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Copyriglit, 1SC3, 

bt ticknor and fields 

Copyright, UTl, 

By anna TICKNOH. 

Copyright, ISid, 

By anna E. ticknor. 

Al! rights reserved. 





Didactic Poetri 

AND Pki 

Early Didactic Poetry 

. 3 

Luis de Escobar 


Alonso de Corelas 

. 5 

Gonzalez de la Torre 


Didactic Prose . 

. 6 

Francisco de Villalobos . 


Eernan Perez de Oliva 

. 9 

Juan de Sedeiio 


Cervantes de Salazar . 

. 11 

Luis Mexia .... 


Pedro de XavaiTa 

. 12 

Pedro Mexia .... 


(Jeroninio de Urrea 

. 13 

Palacios Rubios 


Alexio de Vanegas 

. 15 

.Juan de Avila 


Antonio de Guevara .... 


His Relox de Principes . 


His D^cada de los Cfearcs . 


His Epistolas 


His other Works 


The Dialogo de las Leufruas . 


Its probable Author .... 


State of the Castilian Langiiage from 

the Time of Juan de Mena 


Contributions to it . 


Dictionaries and Grammars 


The Language formed 


The Dialects 


The Pure Castilian .... 


Historical Litkratcre. 

Chronicling Period gone by 
Antonio do Guevara 
Florian de Ocampo 
Pero Mexia 

-*.ccounts of the Xew World 
Fernando Cortes 
Francisco Lopez de Gomara 
Bemal Diaz 

Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo . . SS 

His Historia de las Indias . . 39 

His Quinquagenas . . . .42 
Bartolom(5 de las Casa« ... 42 

His Brevlsima Relacion . . .45 

His Historia de las Indias . , 46 

Vaca, Xerez, and Carate . . .47 

Approach to Regular Histoiy . . 48 


Theatre in the Time of Charles the Fifth, and during the First Part- 
OF the Reign of Philip the Second. 

Drama opposed by the Church 
Inquisition mterferes 
Religious Dramas continued 
Secular Plays, CastUlejo, Oliva 

49 Juan de Paris 

49 Jaume de Huete 

50 ; Agostin Ortiz 

51 Popular Drama attempted 






T.ope de RueJa .... 

. 56 

His Two Dialogues in Verse 

. 63 

His Four Conieduu . 


His insufficient Apparatus 


Los EiigaTios .... 


He begins the Popular Drama . 

. 66 



.Tuan de Timoneda . 


Kufeinia ..... 

. 58 

His Cornelia .... 

. 67 

Armeliua .... 


His Menennos .... 


His Two Pastoral Colloquies 

. 59 

His Blind Beggars 

. 68 

His Ten Pasos 


The.\ti:e, coxfLLnKi). 

Followers of Lope de Rneda 
Alonso de la Vega, Cisneros . 
Attempts at Seville 
Juaii de la Cuevsi . 
Romero de Zepeda 
Attempts at Valencia 
Cristoval de ^'irues 
Translations from the Ancients 
Villalobos, Oliva . 
Boscan, AbriL .... 

(Jcronimo Bermudez . 
Lupercio de Argensola 
Spanish Drama to this Time 
The Attempts to form it few . 
The Appai-atus imperfect . 
Connection with the Hospitals 
Court-yards in Madrid 
Dramas have no uniform Character 
A Xational Drama demanded 



Luis DE Leon. 

Religious Element in Spanish Litera- 

Luis de Leon 

His Birth and Training 

Professor at Salamanca . 

His Version of Solomon's Song . 

His Persecution for it . . . 

Summoned before the Inquisition 

Imprisoned ..... 

Judgment 94 

Return to Salamanca . 

. 96 


Work on the Canticles . 



His Names of Christ . 

. 98 


His Perfect Wife . 



His Exposition of Job . 

. 100 


His Death . . . . 

. 101 


His Poetry .... 

. 102 


His Translations 



His Original Poetrj' . 

. 104 


His Character . . . . 


CH APT Kit X. 
Miguel de Cbrv^vntes Saavedra. 

His Family 

His Birth 

His F.ducatioJi . 

His first published Verses 

Goes to Ital}' 

Becomes a Soldier 

Fights at Lepanto 

And at Tunis . 

Is captured at Sea 

Is H Slave at Algiers 

His cniid (;;iiitivitv . 


His Release .... 


108 1 His desolate Condition 

. 115 


Serves in Portugal. 



His Oalatea .... 

. 116 


His Marriage .... 



His Literary P'riends . 

. 120 


His First Dramas . ... 



His Trato de Argel . 

. 122 


His Xumantia 



Character of these Dramas 

. 131 




Cervantes, continued. 

He goes to Seville 

. 132 

His Life tliere . . . . 


Asks Employment in America . 

. 133 

Short Poems 


Tradition from La Manclia 

. 135 

He goes to Valladolid . 


First Part of Don Quixote 

. 137 

He goes to Madrid . . . . 


Relations with Poets there 

. 138 

With Lope de \'ega .... 13H 

His Novelas I4i) 

His Viage al Parnaso . . . 145 

His Adjunta 146 

His Eight Comedias .... 148 

His Eight Entrenieses . . . 151 

Second Part of Don Quixote . . 154 

His Sickness 155 

His Death 156 

Cervantes, concluded. 

His Persiles y Sigismunda . . 158 

His Don Quixote, First Part . 161 

His Purpose in writing it . . . 162 

Passion for Romances of Chivalry 164 

He destroys it 165 

Character of the First Part . . 166 

Avellaneda's Second Part . . . 168 

Its Character 169 

Cervantes' s Satire on it . . . 170 

His own Second Part . . . 171 

Its Character 172 

Don Quixote and Sancho . . . 173 

Blemishes in the Don Quixote . 175 

Its Merits and Fame .... 178 

Claims of Cervantes . . . 178 

Lope Felix de Vega Carpio. 

His Birth 

. 180 

His Education . . . . 


A Soldier 

. 183 

Patronized by Manrique 


Bachelor at Alcala . 

. 183 

His Dorothea .... 


Secretary to Alva 

. 184 

His Arcadia .... 



. 187 

Is exiled for a Duel 


Life at Valencia .... 

. 188 

Establishes himself at JIadrid 


Death of his Wife 

Serves in the Armada . 

]\Iarries again 

His Children . 

Death of his Sons 

Death of his Wife . 

Becomes a Priest 

His Poem of San Isidro 

His Hermosura de Angelica 

His Dragontea 

His Peregrine en su Patria 

His Jerusalen Conquistada 


Lope de Vega, continued. 

His Relations with the Church 


His Pastores de Belen 

. 207 

Various Works . . . . 


Beatification of San Isidro 

. 210 

Canonization of San Isidro . 


Tome de Burguillos . 

. 215 

His Gatomachia . . . . 


Various Works .... 

. 216 

His Novelas 


He acts as an Inquisitor 
His Religious Poetry 
His Corona Tragica . 
His Laurel de Apolo 
His Dorotea 
His Last Works 
His Illness and Death 
His Burial 
His Will . 




Lope dk Vega, continued. 

■Hi> Miscellaneous 'U'orks 
Their Character 
Hi-; earliest Dramas . 
At Valencia . 
State of the Theatre . 
Kl Verdadero Aniaute . 
El Pastoral de Jacinto 
His Mijral Plays 
The Soul's Voyage 
The Prodigal Son . 
The Marriage of the Soul 
The Theatre at Madrid . 
His published Dramas 

. 227 

Their jireat Number . 

. 239 


His Dramatic Purpose . 


. 229 

Varieties in his Plays 

. 243 


Comedias de Capa y Espada . 


. 231 

Their Character • . • 

. 244 


Their Number 


. 233 

El Azero de Madrid . 

. 245 


La Noche de San Juan . 


. 234 

Festival of the Count Duke 

. 353 


La Boba para los Otros . 


. 236 

El Premio del Bien Hablar 

. 255 


Various Plays 


. 238 



Comedias Heroicas . 

Roma Abrasada 

EI Principe Perfeto . 

El Nuevo Mundo . 

El Castigo sin Venganza 

Lope de Vega, contixued. 


La Estrella de Sevilla . . . 270' 

National Subjects .... 271 

Various Plays .... 271 

Character of the Heroic Drama . 273 

Lope de Vega, continued. 

Dramas on Common Life . 
El Cuerdo en Casa 
La Donzella Teodor . 
Cautivos de Argel . 
Three Classes of Secular Plays 
The Influence of the Church . 
Religious Plays . . . . 
Plays founded on the Bible . 
El Nacimiento de Christo . 
Other such Plays . 
Comedi.as de Santos . 
Several such Plays 


San Isidro de Madrid 

. 290 


Autos Sacramentales 



Festival of the Corpus Christi . 

. 293 


Number of Lope's Autos 



Their Form .... 

. 296 


Their Loas .... 



Their Entremeses 

. 297 


The Autos themselves . 



Lope's Secular Entremeses 

. 301 


Popular Tone of his Drama . 



His Eclogues .... 

. 303 


Lope de Vega, concluded. 

Variety in the Forms of his Dramas 
Characteristics of all of them 



Irregular i'lots 

Hi'turv di-rcgarded 



. 308 


Morals .... 



Dramatized Novelle . 

. 309 


Comic Underplot . . 



Graciosos .... 

. 311 


Poetical Stvle 


Various Measures 
Hallnd Poetry in tliem . 
I'opular Air of everything 
His Success at Home 
His Success abroad . 


. 318 


U\^ large Income . 




Still he is Poor .... 

. 318 

. 315 

Great Amount of his Works . 



Spirit of Improvisation 

. 320 

. 316 

Birth anil Training . 

. 322 



Public Service in Sicily 

. 324 

In Naples . . • . 


Persecution at Home. 

. 325 



Persecution again 

. 325 

His Sufferings and Death 


Variety of his Works 

. 327 

Many suppressed . 


His Poetry 

. 328 


Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas. 

Its Characteristics . 


El Bachiller de la*Torre 

His Prose Works 

Paul the Sharper . 

Various Tracts . 

The Knight of the Forceps 

La Fortuna con Seso . 

Visions . 

Quevedo's Character 


The DRAjrA of Lope's School. 

Madrid the Capital . 
Its Effect on the Drama 
Damian de Vegas 
Francisco de Tarrega 
His Enemiga Favorable 
Gaspar de Aguilar 
His Mercader Amante 
His Suerte sin Esperanza 
Guillen de Castro 
His Dramas . 
His Mai Casados 
His Don Quixote . 
His Piedad y .Justicia 
His Santa Barbara 
His Mocedades del Cid 

. 345 

Corneille's Cid . . . . 


Guillen's Cid .... 

. 346 

Other Plays of Guillen . 


Luis Velez de Guevara 

. 348 

Mas pesa el Rey que la Sangi-e 


Other Plays of Guevara . 

. 349 

.Juan Perez de Montalvan 


His San Patricio 

. 352 

His Orfeo 


His Dramas .... 

. 354 

His Amantes de Teruel 


His Don Carlos .... 

. 355 

His Autos ..... 


His Theory of the Drama . 

. 357 

His Success 

Drama of Lope's School, concluded. 

Tirso del Molina 

His Dramas . 

His Burlador de Sevilla 

His Don Gil . 

His Vergonzoso en Palacio 

His Theory of the Drama 

Antonio Mira de Mescua . 

His Dramas and Poems 

Joseph de Valdivielso 


His Autos 

His Religious Dramas 

Antonio de Mendoza 

Ruiz de Alarcon 

His Dramas . 

His Texedor de Segovia 

His Verdad Sospechosa . 

Other Plays 

Belmonle, Cordero 



Kiiriiiuez, Villaizan . 
S:iii<liez, Herrera . 
Barliadillo, Solorzano 
I'u In<renio . 
El Diablo Predicador 


Opposition to Lope's School . . 401 

By Men of Learning .... 401 

By the Chuvcli . ... 402 

The Drama triumphs . . 404 

Lope's Fame 405 

Pedro Caldeiion de la Bakc.v. 

Birth and Family .... 407 

Kducation 408 

Festivals of San Isidro * . . .409 

Serves as a Soldier . . . 409 
Writes for the Stage . . . .410 

Patronized by Philip the Fourth . 410 

Rebellion in Catalonia . . . 410 

Controls the Theatre . . . 411 

Filters the Church .... 411 

Less favored by Charles the Second 412 

Death and Burial .... 413 

Person and Character . . . 414 

His Works 415 

His Dramas - 416 

Many falsely ascribed to him 
The Numi)er of the Genuine 
His Autos Sacramentales . 
Feast of tlie Cdrpus Christi 
His different Autos . 
His Divino Orfeo . 
Popularity of his Autos . 
His Heligious Plays 
Troubles with the Church . 
Ecclesiastics write Plays 
Caldcron's Sun Patricii) 
His Devocion de la Cruz 
His Magico Prodigioso 
Other shnilar Plays 


Caldekox. continued. 

Characteristics of his Drama 
Trusts to the Story 
Sacrifices much to it . 
Dramatic Interest strong 
Love, .Jealousy, and Honor 


Amar despues de la Muerte . 
Kl Medico de su Honra 
El Pintor de su Deshonra 
El Mavor Jlonstruo los Zelos 

443 I El Principe Constante 


Caldehox, concluded. 

Comedias de Capa y Espada . . 461 

Antes que Todo as mi Dama . . 462 

La Dama Duende .... 463 

La Vaiida y la Flor . . . 406 

Various Sources of Calderon's Plots 469 

Castilian Tone everywhere . . 472 

Exaggerated Sense of Honor . . 473 

Domestic Authority . . . 473 

Duels 4.74 

Immoral Tendency of his Dramas 475 

Attacked 475 

Defended . . . • 475 

Calderon's courtly Tone . . . 476 

His Stj'le and Versification . . 478 

His long Success .... 480 

Changes the Drama little . 481 
But gives it a lofty Tone . . .482 

His Dramatic Character . . 483 


DkAMA ok CALDErtnx's ScHOOL. 

Most Brilliant Period . 
Agustin Moreto 
His Dramas 


Figuron Plays . . 

El Lindo Don Diego . 
El Desden con el Desdeu 




Francisco de TJoxns . 

. 491 

His Dramas .... 


Del Rey abaxo Niiii^nno 

. 492 

Several Authors to one Play . 


Alvaro Cubillo .... 

. 495 

Leyba and Cancer y Velasco 


Enriquez Gomez 

. 497 

Sigler and Zabaleta 


Fernando de Zarate . 

. 498 

Miguel de l>arrios . 



. 499 

ilonteser, Cuellar . 


Juan de la Hoz .... 

. 501 

Juan de Matos Fragoso . 


Sebastian de Villaviciosa 

Antonio de SoKs 

Francisco Banzes C-andamo 

Zarzuelas . 

Opera at Madrid 

Antonio de Zamora . 

Lanini, Martinez . 

Rosete, Villegas 

Joseph de Canizares 

Decline of the Drama 

Vera y Villaroel 

Inez de la Cruz . 

Tellez de Azevedo 

Old Drama of Lope and of Calderon 


. 504 

10 . . 500 

. 508 


. 510 


. 511 


. 5i:j 


. 514 


f Calderon 514 


Nationality of the Drama . 
The Autor of a Company 
Relations with the Dramatists 
Actors, their Number . 
The most distinguished 
Their Character and hard Life 
Exhibitions in the Daytime 
Poor Scenery and Properties 
The Stage .... 
The Audience 
The Mosqueteros 
The Gradas, and Cazuela 
The Aposentos . 
Rudeness of the Audiences 
Honors to the Authors . 
Play-bills .... 

Old Theatre. 

. 515 

Titles of Plays 



Representations .... 

. 527 

. 516 





. 528 

. 519 

First .Jornada 



First Entremes .... 

. 530 

. 522 

Second Jornada and Entremes 



Third Jornada and Sajmete 

. 531 

. 523 

Dancing .... 




. 532 

. 523 

Xacaras .... 



Zarabandas .... 

. 5G3 

. 524 

Popular Character of the Drama 



Great Number of Authors 

. 53.3 

. 525 

Royal Patronage . 



Great Number of Dramas 

. 538 

. 526 

All National .... 




Old Epic Tendencies .... 


Galn-iel Lasso de la Vega . 

. 555 

Revived in the Time of Charles the 

Antonio de Saavedra 




Juan de Castellanos . 


Hieronimo Sempere 


Centenera .... 


Luis de Capata 


Caspar de Villagra 

. 557 

Diego Ximenez de Ayllon 


Religious NaiTative Poems . 


Hippolito Sanz 


Hernandez Blasco 

. 558 

Espinosa and Coloma . 


Giibriel de Mata 


Alonso de Ercilla .... 


Cristoval de Virues . 

. 558 

His Araucana .... 


His Monserrate 


Diego de Osorio 


Nicholas Bravo .... 

. 560 

Pedro de Ofia .... 


Joseph de Valdivielso . 




Diego de Hojeda . 


Hernando Dominguez Camargo . 


His Christiada . . . . 

. 561 

Juan de Encisso y iIon(;on 

. 563 

Alonso Diaz .... 


Imaginative Epics . . . . 


Antonio de Escobar . 

. 562 

Orlando Fnrioso 

. 564 

Alonso de Azevcdo 


Nicolas Espinosa . . . . 


Caiidivilla Santaren . 

. 562 

Martin de Holea 


Kodrijiuez de Vargas 


Garrido de ^'illena 


•Facobo L'ziel . . . . 

. 563 

Agustin Alonso .... 

. 567 

Sebastian de Nieva Calvo 


Luis Harahona de Soto . 


Diiran Vivas . . • . 

. 563 

His Liigrimas de Angdlica 

. 568 

•Uian Davila .... 


Bernardo de Balbuena . 


Autouio Enriquez Gomez . 

. 563 

His Bernardo .... 

. 569 


Subjects from Antiquity 
Boscan, Vendoza, Silvestre 
Montemayor, Villegas 
I'erez, Romero de Cepeda 
Fabulas, Gongora 
Villaniediana, Pantaleon 
Moucayo, Villalpando 
^liscellaneous Subjects . 
Yague de Salas . 
Miguel de Silveira . 
Fr. Lopez de Zarate . 
Mock-heroic Poems 
Cosme de Aldana 
Cintio Merctisso 
(iatomachia . 
Heroic Poems . 

AL A>D Nai:i:ative I'oiois, concluded. 

, 571 

Don John of Austria 


e . 


Hicronimo de Cortereal 

. 583 

. 571 

Juan Iiufo .... 



Pedro de la Vezilla . 

. 585 

. 573 

Miguel Giner .... 



Duarte Diaz .... 

. 586 

. 573 

Lorenzo de Zamora 



Christovul de Jlesa . 

. 587 

. 574 

Juan de la Cueva . 



Alfonso Lopez, El Pinciano 

. 589 

. 576 

Francisco Mosquera 



Vasconcellos .... 

. 590 

. 578 

Bernarda Ferreira 



Antonio de Vera y Figueroa 

. 592 

. 580 

Borja y Ivsquilache 



Rise of Heroic Poetry 

. 594 

. 581 

Its Decline .... 





















While an Italian spirit, or at least an observance of 
Italian forms, was beginning so decidedly to prevail in 
Spanish lyric and pastoral poetry, what was didactic, 
whether in prose or verse, took directions somewhat 

In didactic poetry, among other forms, the old one 
of question and answer, known from the age of Juan 
de Mena, and found in the Cancioneros as late as Bada- 
joz, continued to enjoy much favor. Originall}^, such 
questions seem to have been riddles and witticisms; 
but in the sixteenth century they gradually assumed a 
graver character, and at last claimed to be directly and 
absolutely didactic, constituting a form in which two 
remarkable books of light and easy verse were pro- 
duced. The first of these books is called " The Four 
Hundred Answers to as many Questions of the Illus- 
trious Don Fadrique Enriquez, the Admiral of Castile, 

4 DIDACTIC POETllY. [Pkuiod II. 

and other Persons." ^ It was printed three 
*4 times in 1545, the year * in which it first ap- 
peared, and had undoubtedly a great success in the 
class of society to which it was addressed, and whose 
manners and opinions it strikinglj^ illustrates. It con- 
tains at least twenty thousand verses, and was followed, 
in 1552, by another similar volume, chiefly in prose, 
and promising a third, which, however, was never 
published. Except five hundred proverbs, as they are 
inappropriately called, at the end of the first volume, 
and fifty glosses at the end of the second, the whole 
consists of such ingenious questions as a distinguished 
old nobleman in the reign of Charles the Fifth and his 
friends might imagine it would amuse or instruct them 
to have solved. They are on subjects as various as 
possible, — religion, morals, history, medicine, magic, 
— in short, whatever could occur to idle and curious 
minds ; but they were all sent to an acute, good-hu- 
mored Minorite friar, Luis de Escobar, who, being bed- 
ridden with the gout and other grievous maladies, had 
nothing better to do than to answer them. 

His answers form the bod}^ of the work. Some of 
them are wise and some foolish, syme are learned and 
some al)surd ; but they all bear the impression of their 
ao-e. Once we have a lon<»: letter of advice about 
a godly life, sent to the Admiral, which, no doubt, was 
well suii('(l to his case ; and repeatedly we get com- 
plaints from the old monk himself of his sufferings, 
and accounts of what he was doing; so that from dif- 
ferent parts of the two volumes it would be possible to 

1 My cojiy is ciititlccl, Vol. I., Las 1.545 ; printed in folio at Zararroza, i\'. 
Quatroci(;ntius l{e.s]iui'sta.s a otras tantiis 122, hlk. let. two and three lolumns. 
PrefOi'itis '1"** •'! illustrissiino (.sic) Vol. II., La Segunda Parte de las Qua- 
Seftor Don Fadrifjue Enriquez, Alnii- troeientas Resjme.stas, cc. En Valla- 
ran tc de Ca.stilla y otras diversas perso- dolid, l.'j.52. Folio, ff. 245, blk. let. 
na.s enibiaron a preguntar al autoi-, ec., two (•olunins. More tlmn jialf in prose. 

Cii.\i>. v.] 


collect a tolerably distinct picture of the amuscnients of 
society, if not its occupations, about the court, at the 
period when they were written. The poetr}^ is in many 
respects not unlike that of Tusser, who was contempo- 
rary with Escobar, but it is better and more spirited.'-^ 

* The second book of questions and answers to * 5 
which we have referred is graver than the first. 
It was printed the next year after the great success of 
Escobar's work, and is called " Three Hundred Questions 
concerning Natural Subjects, with their Answers," by 
Alonso Lopez de Corelas, a physician, who had more 
learning, perhaps, than the monk he imitated, but is 
less amusing, and writes in verses neither so well con- 
structed nor so agreeable.^ 

Others followed, like Gonzalez de la Torre, who in 
1590 dedicated to the heir-apparent of the Spanish 

2 Escobar was of the family of that 
name at Sahagun, but lived in the con- 
vent of St. Francis at Bioseco, a posses- 
sion of the great Admiral. This he 
tells ns in the Pi-eface to the Second 
Part. Elsewhere he complains that 
many of the questions sent to him 
were in such bad verse that it cost him 
a gi'eat deal of labor to put them into a 
proper shape ; and it must be admitted 
that both questions and answers gener- 
ally read as if they came from one hand. 
Sometimes a long moral dissertation 
occurs, especially in the prose of the 
second volume, but the answers are 
rarely tedious from their length. Those 
in the first volume are the best, and 
Nos. 280, 281, 282, are curious, from 
the accounts they contain of the poet 
himself, who must have died after 1552. 
In the Preface to the first volume, he 
says the Admiral died in 1538. If the 
whole work had been comjileted, ac- 
cording to its author's purpose, it would 
have contained just a thousand ques- 
tions and answers. For a specimen we 
may take No. 10 (Quatrocientas Pre- 
guntas, Carago^a, 1545, folio) as one of 
tlie more ridiculous, wliere the Admiral 
asks how many keys Christ gave to St. 
Peter ; and No. 190 as one of the 
better sort, wliere the Admiral asks 

whether it be necessary to kneel before 
the priest at confession, if the penitent 
finds it very painful ; to which the old 
monk answers gently and well, — 

He that, through suflfering sent from God above, 
Confessing, kneels not, still commits no sin ; 

But let him cherish modest, humble love, 
And that shall purify lii.s heart within. 

The fifth part of the first volume con- 
sists of riddles in the old style ; and, 
as Escobar adds, they .are sometimes 
truly very old riddles ; so old, that they 
must have been generally known. 

The Admiral to whom these "Respu- 
estas" Avere addressed was the stout old 
nobleman who, during one of the ab- 
sences of Charles V., was left Regent 
of Sixain, and who ventured to give his 
master counsels of the most plain- 
spoken wisdom (Salazar, Dignidades, 
1618, Lib. III. c. 15; Ferrer del Kio, 
Decadencia de Espana, 1850, pp. 16, 

^ The Volume of Corelas "Trezientas 
Preguntas" (Valladolid, 1546, 4to) is 
accompanied by a learned prose com- 
mentary in a respectable didactic style. 
There seems to have been an earlier 
edition the sai^je year, containing only 
two hundred and fifty questions and 
answers. (See Salva's Catalogues, 1826 
and 1829, Nos. 1236. 3304.) 


throne a volume of siicli dull religious riddles as were 
admired a century before.* But nobody, who wrote in 
this peculiar didactic sty\e of verse, equalled Escobar, 
and it soon jDassed out of general notice and regard.^ 

In prose, about the same time, a fashion appeared of 
imitating the Roman didactic prose-writers, just as those 
writers had been imitated by Castiglione, Benibo, 
* 6 Giovanni * della Casa, and others in Italy. The 
impulse seems plainly to have l)een commmiicated 
to Spain by the moderns, and not by the anciefits. It 
was because the Italians led the Avav that the Romans 
were imitated, and not because the example of Cicero 
and Seneca had. of itself, been al)le to form a prose 
school, of any kind, beyond the Pyrenees.*^ The fash- 
ion was- not one of so much importance and influence 
as that introduced into the poetry of the nation ; but 
it is worthy of notice, both on account of its results 
during the reign of Charles the Fifth, and on account 
of an effect more or less distinct which it had on the 
prose style of the nation afterwards. 

The eldest among the prominent wi'iters produced by 
this state of things was Francisco de Villalobos, of whom 
we know little except that he belonged to a family 
which, for several successive generations, had been 
devoted to the medical art ; that he was himself the 
physician, first of Ferdinand the Catholic,' and then of 

* Docu-nttus PiY'^intas, f'tc, ]>or.Iiian nan Perez dc Oliva, shows the way in 
Gonzalez de la Torre, Madiid, 1590, -which the change was brouglit alujiit. 
4to. Some Sj)aniards, it is plain from this 

^ I should rather have said, perhaps, curious document, were become ashamed 

that the Prcf^mtas were soon restricted to wiitc any longer in Latin, as it' their 

to the ffLshioiialile societies and acade- own language were unfit for practical 

inics of the time, as we see them wittily use in matters of grave imjiortanoe, 

exhibited in the first janiada of Cal- when they had, in the Italian, exam- 

deron's "Secreto a Voces." pies of entin? success befoie them. 

* The general tendency and tone of (Ohras de Oliva, Madrid, 1787, 12mo, 
the didactii; jirose-wriWrs in the reign Tom. I. ]ip. xvi-xlvii.) 

of Charles V. prove this fact ; but the ' There is a letter of Villalobos, dated 

Discourse of Morales, the historian, at Calatayud, OctoV)er 6, 1515, in which 
jirefixed to the works of his uncle, Fer- he says he was detained in that city by 


Charles the Fifth ; that he published, as early as 1498, 
a poem on his own science, in five hundred stanzas, 
founded on the rules of Avicenna ;^ and that he con- 
tinued to be known as an author, chiefiy on subjects 
connected with his profession, till 1543, before which 
time he had become weary of the court, and sought a 
voluntary retirement, in which he died, above seventy 
years old.^ His translation of the " Amphitryon " of 
Plautus belongs rather to the theatre, but, like 
that of Oliva, soon to be mentioned, * produced no * T 
effect there, and, like his scientific treatises, de- 
mands no especial notice. The rest of his Avorks^ 
including all that belong to the department of elegant 
literature, are to be found in a volume of moderate size> 
which he dedicated to the Infante Don Luis of Por- 

The chief of them is called "Problems," and is di- 
vided into two tractates : the first, which is very short, 
being on the Sun, the Planets, the Four Elements, and 
the Terrestrial Paradise ; and the last, which is longer, 
on Man and Morals, beginning with an essay on Satan, 
and ending with one on Flattery and Flatterers, which is 
especially addressed to the heir-apparent of the crown 
of Spain, afterwards Philip the Second. Each of these 
subdivisions, in each tractate, has eight lines of the old 
Spanish verse prefixed to it, as its Problem, or text, and 
the prose discussion which follows, like a gloss, consti- 
tutes the substance of the Avork. The whole is of a very 
miscellaneous character ; most of it grave, like the es- 

the king's severe illness. (Obras, (^'ara- ticed, to have been (lis))lease(l with his 
go(ja, 1544, folio, f. 71, h.) This was ])osition as early as 1515 ; but he must 
the illness of which Ferdinand died in liave continued at court above twenty- 
less than four months afterward. years longer, when he left it poor and 

** Mendez, Typographia, ]). 249. An- disheartened. (Obras, f. 45.) From a 

tonio. Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, Tom. U. passage two leaves further on, I think 

J). 344, note. he left it after the death of the Em- 

^ He seems, from the letter just no- press, in 1539. 


says on Knio-lits and Prelates, but some of it amiisinii', 
like an essay on the Marriage of Old Men.^*^ The 
best portions are those that have a satirical vein in 
them ; suoli as the ridicule of litigious old men, and 
of old men that wear paint." 

A Dialogue on Intermittent Fevers, a Dialogue on 
the Natural Heat of the Body, and a Dialoofue between 
the Doctor and the Duke, his patient, are all quite in 
the manner of the contemporary didactic discussions 
of the Italians, except that the last contains passages of 
a broad and free humor, approaching more nearly to 
the tone of comedy, or rather of farce.^^ A treatise that 
follows, on the Three Great Annoyances of much talk- 
ing, much disputing, and much laughing,^'^ and a 
* 8 * grave discourse on Love, with which the volume 
ends, are all that remain worth notice. They have 
the same general characteristics with the rest of his 
miscellanies ; the style of some portions of them being 
distinguished by more purity Jind more pretensions to 
dignity than have been found in the earlier didactic 
prose-writers, and especially by greater clearness and 
exactness of expression. Occasionally, too, we meet 
with an idiomatic familiarity, frankness, and spirit, that 
are xery attractive, and that partly compensate us for 

''' If Pogf?io's tiillc, "All Seni sit ca de AutoresEspanoles, Tom. XXXVI. 

I'xor daci'iida," had been published 18.5.5. 
uhcn Villalolios wrote, I .should not ''■^ Obra.s, f. 35. 

<l(nil>t he had seen it. A.s it is, the i-' I have translated the title of this 

«-.oincideiice may not be accidental, lor Treati.se " The Three Great Annoii- 

I'ogKio died in 1449, though his Dia- anccs." In the original it is "The 

logue was not, I believe, jjiiuted till Three Great ," leaving the title, 

the jnesciit ci'iitury. says Villalobos in his Prologo, unliii- 

" The Pioblemas constitute the first i.shed, .so that everybody may fill it 

]iait of the Obnis de Villalobos, 1544, up as he likes. Among the M8S. of 

and fill thirty-four leaves. A few jioems the Academy of History at ]\Iadrid 

Viy Villalolios may be found in the Can- is an amusing "Coloquio" by Villalo- 

cionero of 1554 (noticed anlc. Vol. I. bos on a medical question, and some 

]). 393, 11.); but they are of much less of his ])lea.saiit letters. See Spanish 

worth than his pro.se, and th(! best of translation of this History, Tom. II. 

Jiis works an; reiniiited in the Bibliote- p. 506. 


the absurdities of the old and forgotten doctrines in 
natural history and medicine, whicli Villalobos incul- 
cated because they were the received doctrines of his 

The next writer of the same class, and, on the whole, 
one much more worthy of consideration, is Fernan 
Perez de Oliva, a Cordovese, who was born about 1492, 
and died, still young, in 1530. His father was a lover 
of letters ; and the son, as he himself informs us, was 
educated with care from his earliest youth. At twelve 
years of age, he was already a student in the Univer- 
sity of Salamanca ; after which he went, first, to Alcala, 
when it was in the beginning of its glory; then to 
Paris, Avhose University had long attracted students 
from every part of Europe ; and finally to Rome, wherCy 
under the protection of an uncle at the court of Leo 
the Tenth, all the advantages to be found in the most 
cultivated capital of Christendom were accessible to 

On his uncle's death, it was proposed to him to take 
several offices left vacant by that event ; but loving 
letters more than courtly honors, he went back to Paris, 
where he taught and lectured in its University for three 
years. Another Pope, Adrian the Sixth, was now on 
the throne, and, hearing of diva's success, endeavored 
anew to draw him to Rome ; but the love of his coun- 
try and of literature continued to be stronger than the 
love of ecclesiastical preferment. He returned, 
therefore, to Salamanca ; * became one of the * 9 
original members of the rich " College of the Arch- 
bishop," founded in 1528; and was successively chosen 
Professor of Ethics in the Universit}^, and its Rector. 
But he had hardly risen to his highest distinctions^ 
when he died suddenly, and at a moment when so 


inniiv hopes rested on liiin that his death was felt as a 
misibrtune to the cause of letters throughout Spain.^* 

diva's studies at Rome had taught hiui how success- 
fully tJic Latin writers had been imitated by the Ital- 
ians, and he became anxious that they should be no less 
successfully imitated by the Spaniards. He felt it as 
a wrong done to his native language, that almost all se- 
rious prose discussions in Spain were still carried on in 
Latin, rather than in Spanish.^^ Taking a hint, then, 
from Castiglione's " Cortigiano," and opposmg the cur- 
rent of opinion among the learned men with whom he 
lived {uid acted, he began a didactic dialogue on the 
Dignity of Man, formallj^ defending it as a work in the 
Spanish language written by a Spaniard. Besides this, 
he wrote several strictly didactic discourses : one on the 
Faculties of the Mind and their Proper Vse ; another 
in;uing Cordova, his native city, to improve the naviga- 
tion of the Guadalquivir, and so obtain a portion of the 
rich connnerce of the Lidies, which was then monopo- 
lized ))y Seville ; and another, that was delivered at Sal- 
amanca, when he was a candidate for the chair of moral 

^* Tlu" most ainplf life of Oliva is in In an anonymous controvorsial pam- 

Eezalial y Ugaiie, " Bil)lioteca de los ])lilet pulilishcd at Madrid in 1789, and 

Escri tores, (|uc han sido individuos do entitled "Carta de I'aracuello.s," we 

los seis Colegios Maj'ores" (Madrid, are told (p. 29), " Los anos pasados el 

180."), 4to, pp. 239, etc.). But all that C'onsejo de Ca.stilla maiuld a las Univer- 

we know about him, of any real inter- sidades del Reyno que, en las funciones 

fst, is to be found in th(! exposition he literarias, solo se hablase en Latin, 

made of his claims and meiits when Bien mandado, ec." And yet, the in- 

he contended ])ublicly for the chair judiciousness of the practice had been 

of Moral Philosophy at Salamanca. al)ly set forth by the well-known schol- 

(Obias, 1787, Tom. II. jijt. 26 -.51.) ar, Pedro Simon de Abril, in an ad- 

In the course of it, he says his travels dress to Philip II., as early as 1589, 

all over Spain .and out of it, in pursuit and tlie reasons against it .stated with 

of knowledge, liad amounted to more force and precision. See his "Apunta- 

than three thou.sand leagues. mientos de como .se deveii reformar la- 

'^ Obras, Tom. I. p. xxiii. l^uis de doctrinas y la manera de ansefiallas." 

Leon was of the .same mind at the same Editions of this sensible tra(!t were 

X»enod, but his opinion was not jirinted al.so printed Ln 1769 and 1817; — the 

until later. See pos/., ("liap. IX. note la.st, with notes and a preliminary 

12. But Latin continued to be exclu- discourse by Jose Clemente Caricero, 

sively the language; of the. Spanish Uni- .seems to have had some ell'ect on opin- 

ver.iilics for ai>ove two centuries longer. ion. 


philosophy; * in all which his nephew, Morales, * 10 
the historian, assures us it was his uncle's strong 
desire to furnish practical examples of the power and 
resources of the Spanish language.^*' 

The purpose of giving greater dignity to his na- 
tive tongue, by employing it, instead of the Latin, 
on all the chief subjects of human inquir}^, was cer- 
tainly a fortunate one in Oliva, and soon found imita- 
tors. Juan de Sedeno published, in 153G, two prose 
dialogues on Love and one on Happiness ; the former 
in a more graceful tone of gallantry, and the latter in 
a more philosophical spirit and with more terseness of 
manner than belong-ed to the ao:e.^' Francisco Cervan- 
tes de Salazar, a man of learning, completed the dia- 
logue of Oliva on the Dignity of Man, which had been 
left unfinished, and, dedicating it to Fernando Cortes, 
published it in 1546,^*^ together with a long prose fable 
by Luis Mexia, on Idleness and Labor, written in a pure 
and somewhat elevated style, but too much indebted to 
the " Vision " of the Bachiller de la Torre.^^ Fadrique 
Oeriol in 1559 printed, at Antwerp, an ethical and 

1^ The works of Oliva have been pub- ■''' Sigaeuse dos Coh)quio.s de Amores 

lished at least twice ; the first time by y otro de BienaveiituraiKja, etc., per 

his nephew, Ambrosio de Morales, 4to, Juan de Sedeno, vezino de Arevalo, 

Cordova, in 1585, and again at Madrid, 1536, sm. 4to, no printer or place, pp. 

1787, 2 vols, 12mo. In the Index Ex- 16. This is the same Juan de Sedeno 

purgatorius, (1667, 'p. 424,) they are who translated the " Celestina " hito 

forbidden to be read, "till they are verse in 1540, and who wrote the 

corrected," — a phrase which seems to " Snma de Varones Ilustres " (Areva- 

have left each copy of them to the lo, 1551, and Toledo, 1590, folio) ; — 

discretion of the spiritual director of a poor biographical dictionary, contain- 

its owner. In the edition of 1787, a ing lives of about two hundred dis- 

sheet was cancelled, in order to get rid tinguished personages, alphabetically 

of a note of Morales. See Index of 1790. arranged, and beginning^nth Adam. Se- 

In the same volume with the minor deno was a soldier, and served in Ital}'. 

works of Oliva, Morales published fif- ^^ The whole Dialogue — both the 

teen moral discourses of his own, and jiart written by Oliva and that written 

one by Pedro A'alles of Cordova, none by Francisco Cervantes — was pub- 

of which have much literary value, lished at Madrid (1772, 4to) in a new 

though several, like one on the Advan- edition by Cerda y Rico, with his usual 

tage of Teaching with Gentleness, and abundant, but awkward, prefaces and 

one on the Difference between Genius annotations. 

and Wisdom, are marked with excel- i' It is republished in the volume 

lent sense. That of Valles is on the mentioned in the last note ; but we 

Fear of Death. know nothing of its author. 



[I'EpaoD II, 

political work entitled " Counsel and Councillors for a 
Prince," which was too tolerant to be successful 
* 11 *in Spain, but was honored and translated 
abroad.-^ Pedro de Navarra published, in 1567, 
forty Moral Dialogues, partly the result of conversations 
held in an Acadrmia of distinguished persons, who met, 
from time to time, at the house of Fernando Cortes.-^ 
Pedro Mexia, the chronicler, wrote a Silva, or Miscel- 
lany, divided, in later editions, into six books, and sub- 

-'^ El Coiiscjo y Consejeros del Prin- 
cipe, ec., Aiivers, 1559. Only tlie first 
part was published. This can be found 
in the Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles, 
Tom. XXXVl. 1855. 

21 Dialogos niuy Subtiles y Notables, 
etc., por D. Pedro de Navarra, Obis])o 
de Conienge, (J'arago9a, 1567, 12ino, 118 
leaves. The first five Dialogues are on 
the Character becoming a lioyal Chroni- 
cler ; the next four on the Differences 
between a Rustic and a Noble Life ; 
and the remaining thirty-one on Prep- 
aration for Death ; — all written in a 
pure, simple Castilian style, but with 
little either new or striking in the 
thoughts. Their author says, it was a 
rule of the Acadcmia that the person 
who an-ived last at each meeting should 
furnish a .subject for discussion, and 
direct another menibej- to reduce to 
writing tlie remarks that might be 
made on it, — Cardinal Poggio, Juan 
d' Estuniga, knight-commander of Cas- 
tile, and other per.son.s of note, being 
of the society. Navarra adds, that he 
had written two hundred dialogues, in 
which there were "few matters that 
had not been touched upon in that e.\- 
cellent Academy," and notes especially 
that the subject of "Preparation for 
Death " had been discussed after the 
decease of Cobos, a confidential minis- 
ter of Charles V., and that he himsidf 
had acted as secretary on the occasion. 
Traces of anything contemporary are, 
however, rare in the forty dialogues he 

{irinted ; — the mo.st impoi-tant that I 
lave noticed relating to Charles V. and 
his retirement at Yuste, whicli the good 
Bisliop seems to have bidieved was a 
sincere abandonment of all woi'ldly 
thoughts and passions. 1 find nothing 
to illustrate the cKaracter of Cortes, 

except the fact that such meetings M'ere 
held at his house. Cervantes, in his 
Don Quixote, (Parte II. c. 18,) calls 
him — perhaps on this account, per- 
haps for the sake of a play upon words 
— " cortesissimo Cortes." Certainly I 
know nothing in the character or life of 
this ferocious to/i5'«/,s^»fo;- which should 
entitle him to such commendation, ex- 
cept the countenance he gave to this 

The fashion of writing didactic dia- 
logues in prose was common at this 
jjeriod in Spain, and indeed until after 
1600, as Gayangos has wcdl noted in 
his translation of this Histor}^ (Tom. 
II. pp. 508-510,) citing in proof of it 
the names of a considerable number of 
authors, most of whom are now for- 
gotten, but the best of whom, that I 
have not elsewhere noticed, are Diego 
de Salazar, 1536 ; Francisco de Miranda 
y Villafano, 1582 ; Bernardino de Esca- 
lante, 1583; Franci-sco de Yaldes, 1586; 
Juan de Guzman, 1589 ; Diego N^inez 
de Alva, 1589 ; and Sancho de Lodono, 
1593. Of these, I should distingui-sh 
Nunez de Alva, whose dialogues, in the 
copy I use, are entitled "Dialogos de 
Diego Nunez de Alva de la Vida del 
Soldado en que se quentan la conju- 
racion y pacificacion de Alamana con 
todas las batallas, recuentros y escara- 
mu^as que en ello acontecieron en los 
ahos dc 1546, y 7, ec. (En Salamanca, 
Andrea de Portinaris, Dialogo primero, 
1552, Dialogo segundo, 1553." Rut the 
comjdete edition is Cuenca, 1589.) It 
is written in a ])ure and sjiirited style, 
and is not without value for its record 
of liistorical facts ; but it is chiefly in- 
teresting for what it tells us of a sol- 
dier's life in the time of Charles V., — so 
different from what it is in our days. 

Chap. V.] URREA. 13 

divided into a multitude of separate essays, historical 
and moral ; declaring it to be the first work of the 
kind in Spanish, which, he says, he considers quite 
as suitable for such discussions as the Italian.^^ 
* To this, which may be regarded as an imita- * 12 
tion of Macrobius or of Athenanis, and wliicli 
was printed in 1513, were added, in 1518, six didactic 
dialogues, — curious, but of little value, — in the first 
of which the advantages and disadvantages of having 
regular physicians are agreeably set forth, with a light- 
ness and exactness of style hardly to have been ex- 
pected.^'^ And finally, to complete the short list, Urrea, 
a fixvored soldier of the Emperor, and at one time vice- 
roy of Apulia, — the same person who made the poor 
translation of Ariosto mentioned in Don Quixote, — 
published, in 1566, a Dialogue on True Military Honor, 
which is written in a pleasant and easy style, and con- 
tains, mingled with the notions of one who says he 
trained himself for glory by reading romances of chiv- 
alry, not a few amusing anecdotes of duels and mili- 
tary adventures.^* 

2^ Silva cle Varia Leccion, poi' Pedro don, 1613, fol.). It is a curious mix- 

Mexia. The first edition (Sevilla, 1543, ture of similar discussions by different 

fol.) is in only three parts. Another, authors, Spanish, Italian, and French, 

which I also possess, is of Madrid, 1669, Mexia's part begins at Book I. c. 8. 
and in six books, filling about 700 ^3 -p^^g earliest edition of the Dia- 

clo.sely printed (piarto pages ; but the logues, I think, is that of Seville, 1548, 

fifth and sixth books were first added, which I use as well as ofte of 1562, 

I think, in the edition of 1554, tAvo both 12mo, lit. got. The second dia- 

years after his death, and do not seem logue, wliichison "Inviting to Feasts," 

to be his. It was long very populai', is amusing ; but the last, which is on 

and there are many editions of it, be- subjects of physical science, such as the 

.sides translations into Italian, German, causes of thunder, earthquakes, and 

French, Flemish, and English. One comets, is nowadays only curious or 

English version is by Thomas For- ridiculous. At the end of the Dia- 

tescue, and appeared in 1571. (War- logues, and sometimes at the end of 

ton's Eng. Poetry, London, 1824, 8vo, old editions of the Silva, is found a free 

Tom. IV. p. 312.) Another, which is translation of the Exhortation to Virtue 

anonymous, is called "The Treasure of by Isocrates, made from the Latin of 

Ancient and Modern Times, etc., trans- Agricola, because Mexia did not uuder- 

lated out of that worthy Spanish Gen- stand Greek. It is of no value, 
tlemau, Pedro Mexia, and Mr. Fran- ^* Dialogo de la Verdadera Honra 

Cisco San.soviiio, tlie Italian," etc. (Lon- Jlilitar, por Geronimo Ximenez de Ur- 

14 OLIVA. [Pfiuod ir. 

Both of the works of Pedro Mexia, but especially his 
Silva, enjoyed no little popularity during the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries ; and, in point of style, they 
are certainly not without merit. None, however, of 
the productions of any one of the authors last men- 
tioned had so much force and character as the first 
part of the Dialogue on the Dignity of Man. And 

yet Oliva was certainly not a person of a 
* 13 connnandini*: g-enius. *IIis ima<»:ination never 

warms into poetry; his invention is never 
sufficient to give new and strong views to his subject ; 
and his sj'stem of imitating both the Latin and the 
Italian masters rather tends to debilitate than to 
impart vigor to his tlioughts. ])ut there is a general 
reasonal^leness and wisdom in what he says that win 
and often satisfy ns ; and these, with his stjde, Avhich, 
though sometimes declamatory, is yet, on the v^diole, 
pure and well settled, and his happy idea of defending 
and employing the Castilian, then coming into all 
its rights as a living language, have had the effect 
of giving him a more lasting reputation than that 
of any other Spanish prose-writer of his time.^^ 

rea. There are editions of 1.566, 1.'j75, opposition to the use of the Castilian 

1661, etc. (Latassa, Bib. Arag. Nueva, in gi'ave subjects was continued. He 

Tom. I. p. 264.) Mine is a small (]uar- says people talked to him as if it were 

to volume, Zaragoza, 1642. One of tlie "a sacrilege" to discuss such matters 

most amusing passages in the Dialogue except in Latin (f. l.'»). But he replies, 

of Urrca i^ tlir- one in Part First, con- like a true Spaniard, tliat the Castilian 

taining a <letailed statement of every- is better for sudi jiurposes than Latin 

thing relating to the duel proposed by or Greek, and that lie trusts before long 

Francis L to Charles V. There are to .see it as widely spread as the arms 

verses by him in the Cancionero of and glories of his country (f. 17). On 

1.5.'>4, (noticed ante. Vol. L p. 393, n.,) the other hand, in 1.543, a treatise 

and in the Library of the University of on Holy AliVitions, — " Ley de Amor 

Zamgoza there are, in MS., the second Sancto, — written bj' Francisco de Os- 

and third volumes of a Homancc of suna, witli gieat purity of style, and 

Chivalry by liim, entitled " Don Clari- somi-times with fervent elo<|uence, was 

sel de las Flores." See Spani.sh ti'ans- ]iublished witliout apology for its Cas- 

lation of this History, Tom. IL p. tilian, and dedicated to Francisco de 

51 1 . ( 'obos, a confirlential secretary of Charles 

'^ As late as 1.592, when the "Con- ^ ., adverted to in note 21. I think 

version de la Magdalena," by Pedro O.ssuna was dead when this treatise 

Malon de Chaide, was published, the appeared. 


The same general tendency to a more formal and 
elegant style of discussion is found in a icAV other 
ethical and religious authors of the reign of Charles 
the Fifth that are still remembered ; such as Palacios 
iRubios, who wrote an essay on Military Courage, 
for the benefit of his son ; ^^ Vanegas, who, under 
the title of " The Agony of Passing through Death," 
gives us what may rather be considered an ascetic 
treatise on holy living ; ^' and Juan de Avila, 
sometimes called the Apostle * of Andalusia, * 14 
whose letters are fervent exhortations to virtue 
and religion, composed with care and often with elo- 
quence, if not with entire purity of style.'^ 

The author in this class, however, who, during his 
lifetime, had the most influence, was Antonio de ' 
Guevara, o ne of the official chroniclers of Cliarles tlie » 
Fifth. He was a Biscayan by birth, and passed some \ 
of his earlier years at the court of Queen Isabella. 

2^5 A full account of Juan Lopez de a good style, thougli not without con- 

Vivero Palacios Rubios, who was a ceits of thought and conceited phrases, 

man of consequence in his time, and But it is not, as its title might seem to 

■engaged in the famous compilation of imply, a criticism on books and au- 

the Spanish laws called " Leyes de thor.s, but the opinion of Vanegas him- 

Toro," is contained in Rezabal y Ugarte self, how we should study tlie great 

(Biblioteca, pp. 266-271). His works books of God, nature, man, and Chris- 

in Latin are numerous ; but in Spanish tianity. It is, in fact, intended to dis- 

he published only ' ' Del Esfuevzo Belico courage the reading of most of the books 

Heroyco," which appeared first at Sala- then nnich in fashion, and deemed by 

manca in 1524, folio, but of which him bad. 

there is a beautiful Madrid edition, ^^ He died in 1569. In 1534 he was 

1793, folio, with notes by Francisco in the prisons of the Inquisition, and 

Moi'ales. in 1559 one of his books was put into 

2^ Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. 8. the Index Expurgatorius. Neverthe- 
He flourished about 1531-1545. His less, he was regarded as a sort of Saint. 
"Agonia del Transito de la Muerte," a (Llorente, Histoire de I'lnquisition, 
glossary to which, by its author, is Tom. II. pp. 7 and 423.) His "Car- 
dated 1543, was first printed fi'om his tas Espirituales " were not piinted, I 
corrected manuscript many years later, believe, till the year of his death. 
My copy, which seems to be of the (Antonio, Bib. Nova, Tom. I. ])p. 639- 
first edition, is dated Alcala, 1574, and 642.) His treatises on Self-knowledge, 
is in 12mo. The treatise called "Dife- on Prayer, and on other religious sub- 
rencias de Libros que ay en el Uni- jects, are equallj' well written, and in 
verso," by the same author, who, how- the same style of eloi^uence. A long 
ever, here writes his name Vcnegas, life, or rather eulogy, of him is pre- 
was finished in 1539, and printed at fixed to the first volume of his works, 
Toledo in 1540, 4to. It is written in (Madrid, 1595, 4to,) by Juan Diaz. 


In 1528 he became a Franciscan monk ; but, enjoy- 
ing the favor of the Emperor, he seems to have been 
transformed into a thorough courtier, accompanj^ing 
his master during his jourueys and residences in Italy 
and other parts of Europe, and rising successively, by 
the royal patronage, to be court preacher. Imperial 
historiographer, Bisliop of Guadix, and Bishop of 
Mondonedo. He died in 1545.-"^ 

His Avorks were not very nunuMOus, Init they Avere 
fitted to the atmosphere in which they were produced, 
and enjoj^ed at once a great popularity. His '• Dial 
for Princes, or Marcus Aurelius," first published in 
1529, and the fruit, as he tells us, of eleven years' 
labor,^'^ was not only often reprinted in Spanish, 1)ut 
was translated into Latin, Italian, French, and English ; 
in each of which last two languages it appeared many 
times before the end of tlie centiuy.^^ It is a kind 

of romance, founded on the life and character 
*15 of Marcus Aurelius, and resembles, * in some 

points, the " Cyropaidia " of Xenophon ; its pur- 
pose being to place before the Emperor Charles the 
Fifth the model of a prince more perfect for wisdom 
and virtue than any other of antiquity. But the 
Bishop of Mondofiedo adventured beyond his preroga- 
tive. He pretended that his Marcus Aurelius was 
genuine history, and appealed to a manuscri])t in 
Florence, which did not exist, as if he had done little 
more than make a translation ol" it. In conse(jnence 

29 A life of fhievaia is prefixed to different editions and translations of 

the edition of his Epistolas, Madrid, the works of Guevai'a, showing their 

1673, 4to ; hut tln^re is a f,'ood account great popularity all over Europe. In 

of liiin hy himself in the Prologo to his Frencli the nunilier of translations in 

" Menosjirecio de Corte." the sixteenth century was extraordi- 

^' .See the argument to his "Decada nary. See La Croix du Maine et du 

de los Ccsares." Verdier, l'ililiothei|ues, (Paris, 1772, 

31 Watt, in his " Bihliotheca Hritiiii- 4to, Tom. 111. p. 123,) and the articles 

nica," and l^ninet, in his "^lanuel du there referred to. 
Libraire," give (piite amjile lists of the 

I'li.vr. v.] ANTOMO I)K GUEVARA. 17 

of this, Pedro de Run., a professor of ele^-ant literature 
in the college at Soria, addressed a letter to hiiii, in 
1540, exposing the fraud. Two other letters followed, 
written with more IVeedoni and purity of style than 
anything in the works of the Bishop himself, and leav- 
ing him no real ground on which to stand. '^^ He, 
however, defended himself as well as he was able ; at 
first cautiously, but afterwards, when he was more 
closely assailed, by assuming the wholly untenable 
position that all ancient profane history was no more 
true than his romance of Marcus Aurelius, and that he 
had as good a right to invent for his own high pur- 
]DOses as Herodotus or Livy. From this time he was 
severely attacked ; more so, perhaps, than he would 
have been if the gross frauds of Annius of Viterbo 
had not then been recent. But, however this may be, 
it was done with a bitterness that forms a strong con- 
trast to the applause bestowed in France, near the 
end of the eighteenth century, upon a somewhat 
similar work on the same subject by Thomas.*^ 

^^ There are editions of the Cartas questions, the satirical chi'onicler says 

del Bachiller Rua, Burgos, 15-49, 4to, that he inquired: " Querria saber, 

and Madrid, 1736, 4to, and a lite of Senora Voz, si tengo de ser niejorado 

him in Bayle, Diet. Historique, Am- en algun obispado, e que fuese presto 

sterdam, 1740, folio, Tom. iV. p. 95 c si han de crcer todo lo que yo 

The letters of Rua, or Rhua, as his escrihoV But, setting the jests of Fran- 
name is often written, are respect- cesillo aside, Guevara was, no doubt, 
able in style, though their critical as Ferrer del Rio says of him, "hombre 
spirit is that of the age and country de escasissima conciencia." In his 
in which they were written. Tlie short youth he seems to have been a rake, 
reply of Guevara following the second (Decadencia de Espafaa, 1850, pp. 139, 
of Rua's letters is not creditable to sqq.) How shamelessly intolerant and 
him. cruel he afterwards became, we have 

There are several amusing hits at ah'eady seen, ante. Period I., Chap. 

Guevara in the chronicle of Fraucesillo XXIV. note 8. 

de Zuhiga, the witty fool of Charles V. ^^•Antonio, in his article on Guevara, 

Ex. gr. in Chap. LXXXIV. he says (Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p. 125,) is very 

that there was a gi'eat stir at couit severe ; but his tone is gentle compared 

about the wonders of a deep cave near with that of Bayle, (Diet. Hist., Tom. 

Burgos, in which a hidden miraculous II. p. 631,) who always delights to 

voice would give answers to questions .show up any defects he can tind in 

put to it. Many persons visited it. the characters of priests and monks. 

Among the rest Guevara went with a There are editions of the Relo.x de 

party, and when his turn came to })ut Prineipes of 1529, 1532, 1537, etc. 
VOL. II. 2 



[Pkkiui. II. 

After all, liowevm^, the "Dial for Princes" is 
* IG little * worth}' of the excitement it occasioned. 
It is filled with letters and speeches, ill-con- 
ceived and inappropriate, and is written in a formal 
and inflated style. Perhaps we are now indebted to it 
for nothing so mnch as for the beautifid fable of " The 
Peasant of the Dannbe," evidently sn^-irested to La 
Fontaine l)y one of the discourses through which 
Guevara endeavored to give life and reality to his 

In the same spirit, though Avith less boldness, he 
wrote his " Lives of the Ten Roman Emperors " ; a 
v.ork Avliich, like his Dial for Princes, he dedicated to 
Charles the Fifth. In general, he has here followed 
the authorities on which he claims to foimd his narra- 
tive, such as Dion Cassius and the minor Latin histo- 
rians, showing, at the same time, a marked desire to 
imitate Plutarch and Suetonius, whom he announces 
as his models. But he has not been able entirely 
to resist the temptation of inserting fictitious letters, 
and even unfounded stories; thus giving a false view, 

Thos. North, the well-known English 
translator, translated the "Relox" in 
three books, adding, inappropriately, 
as a "fowerth," the " Despertador (k; 
Cortesanos," and dedicating the whole, 
in \iv.)l, to Qneen Mary, then wife of 
Philip II. It was the work of his 
yontli, he saj's, wlien he was a stndent 
of Lincoln's Inn ; bnt it contains much 
good ohl English idiom. Jly copy is 
in folio, l.'^OS. 

^ La Fontaine, Fables, Lib. XL f\xb. 
7, and Guevara, Kelo.\, Lil). III. c. 3. 
The s)»eech which tlie Spanish liisliop, 
the true inventor of this hapjiy iiction, 
gives to his Rnstico de Germania is, 
indeed, too long ; but it was po))ular. 
Tirso de Midiiia, after di-scribing a jieas- 
ant who appioached Xer.ves, says in the 
Prologue to one of his plays, 

In short, 
lit- re|irewnU'(J to the very life 

The Rustic that so boldly spoke 

Uefore the liomaii Senate. 
C'igarrales de Toledo, Madrid, 1624, 4to, p. 102. 
La Fontaine, howevei', did not trouble 
himself about the original Spanish or 
its popularit}'. He took his lieautiful 
version of the fable from an old French 
translation, made by a gentleman who 
went to Madrid in 1526 with the Car- 
dinal de Granimont, on the suliject of 
Francis the Firsl's imprisonment. It 
is in the rich oV\ Fn-ncli of that ]icriod, 
and La Fontaine often ado])ts, with his 
accustomed .skill, its ]iictures(jue phra- 
seology. I su])])o.se this translation is 
the one cited by Hrunet as made by 
Pene Bertaut, of whifh there were many 
editions, ^linc is of Paris, ]."j4(i, folio, 
by Galliot du Pre, and is entitletl " Lor- 
loge des Princes, traduiet Uesjtaignol 
en Langaige Frant;ois," but does not 
trive the translator's name. 

Chai'. v.] ANTONIO DE GUEVARA. 10 

if not of the facts of liistory, at least of some of the 
characters he records. Ilis style, however, though it 
still wants purity and appropriateness, is better and 
more simple than it is in his romance on Marcus 

* Similar characteristics mark a large collec- *17 
tion of Letters printed by him as early as 1539. 
Many of them are addressed to persons of great con- 
sideration in his time, such as the Marquis of Pescara, 
the Duke of Alva, Inigo de Velasco, Grand Constable 
of Castile, and Fadrique Enriquez, Grand Admiral. 
But some were evidently never sent to the persons ad- 
dressed, like the loyal one to Juan de Padilla, the head 
of the Conmneros, and two impertinent letters to the 
Governor Luis Bravo, who had foolishly fallen in love 
in his old age. Others are mere fictions, among which 
are a correspondence of the Emperor Trajan with Plu- 
tarch and the Roman Senate, which Guevara vainly 
protests he translated from the Greek, without saying 
where he found the originals;^'' and a long epistle about 
Lais and other courtesans of antiquity, in which he 
gives the details of their conversations as if he had 
listened to them himself Most of the letters, thouoli 

^^ The " Decadade los Cesares," with The translation of the " Decada," by 

the other treatises of Guevara here Edward Hellowes, published 1577, anil 

spoken of, except his Epistles, are to dedicated to Queen Elizabeth, is not 

be found in a collection of his works so good as North's translation of the 

first printed at Valladolid in 1539, of "Relox," but it is worth having. I 

which I have a copy, as well as one of have Italian versions of several of 

the edition of 1545. Guevara seems to Guevara's works, but they seem of no 

have been as particular about the typo- value. 

graphical execution of his works as *» These very letters, however, were 

he was about his style of composition. thought worth translating into English 

Besides the above, I have his Epistolas by Sir Geoffrey Fenton, and are found 

1539, 1542, 1543 ; his Oratorio de Ee- ff. 68-77 of a curious collection taken 

ligiosos, 1543, 1545, and his Monte from different authors and published in 

Calvario, 1543, 1549, — all grave black- London, (1575, 4to, black-letter,) under 

letter folios, printed in different cities the title of " Golden Epistles." YA- 

and by different ])rinters, but all with ward Hellowes had already ti'an slated 

an air of exactness and finish that is the whole of Gucivara's Epistles in 1574 ; 

quite remai-kable, and, I suspect, (juite wbicrh were again translated, l)ut not 

characteristic of tlie autlior. very well, by Savage, in 1G57. 


tliey are called •' Familiar Epistles," are merely essays 
or disputations, and a few are sermons in form, with 
an announcement of the occasions on which they were 
preached. None has the easy or natural air of a real 
correspondence. In fiict, they were all, no doubt, pre- 
pared expressly for publication and for effect; and, 
notwithstanding their stiffness and formality, were 
greatly admired. They were often printed in Spain; 
they were translated into all the principal languages of 
Europe ; and. to express the value set on them, they 
were generally called "The Golden Epistles." But, 
notwitlistanding their early success, they have long been 
disregarded, and only a few passages that touch the 
affairs of the time or the life of the Emperor can now 

• be read with interest or pleasure.^' 
* 18 * Besides these Avorks, Guevara Avrote several 
formal treatises. Two are strictly theological.^^ 
Another is on the Inventors of the Art of Navigation 
and its Practice ; — a subject which might be thought 
foreign from the Bishop's experience, but with which, 
he tells us, he had become familiar by having been 
much at sea, and visited many ports on the Mediter- 
ranean.'"^^ Of his two other treatises, which are all 

^ Epistolas Familiares de D. Antonio 210.) It is an unpioniising sultjcct in 

(le Guevaia, Madrid, 1673, 4to, p. 12, any language, but in the original Gue- 

and elsewhere. Cervantes, en passant, vara ha.s shown some pleasantry, and 

give.s a blow at the letter of Guevara an easier style than is common with 

about Lais, in the Prologo to the first him. Much interest for the .sciences 

part of his Don Quixote. connected with navigation was awakened 

•** One of these religious treatises is at Seville by the intercouise of that city 
entitled " Monte f "alvario," 1542, trans- with America in the time of Charles V., 
lated into English in 1595 ; and the when Guevara lived there. It is be- 
other, "Oiatorio de Religiosos," 1543, lieved that the tii-st really useful niari- 
which is a series of short exhortations time charts were made there. (Have- 
or homilies, with a text prefixed to mann, p. 173.) The "Arte de Nave- 
each. The first is ordered to be ex- gar" of Pedro de Medina, jirintcd at 
purgated in the Index of 1(367, (p. Seville in 1545 and early translated into 
67,) and both are censured in that of Italian, French, and German, is said to 
1790. have been the first liook published on 

^ Hellowes translated this, also, and the subject. See Literatura ICspafiola 

printe<l it in 1578. (Sir F^. Brydges en el Prefacio de N. Antonio, 

Censura Literaria, Tom. III. 1807, p. ec, 1787, p. 56, note. 


that remain to be noticed, one is called " Contempt of 
Court Life and Praise of the Country " ; and the other, 
" Counsels for Favorites and Teachings for Courtiers." 
They are moral discussions, suggested by Castiglione's 
"Courtier," then at the height of its popularity, and 
are written with great elaborateness, in a solenni and 
stiff style, bearing the same relations to truth and wis- 
dom that Arcadian pastorals do to nature. *° 

All the works of Guevara show the impress of their 
age, and mark their author's position at court. They 
are burdened with learning, yet not without proofs of 
experience in the ways of the world ; — they often 
show good sense, but they are monotonous from the 
stately dignity he thinks it necessarj^ to assume on his 
own account, and from the rhetorical ornament by 
which he hopes to commend them to the regard of his 
readers. Such as they are, however, they illustrate and 
exemplify more truly, perhaps, than anything else of 
their age, the style of writing most in favor at the court 
of Charles the Fifth, especially during the latter part of 
that monarch's reign. 

But by far the best didactic prose work of this pe- 
riod, though unknown and unpublished till two 
centuries afterwards, * is that commonly cited * 19 
under the simple title of " The Dialogue on 
Languages " ; — a work which, at any time, would be 
deemed remarkable for the naturalness and purity of its 
style, and is peculiarly so at this period of formal and 
elaborate eloquence. " I write," says its author, " as I 
speak ; only I take more pains to think what I have to 
say, and then I say it as simply as I can ; for, to my 
mind, affectation is out of place in all languages." Who 

*"^ Both these treatises were translated tiqnities, ed. Dil)diii, Loudon, 181 U, 
into English ; the lirst by Sir Francis 4to, Tom. III. p. 460. 
Briant, in 1548. Atnes's Typog. An- 

22 THE PIALO(;0 DE las LENGUAS. [Pf.iuod ii. 

it Avas that entertained an opinion so true, but in his 
time so uneoninion, is not certain. Probably it was 
Juan (le A'aldes, a person who has sometimes been said, 
but not, I think, justly, to have embraced the opin- 
ions of the Kelbrmation. He was educated at the Uni- 
versity of Alcala, and during a part of his life jdos- 
sessed not a little political consequence, being much 
about the person of the Emperor. It is not known 
what became of him afterwards ; but he probably died 
in 1540, six years before Charles the Fifth attempted 
to establish the Inquisition in Naples, where Valdes 
lived long, and, therefore, it is not likely that he 
was seriously molested while he was there, although 
his opinions were certainh' not always such as the 
Spani.>ili Church exacted.^^ 

The Dialogue on Languages is supposed to be car- 
ried on between two Spaniards and two Itahans, at 
a country-house on the sea-shore, near Naples, and i.s 
an acute discussion on the origin and character of the 
Castilian. Parts of it are learned, but in these the au- 
thor sometimes falls into errors ;*^ other parts are lively 
and entertaining: ; and vet others are full of o-ood sense 
and sound criticism. The principal personage — the 
one wlio gives all the instructions and explanations — 
is named Valdes ; and, from this circumstance, 
* 20 as well as from some intimations in the * Dia- 
logue itself, it may be inferred that Juan de 
Valdes was its author, and that it was written before 

*i Llorcnte (Hist, ile I'lnquisition, supposed to have been an anti-Triiiita- 

Toin. II. pp. 281 and 478) makes some lian, but McCrie does not admit it. 
mistakes about Valdes, of whom ac- *- His chief enor is in supposin*:; that 

eounts are to be found in McCrie's the Greek hiuf^uaye once prevaih-d gen- 

" Hist, of the Progi-ess, etc., of the Kef- erally in Spain, and constituted the 

oniiation in Italy," (Kdinlmrgh, 1827, basis of an ancient Spani^il laiifjuage, 

8vo, ]t\>. Kni aiid 121,) and in liis wiiicli, he thinks, Wii.s spnad tiinnij^h 

"Hist, of the Progiess, etc., of the the country before the Honiaus aijjjeared 

l{<'formation in Spain " (Edinl)urgli, in Spain. 
1829, 8vo, pj). 140-140). Vakles is 

Chap. V.] 



1536 ;'*^ — a point which, ii' ei-;tablishe(l, would account 
for the suppression of the manuscript, as the work of 
one inclined to heresy. In any event, the Dialogue 
was not printed till 1737, and therefore, as a speci- 
men of pure and easy style, was lost on the age that 
produced it.** 

*3 The intimations alliidpd to are that 
the Valdes of the Dialogue had been at 
Rome ; that he was a jutsoii of some 
autliority ; and that he liad lived long 
at Naples, and in otliei- jiaits of Italy. 
He sjieaks of Garcilasso de la Vega as 
if he were alive, and Garcilasso died in 
1536. Llorente, in a passage just cited, 
calls Valdes the author of the "Dia- 
logo de las Lenguas"; and Clemencin 
— a safer authority — does the same, 
once, in the notes to his edition of Don 
Quixote, (Tom. IV. ]). 285,) though in 
other notes lie treats it as if its author 
were unknown. 

" The "Dialogo de las Lenguas" 
was not printed till it appeared in 
Mayans y Siscar, " Origenes de la Len- 
gua EsjDauola," (Madrid, 1737, 2 tom. 
12mo, ) where it iills the first half of the 
second volume, and is the best thing in 
the collection. Probably the maim- 
script had been kept out of sight, as 
the work of a heretic. Mayans says 
that it could be traced to Zurita, the 
historian, and that, in 1736, it was 
purchased for the Royal Library, of 
which ilayans himself was then libra- 
rian. Gayangos .says it is now in the 
British Museum, but this is a mistake. 
It is a modern copy that is there, num- 
bered "9939, 4to, Additional MSS." 
One leaf was wanting, — probably an 
ex])urgation, — which Mayans could not 
sujjply ; and, though he seems to have 
believed Valdes to have been the author 
of the Dialogue, he avoids saying so, — 
l)erhaps from an unwillingness to at- 
tract the notice of tlie Inquisition to it. 
(Origenes, Tom. I. pp. 173-180.) Iri- 
arte, in the ' ' Aprobacion " of the col- 
lection, treats the "Dialogo" as if its 
author were (piite unknown. 

Since the preceding ])art of this note, 
and wliat relates to the same subject in 
the text, were published, in 1840, more 
lias become known about it, and I will, 
therefore, give the result as it stands 
in 1864. 

There were two brotlicrs Valdes, — 
Juan and Alfonso, — twins, and so le- 
markably alike in character as well as 
in e.xternal appearance that Erasiims, 
speaking of them in a letter dated 
March 1, 1528, says they did not .sx'eni 
to be twins, but to be absolutely one 
person, — "non duo gemelli, sed idem 
prorsus lioino." They weie both secre- 
taries to Charles V. ; both went with 
him to Germany and Italy ; and they 
both wei-e men of talent and ]iowei-, 
who wrote and taught in a liberal and 
wise spirit, rare always, and e.spei:ially 
in a period like the troubled one in 
which they lived. From such a re- 
markable series of resemblances, and 
from the fact that opinions such as they 
entertained could not, in tlieii' own 
times, be very frankly and fully set 
forth, the two twin bi'others have not 
infre(p.iently been confounded as to the 
events of their lives aifil as to the au- 
thorship of their respective works. 

That Juan wrote the remarkable Dia- 
logue on the Language there can be no 
just doubt. Since the account given 
of it in the text was published in 1849, 
a much better edition of the work has 
been published with the imprint of 
Madrid, 1860, pre])ared from the man- 
uscript preserved in the National Li- 
brary there, which is the one used by 
Mayans in 1737, and the only old one 
known to exist. It settles this question 
of the authorship, and renders it ])ro!i- 
able that the work itself was oiiginally 
entitled, as it ought to be, "Dialogo de 
la Lengua," in the singular number, 
and not "Dialogo de las Lenguas," in 
the plural, — relating, as it really does, 
to the Spanish language alone, although 
reference is necessarily made in its dis- 
cussions to other languages. But, be- 
sides the well-considered examination 
of these points in the jneface of this 
edition, it contains above a thousand 
different readings, important and unim- 
portant, all noteii in the margin, ami 




*21 *For us it is important, because it shows, 
with more distinctness than any other literary 
monmnent of its time, what was the state of the Span- 
ish language in the reign of the Emperor Charles the 

showing, as does everytliiiig in ivlation 
to the preparation of the woik, gieat 
care and patience. 

Juan de Vahies wrote other works 
that are chiefly or wholly, like his ex- 
positions of .St. Paul, religious and the- 
ological. Of these, the most important, 
1 .suppo.se, an; his "Alfaheto (.'liris- 
tiano " and his " t'iento y Diez Conside- 
raciones," both intended for Chri.stian 
■edifii.'ation, and the last very comj)re- 
liensive in its chai-acter. But uuhap- 
pily we possess neither of them as 
their author wrote them in his pure 
C!a.stilian ; for having been prepared 
<'.specially for the benefit of Italian 
friends, the fii-st was published in Ital- 
ian, without date of place, in l.')46, and 
the last at Basle in 1550, from which 
they have pa.ssed successively into the 
other modern languages, and, among 
the rest, into the Spanish. His " Con- 
sideraciones, " in the English version of 
2>Ji<holas Ferrar, was published at Ox- 
ford in 1638, and at Cambridge in 1646, 
Avith notes by Hevl)ert, the pious poet 
<S the Tenij)!^. See Izaak Walton's 
Lire of Herbert, 1819, j). 266, noting, 
nowever, that good Izaak is mi.stakeii 
in wliat lie says about Valdes. 

Of the works of Alfon.so Valdes, two 
are especially worth notice, which, un- 
til lately, were supposed to have been 
■wiitten by his aif^'?- cr/o, Juan, and 
Avhicli, even in the new edition of the 
"Dialogo de la Lengua," are claimed, 
on internal eviden(;e, to be partly from 
his hand. 

They commonly a])])ear under the 
simple title of " Dos Dialogos," as they 
•were originally published s. d. about 
1530. The first of them is a dialogue 
Vxitween Mi-rcury, Charon, and sundry 
souls newly arrived on the lianks of the 
Styx, and mu.st have been written as 
late as 1528, since it contains a letter 
from Charles V. <late(l in that year. 
The other is a dialogue between a 
young man named Lactaneio, who may 
represent the autlior, and an ecclesiastic 
in a military d^(^ss fresh from liome, 
where, amidst th(; coiifiirsion and vio- 
lence of its rece.nt captuic, monks and 

))riests served and dressed as soldiers. 
These two persons, both Spaniai-ds, 
meet accidentally in a public square 
of Valladtdid, and, retiring for quietness 
into a neighboring church, carry on a 
free and full discussion of the troubles 
of their time, the report of which con- 
stitutes the substance of the "Dialogo." 
It was probably wiitten in 1528, and 
was certainly known in 1529, becau.se 
in that year Alfonso Valdes is rebuked 
as its author for his heretical opinion.s 
by Castiglione, the Pope's Xuncio in 
Spain, who tells him that if he were to 
visit Germany he would be heartily 
welcomed bj'- Luther. 

Both of the.se curious and interesting 
discus.sions were intended to defend the 
Emperor in whatever lelates to the cap- 
ture of Pome and the challenge of Fran- 
cis 1., — recent events whicli were then 
in the mouths of all men. In each we 
have not a few im])oitant i'acts touching 
what had occurred within their author's 
knowledge, and still more frequently 
glimp.ses of the state of opinion ami 
feeling at a period of the greatest ex- 
citement and anxiety. In each, too, 
there is a large admixture of the spirit 
of religiovis controversy ; but though 
the vices of the priesthood and the low 
condition of Christianity in the world 
are li-eely exposed in many pa.ssages, I 
do not think that Valdes (ran be ac- 
counted a Protestant, as he has often 
been ; for although the tone of his 
mind and character is eminently spir- 
itual, and although his opinions are 
full of temperance and wisdou), still 
his admiration for the Emjieror is un- 
bounded and his submission to the Pope 
and the Church complete. The charm 
of both the Dialogues, thei'efore, con- 
sists in their pure and sjiirited style, 
their point and humor, and their exlu- 
bition, by quaint details and remark- 
able facts, of the verj' form and pre.ssuiv 
of the extraorilinary times to which 
they relate. They weie prepared and 
l)ul)lished anew in 1850, without dati' 
of ]ilace, b-.it 1 sujipo.se in Madrid, b\ 
the same peison who in 1860 piej'ared 
and edited the "Dialogo de la Lengua." 

CiiAi'. v.] THE SPANISH ].AN(;UAGE. 25 

FiClli; a circumstance of consequence to the connition 
of the literature, and one to which we therefore turn 
Avith interest. 

As might be expected, we find, when we look l)ack, 
that the language of letters in Spain has made material 
progress since we last noticed it in the reign of John 
the Second. The example of Juan de Mena had been 
followed, and the national vocabulary had been en- 
riched during the interval of a century, by successive 
poets, from the languages of classical antiquity. From 
other sources, too, and through other channels, im- 
portant contributions had flowed in. From America 
and its commerce had come the names of those produc- 
tions which half a century of intercourse liad brought 
to Spain, and rendered familiar there, — terms few^ 
indeed, in number, but of daily use.*^ From Germany 
and the Low Countries still more had been introduced 
by the accession of Charles the Fifth,^' who, to the 
great annoyance of his Spanish subjects, arrived in 
Spain surrounded by foreign courtiers, and speaking 
with a stranger accent the language of the country he 
was called to govern.*" A few words, too, had come acci- 

For what relates to the hi'others of him, was written l)y Fiiend AViffen 

Vakle.s, see the editions of the " C'iento and ])nblished in Lomhju in 1865; but 

y Diez Consideraciones," 1855 and 1863, I liad not the benefit of it wlien the 

the edition of the " Alfabeto Chris- preceding remarks were jm^parei], as 

tiano," 1861, that of the "Dialogode that was a year earlier. Indee<l, tliougli 

hi Lengua," 1860, and that of the "Dos the Life by Witfen contains much that 

Dialogos," 1850, — all, I snjjpose, print- is important about the ])olitical and 

ed in Madrid, though not all so desig- religious character of Valdes, I found 

nated by their editors, Don Luis de nothing in it to add to my notice of 

Usoz y Rio and Benjamin B. Wiffen, him as a man of letters, 
a Quaiver gentleman living near Bed- *^ Mayans y Siscar, On'genes, Tom. 

ford, and brother of the translator of L v- 97. 
Garcilasso de la Vega. See, also, the *'' Ibid., ]). 98. 

interesting discussion relating to the *'' Sandoval says that C'haides V. suf- 

brothers Valdes in M. Young's "Life fered gi-eatly in the opinion of tlie Span- 

and Times of AonioPaleario," London, iards, on his first arrival in Spain, be- 

1860, 8vo, Vol. I. ])p. 201-238 and cause, owing to his inability to .speak 

547-551. Spanish, they had hardly any proper 

A Life of Juan de Valdes, containing intercourse with him. It was, he add.s, 

everything that can probably be known as if they could not tiilk with him at 



[PK11I..1) II. 

dentall}' from France ; and now, in the reign of Pliiiip 
the Second, a great number, amounting to the most 
considerable infusion the hmguage had received since 
the time of the Arabs, were brought in througli the 
intimate connection of Spain with Italy and the in- 
creasing influence of Italian letters and Italian cul- 
* 22 * We may therefore consider that the Spanish 
lanoruaii'e at this period was not onh- Ibruied, 
but that it had reached substantially its full pro- 
portions, and had received all its essential charac- 
teristics. Indeed, it had already for half a century 
been regularly cared for and cultivated. Alonso de 
Palencia, who had long been in the service of his coun- 
try as an ambassador, and was afterwards its chroni- 
cler, published a Latin and Spanish Dictionary in 1490 ; 
the oldest in which Castilian definitions and etymolo- 
o-ies are to Ijc found.*^ This was succeeded, two ^ears 
later, by the first Castilian Grammar, the work of An- 

all. Historia, Anvors, 1681, folio, Tom. 

I. ]). 141. When he uiulcitook to hear 
cau.ses in clianceiy he lound himself 
.still more uncomfortably .situated. (Ar- 
gensola, Anales de Aragon, Zaragoza, 
1630, folio, Tom. I. p. 441.) The Cor- 
tes, perhaps, remembered this when 
Pliilip II. ('ame to the throne, and they 
niiidc it their very first petition to him 
to liv(; always in Siiain. Cajiitulos y 
Leyes, Cortes de Valladolid, Valladolid, 
15.-)8, f. 1. 

*" Mayans y Siscar, Ori'genes, Tom. 

II. ]>]i. "127-133. The author of the 
Dialogo urges tht: introduction of a con- 
-siderable number of words from the 
Italian, such as discvrsn, facilitnr, ftm- 
tiisio, voir hi, etc., which have long 
,sini;i' been ailopted and fully recognized 
liy the .\i'ademy. Diego de Mendoza, 
though iiartly of the Italian school, ob- 
jected to th<* word ccidinfla as a need- 
less Italianism ; but it was .soon fully 
received into the language. (Guerra 
de Granada, ed. 177f), Lib. III. c. 7, 

p. 176.) A little later, Luis Velez de 
Guevara, in Tranco X. of his "Diablo 
Cojuelo," denied citizeu.ship to fuhfor, 
jnirpureur, 2)ompa, and other words now 
in good use. So, too, Figueroa (in his 
Pasagero, 1617, f. 8.5. b) complains of 
the additions to the Spanish of his 
time : "Se han ido poco a poco con- 
virtiendo en propios muchos meramente 
Latinos, como rcjndsa, idonen, Iitstro, 
prole, postcriddd, astro, y otros sin nu- 
mero." But all he enumerates are now 
recognized Castilian. (Jayangos cites 
Francisco Nunez de Velasco, in his 
"Dialogos de Contencion entre la mili- 
cia y la cieneia," as eoni))laiuing that 
Italian woids and jihrases were intro- 
dtieed needlessly into the Castilian. 
But Nunez reckons Estala (stable) and 
Estival ^hoot) among them, not know- 
ing they are Teutonic. (Spani.sh Trans- 
lation, 11. 513.) 

*« Mendez, Typographia, \k 17.'). An- 
tonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, Tom. II. 
p. 333. 


tonio do Lebrixa, who had Ijcfore puljUshed a l^atiu 
Grainiuar in the Latin hmgiiage, and transhited it for 
the benefit, as he tells us, of the ladies of the court.'^'^ 
Other similar and equally successful attempts followed. 
A purely Spanish Dictionar}^ by Lebrixa, the first of its 
kind, appeared in 1492, and a Dictionary for ecclesias- 
tical purposes, in both Latin and Spanish, by Santa 
Ella, succeeded it in 1499 ; both often reprinted after- 
wards, and long regarded as standard authorities.'^^ 
All these works, so important for the consolidation of 
the language, and so well constructed that successors 
to them were not found till above a century later,''^ 
were, it should be observed, produced under the direct 
and personal patronage of Queen Isabella, who, in this, 
as in so many other ways, gave proof at once 
of her far-sightedness in affairs of * state, and * 23 
of her wise tastes and preferences in whatever 
regarded the intellectual cultivation of her subjects.^^ 

The language thus formed was now fast spreading 
throughout the kingdom, and displacing dialects some 
of which, as old as itself, had seemed, at one period, 
destined to surpass it in cultivation and general preva- 
lence. The ancient Galician, in which Alfonso the 
Wise was educated, and in which he sometimes wrote, 
was now known as a polite language only in Portugal, 
where it had risen to be so independent of the stock 
from which it sprang as almost to disavow its origin. 
The Valencian and Catalonian, those kindred dialects 
of the ProveiK^al race, whose influences in the thir- 

^^ Meudez, Typog., pp. 239-242. ^"■^ The Grammar of Juan de Navi- 

For the great merits of Antonio de Le- dad, 1567, is not an exception to this 

brixa, in relation to the Spanish Ian- remark, because it was intended to 

guage, see "Specimen Bibliothecaj His- teach Spanish to Italians, and not to na- 

pano-MayansianiB ex Museo D. Clemen- tives. 

tis," Hannoverte, 1753, 4to, pp. 4-39. ^^ Clemencin, in Mem. de la Aca- 

61 Mendez, ^ip. 243 and 212, and An- demia de Historia, Tom. VI. p. 472, 

tonio, Bib. Nova, Tom. 11. p. 266. notes. 

28 THE CAfeTILlAN. [Pi:ku)D II, 

teenth century were felt through the whole Peninsula^ 
claimed, at this period, something of their earlier dig- 
nity only below the last range of hills on the coast of 
the Mediterranean. The Biscayan alone, unchanged 
as tlie mountains which sheltered it, still preserved for 
itself the same separate character it had at the earliest 
dawnings of tradition, — a character which has con- 
tinued essentially the same down to our own times. 

But, though the Castilian, advancing with the whole 
authority of the government, which at this time spoke 
to the f)eople of all Spain in no other language, was 
heard and acknowledged throughout the country as 
the language of the state and of all political power, 
still the popular and local habits of four centuries 
could not be at once or entirely broken up. The Gali- 
cian, the Valencian, and the Catalonian continued to 
be spoken in the age of Charles the Fifth, and are 
spoken now by the masses of the people in their re- 
spective provinces, and to some extent in tlie refined 
society of each. Even Andalusia and Aragon have not 
yet emancipated themselves completely from their 
original idioms ; and, in the same way, each of the 
other grand divisions of the country, several of which 
were at one time independent kingdoms, are still, like 
Estremadura and La Mancha, distinguished by ])ecu- 

liarities of ^phraseology and accent.^^ 
* 24 * Castile, alone, and especially Old Castile, 

claims, as of inlierited right, from the l)egin- 
ning of the fifteenth century, the prerogative of speak- 
ing absolutely pure Spanish. Villalobos, it is true, who 
was always a flatterer of ro3'al authority, insisted that 

^ It is curious to observe that tlie Sarniicnto, (Mcuiorias, ]). 04,) who wrote 

aiitlior of tlic, "Di;ih)g0(le las Lciiguas," ahout 1760, all sjjcak of the charac- 

(On'geiies, Tom. II. p. 31,) who wrote tcr of the Castiliau and the ytreva- 

about 153.5, — Mayans, (Origiiies, Tom. lence of the dialcets in nearly the same 

I. p. 8,) who wrote in 1737, — and terms. 


this prerogative followed the residences of the sov- 
ereign and the court ; '^ but the better opinion has 
been that the purest form of the Castilian must be 
sought at Toledo, — the Imi^erial Toledo, as it was 
called, — peculiarly favored when it was the political 
capital of the ancient monarchy in the time of the 
Goths, and consecrated anew as the ecclesiastical head 
of all Christian Spain, the moment it was rescued from 
the hands of the Moors.^*^ It has even been said that 
the supremacy of this venerable city in the purity of 
its dialect was so fully settled, from the first appear- 
ance of the language, as the language of the state in 
the thirteenth century, that Alfonso the Wise, in a 
Cortes held there, directed the meaning of any dis- 
puted word to be settled by its use at Toledo.^'^ But, 
however this may be, there is no question that, from 
the time of Charles the Fifth to the present day, the 
Toledan has been considered, on the whole, the 
normal form of the national * language, and * 25 
that, from the same period, the Castilian dia- 

** De las Fiebres Interpoladas, Metro (Francisco de Pisa, Descripcion de la 

I., Obras, 1543, f. 27. Imperial C'iudad de Toledo, ed. Thomas 

^ See Maiiana's account of the glo- Tamaio de Vargas, Toledo, 1617, fol., 

ries of Toledo, Historia, Lib. XVI. c. Lib. L c. 36, f. 56.) The Cortes here 

15, and elsewhere. He was himself referred to is said by Pisa to have been 

from the kingdom of Toledo, and often held in 1253 ; in which year the Chron- 

boasts of its renown. Cervantes, in icle of Alfonso X. (Valladolid, 1554, 

Don Qui.xote, (Parte II. c. 19,) implies fol., c. 2) represents the king to have 

that the Toledan was accounted the been there. (See, also, Paton, Elo- 

purest Spanish of his time. It still quencia Espanola, 1604, f. 12.) 

claims to be so in ours. A similar legal as well as traditional 

^^ " Also, at the same Cortes, the claim for the supremacy of the Toledan 

same King, Don Alfonso X., ordered, dialect is set up in the "Historia de 

if thereafter there should be a doubt Tobias," a poem b3'Cau(li\'illaSantaren, 

in any part of his kingdom about the 1615, Canto XL, where, speaking of 

meaning of any Castilian word, that ref- Toledo, he says : — 

erence thereof should be had to this Entre otros muchos bienes y favores 

city as to the standard of the Castilian Q"''' soberano Dios hizo a"est;i gente 

tongue, [como i metro de la lenglia De hablar su Castellano castamente. 

Lastellana,J and that they should \ mnApnr justahy rie EmiHnolorcs, 

adopt the meaning and definition here Seordeui, qut', si aia:un<),i'standoausente, 

given to sucli word, because our tongue ^"'^'i'-' ••"•''l^'^'' vocablo porfiasso, 

V f . 1 ji , i""o"'' Quel que so usaun Toledo guarcla.sso. 

IS more jwrlect here than elsewhere. f. 1.90, a. 



[Period H. 

lect, having vindicated for itself an absolute suprem- 
acy over all the other dialects of the monarchy, has 
been the only one recognized as the language of the 
classical poetry and prose of the whole country .^^ 

^ From the time of Cliarles V., too, 
ami as a natural result of his conquests 
and inlluenee throughout Europe, the 
Spanish language hecanie known and 
adniiied alnoad, as it had never been 
before. Marguerite de Valois, sister of 
Francis 1., who went, in 1525, to Ma- 
drid and consoled her brother in his 
captivity there, says : Le Langage Cas- 
tillan est sans comparaison mieux de- 
clarant cette passion d'amour que n'est 
le Francois (Heptameron, Journee III., 
Nouvelie 24, ed. Paris, 1615, p. 263). 
And Donienichi, in Ulloa's translation 
of his Piazonamiento de Empresas Mill- 
tares, (Leon, de Francia, 1561, 4to, p. 
175,) says of the Spanish, "Eslengua 

mil 3" comun a todas naciones," — a 
striking fact for an Italian to mention. 
Richelieu liked to write in Spanish 
(Haveniann, p. 312). The marriage 
of Pliilip II. with Mary Tudor carried 
the Spanish to the English Court, where 
for a time it had some vogue, and Charles 
himself, as Emperor, spread it through 
Germany, as he did, in other ways and 
from other similar inilueuce.s, through 
Flanders and Ital)'. Other cnriou.s facts 
of the same sort, showing the spread 
of Spanish in Italy and France about 
the middle of the sixteenth centmy, 
may be found in the Prologo to Paton's 
Eloc^uencia Espanola, 1604, pp. 7, 






At the beginning of the sixteenth century, it is 
i^bvious that the age for chronicles had gone by in 
Spain. ^ Still it was thought for the dignity of the 
monarchy that the stately forms of the elder time 
should, in this as in other particulars, be kept up by 
public authority. Charles the Fifth, therefore, as if 
his ambitious projects as a conqueror were to find their 
counterpart in his arrangements for recording their 
success, had several authorized chroniclers, all men of 
consideration and learning. But the shadow on the 
dial would not go back at the royal command. The 
greatest monarch of his time could appoint chron- 
iclers, but he could not give them the spirit of an 
age that was past. The chronicles he demanded 
at their hands were either never undertaken or never 
finished. Antonio de Guevara, one of the persons to 
whom these duties were assigned, seems to have been 
singularly conscientious in the devotion of his time to 
them ; for we are told that, by his will, he ordered the 

^ One proof that the age of chroiii- lioteca de Autores Espanoles, 1855. It 

cling was gone by may be found in the was no fool that wrote it, nor the few 

burlesque chronicle of a court-fool, in letters that follow, though he bore that 

the early part of the reign of Charles title at court, and enjoyed its privi- 

V., entitled "Cronica de Don Fran- leges. The style is easy and the lan- 

•cesillo de Zuhiga, criado privado bien- guage pure, but there is less finish than 

'£uisto y predicador del Emperador Car- wit in it, and more sense than histoi'i- 

los v. dirigida a su Majestad por el cal facts. It is what its title implies, 

mismo Don Frances." It was first a caricature of the chronicling style 

published in Vol. XXX VI. of the Bib- then going out of fashion. 

32 FLOIUAN DE OCAMrO. |1'kilimi> II. 

salary of one year, during wliicli he had written noth- 
ing of In's task, to be returned to the Imperial trea.s- 

ury. This, however, did not imply that he was 
* 27 a successful * chronicler.^ What he wrote was 

not thought worthy of being published by 
his contemporaries, and would probably be judged no 
more favorabl}- by the present generation, mdess it 
discovered a greater regard for historical truth, and a 
simpler style, than are found in his discussions on the 
life and character of the Emjjeror Marcus Aurelius/^ 

Florian de Ocampo, another of the more distin- 
guished of the chroniclers, showed a wide ambition in 
the plan he proposed to himself; beginning his chroni- 
cles of Charles the Fifth as for back as the days 
of Noah's flood. As might have been foreseen, he 
lived only so long as to finish a small fragment of his 
vast undertaking; — hardly a quarter part of the first 
of its four grand divisions."^ But he Avent for enough 
to show how completely the age for such writing was 
passed away.^ Not that he failed in credulity ; for of 
that he had more than enough. It Avas not, however, 
the poetical credulity of his predecessors, trusting to 
the old national traditions, but an easy faith, that 
believed in the Mearisome foro-eries called the works 
of Berosus and Manetho,*' which had been discredited 
from their first appearance half a centurj^ before, and 

- Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. 1. p. 127, ])uljlishe(l at Zanuna, ir)44, in a licau- 

and Preface to Epistolas Familiares of tiful black-lettei folio, and was In! lowed 

Guevara, ed. 1G73. by an edition ol' the whole at Medina 

^ See the vituperative article Giic- del Cainpo, looS, folio. The liest, I 

vara, in Bayle. suppose, is tlie one ])ublished at Ma- 

* The best life of Oeanipo is to be diid, 17!*!, in 2 vols. 4to. 
found in the " Biblioteca de los Escri- *' For this miserable forgery see Nice- 
tores ((ue fian sido Individuuos de los ron (llommes Illustres, Paris, 1730, 
Seis Colegios Mayores," etc., ])or Don Tom. XI. pp. 1-11; Tom. XX. 1732, 
.T(jsef de Kezabal y Ugarte (pji. 233- ]tp. 1-6); and for the simplicity of 
238) ; but there is one ])refixed to the Ocampo in tru.sting to it, see the last 
edit.iou of his Criinica, 1791. chapter of his first book, and all the 

^ Tlie first edition of the first four passages where he cites Juan de ViterbO' 

books of the Chronicle of Ocampo was y su Beroso, etc. 


yet were now used l)y Oeampo as if they were the 
probable, if not the sufticient records of an nninter- 
rnpted succession of Spanisli kings from Tubal, a 
grandson of Noah. Such a credulity has no charm 
about it. But, besides this, the work of Oeampo, in its 
very structure, is dry and absurd ; and, being written 
in a formal and heavy style, it is all but impossible 
to read it. He died in 1555, the year the Emperor 
abdicated, leaving us little occasion to regret 
that *he had brought his annals of Spain no * 28 
lower down than the age of the Scipios.' 

Juan Ginez de Sepulveda was also charged hy the 
Emperor fitly to record the events of his reign ;^ and 
so was Pero Mexia ; ^ but the history of the former, 
which was first published by the Academy in 1780, is 
in Latin, while that of Mexia, written, apparently, 
after 1545, and coming down to the coronation at 
Bologna, has been published only in part.^*^ A larger 

" The Cortes of Valladolid, 1555, in He was not appointed Historiographer 
their "Peticiones" cxxviii and exxix, till 1548. See notices of him by Pa- 
ask a pension for Oeampo, and say that checo, in the Senianario Pintoresco, 
he was then fifty-five years old, and 1844, p. 406. He died in 1552. The 
had been chronicler from 1539. (See History of the Emperor, which breaks 
"Capitulos y Leyes," Valladolid, folio, oft' with Book V., is among the MSS. 
1558, f. Ixi.) in the National Library at Madrid, and 

^ Pero Mexia, in the concluding words the second Book of it, relating to the 

of his "Historia Imperial y Cesarea." war of the Comimidades in Castile, may 

Sepulveda, who lived twenty-two years be found in the Bib. de Autores Es- 

in Italy, and was almost as much of an paiioles (Tom. XXL, 1852). The whole 

Italian as a Spaniard, died in 1573, iet. is much praised by Ferrer del Rio for 

83, at a country house in the Sierra its skilful arrangement and i)ure and 

Morena, which he describes very pleas- dignified style, and ought to be pub- 

antly in one of his unpublished letters. lished ; but the portion given to us is 

(See Alcedo, Biblioteca Americana, ad outrageously loyal. 

verb. Gines de Sepiilveda, MS.) It From the time of Charles V. there 

may not be amiss to add that Sepul- seem generally to have been chroniclers 

veda's Latin style is very agreeable. of the kingdom and occasionally chron- 

^ Capmar.y, Eloquencia Es[)anola, iclers of the personal history of its 

Tom. 11. p. 295. kings. At any rate, that monarch had 

^™ I say "apparently," because, in Oeampo and Garibay for the first pur- 

his "Historia Imperial y Cesarea," he pose, and Guevara, Sepulveda, and 

declares, speaking of the achievements Mexia for the .second. Lorencjo de 

of Charles V., "I never was .so pre- Padilla, Archdeacon of Malaga, is also 

sumptuous as to deem myself sufticient mentioned by Dormer (Progresos, Lib. 

to record them." This was in 1545. II. c. 2) as one of his chroniclers. In- 


history, however, by the last author, consisting of the 
hves of all the Roman Emperors from Julius Ciesar to 
]\hiximilian of xVustria, the jDreclecessor of Charles the 
Fifth, which was printed several times, and is spoken 
of as an introduction to his Chronicle, shows, notwith- 
standing its many imperfections of style, that his pur- 
j^ose was to write a true and well-digested history, 
since he generally refers, under each reign, to the 
authorities on which he relies.^^ 

Such works as these prove to us that Ave have 
reached the final limit of the old chronicling style, and 
that we must now look for the apj^earance 
* 29 of the difterent forms of * regular historical 
composition in Spanish literature. But, before 
we approach them, we must pause a moment on a few 
histories and accounts of the New World, Avhich, dur- 
ino- the reio;n of Charles the Fifth, were of more im- 
portance than the im})cifcct chronicles we have ju.st 
noticed of the Sj)anish empire in Europe. For as soon 
as the adventurers that followed Columbus were landed 
on the western shores of the Atlantic, we begin to 
find narratives, more or less ample, of their discoveries 
and settlements : some written Avitli spirit, and even 
in good taste ; others quite unattractive in their style ; 
but nearly all interesting from their subject and their 
materials, if from nothing else. 

In the foreground of this picturesque group stands, 
as the most brilliant of its figures, Fernando Cortes, 
called, by way of eminence, £Ji Couqnhtador, the Con- 
queror. He was born of noble parentage, and carefully 
bled ; and though his fiery spirit drove him from 

ilwd, it (Iocs not seem e^sy to deter- '^ Tlie first editiuii apjyeaied in 1545. 

inine how many enjoyed the honor of Tlie one I use is of Anveis, 1561, fol. 

that tith'. Porrefto'says Pliilip II. The best notice of liis life, jierhaps, is 

was too modest to have a eiironidcr. tlie article about liiiu jn the Bio<(raphie 

Diehos, etc., l<)(i(), y. 130. ITuivcrs.-llc. 

Chap. VI. ] 



Salamanca before his education could be completed, 
and brought him to the New World, in 1504, when he 
was hardly nineteen years old,^'-^ still the nurture of his 
youth, so much better than that of most of the other 
American adventurers, is ap])arent in his voluminous 
documents and letters, both published and unpul)lished. 
Of these, the most remarkable were, no doubt, four or 
five long and detailed Eeports to the Emperor on the 
affairs of Mexico ; the first of which was dated, it is 
said, in 1519, and the last in 1526.^3 The four 
known to be his are well written, and * have a * 30 
business-like air about them, as well as a clear- 
ness and good taste, which remind us sometimes of the 
"Relazioni" of Machiavelli, and sometimes of Ccesar's 
Commentaries. His letters, on the other hand, are 
occasionally more ornamented. In an unpublished 
one, written about 1533, and in which, when his for- 
tunes were waning, he sets forth his services and his 

*'^ He left Salamanca two or three 
years before he came to the New World ; 
but old Denial Diaz, who knew him 
well, says : ' ' He was a scholar, and I 
have heard it said he was a Bachelor of 
Laws ; and when he talked with law- 
yers and scholars, he answered in Latin. 
He was somewhat of a poet, and made 
coplas in metre and in prose, [en metro 
y en prosa,]" etc. (Concpiista, 1632, 
c. 203.) It would be amusing to see 
poems by Cortes, and especially what 
the rude old chronicler calls coplas e>i 
prosa ; but he knew about as much 
concerning such matters as Mons. Jour- 
dain. Cortes, however, was always 
fond of the society of cultivated men. 
In his house at Madrid, (see ante, ]>. 11, 
n. 21,) after his return from America, 
was held one of those Academias which 
were then beginning to be imitated from 

^^ The printer! "Relaciones" maybe 
found in Barcia, " Historiadores Prinii- 
tivos de las Indias Occiden tales," (Ma- 
drid, 1749, 3 toiii., folio,)— a collec- 
tion i)nl)li.slu'd after its editor's death, 

and very ill arranged. Barcia was a 
man of literary distinction, much em- 
jjloyed in affairs of state, and one of the 
founders of the Spanish Academy. He 
died in 1743. ( Baena, Hijos de Ma- 
drid, Tom. L p. 106.) For tlie last 
and unpublished " Relacion " of Cortes* 
as well as for his unpublished letters, I 
am indebted to my friend Mi\ Prescott, 
who has so well used them in his "Con- 
quest of Mexico." 

Since this note was first published, 
(1849,) the last Relacion has been print- 
ed, (Ijib. de Autores Espaholes, Tom. 
XXII. 1852,) and is found to be dated 
September 3, 1526. A letter from the 
".lusticia y Regimiento" of Vera Cruz, 
dated July 10, 1519, is prefixed to this 
series of four, as if it were itself the 
first Relacion; and perhaps it may thus 
have given lise originally to the idea 
that a Relacion of Cortes was lost, when 
it was never written. It seems to me 
likely that there never were but four 
by Cortes himself, although the one by 
the Ji/s/icia, 1519, is of similar charac- 
ter and authority. 

36 GOMAEA. [PKKinij II. 

wrongs, he pleases himself "with telling the Emperor 
that he '-keeps two of his Majesty's letters like holy 
relics," adding that "the favors of his Majesty towards 
him had been quite too ample for so small a vase " ; — 
courtly and graceful phrases, such as are not found in 
the documents of his later years, when, disappointed 
and disgusted with affairs and with the court, he re- 
tired to a morose solitude, where he died in 1554, 
little consoled by his rank, his wealth, or his glor}^. 
The marvellous achievements of Cortes in Mexico, 
however, were more fully, if not more accurately, 
recorded by Francisco Lopez de Gomara, — the oldest 
of the regular historians of the New World,^* — wlio 
was born at Seville in 1510, and was, for some time, 
Professor of Rhetoric at Alcala. His early life, spent 
in the great mart of American adventurers, seems to 
have o'iven him an interest in them and a knowledo-e 
of their affairs, Avhicli led him to write their history ; 
and a residence in Italy, to which he refers more than 
once, and during which, in Venice and Bologna, he 
became familiar with such remarkable men as Saxo 
Grannnaticus and Olaus Magnus, enlarged his knowl- 
edge beyond the common reach of Spanish scholars of 
his time, and fitted him better for his task than he 
could have been fitted at home. The works he pro- 
duced, besides one or two of less consequence, 
* 31 *were, first, his ''History of the Indies," which, 
after the Spanish fashion, begins with the crea- 
tion of the world, and ends with the glories of Spain, 
though it is chiefly devoted to Columbus and the dis- 
covery and conquest of Peru ; and, second, his " Chron- 
icle of New Spain," which is, in truth, merely the His- 

'•• "Tlie first worthy of being so called," says Munoz, Hist, del Xuevo Mundo, 
Madrid, 1793, folio, ]>. xviii. 


tory «ind Life of Cortes, and Avliicli, with this more 
appropriate title, was reprinted by Bustamante, in 
Mexico, in 1826.^'^ As the earhest records that were 
published concerning affairs which already stirred the 
whole of Christendom, these works had, at once, a 
great success, passing through two editions almost 
immediately, and being soon translated into French, 
English, and Italian. 

But, though Gomara's style is easy and flowing, 
both in his mere narration and in those parts of his 
^vorks wdiieh so amply describe the resources of the 
newly discovered countries, he did not succeed in 
producing anything of pennanent authority. He was 
the secretary of Cortes, and w^as misled by information 
received from him, and from other persons, who w^ere 
too much a part of the story they undertook to relate 
to tell it fairly .^*^ His mistakes, in consequence, are 
great and frequent, and were exposed with much zeal 
by Bernal Diaz, an old soldier, wdio, having already 
been twice to the New World, w^ent wdth Cortes to 
Mexico in 1519,^^ and fought there so often and 

^5 The two works of GoiDara may he his chaplain and servant, after he was 

well consulted in Barcia, " Historia- made Marquis and returned to Spain 

dores Primitives," Tom. II., which they the last time." Las Casas, (Historia 

till, and in Vol. XXII. of the Biblio- de las Indias, Parte III. c. 113, MS.,) 

teca of Ribadeneyra. They were first a prejudiced witness, but, on a point of 

printed in 1552, 1553, and 1554 ; and fact within his own knowledge, one to 

though, as Antonio says, (Rib. Nov., be believed. 

Tom. I. p. 437, ) they were at once for- ^"^ See "Historia Verdadera de la 
bidden to be either reprinted or read, Conquista de la Nueva Espana, per el 
four editions of them appeared before Capitan Bernal Diaz del Castillo, uno 
the end of the century. They were de los Conquistadores," Madrid, 1632, 
also translated into English, Italian, folio, cap. 211. It was prepared for 
and French, and ]n-inted several times publication l)y Alfonso Ramon, or Re- 
in each language. mon, who wrote the History of the 

^^ "About this first going of Cortes Order of Mercy and many other works, 

as captain on this expedition, the eccle- including dramas. Conf. N. Ant., Bib. 

siastic Gomara tells many things grossly Nov., Tom. I. p. 42. But his edition 

untrue in his history, as might be ex- (1632) does not seem to have been 

pected from a man who neither saw nor printed from a complete manuscript, 

heard anything about them, except and the more recent one of Cano, in 

what Fernando Cortes told him and four volumes, is mutilated from that 

gave him in writing; Gomara being of 1632. But it is reprinted in Riba- 


* 32 so * long, that, many years afterwards, he de- 
clared he could not sleep in any tolerable com- 
fort without his arinor.^^ As soon as he read the 
accounts of Gomara, which, in his opinion, gave too 
much honor to Cortes and too little to Cortes's com- 
panions and captains, he set himself sturdily at work 
to answer them, and in 1568 completed his task.^^ 
The book he thus produced is written with much gar- 
rulity, and runs, in a rude style, into wearisome details ; 
but it is full of the zealous and honest nationality 
of the old chronicles, so that while we are reading it 
we seem to be carried back into the preceding ages, 
and to be again in the midst of a sort of fervor and 
faith which, in writers like Gomara and Cortes, we feel 
sure we are ftist leaving behind us. 

Among the persons who early came to America, and 
have left important records of their adventures and 
times, one of the most considerable was Gonzalo Fer- 
nandez de Oviedo y Valdes. He was born at Madrid, 
in 1478,^ and, having been well educated at the court 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, as one of the mozos de 
camara of Prince John, was sent out in 1513 as a super- 
visor of gold-smeltings, to Tierra Finne^^ where, except 

denejTa's Bibliotoca, Vol. XXVI., 1853, charger as carefully as he does those 

with a good jircfatory notice by Don of his rider. His accuracy, however, 

Enri([ue ih; Vedia, doing justice to the — hating accidents from tlie lapse of 

brave old chronicler, who never re- time, — is remarkable. Sayas ^Anah-s 

turned to Spain, and died very old at de Aragon, 1667, c. 30, p. 218) bears 

Guatemala. witness to it, and is a good authority. 

1" He says he was in one hundied '•'*' "Yo naci anode 1478," he says, 
and nineteen battles, (f. 254, b, ) — that in his "Quinquagenas," when noticing 
is, I suppose, fights of all kinds, — Pedro Fernandez de Cordoba ; and he 
and that, of the five hundred and fifty moic than once speaks of himself as a 
who went witli him to Mexico in 1519, native of Madrid. He says, too, ex- 
five were living when he WTote at Gua- pressly, tliat he was present at the sur- 
temala, in 1568, f. 250, a. render of Granada, and that he saw 

^^ It was dedicated to Philip IV. Columbus at liaicelona, on his first 

Some of its details are quite amusing. return from America, in 1493. Quin- 

He gives even a list of the individual (jua-jcnas, MS. 

hor.ses that were used on the gicat ex- ^r " Yeedor de las Fundiciones de 

pedition of Coiles, and often describes Oro,'" he describes himself in the Proe- 

the se]»arate qualities of a favorite miu of hi.^ work presented to Charles 


occasional visits to Spain and to difterent Spanish pos- 
sessions in America, he lived nearly forty ^-ears, de- 
voted to the affairs of the New World. Oviedo 
seems, from his youth, to liave had a passion for 
knowing remarkable persons as well as for writing 
about them ; and, besides several less considera- 
ble *W'Orks, among which were imperfect chron- * 33 
icles of Ferdinand and Isabella, and of Charles 
the Fifth, and a life of Cardinal Ximenes,^ he prepared 
two of no small value. ^ 

The most important of these two is the "General 
and Natural History of the Indies," filling fifty books^ 
of which the first portions, embracing twenty-one, were 
published in 1535. As early as 1525, when he was at 
Toledo, and offered Cliarles the Fifth a summary of 
the History of the Spanish Conquests in the New 
A¥orld, which was published three years later, he 
speaks of his desire to have his larger work printed. 
But it appears, from the beginning of the thirty- 
third book and the end of the thirty-fourth, that he 
was still employed upon it in 1547 and 1548; and it is 
not unlikely, from the words with which he concludes 
the thirty-seventh, that he kept each of its larger divis- 
ions open, and continued to make additions to them 
nearly to the time of his death.-'^ 

v., in 1525 (Bavcia, Tom. I.); and Emperor, at the end of the " Suinaiio," 

lonj; afterwards, in the opening of Book in 1525, "La General y NaC\iral Hi.s- 

XLVII. of his Historias, MS., lie still toria de las Indias, ()ue de mi niano 

•Speaks of himself as holding tlie same tengo escrita"; — in the Introduction 

office. to Lib. XXXIII. he says, "En treinta 

-- 1 do not feel sure that Antonio is y quatro anos que ha que estoy en estas 

not mistaken in ascribing to Oviedo a partes"; — and in the ninth chapter, 

scparati' life of Cardinal Ximenes, be- which ends Lib. XXXIV., we have au 

cau.se the life contained in the " Quin- event recorded with the date of 1548 ; 

•piagenas " is so ample ; but the Chron- — so that, for these tliree-and-twenty 

icles of Ferdinand and Isabella, and years, he was certainly employed, more 

Charles V., are alluded to by Oviedo or les.s, on this great woik. But at the 

liimself in the Proemio to Charles V. end of Book XXXVII. he says, "Y 

Neither has ever been ])rinte(l. csto baste quanto a este l)reve libro del 

*^ He calls it, in his letter to the nuiiicro treinta y siefe, hasta (pie el 


He tells US that he had the Emperor's authority 
to demand, from the different governors of Spanish 
America, the documents he might need for his work ; -^ 
and, as his divisions of the sujjject are those which 
naturally arise from its geography, he appears to have 
gone judiciously ahout his task. But the materials lie 

was to use were in too crude a state to be 
* 34 easily manageable, and the whole * subject w\as 

too wide and various for his powers. He falls, 
therefore, into a loose, rambling style, instead of aim- 
ing at philosophical condensation ; and, far from an 
abridgment, which his work ought to have been, he 
gives us chronicling, documentary accounts of an im- 
mense extent of newly discovered country, and of the 
extraordinary events that had been passing there, — 
sometimes too short and slight to be satisfactory- or 
interesting, and sometimes too detailed for the reader's 
patience. He was evidently a learned man, and main- 
tained a correspondence with Ramusio, the Italian 
geographer, which could not fail to be useful to both 
parties.'^'' And he was desirous to write in a good and 
eloquent style, in which he sometimes succeeded. He 
has, therefore, on the whole, pioduced a series of 
accounts of the natural condition, the aboriginal inhab- 

tiempo nos aviso, de otras cosas que en times, by Herrera, Taniayo, Soli's, and 

el se acn-scieutan " ; from whidi I in- other writers of (listinction. It ceased, 

fer that he kept each l)ook, or each I believe, with the creation of tlie Acad- 

large division of his work, open for ad- eniy of History. . 

<litions, as long as he lived, and tliere- '^ " We owe much to those who give 
fore that parts of it vmy have been us notice of what we have not seen or 
written as late as 1557. known ourselves; as I am now indebted 
'■^* "I have royal orders that the gov- to a remarkable and leained man, of the 
eniors should send me a relation of illustrious Senate of Venice, called Sec- 
whatever I sliall touch in the affairs retaiy Juan Bautista Ramusio, who, 
of theii- governments for this History." hearing that I was inclined to the 
(Lib. X.X.XIII., Introd., MS.) I ap- things of which I here treat, has, with - 
prehend Oviedo was the first authomed out knowing me personally, souglit 
f-'hronirlt-r of the New World ; an office me for his friend, and roinmunicated 
whii-h was at one ])eriud better ])aid with me l)y letter-S, sending me a new 
liian any otiier similar offii-e in th<; geography," etc. (Lib. XXXVllI., 
J<ingdom, ami was li>-ld at ditferent MS.) 



itants, and the political affairs, of the wide-spread 
Spanish possessions in America, as they stood in the 
middle of the sixteenth century, wliicli is of great 
value as a vast repository of facts, and not wholly 
without merit as a composition.^*' 

* The other considerable work of Oviedo, the * 35 

■■'*' As a specimen of his manner I add 
tlie following account of Almagro, one 
of the early adventurers in Peru, whom 
the Pizarros put to death in Cuzco, 
after they had obtained uncontrolled 
]>ower there. ' ' Therefore hear and read 
all the authors you may, and compare, 
one by one, whatever they relate, that 
all men, not kings, liave freely given 
away, and you shall surely see how 
there is none that can eipial Almagro 
in this matter, and how none can be 
compared to him ; for kings, indeed, 
may give and know how to give what- 
ever pleaseth them, both cities and 
lands, and lordships) and other great 
gifts ; but that a man whom yesterday 
we saw so ]wor that all he possessed was 
a very small matter should have a spirit 
sufficient for what I have related, — 1 
liold it to be so great a thing that I 
know not the like of it in our own or 
any other time. For I myself saw, 
when his companion, PizaiTO, came 
from Spain, and brought with him that 
body 01 three hundred men to Panama, 
that, if Almagro had not received them, 
and shown them so much free hospi- 
tality with so generous a spirit, few or 
none of them could have escaped alive ; 
for the land was tilled with disease, 
and the means of living were so dear 
that a bushel of maize was worth two 
or three pesos, and an arroba of wine 
six or seven gold pieces. To all of 
them he was a father, and a brother, 
and a true friend ; for, inasmuch as it 
is pleasant and grateful to some men 
to make gain, and to heaji up and to 
gather together moneys and estates, 
even so much and more pleasant was it 
to him to share with others and to give 
away ; so that the day when he gave 
nothing he accounted it for a day lost. 
And in his very face you might see the 
pleasure and true delight he felt when 
lie found occasion to help him who had 
need. And since, after so long a fel- 
lowship and friendship as there was be- 
tween these two gi'cat leaders, from the 

days when their com])anions were few 
and their means small, till they saw 
themselves full of wealth and strength, 
there hath at last come foith so much 
discord, scandal, and death, well must 
it appear matter of wonder even to 
those who shall but hear of it, and 
much more to us, who knew them in 
their low estate, and have no less borne 
witness to their greatness and prospei'- 
ity." (General y Natural Historia de 
las Indias, Lib. XLVIL, MS.) Much 
of it is, like the preceding passage, in 
the true, old, rambling, moializing, 
chronicling vein. 

Since the preceding account of the- 
"Historia General" of Oviedo was 
printed, (1849,) the whole work has 
been published by the Spanish Acad- 
emy of History, in four rich folio vol- 
imies, Madrid, 1851-1855, edited by 
Don Jose Amador de los Rios. The 
Prefatory notice contains a Life of Ovi- 
edo, with an account of his works, 
among which are two that have been 
published, and should be at least men- 
tioned. The lirst is " Claribalte," com- 
posed during a period when Oviedo was 
out of favor at court, and printed at 
Valencia in 1519 ; — a book which it is 
singular he should have written, be- 
cause it is a Romance of Chivalry, and, 
in the latter part of his life, when such 
fictions were at the height of their favoi', 
nobody treated them with more seveiity 
than he did. Tiie other is an ascetic 
work, entitled " Reglas de la Vida," 
which, he says, he translated from the 
Tuscan, and which was printed at Se- 
ville in 1548, but which is now become 
so rare that Sr. Amador has never seen 
it, and does not determine precisely 
what it was, nor who was its original 
author. Of the works in manuscript, 
which, besides the two Quimiuagenas, 
amount to six, we should, 1 suppose, be 
most curious to see tlie account Oviedo 
prepared of the occui rences and gossip 
at the conit of l^Tacbid during the cap- 
tivity of Kiiinuis I., in ]r>2'). 


fruit of his old age, is devoted to fond recollee- 
tioiis of his native country, and of the disting-uished 
men he had known there. He calls it " Batallas y 
Quinquagenas," and it consists of a series of dialogues, 
in which, with httle method or order, he gives gossip- 
ing accounts of the principal families that figured in 
Spain during the times of Ferdinand and Isabella and 
Charles the Fifth, mingled with anecdotes and recol- 
lections, such as — not without a simple-hearted exhi- 
bition of his own vanity — the memory of his long 
and busy life could furnish. It apjDcars from the Dia- 
lo<i:ue on Cardinal Ximenes, and elsewhere, that he 
was employed on it as early as 1545;^' but the year 

1550 occurs yet more frequently anu^ng the 
* 3G dates of its imaginary conversations,^^ and it * is 

probable that he continued to add to it, as he 
did to his History, imtil near the end of his life, for it 
seems still imperfect. He died at Valladolid in 1557. 
But, l)oth during his life, and after his death, Oviedo 
had a formidable adversary, who, pursuing nearly the 
same course of inquiries respecting the New World, 
came almost constantly' to conclusions quite opposite. 
This was no less a person than Bartolome de las 
Casas, or Casaus, the apostle and defender of the Amer- 

2' "En pstft qw pstamos dp 1545." " Batallas y Quinquagenas " are not to 

Batallas y Quin<iuagcnu.s, MS., El Car- he confounded with a poem \\liiih Ovi- 

diiial C'i.sneios. edo entitled "Las Quin<iuag('nas," on 

2* As in the Dialoguo on Juan de the di.stingui.shed Spaniards of all times, 

Silva, Conde de Cifuente.s, he .says, and which he conijileted in L556, in one 

"En este ano en f[ne estanios L'>50 " ; hundred and fifty stanzas of fifty lines 

and in the Dialogue on Mendoza, Duke each, or seven thousand five hundreil 

of Ld'antado, he uses the same words, lines in all; — an error into which I 

as he does again in tliat on Pedro Fer- fell in tiie first edition of this work, 

nandez de ('(irdova. There is an exc(d- owing (diieily to an oliscurity in the 

lent note on Oviedo in Vol. I. j). 112 account of the two Quinquagenas by 

of the American edition of "Ferdinand ("lemencin, in his Elogin on Queen I.sa- 

and Isabel'a," hy my friend Mr. I'res- hella. It is mucli to he desired that 

cott, to whom I am indebted for tlie both .should be publi.shed, anil we can 

manu.scri[)t of the Batallas y Quinqua- have no accurate idea of them till they 

gena.s, as well as of the Historia. The are. 


ican Indians,-^ — a m-an "vvlio would have been remfirk- 
able in any age of the worhl, and who does not seem 
yet to have gathered m the fidl harvest of his honors. 
He was born in Seville, probably in 1474 ; and, in 
1502, havino- gone throuo-h a course of studies at Sala- 
manca, embarked for the Indies, where his father, who 
had been there with Columbus nine years earlier, had 
already accumulated a decent fortune. 

The attention of the young man was at once drawn 
to the condition of the natives, from the circumstance 
that one of them, given to his father by Columbus, had 
been attached to his own person as a slave, while he 
was still at the University; and he was not slow to 
learn, on his arrival in Hispaniola, that their gentle na- 
tures and slight frames had already been subjected, in 
the mines and in other forms of toil, to a servitude so 
harsh that the original inhabitants of the island were 
rapidly wasting away under the severity of their la- 
bors. From this moment he devoted his life to their 
emancipation. In 1510 he took holy orders, and con- 
tinued as a priest, and, for a short time, as Bishop of 
Chiapa, nearly forty years, to teach, strengthen, and 
console, the suffering flock committed to his charge. 
Six times, at least, he crossed the Atlantic, in order to 
persuade the government of Charles the Fifth to 
ameliorate their condition, and always with 
more or less * success. At last, but not until * 37 
1547, when he was above seventy years old, he 
established himself at Valladolid, in Spain, where he 
passed the remainder of his serene old age, giving it 
freely to the great cause to which he had devoted the 

^ The family was originally French, Chronicle of John II. its descendants 

spelling its name Casaus ; but it appeals are called Las Casas, and Fr. Bartolome 

in Spanish history as early as 1253, in wrote his name both ways. Later they 

the Repartimiento of Seville. (Zuhimi, reverted to the original spelling. Gu- 

Anales de Sevilla, 1677, p. 75.) In tiie diel, Faniilia de los Girones, 1577, f. 98. 


freshness of his 3'oiith. He died, while on a visit of 
business, at Madrid, in 1566, at the advanced age, as is 
commonly supposed, of ninety-two.^^ 

Among the principal opponents of his benevolence 
were Sepulveda, — one of the leading men of letters 
and casuists of the time in Spain, — and Oviedo, who, 
from his connection ^vith the mines and his share in the 
government of different parts of the newly discovered 
countries, had an interest directly opposite to the one 
Las Casas defended. These two persons, with large 
means and a wide influence to sustain them, intrigued, 
wa^ote, and toiled against him, in every w^ay in their 
power. But his was not a spirit to be daunted by 
opposition or deluded by sophistry and intrigue ; and 
when, in 1519, in a discussion with Sepulveda concern- 
ing the Indians, held in the presence of the young and 
proud Emperor Charles the Fifth, Las Casas said, '• It is 
quite certain that, speaking with all the respect and 
reverence due to so great a sovereign, I would not, 
save in the way of duty and obedience as a subject, go 
from the place where I now stand to the op^DOsite cor- 
ner of this room, to serve your Majesty, unless I 
believed I should at the same time serve God,"^^ 

^ There is a valuable life of Las Casas taken by the Portuguese in war ami 

inQuintana, "ViJas de Espanoles Ci'le- nghtful slaves. But afterwards be 

bres" (Madrid, 1833, 12nio, Tom. III. chauj^'fil bis mind on the subject. He 

pp. 255-510). The seventh article in declared "the captivity of the negroes 

the Apjjendix, concerning the conn(;c- to be as unjust as that of the Indians," 

tion of Las Casas with the slave-trade, — "ser tan injusto el cautiverio de los 

will be read with ]>articular interest; negros como el de los Indios," — and 

becau.se, by materials drawn from un- even expres.sed a fear that, though he 

published documents of unquestionable hail fallen into the eiTor of favoring the 

authenticity, it makes it certain that, importation of black slaves into Amer- 

although at one time Las Casas favored ica from ignorance and good-will, he 

what had been begun earlier, — the might, after all, fail to stand excused 

transportation, I mean, of negi'oes to for it In^fore the Divine Justice. Quin- 

the West Indies, in order to relieve the tana, Tom. HI. ]>. 471. 
Indian.s, — as other good men in his ^i Quintana, EspauolesCelebres, Tom. 

time favored it, he diil so under the 111. ]). 321. 1 think, but am not sure, 

im[iression tliat, according to the law that (^uintana dix-s not .say La.s Casas 

of nations, the negroes thus brought was made a chajilain of Cliarles V. out 

to America were both rightful captives of personal regard ; — a circumstance 


— when he said this, he uttered a sentiment 
*that really governed his life, and constituted * 38 
the basis of the great power he exercised. His 
works are pervaded by it. The earliest of them, called 
•' A very Short Account of the Ruin of the Indies," was 
written in l-542;^-^ and dedicated to the Prince, after- 
wards Philip the Second ; — a tract in which, no doubt, 
the sufterings and wrongs of the Indians are much 
overstated by the mdignant zeal of its author, but still 
one whose expositions are founded in truth, Jind b}- 
their fervor awakened all Europe to a sense of the in- 
justice they set forth. Other short treatises followed, 
written with similar spirit and power, especially those 
in reply to Sepulveda ; but none was so often re- 
printed, either at home or abroad, as the first,^ and 
none ever produced so deep and solemn an effect on 
the world. They were all collected and published in 
1552 ; and, besides being translated into other lan- 
guages at the time, an edition in Sj^anish, and a French 
version of the wdiole, with two more treatises than were 
contained in the first collection, appeared at Paris in 
1822, prepared by Llorente. 

mentioned by Argensola, who, it should Las Casas by Llorente, which appeared 

be added, gives a fair and interesting at Paris in 1822, in 2 vols., 8vo, in tlie 

account of the Apostle to the Indians, original Spanish, almost at the same 

so far as his History of Aragon comes time with his translation of tliem into 

down. Anales de Aragon, Tom. L French. It should be noticed, jjcr- 

1630, p. .547. haps, that Llorente's version is not al- 

^^ Quintana (p. 413, note) doubts ways strict, and that the two new trea- 

wlieii this famous treatise was written ; tises he imputes to Las Casas, as well 

but Las Casas himself says, in the as tlie one on the Authoritj' of Kings, 

opening of his " Brevisiina Relacion," are not absolutely proved to be his. 
that it was written in 1542, and at The translation referred to above ap- 

the end it is noted as finished at Va- peared, in fact, the same year, and at 

lencia, December 8, 1542; an "Adi- the end of it an " Apologie de Las 

cion" or postscript following, which is Casas," by Gregoire, with letters of 

dated 1546 in tlia copy I use. Funes and ]\Iier, and notes of Llorente 

^ This important tract continued to sustain it, — all to defend Las Casas 
long to be printed separately, both at on the subject of the slave-trade ; but 
home and abroad. I use a copy of it Quintana, as we have seen, has gone to 
in double columns, Spanish and Italian, the original documents, and leaves no 
Venice, 1643, 12ino ; but, like the rest, doubt, both that Las Casas once favored 
the " Brevisima Relacion" mayl)econ- it, and that he altered liis mind after- 
suited in an edition of the AVorks of wards. 


Tlic great work of Las Casas, liowever, still remains 
inedited, — a General History of the Indies from 1492 
to 1520, begun by him in 1-327 and finished in 1561, 
but of Avhicli he oi-dered that no portion shoidd be 
]niblished within forty ^-ears of his death. 
* 39 * Like his other works, it shows marks of haste 
and carelessness, and is written in a ramblincr 


stj'le ; but its value, notwithstanding his too fervent 
zeal for the Lidians, is great. He had l)een personally 
acquainted with many of the early discoverers and 
conquerors, and at one time possessed the papers of 
Columbus, and a large mass of other important docu- 
ments, which are now lost. He says he had known 
Cortes "when he was so low and humble, that he be- 
sought favor from the meanest servant of Dieo-o A'^elas- 
quez " ; and he knew him afterwards, he tells us, when, 
in his pride of place at the court of the Emperor, he 
ventured to jest jdjout the pretty corsairs part lie liad 
played in the affairs of Montezuma.^* He knew, too, 
Gomara and Oviedo. and gives at large his reasons for 
differing from them. In short, his book, divided into 
three parts, is a great repository, to which Herrera, 
and through him all the historians of the Indies since, 
have resorted for materials ; and without which the 
history of the earliest period of the Spanish settle- 
ments in America cannot even now be properlj^ writ- 

But it is not necessary to go further into an examina- 

^* "Todof'sto me (lixo p1 mismoror- MS.) It may be woitli noting, that 

tes con oti-as cosas ccrca dello, despues 1.542, the year when Cortes made this 

de Mar<|UPs, en la villa de Momjon, es- srandalous sjieech, was the year in 

tando alU celebrando cortes el Empera- whieh Las Casas wrote his Brevisima 

dor, afio de mil y <jiiinientos y quarenta Kelacion. 

y dos, riendo y mofando eon estas for- ^ For a notice of all the works of 

males jjalabras, a la mi fe andnbe por Las Casas, see Quintana, Vidas, Tom. 

alii como un geiitil cosaiio." (Histuria III. pp. 507-510. 
Genei-al de 1:.> In.liMs. Ml,, III. ,. 11.5, 


tion of the old accounts of the discovery and conquest 
of Spanish America, though there are many more 
■\vhich, Uke those we have ah^eady considered, are 
partly books of travel through countries fidl of won- 
ders, i^artly chronicles of adventures as strange as 
those of romance ; frequently running into idle and 
loose details, but as frequently fresh, picturesque, and 
manly, in their tone and coloring, and almost always 
striking from the facts tliey record and the glimpses 
they give of manners and character. Among those 
that might be added are the stories b}^ Yaca of his 
shipwreck and ten years' captivity in Florida, from 
1527 to 1537, and his subsequent government 

* for three years of the Rio de la Plata ; ^"^^ the * 40 
short account of the conquest of Peru, written by 
Francisco de Xerez, Secretary of Francisco de Pi- 
zarro,"" and the amjoler one, of the same wild achieve- 
ments, which Augustin de Carate began on the spot, 
and was prevented by Carvajal, an officer of Gonzalo 
de Pizarro, from finishing till after his return home."^ 

^ The two works of Alvar Nunez Tom. III.,) and in Barcia's collection 

Cabeza de Vaca, namely, his " Naufra- (Tom. III.). It ends in Baicia with 

gios," and his "Comentarios y Suce- some poor verses in defence of Xerez, 

SOS de su Gobierno en el Rio de la by a friend, which are ampler and more 

Plata," were first printed in 1555, and important in the original edition, and 

are to be found in Barcia, Historiadores contain notices of his life. They are 

Primitivos, Tom. I., and in the Biblio- reprinted in the Biblioteca de Autorcs 

tecade AutoresEspanoles, Tom. XXII., Espafioles, Tom. XXVI., 1853, and 

1852. They are wild and romantic ac- Gayangos conjectures them to have 

• ■ounts of extraordinary adventures and been written by Oviedo. 
sufferings, particularly the JVaufracfios, ^ " Hi.storia del Desciibrimiento y 
where (Chap. XXII.) the author .seems Conquista del Peru," first printed in 
TO think he not only cui-ed the sick by 1555, and several times since. It is in 
divine interpo.sition, but that, in one Barcia, Tom. III., and in the Biblio- 
instance, he rai.sed the dead. But, tecade AutoresEspanoles, Tom. XXVI., 
however this may be, he was evidently 1853, and was translated into Italian by 
a man of gi'eat courage and constancy, Ulloa. ^arate was sent out by Charles 
and of an elevated and generous na- V. to examine into the state of the 
Ture. revenues of Peru, and biings down his 

^" The work of Francisco de Xerez, accounts as late as the overthrow of 

"Conquista del Peru," written by order Gonzalo Pizarro. See an excellent no- 

of Francisco Pizarro, was firet published tice of Carate at the end of Mr. Pres- 

in 1534 and 1547, and is to be found in cott's last chapter on the Conquest of 

Ramusio, (Venezia, ed. Giunti, folio, Peru. 



But tliey may all be passed over, as of less conse- 
quence than those we have noticed, which are quite 
sufficient to give an idea, both of the nature of their 
class and the course it followed, — a class much resem- 
blinii' the old chronicles, but ^'et one that announces 
the approach of those more regular forms of historv 
for which it furnishes abundant materials. 

Pedro Cieza de Leon, also, who lived 
above seventeen years in Peru, pub- 
lished at Seville, in 1553, an important 
work on that country,' entitled " Pri- 
niera Parte de la Chronica del Peru," 
intending to conii)lete and publish it 
in three other parts ; but died in 1560, 
re i/ifcda, at the age of forty-two. The 
lirst part is reprinted in the Biblioteca 

de Autores Espafioles, Tom. XXVI., 
and the MS. of the third ]nivt is said to- 
be in the possession of James Lenox, 
Esq., New York. Gayangos notices, 
also, a small publication in eight leaves, 
in the British Museum, entitled La 
Cnnquisf.d, del Peru, which he thinks is 
like a gazette, and may have been the 
lirst publication on the subject. 

*CHArTErt VII. *41 





The theatre in Spain, as in most other countries of 
modern Europe, was early called to contend with for- 
midable difficulties. Dramatic representations there, 
perhaps more than elsewhere, had been for centuries in 
the hands of the Church ; and the Church was not will- 
ing to give them up, especially for such secular and 
irreligious purposes as we have seen were apparent in 
the plays of Naharro. The Inquisition, therefore, al- 
ready arrogating to itself powers not granted by the 
state, but yielded by a sort of general consent, inter- 
fered betimes. After the publication of the Seville 
edition of the " Propaladia/' in 1520, — but how soon 
afterward we do not know, — the representation of its 
dramas was forbidden, and the interdict was continued 
till 1573.^ Of the few pieces written in the early part 
of the reign of Charles the Fifth, nearly all, except 
those on strictly religious subjects, were laid under the 
ban of the Church ; several, like the " Orfea," 1534, 
and the " Custodia," 1541, being now known to have 

1 In the edition of Madrid, 1573, 1573. The period i.s important ; but I 

ISmo, we are told, "La Propaladia .suspect the authority of Martinez de la 

estava prohihida en estos reynos, ahos Rosa, for its termination is merely the 

avia " ; and Martinez de la Rosa (0bra.s. permission to print an edition, which 

Paris, 1827, 12mo, Tom. II. p. 382) says is dated 21st August, 1573; an edi- 

that this prohibition was laid soon after tion, too, which is, after all, expurgated 

1520, and not removed till August, severely. 
VOL. II. 4 



[Pkuiud II. 

existed only because their names appear in the 

* 42 Index Expurgatoiius ; ^ and others, * like the 

"Aniadis de Gauhi " of Gil Vicente, though 

printed a-nd i)ul)lished, being subsequently forbidden 

to be represented.^ 

The old religious drama, meantime, was still upheld 
hy ecclesiastical power. Of this we have sufficient 
])roof in the titles of the Mysteries that were from 
time to time performed, and in the well-known fact 
that, when, with all the magnificence of the court 
of Charles the Fifth, the infant heir to the crown, 
afterwards Philip the Second, was bajDtized at Yidlado- 
lid, in 1-527, five religious plajs, one of which was on 
the Baptism of Saint John, constituted a part of the 
gorgeous ceremony.^ Such compositions, however, did 
not advance the drama, though perhaps some of them, 
like that of Pedro de Altamira, on the Supper at Em- 
maus, are not without poetical merit.'' On the con- 
trary, their tendency must lia\e been to keep back 

2 Those are in the " Catalogo " of L. 
F. Monitiii, Nos. 57 and 63, Obras, 
ibulrid, 1830, 8vo, Tom. I. Parte I. 

'^ Tlie fate of this long, heroic, and 
romantic drama of Gil Vicente, in Span- 
ish, is somewhat singular. It was for- 
bidden by the liujuisition, we are told, 
as early as the Index Expiirgatorius of 
1549 [1559?]; but it was not ])rinted 
at all till 1562, and not separately 
till 1586. By the Index of Lisbon, 
1624, it is permitted, if ex])urgated, and 
thei-e is an edition of it of that year at 
Lisbon. As it was never printed in 
Sj)ain, the jn'ohibition there must have 
related chiefly to its representation. 
Barbcsa, Bib. Lu.sitana, Tom. 11. 
p. 384. 

* The account of this ceremony, and 
the facts concerning the dramas in ques- 
tion, are given by Sandoval, "Ilistoi'ia 
de Carlos V.," (.Viivers, 1681, fol., Tom. 
I. i». 619, Lib. XVI. § 13,) and are of 
some con.sei|uence in the liistory of the 
Spanish drama. 

It may also be worth notice that 
when Maximilian II., of Germanj^ was 
married to Marv. eldest daughter of 
Charles V., at" Valladolid, in 1548, 
Philij) being present at the festivities, 
and 5laxiinilian having been educateil 
in Sjjain, tlie theatrical entertainment 
thouglit proper for the occasion was yet 
one of the comedies of Ariosto, in the 
original, which, we are told, was repre- 
.sentod "con todo a(|uel aparato de the- 
atro y scenas que los Komanos las solian 
rejM'esentar, que fue cosa mny real y 
sumptuosa." (( 'alvete de Estrejla, Viage 
de Phelipe, Hijo del Emperador Carlos 
v., ec. Anveres, folio, 1552, f. 2, b. ) 
Tiiere can be no doubt, I suppose, that 
a Spanish play would liave been se- 
lecteil, if one suitable could have been 
found for so biiliiant a Sjianish audi- 
ence, collected on an occasion ajtjieal- 
ing so strongly to national fe(dings. 

^ It was ])rinted in 1523, ami a suffi- 
cient extract from it is to be found in 
Moratin, '"atalogo, No. 36. 

Chap. VI F.] 



theatrical representations within their old religious 
purposes and limits.-' 

* Nor were the efforts made to advance them in * 43 
other directions marked l)y good judgment or 
permanent success. We pass over the " Costanza " 1)V 
Castillejo, which seems to have heen in the manner of 
Naharro, and is assigned to the year l')22,' Init which, 
from its indecency, was never jiublished in full, and is 
now probably lost ; and we pass over the free versions 
made about 1530, by Perez de Oliva, Rector of the 
University of Salamanca, from the '' Amphitryon " of 

•" A specimen of the Mysteries of the 
age of Charles V. may be found in an 
extremely lare volume, without date, 
entitled, in its three parts, " Triaca del 
Alma," "Triaca de Amor," and "Tri- 
aca de Tristes " ; — or. Medley for the 
Soul, for Love, and for Sadness. Its 
author was Marcelo de Lebrixa, son of 
the famous scholar Antonio ; and the 
dedication and conclusion of the first 
part imply that it was composed when 
the author was forty years old, — after 
the death of his father, which happened 
in 1522, and during the reign of the 
Emperor, which ended in 1556. The 
first part, to which I particularly al- 
lude, consists of a "Mj'stery" on the 
Incarnation, in above eight thousand 
short verses. It has no other action 
than such as consists in the a])pearance 
of the angel Gabriel to the Madonna, 
bringing Reason with him in the shape 
of a woman, and followed by another 
angel, who leads in the Seven Virtues ; 
— the whole piece being made up out 
of their successive discourses and ex- 
hortations, and ending M'itli a sort of 
summary, by Reason and by the Au- 
thor, in favor of a pious life. Certain- 
ly, so slight a structure, with little 
merit in its verses, could do nothing 
to advance the drama of the sixteenth 
century. It was, however, intended 
for representation. " It was written," 
says its author, "for the praise and 
solemnization of the Festival of Our 
Lady's Incarnation ; so that it may be 
acted as a play [la puedan por fai(;a 
representar] by devout nuns in their 
convents, since no men a]>pear in it, 
but only angels and young damsels." 

It should be noted that the word ^flJfi^ 
tcry, as here used, has sometimes been 
thought to indicate its origin from mi- 
nisterium, because it was jierformed by 
the ministers of tin? church, and not 
because it set forth the mysteries of re- 
ligion, according to its accustomed use 
in France, where we have " Le Mistere 
de la Passion," etc. 

The second part of this singular vol- 
ume, which is moi'e poetical than the 
first, is against human and in favor of 
Divine love ; and the third, which is 
very long, consists of a series of conso- 
lations, deemed suitable for the differ- 
ent forms of human sorrow and care ; 
— these two parts being necessarily di- 
dactic in their character. Each of the 
three is addressed to a member of the 
great family of Alva, to which tlieir au- 
thor was attached ; and the whole is 
called by him Triaca ; a word which 
means Treacle, or Antidote, but which 
Lebrixa says he uses in the sense of 
Ensalacld, — Salad, or Medlc\i. The 
volume, taken as a whole, is as strongly 
marked with the spirit of the age that 
produced it as the contemporary Cau- 
cionerosGenerales, and its poetical merit 
is much like theirs. 

■^ Moratin, Catiilogo, No. 35, MxAante, 
Vol. I. p. 463, n. 6. A short extract 
from it is given by Moratin ; and Wolf, 
in his tract on Castillejo, (1849, p. 10,) 
says that still more was published in 
1542, under the pseudonyme of Fraj' 
Nidel ; but Gallai-do gives the best ac- 
count of the whole in a letter to Ga- 
yangos, to be found in the Spanish 
translation of this work, Tom. II- 
p. 500. 


Plaiitns, the " Electra " of Sophocles, and the " Hecuba " 
of Euripides^, because they fell, for the time, powerless 
on the early attempts of the national theatre, which 
had nothing in connnon with the spirit of anti(iuity.^ 
But a single play, printed in 1536, should be noticed, 
as showing how slowly the drama made progress in 

It is called '• An Eclogue," and is written by Juan de 
Paris, in versos do arte mayor, or long verses divided into 
stanzas of eight lines each, which show, in their 
* 44 careful * construction, not a little labor and art.^ 
It has five interlocutors : an esquire, a hermit, 
a young damsel, a demon, and two shepherds. The 
hermit enters first. He seems to be in a meadow, 
musing on the vanity of human life ; and, after praying 
devoutly, determines to go and visit another hermit 
But he is prevented by the esquire, who conies in 
weeping and complaining of ill treatment from Cupid, 
whose cruel character he illustrates by his conduct in 
the cases of Medea, the flill of Troy, Priam, David, and 
Hercules ; ending with his own determination to aban- 
don the world and live in a "nook merely monastical." 
He accosts the hermit, who discourses to him on the 
follies of love, and advises him to take religion and 
works of devotion for a remedy in his sorrows. The 
young man determines to follow counsel so wise, and 
they enter the hermitage together. But they are no 

* Oliva (lied in 1533 ; but his trans- posta por Juan dc Paris, en la qual se 

lations wci'i' not printed till l."i8r». iutrodiicen ciueo personas : un Eseude- 

Those from Soi)hoeles, Euripides, and ro llainado Estaeio, y un Herinitano, y 

Plautus are too free. Montiano ])rais<s una Mo^a, y un Diablo, y dos I'astores, 

them for their pure style, but Moratin uno llaniado Vicu'ute y el otro Creinon" 

reliukes Oliva for his adventurous and (ir)3lj). It is in hlack-letter, small 

nnilrainatic alterations. (|uarto, 12 loaves, without name of 

^ This extremely cunous drama, of \Awa- or jiiinter ; but, I sup])ose, print- 

which a cojiy was kindly h'lit to me Ity ed at Zaragoza, or Medina d(d Campo. 

Mens. H. Tcrnaux-f'omjians, of Paris, Wnlf says thi-re is a cojjy dated 1551 

is entitled " Egloga iiuevamente com- in the J\Iunirli I.ilirary. 

CuAi'. Yll.] JUAN DE PAllIS. 53 

sooner gone than the demon appears, complaining ]jit- 
terly that the esquire is Ukely to escape him, and detei- 
mining to do all in his power to prevent it. One of 
the shepherds, whose name is Vicente, now comes in, 
and is much shocked by the glimpse he has caught of 
the retiring spirit, who, indeed, from his description, 
and from the woodcut on the title-page, seems to have 
been a truly fantastic and hideous personage. Vicente, 
thereupon hides himself; but the damsel, who is the 
lady-love of the esquire, enters, and, after drawing him 
from his concealment, holds with him a somewhat 
metaphysical dialogue about love. The other shep- 
herd, Cremon, at this difficult point interrupts the dis- 
cussion, and has a rude quarrel with Vicente, Avhich 
the damsel composes; and then Cremon tells her where 
the hermit and the lover she has come to seek are to 
be found. All now go towards the hermitage. The 
esquire, overjoyed, receives the lady with open arms 
and cries out, — 

* But now I abjure this friardom poor, * 45 

And will neither be hermit nor friar any more.^'' 

The hermit marries them, and determines to go with 
them to their house in the town ; and then the whole 
ends somewhat strangely with a villancico, which has 
for its burden, — 

Let us fly, I say, from Love's power away ; 

'T is a vassalage hard, 

Which gives grief for reward. ii 

The piece is curious, because it is a wild mixture of 
the spirit of the old Mysteries with that of Juan de la 
Enzina's Eclogues and the Comedies of Naharro, and 
shows by what awkward means it was attempted to 

10 Agora renieso ile mala fraylia, H Iluyamos de ser vasallos 

Ni quiero hermitano ni fraylc mas ser. Del Amor, 

Pubs por preiiiio da dolor- 



f Period IL 

conciliate the Church, and yet amuse an auuieiice 
which had little s\^npathy with monks and hermits. 
But it has no poetrv' in it, and veiy little dramatic 
movement. Of its manner and measure the opening 
stanza is quite a fair specimen. The Hermit enters, 
saving to himself, — 

The suifering Kfe we mortal men below, 

Upon this terrene world, are bound to spend, 

If we but carefully regard its end. 
We find it very fuU of grief and woe : 
Torments so multiplied, so great, and ever such. 

That but to count an endless reckoning brings. 

While, HTce the rose that from the rose-tree springs. 
Our life itself fades quickly at their touch. ^ 

Other attempts followed this, or appeared at just 
jibout the same time, which approach nearer 
* 46 to the example * set by Naharro. One of them, 
called "La Vidriana," by Jaume de Huete, is 
on the loves of a gentleman and lady of Aragon, who 
desired the author to represent them dramatically;^ 
and another, by the same hand, is call "La Tesorina," 
and was afterwards forbidden by the Inquisition." 

^ As another copy of this play can 
be found, I suppose, only by some rare 
accident, I gi\ ' '-' ' '' '' 
sage in the'te\' 

ing. It is tL. .; ,_ ... : 

scene : — 

La viiia • 

En iu\xn-- 


?i mn 1 . 

Fall-vr la 

- maies 

De tanti - 


Q,,.. .,- . 

■ r'.mta 


.i»sto : tan presto es marchita 


.1" estft en los ros&Ies. 

1 Manera de Tragedia," 

in • 

•rlvps-itoral. was printed 

at ' 

: ' : ' ' 


in .^.-u,. i:.-..: 

..- iii.-iiii. ..■■■. 

in Aribau, 

de .\ntorea 


1- II. p. 1&3, 


>* "Comerlia llama<la Vidriana, com- 
poesta por Jaume de Huete agora nue- 

varaente," etc., sm. 4to, black-letter, 
eighteen leaves, without year, place, or 

: " -r. It has ten interlocutors, a.nd 
\\ith an apology in Latin, that 

; :.ithor cannot write like Mena, — 

Juan de Mena, I suppose, — thou^fh I 
know not whv he should have been 
-'-I '^i^d, as the piece is evidently in 
:i. laanner of Naharro. 

i* Another drama from tl. 
ume with the la^'rt two. M. 
logo, No. 47) hail found i" 
the Index Expurgatorius ot 
1.55&, and assigns it, at a 
the year 1531, but he never saw it. lu 
title is "CoTnedia intitnlada TwsoTina. 

jHjr muy cen(ira<ios tcrinino«, ijuanti) a 
este merece perdon." Small -tto, black- 
letter, fifteen leaves, no year, place, or 

<'iiAr. \ii.| oirriz. or> 

Tliis l;isl is ;i direct imiliilion of Xjiliiiiro; li;is ;iii 
inlroilo : is dixidcd '\\\\n \\\r ionitnhis : and is wiillcii in 
short \crscs. Indeed, al tlie end. Naliaiio is nu'n- 
li(ine(| l)\ nam*', with nineh iinphed athniration on the 
part of the anthor, who in the t it h'-pau'e annonnces 
liiniscdi" as an Arau'onese. hnt ol" whom we know 
nothinii; (dse. And. linallv. wc have ;i i»la\ in live 
ads. and in the same si \ h'. with an lulroHo al llio 
heii'iniiiu^ and a rll/aiiclco at the end. hv Aiioslin 
Orti/J " h'a\ im:' no * donht that the manner and *I7 
sNstein of Naharro had at hist louiid imitators in 
Spam, and were I'airlv reeov^ni/ed theic. 

Hill the popular \ein had not^ v»'t heen struck. V,\- 
eept (hamatic exhihitions of a reliiiioiis character, and 
mi(h'i' ecclesiastical anthorily, nothing had been a<- 
teiiiple(l in wiiicli ihe peopio, ui^ .sncli, luid any .shar<'. 
The attempt. howcNcr, was now made, and made siio 

iniiiU'i. It liiis Irii iiili'rloriiloiN, Mild Iiik kv'nimiil. .'!, A .slmrl, ilnli iMivr, 

IS lliinii^^hiiiil nil iiiiilMtiiiii of XiiliHiio, ciilit.h'il ".IjifiiitM," ii<t(, (Ik- .Ifivinlji 

will) is iiiiiitiiPiii'(l ill soini' iiii'iin l.ntiii of Nfiiiarro, 'i'lirsc tlircc, Iojj^cIIiit willi 

lines III llic fiiil, wlicrc llii' miiIIkii' I'X- tlu' lour ]nvvioUHly iioiici'il, nn' liimwii 

ini'sscs the liopc I lull, liis iMiisc nmv !»•' to iiio only in tlio i;o|)y I linvi' ii.nimI 

IoIi'ijiIimI, "(|niiinvis non ToiTiM iligiia from tin- liliiiiry of Moiih. 11, Tfrnnnx- 

Niiliiino vi'iiii." ('oiiii)Uiis. 

"' " ( 'onifiliii, inlilnlMilit l{;i(Iiii:i.'i, A liHt of .sumlry nnli' ilnmiiilii' \voi1<k 

rniii|iiii'.s|ii |ior A^o.stiii Ortiz," sinull in llic fonns foinnion in Simiii in llu- 

■Ito, liliick-lc'lti'i'. Iwclvi' IcMvcs, noyciir, lime of ( 'ImrlcH V. iMjiivm in llir Simn- 

|ii:ii I, iir |.iiiilci. II is ill livi',/"'"'/f«/'W, ish trniisliaioii of thiH UisUn'V, ('loin, 

mill li:i . Irii |iiTsoiiii^('s, ii fiivoriti' II. |i|i. n'iO-ft.'lK,) lis !in inlililion j<» 

niiniln'r. ii|Piiiiiviilly. It i'<iini's IVmii IIh' well Known Ciitiiloj/in' of Monitiii. 

(lie voiiiiiii'iiiiovi'iiiluilisj lo. wliirh cun Anion;/ ilii'iii Mil- III.' lilli's of Anlosiiml 

tiiins liivsiili's : 1. A poor |ii'osc .sNny, oIIkt ilriiniiis hy lln- Mlningc lunl i',\- 

iiil.i-,|M TsiMJ wiili <liiilo;<iii', on llii' lull' Irjivagiiiit 'rniiiMi ticl I'Vf'Ji'iiiil m' Imi-M'- 

of Minliii, Ink. '11 .liii'lly fnnii Ovi.l, It mil, (s.'c post, rlui|i. XXIX., noli',) nil 

is . jiil.'.l " I.II '/'(wi/ff//" lie Miirliii," iin.l lost nii.l not, wmtli r )ViMinf< ; Iw.i or 

ils iuilli.ir is til.' Miicliill.T Villitlon. II tlir<'<' iniilnlions of l''.iiziiiii, Nnliiirro, 

WHS iiriiil.'.l lit Mciliiiii ili^ Ciiiniio, iri:{(i, iiml tin' Ci'li'Mtiiiit ; nnil tin' .s«'<'oinl .'ili- 

|...r I'.'.li.i Toniiis, snnill 11. >, lilijuk-lcl- ti.ni, 155-2, of a very simiii.' Co lin. 

i.T. '1. All <'<loj,rii.' .soiiK'wIiiil ill til"' .'iill.'.l " I'lvloo y 'rilwil'lo.'" I'i'jjun liy 

niMniK'r iif .liiiiii .Ir In Kn/inn. lorn r.'inlvni.'/, ilf Ayll.ni, nn.l linisln'il iiflor 

\'<irin:i,',iln. Il is .'nll.'.l II /''//•;/», liin il.'iitli liy l.nis lliirlmlo. wlio w!ol« 

" Kl l''Miv.n HiKiii<'iit<' iii/o I'.'i'o l.op.'z PnlnnMin ol' Knuliiinl, Of lliis hml 

IJnn.j.'l," el.'. M in Hliorl, liiiiii^ only Onyiingim «ivi'M .'onsi.l.'inlil.' .■\lin.lN 

I 11. mill .'onlniiiH tlin'i- /•///am;/mi. Iiiit nil of tli.'in nd.l nolliiiiK ninli'iiiil 

On ijir till.' |iii><.' \h n coiirNi' wooilcnt, lo oiir kiiowl<>(l^.' of IIk' llicnln' of tint 

..I lli.' iiimi'MT. with It.'llil.'li.'in in 111.' liiii.'. 

■56 LOl'K DK JtUKDA. [Pkui.dII. 

cessfully. Its author was a mechanic of Seville, Lope 
de lluedn, a goldbeater ])y trade, Avho, from motives 
now entirely unknown, became both a dramatic writer 
and a ])iibnc actor. The })erio(l in Avliich lie tiourished 
has l)een supposed to be between 1544 and loOT. 
in which last year he is spoken of as dead ; and the 
scene of his adventures is believed to have extended 
to Seville, Cordova, Valencia, Segovia, and probably 
other places, where his plays and farces could be rep- 
resented with profit. At Segovia, we know he acted 
in the new cathedral, during the week of its consecra- 
tion, in 1558; and Cervantes and the unhappy Antonio 
Perez both speak with admiration of his powers as an 
actor, — the first having been twenty years old in 
1567, the period commonly assumed as that of Rueda's 
death,^*^ and the last having been eighteen. Rueda's 
success, therefore, even during his lifetime, seems to 
have been remarkable ; and when he died, though 
he belonged to the despised and rejected profession 
of the stage, he was interred with honor among the 
mazy pillars in the nave of the great cathedral at 

* 48 * His works were collected after his death bv 

- 1*' It is known that lie was certainly Oayaiiiros saA's that Tinioiieda alludes 

dead as early as that year, because the to the death of Lope de Ixueda, in ]5t)ti. 

edition of his "Oouiedias" then puh- I sujiijosc he refers, in this remark, to 

lished at Valencia, by his friend Tinio- the " Kpistola" preiixed to the edition 

iieda, contains, at the end of the " Kn- of the Eufeinia and Armelina dated 

ganos," a sonnet on his death by Fian- 15(57, but with the Censura of October, 

cisco de Ledesnia. The last, and, 1566. 

indeed, almost the only date we have i" The well-known passage about 

iil)Out him, is that of his acting in the Lo])e de Rue(la, in Cervantes's Prologo 

•cathedral at Segovia in 1558 ; of which to his own plays, (see post, j). 55,) is of 

"we liave a distinct account in the learneil more consequeiice than all the rest that 

and elaborate History of Segovia, by remains concerning him. Everything, 

Diego de Colmenares, (Segovia, 1627, however, is collected in Navarrete, 

fol., p. 516,) where he says that, on a " Vida de Cervantes," pp. 255-260 ; 

stage erected between tin; (dioirs, "Lope and in Casiano Pelli(;er, " Origen de la 

de Rueda, a well-known actor [fainoso Comedia y del Histrionismo en Kspaha" 

comediante] of that age rejintsented an (Madriil, 1804, r2mo, Tom. II. pp. 

entertaining play [gusto.sa comedia]." 72-84). 



his friend Juan de Tinioncda, and published in difTfer- 
ent editions, between lOiiT and 1588.'** They consist 
of foiu' Coniedias, two Pastoral Colloquies, and ten 
Pasos, or dialogues, all in prose; besides two dia- 
logues in verse. They were all evidently written for 
representation, and were unquestionably acted before 
public audiences, by the strolling company Lope de 
Rueda led about. 

The four Coniedias are merely divided into scenes, 
,'ind extend to the length of a common farce, whose 
spirit they generally share. The first of them, " Los 
Engafios," ^^ — Frauds, — contains the story of a daugh- 
ter of Verginio, who has escaped from the convent 
where she was to be educated, and is serving as a page 
to Marcelo, who had once Ijcen her lover, and who had 
left her because he believed himself to have been ill 
treated. ClaveLa, the lady to whom Marcelo now 
devotes himself, falls in love with the fair page, some- 
what as Olivia does in " Twelfth Night," and this 
brings in several effective scenes and situations. But 
a twin brother of the lady-page returns home, after a 
considerable absence, so like her, that he proves the 
other Sosia, who, first producing great confusion and 
trouble, at last m.nTies Clavela, and leaves his sister to 
her original lover. This is at least a plot; and some 
of its details and portions of the dialogue are ingenious, 
and managed with dramatic skill. 

. 1^ " Las Quatro Comedias y Dos Colo- nmeli couscqiu'iR-c. Of the " Deley- 
quios Pastorales del exceleute poeta y toso," j)rinted at Valencia, 1567, I 
graciosorepresentante, Lope de Rueda," have never be(!n abh; to see more than 
etc., iinpresas en Sevilla, L576, 8vo, — the veiy ample extracts given by Mora- 
contains his principal works, with the tin, aiiioiinting to six Pasos and a C'olo- 
" Dialogo sobre la Invencion de las quio. The first edition of the Quatro 
Calzas que se iisan agora." From the Comedia.s, etc., wiis ].')67, at Valencia; 
Epistola prefixed to it by Juan de Timo- the last at Logrono, 1 588. 
neda, 1 infer that he made alterations ^^ In the edition of Valencia by Joan 
in the maiiuscri]>ts, as Lo])e de Rueda Mey, 8vo, L567, this play is entitled 
left them; but not, probiilily, any of "Los Enganados,"— <Ae cAwffcrf. 

58 LOPE DV. UUEDA. [Period II. 

The next, the "Medora," is, also, not withont a i-ense 
of what belongs to theatrical composition and efiect. 
The interest of the action depends, in a considerable 
degree, on the confusion produced by the lesem- 
blance between a young woman stolen when a 
* 49 child by * Gypsies, and the heroine, Avho is her 
twin sister. But there are well-drawn charac- 
ters in it, that stand out in excellent relief, especially 
two : Gargullo, — the " miles gloriosus," or Captain 
Bobadil, of the story, — who. by an admirable touch 
of nature, is made to boast of his courage when quite 
alone, as well as when he is in company ; and a Gypsy 
woman, who overreaches and robs him at the veiy 
moment he intends to overreach and I'ol) lier.-*^ 

The story of the " Eufemia " is not unlike that of the 
slandered Imo2:en, and the character of Melchior Oi'tiz 
is almost exactly that of the fool in the old English 
drama, — a well-sustained and amusing mixture of 
simplicity and shrewdness. 

The " Armelina," which is the fourth and last of the 
longer pieces of Lope de Rueda, is more bold in its 
dramatic incidents than either of the others.-^ The 
heroine, a foundling from Hungary, after a series of 
strange incidents, is left in a Spanish village, where she 
is kindly and even delicately brought up by the villnge 
blacksmith ; v/hile her father, to supply her place, has 
no less kindly In-ought u]) in Hungary a natural son of 
this same blacksmith, who had been carried there by 
his unwoithy mother. The father of the lady, having 
some intimation of where his daughter is to be found, 

^ This is the Rvfwn of the old Span- -i It may be wortli noticing, tliat both 
ish dramas and stoiics, — pa?'cel roj^Y/y, the "Armelina" anil the " Kufemia " 
parcel bull}', and wholly knave ; — a open with scenes of calling up a lazy 
different personage from t\w Rufiaii oi young man from bed, in the early morn- 
recent times, who is tli(; (dder AlaUiuete ing, nnu'h like the first in the "Xubes" 
or pander. of Aristophanes. 

Chap. VI i.] LOPE DE KUEDA. 59 

comes to tlie Spanish village, bringing his adopte(l 
son witli him. There lie advises with a Moorish 
necromancer how he is to proceed in oi'der to regain 
his lost child. The Moor, by a fearfnl incantation, 
invokes Medea, who actually appears on the stage, 
fresh from the infernal regions, and informs him that 
his danghter is living in the A^ery village where they 
all are. Meanwhile the daughter has seen the youth 
from Hungary, and they are at once in love with 
each other ; — the blacksmith, at the same time, 
having decided, with the aid of his wife, to compel her 
to marry a shoemaker, to whom he had before 
promised her. Here, of course, * come troul^les * 50 
and confusion. The young lady undertakes to 
cut them short, at once, by simply drowning herself, 
but is prevented by Neptune, who quietly carries her 
down to his abodes under the roots of the ocean, and 
brings her back at the right moment to solve all 
the difficulties, explain the relationships, and end the 
whole with a wedding and a dance. This is, no doubt, 
very wild and extravagant, especially in the part con- 
taining the incantation and in the part played by 
Neptune ; but, after all, the dialogue is pleasant and 
easy, and the style natural and spirited. 

The two Pastoral Colloquies differ from the four 
Comedias, partly in having even less carefully con- 
structed plots, and partly in affecting, through their 
more bucolic portions, a stately and pedantic air, which 
is anything but agreeable. They belong, however, 
substantially to the same class of dramas, and received 
a different name, perhaps, only from the circumstance 
that a pastoral tone was always popular in Spanish 
poetry, and that, from the time of Enzina, it had been 
considered peculiarly fitted for public exhibition. The 

60 LOPE DE RUEDA. [Period II. 

comic parts of the Colloquies are the only portions of 
them that have merit ; and the following passage from 
that of " Timbria " is as characteristic of Lope de 
Rueda's light and natural manner as anything, per- 
haps, that can be selected from what we have of his 
dramas. It is a discussion between Leno, the shrewd 
fool of the piece, and Troico,^ in which Leno in- 
geniously contrives to get rid of all blame for having 
eaten up a nice cake which Timbria, the lady in love 
with Troico, had sent to him by the faithless glutton. 

Leixx). Ah, Troico, are you there ? 

Troico. Yes, my good fellow, don't you see I am ? 

Leno. It would be better if I did not see it. 

Troico. Why .so, Leno ? 

Lcno. Why, then you would not know a piece of ill-luck that has just 

Troico. What ill-luck ? 

Lcno. What day is it to-day ? 
Troico. Thursday. 
* 51 * Lcno. Thursday ? How soon will Tuesday come, then ? 
Troico. Tuesday is passed two days ago. 

Lc'iio. Well, that 's something ; — but tell me, are there not other days of ill- 
luck as well as Tuesdays ? ^ 

Troico. What do you ask that for ? 

Lciu). I ask, because there may be unlucky pancakes, if these are unlucky 

Troico. I suppose so. 

Ltno. Now, stop there ; — suppose one of yours had been eaten of a Thurs- 
day ; on whom would the ill-luck have fallen ? — on the pancake, or on you ? 

Troico. No doubt, on me. 

Lc'M. Then, my good Troico, comfort yourself, and begin to suffer and be pa- 
tient ; for men, as the saying i.s, are born to misfortunes, and these are matters, 
in fine, that come from God ; and in the order of time you must die yourself, 
and, as the saying is, your last hour will then be come and arrived. Take it, 
then, patiently, and remember that we are here to-morrow and gone to-day. 

Troico. For heaven's sake, Leno, is anybody in tlie family dead ? Or else why 
do you console me so ? 

Lew). Would to heaven that were all, Troico ! 

^ Troico, it should be obsers'ed, is a E.«t» cscrito, 

woman in di.sguisc;. ^' ^''"•'o« e.. dia aciago. 

28 This superstition about Tuesday as „^^P« 'l« >•'*;''.'•'' f'"<^''|'" ,"^" ™ SS**' \'';? 

1 1 'i ■ . I- i • 11. ( omediaa, Madnd, 1615, 4to, Tom. VL 

an unlucky day is not unirequeut in \ Y\:i, a. --"^""i « "■ ^ ■ 

the old Spanish drama : — 


Troico. Then wliat is it ? Can't you tell me witliout so many circumlocutions ? 
What is all this preamble about ? 

'Lcno. When my poor mother died, he that brought me the news, before he 
told me of it, diagged me round through more turn-abouts than there are wind- 
ings in the Pisueiga and Zapardiel.-* 

Troico. But I have got no mother, and never knew one. I don't comprehend 
what you mean. 

Leno. Then smell of this napkin. 

Troico. Very well, 1 have smelt of it. 

Leno. What does it smell of ? 

Troico. Something like butter. 

Leno. Then you may truly say, " Here Troy was." 

Troico. What do you mean, Leno ? 

Leno. For you it was given to me ; for yon Madam Timbria sent it, all stuck 
over with nuts ; — but, as I have (and Heaven and everybody else knows it) a 
sort of natural relationshii) for whatever is good, my eyes watched and followed 
her just as a hawk follows chickens. 

Troico. Followed whom, villain ? Timbria ? 

Leno. Heaven forbid ! But how nicely she sent it, all made up with butter 
and sugar 1 

Troico. And what was that ? 

* Leno. The pancake, to be sure, — don't you understand ? * 52 

Troico. And who sent a pancake to me ? 

Leno. Why, Madam Timbria. 

Troico. Then what became of it ? 

Leno. It was consumed. 

Troico. How ? • 

Leno. By looking at it. 

Troico. Who looked at it ? 

Leno. I, by ill-luck. 

Troico. In what fashion ? 

Leno. Why, I sat down by the wayside. 

Troico. Well, what next ? 

Leiw. I took it in my hand. 

Troico. And then ? 

Leno. Then I tried how it ta.sted ; and what between taking and leaving all 
around the edges of it, when I tried to think what had become of it, I found 1 
had no sort of recollection. 

Troico. The upshot is that you ate it ? 

Leno. It is not impossible. 

Troico. In faith, you are a trusty fellow ! 

Leno. Indeed ! do you think so ? Hereafter, if I bring two, I will eat tliem 
both, and so be better yet. 

Troico. The business goes on well. 

Leno. And well advised, and at small cost, and to my content. But now, go 
to ; suppose we have a little jest with Timbria. 

Troico. Of what sort ? 

2* Rivers in the north of Spain, often mentioned in Sjiniiisli poetry, especially 
the first of them. 



[Pkkiod II. 

Leno. Suppose j'ou make her believe you ate the pancake j^ourself, and when 
she thinks it is true, 3-ou and I can laugh at the trick till you sjilit your sides. 
Can you ask for anything better '\ 

Trolco. You counsel well. 

Leno. "Well, Heaven bless the men that listen to reason ! I'ut till me, Troico, 
do you think you can carry out the jest with a grave face ? 

Troico. I ? "What have I to laugh about ? 

LcH'). Wliy, don't you think it is a laughing matter to make her believe you 
ate it, when all the time it was your own good Leno that did it ? 

Troico. Wisely said. But now liold your tongue, and go about your busi- 

* The ten Pasos are miicli like this dialogue, 
— shoi't and lively, without plot or results, and 

25 Len. Ah, Troico I estisaca? 

Tro. iSi, lierniano: tu no loves? 

Lm. ilus valiera que no. 

Tro. Porqiie, I.eno? 

Len. Porquc no sujiicra.-; una flc.-'gracia, que 
ha succdido harto poco ha. 

Tro. Y que ha Siiilo la de.<f;i'acia ? 

Len. Que e.s hoy ? 

Tro. .Juevc!. 

Len. Jueves? Quanto Ic falta pani .scr Mav- 

Tro. Antes le .=ohi-an dos dia.s. 

Len. Mucho es eso 1 Mas dime, suele liaber 
dias aziagos asi coino los Marte.s ? 

Tro. Porque lo dices ? 

Len. Pregunto, ponjue tanibien hahri hojal- 
dres desprraciadas, pues bay JueVes de.-sgraciados. 

Tro. Creo que si ! ^ 

Len. Y ven aci : si tc la hubiesen coniido a ti 
una en Jueves, en quien habria caido la desgra- 
cia, en la hojaldre 6 en ti ? 

Tro. No hay duda sino que en mi. 

Len. Pues, herniano Troico, acondrtaos, y 
oonienziid 4 sufrir, y scr paciente, que i)or los 
hombres (romo dicen) suelen venir las d((Sgra- 
cias, y estas son cosas de Dios en fin, y tanibien 
segun orden de los dins os jwdriades vos liiorir, 
y (como dicen) ya .seria recomplid.i y alle-rada 
la hora postrimora, rescebildo con jjaciencia, y 
acordaos que manana somos y hoy no. 

Tro. Valaine Dios, licnol Es inucrto alguno 
en casa? como me consuelas ausi ? 

Len. Ojal i , Troico I 

Tro. Pues que fu^ ? No lo dir'.s sin t.antos 
circunloquins ? Para que es tanto pre'.mbulo? 

Len. Quando mi madre muri •, para decir- 
melo el que nic Uevi la nueva me traj p mas ro- 
deos rjue tiene bueltas I'isuerfra 6 Zapardiel 

Tro. Pues yo no tengo madre, ni la couosci, 
nj te entiendo. 

Len. Huele ese pauizuelo. 

Trn. Y bien ? Ya esti olido. 

Len. A que huele ? 

Tro. A cosa de manteca. 

Len. Pues bien jjucdes decir, aqui fue Troya. 

Tro. Como, Ijcno? 

Len. Para ti me la habian dado, para ti la 
embiaba retjcstida de pifiones la Senora Tim- 
bria ; pero como yo soy (y lo sabe Dios y todo el 
mundo) allegailo A lo bueno, en vi(''ndola asi, se 
me vinicron los ojos tras ella como milano tras 
de poUeni. 

Tro. Tras quien, traidor? tras Timbria? 

Len. Que no, v.dame Dios I Que cnipapada 
la embial)a de manteca y azucar 1 

Tro. La,que? 

Len. La hojaldre: no lo entiendes? 

Tro. Y quien nie la embiaba ? 

Len. I>ii 8eriora Timliria. 

Tro. Pues que la heeiste? 

Lfn. Consurci .se. 

Tni. Dc qvie? 

LiH. De DJo. 

Tro. Quicii la ojeo? 

Len. Yomalpuutol 

Tro. Dc qvie uianera? 

Len. Asentenie en el camino. 

Tro. Y fiue mas .' 

Lett. 'J'omela en la m.mo. 

Trii. Y luego .' 

Li^n. Prove a que sabia, y como por una 
Tanda y por otra estaba de dar y tomar, quaudo 
por ella acorde, ya no habia memoria. 

Tro. "En fin, te ]a comiste ? 

Len. Podria sfc-. 

Tro, Por cierto, que eres honibre de buen 

Len. A fc? que te parezco ? De aqui ade- 
lante si tnigere dos, me las comere juntas, para 
hacello m<'jor. 

Tro. liueno va el negocio. 

lA-n. Y bien regido, y con pnca costa, y a mi 
contento. !Mas ven aci, si quies que riauios un 
rato con Timbria ? 

Tro De que su(!7te ? 

Len. Puedes le hacer en creyente,que la co- 
miste tu, y como ella jjiense que es verdad, po- 
dremos de.«pues tu y yo reir aca de la burla ; 
(jiie robentar'.s riyendol Que mas quies? 

Tro. lUen me aconsejas. 

Len. Agora V)ien : Dios bcndiga los hombres 
acogidos a razon ! Pi-ro dime, Troico, sabrJs 
disimular con ella sin rcirte? 

Tro. Yo ? de ([ue me habia de reir ? 

Len. No te paresee, que es manera de reir, 
hacelle en creyentc, que tu te la comiste, ha- 
bit'-ndosela comido tu amigo I^eno ? 

Tro Dices sabianiente; mas calla, vete en 
buen hora. 

(r.as Quatro Oomedias, etc. , de Lope de Rueda, 
Sevilla, 1676, 8vo.) 

The learned allusion to Troy by a 
man as humble as Leno might seem in- 
apiiro])iiatc ; but it is a plirase that was 
in jiopular use. Don Quixote eni])loyed 
it, when, leaving Barcelona, he looked 
back uj)on tliat city as tlie .scene of his 
final discomfiture and disgrace. It oc- 
cui-s often in the old dramatists. 


merely intended to amuse an idle audience for a few 
moments. Two of them are on glutton tricks, like 
that practised by Leno ; others are between thieves 
and cowards; and all are drawn from common life, 
and written with spirit. It is very possible that some 
of them were taken out of larger and more foi-mal 
dramatic compositions, which it was not thought 
worth while to print entire.^^ 

The two dialogues in verse are curious, as the only 
specimens of Lojje de Rueda's poetry that are now ex- 
tant, except some songs, and a fragment preserved by 
Cervantes."" One is called " Proofs of Love," 
and is a sort * of pastoral discussion between * 54 
two shepherds, on the question which was most 
favored, the one who had received a finger-ring as a 
present, or the one who had received an ear-ring. It 
is written in easy and flowing qidnUWm^ and is not 
longer than one of the slight dialogues in prose. The 
other is called " A Dialogue on the Breeches now in 
Fashion," and is in the same easy measure, but has 
more of its author's peculiar spirit and manner. It is 
between two lackeys, and begins thus abruptly : — 

Peraltcc. Master Fuentes, wliat 's the change, I jiray, 

I notice in your hosiery and shape ? 

You seem so very swollen as you walk. 
Fuentes. Sir, 't is the breeches fashion now piescribes. 
Pcraltn. 1 thought it was an under-petticoat. 
Fuentes. I 'm not ashamed of what I have put on. 

Why must I wear my breeches made like yours ? 

Good friend, j'^our own are wholly out of vogue. 

26 This I infer from the fact that, at and were not called cnlremcses till Timo- 

the end of the edition of the Comedias neda gave them the name. Still, they 

and Colo(|uios, 1576, there is a "Tabla may have been earlier used as such, or 

de los pasos graciosos que se pueden as introductions to the longer dramas, 
sacar de las presentes Comedias y Colo- -^ There is a (ilosd ))rintc<l at the end 

<[uios y poner en otras obras." Indeed, of the Comedias ; but it is not of much 

2MS0 meant a passage. Pasos were, value. The passage preserved by Cer- 

iKJwever, undoubtedly sometimes writ- vantes is in his " Bahos de Argel," 

ten as separate works by Lope de Kueda, near the end. 



[Vev.wd IL 

Feraldi. But what arc yours so lined and stuflcd withal, 

That thus they seem so very smooth and tight ? 
Fuenles. Of that we '11 say hut little. An old mantle, 

And a cloak still older and more spoik'd, 

Do vainly struggle from my hose t' escape. 
Fcralta. 'J'o my mind they were used to blotter ends 

If sewed up for a horse's blanket, sir. 
Fucntes. But others stuff in jdenty of clean straw 

And rushes to make out a shapely form — • 
Feroha. Proving that they are more or less akin 

To beasts of burden. 
Fuenles. lint tliey wear, at least, 

Such gallant hosiery that things of taste 

■May well be added to fit out their dress. 
Fcral/a. No doubt the man that dresses thus in straw 

May tastefully put on a saddle too.''^^ 

* 55 *In all the forms of the draiiia attempted by 
Lope de Rueda, the main purpose is evidently 
to amiise a popular audience. But, to do this, his 
theatrical resources were very small and humble. " In 
the time of this celebrated Sj)aniard," says Cervantes, 

28 Per. Spiior Fuentes, qiic imulanxa 

Ilabeis hecho en el calz-udo, 

Con (jue andais tan abultado ? 
Fiient. Seiior, calzas 4 la usjinza. 
Pfr. IVnse ijir era verdufjado. 
Fuent. I'ues _vo d' ellas no me corro. 

Que hail de ser coino las vuesas? 

Ilerniano, ya no usan d' esas. 
Per. lias ((ue les hecliais de aforro, 

Que aun se paran tan tiesas? 
Fittnl. D" eso poco : iin sajo viejo 

Y toda vma ruin rapa, 

Que a esta calza no escapa. 
Ptr. Piles, si van a mi consejo, 

Ilecliaran una -^uaMnipa. 
Fiifiit. Y aun otros niandaii poner 

Co)iia de paja y e^jjarto, 

I'orque lee abulteii liarto. 
Per. f>os deben de tener 

De bestias quiz i ajfiun quarto. 
Fitent. Pondrase qual<|uier alliaja 

Por traer calzii pillarda. 
Per. Cierto yo no S(5 que aguarda. 

Quien va vestido de paja 

De hacerse alguna albarda. 

1 do not know that this dialogue is 
printed anywhere but at the end of the 
edition of the Comedias, 1 576. It refers 
evidently to tlie broad-bottomed stulfed 
hose or boots, then coming into fasliion ; 
such as the daughter of Sancho, in lier 
vanity, wlien she heard her fatlier was 
governor of Barrataria, wanted to see 
liim wear ; and such a.s Don Carlo.s, ac- 
cording to the account of 'J'liuanus, wore. 

when he used to hide in their strange 
recesses the ])ist()ls that alarmed Philip 
II.; — " caligis, (ju;e amplissimie de 
nion; gentis in usu sunt." They were- 
forbidilen by a royal ordinance in 1623. 
See I). Quixote, (Parte II. c. 50,) with 
two amusing stories told in the notes 
of Pellicer and Thnani Historiarum, 
Lib. XLl., at tlie beginning. Tliev 
became iashionable in other parts of 
Europe, as tlie wliole Spanish costume, 
liat, f(>athers, cloak, etc., did from the 
spread of Spanish ](Ower and prestige : 
that is, jirecisely for the .same reasons 
that the French dress and fa.shions have 
si)read since the time of Louis XIV. 
Figueroa ( Plaga Universal, 161;'), ff. 226, 
227) has an amusing article about 
tailors, in which he claims ]irecedence 
for the skill and taste of those in Ma- 
diid, and shows liow theii' supremacy 
was acknowledged in France and Italy. 
Tiiat it was ai'knowledged in England 
in the time of Elizabeth and James \. 
we very W(dl know. Roger Ascliam, 
ill his "Schoolmaster," talks of the 
very "luige hose" here referied to, as 
an "outrage" to be rebuked and re- 
pressed, like that of the "monstrous 
hats," etc., — all Spanish. 

€hai'. VII.] TI1EATKI-: 1\ 'I'lIK TIMK t)F J.OPE DE KUEDA. G5 

recalling the gay season of his own youth,-^ " the whole 
apparatus of a manager was contained in a large sack, 
and consisted of foin- white shepherd's jackets, turned 
up with leather, gilt and stamped ; four Ijenrds and 
Mse sets of hanging locks ; and four shepherd's crooks, 
more or less. The plays were colloquies, like eclogues, 
between two or three shepherds and a shepherdess, 
fitted up and extended with two or three interludes, 
whose personages were sometimes a negress, some- 
times a bully, sometimes a fool, and sometimes a Bis- 
€ayan ; — for all these four parts, and many others. 
Lope himself performed with the greatest excellence 
and skill that can be imagined. .... The theatre 
was composed of four benches, arranged in a square, 
with five or six boards laid across them, that were 

thus raised about four palms from the ground 

The furniture of the theatre was an old blanket drawn 
aside by two cords, making what they call the tiring- 
room, behind which w^ere the musicians, who sang old 
ballads without a guitar." 

The place where this rude theatre was set up was 
a public square, and the performances occurred when- 
ever an audience could be collected ; apparently both 
forenoon and afternoon, for, at the end of one of his 
plays, Lope de Rueda invites his " hearers only to eat 
their dinner and return to the square," ^'^ and witness 

His four longer dramas have some resem- 
blance to portions * of the earlier English com- * 56 
edy, which, at precisely the same period, was 
beginning to show itself in pieces such as "Ralph 
Royster Doyster," and " Gammer Gurton's Needle." 

2^ Comedias, Prologo. 

^'' "Auditores, no hagais siiio coiner, y dad la vuelta a la plaza." 

66 JUAX DE XmONEDA. [rnvAoD 11. 

They are divided into what are called scenes, — the 
shortest of them consisting of six, and the longest of 
ten ; but in these scenes the place sometimes changes, 
and the persons often, — a eircuuistance of little conse- 
(juence, where the whole arrangements implied no 
real attempt at scenic illusion .'^^ Much of the success 
of all depended on the part played by the fools, or 
■simples, Avho, in most of his di-amas, are important per- 
sonages, almost constantly on the stage ; '^'^ while some- 
thing is done by mistakes in language, arising from 
vuliJ:ar ii>:norance or from foreiirn dialects, like those of 
negroes and Moors. Each piece opens with a brief 
explanatorj' prologue, and ends with a word of jest and 
apology to the audience. Naturalness of thought, the 
most ■ easy, idiomatic, purely Castilian turns of expres- 
sion, a good-humored, free gayety, a strong sense of 
the ridiculous, and a happy imitation of the manners 
and tone of connnon life, are the pi-ominent character- 
istics of these, as tliey are of all the rest of his shorter 
efforts. He was, therefore, on the right road, and was, 
in consequence, afterwards justlj^ reckoned, both by 
Cervantes ;ind Lope de Vega, to be the true founder 
of the popular national theatre.^ 

The earliest follower of Lope de Rueda was his 
friend and editor, Juan de Timoneda, a l)Ookseller of 
A'ak'ucia, who certainly nourished dining the niiddk' 
and latter })ai"t of the sixteenth century, and ])r()l)ably 

31 In the fifth escena of the "Eufe- da," ami, wlieu .siieakiiigof the SjKiiii.sli 
mia," the place changes, when Valiaiio eonieilias, treats lii»i as "el juiuiero 
comes in. Indeed, it is evident that i[ue en Espaua las sacu de mantillas y 
Lope de Rueda did not know the mean- his jjuso en toldo y vistio de gala y 
ing of the word *■««<", or did not employ apaiiencia." This was in lei.'i ; and 
it aright. Cervantes sjwke from his own knowl- 

32 The first traces of these simplex, edge and memory. In l(i2(l, in the 
who weie afterwards expanded into the Prologo to the thirti'cnth volume of his 
graciosiis, is to be found in the p'(rvos Comedias, (Ma<lriil, 4t(),) Lojte de Vega 
of Oil Vicente. says, " Las eomedias no eraii mas anti- 

33 Cervantes, in the Prologo already guas(|ue K'lieda, a quien oj-eronmuchos, 
cited, calls him " el gran Lojie d<' Hue- cjue liDy vivcn." 


died in extiviuc old age, soon alter the year 
* 1597.^^ His thirteen or fourteen pieces that * 57 
were printed pass under various names, and 
have a consideraljle variety in their character ; the 
most popular in their tone Ijeing the Ijest, Four are 
called "Pasos," and four " Farsas," — all much alike. 
Two are called "Comedias," one of which, the ''Aure- 
lia," written in short verses, is divided into five j'onmdas, 
and has an introito, after the manner of Naharro ; while 
the other, the " Cornelia," is merely divided into seven 
scenes, and Avritten in prose, after the manner of Lope 
de Rueda. Besides these, we have what, in the pres- 
ent sense of the word, is for the first time called an 
"Entremes"; a Tragicomedia, which is a mixture of 
mythology and modern history ; a religious Auto, 
on the subject of the Lost Sheep ; and a translation, 
or rather an imitation, of the " Menaechmi " of Plautus. 
In all of them, however, he seems to have relied for 
success on a spirited, farcical dialogue, like that of 
Lope de Rueda ; and all were, no doubt, written to be 
acted in the public squares, to which, more than once, 
they make allusion.^^ 

The " Cornelia," first printed in 1559, is somewhat 
confused in its story. We have in it a young lady, 
taken, when a child, by the Moors, and returned, when 
grown up, to the neighborhood of her friends, without 
knowing who she is ; a foolish fellow, deceived by his 
wife, and yet not without shrewdness enough to make 
much merriment ; and Pasquin, partly a quack doctor, 

^* Ximeno, Escritores de Valencia, in Valencia, "in this honse which you 

Tom. I. p. 72, and Faster, Biblioteca see," he adds, pointing the spectators 

Valenciana, Tom. I. p. 161. But best picturesque]}-, and no doubt with comic 

in Barreira y Leirado ad verb. efl'ect, to some house they could all see. 

^ In the Prologue to the Cornelia, A similar je.st about another of tlie 

one of the speakers says that one of the personages is repeated a little furthei 

principal personages of the piece lives on. 

68 JUAX DE TOIOXEDA. * [Pkriod II. 

partlj'' a magician, and Avholly a rogue ; who, with, five 
or six other characters, make rather a superabunchmce 
of materials for so short a drama. Some of the dia- 
logues are full of life ; and the development of two or 
three of the characters is good, esjoecially that of Cor- 
nalla, the clown ; but the most prominent personage, 
perhaps, — the magician, — is taken, in a considerable 
degree, from the " Negromante " of Ariosto, which was 
represented at Ferrara al^out thirty years ear- 
* 58 lier, and proves tluit * Timoneda had some 
scholarship, if not always a ready invention.^'' 

The "Menennos," puljlished in the same year with 
the Cornelia, is further proof of his learning. It is in 
prose, and taken from Plautus ; but with large changes. 
The plot is laid in Seville ;" the play is divided into 
fourteen scenes, after the example of Lope de Rueda ; 
and the manners are altogether Spanish. There is 
even a talk of Lazarillo de Tonnes, when speaking of 
an luiprincipled 3'oung servant.^*^ But it shows fre- 
quently the same free and natural dialogue, fresh from 
common life, that is found in his master's dramas ; and 
it can be read with pleasure throughout, as an amusing 

The Paso, however, of " The Blind Beggars and the 
Boy " is, like the other short jiieces, more characteristic 
of the author and of the little school to which he 
belonged. It is written in short, familiar verses, and 
opens with an address to the audience by Palillos, the 
boy, asking for employment, and setting forth his own 
good qualities, which he illustrates by showing how 

^ "Con jirivilc^io. CoMicdia llama- licniiaiio do Lazarillo do TorniPS. cl que 

da Cornelia, iiuevanieiitecompucsta, jior tuvo trczicntos y cinoiicnta amo.s." 
Juan de Timoneda. Es niuy sentida, ^ "Con jirivilegio. La Coniedia de 

graciosa, y vozijada. Ano 1559." 8vo. los Menennos, tiaduzida por Juan Timo- 

^ It is in the twelfth scene. "Es nedii, y jmesta en gracioso estilo y ele- 

cl mas agudo rapaz del mundo, y es gautes sentencias. Afio 1559." 8vo. 


ingeiiiou.sly lie had rob))e(l a 1)1111(1 bog-«^'ar avIio had 
been his master. At this instant, Martin Alvarez, the 
blind beggar in question, approaches on one side of a 
square where the scene passes, chanting his prayers, 
as is still the wont of such persons in the streets of 
Spanish cities ; while on the other side of the same 
square approaches another of the same class, called 
Pero Gomez, similarly employed. Both offer their 
prayers in exchange for alms, and are particularly 
earnest to obtain custom, as it is Christinas eve. Mar- 
tin Alvarez begins : — 

What jiious Christian here 
Will bid me pray 
A blessed prayer, 
Quite singular 
And neA\* I say, 
In honor of our Lady dear? 

* On hearing the well-known voice, Palillos, the * 59 
boy, is alarmed, and, at first, talks of escaping ; 
but, recollecting that there is no need of this, as the 
beggar is blind, he merely stands still, and his old 
master goes on : — 

0, bid me pray ! 0, bid me pray ! — 

The very night is holy time, — 
0, bid me pray the blessed prayer. 

The birth of Christ in rhyme ! 

But as nobody offers an alms, he breaks out again : — 

Good heavens ! the like was never known ! 
The thing is truly fearful grown ; 
For I have cried. 
Till my throat is dried. 
At every corner on my way, 
And not a soul heeds what I say 
The people, I begin to fear, 
Are grown too careful of their gear, 
For honest prayers to i)ay. 

The other blind beggar, Pero Gomez, now comes up 
and strikes in : — 



FPeiuod 11. 

"Wlio will ask fur the Lliiul man's prayer ? 
0, gentle souls that hear my word ! 
C.ive but an humble alms, 
And 1 will sing the holy psalms 
For which Pope Clement's bulls afford 
Indulgence full, indulgen(;e rare, 

And add, besides, the blessed prayer 
For the birth of our blessed Lord.^^ 

The two blind men, hearing each other, enter into 
conversation, and, believing themselves to be 
* 60 alone, Alvarez * relates how he had been 
robbed by his unprincipled attendant, and Go- 
mez explains how he avoids sncli misfortunes by 
always canying the ducats he begs sewed into his cajD. 
Palillos, learning this, and not well pleased with the 
character he has just receivjid, comes very quietly up 
to Gomez, knocks off his cap, and escapes with it. 
Gomez thinks it is his blind friend wlio has played him 
the trick, and asks civilly to have his cap l)ack again. 
The friend denies, of course, all knowledge of it; 
Gomez insists ; and the dialogue ends, as others of its 
class do, with a quarrel and a fight, to the great amuse- 
ment, no doubt, of audiences such as were collected in 
the public squares of Valencia or Seville.'^ 

^'•i Di'Totos crLstianos, quien 
M;iiida rcKir 
I'lia r)r:icinn .«inf);ular 
Nueva du nuestra Seiiora? 

Mandadme rezar, pucs que es 
Nophc Santa, 
Ijii oracion segun se oanta 
Del naciniiento de Cristo. 
.Ic'susl nunca till he visto, 
Cosa es osta qut uie espanta : 
Seca tengo la giirganta 
Dc pregnnes 

Que voy dando j)()r cantones, 
Y uada no nie aprf)vecha : 
Ks la gente tan estreeha, 
Que no cuida de oraciones. 

Quii'n nianda sus devociones, 

Noble gi-iite, 
Que reel' devotaniente 
lx)S salnios de penitenria, 
Por lo8 euales indulgenrja 
Otorg) el Papa Cleuiente ! 

La oraeion del naciniiento 
De Cliristo. 

L. V. Monitin, Obras, Madrid, 1830, 8vo, Tom. 
I. p. 048. 

^'^ This Paso — true to the manners 
of the times, as we can see from a simi- 
lar scene in the " Diablo C'ojuelo," 
Tranco VI. — is reprinted by L. F. 
iloratin, (Obras, 8yo, Madrid, 1830, 
Tom. I. Parte II. p. 644,) who gives 
(Parte I. Catalogo, Nos. 95, 9G, 106- 
IIS) the best account of all the works 
of Timoneda. The habit of .singing 
])opular poetiy of all kinds in the streets 
lias been common, from the days of the 
Archpriest ilita (Coida 14S8)" to our 
own times. I haye uiten listened to it, 
and possess many of the ballads and 
other ver.ses still paid for by an alms, 
as they were in this Paso of Timoneda. 

CiiAi'. VII.] .JUAN 1)E TIMONEDA. 71 

In one of tlie jilays of ('(rviuitcs, — The lines in tiie oiiginal iire iioi con- 
that of "Pedro de Urdenialas," — the secutive, but those 1 have selected are 
hero is introduced enacting the part of as follows : — - 
a blind beggar, and is advertising him- . 
self by his chant, just as the beggar in v-sc'lat^s^^l^llXio, 
1 llnoneda does : — Lji ae San Quino y Acacio, 
The prayer of the secret soul I know, 'v*' '* '^'^ '""^ sabanoiies, 

That of Pancras the blessed of okl ; \f '^^ ™™^ '«■ '<•'■"••"■ 

The prayer of Acacius and Quirce ; ^ resolver lan.parones. 

One for ehilblains that come from the cold, Comedias, iMaUrid, 1015, 4to, f. 207. 

One for jaundice that yellows the skin, ' ' "> " >' '^•• 
And for scrofula working within. 







Two of the persons attached to Lope de Rueda's 
company were, like himself, authors as well as actors. 
One of them, Alonso de la Vega, died at Valencia as 
early as 1566, in which 3'ear three of his dramas, all in 
prose', and one of them directly imitated from his mas- 
ter, were published by Timoneda.^ The other, Alonso 
Cisneros, lived as late as 1570. l)ut it does not seem 
certain that any dramatic work of his now exists.^ 
Neither of them was equal to Lope de Rueda or Juan 
de Timoneda ; but the four taken together produced 
an impression on the theatrical taste of their times 
which was never afterwards wholly Ibrgotten or lost, 
— a fact of which the shorter dramatic compositions 
that have been favorites on the Spanish stage ever 
.since give decisive proof. 

But dramatic representations in Spain between 1560 
and 1 •")!)() were by 110 means confined to what was done 
by Lope de Rueda, his IViends. and his strolling com- 
pany of actors. Other efforts were made in various 
places, and upon other principles ; sometimes with 
more success than theirs, sometimes with less. In 
Seville, a irood deal seems I0 liave l)een done. It is 

1 C. IVllifcr, 0n<,'(-ii de la C'onifdia, Tom. I. p. Ill ; Tom. II. p. 18 ; with L. F. 
Moratin, Ohias, Tom. I. Parte 11. p. 638, and liis ("ataloRo, No.s. 100, 104, and 105. 
^ C. l'<-lliici-, Uii'f,'<Mi, Tom. I. p. llti; Tom. II. p. -iO. 

CiiAi'. VIII.] JUAN I)E LA (TEVA. 73 

probable the plays of Malara or Mai Lara, a native of 
that citA", were represented there during this 
period ; but they are now all * lost.^ Those of * G2 
Juan de la Cueva, on the contrary, have been 
partly preserved, and merit notice for many reasons, 
but especially because most of them are historical. 
They were represented — at least, the few that still 
remain — in I-jTO, and the years immediately sub- 
sequent; but were not printed till l-OHS, and then 
only a single volume appeared.* Each of them is 
divided into four jornadas, or acts, and they are writ- 
ten in various measures, mcluding terza rhna^ blank 
verse, and sonnets, but chiefly in redondilluH and octave 
stanzas. Several are on national subjects, like " The 
Children of Lara," " Bernardo del Carpio," and '• The 
Siege of Zamora " ; others are on subjects from ancient 
history, such as Ajax, Virginia, and Mutius Scievola ; 
some are on fictitious stories, like " The Old Man in 
Love," and "The Decapitated," which last is founded 
on a Moorish adventure ; and one, at least, is on a great 
event of times then recent, " The Sack of Rome " by 
the Constable Bourbon. All, however, are crude in 
•their structure, and unequal in their execution. The 
Sack of Rome, for instance, is merely a succession of 
dialogues thrown together in the loosest manner, to set 

<* Navarrete, Vida de Cervantes, p. luieiito (lue Iiizo la inuy leal Ciiulad de 

410. Mai Lara will be iioti(,-ed here- Sevilla a la 0. R. M. del lley Felipe 

after, (Period II. Cha]). XXXLX.,) but N. S.," etc (Sevilla, 1570, ISiuo, if. 

here it may be well to mention tliat the 181); — ^a curious littli; volume, sonie- 

3'ear before his death he publislied an times amusing from tlie liints it <jives 

account of tlie reception of rhili)> II. about Philijt 11., Ferdinand Columbus, 

at Seville in May, 1570, when Philip Lebrixa, etc. ; but oftener from the 

visited that city after the war of the j^jeneral description of the city or the 

Moriscos. Mai Lara prepared the in- particular accounts of the ceremonies of 

scriptions, Latin and S[)anish, used to the occasion, — all in choice Castilian. 
exjjlain tlie multitudinous allegoricnl ■* L. K. iMoratin, Obras, Tom. I. Parte 

figures that constituted a great jiart of I., Catalogo, Nos. 132-139, 142-145, 

the show on the occasion, and printed 147, and 150. Martinez de la Kosa, 

them, and everything else that could Obras, Paris, 1827, ]2mo, Tom. IL 

illustrate the occasion, in liis " Kecivi- pp. 167, etc. 

Y4 .lUAX I)E LA CUEVA. [I'l.uni, H. 

forth the progress of the Imperial arms, from the 
siege of Rome in May, 1527, to the coronation of 
Charles the Filth at Bologna, in February, 1530 ; and 
though the picture of the outrages at Rome is not 
without an air of truth, there is little truth in other 
respects ; the Spaniards being made to carry off all the 
glory. ^ 

" El Infamador," or The Calumniator, sets forth, in 

a different tone, the story of a young lady whu 
* 63 refuses the * love of a dissolute young man, 

and is, in consequence, accused by him of mur- 
der and other crimes, and condemned to death, but is 
rescued by preternatural power, while her accuser suf- 
fers in her stead. It is almost throuo-hout a revolting: 
picture ; the fathers of the hero and heroine being each 
made to desire the death of his own child, while the 
whole is rendered absurd by the not unusual mixture 
of heathen mythology and modern manners. Of 
poetry, which is occasionally found in Cueva's other 
dramas, there is in this play no trace, though there are 
passages of comic spirit ; and so carelessly is it written, 
that there is no division of the acts into scenes.^ In- 
deed, it seems difficult to understand how several of his 
twelve or fourteen dramas should have been brought 
into practical shape and represented at all. It is prob- 
aljle they were merely spoken as consecutive dia- 
logues, to bring out their respective stories, without 
any attempt at theatrical illusion ; a conjecture which 
receives confirmation from the fact that nearly all of 
them are anuoiniced, on their titles, as having been 

'• "El Saco (Ic Koniii" is rt'iniiitcd of Leucino, in this "Comedia," issome- 

iii Ochoa, IVatro Es^iafiol, I'iiris, 1838, tiiiics sujjposed to have sugj^osted that 

8vo, Tom. I. |>. 2.'jl. of Don .luan to Tirso de Molina; but 

' "El Infaniaflor" is n;j)iinti;d in tin- n*s«;nil)lan(;c, I think, does not jus- 

Ochoa, Tom. J. ji. 2'J4. 'I'hc chaructur tify tiic tunj(;i;tiire. 


represented in tlie u'ardeii of a certain Dona Elvirn at 

The two plaj.s of Joaquin Romero de Zepeda, of 
Badajoz, which were printed at Seville in 1-582, 
are somewhat different from those of Cueva. One, 
" The Metamorfosea," is in the nature of the old dra- 
matic pastorals, but is divided into three short joniadas, 
or acts. It is a trial of wits and love, between three 
shepherds and three shepherdesses, who are constantly 
at cross purposes with each other, but are at last recon- 
ciled and united ; -7— all except one shepherd, who had 
originally refused to love anybody, and one shepherd- 
ess, Belisena, who, after being cruel to one of her lov- 
ers, and slighted by another, is finally rejected by the 
rejected of all. The other play, called '' La Comedia 
Salvage," is taken in its first two acts from 
the well-known dramatic novel of * " Celes- * 64 
tina " ; the last act being filled with atrocities of 
Zepeda's own invention. It obtains its name from the 
Salvages or wild men, who figure in it, as such per- 
sonages did in the old romances of chivalry and the old 
English drama, and is as strange and rude as its title 
implies. Neither of these pieces, however, can have 
done anything of consequence for the advancement 
of the drama at Seville, though each contains passages 
of flowing and apt verse, and occasional turns of 
thought that deserve to be called graceful.^ 

^ One of the plays, not rpproseiited in Tlie Metamorfosea may be cited for its 

the Hiierta de Doha Elvira, is repre- pleasant and graceful tone of poetry, — 

sented "en el Corral de Don Juan," lyrical, however, rather than dramatic, 

and another in the Atarazanas, — Arse- — and its air of the olden time. An- 

nal, or Ropewalks. None of them, I other play found by Schack in MS. is 

suppose, appeared on a public theatre. dated 1626, and implies that Zepeda 

•* These two pieces are in " Obras de was long a writer for the theatre. 

Joachim Romero de Zepeda, Vezino de (Nachtrage, 18,54, p. 59. ) Other au- 

Badajoz," (Sevilla, 1582, 4to, ff. 130 thors living in Seville at about the 

and 118,) and are reprinted by Oehoa. same period are mentioned by La Cu- 

The opening of the imcouii. jo nunhi of eva in his "Exemplar Foetico" (Se- 


During the same period, there was at Valencia, as 
well as at Seville, a poetical movement in which the 
drama shared, and in w hich. I think, Lope de Vega, 
an exile in \"alencia for several years, about 1585, 
took part. At any rate, his friend, Cristoval de A"i- 
rues, of whom he often speaks, and who was born 
there in 1550, was among those who then gave an hn- 
pulse to the theatrical taste of his native city. He 
claims to have first divided Spanish dramas into three 
jonmdus or acts, and Lope de Vega assents to the 
claim; but they were, both mistaken, for we now 
know that such a division was made by Francisco de 
Avendaiio, not later than 1553, when Virues was but 
three years old.^ 

Only five of the plays of Virues, all in verse, are 
extant ; and these, though supposed to have been 
written as early as 1579-1581, were not printed till 
1609, when Lope de Vega had already given its full 
development and character to the popular theatre ; so 
that it is not improbable some of the dramas of Vi- 
rues, as printed, may have been more or less al- 
* 65 tered and accommodated to *the standard then 
considered as settled by the genius of his friend. 
Two of them, the " Cassandra " and the " Marcela," are 
on subjects apparently of the A^ilencian poet's own 
invention, and are extremely wild and extravagant ; 
in " El Atila Furioso " abo\e [\'L\y persons come to an 
untimely end, without reckoning the crew of a galley 
who perish in the fianies for the diversion of the ty- 
rant and his followers; and in the " Semiramis," ^'' the 

(lano, Parnaso Espanol, Tom. VIII. Some of tlniii, from Lis account, Mroto 

p. 60) : — in the maniiei- of the ancients ; and 

Ix)H PevillanoBcomiooR, Guevara, lieihajis Malaia aiul iMegia are the per- 

Guticrre ile Cetina, Coziir, Fut-nteH, sons lie refers to. 

El ingfuioso Ortiz;- 9 4^,.^ L. ]?. Moratin, Catalogo, Ko. 

who adds that tliere were otros vutcJws, 84. 

many more; — but they are all lost. '" The "Semiramis" was jtrinted at 

L"iiAi>. VIll.J CIIRlSToVAL 1)K VIRUES. 77 

subject is .so handled that when Calderon used it ajraiu 
in his two phiys entitled "La Ilija del Aire," he eould 
not help casting the cruel light oi' his own poetical 
genius on the clumsy work oi' his predecessor. All 
four of them are absurd. 

The "■ Elisa Dido " is better, and may be regarded 
as an effort to elevate the drama. It is divided into 
five acts, and observes the unities, though ^'irues can 
hardly have comprehended what was afterwards con- 
sidered as their technical meaning. Its plot, invented 
b}^ himself, and little connected with the stories found 
in Virgil or the old Spanish chronicles, supposes the 
Queen of Carthage to have died by her own hand for 
a faithful attachment to the memory of Sichoeus, and 
to avoid a marriage with larbas. It has no division 
into scenes, and each act is burdened with a chorus. 
In short, it is an imitation of the ancient Greek mas- 
ters ; and as some of the lyrical portions, as well as 
■parts of the dialogue, are not unworthy the 
talent of the author of the '' Monserrate," * it * GG 
is, for the age in which it appeared, a remark- 
able composition. But it lacks a good development of 
the characters, as well as life and poetical warmth in 

Leipzig in 1858, but published in Lon- capital letter, as Virues did, he would 

don by Williams and Norgate. Its have found that it was the river " Is," 

editor, whose name is not given, has or the city "Is" on its banks, botli 

in this rendered good service to early mentioned by Herodotus, (Lili. I. c. 

Spanish literature ; but if, by his cita- 179,) near which was the abundance of 

tiou of Schack's authority in the pref- asphalt referred to l)y Virues, and so 

ace, he desires to have it understood the passage would have ceased to be 

that that eminent critic concurs with "unintelligible" to him; and if he 

him in regarding this wild play as had read carefully the passage, (Jorn. 

a work of "extraordinary merit "and III. v. 632, etc.,) he would not have 

value," I think he can hardly have un- found "a line evidently wanting." I 

der.stood Schack's critici.sm on it (Dra- ratiier think, too, that the editor of the 

mat. Lit., Vol. 1. p. 296). Certainly "Semiramis" is wrong in supposing 

he had not seen the original and only (Preface, ]). xi) that Virues "got his 

edition of Virues, 1609 ; and, from the learning at se(;ond hand" ; and tliat he 

note at the end of his list of errata, he will Hnd he was wrong, if he will turn 

does not appear always to comprehend to the pas.sage iu Herodotus from wliich 

the text he publishes. For, if he had the Spanish })()ct seems to me to have 

printed "is" (Jorn. III. v. 690) with a takciu his description of Babylon. 


the action ; and being, in fact, an attempt to carry the 
Spanish drama in a direction exactly opj^osite to that 
of its destiny, it did not sncceed.^^ 

Such an attempt, however, was not unlikely to be 
made more tlian once ; and this was certainly an age 
favorable for it. The theatre of the ancients Avas now 
known in Spain. The translations, already noticed, 
of Villalobos in 1-515, and of Oliva before 1530, had 
been followed, as early as 1510, ))y one from Euripides 
by Boscan ; ^^ in 1555, by two from Plautus, the work 
of an unknown author ;^^ and in 1570- 1577, by the 
'•Plutus" of Aristophanes, the "Medea" of Euripides, 
and the six comedies of Terence, by Pedro Simon de 
Abril.^^ The efforts of Timoneda in his " Menennos," 
and of Virues in his " Elisa Dido," were among the 
consequences of this state of things, and were suc- 
ceeded by others, two of which should be noticed. 

The first is by Geronimo Bermudez, a native of Ga- 
licia, who is supposed to have been born about 1530; 
and to have lived as late as 1589. He was a learned 
Professor of Theology at Salamanca, and pul)lished. 

' 15 

at Madrid, in 1577, two dramas, which he some 

what boldly called " the first Spanish tragedies.' 

11 In tlie address to the " Disi-reto Euriindcs was never ]ml)lishc'd, though 
Letor" prefixed to the only edition of it is inehided in the permission to i)rint 
the "Ohras tragicas y liiicas del Capi- that jjoet's works, given by ("iiarles V. 
tan Cristoval de Virnes," (that of ila- to Hoscan's widow, 18th Febrnary, 1543, 
drid, 1609, 12nio, 11'. 278,) we are told ])rclixed to the first edition of his Works, 
that h(! had endeavored in the tirst fbui- whicii appeared that year at Barcelona, 
tragedies "to unite what was best in Boscan died in 154(1. 

ancient art and modern customs"; but i* L. F. Moratin, Catalogo, Nos. 86 

the Dido, he .says, " va escrita toda por and 87. 

el e-stilo de Griegos i Latinos con cui- i* Pellicer, Biblioteca de Traductores 
dado y estudio." See, also, L. F. Mo- Espaholes, Tom. II. 145, etc. The 
ratin, Catalogo, Xos. 140, 141, 146, translations from Terence by Aliril, 
148, 148; with MartiiK^z de la Rosa, 1577, are accompanied liy Ww. Latin 
Obras, Tom. II. ])p. 153-167. The text, and .shouhl .seem, from the " Pro- 
play of Andres Key de Aitieda, on the logo," to have been made in the hope 
"Lovers of Ternel," 1581, belongs to ihat they wouhl directly tend to reform 
this period and ])lace. Ximeno, Tom. the Spanish theatre ; — perhaps even 
L p. 263 ; Fiister, Tom. I. p. 212. that tliey would be publicly acted. 

12 The translation of Boscan from 15 Sedano's "Parnaso Espanol" (Tom. 

Chap. VllL] GEKjXI.MO IJEKMl'DEZ. 79 

They are both on * the subject of Inez de * G7 
Castro ; both are in live acts, and in various 
verse ; and both have choruses in the manner of the 
ancients. But there is a great difference in tlieir re- 
spective merits. The first " Nise Lastimosa," or Inez 
to be Compassionated, — Nise being a poor anagram of 
Inez, — is hardly more than a skilful translation of the 
Portuguese tragedy of "Inez de Castro," by Ferreira, 
which, with considerable defects in its structure, is yet 
full of tenderness and poetical beauty. The last. 
^' Nise Laureada," or Inez Triumphant, takes up the 
tradition where the first left it, after the violent and 
cruel death of the princess, and gives an account of 
the coronation of her ghastly remains above twenty 
years after their interment, and of the renewed mar- 
riage of the prince to them ; — the closing scene ex- 
hibiting the execution of her murderers with a coarse- 
ness, both in the incidents and in the language, as re- 
volting as can well be conceived. Neither probably 
produced any perceptible effect on the Spanish drama ; 
and yet the " Nise Lastimosa " contains passages of no 
little poetical merit; such as the beautiful chorus on 
Love at the end of the first act, the dream of Inez in 
the third, arid the truly Greek dialogue between the 
princess and the women of Coimbra ; for the last two 

VI., 1772) contains both the dramas of esthig that thoy "will lose sleep by 
Berniudez, with notices of his life. it." Being a Galician, he hints, in the 
I think we have nothing else of Ber- Dedication of his "Nise La.stiniosa," 
mudez, except his " Hesperodia," a that Castilian was not easy to him. I 
panegyric on the great Duke of Alva, find, however, no traces of awkward- 
written in 1589, after its author had ness in his manner, and his Gallego 
travelled much, as he says, in Frances helped him in managing Fei'reini's Por- 
and Africa. It is a cold elegy, origi- tugaese. The two tragedies, it should 
iially composed in Latin, and not be noted, were published under the as- 
printed till it appeared in Sedano, Par- sumed name of Antonio de Silva ; — 
naso (Tom. VII., 1773, p. 149). Parts perliaps because he was a Dominican 
of it ar* somewhat obscure ; and of the monk. The volume (Madrid, Sanchez, 
whole, tran.slated into Spani.sh to please 1577) is a mean one, and the tvjie a 
a friend anil that friend's wife, the an- jioor sort of Italics, 
thor trulv savs that it is not so inter- 

so LurEiicio LE().\Ai;i)() i)i: ai;(;e.\s()la. [I'ikkm. ii. 

of which, however, Beniiiulez was directly indebted 
to Ferreira.^*^ 

Three tragedies b}^ Liipercio Leonardo de Argensola, 
the accomphshed lyric poet, who Avill hereafter be am- 
ply noticed, produced a much more considerable sensa- 
tion when the}^ first appeared, though they 
* 68 were soon afterwards * as much neglected as 
their predecessors. He Avrote them wlien he 
was hardly more tlian twenty years old, and they 
w^ere acted about the year 1585. " Do \ou not re- 
member," says the canon in Don Quixote, '■ that, a few 
years ago, there were represented in Spain three trage- 
dies composed hy a flimous poet of these kingdoms, 
which were such that they delighted and astonished 
all who heard them ; the ignorant as well as the judi- 
cious, the multitude as well as the few ; and that these 
three alone brought more profit to the actors than the 
thirty best phiys that liave been written since?" — ''No- 
doubt," replied the manager of the theatre, w^ith whom 
the canon was conversing, — "no doubt you mean the 
' Isabehi,' the ' Philis,' and the 'Alexandra.' " ^" 

This statement of Cervantes is certainly extraordi- 
nary, and the more so from being put into the month 
of the wise canon of Toledo. But, notwithstanding 
the flush of immediate success which it implies, all 
trace of these plays was soon so completely lost that,, 
for a long period, the name ol' the famous ])()et Cer- 
vantes had referred to was not known, and it was even 
suspected that lie liad intended to comphment himself. 
At last, between 1700 and 1770, two of them — the 
"Alexandra" and " IsabeLa " — were accidentally dis- 

IG 'phc "Castro" of Antonio FiTiciia, ]-Jino, 'I'uin. II. pp. 123, etc). Its au- 

onc of the most jinii! ami beautiful com- tiior died of the pla<(ue at Li.sbon, ii; 

jiositioiis in the Portugue.se language, is If)*)!), only forty-one years old. 

found in his "Poema.s" (Lisboa, 1771, ^" Don (Quixote, Parte 1. e. 48. 

ViiAi'. VI] 1. J LUPEIICIO LlX).\Ai;l)0 DE AKCENSOLA. 81 

covered, and all douht roased. Tlioy were found to be 
the work of Lupereio Jjeonardo de Argensola."* 

But, unlia])|)ily, they quite failed to satisfy the ex- 
pectations that had been excited by the good-natured 
praise of Cervantes. They are in various verse, fluent 
and f)i^ii'e ; and were intended to be imitations of the 
Greek style of tragedy, called forth, pei'haps, by the 
recent attempts of I5«rmudez. Each, however, is di- 
vided into three acts ; and the choruses, origi- 
nally prepared for them, are * omitted. The *' 69 
Alexandra is the worse of the two. Its scene 
is laid in Egypt ; and the story, which is fictitious, is 
full of loathsome horrors. Every one of its person- 
ages, except perhaps a messenger, perishes in the 
course of the action ; children's heads are cut off and 
thrown at their parents on the stage ; and the f;ilse 
queen, after being invited to wash her hands in the 
blood of the person to whom she was unworthily at- 
tached, bites off her own tongue, and spits it at her 
monstrous husband. Treason and rebellion form the 
lights in a picture composed mainly of such atrocities. 

The Isabela is better ; but still is not to be praised. 
The story relates to one of the early Moorish Kings of 
Saragossa, who exiles the Christians from his kingdom 
in a vain attempt to oljtain possession of Isabela, a 
Christian maiden with whom he is desperately in love, 
but who is herself already attached to a noble Moor 
whom she has converted, and with whom, at last, she 

1^ They first appeared in Scilauo's they were deposited by the heir of L. 
" Paruaso Espanol," Tom. VI., 1772. Leonardo de Argensola. They are said 
All the needful explanations about them to eontaiu a better text than the MSS. 
are in Sedano, Moratin, and Martinez used by Sedano, and ought, therefore, 
de la Rosa. The " Philis" has not been for the honor of the author, to be in- 
found. The MS. originals of the two quired after. Sebastian de Latre, En- 
published plays were, in 1772, in tlie sayo sobre el Teatro Espahol, folio, 
Archives of the " Escuelas Pias " of the 1773, Prologo. 
citj' of Ballwstro, in Aragon, where 

vol.. 11. 6 


suffers a triumphant inartyrdom. Tlie incidents are 
numerous, and sometimes well imagined; but no dra- 
matic skill is shown in their management and combina- 
tion, and there is little easy or livinij: dialo^aie to u-ive 
them effect. Like the Alexandra, it is full of horrors. 
The nine most prominent personages it represents 
come to an untimely end, and the bodies, or at least 
the heads, of most of them are CKliibited on the stage, 
thouo:h some reluctance is shown, at the conclusion, 
about committing a supernumerary suicide before the 
audience. Fame opens the piece with a prologue, in 
which complaints are made of the low state of the 
theatre: and the srhost of Isabela, who is hardly dead, 
comes back at the end with an epilogue very Hat and 
qttite needless. 

With all this, however, a few passages of poetical 
eloquence, rather than of absolute poetry, are scattered 
through the long and tedious speeches of which the 
piece is principally composed ; and once or twice there 
is a touch of passion truly tragic, as in the discussion 
between Isabela and her family on the threatened 
exile and ruin of their Avhole race, and in that be- 
tween Adulce, her lover, and Aja, the king's 
* TO sister, who disinterestedly loves * Adulce, not- 
withstanding she knows his passion for her fair 
Christian riyal. But still it seems inc()iu])reliensible how 
such a piece should have ])r()duced the jiopular dra- 
matic effect attributed to it. unless we suppose that the 
Spaniards had from the first a passion for theatrical exhi- 
bitions, which, down to this period, had been so imper- 
fectly gratified, that anything dramatic, produced under 
favorable circumstances, was run alter aud admired.^^ 

1^ Tln-n? arc several old liallads on " I'ljer eine Samiiiluiif; Spaiiisclier Ro- 
the suliject of this play. See Wolf, iiiaiizen " (Wieii, IS.jO, jip. 33, 34); 


The dramas of Argcnsola, b\' their date, though not 
by their character and spii-it, bring us at once within 
the period which opens with the great and ])revalent 
names of Cervantes and Lope de \'ega. The\', there- 
fore, mark the extreme limits of the history of the 
early Spanish theatre ; and if .we now look back and 
consider its condition and character during the long 
period we have just gone over, we shall easily come to 
three conclusions of some consequence.-'^ 

The first is, that the attempts to form and develop 
a national drama in Spain have been few and rare. 
During the two centuries following the first notice 
of it, ahout 12-5U, we cannot learn distinctly that anj^- 
thing was undertaken but rude exhibitions in panto- 
mime ; though it is not unlikely dialogues may some- 
times have been added, such as we find in the more 
imperfect religious jD^geants produi^ed at the same 
period in England and France. During the next 
century, which brings us down to the time of Lope de 
Kueda, we have nothing better than " Mingo Revulgo," 
which is rather a spirited political satire than a drama, 
Enzina's and Vicente's dramatic eclogues, and 
Naharro's more dramatic " Propaladia," * with a * 71 
few translations from the ancients which were 
little noticed or known. And during the half-centiuy 
which Lope de Rueda opened with an attempt to 

but the historical trailition is in tlie Aribau, Biblioteca, Tom. II. pp. 163, 

"Cronica General," Parte III. c. 22, 225, notes. The names of many such 

ed. 1604, ff. 83, 84. — ])arl of them in Spanish, part in 

2^ It seems probable that a consider- Latin, and ]iart in both languages, but 

able number of dramas belonging to all akin to the old Mysteries and Autos 

the period between Lope de Rueda and — may be found in the Spanish trnns- 

Lope de Vega, or between 1560 and latioii of this History, Tom. II. pp. 

1590, could even now be collected, 543-550. A con.siderable number of 

who.se names have not yet been given them seem to have been represented in 

to the public ; but it is not likely tliat religious houses, where, as we know, a 

they would add anything important to more secular drama afterwards intruded 

our knowledge of the real charact/<'r or and found much favor, 
progress of the drama at that time. 


create a popular di'ama, Ave have obtained only a few 
farces from himself and his followers, the little that was 
done at Seville and A^alencia, and the countervailing 
tragedies of Bermudez and Argensola, who intended, 
no doubt, to follow what they considered the safer and 
more respectable traces of the ancient Greek masters. 
Three centuries and a half, therefore, or four centuries, 
furnished less dramatic literature to Spain than the 
last half-century of the same portion of time had fur- 
nished to Franc^e and Italy ; and near the end of tlie 
whole period, or about 1585, it is apparent that the 
national genius was not so much turned towards the 
drama as it was at the same period in England, where 
Greene and Peele w^ere just preparing the way for 
Marlowe and Shakespeare. 

In the next place, the apparatus of the stage, includ- 
ing scenery and dresses, was very imperfect. During 
the greater part of the period we have gone over, 
dramatic exhibitions in Spain were either religious 
jiantomimes shown off in the churclies to the people, 
or private entertainments given at court and in the 
houses of the nobility. Lope de Rueda brought them 
out into the piil)lic squares, and adapted them to the 
comprehension, the taste, and the humors of the mul- 
tiliide. But he had no theatre anywhere, and his 
gay farces were represented on temporary scaffolds, by 
his own company of strolling players, who stayed but 
a few days at a time in even the largest cities, and 
were sought, when there, chiefly l)y the lower classes 
of the people. 

The first notice, therefore, we have of anything 
approaching to a regular establishment — and this is far 
removed from what that phrase generally implies — is 
in 1508. when an an-angement or coiuprouiise between 


the Cliurcli and the theatre was begun, traces of which 
have subsisted at Madrid and elsewhere down to our 
own times. Recollecting, no d()ul)t, the origin of dra- 
matic representations in Spain for religious edification, 
the government ordered, in form, thtit no actors 
should make an * exhibition in Madrid, except *' 72 
in some place to be appointed by two religious 
brotherhoods designated in the decree, and for a rent 
to be paid to them; — an order in which, after 1-383, 
the general hospital of the city was included.-^ Under 
this order, as it was originally made, we find plays 
acted from 1508 ; but only in the open area of a court- 
yard, corral, without roof, seats, or other apparatus, ex- 
cept such as is humorously described by Cervantes to 
have been packed, with all the dresses of the company, 
in a few large sacks. 

In this state things continued several years. None 
but strolling companies of actors were known, and they 
remained but a few days at a time even in Madrid. 
No fixed place was prepared for their reception ; but 
sometimes they w^ere sent by the pious brotherhoods 
to one court-yard, and sometimes to another. They 
acted in the daytime, on Sundays and other holidays, 
and then only if the weather permitted a performance 
in the open air ; — the women separated from the 
men,^^ and the entire audience so small, that the profit 
yielded by the exhibitions to the religious societies and 
the hospital rose only to eight or ten dollars each 
time.^^ At last, in 1579 and 1583, two court-yards 
were permanently fitted up for them, belonging to 

21 The two brotlievhoods wore the hy C. Pellicer in his "Ori'gen de la 

Cofradia de la Sagrada Pasion, estab- Comedia en Esjiana." But they can 

lished 1565, and the Cofradia de la So- he found so well nowhere else. See 

ledad, established 1567. The accounts Tom. 1. pp. 43-77. 

of the early beginnings of the theatre ^'^ C. Pellic'ci-, Origen, Tom. I. p. 8.3. 

at Madrid are awkwardly enough given ^^ Ibid., p. 56. 


houses in the streets of the ''Principe" and " Cruz." 
Butj though a rude stage and benches were provided 
in each, a roof was still wanting; the spectators all sat 
in the open air, or at the windows of the house whose 
court-yard was used for the representation ; and the 
actors performed under a slight and poor awning, with- 
out anything that deserved to be called scenery. Tlie 
theatres, therefore, at Madrid, as late as 1586, could 
not be said to be in a condition materially to further 
any efforts that might be made to produce a respecta- 
ble national drama. 

In the last place, the pieces that had been writ- 
ten had not the decided, common character 
* To on which a national * drama coidd be fairly 
founded, even if their number had been greater. 
Juan de la Enzina's eclogues, which were the first 
dramatic compositions rej)resented in Spain by actors 
who were neither priests nor cavaliers, were really 
what they were called, though somewhat modified 
in their bucolic character by religious and political 
feelings and events ; — two or three of Naharro's plays, 
and several of those of Cueva, give more absolute 
intimations of the intriguing and historical character 
of the stao-e, though the effect of the first at home 
was delayed, from their being for a -long time pub- 
lished only in Italy; — the translations from the 
ancients l)y Yillalol)os, Oliva, Abril, and others, seem 
hardly to have been intended for repi'esentation, and 
certainly not for popular effect ; — and Bermudez, with 
one of his pieces stolen from the Portuguese and the 
other full of horrors of his own, was, it is plain, little 
thought of at his first appearance, and soon quite 

There were, tlieielbre, hcluic 1-jSG, only two persons 


to whom it was possible to look lor tlie estahlisluneiit 
of a popular and pennaiieiit drama. The hrst ot" tliem 
was Argensola, whose three tragedies enjoyed a degree 
of success before luiknown ; but tliey were so little in 
the national spirit, that they were early overlooked, and 
soon completely forgotten. The other was Lope de 
Rueda, who, himself an actor, wrote such fsirces as he 
found would amuse the common audiences he served^ 
and thus created a school in which other actors, like 
Alonso de la Vega and Cisneros, wrote the same kind 
of farces, chiefly in prose, and intended so completely 
for temporary effect, that hardly one of them has come 
down to our own times. Of course, the few and rare 
efforts made before 1586 to produce a drama in Spain 
had been made upon such various or contradictory 
principles, that they could not be combined so as to 
constitute the safe foundation for a national theatre. 

But, though the proper foundation was not yet laid, 
all w^as tending to it and preparing for it. The stage, 
rude as it was, had still the great advantage of being 
confined to two spots, which, it is worth notice, 
have * continued to be the sites of the two * 74 
principal theatres of Madrid ever since. The 
number of authors, though small, was yet sufficient to 
create so general a taste for theatrical representations 
that Lopez Pinciano, a learned man, and one of a tem- 
per little likely to be pleased with a rude drama, said, 
" When I see that Cisneros or Galvez is going to act, I 
run all risks to hear him ; and, when I am in the the- 
atre, winter does not freeze me, nor summer make me 
hot." -* And finally, the public, who resorted to the 

-* Philosopliia Antigua Poetica de A. ('alircni, Felipe II., Madrid, 1619, folio, 

L. Pinciano, Madrid, 1596, 4to, p. 128. ]>. 470. This quarrel is a part of tlie 

Cisneros was a famous actor of the time drama of Pedro Ximiniez de Aneiso 

of Philip II., ahout whom Don Carlos (sie), entitled El Piineipe Don Carlos, 

luid a ijuai-.el with Cardinal Kspinosa. wliei-e it i.s .set fortli in .lornada 11. 



imperfect entertjiiiimeiits offered tlieiii, if they had not 
determined what kind of drama should become na- 
tional, had yet decided that a national drama should 
be formed, and that it should .1)6 founded on the na- 
tional character and manners. 

(Parte XXVIII. de ('oim'ilia.s de vario.s 
automs, Huesea, 1634, f. 183, a). Ci.s- 
nero.s Houri.shwl lo7y-ir)86. C. Pcl- 
licer, On'gcii, Tom. I. pp. 00, 61. Lope 
de. Vega .sjx'aks of liiiii 'vith great ad- 
iiiiiatiou, as an actor "beyond compare 
since i)lay.s were known." Teregrino 
en .su I'atria, ed. 1604, f. 263. 

During the period ju.st gone over — 
that between the death of Lope de 
Kueda and the succe.ss of Lope de Vega 
— the traee.s of whatever regiirds the 
theatre are to be l)est found in Mora- 
tin'.s "Catalogo" (Obra.s, 1830, Tom. 
I. pp. 192 - 300). lUit there were many 
more rude efi'ort.s made than he has 
olironicled, though none of consequcaice. 
Gayangos, in the Spanish translation 
of this History, (.see note 20 of this 
chap.,) Las collected the titles of a 

good many, and could, no doubt, easily 
have collected more, if they had been 
worth the trouble. Some of those he 
records have been printed, but more 
are in manuscript ; some are in Latin, 
.some iuS[)anisli, and some in lioth lan- 
guages ; some aie religious, and .some 
seculai'. J\lan}' of them were pi'obably 
i'epre.sented in religious houses, in tiie 
colleges of the Jesuits, and in convents, 
on occasions of ceremony, like the elec- 
tion of a Bishoi), or the canonization of 
a Saint. Of others no account can be 
given. But all of them taken together 
give no intimation of a difierent state 
of th(^ drama from that already suiii- 
cicaitly described. AVe see, indeed, from 
them very plainly that it was a period 
of change ; but we sec nothing el.se, 
except that the change was very slow. 

* CHAPTER IX. *?.'> 




It should not be forgotten that, while we have gone 
over the beginnings of the Italian school and of the 
existing theatre, we have had little occasion lo notice 
one distinctive element of the Spanish character, 
which is yet almost constantly present in the great 
mass of the national literature : 1 mean the reliji-ious 
element. A reverence for the Church, or, more prop- 
erly, for the religion of the Church, and a deep senti- 
ment of devotion, however mistaken in the forms it 
wore, or in the direction it took, had been developed 
in the old Castilian character by the wars against 
Islamism, as much as the sy)irit of loyalty and knight- 
hood, and had, from the first, found no less fitting 
poetical forms of expression. That no change took 
place in this respect in the sixteenth century, we find 
striking proof in the character of a distinguished 
Spaniard, who lived about twenty years later than 
Diego de Mendoza, but one whose gentler and graver 
genius easily took the direction which that of the elder 
cavalier so decidedly refused. 

I refer, of course, to Luis Ponce de Leon, called, 
from his early and unbroken connection with the 
Church, " Brother Luis de Leon," — Fray Luis de Leon. 
He was born in Belmonte, in Lj2(S, and lived there un- 
til he was five or six years old. when his father, wlio 

90 LUIS DE LEOX. [Peiiiod II. 

Avas a '• king's advocate." removed his familv first to 
Madrid, and then to Yalhidolid. The young poet's 
advantages for education were such as were enjoyed at 
that time only by persons whose position in society 
was a favored one ; and, at fourteen, he was 
* 76 sent to the neighboring * University of Sala- 
manca, where, following the strong religious 
tendencies of his nature, he entered a monastery of the 
order of Saint Augustin. From this moment the final 
direction was iriven to his life. He never ceased to be 
a monk ; and he never ceased to be attached to the 
University where he was bred. In 1560 he became a 
Licentiate in Theulogy, and immediately afterwards 
was made a Doctor of Divinity. The next year, at the 
age of thirty-four, he obtained the chair of Saint 
Thonuis Aquinas, which he won after a public compe- 
tition against several opponents, four of wliom were 
already professors ; and to these honors he added, ten 
y^ears later, that of the chair of Sacred Literature. 

By this time, however, his influence and considera- 
tion had gathered round him a body of enemies, who 
diligently sought means of disturbing his position.^ 
The chief of them were either leading monks of the 
rival order of Saint Dominick at Salamanca, with whom 
he seems to have liad, from time to time, warm discus- 

1 Obias (1(;1 Maestro Fray Luis de foniiitlalile tiiliuiial, and probably the 

Leon, (Madrid, 1804-1816, 6 torn. most curious and iinj)ortant one in ex- 

8vo,) Tom. v. p. 292. Hut in the istence, whether in MS. or in print, 

very rich and important " Colecciou Its nniltitudinous documents fill inore 

<Ie Documentos ineditos para la His- than nine humlred pages, everywhere 

toria de Espana por I). iMigutd Salva y teeming with instruction and warning, 

1). Pedro Sainz de liaranda" (Toinos on the subject of ecclesiastical usurpa- 

X., XI., Madiid, 1847-8, 8vo) is to tions, and tlie noiseless, cold, subtle 

be found the entire oHicial record of means by which they crush the intel- 

the trial of Luis d(^ Leon, taken from lectual freedom and healthy culture of 

the Archives of the Imiuisition at Val- a jieople. For the enmity of the Do- 

hidolid, and now in tlie National Li- minicans — in who.se hands w.i.s the I n- 

})rary at Madrid; — bj' far the most (jui-sition — to Luis de Leon, and for 

important authentic statement knowti tne jealousy of his deieatetl competitois. 

to me respecting the treatment of men .see the.se Documentos, Tom. X. p. 100, 

of letters who were accu.sed before that and many other places. 

fiiAi'. IX. I LUIS DE I.EON. 91 

sions in tlie public linlls of the University, or else 
they were the competitors whom he had defeated 
in open contest for the high offices he had obtained. 
In each case the motives of his adversaries were 

With such persons, an opportnnity for an attack 
would soon be found. The pretext first seized upon 
was that he had made a translation of the Song of 
Solomon into Castilian, treating it as if it w^ere an 
eclogue. To this was soon added the suggestion that, 
in his discussions in "the Schools" or public 
halls of the University, he * had declared the * 77 
Vulgate version of the Bible to be capable of 
improvement. And, finally, it was intimated that 
whde, on the one side, he had leaned to new and 
dangerous opinions, — meaning Lutheranism, — on the 
other side, he had shown a tendency to Jewish inter- 
pretations of the Scriptures, in consequence of a 
Hebrew taint in his blood, — always odious in the 
eyes of those Spaniards who could boast that their 
race was pure, and their descent orthodox.^ 

The first formal denunciation of him was made at 
Salamanca, before Connnissaries of the Holy Office, on 
the seventeenth of December, 1571. But, at the out- 
set, everything was done in the strictest secrecy, and 
wholly without the knowledge or suspicion of the ac- 
cused. In the course of this stage of the process, 
about twenty witnesses were examined at Salamanca, 
who made their statements in writing, and the testi- 
mony of others was sent for to Granada, Valladolid, 
Murcia, Carthagena, Arevalo, and Toledo ; so that, 
from the beginning, the affiiir took the character it 
preserved to the last, — that of a wide-spread con- 

■' Docunifiitos, Tom. X. i.^i. 0, 12, 19, 1-4(3-174, 207, 20S, 419-467. 

92 LU18 DE LEOX. [Pekiod II. 

spiracy against a 23<^i'^on whom it was not safe to as- 
sail without tlie most cautious and thorough prepara- 

At hist, wdien all was ready, the bolt fell. On the 
sixth of March, 1572, he was personally sunnnoned 
before the Tribunal of the Inquisition at Salamanca, and 
accused of having made and circulated a vernacular 
translation of Solomon's Song ; — the other complaints 
being apparently left to be urged or not, as might 
afterwards be deemed expedient. His answer — which, 
in the official process, is technically, but most unjustly, 
called his '• confession," when, in fact, it is his defence 
— was instant, direct, and sincere. He avowed, with- 
out hesitation, that he had made such a translation as 
was imf)uted to him, but that he had made it for a nun 
\j()m rcllfjioHci]^ to whom he had personally carried it, 
and from whom he had personally received it back 

again soon afterward ; — that, unknown to him, 
* 78 it had subsequently * been copied by a friar 

havins: charge of his cell, and so had come into 
secret circulation ; — that he had vainl}- endeavored to 
stop its further diffusion, by collecting the various 
transcripts that had been thus surre^Dtitiously and 
fraudulently made; — and that his feeble health alone 
had hindered him from completing — what he had 
already begun — a Latin version of the book in 
question, with a commentary, setting forth his opinions 
concerning it in such a way as to leave no doubt 
of their strict orthodoxy. At the same time he de- 
clared, by the most explicit and solemn words, his 
unconditional submission to the authority of the Holy 
Office, and his devout jDurpose, in all respects, and 

^ Documentos, Tum. X. \>\>. 26, 31, his translation of Solomon's Song had 
74, 78, 81, 92. Later, tliey sent for wandered, p. 505. 
testimony to C'uzco, in Peru, whither 

t-'iiAr. IX.] LUIS DE LEON. 9^ 

at all times, to cherish and defend all the doctrines 
and dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church.* 

At this point in the inquiry, — and after this full 
declaration of the accused, — if there had l)een no 
motives for the investigation but such as were avowed, 
the whole all'air would, no doubt, have been stopped, 
and nothing more would have been heard of it. But 
this was far from the case. His enemies were personal, 
bitter, and unscrupulous ; and they had spread wide 
the suspicion — as was done in relation to his friend 
Arias Montano — that his great biblical learning was 
fast leading him to heresy ; if, indeed, he were not 
already at heart a Protestant. His examination, there- 
fore, was pushed on with imrelenting severity. His 
cause was removed from Salamanca to the higher 
tribunal at Valladolid ; and, on the twenty-seventh of 
March, 1572, he was arrested and confined in the 
secret prisons [cwceles secret a>i'] of the Inquisition, 
where, for a time, he was denied the use of a knife 
to cut his food, and Avhere he at no period obtained 
a sheet of paper or a book, except on the especial, re- 
corded permission of the judges before whom he was 
on trial. The other accusations, too, were now urged 
against him by his persecutors, though, at last, none 
were relied upon for his conviction save those regard- 
ing the Song of Solomon and the Vulgate. 

But to all the charges, and to all the insinuations 
against him, as they were successively brought 
up, he replied with * sincerity, distinctness, and *" 79 
power. Above fifty times he was summoned in 
person before his judges, and the various defences 
which he read on these occasions, and which are still 

* Docuraentos, Tom. X. p]). 9 -101. to be "a divine? pastoral ilrama." So 
Milton, also, (Cliun^hOovcninient, Book have many others, both learned and 
II., Introd.,) eon.siders Solomon's Song religious. 

'04 LUIS DE LEOX. [I'kuiud II. 

extant in his own handwriting, make above two 
hundred printed pages, — not, indeed, marked with 
the rich eloquence which elsewhere flows so easily 
from his pen, l)ut still written in the purest Castilian, 
and with extraordinary acuteness and perspicacity;^ 

At last, when all the resources of ecclesiastical ino;e- 
nuity had been employed, in vain, for nearly five years, 
to break his firm though gentle spirit, the judgment 
of his seven judges was pronounced on the twenty- 
eighth of September, 1570. It was a very strange 
one. Four of their number voted that " he should be 
put to the rack \_qiddion de tormento'j, to ascertain his 
intentions in relation to whatever had been indicated 
and testified against him ; Init," they added, '• that the 
rack should be applied moderately, from regard to the 
delicate health of the accused, and that, jifterwards, 
further order should be taken in the case." Two more 
of his judges were of opinion that he should be rebuked 
in the Halls of the Holy Office, for having ventured, 
at such a time, to move matters tending to danger and 
scandal ; — that, in presence of all persons belonging 
to the University, he should confess certain proposi- 
tions gathered out of his papers to be " suspicious and 
ambiguous"; — and, finally, that he should be forbid- 
den from all public teaching whatsoever. One of the 
judges asked leave to give his opinion separately; but 
whether he ever did or not, and, if he did, whether it 
w^as more or less severe than the opinions of his coadju- 
tors, does not appear. 

^ In all cases of trial before tlic tri- ing them sometimes with no little se- 
bunal of the Inquisition, though the verity for their injustice and falsehood, 
written statements of the witnesses Throughout the trial he showed a gen- 
might be given to the party accused, nine simplicity of heart, a careful, wise 
their names never were. Luis de Leon logic, and an unshaken resolution, 
had the anonymous testimony of his Documentos, Tom. X. pp. 317, 326, 
enemies before him, and, from internal 357, 368-371, 423, 495, and other 
evi<lence, often conjectured who tlu-j' passages, 
were, naming them boldl)', and treat- 

CiiAi'. IX.] LUlb DE LEON. 95 

But all of them — even the least harsh — were 
Avholly unjustified by any proof brought against the 
prisoner, or by anything shown in his spirit 
during the trial. Indeed, * the lightest punish- * 80 
ment proposed implied a complete degradation 
and disgrace of the devout monk, while the punish- 
ment proposed by the majority of the tribunal de- 
manded a degree of cruelty which his feeble frame 
could hardly have endured. Happily, he was com- 
pelled to undergo neither sentence. The members of 
the Supreme Council of the Inquisition at Madrid, who 
had been repeatedly consulted on different points in 
the trial, as it Avent on, showed their accustomed cold, 
impassive caution in their final judgment; for they 
passed over everything previously done in absolute 
silence ; and, by a new and solemn decree, of Decem- 
ber 7, 1576, decided that the accused, Luis de Leon, be 
full}^ acquitted [absiielto de la instancia deste j'uicld], being 
previously warned to be circumspect both how and 
where he should discuss hereafter such matters as had 
given rise to his trial, and to observe, m relation to 
them, great moderation and prudence, so that all 
scandal and occasion of error might cease ; and re- 
quiring, furthermore, that his vernacular translation of 
Solomon's Song should be suppressed. This final de- 
cree having been announced to him in form, at Valla- 
dolid, he was forthwith released from prison, not, how- 
ever, without the customary caution to bear no ill-will 
against any person wdiom he might suspect to have 
testified against him, and to observe absolute secrecy 
concerning whatever related to his trial, under pain of 
full excommunication, and such other punishments as 
might be deemed needful ; — to all which, b}^ his sign- 
manual, he gave a promise of true obedience and sub- 

96 LUIS DE LEON. [Pkiuod 1L 

mission, wliicli, there is every reason to believe, lie 
faithfully kept.'' 

Thus was ended this extraordinary and cruel trial, 
whose minute details and discussions, spread over its 
voluminous original documents, show — as can be 
shown by no general statement of its course — how 
acute, wary, and unscrupulous was the Inquisition in 
persecutuig men of the highest gifts, and of the 
* 81 most submissive religious * obedience, if they 
were either obnoxious to the jealousy and ill- 
will of its members, or suspected of discussing ques- 
tions that might disturb the sharply defined faith 
exacted from every subject of the Spanish crown. 
But more and worse than this, the very loyalty with 
which Luis de Leon Ijowed himself down before the 
dark and unrelenting tribunal, into whose presence he 
had been sunnnoned, — sincerely acknowledging its 
right to all the powers it claimed, and submitting faith- 
fully to all its decrees, — is the saddest proof that can 
be given of- the subjugation to which intellects the 
most lofty and cultivated had been reduced by ecclesi- 
astical t\'ranny, and the most disheartening augury of 
the degradation of the national character, that was 
sure to follow. 

But the University remained faithful to Luis de 
Leon tln^ough all his trials ; — so far faithful, at least, 
tliat his academical offices were neither filled by oth- 
ers, nor dcclartMl vacant. As soon, therefore, as he 
emerged from tbe cells of llic ln(|uisiti()U, he a])])eai'ed 
again in the old halls of Salauianca; and it is a beauti- 
ful circumstance attending his restoration, that when, 

® Dofuinontos, Toin. XI. pp. .3.01- four odiccrs of that lii,t;]i and mysti'iiows 

357. Thf sentence of the Supienic trihiuial, — (tlie lii.i;lii-st in Spain,) — 

Conncil of tin- Inquisition is certified Uk' secretary alone certifying it oj)enlj 

by the four private marks [^rubricas] of by his name. 


on the thirtieth of December, lOTG, he, rose for the 
first time in his accustomed place before a crowded 
audience, eager to hear what allusion he would make 
to his persecutions, he ))egau hy simply saying, "As 
we remarked when we last met," and then went on 
as if the five bitter years of his imprisonment had been 
^i blank in his memory, bearing no record of the cruel 
treatment he had suffered. 

It seems, however, to have been thought advisable 
that he should vindicate his reputation from the sus- 
picions that had been cast upon it ; and, therefore, in 
1-j80, at the request of his friends, he published an 
extended commentary on the Canticles, interjDreting 
each part in three different ways, — directly, symbol- 
ically, and mystically, — and giving the whole as theo- 
logical and obscure a character as the most orthodox 
€ould desire, though still without concealing his opin- 
ion that its most oljvious form is that of a pastoral 

* Another work on the same subject, but in * 82 
Spanish, and in most respects like the one that 
had caused his imprisonment, was also prepared by 
him, and found among his manuscripts after his death. 
But it was not thought advisable to print it till 1798. 
Even then a version of the Canticles, in Spanish oc- 

■^ A Spanish poetical paraphrase of ccles secrctas at Valladolid, ho was led 
Solomon's Song was made at about the to believe, in 1574, that Montano was 
same time, and on the same principle, dead, though he did not die till 1.598, 
by Arias Montano, tlie Ijiblical seliolar. twenty-four years afterwards. Now, 
When it was first published, I do not this could hardly have occurred, strict- 
know ; but it may be found in Faber's ly cut off" as Luis de Leon was from all 
Floresta, No. 717; and, though it is external intercourse, except througli the 
diffuse, parts of it are beautiful. From officers of the Lnjuisition, nor for any 
several passages in the trial of Luis de purjiose except tliat of leading Luis de 
Leon, it is certain that there was a Leon to compromise liis friend Montano, 
good deal of intercourse between him wlio, as we know, escaped with ditfi- 
and Montano, and even that they had culty from the clutches of the Holy 
conferred together about this ])ortion of Office, who long sought grounds for de- 
the Scriptures. It is, moreover, one stroying him. Doeumentos, Tom. XI. 
of the significant facts in tlie trial of pp. 18, 19, 215, etc. 
Luis de Leon that, being in tlu; car- 
vol.. II. 7 

98 LUIS DE LEOX. [Pekiou II. 

taves, a.s an eclogue, intended originally to accompany 
it, was not added, and did not api)ear till 1806; — a 
beautiful translation, which discovers, not only its 
author's power as a poet, hut the remarkable freedom 
of his theological inquiries, in a countrj- where such 
freedom was, in that age, not tolerated for an instant.^ 
The fragment of a defence of this version, or of some 
parts of it, is dated from his prison, in 1573, and was 
found long afterwards among the state papers of the 
kingdom in the archives of Simancas.^ 

While in prison he prepared a long prose work, 
which he entitled '• The Names of Christ." It is a 
singular specimen at once of Spanish theological learn- 
ing, eloquence, and devotion. Of this, between 1583 
and 1585, he published three books, but he never com- 
pleted it.^*^ It is thrown into the form of a dialogue, 
like the "Tusculan Questions," which it was probably 
intended to imitate; and its purpose is, by means of 
successive discussions of the character of the Saviour, 
as set forth under the names of Son, Prince, Shepherd, 
King, etc., to excite devout feelings in those who read 

it. The form, however, is not adhered to with 
* 83 great strictness. The * dialogue, instead of 

being a discussion, is, in fact, a succession of 
speeches; and once, at least, we have a regular ser- 
mon, of as much merit, perhaps, as any in the lan- 
guage ; " so that, taken together, the entire work may 
be regarded as a series of declamations on the charac- 
ter of Christ, as that chanicter was regarded by the 
more devout i)ortions of the S]:)anish Church in its 

* Luis (le Li-oii, «Jbias, Tom. V. ).].. in tiic v.-ision lirst, jml.litihcd in 1798. 

2.58-280. A [iassap;e f Vom the oii<(in;il See bras, Tom. V. ))|). 1 - 3L 

jtrose Castiliaii version of Solomon's ^ Ibid., Tom. V. jt. 28L 

Song by I-uis de Jyeon is printed in Ids W Ihj,!.^ Tom. 111. and IV. 

trial (Docnmentos, Tom. X. j)j). 449- " This sermon is in liook First ol 

467). It did'ers, though not essential- the treatise. Obras, Tom. III. ]i\). 

ly, from the same ] issagc as it stands 1(50-214. 

Chap. ]X.] LUIS DE LEOX. 99 

tiutlior's time. Maiiv parts of it are eloquent, and its 
eloquence has not untVe(|uently the gorgeous coloring 
of the elder Spanish litei-ature ; such, for instance, as 
is found in the following passage, illustrating the title 
of Christ as the Prince of Peace, and proving the 
beauty of all harmony in the moral world from its 
analogies with the physical : — 

"Even if reason should not prove it, and even if we 
could in no other way understand how gracious a thing 
is peace, yet would this fair show of the heavens over 
our heads, and this harmony in all their manifold fires, 
sufficiently bear witness to it. For what is it but 
peace, or, indeed, a perfect image of jieace, that we 
now behold, and that fills us with such deep joy ? 
Since if peace is, as Saint Augustin, with the brevity 
of truth, declares it to be, a quiet order, or the mainte- 
nance of a well-regulated tranquillity in whatever 
order demands, — then what we now witness is surely 
its true and faithful image. For while these hosts 
of stars, arranged and divided into their several 
bands, shine with such surpassing splendor, and while 
each one of their multitude inviolably maintains its 
separate station, neither pressing into the place of 
that next to it, nor disturbing the movements of any 
other, nor forgetting its own ; none breaking the 
eternal and holy law God has imposed on it; but all 
rather bound in one brotherhood, ministering one to 
another, and reflecting their light one to another, — 
they do surely show forth a mutual love, and, as it 
were, a mutual reverence, tempering each other's 
brightness and strength into a peaceful unity and 
power, whereby all their different influences are 
combined into one holy and mighty harmony, uni- 
versal and everlasting. And therefore may it be most 


* 84 truly sjiid, not *oiily that tliey clo all form a 
fair and perfect model of peace, but that they 
all set forth and annouuce, in clear and gracious words, 
what excelU'ut things peace contains within herself, 
and carries al)r()a(l whithersoever her power ex- 
tends." ^^ 

The eloquent treatise on the Names of Chi'ist was 
not. however, the most popular of tlie prose works of 
Ijuis de Leon. This distinction belongs to his '' Per- 
fecta Casada," or Perfect AVife ; a treatise which he 
comi:)osed, in the form of a commentary on some por- 
tions of Solomon's Proverbs, for the use of a lady newly 
married, and which was first published in 1583. ^'"^ But 
it is not necessary specially to notice either this work, 
or his Exposition of Job, in two volumes, accompanied 
with a poetical version, which he began in prison for 
his own consolation, and finished the year of his death, 
but which none ventured to publish till 1779.^* Both 
are marked with the same humble faith, the same 
strong enthusiasm, and the same elaborate, rich elo- 
ciuence, that appear, from time to time, in the work 
on the Names of Christ ; though perhaps the last, 
whicii received the careful corrections of its author's 
matured genius, has a serious and settled power greater 

J2 Obras, Tom. III. pp. 342, 343. with notes 6, 12, and 25.) But Luis 

This beautiful passage ma_v well he tie Leon goes farther than Oliva did, 

compared to his more beautiful ode, and shows how diftieult it is to write 

entitled " Noche Serena," to whicii it well in S])anish. "El bieu hablar," 

has an obvious resemblance. Luis de he says, "no es comuu, sino negocio 

Leon, like most otlujr suceessi'ul au- de ])artieular juicio, asi en lo que se 

thor.s, wrote with great care. In the dice, (;onio en la manera como se dice ; 

letter to his friend Puerto Carrero, y negocio que de las palabras cpie 

prefixed to the Third Book of the todos hablan, elige las que convieneu 

" Nombres de Christo," he e.\-plains, y mira el sonido dellas, y aun cuenta 

with not a little spirit, his reasons for a veces las letras, y las pe.se, y las niide, 

writing in Sj)anish, and not in Latin, y las compone, para (|ue no solamente 

which it seems liad been made matter digan con claridad lo ipie se pretende 

of reproach to liim. This was in InH.^), dccir, sino tambicn con armonia y dul- 

the same year that the works of Oliva cura." 
were j)ubiished, written in .Spanish and ''' Ibid., 'I'dui. IV. 

defended as such. (See rt/(/c, Cli;!]!. V. '* Ibid., TdUi. 1. and II. 

rnAi'. IX.] LUIS DE LEOX. lOl 

than he has shown anywhere else. But tlie olmraeter- 
isties of his pi'ose compositions — even those which 
from their natm-e are the most strictly didactic — are 
the same everywhere ; and tlie lieh language and 
imagery of the passage already cited afford a fair 
spechnen of the style towards which he constantly 
directed his efforts. 

Luis de Leon's health never recovered from the 
shock it suffered in the cells of the Inquisition. He 
lived, indeed, nearly fourteen 3ears after his release ; 
but most of his works, whether in Castilian or in Latin, 
were written before his imprisonment or during its 
continuance, while those he undertook afterwards, 
like his account of Santa Teresa and some others, 
were * never finished. His life was always, from * 85 
choice, very retired, and his austere manners 
were announced by his habitual reserve and silence. 
In a letter that he sent with his poems to his friend 
Puerto Carrero, a statesman at the court of Philip the 
Second and a member of the principal council of the 
Inquisition, he says, that, in the kingdom of Old Castile, 
where he had lived from his youth, he could hardly 
claim to be familiarly acquainted with ten persons. ^^ 
Still he was extensively known, and was held in great 
honor. In the latter part of his life especially, his 
talents and sufferings, his religious patience and his 
sincere faith, had consecrated him in the eyes alike of 
his friends and his enemies. Nothino; relatino' to the 
monastic brotherhood of which he was a member, or to 
the University where he taught, was undertaken with- 
out his concurrence and support ; and when he died, 
in 1591, he was in the exercise of a constantly increas- 
ing influence, having just been chosen the head of his 

i« ()lii;is, Tdin. VF. p. -2. 

102 LUIS DE LEON. [Peri-i. II. 

Order, and being engaged in the preparation of new 
regulations for its reform.^'^ 

But, besides the character in which we have thus 
far considered him, Luis de Leon was a poet, and a 
poet of no common genius. He seems, it is true, to 
have been httle conscious, or, at least, little careful, of 
his poetical talent ; for. he made hardlv an effort to 
cultivate it, and never took pains to print anything, in 
order to prove its existence to the world. Perhaps, 
too, he showed more deference than Avas due to the 
opinion of many persons of his time, who thought 
poetry an occupation not becoming one in his position ; 

for, in the prefatory notice to his sacred odes, he 
* 86 ^ia}' s, in a deprecating * tone, " Let none regard 

verse as anything new and unworthy to be ap- 
plied to Scriptural subjects, for it is rather appropriate 
to them ; and so old is it in this application, that, from 
the earliest ages of the Church to the present day, 
men of great learning and holiness have thus employed 
it. And would to God that no other poetry Avere ever 
sounded in our ears ; that only these sacred tones were 
sweet to us ; that none else were heard at night in 
the streets and pul)lic squares ; that the child might 
still lisp it, the retired damsel find in it her best solace, 
and the industrious tradesman make it the relief of his 
toil ! But the Christian name is now sunk to such 
inniiodest and reckless degradation, that Ave set our 

1'' The best materials for the life of Espanol, Toin. A". ; ami in the Preface 

Luis do Leon, down to the end of his to a collection of his jioetry, published 

trial and imprisonment in 1576, are at Valencia by Mayans y Siscar, 1761 ; 

contained in his accounts of himself the last being also found in Mayans y 

on that occasion (Documentos, Tom. Siscar, "Cartas de A^'arios Autores" 

X. pp. 182, 257, etc.), after which a (A'alencia, 1773, 12mo, Tom. lY. pp. 

{^rood deal may be found in notices of 398, etc.). Pacheco adds a descrijition 

him in the curious MS. of Pacheco, of his person, and the singular fact, not 

]iubli.shed, Semanario Pintoresco, 1844, elsewhere noticed, that he amused him- 

p. 374; — those in N. Antonio, Bib. self with the art of ])ainting, and suc- 

Nova, adverb.; — in Sedano, Parnaso ceeded in his own portrait. 

Chap. IX.] LUIS DE LEON. lOo 

sins to music, and, not content with indulging them in 
secret, shout them joyfully forth to all who will listen." 

But, whatever nuiy have been his own feelings on 
the suitableness of such an occupation to his profession, 
it is certain that, while most of the poems he has left 
us were written in his youth, they were not collected 
by him till the latter part of his life, and then only to 
please a personal friend, who never thought of publish- 
ing them ; so that they were not printed at all till 
fortv years after his death, when Quevedo gave them 
to the public, in the hope that they might help to 
reform the corrupted taste of the age. But from this 
time they have gone through many editions, though 
still they never appeared properly collated and ar- 
ranged till 1816.1^ 

They are, however, of great value. They consist of 
versions of all the Ecloi>:ues and two of the Georo;ics 
of Virgil, about thirty Odes of Horace, about forty 
Psalms, and a few passages from the Greek and Italian 
poets ; all executed w^ith freedom and spirit, and all in 
a genuinely Castilian style. His translations, however., 
seem to have been only in the nature of exercises 
and amusements. But, though he thus acquired 
great * facility and exactness in his versifica- * 87 
tion, he wrote little. His original poems fill no 
more than about a hundred pages ; but there is hardly 
a line of them which has not its value ; and the whole, 
when taken together, are to be placed at iha head of 

I'' The poems of Luis de Leon fill the his works in prose, together with the 

last volume of his Works ; but there most important part of the docnioents 

an; several among them that are proha- concerning his trial by the Inijuisition. 

bly spurious. Per contra, a few more The volume of his |)or'try jiublished by 

translations by his hand, and especial- Quevedo in 1(531 at Madrid, it maybe 

ly an ode to a religious life, — A la worth notiee, was rc^jn'iiited the same 

vida religiosa, — may be found in Vol. year at Milan by order of tlu; Duke of 

XXXVII. of the Riblioteca de Autores Feria, Grand Chancellor there, in a 

Espaholes, lSf)5, which consists of all neat duodecimo, 
his poetical works, and a selection of 

104 LUIS DE LEOX. [I'kimod II. 

Spanish lyilc poetry. They are chiefly rehgioiis, and 
the source of their inspiration is not to be mistaken. 
Luis dc Leon had a Hebrew soul, and kindles his en- 
thusiasm almost al\va}'s from the Jewish Scriptures. 
Still he preserved his nationality luiinipaired. Nearly 
all the l)est of his poetical comjiositions are odes 
written in tlie old Castilian measures, with a classical 
purity and rigorous finish before unknown in Spanish 
poetry, and hardly attained since. ^^ 

This is eminently the case, for instance, with what 
the Spaniards have esteemed the best of his poetical 
works ; his ode, called '" The Prophecy of the Tagus," 
in which the river-god predicts to Roderic the Moorish 
conqu.est of his country, as the result of that monarch's 
violence to Cava, the daughter of one of his principal 
nobles. It is an imitation of the Ode of Horace in 
which Nereus rises from the waves and predicts the 
overthrow of Troy to Paris, who, under circumstances 
not entirely dissimilar, is transporting the stolen wife 
of Menelaus to the scene of the fated conflict between 
the two nations. But the Ode of Luis de Leon is writ- 
ten in the old Spanish qimdilla^, his favorite measure, 
and is as natural, fresh, and flowing as one of the 
* 88 national l)allads.^'* * Foreignei-s, however, less 

1* In iioHciiiff tlie Hohrow tempera- ])ieces, generally in tlje Italian manner, 
Trient of Luis de Leon, 1 am reminded was publislied at Rouen in France, and 
of one of his contemporaries, who pos- dedi<'ated to t'ardiiial Richelieu, then 
sessed in some r(!Si)ee.ts a kindred spirit, the all-powerful minister of Louis XIII. 
and whose fate was even morc^ strange They an; full of the Litter and sOrrow- 
and unhappy. I refer to Juan Pinto ful feedings of his exile, and parts of 
Delgado, a I'ortuguese Jew, who lived them ai'e written, not only with tender- 
long in Sjjain, emhraced the Christian ness, hut in a sweet and pure versifica- 
religion, was reconverted to the faith tion. The Hebrew spirit of the authoi', 
of his fathers, fled from the terrors of whose projjer name is Moseh Delgado, 
the Inquisition to Fiance, and died breaks through constantly, as ndght be 
there al)out the year T.'iftO. In 1627, expected. I>arbosa, Rililioteca, Tom. 
a volume of his works, containing nar- II. p. 722. Amador de los Rios, Ju- 
rative' poems on (Jueen Ksther and on dios de Espafia, Madrid, 1848, 8vo, p. 
Ruth, free veisions from the Lamenta- 500. 

tions of Jeremiah in the old 7iational '^ It is the (deventh of Luis de Leon's 

quiiUiUas, and sonnets and other short Odes, and may well bear a conipaiison 

CiiAi'. 1\.] LUiiS DE LEON. 105 

interested in wliut is so peculiarly Spanish, and so 
full of allusions to Spanish history, may sometimes 
])refer the sercner ode •' On a Life of Retirement," that 
'' On Immortality," or perhaps the still more beautiful 
one ''On the Starry Heavens"; all written with the 
same purity and elevation of spirit, and all in the same 
national measure and manner. 

A truer specimen of his prevalent lyrical tone, and, 
indeed, of his tone in nuieh else of what he wrote, 
is perhaps to be found in liis " Hymn on tlie Ascen- 
sion." It is both very original and very natural in its 
principal idea, being supposed to express the disap- 
pointed feelings of the disciples as they see theit 
Master passing out of their siglit into the opening 
heavens above them. 

And dost thou, lioly Shepherd, leave 

Thine uiiin'otected flock alone. 
Here, in this darksome vale, to grieve. 

While thou as:jend'st thy glorious throne? 

0, where can they their hopes now turn, 

Who never lived but on thy love ? 
Where rest the hearts for thee that burn. 

When thou art lost in light above ? 

How shall those eyes now find repose 

That turn, in vain, thy smile to see ? 
What can they hear save mortal woes, 

Who lose thy voice's melody ? 

And who shall lay his tran(|uil hand ' 

Upon the troubled ocean's might ? 

with that of Horace (Lib. I. Carin. 15) ri<hncss and power to that of Luis de 

which suggested it. This same ode of Leon. Horace and Virgil were evi- 

Horace that Luis de Leon imitated with dently the favorite Latin poets of the 

such admirable success was also imitated latter. When he was immured in the 

in the same way and on the same sub- secret cells of the Inquisition, and could 

ject subse([uently by Franc-isco de Me- obtain books only by special written 

drano, but he did it befon; the ode of jietition to the tiibunal, he asked for a 

Luis de Leon had been jiublished. The single copy of each of thcni to lie brought 

ode of Medrano, — beginning, " Rendi- to him from his own cell, adding, with 

doelpostrer Godo," — like all his trans- characteristic simplicity, "There are 

lations and imitations of Horace, is well plenty of thenj," — h'ly /mrios. Docu- 

worth reading, although not equal in mcntos, Tom. X. p. 510. 




"Who hush tho wiiuls b}- his command ? 
Who guide u.s through this staHess night ? 

For Thou art gone ! — that cloud so briglit, 

That bears thee from our love away, 
Sj)i-ings upward through the dazzling light, 

And leaves us here to weep and pray l-'^ 

* 89 * In order, however, to comprehend aright the 
genius and spirit of Luis de Leon, we must studj', 
not (jnl}' his lyrical poetry, but much of his prose ; for, 
while his religious odes and hymns, beautiful in their 
severe exactness of style, rank him l)efbre Klopstock 
and Filicaja, his prose, more rich and no less idiomatic, 
places him at once among the greatest masters of 
eloquence in his native Castilian.''^^ 

■^'' It is in quhdillas in the original ; 
but that stanza, I tliink, can niiver, in 
English, l)e made flowing and easy as it 
is in Spanish. 1 have, therefore, used 
in tliis translation a freedom greater 
than 1 have generally permitt(id to my- 
self, in order to ajjproaeh, if po.ssible, 
the bold outlines of the original thought. 
It begins thus : — 

Y (lexas, pa-stor santo, 
Tu ;?rey on cstc val'.e hoiido oscuro 
Con soledad y Uanto, 

Y tu rompiendo el puro 

Ayre, te vjus al inniortal seguro 1 
1ms aute.s hien hadado.s, 

Y lo.s agora tri.ste.s y afligidos, 
A tus peohos criado.s, 

D(- ti (ie.sposeidos , 
A do convertiran ya sn.s .sentido.'! ? 
Ol>ras de Lui.s de Leon, Madrid, 1816, Tom. 
ii. p. 42. 
A translation of Luis de Leon's poems 

by (". T5. Schliiter and W. Storck, Miin- 
ster, 1853, is worth reading by those 
who are familiar with the German. 
The version of this ode is at p. 130, 
and is in the ineasure of the original. 
Another similar ver.sion of it may be 
found in Diepenbrock's Ocistliidier l-Jlu- 
menstraus, 1852, p. 157. 

•^1 In 1837, D. Jo.se de Castro y Oroz- 
co produced on the stage at Madrid 
a diama, entithul " Fray Liiisde Leon," 
in which the hero, whose name it bears, 
is represented as renouncing tiie world 
and entering a cloLster, in conseijuence 
of a disap})ointnient in love. Diego de 
Mendoza is also one of the principal 
jiersonages in the same drama, which is 
written in a pleasing style, and has 
some poetical merit, notwithstanding 
its unha])2>y subject and plot. 








The fkniily of Cervantes was originally Galician, 
and, at the time of his birth, not only numbered five 
hundred years of nobility and public service, bkut was 
spread throughout Spain, and had been extended to 
Mexico and other jDarts of America.^ The Castilian 

1 Many lives of Cervantes have been 
written, of which four need to be men- 
tioned. 1. That of Gregorio Mayans y 
Siscar, first prefixed to the edition of 
Don Quixote in the original publi-shed 
in London in 1738 (4 torn. 4to) under 
the auspices of Lord Carteret, and af- 
terwards to several other editions ; a 
work of learning, and the first proper 
attempt to collect materials for a life 
of Cervantes, but ill arranged and ill 
written, and of little value now, except 
for some of its incidental discussions. 
2. The Life of Cervantes, with the 
Analysis of his Don Quixote, by Vi- 
cente de los Eios, ])refixed to the sump- 
tuous edition of Don Quixote by the 
Spanish Academy, (Madrid, 1780, 4 torn, 
fol.,) and often printed since ; — better 
written than the preceding, and con- 
taining some new facts, but with criti- 
cisms full of pedantry and of extrava- 
gant eulogy. 3. Noticias para la Vida 
de Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, by 
J. Ant. Pellicer, first printed in his 
" Ensayo de una Biblioteca de Traduc- 
tores," 1778, but much enlarged after- 
wards, and prefixed to his edition of 
Don Quixote (Madrid, 1797-1798, 5 
tom. Svo) ; poorly digested, and con- 

taining a great deal of extraneous, 
though sometimes curious matter ; but 
more complete than anj^ life that had 
ji receded it. 4. Vida de Miguel de 
Cervantes, etc., i)or D. Martin Fernan- 
dez de Navarreti!, published b}^ the 
Sjianish Academy (Madrid, 1819, Svo) ; 
— the best of all, and indeed one of 
the most judicious and best arranged 
l)iograplucal works that have been pub- 
lished in any country. Navariete has 
used in it, with great eff"ect, many new 
documents ; and especially the lai-ge 
collection of papers found in the ar- 
chives of the Indies at Seville, in 1808, 
which comprehend the voluminous In- 
formacimi sent by Cervantes himself, 
in 1590, to Philip II., when asking for 
an office in one of the American colo- 
nies ; — a mass of well-authenticated 
certificates and depositions, setting forth 
the trials and sufl(!rings of tlie author of 
Don Quixote, from the; time he entered 
the service of his country, in 1571 ; 
through his captivity in Algiers ; and, 
in fact, till he rea,ched the Azores in 
1582. Tliis tliorough and careful life 
is skilfully abridged by L. Viaidot, in 
his French translation of Don Quixote, 
(Paris, 1836. 2 tom. Svo,) and forms 


hrnnch, wliich, in the fifteenth centnry, became 
* 91 connected * ])y niamage with the Saavedras, 

seems, early in tlie sixteenth, to have flillen off 
in its fortunes ; and we know that the parents of 
Miguel, who has given to the race a splendor wliich 
has saved its old nobility from oblivion, Avere poor 
inhabitants of Alcala de Ilenares, a small l)ut flourish- 
ing citv. a])out twentv miles from Madrid. There he 
wjis boi'ii, the youngest of four children, on one of the 
early days of October, 1547.^ 

No doubt, he received his early education in the 
place of his nativity, then in the flush of its prosperity 
and fjiiiie from the success of the University founded 
there by Cardinal Ximenes, about fifty years before. 
At any rate, like many other generous spirits, he has 
taken an obvious delight in recalling the days of his 
childhood in different parts of his works ; as in his JDon 
Quixote, where he alludes to the luii-ial and I'licliaiit- 
nients of the famous Moor Muzaraque on the great 
hill of Zulema,^ just as he had proliably heard them in 
some nursery story; and in his piodcpastonil,. "Ga- 
latea," where he arranges the scene of some of its 
most graceful adventures "on the banks," as he fondly 
calls it, "of the famous Henares."^ But concerning 

tlie substance of the " Life and AVritiiigs note to this passage in liis transhition 
of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra," hy of this history, suggests very ingenious- 
Thomas Koseoe, Lon(h)n, 1839, ISnio. ly that Cervantes may have T>een lioru 

In the notiee whieh follows in the on St. Miehael'.s day, September 29, as 

text, 1 have relied for my facts on the it was common in Spain to name chil- 

work of Navarrete, whenever no other dren after the Saint on \vho.se festival 

authoiity is referred to ; but in tlie lit- they were born, and as the feast of St. 

erary criticisms Navarrete can hardly Michael was but lecently jjassed when 

afford aid, for he hardly indulges him- he was baptized, 

self in them at all. '^ Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 29. 

2 Th(; date of the baptism of Cervan- * "En las riberas del famoso He- 

tes is October 9, l.')47 ; and as it is the nares." (Galatea, ]\Iadrid, 1784, 8vo, 

practice in the Catholic Church to per- Tom. I. p. 66.) Elsewhej-e he .speaks 

form this i-ite soon afterbirth, we may of " nuestro Henares"; the "/(ivwso 

a-ssume, with sufficient probability, that Conijduto" (p. 121); and " mtesira 

Cervantes was born on that very day, or fresco Heuares," p. 108. 
the day preceding. But Julius, in a 



his youth Ave know only whnt he incidentally tells us 
himself; — that he took great pleasure in attending 
the theatrical representations of Lope de Rueda;'' that 
he wrote Acrses when very young ; '' and that lie 
alwa\s read everything * within his reach, even, * 92 

. »/ O 7 7 

as it should seem, the torn scraps of paper he 
picked up in the })ublic streetsJ 

It has been conjectured that he pursued his studies 
in part at Madrid, and there is some probability, not- 
withstanding the poverty of his fjimily, that he passed 
two years at the U niversity of Sal amanca. But what 
is certain is, that he obtained a public Tind decisive 
mark of respect, Ijefore he was twenty-two years old, 
from one of his teachers; for, in 1569, Lope de Hoyos 
pul)lished, by autliority, on the death of the mihappy 
Isabelle de Valois, Avife of Philip the Second, a volume 
of verse, in which, among other contributions of his 
pupils, are six short poems by Cervantes, whom he 
calls his "• dear and well-beloved disciple." This was, 
no doubt, Cervantes's first appearance in print as an 
author; and though he gives in it little proof of 
poetical talent, yet the affectionate words of his master 
by which his verses were accompanied, and the circmn- 
stance that one of his elegies was written m the name 
of the wdiole school, show that he enjoyed the respect of 
• his teacher and the good-will of his fellow-students.*^ 

^ Coraedias, Madrid, 1749, 4to, Tom. ote. Parte I. c. 9, cd. Clenieiicin, Ala- 

I., Prologo. drid, 1833, 4to, Tom. I. j). 198,) when 

'' Galatea, Tom. I. p. x, Prologo ; giving an account of his taking up the 

and in the well-known fourth chapter waste jiaper at the silkmcrcer's, which, 
of the " Viage al Parnaso," (Madrid, " as he pn^tends, turned out to be the 

1784, 8vo, p. 53,) he says : — Life of Don Quixote in Arabic. 

Desde mi.-? tiernos anos am^ el arte ^_ The verses of Cervantes on this oc- 

Dulce de la agradable poe.sia, caslon may be found partlv in Kios, 

Y en ella procur(5 siempre agradarte. " Pruebas ' de la Vida de Cervantes," 

■? " Como soy aficionado a leer aun([ue ed. Academia, Nos. 2-5, and partly in 

sean los papeles rotos de las calles, lie- Navarrete, Vida, pp. 262, 2()3. They 

vado desta mi natural inclinacion, tome are poor, and tlie mdy circumstance that 

un cartapacio," etc., he says, (Don Quix- makes it wortli while to refer to tlieni i-;. 

110 CERVAXTF..S IX ITALY. [Pkkk.d h. 

The next year, 1570, we find him, without any no- 
tice of the cause, removed from all his early connec- 
tions, and servino; at Eome as chamherlain in the 
household of Monsignor Aquaviva, soon afterwards 
a cardinal; the same person who had heen sent, in 
1568, on a special mission from the Pope to 
* 93 Philip the Second, * and who, as he seems to 
have had a regard for literatiu"e and for men of 
letters, may, on his return to Itid}', have taken Cer- 
vantes with him from interest in his talents. The 
term of service of the young man must, however, have 
been short. Perhaps he was too much of a Spaniard, 
and iiad too proud a spirit, to remain long in a position 
at best very equivocal, and that, too, at a period when 
the Avorld Avas full of solicitations to adventure and 
military glory. 

But, W'hatever may have been his motive, he soon 
left Rome, and its court. In 1571, the Pope, Philip 
the Second, and the state of Venice concluded what 
was called a " Holy League " against the Turks, and 
set on foot a joint armament, commanded by the chiv- 
alrous Don John of Austria, a natural son of Charles 
the Fifth. The temptations of such a romantic, as 
well as imposing, expedition against the ancieiit oji- 
pressor of whatever was Spanish, and the formidable 
enemy of all Christendom, were more than Cervantes,, 
at the age of twenty-three, could resist; and the next 
tliino; we hear of him is, that he had volunteered in it 

that Hoyos, who was a professor of ele- prove the pleasant relations in which 
gant literature, calls Cervantes repeated- Cervantes stood with some of the pi in- 
ly "euro discipulo," and " amado dis- cij)al poets of his day, such as Padilla, 
cipulo " ; and says that the Elegy is Maldonado, Banos, Vague de Salas, 
written "en nombre de <o(Zo c/ c.s/Mf^w." Hernando de Herrera, etc. Of Hoyos 
These, with other miscellaneous poems and liis voltinic of verses curious notices 
of Cervantes, are collected for the first may U- found in the " Disertacion His- 
time in the first volume of the " Bil)li- torico Geogiafico, ec, de Madrid, ])or 
oteca de Autores Espaftoles," by Aribau I). Juan Ant. Pellicer," Madrid, 1803, 
{Madrid, 1846, 8vo, pp. 612-620) ; and 4to, pp. 108, Sipj. 


as a common soldier. For, as he says in a work writ- 
ten just before his death, he had alwaj'S observed 
"•'that none make better soldiers than those who are 
transplanted from the region of letters to the fields of 
war, and that never scholar became soldier that was 
not a good and brave one."^ Anhnated with this 
spirit, he entered the service of his country among 
the troops with which Spain then filled a large piirt 
of Italy, and continued in it till he was honorably dis- 
charged in 1575. 

During these four or five years he learned many of 
the hardest lessons of life. He was present in the 
sea-fight of Lepanto, October 7, 1571, and, though suf- 
fering at the time under_ji_ifixej:v-i***^i*^te<^^ <>*^ bearing 
his part in_that great battle, which first decisively 
arrested the intrusion of the Turks into the 
* West of Europe. The galley in which he * 94 
served was in the thickest of the contest, and 
that he did his duty to his country and to Christen- 
dom he carried proud tuid painful proof to his grave ; 
for, besides two other wounds, he received one which 
deprived him of the use of his left hand and arm dur- 
ing the rest of his life. With the other sufferers in 
the fight, he was taken to the hospital at Messina, 
wdiere he remained till April, 1572; and then, under 
Marco Antonio Colonna, w^ent on the expedition to the 
Levant, to which he alludes with so much satisfaction 
in his dedication of the " Galatea," and which he has 
so well described in the story of the Captive in Don 

The next year, 1573, he was in the affliir of the Go- 

^ " Xo hay mejores soldados, (jue los do, que no lo fuese por estrerao," etc. 

que se trasplantan de la tierra de los Persiles y Sigismuiida, Lib. III. e. 

estudios en los campo.s de la gueiTa ; 10, Madrid, 1802, 8vo, Tom. II. p. 

iiinguno salio de estudiante para solda- 128. 


leta at Tunis, under Don John of Austria^ and after- 
wards, Avitli the regiment to which he was attached,^*^ 
returned to Sicily and Italy, man}- parts of wdiich, m 
different journeys or expeditions, he seems to have 
visited, remaining at one time in Naples above a 
year." -^lis period of his life, however, though 
marked with much suffering, seems jiever to have 
been regarded by him with regret. On the conti-ary, 
al)ove forty years afterward, with a generous pride in 
what he had undergone, he declared that, if the alter- 
native were again offered him, he shoidd account his 
w^ounds a cheap exchange for the glorj^ of having been 

pi-esent in that great enterprise.^^ 
* 95 *When he was discharged, in loTo, he took 

with him letters from the Duke of 8esa and Don 
John, connnending him earnestly to the king, and em- 
baiked for Spain. But on the twenty-sixth of Septem- 
ber he was captured ^'^ and carried into Algiers, where 
he passed five years yet more disastrous and more full 
of adventure than the five preceding. He served suc- 
cessively three cruel masters, — a Greek and a Vene- 
tian, both renegadoes, and the Dey, or King, himself; 

1'' The rcginu'iit in which he served seiiucntly contiinu-d in the same spirit 

was one of tlie most t'amoiis in the ar- by Luis de IJavia and others, 
mies of I'hilii) II. It was the "Tercio ^^ All liis works uontaiii allusions to 

de Flandes," and at the head of it was the experiences of his life, and especially 

Lope de Figneroa, who acts a distin- to his travels. When he sees Naples in 

gui.shed part in two of the plays of Cal- his imaginary Viage del Parnaso (c. 8, 

deron, — "Amar despnesde la Mnerte," p. 126), he exclaims, — 
and "El Alcalde de Zalaniea." Cer- Ksta ciudiul es Napoles la ilustre, 

vantes probably joined this favorite Uu<! .vo pise sus ruas mas de un afio. 

ri;giment again, when, as M'e shall see, ^- "Si ahora me ])ropusieran y facili- 

lie engaged in the expedition to Portu- taran un imjjosible," says Cervantes, in 

gal in 1581, whither we know not only reply to the coarse i)ersonalities of Avel- 

that he went that year, but that the laneda, " (piisiera antes liaber me hal- 

Elanders reginient went also. Of tin; lado en ai[uella faccion proiligiosa, que 

affair of tln^ Goleta at Tunis a spirited sano ahora de fnis heridas, sin haberme 

account is given in a little tract in the hallado en ella." Prologo a Don Quix- 

liiblioteca de Autores Es]ianoles (Tom. ole, Parte Segunda, IGl.*). 
XXL 18.'j2, P]). 4:A-i'>H), by Oonzalo ^-^ His Algerine captoj-, Arnaute, fig- 

delllesca.s; — the same ])erson who pub- nres in the ballads of the time. See 

lished, in 1. 574, the beginning of a very Duran, Homancero General, Tom. L 

dull Pontifical History, which was sub- ])]>. xiv and 147. 


the first two tonneiitliig him with that peculiar ha- 
tred against Christians wliieh naturally helonged to 
persons who, from unworthy motives, had joined them- 
selves to the enemies of all Christendom; and the 
last, the Dey, claiming him for his slave, and treat- 
ing him with great severity, hecause he had fled 
from his master and become formidable by a series 
of efforts to obtain libeity for himself and his fellow- 

Indeed, it is plain that the spirit of Cervantes, so far 
from having been broken by his cruel captivity, had 
been only raised and strengthened by it. On one oc- 
casion he attempted to escape by land to Gran, a 
Spanish settlement on the coast, but was deserted by 
his guide and compelled to return. On another, he 
secreted thirteen fellow-sufferers in a cave on the sea- 
shore, where, at the constant risk of his own life, he 
provided during many weeks for their daily wants, 
while waiting for rescue by sea ; but at last, after he 
iiad joined them, was basely betrayed, and then nobly 
took the whole punishment of the conspiracy on him- 
self. Once he sent for help to break forth by violence, 
and his letter was intercepted ; and once he had ma- 
tured a scheme for being rescued, with sixty of his 
countrymen, — a scheme of which, when it was de- 
feated by treachery, he again announced himself as 
the only author and the willing victim. And finally, 
he had a grand project for the insurrection of all the 
Christian slaves in Algiers, which was, perha])s, not 
unlikely to succeed, as their nuitiber was full twen- 
ty-five thousand, and which was certainly so 
* alarming to the Dey, that he declared that, * 90 
^' If he could but keep that lame Spaniard well 
guarded, he should consider his capital, his slaves, and 



his galleys safe." ^* On each of these occasions, se- 
vere, but not clegrading,^^ punishments Avere inflicted 
upon him. Four times he expected instant death in 
the awful form of impalement or of fire ; and the last 
time a rope was absolutely put about his neck, in the 
vain hope of extorting from a spirit so lofty the names 
of his accomjDlices. 

At last, the moment of release came. His elder 
l)rother, who was captured with him, had Ijeen ran- 
somed three years before ; and now his widowed 
mother was obliged to sacrifice, for her younger son's 
freedom, all the pittance that remained to lier in the 
world, including the dowry of her daughters. But 
even this was not enough ; and the remainder of the 
poor five hundred crowns that were demanded as the 
price of his liberty was made up partly by small bor- 
rowings, and partly by the contributioiis~"or're- 
* 97 ligious charity .^"^ In this way he * was ransomed 

l* One of the most trustwoitliy and 
curious sources for tliis jjart of the iife 
of Cervantes is "La Ilistoria y Topo- 
gratia de Argel," por D. Diego de Hae- 
do, (Valhidolid, 1(512, folio,) in whieh 
Cervantes is often mentioned, but which 
seems to have been overlooked in all in- 
(piiries relating to him, till Sarmiento 
stumbled upon it, in 1752. It is in 
this work that occur the; words cited in 
the text, and wliicli ])rove how fonnida- 
ble Cervantes had become to the Dey, 
— " Decia Asan Ikja, Key de Argel, 
que como el tuviese guardado al estro- 
])eado Espauol tenia seguros sus cris- 
tianos, sus baxeles y aun toda la ciu- 
dad." (f. 18,5.) And just before this, 
referring to the bold project of Cervan- 
tes to take the city by an insurrection 
of the slaves, Haedo says, "Y si a su 
animo, indu.stria, y traza.s, corresiion- 
iliera la ventura, hoi fuera el dia, i[ue 
Argel fuera de cristianos ; poirpie no 
aspiraban a menos sus intentos." All 
this, it sliould be lecollectcd, was 
jiuVilislied four years before Cervante.s's 
death. The whole book, including not 
oidy the liistoiy, Imt the dialogues at 

the end on the sufferings and martyr- 
dom of the Christians in Algiers, is 
very cuiious, and often throws a strong 
light on passages of Spanish literature 
in the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies, which so often refer to tlie Moors 
and their Christian slaves on the coasts 
of Barbary. 

15 With true Spanish ])ride, Cervan- 
tes, when alluding to liimself in the 
story of the Captive, (Don Quixote, 
Parte I. c. 40,) says of the Dey, "Solo 
libro bien con el un sohlaclo Espa- 
nol Uaniado tal de Saavedra, al ijual 
con haber hecho cosas que quedaran 
en la memoria de aijuellas gentes por 
muchosanos, y todos poralcanzar liber- 
tad, jdmna In dio palo, ni se lo mando 
dar, ni le dixo mala palalira, y por la 
menor cosa de n)uchas (jue hizo, temia- 
mos todos que habia de ser empalado, 
y asi lo temid el vma dr. una vez." 

1^ A lieautiful tribute is paid by Cer- 
vantes, in his tale of the " Espanola 
Inglesa," (Novelas, Madrid, 1783, 8vo, 
Tom. I. jip. :}o8, :5.5i». ) to the zeal and 
disinterestedness of the poor piiests and 
monks, who went, sometimes at the 


on the ninetoontli of September, 1580, just at the 
moment Avhen he had embarked with his master, 
the Dey, for Constantinople, whence his rescue woukl 
liave been all but hopeless. A short time afterward 
he left, Algiers, where we have abundant proof that, 
by his disinterestedness, his courage, and his fidelity, 
he had, to an extraordinary degree, gained the affec- 
tion aud res])ect of the multitude of Christian captives 
with which that city of anathemas was then crowded.^' 
But, though he was thus restored to his home and 
his country, and though his first feelings may have 
been as fresh and happy as those he has so eloquently 
expressed more than once when speaking of the joys 
of freedom,^* still it should be remembered that he re- 
turned after an al^sence of ten years, beginning at a 
period of life when he could hardly have taken root 
in society, or made for himself, amidst its struggling 
interests, a place which would not be filled almost as 
soon as he left it. His father w\as dead. His famil}', 

risk of theii- lives, to Algiers to redeevii deservcul all tlic reverence they r(;- 

the Christians, and one of whom re- ceived. 

mained there, giving his person in ^~ Cervantes was evidently a ]k'1'soii 
pledge for fonr thousand ducats whiidi of great kindliness and generosity of 
he had borrowed to send home captives. disposition ; but he never overcame a 
Of Father Juan Gil, who effected the strong feeling of hatred against the 
redemption of Cervantes himself from Moors, inherited from his ancestors and 
slavery, Cervantes speaks expressly, in exasperated by his own captivity. Tliis 
his "Trato de Argel," as feeling appears in both his ])lays, writ- 
UnfrayleTrinitario, Christiani.simo, teil at distant periods, on the subject 
Amigo lie hacer bien y conociao of his life in Algiers ; in the tiftv-fourth 
Porque ha estado otra vez en esta tierra chai)ter of the second Tiart of Don C)uix- 
Reseatando Christianos ; v di ) exemplo i • xi it -i o- • i i -i 
De una gran Ohristiandad y gran prSdencia ; - ^^e ; m the Persi es y Mglsmunda, Lib. 
SunombreesFrayJuauGil. III. cap. 10; and elsewhere. But ex- 
Jornada V. cept this, and an- occasional toucii of 
A friar of the blessed Trinity, satire against duennas, — in which C)ue- 
A truly Christian man, known as the friend ^^^^^ ^^^^ Luis Velez de Guevara are as 
Ofall good chanties, who once before v mw <iiiv^ x^ -> 

Came to Algiers to ransom Oliristian slaves, severe as lie is, — and a little bitterness 

And gave example in himself, and proof about p)rivate chaplains that exercised 

Of a most wise and Chri.stian faithfulness. .^ cunning influence in the houses of the 
His name IS Fnar Juan Gil. ^ i i ^i ■ • ii i • i 

great, 1 know nothing, in all his works, 

Haedo gives a similar account of Friar to impeach his universal good-nature. 

Juan Gil in his "Topogratia de Argel" Sei! Don Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Vol. 

(1612, ff. 144, sqrp). Indeed, not a few V. p. 260, note, and p. 138, note, 
of the "padres de la liniosna," as they 18 For a beautiful pa.ssage on Liberty, 

were called, appear to great advantage see Don Quixote, Parte if, opening of 

in this interesting work, and, no doiil)t, cliaiiter 58. 

116 THE GALATEA. [Pkuiud II. 

poor before, had been reduced to a still more bitter 
povert}- by his own ransom and that of his brother. 
He was imfriended and unknown, and must have suf- 

fered naturally anci deeply from ar"sort~Tof-^ grief and 
disappointment which he had felt neither as a 
* 98 soldier nor * as a slave. It is not remarkable, 
therefore, that he should have entered anew into 
the service of his country, — joining his brother, prob- 
ably in the same regiment to which he had formerly 
belon":ed, and which was now sent to maintain the 
Spanish authority in the newly acqiured kingdom of 
Portugal. How Ion*;- he remained there is not certain. 
But he was at Lisbon, and went, under the Marquis of 
Santa Cruz, in the expedition of 1-381, as well as in 
the more important one of the year following, to re- 
duce the Azores, which still held out against the arms 
of Philip the Second. From this period, therefore, we 
are to date the full knowledge he frequently shows of 
Portuguese literature, and that strong love for Portugal 
which, in the third book of "Persiles and Sigismunda," 
as well as in other parts of his works, he exhibits with 
a kindliness and generosity remarkable in a Spaniard 
of any age, and particularly in one of the age of 
Philip the Second.-^'' 

It is not unlikely that this circumstance had some 
influence on the first direction of his more serious ef- 
forts as an author, whi( h, soon after his return to Spain, 
ended in the' pastoral romance of '' Galatea." For 
prose pastorals have been a favorite form of fiction in 
Portugal from the days of the '' Menina e Mo(j'a 

" 20 

19 " Well ilotli the .Spanish hind the difTcreiice have found at ailV tilllf for two liuiulicd 

''"""' vear.s l)('foif 

'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the -^ on'mi ^. ■ -.r .1 • 1 

low";— llie "JMenina e Mo^a is tlie gi'ace- 

an opinion which Cliilde Harold found ('il li"l<; fragment of a prose pastoral, by 

in S].ain when lie was there, an(i ('ould IVrnanhiio h'll.cyro, which dates.from 

Chap. X.] THE CJALATKA. 117 

down to our own times ; and had already been intro- 
duced into Spanish literature by George of Monte- 
mayor, a Portuguese poet of reputation, Avhose " Diana 
Enamorada" and the continuation of it by Gil Polo 
were, as we know, favorite books with Cervantes. 

But, whatever may have been the cause, Cervantes 
now wrote all he ever published of his Galatea, which 
Avas licensed on the first of February, 1584, and 
printed in the * December following. He him- * 90 
self calls it "An Eclogue," and dedicates it, as 
'■' the first fruits of his poor genius," ^^ to the son of 
that Colonna under whose standard he had served, 
twelve years before, in the Levant. It is, in fact, a 
prose pastoral, after the manner of Gil Polo's ; and, as 
he intimates in the Preface, " its shepherds and shep- 
herdesses are many of them such only in their dress." ^'^ 
Indeed, it has always been understood that .Galatea, 
the heroine, is the lady to whom he was soon after- 
wards married ; that he himself is Elicio, the hero ; 
and that several of his literary friends, especially Luis 
Barahona de Soto, whom he seems always to have 
overrated as a poet, Francisco de Figueroa, Pedro 
Lainez, and some others, are disguised under the 
names of Lauso, Tirsi, Damon, and similar pastoral 
appellations. At any rate, these personages of his 
fable talk with so much grace and learning, that he 
finds it necessary to apologize for their too elegant 

about 1500, and has always been ad- of the Galatea were published as early 

mired, as indeed it deserves to be. It as 1618. 

gets its name from the two words with '-^'^ " Muchos de los disfrazados pas- 

whieh it begins, "Small and young" ; tores della lo eran solo en el luibito." 
a quaint circumstance, showing its ex- '-^ " Cuyas razones y argunu'ntos mas 

treme popularity with those classes that i)arecen de ingenios eutre libros y las 

were little in the habit of referring to aulas criados qu(i no de aquellos" que 

books by their formal titles. entre pagizas cabanas son crecidos." 

21 "Estas primicias de mi corto in- (Libro IV. Tomo II. p. 90.) This was 

genio." Dedicatoria. Seven editions intended, no doubt, at the same time, 

118 THE GALATEA. [Peiiioi. II. 

Like other works of the same sort, the Galatea is 
founded on an affectjition which can never be success- 
ful; and which, in tliis particular instance, from the 
unwise accumulation and involution of the stories in 
its fable, from the conceited metaphysics with which it 
is disfigured, and from the })Oor poetry profusely scat- 
tered through it, is more than usually imfortunate. 
Perlia])s no one of the many pastoral tales produced in 
Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries fails 
so much in the tone it should maintain. Yet there 
are traces both of Cervantes's experience in life, and 
of his talent, in different parts of it. Some of the tales, 
like that of Sileno, in the second and third books, are 
intere.sting ; others, like Timbrio's capture by the 
Moors, in the fifth book, remind us of his own adven- 
tures and sufferings ; while yet one, at least, that of 
Rosaura and Grisaldo, in the fourth book, is quite 

emancipated from pastoral conceits and fancies. 
* 100 In all * we have passages marked with his rich 

and flowing style, though never, perhaps, with 
Avhat is most peculiar to his genius. The inartificial 
texture of the whole, and the confusion of Christianity 
and mythology, almost inevitable in such a A\'ork, are 
its most obvious defects ; though nothing, perhaps, is 
more incongruous than the representation of that 
sturdy old soldier and formal statesman, Diego de 
Mendoza, as a lately deceased shepherd.-^ 

as a c:oin]ilini('nt to Figvieroa, etc. See ccntuiv, ami icpiodiKcd, with an a|i- 
post, ("hap. XXXIII. note 8. jnopriate coiichision, in a prose pa.sto- 
2* The chief actors in the Galatea lal, which, in the days when Gessner 
visit the tomb of Mendoza, in the sixth was so ])0]iiilar, was irequently reprint- 
hook, umler tin- ^iiidanee of a wise and ('(1. In this form it is by no means 
gentle Christian priest ; and when there, without grace. Certainly the attempt 
Calliope stiangdy appears to them and of Florian is more successful than a 
jironounces a tedious poetical eulogium similar one made by Don Candido 
on a vast number of the contemporary Maria de Tiigueros, who followed and 
Spanish poets, most of whom are now used him in Los Knamorados o Galatea, 
forgotten. The Galatea was aliridged ec, Madiid, 17^8. 
bv Florian, at the end of the eighteenth 


But, when speaking thus shglitingly of the Gahitea, 
we oun'ht to remember that, though it extends to two 

vohunes, it is unfinished , and that ])assages which now 
seem out of proportion or iniintelhgible might have 
their meaning, and might be found appropriate, if the 
second part, which Cervantes liad perlKvps written, and 
which he continued to talk of pubhshing till a few 
days before his death,^^ had ever appeared. And 
certainly, as we make up our judgment on its merits, 
we are bound to bear in mind his own touching words,, 
when he represents it as found by the barber and 
curate in Boii Quixote's library.^-' ""-But what book 
is the next one ? " said the curate. 'The Galatea of 
Miguel de Cervantes,' replied the barber. ' This 
Cervantes,' said the curate, ' has been a great friend of 
mine these many years ; and I know that he is more 
skilled in sorrows than in verse. His book is not 
without happiness in the invention ; it proposes some- 
thing, but finishes nothing. So we must wait for the 
second part, which he promises ; for perhaps he will 
then obtain the favor that is now denied him ; and, in 
the mean time, my good gossip, keep it locked up at 
home.' " 

If the story be true that he wrote the Galatea 
to win * the favor of his lady, his success may * 101 
have been the reason why he was less inter- 
ested to finish it ; for, almost immediately after the 
appearance of the first part, he was married, Decem- 
ber 12, 1584, to a lady of a good family in Esquivias, 
a village near Madrid.^' The pecuniary arrangements 

^ In tlu! Dedication to " Pcisilcs y tiln(^s it is to i)r;ii.s(' its wines. Tlii' first 

Sigismunda," 1616, April 19, only four is in tlu; "(Uicvadc Salanianca" (t'onie- 

days before his death. <lias. 1749, Toin. II. i*. aiH), and the 

'■^^ Parte Primera, cap. 6. last is in the I'lologo to " Pensiles y 

" He allndes, I think, but twice in SicrisTniindn," tliou-jrli in the latter he 

all his work.s to Ks(iuivias ; and both sjii-aks m'so nf its " ilustres linages." 


consequent on the marriage, wliicli have heen ])u))- 
lished,'^*^ show that hoth parties were poor; and the 
(jahitea intimates that Cervantes had a formidable 
Portuguese rival, who was, at ojie time, nearly success- 
ful in winning his In-ide.-' But, whether the course of 
his love ran smooth before marriage or not. his wed- 
ded life, for above thirty years, seems to have been 
haj)py ; and his widow, at her death, desired to be 
buried by iiis side. 

Jn order to sup|)ort his family, he pro])abiy lived 
much at Madricl, wdi^r^L-we-k-nrnv he was fimiUar with 
several contemporary poets, such as Jpan Rufo, Pedro 
de Padilla, and others, whom, with his inherent good- 
nature, he praises constantly in his later works, and 
often unreasonably. From the same motive, too, and 
])erhaps ])artly in consequence of these intimacies, 
lie now undertook to gain some portion of his sub- 
sistence by authorship, turning away from the life of 
iidventure to which he had earlier been attracted. 

His first efforts in this way were for the stage, which 
natm-ally ])resented strong inducements for one who 
was earl>- fond of dramatic representations, and who 
was now in serious want of such immediate profit as 
the theatre sometimes yields. The drama, howtever, in 
the time of Cervantes, was rude and unformed. He 
tells us, as we have already noticed, that he had wit- 
nessed its beginnings in the time of Lope de 
^102 Rueda and * Naharro,*^ which must have Ijeen 
before he went to Italy, and when, irom his 
<lescriptioii of its dresses and apparatus, we ])lainly see 

'■** Sec tlic cimI of I'clliccr's LifV of liis fathei's will, who died while Ccr- 

<;<;!• van tcs, jii'clixcd to his edition of vantes himself was a slave in Al- 

Don Quixote (Tom. I. j>. ccv). Tlieie oiers. 

.seems to have heen an (earlier eonnec- -'" At the end of the .sixth book, 

tion between the family of Clervaiites *' I'l^iloRo al Leetov, ]>refi.\ed to Ids 

and that of his bride ; for the lady's eii^ht ])lays and eight Knticmese.s, Mu- 

ijiother had been named executrix of drid, 1015, 4to. 


that tlie theatre was not 80 well understood and iiian- 
a<i:ed as it is now by strolling companies and in puppet- 
shows. From this lunnble condition, which the efforts 
made by Bernuidez and Argensola, Virues, La Cueva, 
and their contemporaries, had not much ameliorated, 
Cervantes undertook to raise it ; and he succeeded so 
lar that, thirty years afterwards, he thought his success 
of sufficient consequence frankly to boast of it.'^^ 

But it is curious to see the methods he deemed 
it expedient to adopt for such a purpose, lie reduced, 
he says, the number of acts from five to three ; but 
this is a slight matter, and, though he does not seem to 
be aware of the fact, it had been done long })etbre by 
Avendaiio. He claims to have introduced phantasms 
of the imagination, or allegorical personages, like War, 
Disease, and Famine ; but, besides that Juan de la 
Cueva had already done this, it was, at best, nothing 
uj^ore in either of them than reviving the forms of the 
old religious shows. And, finally, though this is not 
one of the grounds on which he himself places his 
dramatic merits, he seems to have endeavored in his 
plays, as in his other works, to turn his personal 
travels and sufferings to account, and thus, uncon- 
sciously, became an imitator of some of those who 
were among the earliest inventors of such represen- 
tations in modern Europe. 

But, wdth a genius like that of Cervantes, even 
changes or attempts as crude as these were not without 
results. He wrote, as he tells us with characteristic 
carelessness, twenty or thirty pieces which were re- 
ceived with applause ; — a number greater than can 
be with certainty attributed to any preceding Spanish 
author, and a success before quite unknown. None of 

31 Adjuiita al PiUiiaso, first •iniiitcd in 1014 ; ami the Tiolugo last cited. 


these pieces were printed at the time, but he has given 
lis the names of nine of them, two of which 
* 103 were discovered * in 1782, and printed, for 
the first time, in 1784."'' The rest, it is to be 
feared, are irrecoverably lost ; and among them is " La 
Coiifusa," which, long after Lope de Vega had given 
its iiual character to the })roper national drama, Cer- 
vantes fondly declared was still one of the very best 
of the class to which it belonged ; *^ a judgment which 
the present age might perhaps confirm, if the propor- 
tions and finish of the drama he preferred were equal 
to the strength and originality of the two that have 
been I'cscued. 

The first of these is " El Trato de Argel," or, as he 
elsewhere calls it, "Los Tratos de Argel," which may 
be translated Life, or Manners, in Algiers. It is a 
drama, slight in its plot, and so imperfect in its dia- 
logue, that, in these respects, it is little l)cttcr than 
.some of the old eclogues on which the earlier theatre 
was founded. His pui'pose. indeed, seems to have been 
simply to set before a S])anish audience such a picture 
of the sufferings of the Christian captives at Algiers 
as his own experience would justiiy. and such as 
might ^vell awaken sympathy in a countrj' w liich had 
furnished a deplorable number of the victims. He, 
therefore, is little careful to construct a regular plot, if, 
after all, he were aware that such a ])lot was important; 
but instead of it he gives us a stiff and unnatui-al love- 
story, which he thought i>'ood enouiih to be used ai-ain. 
both in one of his later plays and in one of his tales ;'"^ 
and then trusts the main success of the piece to its 
episodical sketches. 

*^ They arc in tlu' same voliiiin' with ** AdjuntaalParnaso, p. 139, ed. 1784. 

till- " yi:if,'(; al Panuiso," Madrid, 1784, ^ In tin- " Hafios di! Argel," and tho 

Svo. "Aniantc Liberal." 

Chap. X.j THE TILVTO DE AlIGEL. 123 

Of these sketches, several are striking. First, we 
have a scene between Cervantes himself and two of 
his fellow-captives, in which they are jeered at as 
slaves and Christians by tha Moors, and in wliich they 
give an account of the niiirtyrdom in Algiers of a 
Spanish priest, which was subsequent!}- used by Lope 
de Vega in one of his dramas, and which was founded 
in ffict. Next, we have the attempt of Pedro Alvarez 
to escape to Oran, which is, no doubt, taken from the 
similar attempt of Cervantes, and has all the 
spirit of a drawing from life. *And, in dif- * 104 
ferent places, we have two or three painful 
scenes of the public sale of slaves, and especially of 
little children, which he must often have witnessed, 
and which again Lope de Vega thought worth borrow- 
ing, when he had risen, as Cervantes calls it, to the 
monarchy of the scene. ^^ The whole play is divided 
into five Jornada s, or acts, and written in octaves, redon- 
dUIaSy terza riuia, blank verse, and almost all the other 
measures known to Spanish poetry ; while among the 
persons of the drama are strangely scattered, as prom- 
inent actors, Necessity, Opportunity, a Lion, and a 

^ The "Esclavos en Argel" of Lope by Cervantes, (pp. 298-305,) is made 
is found in his Comedias, Tom. XXV., a principal dramatic point in the third 
((^aragocja, 1647, 4to, pp. 231 -260,) and Jornada of Lope's play, where the exe- 
,shows that he borrowed much too freely cution occurs, in the most revolting 
from the play of Cervantes, which, it form, on the stage (p. 263). The truth 
should be remembered, had not then is, that this execution really occurred 
been printed, so that he must have used at Algiers in 1577, while Cervantes was 
a manuscript. The scenes of the sale there, and that he first used it and then 
of the Christian children, (pp. 249, 250,) Lope copied from him. A full account 
and the scenes between the same chil- of it may be found in Haedo, (Topo- 
dren after one of them had become a gi-afia, ft". 179atol83a,)and isoneof the 
Mohammedan, (pp. 259, 260,) as they most curious illustrations extant of the 
stand in Lope, are taken from the cor- relations subsisting between the Span- 
responding scenes in Cervantes (pp. iards and 'their hated enemies. The 
316-323, and 364-366, ed. 1784). borrowings of Lope from the play of 
Much of th(^ story, and passages in Cervantes are, however, more plain else- 
other parts of the play, are also bor- where in his " E.sclavos de Argel " tlian 
rowed. The martyrdom of the Valen- in the case of this shocking martyr- 
cian priest, wliich is merely described dom. 

124 THE TEATO DE AIIGEL. [I'evaod U. 

Yet, notwithstanding the unhappy confusion and 
carelessness all this implies, there are passages in the 
Trato de Argel which are highly poetical. Aurelio, 
the hero, — who is a Christian captive affianced to 
another captive named Sylvia, — is loved by Zara, a 
Moorish lad}^ whose confidante, Fa'tima, makes a wild 
incantation, in order to obtain means to secure the 
gratification of her mistress's love ; the result of which 
is that a demon rises and places in her power Neces- 
sity and Opportunity. These two immaterial agencies 
are then sent by her upon the stage, and — invisible 
to Aurelio himself, but seen by the spectators — tempt 
him with evil thoughts to yield to the seductions of the 
fair unbeliever.^^ AVlien they are gone, he thus ex- 
presses, in soliloquy, his feelings at the idea of hav- 
ing nearly yielded : — 

* 105 * Aurelio, whither goest tlioii ? Where, where, 

Now tend thine erring steps ? Who guides thee on 
Is, then, thy fear of God so small that thus, 
To satisfy mad fantasy's desires, 
Thou rushest headlong ? Can light and easy 
Opportunity, with loose solicitation, 
Persuade thee thus, and overcome thy soul. 
Yielding thee up to love a prisoner ? 
Is this tlie lofty thought and firm resolve 
' In which thou once wast rooted, to resist 
Offence and sin, although in torments shai-j) 
Tliy days should end and earthly martyrdom ? 
So soon hast thou offended, to the winds 
Thy true and loving hopes cast forth, 
And j'ielded up thy soul to low desire ? 
Away with such wild thoughts, of basest birth 
And basest lineage sprung ! Such witchery 
Of foul, unworthy love shall by a love 

86 Cervantes, no .loubt, valued him- liciircspntaiulo los dos _ 

If .1 • ,. • 1 ,,• , I)c su liiic'i) Oenio V nial Genio 

self U])on these iinmatenal agencies; KxtcTiunncnte la lid, 

and, after his time, tliey became com- Que arde interior en su pecho. 

7non on the Spanish stage. Calderon, , . , ,. 

;.. v,;,. <ir<™„ 15,.,'.,,.;.^., ,l„ T«., " /r>«.r.Q His (rood and evil genius bodied forth, 

in his Gran I nncipe de Fe/, (Come- ^^ ^f;^^ ^ j^j^ ^^^ ^^ ^p^,„ ^^^^^ 

dias, Madrid, 1760, 4tO, lom. 111. J). The hot encounter hiiMen in his heart. 

.389,) thus explains two, whom he in- 

tro(luces, in words that may be applied 

to those of Cervantes : — 

'"•VI'. X.] THE NUMANCIA. 12-J 

All imrc 111' broke 1 A ClH-i.sti;\ii soul is mine, 
And as a Christian's shall my life be marked ; — 
Nor gifts, nor iiromises, nor cunning art, 
Shall from the God 1 serve my spiiit turn. 
Although the path I trace lead on to death ! ^^ 

The conception of this passage, and of the scene 
preceding- it, is certainly not dramatic, though it is 
one of those on which, from the introduction of spirit- 
ual agencies, Cervantes valued himself But neither 
is it without stirring poetry. Like the rest of the 
piece, it is a mixture of personal feelings and fancies, 
struggling with an ignorance of the projjer principles 
of the drama, and with the rude elements of the thea- 
tre in its author's time. He calls the whole a Conie- 
cUa ; but it is neither a comedy nor a tragedy. Like 
the old Mysteries, it is rather an attempt to exhi):»it, 
in living show, a series of unconnected incidents ; for it 
has no properly constructed plot, and, as he honestly 
confesses afterwards, it comes to no proper conclu- 

The other play of Cervantes, that has reached 
us from * this period of his life, is founded on * 106 
the trao-ical fate of Numantia, which ha vino; re- 
sisted the Roman arms fourteen years,^^ was reduced 
by famine ; the Roman forces consisting of eighty 
thousand men, and the Numantian of less than four 
thousand, not one of whom was found alive when the 

37 Aurelio, donde vas? para do nineves it worthy of him. But the inference is 

^ir^'Z-F"Z' '^"n^ ^%^'''^' not a fair one, for Cervantes <lid not 
Con tan poco tenior de Dios te atreves . , . ..^ ' . , , 

A contentartuloca fantasia? etc. \mnt his Nuniancia, and yet he cer- 

Jornaday. tainly thought well of it. i). Quixote, 

38 Y aqui da este trato fin, j j ^'g 

Que no lo tiene e\ de Argel, <vt /< x ^ o • • <• ti,„ 

" ' ** Cervantes makes Scipio say or the 

is the jest with wliich he ends his other -siege, on his arrival, — 
play on the same subject, printed thirty Diez y seis aSo.s son y ma.s pasados. 
years after the representation of this The true length of the contest with Nu- 
one. - Clemeucin (Notas a D. Quixote, mantia was, however, fourteen years ; 
III. 253, 254) says Cervantes did not .and the length of the last siege four- 
print this play liecause he did not deem teen months. 

126 THE XUMAXCIA. [I^;uini. 11. 

conquerors entered the city.^*^ Cervantes probably 
chose this subject in consequence of the patriotic recol- 
lections it awakened, and still continues to awaken, in 
the minds of his countrymen ; and, for the same rea- 
son, he filled his drama chiefly with the public and pri- 
vate horrors consequent on the self-devotion of the 

It is divided into four Jornadm, and, like the Trato 
de x\rgel, is written in a great variety of measures ; 
the ancient redondilla being preferred for the more 
active portions. Its dramatis pcvHomc are no fewer than 
forty in number ; and among them are Spahi and the 
River Duero, a Dead Body, War, Sickness, Famine, 
and Fame ; the last personage speaking the Prologue. 
The action opens with Scipio's arrival. He at once 
reproaches the Roman army, tliat, in so long a time, 
they had not conquered so small a l)()(lv of Spaniards, 
— as Cervantes always patriotically calls the Nu- 
mantians, — and then announces that they must now 
be subdued by Famine. Spain enters as a fair ma- 
tron, and aware of what awaits her devoted city, in- 
vokes the Duero in two ])oetical octaves.^^ which the 

river answers in person, accompanied by three 
* 107 * of his tributary streams, but gives no hope 

to Numantia, except that the Goths, the Con- 
stable of Bourbon, and the Duke of Alva, shall one 

*^ It is well to read, witll the " Xu- Q"e prestcs a mis asyK-ros lampntos 

n^ncia" Of Cervantes the account Of ^'™:::,;;^s^:!r:;^ i:!:'!^^;;;;;^;' 

Horus, (hplt. 11. 18,) and especially Suplicote que en nada te detengaii : 

tha't in Mariana, (Lib. III. C. 6-10,) .'^i tu con tus cnntinos crecimientos 

tlie latter being the proud Spanish ver- J^-^*°'*, «•''•»'' Komanos no te venga«, 

. . o 1 i ( crrnao veo ya <iuauniier caniino 

Slon of it. A la salud del pueblo Numantino. 

*i Iiuero pentil, que, con torcida* vueltas, Jorn. I. So. 2. 

IIumede<'c« irnm parte de mi seno, -i. i ii i i i i ^i ^ ii x 

Ansi en tus apna« siempre vea« envueltas It should b(^ added that these two 

Arenim de oro qual d Tajo ameno, oi'taves occur at the end of a somewhat 

Y ansi las ninfiw fiitritiviw Kuelbix, tedious soliloiiUY of nine or ten others, 

De que est i el Verde pnido V Imsque Ueno, „ii ,. i-i n ^ 4.„, 

Venpm huniildes A tux .-HTua-s Claras, •'* ' of which are really octave .stanzas, 

Y en ])re»itartc favor no seuu avanus, though not printed as such. 

CuAi. X.l THE NUMANCIA. 127 

clay avenge its fate on the Romans. This ends the 
first act. 

The otlier three divisions are filled \vith tlie hor- 
rors of the siege endured by the unhappy Nuniantians ; 
the anticipations of their defeat ; their sacrifices and 
prayers to avert it ; the unhallowed incantations by 
Mhich a dead body is raised to predict the future ; 
and the cruel sufferings to old and young, to the 
loved and lovely, and even to the innocence of cliild- 
hood, through which the stern fate of the city is 
accomplished. The wliole ends with the voluntary 
immolation of those who remained alive among the 
starving inhabitants, and the death of a youth who 
holds up the keys of the gates, and then, in presence 
of the Roman general, throws himself headlong from 
one of the towers of the city; its last self-devoted 

In such a story there is no plot, and no proper 
development of anything like a dramatic action. But 
the romance of real life has rarely been exhibited on 
the stage in such bloody extremity ; and still more 
rarely, when thus exhibited, has there been so much 
of poetical effect produced by individual incidents. In 
a scene of the second act, Marquino, a magician, after 
several vain attempts to compel a spirit to re-enter the 
body it had just left on the battle-field, in order to 
obtain from it a revelation of the comino; fate of 
the city, bursts forth indignantly, and says : — 

Rebellious spirit ! Back again and fill 
The form which, but a few siiort hours ago. 
Thyself left tenantless. 

To which the spirit, re-entering the body, replies : — 

Restrain the finy of thy cruel power I 
Enough, Marqnino ! 0, enough of pain 
I suffer ill those regions dark, below, 

128 THE NUMANCIA. [I'Kiiiuu II. 

"Witlioiit the added tomients of thy spell! 
Thou art deluded if thou deem'st indeed 
That aught of earthly pleasure can repay 
Such brief return to this most wretched world, 
"Where, when 1 bai'ely seem to live again, 
* 108 * With urgent speed life harshly shrinks away. 

Xay, rather dost thou bring a shuddering pain ; 
Since, on the instant, all-prevailing death 
Triumphant reigns anew, subduing life and soul ; 
Thus }-ielding twice the victory to my foe, 
AVho now, with others of his grislj' crew, 
Obedient to thy will, and stung with rage, 
Awaits the moment when shall be fulfilled 
Tiie knowledge thou requirest at my hand ; 
The knowledge of Xumantia's awfid fate.*- 

There is nothing of so much dignity in the incantations 
of Marlowe's " Faustus," which Ijelong to the contempo- 
raiy period of the English stage ; nor does even Shake- 
speare demand from us a s^inpathy so strange with the 
mortal head reluctantly rising to answer Macbeth's 
guilty (jiiestion, as Cervantes makes us feel for this 
sufiering spirit, recalled to life onlv to endure a second 
time the pangs of dissolution. 

The scenes of private and domestic affliction arising 
from the pressure of famine are sometimes introduced 
witli unexpected effect, especially one between a 
mother and her child, and the following between 
Morandro, a lover, and his mistress, Lira, whom he now 
sees wasted by hunger, and mourning over the univer- 
sal desolation. She turns from him to conceal her 
sufferings, and he says, tenderly, — 

Nay, Lira, haste not, liaste not thus away ; 
But let mc feel an instant's space tlie joy 

42 ^jarqiiinn. Que yii mc vii faltando presiirosa: 

., u 11 1 1 ' „, „»„ Ant<'S, imM-iiusii!' un dolor epqiiivo, 

Alma rehelrto. vuelvo al aposento ^ J^^ 

Que poa.. honu. ha desmupa^te. Triunfar,. .le mi vida y de ini alma ; 

El Ciierpo. >Ii enemijro tendri doblada )ialma, 

Tesc la fiiria del ripor violento El cual, ccm otros del escuro bando 

Tuyo. Marquino, tiaste, tri(<te, baste, De los que son supetos 4 atrunrilarte, 

Ijaque yo paso en la repon escura, KstJ <'on rabia en torno, a(iui csperando 

Sin que tii crezras nuu* mi dcKventura. A (|uc acabe, Maniuino, de infnniiarte 

Enf!.iiiast«, si piensas que recibo Del lamentable fin, del mal nefando, 

Contcnto de volver 4 ertta |)enosa, Que de Numancia puedo a.«etrurdrte. 

Mitiera y corta vida, que ahora vivo, Jorn. II. Sc. 2. 

Chap. X.] THE XUMANXIA. 129 

AVliicli life can give even here, amidst grim death. 

Let but mine eyes an instant's space behold 

Thy beauty, and, amidst such bitter woes. 

Be ghuhlened ! O my grntlc Lira 1 — thou, 

Tliat dwell'st forever in sueli harmony 
* Amidst the thoughts that throng my fantasy, *,109 

That suffering gro\As gloi'ious for thy sake ; — 

What ails thee, love? On what are bent thy thoughts. 

Chief honor oi' mine own ? 
Lira. 1 think, how fast 

All happiness is gliding both from thee 

And me ; and that, before this cruel war 

Can find a close, my life must find one too. 
Morandro. What say'st thou, love ? 
Lira. That hunger so prevails 

Within me, that it soon nmst triumph quite, 

And break my life's thin thread. What wedded love 

Canst thou expect from me in such extremity, — 

Looking for death ])erchance in one short hour ? 

With famine died my bi'other yesterday ; 

With famine sank my mother ; and if still 

I struggle on, 't is but my youth that bears 

Me up against such rigors horrible. 

But sustenance is now so many days 

Withheld, that all my weakened powers 

Contend in vain. 
Morandro. Lira ! dry thy tears, 

And let but mine bemoan thy bitter gi'iefs ! 

For though fierce famine press thee merciless, 

Of famine, while I live, thou .shalt not die. 

Fosse deep and wall of strength shall be o'erleaped, 

And death confronted, and yet warded off ! 

The bread the bloody Roman eats to-day 

Shall from his lips be torn and placed in thine ; — 

My arms shall hew a passage for thy life ; — 

For death is nauglit when I behold thee thus. 

Food thou .shalt have, in s])ite of Roman power. 

If but these hands are such as once they were. 
Lira. Thou .speak'st, Morandro, with a loving heart ; — 

But food thus bought with peril to thy life 

Would lose its savor. All that thou couldst snatch 

In such an onset must be small indeed. 

And lather cost thy life than rescue mine. 

Enjoy, then, love, thy fresh and glowing youth ! 

Thy life imports the city more than mine ; 

Thr a canst defend it from this cruel foe, 

Wliilst I, a maiden, weak and faint at heart. 

An worthless all. So, gentle love, dismiss this thought ; 
VOL. II. y 



[I'Kiaoii II. 

I taste no food bought at smli (lc;i,i!y price. 

And tliough a few slioit, wi-eiched diiys thou couldst 

Pi'Otect this life, still famiiie, at the last, 

JIust end us all. 

110 * Maraud ro. In vain tliou strivest, love, 

To hinder nie the way my will :dike 
And destiny invite and draw nif on. 
Pray rather, therefore, to the gods above, 
That they i-eturu me home, laden with spoils, 
Thy sufieriugs and mine to mitigate. 

Lira. Monindro, gentle friend, 0, go not foith ! 

For heie before me gleams a hostile sword. 
Red with thy blood ! 0, venture, venture not 
Such fierce extremity, light of my life ! 
For if the sally be A\ith dangers thick, 
Jlore dread is the return. ''^ 

<3 Hloranilro. 

No Tayas tan ile corrida. 

Lira ,_dexaiiH' gozar 

Del bitii quo inc iniede dar 

Ell la iiiiurte alffrrc vida: 

Di'xa, (luo niireii uiis ojos 

L'u rato tu liLrmosura, 

I'ues tiiuto lui desvcntura 

Se eutretioue en wis enojos. 

dulcc Lira, que suenas 

Contiuo en mi fantasia 

Con tan suave liarniouia 

Que vuelve en irloria mis penas! 

Que tieiies '. (iue est s jiensando, 

Gloria de mi peiisainientof 

I'ienpo como mi contento 

Y el tuyo se va acabando, 

Y no sera su homicida 

El cerco de nuestra tierra, 
Que primero que la guerra 
Se me aeabar^ la vida. 

Que dices, bien de mi alma? 

Que me tiene tal la hambre, 
Que de mi vital estambre 
Llevar.i jiresto la iialma. 
Que t.ilamo lias de esjierar 
De quien est i en tal extremo. 
Que tu ase^uro que temo 
Ant<'s de una liora esjiirar? 
-Mi herniaiio aver cspirj 
De la hambre fatigado, 

Y mi iiiadre ya ha acabado 
Que la hambre la acab i. 

Y si la hambre y su fucrza 
No ha rendido mi saliid, 
Es jiorque la juventud 
rmitni su riffor se esfuerza. 
I'ero como lia tantos dias 
Que no le hu^o <lefensa, 
No piieilen contra sn ofenBa 
has debik'H fuerzas mias. 

KnjuiKi, Lira, los ojos, 
Dexa que Ins trisfes mios 
S; viielvan corrientes rio« 
Nacidos de tus enojos ; 

Y aunque la hambre ofendida 
'J'c tciifra tan sin eompas, 

De hambre no nidiiras 
Mientra-s yo tuviei(> vida. 
Y^o me ofrezco de .saltar 
El foso y el muro fiiert«, 

Y entrar jior la inisina niuerte 
Para la tu\ a (\scusar. 

EI pan que el Komano toca, 
Sin que el temor me destruya, 
Lo quitare de la suya 
I'ai-a ponerlo en tu boca. 
Con mi brazo hare earrera 
A tu vida y a mi niuerte, 
Porque mas me mata el verte, 
Seiiora, de e.sii manem. 
Yo te traere de comer 
A pesar de los Konianos, 
Si ya son estas mis nianos 
Las misnias que solian ser. 

Ilablas como enamorado, 
Mowndro, iiei-o no es justo, 
Que ya tome jrusto el gusto 
Con tu peligid coni|>rado. 
Poco ])odiM siistentarme 
(iiial(iuier robo (|ue haras, 
.\miqiic mas cicrto hallaras 
Kl peiilcrte <nie panamie. 
(lo/.i de tu mocedad 
En fresca edad y <Tecida, 
<iue mas importa tu vida 
Que la mia, ^i la <iudad. 
Tu podr.'.s bien defendella, 
De la enemiga a.^echanza, 
Que no la tiaca inijanza 
Desta tjiii triste doiicella. 
Ansi que, mi dulce amor, 
Despiile ese ]ien.>-amiento, 
Que yo no quier(> sustento 
Oanado con tu sudor. 
Que aun(|iu! jmedes alargar 
Mi niuerte por aljru i dia, 
Ksta hambre que po.-fia 
En tin nos ha de aca jar. 

En vano tralKy.-uj, Lira, 
De impidinne este cnniino, 
Do mi volunt.-id y signo 
All.i me convida y lira. 


* lie persists, and, accompanied hy a fiiitliful * 111 
friend, penetrates into the Roman camp and 
obtains bread. In the contest lie is wounded ; but 
still, forcing his way back to the city, by the mere 
energy of despair, he gives to Lira the food he has 
won, wet with his own blood, and then falls dead at 
her feet. 

A very high authority in dramatic criticism sj^ieaks 
of the Niunancia as if it were not merely one of the 
more distinguished efforts of the early Spanish thea- 
tre, but one of the most striking exhibitions of mod- 
ern poetry.*^ It is not probable that this opinion will 
prevail. Yet the whole piece has the merit of great 
originality, and, in several of its parts, succeeds in 
awakenino: strouir emotions ; so that, notwithstandino- 

~ <-J 7 7 C5 

the want of dramatic skill and adaptation, it may still 
be cited as a proof of its author's high poetical talent, 
and, in the actual conditio^ of the Spanish stage wdien 
he wrote, as a bold and noble effort to raise it. 

T.-. ro^rarAs entre tanto of it llimself ; but still COUples it with 

rolr d^S ^U: S:.S" well-co.si.l.red plays of Lope de Vega, 

Tu iiiiscria y mi quebranto. Gaspar ds Avila, and i raiicisco Tan-ega. 

Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 48. 
Lira. There is a very curious contract be- 
Morandro, mi dulce amigo, tween Cervantes and Rodrigo de Osorio 
No vayas, que se me antoja, an " Autor de Coniedias," dated at Se- 
^esplda rfnlmir^'^ -^le. 5 September, 1592, in which Cer- 
No hagas esta Jornada, vantes engages to write SIX plays, tor each 
Morandro, bien de mi vida, of which he is to receive fifty ducats, pro- 
Q.ue si es mala la salida, vided it should be " una de las mcjores 
Ez muy peer la tornada. , . < . i ^ i . 
Jem. III. Sc. 1. coniedias que se han representado en Ls- 
paiia " ; otherwise nothing. Whether 
There is, in this scene, a tone of these jdays were ever written, or wheth- 
geiitle, broken-hearted self-devotion on er, if they were written, they wen; the 
the part of Lira, awakening a fierce six mentioned in the " Adjunta al Par- 
despair in her lover, that seems to me naso" in 1614, we shall probal)ly never 
very true to nature. The last words of know. (Nuevos Documento.s, Sevilla, 
Lira, in the passage translated, have, I 1864, pp. 26-29.) The pcn-iod referred 
think, much beauty in the original. to — 1592— was apparently the one 
** A. W. von Schlegel, Vorlesungen when he was much occupied and vexed 
liber dramatische Kuiist und Literatur, with collecting provisions for the gov- 
Heidelberg, 1811, Tom. II. Abt. ii. p. ernment in Andalusia, and with other 
345. Cervantes speaks more modestly jjoor labors of a similar sort. 

*112 *CHAPTER XI. 







The low coiiflition of the theatre in his time was 
a serious misfortune to Cervantes. It prevented him 
from obtaining, as a dramatic author, a suitable remu- 
neration for his efforts, even though they were, as he 
tells us, successful in winning public favor. If we add 
to this that he was now n>arried, that one of his sis- 
ters was dependent on him, and that he was maimed 
in his person and a neglected man, it will not seem 
remarkable that, after struggling on for three years 
at Esquivias and Madrid, he found liimself obliged to 
seek elsewhere the means of subsistence. In 1588, 
therefore, he went to Seville, then the great mart for 
the vast wealth coming in from America, and, as he 
afterwards called it, " a slielter for the poor and a 
refug-e for the unfortimate." ^ There he acted for some 
time as one of the agents of Antonio de Guevara, a 
royal commissary for the American fleets, and after- 
wards as a collector of moneys due to the government 

1 "Volvi'iiie ;i Si-villa," .says Bergan- 1590, l.'>92, ami 1593 is proved beyond 

za, iu the "Colotiuio de los Pen-os," all peradventiiie by documents piib- 

"que es am])aro de j)obres y refugio de lished at Seville in 1864, by Don Jose 

de-sdichados." Novelas, Madrid, 1783, Maria A.sen.sio y Toledo, referred to in 

8vo, Tom. II. 1.. 362. That Cervantes note ii of the last chapter, 
was at Seville iu the years 1588, 1589, 


and to private iiulividLials ; an ]iinnl)le coiKlit ion, cer- 
tainly, and full of cares, but still one that gave 
him the ))read he h.ul vritTTt^^o ugHr~iir~DthTn^ u r- 

The chief advantage, perhaps, of these employ- 
ments to a genius like that of Cervantes was, 
that they led him to * travel much for ten years * 113 
in different parts of Andalusia and Granada, and 
made him familiar with life and manners in these pic- 
turesque parts of his native country. During the latr 
.ter portion of the time, indeed, partly owing to the 
failure of a person to whose care he had intrusted 
some of the moneys he had received, and partly, it is 
to be feared, owing to his own negligence, he became 
indebted to the government, and was imprisoned at 
Seville, as a defaulter, for a sum so small that it seems 
to mark a more severe degree of poverty than he had 
yet suffered. After a strong application to the gov- 
ernment, he was released from prison under an order 
of December 1, 1597, when he had been confined, 
apparently, about three months ; but the claims of the 
public treasury on him were not adjusted in 1608, nor 
do we know Avhat was the final result of his improvi- 
dence in relation to them, except that he does not 
seem to have been molested on the subject after that 

During his residence at Seville, which, with some 
interruptions, extended from 1588 to 1598, or perhaps 
somewhat longer, Cervantes made an ineffectual appli- 

cation to the king for an appoliTtrrreiTt in America ; 
setting forth by exact documents — which now consti- 
tute the most valuabl^-materittlt^lbr-lus biography — 
a general account of his adventures, services, and 
sufferings, while a soldier in the Levant, and of the 


miseries of his life while he was a slave in Algiers.^ 
This was in 1590. Bnt no other than a formal answer 
seems ever toUave been returned to the application ; 
and tlie whole affair only leaves ns to infer the severit}- 

of that distress which should induce him to 
* 114 seek relief in exile to a colony * of which he 

has elsewhere spoken as the great resort of 

As an author, his residence at Seville has left few 
distinct traces of him. In 1595, he sent some trifling 
verses to Saragossa, which gained one of the prizes. 
offered at the canonization of San Jacinto;^ in 1596, 
he wrote a sonnet in ridicule of a great display of 
courage made in Andalusia after all danger was over 
and the EuQ-lish had evacuated Cadiz. Avliich, mider 
Essex, Elizabeth's favorite, they had for a short time 
occupied;" and in 1598 he wrote another sonnet, 
in ridicule of an unseemly uproar that took place in the 
cathedral at Seville, from a pitiful jealousy between 
the municipality and the Inquisition, on occasion of 
the reliu'ious ceremonies observed there after the death 
of Philip the Second.*' But, except these trifles, we 

- This extraordinary mass of docu- ^ " Vieiulose ])ues tan falto de dine- 

ments is pn^scrvcd in the " Anhivos ros y aun no con nnudios amigos, se 

de las Indias," which are adniiraldy ar- acogio al reniedio a ijue otros nuichos 

ranged in tJie old and Ijeautilur Ex- ^•''I'Ji'^lo'' '''^ ''^V^'^l'i ""'l^^^^ ,[^'^^'ill"] *>« 

change, built by Herrera in Seville, acogcn ; que es, el pasarse a las Indias, 

when Seville was the great cntrepOt be- I'efugio y aniparo de los desesperados de 

tween Spain and her colonies. The Espaua, iglesia de los alzados, salvo 

jjapers referred to may be found in Es- conducto de los homicidas, pala y cu- 

tante, II. Cajon 5, Legajo 1, and were l)ierta de los jugadores, anagaza general 

discovered V)y the venerable Cean lier- de mugeres libres, engaho comun de 

mudez in 1808, who showed them to niuchos y reniedio particular de pocos." 

me in 181 S. The most important of El Zeloso Estremeno, Xovelas, Tom. 

them are published entire, and the rest II. p. 1. 

are well abridged, in the Life of Cer- * These verses may be found in Xa- 

vantes by NavaiTete (pp. 311-388). vanete, Vida, ])p. 444, 445. 

Cervantes petitioned in them for one of ^ Pelli(;er, Vida, ed. Don Quixote, 

four offices, —the Auditurship of New (Jladrid, 1797, 8vo, Tom. I. p. Ixxxv,', 

Granada ; that of th(t galleys of Car- gives the sonnet. 

thagena ; theOovernorshipof the I'rov- *^ Sedano, Parnaso Espanol, Tom. 

ince of Soconu.sco ; or the place of Cor- l.X. ]). 193. In the " Viage al Parnaso," 

regidor of the city of Paz. c. 4, he calls it " Honra principal de 


know of nothing tliat he wrote, during this active 
period of his Hfe, indess we are to assign to it some of 
his tales, which, like the " Espanola Inglesa," are con- 
nected with known contemporary events, or, like 
" Rinconete y Cortadillo," savor so much of the man- 
ners of Seville, that it seems as if they could have 
been written nowhere else. 

* Of the next period of his life, — and it is "^115 
the imjDortant one immediately preceding the 
publication of the First Part of Don Quixote, — we 
know even less than of the last. A uniform tradi- 
tion, however, declares that he was emploj^ed by the 
Grand Prior of the Order of Saint John in La Mancha 
to collect rents due to his monastery in the village 
of Aro-amasilla ; that he went there on this humble 
agency and made the attempt, but that the debtors 
refused payment, and, after persecuting him in dif- 
\/ ferent w^ays, ended by throwing him into prison, 
w^here, in a spirit of indignation, he began to write 
the Don Quixote, making his hero a native of the 
village that tre<i?fed him so ill, and laying the scene of 
most of the knight's earlier adventures in La Mancha. 
But, though this is possible, and even probable, we 
have no direct proof of it. Cervantes says, indeed, 

mis escritos." But lie was mistaken, f[uence, comparinj^ Pliilip II. to Heze- 

or he jested, — I rather tliink the last. kiah, who drove out heresy, and hoast- 

For an account of the indecent uproar ing that, "like a Phcenix, as he was, 

Cervantes ridiculed, and needful to ex- he died in the nest he had himself huilt 

plain tins sonnet, see Semanario Pinto- up," — the famous Escuriai. 13ernal 

resco, Madrid, 1842, p. 177, and Espi- died in 1601, anil a popular life of hiin 

nosa. Hist, de Sevilla, 1627, Segunda was printed at Seville in about sixty 

Parte, ff. 112-117. The principal art- doggerel quintillas, full 6f puns, and 

ists of the city were employed on the very characteristic of a period in whicii 

adiifalque .sacriliced in this unseemly luittbonery was often one of the means 

riot, and tliey made it as magnificent as by which religion was made palatable 

]Kissible. (Stirling's Artists of Spain, to the rabble. The following is a speci- 

1848, Vol. I. pp. 351, 403, 463.) The men of it : — 

sermon delivered on the occa.sion by Y que el varon soberano 

^laestro Fray Juan Bernal, and printed Vm^sso Pa<ir^ s,i,it<i .w lUmo, 

at Seville, l.o99, 4to, ti. 18 is not Mil rW, -<»'-. v l. h.illaron ' 

without a sort ot rude laminar elo- iicchos du suv/to////« ^ja/io. 


in his Preface to the First Part, that iii.s Don Quix- 
ote was begun in a prison;^ but this may refer to 
his earher imprisonment at Seville, or his subsequent 
one at Valladolid. All that is certain, therefore, is, 
that lie had friends and relaiiotts^in La Mancha; 
that, at some period of his life, he must have en- 
jo^^ed an opportunity of acquiring the intimate 
knowledge of its people, antiquities, and topography, 
which the Don Quixote shows ; and that this could 
hardly have happened except between the end of 
1598, when we lose all trace of him at Seville, and 
the beginning of 1603, when we find him established 
at Valladolid. 

To Valladolid he went, api)arently because the 
court had been removed thither by the caprice of 
Philip the Third and the interests of his fa- 
"* 116 vorite, the Duke of Lerma ; * but, as every- 
wdiere else, there, too, he was overlooked and 
left in jDOverty. Indeed, we should hardly know he 
was in Valladolid at all before the publication of the 
First Part of his Don Quixote, but for two painful 
circumstances. The first is an account, in his own 
handwriting, for sewing done by his sister, who, hav- 
ing sacrificed everything for his redemption from cap- 
tivity, became dependent on him during her widow- 
iiood, and died in his fjimily. The other is, that in 

"^ " Se ciigcutho en una cdivel." which is coiniiioiily souiKlcd unicli like 
Avellaneda .say.s the .same thing in liis "liieno.s" {irons); and, on ivferring 
Preface, but say.s it conteniptuou.sly : to tlie original edition of Avellaneda, 
" Pero disculpan los yenos de .su Pii- (1614,) I found the word actually .spelt 
inera Parte en esta materia, el habf-rse "hierros," {iroiis, chahi.'i.) while the 
e.scrito eiitte los de una carcel," etc. lai'ge Dictionary of the Academy, (1739, 
I owe, thought that the article los in in verb " yerro,") admitting that "yer- 
thi.s j)as.sage wiis an intimation that the ros" {faults) is sometimes spelt " hier- 
residence of Cervantes in a jail wa.s a ro.s," settles the question. In its mild- 
matter of reproach to him. But Sir est form, it is a poor (juibble, intended 
Ivlmund Head — .so familiar with every- to insult l^ervantes with his misfor- 
thing Spanish, and so acute in apjdy- tunes. There is a si)nilar \m\\ on the 
ing his knowledge — pointed out to me word in Lope's "Dorotea," Acto III. 
the pun on the won I "ycrros," (/«-«/<.*,) lOsc. 7. 

riiAP. XI.] ceiivantp:s at valladolid. 137 

one of those night-brawls common among the gal- 
lants of the Spanish court, a stranger was killed near 
the house where Cervantes lived ; in consequence of 
which, and of some suspicions that fell on the family, 
he was, according to the hard provisions of the Spanish 
law, confined Avith the other principal witnesses uAtil 
an investigation could take place.^ 

But, in the midst of poverty and embarrassments, 
and while acting in the humble capacity of general 
agent and amanuensis for those wTio neelled his ser- 
vices,® Cervantes had prepared for the press the First 
Part of his Don Quixote, which was licensed in 1604, 
at Valladolid, and printed in 1605, at Madrid. It 
was received with such decided favor, that, before the 
year was out, another edition was called for at Madrid, 
and two more elsewhere ; circumstances which, after 
so many discouragements in other attempts to pro- 
cure a subsistence, naturally turned his thoughts more 
towards letters than they had been at any previous 
period of his life. 

In 1606, the court having gone back to Madrid, 
Cervantes followed it, and there passed the remain- 
der of his life ; changing his residence to 
* different parts of the city at least seven * 117 
times in the course of ten years, apparently 
as he was driven hither and thither by his neces- 

* Pellicer's Life, pp. cxvi-cxxxi. It wrote at Valladolid an account, in fifty 

has been suggested, on the authority of IcaA'es (juai-to, of the fe.stivitie.s in that 

a satirical sonnet attributed to (Jon- citj' on occasion of the birth of Philip 

gora, that Cervantes was employed iVy IV. But, I think, he was then a per- 

the Duke of Lerma to write an account son of too little note to have l)een eni- 

of the festivities with which Howard, ployed for .such a work. Si'c the Span - 

the English Ambassador, was welcomed i.sli tran.slation of this History, Tom. 

in 1605. But the genuineness of the II. p. 5.50. 

.sonnet is doubtful, and it does not .seem ^ One of the witnesses in the preced- 

to me to bear the interpretation put ing criminal inquiry says that C'ervan- 

upon it. (Navarrete, Vida, ]>. 45t). tes was visited by different jiersons, 

D. Quixote, ed. Pellicer, 1797, Tom. I. " por ser hombre (jue escribe y tratit 

p. cxv. ) It has also been suggested jiegocios." 
that Cervautes, in the same year, 1605, 


sities. In 1009, he joined the brotherhood of the 
Hoi}' Sacranient^^— one of those reHgious associations 
which were then fasEToVTable , aTidT the same of which 
Queve(U), Lope de Vega, and other distinguished men 
of letters of the time, were members. About the same 
period, too, he seems to have become known to most 
of these persons, as well as to others of the favored 
poets round the court, among whom, were Espinel and 
the two Argensolas ; though wliat were his relations 
Avith them, beyond those implied in the conmiendatory 
verses they prefixed to each other's works, we do not 

Concerning his relations with Lope de Yega there 
has been much discussion to little purpose. Certain it 
is that Cervantes often praises this great literary idol 
of his age, and that four or five times Lope stoops from 
his pride of place and compliments Cervantes, though 
never Ijeyond the measure of praise he bestows on 
many whose claims were greatly inferior. But in his 
stately flight it is plain that he soared much above the 
author of Don Quixote, to whose highest merits he 
seemed carefully to avoid all homage ; ^" and though 
I find no sufficient reason to suppose their relation to 
each other was marked by any personal jealousy or 
ill-will, as has been sometimes supposed, yet I can find 
no proof that it was either intimate or kindly. On 
the contrary, when we consider the good-natiiie ol' 
Cervantes, which made him praise to excess nearly all 
his other literary contempoiaries, as well as the great- 
est of them all, and when we allow for the frequency 
of hyperbole in such i)raises at that time, which pre- 
vented tlu'iii fiom l>eing what they would now ))e, we 
may percei\e an occasional coolness in his manner, 

1'' Lauiel tltr AjkjIo, Silva 8, where he Is praised onlij as a poet. 


when he speaks of Lope, which shows that, without 
overrating his own merits and claims, he was not in- 
sensi))le to the (Uflerence in their respective positions, 
or to the injustice tow'ards himself implied by it. In- 
deed, his whole tone, wdienever he notices Lope, 
* seems to be marked Avith much personal dig- *118 
nity, and to be singularly lionorable to him.^^ 

11 Mo.st of tlic materials for foi'iiiing 
a judgment on thi.s point in Cervante.s'.s 
character are to he found in Navarrete 
(Vida, 457-475), who maintains that 
( 'ervantiis and Lope were sincere friends, 
and in Huerta (Leccion Critica, Madrid, 
1785, ISnio, p. 43 to the end), who 
maintains that Cervantes was an en- 
vious rival of Lope. As I cannot adopt 
either of these results, and think the 
last particularly unjust, I will venture 
to add one or two considerations. 

Lope was fifteen years younger than 
Cervantes, and was forty-three years 
old when the First Part of the Don 
Quixote was puhlished ; but from that 
time till the death of Cervantes, a pe- 
riod of eleven years, he does not, that I 
am aware, once allude to him. The 
five passages in tlu; immense mass of 
Lope's works, in which alone, so far as 
I know, he speaks of Cervantes, are, 
— 1. In the "Dorothea," 1598, twice 
slightly and without ])raise. 2. In the 
Preface to his own Tales, 1621, still 
more slightly, and even, I think, cold- 
ly. 3. In the " Laurel de Apolo," 
1630, wlune there are twelve lines of 
cold punning eulogy of him, fourteen 
years after his (hiatli. 4. In his i)lay, 
" Kl Premio del Bien Hablar," printed 
in Madrid, 1635, where Cervantes is 
liarcdy mentioned (Comedias, 4to, Tom. 
XXI. f. 162). And 5. In "Amar sin 
Saber a Quien" (Comedias, Madrid, 
Tom. XXII., 1635), where (Jornada 
l)rimei-a) Leonarda, one of the princi- 
j)al ladies, says to her maid, who had 
just cited a ballad of Audalla and 
Xa.rifa to her, — 

Inez, take care ; your common reading is, 
I know, the Ballad-hook ; and, after all, 
Your case may prove, like . that of the poor 
knight — 

to which Inez replies, interrn])ting her 
mistress, — 

Don Quixote of La Mancha, if you please, — 
May Crod Cervantes pardon 1 — was a knight 

Of that wild, erriuK sort the (Chronicle 
So uia^uities. For uie, 1 only read 
The Lallad-book, and find myself from day 
To day the better for it. 

All this looks very reserved ; but, when 
we add to it that there were numbei'less 
occasions on which Lo))e could have 
gracefully noticcnl the merit to which 
he could never have been insensible, — 
especially when he makes so fi'ee and 
unjustifiable a use of Cervantes's " Trato 
de Argel" in his own "Esclavos de 
Argel," absolutely introducing him by 
name on the .stage, and giving him a 
prominent part in the action (Comedi- 
as, Qarag0(;a, 1647, 4to, Tom. XXV. 
])p. 245, 251, 257, 262, 277), without 
showing any of those kindly or respect- 
ful feelings which it was easy ami com- 
mon to show to friends on the Sjianish 
stage, and which Calderon, for instance, 
so fr(;c[uently shows to Cervantes (e. g. 
Casa con Dos Puertas, Jorn. I., etc.), 
— we can hardly doulit that Lojie will- 
ingly overlooked and neglected Cer- 
vantes, at least from the; time of the 
appearance of the First Part of Don 
Quixote, in 1605, till after its author's 
death, in 1616. 

On the other hand, Cervantes, from 
the date of the " Canto de Caliope " in 
the "Galatea," 1584, when Lope was 
only twenty-two years old, to the date 
of the Preface to the Second Part of 
Don Quixote, 1615, only a year before 
his own death, was constantly giving 
Lope the praises due to one who, beyond 
all contnmporar)) doubt or rivalshi]i, 
was at the head of Si)anish literature ; 
and, among other proofs of .such eh^ 
vated and generous feelings, prefixed, 
in 1598, a laudatory sonnet to Loi)e's 
"Dragontea." But, at the same time 
that he did this, and did it freely and 
fully, there is a dignified reserve and 
caution in some j)arts of his remark.s 
about Lope that show he was not im- 
pelled by any warm, personal regard ; 



[Peuiod II. 

*119 * In 1613 he published his "Novelas Exera- 

plares," Instructive or Moral Tales,^^ twelve in 

number, and making one volume. Some of them were 

written several years before, as was '' The Impertinent 

a caution whii'h is so obvious, that 
Avcllauctla, iu the Preface to his Don 
Quixote, maliciously interpreted it into 

It therefore seems to me difficult to 
avoid the conclusion, tliat the relations 
between the two great Spanish authors 
of this jieriod were such as might be 
ex])ected, where one was, to an extraor- 
dinary degree, the idol of his time, 
and the other a suffering and neglected 
man. What is most agreeable about 
tlie wliole matter is the generous jus- 
tice Cervantes never fails to render to 
Lope's merits. 

But, since the preceding account, 
both in the text and note, was pub- 
lislied, (1849,) more evidence has been 
discovered on the .subject of the per- 
sonal I'elations of Cervantes and Lope ; 
— unliapjjily, such as leaves no doubt 
of Lope's ungenerous feelings towards 
liis great contein])orary. It is pub- 
lished in the " NachtrJige zur Ges- 
chichte der dramatischen Litei-atur und 
Kunst in Spanien von A. F. von 
Schack," (Frankfurt am Main, 1854, 
8vo, pp. 31-34,) and consists of ex- 
tracts, made by Duran, from autograph 
letters of Lope, found among the papers 
of Lope's great patron and friend, the 
Duke de Sessa, who jiaid the (ixpenses 
of Ids funeral, and inherite<l his manu- 
.S(;ripts. The principal one, for the 
})re.seiit jmrpose, is dated August 4, 
1604, while the Don Quixote was in 
the press ; and when reading it we 
mu.st bear in mind that Cervantes did 
not muclx regard tlie fashion of Ins 
time in ])refixing laudatory .sonncds, 
etc., of his fiiends, to his other works, 
and, lias ridiculed it outright in the 
jesting and satiiical ver.ses he has pre- 
fixed to liis Don Quixote, in the names 
of Aniadis de Oaula, Orlando Furio.so, 
etc. Lope, under these circumstances, 
writes to his friend the Duke : '.' Of 
poets I speak not. Many are in th(; 
hud for next year ; but tliere is none so 
had as (Jcrvanlf.x, or so ibolish as to 
praise Don Quixote," — pero niiujuno 
}my tan main coriio Cervantes, ni tan 
necio que alube d Don QutJMte. And 

further on, speaking of satire, he says, 
" It is a thing as hateful to me as my 
little books are to Alniendares, and nuj 
plays to Ccrv((ntcs." Of course there 
can be no mistake about the feelings 
with which such bitter words were 
written. They are the more cruel, as 
Cervantes was then a suffering man, 
living in .severe poverty at Valladolid, 
and Lope knew it. 

I do not know who is hit imder the 
name of Almendares, but suspect it is 
a misspelling or mi.sprint of tliat of 
Almenda/'/^, who published poor re- 
ligious poetry in the popular style — 
popidiiri carmine — in 1603 and 1613, 
and is praised by Cervantes in his Viage 
al Parnaso. 

I have .said nothing here of the .son- 
nets lirst published by Pellicer in his 
" Biblioteca de Traductores" (Tom. I., 
1778, jip. 170, etc.). I mean two at- 
tributed to Cervantes and one to Lope, 
in which those great men are made to 
ridicule eacli other in very bad taste ; 
— 1 have, 1 .say, not mentioned these 
sonnets, ])artly because, even as set 
forth by Pellicer, they have a very sus- 
picious look, but chiefly because the 
matter at the time was sifted by Huer- 
ta, Forner, etc., and no doubt was left 
that they arc spurious. See " Leccion 
Critica," ut supra; — " Tentativa de 
ajnovechar el merito de la Leccion 
Critica, en defensa de Cervantes por 
Don Placido Guerrero," (Madrid, 1785, 
ISmo, pp. 30, ec.,) and finally, " Re- 
flexiones sobre la Leccion Critica por 
Tome Cecial, ec. las publica Don J. P. 
Forner." Madrid, 1786, 18mo, pp. 

^'■^ He explains in his Preface the 
meaning he wishes to give the word 
cxemplarcs, saying, "Heles dado nom- 
bre de cjxmjjlares, y si bien lo miias, 
no hay ninguna de <iuien no se puede 
sacar alguii exeinjilo provechoso." The 
word crcmjifo, from the time of tlie 
Archpriest of Ilita and Don Juan Man- 
uel, liius had tlie meaning of instruction 
or instructive storij. The novelas have 
been the most successful of Cervantes's 
work.s, except Ids D. (Quixote. 


Curiosity," insGrted in the First Part of Don Quixote/'^ 
and "Rinconetey Cortadillo," which is mentioned there, 
so that both nuist be (hited as early as 1604; while oth- 
ers contain internal evidence of the time of their 
composition, * as the ''Espanola Inglesa " does, * 120 
which seems to have been written in 1611. 
All of these stories are, as he intimates in their Pref- 
ace, original, and most of them have the air of being 
drawn from his personal experience and observation.^^ 

Their value is different, for they are written with 
different views, and in a variety of style and manner 
greater than he has elsewhere shown ; but most of 
them contain touches of what is""peTmiifH*^ in his talent, 
and are full of that rich eloquence, anff of those pleas- 
ing descriptions of natural scenery, which always flow 
so easily from his pen. They have little in common 
with the graceful story-telling spirit of Boccaccio and 
his followers, and still less with the strictly practical 

13 The "Ciirioso Impertinente," first these tales are the oldest in the lan- 
priiited in 1605, in the First Part of Don guage, — " Yo soy el priniero que he 
Quixote, was printed in Paris in 1608, iiovelado en lengua Castellana"; — but 
— live years before the collected Nove- he explains this by .saying that those 
las appeared in Madrid, — by Ciesar who had preceded hini in this style of 
Oudin, a teacher of Spanish at the composition had borrowed their lictions 
French court, who caused several other from other languages. This is true of 
Spanish books to be printed in Paris, Timouuda, butit isnottrueof tluiConde 
where the Castilian was in much favor Lucanor. I su))pose, however, that he 
from the intermarriages between the referred to the " No velas," then coming 
crowns of France and^Spain. Oudin in fashion, which were taken from the 
printed the Curioso Impertinente, with- Italian. Those of Cervantes have been, 
out its author's name, at the end of a undoubtedly, after the Don Quixote, 
volume entitled Silva curiosa de Julian the most favored of all his works, and 
de Medrano, cavallero Navarro, ec, cor- the most des<'i'ving of favor. One sep- 
regida en esta nueva edicion, ec, por ai'ate t(!stimony to their power should, 
Cesar Oudin. Paris, 1608, 8vo, pj). however, not be forgotten. In Lock- 
328. Many other proofs could be given hart's Life of Scott (ed. London, 1839, 
of the fashionable prevalence of Spanisli Vol. X. p. 187) we are told that Scott 
in France. Cervantes says, somewhat " expressed the mo.st unbounded adnii- 
extravagantly, " En Francia ni muger ration for Cervantes, and said that the 
ni varon d(!xa de aprender la Lengua ' Novelas ' of that author had inspired 
Ca.stellana." (Persile.s, Lib. III. c. 13.) him with the ambition of exielling in 
But the Spanish tlieatre established in fiction, and tliat, until disabled by ill- 
Paris twelve years is proof enough. See ness, he had been a constant reader of 
fost. Chap. XXVI. note 12. them." 

1* In the prologue, Cei'vantes says 


tone of Don Juan Manuel's tales ; nor, on the other 
hand, do thej* approach, except in the case of the Im- 
pertinent Curiosity, the class of short novels Avhich 
have been frequent in other countries within the last 
century. The more, therefore, we examine them, the 
more we shall find that they are original in their com- 
position and ■4:;e neral ^tone, and that they are strongly 
marked with the indivi(hial ucuiiis of their author, as 
well as with the more peculiar traits of the national 
character, — the ground, no doubt, on which they 
have always been favorites at home, and less valued 
than they deserve to be abroad. As works of inven- 
tion they rank, among their author\s prod-uctions, next 
after Don Quixote ; in correctness and grace of (^tyle, 
they stand before it. 

The first in the series, " The Little Gypsy Girl," is 
the story of a beautiful creature, Preciosa, who had 
been stolen, when an infant, from a noble family, and 
educated in tlie wild community of the Gypsies, — 
that mysterious and degraded race which, until within 
the last fifty years, has always thriven in Spain since 
it first appeared there in the fifteenth century. There 

is a truth, as well as a spirit, in parts of this 
* 121 little story, that * cannot be overlooked. The 

description of Preciosa's first appearance in 
Madrid duriniif a great reli":ious festival ; the effect 
])i-odnced l)y her dancing and singing in the streets; 
her visits to the houses to which she was called for 
the amusement of the rich ; and the conversations, 
com})liments, and style of entertainment, are all ad- 
mirable, and leave no doubt of their truth and re- 
ality. But there are other passages which, mis- 
taking in some respects the true Gypsy character, 
seem as if they were rather drawn from some such 


imitations ol' it as the '^ Life of Bampfjlde Moore Ca- 
rew " than from a familiarity with Gypsy life as it 
then existed in Spa in. ^'^ 

The next of the tales is very different, and yet no 
less within the personal experience of Cervantes 
himself It is called " The Generous Lover," and is 
neiirly the same in its incidents with an episode found 
in his o)vn "Trato de Argel." The scene is laid in 
Cyprus, two years after the capture of that island 
by the Turks, in 1570; but here it is his own adven- 
tures in Algiers upon which he draws for the materials 
and coloring of what is Turkish in his story, and the 
vivacity of his descriptions shows how much of reality 
there is in both. , 

The third stor}*, " Rinconete y Cortadillo," is again 
quite unlike any of the others. It is an account, 
partly in the picaresque style, of two young vagabonds, 
not without ingenuity and spirit, who join at Seville, 
in 1569, one of those organized communities of robbers 
and beggars which often recur in the history of Span- 
ish society and manners during the last three centuries. 
The realm of Monipodio, their chief, reminds us at once 
of Alsatia in Sir Walter Scott's " Nigel," and the 
resemblance is made still more obvious afterwards, 
when, in "The Colloquy of the Dogs," we find the 
same Monipodio in secret league with the officers of 
justice.^^- A single trait, however, will show with 
what fidelity Cervantes has copied from nature. The 
members of this confederacy, who lead the most 

!•' This story lias been draniatized or a liundred others of the same sort, 

more than once in Spain, and freely The large dictionary of the Spanish 

nsed elsewhere, — among the rest, as Academy makes Monipodio a popnlar 

an opera, by Carl Maria Weber. See corruption of Monijjolio; and Antonio 

note on the "Gitanilla" of Soils, 2wst, Perez, in one of his letters to Gil de 

Chap. XXV. Mesa, extends it to frauds in contracts, 

14 The name of "Monipodio" was foiged testaments, etc.; in short, to 

no moi-e taken by accident than that of general roguery. 
Jonathan Oldcn'bnck, Mr. Alhvorthy, 


* 122 dissolute and lawless lives, are yet * repre- 
sented as superstitious, and as having tlieir 
images, their masses, and their contributions for pious 
charities, as if robbery Avere a settled and respectable 
vocation, a part of whose income was to be devoted to 
religious purposes m order to consecrate the remainder ; 
a delusion which, in forms alternately ridiculous and 
revolting, has subsisted in Spain from very eaaly tinies^ 
down to the present day.^*^ 

It would be easy to go on and show how the rest of 
the tales are nuirked wdth similar traits of truth and 
nature : for example, the story founded on the adven- 
tures of a Spanish girl carried to England when Cadiz 
was sacked in 1596; "The Jealous Estremadurian." 
and '■ The Fraudulent Marriage," the last two of which 
bear internal evidence of being founded on fact ; and 
even " The Pretended Aunt," which, as he did not 
print it himself, — apparently in consequence of its 
coarseness, — ought not now to l)e placed among his 
works, is after all the story of an adventure that 
really occurred at Salamanca in 1575.^' Indeed, they 

i« It i.s ill) admirable hit, when llin- ^Madrid, 1810, 12mo,) notes the aptiie.ss, 

conete, lii'st becoming Hcijuainted with with which C'ei'vantes alludes to the 

<me of tlie rogues, asks him, " Es vuesa diflerent localities in the gi-eat cities of 

merced por ventura ladron?" and the Spain, which constituted the lendez- 

rogue replies, ^^ Si, pnru servir d Dios y vous and lurking-i)laces of its vagabond 

ft la bueiia t/enle." (Novelas, Tom. E po])ulation. (p. 75.) Among these Sc- 

]». 23rj.) And, again, the scene (pp. ville was pre-eminent. Guevara, when 

242 --247) where Hinconete and Corta- he describes a community like that of 

dillo are n-ceived among the robbers, Monijiodio, places it, as Cervantes does, 

and tiiat (pp. 254, 255) where two of in Seville. Dial)lo Cojuelo, Trance 

the shameless women of the gang are IX. 

very anxious to provide candles to .set '" Coarse as it i.s, however, tlie "Tia 
up as devout olferings before their pa- Fingida" was found, with " Kinrunete 
tron .saints, are hardly less hajipy, and y Cortadillo," and several other tales 
are perfectly true to the cliaiacters rep- and miseellanies, in a manu.script col- 
resented. Indeeil, it is ))lain from this lection of stories and trifles made 1606- 
tale, anil from several of the Entrenie- 1610, fur the amusement of the Arch- 
.ses of Cervantes, that he wa.s familiar bishoji of Seville, D. Fernando Nin'. de 
with the life of the rogues of his time. Ouevaia ; and long afterwards carefully 
Fermin Caballero, in a jdeasant tract preserved by the Jesuits of St. Hernie- 
on the f;eograj)hical Knowledge of Cer- negild. A castigated coi)y of it was 
vantes,(I'ericia Geograficade Cervantes, printed by Arrieta in his " Es]i{ritu de 

Chai'. XI.] 



are all fresh iVoni the * raey soil of the national * 123 
character, as that character is found in Anda- 
lusia ; and are written with an idiomatic richness, 
a s})irit, and a grace, which, though they are the oldest 
tales of their class in Spain, have left them ever since 
without successful rivals. Ten editions of them were 
pul)lished in nine years. 

In 1(314, the year after they appeared, Cervantes 
printed his "Journey to Parnassus"; a satire in ter?:a 
rliitd, divided into eight short chapters, and written in 
professed imitation of an Italian satire, by Cesare 
Caporali, on the same subject and in the same meas- 
ure.^^ Tlie poem of Cervantes has little merit. It 
is an account of a summons by Apollo, requiring all 
good poets to come to his assistance for the purpose of 
driving all the bad poets from Parnassus, in the course 
of which Mercury is sent in a royal galley, allegoricallj 

Myuel de Cervantes" (Madrid, 1814, 
12nio) ; but the Prussian ambassador 
in Spain, if I mistake not, soon after- 
wards obtained possession of an unal- 
tered copy, certified by Navarrete to be 
exact, and sent it to Berlin, where it 
was published by the famous Greek 
scholar, Y. A. Wolf, first in one of the 
periodicals of Berlin, and afterwards in 
a separate pamphlet. (See his Vorhe- 
richt to the " Tia Fingida, Novela in- 
edita de Miguel de C'ervantes Saavedra," 
Berlin, 1818, 8vo. ) It has since been 
printed in Spain with the other tales of 

An acute, characteristic criticism of 
the "Tia Fingida," by D. Bart. Jose 
Gallardo, may be found in the first num- 
ber of his "Criticon," 1835; giving, 
among other curious matter, improved 
readings of it in .several places. 

Some of the tales of Cervantes were 
translated into English as early as 1640 ; 
but not well into French, I think, till 
Viardot published his translation (Paris, 
1838, 2 tom. 8vo). Even he, however, 
did not venture on the obscure puns 
and jests of the " Licenciado Vidriera," 
a fiction of which Moreto made use in 
his play of the same name, representing 
vol,, ri. 10 

the Licentiate, however, as a feigned 
madman and not as a real one, and 
showing little of the humor of the origi- 
nal conception. (Comedias Escogidas, 
Madrid, 4to, Tom. V. 1653.) Under 
the name of " Leocadie," there is a poor 
abridgment of the " Fuerza de la San- 
gre," by Florian. The old English 
tran.slation by Mabbe (London, 1640, 
folio) is said by Godwin to be " perhaps 
the most perfect specimen of proses 
translation in the English language." 
(Lives of E. and J. Pliilips, Loudon, 
1815, 4to, p. 246.) The praise is ex- 
cessive, but the translation is certainly 
very well done. It, however, extends 
only to six of the tales. 

1" The first edition is in small duo- 
decimo, (Madrid, 1614,) 80 leaves ; bet- 
ter piinted, I think, than any other of 
his woi'ks that were published under 
his own care. Little but the opening 
is imitated from Cesare Caporali's "Vi- 
aggio in Parnaso," which is only about 
one fifth as long as the poem of Cer- 
vantes. The " Viag(! del Pai'uaso " had 
no success. Unless there is an edition 
of Milan, 1624, which 1 know only from 
N. Antonio, none appeared after the 
first, I believe, till 1736. 

14G TlIK VIAUK DKl- PAiJXASO. [rj:i;i(>i. H. 

])uilt and rigg'ed with dilU'ronl kinds ol" verses, to Cer- 
vantes, who. beini;- confidentially consulted about the 
Spanisli poets tliat ean l)e trusted as allies in the war 
against bad taste, has an opportunity of speaking his 
opinion on wliatever relates to the poetry of his time. 

The most interesting part is the fourth cliapter. 
in which he slightly notices the works he has himself 
written.^'' and com])lains. with a gayety that at 
* 124 least proves *' his good-humor, of the poverty 
and neglect with which they have been re- 
warded.-" It may be dilhcult, perhaps, to draw a line 
between such feelings as Cervantes here very strongly 
expresses, and the kindred ones of vanity and pre- 
sumption ; but yet, when his genius, his Avants, and his 
manlv strui2:o:les against the gravest evils of life are 
considered, and when to this are added the light- 
heartedness and simplicity with which he always 
speaks of himself, and the indulgence he always shows 
to others, fcAV will complain of him for claiming with 
some boldness honors that had been coldly withheld, 
and to whic-h he felt that he was entitled. 

At the end he has added a humorous jn-ose dialogue, 
called the " Adjunta," defending his dramas, and attack- 
ing the actoi's who refused to represent them. He 
says that he had prepared six full-length plays, and six 
Entremeses, or farces; l)ut that the theatre liad its 

^^ .Vmonp thoni he sjicaks of many FcniinKU'z, Madrid, 179(5, Svo, Tom. 

ballads tliat lie had written : — XVI. j). 17.'). Jlayans, Vida <lc Cer- 

Yo hceompiie>;to Uonianres infinitos, vantes, I\0. ](>4. 

Y <-l deIosZc"losoKa(nicl (lueeftinio 20 ^jioHo tidls llim, (Viagc, cd. 1784, 

Entre otros, (jue los U;ngo por nialditos. ^ 55 ) 

All these are lost, except such as may " Mas si (|iiieres salinle tu iiucrclla. 
l)c found scattered througli his longer AU'^^r.. v n.. ronfuso y consolaa.. 

, , 1-111 Dohia tu i-apa v sifiitate sobrc clla. 

works, and some Whicil have been SUS- Que U.l vo/. sudeun venturoso estado, 
)ie.cted to be his in tin- Koniancero Gen- Qimndo le niejiii sin razon la suerte, 

eral. ("lemencin, notes to his e(l. of , Honnir mas memido quf alcanzado " 
r. ,-1 • . rp Til — 1 ri- .-t-i I ' Bicn parcce, Soiior, (lue no se adricrto, ' 

Don Quixote, Tom. III. pp. 15b, 214. I... r...!.pnn,li, " ,,uc J" noten^'ocnpa - 

Colecciou de Poesuus dc Don lianion El dixo: "Aunquu sea a«i, gusto de verte.'' 


pensioned poets, und so took no note of liiin. The 
next _ve;ir, liowever, when their lunnher had become 
eight phiys and eight Entrenieses, he fonnd a ])ul)hsher, 
thongh not without diliicnlty ; for the bookseller, as 
he saj^s in the Preface, had been warned by a noble 
anthor, that from his prose nineli might l)e hoped, but 
from his poetry nothing. And truly his position in 
relation to the theatre was not one to be desired. 
Thirty years had passed since lie liad himself been 
a successful writer for it ; and the twenty or more 
pieces he had then produced, some of which he men- 
tions anew with great complacency,"^ were, no 
doubt, long since forgotten. * In the interval, * 125 
as he tells us, " that great prodigy of nature, 
Lope de Vega, had raised himself to the monarchy of 
the theatre, subjected it to his control, and placed 
all its actors under his jurisdiction ; filled the world 
with becoming plays, happily and well written ; . . . . 
and if any persons (and in truth there are not a 
few such) have desired to enter into competition with 
him and share the glory of his labors, all they have 
done, when put together, would not equal the half of 
what has been done by him alone." ^^ 

21 The "Confu.sa" was eviik'iitly his talla Naval," which, from its name, 

favorite among these eailiei- pieces. In contained, I think, his personal ex- 

the Viage he says of it, — periences at the fight of Lepanto, as 

Soj' por quicn La Confusa nada fea the " Trato de Argel " contained those 

Pareci J en los teatros admirable ; q^ Algiers, 

and in the "Adjunta" he says, "De -^ After alluding to his earlier efforts 

la f^ue mas me precio fue ?/ es, de una on the stage, Cervantes goes on in the 

llamada La Confusa, la qual, con paz Prologo to his new plays : "Tuveotras 

sea dieho, de quantas comedias de capa cosas en que ocuparme ; dexe la pluma 

y espada hasta hoy se han representado, y las comedias, y entro luego el mon- 

bien pucde tener lugar senalado jior struo de naturaleza, el gran Lope de 

buena entre las mejores." This boast, Vega, y alzose con la monarquia comica ; 

it should ))e remembered, was made in avasallo y pnso debaxo de su juris- 

1614, when Cervantes had i)rinted the diccion a todos los Farsantes, lleno el 

First Part of the Don Quixote, and mundo de Comedias proprias, felices y 

when Lope and his school were at the bien razonadas ; y tantas que ])a,ssan de 

height of their glory. It is ])robable, diez mil jiliegos los que tiene escritos, 

however, tliat we, at the present tlay, y todas (que es una de las mayores 

should be more curious to see the " Ba- cosas que puedc decii'se) las ha visto 


The number of these writers for the stage in 1G15 
was. as Cervantes intimates, very considerable ; and 
when he goes on to enumerate, an.ong the more suc- 
cessful, Mira de Mescna, Guillen de Castro, Aguilar, 
Luis Velez de Guevara, Caspar de Avila, and several 
others, we perceive, at once, that the essential dh^ection 
and character of the Spanish drama were at last 
determmed. Of course, the free field open to liiui 
when he composed the plays of his j'outh was now 
closed ; aiid as he wrote from the pressure of w^ant, he 
conld venture to write onl^^ according to the models 
triumphantly established by Lope de Vega and his 

The -eight plays or Comedias he now produced w^ere, 
therefore, all composed in the style and in the forms 
of verse already fashionable and settled. Their subjects 
are as various as the subjects of his tales. One of 
them is a rifacimento of his " Trato de Argel," and 
is curious, because it contains some of the materials, 
and even occasionally the very phraseology, 
* 126 of the story * of the Captive in Don Quixote, 
and l)ecause Lope de Vega thought fit after- 
wards to use it somewhat too freely in the composition 
of his own " Esclavos en x\rgel."^^ Much of it seems 
to be founded in fi\ct ; among the rest, the deplorable 
martyrdom of a child in the third act, and the repre- 

representar, u oido decir (por lo menos) of othei-s aftei-ward ; and ends with a 

que se han reprcseiitado ; y si algunos, Moorish wedding and a Christian mar- 

(((ue hay nmcli(js) han querido entrar tyi'dom. (See ante. Chap. X.) He 

a la parte y .i^loria th- sus trabajos, todos says of it himself : — 
juntos no llegan en lo que han escrito No de la jmaginacion 

a la mitad de lo que el solo," etc. Este trato f-e i^acj 

•M mi • 1 1 ■ 1 / > i. 11 Q"<-' la vcnlad lo fraeuo 

^ This play, which ( ervantes calls gj^,, 1pj„, j^, i,^ ^^^-^^^ 

" Los Baiios de Argel," (Coinedia.s, p. 186. 

1749, Tom. I. p. 125,) opens with the tJj^, y(.^\^j,\ resemblances between the 

landing of a I^Ioorish corsair on the ^i^^ .^,,,1 ^j^^. j^^i-y ^f the Captive are 

coast of Valencia ; gives an account of ehietlv in the first jormida of the play, 

the suffei-ings of the captives taken in ^s colnpared with Don Quixote, Parte 

this descent, as well as the sufleiings j_ ^ ^q^ 


seiitatioii of one of the Coloquios or farces of Lope de 
Rueda by the slaves in their prison-yard. 

Another of the plays, the story of which is also said 
to be true, is " El Gallardo Espanol," or The Bold Span- 
iard.^^ Its hero, named Saavedra, and therefore, per- 
haps, of the old family into which that of Cervantes 
had long before intermarried, goes over to the Moors 
for a time, from a point of honor about a lady, but 
turns out at last a true Spaniard in everything else, as 
well as in the exaggeration of his gallantry. " The 
Sultana" is founded on the history of a Spanish cap- 
tive, who rose so high in the favor of the Grand Turk, 
that she is represented in the play as having become, 
not merely a favorite, but absolutely the Sultana, and 
yet as continuing to be a Christian, — a story which 
was readily believed in Spain, though only the first 
part of it is true, as Cervantes must have known, since 
Catharine of Oviedo, who is the heroine, was his con- 
temporary.^^ The " Rufian Dichoso " is a Don 
* Juan in licentiousness and crime, who is con- * 127 
verted and becomes so extraordinary a saint, 
that, to redeem the soul of a dying sinner. Dona Ana 
de Trevino, he formally surrenders to her his own 
virtues and good works, and assumes her sins, be- 

-* The part we should least willingly Que mi peligro es notorio, 

suppose to be true — that of a droll, ?i ya no estais en estas horas 

.' ^ . ... , , , ,, ', Durmienao en el aormitono. 

roistering soldier, who gets a shameiul Tom. I. p- 34. 

subsistence by begging for souls in Pur- , , , , , , , . ■ ■ ^ ■ ,_ ,_ 

gatory, and spending on his own glut- f^^\''^ "^'''l}' -^^^^ ^^i« principal intent 

tony the alms he receives — is particu- ^'^''"' Mezxlar verdades 

larly vouched for by Cervantes. ' ' Esto con fabulosos inten'tor 

de i)edir para las animas es cuento ver- mi r. ■ i -i ^ ■ r ,i ^ n 

dadero, qiie yo lo vl." How so indecent Jhe Spanish doctrine of the play - all 

an exhibition on the stage could be per- f°' ,\°^« /'"^ / ,°''^~ ^\ •''*'" V'V^'''^'^^ 

mitted is the wonder. Once, for in- ^"^ *^^ .*^'° following lines from the 

stance, when in great personal danger, ^'^'^^"^ ■^^^'^^^'^ • " 

he prays thus, as if he had read the Que por reynar y por amor no hay culpa, 

' ' Clouds " of Aristophanes : — ^""^ °° *^"^'' P'^'"''"" ' ^ ''^"^ '^'^^"'"^- 

2= Se vino A Constantinopla, 
Animas de Purgatorio 1 Creo el aiio de seiscientos. 

Favoreced me, Senoras 1 Jor. III. 


filming anew, through inc're(hhlo siin'erhigs, the career 
of penitence and reformation ; all of which, or at least 
M'hat is the most o-ross and revoltino- in it. is declared 
by Cervantes, as an e^'e-witness, to be true.-'' 

The remaining four pla\'s are no less various in their 
subjects, and no less lawless in the modes of treating 
them ; and all the eight are divided into three j'ornadas, 
Avhich Cervantes uses as strictly synonymous with 
acts.-' All preserve the character of the Fool, who in 
one instance is an ecclesiastic,^ and all extend over 
any amount of time and space that is foimd convenient 
to the action; the " Rufian Dichoso," for instance, 
beginning in Seville and Toledo, during the youth of 
the hero, and ending in Mexico in his old age. The 
personages represented are extravagant in their num- 
ber, — once amounting to above thirtv. — and among 
them, besides every variety of human existences, are 
Demons, Souls in Purgatory, Lucifer, Fear, Despair, 
Jealousy, and other similar phantasms. The truth is, 
Cervantes had renounced all the principles of the 
drama which his discreet canon had so gravely set 
forth ten years earlier in the First Part of Don Quixote; 
and noAV, wdiether with the consent of his will, or only 
with that of his poverty, we cannot tell, but, as may 
be seen, not merely in the plays themselves, but in 
a sort of induction to the second act of the Kufian 

-'' The f'huicli prayers on tlie sta^e '^^ He uses the words as convertil)li'. 

ill this play, and esjiecially in Jornada Tom. I. i)p. 21, 22; Tom. II. p. 2.5, 

II., and the sort of legal contract used etc. 

to ti-ansfer the merits of the healthy "■* In the " Banos de Argel," where 

saint to the dying sinner, are among he is sometimes indecorous enough, as 

the revolting exhihitions of the Span- when, (Tom. I. ]>. 151,) giving the 

ish drama which at first seem inexpli- Moors the reason why his old general, 

eahle, but which any one who reads far Don John of Austria, does not come to 

ill it easily understands. Cervantes, in .subdue A]gier.s, he sa3^s : — 
many parts of this strange play, avers 

the truth of what he thus represents. Sin du.la que, en el cielo, 

<<rn 1 J. r ' 1 1 !• <ini Debia de hiilier tn".in giierra, 

iayiiig, "Todoe.stofue verdad ;' Jo- Do el fJeneral falt.iba, 

do esto fue asf " ; " .\<i' '^c c\iciit;i en su Y 4 Don .luan se llevaron para serlo. 
hi.storia," etc. 


Dichoso, lie had * f'ull\' and knowingly adopted * 128 
the draniatie theories of Lope's school. 

The ei<>ht Entrenieses are better than the ei^-ht full- 
length plays. They are short farces, generally in j 
prose, with a slight plot, and sometimes with none, 
and were intended merely to amuse an audience in the 
intervals between the acts of the longer pieces. "^ The 
Spectacle of Wonders," for instance, is only a series of 
practical tricks to frighten the persons attending a. \ 
puppet-show^, so as to persuade them that they see ' 
wdiat is reallv not on the staije. '" The Watchful 
Guard" interests us, because he seems to have drawni 
the character of the soldier from his own ; and the 
date of 1611, which is contained in it, may indicate the 
time when it was written. " The Jealous Old Man " is 
a reproduction of the tale of " The Jealous Estremadu- 
rian," with a different and more spirited conclusion. 
And the " Cueva de Salamanca " is one of those jests 
at the expense of husbands which are common enough 
on the Spanish stage, and were, no doubt, equally 
common in Spanish life and manners. All, indeed, 
have ;in air of truth and reality, wdiich, whether they 
were founded in fact or not, it was evidently the 
author's purpose to give them. 

But there was an insuperable difficulty in the way 
of all his efforts on the stage. Cervantes had not , 
dramatic talent, nor a clear perception how dramatic I 
efiects were to be produced. From the time when he 
wrote the " Trato de Argel," which was an exhibition 
of the sufferings he had himself witnessed and shared 
in Algiers, he seemed to suppose that whatever was 
both absolutely true and absolutely striking could be 
produced with effect on the theatre ; thus confounding 
the province of romantic fiction an<l story-telling with 



[Peuidu 11. 

that of tlieatricul representjitioii, and often relying on 
trivial incidents and an liinnble style for effects which 
could be produced only by ideal elevation and inci- 
dents so combined by a dramatic instinct as to produce 
a dramatic interest. 

This Avas, probably, owing in part to tlie different 

direction of his original genius, and in pait 
* 120 to the condition * of the theatre, which in his 

youth he had found open to every kind of ex- 
periment and really settled in nothing. But whatever 
may have been the cause of his failure, the failure 
itself lias been a great stumbling-block in the way of 
♦Spanish critics, who have resorted to somewhat violent 
means in order to prevent the reputation of Cervantes 
from being burdened with it. Thus, Bias de Nasarre, 
the king's librarian, — who, in 1749, published the 
fii'st edition of these unsuccessful dramas that had ap- 
peared since they were printed above a century earlier, 
— would persuade us, in his Preface, that they were 
written l>y Cervantes to parody and caricature the 
theatre of Lope de Vega ; -^ though, setting aside all 

■^ Sec tlio early jwit of tlu' " Prologo 
<lel (jue hace iiiipriiuii'." 1 am not cer- 
tain that Bias de Nasarre was perfectl)' 
fair in all this ; for he printed, in 1732, 
an edition of Avellaneda's continuation 
(if Don Qnixote, in tlic Preface to which 
lie says that he thinks the character of 
Avellanedn's Sancho is more natnial 
tiian that of Cei'vantes's Sancho ; that 
the Second Part of Cervantes's Don 
Quixote is taken from Avellaneda's ; 
and that, in its essential merits, the 
work of Avfdlaneda is eipial to that of 
Cervantes. "No se puede dis])Utar," 
lie .says, " la f^loria de la invencion do 
Cervaiiti-s, aunipK! no cs inferior la de 
la iniitacioii de. Avellanc^da " ; to which 
he adds afterwards, " Es cierto (jue es 
nece.sario mayor esfnerzo de inf^enio 
para afiadir a las primeras invenciones, 
<pie jiara hacerlas." (See As-ellaneda, 
JJon Quixote, Madrid, 180r>, l-2iiio. 

Tom. I. ]>. 34.) Now, the Jidcio, or 
Preface, from wliich these opinions art- 
taken, and which is really the work of 
Na.sarre, is announced by him, not as 
liis own, lint as tlnr work of an anony- 
mous friend, jirecisely as if he were not 
willing to avow such opinions under his 
own name. (Pellicer's Vida de Cer- 
vantes, ed. Don Quixote, I. |). clxvi.) 
In this way a disingenuous look is given 
to what would otherwise have been only 
an al)siirdity ; and what, taken in con- 
nection with this rejirint of Cervantes's 
poor dramas and the Preface to tlieni, 
seems like a willingness to let down tin; 
reputation of a genius that Nasarn; 
could not comjireliend. 

It is intimated, in an anonymous 
pamphlet, called " Examen Critico di-l 
Tomo Primero del Anti(iuixote," (Ma- 
drid, ISOii, l-2mo,) that Nasarre had 
sviiioatliies with AvclJaiicda as an Ara- 




tluit at oiico presents itself iVoin the personal relations 
of the parties, nothing ean be more serious than the 
interest Cervantes took in the fate of his plays, and the 
confidence he expressed in their dranuitic merit ; while, 
at the same time, not a line has ever been pointed 
out as a paiody in any one of them.''" 

*This position being untenable, Lani])illas, * 130 
who, in the latter part of the last century, wrote 
ii lonu' defence of Spanish literature ai2:ainst the sui»-o'es- 
tions of Tiraboschi and Bettinelli in Italy, gravely main- 
tains that Cervantes sent, indeed, eight plays and eight 
Entremeses to the booksellers, but that the booksellers 
took the liberty to change them, and printed eight others 
with his name and Preface. It should not, how^ever, be 
forgotten that Cervantes lived to prepare two works 
after this, and if such an insult had been ojffered him, 
the country, judging from the way in which he treated 
the less gross oflence of Avellaneda, would have been 
tilled with his reproaches and remonstrances;^^ 

^oiiese ; and tlie pamphlet in uncstion 
being mulevstood to be the work of J. 
A. Pellieer, the editor of Don Quixote, 
this intimation deserves notice. It may 
be a(Uled, that Nasan'e belonged to the 
French school of the eighteenth centnry 
in Sjiain, — a school that saw little 
merit in the older Spanish drama. His 
remarks o!i it, in his preface to Cer- 
vantes, nnd on the contemporary Eng- 
lish school of comedy, show this plainly 
enough, and leave no donbt that his 
knowledge upon the whole sul)ject was 
inconsiderable, and his taste as bad as 
it well could be. 

3'^ The extravagant opinion, that these 
])lays of Cervantes were written to dis- 
credit the plays then in ftishion on the 
stage, just as the Don Quixote was writ- 
ten to discredit the fashionable books 
of chivalry, did not pass uncontradicted 
at the time. The year after it was 
published, a pamphlet appeared, enti- 
tled "La Sinrazon imj)ugnada y Beata 
de Lavapies, Colocpiio (Jritico apuntado 
al disparatado Prologo ([ue sirve de de- 

lantal (segun nos dice su Autoi') a las 
Coniedias de Miguel de Cervantes, com- 
puesto poi' Don Josej)!! Carrillo " (Ma- 
drid, 17.50, -ito, pp. 25). It is a spir- 
ited little tract, chiefly devoted to a 
defenci! of Lope and of Calderon, though 
the point about Cervantes is not for- 
gotten (pp. 13-15). But in the same 
year a longer work appeared on the 
same side, called " Discur.so Critico 
sobre el Origen, Calidad, y Estado pre- 
sente de las Comedias de Espana, con- 
tra el Dictamen que las supone cor- 
rompidas, etc., por un Ingenio de (!sta 
Corte" (Madrid, 1750, 4to, p]). 285). 
The author was a lawyer in Madrid, I). 
Thomas Zabaleta, and he writes with a.s 
little jdiilosophy and judgment as the 
other Spanish critics of his time ; but 
he treats Bias de Nasarre with small 

^1 " Ensayo Historico-apologetico de 
la Literatura Espailola," Madrid, 1789, 
8vo, Tom. VI. pp. 170, etc. "Supri- 
miendo las (|ue verdaderamcnte eran de 
el," are the bold words of the critic. 


Nothing remains, tliereibre, but to coniess — what 
seems, indeed, to be quite incontestable — that Cer- 
vantes wrote several phiys which fell seriously below 
-what might have been hoped from him. Passages, 
indeed, may l)e found in them where his o-enius asserts 
itself '• The Labyrinth of Love," for instance, has a 
chivalrous air and plot that make it interesting ; ;ind 
the Entremes of ''The Pretended Bisca3'an " contains 
."Specimens of the peculiar humor with which we always 
associate the name of its author. Others are marked 
with the poetical genius that never deserted him. 
But it is quite too probable that he had made u\) 
his mind to sacrifice liis own opinions respecting the 
drama to the popular taste ; and if the constraint he 
thus laid upon himself was one of tlie causes of his fail- 
ure, it only affords another groimd for our inter- 
* 131 est in the fate of one whose * whole career was 
so deeply marked with trials and calamity .*- 
But the life of Cervantes, w^th all its troubles and 
sufferings, was now fast drawing to a close. In Octo- 
ber of the same year, 1615, he published the Second 
Part of his Don Quixote ; and in its Dedication to the 
Coimt de Lemos, who had for some time flivored him.*^ 
he alludes to his failing health, and intimates that he 
hardly looked for the continuance of life bej'ond a few 
months. Ilis spirits, however, which had survived his 
sufferings in the Levant, at Algiers, and in prisons at 

■« Tlioro <aii !•(• littlo doubt, I tliiiik, Cervantf-s ; the most agreeable proof of 

that this \v;us the case, if wc conii)ar(t wliich is to 1k' found in the Dedication 

the o])inions expressed by the canon on of the Second Part of Don Quixote, i 

tlie subject of the drama in the 48th am afraid, however, that tlieir favor 

chapterof the First Pait of Don Quix- was a little too much in the nature of 

ote, HJO.o, and the opinions in the alms. Indeed, it is called liwosua the 

opening of the secon<l jonuala of the only time it is known to be mentioned 

"liufian Dichoso," IGl.'J. by any contemporary of Cervantes. See 

»* It h;ia been generally concede<I Sala.s ' P>arbadillo, in the Dedication of 
that die Count de Lemos and the Arch- the " Estafeta del Dios Momo," Ma- 
bishop of Toledo r.v..' I I i^>i-,tc-d drid, 1G27, \2u\o. 


home, and which, as he approached his seventieth 
year, had been sufficient to produce a work hke the 
Second Part of Don Quixote, did not forsake him, 
now that his strength was wasting away under the 
inlhience of disease and okl n^e. On the contrary, 
with unabated vivacity he urged forward his I'omance 
of " Persiles and Siu'ismunda" : anxious onh' that hfe 
enougrh shouhl ))e allowed him to finish it, as the last 
offering of his gratitude to his generous patron. In 
the spring he went to Esquivias, where was the little 
estate he had received with his wife, and after his re- 
turn wrote a Preface to his unpublished romance, full 
of a delightfid and simple humor, in which he tells a 
pleasant story of being overtaken in his ride back to 
Madrid by a medical student, who gave him much 
good advice about the dropsy, under which he was 
suffering ; to which he replied that his pulse had al- 
ready warned him that he was not to live beyond the 
next Sunday. " And so," says he, at the conclusion of 
this remarkaljle Preface, '' farewell to jesting, farewell 
my merry humors, farewell my gay friends, for I feel 
that I am dying, and have no desire but soon to see 
you happy in the other life." 

* In this temper he prejjared to meet death, * 132 
<as many Catholics of strong religious impres- 
sions were accusttmied to do at that time;'^^ and. on 
the 2d of April, entered the order of Franciscan friars, 
wdiose habit he had assumed three years before at Al- 
cala. Still, however, his feelings as an author, his 

34 " ^Vho, to be sure of Paradise, for he makes liis reliLnou.s manieLl man 

Dying put on the weeds of Dommic, + ,11 rn,„ ^■^, <- 1 ■ 1 ii i 1 u 

Or in Franciscan think to pass disguised- *'?^ Cliaroii that oil his death-bed, when 

\if->„ .„ A',1 1 ' . u-1 1 4.1 4,1 "IS friends asked hhn to imt on the 

Allonho \ aides — it he be the author i,„k;4- ,f uj. t? • i 1 ..i 

f>f +I10 ..a..,..,.i-oKi„ "r^- 1 1 i\r • nabit 01 St. 1< rancis, he answered them : 

01 tne remarkable " Uialogo di^ Meruurio ,(Tr i, • i. 1 

y Caron," about 1.530 (s"e ant,-., Chap. • H«-"'a»os, ya sabeis quanto me guardc. 

v., note 42) - had notions on this sub- '''""l^.^'" '^' '''^«^"'"- '' ""'«^"^° ' l''"'^ '1"'= 
ject such as Milton had, and much <V^^r' ^ ^'^}^ ^''!^''' '""S^^^' 
wiser notions than tlios.. of Cervantes ; ^ ^'°' " ^^- ^^''^^' ^'- ^ ' - 



vivacity, and his personal gratitude did not deseit 
luui. On the 18th of April he received the extreme 
unction, and the next day wrote a Dedication of his 
'• Persiles and Sigismunda "' to the Count de Lenios, 
marked, to an extraordinary degree, with his natural 
humor, and with the solemn thoughts that hecanie his 
situation.'' Tlie last known act of his life, therefore, 
shows that he still })ossessed his faculties in perfect 
serenity, and four days afterwards, on the 23d of 
April, 1016, he died, at the age of sixty-eight.^^ He 
was huried, as he probably had desired, in the convent 
of the Xims of the Trinity ; Ijut a few years afterwards 
this convent was removed to another part of the city, 
and what became of the ashes of the greatest genius 
of his country is, from that time, wholly unknown.^' 

^ Tlie only case I recollect at all 
]iarall('l is that of the graceful Dedica- 
tion of Addison's works to his friend 
and successor in office, Secretary Craggs, 
which is dated June 4, 1719 ; thirteen 
days before his death. But the Dedi- 
cation of Cervantes is much more cor- 
dial and spirited. 

*' Bowie says (Anotaciones a Don 
Quixote, Salisi)ui'y, 1781, 4to, Pi-61ogo 
ix, note) that Cervantes died on the 
same day with Shakespeare ; but this 
is a mistake, the calendar not having 
then been altered in England, and there 
being, therefore, a difference between 
that and the Spanish calendar of ten 

^" Nor was any monument raised to 
Cervantes, in Spain, until 1835, when 
a bronze statue of hun larger than life, 
cast at Rome by Sola of Barcelona, was 
placed in the Plaza del Estamento at 
Madrid. (See El Artista, Madrid, 1834, 
183."., Tom. I. p. 20."j ; Tom. II. p. 12 ; 
and ScnianarioPiiitoresco, 1836, p. 249.) 
Of the head of this statue, 1 jiossess a 
beautiful copy, in marble, made by 
Sola himself in 18.5.0, for my friend Don 
Cnillcrmo Picanl, a Spaniard of no com- 
mon intellectual tastes and accomplish- 
jneiits, who pn-scntcd it to me in ]S.')9. 
Jiefore 183.'j I lM'li(;ve there was nothing 
that approached nearer to a monument 

in honor of Cervantes throughout the 
world than an ordinary medal of him, 
struck in 1818, at Paris, as one of a 
large series which would have been ab- 
surdly incomjdete without it ; and a 
small medallion or bust, that was ])laced 
in 1834, at the expen.se of an individual, 
over the door of the house in the Calle 
de los Francos, where he died. 

As to the true likeness of Cervantes 
— vcrd effi/fies — there has been a dis- 
cussion going on for nearly a hundred 
years, which is not likely soon to end. 
The portrait commonlj- current and ac- 
cepted derives its main authority from 
an old picture ]>elonging to the Koyal 
Spanish Academy, who prefixed an en- 
graving of it to their magnificent edi- 
tion of the Don Quixote in 1780 and 
ga\-e their rea.sons for it in the Prologo 
to that work (Sect, xvii-xx). Navar- 
rete, who went with his accustomed 
exactness and fidelity over the whole 
ground again, in his Life of Cervaiites, 
(Madrid, 1819, yi^. 196, 536-539,) was 
satisfied with this decision of the Acad- 
emy. Several other ])ortraits, however, 
have since been brought forward, but 
no one of them, I think, lias been 
found, in the judgment of the curious, 
to rest on sulJicient autliority. The 
la.st of thiiu, mid the one which, from 
the discussions that accompany it, comes 

ClIAI'. XI.] 




with soiuf ])n'ti'ii.sii)ii lidoi'c tlic world, 
i.s one prclixi'd to a collection of " Docu- 
nicutos Nuevos para ilustrar la Vida de 
Cervantes," published in 18(54 at Seville 
by Don Jose ^laria Asensio y Toletlo. 
The facts in tlie case, as he gives them, 
are these : — 

In 1850, Don Jose read an anonymous 
manuscript, whose date he does not 
intiniat(>, but which belonged to Don 
Rafael Monti of Siiville, and which was 
entitled " Relacion de Cosas de Se villa 
de 1591) a 1640." In this MS. he found 
a notice that, in ^ne of .six j)ictures 
painted by Francisco Paclieeo and Alon- 
so Vazijuez for the "C'asa (Jiaude de la 
Merced," there was a portrait of Cer- 
vantes with that of other persons who 
had been in Algiers, and that the pic- 
ture in question represented "los Pa- 
dres de la Redencion con cautivos." 
In 1864 Don Jose thinks that he found 
this statement comj)letely contirmed in 
a M.S. on the " Verdaderos Retratos de 
ilustres y memorables Varones por Fran- 
cisco Pacheco," setting forth that he 
had painted a picture of Father Juan 
Bernal, an eminent ecclesiastic (see aiife, 
p. 114, note) who had been in Africa. 
Don Jose then informs ns that these 
six pictures are in the " Musbo Pro- 
vincial" of Seville, and that one of 
them, "No. 19, San Pedro de Nolasco 
en lino de los pasos de su Vida," is, as 
he ])elieves, the one referred to, because 
he thinks that it sets forth the scene 
of an embarkation from Africa of Padres 
Redentores with ransomed captives, and 
that one of them, the barquiuv, or boat- 
man, with a boat-hook in his hand, is 
the figure of Cervantes and a true like- 
ness of him. Docunientos, pp. i, ii, iv, 
X, xi, 68-82. 

Setting aside all minor difficulties and 
objections to this theory, of which there 
are several, there are two others that 
seem to me to be decisive. 1. There is 
no reason to snppo.se that this "No. 
19" contains a likeness of Padre Ber- 
nal, who is not claimed to have been 
painted by Pacheco as part of this or of 
any other historical picture, but only 
as a portrait, — Pacheco's phrase being, 
"Yo le retrate." 2. Thfere is no rea- 
son to suppose that any picture which 
might contain a i)ortrait of Bernal would 
also contain a portrait of Cervantes, the 
two having never before been mentioned 

together. Now, as the I'ailure of cither 
of these po.stulates is fatal to the con- 
jecture of Don Jose, it does not seem 
needful to go further. 

Ilartzenbusidi, in a letter jirefixed to 
the " Documentos," (p. xvii,) thinks 
that the head of the ljii.rqiitr<i, and the 
head authorized by th(^ Academy as 
that of Cervantes, may represent the 
same person at different periods of life, 
— piiedot representar una persona, ec. ; 
and Don Jo.se (p. 87) seems to agree 
with Hai-tzenbu.sch. I do not, indeed, 
myself see the resemblance indicated 
between the two ; but, if there be any, 
tlie hirqncro's head would seem to coun- 
tenance the genuineness of that of the 
Academy, just so far as that of thi< 
bnrqucro is believed to represent Cer- 
vantes. It is admitted, however, that 
the handsome young boatman is very 
unlike the desciiption of himself gi\-en 
by Cervantes in the Prologo to his No- 
velas, 1613 ; while, on the other hanil, 
we cannot help agi-eeing with the cau- 
tions Navarrete, that the old yiicture 
of the Academy is " conforme en todo " 
with this very minute description. 
Villa, p. 196. 

The great misfortune in the case is, 
that the portrait of Cervantes which he 
himself, in the Prologo to his Novelas, 
tells us was painted by "el famoso 
Juan de Jauregui," is not known to 
exi.st, although it has been anxiously 
sought for. It seems to have been 
entirely satisfactory to Cervantes, and 
would have settled all ipiestions. See 
post. Vol. III. p. 34. 

It may not be amiss to add here, that 
in the description of his own person, so 
often referred to in this note, Cervantes 
says that he was a stutterer or stam- 
merer, tarlamuclo ; and that the expres- 
sion of the mouth in the portrait of th(^ 
Academy and in the statue of Sola 
seems to me to indicate this defect of 
utterance, just as it is indicated in the 
heads of Demosthenes that have come 
down to us from antiiiuity, and as it is 
indicated by the genius of Jliidiael An- 
gelo in his well-known statue of Mo.ses. 
(Visconti, Iconografia Greca, 8vo, Mi- 
lano, 1823, Tom. I. p. 335.) If I am 
right in this, it is a confirmation of the 
genuineness of the portrait sanctioned 
by the Academy. 

1 o« 

* C H A ? T E R XII. 




Six months after the death of Cervantes,^ the 

license for pubhshing " Persiles and Sigisniunda " was 

granted to his widow, and in 1617 it was 

* 134 ])rinted.'- His purpose * seems to have been 

1 At tlic time of his death Cervantes 
seems to have had tlie fon<)\viiig work.s 
more or h'ss prepared for the ])res.s, 
namely: "Las Semanas del Jardiii," 
announced as early as 1613 ; — the Sec- 
ond Part of "Galatea," announced in 
161.5 ; — the " Bernardo," mentioned in 
the Dedication of " Per.siles," just be- 
fore he died ; — and s-everal plays, re- 
ferred to in the Preface to those he 
published, and in the Api)endix to the 
"Yiagedel Parnaso." All the.se works 
aie now ])robably lost. Others have 
been attributed to him. Of the " P.u- 
scapie" I shall .speak in the Appendix, 
and of two apocryjihal cha))ters of Don 
Quixote in a note to this chapter. To 
these may be added a letter on .i ])()pu- 
lar festival, part of which is juinted in 
the twentieth volume of the Biblioteca 
de Autores Espaiioles, 1851, p. xxvii. 

'■^ The iirst e'dition of Per.siles y Sigis- 
niunda was printed with the following; 
title : " Los Traliajos de Persiles y 
Sigisinunda, Historia Setentrional, ])or 
M. de Cervantes Saavedra, dirit^ida," 
etc., Madrid, 1617, 8vo, por .hum de 
la Cuesta ; and rejnints of it api)eared 
in Valencia, I'amplona, Barcelona, and 
Brussels, tlie same year. I have a co])y 
of this first edition, and of the one 
]trinted at Pamplona the same year ; 
but the most af^reeable one is that of 
.Madrid, 18(i2, 8vo, 2 torn. There is 
an Knglish tran.slation by M. L., i)ub- 
lished 1619, which I have never seen ; 

Init from whicli I doubt not Fletcher 
borrowed the materials for that part 
of tlie Persiles which he has u.sed, or 
rather abused, in his " Custom of the 
Country," acted as early as 1628, but 
not printed till 1647 ; the A'ery names 
of the personages being sometimes the 
.same. See Persiles, Book 1. c. 12 and 
13 ; and compare Book II. c. 4 with 
tin; English ])lay. Act IV. scene 3, and 
Book III. c. 6, etc. with Act II. scene 
4, etc. Sometimes we have almost 
literal translations, like the follow- 
ing : — 

" Sois Ca.stellano ? " me pregiinto e.ii 
su lengua Portugue.sa. " No, Sehora," 
le respond! yo, "sino forastero, y bien 
lejos de e.sta tieira." " Pues aunque 
fuerades mil veees Ca.stellano," replico 
ella, "os librara yo, si jnidiei'a, y os 
librare si puedo ; subid ]>or cima deste 
lecho, y entraos deba.xo de este tapiz, y 
entraos en un hueco que aqui hallareis, 
y no OS movais, que si la justicia vi- 
niere, me tendni respeto, y creera lo 
(|ue yo quisiere decides." Persiles, 
Lib. ill. cap. 6. 

In Fletcher we have it as follows : — 

Giiioninr. \re you a Ciu«tilian ? 

Hiitilin Xo, Miidiini : Italy cUiims my birtli. 

(riii. I a.^ik not 
With piirpiisi' to betray you. If you were 
Ten thousand times a .Spaniard, the nation 
AVe I'ortujfals most hate, 1 yet would save you, 
If it lay in my power. Lift up these hanpngs; 
Reliind my beil's head there 's a hollow place, 
Into whicii enter. 

[Kutilio retires behind the bed. 


to write a serious romance, which should l)e to this 
species of composition what the Don Quixote is to 
comic I'omance. So much, at least, may be inferred 
from the manner in which it is spoken of In' himself 
and by his friends. For in the Dedication of the Sec- 
ond Part of Don (Quixote he says, '• It will Ije either 
the worst or the l)est book of amusement in the lan- 
iTuao'e " : addino-, tliat his friends thouo-ht it a(hni- 
rable ; and Valdivielso,'"^ after his death, said he had 
equalled or surpassed in it all his former efforts. 

But serious romantic fiction, which is peculiarly the 
offspring of modern civilization, was not 3et far 
enough developed to enable one like Cervantes to 
obtain a high degree of success in it, especially as the 
natural bent of his genius was to humorous fiction. 
The imaginary travels of Lucian, three or four Greek 
romances, and the romaTices of chivalry, were all he 
had to guide him ; for anj'thing approaching nearer 
to the proper modern novel than some of his own 
tales had not yet been imagined. Perhaps his first 
impulse was to write a romance of chivalry, modified 
by the spirit of the age, and free from the absurdities 
which abound in the romances that had been written 
before his time.* But if he had such a thought, the 

So; — but from this stir not. 8vo, Vol. XI. p. 239. The earlie.st 
If the officers come, as you expect they will do, trniislation T TPinVrnViPV to lvivt> '^I'cii o)' 
I knowthev owe such reverence to my lodgings, "ai'^iation 1 lemeniDtl to liaM S( ( 11 01 
That they will easily give credit to me the Peisile.s and blgismunda is 111 I" reiicll 
And .-iearch no further. hy Fmii(;ois de Ro.ssot, Paris, It!] S ; hut 
Act II. So. 4. ^jjg ^pg|- jg j^jj anoii_vmou.s one in tlie 
Other parallel passages might he pure.st English, (London, 1854,) under- 
cited ; but it should not be forgotten, stood to be by Miss L. D. Stanley ; but 
that there is one striking difference be- in which a good many passages, are 
tween the two ; for that, whcn^a-s the omitted, ex. gr. Book III. Chaps. VI., 
Persiles is a l)ook of great purity of VI 1., VI II., etc. I have also an Ital- 
thought and feeling, "The Custom of ian one by Francesco Ella, ijrinted at 
the Country" is one of the most inde- Venice, 1626. 

cent plays in the language ; so inde- ^ In the A|irobacion, dated Septein- 

eent, indeed, that Diyden rather boldly ber 9, 1616, ed. 1802, Tom. I. p. vii. 

says it is worse in this particular than * This may be fairly suspected from 

all his own jilays put together. Dry- the beginning of the 48th chapter of 

den's Works, Scott's ed., l^ondon, 1808, the First I'art of Don Quixote. 


success of his own Don Quixote almost necessarily 
prevented him from attempting to put it in execution. 
He therefore looked rather to the Greek romances, 
and. as I'ai' as he used any model, took the '* Theage- 

nes and Chariclea " of Ileliodorus/' He calls 
* 135 what he produced "A * Northern Romance." 

and makes its princi])al storv consist of the 
sufferinjxs of Persiles and Sio'isnnnida. — the lirst the 
son of a king of Iceland ; the second the daughter of 
a king of Friesland, — laying the scene of one half 
of his fiction in the North of Europe, and that of tlic^ 
other half in the South. lie has some faint ideas of 
the sea-kings and pirates of the Northern Ocean, hut 
very little of the geography of the countries that pro- 
duced them ; and as for his savage men and frozen 
islands, and the wild and strange adventures he ima- 
gines to have passed among them, nothing can he 
more fantastic and incredi))le. 

In Portugal, Spain, and Italy, through which his 
hero and heroine — disguised as thev are from first ta 
last . under the names of Periandro and Auristela — 
make a pilgrimage to Rome, we get rid of most of the 
extravagances which deform the earlier portion of the 
romance. The whole, however, consists of a lahyrinth 
of tales, sliowing, indeed, an imagination quite aston- 

^ Once lu' intimates that it is a trans- soon appeared in Spain. The iirst is 

lation, but does not say from what Ian- the " llistoiia >\v Uiixilito y Aniinta " 

{(uage. (See opening of Book II.) An of Franeisco de (i)uintana, (Madrid, 

acute and elegant critic of our own 1627, 4to, ) divith^d into eight books, 

time says, " Des naufrages, des deserts, witli a good deal of ])oetry intermixed, 

des descentes par mer, et des ravi.sse- Tlie otlier is " Eustorgio y Cloiilene, 

nients, c'e.st done toujours jjIus ou llistoria Mositovica," by Enri(|ue Sua- 

inoins I'ancien ronian d'Heliodore." rez ile .Mendoza y Figueroa, (n)29,) in 

(Sainte Beuve, C'nti(|ue.s, Paiis, 1839, thirteen book.s, with a hint of a con- 

8vo, Tom. IV. p. 173.) These words tiiniatioii ; Init my copy was printed 

describe more than half of the Pensiles f"arago(;a, 166.5, 4to. Both are writ- 

and Sigisnuinda. Two imitations of ten in bad taste, and have no value 

the Persiles, or, at any rate, two imi- as fictions. The latter seems to have 

tations of the Greek romance which been plainly suggested by the Per- 

wa.s the chief model of the, Persiles, siles. 

I'uAr. XII. J Till-: DOX QUIXOTE. 161 

ishiiig in an old man like Cervantes, already past his 
grand climacteric, — a man, too, who might be snp- 
posed to be ])i-oken down by sore calamities and in- 
cnrable disease ; l)iit it is a laljyrintli from which we 
are glad to be extricated, and we feel relieved when 
the labors and trials of his Persiles and Sigisnumda are 
over, and when, the obstacles to their love being re- 
moved, they are happily united at Rome. No doubt, 
amidst the multitude of separate stories with which 
this wild work is crowded, several are graceful in them- 
selves, and others are interesting because they con- 
tain traces of Cervantes's experience of life,*^ 
while, * through the whole, his style is more * 136 
carefully finished, perhaps, than in any other 
of his works. But, after all, it is fjir from being what 
he and his friends fimcied it was, — a model of this 
peculiar style of fiction, and the best of his efforts. 

This honor, if we may trust the uniform testimony 
of two centuries, belongs, beyond question, to his Don 
Quixote, — the work which, above all others, not 
merely of his own age, but of all modern times, bears 
most deeply the impression of the national character it 
represents, and has, therefore, in return, enjoyed a de- 
gree and extent of national favor never granted to any 
other." When Cervantes began to write it is wholly 

^ From the begimiiug of Book III., tiling else he wrote, we meet iiitima- 

we find that the action of Persiles and tions and passages from his own life. 

Sigisnumda is laid in the time of Philip Persiles and Sigisnumda, after all, was 

II. or Philip III., when there was a the most immediately snccessful of any 

Spanish viceroy in Lisbon, and the of the works of Cervantes. Kight edi"- 

travels of the hero and heroine in the tions of it appeared in two years, and 

Sonth of Spain and Italy seem to he, it was translated into Italian, French, 

in fact, Cervantes's own recollections of and Knglish, between 1618 and 1(526. 
the join-ney he made throngh the same '^ My own experience in Sjiain fully 

countries in his youth ; while CHiapters corroborates the suggestion of Inglis, in 

10 and 11 of P>ook III. show bitter his very pleasant book, (Kamliles in the 

traces of his Algerine captivity. His Footstejisof Don Qui.xote, London, 18:37, 

familiarity with Portugal, as .seen in 8 vo, p. 26, ) that "no Spaniard is entirely 

this work, should also be noticed. ignorant of Cervantes." At least, none 

Frequently, indeed, as in almost every- I ever questioned on the subject — and 

vol.. 11. 11 


uncertain. For twenty years precedin«j: the a])])ear- 
an;e of the First Part he printed ahnost nothing;^ 
and the little we know ol' him dnring that long and 
dreary period of his life shows only how he obtained a 
hard subsistence for himself and his family by common 
business agencies, which, we have reason to suppose, 
were generally of trilling importance, and which, we 
are sure, were sometimes distressing in their conse- 
C[uences. The tradition, thercfoic. of his ptM'secutions 
in La Mancha, and his own averment that the Don 
Quixote was begun in a prison, are all the hints we 
have received concerning the circumstances under 
which it was first imagined ; and that such circum- 
stances should have tended to such a result is a strik- 
ing fact in the history, not only of Cervantes, 
* 137 but of * the human mind, juid shows how difter- 
ent was his temperament from that commonly 
found in men of genius. 

His purpose in writing the Don Quixote has some- 
times been enlarged by the ingenuity of a refined 
criticism, until it has been made to embrace the 
whole of the endless contrast between the poetical 
and the prosaic m our natures, — between lierolsm 
and generosity on one side, as if the}^ were mere illu- 
sions, and a cold selfishness on the other, as if it were 
the truth and reality of life.^ But this is a meta- 
physical conclusion drawn from views of the work 

t]i(.'ir iimiiljcr was great in the lower scciiis to have Ikhmi wliolly occu])ieil in 
comlitions of society — seemed to be iiainful struggles to secure a subsist- 
entirely ignorant what sort of persons ence. 

were Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. ^ 'I'his idea is found jiavtly developed 

** He felt this himself as a dreary in- by Houteiwek, (('esehichte der Poesie 

terval in his life, for he says in his und IJercdsanikeit, (iottingen, 1S03, 

Prologo : "Al cabo de tantos anos co- 8vo, Tom. HI. ])p. ;}3.t - 337,) :inil fully 

mo lia, (jue dueiino en el silencio del set forth and defeuih'(l by Sismondi, 

olvido," etc. In fact, from l.')84 till with liis accustomeil elfxiuence. Lit- 

1605 he liad printed nothing ex(;ept a teratun- du Midi dc 1' Europe, Paris, 

few short poems of little value, and 1S13, Svo, Tom. HI. i)}). 331) -343. 


iit once inipcM't'cct ami exaggeratcHl ; contrary to the 
spirit of the age, which was not given to a satire so 
philosophical and generalizing, and contrary to the 
character of Cervantes himself, as we follow it from 
the time when he first became a soldier, through all 
his trials in Algiers, and down to the moment when 
his warm and trusting heart dictated the Dedication 
of " Persiles and Sigismunda " to the Count de Lemos. 
His whole spirit, indeed, seems rather to have been 
filled with a cheerful confidence in human virtue, and 
his whole bearing in life seems to have been a con- 
tradiction to that discouraging and saddening scorn 
for whatever is elevated and generous, which such 
an interpretation of the Don Quixote necessarily 

Nor does he himself permit us to give to his ro- 
mance any such secret meaning ; for, at the very 
beginning of the work, he announces it to be his 
sole purpose to break down the vogue and authority 
of~ books or~chivairy^ and, at the end of the whole, 
he declares anew, in his own person, that "he had 
had no other desire than to render abhorred of men the 
false and absurd stories contained in books of 
chivalry " ; ^^ exulting * in his success, as an * 138 

1° Many other interpretations have y en el vulgo tienen los libros de Cabal- 
been given to the Don Quixote. One lerias " ; and he end.s the Second Part, 
of the most ab.surd i.s that of Daniel ten year.s afterwards, with these I'e- 
De Foe, who declares it to be "an em- markable words : "iVo Im sido ot.ro vri 
blematic history of, and a just satire deseo, que poner en aborrecimiento de 
upon, the Duke de Medina Sidonia, a los hombres las fingidas y disparatadas 
person very remarkable at that time in historias de los libros de Caballerias, 
Spain." (Wilson's Life of De Foe, que por las de mi verdadero Don Quix- 
London, 1830, 8vo, Vol. III. p. 437, ote van ya tropezando, y han de caer 
rote.) The "Buscapie" — if there ever del todo sin duda alguna. Vale." It 
was such a publication — pretended that seems really hard that a gi-ear man's 
it set forth "some of the undertakings word of honor should thus be called in 
and gallantries of the Emperor Charles ([uestion by the spirit of an over-refined 
V." See Appendix (D). criticism, two centuries after his death. 

11 In the Prologo to the First Part, D. Vicente Salva has partly, but not 

he says, "No ■mira d mas que a deshacer wholly, avoided this difficulty in an in- 

la autoridad y cabida, que en el niundo genions and pleasant essay on the ques- 



achicvi'iiicnt of no siiiiill inoineiit. And siicli. in 
Diet, it was, for we lia\e al)Lindant proof that tlie 
fanaticism i'or these romances was so great in Sj^ain, 
(luring the sixteenth century, as to have become 
matter of ahirm to the more judicious. Many of 
the distinguished contemporary authors speak of its 
miscliiefs and anujng the rest Fernandez de Oviedo, the 
venerable Luis de Granada, Luis de Leon, Luis Vives, 
the great scholar, and Malon de Chaide, who wrote 
the eloquent '• Conversion of Mary Magdalen." ^ 
Guevara, the learned and fortunate courtier of 
Charles the Fifth, declares that " men did read 
nothing in his time Init such shameful books as 
" Amadis de Gaula,' ' Tristan,' ' Primaleon,' and the 
like " ; ^^ the acute author of '^ The I)ialoo;ue on 
Languages " says that " the ten years he passed at 
court he wasted in studying ' Florisando,' ' Lisuarte,' 
^ The Knight of the Cross,' and other such books, 
more than he can name " ; ^^ and from different 

tion, "Wliether the Don Quixote has 
yet been jiidgedacconling to its nieiits" ; 
— in wliich he maintains that Cervan- 
tes did not intend to satirize the sub- 
stance and essence of books of cliivah-y, 
but only to puif(e away their alisurdi- 
ties and iiiijiiobabilities ; and tliat, after 
all, he has given us substantially only 
another romance of the same class, 
which has ruined the fortunes of all its 
predecessors bj' being itself immensely 
in advance of them all. Ochoa, Ajmn- 
tes para una liiblioteca, Paris, 1S42, 
8vo, Tom. n. ].p. 723-740. 

^ See Oviedo, Hist. Ceneral y Natu- 
ral de la.s India.s, Eil. Kios, Torn. I. 
1851, p. xxix. Simbolu de la Fe, Parte 
II. cap. 17, near the end. J. P. For- 
ner, Keflexiones, etc., 1786, ])]•. 32-3.'). 
Conversion de la Mag<laleiia, 1.592, Pn')- 
logo al Letor. All live are strong in 
thi'ir censures ; a7id to thein may lie 
added .luaii Sanchez Valdi-s de la Plata, 
who in till- Prologo to his "Clironita 
del Hombre" (folio, 1.595), — a book 
yiacked full nf cnule learning on the 
destiny of man, his powers and his in- 

ventions, — saj's, that "young men and 
girl.s, and even tho.se of rijie age and 
estate, do wa.ste their time in reading 
books which with truth may be called 
sermon -books of Satan, full of debili- 
tating vanities and l)lazonries of the 
knighthoods of the Amadises and Es- 
plandians, with the rest of their crew, 
from which neither jiroht nor doctrine 
can be gathered, but such as makes 
theii- thoughts the abode of lies and 
false fancies, which is a thing the Devil 
doth much covet." It should be no- 
tic:ed, however, that Nicolas Antonio 
at the end of the .seventeenth century 
was by no means willing to give up books 
of chivalrv. See Preface to IJibliotheca 
Nova, § 27 . 

I'* " Vemos, que }'a no se ocupan los 
honibres sino en leer libios que cs af- 
frenta mmibrarlos, como son Amailis de 
(iaula, Tristan de Leonis, Primaleon," 
etc. Argument to the Aviso de Priva- 
df)s, Obras de Ant. de Guevara, Valla- 
dolid, 1545, folio, f. clviii, b. 

^* The jiassage is too long to be con- 
veniently cited, but it is very severe. 



sources we *'kiiow, what, indeed, we m{>y * 139 
gather from Cervantes hhnself, that many 
who read these fictions took them for true histo- 
ries.^^ At last they were deemed so noxious, that, 
in 1553, they were prohibited by hiw from being 
printed or sold in the American colonies, and in 
15^55" the same prohibition, and even the burning 
of all copies of them extant in Spain itself, was 
earnestly asked for by the Cortes.^*^ The evil, in 
fjxct, had become formidable, and the wise began to 
see it. 

To destroy a passion that had struck its roots so 
deeply in the character of all classes of men,^' to break 
up the only reading which at that time could be con- 
sidered widely popular and fashionable,^*^ was certainly- 

See Mcayans v Siscar, Origenes, Tom. 
II. pp. 157, 158. 

15 See ante. Vol. I. pp. 223-226. 
But, besides what is .said there, Fran- 
cisecf de Portugal, who died in 1632, 
tells us in his "Arte de Galanteria," 
(Lisboa, 1670, 4to, p. 96,) that Simon 
de Silveira (I suppo.se the Portuguese 
poet who lived about 1500, Barbosa, 
Tom. III. p. 722) once swore upon 
the Evangelists, tliat he believed the 
whole of the Amadis to be true his- 

I'' Clemencin, in the Preface to his 
edition of Don Quixote, Tom. I. pp. 
xi-xvi, cites many other proofs of the 
])assiou for books of chivalry at that 
jjcriod in Spain ; adding a reference to 
the " Recopilacion de Leyes de las In- 
dias," Lib. I. Tit. 24, Ley 4, for the 
law of 1553, and printing at length the 
very curious petition of the Cortes of 
1555, which I have not .seen anywhere 
else, except in the official publication 
of the "Capitulos y Leyes," (Vallado- 
lid, 1558, fol. Iv, b, ) and which would 
probably have produced the law it de- 
manded, if the abdication of the Em- 
peror, the same year, had not prevented 
all action upon the matter. 

1'' Allusions to the fanaticism of the 
lower classes on the subjci't of liooks 
of chivalry are happily introduced into 

Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 32, and in 
other places. It extended, too, to thos(! 
better bred and informed. Francisco 
de Portugal, in the "Arte de Galante- 
ria," cited in a preceding note, and 
written before 1632, tells the following 
anecdote : " A knight came home on(; 
day from the chase and found his wife 
and daughters and their women crying. 
Surprised and grieved, he asked them if 
any child or relation were dead. ' No,' 
they answered, suttbcated with tears. 
' Why, then, do you weep so ? ' he re- 
joined, still more amazed. 'Sir,' they 
replied, 'Amadis is dead.' They had 
read .so far." p. 96. 

^^ Cervantes himself, as his Don 
Quixote amply proves, must, at some 
period of his life, have been a devoted 
reader of the romances of chivalry. 
How minute and exact his knowledge 
of them was may be seen, among other 
passages, from one at the end of the 
twentieth chapter of Part First, where, 
S[>eaking of Ga.sabal, the esipiire of Ga- 
laor, he observes that his name is men- 
tioned but once in the history of Amadis 
of Gaul ; — a fact which the indefatiga- 
ble Mr. Bowie took the pains to verify, 
when reading that huge romance. See 
his "Letter to Dr. I'ercy, on a New 
and Classical Edition of Don Quixote," 
London, 1777, 4to, p. 25. 


u bold uiulertakiuci^, and one that marks anvthino; 
rather than a scoi-iii"id oi- l)roken spirit, or a want of 
faith in wliat is most to be valued in our common 
iTature. The great wonder is, that Cervantes 
* 140 succeeded. But that he did, there is no * ques- 
tion. JS^o bo ok of chivalry was written after 
the appearance of Don Quixote,, in 160-3; and from the 
same date, even those already enjoying the greatest 
favor ceased, with one or two unimportant exceptions, 
to be reprinted ; ^^ so that, from that time to the 
present, they have been constantly disappearing, until 
they are now among the rarest of literary curiosities ; 
— a solitary instance of the power of genius to destroy, 
by a single well-timed blow, an entire department, and 
that, too, a flourishing and favored one, in the litera- 
ture of a great and proud nation. 

The general plan Cervantes adopted to accomplish 
this object, without, perhaps, foreseeing its whole 
course, and still less all its results, was simple as well 
as original. In 160-3,-^' he pu])lislied the First Part of 
Don Quixote, in which a country gentleman of La 
Mancha — full of o-enuinc Castilian honor and enthu- 
siasm, gentle and dignified in his character, trusted by 

^^ In tlie comjueiitary of Faria y iiiaik of Ck-moiicin, liowevcv, there are 
Sousa on the Lusiad, 1637, (Canto VI. exceptions. For instance, the " Genea- 
fol. 138,) he says already that in conse- logia tie la Toledana Discreta, Priniera 
(|U(.'nce of the pnlilication of the Don Parte," por Eugenio Maitinez, a tale of 
Qnixote, books of chivalry "no .son chivalry in octave stanzas, not ill writ- 
tan leidos"; and in a dedication to the ten, was reprinted in 1608; and "HI 
Madrid edition of that work, 1668, we ('a])allero del Fcbo," and " Claridiano." 
are told that its ])revious repeated ini- his son, are extant in editions of 1617. 
])ressions " han (ksfermdo los libros de Tiie period of the passion for .such books 
caballerias tan perjudiciales a las cos- in Spain can be leadily seen in the Bib- 
tunibres." Navarrete, jjp. 500, 502. liograjihical Catalogue, and notices of' 
Cleniencin, moreover, and finally in his them by Salvd, in the Kepertorio Amer- 
Preface, 1833, notes "I). Folicisiie de icano, "(London, 1827, Tom. IV. pp. 
Boecia," i)rinted in 1602, as the last 29-74,) and .still better in the Cata- 
book of cliivaliy that was written in logue ])retixc(l by Gayangos to Riva- 
Sfjain, anil adds, that, after 160."), "vw deneyra's I'iblioteca, Tom. XL. 1857. 
.sc piiblic6 de nuevo libro alguno de It was eminently tlie sixteenth cen- 
<;aballerifus, y (lejaron (h reiTuprimirse tury. 
los anteriores" (p. xxi). To this re- ^ See Appendix (E), 


his friends, and loved by his dependants — is repr-e- 
sented as so completely crazed by long reading the 
most famons books of chivalry, that he believes them 
to be true, and feels himself called on to become the 
impossible knight-errant they describe, — nay, actually 
goes forth into the world to defend the op])ressed and 
avenge the injured, like the heroes of his romances. 

To complete his chivalrous equipment — which he 
had begun by fitting up for himself a suit of armor 
strange to his century — he took an esquire out of his 
neighborhood; a middle-aged peasant, ignorant and\^^ 
credulous to excess, but oF^great good-nai^crre ; a glut- 
ton a nd ajiar; selfish and grosSj^yet attached to his 
master; shrewd enough occasionally to see the 
folly of their position, but always * amusing, * 141 
and sometimes mischievous, in his interpreta- 
tions of it. These two sally forth from their native 
village in search of adventures, of which the excited 
imagination of the knig-ht, turnins; windmills into 
giants, solitary inns into castles, and galley-slaves into K 
oppressed gentlemen, finds abundance, wherever he 
goes ; while the esquire translates them all into the 
plain prose of truth with an admirable simplicity, quite 
unconscious of its own humor, and rendered the more 
striking by its contrast with the lofty and courteous 
dignity and magnificent illusions of the superior per- 
sonage. There could, of course, be but one consistent 
termination to adventures like these. The knight and 
his esquire suffer a series of ridiculous discomfitures, 
and are at last brought home, like madmen, to their 
native village, where Cervantes leaves them, with an. 
intimation that the story of their adventures is by no 
means ended. 

From this time we hear little of Cervantes and 

168 CEllVANTES A\D A's'KLLANEDA. [Pkiimd 11. 

iiothiii<»; of his hero, till eight years tifterwards^ in 
July, IGlo, when he wrote the Prefjice to his Tales, 
where lie distinctly annomices a Second Tart of Don 
Quixote* But hefore this Second Part could be pu))- 
lished, and, indeed, before it was finished, a pei^son 
calling; himself Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda, who 
seems, from some provnicialisms in his style, to have 
been an Aragonese, and who, from other internal 
evidence, was a Dominican monk, came out, in the 
summer of 1614, with what he impertinently called 
^' The Second Volume of the Ingenious Knight, Don 

Quixote de la Mancha."-^ 
* 142 * Two things are remarkable in relation to 
■ this book. The first is, that, though it is 
hardly possible its author's name should not have 
been known to many, and especially to Cervantes 
himself, still it is only by strong conjecture that it 
has been often assigned to Luis de Aliaga, the king's 
confessor, a person whom, from his influence at court, 
it might not have been deemed expedient openly 
to attack ; ])ut sometimes also to Juan Blanco de 
Paz. a Dominican friar, who had l)een an enemy of 
Cervantes in Algiers. The second is, that the author 

■•^1 Cervantes leproadies Avellaneda I have. There are editions of it, Ma- 

with being au Aragonese, because he ilrid, 1732, 180.'), and 1851 ; and a 

sometinies omits the article where a translation by Le Sage, 1704, in which 

Oastilian would insert it. (Don Quix- — after his niann(a' of translating — he 

ote, I'arte II. e. .lit.) The rest of tli(^ alters and enlarges the original work 

<lis(;nssion about him is found in Pelli- with little ceremony or good faith. 
<;er, Vida, jij). civi-clxv; in Navar- It may be worth while to note here, 

rete, Vida, [)\>. 14,4-l.'il ; in Clemen- that, when Pope, in Ids " Es.say on 

<;in's Don Quixote, I'arte II. c. ,^>9, Criticism," (267, etc., beginning, "Once 

notes; and in Adolfo de (Jastro's " Con- on a time La Mancha's knight, they 

•<Ie Duijue de Olivares," ("adiz, 1846, say,") tells a story about Don (^hiixote, 

8vo, j>i>. 11, etc. This Avellaneda, lie refcn-s, not to the work of Cervantes, 

•A^hoever he was, called his book " Sr- l>ut to that of Avellaneda, and of Avel- 

{/viidfi Toiuo del I ngenioso Hidalgo Don laneda in the rifn^ime^itrt of Le Sage, 

■Quixote de la Mancha," etc;., (Tarrago- I>iv. III. chap. 29. Persons familiar 

iia, 1614, 12ino,)and |)rinted it .so that with Orvantes are oftAi di.saj)point(!d 

it matches very well with the Valencian that they do not recollect it, thinking 

•'•ditioii, 1<)(t.'j, f»f (he Fir.^t Part of tin' tliat the reference must be to his Don 

^genuine Don Quixote ; - both of which Quixote. 


seems to have had liints of the plan Cervantes was 
pursuing in his Second Part, then unfinished, and to 
have used them in an unworthy manner, especially 
in making Don Alvaro Tarfe play substantially the 
same part that is played by the Duke and Duchess 
towards Don Quixote, and in carrying the knight 
through an adventure at an inn with play-actors 
rehearsing one of Lope de Vega's di-amas, almost 
exactly like the adventure with the puppet-show 
man so admirably imagined by Cervantes.^'^ 

But this is all that can interest us about the Ijook, 
which, if not without merit in some respects, is gen- 
erally low and dull, and would now be forgotten, if 
it were not connected with the fame of Don Quixote. 
In its Prefoce, Cervantes is treated Avith coarse indig- 
nity, his age, his sufferings, and even his honorable 
wounds being sneered at;" and in the body of the 
book, the character of Don Quixote, who appears as 
a vulgar madman, fancying himself to be Achilles, 
or any other character that happened to occur to the 
author,^^ is so comj^letely without dignity or 
consistency, * that it is clear the writer did * 143 
not possess the power of comprehending the 

'^^ Avellanetla, c. 26. There is a much 2* Chapter 8; — just as he makes 

ViettertraiLslation than Le Sage's, by Ger- Don Quixote fancy a j)oor ])easant iu 

mond de Lavigne, (Paris, 1853, 8vo, ) his melon -garden to be Orlando Furio.so 

with an acute pref ice and notes, partly (c. 6); — a little village to be Ronu; 

intended to rehabilitate Avellaneda. (c 7); — and its decent priest alter- 

Fr. Luis de Aliaga was, at one time, nately Lirgando and the Archbishop 

Inrjui-sitor-General, andaper.sonof great Tnrpin. Perhaps the most oV)vious 

politi(;al considei'ation ; but he resigned comparison, and the fairest that cau 

his i)lace or was disgraced in the reign be made, between the two Don Quix- 

of Philip IV., and died in exile shortly otes is in the story of the goats, told 

afterward.s, December 3, 162(3. He fig- by Sancho in the twentieth chapter of 

ures in Quevedo's "Grandes Anales de the First Part in Cervantes, and the 

Quince Dias." Ample notices of him story of the geese, by Sancho in Avel- 

may be found in the Kevista de ("iencias, laneda's twenty-first chaptei', because 

etc., Sevilla, 1856, Tom. III. pj). 6, 74, the latter profes.ses to improve upon 

etc. SeealsoLata.ssa, Piib.Nov., III.376. the former. The failure to do so, how- 

23 "Tiene mas lengua que mauos," ever, is obvious enough, 
says Avellaneda, coarsely. 


genius he at once basely libelled and meanly at- 
tempted to supplant. The best parts of the work 
-^■L^are those in which Sancho is introduced ; the worst 
•' are its indecent stories and the adventures of Bar- 
bara, who is a sort of brutal caricature of the grace- 
ful Dorothea, and whom the knio-lit mistakes for 
Queen Zenobia.^^ But it is almost always Aveari- 
.^ome, and comes to a poor conclusion by the con- 
iinement of Don Quixote in a madhouse."*' 

Cervantes evidently did not receive this affront- 
ing production mitil he was ftir advanced in the 
composition of his Second Part ; but in the fifty- 
ninth chapter, written apparently when it first 
reached him, he breaks out upon it. and from that 
moment never ceases to persecute it. in every form 
of ingenious torture, initil, with the seventy-fourth, 
he brino^s his own work to its conclusion. Even 
Sancho, with his accustomed humor and simplicity, 
is let loose upon the unhappy Aragonese; for, hav-- 
ing understood from a chance traveller, who first 
brings the book to their knowledge, that his wife is 
called in it Mary Gutierrez, instead of Teresa Pan- 
za, — 

" ' A pretty sort of a history-writer.' cried Sancho. 
* and a deal must he know of our afftiirs, if he calls 
Teresa Panza, my wife, Mary Gutierrez. Take the 
book again. Sir, and see if I am put into it, and if 
he has changed my name, too.' ' By what I hear 
you say, my friend,' replied the stranger, ' 3'ou are, no 
douljt, Sancho Panza, the esquire of Don Quixote.' 

■^ The wIioIp story of Barbara, be- man, to add two cha])tprs more to Don 

giuiiiiig with C'liaptiT 22, and going Quixote, as if they liad been suppressed 

nearly through the remainder of the when the Second Part was published, 

work, is miserably coarse antl dull. But they were not thought worth print- 

^ In 1824, a curious attemj)! was ing by the Spanish Academy. See Don 

made, probably by some ingenious Ger- Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Tom. VI. p. 296. 


• To be sure 1 tun,' * answered Sanclio, ' and * 1-1-i 
proud of it too.' • Then, in truth,' said the 
gentleman, *= this new author does not treat you with 
the propriety shown in your own person ; he makes 
you a ghitton and a fool ; not at all amusinii:, and 
quite another thing from the Sancho described in 
the first part of your master's history.' 'Well, 
Heaven foroive him ! ' said Sancho : ' but I think he 
mio'lit have left me in my corner, without troubling 
himself about me ; for, Let him pla// thai Jcnows the 
ii:ay ; and Saint Peter at Rome is well of at home' " ^" 

Stimulated by the appearance of this rival w^ork, 
as well as offended Avitli its personalities, Cervantes 
ui-ged forward his own, and, if we may judge by its 
somewhat hurried air, brought it to a conclusion 
sooner than he had intended.^^ At any rate, as 
early as February, 1615, it w\as finished, and w^as 
published in the following autumn ; after which we 
hear nothing more of Avellaneda, though he had in- 
timated his purpose to exhibit Don Quixote in an- 
other series of adventures at Avila, Valladolid, and 
Salamanca.^''' This, indeed, Cervantes took some pains 
to prevent; for — besides a little changing his plan, 
and avoiding the jousts at Saragossa, because Avel- 
laneda had carried his hero there ^*^ — he finally re- 
stores Don Quixote, through a severe illness, to his 
right mind, and makes him renounce all the follies 
of knight-errantry, and die, like a peaceful Christian, 
in his own bed; — thus cutting off the po.ssibility of 
another continuation with the pretensions of the first. 

This latter half of Don Quixote is a contradiction of 

27 Parte II. c. 59. of his being at Saragossa, he exclaim.s, 

** See Appemlix (E). " Por el mismo caso, no pondre los pies 

"^ At the end of Cap. 36. en Zaragoza, y asi sacare a la plaza del 

^ When Don Quixote understands nnindo la mentira de.se historiador mo- 

that Avellaneda has given an account derno." Parte II. c. 59. 


the proverb Cervantes cites in it, — that second parts 
were never yet good for niuch.'^^ It is, in fact, better 
than the first. It shows more freedom and vigor; 
and if the caricature is sometimes pushed to the 

very verge of what is permitted, the inven- 
* 145 tion, the style of * thought, and, indeed, the 

materials throughout, are richer and the finish 
is more exact. The character of Sanson Carrasco, 
for instance,^^ is a very happ^', though somewhat 
})old, addition to the original persons of the drama ; 
and the adventures at the castle of the Duke and 
Duchess, where Don Quixote is fooled to the top of 
his bent ; the managements of Sancho as governor 
of his .island; the visions and dreams of the cave 
of Montesinos ; the scenes with Roque Guinart, the 
freebooter, and with Gines de Passamonte, the galley- 
slave and puppet-show man ; together with the mock- 
heroic hospitalities of Don Antonio Moreno at Barce- 
lona, and the final defeat of the knight there, are 
all admirable. In truth, everything in this Second 
Part, especially its general outline and tone, shows 
that time and a degree of success he had not before 
known had ripened and perfected the strong manly 
sense and sure insight into human nature which are 
visible in nearlv all his works, and which here be- 
come a part, as it were, of his peculiar genius, whose 
foundations had been laid, dark and deep, amidst the 
trials and sufferings of his various life. 

^1 It isoneofthe mischievous remarks blemishes. Garces, in his " Fuerza y • 

of theBachelor Samson Carra.sco. Parte Vigor de la Lengua Castellana," Tom. 

II. c. 4. II. Prologo, as \V(^11 as throughout that 

^ Don Quixote, Parte II. c. 4. The excellent work, has given it, perhajis, 

style of both parts of the genuine Don more unifonu ]>raise than it deserves ; 

Quixote is, as might be anticipated, ^ while ( 'Icmencin, in his notes, is verj 

free, fresh, and careless; — genial, like rigorous and unpardoning to its occa- 

the author's character, full of idiomatic sional defects, 
beauties, and by no means without 


But tlu'oiit^lioiit both parts, Cervantes shows the 
impulses and instincts of an original power with most 
distinctness in his development of the characters of 
Don Quixote and Sancho, in whose fortunate contrast 
and opposition is hidden the full spirit of his peculiar 
humor, and no small part of what is most effective in 
the entire fiction. They are his prominent personages. 
He delights, therefore, to have them as much as possi- 
ble in the front of his scene. They grow visibly upon 
his favor as he advances, and the fondness of his liking 
for them makes him constantly produce them in lights 
and relations as little foreseen by himself as they are 
by his readers. The knight, who seems to have 
been * originally intended for aj^arody of the * 14G 
Amadis, becomes gradually a detached, sepa- 
rate, and wholly independent personage, into whom is 
infused so much of a generous and elevated nature, 
such gentleness and delicacy, such a pure sense of 
honor, and such a warm love for whatever is noble and 
good, that we feel almost the same attachment to him 
that the barber and the curate did, and are almost as 
ready as his familj^ was to mourn over his death.^ 

The case of Sancho is again very similar, and per- 
haps in some respects stronger. At first, he is intro- 
duced as the opjDosite of Don Quixote, and used merel}' 
to bring out his master's peculiarities in a more strik- 
ing relief It is not until we have gone through 
nearly half of the First Part that he utters one of 
those proverbs which form afterwards the staple of his 
conversation and humor ; ^^ and it is not till the open- 

^ Wordsworth in his "Prelude" And thought that, in the Wind and awful lair 

Book v., says of Don Quixote, very Of such a u.adness, rea.son did lie couched, 
strikingly :— 34 jj^ ^jof;, Qucvedo, in his " Cuento 

Nor have I pitied him, but rather fell de Cuentos," ridiiulcd the free use of 

Reverence was due to a being thus employed ; proverbs, not, however, 1 think, direct- 


. ing of the Second Part, and, indeed, not till he comes 
fortli. in all his mingled shrewdness and crednlit}^, as 
governor of Barataria, that his character is quite devel- 
oped and completed to the full measure of its grotesque, 
3'et congruous, proportions. 

Cervantes, m truth, came at hist to love these crea- 
tions of his marvellous power, as if they were real, 
familiar personages, and to speak of them and treat 
them with an earnestness and interest that tend nmch 
to the illusion of his readers. "R oth Don-Q jgj-x.Qtj'. and 
Sanclio are thus l)rou<ji:ht before us like such living: 
-ji^ realities, that, at this moment, the figures of the crazed, 
gaunt, dignified knight and of his round, selfish, and 
most amusing esquire dwell bodied fortli in the imagi- 
nations of more, among all conditions of men through- 
out Christendom, than any other of the crea- 
* 147 tions *of human talent. The greatest of the 
great poets — Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Mil- 
ton — have no doubt risen to loftier heights, and 
placed themselves in more imposing relations with the 
noblest attributes of our nature ; but Cervantes — 
always writing under the unchecked impulse of his own 
genius, and instinctively concentrating in his fiction 
whatever was peculiar to the character of his nation 
— has shown himself of kindred to all times and all 
lands ; to the humblest degrees of cidtivation as well 
as to the highest ; and has thus, bej'ond all other 
writers, received in return a tribute of sympathy and 
admiration from the universal spirit of humanity.^ 

ing his satire against tlie Don Quixote, ^ I niciiu hy this, that I tliink thou- 

but ratlier against the absurd fashion sands of persons, the workl over, have 

of liis time, just as Cervantes did. A notions of Don Quixote and his esquire, 

rude answer to it, — " Vcnganza de hi and talk about "QuLxotism," "uiis- 

Lengua Castellana," — attributed to Fr. cliicvous Sancho," etc., who yet never 

Luis dc Aliaga, and first printecl, 1 be- liave read tlie romance of Cervantes, 

lieve, in the same year, may be found in nor even know what it is. A different 

the Seminario Erudito, Tom VI. p. 264. popular effect, and one wortliy the days 

Cii.u'. XII. 



It is not easy to believe, that, Avhen he had linished 
such a work, he was insensible to what he had done. 
Indeed, there are passages in the Don Quixote itself 
which prove a consciousness of his own genius, its aspi- 
rations, and its power.^'' And yet there are, on the 
other hand, carelessnesses, blemishes, and contradic- 
tions scattered through it, which seem to show him to 
have been almost indifferent to contemporary success 
or posthumous fame. His plan, which he seems to 
have modified more than once while engaged 
* in the composition of the work, is loose and * 148 
disjointed ; his style, though full of the richest 
idiomatic_beauties, abounds with inaccuracies; and the 
facts and incidents that make up his fiction are full of 
anachronisms, which Los Rios, Pellicer, and Eximeno 
have in vain endeavored to reconcile, either with the 
main current of the story itself, or with one another.'^' 

of Grecian enthusiasm, is noticed in 
Kocca's " Memoirs of the War of tlie 
French in Spain" (London, 1816, p. 
110). He says, that when the body of 
French troops to which lie was attached 
entered Toboso, — perfectly answering, 
he adds, the description of it bj'' Cer- 
vantes, — they were so amused with the 
fancies about Dulcinea and Don Quix- 
ote, awakened by the place, that they 
were, at once, on easy terms with its 
inhabitants ; Cervantes becoming a 
bond of good-fellowship, which not 
only prevented the villagers from fly- 
ing, as they commonly did in similar 
cases, but led the soldiers to treat them 
and their honres with unwonted respect. 

The great Emathian conqueror bid spare 

The liouse of Pindarus, when temjile and tov/er 

Went to the ground : and tlie repeated air 

Of sad Electra's poet had the power 

To save the Athenian walls from ruin bare. 

* The concluding passages of the 
work, for instance, are in this tone ; 
and this is the tone of his criticisms on 
Avellaneda. I do not count in the 
same senSe the passage, in the S(!Cond 
Part, c. 16, in which Don Quixote is 
made to boast that thirty thousand 

copies had been printed of the First 
Part, and that thirty thou.sand thou- 
sands would follow ; for this is intended 
as the mere rhodomontade of the hero's 
folly, or a jest at the pretensions set 
up for Aleman's "Guzman de Alfa- 
rache" (see ^ws^, C'hap. XXXIV., note 
4) ; but I confess I think Cervantes is 
somewhat in earnest when Ik? makes 
Sancho say to his master, " I will lay 
a wager, that, before long, there will 
not be a two-penny eating-house, a 
hedge tavern, or a poor inn, or barber's 
shop, where the history of what we 
liav(! done will not be painted and stuck 
up." Parte II. c. 71. 

^■^ Los Rios, in his "Andlisis," pre- 
fixed to the edition of the Academy, 
1780, undertakes to defend Cervantes 
on the authority of the ancients, as if 
the Don Quixote were a poem, written 
in imitation of the Odyssey. Pellicei-, 
in the fourth section of his "Discurso 
Preliminar " to his edition of Don 
Quixote, 1797, follows much the same 
course ; besides which, iit the end of 
the fifth volume, he gives what he 
gravely calls a " Geogra])hieo-liistorical 
Description of the Travels of Don (^>uix- 
ote," accompanied with a map ; as if 



Thus, in the First Part, Don Quixote is geuerally 
represented us helonging to a remote age, and his 
liistory is sujoposed to liave been written by an ancient 

Arabian author r"^ while, in the examination 
* 149 of his hbrary, he is * plainly contemporary 

with Cervantes himself, and, after his defeats, is 

some of Cervantes's geo^ra])hy were not 
iinijossible, and as if half his localities 
were to be found anywhere but in the 
imaginations of liis readers. On the 
ground of such irregularities in his 
geograjihy, and on other gi'ounds e([ual- 
ly absurd, Xieholas Perez, a Valencian, 
attacked Cervantes in the " Auti-(^)uix- 
ote," the tirst volume of which was 
published in 1805, but was followed by 
none of the five that were intended to 
complete it ; and received an answer, 
(piite satisfactory, but more severe than 
was needful, in a pamphlet, publishetl 
at Madrid in 180C, 12mo, by J. A. 
Pellicer, without his name, entitled 
" Exanien Critico del Tomo Primero 
de el Anti-Quixote." And finally, Don 
Antonio Eximeno, in his "Apologia de 
Miguel de Cervantes," (Madrid, 1806, 
12mo, ) excuses or defends everything 
in th(> Don Quixote, giving us a new 
chronologic'al plan, (p. 60,) with exact 
astronomic'al reckonings, (j). 129,) and 
maintaining, among other wise posi- 
tions, that Cervantes i atcntionall ij rep- 
resented Don Quixote to have lived 
both in an earlier age and in his own 
time, in order that curious readers might 
lie confounded, and, after all, m\\\ some 
imaginary period be; a.ssigned to his 
hei-o's a('hievements (p]). 19, (!tc.). All 
this, I think, is eminently absurd ; but 
it is the consequence of the blind admi- 
ration with which Cei-vaiit(^s was idol- 
ized in Spain during the latter ])art of 
the last centuiy and the beginning of 
the present ; — itself partly a result of 
the coldness with which he had been 
overlooked by the learnecl of his coun- 
trymen for nearly a century previous to 
that period. Don Quixote, Madrid, 
1819, 8vo, Pr61ogo de la Academia, 


^ Conde, the author of the " Domi- 
nacion de los Arabes en Kspaha," uniler- 
takes, in a pamphlet published in con- 
junction with J. A. I^'llicer, to .show 
^hat the name of this pretended Arabic 

author, Cid Uametc Bcncngcli, is a com- 
bination of Arabic words, meaning //-/- 
hlc, satirical, and unluippij. (Carta en 
Ca.stellano, etc., IMadrid, ' 1 800, 12mo, 
pp. 16-27.) It may be so ; but it is 
not in character for Cervantes to .seek 
such refinements, or to make such a 
display of his little learning, which does 
not seem to have extended beyond a 
knowledge of the Anilgar Arabic sjioken 
in Barbary, the Latin, the Italian, and 
the Portuguese. Like Shakes]>eare, 
however, Cervantes had read and re- 
membered nearly all that had been 
])rinted in his own language, and con- 
stantly makes the most felicitous allu- 
.sions to the large stoi-es of his knowl- 
edge of this soit. 

Clemencin, howevei', sometimes seems 
willing to extenil the learned reading 
of Cervantes further than is neces.saiT. 
Thus (Don Quixote, Tom. III. p. l:32^ 
he Ihinks the Discourse of the Knight 
on Arms and Letters (Parte II. c. 37 
and 38) may be traced to an obscure 
Latin treatise on the same subject print- 
ed in 1.549. It does not .seem to be 
needful to refer to anj' particular source 
for a mattei' .so obviou.s, especially to a 
Sjianiard of the time of Cervantes ; but 
if it be worth while to do so, a nearer 
one, and one much more probable, may 
be found in the Dedication of the " Flo- 
res de Seneca traducidas ])or Juan Cor- 
dero," (Anver.s, 1555, 12mo,) a person 
much distinguished and honored in his 
time, as we see from Xinicno and Fus- 

There was an answer to Conde's 
"Carta en CastcIIano," entitled " Res- 
puesta a la Carta en Castellano, etc., 
per Don Juan Fran. Perez de Cacegas" 
(Madrid, 1800, 18mo, pp. 60). It was 
hardly needed, I think, and its temper 
is not better than that of such contro- 
versial tracts generally among the Span- 
iards. But some of its hits at the 
notes of Pellicer to Don Quixote are 
well deserved. 


broil <>'lit liomo coiifossodly in the year 1G04. To add 
further to this coiiriision, when we reach the Second 
Part, which opens only a month after the conchision of 
the First, and continues only a few weeks, we have, at 
the .side of the same chiims of an ancient Arabian 
nnthor, a conversjition about the expulsion of the 
Moors,'^-* which happened after 1609, and much criticism 
on Avellaneda, wdiose work was published in 1614.'^*^ 

But this is not all. As if still further to accumulate 
contradictions and incongruities, the very details of the 
story he has invented are often in whimsical conflict 
Avith each other, as well as with the historical facts 
to which they allude. Thus, on one occasion, the 
^scenes which he had represented as having occurred in 
the course of a single evening and the following morn- 
ing are said to have occupied two days ; " on another, 
he sets a company down to a late supper, and after 
conversations and stories that must have carried them 
nearly through the night, he says, " It began to draw 
towards evening."*"^ In different places he calls the 
same individual by different names, and — what is 
rather amusing — once reproaches Avellaneda with a 
mistake which was, after all, his own.*^ And finally, 
having discovered the mconseqnence of -saying seven 
times that Sancho was on his ass after Gines de Passa- 
monte had stolen it, he took painsTnT'tTie only 
edition of the First Part that he ever * revised, * 150 
to correct two of his blunders, — heedlessly 

39 Don Quixote, Parte TI. c. .54. ''^ Cervantes calls Sancho's Avife by 

*** The criticism on Avellaneda be- three or four different names (Parte 1. 

gins, as we have said, Parte II. c. 59. c. 7 and 52, and Parte II. c. 5 and 59) ; 

*i Parte I. c. 46. and Avellaneda liaAang, in some degree, 

*^ " Llegaba ya la noche," he says in imitated him, Cervantes makes himself 

c. 42 of Parte I., when all that had oc- very merry at the confusion ; not no- 

curred from the middle of c. 37 had ticing that the mistake was really his 

happened after they were set down to own. 

supper. , 

VOL. II. 12 

178 MERITS OF THE DON QUIXOTE. [Pei:i.)I. 11. 

overlooking" llio rest; and wlien he pul)lishe(l the 
Second Part, Uuighed heartily at the whole, — the 
errors, the corrections, and all, — as tlnngs of little 
consequence to himself or anyljody else.'^ 

The romance, however, which he threw so carelessly 
from him, and wdiich, I am persuaded, he regarded 
rather as a bold effort to break up the a])surd taste of 
his time for the fancies of chivalry than as anything of 
more serious import, has been established l)y an unin- 
terrupted, and, it may be said, an unquestioned, suc- 
cess ever since, both as the oldest classical specimen of 
romantic fiction, and as one of the most remarkable 
monuments of modern genius. But though this may 
be enough to fill the measure of human fame and 
glory, it is not all to which Cervantes is entitled ; for, 
if we would do him the justice that would have been 
most welcome to his own spirit, and even if we would 
onrselves fully comprehend and enjoy the whole of his 
Don Quixote, w^e should, as w^e read it, bear in mind, 
that this delightful romance was not the result of a 
youthful exuberance of feeling and a hapj)y external 
condition, nor composed in his best years, wdien the 
spirits of its author Avere liglit and his hopes high; but 
that — with all its imquenchable and irresistible hu- 
mor, with its bright views of the world, and its cheer- 
ful trust in goodness and virtue — it w^as written in his 
old age, at the conclu§im] of .a life nearly every step of 
which had been marked wntli disappointed'^irxpecta- 
tions, disheartening struggles, and sore ctdamities ; 

■•* Tlie facts roferrcd to are tliesc. tho edition of 1(308, Cervantes corrected 

Oines de Passamonte, in the 23d chap- two of tliesc careh^ss mistakes on leaves 

ter of Part First, (ed. 1605, f. 108,) 109 and 112; bnt left the five others 

steals Saiudio's ass. l^ut liardly three jnst as they stood before ; and in Chaj)- 

leavcs further on, in the same edition, ters 3 and 27 of the Second Part, (ed. 

we find Sancho riding again, as usual, 161.'j,) jests about the whole matter, 

on the poor beast, which i'eap]>eiirs yet but shows no disjjosition to attempt 

B^-i-x other times out of all reason. In further corrections. 

CllAl'. Xll. 



tlitit he began it in a ])ris()n, and tliat it was finished 
when he felt the hand ol" death [)ressiiig lieavy and 
cold npon his heart. If tliis ])e remembered as we 
read, we may feel, as we onglit to feel, Avhat admira- 
tion and reverence are dne, not only to the 
living power of Don * Quixote, but to the char- * lol 
acter and genius of Cervantes ; — if it be for- 
gotten or underrated, we shall fail in regard to both."*" 

*^ Having exjn'cssed so strong an 
opinion of (Jervantes's merits, 1 cannot 
refuse myself the pleasure of citing the 
words of the modest and wise Sir Wil- 
liam Temple, who, when speaking of 
works of satire, and rebuking Rabelais 
for his indecency and profaneness, says : 
"The matchless wiiter of Don Quixote 
is much more to be admired for having 
made up so excellent a composition of 
satire or ridicule without those ingredi- 
ents ; and seems to be the best and 

highest strain that ever has been or will 
be reach(!(l by that vein." Works, Lon- 
don, 1814, 8vo, Vol. 111. p. 43G. To 
this may ijot inappropriately be added 
the opinion of Dr. Johnson, who "con- 
fessed that the work of Cervantes was 
the greatest in the world after Homer's 
Hiad, .speaking of it, I mean," says Mrs. 
Piozzi, "as a book of entertainment." 
Boswell's Johnson, Ci'oker's edition, 
1831, Vol. IV. pp. 377, 378. See Ap- 
peudix (E). 

*l.i2 * CHAPTER XTTT. 






It is impossible to speak of Cervantes as the 
great genius of the Spanish nation without recalling 
Lope -de Vega, the rival who far surpassed him in 
contemporary popularity, and rose, during the life- 
time of both, to a degree of fome which no Spaniard 
had yet attained, and which has been since reached 
by few of n.i\y country. To the examination, there- 
fore, of this great man's claims, — which extend to 
almost every department of the national literature, 
— we naturally turn, after examining those of the 
author of Don Quixote. 

Lope Felix de Vega Carpio was born on the 25th 
of November, 1562, at Madrid, whither his father had 
recently removed, almost by accident, from the old 
family estate of Vega, in the picturesque valley of 
Caniedo.^ Fioiu his earliest youth he discovered 

^ There is a life of Lope de Vega, generous spiiit of its author, who spent 

which was first published in a single some tinu! in Spain, when he was al)out 

volume, 1iy the third Lord Holland, in thirty years old, and never afterwards 

1806, and again, with tiie addition of a ceased to take an intere.st in its alfairs 

life of Guillen de Castro, in two vol- ami literature. He was much connect- 

umes, 8vo, London, 1817. It is a ed with Jovellanos, Blanco White, and 

plea.sant book, and contains a good other distinguished Sjianiards ; not a 

notice of both its subjects, and agree- few of wlioni, in the days of disaster 

able criticisms on their works ; l)ut it is that fell on their country iluring the 

quite a.s interesting for thi' glimiises it French invasion, and the subsequent 

gives of the tine accomplishments and mi.sgovernment of Ferdinand VII., en- 

ClIAl'. XI II. I 



extraordinary * powers. We are assured by * loo 
his friend Montjdvan, that at five years of age 
he could not only read Latin as well as Spanish, 
])ut that he had such a passion for poetry, as to 
pay his more advanced schoolfellows with a share 
of his breakfast for writino; down the verses he die- 
tated to them, before he had learned to do it for 
hmiself^ His father, who, as he intimates, was a 
poet,^ and who was much devoted to works of charity 
in the latter years of his life, died when he was very 
young, and left, besides Lope, a son who perished in 

joyed the princely hospitality of Hol- 
laiul Hou.se, where the beni<T;iuiiit and 
frank kindliness of its noble master 
shed a charm and a grace over what 
was most intellectual and elevated in 
European society that could be given 
by nothing else. 

Lope's own account of his origin and 
birth, in a poetical epistle to a Peruvian 
lady, who addressed him in verse under 
the name of "Amarylis," is very odd. 
The corre.spondence is found in the first 
volume of his Obras Sueltas, (Madrid, 
1776-1779, 21 torn. 4to,) Epistolas 
XV. and XVI. ; and was first printed 
"by Lope, if I mistake not, in 1624. It 
is now referred to for the following im- 
portant lines : — 

Tiene su silla en la bordada alfombra 
De Castilla el valor de la montana, 
Que el valle de Oarriedo Espana nombra. 

All 1 otro tiempo se cifraba Espana ; 
Alii tuve principio ; mas que importa 
Nacer laurel y ser humilde cana ? 

Falta dinero alii, la tierra es corta ; 
Vino mi palrj del solar de Vega: 
Assi a los pohres la nobleza exhorta ; 

Siguiole ha.sta Madrid, de zelos ciega, 
Su amorosa muger, porque 61 queria 
Una Espaitola Helena, entonces Griega. 

Ilicieron amistades, y aquel dia 

Fue piedra en mi primero fundamento 
La paz de .su zelosa fantasia. 

En fin por zelos soy ; que naciniiento I 
Imaginalde vos que haver nacido 
De tan inquieta causa fu6 portento. 

And then he goes on with a pleasant 
account of his making verses as soon as 
he could speak ; of his early passion 
for Raymond Lulli, the metaphy.si(;al 
doctor then so much in fashion ; of his 
subsequent .studies, his family, etc. 
Lope loved to refer to his origin in the 
mountains. He s])eaks of it in his 

"Laurel de Apolo," (Silva Vlll.,) and 
in two or three of his jilays he makes 
his heroes boast that they came from 
that part of Spain to which he traced 
his own birth. Thus, in " La Vengan- 
za Venturosa," (Comedias, 4to, Madrid, 
Tom. X., 1620, f. 33, b,) Feliciano, a 
high-spirited old knight, says, — 

El noble solar que lieredo, 

No lo dare a rico infame, 

Porque nadie me lo Uame 

En el valle de Carriedo. 

And again, in the opening of the "Pre- 
mio del Bien Hablar," (4to, Madrid, 
Tom. XXL, 1635, f. 159,) where he 
seems to describe his own case and 
character : — 

Naci en Madrid, aunque son 
En Galicia los solares 
De mi naciniiento noble, 
De mis abuelos y padres. 
Para noble naciniiento 
Ay en Espana tres partes, 
Galicia, Vizcaya, Asturias, 
O ya montaiias le llaman. 

The valley of Carriedo is said to be very 
beautiful, and Minano, in his " Diccio- 
nario Geografico," (Madrid, 8vo, Tom. 
II., 1826, p. 40,) describes La Vega as 
occupying a fine position on the banks 
of the Sandoiiana. 

^ " Before he knew how to write, he 
loved verses so much," says Montalvan, 
his friend and eulogist, " that he shared 
his breakfast with the older boys, in 
. order to get them to take down for him 
what he dictated." Fama Postuma, 
Obras Sueltas, Tom. XX. p. 28. 

** In the "Laurel de Apolo," he says 
he found rough copies of verses among 
his father's papers, that seemed to him 
better than his own. 


the Annada in 1-588, and a daughter who died in 
IGOl. In the period immediately following the fa- 
ther's death, the family seems to have l)een seattered 

by poverty; and dining this intei'val Lope 
* 154 probaldy lived Avith his nncle. * the hujuisi- 

tor, Don Miguel de Cai})io, of whom he long 
afterwards speaks with great respeet* 

l)Ut though the fortunes of his house were l)roken, 
his education was not neglected. He was sent to 
the Imperial College at Madrid, and in two years 
made extraordinary progress in ethics and in elegant 
literature, avoiding, as he tells ns, the mathematics, 
which he found nnsuited to his humor, if not to his 
genius\ Accomplishments, too, were added, — fen- 
cing, dancino;, and music ; and he Avas going on in a 
way to gratify the wishes of his friends, when, at 
the age of fourteen, a wild, giddy desire to see the 
world took possession of him ; and, accompanied by 
a schoolfellow^, he ran away from college. At first, 
they went on foot for two or three days. Then tliej^ 
bought a sorry horse, and travelled as far as Astorga, 
in the northwestern part of Sf)ain, not far from the 
old fief of the Vega family ; but there, growdng tired 
of their journey, and missing more seriously than 
they had anticipated the comforts to which they had 
been accustomed, they determined to return home. 
At Segovia, they attempted, in a silversmith's shop, 
to exchange some doubloons and a gold chain for 
small coin, but were suspected to be thieves, and 
arrested. The magistrate, how^ever, before whom 
they were brought, bein^ satisfied that they w^ere 
guilty of nothing but folly, released them; though, 

* See Dedication of the " Hennosa Esti-r," in Coiiiedia.s, Madrid, 4to, Tom. 
XV., 1i;21. 

CllAP. XUl.] 



wisliing to do ;i kindness to their friends, as well 
as to themselves, he sent an oflieer of justiee to de- 
liver them safely in Madrid/' 

At the a<re of iifteen, as he tells ns in one of his 
poetical epistles, he was serving as a soldier against 
the Portugnese in Terceira;'' bnt oidy u little Inter 
than this we know that he iilled some place 
* about the person of Geronimo. Manrique, * 155 
Bishop of Avila, to whose kindness he acknowl- 
edged himself to be much indebted, and in whose 
honor he wrote several eclogues," and inserted a long 
passage in his '' Jerusalem." Under the pntronage of 
Manrique, he was, probably, sent to the University 
of Alcala, where he certainly studied some time, and 
not only took the degree of Bachelor, but was near 
submittini"' himself to the irrevocable tonsure of the 

But, as we learn from some of his own accounts, 
he now fell in love. Indeed, if we are to believe 

^ hi tlie " Fama Postuma." 
*" This curious passage is in the Epis- 
th', or Metro Lyrico, to D. Luis de Ha- 
ro, Ohras Sueltas, Tom. L\. p. 379 : — 

Xi mi fortuna tniula 
Ver en tri's lustres tie mi L'.lad iirimera 
('on la espada desnuUa 
Al liravo I'ortugues en la Tercera, 
Ni despues en las naves Espanolas 
Del mar Ingles los puertos y las olas. 

I do uot (juite luake out how this can 
have hapitened in 1.577 ; but the assei- 
tioti seems une(juivocal. Schack ((i(»s- 
chichte der dramatisehen Literatur in 
Spuiien, Berlin, 1845, 8vo, Tom. IL 
]). 164) thinks the fifteen years liere 
rel'cned to are intended to embrace the 
fifteen years of Lope's life as a soldier, 
which he extends from Lo])e's eleventh 
ye.u'to his twenty-sixth, — 1.57;? to 1588. 
But Schack's ground for this is a mis- 
take he had himself previously made in 
sui)posing the Dedication of the "Gato- 
luaehia " to be addressed to Lope hhn- 
sclf ; whereas it is addressed to his son, 
named Lopr, who served, at the age of 
pftiTii, uudci' th(! Mar([uis of Santa ("I'uz, 

as we shall see hereafter. The "Cu))i(I 
in arms," therefore, referred to in this 
Dedication, fsiils to prove, what Sciuick 
thought it proved ; and leaves the "fif- 
teen years" as dark a point as ever. 
See Schack, pp. 157, etc. 

^ These arc the earliest works of Lope 
mentioned by his eulogists and biogra- 
phers, (ObrasSuelta..s, Tom. XX. p. 30,) 
and must be dated ai early as 1582 or 
1583. The "Pastoral de Jacinto" is in 
the Comedias, Tom. XVIII., l)ut was 
not ]ninted till 1623. 
^ ^ In the epistle to Doctor Gicgoiio de 
Angulo, (Obras Sueltas, Tom. I. p. 420,) 
he says: "Don Geionimo Manriijue 
biought me up. I studied in Alcala, 
and took the di^gree of Bachelor ; 1 was 
even on the point of becoming a j>riest ; 
but 1 fell blindly in love, God forgive 
it ; I am married now, and he that is 
so ill off fears nothing." Elsewhere he 
si)eaks of his obligations to Mani'ique 
more warmly ; for instance, in his Dedi- 
cation of "Pobreza no es Vil(!za," (Co- 
.meilias, 4to, Tom. XX., Madrid, 1629,) 
where his language is veiy sti'ong. 

184 l.OPE I)E VEGA AM) THE DUKE OF ALAW. [Pkkk.i) II. 

the tales he tells of luuiseH' in his "Dorothea." Avhieli 
Avas written in his vouth and })rinte(l with the sanc- 
tion ol' his old age, he suffered great extremity from 
that passion when lie was only seventeen. Some of 
the stones of that remarkahle dramatic romance, in 
Avhicli he fignres under the name of Fernando, are, i^ 
may he hoped, fictitious;'' though it must he ad- 
mitted that others, like the scene l)etween the hero 
and Dorothea, in the first act, the account of his 
Aveeping hehind the door with Marfisa, on the da\' 
>;he Avas to he married to another, and most of the 
narrative parts in the fourth act, liaAc an air of 
reality ahout them that hardly permits us to douht 
they Avere true.^" Taken together. hoAvever, they do 
him little credit as a young man of honor and a caA'- 

* 1-jG * From Alcala, Lope came to Madrid, and 

attached himself to the Duke of Alva ; not, 
as it has heen generally supposed, the remorseless 
favorite of Philip the Second, but Antonio, the great 
Duke's o-randson, Avho had succeeded to his ancestor's 
fortunes Avituout inheriting his Ibrmidahle spirit.^^ 

^ See DorotfM, Acto I. sc. fi, in which, giving to oiif poison tho lotter intended 

having loolly niiidc iiji his mind to aban- for another, are (juite too iniiirobahle, 

<hui Martisa, he goes to her and ]ire- and too niiieh like tlu; inventions of 

tends lie has killed one man and wound- some of hi.s own plays, to he trusted, 

♦•d another in a night hiawl, obtaining (Act. A'', sc. 3, etc.) M. Fiuriid, how- 

liy this ha,se falsehood the unhappy ever, who.se ojjinion on such subjects i.s 

<;reature's jewels, which he needed to always to be respected, regards the 

iiay his ex])en.se.s, and which .she gave whole as true. KevuedesDeuxMondes, 

liim out of her overflowing affection. September 1, 1839. 
Franci.sco Lopez de Aguilar, who de- '' Lord Holland treats him as the 

fended the tlmatre in Lope de Vega's olil Duke (Life of Lope de Vega, Lon- 

lifetime, says of the Dorotea (Obras don, 1817, 2 vols., Svo) ; and Southey 

<le Lo]»e, Tom. VI I. p. vii), " Siendo (Quarterly Review, 1817, A^ol. XVII L 

<;ierta imitaeion de verdad, le parecia i>. 2) undertakes to show that it could 

<{ue no lo .seria hablando las pei-sonas be no other ; while Nicolas Antonio 

•en verso." (Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 74) speaks as 

1° Act I. .sc. 5, and Act IV. .sc. 1, if he were doubtful, thongh he inclines 

liave a gieat air of reality about them. to think it was the elder. But there 

But otiier parts, like tliat of the dis- is no doubt about it. Lope repeatedly 

courses and tl()^ble^ ili;it i-.um- frDUi speaks ol' Antonio, i(/(t' <//v'«(/,vrr/), as his 

Cv.w. XI 1 1.] TlIK AiU'ADlA. . 185 

Lope was iniicli liked by his new patron, and rose 
to be his confidential secretary, living with him 
both at court and in his retirement at Alva, where 
letters seem for a time to have taken the place of 
arms and affairs. At the suggestion of the Duke, 
he wi'ote his " Arcadia," a pastoral romance, making 
a volume of considerable size ; and, though chiefly 
in prose, yet with poetry of various kinds freely 
intermixed. Such compositions, as we have seen, 
w^ere alreadj^ favored in Spain; — the last of them, 
the "Galatea" of Cervantes, published in 1584, giv- 
ing, perhaps, occasion to the Arcadia, which seems 
to have been written almost immediately afterwards. 
Most of them have one striking peculiarity; that 
of concealing, under the forms of pastoral life in 
ancient times, adventures which had really occurred 
in the times of their respective authors. The 
Duke was desirous to figure among these * fan- * 157 
tastic shepherds and shepherdesses, and there- 
fore induced Lope to write the Arcadia, and make 
liim its hero, furnishing some of his own experiences 
as materials for the work. At least, so the affair was 
understood both in Spain and France, when the Arca- 
dia was published, in 1598 ; besides which. Lope him- 
self, a few years later, in the Preface to some miscel- 

jiatioii ; e. g. in his epistle to the Risli- tlie last an accoimt of his death and of" 

(iji ofOviedo, where he says : — tlie glories of his ffrandsov, whom li« 

Y yodel Duque ^«<on(o dexe el Alva. again notices as his patron. Indeed, 

Obras Sueltas, Tom. I. p. 289. the ease is quite plain, and it is only 

And in the opening words of the Dedi- singular that it should need an expla- 

catiou of his " Doniine Lucas," where nation; for the idea of making the 

he says: "Sirviendo al excelentisimo Duke of Alva, who was minister to 

Don Antonio de Toledo y Beamonte, Philip II., a .she))herd, seems to 1)e a 

Duque de Alva, en la edad que pude caricature or an ab.surdity, or both. 

escribir : — It is, however, the common impression. 

La verde primavera ii'i'l "lay be again found in the Sema- 

De mis Horidos anos." nario Pintoresco, 1839, p. 18. The 

Comedias, Tom. XVll. lG21,f. 13",b. younger Duke, on the contrary, loved 

Hi', however, j)raised the elder Duke letters, and, if I mistake not, there is 

idiuu lautly in tlie second, third, and a C7«?M;7>r/i of hi.-: in the Cancionc^ro C!en- 

iifth books of the "Arcadia," giving in eral of 1573, f. 178. 

186 TIIK ARCADIA. [Piikiud II. 

Jaiieous poems, tells us expressly, "' The Arcudiu is a 
true history." ^"^ 

l>ur whether it be throughout a true history or not, 
it is a very unsatisfactory one. It is commonly re- 
garded as an imitation of its popular namesake, the 
-Arcadia'' of Sanua/aro, of ^vhieh a Spanish translation 
had api)eared in l-)47 ; hut it much more resend)les 
the similar works of Montemayor and Cervantes, lioth 
in story and style. Metaphysics and magic, as in the 
"Diana" and - Galatea," are strangely mixed up with 
the shows of a pastoral life ; and, as in them, we listen 
with little interest to the perplexities and sorrows of a 
lo\ er who, from mistaking the feelings of his mistress, 
treats her in such a way that she marries another, and 
then, by a series of enchantments, is saved from the 
effects of his own despair, and his heart is washed so 
clean, that, like Orlando's, there is not one spot of love 
left in it. All this, of course, is unnatural ; for the 
personages it represents are such as can never have 
existed, and they talk in a language strained above 
the tone becoming prose ; all propriety of costume and 
manners is neglected ; so much learning is crowded 
into it, that a dictionary is placed at the end to make 
it intelligible ; and it is drawn out to a length wdiich 
now seems quite absurd, though the edition;? it soon 
passed through show that it was not too long for the 

1- Tlif truth of tlip stones, or some also, Lope, Obras Sueltas, Tom. XIX. 
of tin- stories, in tlie Arcadia, may l>e \\. xxii, and Tom. II. p. 4r)6. That it 
inferred from the mysterious iiitima- was believed to be true in France is ap- 
tions of Lojie in the Pr<)]of(o to the fiist ])arent from the Preface to old Lance- 
edition ; in th(^ " Egloga a riaudio"; lot's translation, under the title of 
and in tiie Preface to the " Iiimas," " Delices de la Vie Pastorale" (1624). 
(I<i02,) put into the shape of a letter to Figueroa (Pasagero, 1617, f. 97, b) says 
Juan de Arguijo. Quintana, too, in the .same thing of pastorals in general, 
the Dedication to Lope of his " Expe- and cites the Galatea and the Arcadia 
riencias de Amor y Fortuna," (1626,) in jnoof of it. It is important to settle 
suys of the Arcadia, that " under a rude the fact, for it must be referred to 
covering arc hidden .souls that are nobli' hereafter. See ^josi, Chap. XXXIII., 
and event.'j that really happened." Sr-i-, note 8. 

riiAP. XIII. J 



tiiste of its time. It sliould he jidded, however, 
that * it occtasionally furnishes happy specimens * 158 
of a glowing dechiniatory eloquence, and that 
in its descriptions of natural scenery there is some- 
times great felicity of imagery and illustration.^'^ 

zVbout the time when Lope was writing the Arcadia, 
he married Isabela de Urbina, daughter of the King-at- 
arms to Philip the Second and Philip the Thii-d ; a lady, 
we are told, not a little loved and admired in the high 
circle to which she belonged.^* But his domestic hnp- 
piness Avas soon interrupted. He fell into a quari-el 
Avitli a hid(il(/o of no very good repute ; lampooned him 
in a satirical poem ; was challenged, and wounded 
his adversary ; — in consequence of all which, and of 
other follies of his youth that seem now to have been 
brought up against him, he was cast into prison.^^ He 

1^ The Arcadia fills the sixth volume 
of Lope's Obras Sueltas. Editions of it 
were printed in 1598, 1.599, ItiOl, 1(J02, 
twice, 1603, 1605, 1612, 1615, 1617, 
1620, 1630, and often since, showing a 
gi-eat ])opulaTity. The first edition, 
1598, which I possess, and which I su})- 
pose is the first of Lope's publications, 
makes 312 rt'. in l"2nio, l)esi<les the pref- 
atory matter and hidex, and is from 
the press of Sanchez at Madrid. It 
contains a wood-engraving of Lope, 
which rejiresents him as a somewhat 
stiff and gayly dressed young man. 

1* Her father, Diego de Urbina, was 
a person of some conse([nence, and fig- 
ures among the more distinguished na- 
tives of Madrid in Baeua, " Hijos dc; 

1^ Montalvan, it should he noted, 
seems willing to slide over these 
"frowns of fortune, brought on by liis 
youth and aggravated by his enemies." 
But Lope attributes to them his exile, 
which came, he says, from "love in 
early youth, whose trophies were exile 
and its results tragedies." (Epistola 
Primera a D. Ant. de Mendoza. ) But 
he also attributes it to false friends, in 
the fine ballad where he re]>rcsents him- 
self as looking down upiou the ruins of 

Saguntum and moralizing on his own 
exile: "Bad friends," he says, "have 
brought me here." (Obras Sueltas, 
Tom. XVIL p. 434, and Romancero 
General, 1602, f. 108.) But again, in 
the Second Part of his " Philomena," 
1621, (Obras Sueltas, Tom. II. p. 452,) 
he traces his ti'oubles to his earlier ad- 
ventures ; "love to hatred turned." 
"Love-vengeance," he declares, "dis- 
guised an justice, exiled ine." 

But the whole of this portion of Loi)e"s 
life is obscure. Some light, however, 
is thrown on it by a letter which he 
addressed to the king in 1598, and a 
copy of which I obtained from tlu; kind- 
ness of the last Lord Holland, to whose 
father, the biographer of liope, it was 
sent, many years ago, by Don Martin 
Fernandez de Navarrete. As it is im- 
portant, and, I think, unpublished, 1 
give it entire. It seems to have been 
written from the villa of Madrid. 

" Senor, Lope de Vega Carpio, vecino 
de esta villa dice : Que V. M. le ha 
hecho merced de alzarle lo que le falta- 
ba de cumplir de diez afios de desti(!ri'o 
en que fue condenado por los Alcaldes 
de Coi'te destc reyno, los dos que cum- 
])li(') y los ocho della y cinco leguas, 
porc^ue se le opuso haber hecho ciertas 



[Period IL 

* 159 was not. however, left without a ^ true IViend. 
Chiucho ("onde. who. on more than one occa- 
sion, showed a genuhie attachment to Lope's jDcrson, 
accompanied him to his cell, and. when he was released 
and exiled, went with him to \'alencia. where Lope 
himself was treated with extraoi'dinary kindness and 
consideration, though exposed, he says, at times, to 
dangers as great ;is those from which he had suflered 
so much at Madrid.^'' 

The exile of Lope lasted at least two years, and 
Mas chiefly passed at Valencia, then in literary reputa- 
tion next after Madrid among the cities of Spain. Nor 
does he seem to have missed the advantages it offered 
him : for it was, no doubt, during his residence there 
that he formed a friendship with Gaspar de Aguilar 
and (ruillen de Castro, of which many traces are to be 
Ibund in his works; while, on the other hand, it is 

satiras contra Geronimo Velazquez, au- 
tor de coniedias y otras i)ersonas de sii 
casa, y porque durante <li('ho destierro 
a cosas forzosas que se le ofrecieiou 
eutro en esta coite y otras partes en 
<luebrantamiento del ; — suj)li(:a le haga 
nierced de reniitirle las penas ijue por 
ello incurno." 

The following note is in Xavarrete's 
well-known liandwriting : "Me lo envio 
de Sinianca.s el Sr. D. Tomas Gonzalez 
encargado del arreglo de aquel arcliivo 
uacional. ilartin Fernandez de Navar- 
rete." And on the back is indorsed, 
"Carta de Lope de Vega al Key pidi- 
endo le haga la giacia de remitir las 
penas incurridas por el, ano 1598." 

From this letter it apjwars that the 
avowed cause of Lope's exile was cer- 
tain satires against Geronimo Velaz- 
quez, autor de Comedia.s, and other per- 
sons of his kin ; — that he had broken 
it;; terms by coming within the five 
leagues of the court from which he 
was forbidden ; and that he now asked 
a pardon from th<' penalties he had 
tlius ineurred, having already obtained 
a remission of the term of exile not yet 
fulfilled. Now there is a certain Ve- 

lazquez noticed in C. Pellicer's " Origen 
de la Comedia," etc., (Madrid, 1804, 
Tom. II. p. 141,) who answers all the 
conditions given by Moutalvan and 
Lope of the "Autor de Comedias " in 
question, and Pellicer has given part 
of a popular satire on him, which, it is 
not unlikely, may be the very one 
for which Lope wa.s exiled. Pellicer, 
however, neither suspected the distin- 
guished authorsliip of the verses he 
cites, nor knew the first name of Velaz- 

1^ His relations with Claudio are no- 
ticed by himself in the Dedication to 
that "true friend," as he justly calls 
liim, of the well-known play, "Court- 
ing his own ilisfortunes " ; — "which 
title," he adds, "is well .suited to those 
adventures, wlien, with so much love, 
you accompanied me to prison, from 
which we went to Valencia, wliere we 
ran into no less dangers than we had 
incunvd at home, and where 1 lepaid 
you by liberating you from the tower 
of Serranos [a jail at Valencia] and the 
severe .sentence you were there under- 
going," etc. Comedias, Tom. XV., 
Madrid, 1621, f. 26. 

Cii.u'. XIII.] IILS WIFE DIES. 189 

perhaps not um-easoiiahle to assuiiiu that the theatre, 
which was just then beti-inuiiig to take its form in 
Valencia, w^as much indebted to the fresh power of 
Lope for an impulse it never afterwards lost. At any 
rate, we know that he was much connected with the 
Valencian poets, and that, a little later, the}' were 
amono; his marked followers in the drama. 15ut his 
exile was still an exile, — bitter and wearisome to 
him, — and he gladly returned to Madrid as soon as 
he could venture there safely. 

His home, however, soon ceased to be what it had 
been. His vonno- wife died in less than a year 
after his * return, and one of his friends, Pedro * 160 
de Medinilla,^' joined him in an eclogue to her 
memory, which is dedicated to Lope's patron, Antonio, 
Duke of Alva,^*^ — a poem of little value, and one that 
does much less justice to his feelings than some of his 
numerous verses to the same lady, under the name of 
Belisa, which are scattered through his own works and 
found in the old Romanceros.^'^ 

^■^ Baltasar Elisio de Mediiiilla, -whose in the Arcadia, as may be seen fiom 

violent death is mourned by Lope de the sonnet i)retixed to that pastoral by 

Vega in an Elegy in the fust volume Amphryso, or Antonio, Duke of Alva ; 

of his works, wrote a Poem entitled and it is the poetical name Lope bore 

" Limpia Concepcion de la Virgen Nu- to the time of his death, as may be seen 

estra Sehora," Madrid, 1617, 12mo, pp. from the beginning of the thiixl act of 

89, — the fruit, he tells us, of seven the drama in honor of his memory, 

years' labor, and published at the age (Obras Sueltas, Tom. XX. ]>. 41)4. ) 

of thirty-two. Lope, in some prefatory Even his Peruvian Amaryllis knew it, 

verses, says of it, — and under this name addressed to him 

Letor no ay silaba aqui the poetical epistle already referred to. 

Que de oro puro no sea, ec. This fact — that Belardo was his recog- 

But it is, after all, a dull poem, divided nized poetical appellation — should be 

into five books, and about five hundred borne in mind when reading the poetry 

octave stanzas, beginning with the of his time, where it fi-ecjueutly recurs, 
prayers of Joachim for offspring, and ^^ Belisa is an anagram of Isahe.hi, 

ending with the mysterious conce})tion. th(! first name of his wife, as is plain 

The subject — always popular in Spain from a sonnet on the death of her 

— may have gained more regard for it niotlier, Theodora Urlnna, where lie 

than it deserved ; but it was never re- speaks of her as "the heavenly imago 

printed. of his Belisa, whose silent words and 

1^ Obras Sueltas, Tom. IV. pp. 430- gentle smiles had been thi^ consolation 

443. Bclarih), the name Lope bears in of his exile." (Obras Suelta.s, Tom. lY. 

this eclogue, is the one he gave himself p. 278.) There are several ballads con- 


It must be admitted, however, that there is some con- 
fusion in this matter. The balhids bear witness to the 
jealousy felt lj\' Isaliela on account of his relations with 
another fair lady, who passes under the name of Filis. 
— a jealous}' which seems to have caused him no small 
embarrassment; for while, in some of his verses, he de- 
clares it has no foundation, in others he admits and jus- 
tifies it.-^ But however this may have been, a very 
short time after Isabela's death he made no secret 
of his passion for the rival who had disturbed her 

peace. He was not, however, successful. For 
* 161 some reason *or other, the lady rejected his suit. 

He was in despair, as his ballads prove ; but his 
despair did not last long. In less than a year from the 
death of Isabela it was all over, and he had again taken, 
to amuse and distract his thoughts, the genuine Spanish 
resource of becoming a soldier. 

The moment in which he made this decisive chano^e 


in his life was one when a spirit of military adventure 
was not nnlikely to take possession of a character 
always seeking excitement ; for it was just as Philip 
the Second was preparing the portentous Armada, with 
which he hoped, by one blow, to overthrow the power 
of Elizabeth and bring back a nation of heretics to 
the bosom of the Church. Lope, therefore, as he 
tells us in one of his eclogues, finding the lady of his 
love would not smile upon him, took his musket on 
his shoulder, amidst the universal enthusiasm of 1588, 
marched to Lisbon, and, accompanied hy his faithful 

iiected with lior in tlie Koniancpro (Jen- Bclisa, "Let Heaven condemn me to 
eral, and a beautiful one in tlie tiiird of eternal woe, if I do not detest Pliillis 
Lope's Tales, written evidently while and adore tliee " ; — which may he con- 
he was with the Duke of Alva. Obras, sidereil as fullv contradicted by the 
Tom. VIII. p. 148. e(|ually fine ballad addres.sed to Filis, 
'^' For instance, in the line ballad be- (f. 13,) " Amada ]iastora mia " ; as well 
grinning, " Llenos de I'grimas tristes," as by six or eight others of the same 
(Komancero of 1602, f. 47,) he says to sort," — some more, some less tender. 

< H.vi'. Xlll.] LOl'E DE VEGA IN THE ARMADA. 191 

friend Conde, went on board the magnificent arma- 
ment destined for England, where, he says, he used 
up lor wadding the verses he had written in liis 
lady's praise."^ 

A succession of disasters followed this ungallant 
jest. His brother, from whom he -had long been sep- 
arated, and whom he now found as a lieuteniint on 
l)oard the Saint John, in which he himself served, 
<lied in his arms of a wound received during a fight 
with the Dutch. Other great troubles crowded after 
this one. Storms scattered the unwieldy fleet ; ca- 
lamities of all kinds confounded prospects that had 
just before been so full of glory; and Lope must 
have thought himself but too happy, wdien, after the 
Armada had been dispersed or destroyed, he was 
brought back in safety, first to Cadiz and afterwards 
to Toledo and Madrid, reaching the last cit}^, prob- 
i\h\y, in 1590. It is a cin^ious fact, however, in his 
personal history, that, amidst all the terrors and suf- 
ferings of this disastrous expedition, he found leisure 
and quietness of spirit to write the greater 
part of his long * poem on " The Beauty of * 162 
Angelica," wdiich he intended as a continua- 
tion of the " Orlando Furioso." ^ 

But Lope could not well retm^n from such an expe- 
dition without something of that feeling of disap- 
pointment which, with the nation at large, accompa- 
nied its failure. Perhaps it was owing to this that he 
■entered again on the poor course of life of which he 

21 Volando en taeof! del canon violonto turned to Cadiz ill September, ir)8S, 

LospapelesdeFilisporelyiento. having sailed from Lisbon in tll(! pre- 

Egloga i Claudio, Obras, Tom. IX p. 35G. ceding May ; so that Lope was proba- 

" One of his poetical panegyrists, bly at sea about four months. Further 

after his death, speaking of the Anna- notices of his naval service may be 

^la, says : " There and in Cadiz he wrote found in the third canto of his " Coro- 

the Angelica." (Obras, Tom. XX. )>. na Tragiea," and the second of his 

•348.) The remains of the Armada re- " riiilomena." 



had already made an exiDeriment with the Duke of 
Alva, and became secretarv. first of the Marquis of 
Malpica. and afterwards of the generous Marquis 
of Sarria. who. as Count de Jamuos, was, a little later, 
the patron of Cervantes and the Argensolas. While 
he was in the servict.^ of the last distinguished noble- 
man, and already known as a dramatist, lie became 
attached to Dona Juana de Guardio. a lady of good 
iamily in Madi'id. whom he luarricd in 1597; and. 
soon afterwards leaving the Count de Lemos. had 
never anv other patrons than those whom, like the 
Duke of Sessa. his literaiy fame procured for liim.-^ 

Lope had now reached the age of thirty-five, and 
seems to have enjoyed a few years of happiness, to 
which he often alludes, and which, in two of his 
l)oetical epistles, he has described with much gentle- 
ness and grace.-^ But it did not last long. A son. 

Carlos, to whom he was tenderly attached. 
* 1G3 lived ouly to his seventh *year;-'^ and the 

mother died, giving birth, at the same time, 
to Feliciana,-*^ who was afterwards married to Don 
Luis de Usategui, the editor of some of his fiither-in- 

^^ Don I'cdrcj Fcniiiiidez dc Castro, 
Count of Lemos and Maniuis of Sania, 
who was born in Madnd about 1576, 
nmn-ied a daugliti-r of the Duke de 
Lcnna, the rci^^niing favorite and min- 
ister of thi? time, witli whose fortunes 
lie rose, and in whose fall he was ruined. 
The peiiod of Ins highest lionois was 
that following his aj)]K)intment as Viee- 
voy of Naples, in 1610, where he kept 
H literarj' court of no little splendor, 
that hail for its eliief directors the two 
Argensolas, and with which, atone time, 
Quevedo was connected. The count 
<lied in 1622, at Madiid. Lope's prin- 
cipal connections with liini were when 
lie was 3'oung, and before he had come 
to his title as Count de Lemos. He 
records himself as "Secretary of the 
>Iarquis of Sarria," in the title-page of 
the Arcadia, 1598 ; besides which, many 

years afterwards, when writing to the 
Count de Lemos, he says : " You know 
how I love and reverence you, and that, 
many a night, I liave slept at your 
feet like a dog." Obras Sueltas, Tom. 
XYIL p. 403. Clcmencin, Don Qui.\- 
ote, Parte II., note to the Dedica- 

-* Epi'stola al Doctor ilathias de Por- 
ra.s, and Eju'stola a Amarylis ; to which 
may be added the pleasant epistle to 
Francisco de Kioja, in which he de- 
scribes his garden and the friends he 
received in it. 

^ On this .son, see Obras, Tom. L 
]>. 472 : — the tender Cavcion on liis 
death, Tom. XI IL p. 365 ; — and the 
Ijeautiful Dedication to him of the 
" Pastores de Belen," Tom XYI. p. xi. 

'^ Obras, Tom. I. p. 472, and Tom. 
XX. p. 34. 

<('nAi>. XIII.] Ills INCONSISTENT LIFE. 193 

law's posthumous woiks. Lope seems to have felt 
bitterl}^ his desolate estate after the death of his wife 
and son, and speaks of it with nineh feeling in a 
poem addressed to his faithful friend Conde.^' But 
earlier than this, in IGO"), iui illegitimate daughter 
was horn to him, whom he named Marcela, — the same 
to whom, in 1620, he dedicated one of his plays, with 
extraordinary expressions of affection and admiration,^^ 
and who, in 1621, took the veil and retired from the 
world, renewing griefs, which, with his views of re- 
ligion, he desired rather to bear with patience, and 
even with pride.^^ In 1606, the same lady, — Doiia 
Maria de Luxan, — who was the mother of Marcela, 
bore him a son, whom he named Lope, and who, at 
the age of fourteen, appears among the poets at the 
canonization of San Isidro/^*^ But thouo-h his father 
had fondly destined him for a life of letters, he in- 
sisted on becoming a soldier, and, after serving under 
the Marquis of Santa Cruz against the Dutch and 
the Turks, perished, when only fifteen years old, in 
a vessel which was lost at sea wdth all on board;^^ 
Lope poured forth his sorrows in a piscatory eclogue, 
less full of feeling than the verses in which he de- 
scribes Marcela taking the veil.^'^ 

* After the birth of these two children, we * 164 

2' Obras, Tom. IX. p. 3.55. too complacently on the .s])len(lor fjiven 
•28 a j,^[ Kemedio de la De.sdielia," a to the occasion by the king, and by liis 
play whose story is from the old liallads patron, the Duke de Sessa, who desired 
or the "Diana" of Montemayor, (Co- to honor thus a favorite and famous 
madias, Tom. XIII., Madrid, 1620,) in poet. Obras, Tom. I. pj). 313-316. 
the Preface to which he begs his daugh- *' Obras, Tom. XI. pp. 495 and 596, 
ter to read and correct it ; and prays where his father jests about it. It is a 
that she may be happy in spite of tin; Glosa. He is called Lope de Vega Car- 
perfections which render earthly happi- pio, el mozo ; and it is added, that he 
ness almost impossible to her. She was not yet fourteen years old. 
long survived her father, and died, ^i Obras, Tom. I. pp. 472 and 316. 
much reverenced for her piety, in 1688. ^^ In the eclogue, (Obras, Tom. X. 
'^^ The description of Ids grief, and p. 362,) he is called, after both his 
of his religious feelings as she took the father and his mother, Don Lope Felix 
veil, is solemn, but he dwells a little del Carpio y Luxan. 
VOL. II. 13 

194 LOPE DE YEGA liECOME.S A PKIE^T. [I'kuioi, 11. 

hear nothing more of their mother. Indeed, soon 
aftei'wards, Lope, no longer at an age to be deluded 
b}' his passions, began, according to the custom of his 
time and country, to turn his tlioughts seriously to 
religion. He devoted himself to pious Avorks, as his 
father had done ; visited the hospitals regularly ; re- 
sorted daily to a particular church; entered a secu.lar 
religious congregation ; and finally, at Toledo, in 1609. 
according to Navarrete, received the tonsure and 
became a priest. The next year he joined the same 
brotherhood of which Cervantes was afterwards a 
member.'^ In 1625, he entered the congregation of 
the native priesthood of Madrid, and was so faithful 
and exact in the performance of his duties, that, in 
1628, he was elected to be its chief chaplain. He is, 
therefore, for the twenty-six latter years of his long 
life, to be regarded as strictly connected with the 
Spanish Church, and as devoting to its daih^ service 
some portion of his time.'^ 

But we must not misunderstand the position in 
which, through these relations. Lope had now placed 
himself, nor overrate the sacrifices they required of 
him. Such a connection with the Church, in his 
time, by no means involved an a1)andoumeut of 
the world. — hardly an abandonment of its pleasures. 

^ Pellicer, ed. Don Quixote, Tom. I. de pacitMicia, que si fuesen voluntarios 

J), i-xcix. Navarrete, Vida de Cervau- como precisos no fuera a(pu su peniteii- 

tes, 1819, p. 468. eia menos que principio del i)uigatorio." 

8* There is a difficult}' about these — Inanotheiletteiot'Sciiteinher?, 1(511, 

relations of Lope to the jmesthood and he speaks of gettinf< along better with 

to his married life. Of course, if he Ins wife Juana. Of course, if these 

t<jok the tonsure in 1609, he could not dates are right, the reckoning of Pclli- 

be a married man in 1611 ; and yet cer and Navarrete is wrong, and Lope 

Kcliack (Nachti-age, p. .31) gives us did not enter the priesthood before 1611 

thes<' words from an autogiaph letter or 1612; but he seems by his li/dson 

of Lope, dated Madrid, July 6, 1611, with Maria de Lu.xan, in 1605-6, to 

and found among the papers of his have given cause enough for fiimily dis- 

great patron and executor, the Duq\ie .sensions smh as these letters intimate, 

de Sessa, viz. : "Aipii paso, Senor ex- The " brotherhood " ilid not imjily celi- 

eelentisimo, mi vida con este mal im- bacy. 
portuno de mi mnjei', egcrcitando actos 

c"iiAi'. XI 1 1. 1 MORE INCONSISTEXCIES. 195 

On the contrary, it was i-ather regarded as one of 
the means for securhig the leisure suited to a hfe 
of letters and social ease. As such, uncjuestionably, 
Lope employed it ; for, during the long series of 
years in which he was a })riest, and gave regular 
portions of his time to offices of devotion 
* and charity, he was at the height of favor * 165 
and fashion as a poet. And, wdiat may seem to 
us more strange, it was during the same period he 
produced the greater number of his dramas, not a few^ 
of wdiose scenes oftend against the most unquestioned 
precepts of Christian morality, while, at the same time, 
in their title-pages and dedications, he carefulh^ sets 
forth his clerical distinctions, giving peculiar promi- 
nence to his place as a Familiar or servant of the Holy 
Office of the Inquisition.*^ 

It was, however, during the happier period of his 
married life that he laid the foundations for his 
general popularity as a poet. His subject w^as well 
chosen. It Avas that of the great feme and glory of 
San Isidro the Ploughman. This remarkable personage, 
who pla}s so distinguished a part in the ecclesiastical 
history of Madrid, is supposed to have been born in 
the twelfth century, on wdiat afterwards became the 
site of that city, and to have led a life so eminently 

35 I notice the title Familiar del Lope, also, sometimes calls liims(|lf 

kianto Oficio as early as the " Jerusalen Frcy in the titles of his works. This, 

C'onquistada,"' 1609. Frequently after- however, it should be noted, is a ditfer- 

wards, as in the Comedias, Tom. II., ent designation from Fr^y, though both 

VI., XL, etc., no other title is put to come from the Latin Frater. For Fr^y 

his name, as if this were glory enough, means a monk, and, in connnou par- 

In liis time, Familiar meant a pei'son lance, a monk of some mendicant or- 

who could at any moment be called der ; whereas Frcy is a member, whcth- 

into the service of the In(|uisiti()n ; er clerical or lay, of one of the great 

but had no special office, and no duties, S))anish military and religious orders, 

till he was summoned. Covarruvias, Thus Lope de Vega was "Frcy del Or- 

ad verb. Lope, in his " Peregrino en den de Malta," — not a small honor, 

su Patria," (1604,) had already done — and Juan de la Cruz was " Frcy Des- 

liomage to the Inquisition, calling it cabco de la Keforma de Nuestra Seno- 

" Esta santa y venerable Inquisiciou," ra del Carmen," — a severe order ot 

etc. Lib. II. monks. 

196 THE SAN ISIDRO. [Period II. 

pious, that the angels came down and ploughed his 
grounds for him, which the holy man neglected in 
order to devote his time to religious duties. From an 
early period, therefore, he enjoyed much consideration, 
and was regarded as the patron and friend of the 
whole territor}^, as well as of the city of Madrid itself 
But his great honors date from the year 1598. In 
that year Philip the Third was dangerously ill at a 
neighboring village ; the city sent out the remains of 
Isidro in procession to avert the impending calamity; 
the king recovered; and for the first time the holy 

man became widelj' fiimous and lashionable.'^*^ 
* 166 * Lope seized the occasion, and wrote a long 
- poem on the life of '• Isidro the Ploughman," or 
Farmer ; so called to distinguish him from the learned 
saint of Seville who bore the same name. It consists 
of ten thousand lines, exactly divided among the ten 
l)ooks of which it is composed ; and yet it was finished 
within the year, and published in 1599. It has no 
high poetical merit, and does not, indeed, aspire to any. 
But it was intended to be popular, and succeeded. It 
i> written in the old national five-line stanza, carefully 
rhymed throughout; and, notwithstanding the appar- 
ent difficulty of the measure, it everywhere affords 
unequivocal proof of that facility and fluency of versifi- 
cation for which Lope became afterwards so fiinious. 
Its tcme, which, on the most solemn matters of religion, 
is so fiiiilliiir that we should now consider it indeco- 
rous, was no doubt in full consent with the spirit of the 

^ He was, from a very early period, drid in 1779 contains a list of the kings 
honored at home, in Madrid, and has who had ])aid rcvcience to the ])oor 
continued to he so ever since; — his ploufifliniaii, and among tliem are St. 
humble origin and gentle character con- Ferdinand and Alfonso the Wise. Klo- 
trihuting no <loubt to his j)opularity. gio a San Isidro, Labrador, Patron de 
A poem urging intercessions to him in Madrid, por D. Joachin Ezquerra, Ma- 
consequence of a great drought at Ma- drid, 1779, 18mo, jq). 14. 


times, ;ind one main cause of its success. Tlius, in 
Canto Third, where the angels come to Isidro and his 
wife Mary, who are too poor to entertain them, Lope 
describes the scene — which ought to be as solemn as 
anything in the poem, since it involves the facts on 
which Isidro's claim to canonization was subsequently 
admitted — in the following light verses, which may 
serve as a specimen of the measure and style of the 
whole ; — 

Three angels, sent by gi-ace divine. 

Once on a time blessed Abraham's sight ; — 

To Mamre came that vision bright, 

AVhose number shouhl our thoughts incline 

To Him of whom the Prophets write. 
But six now came to Isidore ! 

And, heavenly powers ! what consternation ! 

Where is his hospitable store ? 

Surely they come with consolation, 

And not to get a timely ration. 
Still, if in haste unleavened bread 

Mary, like Sarah, now could bake, 
* Or Isidore, like Abraham, take *lti7 

The lamb that in its pasture fed, 

And lioney from its waxen cake, 
I know he would his guests invite ; — 

But whoso ploughs not, it is right 

His sufferings the price should pay ; — 

And how has Isidore a way 

Six such to harbor for a night ? 
And yet he stands forgiven there, 

Though friendly bidding he make none ; 

For poverty prevents alone ; — 

But, Isidore, thou still canst spare 

What surest rises to God's throne. 
Let Abraham to slay arise ; 

But, on the ground, in sacrifice, 

Give, Isidore, thy soul to God, 

Who never doth the heart despise 

That bows beneath his rod. 
He did not ask for Isaac's death ; 

He asked for Abraham':; willing faith. ^ 

*? Tres ^npceles a Abraham Seis vienen a Tsjdro i ver : 

Una voz apareciernn, srran Dios, que puede i^er? 

Que a verle 4 Manibrc viuieron : Donde los ha de alvergar ? 

Bien que a este n'lmero dan Mas vienen 4 consolar, 

El que en figura trujeron. Que no vienen 4 comer. 



No doubt, 8ome of the circumstances in the poem are 
invented for the occasion, though there is in the mar- 
gin much parade of authorities for ahnost everything ; 
— a practice very connnon at that period, to which 
Lope afterwards conformed only once or twice. But 
however we may now regard the " San Isidro," it was 
printed four times in less than nine years ; and by ad- 
dressing itself more to the national and popular feel- 
ing than the '" Arcadia" had done, it became the earli- 
est foundation for its author's fame as the favorite poet 

of the whole nation. 
* 108 * xVt this time, however, he was beginning to 

be so much occupied with the theatre, and so suc- 
cessfulj that he had little leisure for anything else. His 
next considerable publication,^® therefore, was not till 
1602, when the " Hermosura de Angelica," or The 
Beauty of Angelica, aj)peared ; a poem already men- 
tioned as having been chiefly written while its author 
served at sea in the ill-fated Armada. It somewhat pre- 
sumptuously claims to be a continuation of the "' Orlando 
Furioso," and is stretched out through twenty cantos, 
comprehending above eleven thousand lines in octave 
verse. In the Preface, he says he wrote it '• under the 
rigging of the galleon Saint John and tiie l)anuers of 

Si como Sara, Maria 

Cocer luepo pan ])udiera, 

Y c'l como Abraham truxera 
El fordero que pacia, 

Y la niicl entre la rcra, 
Yo s<; que los convidara. 

Mas (juando lo quo no ara, 
Ije dicen que ha de pagar ; 
Como jK)dr.i convidar 
A wis de tan buena cara? 

Disculpado puede estar, 
Puesto (|ue no los convide, 
Pues su pobreza lo impide, 
Isidro, aunque puede dar 
Muy bicn lo que Dios le pide. 

A'aya Abraham al pmado, 

Y en el snelo huniilde echado, 
iJadle el alma, Isitiro, vos, 
Que nunea des))re<-ia Dios 

Kl corazon huniillado. 
No queria el sjirritieio 

De Tsaae, sino la obcdiencia 

De Abraham. 

Obnis Sueltas, Tom. XI. p. 69. 
The three angels that came to Ahra- 
haiu arc often taken hy tlie elder tlieo- 
logian.s, as they are by Lope, to syni- 
holizc the Tiinity. Xavarrete — more 
cuninioiily known a.s £1 Miulo, or the 
I )tiinl) Painter — endeavored to give this 
e.\l)re.s.sion to them on canvas. Stirling's 
Arti.sts in S]iain, 1848, Vol. L p. 2.55. 

^ The "Fiestas de Denia," a jioem 
in two short cantos, on the reception 
of I'hilip III. at Denia, near Valencia, 
in 1.599, soon aftei' his niariiage, was 
piinted the .same year, but is ol little 


the Catholic king." and that -lie and the generalissimo 
of the expedition finished their labors together"; — a 
remark Avhich must not be taken too strictly, since 
both the thirteenth and twentieth cantos contain pas- 
sages relating to events in the reign of Philip the 
Third. Indeed, in the Dedication, he tells his patron 
that he had suffered the whole j^oem to lie by him long 
for want of leisure to correct it ; and he elsewhere 
adds, that he leaves it still unfinished, to be completed 
by some happier genius. 

It is not unlikely that Lope was induced to write the 
Angelica by the success of several poems that had pre- 
ceded it on the same series of fictions, and especially 
by the favor shown to one published only two years be- 
fore, in the same style and manner, — the '"Angelica'^ 
of Luis Barahona de Soto, which is noticed with ex- 
traordinary praise in the scrutiny of the Knight of La 
Mancha's Library, as well as in the conclusion to Don 
Quixote, where a somewhat tardy compliment is paid 
to this very work of Lope. Both poems are obvious 
imitations of Ariosto ; and if that of De Soto has bee« 
too much praised, it is, at least, better than Lope's. And 
yet, in " The Beauty of Angelica," the author 
might have been deemed to occupy ground *well * 109 
suited to his genius ; for the boundless latitude 
afforded him by a subject filled with the dreamy adven- 
tures of chivalry Avas, necessarily, a partial release from 
the obligation to pursue a consistent plan, ^ while, at 
the same time, the example of Ariosto, as well as that 
of Luis de Soto, may be supposed to have launched 
him fairl}^ forth upon the open sea of an unrestrained 
fancy, careless of shores or soundings. 

But perhaps this very freedom was a principal cause 
uf his failure ; for his story is to the last degree wild 

200 THE IIERMOsrn.V I)E ANGELICA. [Pkimod II. 

and extravagant, and is connected by the slightest 
possible thread with the graceful fiction of Ariosto.^ 
A king of Andalusia, as it pretends, leaves his king- 
dom by testament to the most beautiful man or woman 
that can be found.'^^ All the world throngs to wiu the 
mighty prize ; and one of the most amusing parts of 
the whole poem is that in which its author describes 
to us the crowds of the old and the ugly who, under 
such conditious, still thought themselves fit competi- 
tors. But as early as the fifth canto, the two lovers, 
Medoro aud Angelica, who had been left in India by 
the Italian master, have already won the throne, and, 
for the sake of the lady's unrivalled beauty, are 
crowned king and queen at Seville. 

Here, of course, if the poem had a regular subject, 
it would end ; but now we are plunged at once into a 
series of wars and disasters, arising out of the discon- 
tent of unsuccessful rivals, which threaten to have no 
end. Trials of all kinds follow. Visions, enchant- 
ments and counter enchantments, episodes quite un- 
connected with the main story, and broken up them- 
selves by the most perverse interruptions, are mingled 
toscether, we neither know whv nor how: and when 
at last the happy pair are settled in their hardly won 
kingdom, we are as much wearied bv the wild waste 
of fanc}' in which Lope has indulged himself, as we 
should have been by almost any degree of mo- 
* 170 notony arising from a want of inventive * power. 
The best parts of the poem are those that con- 
tain descriptions of persons and scenery;*^ the worst 
are those where Lope has displayed his learning, 

^ Till- point wliiTf it lirauchos off imlci'd, a fair opening for the subject 

from tlic story of Arioslo is tlie six- of Lope's Angelica, 
teenth stanza of the thirtieth canto of *' La Angelica, Canto IlL 

the "(Jrlando Knriosi*," where there is, *' Cantos IV. and Vll. 

CiUF. Xni.] THE DKA(;ONTEA. 201 

Avliicli lie lias sometimes done by filling whole stanzas 
with a iiiere accumulation of proper names. The ver- 
sification is extraordinai'ily Huent.'*^ 

As The Beauty of Angelica was w^ritten in the ill- 
fated Armada, it contains occasional intimations of the 
author's national and religious feelings, such as w'ere 
naturally suggested by his situation. But in the same 
volume he at one time published a poem in which 
these feelings are much more fully and freely ex- 
pressed ; — a poem, indeed, which is devoted to noth- 
ing else. It is called '• La Dragontea," and is on the 
subject of Sir Francis Drake's last expedition and 
death. Perhaps no other instance can be foimd of a 
grave epic devoted to the persci.al abuse of a single 
individual; and to account' for the present one, we 
must remember how fjiiniliar and formidable the name 
of Sir Francis Drake had long been in Spain. 

He had begun his career as a brilliant pirate in 
South America above thirty years before ; he had 
alarmed all Spain by ravaging its coasts and occupying 
Cadiz, in a sort of doubtful warfare, which Lord Bacon 
tells us the free sailor used to call " singeing the king 
of Spain's beard " ; *^ and he had risen to the height of 
his o-lorv as second in command of the o-reat fleet 
which had discomfited the Armada, one of whose 
largest vessels was known to have surrendered to the 
terror of his name alone. In Spain, where he was as 
much hated as he was feared, he was regarded chiefly 
as a bold and successful buccaneer, whose melancholy 

■*- La Hermosura de Angelica was acuuniulate them ai-c to he found in 

]>rinted for the, first time in 1604, says bras, Tom. II. ))p. 27, 55, 233, 236, etc. 
the editor of the Obras, in Tom. II. '^'■^ "Considerations touchiiio; a War 

But Salva gives an edition in 1602. It witli Spain, inscribed to Prince Cliarles," 

certainly appeared at Barcelona in 1605. 1624 ; a curious sjjecimcm of the ])olit- 

The stanzas where projjer names occur ical discussions of the time. See Bacon's 

so often as to prove that Lope was guilty Works, London, 1810, 8vo, Vol. IIL 

of the affectation of taking pains to p. ,517. 



[Pekiod II. 

death at Panama, in l-jDG, was held to he a just visita- 
tion of the Divine vengeance for his piracies; — a 
state of feeling of which the popular literature 
* 1 71 * of the country, down to its very ballads, 
affords frequent proof *^ 
The Dragontea, however, whose ten cantos of oc- 
tave verse are devoted to the expression of this na- 
tional hati-ed, may be regarded as its chief monument. 
It is a strange poem. It begins with the prayers of 
Christianity, in the form of a beautiful woman, who 
presents Spain, Italy, and America in the court of 
Heaven, and prays God to protect them all against 
Avhat Lope calls " that Protestant Scotch pirate."^^ It 
ends with reioicinofs in Panama because " the Dragon," 
as he is called through the whole poem, has died, 
poisoned by his own people, and with the thanksgivings 
of Christianity that her prayers have been heard, and 
that "the scarlet lady of Babylon " — meaning Queen 
Elizabeth — had been at last defeated. The substance 
of the poem is such as may beseem such an opening 

** Mariana, Ilistoria, ad an. 1.596, 
calls him .simply " Francis Drake, an 
English corsair" ; — an<l in a graceful 
little anonymous ballad, imitated from 
a more gi'acx'ful one by Oongora, w(^ 
have again a true exi)re.ssion of the 
popular feeling. The ballad in ques- 
tion, 1)eginning " Herniano Perico," is 
in the Romancero General, 1602, (f. 34,) 
and contains the following signiticant 
passage : — 

And Bartolo, my hrotlicr, 

To Enjriaii.l forth is gone, 

AVIiuri! the Drake ho nle.^n.s to kill ; — 

And tlie lAithorans every one, 

Kxronniiunicatc from Ooil, 

Their ijueen aiiionjf the; first, 

He will captiire and liring back, 

Like heri'tirs .•loeurst. 

.\iid he i)rouii-«!>i, moreover, 

Among ills spoils and giiin.s, 

A heretie young serving-boy 

To give me, luiund in ehains ; 

And for my ladv i^nimlmamma, 

Who.il' yejirx sunh waiting crave 

A little handy l.ntheran, 

To Im- her maiden slave. 

Mi hemiano Bartolo 
Se va a Ingalaterra, 
A matjir al Draque, 

Y i prender la Ileyna, 

Y a los Luteranas 
De la Uandonies.sa. 
Tiene de traerme 
A mi de la guerra 
Un Luteranico 
Con una cadena, 

Y una Luteraiia 
A seiioni aguela. 

Romancero General, .Madrid, ltXl2, 4to, f. 35 

The .same ballad occurs in the " Entre- 
nies de los Romances," in the very rare 
and curious third volume, entitled Parte 
Tercera de las Comedias de Lojie de 
Vega y otros Autores, ec, Barcelona, 
16i4, which, however, contains only 
tlnee of Eo|te's Plays out of its twelve. 
I found it in the Library of the Vatican, 
where there are more old Sjianish books 
than is commonly su])]>o.sed. 

*5 He was in fact of l)evonshire. See 
Fuller's Worthies and Holy State. 


and such a coiicliisiun. It i.s violent and coarse 
throughout. But although it appeals constantly to 
the national prejudices that prevailed in its author's 
time with great intensity, it was not received with 
favor. It was written in 1597, immediately after the 
occurrence of most of the events to which it alludes ; 
but was not puljlished till 1G04, and has been 
printed since * only in the collected edition of * 172 
Lope's miscellaneous works, in 1776.*'^ 

In the same year, however, in which he gave the 
Dragontea to the world, he published a prose romance, 
" The Pilgrim in his own Country " ; dedicating it to 
the Marquis of Priego, on the last day of 1603, from 
the city of Seville. It contains the story of two 
lovers, who, after many adventures in Spain and Portu- 
gal, are carried into captivity among the Moors, and 
return home by the way of Italy, as pilgrims. We 
first find them at Barcelona, shipwrecked, and the 
principal scenes are laid there and in Valencia and 
Sarao'ossa ; — the whole endino; in the city of Toledo, 
where, with the assent of their friends, they are* at 
last married.*' Several episodes are ingeniously inter 
woven with the thread of the principal narrative, and 
besides many poems chiefly written, no doubt, for other 
occasions, several religious dramas are inserted, which 
seem actually' to have been performed under the cir- 
cumstances described.*^ 

*6 There is a curiou.s poem in Ens- ma.s ignorado de sus libros." Oliras 

lish, by Charles Fitzgeffrev, on the Sueltas, Tom. XIV. p. xxxii. 

Life and Death of Sir Francis Drake, *' The time of the storv is 1598-99, 

first printed in 1.^96, Mhieh is worth when Philip III. was married, 

comparing with the Dragontea, as its ^ At the end of the whole, it is said, 

opposite, and which was better liked in that, dnring the eight nights f.dlowing 

England in its time tlian Lope's poem the wedding, eight other dramas were 

was m Spain. See Wood's Athena;, acted, whose names are given ; two of 

London, 1815, 4tQ, Vol. II. p. 607. which, " El Persegnido," and "El Cni- 

Pacheco, in a notice of Lope, printcid Ian Agradecido," do not appear among 

in 1609, — five years after the appear- Lo])e's printed plays; — at least, not 

ance of the Dragontea, — culls it, " El under these titles. 


The entire romance is divided into five books, and 
is carefully constructed and finished. Some of Lope's 
own experiences at Valencia and elsewhere evidently 
contributed materials for it ; but a poetical coloring 
is thrown over the whole, and except in some of the 
details about the cit}', and descriptions of natural 
scenery, we rarely feel that what we read is absolutely 
true.*'*' The story, especially when regarded from the 
point of view chosen by its author, is interest- 
*lTo ing; and it is not only one of the * earliest 
specimens in Spanish literature of the class to 
which it belongs, but one of the best.^*' 

Passing over some of his minor poems and his " New 
Art of Writing Plays," for noticing both of wdiicli more 
appropriate occasions will occur hereafter, we come to 
another of Lope's greater efforts, his " Jerusalem Con- 
quered," which appeared in 1609, and Avas twice re- 
printed in the course of the next ten years. He calls 
it "a tragic epic," and divides it into twenty books of 
octave rh^anes, comprehending, wlien taken together, 

*9 Amonw the passages that have the translated Lope's Arcadia, his Dorotea, 

strongest aTr of reality about them are and some of his Novelas. A notice of 

those^relatin'T to the dramas, said to Kichard and his translations may be 

have been acted in different places ; and found in the " Kritisehe Bemerkungen 

those containing descriptions of Mon- iilit-r Ivastilische uiid Portugiesische 

sen-ate and of the environs of Valencia, Eiteratur, von Alvaro August Liagno," 

in the first and second books. A sort (1829-30, Svo,) written to .-ncourage 

of ghost-story, in the fifth, seems also the ].ublication by Mayer, a bookseller 

to have be.-n foun<led on fact. i" Aix la Chapelle, of the ])rincipal 

so The first edition of the " Peregi-ino Si)anish authors;— a spirited under- 

en .su Patria" is that of Seville, 1604, taking, which was continued far enough 

4to, and it was soon reprinted ; but the to carry through the i)ress Garcilasso ; 

best edition is that iu the fifth volume Melo's (hierra de Cataluna ; Guevara's 

of the Obras Sueltas, 1776. A worth- Diablo Cojuelo ; Mendoza's Lazanllo ; 

less abiidgment of it in English ap- Polo's Diana ; Tome de Burguillos, and 

peared anonymously in London in 1738, most of the works of t'ervantes. Some 

12mo. A 'German trau.s1ation, also of the notices by Liagno, in these tracts, 

much abridged and leaving out the are curious, but in general they are of 

poetry and drama.s, — in short, omit- little worth. His "Pepertoire del'His- 

ting the part of Hamlet, —was pub- toire et de la Litterature Espagnole et 

lished at Aachen, (lf^24, r2mo, pp. Portugaise," (15.-rlin, [1820,] 8vo,) is 

23.'),) and entitled " Der Pilger, etc., yet worse. He seems to have been a 

iibe'rsetzt von C. Kichard," a person disaiijioiiited man, and to have carried 

who had served, I believe, in the Pe- the unhappy temper of his life into his 

ninfiular war of 1808 - 14, and who also books. 


above twenty-two tliousiind verses. The atteiiii)t was 
certainly an ambitious one, since we see, on its very 
face, that it is nothing less than to rival Tasso on the 
<»:rouncl where Tasso's success had been so brilliant. 

As might have been foreseen. Lope failed. His very 
subject is unfortunate, for it is not the conquest of 
Jerusalem by the Christians, but the failure of Caun- 
de Lion to rescue it from the infidels in the end of the 
twelfth century, — a theme evidently unfit for a Chris- 
tian epic. All the poet could do, therefore, was to 
take the series of events as he found them in history, 
and, adding such episodes and ornaments as his own 
genius could furnish, give to the whole as much as 
possible of epic form, dignity, and completeness. But 
Lope has not done even this. He has made merely a 
long narrative poem, of which Richard is the 
hero; and he relies for success, in no * small * 174 
degree, on the introduction of a sort of rival 
hero, in the person of Alfonso the Eighth of Castile, 
wdio, with his knights, is made, after the fourth book, 
to occupy a space in the foreground of the action 
quite disproportionate and absinxl, since it is certain 
that Alfonso was never in Palestine at all.^^ What 
is equally inappropriate, the real subject of the poem 
is ended in the eighteenth book, by the return home 
of both Richard and Alfonso ; the nineteenth being 
filled with the Spanish king's subsequent history, and 
the twentieth with the imprisonment of Richard and 
the quiet death of Saladin, as master of Jerusalem, — 

^1 Lope insists, on all occasions, upon But tlu' whole is a mere fiction of 

the fact of Alfonso's having been in the the age succeeding that of Alfonso, for 

Crusades. For instance, in " La Boba using which Lope is justly rebuked 

para los otros," (Com edias, Tom. XXL, by Navarrete, in his acute essay on 

Madrid, 1635, f. 60,) he says : — the part the Spaniards took in the 

To this crusade Crusades. Memorias de la Aciide- 

There went together France and England's mia (U- la Hist., Tom. V., 1817, 4to, 

And our own Kins Alfonso. 

p. b/. 


a conclusion so abrupt and unsatisfactory, that it seems 
as if its author could hardly have originalh^ foreseen it. 
But though, with the exception of what relates to 
the apocryphal Spanish adventurers, the series of his- 
torical events in that brilliant crusade is followed down 
with some regard to the truth of fact, still we are 
so much confused hy the visions and allegorical 
personages mingled in the narrative, and by the mani- 
fold episodes and love-adventures which interrupt it, 
that it is all but impossible to read any considerable 
portion consecutively and wUh attention. Lope's easy 
and graceful versification is, indeed, to be found here, 
as it is in neaily all his poetry ; but even on the holy 
ground of chivalry, at Cyprus, Ptolemais, and Tyre, his 
narrative has much less movement and life than we 
might claim from its subject, and almost everj'where 
else it is languid and heavy. Of plan, proportions, or 
a skilful adaptation of the several parts so as to form 
an epic whole, there is no thought ; and yet Lope inti- 
mates that his poem was written with care 
* 175 some time before it was published,^- "^ and he 
dedicates it to his king, in a tone indicating 
that he thought it ))v no means unworthy the royal 

5^ See the Picilogo. The whole poem from that of other works wiitten in 

is in Obras Sueltas, Tom. XIV. and XV. my youtli, wlieii the jiassions have more 

He always liked it. Before it was jmh- power." Sehaek, Xaehtriige, 1854, p. 

lished, he .says, in a letter to the Duke 33. Note that the Duke's name is 

of Sessa, dated September 3, 1605, sometimes spelled with a double s as it 

when he thought he might print it is here, and sometimes with a single 

very soon: "I wrote it in my best one, — Sesa. 
years, and with a different puqx)se 

*CHArTKll XIV. *1V6 







Just at the time the Jerusalem was published, Lope 
began to wear the livery of his Church. Indeed, it is 
on the title-page of this very poem that he, for the 
first time, announces himself as a " Familir.r of the 
Holy Inquisition." Proofs of the change in his life 
are soon apparent in his works. In 1612, he published 
" The Shepherds of Bethlehem," a long pastoral in 
prose and verse, divided into five books. It contains 
the sacred history, according to the more popular tra- 
ditions of the author's Church, from the birth of Mary, 
the Saviour's mother, to the arrival of the holy family 
in Egypt, — all supposed to be related or enacted by 
shepherds in the neighborhood of Bethlehem, at the 
time the events occurred. 

Like the other prose pastorals written at the same 
period, it is full of incongruities. Some of the poems, 
in particular, are as inappropriate and in as bad taste 
as can well be conceived ; and why three or four poet- 
ical contests for prizes, and several common Spanish 
games, are introduced at all, it is not easy to imagine, 
since they are permitted by the conditions of no possi- 
ble poetical theory for such fictions. But it must be 
confessed, on the other hand, that there runs through 
the whole an air of amenity and gentleness well suited 

208 THE I'ASTOKES I)K JJKLEN. [Pkki.u. If. 

to its subject and purpose. .Several stories from 
*177 the Old Testament are gracefully * told, and 

translations from the Psalms and other parts of 
the Jewish Scriptures are bi'ought in with a happy 
effect. Some of the original poetry, too, is to be placed 
among the best of Lope's minor compositions ; — such 
as the following imaginative little song, which is sup- 
posed to have been sung in a palm-grove, by the Ma- 
donna, to her sleeping child, and is as full of the tender- 
est feelings of Catholic devotion as one of Murillo's 
pictures on the same subject : — 

Holy aiigfls ami lilest, 

Through these palms as ye sweep 
Hold tlu'ii- hianches at rest. 

For my liabe is asleep. 

And ye IJethlehem palm-trees, 

As stormy "^vinds n;sli 
In temi)est and fury, 

Your angry noise hush ; — 
Move gently, move gently, 

Restrain your wild sweep ; 
Hold your Inamlies at rest, — 

My babe is asleep. 

Jly babe all divine. 

With earth's sorrows oppressed. 
Seeks in slumber an instant 

His grievings to rest ; • 

He slumliers, — he slumbers, — 

0, hush, then, and keep 
Your branches all still, — 

My babe is asleep ! 

Cold blasts wheel alrout him, — 

A rigorous stoi'm, — 
And ye .see how, in vain, 

I would shelti'r his form ; — 
Holy angels and blest. 

As above me ye sweep. 
Hold these branches at rest, — 

My babe is asleep I ^ 

I Pues andais en laji palmas, I'almas de Bclen, 

Angeles KanU>8, Que imieven ayrados 

Que se duernie mi njno, Coit furiows vientos, 

Tencd loc niuj0i<. Que sueuan tanto, 

rii.w. xiv.J 



* The whole work is dedicated witli great * 178 
tenderness, in a tew siin])le wor^s, to Carlos, 
the little son that died before he was seven years old, 
and of whom l^ope always speaks so lovingly. But it 
hi'eaks olF abruptly, and was never finished; — why, 
it is not easy to tell, lor jt was well received, and was 
|)rinted four times in as many years. 

In 1612, the year of the publication of this pas- 
toral, Lope printed a few religious ballads and some 
"Thoughts in Prose," which he pretended were trans- 
lated from the Latin of Gabriel Padecopeo, an imper- 
fect anagram of his own name ; and in 1G14, there 
appeared a volimie containing, first, a collection of his 
short sacred poems, to which were afterwards added 
four solemn and striking poetical Soliloquies, composed 
Avhile he knelt before a cross on the day he was re- 
ceived into the Society of Penitents ; then two con- 
templative discourses, written at the request of his 
brethren of the same society ; and finally, a short 
spiritual Romancero, or ballad-book, and a" Via Crucis," 
or meditations on the passage of the Saviour from the 
judgment-seat of Pilate to the hill of Calvary.'-^ 

Many of these poems are full of a deep and solemn 
devotion ;'^ others are strangely coarse and free ;*and a 
few are merely whimsical and trifling.^ Some of the 
more religious of the ballads are still simg about the 

No le hagais ruido, 
Corred raaa passo ; 
Que se duerme jni niiio, 
Tened los ramos. 

El nino divino, 

Que esti cansado 

De ilorar en la tierra : 

Por su descanso, 

Sosegar quiere un poco 

Del tierno llanto ; 

Que se duerme nii nino, 

Tened los ramos. 

Rigurosos hielos 

Le estan cercando, 
Ya veis que no tengo 
Con que guardarlo ; 

L. II. 14 

Angeles di vinos, 
Que vais volando, 
Que se duerme mi nino, 
Tened los ramos. 
Obras Sueltas, Tom. XVI. p. .3.32. 

2 Obras, Tom. XIIL, etc. 

^ For instance, the sonnet l)eginning, 
"Yo dormire en el polvo." Obras, 
Tom. XIIL p. 186. 

* Such as " Gertrudis siendo Dios tan 
amoroso." Obras, Tom. XIIL p. 223. 

^ Some of tliem are very flat ; — see 
the sonnet, " Quando en tu alcazar de 
Sion." Obras, Tom. XIIL p. 225. 


streets of Madrid by blind begu-ars ; — a testiniony 
to the devout fe^ngs which, oeeasionally at least> 
glowed in their authors heart, that is not to be mis- 
taken. These poems, howevei'. with an account of the 
niartvrdom of a considerable number of Christians at 
Jajjan. in 1614. whic^ was 2)rinted four years 
*]T'J latei-," were all the miscellaneous works * pub- 
lished by Lope between 1612 and 102(1 : — the 
rest of his time during this jxM'iod having ap])arently 
l)C('ii lilled with his l)i-iHiant successes in the drama. 
l)oth secular and sacred. 

But in 1()20 and 1622, he had an opportunity to ex- 
hibit himself to the mass of the people, as well as to 
the coui-t. at Madrid, in a chai'acter which, being both 
reliuTOUs and dramatic, was admirablv suited to his 
powers and pretensions. It was the double occasion 
of the beatification and the canonization of Saint 
Isidore, in whose honor, above twenty years earlier. 
Lope had made one of his most successful efforts for 
popnlarit}', — a long interval, but one during which 
the claims of the Saint had been l)y no means over- 
looked. On the contrary, the king, from the time 
of his restoration to health, had l)een constantly so- 
liciting tlic Inmors of the Church for a personage to 
whose miraculous interposition he believed himself 
to owe it. At last they were granted, and the 19th of 
May, 1620, was appointed for celebi-ating the beatifi- 
cation of the pious "Ploughman of Madrid." 

Such occasions were now often seized in the princi- 
pal cities of Spain, as a means alike of exhibiting the 
talents of their poets, and amusing and interesting the 
mullitudc; — the Church gladly contril)Uting its au- 
th(jrif \- to suljstitute, as far as ])ossible, a sort of ])oeti- 

' 'I'liiiiiifo lie la I'Y- en los Kcyiio.s del .Tiijion. Olnas, Toin. X\'ll. 



ml toiii'iiaincnt, held iiiKlcr its own maiiageiiieiit, lor 
the chiviilroiis tomiiaiiicnts Avliicli had for centuries 
exercisi'd so grcal and so irreligious an iiilluence 
throughout Europe. At any rate, these literjirv con- 
tests, in which honors and prizes of various kinds were 
oflered, were called '^ Poetical Joustings," and early 
hecanie favorite entei'tainuients with the mass of the 
people. We have already noticed such festivals, as 
early as the end of the fifteenth century ; and besides 
the prize which, as we have seen, Cervantes gained at 
Saragossa in May, loDo,' Lope gained one at Toledo, 
in June, IGOS;*^ and in September, 1G14, he was the 
judge at a poetical festival in honor of the 
=**^ beatification of Saint Theresa, at Madrid, =* 180 
where the rich tones of his voice and his grace- 
ful style of reading were much admired.^ 

Tlie occasion of the beatification of the Saint who 
presided over the fortunes of Madrid was, however, 
one of more solemn importance than either of these 
had been. iVll classes of the inhabitants of that " He- 
roic Town," as it is still called, took an interest in it ; 

■^ See anti'. Vol. I. p. :^>lt."), ami Vol. 
II. p. 114. 

'' The successful poem, a jesting bal- 
lad of very siuall merit, is in the OLras 
Sueltas, Tom. XXI. pp. 171-177. 

8 An account of some of the poetical 
Joustings of thi.s period is to be found 
in Navarrete, " Vida de Cervantes," 
S 162, with the notes, p. 48(5, and in 
the Spanish translation of tins History, 
Tom. in. pp. 527-529. I have seen 
numy of them and read a few. They 
have almost no value. A good illustra- 
tion of the mode in which they were 
conducted is to be found in the "Justa 
Poetica," in honor of Our Lady of the 
Pillar at Saragossa, collected by Juan 
Bautista Felices de Caoeres, (Qarago(;a, 
lt)29, 4to,) in which Joseph de Valdi- 
vielso aTul Vargas Machuca figured. 
Su(!h joustings became so freijuent at 
last, and .so pooi', as to be subjects of 

ridicule. In the "( 'aba Hero Descortcs" 
of Salas Barbadillo, (Madrid, 1621, 
12mo, f. 99, etc.,) there is a ccrtdmeii 
in honor of the recovery of a lost hat ; 
— merely a light caricature. In an- 
other of his satirical work.s, (La Esta- 
feta dcd Dios Momo, 1627,) which is 
a collection of letters in ridicule of ex- 
travagances and extravagant jieojile, 
Barbadillo spealcs, in Epistola XVII., 
of a shoemaker who set up to have a 
certdmen, and offered prizes for it. 
Sometimes, however, they were veiy 
devout. One on the canonization of 
San Pedro de Alcantara in 1670 is emi- 
nently such, consisting mainly of six- 
teen sermons appended to the po(!tical 
honors of the occasion. It was prepared 
by Antonio de Huerta and makes four 
hundred and forty-five pages, under the 
title of Triumfos Glorio.sos, ec. There 
could hardly be a more dull book. 


for it was believed to concern the well-being of all.^" 
The Church of Saint Andrew, in which reposed the 
body of the worth}^ Ploughman, was ornamented with 
unwonted splendor. The merchants of the city com- 
pletely encased its altars with plain, but pure silver. 
The o'oldsmiths enshrined the form of the Saint, which 
five centuries had not wasted away, in a sarcopha- 
gus of the same metal, elaborately wrought. Other 
classes brought other offerings ; all marked by the gor- 
geous wealth that then flowed through the privileged 
portions of Spanish societ}-, from the mines of Peru 
and Mexico. In front of the church a show}^ stage 
was erected, from which the poems sent in for prizes 
were read, and over this part of the ceremonies Lope 

* 181 * As a sort of prologue, a few satirical peti- 
tions were produced, which were intended to 
excite merriment, and, no doubt, were successful ; 
after Avhich Lope opened the literar}' proceedings of 
the festival, by pronouncing a poetical oration of above 
seven hundred lines in honor of San Isidro. This was 
followed by reading the subjects for the nine prizes 
offered by the nine Muses, together with the rules 
according to which the honors of the occasion were to 
be adjudged ; and then came the poems themselves. 
Among the competitors Avere many of the principal 
men of letters of the time : Zarate, Guillen de Castro, 

1'' The di'tails of tlie festival, with Paihia, five tliousaml ]i()eiiis of ditfereiit 

the poems offered on the occasion, were kinds were offered ; wiiich, after tlio 

neatly ])rinted at Madrid, in 1620, in a best of them had been iuing lound the 

small ([uarto, If. 140, and fdl about church and the cloisters of tlie monks 

three hundied pa^^os in the eleventh who originally jirojiosed tlie prizes, were 

volume of Lope's Works. The number distributed to other monasteries. The 

of poetical offerings was great, but much custom extended to America. In 1585, 

short of what similar contests some- Balbuena carried away a prize in Mex- 

times j)roduced. Figueroa says in his ico from three hundred competitors. 

"Passagero," (Madrid, 1617, 12nK), f. See his Life, prefixed to the Academy's 

118,) that, at a justa in Madrid a short edition of his "Siglo de Oro," Madrid, 

time Ix'fore, to honor St. Antonio of 1821, 8vo. 


Jauregiii, Es})inel, Montalvan, Pantaloon, Silveira, the 
young Calderon, and Lope liinisellj with the son who 
bore his name, still a boy. All this, or nearly all of it, 
was grave, and beseeming the grave occasion. But at 
the end of the list of those who entered their claims 
for each prize, there always appeared a sort of masque, 
who, under the assumed name of Master Burguillos, 
"seasoned the feast in the most savory manner," it is 
said, wdth his amusing verses, caricaturing the. whole, 
like the gracioso of the popular theatre, and serving as 
a kind of interlude after each division of the more 
regular drama. 

Lope took hardly any pains to conceal that this 
savory part of the festival was entirely his own ; so 
surely had his theatrical instincts indicated to him the 
merry relief its introduction would give to the state- 
liness and solemnity of the occasion.^^ All the various 
performances were read by him wdtli much effect, and 
at the end he gave a light and pleasant account, in the 
old popular ballad measure, of wdiatever had been 
done; after which the judges pronounced the names 
of the successful competitors. Who they were, we are 
not told ; but the offerings of all — those of the un- 
successful as well as of the successful — w^ere published 
by him without delay. 

* A greater jubilee followed two years after- * 182 
wards, when, at the opening of the reign of 
Philip the Fourth, the negotiations of his grateful pred- 
ecessor were crowned with a success he did not live 

!'■ "But let the reader note well," introduced by Lope himself." Obra.s, 

says Lope, " that the verses of Master Tom. XI. p. 401. See al.so p. 598. 

Burguillos must be supposititious ; for Ko.selI(Bib. deRivadeneyra, XXXVIII., 

he did not appear at the contest ; and Prologo, xvi, note) says that poems at- 

all he wrote is in jest, and made the tributed to Tome de Burguillos, but in 

festival very savory. And as he did the autogi'aph of Lojic, are in possession 

not appear for any prize, it was gener- of the Marquis de Pidal. 
ally believed that he was a character 


to witness; and San Isidro, with three other devont 
Spaniards, was a(hnitted by the Head of the Church at 
Rome to the full o>lories of saintship, by a formal 
canonization. The jieople of Madrid took little note of 
the Papal bull, except so fiir as it concerned their own 
particidar saint and protector. But to him the honors 
they offered Avere abundant.^" The festival they insti- 
tuted for the occasion lasted nine days. Eight pyr- 
amids, >al)Ove seventy feet high, were arranged in 
diflerent parts of the city, and nine magniiicent altars, 
a castle, a rich garden, and a temporary theatre. All 
the houses of the better sort were hung with gorgeous 
tapestry ; religions processions, in which the principal 
nobiHty took the meanest places, swept through the 
streets ; and bull-fights, alwaj's the most popular of 
Spanish entertainments, were added, in which above 
two thousand of those noble animals were sacrificed in 
amphitheatres or public squares open freely to all. 

As a part of the show, a great literary contest or 
jousting Avas held on the 19th of May, — exactly 
two years after that held at the beatification. Again 
Lope appeared on the stage in front of the same 
ChiuTh of Saint Andrew, and, with similar ceremonies 
and a similar admixture of the somewhat broad farce 
of Tome de Burguillos, most of the leading poets of 
the time joined in the universal homage. Lope car- 
ried away the {)iiiicipal ])rizes. Others were given to 
Zarate, Calderon, Montahan. and Guillen de Castro. 
Two plays — one on the childhood and the other on 
the youth of San Isidro, but both expressly ordered 
from Lope by the city — were acted on open, movable 
stages, before the king, the court, and the multitude, 

^2 The proceedings and poems of this 1622, ft'. 156, and till Tom. XII. of tlie 
second gieat festival were printed at Obras Sueltas. 
once at Madrid, in a quarto volume, 

Chap. XIV] TOE GATOMACiJlA. 215 

TTiakiiig tlieir author the most prornineut figure of a 
festival Avhich, rightly understood, goes far to 
explain the spirit of the times and of * the * 183 
religion on which it all depended. An account 
of the whole, comprehending the poems offered on the 
occasion, and his own two plan's, was published b}'' 
Lope before the close of the year. 

His success at these two jubilees was, no doubt, very 
flattering to him. It had been of the most public kind ; 
it had been on a very j^opular subject; and it had, per- 
haps, brought him more into the minds and thoughts 
of the great mass of the people, and into the active 
interests of the time, than even his success in the the- 
atre. The caricatures of Tome de Burguillos, in par- 
ticular, though often rude, seem to have been received 
with extraordinary favor. Later, therefore, he was in- 
duced to write more verses in the same style ; and, in 
1634, he published a volume, consisting almost wholly 
of humorous and burlesque poems, under the same 
disguise. Most of the pieces it contains are sonnets 
and other short poems; — some very sharp and satir- 
ical, and nearly all fluent and happy. But one of 
them is of considerable length, and should be sepa- 
rately noticed. 

It is a mock-heroic, in irregular verse, divided into six 
silvas or cantos, and is called " La Gatomachia," or the 
Battle of the Cats ; being a contest between two cats 
for the love of a third. Like nearly all the poems of 
the class to which it belongs, from the " Batrachomj'O- 
machia " downwards, it is too long. It contains about 
twenty-five hundred lines, in various measures. But 
if it is not the first in the Spanish language in the 
order of time, it is the first in the order of merit. The 
last two silvas, in particular, are written with great 


lightness and spirit ; sometimes parodying Ariosto and 
the epic poets, and sometimes the old balhids, with the 
gayest success. From its first appearance, therefore, it 
has been a favorite in Spain ; and it is now, pn)l)al)ly, 
more read tlian'any other of its author's miscelhineous 
works. An edition printed in 1704 assumes, rather 
than attempts to prove, that Tome de Burguillos was a 
real personage. But few persons have ever been of 
this opinion ; for though, when it first appeared, Lope 
prefixed to it one of those accounts concerning 
* 184 its pretended author that deceive * nobody, 
yet he had, as early as the first festival in hon- 
or of San Isidro, almost directly declared Master Bur- 
guillos. to Ije merely a disguise for himself and a means 
of adding interest to the occasion, — a fact, indeed, 
plainly intimated by Quevedo in the xipprobation pre- 
fixed to the volume, and by Coronel in the verses 
which immediately follow.^'^ 

In 1G21, just in the interval between the two festi- 
vals, Lope published a volume containing the " Filo- 
mena," a poem, in the first canto of which he gives 
the mythological story of Tereus and the Nightingale, 
and in the second, a vindication of himself, under the 
allegory of the Nightingale's Defence against the En- 
vious Thrush. To this he added, in the same volume, 
'• La Tapada," a description, in octave verse, of a coun- 
try-seat of the Duke of Braganza in Portugal ; the 

1^ The edition wliicli clairn.s a sepa- "These verses are dashes from the pen 

late and real existence for Burguillos is of the Spanish Phoenix " ; hints which 

tliat found in the S('ventcenth volume it would have been dishonorable for 

of the " Poesias Castellan.'is," collected Loik; himself to publish, unless the 

l)y Feniandez and others. But, be- poems were really his own. The po- 

sides the paiisages from Lope himself etry of Burguillos is in Tom. XIX. of 

cited in a pr<:ceding note, Quevedo the Obras Sudtas, just as Loi)e origi- 

■say.s, in an Aprobacion to the wry vol- nally published it in 10.34. Tliere is a 

ume in question, that "the style is spirited (jtMiiian translation of the Ga- 

fiueh as has been seen oidy in the writ- toma(diia in Beituch's Magazin der 

jngs of Lope de Vega"; and VovowA, Span, und Port. Literatur, Des.sau, 

in some dech/ias prelixcd to it, adds, 1781, 8vo, Tom. I. 


"■ Andromeda," a mythological story like the Filomena; 
'' The Fortunes of Diana," the first prose tale he ever 
printed ; several poetical e])istles and smaller poems ; 
and a correspondence on the subject of the New Po- 
etry, as it was called, in which he boldly attacked the 
school of Gongora, then at the height of its favor.^* 
The Avhole volume added nothing to its author's per- 
manent reputation ; but parts of it, and especially pas- 
sages in the epistles and in the Filomena, are interest- 
ing from the circumstance that they contain allusions 
to his own personal history. 

* Another volume, not unlike the last, fol- * 185 
lowed hi 1624. It contains three poems in the 
octave stanza: '• Circe,' an unfortunate amplification of 
the well-known story found in the Odyssey; "The 
Morning of Saint John," on the popular celebration 
of that graceful festival in the time of Lope ; and a 
fable on the Origin of the White Rose. To these he 
added several epistles in prose and verse, and three 
more prose tales, which, with the one already men- 
tioned, constitute all the short prose fictions he ever 
published in a separate form.^^ 

The best part of this volume is, no doubt, the three 
stories. Probably Lope was induced to write them by 
the success of those of Cervantes, which had now 
been published eleven years, and were already known 
throughout Europe. But Lope's talent seems not to 

1* The poems are in Tom. II. of the styh' then in fashion, to please the 

0bra.s Sueltas. The discussion aljout popular taste, he continued to disap- 

the new poetry is in Tom. IV. pp. ])rovc it to the last. The Novela is in 

459-482; to which should be added Obras, Tom. VIII. There is, also, a. 

some trifles in the same vein, scattered sonnet in the Dorotea in ridicule of 

thronghhis Works, and especially a son- Cultismo, beginning, " Pululando de 

net beginning, " Boscan, tarde llega- culto, Claudio amigo," wliich .should 

mos"; — which, as it was printed by be noticed. 

him with the "Laurel de Apolo," ^* The three ])oems are in Tom. III. ; 

(1630, f. 123,) shows, that, though he the epistles in Tom. 1. pp. 279, etc. ; 

himself sometimes wrote in the affected and the three tales in Tom. VIII. 


liave 1)0011 more adapted to this form of composition 
than that of the author of Don Quixote was to the 
drama. Of this he seems to have been partially aware 
himself; for he says of the first tale, that it was written to 
please a lad}* in a department of letters where he never 
tliought to have adventured, and the other three are 
addressed to the same person, and appear to have been 
written with the same feelings.^^' None of them excited 
much attention at the time when the}' appeared. But, 
twenty years afterwards, they were reprinted with four 
others, torn, apparently, from some connected series 
of similar stories, and certaiiih' not the work of Lope. 
The last of the eight is the best of the collection, 
thoug-h it ends awkwardlv, with an intimation that 
another is to follow ; and all are thrust together into 
the complete edition of Lope's miscellaneous works, 
though there is no pretence for claiming any of them 

to he his, except the first four.^" 
* 18G * In the year preceding the appearance of the 

tales we find him in a new character. A miser- 
able man, a Franciscan monk, from Catalonia, was sus- 
pected of heresy ; and the susj^icion fell on him the 
more heavily because his mother was of the Jewish 
faith. Having been, in consequence of this, expelled 
successively from two religious houses of which he had 
been a member, he seems to have become disturbed 
in his mind, and at last grew so frantic, that, while 
mass was celebrating in open church, he seized the 

i« Obras Sucltas, Tom. VIII. p. 2; Saragossa, (1648,)Barceloria, {1650,)etc. 

also Tom. III. Preface. It is to the There is .some confusion about a part of 

credit of Cerda y Rico, that, when he the poems ]iul)lishetl originally with 

]>ubli.slieil these tales of Lope de Vega, the.se talcs, and which aj)pear among 

he .said that the best in t\u'. language the works of Fr. JjOj)ez de Zarate, AI- 

are those of Cervantes, and that Loi>e cala, lf)51, 4to. (See Lope, Obras, 

-succeeds in proportion as he approaches Tom. III. p. iii.) But .such things are 

them. Tom. VIII. Prologo, p. vi. not very rare in Spani.sh literature, and 

'' There are editio'is of the eight at will oc<'ur again in relation to Zarate. 

Chap. XIV.j LOTE DE VEGA AN INQUlblTOli. 219 

consecrated host from the hands of the officiating priest 
and violently destroyed it. He was at once arrested 
and given up to the Inquisition. The Inquisition, find- 
ing him obstinate, declared him to be a Lutheran and 
a Calvinist, and, adding to this the crime of his Hebrew 
descent, delivered him over to the secular arm for 
punishment. He was, almost as a matter of course, 
ordered to be burned alive ; and in January, 1623, the 
sentence was literall}^ executed outside the gate of 
Alcala at Madrid. The excitement was great, as it 
always was on such occasions. An immense concourse 
of people was gathered to witness the edifying spec- 
tacle ; the court was present ; the theatres and public 
shows were suspended for a fortnight ; and we are told 
that Lope de Vega, who, in some parts of his " Dragon- 
tea," shows a spirit not unworthy of such an office, was 
one of those who presided at the loathsome sacrifice 
and directed its ceremonies.^^ 

His fanaticism, however, in no degree diminished 
his zeal for poetry. In 1625, he published his " Divine 
Triumphs," a poem in five cantos, in the measure and 
the manner of Petrarch, beginning with the triumphs 
of " the Divine Pan," and ending with those of Religion 
and the Cross.^^ It was a failure, and the more obviously 
so, because its very title placed it in direct contrast 
with the "Trionfi" of the great Italian master. It 
was accompanied, in the same volume, by a small 
collection * of sacred poetry^ which was increased . * 187 
in later editions until it became a large one. 
Some of it is truly tender and solemn, as, for instance, 

1^ The account is found in a MS. death. It is cited, and an abstract of 

history of Madrid, by Leon Pinelo, in it Ejiven, in Casiano Pellicer, " Origen 

the King's Libraiy ; and so much as de las Comedias," (Madrid, 1804, 12mo,) 

relates to this subject I possess, as well Tom. I. pp. 104, 105. 

as a notice of Lope himself, given in ^^ Obras Sueltas, Tom. XIII. 
the same MS. under the date of his 


the cancion ou the death of his son,"^ and the f^oiinet on 
liis own death, beginning, '' I must lie down and sluni- 
l)er in the dust" ; while other parts, like the villancicos 
to the Holy Sacrament, are written with iinseemh^ 
levity, and are even sometimes coarse and sensual?^ 
All, however, are specimens of w^iat respectable and 
cultivated Spaniards in that age called religion. 

A similar remark may be made in relation to the 
" Corona Tragica," The Tragic Crown, which he pub- 
lished in 1627, on the history and fjite of the unhappy 
Mary of Scotland, who had perished just forty 3'ears 
before.^ It is intended to be a religious epic, and fills 
five books of octave stanzas. But it is, in fact, merelj^ 
a specimen of intolerant controversy. Mary is repre- 
sented as a pure and glorious martyr to the Catholic 
faith, while Elizabeth is alternately called a Jezebel 
and an Athaliah, wdiom it was a doubtful merit in 
Philip the Second to have spared, wdien, as king-con- 
sort of England, he had her life in his power.^ In 
other respects it is a dull poem ; beginning with an 
account of Mary's previous history, as related by her- 
self to her women in prison, and ending with her death. 
But it savors throughout of its author's sympathy with 
the religious spirit of his age and country ; — a sjjirit, 
it should be remembered, which made the Inquisition 
what it was. 

The Corona Tragica w^as, however, perhaps on this 
very account, thought w^orthy of being dedicated to 
Pope Urban the Eighth, wdio had himself written an 

'^ A la Muerte de Carlos Felix, Obras, Ovando, the Maltese envoy, and pub- 
Tom. XIII. p. 365. lished at the end of the "Laurel de 

21 Set- particularly the two beginning Apolo," (Madrid, 1630, 4to, f. 118,) 
on pp. 413 and 423. he gives an account of this poem, and 

22 It is in (Jbras Sueltas, Tom. IV. says he wrote it in tlie country, where 
28 The atrocious passage is on p. 5. " the soul in solitude labors more gently 

In an epistle, which he addres-sed to and easily " ! 

Chai". xiv.] the laurel de apolo. 221 

epitaph on the unfortunate Mary of Scotland, which 
Lope, in courtly phrase, declared was " beatitying lier 
in prophecy." The flattery was well received. Urban 
sent the poet in i-eturn a complimentary letter ; 
gave him a degree of Doctor in * Divinity, and * 188 
the Cross of the Order of Saint John ; and ap- 
pointed him to the honorary j)laces of Fiscal in the 
Apostolic Chamber, and Notary of the Roman Archives. 
The measure of his ecclesiastical honors was now full. 

In 1630, he published "The Laurel of Apollo," a 
poem somewhat like '"^The Journey to Parnassus" 
of Cervantes, but longer, more elaborate, and still 
more unsatisfactory. It describes a festival, supposed 
to have been held by the God of Poetry, on Mount 
Helicon, in April, 1628, and records the honors then 
bestowed on above three hundred Spanish poets ; — a 
number so great, that the whole account becomes 
monotonous and almost valueless, partly from the 
impossibility of drawing with distinctness or truth so 
many characters of little prominence, and partly from 
its too free praise of nearly all of them. It is divided 
into ten silras, and contains about seven thousand 
irregular verses.^* 'At the end, besides a few minor 
and miscellaneous poems, Lope added an eclogue, in 
seven scenes, which had been previously represented 
before the king and court with a costly magnificence 
in the theatre and a splendor in its decorations that 
show, at least, how great was the favor he enjoyed, 
when he was indulged, for so slight an offering, with 
such royal luxuries.^^ 

2* 111 Volume XXXVin. (1856) of nrae itself, which consists of a selection 
the Biblioteca de Autores Espauoles, is from the Obras Sueltas of Lope, pub- 
a list of all the authors mentioned by lished by Cerda y Rico in twenty-one 
Lope in his "Laurel de Apolo," with volumes, is well compiled by Don Cay- 
bibliographical notices of their works etano Rosell. 
that are fre(juently of value. The vol- ^^ It is not easy to tell why these 

222 THE DOROTEA. [Peiuud II. 

The last considerable work he })u))lished was his 
"Dorotea," a lon<j: prose romance in dialogue.'-'' It was 
Avritten in liis voutli. and. as has Ijeen already sug- 
gested, probably contains more or less of his own 
youthful adventures and feelings. But whether this 
be so or not, it was a favorite with him. He calls 
it " the most beloved of his works," and says he has 
revised it with care and made many additions 
* 1S9 to it in his old age.-' *lt was first printed 
in l(Jo2. A moderate amount of verse is scat- 
tered through it, and there is a freshness and a reality 
in many passages that remind us constantly of its 
author's life before he served as a soldier in the 
Armada. The hero, Fernando, is a poet, like Lope, 
who, after havino- been more than once in love and 
married, refuses Dorotea, the object of his first attach- 
ment, and becomes religious. There is, however, little 
plan, consistency, or final purpose in most of the mani- 
fold scenes that go to make up its five long acts ; and 
it is noAv read only for its rich and easy prose style, 
for the glimpses it seems to give of the author's own 
life, and for a few of its short poems, some of which 
were probably written for occasions not inilike those to 
which they are here ap])lied. 

The last work he printed was an eclogue in honor 
of a Portuguese lady; and the last things he wrote — 
only the day before he was seized witli his mortal ill- 
ness — were a short poem on the Dolik'n Age, remark- 
later productions of Lope are put in in the work ; not above a liundred and 
the first volumi- of his Miscellaneous iift}', but very good, and chiefly taken 
Works, (1776-1779,) but so it is. Tliat from tlie part of Gerarda, who is an 
collection was made by Cerda y Rico ; imitation of Celcstina. 
a man of learn inf;, though not of good -'' "Dorotea, the posthumous child 

taste or sound judgment. of my Muse, tlie most beloved of my 

'^ It fills the wlioli- of the seventli long-protracted life, still asks the public 
volume of liis Obras Suiltas. At tlu; liglit," etc. Egloga a Claudio ; Obras, 
end is a collection of the prover])S.used Tom. IX. p. 367. 


able i'oY its vigor and liarinoiiy, uiid a sonnet on the 
ileath of a friend.'^*^ All of tlieni are found in a collec- 
tion, consisting chiefly of a few dramas, published by 
his son-in-law, Luis de Usategui, two years after Lope's 

But, as his life drew to a close, his religious feelings, 
riiingled with a melancholy fanaticism, predominated 
more and more. Much of his poetry composed at this 
time expressed them ; and at last they rose to such a 
height, that he Avas almost constantl}^ in a state of ex- 
cited melancholy, or, as it was then beginning to be 
called, of liypochondria.^^ Early in the month of 
August, he felt himself extremely weak, and suffered 
more than ever from that sense of discourage- 
ment which was breaking * down his resources * 190 
and strength. His thoughts, however, were so 
exclusively occupied with his spiritual condition, that, 
<iven wdien thus reduced, he continued to fast, and on 
one occasion Avent through with a private discipline so 
■cruel, that the walls of the apartment where it oc- 
curred were afterwards found sprinkled with his blood. 
From this he never recovered. He w^as taken ill the 
«ame night ; and after fulfilling the offices prescribed 
by his Church w^ith the most submissive devotion, — 

2^ These three poems — curious as his dria," etc., is the description Montalvan 

last works — are in Tom. X. p. 193, gives of his disease. The account of his 

and Tom. IX. pp. 2 and 10. Of the last days follows it. Obras, Tom. XX. 

very rare iirst edition of this, the last pp. 37, etc. ; and Baena, Hijos de IVIa- 

piiblication of Lope made by himself, drid, Tom. III. pp. 360-363. The 

I have a cop\-. It is entitled ' ' Fills same account of In'pochondria is given 

Egloga a la Uecima Musa, Dona Ber- in the last Jornada of Calderon's "Me- 

narda Ferreira de la Cerda, Senora dico de su Hom-a." Jacinta there ask.s, 

Portuguesa, Frei Lope Felix de Vega "Que es hipocondria ? " to which Co- 

Carpio, del abito de San Juan, Aho qnin replies : — 

1635." It is poorly printed in duo- E? una enfemiedad que no la habia, 

decimo and makes eleven leaves, be- Habra dos anos, ni en el mundo era. 

sides the title. The lady to whom it Hartzenbusch places tliis play in 1635, 

is addressed is the well-known poetess the year of Lope's death, and does it 

iwticed ]}os(, Chap. XXVIII. on apparently good grounds. The two 

^^ "A continued melantholy passion, accounts about hypochondria, therefore, 

which of late has lieen called hypochou- correspond exactly. 


mourning that he had ever been engaged in any occu- 
pations but such as were exclusively religious, — he 
died on the 27th of August, 1635, nearly seventy-three 
years old. 

The sensation j^roduced by his death was such as is 
rarely witnessed, even in the case of those upon whom 
depends the Avelfare of nations. Tlie Duke of Sessa. 
who was his especial patron, and to whom he left his 
manuscripts, provided for the funeral in a mauuer 
becoming his own wealth and rank.*' It lasted nine 
daj-s. The crowds that thronged to it were immense."^ 
Three bishops officiated, and the first nobles of the 
land attended as mourners. Eulogies and poems fol- 
lowed, on all sides, and in numbers all but incredible. 
Those written in Spain make one considerable volume, 
and end with a drama in which his apotheosis wa.s 
brought upon the public stage. Those written in Italy 
are hardly less numerous, and fill another.^ But more 
touching than any of them was the prayer of that 
much-loved daughter who had been shut up from the 
world fourteen jears, that the long funeral procession 
might pass by her convent, and permit her once 
* 191 * more to look on the fice she so tenderly ven- 
erated ; and more solemn than any was the 
niournino" of the multitude, from whose dense mass 

^' See Lope's remarkable Dedication that appeared inniiediateh' after lii.s- 

of his "Comedias," Tom. IX., 1618, to death, we are told that "el eoueur.so 

the Dufjiie de Ses.sa. The Mar(|uis of de fjeiite que aciulio a su casa a verle y 

Pidal, a munificent patron of Spanish al entierro fue el mayor <[ue se ha visto." 

literature, and one of the most accom- '" See 01)ras Sueltas, Tom. XIX. - 

pli.shed scholars in the early literature XXI., in which they are republi-shed, 

of his country, is .said to possess a con- — Spani.sh, Latin, French, Italian, and 

sidcrable number of Lo])e's letters to Portuguese. The Spanish, which were 

the Duke of Sessa, whom he addresses brought together by Montalvan, and 

under the name of Lucindo. I hope an; preceded by his " Fama Posturaa 

they may be printed. de Lope de Veg*. " may be regarded as 

^1 In thcPi'eface tothe "Famaimmor- a sort of J uMa poefica in honor of the 

tal del Fenix de Europa," ec, by .Juan gi'eat poet, in which above a hundred 

de la Peiia, (Madrid, 1()3.'>, 12mo, ff. 16,) and fifty of his contemporaries bore 

one (if the multitudinous jiublications their part. 



audible sobs burst Ibrth. as his remains slowly cle- 
iscended from their sight into the house apppointed 
for all livin":.*^ 

*5 Obras Sucltas, Tom. XX. p. 42. 
For an excellent and intfi-cstinj^ ilisnu.s- 
•sion of Lope'.s miscellaneous works, and 
onc! to which I have been indebted in 
wiiting this chapter, see London Qnar- 
terly Review, No. 35, 1818. It is by 
.Mr. Southey. 

Lope's will, I think, has never been 
published, though I have seen an ab- 
stract of it. Having, however, ob- 
tained, through the kindness of the 
last Lord Holland, a copy of it, which 
Navarrete sent to his father, the author 
•of Lope's Life, saying that he had found 
it in " El Archive de Escrituras de Ma- 
drid," when he was searching for the 
will of Cervantes, I give it here entire, 
a.s a curious and important document. 

"TESTAMEN'TO de lope de VEGA. 

' ' En el nombre de Dios nuestro Se- 
hor, amen. Sepan los que vieren esta 
escritura de testamento y ultima volun- 
tad, como yo Frey Lope Felix de Vega 
C'arpio, Presbitero de la sagrada religion 
de San Juan, estando enfermo en la 
cania de enfermedad que Dios nuestro 
Senor fue servido de me dar, y en mi 
niemoria, juicio y entendimiento natu- 
ral, creyendo y confesando, como ver- 
daderamente creo y confieso, el misterio 
-de la Ssma. Trinidad, Padre, Hijo y 
Espiritu Santo, que son tres personas y 
un solo Dios verdadero, y lo denias que 
cree y ensena la Santa Madre Igle.sia Oa- 
tolica Romana, y en esta fe me giielgo 
haber vivido y protesto vivir y morir : 
y con esta invocacion divina otorgo mi 
testamento, desapropiamiento y decla- 
racion en la forma siguiente. 

" Lo primero, encomiendo mi alma a 
Dios nuestro Senor que la hizo y crio a 
su imagen y semejanza y la redimio por 
su pi-eciosa sangre, al qual suplico la 
perdone y lleve a su santa gloria, para 
lo qual pongo por mi intercesora a la 
Sacratisinia Virgen Maria, concebida 
sin pecado original, y a todos los Santos 
y Santas de la corte del cielo ; y defunto 
mi cuerpo sea restituido a la tierra de 
que fue formado. 

" Difunto mi cuerpo, sea vestido con 

las insignias de la dicha religion de San 

Juan, y sea depositado en la iglesia y 

lugar que ordenara el eximo. sr. Duque 

VOL. II. 15 

de Sessa mi senor ; y paguese los de- 
re chos. 

"El dia de mi entierroj si fuere hora 
y si no otro siguiente, se diga por mi 
alma misa cantada de cuerpo presente 
en la forma que se acostumbra con los 
demas religiosos ; y en quanto al acom- 
panamiento de mi entiei-ro, honras, no- 
venario y demas exeguias y misas de 
alma y rezadas que por mi alma se han 
de decir, lo dexo al parecer de mis alba- 
ceas, 6 de la persona <pie legitimamente 
le tocare esta dispo.sicion. 

" Declaro que, antes de ser sacerdote 
y religioso, fui casado segun orden de 
la Santa Madre Iglesia con D*. Juana 
de Guardio, hija de Antonio de Guardio 
y D*. Maria de Collantes, su muger, 
difuutos, vecinos que fueron desta villa, 
J la dha. mi muger traxo por dote suyo 
a mi poder viente y dos mil trescientos 
y ochenta y dos rs. de plata doble, e yo 
la hice de arras quinientos dncados, de 
que otorgue escritura ante Juan de 
Pina, y dellos so}^ deudor a D». Feli- 
ciana Felix del Carpio, mi hija linica y 
de la dicha de mi muger, a quien mando 
se paguen y restituyaii de lo mejor de 
mi hacienda con las ganancias que le 

"Declaro que la dicha D*. Feliciana, 
mi hija, esta casada con Luis de Usate- 
gui, vecino de esta villa, y al tiempo 
que se trato el dicho casamiento le 
ofreci cinco mil ducados de dote, com- 
prehendiendose en ellos lo que a la dicha 
mi hija le tocase de sus abuelos ma- 
ternos, y dellos otorg(') scriptura ante el 
dho. Juan de Pina, a que me remito, 
y respecto de haber estado yo alcanzado 
no he pagado ni satisfecho por cuento 
de la dicha dote mrs. ni otra cosa algu- 
na, aunque he cobrado de la herencia 
del otro mi suegro algunas cantidades, 
como parecera de las cartas de pago que 
ho dado : mando se les paguen los dho. 
cinco mil ducados. 

"A las man das forzosas si algun de- 
recho tienen, les mando quatro rs. 

" A los lugares santos de Jerusalem 
mando veinte rs. 

' ' Para ca.samiento de doncellas guerfa- 
nas un real = y para ayuda de la beati- 
ficacion de la Beata Maria de la Cabeza 
otro real. 



[PErauD IL 

"Y 2'iira cum])lir y jtagar este uii 
testanieiito y (U'claracion, iionibro por 
mis alliat-eas a el dho. eximo. sr. 
* 192 Duque de Sessa, * Dn. Luis Fer- 
nandez de Cordoba, y Luis de Usa- 
tegui, nai yeriio, y a qualquiera de los 
dos in solidum, a los quales con esta 
faeultad doy jjoder para (jue luego que 
yo fallezca vendan de mis bieiies los 
necesarios, y cumplau este testameuto, 
y les dure el tiempo necesario aunque 
sea pasado el ano del albaceazgo. 

"Declare que el Rey nuestro senor 
(Dios le gue.) usando de su beuignidad 
y lai'gueza, ha muchos aiios que en re- 
muneracion de el muclio afecto y volun- 
tad con que le he servido, me ofrecio 
dar un oficio para la persona (^ue casase 
con la dha. mi hija, confonne a la cali- 
dad de la dha. persona, y porque con 
esta esperanza tuvo efecto el dho. matri- 
monio, y el dho. Luis de Usategui, mi 
yemo, es hombre principal y noble, y 
esta muy alcanzado, suplico a S. M. 
con toda' hmuildad y al eximo. sr. Coude 
Duque en atencion de lo referido honre 
al dho. mi yerno, haciendole merced, 
como lo fio de su grandeza. 

"Cobrese todo lo que paveciere me 
deben, y paguese lo que legitimameute 
pareciere que j^o debo. 

"Y cumplido, en el remanente de 
todos mis bienes, derechos y acciones, 
nombro jior mi heredera uni\'ersal a la 
dha. D". Feliciana Felix del I'arpio, mi 
hija linica ; y en quauto li los que puedeu 

tocar i'l !a dha. sagrada religion de San 
Juan tamhien cumpliendo con los e.sta- 
tutos dclla nombro a ia dha. sagrada 
religion para ipie cada uno Ueve lo que 
le perteueciere. 

"Kevoco y doy por ningunos y de 
ningun efecto todos y qualesquier testa- 
mentos, cobdicilos, desapropiamientos, 
mandas, legados y ])oderes para te.star 
(jue antes de este haya fecho y otorgado 
por escrito, de palabra, 6 en otra qual- 
(^uier manera que no valgaran, ne ha- 
gan fe, en juicio ni fuera del, salvo este 
([ue es mi tcstamento, declaracion y 
desapropiamiento, en (pial quiere y 
mauda se guarde y cumpla por tal, 6 
como mejor haya lugar de derecho. Y 
lo otorgo ausi ante el presente escribaua 
del numero y testigos de yuso escritos 
en la villa de Madrid a veinte y seis 
dias del mes de Agosto ano de mil y 
seis cieutos y treinta y cinco ; e yo el 
dho. escribano doy fe conozco al dho. 
senor otorgante, el qual parecio estaba 
en su juicio y eutendimieuto natural, y 
lo firmo : testigos el Dr. Felipe de Yer- 
gpora medico, }• Juan de Prado, platero 
de oro, y el licenciado, Josef Ortiz de 
Yillena, presbitero, y D. Juan de Solis 
y Diego de Logrono, residentes en esta 
corte, y tambien lo firmaron tres de los 
testigos = F. Lope PYdix de Vega Car- 
pio = El Dr. Felipe de Yergara Testigo. 
= D. Juan de Solis = El licdo. Josef 
Ortiz de Yillena = Ante mi : Francisco 
de Morales. 

* CHAPTER XV. *193 





The works of Lope de Vega that we have consid- 
ered, while tracing his long and brilliant career, are 
far from being sufficient to explain the degree of pop- 
ular admiration tliat, almost from the first, followed 
him. They show, indeed, much original talent, a still 
greater power of invention, and a wonderful facility of 
versification. But they are rarely imbued with the 
deep and earnest spirit of a genuine poetry ; they gen- 
erally have an air of looseness and want of finish ; and 
most of them are without that national physiognomy 
and character, in Avhich, after all, resides so much of 
the effective power of genius over any people. 

The truth is, that Lope, in what have been called 
his miscellaneous works, was seldom in the path that 
leads to final success. He was turned aside by a spirit 
which, if not that of the whole people, was the spirit 
of the court and the higher classes of Castilian society. 
Boscan and Garcilasso, who preceded him by only half 
a century, had made themselves famous by giving cur- 
rency to the lighter forms of Italian verse, especially 
those of the sonnet and the canzone ; and Lope, who 
found these fortunate poets the idols of the period, 
when his own character was forming, thought that to 

228 THE WORKS of lope DE VEGA. [Peuiud II. 

follow their Inilliaiit course would open to him the 
best chances for success. His aspirations, however, 
stretched verv far Ijcyond theirs. He felt other and 
higher powers within him, and entered boldly into ri- 

valship, not only with Sannazaro and Bembo, as 
* 194 the}- had done, but with * Ariosto, Tasso, and 

Petrarch. Eleven of his longer poems, epic, 
narrative, and descriptive, are in the statel}' ottava rima 
of his great masters ; besides which he has left us two 
long pastorals in the manner of the " Arcadia," many 
adventurous attempts in the te)\i(( riDta, and nuni])erless 
specimens of all the varieties of Italian lyrics, includ- 
ing, among the rest, nearly seven hundred sonnets. 

But in all this there is little that is truly national, — 
little that is marked with the old Castilian spirit; and 
if this were all he had done, his fame would by no 
means stand where we now find it. His prose pasto- 
rals and his romances are, indeed, better than his 
epics ; and his didactic poetry, his epistles, and his 
elegies are occasionally excellent ; but it is only when 
he touches fairly and fully upon the soil of his country, 
— it is only in his fjlosas, his letriUas, his ballads, and 
his light songs and roundelays, — that he has the 
richness and grace Avhich should always have accompa- 
nied him. We feel at once, therefore, whenever we 
meet him in these paths, that he is on ground he 
should never have deserted, because it is ground on 
which, with his extraordinary gifts, he could easily 
have erected permanent monuments to his own ftiine. 
But he himself determined otherwise. Not that he 
entirely approved the innovations of Boscan and Gar- 
cilasso ; for he tells us distinctly, in his " Philomena," 
that their imitations of the Italian had unhappiW sup- 
planted the grace and the glory that belonged pecu- 

CiiAr. XV.J LOI'e's EAllhlEST DllAMAS. 229 

liaily to the old Spanish o-euius.^ The theories and 
fashions of his time, therefore, misled, though they did 
not delude, a spirit that should have been above 
them; and the result is, tluit little of ])oetry such as 
marks the old Castilian genius is to be found in tlie 
s:reat mass of his works we have thus fjir been called 
on to examine. In order to account for his permanent 
success, as well as marvellous popularity, we must, 
then, turn to another and wholly distinct department, 
— that of the drama, — in which he gave himself up 
to tlie leading of the national spirit as com- 
pletely as if * he had not elsewhere seemed * 195 
sedulousl}- to avoid it ; and thus obtained a 
kind and degree of fame he could never otherwise 
have reached. 

It is not possible to determine the year when Lope 
first began to write for the public stage ; but when- 
ever it was, he found the theatre in a rude and 
humble condition. That he was very early drawn 
to this form of composition, though not, perhaps, for 
the purposes of representation, we know on his own 
authorit}^; for, in his pleasant didactic poem on the 
New Art of Making Plays, which he published in 1600, 
but read several years earlier to a society of dikttanii 
in Madrid, he says expressly : — 

The Captain Vinu'.s, a famous wit, 
Cast dramas in three acts, by happy hit ; 
For, till his time, upon all fours they crept, 
Like helpless babes that never yet had stepped. 
Such plays I wrote, eleven and twelve years old : 
Four acts — each measured to a sheet's just fold — 
Filled out four sheets ; while still, between, 
Three entrcvieses short fdled up the scene. ^ 

1 Philomena, Segunda Parte, Obras Andaba en quatro, como pies de nlno ; 
{J 1, rti TT ° i ro Que cran entonces ninas las Oomcdias : 
■SUeitaS, lom. ll. p. too. Y io las escribi, de once y dooc anos, 

2 El capitan Virues, insignc ingenio, De 4 quatro actos y de a quatro pliegOB, 
Puso en tres actos la Coinedia, que Antes Porque cada acto un pliego coatenia : 


This was as early as lo74. A few years later, 
or aJjout 1580, when the poet was eighteen years old, 
he attracted the notice of Iiis early patron, Manrique, 
the Bishop of Avila, l)y a j^astoral. His studies at 
Alcala, followed ; then his service under the vouno- 
Duke of Alva, his marriage, and his exile of several 
years; for all which we must find room hefore 1588, 
when we know he served in the Armada. In 1590, 
however, if uot a year earlier, he had returned to 
Madrid ; and it does not seem unreasonalde to assume 
that soon afterwards he hegan to be known in the 
capital as a dramatic writer, being then twentj'-eight 
years old. 

But. it was during the period of his exile that 
he seems to have really begun his puldic dramatic 

career, and prepared himself, in some measure, 
* 19G for his subsequent more * general popularity. 

A part of this interval was passed in Valencia ; 
and in Valencia a theatre had been known for a long 
time."^ x\s early as 1526, the hospital there received 
an income from it. by a compromise similar to that in 
virtue of which the hospitals of Madrid long after- 
wards laid the theatre under contribution ibr their 
support.* The Captain Virues. avIio was a friend of 
Lope de Vega, and is commemorated by hini more than 

Y era que entonces en las tres distancia.s mentioned as hiU"ing lieen acted in the 

.'k. hacian tres iK,-.iueiios entremeses ^.^^^ ,.jj.^. j,^ j^j^, 1413, and 1415 were 

Obra-s Sueltas, Tom. IV. p. 412. ^j- ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^. ^^^^^ ^^^^. 

There are autograph i)lay.s of Lope .^^eeni to ha\e belonged, like those we 

in existence, dated 1593 and 1594. ],ave noticed {mife, Vol. I. j). 231) bv 

Schack's liej-triige, p. 45. the Constable Alvaro de Luna, to court- 

8 Dramatic entertainments of some ly festivities. Aribau, Biblioteca de 

kind are spoken of at Valeu.'ia in the Autores p:spafioles, .Madrid, 1846, 8vo. 

f'Airt.-enth century. Li 1.394, we are Tom. II. p. 178, note ; ami an excellent 

told, there was rej.resented at the jjal- article on the early Spanish theatre, bv 

ace a tragedy, entitled " L horn ena- p. ^Volf, in BliitteV fiir literarische Uu- 

morat e la fembra .satisfeta," by Mos.sen terhaltung, 1S48, p. 1287, note. 

Domingo Ma.sjwns, a counsellor of .John 4 JovelTanos, Diversiones Publica.s, 

L This wa-s undoubtedly a Troubadour Madrid, 1812, 8vo, p. 57. 
perfonnance. Perhaps the EiUramesos 

cu.vi'. XV.] LorE's j:aklie!st dramas. 231 

once, wrote for tliis theatre, as did Tiinoneda, the 
editor of Lope de Kueda ; the works of both the kist 
being printed in Valencia about 1570. These Valen- 
cian dramas, however, except in the case of Lope 
de Rneda, were of moderate amount and value; nor 
was what was done at Seville by Cueva and his follow- 
ers, about 1580, or at Madrid by Cervantes, a little 
later, of more real importance, regarded as the foun- 
datious for a national theatre. 

Indeed, if Ave look over all that can be claimed for 
the Spanish drama from the time of the eclogues of 
Juan de la Enzina, in 1492, to the appearance of Lope 
de Rueda, about 1544, and then, again, from his time 
to that of Lope de Vega, we shall find, not only that 
the number of dramas was small, but that they had 
been written in forms so different and so often opposed 
to each other as to have little consistency or authority, 
and to offer no sufficient indication of the channel 
in which that portion of the literature of the country 
was at last destined to flow. We may even say, that, 
except Lope de Rueda, no author for the theatre had 
yet enjoyed any considerable popularity ; and he hav- 
ing now been dead more than twenty years, Lope de 
Vega must be admitted to have had a fair and free 
field open before him. 

Unfortunately, we have few of his earlier 
efforts. He * seems, however, to have begun * 11)7 
upon the old foundations of the eclogues and 
moralities, whose religious air and tone commended 
them to that ecclesiastical toleration without which 
little could thrive in Spain,^ An eclogue, which is 
announced as having been represented, and which 

^ In one his eailior efforts he says, lielji tlicin little." But of this we shall 
(Obvas, Tom. V. p. 340,) "The law.s .see more hert^after. 

232 lope's earliest DRAJLIS. [Period IF. 

seems really to be armnged for exhibition, is found in 
the third book of the •• Arcadia," the earliest of Lope's 
pii})lislied works, and one that was written before his 
exile/' Several similar attempts occur elsewhere, — 
so rude and pious, that it seems almost as if they 
miofht have belonged to the ao-e of Juan de la Enzina 
and Gil Vicente ; and others of the same character 
are scattered through other parts of his multitudi- 
nous works.' 

Of his more regular plays, the two oldest, that were 
subsequently included in his printed collection, are not 
without similar indications of their origin. Both are 
pastorals. The first is called '' The True Lover," and 
was written when Lope was fourteen years old, though 
it may have been altered and improved before he pub- 
lished it, when he was fifty-eight. It is the story of a 
jihepherd who refuses to marry a shepherdess, though 
she had put him in peril of his life by accusing him of 
having murdered her husband, Avho, as she Avas quite 
aware, had died a natural death, but whose supposed 
murderer could be rescued from his doom only at her 
requisition, as next of kin to the pretended culprit; — 
a process l)y which she hoped to ol)tain all power over 
his s])irit. ;ind compel him to marry her, as Ximena 
married the Cid, by royal authority. Lope admits it 
to be a rude performance ; but it is marked ]jy the 
sweetness of versification which seems to have belonged 
to him at every period of his career.^ 

* It is j)roliiil)k', from internal cvi- tore.s de Belen," Book HI., and else- 

■•lence, that this eclogue, and .some where. 

others in the same romance, were acted * " El Verdadero Amante " is in the 
before the Duke Antonio de Alva. At Fourteenth Part of the Comedias, jirint- 
any rate, we know similar representa- ed at Madrid, 1620, and is dedicated to 
tions were common in the age of Cer- his son Lope, who died the next year, 
vantes and Lope, as well as before and only iifteen years old ; — -the father .say- 
after it. in<^ in the Dedication, "This play was 

^ Such dramas aie found in the " Pas- written when 1 was of about vour age." 

CiiAr. XV.] LOrE's EAKLIEttT DRAMAS. 233 

* The other of his early performances above * 198 
alluded to is the '• Pastoral de Jacinto, " which 
Montalvan tell us was the first play Lope wrote in 
three acts, and that it was composed while he was at- 
tached to the i^erson of the Bishop of Avila. This 
must have been about the year 1580; but as the 
Jacinto was not printed till thirty-three years after- 
wards, it may perhaps have undergone large changes 
before it was offered to the public, whose requisitions 
had advanced in the interval no less than the condition 
of the theatre. He says in the Dedication, that it was 
'"' written in the years of his youth," and it is founded 
on the somewhat artificial story of a shepherd fairly 
made jealous of himself by the management of another 
shepherd, who hopes thus to obtain the shepherdess 
they both love, and who passes himself off, for some 
time, as another Jacinto, and as the only one to whom 
the lady is really attached. It has the same flowing 
versification with '' The True Lover," but it is not 
superior in merit to that drama, which can hardly have 
preceded it by more than two or three years.'^ 

Moralities, too, written with no little spirit, and with 
strong internal evidence of having been publicly per- 
formed, occur here and there, — sometimes where we 
should least look for them. Four such are produced in 
his " Pilgrim in his own Country " ; the romance, it 
may be remembered, which is not without allusions to 
its author's exile, and wdiich seems to contain some of 
his personal experiences at Valencia. One of these 

' ^Nloutalvan says: " Lopp greatly "Quatro Comedins Faiiiosas De Don 
pleased Mamiciue, the Bishop of Avila. Luis de Gongora y [.ope de Vega (Par- 
ity certain eclogues which he wrote for pio," etc. ; and afterwards in the eigh- 
hiin, and by the drama of ' The Pasto- teenth volume of the Coniedias of Lope, 
ral of Jacinto,' the earliest he wrot^* in ]Ma(lrid, 1623. It was al.so })riuted sep- 
three acts." (Obras, Torn. XX. p. 30.) arately, under the double title of "La 
It was first printed at Madrid, in 1613, Selva de Albania, y el Qeloso de si mis- 
4to, by Sanchez, in a volume entitled mo." 

234 LOPE'8 earliest dramas. [Pkkiod II. 

allegorical plays is declared to have been performed 
in front of the venerable cathedral at Saraij-ossa. and is 
among the more curious s])ecimens of such entertain- 
ments, since it is accompanied with explanations of the 
way in which the churches were used for theatrical 
pur})()ses, and ends with an account of the ex- 
* 191) position of * the Host as an appropriate conclu- 
sion for a drama so devout.^" 
Another, called "' The Soul's Voyage," is set forth as 
if represented in a public square of Barcelona.^^ It 
opens with a ballad, which is sung by three persons, 
and is followed, first, by a prologue full of cumbrous 
learning, and then bv another ballad, both sung and 
danced, as we are told, '' with much skill and grace." 
After all this note of preparation comes the " Moral 
Action" itself. The Soul enters dressed in white, — 
the way in which a disembodied spirit was indicated to 
the audience. A clown, who, as the droll of the piece, 
represents the Human Will, and a gallant youth, who 
represents Memory, enter at the same time ; one of 
them lu'ging the Soul to set out on the voyage of sal- 
vation, and the other endeavoring to jest her out of 
such a pious ])urpose. At this critical moment, Satan 
appears as a shi])-ca])tain, in a black suit fringed with 
flames, and accompanied ])y Selfishness, Appetite, and 
other vices, as his sailors, and ofters to speed the Soul 
on her voyage, all singing merrily together: — 

Holloa ! the good ship of Delight 

Spreads her sails for the sea to-day ; 

Who embarks ? who wnbarks, then, I say ? 

To-day, the good ship of Content, 

Witli a wind at her clioice for her course, * 

To a land where no troubles are sent, 

"^ It fdls nearly fifty pages in the "A Moral Representation of the Soul's 
third book of the romance. Vovage";— in other words, A Mora/,- 

" In the first book. It is entitlc(l it,/' 

€hai'. XV. J lope's earliest DRAMAS. 235 

Wlicrc noiio kiHiws the stings of I'emorse, 
With a wuul IViir and free takes her flight ; — 
Who unibaiks '! who embarks, then, 1 say ? ^'■^ 

A new world is announced as their destination, and 
the Will asks whether it is the one lately discovered 
by Columbus ; to which and to other similar questions 
Satan replies evasively, but declares that he is a 
greater pilot of the seas than Magellan or 
Drake, and w^ill insure to all *who sail with * 200 
him a happy and prosperous voyage. Memory 
opposes the project, but, after some resistance, is put 
to sleep ; and Understanding, who follows as a grey- 
beard full of wise counsel, comes too late. The adven- 
turers are already gone. But still he shouts after 
them, and continues his warnings, till the ship of Peni- 
tence arrives, with the Saviour for its pilot, a cross for 
its mast, and sundry Saints for its sailors. They sum- 
mon the Soul anew. The Soul is surprised and 
shocked at her situation ; and the piece ends with her 
embarkation on board the sacred vessel, amidst a feu 
de j'oie, and the shouts of the delighted spectators, 
who, we may suppose, had been much edified by the 

Another of these strange dramas is founded on the 
story of the Prodigal Son, and is said to have been 
represented at Perpignan, then a Spanish fortress, by 
a party of soldiers ; one of the actors being mentioned 
by name in its long and absurdly learned Prologue .^'^ 
Among the interlocutors are Envy, Youth, Repentance, 
and Good Advice ; and among other extraordinary pas- 

12 Oy la Nahe del deleyte Se quiere hazer a la Mar. 

Se quiere hazer 4 la Mar ; — Ay qulen se quiera embarcar? 

Ay quien se quiera embarcar? j;i Peregrine en su I'atria, Sevilla, 1604, 4to, 

Oy la Nabe del contento, f 36 b 

Con vlento en popa de gusto, ' ' 

SSnrirnfent^' " Book Fourtli. The Compliment 

Viendo que ay prospero viento, to the actor shows, of course, that the 

i^oG lope's earliest dramas. [Pkimod 1L 

sages it contains a flowing paraj^lirase of Horace's 
'- Beatus ille." prononnced b}' the resj^ectable proprie- 
tor of tlie swine intrusted to the nnhappy Prodigal. 

The fourth Morahty found in the romance of the 
Pilu'rini is entitled " The Marriai»;e of the Soul and 
Divine Love"; and is set forth as having been acted 
in a public square at Valencia, on occasion of the mar- 
riage of Philip the Third with Margaret of Austria, 
which took place in that city, — an occasion, we are 
told, when Lope himself appeared in the character of 
a bnffoon.^^ and one to which this drama, though 
* 201 it seems to*' have been written earlier, Avas care- 
fully adjusted.i-^ The World, Sin, the City of 
Jerusalem, and Faith, who is dressed hi the costume of- 
a captain-general of Spain, all play parts in it. Envy 
enters, in the first scene, as from the infernal regions, 
throuo-h a mouth castins; forth flames ; and the last 
scene represents Love, stretched on the cross, and wed- 
ded to a fair damsel who figures as the Soul of Man. 
Some parts of this drama are very oftensive ; espe- 
cially the passage in wdiich Margaret of Austria, with 
celestial attributes, is represented as arriving in the 
galley of Faith, and the j^assage in which Philip's en- 
trance into A^alencia is described literally as it oc- 
curred, but substitutiu": the Saviour for the king, and 
the prophets, the martyrs, and the hierarchy of heaven 

jnece was acted. Indeed, this is the it was in the Moral Play of the Prodi- 
proper inference fi-oni the whole Pro- gal Son, found in the Fourth Book of 
logue. Obras, Tom. V. p. 347. Loi)e's "Peregrino en su Patria," which, 
^* Jlihana, in his continuation of though there sjioken of as acted at Per- 
Mariana, (Lib. X. c. 15, Madrid, 1804, ^])ignan, seems also, from a passage at 
folio, p. 589,) says, when speaking of f. 211, ed. 1604, to have been repre- 
the marriage of Pliilip III. at Valencia, .sented at the Mamage of Philip III. 
"In the midst of such rejoicings, taste- and Margaret of Austria, at Valencia, 
ful and freijuent festivities and miis(|uer- in 159H, and in wliich the "Gracio.so" 
ades were not wanting, in whicli I^ope apjiears under tlic name of " Helardo," 
de Vega played tlie pait of the butfoon." well known at the time as the poetical 
In what particular piece Lope played name of Lope. See ante. Chap. XIII. 
the part of the buffoon, Mifiana does note 18. 
not tell us. I suspect, however, that ^^ In Book Second. 

CiiAi". XV 



Ibr the S])aiiisli nobles and clergy who really appeared 
ojti the occasion. ^*^ 

Such were, probably, the unsteady attempts with 
which Lope began his career on the public stage during 
his exile at A'aleneia and for some years afterwards. 
They are certainly wild enough in their structure, and 
sometimes gross in sentiment, though hardly worse in 
either respect than the similar allegorical nnsteries and 
farces which, till just about the same period, were per- 
formed in France and England, and much superior in 
their general tone and style. How long he continued to 
write them, or how many he Avrote, we do not know. 
None of them appear in the collection of his 
dramas, which does not begin tUl 1604,'' * though * 202 
an allegorical spirit is occasionally visible in some 
of his plays, which are, in other respects, quite in the 

1'' Lope boasts that he has made this 
sort of commutation and acconnnoda- 
tion, as if it were a merit. " Tliis was 
literally the way." he says, "in which 
his Majesty, King Philip, entered Va- 
lencia." Obras, Tom. V. p. 187. 

1" A very curious and excessively 
rare volume, however, appeared at Ma- 
drid the year before, of which I found 
a copy in the Biblioteca Amliroijiana 
in Milan, and ^\•hich contains plays of 
Lope. It is entitled, "Scis Conicdias 
de Lope de Vega Carpio y de otros 
autores cujos nombres dellas (sic) son 
estos : — 

1 . De la Destruicion de Constantino- 

2. De la Fundacion de la Alhambra 
de Granada. 

3. De los Amigos enojados. 

4. De la Libertad de Castilla. 

5. De las Hazahas del Cid. 

6. Del Perseguido. 

Con licencia de la Sta. Inquisicion y 
Ordinario. En Madrid, impreso por 
Pedro de Madrigal. Anol603." Small 
4to, ff. 272. 

All six of the above plays are marked 
in Huerta's Catalogo as Lope's, but 
neither of them, I tliiuk, is in the list 
of the "Peregrine," 1604, where in 
fact, 1 suppose, Lope means — (by a 

reference to this publication, one edition 
of which aj)peared in 1603 at Lisbon, 
and I believe another at Seville) — to 
discredit them. And, no doubt, the 
iirst — "La Destruicion de Constanti- 
nopla " — is not his, but Gabriel Las- 
so dc la Vega's. On the other hand, 
however, No. 3, "Amistad pagada," is 
in Vol. I. of Lope's Comedias, 1604, 
and No. 6, "Carlos el Perseguido," is 
in the same volume; while No. 4, "La 
Libertad de Castilla," appears in Vol. 
XIX., 1626, as "El Condc Fernau 
Gonzalez." These thi'ee, therefore, are 
Lope's. I did not have time to read 
them, but I ran them over hastily. 
The first in the volume, which is Ga- 
briel Lasso de la Vega's, and which is 
short, seemed to be in the rude style 
of the stage when Lope took it in hand, 
and has allegorical personages. Death, 
Discord, etc. The sixth and the thiid, 
on the contrary, are mucdi in Lope's 
final manner, at least much more so 
than the others. It .should be noted 
that the third is inserted in the volume 
by mistake as the fifth, and so cicr 
vcrsd ; and that the fourth is said to 
be written in "lengua antigua." The 
fifth is on the death of the Cid and the 
taking of Valencia, and has above fifty 
" iiguras." 

238 lope's plays at MADPID. [Pkui..!. II. 

temper of the secuhir tlieutre. But tluit he wrote 
such religions dramas early, and that he wrote great 
numbers of them, in the course of his life, is unques- 

In Madrid, if he found little to hinder, he also found 
little to help him, except two rude theatres, or rather 
court-\ards, licensed for the representation of i)lays, 
and a dramatic taste formed or Ibrming in the charac- 
ter of the people.^*^ But this was enough for a spirit 
like his. His success was immediate and complete ; 
his popularity overwhelming. Cervantes, as we have 
seen, declared him to be a '-prodigy of nature " ; and, 
though himself seekmg both the fame and the profit 
of a writer for the public stage, generously recognized 
his great rival as its sole monarch.^^ 

Many years, however, elapsed before he published 
even a single volume of the plays with which he was 
thus delighting the audiences of Madrid, and settling 
the final forms of the national drama. This was, no 
doubt, in part owing to the habit, which seems to have 
prevailed in Spain from the first appearance of 
* 203 the theatre, of regarding * its literature as ill- 
suited for publication ; and in part to the cir- 
cumstance, that, when plays were produced on the 
stage, the author usually lost his right in them, if not 

1^ The description of an imaginary a phrase frecpiently used ; and though 
performance of a popular drama in a nometimcsundL'i-iitoO'X invudam partem, 
small town of Castile just at this peri- as it is in Don Quixote, Parte L c. 46, 
od — 1595 — can be found in " Ni Rey — " Vete de mi jjreseneia, monstruo de 
ni Roque," (a Novela hy Don Patricio naturaleza," — it is generally understood 
de la Escosura, 1835, Tom. I. cap. 4,) to be complimentary ; as, for instance, 
and is worth reading, to see how rudely in the " Hcrniosa Ester" of Lope, (Co- 
things were then managed, or supposed media.s, Tom. XV., JIadrid, 1621,) near 
to be managed. the end of the iir.st act, where Ahasue- 

1^ See ante, p. 125, and Comedias, rus, in admiration of the fair Esther, 

Madrid, 1615, 4to, Prologo. Thephra.se says: — 
iiwiuilruo de luduralezu, in this i)as.sage, Tanta belle7.a 

11 ..* 1 / ■ 1 Monstruo seri de la naturaleza. 

has been sometimes su|)po.sed to imply i>*""o" u -^i <*<= ■» ua ic«i 

a censure of Lojie on the ])art of Ci-r- Cen-antes, I have no doubt, used it in 
vantes. But thi^ i~ ;i iiii-^tMkf. It is wonder at Lope's prodigious fertility. 

I'llAI'. XV.] 



entirely, yet so far that he coiihl not pubhsh them 
without the assent of the actors. But whatever may 
have been the cause, it is certain that a multitude of 
Lope's plays had been acted before he published any 
of them ; and that, to this day, not a fourth pjirt of 
those he wrote has l)een preserved by the press.'-^" 

Their very number, however, may have been one 
fjbstacle to their pu])li('ation ; for the most moderate 
and certain accounts on this point have almost a fabu- 
lous air about them, so extravagant do they seem. In 
1603, he gives us the titles of two hundred and nine- 
teen pieces that he had already written ,-^^ in 1()09, he 

-' Lope must liave been a writer for 
the public stage as early as 1586 or 
1587, and a popular writer at Madrid 
soon after 1590 ; but we have no plays 
by him dated earlier than 1593 -S)4, 
\Seha(;k's Nachtrage, 1854, ]). 45,) and 
no knowledge that any of his plays were 
printed, with his own consent, before 
the volume which appeared as the No- 
vena Parte, Madrid, 1617. Yet, in the 
Preface to the " Peregrino en .su Patria," 
licensed in 1603, he gives us a list of 
TWO hundred and nineteen plays which 
he acknowledges and claims ; and in 
the same Preface (I possess the l)ook) 
he states their number at two hundred 
and thirty. In the edition of 1733 
(which I also have) it is raised to three 
hundred and forty-nine ; but in the 
Obras Sueltas, (Tom. V., 1776,) it is 
V)rought back to three hundred and 
tliirty-nine, perhaps copying the edi- 
tion of 1605. Of all these, none, 1 
■conceive, has much authority except 
the first, and it may be ditticult to tind 
sufficient ground for attributing to Lope 
some of the plays whose titles are added 
in the later editions, though it is not un- 
likely that some of them may l)e famil- 
iar to us under other names. There are 
«'ight editions of the Peregi-ino, ini-lud- 
ing that in the fifth volume of Saucha'.s 
(joilection, 1777. Again, in 1618, when 
he says he had written eight hundred, 
(Comedias, Tom. XL, Barcelona, 1618, 
Prologo, ) only one hundred and thirty- 
four full-length plays, and a few eiitn:- 
j/iescs, had been printed. Finally, nf 
■the eighteen hundred attributed to liini 

in 1635, after his death, by Montalvau 
and others, (Obras Sueltas, Tom. XX. 
l>. 49, ) only about three liundred and 
twenty or thirty can be found in the 
volumes of his collected plays ; and 
Lord Holland, counting auios and all, 
which would swell the general claim of 
Montalvan to at least twenty-two liun- 
dred, makes out but five hundred and 
sixteen jirinted dramas of Lope. Life 
of Lope de Vega, London, 1817, 8vo, 
Vol. 11. pp. 158-180. 

'■^1 This curious list, with the Preface 
in which it stands, is worth reading 
over carefully, as affording indications 
of tlie history and progress of Ijojie's 
genius. It is to Lope's dramatic life 
what the list in Meres is to Shakesiieare. 
It is found best in the first edition, 
1604. In the Spanish translation of 
this History, (Tom. IL, 1851, pp. 551, 
552, ) in Schack's Nachtrage, (1854, pp. 
45 -50,) and in the Documentos Inedi- 
tos, (Tom. I.,) may be Ibund the titles 
of a number of Lojte's Comedias that 
are still extant in his autograj)h MSS. 
Two of them, at least, liave never been 
published, " Brasil Restituido," found- 
ed on the capture of San Salvador by 
the Sjianiards in 1625, and "La Reina 
Dona Maria," founded on the strange 
circumstances attending the birth of 
Don Jaime el Conquistador as naively 
related in Muntaner's Chronicle. But 
of the last, which is in the possession 
of Prince Metternich, a satisfactory ac- 
count by Wolf may be found in the 
" Sitzungs-berichte " of the Imi)erial 
Acade::;y at Vii-iiiiii for Apiil, 1855. 


M'MBEi; OF HIS ])1;a.MAS. 

[PKraoD IL 

says their number had risen to IbiU' hundred 
* 204 and ei,trhty-three ; " * in 1618, he says it was 

eiglit hundred;'^'' in 1619, again, in round luun- 
bers. he states it at nine liundred;-' and in 1024, at 
one thousand and seventy."''' After his deatii. in 1635, 
Perez de Montalvan, his intimate friend and eulogists 
who three 3'ears before had declared the number to be 
fifteen hmidred, without reckoning the shorter pieces.-'^ 
puts it at eighteen hundred plays and lour hundred 
a (if OS ;^^ inimhers which are confidently repeated Ijy 
Antonio in his notice of Lope,-*^ and by Franchi, an 

111 tlie year 1860 — that is, since tlie 
]ireeeiling paragi'ajili was published — 
there a])peared iu the tifty-seeoud vol- 
ume of Hivadeneyra's Biblioteca an ex- 
traordinary' coiitribution to the bibliog- 
rajihy of Loin's coincdkis and aufos. Its 
author is Mr. J. l\. Chorley of London, 
and it is s;\id to be " corregido y adi- 
fionado por el Senor Don Caj'etano de 
Banera," whose Catalogue of Spanish 
plays and their authoi'S is elsewhere 
noticed. How far the additions and. 
con-ections of Senor Banera e.xtend 
does not appear, but that the immense 
and careful labor of the bibliography in 
question is substantially to be credited 
to Mr. Chorley, and that the alterations 
are few and unimportant, is hardlj' 
doubtful. The giand result, however, 
as reached in the final summary of Bar- 
rera, though I suspect this is not to 
be accepted as absolutely accurate, is, 
that of printed n/niedins known to be 
by Lope there are 403, besides which 
there are G'i ])robably his ; 106 cited in 
the "Peregiiiio," luit not found ; ined- 
ited, 11 ; and doubtful, (porvarios con- 
ceptos,) 25, making, in all, 608, but re- 
ducing the " leiwrtorio conocido" of 
Loj)e to 439 comedins. In relation to 
the loas and entremeses no careful 
reckoning was made, so uncertain is tlie 
authorship of those attiibuted to him. 
The whole catalogtie fills twenty-two 
large pages in double columns, and is 
extremely curious ami satisfactoiy, ex- 
cept that it gives us so small a minil>er 
of titles compared with the recognized 
number of Lope's dramatic works in 
the two great classes to which the reck- 
oning relates. 

-'- In his "New Art of AVriting 
Plays," he says, " 1 have now written, 
including one that I have finished this 
week, four hundred and eighty-three 
plays." He jjrinted this for the first 
time in 1609 ; and though it was pro1>- 
ably written four oi- five years earlier, 
yet these lines near the end may have 
been added at the moment the whoh- 
poem went to the press. Obras Suelta?., 
Tom. lY. ]>. 417. 

^^ In the Prologo to Comedias, Tom. 
XI., Barcelona, 1618;— a witty ad- 
dress of the theatre to the readers. 

-* Comedias, Tom. XIV., Madrid, 
1620, Dedication of "El Verdadero 
Amante" to his son. 

•^5 Comedias, Tom. XX., Madrid, 1629, 
Preface, where he says, "Candid minds 
will ho))e, that, as I have lived long 
enough to write a tliousand and seventy 
dramas, I may live long enough to print 
them." The certificates of tliis volume 
are dated 1624-25. 

'■^ In the Indice de los "Ingenios de 
Madrid," appended to the "Para To- 
dos" of Montalvan, printed in 1632. 
he says, Lojie had then published twen- 
ty volumes of i)lays, and that tlie 
number of those that had been acted, 
without reckoning ontoi^, wa.s fifteen 
hundred. Lope also himself j)uts it at 
fifteen hundred in the Egloga a Clau- 
dio," which, though not j)ublished till 
after his death, must have been written 
as earl}- as 1632, since it speaks of tht- 
" Dorotea," first puldished in that year, 
as still waiting for the light. 

'^' Fama Postunia, Obi-as Sueltas, 
Tom. XX. p. 49. 

® Art. Lupus Felix dc Vega. 

C'li.u'. XV.] NU.MIJKK OF HIS DliAMAS. 241 

Italian, who lijul been much with Lope at Madrid, and 
who wrote one of tlie multitudinous eulogies on him 
after his death.-"* The ])rodigious facility implied by 
this is further conhrmed by the fact stated by himself 
in one of his ph^y>^, that it was written and acted in 
five days;^° and by the anecdotes of Montalvan, that 
he wrote five full-length dramas at Toledo in fifteen 
days, and one act of another in a few hours of the 
early morning, without seeming to make any efibrt in 
either case.^^ 

Of this enormous mass about five hundred dramas 
appear to have been published at different 
times, — * most of them in the twenty-five, or, * 205 
as is sometimes reckoned, twenty-eight, vol- 
umes which were printed in various places between 
1604 and 1647, but of which it is now nearly impossi- 
ble to form a complete collection. '^^ In these volumes, 
so far as any rules of the dramatic art are concerned, 
it is apparent that Lope took the theatre in the state 
in which he found it ; and instead of attempting to 
adapt it to any previous theory, or to any existing 
models, whether ancient or recent, made it his great 
object to satisfy the popular audiences of his age ; ^ — 

'^^ Obras Sueltas, Tom. XXI. pp. 3, ^ By far the finesst copy of Lope de 

19. Vega's Coinedias that I have ever seen 

^^ "All studied oiit and Avritten in is in the possession of Lord Taunton 

five days." Comedias, Torn. XXL, (formerly the Rt. Hon. Henry Labou- 

Madrid, 1635, f. 72, b. chere) at Stoke Park, near London. 

'^^ Obras Sueltas, Tom. XX. pp. 51, Including the Vega del Parnaso, 1647, 

52. How eagerly his plays were sought and the various editions of the different 

by the actors and received by the audi- volumes, where such exist, it makes 

•ences of Madrid may be understood forty-four volumes in all. 

from the fact Lope mentions in the The selection made by Hartzenliusch 

poem to his friend Claudio, that above for the Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles, 

a hundred were acted within twenty- and found in Vols. XXIV., XXXIV., 

four hours of the time when their com- and XLI. of that collection, to which 

position was completed. 01)ras Suel- one more is ])romised, is well made, 

tas, Tom. IX. p. 368. Pacheco, in the but it is not edited witli the care sliown 

notice of Lope prefixed to his " Jeru- in the edition of Calderon by tlie same 

salen," 1609, .says that .some of his most hand. I do not know why the "Doro- 

admired plays were written in two days. tea" is inserted. 

Obras Sueltas, Tom. XIV. }). xxxii. ^3 ^f^ ^..jriy ^g 1(303, Lope maintains 

vol,. II. 16 

2-1:2 NUMBEK OF Ills J)1;AMAS. [I'luiod 1L 

an object which lie avows 8o distinctly in his " Art of 
Writing Plays," and in the Preface to the twentieth 
volinne of his Dramas, that there is no donbt it was 
the prevailing pnrpose with which he labored for the 
theatre. Fur such a purpose, he certainly appeared at 
a fortunate moment ; and possessing a genius no less 
fortunate, was enabled to become the founder of the na- 
tional Spanish theatre, which, since his time, has rested 
substantially on the basis where he placed and left it. 

But this very sj-stem — if that may be called a sys- 
tem which was rather an instinct — almost necessarily 
supposes that he indulged his audiences in a great 
variety of dramatic forms ; and accordingly we find, 
among his plays, a diversity, alike in spirit, tone, and 
structin^e, which was evidently intended to humor the 
uncertain cravings of the popular taste, and which we 
know was successful. Whether he himself ever took 
the trouble to consider what were the different classes 

into which his dramas might be divided, does 
* 206 not appear. Certainly no * attempt at any 

technical arrangement of them is made in the 
collection as originally printed, except that, in the first 
and third ^•olumes, a few enfremeses, or farces, generally 
in prose, are thrown in at the end of each, as a sort of 
appendix. All the rest of the plays contained in them 
are in verse, and are called comedias, — a M'ord which is 
by no means to be translated '• comedies," but " dra- 
mas," since no other name is comprehensive enough to 
include their manifold varieties, — and all of them are 

divided into ihvim J ornadan, or acts. 


this (loctriiip in the Preface to liis " Nueva Arte de Hacer Comedias," 

" Peregrine " ; it occurs IVeciuently however, is almnduntly ex])licit on the 

afterwards in different parts of his subject in 1609, and no doubt exjiressed 

works, as, for instance, in the Prologo the (h'liberate puqjose of its author, 

to liis "Castigo sin Venganza" ; and from wliieh he seems never to liave 

he left it as a h'gacy in the " Egloga a swerved iluring his wliole dramatic ca- 

Clandio," print(Ml after his deatli. The recr. 

( ii.vr. AV.J F01LM8 OF LOI'E's DRAMAS. 243 

But in everytliing else there seems no end to their 
diversities, — whether we regard their subjects, run- 
ning iVoui the deepest tragedy to the broadest farce, 
and from the most solemn mysteries of religion down 
to the loosest frolics of common life, or their style, 
which embraces every change of tone and measure 
known to the poetical language of the country. And 
all these diflerent masses of Lope's drama, it should be 
further noted, run insensibly into each other, — the 
sacred and the secular, the tragic and the comic, the 
heroic action and tliat from vulgar life, — until some- 
times it seems as if there were neither sepaiiite form 
nor distinctive attribute to any of them. 

This, however, is less the case than it at first appears 
to be. Lope, no doubt, did not always know or care 
into wdiat peculiar form the story of his drama was 
cast; but still there were certain forms and attributes 
invented 1)y his own genius, or indicated to him by 
the success of his predecessors or the demands of his 
time, to which each of his dramas more or less tended. 
A few, indeed, may be found, so nearly on the limits 
that separate the different classes, that it is difficult to 
assign them strictly to either ; but in all — even in 
those that are the freest and wildest — the distinctive 
elements of some class are apparent, while all, by the 
peculiarly national spirit that animates them, show the 
source from which they come, and the direction they 
are destined to follow. 

The fird class of plays that Lope seems to have in- 
vented — the one in which his own genius seemed 
most to delight, and which still remains more 
popular in Spain * than any other — consists of *207 
those called " Comedias de Capa y Espada," or 
Dramas with Cloak and Sword. They took their name 


from the circumstance, that their principal personages 
belong to the genteel jDortion of society, accustomed, 
in Lope's time, to the picturesque national dress of 
cloaks and swords. — excluding, on the one hand, those 
dramas in wliich royal personages appear, and. on the 
other, those which are devoted to common life and the 
humbler classes. Their main and moving principle is 
gallantry, — such gallantry as existed in the time of 
their author. The story is almost always involved 
and intriguing, and almost always accompanied with 
an imderplot and parody on the characters and adven- 
tures of the principal parties, formed out of those of 
the servants and other inferior personages. 

Their titles are intended to be attractive, and are 
not infrequently taken from among the old rhymed 
proverbs, that were always popular, and that some- 
times seem to have suggested the subject of the drama 
itself.** They uniformly extend to the length of regu- 
lar pieces for the theatre, now settled at three jo7viadas, 
or acts, each of which. Lope advises, should have its 
action compressed within the limits of a single day, 
though he himself is rarely scrupulous enough to 
follow his own recommendation. They are not prop- 
erly comedies, for nothing is more frequent in them 
than duels, murders, and assassinations ; and they are 
not tragedies, for, besides that they end happily, they 
are generally composed of humorous and sentimental 
dialogue, and their action is carried on chiefly by lovers 
full of romance, or by low characters whose wit is 
mingled with buffoonery. All this, it should be under- 

** These titles were often in the old And in the verj- next play, " El ausente 

1>alla<l Tneasure, and inserted as a line en el Lugai": — 
in the plav, generally at the end; ex. El ausente en el Lugar 

OT. ' ' El Ainete de Toledo " : — 8e queda en el y contento. 

° Comedias, Tom. H., 1618. 

ArAZtotl^To" Calderon and other dramatists did the 



stood, was new on the Spanish stage; or if hints might 
have been furnished for individual portions of it as 
far back as Torres Naharro, the combination at least 
was new, as well as the manners, tone, and cos- 

* Of such plaj^s Lope wrote a very large * 208 
number, — several hundreds, at least. His ge- 
nius — rich, free, and eminently inventive — was well 
fitted for their composition, and in many of them 
he shows much dramatic tact and talent. Among the 
best are "The Ugly Beauty ";^5 "Money makes the 
Man"; -5*^ "The Pruderies of Belisa,"-^" which has the 
accidental merit of being all but strictly within the 
rules; "The Slave of her Lover," '^^ in which he has 
sounded the depths of a woman's tenderness ; and 
"The Dog in the Manger," in which he has almost 
equally well sounded the depths of her selfish vanity.^^ 
But perhaps there are some others which, even better 
than these, will show the peculiar character of this 
class of Lope's dramas, and his peculiar position in re- 
lation to them. To two or three such we will, there- 
fore, now turn. 

" El Azero de Madrid," or The Madrid Steel, is one 
of them, and is among his earlier works for the stage .'^'^ 

^5 Comedias, Tom. XXIV., Zaragoza, may be well to remember that it was 

1641, 4to, f. 22, etc. written only a year and a half before 

^ I know this play, "Dineros son Ijope died. See note at the end of this 

Calidad," only among the Comedias Su- chapter. 

eltas of Lope ; but it is no doubt his, ^ Comedias, Tom. XXV., Qaragoea, 

as it is in Tom. XXIV. printed at 1647, f. 1, etc. 

Zaragoza in 1632, wliich contains dif- ^^ Comedias, Tom. XL, Barcelona, 

ferent plays from a Tom. XXIV. print- 1618, f. 1, etc. The Preface to this 

ed at Zaragoza in 1641, which I have. volume is curious, on accoimt of Lope'.s 

There is yet a third Tom. XXIV., complaints of the book.sellers. Recalls" 

printed at Madrid in 1638. The inter- it " Prologo del Teatro," and niakes 

nal evidence would, perhaps, be enough the surreptitious publication of iiis plays 

to prove its authorship. an offence against the drama itself. Ht; 

^ Comedias, Tom. IX., Barcelona, intimates that it was not very uncom- 

1618, f. 277, etc., but often reprinted mon for one of his plays to be acted 

since under the title of "La Melin- seventy times. 

drosa." When mentioning the con- *" The "Azero de Madrid," which 

formity of this play to the rules, it was written as early as 1603, has often 

246 THE AZERO DE MAUKID. [?Enun> 11. 

It takes its name from the preparations of steel for me- 
dicinal purposes, wliieh, in Lope's time, had just come 
into fashionable use ; but the main story is that of a 
light-hearted girl, who deceives her father, and espe- 
cially Lei hypocritical old aunt, by pretending to be ill 
and taking steel medicaments from a seeming doctor. 
Avho is a friend of her lover, and who prescriljes walk- 
ing abroad, and such other free modes of life as 
may ])est afford opportunities for her admirer's atten- 
* 200 * There can be little doubt that in this play 
we find some of the materials for the '* Medecin 
Malgre Lui " ; and though the full success of Moliere's 
original wdt is not to be questioned, still the happiest 
portions of his comedy can do no more than come into 
fair competition with some passages in that of Lope. 
The character of tlie heroine, for instance, is drawn 
with more spirit in the Spanish than it is in the French 
play; and that of the devotee aunt, who acts. as her 
duenna, and whose hypocrisy is exposed when she her- 
self falls in love, is one which Moliere might well have 
envied, though it was too exclusively Spanish to be 
brought \dthin the courtly conventions 1)}' which he 
was restrained. 

The whole drama is full of life and gaiety, and has a 
truth and reality about it rare on iiny stage. Its open- 
ing is both a proof of this and a characteristic specimen 
of its author's mode of placing his audience at once, by 
a decisive movement, in the midst of the scene and 
the personages he means to represent. Lisardo, the 
hero, and Riselo, his friend, appear watching the 
door of a fishionable church in Madrid, at tlie con- 

1)een priiit<*'l separately, and is found another hit at the fashionable drug in 
in the regular collection, Tom. XI., his "Dorotea," Act V. Sc. 1. 
liarcelona, lfil8, f. 27, etc. Lope has 


c'lii.sion of tlie service, to see a lady with whom 
Lisardo is in love. They are wearied with waiting, 
while the crowds pass out, and Riselo at last declares 
he will wait for his friend's fancy no longer. At this 
moment appears Belisa, the lady in question, attended 
by her aunt, Theodora, who wears an affectedly re- 
ligious dress and is lecturing her : — 

Theodora. Sliow more of gentleness aiul iiioilt^sty ; — 

Of gentleness in walking quietly, 

Of modesty in looking only down 

Upon the earth you tread. 
Belisa. 'T is what 1 ilo. 

Theodora. What ? When you 're looking straight towards that man? 
Belisa. Did j'ou not bid me look upon the earth '< 

And what is he but just a bit of it ? 
Theodora, I said the earth whereon you tread, my Jiieee. 
Belisa. But that whereon I tread is hidden (juite 

With my own petticoat and walking-dress. 
Theodora. Words such as these become no well-bred maid. 

But, by your mother's blessed memory, * 

I '11 put an end to all your pretty tricks ; — 

What ? You look back at him again ? 
* Belisa. Who ? I ? * 210 

Theodora. Yes, you ; — and make him secret .signs besides. 
Belisa. Not I. '.T is only that you troubled me 

With teasing (juestions and perverse replies. 

So that I stumbled and looked round to see 

Who would prevent my fall. 
Riselo (to Lisard'j). She falls again. 

Be quick and iKdji her. 
Lisardo {to Belisa.) Pardon me, lady, 

And forgive my glove. 
Theodora. Who ever saw the like ? 

Belisa. I thank you, sir ; you saved me from a fall. 
Lisardo. An angel, lady, might have fallen so ; 

Or stars that shine with heaven's own blessed light 
Theodora. I, too, can fall ; but 't is u])on your trick. 

Good gentleman, farewell to you ! 
Lim.rda. Madam, 

Your servant. (Heaven save us from such spleen!) 
Theodora. A pretty fall you made of it ; and now I hope 

You '11 be content, since they assisted you. 
Belim. And you no less content, since now you have 

The means to tease me for a week to come. 
Theodora. But why again do you turn, back j'our head ? 



[1'KU1U1> II. 

Bcllsa. W^hy, sine j-oii think it wise and waiy 

To notice well the place I stunibleil at, 

Lest I shoulil stumble there when next 1 j)ass. 
Theodora. Mischief befall you ! But I know your ways ! 

You '11 not deny this time j-ou looked upon the youth ? 
Belisa. Deny it ? No ! 

Theodina. You dare confess it, then ? 

Belisa. Be sure I dare. You saw him help me, — 

An\l would you have me fail to thank him for it ? 
Tlieodvra. Go to ! Come home ! come home I 
Belisa. Now we shall have 

A jnetty scolding cooked up out of this.*i 

*211 * Other pa.«:sages are equally spirited and no 
less Castilian. The scene, at the be"innino^ of 
the second act, between Octavio, another lover of the 
lady, and his servant, who jests at his master's passion, 
as well as the scene with the mock doctor, that follows, 
are both admirable in their way, and must have pro- 
duced a great effect on the audiences of Madrid, who 
felt how true they were to the manners of the time. 

But all Lope's dramas were not written for the })ub- 
lic theatres of the capital. He was the courtly, no less 

■" TVo. Lleuaoonluni y nioilestia ; — 
Ci)rdura ea iiiular do e<pa«io ; 
Modestia en que solo veaa 
La mi' ma tierra que pisas. 

R'l. Ya hago lo que ine en.«enas. 

Tfn. Coino niiraste ac^uel liombre? 

£fl. No me dixiste que viera 
Scia tierra? pueji, dime, 
Aquel homhre no es de tierra ? 

7Vo. Yo la que pisas te digo. 

Bel. La que pi-o va cubicrta 
De la sava y los chapines. 

Teo. Que palabnts de donwlla I 
Por el siglo de tu madre, 
Que yo tc quite essa." tretas I 
Otni vez le miras? Bel. Yo? 

Teo. Luego no le hi/iste senas ? 

Bel. Fuy a cier, romo me turba-s 
Con deniandas y n-spue-stas, 

Y mire quieii me tuuie.-ise. 
Rit. Cay 'I lleRjul i teuerla! 
Lix. I'erdone, vuessa merced. 

El guante Ten. Ay cxtna. como OBta '. 
Bel. Ue^o OS las manos, SeBor ; 

Que, si no es por vos, cayem. 
Lh. Cayera un i^n^l, S<M'i()ni, 

Y fayeran las estrellas, 

A quicn da mas liunbre el sol. 
Tfo. Y yo rayeni en la puenta 

Yd, raiiallero, roii Dioi ' 
U.i. VA OS tfuanle, y me detienda 

De eonilieion tan e»tniiia! 
Teo Ya rayste, yr s eontent.'i, 

D(" que te dieroti la maiio. 
Bel. Y tu lo irJs de que teni^ 

Con que pudrirme seys dias. 
Teo. A que bueluiis la cabeija ? 
Bel. Pues no tc parece que es 

Advertencia may discreta 

Mirar adonde cahi , 

Para que otra vez no buelua 

A trf)pe^;ar en lo mismo ? 
Teo Ay, mala pascua te venga, 

Y romo entiendo tus mniias. 

Otni vez, y dir.'.s que e?ta 

Xo miraste el ntanccbito ? 
Bel. Es verdad Tfo. Y lo confiessas ? 
Bel. Si me di > la niano alii, 

No quieres que lo iigrade.sca ? 
Teo. Anda, que entrants en csisa. 
Bel. lo que haras de (juimerasl 

Comedias de Loim* de Yega, Tom. XI., 
Bart-eloua, 1618, f 27. 

The sort of decorum required in the 
fii-st lines of this extract is the .same 
that was observed by the charmiiif^ 
Dorothea of Cervantes, and wa.s, no 
doubt, looked upon at the time as no 
more than a gentle modesty. " Las 
dias fpie iba a misa era de maftana y tan 
a('(im))aria(la de mi madre y de otras 
eriaiias y yo tan culiicata y recatada, 
<|ue apenas vian mis ojos mas tierm 
de acpiella donde ponia los pies." Don 
Qui.xote, Parte I. c. 28. 


tliiin tlie national poet of his age ; and ;.s we have 
ahx'ady noticed a phiy fidl of the spirit of his youth, 
and of the popnhir character, to which it was addressed, 
Ave will now turn to one no less buoyant and free, wiiicli 
was written in his old age and prepared expressly foi' 
a roval entertainment. It is ''The Saint John's Eve," 
and shows that his manner was the same, whether he 
was to be judged by the unruly crowds gathered in 
one of the court-yards of the capital, or by a few ])er- 
sons selected from whatever was most exclusive and 
elevated in the kingdom. 

The occasion for which it was prepared and the 
arrangements for its exhibition mark, at once the 
luxury of the royal theatres in the reign of Philip the 
Fourth, and the consideration enjoyed by their 
favorite poet.'*" The * drama itself was ordered * 212 
expressly by the Count Duke Olivares, for a 
magnificent entertainment which he wished to give his 
sovereign in one of the gardens of Madrid, on Saint 
John's Eve, in June, 1631. No expense was spared 
by the profligate favorite to please his indulgent mas- 
ter. The Marquis Juan Bautista Crescencio — the 
same artist to whom we owe the sombre Pantheon of 
the Escurial — arrano-ed the architectural construe- 

*^ Tlie facts relatiiig to this play are a tlieatre of great magnificence. The 

taken partly from the play itself, (Come- drama, which was much like a masijiie 

dias, Tom. XXI., Madrid, 1635, f. 68, of the English theatre, and was per- 

b, ) and partly from Casiano Pellicer, formed by the queen and her ladies, is-. 

Origen y Progresos de la Comedia, Ma- in the Works of Count Villamediana 

drid, ISOi, 12nio, Tom. I. pp. 174-191. (Carago<;a, 1629, 4to, pp. 1-55); and 

The Entrones of "Las Duenas," by an account of the entertainment itself 

Benevente, (Joco-Seria, 1653, tf. 168- is given in Antonio de Mendoca (Obras,. 

172,) was a part of this brilliant festival. Lisljoa, 1690, 4to, pj). 426-464); — all 

A similar entertainment had been indicating the most wasteful luxur}^ and 
given by his queen to Philip IV., on extraviigance. A curious English ver- 
his birthday, in 1622, at the beautiful sion of Mendo(;a's account may be found 
country-seat of Aranjuez, for which the at the end of Sir K. Fanshawe's trans- 
unfortunate Count of Villamediana fui- lation of Mendo^a's " Querer por sold 
ni.shed the poetry, and Fontana, the <|uerer," 1670. See joo5<, note to Chap, 
flistinguishcd Italian architect, erected XXI. 

250 THE XOCIIE 1)E SA.\ ,JUA\. [Pkiuod 11. 

tlons, which consisted of luxurious })owors for the kino;- 
and his courtiers, and a uoioeous theatre in front of 
them, where, amidst a blaze of torchlight, the two 
most famous companies of actors of the time ])erf()rmed 
►snccessively two plan's : one written by the united tal- 
ent of Francisco de Quevedo and Antonio de Mendo^'a ; 
and the other, the crowning grace of the festival, by 
Lope de Yega. 

The subject of the play of Lope is happily taken 
from the frolics of the very night on which it was rep- 
resented ; — a night frequently alluded to in the old 
Spanish stories and ballads, as one devoted, both by 
Moors and Christians, to ga3'er superstitions, and ad- 
ventures more various, than belonged to any other of 
the old national holidays.*'^ What was represented, 
therefore, liad a pecidiar interest, from its ai)propriate- 
ness both as to time and place. 

Leonora, the heroine, fii'st comes on the stage, and 
confesses her attachment to Don Juan de Hurtado, a 
gentleman who has recently returned rich from the 
Lidies. She gives a livel}' sketch of the way in which 
he had made love to her in all the forms of national 
admiration, at chiu^ch by day, and Ijefore her grated 
balcony in the evenings. Don Luis, her brother, igno- 
rant of all this, gladly becomes acquainted with the 
lover, whom he interests in a match of his own with 
Dona Blanca, sister of Bernardo, who is the cheiished 
friend of Don Juan. Eager to oblige the brother of 
the lady he loves, Don Juan seeks Bernardo, 
*21o and, in the course of their conversation. * inge- 

*•' Lope liiiusfir, ill 1(;-J4, |iul)lislic(l a on St. Jolin'.s Eve in S]iani.sh poetry, is 

])(j(;iM on the .same .sulijcct, wliicii fills in "Doblado's Ijetters," (1822, p. 309,) 

thiity jiages in tlic third volume of his — a work full of tho most faithful 

AV'orks ; hut a d(;.s(jri[ition of the frolics sketches of Spanish character and nian- 

of St. John's Eve, hetter suiteil to ilius- ners. 
trate this play of I -ope, and much else 


iiiously describes to him a visit he has just made 
to see all the arrangements for the evening's enter- 
tamment now in progress before the court, including 
tliis identical play of Lope ; thus whimsically claiming 
from the audience a belief that the action they are wit- 
nessing on the stage in the garden is, at the very same 
moment, going on in real life in the streets of Madrid, 
just behind their backs ; — a passage which, involving, 
as it does, compliments to the king and the Count 
Duke, to Quevedo and Mendoc^-a, must have been one 
of the most brilliant in its effect that can be imagined. 
But when Don Juan comes to explain his mission 
about the Lady Blanca, although he finds a most will- 
ing consent on the part of her brother, Bernardo, he 
is thunderstruck at the suggestion, that this brother, 
his most intimate friend, wishes to make the alliance 
double, and marry Leonora himself 

Now, of course, begin the involutions and difficulties. 
Don Juan's sense of what he owes to his friend forbids 
him from setting up his own claim to Leonora, and he 
at once decides that nothing remains for him but flight. 
At the same time, it is discovered that the Lady Blanca 
is already attached to another person, a noble cavalier, 
named Don Pedro, and will, therefore, never marry 
Don Luis, if she can avoid it. The course of true love, 
therefore, runs smooth in neither case. But both the 
ladies avow their determination to remain steadfiistly 
faithful to their lovers, though Leonora, from some 
fancied symptoms of coldness in Don Juan, arising out 
of his over-nice sense of honor, is in despair at the 
thought that he may, after all, prove false to her. 

So ends the first act. The second opens with the 
Lady Blanca's account of her own lover, his condition, 
and the way in which he had made his love known to 

252 THE XOCIIE be sax .WXN. [Period II. 

her in a piiblic garden ; — all most faithful to the 
national costume. But just as she is readv to escape 
and l)e pri\ately married to him, her brother, Don 
Bernardo, comes in, and proposes to her to make her 
first visit to Leonora, in order to promote his own snit. 
Meantime, the poor Leonora, quite desperate, rushes 

into the street with her attendant, and meets 
*214 her lovers servant, the clown and *liar]e(|uin 

of the piece, who tells her that his master, 
nnal)le any longer to endure his sufferings, is just 
about escaping from Madrid. The master, Don Juan, 
follows in hot haste, booted for his journey. The lady 
faints. When she revives, they come to ui\ under- 
standing, and determine to be married on the instant ; 
so that Ave have noAv two private marriages, beset with 
difficulties, on the carpet at once. But the streets 
are full of frolicsome crowds, who are indulged in a 
sort of carnival freedom during this popular festivaL 
Don Juan's rattling servant gets into a quarrel with 
some gay young men, who are imj^ertinent to his 
master, and to the terrified Leonora. Swords are 
drawn, and Don Juan is arrested by the officers of 
justice and carried off, — the lady, in her fright, taking 
refuge in a house, which accidentally turns out to be 
that of Don Pedro. But Don Pedro is abroad, seeking 
for his own lady. Dona Blanca. When he returns, 
however, making his way with difficulty through the 
rioting populace, he promises, as in Castilian honor 
bound, to protect the helpless and imknown Leonora, 
whoui he finds in his balcony timidly watching the 
movements of the crowd in the street, among whom 
she is hoping to catch a glimpse of her own lover. 

In the last jict we learn that Don Juan has at once, 
by bribes, easily rid liimself of the officers of justice, 


iin<I is again in the noisy and gay streets seeking for 
Leonora. He falls in with Don Pedro, whom he has 
never seen before ; but Don Pedro, taking him, fi'om 
his iiKpiiries, to l)e the l)rothei from whom Lecjuora is 
anxious to be concealed, carefully avoids betraying 
her to him. UnhapjMly, the Lady Blanca now arrives, 
having been j^revented from coming earlier by the 
confusion in the streets ; and he hurries her into his 
house for concealment till the marriage ceremony can be 
performed. But she hurries out again no less quickly, 
having found another lady alread*y^ concealed there; — 
a circumstance which she takes to be direct proof of 
her lover's falsehood. Leonora follows her, and begins 
an explanation ; but in the midst of it, the two 
brothers, who had Ijeen seeking these same 
missing sisters, come suddenly in; *a scene of * 215 
great confusion and mutual reproaches ensues ; 
and then the curtain falls with a recognition of all the 
mistakes and attachments, and the full happiness of the 
two ladies and their two lovers. At the end, the poet, 
in his own person, declares, that, if his art permits him 
to extend his action over twenty-four hours, he has, in 
the present case, kept within its rules, since he has 
occupied less than ten. 

As a specimen of plays fomided, on Spanish manners, 
few are happier than " The Saint John's Eve." The 
love-scenes, all honor and passion ; the scenes between 
the cavaliers and the populace, at once rude and gay; 
and the scenes with the free-spoken servant who plays 
the wit, — are almost all excellent, and instinct with 
the national character. It was received with the great- 
est applause, and constituted the finale of the Count 
Duke's magnificent entertainment, which, w'ith its mu- 
sic and dances, interludes and refreshments, occupied 

2-54 THE iJOlJA I'AKA LOS OTIiOS. [PKUir.D 11. 

the whole night, from nme o'cloek in the evenmg till 
daylight the next morning, when the royal party 
vswept hack Avith great pomp and ceremon}^ to the pal- 
ace ; — the stately form of Olivarez, such as we see 
him in the pictures of \"elazfj[uez, following the king's 
coach in place of the accustomed servant. 

Another of the plaA's of Lope, and one that belongs 
to the division of the Capa y Ei<pada, but approaches 
that of the heroic drama, is his '• Fool for Others and 
Wise for Herself."'*^ It is of a lighter and livelier 
temper throughout tlmn most of its class. Diana, edu- 
cated in the simple estate of a shepherdess, and wholly 
ignorant that she is the daughter and heir of the Duke 
of Urbino, is suddenly called, l)y the death of her fa- 
ther, to fill his place. She is surrounded b}' intriguing 
enemies, but triumphs over them by affecting a rustic 
simplicity in whatever she says and does, while, at the 
same time, she is manairino: all around her. and carrv- 

■CO *. 

ino; on a love-intrifj-ue with the Duke Alexander Far- 

nese. which ends in her marriage Avith him. 
* 21G *^ The jest of the piece lies in the wit she is 
able to conceal under her seeming rusticity. 
For instance, at the very ()})ening, after she has been 
secretly informed of the true state of things, and has 
determined what course to pursue, the ambassadors 
from Urbino come in and tell her, with a solemnity 
suited to the occasion : — 

Lady, our sovereign lonl, the Duke, is dead ! 

To which she replies : — 

What 's that to me ? But if 't is surely so, 
Why then, sirs, 't is for you to bury hira. 
I 'm not the parish curate*^ 

** Comedias, Tom. XXL, Madrid, EnterraUle, Settorcs, 

1 fi3.5 f. 45 ete. ^^^ >" "" ^°' *' ^ar». 
« Cdmilo. SeHora, ol Diique CK murrto. CoiiieJixs Tom. XXI.. 

Ditinn. I'iii>» fini' w im; .In ;'• mi ' j.i-ro Hi Madrid, 16.3.">, f. 47. 

C'liAP. XV.J VAlMOrs PLAYS. 255 

This tone is maintained to the end, whenever the 
heroine appears ; and it gives Lope an opportunity to 
bring forth a great deal of the fluent, Ught wit of 
which he had such ample store. 

Little like all we have yet noticed, but still belong- 
ing to the same class, is " The lieward of Speaking 
Well," ^"^ — a charming play, in which the accounts of 
the hero's birth and early condition are so absolutely 
;i description of his own that it can hardly be doubted 
that Lope intended to draw the character in some de- 
gree from himself Don Juan, who is the hero, is 
standing with some idle gallants near a church in 
Seville, to see the ladies come out ; and, while there, 
defends, though he does not know her, one of them 
who is lightly spoken of A quarrel ensues. He 
wounds his adversary, is pursued, and chances to take 
refuge in the house of the very lady whose honor he 
had so gallantly maintained a few moments before. 
She from gratitude secretes him, and the play ends 
with a wedding, though not until there has been a per- 
fect confusion of plots and counterplots, intrigues and 
concealments, such as so often go to make up the three 
acts of Lope's dramas. 

Man}^ other plays might be added to these, showing, 
by the diversity of their tone and character, 
how diverse * were the gifts of the extraordi- * 217 
nary man Avho invented them, and filled them 
with various and easy verse. Among them are " Por 
la Puente Juana," *' "EI Anzuelo de Fenisa,"**^ "El 
Ruysefior de Sevilla";*' " Porfiar hasta Morir,"^ 

*^ Comedias, Tom. XXI., Madrid, 1617, and often printed separately; a 

1635, f. 158, etc. jilay remarkable for its gayety and 

*'' Comedias, Tom. XXI., Madrid, .spirit. 

1635, f. 243, etc. It has often been « Comedias, Tom. XVII., Madrid, 

jninted separately; once in London. 1621, f. 187, etc. 

The title is tlie first lini' of an old liallad. ^j ('omedias, Tom. XXIII. , Madrid, 

*8 Comedias, Tom. Vlll., Madrid, 1638, f. 96, etc. 



[Period II. 

which last is on the story of Macias el Enamorado. 
always a favorite with the old Spanish and Provenc^al 
poets ; and the '• Bizarrias de Belisa," a gay comedy, 
which is interesting from the circumstance that it was 
finished in 1684, when he was nearly seventy-two years 
old. But it is neither needful nor possible to go fur- 
ther. Enouo'h has been said to show the o-eneral char- 

o o 

acter of their class, and we therefore now turn tO' 

^1 From the Spanish translation of 
this History, (Tom. II. p. 551,) I col- 
lect tlie ibllowing dates of a few plays 
of Lope on the authority of his own 
autographs : — 

Prueba de los Amigos, 12th Septem- 
ber, 1604". 

Carlos V. en Francia, 20th Novem- 
ber, 1604. 

Batalla del Honor, 18th Apiil, 1608. 

Encomienda mal guardada, 19th 
April, 1610. 

Lo que ha de ser, 2d September, 

Competencia en los Xobles, 16th No- 
vember, 1625. 

Sin Secreto no liav Amor, ISth Jul v. 

Bizarrias de Belisa, 24th May, 1634. 

1 can add to these from my own col- 
lection : — 

Castigo sin Venganza, 1st August, 

See, also, Salva y Baranda, Documen- 
tos Ineditos, Tom. I., and Chorley's 
Catalogue, already referred to. 

* CHAPTER XVI. *218 



The drfimas of Lope cle Vega that belong to the 
next class were called " Comedias Heroicas," or " Co- 
medias Historiales," — Heroic or Historical Dramas. 
The chief differences between these and the last 
are, that they bring on the stage personages in a 
higher rank of life, such as kings and princes ; that 
they generally have an historical foundation, or at least 
use historical names, as if claiming it ; and that their 
prevailing tone is grave, imposing, and even tragical. 
They have, however, in general, the same involved, in- 
triguing stories and underplots, the same play of jeal- 
ousy and an over-sensitive honor, and the same low, 
comic caricatures to relieve their serious parts, that are 
found in the dramas of " the Cloak and Sword." Philip 
the Second disapproved of this class of plays, thinking 
they tended to diminish the royal dignity, — a circum- 
stance which shows at once the state of manners at the 
time, and the influence attributed to the theatre.^ 

Lope wrote a very large number of plays in the 
forms of the heroic drama, which he substantially in- 
vented, — perhaps as many as he wrote in an}^ other 
class. Everything historical seemed, indeed, to furnish 
him with a subject, from the earliest annals of the 

^ Lope de Vega, Obras Suelta.s, Tom. se introduce Key o Senor soberano es 

IV. p. 410. Such plays were al.so some- Tragedia." See Lagrimas Panegiricas 

times called tragedies. "Aquelladonde de Montalvan, 1639, f. 150, b. 
\oh. 11. 17 


world down to the events of liis own time ; 
*211) but his fa "orite materials * were souo-ht in 
Greek and Roman records, and especially in the 
< Inonicles and ballads of Spain itself 

Of the manner in which he dealt witli ancient his- 
tory, his '•Roma Abrasada," or Rome in Ashes, ma}' 
be taken as a specimen, though certainly one of the 
least favoral^le specimens of the class to which it be- 
lono-s.^ The facts on which it is foinided are gathered 
from the commonest sources open to its author,— 
chietiy from the " General Chronicle of Spain " ; but 
they are not formed into a well-constructed or even 
ingenious plot;' and they relate to the whole twenty 
years- that elapsed between the death of Messalina, 
the reign of Claudius, and the death of Nero himself, 
who is not only the hero, )3ut sometimes the (jraciom, 
or droll, of the piece. 

The first act, which comes down to the murder of 
Claudius by Nero and Agrippina, contains the old jest 
of the Emperor asking why his wife does not come to 
dinner, after he had put her to death, and adds, for 
equally popular effect, abundant praises of Spain and 
of Lucan and Seneca, claiming both oi' them to be 
Spaniards, and making the latter an astrologer, as well 
as a moralist. The second act shows Nero beginning 
his reign with great gentleness, and follows Suetonius 
and the old Chronicle in makins; him o-rieve that he 
knew how to write, since otherwise he could not have 
been required to sign an order for a just judicial exe- 
cution. The subsequent violent change in his con- 

2 Comedias, Tom. XX., Madrid, ltj'29, 111,) witli tlie c<»nx's])oiidinf,' iiassa<,'('.s 

fr. 177, <'tc. It is entitled '^ Tnifjedia in tlie " Konia Abnv.sada. " In one ]ias- 

Fainosa." sage of Act III., Lojie u.ses a ballad, 

^ It is worth while to compare Sue- the lirst lines of which occur in the 

tonius, (Books V. and VI.,) and the lii-st act of the "Celestina." 
" Croniia (Jeneral," (Parte I. c. 110 and 

l-'iiAi'. XVI.] THE i;OMA AURAS ADA. 259 

duct is 11(^1. however, in any way explained or ac- 
counted lor. It is simply set before the spectators 
as a fact, and IVoui this moment beg-ins the headlong: 
career of his guilt. 

A curious scene, purely Spanish, is one of the early 
intimations of this change of character. Nero falls in 
love with Eta ; but not at all in the Roman fashion. 
He visits her by night at her window, sings a sonnet 
to her, is interrupted by four men in disguise, kills one 
of them, and escapes from the ])ursuit of his 
own officers of justice * with difficulty ; all, as * 1^20 
if he were a wandering knight so fair of the 
time of Philip the Third.* The more historical love 
for PoppjBa follows, with a shocking interview between 
Nero and his mother, in consequence of which he or- 
ders her to be at once put to death. The execution 
of this order, with the horrid exposure of her jierson 
afterwards, ends the act, which, gross as it is, does not 
sink to the revolting atrocities of the old Chronicle 
from which it is chiefly taken. 

The third act is so arranged as partly to gratify the 
national vanity and partly to conciliate the influence 
of the Church, of which Lope, like his contemporaries, 
always stood in awe. Several devout Christians, there- 
fore, are now introduced, and we have an edifying 
confession of faith, embracing the history of the world 
from the creation to the crucifixion, with an account 
of what the Spanish historians regard as the first of 
the twelve persecutions. The deaths of Seneca and 
Lncan follow ; and then the conflagration of Rome, 
which, as it constitutes the show part of the play, and 
is relied on for the stage effect it would produce, is 

■^ This scene is in the second act, ;ind forms that part of the ])hiy where Nero 
eiia<;ts the (jracioso. 


brought in near the end. out of the proper order of the 
storv, and after the buihling of Nero's luxurious palace, 
the '' aurea domus," which was realh' constructed in 
the desert the fire had left. The audience, meantime, 
have been put in good-humor b}' a scene in Spain, 
where a conspiracy is on foot to overthrow the Em- 
peror s power ; and the drama concludes with the 
death of Poppa^a, — again less gross than the account 
of it in the Chronicle, — with Nero's own death, and 
with the proclamation of Galba as his successor; all 
crowded into a space disproportionately small for in- 
cidents so important. 

But it was not often that Lope wrote so ill or so 
grossh". On modern, and especially on national sub- 
jects, he is almost always more fortunate, and some- 
times becomes powerful and imposing. Among these, 
as a characteristic, though not as a remarkabh' favor- 
able, specimen of his success, is to be placed the 
*221 '-Principe Perfeto," ^ *in which he intends to 
give his idea of a perfect prince mider the 
character of Don John of Portugal, son of iVlfonso the 
Fifth and contemporary with Ferdinand and Isabella, 
a full-length portrait of whom, by his friend and con- 
fidant, is drawn in the opening of the second act, with 
a minuteness of detail that leaves no doubt as to the 
qualities for which princes w^ere valued in the age of 
the Philips, if not those for which the}- would be 
valued now. 

Elsewhere in the piece, Don John is represented to 
have fought Ijravely in the disastrous battle of Toro, 
and to have voluntarily restored the throne to his 
father, who had once abdicated in his favor and had 
afterwards reclaimed the supreme power. Personal 

6 Comedias, Tom. XI., Barcelona, 1618, ft. 121, etc. 


coiinige and strict justice, however, are the attribiite^^ 
most relied on to exhibit him as a perfect prince. Of 
the former he gives })roof hy kilUng a man in sell- 
defence, and entering into a bull-fight under the most 
perilous circumstances. Of the latter — his lo\e of 
justice — many instances are brought on the stage, 
and, among the ]:est, his protection of Columbus, after 
the return of that great navigator from xYmerica, 
thouo-h aware how much his discoveries had redounded 
to the honor of a rival country, and how great had 
been his own error in not obtaining the benefit of 
them for Portugal. But the most prominent of these 
instances of justice relates to a private and personal 
history, and forms the main subject of the drama. It 
is as follows. 

Don Juan de Sosa, the king's favorite, is twice sent 
by him to Spain on embassies of consequence, and, 
while residing there, lives in the family of a gentleman 
connected with him by blood, to whose daughter, 
Leonora, he makes love, and wins her affections. Each 
time when Don Juan returns to Portugal, he forgets 
his plighted faith and leaves the lady to languish. At 
last, she comes with her father to Lisbon in the train 
of the Spanish princess, Isabella, now married to the 
kin.q-'s son. But even there the false knio-ht 

O <D 

refuses to recognize his * obligations. In her * 222 
despair, she presents herself to the king, and 
explains her position in the following conversation, 
which is a favorable specimen of the easy narrative in 
which resides so much of the charm of Lope's drama. 
A-S Leonora enters, she exclaims : — 

Prince, whom in peace and war men perfect call, 

Listen a woman's cry ! 
King. Begin ; — I hear 

Leonora. Fadrique — he of ancient Lara's house, 

2G2 THE ritlNClPE PEKFETO, [Pekiuu II. 

And goveiTior of Seville — is my sire. 
King. Pause tlieve, and pardon first the courtesy 

That owes a deb; to thy name and to his, 

Which ignorance alone could fail to pay. 
Lemiora. Such condescending gentleness, my lord, 

Is worthy of the wisdom and the wit 

"Whicli through the world are blazoned and admired. — 

But to my tale. Twice came there to Castile 

A knight from this thy land, whose name I hide 

Till all his frauds are manifest. For thou. 

My lord, dost love him in such wise, that, wert 

Thou other than thou art, my true complaints 

Would f' ..r to seek a justice they in vain 

Would strive to find. Each time within our house 

He dwelt a guest, and from the very first 

He sought my love. 
King- Speak on, and let not .shame 

Oppress thy words ; for to the judge and priest 

Alike confession's voice should boldly come. 
Leonora. I was deceived. He went and left me sad 

To mourn his absence ; for of them he is 

Who leave behind their knightly, nobler parts, 

When they themselves are long since fled and gone. 

Again he came, his voice more sweetly tuned. 

More siren dike, than ever. I heard the voice. 

Nor knew its hidden fraud. 0, would that Heaven 

Had made us, in its highest justice, deaf. 

Since tongues so false it gave to men ! He lured, 

He lured me as the fowler lures the bird 

In snares and meshes hid beneath the gra.ss. 

I straggled, but in vain ; for Love, heaven's child. 

Has power the mightiest fortress to subdue. 

He pledg(Hl his knightly word, — in writing pledged it, 

Trusting that afterwards, in Portugal, 

The debt and all might safely be denied ; — 

As if the heavens were narrower than the earth, 

And ju.stice not supreme. In short, my lord. 

He went ; and, proud and vain, the banners bore 
* 223 * That my submission marked, not my defeat ; 

For where love is, there comes no victory. 

His spoils he carried to his native land. 

As if they had been torn in heathen war 

From Africa ; such as in Arcila, 

In earliest youth, thyself with glory won ; 

Or such as now, from .shores remote, thy .ships 

Bring home, — tlark slaves, to darker slavery. 

Xo written word of his came back to me. 

My honor wept its obserpiies, and built its tomb 

With Love's extingui.shed torches. Soon, tlie prince. 

Chap. XV J.] 

Tin; i'i;iN( ii'E tekfeto. 


Tliy son, was wed witli our Infanta fair, — 
God grant it for a blessing to botli realms ! — 
And with her, as ambassador, my sire 
To Lisbon eame, and I with him. But here — 
Even here — his promises that knight denies. 
And so disheartens and despises me. 
That, if your Grace no remedy can find, 
The end of all must be the end of life, — 
So heavy is my misery. 

Kiiuj. That scroll ? 

Thou hast it ? 

Leonora. Surely. Jt were an error 

Not to be lepaired, if I had lost it. 

King. It cannot be but I should know the hand, 
If he who wrote it in my household serve. 

Leonorn. This is the scroll, my lord. 

King. And John de Sosa's is 

The signature ! But yet, unless mine eyes 
Had seen and recognized his very hand, 
I never had believed the tale thou bring' st ; — 
So liighlv deem I of his faithfulness.** 

' D. Lto. Principe, qii". en paz, y en guerra, 
Te Jlama perfeto el mundo, 
Oye una muger '■ Rey. Comienija. 

D. Leo. Del gobernador Fadrique 

De Lara soy hija. Rey. Espera. 
I'erdona al no conocerte 
La cortesia, que es deuda 
Digna 4 tu padre y 4 ti. 

D. Leo. Essa es gala y gentileza 

Digna de tu ingenio claro, 

Que el mundo admira y celebra. — 

Por dos vezes i ("astilla 

Fue un fidalgo desta tierra, — 

Que quiero encubrir el nonibre, 

Ilasta que su engaiio sepas ; 

Porque le qiueres de modo, 

Que teniiera^e mis quexas 

Xo hallanin justioia en ti, 

Si otro que tu mi<mo fueras. 

Poso entrambas en mi casa ; 

.'*olicito la primera 

Mi Toluntad. He;/. Di ailelante, 

Y no te oprima verguenga, 

Que tambien con los juezes 

Las persouas se confiessan. 

D. Leo. Agradeci .«ius enganos. 

Partiose ; llore su ausencia ; 

Que las partes deste hidalgo, 

Quando pI se parte, ellas quedan. 

BoUiio otra rez, y boluio 

Mav dulcemente .«irena 

Con la voz no vi el engano. 

Ay, Dios I Seiior, si nacieran 

L;is mugeres sin oydos, 

Ya que los hombres con lenguafi. 

Llamome al fin, como suele 

A la perdiz la cautcla 

Di'l laoador engaiioso, 

Las redes entre la yerua. 

Rcsistime : mas que importa, 

Si la mayor fortaleza 

Xo contradize el amor, 

Que es hijo de las estrellas? 

Una cedilla me hizo 

De s<?r mi marido, y esta 

Deuio de ser con intcnto 
De no conocer la deuda, 
En estando en Portugal, 
Como si el cielo no fuera 
Cielo sobre todo el mundo, 

Y su justicia suprema. 
Al fin, Seiior, el se fue, 
Ufano con las banderas 
De una muger ya rendida ; 

Que donde hay amor, no hay fuer^a. 

Despojos traxo a su patria, 

Como si de Africa fueran, 

Dc los Moros, que en Arcila 

Venciste en tu edad primera, 

O de los remotos mares, 

De cuyas blancas arenas 

Te traen negros esclauos 

Tus armadas Portuguesas. 

Nunca mas vi letra suya. 

Lloro mi amor sus obse<juias, 

Hize el tumulo del llanto, 

Y de amor las hachas muertas. 
t'aso el Princii)e tu hijo 

Con nuestra Infanta, que sea 
Para bien de entrambos reynos. 
Vino mi padre con ella. 
Vine con el a Lisboa, 
Donde este fidalgo niega 
Tan justas obligaciones, 

Y de suerte me desprecia. 
Que me ha de quitar la vida, 
Si tu Alteza no remedia 

De una muger la desdicha. 
Key. Viuelacedula? D. L^n. Fuera 

Error no aucria guardado. 
Rfy. Yo conocere la letra. 

Si es criado de mi casa 
D. Leo. Seiior, la cedula es esta. 
Hey. Ia firma dize, Don .Tuan 

De So.sa I No lo creyera, 

A no conocer la firma, 

De su virtud y prudencia. 
Comedias de Lope de Vega, Tom. XI.» 
Biircelona, ltJ18, ff. 143, 144. 

*2C»4 THE XrEVO MUXDO. [Period II. 

* 224 * The dcnonemeni naturally consists in the mar- 

riage, which is thus made a record of the king's 
perfect justice. 

Columbus, as we have intimated, appears in this 
piece. He is introduced with little skill, but the 
dignity of his pretensions is not forgotten. In another 
drama, devoted to the discovery of America, and 
called "'The New World of Columbus," his character is 
further and more trulj' developed. The play itself 
embraces the events of the great Admiral's life be- 
tween his first vain effort to obtain countenance in 
Portugal and his triumphant presentation of the spoils 
of the New World to Ferdinand and Isabella at Barce- 
lona, —-- a period amounting to about fourteen years." 
It is one of Lope's more wild and extravagant at- 
tempts, but it is not witliout marks of his peculiar 
talent, and it fully embodies the national feeling in 
regard to America, as a world rescued from heathenism. 
Some of its scenes are laid in Portugal ; others on the 
plain of Granada, at the moment of its fall ; others in 
the caravel of Columbus durintr the mutinv ; and vet 
others in the West Indies, and before his sovereigns 
on his return home. • 

* 225 * Among the personages, besides such as 

might be reasonably anticipated from the 
course of the story, are Gonzalvo de Cordova, sundry 
Moors, several American Indians, and several spiritual 
beings, such as Providence, Christianity, and Idolatry ; 

This ]>a-ssaf;e is near the end of the "^ C'oine<lias, Tom. IV., Madnil, 1614; 

j»iew, and leads to the (Unoneme.nl by and also in the Ajipendix to Ochoa's 

one of tho.se flowing nanativi's, like an " Teatro Escogido de Lojie de Vega" 

Italian novella, to wliicli Lope frecjncut- (Paris, 1838, 8va). Fernando de Zarate 

ly le.sorts, when the intriguing faljjc of took .some of the materials for his "Con- 

the diama hits In-en carried far enougli fiuista tie ile.xieo," (Comedias i'-seogi- 

to fill up the three luistomary acts. ila.s, Tom. XXX., Ma<lrid, 1668,) such 

Arcila, refeired to in th(^ text with a.s the opening of Jornada II., from this 

skill, was taken from th<- .Moors the I>liiy <jf I-ope tie Vega. 
24th of .\ugu.s1, 1471. 


the liLst of whom strii<ji:<i:les with i»;reat vehemence, at 
the tribunal of Providence, against the introduction 
of the Spaniards and their religion into the New 
World, and in passages like the following seems in 
danger of having the best of the argument. 

O Pi-ovi(l(>iice Divine, permit them not 
To do me tliis most plain unrighteousness ! 
"I' is hut base avaiice that spxirs them on. 
Keligion is the cohjr and tiie i-loak ; 
But goLl and silvei-, hid within the eartli, 
Are all they truly seek and strive to win." 

The greater part of the action and the best portions 
of it pass in the New World ; but it is difficult to ima- 
gine anything more extravagant than the whole fable. 
Dramatic propriety is constantly set at naught. The 
Indians, before the appearance of Europeans among 
them, sing about Phcjebus and Diana ; and while, from 
the first, they talk nothing but Spanish, they frequent- 
ly pretend, after the arrival of the Spaniards, to be un- 
able to understand a word of their lana-uaire. The 
scene in which Idolatr^^ pleads its cause against Chris- 
tianity before Divine Providence, the scenes with the 
Demon, and those touching the conversion of the hea- 
then, might have been presented in the rudest of the 
old Moralities. Those, on the contrary, in which the 
natural feelings and jealousies of the simj3le and igno- 
rant natives are brought out, and those in which Co- 
lumbus appears, — always dignified and gentle, — are 
not without merit. Few, however, can be said to be 
truly good or poetical ; and yet a poetical interest is. 
kept up through the worst of them, and the story 
they involve is followed to the end with a living cu- 

8 No permitas, Providencia, So color de rolipion.' 

Hacerme esta sinjusticia ; Tan ,i husrar plata y oro 

Pues los lleua la codicia Del cnciibii"-to t<>soro. 
A hacer esta diligencia. ^, ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^ j^^^_ j_ 

2tJG THE CAST1G(^' .SIX VENGAN/A. [Pkuioi. 11. 

The common traditions are repeated, that 
* 22G Colmnbus * was Ijorii at Nervi, and that he i-e- 
ceived from a dying pilot at Madeira the charts 
that led Mm to his grand adventure ; but it is singu- 
lar, that, in contradiction to all this, Lope, in other 
parts of the play, should have hazarded the suggestion, 
that Columbus was moved by Divine inspiration. The 
friar, in the scene of the mutiny, declares it expressly ; 
and Colum])us himself, in his discourse with his brother 
Bartholomew, when their foi'tunes seemed all but des- 
perate, i^lainly alludes to it, when he says: — 

A hidden Deity still drives ine on, 

Bidding me trust the truth of wlmt I feel, 

And, if I watch, or if I sleep, inqiels 

The strong will holdly to work out its way. 

But what is this that thus possesses nw '. 

"What spirit is it drives me onwaid thus ? 

Where am I borne ? What is the road I take ? 

What track of destinj- is this I tread ? 

And what the impulse that I blindly follow ? 

Am I not poor, unknown, a broken man, 

Dei)ending on the pilot's anxious trade ? 

And shall I venture on the mighty task 

Ti. add a distant world to this we know ?» 

The conception of the character in this particular is 
good, and, being foinided, as we know it was, on the 
2:)ersonal convictions of Columbus- himself, might have 
been followed out by further developments with poet- 
ical effect. But the opportunity is neglected, and. like 
many other occasions for success, is thrown away by 
Lope, through haste and carelessness. 

Another of the dramas of this class, '"■ El Castigo sin 
Venganza," or "Punishment, not Revenge," is impor- 

9 Una serrfita deiduil Que derrota, que destino 

A qiip lo intcntc nie iinpele, Sigo, <> me conduce aqui ? 

Diciendoiiii' qui- es verdiid, Un homhre imbre, y auu roto, 

Que en fin, i(Ue duemia 6 que vele, Que ansi lo puedo decir, 

Persi>jue r i volutit^ul. Y que vive de jyloto, 

Que e*es*ii que li!'. entrado en mi ? Quiere A este mundo nfiadir 

Quien uie llevi ■' uiuevo ans'i ? Otro uiundn tan reniotn ! 
Donde voj , donde camino ? El Xuevo Mundo, Jorn. I. 


tant from the mode in which its subject is treated, and 
interesting from the circumstance that its history 
can be more exactly traced than that of * any * 227 
other of Loj^e's phiys. It is founded on the 
dark and hideous story in the annals of Ferrara, dur- 
ing the fifteenth century, which Lord Byron found in 
Gibbon's " Antiquities of the House of Brunswick," and 
made the subject of his " Parisina," ^"^ but which Lope, 
following the old chronicles of the duchy, has presented 
in a somewhat different light, and thrown with no little 
skill into a dramatic form. 

The Duke of Ferrara, in his traged}^, is a person of 
mark and spirit, — a commander of the Papal forces, 
and a prince of statesmanlike experience and virtues. 
He marries when already past the middle age of life, 
and sends his natural son, Frederic, to receive his 
beautiful bride, a daughter of the Duke of Mantua, and 
to conduct her to Ferrara. Before he reaches Mantua, 
however, Frederic meets her accidentally on the way ; 
and his first interview with his step-mother is when he 
rescues her from drowning. From this moment they 
become gradually more and more attached to each 
other, until their attachment ends in guilt; partly' 
through the strong impulses of their own natures, and 
partly from the coldness and faithlessness of the Duke 
to his young and passionate wife. 

On his return home from a successful campaign, the 
Duke discovers the intrigue. A struggle ensues be- 
tween his affection for his son and the stinorino; sense 
of his own dishonor. At last be determines to punish; 
but in such a manner as tc hide the grounds of his 

1" Tlie story was well known, from Lope, in the Preface to his version of It, 

its peculiar horrors, though the events says it was extant in Latin, French, 

occurred in 1405, — more than two cen- German, Tuscan, and Castilian. 
turies before the date of the play. 


offence. To effect this, he confines his wife in a dar- 
kened room, and so conceals and secures her person, 
that she can neither move, nor speak, nor be seen. 
He then sends his offending son to her, under the pre- 
tence that beneath the pall that hides her is placed 
ji traitor, whom the son is required to kill in order 
to protect his fjither's life ; and when the desperate 
young man rushes from the room, ignorant who 
* 228 has been his victim, he is instantly cut * down 
by the bj^standers, on his father's outcry, that 
he has just murdered his step-mother, with whose 
Ijlood his hands are, in fict, visibl}^ reeking. 

Lope finished this play on the 1st of August, 1631, 
when he was nearly sixty-nine years old ; and yet 
there are few of his dramas, in the class to which 
it belongs, that are more marked Avith poetical vigor, 
and in none is the versification more light and vari- 
ous.^^ The characters, especially those of the father 
and son, are better defined and better sustained than 
usual ; and the whole was evidently written with care, 
for there are not infrequently large alterations, as well 
as many minute verbal corrections, in the original 
manuscript, which is still extant. 

Tt was not licensed for representation till the 9th 
of May, 1632, — apparently from the known unwilling- 
ness of the court to have persons of rank, like the 
Duke of Ferrara, brought upon the stage in a light so 
odious. At any rate, when the tardy permission was 
granted, it was accompanied with a certificate that the 
Duke was treated with the decorum "due to his 
person " ; though, even w ith this assurance, it was 
acted but once, notwithstanding it made a strong 

" This play contains all the usual va- a sonnt-t, etc.; but esppcially, in the 
rieties of measure, — redondillas, terccUis, first act, a silva of beautiful fluency. 

Chap. XVI. 



Impression nt the time, and was hroiiulit out by the eoni- 
pany of Figueroa, the most suecessfiil of the period, — 
Arias, whose acting Montalvan praises highly, taking 
the part of the son.^'^ In 1684, Lope printed it, with 
more than connnon cai'e, at Barcekma, dedicating it 
to his great patron, the Duke of Sessa, among " the 
servants of whose house," he says, "he was inscribed"; 
and the next year, immediately after his deajth, it 
appeared again, without the Dedication, in the twenty- 
first volume of his plays, prepared anew by himself 
for the pi-es8, but })u])li8hed by his daughter Feli- 
Clan a. "^ 

*Like "Punishment, not Vengeance," several * 229 
other dramas of its class are imbued with the 
deepest spirit of tragedy. " The Knights Command- 

1^ Gayaugo.s says, that the reason the 
representation was stopped was from a 
supposed allusion in the story to the 
case of Don Carlos. I do not know on 
what ground he says it, and it does not 
seem probable. 

1^ I i>ossess the original MS., entire- 
ly in LopS'.s handwriting, with many 
alterations, corrections, and interlinea- 
tions by himself. It is prepared for the 
actors, and has the license for repre- 
senting it by Pedro de Vargas Machuca, 
a poet himself, and Lope's friend, who 
was 'much employed to license plays for 
the theatre. He also figui'ed at the 
"Justas Poeticas " of San Isidro, pub- 
lished by Lope in 1620 and 1622 ; and 
in the " Justa " in honor of the Virgen 
del Pilar, published by Caceres in 1629 ; 
in neither of which, however, do his 
poems give ])roof of much talent, though 
there is no doubt of his popularity with 
his contemj)oraries. (Alvarez y Baena, 
Hijos de Madrid, Tom. IV. p. 199.) 
He claimed to be descended from the 
Diego Perez de Vargas of the Ballads 
and Chronicles, who, having lost his 
arms of offence at the battle of Xerez 
in the time of St. Ferdinand, tore off 
the branch of an olive-tree, and so be- 
labored the Moors with it that he re- 
ceived the sohriqn.cf of " Machuca," or 
(he Pniniiler. (Aliiiela Vnlcrio <le las 

Hj'storias Escolasticas, Toledo, 1541, f. 
15, a. — Lope de Vega, Laurel de Apolo, 
1630, f. 75.) At the top of each page 
in the MS. of Lope de Vega is a cross 
with the names or ciphers of " Je.sus, 
Maria, Josephus, Christus " ; and at the 
end, " Laus Deo et Mariie Virgini," 
with the date of its conii)letion and the 
signature of the author. Whether Lope 
tliought it possible to., consecrate the 
gross immoralities of such a di'ama by 
religious symbols, I do not know ; but 
if he did, it would not be inconsistent 
with his character or the spirit of his 
time. A cross was commonly put at 
the top of Spanish letters, — a practice 
alluded to in Lope's " Perro del Horte- 
lano," (Jornada II.,) and one that must 
have led often to similar incongruities. 
But this seems to have been discontin- 
ued at the end of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. At least, in a drama acted then, 
where reforms in the beginning of MSS. 
are proposed, one asks, whether any- 
thing is to be done with the cross. To 
which the other answers : — - 

Esa esti ja reformada ; 
Porque si uno escribe al diablo 
No se espante de la carta. 

Juzgado Ca.sero, 1786, p. 152. 

Nay, this has been refoniie<l already, 
Jjest, when w(^ send the Devil a letter, 
He sliould be fiiu'hted when lie opens it. 


ers of Cordova " is an instance in point.^^ It is a 
parallel to the story of ^Egisthus and Clyteinnestra in 
its horrors ; but the husband, instead of meeting the 
fate of Agamemnon, puts to death, not only his guilty 
Avife, but all his servants and every living thing in 
his household, to satisfy his savage sense of honor. 
Poetry is abundant in many of its scenes. l)ut the 
atrocities of the rest will hardly permit it to be per- 

"The Star of Seville," on the other hand, though 
much more trulv tragic, is liable to no such objection.^^ 
In some respects it resembles Corneille's "^ Cid." At 

the command of his king, and from the truest 
- 230 . * Castilian loyalty, a knight of Seville kills his 

friend, a brother of the lady whom he is about 
to marry. The king afterwards endeavors to hold him 
harmless for the crime; but the royal judges refuse to 
interrupt the course of the law in his fovor. and the 
brave knight is saved from death only by the plenary 
confession of his guilty sovereign. It is one of the 

very small number of Lope's pieces that have no comic 


1* Comedias, Tom. II. Madrid, 1609. ami to whom I am indebted for my fii'st 
Thrice at least, — viz. in this play, in knowledge of it. Tiie same ])lay is well 
his "Fuente Ovejuna," and in hLs known on the modern Spanish stage, 
" Peribanez," — Lope has shown us and has been reprinted, both at Madrid 
commanders of the gi-eat military orders and London, with large alterations, 
of his country in very otlious colors, under the title of " Sancho Ortiz de las 
representing them as men of the most Roelas." An excellent abstract of it, 
fierce jtride and the gros.sest passions, in its original state, and faithful trans- 
like the Front-de-B(X'uf of Ivanhoe. lations of parts of it, are to be found in 

^^ Old copies of this ]day are e.xces- Lord Holland's Life of Lope (Vol. I. 
sively scarce, an<l I obtained, therefore, pp. Loo - 200^ ; out of which, and not 
many years ago, a manuscript of it, out of the Si)anish original. Baron 
from which it was reprinted twice in Zedlitz composed "Der Stem von Se- 
this country by Mr. F. Sales, in his villa " ; a play by no means without 
" Obras Maestras Dramaticas " (Boston, merit, which was printed at Stuttgard 
LS28 and 1840) ; the last time with cor- in 1830, an<l has been often acted in 
lections, kindly furnished by Don A. different jiarts of Germany. The locali- 
Duran, of Madrid; — a curious fact in ties referred to in the " Estrella de 
Spanish bibliograjihy, and one that Sevilla," including the house of Bustos 
should be mentioned to the honor of Tabera, the lover of E.strella, are still 
Mr. Sales, whose various pul)lications shown at Seville. Latour, Etuiles sur 
liave done much to .s])read the love of I'Espagne, Paris, 1855, Tom. II. p. ^>2, 
Spanisli literature in the United States, etc. 


and (listnicting iiiiderplot, and Is to be placed among 
the lol'tiest of his efforts. Not a few of its scenes are 
admirable; especially that in which the king urges the 
knight to kill his friend ; that in which the lovely and 
innocent creature whom the knight is about to marry 
receives, in the midst of the frank and delightful ex- 
pressions of her happiness, the dead body of her 
brother, wlio has been slain by her lover ; and that in 
which the Alcaldes solemnly refuse to wrest the law 
in obedience to the royal commands. The conclusion 
is better than that in the tragedy of Corneille. The 
lady abandons the world and retires to a convent. 

Of the great number of Lope's heroic dramas on 
national subjects, a few may be noticed, in order to in- 
dicate the direction he gave to this division of his the- 
atre. One, for instance, is on the story of Bamba, 
taken from the plough to be made king of Spain ;^" 
^nd another, "The Last Goth," is on the popular tradi- 
tions of the loss of Spain by Roderic ; ^' — the first be- 
ing among the earliest of his published plays,^^ and the 
last not published till twelve years after his 
death, but both * written in one spirit and upon * 231 
the same system. On the attractive subject of 
Bernardo del Carpio he has several dramas. One is 
called "The Youthful Adventures of Bernardo," and 
relates his exploits down to the time when he discov- 
ered the secret of his birth. Another, called " Achieve- 
ments of Bernardo del Carpio," I have never seen, but 
it is among the plays Lord Holland had read. And a 
third, " Marriage in Death," involves the misconduct of 

1" Coiiit'dias, Toia. I., Valladolid. i'^ C'omedias, Tom. XXV., Qavagoca, 

\tiOi, tf. 91, etc., in wliicli Lope has 1647, ff. 369, etc. It i.s called " Tragi- 

^visely followed the old monkish tradi- comedia." 

tions, rather than either tlu^ " Oronica i** The first edition of the first volume 

deneral," (Parte II. c. .51,) oi' th" yA of Lope's plays is that of Valladolid, 

more sobered account of Mariana (Hist., 1604. See Brunet, etc. 
Lib. VI. e. 12). 



Kino; Alfonso, and the heart-rendino; scene in wliieli 
the dead body of Bernardo's father is delivered to the 
hero, "who has sacrificed evervthino- to filial piety, and 
now finds himself crushed and ruined by it.^^ The 
seven Infantes of Lara ai'c not passed over, as Ave see 
both in the play that bears their name, and in the 
more striking one on the stor}^ of Mudarra, " El Bas- 
tard© Mudarra."-*^ Indeed, it seems as if no available 
])oint in tlie national annals were missed b\^ Lope ; "^ 
and that, after brino-inti' on the stay^e the g-reat events 
in S])anish history and tradition consecutively down ta 
his own times, he looks round on all sides for subjects, 
at home and abroad, taking one from the usurpation 
of Boris Gudimow at Moscow, in IGOG." another from 
the conquest of Arauco, in 1560,-'^ and another from 
the great league that ended with the battle of Lepanta 
in 1-571 ; in which last, to avoid the awkwardness of a 
.sea-fight on the stage, he is guilty of introducing 
* 232 the greater awkwardness of an allegorical * fig- 
ure of Spain describing the battle to the au- 
dience in Madrid, at the very moment when it is sup- 
posed to be going on near the shores of Greece.^ 

'^ The first two of tbt-se plays, wliich 
are not to be; found in tlic collected dra- 
matic works of Lope, have often been 
jmnted separatelj' ; but the last occurs, 
I believe, only in the first volume of the 
Comedias, (Valladolid, 1004, f. i>8,) and 
in the repiints of it. It makes free 
use of the old ballads of Duraudarte 
and Belerma. 

^' The "Siete Infantes de Lara" is 
in the Comedias, Tom. V., Madrid, 
161'), and the " liastardo MudaiTa " is 
in Tom. XXIV., Zaragoza, 1641. 

2' Thus, the attractive story of " E\ 
Mejor Alcalde el Rev " is. as he liimself 
tells us at the conclusion, taken from 
the fourth part of the "Cninica Gen- 

*^ " El Gran Du(|ue de iluscovia," 
Comedia.s, Tom. VII., Madrid, 1617. 

^ "Arauco Doniaib)," Comedias, 
Tom. XX., Madrid, 162lt. The scene 

is laid about 1560 ; but tbe play is in- 
tended as a compliment to the living 
sou of the con(pieror. In the Dedica- 
tion to him, Lojjc asserts it to be a true 
history ; but there is, of cour.se, much 
invention mingled with it, especially in 
the parts that do honor to the Span- 
iards. Among its personages is the au- 
tlior of the " Araucana," Alonso de 
Ercilla, who comes upon the stage beat- 
ing a dnim ! Another and earlier play 
of Lope may be compared with tin- 
"Arauco"; I mean "Los (iuanche.>> 
de Tenerife" (Comedia.s, Tom. X., Ma- 
lirid, 1620, f. 128). It is on the simi- 
lar subject of the conquest of the Ca- 
nary Islands, in the time of Ferdinand 
and I.sabella, and, as in the " Ai-auco 
Domado," the natives occupy much of 
the canvas. 

-* " La Santa Liga," Comedia.s, Tom. 
XV., Madrid, 1621. 

«iiAi'. XVl.J \Ai;i()LS IIISTOKICAL DUAMAS. Z / o 

The whole class of those heroic and historical dra- 
mas, it should ))e reiiieiidjered, makes little claim to 
historical accuracy. A love story, filled as usual with 
hairbreadth escapes, jealous quarrels, and ([uestions of 
honor, runs through nearly every one oi' them ; and 
though, in some cases, we may trust to the facts set 
before us, as we must in " The Valiant Cespedes," 
where the poet gravely declares that all except the 
love adventures are strictly true,^^ still in no case 
I'aii it be pretended, that the manners of an earlier 
age, or of foreign nations, are respected, or that the 
general coloring of the representation is to be regarded 
as faithful. Thus, in one play, we see Nero hurrying 
about the streets of Rome, like a Spanish gallant, with 
a guitar on his arm, and making love to his mistress 
at her grated window."'' In another, Belisarius, in the 
days of his glory, is selected to act the part of Pj'ra- 
mus in an interlude before the Emperor Justinian, 
much as if he belongetl to Nick Bottom's company, and 
afterwards has his eyes put out, on a charge of mak- 
ing love to the Empress.^" And in yet a third, Cyrus 
the Great, after he is seated on his throne, marries 

25 "El Valieiite Cespedes," Comedias, Montalvan, both he and Lope being 

Tom. XX., Madrid, 1(329. This notice then alive. And, after all, it turns out 

is specially given to the reader by Lope, to belong to neither of them, for Von 

out of tenderness to the rejnitation of Schack found, in the Duke of Ossuna's 

Doha Maria de Cespedes, who does not admirable collection at Madrid, this 

appear in the play with all the dig- very play in the handwriting of Mira 

nity which those who, in Lope's time, de Mescua, and signed by hini as its 

claimed to be descended from her might author. What renders the aifair more 

c'Xact at his hands. odd is, that there is, with the autograph 

^ In "Roma Abrasada," Acto II. f. play, the autograph aprovacionoi Lojie, 

89, already noticed, ante, p. 219. containing a graceful compliment to 

27 Jornada II. of " Exemplo Mayor Mira de Mescua as the authoi', and 

de la Desdicha, y Capitan Belisario"; dated July, 1625. (Xachtrage, 18.54, 

not in the collection of Lope's plays, 8vo, p. 57. ) I leave both te.xt and 

and though often jirinted separately as note, published several years before the 

his, and inserted as such on Lord Hoi- date of this discovery, as they were origi- 

land's list, it is published in the old nally printed, because they afford such 

and curious collection entitled "Come- amusing proof of a recklessness not uii- 

^lias de Diferentes Autore.s," (4to, Tom. common among the i)ublishers of Span- 

XXV., Zaragoza, 1633,) as the work of ish dramas in the seventeenth century, 
vol,, ir. 18 

274 VAKIOUS lllSTUiacAL DRAMAS. [Pkkiud il. 

*233 a sliepherdes!^.-'^ But there * is no end to such 
absurdities in Lo})e"s phiys ; and the explana- 
tion of them all is. that they were not felt to be sueh 
at the time. Truth and failhfulness in regard to the 
facts, manners, and eostunic of a drama were not sup- 
posed to be more important, in the age of Lope, than 
an observation of the unities; — not more important 
than they were supposed to be a century later, in 
France, in the unending romances of Caljorenede and 
Scudery : — not more important than they are deemed 
in an Italian opera now: — so profound is the thought 
of the o-reatest of all the masters of the historical dra- 
ma. that "the best in this kind are but shadows, and 
the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them." 

•^ "Contra Valor uo hay Desdiclia." in consequence of his grandfather's 

Like the last, it has been often re- dream, and ends with a battle and his 

])rinted. It begins with the romantic victory over Astyages and all his ene- 

account of Cyrus's exjiosure to death, mies. 

* C H A P T E R X A^ 1 1 . * 234 








The liistoi'ical drama of Lope was but a deviation 
from the more truly national type of the "• Comedia de 
Capa y Espada," made by the introduction of historical 
names for its leading personages, instead of those that 
belong to fashionable and knightly life. This, how- 
ever, was not the oidy deviation he made.^ He went 
sometimes quite as far on the other side, and created a 
variety or subdivision of the theatre, founded on common 
life, in which the chief personages, like those of "The 
Watermaid," and "The Slave of her Lover," belong to 
the lower classes of society.^ Of such dramas, he has 
left only a few, but these few are interesting. 

* Perhaps the best specimen of them is " The * 235 
Wise Man at Home," in which the hero, if he 

1 We occasionally meet with the '^ "La Moza de Cantaro'' and "La 

jjhrase comedias de ruidu ; but it does Eselava de su Galan " have continued to 

not mean a class of plays separated from be favorites down to our own times, 

the others by different rules of composi- The first was printed at London, not 

tion. It refers to the machinery used in many years ago, and the last at Paris, 

their exhibition ; so that comedias de in Ochoa's collection, 1838, 8vo, and at 

capa y espada, -And esYie(Adi\\YcomedAasde Bielefeld, in that of Schiitz, 1840, 8vo. 
santm, whicli often demanded a large ap- Lope sometimes went verj' low down, 

paratus, were not unfrequently comedias among courtesans and rogues, for the 

de ruido, otherwise called comedias dc subjects of his plays; as in the "An- 

caso or comedias de fabrica. In the zuelo de Fenisa," (the story of which, I 

same way comedias de apariencias were su])pose, he took from the Decameron, 

plays demanding much scenery and Vlllth day, 10th tale,) " El Rufian Di- 

scene-shifting. choso," and some others. 

270 DKAMAS ON COMMON LIFE. [I'l.inni, II. 

may be so called, is Meiido, the son of a poc.r eliareoal- 
biirner."^ He has married the only child of a respect- 
able fai'iiier, and is in an easy condition of life, with 
the road to advancement, at least in a gay course, 
open before him. But he prefers to remain where he 
is. He refuses the solicitations of a nei«:hborini>: law- 
yer or clerk, engaged in public affairs, who would have 
the honest Mendo take upon himself the airs of an 
hidalgo and cahallero. Especiall}^ upon what was then 
the great point in private life, — his relations with his 
pretty wife, — he shows his uniform good sense, Avhile 
his more ambitious friend falls into serious embarrass- 
ments, and is obliged at last to come to him for coun- 
sel and heljD. 

The doctrine of the piece is well explained in the 
following reply of Mendo to his friend, who had 
been urging him to lead a more showy life, and raise 
the external circumstances of his father. 

He that was born to live in Immble state 

Makes but an. awkward knight, do what yon will. 

M)' father means to die as he has lived, 

The same plain collier that he always was ; 

And I, too, mnst an honest ploughman die. 

'T is but a single step, or up or down ; 

For men there must be that will plough and dig, 

And, when the vase has once been filled, be sure 

'T will always savor of what first it held.* 

The story is less important than it is in many of 
Lope's dramas ; but the sketches of common life are 

3 Comedias, Tom. Y\., Ma-lrid, ]r)1.5, * Kl q"" naoio para humilde 
101, ete. It may be worth not ce, Mi padre quk-r,. morir, 

that the fharaeterol Mendo .; like that Ixsonardo, como nacio. 

of Camaeho in the Second i^irt of Don Carbonero im- enpendro ; 

Qui-xote, whi.-h was first piiuted in the Labnidor quiero n.orir 
same year, lbl.5. 1 he resemblance be- Ava quieii are y quicn caue. 

tween the two, however, is not very Siemiire cl vaso al licor sr.be. 
strong, and perhaps is wholly acciden- Comedias, Tom. VI., Madrid, 1615, f. 117. 
tal, although Lope was not careful to 
make acknowledgments. 

Chap. XVII.] 


t i 

sometimes spirited, like the one in which Mendo de- 
scribes his first siglit of his future wife, busied 
in household work, and * the elaborate scene * 236 
where his first child is christened.^ The char- 
acters, on the other hand, are better defined and 
drawn than is common with him ; and that of the 
plain, practically wise Mendo is sustained, from begin- 
ning to end, with consistency and skill, as well as with 
good dramatic effect.^ 

Another of these more domestic pieces is called 
"^^ The Damsel Theodora," and shows how gladly and 
with what ingenuity Lope seized on the stories current 
in his time and turned them to dramatic account. 
The tale he now used, which jjears the same title with 
the play, and is extremely simple in its structure, is 
claimed to have been written by an Aragonese, of 
whom we know only that his name was Alfonso.^ The 
damsel Theodora, in this original fiction, is a slave in 
Tunis, and belongs to a Hungarian merchant living 

* There is in these passages some- 
thing of the euphuistical style then in 
favor, under the name of the estilo culto, 
with which Lope sometimes humored 
the more fashionable portions of his 
<iudience, though on other occasions 
he bore a decided testimony against 

^ This play, I think, gave the hint 
to Calderon for his ' ' Alcalde de Zala- 
mea," in which the character of Pedro 
Crespo, the peasant, is drawn with more 
than his accustomed distinctness. It 
is the last piece in the common collec- 
tion of Calderon's Comedias, and nearly 
all its characters are happily touched. 

"^ This is among the more cuiious of 
the old j)opular Spanish tales. N. An- 
tonio (Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. 9) assigns 
no age to its author, and no date to the 
published story. Denis, in his "Chro- 
niques de I'Espagne," etc., (Paris, 1839, 
8vo, Tom. I. p. 285,) gives no addi- 
tional light, but, in one of his notes, 
treats its ideas on natural history as 
those of the moi/rji. d(jc. It seems, how- 
ever, from internal evidence, to have 

been conipcsed after the fall of Granada. 
Gayangos gives editions of the " Don- 
zella Teodor" in 1537 and 1540, and 
mentions an Arabic version of it, which 
leads him to the conjecture that the 
Aragonese, Alfonso, to whom Antonio 
attributes the story, is no other than 
the converted Jew, Pedro Alfon.so, who 
in the twelfth century wrote the ' ' Dis- 
ciplina Clericalis." (See rnite, Vol. I. 
pp. 63, 64, note, and the Spanish trans- 
lation of this History, Tom. II. pp. 
353-357.) But I cannot think it is 
older than the time of Charles V. ; 
probably not older than the capture of 
Tunis, in 1535. The copy I use is of 
1726, showing that it was in favor in 
the eighteenth century ; and I possess 
another printed for popular circuhition 
about 1845. We find early allusions to 
the Donzella Teodor, as a well-known 
personage ; for example, in " The Mod- 
est Man at Court " of Tirso de Molina, 
where one of the characters, speaking 
of a lady he admires, cri(!s out, "Que 
Donzella Teodor ! " < 'igarrales de To- 
ledo, Madrid, 1624, 4to, p. 158. 

278 THE CAUTIVOS DE AliGEL. [Period 1L 

there, who has k).st his whole fortune. At her sugges- 
tion, she is offered by her master to the king of Tunis, 
who is so much struck with her beauty and with the 
amount of her knowdedge, that he purchases her at 
a price which re-estabhshes her master's condition. 
The point of the whole consists in the exhibition 

of this knowledge through discussions with 
*237 * learned men; l)ut the subjects are most of 

them of the commonest kind, and the merit 
of the story is quite inconsideral)le. — less, for in- 
stance, than that of '- Friar Bacon, " in English, to 
which, in several respects, it may be compared. ^ 

But Lope knew his audiences, and succeeded in 
adapting this old tale to their taste. The damsel The- 
odora, as he arranges her character for the stage, is 
the daughter of a professor at Toledo, and is educated 
in all the learning of her fathers schools. She, how- 
ever, is not raised by it above tlie influences of the 
tender passion, and, running away with her lover, is 
captured by a vessel from the coast of Barbary, and 
carried as a slave successively to Oran, to Constantino- 
ple, and finally to Persia, where she is sold to the 
Sultan for an inuncnse sum on account of her rare 
knowledge, displayed in the last act of the i)lay much 
as it is in the original tale of Alfonso, and sometimes 
in the same words. But the love intrigue, with a 
multitude of jealous troubles and adventures, runs 
through the whole ; and as the Sultan is made to 
understand at last the relations of all the parties, who 
are strangely assembled before him, he gives the price 

* The y>oj)ular English story of " F" IV- in ir)94. Botli may he considered as 

f-r liaeon " hardly {i<»-s hack fiirthei- luiiiiinf; ])arallel with the stor}' and 

than to the end of the sixteenth c-i-n- play of tlie "I)onzi"lla Teodor," so as 

tury, tliough some of its materials may to he read with advantage when eom- 

he traced to the '* Oesta Homanonim." paring the Spanish drama with the 

Robert Greene's play on it wa^s printed English. 


of the damsel as her dower, and marries her to the 
lover with whom she originally fled from Toledo. 
The principal jest, both in the drama and the story, is, 
that a learned doctor, who is defeated by Theodora in 
a pnblic trial of wits, is hoimd by the terms of the 
contest to be stri})ped naked, and buys off his ignominy 
with a snm which goes still further to increase the 
lady's fortune and the content of her husband.'' 

The last of Lope's plays to be noticed among those 
whose subjects are drawn from common life is a more 
direct appeal, perhaps, than any other of its class to 
the popular feeling. It is his ^' Captives in Algiers," ^** 
and has been already alluded to as partly bor- 
rowed or pilfered * from a play . of Cervantes. * 238 
In its first scenes, a Morisco of Valencia leaves 
the land where his race had suffered so cruelly, and^ 
after establishing himself among those of his own faith 
in Algiers, returns by night as a corsair, and, from his 
familiar knowledge of the Spanish coast, where he was 
born, easily succeeds in carrying off a numbei- of 
Christian captives. The fate of these victims, ancT that 
of others whom they find in Algiers, including a lover 
and his mistress, form the subject of the drama. In the 
course of it, we have scenes in which Christian Spaniards 
are publicly sold in the slave-market ; Christian chil- 
dren torn from their parents and cajoled out of their 
faith ; " and a Christian gentleman made to suffer the 
most dreadful forms of martyrdom for his religion ; — in 
short, we have set before us whatever could most pttin- 
fully and powerfully excite the interest and s^nipathy 
of an audience in Spain at a moment when such multi- 

^ Comedias, Tom. IX., Barcelona, " Tliese passages are nuH'li indebted 

1618, ft'. 27, etc. to the "Trato de Aigel " of Ceivan- 

1" Comedias, Tom. XXV., raiiigo(,'a, tes. 
1647, tr. 281, etc. 


tildes of Spanish families were mourning the captivity 
of their children and friends.^- It ends with an ac- 
count of a play to be acted by the Christian slaves in 
one of their vast prison-houses, to celebrate the recent 
marriage of Philip the Third ; from which, as well as 
from a reference to the magnificent festivities that 
followed it at Denia, in which Loj)e, as we know, took 
part, we may be sure that the '• Cautivos de Argel " 
was written as late as 1508, and prol)al)ly not much 

A love-story unites its rather incongruous materials 
into something like a connected whole ; but the part 
we read with the most interest is that assigned to 
- Cervantes, who appears under his family name 
* 239 of Saavedra, without * disguise, though without 
any mark of respect." Considering that Lope 
took from him some of the best materials for this very 
piece, and that the sufferings and heroism of Cervantes 
at Algiers must necessarily have been present to his 
thoughts when he composed it, we can hardh' do the 
popular poet any injustice by adding, that he ought 
either to have given Cervantes a more dignified part, 
and alluded to him with tenderness and consideration, 
or else have refrained from introducing him at all. 

'2 See, pfiimm, Hacilo, " Historia de Matos Fi-agoso, and, in a note, tliat of 

Argel" (Madrid, 1612, folio). He reck- the "Azote de su Patria," by Moreto. 

OTIS the number of C-hri.stian cai)tive.s, Cervantes, speaking as the eaptive in 

'diietiy Spaniards, in Algiei-s, at twenty- Don Qui.vote, says that tliese renegadoes 

five thousand. could run over from Tetuan in the night. 

There aif; freijuent intimations in and, after a successful fomy, return so 

8pani.sh plays of the return of renega- as to sleep at home, 
does from Barbarj- to such jioitions of i' Lope, Obras Sueltas, Tom. III. p. 

the coasts of their native land a.s were 377. I am much dispo.sed to think the 

most familiar to tliem, for the pur[>ose ]ilay referred to as acted in the piisons 

■of carrying Christians into captivity ; of .\lgiers is Loj>e's own moral |ilay of 

and Lope de Vegji, in his " I'eregiino the " Mariiage of the Soul to Divine 

en su Patria," Libro II., describes a Love," in the second book of the " Pere- 

■particular sj>ot on the shores of Valen- grino en su Patiia." 
cia, where such violences had often oc- ** The pass;iges in which Cervantes 

curred. No doubt they were common. occui's are on If. 245, 2.'il, and csjk;- 

.See further the account, ;>'<.•!/, in Chapter cially 262 and 277, Coinedias, Tom. 

^XV., of the " Redeiitor t^autivo" of XXV. 


The tliree forms of Lope's dmma wliich have thus 
far been considered, and whicli are nearly jd^in to each 
other.^'* were, no doubt, the spontaneous productions 
of his own genius ; modified, indeed, by what he found 
already existing, and by the taste and will of the audi- 
ences for whicli he wrote, but still essentially his owu. 
Probably, if he had been left to himself and to the 
mere influences of the theatre, he would have ]ireferred 
to write no other dramas than such as would naturally 
come under on^ of these divisions. But neither he nor 
his audiences w^ere permitted to settle the whole of this 
question. The Church, always powerful in Spain, but 
never so powerful as during the latter part of the reign 
of Philip the Second, when Lope was just rising into 
notice, was offended with the dramas then so much in 
favor, and not without reason. Their free love-stories, 
their duels, and, indeed, their ideas generally upon 
domestic hfe and personal character, have, unques- 
tionably, anything but a Christian tone.^'' A contro- 
ls The fusion of the tliree classes may History, by .Tovellaiios, — a personages 
1>e seen at a glance in Lope's line play, who will bt; noticed when we reach the 
" El Mejor Alcalde el Key," (Comedias, period dining which he lived. 
Tom. XXI., Madrid, 1635,) founded on "As for myself," says that wise an(T 

a passage in the fourth part of the faithi'ul niagistiate, " I am persuaded 
"General Chronicle" (ed. 1604, f. 327). there can be foun<l no proof so decisive 
The hero and heroine belong to the of the di-gradation of our taste as the- 
condition of peasants ; the i)erson who cool indifference with whicdi we tolerate 
makes the mischief is their liege lord ; the r(!presentation of dramas, in whicli 
and, from the end of the second act, modesty, the gentler affections, good 
the king and one or two of the princi- faith, decency, and all the virtues and 
pal persons about the court play lead- principles belonging to a sound mo- 
ing parts. On the whole, it ranks vality, are openly trampled under foot, 
technically with the co/aedias hcroic/is Do men believe that the innocence of 
or historkiks ; and yet the best and childhood and the fervor of youth, that 
most important scenes are those re- an idle and dainty nobility and an ig- 
lating to common life, while others of norant ])opulace, can witness without 
no little consequence belong to the class injury such exam))les of effrontery and 
of capa y espada. gi-ossness, of an insolent and absurct 

1*^ How the Spanish theatre, as it ex- affectation of honor, of contempt of 
isted in the time of Philip IV., ouglit justice and the laws, and of ]niblic and 
to have been regarded, may be judged jirivate duty, rc])rcs('nted on the .stage 
by the following remarks on such of its in the most lively colors, and rendered 
jdays as continued to be represented at attractive by th(! enchantment of .sceni(-^ 
t-lie end of the eighteenth century, read illusiocs and the graces of music and 
in 1796 to the Spanish Academy of verse'! Let us, then, honestly c<jnfess 




*240 versv, therefore, *iiaturall\- arose coneeriiiiiu- 
their hiwl'uhiess, and this controversy- was con- 
tinued till 1598, when, In a royal decree, the represen- 
tation of secular i)lays in Madrid was entii'elj forbid- 
den, and the connnon theatres weie closed for nearly 
tM'o 3'ears.^' 

Lope was compelled to accommodate himself to this 
new state of tilings, and seems to have done it easily 
and with his accustomed address. He had, as we have 
seen, early wi-itten religious plcu/,^, like the old Myste- 
ries and Moralities ; and he now undertook to infuse 
their spirit into the more attractive forms of his 
*241 * secular drama, and thus produce an entertain- 
• ment which, while it might satisty the popular 

the triitli. Sucli a theatre is a jnihlit; 
miisaiice, and the govenmient has no 
ju.st alternative, but to reform it or 
suppress it altogether." Meniorias de 
la Acad., Tom. V. p. ?97. 

Elsewhere, in the .same excellent dis- 
couise, its autlior shows that he was 
by no means insensible to the poetical 
merits of the old theatre, who.se moral 
itiHuenccs he deprecated. 

"I shall always be the first," he .says, 
"to confess its inimitable beauties ; the 
freshness of its inventions, the charm 
of its style, the flowing natuiulness of 
its dialogue, the marvellous ingenuity 
of its pl(jts, the ease with wiiicli every- 
thing is at last exjiiained and adjusted ; 
the briliant interest, the humor, the 
wit, that mark every ste|) as we ad- 
vance ; — but what matters all this, if 
thi.s same drama, regarded in the light 
of truth and wisdom, is infected with 
vices and corruptions that can be toler- 
ated neithe)- by a sound state of morals 
nor by a wise jtublic poiii'v'" Ibid., 
p. 413. 

" V. Pellicei-. Ori'gcn d.d Teatro, 
Madrid, 1804, 12mo, Tom. I. pp. 142- 
148. Plays were i)roliihited in Barce- 
lona in l.-)91 by the bishop; but the 
proiiiliition was not long respected, and 
in 1;')97 was renewed with increased 
eaniestiie.s.s. Hisbe y Vidal, Tiatado de 
la.s (.'omedias, liaicelona, lfil8. 12mo, 
f. 94; — u curious book, attacking the 

Spanish theatre with more dLscietion 
than any other old t)eatise again.st it 
that I have lead, but not with much 
etl'ect. Its autlior would have all plays 
carefully examined and expurgated be- 
fore they were licensed, and then would 
permit them to be performed, not by 
Iirofessional actors, but by ]ier.soiis lie- 
longing to the place where the repre- 
sentation was to occur, and known as 
i-espectable men and decent youths ; 
for, he adds, "when this was done for 
hundreds of years, none of those strange 
vi(;es were committed that are the con- 
sequence of our ])resent modes." (f. 
106.) Bisbe y Vidal is a pseudonynie 
for Juan Kerrer, the head of a large 
congregation of devout men at Barce- 
lona, and a per.son who was so much 
.scandalized at the state of the theatre 
in his time, that he ]iul)]islied this at- 
tack on it for the beiietit of the broth- 
erhood who.se s])iritual leader he was. 
(ToiTcsyAiiiat, Biblioteca, Art. Ftnrr.) 
It is encumbered with theological learn- 
ing ; Init less so than other similar 
works of the time, and runs into ab- 
surdities worthy the bigotry of the agi; 
and the ignoran(;e of the peoi)le ; as, 
for instance, when it attributes to tlie 
drama the introduction of heresy — el 
mayor mal (pie a una re]iublica o reyno 
le )>uede venir — ami the succe.ss of 
Luther's doctrines in (^leiniany. Chaj). 
XI. Ferrer was a Jesuit. 


audieuce.s of the capital, would avoid the rebuke.s oi" 
the Church. His success was as marked as it had 
been before ; and tlie new varieties of form in whicli 
his genius now disported itself v.ei-e scarcely less 

His most obvious resource was the Scriptures, to 
which, as they had been used more than four centuries 
for dramatic purposes, on the greater religious festivals 
of the Spanish Church, the ecclesiastical powers could 
hardly, with a good grace, now make objection. Lope, 
therefore, resorted to them freeh^ ; sometimes con- 
structing dramas out of them which might be mistaken 
for the old Mysteries, were it not for their more 
poetical character, and their sometimes approaching so 
near to his own intriguing comedies, that, but for the 
religious parts, they might seem to belong to the 
merely secular and fiishionable dheatre that had jusi 
been interdicted. 

Of the first, or more religious sort, his '" Birth of 
Christ" maybe taken as a specimen.^^ It is divided 

^^ Coinedias, Tom. XXIV., Zaragoza, to Niiestro Senor." There are be.sides, 

1641, ff. 110, etc. Such plays were in this volume, Xdcimicntos attributed 

often acted at Christma.s, and went to Oubillo (f. 375) and Valdiviel.so (f. 

under the name of Nacimientos ; — a 369). 

relique of the old dramas mentioned in "Nacimientos" continued to be rep- 
the "Partidas," and written in various resented chiefly in pantomime and in 
forms after the time of Juan de la En- private hoxises through the eighteentli 
zina and Gil Vicente. They seem, from century, and into the nineteenth. 1 
hints in the " Viage " of Roxas, 1602, have a poetical tract, entitled " Disserm 
and elsewhere, to have been acted in metrico en c^ue se manitiesta un Naci- 
private houses, in the churches, on the miento con las figuras corresjjondientes 
public stage, and in the streets, as they segun el estilo que se pratica en las 
happened to be asked for. They were casas j^articulares de este corte, ec, j)or 
not exactly autos, but very like them, D. Antonio Manuel de Cardenas, Conde 
as may be seen from the " Nacimiento del Sacro Palacio," Madrid, 1766, 18mo. 
de Christo" by Lope de Vega, (in a cu- It is in the ballad style, and describes 
rious volume entitled " Navidad y Cor- minutelj- how they borrowed the Ma- 
pus Chri-sti Festejados," Madrid, 1664, donna and child from a convent, the ox 
4to, f. 346), — a drama quite diflerent from a neighboring village, etc. An- 
from this one, though bearing the same other similar description, but in qnhi- 
name; and (juite different from another tillas, is entitled " Liras a la Eepre- 
Nacimiento dc Chrwto, in the same vol- sentacion del Drama, EI Nacimiento, 
ume, (f. 93,) attributed to Lope, and IMcza inedita de 1). J. B. Colonies," 
called "Auto del Nacimiento de Chris- Valencia, 1807, 18mo. 


into tlirce acts, and Ijegins in Paradise, immediately 
after the ereatioii. The first scene introduces Satan, 
Pride, Beaiily. and Envy; — Satan a])pearing with 

'" dragon's Aviny^s, a hiishv wiu'. and al)ove it a 
* 242 serpent s * head "' ; and Envy carrying a heart 

in her hand and weai'ing snakes in her hair. 
After some discussion aljout the creation, Adam and 
Eve approacli in the characters of King and Queen. 
Innocence, who is the ch)wn and wit of the piece, and 
Grace, who is dressed in white, come in at the same 
time, and, while Satan and his friends are hidden in a 
thicket, hold the following dialogue, which may be 
regarded as characteristic, not only of this particular 
drama., hut of tlie whole class to which it belongs: — 

Adam. Here, LaJy Queen, upon tliis couelj of grass and flowers 

Sit down. 
Innocence. Well, tliat 's good, i' foith ; 

He calls lier Lady Queen. 
Grace. And don't you see 

She is his Avife ; flesh of his flesh indeed, 

And of his bone the bone ^ 
Innocence. That 's just as if 

You said. She, through his being, being hath. — 

What dainty compliments they pay each other ! 
Grace. Two persons are they, yet one flesh the}' are. 

Innocence. And may their union last a thousand years, 

And in sweet peace continue evermore ! 
Grace. The king his father and his mother leaves 

For his fair queen. 
Innocence. And leaves not overmuch, 

Since no man yet has been with parents born. 

But, in good faith, good master Adam, 

All fine as you go on, pranked out by Grace, 

I feel no little trouble at your course, 

Likp that of other princes made of clay. 

But I admit it was a famous trick. 

In your most sovereign Lord, out of the mud 

A microcosm nice to make, and do it 

In one day. 
Grace. He that the greater worlds could build 

By his commanding power alone, to him 

It wa.s not much these lesser works on earth 



'J'o il(j. Am! SIM' yon uot the two great lcUii]).s 
AVliiili ovcilicM(l lie liiiiig so fail' ! 
Innocence. And liow 

The eai'tli lie sowcil witli llowci's, the licavi-ns with stars 'M^ 

* Immediately after tlie fall, and tliei-efoi-e, * 243 
according to the common Scriptural computa- 
tion, al)out four thousand years before she was born, 
the Madonna appears and personally drives Satan down 
to perdition, while, at the same time, an Angel expels 
Adam and Eve from Paradise. The Divine Prince and 
the Celestial Emperor, as the Saviour and the Supreme 
Divinity are respectively called, then come upon the 
vacant stage, and, in a conference full of theological 
subtilties, arrange the system of man's redemption, 
"which, at the Divine conunand, Gabriel, — 

Accompanied with armies all of stars 
To fill the air with glorious lightj^" — 

descending to Galilee, announces as about to be accom- 
plished by the birth of the Messiah. This ends the 
first act. 

The second opens with the rejoicings of the Serpent. 
Sin, and Death, — confident that the World is now 
fairly given up to them. But their rejoicings are 
short. Clarionets are sounded, and Divine Grace ap- 
pears on the upper portion of the stage, and at once 
expels the sinful rout from their boasted possessions ; 

l'-* Adan. Aqui, Reyna, en esta alfobra 
De yerua y flores te assienta. 
Esso a la fe me contenta. 
Reyna y Senora la nombra. 
Pues no ves que es su muger, 
Came de su came y hueso 
De sus hucsos? Ino. Y aa por esso, 
Porque es eomo ser su ser. 
Linclos requiebros se dizen. 
Dos en una came son . 
Dure mil ano.s la union, 

Y en esta paz se eternizen. 
Por Ii Iteyna dexari 
El Key a su padre y madre. 
Ninguno nacii eon padre, 
Poco en dexarlos hari ; 

Y i la fe, Senor Adan, 
Que aunque de Grjieia vizarro. 
Que los Principes del barro 





Notable pena me dan. 

Brauo artiticii) tenia 

Vuestro soberano duefio, 

Quando un niundo aunque pequeno 

Ilizo de barro en un dia. 

Quie los dos mundos mayores 

Pudo haeer con su palabra, 

Que mucho que niiii|ia y abra 

En la tierra estas labores. 

No ves las laini)aras bcllas, 

Que de los cielos colpjo ? 

Conio de flores scmbro 

La tierra , el cielo de cstrellas . 

Comedias de Lope de Vepra. Tom 
XXIV., Zaragoza, 1G41, f. HI. 

2" Baxa esdareciendo el ayre 
Con exercitos de estrella*;. 


explaining afterwards to the World, avIio now comes 
on as one of the personages of the scene, that the 
Holy Faniil}- are immediately to bring salvation to 

The World replies with rapture : — 

O holy Grace, already I behold them ; 
And, though the freezing night forbids, will haste 
To border round my hoar frost all with flowers ; 
To force the tender buds to sj)ring again 
* 244 * From out their shrunken branches ; and to loose 

The gentle streamlets from the hill-tops cold, 
That they may pour their liipiid crystal down ; 
While the old founts, at my command, shall flow 
AVith milk, and ash-trees honey pure distil 
To satisfy our joyful appetites. -i 

The next scene is in Bethlehem, where Josei)h and 
Mary appear begging for entrance at an inn, bat, owing 
to the crowd, they are sent to a stable just outside the 
city, in whose contiguous fields shepherds and shep- 
herdesses are seen suffering from the frosty night, but 
jesting and singing rude songs about it. In the midst 
of their troubles and merriment, an angel appears in 
a cloud announcing the birth of the Saviour; and the 
second act is then concluded by the resolution of all to 
g-o and find the divine child and carrv him their glad 

The last act is chiefly taken up with discussions 
of the same subjects by the same shepherds and shep- 
herdesses, and an account of the visit to the mother 
and child ; some parts of which are not without poeti- 
cal merit. It ends with the appearance of the three 
Kings, preceded by dances of Gypsies and Negroes, 

21 Ciracia s.inta, ya los veo. Bajen los arroyos niansos 

Voy i hazer ijiie aquesta not-he, liiciuido cristal vertiendo. 

Aunqun lo deficnda el yclo, Hare que las fuentes manen 

Borden la esrarrha la.-> flores, Candida loche, y los fresnos 

Salpan los ipinipollos tiernos Pun niiel, diluvios dulces, 

De las enro'ri las ninias. Que aneiruen nuestros despos. 
Y de los nionUs soberbios Comedias, Tom. XXIV. , Zaragoza, 1641 . f. llti 


and witli the worsliip and offerings brought by call to 
the new-born Saviour. 

Such dramas do not seem to have been favorites 
with Lope, and perhaps were not favorites with his 
r.udiences. At least, few of them appear among his 
[)rinted works ; — the one just noticed, and another, 
called " The Creation of the World and Man's First 
Sin," being the most prominent and curious ;^^ and one 
on the atonement, entitled '^' The Pledge Redeemed," 
being tlie most wild and gross. But to the proper 
xstories of the Scri^Dtures he somewhat oftener resorted, 
and with characteristic talent. Thus, we have 
full-length plays on * the history of Tobias and * 245 
the seven-times-wedded maid ; "'^ on the fair 
Esther and Ahasuerus ; ^ and on the somewhat un- 
suitable subject of the Ravishment of Dinah, the 
daughter of Jacob, as it is told in the Book of 
Genesis.^^ In all these, and in the rest of the class to 
which they belong, Spanish manners and ideas, rather 
than Jewish, give their coloring to the scene ; and 
the story, though substantially taken from the Hebrew 
records, is thus rendered much more attractive, for 
the purposes of its representation at Madrid, than it 
would have been in its original simplicity; as, for in- 
stance, in the case of the "Esther," where a comic un- 
derplot between a coquettish shepherdess and her lover 
is much relied upon for the popular effect of the 

2^ It is in the twenty-fourtli voluiuf Tom. XXIII. , Madrid, 1638, ff. 118, 

of the Comedias of Lope, Madrid. 16:5 -2, etc. To this may he added a hetter 

and is one of the very few of his re- one, in Tom. XXII., Mailiid, 1635, 

ligious plays that have been occasion- "Los Trabajos de Jacob," on the beau- 

idly reprinted. tifnl stoiy of Joseph and his l)iethrcn. 

is " Historia de Tobias," Comedias, ^ Thennderjilot is slightly connect- 

Tom. XV., Madrid, 1621, ff. 231, etc. ed with tlie main story of Esther, by a 

-* "La Hermo.sa Ester," Ibid., ff. proclamation oHving Ahasuerus, calling 

lol, etc. iM'fore liini all the fair maidens of his 

^ "El Kobo de Diua," Coniedia-, empire, which, coming to the ears of 




Still, oven these dramas were not able to satisfv 
audiences accustomed to the more national spirit of 
plays founded on fashiona1:)le life and intriguing adven- 
tures. A wider range, therefore, was taken. Sti'iking 
religious events of all kinds — especially those found 
in the lives of holy men — were resorted to, and in- 
genious stories were constructed out of the 
* 24G * miracles and sufferings of saints, which were 
often as interesting as the intrigues of Span- 
ish gallants, or the achievements of the old S])anish 
heroes, and were sometimes hardly less free and wild. 
Saint Jerome, under the name of the " Cardinal of 
Bethlehem," is brought upon the stage in one of them, 
first as a gay gallant, and afterwards as a saint scourged 
by angels, and triumphing, in open show, over Satan.-" 
In another, San Diego of Alcala rises, from being the 
attendant of a poor hermit, to be a general with mili- 
tary command, and, after committing most soldier-like 
atrocities in the Fortunate Islands, returns and dies at 
home in the odor of sanctitv."^ And in vet others, his- 

Silena, the shepherdess, she insists 
upon leaving her lover, Selvagio, and 
trying the fortune of her beauty at 
court. She fails, and on her return is 
rejected by Selvagio, but still main- 
tains her cO(|uettish sjiirit to tlie last, 
and goes off saying or singing, as gayly 
as if it were part of an old ballad, — 

For the Tulture that flies apart, 

I left my little t>ird"s nest : 
But n\\\ I can soften his heart, 

-Vnd 5O0the down his pride to rest. 

The best parts of the play are the more 
religious ; like Esther's prayers in the 
first and last acts, and the ballad sung 
at the triunijdiant festival when Ahasu- 
erus jields to her beauty ; but the 
whole, like many other plays of the 
same sort, is intended, under the dis- 
guise of a sacred suV)ject, to serve the 
purjtoses of the secular theatre. 

Perhaps one of the most amusing 
instances of incongruity in Lope, and 
their number is not few, is to be found 

in the first jornadn of the ' ' Trabajos 
de Jacob," where Joseph, at the mo- 
ment he escapes from Potiphar's wife, 
leaving his cloak in her possession, says 
in soliloijuy : — 

So niayest thou, woman-like, upon my cloak 
Thy vengeance wreak, as the bull wreaks his 

Upon the cloak before hinj played ; the man 
Meanwhile escaping safe. 

Y assi haras en essa capa, 
(;on venfjanza de muger, 
Lo que el toro suele hacer 
Del hombre que se escapa . 

Yet, absurd as the passage is for its in- 
congruity, it may have been loudly ap- 
])lauded by an audience that thought 
much more of bull-fights than of the 
just rules of the drama. 

■■" " Kl ("ardcnal dc Belen," Comcdi- 
as, To7n. .Xlll., Madrid, Iti'iO. 

^ This jilay is not in the collection 
of Lope's C'omedias, but it is in Lord 
Holland's list. My copy of it is an old 
one, without date, printed for popular 

< iiAi'. XVI].] COMEDIAS DE SANTOS. 289 

torieal subjects of a relisj^ioiis character are taken, like 
the story of the holy liainha torn Ironi the plough in 
the seventh centuiy. and by miraculons conunand 
made king of Spain ; -•* or like the life of the Moham- 
medan prince of Morocco, who, in 1593, was converted 
to Christianity and publicly baptized in presence of 
Philip the Second, Avitli the heir of the throne for his 

All these, and many more like them, were repre- 
sented with the consent of the ecclesiastical powers, — 
sometimes even in convents and other religious houses, 
but oftener in public, and always mider auspices no 
less obviously religions;^^ The favorite mate- 
rials for such dramas, * however, were found, at * 247 
last, almost exclusively in the lives of popular 
saints ; and the number of plays filled witli such his- 
tories and miracles was so great, soon after the year 
1600, that they came to be considered as a class by 
themselves, under the name of " Comedias de Santos," 
or Saints' Plays. Lope wrote many of them. Besides 

use at Valladolid. And 1 have it, also, Christiano, por el P. Fr. Donato Cian- 

iu the "Comedias Escogidas,"' Tom. tar, ec, traducida de Toscano en Es- 

III., 1653, f. 222. panol, en Sevilla, por Juan Gomez de 

29 "Comedias," Tom. I., Valladolid, Bias, Ano de 1646," 4to, pp. 4 ; — averj' 

1604, ff. 91, etc. curious tract, which justities much in 

^ " Bautismo del Principe de Mar- the play of Lope that seems improbable, 
ruecos," in which there are nearly sixty ^^ C. Pellicer, On'gen, Tom. I. p. 153. 
]ier.sonages. Comedias, Tom. XL, Bar- When Francisco de Borja was canonized 
rrlona, 1618, tf. 269, etc. C. Pellicer, in 1625, there were great festivities for 
On'gen del Teatro, Tom. I. p. 86. Such several days, and the Jesuits, of whose 
a baptism — and one brought on the society he had been a proud oruanient, 
stage, too — soxinds very strange ;. but caused a play on his life to be acted iu 
strange things of the sort occurred oc- a theatv(» belonging to them at ISLidrid ; 
casionally from the intimate relations Philip IV. and the Infantes being pres- 
that often subsisted between the Chris- ent. Who wrote the play I do not 
tian captives in Barbary and their mis- know, for the account of the festival, 
believing masters. For instance, in intending, perhaps, to pun, onl}- says : 
1646, the oldest son of the Bey of "Por ser e\ Autor de la Compania, la 
Tunis escaped to Palermo, for the ex- mode-stia le venera en silencio." A 
press pur})ose of becoming a Christian, masque followed ; a poetical certam.en, 
and was there, with great ceremony, etc. ; — but all under religious auspices. 
received into the bosom of the Church. Elogio del S. P. Francisco de Borja, 
See " Relacion de la Venida a Sirilia Duque de Gandia, ec, por el Docttor 
del Principe Mamet, hijo primogenito Juan Antonio d<^ Pena, Natural de Ma- 
de Amat Dey de Tunis, a volver.se drid, 1625, 4to, f. 6, etc. 
VOL. II. 19 



[Pekiod If. 

those ah'eady mentioned, wo liave from his pen di-a- 
niatic compositions on the hves of Saint Francis, San 
Pedro de Xohisco, Saint Thomas Aqninas, Saint JuUan. 
Saint Xichohis of Tolentino, Santa Teresa, three on 
San Isidro de Madrid, and not a few othci's. Maiiv of 
tliem, hke Saint Nicholas of Tolentino,'^^ are very 
strange and extravagant ; others are full of poetry ; 
but perhaps none will give a more true idea of the 
entire class than the first one he wrote, on the sub- 
ject of the favored saint of his own city, San Isidi-o 
de Mad rid. -^'^ 

It seems to have all the vai-ieties of action and 
character that belong to the secular divisions of the 
Spanish drama. Scenes of stirring interest occur in 

it among warriors just returned to Madrid from 
* 248 a * successful foray against the Moors; gay 

scenes, with rustic dancing and frolics, at the 
marriage of Isidro and the birth of his son ; and scenes 
of broa<l farce with the sacristan, who c()iii])laiiis. that, 
owing to Isi(h-o's j^ower with Heaven, he no longer 

^■^ "San Nicolas de Toleutino," Co- 
meilias, Tom. XXIV., Zaragoza, 1641, 
ff. 167, etc. Each act, as is not un- 
common in the old Spanish theati'e, is 
a sort of separate play, with its sepa- 
rate list of personages prefi.ved. The 
lirst has twenty-one ; among wliich are 
God, the Madonna, History, Mercy, 
Justice, Satan, etc. It opens with a 
masquerading scene in a public s(piare, 
of no little spirit ; immediately after 
which we have a scene in heaven, con- 
taining the Divine judgment on the 
soul of one who bad died in mortal sin ; 
then another s[)irited scene, in a jmblic 
Sfpiare, among loungers, with a sennon 
Iroin a fervent, fanatical monk ; and 
■ aftei'wartls, successive scenes between 
Nicholas, who lias been moved by this 
.sermon to enter a convent, and his fam- 
ily, wlio consent to his imrjiosc with 
reluctaiH-*' ; the wlioli- iiiding with a 
dialogue of the ni<li'st liunior between 
Xichola.s's si-rvant, wiio is tlie buffoon 

of the piece, and a sei"vant-maid, to 
whom he was engaged to be married, 
but whom he now abandons, deter- 
ndned to follow his master into a re- 
ligious .seclusion, wluch, at the .same 
time, he is making lidiculous b\' his 
jests and paiodies. This is the first 
act. The other two acts are such as 
might be anticipated from it. 

*^ This is not either of the plays or- 
dered by the city of Madri<l to be acted 
ill the open air in 1622, in honor of the 
canonization of San Isidro, and found 
in the twelfth volume of Lope's Obras 
Sueltas ; tliough, on a comparison with 
the.se last, it will be seen tiiat it was 
used in their composition. It, in fact, 
wa.s printed five years earlier, in the 
.seventh volume of Lope's Comedias, 
Madrid, 1617, and continued long in 
favor, for it is rc))rinted in Parte 
XXVIII. of " CdiiJi'dias Esc-ogidas de 
los Mejores Ingenii»s,'' Madrid, 1667, 


gets l\'i'y< for burials, mid that ho believes Death is 
gone to l'\ '3 elsewhere, l^iit through the whole runs 
the loving and devout character of the Saint iiiinself, 
giving it a sort of poetical unity and ])o\ver. The 
ano'els come down to iilouuh for him, that he ma\' no 
lonu'er incur reproach b\' nei>'le(!tin('" his laboi's in 
order to attend mass ; and at the touch of his uoad, 
a spring oi' pure water, still looked upon with rever- 
ence, rises in a burning waste to refresh his unjust 
master. Popular songs and poetry, meanwhile,^* with 
a parody of the old Moorish ballad of '' Gentle River, 
(lentle River," '^^ and allusions to the holy image of 
Almudena, ard the church of Saint Andrew, give life 
to the dialogue, as it goes on ; — all familiar as house- 
hold w^ords at Madrid, and striking chords which, wdien 
this drama was first represented, still viljrated in every 
heart. At the end, the body of the Saint, after his 
death, is exposed before the well-know^n altar of his 
favorite church ; and there, according to the old tra- 
ditions, his former master and the queen come to wor- 
ship him, and, with pious sacrilege, endeavor to bear 
away from his person relics for their own protection ; 
but are punished on the spot by a miracle, which thus 
serves at once as the final and crowning testimony to 
the divine merits of the Saint, and as an appropriate 
dhiouement for the piece. 

No doubt, such a drama, extending over forty or 
fifty years of time, with its motley crowd of person- 
ages, — among whom are angels and demons, Envy, 

** A spirited ballad or popular song I^ dan pan , le aan cebolla, 

is simg and danced at the vouug Saint's "^ ^'°° taml.ien 1,. <lan, etc. 

.vedding, beginning,— " Comedias, Tom. xxvni., 1G67, p. 54. 

Al Tillano se lo dan 35 Rio verde, rio verdo, 

La cehoUa con el pan. Jilas negro va.s que la tinta 

Mira que el tosco villano, De sangre de los Chri.stianos, 

Quando (juiera alborear, Que no de la Moreria. 

Saiga con .su par de bui^yes p. 60. 

Y su : ra<io otro que tal. 

292 AUTOS SA(;IJAMEXTALES. |l'i;i;i..i. 11. 

Falsehood, and. the River Manzanaics. — would 
* 249 now be accounted * grotesque and irrevereut. 

rather than anything else. But in the time of 
Lope, the audiences not only brought ii willing faith 
to such representations, but received gladly an exhi- 
bition of the miracles which connected the saint they 
worshipped and his beneficent virtues Avith their own 
times and their personal well-being. ''^'^ If to this we 
add tlie restraints on the theatre, and Lope's extraor- 
dinary facility, grace, and ingenuity, Avhich never 
failed to consult and gratify the jjopular taste, we 
shall have all the elements necessary to explain the 
great niunber of religious dramas he composed, whether 
in the nature of Mysteries, Scrij^ture stories, or lives of 
saints. Thev belono-ed to his ao;e and countrv as much 
as he himself did. 

But Lope adventiu'ed with success in another form 
of the drama, not only more grotesque than that of 
the full-length religious plays, but intended yet more 
directly for popular edification, — the '" Autos Sacra- 
mentales," or Sacramental Acts, — a sort of religious 
])lays performed in the streets during the season when 
the gorgeous ceremonies of the " Corpus Christi " filled 
them with rejoicing crowds.'^' No form of the Spanish 
drama is older, and none had so long a reign, or main- 
tained during its continuance so strong a hold on the 

^ How far these Jihu's were felt to cret; or ;i judgiin-iit of a eourt. After- 
be religious by the crowds who wit- wards it was ajijilied to these religious 
nessed them may be seen in a thousand dramas, which weic called Autos sacra- 
ways; ajnong the rest, by the fact men- mentnles, or Autos del Corpus Christi, 
tioned by >Iadame d'Aulnoy, in 1679, and to the aiitos de fe. of the Inquisi- 
that, when St. Anthony, on the stage, tion ; in both cases, because they wen- 
repeated his Cinifiteor, the audience all considered solemn religious aits, (.'o- 
fell on their knees, smote their breasts varrubias, Tesoro de la Lengua Castel- 
heavily, and cried out, MfA, culpd. lana, ad verb. Auto. For the early 
Voyage d'Espagne. A la Haye, 1693, history of the procession and for the 
18mo, Tom. I. p. 56. management of the Alogigone.s, the Ta- 

^ .^?'to was originally a forensic tenii, rasca, etc., see Bibliotecario, 1841, fol., 

from the Latin uc/as, and meant a de- jiji. 2.1-27. 


general favor. Its representations, as we have already 
seen, may be found among the earliest intimations of 
the national literature ; and, as we shall learn hei-e- 
after, they were with difficulty suppressed by the royal 
anthorit}^ after the middle of the eighteenth century. 
In the age of Lope, and in that immediately following, 
they were at the height of their success, and had 
become an important *part of the religious cere- * 250 
monies arranged for the solemn sacramental festi- 
val to which they were devoted, not only in Madrid, but 
throughout Spain ; all the theatres being closed for a 
month to give place to them and to do them honor.'^^ 

Yet to our apprehensions, notwithstanding their re- 
ligions claims, they are almost wholly gross and irrev- 
erent. Indeed, the very circumstances under which 
they were represented would seem to prove that they 
were not regarded as really solemn. A sort of rude 
mumming, which certainly had nothing grave about it, 
preceded them, as they advanced through the thronged 
streets, where the windows and balconies of the better 
sort of houses were hung with silks and tapestries to 
honor the occasion. First in this extraordinary pro- 
cession came the figure of a misshapen marine monster, 

^^ Great splendor was used, from the indecent. In fact, tliey were finally for- 
earliest times down to the present cen- bidden as such by Charles III. in 1765. 
tury, in the processions of the Corpus The wonder is that in a state of society 
Christi throughout Spain ; as may lie claiming to be Christian they were sus- 
judged from the accounts of them in tained alike by the Church and the 
Valencia, Seville, and Toledo, in the civil power; for in 1609, Mariana, in 
Semanario Pintoresco, 1839, p. 167; his treatise " DeSpectaculis," had made 
1840, p. 187 ; and 1841, p. 177. In it plain enough that they were unwor- 
those of Toledo, there is an intimation thy all such countenance. In the Span- 
that Lope de Rueda was employed in ish version of this remarkable treatise, 
the dramatic entertainments connected made by the great historian liimself, I 
with them in 1561 ; and that Alonso find one more chapter (the twelfth) in 
Cisneros, Cristobal Navarro, and other which he says that the most gi-oss of 
known writers for the rude popular all the dances (the zara.bnnda) was pei'- 
stage of that time, were his successors ; formed in the Corpus Christi ceremo- 
— all serving to introduce Lope and nies of the autos witli all its indecent 
Calderon. gestures. See^ws^, p. 452, note, for the 

But, at all periods, from first to last, Zarabanda. 
the proper autos were rude, gross, and 

294 AUTOS SACRx^MEXTALES. [Vnnum 11. 

called the Tarasca, half serpent \\\ form. l)()rne l)y men 
concealed in its cumbrous bulk, and sunnounted In* 
another figure representing the Woman of Btdndon. — 
the whole so managed as to fill Avitli wonder and terror 
the poor country people that crowded round it. some 
of whose hats and caps were generally snatched away 
by the grinning beast, and regarded as the lawful 
plunder of his conductors.^ 

Then followed a company of fair children, witli gar- 
lands on their heads, singing hynnis and litanies of the 
Church; and sometimes companies of men and women 
with castanets, dancing the national dances. Two or 
more huge Moorish or negro giants, commonly called 
the Gigantones, made of pasteboard, came next, jump- 
ing about grotesquely, to the great alarm of some of 

the less experienced part of the crowd, and to 
* 251 the * great amusement of the rest. Then, with 

much pomp and fine music, appeared the jDriests, 
bearing the Host under a splendid canopy ; and after 
them a long and devout procession, where was seen, in 
Madrid, the king, with a taper in his hand, like the 
meanest of his subjects, together with the great officers 
of state and foreign ambassadors, who all crowded in 
to swell the splendor of the scene.^ Last of all came 
showy cars, filled wath actors from the public theatres, 
who were to figure on the occasion, and add to its 

8^ Pellicer, notes D. Quixote, Toiu. period of Lojje's success ; aiul a fancy 

IV. pp. 105, 106, and Covarnibias, ut drawing of the proce.s.sion, as it may 

siqyra, ad verb. Tarasca. The pojm- have appeared at Madrid in 1623, is to 

lace of Toledo called the woman on the he found in the Senianario Pintoresco, 

Tarasca, Anne Boleyn. Sem. Pint., 1846, p. 185. But Lope's loa is the 

1841, p. 177. hest authority. A good authority for 

*<* The most lively description I liave it, as it was got uj) in the provinces, 

seen of this i)roces!5ion is contained in may lie found in Ovando's jwetical de- 

the loa to Lopez's first fesUi and aido scrijrtion of it at Malaga in 1655, where, 

(Obras Sueltas, Tom. XVIII. ]i]). 1 -7). among other irreligious extravagances, 

Another description, to suit the festival (!y])sies with tanilwurines danced in 

as it was got UJ) altout 1655 - 166.'), will the jirocession. Ocios de Ca.stalia por 

be found when we come to C'alderon. .Tuan deOvando Santarem, 4to, Mahiga, 

It is given here as it occuiTed in the 1663, f. 87, ec. 


attractions, if not to its solemnity; — personages who 
constituted so important a part of the day's fes- 
tivity, that the whole was often called, in popular 
phrase, The Festival of the Cars, — " La Fiesta de los 

This procession — not, indeed, magnificent in the 
towns and hamlets of the provinces, as it was in the 
capital, but always as imposing as the resources of the 
place where it occurred could make it — stopped from 
time to time under awnings in front of the house of 
some distinguished person, — perhaps that of the 
President of the Council of Castile at Madrid, per- 
haps that of the alcalde of a village, — and there 
waited reverently till certain religious offices could 
be performed l)y the ecclesiastics ; the multitude^ 
all the while, kneeling, as if in church. As soon 
as these duties were over, or at a later hour of the 
day, the actors from the cars appeared on a neigh- 
boring stage, in the open air, and performed, accord- 
ing to their limited service, the sacramental auto 
prepared for the occasion, and always alluding to 
it directly. Of such aiitos, we know, on good au- 
thority, that Lope wrote about four hundred.*^ 
Of these above thirty * are still extant, in- * 2-52 
eluding several in manuscript, and a consid- 
erable number which were published only that the 
towns and villages of the interior might enjoy the 
same devout pleasures that were enjoyed by the 
court and capital ; — so universal was the fanaticism 
for this strange form of amusement, and so deeply 
was it seated in the popular character. Even Lope, 
on his death-bed, told Mental van, that he regretted 

*^ A good idea of the contents of the II. c. 11,) as he was returning from 
carro may be found in the deseiiption Tohoso. 
of the one met by Don Quixote, (Parte *^ Montalvan, in liis Fama Pustuma^ 



[Period II. 

lie had not given his whole Hfe to writhig auio^ and 
other .similar religious poetry.*^ 

At an earlier period, and perhaps as late as the 
time ol" Lope's first appearance, this part of the 
festival consisted of a very shnple exhibition-, accom- 
panied with rustic songs, eclogues, and dancing, such 
as we find it in a large collection of manuscript 
liii/os, of which two that have been pul)lished are 
slight and rude in their structure and dialogue, and 
.seem to date from a })eriod as early as that of Lope ; ^* 
but during his lifetime, and chiefly under his influ- 
ence, it became a formal and well-defined popular 

entertainment, divided into three parts, each 
* 2-33 of which * was quite distinct in its character 

from the others, and all of them dramatic. 

'^ Preface of Joseph Ortis de Villena, 
prefixed to the Autos in Tom. XVIII. 
of the Obras Sueltas. They were not 
])rinted till 1644, nine yeai-s after Lope's 
death, and then they apjieared at Zai-a- 
goza. One other mito, attributed to 
Lope, " El Tirano Ca.stigado," occurs in 
a very rare volume, entitled "Navidad y 
Coi-pusChri.sti Fe.stejado.s," collected by 
Isidro de Robles, and already referred to. 

The whole number of Lope's mito.i 
as given by Chorley is : printed and 
umpiestionable, 18 ; others, more or 
less uncertain, 26, except three which 
are autographs. 

** Tlie manu.script collection men- 
tioned in the text was ac([uired by the 
National Library at Madiid in 1844. 
It fills 468 leaves in folio, and contains 
ninety-five dramatic pieces. All of 
them are anonymous exce|)t one, which 
i". said to be by Maestro Femiz, and is 
on the subject of (Iain anil Al)el ; and 
all Imt one .seem to be on religious .sub- 
jects. Thi.s last is called " Entrem/is 
<le las Esteras," and is the only one 
Iw-arinc that title. The rest are called 
<'')fiH]in'os, Farsa-t, and Aulas; nearly 
all fjeing i-,alled /iiiios, but .some of them 
Ffima.s dd Sru.rn.m/'.nl/), which .seems to 
have 1>een regarded a.s .synonymous. 
One onl)' is dated. It is called " Auto 
lie la ResuiTeccion de Christo," and is 
licensed to be acted March 28, 1568. 

Two have been published in the Museo 
Literario, 1844, by Don Eugenio de 
Tapia, of the Royal Libraiy, Madrid, 
one of the well-known Spanish scholars 
and writei"s of our own time. The first, 
entitled ' ' Auto de los Dt.sposorios de 
Moisen," is a very slight jierfonnauce, 
and, except the Prologue or Argument, 
is in prose. The other, called "Auto 
de la Kesidencia del Hombre," is no, 
better, but is all in verse. In a subse- 
quent number, Don Eugenio publishes 
a complete list of the titles, with the 
figuras or jiersonages that apjiear in 
each. It is much to be desired that 
all the contents of this MS. .should be 
properly edited. Meanwliilc, we know 
that sayneten were sometimes interyjosed 
between diflerent parts of the perform- 
ances ; that allegorical pei'.sonages were 
abundant ; and that the Bubo or Fool 
constantly recurs. Some of them were 
jirobably earlier than the time of Lope 
de Vega ; jn-rhaps a.s early as the time 
of Lojk; de Rueda, who, as I have al- 
ready .said in note 38, ante, may have 
prepared autoa of some kind for the city 
of Toledo, in 1.561. But the language 
and vei-silication of the two jiieces that 
have been jiiinfcil, and the general air of 
the fiction.s and allegories of the rest, sij 
far as we can gather them from what has 
been jiublislied, indicate a jieriod nearly 
or i[uite as late as that of Li)]m; de Vega. 


Fir.^t of all, in its more completed state, came the 
loa. This was always in the nature of a prologue ; 
but sometimes, in ibrm, it was a dialogue spoken by 
two or more actors. One of the best of Lope's is 
of this kind. It is filled with the trou})les of a 
peasant who has come to Madrid in order to see 
these very shows, and has lost his wife in the crowd ; 
but, just as he has quite consoled himself and satisfied 
his conscience by determining to have her cried once 
or twice, and then to give her up as a lucky loss and 
take another, she comes in and describes with much 
spirit the wonders of the procession she had seen, 
precisely as her audience themselves had just seen it ; 
thus making, in the form of a prologue, a most amus- 
ing and appropriate introduction for the drama that 
was to follow.'*^ Another of Lope's has is a discussion 
between a gay gallant and a peasant, who talks, in 
rustic fashion, on the subject of the doctrine of tran- 
substantiation.*'' Another is given in the character of 
a Morisco, and is a monologue, in the dialect of the 
speaker, on the advantages and disadvantages of his 
turning Christian in earnest, after having for some 
time made his living fraudulently by begging in the 
assumed character of a Christian pilgrim."*' All of 
them are amusing, though burlesque ; but some of 
them are anything rather than religious. 

After the loa came an cntremes. All that remain to 
us of Lope's entremeses are mere farces, like the inter- 
ludes used every day in the secular theatres. In one 

*^ This is the first of the loas in the and refers me, for proof, to tlie ricface: 

volume, and, on the whole, the best. of the Comedias, Tom. VI II., and to- 

My friend, Mr. J. K. Chorley, whose the Prologo of Pando y Mier to the 

knowledge of Spanish literature, and Autos of Calderon. I have no doubt 

especially of whatever relates to Lope, he is right. For an account of Xoa.v, 

is so ample and accurate, doubts wheth- see post. Chap. XXVI. 

er the loas that have been published *^ ObrasSueltas, Tom. XVIII. ]). 367. 

among Lope's Works are all really his, *^ Ibid., p. 107. 


instance he makes an enfremes a satire upon lawyers, in 
Avhicli a member of the craft, as in the old French 
^■' Maistre Pathelin," is cheated and robbed by a seem- 
ingly simple peasant, who first renders him ex- 
* 254 tremely * ridiculous, and then escapes hy dis- 
guising himself as a blind ballad-singer, and 
dancing and singing in honor of the festiyal, — a 
conclusion which seems to be peculiarly irreverent for 
this particular occasion.'^^ In another instance, he 
ridicules the poets of his time hy bringing on the 
.stage a lady who pretends she has just come from the 
Indies, with a fortune, in order to marry a poet, and 
succeeds in her purpose; but both find themselves 
deceived, for the lady has no income but such as is 
gained by a pair of castanets, and her husband turns 
out to be a ballad-maker. Both, however, have good 
sense enough to be content with their bargain, and 
agree to go through the world together singing and 
dancing ballads, of which, by way of finale to the 
entremes, they at once give the crowd a specimen.*'^ 
Yet another of Lope's successful attempts in this wa}' 
is an interlude containing within itself the representa- 
tion of a play on the story of Helen, which reminds 
US of the similar entertainment of Pyramus and Thisbe 
in the " Midsummer Night's Dream " ; but it breaks 
off in the middle, — the actor who plays Paris running 
jiway in earnest with the actress who plays Helen, and 
the piece ending with a burlesque scene of confusions 
and reconciliations.'^'^ And finally, another is a parody 
of tlie procession itself, with its giants, cars, and all; 
treating the whole with the gayest ridicule.^^ 

*« 01)ras Sueltas, Torn. XVIII. p. 8. '^> IhM., j.. 108. "El Robo dc He- 

*' Entn-iiics df'l I/^trado." lena." 

*'* Iliiil., J). 114. "Entremes del 5i jiji,!^ j, 373 "Muestra de lo.s 

Poeta." Carros." 


Thus far, all has heen avowedly comic in the dra- 
matic exhibitions of these religious festivals. But the 
aiitos or sacramental acts themselves, with which the 
whole concluded, and to which all that preceded was 
only introductory, claim to be more grave in their 
general tone, though in some cases, like the prologues 
and interludes, parts of them are too whimsical and 
extravagant to be anything but amusing. "The 
Bridge of the World " is one of this class.^^ It repre- 
sents the Prince of Darkness placing the giant Levia- 
than on the bridge of the world, to defend its 
j)assage against all * comers wdio do not con- * 255 
fess his supremacy. Adam and Eve, who, as 
we are told in the directions to the players, appear 
" dressed very gallantly after the French fashion," ai'e 
naturally the first that present themselves.^^ They 
subscribe to the hard condition, and pass over in sight 
of the audience. In tlie same manner, as the dialogue 
informs us, the patriarchs, with Moses, David, and Solo- 
mon, go over ; but at last the Knight of the Cross, 
" the Celestial Amadis of Greece," as he is called, 
appears in person, overthrows the pretensions of the 
Prince of Darkness, and leads the Soul of Man in tri- 
umpli across the flital passage. The whole is obviously 
a parody of the old story of the Giant defending the 
Bridge of Mantible;^"^ and when to this are added paro- 
dies of the ballad of "Count Claros " applied to Adam/^ 

^^ It is the last in the collection, Yen-os Adan por amores 
and, as to its poetry, one of the best of '^'^'"'^ '^o" '!<' perdonar, etc. ; 
the twelve, if not the very best. which is out of the beautiful and well- 
s'^ The direction to the actors is, known old ballad of the "CondeClaro.s," 
"Salen Adan y Eva vestidos de Fran- beginning " Pe.same de vos, el Conde," 
ceses muy galanes." which has been already noticed, aide, 
5* See Historia del Emperador Carlos Vol. I. p. 109. It must have been 
Magno, Cap. 26, 30, etc. perfectly familiar to many persons in 
55 The giant says to Adam, referring Lope's audience, and how the allusion 
to the temptation : — to it could have produced any other 

than an irreverent effect I know not. 


aud of other old ballads applied to the Saviour,^*'' the 
confusion of allegory and farce, of religion and folly, 
seems to be complete. 

Others of the autos are more uniformly srrave. " The 
Harvest " is a spiritualized version of the parable in 
Saint Matthew on the Field that was sowed with Good 
Seed and with Tares/' and is carried through with 
some degree of solemnity ; but the unhappy tares, 
that are threatened with being cut down and cast 
into the fire, are nothing less than Judaism, Idolatry, 
Heresy, and all Sectarianism, who are hardly to be 
saved from their fate by their conversion through the 
mercy of the Lord of the Harvest and his fair spouse, 
the Church. However, notwithstanding a few such 
absurdities and awkwardnesses in the allegory, and 
some very misplaced compliments to the reigning 
royal family, this is one of the best of the class 
* 256 to which it belongs, and * one of the most 
solemn. Another of those open to less re- 
proach than usual is called '"The Return from Eg^q^t,"^ 
which, with its shepherds and gypsies, is not without 
the grace of an eclogue, and, with its ballads and popu- 
lar songs, has some of the charms that belong to Lope's 
secular dramas. These two, with "The Wolf turned 
Shepherd," ^^ — which is an allegory on the subject of 
the Devil taking upon himself the character of the 
true shepherd of the flock, — constitute as fair, or per- 
haps, rather, as favorable, specimens of the genuine 
Spanish aido as can be found in the elder school. All 
of them rest on the grossest of the jDrevailing notions 

^ Tlic addross of the jiiusic, "Si dor- excellent translation in Dolini's Span- 
mis, Principe ruio," refers to the bal- ischeDramen, Berlin, 1841, 8vo, Tom. I. 
lads about those whose lady-loves had ^ " La Vuelta de Egj'pto," Obi-as, 
been carried captive among the Moors. Tom. XVI II., p. 43.5. 

^' "La Siega," (Obras Suelta.s, Tom. ^^ "El Pa.stor Lobo y Cabana Celes- 

XVIII. p. .328,) of which there is an tial," Ibid., p. 381. 


in religion ; all of them appeal, in every way they can, 
whether light or serious, to the popular feelings and 
prejudices ; many of them are imbued with the spirit 
of the old national ])oetry; and these, taken together, 
are the foundation on which their success rested, — a 
success which, if we consider the religious object of the 
festival, was undoubtedly of extraordinary extent and 
extraordinary d in^ation. 

But the entremeses or interludes that were used to 
enliven the dramatic part of this rude, but gorgeous 
ceremonial, were by no means confined to it. They 
were, as has been intimated, acted daily in the public 
theatres, where, from the time when the full-length 
dramas were introduced, they had been inserted be- 
tween their different divisions or acts, to afford a 
lighter amnsement to tlie audience. Lope wrote a 
great number of them ; how many is not known. 
From their slight character, however, hardly more 
than thirty have been preserved, and some of those 
that bear his name are probably not his. But we 
have enough that are genuine to show that in this, 
as in the other departments of his drama, popular 
effect was chiefly sought, and that, as everywhere else, 
the flexibility of his genius is manifested in the variety 
of forms in which it exhibits its resources. Generally 
speaking, those we possess are written in prose, are 
very short, and have no plot; being merely farcical 
dialogues drawn from common or vulgar life. 

The " Mehsendra," however, one of the first 
published, * is an exception to this remark. It * 257 
is composed almost entirely in verse, is divid- 
ed into acts, and has a loa or prologue; — in short, it 
is a parody in the form of a regular phiy, founded on 
the story of Gayferos and Melisendra in the old bal- 

302 ENTREMESES. [Pkkiod II. 

lads.®' The " Padre Enganado," which Ilolcroft brought 
upon the English stage under the name of " The Father 
Outwitted," is another exception, and is a lively farce 
of eight or ten pages, on the ridiculous troubles of a 
father who gives his own daughter in disguise to the 
verv lover from whom he supposed he had carefully 
shut her up.*^^ But most of them, like " The Indian," 
"The Cradle," and "The Robbers Cheated," would 
occupy hardly more than fifteen minutes each in their 
representation, — slight dialogues of the broadest farce, 
continued as long as the time between the acts would 
conveniently permit, and then abruptly terminated to 
give place to the principal drama.*^ A vigorous spirit, 
and a popular, rude humor are rarely wanting in them. 
But Lope, whenever he wrote for the theatre, seems 
to have remembered its old foundations, and to have 
shown a tendency to rest upon them as much as pos.- 
sible of his own drama. This is apparent in the very 
ent?'emeses we have just noticed. They are to be traced 
back to Lope de Rueda, whose short farces were of the 
same nature, and were used, after the introduction of 
dramas of three acts, in the same way.*^'^ It is apparent, 
too, as we have seen, in his moral and allegorical plays, 
in his sacramental acts, and in his dramas taken from 
the Scripture and the lives of the saints ; all founded 
on the earlier Mysteries and Moralities. And now 
we find the same tendency again in yet one more 

60 Prinieia Parte de Entienif scs, "En- ^2 ^^11 three of these pieces are in tlie 

treines Primero de Meli.sendi-a," Conic- same vohune. 

dias, Tom. I., Valladolid, 1604, 4to, ^^ "Lope de Rueda," says Lope de 

H'. 333, etc. It is founded on the fine Vega, "was an example of these pre- 

old ballads of the Romancero of 1550- cepts in Spain ; for from him has come 

1."j55, "Asentado esta Gayferos," etc. ; down the custom of calling the old pla5-s 

the .same out of whidi" the puppet- Entremescs." (Obras Sueltas, Tom. IV. 

sliow man made his exhibition at the p. 407.) A single scene taken out 

inn before Don Quixote, Parte II. c. and used in this way as an entrcmes 

26. was called a Paso or "passage." We 

81 Comedias, Valladolid, 1604, Tom. have noted such by Lope de Rueda, 

I. p. 337. etc. See ante, pp. 48, 53. 


class, that of his eclogues *and pastorals, — a * 258 
form of the drama which may be recognized at 
least as early as the time of Juan de la Enzina. Of 
these Lope wrote a considerable number, that are still 
extant, — twenty or more, — not a few of which bear 
distinct marks of their origin in that singular mixture 
of a bucolic and a religious tone that is seen in the 
first beginnings of a public theatre in Spain. 

Some of the eclogues of Lope, w^e know, were per- 
formed ; as, for instance, "The Wood and no Love in 
it," — Selva sin Amor, — wdiich was represented with 
costly pomp and much ingenious apparatus before the 
king and the royal family.*^ Others, like seven or 
eight in his "Pastores de Belen," and one published 
under the name of " Tome de Burguillos," — all of 
which claim to have been arrano-ed for Christmas and 
■different religious festivals, — so much resemble such 
as we know were really performed on these occasions, 
that we can hardly doubt that, like those just men- 
tioned, they also were represented.^^ While yet others, 
like the first he ever published, called the " Amorosa," 
and his last, addressed to Philis, together with one on 
the death of his wife, and one on the death of his son, 
were probably intended only to be read.'^'^ But all 
may have been acted, if we are to judge from the 
habits of the age, when, as w^e know, eclogues never 
destined for the stage were represented, as much 
as if they had been expressly written for it.^' At 

" Obras, Tom. I. p. 225. The seen- 463 ; Tom. X. p. 193 ; Tom. IV. p. 430 ; 

ery and machines were by Cosmo and Tom. X. p. 362. The last eclogue 

Lotti, a Florentine architect ; and, as contains nearly all we know about his 

Stirling says, "they astonished the son, Lope Felix. 

courtly audience by their beauty and ^^ See the scene in the Second Part 

ingenuity." Artists of Spain, 1848, of Don Quixote, where some gentlemen 

Vol. II. p. 566. and ladies, for their own entertainment 

^ Obras, Tom. XVI., prt55«H, and in the country, were about to represent 

XIX. p. 278. the eclogues of Garcilasso and Camoens. 

^*' For these, see Obras, Tom. III. p. In the same way, I think, the well- 



[PrnioD 11. 

* 259 any rate, all Lope's compositions of * this kind 
show how gladly and freely his genius oxcv- 
flowed into the remotest of the many forms of the 
drama that were either popular or permitted in his 

known eclogue which Lope dedicated 
to Antonio Duke of Alva, (Obras, IV. 
J). 295, ) that to Amaryllis, wliich was 
the longest he ever wrote, (Tom. X. p. 
147,) that tor the Prince of Esi|uilache, 
(Tom. I. p. 352,) and nio.st of those in 
the "Arcadia," (Tom. VI.,) were acted, 
and written in order to be acted. Why 
the poem to his friend Claudio, (Tom. 
IX. p. 355,) which is in fact an account 
of some passages in his own life, witli 
nothing pastoral in its tone or form, is 
called " an eclogue," I do not know, 
unless he went to the Greek eKXoyv; 

nor will I undertake to assign to any 
l)articiilar class the "Military Dialogue 
in Honor of the Marquis of E.sjdnola," 
(Tom. X. p. 337, ) though I think it is 
dramatic in its structure, and was j>rob- 
ably represented, on some show occa- 
sion, before the ^Marquis himself. Such 
representations occurred in other coun- 
tries about the same period, but rarely, 
1 think, of a bucolic nature. One, 
however, is mentioned by that princi^ 
of gossips, Tallemant des Reaux, in his 
notice of "La Pre.sidente Perrot," as 
l^erformed in Paris, iu a jjrivate house. 








The extraordinary variety in the character of Lope's 
dramas is as remarkable as their number, and contrib- 
uted not a little to render him the monarch of the 
stage while he lived, and the great master of the 
national theatre ever since. But though this vast 
variety and inexhaustible fertility constitute, as it 
were, the two great corner-stones on which his success 
rested, still there were other circumstances attending 
it that should b}^ no means be overlooked, when we are 
examining, not only the surprising results themselves, 
but the means by which they were obtained. 

The first of these is the principle which may be con- 
sidered as running through the whole of his full-length 
plays, — that of making all other interests subordinate 
to the interest of the story. Thus, the characters are 
a matter evidently of inferior moment with him ; so 
that the idea of exhibiting a single passion giving a 
consistent direction to all the energies of a strong will, 
as in the case of Richard the Third, or, as in the case 
of Macbeth, distracting them all no less consistently, 
does not occur in the whole range of his dramas. 
Sometimes, it is true, though rarely, as in Sancho 
Ortiz, he develops a marked and generous spirit, with 

VOL. II. 20 


distinctive lineaments ; but in no case is tliii^ 


261 the * main object, and in no case is it done with, 
the appearance of an artist-Hke skill or a delib- 
erate 2)urpose. On the contrary a great majority of 
his characters are almost as much standing masks as 
Pantalone is on the Venetian stage, or Scapin on the 
French. The jwimer r/alan, or hero, all love, honor, and 
jealousy ; the duimi, or heroine, no less loving and 
jealous, but yet more rash and heedless ; and the 
]jrother, or if not the brother, then the harba, or old 
man and father, ready to cover the stage with blood, 
if the lover has even been seen in the house of the 
heroine, — tliese recur continually, and serve, not only 
in the .secular, but often in the religious pieces, as the 
fixed points round which the different actions, with 
their different incidents, are made to revolve. 

In the same way, the dialogue is used chiefly to 
bring out the plot, and hardly at all to bring out the 
characters. This is obvious in the long speeches, 
sometimes consisting of two or three hundred verses, 
wliich are as purely narrative as an Italian novella, and 
often much like one ; and it is seen, too, in the crowd 
of incidents that compose the action, Avhich not infre- 
quently fails to find space sufficient to spread out all 
its ingenious involutions, and make them easily intelli- 
gible ; a difficulty of which Lope once gives his audi- 
ence fair warning, telling them at the outset of the 
piece, that they must not lose a syllable of the first 
explanation, or they will certainly fail to understand 
the curious plot that follows. 

Obeying the same principle, he sacrifices regularity 
and congruity in his stories, if he can Ijut make them 
interesting. His longer plays, indeed, are regularly 
divided into three jornadas, or acts ; but this, though 


he claims it as a iiiei'it, is not an an-angeiueiit of his 
own invention, and is, moreover, merely an arbitrary 
mode of producing the pauses necessary to the con- 
venience of the actors and spectators ; panses which, 
in Lope's theatre, have too often nothing to do with 
the structure and proportions of the piece it- 
self^ As for the six plays which, * as he inti- * 262 
mates, were written according to the rules, 
Spanish criticism has sought for them in vain;^ nor 
do any of them, probably, exist now, if any ever 
existed, unless " La Melindrosa " — The Prude — may 
have been one of them. But he avows xe^y honestly 
that he regards rules of all kinds only as obstacles to 
his success. '" When I am going to write a play," he 
says, " I lock up all precepts, and cast Terence and 
Plautus out of my study, lest they should cry out 
against me, as truth is wont to do even from such 
dumb volumes ; for I write according to the art in- 
vented by those who sought the applause of the mul- 
titude, w^hom it is but just to humor in their folly, 
since it is they who pay for it." ^ 

The extent to Avhich, following this principle, Lope 
sacrificed dramatic j)robabilities and possibilities, geog- 

1 This division can be traced back to yielding to vulgar taste and popular 
a jjlay of Francisco de Avendano, 1553. ignorance. 

L. F. Moratin, Obras, 1830, Tom. I. ^ ^i-^g :N'uevo de Hacer Comedias, 

Parte I. p. 182. Obras, Tom. IV. p. 406. And in the 

2 "Except six," says Lope, at the Dedication of "Lo Cierto por lo Du- 
end of his " Arte Nuevo," "all my four doso," speaking of dramas, he says: 
hundred and eighty-three i>lays have "En Espana no tienen preceptos." 
offended gravely against the rules [el When, however, he published the 
arte]." See Montiano y Luyando, twelfth volume of his Comedias, 1619, 
"Discurso sobre las Tragedias Espano- he seemed to fancy that he was writing 
las," (Madrid, 1750, 12mo, p. 47,) and more carefully, for he says, he wrote 
Huerta, in the Preface to his "Tcatro them not for the multitude, but for four- 
Hespauol," for the difficulty of finding teen or fifteen people "que tuvo en su 
even these six. In his Dorotea (Act imaginacion." It would be difficult, how- 
III. sc. 4) Lope goes out of his way to ever, to tell how he would apply this re- 
ridicule the precepts of art, as he calls mark to " El ilanpiesde Mantua," which 
them ; but Figueroa (Pla^a Universal, is the seventh in the volume, or the 
1615, f. 322, b) rebukes hun for thus " Fuente Ovtyuua," which is the last. 


rapliY, history, and a decent nioralit}', can be properh* 
understood onlj- by reading a large number of his 
plays. But a few instances will partially illustrate it. 
In his '• First King of Castile," the events fill tlihty-six 
years in the middle of the eleventh centur}', and a 
Gypsy is introduced four hundred ^-ears before Gypsies 
were known in Europe.^ The whole romantic stor^' of 
the Seven Infantes of Lara is put into the play of 
"Mudarra."^ In "Spotless Purity," Job, David, Jere- 
miah, Saint John the Baptist, and the University of 
Salamanca figure together ; ^ and in " The Birth of 
Christ " we have, for the two extremes, the creation 

of the world and the Nativity.^ So much .for 
* 263 - history. Geography is treated * no better, 

when Constantinople is declared to be four 
thousand leagues from Madrid,^ and Spaniards are 
made to disembark from a ship in Hungary.^ And as 
to morals, it is not easy to tell how Lope reconciled 
his opinions to his practice. In the Preface to the 
twentieth volume of his Theatre, he declares, in refer- 
ence to his own " Wise Vengeance," that its title is 
absurd, because all revenge is unwise and imlawful ; 
and yet it seems as if one half of his plays go to justify 
it. It is made a merit in San Isidro, that he stole 
his master's grain to give it to the starving birds.^*' 

* "El Primer Rey de Castilla," Co- takes place in the "Animal dc Ungria" 
madias, Tom. XVII., Madrid, 1621, ff. (Comedias, Tom. IX., Barcelona, 1618, 
114, etc. tr. 137, 138). One is naturally re- 

* "El Ba.stardo Mud arra," Comedias, minded of Shakespeare's "Winter's 
Tom. XXIV., Zanigoza, 1641. Tale" ; hut it is curious that the Duke 

* "La Limjiicza no Manchada," Co- de Luynes, a favorite minister of .state 
medias, Tom. XIX., Madrid, 1623. to Louis XIII., made precisely the same 

"" "EI Xaciniicnto de Christo," Co- mistake, at ahout the .same time, to 

medias, Tom. XXIV., 2(/. si/pra. Lord Herbert of Chcrliury, then (1619- 

* It is the learned Theodora, a person 1621) ambas.sador in France. But Lope 
represented as capable of confounding certainly knew l)etter, and I doubt not 
the knowing proR'-ssors brought to try Shakespeare did, however ignorant the 
her, who declares Constantino[ile to be French statesman may have been. Her- 
four thousand leagues from Madrid. La bert's Life, by him.self, London, 1809, 
Donzella Teo<lor, end of Act II. 8vo, p. 217. 

^ Tliis extraordinary' disembarkation i" See "San Isidro Labrador," in Co- 


The prayers of Nicolas de Tolentino are accoimted 
sufficient for the salvation of a kinsman who, after a 
dissolute life, had died in an act of mortal sin ; ^^ 
and the cruel and ati"ocioiis conquest of Arauco is 
claimed as an honor to a noble family and a grace to 
the national escutcheon. ^^ 

But all these violations of the truth of fact and of 
the commonest rules of Christian morals, of which 
nobody was more aware than their perjoetrator, were 
overlooked by Lope himself, and by his audiences, in 
the general interest of the plot. A dramatized novel 
was the form he chose to give to his plays, and he 
succeeded in settling it as the main principle of the 
Spanish stage. " Tales," he declares, " have the same 
rules with dramas, the purpose of whose authors 
is to content and please the public, * though * 264 
the rules of art may be strangled by it." ^'^ And 
elsewhere, when defending his opinions, he says : 
" Keep the explanation of the story doubtful till the 
last scene ; for, as soon as the public know how it Avill 
end, they turn their faces to the door, and their backs 
to the stage." ^* This had never been said before ; and 
though some traces of intriguing plots are to be found 
from the time of Torres de Naharro, yet nobody ever 
thought of relying upon them, in this way, for success, 

medias Escogidas, Tom. XXVIII., Ma- are heard, not only witli applause, but 
drid, 1667, f. 66. with admiration ? " D. Quixote, Parte 

11 "San Nicolas de Tolentino," Co- II. c. 26. 

medias, Toin. XXIV., Zaragoza, 1641, i^ "Tienen las novelas los mismos 

f. 171. preceptos que las comedias, cuyo fin es 

12 " Arauco Domado," Comedias, haber dado su autor contento y gusto 
Tom. XX., Madrid, 1629. After read- al pueblo, aunque se ahorque el arte." 
ing such absurdities, we wonder less Obras Sueltas, Tom. VIII. p. 70. 

that Cervantes, even though he com- " Arte Nuevo, Obras, Tom. IV. p. 
mitted not a few like them himself, 412. From an autograph MS. of Lope, 
should make the puppet-showman ex- still extant, it a])pears that he some- 
claim, " Are not a thousand plays rc})- times wrote out his plays first in the 
resented nowadays, full of a thousand form of pequemis iwvelas. Semauario 
improprieties and absurdities, which Pintoresco, 1839, p. 19. 
yet run their course successfully, and 

310 THE GEACIOSO. [Periuj) II. 

till Lope had set the example, which his school have 
so faithfully followed. 

Another element which he established in the Span- 
ish Drama was the comic underplot. Nearly all his 
plaj^s, " The Star of Seville " being the only brilliant 
exception, have it ; — sometimes in a pastoral form, 
but generally as a simple admixture of farce. The 
characters contained in this portion of eacli of his 
dramas are as much standing masks as those in the 
graver portion, and were perfectly well known under 
the name of the f/raciosos and graciosas, or drolls, to 
which was afterwards added the vegete}'^' or a little, old, 
testy esquire, who is always boasting of his descent, 
and is often employed in teasing the gracioso. In most 
cases they constitute a parody on the dialogue and 
adventures of the hero and heroine, as Sancho is partly 
a parody of Don Quixote, and in most cases they are 
the servants of the respective parties ; — the men 
being good-humored cowards and gluttons, the women 
mischievous and coquettish, and both full of Avit, mal- 
ice, and an affected simplicity. Slight traces of such 
characters are to be found on the Spanish stage as for 
back as the servants in the " Serafina " of Torres 
Xaharro ; and in the middle of that century, the boho. 
or fool, figures freely in the farces of Lope de Rueda, 
as the wnpli had done before in those of Enzina. But 
the variously mtty gracinso, the full-blown ])arody of 
the heroic characters of the plaj^, the dramatic picaro, 

is the work of Lope de Yega. He first intro- 
* 265 duced * it into the " Francesilla," where the 

oldest of the tribe, under the name of Tristan, 
was represented by Rios, a famous actor of his time, 

^*i Figueroa (Pasagero, 1617, f. Ill) calls the vegete "natural euemigo del 

CiiAV. XVlll.] THE GKACIOSO. 311 

and produced a great effect ; ^^ — an event which. 
Lope telLs us, in the Dedication of the drama itself, in 
1620, to his friend Montalvan, occurred before that 
friend was born, and therefore before the year 1602. 
From this time the gracioso is found in nearly all of 
his plays, and in nearly every other play produced on 
the Spanish stage, from which it passed, first to the 
French, and then to all the other theatres of modern 
times. Excellent specimens of it may be noted in the 
sacristan of the " Captives of Algiers," in the servants 
of the "Saint John's Eve," and in the servants of the 
" Ugly Beauty " ; in all which, as well as in many 
more, the gracmo is skilfully turned to account, by 
being made partly to ridicule the heroic extravagances 
and rhodomontade of the leading personages, and 
partly to shield the author himself from rebuke by 
good-humoredly confessing for him that he was quite 
aware he deserved it. Of such we may say, as Don 
Quixote did, when speaking of the whole class to 
the Bachelor Samson Carrasco, that they are the 
shrewdest fellows in their respective plays. But of 
others, whose ill-advised wit is inopportunely thrust, 

1^ See the Deilieation of the "France- hy Lopez Piiioiaiio, who, in his " Filo- 

silla" to Juiin Perez de Montalvan, in sofia Antigua Poetiea," (1596, p. 402,) 

Comedias, Tom. XIII., Madrid, 1620, says, "They are characters that coni- 

where we have the following words : monly anmse more than any others that 

"And note in passing that this is the appear in the plays." The (jrncioso of 

first play in which was introduced the Lope was, like the rest of his theatre;, 

character of the jester, which has been founded on what existed before his 

so often repeated since. Eios, unique time ; only the character itself was 

in all parts, played it, and is worthy further developed, and received a new 

of this record. I pray you to read it jiame. D. QuLxote, Clemencin, Parte 

as a new thing ; for when I wrote it 11. cap. 3, note. 

you were not born." The gracioso was But he was eminently in th(^ national 

generally distinguished by his name on taste, and rose, at once, in Lope's hands, 

the Spanish stage, as he was afterwards to be an important personage. When 

on the French stage. Thus, Calderon the Persiles and Sigismnndo was writ- 

often calls his gracwso Clarin, or Trum- ten, this personage was considered alto- 

])et ; as Moliere called his Sganarelle. gether indispensable, as we can see from 

The simple, who, as I have said, can be the humorous tnoubles occa.sioned by the 

traced back to Enzina, and who was, absolute necessity of introducing one 

no doubt, the same with the hoho, is into a play in which such a figure could 

mentioned as very successful, in 1596, find no proper place. Lib. III. c. 2. 


with their foolscaps and baubles, into the gravest and 
most tragic scenes of pla3^s like •"• Marriage in Death," 
we can only avow, that, though they were demanded 
by the taste of the age, nothing in any age can suffice 

for their justification. 
* 266 * An important circumstance which should 

not be overlooked, when considering' the means 
oi Lope's great success, is his poetical style, the metres 
he adopted, and especially the use he made of the 
elder poetry of his country. In all these respects, he 
is to be praised ; always excepting the occasions when, 
to obtain universal applause, he permitted himself the 
use of that obscure and affected style which the courtly 
part of his audience demanded, and which he himself 
elsewhere condemned and ridiculed.^'^ 

No doubt, indeed, much of his power over the mass 
of the people of his time is to be sought in the charm 
that belonged to his versification ; not infrequently 
careless, but almost always fresh, flowing, and effec- 
tive. Its variety, too, was remarkable. No metre of 
which the language was susceptible escaped him. The 
Italian octave stanzas jire frequent ; the term lima, 
though more sparingly used, occurs often ; and hardly 
a play is without one or more sonnets. All this was 
to please the more fiishionable and cultivated among 
his audience, who had long been enamored of what- 
ever was Italian ; and though some of it was unhappy 

1® The specimens of liis Itnd taste in plmistical follies in his Obras Sueltas, 

this particular occur but too frequently ; Tom. IV. pp. 4.'>9-48'2; and the jests 

e. g. in " El Cuerdo en .su Casa" (Co- at their expense in his "Amista<l y Oh- 

uiedias, Tom. VI., Madrid, 1615, IT. lisacion," and his " Melindres de Beli- 

10.",, etc.); in the "Nina de Plata" sa " (Comedi;i.s, Tom. IX., Barcelona, 

(Comedias, Tom. IX., Barcelona, 1618, 1618). 

If. 125, etc.) ; in tlie "Caiitivos de Ar- As a j^eneral remark, Lojte's language 

gel" (Comedia-s, Tom. XXV., Zaragoza, is natuml, pure, and idiomatic. Varga,s 

1647, p. 241); and in other places. y Ponce (Declamacion, p. 23) is too 

But in opposition to all this, see his strong, when he says that it is always 

deliberate condemnation of such eu- so. 

CiiAi'. XVI II. J 1118 USE OF BALLADS. 313 

enough, like sonnets with echoes/' it was all fluent 
and all successful. 

Still, as far as his verse was concerned, — besides 
the silvas, or masses of irregular lines, the <jmntUlas^ or 
live-line stanzas, and the li/ris, or six-line, — he relied, 
above everything else, upon the old national ballad- 
measure ; — both the proper romauce, with mo- 
nantes, *and the redoiidiiia, with rhymes between * 267 
the first and fourth lines and between the sec- 
ond and third. In this he was nnquestionably right. 
The earliest attempts at dramatic representation in 
Spain had been somewhat lyrical in their tone, and. 
the more artificial forms of verse, therefore, especially 
those with short lines interposed at regnlar intervals, 
had been used by Juan de la Enzina, by Torres Na- 
harro, and by others ; though, latterly, in these, as in 
many respects, much confusion had been introduced 
into Spanish dramatic poetry. But Lope, making his 
drama more narrative than it had been before, settled 
it at once and finally on the true national narrative 
measure. He went further. He introduced into it 
much old ballad-poetry, and many separate ballads of 
his own composition. Thus, in '' The Sun Delayed," 
the Master of Santiago, who has lost his way, stops 
and sings a ballad ; ^^ and in his " Poverty no Dis- 
grace," he has inserted a beautiful one, beginning, — 

" Sonnets seem to have beena sort de Plata," (Comedias, Tom. IX., Bar- 

of choice morsels thrown in to please celona, 1618, f. 124,) is witty, and has 

the over-refined portion of the audience. been imitated in French and in English. " 

In general, only one or two occur in a Figueroa, (Pasagero, 1617, f. HI), in 

play; but in the " Discreta Venganza " ridicule of the ])ractice, .says you must 

(Comedias, Tom. XX., Madiid, 1629) not put more than seven sonnets into a 

there are five. In the " Palacios de play. But sonnets, as ornaments, are 

Galiana" (Comedias, Tom. XXIIL, Ma- known in the drama of other countries, 

drid, 1638, f. 256) there is a foolisli Sliakespeare has tliem, e. g. in the 

sonnet with echoes, and another in the heartbrokeii letter of Helen to her 

" Historia de Tobias" (Comedias, Tom. mother-in-law, "All 's Well that Ends 

XV., Madrid, 1621, f. 244). The .son- Well," Act HI. sc. 4. 
net in ridicule of sonnets, in the "Nina '** " El Sol I'arado," Comedias, Tom. 


noble Spanish cavalier, 

You hasten to the tight ; 
The trumpet rings upon your ear, 
And victory claims her right, i'' 

Probably, however, he produced a still greater effect 
when he brought in passages, not of his own, but 
of old and well-known ballads, or allusions to them. 
Of these his i)lays are full. For instance, his '*• Sun 
Delayed," and his '^ Envy of Nobility," are all redolent 
of the Morisco ballads that were so much admired in 
his time ; the first taking those that relate to the loves 
of Gazul and Zayda,^ and the last those from the 

'' Civil Wars of Granada," about the wild feuds 
*208 of the Zeo-ris and the * Abencerrages.-^ Hai'dlv 

less marked is the use he makes of the old bal- 
lads on Roderic, in his " Last Goth " ; "^ of those con- 
cerning the Infantes of Lara, in his several plays 
relating to their tragical story ; ^^ and of those about 
Bernardo del Carpio, in " Marriage and Death." ^ Oc- 
casionally, the effect of their introduction must have 
been very great. Thus, when, in his drama of '^ Santa 
Fe," crowded with the achievements of Hernando del 

XVII., Madrid, 1621, pp. 218, 219. "^'^ For example, the ballad in the Ro- 

It reminds one of the mucli more beau- mancero of 1555, l)eginning "Despues 

tiful serraiui of the Maniuis of Santil- (lue el Key Rodrigo," at the end of Jor- 

lana, beginning " Moza tan fomiosa," nada II., in "El Ultimo Godo," Come- 

anie. Vol. I. p. 3.36 and note. But it dia.s, Tom. XXV., Zaragoza, 1647. 

is too free. '^ Compare "ElBa.stardo Mudarra" 

19 " Pobrezaiioes Vileza," Comedias, (Comedias, Tom. XXIV., Zaragoza, 
Tom. XX., Madrid, 1629, f. 61. 1641, ff. 75, 76) with the ballads "Ruy 

20 He has even ventured to take the ' Velasquez de Lara," and " Llegados son 
beautiful and familiar ballad, " Sale la los Infantes"; and, in the same play, 
E.strella de Venus," — which is in the the dialogue between Mudan'a and his 
Romancero General, the "Guerras de mother, (f. 83,^ with the ballad, "Sen- 
Granada," and many other places, — tados a un ajedrez." 

and work it up into a dialogue. "El ^ "El Casamiento en la Muerte," 

Sol Para.lo," t'oniedias, Tom. XVII., (Comedias, Tom. 1., Valladolid, 1604, 

Madrid, 1621, ft'. 223, 224. flf. 198, etc.,) in which tiie following 

^1 In the same way he .seizes upon well-known old ballails are freely used, 

th„ old ballad, " Reduan bien .se te viz. : " Belerma ! O Belemia ! " "No 

acuerda," and u.ses it in the " Eiiibidia tiene heredero alguno"; "Al ])ie de un 

dela Nobleza,"Comedi;is, Tiini. XXIII., tuiiiulo negro"; "Baiiando esta las pri- 

Madrid, 1638, f. 192. -iones" ; and others. 

Chai'. XVIII.] niS POPULARITY. 315 

Piilgar, Garcilasso do la Vega, and whatever was most 
glorious and imposing in the siege of Granada, one of 
his personages breaks out with a variation of the famil- 
iar and grand old ballad, — 

Now Santa Fe is circled round 

With canvas walls so fair, 
And tents that cover all the ground 

With silks and velvets rare,"'^^ — • 

it must have stirred his audience as with the sound of 
a trumpet. 

Indeed, in all respects, Lope well understood how 
to Avin the general favor, and how to build up and 
strengthen his fortunate position as the lead- 
ing dramatic poet of * his time. The ancient * 269 
foundations of the theatre, as far as they existed 
when he appeared, were little disturbed by him. He 
carried on the drama, he says, as he found it ; not ven- 
turing to observe the rules of art, because, if he had 
done so, the public never would have listened to 
him.-*' The elements that were floating about, crude 
and unsettled, he used freely ; but only so far as they 
suited his general purpose. The division into three 
acts, known so little, that he attributed it to Virues, 
though it was made much earlier ; the ballad-measure, 

25 It is in the last chapter of the and the capitulation of Granada. The 
"Guerras Civiles de Granada"; hut imitation of this ballad by Lope is in 
Lope has given it, -with a slight change his "Cerco de Santa Fe," Comedias, 
in the phraseology, as follows : — Tom. I., Valladolid, 1604, f. 69. For 
Cercada esta Sancta F6 an account of Santa Fe, which was vis- 
Con mueho lieiK^o encerado ; ited by Navagiero in 1526, see his Vi- 
Y al rededor mucha-s tiendas ^ggio, 156-3, f. 18. It is now mUch 
De terciopelo y damasco. -I^p ', , i t, , i •. tt 

dilapidated, it took its name, Have- 
It occurs in many collections of ballads, niann says, from the b(dief that it was 
and is founded on the fact, that a sort the onlj' city in Spain where no Moslem 
of village of rich tents was established jjrayer had ever been offered, 
near Granada, which, after an acciden- ^'^ He says this apparently as a kind 
tal conflagration, was turned into a of apology to foreigners, in the Preface 
town, that still exists, within whose to the " Peregiino en .su Patria," 1603, 
walls were signed both the commission M'here he gives a list of his plays to 
of Columbus to seek the New World, that date. 

316 HIS POPULARITY. [Pkriod II. 

which had been timidly used by Tarrega and two 
or three others, but relied upon by nobod\' ; the in- 
triguing storj' and the amusing underplot, of which the 
slight traces that existed in Torres Naharro had been 
long forgotten, — all these he seized with the instinct 
of genius, and fonned from them, and from the abun- 
dant and rich inventions of his own overflowing:: fancv, 
a drama which, as a Avhole, was unlike anything that 
had preceded it, and yet was so truly national, and 
rested so faithfully on tradition, that it was never 
afterwards disturbed, till the whole literature, of which 
it was so brilliant a part, was swept away with it. 

Lope de Yega's immediate success, as we have seen, 
was in proportion to his great powers and ftivorable 
opportunities. For a long time, nobody else was will- 
ingly heard on the stage ; and during the whole of 
the forty or fifty years that he wrote for it, he stood 
quite unapproached in general f)opularity. His un- 
numbered plays and farces, in all the forms that Avere 
demanded by the fashions of the age, or permitted by 
religious authority, filled the theatres both of the cap- 
ital and the provinces ; and so extraordinary was the 
impulse he gave to dramatic representations, that, 
though there were onlj^ two companies of strolling 
players at Madrid when he began, there were, about 
the period of his death, no less than forty, compre- 
hending nearly a thousand persons.^ 
*270 * Abroad, too, his fame was hardly less re- 
markable. In Rome, Naples, and Milan, his 
dramas were performed in their original language; 
in France and Italy, his name was announced in order 
to fill the theatres when no play of his was to be per- 

^ See the curious facts collected on Quixote, ed. 1798, Parte II., Tom. L 
tills subject in Pellicer's note to Don \>it. 109-111. 

Chap. XVIII.] 


formed ;^^ and once even, and prob.ably oftener, one 
of his dramas was represented in the seragho at 
Constantinople.^ But perhaps neither all this popu- 
larity, nor yet the crowds that followed hiiu in the 
streets and gathered in the balconies to watch him as 
he passed along,'^'^ nor the name of Lope, that was 
given to whatever was esteemed singularly good in 
its kind,^^ is so striking a proof of his dramatic suc- 
cess as the fact, so often complained of by himself 
and his friends, that multitudes of his plaj's were 
fraudulently noted down as they were acted, and 
then printed for profit throughout Spain ; and that 
multitudes of other plays appeared under his name, 
and were represented all over the provinces, that he 
had never even heard of till they were published or 
performed. ^^ 

^ This is stated by the well-known 
Italian poet, Marini, in his Eulogy on 
Lope, Obias Sueltas, Tom. XXI. ik 19. 
His plays were often })rinted in Italj'^ 
while he was living and after his deatii. 
I have a copy of a neat edition of his 
" Vellocino de Oro," published at Milan 
in 1649. 

^9 Obras Sueltas, Tom. VIII. pp. 
94-96, and Pellicer's note to Don 
Quixote, Parte I., Tom. III. p. 93. 
One of his plays was translated into 
German in 1652, by Grefflinger, a poor 
author of that period ; but, in general, 
Spanish literature was little regarded 
in Gei many in the seventeenth century. 
The Thirty Years' War made it dis- 

'^ This is said in a discourse preached 
over his mortal remains in St. Sebas- 
tian's, at his funeral. Obras Sueltas, 
Tom. XIX. p. 329. 

"*! ' ' Frey Lope Felix de Vega, whose 
name has become universally a proverb 
for whatever is good," says Quevedo, in 
his Aprobacion to ' ' Tome de Burguillos. " 
(Obras Sueltas de Lope, Tom. XIX. p. 
xix.) "It became a common proverb 
to praise a good thing by calling it a 
Lope; so that jewels, diamonds, pic- 
tures, etc., were raised into esteem by 
calling them his," says Montalvan. 

(Obras Sueltas, Tom. XX. p. 53.) Cer- 
vantes intimates the same thing in his 
cntreiiies, "La Guarda Cuidadosa." 

^- His complaints on the subject be- 
gin as early as 1603, before he had pub- 
lished any of his plays himself, (Obras 
Sueltas, Tom. V. p. xvii, ) and are re- 
newed in the " Egloga a Claudio," 
(n>id., Tom. IX. p. 369,) printed after 
his death ; besides which they occur in 
the Prefaces to his Comedias, (Tom. 
IX., XL, XIIL, XV., XXL, and else- 
where,) as a matter that seems to have 
been always troubling him. I have 
one of these spurious publications. It 
is entitled " Las Comedias del Famoso 
Poeta, Lope de Vega Carpio, recopiladas 
por Bernardo Grassa, ec, Ano 1626, 
QaragO(;a, 4to, ff. 289. Eleven Loas 
open this curious volume, nearly all of 
them ending with an earnest re(]uest 
for silence ; and it contains twelve 
plays, being, in fact, an im])erfeot and 
irregular reprint of the lirst volume of 
the "Comedias." 

An amusing story is told by P'igu- 
er^a (Pla9a Universal, 1615, f. 237, a) 
of the way in which plays were some- 
times stolen. He says that tliere was 
a gentleman by the name of Luis Kami- 
rez de Arellano, (the same j)erson, I 
suppose, who was one of the secre- 



[Pekiod II. 

A large income naturally followed such popularitj;. 

for his plays were liberally paid for by the ac- 
*271 tors;^ and he * had patrons of a munificence 

unknown in our days, and always undesira))le.** 
But he was thriftless and wasteful, exceedingly char- 
itable, and, in hospitality to his friends, prodigal. He 
was, therefore, almost always embarrassed. At the 
end of his "Jerusalem," printed as early as 1609, he 
complains of the pressure of his domestic aftairs;*^ and 
in his old age he addressed some verses, in the nature 
of a petition, to the still more thriftless Philip the 
Fourth, asking the means of living for himself and 
his daughter.'^*^ After his death, his poverty was fully 
admitted l)y his executor ; and yet, considering the 
relative value of mone}', no poet, jDcrhaps, ever re- 
ceived so large a compensation for his works. 

taries to the Count de Lemos,) who 
could carry off a whole play after hear- 
ing it three times, and actually did it 
in the cases of the "Dama Boba" and 
the "Principe Perfeto," well-known 
dramas of Lope de Vega. This, of 
course, was very annoying. On one 
occasion, therefore, when the " Galan 
de la ilenibrilla " — which is in the 
tenth volume of Lope's plays, with a 
sharp, satirical j)reface — was repre- 
senting, Sanchez, a well-known autor 
and actor of the time, so mutilated his 
part that the offended audience cried 
out upon him to know the reason 
of his conduct, to which he replied 
that there was a person present, point- 
ing him out, who would cany off the 
whole play in his memory, if it were 
not altered. The con.sequence was that, 
after some uproar, Luis de Arellano was 
compelled to leave the theatre. Figu- 
eroa says that he was present and wit- 
nessed this strange scene. Lope de 
Vega, alluding to this mode of stealing 
plays, says there were two persons espe- 
eially skilful in it, one of whom was 
called by the j)0pulace (el vulgo) " Me- 
morilla," and the other "Oran Meino- 
ria." "A esto se ahade el hurtar las 
comedias estos i|ue llanian el vulgo al 
ano Memorilld y al otro (rmn Memorui 
\os qaales con olgur/os ^-crsos que apren- 

den niezclau inlinitos suyos barbaros, 
con que ganan la vida, vendiendolas," 
ec. Coniedias, Parte XIII. , Madrid, 
1620, Prologo. 

^ Montalvan sets the price of each 
play at five hundred reals, and sa3-s 
that in this way Lope received, during 
his life, eighty thousand ducats. Obras, 
Tom. XX. p. 47. 

^ The Duke of Sessa alone, besides 
many other benefactions, gave Lope, 
at different times, twenty -four thousand 
ducats, and a .sinecure of three hundred 
more per annum, i^t supra. 

^ Libro XX., last three .stanzas. 
Again in 1620, dedicating his " Ver- 
dadero Amante " to his son Lope, who 
showed poetical asjiirations, he alleges 
his own examjde to warn his child 
never to indulge his taste for verse, 
adding, ' ' I have, as you know, a poor 
house, and my bed and board are no 

^ "I have a daughter, and am old," 
he says. "The Muses give me honor, 
but not income," etc. (Obra.s, Tom. 
XVII. p. 401.) From his will it ap- 
pears that Philip IV. jiromised an office 
to the person who .should marry this 
daughter, and failed to keej) lii.s word. 
See note at the end of Chap. XIV., 
ante, where in Lope's will is a notice of 
this claim on the king. 

Chap. XVllL] SPIRIT OF IMrilOVlSATlOX. 319 

It sliould, however, be remembered, that no other 
poet ever wrote so much witli popular effect. For, if 
we begin wdth his dramatic compositions, whicli are 
the best of his efforts, and go down to his epics, which, 
on the whole, are the worst,^' we shall find the {imount 
of what was received with favor, as it came from the 
press, quite unparalleled. And when to this we are 
compelled to add his own assurance, just before his 
death, that the greater part of his Avorks still remained 
in manuscript,^^ we pause in astonishment, and, 
* before we are able to believe the account, de- * 272 
mand some explanation that shall make it cred- 
ible ; — an explanation wdiich is the more important, 
because it is the key to much of his personal character, 
as well as of his poetical success. And it is this. No 
poet of any considerable reputation ever had a genius 
so nearly related to that of an improvisator, or ever in- 
dulged his genius so freely in the spirit of improvisation. 
This talent has always existed in the southern coun- 
tries of Europe ; and in Spain has, from the first, pro- 
duced, in different ways, the most extraordinary results. 
We owe to it the invention and perfection of the old 
ballads, which were originally improvisated and then 
preserved by tradition ; and we owe to it the seguidiUas, 
the boleros, and all the other forms of popular poetry 

^^ Like some other distinguished au- where he says, "The printed part of 
thors, however, he was inclined to un- my writings, though too much, is small, 
dervalue what he did most happily, compared with what remains unpub- 
and to prefer what is least worthy of lished." (Obras Sueltas, Tom. IX. p. 
preference. Thus, in the Preface to his 369.) Indeed, we know we have; hardly 
'Comedias, (Vol. XV., Madrid, 1621,) a fourth part of his full-length plays; 
he shows that he preferred his longer only about thirty uutos out of four 
poems to his plays, which he says he hundred ; only twenty or thirty cntrc- 
holds but "as the wild-flowers of his 7/ic,se.s out of the "infinite number" as- 
field, that grow up without care or cribed to him. Pacheco, in liis notice 
culture." of Lope, printed in 1609, .says that his 

** This might be inferred from the works would give an average of three 

•account in Montalvan's " Fama Postu- sheets [tres pliegos] for every day of 

ma" ; but Lope himself declares it his life to that time. Obras Sueltas, 

distinctly in the " Egloga a Claudio," Tom. XIV. p. xxxi. 

320 SriRlT OF iMrKUVl.^ATlON. [Period IL 

that still exist in Spain, and are daily poured forth by 
the fervent imaginations of the uncultivated classes of 
the people, and sung to the national music, that some- 
times seems to fill the air by night as the light of the 
sun does by day. 

In the time of Lope de Vega, the passion for such 
improvisation had risen higher than it ever rose before, 
if it had not spread out more widely. Actors were ex- 
pected sometimes to improvisate on themes given to 
them b}' the audience.'^ Extemporaneous dramas, with 
all the varieties of verse demanded b}^ a taste fonned 
in the theatres, were not of rare occurrence. PJiilip 
the Fourth. L()])e"s patron, had such })erformed in his 
presence, and bore a part in them himself.*^ And the 
famous Count de Lemos, the viceroy of Xa])les, to 
whom Cervantes was indeljted for so umcli kindness, 
kept, as an apanage to his viceroyalty, a poetical court, 
of which the two Argensolas were the chief ornaments, 
and in which extemporaneous plays were acted with 

brilliant success.*^ 
* 273 * Lope de Vega's talent was undoubtedly of 
near kindred to this genius of improvisation, 
and produced its extraordinary results by a similar 
process, and in the same spirit. He dictated verse, we 
are told, with ease, more rapidly than an amanuensis 
could take it down;*^ and wrote out an entire play in 
two days, which could wiili (lilliciilly be transcribed by 
a copyist in the same time. He was not absolutely 

^ BLsbe y Viilal, " Tratado de Come- narrative by Diego, Duke of Estrada, 

dia«," (1618, f. 102,) speaks of the giving an account of one of these en- 

" glosses which tlie actors make ex- t^^rtainnients, (a burles<jue play on the 

tempore upon lines given to them on story of Orpheus and Eurydice,) per- 

the stage." , formed l)efare the viceroy and hi« court. 

*^' Viardot, Etudes sur la Litterature The Count de Lemos, a very accom- 

en Esy»agne, Paris, 18.3.*}, 8vo, ]». 3.39. plished statesman, died in 1622, and 

^' Pellicer, Bibliot^-ea de Traduetores there Ls an agreeable life of him in Bar- 

Esjiaholes, (Madrid, 1778, 4to, Tom. I. rera, ad verb. 
Jip. 89 - 91,) in which there is a curious *'^ Obras Sueltas, Tom. XX. pp. 51, 5Z 


an improvisator, for his education and position natu- 
rally led liini to devote himself to written composition, 
l)ut he was continually on the borders of whatever 
belongs to an improvisator's peculiar pn)vince ; he was 
oontniualh' showing, in his merits and defects, in his 
ease, grace, and sudden resource, in his wildness and 
extravagance, in the happiness of his versification and 
the prodigal al)un(lnnce of his imagery, that a very 
little more freedom, a verv little more indulgence 
given to his feelings and his fanc}', would have made 
him at once and entirely, not only an improvisator, but 
the most remarkable one that ever lived. 








Fraxcisco Gomez de Queyedo y Villegas. the 
contemporarY of both Lope de Vega and CerYantes, 
was born at Madrid, in 1580.^ His family came from 
that mountainous region at the northwe.^t. to which, 
like other Spaniards, he was well pleased to trace his 
origin ; - but his father held an office of some dig- 
nity at the com't of Philip the Second, which led to 

1 A diffuse life of Queyedo was pub- 
lished at Madrid, in 166-3, bj- Dou Pa- 
blo Antonio de Tarsia, a Neapolitan, 
and is inserted in the tenth volume of 
the edition of ,Quevedo's Works, by 
Sancha, Madrid, 1791-1794, 11 torn., 
Svo. A shorter, and, on the whole, a 
more .satisfactory, life of him is to be 
found in Baena, Hijos de Madrid, Tom. 
II. j.p. 1.37-154; but the be.st is the 
one prefixed to the collection of Queve- 
do's Works, the first and second vol- 
umes of which are in the Biblioteca de 
Autores Esfianoles, (Tom. XXIII., 1852, 
and Tom. XLYIII., 1859,) and edited 
with exti-aordinarj' knowledge of what- 
ever relates to its .subject, by Don Au- 
reliano Fernandez Guerra y Orbe. It 
is only to be regretted that this work 
has not yet (1859) been continued, but 
I trust it will be. No Sjianish author 
will lietter reward care and diligence in 
explanatory notes than Quevedo, and 
none needs them more. I must Ije j>er- 
mitted to add, that I do not accept all 
Don Aureliano's conclusions, such, for 
instance, as that Quevedo in all he 
wrote, even in his Suehos, had n})oJ)iicnl 
purpose in view. See pj>. x, xv, and xxi. 

- In his "Grandes Anales de Quince 
Dias," speaking of the j»owerful Presi- 
dent Acevedo, he says : "I was unwel- 
come to him, because, coming myself 
from the mountains, I never flattered 
the ambition he had to make himself 
out to be above men to whom we, in 
our own home^, acknowledge no supe- 
riors." Obras, Tom. XI. p. 63. 

An anecdote will show how much 
was thought of this mountain spirit of 
honor, which was su]ipo.s(-d to descend 
from the days of Pelayo, when the 
mountain country alone kept its loyaltj- 
and faith. After Philip lY. had en- 
tered Pamplona, 23d April, 1646, he 
called to him the Manjuis of Carpio, 
who bore the sword of state, and 
sheathed it with his own royal hands, 
because, as he declared, in that king- 
dom it was not needed: "thus," says 
the contemjKjrari' account, " giving 
those altout liirn to understand that 
all the men of Navarre were faithful 
and loyal." Ilelacion embiada de Pam- 
plona de la Entrada <jue hizo su Ma- 
gestad en aquella Ciudad. Sevilla, 1646, 
4to, pp. 4. 


his residence * in the capital at the period of * 275 
liis son'.s birth ; — a circumstance which was no 
doubt favorable to the development of the young 
man's talents. But whatever were his opportunities, 
we know that, when he was fifteen years old, he was 
graduated in theology at the University of Alcala, 
where he not only made himself master of such of the 
ancient and modern languages as woidd Ije most useful 
to him, but extended his studies into the civil and 
canon law, mathematics, medicine, politics, and other 
still more various branches of knowledge, showing that 
he was thus early possessed with the ambition of be- 
coming a universal scholar. His accumulations, in fact, 
were vast, as the learning scattered through his works 
plainly proves, and bear witness, not less to his ex- 
treme industry than to his extraordinary natural en- 

On his return to Madrid, he seems to have been 
associated both with the distinguished scholars and 
with the fashionable cavaliers of the time ; and an 
adventure, in which, as a man of honor, he found him- 
self accidentally involved, had w^ellnigh proved fatal 
to his better aspirations. A woman of respectable 
appearance, while at her devotions in one of the 
parish churches of Madrid, during Holy Week, was 
grossly insulted in his presence. He defended her, 
though both jDarties w^ere quite unknown to him. A 
duel followed on the spot ; and, at its conclusion, it 
was found he had killed a person of rank.* He fled, 
of course, and, taking refuge in Sicily, was invited to 
the splendid court then held there by the Duke of 
Ossuna, viceroy of Philip the Third, and was soon 
afterwards employed in important affairs of state, 
. — sometimes, as we are told by his nephew, in such 


as required personal courage and involved danger to 

his life.'^ 
* 276 *At the conclusion of the Duke of Ossuna's 
administration of Sicily, Quevedo was sent, in 
1615, to Madrid, as a sort of plenipotentiary to confirm 
to the crown all past grants of revenue from the island, 
and to offer still further subsidies. So welcome a mes- 
senger was not ungraciously received. His former 
offence was overlooked ; a pension of four hundred 
ducats was given him ; and he returned, in great 
honor, to the Duke, his patron, who was already trans- 
ferred to the more important and agreeable viceroyalty 
of Naples. 

Quevedo now became minister of finance at Naples, 
and fulfilled the duties of his place so skilfully and 
honestly, that, without increasing the burdens of the 
people, he added to the revenues of the state. An 
important negotiation with Rome was also intrusted 
to his management; and in 1617 he was again in 
Madrid, and stood l^efore the king with such favor, 
that he was made a knight of the Order of Santiago. 
On his return to Naples, or at least during the nine 
years he was absent from Spain, he made treaties with 
Venice and Savoy, as well as with the Pope, and was 
almost constantly occupied in difficult and delicate 
affairs connected with the administration of the Duke 
of Ossuna. 

But in 1620 all tliis was changed. The Duke fell 

' I think his life was in greater dan- niantic that its reality has sometimes 

ger somewhat later, — at Venice in been doubted. He -svas subsequent- 

161S, — wlien, by means of his per- ly burnt in effigy, after the fashion 

feet Venetian accent, he escaped, in of the Impisition, by order of the 

the disguise of a beggar, from the offi- Venetian Senate, but he was not, I 

cers of justice, who pursued liiin as one think, guilty of the particular offence 

involved in the conspiracy which St. they imputed to him ; a matter, no 

Real, Lafosse, and Otway have rendered doubt, of small consequence in their 

classit^l, but wliieh is so wild and ro- eyes. 


from power, and those who had been his ministers 
shared his fate. Quevedo was exiled to his patrimonial 
estate of Torre de Juan Abad, where and elsewhere he 
endured an imprisonment or detention of two years 
and a half; and then was released without trial and 
without having had any definite offence laid to his 
charge. He was, however, cured of all desire for pub- 
lic honors or royal favor. He refused the place of 
Secretary of State, and that of Ambassador to Genoa, 
both of which were offered him, accepting the merely 
titular rank of Secretary to the King. He, in fact, was 
now determined to give himself to letters ; and did so 
for the rest of his life. But though he never took 
office, lie occasionally mingled in the political dis- 
cussions of his time, as may be seen in his " Tira la 
Piedra," which is on the debasement of the coin 
(already sternly rebuked by * Mariana) ; in his * 277 
"Memorial de St. lago," which cost him an exile 
of several months in 1628 ; and in his letter to Louis 
the Thirteenth on the war of 163-5. Others of his minor 
works show that such interests always tempted him. 

In 1634 he was married ; but his wife soon died, 
and left him to contend alone with the troubles of 
life that still pursued him. In 1639 some satirical 
verses were placed under the king's napkin at dinner- 
time ; and, without proper inquiry, they were attrib- 
uted to Quevedo. In consequence of this he w^as 
seized, late at night, with great suddenness and se- 
crecy, in the palace of the Duke of Medina-Coeli, and 
thrown into rigorous confinement in the royal con- 
vent of San Marcos de Leon. There, in a damp and 
unwholesome cell, his health was soon Ijroken down 
by diseases from which he never recovered ; and the 
little that remained to him of his property was wasted 


away till he was obliged to depend on charity for sup- 
port. "With all these cruelties the unprincipled favor- 
ite of the time, the Count Duke Olivares, seems to 
have been connected ; and the anger they naturally 
excited in the mind of Quevedo may well account for 
two papers against that minister which have generally 
been attributed to him, and which are full of personal 
severity and 1)itterness.^ A heart-rendino; letter, too, 
which, when he had been nearly two jears in prison, 
he wrote to Olivares, should be taken into the account, 
in which he in vain appeals to his persecutor s sense of 
justice, telling him, in his despair, '• No clemency can 
add many years to my life ; no rigor can take many 
away.'V^ At last, the horn- of the favorite's disgrace 
arrived ; and, amidst the jubilee of Madrid, he was 
driven into exile. The release of Quevedo fol- 
*2T8 lowed as a matter* of course, since it was al- 
ready admitted .that another had written the 
verses^ for which he had been punished by nearly 
four years of the most imjust suffering.' 

* The first is the very curious paper "I was seized in a manner so rigor- 
entitled "Caidadesu PrivanzajMuerte oils at eleven oclock on the night of 
del Conde Duque de Olivares," in the the 7th of December, and hunied away, 
Seminario Erudito (Madrid, 17S7, 4to, in my old age, so unpro\ided, that the 
Tom. III.^ ; and the other is " Memorial officer who made the arrest gave me a 
de Don F. Quevedo contra el Conde baize cloak and tvvo shirts, by way of 
Dui|ue de Olivares," in the same col- alms, and one of the alguazils gave me 
lection, Tom. XV. some woollen stockings. I was impris- 

° This letter, often reprinted, is in oned four yeai-s, — two of them as if I 

Mayans y Siscar, " Cartas Morales," were a wilii beast, shut up alone, with- 

etc, Valencia, 1773, 12mo, Tom. I. p. out human iutercour.se, and where I 

1.51 . Another letter to his friend Adan should have died of hunger and dcstitu- 

de la Pan-a, giving an account of his tion if the charity of my Lord the Duke 

mode of life during his confinement, of Medina-Cceli had not been in place 

shows that he wa.s extremely industri- of a sure and full patrimony to me down 

ous. Indeed, industiy was his main to the present day. From this cruel 

resource a large i)art of the time he was chain of linked calamities, the justice 

in San ilarcos de Ix-on. Seminario and mercy of his Majesty released me 

Erudito, Tom. I. p. 65. by means of a petition given to him bj^ 

® Sedano, Pama.so Espahol, Tom. IV. your Excellency, to whom I refened 

p. xxxi. my cause, in the whole course of which 

'' In his Dedication of his Life of St. no complaint was ever made against 

Paul to the President of Castile, we me, nor any confession a.sked of me, 

liave this extraordinarj' account of his neither after my release was any judicial 

arrest and imxmsonment : — paper found in relation to it." Obras, 


But justice came too late. Quevedo remained, in- 
deed, a little time at Madrid, among his friends, en- 
deavoring to recover some of his lost property ; but 
failing in this, and unable to subsist in the capital^ 
he retired to the mountains from which his race had 
descended. His infirmities, however, accompanied him 
wherever he went; his spirits sunk imder his trials and 
sorrows; and he died, wearied out with life, in 104-3.'^ 

Quevedo sought success, as a man of letters, in a 
great number of departments, — from theology and 
metaphysics down to stories of vulgar life and Gypsy 
ballads. But many of his manuscripts were t;U^en 
from him when his papers were twice seized by tlie 
government, and many others seem to have been 
accidentally lost in the course of a life full of change 
and adventure. From these and other causes, his 
friend Antonio de Tarsia tells us that the greater part 
of his works could not be published ; and we know 
that many are still to be found in his own handwriting 
both in the National Library of Madrid, and in 
other collections, public and private.^ * Those * 279 
already printed fill eleven considerable volumes, 
eight of prose and three of poetry ; leaving us prob- 
ably little to regret concerning the fate of the rest, 
unless, perhaps, it be the loss of his dramas, of which 
two are said to have been represented with applause 
at Madrid, during his life time. ^*^ 

Tom. VI. p. 8. His confinement ex- dano's Parna.so Espanol, is liy Velaz- 

tended from December 7, 16-39, to early quez, and is strongly inarkcd with th(^ 

in .lune, 1(343. character we attribute to tlie autlior of 

" His nephew, in a Preface to the the Visions. Stirling's Artists of Spain, 

second volume of his uncle's Poems, 1848, Vol. II. p. 63.5. 

(published at Madiid, 1670, 4to, ) .says '■* Obras, Tom. X. p. 45, and N. An- 

tiiat Quevedo died of two imposthumes tonio, Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p. 463. A 

on his chest, which were formed during considerable amount of liis miscella- 

his last imprisonment. neons works may be found in the Seini- 

The jiortrait of Quevedo, wearing a nario Erudito, Tom. I., III., VI., and 

huge pair of spectacles, which is well XV. 

engraved for the fourth volume of Se- ^'^ Besides these dranuis, whose names 

328 QUEVEDO'S POETRY. [Pkuiod II. 

Of his poetry, so far as we know, he himself pul)- 
lislied nothing with his name, except such as occurs in 
his poor transhitions from Epictetus and Phocyhdes ; 
but in the tasteful and curious collection of his friend 
Pedro de Espinosa, called ''Flowers of Illustrious 
Poets," printed when Quevedo was only twenty-five 
years old, a few of his minor poems are to be found. 
This was probably his first appearance as an author; 
and it is worthy of notice, that, taken together, these 
few poems announce much of his future poetical 
character, and that two or three of them, like the 
one beginning, 

A wight of might 

Is Don Money, the knight," '^ 

are among his happy efforts. But though he himself 
published scarcely any of them, the amount of his 
verses found after his death is represented to have 
been very great ; much greater, we are assured, than 
could be discovered among his papers a few years 
later,^^ — probably because, just before he died, " he 
denounced," as we are told, "all his works to the 
Hoi}' Tribunal of the Inquisition, in order that the 
parts less becoming a modest reserve might be re- 
duced, m they tvere, to just measure by serious and 
i:)rudent retlection.^^ 

are unknown to lis, he wrote, in con- the " Entremeses Nuevos, 1643"; but 

junction with Ant. Huitado de Men- I think there are others still in manu- 

<loza, and at the connnand of the Count script. 

Duke Olivares, who afterwards treated " PoJeroso cavallero 

1 . 11 1 11 1 << r\ • Ks Don Dinero, etc., 

hnn so cruelly, a ]>Iay called "Quicn ' ' 

mas niiente, medra nia.s," — Jfe, that. l.U:s is in Pedro Es])inosa, " Flores de Poetas 

'iiiost, trill rise, mosc, — for tJie gorgeous Ilustres," Madrid, Itii).'), 4to, f. 18. 

entertainment that jnodigal miui.ster ^'^ "Not the twentieth jiart was saved 

gave to Philip I V'^. on St. John's eve, of the verses which many persons knew 

1631. See the account of it in the no- to have been extant at the time of his 

tice of Lope de Vega, ante, j). 212, and death, and whicli, during our constant 

post. Chapter XXI., note. There were intercourse, I had countless times held 

ten "entremeses" anfl t<?n "bayles" in my hands," says Gonzalez de Salas, 

among his dramas, some of which were in the Preface to the first part of Quc- 

pul)li.shed by his nejiiiew in the " Tres vedo's Poems, 1648. 

Ultimas Musas" in 1670, and some in ^^ Preface to Tom. VII. of Obra.s. 


* Such of his poetry as was easily foimd was, * 280 
however, piibhshed ; — the first part by his 
learned friend Gonzalez de Salas, in 1648, and the 
rest, in a most careless and crude manner, by his 
nephew, Pedro Alderete, in 1670, under the conceited 
title of " The Spanish Parnassus, divided into its Two 
Summits, with the Nine Castilijin Muses." The col- 
lection itself is very miscellaneous, and it is not always 
easy to determine why the particular pieces of which 
it is composed were assigned ratlier to the protection 
of one Muse than of another. In general, they are 
short. Sonnets and ballads are far more numerous 
than anything else ; though candones, odes, elegies,, 
epistles, satires of all kinds, idyls, qidntiUas, and redon- 
dillas are in great abundance. There are, besides, four 
cntremeses of little value, and the fragment of a poem 
on the subject of Orlando Furioso, intended to be in the 
manner of Berni, but running too much into caricature. 

The longest of the nine divisions is that which passes 
under the name and authority of Thalia, the goddess, 
who presided over rustic wit, as well as over comedy. 
Indeed, the more prominent characteristics of the 
whole collection are a broad, grotesque humor, and a 
satire sometimes marked with imitations of the an- 
cients, especially of Juvenal and Persius, but oftener 
overrun with puns, and crowded with conceits and 
allusions, not easily miderstood at the time they first 
appeared, and now (juite unintelligible.^^ His 1)ur- 

His request on his death-bed, that i* " Los equivocos y las a'usiones 

nearly all his works, printed or nianu- suyas," says his editor in 1648, "son 

scrijjt, might be suppressed, is tiiuni- tan frecjuentes y multiplicados, aquello-; 

}ihaiitly recorded in the Index Expur- y estas, ansi en un solo v(;rso y aun en 

gatorius of 1667, p. 425. Some of them una palabra, (jue es bieii infalible que 

are, no doubt, foul with an indecency mucho iiumero sin advertirse se haya 

which will nevi'r permit them to be de jjerder." Obras, Tom. VII., Elo- 

jirinted, or, at least, never ought to gios, etc. 
liermit it. 

330 QUEVEDO'S POETRY. [Period II. 

lesque sonnets, in imitation of the Italian poems of 
that chiss, are the best in the Language, and have a 
bitterness rarely found in company with so much wit. 
Some of his lighter ballads, too, are to be placed in the 
■very first rank, and fifteen that he wrote in the wild 
dialect of the Gypsies have ever since been the de- 
light of the lower classes of his countrymen, and 

are still, or were lately, to be heard among 
* 281 their * other popular poetry, sung to the guitars 

of the peasants and the soldiery throughout 
Spain. ^^ In regular satire he has generally followed 
the path trodden by Juvenal ; and, in the instances of 
his complaint " Against the Existing Manners of the 
Castilians," and " The Dangers of Marriage," has 
proved himself a bold and successful disciple.^'' Some 
of his amatory poems, and some of those on religious 
subjects, especially when they are in a melancholy 
tone, are full of beauty and tenderness ; ^' and once 
or twice, when most didactic, he is no less powerful 
than grave and lofty.^^ 

His chief fault — besides the indecency of some of 
his poetry, and the obscurity and extravagance that 
pervade 3'et more of it — is the use of words and 
phrases that are low and essentially unpoetical. This, 
so far as we can now judge, was the result partly of 
haste and carelessness, and partlj' of a false theory-. 
He sought for strength, and he became affected and 

1* They an' at the end of the seventh somewhat coarse, tliough not so bad as 

volume of the Obras, and also in Ilidal- its model in this respect. 

go, "Romances de Gemiania" (Madrid, i" See the cancion (Tom. VII. ]i. 323) 

1779, 12nio, jip. 226-295). Of the beginning, " Pues quita al aho Prima- 

ligliter ballads in gooil f'astilian, we vera el cefio " ; also some of the poems 

may notice, especially, '"Padre Adan, in the "Erato" to the lady he calls 

ijo liorids duelos," (Tom. VIII. ]>. 1S7,) "Fili," who .seems to have been more 

and " Dijo a la rana el mo.S([uito," Tom. loved by him than any other. 

VII. ).. .514. i» Particularly in "The Dream," 

i« Obras, Tom. VII. Y]k 192-200, (Tom. IX. p. 296,) and in the "Hymn 

and VIII. i))i. [j:yi-[,r,(). The lu.st is to the Stars," p. 338. 


rude. But we should not judge liim too severely. He 
wrote ii great deal, and with extraordinary facility, but 
refused to print; professing his intention to correct 
and prepare his poems for the press when he should 
have more leisure and a less anxious mind. That time, 
however, never came. We should, therefore, rather 
wonder that we find in his works so many passages of 
the purest and most brilliant wit and poetry, than com- 
plain that they are scattered through so very large a 
mass of what is idle, unsatisf^ictory, and sometimes 

Once, and once only, Quevedo published a small 
volume of poetry, which has been supposed to be his 
own, though not originally appearing as such. The 
occasion was worthy of his genius, and his suc- 
cess was equal to * the occasion. For some * 282 
time, Spanish literature had been overrun with 
a species of affectation resembling the euphuism that 
prevailed in England a little earlier. It passed under 
the name of ciiUismo, or the polite .style ; and when we 
come to speak of its more distinguished votaries, we 
shall have occasion fully to explain its characteristic 
extravagances. At present, it is enough to say, that, 
in Quevedo's time, this fashionable fanaticism was at 
the height of its folly ; and that, perceiving its absurd- 
ity, he launched against it the shafts of his unsparing 
ridicule, in several shorter pieces of poetry, as well as 
in a trifle called " A Compass for the Polite to steer by," 
and in a prose satire called "A Catechism of Phrases 
to teach Ladies how to talk Latinized Spanish.'' ^^ 

But finding the disease deeply fixed in the national 

1^ There are several poems about cul- lowing it is the Catechism, whose 

tismo, Obras, Tom. VIII., pp. 82, etc. whimsical title I have abridged some- 

The " Aguja de Navegar Cultos" is in what freely. 
Tom. I. p. 443 ; and immediately fol- 


taste, and models of a purer style of poetry wanting 
to resist it, he printed, in 1G31, — the same year in 
which, for the same jDurpose, he published a collection 
of the poetry of Luis de Leon, — a small volume which 
he announced as " Poems by the Bachiller Francisco 
de la Torre," — a person of whom he professed, in his 
Preface, to know nothing, except that he had acci- 
dentally found his manuscripts m the hands of a book- 
seller, with the Approbation of Alonso de Ercilla at- 
tached to them ; and that he supposed him to be the 
ancient Spanish poet referred to by Boscan nearly a 
hundred years before. But this little volume is a work 
of no small consequence. It contains sonnets, odes, 
canciones, elegies, and eclogues ; many of them written 
w^ith antique grace and simplicity, and all in a style 
of thought easy and natural, and in a versification of 
great exactness and harmony. It is, in short, one of 
the best volumes of miscellaneous poems in the Spanish 

* 283 *No suspicion seems to have been wdiispered, 

either at the moment of their first publication, 
or for a long time afterwards, that these poems were 
the productions of any other than the unknown per- 
sonage of the sixteenth century whose name appeared 
on their title-page. In 1753, however, a second edition 
of them was published by Velazquez, the author of the 
" Essay on Spanish Poetry," claiming them to be entirely 

2" Perhaps there is a little too much (p. 44) beginning, " tres y quatro veces 
of the imitation of Petrarch and of the venturosa," with the description of the 
Italians in tlie Poems of the P>a<liill('i- dawn of day, and tlic sonnet to Spring 
de la Torre ; but they are, I think, not (p. 12). The first eclogue, too, and all 
only graceful and beautiful, but gen- the enckc/uis, which are in the most 
erally full of the national tone, and of flowing Adonian verse, should not be 
a tender spirit, connected with a sincere overlooked. Sometimes he has un- 
love of nature and natural scenery. I rhymed lyrics, in the ancient measures,, 
would instance the oile, "Ale.\is fpie not always successful, but seldom with- 
contraria," in the edition of Vi-laziiuez, out beauty, 
(p. 17,) and the truly Horatian ode 

(iiAP. XL\.| EL BAClUJ.LEll DE ]>A TOKKE. 333 

the work of Quevedo ;-^ — a claim Avhicli has been fre- 
quently noticed since, some critics admitting and some 
denying it, Ijut none, in any instance, fjiirly discussing 
the grounds on which it is placed by Velazquez, or 
settling their validity.^^ 

The question, no doubt, is among the more curious 
of those that involve literary authorship ; but it can 
hardly be brought to an absolute decision. The argu- 
ment, that the poems thus published by Quevedo are 
really the work of an unknown Bachiller de la Torre, 
is founded, first, on the alleged approbation of them 
by Ercilla,^^ which, though referred to by Valdivielso, 
as well as by Quevedo, has never been printed ; and, 
secondly, on the fact, that, in their general tone, they 
are unlike tRe recognized poetry of Quevedo, 
being all in a severely simple and * pure style, * 284 
whereas he himself not infrequently runs into 
the affected style he undoubtedly intended by this 
w^ork to counteract and condemn. 

On the other hand, it may be alleged, that the pre- 
tended Bachiller de la Torre is clearly not the Bachiller 
de la Torre referred to by Boscan and Quevedo, whb 

21 " Poesi'as que publico D. Francisco in his I>ife of Queveilo ; Seilano, in liis 

de Quevedo Villegas, Cavallero del 6r- " Painaso Espafiol " ; Luzan, in his 

den de Santiago, Senor de la Torre de "Poetica" ; Montiano, in an ^^'r^^^*" 

Juan Abad, con el nonabre del Bachiller cion ; and Bouterwek, in his History. 

Francisco de la Torre. Anadese en esta Martinez de la Rosa and Faber seem 

segunda edicion un Discurso, en que se unable to decide. But none of them 

descubre ser el verdadero autor el mismo gives any reasons. I have in the te.xt, 

D. Francisco de Quevedo, por D. Luis and in the subsequent notes, stated the 

Joseph Velazquez," etc. Madrid, Xlh^, case as fully as .seems needful, and have 

4to. . no doubt that Quevedo was the author ; 

2^ Quintana denies it in the Preface or that he knew and concealed the au- 
to his Poesias Castellanas" (Madrid, thor ; or if he really found the nianu- 
1807, 12ino, Tom. L p. xxxix). So sc^ript in the way he describes, that he 
does Fernandez, (or Estala for him, ) in altered and prepared the poetry in it s6 
his Collection of " Poesias Castellanas" as to fit it to his especial purpose. 
(Madrid, 1808, 12mo, Tom. IV. p. 40); '^^ We know, concerning the conclu- 
and; what is ot more significance, so sion of Ercilla's life, only that he died 
does Wolf, in the Jahrbiicher der Lite- as early as 1.59.5 ; thirty-six years before 
ratur, Wien, 1835, Tom. LXIX. p. 189. the ])ublication of the Bachelor, and 
On the other side are Alvarez y Baena, when Quevedo was only fifteen years old. 


lived in the time of Fenliiiund and Isabella, and whose 
rude verses are found in the old Caneioneros from 1511 
to l-')7o ; '^ that, on the contrary, the forms of the poems 
published by Que^■edo, their tone, their thouglits, their 
imitations of Petrarch and of the ancients, their versi- 
fication, and their language, — except a few antiquated 
words which could easih^ have been inserted, — all be- 
loug to his own age ; that among Quevedo's recognized 
poems are some, at least, which prove he was capable 
of writing any one among those attributed to the Ba- 
chiller de la Torre ; and finally, that the name of the 
Bachiller Francisco de la Torre is merelv an ingenious 
diso-nise of his own. since he was himself a Bachelor at 
Alcala, had been baptized Francisco, and was the owner 
of Torre de la Abad, in which he sometimes resided, 
and which was twice the place of his exile.^ 

There is, therefore, no doubt, a mystery about the 
wdiole matter which will probably never be cleared up ; 
and we can now come to only one of three conclu- 
sions : — either that the poems in c|uestion were found 
by him, as he says they were, in which case he must 
have altered them materially, so that they could serve 
the object he avowed in publishing them ; or that they 
are the work of some contemporary and friend 
* 285 of Quevedo, whose name * he knew and con- 

^ It is even doubtful who tliis Bachil- the few poems wliioh maybe found in 

ler de la Tone of Bo.scan was. Velaz- the Cancionero of 1.573, at H'. I'2i-r27, 

quez (Pref., v) thinks it was probably etc., do with those jniblished by Que- 

jilonso de la Torre, author of the vedo. Gayangos (Spanish translation 

"Vision Deleytable," (circa 1461,) of of this History, Tom. II. p. 560) saj-s 

which we have spoken (Vol. I. ]). 377) ; there are, in the Cancionero of Estufii- 

and Alvarez y Baena (Hijos de Madrid, ga, poems by a Fei-nando de la Tone, 

Tom. IV. p. 169) thinks it may per- and that he lived in the time of John 

haps have been Prdro Di'iz de la Torre, II., i. e. before 14.54. But, as Gayan- 

who died in 1504, one of the counsel- gos adds truly, this does not, en Jo 

lors of Fsrdinand and Isabella. But, maJi minimo, help to clear up the ques- 

in cither ca.se, the name does not cor- tion. 

respond with that of Quevedo's Bachil- ^ He was exiled there in 1628, for 

ler Franci-tco de la Torre, any better si.x months, as well as imprisoned there 

than the style, thoughts, and forms of in 1620. Obras, Tom. X. p. 88. 

•Chai'. XL\.] QUEVEDo's PROSE WORKS. 335 

•cealed ; or that tliey were selected by liiinsclf out 
of the great mass of • his own unpublished manu- 
scripts, choosing such as would be least likely to betray 
their origin, and most likel}', b}' their exact finish and 
good taste, to rebuke the folly of the affected and 
fashionable poetry of his time. But whoever may be 
their author, one thing is certain, — they are not un- 
Avorthy the genius of any poet belonging to the bril- 
liant age in which they appeared. ^^ 

Quevedo's principal works, however, — those on 
which his reputation mainly rests, both at home and 
abroad, — are in prose. The more grave will hardly 
come under our cognizance. They consist of a trea- 
tise on the Providence of God, including an essay on 
the Immortality of the Soul ; a treatise addressed to 
Philip the Fourth, singularly called " God's Politics 
and Christ's Government," in which he endeavors to 
collect a complete body of political j)hilosopliy from 
the example of the Saviour ; ^" treatises on a Holy 
Life and on the Militant Life of a Christian ; and 
biographies of Saint Paid and Saint Thomas of 
Villanueva. These, with translations of Epictetus 
and the false Phocylides, of Anacreon, of Seneca, 

^ It is among the suspicious uircum- P-"^ His " Politica de Dios" was begun 
stances accompanying the tirst puhli- during his first imprisonment, and the 
cation of the Bachiller de la Torre's first edition — or rather what was sulv 
works, that one of the two persons wlio sequently enlarged into the First Book 
give tlie required Aprobaciones is Van- — of it was jmblished in 162fi, wiMi a 
der Hammen, who played the same sort dedication dated from his jjrison, 2r)tli 
of trick upon the public of wliicli Que- April, 1621, to the Count Olivares, who 
vedo is accused ; a vision he wrote be- became afterwards his cruel persecutor, 
iag, to this day, printed as Quevedo's This dedication, however, was super- 
own, in Quevedo's works. The other seded by one to the King, prefixed to 
person who gives an Aprohacinn to the the completed treatise, and found among 
Bachiller de la Torre is Valdivielso, a Quevedo's papers after his death. I 
critic of the seventeenth century, whose have a copy of the very curious edition 
name often occurs in this play ; wlio.se first above referred to, which, with sev- 
authority on such points is small ; and eral other of his works, was ])ublished 
who does not say that he ever ,9«?/; the at Zaragoza, probably, I think, because 
manuscript or the Approbation of Er- the censorship of the press was a little 
cilia. See, for Vander Hanimen, ^>o.s-^, less severe in Aragon than it was in 
p. 291. Castile. 


'' De Eeiiiediis iitriusque Fortimt'e." of Plutarch's 
'•Marcus Brutus," aud other ♦ similar works, seem to 
have been chiefly produced by his sufferings, and 
to have constituted the occupation of his weary 

hours during his different imprisonments. As 
* 286 their titles indicate, * they belong, except the 

Anacreon, to theology and metaplnsics rather 
than to elegant literature. They, however, sometimes 
show the spirit and the style that mark his serious 
poetry ; — the same love of brilliancy, and the same 
extravagance and hyperbole, with occasional didactic 
passages full of dignity and eloquence. Their learn- 
ing is generally abundant, but it is often pedantic 
and cumbersome.^^ 

Not so his prose satires. By these he is remem- 
bered, and will always be remembered, throughout 
the world. The longest of them, called -'The His- 
tory and Life of the Great Sharper, Paul of Segovia," 
was first printed in 1626. It belongs to the style 
of fiction invented by Mendoza. in his "Lazarillo." 
and has most of the characteristics of its class ; show- 
ing, notwithstanding the evident haste and careless- 
ness with which it was written, more talent and spirit 
than any of them, except its prototype. Like the rest, 
it sets forth the life of an adventurer, cowardly, inso- 

^ These works, chiefly theological, would look on one of Mvirillo's grand 

metaphysical, and ascetic, fill more than pictures of the charities of the same 

six of the eleven octavo volumes that beneficent man of God. This little 

constitute Quevedo's works in the edi- volume, it should be added, is the 

tion of 1791-1794, and belong to the earliest of Quevedo's known publiea- 

class of didactic prose. tions, and one of tlie rarest books in 

The Life of St. Tliomas de Villanue- the world, 

va, by Quevedo, is an abiidgment, has- Quevcdo valued himself a good deal 

tily made in twelve days from a larger on his "Marco Bruto," which he was 

work on the .same subject, to meet the emjiloyed in correcting just before he 

popular demand for the apjuoaching died, and on his " Komulo," which was 

canonization of that admirable! jwrson a translation from a work of the same 

in 1620. It makes a neat little volume, title, by the Jlarquis Malvezzi, an Ital- 

which I posses.s, and which may be read ian diplomatist mucli in tiie service of 

with plea-sure by the .severest Protes- Philip IV., and at one time his Ambas- 

tant, — with the .same pleasure that he sador in London. 

Chap. XIX.] PAUL THE ailAKPER. 337 

lent, and full of resources, who begins in the lowest 
and most infamous ranks of society, but, unlike most 
others of his class, he never fairly rises above his 
original condition ; for all his ingenuity, wit, and 
spirit only enable him to struggle up, as it were by 
accident, to some brilliant success, from which he is 
immediately precipitated by the discovery of his true 
character. Parts of it are very coarse. Once or twice 
it becomes — at least according to the notions of the 
Romish Church — blasphemous. And almost always 
it is in the nature of a caricature, overrun with con- 
ceits, puns, and a reckless, fierce humor. But every- 
where it teems with wit and the most cruel 
sarcasm against all * orders and conditions of * 287 
society. Some of its love adventures are excel- 
lent. Many of the disasters it records are extremely 
ludicrous. But there is nothing genial in it ; and it is 
hardly possible to read even il^s scenes of frolic and 
riot at the University, or those among the gay rogues 
of the capital or the gayer vagabonds of a strolling 
company of actors, with anything like real satisfaction. 
It is a satire too hard, coarse, and unrelenting to be 
amusing .^^ 

29 Watt, in his Bibliotheca, art. Que- Salas Barbadillo, he has made a mul- 
vedo, cites au edition of " El Gran Ta- titude of petty addition.s, alterations, 
cano," at Zaragoza, 1626 ; and I think and omissions ; some desirable, per- 
there is a copy of it in the British haps, from the indecency of the origi- 
Museum. Since that time, it lias ap- nal, others not ; and winds off the whole 
peared in the original in a gi'eat num- with a conclusion of his own, which 
ber of editions, both at home and savors of the sentimental and extrava- 
abroad. Into Italian it was translated gant school of Victor Hugo. There is, 
by P. Franco, as early as 1634 ; into also, a translation of it into English, 
French by Genest, the well-known in a collection of some of Quevedo's 
translator of that period, as early as AVorks, printed at Edinburgh, in 3 
1641 ; and into English, anonymously, vols., 8vo, 1798 ; and a German trans- 
as early as 16.57. Many other versions lation in Bertuch's j\Iagazin der Span- 
have been made since ; — the last, known ischen und Portug. Litteratur (Dessau, 
to me, being one of Paris, 1843, 8vo, 1781, 8vo, Band II.). But neither of 
by A. Germond de Lavigne. His trans- them is to be commended for its fidel- 
lation is made with spirit ; but, besides ity. Dr. Julius .says, there was a Ger- 
that he has thrust into it passages from man translation of it published at Leiji- 
other works of Quevedo, and a .story by zig (1826, 2 vols.) by a female hand, 


This, too, is the character of most of his other 
prose satires, which were cliieflj written, or at least 
pubhshed, nearly at the same period of his life ; — the 
interval l^etween his two great imprisonments, when 
the first had roused up all his indignation against a 
condition of society which could permit such intol- 
erable injustice as he had suffered, and before the 
crushing severity of the last had broken down alike 
his health and his courao-e. Ainoncr them are the 
treatise '-On all Things and many more," — an attack 
on pretension and cant ; '• The Tale of Tales," which is 
in ridicule of the too frequent use of proverbs ; and 
•• Time's Proclamation," which is apparently directed 
against whatever came uppermost in its author's 
thoughts when he was writing it. These, however, 
with several more of the same sort, may be passed 
over to speak of a few better known and of more 

* 288 * The first is called the '• Letters of the 
Knight of the Forceps," and consists of two- 
and-twenty notes of a miser to his lady-love, refusing 
all her applications and hints for money, or for amuse- 
ments that involve the shghtest expense. Nothing 
can exceed their dexterit}-, or the ingenuity and wit 
that seem anxious to defend and vindicate the mean 
vice, which, after all, they are only making so much 
the more ridiculous and odious.^^ 

The next is called '• Fortune no Fool, and the Hour 
of All " ; — a long apologue, in which Jupiter, sur- 

and anotlier by Gutteiistern in 1841. in lti27 ; and tliere i.s a very good trans- 
He kindly forbears to give the lady's lation of them iu Band I. of the Maga- 
name, though she had put it on her zin of Bertuch, an active man of letters, 
own title-page. the friend of Musiius, Wieland, and 

** They are in Vols. Land 11. of the Goethe, who, by translation;;, and in 

edition of his Works, Madrid, 1791, 8vo. other ways, did much, between 1769 

*i The "Cartas del Cavallero de la and 1790, to promote a love for Spau- 

Tenaza " were first printed, I believe, ish literature in Germany. 


rounded by the deities of Heaven, calls Fortune to 
account for her gross injustice in the aftiiirs of the 
world ; and, having received from her a defence no 
less spirited than amusing, deteiinines to try the ex- 
periment, for a single hour, of apportioning to every 
human being exjictly what he deserves. The sub- 
stance of the fiction, therefore, is an exhibition of the 
scenes of intolerable confusion which this single hour 
brings into the affairs of the world ; turning a phy- 
sician instantly into an executioner ; manying a 
match-maker to the ugly phantom she w^as endeav- 
oring to pass off upon another 5 and, in the larger 
concerns of nations, like France and Muscov}^, intro- 
ducing such violence and uproar, that, at last, by the 
decision of Jupiter and with the consent of all, the 
empire of Fortune is restored, and things are allowed 
to go on as they ahvays had done. Many parts of it 
are written in the gayest spirit, and show a great hap- 
piness of invention ; but, from the absence of mucli of 
Quevedo's accustomed bitterness, it may be suspected, 
that, though it was not printed till several years after 
his death, it was probably written before either of his 

* But what is wanting of severity in this * 289 
whimsical fiction is fully made up in his Vis- 
ions, six in number, some of which seem to have been 
published separately soon after his first persecution, 
and all of them in 1635.*^ Nothing can well be more 

^'^ I know of no edition of "La For- it must have been written as early as 

tuna con Seso" earlier than one I pos- 1638, becau.se it speaks of Louis XIII. 

.sess, printed at Zaragoza, 1650, 12nio ; as beinpj Mithont hope of issue, and 

and as N. Antonio declares this satire Louis XIV. was born in that year, 

to have been a po.sthumous work, I ■^ One of these Sucilos is dated as 

suppose there is none older. It is there early as 1607, — the " Zahurdas de 

said to be translated from the Latin of Pluton " ; but none, I tliink, was 

KifroscrancotViveque VasgelDuacense ; printed earlier than 1627; and all the 

an imperfect anagram of Quevedo's own six that»are certainly by (^uevinlo were 

name, Francisco QuevedoVillegas. But first printed together in a small coUec- 

340 YISIOXS. [Pkriod II. 

free and miscellaneous than their subjects and con- 
tents. One, called "El Alguazil alguazilado," or The 
Catchpole Caught, is a satire on the inferior officers of 
justice, one of whom being possessed, the demon com- 
plains bitterly of his disgrace in being sent to inhabit 
the bod}^ of a creature so infamous. Another, called 
" Visita de los Chistes," A Visit in Jest, is a visit to the 
empire of Death, who comes sweeping in surrounded 
by ph^'sicians, surgeons, and esj^ecially a great crowd 
of idle talkers and slanderers, and leads them all to a 
sight of the infernal regions, w^ith which Quevedo at 
once declares he is already familiar through the crimes 
and follies to which he has lono; been accustomed on 
earth. But a more distinct idea of his free and bold 
manner will pro1)ably be obtained from the opening of 
his '-Dream of Skulls," or "Dream of the Judgment," 
than from any enumeration of the subjects and con- 
tents of his Visions ; especiallj' since, in this instance, 
it is a specimen of that mixture of the solemn and the 

ludicrous in which he so much delisfhted. 
* 290 * ^'Methought I saw," he saj's, "a fair j^outh 

borne with prodigious speed through the heav- 

tiou of his satirical works that appeared deed, the gi'eat popularit\- of his trans- 
at Barcelona, in 1635, entitled "Jugu- lations was prohably owing, in no small 
etes de la Fortuna." The}' were trans- degree, to the additions he boldly made 
lated into French by Genest, and print- to his text, and the fre(|ueiit accommo- 
ed in 1641. Into English they were dations he hazarded of its jests to the 
very freely rendered liy Sir Roger L'Es- scandal and taste of his times by allu- 
trange, and published in 1668 with sions entirely English and local. The 
.such .success, that the tenth edition of Visions, besides the translation of Cie- 
them was ])rinted at London in 1708, nest above referred to, were evidently 
8vo, and I believe there was 3-et one in fashion in France still later, for I 
more. This is the basis of the transla- have seen, — (1.) L'algouasil (.sie) bur- 
tions of the Visions found in Quevedo's lesque imite de Don F. de Quevedo, 
AVork.s, Edinburgh, 1798, Vol. 1., and &c., par le Sieur de Bourneuf P. Pari.s, 
in Roscoe's Novelists, 1832, Vol. II. 1657, 8vo, pp. 143; (2.) L'Enfer bur- 
All the tran.slations I have seen are lesque tiree, &c., par M. I. C Paris, 
bad. The best Is that of L'Estrange, 1668, 12mo, ])p. 81; and (3.) Hor- 
or at least the most sjiirited ; but still rcur des Hoireurs .sans Horreurs tiree 
L'Estrange is not always faithful when des Vi.sions, &e., par Mons. Isaulnay. 
he knew the meaning, and he Is .some- Paris, 1671, 8vo. Thej^ are all in 
times unfaithful from ignorance. In- verse. 

Chap. XIX.J VISIONS. 341 

ens, who gave a blast to his trumpet so violent, that 
the radiant beauty of his countenance was in part dis- 
figured by it. But the sound was of such jDOwer, that 
it found obedience in marble aud hearing among the 
dead ; for the whole earth began straightway to move, 
and give free permission to the bones it contained to 
come forth in search of each other. And thereupon 
I presently saw those who had been soldiers and cap- 
tains start fiercely from their graves, thinking it a 
signal for battle ; and misers coming forth, fall of 
anxiety aud alarm, dreading some onslaught ; while 
those who were given to vanity and feasting thought, 
from the shrillness of the sound, that it was a call to 
the dance or the chase. At least, so I interpreted the 
looks of each of them, as they sprang forth ; nor did I 
see one, to whose ears the sound of that trumjiet came, 
who understood it to be what it really was. Soon, 
however, I noted the way in which certain souls fled 
from their former bodies ; some with loathing, and 
others with fear. In one an arm was missing, in an- 
other an eye ; and while I was moved to laughter as I 
saw the varieties of their appearance, I was filled with 
wonder at the wise providence which prevented any 
one of them, all shuffled together as they were, from 
putting on the legs or other limbs of his neighbors. 
In one graveyard alone I thought that there was some 
changing of heads, and I saw a notary whose soul did 
not quite suit him, and who wanted to get rid of it by 
declaring it to be none of his, 

" But when it was fairly understood of all that this 
was the Day of Judgment, it was worth seeing how 
the voluptuous tried to avoid having their eyes found 
for them, that they need not bring into court witnesses 
against themselves, — how the malicious tried to avoid 

342 VISIONS. [Period II. 

their own tongues, and how robbers and assassins 
seemed willing to wear oat their feet in running away 
from their hands. And turning partly round, I saw 
one miser asking another (who, having been embalmed 
and his bowels left at a distance, was waiting 
* 291 silently till they should * arrive), whether, be- 
cause the dead were to rise that day, certain 
money-bags of his must also rise. I should have 
laughed heartily at this, if I had not, on the other side, 
pitied the eagerness with which a great rout of notaries 
rushed by, flying from their own ears, in order to avoid 
hearing Avhat awaited them, though none succeeded in 
escaping, except those who in this world had lost their 
ears as thieves, which, owing to the neglect of justice, 
was by no means the majority. But what I most won- 
dered at was, to see the bodies of two or three shop- 
keepers, that had put on their souls wrong side out, 
and crowded all five of their senses under the nails of 
their right hands." 

The " Casa de los Locos de Amor," the Lovers' Mad- 
house, — which is placed among Quevedo's Visions, 
though it has been declared to be the work of his 
friend Lorenzo Vander Hammen, to whom it is dedi- 
cated, — lacks, no doubt, the freedom and force which 
characterize the Vision of the Judgment.^* But this 

^ The six Tiniiuestioned Suertos are tyndo. I5iit it is much more likely that 

in Tom. I. of tlie Madrid edition of Quevedo should have coiintenanceil this 

Quevedo, 1791. The "Casa de los little si^^^crc/wr/e of his friend, than that 

Locos de Amor" is in Tom. II. ; and Nicolas Antonio should have been de- 

as N. Antonio (Bih. Nov., I. 462, and liberately imjio.sed upon by Vander 

II. 10) says Vander Hannnen, a Span- Hammen. Besides, large portions of 

ish author of Flemish descent, told him the "Oa.sa de los Locos de Amor" are 

that he wrote it himself, we are bound beneath the talent of (^)uevedo, and not 

to take it from the piopcr list of Que- at all in his manner. Vander Hammen 

vedo's works. This, however, has been was the author of several works now 

sometimes thought to be a ]iieee of van- forgotten ; but, in his time, he was con- 

ity and falsehood in Vander Hannnen, nected with men of note. Lope de 

because in 1G27 he had dedicated sev- Veg;v dedicated to him "El Bobo del 

ei-al of the Visions- — the one in ques- Colegio," in 1620, begging him to pub- 

tion -among the rest — to Francisco lish his "Secretario," which, however, 

Ximenez de Urrea, as tlie works of Que- I believe, never was printed. 


is a remark that can by no means be extended to the 
Vision of "Las Zahurdas de Pliiton," Pluto's Pigsties, 
which is a show of what may be called the rabble of 
Pandemonium ; '• El Mundo por de Dentro," The World 
Inside Out; and "El Entremetido, la Duefia, y el So- 
plon," The Busybody, the Duemia, and the Informer; 
- — all of which are full of the most truculent sarcasm, 
recklessly cast about by one to whom the world had 
not been a friend, nor the world's law. 

In these Visions, as well as in nearly all that 
Quevedo * wrote, much is to be found that indi- * 292 
cates a bold, original, and independent spirit. 
His age and the circumstances amidst which he was 
placed have, however, left their traces both on his 
poetry and on his prose. Thus, his long residence in 
Italy is seen in his frequent imitations of the Italian 
poets, and once, at least, in the composition of an origi- 
nal Italian sonnet ; '^ - — his cruel sufferings during his 
different persecutions are apparent in the bitterness 
of his invectives everywdiere, and especially in one of 
his Visions, dated from his prison, against the adminis- 
tration of justice and the order of society ;—- while 
the influence of the false taste of his times, which, in 
some of its forms, he manfully resisted, is yet no less 
apparent in others, and persecutes him with a per- 
petual desire to be brilliant, to say something ((uaint 
or startling, and to be pointed and epigrammatic. 
But over these, and over all his other defects, his 
genius from time to time rises, and reveals itself with 
great power. He has not, indeed, that sure perception 
of the ridiculous which leads Cervantes, as if by instinct, 
to the exact measure of satirical retribution ; but he 
perceives quickly and strongly ; and though he often 

^ Obras, Tom. VII. j). 289. 



[Pekiou II. 

errs, from the exag-o-eration and coarseness to which he 
so much tended, yet, even in the passages where these 
faults most occur, we often find touches of a solemn 
and tender beauty, that show he had higher powers 
and better quaUties than his extraordinary- wit. and 
add to the effect of the whole, thougli witliout recon- 
cilinii' us to the broad and o-ross farce that is too often 
luino'led with his satire.^^ 

^ A \iolent attack was made on Qne- 
vedo, ten yeai-s before his death, in a 
volume entitled " El tiibunal de la 
Justa Venganza," printed at Valencia, 
1635, 12mo, pp. 294, and said to be 
written by the Licenciado Arnaldo 
Eranco-Fuit ; a pseudonyme, which is 
-supposed to conceal the names of Mon- 
talvan, of Father Niseuo, who busied 
himself in getting Quevedo put on the 
Index Expurgatorius, and of other per- 
sons ; for such a satirist could not lie 
wanting in enemies. The "Tribunal" 
is thrown into the form of a trial, before 
regular judges, of the satirical works of 
Quevedo then published ; and, except 
when the religious prejudices of the 
authors i)revail over their judgment, 
is not more severe than Quevedo's 
license merited. No honor, however, is 
done to his genius or his wit ; and per- 
.sonal malice seems apparent in many 
jjarts of it. At the beginning it is inti- 
mated that it was written at Seville. 

Probably the Jesuits there had a hand 
in it, but, as it is adruitted that then; 
were several authors, so it is possible 
that it was prepared in diS'erent places. 
In 1794, Sancha printed, at Madrid, 
a translation of Anacreon, with notes 
by Quevedo, making 160 pages, but 
not numbering them as a part of the 
eleventh volume, 8vo, of Quevedo's 
Works, which he completed that j'ear. 
Thej" are more in the terse and classical 
manner of the Bachiller de la Torre than 
the same nmnber of pages anj^vhere 
among Quevedo's earlier printed works ; 
but the translation is not very strict, 
and the spirit of the original is not so 
well caught as it is b)' Estevan Manuel 
de Villegas, whose "Eroticas" ^nll be 
noticed hereafter. The version of Que- 
vedo is dedicated to the Duke of Ossu- 
na, his patron, Madrid, l.st April, 1609. 
Villegas did not pul)li.sh till 1617 ; but 
it is not likely that he knew anything 
of the labors of Quevedo. 

*rHAPTEE XX. *294 



The want of a great capital, as a common centre for 
letters and literary men, was long felt in Spain. Until 
the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, the conntryy 
broken into separate kingdoms, and occupied by con- 
tinual conflicts with a hated enemy, had no leisure for 
the projects that belong to a period of peace ; and 
even later, when there was tranquillity at home, the 
foreign wars and engrossing interests of Charles the 
Fifth in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands led him 
so much abroad, that there was still little tendency to 
settle the rival claims of the great cities ; and the 
court resided occasionally in each of them, as it had 
from the time of Saint Ferdinand. But already it was 
plain that the preponderance which for a time had 
been enjoyed by Seville was gone. Castile had pre- 
vailed in this, as it had in the greater contest for giv- 
ing a language to the country ; and Madrid, which 
had been a favorite residence of the Emperor, because 
he thought its climate dealt gently with his infirmities,, 
began, from 1560, under the arrangements of Philip 
the Second, to be regarded as the real caj)ital of the 
whole monarchy.^ 

1 Qiiintana, Historia de Madrid, 1630, lii-s cai)ital. f'liarles, indeed, permitted 

folio. Lib. III. c. 24-26. Cabrera, Madrid in 1a4i to take a ei-ovvn iiita 

Historia de Felipe, II., Madrid, 1619, its eKcutclieoii, sinee whieh time it has 

folio, lil). V. e. 9 ; where he says been ('ailed Villa Imperml y Coroiiada^ 

Charles V. had intended to make Madriil (Origen de Maihid, ec., por ,)u;m Ant. 


*.295 * Oil 110 department of Spanish literature did 
this circumstance produce so considerable an 
influence as it did on the drama. In 1583. the foun- 
dations for the two regular theatres that have con- 
tinued such ever since were already laid ; and from 
about 1590, Lope de Vega, if not the absolute mon- 
arch of the stage that Cervantes describes him to have 
been somewhat later, was at least its controlling spirit. 
The natural consequences followed. Under the influ- 
ence of the nobility, who thronged to the royal resi- 
dence, and led by the example of one of the most 
popular writers and men that ever lived, the Spanish 
theatre rose like an exhalation ; and a school of poets 
— niar-V of whom had hastened from Seville, Valencia, 
and other parts of the country, and thus extinguished 
the hopes of an independent drama in the cities they 
deserted — was collected around him. in the new cap- 
ital, until the dramatic writers of Madrid became sud- 
denly more numerous, and in many respects more 
remarkable, than an}' other similar body of poets in 
modern times. 

The period of this transition of the drama is well 
marked by a single provincial play, the " Comedia 
Jacobina," printed at Toledo in 1590, but written, as 
its author intimates, some years earlier. It was the 
^voik of Damian de Vegas, an ecclesiastic of that city, 
and is on the subject of the blessing of Jacob by Isaac. 
Its structure is simple, and its action direct and unem- 
barrassed. As it is religious throughout, it belongs, in 
this respect, to the elder school of the drama ; but, on 

Pf'llicor. Madiiil, 4to, 1803, p. 97.) ly Spanish book to sliow forth tlit; glo- 
But it has always \>m:u a favored lity. ries of the capital, entitled "Solo Ma- 
in le.'iS, Alonso Nnucz de Castro, Oen- drid es Corte." The disi)lay in it of 
<>ral Chronicler of Spain and author of the wealth of the hierarchy and of some 
several works of conse(|uenee to the of the great military orders may w(dl 
national lustoiy, published a thorough- be called astounding. 


the other hand, as it is divided into three acts, has a 
prologue and epilogue, a chorus and much lyrical po- 
etry in various measures, as well as poetry in terza rima 
and blank verse, it is not unlike what was attempted 
about the same time, on the secular stage, by Cer- 
vantes and Argensola. Though uninteresting in its 
plot, and dry and hard in its versification, it is not 
wholly without poetical merit ; but we have no proof 
that it ever was acted in Madrid, or, indeed, that 
it was known on the stage * beyond the limits * 296 
of Toledo ; a city to which its author was much 
attached, and where he seems always to have lived.^ 

Whether Francisco de Tarrega, who can be traced 
from 1591 to 1608, was one of those who early came 
from Valencia to Madrid as writers for the theatre, is 
uncertain. But we have proof that he was a canon of 
the cathedral in the first-named city, and yet was well 
known in the new capital, where his plays were acted 
and printed.^ One of them is important, because it 
shows the modes of representation in his time, as well 
as the peculiarities of his own drama. It begins with 
a loa, which in this case is truly a compliment, as its 
name implies ; but it is, at the same time, a witty and 

2 The "Comedia Jacobina" is found Tarrega lived at Valencia in 1591, and 
in a curious and rare volume of re- wrote eleven or twelve plaj's, two of 
ligious poetry, entitled " Libro de Poe- wliiidi are known only by their titles, 
siaj Christiana, Moral, y Diviua," ])or The rest were printed at Madrid in 
el Doctor Frey Damian de Vegas (To- 1614, and again in 1616. Cervantes 
ledo, 1590, 12nio, ff. 503). It contains jiraises liini in the Preface to his Oome- 
a poem on the Immaculate Conception, dias, 1615, among the early followers 
the turning-point of Spanish orthodoxy ; of Lope, for his discrecion e inumcrablcs 
a colloquy between a damsel and a too concnjitos. It is evident from the no- 
free lover; a colloquy between the Soul, tice of the " Enemiga Favorable," by 
the Will, and the Understanding, the wise canon in Don Quixote, that it 
which may have been represented ; and was then regarded as the best of its 
a gi-eat amount of religious poetry, both author's plays, as it has Ix'cn ever 
lyric and didactic, much of it in the since. Rodrigtu'z, Biblioteca Vah-nti- 
old Spanish measures, and much in the na, Valencia, 1747, folio, p. 146. Xi- 
Italian, but little of it better than the meno, Escritores de Valencia, Valencia, 
mass of poor verse on such subjects then 1747, Tom. I. p. 240. Fuster, Biblioteca 
in favor. Valentina, Valencia, 1827, folio, Tom. I. 

'^ It is ascertained that the Canon p. 310. Don Qui.xote, Parte I. c. 48. 

348 FKANClbCO DE TARHEGA. [Peuiop II. 

([iiaiiit ballad in praise ot" ugl}' women. Then eomes 
what is called a " Dance at Leganitos," — a poj^ular 
resort in the snburbs of Madrid, which here gives its 
name to a rnde farce fonnded on a contest in the open 
street between two lackeys.^ 

After the audience have thus been put in 
* 297 good-humor. * we have the principal phiy. 
called "' The Well-disposed Enemy " ; a wild, but 
not uninteresting, heroic drama, of which the scene is 
laid at the court of Naples, and the plot turns on the 
jealousy of the Neapolitan king and queen. Some 
attempt is made to compress the action within prol)- 
able limits of time and space ; but the character of 
Laura — at first in love with the king and exciting 
him to poison the queen, and at last coming out in 
disguise as an armed champion to defend the same 
([ueen when she is in danger of being put to death 
on a false accusation of infidelity — destro3^s all regu- 
larity of movement, and is a blemish that extends 
through the whole i3iece. Parts of it, however, are 
spirited, like the oiDcning, — a scene full of life and 
nature, — where the court rush in from a bull-fight, 
that had been suddenly broken up by the personal 
danger of the kmg ; and jDarts of it are poetical, like 
the first interview between Laura and Belisardo, whom 
she finally marries," But the impression left b}' the 

* This farce, much like an eiUremes Eimas, (1612, f. 125, b, ) and the foun- 

or sayiicte of modern times, is a quarrel tain is aj^jropriately introduced, for 

between two lackeys for a damsel of Leganitos was famous for it. (See Cer- 

their own condition, wliich ends with vantes, Ilustre Fregona, and Don Quix- 

one of them being lialf drowned by the ote. Parte II. e. 22, with the note of 

other in a public fountain. It winds Pellicer. ) Such little circunistanres 

up with a ballad older tlian itself ; for abound in the jjopular portions of the 

it alludes to a street a.s being about to be old Spanish drama, and added much to 

constructedthroughLf'ganitos, whileone its efiV-ct at the^tinie it appeai-ed, and 

of the personages in tlie farce speaks of especialh* to its effect when represented, 
the street as already there. Tlie ballad * The " Enemiga Favorable" is the 

seems to be claime<l by .Sains Barba- last jilay in an imjiortant volume marked 

dillo. At least, I find it among his as the fifth of the Collection of the 

Chap. XX.] GASPAll DE AGUILAR. 349 

whole is, that, tlioiigh the path opened by Lope de 
Vega is the one that is followed, it is followed with 
footsteps ill-assured, and a somewhat uncertain pur- 

Gaspar de Aguilar was, as Lope tells us, the rival of 
Tarrega.*' He was secretary to the Viscount Clielva, 
and afterw^ards inajor-domo to the Duke of Gandia, 
one of the most prominent noblemen at the court of 
Philip the Third. But an allegorical poem, which 
Aguilar wrote, in honor of his last patron's marrijige, 
found so little favoi-, that its unhappy author, dis- 
couraged and repulsed, died of mortification. 
He lived, * as Tarrega probably did, both in * 298 
Valencia and in Madrid, and wrote several 
minor poems, besides one of some length on the 
expulsion of the Moors from Spain, which was printed 
in 1610. The last date we have relating to his un- 
fortunate career is 1623. 

Of the eight or nine plays he published, only tw^o 
can claim our notice. The first is " The Merchant 
Lover," jD^'^i'^ed by Cervantes, Avho, like Lope de 
Vega, mentions Aguilar more than once with respect. 
It is the story of a rich merchant, who pretends to 
have lost his fortune in order to see whether either 
of two ladies to whose favor he aspires loved him for 
his own sake rather than for that of his money ; and he 

" Diferentes Comedias," published at the story of a great robber who becomes 

Alcala in 1615, at Madrid in 1616, and a great saint, and may have suggested 

at Barcelona the same year, of which to Calderon his "Devocion de la Cruz." 

Lord Taunton has a copy at Stoke, and Six more of his plays may be found in 

of which there is another at the Biblio- the very rare " Doze Comedias de qua- 

teca Ambrogiana in Milan, both of tro Poetas de Valencia," 1609, which I 

which I have seen. (See Vol. III., i)osse.ss, but they are not so good as tin; 

Appendix F. ) The play in ijuestion " Enemiga Favorable." I think there 

is divided into three jorimdas, called arc twelve of his plays, in all, still 

ados, and shows otherwise that it was extant. 

constructed on the model of Lope's •> " Laurel de .\ polo," (Madrid, 1630, 

dramas. But Tarrega wrote also at 4to, f. 21,) where Lope says, sjieaking 

least one religious play, "The Foun- of Tarrega, "Gaspar Aguilar competia 

dation of the Order of Meicy." It is con el en la draniatica poesia." 


finally marries the one who, on this hard trial, proves 
herself to be disinterested. It is preceded by a pro- 
logo^ or loa, which in this case is a mere jesting tale ; 
and it ends with six stanzas, sung for the amusement 
of the audience, about a man who, having tried unsuc- 
cessfully many vocations, and, among the rest, those of 
fencing-master, poet, actor, and tapster, threatens, in 
despair, to enlist for the wars. Neither the beginning 
nor the end, therefore, has anvthing; to do with the 
subject of the play itself, which is written in a spirited 
style, but sometimes shows Ijad taste and extrava- 
gance, and sometimes runs into conceits. 

One character is happily hit, — that of the lady 
who loses the rich merchant by her selfishness. When 
he first tells her of his pretended loss of fortune, and 
seems to bear it with courage and equanimity, she 
goes out saying, — 

Heaveu save me from a husband such as this, 
Who finds himself so easily consoled ! 
Why, he would he as ga}^, if it were iiu 
That he had lost, and not his money ! 

And again, in the second act, where she finally rejects 
him, she says, in the same jesting spirit, — 

Would you, sir, see that you are not a man, — 
Since all that ever made you one is gone, — 
* 299 * (The figure that lemains availing but 

To bear the emiity name that marked yoii once,) — 
Go and proclaim aloud your loss, my friend, 
And then inquire of your own memory 
What has become of you, and who you are ; 
And you will learn, at once, that you are not 
The man to whom I lately gave my heart. '^ 

1 Dios me g:narde de hombre Haz luego un alarde aqui 

Que tan pronto so consuela, De tu perdida notoria ; 

Que lo niismo hari dc mi. Toma cuenta a tu memoria; 

Merc-ader Aniante, .lorn. I. P''^'; ^ " "isino por ti 

Veras que no eres aquel 

Quiere."" ver que no t-rcs hombre, A quien di mi corazon. 
Pues el str tuvo ha.'* |)crdido ; 

y que de aquello ciue ha.s Hide, Ibid., Jorn. 11. 

No te queila sino el nombrc ? 


What, perhaps, is most remarkable about this drama 
is, that the iinit}^ of place is observed, and possibly the 
unity of time ; a circumstance which shows that the 
freedom of the Spanish stage from such restraints was 
not yet universally acknowledged. 

Quite different from this, however, is " The Unfore- 
seen Fortune " ; a play which, if it have only one 
action, has one whose scene is laid at Saragossa, at 
Valencia, and along tbe road between these two cities, 
while the events it relates fill up several years. The 
hero, just at the moment he is married by proxy in 
Valencia, is accidentally injured in the streets of Sara- 
gossa, and carried into the house of a stranger, where 
he falls in love with the fair sister of the owner, and 
is threatened with instant deatli by her brother, if 
he does not marry her. He yields to the threat. 
They are married, and set out for Valencia. On the 
way, he confesses his unhappy position to his bride, 
and very coolly proposes to adjust all his difficulties 
by putting her to death. From this, however, he is 
turned aside, and they arrive in Valencia, where she 
serves him, from blind affection, as a voluntary slave ; 
even taking care of a child that is borne to him by his 
Valencian wife. 

Other absurdities follow. At last she is driven to 
declare publicly who she is. Her ungrateful husband 
then attempts to kill her, and thinks he has 
succeeded. *He is arrested for the supposed * 300 
murder ; but at the same instant her brother 
arrives, and claims his right to single combat with the 
offender. Nobody will serve as the base seducer's 
second. At the last moment, the injured lady herself, 
presumed till then to be dead, appears in the lists, 
disguised in complete armor, not to protect her guilty 


liusbaiid. but to vindicate her own honor and prowess. 
Ferdinand, the king, who pre.sides over the combat, 
interferes, and the strange show ends b}' her marriage 
to a former k)ver. who has hardly been seen at all 
on the stage, — a truly " Unforeseen Fortune," which 
gives its name to the ill-constructed drama. 

The poetrj', though not absolnteh^ good, is better 
than the action. It is generally in flowing qidniillas, 
or stanzas of five short lines each, but not without 
long portions in the old ballad-measure. The scene 
of an entertainment on the sea-shore near Valencia, 
where all the parties meet for the first time, is good. 
So are portions of the last act. But. in. general the 
whole -pla}' abounds in conceits and puns, and is poor. 
It opens with a loa, whose object is to assert the uni- 
versal emi^ire of man ; and it ends with an address to 
the audience from King Ferdinand, in which he de- 
clares that nothing can give him so much jDleasure as 
the settlement of all these troubles of the lovers, ex- 
cept the conquest of Granada. Both are grotesquely 

Better known than either of the last authors is 
another Valencian poet, Guillen de Castro, who, like 
them, was respected at heme, but sought his fortunes 
in the capital. He was born of a noble ftimily, in 
1569, and seems to have been early distinguished, 
in his native city, as a man of letters; for, in 1591. 
he was a member of the Noctunios, one of the most 
successful of the fantastic associations established 

* The accounts of Agiiilar are fouiul gled with the plays of other poets. A 

in Rodriguez, pp. 1-18, 149, and in cojn- of tlie "Suerte sin Esperanza," 

Ximeno, Tom. I. p. 2.55. who, as is whieli I jiossess, without date or pa- 

often the ca.se, has done little but ar- ging, seems older. A copy of his 

range in better order tlie materials col- " Venganza Honrosa" is to be found 

lected by Rodriguez. Seven of Agui- as the ftfth play in Vol. V. of the 

lar's jdays are in collections printed "DiferentcsComedias/'oneutionedoji^e, 

at Valencia in 1009 and 1616, min- note 5. 


in Spain, in imitation * of tlio Aeadcmias that * 301 
had been foi- some time fashionable in Italy. 
His literary tendencies were further cultivated at the 
meetings, of this society, Avhere he found among his 
associates Tarrega, Aguilar, and Artieda.^ 

His life, however, was not wholly devoted to letters. 
At one time, he was a captain of cavalry ; at another, 
he stood in such favor with Benevente, the mmiificent 
viceroy of Naples, that he had a place of consequence 
intrusted to his government ; and at Madrid he was so 
well received, that the Duke of Ossuna gave him an 
annuity of nearly a thousand crowns, to which the 
reigning flivorite, the Count Duke Olivares, added a 
royal pension. But his unequal humor, his discon- 
tented spirit, and his hard o])stinacy ruined his for- 
tunes, and he was soon obliged to write for a living. 
Cervantes speaks of him, in 1615, as among the pop- 
ular authors for the theatre, and in 1620 he assisted 
Lope at the festival of the canonization of San Isidro, 
wrote several of the pieces that were exhibited, and 
gained one of the prizes. Six years later he was still 
earning a painful subsistence as a dramatic writer ; 
and in 1631 he died so poor, that he was buried by 
charity. ^'^ 

Very few of his works have been published, except 
his plays. Of these we have n^rly forty, printed be- 

^ In the note of Cerda y Rico to the other distinguished Valencians — was 

"Diana" of Gil Polo, 1802, pp. 515- painted for a gallery in Valencia by 

519, is an account of this Academy, Juan de Ribalta, who died in 1628. 

and a list of its members. Barrera Those of Tarrega, Aguilar, and Guillen 

says it lasted oidy from October 4, de Castro are likely to have been oi'igi- 

1591, to April 13, 1593, and that nals, since these poets Avere contempo- 

Aguilar was one of its founders. rary with Ribalta, and the whole col- 

1° Rodriguez, p. 177 ; Ximeno, Tom. lection, consisting of thirty-one heads, 

I. p. 305 ; Fuster, Tom. I. p. 235. was extant in tlie Monastery of La 

The last is important on this subject. Murta de San Geronimo, when C'eau 

The portrait of Guillen — together with Bermudez pre])ared his Dictioiuiry of 

the portraits of Gaspar de Aguilar, Luis Artists. See Tom. IV., 1800, p. 181. 

Vive.s, Ausias March, Jayine Roig, Fran- They are now, I believe, in possession of 

Cisco Tarrega, Francisco de Borja, and the Academy of San Carlos at Valencia. 
VOL. II. 23 

354 GUILLEX DE CASTRO. [Pj:i:iud II. 

tween 1G14 and IGoO. They belong decidedly to the 
school of Lope, between whom and Guillen de Castro 
there was a friendship, which can be traced back, by 
the Dedication of one of Lope's plays, and 1:^^ several 
passages in his miscellaneous works, to the period of 

Lope's exile to Valencia ; while, on the side 
* 302 of Guillen de * Castro, a similar testimony is 

borne to the same kindly regard by a volume 
of his own jilays, addressed to Marcela, Lope's favorite 

The marks of Guillen de Castro's personal condition, 
and of the age in which he lived and wrote, are no less 
distinct in his dramas than the marks of his poetical 
allegiance. His '■' Mismatches in Valencia " seems as 
if its story might have been constructed out of facts 
within the poet's own knowledge. It is a series of 
love intrigues, like those in Lope's plays, and ends 
with the dissolution of two marriages by the influence 
of a lady, avIio, disguised as a page, lives in the same 
house with her lover and his wife, but whose machina- 
tions are at last exposed, and she herself driven to the 
usual resort of entering a convent. His ''Don Quix- 
ote," on the other hand, is taken from the First Part 
of Cervantes's romance, then as fresh as an}' Valencian 
tale. The loves of Dorothea and Fernando, and the 
madness of Cardenio,#form the materials for its prin- 
cipal i)lot, and the dtnouonent is the transportation of 
the knight, in a cage, to his own house, by the curate 
and barber, just as he is carried liome by them in the 
romance ; — parts of the story being slightly altered 
to give it ;i more dramatic turn, though the language 
of the original fiction is often retained, and the obli- 
gations to it are fully recognized. Both of these 
dramas ai'e wiitten chiefly in the old rcdoiidi/la^, with 


a careful versification ; but there is little poetical in- 
vention in either of them, and the first act of the 
" Mismatches in Valencia " is disfigured by a game 
of wits, fashionable, no doubt, in society at the time, 
but one that gives occasion, in the phiy, to nothing 
but a series of poor tricks and puns.^^ 

* Very unlike them, though no less character- * 303 
istic of the times, is his " Mercy and Justice " ; 
— the shocking story of a prince of Hungary con- 
demned to death by his father for the most atrocious 
crimes, but rescued from punishment by the multitude, 
because his loj^alty has survived the wreck of all his 
other principles, and led him to refuse the throne 
offered to him by rebellion. It is written in a greater 
variety of measures than either of the dramas just 
mentioned, and shows more freedom of style and move- 
ment ; relying chiefly for success on the story, and on 
that sense of loyalty which, though originally a great 
virtue in the relations of the Spanish kings and their 
people, Avas now become so exaggerated, that it was 
undermining much of what was most valuable in the 
national character.^^ 

" Santa Barbara, or the Mountain Miracle and Heav- 

^1 Both these pla3^s ai'e in the first Que cordura, que coiwierto, 
Yohime of his Comedias, printed in Tendr6yo, siestoy sia mi? 
T ^1 J 1 J. T 1. XL T\ K • ±. ■ S'li ser, sm alma y sin ti ? 
1614; but I have the Don Quixote in Ay, Lueinda, que me has muerto ! — 
a separate pamphlet, without paging or ^^.i ^^ on. Guerin de Bouscal, one of 
date, and with rude woodcuts, such as ^ considerable number of French dram- 
belong to the oldest Spanish pubhca- ^^^^^^ (,^^ Puibuscpie, Tom. H. p. 441) 
tious of the sort. The first time Don ...i^^ ^^^^^^^^-^ ^^^^{ to g .i^h sources 
Quixote appears in it the stage direc- i^^^v;^,^ 1630 and 1650, brought this 
tion IS, Enter Don Quixote on Rozi- drama of Guillen on the French stage 
nante, dressed as he is described in his j,^ ^g.^g ° 
book." The rcrfojicZtZte in this drama, ,2 J^ -j, j,^ ^he second volume of 
regarded as mere verses are excellent ; Guillen's plays; but it is also in the 
\^- <-ai-demo s lamentations at the end .< yi^,. ^e las'Mejores Doce Comedias," 
of the first act :- ,,t^_^ Un.Aru\, 1652. Guillen dedic^ates 
Dondc me llevan los pies hi^ ■^e'jond volume, which I found in 
Sin la vida? *E1 seso pierdo", the Vatican, by a few affectionate words, 
Pero como ser6 cuerdo to his cousiu Dona Ana Figuei'ola y de 
Si fue traydor el Marques ? Castro 


en's Martyr." belongs, again, to another division of the 
poiDidar drama as settled by Lope de Vega. It is one 
of those phns where human and Divine love, in tones 
too much resembling each other, are exhibited in their 
strongest light, and, Hke the rest of its class, was no 
doubt a result of the severe legislation in relation to 
the theatre at that period, and of the influence of the 
clergv on which that legislation was founded. The 
scene is laid in Xicomedia. in the thii'd century, when 
it was still a crime to profess Christianity; and the 
story is that of Saint Barbara, according to the legend 
that represents her to have been a contemporary of 
Origen, who, in foct. appears on the stage as one of the 
principal personages. At the opening of the drama, 
the heroine declares that she is already., in her heart, 
attached to the new sect ; and at the end, she is its 

triumjDliant martyr, carrying with her, in a pub- 
* 304 lie profession of its faith, * not only her lover, 

but all the leading men of her native city. 
One of the scenes of this play is particularly in the 
spirit and fjiith of the age when it was written; and 
was afterwards imitated by Calderon in his " Wonder- 
working Magician." The lady is represented as con- 
fined by her father in a tower, where, in solitude, she 
gives herself up to Christian meditations. Suddenly 
the arch-eneni}' of the human race presents himself 
before her, in the dress of a fashionable Spanish gal- 
lant, lie gives an account of his adventures in a fanci- 
ful allegory, but does not so effectually conceal the 
truth that she fails to suspect who he is. In the mean 
time, her father and her lover enter. To her father 
the mysterious gallant is quite invisible, but he is 
plainly seen by the lover, whose jealousy is thus ex- 
cited to the hiohest deo-ree ; and the first act ends 

CiiAr. XX.] GUILLEN DE CAbTLu'h CID. 357 

with the coiiilLsion and reproaches which such a state 
of things necessarily brings on, and with the persuasion 
of the father that the lover may be fit for a madhouse, 
but would make a very poor husband for his gentle 
daughter. ^'^ 

The most important of the plays of Guillen de 
Castro are two which he wrote on the subject of Rod- 
rigo the Cid, — "Las Mocedades del Cid," The Youth, 
or Youthful x\d ventures, of the Cid ; — both founded 
on the old ballads of the countrj^, which, as we know 
from Santos, as well as in other ways, continued long- 
after the time of Castro to be sung in the streets.^* 
The first of these two dramas embraces the earlier 
portion of the hero's life. It opens with a solemn 
scene of his arming as a knight, and with the insult 
immediately afterwards offered to his aged father at 
the royal council-board ; and then goes on with 
the trial of the spirit and * courage of Rodrigo, * 305 
and the death of the proud Count Lozano, who had 
outraged the venerable old man b}^ a blow on the cheek ; 
— all according to the traditions in the old chronicles. 

Now, however, comes the dramatic part of the 
action, wdiich was so happily invented b}^ Guillen de 
Castro. Ximena, the daughter of Count Lozano, is 
represented in the drama as already attached to the 
young knight ; and a contest, therefore, arises between 
her sense of what she ow^es to the memory of her father 
and wdiat she may yield to her own affection ; a con- 

1* This coinedkc de santo does not old Spanish drama, offensive to Protes- 

appear in the collection of Guillen's tant ears. 

plays; but my copy of it (Madrid, ^* " El Verdad en el Potro, y el Cid 

1729) attributes it to him, and .so does Resuscitado," of Fr. Santos, (Madrid, 

the Catalogue of Huerta ; besides which, 1686, 12mo,) contains (pp. 9, 10, 51, 

the internal evidence from its ver.sifica- 106, etc.) ballads on the Cid, as he 

tion and manner is strong for its genu- says they were tlien sung in the streets 

ineness. The passages in which the by the blind beggars. The same or 

lady .speaks of Christ as her lover and similar .statements are made by Sar- 

spouse are, like all such passages in the miento, nearly a century later. ^3iS^ 


test that continues througli the Mhole of the phiy, and 
constitutes its chief interest. She comes, indeed, at 
once to the kinu'. full of a passionate tci'it^f, that struy:- 
gles with success, for a moment, against the dictates 
of her heart, and ehiims the punishment of her lover 
according to the ancient hiws of the reahn. He escapes, 
however, in consequence of the prodigious victories he 
gains over the Moors, who, at the moment when these 
events occurred, were assaulting the citj'. Subse- 
quentlv, by the contrivance of false news of the Cid's 
death, a confession of her love is extorted from her ; 
and at last her full consent to marry him is obtained, 
partly by Divine intimations, and partly by the natural 
progress of her admiration and attachment during a 
series of exploits achieved in her honor and in defence 
of her kiuii: and countrv. 

This drama of Guillen de Castro has become better 
known throughout Europe than any other of his works ; 
not only because it is the best of them all, but because 
Corneille. who was his contemporary, made it the basis 
of his own Ijrilliaut tragedy of '"The Cid " ; which did 
more than anv other single drama to determine for 
two centuries the character of the theatre all over the 
continent of Europe. But though Corneille — not un- 
mindful of the angry discussions carried on about the 
unities, mider tlie influence of Cardinal Richelieu — 
has made alterations in the action of his play, which 
are fortunate and judicious, still he has relied, for its 
main interest, on that contest between the duties and 
the affections of the heroine which was first imagined 

by Guillen de Castro. 
* oOG * Nor has he shown in this exhiljition more 

spirit or power than his Spanish predecessor. 
Indeed, sometimes he has ftiUen into considerable 


errors, which are wliolly his own. By compressing 
the time of the aetion within twenty-fovn^ hours, in- 
stead of suffering it to extend through many months, 
as it does in the original, he is guilty of the absurdity 
of overcoming Ximena's natural feelings in relation to 
the person who had killed her father, while her father's 
dead body is still before her eyes. By changing the 
scene of the quarrel, which in Guillen occurs in pres- 
ence of the king, he has made it less grave and natural. 
By a mistake in chronology, he establishes the Spanish 
court at Seville two centuries before that city was 
wrested from the Moors. And by a general straitening 
of the action within the conventional limits which were 
then beginning to bind down the French stage, he 
has, it is true, avoided the extravagance of introducing,, 
as Guillen does, so incongruous an episode out of the 
old ballads as the miracle of Saint Lazarus ; but he has 
hindered the free and easy movement of the incidents, 
and diminished their o-eneral effect. 

Guillen, on the contrary, by taking the traditions of 
his country just as he found them, instantly conciliated 
the good-will of his audience, and at the same time 
imparted the freshness of the old ballad spirit to his 
action, and gave to it throughout a strong national air 
and coloring. Thus, the scene in the royal council, 
where the father of the Cid is struck by the haughty 
Count Lozano, several of the scenes between the Cid 
and Ximena, and several between both of them and 
the king, are managed Avith great dramatic skill and a 
genuine poetical fervor. 

Tlie following passage, where the Cid's father is 
waiting for him in the evening twilight at the place 
appointed for their meeting after the duel, is as char- 
acteristic, if not as striking, as any in the drama, and is 

3G() GUILLEX DE CASTRO 's LID. [Peuu>i> II. 

superior to the corresponding passage in the French 
phiy, which occurs in the fifth and sixth scenes of the 
third act. 

The timid owe bleats not so mournfully 
Its shepherd lost, nor cries the angry lion 
■* 307 * With sucli a fierceness for its stolen young, 

As I for Roderic. — My son ! my son ! 
Each shade I pass, amid the closing night, 
Seems still to wi^ar thy form and mock my arms ! 
0, why, why comes he not ? I gave; tlie sign, — 
I marked the spot, — and yet he is not here ! 
Has he neglected ? Can he disobey ? 
It may not be ! A thousand terrors seize me. 
Perhaps some injury or accidt;nt 
Has made him turn aside his hastening step ; — 
Perhaps he may be slain, or hurt, or seized. 
The very thought freezes my breaking heart. 

holy Heaven, how many ways for fear 

Can giief find out ! — But hark ! What do I hear ? 
Is it his footstep .' Can it be ? 0, no ! 

1 am not worthy such a happiness ! 

'T is but the echo of my grief I' hear. — 

But hark iigain ! Methinks there comes a gallop 

On the flintj' stones. He springs from off his steed ! 

Is there such happine.ss vouchsafed to me ? 

Is it my son ? 

The Cid. ' My father ? 

The Fatlier. May I truly 

Trust myself, my child;' O, am I, am I, then, 
Once more within thine arms ! Then let me thus 
Compose my.self, that I may honor thee 
As greatly as thou hast deserved. F>ut why 
Hast thou delayed ? And yet, since thou art here, 
Why should I weary thee with (questioning? — 
0, bravely ha.st thou borne thyself, my son ; 
Hast bravely .stood the proof ; hast vindicated well 
Mine ancient name and strength ; and well hast paid 
The debt of life which thou receivedst from me. 
Come near to me, my son. Touch the white hairs 
Whose honor thou hast saved from infamy. 
And ki.s.s, in love, the cheek wlio.se stain thy valor 
Hath in blood washed out. — My sou ! my son ! 
The pride within my so\il is humbled now, 
And bows before the power tliat has preserved 
From sliame the race .so many kings have owned 
And Iioncircd.''' 

IS Virtio. No la ovi!Jiii-l:i .su prustor porliJo, Balo <ni<'jo<;i, ni hramo ofendiilo, 

Ni el leon que Mils liijos le haii <|uit!i(lo, Couio >o por Kodrigo. Ay, hgo amado ! 


* The Second Part, wliich gives the adventures * 308 
of the siege of Zaniora, the assassination of King 
Sancho beneath its walls, and the defiance and duels 
that were the consequence, is not equal in merit to the 
First Part. Portions of it, such as some of the circum- 
stances attending the death of the king, are quite in- 
capable of dramatic representation, so gross and revolt- 
ing are they ; but even here, as well as in the more 
fortunate passages, Guillen has faithfully followed tlie 
popular belief concerning the heroic age he represents, 
just as it had come down to him, and has thus given 
to his scenes a life and reality that could hardly have 
been given by anything else. 

Indeed, it is a great charm of this drama, that the 
popular traditions everywhere break through so con- 
stantly, imparting to it their peculiar tone and char- 
acter. Thus, the insult offered to old Laynez in the 
coiuicil ; the complaints of Ximena to the king on the 
death of her father, and the conduct of the Cid to 
herself; the story of the Leper ; the base treason of 
Bellido Dolfos ; the reproaches of Queen Urraca from 
the walls of the beleaguered city, and the defiance and 
duels that follow,^*^ — all are taken from the old bal- 

Voy abrazando sombras descompuesto Te puso mi deseo ; y pues veniste, 

i^iitre la oscura noche que ha cerrado. No he de cansarte pregando el como. 

Dile la seiia, y senal<51e el puesto, Bravamente probaste 1 bien lo hicisto ! 

Donde acudiese, en sucediendo el caso Bien mis pasados brios iuiitaste '. 

^ i me habra sido inobediente en esto ? Bien me pagaste el ser que me debiste ! 

Pero no puede ser ; mil penas pasol Toca las blancas canas que me houi-aste, 

Aljtun inconveniente le habri hecho, Llega la tierna boea 4 la mexilla 

Mudando la opinion, torcer el paso Donde la niancha de mi honor quitaste ! 

Que helada sangre me rebienta el pecho' Soberbia el alma X tu valor se humilla, 

.>i es muerto, herido, d preso ? Ay, Cielo santo I ("omo con.servador de la nolileza, 

Y quantas eosas de pesar sospecho ! Que ha honrado tautos Reyes en Castilla. 

Que siento? esa? mas nomeresco tanto. in„.„i„,i , i , /^- 1 i, ■ n . t tt 

SerA que eorresponden a mis males Mocedades del Cid, Prnnera Parte, Jorn. H. 

Los ecos de mi Toz y de mi llanto. vj rni • • , ^ r .i i 

Pero entre aquellos secos pedregales ^'^^^ lIlipeaclniH'nt ot tllf! lioiior ot 

Vuelvo 4 oir el galope de un caballo. the whole city of ZainoJ'a, for hiuillg 

De el se apea Rodrigo I hay dichas tales? harbored tile murderer of Kins Sancho, 

Sale Roflrii;o. lills a large place, in the " Cronica (Jen- 

Hyo? Cid. Padre? eral," (Tarte IV.,) in the "Cronica del 

D,ego. Es posible que me hallo (;i,l " ,„„i i,j ^jj,, yi,| ballads, and is. 

Entre tus brazos ? Hijo, aliento tonio ^\ i m t> i 7 rr r ,- 

Para en tus alabanzas empleallo. calli^d Af. Kclo dc Zumora, — a form ot 

Como tardaste tanfo? ]iues de plomo challenge preserved in this play of (luil- 


lads; often in their very words, and g'cnerally in their 
fresh spirit and with their picture-like details. The 
effect must have been great on a Castilian audience, 
always sensible to the power of the old popular po- 
etry, and always stirred as with a battle-cry when the 
achievements of their earlier national heroes were re 

called to them.^' 
"^309 * In his other dramas we find traces of the 

same principles and the same habits of theat- 
rical composition that we have seen in those already 
noticed. The " Impertinent Curiosity " is taken from 
the tale which Cervantes originally printed in the First 
Part of his Don Quixote. The "" Count Alarcos." and 
the •' Count d' Irlos," are founded on the fine old bal- 
lads that bear these names. And the '• Wonders of 
Babvlon " is a reli2:ious plav. in which the story of Su- 
sanna and the Elders fills a space somewhat too large, 
and in which King Nebuchadnezzar is unhappily intro- 
duced eatino' o-mss, like the beasts of the field.^* But 
everywhere there is shown a desire to satisfj* the de- 
mands of the national taste ; and ever}^iere it is 
plain that Guillen is a follower of Lope de Vega, and 
is distinguished from his rivals rather by the sweetness 
of his versification than by any more prominent or 
original attribute. 

Another of the early followers of Lope de Vega, and 
one recognized as such at the time by Cervantes, is 
Luis Velez de Guevara. He was born at Ecija in 

len, and recognized as a legal fomi so indebted to him largely, as we shall see 

far back as the Partida Vll., Tit. III., hereafter. Lord Holland's Life of Guil- 

" De los Kiej)tos." len, already referred to, unit, f). 152, 

J' The plays of Guillen on the Cid note, is interesting, though imperfect, 
have often been reprinted, though hard- ^^ " Las Maravillas de Babilonia " is 

ly one of his otlier dranuus has been. not in Guillen's collected dramas, and 

Voltaire, in his Preface to Conieille's is not mentioned by Rodriguez or Fus- 

< 'id, .says Comeille took his hints from ter. But it is in a volume entitled 

Diamante. But the reverse is the case. " Flor de las Mejores Doce Comedias," 

Diamanti- wrote after Corneille, and was Madrid, lGr.'2, 4to. 


AiidaliLsia, according to some autlioritics in 1570, and 
according to others in 1572 or 1574, but seems to have 
hved ahnost entirely at Madrid, where he died in 
1644, leaving the Conde de Lemos and the Duque de 
Yeragnas, a descendant of Columbus, for his executors, 
by whose care he Avas buried with ceremonies and 
honors becoming their rank rather than his own. 
Twelve years before his death he is said, on good 
authority, to have already w^ritten four hundred pieces 
for the theatre ; and as neither the public favor nor 
that of the court seems to have deserted him during 
the rest of his long life, we ma}^ feel assured that he 
was one of the most successful authors of his time.^^ 

His plays, however, were never collected for publi- 
cation, and few of them have come down to us. 
One of * those that have been preserved is for- * 310 
timatel}^ one of the best, if we are to judge of 
its relative rank by the sensation it produced on its 
first appearance, or by the hold it has since maintained 
on the national regard. Its subject is taken from a 
well-known passage in the history of Sancho the 
Brave, when, in 1293, the city of Tarifa, near Gib- 
raltar, was besieged by that king's rebellious ])rother, 
Don John, at the head of a Moorish army, and de- 
fended by Alonso Perez, chief of the great house of 
the Guzmans. " And," says the old Chronicle, " right 
well did he defend it. But the Infante Don John 
had with him a young son of Alonso Perez, and sent 
and warned him that he must either surrender that 
city, or else he w^ould put to death this child whom he 
had with him. And Don Alonso Perez answered, that 

1^ Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. II. \). made out. Guevara will be noticed 
68, and Montalvan, Para Todos, in bi.s again a.s tlie author of the " Diablo Co- 
catalogue of authors who wrote for the juelo." He had a son who wrote play.s, 
stage when (in 1632) that catalogue was full of cultismo, and who died in 1675. 


lie held that city for the king, and that he could not 
give it up ; but that as for the death of his child, he 
would give him a dagger wherewith to slay him ; and 
so saying, he cast down a dagger from the rampart in 
defiance, and added, that it would be better he should 
kill this son, and yet five others if he had them, than 
that he should himself basely yield up a city of the 
kinii;, his lord, for which he had done homa2:e. And 
the Infante Don John, in great fury, caused that child 
to be put to death before him. But neither with all 
this could he take the city." -^ 

Other accounts add to this atrocious story, that, after 
casting down his dagger, Alonso Perez, smothering his 
grief,. sat down to his noonday meal with his wife, and 
that, his j^eople on the walls of the city witnessing the 
death of the innocent child, and bursting forth into 
cries of horror and indignation, he rushed out, but, 
having heard what was the cause of the disturbance, 
returned quietly again to the table, saying only, " I 
thought, from their outcry, that the Moors had made 

their way into the city." ^^ 
* 311 * For thus sacrificing his other duties to his 
loyalty, in a way so well fitted to excite the 
imao-ination of the ao-e in which he lived, Guzman 
received an appropriate addition to his armorial bear- 
ings, still seen in the escutcheon of his family, and the 
surname of "El Bueno," — The Good, or The Faithful, 
— a title rarely forgotten in Spanish history, whenever 
he is mentioned. 

This is the subject, and, in fact, the substance, of 

^ Cronica de D. Sancho el Bravo, " Isabel de Soli's," describing a real or 

Valladolid, 1554, folio, f. 76. an iuiii^nnarj' ])icture of the death of 

^^ Quintana, Vidas de Es])anoles Ce- the young Guzman, gives a tender turn 

lebres, Tom. I., Madrid, 1807, 12mo, to the father's conduct; but the hard 

]>. 51, and the coiTesponding jiassage in old chronicle is more likely to tell th& 

the play. Martinez de la Kosa, in his truth, and the jday follows it. 


Guevara's j^lay, ''■ Ma.s pesa el Rey que la Sangre," or 
King before Kin. A good deal of skill, however, is 
shown in putting it into a dramatic form. Thus, King 
Sancho, at the opening, is represented as treating his 
great vassal, Perez de Guzman, with harshness and 
injustice, in order that the fliithful devotion of the 
vassal, at the end of the drama, may be brought out 
with so much the more brilliant effect. And again, the 
scene in which Guzman goes from the king in anger, 
but with perfect submission to the royal authority ; the 
scene between the father and the son, in which the}' 
mutually sustain each other, by the persuasions of 
duty and honor, to submit to anj'thing rather than 
give up the city ; and the closing scene, in which, 
after the siege has been abandoned, Guzman offers 
the dead body of his child as a proof of his fidelity 
and obedience to an unjust sovereign, — are worthj^ 
of a place in the best of the earlier English tragedies, 
and not unlike some passages in Greene and Webster. 
But it Avas as an expression of boundless loyalty — 
that great virtue of the heroic times of Spain — that 
this drama won universal admiration, and so l^ecame 
of consequence, not only in the history of the national 
stage, but as an illustration of the national character. 
Regarded in each of these points of view, it is one of 
the most striking and solemn exhibitions of the mod- 
ern theatre.^^ 

In most of his other plays, Guevara deviated less 
from the beaten track than he did in this deep 
tragedy. "The * Diana of the Mountains," for *312 
instance, is a poetical picture of the loyalty, 

22 The copy I u.se of tlii.s play w.as Gongorism. But a lofty tone runs 

printed in 1745. Like most of the through it, that ahvay.s found an echo 

other puVilished dramas of Guevara, it in the Spanish character, 
has a geod deal of bombast, and some 


dignity, and passionate force of character of the lower 
classes of the Spanish people, set forth in the person 
of a bold and independent peasant, -svho marries the 
beauty of his mountain region, but has the misfortune 
immediately afterwards to find her pursued by the 
love of a man of rank, from whose designs she is res- 
cued by the frank and manly appeal of her husband to 
Queen Isabella, the royal mistress of the offender.^^ 
'• The Potter of Ocaiia," too, which, like the last, is 
an intriguing drama, is quite within the limits of its 
class; — and so is •• Empire after Death." a tragedy 
full of a melancholy, idyl-like softness, which well har- 
monizes with the fate of Inez de Castro, on whose sad 
stor}^ it is founded. 

In Guevara's religious dramas we have, as usual, the 
disturbing element of love adventures, mingled with 
what ought to be most spiritual and most separate 
from the dross of human passion. Thus, in his " Three 
Divine Prodigies," we have the whole history of Saint 
Paul, who yet first appears on the stage as a lover of 
Mar}' Magdalen ; and in his ''Satan's Court" we have 
a similar history of Jonah, who is announced as a son 
of the w idow of Sarepta, and lives at the court of Nin- 
eveh, during the reign of Ninus and Semiramis, in the 
midst of atrocities which it seems impossible could have 
been hinted at before any respectable audience in 

Once, indeed, Guevara stepped beyond the wdde 
privileges granted to the Spanish theatre ; but his 
offence was not against the rules of the drama, but 
against the authority of the Inquisition. In '• The 
Lawsuit of the Devil against the Curate of Madrile- 

^ The " Luna "ie la Sierra" is the first play in the " Flor de las Mejores Doce 
Comedias," 1652. 

€iiAP. XX.] MONTALVAN. 367 

jos/' wlii(;li lie wrote with Roxas and Mira de Mesciia, 
he gives an account of the case of a poor mad girl who 
was treated as a witch, and escaped death only by con- 
fessing that she was full of demons, who are driven out 
of her on the stage, before the audience, by conjura- 
tions and exorcisms. The story has ever\' ap- 
pearance of being founded in fact, and is * cu- *31o 
rious on account of the strange details it in- 
volves. But the whole subject of witchcraft, its ex- 
hibition and punishment, belonged exclusively to the 
Holy Office. The drama of Guevara was, therefore, 
forbidden to be represented or read, and soon disap- 
peared quietly from public notice. Such cases, how- 
ever, are rare in the history of the Spanish theatre, 
at any period of its existence.^* 

The most strict, perhaps, of the followers of Lope de 
Vega was his biographer and eulogist, Juan Perez de 
Montalvan. He was a son of the kino-'s bookseller at 
Madrid, and was born in 1602.^ At the age of seven- 
teen he was already a licentiate in theology and a suc- 
cessful writer for the public stage, and at eighteen he 
contended with the principal poets of the time at the 
festival of San Isidro at Madrid, and gained, with Lope's 
assent, one of the prizes that were there offered.^*^ 
Soon after this, he took the degree of Doctor in Divin- 
ity, and, like his friend and master, joined a fraternity 
of priests in Madrid, and received an office in the In- 

-* The plays last mentioned are found ^ Alvarez y Baena, Hijos de Madiid, 

scattered in different collections, — Tom. III. p. 157; — a good life of 

"The Devil's Lawsuit" being in the Montalvan. But his father must, be- 

volume just cited, and "The Devil's fore Lope de Vega's death, have become 

Court" in the twenty-eighth volume of a priest, for he was Lo))e's confessor, 

the Comedias Escogidas. My copy of Obras de Lope, Tom. XX. ])]). 16 and 

the "Tres Portentos" is a pamphlet 41. Such changes were not unconi- 

without date. Fifteen of the plays of mon. 

(ruevara are in the collection of Come- 28 Lope de Vega, Obras Sueltas, Tom. 

ilias Escogidas, to be noticed hereafter, XL pp. 501, 537, etc., and Tom. XII. 

and it is supposed many more can be p. 424. 

368 MONTALVAX. [rKi:ion 11. 

qiiisition. In 1626, a princely merchant of Peru, with 
whom he was in no way connected, and who had never 
even seen him, sent him, from the opposite side of the 
world, a pension as his private chaplain to pray for him 
in Madrid ; all out of admiration for his genius and 

In 1627, he published a small work on - The Life 
and Purgator}^ of Saint Patrick " ; a subject popular 
in his Church, and on wliich he now wrote, probably, 
to satisfv the demands of his ecclesiastical position. 
But his nature breaks forth, as it were, in spite of 
himself, and he has added to the common 
* 314 * legends of Saint Patrick a wild tale, almost 
■wholly of his own invention, and yet so inter- 
woven with his principal subject as to seem to be a 
part of it, and even to make equal claims on the faitli 
of the reader.-® 

In 1632, he says he had composed thirty-six dramas 
and twelve sacramental aidos ; ^ and in 1636, soon 
after Lope's death, he published the extravagant pane- 
gyric on him which has been already noticed. This 
was probably the last work he gave to the press ; for, 
not long after it appeared, he became hopelessly de- 
ranged, from the excess of his labors, and died on the 
2oth of June, 1638, when only thirty-six years old. 
One of his friends showed the same pious care for his 
memory which he had shown for that of his master; 
and, gathering together short poems and other eulo- 
gies on him by above a hundred and fifty of the known 
and unknown authors of his time, published them 

^ Para ToJos, Alcala, 1661, 4to, p. pared in 1632,) where he speaks also of 

428. a picaresque novrla, " Vida i\c Malha- 

28 It went through several editions jas," and other works, as ready for tlie 
iis a book of devotion, — the last I have press . out tliey have never been print- 
seen being of 1739, 18mo. See 2^('S^t td. The number of dramatic works of 
Chap. XXII., note. all kinds attributed to him is aljout 

29 Para Todos, 1661, p. 529, (pre- sixty. 

€hap. XX. 1 MONTAT.VAT^. 30 9 

under the title of " Panegyrical Tears on the Death 
of Doctor Juan Perez de Montalvan " ; — a ])ooi- col- 
lection, in whicii, tlioiigh we meet the names of An- 
tonio de Soils, Gaspar de Avila, Tirso de Molina, Cal- 
deron, and others of note, Ave find very few lines worthy 
either of their authors or of their subject.'^'* 

Montalvan's life was short, but it Avas brilliant. lie 
early attached himself to Lope de Vega with sincere 
affection, and continued to the last the most devoted 
of his admirers ; deserving in many ways the title 
given him by Valdivielso, — '^' the firstrborn of Lope de 
Vega's genius." Lope, on his side, was sensible to the 
homage thus frankly offered him ; and not only assisted 
and encouraged his youthful follower, but received him 
almost as a member of his household and flxmily. It 
has even been said, that the " Orfeo " — a poem 
on the subject of Orpheus * and Eurydice, which * 315 
Montalvan published in August, 1624, in rival- 
ship with one under the same title published by Jaure- 
gui in the June preceding — Avas in fact the work of 
Lope himself, who was willing thus to give his disciple 
an advantage over a formidable competitor. But this 
is probably only the scandal of the next succeeding 
generation. The poem itself, which fills about two 
hundred and thirty octave stanzas, though as easy and 
spirited as if it were from Lope's hand, bears the marks 
rather of a young Avriter than of an old one ; besides 
which, the verses prefixed to it by Lope, and especially, 
his extravagant praise of it Avhen afterwards speaking 
of his own drama on the same subject, render the sug- 
gestion that he wrote the w^ork too great an iniputa- 

^ " Lagrimas Panegiiioas a la Tern- poet of note wliom I miss. From the 

prana Miieite del Gran Poeta, etc., J. "Decimas" of Calderon in this vol- 

Perez de Montalvan," por Pedro Grande nme, (f. 12,) I infer that Montalvan 

de Tena, Madrid, 1639, 4to, fi". 164. had two attacks of paralysis, and died 

Quevedo, Montalvan's foe, is tlie only a very gentle death. 
VOL. II. 24 

370 MONTALVAX. [Tkiuou IL 

tion on his cliamcter;^' But however this may be, 
Montalvan and Lope were, as we know ironi different 
passages in their works, eonstantl}' together ; and the 
faithful admiration of tlie disei])le was Avell returned 
b}- the kindness and patronage of the master. 

Montalvan's chief success was on the stau^e, where 
his popidarity was so considerable, that the booksellers 
found it for their interest to print under his name man\' 
plays that were none of his.^^ He himself prepared 
for publication two complete volumes of his dramatic 
works, which appeared in 1638 and 1G39, and were 
reprinted in 1652 ; but besides this, he had earlier in- 
serted several plays in one of his works of fiction, and 
printed many more in other ways, making in all above 
sixty ; the whole of which seem to have been pub- 
lished, as far as they were published by himself, during 

the last seven years of his life.^ 
* 31G *If we take the first volume of his collection, 

which is more likely to have received his care- 
ful revision than the last, since all the certificates are 
dated 1635, and examine it, as an illustration of his 
theories and style, we shall easily miderstand the char- 
acter of his drama. Six of the plaj's contained in it, 
or one half of the whole number, are of the class of 
ciqm y espada, and rely for their interest on some exhi- 
bition of jealousy, or some intrigue involving the point 

^ "Orfcocn T.engiiaCastellaua," por ^ Tlie date of the first volume is 

^. P. de Montalvan, Madrid, 1624, 4to. 1639 on the title-page, hut 1638 at the 

N. Ant., Bib. Xov., Tom. 1. p. 757, end. A MS. of one of his plavs, "La 

and Lope de Vega, Comedias, Tom. Deshonra Honrosa," in the £)uke of 

XX., Madrid, 1G29, in the Preface to Ossuna's Librarj', is dated 1622, when 

which he .says the Orfeo of Montalvan Montalvan of course was only twenty 

"contains whatever can contribute to years old. Schack, Nachtriige, 1854, 

its jierfection." p. 61. He says himself, in the dedica- 

32 His complaints are as loud as Lope's tion of "Cumplir con su «Jbligacion," 

or Calderon's, and are to be found in that it was the second i)lay that he 

the Preface to the first volume of his wrote. In a similar way he pronounces 

jilays, Ahalti, 1638, 4to, and in his his " Doncella de Labor" to be his 

"ParuTodos," 1661, ].. 169. best. 


of honor. They are generally, like the one entitled 
'• Fulfilment of Duty," unskilfully put together, though 
never uninteresting ; and they all contain passages of 
poetical feeling, injured in their effect by other pas- 
sages, in which taste seems to be set at defiance, — 
a remark particularly applicable to the play called 
"What 's done can't be helped." Four of the remain- 
ing six are historical. One of them is on the suppres- 
sion of the Templars, which Raynouard, referring to 
Montalvan, took as a subject for one of the few suc- 
cessful French traoredies of the first half of the nine- 
teenth century. Another is on Sejanus, not as he is 
represented in Tacitus, but as he appears in the '• Gen- 
eral Chronicle of Spain." And yet another is on Don 
John of Austria, which has no denouement, except a 
sketch of Don John's life given by himself, and making 
out above three hundred lines. A single play of the 
twelve is an extravagant specimen of the dramas writ- 
ten to satisfy the requisitions of the Church, and is 
founded on the legends relating to San Pedro de Al- 

The last drama in the volume, and the only one that 
has enjoyed a permanent popularity and been acted 
and printed ever since it first appeared, is the one 
called " The Lovers of Teruel." It is founded on 
a tradition, that, early in the thirteenth century, in 
the city of Teruel, in Aragon, — half-way between 
Saragossa and Valencia, — there lived two lovers, 
whose union was prevented by the lady's family, 
on the ground that tiie fortune of the cavalier was 
not so considerable as they ought to claim for her. 

^ It slioukl perhaps be added, that contest with the lion to the pulling 

another religious play of ilontalvan, down of the Philistine temple, is less 

" El Di%ano Xazareno Sanson," con- offensive, 
taining the historv of Samson from the 

372 MOXTALYAX. [rj;Riou II. 

* 317 They, however, gave him a * certain number of 
years to achieve the position they required of 
any one who aspired to lier hand. He accepted the 
ofter, and became a soldier. His exploits were bril- 
liant, but were long unnoticed. At last he succeeded, 
and came home in 1217, with fame and fortune. But 
he arrived too late. The lady had been reluctantly 
married to his rival, the very night he reached Teruel. 
Desperate with grief and disappointment, he followed 
her to the bridal chamber and fell dead at her feet. 
The next day the lady was found, apparently asleep, 
on his bier in the church, when the officiating priests 
came to perform the funeral service. Both had died 
broken-hearted, and both were buried in the same 
grave .*^ 

A considerable excitement in relation to this story 
having arisen in the youth of Montalvan. he seized the 
tradition on which it was founded, and wrought it into 
a drama. His lovers are placed in the time of Charles 
the Fifth, in order to connect them with that stirrino- 
period of Spanish history. The first act begins with 
several scenes, in which the difficulties and dangers of 
their situation are made apparent, and Isabella, the 
heroine, expresses an attachment which, after some 

^ I shall have occasion to recur to toiy discussions of his life and works, 

this subject when I notice a long poem There can be no doubt, from a com- 

published on it by Yague de Salas, in paiison of the " Amantes dc Teruel" 

161t). The story used by Montalvan of Tirso with that of Montalvan, jtrinted 

is founded on a tradition already em- three years later, that ilontalvan was 

ployed for the stage, but with an awk- largely indebted to his jiredecessor ; but 

ward and somewhat coarse plot, and a he has added to his drama much that 

poor versification by Andres Key de is beautiful, and given to parts of it 

Artieda, in his "Amantes," published a tone of domestic tenderness that, I 

in 1581, and by Tirso de Molina, in Ids doubt not, he drew from his own na- 

" Amantes de Teruel," 16'S5. These ture. Aribau, Biblioteca de Autores 

two [days, however, had long lieen for- Espanoles, Tom. V. pp. xx.xvii and 690. 

gotten, when an abstract of the fir.st. The story of the Lovers of Teniel is 

and the whole of the second, apjieared found also in Canto IX. of the poetical 

in the fifth volume of Aribau's " Bibli- Romance of Florando de Castilla, 158S, 

oteca" (Madrid, 1848) ; a volume which by Hieronymo de Huerta. See 2^st, 

contains thirty-.si.x well-selected plays Chap. XXVII., note, 
of Tirso de Molina, with valuable i)refa- 

Chap. XX.] MONTALVAX. 373 

anxiety and misgiving, becomes a passion so devoted 
that it seems of itself to intimate their coming sorrows. 
Iler father, however, when he learns the truth, con- 
sents to their miion ; but on condition that, within 
three A^ears, the young man shall place himself in a 
position worthy the claims of such a bride. 
Both of the lovers willingly * submit, and the * 318 
act ends with hopes for their happiness. 

Nearly the whole of the limited period elapses be- 
fore we begin the second act, where we find the hero 
just landing in Africa for the Avell-known assault on 
the Goleta at Tunis. He has achieved much, but re- 
mains unnoticed and almost broken-hearted with long 
discouragement. At this moment, he saves the Em- 
peror's life ; but the next, he is forgotten again in the 
rushing crowd. Still he perseveres, sternly and hero- 
ically ; and, led on by a jDassion stronger than death, 
is the first to mount the walls of Tunis and enter the 
city. This time, his merit is recognized. Even his 
forgotten achievements are recollected; and he re- 
ceives at once the accumulated reward of all his ser- 
vices and sacrifices. 

But when the last act opens, we see that he is des- 
tined to a fatal disappointment. Isabella, who has 
been artfully persuaded of his death, is preparing, with 
sinister forebodings, to fulfil her promise to her father 
and marry another. The ceremony takes place, — the 
guests are about to depart, — and her lover stands be- 
fore her. A heart-rending explanation ensues, and she 
leaves him, as she thinks, for the last time. But he 
follows her to her apartment ; and in the agony of his 
grief falls dead, while he yet expostulates and struggles 
with himself no less than with her. A moment after- 
wards her husband enters. She explains to him the 

374 MOXTALYAX. [Period 1 1. 

scene he witnesses, and, unable any longer to sustain 
the cruel conflict, faints and dies broken-hearted on the 
body of her lover. 

Like nearly all the other pieces of the same class, 
there is much in the '• Lovers of Teruel " to offend us. 
The inevitable part of the comic servant is peculiarly 
unwelcome ; and so are the long speeches, and the 
occasionally inflated style. But notwithstanding its 
blemishes, we feel that it is written in the true spirit 
of traged3^ As the story was believed to be authentic 
when it was first acted, it produced the deeper eflect ; 
and whether true or not, being a tale of the simple sor- 
rows of two young and loving hearts, whose dark fate 
• is the result of no crime on their part, it can 
* 319 never be read or acted * without exciting a sin- 
cere interest. Parts of it have a more fomiliar 
and domestic character than we are accustomed to find 
on the Spanish stage, pai'ticularly the scene where 
Isabella sits with her women at her wearisome em- 
broiderv, durins; her lover's absence ; the scene of her 
discouragement and misgiving just before her mar- 
riage ; and portions of the scene of horror with which 
the drama closes. 

The two lovers are drawn with no little skill. Our 
interest in them never falters ; and their characters are 
so set forth Jind developed, that the dreadful catas- 
trophe is no surprise. It comes rather like the fore- 
seen and irresistible fate of the old Greek tragedy, 
whose dark shadow is cast over the whole action from 
its opening. 

When Montalvan took historical subjects, he endeav- 
ored, oftener than his contemporaries, to observe his- 
torical truth. In two dramas on the life of Don Carlos, 
he has introduced that prince substantially in the 

L'liA]-. XX. 1 MONTALVAN. 375 

colors lie must at last wear, as an urigoverncd inarl- 
man, dangerous to his family and to the state ; and if^ 
in obedience to the persuasions of his time, the poet 
has represented Philip the Second as more noble and 
generous than we can regard him to have been, he has 
not failed to seize and exhibit in a striking manner the 
severe wariness and wisdom that were such prominent 
attributes in that monarch's character.^'' Don John of 
Austria, too, and Henry the Fourth of France, are 
happily depicted and fairly sustained in the plays in 
which they respectively appear as leading person- 

* Montalvan's autos, of which only two or * 320 
.three remain to us, are not to be spoken of in 
the same manner. His '' Polyphemus," for instance, in 
which the Saviour and a Christian Church are intro- 
duced on one side of the stage, while the principal 
Cyclops himself comes in as an allegorical represen- 
tation of Judaism on the other, is as wild and extrava- 
gant as anything in the Spanish drama. A similar 

*• "El Principe Don Carlos" i.s the lived till 1655, but, though he is said 
first play in the twenty-eighth volume to have completeil his history, and even 
of the Comedias Escogidas, 1667, and to have once sent the remainder to 
gives an account of the miraculous cure press, no more than the First Part, 
of the Prince from an attack of insanity ; coming down to 1583, has ever been 
the other, entitled " El Segu)ido Seneca published. Ranke's judgment of Ca- 
de Espana," is the first play in his brera in a remarkable paper on D. 
" Para Todo.s," and ends with the mar- Carlos (Jaiirb. der Lit. Wien, XLVI. 
riage of the king to Anne of Austria, 1829) is very wi.se and just, 
and the appointment of Don John as ^ Don John is in the play that bears 
generali.ssimo of the League. The rep- his name. Henry IV. is in " El Ma- 
resentation of characters and incidents rescal de Biron," of wliich I have a 
in these plays is substantially the same separate copy printed in 12nio, at Bar- 
that is found in Luis Cabrera de Cor- celoua, in 1635, pieceded by tlie " His- 
doba's very courtly "Felipe Segundo, toria Tragica de la Vida del Du(pie de 
Rev de Espana," which, as it was pub- Biron," by Juan I'ablo Martyr Rizo, — 
lished in 1619, probably furnished his on which the play was to a con.siderabie 
materials to Montalvan, who was not degree founded, although the extrava- 
prone to wander far for them. See gant character of Doiia Blanca ha.s no 
Libro V. c. 5; VIL 22; and VIIL 5. warrant in history. The life by Rizo 
The work of Cabrera is not very well is an int(!resting piece of contcMiporary 
written, though important to the his- biography, published originally in 1629, 
torj' of the time, because he had access seven years aft<M- th<' Marshal was exe- 
to excellent sources of information. He cuted. 

376 MOXTALVAX. [Period II. 

remark may be made on the " Escanderljecli," founded 
on the history of the half-barbarous, half-chivah'ous 
Lskander Beg, and his conversion to Christianity in the 
middle of the fifteenth century. We find it. in fact, 
difficult, at the present day, to believe that pieces like 
the first of these, in which Polyphemus plays on a 
guitar, and an island in the earliest ages of Greek 
tradition sinks into the sea amidst a discharge of 
squibs and rockets, can have been represented any- 

But Montalvan followed Lope in everything, and, 
like the rest of the dramatic writers of his age, was 
safe from such censure as he would now receive, be- 
cause he wrote to satisfy the demands of the popular 
audiences of Madrid.^ He made the novela, or tale, 
the chief basis of interest for his drama, and relied 
mainly on the passion of jealousy to give it life and 
movement.*^ Bowing to the authority of the court, 
he avoided, we are told, representing rebellion on the 
stage, lest he should seem to encourage it ; and was 
even unwilling to introduce men of rank in degrading 
situations, for fear disloyalty should l)e implied or im- 
puted. He would gladly, it is added, have re- 
* 321 strained his action to twenty-four * hours, and 
limited each of the three divisions of his full- 
length dramas to three hundred lines, never leaving 
the stage empty in either of them. But such rules 
were not prescribed to him by the popular will, and 
he wrote too freely and too fast to be more anxious 

'^ Roth of them :ire in tlie fifth day's tlie play, entitled " De \n\ Castigo dos 

enteitaunnents of the " Paia Todos." Venganzas," a play full of honors, 

^' Preface to " Para Todos." Montalvan declares" the plot to be, — 
*^ The story of "El Zeloso Estre- Itistorin tan vcnladfra, 

ineno" is altered fioni that of the same Que "" ha ciueucnta semanas 

name by Cervantes, but is indebted to *^"'' »"<*<^'°- 

it lai-gely, and takes the names of sev- Many of his plays are founded on ex- 

eral of its personages. At the end of citing and interesting but familiar tales. 


about observing his own theories tlian his master 



His ''Most Constant AVife," one of his plays whicli is 
particularly pleasing, from the firm, yet tender, char- 
acter of the heroine, was written, he tells us, in 
four weeks, prepared by the actors in eight days, and 
represented again and again, until the great relig- 
ious festival of the spring closed the theiitres.^^ His 
'• Double Vengeance," with all its honors, was acted 
twenty-one days successively.*'^ His " No Life like 
Honor" — one of his more sober efforts — a])peared 
many times on both the principal theatres of Madrid at 
the same moment ; — a distinction to which, it is said, 
no other play had then arrived in Spain, and in which 
none succeeded it till long afterwards.^ And, in gen- 
eral, during the period when his dramas were pro- 
duced, which was the old age of Lope de Vega, no 
author was heard on the stage with more pleasure than 
Montalvan, except his great master. 

He had, indeed, his trials and troubles, as all have 
whose success depends on popular favor. Quevedo, 
the most unsparing satirist of his time, attacked the 
less- fortunate parts of one of his works of fiction with 
a spirit and bitterness all his own ; and, on another 
occasion, when one of Montalvan's plays had been 
hissed, wrote him a letter which professed to be (con- 
solatory, but which is really as little so as can well 
be imagined.*^ But, notwithstanding such occasional 

*i Pellicer <\e Tobar, in the " Lagri- unbecoming and hard. All this, how- 
mas," etc., ut supra, gives this account ever, is oidy the system of Lo])e, in his 
of his friend Montalvan's literary theo- "Arte Nuevo," a little amplified, 
ries, pp. 146-1.52. He .says that '•^ Para Todos, 1661, p. .508. 
Montalvan, in the more grave parts of ^'^ Ibid., p. 158. 

Ids plays, employed ociavas, canckme^, ** C. Pellieer, On'geii, Tom. I. p. 202. 

And silvas ; in the tender parts, rfec('»K<.«, ^^ Quevculo, Obras, Tom. XL, 1794,. 

(flosns, and other similar forms ; and pp. 125, 163. An indignant answer 

roraances everywhere ; but that he was made to Quevedo, in the "Tribu- 

avoided dactyles and blank verse, as nal de la Justa Veugaiiza," already no- 


* 322 discouragements, * his course was. on the M'hole, 
fortunate, and he is still to be remembered 
amons the ornaments of the old national drama of his 

tioed. Tlie letter attributed here to have noticed, was a bookseller in Ma- 

Quevedo is printed in the Don Diego drid, reprinted there, without Queve- 

<ie Noche (1623, f. 30) as if it were the do's pemiission, his " Politica de Dies," 

work of Salas Barbadillo ; but it must as soon as it had appeared at Saragossa 

be Quevedo's. The feud was an old in 1626, and Quevedo was very angry 

one. Montalvan's father, who, as we about it. 

* CHAPTER XXI. *323 





Another of the persons avIio, fit this time, sought 
popular favor on the pubhc stage was Gabriel Tellez, 
an ecclesiastic of rank, better known as Tirso cle Mo- 
lina, — the name under which he slightly disguised 
himself when publishing works of a secular character. 
Of his life we know little, except that he was born in 
Madrid ; that he was educated at Alcala ; that he 
entered the Church as early as 1613 ; and that he 
died in the convent of Soria, of which he was the head, 
probably in Februar}^, 1648 ; — some accounts repre- 
senting him to have been sixtj- years old at the time 
of his death, and some seventy-eight or even eighty.^ 

In other respects we know more of him. As a writ^ 
er for the theatre, we have five volumes of his dramas, 
published between 1627 and 1636 ; besides which, a 
considerable number of his plays can be found scatr 
tered through his other works, or printed each by 
itself. His talent seems to have been decidedly dra- 
matic and satirical ; but the moral tone of his plots is 
lower than common, and many of his plays contain 
passages whose indecency has caused them to be so 
hunted down by the confessional and the Inquisition, 

1 Deleytar Aprovechaiido, Madrid, y Baena, Hijos de Madrid, Tom. II. p. 
1765, 2 torn., 4to, Prologo. Alvarez 267. 

380 TIRSO DE MOLIXA. [1'kiuod II. 

that copies of them are among tlie rarest of 
* 324 Spanish Ijooks.^ Not a * few of the less offen- 
sive, however, have maintained their place on 
the stage, and are still familiar, as popular favorites. 

Of these, the best known ont of Spain is " El Burla- 
dor de Se villa," or The Seville Deceiver, — the earliest 
distinct exhibition of that Don Juan who is now seen 
on every stage in Europe, and known to the lowest 
classes of Germany, Italy, and Spain, in puppet-shows 
and street-ballads. The first rudiments for this char- 
acter — which, it is said, may be traced historically to 
the great Tenorio family of Seville — had, indeed, been 
brought upon the stage by Lope de ^'ega, in the sec- 
ond and third acts of" Money makes the Man" ; where 
the hero shows a similar firmness and wit amidst the 
most awful visitations of the unseen world.^ But in 
the character as sketched by Lope there is nothing 
revolting. Tirso, therefore, is the first who showed it 
with all its original undaunted courage united to an 
unmingled depravity that asks only for selfish gratifi- 
cations, and a cold, relentless humor that continues to 
jest when surrounded by the terrors of a supernatural 

This conception of the character is picturesque, not- 

- Of these five volumes, containing ^ There are some details in this part 

fifty-nine plays, and a number of en- of Lojie's play, such as the mention of 

treiue-sci and ballads, whose titles are a walking stone statue, which leave no 

given in Aribau's Biblioteca, (Madrid, doubt in my mind that Tirso de Jlolina 

1848, Tom. V. p. xxxvi,) I have seen used it. Lope's play is in the tweiity- 

a complete set only in the Imperial Li- fourth volume of his Comedias (Zara- 

brary at Vienna, and have been able goza, 1633); but it is one of his dramas 

with difficulty to collect between thirty that have continued to be reprinted and 

and forty separate plays. Their author read. There is an excellent transla- 

says, however, in tlie Preface to his "Ci- tion of Tirso's " Burlador de Sevilla" 

ganales de Toledo. Q 624,) that he had in the mea.sures of the original, by 

written three hundred; and I believe C. A. Dohm, in his "Spanische Dra- 

about eighty have been printed. There men," Band I., 1841, and another 

is an autograph play of his in the Duke by BraunfeLs, in his " Dramen nach 

of Ossuna's Library, dated Toledo, 30th dem Spanischen," Frankfort, 1856i, 

May, 1613, and his "No peor Sordo" Tom. I. 
is believed to have been written in 1596. 


withstand iiig the moral atrocities it involves. It was, 
therefore, soon carried to Naples, and from Naples to 
Paris, where the Italian actors took j^ossession of it. 
The piece tlins produced, which was little more than 
an Italian translation of Tirso's, had o-reat success in 
1656 on the boards of that company, then very fash- 
ionable at the French court. Two or three French 
translations followed, and in 1665 Moliere 
brought out his " Festin de * Pierre," in which, * 325 
taking not only the incidents of Tirso, jjut often 
his dialogue, he made the real Spanish fiction known 
to Europe as it had not been known before.^ From 
this time the strange and wild character conceived by 
the Spanish poet has gone through the world under 
the name of Don Juan, followed by a reluctant and 
shuddering interest, that at once marks what is most 
peculiar in its conception, and confounds all theories 
of dramatic interest. Zamora, a writer of the next 
half-centur}^ in Spain, Thomas Corneille in France, and 
Lord Byron in England, are the prominent poets to 
whom it is most indebted for its fame ; though perhaps 
the genius of Mozart has done more than an}' or all of 
them to reconcile the refined and elegant to its dark 
and disgusting horrors.^ 

At home, " The Deceiver of Seville " has never been 
the most favored of Tirso de Molina's works. That 

* For the way in which this truly has often been acted on the American 

Spanish fiction was spread through Ita- stage. Shadwell's own i)Liy is too gross 

ly to France, and then, bj' means of to be tolerated anywliere nowadays, and 

Moliere, throughout the rest of Europe, besides has no lit('rary merit, 
see Parfaits, " Histoire du Theatre & That the popularity of the mere 

Fran9ais" (Paris, 12nio, Tom. VIII., fiction of Don Juan lias been preserved 

1746, p. 255 ; Tom. IX., 1746, pp. 3 in Spain may be seen from tlie many 

and 343 ; and Tom. X., 1747, p. 420); recent versions of it; and esjiecially 

and Cailhava, "Art de la Comedie" from the two pla3's of " Don Juan Te- 

(Paris, 1786, 8vo, Tom. II. p. 175). norio " by Zorrilla, (1844, ) and his two 

Shadwell's "Libertine" (1676) is sub- poems, "El Desafio del Diablo," and 

stantially the same storj-, with added " UnTestigode Bronce," (1845,) hardly 

atrocities ; and, if I mistake not, is the less dramatic than the plays that had 

foundation of the short drama wliirh i)receded them. 

382 TIRSO DE MOLIXA. [Period II. 

distinction belongs to '• Don Gil in the Green Pan- 
taloons," perhaps the most strongly marked of the 
successful intriguing comedies in the language. Dofia 
Juana, its heroine, a ladj' of Valladolid. who has 
been shamefully deserted bv her lover, follows him to 
Madrid, whither he had gone to arrange for himself a 
more ambitious match. In Madrid, during the fort- 
night the action lasts, she appears sometimes as a lady 
named Elvira, and sometimes as a cavalier named Don 
Gil ; but never once, till the last moment, in her own 
proper person. In these two assumed characters, she 
confounds all the plans and plots of her faithless lover ; 

makes his new mistress fall in love with her; 
* 326 * writes letters to herself, as a cavalier, from 

herself, as a lady ; and passes herself off, some- 
times for her own lover, and sometimes for other per- 
sonages merely imaginary. 

Her family at Valladolid, meantime, are made to 
beheve slie is dead ; and two cavaliers appearing in 
Madrid, the one from design and the other by acci- 
dent, in a green dress like the one she wears, (dl three 
are taken to be one and the same individual, and tlie 
confusion becomes so unintelligible, that her alarmed 
lover and her own man-servant — the last of whom 
had never seen her but in masculine attire at Madrid 
— are persuaded it is some spirit come among them in 
the fated green costume, to work out a dire revenge 
for the wrongs it had suffered in the flesh. At this 
moment, when the uproar and alarm are at their 
height, the relations of the parties are detected, and 
three matches are made instead of the one that had 
been broken off; — the servant, who had been most 
frightened, coming in at the instant everything is set- 
tled, with his hat stuck full of tapers and his clothes 


covered with pictures of .sjiints, and crying ont, as he 
scatters holy water in everybody's face : — 

Who Jirays, wlio prays for lu}' iiiast<n''s poor soul, — 
His soul now suffeiiiig i)urgatoiy's j)ains 
Within those selfsame pantaloons of green ? 

And when his mistress turns suddenly round and asks 
him if he is mad, the servant, terror-struck at seeing a 
lady, instead of a cavalier, with the countenance and 
voice he at once recognizes, exclaims in horror : — 

I do conjure thee by the wounds — of all 

Who suffer in the hosjjital's worst ward, — 

Abrenuntio ! — Get thee behind me ! 
JwxrM. Fool ! Don't you see that I am your Don Gil, 

Alive in body, and in mind most sound ? — 

That I am talking here with all these friends. 

And none is frightened but your foolish self ? 
Servant. Well, then, what are you, sir, — a man or woman ? 

Just tell me that. 
Juaiia. A woman, to be sure. 

Servant. No more ! enough ! That word explains the whole ; — 

Ay, and if thirty worlds were going mad. 

It would be reason good for all the uproar. 

*The chief characteristic of this play is its * 327 
•extremely ingenious and involved plot. Few 
foreigners, perhaps not one, ever comprehended all its 
intrigue on first reading it, or on first seeing it acted. 
Yet it has always been one of the most popular plays 
on the Spanish stage ; and the commonest and most 
ignorant in the audiences of the great cities of Spain 
do not find its ingenuities and involutions otherwise 
than diverting. 

Quite different from either of the preceding dramas, 
and in some respects better than either, is Tirso's 
" Bashful Man at Court," — a play often acted, on its 
first appearance, in Italy, as well as in Spain, and one 
in which, as its author tells us, a prince of Castile once 
performed the part of the hero. It is not proj^erly 

384 TIRSO DE MOLINA. [ri:i:i<ji) II. 

historical, though partly foimded on the story of Pedro, 
Duke of Coimbra, who, in 1449, after having been 
regent of Portugal, was finally despoiled of his power 
and defeated in an open rebellion.''' Tirso supposes 
him to have retired to the mountains, and there, dis- 
guised as a shepherd, to have educated a son in com- 
plete ignorance of his rank. This son, under the name 
of Mireno. is the hero of the piece. Findmg himself 
possessed of nobler sentiments and higher intelligence 
than those of the rustics among whom he lives, he half 
suspects that he is of noble origin ; and, escaping from 
his solitude, appears at court, determined to try his 
fortune. Accident helps him. He enters the service 
of the royal favorite, and wins the love of his daughter, 
who is as free and bold, from an excessive knowledge 
of the world, as her lover is humble and gentle in his 
ignorance of it. There his rank is discovered, and the 
play ends happily. 

A story like this, even with the usual accompaniment 
of an underplot, is too slight and simple to produce 
much efiect. But the character of the principal per- 
sonage, and its gradual development, rendered it 
long a favorite on the Spanish stage. Nor was this 
preference unreasonable. His nol)le pride, struggling 

ao-ainst the humble circumstances in which he 
* 328 finds himself placed ; the suspicion * he hardly 

dares to indulge, that his real rank is equal to 
his aspirations, — a suspicion which yet governs his 
life ; and the modesty which tempers the most am- 
bitious of his thoughts, form, when taken together, one 
of the most lofty and beautiful ideals of the old Cas- 
tilian character.^ 

^ Cronioa de D. Juan el Scgiindo, ad ]>rinted as earlj' as 1624, in the "Cigar- 

ann. ralos de Toledo," (Madrid, 1624, 4to, 

7 The "Vergonzoso en Palacio" was p. 100,) and took its name, I suppose. 

Chap. XXI.] TlliSO I)E MOLINA. dbO 

Some of Tirso's secuhir (Iminas deal chiefly in recent 
events and well-settled history, like his trilogy on the 
achievements of the Pi/arros in the New World, and 
their love-adventures at home. Others are founded on 
facts, but with a larger admixture of fiction, like the 
one on the election and pontificate of Sixtus Quintus. 
But his religious dramas and autos are as extravagant 
as those of the other poets of his time, and could 
hardly be more so. 

His mode of treating his subjects seems to be capri- 
cious. Sometimes he begins his dramas with great 
naturalness and life, as in one that opens with the 
«iccidents of a bull-fight,^ and in another, with the con- 
fusion consequent on the upsetting of a coach ; ^ while, 
at other times, he seems not to care how tedious he is, 
and once breaks ground in the first act with a speech 
above four hundred lines long.^*^ Perhaps the most 
characteristic of his openings is in his '' Love for 
Reasons of State," where we have, at the outset, a 
scene before a lady's balcony, a rope-ladder, and a duel, 
all full of Castilian spirit. His more obvious defects 
are the too great similarity of his characters and inci- 
dents ; the too frequent introduction of disguised ladies 
to help on the intrigue; and the needless and shame- 
less indelicacy of some of his stories, — a favdt ren- 
dered more remarkable by the circumstance, that he 
himself was an ecclesiastic of rank, and honored in 
Madrid as a public preacher. His more uniform merits 
are an invention which seems never to tire or to 
become exhausted ; a most happy power of gay 
narration ; an extraordinary command of his native 

from a Spanish proverb, "Mozo ver- * " La Leal tad contra la En vidia." 

gonzoso no es para ])alacio," — "At ^ " Por el Sotano y el Torno. " 

court in truth a bashful youtli can liud ^^ " Escarmientos para Cuerdos." 
no place at all." 

VOL. II. 25 

386 MIRA DE 3IESCUA. [Pekiud II. 

* 329 * Castilian ; and a rich and flowing versification 
in all the many varieties of metre demanded by 
the audiences of the capital, who were Ijecome more 
nice and exacting in this, perhaj^s. than in any other 
single accessory of the drama. 

But however various and capricious were the forms 
of Tirso's drama, he was, in substance, always a fol- 
lower of Lope de Vega, and one Avho succeeded in vin- 
dicatmg for himself a place very near his great master. 
That he was of the school of Lope, he himself dis- 
tincth' anuomices, boasting of it. and entering, at the 
same time, into an ingenious and elaborate defence of 
its principles and practice, as opposed to those of the 
classical school ; a defence which, it is worthy of notice, 
Avas published twelve years before the appearance of 
Corneille's " Cid," and which, therefore, to a consider- 
able extent, anticipated in Madrid the remarkable con- 
troversy about the unities occasioned by that tragedy 
in Paris after 1636,^^ and sul)sequently made the foun- 
dation of the dramatic schools of Corneille, Racine, and 

Contemporary with these events and discussions lived 
Antonio Mira de Mescua, well known from 1602 to 1635 

" Cigarrales de Toledo, 1624^, pp. Bayitist, — is divided into fiv'e acts, has 

183-188. In 1631, there was pub- a chorus, and is confined in its action 

lished at Milan a small volume in within the limits of twenty-four hours ; 

12mo, entitled " Favores de las Musas • — "para que se vea," says the editor, 

hechas a D. Sebastian Francisco de ile- "que ay en Espana quien lo sabe hacer 

drano en varias Kimas y Poesias que con todo piimor." This was live years 

compuso en la mas celebre Academia de before the date of Corneille's Cid. The 

^Madiid, donde fue Presidente mentis- volume in (juestion was to have been 

simo." It was edited by Alonso de Cas- followed by others, but none api>eared, 

tillo Solorzano, the well-known writer though its author did not die till 

of tales, and contains a little bad lyri- 1653. " 

cal j)oetn-, and three plays not much I cannot help adding that a great 

Ijetter. The author, 1 suppose, is not deal more has been said about the 

the same with Francisco de Medrano, "unities" as ]ieculiar to the French 

to be noticed hereafter among the IjTi- school in modem times than belongs to 

cal poets, and I should hardly mention the case. It seems to me from tlie five 

the present volume, if it were not that choruses in Hcniy V. that Shakespare 

one of its plays, — " El Luzero Eclip- understood the whole matter as well as 

sado," — on the subject of John the Cardinal Piichelieu did. 

Chap. XX I] MIRA DE MESCUA. 387 

as a writer for the stage, and iniicli praised by Cervan- 
tes and Lope de Vega. He was a native of Guadix in 
the kinu^loni of Granada, and in ]iis voiith Ijecanie arch- 
deacon of its cathedral; but in 1610 he was at Naples, 
attached to the poetical coiu't of the Count de Lemos, 
and in 1620 he gained a prize in Madrid, where he died 
in 1635 while in the office of chaplain to Philip 
the * Fourth. He Avrote secular plays, mdos, * 330 
and lyrical poetry ; but his works were never 
collected and are now found with difficulty, though not 
a few of his lighter compositions are in nearly all the 
respectable selections of the national poetry from his 
own time to the present. His manner was very un- 

He, like Tirso de Molina, was an ecclesiastic of rank, 
but did not escape the troubles common to writers for 
the stage. One of his dramas, " The Unfortunate Ra- 
chel," founded on the fable which represents Alfonso 
the Eighth as having nearly sacrificed his crown to his 
passion for a Jewess of Toledo, was much altered, by 
authority, before it could be acted, though Lope de 
Vega had been permitted to treat the same subject at 
large in the same way, in the nineteenth book of his 
"Jerusalem Conquered." Mira de Mescua, too, was 
concerned in the drama of " The Curate of Madrilejos," 
which, as we have seen, was forbidden to be read or 
acted even after it had been printed. Still, there is no 
reason to suppose he did not enjoy the consideration 
usually granted to successful writers for the theatre. 
At least, we know he was much imitated. His " Slave 
of the Devil " was not only remodelled and reproduced 
by Moreto in " Fall to rise again," but was freely used 
by Calderon in two of his best-known dramas. His 
" Gallant both Brave and True " was employed by 

388 YALDIVIELSO. [Period II. 

Aliircoii ill •• The Trial of Husbands." And his " Pahice 
in Confusion " is the groundwork of Corneille's " Don 

Saneho of Aragon." ^' 
* 331 * Joseph de Valdivielso, another ecclesiasdc 

of high condition, was also a writer for the stag-e 
at the same time. He was connected Avitli the g-reat 
cathedral of Toledo, and with its princely primate, the 
Cardinal Infante. But he lived in Madrid, where he 
was a member of the same religious cono-reg-ation with 
Cervantes and Lope, and where he was intimately asso- 
ciated with the principal men of letters of his time. 
He flourished from about 1G07 to about 1633, and can 
be traced, during the Avhole of that period, by his cer- 
tificates of approbation, and by commendatory verses 
which were prefixed to the works of his friends as they 
successively appeared. His own publications are al- 
most entirely religious ; — those for the stage consist- 
ing of a single volume printed in 1622. and containing 
twelve autos and two religious plays. 

The twelve cmfos seem, from internal evidence, to 
have been written for the cit}^ of Toledo, and certainly 
to have been performed there, as well as in other cities 
of Spain. He selected them from a large number, and 

12 The notices of Mira de Mescua, or can be found only separate, or in col- 

Amescua, as he is sometimes called, are lections made for other pui-poses. See, 

scattered like his works. He is men- also, in relation to Mira de Mescua, 

tioned in Itoxas, " Viage " (1602); and Montalvan, "Para Todos," the Cata- 

I have his " Desgiaciada Kacjuel," logue at the end ; and Pellicer, Bibli- 

both in a printed copy, where it is at- oteca, Tom. I. p. 89. The story on 

tributed to Diamante, and in an auto- which the " Kaijuel " is founded is a 

graph MS., wlu-re it is sadly cut up to fiction, and therefore need not so much 

suit the ecclesia,stical censors, whose have disturbed the censors of the thea- 

permission to represent it is dated tre. (Castro, Cronica de Saneho el 

April 10, 1635. Guevara indicates Deseado, Alonso el Octavo, etc., Ma- 

his birthplace and ecclesiastical office drid, 1665, folio, pp. 90, etc.) Two 

in the " Diablo Cojuelo," Tranco VI. aiitos by Mira de Mescua are to be 

Antonio (Bib. Nov., ad verb.) gives found in " Na%'idad y Corpus Christi 

him extravagant prai.se, and says that Festejadcs, " Madrid, 1664, 4to, and a 

his dramas were collected and published few of his mi.scellaneous ])oems in Ri- 

together. But thi.s, I believe, is a mis- vadeneyra's Biblioteca, Tom. XLII., 

take. Like his shorter poems, they 1857. 


they undoubtedly enjoyed, during his hletime, a wide 
popuhirity. Some, pei'haps, deserved it. " The Prodi- 
gal Son," long a tempting subject wherever religious 
•dramas were known, was treated with more than 
usual skill. " Psyche and Cupid," too, is better uian- 
aged for Christian purposes than that mj'stical fancy 
commonly was by the poets of the Spanish theatre. 
And " The Tree of Life " is a well-sustained allegory, 
in which the old theological contest between Divine 
Justice and Divine Mercy is carried through in tlie old 
theological spirit, beginning with scenes in Paradise 
and ending with the appearance of the Saviour. But, 
in general, the autos of Valdivielso are not better than 
those of his contemporaries. 

His two plays are not so good. '^ The Birth of the 
Best," as the Madonna is often technically called, and 
" The Guardian Angel," which is, again, an allegory, 
not unlike that of " The- Tree of Life," are both of 
them crude and wild compositions, even within the 
broad limits permitted to the religious drama. 
One * reason of their success may perhaps be * 332 
found in the fact, that they have more of the 
tone of the elder poetry than almost any of the sacred 
plays of the time ; — a remark that may be extended 
to the aiitos of Valdivielso, in one of which there is a 
spirited parody of the well-known ballad on the chal- 
lenge of Zamora after the murder of Sanclio the Brave. 
But the social position of their author, and perhaps his 
quibbles and quaintnesses, which humored the l)ad 
taste of his age, must be taken into consideration be- 
fore we can account for the extensive popularity he 
undoubtedly enjoyed.^^ 

1' Antonio, Rib. Nova, Tom. I. p. sess are "Doce Autos Sacranientales y 
521. His dramatic works whicli I pes- dos Comedias Diviuas," por el Maestro 


Another sort of favor fell to the .share of Antonio de 
Mendoza, who wrote much for the conrt between 1623 
and 1643, and died in 1644. His Works — besides a 
nnmber of ballads and short poems addressed to the 
Duke of Lerma and other prinei])al persons of the 
kingdom — contain a Life of Our Lady, in nearly eight 
hundred rcdondillas, and five plays, to Avhich several 
more may be added from different miscellaneous collec- 
tions. The poems are of little value ; the pla3S are 
better. " He Deserves Most who Loves Most" may 
have contributed materials to Moreto's '' Disdain met 
with Disdain," and is certainly a pleasant drama, with 
natural situations and an easy dialogue. '' Society 
changes Manners " is another real comedy with much 
life and gayety. And " Love for Love's Sake," which 
has been called its author's happiest effort, but which 
is immensely long and aljoiuids in instances of bad 
taste, enjoyed the distinction of being acted before the 
court by the queen's maids of honor, who took all the 
parts, — those of the cavaliers, as well as those of the 

Joseph fie Valdivielso, Toledo, 162'2, not colleeted till long after his death, 
4to, 183 leaves. Compare the old bal- and were then printed from a uiauu- 
lad, "Yacabalga Diego Ordonez," which script found in the libraiy of the Arch- 
can be traced to the Eomanceroof 1550- bishop of Lisbon, Luis de Souza, under 
1555, with the "Cronica del Cid," c. 66, the affected title, "El Feuix Castellano, 
and the "Cautivos Libres," f. 25, a, of D. Antonio de Mendoza, lenascido," 
the Ui)ce Autos. It will show how the etc., an excessively rare book, eontain- 
old ballads rang in the ears of all men, ing the five "comedias" and other 
ami i)enetrated everywhere into Spanish works {Lisboa, 1690, 4to). The only 
]ioetry. There is a nacimicnto oi \a\- notices of consequence that I find of 
divifiso in the "Navidad y Corpus him are in Montalvan's " Para Todos," 
Christi," mentioned in the preceding and in Antonio, Bib. Nova. A second 
note ; but it is verj' slight and poor. edition of his works, with trifling ad- 
Montalvan, who is a good authority, ditions, ap])eared at iladrid in 1728, 
says in the dedication of his "Amantes 4to. "Querer por .solo querer," wliich 
de Teruel," that as a wiiter of autos Avas acted at Aranjuez for the fiesta of 
ValdivieLso was the first of his time. Philip IV. in 1623, was translated, in 
This wa.s aboiit 1636, and therefore be- light verse, by Sir Richard Fanshawe, 
fore Calderon's great succes.s. who wa.s sent as amba.ssador to Madrid 
1* I have a copy of his " Vida de by both Charles I. and Charles II., and 
Nue.stra Sefiora," published by his died there in 1666. His version, like 
nephew in 1652, but liis works were an uncommoidy large proiwitioii of the 

Chap. XXI.] RUIZ I)E ALAHCOX. 391 

* Ruiz de Alarcon.who was his contcmporaiy, * 333 
was less favored during his hfetiiiie tlian Meii- 
doza, but has much more merit. lie was born at 
Tasco, in Mexico, ))ut was descended from a family 
that belonged to Alarcon in the mother country. As 
early as 1622 he was in Madrid, and assisted in the 
composition of a poor play in honor of the Marquis of 
Caiiete for his victories in Arauco, which was the joint 
work of nine persons. In 1628, he published the first 
volume of his Dramas, on the title-])age of which he 
calls himself Prolocutor of die Royal Coiuuul for the 
Indies ; a place both of trust and profit. It is dedi- 
cated to the Duke of Medina de las Torres, but it con- 
tains also an address to the Publico Vulgar, or the Rab- 
ble, in a tone of savage contempt for the audiences of 
Madrid, wdiich, if it intimates that he had been ill- 
treated on the stage, proves also that he felt strong 
enough to defy his enemies. To the eight plays con- 
tained in this volume he added twelve more in 1635, 
with a Preface, which, again, leaves little doubt that 
his merit was undervalued, as he says he found it diffi- 
cult to vindicate for himself even the authorship of 
not a few of the plays he had written. He died in 
1639.1^ 7 

original play, is rhymed, and is among him "LaToqiiera Vizcayna," says neat- 
tlie very curious and rare hooks in the ly, that he does it on condition that 
English language. It is cited in the Mendoza shall forget his own dramas, 
preface to Lady Fanshawe's Memoirs, i» Alarcon seems, in consequence of 
as if published in 1671, but my copy is these remonstrances, or perhaps in con- 
dated 1670. At the end is an account, sequence of the temper in which they 
also translated from Mendoza, of a series were made, to have drawn uj)on hiin- 
of magnificent allegorical festivities the self a series of attacks from the poets 
preceding year at Aranjuez, evidently of the time, G6ng07-a, Lope de Vega, 
very brilliant, and described in the very Mendoza, Montalvan, and otliers, some 
spirit of a fantastic Oa.stilian courtier. of whom stoop so low as to ridicule him 
Notices of Meudoza's honors may be for an nnhappy deformity of his jici'son. 
found in Schack's Nachtrage, p. 92. Si^e Puibu.sfpie, Histoire Comjiai-ee des 
He was one of the Royal Secretaries, Litteratures Es])agnol(! et Fi'an(;aise, 2 
but what was of vastly more conse- torn., 8vo, Paiis, 184:?, Tom. II. p]». 
quence, he was Secretary of the Inqui- l.'io- 164, and 4:50- 487 ; — a book wiit- 
.sitioii. ^lontalvan, when dedicating to ten with nnich taste and knowledge of 

392 ItUIZ DE ALAECOX. [Peuiud II. 

* 334 * His " Domingo de Don Bias," one of the few 
uiuoiig his works not found in the collection 
printed by hhuself, is a sketch of the character of a 
gentleman sunk into luxury and efleminacv by the 
possession of a large fortune suddenly won from the 
Moors in the time of Alfonso the Third of Ijcon ; but 
who, at the call of duty, rouses himself again to his 
earlier energy, and shows the old Castilian character 
in all its loyalty and generosity. The scene where he 
refuses to risk his person in a bull-fight, merely to 
amuse the Infante, is full of hiunor, and is finelj- con- 
trasted, first, with the scene where he runs all risks in 
defence of the same prince, and afterwards, still more 
fmely, with that where he sacrifices the prince, because 
he had failed in loyalty to his father. 

'- How to gain Friends " giyes us another exhibition 
of the principle of loyalty in the time of Peter the 
Cruel, who is here represented onlj^ as a seyere, but 
just, administrator of the law in seasons of great trou- 
ble. His minister and fiivorite, Pedro de Luna, is one 
of the most noble characters offered to us in the whole 
range of the Spanish drama ; — a character belonging 
to a class in which Alarcon has seyeral times suc- 

A better-known play than either, howeyer, is the 
" Weaver of Segovia." It is in two parts. In the 
first, — which is not believed to be by Alarcon, and is 
of inferior merit, — its hero, Fernando Ramirez, is rep- 
resented as suffering the most cruel injustice at the 
hands of his sovereign, who has put his father to death 
under a false imputation of treason, and reduced Ra- 
mirez himself to the misery of earning his subsistence, 

the subject to \vlii(-li it relates. It wliere the date of Alaicoii's death is 
gained the prize of 1842. See, also, given by Pellizer y Tobar. 
♦Seiuanaiio Ermlito, Tom. XXXI. p. 1)1, 


disguised «is a weaver. Six years elapse, and in the 
second part he appears again, stung by new wrongs 
and associated with a band of robbers, at whose head, 
after spreading terror through the mountain 
ransce of the * Guadarrama, he renders such ser- * 335 
vice to his migrateful king, in the crisis of a 
battle against the Moors, and extorts sucli confessions 
of his own and his fither's innocence from their dying 
enemy, that he is restored to favor, and becomes, in 
the Oriental style, the chief person in the kingdom he 
has rescued. He is, in fact, another Charles de Molir, 
but has the advantage of being placed in a period of 
the world and a state of society where such a character 
is more possible than in the period assigned to it by 
Schiller, though it can never be one fitted for exhibi- 
tion in a drama that claims to have a moral purpose. 

"Truth itself Suspected" is, on the other hand, 
obviously written for such a purpose. It gives us the 
character of a young man, the son of a high-minded 
father, and himself otherwise amiable and interesting, 
who comes from the University of Salamanca to begin 
the world at Madrid, with an invincible habit of lying. 
The humor of the drama, whicli is really great, consists 
in the prodigious fluency with which he invents all 
sorts of fictions to suit his momentary purposes ; the 
ingenuity with which he struggles against the true 
current of facts, although it runs every moment more 
and more strongly against him ; and the finjil result, 
when, nobody believing him, he is reduced to the ne- 
cessity of telling the truth, and — by a mistake which 
he now finds it impossible to persuade any one he has 
really committed — loses the lady he had won, and is 
overwhelmed with shame and disgrace. 

Parts of this drama are full of spirit ; such as the 

394 RUIZ DE ALARCOX. [Period II. 

description of a student's life at tlie University, and 
that of a brilliant festival given to a lady on the banks 
of the Manzanares ; both tinged with the Gongorism 
becoming a fop of the period. These, with the exhor- 
tations of the young man's father, intended to cure him 
of his shameful fiiult, and not a little of the dialoo;ue 
between the hero — if he may be so called — and his 
servant, are excellent. It is the piece from which 
Corneille took the materials for his " Menteur," and 
thus, in 1642, laid the foundations of classical French 
comedy in a play of Alarcon, as, six years before, 

lie had laid the foundations for its classical 
*336 tragedy* in the "Cid" of Guillen de Castro. 

Alarcon, however, was then so little known, that 
Corneille honestly supposed himself to be using a play 
of Lope de Vega, and said so ; though it should be re- 
membered, that when, some years afterwards, he found 
out his mistake, he did Alarcon the justice to restore 
him to his rio;hts, addino; that he would gladlv give the 
two best plays he had ever written to be the author of 
the one he had so freely used. 

It would not be difficult to find other dramas of 
Alarcon showing equal judgment and spirit. Such, in 
fact, is the one entitled " Walls have Ears," which, 
from its mode of exhibiting the ill consequences of 
slander and mischief-making, may be regarded as the 
counterpart to "Truth itself Suspected." And such, 
too, is the " Trial of Husbands," which has had the for- 
tune to pass under the names of Lope de Vega and 
Montalvan, as well as of its true author, and would 
cast no discredit on either of them.^^ But it is enough 
to add to what we have already said of Alarcon, that 

^® It reminds me of that part of the Belmont, and T am not sure Init its 
Merchant of Venice whicli puiises at story goes back to a common source. 


his style is excellent, — generally better than that of 
any but the very best of his contemporaries, — with 
less richness, indeed, than that of Tirso de Molina, 
and adhering more to the old ballnd measure than 
that of Lope, but purer in versificjition than either 
of them, more simple and more natural; so that, on 
the' whole, he is to be ranked wdth the very l^est Span- 
ish dramatists during the best period of the national 

* Other writers who devoted themselves to * 337 
the drama were, however, as well known at 
the time they lived as he was, if not always as much 
valued. Among them may be mentioned Luis de Bel- 
monte, whose "Renegade of Yalladolid " and "God 
the best Guardian" are sino-nlar mixtures of what is 
sacred with what is profane ; Jacinto Cordero, whose 
"Victory through Love" was long a favorite on the 
stage ; Andres Gil Enriquez, the author of a pleasant 
play called " The Net, the Scarf, and the Picture " ; 
Diego Ximenez de Enciso, who wrote grave historical 
plays on the life of Charles the Fifth at Yuste, and on 
the death of Don Carlos ; Geronimo de Villaizan, whose 

1'^ Repertorio Americano, Tom. III. care and taste, (Biblioteca de Autores 

p. 61, Tom. IV. p. 93 ; Denis, Chro- Espanoles, Tom. XX., 1852,) by D. 

niques de I'Espagne, Paris, 1839, 8vo, Juan Eugenic de Hartzenbusch. Their 

Tom. II. p. 231 ; Comedias Escogidas, number is twentv-seven, and among 

Tom. XXVIII., 1667, p. 131. Cor- them is the i^'n-s^ Part of the " Te.xedor 

neille's opinion of the " Verdad So.spe- de Segovia," which, as Alarcon pub- 

chosa," which is often misquoted, is to lished the Second Part in his second 

be found in his " E.xamen du Menteur." volume, without any allusion to a first 

I will only add, in relation to Alarcon, one, we suppose, as Hartzenbusch does, 

that, in " Nunca mucho costo poco," there is good ground for believing not 

he has given us the character of an im- to be his. There is also internal evi- 

perious old nurse, which is well drawn, denee, I think, to the same effect. 
and made effective by the use of pic- There is a French translation of five 

turesque, but antiquated, words and of the plays of Alarcon and abstracts 

phrases. of the rest by Alphonse Koyer, 1865. 

Since the first edition of this work If anybody would like to see how a 

Avas published, (1849,) all tlie plays at- Spanish comcdia can be spoiled, I 

tributed to Alai-con, including one to commend him to Royer's version of the 

which he was only a contrilmtor, and " Ganar Amigos." It is the only one 

two whose genuineness is doubtful, have in verse. The four others are in prose, 

been collected and published, with much and are better. 


best play is "A Great Remedy for a Great Wrong"; 
and many others, such as Carlos Boil, Felipe Godinez, 
Miguel Sanchez, and Rodrigo de Herrera, Avho shared, 
in an inferior degree, the Itivor of the popular audiences 
at Madrid.i^ 

Writers distinguished in other branches of literature 
were also tempted by the success of those devoted to 
the stage to adventure for the brilliant prizes it scat- 
tered on all sides. Salas Barbadillo, who wrote many 
pleasant tales and died in 1635, left behind him two 
dramas, of which one claims to be in the manner of 
Terence.^^ Solorzano, who died ten years later, and 
was known in the same forms of elegant literature with 
Barbadillo, is the author of a spirited play, founded 
on the story of a lady, who, after having accepted a 
noble lover from interested mo^tives, gives him up for 

the servant of that lover, put forward in dis- 
* 338 guise, as if he * were possessor of the very 

estates for which she had accepted his master.^ 
Gongora wrote one play, and parts of two others, still 

1** The pla3's of tliese autliors are think, hy Antonio, by Lope de Vega, 
found in the large collection entitled or by the common historians of Seville, 
"Comedias Escogidas," Madriil, 1652- where he was born) wrote a considerable 
1704, 4to, with the exception of those number of plays, to be found in the old 
of Sanchez and Villaizan, which I pos- collections. He was alive in 1644, and 
sess separate ; of Sanchez one, of Vil- enjoyed a good reputation in his time, 
laizan two. Of Belmonte, who is the ^^ The plays of Salas Barbadillo, viz. 
author of the "Sastre del Campillo," "Victoria de Espaha y Francia " and 
commonly attributed to Lope de Vega, " El (lalan Tram])oso y Pobre," are in 
(see Shack's Nachtrage, 1854, p. 62,) his " Coronas del Parnaso," left for pub- 
there are eleven in the collection, and lication at his death, and pnbli.shed the 
of Godinez, live. Tliose of Miguel San- same year, 1635, Madrid, 12nio. Other 
chez, who was very famous in his time, dramas by him are scattered through 
and obtained the addition to his name his other Works, — some of them called 
of El Diviwj, are nearly all lost ; but comedias antUjuas, by which he means 
his " Guarda Cuidado.sa " may be found cntremcses, becau.se tliev were like the 
in the '* Difirentes Comedias," Parte early dramas of Lopi; de Kueda a d his 
v., 1616, mentioned ante, p. 297, note school, wliich weie used as entremescs 
5. I observe fj-om the " Noches de in the time of Harhadilio. 
Plazer" of Castillo Solorzano, (1631, f. ^o j^ jg called "El Mayorazgo," and 
5, b,) tliat Diego Ximenez de Enciso was is found with its ha at the end of the 
a native of Seville and a Veintcqiuitro author's " Alivins de Casandra," 1640. 
of that city. Felipe Godinez (who is Several other dramas are found scat- 
luentioned by Cervantes, but not, I tered through his tale. 

Cii.vr. XX].] PHILIP THE FOURTH. 397 

preserved in the collection oi" his Works ;-^ and Que- 
vedo, to please the great favorite, the Count Duke 
Olivares, assisted in the composition of at least a single 
drama, which is now lost, if it be not preserved, under 
another name, in the works of Antonio de Mendoza."^ 
But the circumstances of chief consequence in relation 
to all these writers are, that they belonged to the 
school of Lope de Vega, and that they bear witness 
to the vast popularity of his drama in their time, 
which could control men such as they were. 

Indeed, so attractive was the theatre now become, 
that ecclesiastics and the higher nobilit}', who, from 
their j^osition in society, did not wish to be known as 
dramatic authors, still wrote for the stage, sending 
their plays to the actors or to the press anonymously. 
Such persons generally announced their dramas as 
written by " A Wit of this Court," — JJn Ingenio de esta 
Corte, — and a large collection of pieces could now be 
made, wdiich are known only under this mask ; a mask, 
it may be observed, often significant of the pretensions 
of those whom it claims partly to conceal. Even Philip 
the Fourth, who was a lover of the arts and of letters, 
is said to have sometimes used it ; and there is a com- 
mon tradition, but an erroneous one, that " Giving my 
Life for my Lady, or The Earl of Essex," was his. 
Possibly, however, one or two other plays were either 
from his hand, or indebted to his poetical talent and 
skill. But even this is not wary probable.^^ 

21 These are, "Las Firmezas de Isa- p. l77.) This play is lost, iinless, as 

bela," " El Doctor Carlino," and "La I suspect, it is the " Kinpenos di-l Jleu- 

Comedia Venatoria," — the last two un- tir," that occurs in Meudoza's Works, 

finished, and the very last allegorical. 1690, pp. 254-296. There are also 

2^ The jilay written to please the four cwi7-e??M;.5c.sof Quevedoin his Work.s, 

Count Duke was by Quevedo and An- 1791, Vol. IX. 

tonio de Mendoza, and was entitled '•** Philip IV. was a lover of letters. 

" Quien mas niieiitc niedra mas," — Tran.slations of Franci'sco Guicciardini's 

"He that lies most will ri.se most." " Wars in Italy," and of the " Descrij)- 

(C. Pellicer, Origeu del Teatro, Tom. I. tion of the Low Countries," by liis 



[Pkkiud IL 


* One of the most remarkable of these '• Co- 

medias de mi Ingenio " is that called "• The Devil 
turned Preacher." Its scene is laid in Lucca, and its 
original ]nn*pose seems to have been to glorif}* Saint 
Francis, and to strengthen the influence of his follow- 
ers. x\t any rate, in the long introductory speech of 
Lucifer, that potentate represents himself as most 
happy at having so far triumphed over these his great 
enemies, that a poor community of Franciscans, estab- 
lished in Lucca, is likely to be starved out of the city 
by the universal ill-will he has excited against tliem. 
But his triumph is short. Saint Michael descends with 
the infant Saviour in his arms, and requires Satan him- 
self immediately to reconvert the same inhabitants 
whose hearts he had hardened ; to build up the very 
convent of the holy 1)rotlierhood which he had so 
nearly overthrown ; and to place the poor friars, who 

nephew, Luigi Guicciardiiii, made by 
Philip, and preceded by a well-written 
Prologo, are said to be iu the National 
Librarj- at Madrid. (C. Pellicer, Ori- 
gen, Tom. L p. 162 ; Huerta, Teatro 
Hespauol, Madrid, 1785, 12mo, Parte 
I., Tom. IlL p. 159 : and Ochoa, Tea- 
tro, Paris, 18-38, 8vo, Tom. V. p. 98.) 
"King Henry tlie Feeble" is also 
among the plaj^s .sometimes ascribed to 
Philip IV., who is .said to have often 
joined in improvisatiug drama-s, — an 
amusement well known at the court of 
Aladrid, and at the hardly less s]>lendid 
court of the Count de Lemos at Naples. 
C. Pellicer, Teatro, Tom. L p. 163, and 
J. A. Pellicer, Bib. de Traductores, 
Tom. L pp. 90-92, where a curious 
account, already leferred to, is given of 
one of these Neapolitan exhibitioiLS, by 
Estrada, who witnes.sed it. But I have 
great doubts concerning all these sug- 
gestions. That Philip IV. did not 
write the "C'onde de Se.v," which I 
possess in Vol. XXXI. of the Difercntcs 
Comedias, 16.36, is .settled by Schack, 
(Nachtrage, 1854, p. 102,) who found 
the original in the autograph of Coello, 
a known dramatist who died in 1652. 
It may be well to add, however, when 

speaking of this ]>lay, that there is a 
very acute and extended e.xamiuation 
of it by Ijcssing, who, with Wieland, 
gave the tirst impulse to that love for 
Spanish literature in Gennany which 
the Schlegels, Bouterwek, and Schack 
have since so well sustained. (See 
Hamburgische Dramaturgic, Berlin, 
1805, Tom. II. pp. 58-126.) But as 
to Philip IV., to whom poems are at- 
tributed in the Biblioteca of Rivade- 
neyra, (Tom. XLII., 1857, pp. 151, 
152,) and in the Spanish translation of 
this History, (Tom. II. p. 563,) I doubt 
the genuineness of all of them. Philip 
IV. was a sensualist, — not, indeed, 
without a taste for letters and the arts, 
— but not an author in any proper 
sense of tlic word. And yet one of the 
court Hatterers of the time could say of 
him : " Es de los mas perfetos musicos 
y mas felices poetas que oy se conocen, 
sin que para esta verdad sea menester 
de valernos de la li.sonja."' Pellicer de 
Sala.s, Lecciones solennes de Gongora, 
1630, col. 696, 697. The two sonnets 
attributed to Don Carlos of Austria, 
brother of Philip IV., are probably his, 
and are not bail for a prince. Rivade- 
neyra, 1. c. p. 153. 


were now pelted by the boys in the streets, upon a 
foundation of respectabiKty safer than that from which 
he had driven them. Tlie humoi- of the piece consists 
in his conduct while executing the imwelcome task 
thus imposed upon him. To do it, he takes, at once, 
the habit of the monks he detests ; he goes 
round to beg for them ; * he superintends the * 340 
erection of an ampler edifice for their accom- 
modation ; he preaches ; he prays ; he works miracles ; 
— and all with the greatest earnestness and unction, 
in order the sooner to be rid of a business so thoroughly 
disagreeable to him, and of which he is constantly com- 
plaining in equivocal phrases and bitter side-speeches, 
that give him the comfort of expressing a vexation he 
cannot entirely control, but dares not openly make 
known. At last he succeeds. The hateful work is 
done. But the agent is not dismissed with honor. 
On the contrary, he is obliged, in the closing scene, to 
confess who he is, and to avow that nothing, after all, 
awaits him but the flames of perdition, into which he 
visibly sinks, like another Don Juan, before the edified 

The action occupies above five months. It has an 
intriguing underplot, which hardly disturbs the course 
of the main story, and one of whose personages — the 
heroine herself — is gentle and attractive. The char- 
acter of the Father Guardian of the Franciscan monks, 
full of simplicity, humble, trustful, and submissive, is 
also finely drawn ; and so is the opposite one, — the 
gracioso of the piece, — a liar, a coward, and a glutton ; 
ignorant and cunning ; whom Lucifer amuses himself 
with teasing, in every possible way, whenever he has 
a moment to spare from the disagreeable work he is so 
anxious to finish. 

400 EL DIABLO rilEDKADOK. [Pekiod IL 

In some of the early copies, this drama, so character- 
istic of the aire to which it beloiio-s, is attributed to 
Luis de Behiionte, and in some of them to Antonio de 
Coello, cahed erroneously Luis de Coello in the '' Cata- 
logo" of Huerta. Later, it is declared, though on what 
authority we are not told, to have been written b^' 
Francisco Damian de Cornejo, a Franciscan monk. All 
this, however, is uncertain, although Belmonte is more 
likely to have been its author than either of the others. 
But we know, that, for a long time after it appeared, 
it used to be acted as a devout work, favorable to the 
interests of the Franciscans, mIio then possessed great 
influence in Spain. Li the latter part of the eigh- 
teenth . century, however, this state of things was 
partly changed, and its pu])lic performance, for some 
reason or other, was forbidden. About LSOO. it 
* 341 * reappeared on the stage, and was again acted, 
with great profit, all over the country-, — the 
Franciscan monks lending the needful monastic dresses 
for an exhibition they thought so honorable to their 
order. But in 1804 it was put anew under the ban of 
the Inquisition, and so remained until after the political 
revolution of 1820, which gave absolute liberty to the 

-* C. Pellicer, Origen, Tom. L p. 184, drawn my attention to tlie fact, that a 

note; Suplemento al Inilice, etc., 1805; poor play by Francisco de Mahispina, 

and an excellent article by Louis de entitled " La Fuerza de la Verdad," is 

Yii'il ("astel, in the Hcvue des Deu.x nearly identical in its subject with the 

Mondes, July 15, 1840. To these .should "Diablo Predicador." It is in the 

l)e added the i>lea.sant de-scrijition given Comedias Escogidas, Tom. XIV., 1661, 

by Blanco White, in his admii-able f. 182, and at the opening, the Devil 

" Doblado's Letteis," (1822, jjp. 163- puts his ca,se with more force and in- 

169,) of a representation he himself genuity, I think, than he does in the 

witnessed of the "Diablo Predicador," "Diablo Predicador." In two MSS. 

in the court-yard of a ]ioor inn, where of the la,st, it is attnbuted to Francisco 

a cow-house .served for the theatre, or de Villcgas, but the common ojiinion 

rather the stage, and the spectators, that it was written by Belmonte is the 

wlio paid less than twopence apiece for more likely one. Schack's Xachtrage, 

their jilaces, sat in the open air, under 1854, j>. 62. 
a bright starr}' .sky. Belmonte was born about 1587 ; was 

My friend, Mr. J. R. Chorley, has in the "Certamenes" for San Isidro at 


The school of Jjopo,-"^ to which all the writers we 
have just enumerated, and many more, belonged, was 
not received with an absolutely universal applause. 
Men of learning, IVoni time to time, refused to be rec- 
onciled to it ; and severe or captious critics found in 
its gross irregularities and extravagances abiuidant 
opportunity for the exercise of a spirit of complaint. 
Alonso Lopez, commonly called El Pinciano, in his 
^^ Art of Poetry founded on the Doctrines of the 
Ancients," — a modest treatise, which he printed as 
€arly as 1596, — shows plainly, in his discussions on 
the nature of tragedy and comedy, that he was far 
from consenting to the forms of the drama then begin- 
ning to prevail on the theatre. The Argensolas, who, 
about ten years earlier, had attempted to introduce an- 
other and more classical ty])e, would, of course, be even 
less satisfied with the tendency of things in their time ; 
and one of them, Bartolome, speaks his opinion very 
openly in his didactic satires. Others joined them, 
among whom were Artieda, in a poetical epistle 
to the Marquis of Cuellar ; * Villegas, the sweet * 342 
lyrical poet, in his seventh elegy ; and Chris- 
toval de Mesa, in different passages of his minor poems, 
and in the Preface to his ill-constructed tragedy of 
" Pompey." If to these we add a scientific discussion 
on the True Structure of Tragedy and Comedy, in the 
third and fourth of the Poetical Tables of Cascales, and 

Madrid in 1620 and 1622, and seems ^ For the scliool of Lope, see Bib- 
to have been alive in 1649. In the lioteca de Antores Espafioles, (Tom. 
address to the reader, precedinc? the XLIII. and XLV., 1857 and 1858,) 
drama on the Marquis of Caiiete, wliich wheii; Don Ramon de Jlesonero Ro- 
it took nine poets to make so dull, (see raanos has made a collection of fifty- 
post, Chap. XXVII. note 14,) he says nine plays to illustrate it. The Cata- 
of himself, " Estando yo en Lima el aho logue of Authors, with alpliabetieal 
de605"; — so that he was in Peru wlien lists of their known plays following 
he was young, and ought to have known their names, is in Vol. XLIV., and is 
better than to assist in doing lionor to particularly valuable, 
such a man as he would illustrate. 
VOL. II. 26 

402 THE DRAMA 0PP0S?:D. [Peimod IL 

a harsh account of the \vhole })opular Spanish stage, by 
Suarez de Figueroa, in which httle is noticed but its 
follies, we shall have, if not cverythiniz: that was said 
on the subject by the scholars of the time, at least 
everything that needs now to l)e remembered. The 
whole is of less consequence than the frank admissions 
of Lope de Vega, in his "New Art of the Drama." ^ 

The opposition of the Church, more formidal)le than 
that of the scholars of the time, was, in some respects, 
better founded, since many of the plays of this period 
were indecent, and more of them immoral. The eccle- 
siastical influence, as we have seen, had, therefore, been 
earh' directed against the theatre, partly on this ac- 
count and partly because the secular drama had super- 
seded those representations in the churches which had 
so long been among the means used by the priesthood 
to sustain their power with the mass of the people. 
On these grounds, in fact, the plays of Torres Naharro 
were suppressed in 1545, and a petition was sent, in 
1548, b}' the Cortes, to Charles the Fifth, against the 
printing and publishing of all indecent farces.^" 
* 343 For a * long time, however, little was done 

^ El Pinciano, Filosofia Antigua Po- Gayangos, in his translation of this 

etit-a, Madrid, Ij9t3, 4to, p. 381, etc. ; History, ^Tom. II. pp. 558-560,) gives 

Andres Rey dc Artieda, Discui-sos, etc. an account of an attack, in 1617, on 

de Artemidoro, faragoca, 1605, 4to, Lope as a dramatist, by a certain Pedro 

f. 87 ; C. de Mesa, Kimas, Madrid, Torres de Raniila, and of answers to it 

1611, 12mo, tf. 94, 145, 218, and his by Julio Colunibario (a pseudonyme for 

Pompeyo, Madrid, 1618, 12mo, with Francisco Lopez de Aguilar) and Al- 

its DcdicnUrria ; Cascalcs, Tablas Po- fonso Sanchez ; — all in Latin, and all, 

eticas, Murcia, 1616, 4to, Parte II. ; apparently, in the bitterest spirit of 

0. S. de Figueroa, Pasagero, Madrid, Spanish litei-arycontrovei-sy. But LojKi 

1617, 12nio, Alivio tercero ; Est. M. suffered little ])eisonally in this way. 

de Villi-gas, Erotica-s, Najera, 1617, His popularity was overwhelming. Af- 

4to, Segunda Parte, f. 27 ; Los Argen- ter his death, he was oftener attacked, 

solas, Himas, Zaragoza, 1634, 4to, p. e. g. by Antonio Lopez de Vega, (see 

447. I have arranged them according post. Chap. XXIX.,) who did it, very 

to their dates, because, in this ca.se, nngi'atefully, in his Heraclito \' Demo- 

the order of time is imjiortant, and be- crito, (1641, i)p. 176, sfjq.,) for Lope 

cause it should be noticed that all come had been kind to him earlier, 
within the period of Lope's success as a ^7 d (Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Tom. 

dramatist. III. p. 402, note. 


but to suspend dmiuatic re])reseutations in seasons 
of court mourning, and on other occasions of public 
sorrow or trouble ; — this being, perhaps, thought by 
the clergy an exercise of their influence that would, in 
the course of events, lead to more important conces- 

But as the theatre rose into importance with the 
popularity of Lope de Vega, the discussions on its 
character and consequences grew graver. Even just 
before that time, in 1587, Philip the Second consulted 
some of the leading theologians of the kingdom, and 
was urged to suppress altogether the acted drama ; but, 
after much deliberation, he followed the milder opin- 
ion of Alonso de Mendoza, a professor at Salamanca, 
and determined still to tolerate it, but to subject it 
constantly to a careful and even strict supervision. In 
1597, the same Philip, more monk than king, ordered, 
according to the custom of the time, the public repre- 
sentations at Madrid to be suspended, in consequence 
of the death of his daughter, the Duchess of Savoy. 
But Philip was now old and infirm. The opposers of 
the theatre, among whom was Lupercio de Argensola, 
gathered around him.^^ The discussion was renewed 
with increased earnestness, and in 1598, not long be- 
fore he breathed his last in the Escorial, with his dying 
eyes fastened on its high altar, he forbade theatrical 
representations altogether. No attack, however, on 
the theatre and its actors was so grave and pnngent 
as that of Mariana in his De Rege, 1599, repeated and 
reinforced in his De Spectaculis, ten years later. The 
wonder is that it produced so little effect, coming as 
it did, in its first form, during the dark period imme- 
diately following the death of the king. 

^* Pellicer, Bib. de Tiaductores, Tom. I. p. 11. 


Little, in truth, was reall}^ effected by this struggle on 
the part of the Church, except that the dramatic poets 
were compelled to discover ingenious modes for evad- 
inu' the authority exercised ao'ainst them, and that the 
character of the actors was degraded ))y it. To drive 
the drama from ground where itAvas so well intrenched 

behind the general favor of the people was 
*344 impossible. The * city of Madrid, already the 

acknowledged capital of the country, begged 
that the theatres might again be opened ; giving, 
a.s one reason for their request, that many religious 
plays were performed, by some of which both actors 
and spectators had been so moved to penitence as to 
hasten directly from the theatre to enter religious 
houses;"^ and as another reason, that the rent paid 
by the companies of actors to the hospitals of Madrid 
was important to the \ery existence of those great and 
beneficent charities.®^ 

Moved by such arguments, Philip the Third, in IGOO, 
when the theatres had been shut hardly two years, 
summoned a council of ecclesiastics and four of the 
principal secular authorities of the kingdom, and laid 
the whole subject before them. Under their advice, 
— which still condemned in the strongest manner the 
theatres as they had heretofore existed in Spain, — he 

29 As a sf't-off to this alleged religious (f. 98) says that the hospitals made 

eflect of the comedias ik mntofi, we have, such efforts to sustain the theatres, in 

in the Address that opens tlie " Tiatado order to get an income from tlieni after- 

de las Comedias," (1618,) by Ihsbe y wards, that they themselves were some- 

Vidal, an account of a young girl who times impoverished by the speculations 

was permitted to see the representation they ventured to make ; and adds, that 

of the "Conversion of Man.- Magdalen " in his time (c. 1618) theie was a pei-son 

several times, as an act of devotion, alive, who, as a magistrate of Valencia, 

and ended her visits to the theatre by had been the means of such losses to 

falling in love with the actor that i>er- the hospital of that city, through its 

sonated the Saviour, and running off investments and advances for the the- 

with him, or rather following him to atre that he had entered a religious 

Madrid. hou.se, and given his whole foiiiine to 

** The account, however, was some- the hospital, to make up for the injury 

times the other way. Bisbe y Vidal he had done it. 


permitted tliein to be opened anew; diminishing-, how- 
ever, the number of actors, forbidding all immorality 
in the plays, and allowing representations only on Sun- 
days and three other days in the week, which were 
required to be Church festivals, if such festivals should 
occur. This decision has, on the whole, been hardlj^ 
yet disturbed, and the theatre in Spain, with occasional 
alterations and additions of privilege, has continued to 
rest safely on its foundations ever since ; — closed, in- 
deed, sometimes, in seasons of public mourning, as it 
was three months on the death of Philip the Third, 
and again in 1665, by the bigotry of the queen 
regent, but never * interrupted for any long * 345 
period, and never again called to contend for 
its existence. 

The truth is, that, from the beginning of the seven- 
teenth century, the popular Spanish drama was too 
strong to be subjected either to classical criticism or to 
ecclesiastical control. In the " Amusing Journey " of 
Roxas, an actor who travelled over much of the coun- 
tr}' in 1602, visiting Seville, Granada, Toledo, Yalla- 
dolid, and many other places, we find plays acted 
everywhere, even in the smallest villages, and the 
drama, in all its forms and arrangements, accommo- 
dated to the public taste far beyond any other popular 
amusement.^^ In 1632, Montalvan — the best author- 
ity on such a subject — gives us the names of a crowd 
of writers for Castile alone ; and three j^ears later, 
Fabio Franchi, an Italian, who had lived in Spain, pu]j- 
lished a eulogy on Lope, which enumerates nearl}' 

^1 Roxas (1602) gives an amusing ac- which was required to have seventeen, 

count of the nicknames and resources (Viage, Madrid, 1614, 12mo, ff. 51- 

of eight different kinds of strolling com- 53.) These nicknames and distinctions 

panics of actors, beginning with the were long known in Spain. Four of 

hululu, which boasted of but one per- them occur in " Estebanillo Gonzalez," 

son, and going up to the full coinpafiia, 1646, c. 6. 



[Peuiod IL 

thirty of the same dramatists, and shows anew how 
completely the countr}^ was imbued with their influ- 
ence. There can, therefore, be no doubt, that, at the 
time of his death. Lope's name was the great poetical 
name that filled the whole breadth of the land with its 
glory, and that the forms of the drama originated by 
him were established, bejond the reach of successful 
opposition, as the national and popular forms of the 
drama for all Spain.^^ 

^- On tlie whole subject of the contest 
between the Church and the theati'e, 
and the success of Lope and his school, 
see C. Pellicer, Origen, Tom. I. pp. 
118-122, and 142-157 ; Don Quixote, 
ed. J. A. Pellicer, Parte II. c. 11, note; 
Roxas, Viage, 1614, passim (f. 66, im- 
ph'ing that he wrote in 1602) ; Montal- 
van, Para'Todos, 1661, p. 543; Lope 
de Vega, Obras Sueltas, Tom. XXI. p. 
66 ; and many other parts of Vols. XX. 
and XXI. ; — all showing the triumph 
of Lope and his school. A letter of 
Francisco Cascales to Lope de Vega, 
published in 1634, in defence of plays 
and their representation, is the third 
in the second decade of his Epistles ; 

but it goes on the untenable ground, 
that the plays then represented were 
liable to no objection on the score of 
morals. Ricardo del Tuiia — probabh- 
a pseudonyme for Luis Fen-er y Car- 
dona, governor of Valencia, to whom, 
in mj' co[)y of the "Comedias de Poe- 
tas de Valencia," 1609, that volume is 
dedicated — takes, on the contrary, in 
his Pieface to the second volume, 1616, 
the theatre as it really existed, and 
defends it not without learning and 
acuteness. He died in 1641. Bar- 
rera, however, maintains that Pedro 
Juan de Toledo was the person dis- 
guised under the name of Ricardo de 

* CHAPTER XXTT. * 346 






Turning from Lope de Vega and his scliool, wo coine 
now to his great successor and rival, Pedro Calderon 
de la Barca, who, if he invented no new form of the 
drama, was yet so eminently a poet in the national 
temper, and had a success so brilliant, that he must 
necessarily fill a large space in all inquiries concerning 
the histor}' of the Spanish theatre. 

He was born at Madrid, on the ITtli of January, 
1600 ; ^ and one of his friends claims kindred for him with 
nearly all the old kings of the different Spanish mon- 
archies, and even with most of the crowned heads 
of his time, throughout Europe.^ This is*ab- * 347 

1 Theie lias been some (liscus.sion, tlie poet's birth on January 1st, we can- 

and a general error, about the date of not now even conjecture. 
C'alderon's birth ; but in a rare book, '^ See the hiarned genealogical intro- 

en ti tied "ObeliscoFunebre," published duction to the " Obelisco Fiinebre," 

in his honor, by his friend Caspar Au- jn.st cited. The name of Caldrron, a.s 

gustin de Lara, (Madrid, 1684, 4to,) its author tells us, came into the fani- 

and written immediately after Cable- ily in the thirteenth century, M'hen one 

ron's death, it is distinctly stated, on of its i mm be r, being jn-ematurely born, 

the authority of Calderon himself, that was supposed to be dead, but was as- 

he was liorn January 17, 1600. This certained to be alive by being uncere- 

settles all doubts. The certificate of nioniously thrown into a caldron — cal- 

baptism given in Baena, "Hijos de chron — of warm water. As he proved 

Madrid," Tom. IV. p. 228, only says to be a great man, and was much fa- 

that he was baptized February 14, vored by St. Ferdinand and Alfonso 

1600; but why that ceremony, con- the Wise, his nickname became a name 

trary to (-ustom, was so long delayed, of honor, and live caldrons wqw, from 

or why a person in the position of Vera that time, borne in the famih' arms. 

Tassis y Villaroel, who, like Lara, was The additionni surname oi Barca came 

a friend I )f Calderon, should have placed in latei', with an estate — tsnlar — of 


surd. But it is of consequence to know that his 
faiuih' was res|)ectal)le, and its position in society 
t<nch as to give him an op]K)rtunit3' lor early intellec- 
tual culture ; — his father heing Secretar}' to the Treas- 
nry Bo;ird under Philip the Second and Philip the 
Third, and his mother of a nohle famih", that came 
from the Low Countries long before. Perhaps, how- 
ever, the most curious circumstance connected with his 
origin is to be found in the fact, that, while the two 
masters of the Spanish drama. Lope de Vega and Cal- 
deron, were both born in Madrid, the families of both 
are to be sought for, at an earUer period, in the same 
little rich and beautiful valle v of Carriedo, where each 
^lossessed an ancestral fief.'^ 

When only nine years old, he was placed under the 
Jesuits, and from them received instructions which, 
like those Corneille was receiving at the same moment, 
in the same way, on the other side of the Pyrenees, 
imparted their coloring to the whole of his life, and 
especially to its latter years. After leaving the Jesuits, 
he went to Salamanca, where he studied with distinc- 
tion the scholastic theology and philosophy then in 
fashion, and the civil and canon law. But when he 
was graduated from that University in IGID, he was 
already known as a writer for the theatre ; and when 
he arrived at Madrid, he seems, probably on this ac- 
count, to have been at once noticed by some of those 

•one of the house, wlio afterwards per- but, especially, see the different facts 

ished, fightini{ a<,'ainst the Moors ; in about t'aldeion scattered through tlie 

conseipience of which, a ('astle, a gaunt- dull jirose introduction to the " Obe- 

■3et, and tlu'. motto, /\>r fa fe iDorin':, lisco Funebre," and its still nioie dull 

were added to their escut(tlieon, which, ])oetry. The l)iographical sketdi of him 

thus arranged, constituted the not in- l)y his friend Vera Tassis y Villarod, 

api)ropriate anus of the poet in the originally jirefixeil to the fifth volunK- 

stn'enteenth century. of liis Coniedias, and to be found in the 

8 See the notice of Calderon's father first volume of the editions since, is 

in Haena, Tom. I. p. oOfi ; that of f'al- formal, ])edantic, and unsatisfactory, 

(lerou himself, Tom. IV. p. 228 ; and like most notices of the old Spanisii 

that of I,ope de Vega, Turn. HI. p. '.i'jU ; authors. 


perfsoiLs about tlie court who could Jx'st ]))'ouiote his 
ndvancement and success. 

lu 1020,110 entered, with the leading spirits of his 
time, into the first poetical contest opened by the city 
of Madrid in honor of San Isidro, and received 
for his * efforts the public compliment of Lope * 348 
de Vega's praise.^ In 1622, he appeared at the 
second and greater contest proposed by the capital, on 
the canonization of the same saint ; and gained — all 
that could be gained by one individual — a single 
prize, with still further and more emphatic praises 
from the presiding spirit of the show.'' In the same 
year, too, when Lope published a considerable voluitie 
containing an account of all these ceremonies and 
rejoicings, we find that the youthful Calderon ap- 
proached him as a friend, with a few not ungraceful 
lines, which Lope, to show that he admitted the claim, 
prefixed to his book. But from that time we entirely 
lose sight of Calderon as an author, or obtain only 
uncertain hints of him, for ten years, except that in 
1630 he figures in Lope de Vega's " Laurel of Apollo," 
among the crowd of poets born in Madrid.^ 

Much of this interval seems to have been filled with 
service in the armies of his country. At least, he was 

* His sonnet for tliis occasion is in or eight poems ofiered by Calderon at 

T.ope de Vega, Obrus Sueltas, Tom. XI. these two poetical joustings arc valua- 

p. 432 ; and his octavas are at p. 491. ble, not only as being the oldest of his 

Both are respectable for a youth of works that remain to ns, but as being 

twenty. The praises of Lope, which among the few specimens of his verse 

lire unmeaning, are at p. 59.3 of the that we have, excejit his dramas. C'er- 

same volume. Who obtained the prizes vantes, in his Don Quixote, intimates 

at this festival of 1620 is not known. that, at such poetical contests, the first 

** The different pieces offered by Cal- prize was given from jtcrsonal iavoi', or 

deron for the festival of May 17, 1622, from regard to the rank of the aspirant, 

are in Lope de Vega, Obras Sueltas, and the second with reference only to- 

Tom. XII. pp. 181, 239, 303, 363, 384. the merit of the poem pre.sented. (Parte 

speaking of them. Lope (p. 413) says, II. c. 18.) Calderon took, on this oc- 

a prize was given to "Don Pedro Cal- casion, only the third prize for a can- 

deron, Avho, in his tender years, earns don ; the liist being given to Lope, and! 

the laurels which time is wont to pro- the second to Zaratc. 

duce only with hoary hairs." The sLv •> Silva VII. 


ill the Milanese in 1G2-3, and afterwards, as we are 
told, went to Flanders, where a disastrous war was still 
carried on with unrelenting hatred, both national and 
religious. That he was not a careless observer of men 
and manners, during his campaigns, we see by the plots 
of some of his plays, and by the li\ ely local descrip- 
tions with which they abound, as well as In* the char- 
acters of his heroes, who often come fresh from these 
same wars, and talk of their adventures with an air of 

reality that leaves no doubt that they speak of 
* 349 what had * absolutely happened. But we soon 

find him in the more apj^ropriate career of let- 
tet\s. In 1632, Montalvan tells us that Calderon was 
already the author of many dramas, which had been 
acted with applause ; that he had gained many public 
prizes ; that he had written a great deal of lyrical 
verse ; and that he had begun a poem on the General 
Deluge. His reputation as a poet, therefore, at the 
age of thirty-two, was an enviable one, and was fast 

A dramatic author of such promise could not be 
overlooked in the reign of Phihp the Fourth, especially 
when the death of Lope, in 1G35, left the theatre with- 
out a master. In 1636, therefore, Calderon was for- 
mally attached to the court, for the purpose of furnish- 
ing dramas to be represented in the royal theatres ; 
and in 1637, as a further honor, he was made a knight 
of the Order of Santiago. His very distinctions, how- 
ever, threw him back once more into a military life. 
When he was just well entered on his brilliant career 
as a poet, the rel)ellion excited by France in Catalonia 
burst forth with great violence, and all the members of 

' I'ara ToJos, ed. 1G61, pp. 539, 540. But these sketches were pieiiaieil iu 


the four great military orders of the kingdom were re- 
quired, in 1640, to appear in the field and sustain the 
royal authority. Calderon, like a true knight, pre- 
sented himself at once to fulfil his duty. But the king 
was so anxious to enjoy his services in the palace, that 
he was willing to excuse him from the field, and asked 
from him yet another drama. In great haste, the poet 
finished his '- Contest of Love and Jealousy," ^ and 
then joined the army; serving loyally through the 
campaign in the body of troops commanded by the 
Count Duke Olivares in person, and remaining in the 
field till the rebellion was quelled. 

After his return, the king testified his increased re- 
gard for Calderon hy giving him a pension of thirty 
gold crdwns a month, and by employing him in 
the arrangements for * the festivities of the * 350 
court, when, in 1649, the new queen, Anna 
Maria of Austria, made her entrance into Madrid. 
From this period, he enjoyed a high degree of favor 
during the life of Philip the Fourth, and until the 
death of that Prince had a controlling influence over 
whatever related to the drama, writing secular and re- 
ligious plays for the theatres and autos for the Church 
with uninterrupted applause. 

In 1651, he followed the example of Lope de Vega 
and other men of letters of his time, by entering a re- 
ligious brotherhood ; and the king two years afterwards 
gave him the place of chaplain in a chapel consecrated 
to the " New Kings " at Toledo ; — a burial-place set 
apart for royalty, and richly endowed from the time 
of Henry of Trastamara. But it was found that his 

^ It has been said that Calderon has precise title is to be found among his 

given to none of his dramas the title printed works ; but it is the last but 

Vera Tassis assigns to this one, viz. one in the list of his plaj^s furnished by 

"Certamen de Amor y Zelos." But Calderon himself to the Duke of Vera- 

this is a mistake. No play with this guas, in 1680. 


duties there kept liiiii too iiiiicli from the court, to 
whose entertainment he had hecouie important. In 
1663, therefore, he was created chapLain of honor to 
the king, who thus secured his regular presence at 
Madrid ; though, at the same time, he was permitted 
to retain his former place, and even had a second 
added to it. In the same year, he became a Priest of 
the Congregation of Saint Peter, and soon rose to be 
its head ; an office of some importance, which he held 
during the last fifteen years of his life, fulfilling its 
duties with great gentleness and dignity.^ 

This accumulation of religious benefices, however, 
did not lead him to intermit in any degree his dramatic 
labors. On the contrary, it Avas rather intended to 
stimulate him to further exertion ; and his fame was 
now so great, that the cathedrals of Toledo, Granada, 
and Seville constantly solicited from him religious 
plays to be performed on the day of the Corpus Christi, 
— that great festival, for which, during nearly thirty- 
seven years, he furnished similar entertainments regu- 
larly, at the charge of the city of Madrid. For these 
services, as well as for his services at court, he was 
richly rewarded, so that he accumulated an ample 

After the death of Philip the Fourth, which 
* 351 happened *in 1665, he seems to have enjoyed 
less of the royal ]-)atronage. Charles the Sec- 
ond had a temper very different froui that of his prede- 
cessor ; and Sol is, the historian, speaking of Calderon, 
with reference to these circumstances, says pointedly, 
" He died without a Maecenas." ^^ But still he contin- 

^ " He kuew how," says Augustin de ^'' "Murio sin Mecenas." Apioba- 

Lara, "to unite, by humility and pru- cion to the "Obelisco," dated October 

deuce, the duties of an obedient child 30, 1683. All that relates to Calderon 

and a loving father." in this very rare volume is important. 



lied to write us before, for the court, and for the 
churches ; and retained, through his whole life, the 
extraordinary general popularity of nis best years." 
He died in 1681, on the 25th of May, — the Feast 
of the Pentecost, — wdiile all Spain was ringing with 
the performance of his autoSj in the composition of one 
more of which he was himself occupied ahuost to tlic 
last moment of his life.^^ 

The next day, he was borne, as his will required, 
without any show, to his grave in the church of San 
Salvador, by the Priests of the Congregation over which 
he had so long presided, and to which he now left the 
whole of his fortune. But a gorgeous funeral cere- 
mony followed a few days later, to satisfy the claims 
of the popular admiration ; and even at Valencia, 
Naples, Lisbon, Milan, and Rome, public notice was 
taken of his death by his countrymen, as of a na- 
tional calamity.^'^ A monument to his memory was 

because it conies from a friend, and was 
written, — at least the poetical part of 
it, — as the author tells us, within fifty- 
three days after Calderon's death. 

11 It seems probable that Calderon 
wrote no ]days expressly for the pub'ic 
stage after he became a priest, in 16.51, 
confining himself to autos and to "Co- 
medias " for the court, which last, how- 
ever, were at once transferred to the 
theatres of the capital. Thus "La 
Fiera, el Rayo, y la Piedra," a drama 
which lasted seven hours on its first 
representation at the palace, was imme- 
diately given to the public of Madrid 
and acted thirty-seven afternoons con- 
secutively. It may be hoped, that, the 
court ceremonies being omitted, the city 
audiences were not so long detained. 

12 " Estava un auto entonces en los 
fines, como su autor." (Obelisco, Canto 
I., St. 22. See also a sonnet at the end 
of the volume.) Soli.s, the historian, 
in one of his letters, says, "Our friend 
Don Pedro Calderon is just dead, and 
went oft', as they say the swan does, 
singing ; for he did all he could, even 
when he was in immediate danger, to 
finish the second auto for the Corpus. 

But, after all, he completed only a little 
more than half of it, and it has been 
finished in some way or other by Don 
]\Ielchor de Leon." (Cartas de N. An- 
tonio y A. Soils, publicadas por Mayans 
y Siscar, Leon de Fraucia, 1733, 12mo, 
p. 75.) 

Melchor Fernandez de Leon was a 
well-known dramatist of this period, 
but, by no means, one to tread in the 
footsteps of Calderon. 

MacCarthy says that the Pleyto Mat- 
rimonial was left unfinished by Calde- 
ron and was completed by Zamora, as 
may be seen, he says, in Vol. IV. of 
the Autos. See MacCarthy's Myste- 
ries of Corpus Christi, 1857, p. 104, 

1^ Lara, in his "Advertencias," speaks 
of "the funeral eulogies printed in Va- 
lencia." Vera Tassis mentions them 
also, without adding that they were 
printed. A copy of them would be 
very interesting, as they were the work 
of "the illustrious gentlemen" of the 
household of tlie Duke of Veraguas, 
Calderon's friend. The substance of 
the poet's will is given in the "Obelis- 
co," Canto I., st. 32, 33. 


* 3-32 soon * erected in the chureli where he was 
buried ; but in 1840 his remains M^ere removed 
to the more splendid church of the Atocha. where 
they now rest.^* 

Calderon, we are told, was remarkable for his per- 
sonal Ijeauty, which he long preserved b}' the serenity 
and cheerfulness of his spirit. The engravings pub- 
lished soon after his death show, at least, a strongly 
marked and venerable countenance, to which in fancy 
Ave may easilj^ add the brilliant eye and gentle voice 
o-iven to him bv his friendlv eulo*':ist, while in the 
ample and finely turned brow we are reminded of 
that with wh^cli we are familiar in the portraits of our 
own cjreat dramatic poet.^^ His character, throiio-liout, 
seems to have been benevolent and kindly. In his old 
age, Ave learn that he used to collect his friends round 
him on his birthday's, and tell them amusing stories of 
his childhood ; ^"^ and during the Avhole of the active 
part of his life, he enjoyed the regard of many of the 
distinguished persons of his time, Avho, like the Count 

1* An account of the first monument <le Alfaio, or from some other, 1 do not 

and its inscrijition is to be found in know. Those by the two first, how- 

Baena, Tom. IV. p. 231 ; and an ac- ever, are likelj- to have been the best, 

count of the removal of the poet's ashes Stirling's Artists of Spain, Vol. II. p. 

totheconventof" Our Lady of Atocha" 803; A^ol. III. p. 1116. 
is in the Ft)reign Quarterly Keview, Since the above was published, in 

April, 1S41, p. 227. An attempt to do 1849, a gay description of himself by 

still further honor to the memory of Calderon has been found and jirint- 

Calderon was made by the publication ed. (Bib. de Autores Espanoles, Tom. 

of a life of him, and of poems in his XXIV., 1853, p. 585.) It is thrown 

honor by Zamacola, Zorrilla, Hartzen- into the form of a ballad, and, although 

busch, etc., in a folio pamphlet, 2^Ia- the only copy of it known to exist is 

drid, 1840, as well as by a subscription. imperfect, it is very curious. He ad- 

1^ His fine capacious forehead is no- dresses it to a lady, and countenances 

ticed by his eulogist, and is obvious in his claim to a very proud ancestry, but 

the prints of 1682 and 1684, which little not one so proud as Lara afterwards set 

resemble the copies made from them by up for him ; — alludes to the remarka- 

later engravers : — ble ])rominence of his forehead, so ob\-i- 

Conriderava de su rostro prave ous in the old prints ; — says he is of a 

Lora/xizih la/rnuf,\a.vivaui. middle stature and of a i)ale complex- 

D^l^%t"J'te^"'""'"*'^ j«»' tliat '>e takes no snuff, and that 

' Canto I., St. 41. the lio])e of a prize at the Festival of 

A\Tiether either of the prints referred ^f" I^^'? ^^^^^^ ^ po^t of him. It is a 

to is made from a portrait of Cald.-ron P";?*^" V'*^ ^^f''-« .-., ,• ,. 

by Alonso Cano, or from one bv Juan " Prologo to the Obehsco. 

<_'HA1' XX 11. J 



Duke Olivares and the Duke of Veraguas, seem to 
have been attracted to liini rjuite as much by the gen- 
tleness ol' his nature as ])y his genius and fame. 

In a Hfe thus extending to above fourscore 
years, * nearly the whole of which was devoted * 353 
to letters, Calderon produced a large number of 
works. Except, however, a panegj^ric on the Duke of 
Medina de Rioseco, who died in 1647, and a single 
\olume of mitos, which is said to have been printed iu 
1676, and of which there is • certainly an edition in 
1690, he published hardly anything of what he 
wrote ; ^' and yet, beside several longer works,^* he 

1'' The account of the entrance of the 
new queen into Madrid, in 1649, writ- 
ten by Calderon, was indeed priutetl ; 
but it was under the name of Loreneo 
Ramirez de Prado, who, assisted by 
('alderon, arranged the festivities of the 

^* The unpublished works of Calde- 
ron, as enumerated by Vera Tassis, Ba- 
ena, and Lara, are : — 

(1.) "Discurso de los Quatro No^'isi- 
mos " ; or what, in the technics of his 
theology, are called the four last things 
to be thought upon by man ; viz. Death, 
.ludgment. Heaven, and Hell. Lara 
says Calderon read him three hundred 
octave stanzas of it, and proposed to 
complete it in one liundred more. It 
is, no doftbt, lost. 

(2.) " Tratado defendiendo la Ko- 
bleza de la Pintura." It is probable 
that thfs Defence of Painting was a 
" Deposicion " of eighteen pages made 
l)y Calderon to the I'mciinuhir de. (Ui- 
iiuvra, in order to defend the professors 
of the art from a sort of military con- 
scrii)tion with whiidi they were threat- 
ened. At any rate, this curious docu- 
ment, of which I find no other notice, 
is printed in the " Cajou de Sastre lite- 
rato, ec, por Don Francisco Mariano 
Xifo, or Nipho," (Tom. IV., 1781, pp. 
"Ih, s(|(|.,) — a confused collection of ex- 
tracts, sometimes rare and interesting, 
and sometimes quite worthless, from 
-Sjjanish authors of the earlier times, 
nii.ved up with odds and ends of the 
]iersonal ()|iiiiii)ns and faiicii's of Schoi' 
♦ Nipho liinisi'lf, wlio was a translator 

and hack writer of the reigns of Ferdi- 
nand VI. and Charles III. 

(3.) " Otro tratado, Defensa de la 

(4.) " otro tratado, sobre el Diluvio 
General." The last two tnitados were 
j)robably poems, like the "Discurso." 
At least, that on the Deluge is men- 
tioned as such l)y Montalvan and by 

(5.) " Lagi-imas, que vieit(! un Alma 
arrepentida a la Hora de la Muerte." 
This, however, is not unpublished, 
though so announced by Vera Tassis. 
It is a little poem in the ballad meas- 
ure, which I detected first in a singular 
volume, where probablyit first appeared, 
entitled "Avisos para la Muerte, e.scn'i- 
tos por algunos Ingenios de Espaua a 
la Devocion de Bernardo de Oviedo, 
Secretario de su Majestad, oc, publi- 
cados por D. Luis Arellano," Valencia, 
1634, 18mo, 90 leaves ; reprinted, Zara- 
goza, 1648, and often besides. It con- 
sists of the contributions of thirty poets, 
among whom are no less personages 
than Luis Velez de Guevara, Juan Pe- 
rez de Montalvan, and Lojie de Vega. 
The burden of Calderon's ])oem, which 
is given with his name attacdied to it, 
is " () dulce Jesus mio, no entres, Senoi', 
con vuestro siervo en juicio ! " and a 
translation of it ma^ be found in Car- 
dinal Diepenbrock's " Geistliche Blu- 
menstrau.s," 1852, p. 186. The two 
following stanzas are a favorable speci- 
men of th(> whole : — 

quanto el imcfv, O quanto, 
Al uiorir e.s pareciJo 1 


cald£ijon s i)KA:-i:i.3. 

[Peiuod 11 

* 0'j4 prepared for the academies * of whieli he 
was a member, and for the poetical festivals 
and joustings then so common in Spain, a great inim- 
ber of odes, songs, ballads, and other poems, which gave 
him not a little of his fime with his contemporaries.^^ 
Plis brother, indeed, printed some of his full-length 
dramas in lGo-3 and 1()3T ;'"'' but we are expressly told, 
although the fact is doubtful, that Calderon himself 
never sent any of them to the press ; -^ and even in 
the case of the (udos^ where he deviated from his estab- 
lished custom, he says he did it unwillingly, and only 
lest their sacred character should l)e impaired hj im- 
perfect and surreptitious publications. 

For fort3'-eight years of his life, however, the j^ress 
teemed with dramatic works bearing his name on their 
titles. As early as 1633, they began to appear in the 
popular collections ; but many of them were not his. 

Pues, 8i naoinios llorando, 
Llorando tambien morimos 
O dulcc Jesus mio, etc. 

Un geniido la priniera 
Salva fue que al niiindo hizimos, 
V el ultimo vale que 
Le hawnios cs un jremido. 
O dulce Jesus mio, etc. 

How much resembles here our birth 

The final hour of all ! 
Wccpiufr at first we see the earth, 
And wcfpinjr hear Death's call. 
O. spare nie. Jesus, sjiare me, Saviour dear, 
Xor meet thy servant as a Judge severe I 

When first we entered this dark world, 

A\'e hailed it with a moan : 
And when we leave its confines dark. 
Our farewell is a proan. 
O, spare me, Jesus, spare me, Saviour dear, 
Nor meet thy servant as a Judge severe I 

Tlie whole of the little volume in wliiL-h 
it occurs may serve to illustrate Span- 
ish manners, in an age wlien a gentle- 
man of condition and a courtier sought 
spiritual comfort by such means and in 
such sources. 

Fifteen miscellaneous poems of Cal- 
deron — eight of wliich I had already 
known sepai-atcly — have Iwen hrought 
together . since the jn-eccding account 
was first published in 1849, and may 
now be found in the Biblioteca de Au- 

tores Espaiiole.s, Tom. XI Y., 1850, pp. 
724, ec, and Tom. XXIV., 1853, p. 585. 
I^ut they can be only a .small portion 
of what ('ahleron wiote ; — proliably 
only a small portion of what he printed 
anonymously or circulated in manu- 
script after the fashion of his time. Of 
one of them, entitled Psalle et Sile, 
from an inscri])tion in the choir of the 
cathedral at Toledo, I found a copy of 
the original edition, with the jiproba- 
don, dated December 31, 1661, in the 
Hof Bibliothek at Vienna. 

'^ Lara and Vera Tassis, both per- 
sonal fiiends of Calderon, .speak of the 
number of these miscellanies as very 

^ There were four volumes in all, 
and Calderon, in his Preface to the 
Autos, 1690, .seems to admit their gen- 
uineness, though he abstains, with aj)- 
parent caution, from directly declaring 
it, lest he should seem to imply that 
their publication had ever been author- 
ized by him. 

^^ "All men well know," says Lara, 
"that Don Pedro never .sent any of his 
comcdlos to tlie press, and that tliose 
which were ]>nnted were iirintcd against 
his will." Obeli-sco, Prologo. J| 

•CiiAi-. XXII.] 



•and the rest were so disCi^-ured by the imperfect man- 
ner in which they liad been written down during their 
representations, that he says he could often hardly 
recognize them hiuiself. " His editor and friend, 

2- The publication of ( 'aldcion's jilays 
in tlu; earliest editions ol' them is a 
matter of im])ortance whieh has never 
been cleared uj), ])robably in conse- 
quence of its obscurity and difficulty. 
1 will, tlu'refore, enileavor to do it as 
far as I can iV(jm the mateiials in ni}' 

The first play of f'alderon that I 
know to have been printed is " Kl As- 
troloj^o Fingido," which I possess in 
the very rare "Comeilias tie diferentes 
Aiitores," (Tom. XXV., Zaragoi;a, 
1633,) with a Liceneia of 1632, when 
its author was thirty-two years old. 
In the table of contents it is called " El 
Amante Astrologo," and in the dedica- 
tion of it to Fran. Ximenez de Urrea, 
Pedro Escuer, the editor, says that he 
had taken great pains to print it from 
a good copy ; — an assertion which the 
text he has given hardly justifies. 

Three more ]>lays of Calderon appear 
in Tom. XXVI II. of the .same collection, 
edited b_y Escuer, Huesca, 1634. These 
three plays are, — (1.) "La Industria 
<jontra el Poder," which is here ascribed 
to Lope de Vega, but which is really 
<'aldeion's "Amor, Honor y Poder" ; 
(2.) "De un Castigo tres Venganzas," 
now called " Un Castigo en tres Vengan- 
zas"; and (3.) " La Cruz en la Sepul- 
tura," which is a first and very inferior 
recension of the well-known " Devocion 
lie la Cruz." I have this volume also. 

Again, three plays of Calderon occur 
in Vol. XXX. of the "Comedias de 
difenmtes Autores," which, as my copy, 
though otherwise perfect, lacks its title- 
page, I learn oulj' from Bellingliaus(ui 
(p. 21) was ))rinted at Zaragoza in 1636. 
The three plays referred to are, - (1.) 
" La Dama Duende," (2.) " La Vida es 
Sueno," and (3.) "El Privilegio de las 
Mujeres," which, as here given, he 
wrote, according to Hartzenbusch, with 
Montalvan and Coello, and which, in 
this form, is the original sketch of the 
"Armas de la Hermo.sura." 

One play only can be found in Vol. 

XXXL, Barcelona, 1638, f. 22, "Con 

i(uien vengo vengo," where it appears, 

like the other plays in this volume, witli- 

voi,. II. 27 

out his name. l>ut it is his. Hart- 
zenbusch gives it the date of 1639. Of 
course this is a mistake of a year at least. 

Foui' plays of Calderon appear in Vol. 
XLII., Zarag09a, 16.50, viz. : (1.) "No 
ay P)urlas con el Amor," (2.) "El Se- 
creto a Voces," and (3.) "El Pintor d(> 
su Deshoni'a"; — but "Del Key abajo 
Ninguno " is also attributed to him, 
though everybody knows it belongs to 
Roxas, and, on the other hand, (4.) his 
" Hija del Ayre " is attributed to Ant. 
Enri([uez Gomez. 

One play only is to be found in Vol. 
XLIIL, Zaragoza, 1650, published by 
Escuer, viz. " La Desdicha de la Voz." 

How many more there may be by 
Calileron in this collection, de.signated 
as the Diferentes C^omedias, it is not 
possible to ascertain, as so few of its 
volumes are known to exi.st. No doubt 
thei'(! were others besides those I have 

But in 1652 began tin; collection of 
the Comedias Escogidas, better known 
than the last, but still troublesomely 
rare. In the very first volume, pub- 
lished in that year, are three ]ilays of 
Calderon, to the publication of which 
it seems as if he must have directly as- 
sented, since his Aprovaciun, dated 18 
May, 1652, is the first thing in the 
volume. This, however, is only the 
beginning. Forty-six more volumes of 
this new collection appeared during his 
lifetime, and contain forty-eiglit plays 
attributed to him, many of them not 
his, and almost all full of errors, ad- 
ditions, and oversights. But two de- 
serve especial notice, viz. " Las Armas 
de la Hermosura," and "La Sehora y 
la Criada," the last now known as "EI 
Acaso y el Error." They are in Vol. 
XLVL, 1679, and Vera Tassis, the 
frientl of Cahh^ron, in his Advertencia 
to the Comedias de Calderon, Tom. V.. 
1694, .says that Calderon himself gave 
thenr to him. Vera Tassis, to be jjrinted, 
anil corrected their proof-sheets. We 
have, therefore, these two plays at least 
exactly as Calderon prepared them, and 
on his own authority. 

But while,' in both these larger col- 



[Pkfmoi. IL 

355 * Vera Tas!<is, u-ivos several lists of plays, 
amounting in all to a liundred and fifteen, 

If.itiou.s, as wi'U as in otluTs of less 
jiretensioii, separate i)lays of Caldcrou 
were eonstaiitly reininted duriug his 
lifetime, often in the most lawless man- 
ner, au attempt was made to publish 
them together in a way that should 
give them the semljlance, at least, if 
not the substance, of their author's au- 
thority. Two volumes were published 
for this purpose by his brotlun- Joseph. 
( )f the hrst, which 1 have never .seen, 
but which appeared in 1635, the ac- 
counts are very indistinct ; but it prob- 
ably contained the same i)lays with 
the first volume of tlie collection by 
Vera Tassis, printed in 1685. (Hart- 
zenbusch, Tom. IV., ]>. 654.) The 
-second volume, jiublished by the same 
person, appeared in 1637. I possess it, 
and the plays, though not exactly in 
the same order, ai'e the same ]days with 
those published by Vera Tassis as his 
Volume II., ill 1656. There is a second 
edition of this second volume, JIadrid, 
1641, of which 1 found a cojjy in the 
Magliabecchi Library, Florence. In 
1664, a third volume a]>peared, pre- 
jiared by Ventura y Vergara, and in 
1672, Vol. IV., with a letter pieO.xed 
by himself, and a list of foit}--one ]ilays 
jiuVdished as his, which he repudiates. 
■ Ami finally, in 1677, a fifth volume 
was published at Barcelona, of whose 
ten plays he denies four in the Preface 
to the only volume of nntos he ever pub- 
lished, but of which four I suppose two 
are really his, notwithstanding his de- 

And here the matter rested until after 
f'alderon's death in 1681. Then Vera 
Tassis y Villaroel, who calls himself 
"his best fiiend," — hu mayor aviujo, 
— took it up in earnest, not later than 
1682, as we sei^; by t\w. aprovac tones and 
liccnclas to his publications of the Co- 
'incdi((.s. At first he seems to have as- 
sumed that the five volumes noted 
above as printed during C'alderon's life 
might be deemed of sufficient authority 
to constitute the foundation of his own 
(collection, for lie began it in 1683 by 
]»rinting a si.rth volume witii fiprocdci- 
iinfs, etc., of 1682, and among tliem the 
famous one of Gueira, 14 April, 1682, 
(.see jiost.. Chap. XXIV., note,) which 
he took the tioubh; to ic]irint in his 
Vol. v., 1694, and which excited a 

long controveisv. (See post, Chaii. 
XX iV.) This Vol. VI. he followed 
uj) witli Vol. VII. the .same j-ear, 1683, 
and with Vol. VIII. in 1684. But he 
now a2)parentl}r became dissatisfied with 
the five volumes printed earlier by Cal- 
deron's brother an<l other jiersons, and 
in 1685 he jiublished a new Vol. I., 
containing, I think, the plays in that 
of 1635, with their licfncia of that date. 
In 1686 he went on with Vol. II., which 
contains the plays in the Vol. II. of 
1637, tiiough in a difierent order ; but 
it should be noted that the "Mayor 
jMonstruo del Jiiindo " is now much 
altereil and il»T]>roved. In 1687 he 
continued with Vol. 111., saying that 
Ventura de la V^ega had indeed already 
published it "con la vaua ostcntacion 
de amigo de nucstro Don Pedro," but 
that his edition was very incoriect, and 
in one play omitted two hundred verses. 
In 1688, lie furtiier published Vol. IV., 
and in 1691, \'ol. IX., l(Ut with aprova- 
ciones of 1682, showing that he had, 
from the first, made arrangements for 
publishing the entire collection of hi.s 
friend's C'oincdias. And, finally, in 
1694, he went back again in the series 
and printed a fresh Vol. V., calling it 
" La cerdadcra (piinta Parte," to dis- 
tinguish it from the one Caldcrou had 
repudiated, and giving in his Preface 
a list of one hundred and twenty-one 
plays rightfully ascribed to Calderon, 
and a list of one hundred and six plays 
faLselj' a.scribed to him. These nine 
volumes, thus irregularly published by 
Vera Tassis between 1683 and 1694 are 
to Calderon what the first folio edition 
of his ]>lays is to ii^akespeare ; and to 
eight of the nine in my copy of them 
is ])refixed a head of Calderon engi'aved 
in 1682, by Fo.ssmann, whom Stirling 
iegaids (]). 1053) as jiei'haps the best 
engravei- of the time of Charles II. , antl 
who.st! engraving of Calderon is, I think, 
better, and from a ditferent and more 
agieeable likeness, than that of Eber- 
hard in the Obeli.sco Funebre, 1684. 

These materials — but above all tlie 
edition of Vera Ta.ssis — con.stitute the 
jirojicr foundation for researches respect- 
ing the C'liiiicduiN of Caldeion. A very 
bad reprint of this edition ajipearcd at 
Madiid in 1723-1726, in nine vohimes, 
and a lietter one by Apontes, 1760- 

CiiAP. XXII.] 



priiitud by tlio cupidity of * the booksellers * 35G 
MS Calderon's, without having any claim what- 
soever to that honor ; and he adds, that many 
others, * which Calderon had never seen, were * 357 
sent from Seville to the Spanish possessions in 

By means like these, the confusion became at last so 
great, that the Duke of Veraguas, then the honored 
head of the family of Columbus, and Captain-General 

1763, in eleven volumes, which in its 
turn was eclipsed by a thinl very care- 
fully prei)ared hy an acconiplishetl Span- 
ish .scholar, J. J. Kcil, of Leipzig, who 
j)ublishe(l it in that city in four large 
octavos in 1827-1830. Occasionally, 
from the eailiest times, single plays of 
Calderon have been printed, much like 
the old ipiartos of Shakespeare, and 
exactly such as were jiublished of all 
the Spanish dramatists down to the 
beginning of the present centur}', and 
indeed pretty well into it. Selections, 
too, were made b)'^ Huerta, Ortega, 
Ochoa, and others. But all this was 

At last J. E. Hartzenbu.sch, to whom 
Spanish literature owes much in many 
ways, undertook an edition for Kivade- 
neyra, and published it in the Biblioteca 
lie Autores Espaholes (Tom. VIl., IX., 
XII., XIV., 1848-1850), leaving noth- 
ing to be asked, if we' consider the state 

i of the materials for such a work as he 
found them, and not much to be hoped 
from future r(!seandies. He gives us 
one hundred and twenty-two Comedias, 

■ including ten either known to have been 
partly written by Calderon, or believed 
to be so on satisfactory evidence. Nine 
plays, however, which are in Calderon's 
own li.st of 1680, still remain to be ac- 
counted for ; but we have now in Hart- 
zenbusch's edition four not mentioned 
there, and not in yn-evious collections. 
This is something, but moie may ])er- 
haps yet be discovered, and mon^ cer- 
tainly should be sought for. In ad- 
dition to the Comedias, Hartzenbusch 
gives us fifteen Entrenieses, Mqjigaiigas, 
and Jacaras Entremesadas attributed to 
Calderon, I fear on slight authority, 
and to which, on authority not better, 
I could add one more ciihxmes in my 
possession, said, on its title-page, to be 

his work, viz. " Pelicano y Katon." 
Hut all of them have little value, and 
fail to satisfy the expectations excited 
by the Graciosos in his full-length Co- 
medias. I need not add that the edi- 
tion of Hartzenbusch is by far the best 
we have of Calderon's |)lays ; — the mo.st 
ample and the most carefully prepared, 
with good prefatoiy matter and excel- 
lent appendices. 

1 hoi^e he will, in the same way, edit 
the autos, which, lieing the property of 
the city of Madrid under the will of 
their author, were not, for a long time, 
permitted to be published, lest the 
printed copies should impair the effect 
of the annual, popular representations 
in the streets. (Lara, Pnilogo.) (_'al- 
deron, indeed, collected twelve of them 
ibr jiublication in his lifetime, and pre- 
])aied a preface for them ; but although 
the A]irovacion, Licencia, etc., are dated 
1676, 1 have never seen any edition 
earlier than the one printed at JIadrid, 
161)0, wliich I possess, though, I doubt 
not, there was one of 1677, nor were 
more than these twelve published till 
the edition of 1717 ajDpeared in six vol- 
umes, of which there is a tolerable 
reprint by Apontes, 1759-60. They 
need a good editor, like Hartzenbusch, 
and would well reward his labors. 

-■^ Probably several more may be 
added to the list of dramas that are 
attributed to Calderon, and yet are not 
his. I have noted "El Garrote mas 
bien Dado," in " PjI Mejor de los me- 
jores Libros de Comedias," 1653, 4to, 
where it is given with two that are 
genuine ; and " El Escandalo de Gre- 
cia," which is in Comedias Escogida.s, 
Tom. XL, 1659, where, at the end of 
the play, (f. 176, b, ) it is imi)udently 
announced as his in the usual form of 
claiming authorship on the Sjianish stage. 

420 CALDEROX's DRAMAS. [Peiiiod II. 

of the kingdom of Valencia, wrote a letter to Cakleron 
in 1()S0, asking for a list of his dramas, by "which, as a 
friend and admirer, he might venture to make a collec- 
tion of them for himself The reply of the poet, com- 
phiining bitterly of the conduct of the booksellers, 
■\vliicli had made such a request necessary, is accom- 
panied by a list of one hundred and eleven full-length 
dramas and seventy sacramentjil <ii>li>s. which he claims 
as his own.-^ This catalogue constitutes the proper 
basis for a knowledge of Calderon's dramatic works, 
down to the present day. All the plays mentioned in 
it have not, indeed, been found. Nine are not 
*358 in the editions of Yera * Tassis, in 1682, of 
. Apontes, in 1760, or of Hartzenbusch, in 1850 ; 
but, on the other hand, a few" not in Calderon's list 
have been added to theirs upon what has seemed suffi- 
cient authority; so that we have now seventy-three 
sacramental auto^^ with their introductory loas^ and 
one hundred and eight comcdias, or — including plays 
partly his — one himdred and twenty-two, on which 
his reputation as a dramatic poet is at present to rest.^^ 

2* This corrpspondence, so honorable ^5 x\\ tij(, ;o«s, however, are not Cal- 

to Calderon, as well as to the head of deron's ; but it is no longer possible to 

the family of Columbus, who signs determine which are not so. " No son 

himself proudly. El Almircmte Duquc, todas suyas" is the phrase aj.plied to 

— as Columbus himself had required them in the Prologo of the edition of 

his descendants always to sign them- 1717. 

selves, (Navarrete, Tom. II. p. 229,)— ^ Vera Ta.ssis tells us, indeed, in his 

is to be found in tlie "Obelisco," and Life of Calderon, that Calderon wi-ote 

again in Hiieita, "Teatro Hesi)rtri<)l," a huntlred sdi/netes, or short farces; 

(Madrid, 1785, 12mo, Parte II. Tom. about a hundred aufos sucraincntales ; 

III.,) and, with additions by Vera Tas- two hundred loas ; and more than one 

sis, Comedias de Calderon, Tom. I., hundred and twenty cowcrf/os. But he 

1685, and Tom. V., K594. The com- collected for his edition (1683-1694) 

])laints of Calderon about the book- only the comedias mentioned in the 

sellers are very bitter, as well they might text, and thirteen more, intended for 

be ; for in 1676. in his Preface' to his an a<lditional volume that never was 

nutos, he says that their frauds took ]irinted. See notices of Calderon, by 

away from tlie hospitals and other char- F. W. V. Schmidt, in the Wiener Jahr- 

ities — which yet received onlv a small biicher der Literatur, Bande XVII., 

part of the profits of the theatre — no XVIII., and XIX., 1822, to which I 

less tlian twenty-si.x thousand ducats am much indebted, and which deserve 

annually. to be printed .scjiaiately, and preserved. 


In examining tlii.>< large mass of Calderon's dramatic 
works, it will be most convenient to take first, and by 
themselves, those which are ([iiite distinct from the 
rest, and which alone he thought worthy of his care in 
publication, — his «?^/c.5' or dramas for the Corpus Christ! 
day. Nor are they undeserving of this separate notice. 
There is little in the dramatic literature of any nation 
more characteristic of the people that produced it than 
this department of the Spanish theatre ; and, among 
the many poets who devoted themselves to it, none 
had such success as Calderon. 

Of the early character and condition of the autos, 
and their connection with the Church, we have already 
spoken, when noticing Juan de la Enzina, Gil Vi- 
cente, Lope de Vega, and Valdivielso. They 
*were, from the twelfth and thirteenth cen- * 359 
turies, among the favorite amusements of the 
mass of the people ; but with the period at which we 
are now arrived, they had gradually risen to be of 
great importance. That the}^ were spread through 
the whole country, even into the small villages, we 
may see in the Travels of Agustin Roxas,^' who played 
them everywhere, and in the Second Part of Don 
Quixote, where the mad knight is represented as 

The above wi-sh, expressed in the first to a careful examination of tlie one 

edition of this work, in 1849, ])as been Imndred and eight comcdms in the edi- 

uiore than fultilled by the following tions of Vera Tassis and Apontes ; to a 

publication: "Die Sehauspiele Calde- .slight inquiry into the one hundred 

ron'sdargestelltunderlautert von Fried. and six plays falsely attributed to Cal- 

Wilh. Val. Schmidt aus gedrllcktcn und deron, of which Vera Tassis gives the 

ungedriickten Papieren des Verfassers titles in his Verdadera quinta Parte, 

zusammengesetzt, erganzt und heraus- 1694 ; to a notice of a few of Calderon's 

gegeben von Leopold Schmidt," Elber- auton ; and to sueh other casual inves- 

field, 1857, 8vo, pp. 543. The editor tigations as. these different subjects sug- 

is the son of the author, and seems to gest. It is carefully edited, with a few 

inherit his father's taste and learning, judicious notes and additions by the 

giving us a work of more value to those .son, made in the conscientious spirit 

who wish to make a critical study of of the father. 

Calderon, than any other extant. But 27 l{oxa.s, Viage Entretenido, 1614, 

it .should be observed, that this inqior- ff. 51, 52, and many other places, 
tant work is almost entirely confined 


meeting a car that was carrying the actors for the 
Festival of the Sacrament from one hamlet to an- 
other.-^ This, it will be rememl^ered, was all before 
1615. During the next thirty years, and especially 
(luring the last portion of Calderon's life, the number 
and consequence of the autos Avere much increased, and 
they were represented with great luxury and at great 
expense in the streets of all the larger cities; — so 
important were they deemed to the influence of the 
clergy, and so attractive had they become to all 
classes of society, — to the noble and the cultivated no 
less than to the multitude.^ 

In Iboo, when they were at the heiirht of their sue- 
cess, Aarsens de Somerdyck, an accomplished Dutch 
traveller, gives us an account of them as he Avitnessed 
their exhibition at Madrid.'^ In the forenoon of the 
festival, he says, a procession occurred such as we have 
seen was usual in the time of Lope de Vega, m here the 
king and court appeared, without distinction of rank, 
preceded by two fantastic figures of giants, and some- 
times by the grotesque form of the TdniHca, — one of 
which, we are told, in a pleasant story of Santos, pass- 
ing by night from a place where it had been exhibited 

the preceding day to one where it Mas to be 
* 3G0 exhibited the day * following, so alarmed a body 

of muleteers Avho accidentally met it, that the}- 
roused up the country, as if a real monster were come 

■•" Don Quixote, eil. Pcllicer, Parte rious, with Barbier, Dictionimire d'Auo- 
ll. e. 11, with the notes, iiynies, Paris, 1824, 8vo, No. 19,281. 

■■^^ In 1640 and 1641, and probably Tlie ««to which the Dutch traveller saw- 
in other years, there were four aulus was, no doubt, one of Calderon'.s ; since 
represented in the streets of JIadrid, (.'alderon then, and for a long time be- 
duiing the festival of the Corjius Chiis- fore and after, furnish(;d the aii.tox for 
ti ; and in the last-mentioned year we the city of Madrid. Jladame d'Aulnoy 
an- told that the giants and the taraaca describes the same gorgeous ])roce.ssion 
had new dre.s.ses in good ta.ste. Schack, a.s .she saw it in 1679, (Voyage, ed. 
Xachtrage, 18.o4, pp. 72, 73. 1693, Tom. HI. pp. 52- .^j5,)'with the 

^' Voyage d'Espagne, Cologne, 1667, im])ertinent <(uU), as .she calls it, that 

18mo, (Jliap. XVIIl., which is vi-ry cu- was perl'ornied that year. 

Chap. XXII.] CAIJ)P:KON's AUTOS. 423 

among them to la}^ waste the land.^^ These missliapeii 
figures and all tliis strange procession, witli music of 
hautboys, tambourines, and castanets, with banners and 
with religious shows, followed the sacrament through 
the streets for some hours, and then returned to the 
principal church, and were dismissed. 

In the afternoon the