian charity from all belonging to the 
diurch. and by all that class of people immediately under the in- 
fluence of the priests. Thus in no country in the world have 
assassinations been more frequent than in Italy and in Spain. 
In the latter country a village fiU scarcely ever occurs without 
a person being killed. At the same time this crime ought in 
reality, to wear a graver aspect among a superstitioiM peof^ 
since, according to their belief, the eternal sentence depends not 
on the general course of life, but on the state of the aoul at the 
moment of death ; so that he who is killed, being almost alwajs 
at the moment of quai rel iti a state of impemtence, there can be 
no doubt of his condemnation to eternal punishment But 
neither the Spaniards nor the Italians ever consult their reason 
in legislating on morals ; they submit blindly to the dceiaions 
of casuists, and when they have undergone the expiations im- 
posed on them by their confessors, they believe themsetrcs ab- 
solved from all crime. These expiations have been rendered so 
much the more easy, as they are a source of riches to the deigy. 
A fimndation of masses foi the soul of the deceased, or aims to 
the church, or a sacrifice of money, in short, however diapropor- 


tkmate to the wealth of the culprtt, will always soffiee to waah 
«way the staiii of falood. The Greeks in the henrfc ages le- 
quired «ipiatioaB before a miirderer was permitted to enter again 
into their temples ; but their expiations, ht from enfeebling the 
civil aatKority, were designed to strengthen it : they were long 
and severe ; the murderer was compelled to make public pe- 
nance, and felt himself stained by the blood he had shed. Thus 
amoi^ a fierce and half-savage people the authority of religion, 
in amrdance with humanity, checked the.efifiision ù( hummk 
blood, and rendered an instance of assassination more rare in all 
Greece than in a single village in Spain. 

There is not, perhaps, a play <tf Lope de Vecpi, which may 
not be cited in support of these remarks, and which does not ààa* 
•cover in the national character a disregard for the life of others, 
a criminal indifference for evil, since it can be expiated by the 
church, an alliance of religion and ferocity, and the admiration 
of the people towards men celebrated for many homicides. I 
shall choose for a corroboration of these opinions a comedy of 
Lope de Vega, entitled The Life oj the valiant Cevpedes. It will 
transport us to the camp of Charles V., and will show us how 
those armies wei'e composed which destroyed the proteataoÉs, 
and shook the German empire ; and it wi^l, in some sort finish 
the historical picture of this reign, so remarkable in the revolu- 
tions oi Europe, by acquainting us with the character and private 
life of those soldiers whom we are aceastomed to regard only in 
the mass. 

Cespedes, a gentleman of Ciudad-Real, in the kingdom of 
Toledo, was a soldier of fortune under Charles V., renowned 
fer his valour and prodigious strengt^i. The sister of this Sam- 
son of Spain, Donna Maria de Cespedes. was not less atUetic 
than himself. Before entering into the service, he had invited 
all the ciunaen and porters to wrestle with him, and decide who 
could raise the heaviest weights ; and when he was absent from 
home. Donna Maria, his sister, took his place- and wrestled with 
the first earner. The piece opens with a scene between tiiis 
young damsel and two carmen of La Mancba, who contend with 
her who could farthest throw a heuvy bar of iron, ^e proves 
herself strc^nger than either of them, and wins all their cattle 
and forty crowns, for she never makes these trials of strength 
grofts; however, she generously restores her antagonists the 
nudes, and keeps only their money. A gentleman in love with 
her, Baned Don Diego, disguises himself as a peasant and de-» 
sifes to wrestle with her, not with the expectation of being vie* 
torious, but in the hope of having an opportunity of declaring 
Us pai^aiaii in her arms. He deposites as the reward of victory 
four piecea of Spanii^ coin ; she accepts them, and the combat 
commences ; but whilst their arms are intertwined, Don Diego 
addresses her in the following strain of gallantry : — '* Is there 
on ear^, lady, a glory equal to this, of finding mys^ injMur 



arms ? Where is the prince that had ever so happy a destiny ? 
We are told of one who soared on vrings <^ wax to the blazing 
orb of day ; bat he did not dare to wrestle with the sun, and if 
for such audacity he was precipitated into the sea, how shall I 
survive who have grasped the sun in my embrace ? 

Maria. You a peasant ? 

Diego. I know not 

Maria. Your language, and the perfume you carry about you, 
cszcite my fears. 

DiEoo. The language I have learned from yourself, for you 
have shed a ray of light on my soul ; the perfume is that of the 
flowers on which I reposed, in the meadow, in meditating on my 

Maria. Quit my arms. 

DiBGo. I cannot " 

Maria is confirmed in her suspicions of his rank ; she refuses 
any farther contest with him ; at the same time she is touched 
by his gallantry, and as her brother returns at this moment, she 
conceals Don Diego, to screen him from his animosity. Cespe- 
des enters, and relates to his sister that his mistress had given 
him a pink, which he had placed in his hat ; that Pero Trillo 
being enamoured of the same beauty and jealous of his attach- 
ment, they had fought ; that Cespedes had slain him, and had 
now come home to procure money, and to-enga^ Bertrand, one 
of his peasants, to follow him as his esquire in his departure for 
Flanders to serve the Emperor. He then flies, under the con- 
viction that he shall be immediately pursued by justice. 
Scarcely is he gone when the corregidor arrives wfth the algua- 
sUs to visit his house and arrest tne criminal. Donna Maria 
considering this visit as an ofience, calls Don Di^o to her aid, 
kills two of the alguazils and wounds the oorregidor, and then 
takes refuge in a diurch to escape the sudden anger of the popu- 
lace. We shall next observe her depart from thence for G^- 
many, in the habit of a soldier with Don Diego. 

In the mean while we follow Cespedes on his journey. We 
see him arrive at Seville with Bertrand, his esquire, quarrelling 
with sharpers in the streets, and pursuing them with his knife ; 
attaching himself to the courtesans, and engaging on their ac- 
count in fresh quarrels ; desirous at last of enrolling himself» 
but involved by gambling in a quanti with a sergeant, whom 
Cespedes kills, whilst he puts the recruiting party to fliffht The 
detawi of these scenes of brutal ferodty are highly disgusting; 
but they are apparently all historical, and tradition has cardhUy 
preserved them for the glory of the Spanish hero. 

The second act shows us Cespedes after he has resided some 
time in (Germany, and been advanced in the Emperor's service. 
But after having had a share in the most brilliant campaigns 
of Charles the Fifth, he is obliged to retire from the army in 
COO^cqiience of meeting a heretic in the Emperor's palace at 

ur TUK Sl'AKIAUDS. 269 


Augsburgh, three of whose teeth he struck out by a furious 
blow of his hand ; many more heretics rushed on him to revenge 
this outrage, but he and his squire between them killed ten of 
the party and wounded several more. The Emperor, however, 
despatches Hugo, one of his captains, to recall him to the army, 
ana assures him that although himself and the Duke of Alva 
were obliged to express their disapprobation of his conduct, yet 
it was of all the actions of Gespedes that which had given them 
the greatest satisfaction. Cespedes, ^cou raged by this mark of 
approbation, declares that whenever he meets with a heretic, 
vHio refuses to kneel to the sacrament, he will hamstring him, and 
leave him no choice in the matter. 

This captain Hugo, the host and protector of Cespedes. has 
in his house a sister, named Theodora, who falls in love with the 
valiant Spaniard, and who, after having been seduced by him, 
escapes from her paternal roof to follow him. After a scene of 
military gallantry between them. Donna Maria de Cespedes ap- 

Biars, disguised as a man, after her arrival in (xermany with Don 
iego. The latter has accompanied her during her whole jour- 
ney, and has obtained her affections, bût he is determined to quit 
her. since Pero Trillo, whom Cespedes had killed at the com- 
mencement of the piece, was bis uncle, and he thinks himself 
bound to avenge his death. They then separate. In the fare- 
veil of Donna Maria we remark traces of the poetic talent of 
Lope, and a sensibility which only occasionally presents itself. 
Maria overwhelms her faithless lover with reproaches, though 
always mingled with a return to tenderness ; and in the midst 
of her imprecations, she checks herself with sorrow, she seems 
to recall him, and she often repeats with sadness — ** When, alas, 
one so often reproaches, one is very near pardoning." While 
she is yet on the stage, she hears two soldiers calumniate Ges- 
pedes. They are jealous of the favour shown to his bodily 
prowess, and to exploits more fitting a porter than a soldier ; 
and she, assuming to herself the defence of her brother's b<mour, 
kills the two soldiers. She is threatened with an arrest, but re- 
fuses to surrender to any one except the Duke of Alva, who 
conducts hcT to prison, but at the same time promises to recom- 
pense her bravery. Donna Maria does not allow him time for 
^at, since she is no sooner in prison than she breaks her fetters, 
forces the bars of her window, and sets herself at liberty. 

Don Diego, after having separated from Donna Maria, pursues 
the project of revenge which he had meditated against Cespedes. 
Aware that a combat with an antagonist of such superior power 
would be unavailing, he resolves to assassinate him. He charges 
Mendo with jthis commission, gives him his pistol, and places him 
in ambush, concealing twenty of bis men nigh at hand to support 
Mendo, and aid his escape after the deed. Gespedes falls into 
the snare, but the pistol misses fire. Mendo, notwithstandlnfi;^, 
h not disconcerted, but presents his weapon to him, and succeeds 


in GonTindng him that he waui tryiag it before him in oràer te 
induce him to purchase it. Cespedea, after having hm^t the 
pistol, perceives that it is chared, and that there hat oeeià a 
design to assassinate him, without knowing whom to aocoae of 
the attempt 

In the third act, Mendo relates to I>on Diego the fiulure oC 
the design, and informs him of the subterfuge by whsdi he et- 
•caped the veugeance of Cespedes. At this moment, sbonta of 
triumph and exclamations announce the victorious retom of Ces» 
pedes from a tournament, where he had challeqged aU the 
oravest of the army. He appears on the stage crowned with 
laurels, and tbc Emperor presents him with the lordship of 
Viilalar on the Guadiana. In the mean time Cespedes lenms 
ihaA it was Don Diego, the seducer of his sister, who had at* 
tempted to assassinate him ; but public affairs prevent him seek- 
ing revenge. The elector of Saxony had fortified himself in 
Muhlberg, (1547.) Charles V. passes the Elbe to attack him; 
the army is put in motion, and Cespedes thinks only of signal- 
izing himself against the heretics. In the midst of preparations 
for baittle, some tumultuous scenes paint the licentiousness of the 
camp. In one part we see Donna Maria and Theodora fisUowing 
the army disguised as soldiers ; in another part Bertrand, the 
squire of Cespedes. carries off a peasant girl. The peasants 
of the village collect together to release her, but Cespedes op« 
poses himself singly to all these villagers, kills a number of 
them, and forces the remainder to fly. He then offers himself 
to the Emperor to be the first to swim over the Elbe. Beriiand, 
Don Hugo, and Don Die;ço, propose to accompany him ; and 
the last though just coming from a meditated assassination, 
proves himself one of the most valiant men of the army, and 
very ambitious of glory. These chainpions then pass the river, 
and point out a ford to the troops of the Emperor, who cross the 
Elbe, and put the Saxons to night ; but Diego being wonaded 
is saved on the shoulders of Cespedes, who does not *yet know 
him, and from whom he conceals his name. Cespedes, afler 
having placed him in safety, returns to the fight Donna Maria 
arrives. She recognises her wounded lover, pardons him, and 
4»rries him to her tent It was in this battle that the virtuous 
elector, John Frederic, was made prisoner. Lope de Vega at- 
tributes this honour to Cespedes, who receives in recompense 
the order of knighthood of St James: but without exciting any 
interest in favour of the sovereign of Saxony, whom he conaidsfs 
as a rebelf He notwithstanding exhibits on the stage the nobk 
constancy with which, whilst playing a game at chess, that Princs 
received his sentence of death. 

During the rejoicings after the victory, the order of kai^- 
faood is conferred on Cespedes who learns that his sister is in the 
camp, that she has received into her tent the very Don Dicsgs 
who had attempted to assassinate him, thai she loves him, and 


fcas taerifieetf ber honoiir to him. He nithes farth to terenge 
Uhm^ on bofh. In tlie tofll scene we see him sword in baà, 
and Bertnttd tt his side. Don Di^o and Mendo await ti^em 
armed, whilst Donna Maria and Th^xlora attempt to restrain 
them. The Duke of AWa commands them to suspend the com- 
bat He asks the cause of the quarrel. Don Diego relates it, 
and states that he has offered to espouse Donna Maria, but that 
Cespedes haa arrogantly refused his consent The Duke of 
AlTa by his authority terminates the dispute. He concludes 
the marriage bietween Cespedes and Theodora, and between 
Den Dieso and Donna Maria, assigns a recomp^ise to Ber- 
trand, and grants a pardon to Mendo. To conclude, the author 
at the cbee of his play, announces that a second part will 
compfehend the remainder of the noble deeds of Cespedes, 
to the time of his deaths in the war against ttie revoked Moors 
ef Grenada. 

It would be difficult I imagine, to contriTe for the stage a 
greater number of murders, for the most part gratuitously per- 
petrated. How fatal must have been the effect of exhibiting to 
a pem>le already loo prone to sanguinary revenge, a character 
lilrê Cespedes, and representing him as the hero of his country! 
There are many pieces still more dangerous. Bravery in con- 
flict with social order, and a sanguinary resistance to magistrates, 
eorregidors, and officers of justice, have been too often displayed 
as the favourite heroism of the Spanish stage. Long before the 
robbers of SchiUer appeared, and long previous to our chiefs of 
the bands of banditti in our mélodrames, the Castilians had set 
apart virtue, valour, and nobility of mind as the portion of their 
outlaws. Many of the plays of the two great writers of the 
Spanish stase. Lope de Vega and Calderon, have a chief of 
banditti as their principal character. The authors of the second 
order frequently chose their hero from the same class. It is 
thus that T%e Valiani Andahaian of Cliristoval de Monrc^ y 
Siva, Thé lUdoubUUfle AnduUman of a writer of \'alencia, and 
The Rohber BMhaaar of another anonymous author, excited the 
interest of the spectators for a professed assassin, who executed 
tiie Moody «ommands of his relations and friends ; wha pursued 
by justice, rousted the officers of a whole province, and left 
dead on th^ spot all who dared to approach him ; and who, when 
the moment Off submission at length arrived, obtained the divine 
pardon through the miraculous interposition of Providence ; a 
prodigy which snatched him from the hands of his enemies, or 
at all events assured the salvation of his soul. This description 
of plays met with the most brilliant success. Neither the charm 
of poetry, so prodigally lavished in other dramas, nor the art of 
preserving probability in the plot were demanded, while the 
seducing valour of the robber*chie£ and his wonderful successes, 
enchanted the populace. This was a glory and heroism appro- 
priate to their own sphere of life, though attached to passions 


which it w&s highly important to SQpprees. In Tiewing the Uto- 
ratare of the South, we are often struck with the subveraîon of 
morals, with the corruption of all just priociples, and with the 
disor^nization of society which it indicates ; but if we candidly 
examine the institutions of the people, and consider their govero- 
ment their religion, their education, their games, and their pub- 
lic amusements, we ought rather to allow them credit for the 
virtues which they have retained, for that rectitude of sentiment 
and thought which is innate to the heart of man, and wfaicii is 
not entirely destroyed, notwithstanding exterior circumstanoes 
liave so strongly conspired to corrupt the mmd, and to pervert 
its sentiments. 

We meet with principles of as evil a tendency, precepts as 
cruel, and a &naticism not less deplorable, in the play of Araueo 
damado : The Conquest of Araiico^ of Lope de Vega ; thougii in 
this instance the piece is raised by a high strain of poetry, and 
suroorted by a more lively interest Nor is it sufficient, in in- 
quiring into tlie couauestof America, one of the greatest events 
of the age, to seek lor the details of it in the historians ; it is 
also desirable to view in the poets the character of the people 
that accomplished it and the effect produced upon them by the 
prodigies of valour and the excess of ferocity which were dis- 
played. The subject of this piece is taken from the Araucana 
of Don Alonzo de Ërcilla. It commences after the electioD of 
Gaupolican, and his defeat of V'akiivia, the Spanish general who 
commanded in Chili, and who perished in a battle about the year 
1554. This is in itself a noble and theatrical subject The 
struggle between the >paniards, who cu^nbat for glory and for 
the establishment of their religion, and the Araucanians, i^ho 
fight for their liberty, affoi ds room for the developerocnt of the 
noblest characters, and for the most striking opposition between 
a savage and civilized people. This opposition forms one of the 
greatest beauties in the play of Alzirt. The franco domado is 
also a piece of brilliant imagination. Many of the scenes arc 
richer in poetry than any that Lope dc Vega has composed. 
They would have produced a still greater efiect had they been 
more impartial ; but the Ai-aucans were enemies of the Spaniards'. 
and the author thought himself obliged by his patriotism to give 
them a boasting character, and to represent them as defeated m 
every action. .Nevertheless, the general impression produced 
by the perusal is an admiration of the vanquished, and horror at 
the cruelty of the conquerors. 

Whilst the Spaniards install the new governor of Chili. Gau- 
polican celebrates his victory» and places his trophies at the feçt 
of the beautiful Fresia, who, not less valiant than himself, is de- 
lighted at finding in her lover the liberator of his country. The 
first strophes which the poet puts into their mouths breathe «! 
the same time love and imagination. 


* Gaupolicak. 

Here, beauteous Fresia, rest ; 

Thy feacher'd darts resigo, 

While the bright plaaet pours a fareirell raj, 

Gilding the glorious West, 

And, as his beams decline, 

Tinj[^ with crimson light the eipiring day. 

Lo ! where the streamlet on its way, 

Soft swelling from its source, 

Through flower-bespangled meads 

Its murmuring waters leads. 

And in the ocean ends its gentle course. 

Here, Fresia, may'st thou lare 

Thy limbs, whose whiteness shames the foaming wave. 

Unfold, in this retreat, 

Thy beauties, envied by the queen of night ; 

The gentle stream shall cla^p thee in its arms ; 

Here bathe thy wearied feet ! 

The flowers with delight 

Shall stoop to dry them, wondering at thy charms. 

To screen thee from alarms, 

The trees a -verdant shade shall lend ; ' 

For many a songster's thfoat 

Shall swell the harmonious note ; 

The cool stream to thy form shall bend 

Its course, and the enamoorM sands 

Shall yield the diamonds for thy beauteous hands. 

* Oaupolican. 

Dexa el arco y las fléchas, 
Hermosa Fresia mia, 
Mientras el sol con cintas de oro borda 
Torres de nubes héchas ; 

Y declinando el dia. 

Con los umbrales de la noche aborda, 

A la mar siempre sorda. 

Camina el agua mansa 

De aquesta hermosa fuente, 

Hasta que su corriente 

En sus saladas margeucs descansa ; 

Aqui baiiarte puedes 

Tu, que a sus vidros en blancura exccdca. 

I>esnuda el cucrpo hermoso, 
Dando a la luna embidia, 

Y quexara^e el agua, por tenerte : 
Baiia el pie caluroso, 

Si el tiempo te fastidia, 

Vendran las flores a enxugarte y verte ; 

Los arboles a hacerte 

Sombra con verJes hojas ; 

Las aves harraonia, 

Y de la fuente fria 

La agradecida arena, si el pie raojas 
A hazer con mil enredos, 
Sortijas de diamantes a tus dedos. 
Voj.TT. f^.5 



AH that thou see'st around, 

My Fresia, is thine own ! 

This realm of Chili is thy noble dower ! 

Chased from our sacred ground, 

The Spaniard shall for all his crimes atone, 

And Charles and Philip's iron reign is o'er. 

Hideous and stainM with gore. 

They fly Arauca*s sword ; 

Before their ghastly eyes 

In dust Valdivia lies ; 

"While as a god adorM, 

My bright fame mounting, with the sun extends, 

Where'er the golden orb his glorious journey bends. 


Lord of my soul, my bosom's dream, 

To thee yon mountains bend 

Their proud aspiring heads ; 

The nymphs that haunt this stream, 

With roses crown'd, their arms extend, 

And yield thee offerings from their flowery beds. 

But ah ! no verdant tree that spreads 

Us blissful shade, no fountain pure, 

Nor feathor'd choir, whose song 

Echoes the woods among, 

Earth, sea, nor empire, gold, nor silrer ore. 

Could ever to me prore 

So rich a treasure as my chieftain's love. 

De todo lo que miras" 
Eres, Fresia, senora ; 
Ya no es de Carlo ni Felipe, Chile • 
Ya vencimos las iras 
Del Espanol, que Uora 
For mas que contra Araueo el bierro afilc. 
£1 Ter que aun oy distile 
Sangre esta roia arena 
En que Valdivia yaze. 
Del Polo onde el sol nace 
A donde sus cavallos desenfrena, 
No ay poder que me assombre, 
Yo soy el Dios de Araueo, no soy hombre. 


Querido esposo mio, 
A quien estas nontanas 
HumUlau las cabeças pressurosas ; 
Por quien de aqueste rio 
Que en verdes espadanas 
Se acuesta, coronandose de rosas, 
Las ninfas amorosas 
Embidian mi ventura ; 
Que fuente, que suaves 
Sombras, que vozes de aves. 
Que mar, que imperio, que oro o plata pura, 
Como ver que me quieras 
Tu que eres el senor de hombres y fieras. 



I a«k no brighter fame 

Than conquest o^er a heart 

To whom proud Spain submits her laurelra bead. 

Before whose honour'd name 

Her glories all depart and ? ictories are fled ! 

Her terrors all are sped ! 

The keenness of whose sword, 

Her arquebuse, whose breath 

FlashM with the fires of death. 

And the fierce steed, bearing his steel-clad lord, 

A fearful spectre on our startled shore. 

Affright our land no more ! 

Thj spear bath rent the chain 

That bound our Indian soil ; 

Her yoke so burthen'd by th' oppressor's hand, 

Thou hast spurn'd wth fierce disdain •' 

Hast robb'd the spoiler of his spoil, 

Who sought by eraft and force to subjugate thy land t 

Now brighter days expand 1 

The joys of peace are ours ! 

Beneath the lofty trees. 

Our light-swung hammocks answering to the breeze, 

Sweet is our sleep among the leafy bowers ; 

And, as in ancient days, a calm repose 

Attends our blessM life to its latest close. 

But when the Indians are aware that the Spaniards are adk 
vancing to attack them, and that their god has revealed their 
approaching defeat, the warriors and their chiefs animate them- 

No quiero mayor gloria 
Que arer rendido un pecho 
A qoien se rinde Espana, coronada 
De la mayor ritoria. 
Pues cupo eo èlla el hecho 
Por quien la India yase conquistada. 

Y hi Espanola espada, 
£1 arcabus temido. 

Que truena eomo el clelo, 

Y rayos tira al suelo, 

Y el cavallo arrogante, en que subido 
£1 bombre parecia 

Ifonstruosa fiera que sets pies tenia ; 

No causaran espanto 
Al Indio que rebelas, 
Cuya libre cerviz del yugo saecr 
Des Espaiiol, que tanto 
Le oprimio con cautelas, 
Cuya ambicion do plata y oro aplaca». 
Ya en tezidas amacas. 
De tronco a trouco asidas 
Destos arboles altos. 
De inquiéta guerra faltos, 
Dormiremos en pax, y nuestras vidas 
LIegaràn prolongadas 
A quel dichoso fin que las passidas. 


selves for the combat, by a warlike hymn of great beauty, and 
of a tnily original character. I have attempted to translate it, 
although I am aware that its effect proceeds, in a great measure, 
from tne scene which precedes it, which has awakened the enthu- 
siasm of the spectator, and from the grandeur of the scene and 
the music. At the extremity of the stage, the Spaniards are 
seen on the ramparts of a fort, where they have sheltered them- 
selves. The Indian tribes surround their chiefs : each vx his 
turn menaces with vengeance the enemies of his country: the 
chiefs reply in chorus, and the army interrupts the warlike music 
by its acclamations, repeating with ardour the name of its leader. 
This barbarous name, which recurs as a burthen in the midst of 
the verse, seems almost ludicrous, though one cannot help re- 
marking the truth of costume and military action, which, at 
least in the Spanish original, transports the reader into the midst 
of the savage bands. 

* An Indian Soldiir. 

Hail, Chief! twice crowoM by Victory's hands, 
Victor o'er all Valdim's bands, 
Conqueror of Villagran. 

Ton Aemt. 
All bail, Cftui^oUcaB t 

Choeus of Chiefs. 

Mendoza's fall wiU add fresh wreaths again. 

Fall, tyrant, (Ul, 
Th' avenger comes, alike of gods and men. 

The Soldier. 

The God of Ind, Apo, the thondtrar comes, 
Who gare his Taliant tribes these tist domains ; 
SpoiI'd by the robbers from the ooean^plains, 
Soon, soon, to fill ignoble tombs. 
Slain by the conqueror of Villagran. 

* Una toe. Pues Unfas nctorias goza 
De Valditia y VUlagran, 

ToDos. Caopoliean ! 

Solo. Tambien Toncerft al Mendoza, 
Y a los que coo el estan. 

ToDos. Gaupolican ! 

Solo. Si sabias el valor 

Desie Talieote Arancano, 
Aquien Apo soberano 
Hizo de Arauco aenor, 
Como no tienes tcmor ? 
Que si vencio a Vitk^gran, 

ToDOs. Caupolfcan I 

Solo. Tambien veoeer& al Mendoza 

T a los qao con el estan. 


Tbb Ammt. 

Shooty thont, Canpdlie&ii ! 

Thi Chobus. 


The hero*! eye it on thee | tynuit, flj ! 
Noy thou art io hii toils, and tboa must die, 
Thou canst not fly, 
Thou and tiiine impious elan* 

The Aeht. 
Hear, hear, Caupolican 1 


Wretched Castillans, yield, — our Tictims, yield I 

Fate sits upon our arms ; 
Trust not these walls and tMitn^— they cannot shield 
Your heads from Tongeanoe now. 

Your souls from wud alarms* 


See laurels on hb brow. 
The Uireatening chief of Araucan. 

Tri Armt. 
Caupolican! 1 


Mendoza, cast your laurels at his feet ; 
With tyrant-homase greet. 

The chief of all hb clan, 


Bandits, whom treaeon and the cruel thirst 

Of yellow dust bore to our hiq^less shores, 
Who boast of honour while your hands are curs'd 

With chains and tortures Natore'a self deplores, 


Caupolican ! 


Espanolee desdiehadoa 

En esse corral metidos, 

Que es confessaros Tcncidos, 

Y que estays juntos atados ; 

Adonde rays enganados ? 

La toz. 

A qui los dé muerte iran. 


Caupolican 1 

Tambiea TencerA al Mendoza, 

La toi. 

Y a los que con cJ estan ; 


Caupolican 1 


Ladrones que a hurtar Tenis 

£1 oro de nuestra tierra» 

Y disfraçando la guerra 

Dezis que a Carlos ser?is, 

<lne sogecion nos pedis ? 


Behold, we bu»t jour iron yoke ; 
Your terrors fled, your sa?age bondage broke. 

Behold the victor of yoor Villagran» 

The wholb Armt. 
Caupolican— CaupoUcan ! t 


Spuro, spam him o'er the wawes, — 
The new, last foe, Mendoza spam ! 
To those ftur lands, swift, swift, return. 

' Rbnoo. 

Or let them with as find their grafes. 

Madmen who hoped to find 

The race of Chili blind 
And weak, and vile as the PeruTian slares. 
Bat who yoor flying squadrons sares 

From the great chief of Araucan 7 
When he returns with all his capti? es won— 

To the glad bosom of Andalican. 


Soon shall you share (he fate of Yillagran. 
Kneel, and pour forth your prayer 
To the great victor of the war 
That he will spare ! 

The Army. 
CaupoHcan ! 

A number of battles succeed each other, in which the Indiaavv 
though they yield to the superior arms of the Europeans, yet 

La toz. Temblando de rerte estan. 

ToDOS. Caupolican I 

La toz. Tambien ▼eneerâ al Mendoza 

Y a los que con el estan, 
ToDOB. Caupolican ! 

Rbmoo. Inftmies, puesto que altivos 

Y tu Garcia, si tu 

Piensas que es Chile el Peru, 
Por adonde saldreys viror? 
Oy 08 llerara cautiros, 

La to^. A1 cerroMe Andalican. 

ToDOS. Caupolican ! 

La toz. Tambien rencerâ ai Mendoza 

Y a los que con el estan, 
ToDos. Caupolican I 


never lose their courage. Their wives and children excite 
them to battle, and force them to combat when they seem willing 
to lend an ear to negotiation. At length Galvarino, one of the 
chiefs of the Araucans, is made prisoner, and INlendoza orders 
his bands to be cut off, and directs him to be sent back in that 
state to his countrymen. Galvarino, on hearing this cruel sen- 
tence, thus replies to Mendoza : 

What i» thine aim, conquest or chastisement 7 
Though thou lop off these bauds, yet still among 
Arauca's sons shall myriads yet be found 
To blast thy hopes ; and as the husbandman 
Heads the fast-budding maize, to increase his store 
Of golden grain, so even these crimson hands 
Thou serer^st from my valiant arms, shall yield 
A thousand fold ; for when the earth hath drunk 
My blood, an iron harvest she shall yield 
Of hostile hands, to enslave and bind thine own. 

The execution of the sentence does not take place on the 
stage, but Alonzo de Ercilla, the epic poet, who acts an 
important part in this drama, brings the report of it in these 

He seem'd (o me all marble ; scarce the knife 
With cruel edge had sever'd his left hand, 
Than he replaced it with his valiant right. 

Gralvarino ultimately arrives at a council of war of the Arau- 
eans, at the moment when the Caciques, dispirited, are on the 
point of concluding a peace. The sight of his mutilated arms 
kindles their rage afresh. Galvarino himself incites them by 
an eloquent harangue, to avenge themselves, or to die in defence 
of their freedom ; and another war is commenced, but with still 
less success than the former one. The Araucans, re-assembled 
in the wood of Puren, celebrate a festival in honour of their 
deity. A female in the midst of them chants a beautiful ode 
to the Mother of Love, when they are on a sudden surprised by 
the Spaniards, who attack them with shouts of San Jago and 
Cterra EapafiaJ* The Indians are almost all slain. Caupolican 
is left among the Spaniards, and, overpowered by numbers, is at 
length made prisoner, spsd brought before Don Garcia de Men- 

McKDozA. What power hath thus reduced Caupolican? 

Caupolicam. Misfortune, and the fickle chance of war. 

Mendoza. Misfortune is the just reward of all 

That war with heaven. Thou wast a vassal to 
The crown of Spain, and dar'dst defy its power. 

fCierra Espana was the war-cry of the ancient Spaniards). Tr.) 


Caufolicmi* Free-born, I have to the «ttermoat defended 

Mj native land, her liberty, and laws. 

Youra have 1 ne'er attempted. 
Mbhdoza. To our amu 

Chili had eoon lubmitted, hadst not thou 

Caupolican. Now she falls, and fetters bind 

Their hands. 
Mkndoza. Through thee Vahlivia perishM ; thou 

Hast destroy'd cities, hast excited war, 

Hast led thy people to revolt, hast slain 

Our Villagran, and for him thou shalt die. 
CaupolicaV. Tis true, my life is in thy hands ; revenge 

Thy monarch, trample Chili in the dust. 

Yet with this life thy power o'er me must end. 

The poet, however, to complete the triumph of Spain, was re- 
solved on the conversion of the hero of the Araucans, and Can- 
pdican embraces the religion of Mendoza, persuaded that that 
conqueror, more experienced and enlightened than himself, must 
be nearer to the true faith. Mendoza, after appearing as his 

Sdfather at the baptism, abandons him to the execntMHier. 
e is seen on the woaSkAà, bound to astake, and ready to be de- 
livered to the flames, and Philip de Mendoza, addressing faimadf 
to the portrait of Philip II. the coronation of which is announced 
to the army, exclaims : 

Thus do we serve thee. Sire, and these rich plains. 
Satiate with Indian blood, we add to thy domains. 


One should imagine that this terrific conclusion, the noble 
character given to Galvarino and Caupolican, the disgusting 
punishment of a hero at the moment of his conversion, and the 
senseless reproach of revolt addressed to an independent nation 
which attempts to repel an unjust invasion, were designedly 
placed before the eyes of the Castilians by Ime de Vega, to 
inspire them with a horror of thei^ cruelties. But this conjec- 
ture would betray a great ignorance both of the poet and his 
audience. Thoroughly persuaded that the partition of the In- 
dies by the Pope had invested his soverei^ with the dominion 
of America, he sincerely regarded the Indians as rebels deserv- 
ing of punishment ; and eoually convinced that Christianity 
ought to be established by fire and sword, he shared witb his 
whole heart in the zed of the conquerors of America, whom he 
considered as soldiers of the faith. Moreover he deemed the 
sacrifice of a hundred thousand idolatrous Indians to be an 
offering highly acceptable to the D.eity. The partiality of Spa- 
nish poets for their own nation is in general so great, that they 
think it unnecessary to disguise the cruelty of its conduct to- 
wards other countries. That which is at this day so revolting 
to us in their history, was in tiieir eyes a peculiar merit But 
the heroism of Caupolican and the Indians, and the virtues of 


these infidels which could not contribute to their salvation, bore 
in the eyes of Lope de Vega a tragic character, in proportion to 
their incfficacy. It was an earthly lustre of which he wished to 
ahow the vanity ; and, in exciting for them a passing interest,, 
he wished to warn the spectators to be on their guard against a 
culpable sensibility, and to teach them .to triumph over this weak- 
ness, by the example of the heroes of the faith, the Valdivias, 
the Villagrans, and the Mendozas, who had never experi- 
enced it 

These reflections lead us to the consideration of that species 
of drama, entitled by the Spaniards Sacred Comedies. Religion, 
indeed, always occupies an important place in the Spanish plays, 
however far the subject may be removedfrom it In those coun- 
tries where the Deity is held to be best worshipped by observing 
the dictates of conscience, confirmed by revelaUon, religion and 
virtue are synonymous terms. He who rejects morality, may 
be said to have divested his heart of belief ; for infidelity is the 
refuge of vice. This is not the ease in Italy and Spain, where 
not only those whom passion has rendered criminal, but those 
who exercise the most shameful and culpable professions, courte- 
sans, thieves, and assassins, are true believers ; a domestic and 
daily devotion is strangely intenuingled with their excesses ; 
religion is ever in their mouths, and even the studied blasphe- 
mous expressions which are only found in the Italian and Spa- 
nish languages, are a proof of their abounding faith. It is a sort 
of war&re against the supernatural powers with whom they find 
themselves ever in contact and whom they thus defy. The 
drama, the romances, the poetry, and the history of Spain are all 
so deeply tinctured by religion, that I am constantly obliged to 
call the attention of the reader to this striking characteristic ; 
to mingle, as it were, the Inquisition with their literature, and to 
exhibit the national character as well as the national taste per- 
verted by superstition and by fanaticism. 

The sacred pieces of Lope <le Vega, which form a very con- 
siderable part of his works, are in general so immoral and ex- 
travagant that if we were to judge the poet after them alone, 
they would impress us with the most disadvantageous idea of 
his genius. I have, therefore, deferred giving an analysis of any 
of these pieces, until I had noticed his historical plays, and shown 
that allowing him his choice of subject, Lope knew how to ex- 
cite interest, curiosity, and pity; and was capable of representing 
history and real life with a truth of description, which we do not 
find in his Lives of the Saints. 

It would be difiicult to imagine any thing more eccentric than 
the Life of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, of which Boutterwek has 
given an analysis. It commences by a conversation among a 
number of young students, who are exercising their genius and 
scholastic knowledge. Among them is found the future saint 
who is already distinguished for his piety amidst this libertine 

Vol. II. 3f5 


assembly. The Devil, under a disguise, mingies with the com- 
pany ; a spectre appears in the air, the heavens open, and Qod 
the Father is seen seated in Judgment ivith Justice and Mercy, 
who solicit him in turns. This imposing spectacle is followed 
by a love scene between a Lady Rosalia, and her lover, Feniso. 
The future saiut already a canon, appears, and preaches on the 
stage ; his parents congratulate themselves on possessing such a 
son, and this concludes the first act. The second commences 
with a scene in which soldiers appear ; the saint arrives with 
some monks, and delivers a prayer in form of a sonnet. Brotlier 
Peregrine narrates his conversion operated by love ; a subtle 
theological dispute succeeds ; all the events of the life of the 
saint are reviewed ; he prays a second time, and he is raised by 
his faith into the air, where tiie Virgin and St. Augustine descend 
to meet him. In the third act the holy winding-sheet is shown 
at Rome by two cardinals ; Nicholas assumes the habit of his 
order. During the ceremony the angels form an invisible choir ; 
the Devil is attracted by their music, and tempts the holy man : 
souls are seen in the fire of purgatory. The Devil retires sur- 
rounded by lions arid serpents, but a monk exercifles him jest- 
ingly with a basin of holy water. The saint now sufficiently 
tried, descends from heaven in a mantle spangled with stars: as 
soon as he touches the earth a rock opens ; his father and mother 
ascend out of purgatory through the chasm, and he takes them 
by the hand and returns with them to heaven. 

The Life of Saint Diego of Alcala is, perhaps, not so extra- 
vagant in its composition. There are no allegorical personages 
in it, and we there meet with no other supernatural beings than 
several angels, and the Devil, who robs Di^o of some turnips, 
which he had himself stolen to distribute to the poor. Yet this 
piece afflicts us as profoundly as tlie preceding, by showing us 
how false a direction these public shows, aided by the priests, 
gave to the devotion of the purest minds. Diego is a poor 
peasant, who attaches himself as a domestic to a hermit Igno- 
rant and humble, endowed with tender and amiable feelings, he 
discovers many attractive qualities. When he culls the flowers 
to adorn a chapel, he asks their forgiveness for snatching théfai 
from their sylvan abode, and exhibits in his respect for them, 
for the lives of animals, and for all the works of the Creator, 
something touching and poetical. But he breaks at pleasure all 
bonds of relationship among those with whom God had placed 
him ; he flies from his paternal roof, without taking leave of his 
father or his mother, and he abandons even the old hermit whom 
he served, without bidding him adieu. He enters as a brother 
into the order of St. Francis, the habit of which he earnestly 
asks for, and he receives the following instructions. It is one of 
those singular traits which paint at the same time the taste and 
the religious poetry of the Spaniards. 

" DiEoo. I am ismorant more içnorant than anv one oa^ht to 

OV TUE SPANlAaj)». 283 



be. I have not evea leamt my Chbistus ; but 'tis false, for of 
the whole alphabet It is the Christds alone that I know. They 
are the only letters imprinted on my mind. 

'* The Porter of the Franciscans. 'Tis well ; know then 
tliat these letters contain more science than is possessed by the 
greatest philofi<^her8, who pretend to penetrate into the secrets 
, of earth and heav^i. Ghristus is the ^Btpha and Omega, for 
Grod is the beginning and end of all things, without bein^ either 
beginning or end : he is a circle, and can have no endmg. If 
you spell the word Chjustus, you will find a O, because he is 
the creaÀor : an /f to aspirate and respire in him ; an / to indi- 
cate how (tndigne) unworthy you are ; an â^ to induce you to be- 
come a saint; a T, becaupe it has in it something divine, for this 
T includes (le tout) every thing ; thus God is called Theos as 
the end of all our desires.* The T is, further, the symbol of 
the icroBS which you should bear, and it extends its arms to in- 
vite you to embrace it and never quit it The V shows that you 
are (venu) come into this house to devote yourself to Christ, and 
the 8 final, that you are changed into another substance, a sub- 
stance divine. This is the explanation of Christus. Construe 
tins lesson, fuid when you understand it perfectly, you will have 
nothing further to learn." 

Notwithatandiiig his ignorance, the sanctity of Diego strikes 
the Franciscans so powerfully, that they choose bim fi>r the 
keeper of their convent, and afterward send him as a missionary 
to convert the inhabitants of the Fortunate Islands. We see 
Diego disembark on the shore of the Canaries with a handful 
of sâdiers, while the nfiUves are celebrating a festival. Di^po 
thinks himself called on to begin the conversion of these newly- 
discovered islands, by the massacre of their infidel inhabitants. 
The moment he beholds men, whom from their elothiog alone he 
recognises for strangers to his faith, he rushes on them exclaim- 
ing, '* This cross shall serve for a sword," encourages his men 
to slay them, and sheds bitter tears when he observes the Spa- 
niards, instead of relying on the succour and interference of 
heaven, measuring with a worldly prudence the strength of their 
enemy, and refusing to attack a warlike and powerful people, 
who were wise enough to carry their arms even in a time of 
profound peace. On his return to Spain, Diego robs the garden, 
the kitchen, and the pantry of. his convent, in order to relieve 
the poor. The principal monk surprises him in the fact, and 
insists on seeing what he carried in his gown, hut the meat 
which he had stolen is- miraculously changed into a garland of 
roses. At length he dies, and the whole convent is instantly 
filled with a sweet perfume, while the air resounds with angehc 

Theos (God) is b«re confounded with 7'e(o.9^(enil. 


However eccentric these compositions maybe, we may readily 
imagine that the people were delighted with them. Supernatu- 
ral beings, transformations, and prodigies, were constantly pre- 
sented to their eyes ; their curiosity was the more vividly ex- 
cited, as in the rairacalous course of events it was impossible to 
predict what would next appear, and every improbability was 
removed by faith, which always came to the aid of the poet 
with an injunction to believe what could not be explained. But 
the Autos sacramentales of Lope seem less calculated to please 
the crowd. They are infinitely more simple in their construc- 
tion, and are mingled with a theology which the people would 
find it difficult to comprehend. In the one whieh represents ori- 
ginal sin, we first see Man, Sin, and the Devil disputing toge- 
ther. The Earth and Time join the conversation. We next 
behold heavenly Justice and Mercy seated under a canopy be- 
fore a table, with every thing requisite for writing. Man is in- 
terrogated before this tribunal. God the prince, or Jesus, ad- 
vances ; Remorse kneeling presents to him a petition ; Man is 
again interrogated by Jesus, and receives his pardon, but the 
Devil interferes and protests against this favour being shown to 
him. Man has again to encounter vanity and folly. Christ ap- 
pears apart, crowned with thorns, and re-ascends to heaven amidst 
sacred music, and the piece concludes when he is sealed on his 
celestial throne. 

The greater part of these allegorical pieces are formed of long 
theological dialogues, dissertations, and scholastic subtleties too 
tedious for perusal. It is true that before the representation 
of an auto «ocramento/e, and as if to indemnify the audience for' 
the more serious attention about to be required for them, a loa 
or prologue equallv allegorical, and at the same time mingled 
with comedy, was first performed. After the auto, or between 
the acts, appeared an intermediate piece called the SoffTute, en- 
tirely burlesque, and taken from common life ; so that a religious 

. feast never terminated without gross pleasantries, and a humo- 
rous performance ; as if a higher degree of devotion in the 
principal drama required, by way of compensation, a greater de- 

' gree of licentiousness in the lesser pieces. 

All the pieces of Lope which we have reviewed are connected 
with public or domestic history, and sacred or profane subjects ; 
but are always founded on real incidents, which require a cer- 
tain study and a certain attention to tradition. Where the inci- 
dents happen to be drawn from the history of Spain, they are 
treated with great truth of manners and fidelity of facts. But 
as a great part of the Spanish comedies are of an heroic cast 
and as combats, dai^ers, and political revolutions are there min- 
gled with domestic events, the poet could not assign them at his 
pleasure to a particular time or place, feeling himself constrained 
by the familiarity of the circumstances. The Spaniards, there- 
fore, gave themselves full license to create imaginary kingdoms 


and ooimtries, and to a gr&d portion of Europe they vrere snch 
entire strangers that they founded principalities and subverted 
empires at wiJI. Hungary, Poland, and Macedonia, as well as 
the regions oi the North, are countries always at their disposal, 
for the purpose of introducing brilliant catastrophes on the stage. 
Neither the poet nor the spectators having any knowledge of 
the rulers of such countries, it was an easy matter at a time of 
so Mttle historical accuracy to give birth to kings and heroes 
never noticed in history. It was there that Francisco de Roxas 
placed his Father, who could not be king, from which Rotrou has 
, lormed his Vencedaa. It was there that Lope de Vega gave full 
reins to his imagination, when he rc|>resents a female fugitive, 
cbaritahly entertained in the house of a poor gentleman of the 
Carpathian mountains, bringing him as her portion the crown of 
Hungary, in La Ventura n» bu9caUa : The Unlookedrfor Crood- 
forUtne, In another, the supposed son of a gardener, changed 
into a hero by the love of a princess, merits and obtains by his 
exploits the throne of Macedon. This piece is entitled El Horn- 
bre por 9u paUhra : The Man of hU Word. 

If these pieces do not unite instruction with entertainment, 
they are still deserving of preservation as containing a rich fund 
of invention and incident. Lope, though inexhaustible in in- 
trigues and interesting situations, can never be esteemed a per- 
fect dramatist ; but no poet whatever has brought together richer 
materials, for the use of those who may be capable of employing 
them. In his comedies of pure invention, he possesses an ad« 
vantage which he frequently loses in his historical pieces. While 
the <£aracters are better drawn and better supported, there is 
greater probability in the events, more unity in the action, and 
also in the time and place ; for, drawing all from himself, he has 
only taken what was useful to him, instead of thinking himself 
obliged to introduce into his composition all that history pre- 
senter! him with. The early French dramatists borrowed largely 
from Lope and his school ; but the mine is yet far from being 
exhausted, and a great number of subjects are still to be found 
there susceptible of being brought within the rules of the French 
drama. P. Corneille took his heroic play, Don Sancho of Ara- 
gon, from a piece of Lope de Vega, entitled El Palacio Confuao : 
and this single piece might still furnish another theatrical sub- 
ject entirely different that of the Twins upofh the Throne, The 
mutual resemblance of these two princes, Don Carlos and Don 
Henry, one of whom, assuming the name of the other» repairs 
the Emits his brother had committed, gives rise to a very enter- 
taining plot It is thus that many of the pieces of this fertile 
writer are sufficient to form two or three French plays. How 
aarprising to us is the richness of the imagination of this man, 
whose labours seem so far to surpass the powers and extent of 
human life. Of a life of seventy-two years duration, fifty were 
devoted incessantly to literary labours ; and he was moreover a 


soldier, twice married, a priest and a familiar of the Inqniaition. 
In order to have written 2200 theatrical pieces, he must eyciy 
eight days, from the beginning to the end of his life, have ghren 
to the public a new play of about 3000 verses ; and in these 
eight days be must not only have found the time necessary for 
invention and unity, but also for making the historical researches 
into customs and manners on which his play is founded ; to eon- 
suit Tacitus for example, in order to compose his Nero ; while 
the fruits of his spare time were twenty «one volumes in quarto of 
poetry, among wiiich are five epic poems. 

These last mentioned works do not merit any examination be- 
yond a brief notice. They consist of the JeruioUm dmrntieUEda, 
in octave verse, and in twenty cantos ; a eontinuaticHi of the Or- 
lando Furioso under the name of La Hermoêura de JSngdica : 
The Beauty of Angeiica, also in twenty cantos ; thus, as if to 
emulate Tasso and Ariosto, writing these two ^cs on the saaie 
subjects which they had respectively chosen. To these may be 
addied an epic entitled Corona Tragica, of which Mary of Soot- 
land is the heroine ; another epic poem on Circe, and another on 
Admiral Drake, entitled Dragontea, Drake, rendered odious to 
the Spaniards by his victories, is represented by Lope de Vega 
as the minister and instrument of tlie Devil. But none of these 
voluminous poems have, even in the eyes of the Spaniards, been 
placed on an equality with the classical epics of Italy, or even 
with the Arancana. Lope, moreover, determined to tiy every 
species of poetry, composed also an Arcadia, in imitation ci 
Sannazzaro; and likewise eclc^es, romances, sacared poems, 
sonnets, epistles, burlesque poems, among which is a burlesque 
epic, called la Gaiomachia : The BatUe of the Cais ; two romances 
in prose, and a collection of novels. The inconceivable fertility 
of invention of Lope de Vega supported his dramatic ûune. not- 
withstanding the little care and time which he gave to the cor- 
rection of his pieces ; but his other poems, the o&pring of hasty 
efforts, are little more than rude sketches, which few people have 
the courage to read. 

The example of this extraordinary man gave birth to a nom- 
ber of pieces of the same character as his own, as his success 
gave encouragement to the dramatic poets who sprang up in all 
parts of Spain, and who composed with the same unbridled ima- 
gination, the same carelessness, and tàe same rapidity, as their 
master. We shall review them when we notice the works of 
Calderon, the greatest and the most celebrated of his scholars 
and rivals. There is one, indeed, who cannot well be separated 
from Lope. This is Juan Perez de Montalvan, his favourite 
scholar, his friend, biographer, and imitator. This young man, 
full of talent and fire, whose admiration of Lope had no bounds, 
took liim for his exclusive model, and his dramatic pieces are of 
the same character as those of his master. Some of his sacred 
plays I have perused, and among others, the Life of St Anthony 


of Padua ; and these eccentric dramafl, 'which excite little in- 
terest, do not merit a longer examination. Juan Perez de Mon- 
talran eomposed with the same rapidity as his master. In his 
short life (1609 — 1639) he wrote more than one hundred thea- 
trical pieces, and like his master he divided his time between 
poetry and the business of the Inquisition, of which he was 
a notary. His works contain almost in every line traces of the 
religious zeal which led him to become a member of this terrible 


Lyrio Poetry of Spain, kt the cloie of the Sixteenth and commeneement of the 
Seyenteenth Cfentwry. Gongorm and his foUowen, Qae?edo, ViUegas, &c. 

Tr£ poetry of Spain had, like the nation to which it belonged, 
a chivalric ongin. Their first poets were enamoured warriors, 
who celebrated by turns their mistresses and their own exploits ; 
and who preserved in their verses that character of sincerity, 
and almost rude frankness of manners, independence, stormy 
liberty, and jealous and passionate love, of which their life was 
composed. Their songs attract us from two causes : the poeti- 
cal world into which chivalry transports us ; and a reality and 
truth, the intimate connexion of words with the heart, which 
does not allow us to suspect any imitation of borrowed senti- 
ment, or any affectation. But the Spanish nation experienced a 
&tal change when it became subjected to the house of Austria ; 
and poetry suffered the same fate, or rather it felt in the suoceed- 
ittg generation the effects of this alteration. Charles Y. subverted 
the liberties c^ the Spaniards, annihilated their rights and privi- 
ly*, tore th€m from Spain and engaged them in wars, not for 
their country, but for his own politiâi interests and for the gra- 
tification of their monarch. He destroyed their native dignity 
of character, and substituted for it a false pride and empty show. 
Philip, his son, who presumed himself a Spaniard, and who is 
eoasidered as such, did not possess the character of the nation, 
hat of its monks, such as the severity of their order, and tiie im- 
petuosity of blood in the South, developed it in the convents. 
This culpable violence against Nature has given tliem a charac- 
ter, at the same time imperious and sen'ile, false, self-opiniated, 
<^el, and voluptuous. But these vices of the Spaniards are in 
»o wise to be attributed to Nature : they are the effects of the 
«ruel discipline of the convents, the prostration of the intellect. 


the subjugation of will, and the concentration oi all the passions 
in one alone which is deified. 

Philip IIm with a considerably less portion of talents and vir- 
tue, bore a greater affinity to Cardinal Xi menés, than to the 
Spanish nation, which had revolted against this imperious and 
cruel monk, but which had eventually succumbed to his violence 
and his artifices. To an unbounded ambition and a shamefol 
perfidy, to a savage disregard of the miseries of war and famine, 
and the scourges of all kinds which he brought upon his do- 
minions, Philip II. joined a sanguinary religion, which led him to 
consider as an expiation of his other crimes the new crimes of the 
Inquisition. His subjects, like himself, educated by the monks, 
had already changed their character, and were become worthy 
instruments of his dark politics, and his superstilion. They dis- 
tinguished themselves in the wars of France, Italy and Ger- 
many, as much by their perfidy, as by their ferocious fanaticism. 
Literature, which always follows, though at a considerable dis- 
tance, the political changes of nations, received a character much 
less natural true and profound : exaggeration assumed tlie place 
of sentiment and fanaticism that of piety. The two reigns <^ 
Philip III. and Philip IV. were i^till more degrading to the Spa- 
nish nation. That vast monarchy, exhausted by gigantic efforts, 
continued her unceasing wars to experience only a constant re- 
verse of, fortune. The king, sunk in vices and effeminacy, did 
not however, in the impenetrable security of his palace, renounce 
his perfidy and unbridled ambition. The ministers sold the 
favour of the crown to the highest bidder ; the nobility was de- 
based under the yoke of ^vourites and upstarts; the people 
were ruined by cruel extortions ; a million and a half of Moors 
had perished by fire and distress, or had been driven into exile 
by Philip III ; Holland, Portugal, Catalonia, Naples, and Pa- 
lermo had revolted ; and the clergy, joining their despotic in- 
fluence to that of the ministers, not only resisted the reform of 
existing abuses, but endeavoured to stifle every voice raised in 
complaint against them. Any reflection or indidgence of tliought 
on politics or religion, was punished as a crime; and whilst 
under every other despotism actions alone and the exterior 
manifestation of opinion were visited by authority, in Spain the 
Monks sought to proscribe liberal sentiments even in the asy- 
lum of conscience. 

Such are the effects which these reigns, so degrading to hu- 
manity, had on the literature which we are about to examine in 
this chapter. * They are evident and indisputable ; althougK this 
epoch is by no means the most barren in letters. The human 
mind retains for a long period any impulse it may have received: 
it is long before it can be reduced to a state of stagnation in its 
imprisoned mansion. It will accommodate itsdf lather than 
perish ; and it sometimes sheds a radiance on a period when it 
has lo«t its iust direction and its truth. 


We bave already noticed two celebrated men wbo lived prin- 
cipally under Philip II. and Pbilip III. We shall now contem> 
plate one who reached the height of bis fame under Philip TV. 
Cervantes, Lope de Veea, and Calderon, bear the impress of 
their age ; but their individual genius ffreatly predominates, 
though the ancient traits of the national character were not en- 
tirely obliterated. Among the poets whom we shall notice in 
this chapter, we shall still find many authors of real merit, but 
always corrupted in their taste by their contemporaries and their 
government. It was not until the middle of the seventeenth 
century that the nation wholly declined ; and its lethargic slum- 
bers lasted till the middle of the eighteenth. 

The Spaniards inherited firom the Moors a forced, pompous, 
and inflated manner. They devoted themselves with ardour, 
from their first cultivation of letters, to the seductive style of 
the East, and their own character seemed in this respect to be 
confounded with that of the Asiatics ; for before the conquesta 
of the latter, all the Latin writers in Spain had exhibited, like 
Seneca* an inflated st^le and great affectation of sentiment. 
ILiope de Vega himseli was deeply tainted with their defects. 
With his astonishing fertility of genius, he found it more easy 
to adorn his poetry with concetti^ and with daring and extrava- 
gant images, than to reflect on the propriety of his expressions, 
and to temper his imagination* by reason and good ta!ste. His 
example diflused among the poets of Spain a style of writing 
which seemed to harmonize with their character. It was thsS 
which Marini at the same time adopted in Italy. Marini, born 
in Naples, but of a Spanish &mily, and educated among the 
Spaniards, was the first to communicate to Italy that affectation 
and false taste which was already observable in the early poetry 
of Juan de Mena. The school of the SeicentisH (or writers of 
the sixteenth century,) which he had formed, was afterward in- 
troduced into Spain, and produced there in a much greater de- 
gree than in Italy that pretension, aflfectation of style, and pe- 
dantic expression, which destroyed all taste; but in both coun- 
tries the cause of this change is attributable to a higher source, 
and wajs the same in both. The poets had, in'&ct, preserved 
their eenius, though they had lost the freedom of sentiment; 
fhey had retained the powers of iinagination without any 
true direction for their genius ; and their faculties, which no 
longer derived support from each other, or harmonized together, 
exhausted themsdves in the only path which was left open to 

The chief of this Cetntastic and affected school, who fixed its 
style, and who was desirous of forming a new epoch in art by a 
more refined culture, as he expressed it, was Luis Gongora de 
ArgotCv a man of great talent and genius, but who by his subtil- 
ty and false taste destroyed his own merit He had too to 
stmga^e with misfortune and poverty. Born ai Cordova in 

Vol. II. 37 


1661, his brUliant course of sta4y had not suooeeded in po- 
earing him an employ ; and it was not until after he had waited 
on the Court for eleven years, that he with difficulty obtained « 
naM benefice. His discontent produced in him a rein of in- 
▼ective, which was long the principal merit of his Terses, and 
his satirical sonnets are excessively caustic as we may peroeiTe 
by the following, on the mode of life in Madrid. 


* Circean cup, and Epicurus' «ty ; 

Tftit broods of harpies ftttenins on our purse ; 

Empty pretensioos tkst esn only 'Aino 
Vexation } spies who swear the air will lie ; 
ProocssionSf lackeys^ footmen mounted high. 

Coaching the way ; new (Wshions always worse, 

A thousand modes,-^with onHeshM swords, the cnrse 
Of cttizene, not foee ;— loquacity 
or (omalo tongues ; imposturoe of til Und, 

From courts to cabarets ; lies made for sale, 
Lawyers, priests riding mules, less obstinate ; 
Snares; miry ways, heroes lame, halting, blind ; 

Tittes, and daturios, shimng with each gale : 
Such is Madrid, this heU of worldly staU. 

success was still greater in burlesque satires, in the teas 
of romances or songs. In these his language and Tersificatiim 
exhibited precision and clearness, and the natural expresnon did 
not betray any affinity to the affeoted school which he afterward 
adopted. It was by cool reflection, and not in the warmth of aa 
imagination still Toung, that he invented for poetry a mere ele« 
▼aitM sMe, which he denwninated the cuUhaUd s^. To this 
end he rormed, with the utmost labour and researoh, a langua|^ 
affected, obscure, and ridiouioualy allegorical, and totally at va- 
riance with the common manner of speaking and writing. He 
endeavoured, moreover, to introduce into the. Spanish language 

* Una Yida bostial do enoanlaaiiento^ 
Harpias contra boisas coi^uradas, 
Mil Taoas pretensiones enganadas, 
For hablar un oidor, mover el Tlento. 

Carroxâs y lacayos, pages dento, 
Habiloe mil, con virgiaee oepadas, 
Damas parleras, eaabios, embaxadas : 
Caras posadas, trato Araudulento. 

Mentirai arbitreras, abogados, 
Oleics sobM malas, como mulos 
Eabustes, eattos sucias, lodo etemo ; 

Hombres do gaerra medio estropeados, 
Titulfto y lisoiùas, disimulos, 
E0to%8 Madrid, me,ior dixera infierno. 


Ihe bbldest inverâioas of the Greek and Latin, in a way never 
before permitted ; he inrented a particular punctuation to aasiat 
ill aic^rtainSng the seufte of his verses, uid sought for the most 
UQPQmmoo Words, or altered the sense of those already in use, 
to give new attraction to his style. At the same time he care* 
fiilly consulted mythology in order to add fresh ornaments to his 
language. It was with this kind of labour that he wrote his 
JShledaSea, his Poh/phemua, and some other poems. These lue aH 
fictions without any poetic charm, full of mythological imu;e8, 
and loaded with a pomp ùt fanciful and obscure phrases, (an- 
gora's lot in life was not however, ameliorated by the celebrity 
which this new style bestowed on his writings. He snrvited 
some time longer in poverty ; and when he died, in 16^7, he waa 
no more than titular chaplain to the king. 

It is extremely difficult to give to foreign nations a ratft idea 
of the style of Gongora, since its most remarkable quality is it^ 
indistinctness ; nor is it possible to translate it, for other lan- 
guages do not admit of those labyrinths of phrases, in which 
the sense wholly escapes us ; and it would be the translator and 
not GoD^ra, who would be charged by the reader with want of 
perspicuity. I have, however, attempted the commencement of 
the first of his SQhdadeê, by which word, of rare occurrence in 
Spain, he expresses the solitude of the forest There are two 
or these poems, each of which contains about a thousand verses : 

* Twas in that flowery «easoo of the jear, 
IVhen fair Eoropa's spoiler in disguise^ 
(On his fierce front, his glittering armf , arise 
A half-moon's horns, while the sun's rays appear 
Brightening his speckled coat») — the pride of nearen, 
Pastured on stars amidst the sapphire fields ; 
When he, most worthy of the office giren 
To Idi^s hoy— to hold Jove's cop that yields 
Immortal juiee — was wreck'd In savage sea. 
Confiding to the waves his amorous pains ; 
The sea relenting sends the strains 
To the far leafy groves, glad to repeat 
Echoes than old Arion's shell more sweet. 

Bra del ano la estacion florida, 

En que el mentido robador de Europa 

(Media luna las armas de su frente, 

Y el sol todos los rayos de su pelo) 

Lueiente honor del cielo, 

En campos de xafiro pace estreUas ; i 

Qyando ely que minlstrar podia la eopa 

A Jupiter, mcjor que el garçon de Ida« 

Naufragé, y desdenado sobre ausente 

Lagrimosas de amor, dnbes querellas 

Dà al mar, que condolido, 

Fue a las hondas, que al yiento 

£1 misero gemido 

Ségundo de Anon, dolze instnimento. . 

BnmOê eiUiàn^ 4to. 1659, p. 497. 


The Polyphemus of Gongora is one of his most oélébratel 
poems, and the one which has been most frequently imitated. 
The Castilian poets, who were persuaded that neither interest 
nor genius, sentiment nor thought were any part of poetry, and 
that the end of the art was solely the union of harmony with the 
most brilliant images, and with the riches of ancient mythology, 
sought for subjects which might furnish them with gigantic pio* 
tures, with a strong contrast of images, and with all the aid of 
fable. The loves of Polyphemus appeared to them a singularly 
happy subject, since they could there unite tenderness and 
affright gentleness and horror. The poem of Gongora consists 
of only sixty-three octave stanzas ; but the commentary of Sa- 
bredo has swelled it into a small quarto volume. In the literature 
of Spain and Portugal, we find at least a dozen or fifteen poems 
on this subject I shall here insert a few stanzas of that which 
has served as a model to all the others: 

* Gyelopt— >terrific sons of Ocean's God ! — 

Like a vast mouotftin, rose his living firune ; 
His single eye cast like a flame abroad 

Its glances, glittering as the morning beam : 
A mighty pine supported where he trod 

His giant steps, a trembling twig for him. 
Which sometimes served to walk with, or to drive 
His sheep to pasture, where the sea-nymphs live» 

His jet-black hair in wavy darkness hung, 

Dark as the tides of the Lethean deep, 
Loose to the winds, and shaggy masses ching 

To bis dread face ; like a wild torrent*s sweep, 
His beard far down his nigged bosom flong 

A savage veil ; while scarce the massy heap 
Of ropy ringlets bis vast hands divide. 
That floated like the briny waters wide. 

* Era nn monte de miembros eminente 
Este, que de Neptuno hijo fiero 
I>e un ojo ilostra el orbe de su frente, 
Emolo casi del mayor Lozero, 
Ciclope, a quien el pino mas valicnte 
Baston le obedecia tan ligero, 
T al grave peso jongo tan delgado, 
Que un dla era baston y otro cayado. 

Negro el cabello, imitador nudoso, 
De las escaras aguas del Leteo, 
AI viento que lo peina proceloso 
Buela sin orden, pende sin aseo. 
Un torrente es su barba impetuoso. 
Que adttsto hijo deste Pireneo, 
Su pecho inunda, o tarde, o mal, o en vano 
9ulêada aun de las dedos de su mano. 


Not aoantainoos Trimcna e? er gave ' 

Such fierce and unform'd saTage to the day ; 
Swift at the winds his feet to chase or brafe 

The forest hordes, whose battle is his pliy, 
Whose spoils he been ; o'er his vast shoulden wiTV 

Their fariegated «Idns, wont to disniaj 
. The shepherds and tbeir flocks. And now he came 
DriTing his herds to fold 'neath the still twilight beam. 

With hempen cords and wild bees' wax he bound 

A hundred reeds, whose music wild and shrilly 
Sepeated by the mountain echoes round, 

Sboolc erery trembling grove, and stream, and hllL 
The ocean heaves, the Triton's shells resound 

No more ; the frighted vessel's streamers fill 
With the shook ahr, and bear in haste away : 
Sttch was the giant'b sweetest harmony. 

Those who anderstaxid the Spanish language, will perceive 
Ahat the translation has rather softened than overcharged the 
metaphors. It was these, however, which were admired as the 
true sublime of poetry and the highest productions of senius. 
Polyphemus, after having express^ his passion and vaimy soli- 
cited Galatea, furiously assails with fragments of rock the grotto 
whither she had retired with Acis her lover. One of these kills 
Acis, and thus the poem terminates. 

The effect produced by the poetry of Gongora on a people 

arer after novelty, impatient for a new career, and who on all 
es found themsdves restrained within the bounds of authority, 
of the laws and the church, presents a remarkable phenomenon 
in literature. Restricted on every side by the narrowest bar- 
riers, they resolved, however, to enfranchise themselves from 
those of taste. They abandoned themselves to all the extrava- 
gances of a wUd imagination, merely because all the other fiicnl- 
ties of their minds were under restraint The followers oS Gon- 
grara, proud of a talent so laboriously acquired, considered all 

No la Trinaeria, en sus montanas, fiera 
Arm6 de emeldad, calc6 de viento, 
Que re^ma ferox, sal? e ligera. 
So piel manchada de colores ciento ; 
Fellieo as ya, la que en los montes era 
Mortal horror, al que con passo lento 
Loe boeyes a so albergue redocia, 
Pisando la dndosa lus del dia. 

Cera y canamo unio (que no deriera) 
€ien canas, cuyo barbare rnydo 
De mas ecos, que unio canamo y cera 
jàJbogoe es dorameote repetido. 
Zml solva 86 eonfonde, el mar se altera, 
Bonpe Triton su earacol toreido, 
9ordo hnyo el bazel a vela y remo. 
Talla Biuétea as da PoHfemo. 


those who either did not admire or did not imitate the style of 
their master, as writers of circumscribed minds, who could not 
-comprehend him. None of these imitators, howeyer, had the 
talent of Grongon, and their style in conseaaenoe beoadke stiD 
more felse and exaggerated. They soon divided themsdy^ into 
two schools, the one retaining only his pedantry, the ot^er as- 
piring to the genius of their master. The first found no occa- 
pation so proper to form their taste as oommenting on (Sqagora. 
They composed long critiques, and tedious explanations of the 
works of this poet, and displayed on this occasion their whole 
stock of erudition. These persons haye been sumamed in deri- 
sion euUorisiat, from the iêùlo cuUot or cultivated style, which 
they so highly extolled. Others were named eomeêpiitUê, from 
the coHc^U>8j (concetti) of which they made use in common with 
Marini and Goncora. These last sought after unoommoa 
thoughts, and antiuieses of the sense and of images ; and tben 
«lothed them in the eccentric language which theb master had 

In this numerous school some names baye shared in the cele- 
brity of Grongora. Thus Alonzo de Lodesma, who died some 
Tears before his master, employed this peculiar language and 
nlse style, to express in poetry the mysteries of the C&tholie 
religion. Felix Arteaga, who was preacher to the court in 
1618, and who died in 1633, a[^lied the same ecoentrie manner 
to pastoral poetry.* 

1 know not wnether we must rank among tbe disciples of 
Ctongora, or only as conforming himself to the taste of the age, 
tiie monk Lorenço de Zamora, more celebrated indeed as a theo* 
legian than as a poet. He has left us, under Ae name of the 

•■ ■ ^W^»— ^>— ^--*.-..^— ■ ■ I .W..I ■ >»^^1». 

The fottowliig eurioai ttanias I quote from Botitlenrek 

Loi milagroi de Amarilis, 
Aquel Miigfel superior, 
A qoien dan nombre de FenU 
Da Terdad y la panioo, 

Miravm m su puerta nn dm 
Ed la corte un labrador, 
Que ti adorar no merece 
Fadecer si mereciA. 

Uaa tarde, que es manana 
Pues el alfa te rift, 
T entre carmin eneendido 
Candidas perias mostrft, 

DiTirtiose en abrasar 
A los mismos que alanbrù, 
T del cielo de li mii 
. £l angel belto cayo. 


MMe Monmxhy of UU Chmthy a work in many qnarto volume» 
imieh is well esteemed ; and he has intermixed his meditation^ 
with some poems. The epoeh of their pnhlication (1614) is that 
with wliidi we are now occupied, and we may form an idea of 
them from tlie following têdotèdUha» in honour of St. Joseph : 
'* What language is equal to express his glory who taught the 
word of the Father himself to speak ; according to whose wise 
dispensation, and hy different means, God who is the master of 
the universe, suhmits to find a master in the Saint What iiigher 
daim to science can he advance than that he taught Jesus his 
letters — his very A. B. C. ? If I consider him as my servant 
who eats of my hread, Mary, O saint ! was your servant ; Ood 
himself is your servant ; yet, since it was Qcd who created the 
(ruits of your lahours, I scarcely know whether I should caO 
him your Creator or your creature. Joseph ! what a happy man 
you were when God himself was your minister. No man, and 
not even (xod, was ever hetter administered to, than you were. 
God rules ahove, and you rule also. God reigns over heaven 
and earth ; but on earth you were obeyed by uie Lord himself. 
How happy you will be in heaven, when you find on your ar- 
rival such relations at court. Tou bestowed bread on the bread 
of life ; you nourished bread with bread ; and you gave bread to 
him who invites us to his eternal bread. Another œlestial privi- 
legcf was reserved for you : you invited your Crod to sit at your 
table ; your dignity was such, that after having invited your Lord 
to sit down, you yourself took the first place. It was the first 
man's prerogative to bestow names upcm iH animals ; but that of 
which you boast is far more wonderftil ; you bestowed a name 
upon the Lord himself. How well acquainted with you he must 
be, we may learn from the fact of his having addressed you by the 
name of Papa, during his whole childhood. Afl^ receiving such a 
title firom him, is Siere any thing which can be added to your 
glory ?"* 

* RidtniUluu a Smn JoitpK 

Que lengim podra tlcançmr 
Aquel que tanto subio, 
Que à 11 pelabfa enseûo 
Del propio padre â hablar. 

SegDO su eabio artnzel, 
Aunque por di? ertea modo«| 
Es Dios maestro de todos, 
Pero de Dios lo fae el. 

De lo que su cienda foe 
To no Me dar otra sena« 
Sino que al Christus enaena 
Lasletras del A> B, C> 

896 Qif TUE litehatubj: 

Whflst Gûngwa introdaoed into the higher walks of poetiy 
an affected and almost unintelligible style, and his followers, in 
order to preserve the reputation of refined genius, descended 
even on the most sacred subjects to the most preposterous jrity 
of words, the ancient school which had been founded by Gar- 

Joseph 1 et tan gloriosa 
VuMtra virtud, y de modo, 
Que el initmo padre de todo 
8a madre os dio por espota. 

Fttdo dar al hyo el padre 
Madre de mae alto aer, 
Aonqoc en raion de moger 
Pero no en rason de madre ? 

A rnta caenta pudo Dioa 
Joeephy haaeroe mat tanto, 
Mae como padre soys tanto, 
One otro no es mcjor que vos. 

Fera si tos en quanto hombre 
Soys tanto menos que Dios» 
For lo menos Uegays vos 
A ser ygual en el nombre. 

Si yo llamo mi criado 
AI que con mi pan se cria, 
Vttestra criada es Maria, 
T son Dios es vuesUro criado. 

Flies cria à Dios el sudor 
De Tuestra mano, y Tentura» 
Mi se si OS diga criatura 
O si OS llaoM criador. 

Joseph dichoso areys sido, 
Foes que senrido de Dios, 
Nadie fue mejor que 70s 
Mi aun Dios ftie m^or serridst 

Manda Dios, 7 mandays tos, 
Manda Dios en suelo 7 cielo, 
Fero Tos, acà en el suelo 
Mandastes al mismo Dios. 

%ie dire de tos que importe^ 
Dichoso quando alia 7re7s, 
Foes en Ifegando hallareys 
Tales parientes en corte. 

Foes pttdo Dios escoger 
Fara su madre marido, 
Bl mi||or que a?ià nacido 
Vos lo dcfiitM de ter. 



cilaso and by Boscan had not he&i whoUy abandoned. The 
party, which designated itself as classical, still continneil, and 
made itself oonspicaons by the severity of its criticisms against 
tlie imitators of Gongora. But in spite of its adherence to 
ancient examples, and to the best principles, those who composed 
it had lost all creative genius, all powerful inspiration, and the 
charm of novelty. Some men of this school merit notice from 
their attachment to the purest style of poetry, but they were 
the last flashes of an expiring flame. 

Among the contemporaries of Cervantes and Lope de Vega, 
two brothers, whom the Spaniards compare to Horace, oocopy a 

Si 08 llamarenios mayor 
Joseph que el senor del cielo, 
Pues Yhiendo acà en el suelo, 
Fue et mlimo vuestro menor. 

Bien ea que on loeno y tendido 
Ot hable el aogei à tos, 
Que à quien despierto habla Dios 
Hablele el angel dormido. 

Distes pan al pan de vida, 
T eon pan el pan eriastes, 
Yros a pan eombidaetef 
Al que eon pas nos combida. 

Ôtra celestial empresa 
Realça Tuestro valor, 
Que al propio Dios y senor 
Sentastes a Tuestra mesa. 

Soys en fin de tal manera 

Que al mismo Dios eombidastes, 
T aunque con Dios os sentastes, 
TttTistes la eabeoera* 

For gran cosa el primer bonbre 
Dio nombre a los animales, 
Mas son Tuestras prendas tales 
Que al mismo Dios distes nombre. 

Soys quien soys, y tal soys tos, 
T vaestro ralor de modo. 
Que a Dios obedece todo, 
T a Tos obedece Dios. 

Joseph, quien soys aquel sabe 
Que tayta llamaros supo, 
Y pues tal nombre en tos cupo, 
Esse OS célèbre y alabe. 

Mmârekia mystiea de lu Fj^ Mo, por Fray Lermxo de Sùamrt, Lib. viii. tnX 

îii. cap. 13. fol. 533. 
Vnr. If "it^ 


distingaiflbfid pUœ. Lopermo Leonardo de Ai^ensola wbm 
born in 1665. at Balbastro ; aad Bartolomeo Leonardo in 1666. 
of a family originally of BavcMoa, but for some time peat e^ 
Uisbed in Aragon. The first after having finished hit atndiet 
at Saragossa, wrote in his yonth three tragedies, of which Cer- 
vantes expresses, in Don Quixote, the highest admiration. He 
was attached as secretary to the Empress Maria ci Austria, 
who was living in Spain. He was commissioned by the King» 
and the States of Aragon, to continue the Annals of Zurita ; 
aad he ultimately atteiâed the Count de Lenos to Naples as 
•ecratary of State, and died there in 1815. His brother, wbo 
had shared in his education and pursued a like career, and who 
had never been separated from him, returned to Saragossa after 
the death of Lupercio. He there continued the Annals of Ara- 
gon, and died in 1631. 

These brothers, in the opinion of Boutterwek and Nicolo An- 
tonio, resembled each other so exactly in ta^te, genius, and style, 
tliat it is difficult to distinguish their compositions, and the two 
poets may be considered as one individual. They are not pe- 
culiarly remarkable for their originality or power of thought, for 
enthusiasm, or for melancholy reverie ; but they possess a grest 
delicacy of poetic sentiment, a vigorous and elevated genius, a 
great talent of description, a fine wit, a classical dignity of 
style, and, above all, a solidity of taste, which entitles them to 
rank immediately after Ponce de Leon, as the most correct of 
the Spanish poets. 

Notwithstanding the suffrage of Cervantes, the reputation of 
Argensola does not rest on his dramatic works. It is the lyric 
poetry of the two brothers, and their epistles and satires in the 
manner of Horace, which have rendered their names illustrious. 
We may remark in them an imitation of this model, as in Luis 
Ponce de Leon ; but they have not in so ffreat a degree that 
tranquil and soft enthusiasm of devotion, wnich confers on the 
verses of the latter so peculiar a charm. I have perused the 
works of the two brothers, in the edition of Saragossa, in quarto, 
1634. Some specimens of their choicest poetry are given by 
Boutterwek. In a fine sonnet of the eldest,* may be observed 

* Imagen espantosa de It muerte, 

Sueno cruel, no turbes maa mi pecho, 
Mostrandome cortado el âudo estrecho, 
Consuelo aolo de mi adterta suerte. 

Buaca de algun tirano el muro fuerte, 
De ja»pe parades, de oro il techo ; 
O el rico avaro el en angosto lecho, 
Haz que temblando con sudor dcmpicrte. 


a peculiar elevation of imagery, style, and harmony, joined to 
an obscurity of thought and expression, which we cannot but 
regard as the harbinger of a corrupt taste. His brother wrote 
•ome satyric sonnets,* evidently in imitation of the Italians. 
The epistles and satires of both the one and the other brother 
are the pieces in which they are said to have most resembled 
Horace. The specimens of them which I have seen inspire 
little curiosity. 

The historical works of Argensola are composed in a good 
style, and with a greater degree of judicious observation and 
elevated sentiment than we should have expected in the epoch 
in which he wrote. His principal work is the History of the 
Conquest of the Mohioeas.t His continuation of the AJanals of 
Aragon by Zurita, which comprehends the trouUes at the com- 
mencement of the reign of Charles V,^ was pubKshed early in 
the reign of Philip lY, and dedicated to the Count Duke d'OH- 
Tarez. The King, who imagined the spirit of the Aragonese 
utteriy subdued, saw, without uneashness, tibis record c^ their 
ancient privileges. 

Spain had at this time a great number of poets in the Ijnrie 
and biNX^ style, who followed the example or the Romans and 

£1 uno Tea el popular tamulto 
Romper con Curia las herradas pnertaf* 
O al sobonmdo titrvo el bierro occult» ; 

B1 ù/ttb sua riquexas deoeubiartas, 

Con ihiTe ftisa, o eon vkrieato iiwulttf ; 

Y dezale al amor sua glorias ciertai. 

* As a specimen of hLi manner, we gire (Be folloiiring sonnet, addressed to 
an M eoqoette : 

Fos, Liée tes eabellos eon legias. 
Da Teaerables, si ao mbtos, rojos» 
Q»t el tiempo rengador busca despojos, 
T no para Tolver buyen los dias. 

V las mexUlas, one atnhar porfias, 
Cierra en pornlea languidos, y flojos, 
S« barmasa atrocidad oobo a los ojos, 

Y npriesa te desarma tas ancias. 

Pero tù acttde per socorro all' arte, 

Que aun eon sus fraudes quîero que deilenda 
AI dttenga&o descortes la entrada. 

Con paetoi y por tu bien, que no pretendas 
Reducida a ruinas, Btr amada 
Sino es de ti, si paed^s engaiiarte. 

t Madrid, foL 1609. f Sartgoasa, fol. ISSO. 


die Italiaus, of Boscan, and Garcilaso. Like the Italians of the 
fifteenth century, they are more remarkable for purity of taste 
and elegance of language, than for richness of invention or 
force of genius ; and whilst we acknowledge their talents, if we 
do not possess an insatiable appetite for love-songs, or an un- 
limited toleration of common ideas, we shall soon be wearied 
with their perusal. Yiucenzio Espinel, Christoval de Mesa, 
Juan de Morales, Augustino de Texada, Gregorio MoriUo, a 
happy imitator of Juvenal, Luis Barahona de Solo, a rival of 
Garcilaso ; Gonzales de Argote y Molina, whose poems breathe 
an uncommon ardour of patnotism ; and the three Figneroa, 
distinguished by their success in different styles, are the chief 
among a crowd of lyric poets, whose names can with difficulty 
be preserved from oblivion. 

It is to a very different class that we must assign Qaevedo, 
the only man perhaps whose name deserves to be placed by the 
side of that of Cervantes, and whose fame, without rivalling the 
genius of the latter, is however permanently established in Eu- 
rope^ Of all the Spanish writers, Quevedo bears the greatest 
resemblance to Voltaire ; not so much, indeed, in genius as in his 
turn of mind, Like Voltaire he possessed a versatility of know* 
ledge and talent, a peculiar vein of pleasantry, a cynical gayety 
even when applied to serious subjects, a passion m attempting 
every style and leaving monuments of his genius on every topic, 
an adroitness in pointing the shafts of ridicule, and the art of 
compelling the abuses of society to appear before the bar of pub- 
lic opinion. Some extracts from his voluminous works will show 
within what narrow barriers Voltaire must have confined him- 
self under such a suspicious government as that of Philip II. 
and beneath the yoke of the Inquisition. 

Don Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas was born at Madrid 
in 1580, of an illustrious family attached to the court, where it 
held several honourable appointments. He lost both his parents 
when young, but his guardian, Don Jerome de Villanueva, 
placed him in the university of Alcala, where he learned the 
languages. He made himself master of the Latin, Greek, Hebrew, 
Arabic, Italian and French ; and he pursued at the same time the 
usual scholastic studies, including theology, law, the belles lettres, 
philology, natural philosophy, and medicine. Distinguished at the 
university as a prodigy of knowledge, he acquired in the world 
at large the reputation of an accomplished cavalier. He was 
frequently chosen as arbiter in disputed points of honour, and 
while with the greatest delicacy he preserved the parties* from 
any compromise of character, he had at the same time tbe art of 
reconciling them without an appeal to a sanguinary ordeal. 
Highly accomplished in arms, he possessed a courage and ad- 
dress beyond that of the most skilful masters, although the mal- 
formation of his feet rendered bodily exercises painful to him. 
A quarrel of a somewhat chivalric nature, was the cause of a 


ehauge of his destiny. He one day undertook the defence of a 
lady with whom he was unacquainted, and whom he saw insulted 
by a man likewise unknown to him. He killed his adversary 
on the spot, who proved to be a nobleman of consideration. 
Quevedo, to avoid prosecution fiom his family, passed into Sicily 
with the Duke d'Ossuna, who had been appointed Viceroy of 
that Island, and afterward accompanied him to Naples. Charged 
with the general inspection of the finances of both countries, he 
established order by his integrity and severity. Employed by 
the Duke in the most important affairs, in embassies to the King 
of Spain and tiie Pope, he crossed the sea seven times in his 
service During the time he was so accredited, he was fre- 
quently pursue^ by assassins, who wislied to rid themselves of 
ac negotiator, an enemy, or a judge, so dangerous to *tbem. He 
took a share in the conspiracy of the Duke of Bed mar against 
Venice, and he was in that city with Jacomo Pietro at the mo- 
ment of the detection of the plot, but contrived to withdraw 
himself by flight, from the search of the government, while 
Ukany of his most intimate friends perished on the scaffold. 
After a brilliant career, he was involved in the disgrace of the 
Dake d*Ossuna. He was arrested in 1620, and carried to his 
estate of Torre de Juan Abad, where he was detained prisoner 
three years and a half, without being allowed during the two 
first years to call in a physician from the neighbouring village 
,for the benefit of his declining health. At length his innocence 
was acknowledged, his imprisonment changed into banishment, 
and his freedom soon after restored him ; but on demanding in- 
demnification for the injuries he had suffered, he was again sent 
into exile. This forced retirement restored him to the cultiva- 
tion of letters, from which his political career had in some de- 
gree estranged him. During bis banishment to his estates he 
w^ote the greater part of his poems, and in particular those 
which he pablished as the works of a poet of the fifteenth cen- 
iary, under the name of Bachiller de la Torre. He was after- 
ward recalled to court, and appointed secretary to the king on 
the nth March, 163'i. The Duke d^Olivarez solicited him to 
enter again into public business, and offered him an embassy to 
Genoa, wliich Quevedo declined, in order to devote himself en- 
tiiely to his studies and to philosophy. He was at this time in 
eorrespondenoe with the most eminent men in Europe ; his 
oountrymen appeared sensible of his merits, and the ecclesiasti- 
eal benefices which he enjoyed, producing him a revenue of 
eight hundred ducats, placed him in easy circumstances. 
These he renounced in 1684, in order to espouse at the age 
of fifty-four a lady of high birth. ^ He lost her in the course 
of- a few months, and his grief brought him back to Madrid, 
where in 1641 he was arrested in the night-time in the house 
of a friend, as the author of a libel against good morals and the 
govenittent. He was not permitted to send to his house for a 
i;hange of linen, or to give information of his apprehension, 



but was thrown into a narrow dungeon in a convent, where a 
stream of water passed under his bed and produced a pemicioiii 
damp in his melancholy cell. He was there treated as a com* 
mon malefactor, with a degree of inhumanity which ought not to 
be practised on the most abandoned criminals. His estate was 
confiscated, and in his confinement he was reduced to snbsirt 
upon common charity. His body was covered with woQsdSk 
and, as he was refused a surgeon, he was obliged to canteiiie 
them himself. He was eventually set at liberty, in eonseqaenee 
of a letter to the Duke d^Olivarez, which his biographer has 
preserved. After an imprisonment of two and twenty months, 
his case was inquired into, and it appeared that it was already 
ascertained that a monk was the real author o^ the libel which 
he was suspected to have written. He was then restored td 
liberty, but his health was so entirely ruined that he could not 
remain at Madrid to demand satisfaction for his long confinement 
Sick and broken in spirit, he returned to his estate, where he 
died on the eighth of September, 1645. 

A considerable part of the writings of Quevedo were sfeoisA 
from him in his lifetime, among which were his tkeatriea] pieces 
and his historical works, so that he cannot, as he had hoped, lav 
daim to distinction in every class of letters. But, notwithstand- 
ing the loss of fifteen manuscripts, which have never yet been 
recovered, his remains form eleven large volumes, eight «tfwUeh 
are in prose and three in verse. 

Quevedo was always on his guard against exaggeration of 
style, pomp of words, extravagant images, inverted sentences^ 
and ridiculous ornaments borrowed ln>m mytheiogy. This 
fiilse taste, of which Gongora was in some degree t^ fiHmdtr» 
firequentl jT afforded to our poet the saMect of an agreeable t»d 
witty satire. But, in some respects, Quevedo Umiself has not 
escaped the general contagion. He endeavoured to attnict ad- 
miration and to dazzle ; he did not aim at a just expression ef 
sentiment, but regarded only the etttd it might produce ; m 
tiMLt marks of effort and affectaticm a^ visible in eveir line ff 
his writings. His ambition was to shine, and he had Id Ihet 
more of this quality than any of his contemporaries» and more 
ikku we find in any other Spanish author; but this constaiit d» 
play is not natural to him, and it is evident that bis sneeessioii 
of pleasantries, strokes of wit, antitheses, and piquant expires» 
skins, are prepared beforehand, and that he is more desinMis ef 
sirikinç than of persuading. On serious sulûects. it is seedless 
to inquire whether or not he be sincere, while troth, propri^, 
and rectitude of mind appear to be indififerent to kkn. w 
humorous subjects he wishes to excite our laughter, and he sne** 
ceeds ; but he is so lavish of incident, and his strokes of wit 
are so often repeated, that he fiitigues even wfaMe he amuses «s. 

Among the works of Quevedo there is one on the publia ad** 
miniKtratioa, entitled. The KinjBrdam of God cmi the Offmnmetii 


0f Ckriit^ «nd dedioated to Philip IV, as oontaiaii^ a oomplete 
treatise on the art of ruling. As secretary of the Duke d*U8su* 
aa, and as one who bad executed the designs, and often [terhaps 
directed the councils of this ambitions viceroy, whose political 
measures so long troubled Europe, he was certainly entitled to 
he heard. K he had developed the policy by which the terrible 
Spanish triumvirate, Toledo, Ossuua. and Bedmar, attempted to 

Svem Italy, he would, without doubt, have manifested not less 
pth of thcNigbt, knowledge of mankind, address, courage, and 
inmorality, than Maohiavelli. Whether he had attacked or at- 
tampted to defend the princi]rieson which the Cabinet of Madrid 
csnducted itself; wbeÂer he had weighed the character of other 
latkNis. or invertigated the interests of people and of princes, 
ka would have excited reflection in the minds of his reiulers on 
objects wkkh had been to himself the subject of profound me- 
dmtiott. But the work of Quevedo is of a quite diflEorent nar 
ture^ aad oonÂsts of political lessons taken from tiie life of 
Christ, a«d appUed to kingly government with the most pious 
motives» but tm the otiier hand wtih as complete an absence of 
pmelical instr«Gtk)n, asif thework liad been composed in a oon- 
JKgkt All kis esamples are drawn from the sacred writings, and 
not from that living history of the seventeenth century in wkiek 
the a«llMr had taken so considerable a share. One nught justiy 
have expected a rich treasure of precepts and observations, aad 
a very differeul train of thought, from a man who had seen and 
aeled somsieh. To leeonmend virtue^ moderation, and piety to 
aeveieigns îa, doubtless, ineulcatmg the truth ; but it requires 
aosMÉhing more than bare axioms, something circumstantial and 
eogilgttig. in order t» make a durable impression. 

AhhmA Quevedo discovers so little profound thought on a 
sib|Mt of wlaeh he ought to have been the master, he discovers 
mtwilhstsgwiiiig. at aH times, kt the same work, considerable ta- 
lai^ aad wit. It does not at first view appear easy to find in the 
osndu0l of Jesus Ghrint, a model for all the duties of royalty, 
aad to dmw from his his alone examples applicable to all the 
QirewBBStaajQes of wac, finances, and pablic administration ; bat 
it was inteaded, perhaps, to exhibit rather a strcn^ mventkm thaxt 
a eoneet aaode of reaaoeing. His most renMo-kaMe qualities 
aiïs. his preoiskm and energy of language, his rapid and eloquent 
phmaai^ a»d his fnlaess of sense and thought Quevedo wishes 
fa fsiinade monarchs to command their armies in person. The 
xelatitA of this advice to tiie moral precepts of the Qosp^ it is 
not easy to discover ; but he illustrates his subjects in a natural 
mauer by the «snductof the apostle Peter, who, under the eyes 
of his Master, attacks the whole body of the guard oi the high-i 
ptiaat, but who» whan he is separaled from Jesus, riiamefully 
dness y«t before a servant '* The Apostle,'* he says, **then 
wantod his principal strength — ^the eyes of Christ : his sword 
remained. Imt it had lost its edge : his heart was the some, but 


his Master saw him no longer. A king who enters into the field 
himself and shares the dangers of his soldiers, ohliges them to 
be valilmt : in lending his presence to the combat, he multiplies 
his strength, and obtains two soldiers for one. If he despatches 
them to we combat without seeing them, he exculpates them from 
their negligence, he trusts his honour to chance, and has only 
himself to blame for any misfortune. Those armies which mlers 
only pay, differ much from those which they command in person; 
the former produce great expense, and renown attends on the 
latter ; the latter too are supported by the enemy, the former by 
indolent monarchs who are wrapped up in their own vanity. It 
^ is one thing for soldiers to obey commands, and another to follow 

an example : the first seek their recompense in pay, the latter in 
fiune. A king, it is true, cannot always combat fn per8<m, bat 
he may and he ought to appoint generals more known by their 
actions than by their pen/' These precepts, although antitheti- 
cal, are just and true ; and at that time one might perhaps, alscr 
consider them as somewhat daring, since Philip III. and Philip 
IV. never saw their armies, and Philip II. was early sepanted 
from his. At the present day these precepts would be ranked 
with stale truths. The great error of Quevedo consists in 
wasting his genius on common ideas. There is s^dom modr 
novelty in his thoughts, but often a good deal in the maimer in 
which they are expressed. 

The merit of novelty of expression may, perhaps, be consi- 
dered as sujficient in moral works ; since their object is to incul- 
cate, and to fix in the hearts of all, truths as andent as the 
world, and which never change. Quevedo, besides his purely 
religious works, as his Introduction to a holy I^ife, his life of 
the Apostle Paul, and that of St. Thomas of Villanueva, has 
also left some treatises on moral philosophy. The most remark- 
able one, and that which affords us the best idea of the character 
of his genius, is the amplification of a treatise attribated to Se* 
neca, and afterward imitated by Petrarch, on the consolations in 
good and bad fortune. The Roman author enumerated the cala- 
mities of human nature, and applied to each the con8olati<»s of 
philosophy. Quevedo, after his translation of the Latin, Udds a 
second chapter to each calamity, in which he estimates the same 
misfortune in a Christian point of view, generally with the 
design of proving that what the Roman philosopher supported 
in patience, was to him a triumph. We shall give an example 
of this play on morality. It is one of the shortest chapters, on 

" Seneca. Thou art banisked : However I be forced, I can- 
not be driven out of my country ; there is but one country for 
all men, and no one can quit it. Thou art banUhed: I .shall 
diange only my place of abode, not my country ; wherever I 
go I shall find a home ; no place is a place of exile, bat a new 
<t)nntry to me. Thmt shaft remain no longer in thy country : Onr 


country is the place where we enjoy happiness ; but real happi- 
ness is in the mind, not in place, and depends on a man^s self; 
if he be wise, his exile is no more than a journey ; if he is un- 
wise, he suffers banishment. ITum art banished : That is to say, 
I am made a citizen of a new state. 

" D. Francisco db Quevbdo. Thou art bawiahed : This is a 
sentence to be passed only by death. Thou art bamshed : It is 

rMsible that some one may haye the desire to banish me, but 
know that no one has the power. I can travel in my country, 
but cannot change it. Thau art baniahed: Such may be my 
sentence, but the world will not allow it, for it is the country of 
alL I%(m art bamah^ : I shall depart, but shall not be exiled ; 
the tyrant may change the place where I set my feet, but he 
cannot change my country. I shall quit my house for another 
house, my village for a new one ; but who can drive me from my 
home ? I shall quit the place where I was born, not the place 
for which I was bom. Thou art banished : I quit only one part 
of my country for another part. Thou shalt see thy trije, thy 
children^ tky relations^ no more : That might happen to me When 
living with them. Thou shalt be deprived of thy friends: I shall 
find others in the place to which I go. Thou shalt be forgotten: 
I am so already where I am thus rejected. Thou shall be regretted 
by none: That will not be strange to me, leaving the [uace I 
leave. Thou shall be treated as a stranger : That is a consola- 
ticm to me, when I see how you treat your own citizens. Christ 
has said, no man is a prophet in his own country ; a stranger is 
therefore always better received." 

Such is the genius of Quevedo, and such the character of his 
morals. It surprises and amuses us, and is presented to us in an 
attractive manner, but it carries with it little persuasion and 
less consolation. We feel that after all that has been said, it 
would not be difficult to defend the opposite side with equal 

Many of his works consist of visions, and in these we find 
more gayety, and his {Peasantries are more varied. It must be 
confess^ however, that he has chosen singular subjects to jest 
on ; church-yards, alguazils possessed of devils, the attendants 
of Pluto, and hell itself. In Spain eternal punishment is not 
considered too serious a subject for pleasantry; elsewhere it 
scarcely affords room for the exercise of wit. Another singular 
trait is the description of people on whom Quevedo has lavished 
his sarcasms. These are lawyers, physicians, notaries, trades- 
people, and, more particularly, tailors. It is the latter that he 
most generally attacks, and we cannot well imagine in what way 
a Castilian gentleman, a favourite of the Viceroy of Naples, and 
frequently an ambassador, coiild have been so far exasperated 
W the knights of the gentle craft to owe them so long a grudge. 
For the rest, these visions are written with a gayety and an ori- 

i^ualtty which becomes still more poignant from the au^teritv of 


the subject The first vision, Ml Sue» o de la$ Coiooeros, repre*^ 
sents tne Last Judgment " Scarpely,** he says, " had tke 
trumpet sounded, when I saw those who had been soldiers woe 
oaptsuns rising in haste from their graves, thinking they heard 
the signal for battle ; the miser awoke in anxious £eajr of pîUage ; 
the epicures and the idle received it as a call to dinner, or the 
cb^Be. This was easily seen from the expressionr of their codr- 
tenances, and I perceived that the real object of the sound of the 
trumpet was not understood by any one of them. I afterward 
saw the souls flying from their former bodies, some in disgust, 
others in affiright To one body an arm was wanting, to ano- 
ther an eye. I could not fivrbear smiling at the diversity of the 
figures, a]iid admiring that Providence, «wiiich, amidst such a 
confusion of limbs, prevented any one from tddng the legs or 
the arms of his neighbour. I observed only one mirial-ground 
wherip the dead seemed to be changing their heads ; and I saw 
a notary whose soul was not in a satismctory state, and who» by 
way of excuse, pretended that it had been changed and was not 
his own. But what astonished me most was to see tte bodies of 
two or three tradesmen, who had so entangled their souls that 
they had got their five senses at the end of the five fingers of 
their riffht hand.'* 

We find as much gayety, and on less serious subjects, kk the 
Cwrre^pondmct of the Chevalier de la Tenaza, who teaches all the 
various modes of refusing to render a service, to give a présent, 
or to make a loan that is asked for ; in the Aénee to mmts ^ 
Fine Language, where Gongora and Lope de Vega are very 
pleasantly ridiculed ; in the Trudùê on aU BubjeeU in Ifts IForM 
and many betides ; in the Happy Hmtr, where Fortime, for onoe 
only, rewards every one according to his merit ; and lastly Ir 
the Life of the great Taeanot a romance in the manner of Laxa- 
rillo de Tormes, which paints the national manners in a vary 
amusing way. 

One of the most striking circumstances in the domestic life of 
the Castilians, is the difmnilty of reconciling their excessive 
poverty with their pride and slothfulness. Among the poorer 
classes of other countries, we observe privations of dilfereat 
kinds, want sickn^ss, and sufferings ; but absolute starving is a 
calamity which the most wretched seldom experience ; and if 
they are reduced to this state, it generally throws them into 
despair. If we are to believe the CastiliaR writers, a coRsidcr- 
able portion of their population are in constant apprehension of 
famine, yet never think of relieving themselves by htbonr. A 
crowd of poor gentlemen, and all the kmgkti of inmuêry^ trouhle 
themselves little about luxuries, as food is absolutdy often want- 
ing to them, and all their stratagems are often employed in pio- 
ciiring a morsel of dry bread. After this repast thei^ next ob- 
ject is to appear before the world in a dignified manner ; and the 
art of arranging their rags, in order to give the idea of a shirt 


aud clothes under their cloak, is the principal study of their 
lives. These pictures, which are found in many of the works of 
Qttevedo^ and in all the Spanish romances, have too great a sem- 
blance at truth to have been mere inventions ; but with what- 
ever homour and originality they may have been drawn, they 
ultimately leave a disagreeable impression, and discover an egre- 
gious national vice, the correction rf which should be the first 
olHoct of a l^slator. 

The poems of Quevedo form three large volumes, under the 
name of the Spanish Parnassus. He has, in fitct arranged them 
under the nunes of the nine Muses, as if to hint that he had 
attained every branch of literature and sung on every snbjedL 
These ûîne classes are however intermixed, and consist almost 
^itirely of lyric poems, pastorals, allegories, satires^ and bur- 
lesque pieces, under the name of eaâi Muse he arranges a 
great number of sonnets. He has written more than a thou- 
sand, and some of them possess great beauty. Such, in my 
eyes, is tiiat On the Rmns cf Rome, of which the following is a 
translation : ^ 


* Sinnger, 'Us Tain 1 Mid«t Rome, thou BteVst for Koine 

In Tain ; thy foot is on her throne— her grave ; 

Her walls are dost : Time's conquering banners wave 
O'er all her hills ; hills which themselves entomb. 
Yea ! the proud Aveotine is its own womb ; 

The royal Palatine is ruin's slave ; 

And medals, mouldering trophies of the brave, 
Mark but the triumphs of oblivion's gloom. 
Tiber alone endures, whose ancient tide 

Wonhipp'd the Queen of Cities on her throne. 
And now, as round har sepolehrs, complains. 
O Bome 1 the steadfast grandeur of thy pride 

And beauty, all is fled ; and that alone 
Which seem*d so fleet and fugitire remains I 

* JÊ Jtom« iipyJUada en siis ruàics. 

Bnscas en Roma à Roma, 6 peregrino ! 

Y en Roma misma & Roma no la hallas : 
CadsTer son, las que ostent6 muratlas, 

Y tumba de si propio el Aventino. 

Toee donde reyntba el Palatini^ 

Y Umadas del tiempo las medaHas, 
Mas se muestran destrozo 4 las batallas 
Do las edades, que blazon latino. 

Solo el Tlbre qued6, euya corriente 
Si eiudad la rego, ya sepultura 
La llora con funesto son doliente. 


After his sonnfets, the romances of Quevedo form the most 
numerous class of his writings. In th(»e short stanzas, neither 
the measure nor the rhyme of which are difficult, we often find 
the most hitiug satire, much humour, and not unfrequently ease 
and grace ; though these latter qualities accord little with his cmi- 
stant desire of shining. On the other hand, these romances, 
abounding in allusions and in words borrowed from different 
dialects, are very difficult to comprehend. I shall cite only 
some stanzas of one of them, written on his misfortunes. The 
manner in which a man of genius struggles against calamity, 
and the means with which he arms himself for the contest, a?e 
always worthy of attention. When he has experienced misfv.' ^ 
tunes as severe as those of Quevedo, his pleasantries on his ill- 
fortune, although they may not be very refined, bear a value H^ 
OQT eyes from uie moral courage which they exhibit : ^ 

* Since then, my planet bas look'd on 
With auch a dark and scowling eye. 
My fortune, if my ink were gone, 
Might lend my pen as black a dye. 

No lucky or unlucky turn 
Did fortune ever seem to play ; 
But ere I 'd time to laugh or mourn, 
Twas sure to turn the other way. 

Ye childless great, who want an heir, 
Leare all your vast domains to me. 
And Heaven will bless you with a fair 
Alas ! and numerous progeny. 

O Roma I en tu grandexa, en tu hermosura 
Huy6 lo que era firme, y solamente 
Lo fugitivo permanece y dura. 

C/to, S. 

* R^fiere au mmmaUo y lot propiedades qiu le eomimie^. 

Tal Tcntura desde entonces . 
Me deiaron los planetas, 
Que puede servir de tinta 
Segun ha side de negra. 

Porque es tan fellz mi saerte. 
Que no hay cosa mala o buena 
Que aunque la piense de tajo 
ÂI rerés no me suceda. 

De esteriles soy remedio. 
Pues con mandarme su haciendfl(, 
Los dara el ctelo mil hvjos, 

Por quitarme las herencias. 


They bear my elTigy aboot 
The rUlBge^ as a charm of power, 
If clothedy to bring the sunshine out, 
If naked, to call down the vhower. 

^ When friends request my company, 
No feasts and banquets meet my eye ; 
To holy mass they carry me, 
And ask me alms, and bid good-bye. 

Should brayos chance to lie perdttf 
To break some happy lorer's head, 
I am their man, while he in Wew 
;(>' Hie beauty serenades in bed. 

^- A looaenM tJle is sure to fall 

1 In contact with my head below, 

Just as I doff my hat. 'Mong all 
The crowd, a stone still lays me low. 

The doctoi's remedies alone 

Ne'er reach the cause for which they're given, 

And if I ask my friends a loan. 

They wish the poet's soul in heaven ; 

So far from granting aught, 'tis I 
Who lend my patience to their spleen ; 
Mine is each fool's loquacity, 
£ach ancient dame will be my queen. 

Gomo a imagen de mitagros 
Me saean por las aldeas, 
Si quieren sol, abrjgado, 
T desnudo, porque lluera. 

Quando alguno me convida 
No es à banquetes ni à fiestas, 
Si DO a los misacantanos 
Para que yo les ofrezea. 

De noehe soy parecido 
A todos quantos esperan 
Para molerlos à palos, 
T asi inocente me pegan. 

Aguarda hasta que yo pase. 
Si ha de caerse una teja : 
Aciertan me las pedradas. 
Las cnras solo me yerran. 

Si à alguno pido prestado. 
Me responde tan à secas 
Que en tcb de prestarme à mi 
Me hace prestarle paciencia. 


The poor man^ eye amidst the erowA 
Still turns its asking looks oo mine ; 
Jostled by all the rich and proud, 
No path is clear, wbate'er my line. 

Where'er I go I miss mr way, 
I lose, still lose at every game ; 
No friend I ever had would stay, 
No I'oe but still rematn'd the same. * 

I get no water out at sea, 

Nothing but water at my ion ; 

My pleasures^ like my wine, mast be 

Still miz*d with what should mot be in. 

We also find among the poems of Quevedo, pastorals, allego- 
ries under the name of Sylvaa, epistles, odes, songs, and tiie com- 
mencement of two epic poems, one burlesque, the other religions. 
But it is to his works themselyes that we must refer those who 
wish to be better acquainted with a Spanish writer who has, 
perhaps, nearer than any other, approacned the French style of 

By the side of Quevedo we m;^ place Estevan Manuel de 
Villegas, bom at Nagera, in old Castile, about the year 1690. 
He studied at Madrid and Salamanca, and his talent for poetiy 
manifested itself from his earliest years. At the age of fifteen 
he translated Anacreon into verse, and several odes to Horace ; 
and from that period he always imitated these two poets, to whose 
genius his own was strictly analogous. At the i|ge of three- 
and-twenty he ooliected his various poems, which he printed at 
his own expense, and dedicated to Philip III^ under the title of 
Anatorias, or EroUcaa. He obtained with difficulty a small em- 
ploy in his native city ; for, although noble, he was withoat 
i foraine. Devoting the remainder of his life to philological 
Latin works, he contributed nothing, after hifi twenty-third year, 
to Spanish poetry. He died in 1669, aged seventy-four. He is 
considered the Anacreon of Spain. His grace and softness, and 

No hay neclo que no me hable, 
Ni Ticya que no me quiera. 
Ni pobre que no me pida, 
Ni rico que no me ofenda. 

No bay camino que no yeire, 
Nl juego donde no pierda. 
Ni amigo que no me engane 
Ni enemigo que no tenga. 

Agua me fklta en el mar, 
Y la hallo en las tabemas, 
Que mis contentes y el fino 
Son aguados donde qulera* 

TMie, Romance U. 

OP THE 0PAIVIAR]>S. * 311 

liis union of the ancient style with the modern, j^aced him ahoye 
all those who have written in the same class ;^ but he was an 
incapable as the other Spanish poets of submitting himself to 
the rules of the ancients in the correction of his thoughts, and 
he often indulged himself in the eancM of Marini and Gongora. 
I shall give only one of his pieces, a model of grace and sensi' 
bility, akeady quoted by Boutterwek: 


f I hare seen n nightingale 
On a sprig of thyme, betrail, 
iieeing the dear nest, which was 
Hers alone, borne off, alas ! 

* As a specimen of hb Anacreontic manner, I nay refer to the thirty*fifUi' 
CêniiUna given below, and which I ha?e the rather selected, as it is not found 
io Bovtterwelc. The editions of the Spanish poets are so rare, that every ex- 
tract communicates to the pubUc a piece of poetry, which it would have been 
dUBcalt to find elsewhere. 

Dicen me las muchachas 
Que sera don Estebao, 
Que slempre de amor cantas 
W Bunca de la guerra ? 

Faro yo las respondo : , 

Mucbacfaas bachi|lcras/ 
£1 ser los liombres fees 
V el ser vos otras bellaa. 

De que sirve que canté 
Al son de la trompeta, 
Del otro embaraxado 
Con el parés à cuestas ? 

Que placeres me guiza 
Un arbol pica seca 
Cargado de mil hojas 
Sin una fruta en elles 7 

Quien gusta de los parches. 
Que muchos parches teoga ; 
T quien de los escudos 
Que nunca los posea. 

Que yo de los guerreros 
No trato los peleas, ' 

Sino las de las ninas 
Porque estas son mis guerras* 

t Yo tI sobre un tomillo 
Quexarse un panuiillo, 
Yiendo su nido amado 
De quien era caudillo 
De un labrador robado. 



By ft labourer; I heard, 
For this outrage, the poor bird 
Saj a thouaaod mournful things 
To the wind, which, on its wings, 
From her to the guardian sky, 
Bore her melancholy cry. 
Bore her tender tears. She spake 
As if her fund heart would break ; « 
One while, in a sad sweet note,< 
Gurgled from her straining throat, 
She enforcM her piteoos tale. 
Mournful prayer, and plaintive wail ; 
One while, with the shrill dispute 
Quite outwearied, she was mule ; 
Then afresh for her dear brood 
Her harmonious shrieks renew*d. 
Now she wing'd it round and round ; 
Now she skimm'd along the ground ; 
Now, Armn bough to bough, in haste. 
The delighted robber chaa'd ; 
And, alighting In his path, 
Seem'd to say, 'twiit grief and wrath, 
*' Give me back, fierce rustic rude I 
" Give me back my pretty brood !" 
And I saw the rustic still 
Answcr'd, " That I never wiU F** 

Among the distinguished poets of this age we may «lamerate 
Juan de Xauregui, the translator of the Pharsalia of Lucaa; 
Francisco de Boija, Prince of Esquillace, one of the first firan- 
dees rf Spain, who cultivated poetry with the greatest ardour, 
and whose works are extremely voluminous ; and Bernardino 

Yi le tan eongoiado 
For tal atrenmiento, 
Dar mil qoexas al Tiento, 
Para que al ciel santo 
Lleve su tiemo Uanto, 
Lie? e su triste acento. 
Ya con triste harmonia 
Esforçando al intente 
Mil quezas repetia ; 
Ya cansado callava ; 

Y al nuevo sentimiento 
Ya sonôro volvia. 

Ya circular volaba^ 
Ya rastrero corria : 
Ya pues de rama en rama 
Ai rùstico seguia, 

Y saltando en la grama, 
Parece que decia : 
Dame nistico fiero 

Mi dulce compania ! 
Yo vi que respondia 
En rostico, no quiere. 

* [For the kind communication of the above translation, the editor has to 
repeat his acfknowledgmeots to Mr. Wiffen. Tr.} 


Count de ReboUedo, ambassador to Denmark at the dose of the 
thirty years' war, who composed the greater part of his Spanish 
poetry at Copenhagea But poetry expired in these writers. 
They no longer separated the powers of inspiration from the 
reasoning facalty ; and the Sekaa Danicaa of Beboliedo, which 
comprehended in rhymed prose the history and geography of 
Denmark, and his Sehas Militares y PoliticaSy where he has.ool* 
lected all that he knew on war and government, seem written to 
prove the last decline of Spanish poetry. We should imagine 
it had here reached its termination, if Calderon, whom we Sm1\ 
notice in the following chapters, had not appeared at the same 
epoch, and stamped this as the most brilliant period of the Spa- 
nish romantic drama. 

During the reigns of Philip II., Philip III., and Philip IV.,. 
several prose writers obtained applause. A romance in the mo- 
dem taste, of Vincent Espinel, entitled The Life of the Squire 
Marco de Ohregon, led the way to the introduction of many suc- 
ceeding pictures of polite life. In that <^S8 of novels, which is 
most attractive to the Spaniards, and which is called by them 
El Gusto Picareeeo, the Life of Don Gnmnan dMfaraehe 9^ 
peared in 1599, and of course previous to Don Quixote. It was 
immediately translated into Itadian, French, and Latin, and into 
the other languages of Europe. The author was Matteo Ale- 
man, who had retired from the court of Philip III. to live in so- 
litude ; and the applause with which his work was received was 
not sufficient to induce him to relinquish his retreat. A con- 
tinuation, which was published under the assumed name of Mat- 
teo Luzan, is far from bearing a comparison with the original 

In history, the Jesuit Juan de Mariana, who commenœd wri- 
ting in the metime of Charles V. and who died only in 1633 in 
his ninetieth year, has obtained a well-deserved reputation firom 
the elegance of his style. His la^^age is pure, his descriptions 
are picturesque, without poetic aroctation, and for the time in 
which he lived he has exhibited mu<^ impartiality and freedom 
of opinion. We must not, however, connde either in his criti- 
cisms, or in his fieicts, whenever the authority of the cfaurdi or 
the power of monarchs would liave been compromised by a nuwe 
strict relation. In imitation of the ancients, in all important 
councils, and before the battles, he has placed speeches in the 
mouths of his principal personages. Livy makes us acquainted 
with the manners and opinions of the inhabitants of Italy at 
different epochs, and his harangues are always formed on real 
sentiments and incidents, although the invention of the author. 
The speeches of Mariana, on the contrary, though of a late age^ 
bear all the marks of antiquity ; they are deprived of all proba- 
bility ; and we perceive from the very first word, that neither 
the Gk>thic kings, nor die Saracen princes to whom they are 
given, could ever have uttered them. Mariana at first wrote his 
History of Spain in Latin. It consisted of thirty hf^iê, and 

Vol.. II 40 


was brought from the earKegt period down to the death of Fer- 
àkOMâ the Catholic, and dedicated to Phttip II. He sfterward 
translated it into Spanish, and dedicated the tranalatmi to the 
same monareh. Notwithstanding his great caution, he was for- 
mally denounced to the InqoiAtion, the suspicious Philip think- 
ing that he detected in his work traces of that freedom, the very 
memory of which he wished to extingakh ; and Mariana wHJi 
dffftoulty escaped prosecntkm. 

The second of the historians of Spain in point of réputation, 
wa« born only a few years before the death of Mariana. Auto* 
nio de Solis, who liyed from 1610 to 1686, not lesa distinguished 
by his poetry than his prose, followed the example of Caldevon, 
with whom he was united in strict friendship, and presented tke 
sitge with many comedies written with nraeh imagination. His 
politieal amd historical information procured him emplOTment 
in the chancery of thé state, under the reign of Fliilip IV. 
After the death ùf that monarch in 1665, he was presented with 
the offiee of historian of the Indies, with a considemUe salary. 
At the cli^sG of his life he entered info holy orders, and thence- 
fbftll was wholly devoted to religious observances. It was at a 
mature age and in discharge of the duties of his office, ftat he 
Wrote his History of the Conquest of Mexico^ one of the last 
Spumsii workd hi which purity of taste, nmplieity, and tvotii, 
are to be found The author has atoidéd fn tm biatory sdi 
flights of imagination and display of style which migirt betmy 
the p«et. He united a bfrilliont genius wttb a eonmi tstt«. 
The adventures of Fernando Cortes, and of the faandM of war- 
riors, who i* a new hemisphere overthrew a powerful empire ; 
their inflexible coura^, their passions and their foroeity ; the 
dangers whioà incensantly presented theniselvea. and over all of 
whreh they triumphed ; the peaceful virtues of the Menieann, 
their arts, their government, and their eivllixatioil. M» different 
fVom that of Europe, formed altogether an aaeemMage of novel 
and attractive circumstances, and afforded a «obte subject for 
history. An unity of design, and a romantic interest, eonnc cted | 
nvifh the marvelloae, naturally present themselves in U. De- | 
seriptlons of places and of manners, and philosopl ri cal and poli- ! 
f ic»l reflections, are all called for by the subfect and excite our 
earufOst attention. Antonio de Solis was not unequal to the 
ta^fe. Mid few historical works are read with more pleasure. 

All true taste seemed now to etpire in Spain ; a paasio» for 
aiitlthesfâ^ tênceta, and the most extravagant figures, had iatro- 
duced itself alike into prose and verse. No one veaftured to 
^tite without caliing to his aid, on the most simple subject all 
the treasures of mythology, and wit^ut quoting, in support of 
the most common sentiment, all the writers of antiquity. The ' 
most natural senrtiment could not be expressed without support- 
ing it l>y an imposing image ; and in common writers, the mir- 
tnre of so many pretensions, with a cnmbmus phraseology an^ | 


dolness oî intellect, formed a most extraordinary contrast. The 
lives of the distinguished men whom we have presented to the 
reader, are all written hy their contemporaries or their immedi- 
ate successors in this eccentric style. That of Quevedo hy the 
Abbé Paul- Antonio de Tarsia would be entertaining from its 
'excess of absurdity, if one hundred and sixty pages of such 
ridiculous composition were not too fatiguing, and if one could 
avoid experiencing F^ret not %o much at the folly of an indi* 
viduaL as at the decline of letters and the corruption of national 
taste. Among a multitude of writers who transferred into prose 
all the defects and affectation of Gongora, one of distinguished 
talents contributed to extend this bad taste still further. This 
was Balthasar Gracian, a Jesuit, who appeared to the public 
under the borrowed name of his brother Lorenzo Gracian. His 
works treat of politeness, morak, theology, poetical criticism, 
and rhetoric. The most diffuse of all bears the title of d Critù 
am, and is an allegorical and didactic picture of human life, 
divided into^epochs, which he calls crma, iutermiiigled with te- 
dious loaumces. Wfs discc^er throughout this work a man of 
talent, «^bo enAeavours to soar above every thing eonHnon, but 
wiM «fteti at the same time ^yversteps both nature and reason. 
A eonstant 'display, and an aflfectaition of style which makes him 
«tttOies'uniiitelUgible, render the perusal of him tedious. Gra- 
ciatt, oeverthfiAess, wo«ld;have succeeded as a sood writer if he 
had not been too amy ttous of distinction, fibs reputatioii was 
more (»opcN^ned to his efforts than to his merit Me was trans- 
iated and pan^yriEed m France and Italy, and out of Spain 
oontribiitea to eormpt that taste which in his own country was 
In its last decline. 

f, . ; ■,•/ 


Don Pedro Calderon dc la Borco. 

Our attention is now called to a Spanish poet whom his fel- 
low-countrymen have designated as the prince of dramatists, 
who is known to foreigners as the most celebrated in this daas 
of literature, and whom some critics of Germany have placed 
above all dramatic writers of modern days. It would be impro- 
per to impeach with levity so high a reputation ; and whatever 
my own opinion may be on the merits of Calderon, it is my duty 
to show in the first place the esteem in which he has been hdd 
by persons of the first distinction in letters, in order that. the 
reader, in the extracts which I shall submit to him, may not give 
too much attention to national forms, often in opposition to our 
own ; but that he may seek and feel the excellences of the au- 
thor, and may arm himself against prejudices from which I am 
myself perhaps not exempt 

The life of Calderon was not very eventful. He was bom in 
1600 of a noble family, and at fourteen years of age we are as- 
sured he be^n to write for the stage. After having finished his 
studies at the university, he remained some time attached to his 
patrons at court. He quitted them to enter into the army, and 
served during several campaims in Italy and Flanders. Some 
time afterward, King Philip IV., who was passionately attached 
to the drama, and who himself published many pieces whic^h 
purported to be written, By a Wit of this Court : Un ingemo' de 
esta Corte; having seen some pieces of Calderon, gave the authm" 
of them an appointment near his own person, presented him with 
the order of St James, and attached him permanently to his 
court. From that time the plays of Calderon were represented 
with all the pomp which a rich monarch, delighting in such en- 
tertainments, had the power to bestow on them, and the Poet 
Laureate was often called on for occasional pieces on festive days 
at court In 1652, Calderon entered into orders, but without 
renouncing the stacre. Thenreforth. however, his compositions 


were generally religions pieces and auios aacrameniales ; and the 
more he advanced in years, the mote he regarded all his ivorks 
which were not religious, as idle and unworthy of his genius. 
Admired by his contemporaries, caressed by kings, and loaded 
with honours and more substantial benefits, he survived to a very 
great age. His friend Juan de Vera Tassis y Villaroel, having 
undertaken, in 1685, a complete edition of his dramatic works, 
Calderon authenticated all that are found in that collection. He 
died two years after, in his eighty-seventh year. 

Ai^stus William SchlegeT, who more than any person has 
contributed to the diffusion of Spanish literature in Germany, 
thus speaks of Calderon in his Lectures on the Drama. ** At 
length appeared Don Fedro Calderon de la Barca, as fertile in 
genius and as diligent in writing as Lope, but a poet of a differ- 
ent kind ; a true poet, indeed, if ever man deserved the name. 
For him, but in a superior degree, was renewed the admiration 
of nature, the enthusiasm of the public, and the dominion of the 
stage. The years of Calderon*s age coincided with those of the 
seventeenth century. He was, therefore, sixteen years old when 
Cervantes died, and thirty-five at the time of the death of Lope, 
whom he survived nearly half a century. According to his 
biographers, Calderon wrote more than one hundred and twenty 
tragedies or comedies, more than a hundred sacred allegorical 
pieces {autos aacramentalee,) a hundred humorous interludes or 
saynetu, and many other pieces not dramatic. As he composed 
for the theatre from his fourteenth year to his eighty-first, we 
must distribute his productions through a long space of time, 
and there is no reason to suppose that he wrote with such won- 
derful celerity as Lope de Vega. He had sufficient time to 
mature his plans, which he did without doubt but he must have 
acquired from practice great facility of execution. 

** In the almost countless number of his works, we find nothing 
left to chance ; all is finished with the most perfect talent, agree- 
able to fixed principles, and to the first rules of art. This is 
■ undeniable, even if we should consider him as a mannerist in the 
pure and elevated romantic drama, and should regard as extra- 
vagant those lofty flights of poetry which rise to the extreme 
bounds of imagination. Calderon has converted into his own 
what served only as a model to his predecessors, and he required 
the noblest and most delicate flowers to satisfy his taste. Hence 
he repeats himself often in many expressions, images, and com- 
parisons, and even in dramatic situations, although he was too 
rich to borrow, I do not say from others, but even from himself. 
Theatrical perspective is in his eyes the first object of the dra- 
matic art ; but this view, so restricted in others, becomes posi- 
tive in him. I am not acquainted with any dramatic author who 
has succeeded in an equal degree in producing that poetical charm 
which affectsthe senses at the same time that it preserves its 
ethereal essence. 

318 ON THE LlTi9:HATUR& 

'* His <kamas may be di^îded inio Sê^r clasfies ; represeutattons 
of «acred history, from scripture «or legendi ; historical pieces ; 
mythological, or drawn from «oroe poâoal aounoe ; and, lastly, 
ixiotiures of social U& and modem maonerfi. La a 6tnot aeaac 
we «oan oi»ly call those pieces ktatorioal which are fe i md ed 'On 
national events. Calderoa has paiated with great feUeity the 
early days of Spanish history ; but hi« genitts was far too na- 
tional* I may almost «ay too fiery, to ada^^t iiself to otiner-cooii- 
tries. He could easily identify himielf wità the fiansnine na- 
tives of tibe South or the Eaflt. but in jom> manner with the people 
of classic antiquity, or of the NorUi of Europe. When he has 
idhosen his subjects from the latter, ke has treated them inihe 
mo0t arlutrary manner. The beantifwl mythoiog^ of Ghreeoe 
was to him only an ei^ipagiiig £aUe, and the R<mian history a 
Baajestic hyperbole. 

" Still, his sacred pieces must, to a certain extent, be consi- 
dered as historical ; for, although he has ornamented tiiem irith 
the xichest poetry, he has always exhibited with great fidelity 
the characters drawn from the Bible and sacred history. On 
the other hand, these dramas are distinguished by the kny alle- 
gories which he often introduces, aild by the religioM enthusiasB 
with which the poeft, in those pieces which were destined for tiie 
feast of the Holy Sacrament, has iUumined the nnireiae, which 
he has alkgoricaUy painted with the purple flames of love, it 
is in this last style of composition that iie has most excited the 
admiration of his contemporaries; and he ihimself ah» ^attached 
to it the greatest value." 

I think it my duty to give a further estraet fitam Behind on 
Oaldt^ron. No one has made more extensive rsBeawehes îiato 
Spanish literature ; no one has developed with more enthnsiaasi 
the nature of this romantîe poeÉry, which rt isxnot jost ts onhont 
to austere rules ; and his partiality dias added to his eloquence. 
The passage I am abeot to translate has been Inghly «extoUed in 
Germany. I shall, in my tut», «present <>alderon under another 
afifiect ; but that under which his admirers haw viewed kfannMnt 
atâl be aliowed to possess a degree of truth. 

''Gajderon sorted in soveral campaigns in Flandens and in 
Italy ; and, as a Jini^t of St. James, .performed tl^ asâtery 
iduftîes of that order until he ^teind into the chnooh ; fay vrhioh 
he manifested how much religion had been the rulmg sentknent 
of his 4ife. If it be true that a religions feeling, loyalty, cou- 
rage, rhonour, and love «re the basis of romantic poetry, it mast 
in Spain, bom and nourished under such auspieiom oiream- 
stanees, have altained its highest flight The imagination ef >tfae 
Sipaniavds was as «laring as thehr spirit of enterprise ; and no 
adventure was too perilous for them. At an earlier period the 
predilection of the nation for the most incrodiUe wonders had 
been manifested in the ctiivalric romances. These they wisbed 
to pee repe.ited on the sta^e : and as at this epo^ the Spanish 


poets bad atlaiaed ttie UgbeflE point of art and social perfection, 
ind infosed a mnsieal spirit into their poetry, and paruying it of 
every thing material and gross, had left only the choicest colours 
and odonrs, there resulted an iirresisttble charm d contrast be- 
tween the subject and its composition. The spectators imagined 
liiey again saw on the stage a revrval of that national glory, 
which, after having threatened the whole world, was now become 
half extinct whilst the ear was gratified by a novel style of 
poetry, in which were combined ail the harmony of the most 
varied metres» desance^ genius, and a prodigality of images and 
eomparisons which the Spanish tongue alcme permitted The 
treasures of the most distant zones were in poetry, as in realtfy, 
imported to» satisfy the mother-country, and one may assert thi^ 
in this poetic empire, as in the terrestrial one of Charles V^ the 
san never set. 

** Even m the plays of Calderon which represent modem 
Bianners, and which for the most part descend to the tone of 
eommoB life, we feel oorseives influenced by a charm of fttney 
whick prevents us from regardhig them as comedies, in the or* 
dkiary sense of the word. The comedies of Shakspeare are 
composed of two parts, strangers to each other : the comic part, 
whieb is always eonformaUe to English manners^ because the 
GonM imitation ia drawn from weUrknown and keal circun»' 
staneetf ; and the romantie port, wUch is derived firom the stage 
of the Sonth^ as Ins native soil was not in itself sufficiently poe* 
ticaL Itk Spain* on the contrary^ national manners might her 
regarded m an ideal point of view. It is true that woold not 
have been possible if Calderon had introduced us into the inte- 
rier (tf diMBftstio life, where its wants and habits reduce every 
thing ta nainow and vulgar limita. His oamedies conclude, like 
those of the ancients, with marriage, but differ from them wholly 
m the antecedent part In these, in order to gratify sensual pas- 
sions and interested views, tiie moat immoral means are orten 
cmployod; the persons, with aU tim powvers of their mind, are 
eidy i^ysioal beii^Si» opposed lo one another, seeking to take 
advantage o£ their mutual weaknesses. In those, a passionate 
asntiment prevails which ennobles all that it surrounds, Imause 
it attaches to all drcumstances an affociion of the mind. Cal- 
deron pRsasta to us» it is true, his principal personages of both 
soes m tiie first efifervesoence of youth, and in the confident 
anticipation of all the joys of life; bnt the priée for which they 
ooniead« and whiefa they pursue, rejecting aU others, cannot in 
their eyes be exchanged for any other good. Honour, love, 
and jealousy, are the ruling passions. Their noble struggles 
fbnn the plot of the piece, whhsh is not entangled by elaTOrate 
knavery and deceit Honosir is there a feeling which rests on 
an elevated morality, sanctifying the principle without regard 
to eonsequenees. It may by stooping to the opinions and preju- 
flices of society become the weapon of vanity, but under everi- 


disguise ive recognise it as the reflection of refined sentiineBt. 
I cannot suggest a more appropriate emblem of the delicacy 
with which Galderon represents the sentiment of honour, tiian 
the fabulous trait narrated of the ermine, which, rather than 
suffer the whiteness of its fur to be soiled, resigns itself to its 
pursuers. This refined sentiment equally predominates in the 
female characteifs of Galderon, and ovci rules the power of lore 
who only ranks at the side of honour and not above it. Accord- 
ing to the sentiments which the poet professes, the honour of 
woman consists in confining her love to an honourable man, 
loving him with pure affection, and allowing no equivocal atten- 
tions, inconsistent with the most severe feminine dignity. This 
love demands an inviolable secrecy, until a legal union permits a 
public declaration. This condition alone defends it against the 
poisonous mixture of that vanity, which might boast ai preten- 
sions advanced, or of advantages obtained. Love thus appears 
as a secret and holy vow. It is true that under this doctrine» in 
order to satisfy love, truth and dissimulation, which honour else- 
where forbids, are permitted. But the most delicate regard is 
observed in the collision of love with other duties, and partieii- 
larly those of friendship. The force of jealousy, always awake, 
always terrible in its explosion, is not, as in the East excited by 
possession only, but by the slightest preference of the heart, 
and by its most imperceptible manifestiûions. Love is thus en- 
nobled ; for this passion fidls beneath itself, if it is not wholly 
exclusive. It often happens that the plot which these ccHtendmg 
passions form, produces no result, and the catastrophe then be- 
comes comic. At other times it assumes a tragic shape, and 
honour becomes a hostile destiny to him who cannot satisfy 
it without destroying his own happiness by the commission of a 

'* Such is the lofty spirit of these dramas, which fi>reigBers 
have called intriguing comedies, but which the Spaniards, after 
the costume in which they are performed, have named Comedies 
of the mantle and the sword : Comtdias de capa y eêpada. In 
general they possess nothing burlesque, ftirther than the part of 
the humorous valet, who is known under the name of Chradogo. 
This personage, indeed, serves only to parody the ideal motiTes 
by which his master is governed, but he does it often in the 
most degant and lively manner. It is seldom that he is employed 
as an instrument to increase the plot by his artifices ; as this is 
usually effected by accidental and well contrived incidents. 
Other pieces are named ComedioB de Jiguron ; the parts in which 
are cast in the same manner, only distinguished by one promi* 
nent figure in caricature. To many of the pieces of Galderon * 
the claim of dramatic character cannot be denied, although we 
must not expect to see the more delicate traits of character 
exhibited by the poets of a nation, whose powerful passions 


and fervent imaginations are irreconcUeàble with a talent for ac- 
carate observation. 

" Calderon bestowed on another class of his dramas the name 
of festival pieces. These were intended to be represented in 
court on occasions of solemnity. From their theatrical splen- 
dour, the frequent change of scene, the decoration presented to 
the eyes, and the music which is introduced, we may call them 
poetical operas. In fact they are more poetical than any other 
compositions of this kind, since by their poetry alone an efifect 
is produced which in the simple opera is obtained only by 
scenery, music, and dancing. Here the poet abandons himsdf 
to the hi^est flights of fimcy, and his representations seem al- 
most too ethereal for earth. 

" But the true genius of Calderon is more peculiariy shown 
in his management of religious subjects. Love is painted by 
him with its common attrnmtes, ana speaks only the language 
of the poetic art. But religion is his true flame, the heart of his 
heart For her alone he touches those cords to which the soul 
moet deeply responds. He seems not to have wished to effect 
this through worldly means, as piety was his only motive. This 
fortunate man had escaped from the labyrinth and the deserts of 
skeptMsm to the asylum of fiith, whence he contemplates and 
paints, wifli an imperturbable serenity of soul, the passing tem- 
pests of the world. To him, life is no longer an enigma ; even 
his tears, like dew-drops in the beams of morning, reflect the 
image of heaven. His poetry, whatever the subje^ may osten- 
sibly be, is an unceasing hymn c^ joy on the splendours of crea- 
tion. With delighted astonishment he celebrates the wonders 
of nature and of human art, as if he saw them for the first time 
in all the attraction of novelty. It is the first awakening of 
Adam, accompanied by an eloquence and a justness of expres- 
sion vrhich an intimate knowledge of nature, the highest culti- 
vation of mind, and the most mature reflection could alone pro- 
duce. Whai he united the most opposite objects, the greatest 
and the smallest the stars and the flowers, the sense of his me- 
taphor always expresses the relation of his creatures to their 
common Creator ; and this delightfol harmony and concert of 
the universe, is to him a new and unfading image of that eternal 
love vrhidi comprehends all things. 

** Calderon was yet living, while in other countries of Europe 
a mannerism began to predominate in the arts, and literature re- 
oeived that prosaic direction which became so general in the 
eighteenth century. He may, therefore, be considered as placed 
on the highest pinnacle of romantic poetry ; and all her brilliancy 
was lavished on his works, as in a display of fireworks ^e 
brightest colours and the most striking lights arc reserved for 
the last explosion." 

I have here given a faithful translation of this spirited and 
«>l9quent passagf^^. which is. indeed, in opposition to my ov/h opi- 

\ or.. 11. n 

^£ ON TH£ LiTEilATVliK 

nion. It ooutainB every thing i^leiidid that can be said of Cal* 
deron ; and I could wish that the reader himself may be induced 
by so high an eulogium to study a writer who has excited such 
warm euthusiasm. It was also my object to show the high rank 
ivhich Calderon occupies in the world of letters. I shall shortly 
give an analysis of some of his best pieces, that every person 
may form his own opinion on a poet to whom no one can refuse 
a place in the first rank. But, in order to explain what impres- 
sion his works have made on myself, I ought to refer to wliat 
was said in the last chapter of the debasement of the Spanish 
nation in the seventeenth century, the corruption of relisîon and 
of the government, the perversion of taste, and, in fine, the 
change which the ambition of Charles Y., and the tyranny of 
Philip Un had operated on the Castillans. Calderon had in his 
youth seen Philip III. ; he had shared the patronage of Philip 
IV. ; and he lived sixteen years under the more miserable, and if 
possible, more shameful reign of Charles II. It would be 
strange indeed if the Influence of an epoch so degrading to man- 
kind had not been in some degree communicated to the leading 
poet of the age. 

Calderon, in fact, although endowed by nature with a noble 
genius and the most brilliant imagination, appears to me to be 
the man of his own age — ^tlie wretohed epoch of Philip IV. 
When a nation is so corrupt as to have lost all exaltation of cfaa- 
raeter, it has no longer before its eyes models of true virtue and 
real grandeur, and, in endeavouring to represent them, it Mis 
into exaggeration. Such to my view is the character of Calde- 
ron : he oversteps the line in every department of art. Truth 
is unknown to him, and the ideal which he forms to himsdf 
offends us fix>m its want of propriety. There was in the ancient 
Spanish knights a noble pride, which sprang from a sentiment 
of affection for that glorious nation in which they were objects 
of high importance; but the empty haughtiness of the heroes oi 
Calderon increases with the misfortunes of their country, and 
their own debasement There was in the manners of the early 
knights a just estimate of their own character, which prevented 
affronts, and assured to every one the respect of his equals ; but 
when public and private honour became continually compro- 
mised by a corrupt and base court, the stage represented honour 
as a point of punctilious delicacy, which, unceasingly wounded, 
required the most sanguinary satisfaction, and could not lo^g 
exist without destroying all the bonds of society. The life of 
a gentleman was, in a manner, made up of duelling and assassin- 
ation; and if the manners of the nation became brutalized, 
those of the stage were still more so. In the same way the 
morals of the female sex were corrupted ; intrigue had pene- 
trated beyond the blinds of windows and the grates of the con- 
vent where the younger part of the sex were immured ; gal« 
l;uiti-y had introduced it^lf into domestic life, and had poisoned 


the matrimonial state. But Calderon çives to the women he 
represents a seyerity proportioned to we relaxation of morals : 
be paints love wholly in the mind ; he gives to passion a charac- 
ter which it cannot support; he loses sight of nature, and aiming 
at the ideal he produces only exaggeration. 

If the manners of the stase were corrupt, its language was 
-still oMH-e so. The Spaniards owe to their intercourse with the 
Arabs a taste for hyperbole and for the most extravagant images. 
Bat the manner of Calderon Is not borrowed from the East ; it 
is entirely his own, and he goes beyond all flights which his pre- 
decessors had allowed themselves. If his imagination furnishes 
him with a brilliant image, he pursues it through a whole page, 
and abandons it only through fatigue. He links comparison to 
comparison, and, overcharging his subjects with the most brilliant 
colours, he does not allow its form to be perceived under the 
multiplied touches which he bestows on it. He gives to sorrow 
so poetical a language, and makes her seek such unexpected 
comparis<ms, and justify their propriety with so much care, that 
we withhold our compassion from one who is diverted from his 
griefs by the display of his wit. The affectation and antithesis 
with which the Italians have been reproached, under the name 
of concetti, are, in Marini and in the greatest mannerists, simple 
expressions in comparison with the involved periods of Calderon. 
We see that he is affected with that malady of genius which 
forms an epoch in every literature on the extinction of good taste, 
an epoch which commenced in Rome with Lucan, in Italy with 
tlie êdcentigH, or poets of the sixteenth century ; which distin- 
guished in France the Hôtel de Rambouillet ; which prevailed 
in England under the reign of Charles II. ; and which all per- 
sons have agreed to condemn as a perversion of taste. Exam- 
ples of this style will crowd on us in the succeeding extracts ; 
Dut we shall pass them over at the time in order not to suspend 
the interest ; and it will be better to detach a single passage as a 
specimen. It is taken from a play in which Alexander, Duke of 
Parma, relates how he is become the rival of Don Caesar^ his 
secretary and friend. 

* In gallant mood, I sought my sister's bower, 
And saw with her and with her ladies therc^ 
My Anna, in a garden of the Loves, 
Presiding over every common 0ower, 
A fragrant rose and fair ; 
Or rather, not to do her beauty wrong, 

^ Entré galan al quarto de ml hermana, 
Y eon eUa y ins damas vi a dona Ana c 
Vi, en nn jardin de amores, 
Ana pnesMhi entre eommvnes ftnres 


I saw a star on beds of roses glowing ; 

Or, 'midst the stars, the star of morning young 

May better tell my love's bright deity ; 

Or, on the morning itan its light bestowing, 

I saw a daszling sun ; or, in the slcy, 

Midst many brilliant suns of rivalry, 

I saw her shine with such a peerless ray, 

That heaven was fillM with that one glorious day. 

But when she spoke, then was my soul entraocM : . 

Eves, ears, and every sense in rapture danc'd ; 

The miracle of nature stood eonfess'd, 

Fair modesty, in modest beauty dress'd. 

It could not last : she bade farewell I 

But was that evening transient as a dream ? 

Ask Love ; and he will tell how fleet hours seem 

Moments, which should be ages ; ages well 

Might seem but moments, as they speed away ! 

And when she bade adieu. 

With courteous steps I wttch'd my love's retuni. 

We parted ! Let it now suflke to say. 

Loving, 1 die, and absent live to mourn ! 

This language which, if it be allowed to be poetical, is still 
extremely false, becomes still more misplaced when it is employed 
to express great passions or great sufferings. In a tragedy, other- 
wise replete with beautiful passages, and to which we shall re- 
turn, entitled Amur despws de la Muerte ; Love after Death, or 
rather the revolt of the Moors in the Alpuxarra, Don Alvaro 
Tuzani, one of the revolted Moors, runnmg to the aid of his 
mistress finds her poniarded by a Spanish soldier at the taking 
of Galera : she yet breathes, and recognises him. 

La rosa hermosa y bella '; 
Mai digo, que si bien lo considero, 
Yo vi entre muchas rosas una estrella» 
entre muchas eatrellas un Lucero ; 
T si mejor en su Deidad reparo, 
Prestando a los demas sus anreboles, 
Entre mochos Loceros vi an sol elaro, 
T al fin vi un cielo para muchos soles. 

Y tanto so beldad los ezeedia. 

Que en muchos ctelos huvo solo un dia. 
Hfiblando e8tuv6, en ella divertidos 
Los ojos, quanto atentos los oidos ; 
Porque mostraba, en todo milagrosa 
Guerda belleza en diserecSon hermosa. 
Despidiô se en efecto ; si fue breve 
La tarde, amor lo diga, que quisiera 
Que un siglo intern cada instante fuera ; 

Y aun no fuera bastante. 

Pues aunque fuera siglo, ftiera instante. 
La sali acompanando eortesnente, 

Y aqui basta decirte 

Que mu^ro amante y que padesco ausente. 

jhidiêfié tu fscref». Jom. i, t^i. p. S7a. 


* CLâRA. 

Tby voiee^-tliy voice, my love, I fain would bear : 
^will give me life : 'twill make my death moet bapfiy. 
Come nearer. Let me feel you in my arms. 
Let me die thus — and—- (She dU$.) 

Don Alyaro. 

Alas, alas 1 They err who say that love 
Can knit twain hearts, and souls, and lires in one i 
For were such miracle a liTÎog truth, 
Thou hadst not fled, or I had died with thee; 
driving or dying, then, we had not parted. 
But hand in hand smil'd o'er our equal fate. 
Ye heavens ! that see my anguish ; mountains wild ! 
That echo it ; winds ! which my torments hear; 
Flames I that behold my sufferings ; can ye all 
See Love's fair starry light eztinguisb'd thus, 
His chief flower wither, and his soft breath fail ? 
Come, ye that know what love is, tell me now, 
In these my sorrows, in this last distress, 
What hope more is there for the wretched lover 
Who, on the night that should have crown'd his passion 
So long and faithfuU finds his love (oh, hoiTor !) 
Bathed in her own sweet blood ; a lily flower 
Bespangled with those frightful drops of red ; 
Gold, precious, purified in fiercest fire? 
•What hope, when, for the nuptial bed he dreamM of, 
He clasps the cold uro, weepe o'er dost a«d ashes, 
Whoçi once he worshipped. Love's divinity 7 
Nay, tell me not of comfort : IMI none of it. 
For If in such disasters men do weep not, 

* Claaa. Sola una voz (ay bien mio I) 

Fudo nuevo allento darme, 
Pttdo baeer felic mi muerte ; 
Deza, desa que te abraaa. 
Muera en tus bravos, y ma#ra, • . . 
D. ALTiiRO. O quanto, o quanto ignorante 
Es quien dice que el amor 
Hacer de dos vidas sabe 
Una vida ! Pues si fneran 
Essos milagros verdade% 
Ni tu murieras, ni yo 
Vivîera, que en este instante > 
Muriendo yo, y tu viviendo, 
Estuvieramos iguales. 
Cietos que visteis mis penas ! 
Montes que mirais mis mates ! 
Vientos que vis mis rigores ! 
Llamas que veis mis pesares f 
Comô todos permîtes 
Que la mcjor luz se apague, 
Que la m^or flor se os muera, 
Que el mejor suspiro os faite ? 
Hombres que sabeis de amor, 
Advertidme en este lance, 
Decîdme en esta desdicha 


They will do ill to follow otber*s couusels. 
O je invincible bills of Alpuurra, 
O fccne of the most shameless coward deed, 
Inftmous trionph, glory execrable 1 
For never did thy moantains, Alpuxarra, 
Never tby valleys witnfcbs sight like this I 
Upob tby highest cliffs, or depths profound, 
More bapfess beauty never breathed its last ! 
But why complain I if oiy complaints when pour'd 
To the wild winds are but the wild winds' sport 7 

A correct taste would have expressed, in a situation so Yuy 
lent and so calamitous, the agonizing cry of the lovef, and 
would have made the audience participators of his grirf; bat 
we all feel that the language of Alvaro Tuzaui is false, and he 
instantly checks the profound emotion which the dreadful in- 
cident is calculated to produce ; a fault continually repeated by 
Calderon. His decided predilection for investing with the 
beauties of poetry the language of all his personages, deprives 
him of all heartfelt and natural expression. We may observe 
in him many situations of an admirable effect, but we never 
meet with a passage touching or sublime from its simplicity or 
its truth. 

The admirers of Calderon have almost imputed it to him as a 
merit, that he has not clothed any foreign subject with national 
manners. His patriotism, they say, was too ardent to have al- 
lowed him to adopt any other forms than those peculiar to 
Spain ; but he had the more occasion to display all the riches of 
his imagination, and his creations have a fantastic character, 
which gives a new charm to pieces where he has not allowed 
himself to be fettered by facts. Such is the opinion of the 
critics of Grermany ; but after showing so much indulgence on 
•one side, how happens it on the other side that they have treated 
with so much severity the tragic writers of France, for having 
given to their Grecian and Roman heroes some traits and forms 
ci society drawn from the court of Louis XIV. ? An author of 
the Mysteries of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries might 
be pardoned for confounding history, chronology, and facts. At 
that time information was scanty, and one-hsdf of ancient history 
vras veiled under clouds of darkness. But how shall we excaae 
Calderon, or the public for whom he composed his plays» when 

Que debe hacer un amante 
Que viniendo a ver su dama, 
La noehe que ha de lofrrarse 
Un anor de tantos diasy 
Banada la halle en su sangre, 
Azuzena guarnecida 
Del mas peliiroso esmalte, 
Oro acrisolado al fucgo 
Dei mas rigaroso examen, etc. 

Tnmo 1. p. S80. 

or TUK SlfANlARD». SS7 

We find him mixing together incongruous fects, manners, and 
events, in the most illnstrious periods of Roman history, in a 
way which would disgust even a schoolboy. Thus, in his play 
of Coriolauus, which he has entitled The Arms of Beauty, he r^ 
presents Coriolanus as continuing against Sabinius, king of the 
Sabines, the war which Romulus had already commenced against 
tiie same imaginary king, and consequently at the distance of a 
whole generation ; and he even speaiks to us of the conquest of 
Spain and Africa, of Rome, the empress of the tlniverse. the 
rival of Jerusalem.* The character of Coriolanus, and that of 
the senate and the people are alike travestied. It is impossible 
to recognise a Roman in the sentiments of any person in the 
piece. Metastasio, in his Roman dialogues, was infinitely more 
iaithful to history and to the manners of antiquity. 

But we must not attribute to Caideron alone an ignorance of 
foreign manners. Whether it be deserving of praise or of blame, 
it was not peculiar to him, but belonged to his country and hig 
gorernment The circle of permitted information became every 
day more circumscribed. All books containing the history c£ 
other countries, or their state of civilization, were severely pro* 
hibited, for there was not one of them which did not contain a 
bitter satire on the government and religion of Spain. How 
then could they be alfowed to study the ancients, with whcMn po^ 
litical liberty was inseparable from existence ? Whoever had' 
been penetrated by their spirit, must, at the same time, have regret- 
ted the noble privileges which their nation had lost How could 
they be allowed to contemplate the history of those modern na* 
tions, whose prosperity and glory were founded on religions 
liberty ? After having studied them, would they themselves have 
tolerated the Inquisition? 

There is one trait in the character of Caideron on which I shall 
insist with the greater caution, as I am sensible that my feelings 
on the subject are extremely warm. Caideron is, in &ct, the 
true poet of the Inquisition. Animated by a religious feelincv 
which is too visible in all his pieces, he inspires me only vritL 
horror for tji^ faith which he professes. No one ever so mr dis- 
%ured Christianity ; no one ever assigned to it passions so 
ferocious, or morals so corrupt Among a great number of 
pieces, dictated by the same fanaticism, the one which best ex- 
hibits it is tliat entitled The Devotion of the Cross. His object 
in this is to convince his Christian audience that the adoration 
of this sl^ of the Church is sufficient to exculpate them bom 
all crimes, and to secure the protection of the Deity. Hie hero, 
Eusebio, an incestuous brigand and professed assassin, but pre- 
serving in the midst of crimes devotion for the cross, at the 
foot of which he was born, and the impress of which he bear» 

♦ {.« gran ComtHa de las Anna» lU U llermffmra, t. I. p. l^D. 


on hU heart erects a cross over the graye of eadi of his Tictimfi* 
and often checks himself in the midst of crime at the sight of 
the sacred symbol. His sister, Julia, who is also his mistress* 
and is even more abandoned and ferocious than himself, exhibits 
the same degree of superstition. He is at length slain in a cmn* 
bat against a party of soldiers commanded hy his own fiitber ; 
but GkKl restores him to life again, in order that a holy saint may 
teoeiye his oonfessiont and &us assure his reception into the 
kingdom of heaven. His sister on the point of being apjne- 
hended, and of becoming at length the victim of her moastnnis 
iniquities, embraces a cross, which she finds at her side, and tows 
to return to her convent and deplore her sins ; and this cross 
suddenly rises into the skies, and bears her far away from her 
enemies to an impenetrable asylum. 

We have thus in a manner laid the cause of Calderon he&we 
the reader, and made him acquainted with both sides of ibe 

Îuestion. Let it not however, oe imagined that the £stults whkh 
have brought forward are sufficient to obliterate the beauties 
which have been so highly extolled by Schl^el. There are, 
doubtless, sufficient left to place Calderon among the poets of tiie 
richest and most original &ncy, and of the most attractive and 
brilliant style It now only remains for me to make him known 
by his own works, and to present an analysis of some (rf* his most 
striking pieces. Of these I shall select two in the most opposite 
styles, but with the decided intention of placing befiM^ the 
reader such instances of the genius and sensibUity of this cele- 
brated author as appear worthy of imitation, and not with a de- 
sire of dwelling on his defects, which I have already sufficie&tlj 
pointed out 

I shall commence with one of the most beautiful and engan^ûigr 
of his comedies of intrigue. It is called El Secrtio a Voam, or 
The Secret in Word$. The scene is laid in Parma, which is 
described in so pirticular a manner that we cannot donbt that 
the author resided in this city during his campaigns in Italy» 
and that he had the scenery fresh in his recollection. But the 
period of time is imaginary, and is referred to the suf|K>sed reign 
of a duchess Flerida, heiress to the duchy of Parma, a mere 
imaginary personage. This princess, suffering under a secret 
passion, surrounds her court with all the fesciaations of art in 
order to divert her grief The action commences in the gardens, 
and the scene opens with a troop of musicians, who sinff as they 
cross the stage, and are followed by the whole court The 
chorus <Selebrates the empire of Love over Reason; and Flora, 
one of the ladies of the duchess, responds in strains of love. 
In the mean time, two knights by turns advance to view in her 
retreat this beautiful princess. The first Frederick, the hero 
of the piece, is one of the gentlemen of the duchess; the second, 
who conceals himself under the name of Henry, is the Duke oi 
Mantua, who. enamoured of Florida, and having already de« 

or Tat;. irAiiiAMs» 9S9 

tÊaaéxà her miaftrmge^ wietes to appear to hev m the character 
of a private gtvUkmatn^ and tiins te oantempbte her more 
nearly. FortUaparpose headdvessethims^totiieyoui^aBd 
galiant Frederick, to whom he ooofidea hi» secret and irirtfa whom 
he it lodffng. Fahio, the valet of Frederick, is not admitted 
into ti» teeret r. and his owriosity, which manifesta itself from the 
fisrst scene, renders the spectator more atteivtive to the di»» 
guise of Weaary. Bf the qnestkms of Henry and the re« 
plies of Frederick, wt are made aoffoamiled with tiie diaractor 
of the dachess. 

The Miter pcturn%.ané while die observes with Frederick the 
tone of a aoTereiJiifn, she sttfl betay» that she i» asitated. by a 
tender emotion. She is aware that Frederick is tie aathov of 
the Teraes whâdi bad just been smig hefoee bar ; she Tcmarks 
that tbey are love^veises.; and that all the verses which he com* 
poses turn and its sorrows. She wishes him to name the 
dblect of hia passion; h«t Frederick, who laaaenU Us poverty 
and ascribes to it ahme his want of soooess, nttera nothing which 
may discover his secret, or flatter tiie derire of Florida to see 
heraelf beloved by him. 

IMDaanwhiie Henry presents himodf as a. knight of thet Duke 
ijt Ifaatna. He bears a latter of reoommendation to the dndb- 
esSk of lu own writim; in which he requests an asyfaon natil hia 
reooacilidion with a ramify^^inateted against him by ùte conse»* 
«enoes of a àasA in which a fev64iffittr teid engaged hna. Whilst 
me dooheas reads the letter aad the coartlen» converser (ogisther, 
Fnderiok appsoachea Laora. the irst bdy of the count and the 
secret objectée hia pasrion. They have a motayal onderstandinff» 
and maiatain a eonrospondanur 'r and Laura, by steaiûi, hands 
hhn ailetiev eoaoealed in the glove of the duchess» 

detidatthen invites the staanger t» participate int&egameB' 
vhiehiam the entertainmettof the conrt These asemestioB» 
0» pointa of love and gallantry, wbioh a/o agitated wwi all the 
vMbH of the Platonic philosophy. That m the day is to de^ 
die what is thr peatest pam in love. Every one advaaces a 
diffareat paroposition, and s upp orte it wiâi argumente sufir 
ciently laboaied; but the princess, whose only jribeasure eo&- 
siste in these exercises of the mind and this a£feotetion of 
WKuâîllty». gives addittenal room^ for conyacturfaiig that she is 
tcttmcaited by an unequal passion, and one whioh she dàrea not 

The Aichesa, with her whola cooBt, vetivas; Frederick remains 
akne with his valbt; and reaob the letter ho has received He 
Âstsnste hia valet, and ooneeals from Mm* thai name of his asia- 
tttssv and tlie mannes in winch he obtafatt'her kttens ; but by 
this, he only excites more staengly theoariority of Dabio^ who 
taises all tfaat. he sees for enchantment ; and he has notf the pc»< 
caation to. conceal from WAïa the* pnrpeat of the letter, aa ap* 
pointmcnt that very evening under the window of hia mistMrs. 

Vol. II. 42 

360* OM TU£ LlTfiRATUKC 

The dachess iu the mean time Bends for Fabio, and bribes faiar 
vrith a chain of gold to name the lady to whom his master is at" 
ttched. The faithless valet has it not in his power to betray his 
master, bat he apprises Florida of the rendezvous with an nn- 
Icuown lady, to which his master was that night invited. Fleri^ 
da, tormented by jealousy, orders Fabio to watch narrowly the 
movements of his master, and she on her side seeks to interrupt 
the happiness of the two lovers. Frederick brings her some 
state-papers to sign ; she lays them aside, and gives him a l^ter 
for the Duke of Mantua, with directions to deliver it that very 
night Frederick despatches his valet to order his horses ; but 
after having communicated with the Duke of Mantua, they 
agree that he shall open the Jetter addressed to him, 9aik 
that if Flerida has not discovered that he is concealed under 
the name of Henry, he shall answer it as if he had received it 
at home. 

Night arrives, and Laura is on the point of repairing to the 
window at which she had made the appointment with her lover^ 
when the duchess calls her, and informs her that she had dis- 
covered that one of her ladies had made an appointment to meet 
sk gentleman at one of the palace windows. She is anxious to 
discover which of them could dare so far to violate the Jaws of 
decorum, and has made choice of Laura, as the most trustworthy 
of her train, to watch over the rest of the house. She then 
orders her to descend to the lattice, and to observe ndnutely all 
that appcoadi. In tins manner she s^ids her herself irittioat 
sttspicion to the very appcHubnent which she wished to prevent. 
Shortly after, scmie one is heard to strike against the lattice, the 
signal agreed on« and Frederick appears at the window. T%e 
two lovers have a short explanation. Laura is offended at the 
Duchess being made acquainted with their meeting, and is jeal* 
ans of the interest which Flerida seems to take in it. However, 
they exchange portraits, and that which Frederick gives- her 
completely resembles in the setting that which he receives finom 
her. He promises to give her on &e day following a cipher, by- 
means of which they may understand each other in the pres»ioe 
of other persons. It is this cipher which gives to the play the 
name of the Secret in Words. 

At the commencement of tlie second act, Frederick and Faino 
in travelling dresses appear on the stage with Henry. The lat- 
ter finding that the Duchess did not suspect him. has answered 
the letter, and Frederick is the bearer of his repjy. He pre- 
sents to the Duchess, to the great astonishment c^ his vakt, the 
answer of the Duke of Mantua ; and he takes the of^Hurtnaity 
of giving to Laura a letter, which he pretends to have reoeited 
from one of her rdatives at Mantua. In this is contained the 
oonoerted cipher. The letter runs thus : " Whenever, Signorar 
you wish to address me, begin by making a sisn wi& yoor 
handkerchief in order to engage my attention. Then, on what* 


«ver subject you speak, let the first word of the sentence be fcH- 
me, and the rest for the company ; so, that by uniting all yoor 
^rst words, I shall discover what you wished to communicate. 
You will do the like when I give the signal for speaking myself.'* 
Laura did not long delay making trialof this ingenious cipher. 
¥^bio tells the Duchess that his master had not been to Mantua 
daring the night but that on the contrary, he had comrmunicated 
with his mistress, and Laura warns Frederick of this circum- 
stance. Her speech is composed of sixteen short words, which 
commence sixteen little verses ; but she never speaks more than 
a stanza at a time ; and Frederick, uniting the first words of 
each verse, repeats them, and thus spares the audience the 
trouble of connecting them after him. This stage-trick is very 
diverting ; and the perplexed expressions of Laura, who makes 
use c^ the longest circumlocutions to express the most simple 
things, in order to introduce at the commencement of the stan- 
zas the words for which she has occasion, add still more to the 
humour of the situation. But what is most laughable, is the 
surprise of Fabio, who, left alone with his master, and with- 
out having been out of his sight suddenly finds that he is 
informed of his treachery. Frederick is on the point of pun- 
ishing this babbler, when he is interrupted by the entrance of 

In the mean time Fabia, not warned by the danger which he 
has already incurred, returns to the duchess, and infiMms her, 
that he has seen in the hands of his master the portrait of a lady, 
and that he is sure that he carries it in his pocket The duchess, 
whose jealousy continues to increase, though it is not directed to 
Laura, invents a stratagem to obtain from Frederick the portrait 
at the moment when he brings papers of state for her signature. 
She commands him to lay them down and depart since she can 
no longer have confidence in a man who has betrayed her, and 
who hflu been in correspondence with her mortal enemy. Fre- 
derick is astonished, and at first believes that she is reproaching 
him for having introduced the duke of M&ntua into the palace ; 
he implores (wgiveness ; and Flerida is confounded at discover- 
ing a traitor in the object of her love. Their mutual surprise 
renders the scene highly interesting. The duchess, however, 
after having drawn forth an expiation respecting Henry, 
resumes her accusation. She reproaches Frederick with 
maintaining a criminal correspondence ; she questions his ho- 
nour ; and compels him to produce aU the papers on his per- 
son, and the keys of his bureau. This was what she aimed 
at as the accusation was merely a stratagem to obtain the con- 
tents of his poclœts, and the case with the portrait makes its 
appearance, the only object which she wuhes to see, and the 
only one which he refuses. She would indeed have effected her 
object if Laura had not succeeded in adroitiy changing her por* 
trait for that of Frederick, which was in a similar case ; in such a 


inaBner, that when the duoheas openB the suspected case she 
finds only the image of the man from whom she has taken it. 

Faino appears âone at the oommenoement ef the third stct 
He has the exact character of the Italian harlequin ; inquisiiiTe, 
cowardly, and greedy. When he hetrays his master, it is more 
from bis folly than his malioe, and he is insenstUe to the mischief 
which he occasions. His pleasantries are often gross ; he nar- 
rates many tales to the duchess as well as to his master, and 
these tales are in the most vul^r taste. The French stase bas. 
in regard to decorum, an infinite advantage over those </ other 
countries. Fabio, however* uneasy under his roaster's étsplea- 
sure, hides himsdf in his apartment until the storm be pmed 
over. Frederick soon afterward enters with H^ury, and FM» 
unintentionally overhears their cenversation. Frederick iiifenns 
Henrv, that Âe duchess is aware that he is the dvke of Mantea, 
and tnsÉ it is usriess to disguise himself longer. At the same 
time he confides to him the embarrassment 1m^ is in lespectiog 
his mistress. Sensible of the danger she incurs in beusg the 
rival of the duchess, Laura has resolved to fly with her lover, 
who is for that purpose to be ready with two horses at the ex- 
tremity of the bodge, between the park and the pataoe. Henry 
promises not only to give him an asylum, bat to eondnet Urn 
himself to the borders of his state. As soon as they are gone 
out to make their preparations, Fabio issues from his eonoeal- 
BMit, and hastens to disclose to the duchess all that he has by 
chance overheard. 

The scene is tf^n transferred to the palaee. The dmchess 
throuffbout makes Laura her confidant, mi reveals to her her 
love nor Frederick, her desire to speak openly to him, jusd to 
elevate him to her own rank by marriage. The jealonsy she by 
this excites in Laura is still fiicâier anniented by Fkederick, who 
comes in and pays his sovereign a gwant compliment A^pisr- 
rel and reconciliation now take place between the two lovent by 
means of the cipher, from which they appear only to aJdr ess 
the duchess on subjects relatinç to the court The dnchess 
then indulges some hope ; but die is again troubled at the re- 
port of Fabio^ who informs her of the intended flight of his mas- 
ter. She addresses herself to Ernest, the father of Laura, and 
desires him not to lose sight of Frederick for a moment daring 
the whole night She assigns, as a reason, a duel in which he 
was engaged by a love-affitir, and 6om whiich she wishes him to 
be restrained at all risks. She authorizes Ernest to take with 
him her body guard, to act iu ease of necessity. Ernest arrives 
at the houseof FVederick at the moment when the latter is issuing 
from it He is aware that his mistress and the duke are waiting 
for him ; that the hour is passing by, and tbit the visit of tbe 
talknttve old mants not Ubely soon to end. Frederiek tries M 
methods to rid hisMelf of his importunities, but Ernest repels 
them with a weff-mans^ed obstinacy, which agrees admiimbir 


wiA the chaxicter of an aged flatterer. At last Frederick de- 
clares bis inteiitkMi oif going oat Ame, lékm Ernest oaUs a Ids 
guards with orders to arrest liink Frederiqk'B house bas, hap- 
pily, two outlets. He escapes, and soon after arrires atthe pa» 
where Lanra is in waiting for hkn. The latter, on her side, is 
surprised hy Florida, who, not trasting wholly to Ernest, wishes 
to assure herself personally that the lovers do not meet Frede* 
ridk calk, and the duchess obtiffes Laura to answer. In sptte of 
all the artifices of Laura, who still dissenhles, the duchess elearly 
disooFors their attachment and tihek project for flying together. 
She hesitates for sosne time as to what she ought tow; she 
yields by turns to jealousy and to love ; but she adopits at last a 
generous resolve. She marries Lanra to Frederick, and gtves 
her own hand to the duke of Mantua. 

I have thought it better, in order to convey to the reader an 
idea of tiie genius of Calderon, and of the fertile invention which 
he manifests in his plots, to give a fiiH analysis of a single pfacy, 
rather than to glance only at a greater number. At the same 
time, nothing appears so dii&cult to me as to give a just idea of 
his pieces. The poetry in them, which forms by tarns their 
charm and their defect, cannot possibly be translated, in conse* 
quence of its brilliant and exagpperated colours. The sentiments 
are so strongly impressed with a foreign character, tiiat with what- 
ever fidelity they may be rendered, a Spsniard only ean judge 
of their aceuracy, and the pleasantries are all national. In hUtk 
the heroic and oomic pieces, the emotion or the mirth arises al- 
moat entirely from a complicated plot which, even in the originaL 
requires our oonstavt attention, to make ourselves masters of ft, 
and whicsh necessarily beoomes confiised in an extract where 
many of the intermediate links are wanting. Every one of these 
Spanish plays contains ample matter for three or four FVenoh 
comedies ; and the zeal with which the author himself enters 
into this labyrinth, does not allow him time to develope the situa* 
tioBS, and to draw from the feelings of his oharaelers the full 
expressi#n of their pasrions. 

The plays of Calderon are not divided into comedies wmd 
trapjedien. They lA bear the same title of Lo grcm ComsdMi^ 
which was probably given to them by the actors in their biUs, in 
order to attract puUic notice; and which appellatîon has re- 
■miod to them. They all belong to the same oUss. We find 
the sane passions, and the same âniracters, which, according to 
the developement of the plot, prodnoe either a calamitous or a 
ibttunate catastrophe, without our being aUe to foresee it Aom 
the title or #om the first scenes. Thus, neither the rank of the 
persons» «or the exposition, nor the first Incidents, prepare the 
spectator for emotions such as are prodnced by T%e ContUmi 
Prince, and the Sècrtto a Vùu$, The VanfUttU PWnee, or rather 
The InJUxibk Prince, the Reguhis (A Spain, is one of the iMMft 
moviniç f^ays of Calderon. In a translation by Sdilegel, It is at 


present performed with great snccess on the German stage, and 
I think myself justified in giving a full analysis of it 

The Portuguese, after having driven the* Moors from the 
whole western coast of the Peninsula, passed over into Aftica to 
pursue still further the enemies of their faith. They undertook 
the conquest of the kingdoms of Fez and Morocco. The same 
ardour led them to seek a new passage to the Indies, and to plaat 
the standard of Portugal on the coast of Guinea, in the kingdom 
of Congo, at Mozambique, at Diu, at Goa, and at Macao. John 
I. had oonquered Ceuta. At his death he left several sons, all 
of whom wished to distinguish themselves against the infidels. 
Edward, who succeeded him, sent his two brothers, in the year 
1438, with a fleet to attempt the conquest of Tangiers. One of 
these was Ferdinand, the hero of Calderon, the most valiant of 
princes ; the other was Henry, who was afterward celebrated 
for his assiduous efforts in exploring the sea of Guinea, in 
order to discover the passage to tlie Indies. Their expedition is 
the subject of this tragedy. 

The first scene is laid in the gardens of the king of Fez, where 
the attendants of Phenicia^ Moorish princess, call upon some 
Christian slaves to sing, in order to entertain their mistress. 
'* How,** they reply, " can our singing be agreeable to her, when 
its only accompaniment is the sound of the fetters and chains 
which bind us r * They sing, however, until Phenicia appears, 
surrounded by her women. The latter address to her the most 
flattering compliments on her beauty, in that eastern style which 
the Spanish language has preserved, and which its extravagance 
would render absurd in any other. Phenicia in sadness repels 
their attentions ; she speaks of her grief; and she attributes it 
to a passion which she cannot vanquish, and whidi seems to be 
accompanied by sorrowful presentiments. Her discourse con- 
sists vniolly oi description and of brilliant images. We are not 
to regard the tragedies of Calderon as an imitation of Nature, 
but as an image €n Nature in the poetical world, as the opera is 
an image of it in the musical world. This requires from the 
spectators a tacit convention to lend themselves to a languaspe 
beyond the rules of Nature, in oràer to enjoy the union of mt 
fine arts with an action in real life. 

Phenicia is attached to Muley Cheik, cousin of the king of 
Fez, and his admiral and general ; but her &ther wishes to many 
her to Tarudant Prince of Morocco. She has scarcely received 
this intelligence when Muley returns from a cruise^ and an- 
nounces to the king the approach of a Portuguese fleet, com- 
manded by two princes, and carrying fourteen thousand soldiers 
for the attack of Tangiers. His speech, whidi is intended to 
serve as an explanation of the principal action, is two hundred 
and ten lines m length ; but ail the splendour of the poetry 
with which it is interspersed would not be able to procure atten- 
tion in France to so long an harangue. Muley receives orders 


tù oppose the landing of the Portuguese with the cavahry of the 

The landing is the subject of the next scene. It is effected 
near Tangiers amidst the sound of clarions and trumpets. In 
the midst of this military pomp each of the Christian heroes, 
as he reaches the shore, manifests hfs character, his hopes and 
fears, and the manner in which he is affected by the evil omens 
which befell them on their voyage. Whilst Fernando is endea- 
vouring to dispel this superstitious fear from the hearts of his 
knights, he is attacked by Muley Gheik, but he obtains an easy 
victory over this suddenly assembled body of cavalry. Muley 
'himself falls into his hands, and Fernando, not less generous 
than brave, when he finds that his prisoner runs the danger, by 
his captivity, of losing for ever the object of his love, restores^ 
Muley to his liberty without a ransom. 

In the mean while the kings of Fez and Morocco had assem- 
bled their armies, and advanced with an overwhelming force. 
Retreat is now become impossible to the Portuguese, and their 
only resource is in their resolution to die like brave soldiers and 
Christian knights. Even this hope is frustrated, as the Moors 
obtain the victory ; and Fernando, after having fought valiantly, 
surrenders to the King of Fez, who makes himself known to 
him. His brother Henry also delivers himself up with the 
flower of the Portuguese array. The Moorish kin^ makes a 
generous use of his victory, and treats the prince with a r^ard 
and courtesy that are due to an equal, when he is no longer an 
enemy. He declares that he cannot restore him to liberty, until 
the restitution of Ceuta, and he sends back Henry to Portugal 
to procure by this means the ransom of his brother. It is on 
this that the &te of Fernando turns, as he is unwilling that 
his liberty should cost Portugal her most brilliant conquest ; 
and he charges Henry to remind his brother that he is a Chris- 
tian, and a Christian prince. This ends the first act 

In the second act Don Fernando appears surroimded by 
Christian captives, who recognise him, and hasten to throw them- 
selves at his feet, hoping to escape from slavery with him. Fer- 
nando addresses them : 

My countrymen, yoar hands ! Hearen only knows 
How gladly I would rend your galling chains, 
And fkvely yield ay fireedom up for yoort ! 
Yet, oh I believe, the more benignant fate 
That waits us, soon shall soothe our bitter lot. 
The wretched, welt I know, ask not for counsel ; 
But pardon me, 'tis all I have to give : 
No more ; but to your tasks, lest ye should rouse 
Your master's wrath. 

The King of Fez prepares a feast for Fernando, proposes to 
him a hunting excursion, and tells him that captives like him are 


an honotts: to the man whp deta^na them. Dorti^ these trausac 
tioDs Don Henry returns from Portugal. Grief for the defeat 
at Tangiers haa canscsd the death of the King, hut in expiring 
he had giTen orders to restore Ceota to the King of Fez» m 
the redenptioB of the captives ; and Alfonso V., «ho had suc-l 
eeeded hiai» sends Henry back to Africa to niake the exchange; 
but Fernanda tbua repels hi^ endeavours : 

Henry, forbear ! Such words mty well debaie 

Not only him. wha boasU hiniBelf a Irae 

SeMier oP Ctrrnt, anrd prince of f ortugsl, 

Botrevea tfte loweaC of barbarmie, void 

or CbHstta fehb. Bij hroHier, well 1 4eeai, 

Ituerteé tbb eonditton in hie wiU» 

Not that ilftbottld be aeted to the letter, 

But ts ezprcsB bow nincb hbi noble faeest 

Deiir'd n brother's freedem. Thai auut be 

Obtaia'd bf etttev meant ; by peace o« war. 

Hew ever mai a Christian piince restore 

A city to the moors, bought with the price 

Of his own blood 7 for he it was, who first, 

AnnM with a slander buckler and his ewerd, 

jfllpitad #ur eennlry^ft lanaei en ilsi waller 

But OTen if we o'erlook this valiant deed, 

Shan we Ihrsake a city that hath rear'd 

^thin its waits new temples to our Ood 7 

Ous fliitb, leligfton, Gbfistiaa piety, 

Qor ee«n(ffy*8 hnneur» al) forbid the deed. 

Whail shall the dwelling of the living God 

Bow to the Kfoorish crescent 7 Shall its walls 

Re-echo to^ the insufting* courser's booP, 

Ixàf^à in the saered eourls, or to the eraed 

or unbeliesen 7 Where our God hath fia'd 

His naasioni shall we drive his people forth 7 

Tha faithful, who inhabit our new town, 

May, tempted by misehanee^ haply abjure 

Theiff bith. Tfaa SAton may traia the ChHuian yaath 

To their own basbaroae rites ; and is it meat 

So many perish to redeem one man 

From sfiivery 7 And what am 1 but a man 7 

A man now reft of hi» nobility ; 

Ho mooe a priaoe or soldier ; a mare slava ! 

And ^idl a slafo, at sndi a goMea priee^ 

Redeem his Mfe 7 Look down upon me, nng. 

Behold thy slave, who asks not to be finee ; 

Such ransom I abjure. Henry, return ; 

And tell oar eouatcymeo that thou imst left 

Thy brother buried on the Aflrie shore, 

For life is here, indeed, a living death I 

Christians, henceforth balioTe Fernando dead ; 

Moors, seixe your slava. My captive conatrymenl 

Another connrade joins your luckless band ; 

And king, kind brother. Moors, and Christiana, all 

Bear witness- to a prince's constaaoy. 

Whose love of God, his country, and hie Chitb, 

0*erUved the frowns of fortone. 



THfe Kusa. 

Proad and ongrateful prince, and is it thus 

Tbofi sparn'tt my favour, thus re pay'st mj kindness ? 

Deniest my sole request ? Tliou haply here 

Thinkest thyself sole roler, and would'it sway 

My kingdom Î Bat, henceforth thou sbaJt be 

By that Yile name thou hast thyself assumed*- 

A slave ! tho« shalt be treated as a slaTO. 

Thy brother and thy countrymen shall see 

Thee Uck the dnst, and kiss my royal feet. 

•^ .\.fter a warm altercation, and vain solicitations, the King calls 
<me of his o£5cers : 

Henee with this captive ! rank him with the rest: 
Bind on his neck and limbs a heavy chain. 
My horses be his care, the bath, the garden. 
I Let him be humbled by all algeet tasks ; 

Away with his silk mantle ; clothe his limbs 
In the slave's garb. His food the blackest bread ; 
Water his drink ; a cold cell bis repose ; 
And let his servants share their master's fate. 

We next see Fernando in the garden, working with the other 
slaves. One of the captives, who does not know him, sings be- 
fore him a romance, of which he is the hero ; another bids him 
be of good heart, as the prince, Don Fernando, had promised to 

Srooare them all their liberty. Don Joan Gontinho, Count of 
liralva, one of the Portuguese knights, who, from the time of 
their landing, had been the most distinguished for his bravery 
and attachment to Fernando, devotes himself to him, makes a 
vow not to quit him, and intiôduces him to the prisoners^ all of 
whom, in the midst of their sufferings, hasten to show him re- 
spect M uley Gheik now arrives, and, dismissing all witnesses, 
addresses Fernando: — *' Learn," he says, '*that loyalty and 
honour have their abode in the heart of a Moor. I come not to 
confer a favour, but to discharge a debt" He then hastily in- 
forms him that he will find near the window of his prison in- 
struments for releasing himself from his fetters ; that he himself 
will break the bars, and that a vessel will wait for him at the 
shore to convey him home to his own country. Tlie king sur^ 
prises them at this moment, and instead of manifesting any sus* 
picions, he engages Muley, by the ties of honour and duty, to 
execute his wishes. He confides to him the custody of Prince 
Fernando, assured that he alone is above all corruption, and that 
neither friendship, fear, nor interest can seduce him. Moley 
feels that his duties have changed since the king has reposed 
this confidence in him. He still, however, hesitates between 
honour and gratitude. Fernando, whom he consults, decides 
against himself. That prince declares that he will not avait 
himself of his offer ; that he will even refuse his liberty, if any 
oue else should propose his escape; and Muley submits aJT 
Vox.. 11. 43 


last with regret, to what he considers the law of duty and of 

Not being himself able to restore bis benefactor to liberty; 
iVIuley endeavours to obtain hb freedom through the generosity 
of the Moorish king. At the commencement of the third act 
we see him imploring his oompassion on behalf of his prisono'. 
He giyes a moving picture or the state to whidi this unhappy 
prince is reduced : sleeping in damp dungeons, working at the 
baths and in the stables, deprived of food, sinking under disease* 
and resting on a mat at one of the gates of his ma$ter*s house. 
The details of his misery are such, that the taste of the French 
stage would not sufier even an allusion to them. One of his ser- 
vants and a faithful knight attach themselves to him, and ncTer 
quit him ; dividing with him their small ration, which is scarc^y 
sufficient for the support of a single person. The king hears 
these revolting details, but recognising only obstinacy in the 
conduct of the prince, he replies in two wbrds : " 'Tis well, 
Muley." Phënicia comes, in her turn, to intercede with her 
Either for Fernando, but he imposes silence on her. The two 
ambassadors of Morocco and Portugal are then announced, and 
prove to be the sovereigns themselves, Tarudant and Alfonso 
v., who avail themselves of the protection of the law of nations, 
to treat in person of their several interests. They are admitted 
to an audience at the same time. Alfonso ofifers to the King o£ 
Fez twice the value in money of the city of Ceuta as the ransom 
of his brother ; and he declares that if it be refused, his fleet is 
ready to waste Africa with fire and sword. Tarudant, who 
liears these threats, considers them as a personal provocation, 
and replies that be is about to take the field with the army of 
Morocco, and that he will shortly be in a state to repel the ag- 
gressions of the Portuguese. The king, meanwhile, refuses to 
liberate Fernando on any other terms than the restitution of 
Ceuta. He bestows his daughter on Tarudant, and orders 
Mul<3y to accompany her to Morocco. Whatever pain Muley 
may feel in assisting at the nuptials of his mistress, and aban- 
doning bis friend in his extreme misery, he prepares to obey. 
The commands of a king are considered by Calderon as the fiat 
of destiny, and it is by such traits that we recognise the courtier 
of PhUip IV. 

The scene changes ; and Don Juan and the other captives 
bear in Don Fernando on a mat, and lay him on the ground. 
This is the last time that he appears on the stage ; he is over- 
powered by the weight of slavery, disease, and misery. Hi^ 
condition chills the heart, and is perhaps too strongly drawn for 
the stage, where physical evils should be introduced only with 
great reserve. In order, indeed, to diminish this painful im- 
pression, Calderon bestows on him the language of a saint under 
nartyrdom. He looks upon his sufferings as so many trials, 
j^o^d returns thanks to God for every pang he endures, as the 

' or THE SPANIAR1>S. ' SS9 

pledge of his approaching hëatificatîeti. Meanwhile the King 
of Fez, Tartidant, and Phenicla. pass through the street where 
he lies; and Don Fernando addresses them: ** Bestow your 
alms,** he cries, " on a poor sulSerer. I am a huihan being like 
yoursclTes ; I am siek and in affliction, and dying of huïiger. 
Have pity on rae ; for even the beasts of the forest eomparssîoir- 
ate their kind/* The king reproaches him with his obstinacy. 
His liberation, he tells him, depends on liimself alone, and the 
terms are still the same. The reply of Fernando is wholly in 
the oriental style. It is not by arguments, nor indeed by senti- 
ments of compassion, that he attempts to touch his master ; but 
by that exuberance of poetical images, whii^ was regarded ks 
real eloquence by the Arabians, ami which was^ perhaps more 
likely to touch a Moorish king, than a discoorse more appropri- 
ate to natHie and to circumstances. Mercy, he says, is the nrst 
duty of kings. The whole earth bears in every class of creation 
emblem» of royalty; and to these emblems i» always Attached 
the royal virtue of generosity. The Hon, the monarch of the 
forest ; the eagle; the ruler of the feathered race ; the dolphin, 
the king; of iish ; the pomegranate, the empress of fmits ; tiie 
diamond, the first of minerals, are all, agreeably to the traditions 
cited by Fernando, alive to the suflerings of mankind. As a 
man, Fernando is allied to the king of Fez by his royal blood, 
notwithstanding their difference in religion.. In every faith, 
cnielty is alike condemned. Still, vrhile the prince considers 
it his duty to pray for the preservation of his Hfe, he desires not 
life, but martyrdom ; and awaits it a| the hands of the king. 
The king retorts that all his sufferings proceed from himself 
alone. ** When you compassionate yourself, Don Fernando,** he 
says, •* I too shaft compassionate you." 

After the Moorish princes have retired, Don Fernando an^ 
«ounces to Don Juan Coutinho, who brings him bread, that his 
attentions and generous devotion win soon no longer be re- 
quired, as he feels himself approaching his last hour. He onYy 
asks to be invested in holy garments, as he is the grandmaster 
of the religious and military order of Advice ; and he begs his 
friends to mark the place of his sepulture : '* Although I die a 
-captive, my redemption is sure, and I hope one day to enter 
the mansions of the blessed. Since to thee, my God, I haver 
consecrated so many churches, grant me a dwelling in thine 
own mausions.'* His companions then depart with him in their 

The scene changes, and represents the coast of Africa, on 
which Don Alfonso, Don Henry, and the Portuguese troops 
have just landed. It is announced to them that the army of 
Taruaant is approaching, and that it is conducting Phenicia to 
Morocco. Don Alfonso addresses his troops, and prepares for 
battle. The shade of Don Fernando, in the habit of his chap- 
ter, appears to them, and promises them victory. Again the 


seene changes, and represents the walls of Fez. The king ap* 
pears <m the walls, surrounded by his guards. Don Juan Cou- 
tinho brings forward the coffin of Don remando. The stage ia 
veiled in night, but a strain of military music is heard in the dis- 
tance. It draws near, and the shade of Don Fernando appears 
with a torch in his hand, conducting the Portuguese army to the 
foot of the walls. Don Alfonso <»l11s to the king, announces to 
him that he has taken prisoners his daughter, Phenicia, and Ta- 
rudant, his proposed son-in-law, and offers to exchange them 
acainst Don Fernando. The king is seized with profound grief 
when he finds his daughter in the hands of those very enemies 
to whom he had behaved with so much cruelty after his victory. 
He haa now no longer the means of redeeming her, and he in- 
forms the Portuguese king, with regret, of the death of Don 
Fernando. But if Alfonso was desirous of restoring his brother 
to liberty, he is now not less solicitous to recover his mortal re- 
mains, which are a precious relic to Portugal. He divines that 
this is the object of the miracle which presented the simdeof 
the prince to the eyes of the whole army ; and he aooqita ibt 
cwhange of the body of his brother against Phenicia and aft 
the otter prisoners. He only requires that Phenicia be civen 
in marriage to Muley, in order to reoompenae that brave Moor 
for the frienddiip and protection he had extended to his brotlier. 
He thanks Don Juan ror his generous services to Femanâo^and 
consigns to the care of his victorious army the relics of the newly 
canonized Saint of Portugal.* 

* The hbtorical records or the life ef Don Fenieado do not diseloee to us 
so exalted on idee of bis self-devotion. I have examiDed the original Chroni- 
clesy of the fifteenth century, published by the Royal Aeademy of Seieooes at 
Lisbon: CoUeççéb de Uwos intéitoM de Historia PwrtugutzM, dM rtmadot dm ten- 
Asres r<ys 1). Jwiô /. II. JDttarts, D. ^fflmo F. t D, Jso» U, 3 vol. imJcL We 
there find that, if Fernando was not liberated firom hk captivity, it vras not 
owing to his own high feelings, but to the troubles in which Portugal was in- 
volved, and to the jealousy of the reigning princes ; that, though a prisoner In 
1438, he did not die uniil 1443 ; and that his death was not accelerated by ilN 
trentnent : CArsn. do reyJiffmitù V, par Rxty de Pine, t. i. c. 64. His reaaJoe 
were not redeemed unti! 1473. 


CoBcMoft tf CaUooB. 

Aftsb haTÎiig notioed m CaUenm tlie fiudta whieh «rose 
from Ae politicd ftete of his oonntry, from the rd^jpous prqu^ 
diocB in wkich he was boni, and from die bad taste whieh pre- 
Tailed in Spain, in eonseqaeaoe d the fittal enmples of Lope 
do Vega and Geogora, it would appear ineonsistent tchoonfine 
our notioe to his most celebrated pieces ; pieoes which are suffix 
dentlj conformable to our rales tabe introduced <m the stage, as 
the play of iZ Stcrdo a Voza; or to those where the situation 
is so truly traffic the emotion so profound, and the interest so 
well supportée^ as not to leaye ns any desire for that rc^^arity 
which would rob us of all the interest rfthe romance he presents 
to us, as in Tlu Inflexible Pnnce. If we once admit the enthn* 
iiasm for religious conquests, which, at that time, formed so est 
leatial a part ct the natumal manners, if we once believe it sane* 
tified by heaven and supported by miracles, we m»st allow the 
oondact of Don Fernando to be great, noble, and generous. We 
esteem him while we suffer with him; the bcAuty of his character 
inereases oar pity, and we feel sensible of tiie peculiar charm of 
the romantic unity, so different from our own. We pereeiTe 
with pleasure that the poet leaves nothing nefflected which be- 
lonffs to the interest of the subject He conducts «s from the 
hndmg of Fernando in Africa, not only to his death, but to the 
ransoming of his remains, that none of our wishes may continue 
m suspense, and tiiat we may not leave the theatre until every 
feeling is fully satisfied. 

To confine ourselves to an analysis of these two pieces, would 
be to give a very incomfdete idea of the plays of Calderon. We 
must therefore, take a view of some others of his dramas, though 
we shall not dwcU on them rtey long. More frequently called 
upon to criticise, than to offer models for imitation, we shall 


detain the reader only on snch points as merit his atteutioor 
sometimes as a proof of talent, sometimes as a picture of man- 
nerB or of character, and sometimes as a poetic novelty. 

The discovery of the New World has, at all times, been a 
favourite theme with the Spanish poets. The glory of these 
prodigious conquests was yet fresh in the minds of men, in the 
reign of Philip IV. The Gastilians at that time distinguished 
themselves as Christians and warriors, and the massacre of in- 
fidel nations appeared te them to extend at the same time the 
lcinfi;dom of God and of their own monarch. Calderon chose 
as the subject of one of these tragedies, the discovery and con- 
version of Peru. He called it La Aurora en Copacavana, from 
the name of one of the sacred temples of the Incas, where the 
first cross was planted by the companions of Pizarro. The ad- 
mirers of Calderon extol this piece as one of his most ]K>ettcal 
efforts, and as a drama animated by the purest and most elevated 
enthusiasm. A series of brilliant objects is indeed presented to 
the eyes and to the mind. On one side, the devotions of the In- 
dians are celebrated at Copacavana with a pomp and magnificence, 
whiob are not so much derived fromi the music and tne décan- 
tions, as firom the splendour and poetic elevation of tbe langui^. 
On the other side, the first arrival «f Den Franoiseo Pizarro on 
the shore, and the terror of the Indians, wha take the vessel itself 
for an unknown monster, whose beliowings (the discbaiges of 
artiUery ) they compare to the thunder of the skies, are rendered 
with e^ual truth and richness of imagination. To avert the 
calamities which these strange prodigies announce, the Gods of 
America demand a human victim. They make choice of Gua- 
oolda» one of their priestesses, who is an object of love to the 
Inca, Guascar, and to the hero Jupangui. Idolatry, represented 
by Calderon as a real being, who contmually dazzles the Indians 
by fidse miracles, herself solicits this sacrifice. She obtains the 
consent ef the terrified Inca, whilst Jupangui withdraws his 
mistress from the priests of the false gods, and places her in 
safety. The alarm of Guacolda, the devotion of her lover, 
and the danger of the situation, which gradually increases, 
give to the scene an agreeable and romantic interest, which, 
however, leads us almost to forget Pizarro and his companions 
in arms. 

In the second act both the interest and action are entirely 
changed. We behold Pizarro, with tlie Spaniards, assaulting 
the walls of Cusco, the Indians defending them, and the Virgin 
Mary assisting the assailants, and saving Pizarro, who is preci- 
pitated from ue summit of a scaling-ladder, by the fragment of 
a rock, but rises without experiencing any injury, and returns to 
the combat. In another scene the Spaniards, already masters 
of Cusco, are reposing in a paliice built ci wood ; the Indians 
set fire to it, but the Virgin, invited by Pizarro, comes agnin to 
his aid : she appears amidst a choir of angels, and pours on Iho 


flames torrents of ivater and snow. . This vision appears also to 
Jupangui, as he leads the Indians to the attack of the Spaniards. 
He is moved and converted. He addresses the Vii^in in a mo- 
ment of danger, when the asylum of his mistress, Guacolda, is 
discovered, and the Virgin, taking him under her protection, 
conceals them hoth from their enemies. 

This new miracle gives rise to the third action* which forms 
the third act, and which is apparently founded on the legend of 
Copacavana. Peru has wholly submitted to the King of Spain, 
and is converted ; but Jupangui has no other desire or thought 
than to form an image of the Virgin similar to the apparition 
which he saw in the clouds. Notwithstanding his ignorance of 
art, and of the use of the requisite instruments, he labours in- 
cessantly, and his rude attempts expose him to the derision of 
his companions. The latter refuse to allow a statue of so gro- 
tesque an appearance to be deposited in a temple. Ju{»angui 
is doomed to experience all sorts of disappointments and morti- 
fications. An attempt is made by an armed band to destroy his 
image ; but the Virgin at length, touched by his fidth and per- 
severance, despatches two angels to his assistance, who, one of 
them with chisels, and the other with pencils and occurs, re- 
touch the statue, and render it a perfect likeness of its divine 
•original. The festival which solemnisses this mirade terminates 
the scene. 

We have before noticed a dramatic piece by Lope de Vesa, 
called Arauco domado, on the conquest oi Chili ; which, barba- 
rous as it may be, yet seems to me very much superior to that of 
Calderon. The greater elegance of versification in the latter, if 
indeed such be the fact, is not sufficient to atone for the gratui- 
tous violation of all essential rules of art, and of those founded in 
4iature itself. The author perpetually diverts our attention to 
new subjects, without ever satisfying us. Not to mention the 
interest which might have been excited in us foi the fiourishii^ 
empire of the Incas, which is represented to us in the midst of 
solemnities, and which fells we know not how, Pizarro appears, 
landing for the first time among the Indians of Peru ; we stop 
to admire the contrast between these two distinct races of mien, 
when the scene is suddenly withdrawn from i^s. The love of 
Jupangui and Guacolda excites in us, in its turn, a romantic 
interest, but it is abandoned long before the close of the piece. 
The struggle between a conquering and a conquered people' 
nitight have developed instances of valour and heroism, and pro- 
dueed scenes both noble and affecting; but we have only a 
glinq|>se of this contest, which is suddenly terminated by a mira- 
cle. A subject altogether new then commences with the con- 
version of Jupangui, and his attempt to make the miraculous 
image. Fresh personages enter on the scene ; irc find ourselves 
yn an unknown world ; the new-bom zeal of the converted Pe- 


ruvians is beyond our conceptkm ; all the feelings prevîoiulj 
awakened in lit bcioome enfeebled or extingaighed« and tboie 
which the poet wishes to excite in us in the third act are not 
properly grpunded in the heart How shall we account for Hie 
admiration bestowed by critics of unquestionable celebrity on a 
piece like this? Intimately acquainted with the ancient and 
modem drama, and accustomed to appreciate the perfect pro- 
ductions of the Greeks, how is it possible that they could be 
blind to the monstrous defects of these ill connected soenes ? 
But, in fiict, it is not in the capacity of critics that they have 
judged the Spanish stage. They have extolled it only beonase 
they find in every page that religious zeal which appears to them 
so chi valric and poetical. The enthusiasm of Jupangui redeems 
in their eyes all the &ults of the Atrora en Copacaitana, But 
rank in literature is not to be regulated by religion ; and if this, 
indeed, were the case, these neophytes would probaUy find ttiem- 
selves disarmed by that very church, whose tenets they have em- 
braced, when they applaud a fimaticism which at this day she 
herself disavows. 

To return to Calderon, he had, on the unity of subject and of 
sMe, ideas differing in an extraordinary degree from our own. 
He has sho^vn it in all his pieces; but there is one among 
others which in this respect deserves to be noticed for the ec- 
centricity of its plan. It is entitled The Origin, Low, and Redo- 
raUon of the Virgin of the Sanctuary,* and was composed to 
celebrate the festival, on the stage as wdl as in the church, of a 
miraculous image of the Virgin which was preserved in the ca- 
thedral at Toledo. This piece, like all the Spanish comedies, is 
divided into three acts, but the first act is placed in the seventh 
century, under the reign of ttecesuindo, king of the Visigoths 
(A. D, 648 ;) the second is in the eighth century, during tiie 
conquest of Spain by Aben Tariffa, (A. D. 71^ ;) and the third 
is in the eleventh century, at the time when Alfonso VI. reco- 
vered Toledo fi;om the Moors (A. D. 1086.) The unity of the 
piece, if unity it may be called, is placed in the history of the 
miraculous image, to which every thing is referred, or rather on 
which depends the destiny of Spain. As to the rest, the per- 
sonages, the action, and the interest, vary in every act 

The first act discovers to us the Bishop of Toledo, St Ilde- 
fonso, who, with the authority of the King Recesuindo, esta- 
blishes a festival in honour of this image, worshipped from the 
remotest period in the church of Toledo. He relates the origin 
of Toledo, founiied, as he says, by Nebuchadnezzar. In this 
city, the primitive church worshipped the same Virgin of the 
Sanctuary which the saint now ofers afresh to the adoration of 
the Christians. His victory over the heresiarch Pelagius is 

Ori^en, perdiil(<, y reaUuracion de la Yirgen del SagrariO| t. tî. p. 99. 


iïelébrated at the same time. Pelagius himself appears in the 
piece as an object of persecution to the pécule and the priests, 
and to give to the Spaniards a foretaste of their Atto» ia fi 
His heresy, which, according to ecclesiastical history, consists in 
obscure opinions on grace and predestination, is represented by 
Galderon as treason against the majesty of the Virgin, as he is 
accused of denying the immaculate conception. The poet sup* 

S^ses that he wishes to possess himself of the image by theft, 
e is prevented by a miracle ; the Virgin comes to the aid of 
her representative ; she terrifies the sacrilegious intruder ; she 
encourages St Ildefonso, and she announces to the miraculous 
image that it must be long concealed, and must be doomed to 
pass several ages -in darkness. 

It is difficQit to imagine what advantage Calderon found in 
mingling, particularly in his religious pieces, such gross ana- 
chronisms in his narrations. The long discourse of St. Ildefonso 
on the origin of the miraculous image commences thus ; . " Cos- 
mography, which measures the earth and the heavens, divides 
the globe into four parts : Africa, Asia, and America, are the 
three first of which I h^ive not occasion at present to speak, but 
w^hich the learned Herodotus has fully described ; the fonith is 
our Europe," &c. Calderon must surely have known that Ame- 
rica was discovered only about a hundred years before be was 
bom, and that neither Herodotus nor St Ildefonso could possibly 
have spoken of it 

In the second act Tarifi& is seen with the Moors, besieging 
Toledo. Calderon conducts hkn to the wdjs of the city» where 
he recounts to the besieged, in a speech of eleven stanzas, the 
iall of the monarchy et the Goths, the defeat of Bodrigo at 
Xérès, and tiie triumph of the JVIussulmen. Godman, governor 
of the <nty, whom the Guasmans consider at the present day as 
their stock, replies, in a speech equally as long, that the Chris- 
tians of Toledo will perish on the ramparts rather than surren- 
der. A l»dy, at length. Donna Sancbo, who, in the name of all 
the inhabitants, makes a speech longer than the two others, pre- 
vails on GK>dman to capitulate. A part of the Christians retire 
to the Asturias ; but the miraculous image of Serrano will not 
permit itself to be carried away by the archbishop. It remains 
tor the purpose of comforting the people of Tdedo in their cap- 
tivity ; aad the prelate, carrying with him the relics pf some 
saints, leawes the image of the Virgin on the altar. Godinan, 
in the articles of capitulation, obtains liberty of conscience 
ifor the Christians, who remain intermixed with the Arabs, 
and he conceals the image of the sanctuary at the bottom of a 

In the third act we behold Alfonso VI. in the midst of his 
court and knights, receiving the capitulation of the Moors of 
Toledo, and enfi;aging by oath to maintain their religious liberty, 
And to leave for the worship of the Mussulmen, the largefit 

Vou 11. 44 


mosque in the city. We also see the origin of the dispute. 
which was ultimately decided by a duel as to the preference of 
the Morarabian or Catholic rites. Alfonso, wishing to extend 
his conquests, leaves his wife Constance governess of the city 
in his absence. Constance, sacrificing every other consideration 
to her religious ^eal, violates the capitulation with the Moors, 
deprives them of their mosque, and restores to its place the 
miraculous image of the Virgin. Alfonso* at first, is highly 
indignant at this proceeding, and promises the deputies of the 
Moors, who prefer their complaints to him, to chastise his wife, 
to restore the mosque to the Moors, and to punish all who had 
4)roken their oaths. But when Constance appears before him 
to implore his pardon, the Virgin surrounds her with a celestial 
glory ; she dazzles the king, and convinces him, to the great de- 
iiffht of the spectators, that it is an unpardonable crime to keep 
faith with heretics. 

This piece, although so religious, is not less interspersed with 
low scenes than all the others. We have peasants in the first 
act, drunken Moors in the second, and pages in the third, whose 
business it is to entertain the pit, and to correct, by their occa- 
sional witticisms, the too great solemnity of the subject 

Among the religious plays there are few of greater splendour 
and interest than the Purgatory of St. PtUricius. It is one of 
those of whieh the Spaniards and the enthusiastic German cri- 
tics so much admire the pious tendency; a tendency so di- 
rectly contrary to what we regard at the present day as properly 
belonging to religion. The triumph of faith and repentance 
over me most frightful crimes, is the favourite theme of Calde- 
ron. The two heroes of the piece are St. Patricius, or the Per- 
fect Christian, and Louis Ennius, or the Accomplished Villain. 
They are shipwrecked together on the coast of Ireland. Patri- 
cius supports Louis in his arms, saves him by swimming, and 
conducts him to the shore, where Egerio the King of Ireland, 
and his whole court, happen to be standing. Calderon, in gene- 
ral, paints his characters wholly dark or light, and, in order to 
make us acquainted with them, instead of giving himself the 
trouble to put them into action, he makes them speak of them- 
selves in a manner contrary to all probability. In the third 
scene of the first act Patricius and Louis are seen struggling in 
the waves in each other's arms, and as they reach the shore they 
fall to the earth, exclaiming : 

Fatrigius. Lend me thioe «id, O God. 

JLoois. The devil aid me ! 

Lbsbia. These sbipwreck'd men move my compassion, king i 

Tbb Kiho. Noc mine, who am a stranger to all pity ! 

j^ATR. Misfortune, Sire, within the noblest hearts, 

Hath ever bad compassion, nor exists, 

I deem, a soul so hard as not to feel 

My miserable state. Thus, in the name 

f>£ God, I seek for pify at your hands. 


Aocfs. I ask it not, nor men nor gods I geek 

To move with ray misfortunes. 
The King. Say, I pray, 

'tVhencc are you, so nre better may decide 

Your clAims unto our hospitality. 

But first, that ye may know with t?hom }e speak/ 

I will reveal my title, lest, perhaps,. 

Through ignorance, you fail in reverence 

And adoration of my rank. Know, then, 

1 am the King Egerio, sovereign 

Of this small empire ; small, indeed, for one 

Whose merit might, with justice, claim the globr. 

Savage my dress, not kingly, for myfclf 

Am savage as the monster of the wild ; 

Nor God I own, nor worship, nor believe 

In aught, save U:at which with our life begins» 

And ends with death. Now that ye know my rank 

And royal station, say from whence ye come. 

The spc^hes of the two shipwrecked persona are too loo^. 
for translation ; that of Patricius exceeds one hundred andi 
^îghtj lines, and that of Louis Ennius three hundred ; each is a 
complete biography, and abounds in events. Patricius relates 
that he is the son of an Irish knight and a* French lady ; that 
his parents, after his birth, retired into separate coofvents, and 
that he was brought up in the ways of piety by a saintly matron ; 
that God had early manifested his predilection for him in 
electing him to perform some miracles ; that he had restored a: 
blind person to sight atnd dispersed the waters of an inundation'; 
and he adds : 

Yet greater miracles T could relate. 

But modesty hath lied my tongue, matte mute 

My voice, and seaKd my lipa. 

We feel a pleasure in meeting with so modest a saints 
He relates at length how he had been carried off by pirates, 
and how Heaven had avenged him by exciting a tempest,^ 
during which the vessel was lost ; but he himself had saved^ 
Louis Ennius : 

Somo secret tie hath bound me to this youth. 
And warns me that be one day amply will 
Repay my services. 

Ix>uis Ennius, in his turn, thus commences his history : 

I am a Christian too ; in that alone 
Patricius and myself agree, though even 
III (hat we differ, far as diflerence lies 
'Twixt good and evil. But whatever be 
My conduct, I would here a thousand times 
Lay down my life to aid that holt faith 
, Which I adore. Bjr that same God I swear it. 

Whom 1 believe in» since I thus invoke hui>. 


I sbatl recount no icts of piety, 
No miraclef, bj Heaven wroitgiit in mjr favour, 
But horrid crioief, theft, munler, tacriiege, 
Treaion and perfidy — thete are my boait 
And glory ! 

He, indeed, keeps his word, and it is diffictdt to combine a 

freater number of crimes in the course of a short life. He has 
iUed an aged nobleman, and carried away his daughter, and hat 
assassinate a gentleman in the nuptial chamber in order to rob 
him of his wife. At Perpignan, in a quarrel which he raised at 
a gaminff-table, he has murdered an officer, and wounded three or 
four solmers. It is true, that in defending himself he also killed 
an archer ; and among so many crimes, there b, he says, this one 
good action for which he may ask a recompense at the throne of 
God. He went at length to seek refuge in a convent, and here 
he committed a dreadml act: 

Tbc first which stung me with remorse, the first 
I tremble to recount ; my heart is struck 
With horror, and would lean from out my breast , 
And at the memory of the oirefiil deed 
My hair stands all erect. 

He at length confesses his crime, which was the seduction of 
a nun, whom he carried off and married. He retired with her 
to Valencia, and having exhausted his means, he wished to find 
resources in the dishonour of his wife. She indignantly refuses^ 
escapes to a convent, and shuts herself up for uie second time. 
He then sails for Ireland, but, after falling into the hands of 
corsairs, is shipwrecked with Patricius, and saved by him. The 
king, after having heard these two confessions, pardons the 
Christian faith of Louis in consideration of his crimes, whilst 
Patricius remains exposed to his hatred and anger. 

The object of this piece is to show Louis Ennius persisting 
in his fidtn, although his conduct is most atrocious, and mmtiog 
by his belief the favour and protection of St Patricius, who fol- 
lows him like his good genius to inspire him with repentance 
for his crimes, and who at last assures his salvation. Louis 
seduces Polonia, the daughter of the king, engages in a duel 
with Philip, the general betrothed to her, and is made prisoner, 
and delivered over to justice. He then considers whether he 
shall not commit suicide : 

No, that were only worthy of a healben : 
^Vhat demon armM my hand for such a deed ? 
Myself a Christian, and my soul immortal, 
Rfyoiciiig in the holy light of faith. 
Shall I amidst these Gentiles, do an act 
Dishonouring my creed / 

He therefore does not kill himself, and in that acts wisely, as 


findB meftiis to break her chams and escapes wifli kos. 
Bat he had in fact ne^er loyed Polonia: 

Love is with ne a passing appetite, 
Varying with each new object. I wonU leHd- 
A life imfetter'd by a woman's iore : 
So mast Polonia die. 

We then see them on their route, in the midst of a forest 
Polonia wounded* is flying from her lover, who pursues her with 

^ dagger : 

FoLONU. Restrain thj liloodj hand. If love hath lost 

His power, yet think upon thy Christian Ihith. 

Thou hast robbed me of mine honour ; oh then spare 

My life. Thy fury teiriAes my aoaL 
Louis. ' Luckless Polonia, muery was always 

The lot of boasted beauty, for ne'er yet 

Were happiness and beauty Join'd together. 

In me thou seest a more onpitying wretoh 

Than ever grasp'd a murderer's sword. Thy death 

U now become my life. 

By this speech and the twenty^five v^ses which follow, he 
seems desirous of persuading her to resignation, and 1^ «ids 
by killing her with his poniard. He then knocks at the cottace 
of a peasant, whom he compels to serve him as a guide to tne 
next sea-port, and whom he designs to kill when he has arrived 

During this interval, St Patricius restores Pdonia to life. 
This, however, is not sufficient to convert the king/who threat-* 
ens the saint with death in the space of an hour, u he does not 
allow him to see the world of spirits ; or, at least Purgatcnry. 
Patricius undertakes the task. He conducts the king and idL 
his court to a mountain containing a cavern whidi leads to 
Purgatory. The kins, in his haste to see the wonders of the 
cavern, rushes into tne gulf, blaspheming; but through an 
ingénions stratagem of St Patricius, inst^ of reaching Pur- 
gatory, the king falls direct into HdU ; a circcunstance whidb 
produces the instantaneous ccmversion of the court and of all 

Louis, meanwhile, departs with the guide whom he had taken 
from his house ; but instead of murdering him, as he first in- 
tended, he retains him as his domestic; and he bec<Mnes the 
gradoBCt or buffo of the piece. Th^ make together the tomt of 
Italy, Spain, France, Scotland, and England. After an absence 
of several years, they retum to Ireland at the commeBoem^it of 
the third act Louis returns thither fat the purpose of assassi- 
nating Philip, on whom he had not sufficiently revenged himself. 
Bat whilst he is waiting for him at night in the puuio street n 
knight completely arm^ at all points, challenges him. Louis 


attacks him, bat finds his strokes are lost in air. At length thé 
cavalier raises his casque, and shows himself to be a skeleton. 
"Knowest thou not thyself V" he cries, "lam thy likeness : I 
am Louis Ennius." This apparition converts Ennius : he falls 
to the ground in a fit of terror ; but when he rises, he proclaims 
his repentance ; he implores God to judge him with mercy^, and 
exclaims : " What atonement can be made for a life spent in 
crime ?" A celestial music answers : " Purgatory." He then 
resolves to seek the purgatory of St. Patricius. and takes the 
road to the same mountain to which the saint had conducted the 
king. Polonia, after her restoration to life, lived there in solitude, 
and it is she who points out to Louis the route he should follow. 
He is obliged to enter into a convent of regular canons who 
guard the cavern ; he addresses himself to them ; he attends to 
their exhortation ; be shows himself full of faith and hope ; he 
enters into the cavern, and, at the end of some days, he departs' 
pardoned and sanctified. The piece finishes by his narration of 
what he has seen in the purgatory of St. Patricius. It is a speech 
of more than three hundred lines, and we may readily dispense 
with the perusal of it. 

It may, perhaps, be thought that more than sufficient atten- 
tion has been bestowed on these pretended Christian dramas, 
which compose so large a portion of the Spanish theatre, and of 
Calderon in particular. Bfut we cannot pass them over in silence ; 
and especially at a time when one of the most distinguished cri- 
tics of Germany has selected them as the noblest pieces which 
human genius, seconded by the most pure and enthusiastic piety, 
has produced. It should .seem that by a sort of compact, the 
literary world of the present day is pleased to represent Spain 
as the country of true Christianity. If, in a work of imagina- 
tion, a romance, or poem, French, ^English, or German, it is in- 
tended to represent a religious person or missionary, animated 
by the most tender charity and the most enlightened zeal, the 
scene must be laid in Spain. The more conversant we are "with 
Spanish literature, the more we find such opinions injurious to 
true Christianity. This nation has, indeed, been richly en- 
dowed." Genius, imagination, depth of thought, constancy, dig- 
nity, and courage, have been lavished on her. She seems in 
these to outstrip all other countries, but her religion has almost 
at all times rendered these brilliant qualities unavailing. Let us 
then not be deceived by names, nor acknowledge in thought or 
in word that such a religion is our own. 

The chivalric plays of Calderon possess a different kind <^f 
Interest as well as merit. Those which are founded on intrigue, 
always present scenes of so much interest, life, and gaycty, that 
the best comic writers of FVance have frequently enriched the- 
stage with them. Often, indeed, in doing this, the interest of 
the action, which was more animated in the Spanish, has been 
allowed to flag, and the most attractive ]M)ints in the scene and' 


the language have been lost. This appears to me to be the case 
with the Geôlier de aoi-nume : V Alcaide de, si mismo ; from which 
Thomas Corneille, after Scarron, has composed a piece far less 
-entertaining than the original. He has sacrificed much of 
the Spanish wit to the dignity of the Alexandrine verse, and to 
the adherence to the rules of the French theatre ; and the come- 
clies of Thomas Corneille are not so regular as to allow him to 
purchase that quality at so high a price. La Dama Duende^ 
has furnished Hauteroche with his Dame Invisible, or VEajprii 
Follet, which is still preserved on the *?tap;e. Quinault has ti'ans- 
lated, under the title of Covps de l" Amour et de la Foriviie, the 
piece entitled Lances de Jhnor y Fortuna ; and it is to Calderon 
that we owe the Paysan Magistrat of our own days, which is 
little more than a translation of the Alcaide de Zamaha ; but 
the Spanish piece has the double advantage of representing 
with great truth of invention, nature, and consistency, the cha- 
racter of the peasant magistrate, Pedro Crespo, and of painting 
with not less historical veracity the character of a general, at 
that time dear to the remembrance of the Spaniards, Don Lope 
de Figueroa. 

From a comedy of the description last mentioned, but which 
cannot be imitated in French, I shall proceed to give some 
scenes, which seem to me io paint in a very original manner the 
national character, and peculiar point of honour. It is entitled 
El Medico de su Honra, Don Guttierre Alfonso, who is fondly 
attached to his wife, Donna Mencia de Acuna, discovers that 
she is secretly attached to Henry de Transtamare, brother of 
Peter the Cruel, and afterward his successor. On one occasion 
he surprises this prince in his garden ; at another time he finds 
his sword, which he had forgotten, in his house ; he has heard 
his wife call on the name of Henry ; and whilst she observes aH 
the laws of honour and virtue, she has manifested a predilection 
which had existed before her marriage, and which she could not 
conquer. He has also detected a letter from her, which shows 
him that she had been always faithful to him, but that her 
heart is not at rest. He carefully conceals all these proofs, and 
saves his wife*s honour and his own. In his words, we find a 
mixture of the most tender and passionate love, and the most 
delicate sense of high Spanish honour. When he snatches from 
her hands the letter which she had written, she faints away ; 
and on recovering she finds the following billet from her hus- 
band: *'Love adores thee, but honour condemns thee: the one 
dooms thee to death, the other warns thee of it Thou hast only 
two hours to live. Thou art a Christian ; save thy soul: as for 
thy life, it is forfeited." *» Heaven be my protection !" she cries, 
" Jacintha ! O God, what is this ? No one replies ; my terror 
increases ; my servants are banished ; the door is closed ; I am 
left alone iu this dreadful emergency ; the windows are barred : 

352 ON xih: literature 

the doors bolted ; on whom shall I call for succour ? whither fl; f 
the horrors of death surround me.** 

She passes into her closet; and in a succeeding scene 
Guttierre returns with a surgeon, whom he brings with Ids eyes 
bound, and whom he has forced from his house. He thus ad- 
dresses him: 

" Thou must now enter this closet, but first hear me : This 
dagger shall pierce thy heart if thou dost not fadthfully execute 
my orders. Open this door, and say what thou seest 

The Sueoeon. An image of death ; a corpse stretched on a 
bed. Two tordies bum at each side, and a crucifix is placed 
before it I know not who it may be, as a veil covers the coun- 

Gut. *Tis well ! This living corpse that thou seest it is in- 
iOumbent on thee to put to death. 

The Surgeon. What are thy dreadful commands ? 

Gut. That thou bleed her, and lettest her blood flow, until 
her streujgth forsaike her ; that thou leave her not till from this 
small wound she has lost all her blood and expires. TIiou bast 
nothing to answer. It is useless to implore my pity." The 
«urg^oo, after having for some time refused, at length enters the 
«apartment and executes the orders given to him ; but on his de- 
parture he places his hand, crimson^ with blood, on the door of 
the house, in order that he ma^ know it again, bis eyes having 
been bandaged. The king, inrormed of the circumstance by the 
surgeon, repairs to the house of Guttierre, who informs him that 
his wife, after having been blooded in the day, had, by accident 
removed the bandage on the veins, and that he had found her 
.dead, and bathed in her own blood. The King, in reply, orders 
Jum to marry on the instant a lady to whom be had been for- 
foerlj attached, and who had appealed to ihe king against him ; 

.<3uT. Sire, if the aabes of so great a fire 

Be jet unquenchM, will you not grant me time 

To weep ny Iom 1 
Knio. You know my wish I Obey ! 

£^T. Scarce '«capM the tempest's ^ratb, would you again 

Force me upon the deep 7 What shall I have 

Henceforth for my excuse 7 
*Ki]fO. Tour king's commands. 

X»VT. Peign then to hear my rensoas, which alone 

To you I dare divulge. 
IÛN«. *Tis all in vain ; 

Tet speak. 
GvT. Shall 1 again expose myself 

To sMh unheard-of insvlt as to And 

Your royal brother nightly haunt my house ? ^ 

KiKo. Yield not belief to such a (ale. 
OrT. But if 

At my hed'e foot I find Don HeniyV sword 7 
Kma. Think how a thousand times aerrants have been 

SubornM to treachery ; and use thy reason^ 



6' UT. 



















Yet always that may-nut sufiice ; if day . 
And ni^t I sec my house besicgM, bow act 7 
Appeal to me. 

But if, in my appeal, 
A greater grief attend me ? 

It imports not ; 
Grief may itself ijeceive y on. You should kno\r 
That beauty is a garden, to be fenced 
By strong walla 'gainst ihe winds. 

And if I find 
A letter (Voni my i^if^ praying the Infant 
Not to abflsjlpn bctr 7 

For erery wrong 
There is a remedy. 

What ! for thi^ last ? 
There i». 

What is it 7 

lu yourself. 

You mean ? — 
Blood ! 

Ah^ r "What say you ? 

Mark your gates ; there i»' 
A, bloody sign upou them. 

Sire, 'lis known 
That those who exercise an office, hang 
Orer (heir doors a shield that bears their arms : 
My office is-roy honour. So my doors 
Bear impress of a bloody band, for blood 
Alone caU wash out injur'd honour's stains. 
Give, then, thy band to Leonora ; well 
She merits it. 

I gire it freely, if 
Leonora dare accept it bathed in blood. 
1 marvel not, nor fear. 

•Tis well, but I 
Have been mine honour's own physician, hoV 
Hare yet forgot the science. 

Keep it then 
To aid my life, if it be bad. 

On this conditio.) X now yield my hand. 

This scene, with whieh the ])i€ee closes, seems to lue one of 
the most energetic on the Spanish stage, and one of those whichr 
afford us the best example of the nicety of that honour, and that' 
almost religious revenge, which have such a powerful influence 
on the conduct of the Spaniards, and which fi^ve so poetical a 
colouring to their domestic incidents, often, it is true, at the ex- 
pense of morals and of humanity. 

Galderon was yet a child at the epoch of the expulsion ^f the 
Moors. But this despotic act, which for ever alienated the two 
people, and which separated from the Spanish dominions all who 
were not attached by birth, as well as by public profession, to 
the religion of the sovereign, had produced a powerful sensation, 
and during the seventeenth century led the Spaniards to regard 
eVery thing relating to the Moors with a degree of national in- 
terest. The scene of many of the pieces of Caldcron is placed* 

Vol.. 11 15 


in Africa. In* many others the Moors are mingled with tbe^ 
Christians in Spain, and, in spite of religions hatred and natknial 
prejudices, Calderon has painted, the Moors with singolar fide^ 
fity. We feel that to him, and toall Spaniards» they are brothers 
united by the same spirit of chivalry, by the same ponctilioii» 
honohr, and by love of the same country ; and that ancient wars 
and recent persecutions have not been able to extinguish tbe 
memory of the early bonds which united them. But, of all the 
pieces where the Moors are brought upoftthe scene in oppositica 
to the Christians, no one appears to me to excite in the pemsal 
à more lively interest than that which is entitled Anar dupues 
de la Muerte. The subject is the revolt of the Moors under 
Philip II., in 1569 and 1670, in the Alpuxarra, the mountains of 
Grenada. This dreadful war, occasioned by unheard-of provo^ 
cations, was the real epoch of the destruction of tbe Moors in 
Spain. The government, aware of their strength, while it 

granted them peace resolved to destroy them ; and if its oon- 
uct had to that time been cruel and oppressive, it was thence- 
forth always perfidious. It is the same revolt of Grenada, of 
which Mendoza has written the history, and which we have al- 
i^eady had occasion briefly to notice. But we are made better 
acq|uainted with it by Calderon than by the details of ai^ his- 

The scene opens in the house of the Cadi of the Moors of 
Grenada, where they celebrate in secret, with closed doors, una 
Friday, the festival of the Mussulmen. The Cadi presides, and 
they thus sing : 

* A captive sad, in aorrow bow*J, 
Lone Afric weeps, in sable shroud, 
Her empire lost, her glory gone, 
And set in night her ruling sun ! 
'Twas Allah's band that bent the bow^ 
That laid our nation's honours low ; 
Dark and mysterious is his will, 
But Allah's name be worshipped still 1 
Yet will we boast tbe golden time. 
When fierce Trom Arric's swarthy clime. 
Fair Spain was vanquished by our sword, 
And Allah's name was all*&dor'd ! 
But Allah's band hath bent the bow. 
And laid our nation's honours low ; 

* VkA Toz. Aunque en (riste cautiverio 
De Ala por justo misterio 
Llore cl Africano imperio 
Su misera suerte esquiva. 

ToDofl. Su ley viva ! 

La voz. Viva la memoria e&traua 
I)« arjueila gloriosa hasaùa 


l>ark and mysterious is bis will. 
Yet AUa]i*8 name be worsbippM still ! 

^ Their sonçs are suddenly intermpted by some one knocking 
violently against the door. This is Don Juan de Malec, a de- 
scendant of the Kings of Grenada, and entitled from his birth 
to be the twenty-fourth sovereign of the Moorish djmasty. He 
had conformed to the laws of Philip, and haying become a 
Christian, he had, in recompense, obtained a place m the coun- 
cils of the city. He relates, that he is just returned from this 
"oouncil, where an edict oi Philip was produced, by which the 
Moors were subjected to new rexations : 

Some of ibese laws are ancient, but renewM 
With double rigeur ; otbers newly pass'd 

To oppress us. Henceforth none of Moorish race, j 

That race, the dyin^ embers of a fire 
Intincible, that once con«um*d tbb land, 
* Shall- join in dance or song ; our very drens 
'Pr^serib'd, our hatha shut up, nor may we ase 
O^er onr own hearth our Arab tongue, campeiru 
To speak in pure Castilian. 

Juan de Malec, the oldest of the counsellors, bad been the 
first to evince his chagrin and anxiety at these precipitate mea- 
sures. Don Juan de Mendoza answered him with warmth, ne- 
proachbg him with being a Moor, and with wishing to screen 
the vile and abject race of the Moors from the punishment which 
was due to them. Juan de Malec then proceeds : 

luckless we, to enter into council 
Without onr swords ; to battle with the tongue ; 

For worda make deeper wound* than swords. Thus I, 
MoT'd bf his arrogance, prorok'd bis wrath ; 
And he — indignant ? engeance bums my breast ! 1 

Snateh'd'firom my hands my staff, and then — Enough ! 

1 cannot tpeak*— yc^u share the shame with me. 
I have no eon who may wash out the stain 

From my gray hairs ! Then hear me, valiant Moors, 

Ve noble relie of the Afric race t "^ 

Xh» Christians have decreed your infamy, 

Declar'd you slaves. But the Alpuzarra still 

Is left, our mountain home, peopled with towns, 

And castles well defended, all our own ; 

Gtalera, Beija, Gavla, looking forth 

Midst rocks and woods to the bright azure skies, 

Thk beaoteoos region still is onrs, and there 

Will we intrench ourselves. Now be it yours 

To eboose a chief of the illustrious blood 

Of Aben Himeya, for that race is still 

Found in Castile. From slaves ye shall be lords ; 

Que en la libertad de Espana 
A fispana tuvo cautivfu 
ToDo». Sii ley viva ! 


1 will proctnini my wrongs, and summon all 
To join your rank", and sbure in your revenge. 

I'iie Moors, carried away by this speech of Juan dc Malee, 
«weac to revenge him, and then dispQçse. The scene now 
'Changes to the house of Malec. where Donna Clara, his daugh- 
ter, abandons herself to despair. The indignity offered to her 
father, deprives her at{onceof her honour, her father, and her 
lover ; for Don Alvaro Tu^uiiii, to whom she is attached, will, 
she thinks,' no longer regard her after the dishonoui' of her 
house. At this moment Tuzani enters the apartment and asks 
her hand, that he may avenge the injury as the son of Malec 
An indignity is not considered to be properly avenged, unless 
the party himself, or bis sou, or at least his brother, slay the 
offender. Tuzani must thus marry Clara before he can redeem 
the honour of the aged Malec. Clara resists, not wishing to 
bring her dishonour as a dowry to her husband. During this 
generous struggle the Corregidor Zuiiiga, and Don Fernando 
de Valor, another descendant of the kings of Grenada, who had 
.also embraced Christianity, arrive at the residence of Malec, 
and place him under ari-est having previously arrested Mendo- 
za, until a reconciliation should be effected. Valor proposes a 
marriage between Donna Clara, the daughter of Malec, and 
Mendoza. Tuzani, in order to frustrate an arrangement which 
destroys all his hopes, seeks Mendoza, provokes him to fight, 
and hopes to kill him before the mediators can arrive wi^h the 
proposition, which he so much fears. The provocation, the duel 
in the chamber, and all the details of this afiair of honour, are 
expressed with a fire and dignity truly worthy of a nation so 
delicate on the point of honour. But whilst they are engaged. 
Valor and Zuniga arrive, to propose to Mendoza the marriage, 
as a means of terminating the quarrel. The combatants are 
separated, and the same propositions are made to the Castillan 
which were made to the Moor. Mendoza haughtily rejects 
them. The blood of Mendoza is not destined, he says, to sub- 
mit to such a stain. 

Yalor. Tet Juan de Malec is a man — 
Mkndoza. Like you. 

Yalor. He Is; for Trom Granada^s kings he boasts 

His lineage : his ancestors and mine 

Alike were kings. 
Mbnd. Perchance ! But mine were more 

Than Moorish kings, lords of the mountain land. 

By this was understood the Christian Goths, who had held 
possession of the mountains. Zuniga throws down his staff of 
lOorregidor, and unites with Mendoza in treating the Moors witii 
«xtr«me contempt. Tuzani, as well as Valor and Malec, feels 
l^û^self injured by this reflection on his ancestors. 


'*' Thus arc wc recompensed, nho hnTe embraceil 
The Chri^an faith ; tbua is onr loyalty 
To Christian iaivs rewarded. Yet shall Spain 
In bitt«r tear» ^vash out the stain this ^ajr 
Cast on the blood of Valor tad Tuzann*' 

They then resolve upon revolt and separate. 

Three years elapse between the first and the second act. la 
this interval the revolt breaks out and Don John of Austria, 
the conqueror at Lepanto, is called to suppress it. Mendoza, at 
the commencement of the third act. points ovt to him the chain 
of the Alpuxarra, which extends Iburteen leagues along the seao- 
coast and explains to him its strength, as well as its resoui^ea, 
oonsi&ting of thirty thousand warriors who inhabit it Like thç 
Goths in former times, he says, they have fled into themountain^ 
and hope from them to reconquer Sp^in. During three yean 
they hare preserved their secret with such fidelHy that tbirtjr 
thousand men who were informed of it and who were employed 
daring this long space oi time in collecting in the Alpuzarra 
arms and ammunition, have concealed it from the detection. of 
the most suspicious of governments. The chiefs of the blood 
of Aben Humeya, who had renounced their Christian appdla^ 
tions, and the language, the customs, and the manners of Càs«- 
tilians, had divided themselves among the three principal fori> 
tresses of the Alpuxarra. Fernando- valor had been recqgnised 
as king ; had assumed the government of Berja, and had married 
the beautiful Isabella Tuzani, who, in the first act wasrepre- 
sented as attached to Mendoza. Tuzani commands at Gravia, 
and he has not yet married Clara, who is in the third city, 6a- 
lera, where her father commands. When, in this manner, the 
unity of time is renounced, the author is obliged to enter into 
explanations, and to suspend the action, in order to comnmni- 
cate to the spectator what has passed in the interval between the 

The scene is then transferred to Berja, to the palace of the 
Moorish king. Malec and Tuzani appear to ask his consent to 
the marriage of Tuzani and Clara. Agreeably to the Mussul* 
man custom, Tuzani makes his bride a present as the pledge of 
marriage, of a necklace of pearls and other jewels ; but the nup- 
tials are suddenly broken off by an alarm of drums and the ap- 
proach of the Christian army. Valor despatches Malec and 
Tuzani to their posts : 

Love mast forego his jojs 
Till Tictory be woo. 

On separating, Tuzani assures Clara that he will come every 
^ght from Galera to Gavia, to see her, though it be two leagues 
distant and she promises to^meet him each night on the walls. 
In c>ne of the succeeding'scenes we see their place of meeting. 


from wbich they ^re driven by the approach of the Christiaii 
army, advancing to the siege of Galera. Tiizani wishes to 
carry Clara with him ; but me loss of his horse prevents him, 
itnd they part under :the hope of being for ever united on the 
next day. 

At the .opening of the third act, Tnzani returns to the place 
of appointment ; but the Spaniards had discovered, beneath the 
rocks on which Galera was built, a cavern, which they had filled 
with powder ; and, at the moment when Tuzani approaches the 
walL adreadfol expk>sion makes a breach, by which the fortress 
fidls into the hands of the Spaniards. Tuzani precipitates himself 
into the flames to save Donna Clara ; but the Castillans had 
penetrated into the city by another way, and having received 
Ofders from their chief to spare no lives. Donna Câtra had al- 
ready been poniarded by a Sranish soldier. Tuzani arrives 
only in time to see her die. We have already mentioned this 
scene, the language of which does not 4X>rrespond to the situa- 
tion. But Tuzani, who breathes onl^y revenge, re-assumes the 
Castilian halût, and descends to the Christian camp, which he 
traverses, and at length finds, in the hands of a soldier, who is 
aoddenthr plaosd with himself in prison, the necklace he had 

S'ven to his mittress ; he bids him relate his history, and learns 
om bis own «louth that he is the murderer of Clara. He in- 
stantly .«tabs him with his dagger, and Mendoza, drawn by the 
dying cries of the soldier, «nters the prison. 

TviAMu Thou stftrt'st in fear, Mendoza ? Dost not know me ? 

Behold Tuxani, the fierce thunderbolt 

Of the Alpuzarra. From my mountain height 

I hare descended to avenge the death 

Of her whom I adorM. Sweet is roYenge I 

He loTes not, who with blood would not avenge 

The wrongs of his belov'd. What wouldst thou with me ? 

Erewhile thou know'st 1 sought thee, chalSeng'd thee 

To fight ; our weapons equal, face to face. 

If, in thy turn, thou seek^st to combat here. 

Gome singly and in honour. If by chanee 

Thou com*st, then let misfortune be my passport, 

The pledge of noble minds, and lead me forth 

In safety. 
MiHDOZA. Much should I rejoice, Tusani, 

If, without violation of mine honour, 

In such an hour as this, I might assure 

Thy safety ; but the service of my life 

Forbids it, and by force I must arrest thee. 
TusAWi. Tis well ! Free passage then my sword shall yield. 
FiBflT Sold. Vm slain 1 — 

Sec. Sold. What fiend is here broke loose firom hell ? 

TuzANL Tou shall have memory of me. You shall not 

Forget Tuzani, him whom fame shall blazon 

As the avenger of his murde^d love. 

He is then surrounded, and Don John of Atistria and Pan 


Lope de Figueroa oome to ask the cause ot the tamiilt, while- 
Tuzani still resists. 

Mbxdoza» a fltraoftf eTeiit ! A Moor baf, from the heights 

Of the AJfTuxarra, all alone descended. 

To arenge him od a man who kill'd his love, 

In the stonniiig of Galera. 
FiouBKOA. This man slew 

Thft lady that thov lov'dst ! 
TuzAHU Hé did, and I 

Slew him. 
FioiTBROA. Tlioa hast done well I My lord» command 

His fireedom ; such a deed demands our praise. 

Not censure. Tou, my lord, yourself would slay 

One who should Injure her you lov'd, or e\ae 

You were not John of Austria. 

Don John hesitates ; he does not consent to liberate Tazani* 
but that hero opens a way for himself with his sword, and es- 
capes in safety to the denies of the Alpuxarra. On the other 
hand, the Moors accept the pardon offered to them in the name 
of Philip II. They surrender their arms, and qniet is restored 
in the Alpaxarra. 

The large edition of the plays of Calderon, published at Ma- 
drid in 1763, in eleven volumes, octavo, by Fernandez de Apon- 
tes, contains one hundred and nine pieces, of which I have pe- 
rused only thirty. I know not how fiaur I may have made the 
reader acquainted with those from which I have given extracts, 
or whether I have succeeded in transferring to his mind the sen- 
timents which they have excited in my own ; admiration for the 
dignity of the characters, and their noble elevation of mind ; in- 
dignation at the singular abuse of religion, which in this poet is 
almost always at variance with the interests of morality ; a per- 
ception of the delightful flow of his poetry which captivates the 
senses, like music or perfumes ; an impatience at the abuse of 
talent and of images which offend from their exuberance ; and 
astonishment at a fertility of invention unequalled by any poet 
of any nation. I shall, however, have attained my obiect, if the 
extracts which I have presented should inspire a wish tor a more 
intimate acquaintance with this poet. Taking leave, then, of his 
dramatic works, I shall add only a few words on that species of 
composition, to which, in his old age, he was anxious to attach, 
all his celebrity, since he regarded them less as dramatic works, 
than as acts of devotion. I allude to tlie Ados SacrameniaUs, of 
which I have seen six volumes, published at Madrid in 1717, by 
Don Pando y Mier. I must ingenuously confess, that 
of seventy-two pieces which they contain, and which I' have 
partially inspected, I have fully perused only the first, and that 
even this I should never have read through, if I had not done 
so through a sense of duty. The most incongruous assemblage 
of real and allegorical beings, of thoughts and sentimentli to- 


tally irreconcUcaWe, all that the Spaniards themselves have, b^' 
a word sufficiently expressive, denominated disparates, are found 
united in these pieces. The first of these autos is entitled, A 
Bios por razon de Estado ; and is preceded hy a prologue, in 
which appear ten allegorical personages. Fame arrives first 
with a buckler on her arm, and makes the following pro- 
clamation : 

" Be it known to all who have lived heretofore, who live now, 
and who shall live, from the day the sun first commenced his 
course, to the day when he shall be no more, that holy ThQolog3% 
the science of Faith, to whom has been given imperfect sight, 
but important matter, little light but splendour ineffable, will this 
day hold a tournament in tlie university of the world, called 
Maredit, which, in Arabic, signifies the Mother of sciences, that 
the triumphant Mit^d may share the honour of Vakmr, Here» 
then, she challenges all the Sciences who dare to support an al- 
legorical combat against her propositions, and I, Fame, am charged 
as her public herald to make known this defiance to the whole 
world r 

Theology then appears with Faith, her sponsor, and sets forth 
the three propositions which she intends to defend ; the presence 
of God in the eucharist the new life received in communicating, 
and the necessity of a frequerit communion. Philosophy pre- 
sents herself to combat the first of these propositions, and Na- 
ture is called in as a witness. They dispute in a scholastic man- 
ner, and also engage in battle as in a tournament, so that we see 
at the same time the figure and the thing which is represented- 
undec it. Theology is of course victorious, and Philosophy and 
Nature throw themselves at her feet and confess the truth of 
the proposition which they had opposed. Medicine, having 
Speech for sponsor, then appears to contest the second proposi- 
tion, and is likewise vanquished. Jurisprudence comes in the 
third place, having Justice for her sponsor, and meets with a 
similar fate. After her three victories, Theology announces, 
that she intends to give an entertainment, and that this enter- 
tainment will be an auto, in which, agreeably to the laws of the 
world in such cases, it will be proved by evidence that the Ca- 
tholic ii the only true faith, whilst Reason and Propriety unite 
in its favour. It is called, Bios pot razon de Estado. The per- 
sonages of this eccentric drama are : 

The Spirit, first lover. Penite.vce. 

Thought, the fool. Extrême Unction. 

Pagamism. Uolt Orocbs. 

The Synagogue. Maeriage. 

Africa. The Law of Nature. 

Atheism. The Written Law. 

St. Paul. The Law of Graci:. 

Baptism. Three singing VVom?»i. 

Confirmation. A Choir ol" MiKsic. 

dF TH£ SPANiARBis. 361 

m Pensa^nitnto being masculine, the part of Thought is re- 
presented by a male actor. 

Thought and Mind are attracted by a choir of music, ivhom 
they hear singing these words: — "Great God.! who art un- 
known to us, abridge this space of time and allow us tp know 
thee, since we belieye in thee." Following the musici, they are 
led by their curiosity to the steps of a temple, built on a moun- 
tain, and consecrated to the unknown God of &t Paul, 'f heir 
supplications addressed to the unknown Deity are renewed. 
Paganism implores him to descend and occupy the temple which 
mankind haye erected to him ; but Mind interrupts those who 
are paying their adorations, inquiring how an unknown God can 
be a God, and thereupon commences a scholastic dispute, act 
less tedious than the answer made by Paganism. Mind is de- 
'sirous afterwards of discussing the same point with Thought : 
but the latter declines for the present, as she prefers danchig., 
In fact, she engages in the dance which is held in hoftourof 
God," and Mind also joins in it. The dancers form themselveâ 
into the figure of a cross, and invoke the unknown triune God. 
A sudden earthquake and eclipse disperse all the dancers, ex- 
cepting Paganism, Mind, and Thought, who remain to dispute 
on the cause of the earthquake and eclipse. Mind maintains' 
that the world is at an end, or that its Creator suffers ; Pagan- 
ism denies that a God can suffer ; and, on this point they dis- 
pute together afresh ; whilst Thought the fool, runs from one 
to the other, and always coincides with the person who has last 

Paganism departs, and lliought remains alonV with Mind. 
The ktter proposes, as there is neither time nor place in the al« 
legory, tp traverse the earth in search of an unknown God who 
dan suffer, since this is the one he is anxious to adore. They 
then take tbeir departure to America, in pursuit of Atheism, 
whom thev question on the formation of the universe. Atheism, 
in answering them, doubts of all things, and shows himself in-, 
different to every thing Thought is irritated, beats him, aiid 
puts him to flight. They then go in search of Africa, who is 
expecting the prophet Mahomet, and who follows her God bo- 
fore she knows his laws ; but Mind will not allow her to believe 
that every religion possesses the power of salvation ; and that 
revealed religion only gives the means of arriving at a higher 
degree of peifection. This opinion appears to her a blasphemyj 
and they part with mutual threats. Mind next*^ repairs to thé 
Synagogue in Asia, but she finds her troubled by a murder 
which she had committed on a young man, who pretended to be 
the Messiah, and who perished at the moment of an earthquake 
and eclipse. Another dispute arises, attended with fresh dis- 
content on the part of Mind. But this dispute is interrupted' 
by lightning, and by a voice fi'om litaven, crying, "Paul, why 
persecutest thou me ?" St. Paul is converted by these words. 

Vol. ir. 46 

582^ OV TCtft LITEUlTVBfB 

He then dtspntes with the Synagogue and Muid in support oT^^ 
revdation. St Paul introduces the Law of Nature, the Writ- 
ten Law, and the Law of Graoe, to show that they are all united 
under Christianity ; and he calls in the seven Sacrameiits to 
declare that they are its supporters. Mind and Thought are 
convinced; Pasanism and Auieism are converted; the Syna* 
eogue and Africa still resist ; but Mind pronounces the allow- 
ing decree, and all the choir repeat it: "Let the human mind 
love the unknown God, and believe in him for reasons of state, 
even though faith be wanting.** 


CoBchilon of the Spaauh Dmna. Sbfe of Letton durint tbe leiga of the 
ofBotfboA. CooeluioiioFthoHâtoryor SpenifliLitaitiirB* 

EoROPB has wholly forgotten the admiration wUh wfaidi, iiur 
so long a period, she regarded the Spanish stace, and the tran* 
spoirt with whidi she received so mimy new dramatic pieces ; 
pieces teeming with romantic incidents, intrigues, disguises, 
duels» personages unknown to themselves or to others, pomp of 
language, brilliancy ot description, aud &scinating poetry, min- 
gled with the scenes of active life. In the seventeenth century 
uie Spaniards were regarded as the dictators of the drama, and 
men of the first genius in other countries borrowed fitmi them 
wiâiout scruple. They endeavoured, it is true, to adapt Cas- 
tillan subjects tO'the taste of France and Itdv, and to render 
them conformable to rules which were despised by the Spaniards ; 
but this they did- more in deference to the authority of ^e an- 
cients than to indulge the taste of the people, which, indeed, 
throughout all Europe was the same as in Sbain. At the pre- 
sent £iy this state of things is reversed, and the Spanish drama, 
is entirely unknown in France and Italy. In (hose countries it 
is designated only by the epithet of barbarous ; it is no longer 
studied in England; and tnè recent celebrity which hasbrai 
attached to it m Germany, is not yet become a national feding. 

The Spaniards liave only themselves to accuse for so rapid a 
decline and so entire an oblivion. Instead of p^eeting Inem- 
selves, and advancing in that career of glory on which they had 
entered, they have only copied themselves, and retraced a thou- 
sand times their own footfteps, without adding any thing to an 
art, of which they might have been the creators, and witjbout iA- 



itrodttciiig into it any variety. They had witnessed two men oC 
genius, who coinpooed their plays in the course of a few days, ok 
-i|ither hours. They tboueht themselves obliged to imitate tliis. 
rapidity, and they, aostaincd from all care and correction, not less 
flcrupuloualy than a dramatic author in Frapce would have in« 
sisted on them. They considered it essential to their feme to 
compose their pieces without study ; it indeed, we m^y speak 
of fame when they aspired to nothing further than the transitory 
applause of an idle populace, and the pleasure of novelty, to 
which a pecuniary profit was attached ; wbUe the crreater num- 
ber did not even attempt to attract to their pieces the attention 
of their well-informed contemporaries, or the judgment of pos* 
teri^, by committing them to the pres^. 

We have elsewhere spoken of tne Commedie delF Arte of the 
.Italians, those extemporaneous masqued pieces, with given cha- 
racters, often repeated jests, s^d incidents which we hav.e met 
with twenty times before, but adapted, well or il), to ^ new piece. 
The Spanish school which was contemporary with Cdlderqn, 
and which succeeded him, may with propriety be compared to 
these Commedie delT Arte, The extemporaneous pa^rt was pro- 
duced with a little more deliberation ; since, instead of catching 
the moment of inspiration on the s^ge, the aiithor sought it bv 
some hours* labour in hia closet These piecps M^ere .composed 
m verse, but in the running and ^^y iorjo^ of the Çtfdonailhfts^ 
which naturall^r flow^ fropfi the pep. In ptJbieir respects» the 
writer did not give bimsdf more tronble tp oly^erve probability, 
historical fiuits, or national mannerji, than 4^ author oiitbe Italian 
hajdeqain>pieoes; nor did bie fitteçipt jin any «reater j^çgree novelty 
in the characters, the i|lGldent^, Of the jetds, pr pay any greater 
reiqpect to morality. He prodviced bis plays a^ a manufacture 
or article of trade ; be found it more easy and oxore lucrativç to 
wjite a fécond than to cjp^rectjtheficst; and it was wjith tWs peg- 
ligeo/ee loul prtedpitation (hat, under the reigp of Pb^^ I V. 
tl^ stf^ W9S deluged witjb an unheardfof wmb^r of pl^e^. 

The titles, the authors, ^4 the history of this «nnumera^blc 
(quantity of plays, have escaped not ouly tthe foreigner, who can 
bestow merely a rapid glance ion the literature pf pt^er i^a^ions, 
bi^ even those Spanish writers who have exerted themselves 
most to preserve every production which could .contribute to the 
Êime of their country. Each troop of copiedianp had their Qwp 
rmM^tory, or collection, and ^deavoured .to retain the sole pro- 
finetors^iHP ^ ^them ; whilst fixe boo^Esellers, frpn;i tim^e tp time, 
printed pn i^pecniation pieces which wpre obtained firom tjbe ma- 
nager oftem^ ^b^ &om the author. In this n^nner wçre fb^ed 
those CG^ectipns of Comediaa varto^, wt\ich we find jn Mbranes, 
and wÛdi wiere «dmost always .printed witboifkt cprreQUp^, criti- 
cism, or jadigmeYit Tbe workfi of jindlviduals were açauncely 
«ver cpllacted or published separately; and ohance qiore tban 
Hhe taste ^ the .p^bUc has s^^v.ed spipe from atpoag the crowd 

fijx4 0^ THK LITKRATURC * 

>vhich have perislied. Chance, too, has led me to peruse maity 
WlHch have not been perused by Boutterwek, Schfegel, Dieze. 
And other crities. Thus every opinion on the personal merit of 
each author becomes necessarily vague and uncertain. We should 
have more reason to regret Ôiis confusion, if the character of 
the poets were to be found in their writings ; if it were possible 
to assifi^ to Wh his rank, and to distinguish his style or princi- 

1>le8 ; out the resemblance is so great, that we could readily be- 
ieve all these pieces to have been written by the same hand ; 
and if any one of them has an advantage over the others, it seems ~ 
inpre attkibutable to the happy choice of the subject, or to some 
historical trait, romance, or .intrigue, which the author has had 
the ipood fortune to select, than to the talent with which they are 

Among the various collections of Spanish plays, the pieces 
which have most excited my curiosity are anonymous. I refer 
more particularly to those which were published as the work of 
a poet of the court ; (2e «n Ingenio de esta Corie. It is known 
that Philip IV. wrote several pieces for the stage under thb name, 
and we may readily imagine that those which were supposed to 
oome from his pen woiud be more ea^rly sought after than 
ethers by the public. It is not impossible for a very good king 
to write very oad plays ; and Philip IV., who was any things 
rather than a good kmg, or a distinguished man, had still less 
chance of succeeding as a poet. It is, nevertheless, curious to 
observe a mbnarph*8 view of private life, and what notion a per- 
son entertains of society, who is, by his rank, elevated above all 
participation in it. Those plays, too, which, though not the work 
of the king, were yet written by some of his courtiers, his officers 
of state, or his friends, might, on that account, attract our notice, 
but nothing can be more vague than the title of these pieces, as 
an unknown individual may easily arrogate to himself a rank 
which we have no means of ascertaining; ai^d the Spaniards 
often extend the pame of the Cpurt to every thing within the 
sphere of the capital. Be this, however, as it ^may, it is among 
these pieces of a Caifri Pott that I have found the most attractive 
Spanish comedies. Such, for instance, is The Devil ktmed 
Prtaeher: El JtHablo Predicator, y mayor contrario amgo ; the 
work of a devout servant of St. Francis and the Capuchin monks. 
He supposes that the devil Luzbel h^^s succeeded by his intrigues 
in exciting in Lucca an extreme animosity against the Capu- 
diins ; every one refuses them alms ; they are ready to perish 
with hunger, and are reduced to the last extremity ; and tiie first 
magistrate in the city at length orders them to ouit it But at 
the moment that Luzabel is congratulating himself on his victory, 
the infant Jesus descends to earth with St. Michael. To pumsh 
the devil for his insolence, he compels him to clothe himsdf in 
the habit of St Francis, and then to preach in Lucca in order to 
i!Q)inleracl theiniscfaief he bad done ; fo ask alms, and to revirt 


tbe charitable disposition of the inhalntants ; and not to quit the 
city or the habit of the order, until he had built in Lucca another 
conyent for the followers of St. Francis, more richly endowed, 
and capable of containing more monks than the former. The 
invention is whimsical, and the more so when we find the subject 
treated with the most sincere devotion, and the most implicit be- 
lief in the miracles of the Franciscans ; but the execution is not 
the less pleasii^ on that account The solicitude of the devil, 
who endeavours to terminate as soon as possible so disagreeable 
a business ; the zeal with which he preaches ; the hidden ex- 
pressions by which he disguises his mission, and wishes to pass 
off his chagrin as a religious mortification ; the prodigious suc- 
cess which attends his exertions in opposition to his own in- 
terests ; the only enjoyment which is left him in his trouble, to 
torntent the slothful monk who accompanies him in asking alms, 
and te cheat him in his gormandizing : all this is represented 
with a gayety and life which render this piece very amusing in 
the perusal, and which caused it to * be received with transport 
by aie audiienee, when it was a few years ago given on the sta^e 
at Madrid, in the form of a regular play. It was not one of the 
least pleasures of the spectators, to laugh so long at the expense 
of the devil, as we are taught to believe that the laugh is gene- 
rally on his side. 

Among the rivals of Calderon, one of the most celebrated an4 
the most deserving of notice, was Augustin Moreto, who en- 
joyed, like him, the favour of Philip lY. ; was, like him, a 
zealot as well as a comic poet ; and, like him, a priest towards 
the dose of his life ; but, when Moreto entered into the ecclesi- 
astical state, he alondoned the theatre. He possessed more 
vivacity than Calderon, and his plots give rise to more amusing 
scenes. He attempted, too, a more precise delineation of cha- 
racter, and endeavoured to bestow on his eomedies that interest, 
the fruits of accurate observation, which is so generally wanting 
in the Spanish drama. Several of his pieces were introduced 
on the Inrench stage, at the time when the authors of that coun- 
try borrowed so much from Spain. That which is most known 
to the F^iench people, in consequenee of being for a long time 
past acted on Shrove Tuesday, is the Don JaphU of Armenia, 
of Scarron, almost literally translated from Ei Marques del Ct- 
garral ; "but this is not among the best pieces of Moreto. There 
are to be found characters much more happily drawn, with much 
more interest in the plot, more invention, and a more lively dia- 
logue, in his comedy entitled, M puede ter : It cannot be ; where 
a woman of talent and spirit, who is beloved by a man of jealous 
disposition, proposes to herself^ before marrying him,*to convince 
him that it is impossible to guard a woman effectually, and that 
the only safe mode is to trust to her pwn honour. The lesson is 
severe, for she assists the sister of her lover in an intrigue, al- 
though he kept her shut up, and watched her with extr^oe di^ 


trust She ooatrives to arrange her interviews with a veuMg 
man; she aids the sifter in escaping from her brother's juhm^ 
and in marrying without his oonsent ; and when she has aijoved 
the alarm into which he is thrown, and has convinced him uat 
notwithstanding all his caution and all his threats, he has been 
ffrossly duped, she oonsoits to give him her hand. The remainr 
der of the plot is conducted wi& sufficient probability, and mnch 
originality, and gives rise to many entertaining scenes, of which 
Molière has availed himself in his ÊeoU des Maria, 

There is a piece in much the same style by Don Fernando de 
Zarate, called, la PrmmMa y la Hurmoêo, We find in it some 
strong traits of cbaraeter joined to a very entertaining plot 
There were stiU to be found in Spain some men of taste, who 
treated with ridicule the affected style introdneed by Gongon. 
Zarate gives to Leonora the most con c ei t ed language! which does 
not differ' much from that of Gkwgon, or even Caldenm» and he 
ecmtrives at the same time to show its absurdity. His CrinciosD 
eiriai m a against the outr^ whieh is thus committed upon flie 
poor CastiBan Umgue."^ The two Msters, Leonora and Violante, 

* Leonora ii represeoted with her sister in the presence ot « gentlemts 
»whoni they both tore, and she wubes him to decide between them, 

LiSMOft. Dbtiaguid aenor don Joan 

l>e esta retorfca intacta, 

;Quien es ei Air a y el sol ; 

Porque quando se levanta 

De la cnna de la aurora 

La Oelflca hue, ea elara 

Conaecneneia visual 

<lae el AJTa, nevado mapt, 

Cadarer de eristal, muera 

En msauDientos de plata : 

y vmi en crepusculos riaos 

Donde se M^laa las clans 

Parezas del sol, es fuerui 

Que el sol brille, y fine el Alva. 
. JuAK. Benora, tos soie d aatro 

Que dà el fnlgor à Diaaa ; 

Y violante es el candor 

Que se derira del aura. 

7 si el candor matutino 

Cede la nautica%raEa 

AI zodiaco anstral, 

Palustre sera la pwca, 

A? assallando las dot 

A las rafaigas del AUa. 
•€bocol. VhaCrfarisco ; somos Indies, 

Pvei de eata suerte se habla 

Entre Cbristianoa 7 Porvida 

De la lengua castellana 

Que si mi hermana habla culte 

Que me oculte demf bermaiu^ 

AI inealto barbarismo, 


liave in this piece neariy ihe same ckancterras Arnumde and 
Renriette in me Fêmmêê êmamie»; bat tke Spaniaida dié not at- 
tempt tte nicer sbades of character ; tlioae MMch they drev 
were ^ways dûireasiims, and had Utfle inflnenoe en the pasainc 
events. The female pe^mt finds a kvfcr aaûaUe, noUe, and 
rich, as well as her mk and ençiging rival ; her preposterons 
character neither adds to, nor diminiriies the chances or her hap- 
piness ; a strilatfem, a hM disuse conceivad and enented by 
a knayish valet, decides the fiite of all the chmeters; and what- 
ever interest there may be in tibe plot, this piece does not rise 
beyond the oommoii dass of Spanish comedies. 

One oi the comic authors wno enjoyed the highest reputation 
in the middle of the seventeenth centmy, was I)on FVanetsco 
de Bosas, knight of the orda* of St James, a greal number of 
whose jMeces we find in the aneient ccMeolion of Spanish come- 
dies, and from whom IJbie Fvendi itage has borrowed some 
dramas ; among* o&ers^ ih» VmcmioM <tf Holrou, and Bon Ber^ 
iron dé dgarrâ of Thomas Cornea. This last piece is trans- 
lated firom the one entitled, JMre 60&08 ando djuego: Tlu Pki 
is laid among fooU; which passes for the best that Roaas has 
written. But, on die other hand, I have seen a play by him, 
called The Pofrtmast of Madrid, our Lady of JÊbeha, written in 
antiquated language, apparoitly to give it more respectably, 
and which unites all the extravagances, and all the monstrous 
moral absurdities that we have seen «diibited in the religious 
pieces of Caldercni. 

The critics of Grcrmany and Spain have selected Tke punith - 
meni tf JSvariee : SU Ckui^ de la MUeriOjhj Don Juan de Hoz,^ 
as one of the best in this class of plays. This piece, thouah ' 
hij^y humorous, is an instance of that radical defect of ue 
Spanish drama, which by the intrica^ of the plot entirely de- 
stroys the effect of character. Don Juan de Hok has pamted 
the character of tiie miser Marcos in strong colours ; Out the 
stratagem by which Donna Isidora contrives to many him so far 
distracts the attention, that the avarice of the princqud person- 
age is no longer the striking feature of the piece. There is, 
besides, cm impropriety and â&ontery in giving to a comedy a 
title which mmounces a moral aim, when it ccodudes with the 
triumph of vice, and is marked by a shameful derelietion of all- 
probity, even in those characters which are represenled as re- 

O à las larunu de Parla, 
O à la NelHticû idea ; 
Y ai algun critico trata 
Morir ea pecado oculto, 
Dios le concéda su habla 
Para que confiesse a foces 
<|tie es ca^ellana su aima. 


One of the latest of the dranmttc writers of Spâia of the 
serenteeiith oentaiy, was Don Joseph Canizarez, who flourislied 
in the rei^ of Charles II. He left behind him a nmnber of 
plays, in almost every class. Some of these are histmcaU as 
Pieariilo en Eapaiia, founded on the adyentares of a Fred^c 
de Braqnemont, a son of him who, with John de Bethenoourt 
in 140S, discovered and conquered the Canaries ; Imt they aie 
little less romantic than those entirely of his own invention. 
To conclude, neither the comedies of Oanizarez, which are the 
most modem, nor those of Guillen de Castro and Don Juan 
Buys de Alarcon, which are the most ancient, nor those of Don 
Alvaro Cubtllô of Aragon, of Don Francisco de Leyra, of Don 
Agustino de Zalazar y Torres, of Don Christoval de Monroy 
y Sitva, Don Juan de Matos Fragoso, and Don Hieronymo 
Cancer, possess a character sufficiently marked to enable us to 
discover in them tfie manner and style of the author. Their 
works, Kke their names, are confounded with each other, and 
after having gone through the Spanish drama, whose ridmess at 
first view astonished and dazzled us, we quit it fittigued with its 

The poetry of Spain continued to flourish during the reigns 
of the three Philips (1556 — 1665,) in spite of the national de* 
dine. The calamities which befell the monarchy, the double 
yoke of political and religious tyranny, the o^tinual defieats, the 
revolt of conquered countries, the destruction of the armic»» the 
ruin of provinces, and the stagnation of commerce, could not 
wholly suppress the efforts of poetic genius. The Castillansl 
under Charles V., were intoxicated by the fidse glory of their 
monarch, and by the high station which they Irad newly ac- 
quired in Europe. A noble pride and consciousness of their 
power urged them on to new enterprises ; they thirsted after 
distinction and renown ; and they rushed forward with an in- 
creasing ardour in the career which was still open to thenk The 
number of candidates for this noble palm did not diminish ; and 
as the different avenues whidi led to fame, the service of thdr 
country, the cultivation of liberal knowledge and every branch 
of literature connected with philosophy, were closed against 
them ; as all civil employ was become the timid instrument of 
tyranny,xand as the army was humiliated by continual defeats, 
poetry alone remained to those who were ambitious of distinc- 
tion. The number of poets went on increasing in proportion as 
the number of men of merit in every other class diminished. 
But with the reign of Philip IV. the spirit which had till then 
animated the Castillans, ceased. For some time before, poetry 
had partaken of the general decline, although the ardour of its 
votaries had not diminished ; and affectation, and. bombast, and 
all the Êiults of Gongora, had corrupted its style. At length the 
impulse which had so long propelled them subsided ; the vanity 
of the distinction which attached itself to an affected and over^ 



loaded manner, was perceived ; and no means seemed to remain 
for the attainment of a better style. The Spanish writers aban- 
doned themselves to apathy and rest ; they bowed the neck to 
the yoke ; they attempted to forget tlie public calamities, to re- 
strain their sentiments, to confine their tastes to physical enjoy- 
ments, to luxury, sloth, and effeminacy. The nation slumbered, 
and literature, with every motive to national glory, ceased. The 
rei^ of Charles II. who mounted the throne in 1665, at the a^e 
of five years, and who transferred at his death, in 1700, the heri- 
tage of the house of Austria to the Bourbons, is the epoch of 
the last decline of Spain. It is the period of its perfect insigni- 
ficance in the political world, of its extreme moral debasement» 
and of its lowest state of literature. The war of the Succes- 
sion, which broke out shortly afterward, though it devastated the 
provinces of Spain, yet restored to their inhabitants some small 
portion of that energy which was so completely lost under the 
house of Austria. A national sentiment prompted them to take 
arms ; pride, or affection, not authority, decided on the part 
which they adopted ; and as soon as they learned once more to 
feel for themselves, they began again to reflect. Still their re- 
turn to literature was slow and tame ; that flame of imagination» 
which, during a century, had given such numberless poets to 
Spain, was extinguished, and those who at length succeeded 
possessed no longer the same enthusiasm, nor the same brilliancy 
of fancy. 

Philip V. did not influence the literature of Spain by any 
particular attachment to that of France. Of slender tdents, 
and possessed of little taste or information, his grave, sombre, 
and silent character, was rather Castilian than French. He 
founded the Academy of History, which led the learned to use- 
ful researches into Spanish antiquities, and the Academy of 
Language, which distinguished itself by the compilation of its 
excellent Dictionary. In other respects, he left his subjects to 
their natural bias in the cultivation of letters. Meanwhile the 
sjplendonr of the reign of Louis XIV. which had dazzled all 
Europe, and which had imposed on othçr nations and on foreign 
literature the laws of French taste, had, in its turn, struck the 
Spaniards. A party was formed among the men of letters and 
the fashionable world, by which the regular and classical com- 
positions of the French were decidedly preferred to the riches 
and brilliancy of Spanish imagination. On the other hand, the 
public attached itself with obstinacy to a style of poetry which 
seemed to be allied to the national glory ; and the conflict be- 
tween these two parties was more particularly felt on the stage. 
Men of letters regarded Lope de Vega and Calderon with a 
mixture of pity and contempt, whilst the people, on the other 
hand, would not allow, in the theatrical performances, any imi- 
tation or translation from the French, and granted their applause 
only to the compositions of their ancient poets in the andent 
Vol. U 47 


national taate. The stage, therefiore, remained, during the eigh- 
teenth century, on the same footing as in the time of Caldenm ; 
ejicept that few new pieces appeared hut such as were of a reli- 

S*Q\u tendency, as in these, it was imagined, feith might supply 
e want of talent. In the early part dl the eighteenth century 
were published or represented dramatic lives of the saints, which, 
in general, ought to have been objects of ridicule and scandal, 
and which, nevertheless, had obtained not only the permission, 
but the approbation and applause of the Inquisition. Such, 
among others, are two plays by Don Bernard Joseph de Rey- 
noso y Quinones ; the one entitled. The Sun of Faith cU Mar^ 
mtttM, and the Concenian of France by St. Mary Maedolen ; and 
the other, Th€ Sun of the Magdalen JUkdng hrighUr m it$ mtHng. 
The first was represented nineteen times successively after the 
feast of Christmas, in 1730 ; the second was received with not 
less enthusiasm in the following year. The Magdalen. Martha, 
and lazarus arrive at Marseilles in a vessel which is ship- 
wrecked by a tenmest and appear walking tran<j^uilly on the 
raging sea. The Magdalen, (ailed on to combat with a priest of 
Apcmo, is at one time seen by him and by all the people in the 
hÀvens surrounded bv the angels, and at another time on the 
same ground as himselt She overthrows, at a word, his temple, 
and finally commands the broken columns and feUen capitals to 
return of themselves to their places. The grossest pleasantries 
of the buffoons who accompany her, the most eccentric burlesque 
of manners and history, are mingled with the prayers and mys- 
teries of religion. I have also perused two comedies, more ex- 
travagant if possible, by Don Manuel Francisco de Armesto, 
secretary of the Im^uisition, who published them in 1736. 
They consist of the Life of the Sister Mary of Jesus da Agredsu 
whom he designates as the spreatest historian of sacred Ustory ; 
la CoronUta mas grande de Ul mets aagrada h^taria, parte primera 
V ssgundo* Of the many qualities with which Calderon clothed 
his eccentric compositions, extravagance was the only one that 
remained to the modern authors. But whilst the taste of the 
people was so eager for this kind of spectacle, and whilst it was 
encouraged by the clergy, and supported by the Inquisition, the 
Court enlightened by criticism and by a better taste, was desi- 
rous of rescuing Spain from the scandalous reproadi which these 
pretended pious representations excited among strangers. 
Charles III. in 1765, prohibited the further performance of reli- 
giona pl?ys and AUoê êocrameniaUe ; and the house of Bourbon 
had alr^y deprived the people of another recreation not less 
dear to them, the Aitoe-da-jé, The last of these human sacrifices 
was celebrated in 1680, in conformity to the wishes of Charles 
II. and as 9> festival at the same time religious and national, which 
would draw down on him the favour o£ Heaven. After the ex- 
tinction of the Spanish branch of the house of Austria, the Ii^ 
quisition was no longer allowed to destroy its victims in public : 


but it has ootitiBiiied even to our own days to exercise the most 
outrageous cruelties on them in its dungeons. 

Tkit party of literary critics who endeavoured to reform the 
national taste, and adapt it to the French model, had at its head, 
at tlie middle of the last century, a man of great talents and ex- 
tensive information, who had a considerahle influence on tlie 
^sharacter and productions of his contemporaries. This was Ig- 
nazio de Lu2an, member oiûie Academies of language, history, 
and painting, a counsellcM* of state, and minister of commerce. 
He was attaushed to poetry, and himself composed verses with 
elegance. He found in his nation no trace oi criticism, except 
among the imitators of Gongora, who had reduced to rules all 
the bad taste of their school. It was for the avowed purpose of 
attadcing these that he carefully studied the principles oi Aris- 
totle and those of the French authors; and as he wm himself 
more remarkahle for elegance and correctness of style, than for 
an energetic and fertile imagination, he sought less to unite the 
French correctness to the eminent qualities of his countrymen, 
than to introdnoe a foreign literature in the place of that pos- 
sessed hy the nation. In conformity with these principles, and 
m order to reform the taste of his country, hé composed his cele- 
brated Treatise on Poetry, printed at Saragossa in 1737, in a 
ùAw volume of five hundred pages. This work, written with 
great judgm«it and a disfkay or vast erudition, clear without 
languor, elegant and unaffected, was received hy men of letters 
as a masterpieee, and has ever since heen cited by the classical 
party in Spain as containing (he basis and rules of true taste. 
The principles which Luzan lays down with regard to poetry, 
oonndered as an useful and instructive amusement, rather than 
as a passion et the soul, take an exercise of one cf the neMest 
fiusalties ef our being, are such as have heen repeated in all 
treatises ot this kind, until the time When the Germans began to 
regard this art from a more elevated point of view, and substi- 
tuted for the poetics of the peripatetic philosopher a more happy 
aad ingenious analysis of the mind and the imt^nation. 

Some Spanish authors, about the middle of the last centary, 
comtneneed writing for the theatre, on the principles of Lu^aa, 
and in ^e French style. He himself translated a piece of La 
Ghaiissêe« and many other dramatic translations were about the 
same time represented on the stage at Madrid. Augustin de 
Montiano y Luyando, counsellor of state, and member of ^ 
two academies, composed, in 1750, two tragedies* Virginia and 
Amtipho ; which are, says Bontterwek, drawn with such exaet 
conformity to the French model, that we should take them rather 
for translations than for original compositions. They are both, 
he adds, frigid and tame ; but the purity and correctness of the 
language, the care which the author has taken to avoid all false 
metaphors, and the natural style of the dialogue, render the pe- 
rusal of them highly agreeable. They are composed in blank 


iambica, like the Italian tragedies. Luis Joseph Velasquez, the- 
historian of Spanish poetry, attached himself to the same party. 
His work, entitled Chigines de la Poesia Egpanola, printed in 
1764, shows how much the ancient national poetry was then for- 
gotten, since we find a man of his genius and lea^rning, often in- 
volying its history in fresh confusion, instead of throwing new 
light upon it. His work has been translated into the German 
tongue, and enriched with extensive observations by Dieze.* 
These critics were not deficient in talent and taste, althong^h 
thev were scarcely capable of appreciating the imagination of 
their ancestors ; but Spain, from the death of Philip IV. to the 
middle of the last century, did not produce a single poet who 
could merit the attention of posterity. 

The only species of eloquence which had been cultivated in 
Spain, even in the most splendid period of her literature, was 
that of the pulpit. In no other profession was an orator permit- 
ted to address the public. But if the iufluence of the monks, 
and the shackles with which they had loaded the mind of the 
nation, had at length almost destroyed all poetical genius, we 
may easily imagine what the art of eloquence would be in thdr 
hands. The preposterous study of an unintelligible jargon, 
which was presented to students under the names of li^ic, phi- 
losophy, and scholastic theology, inevitably corrupted the minds 
of those destined to the church. As a model of style, they had 
no other guide than Gongora and his school ; and, on this affected 
and extravagant manner, which had been named the cultivated 
style, all their discourses were formed. The preachers endea- 
voured to compose long and sounding periods, each member of 
which was almost always a lyric verse ; to form an assemblage 
of pompous expressions, however inconsistent with each other ; 
to construct their sentences on the complicated model of the 
Latin tongue; and by fatiraing and surprising the mind, to 
conceal from their auditors the emptiness of their sermons. Al- 
most every phrase was supported by a Latin quotation. Pro- 
vided they could repeat nearly the same words, they never 
sought any connexion in the sense, but they congratulated them- 
selves, on the contrary, as on a felicity of expression, when, by 
applying the words of Scripture, they could express the local 
circumstances, the names, and the qualities of their congregation 
in the language of the sacred writings. Nor, in order to procure 
such ornaments, did they confine their researches to the Bible ; 
they placed in requisition all their knowledge of antiquity, and 
more especially treatises ou ancient mythology ; for, agreeably 
to the system of Grongora, and the opinion which Vas formed of 
the cultivated style, it was an acquaintance with fabulous his- 
tory, and a frequent display of it, which distinguished a refined 

♦ Gottingcn, 1769, 1 vol. 12mo. 


from a vulgar style. Witticisms, a play on words, and equi- 
voques, appeared to them oratorical strokes not unworthy of the 
pulpit ; and popular preachers would not have heen satisfied, if 
violent and repeated bursts of laughter had not borne testimony 
to their success. To attract and command the attention from 
the outset, appeared to them the essence of art ; and to attain 
this, they considered it no impropriety to excite the attention of 
their audience by a jest, or to scandalize them by a beginning 
which seemed to be blasphemous or heretical, provided that the 
conclusion of the sentence, which was always long delayed, ex-« 
plained in a natural manner what had at first amazed and con- 
founded the hearer. 

In the midst of this scandalous degradation of Christian elo- 
quence, a man of infinite wit a Jesuit who belonged to that so- 
ciety of reformers of the public taste which had been formed 
about the middle of the eighteenth century, and who was also 
connected with Augustin de Montiano y Luyando, the ti^agic 
poet and counsellor of state, of whom we have recently spoken, 
undertook to correct the clergy, and more particularly the 
preachers, by a comic romance. He took Cervantes for his mo- 
del, in the hope of producing the same impression on bad 
Ereadiers by the life of his ridiculous monk, as the author of 
)on Quixote had made on all bad romance-writers by the ad- 
ventures of his whimsical knight This extraordinary work, en- 
titled. The Life of Friar Gerund de Cafdpazas, by Don Francisco 
Lobon de Salazar, appeared in three volumes, in 1758. Under 
the assumed name oi Lobon, the Jesuit father de Tlsla, attempt- 
ed to conceal himself ; but the many enemies, whom this lively 
satire raised against him, soon detected the subterfuge. The 
circumstance of giving to works of profound thought and serious 
import the form of a romance and a sportive style, is a peculiar 
characteristic of Spanish literature. The Italians do not pos- 
sess a single work to place at the side of Cervantes, Quevedo, 
or Father de ITsla. They consider it beneath them to mingle 
pleasantries, or the interest of fabulous adventures, with ph3o- 
sophic reflections. They are not on that account the more pro- 
found thinkers ; they are only the less agreeable. Their pe- 
dantic gravity repels all readers who do not bestow on them a 
serious attention ; and while they have excluded philosophy from 
the world of fashion, it has not derived any advantage from its 
banishment. In their literature therefore we find, perhaps, more 
taste^ and an imagination fully as rich and better regulated, but 
infinitely less wit than among the Spaniards. 

Friar Gerund, the hero of Father de Flsla, is supposed to be 
the son of a rich countryman of Campazas, Antonio Zotes, a 
great friend of the monks, and who opens his house and granaries 
to them whenever they seek alms in his village. Hi's conversa- 
tion with the Capuchins had filled his head with passages of 
Latin, which he did not understand, and theological propositions, 


wUeh lie received ift aa inverted ftense. But he was the schoUc 
of tlie village, and the roonks, grateM for his alniiidaiit atea» ap- 
plauded every thing he said. Zotes becaaae, hy anëoifnlîoa, 
pr0«d of his SOD, to whom lie was ambitious of giving a regular 
edacatioa. His bnelber, a gymaasiareh of San Gtegorio, ImmI 
alroady distifiguished himself in his eyes by a dedicaicny epiide 
in Latin, whidi the most experienced linguist couM neither odo- 
«trae nor understand.* Gerund was not yet seven y«at« old 
when be was sent to learn the mdiments ^ language from the 
Bsa^r of the school of Villa Omata : and the author hence 
takes occasion to describe, in a burlesque manner, the mode of 
instruction and pedantry of the village teachers* as welt as the 
ndiculous importance which was at that time bestowed <mi the 
disputes as to the ancient and new orthography. The some 
becomes still more amusing, when Gerund aj^pears before the 
domine or governor, who inquires into his attainments. It is im- 
possible to describe in a more entertaining manner, the gravity 
of the pedant who at every opportunity gives Latin quotations ; 
the folly of the subjects on which he discourses ; and the ad- 
miration which he endeavours to instil into his pupil, for every 
thing that is most bombastic and ridiculous in the titles a^d de- 
dications of books. Father de Tlsla takes this opportamty of 
making war without distinction on the dunces ef all coun- 
tries. Thus the governor presents to the admiring GennMl the 
deiticatory epistle <^ a treatise of sacred geography by some 
German author. ** To the only three hereditary sovereigns in hea- 
ven and earth, Jesus Christ Frederic Augustus, Electoral Prince 
of Saxony, and Maurice William, Hereditary IVince of Saxe^ 

* Thto epuUe li worthy of Rabekis, whom in other retpeeti tàtn Fatbar 4e 
V Ma oftea reoatti to our raoDllecUoo, by his \ift\j aol exquiaila aadte^ by Mi 
haiaofoua tra? estie of fiedaotr^, and by the addrBss with which ho laahoi aot 
only ihe particular olûect of his castigatioo, but every thias ridiculoas ia his 
way. At the same time the reverend father, in his imitation éf Rabelais, has 
frsMfi Hke hiai, offended againat propriety of mannen* We hero gite fha 
connenflomeaft oT this epistle, and the Caaiilian tiaaslatioa attaehed to it : 

Hacteniw ma iatri TuigMn aaimi ** HaaU a^i la eioelsa ii^ralitad 

liteweotis ioipitum, tua here tudo ia* de tu eoberaoia ha obscurtddo en el 

star inUii lominit eitimandea de oor- animo, â maoera de claritsimo esplea- 

iaàiÉred4iMai««onipBUet aed aatislar dor tas apagadas antotehaa del mm 

gaarai aieaa anilM dirib«ta,et posarti* senoro clarin, oon ecoo hmdaaaai» é 

cum aaiooea quasi agradula: yuibus- impubos balbaBiontoa da la fairibaada, 

dam lacunis. Barbumim stridorem (kma. Per6 quando ezamino el rooF 

aTomicandus oblatero. Voi etiam riri ^r de los despojos al terso brofilr dd 

e^tlaii, ae niU ia aagiaam iMsatre bio* emifferio en el hlando ortoeepo dd 

pidttatifSniauticataiblumcanBeniriep» ar^entado caHe, «pia eletadoa la m- 

ut. Ad rabem nean magicopertit : gloii de la teehuortMa iaapisa or&culai 

cicures que eonspicite ut alimoaes al aoierto en hobedas de cristal ; ai lo 

meis earnaboritt, quam censioncs ex- ayroso admite mai eompetenciaf, ai 

tetis, etc. ea lo heroyeo ehhen mas eftoqoMiln 


or TUS ap^viARps. 375 

Zeitz." ''Au excellent idea!** exélaims the goTemor, *'biit yoa 
shall shortly hear something mneh superioT ! I alhide to the 
titles which our incomparaUe author has invented to enplain the 
states of which Jesus Christ is hereditary prince. Attend*to 
me, my children ! perhaps in all your lives you will not hear 
Wj tlung more divine. If I had been so fortunate as to have 
invented these titles, I should have eonsidered myself an Aris- 
totle or a Plato. He calls, then, Jesus Christ, in pare and easy 
Latin, * The Crowned Emperor oS the C^iestial Host His Mie 
jesty the chosen King of Sion, Grand Pontiff of the Christian 
Church, Archbishop of Souls, Elector of the Truth, ArcMnke 
c{ Glory, DuJke of Life, Prince of Peace, Knight of the Gates 
of HelL Hereditary Ruler of Nations, L<Mrd of Assise, Cou»- 
sellor of State, and Privy Counsellor of the King his HetvenI j 
leather»' &c. &c &c." These examples give a vslue toeritietsm» 
b^ {Mcesenting us with reality in Uie midst of fiction, and by con- 
vuuûng ua that if Gerund and his teachers ere In themselves 
imaginary being», the Uiste on which their history ia founded, 
was but too reagl and prevailing. 

The voung Gerund having at len^h finished his studîf s, in- 
stead or becoming a priest allows Umself to be seduced by two 
monks, who lodge with his father, and who engi^ him to enter 
into their convent The preacher dazsjes him by his florid elo- 
fjaence. whilst the lav brother secretly gains him over by making 
him acquainted with the iUicit indul^enees which the young 
monks find in their convents } indulgences which are stitl atig- 
mented, when, as preachers, they become the lavourites of the 
women, and their cells are replenished vrithchooolate and sweets, 
and all the ofierings of pious souls. 

The young monk takes fi^r his model the senior pieacher of 
his convent Friax Bias, whose portrait is drawn by the band of 
a master. He is a vain m^Mik, who» s^bove ev^y thing, seeks the 
suSrages of the women, of whom his audience was composed, 
and who endeavoui^ to chann their eyes by the feshion and ele- 
gance of his hood and woollent gown. It is he who funiishes the 
aathor with the instances of sudden surprise, caused to the au- 
dience by the abrupt introductions of the preacher. At one time, 
preaching on the Trinity, he commences by saying : ** I deny 
the proposition that Gou is a single essence in threa persons " 
All his auditors instantly regard each other with amazement when, 
after a pause, he omtinues : '*