JOURNEY TO PARNASSUS.
JOURNEY TO PARNASSUS
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA
TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH TERCETS WITH
PREFACE AND ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES
JAMES Y. GIBSON
TO WHICH ARE SUBJOINED THE ANTIQUE TEXT
AND TRANSLATION OF THE LETTER OF
CERVANTES TO MATEO VAZQUEZ
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH AND CO.
i PATERNOSTER SQUARE
Thou, who art listening, if thou heed aright
The sweet recital of this ' Journey' grand,
Shah hear new things of exquisite delight.
Ch. viii. p. 237.
Across the gorse-clad common, sprent with gold,
Through lanes of black-thorn, bright with blooms of snow,
Up sunny slopes, with daisies all aglow,
We walked, and talked of things both new and old.
In memory of those Spring-days, loved so well,
I send to thee this tiny, modest gem,
Dropped from a Spanish monarch's diadem,
Or, shall I say, his cross of San Miguel.
Such wealth of jewels had that poet- king,
This little straggling pearl forgotten lay,
And connoisseurs, who passed it on the way,
Disdained to pick it up, the common thing !
To me it seemed to gleam with light untold,
And so with mickle pains, and mickle fretting,
I coaxed it into this plain English setting,
To wile its lustre forth with English gold.
Thyself a pearl, deign thou this pearl to wear,
Mayhap the critics' glance will then be kind ;
If not, what matter ? Beauty's in the mind ;
I'm pleased if thou be pleased to think it fair.
J. Y. G.
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE ix-lxv
OF THE PORTRAIT AND ITS PEDIGREE . . . Ixvii-lxxv
AUTHOR'S DEDICATION, PROLOGUE,AND SONNET 1-7
JOURNEY TO PARNASSUS, SPANISH TEXT AND
ENGLISH VERSION 8-261
APPENDIX TO THE "PARNASSUS" 263-297
LETTER OF CERVANTES TO MATEO VAZQUEZ
DURING HIS CAPTIVITY IN ALGIERS . . 299-327
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIVE PIECES 329
" Good wine needs no bush," and a good poem
should need no prologue. Cervantes was evidently
of this opinion, for the single enigmatical sentence
with which he introduces this delightful satire, like
the piquant olive which ushers in a good Spanish
dinner, was intended simply to quicken the palates of
his readers. We would gladly follow his example,
and allow this Parnassus-Journey of his, tricked out
in the choicest English and the smoothest Terza rima
at our command, to present itself to English readers
without the formality of an Introduction. We are
the more tempted to do so, inasmuch as we find,
on perusing the admirable French version of the
Voyage au Parnasse by M. Guardia, that this pains-
taking scholar thinks it needful to preface it with a
learned and laborious Introduction of well-nigh 200
pages, and to supplement it with a long biographical
dictionary of 135 pages, while the little poem
x 'Translator's Preface.
of 125 pages, wedged in between two such bulky
treatises, has hardly breathing-space. We humbly
confess that for such a task as this we have little
ability and less inclination. A satire that requires
so much minute commentary is manifestly defunct,
and may be regarded as a curious fossil, of interest
only to the antiquarian. We make bold to say that
such is not the case with this little poem of Cervantes.
It needs no such extraneous aid to make it intelligible.
There is enough of native vitality in it to interest and
even to fascinate all readers of the right sort. Though
one of the children of Cervantes' old age, produced
in his sixty-seventh year, it has a sprightliness and
vigour worthy of his prime. It is instinct with that
peculiar humour which sparkles in his Novels, and
overflows in his " Don Quixote," and which, though
at times it seems to run riot, is redeemed from the
charge of utter extravagance by its intensely human
heartiness. And there is wisdom too combined with
the wit ; for as M. Guardia truly says : " The reader,
who would make this Journey of Parnassus in
company with Cervantes, will find in him not only
an unequalled guide, who will not allow him to sleep
by the way, but also a critic of the grand school, of
rare sagacity, of exquisite taste, unrivalled in that
most difficult art the art of teaching truth with a
smile and of making wisdom lovable."
'Translator s Preface. xi
But that which seems to us to give this delectable
poem its chief charm and value is the curious self-
revelation it offers of the inner life and aspirations of
the man who, after Shakespeare, was the foremost
creative genius of his age, and whose life, unlike that
of his great contemporary, was chequered with
numberless " moving accidents by flood and field."
Shakespeare, in his Sonnets, gives us a certain measure
by which to test the nature and depth of the passion
that possessed him, though the heart of the mystery
is still untouched. But Cervantes is much more un-
reserved and communicative. Whoever has felt the
spell of this Wizard of the South must know how his
personality is stamped, like a hall-mark, on every-
thing he wrote; how the romance of his life is
interwoven with the romance of his writings, so that
a peculiar loving interest in the matchless story-teller
is born, and increases with our love for his works.
All the world knows that this is eminently the case
with his Don Quixote. In that tale of tales, and
behind the visor of the immortal knight, who seems
born for no other reason than to banish "loathed
Melancholy " from the world, and replace it with
"heart-easing Mirth " and " Laughter holding both
his sides," we are confronted with the face of a man,
whose eyes betray no spark of insanity, but a glowing
enthusiasm tempered with all sorts of humorous
xii Translator s Preface.
gleamings ; whose mobile lips have always a winning
smile for his friends, and a light curl of irony for his
foes ; whose brow, furrowed with care, and sorrow,
and thought, bespeaks the man of vast experience, both
of men and things, which gives him the right and
power to speak on all matters that concern humanity ;
in fact, one of those rare heroic characters, of gentle
manners, splendid gifts, and noble thoughts, whom
to know and to love is of itself a liberal education.
If such loving personal interest has grown up in
any of our readers by a thoughtful study of the
adventures of the Knight of La Mancha, it will
certainly not be lessened by a perusal of the Journey
to Parnassus. For herein Cervantes openly takes up
the role of his own Don Quixote, and with a faith
as simple, and a courage as undaunted, he sets himself
to a task as hopeless as the most desperate of his
hero's. This Herculean labour is nothing more nor
less than to banish mediocrity from the realm of
Spanish poesy, and to sweep from its sacred precincts,
which had become as foul as an Augean stable, all
shams, lies, hypocrisies, and vulgar baseness whatso-
ever. A Quixotic purpose truly in any age or
country, but doubly Quixotic in a land which, in the
time of Cervantes, was overrun with a perfect plague
of poetastry ! To say the truth, it is but a mild sort of
interest that we take in the enterprise itself, though the
Translator s Preface. xiii
surroundings of it, and the period at which it takes
place, are sufficiently fascinating. For the combined
reigns of the Second and Third Philips, during which
Cervantes lived, form undoubtedly the Augustan age
of Spanish literature. It is adorned with a roll of
names as brilliant as were ever concentrated in any
one age, in any country. There is Herrera, with his
sublime odes; Luis de Leon, with his heaven-inspired
lyrics ; Gongora, with his clear, trenchant satires,
ringing romances, and new, turgid, superfine,
aesthetic jargon ; Lope de Vega, with his eternal flow
of comedies, like the sands on the sea-shore innu-
merable; Quevedo, with his wonderful visions that
electrified Europe, and his political satires that gave
him the fame of a Spanish Junius; and, lastly, there
is Calderon de la Barca, who, born in the middle of
this wonderful age, winds it up with his incompa-
rable dramas, which soar to the utmost height that
Spanish dramatic genius has ever reached. If we
add to these some of the minor deities, the Argensolas,
Borjas, Villegas', Rebolledos, Riojas, Molinas, De
Castros, and Artiedas, we have an array of multi-
farious talent such as the world has seldom seen in
such close conjunction.
In the midst of this brilliant conclave of poets
Cervantes occupies a peculiar position. He has
affinity with each, but stands apart from all. As
xiv Translator's Preface.
thoroughly Spanish as any in all that constitutes
nationality (Castellano a las derechas), his genius,
consciously or unconsciously, claims kinship with
humanity. His works, firmly rooted in Spanish soil,
are destined to bear transplanting to every region, and
to be reproductive in every climate, save that of
their birth. Other nations since then have had
their Walter Scotts, Goethes, and Victor Hugos,
heaven-inspired geniuses of the same type and earthly
descent, sturdily national and intensely human, but
Cervantes is childless in Spain. We may fitly
compare him to one of those ancient giant oaks in
some ancestral park (shall we say Herne's Oak, with
all the witchery and glamour of Elf-land around
it?) which stands alone in its majesty, carefully
guarded and palisaded, reverenced and idolized,
but round which there is a treeless waste, without
a sturdy sapling to show the vigour of the parent
It was perhaps this peculiarity of Cervantes' genius
that made him so solitary and unbefriended amongst
his contemporaries ; it was certainly this that made
him so sensitive to all that passed around him, and
gave him such a penetrating glance into the very
heart of things. He was, therefore, neither dazzled
nor blinded by the brilliancy of the period in which
he lived. He neither envied it nor carped at it,
Translator's Preface. xv
though few of its outward honours descended upon
him. He had within himself a standard sure and
unerring by which to measure its worth and tendency.
With a sort of prophetic instinct he could detect,
amid all its splendid, unnatural exuberance, the sure
symptoms of decay ; and in that fatal feverish thirst
for immediate fame, regardless of high aims and pure
taste, which few of his poetic comrades were able to
resist, he could descry the coming degradation and
prostitution of that divine art which was dearer to
him than life.
But when he turns from the magnates of the
realm of Literature to the common herd whom they
influenced and inspired- what a curious spectacle
awaits him ! It seems to his vivid imagination as if
Valencia and Saragossa, Madrid and Seville, all the
centres of light and thought in the kingdom, had
become so many huge factories for the spinning and
weaving of rhymes. Throughout the length and
breadth of the land he sees poetry converted into a
trade, and a very vile one. All sorts and conditions of
men seem pressing into it : churchmen and courtiers
and scholars, tailors and cobblers and piecers ; men
of good education, of half-education, of no education;
puffed up with vanity and bristling with conceit, and
all of them doing what may emphatically be called
a roaring business. Poets are here, there, every-
xvi 'Translator 's Preface.
where. They spring from the dust like frogs ; they
go hopping about in the antechambers of the great,
jostling each other in the theatres and market-places,
haunting the wine-shops and taverns and dens of
pollution ; treating everywhere a very Babel of dis-
cordant sounds, and what is worse, carrying with
them over the land, into every village and hamlet,
that peculiarly horrible pestilence the plague of
As a typical instance of the truth of this description
we may quote a curious passage from Suarez de
Figueroa's El Pasagero, published in 1617, wherein he
says : " In a late poetical tournament held in honour
of St. Anthony of Padua, no less than 5,000 copies
of verses were sent in for competition ; and the
monks of the monastery where it was held, after
having adorned their cloisters and the body of the
church with the better class of them, found that
enough remained over and above to cover 100
monasteries ! " The contemporary Annals of Seville,
lately brought to light, tell us the same tale of hideous
and inordinate production. It is no wonder then
that Cervantes, who was essentially an aristocrat in
his poetic tastes, should look on such a state of mat-
ters with supreme disgust, and should thunder forth
his displeasure in such sonorous threatenings as
Translator's Preface. xvii
O false, accursed, troubadouring race,
That fain would pass for poets wise and strong,
Being the very scum of all that's base ;
Between the palate, tongue, and lips, your song
Comes surging forth in never-ending blast,
Affronting virtue with unmeasured wrong ;
Ye poets, in deception unsurpassed,
Beware, for now the awful threatened day,
That seals your final doom, has come at last !
Cervantes would, if he could, have been a very
despot in the realm of poesy. No countenance to
vulgarity and common-place, no truce with preten-
tious ignorance, no quarter to baseness and obscenity !
As he himself tells us, through the mouth of the
Canon of Toledo, he would have every comedy, be-
fore acted, pass the scrutiny of a jury of experts,
and be thoroughly purged of all uncleanness, moral
and artistic. And as for the fledgling poets, let them
dare to plant one foot on Parnassus-hill without
special passport from Apollo, countersigned by
It is in this humour, half-serious and half-comic,
that he sets himself to write the Journey to Parnassus
and organize a new crusade against poetic infidels.
But, as we have already said, this is not the matter
that concerns us most in the book. The scene and
subjects of this serio-comic warfare are too remote
for modern sympathy. It is but a lukewarm interest
at best that we can take in most of the characters,
xviii Translator's Preface.
whose merits Cervantes epitomizes in a single
sentence, or whose blots he hits with a single playful
touch of his satiric foil ; and even the wholesale
massacre of the godless and profane, righteous retri-
bution though it be, excites in us no very lively
emotion. Not even the breath of Cervantes' wit
can make the dead bones of these defunct poets live
and take shape before us, nor have we any great
desire they should. Herrera and Gongora, Lope
de Vega and Quevedo, with some others, are still
living, and we are glad to meet with them again.
Arbolanche, and Lo Frasso, and the author of La
Plcara Justina have suffered a kind of resurrection,
and we get to have such tender affection for them as
Izaak Walton had for the worm that wriggled on his
hook. As for the rest they " come like shadows, so
depart." If we wish to have further knowledge of
them it had better be as dried specimens in the hortus
siccus of Spanish bibliography. But we do desire to
know something about the noblest of them all
Cervantes himself; and to learn the various elements
that make up his wonderful character. Such know-
ledge in part he gives us here ; and, if we read the
poem aright, it is such knowledge he means to give
us from the very outset. All the rest is but the in-
genious setting which enshrines this engaging chapter
of his self-biography.
Translator 's Preface. xix
There is confessedly no more charming writer
than Cervantes when he takes us into his confidence,
and speaks of himself and his doings. His prologues
to Don Quixote, the Novels, the Comedies, and best
of all to the Persi/es, are the most chatty and delect-
able bits of self-revelation ever penned, worth half-
a-dozen ponderous memoirs. He who can read the
last of them without laughter ending in a sob must
have a curious temperament. Of all these the Journey
to Parnassus is the true complement. Stitch them
together with a little running thread of connection,
and we need little more to tell us how he looked,
how he lived, and what he lived for j we might
almost say, how he died. The Journey is specially
valuable on this account, for it is not only self-
revealing, it is intensely and often amusingly self-
asserting. It throws light on two things especially ;
his poverty and his genius.
We know already in a rough way, just as did the
people of Seville and Madrid among whom he lived,
what were the externals _of the life of this remarkable
man, who, in an age of splendid geniuses, sets him-
self forth as a chief authority and reformer in matters
poetic ; and they are not very alluring. We know
that he came of a poor but noble family j that he had
but a scanty education was, in fact, in Spanish phrase,
an injenio lego not entitled, as we would say, to put
xx Translator 's Preface.
B. A. after his name, in an age when graduates were
plentiful as blackberries ; that he served as a private
soldier for seven years of his life, and suffered as a
captive for five ; that for fifteen years he was a sort
of commissary's agent to collect corn .and wine and
oil for the army and navy, notably for the great
Armada; that for ten years more, down to the date of
this Journey, he had picked up a precarious living as
a private notary, or scrivener, or whatever the Spanish
escribano may denote ; that during all this time he
had received no mark of royal acknowledgment, save
that on one occasion, in 1605, he was commissioned
(seemingly as a reward of merit for his Don Quixote)
to " chronicle the small beer " of courtly festivity at
the baptism of that most high and mighty princeling,
Felipe Domenico Victor, afterwards Philip IV ; and
finally that, while he was penning this Satire, he was
a poor pensioner on the bounty of the Count de
Lemos, and his Grace the Archbishop of Toledo.
In fact, to all outward appearance his life was a
No one could be more conscious of this than
Cervantes himself. It was a standing wonder to
him, that, despite of his commanding abilities, he
could not get on in the world. In the economy of
the universe, at least in the Spanish portion of it,
there seemed no place reserved to him, in which to
Translator s Preface. xxi
plan and toil and be prosperous, for his own and the
common good. It gave him cause to philosophize,
and the results of his much pondering he presents in
this book. He seems to have three different theories
to account for the strange phenomenon, and he
presents each of them in turn in a jesting or serious
way, just as the humour seizes him.
The first he gives after this fashion. He belongs to
a class of human beings, of all classes notoriously the
most unpractical. Poverty has ever been, and must be,
the badge of all the tuneful tribe, for they are essentially
a generation of dreamers. When called on to attend
to sublunary affairs they are winging their way above
the spheres. The world goes quickly past them while
they are limning the feats of Mars, or piping, in rosy
bowers, of Venus and her loves. While in the
solitude of their musings they are weaving a web of
beautiful fancies, or adoring their own creations, they
are contracting a sublime and eternal ignorance of
common things. It is little wonder then that, when
Nature forces them, as it forces ordinary mortals, to
descend into the every-day world, they should find that
everything has gone wrong, and instead of discovering
ahouse of theirown to live in and be happy, they should
be fond of lingering at a neighbour's hearth (amigo del
hogar de ajena casa). In such merry vein does Cer-
vantes jest about his poverty in the first chapter. He
xxii translator's Preface.
is a poet of the same order, and must bear the
common lot. No doubt he had full proof of this in
his life of commissary and scrivener, wherein, we can
well imagine, he was more engaged in studying the
humours of the men he met, and weaving little
stories out of their lives, than in attending to their
business. That business and clients should take
flight and leave him alone to his dreams, could be no
mystery. It was well for him that he could console
himself with an aphorism, worthy of his countryman
Seneca: "With little I'm content, although I long
for much ! "
His second theory is one special to himself, and he
gives it with a very serious face. There seems a
fatality in all that he does. Good-fortune, when she
comes, comes with a timid, hesitating air, but flies
from his embrace as if from a spectre's. These are
the words he puts into Apollo's mouth :
Thyself hast fickle Fortune wooed and won,
Oft have I seen thee with her days agone,
But from the imprudent she is fain to run.
Biographers have vainly vexed their brains to find
out in what this " imprudence " consisted ; whether
it refers to his general character, or to some single
act that coloured and determined his after-life. His
life, so far as we know, was eminently pure, and we
may be quite sure that, if he had ever been guilty of
Translator s Preface. xxiii
any grave moral offence, his enemies would have
found it out. The same idea he repeats in a more
poetical form, as addressed to himself by Apollo :
Men's evil fortunes swell up from behind,
Bringing their current with them from afar,
And so are feared, but cannot be declined.
The notion of fatality is here more precisely uttered.
There is some back-current, taking its rise in his
very nature, or in bygone events springing directly
out of it, that affects his life. Things may look
bright for a time, but suddenly comes this baleful
current with its accumulated force, and sweeps every-
thing before it. This idea haunts him ; and his life
seems to give warrant for it. When he was twenty-
eight years of age, and had done with fighting the
Turks, and was returning home to well-earned rest,
with glowing testimonials from his commanders that
promised him certain advancement, he is suddenly
arrested in mid-ocean, and, as he grimly puts it, "Fate
drags him by the hair" into five years' sore captivity.
In Algiers he has glorious schemes for the release of
himself and comrades, which are on the eve of
success, when lo ! in the midst of them he is con-
fronted by a villain, in the form of that ecclesiastic
Blanco de Paz, who ruins everything. He had done
this person no offence, except the offence which any
loyal and virtuous man naturally gives to a traitor
xxiv 'Translator's Preface.
and miscreant, and yet the shadow of that Dominican
falls across his life, and rests there. He returns to
Spain, and presents to Philip II. a humble petition
for a petty post in that paradise of the desperate,
Spanish America ; his hopes are bright, but some-
thing or somebody intervenes, and the demand is
fruitless. His commissary's life tells the same tale.
His books will not balance, his sureties vanish and
leave him in the lurch, the monks of Ecija take it
into their heads to excommunicate him for trespass
on their sacred lands, he finds himself in prison once
and again ; and yet his character is unstained, he has
done nothing but what might safely be put to the
score of " imprudence." And now, just at the
period of this satire, when his great patron, Count
de Lemos, goes as Viceroy to Naples, and founds
there a noble Academy, and many brilliant promises
are made to him, and a door at last seems opened to
honour, it may be to affluence, a little false rumour,
a little backbiting whisper takes place, and the door is
shut. It is well for him again that he can take refuge
in such consolation as Apollo gravely offers him :
The man who merits luck, which Fate denies
Without good reason, and in mood severe,
Is honoured more than if he won the prize.
His last theory, which is no theory, affects him
most of all. Cruel fate, or his own outspoken,
Translator's Preface. xxv
careless, impetuous nature, may be against him ; but
his worst enemies are those who ought to have been
his warmest friends, viz., his comrades in the literary-
world. He takes up this parable against them, and
his words are very bitter :
Envy and ignorance do dog my track,
And envied thus, and put to direst stress,
The good I hope for I must ever lack.
He had written the work of the age. He knew
it, and foresaw its fame. Nor had he fault to find
with its immediate effect amongst his countrymen.
It circulated through the length and breadth of the
land. It was read and laughed over by all classes ;
it was a sort of nine-days' wonder. But its real
value was unknown j it was soon forgotten, and it led
to nothing. All the profits he reaped from it hardly
sufficed to keep the wolf from his door. But the
blindest of all were those who ought to have been
shrewdest. To us nowadays it seems unutterably
strange, that an age of great wits should have failed
to recognize the worth of Don Quixote, and to
acknowledge that the man who wrote it was the
greatest of them all. It was envied by some for the
stir it created ; it was carped at and deprecated by
others; it was understood by none. And so it
remained for an age after, until the chorus of praise
that rang through Christendom came echoing slowly
xxvi Translator s Preface.
back to the land of its birth, and revealed to the
Spaniards what a priceless treasure they possessed.
It was with perfect right, then, that Cervantes in his
own day puts these words into Mercury's mouth :
Thy works, through all the world in every part,
Which Rozinante on his crupper bears,
Are known, and stir to strife the envious heart.
The records of the period are so scanty and void
of detail, that we can hardly appreciate the full truth
of this. There is one little sentence, however, in a
letter of Lope de Vega's lately brought to light,
which, though a small straw, may show how the
wind blew. It reads thus : " There are many poets
in labour for the coming year; but none so bad as
Cervantes, or so stupid as to praise Don Quixote!"
If the man who was glorified as the "Phoenix of
Spanish wits," and Commander-in-chief, par ex-
cellence, of the army of poets, could say this, we can
imagine what part the subalterns would play. It
was certainly one of Lope's clique, whether the
Dominican Aliaga or some other, who at this very
time played the scurviest part of all ; who, under the
name of Avellaneda, had the effrontery to produce a
second Don Quixote, and withal, the ineffable mean-
ness to gloat over the idea, that he was thereby de-
priving Cervantes of the profit he might surely count
on from his second part. That such a public affront
Translator's Preface. xxvii
should be possible, in an enlightened Court, clearly
shows in what esteem Cervantes and his works were
held by the elite of his countrymen, and to what dire
straits he was reduced. It was reserved for a noble
Frenchman, who came at this time to the Court of
Madrid, to pay him the finest, subtlest compliment
that poor genius ever received : "If poverty constrains
him to write, please God he may never have plenty,
so that, remaining poor, he may enrich the whole
world with his works ! " It is the same sort of con-
solatory phrase that he himself puts into the mouth
of Poesy, addressed to himself and all poets in like
I give you wealth in hope, and not in hand ;
A guerdon rich, replete with highest cheer
That all the realm of Fancy can command.
But the poverty of Cervantes, whatever might be
its origin, was no hindrance to his gaiety. He ever
wore it, as the Spanish gentleman wears his capa,
with ease and grace and good humour. In what a
merry, sprightly way does he make it the very frame-
work of this Satire ! Like a new Don Quixote,
eager for a new sally, we see him (by a slight
stretch of the imagination) set forth on his Journey,
astride the haunches of Fate, the common hack of
the Universe, as if it were a second Rozinante, its
belly-bands bursting with joy at the thought of fresh
xxviii Translator's Preface.
adventure ; while in actual fact he is trudging on foot
along the weary road to Carthagena, in shabby gar-
ments, with wallet on his back, whose only provender
is a small loaf and eight maravedis' worth of cheese !
He waves a sarcastic adieu to Madrid, that stony-
hearted stepmother of the poets, at whose doors he
declines to be found one day dead. He meets with
a smile the mocking raillery of Mercury :
O Adam of the poets, O Cervantes !
What wallets and attire be these, my friend,
Which plainly manifest thy wit but scant is ?
He has a smart repartee ready for the grave irony of
Apollo, who tells him that all the laurel-shaded seats
are bespoken, and it behoves him to take seat on his
My lord, it hath escaped you quite, I fear,
That I possess no cloak !
And so throughout the whole tale. If our readers
would have a picture of Cervantes, the poor, light-
hearted son of genius, we commend to them the
portrait with which we have ventured to adorn this
book. The common portraits, whose authenticity
is not established, represent him as a gallant of the
period, arrayed in rich garments of rustling silk, and
bestarched ruff, like a second Pancracio de Ronces-
valles. But this is a veritable effigies of the Vlajero^
half-sailor, half-landsman, who did good service to
Translator's Preface. xxix
the State both on sea and land. His felt hat and
homely jerkin show him as he always was in his
working dress. And the face withal is a noble one.
The large, sparkling eyes, the well-proportioned nose,
slightly curved, the thin, sharply-cut lips, with just a
shade of dreamy melancholy resting on them, which
seem ready at any moment to flicker with humour
or curl with irony, bring before us in a very real way
at once the Cervantes as described by himself, and
the Cervantes of our fancy. Without regard at
present to the genuineness of the portrait, but with
simple regard to propriety and the truth of things,
we feel inclined to place beneath it part of the in-
scription which the poet himself attached to his own
sketch in pen-and-ink : " This is the portrait of him
who made they ourney of Parnassus in imitation of that
of Cesar Caporal of Perugia : he is commonly called
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; he was many years
a soldier ; and for five and a half a captive ; during
which he learned to have patience in adversity ! "
Such was Cervantes in his outward low estate,
as revealed by himself: but he has something also to
tell us of his peculiar genius, which constituted the
inner glory of his life. He gives us to know, that in
early life his eyes were greeted by the sight of a
divine vision, so beautiful and unearthly that it
haunted him ever afterwards. It was none other
xxx Translator's Preface.
than the vision of that heavenly maid, True Poesy,
whom he describes with such rapturous eulogy and
wealth of phrase in the fourth chapter of this work :
In rear of these, there came at length along
A wondrous being, radiant as the light
The sun emits amid the starry throng !
The highest beauty pales before her sight,
And she remains alone in her array,
Diffusing round contentment and delight;
She looked the likeness of Aurora gay
When, 'mid the roses and the pearly dew,
She wakes to life and ushers in the day ;
The garments rich, and jewels bright of hue
Which gemmed her person, might hold rivalry
With all the world of wonders ever knew.
And this "holy maid of loveliness complete," Santa
hermosisima doncella, met perhaps unawares on the
banks of his own Henares, as Burns met the Scottish
muse near the banks of Doon, was no mere casual
visitant. She followed him ever after, throughout
his whole career, growing to his fancy brighter and
more enchanting as years went on, until at length
he loved her with a measureless passion even to
idolatry. And she, in turn, lit up within his bo-
som the never-dying flame of genius, inspired his
thoughts and works, and made his life, that was out-
wardly so cheerless and loveless, a well-spring of in-
This is perhaps too sentimental a way of putting the
Translator's Preface. xxxi
matter, but it is in effect Cervantes' own. According
to our way of thinking, this Parnassus- Journey exists
mainly for the sake of the fourth chapter, planted in
the centre of it. Therein, before Apollo and the
Muses, and the congregation of his brethren, seated
complacently beneath the laurels, myrtles, and oaks,
while he must stand on foot, he delivers an oration
such as poet never ventured on before. His words
have no peculiar modesty he claims to stand apart
from the common herd. He claims to be the man,
" who in creative power surpasseth many." He recites
before them the scanty but precious roll-call of his
writings, beginning with his romantic Galatea; in-
cluding his Novels, the models of all coming fiction ;
his peerless Don Quixote, the medicine for all time of
minds diseased ; and winding up with the philosophical
Persiles, which in his opinion was to crown the whole.
Immediately thereafter he introduces that sublime
vision of True Poesy, which to him was the embodi-
ment of earthly beauty, truth, and purity the sum
and quintessence of human good ; as if to say to his
countrymen, and through them to the world : "These
are the works by which I shall henceforth be known,
and this is the divine power that inspired each and all
of them, from first to last, believe it who may ! " No
doubt in all this there is a certain air of defiance and
self-assertion ; and he had even the hardihood, a few
xxxii Translator s Preface.
pages before, to call on Mercury to authenticate the
For not in vain is Sire Apollo's dower
Of gifts to thee, the rare inventor's art,
The supernatural, instinctive power.
Many of his biographers are profuse in their apologies
for such immodest boasting. But what need ? Cer-
vantes was no braggart. He believed his words to be
true then ; the world believes them now ; and, more-
over, he had to tell the truth to an unbelieving gene-
ration, who were only too ready to take his poor and
low condition as the measure of his genius.
We take this fourth chapter, then, to be a kind of
personal manifesto. But it is not a mere piece of
self-laudation. He had arrived at a time of life
(he was now sixty-seven years of age) when mere
vanity or lust of fame have little sway. He was con-
scious of possessing a higher gift than most of his fel-
lows, and he feels free to proclaim it. But he knew
besides that his ideal of perfection was nobler than
theirs, and this he would hold up in his last years as
a mirror to his fellow-poets, even at the risk of self-
glorification. For he was much concerned about the
state of his country's literature. Strange to say, his
own intellect was clearer and his fancy brighter in the
three last years of his life, than ever they had been
before. His Novels, the second part of his Don
'Translator's Preface. xxxiii
Quixote, his Persiles, all concentrated within this
short space, are sufficient to immortalize him. They
show him in the very strength of his genius ; they
manifest also the exceeding loftiness of his aims. Of
his Novels he affirms : " One thing I feel bold to say :
that if there was a shade of possibility that these
novels might excite one evil desire or fancy in the
minds of their readers, I would rather cut off the
hand that wrote them than give them to the public ! "
Of the others he might have said the same with equal
truth. That ideal of beauty, truth, and purity, which
first inspired him, remained with him to the last. It
is this he would fain leave as his best legacy to his
country. He had already done good service in finally
ridding the land of the polluting books of chivalry.
But there were powers for evil in the State even more
potent than they. The stage had now unbounded
sway : their romances and ballads had been for ages
the very life-blood of the people. If these became
corrupt and defiling, the nation itself was doomed to
quick decay. It was therefore with no little concern
that he heard it proclaimed by the brilliant wits who
ruled the stage, and the masters of song who delighted
the people, that the pleasure and tastes of the vulgar
were their pleasure and taste, and that the true art of
the poet was the art of pleasing. These were the
doctrines of Lope and his school, and the results had
xxxiv 'Translator's Preface.
been disastrous. There was no pure standard of taste
in the land : the blind followed their blind leaders.
It is no wonder that the old Cervantes, whose whole
life had been a striving after art in its noblest form,
should feel his spirit stirred within him at the sight of
such rank idolatry. So like another Paul, in another
Athens, he proclaims to the enlightened wits of Madrid
that the gods they were worshipping were false gods,
things of wood and clay, Mammon and Vain-glory.
He tells them that the image of True Poesy, which had
been the strength and glory of his own life, was the
only worthy object of their worship : and with a
power and authority which he could wield when he
chose, he calls on all poetic pretenders, the polluters of
the stage and the defilers of the wells of song, who
had become the pests and plagues of the nation, to
confess their follies, and bow down before that " holy
maid of virgin beauty," or die in their sins ! O
sancta simplicitas! It is the old role of Don Quixote
and his peerless Dulcinea over again : " Sir Knight,
if thou confess not that the matchless Dulcinea del
Toboso exceedeth in beauty thy Casildea de Vandalia,
thou diest ! "
It needed not the wit of Cervantes to see the hope-
lessness and also the humour of the situation ; that
he, single-handed, should dare the unequal combat
with Fashion, folly, self-seeking, and presumptuous
Translator s Preface. xxxv
ignorance. Others, like Artieda and Barahona de
Soto, men of true discernment, had tried to cope with
the degraders of art, but none took the matter so
much to heart as Cervantes. And so with a melan-
choly weariness, born of poverty and hard toil, he
throws himself down one day " worn and shattered
on his bed," in his "old and sombre home," and
dreams a dream this mirthful dream of the Journey
to Parnassus; where all his lovings and longings are
realized, where the destruction of the False and the
triumph of the True, and the reinstatement of Poesy
on her rightful throne, are all gloriously achieved
in an allegory !
We leave it to our readers to appreciate at their
worth the various incidents of the tale : the gay,
fantastic, rhythmic ship that ploughs the Italian and
Grecian seas, with its living freight of the good and
gifted, bound with fair wind to Parnassus ; that other
ship of bulk immense, crammed, poop to prow, with
middling poets, tawdry merchandise fit for Calicut or
Goa, that excites the wrath of Neptune and the pity
of Venus ; the dazzling vision of True Poesy ; the
weird dream of Vain-glory ; and finally the famous
Battle of Parnassus, prototype of all " Battles of the
Books : " whose merry sounds of victory were re-
echoed in Spain from the mountains of Guadarrama,
and caused Pisuerga to smile, and Father Tagus to
xxxvi 'Translator s Preface.
laugh, as he rolled down to the sea his sands of
gold. All these seem to us instinct with the same
humorous fancy that was then engaged in discovering
the impossible island of Barataria, and breathing life
and spirit into Clavileno, that wondrous wooden
steed. But if these content them not, we trust they
will be charmed with the living portraiture of the
Hero himself, that poor son of genius, so mirthful in
his poverty, so proud of his creations, whom repentant
Spain has now placed on a higher throne than the
" rare inventor" himself ever dreamed of.
While such is our estimate of the worth of this
satirical poem, it is well to warn our readers that this
is not the general opinion. Mr. Ticknor, the highest
authority on Spanish literature, very curtly declares :
"This poem of Cervantes has little merit." He
concedes that some of the episodes are of interest,
but on the whole his verdict is unflattering. We
cannot deny that this opinion is almost warranted by
the little interest which the poem has hitherto excited.
It was first published in Madrid in 1614, and passed
through but one edition. A reprint was issued at
Milan in 1624, and this sufficed for the wants of the
Spanish colony in Italy. It was never afterwards
published in a separate form. None of the pirating
publishers in Valencia, Barcelona, or Medina del
Campo, who reprinted Cervantes' other works by the
Translator s Preface. xxxvii
thousand, seem to have thought it worth repro-
ducing ; and the same may be said of their brethren
in Lisbon and Brussels. More than a hundred years
afterwards, in 1 736, it was issued in company with
the Galatea, and again in 1772. In 1784 it was
brought out along with Cervantes' two newly-dis-
covered dramas, El Trato de Argel, and the Numancia.
This is the edition that had the widest circulation,
and since then there has been no other. The
translators also fought shy of it. Almost all the
other works of Cervantes, except his Comedies, were
translated into English, French, or Italian, very soon
after publication j but the Viaje was completely
ignored, until M. Guardia, in 1 864, rendered it for the
first time into very elegant French prose, with extreme
accuracy, and was followed by Mr. Gyll, in 1870,
who favoured the English public with a marvellously
blundering version, in very indifferent blank verse.
The present translation, therefore, is the third, and
the only one in the original metre. As for the Critics,
their opinion has been conflicting, but on the whole
adverse. They have either passed it by with a con-
temptuous shrug, or have dropped on it that faint
praise, which is proverbially damnatory. The only
critic of note, who has shown a hearty appreciation
of its worth, is Bouterwek, and we give his opinion
as a counterpoise to that of Ticknor : " Next to
xxxviii 'Translator s Preface.
Don Quixote it is the most exquisite production of
its extraordinary author. . . . The poem is inter-
spersed throughout with singularly witty and beautiful
ideas, and only a few passages can be charged with
feebleness or languor. It has never been equalled,
far less surpassed, by any similar work, and it had no
prototype." The Spaniards themselves have been
the greatest sinners in their neglect of the book.
It seems to have been quite forgotten till Mayans, in
his Life of Cervantes, prefixed to Lord Carteret's
splendid edition of Don Quixote, 1738, took the
cream of it, to eke out the scanty records then exist-
ing for a good biography. Since that time it has
been extensively used as a sort of quarry of building
materials for the same purpose, and little scintillating
fragments of it may be found in every Memoir. So
neglected had it been, that no one knew till lately
that the editor of the 1784 edition had altered its
name, from Viage del Parnaso, to Viage al Parnaso.
The real title was first restored to it in the Biblioteca
de Autores Espanoks, 1864. But even that famous
" Library " does not contain the piquant little Sonnet,
" The Author to his Pen," which is one of the gems
of the book, but was then unknown.
The reason of such neglect seems to be, that the
Spanish authorities scarcely recognize this Satire as a
poem at all, and appear to have grave doubts whether
'Translator's Preface. xxxix
Cervantes can be regarded as a poet, in the ordinary
sense of the word ; or, if so, are not sure in what
category to place him. Even during the lifetime of
Cervantes this issue was pending. It is he himself
who tells the story, that, when he went to the pub-
lisher Villaroel to bargain for the sale of his MS.
Comedies, the worthy bibliopole informed him that
a certain "titled" manager had whispered in his ear:
" That much might be expected of Cervantes' prose,
but nothing of his verse." Cervantes professed, in
his own ironical way, to be greatly shocked by such
an aspersion, but the opinion nevertheless was pretty
general ; and certainly the Journey to Parnassus was
never thought tp have settled the matter in his favour.
Thus Sedano, in his Parnaso Espanol, 1768-72, never
alludes to it, nor quotes from it ; though he inserts
the Canto de Callope, which, with reverence be it
spoken, displays more good nature than poetic power.
Quintana, in his Tesoro del Parnaso Espanol, 1808,
solves the matter by excluding Cervantes altogether
from the ranks of the elite. Even in the present
day, in the forty-second volume of the Biblioteca de
Autores Espanoles, we find the learned Adolfo de
Castro heading one of his prefatory chapters with
this inquiry : " Was Cervantes a poet, or not ? "
( Cervantes, g fue 6 no poeta ? ) He answers the
question in the affirmative, and quotes numerous
xl Translator's Preface.
little songs from the Comedies, and scraps of decla-
mation from the Numancia, to prove his point, but
gives not even the tiniest quotation from the Vlaje.
We thought to have gained fresh light on the
matter, when we stumbled on a little modern trac-
tate, by Luis Vidart, entitled, Cervantes Epico Poeta;
but found only a grave argument to prove that Don
Quixote is the Spanish Iliad, and Cervantes its
Homer in prose.
In fact, after patient research we have come to the
conclusion, that the Spanish critics either do not
think satire to be poetry, or do not think Cervantes'
Satire to be poetical. It is certainly not for a
foreigner to intervene in such a delicate affair, and
decide what constitutes, or does not constitute, true
Spanish poetry. Whether Cervantes comes up to
the standard of purism in such matters as smoothness,
melodious cadence, rich variety of rhymes or asso-
nance, our Northern ears may not be sensitive
enough to determine. Nor is this essential in the
case before us. It may be, that the genius of
Cervantes did not take kindly to the fetters of
rhyme, or the rigid rules of art ; but the spirit of
" rare invention " which he declares to be the living
principle of all poetic excellence, and of his own
specially, is there in rich abundance ; and that is
sufficient. If we compare Lope de Vega's Laurel
Translator s Preface. xli
de Apolo with the Parnassus-yourney, which it was
intended to rival, we feel how flat and flavourless
become at length his ceaseless flow of sparkling
words and exuberance of imagery, just for want of
the divine spark of originality which distinguishes
the other. The fresh nature of Cervantes is more
precious than the sickly art of Lope.
But there is one part of the Journey which has
been praised without a dissenting voice, viz., the
Adjunta or Appendix, in prose. For purity of
language, for piquancy of style, for rare quality of
humour, it has been reckoned one of the masterpieces
of Cervantes. And it is so. The sketch of Master
Pancracio de Roncesvalles, slight though it be, is so
inimitably portrayed that it may take a place, and
no mean one, in the gallery of Cervantic portraits.
That the whole conception is instinct with Quixotic
humour need excite no surprise, when we consider
that the mind which planned it was engaged at the
very time in calling into being that unique character,
the Governor of Barataria ! This is proved to a
demonstration by the fact, that the letter which
Roncesvalles brought from Apollo, and the letter
which Sancho Panza sent to his wife Teresa, from
the Ducal palace, have for their dates the same year,
the same month, and almost the same day of the
month. Those who are curious may verify the fact
xlii Translator's Preface.
at their leisure. In Duffield's translation, however,
they will find an unfortunate misprint of a6th June
for 26th July, 1614. The prologue to Cervantes'
Comedies, published in 1615, furnishes the best
commentary on the subject-matter of the Appendix.
There our readers may learn how it fared with
Cervantes, when he went to dispose of his Comedies
to Villaroel, the publisher : " He paid me reasonably,
and I gathered up my money pleasantly, without any
low-comedy higglings or wranglings ! " It may also
interest them to know that the scurrilous Sonnet, en-
closed in the letter taken in unwarily, and paid for,
by his niece, Dona Constanza de Ovando, is still
extant. It is supposed to have been written by one
of the clique of Lope's admirers, or by the great man
himself. It is worthy of a place amongst the
Amenities of Spanish Literature.
The Dedication, Prologue, and Introductory
Sonnet are also worthy of note for various reasons.
The Dedication has this peculiarity, that it is
addressed to a young man, of whom nothing is
known except that he was the son of his father, a
personage holding an important post in the Holy
Office. It is conjectured then, that Cervantes at this
period of his life was reduced to such straits, that he
thought it wise to place himself in this roundabout
way under the protection of the higher powers.
Translator s Preface. xliii
What is more certainly known is, that some cloud
had come over his relations with his great patron
and protector, the Count de Lemos. To this dis-
tinguished nobleman he had dedicated his Novels,
published the year before ; and his subsequent works,
down to the very last of all, were also addressed to
him. Why, then, this break in the connection?
The Count, in 1610, had been sent as Viceroy to
Naples, and had taken with him those two distin-
guished poets, the Argensolas, to found an Academy
of Wits in that city. These brothers, early friends
of Cervantes, had promised to secure for him some
honourable post in the Court of the Viceroy ; but
nothing came of it, and hope deferred had made
Cervantes' heart sick. In the third chapter of this
Poem he gives his own account of the matter, in a
very curious and humorous way. The dignified
words with which he concludes are striking enough:
I hoped for much, when much protest they made,
But it may be, that strange affairs and new
Have caused them to forget the words they said.
Whatever might be the ground of coolness, it did
not last ; and Cervantes certainly bore no malice, for
in this very poem we are assured that, out of the
nine laureate wreaths adjudged by Apollo, three went
to Naples; on whose brows to be placed may be
xliv Translator s Prtface.
The Prologue is distinguished by its oracular bre-
vity ; and for obvious reasons. To venture upon a
critical review ofexisting poets was not only a novelty,
but, as Cervantes well knew, a very hazardous under-
taking. Just thirty years before he had attempted a
similar ungrateful task in his Canto de Caliope, inserted
in the Galatea, and the result, though his eulogies
were uniform and unbounded, was not satisfactory.
He felt that it would be true now, as it was then :
Some scowl on me, because I put them in,
Others resolve, because I left them out,
To make me feel the burden of my sin.
The best way, therefore, was to say little ; and in a
single ingeniously-worded sentence he contrives to
convey the idea, that the compliments about to be
bestowed were of such doubtful quality, that those
excluded might hold themselves equally lucky with
the elect. To be called a Homer or a Tasso might,
under certain circumstances, be quite as depressing
as to be ignored altogether. Even in the praises
heaped on such men as Gongora, Herrera, and Lope
de Vega, we do not feel sure that a " pinch or two of
salt" is not mingled with the abounding sugar of
compliment. That to Quevedo, however, seems as
heartily sincere, as it is humorously conceived. It is
this peculiar quality of Cervantic satire that makes
the rendering of those crisp little sentences of praise
'Translator s Preface. xlv
or blame so difficult. To miss the point of a single
word may alter the complexion of the whole.
The Sonnet almost explains itself. It is the utte-
rance of Cervantes, for the time being lonely and
isolated. There is a certain ring of defiance in it
intended for his enemies, and just a shade of melan-
choly protest against the coldness of his friends.
In curious corroboration of this, it is worth remem-
bering that just at this very time (July, 1614) the
spurious Don Quixote was passing through the press,
and Avellaneda (whoever he might be) was giving
the last caustic touches to his infamous preface,
wherein occur these words: "Miguel de Cer-
vantes is now as old as the Castle of San Cer-
vantes, and so peevish through weight of years,
that everything and everybody disgust him; and
hath such a lack of friends, that when he wishes to
adorn his books with turgid sonnets, he has to father
them on Prester John or the Emperor of Trebizond,
seeing he can find no person of title in Spain, who
would not be offended that he should mouth his
name." This gives the necessary touch of reality to
the situation. Everyone knows how this anonymous
libeller was absolutely extinguished by merciless
laughter, in Cervantes' preface to the second part of
his Don Quixote. The Sonnet, however, was suppressed
while the editio princeps was passing through the
xlvi Translator's Preface.
press, and only part of the impression contains it. A
floral woodcut supplies the place of the cancelled lines.
Whether his own better second thoughts, or the
advice of friends, conduced to this end, we know
not ; but certain it is that the Sonnet was reprinted
in none of the subsequent editions, and passed out of
the knowledge of Spanish critics. It found its proper
place for the first time in the collected edition of
Cervantes' works, 1863-4; and the notes of Sr.
Barrera give an account of the collation he made of
various copies of the poem in Madrid, establishing the
above facts. The British Museum has two copies
of the original edition, both of which contain the
Sonnet. In the sonnetless copies the catch-word for
it still remains at the bottom of the previous page
a standing memorial of a bit of curious history.
It may be of interest to indicate some of the sources
of which Cervantes availed himself in this poem.
Bouterwek says it had no prototype. This is true
in the main, though Cervantes himself tells that his
journey was fashioned after that of Cesare Caporali,
of Perugia, an Italian poet of the school of Berni.
Caporali was born in 1531, and died in 1601.
In his youth he was passionately fond of reading and
translating Horace. He was essentially a ban vivant,
and throughout the seventy years of his life, so far
as appears, he followed no more useful occupation
Translator's Preface. xlvii
than that of hanger-on in the houses of several noble
families, where his sparkling talents and witty conver-
sation made him always a welcome guest. He was
a member of the Academy of Insensates, in Perugia,
where he passed by the name of // Stemperato (the
Rake). To this Academy he contributed most
of his poems, and, amongst others, the Viaggio dl
Parnaso. To his credit it may be said, that his poems
are free from the gross licentiousness of his school.
Spanish critics praise his versification as superior to
that of Cervantes, but award to the latter the palm
for superior invention. Cervantes, in fact, borrowed
little from him except the title of his book, and the bare
idea of such a romantic journey. Caporali's plan is
altogether different from that of Cervantes, and is
somewhat after this fashion. He embarks with his
mule on board of a merchant vessel bound to Messina ;
thence he proceeds by way of Corfu to the Gulf of
Corinth, and so to the foot of Mount Parnassus. There
he finds crowds of poets, trying to scale the steep hill
by the curious process of knitting MSS. into long
cords, which they send whizzing to the summit, so as
to attach them to some projecting rock ; but their
efforts are fruitless, and they are repelled by Disdain
and other allegorical personages. Caporali is more
fortunate, for he happens to have with him a passport
signed by Ferdinando de Medici, afterwards Grand
xlviii Translator's Preface.
Duke of Florence, which he carries on his breast,
after the manner of the Algerine captives. At sight
of this every barrier falls, and every gate is thrown
open, and he finds himself on the summit in sight of
the Temple of Apollo, with its four gateways, the
Hebrew, Greek, Roman, and Tuscan. The entry
to it is through several gardens. To explore these
he takes for his guide Poetic Licence, who makes
him leave his mule behind, lest the plants and flowers
should be endangered, and says to him: "Let us
enter : march boldly, and if thy feet play thee false,
lose not thy head : say that this concerns thee not,
and lay the blame on the correctors of the press ! "
In the first, or common garden, he meets his comrades
of the Burlesque school, Berni, Lasca, Varchi, and
others, who spend their time jovially. Thereafter he
leaves Poetic Licence behind, and through the Elysian
gate he reaches the place of noble delights, where
Petrarch dwells with the other deities of the Tuscan
Parnassus. This is the most delightful part of the
Satire, and is worth perusing. While Caporali is gazing,
awe-struck, on the wondrous scene, a mighty clamour
is heard from without. He rushes back to find that
a curious affair of love has arisen between an ass, the
Pegasus of the bad poets, and his insulted mule. He
intervenes, and begins to beat his enraged brute. She
takes to her heels, he runs after, and, as he humor-
Translator s Preface. xlix
ously adds, he has run ever since, without being able
to re-enter the Paradise of the Poets, or penetrate, as
he wished, to the Sanctuary of the Muses. All this
is sufficiently comic, but it is not the Comedy of
But there is a Spanish author to whom Cervantes
is more indebted than to Caporali, viz., Juan de la
Cueva. He was a distinguished playwright, epic
poet, critic, and ballad writer of the latter half of the
sixteenth century. A native of Seville, he published
in that town, in 1587, a book of Romances, which
is now excessively rare, but a copy of which is in
the British Museum. It is entitled, Coro Febeo de
Romances Historiales. It is divided into ten books,
severally dedicated to Apollo and the Nine Muses.
In the tenth book, dedicated to Calliope, occur two
romances, which evidently suggested to Cervantes a
number of his ideas. The first is entitled : " How
the poets pursued Poesy, and what came of it." In
this we have a most extraordinary description of the
ragged regiment of, what Cervantes calls, "the seven-
month poets, twenty thousand strong ; " and also a
curious speech of Poesy to the bad poets, which
reminds one of the speech of Poesy to the victors of
Parnassus, in the eighth chapter of this Journey.
The second romance is more suggestive still. It is
entitled : " How the poets stormed Parnassus, and
1 Translator's Preface.
captured it, and how Apollo and the Muses fled there-
from." This is no fight between the bad poets and the
good, as with Cervantes, but a direct attack of the
scurvy race against Apollo and the Muses. In fact
it degenerates at the close into a fearful scrimmage.
The poets let fly at Apollo their Ballad-books and
Cual le arroja el Cancionero,
Cual le tira el Novelario.
Apollo seizes the trunk of a huge oak as a weapon of
offence. The Muses ply the heads of the storming-
party with sticks, and awful bloodshed ensues. But
overwhelming numbers prevail, and the heights of
Parnassus are stormed and won. Apollo, seeing "that
all is lost and his Muses in danger, harnesses his four
steeds, bids the Muses mount his car, and without
more ado he wings his flight to heaven, and leaves
Parnassus in the hands of the profane barbarians."
Cervantes was in Seville when this book appeared, and
no doubt enjoyed it and took note of it for further use.
There is another little book which we fancy must
have been used by Cervantes, viz., the first Spanish
translation of the Odyssey, by Gonzalo Perez. It
was published in Venice, 1553, under the title of La
Ulyxea de Homero, but contained only thirteen books ;
the complete poem was issued at Antwerp, in 1556.
It is a bald, unpretending translation j but clear, and
Translator's Preface. li
interesting for its quaint simplicity. It may well
have found its way as a "crib" into the Estudio of
Juan Lopez de Hoyos in Madrid, where Cervantes
learned his " little Latin and less Greek." Be that
as it may, there is no doubt that many portions of
this Journey, and the third chapter especially, are
modelled after the Odyssey. The passage of the
straits between Scylla and Charybdis, with the
humorous episode of Lofraso ; the description of
the heights of Parnassus, presenting a faint reminis-
cence of the gardens of Alcinoiis ; the deep sleep
during which Cervantes is transported from Parnassus
to Naples ; his entry into Madrid in the garb of a
pilgrim ; all these are incidents taken from the ad-
ventures of the great Grecian hero, and many of
the phrases and similes used remind us of the
language of Perez' version. For rapid, vivid de-
scription, for Homeric picturesqueness of incident, we
commend this third chapter to our readers, as one of
the most noteworthy and interesting in the book.
The Spaniards have always lamented that Providence,
which has been bountiful to them in other matters,
has denied to their literature a great epic poem.
Ercilla's La Araucana, though full of poetic beauties,
is lacking in world-wide interest j the Poema del Cid,
though a glorification of their national hero, is a
fragment, and its language and versification, albeit
Hi 'Translator's Preface.
racy and vivid, are antique and uncouth. Their last
resource is in the Don Quixote, universal in its
interest, and quite Homeric both in grasp and fancy,
but this alas ! is in prose. Might we suggest, that if
they desire a first-rate burlesque Epic, a veritable
humorous Odyssey, they have it ready to hand in this
little poem of Cervantes, if they will only re-christen
it, and call it : " La Ceruantea, or the Journey of
Cervantes in search of his proper place in the
literature of his country." This, in fact, is the true
aim and intent of the Satire, and as such it will never
lack interest nor admirers.
The Spanish text which accompanies this trans-
lation is, in the main, that given in the Biblioteca de
Autores Espanoles, 1864, purged of its numerous mis-
prints. We have collated it with that found in the
collected edition of Cervantes' works, 1863-4, which
professes to have corrections from the notes of the late
learned Sr. Gallardo. The spelling is modernized, the
punctuation is rectified, and a few alterations are made
which the sense seems to demand, but otherwise the
text is essentially that of the first edition of 1614.
For valuable advice, and cordial assistance rendered
in these matters, and in the interpretation of the
obscurer passages, we have to acknowledge with grati-
tude our indebtedness to Don Pascual de Gayangos,
the true " friend in need " of all English Cervantistas.
Translator s Preface. liii
With regard to the Title of the book, we have of
course retained for the Spanish text that given by
Cervantes himself, Viaje del Parnaso (altered in the
edition of 1784 to Viaje al Parnaso], though that
title seems a little inappropriate. Viaje del Parnaso,
and the analogous titles, Viaje del Jerusalen, Viaje
de la Tierra Santa, are expressive of the ordinary
tour or round (peregrinatio) which pilgrims made
on their visit to holy cities or places ; but of such
tour or peregrination there is little or no trace in
the Journey of Cervantes. It is simply a journey,
partly by sea and partly by land, to Parnassus for a
definite object, the extermination of the bad poets.
We have therefore thought it better to translate it
into English, not by Journey of Parnassus, which
would be vague and equivocal, nor by Tour of
Parnassus, which would be misleading to English
readers ; but by Journey to Parnassus, which ex-
presses with sufficient accuracy the main contents of
the book. Mr. Duffield authoritatively informs us
that Travels in Parnassus is the only correct title of
the book. How he arrives at this conclusion he does
not tell us. It has the double defect of being at once
a mistranslation and a misnomer. Travels in Vesu-
vius would be quite as intelligible as Travels in
Parnassus, and much more feasible.
Finally, it has been our endeavour to present to
liv Translator s Preface.
English readers a readable and enjoyable version of
this much-neglected Satire. We have striven, as far
as possible, to stick to the letter of the text, and to
preserve its spirit always. It has been our aim above
all to imitate the easy, unconstrained, yet subtle style
of the great master of modern humour. If there be
shortcomings in this respect, it has not been through
want of patient endeavour ; but, unfortunately, such
gift is not the fruit of effort. Cervantes himself tells
us (Don Quixote, Part II., ch. 62) that he has but a
poor opinion of translators in general ; that the art of
translating from easy tongues implies no great amount
of wit, or gift of language ; but he at the same time
throws them this little crumb of comfort, that they
might easily be employed in much worse and less
As this translation was undertaken mainly for the
purpose of allowing English readers to judge of the
life, character, and aims of Cervantes under the light
which he himself has given, we think this a fitting
place to say a word or two on certain theories that
have been lately broached concerning them, and
especially by Mr. Duffield in the preface to his new
translation of Don Quixote. Of the merits of this
translation we would fain speak with all respect, as
we had much to do with it in various ways. It is
fairly accurate, and is purged of much of the
Translator's Preface. Iv
grossness of former versions, and for these two good
things we are thankful. If it had been purged like-
wise of the added archaisms, which are so profusely
scattered over it, we should have been more thankful
still. As it is, we feel sometimes, on travelling through
it, as if we were jolting over some old, rough, rutty
country road, instead of bounding over the smooth,
easy-going, delightful Cervantic highway. But its
most serious fault is its over-accentuation of the
humour of the book. Whoever knows anything of
the peculiar quality of Cervantic humour will feel,
that there is a certain limit of reserve (difficult to
define) over which it is quite fatal to pass. When
we find, therefore, the somewhat vulgar eccentricities
of the translator blended (as they constantly are) with
the glorious extravagances of the Knight and Squire,
we feel in a sort of quandary, and are tempted to ask,
in no very good humour : " Is this the glory of
Mambrino's helmet, or is it the glitter of the barber's
basin ? " In short, it is a sensational translation, the
worst luck that could befall a classical masterpiece.
But what concerns us most is, that the trans-
lator has carried this overstrained, sensational
manner of his into his estimate of the purpose of
Cervantes in writing Don Quixote. We are no
longer, it seems, to look upon it as a book of
pleasant pastime, as this Journey tells us it is j nor
Ivi Translator s Preface.
merely as a book designed to replace and exter-
minate certain bad, corrupting books, as Cervantes
himself assures us ; but as one of those peculiar books,
whose real contents must be read between the lines.
If we are very observant, and especially if we wear
our instructor's spectacles, we shall find things, it may
be little things, constantly cropping up, which clearly
show that Cervantes was a great priest-hater, and had
a deadly horror of priestly ways and things was in
fact somewhat of a freethinker in matters ecclesiastic,
and would have been a thorough root-and-branch
reformer, if only Fate, or the Inquisition, had allowed.
Throughout the book he may, to our simple eyes, be
only trying to excite innocent and wholesome mirth ;
but in reality he is slyly infusing certain little drops of
explosive spirit which, at the proper time, will give a
shake to the foundations of the church, and cause the
throne of the Queen of Heaven to topple over ! In
fact, if we are to believe our guide, Cervantes is playing
all the while the somewhat shady part of a Spanish
In proof of all this we are gravely requested to
observe, how Don Quixote's housekeeper implores
the good Curate to sprinkle the Knight's enchanted
library with holy water to exorcise the demons ; how
the New Amadis, doing penance in the Sierra Morena,
knots the end of his shirt-tail to make a rosary withal j
Translator's Preface. Ivii
and how Sancho Panza, in loving converse with his
chum, Tome Cecial, makes this remark, "In the sweat
of our brows we eat bread ; " thereby becoming hetero-
dox, seeing he has been using the Spanish Reformers'
rendering of a Bible phrase, whereas he ought to have
said, "With the sweat," in good orthodox fashion.
These, and sundry matters of like importance,
excite Mr. Duffield's admiration for the daring con-
tempt they show of Holy Church on Cervantes'
part. It is a standing wonder to him, so he in-
forms us, why the " cold-blooded and relentless
myrmidons of the mangling Inquisition " did not
burn the author of that pestilent book on the Plaza
del Sol (?) ; and, may we be permitted to add, with
the Reformers' Bible tied to his neck, and a leaf
turned down at the noxious passage, "!N the sweat! "
In such fashion are we asked to believe, that the
mighty wit of the reforming Cervantes pounced like
an eagle on such small game as this !
But the utterance of Cervantes, which most excites
his astonishment for its daring defiance of ortho-
doxy, is that placed in the mouth of Don Quixote
when^he says to Sancho : " We cannot all be friars j
and many are the ways by which God carries his own
to heaven." We also rub our eyes in astonishment,
and ask ourselves what awful mystery underlies this
plain theological truism, to which the Pope of Rome
Iviii Translator's Preface.
himself might nod a grave assent. As Mr. Duffield
does not seem to comprehend the plain sense of plain
words, we offer him a Spanish Commentary of the
period, which may clear his vision. While lately
reading Guillen de Castro's Mocedades del Cid, we
lighted on the following lines, which are not only pat
to the point, but quaint and beautiful in themselves.
They are put in the mouth of the Cid, on his pil-
grimage to Santiago, in answer to the jeerings of his
fellow-pilgrims, for appearing in the gay attire of a
Precious boon to mortals given,
God, whose guiding hand is o'er us,
Sets a thousand roads before us,
Leading each and all to Heaven !
Whoso, in this world of vision,
Would as pilgrim safe be guided,
Hath to choose the path provided
Best befitting his condition.
So, with honest soul and good,
And the light of Heaven upon it,
May the Cleric don his bonnet,
And the Friar wear his hood.
'Neath his cloak of double plies
May the sturdy ploughman burrow,
And it may be thro' his furrow
Strike a straight road to the skies.
Translator s Preface. lix
And the Soldier-Knight mayhap,
If his aims be good and pure,
With his golden garniture,
And with feather in his cap,
Will, if so he keep the road,
On his steed, with spur of gold,
Gallant of celestial mould,
Reach at last the home of God.
Now with tears, and now with song,
Suffering some, and fighting others,
To the land where all are brothers
One by one they march along !
Guillen de Castro was a poor and neglected man
when he died, but it was not for saying, " God has a
thousand ways of leading men to heaven." He did
not mean that these thousand ways lay outside of
the Church. Neither did Cervantes, as our critic
ignorantly insinuates. Such an idea was quite
foreign to their Spanish minds ; they had no oc-
casion to speculate upon it, or if they did they kept
their speculations to themselves.
But does not the author of these childish attempts
to prove Cervantes to have been a covert sceptic, or
a sort of glorified Tom Paine, see that in proving
this he is proving too much ? He is simply demon-
strating that Cervantes was a hypocrite, and his life
a lie. Has he never read the glowing account which
Doctor Antonio de Sosa gives as to his religious
Ix Translator s Preface.
bearing in Algiers, when his character was being
moulded and settled for life ? He claims to have
read Don Quixote twenty times, has he ever read
Persiles and Sigismunda once ? That book, written
when the hand of death was upon Cervantes, proves
him to have been to the last the good Catholic and
simple Christian, that Doctor de Sosa affirms him to
have been thirty-six years before. To tell us, more-
over, that the secret of his poverty was, that he was
hunted down by the clergy as the enemy of their
order and faith, is simply to tell us to shut our eyes
to the light. Let us take the following plain facts
from the closing years of his life.
It was a priest, in the person of the licentiate
Marquez Torres, who, in his official censure of the
second part of Don Quixote, bestowed on him and his
works, from a Christian point of view, the most
glowing and hearty eulogium he ever received in his
lifetime. It was a priest, in the person of the Cardi-
nal Archbishop of Toledo, who saved him from star-
vation, and made his last hours peaceful. It was to
this benefactor that Cervantes addressed the following
touching letter, which has only lately come to light :
" A few days ago I received the letter of your most
illustrious Grace, and therewith new favours. If the
malady under which I labour could be cured, the
repeated proofs of favour and protection, which your
'Translator's Preface. Ixi
lordship dispenses, would suffice for that purpose.
But the end advances so rapidly, that I think it will
soon be over with me, but not with my gratitude.
May God our Lord preserve you as executor of so
many holy works, that you may enjoy the fruits
thereof in His holy glory." This is dated, Madrid,
twenty-sixth March, 1616; a month before his death.
And, finally, it was a Tercero brother who laid the
only wreath, save one, that was placed upon his
tomb. It has generally been reckoned a very poor,
unworthy one ; but the simple brother gave his
best, while the men of light and leading gave
nothing ! It is thus entitled :
D. Francisco de Urbina to Miguel de Cervantes :
A famous Christian genius of our day :
Whom the members of the Third Order of St. Francis carried
to his grave, with uncovered face, as one
of their brethren.
Tread gently, O thou passer-by,
This is the rare Cervantes' shrine ;
His body 'neath the earth doth lie/
But not his name, for that's divine.
His earthly pilgrimage is sped,
But not his fame, nor works are dead j
As pledge whereof he had this grace,
That when he sallied forth from this
To find the world of endless bliss,
He journeyed with uncovered face.
Ixii 'Translator s Preface.
So much for the clerical rancour which was
showered on Cervantes. As for the attitude which
he in turn assumed towards the Church and Ritual of
his country, it is perhaps not generally known, that
the last long poem he wrote was a Hymn in praise
of the Virgin, and the last sonnet that dropped from
his pen was in honour of Christian Rome. They
are to be found in the Persiles and Slgismunda, but
not in the castrated English versions, from which
they have been quietly dropped. They are not the
finest specimens of his genius, but they are charac-
teristic. The Hymn to the Virgin breathes the
subtle essence of mystical theology. It is too long
to quote, but the following stanza may show its
Justice and peace to-day in thee unite,
Most blessed Virgin, and in loving trust
The kiss of peace they give with fond delight,
Pledge of the advent of the King august.
Thou art the Dawn that ushers in the light
Of that pure Sun, the glory of the just,
The sinner's hope and stay, the gentle breeze
That soothes to rest the old tempestuous seas.
The Sonnet, striking in itself, is more striking
still for the curious lines which follow it :
O powerful, grand, thrice-blessed, and passing fair
City of Rome ! To thee I bend the knee,
A pilgrim new, a lowly devotee,
'Translator s Preface. Ixiii
Whose wonder grows to see thy beauty rare !
The sight of thee, past fame, beyond compare,
Suspends the fancy, soaring though it be,
Of him who comes to see and worship thee,
With naked feet, and tender loving care.
The soil of this thy land which now I view,
Where blood of martyrs mingles with the clod,
Is the world's relic, prized of every land j
No part of thee but serves as pattern true
Of sanctity ; as if the City of God
Had been in every line its model grand !
The curious words that follow are these : " When
the pilgrim had finished reciting this sonnet, he
turned to the bystanders and said : ' A few years ago
there came to this holy city a Spanish poet, a mortal
enemy to himself and a disgrace to his nation, who
made and composed a sonnet, reviling this illustrious
city and its noble inhabitants j but his throat will
pay the fault of his tongue, should they catch him.
I, not as a poet, but as a Christian, as if to make
amends for his crime, composed what you have
heard.' ' The romance of Persiles and Sigismunda
has never yet been well translated, nor adequately
interpreted. Perhaps the critic, who has so ignorantly
mistaken the character of Cervantes and made him
pose before the British public as a priest-hater and
iconoclast, may, like the pilgrim poet, en discuento
de su cargo, undertake the work. We warn him,
however, that at the end of the fifth chapter of the
Ixiv Translator's Preface.
fourth book, he will find a full exposition of the
Catholic creed of Cervantes, which, for beauty of
expression and sonorousness of language, will tax his
powers, but will also tend to his enlightenment.
But enough on this point. We are not greatly
concerned to prove that Cervantes was a good
Catholic. Our Scottish proclivities might have in-
clined us in the contrary direction, had the truth of
things warranted. We are content to know that he
was an upright and honest man, whose religion was
simply the creed of his country and his comrades ; a
part of his second nature; never obtrusive, never
bigoted, but always sincere. The great avocation of
Cervantes was that of a man of letters. His own
chief pride was to be ranked among the diviner order
of poets, who have enriched the world with their
creations. From this lofty elevation he was free to
use the immense resources of his brilliant wit to strike
at folly, vice, and ignorance, wherever he met them,
in Church or State, or in the world of Literature ;
and through his laughter the world has grown
merrier and wiser. But his wit was ever genial and
void of malice :
My humble pen hath never winged its way
Athwart the field Satiric, that low plain
Which leads to foul rewards, and quick decay.
And, better still, amid all the keenest flashings of his
Translator's Preface. Ixv
humour, he had no covert designs ; his irony might
be subtle, but his aims were straightforward :
Whatever betide, my steps are ne'er inclined
Where travel falsehood, fraud, and base deceit,
The total wreck of honour in mankind.
In whatever he did or wrote he remained true to
the instincts of his own noble nature, and to the best
traditions of his country and faith.
JAMES Y. GIBSON.
OF THE PORTRAIT AND ITS PEDIGREE.
A portrait of Cervantes by Francisco Pacheco
was for a long time a desideratum. Tradition will
have it, that such a sketch was made by Pacheco
during the residence of Cervantes in Seville (1587-
1 600 ? ), and inserted by him in his famous portfolio,
entitled : " Book of Description of genuine portraits
of illustrious and memorable men : the likenesses
and lives of all the most distinguished persons which
Seville contained." After Pacheco's death this pre-
cious volume went a-missing, and its contents were
supposed to have been dispersed, or destroyed.
In the Spring of 1864, however, that well-known
Cervantista, Don Jose Maria Asensio y Toledo, of
Seville, had the good luck to light on the much-
coveted volume of MS. and drawings ; but in a very
imperfect condition. The original portfolio was
Ixviii Of the Portrait.
known to contain a hundred and seventy sketches in
black and red pencilling ; but of these fifty-six alone
remained, and the portrait of Cervantes was not
amongst them. It contained, however, one portrait,
that of Fray Juan Bernal, Father and General of the
Order of Mercy, in 1601, which gave an unexpected
clue to the spot, where a copy at least of the missing
sketch might be found. The curious chain of evi-
dence by which this is established, or supposed to be
established, does infinite credit to the ingenuity, perhaps
a little too imaginative, of Sr. Asensio. The whole
details are set forth in his interesting brochure, en-
titled : " New documents to illustrate the Life of
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, &c. Seville, 1864."
His arguments may be thus condensed :
i. In the Spring of 1850, while overhauling a roll
of MS., belonging to Don Rafael Monti of Seville,
entitled Papeles curiosos, he came upon one profess-
ing to be a Narrative of Events in Seville from 1590
to 1640, wherein he found the following important
entry : " In one of the six pictures, painted in com-
petition by Francisco Pacheco and Alonso Vazquez
for the cloisters of the Convent of Mercy (Casa
grande de Merced), is sketched the head of Cervan-
tes, with other persons who had been in Algiers, and
the picture represents the Fathers of Redemption,
with other captives." The Casa Grande de Merced 'is
Of the Portrait. Ixix
now the. provincial Museum of Seville, and these six
pictures are still to be seen on its walls. Two of
them are signed with the initials of the respective
artists. The one that most nearly corresponds with
the description of the old chronicler is No 19,
thus labelled: "S. Pedro Nolasco in one of the
passages of his life." This Redemptorist Father and
Saint, in company with another Father, is represented
as embarking from Algiers in a small launch, for an
off-lying vessel Three Spanish captives, and a small
lad, are lending assistance ; while at the prow, with
boat-hook in his hand to steady the launch, stands
the barquero a noble, striking figure such a model
boatman as the artist never found loitering on the
quays of Seville. This picture is unsigned, but is
proved to be Pacheco's by the following evidence :
2. In Pacheco's " Book of Description " there is
attached to the sketch of Fray Juan Bernal, an
account of his life and redemptive labours in Algiers;
of the many captives he brought home with him to
Seville ; of his election as General of the Order in
1 60 1 ; and of his death in the Casa Grande de Merced
that same year. Pacheco narrates that he painted
him after death : " He lay in a chapel of the cloister,
where all the religious assembled, and I took his por-
trait. It is one of my felicities, as it is also one, that
he himself had chosen me before any other for the
Ixx Of the Portrait.
pictures of this cloister ; and so, as in honour bound,
I painted him to the life in one of them."
This portrait, painted under such peculiar circum-
stances, Sr. Asensio found, to his great delight, to be
identical with that of S. Pedro Nolasco, in the
picture (No. 19) to which we have referred.
The face of the modern General was made to do
duty for that of the older Father and Saint of the
Order. The picture, therefore, is by Pacheco ; its
subject corresponds exactly with that mentioned by
the old chronicler ; and here, if anywhere, may we
expect to find the alleged portrait of Cervantes j a
transcript, probably, of the missing sketch.
3. If all this be true, the matter is narrowed
almost to a point to the identification of one out
of three portraits in the picture. Sr. Asensio, with
a due sense of the importance of the inquiry, assem-
bled around him some of the most distinguished
artists and litterateurs of Seville, and proceeded with
them to solve the question on the spot. The artists
decided at once, as artists only can, that all the heads
in the picture were portraits. The Cervantistas, with
the famous description of the prologue to the Novelas
in their hands, compared the handiwork of Pacheco
with the graphic delineation of Cervantes himself.
After much discussion pro and con. they came at last
to the unanimous verdict, that all the peculiar traits
Of the Portrait. Ixxi
and lineaments of that piquant description were to be
found, and found only, in the face of the noble bar-
quero, who looks with such a keen and kindly eye on
the embarcation of the Redemptorist Fathers. And
so the question was settled to the satisfaction of the
Sevilian experts ; and Seville was declared to be the
happy possessor of the noblest portrait of the noblest
genius of Spain. How Cervantes himself would
have revelled in the idea of such a solemn inquest on
his likeness ! What a subject for another piquant
colloquy between Scipio and Berganza, the immortal
dogs of Mahudes !
One of the company then assembled, D. Eduardo
Cano, a distinguished artist, afterwards took a careful
drawing of the head, which has been photographed,
and circulated throughout the land, with much
acclaim. Our etching is a faithful transcript of the
drawing ; except, perhaps, that the curve of the
nose (the nariz corva aunque bien propordanada of
Cervantes,) is hardly so sharply defined as in the
These are the bare facts of this somewhat roman-
tic search after Pacheco's missing portrait. The
special pleadings of Sr. Asensio and his fellow-
enthusiasts, as well as the sceptical criticisms of
their opponents, we leave for the consideration of
the curious. That the genuineness of the likeness
Ixxii Of the Portrait.
is demonstratively proved we do not aver ; that
there is strong probability in its favour is sufficiently
obvious. If absolute certainty be demanded, we
must be content to remain without any portrait of
The courtly likeness, tricked out in all the bravery
of the period, which now adorns the walls of the
Academy of Madrid the fruitful parent of the
countless progeny of engravings that circulate
throughout the world has a pedigree still more
precarious. The artists of San Fernando have in-
deed declared it to be of the school of Carducho or
of Cajes, in the reign of Philip IV. a copy of a
more perfect original and presumably of that which
Cervantes himself declared to have been painted by
his friend and fellow poet, Don Juan de Jauregui, of
Seville. Its actual history, however, is somewhat
perplexing. That it is a likeness of Cervantes at all
depends mainly on the dictum of the dealer, F. Bracho,
who (somewhere in the middle of the eighteenth cen-
tury) sold it as such to the Conde del Aguila, of Seville,
and affirmed it to be the work of Alonso del Arco,
an artist who died in 1700. The Count presented
it to the Academy of Madrid to adorn their magni-
ficent illustrated edition of the " Don Quixote ; "
and convinced that it was much older and more
authentic than represented, they had it sumptuously
Of the Portrait. Ixxiii
engraved, and presented it to the world in 1780.
But, to make confusion worse confounded, this
engraving, with such distinguished vouchers, was
found to be almost a facsimile of the portrait prefixed
to the illustrated London Edition (Lord Carteret's),
published in 1738, just forty-two years before ! As
all the world knows, this likeness was avowedly a
pure invention of the clever designer, Kent, who
conjured it out of his own brain ; with nothing but
the description of Cervantes to guide him. Dr.
Oldfield, the editor, affirms that this was necessary,
inasmuch as the whole of Spain had been ransacked
for an authentic portrait, but without success. This
perplexing mystery still awaits unravelment, and no
doubt there has been hard swearing somewhere.
Madrid and Seville were among the seven cities
that once contended for the glory of being the birth-
place of Cervantes. The discovery of the baptismal
register of Alcala de Henares has settled that point
for ever. They are now in friendly rivalry for the
possession of the true likeness of Cervantes ; the one
swearing by Jauregui, the other by Pacheco. The
light of certainty rests on neither. But if a choice
must be made (as we have had the privilege of seeing
both), we feel tempted to affirm, that the weight of
evidence, and the force of attraction, incline equally
in the direction of Pacheco's noble barquero.
Ixxiv Of the Portrait.
This, at least, we may affirm with confidence, that
no more admirable portraiture need be desired of the
captive-poet who wrote the famous letter to Mateo
Vazquez from Algiers ; or of him who, when the
gold of his beard had changed to silver (to use his
own words), essayed the adventurous Journey to
Parnassus. In its homely garb, and manly bearing,
it forms a perfect illustration of the mingled pride
and modesty which characterize Cervantes' pithy
speech to Mercury the epitome, in fact, of his
whole literary life :
My lord, I'm poor, and to Parnassus bound,
And, thus accoutred, seek my journey's end !
In conclusion, to broach a kindred subject, may
we remind our Spanish readers (if such there be)
that the long-talked-of Memorial to Cervantes, on a
scale of befitting grandeur, is still one of the cosas de
Espana? A certain enthusiastic but critical Scots-
man, while lately loitering on the Plaza de las Cortes
of Madrid, and looking up at the puny statue, with
its appendages, which affects to represent the grandest
genius of Spain in the very face of its enlightened
Parliament and remembering at the same time, with
no little pride, what a veritable poem in stone his own
romantic town has created in honour of the Scottish
Cervantes could not help indulging in the following
Of the Portrait. Ixxv
simple soliloquy, on the contrasted honours paid to
national genius in
EDINBURGH AND MADRID.
To thee, Cervantes, Spain more glory true
Owes, than to monarch, priest, or statesman vain ;
More wealth, than ever o'er the Spanish main
Her stately galleons brought from far Peru !
A true-born son of thine in him we view,
Our Wizard of the North, whose teeming brain
Did make poor Scotland rich, and struck the vein
Which drained the Old World, to enrich the New !
Scott sits, a King, beneath his Gothic shrine,
And proud Edina guards the sculptured stone ;
Can grand Madrid afford no kinglier throne
For thee to grace, whose works she deems divine ?
O soul sublime ! O name without a blot !
Receive this tribute from a kindly Scot.
J. Y. G.
Miguel de Ceruantes
Dirigido a don Rodrigo de
Cauallero del Habito de Santiago,
hijo deljenor Pedro de Tapia Oy-
dor de Confejo Real, y Confultor
del Santo Oficio de la Inqui-
For la viuda de Alonfo Martin
JOURNEY TO PARNASSUS.
D. RODRIGO DE TAPIA,
CABALLERO DEL H/BITO DE SANTIAGO, HIJO DEL SENOR
D. PEDRO DE TAPIA, OIDOR DEL CONSEJO REAL, T
CONSULTOR DEL SANTO OFICIO DE LA
DlRIJO a vuesa merced este Viaje que hice al
Parnaso, que no desdice a su edad florida, ni a sus
loables y cstudiosos ejercicios. Si vuesa merced le
hace el acogimiento que yo espero de su condicion
ilustre, cl quedara famoso en el mundo, y mis deseos
premiados. Nuestro Senor, etc.
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA.
DON RODRIGO DE TAPIA,
KNIGHT OF THE ORDER OF ST. JAMES, SON OF SENOR DON
PEDRO DE TAPIA, AUDITOR OF THE ROYAL COUNCIL,
AND ASSESSOR TO THE HOLY OFFICE OF THE
I DEDICATE to your Worship this Journey which
I made to Parnassus, as one not ill-suited to your
vigorous age, or to your praiseworthy and studious
pursuits. If your Worship gives it the reception I
expect from your noble generosity, it will become
famous in the world, and my wishes be amply
gratified. May our Lord, &c.
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA.
PROLOGO AL LECTOR.
Si por ventura, lector curioso, eres poeta, y llegarc
a tus manos (aunque pecadoras) este Viajei si te
hallares en el escrito y notado entre los buenos poetas,
da gracias a Apolo por la merced que te hizo ; y si
no te hallares, tambien se las puedes dar. Y Dios
D. AUGUSTINI DE CASANATE ROJAS.
Excute caeruleum, proles Saturnia, tergum,
Verbera quadrigae sentiat alma Tethys.
Agmen Apollineum, nova sacri injuria ponti,
Carmineis ratibus per freta tendit iter.
Proteus sequoreas pecudes, modulamina Triton,
Monstra cavos latices obstupefacta sinunt.
At caveas tantse torquent quae mollis habenas,
Carmina si excipias nulla tridentis opes.
Hesperiis Michael claros conduxit ab oris
In pelagus vates. Delphica castra petit.
Imo age, pone metus, mediis subsiste carinis,
Parnassi in litus vela secunda gerc.
PROLOGUE TO THE READER.
If haply, curious reader, thou art a poet, and this
"Journey," should come (be it even stealthiwise)
into thy hands, and thou find thyself inscribed therein
and noted as one of the good poets, give thanks
to Apollo for the grace he hath given thee ; and if
thou do not so find thyself, in like manner mayest
thou give thanks. And God be with thee.
EL AUTOR A SU PLUMA.
Pues veys que no me han dado algun soneto
Que ilustre deste libro la portada,
Venid vos, pluma mia mal cortada,
Y hazedle aunque carezca de indiscrete ;
Hareys que escuse el temerario aprieto
De andar de una en otra encruzijada,
Mendigando alabanzas, escusada
Fatiga e impertinente, yo os prometo.
Todo soneto y rima alia sc avenga,
Y adorne los umbrales de los buenos,
Aunque la adulacion es de ruyn casta ;
Y dadme vos que este Viaje tenga
De sal un panezillo por lo menos,
Que yo os le marco por vendible, y basta.
THE AUTHOR TO HIS PEN.
To deck this frontispiece, since thou dost see
No friend hath offered me a sonnet, none,
Come thou, my ill-cut pen, and make me one,
If not so high-flown as it ought to be ;
From grave anxiety thou'lt set me free,
I need not then through court and alley run
To beg eulogiums ; for I'd rather shun
Such vain and humbling search, I promise thee.
Let rhymes and sonnets go, for aught I care,
To deck the door-posts of the upper few,
Though flattery is at best but common stuff ;
And grant me that this "Journey '' have its share
Of pungent salt, at least a pinch or two,
I warrant thee 'twill sell ; and so enough.
VIAJE DEL PARNASO.
Un quidam caporal italiano,
De patria perusino, a lo que entiendo,
De ingenio griego, y de valor romano,
Llevado de un capricho reverendo,
Le vino en voluntad de ir a Parnaso,
Por hair de la corte el vario estruendo.
Solo y a pie partiose, y paso a paso
Llego donde compro una mula antigua,
De color parda y tartamudo paso :
Nunca a medroso parecio estantigua
Mayor, ni menos buena para carga,
Grande en los huesos, y en la fuerza exigua,
Corta de vista, aunque de cola larga,
Estrecha en los ijares, y en el cuero
Mas dura que lo son los de una adarga.
Era de ingenio cabalmente entero,
Caia en cualquier cosa facilmente
Asi en abril, como en el mes de enero.
JOURNEY TO PARNASSUS.
A certain Corporal 1 , as I am told,
Italian, and by birth a Perusine,
In wit a Greek, and like a Roman bold,
Led by a whim, a worthy one, I ween,
To mount Parnassus fain would set his face,
To flee the court, its turmoil and chagrin.
Alone, on foot, he slowly reached a place
Where an old mule 2 he bought him for the tour,
Of steel-grey colour, and of jog-trot pace ;
So gaunt a spectre ne'er met timid boor,
Nor one less fit to carry weight along,
Its bones colossal, and its action poor ;
Short was its vision, though its tail was long,
Lean were its flanks, and eke its hide more tough
Than those which to an ancient targe belong ;
Its wit and temper were of such rare stuff,
That, be it April month or January,
It fell to work right pleasantly enough.
io Viaje del Parnaso.
En fin, sobre ella el poeton valicnte
Llego al Parnaso, y fue del rubio Apolo
Agasajado con serena frente.
Conto, cuando volvio el poeta solo
Y sin blanca a su patria, lo que en vuelo
Llevo la fama deste al otro polo.
Yo, que siempre trabajo y me desvelo
For parecer que tengo de poeta
La gracia, que no quiso darme el cielo,
Quisiera despachar a la estafeta
Mi alma, 6 por los aires, y ponella
Sobre las cumbres del nombrado Oeta.
Pues descubriendo desde alii la bella
Corriente de Aganipe, en un saltico
Pudiera el labio remojar en ella,
Y quedar del licor siiave y rico
El pancho lleno, y ser de alii adelante
Poeta ilustre, 6 al menos manifico.
Mas mil inconvenientes al instante
Se me ofrecieron, y quedo el deseo
En cierne, desvalido e ignorante.
Porque en la piedra que en mis hombros veo,
Que la fortuna me cargo pesada,
Mis mal logradas esperanzas leo.
Las muchas leguas de la gran Jornada
Se me representaron que pudieran
Torcer la voluntad aficionada,
Journey to Parnassus. 1 1
On this our poet, riding valiantly,
Did reach Parnassus, and Apollo there
With beaming visage gave him welcome free.
When to his home alone he did repair,
Without a plack, from this to t'other pole
Fame bore the tale he told on wings of air.
I, who do toil and strain my being whole
To shew, what Heaven's grace will not allow,
The semblance of a poet's gracious soul,
Was minded greatly to dispatch mine now
By post or through the air, and so to take
And plant it on far-famed Oeta's brow ;
Thence haply spying, through the tangled brake,
Where Aganippe's charming current flows,
I might take one short leap, and forthwith slake
My lips with rich sweet draughts, and in repose
Might fill my paunch right full, and henceforth be
A poet grand, or leastways grandiose :
But thousand stumbling-blocks appeared to me
To bar the way, and made my purpose slack
A fruitless, powerless, senseless thing to see ;
For in the load I bear upon my back,
Which Fortune there has placed with heavy hand,
I read the hopes which all fruition lack.
The leagues full many of the journey grand
Might well have filled my bosom with dismay,
And brought my darling project to a stand :
1 2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Si en aquel mismo instante no acudieran
Los humos de la fama a socorrerme,
Y corto y facil el camino hicieran.
Dije entre mi : Si yo viniese a verme
En la dificil cumbre deste monte,
Y una guirnalda de laurel ponerme ;
No envidiaria el bien decir de Aponte,
Ni del muerto Galarza la agudeza,
En manos blando, en lengua Rodamonte.
Mas como de un error siempre se empieza,
Creyendo a mi deseo, di al camino
Los pies, porque di al viento la cabeza.
En fin, sobre las ancas del destine,
Llevando a la eleccion puesta en la silla,
Hacer el gran viaje determino.
Si esta cabalgadura maravilla,
Sepa el que no lo sabe, que se usa
For todo el mundo, no solo en Castilla.
Ninguno tiene, 6 puede dar excusa
De no oprimir desta gran bestia el lomo,
Ni mortal caminante lo rehusa.
Suele tal vez ser tan lijera, como
Va por el aire el aguila 6 saeta,
Y tal vez anda con los pies de plomo.
Pero para la carga de un poeta,
Siempre lijera, cualquier bestia puede
Llevarla, pues carece de maleta.
Journey to Parnassus. \ 3
Had not the fumes of Fame come in to play
Their part, to make me realize my vow,
And point me out a short and easy way :
I inly said : " Could I succeed but now
Upon the top of that steep hill to stand,
And press a laurel wreath upon my brow,
I'd envy not APONTE'S diction grand,
Nor the acumen of GALARZA dead,
With Rodomonte's tongue and woman's hand ! "
But as at first we ever are misled,
Urged on by my desire, my feet I gave
The road, for to the wind I gave my head :
And so in fine, upon Fate's haunches grave,
And perched upon its saddle with free-will,
I made resolve the journey grand to brave.
If such a mount should men with marvel fill,
Let him who knows not know, that it is used
The whole world round, not merely in Castile ;
No one can be, nor ever is excused
From taking seat upon that wondrous brute,
Nor mortal traveller has e'er refused :
At times 'tis wont to go so swift, and shoot
Like shaft or eagle through the upper air,
And then at times to jog with leaden foot ;
But for the poet's travelling weight to bear
The task is light, and any beast is good
To carry it ; for no valise is there.
14 Viaje del Parnaso.
Que es caso ya infalible, que aunque herede
Riquezas un poeta, en poder suyo
No aumentarlas, perderlas le sucede.
Desta verdad ser la occasion arguyo,
Que tu, 6 gran padre Apolo, les infundes
En sus intentos el intento tuyo.
Y como no le mezclas ni confundes
En cosas de agibilibus rateras,
Ni en el mar de ganacia vil le hundes ;
Ellos, 6 traten burlas, 6 scan veras,
Sin aspirar a la ganancia en cosas,
Sobre el convexo van de las esferas,
Pintando en la palestra rigurosa
Las acciones de Marte, 6 entre las flores
Las de Venus mas blanda y amorosa.
Llorando guerras, 6 cantando amores,
La vida como en sucno se les pasa,
O como suele el tiempo a jugadores.
Son hechos los poetas de una masa
Duke, suave, correosa y tierna,
Y amiga del hogar de ajena casa.
El poeta mas cuerdo se gobierna
Por su antojo baldio y regalado,
De trazas lleno, y de ignorancia eterna.
Absorto en sus quimeras, y admirado
De sus mismas acciones, no procura
Llegar a rico, como a honroso estado.
Journey to Parnassus. 15
Yea, 'tis God's truth, that though a poet should
Inherit wealth, he straightway doth incline
To lose it, not increase it ; 'tis his mood.
The reason of this fact I do divine,
That thou, great Sire Apollo, dost infuse
Into their minds a goodly share of thine ;
And as thou dost not mingle, nor confuse
The same with business matters of the day,
Nor on the sea of commerce vile dost cruise ;
So they, whate'er their themes, severe or gay,
. Concern them not with trade or balance-sheet,
But o'er the spheres prefer to wing their way ;
Limning, perchance, of Mars some bloody feat
On foughten field, or else among the flowers
The deeds of Venus, amorous and sweet ;
Bewailing wars, or piping in Love's bowers,
With them life passes like a dream of earth,
Or as the gamblers spend the fleeting hours.
Poets are made of clay of dainty worth,
Sweet, ductile, and of delicacy prime,
And fond of lingering at a neighbour's hearth ;
For e'en the wisest poet of his time
Is ruled by fond desires and delicate,
Of fancies full and ignorance sublime ;
Wrapped in his whimsies, with affection great
For his own offspring, he is not designed
To reach a wealthy, but an honoured state.
1 6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Vayan pues los leyentes con letura,
Cual dice el vulgo mal limado y bronco,
Que yo soy un poeta desta hechura :
Cisne en las canas, y en la voz un ronco
Y negro cuervo, sin que el tiempo pueda
Desbastar de mi ingenio el duro tronco :
Y que en la cumbre de la varia rueda
Jamas me pude ver solo un momento,
Pues cuando subir quiero, se esta queda.
Pero por ver si un alto pensamiento
Se puede prometer feliz suceso,
Segui el viaje a paso tardo y lento.
Un candeal con ocho mis 3 de queso
Fue en mis alforjas mi reposteria,
Util al que camina, y leve peso.
Adios, dije a la humilde choza mia,
Adios, Madrid, adios tu Prado, y fuentes
Que manan nectar, llueven ambrosia.
Adios, conversaciones suficientes
A entretener un pecho cuidadoso,
Y a dos mil desvalidos pretendientes.
Adios, sitio agradable y mentiroso,
Do fueron dos gigantes abrasados
Con el rayo de Jupiter fogoso.
Adios, teatros publicos, honrados
Por la ignorancia que ensalzada veo
En cien mil disparates recitados.
Journey to Parnassus. 17
So let my patient readers henceforth mind
As saith the vulgar impolite and coarse
That I'm a poet of the self-same kind ;
With snowy hairs of swan, with voice of hoarse
And jet-black crow, the rough bark of my wit
To polish down Time vainly spends its force ;
Upon the top of Fortune's wheel to sit,
For one short moment, hath not been my fate,
For when I'd mount, it fails to turn a whit ;
But yet to learn if one high thought and great
Might not some happier occasion seize,
I travelled on with slow and tardy gait.
A wheaten-loaf, with eight small scraps of cheese,
Was all the stock my wallet did contain,
Good for the road, and carried with great ease ;
" Farewell," quoth I, " my humble home and plain !
Farewell, Madrid, 4 thy Prado, and thy springs
Distilling: nectar and ambrosial rain !
Farewell, ye gay assemblies, pleasant things
To cheer one aching bosom, and delight
Two thousand faint, aspiring underlings !
Farewell, thou charming and deceitful site,
Where erst two giants great were set ablaze
By thunderbolt of Jove, in fiery might!
Farewell, ye public theatres, whose praise
Rests on the ignorance I see becrown
The countless follies of unnumbered plays !
1 8 Viaje del Parnaso.
Adios de San Felipe el gran paseo,
Donde si baja 6 sube el turco galgo
Como en gaceta de Venecia leo.
Adios, hambre sotil de algun hidalgo,
Que por no verme ante tus puertas muerto,
Hoy de mi patria y de mi mismo salgo.
Con esto poco a poco llegue al puerto,
A quien los de Cartago dieron nombre,
Cerrado a todos vientos y encubierto.
A cuyo claro y singular renombre
Se postran cuantos puertos el mar bana,
Descubre el sol, y ha navegado el hombre.
Arrojose mi vista a la campana
Rasa del mar, que trujo a mi memoria
Del heroico Don Juan la heroica hazana.
Donde con alta de soldados gloria,
Y con propio valor y airado pecho
Tuve, aunque humilde, parte en la vitoria.
A1H con rabia y con mortal despecho
El otomano orgullo vio su brio
Hollado y reducido a pobre estrecho.
Lleno pues de esperanzas, y vacio
De temor, busque luego una fragata,
Que efetiiase el alto intento mio.
Cuando por la, aunque azul, liquida plata
Vi venir un bajel a vela y remo,
Que lomar tierra en el gran puerto trata.
Journey to Parnassus. 19
Farewell, St. Philip's broadway of the town, 5
Where, as in Venice fly-sheet, I can know
Whether the Turkish dog be up or down !
Farewell, some lordling's hunger, keen and slow ;
For sooner than drop dead beside thy door,
This day from country and from self I go ! "
At last I reached the port, with travail sore,
To which the men of Carthage gave their name,
Shut in from all the winds that scourge the shore :
Before whose clear renown and peerless fame
Bow down whatever ports the sea doth lave,
The sun illumes, or sailors make their aim.
And, as I cast mine eyes across the wave,
The briny plain brought back to mind and heart
The glorious action of Don Juan the brave ;
Wherein, with soldier's fire, and soldier's art,
And valour of mine own, on that great day
I bore a certain though a humble part ;
When, with a baffled rage they could not stay,
And mortal spite, the haughty Ottoman
Saw power and prestige shattered in the fray.
All hopeful, then, and fearless, I began
To look about to find some frigate near,
Wherein to carry out my lofty plan ;
When on the sea, so blue and silvery clear,
I saw approach a barque, with sail and oar,
Which right into the grand old port did steer.
2O Viaje del Parnaso.
Del mas gallardo, y mas vistoso extreme
De cuantos las espaldas de Neptuno
Oprimieron jamas, ni mas supremo.
Cual este, nunca vio bajel alguno
El mar, ni pudo verse en el armada,
Que destruyo la vengativa Juno.
No fue del vellocino a la Jornada
Argos tan bien compuesta y tan pomposa,
Ni de tantas riquezas adornada.
Cuando entraba en el puerto, la hermosa
Aurora por las puertas del oriente
Salia en trenza blanda y amorosa ;
Oyose un estampido de repente,
Haciendo salva la real galera,
Que desperto y alboroto la gente.
El son de los clarines la ribera
Llenaba de dulcisima armonia,
Y el de la chusma alegre y placentera.
Entrabanse las horas por el dia,
A cuya luz con distincion mas clara
Se vio del gran bajel la bizarria.
Ancoras echa, y en el puerto para,
Y arroja un ancho esquife al mar tranquilo
Con musica, con grita y algazara.
Usan los marineros de su estilo,
Cubren la popa con tapetes tales
Que es oro y sirgo de su trama el hilo.
Journey to Parnassus. 21
Of all that Neptune's shoulders ever bore,
More gallant and more sightly none, I wis,
None that could rank beside it or before :
Yea, never on the main swam barque like this,
Not even in the Armada's proud array,
Which vengeful Juno whelmed in the abyss :
Not Argo's self, upon that famous day
It went to fetch the fleece, was rigged so rare,
Or with such wealth of grandeur made display !
As into port she sailed, Aurora fair
Passed through the Eastern gates the world to cheer,
With amorous locks and sweetly waving hair ;
When lo ! a loud report struck on mine ear,
The royal galley giving welcome roar
That woke the town, and filled the folk with fear.
The clanging sound of clarions filled the shore
With sweetest harmony, wherewith did blend
The merry songs of those who plied the oar ;
The rosy Hours did on the day attend,
Whose light a great distinctness and more clear
Did on the barque and all its splendour send.
The men dropped anchor, and made fast their gear,
And launched a spacious skifl on the calm sea,
To sound of music, shouts, and lusty cheer.
With such array as sailors love to see
They crowned the poop with carpets o'er and o'er,
All woven with silk and gold embroidery ;
22 Viaje del Parnaso.
Tocan de la ribera los umbrales,
Sale del rico esquife un caballero
En hombros de otros cuatro principales.
En cuyo traje y ademan severe
Vi de Mercuric al vivo la flgura,
De los fingidos dioses mensajero.
En el gallardo talle y compostura,
En los alados pies, y el caduceo,
Simbolo de prudencia y de cordura,
Digo, que al mismo paraninfo veo,
Que trujo mentirosas embajadas
A la tierra del alto coliseo.
Vile, y apenas puso las aladas
Plantas en las arenas venturosas
Por verse de divinos pies tocadas ;
Cuando yo revolviendo cien mil cosas
En la imaginacion, llegue a postrarme
Ante las plantas por adorno hermosas.
Mandome el dios parlero luego alzarme,
Y con medidos versos y sonantes,
Desta manera comenzo a hablarme :
j Oh Adan de los poetas, oh Cervantes !
^ Que alforjas y que traje es este, amigo,
Que asi muestra discursos ignorantes ?
Yo, respondiendo a su demanda, digo :
Senor, voy al Parnaso, y como pobre
Con este alino mi Jornada sigo.
Journey to Parnassus. 23
Soon as the wealthy skiff had touched the shore,
There sallied forth a man of high degree,
Whom four great chiefs upon their shoulders bore;
In whose attire, and gesture firm and free,
Mercurius' living figure I divined,
The envoy of the gods of fable he ;
With gallant mien, and bearing most refined,
With winged feet, Caduceus in his hand,
Symbol of prudence and of wit combined ;
It was the self-same paranymph so bland,
Who, from the lofty Empyrean seat,
Brought lying messages to many a land.
Scarce had I seen him plant his winged feet
Upon the yellow sands, that smiled in glee
The treading of such feet divine to greet,
When hundred thousand fancies came to me,
As there I stood, and straightway I was fain
To kneel before that form, so grand to see.
The spokesman god quick bade me rise again,
And, in sonorous measured verse like Dante's, 8
Began to parley with me in this strain :
" O Adam of the poets ! O Cervantes !
What wallets and attire be these, my friend,
Which plainly manifest thy wit but scant is ! "
I blandly said, that I might not offend :
"My lord, I'm poor, and to Parnassus bound,
And thus accoutred seek my journey's end ! "
24 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y el a mi dijo : j Sobrehumano, y sobre
Espiritu cilenio levantado !
Toda abundancia y todo honor te sobre.
Que en fin has respondido a ser soldado
Antiguo y valeroso, cual lo muestra
La mano de que estas estropeado.
Bien se que en la naval dura palestra
Perdiste el movimiento de la mano
Izquierda, para gloria de la diestra.
Y se que aquel instinto sobrehumano
Que de raro inventor tu pecho encierra,
No te le ha dado el padre Apolo en vano.
Tus obras los rincones de la tierra,
Llevandolas en grupa Rocinante,
Descubren, y a la envidia mueven guerra.
Pasa, raro inventor, pasa adelante
Con tu sotil disinio, y presta ayuda
A Apolo ; que la tuya es importante :
Antes que el escuadron vulgar acuda
Demas de veinte mil sietemesinos
Poetas, que de serlo estan en duda.
Llenas van ya las sendas y caminos
Desta canalla inutil contra el monte,
Que aun de estar a su sombra no son dinos,
Armate de tus versos luego, y ponte
A punto de seguir este viaje
Conmigo, y a la gran obra disponte.
Journey to Parnassus. 25
" O superhuman mind," he cried, " and sound,
Raised high above Cyllenian spirit too,
May fame and plenty aye with thee abound !
Thine is the answer of a soldier true,
Of antique valour, testified aright
To all by that maimed hand which now I view :
I know that, in the naval bloody fight,
Thy left hand shattered lost the active power
It once possessed, for glory of the right !
Yet not in vain is Sire Apollo's dower
Of gifts to thee, the rare inventive art,
The instinct which transcends the passing hour ;
Thy works, through all the world in every part,
Which Rozinante on his crupper bears,
Are known, and stir to strife the envious heart.
Pass, rare inventor, subtle in affairs,
Pass on before, and to Apollo lend
Thy timely aid, so needful in his cares ;
Before the vulgar squadron thither wend
Of seven-month poets, twenty thousand told,
Whose being is a riddle without end.
Already doth this useless rabble bold
Throng all the paths and roads, to storm the hill
Whose shade they are not worthy to behold.
So arm thee with thy verses and thy skill,
And make thee ready to embark with me,
And gird thee for the service with good will ;
i6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Conmlgo segurisimo pasaje
Tendras, sin que te empaches, ni procures
Lo que suelen llamar matalotaje.
Y porque esta verdad que digo, apures,
Entra conmigo en mi galera, y mira
Cosas con que te asombres y asegures.
Yo, aunque pense que todo era mentira,
Entre con el en la galera hermosa,
Y vi lo que pensar en ello admira.
De la quilla a la gavia, j oh extrana cosa !
Toda de versos era fabricada,
Sin que se entremetiese alguna prosa.
Las ballesteras eran de ensalada
De glosas, todas hcchas a la boda
De la que se llamo Malmaridada.
Era la chusma de romances toda,
Gente atrevida, empero necesaria,
Pues a todas acciones se acomoda.
La popa de materia extraordinaria,
Bastarda, y de legitimos sonetos,
De labor peregrina en todo, y varia.
Eran dos valentisimos tercetos
Los espaldares de la izquierda y diestra,
Para dar boga larga muy perfetos.
Hecha ser la crujia se me mucstra
De una luenga y tristisima elegia,
Que no en cantar, sino en llorar es diestra.
Journey to Parnassus. 27
With me thy passage shall be safe and free,
No pother needst thou make, nor question raise,
About thy needful provender at sea ;
And to convince thee that I do not phrase,
Come with me to my galley, and strange sight
Thou' It see, to fill thy fancy with amaze! "
I, though I deemed the whole fictitious quite,
Went on with him into the galley fair,
And saw what thrilled my senses with delight.
From keel to main- mast top, O wonder rare,
A swarm of verses 7 formed the whole array,
No single bit of prose did mingle there !
The port-holes were a curious compound gay
Of Glosses, made to order and designed
To grace Malmaridada's 8 wedding day;
The bank of oars was with Romances lined,
A daring folk, but needful as a change,
And fit for active wo rk of every kind ;
The poop was of material wondrous strange,
Of Sonnets 9 bastard and legitimate,
Of cunning work withal, and varied range ;
Two Tercets, each of power exceeding great,
Composed the stroke oars of the left and right,
A wider oar-sweep to effectuate ;
The rowers' gangway came before my sight,
Formed of a long-drawn Elegy and drear,
Designed for wailing, not for song's delight ;
8 Viaje del Parnaso.
For esta entiendo yo que se diria
Lo que suele decirse a un desdichado,
Cuando lo pasa mal, paso crujia.
El arbol hasta el cielo levantado
De una dura cancion prolija estaba
De canto de seis dedos embreado.
El, y la entena que por el cruzaba,
De duros estrambotes, la madera
De que eran hechos clara se mostraba.
La racamenta, que es siempre parlera,
Toda la componian redondillas,
Con que clla se mostraba mas lijera.
Las jarcias parecian seguidillas
De disparates mil y mas compuestas,
Que suelen en el alma hacer cosquillas.
Las rumbadas, fortisimas y honestas
Estancias, eran tablas poderosas,
Que llevan un poema y otro a cuestas.
Era cosa de ver las bulliciosas
Banderillas que al aire tremolaban,
De varias rimas algo licenciosas.
Los grumetes, que aqui y alii cruzaban,
De encadenados versos parecian,
Puesto que como libres trabajaban.
Todas las obras muertas componian
O versos sueltos, 6 sextinas graves,
Que la galera mas gallarda hacian.
Journey to Parnassus. 29
So might I understand what strikes the ear,
When sorrows on some wretch's head do pour :
" He runs the gangway ! " 'tis the phrase we hear:
The solid main-mast, that aloft did soar,
Was fashioned of a stiff and prolix Lay,
Six fingers deep, pitch-plastered o'er and o'er ;
It, and the lateen yard that crossed its way,
Of hard dry Couplets, to the view did bring
Their wooden substance with a clear display :
The parrels, prattling with the vessel's swing,
Were Redondillas, and in rows arrayed
To tinkle forth an easy rattling ring ;
The cordage was of Seguidillas made,
Bright with a thousand fooleries and more,
That titillate the soul in serenade ;
The prow-ribs, Stanzas honest to the core,
Formed tablets large, and ponderous as could be,
With this and t'other poem garnished o'er ;
The flags and streamers were a sight to see,
That waved and fluttered with the moving air,
Of varied rhymes, a trifle loose and free ;
The sailor boys, that flitted here and there,
Seemed to me coupled verses in one stave,
Though each did work with free and jaunty air;
The bulwarks were composed of Sextains grave,
Or verses blank, and to the galley bright
A stouter and more firm appearance gave !
30 Viaje del Parnaso.
En fin, con modos blandos y siiaves,
Viendo Mercuric que yo visto habia
El bajel, que es razon, letor, que alabes,
Junto a si me sento, y su voz en via
A mis oidos en razones claras,
Y llenas de suavisima armonia,
Diciendo : Entre las cosas que son raras
Y nuevas en el mundo y peregrinas,
Veras, si en ello adviertes y reparas,
Que es una este bajel de las mas dinas
De admiracion, que llegue a ser espanto
A naciones remotas y vecinas.
No le formaron maquinas de encanto,
Sino el ingenio del divino Apolo,
Que puede, quiere, y llega y sube a tanto.
Formole, j oh nuevo caso ! para solo
Que yo llevase en cl cuantos poetas
Hay desde el claro Tajo hasta Pactolo.
De Malta el gran maestre, a quien secretas
Espias dan aviso que en Oriente
Se aperciben las barbaras saetas,
Teme, y envia a convocar la gente
Que sella con la blanca cruz el pecho,
Porque en su fuerza su valor se aumente.
A cuya imitacion Apolo ha hecho
Que los famosos vates al Parnaso
Acudan, que esta puesto en duro estrecho.
Journey to Parnassus. 31
At length, with manners gentle and polite,
Mercurius, seeing my inspection end,
(Herewith thy praise, O reader, I invite,)
Took seat by me, and to my ears did send
His voice with reasons forcible and fair,
Wherewith the sweetest harmony did blend,
And said to me : " 'Mong matters that are rare
And novel in this world, and strange to hear,
Thou' It see, if thou dost note and mark with care,
That such a barque, as thou beholdest here,
Hath highest claims the reverence to command
Of all the wondering nations far and near.
It sprang to being by no wizard's hand,
But by divine Apollo's wit supreme,
Whose will and power achieved a work so grand :
He fashioned it that I, though strange it seem,
Should bear therein as many poets great
As dwell 'twixt Tagus and Pactolus' stream.
Malta's grand master, who hath heard of late,
From secret spies, that hordes of Eastern bands
Sharpen their barbarous shafts for onslaught great,
In fear hath summoned from the neighbouring lands
The Knights that bear the white cross on the breast,
To gain the confidence such force commands ;
Like him, Apollo now hath given behest,
All famous seers shall to Parnassus hie,
Which stands this day beleaguered and distressed.
32 Viaje del Parnaso.
Yo, condolido del doliente caso,
En el lijero casco, ya instruido
De lo que he de hacer, aguijo el paso.
De Italia las riberas he barrido,
He visto las de Francia y no tocado,
For venir solo a Espana dirigido.
Aqui con duke y con felice agrado
Hara fin mi camino, a lo que creo,
Y sere facilmente despachado.
TU, aunque en tus canas tu pereza veo,
Seras el paraninfo de mi asunto,
Y el solicitador de mi deseo.
Parte, y no te detengas solo un punto,
Y a los que en esta lista van escritos
Diras de Apolo cuanto aqui yo apunto.
Saco un papcl, y en el casi infinites
Nombres vi de poetas, en que habia
Yangiieses, vizcamos y coritos.
Alii famosos vi de Andalucia,
Y entre los castellanos vi unos hombres,
En quien vive de asiento la poesia.
Dijo Mercurio : Quiero que me nombres
Desta turba gentil, pues tu lo sabes,
La alteza de su ingenio, con los nombres.
Yo respondi : De los que son mas graves
Dire lo que supiere, por moverte
A que ante Apolo su valor alabes.
HI escucho. Yo dije desta suerte.
Journey to Parnassus. 33
I, looking on the case with pitying eye,
Put on my winged cap, and learning plain
What should be done, with quickened pace did fly;
I coasted all along the Italian main,
The shores of France I saw, but did not land,
My mission having sole respect to Spain ;
But with this meeting, fortunate and bland,
I'll bring to happy issue my affairs,
And straight dispatch them with an easy hand.
Thou, though I see scant power in thy grey hairs,
Shalt be the paranymph of my design,
And rid me of the burden of my cares ;
Set out, nor let delay be fault of thine,
And to those written on this list convey
The message of Apollo, line for line ! "
He shewed the list ; and 'mong the vast array
Of poet's names I saw Yanguesians there,
Coritos 10 too, and dwellers in Biscay;
Of Andalusians many a name and rare,
And of Castilians saw I not a few
Whose dwelling poesy delights to share.
Mercurius said : " This most distinguished crew,
Since thou dost know them, pray, describe the same,
And with their names their height of genius too."
I made response : " Of those of loftiest name
I'll tell thee what I know, that thou may'st deign
Before Apollo to exalt their fame."
He listened : and I answered in this strain.
Colgado estaba de mi antigua boca
El dios hablante, pero entonces mudo ;
Que al que escucha, el guardar silencio toca.
Cuando di de improviso un estornudo,
Y haciendo cruces por el mal agiiero,
Del gran Mercuric al mandamiento acudo.
Mire la lista, y vi que era el primero
El LICENCIADO JUAN DE OCHOA, amigo
Por poeta, y cristiano verdadero.
Deste varon en su alabanza digo
Que puede acelerar y dar la muerte
Con su claro discurso al enemigo,
Y que si no se aparta y se divierte
Su ingenio en la gramatica espafiola,
Sera de Apolo sin igual la suerte ;
Pues de su poesia al mundo sola
Puede esperar poner el pie en la cumbre
De la inconstante rueda, 6 varia bola.
Upon mine ancient lips all eager hung
The speaking god, now mute and at his ease,
For he who listens may not use his tongue ;
When all at once I gave a potent sneeze,
And, crossing me for that ill-omened feat,
I set myself great Mercury to please.
I scanned the list ; u and first upon the leet
Came JUAN DE OCHOA the Licentiate,
My friend as poet, Christian most complete ;
In praise of such a man I can but state
That from his clear discourse, a blade of might,
The foe must meet a sure and speedy fate ;
And should his genius well direct its flight,
Now curbed by Spanish grammar, as I fear,
Then would Apollo's fortune reach its height j
For with his poesy, that hath no peer,
He well might gain the top of Fortune's wheel,
And plant his foot upon its whirling sphere.
36 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este que de los comicos es lumbre,
Que el LlCENClADO POYO es su apellido,
No hay nube que a su sol claro deslumbre.
Pero como esta siempre entretenido
En trazas, en quimeras e invenciones,
No ha de acudir a este marcial ruido.
Este, que en lista por tercero pones,
Que HlP^LITO se llama DE VERGARA,
Si llevarle al Parnaso te dispones,
Haz cuenta que en el llevas una jara,
Una saeta, un arcabuz, un rayo,
Que contra la ignorancia se dispara.
Este, que tiene como mes de ma}^o
Florido ingenio, y que comienza ahora
A hacer de sus comedias nuevo ensayo,
GOD INEZ es. Y estotro que enamora
Las almas con sus versos regalados,
Cuando de amor ternezas canta 6 llora,
Es uno, que valdra por mil soldados,
Cuando a la extrana y nunca vista empresa
Fueren los escogidos y llamados :
Digo que es DON FRANCISCO, el que profesa
Las armas y las letras con tal nombre,
Que por su igual Apolo le confiesa :
Es DE CALATAYUD su sobrenombre.
Con esto queda dicho todo cuanto
Puedo decir con que a la invidia asombre.
Journey to Parnassus. 37
With POYA, the Licentiate, now we deal,
Who of all comic writers is the star
Whose brilliant light no clouds can e'er conceal ;
But as his mind is ever borne afar
By quips, and quirks, and whimsies of the brain,
He hath no stomach for the din of war.
Here DE VERGARA'S name is written plain,
Third on the list ; and if thou should'st decree
To bear him to Parnassus in thy train,
He'll be a shaft, a javelin to thee,
An arquebuse, a bolt, to cause dismay
And force the hosts of ignorance to flee.
GODINEZ this ; whose wit like month of May
Is crowned with flowers, and who in novel style
Brings forth new comedies to suit the day.
This other here, whose verses sweet beguile
The souls of men, and from Love's flowing fount
Draw tender thoughts that cause to weep or smile,
Is one, who'll for a thousand soldiers count
When, summoned to the strange assault and rude,
The called and chosen stand before the mount ;
'Tis DON FRANCISCO DE CALATAYUD,
Who both in arms and letters takes a pride,
And holds them with such equal claim and good,
That great Apollo ranks him by his side ;
I've said enough, and all that I desire,
That envy now her sombre head may hide.
38 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este que sigue es un poeta santo,
Digo famoso : MIGUEL ClD se llama,
Que al coro de las musas pone es panto.
Estotro que sus versos encarama
Sobre los mismos hombros de Calisto,
Tan celebrado siempre de la fama,
Es aquel agradable, aquel bienquisto,
Aquel agudo, aquel sonoro y grave
Sobre cuantos poetas Febo ha visto :
Aquel que tiene de escribir la Have
Con gracia y agudeza en tanto extreme,
Que su igual en el orbe no se sabe,
Es DON Luis DE GONGORA, a quien temo
Agraviar en mis cortas alabanzas,
Aunque las suba al grado mas supremo.
O tu, divino espiritu, que alcanzas
Ya el premio merecido a tus deseos,
Y a tus bien colocadas esperanzas :
Ya en nuevos y justisimos empleos,
Divino HERRERA, tu caudal se aplica,
Aspirando del cielo a los trofeos.
Ya de tu hermosa luz clara y rica
El bello resplandor miras seguro
En la que la alma tuya beatifica :
Y arrimada tu hiedra al fuerte muro
De la immortalidad, no estimas cuanto
Mora en las sombras deste mundo escuro.
Journey to Parnassus. 39
Next comes a poet of the sacred lyre,
Known wideas MIGUEL ClD, 12 whose holy rhyme
Strikes terror into all the Muses' quire.
This other here, whose soaring verse doth climb
The very shoulders of the greater Bear,
So eulogized by fame, in this our time,
The best beloved, and eke most debonnair,
Most pungent, most sonorous, most refined,
Of all the poets Phoebus hath in care,
Who holds the key of writing, that rare kind,
Wherein such mingled grace and wit appear
That on this orb its like we cannot find,
Is DON LUIS DE GONGORA, 13 whom I fear
By such brief praise of mine to have disgraced,
Although I raise it to the highest sphere.
O soul divine ! who art already graced
With honours high that to thy worth are due,
And to thy hopes so well and wisely placed !
E'en now, in fitting offices and new,
Thy powers, divine HERRERA, 14 move aright,
With heavenly glories ever in thy view ;
Upon the splendours of thy beauteous Light,
So rich and clear, thine eyes with rapture fall,
As seen in her who is thy soul's delight ;
And, clinging like the ivy to the wall
Of Immortality, it boots not thee
What matters in our darkened world befall.
40 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y tu, DON JUAN DE JAUREGUI, que a tanto
El sabio curso de tu pluma aspira,
Que sobre las esferas le levanto :
Aunque Lucano por tu voz respira,
Dejale un rato, y con piadosos ojos
A la necesidad de Apolo mira ;
Que te estan esperando mil despojos
De otros mil atrevidos, que procuran
Fertiles campos ser, siendo rastrojos.
Y tu, por quien las musas aseguran
Su partido, DON FELIX ARIAS, siente,
Que por su gentileza te conjuran,
Y ruegan que defiendas desta gente
Non sancta su hermosura, y de Aganipe
Y de Hipocrene la inmortal corriente.
I Consentiras tu a dicha participe
Del licor suavisimo un poeta,
Que al hacer de sus versos sude y hipe ?
No lo consentiras, pues tu discreta
Vena, abundante y rica, no permite
Cosa que sombra tenga de imperfeta.
Senor, este que aqui viene se quite,
Dije a Mercurio, que es un chacho necio,
Que juega, y es de satiras su envite.
Este si que podras tener en precio,
Que es ALONSO DE SALAS BARBADILLO,
A quien me inclino y sin medida aprecio.
Journey to Parnassus. 41
And thou as well, DON JUAN DE JAUREGUI, 16
Whose pen with subtle course doth upward speed,
And fain would soar above all spheres that be ;
Though Lucan through thy voice doth breathe indeed,
One moment leave him, and with pitying eye
Regard Apollo in his time of need ;
For now to thee a thousand spoils are nigh
Of thousand shameless daring ones, who fain
Would rank as fruitful fields, though stubble dry.
And thou, whose cause the Muses all maintain,
DON FELIX ARIAS, wilt give ear, I ween,
While they entreat thee, in most melting strain,
To save their beauty from that rabble mean,
And guard the immortal streams that gushing go
From Aganippe and from Hippocrene ;
Wilt thou consent to share the sparkling glow
Of that rich liquor with some poet vile,
Who sweats and belches while his numbers flow ?
Thou wilt not ; for thy chastely classic style,
So precious and so rare, will not permit
The veriest trace of aught that can defile !
My lord, I said, let him be forced to quit
Who next appears ; he's but a brainless wight
Who gambles, and with satire makes a hit.
But let the next find favour in thy sight,
DE SALAS BARBADILLO is his name,
Him I regard, and with supreme delight.
42 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este que viene aqui, si he de decillo,
No hay para que le embarques, y asi puedes
Borrarle. Dijo el dios : gusto de oillo.
Es un cierto rapaz, que a Ganimedes
Quiere imitar, vistiendose a lo godo,
Y asi aconsejo que sin el te quedes.
No lo haras con este dese modo,
Que es el gran LUIS CABRERA, que pequeno
Todo lo alcanza, pues lo sabe todo :
Es de la histcria conocido dueno,
Y en discursos discretos tan discrete,
Que a Tacito veras, si te le enseno.
Este que viene es un galan, sujeto
De la varia fortuna a los vaivenes,
Y del mudable tiempo al duro aprieto.
Un tiempo rico de caducos bienes,
Y ahora de los firmes e inmudables
Mas rico, a tu mandar firme le denes :
Pueden los altos riscos siempre estables
Ser tocados del mar, mas no movidos
De sus ondas en cursos variables.
Ni menos a la tierra trae rendidos
Los altos cedros Boreas, cuando airado
Quiere humillar los mas fortalecidos.
Y este que vivo ejemplo nos ha dado
Desta verdad con tal filosofia
DON LORENZO RAMIREZ es DE PRADO.
Journey to Parnassus. 43
Who hither comes, if I be not to blame,
Hath no right to embark, and strike him out
Thou mayst ; quoth Mercury : " I think the same."
A certain urchin he, who loves to flout
In Gothic dress, a would-be Ganymede,
'Twere best to turn him to the right about.
The next in turn deserves a better meed,
The great LUIS CABRERA, who, though small,
Achieveth much, for much he knows indeed ;
A master he of history, prized by all,
And in discreet discourses so discreet,
That Tacitus himself seems at thy call.
Now comes to view a man of grace complete,
Across whose life hath changing Fortune passed,
And on whose head the storms of Time have beat ;
Once was he rich in goods that would not last,
Now richer still in goods that last for aye,
He stands at thy command both firm and fast ;
Around the beetling rocks in fierce array
The sea may rage, and all its billows bound,
Nor move them from their solid base away ;
And Boreas, too, may howl and rave around
The lofty cedars, but he strives in vain
To make their giant trunks bestrew the ground ;
A living instance of this truth we gain
In DON LORENZO, he DE PRADO hight,
With sweet philosophy that makes it plain.
44 Viaje del Parnaso.
Deste que se le sigue aqui, diria
Que es DON ANTONIO DE MONROY, que veo
En el lo que es ingenio y cortesia.
Satisfacion al mas alto deseo
Puede dar de valor heroico y ciencia,
Pues mil descubro en el y otras mil creo.
Este es un caballero de presencia
Agradable, y que tiene de Torcato
El alma sin alguna diferencia.
De DON ANTONIO DE PAREDES trato,
A quien dieron las musas sus amigas
En tierna edad anciano ingenio y trato.
Este que por llevarle te fatigas,
Es DON ANTONIO DE MENDOZA, y veo
Cuanto en llevarle al sacro Apolo obligas.
Este que de las musas es recreo,
La gracia, y el donaire, y la cordura,
Que de la discrecion lleva el trofeo :
Es PEDRO DE MORALES, propia hechura
Del gusto cortesano, y es asilo
Adonde se repara mi ventura.
Este, aunque tiene parte de Zoilo,
Es el grande ESPINEL, que en la guitarra
Tiene la prima, y en el raro estilo.
Este, que tanto alii tira la barra,
Que las cumbres se deja atras de Pindo,
Que jura, que vocea y que desgarra,
Journey to Parnassus. 45
I'll say of him who cometh now in sight,
ANTONIO DE MONROY, a very store
Of wit and courtesy in him unite ;
The proofs of his heroic might and lore
May satisfy the loftiest desire,
Thousands I've seen, I've faith in thousands more.
Here comes a cavalier whom all admire,
Of presence fine, and one who holds, I ween,
Torquato's soul with unabated fire ;
I DON ANTONIO DE PAREDES mean,
Whose tender years his friends the Muses crowned
With antique genius, and a brow serene.
The next to carry with thee thou art bound,
ANTONIO DE MENDOZA, and with right
Apollo is thy debtor on this ground.
The next, who is the Muses' chief delight,
Their grace, their charm, their wisdom, all in one,
Who bears the palm for goodly wit at sight,
Is PEDRO DE MORALES, 16 true-born son
Of courtly taste, the sure retreat always
My poor luck finds that else might be undone.
This, though the part of Zoilus he plays,
Is ESPINEL 17 the grand, whose gay guitar,
And style so rare, are worthy of all praise.
He, who with such a flight can fling the bar
As leaves the heights of Pindus far behind,
Who swears, and bursts, and sends his voice afar,
46 Viaje del Parnaso.
Tiene mas de poeta que de lindo,
Y es JuSEPE DE VARGAS, cuyo astuto
Ingenio y rara condicion deslindo.
Este, a quien pueden dar justo tribute
La gala y el ingenio, que mas pueda
Ofrecer a las musas flor y fruto,
Es el famoso ANDRES DE BALMASEDA,
De cuyo grave y dulce entendimiento
El magno Apolo satisfecho queda.
Este es ENCISO, gloria y ornamento
Del Tajo, y claro honor de Manzanares,
Que con tal hijo aumenta su contento.
Este, que es escogido entre millares
DE GUEVARA Luis VELEZ es el bravo,
Que se puede llamar quitapesares.
Es poeta gigante, en quien alabo
El verso numeroso, el peregrino
Ingenio, si un Gnaton nos pinta, o un Davo.
Este es DON JUAN DE ESPANA, que es mas dino
De alabanzas divinas que de humanas,
Pues en todos sus versos es divino.
Este, por quien de Lugo estan ufanas
Las musas, es SlLVEIRA, aquel famoso,
Que por llevarle con razon te afanas.
Este, que se le sigue, es el curioso
Gran DON PEDRO DE HERRERA, conocido
Por de ingenio elevado en punto honroso.
Journey to Parnassus. 47
With more of poet's fire, than grace refined,
Is JUSEPE DE VARGAS, whose astute
And strangely-ordered wit I've thus defined.
He, who from lustre and great wit to boot
Receives fit tribute, and with homage true
Can offer to the Muses flower and fruit,
Is famed ANDRES DE BALMASEDA, who
With solid judgment, and most pure intent,
Will great Apollo please, and charm him too.
ENCISO this ; the pride and ornament
Of Tagus and of Manzanares fair,
Who well with such a son may live content.
Here comes a man, amongst a thousand there,
The valiant Luis DE GUEVARA he,
Who might in truth be better styled Kill-care ;
A giant poet whom to praise I'm free
For sounding verse, and wit that can outline
A Gnatho or a Davus as they be.
DON JUAN DE ESPANA this, a poet fine,
More worthy of divine than human fame,
For in his verses he is all divine.
Comes famed SlLVEIR A, through whom Lugo's name
Is vaunted by the Muses, reason more
Whythoushouldst strive to bear with thee the same.
Who follows is that man of curious lore,
Great PEDRO DE HERRERA, who doth shine
Through lofty wit, with honour at the core.
48 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este que de la carcel del olvido
Saco otra vez a Proserpina hermosa,
Con que a Espana y al Dauro ha enriquecido,
Verasle en la contienda rigurosa,
Que se teme y se espera en nuestros dias,
Culp^a de nuestra edad poco dichosa,
Mostrar de su valor las lozanias.
Pero que mucho, si es aqueste el doto
Y grave DON FRANCISCO DE FARfAS?
Este de quien yo fui siempre devoto,
Oraculo y Apolo de Granada,
Y aun deste clima nuestro y del remoto,
PEDRO RODRIGUEZ es. Este es TEJADA,
De altitonantes versos y sonoros
Con majestad en todo levantada.
Este, que brota versos por los poros,
Y halla patria y amigos donde quiera,
Y tiene en los ajenos sus tesoros,
Es MEDINILLA, el que la vez primera
Canto el romance de la tumba escura,
Entre cipreses puestos en hilera.
Este, que en verdes anos se apresura
Y corre al sacro lauro, es DON FERNANDO
BERMUDEZ, donde vive la cordura.
Este es aquel poeta memorando,
Que mostro de su ingenio la agudeza
En las selvas de Erifile cantando.
Journey to Parnassus. 49
The bard who snatched the lovely Proserpine
A second time from dark oblivion's cage,
And gave to Spain and Daurus wealth divine,
Thou'lt find him in the strife where rigours rage,
(So feared and dreaded in our day, I ween,
Fault of our pinched and not too happy age,)
Shewing his lusty powers and courage keen ;
But what of that ? It is the grave and wise
FRANCISCO DE FARIAS whom we mean.
PEDRO RODRIGUEZ this ; whose worth I prize,
The oracle of fair Granada's shrine,
The Apollo of our own and distant skies.
TEJADA follows next, as I divine,
Who on his lofty-sounding verse doth soar,
And travels upward with majestic line.
The next, whose verses burst from every pore,
Who finds his home and friends where'er he goes,
And culls from every source his wealthy store,
Is MEDINILLA, who did first propose
To sing the ballad of the sombre tomb
Amongst the cypress-trees, arranged in rows.
Next comes BERMUDEZ, who, with life in bloom
The sacred laurel seeks with eager smile,
To cull fresh wisdom ere his years consume.
This is the poet, noted for his style,
Who well displayed the sharpness of his wit
By chanting in the woods of Entile.
50 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este, que la coluna nueva empieza,
Con estos dos que con su ser convienen,
Nombrarlos, aun lo tengo por bajeza.
MIGUEL CEJUDO, y MIGUEL SANCHEZ vienen
Juntos aqui, ; oh par sin par ! En estos
Las sacras musas fuerte amparo tienen.
Que en los pies de sus versos bien compuestos,
Llenos de erudicion rara y dotrina,
Al ir al grave caso seran prestos.
Este gran caballero, que se inclina
A la leccion de los poetas buenos,
Y al sacro monte con su luz camina,
DON FRANCISCO DE SILVA es por lo menos :
Que sera por lo mas ? j Oh edad madura,
En verdes anos de cordura llenos !
DON GABRIEL GOMEZ viene aqui, segura
Tiene con el Apolo la vitoria,
De la canalla siempre necia y dura,
Para honor de su ingenio, para gloria
De su florida edad, para que admire
Siempre de siglo en siglo su memoria.
En este gran sugeto se retire
Y abrevie la esperanza deste hecho,
Y Febo al gran VALDES atento mire ;
Vera en el un gallardo y sabio pecho,
Un ingenio sutil y levantado,
Con que le deje en todo satisfecho.
Journey to Parnassus. 5 1
To name the one, who at the head doth sit
Of this new column, and the other two
Of kindred soul, I hardly think it fit.
Now comes MIGUEL CEJUDO into view
With MIGUEL SANCHEZ, pair without a peer,
A bulwark of the Muses, stout and true ;
Who, on the feet of their strong verse and clear,
So full of doctrine rare and erudite,
May march to face the combat without fear.
This cavalier, who reads with great delight
And with the grand old poets doth consort,
To reach the sacred mountain by their light,
DON FRANCISCO DE SILVA is in short,
What will he be in full ? O age mature,
So green in years, yet full of wise retort !
DON GABRIEL GOMEZ hither comes, who's sure
To gift Apollo with no triumph mean
Over the rabble witless and impure ;
To crown his genius and his brow serene
With fitting fame ; that so from age to age,
And ever on, his memory may be green.
In VALDES, that great personage and sage,
The hope of such a deed is at its best,
And well may great Apollo's doubts assuage ;
In him he'll find a wise and gallant breast
A lofty genius, full of subtlety,
Whereon his confidence may safely rest.
52 Viaje del Parnaso.
FiGUEROA es estotro, el dotorado,
Que canto de Amarili la constancia
En duke prosa y verso regalado.
Cuatro vienen aqui en poca distancia
Con mayusculas letras de oro escritos,
Que son del alto asunto la importancia.
De tales cuatro, siglos infinites
Durara la memoria, sustentada
En la alta gravedad de sus escritos.
Del claro Apolo la real morada
Si viniere a caer de su grandeza,
Sera por estos cuatro levantada ;
En ellos nos cifro naturaleza
El todo de las partes, que son dinas
De gozar celsitud, que es mas que alteza.
Esta verdad, gran CONDE DE SALINAS,
Bien la acreditas con tus raras obras,
Que en los tcrminos tocan de divinas.
Tu, el de ESQUILACHE PRINCIPE, que cobras
De dia en dia credito tamano,
Que te adelantas a ti mismo y sobras :
Seras escudo fuerte al grave dafio,
Que teme Apolo con ventajas tantas,
Que no te espere el escuadron tacano.
Tu, CONDE DE SALDANA, que con plantas
Tiernas pisas de Pindo la alta cumbre,
Y en alas de tu ingenio te levantas ;
Journey to Parnassus. 53
Comes FlGUEROA, Doctor by degree,
Who sung in dulcet prose and dainty verse
Of Amaryllis and her constancy.
Now four 18 appear, whose names we must rehearse,
Writ full and large in characters of gold,
All doubts of their importance to disperse.
Of such quartette the glory shall be told
Through countless ages, for their works remain
With massive weight their memory to uphold ;
Should the grand throne, where Phoebus holds his reign,
Be seen to topple from its lofty place,
These four alone would raise it up again ;
In them doth nature bounteously embrace
The whole of all the parts, held justly now
To merit Highness which is more than Grace.
This truth, great CONDE DE SALINAS, thou
Dost well accredit with thy works so rare,
Which touch the limits of divine, I trow.
Thou, prince of ESQUIL.ACHE, biddest fair,
From day to day, to rise to such a place
That thou thyself wilt pass and overbear ;
Thou' It be a buckler strong in that dire case
Which Phoebus dreads; arrayed in power complete,
The scurvy squadron will not brook thy face.
Thou, CONDE DE SALDANA, who, with feet
So tender, climb'st up Pindus' lofty height,
And soarest with thy wit on pinions fleet,
54 Viaje del Parnaso.
Hacha has de ser de inextinguible lumbre,
Que guie al sacro monte, al deseoso
De verse en el, sin que la luz deslumbre.
Tu, el de VlLLAMEDiANA, el mas famoso
De cuantos entre griegos y latinos
Alcanzaron el lauro venturoso ;
Cruzaras por las sendas y caminos
Que al monte guian, porque mas seguros
Lleguen a el los simples peregrinos.
A cuya vista destos cuatro muros
Del Parnaso caeran las arrogancias
De los mancebos sobre necios duros.
; Oh cuantas, y cuan graves circunstancias
Dijera destos cuatro, que felices
Aseguran de Apolo las ganancias !
Y mas si se les llega el de ALCANICES
MARQUES insigne, haran (puesto que hay una
En el mundo no mas) cinco fenices.
Cada cual de por si sera coluna,
Que sustente y levante el edificio
De Febo sobre el cerco de la luna.
Este (puesto que acude al grave oficio
En que se ocupa) el lauro y palma lleva,
Que Apolo da por honra y beneficio.
En esta ciencia es maravilla nueva,
Y en la jurispericia unico y raro,
Su nombre es DON FRANCISCO DE LA CUEVA.
Journey to Parnassus. 55
Thou hast to be a torch of quenchless light,
To guide the pilgrims who would pay their vow
Upon the sacred hill, nor dread the night.
Most famous, VlLLAMEDIANA 1 , 9 thou
Of all, amongst the Greeks and Latins, who
Have pressed the happy laurel on their brow ;
Thou must patrol the road and sideways too
Which to the mountain lead ; that safely all
The simple strangers may their path pursue :
Before the sight of which quadruple wall,
That girds Parnassus, shall the brainless throng
Of these rude striplings totter down and fall.
What wondrous stories might I tell, and long,
Of this quartette ; what gains they have in store
For great Apollo in the realms of song !
But lo ! if ALCANICES join the corps,
Marquess renowned, five Phoenixes will rise,
Though in the world there be but one no more !
Each one shall be a column of such size
As Phoebus' mansion singly to sustain,
And bear its fabric far above the skies.
The next, although his weighty duties strain
His utmost powers, still bears the palm of fame
Apollo grants for honour and for gain ;
Strange gifts in such a science hath the same,
In jurisprudence, too, unique and rare,
FRANCISCO DE LA CUEVA is his name.
56 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este, que con Homero le compare,
Es el gran DON RODRIGO DE HERRERA,
Insigne en letras, y en virtudes claro.
Este, que se le sigue, es el DE VERA
DON JUAN, que por su espada y por su pluma
Le honran en la quinta y cuarta esfera.
Este, que el cuerpo y aun el alma bruma
De mil, aunque no muestra ser cristiano,
Sus escritos el tiempo no consuma.
Cayoseme la lista de la mano
En este punto, y dijo el dios : Con estos
Que has referido esta el negocio llano.
Haz que con pies y pensamientos prestos
Vengan aqui, donde aguardando quedo
La fuerza de tan validos supuestos.
Mai podra DON FRANCISCO DE QuEVEDO
Venir, dije yo entonces ; y el me dijo :
Pues partirme sin el de aqui non puedo.
Ese es hijo de Apolo, ese es hijo
De Caliope musa, no podemos
Irnos sin el, y en esto estare fijo.
Es el flagelo de poetas memos,
Y echara a puntillazos del Parnaso
Los malos que esperamos y tememos.
Oh senor, replique, que tiene el paso
Corto, y no llegara en un siglo entero.
Deso, dijo Mercurio, no hago caso.
Journey to Parnassus. 57
He, whom with Homer I may well compare,
Is DON RODRIGO DE HERRERA : he
Who holds in letters as in worth the chair.
Now comes DON JUAN DE VERA, brave and free,
Who, for his martial sword and lettered plume,
Hath in the fifth and fourth sphere high degree.
This, who in soul and body casts a gloom
O'er thousands, though he be no Christian sure,
Still may his works survive till crack of doom !
On this I dropped the list : in accents pure
The god ex claimed: "With numbers such and great
As thou hast named our business is secure ;
See that, with ready feet and hearts elate,
They hither come, while I shall keep me free
To welcome allies of such sterling weight ! "
" Scarce can FRANCISCO DE QuEVEDO 20 be
In time," I said: "Nay," quoth he, "on this cruise
I do not go, unless he go with me ;
He is Apollo's son, son of the Muse
Calliope ; we cannot, it is clear,
Go hence without him, and I do not chuse ;
He is the scourge of all the poets drear,
And from Parnassus, at the point of wit,
Will chase the miscreants we expect and fear ! "
" My lord," I said, "his pace is most unfit,
He'll be a century upon the route ! "
Quoth Mercury: " It matters not a whit ;
58 Viaje del Parnaso.
Que el poeta que fuere caballero,
Sobre una nube entre pardilla y clara
Vendra muy a su gusto caballero.
Y el que no, pregunte, que le prepara
Apolo ? que carrozas, 6 que nubes ?
I Que dromedario, 6 alfana en paso rara ?
Mucho, me respondio, mucho te subes
En tus preguntas ; calla y obedece.
Si hare, pues no es infando lo que jubes.
Esto le respond!, y el me parece
Que se turbo algun tanto ; y en un punto
El mar se turba, el viento sopla y crece.
Mi rostro entonces, como el de un difunto
Se debio de poner, y si haria,
Que soy medroso a lo que yo barrunto.
Vi la noche mezclarse con el dia,
Las arenas del Hondo mar alzarse
A la region del aire, entonces fria.
Todos los elementos vi turbarse,
La tierra, el agua, el aire, y aun el fuego
Vi entre rompidas nubes azorarse.
Y en medio deste gran desasosiego
Llovian nubes de poetas llenas
Sobre el bajel, que se anegara laego,
Si no acudieran mas de mil sirenas
A dar de azotes a la gran borrasca,
Que hacia el saltarel por las entenas.
Journey to Parnassus. 59
For be the poet gentleman to boot,
Upon a dappled cloud, and through the air,
He shall be borne, his courtly taste to suit ! "
" For him who's none what is Apollo's care ? "
I asked, " what clouds, what carriages at hand ?
What dromedary ? Brute of action rare ? "
"Thy questions savour much," he said offhand,
'* Of hardihood ; be silent and resigned ! "
" Since not ineffable is thy command,
I yield ! " So answered I, and to my mind
He seemed somewhat irate, and straight ahead
Rough rose the sea, and blew the gusty wind.
Then grew my face, like visage of one dead,
Bedewed with pallor, for, if truth be told,
I'm somewhat fearful of the thing I dread ;
I saw the night and day together rolled,
The sands of ocean deep began to dash
Up to the realms of air, that froze with cold ;
Now seemed the elements in rage to clash,
Earth, water, air, and lambent fire, whose light
Pierced the rent clouds with intermittent flash.
In midst of this confusion and affright,
Clouds full of poets sent a pouring rain [quite,
Down on the barque, and would have swamped it
Had not some thousand Sirens come amain,
And with their whips, from yard to yard, did make
That hurly-burly take to flight again ;
60 Viaje del Parnaso.
Una, que ser pense Juana la Chasca,
De dilatado vientre y luengo cuello,
Pintiparado a aquel de la tarasca,
Se llego a mi, y me dijo : De un cabello
Deste bajel estaba la esperanza
Colgada, a no venir a socorrello.
Traemos, y no es burla, a la bonanza,
Que estaba descuidada oyendo atenta
Los discursos de un cierto Sancho Panza.
En esto sosegose la tormenta,
Volvio tranquilo el mar, sereno el cielo,
Que al reganon el cefiro le ahuyenta.
Volvi la vista, y vi en lijero vuelo
Una nube romper el aire claro
De la color del condensado hielo.
; Oh maravilla nueva ! Oh caso raro !
Vilo, y he de decillo, aunque se dude
Del hecho que por brujula declaro.
Lo que yo pude ver, lo que yo pude
Notar fue, que la nube dividida
En dos mitades a Hover acude.
Quien ha visto la tierra prevenida
Con tal disposicion, que cuando llueve,
Cosa ya averiguada y conocida,
De cada gota en un instante breve
Del polvo se levanta 6 sapo, 6 rana,
Que a saltos, 6 despacio el paso mueve ;
Journey to Parnassus. 61
One, whom for Joan la Chasca I did take,
With paunch extensive, and long neck and bare,
In fashion like to that of curling snake,
Accosted me and said : " 'Twas by a hair
That hung the hope of coming, as designed,
Our timely succour to the barque to bear;
We tarried, 'tis no jest, on the fair wind
That listless stood, in rapt attention, while
A certain Sancho Panza told his mind ! "
On this began to abate that tempest vile,
The sea grew calm, the sky serene and bright,
And Boreas fled before the Zephyr's smile.
I turned to look, and lo ! on pinions light,
A cloud came bursting through the upper air,
Like unto virgin ice as purely white :
O marvel without peer ! O wonder rare !
I saw it, and must tell it, though I strain
The faith of men in what I now declare !
What I could see, and what I will maintain,
Is that the cloud, careering on its way,
Split into halves, and then began to rain.
Whoe'er has seen the earth with such array
Of power prepared, that when it rains apace,
(A patent fact that none can well gainsay)
From every drop, and in the briefest space,
A frog or toad from out the dust takes birth,
That upward jumps, or creeps with sluggish pace ;
6 2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Tal se imagine ver (j Oh soberana
Virtud !) de cada gota de la nube
Saltar un bulto, aunque con forma humana.
For no creer esta verdad estuve
Mil veces, pero vila con la vista,
Que entonces clara y sin leganas tuve.
Eran aquestos bultos de la lista
Pasada los poetas referidos,
A cuya fuerza no hay quien la resista.
Unos por hombres buenos conocidos,
Otros de rumbo y hampo, y Dios es Cristo,
Poquitos bien, y muchos mal vestidos.
Entre ellos pareciome de haber visto
A DON ANTONIO DE GALARZA el bravo,
Gentilhombre de Apolo, y muy bienquisto.
El bajel se lleno de cabo a cabo,
Y su capacidad a nadie niega
Copioso asiento, que es lo mas que alabo.
Llovio otra nube al gran LOPE DE VEGA,
Poeta insigne, a cuyo verso 6 prosa
Ninguno le aventaja, ni aun le llega.
Era cosa de ver maravillosa
De los poetas la apretada enjambre,
En recitar sus versos muy melosa.
Este muerto de sed, aquel de hambre ;
Yo dije, viendo tantos, con voz alta :
j Cuerp <de mi con tanta poetambre !
Journey to Parnassus. 63
Such may conceive (O power of sovereign worth!)
How from the cloud, and from each drop, he sees
A bulging shape, though human-like, leap forth ;
To credit such a fact, with thousand pleas
I did resist in vain ; for, void of mist
And rheum, mine eyes beheld it with great ease.
These bulging forms were poets of the list,
Which we have just recited with great care,
Whose energy none living can resist ;
Some, honest men and honoured everywhere,
Others, mere swaggerers with flaunting crest,
A few well-robed, and many more threadbare.
One man of might I saw among the rest,
ANTONIO DE GALARZA, as I trow,
Apollo's chamberlain, in high request.
The barque was filled outright from poop to prow,
So great its bulk that each one could command
A spacious seat j such praise I must allow.
Another cloud rained down that poet grand,
LOPE DE VEGA, 21 whom in prose or verse
None can surpass, nor one beside him stand.
'Twas fine to see, to speak in language terse,
The needy swarm of poetasters try
With honied voice their poems to rehearse,
This wild with thirst, and that with hungry eye ;
At such a sight I loudly made remark :
" Good God ! to sail with such a scurvy fry ! "
64 Viaje del Parnaso.
Por tantas sobras conocio una falta
Mercuric, y acudiendo a remedialla,
Lijero en la mitad del bajel saha.
Y con una zaranda que alii halla,
No se si antigua, 6 si de nuevo hecha,
Zarando mil poetas de gramalla.
Los de capa y espada no desecha,
Y destos zarando dos mil y tantos ;
Que fuc neguilla entonces la cosecha.
Colabanse los buenos y los santos,
Y quedabanse arriba los granzones,
Mas duros en sus versos que los cantos.
Y sin que les valiesen las razones
Que en su disculpa daban, daba luego
Mercuric al mar con ellos a montones.
Entre los arrojados se oyo un ciego,
Que murmurando entre las ondas iba
De Apolo con un pesete y reniego.
Un sastre (aunque en sus pics flojos estriba,
Abriendo con los brazos el camino)
Dijo : Sucio es Apolo, asi yo viva.
Otro (que al parecer iba mohino,
Con ser un zapatero de obra prima)
Dijo dos mil, no un solo desatino.
Trabaja un tundidor, suda, y se anima
Por verse a la ribera conducido,
Que mas la vida que la honra estima.
Journey to Parnassus. 65
As Mercury this needless swarm did mark,
He sought his remedy, and with a shout
He leapt into the middle of the barque ;
And with a large sieve, lying there about
Whether antique or new I'm not aware
Riddled a thousand slipshod poets out ;
Those of the cloak and sword he fain would spare,
He sifted out two thousand souls or more,
Yet sooth, 'twas but a cockle harvest there !
This crucial test the good and holy bore,
The gritty, husky ones remained behind,
Whose verse was hard as millstone at the core ;
To all the clamant pleadings they could find,
In their defence, Mercurius gave no ear,
But to the sea the shouting mob consigned.
Of the expelled a blind man I did hear, [cry :
Who, floundering, grumbling, 'mid the waves did
" Shame on Apollo, I renounce him here ! "
A taylor' 22 there, of weak legs and awry,
Who with his arms made sturdy strokes and great,
Bawled out : " Apollo's naught, so long live I ! "
Another one, a cobbler and first-rate,
And yet a moody being all the same,
With twice a thousand follies cursed his fate ;
There toils a shearer, sweats, and doth inflame
His soul, to cleave the waves and gain the beach,
For life to him is dearer far than fame !
66 Viaje del Parnaso.
El escuadron nadante reducido
A la marina, vuelve a la galera
El rostro con senales de ofendido.
Y uno por todos dijo : Bien pudiera
Ese chocante embajador de Febo
Tratarnos bien, y no desta manera.
Mas oigan lo que dijo : Yo me atrevo
A profanar del monte la grandeza
Con libros nuevos, y en estilo nuevo.
Callo Mercuric, y a poner empieza
Con gran curiosidad seis camarines,
Dando a la gracia ilustre rancho y pieza.
De nuevo resonaron los clarines,
Y asi Mercuric lleno de contento,
Sin dark mal agiiero los delfines,
Remos al agua dio, velas al viento.
Journey to Parnassus. 67
Soon as the swimming shoals the shore did reach
They turned them to the galley, and gave vent
To their disgust, with gestures and with speech !
One said for all : " Thou brutal Envoy, sent
By Phoebus, it was surely worth thy while
To treat us well, not rouse our discontent !
But list ye : 'tis my purpose to defile
The sacred mountain's height, from top to base,
With novel books, and in a novel style ! "
Dumb was Mercurius ; and commenced with grace
To raise six stately cabins wondrous rare,
To give the better folk a worthy place ;
Anew the sounding clarions smote the air ;
Mercurius stood with calm, contented mind,
And while the dolphins leapt with omen fair,
They dipped their oars, and sailed before the wind.
Eran los remos de la real galera
De csdrujulos, y dellos compel Ida
Se deslizaba por el mar lijera.
Hasta el tope la vela iba tendida,
Hecha de muy delgados pensamientos,
De varios lizos por amor tejida.
Soplaban dukes y amorosos vientos,
Todos en popa, y todos se mostraban
Al gran viaje solamente atentos.
Las sirenas en torno navegaban,
Dando empellones al bajel lozano,
Con cuya ayuda en vuelo le llevaban.
Semejaban las aguas del mar cano
Colchas encarrujadas, y hacian
Azules visos por el verde llano.
Todos los del bajel se entretenian,
Unos glosando pies dificultosos,
Otros cantaban, otros componian.
The royal galley's oars appeared to be
Of lines dactyllic, and impelled by these
It glided forth, and bounded o'er the sea ;
The main-sail, bellying out to catch the breeze,
Was formed of fancies, culled from every land,
Whose varied threads were wove by Love at ease ;
Now softly blew the amorous winds and bland
Fair on the stern, and all combined to cheer
And speed the vessel on its voyage grand ;
The Sirens gambolled round it far and near,
And to the lusty barque gave impulse keen,
That sent it bounding on in full career ;
The waters of the hoary main, I ween,
Seemed sheets of wavy silk that made display
Of azure colour through a field of green.
Thus whiled the voyagers the time away :
Some took to gloss some hard and crabbed phrase,
This chanted forth, and that composed a lay ;
yo Viaje del Parnaso.
Otros de los tenidos por curiosos
Referian sonetos, muchos hechos
A diferentes casos amorosos.
Otros alfenicados y deshechos
En puro azucar, con la voz siiave,
De su melifluidad muy satisfechos,
En tono blando, sosegado y grave,
Eglogas pastorales recitaban,
En quien la gala y la agudeza cabe.
Otros de sus senoras celebraban
En dukes versos de la amada boca
Los excrementos que por ella echaban.
Tal hubo a quien amor asi le toca,
Que alabo los rinones de su dama,
Con gusto grande, y no elegancia poca.
Uno canto, que la amorosa llama
En mitad de las aguas le encendia,
Y como toro agarrochado brama.
Desta manera andaba la poesia
De uno en otro, haciendo que hablase
Este latin, aquel algarabia.
En esto sesga la galera vase
Rompiendo el mar con tanta lijereza,
Que el viento aun no consiente que la pase.
Y en esto descubriose la grandeza
De la escombrada playa de Valencia
Por arte hermosa y por naturaleza.
Journey to Parnassus. 71
Some, who as dilettanti earned high praise,
Recited sonnets, which behoved to toy '
With Love's grand passion, every mood and phase ;
Others, with palates they were wont to cloy
With sugared sweets, in voice of sweetest sound
Whose honied accent filled their hearts with joy,
And in a tone that lulled the listeners round,
Recited Eclogues, of the country sprung,
A medley of the simple and profound.
A certain one in sweetest verses sung
The dulcet mouth 23 that decked his lady's face,
And eke the moisture dropping from her tongue ;
A second gave to Love yet daintier place,
And praised the fair one's haunches to the full
With highest gusto, and no little grace ;
A third bemoaned Love's flame, so hard to cool,
That even in mid-water it would blaze,
And make him bellow like a goaded bull !
And so from one to t'other in a maze
Went poesy, and this and that would try
To chant in Latin or with Moorish phrase.
In such a fashion did the galley fly,
And with such speed went cleaving thro' the sea,
That not the wind itself could pass it by.
In course of time came looming on the lee
Valencia's plain, 24 that vast and fertile floor,
Through art and nature wondrous fair to see.
7 2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Hizo luego de si grata presencia
El gran DON Luis FERRER, marcado el pccho
De honor, y el alma de divina ciencia.
Desembarcose el dios, y fue derecho
A darle cuatro mil y mas abrazos,
De su vista y su ayuda satisfecho.
Volvio la vista, y reitero los lazos
En DON GUILLEN DE CASTRO, que vema
Deseoso de verse en tales brazos.
CRISTOBAL DE VIRUES se le seguia,
Con PEDRO DE AGUILAR, junta famosa
De las que Turia en sus riberas cria.
No le pudo llegar mas valerosa
Escuadra al gran Mercurio, ni el pudiera
Desearla mejor, ni mas honrosa.
Luego se descubrio por la ribera
Un tropel de gallardos valencianos,
Que a ver venian la sin par galera.
Todos con instrumentos en las manos
De estilos y librillos de memoria,
Por bizarria y por ingenio ufanos,
Codiciosos de hallarse en la vitoria,
Que ya tenian por segura y cierta,
De las heces del mundo y de la escoria.
Pero Mercurio les cerro la puerta :
Digo, no consintio que se embarcasen,
Y el por que no lo dijo, aunque se acierta.
Journey to Parnassus. 73
To our delight we spied upon the shore
Great DON LUIS FERRER, his breast inlaid
With honour, and his soul with sacred lore ;
Mercurius landed, and with nothing said
He hugged him thousand times, and kissed his face,
Right glad to see him, and receive his aid.
He turned him round ; and gave an equal grace
To DON GUILLEN DEC ASTRO, who was cheered,
And proud to find himself in such embrace.
Then CHRISTOBAL DE VlRUES appeared
With PEDRO DE AGUILAR ; both chiefs of fame,
Whom Thuria on her teeming banks had reared ;
To great Mercurius surely never came,
Nor could he ever hope to find, a corps
Of men more honoured, or of higher name.
Now presently came trooping to the shore
Of stout Valencians a sturdy band,
In haste the peerless galley to explore ;
With quaint old instruments they came to hand,
Their styles and memorandum-books, I ween
Exulting in their wit and bearing grand ;
On victory bent, and all alert and keen,
To trample under foot earth's vermin base,
And gain such triumph as was never seen ;
But Mercury withstood them to the face,
In sooth, he would not let them leave the land,
He said not why, but such was e'en the case ;
74 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y rue, porquc temio que no se alzasen,
Siendo tantos y tales, con Parnaso,
Y nuevo imperio y mando en el fundasen.
En esto viose con brioso paso
Venir al magno ANDRES REY DE ARTIEDA,
No por la edad descaecido 6 laso.
Hicieron todos espaciosa rueda,
Y cogiendole en medio, le embarcaron,
Mas rico de valor que de moneda.
Al momento las ancoras alzaron,
Y las velas ligadas a la entena
Los grumetes apriesa desataron.
De nuevo por el aire claro suena
El son de los clarines, y de nuevo
Vuelve a su oficio cada cual sirena.
Miro el bajel por entre nubes Febo,
Y dijo en voz que pudo ser oida :
Aqui mi gusto y mi esperanza llevo.
De remos y sirenas impelida
La galera se deja atras el viento,
Con milagrosa y prospera corrida.
Lciasc en los rostros el contento
Que llevaban los sabios pasajeros,
Durable, por no ser nada violento.
Unos por el calor iban en cueros,
Otros por no tener godescas galas
En traje se vistieron de romeros.
Journey to Parnassus. 75
He feared lest such a mighty troop and grand
Should storm Parnassus, and possess its height,
And found thereon new empire and command.
On this there came, with gallant step and light,
Great ANDRES REY DE ARTIEDA 25 near,
Whom age could not enfeeble nor affright ;
They of the barque came swooping from the rear,
And him, a willing captive, they conveyed
On board, more rich in valour than in gear.
The anchors then with sudden haste they weighed,
The yards the main-top sailors gaily manned,
And let the sails go free with grand parade ;
Anew the clarions sound on every hand,
Awakening echoes in the azure skies,
While to their work the eager Sirens stand.
Apollo from the clouds, with beaming eyes,
Beholds the barque, and calls that all may hear :
" Here sail my hopes, and all the power I prize ! "
By oars and Sirens driven, with good cheer
The bounding galley left the breeze behind,
To seek its strange and prosperous career.
Upon their faces shone the easy mind
Which all the learned voyagers possessed,
A calm content, but of a lasting kind ;
Some doffed their garments, by the heat oppressed,
While those, who had no Gothic dress to wear,
In pilgrims' weeds were fain to look their best.
76 Viaje del Parnaso.
Hendia en tanto las neptuneas salas
La galera, del modo como hiende
La grulla el aire con tendidas alas.
En fin, llegamos donde el mar se extiende,
Y ensancha y forma el golfo de Narbona,
Que de ningunos vientos se defiende.
Del gran Mercurio la cabal persona
Sobre seis resmas de papel sentada
Iba con cetro y con real corona :
Cuando una nube, al parecer prenada,
Pario cuatro poetas en crujia,
O los llovio, razon mas concertada.
Fue el uno aquel, de quien Apolo fia
Su honra, JUAN LUIS DE CASANATE,
Poeta insigne de mayor cuantia.
El mismo Apolo de su ingenio trate,
El le alabe, el le premie y recompense ;
Que el alabarle yo seria dislate.
Al segundo llovido, el uticense
Caton no no le igualo, ni tiene Febo
Quien tanto por el mire, ni en el piense.
Del contador GASPAR DE BARRIONUEVO
Mai podra el corto flaco ingenio mio
Loar el suyo asi como yo debo.
Lleno del gran bajel el gran vacio
El gran FRANCISCO DE RlOJA al punto
Que salto de la nube en el navio.
Journey to Parnassus. 77
Through Neptune's halls the ship went gliding fair,
As sails the crane with motion fine and free,
When with its pinions spread it cleaves the air.
At length we reached that wide expanse of sea
Which forms Narbona's gulf : a watery sheet
That lies exposed to all the winds that be.
Great Mercury, in form and grace complete,
Decked fine with sceptre and with royal crown,
On six good reams of paper took his seat ;
When lo ! a pregnant cloud, big with renown,
Produced four poets from its teeming womb,
To speak more properly, it rained them down.
The first, Luis DE CASANATE, whom
Apollo holds the guardian of his fame,
To fill a loftier post may none presume ;
So highly doth Apollo rate his name,
Exalt his wit, and crown him with high grace,
That praise from me would sound exceeding tame.
Not Cato, he of Utica, holds place
Beside the second poet who came down,
Nor Phoebus' self has friend of nobler race :
CASPAR DE BARRIONUEVO'S high renown,
As Treasurer, above my mark hath soared,
My scanty wit adds little to his crown.
The vessel's vacant room was fully stored
When great FRANCISCO DE RlOJA came,
And from the cloudlet lightly leapt on board.
7 8 Viaje del Parnaso.
A CRISTOBAL DE MESA vi alii junto
A los pies de Mercuric, dando fama
A Apolo, siendo del propio trasunto.
A la gavia un grumete se encarama,
Y dijo a voces : La ciudad se muestra,
Que Jenova, del dios Jano se llama.
Dejesele la ciudad a la siniestra
Mano, dijo Mercurio, el bajel vaya,
Y siga su derrota por la diestra.
Hacer al Tiber vimos blanca raya
Dentro del mar, habiendo ya pasado
La ancha romana y peligrosa playa.
De Itjos viose el aire condensado
Del humo que el estrombalo vomita,
De azufre, y llamas, y de horror formado.
Huyen la isla infame, y solicita
El suave poniente, asi el viaje
Que lo acorta, lo allana y facilita.
Vimonos en un punto en el paraje,
Do la nutriz de Eneas pi'adoso
Hizo el forzoso y ultimo pasaje.
Vimos desde alii a poco el mas famoso
Monte que encierra en si nuestro hemisfero,
Mas gallardo a la vista y mas hermoso.
Las cenizas de Titiro y Sincere
Estan en el, y puede ser por esto
Nombrado entre los monies por primero.
Journey to Parnassus. 79
At Mercury's feet, to give Apollo fame,
Sat CHRISTOBAL DE MESA, who in truth
Was but a living transcript of the same.
Up to the main-top climbed a gallant youth
Who holloed out : ** Lo ! Genoa comes in sight,
To which god Janus gave his name, in sooth ! "
" Leave it upon the left, that town of might,''
Cried Mercury, " and turn the vessel's head,
To take its course with bearing to the right ! "
Anon we saw the stream of Tiber's bed,
Fresh from the wide and perilous Roman plain,
Glide on into the sea like silvery thread ;
Far off, dark clouds seemed rising from the main,
Of densest smoke that Stromboli could vent,
Where sulphur, flames, and dismal demons reign.
They flee the cursed isle ; with sweet intent
The western breeze begins to woo the barque,
Which glides along light-hearted and content.
We coasted onward and the spot did mark,
Where great ^Eneas' nurse the passage took,
The last, the unavoidable, the dark.
A little distance off we spied the nook
Where stands the famed hill of our hemisphere,
On statelier and on fairer none may look ;
The first of mountains ; where the ashes dear
Of Tityrus 26 and eke Sincerus lie,
For this it bears the palm both far and near.
8o Fiaje del Parnaso.
Luego se descubrio, donde echo el resto
De su poder naturaleza amiga,
De formar de otros muchos un compuesto.
Viose la pesadumbre sin fatiga
De la bella Partcnope, sentada
A la orilla del mar, que sus pics liga,
De castillos y torres coronada,
For fuerte y por hermosa en igual grado
Tenida, conocida y estimada.
Mandome el del alijero calzado,
Que me aprestase y fuese luego a tierra
A dar a los LUPERCIOS un recado,
En que les diese cuenta de la guerra
Temida, y que a venir les persuadiese
Al duro y fiero asalto, al cierra, cierra.
Senor, le respondi, si acaso hubiese
Otro que la embajada les lie vase,
Que mas grato a los dos hermanos fuese,
Que yo no soy, se bien que negociase
Mejor. Dijo Mercurio : No te entiendo,
Y has de ir antes que el tiempo mas se pase.
Que no me han de escuchar estoy temiendo,
Le replique, ya si el ir yo no importa,
Puesto que en todo obedecer pretendo.
Que no se quien me dice, y quien me exhorta,
Que tienen para mi, a lo que imagine,
La voluntad, como la vista corta.
Journey to Parnassus. 81
Beyond, a range of peaks we could descry,
Where the remains of Nature's grandeur meet
To form a composite of vast and high :
Now burst upon our view the unrest sweet
Of fair Parthenope, who sits as queen
Beside the sea, that laves and links her feet ;
Fair towers and castles crown her brow serene,
And she Is held by all a gem complete,
Whose like for strength and beauty ne'er was seen ;
Now gave command, he of the winged feet,
That I should haste on shore without delay,
And in his stead the two LUPERCIOS 27 greet ;
And tidings of the dreaded war convey,
And bid them with us to the combat hie,
To join our serried ranks, and face the fray ! "
" My lord," I said, " if there be other nigh
Upon this embassy of thine to go,
More grateful to the brothers twain than I,
Thy business will be better done, I know ! "
Quoth Mercury : '* Thy words are strange indeed,
For go thou must, and quickly too, I trow ; "
" I fear," cried I, " they'll give me little heed !
Although thy bidding I would gladly do,
My visit there would have but sorry speed ;
Some have assured me, though I know not who,
That their good will for me has grown as weal.
As is their eyesight, and it seemeth true ;
8 2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Que si esto asi no fuera, este camino
Con tan pobre recamara no hiciera,
Ni diera en un tan Hondo desatino.
Pues si alguna promesa se cumpliera
De aquellas muchas, que al partir me hicieron,
Lleveme Dios si entrara en tu galera.
Mucho espere, si mucho prometieron,
Mas podra ser que ocupaciones nuevas
Les obligue a olvidar lo que dijeron.
Muchos, senor, en la galera llevas,
Que te podran sacar el pie del lodo,
Parte, y excusa de hacer mas praebas.
Ninguno, dijo, me hable dese modo,
Que si me desembarco y los embisto,
Voto a Dios, que me traiga al Conde, y todo.
Con estos dos famosos me enemisto,
Que habiendo levantado a la poesia
Al buen punto en que esta, como se ha visto,
Quieren con pcrezosa tirania
Alzarse, como dicen, a su mano
Con la ciencia que a ser divinos guia.
Por el solio de Apolo soberano
Juro... y no digo mas ; y ardiendo en ira
Se echo a las barbas una y otra mano.
Y prosiguio diciendo : El DOTOR MlRA,
Apostare, si no lo manda el Conde,
Que tambien en sus puntos se retira.
Journey to Parnassus. 83
Were this not so, I had no cause to seek
A passage here in such a beggar's suit,
Nor bear a part in such a foolish freak :
Had one of all the promises ta'en root
They gave on parting, never God me aid
If in thy galley I had e'er set foot ;
I hoped for much, when much protest they made,
But it may be, that strange affairs and new
Have caused them to forget the thing they said !
My lord, within this galley thou canst view
Enow to draw thy foot from out the hole ;
Set out, and make of this no more ado ! "
" Speak not so pertly ! " said the god in dole,
" For if I land me, then by Jove I swear
I'll seize the Count and carry off the whole ;
Of these two famous men I have a fear,
That, having raised to such a lofty line
The art of poesy, as doth appear,
They now with lazy tyranny incline
To hold, forsooth, within their sole command,
The lofty science that makes men divine.
Now by Apollo's throne, the great and grand,
I swear .... and say no more ! " and, much irate,
He plucked his beard with this and t'other hand.
" The DOCTOR MlR A," he went on to state,
" I'll wager now, without the Count's behest,
Is also pricked with scruples delicate ;
84 Viaje del Parnaso.
Senor galan, parezca; a que se esconde?
Pues a fe por llevarle, si el no gusta,
Que ni le busque, aseche, ni le ronde.
Es esta empresa acaso tan injusta,
Que se esquiven de hallar en ella cuantos
Tienen conciencia limitada y justa ?
Carece el cielo de poetas santos ?
,; Puesto que brote a cada paso el suelo
Poetas, que lo son tantos y tantos ?
No se oyen sacros himnos en el cielo ?
I La arpa de David alia no suena,
Causando nuevo accidental consuelo ?
Fuera melindres, y cese la entena,
Que llegue al tope ; y luego obedeciendo
Fue de la chusma sobre buenas buena.
Poco tiempo paso, cuando un ruido
Se oyo, que los oidos atronaba,
Y era de perros aspero ladrido.
Mercuric se turbo, la gente estaba
Suspensa al triste son, y en cada pecho
El corazon mas valido temblaba.
En esto descubriose el corto estrecho
Que Escila y que Caribdis espantosas
Tan temeroso con su furia han hecho.
Estas olas que veis presuntiiosas
En visitar las nubes de contino,
Y aun de tocar el cielo codiciosas,
Journey to Parnassus. 85
Sir gallant, shew thy face ! where hast thy nest ?
Yet if, i' faith, he hath no heart to go,
I'll neither woo nor wile him, let him rest !
Is this emprise, forsooth, so very low
That they, who have a nice and narrow creed,
Should cast disdainful looks, and spurn it so ?
Of holy Bards doth Heaven stand in need,
When sprouting from the soil at every pace
Spring up as good, and better far indeed ?
Have sacred hymns in Heaven now no place ?
Is not the harp of David sounding there,
Diffusing comfort round and sweet solace ?
A curse on scruples : let the yards go fair,
And set the sails ! " And, hurrying at his call,
The eager crew obeyed, and did not spare.
Short time elapsed when on our ears did fall
A horrid noise, like to the barking drear
Of furious dogs, 28 most fitted to appal.
Mercurius paled : the folk grew dumb with fear
Before the dismal sound ; the stoutest breast
Beat quicker as the thunder-growl came near ;
On this we spied that narrow strait compressed,
The same which Scylla, and Charybdis fell,
Have made so dreaded by their wild unrest ;
" These waves ye see that in presumption swell,
To claim acquaintance with the clouds of light,
And e'en to kiss the very heavens as well
86 Viaje del Parnaso.
Venciolas el prudente peregrine
Amante de Calipso, al tiempo cuando
Hizo, dijo Mercuric, este camino.
Su prudencia nosotros imitando,
Echaremos al mar en que se ocupen,
En tanto que el bajel pasa volando.
Que en tanto que ellas tasquen, roan, chupen,
Al misero que al mar ha de entregarse,
Seguro estoy que al paso desocupen.
Miren si puede en la galera hallarse
Algun poeta desdichado acaso,
Que a las fleras gargantas pueda darse.
Buscaronle, y hallaron a LOFRASO,
Poeta militar, sardo, que estaba
Desmayadb a un rincon marchito y laso :
Que a sus diez libros de Fortuna andaba
Anadiendo otros diez, y el tiempo escoge,
Que mas desocupado se mostraba.
Grito la chusma toda : Al mar se arroje,
Vaya LOFRASO al mar sin resistencia.
For Dios, dijo Mercurio, que me enoje.
I Como ? i y no sera cargo de conciencia,
Y grande, echar al mar tanta poesia,
Puesto que aqui nos hunda su inclemencia ?
Viva LOFRASO, en tanto que de al dia
Apolo luz, y en tanto que los hombres
Tengan discreta alegre fantasia.
Journey to Parnassus. 87
These waves," quoth Mercury, "were vanquished
By fair Calypso's lover, worldly wise, [quite
What time he took this passage in his flight ;
Let us prepare for them a like surprise,
And cast into the sea some tempting bait,
To keep them busy while the good ship flics ;
For while they rive, and rend, and masticate
The writhing wretch that wriggles in the sea,
I'm sure they'll leave us free to pass the strait !
Look now if in the galley ye can see
Some wretched bard, who may perchance by right
A fitting victim for the monsters be ! "
They found him in that man, LOFRASO 29 hight,
Sardinian martial poet, who now lay
Curled in a corner, and in dismal plight ;
In his ' Ten books of Fortune ' all the day
Immersed ; to add yet other ten to these
He strove, to while the idle hours away ;
Cried all the crew as one : " LOFRASO seize !
Down with him to the deep, and leave him there ! "
" Perdy," cried Mercury, " I do not please !
What? Can my soul the heavy burden bear
Of casting to the sea such poesy,
Although its foaming wrath demands our care?
Long live LOFRASO, while the day we see
Spring from Apollo's light, and men can smile
And hold as wisdom sprightly fantasy !
8 8 Viaje del Parnaso.
Tocante a ti, oh LOFRASO, los renombres,
Y epitetos de agudo y de sincere,
Y gusto que mi comitre te nombres.
Esto dijo Mercurio al caballero,
El cual en la crujia en pie se puso
Con un rebenque despiadado y fiero.
Creo que de sus versos le compuso,
Y no se como fue, que en un memento
(O ya el cielo, 6 LOFRASO lo dispuso)
Salimos del estrecho a salvamento,
Sin arrojar al mar poeta alguno :
Tanto del sardo fue el merecimiento.
Mas luego otro peligro, otro importune
Temor amenazo^ si no gritara
Mercurio, cual jamas grito ninguno,
Diciendo al timonero : A orza, para,
Amainese de golpe ; y todo a un punto
Se hizo, y el peligro se repara.
Estos montes que veis que estan tan juntos,
Son los que Acroceraunos son llamados,
De infame nombre, como yo barrunto.
Asieron de los remos los honrados,
Los tiernos, los melifluos, los godescos,
Y los de a cantimplora 31 acostumbrados.
Los frios los asieron y los frescos,
Asieronlos tambien los calurosos,
Y los de calzas largas y gregiiescos.
Journey to Parnassus. ' * '89
To thee belong, LOFRASO without guile,
The epithets of subtle and sincere,
My 'boatswain* henceforth be thy name and style !"
Thus said Mercurius to our cavalier,
Who in the gangway quick assumed his grade,
Armed with a rattan, cutting and severe ;
Of his own verse, I fancy, it was made,
And in a twinkling, how I do not know,
Whether by Heaven's or LOFRASO'S aid,
On through the strait we safe and sound did go,
Without immersing any poet there ;
Such strength lay in the good Sardinian's blow.
But presently there loomed another scare,
Had not Mercurius shouted with avail,
And with a roar that rent the very air :
" Helmsman, to windward ! Easy, shorten sail
At once ! " And in a trice the whole was done ;
And danger fled, though fiercely blew the gale.
" These hills ye see, that seem to join in one,
Are styled th' Acroceraunian, 30 fatal name ;
A worse repute, I trow, than these have none."
Took to the oars the honoured men of fame,
The tender, gothic, they of honied song,
And those who cool their drinks to damp their flame;
The bards cold-blooded, and the frisky throng,
The hot-brained also to the work did warm,
And those with hosen short, and hosen long.
90 Viaje del Parnaso.
Del sopraestante dano temerosos,
Todos a una la galera empujan,
Con flacos y con brazos poderosos.
Debajo del bajel se somurmujan
Las sirenas que d'>l no se apartaron,
Y a si mismas en fuerzas sobrepujan.
Y en un pequeno cspacio la llevaron
A vista de Corfu, y a mano diestra
La isla inexpugnable se dejaron.
Y dando la galera a la siniestra
Discurria de Grecia las riberas,
Adonde el cielo su hermosura muestra.
Mostrabanse las olas Hsonjeras,
Impeliendo el bajel siiavemente,
Como burlando con alegres veras.
Y luego al parecer por el oriente,
Rayando el rubio sol nuestro horizonte
Con rayas rojas, hebras de su frente,
Grito un grumete y dijo : El monte, el monte,
El monte se descubre, donde tiene
Su buen rocin el gran Belorofonte.
Por el monte se arroja, y a pie viene
Apolo a recebirnos. Yo lo creo,
Dijo LOFRASO, ya llega a la Hipocrene.
Yo desde aqui columbro, miro y veo
Que se andan solazando entre unas matas
Las musas con dulcisimo recreo.
Journey to Parnassus. 91
The gloom o'erhanging filled them with alarm,
And all, as one, did make the galley go,
With flaccid muscle, or with brawny arm.
The Sirens in their turn dived down below
The barque, from which to part they had no mind,
And each with unaccustomed strength did glow ;
And in brief space they bore it with the wind
In sight of Corfu ; and upon the right
They left the isle impregnable behind ;
And to the left they turned the galley quite,
And coasted all along the shores of Greece,
Where beams the sky, with beauty wondrous bright .
The lightwaves wooed the barque, and wouldnot cease
With flattering touch and soft to kiss its prow,
Like wits that trifle with some stately piece.
And as the Sun 'bove our horizon now
Began to show his glorious head, bedight
With ruby rays, the tresses of his brow,
" The hill, the hill ! " sang out a watch-boy bright,
" I spy the hill, where that great man, I ween,
Bellorophon doth stall his steed of might !
Apollo down the hill with eager mien
Doth haste to welcome us." " Zounds ! I believe,"
LOFRASO cried, *' He's got to Hippocrene !
From here I almost, yea, I do perceive
The Muses walking on the verdant floors,
And 'neath the bushes taking sweet reprieve ;
92 Viaje del Parnaso.
Unas antiguas son, otras novatas,
Y todas con lijero paso y tardo
Andan las cinco en pic, las cuatro a gatas.
Si tu tal ves, dijo Mercurio, oh sardo
Poeta, que me corten las orejas,
O me tengan los hombres por bastardo,
Dime, por que algun tanto no te alejas
De la ignorancia, pobreton, y adviertes
Lo que cantan tus rimas en tus quejas ?
Por que con tus mentiras nos diviertes
De recebir a Apolo cual se debe,
Por haber mejorado vuestras suertes ?
En esto mucho mas que el viento leve
Bajo el lucido Apolo a la marina,
A pie, porque en su carro no se atreve.
Quito los rayos de la faz divina,
Mostrose en calzas y en jubon vistoso,
Porque dar gusto a todos determina.
Seguiale detras un numeroso
Escuadron de doncellas bailadoras,
Aunque pequenas, de ademan brioso.
Supe poco despues, que estas senoras,
Sanas las mas, las mcnos mal paradas,
Las del tiempo y del sol eran las Horas.
Las medio rotas eran las menguadas,
Las sanas las felices, y con esto
Eran todas en todo aprcsuradas.
Journey to Parnassus. 93
Some are of old aspect, and some with stores
Of youth : and with a slow or lithesome gait
Five walk on foot, and four upon all fours ! "
" Sardinian Bard ! " cried Mercury irate,
" If such thou seest, may villains slit my ears,
And brand the name of bastard on my pate !
Say, scurvy one, why dost not with thy years
Leave off thy folly, and with wisdom scan
What thine own rhymes are chanting thro' thy tears?
Why with thy lies dost thou disturb our plan,
Of giving Phoebus a reception rare
For having turned thee out a better man ? "
On this, more quickly than the wind could bear,
The bright Apollo hied him to the shore
On foot, for with his car he would not dare :
The beams from off his face divine he tore,
In hose and comely doublet was he seen,
That simply dressed he all might please the more.
Behind him came a bevy, o'er the green,
Of damsels gaily tripping one by one,
Of middling stature, yet of sprightly mien ;
I knew these maidens, dancing as they run,
Most of them blooming, and ill-fared the rest
To be the Hours of Time and of the Sun :
The half-dishevelled were the Hours unblest,
The blooming were the lucky ; and withal
They tripped along with measureless unrest.
94 Viaje del Parnaso.
Apolo luego con alegre gesto
Abrazo a los soldados, que espcraba
Para la aha ocasion que sc ha propuesto.
Y no de un mismo modo acariciaba
A todos, porque alguna diferencia
Hacia con los que el mas se alegraba. '
Que a los de senoria y excelencia
Nuevos abrazos dio, razones dijo,
En que guardo decoro y preeminencia.
Entre ellos abrazo a DON JUAN DE ARGUIJO,
Que no se en que, 6 como, 6 cuando hizo
Tan aspero viaje y tan prolijo.
Con el a su desco satisfizo
Apolo y confirmo su pensamiento,
Mando, vedo, quito, hizo y deshizo.
Hecho pues el sin par recebimiento,
Do se hallo DON LUIS DE BARAHONA,
Llevado alii por su merecimiento,
Del siempre verde lauro una corona
Le ofrece Apolo en su intencion, y un vaso
Del agua de Castalia y de Helicona.
Y luego vuelve el majestoso paso,
Y el escuadron pensado y de repente
Le sigue por las faldas del Parnaso.
Llegose en fin a la Castalia fuente,
Y en viendola, infinites se arrojaron
Sedientos al cristal de su corriente.
Journey to Parnassus. 95
Apollo now, with joy that was not small,
Embraced the soldiers, whose embattled host
Had come for lofty service at his call ;
But not with equal warmth did he accost
Each one ; a certain shade of difference
Was shewn to such as he affected most :
He gave to those of lordly excellence
A fresh embrace; and from his mouth there thronged
Words full of dignity and lofty sense.
DON JUAN BE ARGUIJO 32 to this class belonged ;
I know not when, nor by what means conveyed,
He made the voyage, toilsome and prolonged;
With him Apollo in the highest grade
Was satisfied, whose thoughts confirmed his own :
He bade, forbade, unbound, made and unmade.
Like matchless favour to that man was shown,
Luis DE BARAHONA of renown,
Who hither came by good desert alone ;
Apollo offered him a laurel crown
Unfading, and ajar of water clear
Drawn from Castalia and from Helicon.
With stately step he turned ; and in his rear
The squadron marched, the eager and the grave,
And by Parnassus' skirts their course did steer ;
At length he reached Castalia' s bubbling wave,
And at its sight the crowds, with compact will,
Rushed to its crystal stream, and 'gan to lave ;
96 Viaje del Parnaso.
Unos no solamente se hartaron,
Sino que pics y manos, y otras cosas
Algo mas indecentes se lavaron.
Otros mas advertidos, las sabrosas
Aguas gustaron poco a poco, dando
Espacio al gusto, a pausas melindrosas.
El brindez y el caraos se puso en bando,
Porque los mas de bruces, y no a sorbos,-
El suave licor fueran gustando.
De ambas manos hacian vasos corvos
Otros, y algunos de la boca al agua
Temian de hallar cien mil estorbos.
Poco a poco la fuente se desagua,
Y pasa en los estomagos bebientes,
Y aun no se apaga de su sed la fragua.
Mas dijoles Apolo : Otras dos fuentes
Aun quedan, Aganipe e Hipocrene,
Ambas sabrosas, ambas excelentes ;
Cada cual de licor duke y perene,
Todas de calidad aumentativa
Del alto ingenio que a gustarlas viene.
Beben, y suben por el monte arriba,
Por entre palmas, y entre cedros altos,
Y entre arboles paciflcos de oliva.
De gusto llenos y de angustia faltos,
Siguiendo a Apolo el escuadron camina,
Unos a pedicoj, otros a saltos.
Journey to Parnassus. 97
Some, not content their thirsty mouths to fill,
Made eager haste to bathe their hands and feet,
And sundry matters more uncomely still;
Others, with higher wisdom and discreet,
Imbibed the savoury waters drop by drop,
And paused and lingered to enjoy the treat ;
For social toast the many would not stop,
Nor quaffed the wholesome liquor with their lips,
But bending earthward lapped it like a sop :
Others from hollowed hands took gulping sips,
Whilst some, 'twixt mouth and water, on the spot,
Trembled to meet a hundred thousand slips ;
The fountain's water less and lesser got
As down the drinkers' gullets it did pour ;
But still their thirst was like a furnace hot.
Apollo cried : "We have two fountains more,
Fair Aganippe and bright Hippocrene,
Both good to drink, and both with ample store ;
Sweet and perennial are their streams, I ween,
And each with qualities designed to make
The lofty genius loftier and serene ! "
They drink ; and up the mountain's slope they take
Their way, amid the palms and cedars high,
And at their tramp the peaceful olives quake ;
Filled to the full with good they onward hie
Behind Apollo in a lengthened line
Some jog along, some leaping seem to fly.
98 Viaje del Parnaso.
Al pie sentado de una antigua encina
Vi a ALONSO DE LEDESMA, componiendo
Una cancion angelica y divina.
Conocile, y a el me fui corriendo
Con los brazos abiertos como amigo,
Pero no se movio con el estruendo.
No ves, me dijo Apolo, que consigo
No esta LEDESMA ahora? No ves claro
Que esta fuera de si, y esta conmigo ?
A la sombra de un mirto, al verde amparo
JERONIMO DE CASTRO sesteaba.
Varon de ingenio peregrino y raro.
Un motete imagine que cantaba
Con voz suave ; yo que de admirado
De verle alii, porque en Madrid quedaba.
Apolo me entendio, y dijo : Un soldado
Como este no era bien que se quedara
Entre el ocio y el sueno sepultado.
Yo le truje, y se como ; que a mi rara
Potencia no la impide otra ninguna,
Ni inconveniente alguno la repara.
En esto se llegaba la oportuna
Hora a mi parecer de dar sustento
Al estomago pobre, y mas si ayuna ;
Pero no le paso por pensamiento
A Delio, que el ejercito conduce,
Satisfacer al misero hambriento.
Journey to Parnassus. 99
Beneath an ancient oak I saw recline
ALONSO DE LEDESMA, deep in thought,
Anent some lay angelic and divine ;
I knew him well ; and running up I sought
To clasp my friend, with open arms and free,
But though I called he moved not as he ought ;
Apollo said to me : " And dost not see
LEDESMA is not with himself to-day,
He is beyond himself, he is with me ! "
Beneath a myrtle's shade, with grand array
Of green, JERONIMO DE CASTRO sate,
A man of wit uncommon in our day ;
I fancy he was chanting a motet
With dulcet voice ; since in Madrid he stayed,
I marvelled much to see him here in state.
Apollo answered to my thoughts and said :
" It was not well, that soldier such as he
Should buried lie in dreams and slothful shade ;
I brought him and know how ; no powers that be
Can turn my rare power from its purpose fast,
Nor aught malign can hinder my decree ! "
It seemed to me the hour had come at last,
For giving fresh supply and nutriment
To my poor stomach, wearied of its fast ;
But Delius' thoughts on higher things were bent,
And, at his army's head, he would not stay
A hungry wretch's cravings to content !
ioo Viaje del Parnaso.
Primero a un jardin rico nos reduce,
Donde el poder de la naturaleza,
Y el de la industria mas campea y luce.
Tuvieron los Hesperides belleza
Menor, no le igualaron los Pensiles
En sitio, en hermosura y en grandeza.
En su comparacion se muestran viles
Los de Alcinoo, en cuyas alabanzas
Se ban ocupado ingenios bien sotiles :
No sujeto del tiempo a las mudanzas,
Que todo el ano primavera ofrece
Frutos en posesion, no en esperanzas.
Naturaleza y arte alii parece
Andar en competcncia, y esta en duda
Cual vence de las dos, cual mas merece.
Muestrase balbuciente y casi muda,
Si le alaba la lengua mas experta,
De adulacion y de mentir desnuda.
Junto con ser jardin, era una huerta,
Un soto, un bosque, un prado, un valle ameno,
Que en todos estos titulos concierta,
De tanta gracia y hermosura lleno,
Que una parte del cielo parecia
El todo del bellisimo terreno.
Alto en el sitio alegre Apolo hacia,
Y alii mando que todos se sentasen
A tres boras despues de mediodia.
Journey to Parnassus. 101
First to a garden rich he led the way,
Where Nature's power the palm did fully share
With Labour's skill to make a grand array ;
The famed Hesperides were not so fair ;
The Hanging gardens held a lower scale
For site, and loveliness, and grandeur rare ;
Those of Alcinous 33 were coldly pale
Compared with it ; though many wits sublime
Have of their beauty told a wondrous tale ;
It changeth not at all with changing Time,
For all the year Spring offers, in her glee,
Not hopeful blooms, but fruits in all their prime.
Here Art and Nature strive for mastery,
And still the doubt remains, which of the two
Is master yet, and which deserves to be ;
The tongue most practised, and most apt to woo,
Begins to stutter, crying in the dark
For words to praise it, adequate and true.
More than a garden, 'tis a pleasure park,
A grove, an orchard, vale, and meadow sweet,
For all these titles aptly hit the mark ;
With such superb delights is it replete,
That everywhere, throughout that wonder-land,
A part of Heaven itself we seem to meet.
On this fair site Apollo took his stand,
And here, that each one should himself install
At three hours after noon, he gave command ;
IO2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y porque los asientos senalasen
El ingenio y valor de cada uno,
Y unos con otros no se embarazasen,
A despecho y pesar del importune
Ambicioso deseo, les dio asiento
En el sitio y lugar mas oportuno.
Llegaban los laureles casi a ciento,
A cuya sombra y troncos se sentaron
Algunos de aquel numero contento.
Otros los de las palmas ocuparon,
De los mirtos y hiedras, y los robles
Tambien varies poetas albergaron.
Puesto que humildes, eran de los nobles
Los asientos cual tronos levantados,
Porque tu, oh envidia, aqui tu rabia dobles.
En fin, primero fucron ocupados
Los troncos de aquel ancho circuito,
Para honrar a poetas dedicados,
Antes que yo, en el numero infinito,
Hallase asiento : y asi en pie quedeme
Despechado, colerico y marchito.
Dije entre mi : Es posible que se extreme
En perseguirme la fortuna airada,
Que ofende a muchos y a ninguno teme ?
Y volviendome a Apolo, con turbada
Lengua le dije lo que oira el que gusta
Saber, pues la tercera es acabada,
La cuarta parte desta empresa justa.
Journey to Parnassus. 103
And that each special seat might well recall
The sitters' genius and peculiar grace,
And give no cause for strife, nor inward gall,
The god himself apportioned each his place,
Upon the spot most fitting to his fame,
And left Ambition nowhere in the race.
To full a hundred there the laurels came,
Beneath whose leafy trunks and shades profound
A certain number sat, in happy frame ;
Others among the palms a refuge found,
While sundry poets sought for harbourage
Beneath the myrtles, oaks, and ivy round;
The noblest seats were on a lofty stage,
Humble, I ween, but high as thrones in pride,
For this, O Envy, fume with double rage !
And so, throughout that circuit large and wide,
The shady trunks were occupied at last,
Which for the poets' use were set aside,
Before that I, among that number vast,
Could find a seat ; and so I stood alone
On foot, with wonder and with rage aghast ;
I inly said : " Is't possible that one
To such extremes by Fortune can be stung,
Who injures many, and hath fear of none ? "
And turning to Apollo, with a tongue
Somewhat confused, I said what may be heard
By him who lists, while part the fourth is sung
Of this grand work ; for here ends part the third.
Suele la indignacion componer versos ;
Pero si el indignado es algun tonto,
Ellos tendran su todo de perversos.
De mi yo no se mas, sino que pronto
Me halle para decir en tercia rima
Lo que no dijo el desterrado al Ponto.
Y asi le dije a Delio : No se estima,
Senor, del vulgo vano el que te sigue
Y al arbol sacro del laurel se arrima.
La envidia y la ignorancia le persigue,
Y asi envidiado siempre y perseguido,
El bien que espera por jamas consigue.
Yo corte con mi ingenio aquel vestido,
Con que al mundo la hermosa Galatea
Salio para librarse del olvido.
Soy por quien la Confusa nada fea
Parecio en los teatros admirable,
Si esto a su fama es justo se le crea.
Anger at times will issue forth in verse,
But, if the angry one be light of head,
His rhymes are apt to take a turn perverse ;
For me I know but this : by passion led,
I found me chanting forth, in tercets free,
Things which the Pontine exile never said :
*' Not by the mob," quoth I, " esteemed is he
Who follows you, my lord, and leans his back
For rest agaiust the laurel's sacred tree ;
Envy and folly ever dog his track,
And, envied thus and driven to distress,
The good he hopes for he must ever lack.
I cut and fashioned by my wit the dress,
With which fair Galatea 3 * sought the light,
And left the region of forgetfulness ;
I'm he whose La Confusa, handsome quite,
Made in the theatres a grand display,
If common fame hath told the matter right ;
io6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Yo con estilo en parte razonable
He compuesto Comedias, que en su tiempo
Tuvieron de lo grave y de lo afable.
Y he dado en Don ^uijote pasatiempo
Al pecho melancolico y mohino
En cualquiera sazon, en todo tiempo.
Yo he abierto en mis Novelas un camino,
For do la lengua castellana puede
Mostrar con propiedad un desatino.
Yo soy aquel que en la invencion excede
A muchos, y al que falta en esta parte,
Es fuerza que su fama falta quede.
Desde mis tiernos anos ame el arte
Duke de la agradable poesia,
Y en ella procure siempre agradarte.
Nunca volo la pluma humilde mia
For la region satirica, bajeza
Que a infames premios y desgracias guia.
Yo el soneto compuse que asi empieza,
For honra principal de mis escritos :
Voto a Dios, que me espanta esta grandeza.
Yo he compuesto Romances infinites,
Y el de los Celos es aquel que estimo,
Entre otros que los tengo por malditos.
For esto me congojo y me lastimo
De verme solo en pie, sin que se aplique
Arbol que me conceda algun arrimo.
Journey to Parnassus. 107
I've Comedies composed whose style of play
To reason so conformed, that on the stage
They showed fair mingling of the grave and gay ;
I've given in Don >uixote, S5 to assuage
The melancholy and the moping breast,
Pastime for every mood, in every age ;
I've in my Novels opened, for the rest,
A way whereby the language of Castile
May season fiction with becoming zest ;
I'm he who soareth in creative skill
'Bove many men ; who lacks a goodly share
Of this, his fame at last will fare but ill ;
From tender years I've loved, with passion rare,
The winsome art of Poesy the gay,
In this to please thee hath been all my care ;
My humble pen hath never winged its way
Athwart the field satiric, that low plain
Which leads to foul rewards, and quick decay ;
I penned the Sonnet 36 with this opening strain,
(To crown my writings with their chiefest grace,).
I vow to God, such grandeur stuns my brain !
I've of Romances 37 penned a countless race
The one of Jealousy I prize the best
The rest, I trow, are in a parlous case ;
And so I'm very wroth, and much distressed
To see me here on foot, alone to gaze,
No tree to give me but a little rest ;
io8 Viaje del Parnaso.
Yo estoy, cual decir suelen, puesto a pique
Para dar a la estampa al gran Persiles,
Con que mi nombre y obras multiplique.
Yo en pensamientos castos y sotiles,
Dispuestos en soneto de a docena,
He honrado tres sugetos fregoniles.
Tambien al par de Fills mi Filena
Resono por las selvas, que escucharon
Mas de una y otra alegre cantilena.
Y en dukes varias rimas se llevaron
Mis esperanzas los lijeros vientos,
Que en ellos y en la arena se sembraron.
Tuve, tengo y tendre los pensamientos,
Merced al cielo que a tal bien me inclina,
De toda adulacion libres y exentos.
Nunca pongo los pies por do camina
La mentira, la fraude y el engano,
De la santa virtud total ruina.
Con mi corta fortuna no me ensano,
Aunque por verme en pie, como me veo,
Y en tal lugar, pondero asi mi dano.
Con poco me contento, aunque deseo
Mucho. A cuyas razones enojadas,
Con estas blandas respondio Timbreo :
Vienen las malas suertes atrasadas,
Y toman tan de lejos la corriente,
Que son temidas, pero no excusadas.
Journey to Parnassus. 109
I'm on the point to use a common phrase
Of giving great Persiles to the press,
Which shall my name and works still higher raise ;
I, with chaste thoughts and full of subtleness,
In sonnets by the dozen did array
Three scullion beings in a comely dress ;
To rival Phyllis, my Phylena 3 * gay
Hath carolled through the woods, whose leafy land
Gave back the sound of many a merry lay ;
In sweet and varied rhymes the zephyrs bland
Have borne my dreamy hopes away from me,
Which sowed their seed on these, and on the sand.
My thoughts were ever, are, and still shall be
Thanks be to Heaven that so hath bent my mind
From every form of flattery safe and free.
Whate'er betide, my steps are ne'er inclined
Where travel falsehood, fraud, and base deceit,
The total wreck of honour in mankind.
My narrow fortune doth not stir my heat,
Although to stand on foot, and in this throng,
As now I see me, makes my loss complete ;
With little I'm content, although I long
For much." To such proofs of disordered mind
Thymbraeus answered, with the blandest tongue :
" Men's evil fortunes swell up from behind,
Bringing their current with them from afar,
And so are feared, but cannot be declined ;
no Viaje del Parnaso.
El bien les viene a algunos de repente,
A otros poco a poco y sin pensallo,
Y el mal no guarda estilo diferente.
El bien que esta adquirido, conservallo
Con mafia, diligencia y con cordura,
Es no menor virtud que el granjeallo.
TU mismo te has forjado tu ventura,
Y yo te he visto alguna vez con ella,
Pero en el imprudente poco dura.
Mas si quieres salir de tu querella,
Alegre, y no confuso, y consolado,
Dobla tu capa, y sientate sobre ella.
Que tal vez suele un venturoso estado,
Cuando le niega sin razon la suerte,
Honrar mas merecido, que alcanzado.
Bien parece, sefior, que no se advierte,
Le respondi, que yo no tengo capa.
El dijo : Aunque sea asi, gusto de verte.
La virtud es un manto con que tapa
Y cubre su indecencia la estrecheza,
Que exenta y libre de la envidia escapa.
Incline al gran consejo la cabeza,
Quedeme en pie ; que no hay asiento bueno,
Si el favor no le labra, 6 la riqueza.
Alguno murmuro, viendome ajeno
Del honor que penso se me debia,
Del planeta de luz y virtud lleno.
Journey to Parnassus. 1 1 1
To some, good comes at once with sudden jar,
To others, bit by bit without a strain,
The steps of evil no wise different are ;
The good, that hath been wrested, to maintain
With shrewd, firm grasp that cannot be undone,
Is no less virtue than the good to gain ;
Thyself hast fickle Fortune wooed and won,
Oft have I seen thee with her times agone,
But from the imprudent she is fain to run.
Yet would' st thou shew thyself, all quarrel gone,
Gay, gladsome, not put out in any wise,
Double thy cloak, and seat thyself thereon !
For he, who merits luck which fate denies
Without good reason, and in mood severe,
Is honoured more than if he won the prize ! "
" My lord, it hath escaped you quite, I fear,
That I possess no cloak ! " was my reply ;
" No less," quoth he, " I'm glad to see thee here,
For virtue is the cloak which poverty
Wraps round her form, to clothe withal her shame,
And so the shafts of envy pass her by ! ''
I bowed my head before the court of Fame,
And stood on foot ; good seat hath none by right,
If wealth or favour do not urge the claim.
One near me murmured, pitying my plight,
Deprived of honour which he thought my due,
Fresh from the orb of potence and of light.
H2 Viaje del Parnaso.
En esto parecio que cobro el dia
Un nuevo resplandor, y el aire oyose
Herir de una dulcisima armonia.
Y en esto por un lado descubriose
Del sitio un escuadron de ninfas bellas,
Con que infinite el rubio dios holgose.
Venia en fin, y por remate dellas
Una resplandeciencto, como hace
El sol ante la luz de las estrellas.
La mayor hermosura se deshace
Ante ella, y ella sola resplandece
Sobre todas, y alegra y satisface.
Bien asi semejaba, cual se ofrece
Entre liquidas perlas y entre rosas
La aurora que despunta y amanece.
La rica vestidura, las preciosas
Joyas que la adornaban, competian
Con las que suelen ser maravillosas.
Las ninfas que al querer suyo asistian,
En el gallardo brio y bello aspecto,
Las artes liberales parecian.
Todas con amoroso y tierno afecto,
Con las ciencias mas claras y escogidas,
Le guardaban santisimo respeto.
Mostraban que en servirla eran servidas,
Y que por su ocasion de todas gentes
En mas veneracion eran tenidas.
Journey to Parnassus. 113
Methought at once a strange resplendent hue
O'erspread the sky, and lo ! the smitten air
Was pierced with sweetest music through and
And at one side I spied a squadron fair [through ;
Of beauteous nymphs come dancing to the song,
With whom the ruddy god made sporting rare.
In rear of these there came at length along
A wondrous being, 30 radiant as the light
The Sun emits amid the starry throng ;
The highest beauty pales before her sight
And she remains alone in her array,
Diffusing round contentment and delight.
She looked the likeness of Aurora gay,
When, mid the roses and the pearly dew,
She wakes to life and ushers in the day ;
The garments rich, and jewels bright of hue
Which gemmed her person, might hold rivalry
With all the world of wonders ever knew.
The nymphs that did her bidding faithfully,
In brilliant bearing and in sprightly ease,
Seemed to me all the liberal arts should be ;
They all with tender love, and joined to these
The Sciences, most clear and most reserved,
Did pay her reverence as on bended knees ;
Showed that in serving her themselves were served,
And that through her they, mid the nations all,
A higher honour and respect preserved.
114 Viaje del Parnaso.
Su influjo y su reflujo las corrientes
Del mar y su profundo le mostraban,
Y el ser padre de rios y de fuentes.
Las yerbas su virtud la presentaban,
Los arboles sus frutos y sus flores,
Las piedras el valor que en si encerraban.
El santo amor, castisimos amorcs,
La dulce paz, su quietud sabrosa,
La guerra amarga todos sus rigores.
Mostrabasele clara la espaciosa
Via, por donde el sol hace contino
Su natural carrera y la forzosa.
La inclinacion, 6 fuerza del destino,
Y de que estrcllas consta y se compone,
Y como influye este planeta 6 sino,
Todo lo sabe, todo lo dispone
La santa hermosisima doncclla,
Que admiracion como alegria pone.
Preguntele al parlero, si en la bella
Ninfa alguna deidad se disfrazaba,
Que fuese justo el adorar en ella.
Porque en el rico adorno que mostraba
Y en el gallardo scr que descubria,
Del cielo y no del suelo semejaba.
Descubres, respondio, tu boberia,
Que ha que la tratas infinites aiios,
Y no conoces que es la Poesia.
'Journey to Parnassus. 115
The Ocean's currents at her simple call
Their ebb and flow displayed ; the abyss revealed
The parent source of waters great and small ;
The herbs their virtues at her touch did yield,
The trees their fruits, its sweetest flowers the vale,
The stones their inward worth which lay concealed ;
To her did love its chastest joys unveil,
Benignant peace its quietude and cheer,
Terrific war its horrors and its wail ;
The spacious path was to her vision clear,
Through which the Sun, in never-ending line,
Pursues his natural and constrained career ;
The force of fate which makes our wills incline,
The elements that form the starry light,
The influence of this planet or that sign
All this she knows, all this she wields aright,
That holy maid of loveliness complete,
Who claims at once our wonder and delight.
I asked the spokesman, if beneath that sweet
And radiant form no god lay in disguise,
Whom to adore in her were worship meet ;
Since by the rich adornment of her guise,
And by her gallant mien and bravery,
She seemed no child of earth but of the skies :
" Thou shew'st," quoth he, " thy crass stupidity,
Since thou hast wooed her now for many a year,
And knowest not that she is Poesy ! "
1 1 6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Siempre la he visto envuelta en pobres panos,
Le replique ; jamas la vi compuesta
Con adornos tan ricos y tamanos :
Parece que la he visto descompuesta,
Vestida de color de primavera
En los dias de cutio y los de fiesta.
Esta, que es la poesia verdadera,
La grave, la discreta, la elegante,
Dijo Mercurio, la alta y la sincera,
Siempre con vestidura rozagante
Se mucstra en cualquier acto que se halla,
Cuando a su profesion es importante.
Nunca se inclina, 6 sirve a la canalla
Trovadora, maligna y trafalmeja,
Que en lo que mas ignora, menos calla.
Hay otra falsa, ansiosa, torpe y vieja,
Amiga de sonaja y morteruelo,
Que ni tabanco, ni taberna deja.
No se alza dos, ni aun un coto del suelo,
Grande amiga de bodas y bautismos,
Larga de manos, corta de cerbelo.
Tomanla por momentos parasismos,
No acierta a pronunciar, y si pronuncia,
Absurdos hace, y forma solecismos.
Baco donde ella esta, su gusto anuncia,
Y ella derrama en coplas el poleo,
Campo 40 y vereda, y el mastranzo, y juncia.
Journey to Parnassus. 1 1 7
" To me," I said, " she ever did appear
In homely clothes, but never met my gaze
Arrayed in robes so rich and grand as here ;
Seems 'tis her undress I have seen always,
Picked out with colours of the spring demure,
Alike on working as on holidays ! "
Mercurius answered : '* 'Tis but reason sure
That Poesy the true, the grave, discreet,
The elegant, the lofty, and the pure,
Should robe herself in vesture that is meet
For all the actions which her rank become,
For each in turn appropriate and complete ;
She never stoops to serve the common scum
Of ballad mongers, impudent and mean,
Who bawl the loudest when they should be dumb.
There is a false, a base, old, haggard quean,
Friend of the drum and timbrel mummery,
Seldom from bench or tavern to be seen ;
Hardly two hand-breadths from the floor springs she,
At weddings and at baptisms she sits,
Though huge her fists, her brains but scanty be ;
At times she falleth into sudden fits,
Cannot articulate, or if she can,
Her blundering grammar proves her muddled wits ;
Her tastes are those of Bacchus and his clan,
And in her couplets, over mead and wold,
She scatters thyme and mint and gentian.
1 1 8 Viaje del Parnaso.
Pero aquesta que ves es el aseo,
La gala de los cielos y la tierra,
Con quien tienen las musas su bureo ;
Ella abre los secretos y los cierra,
Toca y apunta de cualquiera ciencia
La superficie y lo mejor que encierra.
Mira con mas ahinco su presencia,
Veras cifrada en ella la abundancia
De lo que en bueno tiene la excelencia.
Moran con ella en una misma estancia
La divina y moral filosofia,
El estilo mas puro y la elegancia.
Puede pintar en la mitad del dia
La noche, y en la noche mas escura
El alba bella que las perlas cria.
El curso de los rios apresura,
Y le detiene ; el pecho a furia incita,
Y le reduce luego a mas blandura.
Por mitad del rigor se precipita
De las lucientes armas contrapuestas,
Y da vitorias, y vitorias quita.
Veras como le prestan las florestas
Sus sombras, y sus cantos los pastores,
El mal sus lutos y el placer sus fiestas,
Perlas el Sur, Sabea sus olores,
El oro Tiber, Hibla su dulzura,
Galas Milan, y Lusitania amores.
Journey to Parnassus. 119
But she whom thou dost see is, as of old,
The charm and glory of the heavens and earth,
With whom the Muses secret counsel hold ;
She seals up secrets and she lets them forth,
And of each science scans, in graver mood,
At once its surface and its inner worth.
Survey her person with an eye more shrewd,
Thou'lt see enshrined, and in abundance great,
The very sum and quintessence of good ;
There lodge with her, within the self-same gate,
Philosophies both moral and divine,
A style the purest and the most ornate.
At mid-day she can paint in sombrest line
The night, and in the depth of deepest night
The rosy dawn that makes the pearls to shine.
The river's course she quickens into might,
Then curbs ; she makes the breast with fury rise,
Then soothes to blandness with her touch so light.
Into the midst of clashing arms she flies,
Where ranks opposing meet with dire intent,
She victory gives and victory denies.
Mark how the forests at her sight present
Their shades, their songs the shepherds of the dale,
Sorrow its weeds, and pleasure its content ;
Pearls from the south, odours from Saba's vale,
Gold from the Tiber, sweets from Hybla's mount,
Galas from Milan, loves from Portingale,
1 20 Viaje del Parnaso.
En fin, ella es la cifra, do se apura
Lo provechoso, honesto y deleitable,
Partes con quien se aumenta la ventura.
Es de ingenio tan vivo y admirable,
Que a veces toca en punto que suspenden,
For tener no se que de inexcrutable.
Alabanse los buenos, y se ofenden
Los malos con su voz, y destos tales
Unos la adoran, otros no la entienden.
Son sus obras heroicas immortales,
Las liricas siiaves, de manera
Que vuelven en divinas las mortales.
Si alguna vez se muestra lisonjera,
Es con tanta elegancia y artificio,
Que no castigo, sino premio espera.
Gloria de la virtud, pena del vicio
Son sus acciones, dando al mundo en ellas
De su alto ingenio y su bondad indicio
En esto estaba, cuando por las bellas
Ventanas de jazmines y de rosas,
Que amor estaba a lo que entiendo en ellas,
Divise seis personas religiosas,
Al parecer de honroso y grave aspeto,
De luengas togas, limpias y pomposas.
Preguntele a Mercuric : ^ Por que efeto
Aquellos no parecen y se encubren,
Y muestran ser personas de respeto ?
Journey to Parnassus. 121
Fall at her feet. In fine, she is the fount
Where blend the sweet, the useful, and the sound,
Whence human bliss doth swell its rich account.
She is of wit so lively and profound,
That oft she touches points, whose tangled knot
By mortal fingers cannot be unbound.
Her voice exalts the good ; an evil lot
She gives the bad ; and at her holy shrine
The former kneel, the last regard her not.
Her works heroic shall immortal shine :
Her lyrics sweet obey such sovereign laws,
That mortal things they change into divine ;
If she at times with flattery urge her cause,
It is with skill so rare and so refined,
As deadens censure and demands applause ;
The scourge of vice and virtue's crown combined,
Her deeds proclaim to all the world aright
Her lofty genius and her gentle mind."
I stood entranced, when thro' some loop-holes bright
With jasmines, and with roses sweet entwined,
Where Love, methinks, might harbour with delight y
I spied six persons 41 of a clerkly kind,
Who seemed of reverend and grave aspect,
With long white togas stately and refined.
I asked Mercurius : "Why do such affect
To hide and burrow in this lurking-place,
Who yet appear most worthy of respect ? "
122 Viaje del Parnaso.
A lo quc el respondio : No se descubren
Por guardar el decoro al alto estado
Que tienen, y asi el rostro todos cubren.
Quien son, le replique, si es que te es dado
Decirlo ? Respondiome : No por cierto,
Porque Apolo lo tiene asi mandado.
^ No son poetas ? Si. Pues yo no acierto
A pensar por que causa se desprecian
De salir con su ingenio a campo abierto.
Para que se embobecen y se anecian,
Escondiendo el talento que da el cielo
A los que mas de ser suyos se precian ?
Aqui del rey : que es esto ? que recelo,
O celo les impide a no mostrarse
Sin miedo ante la turba vil del suelo ?
Puede ninguna ciencia compararse
Con esta universal de la pocsia,
Que limites no tiene do encerrarse?
Pues siendo esto verdad, saber querria
Entre los de la carda, ,: como se usa
Este miedo, 6 melindre, 6 hipocresia ?
Hace monsenor versos, y rehusa
Que no se sepan, y el los comunica
Con muchos, y a la lengua ajena acusa.
Y mas que siendo buenos, multiplica
La fama su valor, y al dueno canta
Con voz de gloria y de alabanza rica.
Journey to Parnassus. 123
He answered : u Fain would they preserve the grace
And chaste reserve, that fit the high degree
They occupy, and so they veil the face ! "
" Who are they," cried I, " if 'tis given thee
To tell the same ? " " Nay," quoth he, " by my fay,
Such is Apollo's mandate and decree ! "
"Are they not poets?" "Yea!" "Then sooth to say,
It puzzles me to guess why they should fear
To bring their genius to the light of day ;
Why do they play the fool and ninny here,
Wrapping their talent up, great Heaven's gift
To all her sons who hold the favour dear?
Ho! in the King's name! what may be their drift?
What dread or shame forbids them now to face
Earth's scurvy groundlings and their veils uplift ?
Can any science claim to hold a place
Beside the science vast of Poesy,
That brooks no limit to its wide embrace ?
If this be truth, then prithee tell to me,
To such fraternity what end doth serve
This fear, this niceness, this hypocrisy ?
Monsignor maketh verses, with reserve
That none shall know it, and he shares the same
With friends ; yet will incognito preserve !
But be they good, it is the work of Fame
To spread their worth, and to their master sing
With voice of glory, blazoning his name !
1 24 Viaje del Parnaso.
Que mucho pues, si no se le levanta
Testimonio a un pontifice poeta,
Que digan que lo cs ? por Dios que espanta.
For vida de Lanfusa la discreta,
Que si no se me dice quien son estos
Togados de bonete y de muceta ;
Que con trazas y modos descompuestos
Tengo de reducir a behetria
Estos tan sosegados y compuestos.
Por Dios, dijo Mercurio, y a fe mia,
Que no puedo decirlo, y si lo digo,
Tengo de dar la culpa a tu porfia.
Dilo, senor, que desde aqui me obligo
De no decir que tu me lo dijiste,
Le dije, por la fe de buen amigo.
El dijo : No nos cay an en el chiste,
Llegate a mi, diretelo al oido,
Pero creo que hay mas de los que viste.
Aquel que has visto alii del cuello erguido,
Lozano, rozagante y de buen tulle,
De honestidad y de valor vestido,
Es el DOTOR FRANCISCO SANCHEZ : dalle
Puede cual debe Apolo la alabanza,
Que pueda sobre el cielo levantalle.
Y^aun mas su famoso ingenio alcanza,
Pues en las verdes hojas de sus dias
Nos da de santos frutos esperanza.
Journey to Parnassus. 125
Why this ado then ? Is't a treasonous thing
To call a pontiff poet, and repeat
The name aloud ? By heaven, 'tis maddening !
Now, by Lanfusa's life, the fair discreet,
If I be told not who these gentry are,
With rochet and biretta robed complete,
In boisterous fashion will I levy war,
And bring confusion on this brotherhood,
Who seem too quiet and composed by far ! "
"By God," cried Mercury, " and all that's good!
I may not tell thee, but an' if I do,
I'll lay the blame upon thy hardihood ! "
" My lord, I bind me now and henceforth too
To tell to none what thou shalt tell to me,
Ton honour," quoth I, " of good friend and true!"
He answered : "They may think our jesting free,
Come closer, I will whisper in thine ear ;
Faith, there be more of them than thou didst see.
He, whom thou saw'st with stiff neck and austere,
Lusty, resplendent, stately to the view,
In worth arrayed and modesty severe,
Is DOCTOR DON FRANCISCO SANCHEZ, who
Will soar in praises far above the skies,
If now Apollo gives him but his due ;
And higher yet his famous wit shall rise,
Since in the green leaves of his tender prime
The pregnant hope of holy fruitage lies.
1 26 Viaje del Parnaso.
Aquel que en elevadas fantasias,
Y en extasis sabrosos se regala,
Y tanto imita las acciones mias,
Es el MAESTRO ORENSE, que la gala
Se lleva de la mas rara elocuencia
Que en las aulas de Atcnas se senala.
Su natural ingenio con la ciencia
Y ciencias aprendidas le levanta
Al grado que le nombra la excelencia.
Aquel de amarillez marchita y santa,
Que le encubre de lauro aquella rama,
Y aquella hojosa y acopada planta,
FRAY JUAN BAPTISTA CAPATAZ se llama,
Descalzo y pobre, pero bien vestido
Con el adorno que le da la fama.
Aquel que del rigor fiero de olvido
Libra su nombre con eterno gozo,
Y es de Apolo y las musas bien querido,
Anciano en el ingenio, y nunca mozo,
Humanista divino, es segun pienso,
El insigne DOTOR ANDRES DEL POZO.
Un licenciado de un ingenio immense
Es aquel, y aunque en traje mercenario,
Como a senor le dan las musas censo :
RAMON se llama, auxilio necesario
Con que Delio se esfuerza y ve rendidas
Las obstinadas fuerzas del contrario.
Journey to Parnassus. 127
His neighbour, who on fantasies sublime
And savoury ecstasies doth feast withal,
And with my actions makes his own to chime,
El MAESTRO ORENSE is, with claim not small
To plume himself on higher eloquence
Than ever sounded in Athenian hall ;
His native wit, joined to the sober sense
Which science lends, exalts him to the grade
Which stamps him with the name of Excellence.
Whose face with saintly pallor is o'erlaid,
Of whom that laurel branch conceals the sight,
To whom that leafy cup-like plant gives shade,
FRAY JUAN BAPTISTA CAPATAZ is hight;
Barefooted, poor, but well arrayed withal,
For fame enrobes him with her vesture bright.
He, who from dark oblivion's tyrant thrall
Kath snatched his name, and endless rapture found,
Loved by Apollo and the Muses all,
In wit an ancient, in his youth profound,
A humanist divine, is, let me say,
DOCTOR ANDRES DE POZO the renowned.
The next, a graduate with mighty play
Of wit, although in Mercy's garb he go,
To him as lord the Muses tribute pay ;
By name RAM6N; whose strength will deal a blow,
Whereby Apollo shall to every wind
Scatter the stolid forces of the foe.
128 Viaje del Parnaso.
El otro, cuyas sienes ves cenidas
Con los brazos de Dafne en triunfo honroso,
Sus glorias tiene en Alcala esculpidas.
En su ilustre teatro vitorioso
Le nombra el cisne en canto no funesto,
Siempre el primero como a mas famoso.
A los donaires suyos echo el resto
Con propiedades al gorron debidas,
For haberlos compuesto 6 descompuesto.
Aquestas seis personas referidas,
Como estan en divinos puestos puestas,
Y en sacra religion constituidas,
Tienen las alabanzas por molestas,
Que les dan por poetas, y holgarian
Llevar la loa sin el nombre a cuestas.
Por que, le pregunte, senor, porfian
Los tales a escribir y dar noticia
De los versos que paren y que crian ?
Tambien tiene el ingenio su codicia,
Y nunca la alabanza se desprecia ;
Que al bueno se le debe de justicia.
Aquel que de poeta no se precia,
Para que escribe versos, y los dice ?
I Por que desdena lo que mas aprecia ?
Jamas me contente, ni satisfice
De hipocritas melindrcs. Llanamente
Quise alabanzas de lo que bien hice.
Journey to Parnassus. 129
Of him, whose temples thou dost see entwined
With Daphne's arms, and triumph in his face,
The glories are in Alcala enshrined ;
Within the theatre of that famed place,
The Swan, with song auspicious, doth proclaim
And hail him first and foremost in the race;
Upon his piquant jests he staked his fame,
With sallies that the college youth befit,
Whose wit composed or decomposed the same.
These six, whose characters we now have hit,
Who proudly are installed in posts divine,
And on the high chairs of religion sit,
Esteem as irksome all the praises fine
That would proclaim them poets, yet delight
To have the honour and the name decline."
" Why then, my lord," I cried, " do such men write,
And notify the verses to mankind
It suits them to conceive and bring to light ?
For genius too is greedily inclined,
And will not brook that any praise be lost
Which justly falls to merit of high kind;
Who of the name of poet will not boast,
Why doth he scribble and the matter tell,
Why doth he scorn the thing he covets most ?
I never sat content beneath the spell
Of prim mock-modesty ; without pretence
I courted praise for that which I did well ! "
i jo Viaje del Parnaso.
Con todo quiere Apolo, que esta gente
Religiosa se tenga aqui secreta,
Dijo el dios que presume de elocuente.
Oyose en esto el son de una corneta,
Y un trapa, trapa, aparta, afuera, afucra,
Que viene un gallardisimo poeta.
Volvi la vista y vi por la ladera
Del monte un postilion y un caballero
Correr, como se dice, a la lijera.
Servia el postilion de pregonero,
Mucho mas que de guia, a cuyas voces
En pie se puso el escuadron entero.
Preguntome Mercurio : No conoces
Quien es este gallardo, este brioso ?
Imagine que ya le reconoces.
Bien, yo le respond! ; que es el famoso
Gran DON SANCHO DE LEIVA, cuya espada
Y pluma haran a Delio venturoso.
Vencerase sin duda esta Jornada
Con tal socorro ; y en el mismo instante,
Cosa que parecia imaginada,
Otro favor no menos importante
Para el caso temido se nos muestra ;
De ingenio y fuerzas, y valor bastante.
Una tropa gentil por la siniestra
Parte del monte descubriosc : j oh cielos,
Que dais de vuestra providencia muestra \
Journey to Parnassus. 131
" It is Apollo's wish, take no offence,
That these religious folk keep secret here ! "
Quoth he, the god who vaunts his eloquence.
On this a cornet's sound struck on mine ear, [way !
With tramp, tramp! stand aside! ho, clear the
For lo ! a stalwart poet draweth near !
I turned mine eyes, and up the mountain way
They fell on a postilion and a knight
Posting at tip-top speed, as people say ;
He served as herald, that postilion wight,
More than as guide, and at his shouts and cries
The assembled squadron rose and stood upright;
Mercurius asked me : " Dost thou recognize
This gallant one, so lordly in his state,
I fancy he's familiar to thine eyes?
" I know him well, he is the famed and great
DON SANCHO DE LEIVA, he whose blade
And pen shall make Apollo fortunate ;
Beyond a doubt with such distinguished aid
He'll win the day!" And presently in sight
There came unlocked for, and with grand parade,
A band of allies as important quite,
To try conclusions with the dreaded foe,
Equipped with genius, solid worth, and might.
A gallant troop it was, and from below
It up the left side of the hill did prance ;
Ye heavens ! what proofs of providence ye show !
132 Viaje del Parnaso.
Aquel discrete JUAN DE VASCONCELOS
Venia delante en un caballo bayo,
Dando a las musas lusitanas celos.
Tras el el CAPITAN PEDRO TAMAYO
Venia, y aunque enfermo de la gota,
Fue al enemigo asombro, fue desmayo.
Que por el se vio en fuga, y puesto en rota ;
Que en los dudosos trances de la guerra
Su ingenio admira y su valor se nota.
Tambien llegaron a la rica tierra,
Puestos debajo de una blanca sena,
Por la parte derecha de la sierra,
Otros, de quien tomo luego resefia
Apolo ; y era dellos el primero
El joven DON FERNANDO DE LODENA,
Poeta primerizo, insigne, empero
En cuyo ingenio Apolo deposita
Sus glorias para el tiempo venidero.
Con majestad real, con inaudita
Pompa llego, y al pie del monte para
Quien los bienes del monte solicita :
El LlCENCIADO fue JUAN DE VERGARA
El que llego, con quien la turba ilustre
En sus vecinos medios se repara.
De Esculapio y de Apolo gloria y lustre,
Si no, digalo el santo bien partido,
Y su fama la misma envidia ilustre.
Journey to Parnassus. 1 33
On a bay charger, riding in advance,
CameJUAN DE VASCONCELOS, shrewd and gay,
On whom the Lusian Muses look askance ;
Behind him rode TAMAYO on the way,
That Captain bold who, crippled with the gout,
Yet struck the foe with terror and dismay;
At sight of him fled all the rabble rout,
For in a doubtful strife, and hand to hand,
Flame forth his genius and his valour stout.
Then by the right side of the mountain grand,
Beneath the shadow of a banner white,
Came others marching to the wealthy land,
Whose ranks Apollo mustered with delight ;
And first and foremost came upon the stage
That youth, FERNANDO DE LODENA hight,
A budding poet, and withal a sage,
Within whose wit Apollo graciously
Doth hoard his glories for the coming age.
With rarest pomp, and regal majesty,
A new arrival pranced up in state
To claim the mountain's hospitality ;
JUAN DE VERGARA he, Licentiate,
Whom all the squadron welcomed with delight,
Of all their dearest rights a champion great ;
Apollo's glory, Esculapius' light,
In him a man of double fame we hail,
And Envy's self proclaims his honour bright.
134 Viaje del Parnaso.
Con cl fue con aplauso recebido
El docto JUAN ANTONIO DE HERRERA,
Que puso en fil el desigual partido.
j Oh, quien con lengua en nada lisonjera,
Sino con puro afecto en grande exceso,
Dos que llegaron alabar pudiera !
Pero no es de mis hombros este peso.
Fucron los que llegaron los famosos,
Los dos maestros CALVO Y VALDIVIESO.
Luego se descubrio por los undosos
Llanos del mar una pequena barca
Impelida de remos presurosos :
Llego, y al punto della desembarca
En compania de DON DlEGO ABARCA,
Sugetos dinos de incesable loa ;
Y DON DIEGO JIMENEZ Y DE ENCISO
Dio un salto a tierra desde la aha proa.
En estos tres la gala y el aviso
Cifro cuanto de gusto en si contienen,
Como su ingenio y obras dan aviso.
Con JUAN LOPEZ DEL VALLE otros dos vienen
Juntos alii, y es PAMONES el uno,
Con quien las musas ojeriza ticncn,
Porque pone sus pies por do ninguno
Los puso, y con sus nuevas fantasias
Mucho mas que agradable es importuno.
Journey to Parnassus. 135
Now welcomed we, with shouts that rent the vale,
JUAN DE HERRERA, learned man and strong,
Whose weight alone might turn the unequal scale.
O who, with fitting and unflattering tongue
But with a truthful accent, pure and plain,
Shall praise aright these two who march along ?
But on my shoulders doth not rest this strain,
For these be men renowned for learned stores,
CALVO and VALDIVIESO, masters twain!
Anon we saw, impelled by lusty oars,
A little barque skim o'er the ocean wide,
Which sought a refuge on the sacred shores;
We spied therein, as nearer it did glide,
DON JUAN DE ARGOTE, and a man no less
Than DON DlEGO ABARCA at his side ;
And with them DON DlEGO XlMENES
Y DE ENCISO ; from the lofty prow
He gave one leap the sacred land to press ;
To these great three the praise we must allow
Of matchless taste, combined with wisdom's glance
Their genius and their works proclaim it now.
With JUAN LOPEZ DEL VALLE two advance,
And in their midst may PAMONES be seen,
On whom the Muses look somewhat askance :
For why, he treads where foot hath never been,
And with new fantasies, not void of blame,
He wearies more than he delights, I ween.
136 Viaje del Parnaso.
De lejas tierras por incultas vias
Llego el bravo irlandes DON JUAN BATEO,
Jerjes nuevo en memoria en nuestros dias.
Vuelvo la vista, a MANTUANO veo,
Que tiene al gran Velasco por Mecenas,
Y ha sido acertadisimo su empleo.
Dejaran estos dos en las ajenas
Tierras, como en las propias, dilatados
Sus nombres, que tu, Apolo, asi lo ordenas.
Por entre dos fructiferos collados
(c Habra quien esto crea, aunque lo entienda ?
De palmas y laureles coronados,
El grave aspecto del ABAD MALUENDA
Parecio, dando al monte luz y gloria,
Y esperanzas de triunfo en la contienda.
Pero de que enemigos la vitoria
No alcanzara un ingenio tan florido,
Y una bondad tan digna de memoria ?
DON ANTONIO GENTIL DE VARGAS, pido
Espacio para verte, que llegaste
De gala y arte y de valor vestido :
Y aunque de patria jinoves, mostraste
Ser en las musas castellanas doto,
Tanto que al escuadron todo admiraste.
Desde el indio apartado del remoto
Mundo llego mi amigo MONTESDOCA,
Y el que anudo de Arauco el nudo roto.
Journey to Parnassus. 137
By trackless paths DON JUAN BATED came,
That sturdy Irishman, across the sea,
In this our day a Xerxes new to fame !
I turn me round and MANTUANO see,
Whose patron is VELASCO the renowned,
No worthier Maecenas could there be ;
The names of these two worthies yet shall sound
Throughout their own, and foreign lands to boot,
Phoebus hath willed it, so it shall be found.
Between two hillocks bearing wealth of frqit,
(Can one believe so strange a thing hath been ?)
With palms and laurels crowned from brow to foot,
The Abbot MALUENDA'S form was seen,
Gilding the mount with light and lustre sage,
With hope of triumph in the struggle keen ;
For say, what chance hath any foeman's rage
Against that kindly heart, that genius bright,
So worthy of a place in Memory's page ?
GENTIL DE VARGAS, DON ANTONIO hight,
I crave fit space thy manly form to greet,
With art, and elegance, and worth bedight !
A Genoese by birth, yet at the feet
Of our Castilian Muses wert thou bred,
And so the squadron gives thee honour meet.
From India's furthest confines, travel-sped,
Came MONTESDOCA to the front, my friend,
And he who knit Arauco's broken thread ;
138 Viaje del Parnaso.
Dijo Apolo a los dos : A entrambos toca
Defender esta vuestra rica estancia
De la canalla de vergiienza poca.
La cual de error armada y de arrogancia
Quiere canonizar y dar renombre
Inmortal y divino a la ignorancia ;
Que tanto puede la aficion que un hombre
Tiene a si mismo, que ignorante siendo,
De buen poeta quiere alcanzar nombre.
En esto otro milagro, otro estupendo
Prodigio se descubre en la marina,
Que en pocos versos declarar pretendo.
Una nave a la tierra tan vecina
Llego, que desde el sitio donde estaba,
Se ve cuanto hay en ella y determina.
De mas de cuatro mil salmas pasaba,
Que otros suelen llamarlas toneladas,
Ancha de vientre y de estatura brava :
Asi como las naves que cargadas
Llegan de la oriental India a Lisboa,
Que son por las mayores estimadas;
Esta llego desde la popa a proa
Cubierta de poetas, mercancia
De quien hay saca en Calicut y en Goa.
Tomole al rojo dios alferecia
Por ver la muchedumbre impertinente,
Que en socorro del monte le venia.
Journey to Parnassus. 139
"Ye twain! 1 ' Apollo cried, "must now defend
This wealthy land of yours, from the advance
Of that most shameless crew who hither wend !
For, armed with error and with arrogance,
They fain would canonize and give acclaim,
Immortal and divine, to ignorance ;
For such conceit in human breast doth flame,
That ignorance itself will make men bold
To deck them with the poet's worthy name ! "
On this another prodigy, untold
And monstrous, met our vision on the strand,
Which in few stanzas I will now unfold :
For lo ! a ship sailed up so close to land,
That I could see, from my commanding site,
Its whole contents and wherewith it was manned ;
Four thousand lasts, I ween, it measured quite,
Or tons, the common word used by the mass,
With spacious beam, and spars of towering height;
Like to the ships that with their cargoes pass
From Eastern India to Lisboa's shore,
Which are esteemed the grandest of their class ;
It came, from poop to prow, crammed o'er and o'er
With poets, goodly merchandise they sell
In Calicut's and Goa's ample store ;
The ruddy god into convulsions fell
At sight of such a vile presumptuous crew,
Who came to grace, and save the hill as well ;
140 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y en silencio rogo devotamente
Que el vaso naufragase en un memento
Al que gobierna el humido tridente.
Uno de los del numero hambriento
Se puso en esto al borde de la nave,
Al parecer mohino y mal contento :
Y en voz que ni de tierna ni suave
Tenia un solo adarme, gritando
(Dijo tal vez colerico, y tal grave)
Lo que impaciente estuve yo escuchando,
Porque vi sus razones ser saetas,
Que iban mi alma y corazon clavando.
O tu, dijo, traidor, que los poetas
Canonizaste de la larga lista,
For causas y por vias indiretas :
Donde tenias, Magances, la vista
Aguda de tu ingenio, que asi ciego
Fuiste tan mentiroso coronista ?
Yo te confieso, 6 barbaro, y no niego
Que algunos de los muchos que escogiste
Sin que el respeto te forzase 6 el ruego,
En el debido punto los pusiste ;
Pero con los demas sin duda alguna
Prodigo de alabanzas anduviste.
Has alzado a los cielos la fortuna,
De muchos que en el centre del olvido
Sin ver la luz del sol ni de la luna,
Journey to Parnassus. 141
And silently he prayed a prayer or two
That he, who holds the trident in his hand,
Would sink the ship and in an instant too.
One of the number of that hungry band,
Who seemed a moping and a peevish knave,
Upon the vessel's bulwarks took his stand,
And with a croaking voice, that never gave
One note or soft or sweet, his words did roll
Right out, now choleric, now grave :
Whereat my temper I could scarce control,
For, like to barbs, his words were all devised
To go right whizzing through my heart and soul :
"Thou traitor," cried he, "who hast canonized
The poets on thy list of wondrous size,
By crooked methods and most ill-advised !
Maganccs, where didst thou keep the eyes
Of thy sharp wit, that, being stricken blind,
Thou mad'st thyself the chronicler of lies?
1 give thee credit, man of barbarous mind,
That, of the many thou hast gathered here,
Without request or force of any kind,
Thou hast put some within their proper sphere ;
But with the rest thou hast been out of sight
Too prodigal of praises, it is clear !
For many hast thou raised to Fortune's height,
Who still in dark Oblivion's den should be,
Without or Sun or Moon to give them light ;
142 Viaje del Parnaso.
Yacian : ni llamado, ni escogido
Fue el gran pastor de Iberia, el gran BERNARDO
Que DE LA VEGA tiene el apellido.
Fuiste envidioso, descuidado y tardo,
Y a las ninfas de Henares y pastores
Como a enemigo les tiraste un dardo.
Y tienes tu poetas tan peores
Que estos en tu rebano, que imagino
Que han de sudar si quieren ser mejores.
Que si este agravio no me turba el tino,
Siete trovistas desde aqui diviso,
A quien suelen llamar de torbellino,
Con quien la gala, discrecion y aviso
Tienen poco que ver, y tu los pones
Dos leguas mas alia del paraiso.
Estas quimeras, estas invenciones
Tuyas, te han de salir al rostro un dia,
Si mas no te mesuras y compones.
Esta amenaza y gran descortesia
Mi blando corazon lleno de miedo
Y dio al traves con la paciencia mia.
Y volviendome a Apolo con denuedo
Mayor del que esperaba de mis anos,
Con voz turbada y con semblante acedo,
Le dije : Con bien claros desengafios
Descubro, que el servirte me granjea
Presentes miedos de futures danos.
Journey to Parnassus. 143
Iberia's shepherd, grand BERNARDO he,
Had in thy mission neither lot nor part,
Who bears LA VEGA'S surname and degree ;
Thou hadst an envious, careless, sluggish heart,
And at Henares' nymphs and shepherds fine,
As if they were thy foes, didst hurl thy dart ;
And yet, within that great sheepfold of thine,
Worse poets hast thou, who must sweat and strain,
If they would better be, as I opine !
If such an outrage hath not turned my brain,
Seven rhymesters there I see before mine eyes
Of the Spasmodic order, it is plain ;
In whom the witty, elegant, and wise
Are at their lowest, yet thou giv'st them place
Two leagues within the bounds of Paradise ;
These quirks of thine, these whimsies void of grace,
If so thou act not more composedly,
Will rise one day and shame thee to thy face!"
This threat, and eke this great discourtesy,
Did in my tender heart much dread inspire,
And made the remnants of my patience flee ;
And turning to Apollo, with more ire
Than might be thought befitting my grave years,
With quivering voice, and eke a spark of fire,
I said : "By such plain proofs it now appears,
That serving thee makes worse my sorry plight,
My future loss I read in present fears ;
144 Viaje del Parnaso.
Haz, 6 senor, que en publico se lea
La Hsta que Cilenio llevo a Espana,
Porque mi culpa poca aqui se vea.
Si tu deidad en escoger se engana,
Y yo solo aprobe lo que el me dijo,
For que este simple contra mi se ensana ?
Con justa causa y con razon me affijo,
De ver como estos barbaros se inclinan
A tenerme en temor duro y prolijo.
Unos, porque los puse, me abominan,
Otros, porque he dejado de ponellos,
De darme pesadumbre determinan.
Yo no se como me avendre con ellos :
Los puestos se lamentan, los no puestos
Gritan, yo tiemblo destos y de aquellos.
Tu, senor, que eres dios, dales los puestos
Que piden sus ingenios : llama y nombra
Los que fueren mas habiles y prestos.
Y porque el turbio miedo que me asombra,
No me acabe, acabada esta contienda,
Cubreme con tu manto y con tu sombra.
O ponme una senal por do se entienda
Que soy hechura tuya y de tu casa :
Y asi no habra ninguno que me ofenda.
Vuelve la vista y mira lo que pasa,
Fue de Apolo enojado la respuesta,
Que ardiendo en ira el corazon le abrasa.
Journey to Parnassus. 145
Let them, my lord, in public now recite
The list Mercurius brought with him to Spain,
Then shall my slender blame be brought to light ;
If that your godship made wrong choice and vain,
And I but echoed what Mercurius said,
Why rails this fool at me with words insane ?
With cause and reason do I vex my head,
To see how men like these, with barbarous din,
Conspire to keep me in perpetual dread :
Some scowl on me because I put them in,
Others resolve, because I left them out,
To make me feel the burden of my sin ;
How to make peace with all I am in doubt,
The chosen groan, the left-out cry apace,
By both together am I put to rout.
Thou who art god, my lord, give each the place
That fits his worth ; name, summon to thine aid
The ablest and the readiest in the race ;
And lest this turmoil, which keeps me afraid,
Should kill me quite, I would be let alone,
Cast over me thy mantle and thy shade :
Grant me a sign, whereby it may be known
That I'm thine offspring, of thy house and name,
And henceforth none at me will cast a stone ! "
" Turn thee to see a sight, and mark the same !"
Apollo cried, with accents nowise sweet,
While burning fury wrapped his heart in flame.
146 Viaje del Parnaso.
Volvila, y vi la mas alegre fiesta,
Y la mas desdichada y compasiva,
Que el mundo vio, ni aim la vera cual esta.
Mas no se espere que yo aqui la escriba,
Sino en la parte quinta, en quien espero
Cantar con voz tan entonada y viva,
Que piensen que soy cisne, y que me muero.
Journey to Parnassus. 147
I turned me, and beheld the sweetest treat,
The most distressful too, most worth a tear,
The world e'er met with, or again shall meet ;
But do not think that I will tell it here,
But in the fifth part ; where I hope and plan
To sing with such a living voice and clear,
That men will take me for a dying swan !
Oyo el senor del humido tridente
Las plegarias de Apolo, y escucholas
Con alma tierna y corazon clemente.
Hizo de ojo, y dio del pie a las olas,
Y sin que lo entendiesen los poetas
En un punto hasta el cielo levantolas.
Y el por ocultas vias y secretas
Se agazapo debajo del navio,
Y uso con el de sus traidoras tretas.
Hirio con el tridente en lo vacio
Del buco, y el estomago le llena
De un copioso corriente amargo rio.
Advertido el peligro, al aire suena
Una confusa voz, la cual resulta
De otras mil que el temor forma y la pena.
Poco a poco el bajel pobre se oculta
En las entranas del ceruleo y cano
Vientrc, que tantas animas sepulta.
The lord, that wields the humid trident, heard
Apollo's prayers, and listened to his cries,
With tender bosom and a kind regard.
He slyly winked, and made the waves to rise
By dint of foot, and ere the poets knew,
They reared their curling crests to kiss the skies ;
And then, by secret paths and out of view,
He burrowed 'neath the ship, where, uncontrolled,
He better might his wicked plans pursue.
He struck his trident right into its hold,
And, through the wound, into its vacant womb
A rushing, roaring, briny current rolled.
A panic rose : and through the air did boom
Of fear and pain a multitudinous cry, [doom.
Which sprung from thousand lips that wailed their
The luckless barque sinks slowly from the eye,
Into the bosom of the hoary main,
Wherein so many souls sepulchred lie ;
150 Viaje del Parnaso.
Suben los llantos por el aire vano
De aquellos miserables, que suspiran
Por ver su irreparable fin cercano.
Trepan y suben por las jarcias, miran
Cual del navio es el lugar mas alto,
Y en el muchos se apinan y retiran.
La confusion, el miedo, el sobresalto
Les turba los sentidos, que imaginan
Que desta a la otra vida es grande el salto.
Con ningun medio ni remedio atinan;
Pero creyendo dilatar su muerte,
Algun tanto a nadar se determinan.
Saltan muchos al mar de aquella suerte ;
Que al charco de la orilla saltan ranas
Cuando el miedo 6 el ruido las advierte.
Hienden las olas del romperse canas,
Menudean las piernas y los brazos,
Aunque enfermos estan, y ellas no sanas.
Y en medio de tan grandes embarazos
La vista ponen en la amada orilla,
Deseosos de darla mil abrazos.
Y se yo bien, que la fatal cuadrilla
Antes que alH, holgara de hallarse
En el Compas famoso de Sevilla.
Que no tienen por gusto el ahogarse,
Discreta gente al parecer en esto;
Pero valioles poco el esforzarse ;
Journey to Parnassus. 151
Up to the heavens rise the meanings vain
Of these poor wretches as they shriek aloud,
To see their end so certain and so plain ;
They clamber up by rigging and by shroud,
They seek the top-most point with desperate strife,
And cling together in a seething crowd ;
The flutter and the fear with horror rife
Confound their senses, as they vent the whim :
" How great the leap from this to t'other life!"
But close and closer comes the peril grim ;
And some, determined further out to spin
Their dying, make a bold resolve to swim ;
Into the sea they jump, to frogs akin,
Which make from bank to pond a jerking bound,
When fear assails them or some horrid din ;
They cleave the waves and cast the foam around,
They ply their legs and arms with effort sore,
Though feeble these, and those in no wise sound ;
And as they toil, on to the wished- for shore
Their straining eyes with eager longing pass,
Fain would they give it thousand hugs and more.
Full well I know that this doomed crew, alas !
Had they the chance, with bounding joy would haste
To tread again Se villa's famed Compas !
For drowning, certes, doth not suit their taste,
In this their great discretion may be seen,
But all in vain their waning strength they waste.
Viaje del Parnaso.
Que el padre de las aguas echo el resto
De su rigor, mostrandose en su carro
Con rostro airado y ademan funesto.
Cuatro delfines, cada cual bizarro,
Con cuerdas hechas de tejidas ovas
Le tiraban con furia y con desgarro.
Las ninfas en sus humidas alcobas
Sienten tu rabia, 6 vengativo nume,
Y de sus rostros la color les robas.
El nadante poeta que presume
Llegar a la ribera defendida,
Sus ayes pierde y su teson consume ;
Que su corta carrera es impedida
De las agudas puntas del tridente,
Entonces fiero y aspero homicida.
Quien ha visto muchacho diligente
Que en goloso a si mesmo sobrepuja,
Que no hay comparacion mas conveniente,
Picar en el sombrero la granuja,
Que el hallazgo le puso alii 6 la sisa,
Con punta alfileresca, 6 ya de aguja ;
Pues no con menor gana, 6 menor prisa
Poetas ensartaba el nume airado
Con gusto infame, y con dudosa risa.
En carro de cristal venia sentado,
La barba luenga y llena de marisco,
Con dos gruesas lampreas coronado.
Journey to Parnassus. 153
For now the briny Sire his rigour keen
Will show, and in his car, in state arrayed,
He shows his fiery face, and threatening mien ;
Four Dolphins, each the lustiest of their grade,
With cords of sea-weed spun with cunning art,
Drag it along with fierce fanfarronade ;
The nymphs within their humid alcoves start,
O vengeful Sea-god, when they feel thine ire,
Pale grow their ruddy cheeks beneath thy smart !
The swimming poet, who with keen desire
Would plant his foot on the forbidden shore,
Pants all in vain, and spends his flickering fire ;
For on the trident's points, full sharp and sore
A homicidal weapon then, I ween
He ends his short career, and swims no more.
Hast ever watched an urchin, brisk and keen,
Himself o'ertopping in his greedy glow
More apt comparison hath never been
Spike in his cap the grape-pips all a-row,
Which honest find or filching placed therein,
With point of needle, or hair-pin, or so ?
With no less pleasure, no less lusty din,
Did Neptune spit the poets in his hate,
With shameless gusto, and a dubious grin.
Upon a crystal car he sat in state,
With flowing beard, all crisp with shells marine,
While two fat lampreys crowned his ample pate :
154 Viaje del Parnaso.
Hacian de sus barbas firme aprisco
La almeja, el morsillon, pulpo y cangrejo,
Cual le suelen hacer en pena 6 risco.
Era de aspecto venerable y viejo ;
De verde, azul y plata era el vestido,
Robusto al parecer y de buen rejo ;
Aunque como enojado, denegrido
Se mostraba en el rostro ; que la sana
Asi turba el color como el sentido.
Airado contra aquellos mas se ensana
Que nadan mas, y saleles al paso,
Juzgando a gloria tan cobarde hazana.
En esto, j oh nuevo y milagroso caso,
Dino de que se cuente poco a poco,
Y con los versos de Torcato Taso!
Hasta aqui no he invocado, ahora invoco
Vuestro favor, 6 musas, necessario
Para los altos puntos en que toco.
Descerrajad vuestro mas rico almario,
Y el aliento me dad que el caso pide,
No humilde, no ratero ni ordinario.
Las nubes hiende, el aire pisa y mide
La hermosa Venus Acidalia, y baja
Del cielo, que ninguno se lo impide.
Traia vestida de pardilla raja
Una gran saya entera, hecha al uso,
Quele dice muy bien, cuadra y encaja.
Journey to Parnassus. 155
Amongst his locks there nestled all serene
The muscle, limpet, crab and polypus,
Just as on reef or rock they may be seen ;
He was of old aspect and ponderous,
With robes of green, and blue, and silvery white,
And seemed robust withal, and vigorous ;
Being irate, his visage to the sight
Appeared a swarthy black, for rage indeed,
That fires the reason, turns the colour quite.
Against the stoutest swimmers doth he speed,
And, as he passes, ploughs them down in ire,
And counts as glory such a coward deed.
Now doth a new and wondrous thing transpire,
Most worthy to be sung with great parade,
And to the music of Torquato's lyre !
Till now have I no invocation made,
But here, O Muses, I invoke your grace,
The lofty theme I touch demands your aid ;
Unlock and ope your richest treasure-case,
Clothe me with strength for this event so rare,
Not mean, nor vulgar, nay, nor common-place.
The clouds are rent, and, poising in the air,
From heaven descends, unhindered on the way,
The Venus Acidalia, wondrous fair !
She comes arrayed in dress of sack-cloth grey,
A goodly gown that wrapped her o'er and o'er,
And fair and square, as people quaintly say ;
156 Viaje del Parnaso.
Luto que por su Adonis se le puso,
Luego que el gran colmillo del berraco
A atravesar sus ingles se dispuso.
A fe que si el mocito fuera Maco,
Que el guardara la cara al colmilludo,
Que dio a su vida y su belleza saco.
O valiente garzon, mas que sesudo,
,:C6mo estando avisado, tu mal tomas,
Entrando en trance tan horrendo y crudo?
En esto las mansisimas palomas
Que el carro de la diosa conducian
Por el llano del mar, y por las lomas,
Por unas y otras partes discurrian,
Hasta que con Neptuno se encontraron,
Que era lo que buscaban y querian.
Los dioses que se ven, se respetaron,
Y haciendo sus zalemas a lo moro,
De verse juntos en extreme holgaron.
Guardaronse real grave decoro,
Y procure Ciprinia en aquel punto
Mostrar de su belleza el gran tesoro.
Ensancho el verdugado, y diole el punto
Con ciertos puntapies que fueron coces
Para el dios que las vio y quedo difunto.
Un poeta llamado DON QyiNCOCES
Andaba semivivo en las saladas
Ondas, dando gemidos y no voces.
Journey to Parnassus. 157
Mourning which she for her Adonis wore,
What time his groin received the slanting blow
From the huge tusk of that most savage boar :
Had but the stripling bearded been, I know,
That tusky one had thrust at him in vain,
Nor ta'en his life, nor laid his beauty low !
O youth, of greater hardihood than brain,
Why, shunning counsel, didst thy fate pursue,
Courting a risk so monstrous and insane ?
Now came the softest doves that ever flew,
Guiding the chariot of that goddess blest,
By plain and steep across the ocean blue ;
They hurried hither, thither, without rest,
Until they met with Neptune on the main,
The wished-for object of their eager quest.
The immortals, as they met, to greet were fain,
And making their salaams in Moorish way,
Expressed their joy at meeting once again ;
With royal gravity their part they play,
And at this point the Cyprian had a mind
The cream of all her beauty to display ;
She spread her ample skirts before, behind,
And with her twinkling toes gave kicks outright
At the rapt god, who saw them and grew blind.
A certain poet, DON QlJINCOCES hight,
Was swimming half-alive amid the brine,
Sputtering out groans, not words, with all his might;
158 Piaje del Parnaso.
Con todo dijo en mal articuladas
Palabras : O senora, la de Pafo,
Y de las otras dos islas nombradas,
Muevate a compasion el verme gafo
De pies y manos, y que ya me ahogo,
En otras linfas que las del Garrafo.
Aqui sera mi pira, aqui mi rogo,
Aqui sera QyiNCOCES sepultado,
Que tuvo en su crianza pedagogo.
Esto dijo el mezquino, esto escuchado
Fue de la diosa con ternura tanta,
Que volvio a componer el verdugado.
Y luego en pie y piadosa se levanta,
Y poniendo los ojos en el viejo,
Desembudo la voz de la garganta.
Y con cierto desden y sobrecejo,
Entre enojada y grave y dulce, dijo
Lo que al humido dios tuvo perplejo.
Y aunque no fue su razonar prolijo,
Todavia le trujo a la memoria
Hermano de quien era y de quien hijo.
Representole cuan pequena gloria
Era llevar de aquellos miserables
El triunfo infausto y la cruel vitoria.
El dijo : Si los hados imnudables
No hubieran dado la fatal sentencia
Destos en su ignorancia siempre estables,
Journey to Parnassus. 159
At length he said with stuttering speech and whine:
"O lady, thou of Paphos, and of two
More islands still, becrowned with fame divine !
My cramped condition now with pity view
In hand and foot, for see I sink forlorn
And drown in floods the Karaaf never knew ;
Here shall my pyre be lit ; here, to my scorn,
QUINCOCES shall lie buried in the main,
Who had a pedagogue when he was born ! "
So said the hapless one ; and not in vain
The goddess listened to his tale complete,
As she arranged her much disordered train ;
And presently she started to her feet,
And, glancing at the victim of the rod,
She cleared her throat to make her voice more sweet;
And with a certain supercilious nod,
Irate, and grave, and gracious all in one,
She said what much perplexed the humid god :
And though her arguments were not long-spun,
She yet contrived to bring before his mind
What god he was, whose brother and whose son !
"What glory," quoth she, "dost thou hope to find
In cruel triumphs, of so little weight,
Over these wretches, feeblest of their kind ! "
"Had not the Fates," he said, "with changeless hate
Pronounced a fatal sentence on this band,
Whose ignorance is fixed and obstinate,
1 60 Viaje del Parnaso.
Una brizna no mas de tu presencia
Que viera yo, bellisima senora,
Fuera de mi rigor la resistencia.
Mas ya no puede ser, que ya la hora
Llego donde mi blanda y mansa mano
Ha de mostrar que es dura y vencedora.
Que estos de proceder siempre inhumane,
En sus versos ban dicho cien mil veces :
Azotando las aguas del mar cano.
Ni azotado, ni viejo me pareces,
Replico Venus, y el le dijo a ella :
Puesto que me enamoras, no enterneces ;
Que de tal modo la fatal estrella
Influye destos tristes, que no puedo
Dar felice despacho a tu querella.
Del querer de los hados solo un dedo
No me puedo apartar, ya tu lo sabes,
Ellos ban de acabar, y ha de ser cedo.
Primero acabaras que los acabes,
Le respondio madama, la que tiene
De tantas voluntades puerta y Haves ;
Que aunque el hado feroz su muerte ordene,
El modo no ha de ser a tu contento,
Que muchas muertes el morir contiene,
Turbose en esto el liquido elemento,
De nuevo renovose la tormenta,
Soplo mas vivo y mas apriesa el viento.
Journey to Parnassus. 161
A single thread held by thy gentle hand,
Linking me, fairest lady, unto thee,
Might curb my ruthlessness and make it bland !
But now it cannot ; for the hour I see,
When this soft hand of mine must show again
How masterful and cruel it can be !
For hundred thousand times, in savage strain,
Have these bold rhymesters sang most spitefully :
Lashing the waters of the hoary main !
" Nor lashed, nor hoary, dost thou seem to me ! "
Responded Venus, and to her he said :
" Though deep in love, yet bland I must not be ;
For with such menace doth the star of dread
Hang o'er these wretches, that I cannot do
Thy bidding now, nor please thee on this head ;
What the Fates will thou know'st I must pursue,
Nor swerve one jot, so, please thee or displease,
They must succumb and that right quickly too ! "
"Thou shalt succumb thyself, ere thou make these !"
Rejoined milady with no small disdain,
Who of so many hearts holds gate and keys,
" For though ferocious Fate their death ordain,
The manner of it doth not rest with you,
For Death itself doth many deaths contain ! "
On this the sullen waters restless grew,
Afresh the tempest gathered in the sky,
And wild and wilder still the strong winds blew ;
1 62 Viaje del Parnaso.
La hambrienta mesnada, y no sedienta,
Se rinde al huracan recien venido,
Y por mas no penar muere contenta.
; Oh raro caso y por jamas oido,
Ni visto ! Oh nuevas y admirables trazas
De la gran reina obedecida en Gnido !
En un instante el mar, de calabazas
Se vio cuajado, algunas tan potentes,
Que pasaban de dos y aun de tres brazas.
Tambien hinchados odres y valientes,
Sin deshacer del mar la blanca espuma,
Nadaban de mil talks diferentes.
Esta trasmutacion fue hecha en suma
Por Venus de los languidos poetas,
Porque Neptuno hundirlos no presuma.
El cual le pidio a Febo sus saetas,
Cuya arma arrojadiza desde aparte
A Venus defraudara de sus tretas.
Negoselas Apolo ; y veis do parte
Enojado el vejon con su tridente,
Pensandolos pasar de parte a parte ;
Mas este se resbala, aquel no siente
La herida, y dando esguince se desliza,
Y el queda de la colera impaciente.
En esto Boreas su furor atiza,
Y lleva antecogida la manada,
Que con la de los cerdos simboliza.
Journey to Parnassus. 163
The hungry crew, not thirsty then, trow I,
Cowered as the hurricane came o'er the scene,
And to be rid of pain were glad to die.
O rare event, till now nor heard nor seen !
O new invention, dreamed not of before,
The work of her whom Gnidus hails as queen !
For in a trice the sea seemed curdled o'er
With pumpkins, some as stout as stout could be,
That had a girth of twenty feet or more ;
And bladders too went floating jauntily
About, of every fancied form and size,
Breasting the white foam of the curling sea ;
These were the poor weak poets in disguise,
Transmuted then by Venus, in such phase
That Neptune might not drown them by surprise.
In wrath to Phoebus for his shafts he prays,
That he, with cunning shots and stealthy too,
Might frustrate Venus and her tricksome ways.
Phoebus declines ; and now the old one view,
How with his trident, sailing round and round,
He tries to prick and pierce them through and
But this recoiled, and that felt not the wound, [through;
But with a sidling motion sought the shore ;
Gods ! how the wrathful ancient fumed and frowned !
Now woke up Boreas with a furious roar,
And drove before his blast that rabble rough,
That seemed like squeaking brood of bristly boar.
1 64 Viaje del Parnaso.
Pidioselo la diosa aficionada
A que vivan poetas zarabandos,
De aquellos de la seta almidonada :
De aquellos blancos, tiernos, dukes, blandos,
De los que por mementos se dividen
En varias setas y en contraries bandos.
Los contrapuestos vientos se comiden
A complacer la bella rogadora,
Y con un solo aliento la mar miden :
Llevando la piara grunidora,
En calabazas y odres convertida,
A los reinos contrarios del aurora.
Desta duke semilla referida,
Espana, verdad cierta, tanto abunda,
Que es por ella estimada y conocida.
Que aunque en armas y en letras es fecunda
Mas que cuantas provincias tiene el suelo,
Su gusto en parte en tal semilla funda.
Despues desta mudanza que hizo el cielo,
O Venus, 6 quien fuese, que no importa
Guardar puntualidad como yo suelo,
No veo calabaza, 6 luenga 6 corta,
Que no imagine que es algun poeta
Que alii se estrecha, encubre, encoge, acorta.
Pues que cuando veo un cuero (j oh mal discreta
Y vana fantasia, asi enganada,
Que a tanta liviandad estas sujcta !)
Journey to Parnassus. 165
The art-devoted goddess cried : Enough !
Begged he would spare the poets zaraband,
The jaunty ones, those of the starch and ruff,
The gay, the tender, honied and the bland,
Those who, because they cannot well agree,
Split up at times, and combat band with band !
The winds of every quarter join with glee
To grant the lovely plaintiff her request,
And with a single breath calm down the sea ;
Which bears the grunting herd upon its breast,
In shape of pumpkins and of bladders light,
On to the distant kingdoms of the west.
Of this sweet seed, whose fortunes I recite,
Spain, of a truth, hath such an ample store
That she thereby is known and gives delight ;
For though in arms and letters fertile more
Than any other province of the earth,
To this in part she owes her tuneful lore.
Since that great transformation which had birth
In Heaven, or Venus, or some source akin
A nice exactness here has little worth
I never see a pumpkin, stout or thin,
But I imagine some poetic wight
Lies curled up, cabined, cribbed, confined within ;
Then when I see a bladder, to what height,
O fancy, dost thou soar, how dost thou flout,
Becoming, sooth to say, a wanton light !
1 66 Viaje del Parnaso.
Pfenso que el piezgo de la boca atada
Es la faz del poeta, transformado
En aquella figura mal hinchada,
Y cuando encuentro algun poeta honrado,
Digo, poeta firme y valedero,
Hombre vestido bien y bien calzado,
Luego se me figura ver un cuero,
O alguna calabaza, y desta suerte
Entre contrarios pensamientos muero;
Y no se si lo yerre, 6 si lo acierte,
En que a las calabazas y a los cueros,
Y a los poetas trate de una suerte.
Cernicalos que son lagartijeros
No esperen de gozar las preeminencias
Que gozan gavilanes no pecheros.
Piiestas en paz ya las diferencias
De Delio, y los poetas transformados
En tan vanas y huecas apariencias,
Los mares y los vientos sosegados,
Sumergiose Neptuno mal contento
En sus palacios de cristal labrados.
Las mansisimas aves por el viento
Volaron, y a la bella Cipriana
Pusieron en su reino a salvamento.
Y en senal que del triunfo quedo ufana,
Lo que hasta alii nadie acabo con ella,
Del luto se quito la saboyana,
Journey to Parnassus. 167
For in its mouthlet, puckered all about,
I seem to see loom out some poet's face,
Transformed into that figure ill-blown out !
And when I meet some poet of the place,
A so-called honoured, solid one, say I,
A rhymester trimly clad, and shod with grace,
It seems to me a bladder I espy,
Or else a pumpkin, and I feel inclined
'Mid these conflicting thoughts, to faint and die !
Say am I too acute, or am I blind,
These pumpkins, bladders, poets to array
As natural products of the self-same kind ?
The low-bred kites, that on the lizards prey,
Must not expect to share the lofty prize
With the free falcons, soaring as they may !
Apollo's griefs now settled in this wise,
The weakly poets, saved from watery graves,
Changed into vain and hollow mockeries,
The winds now hushed, and peaceful all the waves,
Neptune plunged down, with discontented mind,
And sought a refuge in his crystal caves.
The soft sweet doves took wing before the wind,
And o'er the silvery sea did Venus glide,
And reached her kingdom, leaving care behind.
And as a proof her triumph gave her pride,
What up till now she had declined to do
She straightway put her mourning gown aside ;
1 68 Viaje del Parnaso.
Quedando en cueros tan briosa y bella,
Que se supo despues que Marte anduvo
Todo aquel dia y otros dos tras ella.
Todo el cual tiempo el escuadron estuvo
Mirando atento la fatal ruina,
Que la canalla transformada tuvo.
Y viendo despejada la marina,
Apolo, del socorro mal venido,
De dar fin al gran caso determina.
Pero en aquel instante un gran ruido
Se oyo, con que la turba se alboroza,
Y pone vista alerta y presto oido.
Y era quien le formaba una carroza
Rica, sobre la cual venia sentado
El grave DON LORENZO DE MENDOZA,
De su felice ingenio acompanado,
De su mucho valor y cortesia,
Joyas inestimables, adornado.
PEDRO JUAN DE REJAULE le seguia
En otro coche, insigne valenciano
Y grande defensor de la poesia.
Sentado viene a su derecha mano
JUAN DE SOLIS, mancebo generoso,
De raro ingenio, en verdes anos cano.
Y JUAN DE CARVAJAL, dotor famoso,
Les hace tercio, y no por ser pesado
Dejan de hacer su curso presuroso.
'Journey to Parnassus. 169
And shone in Nature's garb so bright of hue,
That Mars, as afterwards it came to light,
Pursued her all that day, and other two.
All of which time the squadron stood in sight,
Gazing upon the fatal wreckage there,
Which left that vulgar mob transmuted quite ;
And when Apollo saw the sea was bare
Of these unwelcome allies, far and near,
He made resolve to end the grand affair.
But hark ! a rumbling sound strikes on the ear,
Whereat the crowd is moved like troubled wave,
And keep their ears erect, and vision clear !
It was a splendid chariot that gave
Such clattering noise, wherein there sat in state
LORENZO DE MENDOZA, wise and grave ;
Attended by his happy wit and great,
Adorned with worth and courtesy refined,
Most precious jewels, and of sterling weight.
Within another coach there rode behind
JUAN DE REJAULE, that Valencian brig
A poet he, and bulwark of his kind ;
JUAN DE SOLIS was seated at his right,
A generous youth with rare wit at his call,
And in his tender years a shining light ;
That famous Doctor, JUAN DE CARVAJAL,
Made up the third; though ponderous his weight
They lessened not their eager speed at all ;
1 70 Viaje del Parnaso.
Porque el divino ingenio al levantado
Valor de aquestos tres que el coche encierra,
No hay impedirle monte ni collado.
Pasan volando la empinada sierra,
Las nubes tocan, llegan casi al cielo,
Y alegres pisan la famosa tierra.
Con este mismo honroso y grave celo,
BARTOLOME DE MOLA Y GABRIEL LASO
Llegaron a tocar del monte el suelo.
Honra las altas cimas de Parnaso
DON DlEGO, que de SlLVA tiene el nombre,
Y por ellas alegre tiende el paso.
A cuyo ingenio y sin igual renombre
Toda ciencia se inclina y le obedece,
Y le levanta a ser mas que de hombre.
Dilatanse las sombras, y descrece
El dia, y de la noche el negro manto
Guarnecido de estrellas aparece.
Y el escuadron que habia esperado tanto
En pie, se rinde al sueno perezoso
De hambre y sed, y de mortal quebranto.
Apolo entonces poco luminoso,
Dando hasta los antipodas un brinco,
Siguio su accidental curso forzoso.
Pero primero licencio a los cinco
Poetas titulados a su ruego,
Que lo pidieron con extrano ahinco,
Journey to Parnassus. 171
For neither hillock small nor mountain great
Could check the wit divine or valour spoil
Of those brave three who in the carriage sate ;
They pass the topmost ridge with winged toil,
They cleave the clouds, they almost touch the sky,
And press with joyful feet the famous soil.
With like distinguished zeal, and earnest eye,
BARTOLOME DE MOLA climbs the height,
While GABRIEL LASO with his friend doth vie.
Then DON DlEGO, he DE SlLVA hight,
Upon Parnassus' summit lighteth down,
And pays it honour with supreme delight ;
Before whose wit and unsurpassed renown
Each science bends, and gives him homage fine,
And decks his brow with more than mortal crown.
The shadows lengthen as the hours decline,
And, peeping through the sable cloak of night,
The twinkling stars with heightened lustre shine ;
The squadron, that had been on foot since light,
Sunk on the ground to sleep, as best they knew,
Hungry and thirsty and exhausted quite.
Apollo then, whose light to nothing grew,
To realms Antipodean gave a bound,
To follow there his fated course anew ;
But ere he parted he took leave profound
Of the five titled poets who were there,
And begged dismissal on most urgent ground ;
172 Viaje del Parnaso.
For parcccrks risa, burla y jucgo
Empresas semej antes ; y asi Apolo
Condescendio con sus deseos luego j
Que es el galan de Dafne unico y solo
En usar cortesia sobre cuantos
Descubre el nuestro y el contrario polo.
Del lobrego lugar de los espantos
Saco su hisopo el languido Morfeo,
Con que ha rendido y embocado a tantos.
Y del licor que dicen que es Leteo,
Que mana de la fuente del Olvido,
Los parpados bano a todos arreo.
El mas hambriento se quedo dormido :
Dos cosas repugnantes, hambre y sueno,
Privilegio a poetas concedido.
Yo quede en fin dormido como un leno,
Llena la fantasia de mil cosas,
Que de contallas mi palabra empeno,
For mas que sean en si dificultosas.
Journey to Parnassus. 173
For only smiles, and jests, and laughter rare
Did such emprises kindle in their soul,
And so Apollo stooped to grant their prayer ;
For Daphne's gallant is unique and sole
In all the points of courtesy refined,
And reigns supreme therein from pole to pole.
Forth from the murky cave of horrors blind
Came languid Morpheus, sprinkler in his hand,
Wherewith he drugs the senses of mankind ;
And with the liquor of Lethean land,
Which from the fountain of Oblivion flows,
He bathed the eyelids of the wearied band.
The very hungriest sank to sound repose :
Hunger and sleep, two things repugnant quite,
A privilege the poet only knows.
At length I slept, and like a log, that night,
And of a thousand curious things did dream,
Which here I pledge mine honour to recite,
However strange or difficult they seem.
De una de tres causas los ensuenos
Se causan, 6 los suenos, que este nombre
Les dan los que del bien hablar son duenos.
Primera, de las cosas de que el hombre
Trata mas de ordinario : la segunda
Quiere la medicina que se nombre
Del humor que en nosotros mas abunda :
Toca en revelaciones la tercera,
Que en nuestro bien mas que las dos redunda.
Dormi, y sone, y el sueno la tercera
Causa le dio principio suficiente
A mezclar el ahito y la dentera.
Suena el enfermo, a quien la fiebre ardientc
Abrasa las entranas, que en la boca
Tiene de las que ha visto alguna fuente.
Y el labio al fugitive cristal toca,
Y el dormido consuelo imaginado
Crece el deseo, y no la sed apoca.
From one of causes three do night-mares spring,
Dreams, I should say, for such a name withal
To ears polite may have a finer ring.
The first concerneth matters that recal
Our daily life, our customary vein ;
The second physic wills that we should call
After the fullest humour we contain ;
The third with revelations hath to do,
Which touch our welfare more than t'other twain.
I slept and dreamed ; and from the third cause grew
My dreaming, which had ground enough, I trow,
In indigestion and tooth-rasping too.
The sick man dreameth, he whose fevered brow
Withers with fire, that near his mouth there flows
Some bubbling stream he knows and covets now ;
And while to sip its fleeting stream he goes,
His restless dreamy strivings are in vain,
His thirst he slakes not, and his longing grows.
ij6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Pelea el valentisimo soldado
Dormido, casi al modo que despierto
Se mostro en el combate fiero armado.
Acude el tierno amante a su concierto,
Y en la imaginacion dormido llega
Sin padecer borrasca a duke puerto.
El corazon el avariento entrega
En la mitad del sueno a su tesoro,
Que el alma en todo tiempo no le niega.
Yo, que siempre guarde el comun decoro
En las cosas dormidas y despiertas,
Pues no soy troglodita ni soy moro ;
De par en par del alma abri las puertas,
Y deje entrar al sueno por los ojos
Con premisas de gloria y gusto ciertas.
Goce durmiendo cuatro mil despojos,
Que los conte sin que faltase alguno,
De gustos que acudieron a manojos.
El tiempo, la ocasion, el oportuno
Lugar correspondian al efeto,
Juntos y por si solo cada uno.
Dos horas dormi, y mas a lo discrete,
Sin que imaginaciones ni pavores
El celebro tuviesen inquieto.
La suelta fantasia entre mil ilorcs
Me puso de un pradillo, que exhalaba
De Pancaya y Sabea los olores.
Journey to Parnassus. 177
The slumbering soldier fights his fights again,
And in his dreaming, as in waking, freaks,
He wields his trenchant blade, with might and
The tender lover gains what he bespeaks, [main ;
For as he sleeps he nears the wished-for goal,
And without shipwreck makes the port he seeks ;
The dreaming miser, in his restless roll,
Wraps up his breast within his golden store,
Where for all time he hath consigned his soul.
I, who am ever decent at the core,
Alike in dreaming as in waking states,
Since I am neither Troglodyte nor Moor,
Did of my soul throw open wide the gates,
And through the eye-lids slumber entered in,
With glorious promise, spite of all the fates.
Asleep, four thousand triumphs did I win,
Which I could tell, without in any case
Missing one single joy that lurked therein ;
Time, opportunity, and fitting place,
Each by itself and all of them in one,
Produced effects of corresponding grace.
Two hours I slept, more soberly did none,
No elfish vapours, nor fantastic powers
Did through my quiet brain unbridled run ;
My loosened Fancy strayed mid thousand flowers,
Which decked a meadow fragrant with the scent
Of far Panchaian or Sabaean bowers ;
178 Viaje del Parnaso.
El agradable sitio se llevaba
Tras si la vista, que durmiendo, viva,
Mucho mas que despierta se mostraba.
Palpable vi, mas no se si lo escriba,
Que a las cosas que tienen de imposibles
Siempre mi pluma se ha mostrado esquiva.
Las que tienen vislumbre de posibles,
De dukes, de siiaves y de ciertas
Explican mis borrones apacibles.
Nunca a disparidad abre las puertas
Mi corto ingenio, y hallalas contino
De par en par la consonancia abiertas.
^Como puede agradar un desatino
Si no es que de proposito se hace,
Mostrandole el donaire su camino ?
Que entonces la mentira satisface
Cuando verdad parece, y esta escrita
Con gracia que al discrete y simple aplace.
Digo, volviendo al cuento, que infinita
Gente vi discurrir por aquel llano,
Con algazara placentera y grita :
Con habito decente y cortesano
Algunos, a quien dio la hipocresia
Vestido pobre, pero limpio y sano.
Otros de la color que tiene el dia
Cuando la luz primera se aparece
Entre las trenzas de la aurora fria.
Journey to Parnassus. 179
My straining vision roamed with great content
Athwart that beauteous spot, for dreaming sight
Hath, more than waking, range and wide extent.
What I distinctly saw I fear to write,
For things impossible to mortal ken
My prudish quill hath scruples to indite ;
What hath a gleam of possible to men,
The sweet, the smooth, the certain and the sound,
These are fit topics for my blundering pen.
My narrow wit hath ne'er its gates unbound
To things incongruous, but welcomes these
Which keep within the range of reason's bound.
How can Extravaganza hope to please,
Unless it hath some aim and purpose meet,
Where humour leads the way and sprightly ease ?
For Fiction then is conned with zest complete
When likest truth, and writ with fitting grace
To charm at once the simple and discreet !
Returning to my tale : A countless race
I saw go up and down that meadow green,
With jocund clamour and with lightsome pace ;
Some clad in homely dress, of modish mien,
To which hypocrisy lent cunning show
Of poverty, but neat withal and clean ;
Others in colours which the day doth know,
When on the fresh Aurora's locks of gold
The earliest streak of light begins to glow.
1 80 Viaje del Parnaso.
La variada primavera ofrece
De sus varias colores la abundancia,
Con que a la vista el gusto alegre crece.
La prodigalidad, la exorbitancia
Campean juntas por el verde prado
Con galas que descubren su ignorancia.
En un trono del suelo levantado
(Do el arte a la materia se adelanta,
Puesto que de oro y de marfil labrado)
Una doncella vi, desde la planta
Del pie hasta la cabeza asi adornada,
Que el verla admira, y el oirla encanta.
Estaba en el con majestad sentada,
Giganta al parecer en la estatura,
Pero aunque grande, bien proporcionada.
Parecia mayor su hermosura
Mirada desde lejos, y no tanto
Si de cerca se ve su compustura :
Lleno de admiracion, colmo de espanto,
Fuse en ella los ojos, y vi en ella
Lo que en mis versos desmayados canto.
Yo no sabre afirmar si era doncella,
Aunque he dicho que si, que en estos casos
La vista mas aguda se atropella.
Son por la mayor parte siempre escasos
De razon los juicios maliciosos
En juzgar rotos los enteros vasos.
Journey to Parnassus. 181
The teeming Spring presents a wealth untold
Of varied hues, and with such beauty graced
The mind is charmed with what the eyes behold;
There prodigality and wanton waste,
Holding athwart the plain high revelry,
Make up in splendour what they lack in taste.
Upon a throne exalted very high,
(Where Art ruled matter with a power confest,
Wrought though it was in gold and ivory,)
A maid I saw, in such adornments dressed,
And eke in every part so wondrous bright,
The eye was ravished and the ear was blest.
She sat thereon with majesty bedight,
In stature, as it seemed, a giantess,
Of fine proportions though of towering height ;
With greater lustre shone her loveliness
When seen from far, for as we nearer draw
Its power to fascinate grows strangely less.
Entranced with wonder, and o'erwhelmed with awe,
I fixed my gaze on her, and straight away
What now my trembling tongue would sing I saw :
If maid or no, I am not free to say,
Though I've affirmed it, for in such like case
The keenest sight may haply go astray ;
For almost ever those of spiteful race,
Who brand the vessels cracked that are entire,
Are scant of reason and devoid of grace.
1 8 2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Altaneros sus ojos y amorosos
Se mostraban con cierta mansedumbre,
Que los hacia en todo extreme hermosos.
Ora fuese artiflcio, ora costumbre,
Los rayos de su luz tal vez crecian,
Y tal vez daban encogida lumbre.
Dos ninfas a sus lados asistian,
De tan gentil donaire y apariencia,
Que miradas, las almas suspendian.
De la del alto trono en la presencia
Desplegaban sus labios en razones,
Ricas en suavidad, pobres en ciencia.
Levantaban al cielo sus blasones,
Que estaban por ser pocos 6 ningunos,
Escritos del olvido en los borrones.
Al duke murmurar, al oportuno
Razonar de las dos, la del asiento,
Que en belleza jamas le igualo alguno,
Luego se puso en pie, y en un momento
Me parecio que dio con la cabeza
Mas alia de las nubes, y no miento :
Y no perdio por esto su belleza,
Antes mientras mas grande, se mostraba
Igual su perfeccion a su grandeza :
Los brazos de tal modo dilataba,
Que de do nace adonde muere el dia
Los opuestos extremes alcanzaba.
Journey to Parnassus. 183
Bright as a hawk's, and full of amorous fire,
Her eyes had yet such winning softness too,
As made them beautiful beyond desire ;
Whether to artifice or habit due,
Their radiant flash at times would grow intense,
Then change to lustre of a mellower hue.
Beside her stood two nymphs of eminence,
Of such a lively air and sprightly mien,
As bound all hearts in wonder and suspense ;
To her who on the lofty throne was seen
They oped their lips, and forth their words did press
Rich in their sweetness, yet in wisdom mean ;
Her titles grand they laboured to express,
That stood for little or for naught, I trow,
In the blurred annals of forgetfulness ;
And as the twain did whisper soft and low
Their honied words, she, of the throne on high,
In beauty unsurpassed before or now,
Rose to her feet ; in twinkling of an eye.
It seemed as if her head would soar upright
To pierce the clouds ; in faith I do not lie ;
Yet not one tittle of her charms so bright
She lost thereby, for, without stint or stay,
She rose in beauty as she rose in height.
Her arms were lengthened out in such a way,
As if they would embrace all things that lie
Betwixt the springing and the dying day ;
1 84 Viaje del Parnaso.
La enfermedad llamada hidropesia
Asi le hincha el vientre, que parece
Que todo el mar caber en el podia.
Al modo destas partes asi crece
Toda su compostura ; y no por esto,
Cual dije, su hermosura desfallece.
Yo atcnito esperaba ver el resto
De tan grande prodigio, y diera un dedo
Por saber la verdad segura, y presto.
Uno, y no sabre quien, bien claro y quedo
Al oido me hablo, y me dijo : Espera,
Que yo decirte lo que quieres puedo.
Esta que ves, que crece de manera,
Que apenas tiene ya lugar do quepa,
Y aspira en la grandeza a ser primera ;
Esta que por las nubes sube y trepa
Hasta llegar al cerco de la luna
(Puesto que el modo de subir no sepa),
Es la que confiada en su fortuna
Piensa tener de la inconstante rueda
El eje quedo y sin mudanza alguna.
Esta que no halla mal que le suceda,
Ni le teme atrevida y arrogante,
Prodiga siempre, venturosa y leda,
Es la que con disinio extravagante
Dio en crecer poco a poco hasta ponerse,
Cual ves, en estatura de gigante.
Journey to Parnassus. 1 8 5
The so-called dropsy, that grave malady,
So bulged her stomach out, that all the sea
Might flow therein ; so did it strike mine eye.
Each part of all her frame in like degree
Seemed to increase in bulk, though verily
Her beauty, as I've said, ne'er ceased to be.
To wait the upshot of such prodigy
I stood enwrapt, and would have given my thumb
To know the certain truth, and speedily :
One, whom I know not, to my side did come
And said in clear and quiet whisper : "Stay,
Of all that thou would' st know this is the sum !
She, whom thou seest increase in such a way,
That scarcely hath she further scope to grow.
And fain the highest part of all would play ;
She, who doth scale the clouds and upward go
The very circle of the moon to gain
Although her mode of flight we do not know
Is one who, of her better fortune vain, [fast
Would seek to check the inconstant wheel, and
Its axle fix, thus ever to remain.
She, who hath never felt misfortune's blast,
Nor fears it now, so daring proud is she,
Prodigal ever, lustful to the last,
Is one who, with ambition past degree,
Hath set herself to grow and ever grow,
Until she is the giantess we see ;
1 86 Viaje del Parnaso.
No dcja de crecer por no atreverse
A emprender las hazanas mas notables,
Adonde puedan sus extremes verse.
^No has oido decir los memorables
Arcos, anfiteatros, templos, banos,
Termas, porticos, muros admirables,
Que a pesar y despecho de los anos,
Aun duran sus reliquias y entereza,
Haciendo al tiempo y a la muerte enganos ?
Yo respond! : Por mi ninguna pieza
Desas que has dicho, dejo de tenella
Clavada y remachada en la cabeza.
Tengo el sepulcro de la viuda bella,
Y el coloso de Rodas alii junto,
Y la lanterna que sirvio de estrella.
Pero vengamos de quien es al punto
Esta, que lo deseo. Harase luego,
Me respondio la voz en bajo punto.
Y prosiguio, diciendo: A no estar ciego
Hubieras visto ya quien es la dama ;
Pero en fin, tienes el ingenio lego.
Esta que hasta los cielos se encarama,
Prenada, sin saber como, del viento,
Es hija del Deseo y de la Fama.
Esta fue la ocasion y el instrumento
En todo y parte de que el mundo viese
No siete maravillas, sino ciento.
Journey to Parnassus. 187
And, to increase her growth she is not slow
To bring her great achievements to the light,
Whence her extreme of daring men may know !
Hast never heard of those famed works of might,
The arches, amphitheatres, and fanes,
Baths, porticoes, and walls of towering height,
Which stand entire, or show their vast remains,
In spite of gathering years, and seem to hold
Those fell destroyers, Time and Death, in chains?"
" No scrap," quoth I, "of what thou now hast told,
But I do hold it in my memory right,
Well nailed and rivetted from days of old !
I have the lovely widow's tomb in sight,
With Rhodes' Colossus in the self-same row,
And eke its lanthorn with the starry light !
But come we to the point I long to know :
Who may she be?" "Be of an easy mind ! "
Responded he with acrid voice and low,
"I'll tell thee presently; but, wert not blind,
Thou wouldst ere now have recognized the dame,
But, sooth, thy layman's wit doth lag behind !
She, who to heaven soareth like a flame,
Pregnant, she knows not how, yet by the wind,
Is the true daughter of Desire and Fame ;
To her, in whole or part, must be assigned
The cause why in this world we can, and may,
Not seven wonders but a hundred find.
1 8 8 Viaje del Parnaso.
Corto numero es ciento : aunque dijese
Cien mil y mas millones, no imagines
Que en la cuenta del numero excediese.
Esta condujo a memorables fines
Edificios que asientan en la tierra,
Y tocan de las nubes los confines.
Esta tal vez ha levantado guerra,
Donde la paz suave reposaba,
Que en limites estrechos no se encierra.
Cuando Mucio en las llamas abrasaba
El atrevido fuerte brazo y fiero,
Esta el incendio horrible resfriaba.
Esta arrojo al romano caballero
En el abismo de la ardiente cueva,
De limpio armado, y de luciente acero.
Esta tal vez con maravilla nueva
(De su ambiciosa condicion llevada)
Mil imposibles atrevida prueba.
Desde la ardiente Libia hasta la helada
Citia lleva la fama su memoria,
En grandiosas obras dilatada.
En fin, ella es la altiva Vanagloria,
Que en aquellas hazanas se entremete,
Que llevan de los siglos la vitoria.
Ella misma a si misma se promete
Triunfos y gustos, sin tener asida
A la calva Ocasion por el copete.
Journey to Parnassus. 189
Short number is a hundred ; should I say
A hundred thousand millions, do not fear
That in the reckoning I go far astray.
She planned and finished, while the world did cheer,
Structures that sit enthroned on the ground,
And to the clouds their soaring summits rear ;
Full often hath she levied war around,
Where gentle peace lay couched with soft desire,
Because her limits had too small a bound ;
When 'mid the flames, and ready to expire,
Bold Mucius let consume his arm of might,
'Twas she that tempered down the dreadful fire ;
She gave the impulse to the Roman knight
To leap into the yawning gulf of flame,
Beclad with flashing steel and armour bright !
Full often, borne away by lust of fame,
To tempt the impossible she daring goes,
And on some novel wonder stamps her name ;
From burning Lybia to the Scythian snows,
Her course is tracked by works immense and hoary,
Which Fame hath decked with titles grandiose ;
In fine, she is the arrogant Vainglory,
Who by her grand achievements stuns mankind,
And binds the ages to rehearse her story !
Herself unto herself gives promise kind
Of triumphs and of joys ; and in her stress
She leaves bald Opportunity behind.
1 90 Viaje del Parnaso.
Su natural sustento, su bebida,
Es aire, y asi crece en un instante
Tanto, que no hay mcdida a su medida.
Aquellas dos del placido semblante
Que tiene a sus dos lados, son aquellas
Que sirven a la maquina de Atlante.
Su delicada voz, sus luces bellas,
Su humildad aparente, y las lozanas
Razones, que el amor se cifra en ellas,
Las hacen mas divinas que no humanas,
Y son (con paz escucha y con paciencia)
La Adulacion y la Mentira hermanas.
Estas estan contino en su presencia,
Palabras ministrandole al oido,
Que tienen de prudentes aparencia.
Y ella cual ciega del mejor sentido,
No ve que entre las flores de aquel gusto,
El aspid ponzonoso esta escondido.
Y asi arrojada con deseo injusto,
En cristalino vaso prueba y bebe
El veneno mortal, sin ningun susto.
Quien mas presume de advertido, pruebe
A dejarse adular, vera cuan presto
Pasa su gloria como el viento leve.
Esto escuchc, y en escuchando aquesto,
Dio un estampido tal la Gloria vana,
Que dio a mi suefio fin duke y molesto.
Journey to Parnassus. 191
Her natural food is air, her drink no less ;
So in a moment to such height she grows
That in her measure she is measureless !
These at her side, with semblance of repose,
Are the attendants twain she most doth prize,
Who bear her Atlas-like where'er she goes ;
The thrilling voice, the brilliant beauteous eyes,
The seeming humbleness, the dulcet play
Of wanton words where passion hidden lies,
A god-like more than human source betray ;
In sooth they are with peace and patience hear
Falsehood and Flattery, twin sisters they.
They haunt her presence, and are ever near
With sweetly murmured words of high pretence,
That have a ring of wisdom to the ear ;
And she, quite blind as to the finer sense,
Sees not the venomous asp that lurking lies
Beneath the seeming flowers of innocence ;
Stung with unhallowed craving, forth she hies
To taste the deadly poison in its glass
Of crystal pure, while flash her eager eyes ;
Yet, sooth to say, the wariest of his class,
Who drinks in flattery, finds, before he knows,
His glories vanish as the light winds pass! "
As rapt I listened, lo ! Vainglory rose,
And burst with an explosion wondrous loud,
That brought my sweet dream to a bitter close.
1 92 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y en esto descubriose la manana,
Vertiendo perlas y esparciendo flores,
Lozana en vista, y en virtud lozana.
Los dukes pequenuelos ruisenores
Con cantos no aprendidos le decian,
Enamorados della, mil amores.
Los silgueros el canto repetian,
Y las diestras calandrias entonaban
La musica que todos componian.
Unos del escuadron priesa se daban,
Porque no los hallase el dios del dia
En los forzosos actos en que estaban.
Y luego se asomo su senoria,
Con una cara de tudesco roja,
For los balcones de la aurora fria.
En parte gorda, en parte flaca y floja,
Como quien teme el esperado trance,
Donde verse vencido se le antoja.
En propio toledano y buen romance
Les dio los buenos dias cortesmente,
Y luego se apresto ai forzoso lance.
Y encima de un penasco puesto enfrente
Del escuadron, con voz sonora y grave
Esta oracion les hizo repente :
j Oh espiritus felices, donde cabe
La gala del decir, la sutileza
De la ciencia mas docta que se sabe ;
Journey to Parnassus. 193
On this the morning rose without a cloud,
Arrayed with liquid pearls and scattering flowers,
Proud in her looks and of her virtue proud ;
The tiny nightingales within their bowers,
With self-taught song, to echo forth her praise,
Trilled forth their amorous notes in silvery showers;
Caught up the sound the linnets on their sprays,
The lightsome larks responded from the air,
And all in concert sung their morning lays !
Some of the squadron started from their lair,
That the bright god of day they might not meet
In the constrained plight in which they were.
Now at the casements of Aurora sweet,
With face of Teuton ruddiness, I ween,
His lordship shewed himself in garb complete ;
On one side stout, on t'other limp and lean,
As one who waits the contest with dismay,
Wherein as vanquished he may soon be seen.
With courteous air he wished them all, good-day !
In proper Spanish, and Toledan true,
And quick prepared him for the coming fray ;
Then from a hillock, with his host in view,
And with a voice that rang from side to side,
He made them this oration impromptu :
" O spirits fortunate, wherein reside
The gift of splendid speech, the subtle flow
Of untold wisdom gathered far and wide,
194 Viaje del Parnaso.
Donde en su propia natural belkza
Asiste la hermosa poesia
Entera de los pics a la cabeza !
No consintais por vida vuestra y mia
(Mirad con que llaneza Apolo os habla),
Que triunfe esta canalla que porfia.
Esta canalla, digo, que se endiabla,
Que por darles calor su muchedumbre,
Ya su ruina, 6 ya la nuestra entabla.
Vosotros de mis ojos gloria y lumbre,
Paroles do mi luz de asiento mora,
Ya por naturaleza, 6 por costumbre,
Habeis de consentir que esta embaidora,
Hipocrita gentella se me atreva,
De tantas necedades inventora ?
Haced famosa y memorable prueba
De vuestro gran valor en este hecho,
Que a su castigo y vuestra gloria os lleva.
De justa indlgnacion armad el pecho,
Acometed intrcpidos la turba,
Ociosa, vagamunda y sin provecho.
No se os de nada, no se os de una burba
(Moneda berberisca, vil y baja)
De aquesta gente, que la paz nos turba.
El son de mas de una templada caja,
Y el del pifaro triste y la trompeta,
Que la colera sube, y flcma abaja,
Journey to Parnassus. 195
To which fair poesy, with kindly glow,
Doth lend her native loveliness divine,
Perfect in all her parts from top to toe !
Do not permit, upon your life and mine
(Mark how Apollo's speech is void of flowers)
That that vile crew should sully this fair shrine ;
That crew, I say, which girds its fiendish powers,
And with its countless hordes, inflamed with lies,
Prepares its ruin, or it may be ours !
Ye, the fond pride and lustre of mine eyes,
The lanthorns where my light is wont to glow,
Whether by nature, or through exercise !
Can ye consent that this brute herd and low,
This knavish, stupid, stuff-inventing race,
Should beard me here, and in my presence crow?
Give to your powerful arms such ample space,
That after ages may proclaim aloud
Your gathered glory, and their fell disgrace ;
With righteous wrath your stalwart breasts enshroud,
And charge with fury, that will never cease,
That lazy, vagabond, and useless crowd !
Not worth a rush, not worth a burba piece,
Of Berber coins the very dross and scum
Should ye esteem these folk who spoil our peace !
The sound of more than one bemuffled drum,
The fife's shrill shrieking, and the trumpet's blare,
That rouse up choler, and make terror dumb,
196 Viaje del Parnaso.
Asi os incite con vertud secreta,
Que despierte los animos dormidos
En la facion que tanto nos aprieta.
Ya retumba, ya llega a mis oidos
Del escuadron contrario el rumor grande,
Formado de confusos alaridos.
Ya es menester, sin que os lo ruegue 6 mande,
Que cada cual como guerrero experto,
Sin que por su capricho se desmande,
La crden guarde y militar concierto,
Y acuda a su deber como valiente
Hasta quedar, 6 vencedor, 6 muerto.
En esto por la parte de poniente
Parecio el escuadron casi infinite
De la barbara, ciega y pobre gente.
Alzan los nuestros al momento un grito
Alegre, y no medroso ; y gritan arma :
Arma resuena todo aquel distrito ;
Y aunque mueran, correr quieren al arma.
Journey to Parnassus. 197
Let these stir up your secret virtues rare,
As they arouse the courage, drown the fears
Of that vexatious swarm who wait us there !
I hear the sound, it strikes upon mine ears,
The mighty clamour of the marching foe,
The hubbub wild of martial shouts and cheers !
'Tis needful now, and that full well ye know,
That each one, with a seasoned warrior's eye,
Without allowing vain caprice to show,
Should order keep, and stand his comrades by,
And like a valiant man his duty do,
Resolved to conquer or at worst to die ! "
Then by the western side there rose to view
A marching squadron great as could be found,
Of barbarous rabble, blind and ragged too ;
Now from our host there rose a mighty sound,
A joyful, fearless shout : To arms ! they cry,
To arms ! re-echoes all the country round,
To arms ! To arms ! to do or else to die !
Tu, beligera musa, tu que tienes
La voz de bronce y de metal la lengua,
Cuando a cantar del fiero Marte vienes :
Tu, por quien se aniquila siempre y mengua
El gran genero humano : tu, que puedes
Sacar mi pluma de ignorancia y mengua :
Tu, mano rota, y larga de mercedes,
Digo en hacellas ; una aqui te pido,
Que no hara que menos rica quedes.
La soberbia y maldad, el atrevido
Intento de una gente mal mirada
Ya se descubre con mortal ru'ido.
Dame una voz al caso acomodada,
Una sotil y bien cortada pluma,
No de aficion ni de pasion llevada,
Para que pueda referir en suma
Con purisimo y nuevo sentimiento,
Con verdad clara y entereza suma,
f hou, martial Muse, who hast, attuned to wars,
The voice of sounding brass and clarion tongue,
What time thou sing'st the feats of savage Mars!
Thou, at whose call a countless human throng [bless
Consumes its strength away ! Thou, who canst
My foolish pen and make it wise and strong !
Thou open hand, with favours and largesse
So fully fraught, O grant me one, I pray,
It will not make thy wealthy store the less !
The perverse spirit, insolent display,
And bold designs of an ill-favoured race,
With din infernal seek the light of day !
Give me a voice in keeping with the case,
A well-cut pen with facile point and fleet,
Exempt from prejudice or passion base,
That in one focus I may cause to meet
With chastest sentiment of novel kind,
With perfect frankness and with grasp complete,
2oo Viaje del P am a so.
El contrapuesto y desigual intento
De uno y otro escuadron, que ardiendo en ira,
Sus banderas descoge al vago viento.
El del bando catolico, que mira
Al falso y grande al pie del monte puesto,
Que de subir al aha cumbre aspira ;
Con paso largo y ademan compuesto,
Todo el monte coronan, y se ponen
A la furia, que en loca ha echado el resto.
Las ventajas tantean, y disponen
Los animos valientes al asalto,
En quien su gloria y su venganza ponen.
De rabia lleno y de paciencia falto
Apolo, su bellisimo estandarte
Mando al momento levantar en alto.
Arbolole un marques, que el propio Marte
Su briosa presencia representa
Naturalmente, sin industria y arte.
Poeta celeberrimo y de cuenta,
Por quien y en quien Apolo soberano
Su gloria y gusto, y su valor aumenta.
En la insinia un cisne hermoso y cano,
Tan al vivo pintado, que dijeras,
La voz dcspide alegre al aire vano ;
Siguen al estandarte sus banderas
De gallardos alfcreces llevadas,
Honrosas por no estar todas enteras ;
Journey to Parnassus. 201
The opposing projects, and conflicting mind
Of these two squadrons who, with furious cry,
Display their banners to the fitful wind.
The catholic band regards with steady eye
The spurious host that lines the mountain's base,
With foul intent to scale its summit high ;
In compact order, and with rapid pace,
They crown the hill, and to the rage insane
Of these insensates show determined face ;
They seize each coign of vantage, and maintain
Cool courage for the onset arrogant,
Where glory and revenge they hope to gain.
With rage o'erflowing, and of patience scant,
Apollo bids them, with a speedy hand,
His finest standard on the summit plant ;
Unfurled it is, and by a Marquis grand,
Whose lordly bearing Mars himself might own,
Nature's own gift that art can ne'er command ;
A poet he of mark, to fame well known,
In whom Apollo sees, with vigour rare,
Increase the strength and lustre of his throne ;
Thereon was limned a swan, so white and fair,
So painted to the life, that one might say
Its joyous cries woke up the listless air.
Behind the standard came a grand array
Of flags, by gallant ensigns borne on high,
For all the rents they show, more glorious they !
2O2 Viaje del Parnaso.
Las cajas a lo belico templadas
Al milite mas tardo vuelven presto,
De voces de metal acompanadas.
JERONIMO DE MORA llego en esto,
Pintor excelentisimo y poeta,
Apeles y Virgilio en un supuesto.
Y con la autoridad de una jineta
(Que de ser capitan le daba nombre)
Al caso acude y a la turba aprieta.
Y porqje mas se turbe y mas se asombre
El enemigo desigual yfiero,
Llego el gran BlEDMA de inmortal renombre.
Y con el CASPAR DE AviLA, primero
Secuaz de Apolo, a cuyo verso y pluma
Iciar puede envidiar, temer Sincere.
Llego JUAN DE MEZTANZA, cifra y suma
De tanta erudicion, donaire y gala,
Que no hay muerte ni edad que la consuma.
Apolo le arranco de Guatimala,
Y le trujo en su ayuda para ofensa
De la canalla en todo extremo mala.
Hacer milagros en el trance piensa
CEPEDA, y acompanale MEJIA,
Poetas dinos de alabanza inmensa.
Clansimo esplendor de Andalucia,
Y de la Mancha el sin igual GALINDO
Llego con majestad y bizarria.
Journey to Parnassus. 203
The tambours, mingling with the battle cry,
Give speed and vigour to each lagging son,
While the shrill bugles' pealings rend the sky.
Up doth JER6NIMO DE MORA run,
A painter exquisite, and poet sweet,
A Virgil and Apelles, rolled in one ;
He comes with hisjineta armed complete,
Distinction that bespeaks the captain's name
To give his aid and force the foe's retreat.
Still more to awe, and put to very shame
The pride of that fierce crowd, there hither sped
The grand B I ED MA of undying fame,
With GASPAR DE AVILA, a chief and head
Of Phoebus' body-guard, whose winged plume
Iciar might envy, and Sincerus dread.
JUAN DE MEZTANZA came, the very bloom
And sum of so much learning, wit, and grace,
That Death can touch it not, nor Time consume ;
Apollo gave him a distinguished place,
And had him brought from Guatimala's land,
To do despite to that detested race.
CEPEDA thinks to make a wondrous stand
In this encounter, and MEJIA too,
True poets both, who boundless praise command.
Now came GALINDO, peerless to the view,
La Mancha's star, and Andalusia's light,
Whose manly stride bespeaks his valour true.
204 Viaje del Parnaso.
De la alta cumbre del famoso Pindo
Bajaron tres bizarros lusitanos,
A quien mis alabanzas todas rindo.
Con prestos pics y con valientes manos
Con FERNANDO CORREA DE LA CERDA,
Piso RODRIGUEZ LOBO monte y llanos.
Y porque Febo su razon no pierda,
El grande DON ANTONIO DE ATAIDE
Llego con furia alborotada y cuerda.
Las fuerzas del contrario ajusta y mide
Con las suyas Apolo, y determina
Dar la batalla, y la batalla pide.
El ronco son de mas de una bocina,
Instrumento de caza y de la guerra,
De Febo a los oidos se avecina.
Tiembla debajo de los pics la tierra
De infinites poetas oprimida,
Que dan asalto a la sagrada sierra.
El fiero general de la atrevida
Gente que trae un cuervo en su estandarte,
Es ARBOLANCHES, muso por la vida.
Puestos estaban en la baja partc,
Y en la cima del monte frente a frente
Los campos de quien tiembla el mismo Marte :
Cuando una, al parecer discreta gente,
Del catolico bando el enemigo
Se paso, como en numero de veinte.
Journey to Parnassus. 205
Came down from far-famed Pindus' lofty height
Three Lusitanians of consummate skill,
Who well may claim my highest praise by right ;
With ready feet, and with determined will,
CORREA DE LACERDA lighted there,
And with RODRIGUEZ LOBO trod the hill ;
And that Apollo might have force to spare,
ANTONIO DE ATAIDE joined the band,
Inflamed with ardour, wise as it was rare.
When Phoebus had the opposing forces scanned,
And weighed them with his own, he in his scorn
Resolves to fight, and battle doth demand ;
The hoarse rough sound of more than one shrill horn,
An instrument of chase and war, I trow,
On to Apollo's deafened ears is borne ;
The frightened earth begins to tremble now,
As countless poets tramp along the plain,
And rush to scale the sacred Mountain's brow.
The fierce commander of that daring train,
Whose standard bears the semblance of a Crow,
Is ARBOLANCHES^very rogue in grain.
So did these armies twain, one down below,
One at the mountain-top, stand face to face,
While Mars grew faint to see the fearsome show ;
When lo ! a troop, that seemed not void of grace,
In number twenty, left the Catholic band,
To swell the numbers of the spurious race.
206 Viaje del Parnaso.
Yo con los ojos su carrera sigo,
Y viendo el paradcro de su intento,
Con voz turbada al sacro Apolo digo :
cQue prodigio es aqueste ? Quc portento ?
O por mejor decir, ique mal agiiero,
Que asi me corta el brio y el aliento ?
Aquel transfuga que partio primero,
No solo por poeta le tenia,
Pero tambien por bravo churrullero.
Aquel lijero que tras el corria,
En mil corrillos en Madrid le he visto
Tiernamente habla en la poesia.
Aquel tercero que partio tan listo,
Por satirico necio y por pesado
Se que de todos fue siempre malquisto.
No puedo imaginar como ha llevado
Mercurio estos poetas en su lista.
Yo fui, respondio Apolo, el enganado ;
Que de su ingenio la primera vista
Indicios descubrio que serian buenos
Para facilitar esta conquista.
Senor, replique yo, crei que ajenos
Eran de las deidades los enganos,
Digo, enganarse en poco mas ni menos.
La prudencia que nace de los anos,
Y tiene por maestra la experiencia,
Es la deidad que advierte destos danos.
Journey to Parnassus. 207
With straining eyes I marked them on their course,
And when I saw the end of their intent,
I to Apollo cried with accents hoarse :
44 What prodigy is this, what strange event ?
Or better said, what omen big with bale,
That takes my breath away, and leaves me spent ?
That base deserter there, who first turned tail,
I reckoned him a bard, nor that alone,
But a brave twaddler on the largest scale !
That light-toed one, who at his heels hath flown,
I've heard, in thousand circles of Madrid,
Trill out his verses with the tenderest tone !
The third, who left with such uncommon speed,
Hath by the wise been ever ill-received,
Satiric fool, unbearable indeed !
It is a thing not easily conceived
Why Mercury inscribed them on his roll ! "
"I" quoth Apollo, "was the one deceived;
At the first blush they gave such proofs of soul,
That worthy adjutants they seemed to me
To bring this emprise to the wished-for goal!"
44 My lord, I thought that deities were free
And safe from such deceptions," I replied,
44 1 mean deceptions in the least degree !
The prudence, born of years and knowledge wide,
Is the divinity, within our ken,
That wards offsuch mfsjudgments from our side !"
208 Viaje del Parnaso.
Apolo respondio : Por mi conciencia,
Que no te entiendo, algo turbado y triste
For ver de aquellos veinte la insolencia.
Tu, sardo militar, LOFRASO, fuistc
Uno de aquellos barbaros corrientes,
Que del contrario el numero creciste.
Mas no por esta mengua los valientes
Del escuadron catolico temieron,
Poetas madrigados y excelentes.
Antes tanto coraje concibieron
Contra los fugitives corredores,
Que riza en ellos y matanza hicieron.
i Oh falsos y malditos trovadores,
Que pasais plaza de poetas sabios,
Siendo la hez de los que son peores !
Entre la leng;:a, paladar y labios
Anda contino vuestra pocsia,
Haciendo a la virtud cien mil agravios.
Poetas de atrevida hipocresia,
Esperad, que de vuestro acabamiento
Ya se ha llegado el temeroso dia.
De las confusas voces el concento
Confuso por el aire resonaba
De espesas nubes condensando el viento.
Por la falda del monte gateaba
Una tropa poctica, aspirando
A la cumbre, que bien guardada estaba.
Journey to Parnassus. 209
Apollo answered : " On my conscience then,
I understand thee not ! " and knit his brow,
To see the daring of these twenty men.
LOFRASO, soldier of Sardinia, thou
Wert one of those barbarian runaways,
That swelled the numbers of the foe, I trow !
But such desertion had no power to raise
One spark of terror in the catholic band,
Well-seasoned poets, worthy of all praise ;
Nay, such resentment did they show off-hand
Against these light-heeled gentry, void of grace,
That hip and thigh they smote them from the land.
O false, accursed, troubadouring race,
That fain would pass for poets wise and strong,
Being the very scum of all that's base !
Between the palate, tongue, and lips, your song
Comes surging forth in never-ending blast,
Affronting Virtue with unmeasured wrong !
Ye poets, in deception unsurpassed,
Beware, for now the awful threatened day
That seals your final doom hath come at last !
The sounds confused, that wildering winged their way
Aloft to heaven, condensed in middle air,
And formed of murky clouds a thick array.
The steep hill-side a troop of rhymesters rare
Climbedup like cats, and cleared the broken ground,
To gain the summit, though well-guarded there ;
2io Viaje del Parnaso.
Hacian hincapie de cuando en cuando,
Y con Hondas de estallo y con ballestas
Iban libros enteros disparando.
No del plomo encendido las funestas
Balas pudieran ser danosas tanto,
Ni al disparar pudiera ser mas prestas.
Un libro mucho mas duro que un canto
A JUSEPE DE VARGAS dio en las sienes,
Causandole terror, grima y espanto.
Grito, y dijo a un soneto : Tu, que vienes
De satirica pluma disparadc,
For que el infame curso no detienes ?
Y cual perro con piedras irritado,
Que deja al que las lira, y va tras ellas,
Cual si fueran la causa del pecado,
Entre los dedos de sus manos bellas
Hizo pedazos al soneto altivo,
Que amenazaba al sol y a las estrellas.
Y dijole Cilenio : O rayo vivo
Donde la justa indignacion se muestra
En un grado y valor superlativo,
La espada toma en la temida diestra,
Y arrojate valiente y temerario
Por esta parte, que el peligro adiestra.
En esto del tamano de un breviario
Volando un libro por el aire vino,
De prosa y verso que arrojo el contrario.
Journey to Parnassus. 211
From time to time they took a leap and bound,[might,
And from their slings and cross-bows, plied with
Whole books came flying with a whizzing sound;
Not balls of gleaming lead, that fearful sight,
Have on their way such dire confusion sown,
Nor reached their destined goal with speedier flight .
A book, much harder than the hardest stone,
Struck JUSEPE DE VARGAS on the brow,
And caused him terror grim, and many a groan ;
He howled, and to a Sonnet cried : " O thou,
Who hither com'st shot from satiric quill,
Why dost not stay thy foul careering now ! "
Like pelted dog, that vents its fierce ill-will
Upon the stones, not him who threw the same,
As if they were the authors of the ill,
With fingers fine he seized it as it came,
And into pieces tore that sonnet great,
That menaced sun, and moon, and starry frame.
Mercurius cried : " O living bolt of fate,
Whose righteous indignation moves aright,
In lofty sweep, and with tremendous weight !
Grasp now the falchion in thy dreaded right,
And launch thee, with impetuous bravery,
Where peril looms in thickest of the fight! "
On this came whizzing, like a bird on high,
A Book in prose and verse, shot by our foes,
In bulk and height a very Breviary ;
212 Viaje del Parnaso.
De verso y prosa el puro desatino
Nos dio a entender que de ARBOLANCHES cran
Las Avidas pesadas de contino.
Unas rimas llegaron, que pudieran
Desbaratar el escuadron cristiano,
Si acaso vez segunda se imprimieran.
Diole a Mercuric en la derecha mano
Una satira antigua licenciosa,
De estilo agudo, pero no muy sano.
De una intricada y mal compuesta prosa,
De un asunto sin jugo y sin donaire,
Cuatro novelas disparo PEDROSA.
Silbando recio, y desgarrando el aire,
Otro libro llego de rimas solas
Hechas al parecer como al desgaire ;
Violas Apolo, y dijo, cuando violas :
Dios perdone a su autor, y a mi me guarde
De algunas rimas sueltas espanolas.
Llego el PASTOR DE IBERIA, aunque algo tarde,
Y derribo catorce de los nuestros,
Haciendo de su ingenio y fuerza alarde.
Pero dos valerosos, dos maestros,
Dos lumbreras de Apolo, dos soldados,
Unices en hablar, y en obrar diestros ;
Del monte puestos en opuestos lados
Tanto apretaron a la turba multa,
Que volvieron atras los encumbrados.
Journey to Parnassus. 213
From its extravagance in verse and prose,
'TwasARBOLANCHES' work, we well could guess,
His dull " Avidas," heavy to the close.
Some Rhymes were hurled, that boded much distress
And great disaster to the Christian band,
Had they but gone a second time to press ;
Mercurius got a blow on his right hand
From an old Satire, rotten at the core,
Piquant in style, but of unsavoury brand.
Of tangled prose, and ill-digested lore,
With subject quite devoid of sense or grace,
PEDROSA launched at us his * Novels four ! '
With a sharp hiss, and cleaving empty space,
Another book, with nought but rhymes, was sped,
With modesty self-conscious on its face ;
Apollo looked at them, and looking said :
" God shrive their author, and preserve my pate
From certain Spanish verses, blank as lead ! "
The SHEPHERD OF IBERIA came, though late,
Attacked fourteen of ours and beat them too,
A striking proof of wit and valour great.
But now two men of heart, great masters two,
Two of Apollo's luminaries bright,
Two soldiers quick to speak and prompt to do,
From sides opposing of the mountain's height,
Pressed back the surging mass, which grew so weak
That all the foremost turned and took to flight ;
214 Viaje del Parnaso.
Es GREGORIO DE ANGULO el que sepulta
La canalla, y con el PEDRO DE SOTO,
De prodigioso ingenio y vena culta.
Doctor aquel, estotro unico y doto
Licienciado, de Apolo ambos secuaces,
Con raras obras y animo devoto.
Las dos contrarias indignadas haces
Ya miden las espadas, ya se cierran
Duras en su teson y pertinaces.
Con los dientes se muerden, y se aferran
Con las garras, las fieras imitando ;
Que toda p'iedad de si destierran.
Haldeando venia y trasudando
El autor de La Picara Justina,
Capellan lego del contrario bando.
Y cual si fuera de una culebrina
Disparo de sus manos su librazo,
Que fue de nuestro campo la ruina.
Al buen TOMAS GRACIAN manco de un brazo,
A MEDINILLA derribo una muela,
Y le llevo de un muslo un gran pedazo.
Una despierta nuestra centinela
Grito : Todos abajen la cabeza,
Que dispara el contrario otra novela.
Dos pelearon una larga pieza,
Y el uno al otro con instancia loca
De un envion, con arte y con destreza,
Journey to Parnassus. 215
GREGORIO DE ANGULO, and eke
PEDRO DE SOTO did that deed of fate,
Men of high culture and of wit unique ;
That one a Doctor, this Licentiate
Of high degree, both in Apollo's guard,
Great in their works, and in devotion great.
The ranks opposing, fierce in their regard,
Now measure swords, and now keep closer file,
In action stolid and in purpose hard ;
They use their teeth to bite, and in fierce style
They rive with pointed nails like beasts of prey,
As void of pity as they're full of guile.
At tip-top speed, and sweating by the way,
LA PlCARA JUSTINA'S author came, 43
The laic chaplain of the rude array ;
As if despatched from mortar's mouth of flame,
He launched his big and monstrous tome on high,
And as it fell our camp a wreck became :
Good TOMAS GRACIAN lost an arm thereby,
Poor MEDINILLA mourned a molar dear,
And eke a goodly portion of one thigh.
A wakeful sentinel of ours gave cheer,
And cried : " Heads down, my comrades all,
The foe hath launched another Novel here ! "
Two wrestled with each other for a fall,
When lo ! the one, in his insensate rage,
And with a dexterous art that was not small,
2 1 6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Seis seguidillas le encajo en la boca,
Con que le hizo vomitar el alma,
Que salio libre de su estrecha roca.
De la furia el ardor, del sol la calma
Tenia en duda de una y otra parte
La vencedora y pretendida palma.
Del cuervo en esto el lobrego estandarte
Cede al del cisne, porque vino al suelo
Pasado el corazon de parte a parte.
Su alferez, que era un andaluz mozuelo,
Trovador repentista, que subia
Con la soberbia mas alia del cielo,
Helosele la sangre que tenia,
Muriose cuando vio que muerto estaba,
La turba, pertinaz en su porfia.
Puestq que ausente el gran LUPERCIO estaba
Con un solo soneto suyo hizo
Lo que de su grandeza se esperaba.
Descuaderno, desencajo, deshizo
De opuesto escuadron catorce hileras,
Dos criollos mato, hirio un mestizo.
De sus sabrosas burlas y sus veras
El magno cordobes un cartapacio
Disparo, y aterro cuatro banderas.
Daba ya indicios de cansado y lacio
El brio de la barbara canalla,
Peleando mas Mojo y mas despacio.
Journey to Parnassus. 217
Forced down the other's throat, at the last stage,
Six Seguidillas ; on the which his soul
Leapt lightly out, and left its narrow cage.
There fury raged, here reigned a calm control,
And still through all the ranks the question ran,
Which side will gain the palm, the victor's goal !
When lo ! the Crow, that decked the banner wan,
With stricken heart and pierced thro' and through,
Fell to the ground and yielded to the Swan !
Its ensign was an Andalusian true,
A stripling poet, improvising wight,
Whose pride soared to the sky, and topped it too ;
His blood congealed as he beheld the sight,
And when he died, that pertinacious race
Saw ruin face them on the field of fight.
Though empty was the grand LUPERCIO'S place,
One of his Sonnets did for him a deed,
In keeping quite with its astounding grace ;
It broke, it shattered, caused to fly with speed
Fourteen good files of the opposing band,
Slew two Creoles, and wounded one half-breed !
The great Cordovan, note-book in his hand,
Full of his sappy jests and serious wit,
Discharged it, and there fell four banners grand !
Now tired and worn, there oozed out bit by bit
The courage of that barbarous canaille,
More and more pithless grew each aimless hit ;
2 1 8 Viaje del Parnaso.
Mas renovose la fatal batalla
Mezclandose los unos con los otros,
Ni vale arnes, ni presta dura malla.
Cinco melifluos sobre cinco potros
Llegaron, y embistieron por un lado,
Y llevaronse cinco de nosotros.
Cada cual como moro ataviado,
Con mas letras y cifras que una carta
De principe enemigo y recatado,
De romances moriscos una sarta,
Cual si fuera de balas enramadas,
Llega con furia y con malicia harta.
Y a no estar dos escuadras avisadas
De las nuestras del redo tiro y presto,
Era fuerza quedar desbaratadas.
Quiso Apolo indignado echar el resto
De su poder y de su fuerza sola,
Y dar al enemigo fin molesto.
Y una sacra cancion, donde acrisola
Su ingenio, gala, estilo y bizarria
BARTOLOME LEONARDO DE ARGENSOLA,
Cual si fuera un petrarte Apolo envia
Adonde esta el teson mas apretado,
Mas dura y mas furiosa la porfia.
Cuando me paro a contemplar mi estado^
Comienza la cancion, que Apolo pone
En el lugar mas noble y levantado.
Journey to Parnassus. 219
But once again rose up the battle's wail,
In confused melee all together strive,
No armour saves, nor hardest coat of mail.
Astride five colts, five honied bards arrive,
And making quite a sudden charge in flank,
They of our men bear off in triumph five ;
In robes Moresque they show full many a prank,
With more of mystic scroll than missive sent
By some old wily foe of princely rank.
On this a shower of Moorish ballads rent
The air, like missiles formed of chained shot,
That rained in fury and with vile intent ;
Had not two bands of ours due notice got
Of that most sudden and most bitter fire,
Ruin and speedy death had been their lot.
Now in Apollo's breast raged fierce desire
To show the full resources of his might,
And crush his enemies with righteous ire ;
An ode divine, where shone the genius bright,
The strength and grandeur of that poet true,
BARTOLOME DE ARGENSOLA hight,
Apollo launched ; and like a bomb it flew,
And ploughed the ranks with most unerring shot,
Where fought most fiercely that malignant crew ;
" When I sit down to muse upon my lot,"
Begins the Song which, by Apollo's grace,
Received the crown of honour on the spot.
22O Viaje del Parnaso.
Todo lo mlra, todo lo dispone
Con ojos de Argos, manda, quita y veda,
Y del contrario a todo ardid se opone.
Tan mezclados estan, que no hay quien pueda
Discernir cual es malo, 6 cual es bueno,
Cual es GARCILASISTA 6 TIMONEDA.
Pero un mancebo de ignorancia ajeno,
Grande escudrinador de toda historia,
Rayo en la pluma y en la voz un trueno,
Llego tan rica el alma de memoria,
De sana voluntad y entendimiento,
Que fue de Febo y de las musas gloria.
Con este acelerose el vencimiento,
Porque supo decir : Este merece
Gloria, pero aquel no, sino tormento.
Y como ya con distincion parece
El justo y el injusto combatiente?
El gusto al paso de la pena crece.
Tu, PEDRO MANTUANO el excelente,
Fuiste quien distinguio de la confusa
Maquina el que es cobarde del valiente.
JULIAN DE ALMENDARIZ no rehusa,
Puesto que llego tarde, en dar socorro
Al rubio Delio con su ilustre musa.
Por las rucias que peino, que me corro
De ver que las comedias endiabladas,
Por divinas se pongan en el corro
Journey to Parnassus. 221
The god with Argus' eyes surveys the chase,
He bids, forbids, disposes all anew,
And to the foeman shows his sternest face.
So mingled are they, none have knowledge true
To tell the good from bad, or to make known
Who GARCILASO, TIMONEDA who ;
Till came a youth, to ignorance unknown,
A mighty sifter of historic lore,
Flash in his pen, and thunder in his tone ;
Whose memory teemeth with such wealthy store
That Phoebus and the Muses all revere
His sound firm judgment, healthy to the core ;
Thanks to his aid, the victory comes near,
For he could say, what none could better know :
" This merits praise, that punishment severe ! "
And as the difference begins to show
Betwixt the boastful champions and the brave,
The pleasure grows with each descending blow ;
O PEDRO MANTUANO, wise and grave,
'Twas thou who, out of these conflicting views,
Didst separate the true man from the knave!
DE ALMENDARIZ could not well refuse,
Though late he came, to give his succour free
O ' O
To ruddy Phoebus with his far-famed Muse.
By the red hairs I comb, I blush to see
How the bedevilled Comedies do raise
Their heads aloft and claim divine to be ;
222 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y a pesar de las limpias y atildadas
Del comico mejor de nuestra Hesperia,
Quieren ser conocidas y pagadas.
Mas no ganaron mucho en esta fcria,
Porque es discrete el vulgo de la corte,
Aunque le toca la comun miseria.
De llano no le dels, dadle de corte,
Estancias Polifemas, al poeta
Que no os tuviere por su guia y norte.
Inimitables sois, y a la discreta
Gala que descubris en lo escondido,
Toda elegancia puede estar sujeta.
Con estas municiones el partido
Nuestro se mejoro de tal manera,
Que el contrario se tuvo por vencido.
Cayo su presuncion soberbia y fiera,
Derrumbanse del monte abajo cuantos
Presumieron subir por la ladera.
La voz prolija de sus roncos cantos
El mal suceso con rigor la vuelve
En interrotos y funestos llantos.
Tal hubo, que cayendo se resuelve
De asirse de una zarza, 6 cabrahigo,
Y en llanto, a lo de Ovidio, se disuelve.
Cuatro se arracimaron a un quejigo
Como enjambre de abejas desmandada,
Y le estimaron por el lauro amigo.
Journey to Parnassus. 223
And, spite of all the pure and high-toned plays
Of our Hesperia's highest comic son,
Aspire to solid gain as well as praise ;
But much in such a mart will not be won,
Our honest town's folk are too shrewd by far,
Although the common stress they cannot shun !
Ye Polyphemian stanzas, leave your scar,
And with the sharp edge, on the poet's face
Who will not take you as his guiding star !
Your matchless splendour, fraught with hidden grace,
Proclaim you as the standard at all cost,
To which all other elegance gives place !
Thus reinforced, our strong embattled host
Grew stronger still, with such o'erwhelming might,
That our dashed foes gave up their cause as lost.
Their proud presumption was in woeful plight,
For headlong down the precipice were thrown
As many as presumed to scale the height ;
Their rude hoarse chaunting, with its dreary drone,
Was changed by the disaster of that day
To dismal sobbing, and convulsive moan.
One, as he fell, contrived his fall to stay,
And, as to some wild fig or thorn he clung,
He melted in Ovidian tears away ;
Four, like a swarm of bees, suspended hung
From a gnarled oak, beneath whose friendly shade
They thought themselves the laurel leaves among ;
224 Viaje del Parnaso.
Otra cuadrilla virgen, por la espada,
Y adultera de lengua, dio la cura
A sus pies de su vida almidonada.
BARTOLOME llamado DE SEGURA
El toque casi fue del vencimiento :
Tal es su ingenio, y tal es su cordura.
Resono en esto por el vago viento
La voz de la vitoria repetida
Del numero escogido en claro acento.
La miserable, la fatal caida
De las musas del limpio tagarete
Fue largos siglos con dolor plafiida.
A la parte del llanto (j ay me !) se mete
Zapardiel, famoso por su pesca,
Sin que un pequeno instante se qu'iete.
La voz de la vitoria se refresca,
Vitoria suena aqui, y alii vitoria,
Adquirida por nuestra soldadesca,
Que canta alegre la alcanzada gloria.
Journey to Parnassus. 225
Another company, with virgin blade
And harlot tongue, betook themselves to flight,
To save their lives they called their feet to aid.
BARTOLOME, he DE SEGURA hight,
Struck the last note of victory complete,
His wit and wisdom had such wondrous might.
The listening hills unto the skies repeat
The voice of triumph, as it rang elate
From thousand lips in accents clear and sweet ;
The final fall, the miserable fate,
Of these the Muses of the savoury drain,
Was wailed for many an age with dolour great.
There stands (alack !) among this weeping train
Zapardiel, renowned for fishery,
Who not one instant can her tears restrain !
The day is ours ; and " Victory " is the cry,
From mouth to mouth the stirring accents run,
The Victory of our gallant soldiery,
Who chaunt with joy the glory they have won !
Al caer de la maquina excesiva
Del escuadron poetico arrogante
Que en su no vista muchedumbre estriba :
Un poeta, mancebo y estudiante,
Dijo : Cai, paciencia ; que algun dia
Sera la nuestra, mi valor mediante.
De nuevo afilare la espada mia,
Digo mi pluma, y cortare de suerte
Que de nueva excelencia a la porfia.
Que ofrece la comedia, si se advierte,
Largo campo al ingenio, donde pueda
Librar su nombre del olvido y muerte.
Fue desto ejemplo JUAN DE TlMONEDA,
Que con solo imprimir, se hizo eterno,
Las comedias del gran LOPE DE RUEDA.
Cinco vuelcos dare en el propio infierno
Por hacer recitar una que tengo
Nombrada : El gran Bastardo de Salerno.
When fell the vast and overgrown machine
Of that poetic insolent array,
Whose like for numbers never yet was seen,
A poet, fresh from school, was heard to say :
" Have patience, comrades, trust my valour fine,
The time will come when we shall have our day !
Anew I'll sharpen up this blade of mine,
My pen, I mean, and slash to such degree
Will make our cause with novel lustre shine ;
For Comedy doth offer, one can see,
Large scope for genius, such as may suffice
To keep its name from death and darkness free ;
'Twas thus that TlMONEDA won the prize,
Who put to press, to his undying fame,
Great LOPE DE RUEDA'S Comedies ;
Five skips I'd give, and in the nether flame,
To get recited one that I have here,
" Salerno's mighty Bastard " is its name ;
228 Viaje del Parnaso.
Guarda, Apolo, que baja guarde rengo
El golpe de la mano mas gallarda
Que ha visto el tiempo en su discurso luengo.
En esto el claro son de una bastarda,
Alas pone en los pies de la vencida
Gente del mundo perezosa y tarda.
Con la esperanza del veneer perdida,
No hay quien no atienda con lijero paso,
Si no a la honra, a conservar la vida.
Desde las altas cumbres de Parnaso
De un salto uno se puso en Guadarrama,
Nuevo, no visto y verdadero caso.
Y al mismo paso la parlera fama
Cundio del vencimiento la alta nueva,
Desde el claro Caistro hasta Jarama.
Lloro la gran vitoria el turbio Esgueva,
Pisuerga la rio, riola Tajo,
Que en vez de arena granos de oro lleva.
Del cansancio, del polvo y del trabajo
Las rubicundas hebras de Timbreo,
Del color se pararon de oro bajo.
Pero viendo cumplido su deseo,
Al son de la guitarra mercuriesca
Hizo de la gallarda un gran paseo.
Y de Castalia en la corriente fresca
El rostro se lavo, y quedo luciente
Como de acero la segur turquesca.
Journey to Parnassus. 229
Phoebus beware, from me thou hast to fear
A sharp back-stroke, the finest and the first
That Time hath seen in all his long career ! "
On this a bomb with mighty clatter burst,
Which urged the flight of that defeated race,
In all the world the laziest and the worst.
No hope had they to wipe out their disgrace,
They fled the spot with swift and smoking feet,
And life, not honour, held the foremost place.
A certain one, from high Parnassus' seat,
Reached Guadarrama with one leap in air,
A new, unheard of, ay, and genuine feat.
With equal speed did babbling rumour bear
The news of triumph to the listening land,
From clear Caistro to Jarama fair ;
Dark Esgueva mourned the victory grand,
Pisuerga smiled, old Tagus laughing rolled
Down to the sea his grains of golden sand.
With weariness, and dust, and toil untold,
Apollo's locks, that erst were ruby bright,
Were dashed with colour of the dullest gold ;
But well content that all had ended right,
While gay Mercurius thrummed the light guitar,
He danced a galliard with supreme delight ;
And in Castalia's stream, the coolest far,
He laved his face, which shone as brightly now
As polished steel of Turkish scimitar ;
23 o Viaje del Parnaso.
Puliose luego, y adorno su frente
De majestad mezclada con dulzura,
Indicios claros del placer que siente.
Las reinas de la humana hermosura
Salieron de do estaban retiradas
Mientras duraba la contienda dura :
Del arbol siempre verde coronadas,
Y en medio la divina Poesia,
Todas de nuevas galas adornadas.
Melpomcne,Tersicore, y Talia,
Polimnia, Urania, Erato, Euterpe y Clio,
Y Caliope, hermosa en demasia,
Muestran ufanas su destreza y brio,
Tejiendo una entricada y nueva danza
Al duke son de un instrumento mio.
Mio, no dije bien, menti a la usanza
De aquel que dice propios los ajenos
Versos, que son mas dinos de alabanza.
Los anchos prados, y los campos llenos
Estan de las escuadras vencedoras
(Que siempre van a mas, y nunca a menos)
Esperando de ver de sus mejoras
El colmo con los premios merecidos
Por el sudor y aprieto de seis horas.
Piensan ser los llamados escogidos,
Todos a premios de grandeza aspiran,
Tienense en mas del lo que son tenidos :
Journey to Parnassus. 231
He rubbed him deftly down, and decked his brow
With blended majesty and sweetest grace,
Clear tokens of the joy he felt, I trow.
The Queens of human beauty left the place,
Where they in sure and safe retreat had been,
While raged the battle and the furious chase ;
With wreaths plucked from the tree, the evergreen,
They stood encircling god-like Poesy,
All dressed in newest robes of brightest sheen ;
Thalia, Terpsichore, Melpomene,
Erato, Urania, Polyhymnia fine,
Euterpe, Clio, and Calliope ;
Proud of their lithesome step, the tuneful Nine
Tripped lightly through a new and mazy dance,
To the sweet sound of instrument of mine,
Mine, did I say, I do but lie perchance,
Like him who calls another's rhymes his own,
If they be fit his honour to advance !
The meadows and the plain Immense are strown
With the battalions of the conquering powers,
That swell and ever swell to force unknown ;
All eager to receive the welcome showers
Of crowning honours, due to toil unbated,
Through all the sweat and anguish of six hours ;
The "called" as "chosen" fain would be instated,
All look for highest places on the roll,
And rate themselves far higher than they're rated ;
232 Viaje del Parnaso.
Ni a calidades ni riquezas miran,
A su ingenio se atiene cada uno,
Y si hay cuatro que acierten, mil deliran.
Mas Febo, que no quiere que ninguno
Quede quejoso del, mando a la Aurora
Que vaya y coja in tempore oportuno
De las faldas floriferas de Flora
Cuatro tabaques de purpureas rosas,
Y seis de perlas de las que ella llora.
Y de las nueve por extremo hermosas
Las coronas pidio, y al darlas cllas
En nada se mostraron perezosas.
Tres, a mi parecer, de las mas bellas
A Partenope se que se enviaron,
Y fue Mercurio el que partio con ellas.
Tres sugetos las otras coronaron,
Alii en el mesmo monte peregrines,
Con que su patria y nombre eternizaron.
Tres cupieron a Espana, y tres divinos
Poetas se adornaron la cabeza,
De tanta gloria justamente dinos.
La envidia monstruo de naturaleza
Maldita y carcomida, ardiendo en sana
A murmurar del sacro don empieza.
Dijo : Sera posible que en Espana
Haya nueve poetas laureados ?
Alta es de Apolo, pero simple hazana.
Journey to Parnassus. 233
Not rank, nor riches, but the wealth of soul
Is all their claim, they make no other, none :
For four that hit, a thousand miss the goal.
But Phoebus, who would fain all quarrel shun,
Gave mandate, and forthwith Aurora hies
To gather, at a season opportune,
From wealth of flowers on Flora's lap that lies,
Four baskets-full of roses purpurine,
And six of pearls dropped from her tearful eyes.
He begged the crowns, the fairest ever seen,
The tuneful Nine upon their temples wear,
Who gave them up with sweet and cheerful mien ;
Three, to my mind, the fairest of the fair,
To Naples went, I'm certain of the same ;
For Mercury himself conveyed them there ;
Three other poets gained three crowns of fame,
Who then were pilgrims at the sacred shrine,
With deathless honour to their land and name ;
Three came to Spain ; and lo ! three bards divine
Entwined them round their brows ; and verily
Upon their heads with fitting grace they shine !
But now did Envy, Nature's prodigy,
Cursed, corroding, stung with rage insane,
Against the sacred gift raise murmuring cry :
" And is it possible," she said, " that Spain
Should have and boast nine poets laureate ?
Great is Apollo, but his judgment's vain ! *'
234 Viaje del Parnaso.
Los demas de la turba, defraudados
Del esperado premio, repetian
Los himnos de la envidia mal cantados.
Todos por laureados se tenian
En su imaginacion, antes del trance,
Y al cielo quejas de su agravio envian.
Pero ciertos poetas de romance
Del generoso premio hacer esperan,
A despecho de Febo presto alcance.
Otros, aunque latinos, desesperan
De tocar del laurel solo una hoja,
Aunque del caso en la demanda mueran.
Vengase menos el que mas se enoja,
Y alguno se toco sienes y frente,
Que de estar coronado se le antoja.
Pero todo deseo impertinente
Apolo repartio, premiando a cuantos
Poetas tuvo el escuadron valiente.
De rosas, de jazmines y amarantos
Flora le presento cinco cestones,
Y la Aurora de perlas otros tantos.
Estos fueron, letor duke, los dones
Que Delio repartio con larga mano
Entre los poetisimos varones.
Quedando alegre cada cual y ufano
Con un puno de perlas y una rosa,
Estimando este premio sobrehumano ;
Journey to Parnassus. 235
The remnant of the crowd, with looks irate,
Defrauded of their long expected prize,
Took up the jarring strain of envious hate ;
Before the fight began, their dazzled eyes
Beheld them hailed as laureates of song,
And now to heaven their shouts for "justice" rise.
But certain poets of the vulgar tongue
Hope still, and soon, to wrest that honour rare,
In spite of Phoebus and his tuneful throng ;
Others, though worthy latinists, despair
To pluck one leaflet from the laurel down,
Though till their dying day they urge their prayer.
Those least avenge themselves who most do frown ;
And one was seen to press his throbbing brow,
As if he fancied he might touch the crown.
This most unseemly strife Apollo now
Cooled down at once, and gave rewards galore
To every poet in the band, I vow ;
Flora brought out five baskets from her store,
Of Jasmines, Amarynths, and Roses fair,
Aurora of her pearls as many more.
These were, sweet reader mine, the guerdons rare
Which Phoebus scattered with a lavish hand
Amongst the most poetic poets there ;
They were, in sooth, a proud and happy band ;
A string of pearls, and eke a single rose,
Were in their eyes a gift divinely grand.
2j6 Viaje del Parnaso.
Y porque fuese mas maravillosa
La fiesta y regocijo, que se hacia
Por la vitoria insigne y prodigiosa,
La buena, la importante Poesia
Mando traer la bestia, cuya pata
Abrio la fuente de Castalia fria.
Cubierta de finisima escarlata,
Un lacayo la trujo en un instante,
Tascando un freno de brunida plata.
Envidiarle pudiera Rocinante
Al gran Pegaso de presencia brava,
Y aim Brilladoro el del senor de Anglante.
Con no se cuantas alas adornaba
Manos y pies, indicio manifiesto
Que en lijereza al viento aventajaba.
Y por mostrar cuan agil y cuan presto
Era, se alzo del suelo cuatro picas,
Con un denuedo y ademan compuesto.
Tu, que me escuchas, si el oido aplicas
Al duke cuento deste gran Viaje,
Cosas nuevas oiras de gusto ricas.
Era del bel troton todo el herraje
De durisima plata diamantina,
Que no recibe del pisar ultraje.
De la color que llaman columbina,
De raso en una funda trae la cola,
Que suelta, con el suelo se avecina.
Journey to Parnassus. 237
And that the joyous festival might close
With one more great and yet more marvellous thing,
In honour of that triumph grandiose,
Sweet Poesy, the radiant, bade them bring [light,
The wondrous brute whose hoof-prints brought to
And made to gush Castalia's limpid spring ;
A lackey brought him in an instant quite,
With finest scarlet covered o'er and o'er,
Champing his silver bit of gleaming white ;
Sooth, Rozinante might have envied sore
The mighty Pegasus his matchless breed,
And eke my lord D'Anglante's Brilliadore.
I do not know how many wings indeed
Bedecked his feet, proof positive and sound,
That he could top the very wind in speed ;
To show how quick and agile was his bound,
He sprung four pike-lengths from the earth upright,
With towering vigour and a calm profound.
Thou, who art listening, if thou heed aright
The sweet recital of this Journey grand,
Shalt hear new things of exquisite delight.
This trotter's trappings, every plate and band,
Were sparkling silver, hard as could be found,
And fit the utmost tear and wear to stand ;
His tail in sling of satin fine was bound,
Of colour that is known as columbine,
But let it loose 'twould sweep the very ground ;
238 Viaje del Parnaso.
Del color del carmin 6 de amapola
Eran sus clines, y su cola gruesa,
Ellas solas al munclo, y clla sola.
Tal vez anda despacio, y tal apriesa,
Vuela tal vez, y tal hace corvetas,
Tal quiere relinchar, y luego cesa.
i Nueva felicidad de los poetas !
Unos sus excrementos recogian
En dos de cuero grandes barjuletas.
Pregunte para que lo tal hacian,
Respondiome Cilenio a lo bellaco,
Con no se que vislumbres de ironia :
Esto que se recoge, es el tabaco,
Que a los vaguidos sirve de cabeza
De algun poeta de celebro flaco.
Urania de tal modo lo adereza,
Que puesto a las narices del doliente,
Cobra salud, y vuelve a su entereza.
Un poco entonces arrugue la frente,
Ascos haciendo del remedio extrano,
Tan de los ordinaries diferente.
Recibes, dijo Apolo, amigo engaiio
(Leyome el pensamiento). Este remedio
De los vaguidos cura y sana el dano.
No come este rocin lo que en asedio
Duro y penoso comen los soldados,
Que estan entre la muerte y hambre en medio
Journey to Parnassus. 239
With hair of poppy-red or dark carmine
Was decked his mane, and eke his massy tail,
In all the world was nothing half so fine.
At times he moveth swift, then slow as snail,
Sometimes he curvets, sometimes cleaves the air,
At times he neighs, and then is still and stale.
New poet's luxury ! Enjoyment rare !
For some, in two big bags of leather dry,
Collect his droppings with the utmost care !
"What are they doing? " I enquired, " and why? "
Mercurius answered me right brusque enough,
And yet with humorous gleamings in his eye :
" That which they gather is Tobacco snuff,
Which for a poet with a weakly brain,
To cure its giddiness, is rare good stuff!
Urania makes it, in such happy vein,
That when the sufferer's nostrils sniff the scent,
He gains his health and is himself again ! "
I knit my brows, and with a shrug gave vent
To my disgust at such peculiar cure,
From those in common use so different.
" Thou art in error, friend, this stuff, be sure,"
Apollo said, to whom my thoughts lay bare,
"Cures all head-swimmings, and makes health
This charger is not fed on such coarse fare [secure !
As soldiers at some direful siege do eat,
When death or hunger they are doomed to bear ;
240 Viaje del Parnaso.
Son deste tal los piensos regalados,
Ambar y almizcle entre algodones puesto,
Y bebe del rocio de los prados.
Tal vez le damos de almidon un cesto,
Tal de algarrobas con que el vientre llena,
Y no se estrine, ni se va por esto.
Sea, le respond!, muy norabuena,
Tieso estoy de celebro por ahora,
Vaguido alguno no me causa pena.
La nuestra en esto universal senora,
Digo la Poesia verdadera,
Que con Timbreo y con las musas mora,
En vestido subcinto, a la lijera
El monte discurrio y abrazo a todos,
Hermosa sobre modo, y placentera.
j Oh sangre vencedora de los godos \
Dijo : de aqui adelante ser tratada
Con mas siiaves y discretes modos
Espero ser, y siempre respetada
Del ignorante vulgo, que no alcanza,
Que puesto que soy pobre, soy honrada.
Las riquezas os dejo en esperanza,
Pero no en posesion, premio seguro
Que al reino aspira de la inmensa holganza.
Por la belleza deste monte os juro,
Que quisiera al mas minimo entregalle
Un privilegio de cien mil de juro.
Journey to Parnassus. 241
His rations are of daintiness complete,
Amber and musk enwrapped in cotton wool,
His drink the dew-drops of the meadow sweet ;
At times of starch he hath a basket full,
Or else of carobs, which his hunger stay,
And do not puff him up, but keep him cool ! "
I answered sharp : " Let that be as it may,
My brain till now is good and sound withal,
Head-swimmings cause me not the least dismay!"
On this our Sovereign lady, whom we call
True Poesy, the bosom friend by right
Of great Apollo and the Muses all,
With kilted garments, and with speed of light,
Coursed o'er the mountain, and in merry vein
Embraced each one, and said with great delight :
" O conquering blood, of purest Gothic strain,
Now do I hope, and better than before,
A wise and generous treatment to obtain,
And be respected ever more and more
By the dull crowd, who cannot understand
That though I*m poor I'm honest to the core !
I leave you wealth in hope, and not in hand ;
A guerdon rich, full of the highest cheer
That all the realm of Fancy can command !
Now do I swear, and by this mountain dear,
That were it mine, I'd give the meanest e'en
An income of a hundred thousand clear ;
242 Viaje del Parnaso.
Mas no produce minas este valle,
Aguas si, salutiferas y buenas,
Y monas que de cisnes tienen talle.
Volved a ver, 6 amigos, las arenas
Del aurifero Tajo en paz segura,
Y en dukes horas de pesar ajenas.
Que esta inaudita hazana os asegura
Eterno nombre en tanto que de Febo
Al mundo aliento, y luz serena y pura.
; Oh maravilla nueva, oh caso nuevo,
Digno de admiration que cause espanto,
Cuya extraneza me admiro de nuevo !
Morfeo, el dios del sueno, por encanto
Alii se aparecio, cuya corona
Era de ramos de beleno santo.
Flojisimo de brio y de persona,
De la pereza torpe acompanado,
Que no le deja a visperas ni a nona.
Traia al Silencio a su derecho lado,
El Descuido al siniestro, y el vestido
Era de blanda lana fabricado.
De las aguas que llaman del olvido,
Traia un gran caldero, y de un hisopo
Venia como aposta prevenido.
Asia a los poetas por el hope,
Y aunque el caso los rostros les volvia
En color encendida de piropo,
Journey to Parnassus. 243
But in our vales no mines are to be seen,
We've only waters limpid, good, and sane,
And apes that take the form of swans, I ween !
Return, O friends, to see the sands again
Of golden Tagus, and may peace secure
Be yours, and happy hours that know no pain ;
For now to you these matchless feats assure
Eternal fame, while Phoebus holds his reign,
To flood the world with light serene and pure ! "
O marvel new ! O novelty most plain !
Worthy of wonder dashed with horror too,
Whose strangeness makes me marvel yet again !
Morpheus, the god of slumber, came to view
As if by magic ; on his head was worn
A wreath of henbane leaves, of saintly hue ;
He had a long-drawn stride, a look forlorn,
And in his wake came Sloth, that sluggish eft,
Who leaves him not at even-song or morn ;
At his right side stood Silence, at his left
Was Negligence ; his loosely flowing dress
Was woven of softest wool, both woof and weft.
Full of the waters of Forgetfulness
He bore a cauldron, and from bed to bed
He came with sprinkler wherewithal to bless j
Right by the scruff he seized each poet's head,
And, though their faces changed into the hue
Of pyrop stone, a bright and fiery red,
244 Viaje del Parnaso.
El nos banaba con el agua fria,
Causandonos un sucno de tal suerte,
Que dormimos un dia y otro dia.
Tal es la fuerza del licor, tan fuerte
Es de las aguas la virtud, que pueden
Competir con los fueros de la muerte.
Hace el ingenio alguna vez que queden
Las verdades sin credito ninguno,
For ver que a toda contingencia exceden.
Al despertar del suefio asi importuno,
Ni vi monte, ni monta, dios, ni diosa,
Ni de tanto poeta vide alguno.
For cierto extrana y nunca vista cosa ;
Despabile la vista, y pareciome
Vertne en medio de una ciudad famosa.
Admiracion y grima el caso diome ;
Torne a mirar, porque el temor 6 engano
No de mi buen discurso el paso tome.
Y dijeme a mi mismo : No me engano :
Esta ciudad es Napoles la ilustre,
Que yo pise sus ruas mas de un ano :
De Italia gloria, y aun del mundo lustre,
Pues de cuantas ciudades el encierra
Ninguna puede haber que asi le ilustre.
Apacible en la paz, dura en la guerra,
Madre de la abundancia y la nobleza,
De eliseos campos y agradable sierra.
Journey to Parnassus. 245
With water cool he laved us, and there grew
Over each sense a drowsiness so long
We slept that day and eke another too.
Such is its strength, such virtues strange belong
To that rare liquor, that in very deed
The rights of death itself are not more strong !
Full many things there be that far exceed
The common faith, which genius stamps as true :
The vulgar pass them by, and do not heed !
Waking from that sound sleep there met my view
No hill nor hillock, god nor goddess round,
Nor any poet of the countless crew.
Strange matter truly, passing every bound !
I rubbed mine eyes, and seemed transported thence
Into the centre of some town renowned ;
With some disgust, with wonder most intense,
I turned to look, lest some deluding fear
Had gained the vantage o'er my better sense :
And inly said : " There's no deception here,
'Tfs Naples' self, that city of great fame,
Whose streets I paced for better than a year.
Italia' s pride, that sets the world aflame,
For of all famous cities near and far
Not one possesses such a glorious name !
Soft in the time of peace, and strong in war,
Mother of all abundance and noblesse,
Elysian fields, and sweetest hills that are !
246 Viaje del Parnaso.
Si vaguidos no tengo de cabeza,
Pareceme que esta mudada en partc,
De sitio, aunque en aumento de belleza.
,5 Que teatro es aquel, donde reparte
Con el cuanto contiene de hermosura,
La gala, la grandeza, industria y arte ?
Sin duda el sueno en mis palpebras dura,
Porque este es edificio imaginado,
Que excede a toda humana compostura.
Llegose en esto a mi disimulado
Un mi amigo, llamado Promontorio,
Mancebo en dias, pero gran soldado.
Credo la admiracion viendo notorio
Y palpable que en Napoles estaba,
Espanto a los pasados acesorio.
Mi amigo tiernamente me abrazaba,
Y con tenerme entre sus brazos, dijo,
Que del estar yo alii mucho dudaba,
Llamome padre, y yo llamele hijo,
Quedo con esto la verdad en punto,
Que aqui puede llamarse punto fijo.
Dijome Promontorio : Yo barrunto,
Padre, que algun gran caso a vuestras canas
Las trae tan lejos ya semidifunto.
En mis horas tan frescas y tempranas
Esta tierra habite, hijo, le dije,
Con fuerzas mas briosas y lozanas.
Journey to Parnassus. 247
IF giddy thoughts do not my brain distress,
It seems that she hath changed her site in part,
But to the increase of her loveliness.
What theatre is this, within whose heart
Such wondrous stores of beauty seem to rest,
Such splendour, grandeur, industry and art ?
Doubtless my eyelids still with sleep are pressed,
For such a structure only Fancy rears,
Not human science even at its best !
On this up-gliding at my side appears
A friend of mine, one PROMONTORIO hight,
A right good soldier, though a youth in years ;
My wonder grew, and to its greatest height,
To see him verily in Naples here
To the past marvels fit companion quite.
My friend embraced me with a hug full dear,
And, holding me, to question he begun
Whether 'twas I myself he held so near ;
He called me " father," and I called him " son,"
And so the truth was placed in sudden light,
Or sunny light, to use a homely pun ;
Said PROMONTORIO : " Tell me if I'm right
That some misfortune, father, brings thee here,
With hairs so grey, and in this half-dead plight?"
" My son," I said, " I trod this country dear
In happier hours, and in a merrier vein,
While yet my powers were fresh, my vision clear;
248 Viaje del Parnaso.
Pero la voluntad que a todos rige,
Digo, el querer del cielo, me ha traido
A parte que me alegra mas que aflige.
Dijera mas, sino que un gran ruido
De pifanos, clarines y tambores
Me azoro el alma, y alegro el oido ;
Volvi la vista al son, vi los mayores
Aparatos de fiesta que vio Roma
En sus felices tiempos y mejores.
Dijo mi amigo : Aquel que ves que asoma
For aquella montana contrahecha,
Cuyo brio al de Marte oprime y doma,
Es un alto sugeto, que deshecha
Tiene a la envidia en rabia, porque pisa
De la virtud la senda mas derecha.
De gravedad y condicion tan lisa,
Que suspende y alegra a un mismo instante,
Y con su aviso al mismo aviso avisa.
Mas quiero, antes que pases adelante
En ver lo que veras, si estas atento,
Darte del caso relacion bastante.
Sera DON JUAN DE TASIS de mi cuento
Principio, porque sea memorable,
Y lleguen mis palabras a mi intento.
Este varon, en liberal notable,
Que una mediana villa le hace conde,
Siendo rey en sus obras admirable :
Journey to Parnassus. 249
But that same will, that doth all wills constrain,
I mean the will of heaven, hath held me bound
To seek it now with greater joy than pain ;"
More had I said, when lo ! a mighty sound
The fifes and horns and kettledrums did raise,
My ear to gladden and my soul confound !
I turned me, and I saw more grand displays
Of festive jubilee than Rome could show
E'en in her grandest and her happiest days !
Quoth he, my friend : " He whom thou seest go
With ardour to ascend that tortuous hill,
Whose vigour gives to Mars himself a blow,
A soaring spirit is, who treads with skill
The clear straight path that leads to Virtue's goal,
And sends through Envy's heart a furious thrill ;
Of grave demeanour, yet of sweetest soul,
He fills each heart with wonder and delight,
And by his wit doth wisdom's self control!
But ere thou passest on to see the sight
That now awaits thee, if thou so incline,
On this great show I fain would shed some light :
I give DON JUAN DE TASIS foremost line
In this my tale, that it may better ring,
And that my words may square with my design.
This gentleman, of gifts a living spring,
Whom VlLLAMEDIANA made a Count,
Although already by his works a King ;
250 Viaje del Parnaso.
Este, que sus haberes nunca csconde,
Pues siempre los reparte, 6 los derrama,
Ya sepa adonde, 6 ya no sepa adonde :
Este, a quien tiene tan en fil la fama,
Puesta la alteza de su nombre claro,
Que liberal y prodigo se llama,
Quiso prodigo aqui, y alK no avaro,
Primer mantenedor ser de un torneo,
Que a fiestas sobrehumanas le comparo.
Responden sus grandezas al deseo
Que tiene de mostrarse alegre, viendo
De Espafia y Francia el regio himeneo.
Y este que escuchas, duro, alegre estruendo,
Es serial que el torneo se comienza,
Que admira por lo rico y estupendo.
Arquimedes el grande se avergiienza
De ver que este teatro milagroso
Su ingenio apoque, y a sus trazas venza.
Digo pues, que el mancebo generoso,
Que alii desciende de encarnado y plata,
Sobre todo mortal curso brioso,
Es el CONDE DE LEMOS, que dilata
Su fama con sus obras por el mundo,
Y que lleguen al cielo en tierra trata :
Y aunque sale el primero, es el segundo
Mantenedor, y en buena cortesia
Esta ventaja califico y fundo.
journey to Parnassus. 251
He who, of goods and wealth a very fount,
Likes not to hoard, but scatters them with glee,
Hither or thither, 'tis of no account ;
He, to whom Fame hath given, in such degree,
To his clear name a loftiness serene,
That he is styled the prodigal and free,
Hath so decreed, for honour ever keen,
To be the first defender in the plain
Of a grand Tourney grandest ever seen !
His lofty greatness makes the passage plain
To his desire, with joy to celebrate
The regal nuptials that bind France and Spain.
The sound thou hearest is the sign we wait,
That the grand Tourney will commence amain,
That well may stun thee with its pomp and state ;
Great Archimedes' self would writhe in pain
To see how this miraculous display
Beggars his plans, makes his inventions vain.
Observe the youth, the generous and the gay,
Who lighteth down, in vigour reaching high
Above the rest, in crimson bright array ;
The COUNT DE LEMOS he, whose deeds do fly
On wings of fame through all the world we see,
Making fleet commerce 'twixt the earth and sky ;
Though first he comes, the second champion he,
Which place he takes, if I do err not far,
To suit the just demands of courtesy.
252 Viaje del Parnaso.
El DUQUE DE NOCERA, luz y guia
Del arte militar, es el tercero
Mantenedor deste festive dia.
El cuarto, que pudiera ser primero,
Es DE SANTELMO el fuerte CASTELLANO,
Que al mesmo Marte en el valor prefiero.
El quinto es otro Eneas el troyano,
ARROCIOLO, que gana en ser valiente
Al que fiie verdadero, por la mano.
El gran concurso y numero de gente
Estorbo que adelante prosiguiese
La comenzada relacion prudente.
Por esto la pedi que me pusiese
Adonde sin ningun impedimento
El gran progreso de las fiestas viese.
Porque luego me vino al pensamiento
De ponerlas en verso numeroso,
Favorecido del febeo aliento.
Hizolo asi, y yo vi lo que no oso
Pensar, que no decir, que aqui se acorta
La lengua y el ingenio mas curioso.
Que se pase en silencio es lo que imports
Y que la admiracion supla esta falta,
El mesmo grandiose caso exhorta.
Puesto que despues supe que con alta
Magnifica elegancia milagrosa,
Donde ni sobra punto ni le falta,
Journey to Parnassus. 253
El DUQUE DE NOCERA, guiding star
In military art, holds the third place
As champion in this glorious festive war ;
The fourth, who might be first in point of grace,
Is Fort St. Elmo's mighty Castellan,
Who Mars himself might vanquish in the race ;
The fifth is ARROCIOLO, valiant man
Who equals great j^Eneas, him of Troy,
And e'en o'ertops him by a goodly span ! "
The mighty numbers, which did there deploy,
Brought to a speedy end his tale of grace,
Whose grave recital filled my heart with joy.
On this I begged him he would find a place,
Where undisturbed, as on some vantage tower,
I might survey the wondrous festive race ;
For it had struck me, in a happy hour,
That I might put it into sounding verse,
If Phoebus would but kindly give me power.
This did he ; and I saw what to rehearse
I do not dare, for thought and language fail,
And keenest wit must suffer a reverse ;
'Tis needful then that Silence tell the tale,
For, sooth, it was a magnifique affair,
And Fancy can supply each rich detail.
Since then I've heard that, with a curious care,
With elegance supreme and grandiose,
That heightened nothing and left nothing bare,
254 Viaje del Parnaso.
El curioso DON JUAN DE OQUINA en prosa
La puso, y dio a la estampa para gloria
De nucstra edad, por esto venturosa.
Ni en fabulosa 6 verdadera historia
Se halla que otras fiestas hayan sido,
Ni pueden ser mas dignas de memoria.
Desde alii, y no se como, fui traido
Adonde vi al gran DUQUE DE PASTRANA
Mil parabienes dar de bien venido ;
Y que la fama en la verdad ufana
Contaba que agrado con su presencia,
Y con su cortesia sobrehumana :
Que fue nuevo Alejandro en la excelencia
Del dar, que satisfizo a todo cuanto
Puede mostrar real magnificencia ;
Colmo de admiracion, lleno de espanto,
Entre en Madrid en traje de romero,
Que es granjeria el parecer ser santo.
Y desde lejos me quito el sombrero
El famoso ACEVEDO, y dijo : A Dio,
Voi slate II ben venuto, cavallero ;
So parlor zenoese^ e tusco anch'io.
Y respondi : La vostra signoria
Sia la ben trovata, padron mio.
Tope a LUIS VELEZ, lustre y alegria,
Y discrecion del trato cortesano,
Y abracele en la calle a mediodia.
Journey to Parnassus. 255
DON JUAN DE OQUINA told it all in prose,
And gave it to the press to grace our age,
In this most lucky we may well suppose ;
For, not in story fabulous nor sage,
Hath such like festival been ever found,
None worthier of a place in History's page.
From this I reached, I know not how, the ground
Where I could see received, with welcome grand,
El DUQUE DE PASTRANA the renowned ;
Fame, winged with truth, did publish o'er the land
How much he charmed with wondrous courtesy,
And stately bearing fitted to command ;
How, like a second Alexander, he
With regal hand, where meanness left no taint,
Did carry splendour to the last degree.
O'erwhelmed with awe, and eke with wonder faint,
I reached Madrid in pilgrim's dress severe,
For much it profiteth to seem a saint ;
There doffed his hat to me, as he came near,
The famous ACEVEDO and did cry :
" A Dio, you are the well-come, Cavalier,
I speak ze Zenoese, the Tuscan I ! "
" Padron, you are the well-found ! " I did say ;
And as I turned I met, and eye to eye,
With LUIS VELEZ, model fine and gay
Of courtly polished wit, and kissed his face
In open street, and in the blaze of day ;
256 Viaje del Parnaso.
El pecho, el alma, el corazon, la mano
Di a PEDRO DE MORALES, y un abrazo,
Y alegre recebi a JUSTINIANO.
Al volver de una esquina send un brazo
Que el cuello me cenia, mire cuyo,
Y mas que gusto me causo embarazo,
Por ser uno de aquellos (no rehuyo
Decirlo) que al contrario se pasaron,
Llevados del cobarde intento suyo.
Otros dos al del Layo se llegaron,
Y con la risa falsa del conejo,
Y con muchas zalemas me hablaron.
Yo socarron, yo poeton ya viejo
Volviles a lo tierno las saludes,
Sin mostrar mal talante 6 sobrecejo.
No dudes, 6 letor caro, no dudes,
Sino que suele el disimulo a veces
Servir de aumento a las demas virtudes.
Dinoslo tu, David, que aunque pareces
Loco en poder de Aquis, de tu cordura
Fingiendo el loco, la grandeza ofreces.
Dejelos esperando coyuntura
Y ocasion mas secreta para dalles
Vejamen de su miedo, 6 su locura.
Si encontraba poetas por las calles,
Me ponia a pensar, si eran de aquellos
Huidos, y pasaba sin hablalles.
Journey to Parnassus. 257
My heart and hand I gave, and warm embrace
To PEDRO DE MORALES, and with right
JUSTINIANO claimed like friendly place.
At turning of a street there grasped me tight
Around my neck an arm I wondered whose ;
And, more to my confusion than delight,
(To speak right out I cannot well refuse,)
He was a renegade of the band,
Who did the coward's work in coward's shoes.
Two others of these LAICS came to hand,
And with a grinning, hypocritic smile,
And much salaaming, spoke me fair and bland.
I, an old poet, with sardonic wile
Returned their bows, with courtesy in chief,
Nor showed my pique, nor raised my brows the while.
Let it not, tender reader, give thee grief,
Dissimulation hath at times its place
To set the other virtues in relief;
David, tell us, was not this thy case,
When thou, in power of Achish, play'dst the fool,
And feigned folly showed thy wisdom's grace ?
1 left them, biding fitting time and cool
To brand their folly and their cowardice,
And fill their cup of chastisement right full ;
If in the high street poets met mine eyes,
I stopped to think if they were runaways,
And without speech I passed them in a trice ;
258 Viaje del Parnaso.
Ponianseme yertos los cabellos
De temor no encontrase algun poeta,
De tantos que no pude conocellos,
Que con punal buido, 6 con secreta
Almarada me hiciese un agujero
Que fuese al corazon por via reta,
Aunque no es este el premio que yo espero
De la fama, que a tantos he adquirido
Con alma grata y corazon sincere.
Un cierto mancebito cuellierguido,
En profesion poeta, y en el traje
A mil leguas por godo conocido,
Lleno de presuncion y de coraje
Me dijo : Bien se yo, senor Cervantes,
Que puedo ser poeta, aunque soy paje.
Cargastes de poetas ignorantes,
Y dejastesme a mi, que ver deseo
Del Parnaso las fuentes elegantes.
Que caducais sin duda alguna creo :
Creo, no digo bien : mejor diria
Que toco esta verdad, y que la veo.
Otro, que al parecer, de argenteria,
De nacar, de cristal, de perlas y oro
Sus infinites versos componia,
Me dijo bravo, cual corrido toro :
No se yo para que nadie me puso
En lista con tan barbaro decoro.
Journey to Parnassus. 259
My hair stood up on end, in homely phrase,
Lest I should meet some poet by the way
Of those I did not know, or did not praise ;
Who, with a poignard, or with secret play
Of some sharp dirk, might stab me from behind,
And take my life without a moment's stay.
Such meed of fame, sooth, fear I not to find,
Who have received so many in my day,
With guileless soul and with a grateful mind.
A certain stiff-necked stripling stopped the way,
A bard to trade, with dress that's all the rage,
And stamps him Goth a thousand leagues away ;
Who said with all the pertness of his age :
" Hark'ee, Senor Cervantes, well I know
I can a poet be, though I'm a page ;
With loads of witless poets didst thou go,
And left me out, who fain would see, I vow,
The dainty springs that in Parnassus flow !
I do believe thou art a dotard, thou ;
Believe ! I said not well, I'd better say,
I've hit the very mark, and see it now ! "
Another there, whose verses made display
Of silver, mother-o'-pearl, and crystal too,
Of pearls and gold, in wildering array,
Like baited bull, came fiercely to my view ;
" With gauds like these, can any tell me why
They gave me not a place among the crew ?"
260 Viaje del Parnaso.
Asi el discrete Apolo lo dispuso,
A los dos respondi, y en este hecho
De ignorancia 6 malicia no me acuso.
Fuime con esto, y lleno de despecho
Busque mi antigua y lobrega posada,
Y arrojeme molido sobre el lecho ;
Que cansa cuando es larga una Jornada.
Journey to Parnassus. 261
So cried he ; and to both I gave reply :
" It was the wise Apollo's wish," I said,
** No malice, nay, nor ignorance had I ! "
On this, with smothered ire, I turned and fled,
And to my old and sombre home retired,
And flung me worn and shattered on my bed ;
For when a journey's long one feels so tired.
ADJUNTA AL PARNASO.
ALGUNOS dias estuvc reparandome de tan largo
viaje, al cabo de los cuales sail a ver y a ser visto, y
a recebir parabienes de mis amigos, y malas vistas
de mis enemigos ; que puesto que pienso que no tengo
ninguno, todavia no me aseguro de la comun suerte.
Succdio pues que saliendo una mariana del monas-
terio de Atocha, se llego a mi un mancebo al parecer
de veinte y cuatro anos poco mas 6 menos, todo
limpio, todo aseado y todo crujiendo gorgoranes,
pero con un cuello tan grande y tan almidonado, que
crei que para llevarle fueran menester los hombros
de un Atlante. Hijos deste cuello eran dos punos
chatos, que comenzando de las munecas, subian y
trepaban por las canillas del brazo arriba, que parecia
que iban a dar asalto a las barbas. No he visto yo
hiedra tan codiciosa de subir desde el pie de la
muralla donde se arrima, hasta las almcnas, como el
ahinco que llevaban estos punos a ir a darse de
APPENDIX TO THE "PARNASSUS."
CERTAIN days did I remain recruiting myself
after so long a journey, at the end of which I sallied
forth to see and to be seen, to receive good greetings
from my friends and evil glances from my enemies ;
for though I have none that I know of, I do not
hold me exempt from the common lot.
And so it happened that, going forth one morning
from the monastery of Atocha, I was accosted by a
youth of some four-and-twenty summers, a few more
or less ; cleanly withal, and arrayed to the full in
garments of rustling silk, but with a ruff so large,
and so bestarched, that the shoulders of an Atlas
seemed needful to bear it. To match this ruff were
two flat cuffs, which, beginning with the wrists, went
creeping up the brachial bones, as if eager to assail
the whiskers. Never have I seen Ivy more ambitious
of climbing up its supporting wall to the topmost
battlements, than were these cuffs in their eager
266 Adjunta al Parnaso.
punadas con los codes. Finalmente, la exorbitancia
del cuello y punos era tal, que en el cuello se
escondia y sepultaba el rostro, y en los punos los
Digo pues que el tal mancebo se llego a mi, y con
voz grave y reposada me dijo : <: Es por ventura
vuestra merced el senor Miguel de Cervantes
Saavedra, el que ha pocos dias que vino del Par-
A esta pregunta creo sin duda que perdi la color
del rostro, porque en un instante imagine y dije
entre mi : Si es este alguno de los poetas que puse,
6 deje de poner en mi Viaje^ y viene ahora a darme
el pago que el se imagina se me debe ?
Pero sacando fuerzas de flaqueza, le respond! :
" Yo, senor, soy el mesmo que vuestra merced dice :
que es lo que se me manda ? *'
El luego en oyendo esto, abrio los brazos, y me
los echo al cuello, y sin duda me besara en la frente,
si la grandeza del cuello no lo impidiera, y dijome :
" Vuestra merced, senor Cervantes, me tenga por su
servidor y por su amigo, porque ha muchos dias que
le soy muy aficionado, asi por sus obras como por la
fama de su apacible condicion."
Oyendo lo cual respire, y los espiritus que
andaban alborotados, se sosegaron; y abrazando le
yo tambien con recato de no ajarle el cuello, le dije :
Appendix to the Parnassus. 267
desire to come to fisticuffs with the elbows. In
short, the enormity of the ruff and cuffs was such,
that the face lay hid and buried in the ruff, and the
arms in the cuffs.
As I was saying, this same youth accosted me,
and said with grave and quiet voice : " Is your
worship, perchance, the Senor Miguel de Cervantes
who arrived from Parnassus a few days ago ? "
At this inquiry I verily believe that my face lost
colour, for in a twinkling I found me saying to my-
self : "May this be one of the poets whom I put,
or refrained from putting, into my Journey, and
who comes now to pay me off as he fancies I
deserve ? "
But gathering strength from weakness, I replied :
" I, Senor, am the same of whom your worship
speaks ; what would you with me ? "
On hearing this, he straightway opened his arms
and threw them round my neck, and would doubtless
have kissed my brow, had not the bigness of his ruff
hindered, and said to me : ** Let your worship,
Senor Cervantes, esteem me as your servant and
friend ; seeing I have been these many days your
admirer, both for your works' sake, and the well-
known kindliness of your disposition.''
On hearing this, I breathed again, and my disturbed
spirits revived ; and embracing him, with due respect
268 Adjunta al Parnaso.
" Yo no conozco a vuestra merced si no es para sir-
virle ; pero por las muestras bien se me trasluce que
vuestra merced es muy discrete y muy principal :
calidades que obligan a tener en veneracion a la
persona que las tiene."
Con estas pasamos otras corteses razones, y
anduvieron por alto los ofrecimientos, y de lance en
lance, me dijo : " Vuestra merced sabra, senor
Cervantes, que yo por la gracia de Apolo soy
poeta, 6 a lo menos deseo serlo, y mi nombre es
Pancracio de Roncesvalles."
MIGUEL. "Nunca tal creyera, si vuestra merced
no me lo hubiera dicho por su mesma boca."
PANCRACIO. " Pues por que no lo creyera
vuestra merced ? "
MIGUEL. " Porque los poetas por maravilla
andan tan atildados como vuestra merced, y es la
causa, que como son de ingenio tan altaneros y re-
montados, antes atienden a las cosas del espiritu, que
a las del cuerpo."
" Yo, senor," dijo el, " soy mozo, soy rico y soy
enamorado : partes que deshacen en mi la flojedad
que infunde la poesia. Por la mocedad tengo
brio; con la riqueza, con que mostrarle; y con el
amor, con que no parecer descuidado."
"Las tres partes del camino," ledijeyo, "se tiene
vuestra merced andadas para llegar a ser buen poeta."
Appendix to the Parnassus. 269
to the integrity of his ruff, I said to him : "I do not
know your worship, save as your humble servant ;
but from visible proofs I am assured that you are
very discreet, and distinguished : qualities which
constrain me to respect the person who possesses
On this we exchanged other courteous phrases,
and went to extremes in compliments, until, from one
thing to another, he said : " Your worship, Senor
Cervantes, should know that I, by Apollo's grace,
am a poet, or at least desire to be one, and my name
is Pancracio de Roncesvalles."
MIGUEL. '* I should never have believed it,
had you not told it me with your own mouth."
PANCRACIO. "Why, then, should you not
have believed it ? "
MIGUEL. " Because seldom or never do poets go
so finely arrayed as you do ; and the reason is, that, as
their genius is ever soaring aloft, they pay more heed
to the things of the spirit, than to those of the body."
" I, Senor,'* quoth he, " am young, rich, and
in love, qualities which undo in me the negligence
which poetry engenders. My youth gives me vigour,
my wealth the means of displaying it, and my love
saves me from all appearance of untidiness."
" Your worship," I replied, " has already gone
three parts of the way towards being a good poet."
270 Adjunta al Parnaso.
PANCRACIO. " ^ Cuales son ? "
MIGUEL. " La de la riqueza y la del amor.
Porque los partos de los ingenios de la persona rica
y enamorada son asombros de la avaricia, y estimulos
de la liberalidad, y en el poeta pobre la mitad de sus
divinos partos y pensamientos se los llevan los cuida-
dos de buscar el ordinario sustento. Pero digame
vuestra merced, por su vida : de que suerte de
menestra poetica gasta 6 gusta mas ? "
PANCRACIO, " No entiendo eso de menestra
MIGUEL. " Quiero decir, que a que genero de
poesia es vuestra merced mas inclinado, al lirico, al
heroico, 6 al comico."
PANCRACIO. " A todos estilos me amano ; pero
en el que mas me ocupo es en el comico."
MIGUEL. " Desa manera habra vuestra merced
compuesto algunas comedias."
PANCRACIO. " Muchas, pero solo una se ha
MIGUEL. " ^ Parecio bien ? "
PANCRACIO. " Al vulgo no."
MIGUEL. " Y a los discretes !"
PANCRACIO. " Tampoco."
MIGUEL. " La causa ? "
PANCRACIO. " La causa fue, que la acha-
caron que era larga en los razonamientos, no
Appendix to the Parnassus. 27 1
PANCRACIO. " What may these be ? "
MIGUEL. "Those of riches and love; for the
fruits of the rich, enamoured one's genius avarice
stunts not, but liberality quickens ; while the half of
the poor poet's divine fruits and fancies miscarry by
reason of his anxious care to win his daily bread.
But tell me, for dear life, what kind of poetic pottage
do you relish most ? "
PANCRACIO. " I understand not what you mean
by poetic pottage."
MIGUEL. " I would say, what kind of poetry
do you most affect, the lyric, the heroic, or the
comic ? "
PANCRACIO. " I am apt at all styles, but that
which engages me most is the comic."
MIGUEL. " Your worship, then, will have writ-
ten some comedies ? "
PANCRACIO. " Many, but only one of them has
been put upon the stage."
MIGUEL. " Was it well received?"
PANCRACIO. " By the vulgar, no."
MIGUEL. " And by the enlightened ? "
PANCRACIO. * As little."
MIGUEL. " And the reason ? "
PANCRACIO. "The reason was, that they blamed
it for being long-winded in its speeches, not too chaste
in its verses, and altogether void of invention."
272 Adjunta al Parnaso.
muy pura en los versos, y desmayada en la in-
" Tachas son estas," respond! yo, " que pudieran
hacer parecer malas las del mesmo Plauto."
"Y mas," dijo el, "que no pudieron juzgalla,
porque no la dejaron acabar segun la gritaron.
Con todo esto, la echo el autor para otro dia ; pero
porfiar que porflar : cinco personas vinieron apenas."
" Creame vuestra merced," dije yo, " que las
comedias tienen dias, como algunas mujeres her-
mosas ; y que esto de acertarlas bien, va tanto en
la ventura, como en el ingenio : comedia he visto yo
apedreda en Madrid, que la han laureado en
Toledo : y no por esta primer desgracia deje vuestra
merced de proseguir en componerlas ; que podra ser
que cuando menos lo piense, acierte con alguna que
le de credito y dineros."
" De los dineros no hago caso," respondio el ;
" mas preciaria la fama, que cuanto hay; porque es
cosa de grandisimo gusto, y de no menos importancia
ver salir mucha gente de la comedia, todos contentos,
y estar el poeta que la compuso a la puerta del
teatro, recibiendo parabienes de todos."
"Sus descuentos tienen esas alegrias," le dije yo,
"que tal vez suele ser la comedia tan pesima, que
no hay quien alee los ojos a mirar al poeta, ni aun
el para cuatro calles del coliseo, ni aun los alzan los
Appendix to the Parnassus. 273
"Blemishes these," I replied, "that would have
damned the comedies of Plautus himself! "
" And all the more," he rejoined, " that they left
themselves no means of judging it, for they hooted
it off the stage before it was half-finished. The
manager reserved it for another day : but worse and
worse, for scarcely five persons came."
" Believe me," I said to him, " that comedies have
their times as beautiful women have ; and chance, as
well as wit, plays a part in hitting these precisely.
I have seen a comedy pelted in Madrid, which was
crowned in Toledo. Let not your worship, then, be
discouraged by the first failure, but proceed to com-
pose others ; for when you least dream of it you may
succeed with one which will bring you in both credit
"Of the coin I make no account," he replied,
"but fame I would prize, be it much or little. For
it is a thing of exquisite delight, and no less impor-
tance, to see crowds of people issuing from the comedy,
all in fine humour, and the poet who wrote it stand-
ing at the door of the theatre, receiving congratula-
tions from all around."
"Such pleasures have their drawbacks," I said
to him, " for sometimes the comedy may be so
wretchedly bad, that no one will care to cast eyes
on the poet, as he rushes headlong five streets'
274 Adjunta al Parnaso.
que la recitaron, avergonzados y corridos de haberse
engafiado y escogidola por buena."
"Y vuestra merced, senor Cervantes," dijo el,
" i ha sido aficionado a la caratula? ^ha compuesto
"Si," dije yo : "muchas; y a no ser mias, me
parecieran dignas de alabanza, como lo fueron : Los
Tratos de Argel, La Numancia, La gran Turquesca,
La Hatalla Naval, La Jerusalen, La Amaranta b La
del Mayo, el Basque amoroso, La Unica y la Bizarra
Arsinda, y otras muchas de que no me acuerdo ;
mas la que yo mas estimo, y de la que mas me precio,
fue y es, de una llamada La Confusa, la cual, con
paz sea dicho de cuantas comedias de capa y espada
hasta hoy se han representado, bien puede tener lugar
senalado por buena entre las mejores."
PANCRACIO. " Y agora tiene vuestra merced
algunas ? "
MIGUEL. " Seis tengo con otros seis entre-
PANCRACIO. "^Pues por que no se rcpre-
sentan ? "
MIGUEL. " Porque ni los autores me buscan, ni
yo les voy a buscar a ellos."
PANCRACIO. " No deben de saber que vuestra
merced las tiene."
MIGUEL. " Si saben, pero como tienen sus poetas
Appendix to the Parnassus. 275
length from the building ; not even the players
thereof, who stand blushing and mortified at their
deception in having accepted the play as good ! "
" Has your worship, Senor Cervantes," said he,
"affected the playwright's art? Have you com-
posed any comedy ? "
"Yes," said I, "many; and, had they not been
mine, I should have held them worthy of praise, as
indeed they were : The Manners of Algiers ^Numancl a ^
The grand Sultana , The Naval Combat ', Jerusalem, s
Amaranta or the May-flower^ The Amorous Grove,
The rare and matchless Arsinda, and many others
that have slipped from my memory. But that
which I most esteem, and still pride myself
upon, was, and is one styled The Confused Lady^
which, with peace be it spoken, may rank as
good among the best of the comedies of the
* Cloak and Sword,' which have hitherto been
PANCRACIO. " Has your worship at present any
MIGUEL. " I have six, and as many more inter-
PANCRACIO. " Why, then, are they not being
MIGUEL. " Because neither do the managers
come to seek me, nor do I go to seek them."
276 Adjunta a I Parnaso.
paniaguados, y les va bien con ellos, no buscan pan
de trastrigo ; pero yo pienso darlas a la estampa,
para que se vca de espacio lo que pasa apriesa, y se
disimula, 6 no se entiende cuando las representan; y
las comedias tienen sus sazones y tiempos, como los
Aqui llegabamos con nuestra platica, cuando
Pancracio puso la mano en el seno, y saco del
una carta con su cubierta, y besandola, me la
puso en la mano : lei el sobrescrito, y vi que decla
desta manera :
" A Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, en la calle de
las Huertas, frontero de las casas donde solia vivir
el principe de Marruecos, en Madrid." Al porte :
medio real, digo diez y siete maravedis.
Escandalizome el porte, y de la declaracion del
medio real, digo diez y siete. Y volviendosela le
" Estando yo en Valladolid llevaron una carta a mi
casa para mi, con un real de porte : recebiola y pago
el porte una sobrina mia,quenuncaellale pagara; pero
diome por disculpa, que muchas veces me habia oido
decir que en tres cosas era bien gastado el dinero: en
dar limosna, en pagar al buen medico, y en el porte de
las cartas,ora sean de amigos, 6 de enemigos, que las
dc los amigos avisan,y de las de los enemigos se puede
tomar algun indicio de sus pensamientos. Dicronmela,
Appendix to the Parnassus. 277
PANCRACIO. " Haply they know not that you
have them ? "
MIGUEL. " Yes, they know it ; but as they
have their own household poets, who bring grist to
the mill, they do not seek finer corn than the finest. I
have thoughts, however, of giving them to the press,
that people may see at their leisure what passes
hurriedly, inaccurately, and often unintelligibly when
acted on the stage. And comedies have their times
and seasons as popular songs have."
We had reached this point of our dialogue, when
Pancracio thrust his hand into his bosom, and drew
therefrom a letter with its envelope, and kissing it,
he placed it in my hands. I read the superscription
and found it to run thus :
" To Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in Orchard
Street, fronting the house where the Prince of Mo-
rocco used to live, in Madrid." For postage : half
a real, I mean, seventeen maravedis.
I boggled at the postage, and its imposition of
"half a real, I mean, seventeen maravedis." So,
returning the letter to him, I said :
" While I was living in Valladolid a letter was
brought to my house for me, with a real for postage.
A niece of mine received it and paid the postage,
which she never ought to have paid. But she
tendered as excuse, that she had often heard me say
2y 8 Adjunta a I Parnaso.
y veniaen ella un soneto malo,desmayado,sin garbo ni
agudeza alguna, diciendo mal del Don ^uijote ; y de
lo queme peso fue del real,ypropuse desde entonces de
no tomar carta con porte : asi que, si vuestra merced le
quiere llevar desta, bien se la puede volver, que yo
se que no me puede importar tanto como el medio
real que se me pide."
Riose muy de gana el senor Roncesvalles, y
dijome : " Aunque soy poeta, no soy tan misero que
me aficioncn diez y siete maravedis. Advierta
vuestra merced, senor Cervantes, que esta carta por
lo menos es del mesmo Apolo : el la escribio no ha
viente dias en el Parnaso, y me la dio para que a
vuestra merced la diese : vuestra merced la lea, que
yo se que le ha de dar gusto."
"Hare lo que vuestra merced me manda," respond!
yo ; " pero quiero que antes de leerla, vuestra merced
me le haga de decirme, como, cuando, y a que fue
Y el respondio : " Como fui, fue por mar, y en una
fragata que yo y otros diez poetas fletamos en
Barcelona ; cuando fui, fue seis dias despues de la
batalla que se dio entre los buenos y los malos
poetas ; a que fui, fue a hallarme en ella, por
obligarme a ello la profesion mia."
" A buen seguro," dije yo, " que fueron vuestras
mercedes bien recebidos del senor Apolo."
Appendix to the Parnassus. 279
that money was well spent in doing three things : in
giving alms, in feeing a good doctor, and in paying
the postage of letters, whether from friends or enemies;
for those of friends give goodly counsel, while those
of enemies may afford some clue to their designs. I
opened the missive, and there dropped from it a bad,
pithless, graceless, pointless Sonnet in dispraise of
the ' Don Quixote.' But what weighed most on my
soul was the matter of the real, and I resolved that
after this I would take in no letter bearing postage.
So if your worship means to exact it, you may take
the letter back, for I have strong suspicion that to
me it is not worth the half real you ask for it ! "
Whereupon Senor Roncesvalles laughed heartily,
and said to me : " Albeit I am a poet, I am not so
badly off as to higgle about seventeen maravedis.
Your worship, Senor Cervantes, must understand
that this letter is from no less a personage than
Apollo himself. He wrote it in Parnassus not
twenty days ago, and gave it me to give to you.
Read it, for well I know it will give you pleasure."
" I will do," said I, " what your worship requests,
but, before reading it, would you inform me how,
when, and wherefore you went to Parnassus ? "
To which he replied : " How I went, was by Sea,
and in a frigate chartered by me, and ten other poets,
in Barcelona ; when I went, was six days after the
280 Adjunta al Parnaso.
PANCRACIO. "Si fuimos, aunque le hallamos
muy occupado a el, y a las senoras Pierides, arando
y sembrando de sal todo aquel tcrmino del campo
donde se dio la batalla. Preguntele para que se
hacia aquello, y respondiome, que asi como de los
dientes de la serpiente de Cadmo habian nacido
hombres armados, y de cada cabeza cortada de la
hidra que mato Hercules habian renacido otras siete,
y de las gotas de la sangre de la cabeza de Medusa
sc habia llenado de serpientes toda la Libia ; de la
mesma manera de la sangre podrida de los males
poetas que en aquel sitio habian sido muertos,
comenzaban a nacer del tamano de ratones otros
poetillas rateros, que llevaban camino de henchir toda
la tierra de aquella mala simiente, y que por esto se
araba aquel lugar, y se sembraba de sal, como si
fuera casa de traidores."
En oyendo esto, abri luego la carta, y vi que
Appendix to the Parnassus. 281
battle waged between the good and bad poets ;
wherefore I went, was to fulfil the obligation imposed
on me by my profession."
" Then of a surety," said I, " your worship was
well received by my lord Apollo ? "
" We were indeed : though we found his lordship,
and the ladies Pierides, very much busied in plough-
ing and sowing with salt that portion of the field
where the battle took place. I asked him why he
was doing this, and he answered, that just as from
the teeth of the dragon of Cadmus there sprung up
armed men, and from each severed head of the
Hydra slain by Hercules seven others were pro-
duced, and from the blood-clots of Medusa's head
the whole of Lybia became peopled with serpents ;
so in like manner from the putrid blood of the bad
poets, done to death on that field, a whole crop
of little poets, small as mice, began already to
peer forth, so that the whole country-side was
threatened with the plague of that evil seed. For
this reason, he said, he was ploughing up the spot, and
sowing it with salt, as if it were a house of traitors ! "
On hearing this I forthwith opened the letter, and
found its contents to be these :
28 2 Adjunta al Parnaso.
A MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA.
El senor Pancracio de Roncesvalles,llevador desta,
dira a vuestra merced, senor Miguel de Cervantes,
en que me hallo ocupado el dia que llego a verme
con sus amigos. Y yo digo, que estoy muy quejosa
de la descortesia que conmigo se uso en partirse
vuestra merced deste monte sin despedirse de mi, ni
de mis hijas, sabiendo cuanto le soy aficionado, y las
Musas por el consiguiente ; pero si se me da por
disculpa que le llevo el deseo de ver a su Mecenas el
gran conde de Lemos, en las fiestas famosas de
Napoles, yo la acepto, y le perdono.
Despues que vuestra merced partio deste lugar,
me han sucedido muchas desgracias, y me he visto
en grandes aprietos, especialmente por consumir y
acabar los poetas que iban naciendo de la sangred e
los malos que aqui murieron, aunque ya, gracias al
cielo y a mi industria, este dano esta remediado.
Appendix to the Parnassus. 283
TO MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA.
Senor Pancracio de Roncesvalles, the bearer of
this, will tell your worship, Senor Miguel de Cervan-
tes, how he found me employed on that day when he
came with his friends to visit me. Let me say,
that I am greatly vexed by the discourtesy with
which you treated me, when you left this mount
without taking leave of me and my daughters ;
knowing how much I, and the Muses of course, are
attached to you. But if you tender as excuse, that
you were borne away by the desire of visiting your
Maecenas, the great Count de Lemos, during the
famous feasts of Naples, I accept it and pardon you.
Since your worship left this place many unpleasant
things have befallen me, and I have found me in
great straits, especially in putting a final end to the
poets, who kept sprouting up from the blood of the
bad ones who died here ; though, thanks to Heaven
and mine own good husbandry, that damage has
284 Adjunta al Parnaso.
No se si del ruido de la batalla, 6 del vapor que
arrojo de si la tierra, empapada en la sangre de los
contrarios, me han dado unos vaguidos de cabeza,
que verdaderamente me tienen como tonto, y no
acierto a escribir cosa que sea de gusto ni de prove-
cho : asi, si vuestra merced viere por alia que algunos
poetas, aunque sean de los mas famosos, escriben y
componen impertinencias y cosas de poco fruto, no
los culpe, ni los tenga en menos, sino que disimule
con ellos : que pues yo, que soy el padre y el inventor
de la poesia, deliro y parezco mentecato, no es mucho
que lo parezcan ellos.
Envio a vuestra merced unos privilegios, orde-
nanzas y advertimientos, tocantes a los poetas :
vuestra merced los haga guardar y cumplir al pie de
la letra, que para todo ello doy a vuestra merced mi
poder cumplido cuanto de derecho se requiere.
Entre los poetas que aqui vinieron con el sefior
Pancracio de Roncesvalles, se quejaron algunos de
que no iban en la lista de los que Mercurio llevo a
Espana, y que asi vuestra merced no los habia puesto
en su Viaje. Yo les dije, que la culpa era mia, y
no de vuestra merced ; pero que el remedio deste
dano estaba en que procurasen ellos ser famosos por
sus obras, que ellas por si mismas les darian fama y
claro renombre, sin andar mendigando ajenas ala-
Appendix to the Parnassus. 285
Whether caused by the din of battle or the
steaming vapours from the earth soaked with the
blood of the slain, I know not, but I feel certain
swimmings of the head, which hold me as one
distraught, unable to write anything either for
pleasure or profit. So, if you should find over there
that certain poets (be they even of the most famous)
are writing or composing needless things to little
purpose, do not blame them or esteem them less,
but bear with them ; for if I, who am the father and
inventor of poesy, seem to be lightheaded, it is no
wonder that they also should seem so.
I send your worship certain privileges, decrees,
and warnings, appertaining to the poets. Be pleased
to see that they observe and fulfil them to the letter;
and for this purpose I invest you with plenary powers
to take all lawful measures.
Of the poets who came hither with Setior Pancracio
de Roncesvalles, certain complained that they were
not found in the list of those which Mercury carried
to Spain, and were therefore not inserted by you
in your Journey. I told them that the fault was
mine and not yoars ; but that the remedy for this
wrong lay in their seeking to become famous through
their works ; that these of themselves would give
them fame and clear renown, without gadding
about to beg praise from others.
286 Adjunta al Parnaso.
De mano en mano, si se ofreciere ocasion de mcn-
sajero, ire enviando mas privilegios, y avisando de
lo que en este monte pasare. Vuestra merced haga
lo mesmo, avisandome de su salud y de la de todos
Al famoso Vicente Espinel dara vuestra merced
mis encomiendas, como a uno de los mas antiguos y
verdaderos amigos que yo tengo.
Si D. Francisco de Quevedo no hubiere partido
para venir a Sicilia, donde le esperan, tdquele vuestra
merced la mano, y digale que no deje de llegar a
verme, pues estaremos tan cerca ; que cuando aqui
vino, por la subita partida no tuve lugar de hablarle.
Si vuestra merced encontrare por alia algun trans-
fuga de los veinte que se pasaron al bando contrario,
no les diga nada, ni los aflija, que harta mala ventura
tienen, pues son como demonios, que se llevan la pena
y la confusion con ellos mesmos do quiera que vayan.
Vuestra merced tenga cuenta con su salud, y mire
por si, y guardese de mi, especialmente en los cani-
culares, que aunque le soy amigo, en tales dias
no va en mi mano, ni miro en obligaciones, ni en
Al senor Pancracio de Roncesvalles tcngale vuestra
merced por amigo, y comuniquelo : y pues es rico, no
se le de nada que sea mal poeta. Y con esto nuestro
Senor guarde a vuestra merced como puede y yo deseo.
Appendix to the Parnassus. 287
If I should find a handy messenger, I shall go on
sending you, from time to time, more privileges,
and apprise you of all that takes place on this hill.
Let your worship do the same, giving me tidings of
your health, and that of all my friends.
Give my warmest regards to the famous Vicente
Espinel, as to one of the oldest and staunchest
friends I have.
If D. Francisco de Quevedo hath not left for
Sicily, where they await him, seize him by the hand,
and tell him he must not fail to visit me in a
neighbourly way; for his late sudden departure
gave me no time to talk with him.
If your worship should meet with any deserters of
the twenty who went over to the enemy, say nothing
to them, nor vex them, for hard enough is their fate,
seeing they are like unto demons, who bear pain and
punishment in their bosoms, wherever they go.
Let your worship take heed to your health, and
look to yourself, and beware of me, especially during
the dog-days ; for though I be your friend, on such
days I am not master of myself, and regard neither
duties nor friendships.
Hold Senor Pancracio de Roncesvalles as your
friend, and confide in him ; and, since he is rich, let it
not concern him that he is a poor poet. And so may
our Lord guard your worship as he can, and as I desire.
288 Adjunta al Parnaso.
Del Parnaso a 22 de Julio, el dia que me calzo
las espuelas para subirme sobre la Canicula, 1614.
Servidor de vuestra merced,
En acabando la carta, vi que en un papel aparte
venia escrito :
PRIVILEGIOS, ORDENANZAS Y ADVERTEN-
CIAS, QUE APOLO ENVIA A LOS
Es el primero, que algunos poetas sean conocidos
tanto por el desalino de sus personas, como por la
fama de sus versos.
Item, que si algun poeta dijere que es pobre, sea
luego creido por su simple palabra, sin otro jura-
mento 6 averiguacion alguna.
Ordcnase, que todo poeta sea de blanda y de suave
condicion, y que no mire en puntos, aunque los traiga
sueltos en sus medias.
Item, que si algun poeta llegare a casa de algun
su amigo 6 conocido, y estuviere comiendo y le con-
vidare, que aunque el jure que ya ha comido, no se
le crea en ninguna manera, sino que le hagan
Appendix to the Parnassus. 289
From Parnassus, this 2 2nd of July, the day
when I buckled on my spurs to mount the Dog-star,
Your worship's obedient Servant,
On finishing the letter I found, on a separate
sheet, writing to this effect :
PRIVILEGES, DECREES, AND WARNINGS,
WHICH APOLLO SENDS TO THE
The first is, that any poets may be known, as
well by the untidiness of their persons, as by the fame
of their verses.
Item, that if any poet should affirm that he is poor,
he shall forthwith be believed on his simple word,
without other oath or affidavit whatsoever.
It is decreed, that every poet be of a mild and
genial disposition, and stand not on points, albeit he
may go with holes in his stockings.
Item, that if any poet should arrive at the house
of a friend or acquaintance, and find him at dinner
and be invited to eat, though he should swear that
he has already dined, he shall in no wise be believed,
290 Adjunta al Parnaso.
comer por fuerza, que en tal caso no se le hara muy
Item, que el mas pobre poeta del mundo, como no
sea de los Adanes y Matusalenes, pueda decir que es
enamorado, aunque no lo este, y poner el nombre a
su dama como mas le viniere a cuento, ora llaman-
dola Amarili, ora Anarda, ora Clori, ora Fills, ora
Filida, 6 ya Juana Tellez, 6 como mas gustare, sin
que desto se le pueda pedir ni pida razon alguna.
Item, se ordena que todo poeta, de cualquicr calidad
y condicion que sea, sea tenido y le tengan por
hijodalgo, en razon del generoso ejercicio en que se
ocupa, como son tenidos por cristianos viejos los
ninos que 11am an de la piedra.
Item, se advierte que ningun poeta sea osado de es-
cribir versos en alabanzas de principes y senores, por
ser mi intencion y advertida voluntad, que la lisonja
ni la adulucion no atraviesen los umbrales de mi casa.
Item, que todo poeta comico, que felizmente
hubiere sacado a luz tres comedias, pueda entrar sin
pagar en los teatros, si ya no fuere la limosna de
la segunda puerta, y aun esta si pudiese ser, la
Item, se advierte que si algun poeta quisiere dar a
la estampa algun libro que el hubiere compuesto, no
se de a entender que por dirigirle a algun mcnarca,
el tal libro ha de ser estimado, porque si el no es
Appendix to the Parnassus. 291
but be made to sit down by force, for in such case
no great amount will be needed.
Item, that the poorest poet in the world, provided
he be not one of the Adams or Methusalems, may
declare himself enamoured, though he be not so, and
ma } 7 gi ye sucn name to his mistress as shall best suit
his fancy, calling her Amaryllis, or Anarda, or
Chloris, or Phyllis, or Filida, or even Joan Tellez, at
his own pleasure, without reason given or required.
Item, it is decreed, that every poet, of whatsoever
quality or condition, may be and should be esteemed
an " Hidalgo," by virtue of the gentle profession he
follows ; just as children, so-called of the gutter,
are held to be sound old Christians.
Item, warning is given, that no poet shall dare to
write verses in praise of princes and lords, since it is
my declared will and intention that neither wiles nor
flattery shall pass the threshold of my house.
Item, that every comic poet, who has brought out
three successful comedies, shall have the entry of the
theatres without payment, unless it be the pittance
for the poor at the second door, and even this, if need
be, shall be excused him.
Item, warning is given, that if any poet shall go
to press with any work he may have composed, he is
in no wise to presume that, by dedicating it to some
monarch, said book must needs be applauded, for,
292 Adjunta al Parnaso.
bucno, no le adobara la dircccion, aunque sea hecha
al prior de Guadalupe.
Item, se advierte que todo poeta no se desprecie de
decir que lo es ; que si fuere bueno, sera digno de
alabanza ; y si malo, no faltara quien lo alabe; que
cuando nace la escoba, etc.
Item, que todo buen poeta pueda disponer de mi
y de lo que hay en el cielo a su beneplacito : conviene
a saber, que los rayos de mi cabellera los pueda
trasladar y aplicar a los cabellos de su dama, y hacer
dos soles sus ojos, que conmigo seran tres, y asi
andara el mundo mas alumbrado ; y de las estrellas,
signos y planetas puede servirse de modo, que
cuando menos lo piense, la tenga hecha una esfera
Item, que todo poeta a quien sus versos le hubieren
dado a entender que lo es, se estime y tenga en
mucho, ateniendose a aquel refran : Ruin sea el que
por ruin st tiene.
Item, se ordena que ningun poeta grave haga
corrillo en lugares publicos, recitando sus versos ; que
los que son buenos, en las aulas de Atenas se habian
de recitar, que no en las plazas.
Item, se da aviso particular que si alguna madre
tuviere hijos pequenuelos, traviesos y llorones, los
pueda amenazar y espantar con el coco, diciendoles :
Guardaos, ninos, que viene el poeta fulana, que os
Appendix to the Parnassus. 293
if it be not good, no dedication will better it, even
though it be addressed to the Prior of Guadalupe.
Item, warning is given, that no poet shall disdain
to avow his title ; for, if he be a good poet, he is
worthy of praise, and, if a bad one, he will not lack
admirers; for "with the thistle grows the ass," &c.
Item, that every good poet may dispose of me,
and of all that is in heaven, at his own pleasure.
He may, forsooth, take the beams of my locks, and
transfer them to the tresses of his mistress ; he may
make two suns of her eyes, which, with me, will
make three, and so shall the world be flooded with
light. In like manner may he avail himself of the
stars, signs, and planets, and fashion thereof, ere he
dream of it, a whole celestial globe.
Item, that every poet, whose verses give him
reason to think himself such, may hold himself in
high respect, remembering the old adage : " Low is
he who holds himself in low esteem."
Item, it is decreed, that no grave poet shall form
a circle in public places, reciting therein his verses ;
for those which are good should be declaimed in the
halls of Athens, and not in the city squares.
Item, be it known in particular, that if any
mother have small, fidgetty, squalling children, she
may frighten them with the bogie in these terms :
** Take heed, boys, for Mr. poet So-and-so is coming
294 Adjunta al Parnaso,
echara con sus malos versos en la sima de Cabra, 6
en el pozo Airon.
Item, que los dias de ayuno no se entienda quo
los ha quebrantado el poeta que aquella manana se
ha comido las unas al hacer de sus versos.
Item, se ordena que todo poeta que diere en ser
espadachin, valenton y arrojado, por aquella parte de
la valentia se le desagiie y vaya la fama que podia
alcanzar por sus buenos versos.
Item, se advierte que no ha de ser tenido por
ladron el poeta que hurtare algun verso ajeno, y le
encajare entre los suyos, como no sea todo el con-
cepto y toda la copla entera, que en tal caso tan
ladron es como Caco.
Item, que todo buen poeta, aunque no haya com-
puesto poema heroico, ni sacado al teatro del mundo
obras grandes, con cualesquiera, aunque sean pocas,
pueda alcanzar renombre de divino, como le alcan-
zaron Garcilaso de la Vega, Francisco de Figueroa,
el Capitan Francisco de Aldana y Hernando de
Item, se da aviso que si algun poeta fuere favore-
cido de algun principe, ni le visite a menudo, ni le
pida nada, sino dejese llevar de la corriente de su
ventura ; que el que tiene providencia de sustentar
las sabandijas de la tierra y los gusarapos del agua, la
tendra de alimcntar a un poeta, por sabandija que sea.
Appendix to the Parnassus. 295
to drop you, with his bad verses, into Cabra's cavern,
or Airon's well ! "
Item, that on a Fast-day it shall not be presumed
that a poet hath broken it, because that morning he
may have chewed his nails in making his verses.
Item, it is decreed, that every poet, who sets him-
self up as a swashbuckler, bully, and dare-devil,
shall, for that display of valour, be clean emptied of
the fame he may have gained by his good verses.
Item, be it known to all, that no poet is to be held
as a purloiner, who shall take the verse of some one
else and insert it amongst his own ; provided it be
not the whole idea or the entire stanza, in which case
he must be branded as a very Cacus.
Item, that every good poet, though he may not
have composed a heroic poem or given great works
to the world's stage, may with any works, however
small, achieve the distinction of " divine ; " in like
manner as it was gained by Garcilaso de la Vega,
Francisco de Figueroa, Captain Francisco de Aldana,
and Hernando de Herrera.
Item, warning is given, that if any poet be favoured
of any prince, he is not to weary him with visits, nor
dun him for anything, but let himself be borne on
the current of his luck; for he who caters for the
worms of the earth and the small fry of the sea, will
be mindful of a poet, worm though he be.
296 Adjunta al Parnaso.
En suma, estos fueron los privilegios, advertencias
y ordenanzas que Apolo me envio, y el seiior Pan-
cracio de Roncesvalles me trujo, con quien quede en
mucha amistad, y los dos quedamos de concierto de
despachar un propio con la respuesta al senor Apolo,
con las nuevas desta corte. Darase noticia del dia,
para que todos sus aficionados le escriban.
FIN DE LA ADJUNTA.
Appendix to the Parnassus. 297
Such, in brief, were the privileges, warnings, and
decrees which Apollo sent me by the hand of Senor
Pancracio de Roncesvalles. He and I are now firm
friends ; and are minded to dispatch a familiar to my
lord Apollo, bearing our answer, with the news of
the town. Due notice will be given of the day,
so that all his devoted friends may write to him.
END OF THE APPENDIX.
LETTER OF CERVANTES TO
WRITTEN DURING THE SECOND YEAR OF HIS
CAPTIVITY IN ALGIERS.
'Twas in the fight when that famed bolt of war,
The Austrian Eagle's son that scorned to yield,
Plucked from the Asian King, of luckless star,
Bright leaves of laurel on the billowy field
'Twas then that envious fate, with cruel stroke,
Struck down CERVANTES and bemaimed his hand ;
When lo ! his genius in its strength awoke,
And changed dull lead to purest diamond,
Chaunting such sweet, refined, sonorous verse,
As after ages will for aye rehearse ;
For men will tell how one hand, maimed in strife,
Could give its master an immortal life !
LOPE DE VEGA,
Laurel de Apolo.
This remarkable letter of Cervantes, addressed to
Mateo Vazquez de Leca Colona, Secretary of State
to Philip II., after the downfall of Antonio Perez, is
now for the first time presented to English readers in
its entirety, with a transcript of the antique text,
and a literal version in the metre of the original. It
was discovered at Madrid in the beginning of April,
1863, among the archives of the Count of Altamira,
by the distinguished academician, D. Tomas Munoz
y Romero, through an official of the household, D.
Luis Buitrago y Peribanez. It was found amongst
a bundle of papers, labelled " Divers Matters of
Curiosity," which also contained an autograph MS.
of Lope de Vega's Comedy, Los Benavides. Such
wide-spread interest did the discovery of this letter
excite, that it was submitted for critical inspection to
Senor Hartzenbusch, Director of the Royal Library
of Madrid, who, convinced of its authenticity, pub-
302 Prefatory Note.
lished it for the first time in the ninth number of the
"Boletin Bibliografico Espanol " for 1863. He
afterwards appended it to the fourth volume of his
charming bijou edition of the " Don Quixote,"
(Argamasilla, 4 vols., 1863) ; and it was finally
inserted in Rivadeneyra's magnificent edition of the
collected works of Cervantes (Madrid, 12 vols.,
1863-4), as a genuine relic of the " prince of Spanish
wits." The letter consists of eighty tercets and a
quatrain. The last sixty-seven lines, containing the
impassioned appeal to Philip II., are to be found
almost verbatim in the first Act of Cervantes'
Comedy, El Trato de ArgeL
Although addressed to Philip's Secretary of State,
it does not seem to have been laid before the King
himself, and instead of being consigned to the archives
of Simancas, it found its way into those of the house
of Altamira, with which noble family Mateo Vazquez
was connected by marriage. When the library of
the family was dispersed a few years ago, a vast
number of Vazquez's State papers and correspondence
were ruthlessly disposed of for the price of waste
paper (nine reals the arroba!}. A portion of these
was eventually purchased by the British Museum,
but the famous letter is, unfortunately, not among the
number. It is at present, we believe, in the possession
of the Duke of Baena.
Prefatory Note. 303
Such is a short account of the history of this
interesting epistle, which forms a worthy pendant to
the "Viaje del Parnaso," both from a literary and
biographical point of view. It is the first noted poem
of Cervantes, of any great length, that has come
down to us. Though he himself tells us,
From earliest years I loved with passion rare
The winsome art of Poesy the gay,
yet none of his 3 7 outhful compositions have survived,
save a few mediocre sonnets and redondillas contri-
buted, when he was twenty-two years of age, to the
curious work of his Master in Arts, Juan Lopez de
Hoyos, on the " Death and Obsequies of Queen
Isabella of Valois." He also gives us in the "Viaje"
a mysterious intimation of the composition of a
pastoral poem in the heyday of his youth :
To rival Phyllis my Phylena gay
Hath carolled through the woods, whose leafy land
Gave forth the sound of many a merry lay.
But poor Phylena seems to have lost herself in the
woods, for she has never been seen nor heard of
since. During his lengthened stay in Italy as a
soldier, he was a passionate student of the masters
of Italian poetry, notably of Ariosto, but his own
poetic genius lay unproductive. Algiers, strange to
say, was the cradle of his muse as it was the mould
of his character. Even amid the terrible sufferings
304 Prefatory Note.
of their slavery, the Spanish captives were in the
habit, when occasion offered, of giving dramatic re-
presentations, wherein they recited their national
romances, and danced their national dances, to keep
alive the flame of their patriotism. Cervantes was
the life and soul of this movement. In his Comedy,
Los Banos de Argel, he gives a mirthful account of
the acting of one of Lope de Rueda's quaint collo-
quies in the country dialect, under like circumstances.
Of the "numberless romances" which he tells us he
composed in his lifetime, most, doubtless, were
written to amuse and stir up his despairing fellow-
sufferers. And perhaps too that simple little drama
called The Comedy of the Sovereign Virgin of Guada-
lupe, and her miracles, which is now generally attri-
buted to Cervantes, was written by him for the
prison-theatre of Algiers. But his poetical epistle
is the finest product of his captive pen. It is full of
pathos, a very cry " from out the depths." Never
were the melody and power of the terza rima used
by Cervantes with more skill or to nobler purpose.
The insinuating, yet delicate and ingenuous
flattery with which he seeks to gain the ear of the
royal favourite ; the matchless vigour of expression
with which he goes on to recount the horrors and
triumphs of Lepanto, the capture of the galley Sol,
and the intolerable barbarities endured by himself
Prefatory Note. 305
and fellow-captives ; to crown all, the clear ringing
tone, like a trumpet-call, with which he summons
King Philip to come to the rescue of 20,000
Spanish Christians, and attach Algiers to the Spanish
crown ; all these combined give a thrilling interest
to this unique letter.
The appeal was fruitless, but the honour of the
effort remains with Cervantes. Mateo Vazquez
might bury the letter in his portfolio, and belie the
encomiums of his former admirer, but Cervantes'
noble description of the "Perfect Statesman" is still
worthy of perusal for itself alone. Philip, too, might
remain deaf to the appeal, and waste his strength in
petty wars, and his substance in raising up that
monument of ostentation the Escurial ; but there
were some even of his contemporaries bold enough to
say, that had the one-handed captive been duly
seconded, Christendom might have been avenged,
and Spain enriched with a new province. For
Cervantes was not a man of mere words. He had
the courage to dare great things as well as the spirit
to plan them. In after life he was accustomed to
speak with special pride of the part he played, and
the wounds he received in the great combat of
Lepanto ; but his countrymen may be prouder still
of the bearing he showed during the five years of his
sore captivity. The indomitable daring of the man,
306 Prefatory Note.
the steadfast purity of his life, the self-sacrificing
generosity he lavished on his comrades, and withal,
the inborn gaiety that enabled him to bear all and
dare all with a gallant heart ; these combined acted
like a magic spell over friends and oppressors, and
clearly marked him out as one born to be a leader of
But neither in the State nor in literature was such
a leadership ever vouchsafed him during his lifetime.
And as he himself naively tells us, the sole outcome
of those five years of cruel suffering, and fruitless
daring was, that he was thereby enabled during his
whole career to reduce to perfect practice the hardest
of all lessons, viz. : to bear poverty and neglect with
patience. He might also have added that the manly
independence of thought and action, which pervaded
his writings as it did his life, was due in no small
measure to the stern schooling of his slavery in
This idea is gracefully wrought out in one of the
laudatory sonnets prefixed to Cervantes' Galatea,
published in 1584, four years after his return from
captivity. The writer was a friend and fellow-
townsman of his own, author of the Pastor de Filida,
which received honourable mention in the celebrated
scrutiny of Don Quixote's library. Although a
*' laudatory sonnet," it has a greater ring of truth-
Prefatory Note. 307
fulness and sincerity than belonged to most of the
tribe. It is thus entitled :
LUIS GALVEZ DE MONTALVO
What time the Moormen held thy body chained,
And pressed thy captive neck beneath their feet,
Whereas thy soul, with rigour more complete
Bound fast to Faith, a higher freedom gained,
All heaven rejoiced ; but this our land remained
Without thee widowed, and the royal seat
Bewailed the absence of our Muses sweet,
While in its halls a cheerless silence reigned ;
But now thou bringest to our country dear
An unchained body, and a healthy mind,
Freed from the trammels of a savage host,
Heaven draws the veil that hid thy merit clear j
The land receives thee with a welcome kind,
And Spain regains the Muses she had lost.
J. Y. G.
DE MIGUEL DE CERUANTE, CAPTIUO :
A M. VAZQUEZ, MI SR.
Si el baxo son de la ^ampona mia,
Senor, a vro. oydo no hay llegado
En tiempo que sonar mejor deuia,
No ha sido por la falta de cuydado,
Sino por sobra del que me ha traydo
Por estranos caminos desuiado.
Tambien por no adquirirme de attreuido
El nombre odioso, la canada mano
A encubierto las faltas del sentido.
Mas ya que el valor vio sobre humano
De quien tiene noticia todo el suelo,
La graciosa altivez, el trato llano
Anichilan el miedo y el recelo,
Que ha tenido hasta aqui mi humilde pluma,
De no quereros descubrir su buelo.
De vra. alta bondad y virtud summa
Dire lo menos, que lo mas, no siento
Quien de cerrarlo en verso se presuma.
FROM MIGUEL DE CERVANTES, CAPTIVE :
TO MY LORD, M. VAZQUEZ.
If the low piping of my homely reed
Hath failed, Senor, to strike upon your ear,
What time its notes were sweeter far indeed,
It was not that my wish was dull and sere,
But that the stress of cares hath urged my flight
Through strange and devious paths this many a year;
And haply too, lest I should merit quite
The intruder's hateful name, my faltering hand
Declined to cypher what I fain would write.
But now that I, with all the wondering land,
Your more than human merit recognize,
That gracious dignity, these manners bland
Bid me throw off the tremor and disguise,
Which suffered not my pen, in other time,
To wing its humble flight before your eyes.
Your sovereign goodness, and your virtue prime
I can but glance at, for 'twere vain, I know,
To seek to fetter them in bonds of rhyme.
3io Epistola de Cervantes.
Aquel que os mira en el subido assiento
Do el humano fauor puede encumbrarsc
Y que no cessa el fauorable viento,
Y cl se ve entre las ondas anegarse
Del mar de la priuanca, do procura
O porfas 6 por nefas leuantarse,
^ Quien dubda que no dize : " La ventura
Ha dado en leuantar este mancebo
Hasta ponerle en la mas alta altura ?
Ayer le vimos inexperto y nueuo
En las cosas que agora mide y trata
Tan bien, que tengo embidia y las apprueuo."
Desta manera se congoxa y mata
El embidioso, que la gloria agena
Le destruye, marchita y desbarata.
Pero aquel que con mente mas serena
Contempla vro. trato y vida honrrosa,
Y el alma dentro de virtudes llena,
No la inconstante rueda presurosa
De la falsa fortuna, suerte, o hado,
Signo, ventura, estrella, ni otra cosa,
Dize q. es causa que en el buen estado
Que agora posseeis os aya puesto
Con esperanca de mas alto grado,
Mas solo el modo del viuir honesto,
La virtud escogida que se muestra
En vras. obras y apazible gesto.
Letter of Cervantes. 311
The man who sees you as you upward go
To climb the highest summit man can gain,
Where the propitious breezes ever blow,
And sees himself gulphed in the surging main
Of courtly favour, whence to rise at last,
Per fas out nefas, he doth strive in vain,
Sooth, such an one will say: "'Tis Fortune's cast
That gave this modest youth the means to raise
Himself to such high honour unsurpassed ;
But yesterday so new to courtly ways,
And now he treats of high affairs right well ;
I envy him, though I be forced to praise ! "
Thus doth the envious man to bursting swell
With jealous thoughts, and cheapens with dispraise
Another's glories which his own excel ;
But he who with a calmer mind surveys
The tenour of your life, the soul within,
With honour fraught that stoops to nothing base,
Will frankly own : Not any fickle spin
Of Fortune's wheel, not hazard, luck, nor fate,
Nor sign, nor happy star, nor aught akin,
Hath placed you firmly in the good estate
You have attained and occupy to-day,
With goodly hope of station still more great ;
But 'twas your honest life, straightforward way,
That virtue rare, which, in your every deed
And gentle bearing, seeks the light of day :
j 12 Epistola de Cervantes.
Esta dize, Senor, que os da su diestra
Y os tiene assido con sus fuertes lac-os
Y a mas y a mas subir siempre os adiestra.
! O sanctos, o, agradables dukes bra^os
De la sancta virtud, alma y diuina,
Y sancto quien recibe sus abra^os !
Quien con tal guia como vos camina,
,; De que se admira el ciego vulgo baxo
Si a la silla mas alta se auezina ?
Y puesto que no ay cosa sin trabajo,
Quien va sin la virtud va por rodeo,
Que el que la lleua va por el attajo.
Si no me efigana la experiencaa, creo
Que se vee mucha gente fatigada
De vn solo pensamiento y un desseo.
Pretenden mas de dos llaue dorada,
Muchos un mesmo cargo, y quien aspira
A la fideladad de vna embaxada.
Cada qual por si mesmo al bianco lira
Do assestan otros mil, y solo es vno
Cuya saeta dio do fue la mira.
Y este quica q. a nadie fue importuno
Ni a la soberbia puerta del priuado
Se hallo, despues de visperas, ayuno,
Ni dio ni tuuo a quien pedir prestado,
Solo con la virtud se entretenia,
Y en Dios y en ella estaua conflado.
Letter of Cervantes. 313
This, would he say, gives all the strength you need,
Surrounds you with restraints both good and wise,
And by the hand to higher things doth lead.
Blessed are the arms, and passing sweet the ties
Of holy virtue, heavenly and refined,
And blessed is he who on her bosom lies !
Why stands amazed the common herd and blind,
That one who walks, like you, with such a guide,
Should near the throne his fitting office find ?
Though toil and moil all good success decide,
Who journeys without virtue goes astray,
He goes direct who travels by her side.
If my experience err not, in our day
Full many with but one desire we see,
In whose pursuit they wear their lives away.
Some two or three aim at the golden key,
At like posts others, while one gives his soul
To gain some confidential embassy.
Each for himself, a unit in the whole,
Covets what thousands wish, though one alone
Can hit the mark, or reach the wished-for goal ;
And he, it may be, ne'er used whining tone,
Nor lingered at some favourite's portal cold,
His fast unbroken till the day be gone ;
He haply never gave nor borrowed gold,
Nor from the line of honour true did glide,
Of God and virtue keeping steadfast hold.
314 Epistola de Cervantes.
Vos sois, Sr. por quien dezir podria
(Y lo digo y dire sin estar mudo)
Que sola la virtud fue vra. guia,
Y que ella sola fue bastante, y pudo
Leuantaros al bien do estais agora,
Priuado humilde, de ambicion desnudo.
; Dichosa y felizissima la hora
Donde tuuo el real conoscimiento
Noti^ia del valor que anida y mora
En vro. reposado entendimiento,
Cuya fidelidad, cuyo secreto
Es de vras. virtudes el cimiento !
Por la senda y camino mas perfecto
Van vros. pies, que es la que el medio tiene,
Y la que alaba el seso mas discreto.
Quien por ella camina, vemos viene
A aquel duke suaue paradero
Que la felizidad en si contiene.
Yo que el camino mas baxo y grosero
He caminado en fria noche escura,
He dado en manos del atolladero ;
Y en la esquiua prision, amarga y dura,
Adonde agora quedo, estoy llorando
Mi corta infelizissima ventura,
Con quexas tierra y cielo importunando,
Con sospiros al ayre escuresciendo,
Con lagrimas el mar accrescentando.
Letter of Cervantes. 315
Of you, Senor, it maybe published wide,
(And I'll repeat it now nor silent be,)
That virtue solely was your constant guide ;
And this sufficed to compass the degree
Of goodly honour where this day you rest,
A modest favourite, from ambition free !
Thrice happy was the lucky hour and blest,
Which carried tidings to the royal ear
Of that high merit, which doth build its nest
Within your intellect profound and clear ;
Whose strict fidelity, reserve complete,
Bind all your talents in one rounded sphere !
From day to day you tread, with steady feet,
That perfect way, which keeps the happy mean,
Held most in honour by the most discreet ;
Who travels on this way at last is seen
To reach that sweet and pleasant resting-place,
Within whose portals reigns a joy serene !
I, who have trod the vulgar road and base,
Beneath a bitter night, where star was not,
Have stumbled in the mire, in woeful case ;
And in this gloomy prison, dismal spot,
Where now I find me, nought remains to me
But to bemoan my most unhappy lot.
I weary heaven and earth with many a plea,
The air is darkened with my bitter breath,
And with my tears I help to swell the sea.
316 Epistola de Cervantes.
Vida es esta, Sr. do estoy muriendo,
Entre barbara gente descreida
La mal lograda juuentud perdiendo.
No fue la causa aqui de mi venida
Andar vagando por el mundo a caso
Con la verguen^a y la razon perdida.
Diez anos ha que tiendo y mudo el passo
En seruicao del gran Philippo nro.,
Y con descanso, y cansado y laso ;
Y en el dichoso dia que siniestro
Tanto fue el hado a la enemiga armada,
Quanto a la nra. fauorable y diestro,
De temor y de esfuer^o acompanada,
Presente estuuo mi persona al hecho,
Mas de speranca que de hierro armada.
Vi el formado esquadron roto y deshecho,
Y de barbara gente y de Christiana
Roxo en mil partes de Neptuno el lecho,
La muerte ayrada con su furia insana
Aqui y alii con priessa discurriendo,
Mostrandose a quien tarda a quien temprana,
El son confuso, el espantable estruendo,
Los gestos de los tristes miserables
Que entre el fuego y el agua iuan muriendo,
Los profundos sospiros lamentables,
Que los heridos pechos despedian,
Maldiciendo sus hados detestables.
Letter of Cervantes. 3 1 y
This life, Senor, is but a living death,
Where, 'mid a barbarous misbelieving race,
My ill-starred youth drags out and withereth.
No random wandering brought me to this place,
No vagabond desires with me were rife,
Right reason gone, nor shame upon my face !
These ten years gone I led a soldier's life
In our great Philip's service ; now in state
Of sweet repose, now worn with toil and strife ;
And on that happy day, when dubious Fate
Looked on the foeman's fleet with baleful eye,
On ours with smiling glance and fortunate,
Inspired with mingled dread and courage high,
In thickest of the direful fight I stood,
My hope still stronger than my panoply.
I marked the shattered host melt like a flood,
And thousand spots upon old Neptune's breast
Dyed red with heathen and with Christian blood ;
Death, like a fury, running with foul zest
Hither and thither, sending crowds in ire
To lingering torture, or to speedy rest ;
The cries confused, the horrid din and dire,
The mortal writhings of the desperate,
Who breathed their last 'mid water and 'mid fire;
The deep-drawn sighs, the groanings loud and great
That sped from wounded breasts, in many a throe,
Cursing their bitter and detested fate.
3 1 8 Epistola de Cervantes.
Eloseles la sangre que tenian
Quando en el son de la trompeta nra.
Su dano y nra. gloria conoscian.
Con alta voz de vencedora muestra,
Rompiendo el aire claro, el son mostraua
Ser vencedora la Christiana diestra.
A esta duke sazon yo, triste, estaua
Con la una mano de la espada assida,
Y sangre de la otra derramaua.
El pecho mio de profunda herida
Sentia llagado, y la siniestra mano
Estaua por mill partes ya rompida.
Pero el contento fue tan soberano,
Q^a mi alma llego viendo ven^ido
El crudo pueblo infiel por el christiano,
Que no echaua de ver si estaua herido,
Aunque era tan mortal mi sentimiento,
Que a veces me quito todo el sentido.
Y en mi propia cabeca el escarmiento
No me pudo estoruar que el segundo ano
No me pusiesse a discrecion del viento,
Y al barbaro, medroso, pueblo estrano,
Vi recogido, triste, amedrentado,
Y con causa temiendo de su dano.
Y al reino tan antiguo y celebrado,
A do la hermosa Dido fue vendida
Al querer del troyano desterrado,
Letter of Cervantes. 319
The blood that still was left them ceased to flow,
What time our trumpets, pealing far and near,
Proclaimed our glory and their overthrow ;
The sounds triumphant, ringing loud and clear,
Bore through the smitten air, in jubilant flood,
The Christians' victory from ear to ear !
At this sweet moment I, unlucky, stood
With one hand buckled firmly to my blade,
The other dripping downward streams of blood ;
Within my breast a cruel thrust had made
A deep and gaping wound, and my left hand
Was bruised and shattered, past all human aid ;
Yet such was the delicious joy and grand
That thrilled my soul, to see the faithless foe
Crushed by the valour of the Christian band,
I hardly knew if I were hurt or no,
Although my anguish, cutting and unkind,
At times with mortal swooning laid me low.
Yet all I suffered could not move my mind,
Which led me on, within the second year,
To yield to the discretion of the wind ;
And to that people, barbarous and austere,
A cowering, crouching, timid race I came,
Who well might dread to find their downfall near.
And in that ancient kingdom, known to fame,
Where beauteous Dido to the love did yield
Of Troy's great exile, and was put to shame,
320 Epistola de Cervantes.
Tambien, vertiendo sangre aun la herida,
Mayor con otras dos, quise ir y hallarme,
For ver ir la morisma de vencida.
Dios sabe si quisiera alii quedarme
Con los que alii quedaron esforcados,
Y perderme con ellos o ganarme ;
Pero mis cortos implacables hados
En tan honrrosa empresa no quisieron
Q^ acabase la vida y los cuydados ;
Y al fin, por los cabellos me truxeron
A ser vencido por la valentia
De aquellos que despues no la tuuieron.
En la galera Sol, que escurescia
Mi ventura su luz, a pesar mio
Fue la perdida de otros y la mia ;
Valor mostramos al principio y brio,
Pero despues, con la experien^ia amarga,
Conoscimos ser todo desuario.
Senti de ageno yugo la gran carga,
Y en las manos sacrilegas malditas
Dos anos ha que mi dolor se alarga.
Bien se que mis maldades infmitas
Y la poca attricion que en mi se encierra
Me tiene entre estos falsos Ismaelitas.
Quando llegue vencido y vi la tierra
Tan nombrada en el mundo, q. en su seno
Tantos piratas cubre, acoge, y cierra,
Letter of Cervantes. 321
Although my ancient wound was still unhealed,
With two besides, I joyed upon the spot
To see the Moormen vanquished on the field.
God knows if I had earnest wish or not
To share my brave and gallant comrades' fate,
And live or die with them, whate'er their lot !
But destiny, in her relentless hate,
Willed not that I, in this renowned affair,
Should end my being and my sufferings great ;
And finally she dragged me by the hair
To yield me to a power I could not quell,
Whose after prowess was but scant and spare ;
For in the galley Sol y whose lustre fell
By my ill-fortune, I was doomed to see
My comrades' ruin, and mine own as well.
At first our valour shone in high degree,
Until by sad experience we awoke
To see how mad was all our bravery !
These two long years I've borne a foreign yoke,
And my o'erburdened neck hath felt the gall
Of an accursed sacrilegious folk.
My countless sins and my contrition small,
I know full well, have bound me, scant of grace,
To grind beneath this Ismaelitish thrall.
When I arrived in chains, and saw the place,
So noted in the world, whose teeming breast
Hath nursed the fierce swarms of a pirate race,
J22 Epistola de Cervantes.
No pude al llanto detener el freno,
Que a mi despecho, sin saber lo que era,
Me vi el marchito rostro de agua lleno.
Ofresciose a mis ojos la ribera
Y el monte donde el grande Carlos tuuo
Leuantada en el ay re su vandera,
Y el mar que tanto esfuer^o no sostuuo,
Pues mouido de embidia de su gloria,
Ayrado entonces mas q. nunca estuuo.
Estas cosas boluiendo en mi mcmoria,
Las lagrimas truxeron a los ojos,
Mouidas de desgracia tan notoria.
Pero si el alto Cielo en darme enojos
No esta con mi ventura conjurado,
Y aqui no lleua muerte mis despojos,
Quando me vea en mas alegre estado,
Si vra. intercession, Sr. me ayuda
A verme ante Philippe arrodillado,
Mi lengua balbuziente y quasi muda
Pienso mouer en la Real presencia,
De adulacion y de mentir desnuda.
Diciendo : " Alto Sr., cuya potencia
Sujetas trae mil barbaras Naciones
Al desabrido yugo de obediencia,
A quien los Negros Indies con sus dones
Reconoscen honesto vassallage,
Trayendo el oro aca de sus rincones :
Letter of Cervantes. 323
My bitter lamentation found no rest ;
And, ere I knew, the tears coursed at their ease
Adown my haggard cheeks, and unrepressed.
My straining eyes were fixed upon the seas,
The strand, and hill whereon our Charles the Great
Unfurled his royal banner to the breeze ;
I saw the main which, chafing 'neath the weight
Of so much glory, rose in fierce array,
And foamed with envious, unexampled hate ;
And as I mused, and memory cast its ray
Upon the scene, my tears seemed charged with fire
And shame, at thought of that disastrous day.
But if high Heaven should not with Fate conspire
To heap still greater sorrows on my head,
And Death should not despoil me in his ire ;
And should, in happier days, my steps be led
To royal Philip's throne, and by your aid
I find me kneeling in that presence dread ;
Then do I hope to speak, nor feel afraid,
Though haply with a stammering, faltering tongue,
Yet not with lies or flattery arrayed,
And thus entreat: "Most mighty Sire, whose strong
And powerful arm doth hold in subject sway
Of nations barbarous a countless throng ;
To whom the swarthy Indians homage pay,
And drag the gold from out its rocky nest,
Their wealth of tribute at thy feet to lay ;
324 Epistola de Cervantes.
Despierte en tu Real pecho el gran coraje
La gran soberbia con que una vicoca
Aspira de contino a hazerte vltraje.
La gente es mucha, mas su fuer^a es poca,
Desnuda, mal armada, que no tiene
En su defensa fuerte muro o roca.
Cada vno mira si tu armada viene,
Para dar a sus pies cargo y cura
De conseruar la vida que sostiene.
Del' amarga prision triste y escura,
Adonde mueren veinte mill christianos,
Tienes la Have de su cerradura.
Todos (qual yo) de alia, puestas las manos,
Las rodillas por tierra, sollocando
Cercados de tormentos inhumanos,
Valeroso Senor, te estan rogando
Bueluas los ojos de misericordia
A los suyos que estan siempre llorando.
Y pues te dexa agora la discordia,
Que hasta aqui te ha opprimido y fatigado,
Y gozas de pacifica concordia ;
Haz, o buen Rey, q. sea por ti acabado
Lo que con tanta auda^ia y valor tanto
Fue por tu amado padre comen^ado.
Solo en pensar que vas pondra vn espanto
En la enemiga gente, que adeuino
Ya desde aqui su perdida y quebranto."
Letter of Cervantes. 325
Let the proud daring of that pirate pest,
Who braves thy potence to this very hour,
Rouse noble wrath within thy royal breast !
The folk be many, though but scant their power,
Naked, ill-armed, for them no refuge lies
Behind the rampart, or the battled tower ;
They all across the main, with straining eyes,
Are watching till thy coming fleet be nigh,
With ready feet to save the lives they prize.
Thou hast the keys, within thy hand they lie,
To unlock the prison, dismal and profound,
Where twenty thousand Christians pine and die.
They all, as I, are groaning on the ground,
Pressing with hands and knees the cursed place,
With most inhuman tortures girdled round !
Most potent Sire, they beg thee of thy grace
To turn, and that right soon, thy pitying eyes
On theirs, whence tears do run in endless chase.
Since now from out thy land pale Discord flies,
Which hitherto hath wearied out thy heart,
And peace unbroken all around thee lies,
Be thine the task, good King, with fitting art
To end the work, in which with courage high
Thine honoured father took the foremost part.
The rumours of thy coming, as they fly,
Will strike the foe with awe, for well they know
The hour of their perdition draweth nigh ! "
326 Epistola de Cervantes.
I Quien dubda q. el Real pecho benino
No se muestre, escuchando la tristeza
En que estan estos miseros contino ?
Bien paresce q. muestro la flaqza.
De mi tan torpe ingenio, q. pretende
Hablar tan baxo ante tan alta Alteza ;
Pero el justo desseo la defiende. . . .
Mas a todo silencio poner quiero
Que temo q. mi pluma ya os offende,
Y al trabajo me Hainan donde muero.
Letter of Cervantes . 327
Who doubts that through the royal breast will flow
Sweet thoughts of pity, while he hears the sigh
Of these poor wretches buried in their woe ?
Although, methinks, I but display my dry
And sluggish wit, presuming thus to use
Such lowly words before a prince so high,
My just desire may well my fault excuse !
Here will I pause, and henceforth silent be,
Nor with my pen your kindliness abuse,
For now they call me to the gang, ah me !
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIVE PIECES.
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIVE PIECES.
NOTE I. PAGE 9.
A certain Corporal. Cervantes here makes a punning
play on the name of Cesare Caporali, whose poem,
Viaggio di Parnaso, suggested his own. In English the
pun seems rather far-fetched, and perhaps the name
itself had better have been introduced. Caporali's poem
first appeared in a collection of poems by various
authors, thus entitled : Raccolta di alcune rime piacevoli,
Parma, 1582. A complete annotated edition of his
works was published at Perugia, in 1651, under the
title of Rime di Cesare Caporali. The annotator, Carlo
Caporali, quotes the first three lines of Cervantes' poem
as highly complimentary to his kinsman, in this curious
note : " II Cervantes, Poeta non oscuro tra Spagnuoli, ne
da tal guidicio:
"Un quidam Caporale, Italiano," &c.
NOTE 2. PAGE 9.
Where an old mule be bought him for the tour. As a
specimen of Caporali's versification we may as well give
332 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
his own description of his mule, which varies materially
from that of Cervantes :
Comprai anco una mula, e accio gli intern!
Pensier communicar potessi seco
L'accapai da consigli, e da governi ;
La qual, per quel di ella poi disse meco,
Scese in Italia gia con Carl' Ottavo,
Con le bagaglie d'un Trombetta Greco ;
Havea una sella, e finimento bravo,
Era di coda lunga, e vista corta,
Nata di madre Sarda, e padre Schiavo.
Which may be roughly rendered thus :
For needful ends I also bought a mule,
And, that her inmost thoughts might outward leak,
I hedged her in with sage advice and rule ;
With Charles the Eighth she came down, so to speak,
Times gone to Italy, and in the hire]
And service of a Trumpeter, a Greek.
She had a saddle, trappings to admire,
Her tail was long, and eke her vision short,
Born of Sardinian dam and Sclavic sire.
NOTE 3. PAGE 16.
Con ocbo mis de queso. Mis is a colloquial contraction
for maravedis. The maravedi as a coin is now obsolete
in Spain. It had varying values according to the metal
in which it was coined ; the copper maravedi was worth
the thirty-fourth part of a real. We may therefore render
this line in English : With eight mites' worth of cheese.
NOTE 4. PAGE 17.
Farewell Madrid. This adieu to Madrid is highly cha-
racteristic of Cervantes. With afew humorous and piquant
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 333
touches he presents a complete picture of the surroundings
of the city, its humours, its literary life, the state of its
theatres, the politics of the hour, the pinched life of its
poets, and of himself in particular and all in his peculiar
light-hearted vein. Gongora, who was also a martyr to the
general neglect of literary men, gives us a curious picture
of the life of the Court in his celebrated burlesque sonnet
on Madrid. As it may be interesting to compare the
spirit and temper with which two distinguished con-
temporaries treat the same theme, we present it to our
readers. Gongora fairly bears off the palm for concen-
trated bitterness :
A BURLESQUE SONNET.
A bestial life, in witchery enshrined ;
Harpies that prey on purses, and all grades
Of wrecked ambitions lurking in the shades,
Might make a grave judge talk, and raise the wind ;
Broad-ways with coaches, lacqueys, pages lined ;
Thousands of uniforms with virgin blades ;
Ladies loquacious, legates, broking trades j
Faces like masks, and rogueries refined ;
Lawyer! long-robed, most bare-faced lies that are ;
Clerics on she mules, mulish tricks and ways j
Streets paved with mud, and filth of endless smell ;
Bemaimed and battered heroes of the war ;
Titles and flatteries and canting phrase :
This is Madrid, or better said, 'tis Hell !
This version of the Sonnet is given by Mr. Duffield
("Don Quixote : His Critics," &c., p. 93) without the
334 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
NOTE 5. PAGE 19.
Farewell, St. Philips broad-way of the town. The
battlements of the retaining wall of the Convent of San
Felipe (now demolished) formed the promenade of the
fashionable idlers and scandal-mongers in the time of
Cervantes. It was approached on either side by a
spacious flight of steps, hence its name Las Gradas de
San Felipe. Its common and more appropriate title was
El Mentidero, Lie- Walk or Scandal-Alley.
NOTE 6. PAGE 23.
Like Dante's. This is a slight, and we hope pardon-
able, addition to the original, under stress of rhyme. It
only means, what Cervantes doubtless meant, that
Mercury addressed him in the finest terza rima. It is
also quite in keeping with other humorous phrases in the
book ; as, for instance, when Apollo at the head of his
soldiers is represented as addressing them in proper
Spanish and good Toledese.
NOTE 7. PAGE 27.
A swarm of verses formed the whole array. Though
Cervantes did not borrow from Caporali the conception
of his rhythmic ship, inasmuch as that daring voyager
took passage both for himself and mule in a prosaic
merchant-vessel, from the port of Ostia to Messina
and the Gulf of Corinth, yet Caporali has certainly
the merit of having first employed the same curious
materials, in the construction of the four gates of his
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 335
allegorical Temple of Poesy, described in the second
part of his Viaggio di Parnaso.
It would be out of place to attempt any description
of the poetic forms and measures here mentioned by
Cervantes. The literature of Spain is peculiarly rich in
these. Some, like the Sonnet, the Terza and Ottava
Rima, are borrowed from the Italians; others, like the
Redondilla, the Letrilla, the Decima, are exclusively
Spanish. Lope de Vega, in his Arte nuevo de bacer
Comedias, has summed up the peculiarities of some of
these in their adaptation to the drama :
The Decimas are good for plaintive wails,
The Sonnet answers well for those who wait ;
Romances are designed for stirring tales,
Although in Octaves they have lustre great ;
For matters grave the Tercets fitting prove,
And Redondillas for the affairs of love.
NOTE 8. PAGE 27.
Glosses . . . to grace Malmaridadds wedding-day. The
art of glossing favourite songs and ballads was held in
high estimation amongst the Spaniards when the art of
producing original ones had died out. Depping likens
it to the absurdity of serving up piquant and savoury
dishes in watery gravy. It served, however, one very
useful purpose, though undesigned. It helped to pre-
serve snatches of old ballads that would otherwise have
been lost, and oftentimes these glosses give valuable
various readings of those that still exist. Of this truth
the Romance of "La bella Malmaridada" is a striking
instance. It was so celebrated that it gave motive to
33 6 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
innumerable glosses and imitations. Duran affirms, that
he has been enabled to reconstruct the true old romance
mainly through a gloss, which a certain Quesada made ot
it, and published in a PHego suelto. It was first printed
by Sepulveda in his Romances, nuevamente sac ados de
historias antlguas, Anvers, 1551. We spare our readers
any of the glosses, and give instead an attempted version
of the original ballad. Its antique simplicity, however, is
hardly reproduced :
LA BELLA MALMARIDADA.
" O lady, fairest I have seen, so fair and yet ill-married,
Thy cheeks are pale with grief, I ween, say, has thy bliss miscarried?
" If thou wouldst burn with other flames, on me bestow compassion,
To flaunt and flirt with other dames, thy husband sets the fashion ;
" They kiss and court from night to morn, with slander he doth treat
And he hath sworn and better sworn, when he comes home to beat
thee ! "
Outspake the lady with delight, and thus addressed her lover :
" O carry me hence, thou good Sir Knight, where none shall us
" Thy home where'er it be is mine, and I will serve thee ever,
I'll make for thee the bed so fine, where we shall sleep together ;
M Thy supper I shall well prepare, with hands so neat and dainty,
With chickens good and capons rare, and thousand things in plenty ;
"I'll be no more my husband's wife, no more shall stay beside him,
He leads me such a dismal life, I cannot, sooth, abide him ! "
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 337
They prattled thus in merry mood, and passed the time with glee,
When lo ! her husband near them stood, a furious man was he :
" What art thou doing, traitress, say? To-day thou hast to die ! "
" For what, my lord, for what, I pray ? I merit it, no, not I !
" Myself have never kissed a man, although a man hath kissed me,
I'll bear his punishment as I can j my lord, I prithee list me !
" With horse's bridle thou dost hold, my lord, I prithee stroke me,
And with these cords of silk and gold, my lord, I prithee choke me ;
" And to the orange-garden cold, alive, I prithee, hurry me,
Within a sepulchre of gold and ivory there bury me j
" And place this motto on my tomb, that passers-by may read it,
And reading it may know my doom, and knowing it may heed it :
" ' The flower of flowers here doth lie, for very love she died ;
Whoever else for love shall die, be buried by her side ! ' "
NOTE 9. PAGE 27.
Of Sonnets bastard and legitimate. This is hardly a
literal rendering of the original, but seems to be the
meaning of the passage. Cervantes himself set the
fashion of the illegitimate form of Sonnet, in his famous
one on the Catafalque of Philip II., which consists of
sixteen lines and a half. Quevedo also wrote sonnets of
eleven lines. Though Spain has produced no Petrarch,
the Sonnet occupies a very important place in its poetry.
Garcilaso de la Vega, and the brothers Argensola, are
specially distinguished for classical elegance and strict
adherence to the Italian method. Lope de Vega, who
aspired to the mastery in this, as in all departments
338 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
of poetry, without conspicuous success, gives the follow-
SONNET ON THE SONNET.
To write a sonnet doth Juana press me,
I've never found me in such stress or pain ;
A sonnet numbers fourteen lines, 'tis plain,
And three are gone, ere I can say, God bless me !
I thought that spinning rhymes might sore oppress me,
Yet here I'm midway in the last quatrain ;
And if the foremost tercet I can gain,
The quatrains need not any more distress me.
To the first tercet I have got at last,
And travel through it with such right good will,
That with this line I've finished it, I ween }
I'm in the second now, and see how fast
The thirteenth line runs tripping from my quill ;
Hurrah, 'tis done ! Count if there be fourteen !
NOTE 10. PAGE 33.
Coritos too, and dwellers in Biscay. Coritos was the
name given in old times to Montaneses and Biscayans.
According to the Academy's dictionary, it is probably
derived from the Latin corium, equivalent to the Spanish
cuero or skin the material used for the protection of
their bodies. At present the name is given by way of
ridicule to the Asturians.
The Yanguesians, Biscayans, and Coritos, the hardy
highlanders of Spain, were more famous as porters and
carriers than as poets, and as such Cervantes has immor-
talized them in the Don Quixote. And yet it is curious
that in the very heart of the Asturias the people now-a-
days use a dialect, known by the name of Bable, which
represents the very language spoken in Spain during the
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 339
middle ages ; and many phrases and turns of expression
found in the " Poema del Cid " are familiar in the mouths
of the Asturian peasantry. It is a very sonorous and smooth-
going language, though not particularly rich in expression.
It has a small literature of its own, composed chiefly of
songs and romances, sung by the people to accompany the
very ancient circular dance, peculiar to the natives of
those regions, known by the name of danza prima. As
a specimen of the old Asturian romances we give the fol-
lowing, taken from the collection of Don Pedro Jose
Pidal. (See Duran, Romancero General, Tom. I.
ROMANCE OF THE SAILOR.
Upon a morning of Saint John,
A sailor fell into the sea ;
" What wilt thou give me, sailor mine,
From out the waves to ransom thee ? "
" I'll give thee all my sailing ships,
Laden with gold and silver free ! "
" Not any ships of thine I want,
Nor silver fine, nor gold from thee !
" One thing I wish, when thou shalt die,
That thou wilt give thy soul to me ! "
His soul, he gave it up to God,
His body to the salt, salt sea !
NOTE ii. PAGE 35.
/ scanned the list, and first upon the leet. Leet is an
old Scottish legal term, commonly used in Scotland at the
present day to denote a list or roll of candidates for
34-O Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
election. We hope we may be pardoned for introducing
it here, as it is both appropriate and poetical. This is
the second list of distinguished living poets which
Cervantes framed in his day. Just thirty years before,
in 1584, he published in his Galatea the "Canto de
Caliope," wherein he introduces the names of some eighty
poets, whom he covers with indiscriminate praise. This
was in the early days of his literary career, before hard
experience had damped his enthusiasm. This ungrateful
task, as may well be supposed, brought him little comfort
of mind, giving satisfaction to few and deadly offence to
many. The present list contains only eight or nine out
of the vast number then commented on ; most of the
rest had already gone to the majority. Herrera, Gongora,
Lope de Vega, the Argensolas, Artieda, &c., are again
introduced, but Quevedo is the only commandinggenius
that appears for the first time. Calderon de )a Barca
was then but a youth of fourteen, pursuing his studies at
Salamanca. Out of the 150 names introduced into the
poem our limits will only allow us to touch on the more
eminent, especially those who came into immediate con-
tact with Cervantes, either as friends or foes. Those
who are interested will find full information concerning
the rest, in the catalogue given at the end of the collected
edition of Cervantes' works in twelve volumes, published
in Madrid, 1863-4 ; and also at the end of M. Guardia's
NOTE 12. PAGE 39.
Known wide as Miguel Cid. This Sevilian poet, of
whom Guardia declares he could learn nothing, was
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 341
celebrated for his " devotion to the Mother of God in
the mystery of her immaculate conception," and in 1610
published the famous capias beginning
Todo el mundo en general
A voces, reina escogida,
Dice que sois concebida
Sin pecado original.
He was a very pious man, and, though a simple weaver
of rugs, he enjoyed great celebrity amongst his townsmen,
who often embraced and applauded him in the public
streets. He died in 1617, and the common people were
sure he had predicted the day of his death. He was
buried in the Cathedral of Seville. The Chapter ordered
that a picture of the Purisima Conception should be placed
over his tomb, containing amongst other figures a portrait
of the poet, with his famous coplas in his hand. This
was painted by Francisco Pacheco, and Sr. Asensio
assures us that it is still to be seen in the Sacristy of our
Lady de la Antigua. His collected poems were published
thirty years after his death, by his son, under this title :
" Sacred Joustings of the illustrious and memorable poet
Miguel Cid, published by his son, inheritor of the same
name : dedicated to the most Holy Virgin Mary, our
Lady, conceived without spot of original sin. Printed at
Seville, by Simon Fajardo, 1647."
NOTE 13. PAGE 39.
Don Luis de Gongora. It is hard to tell how much of
Cervantes' eulogium is sincere praise, and how much
fine irony. No doubt there is a mixture of both ; for
34 2 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Gongora, though a sort of demigod, was a very Janus.
On one side of him we see the man of clear subtle in-
tellect, yet, withal, curiously sensitive soul, whose satires
for vigour and incisive touch were unmatched ; whose
odes and romances have the true patriotic ring and
cadence ; and whose letrillas and villancicos, now playful,
now pathetic, like the music of silver bells, give us to know
the resources of the Spanish tongue both in its sweetness
and strength. Such was Gongora in the vigour of early
manhood. On the other side of him we see a man, who
in his later years wrapped himself in mystery and posed
as a very angel of darkness ; who invented a new literary
tongue ; founded a new school, the pestilent sect of the
Cultos ; and gave forth as his Koran those awfully mys-
terious poems called the Pollfemo and the Soledades, which
it required the labours of three laborious commentators
during his lifetime to explain to the uninitiated. To refine
the Castilian tongue by Latinizing it; to banish common-
place by the use of metaphorical, uncouth, and myste-
riously bombastic phrases; and, in fine, to reach the sublime
by a species of mechanical inflation ; these were the cha-
racteristics of what was called in derision Calteranismo.
What led Gongora to such a perversion of his consummate
talents it would be hard to say. No doubt he was soured
by a life of poverty and neglect ; but, after all, there was
a kind of literary contagion afloat in the atmosphere of
Europe during his age ; and Gongorism in Spain,
Marinism in Italy, Euphuism in England, were but dif-
ferent phases of the same disease. This worship of the
unintelligible became the fashion, and one of its first
converts was the notorious Count of Villamediana. Of
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 343
course the wits of the old school (such as Jauregui, Lope
de Vega, and Quevedo) assailed it with their choicest
invective and ridicule. Here is one of the current
Our poet Soledad, the able,
Hath writ a most romantic ditty,
In dreary length a very city,
In sheer bewilderment a Babel.
Lope winds up one of his most sarcastic sonnets, full
of the most outrageous Gongorism, in this style :
" Dost apprehend it? Fabius, be candid."
Of course I do ! " " O Fabius, thou liest,
For I who wrote it do not understand it."
And in another place he gives this advice to his com-
Meanwhile to shelter our Pegasos
From the bad odour of the cultish jargon,
Come, let us burn pastilles of Garciltuos.
Gongora, who was quite a match for Lope in the art of
satiric fencing, gave vent to his wrath in this fashion :
Dicen que hace Lopico
Contra mi versos adversos,
Pero, si yo versifico,
Con el pico de mis versos
A' este Lopico lo pico.
Cervantes does not seem to have taken any special
part in this war of wits j though the exaggeration of the
compliment he here pays him, just in those points where
Gongora was weakest, betrays the " pinch or two of salt."
His general estimate of Gongora's powers as a poet may
344 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
be learned from the eulogy he passes on him in the Canto
de Caliope, when he was twenty-three years of age. It
is the goddess herself who addresses the shepherds and
In Don Luis de Gongora I present
A quick ripe genius, rare as can be found 5
His works do give me wealth and sweet content,
Nor me alone, but the wide world around ;
Give me one favour for the love I've lent,
Cause that his soaring knowledge and profound
Be of your warm applause the constant breath,
Defying light-winged Time, and ruthless Death.
The only return which Gongora gave (so far as we
know) for this handsome compliment was an exceedingly
shabby one. It is contained in that famous sonnet of his,
which he made on the festivities held at Valladolid in
honour of the baptism of Philip IV., christened Felipe
Domenico Victor, on which occasion was present Admiral
Charles Howard, with 600 English gentlemen, who had
come to ratify the preliminaries of peace concluded in
London with James I. It runs thus :
The queen brought forth. The Lutheran came here,
Six hundred heretics and heresies
To boot. In fifteen days a million flies
To give them jewels, wine, and all good cheer.
We gave a grand parade a farce, I fear
And certain feasts, which were but flummeries,
To please the English legate and his spies,
Who swore on Calvin peace had brought him here.
Then we baptized the babe Dominican,
Born to become our Dominus in Spain.
We gave a masque might for enchantment pass ;
Poor we became, Luther a wealthy man,
And all these feats they bade be written plain
By one Don Quixote, Sancho, and his ass.
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 345
Except for this paltry fling at Cervantes, we should
never have known that, in the very year when the first
part of the Don Quixote appeared, Cervantes was
appointed pro tern. Court Chronicler ; and actually
brought out (though anonymously) a book thus entitled :
" Narrative of events in the City of Valladolid, from the
time of the most auspicious birth of the Prince Don Felipe
Domenico Victor, till the conclusion of the joyous festivi-
ties in honour thereof. Valladolid, 1605." This is now
included in his collected works, though being but a barren
record of Court Ceremonial it bears few traces of the
hand of the great master. Gongora was born, in 1561,
at Cordova, in the Calle de Marcial. The Spaniards
often style him the Martial of Spain. His works, how-
ever, were published immediately after his death under
this strange title : "Works in verse of the Spanish Homer,
collected by Juan Lopez de Vicuna, Madrid, 1627."
NOTE 14. PAGE 39.
O soul divine, &c. Of Hernando de Herrera, who,
as a poet, achieved the appellation of Divine, Cervantes
had a most exalted opinion. Born at Seville in the
early part of the sixteenth century, he was a young man
when Boscan and Garcilaso de la Vega were in their
prime ; and during the active part of his career he was
the contemporary of Diego de Mendoza, and of Fray
Luis de Leon, who was also a native of Seville. He
died in 1597, and with his death ended that a series
of distinguished poets, who, by the introduction of
classical and Italian forms, changed the current of
Spanish poetry from its old homely channel, and gave
346 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
it fresh spirit and a higher life. The purity and fervour
ofHerrera's style had great attraction for Cervantes in
his earlier days, and he thus eulogizes him in the Canto
It little boots that I should now proclaim
The praises of Herrera the Divine ;
If to the fifth sphere I exalt his name,
But little fruit will yield this pain of mine.
But if as friend I'm jealous for his fame,
His works will tell this tale in every line:
In knowledge reigns Hernando monarch sole,
From Nile to Ganges, and from pole to pole.
Cervantes also must have had a personal knowledge of
this learned ecclesiastic during his sojourn in Seville, and
most likely made his acquaintance in the studio of
Pacheco the painter, where all who were distinguished
in poetry, art, or science, held common rendezvous.
In a MS. codex of the year 1631, which contains various
poems, collected apparently by Francisco Pacheco, there
is one by Cervantes on the death of Herrera which has
this very interesting note appended to it by himself :
" Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote :
" This sonnet I made on the death of Hernando de
Herrera, and to understand the first quatrain I may
mention that he used to celebrate in his verses a lady
under the name of LUZ. I think it one of the good
ones I have made during my life :
" The man who climbed, by paths as yet unknown,
The sacred mountain to its topmost height ;
Who on one Light did lavish all his light,
And chaunted tearful strains with dulcet tone ;
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 347
Who from Pirene's spring and Helicon
Drank copious hallowed draughts ; and ransomed quite
From earthly thrall, did change these waters bright
Into divine, with culture all his own ;
The man, who roused Apollo's envious pique,
Because, in union with his Light, his fame
From springing till the dying day did fly j
The well-beloved of Heaven, on earth unique,
Turn'd into dust by his consuming flame,
Beneath this frozen stone in peace doth lie."
The name of the lady to whom Herrera was so de-
voted was the Countess of Gelves. Quintana says :
" He gave to his affection the heroism of platonic love,
and under the name of Luz, of Sol, of Estrella, and
Eliodora, he dedicated to her a passion, fervid, tender,
and constant, but accompanied with such respect and
decorum, that modesty could take no alarm nor virtue
His friend Pacheco gave to the world his collected
writings in 1619, accompanied by a superb portrait of
the " divine " poet, designed by himself.
NOTE 15. PAGE 41.
And thou as well, Don Juan de Jauregui. This cele-
brated man, renowned both as a painter and a poet,
was highly appreciated by Cervantes, and not the less so,
perhaps, for having painted his portrait. This fact he
himself communicates in the prologue to his Novelas.
Jauregui was born at Seville about the year 1570, and
his chief title to poetic fame rests on his translation of
Tasso's Amlnta, which his countrymen are never tired
of extolling, as the most perfect in all respects of any
348 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
translation from the Italian, that has ever been made ; as
equal to the original in most passages, and superior in some.
He also appeared before the public as a purist, in his
celebrated attack on Gongora : " Poetic discourse against
cultish and obscure speech." Even his admirers, how-
ever, confess that in his latest work, a translation of
Lucan's Pbarsalia, the old polemic succumbed to the
fascinations of Gongorism, and reproduced it too in its
weakest form. Cervantes here makes an allusion to this
translation, although it was not published till 1684, forty-
three years after the death of Jauregui. As an evidence
of the estimation in which the "Aminta" was held in
its day, we give the following striking sonnet by Alonso
de Acevedo ; of whom Cervantes makes such curious
mention at the end of his " Journey : "
On the Aminta of Don Juan de Jauregui.
Upon the famous banks of foaming Po,
Aminta sprang to life, a noble maid,
Whose youth in bloom to Love its homage paid,
And felt the smart of his compelling bow.
Her sombre life she passed, in friendship's glow,
With Tirsis, famous shepherd of the glade,
And, through her sounding Tuscan lyre conveyed,
Her fond complainings never ceased to flow ;
Till from the banks of Betis forth did rove
A gallant youth of wit and grace supreme,
And lured by that Sevilian's potent wile,
Aminta left her country and first love ;
And now on Betis, in the Spanish style,
She sings forgetful of her tongue and stream.
It is somewhat surprising that Cervantes, who eulo-
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 349
gizes so many of the poets and artists of Seville, should
have omitted to mention D. Francisco Pacheco, whose
studio was the central point of attraction to the gifted in
that modern Athens, and where Cervantes himself must
often have been an honoured guest. For Pacheco was a
poet as well as a painter, and in his " Art of Painting,"
he gives us specimens of his powers, chiefly in the form
of epigrams. One of these for its neatness and point (in
the original) has almost immortalized him. We give it
as a curiosity.
THE PAINTER AND THE COCK.
A scurvy painter drew a cock,
When to his side a live one flew,
'Twas so unlike the cock he drew,
It gave the painter quite a shock.
The brute he slew, with little ruth,
To hide the scantness of his skill ;
And so the cock, against its will,
Became a martyr to the truth.
See Stirling Maxwell's " Artists of Spain," where
another version is given.
NOTE 1 6. PAGE 45.
Is Pedro de Morales. The man to whom Cervantes
consecrates this short eulogium, one of the most delicate
and touching in the poem, was a famous comedian and
also a writer of comedies. He seems to have befriended
Cervantes in the deepest hour of his need, and Cervantes
was not the man to forget either a friend or a kindness.
3 5 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
He represents him further on as being one of the few who
welcomed him on his return from Parnassus :
My heart and hand I gave and warm embrace
To Pedro de Morales ....
Lope de Vega praises him in his Peregrine en su Patria,
Sevilla, 1604, as a "ready, elegant, and sympathetic
actor ; " and Morales was still alive in 1636 to throw a
little flower on Lope's grave, in the shape of a touching
sonnet contributed to Montalvan's " Fama Posthuma de
Lope de Vega."
NOTE 17. PAGE 45.
// Espinel the grand. Espinel was the Nestor of
Spanish poets in the time of Cervantes. Born at Ronda
about the year 1 544, he reached the age of ninety, as
Lope informs us in his " Laurel de Apolo : "
Noventa afios viviste,
Nadie te dio favor, poco escribiste.
Cervantes and he were staunch friends in their youth, and
in their old age were fellow-pensioners of the Archbishop
of Toledo. Espinel did two famous things in his day.
He invented, or rather perfected that form of Spanish
versification usually called Decimas, or, after himself,
Espinelas. He also added zfftb string to the guitar, by
which he earned the thanks of a music-loving people.
It is to this that Cervantes punningly alludes in the text
when he says, "en la guitarra tiene la prima" the pnma
being the first or principal string. Espinel was also
noted for a kind of peevish and sarcastic humour. In
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 351
his book of chivalrous adventure, El escudero, Marcos de
Obregon, published in 1618, he goes out of his way in
his preface to exalt his own work at the expense of Don
Quixotes thus playing " the part of Zoilus " to his old
friend, when he was dead and gone.
NOTE 1 8. PAGE 53.
Now four appear. In the time of Cervantes poetry
was quite a la mode ; and the gravely humorous way in
which he here eulogizes the courtly poets is highly enter-
taining. Of the Conde de Salinas or the Conde de
Saldana we know little as poets. The Marquis of
Alcanices contributed a laudatory sonnet to the Novels of
Cervantes, which contains at least one happy thought,
when he praises Cervantes as one
Whose genius sought, by means of art,
To conjure hidden truth from fabled lie.
The Principe de Borja y Esquilache was a man of a
different stamp. He was at once a great statesman and
a great poet. He is called by some the " Prince of
Spanish lyric poets." He even attempted the heroic
style, but his epic poem, "The Recovery of Naples,"
brought him little renown. He is, however, unrivalled
for the exquisite taste and elegance of his minor poems ;
and he shone especially in the Letrilla. We give a
translation of one of these, which is both simple and
The Maid of Betis.
Lucinda, thy home was the mountain brown,
"Tis more than a year since thou earnest to town ;
352 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
With none art thou friendly, on none hast thou smiled,
If starving thou diest, how livest thou, child?
In Andalusia was never such chill,
'Tis found on the ridges of frozen Castile.
Thy cradle in Tormes, the snows on its plain,
Are one and the same with thine icy disdain.
The streams of Sevilla were ne'er drunk by thee,
Which flow by its portals, and down to the sea !
A truce to thy rigour, thy coldness, and spleen,
If thou care not to see, be glad to be seen !
To the sound of my lute-strings, at breaking of day,
I sang thee these verses, wert sleeping, I pray ?
Thine eyes, Maid of Betis, O do not remove,
Let them but look loving, if thou wilt not love !
NOTE 19. PAGE 55.
Most famous Villamediana. This nobleman, of com-
manding presence and brilliant parts, lived the life of a
gallant and spendthrift at Court, and died at last by the
hands of an assassin. Those who are curious about the
details may consult the " Memoirs of the Countess
D'Aulnoy." As a poet he belonged to the school of
Gongora, but his imitations of the affected style of that
master are long ago forgotten. His epigrams, however,
were very celebrated, and deserve to be remembered.
We give the following one, not for its excellence, but
because it refers to one of the poets mentioned in this
Espana swears, without a lie,
He never sups at home, for why ?
His supper he must go without,
When nobody invites him out !
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 353
This poor poet, Juan de Espana, is the man whose works
Cervantes sarcastically eulogizes as " more worthy of
divine than human praise, for in his verses he is all
divine ! "
NOTE 20. PAGE 57.
Scarce can Francisco de Quevedo. The familiar, yet
not unkindly way in which Cervantes here alludes to
Quevedo's lameness (which amounted to positive de-
formity), and the warm eulogium he bestows upon him,
show the existence of very friendly relations between
these two great men. Quevedo himself was not over-
sensitive in regard to his deformity, which did not pre-
vent him from being a very expert and deadly swordsman.
In his first Satire, addressed to a lady, he alludes to his
well-known defects in this curious way :
Como tu alma, tengo la una pierna
Mala y danada ; mas, Belisa ingrata,
Tengo otra buena que mi ser gobierna.
The complete works of this wonderful, many-sided
poet and politician have at length been given to the
world in the BibHoteca de los Autores Espanoles, in three
portly volumes. They form a perfect mine of wealth to
the Spanish student, which has still to be explored.
Our space only allows us to extract one satirical piece,
which, bearing the taking title of Testamento de Don
Quijote, may find an appropriate place in this volume.
There is no indication as to the circumstances under
which it was composed, so we may take it, if we please,
as an amusing rejoinder to the humorous personalities of
354 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Cervantes in the text. It has not hitherto been trans-
lated, and we give it in an abridged form. It runs
THE LAST WILL OF DON QUIXOTE.
All his members bruised and battered,
Black and blue with sticks and stones,
Don Quijote de la Mancha
Stricken lies, and feebly groans 5
With his target for a cover,
With his buckler for a bed,
Craning out, like any tortoise,
From between the shells his head.
With a thinnish voice, and cheeping,
As the notary to him comes,
In despite of absent grinders
Thus he spake from out his gums :
" Jot thee down, good knight, I pray thee,
(God thee keep in quiet still !)
This the testament I tender
As my last and latest will.
Put not therein 'sound of judgment,'
As thou oft hast put before ;
Write it rather down ' bed-ridden,'
For, in sooth, 'tis sound no more.
To the earth I give my body,
Let the earth my body eat ;
Scarcely will there be a mouthful,
For its leanness is complete;
Let them bear it forth to burial
In the scabbard of my brand,
For by reason of its thinness
Such a coffin will be grand !
I to Sancho leave the islands
Which I gained with toil unbated
If therewith he be not wealthy,
He'll at least be isolated.
Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Item, to good Rozinante
I the fields leave with their fruits,
Which the Lord of Heaven created
For the grazing of the brutes ;
I bequeath him misadventure,
And an old age full of bother,
And therewith a peck of troubles
In the place of oats and fodder.
Of the many sticks they gave me,
I to Dulcinea good,
For her fuel in the winter,
Leave a hundred loads of wood.
Buckler, lance, Quixotic visor,
And whate'er my stock in trade is,
I bequeath for pious uses
In the ransom of high ladies.
As trustees, Don Belianis,
And the good Knight of the Sun,
And Esplandian the doughty,
I appoint them every one ! "
Up and answered Sancho Panza,
List to what he said or sung,
With an accent rough and ready,
And a forty-parson tongue :
" 'Tis not reason, good my master,
When thou goest forth, I wis,
To account to thy Creator,
Thou should'st utter stuff like this ;
As trustees, name thou the Curate,
Who confesseth thee betimes,
And Per-Anton, our good Provost,
And the goat-herd Gaffer Grimes ;
Make clean sweep of the Esplandians,
Who have dinned us with their clatter ;
Call thou in a ghostly hermit
Who may aid thee in the matter ! '
" Well thou speakest," up and answered
Don Quijote, nowise dumb,
356 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
" Hie thee to the Rock of Dolour,
Tell Beltenebros to come ! "
Thereupon the Extreme-unction
At the doorway lighted down j
As his eyes fell on the parson,
With his candle and his gown,
He exclaimed it was the wizard
Of Niquea at his bed j
Whereupon the good hidalgo
To address him raised his head.
But on seeing that his judgment,
Tongue, and sight, and life were gone,
Scribe and Curate made their exit,
And the Knight was left alone.
Qbrai dt Sjuevtelo, iii. 196.
NOTE 21. PAGE 63.
Lope de Vega. Navarrete and other biographers quote
this high eulogium, as a proof of the good understanding
that subsisted between Lope and Cervantes. Benjumea,
however, in his Truth about Don Quixote, Madrid, 1878,
draws attention to the fact that Lope's position in the
roll of poets is not a very dignified one, placed as he is
between a mere mediocrity like Antonio de Galarza, and
the needy swarm of poetasters who are the subjects of
Cervantes' wrath and ridicule. Be that as it may, there
can be no doubt that, during his whole literary career,
Cervantes did ample justice to the claims and merit of
his great rival. His praise, from first to last, was given
with no grudging hand. As early as 1584, when Lope
was but twenty-two years of age, Cervantes thus speaks
of him in his Canto de Caliope:
Experience shows how in a true-born wit,
In verdant youth, and at a tender age,
Notes and Illustrative Pieces, 357
High knowledge finds a domicile as fit
As in a manhood ripe, mature, and sage.
Who will not truth so manifest admit,
With such a one will I no battle wage,
Nor need I, when he knows that I am free,
Lope de Vega, to say this of thee.
This rather frigid, but not unflattering encomium,
addressed to a precocious youth who affirmed of himself,
that " his genius taught him to write verses from his
cradle," was, we are told, a matter of deep offence to
Lope. The same could hardly be said of the glowing
laudatory sonnet contributed by Cervantes to Lope's
Dragotitea, published in 1602, though that monstrous
Anglophobic libel on Sir Francis Drake hardly deserved
so much honour. It runs thus, playing on the name
Pega, which, in Spanish, means a plain :
Within that part of Spain, the fairest known,
There lies a Vtga t peaceful, ever green,
Whereon Apollo smiles with brow serene,
And bathes it with the streams of Helicon.
Jove, grand and mighty worker, there hath shown,
To make it bloom, his science vast and keen ;
Cyllenius there disports with merry mien,
Minerva claims it henceforth as her own ;
There have the Muses their Parnassus found,
Chaste Venus rears therein her teeming brood,
The blessed congregation of the Loves ;
And so with pleasure, and the whole year round,
New fruits it yieldeth for the general good,
Arms, angels, saints, and shepherds of the groves.
But while Cervantes was free at all times to recognize
the astounding fecundity of Lope's genius, and the
brilliancy of his achievements on the stage, it is always
358 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
with a certain dignified reserve, befitting one who knew
he had both the right and power to act as judge and
discriminator between quantity and quality, fertility and
fatal facility, brilliancy and meretriciousness. Nowhere
is this more visible than in the famous speech of the
Canon of Toledo, on the playwrights and comedies of
the day (Don Quixote, i. 48), which has become classical.
There the utter venality and downward tendency of the
dramatic school, of which Lope was the founder and
main support, are depicted with a blending of sparkling
raillery and grave rebuke, such as made the wits of
Madrid both merry and furious. To none was it more
galling than to Lope, who in his Neva Art of making
Comedies in our Day, published in Madrid, 1609, but
written two or three years before, bids contemptuous
defiance to all his censors, with evident allusion to
Cervantes in particular ; and with an amazing effrontery
defends the doctrine, that Art must sink itself to the
level of public taste, and that poets who please to live
must live to please. This attitude of contemptuous
disdain or cool indifference was Lope's prevailing mood
towards Cervantes. Though, after the appearance of the
first part of Don Quixote, he had a hundred oppor-
tunities of speaking well of his chief rival, only five or
six times does he allude to him, and never once with
hearty or adequate praise ; for the grandiose eulogy in
the Laurel de Apolo refers only to Cervantes' verse.
When he brought out his own novels in a vain attempt
to snatch the palm from Cervantes, he curtly speaks of
his rival's Novelas as " not wanting in grace or style."
When he pillaged the Tratos de Argel to enrich his
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 359
own Slaves of Algiers, he introduces a character called
Saavedra, but with no mark of respect or esteem for the
captive poet, who had played such a gallant and heroic
part. His private letters, which have lately come to
light, tell the same tale. In one of them he compares
Cervantes' verses to " fried eggs badly cooked." In
another, dated I4th August, 1604, just before the ap-
pearance of the book of the epoch, he says : " Many
poets are in labour for the coming year ; but none are
so bad as Cervantes, or so stupid as to praise Don
Quixote ! " This curious outburst of malice, born either
of envy or hatred, reads very strangely now ; for the poor
despised work, borne, as its author very quaintly re-
marks, on the crupper of Rozinante, has carried the
name of Cervantes to corners of the earth where the
name of Lope de Vega has never reached, or reached
only to be forgotten.
Time, that has dealt so hardly with the fame of Lope's
works, has also not spared the moral reputation of the
man, whom Montalvan describes in later years as exhibit-
ing the devotion of a saint, with the austerities of a monk.
For the same happy accident that brought to light the
letter of Cervantes to Mateo Vazquez, which reflects
additional lustre on his character as a " Chevalier sans
peur et sans reproche," also revealed a mass of corre-
spondence in the handwriting of Lope, addressed to his
patron, the Duke of Sessa, to whom he seems to have
acted in the joint capacity of secretary and " Sir
Pandarus." The collection consists of three folio vo-
lumes, containing 225 letters, each of the volumes having
this title-page : Cartasy Villetas de Belardo a Lufilo sobre
360 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
diversas materias. These were given to Sr. La Barrera,
the celebrated antiquarian, to be copied out for publica-
tion ; but the contents were found to cast such a lurid
light on the secret history of Lope, even after he became
an ecclesiastic, that the competent authorities consigned
them to safe custody in the National Library. Those
who are curious, however, may find a number of the
letters contained in a work by Don Ibero Ribas y
Canfranc, with this strange title : Los ultimas Amores de
Lope de Vega, Madrid, 1876.
NOTE 22. PAGE 65.
A toy/or there. The name of one of these poetic
taylors has been preserved in a piquant MS. satire of the
period, quoted by Pellicer :
Yo Juan Martinez, oficial de Olmedo,
For la gracia de Dios, poeta Sastre,
Natural de la Sagra de Toledo.
NOTE 23. PAGE 71.
The dulcet mouth. The following sonnet by Gongora
so aptly reproduces the curious sentiment of the text,
that we can almost fancy Cervantes intended to allude
to it. It is hardly original, being an imitation of one of
Tasso's, beginning thus :
guel labro, che le rose han colorite,
Molle si sparge, e tumidetto in fuore.
The dulcet mouth, that shows to eager eyes
A moisture, 'mid the pearls distilled, that might
Outrival that sweet liquor of delight
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 361
Which Ida's boy to Jupiter supplies,
Ye lovers, touch it not, if life ye prize 5
For, 'twixt one lip and t'other crimson bright,
Love lurks with deadly poison out of sight,
Like curled-up snake, 'twixt flower and flower that lies.
Let not the roses tempt, though seeming gay,
As those which drop down from Aurora's breast,
Bedewed with pearls, and scent of sweetest kind ;
Apples of Tantalus, not roses they,
That fire the blood, and vanish with unrest,
Leaving Love's poison and nought else behind.
Obrai de Gongora, Lisboa, 1657, vol. i. 28.
NOTE 24. PAGE 71.
Valencies plain. " Valencia del Cid," as the Spaniards
delight to call this famous town, is spoken of with rap-
ture by Cervantes in the Persiles and Sigiimunda. He
declares it notable, " for the grandeur of its site, the
distinction of its inhabitants, the amenity of its surround-
ings, for all that makes it the fairest and richest of all
cities, not only of Spain, but of all Europe : and princi-
pally for the beauty of its women, their extreme chastity,
and sprightly language, which the Portuguese tongue
alone can rival in smoothness and sweetness." It was also
celebrated for the number and excellence of its poets
who, in October, 1591, constituted themselves into that
famous academy called Academia de los Nocturnes. It
consisted of forty-five members, who all assumed names
in keeping with their character as " Nocturnals." It
may be interesting to give a few of those mentioned in
this satire, with their designations :
D. Guillen de Castro . = Serena.
D. Lois Ferrer . = Norte.
362 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Andres Rey de Artieda = Centinela.
Caspar de Aguilar . . = Sombra.
The name of Captain Christobal de Virues does not
appear on the list ; nor that of Pedro de Aguilar, who
was a native of Antequera. It is generally supposed that
Cervantes meant Caspar de Aguilar, who was a very
prolific Valencian poet. The Academy was dissolved in
1593 ; but was resuscitated in 1615, under the title of
Los Montaneses del Parnaso. Guillen de Castro, who
was an influential member of the Academy, is famous
especially for his great comedy in two parts, Las Moce-
dades del Cid t from which Corneille borrowed so
largely. He also dramatized portions of the Dan
Quixote s and one of his pieces bears the same tide as
Cervantes' novel, El curioso impertinente. Captain
Virues, who was a comrade of Cervantes at Lepanto,
also shares with him the honour (if honour it may be
called) of having been among the first to reduce comedies
to three acts. Ticknor, however, has shown that Francisco
de Avendano in 1553 had anticipated them both.
NOTE 25. PAGE 75.
Great Andres Rey de Artieda. This was a poet after
Cervantes' own heart. He was a gallant soldier all his
lifetime ; fought gloriously at Lepanto, where he received
three wounds ; but was at the same time an intense
student, and devoted especially to poetry. His letters
and satires are famed for the exquisite purity of their
language, and for the vivid trenchant style with which
they lash the vices of the age, both in morals and
literature. His chief work has this title : Discourses,
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 363
Epistles, and Epigrams of Artemidoro, Saragossa, 1605.
A passage from one of his letters to the Marquis de
Cuellar will illustrate the scope and tendency of his
criticism. It is aimed at Lope de Vega, and expresses
in a humorous way the very opinions of Cervantes
Beneath the Lord of Delos' burning heat
Spring little poets from the putrid pool,
With such agility, 'tis quite a treat}
And marvellous it is, beyond all rule,
To see a comedy writ by some wight,
Whom yesterday Minerva put to school.
Since his invention is but wind outright,
In eight short days, or in less space of time,
The mode and matter are in keeping quite ;
* * * *
I've galleys seen skim o'er the desert way,
And half-a-dozen horsemen posting ride
From Cyprus' channel to Palermo's bay ;
The Persian Empire placed the Alps beside,
And Famagosta planted in Biscay,
And Germany depicted strait and wide j
In such-like stuff Heredia doth play,
To suit the humour of a friend of his,
Who writes a comedy in half a day !
NOTE 26. PAGE 79.
Of Tityrus and eke Sineerus lie. Cervantes refers here
to the tombs of Virgil and Sannazaro at Naples. Sincere
is one of the chief characters in Sannazaro's grand
NOTE 27. PAGE 81.
The two Lupercios greet. These two Lupercios, who
might with more propriety have been styled the two
364 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Leonardos, were the famous brothers Lupercio Leonardo
de Argensola, and Bartolome Juan Leonardo de Argen-
sola. They were born at Barbastro, in Aragon, the
one in 1564, the other in 1566. The elder, Lupercio,
became a statesman and historiographer of the Crown of
Aragon; the younger became a churchman, Rector of
Villahermosa, and Canon of Saragossa. They both, by
exalted character and high attainments, enjoyed an
immense authority in the world of literature. As far
back as 1584 Cervantes praised them in the Canto de
Caliope, as "twin luminaries, twin suns of poesy." He
also passes an extravagant eulogium on the dramas of the
elder brother, in the Canon of Toledo's address in the
first part of Don Quixote (ch. 48), as models of highest
excellence. On account of their classical refinement,
and the exquisite character of their Satires, the brothers
were styled the Horaces of Spain. As for the matter
touched upon in the text, we know little more than what
Cervantes himself tells us. The elder brother had
received a commission from the Conde de Lemos,
Viceroy of Naples, in 1610, to found an academy of
literature there, and invite the best wits of Spain to join
it. The Academia degli Oziosi was in due time formed,
but Cervantes, who had received brilliant promises, was
not thought worthy to be ranked amongst the elite, and
was left to his solitude in Madrid. He professed to be
much chagrined at this neglect ; but the world at large
will not share his regret. Naples was to him a paradise
of delight and song. In his youth " he had trodden its
streets for better than a year." As one of the " Oziosi"
he might have lived a merrier and more luxurious life ;
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 365
but Naples might have proved to him a Capua, and the
world have been the poorer for the want of his " Novels,"
and his completed Don Quixote. We know of no
talent the " Oziosi " club ever evoked ; and the Spanish
academies generally were rather hotbeds of display and
jealousy, than nurseries of high art.
As a specimen of the powers of Lupercio Leonardo we
give one of his more humorous sonnets :
TRUTH AND BEAUTY.
I must confess, Don John, on due inspection,
That dame Elvira's charming red and white,
Though fair they seem, are only hers by right
In that her money purchased their perfection ;
But thou must grant as well, on calm reflection,
That her sweet lie hath such a lustre bright,
As fairly puts to shame the paler light,
And honest beauty of a true complexion !
And yet no wonder I distracted go
With such deceit, when 'tis within our ken
That Nature blinds us with the self-same spell ;
For that blue heaven above, that charms us so,
Is neither heaven nor blue ! Sad pity then,
That so much Beauty is not Truth as well !
The Canon, Bartolome', was famous for his epigrams.
The following is celebrated, though it is but an imitation
of one by Catullus :
If, Elia, I remember true,
Four teeth thou hadst without a doubt j
One cough thou gav'st, and two flew out,
Another drew the other two.
3 66 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Now may'st thou cough, upon my word,
And all day long, without a pause,
For nothing in thy vacant jaws
Will e'er be stirred by cough the third !
One of his finest sonnets is, however, in a graver and
loftier line, and is thus entitled :
O common Father, say, since thou art just,
Why doth thy watchful providence permit,
That Fraud upon the judgment-throne should sit,
While Innocence, in chains, must bite the dust ?
Who gave its vigour to the arm robust
Which braves thy laws unchecked, nor will submit,
Whilst humble zeal, that gives thee honour fit,
Is trodden down beneath victorious lust ?
See how they gleam, those quivering palms of fame,
In vice-stained hands, while Virtue, losing heart,
Groans as the lying pageant onward rolls !
Thus spake I, when a nymph celestial came,
And smiling said : Blind mortal that thou art,
And is this earth the centre of all souls ?
NOTE 28. PAGE 85.
Of furious dogs. We give the four following lines from
Gonzalo Perez' translation of the Odyssey, descriptive of
this scene :
Alii -vi-ve la Scylla, que no cessa
De aullar y ladrar contlnuamente
Con un ladrido agudo : como suele
Ladrar una feri//a, que aun es nucva,
La Ulyxeay 1. 12, p. 185.
NOTE 29. PAGE 87.
They found him in that man Lofraso. In the famous
scrutiny of Don Quixote's library special mention is
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 367
made of this luckless bard and his monstrous work.
We give the passage from Shelton's version, slightly
amended : " This booke, quoth the Barber, opening
of another, is The Ten bookes of the Fortune of love,
written by Antonio de Lofraso, the Sardinian Poet. By
the holy Orders which I have received, quoth the
Curate, since Apollo was Apollo, and the Muses, Muses,
and Poets, Poets, was never written so delightfull and
extravagant a worke as this, which, in its way & veine,
is the best and rarest of all the bookes that have ever
issued of that kinde to view the light of the world ; and
he that hath not read it may make account that he hath
never read matter of delight. Give it to me, gossip, for
I doe prize more the finding of it, than I would the gift
of a Cassocke of the best Serge of Florence. And so
with great joy he laid it aside." (The Historie of Don-
Quixote, b. i. ch. 6.) The Spanish critics make merry
over a certain Frenchman, the Marquis de Argens, who
on the strength of this dubious eulogium declared the
work of Lofraso to be " one of the best books of Spain."
They are also most unsparing in their ridicule of Pedro
Pineda, a teacher of Spanish in London, who in the year
1740 reprinted it in two handsome octavo volumes, as
one of the treasures of Spanish literature. (Londres, por
Henrique Chapel, Ano 1740.) Pineda's praise of the
work is quite unbounded, and he declares himself
"under constraint to print it, knowing that the English
nation loves what is good, prizes what is rare, and seeks
after what is curious."
Poor Pineda, who edited an edition of the Don Quixote
for Tonson, and an edition of the Novelas Exemplares for
368 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Henry Chapelle, had evidently never read the Viaje del
Parnaso ; otherwise the subtle irony of Cervantes might
have dawned upon him.
Whatever may be the merits of the book, there can
be no doubt of its rarity. The British Museum possesses a
very fine copy of the original edition, Barcelona, 1573 ;
and Salva declares it to be sumamente raro.
The author's real name was Lo Frasso, and the real
title of his book, The Ten Books ofFortuna Amor, written
in imitation of Montemayor's Seven books of Diana.
The heroine's name is Fortuna, and the hero's Frexano,
under which latter the author has disguised his own ;
Frasso in the Sardinian dialect being equivalent to Fresno
(ash-tree) in Spanish. The whole book forms a curious,
unsavoury mess of maudlin verse and stilted prose,
which goes jogging along, ofttimes through four pages,
without a single stop. The unbounded conceit of the
man (which seems specially to have roused Cervantes'
wrath) is shown in a delectable poem, towards the end
of the book, in the form of a huge acrostic. It consists
of no less than 168 lines, the initial letters of which,
when put together, were destined to immortalize the
name of the author, the title and date of his book, and
the name of his patron. Cervantes, however, was pro-
bably not aware, while making merry over the Sardinian
bard, that Lo Frasso had almost (if not quite) anticipated
himself in the invention of the immortal name of
DULCINEA ! Amongst a number of disdainful damsels
mentioned in the tale occurs the name of DULCINA ; and
one of the rejected lovers bears the sweet appellation of
DULCINEO. As a specimen of Lo Frasso's powers, we
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 369
give the following octave which Deyfebo addressed to
Dulcina, on returning her ring and pledge :
A ring, Dulcina, thou me gav'st one day
To mock me, and to wound my heart right sore ;
What matters it, since Love hath flown away,
And on thy beauty I set little store :
If, ingrate, thou didst mean to jilt me, say,
Why didst thou seem to love me more and more?
Well, since thy love was such a feigned thing,
I rid me now of it, and of thy ring.
Nothing whatever is known of Antonio de lo Frasso save
what he himself tells us; viz., that he was born at Lalguer,
a seaport town of Sardinia, had served in the army, and
was resident in Barcelona. Before the issue of his great
work he published, in 1571, a little brochure with this
title, " Here commenceth the letter which the Author
sends to his sons, and a thousand two hundred discreet
counsels and warnings Virtus post funera vivit" This
information we owe to Salva, who declares the copy in
his possession to be unique, so far as he knows ; which
gives that sapient bibliographer occasion to arraign the
wisdom of Providence, in ordaining that the scarcest
books shall be the stupidest.
This letter is addressed from Barcelona to " My
dearest sons, Alfonso and Scipio de lo Frasso," informing
them and the public that " he addresses to them these
warnings and counsels because he is far from them, and
cannot visit them without fear of death, owing to the
intervention of the fierce Gulf of Lyons ; for that
crossing the sea is a matter involving the uncertainty of
snatching short life from its fury !" This is a sentiment
37 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
hardly worthy of " Mercury's boatswain," as Cervantes
wittily dubs him. This same volume of Salva's contains
a poem in octaves on the battle of Lepanto, and a Sonnet
by Lo Frasso, "al muy serenissimo S. Don Joan de
Austria " with a wretched woodcut on the reverse, re-
presenting a naval combat. Was Lo Frasso, after all, a
comrade in arms of Cervantes ?
NOTE 30. PAGE 89.
Tb' Acroceraunian, fatal name. This is an allusion to
the infantes scopulos Acroceraunia of Horace (Carm. 1-3,
NOTE 31. PAGE 88.
A eantimplora acostumbrados. The cantimplora, or
water-cooler, plays an important part in Madrid during
the summer months. Gongora introduces it in this witty
El medico y cirujano
Sean para mi govierno,
Calentador en invierno,
Y Cantimplora en verano.
The doctor and phlebotomist
Be each for me in turn my ruler j
My warming-pan in winter-time,
In summer-time my water-cooler.
NOTE 32. PAGE 95.
Don Juan de Arguijo. This famous veinte-cuatro y or
Alderman of Seville, though no very distinguished poet
himself, was a man of such refined taste and unbounded
munificence, that he was celebrated throughout the
length and breadth of the land as the " Apollo of all the
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 371
poets of Spain." It is to this fact that Cervantes here
alludes. Arguijo's palace, and Pacheco's studio in
Seville, were the common haunts of the poets, artists,
and dilettanti of the town.
NOTE 33. PAGE 101.
Those of Alcinous. Cervantes' description of the
garden of Parnassus reminds us in one or two points of
the garden of Alcinoiis described in the Odyssey ; espe-
cially in these lines :
It changeth not at all with changing-time,
For all the year Spring offers, in her glee,
Not hopeful blooms, but fruits in all their prime.
The corresponding phrases in the Odyssey are thus
rendered by Gonzalo Perez :
Su fructa no se pierde, ni se dana
Ni falta en el ynvierno, ni en verano,
Mas dura todo el ano : porque siempre
Reyna en la huerta el Zephiro suave.
La Ulyxea, 1. 7, 105.
NOTE 34. PAGE 105.
With wbicb fair Galatea. This was the first venture
of Cervantes on the field of literature. He calls it las
primicias de ml corto ingenio. It is generally supposed to
have been published in Madrid, in September, 1 584, just
before his marriage, and presented to his bride, as her
marriage-gift. The first extant edition, however, bears
this title : " First Part of the Galatea, divided into six
Books, composed by Miguel de Cervantes, &c. printed
at Alcala, by Juan Gracian, 1585." The second part
was never completed ; though till the very last year of
372 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
his life Cervantes did not despair of giving it to the
public. It is a simple pastoral tale, framed after the
model of Montemayor's Diana, and though written in
pure limpid prose, interspersed with very melodious
verse, it gave his countrymen no foretaste of what was
afterwards in store for them. He himself had yet to
learn where his true strength lay, and it was the stern
pressure of the times that drove him at last from
Arcadia to La Mancha. Even in these early times,
however, Cervantes was well known and appreciated
in literary circles. As a slight evidence thereof we give
the following "laudatory Sonnet" contributed by one of
his friends to the Galatea. It is full of the extravagance
belonging to such compositions ; and most likely the
author of it never dreamed how much prophetic truth
lay beneath his friendly flattery. It is thus entitled :
L DON LUIS DE VARGAS MANRIQUE
To THE AUTHOR OF "GALATEA."
The sovereign gods in thee have made display,
O grand Cervantes, of their greatness dread,
And, nature-like, have showered upon thy head
Their gifts immortal without stint or stay.
Jove gave his bolt, that lambent vivid play
Of words, which lend a soul to matter dead j
Diana gave a style, light as her tread,
Chaste as herself, of more than mortal sway ;
Hermes, his cunning tales and happy phrase,
Mars, the strong vigour that inspires thine arm,
Cupid and Venus, all their tender loves ;
Apollo lent his sweet harmonious lays,
The Sisters Nine, their science and its charm,
And Pan, in fine, his shepherds and his groves.
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 373
NOTE 35. PAGE 107.
Don Quixote. So much has been written about the
Don Quixote of late years that it seems unnecessary to
say more now. We, therefore, merely direct attention
to the peculiar estimate which Cervantes gives of the
use and intent of his great work. It almost seems as if
he meant to warn off the field all future hunters after
hidden truths and mystic meanings. His words are
few and simple, but they contain much in little com-
pass. To purge the human breast of melancholy ; to be
a perennial spring of delight to the world in all seasons,
through all ages ; this is what Don Quixote was spe-
cially created for, according to the testimony of its
"wise begetter." Could grandeur of idea be better
embodied in plainer words ? We are reminded forcibly
of the self-same language used by Sir Walter Scott (the
only humorist of the Cervantic type that Britain has
produced) when dedicating the collected edition of his
Waverley Novels to George IV. : " Sire, the Author of
this collection of works of fiction would not have pre-
sumed to solicit for them your Majesty's august patronage,
were it not that the perusal of them has been supposed
in some instances to have succeeded in amusing hours of
relaxation, or relieving those of languor, pain, or anxiety."
To produce a book of universal pastime (pasatiempo),
to lessen, even by a few drops, the ocean of human pain
and melancholy, may seem poor objects of poetic ambi-
tion ; and yet two great geniuses combine in declaring
these to be the sum and substance of their life-work !
We may note also, as a curious coincidence, that the
374 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
two most wonderful poetic creations of the seventeenth
century saw the light of day almost at the same time.
The second quarto of Shakespeare's Hamlet (the full-
orbed conception) was published in London in 1604;
the first edition of Cervantes' Don Quixote appeared
in Madrid early in 1605. Such a planetary conjunction
is very rare in the literary universe. We have deemed
it worthy of commemoration in the following sonnet :
LONDON AND MADRID,
From two great minds two madmen drew their birth,
Seers rather, who on this our human stage
Have held men's hearts enthralled, from age to age,
Now thrilled with horror, now convulsed with mirth.
The Danish prince, whose mind the woes of earth
Unhinged, and touched the brain with finest rage :
The Spanish Don, whose soul the knightly page
With follies fired, to brighten many a hearth ;
Hamlet and Quixote ! Names that will not die,
While those of Shakespeare and Cervantes live;
While Life and light with Death and darkness strive,
And Truth in arms confronts the rampant Lie !
Grand teachers both ! We welcome in the twain
The power of England, and the wit of Spain !
NOTE 36. PAGE 107.
/ penned the sonnet with this opening strain. There is
a curious notice contained in a contemporary manuscript
entitled Sucesos de Sevilla, 1592-1604, which tells us
when and where this sonnet was published. It runs
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 375
"On Tuesday zgth December of said year (1598)
were celebrated the funeral rites of His Majesty, and it
appears that the Inquisition was condemned to pay for
the wax consumed during the first day, and the town for
the masses. And on that day, while I stood in the holy
church, there entered a roguish poet who recited an
octave on the grandeur of the funeral pile :
I vow to God such grandeur stuns my brain !
I'd give a crown its wonders to detail ;
For such a grand machine on such a scale
Beggars description, makes invention vain.
Now, by the living Christ, each piece, 'tis plain,
Is worth a million ! Pity it should fail
To last an age ! Hail, grand Sevilla, hail,
In wit and wealth a second Rome again !
I'd wager that the soul of the deceased,
On such a sight as this to gloat and gaze,
Hath left its joys eternal in the skies.
A listening puppy answered : " I at least,
Sir soldier, doubt not what your honour says,
Who dares to think the opposite he lies ! "
On this, to my surprise,
The stripling stinted, fumbled with his blade.
Looked sideways, vanished, and no more was said.
For full particulars regarding this astounding catafalque
of Philip II., see Espinosa de los Monteros, Historia de
Sevilla, foil. Iiii-iii8; Stirling Maxwell, Annals of
the Ar 'lists in Spain, i. 403.
As a pendant to this famous sonnet we may as well
give the other, equally famous, which Cervantes made
two years before. It commemorates the relief of Cadiz,
July 1596 ; and the exploits of the awkward squad of
Sevilian volunteers who, under the command of the
376 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Duke of Medina-Celi, entered Cadiz after the Earl of
Essex had sacked it, and evacuated it. The Bull-calf
(Becerro) represents Captain Becerra, who drilled the
doughty band :
This July saw another Holy week,
When certain brotherhoods made quite a blaze,
Well-known as squads in military phrase
Which made the mob and not the English shriek !
So many feathers waved from peak to peak,
That in some fourteen, or some fifteen days,
Their Pigmies and Goliaths winged their ways,
And all their pageant vanished like a freak.
The Bull-calf bellowed ; placed his squad in line j
The sky grew dark j a rumbling seized the ground,
Which threatened total ruin as it shook j
And into Cadiz, with a prudence fine,
Soon as the Earl had left it safe and sound,
In triumph marched Medina's mighty Duke !
NOTE 37. PAGE 107.
I've of Romances. Of the infinite number of romances
which Cervantes penned, very few are now extant.
These few, though some are very doubtful, may be
found in the poesias sue/fas, appended to the volume of
Cervantes' works in the Biblioteca de los Autores Espa-
fioles. Among the rest is one entitled, Los Celos
(Jealousy), which is supposed to be the very one al-
luded to by Cervantes, as his masterpiece in this depart-
ment of song. If authentic, it is certainly curious,
though not very striking. The most charming of all his
romances is that given in his novel, La Gitanilla, as
sung by the gipsy maiden on the streets of Madrid. It
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 377
is too long to quote here ; but it is worthy of a better
translation than any that has yet been published.
NOTE 38. PAGE 109.
To rival Phyllis my Pbylena. The Pbylena is supposed
by most Spanish critics to have been a youthful perfor-
mance of Cervantes, written probably before he went to
Italy as camarero to Cardinal Aquaviva, and never pub-
lished. Mr. Duffield, following in the wake of Sr.
Asensio, informs us that Filena is a misprint for Silena,
one of the shepherdesses introduced into the Galatea.
This notion seems very far-fetched. The Galatea has
already been mentioned in this oration ; and, moreover,
it requires but a single glance at Cervantes' own words,
Al par de Fills mi Filena, to see that the one name is
suggestive of the other.
NOTE 39. PAGE 113.
A wondrous being. Readers of Don Quixote will re-
member the delectable address which the immortal
Hidalgo gives in the house of Don Diego de Miranda,
on the nature and uses of poetry and poets, for the
benefit of his hopeful son, a student of Salamanca
(Part ii. ch. 26). There they will find, in a more
practical shape, the essence of this wonderful description
of True Poesy. Whatever may be thought of Cervantes'
claim to be a great poet, no one will question the gran-
deur of his conceptions, regarding the worth and power
of True Poesy in the economy of the universe.
NOTE 40. PAGE 1 1 6.
Campo y vereda. The reading, in the first and subse-
37 8 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
quent editions of the Viaje, is compa y vereda. This is a
manifest blunder, which makes the whole passage unin-
telligible. Compa and vereda are thus reckoned amongst
the other odorous herbs sacred to -Bacchus, which False
Poesy scatters. But compa is not found in Spanish Lexi-
cons, and vereda is a bridle-path. The slight alteration
of compa into campo, as suggested by Sr. Gayangos, gives
at least a glimmering of sense.
NOTE 41. PAGE 121.
/ spied six persons of a clerkly kind. This amusing
description of the ecclesiastics, and their flirtation with
the Muses, is quite Cervantic. We can well fancy
what a fluttering there would be among the black cloaks
of Toledo, when it was first published. Of five out of
the six shame-faced but ambitious aspirants to the
honours of Parnassus, whose names are given, but little
is known, and that little is hardly worth relating. More
interest attaches to the sixth, whose name is not given.
It is supposed that Cervantes here satirizes that famous
writer of comedies, Fray Gabriel Tellez, who, under the
pseudonym of Tirso de Molina, enjoyed a popularity on
the stage second only to that of Lope de Vega. He was
born in Madrid, studied at Alcala, and became a priest
in 1613. He composed no less than 300 comedies, the
most famous of which are the Burlador de Sevilla, the
prototype of all succeeding Don Juans, and Don Gil de
las calzas verdes, whose sappy humour was the delight of
the common people. (See Ticknor, vol. ii., ch. 21.)
Cervantes very aptly characterizes Molina's not over-
chaste delineations of the manners of his time j for
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 379
which he had to suffer at sundry times the lash of the
NOTE 42. PAGE 205.
Is Arbolancbes. This redoubtable commander-in-
chief of the heterodox army, Hieronymo Arbolanche,
as he styles himself, was a native of Tudela, in the pro-
vince of Navarre ; and with this single fact (vouched
for by himself) begins and ends his recorded history.
Such immortality as he enjoys is, therefore, due to Cer-
vantes, and in some measure also to the fact that his
work (The Nine Books of the Havidas, Saragossa, 1566)
is one of the rarest in Spanish literature. Salva, who
thought himself the happy possessor of the sole copy in
existence, was surprised to find that Don Pascual de
Gayangos (whose library is noted for its rarities)
describes it in the notes appended to his translation of
Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature (Madrid, 1851-
56, vol. iii., p. 537), and also extracts from it five little
gems as proofs of its high quality. Fortified by the
opinion of this distinguished authority, Salva is not dis-
posed to submit to the indignity of having one of his pet
rare volumes consigned (like that of Lo FRASSO) to the
limbo of the stupid. He therefore roundly charges
Cervantes with having depreciated a book he had never
seen. Cervantes, it seems, calls it "a very breviary in
bulk," whereas it is the smallest of small octavos ; he
also calls it a melange of prose and verse, whereas it is
written throughout in blank verse, interspersed with little
poems of different kinds and measures. These be
blunders unpardonable in the eyes of matter-of-fact
380 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
bibliomaniacs, who know nothing of poetic licence or sly
sarcasm. Cervantes no doubt looked upon blank verse
as but disguised prose. But it seems to us that the title-
page alone was quite sufficient to call forth the peculiar
humour of Cervantes. Arbolanche has planted a wood-
cut representation of himself right in the centre of it,
and, not content with this, has reproduced it on the
reverse side, with this absurd inscription :
Ebro me produzio, y enjlor me tiene,
Mas my rayz de rio Calibe -vlene.
which we can only render thus :
Ebro produced me and keeps me fresh ever,
But my stock hath its root on the Calibe river.
Arbolanche's portrait represents a man with a massive
head, set on a thick short neck ; a rather sensual mouth
with protruding lips (muso por la vidd) ; a slightly aquiline
nose ; a crop of matted hair curiously foliated (if we may
use the expression) so as to take the form of laurel leaves !
The whole expression of the face is smug and self-
satisfied, and we do not wonder that it called forth a
little of the sarcastic raillery of Cervantes. As to the
merits of his book, since no one seems to have read it
through, it would be unseemly to judge. From an
abstract of it given by the author himself, we infer that
its subject-matter is totally out of the range of human
interest. But the most entertaining and characteristic
part of the whole book is the introductory letter, addressed
by Arbolanche to his pedagogue. The singular mock-
modesty with which he repudiates all pretensions to
poetic skill, and anticipates all adverse criticism, is very
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 381
amusing. Singularly enough both Gayangos and Guardia
represent this letter as addressed by the master to the
pupil. The title, however, runs thus :
EPISTLE OF HIERONYMO ARBOLANCHE TO
DON MELCHOR ENRICO, HIS
MASTER IN ARTS.
master mine, my will was never free
To find in printing books a great delight,
But she who has the power hath ordered me
To bring this ill-sung Book of mine to light;
1 grant I am not versed in poesy,
And only know that I know nothing right ;
And know as well that many know as little,
So care not, if they praise me not, one tittle.
I never chaunted on Parnassus' height,
Nor ever drank the waters Cabaline :
What Octave is or Sextain beats me quite,
Nor have I dealings with the Muses nine ;
Not mine the gift, like improvising wight,
At every step to vomit forth a line ;
I cannot verses on my fingers measure,
Nor mouth two thousand fooleries at pleasure.
I do not hire me Sonnets to indite
For books that go to press in this our time :
I do not ballads spin, or tercets write,
Nor have one notion of impromptu rhyme :
With echo-songs, in sooth, I'm puzzled quite,
To make them to the full note curtly chime :
I do not medleys make, nor things at all
That may be dubbed with name of Madrigal.
I cannot use strange words or obsolete,
Nor am I read in books of chivalry :
382 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
Nor can the names of blustering knights repeat,
Nor tell the tale of each stale victory ;
I know not what is meant by " broken feet,"
For mine own limbs are sound as sound can be ;
I cannot make some short, and others long,
Some very sweet, and others very strong.
In the succeeding twelve octaves Arbolanche reveals
an unexpected vein of coarse sarcasm, not wanting in
point or vigour. All the most famous Spanish authors
and books of his time, and before it, come in for their
share. He is not ashamed to quiz such venerable men as
Juan de Mena and Juan del Encina, and is even impudent
enough to let fly a shaft at Garcilaso and Boscan. But
we must allow him to speak for himself :
Tampoco se yo hacer que cosicosa,
Como el de las Preguntas y Respuestas,
Ni como Garcilaso de la prosa
Del Sanazaro coplas hago prestas ;
Ni se yo hacer mi pluma muy famosa
Llevando el hurto italiano a cuestas,
Como el Boscan, que tanto se me entona,
Porque llevo el Amor en Barcelona.
The whole Epistle winds up in this wonderful way :
Ne'er wished I, 'mong the Wits, to find my name
Within the Cancicnero General ;
Nor ever strove the foremost place to claim,
As many do whose names are there withal j
I never sought to rank with men of fame,
Nor even thought of such a thing at all :
But, lest I may, O lend me wit of thine,
Senor Melchor Enrico, master mine !
I do not evil speak of men so high,
As if I thought I had sufficient grace
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 383
To reach unto their lofty blasonry,
Still less to give myself a higher place ;
But since without much bitter raillery
None ever came off victors in the race ;
And since such famous men their weird must dree,
What will the dolts and envious make of me?
It is quite evident that such a man was fair game for
the shafts of Cervantes, and quite as evident that his
rhinoceros hide was quite impervious to any amount of
contempt. But the whole matter is of little interest to
the present generation : and such is the irony of Fate,
that the priceless First Edition of the Don Quixote, and
the tiny tome of Arbolanche, have equally achieved the
honours of the " glass case " in the British Museum.
Requiescant in pace.
NOTE 43. PAGE 215.
La Picara Justina. This, the most scandalous novel
of its time, was written by the Dominican, Fray Andres
Perez, under the nom de plume of Francisco Lopez de
Ubeda. Its title is : "Book of Entertainment of the
Rogue Justina, in which under merry conversations are
concealed useful counsels, &c. Medina del Campo, 1605."
It receives here the most stinging reprobation from Cer-
vantes : though its contents were the delight of a not
over-squeamish age, which demanded edition after edition.
It appeared in the same year as the Don Quixote, most
likely a little before it : and, what seems wonderful, it
not only mentions that as yet unpublished work in the
body of the text, but does so in a stanza of the curious
kind of verse (versos cortados = docked lines) which
Cervantes first made popular in the Don Quixote, and of
384 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
which he esteemed himself the inventor. The stanza
is this :
I'm the Quee of Picardi
Famous mo than Dame Oli
Than Don Quixo and Lazari
Than Alfarach and Celesti
The wonder ceases, however, when we consider that
the Don Quixote was well-known in the literary circles
of Madrid long before it was printed. Lope speaks of it
contemptuously in a letter already quoted, dated Toledo,
August 14, 1604. The w ily Dominican had, therefore,
ample opportunity of knowing its contents. It is thought
that Cervantes, in the eighth chapter of the Viaje, roundly
accuses him of plagiarism, when he introduces the Muses
as dancing to the "sweet sound of instrument of mine" :
Mine, did I say, I do but lie perchance,
Like him who calls another's verse his own,
If it be fit his honour to advance.
To Spanish students of the Don Quixote the mysterious
poem of Urganda la desconicida, which introduces the
work, and whose metre Perez imitated, is well known.
It has hitherto been regarded by English translators as a
farrago of nonsense verses, unfit for serious rendering.
In Duffield's new translation of Don Quixote, we at-
tempted for the first time a translation of it in plain
metre. As a curiosity we give it here again ; but with
its full complement of " broken feet." It is written in a
style of versification hitherto uncultivated by English
rhymesters; perhaps it may become popular. Benjumea,
in his " Truth about Don Quixote," declares it to be the
key which unlocks most of the mysteries that follow.
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 385
We commend it, therefore, to all ingenious searchers
after the occult sense of the plainest book in Creation.
Perhaps the Oracle will give forth a more certain sound,
when uttered in something like the original "docked
lines : "
URGANDA THE UNKNOWN
TO THE BOOK OF DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA.
O Book, if it be thy inten
To rise and rank amongst the goo
'Twill not be said by any foo
Thy fingers are not tipped with sen
But if thou cook what is not mean
To please the taste of every boo
Thoul't find it handled by a broo
Of silly folk, of high preten
Who bite their na-ils, and look askan
To shew that they are dilettan
If it be true, as saith the stan
" Who to a goodly tree repai
Will surely find a goodly sha "
Here in Bejar thy lucky plan
Presents a royal tree and gran
Whose fruit are princes of the Sta
Their chief, a Duke of noble na
A second, mighty Alexan
Come to its shade without a ca
For Fortune favoureth the bra
Thou hast to tell the adventurous fea
Of that Manchegan knight and no
Whose wits were turned out of doo
386 Notes and Illustrative Pieces.
By dint of much and idle rea
Arms, ladies fair, and cavalie
Inflamed his brain in such a mo
That like Orlando furio
Transformed into a lover swee
By strength of arm he reached the goa
Fair Dulcinea del Tobo
Engrave not thou upon thy shie
Devices strange and hiero
When picture-cards are all we ho
We brag with points that court defea
If in the preface thou be mee
Thou'lt hear exclaim no blatant foo
" Behold ! Don Alvaro de Lu
Or Hannibal the Carthagi
Or else King Francis, he in Spai
Is railing at his doleful fa "
Since Heaven's wisdom hath refu
To turn thee out a Classic!
Like that black linguist, Juan Lati
Be chary of the Latin mu
Launch not us thy biting hu
Nor din us with philosophi
Lest one, who careth not a whi
For learned ways or literatu
Should twist his mouth, and give a shrie
" What mean to me your flowers of spec '
Of others' lives make no pala
Nor peer into thy neighbour's hou
What comes not straight into accou
Pass by ; it is the wiser pla
For foolish words at random ca
Notes and Illustrative Pieces. 387
Fall often on the jester's crow
So burn the lamp, and strain thy pow
To gain good fame throughout the la
For he who prints a stupid boo
Consigns it to eternal doo
Take warning from the ancient pro
That if thy house be made of gla
It is a most imprudent pla
To pelt the passers-by with sto
Compose such works as men of no
May pleasure find in every pa
For he who takes his pen in ha
And brings to light a portly vo
Mere idle damsels to amu
Writes for the silly and the stu
END OF NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIVE PIECES.
CHISWICK PRESS: c. WHITTINGHAM AND co., TOOKS COURT
* **! TT" / /'
(l (j> u/ *
University ol California, Los An
S R L F
SEE SPINE FOR BARCODE NUMBER