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VOL. I. 









In the year eighteen hundred and eighteen I travelled 
through a large part of Spain, and spent several months in 
Madrid. My object was to increase a very imperfect 
knowledge of the language and literature of the country, 
and to purchase Spanish books, always so rare in the great 
book-marts of the rest of Europe. In some respects the 
time of my visit was favourable to the purposes for which I 
made it ; in others, it was not Such books as I wanted 
were then, it is true, less valued in Spain than they are 
now, but it was chiefly because the country was in a de- 
pressed and unnatural state; and, if its men of letters were 
more than commonly at leisure to gratify the curiosity of a 
stranger, their number had been materially diminished by 
political persecution, and intercourse with them was diflS- 
cult because they had so little connexion with each other, 
and were so much shut out from the world around them. 

It was, in fact, one of the darkest periods of the reign of 
Ferdinand the Seventh, when the desponding seemed to 
think that the eclipse was not only total, but " beyond all 
hope of day.** The absolute power of the monarch had 
been as yet nowhere publicly questioned ; and his govern- 
ment, which had revived the Inquisition and was not want- 



ing in its spirit, had, from the first, silenced the press, and, 
wherever its influence extended, now threatened the ex- 
tinction of all generous culture. Hardly four years had 
elapsed since the old order of things had been restored 
at Madrid, and already most of the leading men of letters, 
whose home was naturally in the capital, were in prison or 
in exile. Melendez Valdes, the first Spanish poet of the 
age, had just died in misery on the unfriendly soil of 
France. Quintana, in many respects the heir to his ho- 
nours, was confined in the fortress of Pamplona. Martinez 
de la Bosa, who has since been one of the leaders of the 
nation as well as of its literature, was shut up in Fefion on 
the coast of Barbary. Moratin was languishing in Paris, 
while his comedies were applauded to the very echo by 
his enemies at home. The Duke de Bivas, who, like the 
old nobles of the proudest days of the monarchy, has dis- 
tmguished himself alike in arms, in letters, and in the civil 
government and foreign diplomacy of his country, was 
living retired on the estates of his great house in Andalusia. 
Others of less mark and note shared a fate as rigorous ; 
and, if Clemencin, Navarrete, and Marina were permittee^ 
still to linger in the capital from which their friends h^i 
been driven, their footsteps were watched and their Ufe 
were unquiet ^W 

Among the men of letters whom I earlie^^Prcw in 
Madrid was Don Jose Antonio Conde, a retilH, gentle, 
modest scholar, rarely occupied with events of a later date 
than the times of the Spanish Arabs, whose history he 
afterwards illustrated. But, far as his character and stu- 


dies removed him from political turbulence, he had already 
tasted the bitterness of a political exile ; and now, in the 
honourable poverty to which he had been reduced, he not 
unwillingly consented to pass several hours of each day 
with me, and direct my studies in the literature of his 
country. In this I was very fortunate. We read toge- 
ther the early Castilian poetry, of which he knew more 
than he did of the most recent, and to which his thoughts 
and tastes were much nearer akin. He assisted me, too, in 
collecting the books I needed ; — never an easy task where 
bookselling, in the sense elsewhere given to the word, was 
unknown, and where the Inquisition and the confessional 
had often made what was most desirable most rare. But 
Don Jose knew the lurking-places where such books and 
their owners were to be sought ; and to him I am indebted 
for the foundation of a collection in Spanish literature, 
which, without help like his, I should have failed to make. 
I owe him, therefore, much ; and, though the grave has 
long since closed over my friend and his persecutors, it is 
still a pleasure to me to acknowledge obligations which I 
have never ceased to feel. 

Many circumstances, since the period of my visit to 
Spain, have favoured my successive attempts to increase 
the Spanish library I then began. The residence in Ma- 
drid of my friend the late Mr. Alexander Hill Everett, 
who ably represented his country for several years at the 
court of iSpain ; and the subsequent residence there, in the 
same high position, of my friend Mr. Washington Irving, 
equally honoured on both sides of the Atlantic, but espe- 


cially cherished by Spaniards for the enduring monument 
he has erected to the history of their early adventures, and 
for the charming fictions whose scene he has laid in their 
romantic country; — these fortunate circumstances natu- 
rally opened to me whatever facilities for collecting books 
could be afibrded by the kindness of persons in places so 
distinguished, or by their desire to spread among their 
countrymen at home a literature they knew so well and 
loved so much. 

But to two other persons, not unconnected with these 
statesmen and men of letters, it is no less my duty and my 
pleasure to make known my obligations. The first of them 
is Mr. O. Bich, formerly a Consul of the United States in 
Spain ; the same bibliographer to whom Mr. Irving and 
Mr. Frescott have avowed similar obligations, and to 
whose personal regard I owe hardly less than I do to his 
extraordinary knowledge of rare and curious books, and his 
extraoi*dinary success in collecting them. The other is 
Don Fascual de Gayangos, Professor of Arabic in the 
University of Madrid, — certainly in his peculiar depart- 
ment among the most eminent scholars now living, and one 
to whose familiarity with whatever regards the literature 
of his own country, the firequent references in my notes bear 
a testimony not to be mistaken. With the former of these 
gentlemen I have been in constant communication for 
many years, and have received from him valuable contri- 
butions of books and manuscripts collected in Spain, £ng* 
land, and France for my library. With the latter, to 
whom I am not less largely indebted, I first became per- 


sonally acquainted when I passed in Europe the period 
between 1835 and 1838, seeking to know scholars such as 
he is, and consulting, not only the principal public libraries 
of the Continent, but such rich private collections as those 
of Lord Holland in England, of M. Temaux-Couipans iu 
France, and of the venerated and much-loved Tieck in 
Germany; all of which were made accessible to me by the 
frank kindness of their owners. 

The natural result of such a long-continued interest in 
Spanish literature, and of so many pleasant inducements 
to study it, has been — I speak in a spirit of extenuation 
and self-defence — a booh In the interval between my 
two residences in Europe I delivered lectures upon its 
principal topics to successive classes in Harvard College ; 
and, on my return home from the second, I endeavoured 
to arrange these lectures for publication. But when I had 
already employed much labour and time on them, I found 
— or thought I found — that the tone of discussion which 
I had adopted for my academical audiences was not suited 
to the purposes of a regular history. Destroying, there- 
fore, what I had written, I began afresh my never un- 
welcome task, and so have prepared the present work, 
as little connected with all I had previously done as it, 
perhaps, can be, and yet cover so much of the same 

In correcting my manuscript for the press I have 
enjoyed the counsels of two of my more intimate friends ; 
of Mr. Francis C. Gray, a scholar who should permit the 
world to profit more than it docs by the large resources 


of his accurate and tasteful learuing ; and of Mr. William 
H. Frescott, the historian of both hemispheres, whose 
name will not be forgotten in either, but whose honours 
will always be dearest to those who have best known the 
discouragements under which they have been won, and 
the modesty and gentleness with which they are worn. 
To these faithful friends, whose unchanging regard has 
entered into the happiness of all the active years of my 
life, I make my affectionate acknowledgments, as I now 
part from a work in which they have always taken an 
interest, and which, wherever it goes, will carry on its 
pages the silent proofs of their kindness and taste. 

Park Street, Boston, 1849. 



The Literature that existed in Spain between the First Appear- 
ance OF THE Present Written Language and the Early Part 
OF the Reign of the Emperor Charlto the Fifth, or from 
the End of the Twelfth Century to the Beginning of the 

Origin of Modem Litcraturo 

lis Origin in Siiain . 

Its earliest Appearance there 

Two Schools 

The National School 

It appears in troubled Times 




The Arab Invasion . 
Cliristian Resistance 
Christian Successes . 
Battle of Navas de Tolosa 
Earliest National Poetry . 



Early National Litkratube. 

Appearance of the Castilian 

Poem of the Cid 

Its Hero 

Its Subject 

Its Character . 

Book of Apollonius . 

Saint Mar>' of Egypt 

10 lliroe Holy Kings 

11 All anonymous 

12 Gronzalo de Berceo 

14 His Works . 

15 His Versification 

23 His San Domingo 

24 His Milagros de la Virgen 


Alfonso the Wise, or the Learned. 

His Birth 

. 32 

Castilian Prose 


Letter to Perez de Guzman 

. 33 

Fuero Juzgo . 

. 43 

His Death 



. 45 

His Cdutigas . 


Esixjjo .... 


Galician Dialect 

. 36 

Fuero Real . 


Querellas and Tesoro 


Sietc Tartidas 



Character of Alfonso 




C n A V T K U I V. 
I^OBUNZo Seoura and 1)on Juan Maxuki.. 



Juan Lorenzo Segiira 

. 51 

His Works . 

. 59 

His Anachronisms . 

. 52 

liCttcr to his Brother 


His Alexandra 

. 52 

His Counsels to his Sou . 


Ix» Votes del Pavou 


His Book of the Knight . 

. 63 

Sancho el Bravo 


His Conde Lucanor 

. 64 


His Character . 


His Life ... 



Alfonso thb Eleventh. — Archpbiest of Hita. — Anonymous Poems. — 
The Chancellor Atala. 

Alfonso the Eleventh 


J A Dan9a General . 


Poetical Chronicle . 


Feman (xonzalez . 


Bcneficiado de Ubcda 


l^oema de Josd 


Archpriest of Hita . 


Binuulo de Palacio . 


His Works . . . . 


Castilian Lit<»rature thus far 


His Cliaractcr 


Its Religious Tone . 


Bahhi I>on Santob . 


Its Ix^yal Tone 


Ta Doctrina Christiana . 

. 81 

Its PopuUu* Character 


Una Revelacion 

. 81 

Old Ballads. 

Po]mlar Literature 


llieir Name 


Four Classes of it 


llieir History . 


First ChisB, Ballads . 


Their great Number . 


Theories of their Origin 


l*reserved by Tradition 


Not Arabic 


WTien first printed 


National and Indigenous 


First Ballad-Book 




Other Ballad-Ik)oks . 


Asonantcs .... 


Romancero General 


Easy Measure and Structure 


Not to be arranged by Date 


General Diffusion 




Old Baixads— concluded. 

Ballads of Chivalry . 


On various Historical Subjec 

;U ' 132 

On Cliarlenmgnc . 


Loyalty of tlie IVidlads 


Historical Ballads 


Ballads on Moorish SubjtHils 


On Itemardo del ( 'arpio 


Chi National Ifcuners 


On Feman Ciunzalez . 


Character of thdl|l Biillad^ 


On the Infantes do Laiii 


Their Nationality^ 






CHAPTEn viri. 



Second Claaa of Popular Litera- 

Its Poetical Portions . 


ture .... 


Its Character 


Chronicles and their Origin . 


Chronicle of the Cid . 


Royal Chronicles 


Its Origin . 


Crdnica General . 


lU Subject . 


Its Divisions and Subjects . 


Its Character 




Chronicles of Alfonso the Wise, 
Sancho the Brave, and Fer- 
dinand the Fourth . . 158 
Chronicle of Alfonso the Eleventh 160 
Chronicles of Peter the Cruel, 
Henry the Second, John the 

First, and Henry the Third 
Chronicle of John the Second 
Chronicles of Henry the Fourth 
Chronicles of Ferdhiand and Isa- 
bella .... 
Royal Chronicles cease 





Chronicles of Particular Events 175 

El Passo Honroso 176 

El Seguro de Tonlesillas . 178 

Chronicles of Particular Persons 179 

PeroNiiSo .... 179 

Alvaro de Luna . . 181 

Oonzalvo de Cdrdova . 182 

Chronicling Accounts of Travels 185 

Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo 


Columbus . 


Balboa, Hojeda, and others 


Romantic Chronicles . 


Don Roderic 


Character of the Chronicles 


Romances of Chivalbt. 

Origin of Romantic Fiction 


Its Character 


Appearance in Spain . 


Esplandian . 


Amadis de Gaula 


Family of Amadis 


Its Date . 


Influence of the AmadiH 


Its Author, liObeira 


Palmerin de Oliva 


Portuguese Original lost 


Primaleon and Platir . 


Translated by Montalvo 


Palmerin of England . 


Its Success . 


Family of Palmerin 


ItsStorv . 


Romances of Chivalry— concluded. 

Various Romances 
Lepolemo . 

219 Translations from the French 221 

220 Carlo Magno ... 222 





Religious KomanceA . 


Knight-errantry no Fiction . 


ITio Celestial Chivalry 


Romances believed to Ik? true 


Period of Romances . 


Passion for them 


Their Number . 


Their Fate .... 


Fbunded in the State of Society 227 

The Eablt Drama. 

Religious Origin of the Modem 

The Celestma . 


Drama . 


First Act . 


Its Origin in Spain 


llie Remainder . 


Earliest Representations 


Its Character 


Mingo Rovulgo . 


Its Popularity . 


Rodrigo Cota 


Imitations of it . 



The Eablt Drama — oontinubd. 

Juan de la Enzma 


Portuguese Theatre 


His Works 


Gil Vicente 


His Representaciones . 


Writes partly in Spanish 


Eclogues in Form 


Auto of Cassandra 


Religious and Secular . 


OViudo . 


First acted Secular Dramas 


Other Dramas . 


Their Character . 


His Poetical Character 


I'he Early Drama — ooncluded. 

Slow Progress of the Drama 


Villalobos . 

Question de Amor 

Torres Naliarro . 

His l^paladia . 

His Eight Dramas 

267 His Dramatic Theorj' . 

267 LaTrofea .... 

268 La Hymenea 

268 Intriguing Storj- and Buffoon 

268 His Versification 

269 His Plays acted . 

270 No Popular Drama founded 

PROVEK^AL Literature in Spain. 

Provence . 
Its Language 
Connexion with Catalonia 
With Aragon 
Proven9al Poetry 
Its Character 
In Catalonia and Arag<in 
War of the Albigenses 


279 Proven9al Poetr>' imder Peter 

280 the Second ... 285 

281 Under Jayme the Conciucror 286 

282 His Chronicle ... 288 

283 Ramon Muntaner . . 290 

283 His Chronicle . . . 290 

284 I^vcn^l Poetry decays . 294 



Catalosian and Valbncian Poetby. 



Floral Games at Toulouse . 297 

Decay of Catalonian Poetry 


Consistory of Barcelona . 298 

Decay of Valencian 


Poetry in Catalonia and Valencia 299 

Influence of Castile 


Ausias March ... 302 

Poetical Contest at Valencia 


His Poetry .... 303 

Valencians write in Castilian 


Jamne Roig . . . 304 

Preponderance of Castile 


His Poetry .... 304 

Prevalence of the Castilian . 




Early Influence of Italy 


Castile .... 


Religious . 


His Poetical Court 




Trouhadours and MinnesingGrs 


Political and Commercial 


Poetry of John . 


Connexion with Sicily 


Marquis of Villena 


With Naples 


His Arte Cisoria 


Similarity in Languages 


His Arte de Trobar . 


Italian Poets known in Spain 320 His Trahajos de Hercules 

Reign of John the Second of 

Macias el Enamorado 


The Coubtly School— continued. 

The Marquis of Santillana . 334 

His Character . 



Connected with Villena . 338 

Juan de Mena . 



Imitates the Provencals . 339 

Relations at Court 



His Works . 

, , 


AVrites in the Fashionable Style 340 

Poem on the Seven 

Deadly Sins 


His Comedicta de Ponza . 342 

His Coronation . 



His Proverbs ... 344 

•His Labyrinth . 



His Letter to the Constable of 

His Character 

, , 


Portugal. ... 346 


Courtly School— <x>ntinued. 

Progress of the Language . 355 

His letters 



Villasandino . . 357 

Perez de Guzman 



Francisco Imperial . 359 

His Friends the Cartageiuis . 


Other Poets . 359 

His Poetry . 



Prose-writers ... 360 

His Generaciones y 



Gomez de Cibdareal . . 360 





Thr Manbiquks, 




Family of the Manriqucs 

368 Family of the Urrea« . 


Pedro Manrique . 

368 Ix)pe de U rrea . 


Kodrigo Manrique 

368 Gerdiiimo de Urrwi 


Jorge Manrique . 

370 Pedro de Urrea . 


Iliis Coplas . 

371 Padilla el Cartuxano . 




Juan de Luoena . 


Fernando del Pulgar 


Ilia Vita Beata . 


His Claros Van^iic^ 


Alfonao de la Torre 


His Letters 


Ilia Vision Deloytable . 


Romantic Fiction 


Diego do Almela . 


Diego de San Pedro 


His Valerio dc laa Historias 


His Carcel de Amur 


Alonao Ortiz 


Question de Amor 


IliaTratadoH . 



The Cancionbbob akd the Courtly School— concluded. 

Fashion of Candoneros 
Cancionero of Baena . 
Candoneros of Estufiiga, etc. 
First Book printed in Spain 
Cancionero General 
Its different Editions . 
Its Devotional Poetry , 
Its First Series of Authors 
Its Canciones 
Its Ballads . 
Its Invenciones . 


Its Motes .... 



Its Villancicos . 



Its Preguntaa 



Its Second Series of Authors 



Its Poems at the End . 



Number of its Authors 



Rank of many of them 



Character of their Poetry . 



Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella 



State of I^etters . 




Disooxtragemekts of Spanish Culture at the T-nd of this I*eriod, 
AND ITS General Condition. 

Spanish Intolerance 
Persecution of Jews . 
Persecution of Moors . 
Inquisition, its Origin . 
Ita Establishment in Si)ain 
Its first Victims Jews 


Its next Victims Moors 



Its great Authority 



Punishes 0])inion 



State of the Press 



Past Literature of Sjiaiii 



Promise for the Future 





The Literature that existed in Spain from the Accession of the 
Austrian Family to rrs Extinction ; or hiom the Beginning of 
the Sixteenth Century to the End of the Seventeenth. 

CoNDmoN of Spain during these Two Centuries. 

Periods of Literary Glory 
Period of Glory in Spain 
Hopes of Universal Empire 
These Hopes checked . 
Luther and Protestantism 
Protestantism in Spain 
Assailed by the Inquisition 
Protestant Books forbidden 
The Press subjected . 
Index Expurgatorius . 
Power of the Inquisition 


Its Popularity ... 426 
Protestantism driven from Spain 426 


Learned Men persecuted 
Religious Men jxjrsecuted 
Degradation of Loyalty 
Increase of Bigotry 
Eflect of both on Letters 



Popular Feeling . 
Moral Contradictions . 



The Sacrifices that follow . 



Effect on the Country . 


Italian School of Boscan and Garcilasso. 

State of Letters at the End of 

His Coi)las Espanolas . 


the Reign of Ferdinand and 

His Imitation of the Italian 

Isabella . 


Masters . 


Impulse from Italy 


Its Results . 


Spanish Conquests there 


Garcilasso de la Vega . 


Consequent Intercourse 


His Works . 


Brilliant Culture of Italy 


His First Eclogue 


Juan Boscan 


His Versification . 


He knows Navagiero . 


His Popularity . 


Writes Poetry . 


Italian School introduced 


Translates Castiglione . 


Contest concerning the Ital:.^ School. 

Followers of Boscan and Garci- 

Femando de Acuiia 
Gutierre de Cetina 
Opponents of Boscan and Garci- 
lasso .... 

VOL. I. 



Christ<5val de Castillejo . 460 
Antonio de Villegas . . 462 
Gregorio de Silvestre • . 463 
Controversy on the Italian School 465 
Its final Success ... 466 





His Birth and Education 

His Jjazarillo de Tormcs 

Its Imitations 

He is a Soldier . 

Ambassador of Charles the Fifth 472 

A Military Governor , 

Not favoured by Philip the Second 474 

He is exiled from Court . 474 




His Pootr}' . 



His Satirical Prose 



His Guerra de Granada 



His Imitation of Tacitus 



His Elotjuence . 



His Death . 



His Character 


DroACTic Poetry and Prose. — Castilian Language. 

Antonio de Guevara . 4(»(> 

His Relox de Prfncipes . 497 

His Ddcada de los Ccsarcs . 4D9 

His Epfstolas . . . 499 

His other Works . 501 

The Didlogo de las Lcnguas 501 

Its Probable Author . . 502 
State of the Castilian Language 
from the time of Juan de 

Mena .... 503 

Contributions to it . . 503 

Dictionaries and Grammars . 504 

The Language formed . . 505 

Tlie Dialects . . . 505 

The Pure Castilian . . 500 

Early Didactic Poetry . 


Luis de Escobar . 


Alonso de Corclas 


Gonzalez de la Torre . 


Didactic Prose . 


Francisco de Villalobos 


Feman Perez de Oliva 


Juan de Sedefio . 


Cervantes de Salazar . 


Luis Mexia 


Pedro Navarra . 


Pedro Mexia 


GenSnimo de Urrca 


Palacios Rubios . 


Alexio do Vanegas 


Juan de Avila . 


Historical Liter atttre. 

Chronicling Period gone by . 508 

Antonio de Guevara . . 508 

Florian de Ocampo . . 509 

Pero Mexia ... 510 

Accounts of tho New World 511 

Fernando Cort^Js , . . 511 

Francisco Lopez de Gomara . 612 

Bemal Diaz ... 513 

Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo 514 

His Historia de las Indias . 514 

His Quinquagenas . . 517 

Bartolome de las Casas 517 

His Brevfsima Relacion . 519 

His Historia de las Indias 520 

Vaca, Xorez, and (^arate . 521 

Approach to Regular History iij[2 




The Literatitrb that existed in Spain between the First Appear- 
ance OF the present Written Language and the Early Part 
OF the Reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth; or from 
the End of the Twelfth Century to the Beginning of the 

VOL. I. 





Division op thb Subject. — Origix or Spanish Litbbatubs in Times 
OP GREAT Trouble. 

In the earliest ages of every literature that has vindicated 
for itself a permanent character in modem Europe, much 
of what constituted its foundations was the result of local 
situation and of circumstances seemingly accidental. Some* 
timesy as in Provence, where the climate was mild and 
the soil luxuriant, a premature refinement started forth, 
which was suddenly blighted by the influences of the sur- 
rounding barbarism. Sometimes, as in Lombardy and in 
a few portions of France, the institutions of antiquity were 
so long preserved by the old municipalities, that, in occa- 
sional intervals of peace, it seemed as if the ancient forms 
of civilization might be revived and prevail ; — hopes 
kindled only to be extinguished by the violence amidst 
which the first modem communities, with the policy they 
needed, were brought forth and established. And some- 
times both these causes were combined with others, and 
gave promise of a poetry full of freshness and originality, 

B 2 


which, however, as it advanced, was met by a spirit more 
vigorous than its own, beneath whose predominance its 
language was forbidden to rise above the condition of a 
local dialect, or became merged in that of its more fortu- 
nate rival; — a result which we early recognise alike in 
Sicily, Naples, and Venice, where the authority of the 
great Tuscan masters was, from the first, as loyally ac- 
knowledged as it was in Florence or Pisa. 

Like much of the rest of Europe, the south-western 
portion, now comprising the kingdoms of Spain and Por- 
tugal, was affected by nearly all these different influences. 
Favoured by a happy climate and soil, by the remains of 
Koman culture, which had lingered long in its mountains, 
and by the earnest and passionate spirit which has marked 
its people through their many revolutions down to the 
present day, the first signs of a revived poetical feeling 
are perceptible in the Spanish peninsula even before they 
are to be found, with their distinctive characteristics, in 
that of Italy. But this earliest literature of modern Spain, 
a part of which is Proven9al and the rest absolutely Cas- 
til.ian or Spanish, appeared in troubled times, when it was 
all but impossible that it should be advanced freely or 
rapidly in the forms it was destined at last to wear. For 
the masses of the Christian Spaniards filling the separate 
states, into which their country was most unhappily 
divided, were then involved in that tremendous warfare 
with their Arab invaders, which, for twenty generations, 
so consumed their strength, that, long before the cross was 
planted on the towers of the Alhambra, and peace had 
given opportunity for the ornaments of life, Dante, 
Petrarca, and Boccaccio had appeared in the comparative 
quiet of Lombardy and Tuscany, and Italy had again 
taken her accustomed place at the head of the elegant 
literature of the world. 

Under such circumstances, a large portion of the 
Spaniards, who had been so long engaged in this solemn 


contest^ as the forlorn hope of Christendom, against the 
intrusion of Mohammedanism* and its imperfect civiliza- 
tion into Europe, and who, amidst all their sufferings, had 
constantly looked to Bome, as to the capital seat of their 
faith, for consolation and encouragement, did not hesitate 
again to acknowledge the Italian supremacy in letters, — 
a supremacy to which, in the days of the Empire, their 
allegiance had been complete. A school formed on Italian 
models naturally followed ; and though the rich and ori- 
ginal genius of Spanish poetry received less from its in* 
fluence ultimately than might have been anticipated, still, 
from the time of its first appearance, its effects are too 
important and distinct to be overlooked. 

Of the period, therefore, in which the history of Spanish 
literature opens upon us, we must make two divisions. 
The first will contain the genuinely national poetry and 
prose produced from the earliest times down to the reign 
of Charles the Fifth ; while the second will contain that 
portion which, by imitating the refinement of Provence or 
of Italy, was, during the same interval, more or less 
separated firom the popular spirit and genius. Both, 
when taken together, will fill up the period in which the 
main elements and characteristics of Spanish literature 
were developed, such as they have existed down to our 
own age. 

In the first division of the first period, we are to con- 
sider the origin and character of that literature which 
sprang, as it were, from the very soil of Spain, and was 
almost entirely untouched by foreign influences. 

And here, at the outset, we are struck with a remarkable 
circmnstance, which announces something at least of the 
genius of the coming literature, — the circumstance of its 
appearance in times of great confusion and violence. For, 

* August Wilhelm von Schlegel,'Ueber Dramatische Kunst, Heidelberg, 
1811, Sto., Yorlesung XIV. 


in other portions of Europe, during those disastrous trou- 
bles that accompanied the overthrow of the Boman power 
and civilization, and the establishment of new forms of 
social order, if the inspirations of poetry came at all, they 
came in some fortunate period of comparative quietness 
and security, when the minds of men were less engrossed 
than they were wont to be by the necessity of provid- 
ing for their personal safety and for their most pressing 
physical wants. But in Spain it was not so. There, the 
first utterance of that popular feeling which became the 
foundation of the national literature was heard in the 
midst of the extraordinary contest which the Christian 
Spaniards, for above seven centuries, waged against their 
Moorish invaders; so that the earliest Spanish poetry 
seems but a breathing of the energy and heroism which, 
at the time it appeared, animated the great mass of the 
Spanish Christians throughout the Peninsula. 

Indeed, if we look at the condition of Spain in the 
centuries that preceded and followed the formation of its 
present language and poetry, we shall find the mere 
historical dates full of instruction. In 711 Boderic 
rashly hazarded the fate of his Gothic and Christian em- 
pire on the result of a single battle against the Arabs, 
then just forcing their way into the western part of 
Europe from Africa. He failed ; and the wild enthusiasm 
which marked the earliest age of the Mohammedan power 
achieved almost immediately the conquest of the whole of 
the country that was worth the price of a victory. The 
Christians, however, though overwhelmed, did not entirely 
yield. On the contrary, many of them retreated before 
the fiery pursuit of their enemies, and established them- 
selves in the extreme north-western portion of their native 
land, amidst the mountains and fastnesses of Biscay and 
Asturias. There, indeed, the purity of the Latin tongue, 
which they had spoken for so many ages, was finally lost, 
through that neglect of its cultivation which was a neces- 


sary consequence of the miseries that oppressed them. 
But still, with the spirit which so long sustained their fore- 
fathers against the power of Borne, and which has carried 
their descendants through a hardly less fierce contest 
against the power of France, they maintained, to a re- 
markable degree, their ancient manners and feelings, their 
religion, their laws, and their institutions ; and, separating 
themselves by an implacable hatred firom their Moorish 
invaders, they there, in those rude mountains, laid deep 
the foundations of a national character, — of that character 
which has subsisted to our own times. ' 

As, however, they gradually grew inured to adversity, 
and understood the few hard advantages which their 
situation afforded them, they began to make incursions 
into the territories of their conquerors, and to seize for 
themselves some part of the £Emr possessions, once entirely 
their own. But every inch of ground was defended by 
the same fervid valour by which it had originally been won. 
The Christians, indeed, though occasionaUy defeated, 
generally gained something by each of their more con- 
siderable struggles ; but what they gained could be pre- 
served only by an exertion of bravery and military power 
hardly less painfiil than that by which it had been acquired. 
In 801 we find them already possessing a considerable 
part of Old Castile ; but the very name now given to that 
country, from the multitude of castles with which it was 
studd^ shows plainly the tenure by which the Christians 
firom the mountains were compeUed to hold these early 
firuits of their courage and constancy. ' A century later, 

* Auffustin Thierry has in a few malheur, oublidrent leurs vieilles 

words tiiielj described the fusion of haines, lenr vieil dloignement, leiuv 

societj that originallj took plaoe in vieilles distinctions ; il n'j eut plus 

the north-western part of Spain, and qu'un nom, qu'une loi, qu'un 4tat, 

on which the civilization of tne ooun- qu'un langase ; tons fiirent ^gauz dans 

try still rests : '^Resserr^ dans ce coin cet ezil. Dix Ans d'Etudes His- 

de terre, derenu pour euz toute la toriques, Pari^^, 1836, 8vo., p. 346. 
patric, Goths et Romains, vainqueurs ' Manuel Risco, La Castilla y el 

et Taincus, Strangers et indigenes, mal- mas Famoso Castellano, Madrid, 1792, 

tres et esclaves, tous unis dsns le mdme 4to. , pp. 14 — 1 8. 


or in 914, they had pushed the outposts of their conquests 
to the chain of the Guadarrama, separating New from Old 
Castile, and they may, therefore, at this date, be regarded 
as having again obtained a firm foothold in their own 
country, whose capital they established at Leon, 

From this period the Christians seem to have felt as- 
sured of final success. In 1085 Toledo, the venerated 
head of the old monarchy, was wrested from the Moors, 
who had then possessed it three hundred and sixty-three 
years; and in 1118 Saragossa was recovered: so that, 
from the beginning of the twelfth century, the whole 
Peninsula, down to the Sierra of Toledo, was again occupied 
by its former masters ; and the Moors were pushed back 
into the southern and western provinces, by which they 
had originally entered. Their power, however, though 
thus reduced within limits comprising scarcely more than 
one-third of its extent when it was greatest, seems still to 
have been rather consolidated than broken ; and after 
three centuries of success, more than three other centuries 
of conflict were necessary before the fall of Granada finally 
emancipated the entire country from the loathed dominion 
of its misbelieving conquerors. 

But it was in the midst of this desolating contest, and at 
a period, too, when the Christians were hardly less dis- 
tracted by divisions among themselves than worn out and 
exasperated by the common warfare against the common 
enemy, that the elements of the Spanish language and 
poetry, as they have substantially existed ever since, were 
first developed. For it is precisely between the capture 
of Saragossa, which ensured to the Christians the pos- 
session of all the eastern part of Spain, and their great 
victory on the plains of Tolosa, which so broke the power 
of the Moors that they never afterwards recovered the 
full measure of their former strength, * — it is precisely in 

* Speaking of this decisive battle, only Arabic authorities, Conde says, 
and following, as he always does, " This fearful rout happened on Mon- 

Chip. I. 


this century of confusion and violence, when the Christian 
population of the country may be said, with the old 
chronicle, to have been kept constantly in battle array, 
that we hear the first notes of their wild, national poetry, 
which come to us mingled with their war-shouts, and breath- 
ing the very spirit of their victories. • 

day, the fifteenth day of the month 
Safer, m the year 609 [A. D. 1212] ; 
and with it fell the power of the Mos- 
lems in Spain, for nothing turned oat 
well with them afler i t '' (Historia de 
la Dominacion de los Arabes en £b- 
pana, Madrid, 1820, 4to., Tom. II., 
p. -^5.) Gayangos, in his more 
learned and yet more entirely Arabic 
'* Mohammedan Dynasties in Spidn," 
(London, 1843, 4to., Vol. II. p. 
323,^ gires a similar aocowit The 
purely Spanish historians, of course, 
state the matter still more strongly ; — 
Mariana, for instance, looking upon 
the result of the battle as quite super- 
human. Historia General de EspaSa, 
14a impresion, Madrid, 1780, fol., 
lib. XL, c. 24. 

* " And in that time," we are told 
in the old ** Crdnica General de Es- 
paSa," (Zamora, 1541, fd., f. 275,) 

" was the war of the Moors rcry grier- 
ous ; so that the kings, and counts, and 
nobles, and all the kniehts that took 
pride in arms, stabled their horses in 
the rooms where they slept with dieir 
wires ; to the end that, when they 
heard the war-cry, they might find 
their horses and arms at himd, and 
mount instantly at its summons. " ' * A 
hard wad rude traimng," says Martinex 
de la Rosa, in his g^racefiil romance of 
'* Isabel de Sol£s," recollecting, I sus- 
pect, this very passage, — ** a hard and 
rude training, tne prelude to so many 
glories and to the conquest of the 
world, when our forefathers, weighed 
down with harness, and their swords 
always in hand, slept at ease no single 
night for eight centuries. " DoSa m- 
bd de Solfs, Reyna de Granada, No- 
vela Hist6rica, Madrid, 1889, 8vo., 
Parte IL c 15. 



First Appeabakce or the Spanish as a Wbitten Language. — ^Poem 
OF THE CiJ>. — Its Hero, Subject, Language, and Verse. — Stobt 
OP the Poem. — Its Chabacteb. — St. Mabt op Egypt- — ^The Ado- 
bation op the Thbee Kings. — Bebceo, the first known Castiliah 
Poet. — His Workj and Versification. — His San Domingo de Silos 
— His Miracles of the Viboin. 

The oldest document in the Spanish language with an 
ascertained date is a confirmation by Alfonso the Seventh, 
in the year 1 166, of a charter of regulations and privileges 
granted to the city of Aviles in Asturias. ^ It is important, 
not only because it exhibits the new dialect just emerging 
from the corrupted Latin, little or not at all afiected by 
the Arabic infused into it in the southern provinces, but 
because it is believed to be among the very oldest docu- 
ments ever written in Spanish, since there is no good 
reason to suppose that language to have existed in a written 
form even half a century earlier. 

How far we can go back towards the first appearance of 
poetry in this Spanish, or, as it was oftener called, Castilian, 
dialect is not so precisely ascertained ; but we know that 
we can trace Castilian verse to a period surprisingly near 
the date of the document of Avilfes. It is, too, a remark- 
able circumstance, that we can thus trace it by works both 
long and interesting; for, though ballads, and the other 
forms of popular poetry, by which we mark indistinctly 
the beginning of almost every other literature, are abun- 
dant in the Spanish, we are not obliged to resort to them 

* Sec Appendix (A.), on the History of the SiNUiish Language. 

Chap. II. 



at the outset of our inquiries, since other obvious and 
decisive monuments present themselves at once. 

The first of these monuments in age, and the first in 
importance, is the poem commonly called, with primitive 
simplicity and directness, " The Poem of the Cid.'* It 
consists of above three thousand lines, and can hardly have 
been composed later than the year 1200. Its subject, as 
its name implies, is taken from among the adventures of 
the Cid, the great popular hero of the chivalrous age of 
Spain ; and the whole tone of its manners and feelings is 
in sympathy with the contest between the Moors and the 
Christians, in which the Cid bore so great a part, and 
which was still going on with undiminished violence at the 
period when the poem was written. It has, therefore, a 
national bearing and a national character throughout. * 

* The date of the only early manu- 
script of the Poem of the Cid is in 
these words : " Per Abbat le escribio 
en el mes de Mavo, en Era de Mill d 
CC..XLV afioa/' There b a blank 
made by an erasure between the se- 
cond C and the X, which has given 
rise to the question, whether this era- 
sure was made by the copyist because 
he had accidentally put in a letter too 
much, or whether it is a subsequent 
erasure that ought to be filled, — and, if 
filled, whether with the conjunction ^ 
or with another C ; in short, the ques' 
tion is, whether thb manuscript should 
be dated in 1245 or in 1845. (Sanchez, 
Poesias Anteriores, Madrid, 1779, 
8vo., Tom. I. p. 221.) This year, 
1245, qfthe Spanish era^ according to 
which the calculation of time is com- 
monly kept in the elder Spanish re- 
cords, corresponds to our A. D. 1207 ; 
— a i^iTerence of 38 years, the reason 
for which may be found in a note to 
Southey's " Chromde of the Cid," 
(London, 1808, 4to., p. 885,) without 
seeking it in more learned sources. 

The date of the poem Usdf^ how- 
ever, is a very different question from 
the date of this particular manuscrijjt 
of it ; for the Per Abbat referred to is 

merely the copyist, whether his name 
was Peter Aboat or Peter the Abbot 
(Risco, Castilla, etc., p. 68.^ This 
question — the one, I mean, of'^the age 
of the poem its^-^can be settled 
only from internal evidence of style 
and languaare. Two passages, w. 8014 
and 3735, have, indeed, been alleged 
(Risco, p. 69 ; Southey's Chronicle^ 
p. 282, note) to prove its date histori- 
cally ; but, after all, they only show 
that it was written subsequently to 
A.D. 1135. (V. A. Huber, Geschichte 
des Cid, Bremen, 1829, ]2mo., p. 
zxix.) The point is one difficult to 
settle ; and none can be consulted about 
it but natives or experts^ Of these, San- 
chez places it at about 1150, or half a 
centiuT after the death of the Cid, 
(Poes&s Anteriores, Tom. I. p. 223.) 
and Capmany (Eloquencia Espafiola, 
Madrid, 1786, 8vo.,Tom. I. p. 1) fol- 
lows him. Marina, whose opinion is of 
great weieht, (Memorias de la Acade- 
mia de Historia, Tom. IV. 1805, En- 
sayo, p. 34,) places it thirty or forty 
years oeforc Berceo, who wrote 1220- 
1240. The editors of the Spanish trans- 
lation of Bouterwek, (Madrid, 1829, 
8vo.. Tom. I. p. 1 12,) who give a fac- 
simile of the manuscript, agree with 




The Cid himself, who is to be found constantly com- 
memorated in Spanish poetry, was born in the north- 
western part of Spain, about the year 1040, and died in 
1099, at Valencia, which he had rescued from the Moors.* 
His original name was Buy Diaz, or Bodrigo Diaz ; and 
he was by birth one of the considerable barons of his 
country. The title of Cidj by which he is almost always 

Sanchez, and so does Huber (Gcsch. 
des Cid, Vorwort, p. xxvii.). To these 
opinions may be added that of Ferdi- 
nand Wolf, of Vienna, (Jahrbiicher 
derlateratur, Wien, 1831, Band LVI. 
p. 251,) who, like Huber, is one of the 
acutest scholars alive in whatever 
touches Spanish and Mediaeval liter- 
ature, and who places it about 1140- 
1 1 60. Many other opinions might be 
cited, for the subject has been much 
discussed ; but the judgments of the 
learned men already given, formed at 
different times in the course of half a 
century from the period of the first 
publication of the poem, and concur- 
ring so nearly, leave no reasonable 
doubt that it was composed as early 
as the year 1200. 

Mr. Southey's name, introduced bv 
me in this note, is one that niust al- 
ways be mentioned with peculiar re- 
spect by scholars interested in Spanish 
literature. From the circumstance 
that his uncle, the Rev. Herbert Hill, 
a scholar, and a careful and industrious 
one, was connected with the Eng- 
lish Factory at lasbon, Mr. Southey 
visited Spun and Portugal in 1795- 
6, when he was about twenty-two 
years old, and, on his return home, 
published his travels, in 1797; — a 
pleasant book, written in the clear, 
idiomatic, picturesque English that 
always distmguishes his style, and 
containing a considerable number of 
translations irom the Spanish and the 
Portuguese, made with freedom and 
spirit rather than with great exactness. 
From this time he never lost si^ht of 
Spun and Portugal, or of S^ani^ and 
Portuguese literature; as is shown, 
not only by several of his larger 
original works, but by his translations, 
and by his articles in the London 

Quarterly Review on Lope de Veea 
and Camoens ; especially by one in 
the second volume of tiiat journal, 
which was translated into Portuguese, 
with notes, by Miiller, Secretary of 
the Academy of Sciences at Lisbon, 
and so made mto an excellent compact 
manual for Portuguese literary history. 
• The Arabic accounts represent 
the Cid as havine died of grief^ at the 
defeat of the Christians near Valencia, 
which fell again into the hands of the 
Moslem in 1100. (Gayangos, Moham- 
medan Dynasties, Vol. II. Appendix, 
p. xliii.) It is necessary to read some 
one of the many Lives of the Cid in 
order to understand the Poema del 
Cid, and much else of Spanish literal 
ture ; I will therefore notice four or 
^ye of the more suitable and impor- 
tant. 1. The oldest is the Latin '* His- 
toria Didaci Campidocti," written be- 
fore 1238, and puolished as an appen- 
dix in Risco. 2. The next is the 
cumbrous and credulous one by Father 
Risco, 1792. 3. Then we have a 
curious one by John von Miiller, the 
historian of Switzerland, 1805, pre- 
fixed to his friend Herder's Ballaos of 
the Cid. 4. The classical Life by 
Manuel Josef Quintana, in the first 
volume of his '* Vidas de Espanoles 
Cdlebres" (Madrid, 1807, 12mo.). 
5. That of Huber, 1829; acute and 
safe. The best of all, however, is 
the old Spanish ** Chronicle of the 
Cid,'* or Southey's Chronicle, 1808 ; 
—the best, I mean, for those who 
read in order to eiyoy what may be 
called the literature of the Cid ;— to 
which may be added a pleasant little 
volume by George Dennis, entiUed 
'* The Cid, a short Chronicle founded 
on the Early Poetry of Spain," 
London, 1845, 12mo. 

Cbap. II. POEM OF THE CID. 13 

known, is believed to have come to him from the remark- 
able circumstance, that five Moorish kings or chiefs ac- 
knowledged him in one battle as their Seidj or their lord 
and conqueror ; * and the tide of Campeador, or Champion, 
by which he is hardly less known, though it is commonly 
supposed to have been given to him as a leader of the 
armies of Sancho the Second, has long since been used 
almost exclusively as a popular expression of the admiration 
of his countrymen for his exploits against the Moors.* 
At any rate, from a very early period, he has been called 
-KZ Cid CampeadoPj or The Lord Champion. And he 
well deserved the honourable title ; for he passed almost the 
whole of his life in the field against the oppressors of his 
country, sufiering, so far as we know, scarcely a single 
defeat firom the common enemy, though, on more than one 
occasion, he was exiled and sacrificed by the Christian 
princes to whose interests he had attached himself. 

But, whatever may have been the real adventures of 
his life, over which the peculiar darkness of the period 
when they were achieved has cast a deep shadow,' he comes 
to us in modern times as the great defender of his nation 
against its Moorish invaders, and seems to have so filled 
the imagination and satisfied the affections of his country- 
men, that, centuries after his death, and even down to our 
own days, poetry and tradition have delighted to attach to 
his name a long series of fabulous achievements, which 
connect him with the mythological fictions of the Middle 
Ages, and remind us almost as often of Amadis and Ar- 
thur as they do of the sober heroes of genuine history. ' 

The Poem of the Cid partakes of both these characters. 

^ Chr6nica del Cid, Bargos, 1593, ' It is amusing to compare the 

fol., c. 19. Moorish accounts of the Cid with the 

* Huber, p. 96. Miiller's Leben des Christian. In the work of Conde on 
Cid, in Heraer's Sammtliche Wcrke, the Arabs of Spain, which is little 
zur schoncn Literatur und Kunst, more than a translation from Arabic 
Wien, 1813, 12mo., Theil III. p. xxi. chronicles, the Cid appears first, I 

• ** No period of Spanish history think, in the year 1087, when he is 
is so deficient in contemporary docu- called ** the Cambitur [Campeador] 
ments." Huber, Vorwort, p. xiii. who ntfuted the frontiers of Valen- 



Pebiod I. 

It has sometimes been regarded as wholly, or almost 
wholly, historical. * But there is too free and romantic a 
spirit in it for history. It contains, indeed, few of the 
bolder fictions found in the subsequent chronicles and iu 
the popular ballads. Still, it is essentially a poem ; and in 
the spirited scenes at the siege of Alcocer and at the 
Cortes, as well as in those relating to the Counts of Car- 
rion, it is plain that the author felt his licence as a poet. 
In fact, the very marriage of the daughters of the Cid has 
been shown to be all but impossible ; and thus any real his- 
torical foundation seems to be taken away from the chief 
event which the poem records. • This, however, does not at 
all touch the proper value of the work, which is simple, 
heroic, and national. Unfortunately, the only ancient 
manuscript of it known to exist is imperfect, and nowhere 
informs us who was its author. But what has been lost is 
not much. It is only a few leaves in the beginning, one 

cia." (Tom. II. p. 166.) When he had 
taken Valencia, in 1094, we are told, 
" Then the Cambitur — may heheac- 
cursed ofAUah ! — entered in with all 
his people and allies." fTom. II. p. 
183.) In other places nc is called 
" Roderic the Camlntur,"—** Roder- 
ic, Chief of the Christians, known 
as the Cambitur," — and ** the Ac- 
cursed" ; — all proving how thoroughly 
he was hated and feared by his enemies. 
He is nowhere, I think, called Cid 
or Seid by Arab writers; and the 
reason why he appears in Cmide's 
work so little is, probably, that the 
manuscripts used by that writer relate 
chiefly to the history of events in 
Andalusia and Granada, where the 
Cid did not figure at all. The tone 
in Gayangos's more learned and accu- 
rate work on the Mohammedan Dy- 
nasties is the same. When the Cid 
dies, the Arab chronicler (Vol. II. 
App., p. xliii.) adds, *' May God not 
show him mercy I" 

" Thb is the opinion of John von 
Miiller and of Southey, the latter of 
whom says in the Preface to his 
Chronicle, (p. xi.,) ** The poem is to 

be considered as metrical history, not 
as metrical romance." But Huber, in 
the excellent Vorwort to his Ge- 
schichte, (p. xxvi.,^ shows this to be a 
mistake ; and in the introduction to 
his edition of the Chronicle, (Mar- 
burg, 1844, 8vo., p. xlii.,) shows fur- 
ther, that the poem was certainly not 
taken from the old Latin Life, which 
is the proper foundation for what is 
historical in our account of the Cid. 

* Mariana is much troubled about 
the history of the Cid, and decides 
nothing (Historia, Lib. X. c 4) ; — 
Sandoml controverts much, and entire- 
ly denies the story of the Counts of 
Carrion (Reyes de Castilla, Pamplona, 
1616, fol., f. 64) ;— and Ferreras (Sy- 
nopsis HisttSrica, Madrid, 1776, 4to., 
Tom. V. pp. 196-198) endeavours to 
settle what is true and what is fabu- 
lous, and agrees with Sandoval about 
the marriage of the daughters of the 
Cid with the Counts. Southey (Chro- 
nicle, pp. 310-312) argues both sides, 
and shows his desire to believe the 
story, but does not absolutely succeed 
in (Joing so. 

Chap. IL POEM OF THE aD. 15 

leaf in the middle, and some scattered lines in other parts. 
The conclusion is perfect Of course, there can be no 
doubt about the subject or purpose of the whole. It is 
the development of the character and glory of the Cid, as 
shown in his achieyements in the kingdoms of Saragossa 
and Valencia, in his triumph over his unworthy sons-in- 
law, the Counts of Carrion, and their disgrace before the 
king and Cortes, and, finally, in the second marriage of 
his two daughters with the Infantes of Navarre and 
Aragon ; the whole ending with a slight allusion to the 
hero's death, and a notice of the date of the manuscript ^^ 
But the story of the poem constitutes the least of its 
claims to our notice. In truth, we do not read it at all 
for its mere facts, which are often detailed with the 
minuteness and formality of a monkish chronicle ; but for 
its living pictures of the age it represents, and for the 
vivacity with which it brings up manners and interests so 
remote from our own experience, that, where they are 
attempted in formal history, they come to us as cold as 
the fables of mythology. We read it because it is a con- 
temporary and spirited exhibition of the chivalrous times 
of Spain, given occasionally with an Homeric simplicity 
altogether admirable. For the story it tells is not only 
that of the most romantic achievements, attributed to the 
most romantic hero of Spanish tradition, but it is mingled 
continually with domestic and personal details, that bring 
the character of the Cid and his age near to our own 
sympathies and interests." The very language in which 

1^ The poem was originally pub- not entirely faithful, showed that the 

lished by Sanchez, in the first Toiume older manuscript had the samedeficien- 

of his wnable '* Poesiias Castellanas cies then that it has now. Of course, 

Anteriores al Siglo XV." ^Madrid, there is little chance that they will 

1779-90, 4 tom., 8?o. ; reprinted by ever be supplied. 
Ochoe, Paris, 1842, Svo.) It contains n i would instance the following 

three thousand seven hundred and for- Knes on the famine in Valencia during 

ty-foor lines, and if the deficiencies in Jtg giege by the Cid : — 

the manuscript were supplied, Sanchez j|j ^ mqwxnn los de Valencia qae non nbent 

thinks the whole would come up to ques'fkr; 

.boatfourU.<»«»d lines But hesaw gt."!ii«SSirF2S^TA,«r-?.'«:rSP.= 

a copy made m 1696, which, though ^^ * Nin 


it is told is the language he himself spoke, still only half 
developed ; disencumbering itself with difficulty from the 
characteristics of the Latin ; its new constructions by no 
means established ; imperfect in its forms, and ill frurnished 
with the connecting particles in which resides so much 
of the power and grace of all languages ; but still breath- 
ing the bold, sincere, and original spirit of its times, and 
showing plainly that it is struggling with success for a 
place among the other wild elements of the national 
genius. And, finally, the metre and rhyme into which 
the whole poem is cast are rude and unsettled : the verse 
claiming to be of fourteen syllables, divided by an abrupt 
cdesural pause after the eighth, yet often running out to 
sixteen or twenty, and sometimes falling back to twelve ;'" 
but always bearing the impress of a free and fearless 
spirit, which harmonizes alike with the poet's language, 
subject, and age, and so gives to the story a stir and 
interest, which, though we are separated from it by so 
many centuries, bring some of its scenes before us like 
those of a drama. 

The first pages of the manuscript being lost, what re- 
mains to us begins abruptly, at the moment when the Cid, 
just exiled by his ungrateful king, looks back upon the 
towers of his castle at Bivar, as he leaves them. " Thus 
heavily weeping,** the poem goes on, " he turned his head 

JJl3/Slfni^ir£i.S2. ^!i" ~"~^' finally addressed to some particular 

Mala eaenta n, Senorei, vwn menKna de pan. o j • . j j *!. . % . 

FIJoa e rnngiem ^lo morir de flunbre. persons, OF was intended — which IS 

▼▼. iiss-uss. most in accordance with the spirit of 

Valendan men doubt what to do, and bitterly the age — tO be recited publicly. 

That, wherewe'er they look for bread, they look »■ For example : — 

No fcth* hrip"^* give hie child, no eon can ^""^ Oonialex non vi6 aUi doe* aliaae nin 
help hit aire, , »m -u *•« camara aUerta nin UHte.->T. SS96. 

Nor friend to friend aHietanoe lend, or cheer- P«™« '^^ voe yo i vuestrai HJaa, 

ftilnea inspire. Infkntee eon i de diaa chioM.— ▼▼. S6S, 86f . 

* "^".Sried'taZii*"' " "^ '*•»'"'•»»«' Some of the irregularities of the 

And women Ikir and children young in hunger versification may be owing to the 

Join the dead. copyist, as we nave but one manu- 

From the use of SenoieSy " Sirs," script to depend upon; but they arc 

in this nassage, as well as from other too grave and too abundant to be 

linos, like v. 734 and v. 2291, I have charged, on the whole, to any account 

thought the poem was either ori- but that of the original author. 


and stood looking at them. He saw his doors open and 
his household chests unfastened, the hooks empty and 
without pelisses and without cloaks, and the mews without 
falcons and without hawks. My Gid sighed, for he had 
grievous sorrow ; but my Cid spake well and calmly : * I 
thank thee, Lord and Father, who art in heaven, that it 
is my evil enemies who have done this thing unto me/ ** 

He goes, where all desperate men then went, to the 
frontiers of the Christian war ; and, after establishing his 
wife and children in a religious house, plunges with three 
hundred faithful followers into the infidel territories, deter- 
mined, according to the practice of his time, to win lands 
and fortunes from the common enemy, and providing for 
himself meanwhile, according to another practice of his 
time, by plundering the Jews as if he were a mere Bobin 
Hood. Among his earliest conquests is Alcocer ; but the 
Moors collect in force, and besiege him in their turn, so 
that he can save himself only by a bold sally, in which he 
overthrows their whole array. The rescue of his standard, 
endangered in the onslaught by the rashness of Bermuez, 
who bore it, is described in the very spirit of knighthood.^' 

Their shields before their breasts, forth at ooce they go, 
Their knees in the rest, levelled fidr and low, 
Their banners and their crests waring in a row, 
Their heads all stooping down toward the saddle4x>w ; 
The Cid was in the midst, his shoat was heard afar, 
« I am Ruy Diaz, the champion of Bivar ; 
Strike amongst them. Gentlemen, for sweet mercies' sake ! " 
There where Bermuez fought amidst the foe they brake. 
Three hundred bannered knights, it was a gallant show. 
Three hundred Moors they killed, a man with every blow ; 
When they wheeled and turned, as many more lay slain ; 
You might see them raise their lances and level them again. 

"Some of the lines of thi.pi«a« JgSS^'SnTJT-^'^ae'ro.'JSSJSi. 

m the Onffinal (w. 723, etc.) may be Enclinanm 1m eanm de •aaode 1m anones, 

cited, to show that jrravity and dicrnity Iban los fenr defti«te« oonxooe^ 

were among the prominent atfribut^ ^ gmn6^^ i™ ei que en boen o« r^ 

of the Spanish language from its first « Perid 1(m^ ravAlleros, por amor de caridad, 

appearance. Yo aoy Ruy IHa« el Cid Campeador de BIbar," 

VOL. I. C 




There you might see the breast-plates how they were cleft in twain, 
And many a Moorish shield lie shattered on the pkdn, 
The pennons that were white marked with a crimson stain, 
The horses running wild whoso riders had been sldn.^^ 

The poem afterwards relates the Cid's contest with the 
Count of Barcelona ; the taking of Valencia ; the recon- 
cilement of the Cid to the king, who had treated him so 
ill ; and the marriage of the Cid's two daughters, at the king's 
request, to the two Counts of Carrion, who were among the 
first nobles of the kingdom. At this point, however, there is 
a somewhat formal division of the poem," and the remainder 
is devoted to what is its principal subject, the dissolution of 
this marriage in consequence of the baseness and brutality of 
the Counts ; the Cid's public triumph over them ; their no 
less public disgrace ; and the annoimcement of the second 
marriage of the Cid's daughters with the Infantes of Na- 

^* This and the two following trans- 
lations were made by Mr. J. Hook- 
ham Frere, one of the most accom- 
Slishcd scholars England has pro- 
uced, and one whom Sir James 
Mackintosh has pronounced to be the 
first of English translators. He was, 
for some years, British Minister in 
Spain, and, by a conjectural emenda- 
tion which he made of a line in this 
very poem, known only to himself and 
the Marquis de la Romana, was able 
to accredit a secret agent to the latter 
in 1808, when he was commanding a 
body of Spanish troops in the French 
service on the soil of Denmark ; — a 
circumstance that led to one of the 
most important movements in the war 
against Bonaparte. (Southey*s His- 
tory of the Peninsular War, London, 
1823, 4to., Tom. I. p. 667.) The 
admirable translations of Mr. Frerc 
from the Poem of the Cid arc to be 
found in the Appendix to Southey's 
Chronicle of the Cid ; itself an enter- 
taining book, made out of free ver- 
sions and compositions from the Span- 
ish Poem of the Cid, the old ballads, 
the prose Chronicle of the Cid, and 
the Ueneral Chronicle of Spidn. Mr. 
Wm. Gkxiwin, in a somewhat sineular 
^* Letter of Advice to a Young Ame- 

rican on a Course of Studies," ^Lon- 
don, 1818, 8vo.,) commends it justly 
as one of the books best calculated to 
give an idea of the aee of chivalry. 

It is proper I should add here, that, 
except m mis case of the Poem of the 
Cid, where I am indebted to Mr. 
Frere for the passages in the text, and 
in the case of the Coplas of Manrique, 
(Chap. XXI. of this period,) where I 
am indebted to the beautiful version 
of Mr. Longfellow, the translations in 
these volumes are made by myself. 

" This division, and some others 
less distinctly marked, have led Tapia 

iHistoria dela Civilisacion de Espana, 
iadrid, 1840, 12mo., Tom. I. p. 268) 
to think that the whole poem is but a 
congeries of ballads, as the Iliad has 
sometimes been thought to be, and, as 
there is little doubt, the Nibelungen- 
lied really is. But such breaks occur so 
frequently in different parts of it, and 
seem so generally to be made for other 
reasons, that this conjecture is not 
probable. (^Huber, Chr6nica del Cid, 
p. xl.) Besides, the whole poem more 
resembles the Chansons de Geste of 
old French poetry, and is more arti- 
ficial in its structure, than the nature 
of the ballad permits. 

Chap. II. POEM OF THE CID. 19 

varre and Aragou, which, of course, raised the Cid himself 
to the highest pitch of his honours, by connecting him with 
the royal houses of Spain. With this, therefore, the poem 
virtually ends. 

The most spirited part of it consists of the scenes at the 
Cortes, summoned on demand of the Cid, in consequence 
of the misconduct of the Counts of Carrion. In one of 
them, three followers of the Cid challenge three followers 
of the Counts, and the challenge of Munio Gustioz to Assur 
Gonzalez is thus characteristically given : — 

Assur Gronzalez was entering at the door, 

With his ermine mantle trailing along the floor ; 

With his sauntering pace and his hardy look, 

Of manners or of courtesy little heed he took ; 

He was flushed and hot with breakfast and with drink. 

<< What ho ! my masters, your spirits seem to sink ! 
Have we no news stirring from the Cid, Ruy Diaz of Bivar ? 
Has he been to Riodivima, to besiege the windmills there ? 
Does he tax the millers for their toll ? or is that practice past ? 
Will he make a match for his daughters, another like the last ? ** 

Munio Gustioz rose and made reply : — 
** Traitor, wilt thou ne?er cease to slander and to lie ? 
You break&st before mass, you drink before you pray ; 
There is no honour in your heart, nor truth in what you say ; 
You cheat your comrade and your lord, you flatter to betray ; 
Your hatred I despise, your friendship I defy I 
False to all mankind, and most to God on high, 
I shall force you to confess that what I say is true." 
Thus was ended the parley and challenge betwixt these two.*' 

The opening of the lists for the^ six combatants, in the 
presence of the king, is another passage of much spirit and 

The heralds and the king are foremost in the place. 
They clear away the people from the middle space ; 

M A«nr Oonnles entrftba por el pdado ; A loc que du pax, tkrtMa \<m aderredor. 

Maiito anaino e an Brial nitrando : Nun dices veidad amlgo ni k Sefior, 

Benneio T<en«, ea era almonada Falao a todos i maa al Criador. 

En lo qae fabld avie poco recabdo. En ta amistad non qaiero aver racion. 

** Hya Taionea, qnien viu nnnea tal mal ? Faoertelo decir, que tal eres qual digo yo." 
Qnaea noa darie noeraa de Mio Cid, el de Bibar ? Sanchei. Tom . I., p. 359. 

I'S^^i^mL ^oioToefe: This passEgc, With what precedes 

qAv darie eon loa de Carrion k caaar* ? " and what follows it, may be compared 

EmmMunoOuatioa enpieaeievantu: ^jth the challenge in Shakspeare's 

** Can, alevoao, malo, e traydor : ti o« u«-j tt »» X«a t\7 
Antca almnenaa, qae bayas k oracion : Kichard 11., Act 1 V . 



They measure out the lists, the barriers they fix, 

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

'* If you are forced beyond the line where they are fixed and traced, 

You shall be held as conquered and beaten and disgraced." 

Six lances' length on either side an open space is lud ; 

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

Their office is performed, and from the middle space 

The heralds are withdrawn and leave them face to face. 

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

Opposite, on the other side, the lords of Carrion. 

Earnestly their minds arc fixed each upon his foe. 

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

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

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

Earnestly their minds are fixed each upon his foe. 

The heavens are overcast above, the earth trembles below ; 

The people stand in silence, gazing on the show.^ 

These are among the most picturesque passages in the 
poem. But it is throughout striking and original. It is, 
too, no less national, Christian, and loyal. It breathes 
everjrwhere the true Castilian spirit, such as the old chro- 
nicles represent it amidst the achievements and disasters 
of the Moorish wars ; and has very few traces of an 
Arabic influence in its language, and none at all in its 
imagery or fancies. The whole of it, therefore, deserves 
to be read, and to be read in the original ; for it is there 
only that we can obtain the fresh impressions it is fitted to 
give us of the rude but heroic period it represents : of the 
simplicity of the governments, and the loyalty and true- 
heartedness of the people ; of the wide force of a primitive 

17 Los Fielm ^ el rey enwilaToii los moionM. "Knight's Tale" — the COmbat be- 

B!.^rX^'.2SSi »1S:f«1^«. ^. twecn"p8lan,on and Areite (Tvrwhitf. 

Que por y serie venddo qui Mdieae del moion. edit., V. 2601) — should not DC OVer- 

Todas laa yentea esconhnron aderredor lookcd * 

De aeii utM de lanzaa que non legMen aJ moion. 

Soiteabanles el campo, ya lea partien el aol : •< The herandes left hlr prikinff up and down, 

Salien loa Fieles de medio, ellot cara por cara son. Now ringen trompea loud vSi clarioun, 

De«i vinien loa de Mio Cid k loe In&ntes de There is no more to say, but eat and west. 

Carrion, In gon the speres sadly in the rest ; 

Ellos Infantes de Carrion k\o» del Campeador. In goth the sharpe spore into the side : 

Cada uno dellos mientes tiene al so. Ther see men who can just and who can ride.** 

Abraxan loa escudoa delant' los conoones : . , ^ ^ ,. r -xu u *l 

Abaxan las lanias aboeltaa con loa pendones : And SO On twenty Imcs tartlier, both 

Enrlinaban laa caras sobre los arxones : in the English and the Spanish. But 

Batien los cavalloa con los espolones : W ahnnlil hn hnrriA in Tnin<^ whpn r»nm. 

Tembrar querie la Uerra dod eran moTedoies. " SDOUW DC DOnie m mina, wnen COm- 

Cada uno delloe mientes tiene al a6. nanng them, that the Pocm of the 

Sanches, Tom. I., p. 368. ^j^j ^^ written two ccnturies earlier 
A parallel passage from Chaucer's than the " Canterbury Tales " were. 

Chap. II. 



religious enthusiasm ; of the picturesque state of manners 
and daily life in an age of trouble and confusion ; and of 
the bold outlines of the national genius, which are often 
struck out where we should least think to find them. It 
isy indeed, a work which, as we read it, stirs us with the 
spirit of the times it describes ; and as we lay it down and 
recollect the intellectual condition of Europe when it was 
written, and for a long period before, it seems certain, that, 
during the thousand years which elapsed from the time of 
the decay of Greek and Boman culture, down to the ap- 
pearance of the " Divina Commedia," no poetry was pro- 
duced so original in its tone, or so full of natural feeling, 
picturesqueness, and energy." 

» The change of opinion in rehition 
to the Poema del Cid, and the dif- 
ferent estimates of its Talae, are re- 
markable dreumstances in its history. 
Bouterwek speaks of it very slieht- 
in^ly, — probably fiiom following Sar- 
miento, who had not read it, — and the 
Spanish translators of Bouterwek 
almost agree with him. F. v. Schlegel, 
however, Sismondi, Haber, Wolf, and 
nearly or quite all who hare spoken 
of it of late, express a strong aomira- 
tion of its merits. There is, I think, 
truth in the remark of Sonthey (Quar- 
tcriv Review, 1814, Vol. XII. p. 64^ : 
'* The Spaniards have not yet dis- 
covered tne high value of their metri- 
cal history of the Cid, as a poem; 
they will never produce any thing 
great in the higher branches of art 
till they have cast off the false taste 
which prevents them from perceiving 

Of all poems belonging to the early 
ages of any modem nation, the one 
that can b^t be compared with the 
Poem of the Cid is the Nibelungen- 
lied, which, according to the most 
judicious among the German critics, 
dates, in its present form at letat^ 
about half a century after the time 
assigned to the Poem of the Cid. A 
parallel might easily be run between 
them, that would be curious. 

In the Jahrbiicher der literatur, 

Wien, 1846, Band CXVI., M. Fran- 
cisQue Michel, the scholar to whom 
theuterature of the Middle Ages owes 
so much, published, for the first time, 
what remains of an old poetical Span- 
ish chronicle, — ''Chrdnica Rimada 
de las Cosas de Espafia,"— on the 
history of Spun from the death of 
Pelayo to Ferdinand the Great ; — the 
same poem that is noticed in Ochoa, 
'*CatiUogo de Manuscritos," (Paris, 
1844, 4to., pp. 106-110,) and in 
Huber's edition of the Chronicle of 
the Cid, Pre&ce, App. £. 

It is a curious, though not impor- 
tant, contribution to our resources in 
early Spanish literature, and one that 
immediately reminds us of the old 
Poem of the Cid. It begins with a 
prose introduction on the state of af- 
mirs down to the time of Feman Gon- 
zalez, compressed into a single page, 
and Uien goes on through eleven hun- 
dred and twenty-six bnes of verse, 
when it breaks off abruptly in the 
middle of a line, as if the copyist had 
been interrupted, but with no sign 
that the work was drawing te an end. 
Nearly the whole of it is taken up 
with the history of the Cid, hb iamily 
and his adventures, which are some- 
times different from those in the old 
ballads and chronicles. Thus, Ximena 
is represented as having three bro- 
thers, who are taken prisoners by the 
Moon and released by the Cid ; and 



Pebiod I. 

Three other poems, anonymous like that of the Cid, 
have been placed immediately after it, because they are 
found together in a single manuscript assigned to the 
thirteenth century, and because the language and style of 
at least the first of them seem to justify the conjecture 
that carries it so far back. ** 

the Cid is made to marry Ximcna, by 
the royal command, against his own 
will ; after which he goes to Paris, in 
the days of the Twelve Peers, and per- 
forms feats like those in the romances 
of chivalry. This, of course, is all 
new. But the old stories are altered 
and amplified, like those of the Cid's 
charity to the leper, which is given 
with a more picturesque air, and of 
Ximcna and the king, and of the Cid 
and his father, which arc partly thrown 
into dialogue, not without dramatic 
effect. The whole is a free version 
of the old traditions of the country, 
apparently made in the fifteenth cen- 
tury, after the fictions of chivalry 
began to be known, and with the in- 
tention of giving the Cid rank among 
their heroes. 

The measure is that of the long 
verses used in the older Spanish 
poetry, with a csesural pause near the 
middle of each, and the termination 
of the lines is in the asonante a - o.* 
But in all this there is great irrepi- 
larity ; — ^many of the verses rumung 
out to twenty or more syllables, and 
several passages failing to observe the 
proper cuonante. Every thing indi- 
cates that the old ballads were familiar 
to the author, and from one passage I 
infer that he knew the old Poem of 
the Cid :— 

Verede* lidiar a profla e Un flrme m dar, 
Atantot pendonea obradoa al^ar • abaxar, 
Atantaa lan9aa quebradaa por el primor que- 

Atantoa earalloa caer e non ae leTantar, 
Atanto eavalio dn doeflo por el campo andar. 
▼▼. 89ft— S99. 

The precedinj? lines seem imitated 
from the Cid*s fight before Alcocer, 
in such a way as to leave no doubt that 
its author had seen the old poem : — 

* For the meaning of aumatUBt and au expla- 
nation ot n$oium%e rente, aee Chap. VI. and the 
notaa to it. 

Veriedea tantas lanxas premer i altar ; 

Tanta adar^pi k foradar ^ pasar ; 

Tanta loriga fUaa detmanchar : 

Tantos pendonea blancoa aalir bermeioa en 

langre ; 
Tantoa buenoa eavalloa ain aoa daenoa andar. 
▼▼. 734— TSa. 

*• The only knowledge of the ma- 
nuscript containing these three poems 
was long derived from a few extracts 
in the '< Biblioteca Espaiiola" of 
Rodriguez de Castro ; — an important 
work, whose author was bom in 
Galicia, in 1739, and died at Madrid, 
in 1799. The first volume, printed 
in 1781, in folio, under the patronage 
of the Count Florida Blanca, consists 
of a chronological account of the 
Rabbinical writers who appeared in 
Spain from the earliest times to his 
own, whether they ^Tote in Hebrew, 
Spanish, or any other hinguage. The 
second, printed in 1786, consists of a 
similar account of the Spanish writers, 
heathen and Christian, who wrote 
either in Latin or in Spanish down to 
the end of the thirteenth century, and 
whose number he makes about two 
hundred. Both volumes are some- 
what inartificially compiled, and the 
literary opinions they express are of 
small value ; but their materials, 
largely derived from manuscripts, are 
curious, and frequently such as can be 
found in print nowhere else. 

In this work, (Madrid, 1786, foL, 
Vol. II. pp. 504, 606,) and for a long 
time, as I have said, there alone, were 
found notices of these poems ; but all 
of them were printed at the end of the 
Paris edition of Sanchez's ** Coleccion 
de Poesias Anteriores al Siglo XV.,'* 
from a copy of the original manuscript 
in the Escurial, mark^ there III. K. 
4to. Judging by the s])ecimens given 
in De Castro, the spelling of the 
manuscript has not been carefully fol- 
lowed in the copy used for the Paris 


The poem with which this manuscript opens is called 
" The Book of ApoUonius," and is the reproduction of a 
story whose origin is obscure, but which is itself familiar 
to us in the eighth book of Gower's " Confessio Amantis," 
and in the play of "Pericles,** that has sometimes been at- 
tributed to Shakspeare. It is found in Greek rhyme very 
early, but is here taken, almost without alteration of in- 
cident, from that great repository of popular fiction in the 
Middle Ages, the "Gesta Komanorum.'* It consists of 
about twenty-six hundred lines, divided into stanzas of 
four verses, all terminating with the same rhyme. At 
the beginning, the author says, in his own person, — 

In Gkxi's name the most holy and Saint Mary's name most dear, 
If they but guide and keep me in their blessed love and fear, 
I will strive to write a tale, in mastery new and clear, 
Where of royal Apollomus the courtly you shall hear. 

The new mastery or method — nueva maestria — here 
claimed may be the structure of the stanza and its rhyme ; 
for, in other respects, the versification is like that of the 
Poem of the Cid ; showing, however, more skill and ex- 
actness in the mere measure, and a slight improvement in 
the language. But the merit of the poem is small. It 
contains occasional notices of the manners of the age when 
it was produced, — among the rest, some sketches of a 
female jongleur^ of the class soon afterwards severely 
denounced in the laws of Alfonso the Wise, — that are 
curious and interesting. Its chief attraction, however, is 
its story, and this, unhappily, is not original. ^ 

** The story of Apollonius, Prince in the text should be explained. The 
of Tyre, as it is commonly called, and author says, — 
as we have its incidents in thb long Eatndimr quenia 

TOem, is the 163rd tale of the " Gesta Componer un romance de nuera maestria. 

Romanorum " (s. 1., 1488, foL). It is, Ranumce here evidently means story, 

however, much older than that collec- ^nd this is the earliest use of the word 

tion. (Douce, Illustrations of Shak- \^ this sense that I know of. Maestria, 

speare, London, 1807, 8vo., Vol. II. nte our old English Maisterie, mean<j 

p. 135 ; and Swan's translation of the ^^ or skiU, as in Chaucer, being 

Gesta, London, 1824, 12mo., Vol. II. the word afterwards corrupted into 

pp. 164-495.) Two words in the ori- Mystery. 
ginal Spanish of the passage translated 


The next poem in the collection is called "The Life of 
our Lady, Saint Mary of Egypt," — a saint formerly much 
more famous than she is now, and one whose history is so 
coarse and indecent^ that it has often been rejected by the 
wiser members of the church that canonized her. Such 
as it appears in the old traditions, however, with all its 
sins upon its head, it is here set forth. But we notice at 
once a considerable difference between the composition of 
Its verse and that of any Castilian poetry assigned to the 
same or an earlier period. It is written in short lines, 
generally of eight syllables, and in couplets ; but sometimes 
a single line carelessly runs out to die number of ten or 
eleven syllables ; and, in a few instances, three or even four 
lines are included in one rhyme. It has a light air, quite 
unlike the stateliness of the Poem of the Cid, and seems, 
from its verse and tone, as well as from a few French words 
scattered through it, to have been borrowed from some of 
the earlier French Fabliaux, or, at any rate, to have been 
written in imitation of their easy and garrulous style. It 
opens thus, showing that it was intended for recitation : — 

Listen, ye lordlings, listen to me, 
For true is my tale, as true can be ; 
And listen in heart, that so ye may 
Have pardon, when humbly to God ye pray. 

It consists of fourteen hundred such meagre, monkish 
verses, and is hardly of importance, except as a monument 
of the language at the period when it was written. ** 

The last of the three poems is in the same irregular 

«* St. Mary of Egypt was a saint Montalvan, in the drama of '* La 

of CTeat repute in Spain and Portugal, Gitana de Menfis." She has, too, a 

and had her adventures written by church dedicated to her at Rome on 

Pedro de Ribadeneyra in 1609, and the bank of the Tiber, made out of 

Diogo Vas Carrillo in 1673 ; they the graceful ruins of the temple of 

were also fully dven in the ** Flos Fortuna Virilis. But her coarse 

Sanctorum " oi the former, and, in a history has often been rejected as 

more attractive form, by Bartolomd apocryphal, or at least as unfit to 

Cayrasco de Fijrueroa, at the end of be repeated. Bayle, Dictionnairc 

hi8**TemploMilitantc,"(VaIladolid, Uistonque et Critioue, Amsterdam, 

1G02, r2mo.,) where they fill about 1740, fol., Tom. III. pp. 334-336. 
130 flowing octave stanzas, and by 


measure and manner. It is called *^The Adoration of 
the Three Holy Kings,** and begins with the old tradition 
about the wise men that came from the East ; but its chief 
subject is an arrest of the Holy Family, during their flight 
to Egypt, by robbers, the child of one of whom is cured of 
a hideous leprosy by being bathed in water previously used 
for bathing the Saviour ; this same child afterwards turn- 
ing out to be the penitent thief of the crucifixion. It is a 
rhymed legend of only two hundred and fifty lines, and 
belongs to the large class of such compositions that were 
long popular in Western Europe. " 

Thus far, the poetry of the first century of Spanish 
literature, like the earliest poetry of other modem coun- 
tries, is anonymous; for authorship was a distinction 
rarely coveted or thought of by those who wrote in any of 
the dialects then forming throughout Europe, among the 
common people. It is even impossible to tell from what 
part of the Christian conquests in Spain the poems of 
which we have spoken have come to us. We may infer, 
indeed, from their language and tone, that the Poem of 
the Cid belongs to the border country of the Moorish war, 
in the direction of Catalonia and Valencia, and that the 
earliest ballads, of which we shall speak hereafter, came 
originally from the midst of the contest, with whose very 
spirit they are often imbued. In the same way, too, we 
may be^persuaded that the poems of a more religious temper 
were produced in the quieter kingdoms of the North, where 
monasteries had been founded and Christiaillty had already 
struck its roots deeply into the soil of the national cha- 
racter. Still, we have no evidence to show where any one 
of the poems we have thus far noticed was written. 

" Both of the last poems m this s^le than the first, and appear to be 

MS. were first printed by Pidal in the of a later age ; for I do not think the 

Rcvista de Madrid, 1841, and, as it French Fabliaux, which they imitate, 

would seem, from bod copies. At were known in Spain till after the 

least, they contain many more inaccu- period commonly assigned to the 

nides of spelling, versificatiGn, and ApoUonius. 


But as we advance, this state of things is changed. 
The next poetry we meet is by a known author, and 
comes from a known locality. It was written by Gonzalo, 
a secular priest who belonged to the monastery of San 
Millan or Saint Emilianus, in the territory of Calahorra, 
far within the borders of the Moorish war, and who is 
commonly called Berceo, from the place of his birth. 
Of the poet himself we know little, except that he flourished 
from 1220 to 1246, and that, as he once speaks of suf- 
fering from the weariness of old age, " he probably died 
after 1260, in the reign of Alfonso the Wise.'* 

His works amount to above thirteen thousand lines, and 
fill an octavo volume.** They are all on religious sub- 
jects, and consist of rhymed lives of San Domingo de 
Silos, Santa Oria, and San Millan ; poems on the Mass, 
the Martyrdom of San Lorenzo, the Merits of the Ma- 
donna, the Signs that are to precede the Last Judgment, 
and the Mourning of the Madonna at the Cross, with a 
few Hymns, and especially a poem of more than three 
thousand six hundred lines on the Miracles of the Virgin 
Mary. With one inconsiderable exception, the whole of 
this formidable mass of verse is divided into stanzas of four 
lines each, like those in the poem of ApoUonius of Tyre ; 
and though in the language there is a perceptible advance 
since the days when the Poem of the Cid was written, 
still the power and movement of that remarkable legend are 
entirely wanting in the verses of the careful ecclesiastic.** 

** It is in Stft. Oria, st 2 : — an anonymous pamphlet, written, I 

Quiero en mi vegez, magaer so ya cumdo, believe, by PcUlcer, the (^itor of Don 

De eita nnU Virgen romaiuar ra dictado. Quixote. 

■* Sanchez, Poesfas Anteriores, •* The second volume of Sanchez's 
Tom. II., p. iv. ; Tom. III., pp. Poesfas Anteriores. 
xliv.-lvi. As Berceo was ordained *• The metrical form adopted by 
Deacon in 1221, he must have been Berceo, which he himself calls the 
bom as early as 1198, since deacon's quademaviaj and which is in fact that 
orders were not taken before the age of the poem of ApoUonius, should be 
of twenty-three. Sec some curious particularly noticed, because it con- 
remarks on the subject of Berceo in tinned to be a favourite one in Siiain 
the ** Examcn Crftico del Tomo for above two centuries. The follow- 
Primero de el Anti-Quixote," (Ma- ing stanzas, which arc among the best 
drid, 1806, 12mo., pp. 22 et seq.,) in Berceo, may serve as a mvourable 

Crap. II. 



" The Life of San Domingo de Silos," with which his 
volume opens, begins like a homily, with these words : 

roedmen of its chaiucter. They are 
from the '* Signs of the Judgment," 
Sanchez, Tom. II. p. 274. 

Erti wen el nno de lot ligBM dabdadoa : 
Sabiim a loe nabes el mar mocluM eaUdos, 
Mm alto <|ne lai rienat i matanelot oolladoe, 
Tanto que en teqneio llncazan lot p e t od og. 

Las aTea eaK> metmo menndas h granadas 
Andaraa dando gritos todaa mal enMmtadat ; 
Aaa fkran lai betdaa por domai^^ doooadaa, 
Noa podnn k la nodie toniar & tas pondas. 

AndthisalMllbeoneortheaigiu that fill with 

doobt* and fricht : 
The Ma its wave* ahaU gather np, and lift them, 

in its might. 
Dp to the eloada, end Ikr aboTe the dark sier- 

ra't height, 
LnTing tlae fishM on dry land, a itrange end 

teifbl sight. 

The birds besides that flU the air, thebiidsboth 

small and great. 
Shall screaming fly|and wheel about, snred by 

their coming fkte ; 
And qoadrapeds, both thoM we tame andthoM 

in untamed state, 
Shall wander round nor shelter find where ssfe 

they wonned of late. 

There was, no doubt, difficulty in 
such a protracted system of rhyme, 
bat not much ; and when rhyme first 
appeared in the modem languages, an 
excess of it was the natiual conse- 
quence of its novelty. In large por- 
tions of the Provencal poetry, its 
abundance is quite ridiculous; as in 
the *' Croisade centre les H^r!§tiques 
Albigeois," — a remarkable poem, 
dating from 1210, excellently edited 
by M. C. Fauriel, (Paris, 1837, 4to.,) 
— in which stanzas occur where the 
same rhyme is repeated above a hun- 
dred times. When and where this 
quaternion rhyme, as it is used by 
Mrceo, was first introduced, cannot 
be determined ; but it seems to have 
been very early employed in poems 
that were to be publicly recited. (F. 
Wolf, Ueber die Lais, Wien, 1841, 
8vo., p. 257.) The oldest example 
I know of it, in a modem dialect, 
dates from about 1100, and is found 
in the curious MS. of Poetry of the 
Waldenses, (F. Diez, Troubadours, 
Zwickau, 1826, 8vo., p. 230,) used by 
Ra^mouard ; — the instance to which I 
refer being ** Lo novel Confort," 
(Ponies oes Troubadours, Paris, 

1817, 8vo., Tom. II. p. Ill,) which 
begins, — 

Aquest norel confort de vertnos lavor 
Mando, Tos scrivent en esrita et en amor : 
Prego vos earament per Tamor del wgnor, 
Abandona lo segle, serie a Dio cum temor. 

In Spain, whither it no doubt came 
from Provence, its history is simply, 
— that it occurs in the poem of Apol- 
lonius ; that it gets its first known 
date in Berceo about 1230; and that 
it continued in use till the end of the 
fourteenth century. 

The thirteen thousand verses of 
Berceo's poetry, including even the 
Hymns, are, with the exception of 
about twenty lines of the " Duelo de 
la Vfrgen," in this measure. These 
twenty lines constitute a song of the 
Jews who watched the 8epulc£re after 
the cmcifixion, and, like the parts of 
the demons in the old Mystcnes, are 
intended to be droll, but are, in fact, 
as Berceo himself says of them, more 
truly than perhaps he was aware, 
** not worth three figs." They are, 
however, of some consequence, as 
perhaps the earliest specimen of Spa- 
nish lyrical poetry that has come down 
to us with a date. They begin thus : 

VeUt, sliama de los Judios, 

Eya velar I 
Que no vos furten el f^o de Dios, 

Csr fttrtarvoslo querran, 

Eya Telar I 
Andre i Piedro et Johan, 


Duelo, 17S-9. 

Watch, congregation of the Jew, 

Up and watdi I 
Lest they should stMl God's Son from you. 

Up and watch I 
For they will seek to steal the Son, 

Up and watch I 
His followers, Andrew, and Peter, and John, 

Up and wateh I 

Sanchez considers it a ViUancicOj to 
be sung like a litany (Tom. IV. p. 
ix.) ; and Martinez de la Rosa treats 
it much in the same way. Obras, 
Paris, 1827, 12mo., Tom. I. p. 161. 
In general, the versification of Ber- 
ceo is regular, — sometimes it is har- 
monious; and though he now and 
then indulges himself in imperfect 
rhymes, that may be the beginning 
of the national asonaniesj (Sanchez, 


'* In the name of the Father, who made all things, and of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the glorious Virgin, and of 
the Holy Spirit, who is equal with them, I intend to tell 
a story of a holy confessor. I intend to tell a story in the 
plain Romance, in which the common man is wont to talk 
to his neighbour ; for I am not so learned as to use the 
other Latin. It will be well worth, as I think, a cup of 
good wine.*'*' Of course, there is no poetry in thoughts 
like these ; and much of what Berceo has left us does not 
rise higher. 

Occasionally, however, we find better things. In some 
portions of his work there is a simple-hearted piety that 
is very attractive, and in some, a story-telling spirit that 
is occasionally picturesque. The best passages are to be 
found in his long poem on the " Miracles of the Vii^in," 
which consists of a series of twenty-five tales of her in- 
tervention in human affidrs, composed evidently for the 
purpose of increasing the spirit of devotion in the 
worship particularly paid to her. The opening or in- 
duction to these tales contains, perhaps, the most poetical 
passage in Berceo*s works ; and in the following version 
the measure and system of rhyme in the original have been 
preserved, so as to give something of its air and manner : — 

My friends, and faithful rassals of Almighty God above, 

If ye listen to my words in a spirit to improve, 

A talc ye shall hear of piety and love. 

Which afterwards yourselves shall heartily approve. 

I, a master in Divinity, Goozalve Berceo hight, 
Once wandering as a Pilgrim, found a meadow richly dight, 
Green and peopled full of flowers, of flowers &ir and bright, 
A place where a weary man would rest him with delight 

Tom. II. p. XV.,) still the licence he ^ San Domingo de Silos, st. 1 and 

takes is much less than might be an- 2. The Saviour, according to tho 

ticipated. Indeed, Sanchez represents fiishion of the age, is called, in v. 2, 

the harmony and finish of his versifi- Don Jesu Christo, — the word then 

cation as quite surprising, and uses being synonymous with Dominus. 

stronger language m relation to it See a curious note on its use, in Don 

than seems justifiable, considering Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Madrid, 

some of the &cts he admits. Tom. 1836, 4to., Tom. V. p. 408. 
II. p. xi. 

Cbap. n. GONZAIiO DE BERCEO. 29 

And the flowers I beheld all looked and smelt so sweet, 
That the senses and the soal thej seemed alike to greet ; 
While on every side ran fountains through all this glad retreat, 
Which in winter kindly warmth supplied, yet tempered summer's heat. 

And of rich and goodly trees there grew a boundless maze, 
Granada's apples bright, and figs of golden rays. 
And many other fruits, beyond my skill to praise ; 
But none that tumeth sour, and none that e'er decays. 

The freshness of that meadow, the sweetness of its flowers. 
The dewy shadows of the trees, that fell like cooling showers. 
Renewed within my frame its worn and wasted powers ; 
I deem the Texy odours would have nourished me for hours. " 

This induction, which is continued through forty stanzas 
more, of unequal merit, is little connected with the stories 
that follow; the stories, again, are not at all connected 
among themselves ; and the whole ends abruptly with a 
few lines of homage to the Madonna. It is, therefore, 
inartificial in its structure throughout But in the narra- 
tive parts there is often naturalness and spirit, and some- 
times, though rarely, poetry. The tales themselves be- 
long to the religious fictions of the Middle Ages, and were 
no doubt intended to excite devout feelings in those to 
whom they were addressed ; but, like the old Mysteries, 
and much else that passed under the name of religion at the 
same period, they often betray a very doubtful morality. ** 

" The Miracles of the Virgin " is not only the longest, 
but the most curious, of the poems of Berceo. The rest, 

" AmigtM ^ Tanlloi de Dlot omnipotent, » J^ «rood aCCOUnt of this part of 

Q.Si.To.'SSln;J-b.Sr«'SSr:''~°'' Berceo's works, though, I think, some- 

Tenrdeslo en cabo per baeno Terunent. what tOO Sevcre, IS tO be found in Dr. 

Yd Maeitro GoniaiTo de Berceo nomnado Dunham's * * History of Spain and Por- 

^?J^:7^T^.'lZ^''Uu^ ta«l," (London, 1832, l8mo Tom. 

Logv cobdiciaduero inna ome auundo. IV. pp. 215-229,) a WOrk ot merit, 

Daban olor sobeio laa floret bien olientet/ the early part of which, as in the Case 

u^S^^ZL 'Se'SSJwtS:?,^. of Berceo, rests more frequently than 

En verano bien frias, en yriemo calientea. might be expected OH original autho- 

ATie hy grand abondo de buenas arboledaa, ritics. Excellent translations will be 

Milgranos h flgueras, pero. i maxanedaa, f ^ j^ p^f Longfcllow's lotroduc- 

P. mochas otras fruetaa de divenas monedaa; •«**"«. e ^ ^r ^^u r^ i 

Ma* non a^ie ningunaa podridaa nin aoedaa. tory Essajr tO hlS VCrsiOU Of the Coplas 

UTcrdoradelnado, U olor de las florea, de Mannque, Boston, 1833, 12mO., 

Laasombraadelosarborea detempradoaaaborea pp 5 gj^^ ^Q. 

Refreaearonme todo, ^ perdi lea ladores : > ^* 
Pbdrie ^rwit el ome oon aqaelloa olorea. 

Sanchex, Tom. II. p. 285. 




however, should not be entirely neglected. The poem on 
the '^ Signs which shall precede the Judgment" is often 
solemn, and once or twice rises to poetry; the story 
of Maria de Cisneros, in the " Life of San Domingo," is 
well told, and so is that of the wild appearance in the 
heavens of Saint James and Saint Millan fighting for the 
Christians at the battle of Simancas, much as it is found 
in the "General Chronicle of Spain." But perhaps 
nothing is more characteristic of the author or of his age 
than the spirit of child-like simplicity and religious tender- 
ness that breathes through several parts of the ** Mourning 
of the Madonna at the Cross," — a spirit of gentle, faithfiil, 
credulous devotion, with which the Spanish people in their 
wars against the Moors were as naturally marked as they 
were with the ignorance that belonged to the Christian 
world generally in those dark and troubled times. ** 

^ For example, when the Madonna 
is represented as looking at the cross, 
and addressing her expiring son : — 

Flio, siempre oriemoi io ^ tu ana Tida; 
lo k ti qoM mueho, i fVti do ti qaerida ; 
lo sempre te crey, d ftii de ti creida ; 
La ttt piedad larga ahora me oblida ? 

Flio, non me oblidet I Herame oontigo, 
Non me flnea en sieglo maa do an bnen amigo ; 
Jnan quem dial por flio aqui plant conmigo : 
Ruegote qnem condonoa eoto que io te digo. 
St. 78, 79. 

I read these stanzas with a feeling 
akin to that with which I should look 
at a picture on the same subject bj 

Perugino. Thej may be translated 
thus: — 

My eon, in thee and me life atiU waa felt aa 

I loved thee mudi^and then loredst me in. 

perfectnoM, my ton ; 
My fkith in thee waa aure, and I thy fkith hi^ 

And doth thy large and pitying love forget me 

now, my aon ? 
My aon, forget me not, but take my aonl with 

The earth holda but one heart that kindred if 

with mine,— 
John, whom thou gaveat to be my child, who 

here with me doth pine ; 
I pray thee, then, that to my pnyer thoa gia- 

ciouidy incline. 

I cannot pass farther without offer- 
ing the tribute of my homage to two 
persons who have done more than 
any others in the nineteenth century 
to make Spanish literature known, 
and to obtain for it the honours to which 
it is entitled beyond the limits of the 
country that gave it birth. 

The first of them, and one whose 
name I have already cited, is Fried- 
rich Bouterwck, who was bom at 
Oker in the kin^om of Hanover, in 
1766, and passed nearly all the more 
active portion of his life at Gottingen, 
where he died in 1828, widely re- 

spected as one of the most distinguish- 
ed professors of that long-favoured 
University. A project for preparing 
by the most competent hands a full 
history of the arts and sciences from 
the period of their revival in modem 
Europe was first suggested at Gottin- 
gen by another of its well-known pro- 
fessors, John Gottfried Eichhom, in 
the latter part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. But though that remarkable 
scholar published, in 1796-9, two 
volumes of a learned Introduction to 
the whole work which be had pro* 
jected, he went no farther, and most 

Chap. II. 



of his coadtutors stopped when he did, 
or soon anerwards. The portion of 
it assigned to Bouterwek, however, 
which was the entire History of ele- 
cant literature in niodem times, was 
happilj achieved bj him between 
1801 and 1819, in twelve volumes 
octavo. Of this division, ** The His- 
tory of Spanish Literature " fills the 
third volume, and was published in 
1804; — a work remarkable for its 
general philosophical views, and b^ 
fiur the best extant on the subject it 
discusses; but imperfect in many 
particulars, because its author was 
unable to procure a large number of 
Spanish books needful for his task, 
and knew many considerable Spanish 
authors only by insufficient extracts. 
In 1812, a translation of it into 
French was printed, in two volumes, 
by Madame Streck, with a judicious 
prehce by the venerable M. Stapfer ; 
— in 1823, it came out, together with 
its author^s brief " History of Portu- 
guese Literature," in an English 
translation, made with taste and skill, 
by Miss Thomasina Ross ; — and in 
1829, a Spanish version of the first 
and smallest part of it, with unportant 
notes, sufficient with the text to fill a 
volume in octavo, was prepared by 
two excellent Spanish scholars, Josi^ 
Gomes de la Cortina, and Nicole 
Hugalde y Mollinedo, — a work which 
all lovers of Spanish literature would 
gladly see completed. 

Since the time of Bouterwek, no 
£>reigner has done so much to pro- 
mote a knowledge of Spanish litera- 
ture as M. Simonde de Sismondi, 
who was bom at Geneva in 1773, and 
died there in 1842, honoured and loved 
by all who knew his wise and gener- 

ous spirit as it exhibited itself either 
in his personal intercourse, or in his 
great works on the history of France 
and Italy, — two countries to which, 
by a line of time-honoured ancestors, 
he seemed almost equally to belong. 
In 1811 he delivered in his native 
city a course of brilliant lectures on 
the literature of the South of Europe, 
and in 1813 published them at Paris. 
They involved an account of the 
Provencal and the Portuguese, as well 
as of the Italian and the Spanish ; — 
but in whatever relates to the Spanish, 
Sismondi was even less well provided 
with the ori^nal authore than Bou- 
terwek had been, and was, in conse- 
quence, under obligations to his 
predecessor, which, while he takes 
no pains to conceal them, diminish 
the authority of a work that will yet 
always be read for the beauty of its 
style and the richness and wisdom of 
its reflections. The entire series of 
these lectures was translated into 
German by L. Hain in 1815, and 
into English with notes by T. Roscoe 
in 1 823. The part relating to Spanish 
literature was published m Spanish, 
with occasional alterations and copious 
and important additions by Josd Lo- 
renzo Figueroa and Jos^ Amador de los 
Rios, at Seville, in2vols. 8vo., 1841-2, 
— the notes relating to Andalusian 
authors being particularly valuable. 

None but those who have gone over 
the whole ground occupied by Spanish 
literature can know how great are the 
merits of 8chohu*s like Bouterwek and 
Sismondi, — acute, philosophical, and 
thoughtful, — who, with an apparatus 
of authors so incomplete, hiave yet 
done so much for the illustration of 
their subject. 



AxFovso THB Wm. — His Lira. — Hn Littkb to Psbis db Gdzmah. — 
His CIirnaAS in the Galiciait. — Origin of that Dialbct and of thb 
PoBTUQUESB. — His Tesobo. — His pROSB. — Law concebnino tbb Cas- 
tilian. — His CoNQUMTA DB Ultbamab. — Old Fubbos. — ^Thb Fubbo 
JuzGO. — Thb Sbtbnabio. — ^Thb Espbjo. — ^Thb Fuebo Rbai.. — The 
Sibtb Pabtidab and thbib Merits. — Chabacteb of Alfonso. 

The second known author in Castilian literature bears a 
name much more distinguished than the first . It is Alfonso 
the Tenth, who, from his great advancement in various 
branches of human knowledge, has been called Alfonso the 
Wise, or the Learned. He was the son of Ferdinand the 
Third, a saint in the Boman calendar, who, uniting anew 
the crowns of Castile and Leon, and enlarging the limits 
of his power by important conquests from the Moors, settled 
more firmly than they had before been settled the foun- 
dations of a Christian empire in the Peninsula.^ 

Alfonso was born in 1221, and ascended the Ihrone in 
1252. He was a poet, much connected with the Provencal 
Troubadours of his time,* and was besides so greatly skilled 
in geometry, astronomy, and the occult sciences then so 
much valued, that his reputation was early spread through- 
out Europe, on accoimt of his general science. But, as 
Mariana quaintly says of him, " He was more fit for letters 

' Mariana^ Hist., Lib. XII. c. 15, addressed to him by Giraud Riquier of 

ad fin. Narbonne, in 1276, given by Diez, we 

* Diez, Poesic der Troubadours, pp. know that in another poem this dis- 

75, 226, 227, 331-350. A long poem tinguished troubadour mourned the 

on the influence of the stars was ad- king's death. Raynouard, Tom. V. 

dressed to Alfonso by Nat de Mons p. 171. Millot, Histoirc des Trouba- 

(Raynouard, Troub., Tom. V. p. dours, Paris, 1774, 12mo., Tom. III. 

269) ; and besides the curious poem pp. 329-374. 


than for the goyernment of his subjects; he studied the 
heavens, and watched the stars, but forgot the earth, and 
lost his kingdom." * 

His character is still an interesting one. He appears 
to have had more political, philosophical, and elegant 
learning than any other man of his time ; to have reasoned 
more wisely in matters of legislation ; and to have made 
further advances in some of the exact sciences ; — accom- 
plishments that he seems to have resorted to in the latter 
part of his life for consolation amidst unsuccessful wars 
with foreign enemies and a rebellious son. The following 
letter from him to one of the Guzmans, who was then in 
great favour at the court of the king of Fez, shows at once 
how low the fortunes of the Christian monarch were sunk 
before he died, and ¥rith how much simplicity he could 
speak of their bitterness. It is dated in 1282, and is a 
favourable specimen of Gastilian prose at a period so early 
in the history of the language. * 

" Cousin Don Alonzo Perez de Guzman, — My affliction 
is great, because it has fallen from such a height that it 
will be seen afar ; and as it has fallen on me, who was the 
friend of all the world, so in all the world will men know 
this my misfortune, and its sharpness, which I suffer 
unjustly from my son, assisted by my fnends and by my 
prelates, who, instead of setting peace between us, have 
put mischief, not under secret pretences or covertly, but 
with bold openness. And thus I find no protection in 
mine own land, neither defender nor champion ; and yet 

• Historia, Lib. XIII. c. 20. The ces,'' por Lorenzo de Sepulveda (Se- 
1698 favourable side of Alfonso's cha- villa, 1584, 18mo., f. 104). The letter 
racier is given bj the cynical Bayle, is found in the preface to the Acade- 
Art CaMe. my's edition of the Partidas, and is 

* This letter, which the Spanish explained by the accounts in Mariana, 
Academy calls " inimitable," though (Hist, Lib. XIV., c. 6,) Conde, (Do- 
early known in MS., seems to have minacion de los Arabes, Tom. III. n. 
been first printed by Ortiz de Zufiiga 69,) and Mondejar (Memorias, Lib. 
(Anales de Sevilla, Sevilla, 1677, foT., VI. c. 14). The original is said to 
p. 124). Several old ballads have been be in the possession of the Duke of 
made out of it, one of which is to be Medina-Sidonia. Semanario Pinto- 
foond in the ** Cancionero de Roman- resco, 1845, p. 303. 



have I not deserved it at their hands, unless it were for 
the good I have done them. And now, since in mine own 
land they deceive, who should have served and assisted 
me, needful is it that I should seek abroad those who will 
kindly care for me ; and since they of Castile have been 
false to me, none can think it ill that I ask help among 
those of Benamarin. * For if my sons are mine enemies, 
it will not then be wrong that I take mine enemies to be 
my sons ; enemies according to the law, but not of free 
choice. And such is the good king Aben Jusaf ; for I 
love and value him much, and he will not despise me or 
fail me ; for we are at truce. I know also how much you 
are his, and how much he loves you, and^with good cause, 
and how much he will do through your good counsel. 
Therefore look not at the things past, but at the things 
present. Consider of what lineage you are come, and 
that at some time hereafter I may do you good, and if I 
do it not, that your own good deed shall be its own good 
reward. Therefore, my cousin, Alonzo Perez de Guzman, 
do so much for me with my lord and your friend, that, on 
pledge of the most precious crown that I have, and the 
jewels thereof, he should lend me so much as he may hold 
to be just. And if you can obtain his aid, let it not be 
hindered of coming quickly ; but rather think how the 
good friendship that may come to me from your lord will 
be through your hands. And so may God's friendship be 
with you. — Done in Seville, my only loyal city, in the 
thirtieth year of my reign, and in the first of these my 

^Signed) *^ The King."* 

* A race of African princes, who to whom this remarkable letter b ad- 
rcigned in Morocco, and subjected all dressed, went over to Africa in 1276, 
Western Africa. Crdnica de Alfonso with many knights, to serve Aben Jusaf 
XI., Valladolid, 1561, fol., c. 219. against his rebellious subjects, stipu- 
(rayangos, Mohammedan Dynasties, lating that he should not be required 
Vol. II. p. 325. to servo against Christians. Ortiz de 

• Alonzo Perez de Guzman, of the Zuriiga, Anales, p. 113. 
great family of that name, the person 


The unhappy monarch survived the date of this very 
striking letter but two years, and died in 1284. At one 
period of his life, his consideration throughout Christendom 
was so great, that he was elected Emperor of Germany ; 
but this was only another soiu-ce of sorrow to him, for his 
claims were contested, and after some time were silently 
set aside by the election of Rodolph of Hapsburg, upon 
whose dynasty the glories of the House of Austria rested 
so long. The life of Alfonso, therefore, was on the whole 
unfortunate, and full of painful vicissitudes, that might 
well have broken the spirit of most men, and that were 
certainly not without an effect on his. ' 

So much the more remarkable is it, that he should be 
distinguished among the chief founders of his country's 
intellectual fame, — a distinction which again becomes more 
extraordinary when we recollect that he enjoys it not in 
letters alone, or in a single department, but in many ; since 
he is to be remembered alike for the great advancement 
which Castilian prose composition made in his hands, for 
his poetry, for his astronomical tables, which all the progress 
of science since has not deprived of their value; and 
for his great work on legislation, which is at this moment 
an authority in both hemispheres. ^ 

' The principal Life of Alfonso X. 2. A Universal History, containing an 

b that by the Marquis of Mondejar abstract of the history of the Jews. 

(Madrid, 1777, fol.) ; but it did not 3. A Translation of the Bible. 4. El 

receive its author's final revision, and Libro del Tesoro, a work on general 

is an imperfect work. (Prdlogo do philosophy ; but Sarmiento, in a MS. 

Cerda y Rico; and Baena, Hijos de which 1 possess, says that this is a 

Madrid, Madrid, 1790, 4to., Tom. II. translation of the Tesoro of Bnmctto 

pp. 304-312.) For the jiart of Al- Latini, Dante's master, and that it was 

fonso's life devoted to letters, ample not made by order of Alfonso ; adding, 

materials are to be found in Castro, however, that he has seen a book enti- 

(Biblioteca Espanola, Tom. 11. pp. tied ** Flores do Filosoffa," which pro- 

625-688,) and in the Repertono fesses to have been compiled by this 

Americano (Ldndrcs, 1 827, Tom. III. king's command, and may be the work 

pp. 67-77) ; where there is a valiia- here intended. 5. The Tabulas Al- 

Me paper, written, I believe, by Salv^, fonsinas, or Astronomical Tables. 6. 

who published that journal. Historia de todo el Succso de Ultramar, 

* The works attributed to Alfonso to be noticed presently. 7. El Esp{;- 

arc ; — In Pbosb : 1. Cr6nica General culo 6 Espojo de todos los Dercchos ; 

de Esiiafia, to bo noticed hereafter. El Fuero Real, and other laws piib- 



Of his poetry, we possess, besides works of very doubt- 
ful genuineness, two, about one of which there has been 
little question, and about the other none ; his " Cantigas,*' 
or Chants, in honour of the Madonna, and his " Tesoro,*'a 
treatise on the transmutation of the baser metals into gold. 

Of the Cdntigas, there are extant no less than four hun- 
dred and one, composed in lines of from six to twelve syl- 
lables, and rhymed with a considerable degree of exactness.' 
Their measure and manner are Proven9al. They are de- 
voted to the praises and the miracles of the Madonna, in 
whose honour the king founded in 1279 a religious and mi- 
litary order ;^° and in devotion to whom, by his last will, 
he directed these poems to be perpetually chanted in the 
church of Saint Mary of Murcia, where he desired his body 
might be buried.*^ Only a few of them have been printed ; 
but we have enough to show what they are, and especially 
that they are written, not in the Castilian, like the rest of 
his works, but in the Galician ; an extraordinary circum- 
stance, for which it does not seem easy to give a satisfac- 
tory reason. 

The Galician, however, was originally an important lan- 

lished in the Opiisculos Lcgalcs del in the notes to the Spanish translation 

Rey Alfonso el Sabio (ed. de la Real of Bouten*'ek*s History (p. 129). 

Academia de Uistoriaf Madrid, 1836, Large extracts from the Cantigas are 

2tom.,fol.). 8. Las Siete Partidas. — found in Castro, (Tom. II. pp. 361, 

Ik Verse: 1. Another Tcsoro. 2. 362, and pp. 631-643,) and in the 

Las Cdntigas. 8. Two stanzas of the " Nobleza del Andaluzia " de Argote 

Querellas. Several of these works, de Molina, (Sevilla, 1588, fol., f. 151,) 

like the Universal History and the Ul- followed by a curious notice of the 

tramar, were, as we know, only com- king, in Chap. XIX., and a poem in 

piled by his ortler, and in others he his honour. 

must have been much assisted. But *•* Mondejar, Mcmorias, p. 438. 

the whole mass shows how wide were " Ibid., p. 434. His body, how- 

his views, and how great must have ever, was in fact buried at Seville, 

been his influence on the language, and his heart, which he had de- 

the literature, and the intellectual sired should be sent to Palestine, at 

progress of his country. Murcia, because, as he says in his 

• Castro, Biblioteca, Tom. II. p. testament, ** Murcia was the first 

632, where he speaks of the MS. of place which it pleased God I should 

the Cdntigas in tne Escurial. The one gain in the service and to the honour 

at Toledo, which contains only a hun- of King Ferdinand." Laborde saw 

dred, is the MS. of which a facsimile his monument there. Itineraire de 

isgiveninthe**Paleograph{a£spafio- PEspttgne, Paris, 1809, 8vo., Tom. 

V* (Madrid, 1758, 4to., p. 72,) and II. p. 185. 


guage in Spain, and for some time seemed as likely to 
prevail throughout the country as any other of the dialects 
spoken in it. It was probably the first that was developed 
in the north-western part of the Peninsula, and the second 
that was reduced to writing. For in the eleventh and 
twelfth centuries, just at the period when the struggling 
elements of the modern Spanish were disencumbering 
themselves from the forms of the corrupted Latin, Galicia, 
by the wars and troubles of the times, was repeatedly sepa- 
rated from Castile, so that distinct dialects appeared in the 
two different territories almost at the same moment Of 
these the Northern is likely to have been the older, though 
the Southern proved ultimately the more fortunate. At 
any rate, even without a court, which was the surest centre 
of culture in such rude ages, and without any of the reasons 
for the development of a dialect which always accompany 
political power, we know that the Galician was already 
sufficiently formed to pass with the conquering arms of Al- 
fonso the Sixth, and establish itself firmly between the 
Douro and the Minho ; that country which became the 
nucleus of the independent kingdom of Portugal. 

This was between the years 1095 and 1 109 ; and though 
the establishment of a Burgundian dynasty on the throne 
erected there naturally brought into the dialect of Portu- 
gal an infusion of the French, which never appeared in the 
dialect of Galicia,^* still the language spoken in the two 
territories under different sovereigns and different influences 
continued substantially the same for a long period ; perhaps 
down to the time of Charles the Fifth.^' But it was only 
in Portugal that there was a court, or that means and mo- 
tives were found sufficient for forming and cultivating a re- 

" J. P. Ribeiro, Disserta9oe8, etc., Sciencias, Lisboa, 1816, Tom. IV. 

publioadas per drdem da Academia Parte II. Viterbo (Elucidario, Lis- 

Real das Sciendas de Lbboa, Lisboa, boa, 1798, fol., Tom. I., advert. Pre- 

1810, 8vo., Tom. I. p. 180. A glossary liminar., pp. viii.-xiii.) also examines 

of French words occurring in Uie Por- this point 

tttiruefle, by Francisco de San Luiz, is .a t> i u/ i? £! i i/i 

intheMciorias da A«demia Realdc " Paloogmphla Espafiola, p. 10. 


gular language. It is therefore only in Portugal that this 
common dialect of both the territories appears with a sepa- 
rate and proper literature ;** the first intimation of which, 
with an exact date, is found as early as 1 192. This is a 
document in prose.^* The oldest poetry is to be sought 
in three curious fragments, originally published by Faria y 
Sousa, which can hardly be placed much later than the 
year 1200.** Both show that the Galician in Portugal, 
under less favourable circumstances than those which accom- 
panied the Castilian in Spain, rose at the same period to 
be a written language, and possessed, perhaps, quite as 
early, the materials for forming an independent literature. 
We may fairly infer, therefore, from these facts, indi- 
cating the vigour of the Galician in Portugal before the year 
1200, that, in its native province in Spain, it is somewhat 
older. But we have no monuments by which to establish 
such antiquity. Castro, it is true, notices a manuscript 
translation of the history of Servandus, as if made in 1150 
by Seguino, in the Galician dialect ; but he gives no spe- 
cimen of it, and his own authority in such a matter is not 
sufficient.^' And in the well-known letter sent to the Con- 
stable of Portugal by the Marquis of Santillana, about the 
middle of the fifteenth century, we are told that all Spanish 
poetry was written for a long time in Galician or Portu- 
guese ;** but this is so obviously either a mistake in fact, or 
a mere compliment to the Portuguese prince to whom it 
was addressed, that Sarmiento, full of prejudices in favour 
of his native province, and desirous to arrive at the same 
conclusion, is obliged to give it up as wholly unwarranted.*' 

»* A. Ribciro dos Santos, Orfgom, which is A. D. 1 192, and is, therefore, 

etc., dtt Pocsi'a Portugucza, in Memo- the oldest with a ilaie. 

rias da Lett. Portugiieza, pela Aca- " Europa Portupueza, Lisboa, 1680, 

deinia, etc., 1812, Tom. Vlll. pp. fol. Tom. III. Parte IV., c. 9; and 

248-250. Diez, Grammatik der Romanischen 

" J. P. Riboiro, Diss., Tom. I. p. Sprachcn, Boim, 183G, 8vo., Tom. I. 

17G. It is poasible the document m p. 72. 

App., pp. 273-275, is older, as it »' Bibl. Espanola, Tom. II., pp. 

apiH»ars to ho from the time of Saneho 404, 405. 

1., or 1185-1211 ; but the next docu- »• Sanchez, Tom. I., Prol., p. Ivii. 

mcnt (p. 276) is dated ** Era 1230," » After quoting the passage of San- 


We must come back, therefore, to the ** Cintigas" or 
Chants of Alfonso, as to the oldest specimen extant in the 
Galician dialect distinct from the Portuguese ; and since, 
from internal evidence, one of them was written after he 
had conquered Xerez, we may place them between 1263, 
when that event occurred, and 1284, when he died.** Why 
he should have chosen this particular dialect for this par- 
ticular form of poetry, when he had, as we know, an admirable 
mastery of the Castilian, and when these Cantigas, according 
to his last will, were to be chanted over his tomb, in a part 
of the kingdom where the Galician dialect never prevailed, 
we cannot now decide.** His father. Saint Ferdinand, was 
from the North, and his own early nurture there may have 
given Alfonso himself a strong affection for its language ; 
or, what perhaps is more probable, there may have been 
something in the dialect itself, its origin or its gravity, 
which, at a period when no dialect in Spain had obtained 
an acknowledged supremacy, made it seem to him better 
suited than the Castilian or Yalencian to religious pur- 

But however this may be, all the rest of his works are 
in the language spoken in the centre of the Peninsula, 
while his Cantigas are in the Galician. Some of them have 
considerable poetical merit ; but in general they are to be 
remarked only for the variety of their metres, for an occa- 
sional tendency to the form of ballads, for a lyrical tone, 
which does not seem to have been earlier established in the 
Castilian, and for a kind of Doric simplicity, which belongs 
partly to the dialect he adopted and partly to the character of 

tillana just referred to, Sarmicnto, who Espanoles, Madrid, 1775, 4to., p. 

was vcnr learned in all that relates to 196. 

the earliest Spanish verse, says, with 30 Qae toiiea 

a simplicity quite delightful, ** I, as a ^ Mouiw Neui e Xerw, 

Galician, interested in this conclusion, he says (Castro, Tom. II. p. 637) ; 

should be glad to possess the grounds and Aerez was taken in 1263. But 

of the Marquis of Santillana ; but I have all these Cintigas were not, probably, 

not seen a single word of any author written in one period of the king's 

that can throw light on the matter." life. 

Memorias de la Poesla y Poetas ** Ortiz do Zuftiga, Analcs, p. 129. 



Period L 

the author himself; the whole bearing theimpress of the Pro- 
ven9al poets, with whom he was much connected, and whom 
through life he patronized and maintained at his court. " 

The other poetry attributed to Alfonso — except two 
stanzas that remain of his ^^ Complaints ** against the hard 
fortune of the last years of his life ** — is to be sought in 
the treatise called " Del Tesoro," which is divided into 
two short books, and dated in 1272. It is on the Philoso- 
pher's Stone, and the greater portion of it is concealed in 
an unexplained cipher ; the remainder being partly in prose 
and partly in octave stanzas, which are the oldest extant 
in Castilian verse. But the whole is worthless, and its 
genuineness doubtful. " 

** Take the following as a speei- 
mcn. Alfonso beseeches the Madon- 
na rather to look at her merits than 
at his own claims, and runs through 
five stanzas, with the choral echo to 
each, " Saint Mary, remember me !" 

Non cateda oomo 

Peauei aaaa, 

Maia caUd o f^nn 

Ben que en vos ia« ; 

Ca uua me feseste* 

Coxno qaen faa 

Sa cooaa quita 

Toda per aa>i. 
Santa Mana I nenbre uoa de mi ! 

Non cstedet a oomo 

Pequey gren, 

Mais catad o gran ben 

Que U08 Dena den ; 

Ca outro ben we non 

Uoa non ei ea 

Nen oune nunca 

Des qnando nad. 
Santa Maria I nenbre no* de mi I 

Castro, Bibl., Tom. II. p. 640. 

This has, no doubt, a very Pro- 
ven9al air ; but others of the Cdntigas 
have still more of it. The Provencal 
poets, in fact, as we shall see more 
fully hereafter, fled in considerable 
numbers into Spain at the period of 
their persecution at home; and that 
period corresponds to the reigns of 
Alfonso and his father. In this way 
a strong tinge of the Provencal 
character came into the poetry of 
Castile^ and remained there a long 
time. The proofs of this early inter- 
course with Provencal |)oet8 arc 
abundant. Aimdric dc Bellinoi was 

at the court of Alfonso IX., who 
died in 1214, (Histoire Litt^raire de 
la France, par des Membres dc 
rinstitut, Paris, 4to., Tom. XIX., 
1838, p. 507,) and was aflterwards at 
the court of Alfonso X. (Ibid., p. 
511.) So were Montagnagout and 
Folquet de Lunel, both of whom wrote 
poems on the election of Alfonso X. to 
the throne of Germany. ( Ibid. , Tom. 
XIX., p. 491, and Tom. XX., p. 667; 
with Raynouard, Troubadours, Tom. 
IV. p. 2390 Baimond de Tours and 
Nat de Mons addressed verses to 
Alfonso X. (Ibid., Tom. XIX. pp. 
555, 577.) Bertrand Carbonel de- 
dicated his works to him ; and Giraud 
Riquier, sometimes called the last 
of the Troubadours, wrote an elegy 
on his death, already referred to. 
(Ibid., Tom. XX. pp. 559, 578, 
584.) Others might be cited, bat 
these are enough. 

^ The two stanzas of the Querellas, 
or Complaints, still remaining to us, 
arc in Ortiz de Zuiiiga, (Aiudcs, p. 
123,) and elsewhere. 

** First published by Sanchez, 
(Pocsfas Anteriores, Tom. I. pp. 
148-170,) where it may still be best 
consulted. The copy he used had 
belonged to the Marouis of Villcna, 
who was suspected ol the black art, 
and whose l>ooks were burnt on that 
account after his death, temp. John 

Chap. III. ULTRAMAR. 41 

Alfonso claims his chief distinction in letters as a writer 
of prose. In this his merit is great. He first made the 
Castilian a national language by causing the Bible to be 
translated into it, and by requiring it to be used in all legal 
proceedings;** and he first, by his great Code and other 
works, gave specimens of prose composition which left a 
free and disencumbered course for all that has been done 
since — a service perhaps greater than it has been permitted 
any other Spaniard to render the prose literature of his 
country. To this, therefore, we now turn. 

And here the first work we meet with is one that was 
rather compiled under his direction, than written by him- 
self. It is called "The Great Conquest beyond Sea," 
and is an account of the wars in the Holy Land, which 
then so much agitated the minds of men throughout Eu- 
rope, and which were intimately connected with the fate of 
the Christian Spaniards still struggling for their own exist- 
ence in a perpetual crusade against misbelief at home. 
It begins with the history of Mohammed, and comes down to 
the year 1270 ; much of it being taken from an old French 
version of the work of William of Tyre, on the same gene- 
ral subject, and the rest from other less trustworthy 
sources. But parts of it are not historical. The grand- 
father of Godfrey of Bouillon, its hero, is the wild and 
fanciful Knight of the Swan, who is almost as much a re- 

II. A specimen of the cipher is obvious difference in language and 

^ven in Cortinas's translation of style between both and the rest of the 

Bouterwek (Tom. I. p. 129). In king's known works, — a difference 

reading this poem, it should be borne which certainly may well excite sus- 

in mind that Alfonso believed in picion, but docs not much encourage 

astrolo^cal predictions, and protected the pajticular conjecture of Moratin 

astrology by his laws. rPartida VII. as to the Marquis of Yillcna. 
Tit. xxiii. Ley 1.) Moratin the ** Mariana, Hist., Lib. XIV. c. 

younger (Obras, Madrid, 1830, 8vo., 7; Castro, Bibl., Tom. !• p. 411 ; 

Tom. I. Parte I. p. 61) thinks that and Mondejar, Memorias, p. 460. 

both the Querellas and the Tesoro The last, however, is mistaken in 

were the work of the Marquis of supposing the translation of the Bible 

Villena; relying, first, on the fact pnntcd at Ferrara in 1563 to have 

that the only manuscript of the latter been that made by order of Alfonso, 

known to exist once belonged to the since it was the work of some Jews 

Marquis ; and, secondly, on the of the period when it was publbhed. 




presentative of the spirit of caivalry as Amadis de Graul, 
aud goes through adventures no less marvellous ; fighting 
on the Khine like a knight-errant, and miraculously warned 
by a swallow how to rescue his lady, who has been made 
prisoner. Unhappily, in the only edition of this curious 
work — printed in 1503 — the text has received additions 
that make us doubtful how much of it may be certainly as- 
cribed to the time of Alfonso the Tenth, in whose reign and 
by whose order the greater part of it seems to have been 
prepared. It is chiefly valuable as a specimen of early 
Spanish prose. " 

Castilian prose, in fact, can hardly be said to have 
existed earlier^ unless we are willing to reckon as specimens 

*" La Gran Conauista de Ultramar 
was printed at Salamanca, by Hans 
Giesscr, in folio, in 1503. That ad- 
ditions arc made to it is apparent from 
Lib. III. c. 170, where is an account 
of the overthrow of the order of the 
Templars, which is there said to have 
happened in the year of the Spanish 
era 1412 ; and that it is a translation, 
so far as it follows William of Tyre, 
from an old French version of the 
thirteenth century, I state on the 
authority of a manuscript of Sarmiento. 
The Conquista begins thus : — 

" Capitulo Primero. ComoMahoma 
predico en Aravia: y gano toda la 
ticrra de Oricntc. 

** En aql. ticpo q eraclius emperador 
en Roma q fuc buc Xpiano, et matuvo 
gnm tiepo el imperio en justicia y en 
paz, levantose Mahoma en tierra de 
Aravia y mostro a las gctes necias 
sciecia nueva, y fizo les creer q era 
profeta y mensagero de dios, y que Ic 
avia embiado al mundo por saluar los 
hombres qele creyessen, etc. 

The story of the Knight of the 
Swan, full of enchantments, duels, 
and much of what marks the books of 
chivalry, begins abruptly at Lib. I. 
cap. 47, fol. xvii., with these words : 
** And now the history leaves off 
speaking for a time of all these things, 
in order to relate what concerns the 
Knight of the Swan/' etc.; and it 

ends with Cap. 185, f. Ixxx., the next 
chapter opening thus : *' Now thb 
history leaves off speaking of this, 
and turns to relate how three knights 
went to Jerusalem," etc. This story 
of the Knight of the Swan, which 
fills 63 leaves, or about a quarter part 
of the whole work, appeared origin- 
ally in Normandy or Belgium, begun 
by Jehan Renault and finished by 
Gandor or Graindor of Douay, in 
30,000 verses, about the year 1300. 
(De la Rue, Essai sur les Bardes, 
etc., Caen, 1834, 8vo., Tom. III. p. 
213. Warton's English Poetry, Lon- 
don, 1824, 8vo., Vol. II. p. 149. 
Collection of Prose Romances, by 
Thoms, London, 1838, 12mo., Vol. 
III., Preface.) It was, I suppose, 
inserted in the Ultramar, when the 
Ultramar was prepared for publica- 
tion, because it was supposed to 
illustrate and dicrnify the history of 
Godfrey of Bouillon, its hero; but 
this is not the only part of the work 
made up later than its date. The 
last chapter, for instance, giving an 
account of the death of Conradin of 
the Hohenstauffen, and the assassina- 
tion in the church of Viterbo, at the 
moment of the elevation of the host, 
of Henry, the grandson of Henry 
III. of England, by Guy of Monfort, 
— both noticed by Dante, — has no- 
thing to do with the main work, and 
seems taken from some later chronicle. 

Chap. III. 



of it the few meagre documents, generally grants in hard 
legal forms, that begin with the one concerning Aviles in 
1155, already noticed, and come down, half bad Latin and 
half unformed Spanish, to the time of Alfonso." The 
first monument, therefore, that can be properly cited for 
this purpose, though it dates from the reign of Saint Fer- 
dinand, the father of Alfonso, is one in preparing which, 
it has always been supposed, Alfonso himself was per- 
sonally concerned. It is the " Fuero Juzgo,*' or " Forum 
Judicum,'*a collection of Visigoth laws, which, in 1241, 
after his conquest of Cdrdova, Saint Ferdinand sent to that 
city in Latin, with directions that it should be translated 
into the vulgar dialect, and observed there as the law of 
the territory he had then newly rescued from the Moors. *** 
The precise time when this translation was made has 

^ There is a curious collection of 
(locuments published by royal author- 
ity, (Madrid, 1829-33, 6 torn. 8vo.,) 
called ** Coleccionde C^ulas, Cartas, 
Patentes/' etc., relating to Biscay 
and the Northern provinces, where 
the Castilian first appeared. They 
contain nothing in that language so 
old as the letter of confirmation to the 
Fueros of Avil^ by Alfonso the 
Seventh already noted ; but they con- 
tain materials of some value for tracing 
the decay of the Latin, by documents 
dated from the year 804 downwards. 
(Tom. VI. p. 1.) There is, however, 
a difficulty relating both to the docu- 
ments in Latin and to those in the 
early modem dialect ; e. g. in relation 
to the one in Tom. V. p. 120, dated 
1197. It is, that we arc not certain 
that we possess them in precisely 
their- original form and integrity. 
Inlced, in not a few instances we are 
sure of the opposite. For these 
Fueros, Privilegios, or whatever they 
arc called, being but arbitrary grants 
of an absolute monarch, the persons 
to whom they were made were care- 
ful to procure confirmations of them 
from succeeding sovereigns, as often 
as they could ; and when these con- 
firmations were made, the original 
document, if in Latin, was sometimes 

translated, as was that of Peter the 
Cruel, given by Marina (Teorfa de las 
Cortes, Madrid, 1813, 4to., Tom. III. 
p. 11) ; or, if in the modem dialect, 
It was sometimes copied and accom- 
modated to the changed language and 
spelling of the age. Such confirma- 
tions were in some cases numerous, as 
in the grant first cited, which was 
confirmed thirteen times between 
1231 and 1621. Now it does not 
appear from the published documents 
in this Coleccion what is, in each 
instance, the tme date of the parti- 
cular version used. The Avil& do- 
cument, however, is not liable to this 
objection. It is extant on the original 
parchment, upon which the confimia- 
tion was made in 1155, with the 
original signatures of the persons who 
made it, as testified by the most com- 
petent witnesses. See /xw/. Vol. III., 
Appendix (A), near the end. 

" Fuero Juz^o is a barbarous 
phrase, which signifies the same as 
Forum Judicum, and is perhaps a 
cormption of it. (Covarmbias, Tc- 
soro, Madrid, 1674, fol., ad verb.) 
The first printed edition of the Fuero 
Juzgo is of 1600 ; the best is that by 
the Academy, in Latin and Spanish, 
Madrid, 1815, folio. 


not been decided. Marina, whose opinion should have 
weight, thinks it was not till the reign of Alfonso ; but, 
from the early authority we know it possessed, it is per- 
haps more probable that it is to be dated from the latter 
years of Saint Ferdinand. In either case, however, con- 
sidering the peculiar character and'position of Alfonso, there 
can be little doubt that he was consulted and concerned 
in its preparation. It is a regular code, divided into 
twelve books, which are subdivided into titles and laws, and 
is of an extent so considerable, and of a character so free and 
discursive, that we can fairly judge from it the condition 
of the prose language of the time, and ascertain that it was 
already as far advanced as the contemporaneous poetry.** 

But the wise forecast of Saint Ferdinand soon extended 
beyond the purpose with which he originally commanded 
the translation of the old Visigoth laws, and he undertook 
to prepare a code for the whole of Christian Spain that 
was under his sceptre, which, in its diflTerent cities and 
provinces, was distracted by different and often con- 
tradictory fueros or privileges and laws given to each as it 
was won from the common enemy. But he did not live 
to execute his beneficent project, and the fragment that 
still remains to us of what he undertook, commonly known 
by the name of the " Setenario," plainly implies that it is, 
in part at least, the work of his son Alfonso. ^ 

• See the Discurso prefixed to the ** Quando el rey moire, nengun non 

Acadeniy*s edition, by Don Manuel deve tomar el remio, nen &cerse rey, 

de Lardizabal y Uribe ; and Marina's nen ningim religioso, nen otro omne, 

Ensa^o, p. 29, in Mem. de la Acad, nen servo, nen otro omne estrano, se 

de Uist., Tom. IV., 1805. Perhaps non omne dc linage de los ffodos, et 

the most curious passage in the Fuero fillo dalgo, et noble et digno de 

Juzgo is the law (Lib. XII. Tit costumpnes, et con el otorgamiento 

iii. Ley 15) containing the tremen- de los ouispos, et dc los godos may ores, 

dous oath of abjuration prescribed to et dc todo el poblo. Asi que mientre 

those Jews who were about to enter que Ibrmos todos de un corazon, et de 

the Christian Church. But I prefer una veluntat, et de una fd, que sea 

to give as a specimen of its language cntre nos paz et justicia enno regno, 

one of a more liberal spirit, viz., the et que pouamos ganar la compannade 

eighth Law of the Primero Titolo, or los angeles en el otro sieglo ; et aquel 

Introduction, ** concerning those who que quebrantar esta nuestra lee sea 

ma^ become kings,'* which in the escomungado por scmpre.'* 
Latin original dates from A. D. 643 : ^ For the Setenano, see Ctotro, 


Still, though Alfonso had been employed in preparing 
this code, he did not see fit to finish it. He, however, felt 
charged with the general undertaking, and seemed deter- 
mined that his kingdom should not continue to suffer from 
the uncertainty or the conflict of its different systems of 
legislation. But he proceeded with great caution. His 
first body of laws, called the " Espejo,** or ** Mirror of all 
Rights," filling five books, was prepared before 1255 ; but 
though it contains within itself directions for its own dis- 
tribution and enforcement, it does not seem ever to have 
gone into practical use. His "Fuero Eeal," a shorter 
code, divided into four books, was completed in 1255 for 
Valladolid, and perhaps was subsequently given to other 
cities of his kingdom. Both were followed by different 
laws, as occasion called for them, down nearly to the end 
of his reign. But all of them, taken together, were far from 
constituting a code such as had been projected by Saint 
Ferdinand. '* 

This last great work was undertaken by Alfonso in 
1256, and finished either in 1263 or 1265. It was 
originally called by Alfonso himself " El Setenario," from 
the title of the code undertaken by his father ; but it is 
now always called "Las Siete Partidas,** or the Seven 
Parts, from the seven divisions of the work itself. That 
Alfonso was assisted by others in the great task of com- 
piling it out of the Decretals, and the Digest and 
Code of Justinian, as well as out of the Fuero Juzgo 
and other sources of legislation, both Spanish and 
foreign, is not to be doubted; but the general air and 
finish of the whole, its style and literary execution, 

Biblioteca, Tom. II. pp. 680-684 ; ism, etc., which were afterwards sub- 

and Marina, Historiade la Legislacion, stantiallv incorporated into the first 

Madrid, 1808, fol., §§ 290, 291. As of the Partidas of Alfonso himself, 
far as it goes, which is not through the ■* Opiisculos Legales del Rey Al- 

firstofthe seven divisions proposed, it fonso el Sabio, publicados, etc., por 

consists, 1. of an introduction by Al- la Real Academia de la Historia, 

fonso; and2. of a series of discussions Madrid, 1836,2 tom. fol. Marina, 

on the Catholic religion, on Heathen- Legislacion, § 301. 


must be more or less his own, so much are they in har- 
mony with whatever else we know of his works and cha- 

The Partidas, however, though by fer the most im- 
portant legislative monument of its age, did not become at 
once the law of the land.'^ On the contrary, the great 
cities, with their separate privileges, long resisted any 
thing like a uniform system of legislation for the whole 
country ; and it was not till 1348, two years before the 
death of Alfonso the Eleventh, and above sixty after that 
of their author, that the Partidas were finally proclaimed 
as of binding authority in all the territories held by 
the kings of Castile and Leon. But from that period 
the great code of Alfonso has been uniformly respected. " 
It is, in fact, a sort of Spanish common law, which, 
with the decisions under it, has been the basis of Spanish 
jurisprudence ever since; and becoming in this way, 
a part of the constitution of the state in all Spanish 
colonies, it has, from the time when Louisiana and Florida 
were added to the United States, become in some cases 
the law in our own country; — so wide may be the in- 
fluence of a wise legislation. '* 

®* " El Sctcnario " was the name entitled " The Laws of the Sietc Par- 

pivcn to the work begun in the reign tidas, which are still in Force in the 

of St. Ferdinand, ** because," says State of Louisiana," translated by L. 

Alfonso, in the preface to it, ** all it Moreau Lislet and II. Carlcton, New 

contains is arranged by sevens." In Orleans, 1820, 2 vols. 8vo. ; and a 

the same way his own code is divided discussion on the same subject in 

into seven parts ; but it does not Wheaton's " Rejwrts of Cases in the 

seem to have been cited by the name Supreme Court of the United States," 

of ** The Seven Parts " till above a Vol. V. 1820, Appendix ; together 

century after it was comixwcd. Ma- with various cases in the other volumes 

rina, Legislacion, §§ 292-303. Pre- of the Reports of the Supremo Court 

face to the edition of the Partidas by of the United States, e. g. Wheaton, 

the Academy, Madrid, 1807, 4to., Vol. III. 1818, p. 202, note (a.) " We 

Tom. I. pp. xv.-xviii. may observe," says Dunham, (Hist. 

*^ Much trouble arose from the at- of Sjmin and Portugal, Vol. IV. 

tempt of Alfonso X. to introduce his p. 121,) *' that, if all the other codes 

code. Marina, Legislacion, §§ 417- were banished, Snain would still have 

419. a respectable body ot jurisprudence ; 

** Marina, Legis., § 449. Fuero for we have the experience of an emi- 

Juzgo, ed. Acad., Pref., p. xliii. nent advocate in tne Royal Tribunal 

^ See a curious and learned book of Appeals, for asserting that during 


The Partidas, however, read very little like a collection 
of statutes, or even like a code such as that of Justinian or 
Napoleon. They seem rather to be a series of treatises on 
legislation, morals, and religion, divided with great form- 
ality, according to their subjects, into Parts, Titles, and 
Laws ; the last of which, instead of being merely impera- 
tive ordinances, enter into arguments and investigations of 
various sorts, often discussing the moral principles they lay 
down, and often containing intimations of the manners and 
opinions of the age, that make them a curious mine of 
Spanish antiquities. They are, in short, a kind of digested 
result of the opinions and reading of a learned monarch, 
and his coadjutors, in the thirteenth century, on the rela- 
tive duties of a king and his subjects, and on the entire 
legislation and police, ecclesiastical, civil, and moral, to 
which, in their judgment, Spain should be subjected ; the 
whole interspersed with discussions, sometimes more quaint 
than grave, concerning the customs and principles on which 
the work itself, or some particular part of it, is founded, 

As a specimen of the style of the Partidas, an extract 
may be made from a law entitled "What meaneth a 
Tyrant, and how he useth his power in a kingdom when 
he hath obtained it.** 

" A tyrant," says this law, " doth signify a cruel lord, 
who, by force, or by craft, or by treachery, hath obtained 
power over any realm or country ; and such men be of 
such nature, that, when once they have grown strong in 
the land, they love rather to work their own profit, though 
it be in harm of the land, than the common profit of all, 
for they always live in an ill fear of losing it. And that 
they maybe able to fulfil this their purpose unencumbered, 
the wise of old have said that they use their power against 
the people in three manners. The first is, that they strive 
that those under their mastery be ever ignorant and timor- 

an extensive practice of twenty-nine could not be virtuallpr or expressly de- 
years, scarcely a case occurred which cided by the code m question." 


ous, because, when they be such, they may not be bold to 
rise against them nor to resist their wills ; and the second 
is, that they be not kindly and united among themselves, 
in such wise that they trust not one another, for, while 
they live in disagreement, they shall not dare to make 
any discourse against their lord, for fear faith and secrecy 
should not be kept among themselves ; and the third way 
is, that they strive to make them poor, and to put them 
upon great undertakings, which they can never finish, 
whereby they may have so much harm, that it may never 
come into their hearts to devise any thing against their 
ruler. And above all this, have tyrants ever striven to 
make spoil of the strong and to destroy the wise ; and have 
forbidden fellowship and assemblies of men in their land, 
and striven always to know what men said or did ; and do 
trust their counsel and the guard of their person rather to 
foreigners, who will serve at their will, than to them of 
the land, who serve from oppression. And, moreover, we 
say, that, though any man may have gained mastery of a 
kingdom by any of the lawfiil means whereof we have 
spoken in the laws going before this, yet, if he use his 
power ill, in the ways whereof we speak in this law, him 
may the people still call tyrant ; for he turneth his mastery 
which was rightful into wrongful, as Aristotle hath said in 
the book which treateth of the rule and government of 
kingdoms." *• 

In other laws, reasons are given why kings and their 
sons should be taught to read ; ^ and in a law about the 
governesses of kings' daughters, it is declared : — 

" They are to endeavour, as much as may be, that the 
king's daughters be moderate and seemly in eating and in 
drinking, and also in their carriage and dress, and of good 
manners in all things, and especially that they be not given 
to anger ; for, besides the wickedness that licth in it, it is 

- Partida II. Tit. I. Ley 10, ed. "^ Partida II. Tit. VII. Ley 10, and 

Acad., Tom. II. p. 11. Tit. V. Ley 16. 


the thing in the world that most easily leadeth women to 
do ill. And they ought to teach them to be handy in per- 
forming those works that belong to noble ladies ; for this 
is a matter that becometh them much, since they obtain 
by it cheerfuhiess and a quiet spirit ; and besides, it taketh 
away bad thoughts, which it is not convenient they should 

Many of the laws concerning knights, like one on their 
loyalty, and one on the meaning of the ceremonies used 
when they are armed,'* and all the laws on the establish- 
ment and conduct of great public schools, which he was 
endeavouring at the same time to encourage, by the 
privileges he granted to Salamanca, ^^ are written with even 
more skill and selectness of idiom. Indeed, the Partidas, 
in whatever relates to manner and style, are not only 
superior to any thing that had preceded them, but to any 
thing that for a long time followed. The poems of Berceo, 
hardly twenty years older, seem to belong to another age, and 
to a much ruder state of society ; and, on the other hand, 
Marina, whose opinion on such a subject few are entitled 
to call in question, says that, during the two or even three 
centuries subsequent, nothing was produced in Spanish 
prose equal to the Partidas for purity and elevation of 

But however this may be, there is no doubt that, 
mingled with something of the rudeness and more of the 
ungraceful repetitions common in the period to which they 
belong, there is a richness, an appropriateness, and some- 
times even an elegance, in their turns of expression, truly 

■• Partida II. Tit VII. Ley 11. many of the Universities of the Conti- 

■• Partida II. Tit. XXI. Leyes nent. There was, however, at that 

9, 13. period, no such establishment in 

^ The laws about the Estudios Spain, except one which had existed 

Generales, the name then given to in a very rude state at Salamanca for 

what we now call Universities, — some time, and to which Alfonso X. 

filling the thirty-first Titulo of the gave the first proper endowment in 

second Partida, are remarkable for 1254. 

their wisdom, and recognise some of ** Marina, in Mem. de la Acad. 

the arrangements that still obtain in de Hist., Tom. IV. Ensayo, p. 52. 

VOL. I. E 



Pebiod L 

remarkable. They show that the great eflTort of their 
author to make the Castilian the living and real language 
of his country, by making it that of the laws and the tri- 
bunals of justice, had been successful, or was destined 
speedily to become so. Their grave and measured move- 
ment, and the solemnity of their tone, which have remained 
among the characteristics of Spanish prose ever since, 
show this success beyond all reasonable question. They 
show, too, the character of Alfonso himself giving token 
of a far-reaching wisdom and philosophy, and proving how 
much a single great mind happily placed can do towards 
imparting their final direction to the language and litera- 
ture of a country, even so early as the first century of their 
separate existence. " 

^ As no more than a fidr specimen 
of the genuine Castilian of the Parti- 
das, I would cite Part II., Tit V., 
Ley 18, entitled ** Como el Key debe 
ser granado et franco :" — ** Grandeza 
es virtud que esttf bien ^ todo home po- 
deroso et senaladamentc al rcy quando 
usa della en tiempo que conviene et 
como debe ; et por ende dixo AristcS- 
teles ^ Alezanaro que ^I puiiase de 
haber en si franqueza, ca por ella 
ganarie mas aina el amor et los corazo- 
nes de la gente : et porque 6\ mejor 
podiese obrar desta bondat, espaladinol 
qu6 cosa es, et dixo que franaueza es 
aar al que lo ha menester et ai que lo 

meresce, segunt el poder del dador, 
dando de lo suyo et non tomando de lo 
ageno para darlo ^ otro, ca el que da 
mas de lo que puede non es franco, 
mas desgastador, et demas haberd por 
fuerza d tomar de lo ageno ouando lo 
suyo non compliere, et si ae la una 
parte eanare amigos por lo que les 
diere, de la otra parte serle ban enemi- 
gos aquellos d ouien lo tomare; et 
otrosi dixo que el que da al que non lo 
ha menester non le es gradecido, et es 
tal come el que irierte agua en la mar, 
et el que da al que lo non meresce es 
como el que guisa su enemigo que 
venga contra 41.** 



Joan Lo&cirzo Sbouba. — Coffustok or Aiicuirr avd Modkbh Makhehs. — 
El Alkxandbo, its Stobt akd Mkritb. — Los Voros del Pavov. — Sancho 
KL Beato. — Dov JuAir Mahuel, hm Live aitp Wobxs, published aed 


The proof that the " Fartidas " were in advance of their 
age, both as to style and language, is plain, not only from 
the examination we have made of what preceded them, 
but from a comparison of them, which we must now make, 
with the poetry of Juan Lorenzo Segura, who lived at the 
time they were compiled, and probably somewhat later. 
Like Berceo, he was a secular priest, and he belonged to 
Astorga ; but this is all we know of him, except that he 
lived in the latter part of the thirteenth century, and has 
left a poem of above ten thousand lines on the life of 
Alexander the Great, drawn from such sources as were 
flien accessible to a Spanish ecclesiastic, and written in the 
four-line stanza used by Berceo. ^ 

What is most obvious in this long poem is its confound- 
ing the manners of a well-known age of Grecian antiquity 
with those of the Catholic religion, and of knighthood, as 
they existed in the days of its author. Similar confiision 
is found in some portion of the early literature of every 
country in modem Europe. In all, there was a period 
when the striking facts of ancient history, and the pictur- 

» The Alexandro fills the third vo- ed. Ba^er, Matriti, 1787-8, fol. 

lume of the Poesfas Anteriores of San- Tom. 11. p. 79, and Mondejar, Memo- 

chez, and was for a long time Strongly rias, pp. 458, 459,) though tlie last 

attributed to Alfonso the Wise, (Nic. lines of the poem itself declare its au- 

Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus, thor to be Johan Lorenzo Segura. 



esque fictions of ancient fable, floating about among the 
traditions of the Middle Ages, were seized upon as 
materials for poetry and romance ; and when, to fill up 
and finish the picture presented by their imaginations to 
those who thus misapplied an imperfect knowledge of 
antiquity, the manners and feelings of their own times 
were incongruously thrown in, either from an ignorant 
persuasion that none other had ever existed, or from a 
wilful carelessness concerning everything but poetical 
efiect. This was the case in Italy, from the first dawn- 
ing of letters till after the time of Dante, the sublime and 
tender poetry of whose " Divina Commedia " is full of 
such absurdities and anachronisms. It was the case too 
in France ; examples singularly in point being found in 
the Latin poem of Walter de Chatillon, and the French 
one by Alexandre de Paris, on this same subject of Alex- 
ander the Great ; both of which were written nearly a cen- 
tury before Juan Lorenzo lived, and both of which were 
used by him. " And it was the case in England, till after 
the time of Shakspeare, whose "Midsummer Night's 
Dream *' does all that genius can do to justify it. We 
must not, therefore, be surprised to find it in Spain, 
where, derived from such monstrous repositories of fiction 
as the works of Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis, 
Guido de Colonna and Walter de Chatillon, some of the 
histories and fancies of ancient times already filled the 
thoughts of those men who were unconsciously beginning 
the fabric of their country's literature on foundations 
essentially different. 

Among the most attractive subjects that offered them- 
selves to such persons was that of Alexander the Great 
The East — Persia, Arabia, and India — had long been full 

• Walter de Chatillon's Latin poem The French poem begun by Lambert 

on Alexander the Great was so popu- li Cors, and finished by Alexandre de 

lar, that it was taught in the rhetoncal Paris, was less valued, but much read, 

schools, to the exclusion of Lucan and Ginguen^, in the Hist. Lit. de la 

Virgil. (Warton's English Poetry, France, Paris, 4to., Tom. XV. 1820, 

London, 1834, 8vo., Vol. I. p. clxvii.) pp. 100 127. 


of Stories of his adventures;' and now, in the West, as a 
hero more nearly approaching the spirit of knighthood 
than any other of antiquity, he was adopted into the 
poetical fictions of almost every nation that could boast the 
beginning of a literature, so that the Monk in the " Can- 
terbury Tales " said truly — 

*' The stone of Alexandre is so commune^ 
That every wight, that hath discretion, 
Hath herd somewhat or all of his fortune." 

Juan Lorenzo took this story substantially as he had 
read it in the " Alexandreis ** of Walter de Chatillon, 
whom he repeatedly cites ; * but he has added whatever 
he found elsewhere, or in his own imagination, that seemed 
suited to his purpose, which was by no means that of be- 
coming a mere translator. After a short introduction, 
he comes at once to his subject thus, in the fifth stanza : — 

I desire to teach the story of a noble pagan king, 
With whose valour and bold heart the world once did ring : 
For the world he overcame, like a very little thing ; 
And a clerkly name 1 shall gain, if his story I can singv 

This prince was Alexander, and Greece it was his right ; 
Frank and bold he was in arms, and in knowledge took delight ; 
Darius' power he overthrew, and Poms, kings of might. 
And for suffering and for patience the world held no such wight 

Now the infiuit Alexander showed plainly from the first, 

That he through every hindrance with prowess great would burst ; 

For by a servile breast he never would be nursed, 

And less than gentle lineage to serve him never durst. 

And mighty signs when he was bom foretold his coming worth : 
The air was troubled, and the sun his brightness put not forth, 
The sea was angry all, and shook the solid earth. 
The world was wellnigh perishing for terror at his birth.* 

* Transactions of the Royal Society » Qatero leer un Ufaro de on ray nuble pagano, 
r»f T U<»ratiirp Vol T Part Ii wn 5-23 One ^* <*« S^*^^ eeforeio, de eonion loiano, 

ot Ldterature, v oi. i. ran ii. pp. o -w, ^ j^j^ ^^ ^^^io, metioi .o m m»no, 

a cunous paper by Sir W . Uuseley. xeroe. w lo compnew, que ne bon eeeribano. 

* Coplas 225, 1452, and 1639, ^^„. ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ 
where Icgura gives three Ladn lines S^'f^^STcVSTTdellSir.^^^^ 
from Walter. Vtiiei6 


Then comes the history of Alexander, mingled with the 
fables and extravagancies of the times ; given generally 
with the duluess of a chronicle, but sometimes showing a 
poetical spirit Before setting out on his grand expedition 
to the East, he is knighted, and receives an enchanted 
sword made by Don Vulcan, a girdle made by Dofia Phi- 
losophy, and a shirt made by two sea faivies^-^iuis fadas 
enna mar. • The conquest of Asia follows soon after- 
wards, in the course of which the Bishop of Jerusalem 
orders mass to be said to stay the conqueror, as he ap- 
proaches the Jewish capital. ' 

In general, the known outline of Alexander's adven- 
tures is followed, but there are a good many whimsical di- 
gressions ; and when the Macedonian forces pass the site 
of Troy, the poet cannot resist the temptation of making 
an abstract of the fortunes and fate of that city, which he 
represents as told by Don Alexander himself to his fol- 
lowers, and especially to the Twelve Peers, who accom- 
panied him in his expedition.^ Homer is vouched as 
authority for the extraordinary narrative that is given ; * 
but how little the poet of Astorga cared for the Iliad and 
Odyssey may be inferred from the fact, that, instead of 
sending Achilles, or Don Achilles, as he is called, to the 
court of Lycomedes of Scyros, to be concealed in woman's 
clothes, he is sent by the enchantments of his mother, in 
female attire, to a convent of nuns, and the crafty Don 
Ulysses goes there as a pedlar, with a pack of female or- 
naments and martial weapons on his back, to detect the 
fraud. ^® But, with all its defects and incongruities, the 
" Alexandre " is a curious and important landmark in early 

Venc{6 Poro ^ DiLrio, do« Reyes de grant po- Todol mar fue irado, la tiena tremecid, 
tencia, Por poco qael miindo todo non pereci6. 

Nunca conoacio ome au par en la aafrencia. Sanchex, Tom. III. p. I. 

K.l infante Alexandre luego en au ninnei " Coplas 78, 80, 83, 89, etC. 

(%>mensu & demoittnir que aerie de ^rant prei : 7 f^ i„„ mwc m\c\a ^t^ 

Nunca quIaomaraarlecRe de mugicr rafei, ^ Coplas 1086-1094, etc. 

Se non ftie de linage 6 de grant gentiles. 8 (Jgplas 299-7 16. 

(irandet signoa rontiron quando eit infant ^ Cop^a^» 300 and 714. 

El ayre foe cambiado, el wl ewwecio, '" Coplas 386, 892, Ctc. 


Spanish literature ; and if it is written with less purity 
and dignity than the " Partidas " of Alfonso, it has still a 
truly Castilian air, in both its language and its versifica- 

A poem called " Los Votos del Pavon," The Vows of 
the Peacock, which was a continuation of the " Alexandro,'* 
is lost If we may judge from an old French poem on 
the vows made over a peacock that had^been a favourite 
bird of Alexander, and was served accidentally at table 
after that hero's death, we have no reason to complain of 
our loss as a misfortune." Nor have we probably great 
occasion to regret that we possess only extracts from a prose 
book of advice, prepared for his heir and successor by 
Sancho, the son of Alfonso the Tenth ; for though, from 
the chapter warning the young prince against fools, we see 
that it wanted neither sense nor spirit, still it is not to be 
compared to the " Partidas" for precision, grace, or dig- 
nity of style/^ We come, therefore, at once to a remark- 

" Southey, in the notes to his chet says, (Recueil de TOrigine de la 

•* Madoc " rart I. Canto xi., speaks Langue et Po^sie Fran^aisc, Paris, 

justly of the ''sweet flow of language 1581, fol., p. 88,) ** l#e Roman du 

and metre in Lorenzo." At the end of Pa von est une continuation des faits 

the Alexandro are two prose letters d* Alexandre." There is an account of 

supposed to have been written by a French poem on this subject, in the 

Alexander to his mother ; but I prefer " Notices et Ex traits des Manuscrits 

to cite, as a specimen of Lorenzo's de la Bibliotheque Nationalc," etc., 

style, the following stanzas on the (Paris, an VII., 4to.,) Tom. V. p. 118. 

music which the Macedonians heard in Vows were frequently made in ancient 

Babylon: — times over favourite birds (Barante, 

AlU«T.Uiniuiea cantoda per nuon. P»^ ^^ BourgOgne, ad an 1454, 

Lm dobles Que rvfleren coitn del ooraton. Pans, 1837, 8vo., Tom. VII. pp. 

Lm dolees de Im twylM, el plorant •emiton, 159-164): and the VOWS in the SlMi- 

^^nS^doZ^'^ ^^"^ ' *'"•"'*" ~ nwh poem seem to have involved a 

prophetic account of the achieve- 
S-"d':d'?;LSS:f%r:r.itS^' ^^^^ a»J t««'Wc» of Alexander-. 

MientreomeviTietM enaquelUsabor SUCCCSSOrs. 

Non .Trie Kde nen (kme «« doj^r. ^^^ is rpj^^ extracts arC in CwtTO, (Tom. 

' * II. pp. 725-729,) and the book, which 

Za« d!oMes in modem Spanish means contained forty-nine chapters, was 

the tolling for the dead ; — here, I sup- called ** Castigos y Documentos para 

pose, it means some sort of sad chant- bien vivir, ordenados por el Rev Don 

mg. Sancho el Quarto, intitulado el 

" Los Votos del Pavon is first men- Brabo ;" Castigos being used to mean 

tioned by the Marquis of Santillana advice, as in the old French poem, 

(Sanchez, Tom. I., p. Ivii.) ; and Fau- ** Le Castoiement d*un P^rc k son 


able writer, who flourished a little later, — the Prince Don 
Juan Manuel. 

Lorenzo was an ecclesiastic, — bon clSriffo S ondradoj — 
and his home was at Astoi^a, in the north-western portion 
of Spain, on the borders of Leon and Galicia. Berceo be- 
longed to the same territory, and, though there may be half 
a century between them, they are of a similar spirit We 
are glad, therefore, that the next author we meet, Don 
John Manuel, takes us from the mountains of the North 
to the chivalry of the South, and to the state of society, 
the conflicts, manners, and interests, that gave us the "Poem 
of the Cid" and the code of the "Partidas." 

Don John was of the blood royal of Castile and Leon ; 
grandson of Saint Ferdinand, nephew of Alfonso the Wise, 
and one of the most turbulent and dangerous of the Spanish 
barons of his time. He was born in Escalona, on the 5th 
of May, 1282, and was the son of Don Pedro Manuel, an 
Infante of Spain, ^* brother of Alfonso the Wise, with whom 
he always had his oflScers and household in common. 
Before Don John was two years old, his father died, and 
he was educated by his cousin, Sancho the Fourth, living 
with him on a footing like that on which his father had 
lived with Alfonso." When twelve years old he was al- 
ready in the field against the Moors, and in 1310, at the 
age of twenty-eight, he had reached the most considerable 

Fils ;" and Documentos being taken in with King SanchOi when that monarch 

its priniitivc sense o^ instructions. The was on hw death-bed, he says, ** The 

sj)irit of his father seems to speak in King Alfonso and my father in his 

ISuncho, when he says of kings, ** que lifetime, and King Sancho and my- 

han tie govcrnar regnos e rentes con self in his lifetime, always had our 

ayuda de ^icntificos sabios/^ households together, and our officers 

'* Argotc (le Molina, Succsion de were always the same.*' Farther on 

los Manuel(\s, prefixed to the Condc ho says he was brought up by Don 

Lucanor, 1575. The date of his birth Sancho, who gave him the means of 

has boon heretofore considered un- building the castle of Penafiel, and 

settled, but I have found it given ex- calls God to witness that he was al- 

actly by himself in an unpublished ways true and loyal to Sancho, to 

letter to his brother, the Archbishop Fernando, and to Alfonso XI., add- 

of Toledo, which occurs in a manu- ing cautiously, **as far as this last 

script in the Nationid Librar}' at Ma- king gave me opportunities to servo 

dritl, to bo noticed horoafter. him." Manuscnpt in the National 

" In his report of his conversation Library at Madrid. 


offices in the state : but Ferdinand the Fourth dying two 
years afterwards, and leaving Alfonso the Eleventh, his 
successor, only thirteen months old, great disturbances fol- 
lowed till 1320, when Don John Manuel became joint re- 
gent of the realm ; a place which he suffered none to share 
with him but such of his near relations as were most in- 
volved in his interests.** 

The affairs of the kingdom during the administration of 
Prince John seem to have been managed with talent and 
spirit ; but at the end of the regency the young monarch 
was not sufficiently contented with the state of things to 
continue his grand-uncle in any considerable employment 
Don John, however, was not of a temper to submit quietly 
to affiront or neglect." He left the court at Valladolid, 
and prepared himself, with all his great resources, for the 
armed opposition which the politics of the time regarded 
as a justifiable mode of obtaining redress. The king was 
alarmed, "for he saw,** says the old chronicler, " that they 
were the most powerful men in his kingdom, and that they 
could do grievous battle with him, and great mischief to 
the land." He entered, therefore, into an arrangement 
with Prince John, who did not hesitate to abandon his 
friends, and go back to his allegiance, on the condition that 
the king should marry his daughter Constantia, then a mere 
child, and create him governor of the provinces bordering 
on the Moors, and commander-in-chief of the Moorish 
war ; thus placing him, in fact, again at the head of the 

From this time we find him actively engaged on the 
frontiers in a succession of military operations, till 1327, 
when he gained over the Moors the important victory of 
Guadalhorra. But the same year was marked by the 
bloody treachery of the king against Prince John's uncle, 
who was murdered in the palace under circumstances of 

»• Croniea de Alfonso XI., ed. »' Cronicade Alfonso XI., c. 46 and 48. 
1651, foL, c. 1»-21. " Ibid., c. 49. 


peculiar atrocity.** The Prince immediately retired in 
disgust to his estates, and began again to muster his friends 
and forces for a contest, into which he rushed the more 
eagerly, as the king had now refused to consummate his 
union with Gonstantia, and had married a Portuguese 
princess. The war which followed was carried on with 
various success till 1335, when Prince John was finally 
subdued^ and, entering anew into the king's service, with 
fresh reputation, as it seemed, from a spirited rebellion, 
and marrying his daughter Constantia, now grown up, to 
the heir-apparent of Portugal, went on, as commander-in- 
chief, with an uninterrupted succession of victories over the 
Moors, until almost the moment of his death, which hap- 
pened in 1347.^' 

In a life like this, full of intrigues and violence, — from 
a prince like this, who married the sisters of two kings, 
who had two other kings for his sons-in-law, and who dis- 
turbed his country by his rebellions and military enters 
prises for above thirty years, — we should hardly look for 
a successful attempt in letters. ** Yet so it is. Spanish 
poetry, we know, first appeared in the midst of turbulence 
and danger ; and now we find Spanish prose fiction spring- 
ing forth from the same soil, and under similar circum- 
stances. Down to this time we have seen no prose of 
much value in the prevailing Castilian dialect, except in 
the works of Alfonso the Tenth, and in one or two chro- 
nicles that will hereafter be noticed. But in most of these 
the fervour which seems to be an essential element of the 
early Spanish genius was kept in check, either by the 
nature of their subjects, or by circumstances of which we 
can now have no knowledge ; and it is not until a fresh 

*'' Mariana, Hist., Lib. XV., c. 19. his History, says of Don John Ma- 

•* Ibid., Lib. XVI., c. 4. Crdnica nuel, that he was " de condicion 

dc Alfonso XL, c. 178. Argotc de inquicta y mudable, tanto que a 

Molina, Sucesion dc los Manucles. muchos ])arecia nacio solamcnte para 

" Mariana, in one of those happy revolver el reyno." Uist., Lib. XV., 

hitH of character which are not rare in c. 12. 


attempt is made, in the midst of the wars and tumults 
that for centuries seem to have been as the principle of 
life to the whole Peninsula, that we discover in Spanish 
prose a decided development of such forms as afterwards 
became national and characteristic. 

Don John, to whom belongs the distinction of pro- 
ducing one of these forms, showed himself worthy of a 
family in which, for above a century, letters had been 
honoured and cultivated. He is known to have written 
twelve works; and so anxious was he about their fate, 
that he caused them to be carefully transcribed in a large 
volume, and bequeathed them to a monastery he had 
founded on his estates at Pefiafiel, as a burial-place for 
himself and his descendants. ** How many of these works 
are now in existence is not known. Some are certainly 
among the treasures of the National Library at Madrid, 
in a manuscript which seems to be an imperfect and in- 
jured copy of the one originally deposit^ at Penafiel. 
Two others may, perhaps, yet be recovered ; for one of 
them, the " Chronicle of Spain,"* abridged by Don John 
from that of his uncle, Alfonso the Wise, was in the pos- 
session of the Marquis of Mondejar in the middle of the 

" Argote de Molina, Life of Don an account of the family arms, etc. ; 

John, in the ed. of the Conde Loca- 2. Book of Conditions, or Libro de 

nor, 1575. The accounts of Argote los Estados, which may be Argote de 

de Molina, and of the manuscript in Molina's Libro de los Sabios ; 3. 

the National Library, are not pre- Libro del Caballero y del Escudero, 

cisely the same ; but the last is im- of which Argote de Molina seems to 

perfect, and evidently omits one work, make two separate works ; 4. Libro 

Both contain the four following, viz. : de la Caballeria, probably Argote de 

— 1. Chronicle of Spain ; 2. Book of Molina's Libro dc Caballeros ; 5. La 

Hunting ; 3. Book of Poetry ; and Cumplida ; 6. Libro de los Engenos, 

4. Book of Counsels to his Son. Ar^ a treatise on Militanr Elngines, mis- 

gote de Molina gives besides these, — spelt by Argote de ^iolina, Enganos, 

I. Libro de los Sabios \ 2. Libro del so as to make it a treatise on Frauds ; 

Caballero ; 3. Libro del Escudero ; and 7. Reglas como se deve trovar. 

4. Libro del Infante ; 5. Libro de But, as has been said, the manuscript 

Caballeros ; 6. Libro de los Enganos ; has a hiatus, and, though it says there 

and 7. Libro de los Exemplos. The were twelve works, gives the titles of 

manuscript gives, besides tne four that only eleven, and omits the Condo 

are clearly in common, the following : Lucanor, which is the Libro de los 

— 1, Letter to his brother, containing Exemplos of Argoto's list. 


eighteenth century ; ^ and the other, a treatise on Hunt- 
ing, was seen by Pellicer somewhat later. ** A collection 
of Don John's poems, which Ai^ote de Molina intended 
to publish in the time of Philip the Second, is probably 
lost, since the diligent Sanchez sought for it in vain ; ** and 
his " Conde Lucanor** alone has been placed beyond the 
reach of accident by being printed. ** 

All that we possess of Don John Manuel is important 
The imperfect manuscript at Madrid opens with an ac- 
count of the reasons why he had caused his works to be 
transcribed ; reasons which he illustrates by the following 
story, very characteristic of his age. 

" In the timie of King Jayme the First of Majorca,** 
says he, "there was a knight of Perpignan, who was a 
great Troubadour, and made brave songs wonderfully well. 
But one that he made was better than the rest, and, more- 
over, was set to good music And people were so de- 
lighted with that song, that, for a long time, they would 
sing no other. And so the knight that made it was well 

^ Mem. de Alfonso el Sabio, p. 464. Pecados Mortales," dedicated to John 

" Note to Don Quixote, ed. Pelli- II. of Portugal, (4-1496,) which are 

ecr. Parte II. Tom. I. p. 284. in Bohl de Faber's ** Floresta," 

** Pocsfas Antcriores, Tom. IV. p. (Hamburgo, 1821-26, 8?o., Tom. I. 

xi. pp. 10-15,) taken from Rresendc, f. 

" I am aware there are poems in the 66, in one of the three copies of whose 

Cancioneros Grcnerales, by a Don John Cancioneiro then existing (that at the 

Manuel, which have been generally Convent of the Necessidades in Lis- 

attributed to Don John Manuel, the bon) I read them many years ago. 

Regent of Castile in the time of Al- Rrescnde*s Cancioneiro is now no 

fonso XL, as, for instance, those in longer so rare, being in course of pub- 

the Cancionero of Antwerp (1573, lication by the Stuttgard Verein. 

8vo., ff. 176, 207, 227, 267). But The Portuguese Don John Manuel 

they are not his. Their language and was a person of much consideration in 

thoughts are quite too modem. Pro- his time, and in 1497 concluded a 

bably they are the work of Don John treaty for the marriage of King 

Manuel, who was Camareiro M6r of Emanuel of Portugal with Isabella, 

King Emanuel of Portugal, ( + 1 624,) daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of 

and whose poems, both in Portuguese Spain. (Barbosa, Biblioteca Lusi- 

and in Spanish, fieure largely in the tana, Lisboa, 1747, fol., Tom. II. p. 

Cancioneiro GeraJe of Garcia Rre- 688.^ But he appears very little to 

sende, (Lisboa, 1616, fol.,) where his nonour in Lope de Vega's play 

they are found at ff. 48-67, 148, 169, entitled " El Principe Perfeto," under 

212, 230, and I believe in some other the name of Don Juan de Soseu Co- 

S laces. He is the author of the medias, Tom. XL, Barcelona, 1618, 

panish *' Coplas sobre los Siete 4to., p. 121. 


pleased. But one day, going through the streets, he heard 
a shoemaker singing this song ; and he sang it so ill, both 
in words and tune, that any man who had not heard it 
before would have held it to be a very poor song, and 
very ill made. Now when the knight heard that shoe- 
maker spoil his good work, he was full of grief and anger, 
and got down from his beast, and sat down by him. But 
the shoemaker gave no heed to the knight, and did not 
cease from singing ; and the further he sang, the worse he 
spoiled the song that knight had made. And when the 
knight heard his good work so spoiled by the foolishness 
of the shoemaker, he took up very gently some shears that 
lay there, and cut all. the shoemaker's shoes in pieces, and 
mounted his beast, and rode away. 

" Now, when the shoemaker saw his shoes, and beheld 
how they were cut in pieces, and that he had lost all his 
labour, he was much troubled, and went shouting afler the 
knight that had done it. And the knight answered : * My 
friend, our lord the king, as you well know, is a good king 
and a just. Let us, then, go to him, and let him de- 
termine, as may seem right, the difference between us.' 
And they were agreed to do so. And when they came 
before the king, the shoemaker told him how all his shoes 
had been cut in pieces and much harm done to him. And 
the king was wroth at it, and asked the knight if this were 
truth. And the knight said that it was; but that he 
would like to say why he did it And the king told him to 
say on. And the knight answered, that the king well knew 
that he had made a song, — the one that was very good and 
had good music, — and he said, that the shoemaker had 
spoiled it in singing ; in proof whereof, he prayed the king 
to command him now to sing it. And the king did so, 
and saw how he spoiled it. Then the knight said, that, 
since the shoemaker had spoiled the good work he had 
made with great pains and labour, so he might spoil the 
works of the shoemaker. And the king and all they that 


were there widi him woe renr merry at diis» and laughed ; 
and the king commanded the dioemaker never to sing 
diat song again, nor trouble die good work of the knight ; 
but the king paid the shoemaker §ar die harm that was 
done him, and commanded die knight not to rex die shoe- 
maker any m<H«. *^ 

^' And now, knowing diat I cannot hinder the books I 
have made firom bemg cojHed many times^ and seeing that 
in copies one thing is pot for another, either becaose he 
who copies is igncnrant, or becaose one word looks so much 
like another, and so the meaning and sense are changed 
without any &ult in him who first wrote it ; therefore, 
I, Don John Manuel, to avoid this wrong as much as I 
may, have caused this volume to be made, in which are 
written out aU the works I have composed, and diey 
are twelve." 

Of the twelve works here referred to, the Madrid 
manuscript contains only three. One is a long letter to 
his brother, the Archbishop of Toledo, and Chancellor 

*^ A nmihr storj is tM of Dute, of the aune sort, all which he threw 

who was a cootemponuy of Doo into the street. The Uacksmith 

John Manuel, by Sadietti, who fired tomed round in a brutal manner^ and 

about a centmr after both of them, cried out, ' What the dcTil are you 

It is in his Norella 114, (Milano, doin^here? Are you mad?" Rather/ 

1815, 18mo.,Tom. II. p. 154,)where, said Dante, ' whatareyondoing?' «// 

after giving an account of an impor- replied the blac^:smith, * /am working 

tant affiur, about which Dante was at my trade ; and you spcnl my things 

desired to solicit one of the city by Uurowinff them into the street.' 

officers, the story goes on thus : — ' But,' said Dante, * if you do not want 

^* When Dante had dined, he left to hare me spoil your things, don't 

his house to go about that business, spoil mine.' *■ What do I spoil of 

and, possinff through the Porta San yours?' said the blacksmith. 'You 

Picro, heard a blacksmith singing as sing,' answered Dante, ' out of my 

he beat the iron on his anvil. What book, but not as I wrote it ; I have no 

he sang was from Dante, and he did other trade, and you spoil it.' The 

it as ifit were a ballad, (tot cantare,) blacksmith, in his pride and vexation, 

Jumbling the verses together, and did not know what to answer ; so he 

mangling and altering them in a way gathered up his tools and went back 

that was a great offence to Dante, to his work, and when he afterward 

He said nothing, however, but went wanted to sing, he sang about Tristan 

Into the blacksmith's shop, where and Launcelot, and let Dante alone." 
there were many tools of his trade, One of the stories is probably taken 

and, seizing first the hammer, threw from the other ; but that of Don John 

It \nU} i\w street, then the pincers, is older, both in the date of its event 

(bon the scales, and many other things and in the time when it was recorded. 


of the kingdom, in which he gives, first, an account of his 
family arms ; then the reason why he and his right heirs 
male could make knights without having received any 
order of knighthood, as he himself had done when he was 
not yet two years old ; and lastly, the report of a solemn 
conversation he had held with Sancho the Fourth on his 
death-bed, in which the king bemoaned himself bitterly, 
that, having for his rebellion justly received the curse of 
his father, Alfonso the Wise, he had now no power to 
give a dying man's blessing to Don John. 

Another of the works in the Madrid manuscript is a 
treatise in twenty-six chapters, called "Counsels to his 
Son Ferdinand ;** which is, in fact, an essay on- the 
Christian and moral duties of one destined by his rank 
to the highest places in the state, referring sometimes to 
the more ample discussions on similar subjects in Don 
John^s treatise on the Different Estates or Conditions of 
Men, apparently a longer work, not now known to exist. 

But the third and longest is the most interesting. It is 
*'The Book of the Knight and the Esquire," ''written," 
says the author, " in the manner called in Castile /afefo'^Wa," 
(a little fable,) and sent to his brother, the Archbishop, 
that he might translate it into Latin ; a proof, and not the 
only one, that Don John placed small value upon the 
language to which he now owes all his honours. The book 
itself contains an account of a young man who, encouraged 
by the good condition of his country under a king that 
called his Cortes together often, and gave his people good 
teachings and good laws, determines to seek advancement 
in the state. On his way to a meeting of the Cortes, where 
he intends to be knighted, he meets a retired cavalier, who 
in his hermitage explains to him all the duties and honours 
of chivalry, and thus prepares him for the distinction to 
which he aspires. On his return, he again visits his aged 
friend, and is so delighted with his instructions, that he re- 
mains with him, ministering to his infirmities and profiting 


by his wisdom, till his death, after which the young kiiight 
goes to his own land, and lives there in great honour the 
rest of his life. The story, or little fable, is, however, a 
very slight thread, serving only to hold together a long 
series of instructions on the moral duties of men, and on 
the different branches of human knowledge, given with 
earnestness and spirit, in the fashion of the times. *® 

The " Conde Lucanor," the best known of its author's 
works, bears some resemblance to the fable of the Knight 
and the Esquire. It is a collection of forty-nine tales,** 
anecdotes, and apologues, clearly in the Oriental manner ; 
the first hint for which was probably taken from the " Dis- 
ciplina Clericalis" of Petrus Alphonsus, a collection of 
Latin stories made in Spain about two centuries earlier. 
The occasion on which the tales of Don John are supposed 
to be related is, like the fictions themselves, invented with 
Eastern simplicity, and reminds us constantly of the "Thou- 
sand and One Nights" and their multitudinous imitations.** 

The Count Lucanor — a personage of power and consider- 

" Of this manuscript of Don John in 1106, taking as one of his names 

in the Library at Madrid, I have, that of Alfonso VI. of Castile, who 

through the kindness of Professor was his godfather. The Disciplina 

Gayangos, a copy, filling 199 closely Clericalis, or Teaching for Clerks or 

written folio pages. Clergymen, is a collection of thirty- 

'^ It seems not unlikely that Don seven stories, and many apophth^ms, 

John Manuel intended originally to supposed to have been g^?cn b^ an 

stop at the end of the twelfth talc ; at Arab on his death-bed as instructions 

least, he there intimates such a pur- to his son. It is written in such Latin 

pose. as belonged to its age. Much of the 

•" That the general form of the book is plainly of !&stem origin, and 

Conde Lucanor is Oriental may be some of it is extremely coarse. It 

seen by looking into the fables of was, however, greatly admired for a 

Bidpiu, or almost any other collection long time, and was more than once 

of Eastern stories ; the form, I mean, turned into French verse, as may be 

of separate tales, united by some fie- seen in Barbazan (Fabliaux, ed. M<Son, 

tion common to them all, like that of Paris, 1808, 8vo., Tom. II. pp. 39- 

relatine them all to amuse or instruct 183). That the Disciplina Clericalis 

some third person. The first appear- was the prototype of the Conde Luca- 

ance in Europe of such a senes of norisprobable,Decause it was popular 

tales grouped together was in the when the Conde Lucanor was written ; 

Disciplina Clericalis ; a remarkable because the framework of both ^ is 

work, composed by Petrus Alphonsus, similar, the stories of both beine 

originally a Jew, by the name of Moses given as counsels; because a good 

Sephardi, bom at Ilucsca in Aragon many of the proverbs are the same in 

in 1062, and baptized as a Christian both ; and because some of the stories 

Chap. IV. 



ation, intended probably to represent those early Christian 
counts in Spain, who, like Fernan Gonzalez of Castile, were, 
in fact, independent princes — finds himself occasionally per- 
plexed with questions of morals and public policy. These 
questions,(as they occur, he proposes to Fatronio, his minister 
or counsellor, and Fatronio replies to each by a tale or a 
&ble, which is ended with a rhyme in the nature of a moral. 
The stories are various in their character. '^ Sometimes it 
is an anecdote in Spanish history to which Don John resorts, 
like that of the three knights of his grandfather, Saint Fer- 
dinand, at the siege of Seville. '* More frequently it is a 
sketch of some striking trait in the national manners, like 
the story of "^Rodrigo el Franco and his three faithful 
Followers.** •* Sometimes, again, it is a fiction of chivalry, 
like that of the " Hermit and Bichard the Lion-hearted." " 
And sometimes it is an apologue, like that of the ^^ Old Man, 
his Son, and the Ass," or that of the " Crow persuaded by 
the Fox to sing,** which, with his many successors, he must 
in some way or other have obtained from -ZEsop. " They 

in both resemble one another, as the 
thirty-seventh of the Conde Lucanor, 
which is the same with the first of the 
Disciplina. But in the tone of their 
manners and civilization, there is a 
difference quite equal to the two cen- 
turies that separate the two works. 
Through the French version, the 
Discipuina Clericalis soon became 
known in other countries, so that 
we find traces of its fictions in the 
'* Gesta Romanorum/'the ** Decame- 
ron,** the " Canterbury Tales," and 
elsewhere. But it Ion? remained, in 
other respects, a sealed book, known 
cmly to antiquaries , and was first printed 
in the origmal Latin, from seven ma- 
nuscripts m the Kind's Library, Paris, 
by the Soci^t^ des Bibliophiles,? Paris, 
1824, 2 torn. 12mo.') Fr. W. V. 
Schmidt — to whom those interested in 
the early history of romantic fiction 
are much indebted for the various con- 
tributions he has brought to it — pub- 
lished the Disciplina anew in Berlin, 
1827, 4to., from a Breslau manuscript ; 
VOL. I. 

and, what is singular for oneof his pecu- 
liar learning in this department, he sup- 
posed his own edition to be the first. 
It is, on account of its curious notes, 
the best ; but the text of the Paris 
edition is to be preferred, and a very 
old French prose version that accom- 
panics it makes it as a book still more 

'* They are all called EnxiempioB; 
a word which then meant story or apo- 
logue, as it does in the Archpriest of 
Hita, St. 301, and in the ** Cr6nica 
General.*' Old Lord Bemers, in his 
delightful translation of Froissart, in 
the same way calls the fable of the 
Bird in Borrowed Plumes '* an En- 

« Cap. 2. 

« Cap. 3. 

«* Cap. 4. 

» Capp. 24 and 26. The followers 
of Don John, however, have been 
more indebted to him than he was to 
his predecessors. Thus, the story of 
'* Don Ulan el Negromantico '* (Cap. 


are all curious, but probably the most interesting is the 
" Moorish Marriage,** partly because it points distinctly to 
an Arabic origin, and partly because it remarkably resem- 
bles the story Shakspeare has used in his ^^ Taming of the 
Shrew." ^ It is, however, too long to be given here ; and 
therefore a shorter specimen will be taken from the twenty- 
second chapter, entitled **0f what happened to Count 
Feman Gonzalez, and of the answer he gave to his vassals," 

" On one occasion, Count Lucanor came fit)m a foray, 
much wearied and worn, and poorly off; and before he 
could refresh or rest himself, there came a sudden message 
about another matter then newly moved. And the greater 
part of his people counselled him that he should refresh 
himself a little, and then do whatever should be thought 
most wise. And the Count asked Patronio what he should 
do in that matter ; and Patronio replied, * Sire, that you 
may choose what is best, it would please me that you 
should know the answer which Count Fernan Gronzalez 
once gave to his vassals. 

"*The story. — Count Fernan Gonzalez conquered 
Almanzor in Hazinas, ^"^ but many of his people fell there, 

13) was found by Mr. Douce in two traditions of Persia by Sir John Mai- 
French and four English authors, colm. (Sketches of Perna, London, 
(Blanco White, Variedades, L6ndrcs, 1827, 8vo., Vol. II. p. 64.) In Europe 
1824, Tom. I. p. 310.) The apologue I am not aware that it can be detected 
which Gil Bias, when he is starving, earlier than the Conde Lucanor, Cap. 
relates to the Duke of Lerma, (Li v. 46. The doctrine of unlimited sub- 
VIII. c. 6,) and ** which," he savs, mission on the pert of the wife seems, 
*' he had read in Pilpay or some other indeed, to have been a favourite one 
fable writer," I sought in vain in with Don John Manuel ; for, in an- 
Bidpai, and stumbled upon it, when other stcny, (Cap. 6,) he says, in the 
not seeking it, in the Conde Lucanor, very spirit of Petruchio's jest about 
Cap. 18. It may be added, that the the sun and moon, '* If a husband says 
fable of the Sv^llows and the Flax the stream runs up hill, his wife 
(Cap. 27) is better given there than ought to believe him, and say that it 
it is in La Fontdne. is so." 

"Shakspeare, it is well known, '? peman Gronzalez is the great hero 

took the materials for his *^ Taming of of Castile, whose adventures will be 

the Shrew," with little ceremony, noticed when we come to the poem 

from a play with the same tide, printed about them; and in the battle of 

in 1694. But the story, in its different Hazinas he gained the decisive 

parts, seems to have been familiar in victory over the Moors which is well 

the East from the earliest times, and described in the third part of the 
was, I suppose, found there among the " CnSnica Gleneral." 


and he and the rest that remained alive were sorely 
wounded. And before they were sound and well, he 
heard that the king of Navarre had broken into his lands, 
and so he commanded his people to make ready to fight 
against them of Navarre. And all his people told him 
that their horses were aweary, and that they were aweary 
themselves ; and although for this cause they might not 
forsake this thing, yet that, since both he and his people 
were sore wounded, they ought to leave it, and that he 
ought to wait till he and they should be sound again. 
And when the Count saw that they all wanted to leave 
that road, then his honour grieved him more than his body, 
and he said, ^^ My friends, let us not shun this battle on 
accoimt of the wounds that we now have ; for the fresh 
wounds they will presently give us will make us forget 
those we received in the other fight.** And when they of 
his party saw that he was not troubled concerning his own 
person, but only how to defend his lands and his honour, 
they went with him, and they won that battle, and things 
went right well afterwards. 

" * And you, my Lord Count Lucanor, if you desire to 
do what you ought, when you see that it should be achieved 
for the defence of your own rights, and of your own people, 
and of your own honour, then you must not be grieved by 
weariness, nor by toil, nor by danger, but rather so act 
that the new danger shall make you forget that which is 

" And the Coimt held this for a good history ^ and a 

"• " Y el Condc tovo este por buen handsomest words I could." (Ed. 

exemplo/' — an old Castilian formula. 1575, f. I, b.) Many of his words, 

(Crdnica (general, Parte III. c. 5.^ however, needed explanation in the 

Argote de Molina says of such reign of Philip the Second ; and on the 

phrases, which abound in the Conde whole, the phraseology of the Conde 

Lacanor, that *' they give a taste of Lucanor sounds older than that of the 

the old proprieties of we Castilian ;" Partidas, which were jet written 

and elsewnere, that ** they show nearly a century before it. Some of 

what was the pure idiom of our its obsolete words are purely Latin, 

tongue." Don John himself, with like eras for to-morrow , f. 83, and 

his accustomed simplicity, says, *' I elsewhere. 

hare made up the book with the 



good counsel ; and he acted accordingly, and found himself 
well by it And Don John also understood this to be a 
good history, and he had it written in this book, and 
moreover made these verses, which say thus :r- 

'' Hold this for certain and for hct, 
For truth it is, and truth exact. 
That never Honour and Disgrace 
Together sought a resting-place." 

It is not easy to imagine any thing more simple and 
direct than this story, either in the matter or the style. 
Others of the tales have an air of more knightly dignity, 
and some have a little of the gallantry that might be 
expected from a court like that of Alfonso the Eleventh. 
In a very few of them, Don John gives intimations that 
he had risen above the feelings and opinions of his age : 
as, in one, he laughs at the monks and their pretensions;** 
in another, he introduces a pilgrim under no respectable 
circumstances ;*® and in a third, he ridicules his uncle Al- 
fonso for believing in the follies of alchemy, ** and trusting 
a man who pretended to turn the baser metals into gold. 
But in almost all we see the large experience of a man of 
the world, as the world then existed, and the cool observa- 
tion of one who knew too much of mankind, and had suf- 
fered too much from them, to have a great deal of the 
romance of youth still lingering in his character. For we 
know, from himself, that Prince John wrote the Conde 
Lucanor when he had already reached his highest honours 
and authority ; probably after he had passed through his 
severest defeats. It should be remembered, therefore, 
to his credit, that we find in it no traces of the arrogance 
of power, or of the bitterness of mortified ambition; 
nothing of the wrongs he had suffered from others, and 
nothing of those he had inflicted. It seems, indeed, to 

■• Cap. 20. about the Bible, as he cites it wrong in 

*• Cap. 48. Cap. 4, and in Cap. 44 shows that he did 

** Cap. 8. — I infer from the Conde not know it contained the comparison 

Lucanor, that Don John knew little about the blind who lead the blind* 

Chap. IV. 



have been written in some happy interval, stolen from the 
bustle of camps, the intrigues of government, and the 
crimes of rebellion, when the experience of his past life, its 
adventures, and its passions, were so remote as to awaken 
little personal feeling, and yet so familiar that he could 
give us their results, with great simplicity, in this series of 
tales and anecdotes, which are marked with an originality 
that belongs to their age, and with a kind of chivalrous 
philosophy and wise honesty that would not be discreditable 
to one more advanced. ** 

^ There are two Spanish editions 
of the Conde Lucanor : the first and 
best by Argote de Molina, 4to., 
Sevilla, 1575, with a life of Don 
John prefixed, and a curious essay on 
Castilutn verse at the end,— one of the 
rarest books in the world ; and the 
other only less rare, published at 
Madrid, 1642. The references in 
the notes are to the first A reprint, 

made, if I mistake not, from the last, 
and edited by A. Keller, appeared at 
Stutteard, 1839, 12mo., and a German 
translation by J. von EichendorflT, at 
Berlin, in 1840, 12mo. Don John 
Manuel, I obserre, cites Arabic twice 
in the Conde Lucanor, (Capp. 1 1 and 
14,) — a rare circumstance in earlj 
Spanish literature. 



Alfonso thb Elkyxnth. — Tesatiss on Huntimo. — PomcAL Chronicle. 
— Beneficiaet of Ubeda. — Aecbpeiest of Hita ; his Life, Works, 
AMD Chabactes. — Raboi Don Santos. — La Docteina Cheistiana. — 
A Revelation. — La Dan^a Geneeal. — Poem on Joseph. — ^Atala; 
his Rimabo de Palacio. — CHAEAGTEEunncs or Spanish Litebatuee 
thus fab. 

The reign of Alfonso the Eleventh was full of troubles, 
and the unhappy monarch himself died at last of the plague, 
while he was besieging Gibraltar, in 1350. Still, that 
letters were not forgotten in it we know, not only from the 
example of Don John Manuel, already cited, but from 
several others which should not be passed over. 

The first is a prose treatise on Hunting, in three books, 
written under the king's direction, by his Chief-huntsmen, 
who were then among the principal persons of the court 
It consists of little more than an account of the sort of 
hounds to be used, their diseases and training, with a 
description of the different places where game was abundant, 
and where sport for the royal amusement was to be had. 
It is of small consequence in itself, but was published by 
Argote de Molina, in the time of Philip the Second, witii 
a pleasant addition by the editor, containing curious stories 
of lion-hunts and buU-fights, fitting it to die taste of his 
own age. In style, the original work is as good as the 
somewhat similar treatise of the Marquis of Villena, on 
the Art of Carving, written a hundred years later ; and, 
from the nature of the subject, it is more interesting. ^ 

* Libre dc la Montcria, que mando de Castilla y de Leon, ultimo deste 
cscrivir, etc., el Rey Don Alfonso nombrc, acrecentado por Argote de 

Chap. V. 



The next literary monument attributed to this reign 
would be important, if we had the whole of it. It is a 
chronicle, in the ballad style, of events which happened in 
the time of Alfonso the Eleventh, and commonly passes 
under his name. It was found, hidden in a mass of Arabic 
manuscripts, by Diego de Mendoza, who attributed it, 
with little ceremony, to " a secretary of the king ;" and it 
was first publicly made known by Argote de Molina, who 
thought it written by some poet contemporary with the 
history he relates. But only thirty-four stanzas of it are 
now known to exist ; and these, though admitted by San- 
chez to be probably anterior to the fifteenth century, are 
shown by him not to be the work of the king, and seem, 
in fact, to be less ancient in style and language than that 
critic supposes them to be. * They are in very flowing 

Molina, Sevilla, 1582, folio, 91 leaves, 
— the text not correct, as Pellicer 
says (note to Don Quixote, Parte II. 
c. 24). The Discurso of Areotc de 
Molina, that follows, and nils 21 
leaves more, is illustrated with cunous 
woodcuts, and ends with a description 
of the palace of the Pardo, and an 
ecli^e in octave stanzas, by Gomc2 
de Tapia of Granada, on the birth of 
the Infanta Dona Isabel, daughter of 
Philip II. 

* This old rhymed chronicle was 
found by the historian Diego de Men- 
doza among his Arabic manuscripts in 
Granada, and was sent by him, with 
a letter dated December 1, 1573, 
to Zurita, the annalist of Aragon, 
intimating that Argote de Molina 
would be interested in it. He says 
truly, that ** it is well worth reading, 
to see with what simplicity and pro- 
priety men wrote poetical histories in 
the olden times ; adding, that '* it 
is one of those books called in Spain 
GestaSy* and that it seems to nim 
curious and valuable, because he thinks 
it was written by a secretary of Alfonso 
XL, and because it differs in several 
points from the received accounts of 
that monarch's reign. (Dormer, Pro- 
gresos de la Historia de Aragon, 
Zaragoza, 1680, foL, p. 502.) The 

thirty-four stanzas of this chronicle 
that we now possess were first pub- 
lished by Argote de Molina, in his 
very curious ** Nobleza del Anda- 
luzia," (Sevilla, 1588, f. 198,) and 
were taken from him by Sanchez 
(Poesias Anteriores, Tom. I. pp. 
171-177). Argote de Molina says, 
** I copy them on account of their 
curiosity as specimens of the language 
and poetry of that age, and because 
they are the best and most fluent of 
any thing for a long time written in 
Spain." The truth is, they are so 
facile, and have so few archaisms in 
them, that I cannot believe they were 
written earlier than the ballads of the 
fifteenth century, which they so much 
resemble. The following account of 
a victory, which I once thought was 
that of Salado, gained in 1340, and 
described in the ** Crdnicade Alfonso 
XI.," (1551, fol., Cap. 254,) but 
which I now think must have been 
some victory gained before 1330, is 
the best part of what has been pub- 
lished : — 

Los Moros fUeron Aiyendo 
Maldi&iendo an ventura ; 

El Maeatie los aigulendo 
For loa paertoa de Segura. 

E feriendo e derribando 
£ pnmdiendo a Ua manos, 




Period I. 

Castilian, and their tone is as spirited as that of most of 
the old ballads. 

Two other poems, written during the reign of one of 
the Alfonsos, as their author declares, — and therefore 
almost certainly during that of Alfonso the Eleventh, who 
was the last of his name, — are also now known in print 
only by a few stanzas, and by the office of their writer, who 
styles himself " a Beneficiary of Ubeda." The first, which 
consists, in the manuscript, of five hundred and five strophes 
in the manner of Berceo, is a Life of Saint Ildefonso ; the 
last is on the subject of Saint Mary Magdalen. Both 
would probably detain us little, even if they had been pub- 
lished entire. ' 

We turn, therefore, without further delay, to Juan Ruiz, 
commonly called the Archpriest of Hita ; a poet who is 
known to have lived at the same period, and whose works, 
both from their character and amount, deserve especial 
notice. Their date can be ascertained with a good degree 
of exactness. In one of the three early manuscripts in which 
they are extant, some of the poems are fixed at the year 
1330, and some, by the two others, at 1343. Their au- 
thor, who seems to have been born at Alcala de Henares, 
lived much at Guadalaxara and Hita, places only five 
leagues apart, and was imprisoned by order of the Arch- 
bishop of Toledo between 1337 and 1350; from all which 

E Sanctiuo lUmando, 
Ewndo de los ChricUanoa. 

En aleanoe los lleyaron 
A poder de escudo y Un^a, 

E al caatillo ae tornaron 
E entraron par la matania. 

E machoa Moroa fallaron 

Bspeda^oa jacer ; 
El nombre de Dloa loaron, 

Que lea moatr6 gran plaier. 

The Moon fled on, with headlong ipeed, 

Curring itill their bitter fate; 
The Maater followed, breathing blood, 

Through old Segura'a opened gate ;— 

And atruek and alew, aa on he aped. 
And grappled atill hia flying foea ; 

While atill to heaven hia batUe^oot, 
" St. Jamee 1 St. Jamea I" triumphant roae. 

Nor ceaaed the victory *a work at laat» 
That bowed them to the khield and spear, 

Till to the castle's wall they tamed 
And entered through the alaughter there ;— 

Till there they aaw, to hnvoc hewn, 
Their Moorish foemen proatrate laid ; 

And gave their gratefVil praiae to God, 
Who thus vouehaafed hia graciooa aid. 

It is a misfortune that this poem is 

' Slight extracts from the Benefi- 
ciado oe Ubeda are in Sanchez, Poe- 
Bfa3 Anteriores, Tom. I. pp. 116- 
118. The first stanza, which is like 
the beginning of seyeral of Berceo's 
poems, is as follows : — 

81 me ayndare Christo d la Virgen aagrada, 
Quezria componer una fkocion rimada 
De un confesor aue Hso vida honrada, 
Que naci6 en Toledo, en eaa Qbd«t nombrada. 


it may be inferred that his principal residence was Castile, 
and that he flourished in the reign of Alfonso the Eleventh ; 
that is, in the time of Don John Manuel, and a very little 
later. * 

His works consist of nearly seven thousand verses ; and 
adthough, in general, they are written in the four- line 
stanza of Berceo, we find occasionally a variety of measure, 
tone, and spirit, before unknown in Castilian poetry ; the 
number of their metrical forms, some of which are taken 
from the Proven9al, being reckoned not less than sixteen. * 
The poems, as they have come to us, open with a prayer 
to God, composed apparently at the time of the Archpriest's 
imprisonment ; when, as one of the manuscripts sets forth, 
most of his works were written. " Next comes a curious 
prose prologue, explaining the moral purpose of the whole 
collection, or rather endeavouring to conceal the immoral 
tendency of the greater part of it. And then, after some- 
what more of prefatory matter, follow, in quick succession, 
the poems themselves, very miscellaneous in their sub- 
jects, but ingeniously connected. The entire mass, when 
taken together, fills a volume of respectable size. "^ 

It is a series of stories, that seem to be sketches of real 
events in the Archpriest's own life; sometimes mingled 
with fictions and allegories, that may, after all, be only 
veils for other facts; and sometimes speaking out plainly 
and announcing themselves as parts of his personal history. ® 
In the foreground of this busy scene figures the very equivo- 
cal character of his female messenger, the chief agent in his 

^ See, for his life, Sanchez, Tom. of the poems is a point that not only 

I. pp. 100-106, and Tom. IV. pp. embarrasses the editor of the Arch- 

ii.-vi. ; — and for an excellent cnti- priest, (see p. xvii. and the notes on 

cism of his works, one in the VTiener pp. 76, 97, 102, etc.,) but somewhat 

Jahrbiicherder Li teratur, 1832, Band disturbs the Archpriest himself. 

LVIII. pp. 220 266. It is by Fer- (See stanzas 7, 866, etc.) The case, 

dinand Wolf, and he boldly compares however, is too plain to be covered 

the Archpriest to Cervantes. up ; and the editor only partly avoids 

* Sanchez, Tom. IV. p. x. trouble by quietly leaving out long 

• Ibid., p. 283. passages, as from st. 441 to 464, etc. 
^ The immoral tendency of many • St. 61-68. 


love affairs, whom he boldly calls Trota^onventoSy because 
the messages she carries are so often to or from monasteries 
and nunneries. * The first lady-love to whom the poet sends 
her is, he says, well taught, — mucho letradoy — and her 
story is illustrated by the fables of the Sick Lion visited 
by die other Animals, and of the Mountain bringing forth 
a Mouse. All, however, is unavailing. The lady refuses 
to favour his suit ; and he consoles himself, as well as he 
can, with the saying of Solomon, that all is vanity and 
vexation of spirit ^^ 

In the next of his adventures, a false friend deceives 
him and carries off his lady. But still he is not discou- 
raged. ^* He feels himself to be drawn on by his fate, like 
the son of a Moorish king, whose history he then relates ; 
and, after some astrological ruminations, declares himself 
to be bom under the star of Venus, and inevitably subject 
to her control. Another failure follows ; and then Love 
comes in person to visit him, and counsels him in a series 
of fables, which are told with great ease and spirit. The 
poet answers gravely. He is offended with Don Amor for 
his falsehood, charges him with being guilty, either by im- 
plication or directly, of all the seven deadly sins, and for- 
tifies each of his positions with an appropriate apologue. " 

The Archpriest now goes to Doiia Venus, who, though 
he knew Ovid, is represented as the wife of Don Amor ; 

• There is some little obscurity Of their activity in the days of the 

about this important personage (st. Archpriest a whimsical proof is given 

71, 671, and elsewhere); but she in the extraordinary number of odious 

was named Urraca, (st. 1550,) and and ridiculous names and epithets 

belonped to the class of persons accumulated on them in st. 898-902. 

the seclusion of women in Spain, and " When the affeir is over, he says 

perhaps from the inHuence of Moorish quaintly, "jB/ comi6 la vianda, ha mi 

society and manners, figures largely "So rumiar." 

in the early literature of the country, " St. 119, 142, etc., J71, etc., 203, 

and sometimes in the later. The etc. Such discoursing as this last 

Partidas (Part VII. Tit. 22) devotes fxassa^e affords on the seven deadly 

two laws to them ; and the '* Tragi- sins is common in the French Fa- 

comedia of Cclestina," who is herself bliaux, and the £nglish reader finds 

once called Trota-conventos, (end of a striking specimen of it in the ** Per- 

Act II.,) is their chief monument, sone's Tale*' of Chaucer. 


and, taking counsel of her, is successful. But the story he 
relates is evidently a fiction, though it may be accommo- 
dated to the facts of the poet's own case. It is borrowed 
from a dialogue or play, written before the year 1300, by 
Pamphylus Maurianus or Maurilianus, and long attributed 
to Ovid ; but the Castilian poet has successfully given to 
what he adopted the colouring of his own national manners. 
All this portion, which fills above a thousand lines, is some* 
what free in its tone ; and the Archpriest, alarmed at him- 
self, turns suddenly round and adds a series of severe 
moral warnings and teachings to the sex, which he as sud- 
denly breaks ofi^ and, without any assigned reason, goes 
to the mountains near Segovia. But the month in which 
he makes bis journey is March ; the season is rough ; and 
several of his adventures are any thing but agreeable. 
Still he preserves the same light and thoughtless air ; and 
this part of his history is mingled with spirited pastoral 
songs in the Provencal manner, called " Cantigas de Serra- 
na," as the preceding portions had been mingled with 
fables, which he calls " Enxiemplos," or stories. ^^ 

A shrine, much firequented by the devout, is near that 
part of the Sierra where his journeyings lay ; and he 
makes a pilgrimage to it, which he illustrates with sacred 
hymns, just as he had before illustrated his love-adventures 
with apologues and songs. But Lent approaches, and he 
hurries home. He is hardly arrived, however, when he 
receives a summons in form from Dona Quaresma (Madam 
Lent) to attend her in arms, with all her other archpriests 
and clergy, in order to make a foray, like a foray into the 

" St 557-559, with 419 and 548. in this portion are, I think, imitations 

Pamphylus de Amore, F. A. Ebert, of the Pastoretas or Pastorelles of the 

Bibliographisches Lexicon, Leipzig, Troubadours. (Raynouard, Trouba- 

1830, 4to., Tom. II., p. 297. P. dours, Tom. II., pp. 229, etc.) If 

Leyseri Hist. Poet. Medii ^vi, Halse, such poems occurred frequently in the 

1721, 8vo., p. 2071. Sanchez, Tom. Northern French literature of the 

IV., pp. xxiii., xxiv. The story of period, I should think the Archpriest 

Pampnylus in the Archpricst*s version bad found his models there, since it is 

is in stanzas 555-865. The story of there he generally resorts ; but I 

the Arch priest's own journey is in have never seen any that came from 

stanzas 924-1017. The Serranas north of the Loire so old as his time. 


territory of the Moors, against Don Camaval and his ad- 
herents. One of these allegorical battles, which were in 
great favour with the Trouveurs and other metre-mongers 
of the Middle Ages, then follows, in which figure Don 
Tocino (Mr. Bacon) and Dona Cecina (Mrs. Hung-Beef), 
with other similar personages. The result of course, since 
it is now the season of Lent, is the defeat and imprison- 
ment of Don Carnaval ; but when that season closes, the 
allegorical prisoner necessarily escapes, and, raising anew 
such followers as Mr. Lunch and Mr. Breakfast, again 
takes the field, and is again triumphant. ^^ 

Don Camaval now unites himself to Don Amor, and 
both appear in state as emperors. Don Amor is received 
with especial jubilee ; clergy and laity, friars, nuns, and 
jongleursj going out in wild procession to meet and wel- 
come him. *• But the honour of formally receiving his 
Majesty, though claimed by all, and foremost by the nuns, 
is granted only to the poet To the poet too Don Amor 
relates his adventures of the preceding winter at Seville 
and Toledo, and then leaves him to go in search of others. 
Meanwhile, the Archpriest, with the assistance of his 
cunning agent, Trota-canventoSj begins a new series of love 
intrigues, even more freely mingled with fables than the 
first, and ends them only by the death of Trota-conventos 
herself, with whose epitaph the more carefully connected 
portion of the Archpriest's works is brought to a conclusion. 
The volume contains, however, besides this portion, several 
smaller poems on subjects as widely different as the 
" Christian's Armour** and the " Praise of Little Women," 

" St 1017-1040. The " Bataille » St. 1184, etc., 1199-1229. It 

des Vins," by D'Andeli, may be cited, is not quite easy to see how the Arch- 

(Barbazan, ed. M^n, Tom. I., p. {Hiest ventured some things in the last 

1 52,) but the * ' Bataille de Karesme et passage. Parts of the procession come 

de Chamage '* (Ibid., Tom. IV., p. singing the most solemn hymns of the 

80) is more in point. There are Chunm, or parodies of them, applied 

others on other subjects. For the to Don Amor, like the JBenedictus qtd 

marvellously savoury personages in the rentV. It seems downright blasphemy 

Archpriest^ battle, see stanzas 1080, against what was then thought most 

1169, 1170, etc. sacred. 


some of which seem related to the main series, though 
none of them have any apparent connexion with each 
other, " 

The tone of the Archpriest*s poetry is very various. 
In general, a satirical spirit prevails in it, not unmingled 
with a quiet humour. This spirit often extends into the 
gravest portions ; and how fearless he was, when he in- 
dulged himself in it, a passage on the influence of money 
and corruption at the court of Rome leaves no doubt. ^^ 
Other parts, like the verses on Death, are solemn, and 
even sometimes tender ; while yet others, like the hymns 
to the Madonna, breathe the purest spirit of Catholic devo- 
tion •, so that, perhaps, it would not be easy, in the whole 
body of Spanish literature, to find a volume showing a 
greater variety in its subjects, or in the modes of managing 
and exhibiting them. ^® 

The happiest success of the Archpriest of Hita is to be 
found in the many tales and apologues which he has scattered 
on all sides to illustrate the adventures that constitute a 
firamework for his poetry, like that of the " Conde Luca- 
nor" or the "Canterbury Tales." Most of them are 
familiar to us, being taken from the old store-houses of 
.3Esop and Phsedrus, or rather from the versions of these 
fabulists common in the earliest Northern French poetry. *• 

" Stan2a8 1221, 1229, etc., 1277, published in Robert, "Fables Ind- 

etc., 1289, 1491, 1492, etc., 1660, dites," (Paris, 1826, 2 torn. 8vo.); and 

etc., 1553-1681. as Marie de France, who lived at the 

*^ Stanzas 464, etc. As in many court of Henry III. of England, then 

other passages, the Archpriest is here the resort of the Northern French 

upon ground already occupied by poets, alludes to them in the Prolo^e 

the Northern Frencn poets. See to her own Fables, they are probably 

the ** Usurer's Pater-Noster," and as early as 1240. (See Ponies de 

"Credo/* in Barbazan, Fabliaux, Marie de France, ed. Roquefort, Paris, 

Tom. IV., pp. 99 and 106. 1820, 8vo., Tom. II., p. 61, and the ad- 

^" Stanzas 1494, etc., 1609, etc. mirable discussions in De la Rue sur 

*• The Archpriest says of the fable les Bardes, les Jongleurs et les Trou- 

of the Mountain that brought forth a v6rcs, Caen, 1834, 8vo., Tom. I., pp. 

Mouse, that it *'was composed by 198-202, and Tom. III., pp. 47-101.) 

Isopete." Now there were at least To one or both of these Isopets the 

two collections of fables in French in Archpriest went for a part of his 

the thirteenth century, that passed fables, — perhaps for all of them. Don 

under the name of Ysopet, and are Juan Manuel, nis contemporary, pro* 


Among the more fortmiate of his very free imitations is the 
fable of the Frogs who asked for a King fr*om Jupiter, that 
of the Dog who lost by his Greediness the Meat he car- 
ried in his Mouth, and that of the Hares who took Courage 
when they saw the Frogs were more timid than themselves. ^ 
A few of them have a truth, a simplicity, and even a grace, 
which have rarely been surpassed in the same form of 
composition ; as, for instance, that of the City Mouse and the 
Country Mouse, which, if we follow it from JSso^ through 
Horace to La Fontaine, we shall nowhere find better told 
than it is by the Archpriest. ** 

What strikes us most, however, and remains with us 
longest after reading his poetry, is the natural and spirited 
tone that prevails over every other. In this he is like 
Chaucer, who wrote a little later in the same century. 
Indeed, the resemblance between the two poets is remark- 
able in some other particulars. Both often sought their 
materials in the Northern French poetry ; both have that 
mixture of devotion and a licentious immorality, much of 
which belonged to their age, but some of it to their personal 
character ; and both show a wide knowledge of human na- 
ture, and a great happiness in sketching the details of indi- 
vidual manners. The original temper of each made him 
satirical and humorous; and each, in his own country, 
became the founder of some of the forms of its popular 
poetry, introducing new metres and combinations, and 
carrying them out in a versification which, though gene- 

bably did the same, and sometimes A lo* pobret iiuuiju«« elpiaserloarajMn, 

took the same febles; e.g. Conde P««o« d«l »«en uUnte mar da Ooadaiaun. 

Lucanor, cap. 43, 26, and 49, which And so on through eight more 

are the fables of the Archpriest, stanzas. Now, besides the Greek at- 

stanzas 1386, 1411, and 1428. tributed to JEsop and the Latin of 

~ Stanzas 189, 206, 1419. Horace, there can be found above 

*^ It begins thus, stanza 1344 : — twenty versions of this fable, among 

MordeGoiidaiuara un Lune. madrugabi, which are two in Spanish, one by 

Fkieae k Monfenmdo, ik mereado and«b* ; Bart. Leon. de Argensola, and the 

S;.?iSin^i^'"?5..!r.5!:'«.S.""'"* o^\\ S«maniego; but I thiak 

Bit.b..nm«.i>obn Wn nto i Im... can, Ae Archpncst » M the best of tho 
Con Is poot viand* boena ▼oluntad para, Wbole. 




rally rude and irregular, is often flowing and nervous, and 
always natural. The Archpriest has not, indeed, the ten- 
derness, the elevation, or the general power of Chaucer ; 
but his genius has a compass, and his verse a skill and suc- 
cess, that show him to be more nearly akin to the great 
English master than will be believed, except by those who 
have carefully read the works of both. 

The Archpriest of Hita lived in the last years of Al- 
fonso the Eleventh, and perhaps somewhat later. At the 
very beginning of the next reign, or in 1350, we find a 
curious poem addressed by a Jew of Carrion to Peter the 
Cruel, on his accession to the throne. In the manuscript 
found in the National Library at Madrid, it is called the 
"Book of the Rabi de Santob," or "Rabbi Don Santob," 
and consists of four hundred and seventy-six stanzas.** 
The measure is the old redondilloj uncommonly easy and 
flowing for the age ; and the purpose of the poem is to 
give wise moral counsels to the new king, which the poet 
more than once begs him not to undervalue because they 
come from a Jew. 

" There are at least two manu- 
scripts of the poems of this Jew, from 
which nothing has been published but 
a lew poor extracts. The one com- 
monly cited is that of the f^curial, 
used by Castro, (BibUoteca EspaSola, 
Tom. I. pp. 198-202,) and bv San- 
chez, (Tom. I. pp. 179-184, and Tom. 
IV. p. 12, etc/) The one I have 
used IS in the National Library, Ma- 
drid, marked B. b. 82, folio, in which 
the poem of the Rabbi is found on 
leaves 61 to 81. Conde, the histo- 
rian of the Arabs, preferred this manu- 
script to the one m the Escurial, and 
hela the Rabbits true name to be 
given in it, viz. Santob^ and not SantOf 
as it is in the manuscript of the 
Escurial ; the latter being a name not 
likely to be taken by a Jew in the 
time of Peter the Cruel, though very 
likely to be written so by an ignorant 
monkish transcriber. The manuscript 
of Madrid begins thus, differing from 

that of the Escurial, as may be seen in 
Castro,' ut sup. : — 

Seflor Key, noble, alto» 

Oy eite Sermon, 
Que ryene Jeayr Santob, 

Judio de Curion. 

Comnnalmente trobado, 

De Kloms monlmente, 
De U FiluaofiA sacado, 

Segant qae ▼« lyguiente. 

Mr noble King and mighty Lord, 
Hear a discourse moat true ; 

Tis Santob bring* your Grace the word. 
Of Carrion's town the Jew. 

In plainest verse my thonghts I tell. 

With ffloas and moral free, 
Drawn from Philosophy's pure well. 

As onward you may see. 

The oldest notice of the Jew of 
Carrion is in the letter of the Marquis 
of Santillana to the Constable of 
Portugal, from which there can be 
no doubt that the Rabbi still enjoyed 
much reputation in the middle of the 
fifteenth century. 



PmioD I. 

Because upon a thoni it grows, 

The rose is not less fair ; 
And wine that from the vine-stock flows 

Still flows untainted there. 

The goshawk, too, will proudly soar, 

Although his nest sits low ; 
And gentle teachings have their power, 

Though 't b the Jew says so. ** 

After a longer introduction than is needful, the moral 
counsels begin, at the fifty-third stanza, and continue 
through the rest of the work, which, in its general tone, is 
not unlike other didactic poetry of the period, although it 
is written with more ease and more poetical spirit In- 
deed, it is little to say that few Rabbins of any country 
have given us such quaint and pleasant verses as are con- 
tained in several parts of these curious counsels of the Jew 
of Carrion. 

In the Esciu*ial manuscript, containing the verses of the 

El agna que della tyxnern, 
RflMda que nue ^ale. 

Ati Toa fyncMtee del 
Pax% mucho tn fkr, 

Et fluser lo que el 
CobdicUba libnr, eCe. 

One of the philosophical verses is 
▼ery quaint : — 

Quando no e« lo que quiero, 
Quiero yo lo que ee ; 

Si peaar he primero, 
Plaaer avre detpnea. 

If what I find, I do not lot*. 
Then love I what I find; 

If disappointment go before, 
Joy mue shall oome behind. 

I add from the unpublished origi- 
nal: — 

Lm mys eanas telUlas, 

Non por las avoRescer, 
Ni por desdesyrlas, 
Nin maneebo parescer. 

Mas con miedo sobejo 
De omes que bastarian* 

En mi srao de ▼iefo, 
£ non lo fkllarian. 

M; hoary locks I d ve with care. 
Not that I hate their hue. 

Nor yet because I wish to s e e m 
More yonthfU than is trae. 

But *t is because the worda I dxoad 
or men who apeak me fkir. 

And aik within my whitened heed 
Por wit that ia not there. 

M Par naacer en el espino. 
No Val la roaa derto 
Menos ; ni el bnen rino. 
For nssoer en el aarmyento. 

Non val el apor menoa, 

Por nascer de mal nido ; 
Nin loa exemplos buenos, 

Por los decir Judio. 

These lines seem better given in the 
Escurial manuscript as follows : — 

Por nssoer en el espino. 

La roaa ya non siento, 
Que pierde : ni el buen vino, 

Por aalir del sarmlento. 

Non vale el a^r menoa, 
Porque en Til nido aiga ; 

Nin loa enxemploa buenoa, 
Porque Judio loa diga. 

The manuscripts ought to be 
collated, and this curious poem 

After a preface in prose, which 
seems to be by another hand, and an 
address to the king by the poet him- 
self, he goes on : — 

Quando el Rey Don Alfonso 

Fynd. fVncd la gente, 
Como quando el pulso 

Fkllespe al doliente. 

Qae luego no ayudava. 

Que tan grant m^oria 
A elloa fyncava 

Nin omen lo entendia. 

Quando la roaa aeca. 
En au tiempo aale 

* boacarian? 


Jew, are other poems, which were at one time attributed 
to him, but which it seems probable belong to other, though 
unknown authors.** One of them is a didactic essay, 
called " La Doctrina Christiana,** or Christian Doctrine. 
It consists of a prose .prologue, setting forth the writer's 
penitence, and of one hundred and fifty-seven stanzas of 
four lines each ; the first three containing eight syllables 
rhymed together, and the last containing four syllables 
unrhymed, — a metrical form not without something of the 
air of the Sapphic and Adonic. The body of the work con- 
tainsan explanation of the Creed, the ten commandments, the 
seven moral virtues, the fourteen works of mercy, the seven 
deadly sins, the five senses, and the holy sacraments, with 
discussions concerning Christian conduct and character. 

Another of these poems is called a Revelation, and is a 
vision, in twenty-five octave stanzas, of a holy hermit, who 
is supposed to have witnessed a contest between a soul 
aad its body; the soul complaining that the excesses of 
the body had brought upon it all the punishments of the 
unseen world, and the body retorting that it was con- 
demned to these same torments because the soul had 
neglected to keep it in due subjection. "* The whole is an 

•• Castro, Bibl. Esp., Tom. I. p. rity that mentions him, calls him a 

199. Suiche£,Tom. I. p. 182 ; Tom. Jew ; that no one of them intimates 

IV. p. xii. that he ever was converted, — a cir- 

I am aware that Don Jos^ Amador cumstance likely to have been much 
delos Rio8,inhi8 **£studiosHi8tdri. blazoned abroad, if it had really 
COB, PoHticos y Literarios sobre los occurred ; and that, if he were an 
Judios de EspaSa." a learned and unconverted Jew, it is wholly impos- 
pleasant book, pubkshed at Madrid in sible he should have written the 
1848, is of a different opinion, and Dan9a General, the Doctrina Chris- 
holds the three poems, including the tiana, or {he Ermita&o. 
Doctrina Christiana, to be the work I ought, perhaps, to add, in refer- 
of Don Santo or Santob of Carrion. ence both to the remarks made in this 
(See pp. 804-335.) But I think the note, and to the notices of the few 
objections to this opinion are stronger Jewish authors in Spanish literature 
than the reasons he elves to support generally, that I did not receive the 
it ; especially the objections involved valuable work of Amador do los Kios 
in the following fiwits, viz. : that Don till just as the present one was going 
Santob calls himself a Jew ; that both to press. 

the manuscripts of the Conscjos call " Castro, Bibl. Esp., Tom. I. p. 

him a Jew ; that the Marquis of San- 200. By the kindness of Prof. Gayan- 

tillana, the only tolerably early autho- gos, I have a copy of the whole. To 

VOL. I. Q 


imitation of some of the many similar poems current at 
that period, one of which is extant in English in a manu- 
script placed by Warton about the year 1304. ** But both 
the Castilian poems are of little worth. 

We come, then, to one of more value, "La Dan9a 
General,** or the Dance of Death, consisting of seventy- 
nine regular octave stanzas, preceded by a few words of 
introduction in prose, that do not seem to be by the same 
author. ^ It is founded on the well-known fiction, so often 
illustrated both in painting and in verse during the Middle 
Ages, that all men, of all conditions, are summoned to the 
Dance of Death ; a kind of spiritual masquerade, in which 
the diflTerent ranks of society, from the Pope to the young 
child, appear dancing with the skeleton form of Death. 
In this Spanish version it is striking and picturesque, — 
more so, perhaps, than in any other, — the ghastly nature 
of the subject being brought into a very lively contrast 
with the festive tone of the verses, which frequently recalls 
some of the better parts of those flowing stories that now 
and then occur in the " Mirror for Magistrates." *® 

judge from the opening lines of guages. See Latin Poems attributed 

the poem, it was probably written in to Walter Mapcs, and edited for the 

1 382 :— Camden Society by T. VTright (1 841, 

DMpues deU prima 1* on punda, 4to., pp. 95and 321). It was printed 

En el.mes de knero la noche piimen • .l t. n j i> ^ a • i ^ 

En occo a T«iynte durante )a Eera. »" the ballad form m Spam as late as 

Eitando acoatado alia en mi poaada, etc. 1764. 

The Ist of January, 1420, of the •^ Castro, Bibl. Espanola, Tom. I. 

Spanish Era, when the scene is liud, p. 200. Sanchez, Tom. I. pp. 182- 

corresponds to A. D. 1382. A copy 185, with Tom. IV. p. xii. I sus- 

of the poem printed at Madrid, 1848, pect the Spanish Dance of Death is 

12mo., pp. 13, differs from my manu- an imitation from the French, because 

script ODoy, but is evidently taken I find, in several of the early editions, 

from one less carefiiUy made. the French Dance of Death is united, 

■• Hist, of Eng. Poetry, Sect. 24, as the Spanish is in the manuscript of 

near the end. It appears also in the Escurial, with the ** D^bat du 

French very early, under the title of Corps et de TAme," just as the 

** Le D<$bat du Con^ et de TAme," ** Vows over the Peacock " seems, in 

printed in 1486. (Ebert, Bib. Lex- both languages, to have been united 

icon, Nos. 5671-5674.) The source to a poem on Alexander, 

of the fiction has been supposed to be "^ In what a vast number of forms 

a poem by a Prankish monk (Hagen this strange fiction occurs mav be seen 

undBiisching,Grundriss, Berlin, 1812, in the elaborate work of F. Douce, 

8vo., p. 446) ; but it is very old, and entitled ** Dance of Death," (London, 

found in many forms and many Ian- 1833, 8vo.,)and in the " Literaturder 

Chaf.V. la DAN9A GENERAL. 83 

The first seven stanzas of the Spanish poem eonstitute a 
prologue, in which Death issues his summons partly in his 
own person, and partly in that of a preaching friar, ending 
thus: — 

Come to the Dance of Death, all ye whose fate 

Bj birth is mortal, be ye great or small ; 
And willing come, nor loitering, nor late, 

Else force shall bring you struggling to my thrall : 

For since yon friar hath uttered loud his call 
To penitence and godliness sincere, 
He that delays must hope no waiting here ; 

For still the cry is, Haste ! and. Haste to all ! 

Death now proceeds, as in the old pictures and poems, to 
summon, first, the Pope, then cardinals, kings, bishops, 
and so on, down to day-labourers ; all of whom are forced 
to join his mortal dance, though each first makes some 
remonstrance, that indicates surprise, horror, or reluctance. 
The call to youth and beauty is spirited : — 

Bring to my dance, and bring without delay. 
Those damsels twain, you see so bright and fair ; 

They came, but came not in a willing way, 
To list my chants of mortal grief and care : 

Nor shall the flowers and roses fresh they wear, 
Nor rich attire, avail their forms to save. 
They strive in vain who strive against the grave ; 

It may not be ; my wedded brides they are.«» 

Todtentinze," ron H. F. Massmann, in all languages, one of which is by 
(Leipzig, 1840, 8vo.) To these, Lydgate, were undoubtedly intended 
however, for our purpose, should be for religious edification, just as the 
added notices from Uie Allgemeine Spanish poem was. 
Deutsche Bibliothek, (Beriin, 1792, • I have a manuscript copy of the 
Vol. CVI. p. 279,) and a series of whole poem, made for me bv Pro- 
prints that appeared at Liibec m fessor Gayangos, and nve the fol- 
1783, fdlio, taken from tbe paintings lowing as specimens. First, one of 
diere, which date from 1463, and the stanzas translated in the text :— 
which might weU serve to illustr^ a «t. «i D«« tr.y. d. pre^^Bte 

the old Spamsh poem. See also K. ^tas do* don^llM qae Tcdes fennons ; 

F. A. Scheller, BUcherkunde der ^"^""^ZTJZS^L^J^^ir^m^ 

Sassisch-mederdeutschen Spracne, mm non 1m vmidnn torm ny mu, 

Braunschwdg, 1826, 8vO., p. 76. Nln 1*« comportum qo« poner wlUii. 

The whole immense series, wWer ^^ ^^^".5:^^^ 

existing in tiie pamtmgs at Basle, ^ . . u u 

Hamburg, etc., or in the old poems And the two following, which 'have 

o 2 


The fiction is, no doubt, a grim one ; but for several 
centuries it had great success throughout Europe, and it 
is presented quite as much according to its trae spirit in 
this old Castilian poem as it is anywhere. 

A chronicling poem, found in the same manuscript 
volume with the last, but very unskilfully copied in a 
different handwriting, belongs probably to the same period. 
It is on the half-fabulous, half-historical achievements of 
Count Fernan Gonzalez, a hero of the earlier period 
of the Christian conflict with the Moors, who is to 
the North of Spain what the Cid became somewhat 
later to Aragon and Valencia. To him is attributed the 
rescue of much of Castile from Mohammedan control ; 
and his achievements, so far as they are matter of historical 
rather than poetical record, fall between 934, when the 
battle of Osma was fought, and his death, which occurred 
in 970. 

The poem in question is almost whpUy devoted to his 
glory.'® It begins with a notice of the invasion of Spain 
by the Goths, and comes down to the battle of Moret, in 
967, when the manuscript suddenly breaks ofl^, leaving un- 
touched the adventuresof its hero during the three remaining 
years of his life. It is essentially prosaic and monotonous 
in its style, yet not without something of that freshness and 

not) I believe, been printed ; the first ^ See a learned dissertation of Ft. 

being the reply of Death to the Dean Benito Montejo, on the Beginnings 

he had summoned, and the last the of the Independence of Castile, 

objections of the Merchant : — Memorias de la Acad, de Hist, Tom. 

Dice la Mmerte. III. pp. 245-302. CnSoica General 

Don rico aTftriento Dean muy afkno, de £spa7!a, Parte III. C. ] 8-20. 

E mml detpendislM el vaestro tewro. Madnd, 1832, 12mO., Tom. II. pp. 

Non quiero que estedes ya mas en el coro ; 27-39. Extracts from the manuscript 

^r^^S^i^^^TyS^'- in the Escurial are to be found in 

Venit, Meicadero, a la danfa del Uoro. Bouterwck, trad, por J. 6. de la 

Dice 9l Mereader. Cortina, etc., Tom. I. pp. 154-161. 

*St^Sliri"S!;^''rrn«? I have, manuscript copy of the ant 

Con muchoa traapam e maa aotileaas part of it, made for me by Professor 

Oane lo que tengo en cada logar. Gayangos. For notices, see Castro, 

Qu'l'SSde'SSr^nt'qr^. Bibl.. Tom. I. p. 199, and Sanchez. 

Oni«efftetn«iem,Amie«Rvanplaga. Tom. I. p. 115. 

Adioa, Mereaderea, qae Toy me i nnn I 


simplicity which are in themselves allied to all early poetry. 
Its language is rude, and its measure, which strives to be 
like that in Berceo and the poem of ApoUonius, is often 
in stanzas of three lines instead of four, sometimes of five, 
and once at least of nine. Like Berceo*s poem on San 
Domingo de Silos, it opens with an invocation, and what 
is singular, this invocation is in the very words used by 
Berceo: **In the name of the Father, who made all 
things," etc. After this, the history, beginning in the 
days of the Goths, follows the popular traditions of the 
country, with few exceptions, the most remarkable of 
which occurs in the notice of the Moorish invasion. There 
the account is quite anomalous. No intimation is given 
of the story of the fair Cava, whose fate has furnished 
materials for so much poetry ; but Count Julian is repre- 
sented as having, without any private injury, volunteered 
his treason to the king of Morocco, and then carried it into 
eflTect by persuading Don Boderic, in ftdl Cortes, to turn 
all the military weapons of the land into implements of 
agriculture, so that, when the Moorish invasion occurred, 
the country was overrun without diflSculty. 

The death of the Count of Toulouse, on the other hand, 
is described as it is in the " General Chronicle*' of Alfonso 
the Wise ; and so are the vision of Saint Millan, and the 
Count's personal fights with a Moorish king and the King 
of Navarre. In truth, many passages in the poem so 
much resemble the corresponding passages in the Chronicle, 
that it seems certain one was used in the composition of 
the other ; and as the poem has more the air of being an 
amplification of the Chronicle than the Chronicle has of 
being an abridgment of the poem, it seems probable that 
the prose account is, in this case, the older, and ftirnished 
the materials of the poem, which, from internal evidence, 
was prepared for public recitation.'* 

•* Cr^nica General, ed. 1604, Parte also, Cap. 19, and Mariana, Historia, 
111. f. 56. b, 60. a-65. b. Compare, Lib. VIII. c. 7,with the poem. That 


The meeting of Fernan Gonzalez with the King of 
Navarre at the battle of Valparfe, which occurs in both, is 
thus described in the poem : — 

And now the King and Count were met together in the fight, 
And each against the other turned the utmost of his might. 
Beginning there a battle fierce in forious despite. 

And never fight was seen more breve, nor champions more tmc ; 
For to rise or fall for once and all they fought, as well they knew ; 
And neither, as each inly felt, a greater deed could do ; 
So they struck and strove right manfully, with blows nor light nor few. 

Ay, mighty was that fight indeed, and mightier still about 
The din that rose like thunder round those champions brave and stout : 
A man with all his voice might cry and none would heed his shout ; 
For he that listened could not hear, amidst such rush and rout. 

The blows they struck were heavy ; heavier blows there could not be ; 

On both sides, to the uttermost, they struggled manfully. 

And many, that ne'er rose agun, bent to the earth the knee. 

And streams of blood overspread the ground, as on all sides you might see. 

And knights were there, from good Navarre, both numerous and bold. 
Whom everywhere for brave and strong true gentlemen would hold ; 
But still against the good Count's might their strength proved weak and cold, 
Though men of great emprise before, and fortune manifold. 

For God's good grace still kept the Count from sorrow and firom harm, 
That neither Moor nor Christian power should stand against his arm, etc."* 

the poem was taken from the Chro- que fizo." The poem has it in 

nicle may be assumed, I conceive, almost the same words : — 

from a comrarison of the Chro« Non enentan de Alexandra Us noehct nin ka 

nicle, Parte III. c. 18, near the end, diM; 

contmning the defeat and death of 

Cuentaa so* buenot fechoa e sua eavalleryaa. 

the Count of Toulouse, with the pas- ««Jl R«y y ei Conde ambpt ae avuntaion, 

-««^ ;« ♦!»« .x»»»> «a »:./»« u„ r'^«J:«- ^^1 uno oontn el otro amboe endereoaron, 

sage m the poem as given by Cortma, e u lid campai aiu u eMsomenfaran/ 

and beginnmg '* Cavalleros Tolesanos Non podrya mu ftierte ni mai bra^a aer, 

trezicntOS y prendieron:" or the Ca alb le« yya todo levaatatoeaer; 

vision of San Millan (Crdnica, Parte S^ii^J y^i^S^an^^^ 

III. C. 19) with the passage in the May grande ftie la fa^enda • maeho ma. 

poem beginning *' £1 Cryador t6 eiroydo; 

Otorga quanto pedido le as." Per- DarUeUme may grandee ▼«»■, ynonaeria 

haps, however, the following, being eI qw'iydo faetewria como gnnde tro- 

a mere rhetorical illustration, is a ^, ny*!®; 

proof as striking, if not as conclusive, ^*»° ^^^ "^^ ^^ »*"«^ *P^*^- 

as a longer one. The Chronicle says, °~"^i/„'^ *"" **^P*^ "^ "•^''~ "^" 

(Parte ill. C. 18,) *^ Non CUentan dc Ixm uno« y los otroa todo su poder IkQian; 

Alexandre los dias nin los anOS : mas Macho* cayan en Uerra quenuncaaeenvlan; 

los buenos fcchos c las sus cavallcrfas ^' "^'^ *~ "^^"^ »»chaUena cob^a^ 

Chap. Y. POEMA D£ JOS&. 87 

This is certainly not poetry of a high order. Invention 
and dignified ornament are wanting in it ; but still it is 
not without spirit, and, at any rate, it would be difficult 
to find in the whole poem a passage more worthy of re- 

In the National Library at Madrid is a poem of twelve 
hundred and twenty lines, composed in the same system of 
quaternion rhymes that we have already noticed as settled 
in the old Castilian literature, and with irregularities like 
those found in the whole class of poems to which it belongs. 
Its subject is Joseph, the son of Jacob ; but there are two 
circumstances which distinguish it from all the other 
narrative poetry of the period, and render it curious and 
important The first is, that, though composed in the 
Spanish language, it is written wholly in the Arabic cha- 
racter, and has, therefore, all the appearance of an Arabic 
manuscript; to which should be added the fact, that the 
metre and spelling are accommodated to the force of the 
Arabic vowels ; so that, if the only manuscript of it now 
known to exist be not the original, it must still have been 
originally written in the same manner. The other singular 
circumstance is, that the story of the poem, which is the 
familiar one of Joseph and his brethren, is not told accord- 
ing to the original in our Hebrew Scriptures, but according 
to the shorter and less interesting version in the eleventh 
chapter of the Koran, with occasional variations and addi- 
tions, some of which are due to the fancifid expoimders of 
the Koran, while others seem to be of the author's own 
invention. These two circumstances taken together leave 
no reasonable doubt that the writer of the poem was one 
of the many Moriscos who, remaining at the North after 
the body of the nation had been driven southward, had 
forgotten their native language and adopted that of their 

A««a er*n lo§ Navmrroi cavalleros esforQado* Quiio I>io§ al baen Conde erta gracia h^t. 

Que en qualquier lagar aeryan boenoa y Que Moroa ni Crystyanoa non le podian ven- 

priadoa, 9er, etc. 

Maa ea contra el Conde todoa deaaventuradoa ; Bouterwek, trad. Cortina, p. 180. 

Omea aon de gran cneuta y de cora^n lo^anoa. ^ '^ 


conquerors, thou^ their religion and culture still continued 
to be Arabic" 

The manuscript of the '^ Poem of Joseph " is imperfect, 
both at the banning and at the end. Not much of it, 
however, seems to be lost It opens with the jealousy of 
the brothers of Joseph at his dream, and their solicitation 
of their &ther to let him go with them to the field. 

Then up and spake his tons : <' Sire, do not deem it so ; 
Ten brethren are we here, this veiy well you know ; — 
That we should all be traitors, and treat lum as a foe, 
You eitlicr will not fear, or you will not let him go. 

'* But this is what we thought, as our Maker knows above : 

That the child might gain more knowledge, and with it gain our love. 

To show him all our shepherd's craft, as with flocks and herds we move ;— 

But still the power is thine to grant, and thine to disapprove.*' 

And then they said so much with words so smooth and &ir, 
And^promised him so laithfully with words of pious care, 
That he gave them up his child ; but bade them first beware, 
Andjbring him quickly back agun, unharmed by any snare.** 

When the brothers have consummated their treason, 
and sold Joseph to a caravan of Egyptian merchants, the 
story goes on much as it does in the Koran. The fair 
Zuleikha, or Zuleia, who answers to Potiphar's wife in the 
Hebrew Scriptures, and who figures largely in Moham- 

*' Other manuscripts of this sort Don Pascual de (^yangos, Professor 

arc known to exist ; but I am not of Arabic in the University there, 
aware of any so old, or of such poetical ** The passa^ 1 have translated is 

value. (Ochoa, Cat^logo de Manu- in Coplas 5-7, m the original manu- 

soritos Espafioles, etc., pp. 6-21. script, as it now stands, imperfect at 

(luyun^os, Mohammedan Dynasties the beginning, 

in 8|»in, Tom. I. pp. 492 and 603.) Pijieron .u. nihos : *«Puii«,ewnopeiiM»dM; 

As to the spelling in the Poem of Somo* die* ermanos, 6W> Irien Mbed«a ; 

Jo«,,,h. wc have Wr«r«fe,. cAim- S^rrcSSfi'^S ^^:'^\^« ^ 

fioTy certerOj marabeila^ taraydores, redes. 

etc. To avoid a hiatus, a consonant .. „„ „^^ pe„«„o.; «beio ei CrUdc, 

IS prcnxcd to the second word ; as Porque implew miu, I fruuM el nae«ro UBor. 
** Cada J^no" repeatedly for coda Bn^jflarle aiemo« 1m obelhw, ielgAnadonu- 

•wo. The manuscript of the Poema de m««, enJiJo. d no tm ?!«», 

J(wd, in 4to. , 49 leaves, was first shown nor, 

M ."»« i" /*'^/"^*i^,^^^™'y ** TanloledUeron, de p.lah«. fer«««, 

MMfiria, murkc<l d. g. 101, by Conde, Tanto le promeUcron, de palabras piadons, 

the hil«toriail ; but 1 owe a copy of Qn» fl »« ^«S <?1 ninno, dijolea la« otaa, 

•he whole of it to the kindiieVi of ^« »<>«-«»«»••» '^^iSTrd^KSTllk 

Chap.V. POEMA DE JOSfi. 89 

medan poetry, fills a space more ample than usual in the 
fancies of the present poem. Joseph, too, is a more con- 
siderable personage. He is adopted as the king^s son, and 
made a king in the land ; and the dreams of the real king, 
the years of plenty and famine, the journeyings of the 
brothers to Egypt, their recognition by Joseph, and his 
message to Jacob, with the grief of the latter that Benjamin 
did not return, at which the manuscript breaks ofl^ are 
much amplified, in the Oriental manner, and made to 
sound like passages from "Antar,** or the "Arabian 
Nights,'* rather than from the touching and beautiful story 
to which we have been accustomed from our childhood. 

Among the inventions of the author is a conversation 
which the wolf — who is brought in by his false brethren as 
the animal that had killed Joseph — holds with Jacob.** 
Another is the Eastern fancy, that the measure by which 
Joseph distributed the corn, and which was made of gold 
and precious stones, would, when put to his ear, inform 
him whether the persons present were guilty of falsehood 
to him.^ But the following incident, which, like that of 
Joseph's parting in a spirit of tender forgiveness from his 
brethren '^ when they sold him, is added to the narrative 
of the Koran, will better illustrate the general tone of the 
poem, as well as the general powers of the poet 

»» Rotfo Jacob al Criador, e al lobo ftie a Ik- of the period is fully recognised : 
DijoeUoU)*: - No lo mando AUah,qaea ii»W» ">«} ^^ ^^^7 measure, made of gold 

tium a matar. and precious stones, corresponds to the 

MS. found, like that, in the sack of Benja- 

•• u mtmn del pan da oro en labnula, nun» where it had been put by Joseph, 

E de Di«dra« precioMs era ertreiiada, (after he had sccretly revealed himself 

J,Sr<S;2.:S^.l £; "Sn^':^ *P Benjamin^ « the m«u» of seizing 

Henjamin and detaimng him in Egypt, 

Ellrioel ReyenUmesun eflsoUionar, ^-ith his OWn Consent, but without 

I\>ne la a su orella por our e guardar ; v ri i. ^u aU 

Dijoiea, e no qtti*> maa dudar, Rivipg his false brethren the reason 

Seiran diie la mesara, berdad paede eatar. for it. 

.^ . , 1. 1. • u II 1 1 • S7 Dijo Joaaf : ** Enaianoa* perdoneoa el Oi- 

It 18 Joseph who is here called king, i^r, 

a.S he is often in the poem,— once he is ^l Puerto que me tenedea. perdoneoa elSeftor, 

called emperor,— though the Pharaoh "^ ^ot"*^ * ""^ -e paru el n.««n> 

Abraad a cada guno, e partidae eon dolor. 

* Nabi, Prophet, Arabic. MS. 


On the first night after the outrage, Jusu^ as he is 
called in the poem, when travelling along in charge of a 
negro, passes a cemetery on a hill-side where his mother 
lies buried. 

And when the negro heeded not, that guarded him behind. 
From off the camel Jusaf sprang, on which he rode confined. 
And hastened, with all spcKsd, his mother's grave to find. 
Where he knelt and pardon sought, to relieve his troubled nund. 

He cried, << God*s grace be with thee still, O Lady mother dear ! 
I O mother, you would sorrow, if you looked upon me here ; 
For my neck is bound with chains, and I live in grief and fear, 
Like a traitor by my brethren sold, like a captive to the spear. 

** They have sold me 1 they have sold me I though I never did them harm ; 
They have torn me from my father, from his strong and living arm ; 
By art and cunning they enticed me, and iy &lsehood*s guilty charm, 
And I go a base-bought captive, full of sorrow and alarm.** 

But now the negro looked about, and knew that he was gone. 
For no man could be seen, and the camel came alone ; 
So he turned his sharpened ear, and caught the wuling tone. 
Where Jusuf, by his mother's grave, lay making heavy moan. 

And the negro hurried up, and gave him there a blow ; 

So quick and cruel vras it, that it instant laid him low ; 

** A base-bom wretch," he cried aloud, *' a base-bom thief art thou ; 

Thy masters, when we purchased thee, they told us it was so.*' 

But Jusuf answered straight, *' Nor thief nor wretch am I ; 
My mother's grave is this, and for pardon here I cry ; 
I cry to Allah's power, and send my prayer on high. 
That, since I never wronged thee, his curse may on thee lie.** 

And then all night they travelled on, till dawned the coming day, 
When the land was sore tormented with a whirlwind's furious sway ; 
The sun grew dark at noon, their hearts sunk in dismay. 
And they knew not, with their merchandise, to seek or make their way.** 

■• As the oriirinal has not been Boi con cadenM al cuello, eatiho oon aennor, 

printed, I transcribe the following ^^^^^^^^ «»• -"»*»«• como d fu«« t«|. 

stanzas of the passaire I have last ,.„, ^ v ^^ .. , i i *_ _^ 

* 1 4^%A " Kllo« me han bendido, no.teniendolettaerto; 

transiatea : — Partieronine de mi pMlie, ante que ftieM 

Dio aalto del cameUo, donde iba cabalfando ; „ ""*'^°i,^ „ ,., .. ,. 

Nolo«inUoelne«o. que lo iba gaarSndo ; Con arte, con fklda, ellot «• ««««» »»»f '^l, 

FaeMalafaesadetamadie, a pedirla perdon Por mal predo me ban bendido, por do boi 

dobUndo, ajado e cuoito. • 

Jittufalafuew tan aprie^ Uorando. B bolbioie el neffro ante la eamella. 

DIfiendo : *' Madre, sennora, perdoncoa el Sen- Reqniriendo k Juauf, e no lo bido en ella ; 

nor ; E bolbiose por el camino agnda an orslla, 

Madfe, ti mc bidicaea, de mi abriaii dolor ; Hidolo en el foaal Uorando, que es manbella. 


The age and origin of this remarkable poem can be 
settled only by mternal evidence. From this it seems 
probable that it was written in Aragon, because it contains 
many words and phrases peculiar to the border country of 
the Proven9als, •• and that it dates from the latter half of 
the fourteenth century, because the fourfold rhyme is 
hardly found later in such verses, and because the rudeness 
of the language might indicate even an earlier period, if 
the tale had come from Castile. But in whatever period 
we may place it, it is a curious and interesting production. 
It has the directness and simplicity of the age to which it 
is attributed, mingled sometimes with a tenderness rarely 
found in ages so violent Its pastoral air, too^ and its 
preservation of Oriental manners, harmonize well with the 
Arabian feelings that prevail throughout the work ; while 
in its spirit, and occasionally in its moral tone, it shows the 
confusion of the two religions which then prevailed in 
Spain, and that mixture of the Eastern and Western forms 
of civilization which afterwards gives somewhat of its 
colouring to Spanish poetry. *® 

The last poem belonging to these earliest specimens of 
Castilian literature is the " Rimado de Palacio," on the 
duties of kings and nobles in the government of the state, 
with sketches of the manners and vices of the times, which, 
as the poem maintains, it is the duty of the great to rebuke 
and reform. It is chiefly written in the four-line stanzas 
of the period to which it belongs ; and, beginning with a 
penitential confession of its author, goes on with a discussion 

E fueae alU el negro, e obolo mal ferido, AfallezioMles el sol al on de mediodia, 

E luego en aqaelfa on caio amortesido ; No vedian por do ir con la mercaderia. 
Dijo, ** Tu eres malo, e ladron conpilido ; POema de Joa6, MS. ^ 

Anai not lo dijeron tus aeilozee que te habieron ^ This is apparent also in the addi- 

**^*^'^*" tion sometimes made of an o or an a 

Dijo Jiuuf : " No .oi maio. ni ladron. to a word ending with a Consonant, 

Mas, aani ias mi madre, e bengola a dar per- as mercciderO fOF mercador. 


*" Thus, the merchant who buys 

Q^^Swi^^tete^ng^^'trtnbkau maldi. Joscph talks of Palestine as **the 

don." Holy Land/' and Pharaoh talks of 

Andaron aquella noche faaU otro dia, making JoSCph a Count. But the 

Entorbioeelee el mnndo, gran bento corria. general tone IS Oriental. 


of the ten commandments, the seven deadly sins, the seven 
works of mercy, and other religious subjects ; after which 
it treats of the government of a state, of royal counsellors, 
of merchants, of men of learning, tax-gatherers, and others ; 
and then ends, as it began, with exercises of devotion. Its 
author is Pedro Lopez de Ayala, the chronicler, of whom 
it is enough to say here, that he was among the most dis- 
tinguished Spaniards of his time, that he held some of the 
highest offices of the kingdom under Peter the Cruel, 
Henry the Second, John the First, and Henry the Third, 
and that he died in 1407, at the age of seventy-five/^ 

The " Rimado de Palacio,** which may be translated 
" Court Rhymes,** was the production of difierent periods 
of Ayala's life. Twice he marks the year in which he 
was writing, and from these dates we know that parts of 
it were certainly composed in 1398 and 1404, while yet 
another part seems to have been written during his impri- 
sonment in England, which foUowed the defeat of Henry 
of Trastamara by the Duke of Lancaster, in 1367. On 
the whole, therefore, the " Rimado de Palacio " is to be 
placed near the conclusion of the fourteenth century, and, 
by its author*s sufferings in an English prison, reminds us 
both of the Duke of Orleans and of James the First of 
Scotland, who, at the same time and uuder similar cir- 
cumstances, showed a poetical spirit not unlike that of the 
great Chancellor of Castile. 

In some of its subdivisions, particularly in those that 
have a lyrical tendency, the Rimado resembles some of 
the lighter poems of the Archpriest of Hita. Others are 
composed with care and gravity, and express the solemn 
thoughts that filled him during his captivity. But, in 
general, it has a quiet, didactic tone, such as beseems its 
subject and its age ; one, however, in which we occasion- 

** For the Rimado de Palacio, see* consists of 1619 stanzas. For notices 
Routerwek, trwl. de Cortina, Tom. of Ayala, see Chap. IX. 
I., pp. 138.154. The whole poem 


ally find a satirical spirit that could not be suppressed 
when the old statesman discussed the manners that ofiended 
him. Thus, speaking of the LetradoSj or lawyers, he 
says : — ** 

When entering on a lawsoit, if you ask for their advice, 
They at down very solemnly, their brows fall in a trice. 
** A question grave is this," they say, '* and asks for labour nice ; 
To the Council it must go, and much management implies. 

'* I think, perhaps, in time, I can help you in the thing, 
By dint of labour long and g^evous studying ; 
But other duties I must leave, away all business fling. 
Your case alone must study, and to you alone must cling.*' ** 

Somewhat farther on, when he speaks of justice, whose 
administration had been so lamentably neglected in the 
civil wars during which he lived, he takes his graver tone, 
and speaks with a wisdom and gentleness we should hardly 
have expected : — 

True justice is a noble thing, that merits all renown ; 

It fills the land with people, checks the guilty with its frown ; 

But kings, that should uphold its power, in thoughtlessness look down, 

And forget the precious jewel that gems their honoured crown. 

And many think by cruelty its duties to fulfil, 

But their wisdom all is cunning, for justice doth no ill ; 

With pity and with truth it dwells, and faithful men will still 

From punishment and pain turn back, as sore against their will. ** 

*■ Letrado has continued to be used ™«' *' <^* qn«rti<m « «ta, grant tnbiyo 

to mean a ktwper in Spanish down to q pie JtoiSi inengo, ea ataii« « to el eonwjo. 

our day, as clerk has to mean a ivriter <• yo piento qae podrift aaai aigo ayudw, 

in Enflrlish, though the original signi- Tomando grant tnb^ mb libra eatudiar ; 

- ^ ° r L au Z. jzo!^,^*. ii7k^« Wa« todot mia negodoa me conviene i dezar, 

fication of both was dlfierent. When g ^Um^ntm en aquaite Tueatro pleyto mti- 
Sancho goes to his island, he is said to diar." 

be " parte de letrado, parte de Capi- ♦* The original reads thus : — 

tan;** and GuiUen de Castro, in his Aqui/abiadelaJiuticia. 

''Mai Casados de Valencia," Act Jaetieia aoe es Tirtud atan noble e loada, 

III., «ay» of .^^t ««ue. " engaiSo S:.S±S?^^^ 

COmO letrado. A descnptlOn or blendo pledn preeioaa de tu corona onrrada. 

Letrados, worthy of Tacitus for its Machoa ha que por cmeea euydan insticia fer ; 

Ag^n eflrirp U tn h« fniind in thft Ma« pecan en la mafia, ca juaticia ha de ser 

deep satire, IS to DeiOUna m ine ContSapiednt, e U verdat Wen .aber : 

first book of Mendoza S ** Uuerra de A1 fer U exeeudon ilempre ee han de doler. Z 

Granada." Don Jos^ Amador de los Rioa 

*■ The passage Is in Cortina's notes has given further extracts from the 

to Bouterwek, and begins: — Rimado de Palacio in a pleasant 

„. . . ^ , ^ J. 11 , paper on it in the Semanano Pin- 

Si qulnen tobie an pleyto d' elioa arer conaejo, f^Jl.,^ im^AJiA iqat *v ^n 

Pd^enee •olemnmente. laego abaxan el ecgo: tOTOSCO, Madnd, 1847, p. 411. 


There is naturally a good deal in the Bimado de Pala- 
cio that savours of statesmanship ; as, for instance, nearly 
all that relates to royal favourites, to war, and to the man- 
ners of the palace ; but the general air of the poem^ or 
rather of the different short poems that make it up, is 
fisdrly represented in the preceding passages. It is grave, 
gentle, and didactic, with now and then a few lines of a 
simple and earnest poetical feeling, which seem to belong 
quite as much to their age as to their author. 

We have now gone over a considerable portion of the 
earliest Castilian literature, and quite completed an exami- 
nation of that part of it which, at first epic, and afterwards 
didactic, in its tone, is found in long, irregular verses, with 
quadruple rhymes. It is all curious. Much of it is pic- 
turesque and interesting; and when, to what has been 
already examined, we shall have added the baUads and 
chronicles, the romances of chivalry and the drama, the 
whole will be found to constitute a broad basis, on which 
the genuine literary culture of Spain has rested ever since. 

But, before we go farther, we must pause an instant, 
and notice some of the peculiarities of the period we have 
just considered. It extends from a little before the year 
1200 to a little aft;er the year 1400 ; and, both in its poe- 
try and prose, is marked by features not to be mistaken. 
Some of these features were peculiar and national ; others 
were not Thus, in Provence, which was long united with 
Aragon, and exercised an influence throughout the whole 
Peninsula, the popular poetry, from its light-heartedness, 
was called the Gaya ScienciOj and was essentially unlike 
the grave and measured tone, heard over every other, on 
the Spanish side of the mountains ; in the more northern 
parts of France, a garrulous, story-telling spirit was para- 
mount ; and in Italy, Dante, Petrarca, and Boccaccio had 
just appeared, unlike all that had preceded them, and all 
that was anywhere contemporary with their glory. On the 


other hand, however, several of the characteristics of the 
earliest Castilian literature, such as the chronicling and 
didactic spirit of most of its long poems, its protracted, 
irregular verses, and its redoubled rhymes, belong to the 
old Spanish bards in common with those of the countries 
we have just enumerated, where, at the same period, a 
poetical spirit was struggling for a place in the elements 
of their unsettled civilization. 

But there are two traits of the earliest Spanish literature 
which are so separate and peculiar, that they must be no- 
ticed from the outset, — religious faith and knightly loyalty, 
— traits which are hardly less apparent in the " Partidas *' 
of Alfonso the Wise, in the stories of Don John Manuel, 
in the loose wit of the Archpriest of Hita, and in the 
worldly wisdom of the Chancellor Ayala, than in the pro- 
fessedly devout poems of Berceo and in the professedly 
chivalrous chronicles of the Cid and Fernan Gonzalez. 
They are, therefore, from the earliest period, to be marked 
among the prominent features in Spanish literature. 

Nor should we be surprised at this. The Spanish na- 
tional character, as it has existed from its first development 
down to our own days, was mainly formed in the earlier part 
of that solemn contest which began the moment the Moors 
landed beneath the Rock of Gibraltar, and which cannot 
be said to have ended until, in the time of Philip the 
Third, the last remnants of their unhappy race were cruelly 
driven from the shores which their fathers, nine centuries 
before, had so unjustifiably invaded. During this contest, and 
especially during the two or three dark centuries when the 
earliest Spanish poetry appeared, nothing but an invincible 
religious faith, and a no less invincible loyalty to their own 
princes, could have sustained the Christian Spaniards in 
their disheartening stru^le against their infidel oppressors. 
It was, therefore, a stem necessity which made these two 
high qualities elements of the Spanish national character 
— a character all whose energies were for ages devoted to 


the one grand object of their prayers as Christians and 
their hopes as patriots, the expulsion of their hated in- 

But Castilian poetry was, from the first, to an extraor- 
dinary degree, an outpouring of the popular feeling and 
character. Tokens of religious submission and knightly 
fidelity, akin to each other in their birth and often relying 
on each other for strength in their trials, are, therefore, 
among its earliest attributes. We must not, then, be sur- 
prised if we hereafter find, that submission to the Church 
and loyalty to the king constantly break through the mass 
of Spanish literature, and breathe their spirit from nearly 
every portion of it, — not, indeed, without such changes in 
the mode of expression as the changed condition of the 
country in successive ages demanded, but still always so 
strong in their original attributes as to show that they sur- 
vive every convulsion of the state, and never cease to move 
onward by their first impulse. In truth, while their very 
early development leaves no doubt that they are national, 
their nationality makes it all but inevitable that they 
should become permanent 




Ballads. — Oldest Fobm op Castilian Poetbt.— Theobies abovt 
TUEiB Obigin. — Not Ababic. — Tueib Metbjcal Fobm. — Redondillas. 
— Asonaktes. — National. — Spbead of the Ballad Fobm. — Name. 
— Eablt Notices of Ballads. — Ballads of the Sixteenth Centubt, 



Everywhere in Europe, during the period we have just 
gone over, the courts of the different sovereigns were the 
principal centres of refinement and civilization. From 
accidental circumstances, this was peculiarly the case in 
Spain during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. On 
the throne of Castile, or within its shadow, we have seen a 
succession of such poets and prose-writers as Alfonso the 
Wise, Sancho, his son, Don John Manuel, his nephew, and 
the Chancellor Ayala, to say nothing of Saint Ferdinand, 
who preceded them all, and who, perhaps, gave the first 
decisive impulse to letters in the centre of Spain and at 
the North. ' 

But the literature produced or encouraged by these and 
other distinguished men, or by the higher clergy, who, 
with them, were the leaders of the state, was by no means 
the only literature that then existed within the barrier of 

* Alfonso el Sabio says of his fa- and knew who was skilled in them 
ther, St. Ferdinand : ** And, more- and who was not." (Setenario, Pa- 
over, he liked to have men about him leographla, pp. 80-83, and p. 76.) 
who knew how to make verses (/ro&or) See, also, what is said hereafter, 
and sing, and Jongleurs, who knew when we come to speak of Provencal 
how to play on instruments. For in literature in Spain, Chap. XVI 
such things he took great pleasure, 

VOL. I. H 


the Pyrenees. On the contrary, the spirit of poetry was, 
to an extraordinary degree, abroad throughout the whole 
Peninsula, so far as it had been rescued from the Moors, 
animating and elevating all classes of its Christian popula- 
tion. Their own romantic history, whose great events had 
been singularly the results of popular impulse, and bore 
everywhere the bold impress of the popular character, had 
breathed into the Spanish people this spirit; a spirit which, 
beginning with Pelayo, had been sustained by the appear- 
ance, from time to time, of such heroic forms as Fernan 
Gonzalez, Bernardo del Carpio, and the Cid. At the 
point of time, therefore, at which we are now arrived, a 
more popular literature, growing directly out of the en- 
thusiasm which had so long pervaded the whole mass of 
the Spanish people, began naturally to appear in the 
country, and to assert for itself a place, which, in some of 
its forms, it has successfully maintained ever since. 

What, however, is thus essentially popular in its sources 
and character, — what, instead of going outfrom the more ele- 
vated classes of the nation, was neglected or discountenanced 
by them, — is, from its very wildness, little likely to take 
well-defined forms, or-to be traced, from its origin, by the 
dates and other proofe which accompany such . portions of 
the national literature as fell earlier under the protection of 
the higher orders of society. But though "we may not be 
able to make out an exact arrangement or a detailed history 
of what was necessarily so free and always so little watched, 
it can still be distributed into four different classes, and 
will aflFord tolerable materials for a notice of its progress 
and condition under each. 

These four classes are, first, the Ballads, or the poetry, 
both narrative and lyrical, of the common people, from the 
earliest times ; second, the Chronicles, or the half-genuine, 
half-fabulous histories of the great events and heroes of 
the national annals, which, though originally begun by 
authority of the state, were always deeply imbued with the 


popular feelings and character ; third, the Romances op 
Chivalry, intimately connected with both the others, and, 
after a time, as passionately admired as either by the whole 
nation ; and, fourth, the Drama, which, in its origin, has 
always been a popular and religious amusement, and 
was hardly less so in Spain than it was in Greece or in 

These four classes compose what was generally most 
valued in Spanish literature during the latter part of the 
fourteenth century, the whole of the fifteenth, and much of 
the sixteenth. They rested on the deep foundations of the 
national character, and therefore, by their very nature, 
were opposed to the Proven9al, the Italian, and the courtly 
schools, which flourished during the same period, and 
which will be subsequently examined. 

The Ballads. — We begin with the ballads, because it 
cannot reasonably be doubted that poetry, in the present 
Spanish language, appeared earliest in the ballad form. 
And the first question that occurs in relation to them is 
the obvious one, why this was the case. It has been sug- 
gested, in reply, that there was probably a tendency to this 
most popular form of composition in Spain at an age even 
much more remote than that of the origin of the present 
Spanish language itself;* that such a tendency may, per- 
haps, be traced back to those indigenous bards of whom 
only a doubtful tradition remained in the time of Strabo ; ' 
and that it may be seen to emerge again in the Leonine 
and other rhymed Latin verses of the Gothic period, * or 

• The Edinburgh Review, No. 146, * Arpote de Molina (Discurso de la 

on Lockhart's Ballads, contains the Poesfa Castellana, in Conde Lucanor, 

ablest statement of this theory. ed. 1576, f. 93. a) may be cited to 

' The passage in Strabo here re- this point ; and one who believed it 

ferred to, which is in Book III. p. 139*, tenable might also cite the <* Cr6nica 

(ed. Casaubon, fol., 1620,) is to be General," (ed. 1604, Parte II., f. 

taken in connexion with the passage 265,) where, speaking of the Gothic 

Cp. 151) in which he says that both kingdom, and mourning its fall, the 

the language and its poetry were Chronicle says, ** Forgotten are its 

wholly lost in his time. songs, (caiitareSyY' etc. 

H 2 


in that more ancient and obscure Basque poetry, of which 
the little that has been preserved to us is thought to breathe 
a spirit countenancing such conjectures. * But these and 
similar suggestions have so slight a foundation in recorded 
facts, that they can be little relied on. The one more fre- 
quently advanced is, that the Spanish ballads, such as we 
now have them, are imitations from the narrative and 
lyrical poetry of the Arabs, with which the whole southern 
part of Spain for ages resounded ; and that, in fact, the 
very form in which Spanish ballads still appear is Arabic, 
and is to be traced to the Arabs in the East, at a period 
not only anterior to the invasion of Spain, but anterior to 
the age of the Prophet. This is the theory of Conde.* 

But though, from the air of historical pretension with 
which it presents itself, there is something in this theory 
that bespeaks our favour, yet there are strong reasons that 
forbid our assent to it. For the earliest of the Spanish 
ballads, concerning which alone the question can arise, 
have not at all the characteristics of an imitated literature. 
Not a single Arabic original has been found for any one of 
them ; nor, so far as we know, has a single passage of 
Arabic poetry, or a single phrase from any Arabic writer, 
entered directly into their composition. On the contrary, 
their freedom, their energy, their Christian tone and 
chivalrous loyalty, announce an originality and inde- 

* W. von Humboldt, in the Mithri- yet more positively : " In the versi- 

dates of Adelung and Vater, Berlin, fieation of our Castilian ballads and 

1817, 8vo., Tom. IV. p. 854, and ««^/V/i//a«, we have received from the 

Argote dc Molina, ut sup., f. 93; — Arabs an exact type of their versos.'* 

but the Basque verses the latter gives And again he says, " From the period 

cannot be older than 1322, and were, of the infancy of our poetry, we have 

therefore, quite as likely to be imitated rhymed verses accoroing to the mea- 

from the Spanish as to have been them- gures used by tfke Arabs l^ore the times 

selves the subjects of Spanish imitation. qfthe Koran.** This is the work, 1 

' Dominacion de los Arabcs, Tom. suppose, to which Blanco White al- 

I., Prologo, pp. xviii.-xix., p. 169, ludes (Variedades, Tom. II. pp. 45, 

and other places. But in a manu- 46). The theory of Conde has been 

script preface to a collection which he otlten approved. See Retroepectivc 

called ** Poesfas Orientales traducidas Review, Tom. IV. p. 31, the Spanish 

por Jos. Ant. Conde," and which he translation of Bouten»'ek, Tom. I. p. 

never published, he expresses himself 164, etc. 


pendence of character that prevent us from believing they 
could have been in any way materially indebted to the 
brilliant, but effeminate, literature of the nation to whose 
spirit everything Spanish had, when they first appeared, 
been for ages implacably opposed. It seems, therefore, 
that they must, of their own nature, be as original as any 
poetry of modem times ; containing, as they do, within 
themselves proofs that they are Spanish by their birth, 
natives of the soil, and stained with all its variations. For 
a long time, too, subsequent to that of their first appearance, 
they continued to exhibit the same elements of nationality; 
so that, until we approach the fall of Granada, we find in 
them neither a Moorish tone, nor Moorish subjects, nor 
Moorish adventures ; nothing, in short, to justify us in 
supposing them to have been more indebted to the culture 
of the Arabs than was any other portion of the early 
Spanish literature. 

Indeed, it does not seem reasonable to seek, in the East 
or elsewhere, a foreign origin for the mere form of the 
Spanish ballads. Their metrical structure is so simple, 
that we can readily believe it to have presented itself as 
soon as verse of any sort was felt to be a popular want 
They consist merely of those eight-syllable lines which are 
composed with great facility in other languages as well as 
the Castilian, and which in the old ballads are the more 
easy, as the number of feet prescribed for each verse is 
little regarded.' Sometimes, though rarely, they are 

' Argote de Molina (Discurso sobre The only example he cites in proof 

la Poesia Castellana, in Conde Luca- of this position is the Odes of Ron- 

nor, 1575, f. 92) will have it that the sard, — " the most excellent Ronsard," 

ballad verse of Spain is quite the as he calls him, — then at the height 

same with the eight-syllable verse in of his euphuistical reputation in 

Greek, Latin, Italian, and French ; France ; but Ronsard's odes are mi- 

" but," he adds, "it is properly scrably unlike the freedom and soirit 

native to Spain, in whose language it of the Spanish ballads. (See Odes 

is found earlier than in any other deRonsard, Paris, 1573, 18mo., Tom. 

modem tongue, and in Spanish alone IL pp. 62, 139.) The nearest 

it has all the grace, gentleness, and approach that I recollect to the mere 

spirit that are more peculiar to the wc/wiircof the ancient Spanish ballad, 

Spanish genius than to any other." where there was no thought of imi- 



Period I. 

broken into stanzas of four lines, thence called redondillas 
or roundelays; and some of them have rhymes in the 
second and fourth lines of each stanza, or in the first and 
fourth, as in the similar stanzas of other modem languages. 
Their prominent peculiarity, however, and one which 
they have succeeded in impressing upon a very large 
portion of all the national poetry, is one which, being 
found to prevail in no other literature, may be claimed 
to have its origin in Spain, and becomes, therefore, an 
important circumstance in the history of Spanish poetical 
culture. ® 

The peculiarity to which we refer is that of the aso- 
nante^ — an imperfect rhyme confined to the vowels, and 
beginning with the last accented one in the line ; so that it 
embraces sometimes only the very last syllable, and some- 
times goes back to the penultimate or even the ante- 
penultimate. It is contradistinguished from the consonante, 

tating it, is in a few of the old French 
Fabliaux, in Chaucer's ** House of 
Fame/' and in some passages of Sir 
Walter Scott's poetry. Jacob Grimm, 
in his ** Silva de Romances Viejos," 
(Vienna, 1816, 18nio.,) taken chiefly 
from the collection of 1655, has 
printed the ballads he gives us as if 
their lined were origuially of fourteen 
or sixteen syllables ; so that one of 
his lines embraces two of those in the 
old Romauceros. Ilis reason wus, 
that their epic nature and character 
required such long verses, which are 
in fact substantially the same with 
those in the old ** Poem of the Cid." 
But his theory, which was not gene- 
rally adopted, is sufficiently answered 
by V. A. Huber, in his excellent 
tract, ** De Primitiva Cantilenarum 
Populanum Epicurum (vulgo. Mo- 
mances) apud Hispanos Formd," 
TBerolini, 1844, 4to.,)and in his pre- 
NLce to his edition of the ** Chronica 
del Ci«l," 1844. 

■ The only suggestion I have noticed 
affecting this statement is to be found 
in the Ilepertorio Americano, (L6n- 
dres, 1827, Tom. II. pp. 21, etc.,) 

where the writer, w^ho, I believe, is 
Don Andres Belio, endeavours to 
trace the asonante to the ** Vita Ma- 
thildis," a Latin poem of the twelfth 
century, reprinted by Muratori, (lie- 
rum I^icanim Scriptores, Mediolani, 
1725, fol., Tom. V. pp. 335, etc.,) 
and to a manuscript Anglo-Norman 
poem, of the same century, on the 
fabulous journey of Charlemagne to 
Jerusalem. But the Latin poem is, 
I believe, sinpular in this attempt, 
and was, no doubt, wholly unknown 
in Spain; and the Anglo-Norman 
poem, which has since been pub- 
lished by Michel, (London, 1836, 
12mo.,) with curious notes, turns out 
to be rhymedy though not carefully or 
regularly. Raynouard, in the Jour- 
nal des Savants, (February, 1833, p. 
70,) made the same mistake with the 
writer in the Ilepertorio ; probably in 
conscouence of following nim. The 
impertect rhyme of the ancient Gaelic 
seems to have been dif!ereut from the 
Spanish asonante^ and, at any rate, 
can have had nothing to do with it. 
Logan's Scottish Gael, London, 1831, 
8vo., Vol. XL p. 241. . 

Chap. VL ASONANTES. 103 

or full rhyme, which is made both by the consonants and 
vowels in the concluding syllable or syllables of the line, 
and which is, therefore, just what rhyme is in English. * 
Thus, feroz and furor ^ cdsa and abdrca^ infdmia and corir 
trdria^ are good asonantes in the first and third ballads of 
the Cid, just as mdl and desledl^ voldre and caqdre^ are 
good consanantes in the old ballad of the Marquis of 
Mantua, cited by Don Quixote. The asonante^ there- 
fore, is something between our blank verse and our rhyme, 
and the art of using it is easily acquired in a language like 
the Castilian, abounding in vowels, and always giving to 
the same vowel the same value. ^® In the old ballads, it 
generally recurs with every other line; and, from the 
facility with which it can be found, the same asonante is 
frequently continued through the whole of the poem in 
which it occurs, whether the poem be longer or shorter. 
But even with this embarrassment, the structure of the 
ballad is so simple, that, while Sarmiento has undertaken 
to show how Spanish prose from the twelfth century down- 
wards is often written unconsciously in eight--syllable aso- 
nantes^ " Sepulveda in the sixteenth century actually 
converted large portions of the old chronicles into the 
same ballad measure, with little change of their original 

• Cervantes, in his ** Amante Libe- duced before long into the use of the 

rt\" coWsihem consonancias or cotiso- asonante y 9S there had been, in an- 

nantes dijiniltosas. No doubt, their tiquity, into the use of the Greek and 

greater difficulty caused them to be Latin measures, until the sphere of 

less used than the asonantes. Juan the asonante became, as Clcmencin 

de la Enzina, in his little treatise on well says, extremely wide. Thus, u 

Castilian Verse, Cap. 7, written before and o were held to be asonante^ as in 

1600, explains these two forms of Venf/s and Minos ; t and e, as in Pans 

rhyme, and says that the old roman- and males; adiphthong witha vowel, 

ces ** no van verdaderos consonantes." as eracia and almo, cuixas and btirlos ; 

Curious remarks on the asonantes are and other similar varieties, which, in 

to be found in Ronjifo, ** Arte Poetica the times of Lope de Vega and G6n- 

Espanola," (Salamanca, 1592, 4to., gora, made the permitted combinations 

Cap. 34,) and the additions to it in all but indefinite, and the com|X)sition 

the edition of 1727 (4to., p. 418) ; to of asonante verses indefinitely easy, 

which may well be joined the philo- Don Quixote, ed. Clcmencin, Tom. 

sophical suggestions of Martinez de III. pp. 271, 272, note, 

la Rosa, Obras, Paris, 1827, 12mo., " Poesia Espanola, Madrid, 1776, 

Tom. L pp. 202-204. 4to., sec. 422-430. 

*• A great poetic licence was intro- 



Pkeiod I. 

phraseolc^ ; ** two circumstances which, taken together, 
show indisputably that there can be no wide interval 
between the common structure of Spanish prose and this 
earliest form of Spanish verse. If to all this we add the 
national recitatives in which the ballads have been sung 
down to our own days, and the national dances by which 
they have been accompanied, *' we shall probably be per- 
suaded, not only that the form of the Spanish ballad is as 
purely national in its origin as the dsonante^ which is its 
prominent characteristic, but that this form is more happily 
fitted to its especial purposes, and more easy in its practical 
application to them, than any other into which popular 
poetry has fallen in ancient or modem times. ** 

*' It would be easy to give many 
rpociincns of ballads made from the 
old chronicles, but for the present pur- 
{XMc I will take only a few lines from 
the " Cr6nica General," (Parte III. 
f. 77. a, ed. 1604,) where Velasquez, 
persuading his nephews, the Infantes 
de Lara, to go against the Moors, 
despite of certain ill auguries, says, 
'* Sobrinos estos agueros que oystes 
mucho son bucnos; ca nos dan a 
entender que ganaremas muy gran 
algo de lo ageno, c de lo nvestro non 
perderemos ; o Jfizol muy mal Don 
Nuho Salido ^i non venir canUnuco, 
c mande Dios que se arrepientay* etc. 
Now, in SopuIve<la, (Romances, An- 
vcn*, 1561, 18mo., f. 11,) in the 
ballad lieginning ** Llcgados son los 
Infantes," we have these lines : — 

Sttbrimu emt aaufrot 
Parm not ^nn bi«n nerUn^ 
Porque no$ dan a entemder 
Que bien no* Mieedieim. 
Oanaremoa gramde vietorb, 
Nada no se mrdiera. 
Dim NuHo to Mmo wial 
Que cmvmMco non venial 
iinnde Dios que se arrepwUti, ete. 

'^ Duran, Romances Caballarescos, 
Madrid, 1832, 12mo., PnSlogo, Tom. 
I., pp. xvi.,xvii.,with xxzv., note(14). 

** The |N*culiarities of a metrical 
form 8o iMitircly national can, I sup- 
pasc, Im» well understood only by an 
example ; and I will, therefore, give 
here, in the original Spanish, a few 
lines from a spiritcHl and well-known 

ballad of GtSngora, which I select be- 
cause they have been translated into 
EngUsh asonantes by a writer in the 
Retrospective Review, whose excel- 
lent version follows, and may serve 
still further to explain and illustrate 
the measure : — 

Aqael rmyo de U guerrm, 
Alferea mayor deliryius 
Tan i^^aUn eomo Tmliente, 

Y Un noble como flrrf#, 
De los moio* embidiMlo, 

Y admirado de los rir jps, 

Y de los niAos y el rulgo 
Sefialado con el di do, 

CI querido de las damas, 
Por cortesano v discr^ tu, 
llijo hasU alii regalado 
De la fortuna y el tii mpo, etc. 

ObnM, Madrid, 1654, 4to., f. 83. 

This rhyme is perfectly perceptible 
to any ear well accustomed to Spanish 
poetry ; and it must be admitted, I 
think, that when, as in the ballad 
cited, it embraces two of the conclud- 
ing vowels of the line, and is continued 
through the whole poem, the effect, 
even upon a foreigner, is that of a 
grracefuj ornament, which satisfies 
without fatiguing. In English, how- 
ever, where our vowels have such va- 
rious i)ower8, and where the consonants 
preponderate, the case is quite differ- 
ent. This is plain in the following 
translation of the preceding lines, made 
with spirit and truth, but failing to 
produce the effect of the Snanish. In- 
deed, the rhyme can hardly be said to 
bt» i»ercej»tible except to the eye, 


A metrical form so natural and obvious became a 
favourite at once, and continued so. From the ballads it 
soon passed into other departments of the national poetry, 
especially the lyrical. At a later period the great mass 
of the true Spanish drama came to rest upon it ; and be- 
fore the end of the seventeenth century more verses had 
probably been written in it than in all the other measures 
used by Spanish poets. Lope de Vega declared it to be 
fitted for all styles of composition, even the gravest ; and 
his judgment was sanctioned in his own time, and has been 
justified in ours, by the application of this peculiar form of 
verse to long epic stories. ** The eight-syllable asonante^ 
therefore, may be considered as now known and used in 
every department of Spanish poetry ; and since it has, 
from the first, been a chief element in that poetry, we may 
well believe it will continue such as long as what is 
most original in the national genius continues to be cul- 

Some of the ballads embodied in this genuinely Castilian 
measure are, no doubt, very ancient. That such ballads 
existed in the earliest times, their very name, Romances^ 
may intimate ; since it seems to imply that they were, at 

though the measure and its cadences Obras Sueltas, Tom. IV., Madrid, 

are nicely managed. 1776, 4to., p. 176,) ** I regard them 

" He the thunderbolt of bmttle, ^ Capable, not onljr of expressing and 

He the flnt Aiferex titiwi, setting forth any idea whatever with 

Z' SeToSTj*" S^iSi*; easy sweetness, tut carrying through 

He who by our youth is envied, any grave action m a versified poem." 

Honoured bv our gravest aMcenu. Hig prediction was fulfilled in his own 

By our youth in crowds distinguished .• S ^i ., -ri i ** i* ir 

bJ* thousand pointed fingirrs; tnne by the ** Fcmando of Veray 

He beloved by Tsirest damsels, FigUCroa, a long cpic published in 

^^J^Z :?Sr.":;3 fo««o.. 1.632. "-d .i" ours l>y the very attrac- 

Bearing all their gifts divtnrst," etc. tive narrative poom of Don Angci de 

Retrospective Review, VoL IV., p. 35. Saavedra, Duke de Rivas, entitled " El 

Another specimen of English aso- MoroExposito,'*intwo volumes, 1834. 

tmntes is to be found in Bowring's The example of Lope de Vega, in the 

** Ancient Poetry of Spain " ^London, latter part of the sixteenth and begin- 

1824, 12mo., p. 107) ; but tne result ning of the seventeenth centuries, no 

is substantially the same, and always doubt did much to give currency to 

nmst be, from the diflfercnce between the asonantes, which, from that time, 

the two languages. have been more used than they were 

•* Speaking of the ballad verses, ho earlier, 
says, (Prologo i. las Rimas Ilumanas, 


some period, the only poetry known in the Romance lan- 
guage of Spain ; and such a period can have been no other 
than the one immediately following the formation of the 
language itself. Popular poetry of some sort — and more 
probably ballad poetry than any other — was sung concern- 
ing the achievements of the Cid as early as 1147-^^ A 
century later than this, but earlier than the prose of the 
" Fuero Juzgo," Saint Ferdinand, after the capture of 
Seville in 1248, gave allotments or repartimieiitos to two 
poets who had been with him during the siege, Nicolas de 
los Romances^ and Domingo Abad de los Romances, the 
first of whom continued for some time afterwards to inha- 
bit the rescued city and exercise his vocation as a poet. " 
In the next reign, or between 1252 and 1280, such poets 
are again mentioned. A joglaressa^ or female ballad- 
singer, is introduced into the poem" of " ApoUonius," 
which is supposed to have been written soon after the year 
1250; ^"^ and in the Code of Laws of Alfonso the Tenth, 
prepared about 1260, good knights are commanded to lis- 
ten to no poetical tales of the ballad-singers except such as 
relate to feats of arms. " In the " General Chronicle," 

** Sec the barbarous Latin poem as Mariana tolls us, a hundred thousand 

printed by Sandoval, at the end of his Moors emigrated or were expelled, was 

'* Ilistoria de los Reyes de Costilla/' a serious matter, and the doeuments 

cte. (Pamplona, 1615, fol.yf. 193). It in relation to it seem to have been 

is on the taking of Almeria in 1147, ample and exact. (Zuiiiga, Preface, 

and seems to have been written by an and pp. 31, 62, 66, etc.) The 

eye-witness. meaning of the word Romance in this 

*' The authority for this is sufficient, place b a more doubtful matter. Hut 

though the fact itself of a man being if any kind of popular poetry is meant 

named from the sort of poetry he by it, what was it likely to be-, at so 

com])osed is a singular one. it is early a period, but ballad poi^try ? 

found in Diego Ortiz de Zufiiga, The verses, however, which C)rtiz de 

** Anales Ecclesiasticos y Seglares de Zuniga, on the authority of Areote do 

Scvilla," (Sovilla, 1677, foL, pp. 14, Molina, attributes (p. 815) to Domin- 

90, 815, etc.) He took it, he says, go Abad de los Romances, are not 

from the original documents of the his ; they are by the Arciprcste de 

rejHirtimientoSy M'hich he describes Hita. See Sanchez, Tom. IV., p. 

luirmtcly as having been used by 166. 

Argote de Molina, (Preface and p. " Stanzas 426, 427, 483-495, ed. 

81 5\) and from documents in the Paris, 1844, 8vo. 

archives of the Cathedral. The "'PartidaII.,Tit. XXI., Lcyes 20, 

repnrtimierUo, or distribution of lands 21. '* Neither let the singers (jugla- 

and other spoils in a city, from which, res) rehearse before them other songs 


also, compiled soon afterwards by the same prince, men- 
tion is made more than once of poetical gestes or tales ; 
of " what the ballad-singers (Jugtares) sing in their chants, 
and tell in their tales ;" and ** of what we hear the ballad- 
singers tell in their chants ;** — implying that the achieve- 
ments of Bernardo del Carpio and Charlemagne, to which 
these phrases refer, were as familiar in the popular poetry 
used in the composition of this fine old chronicle as we 
know they have been since to the whole Spanish people 
through the very ballads we still possess. *° 

It seems, therefore, not easy to escape from the conclu- 
sion, to which Argote de Molina, the most sagacious of 
the early Spanish critics, arrived nearly three centuries 
ago, that ^^ in these old ballads is, in truth, perpetuated the 
memory of times past, and that they constitute a good part 
of those ancient Castilian stories used by King Alfonso in his 
history ;" ^* a conclusion at which we should arrive, even 
now, merely by reading with care large portions of the 
Chronicle itself." 

One more fact will conclude what we know of their 
early history : it is, that ballads were found among the 
poetry of Don John Manuel, the nephew of Alfonso the 
Tenth, which Argote de Molina possessed, and intended 
to publish, but which is now lost. *^ This brings our slight 
knowledge of the whole subject down to the death of Dpn 
John in 1347- But from this period — the same with that 

(canteires) than those of military "* The end of the Second Part of 

gestes, or those that relate feats of the General Chronicle, and much of 

arms." The juglares — a word that the third, relating to the great heroes 

comes from the Latin ioct//am— were of the early Castilian and Leoncse 

originally strolling ballad-singers, like history, seem to me to have been 

the jongleurs J but afterwards sunk to indebted to older poetical materials, 
be jesters and jugglers. Sec Clemen- ** Discurso, Conde Lucanor, ed. 

cin*s curious note to Don Quixote, 1575, ff. 92. a, 93. b. The poetry con- 

Parte II. c. 31. taincd in the Cancioncros Generales, 

*" Cronica General, Valladolid, 1604, from 1511 to 1573, and bearing the 

Parte III., if. 30, 33, 46. name of Don John Manuel, is, as we 

** El Conde Lucanor, 1575. Dis- have already explained, the work of 

curso de la Poes(a Castellana, por Don John Manuel of Portugal, who 

Argote de Moluia, f. 93. a. died in 1524. 


of the Archpriest of Hita — we almost lose sight, not only 
of the ballads, but of all genuine Spanish poetry, whose 
strains seem hardly to have been heard during the horrors 
of the reign of Peter the Cruel, the contested succession of 
Henry of Trastamara, and the Portuguese wars of John 
the First And even when its echoes come to us again in 
the weak reign of John the Second, which stretches down 
to the middle of the fifteenth century, it presents itself 
with few of the attributes of the old national character. " 
It is become of the court, courtly ; and, therefore, though 
the old and true-hearted ballads may have lost none of the 
popular favour, and were certainly preserved by the fidelity 
of popular tradition, we find no fiirther distinct record of 
them until the end of this century, and the beginning of 
the one that followed, when the mass of the people, whose 
feelings they embodied, rose to such a degree of considera- 
tion, that their peculiar poetry came into the place to 
which it was entitled, and which it has maintained ever 
since. This was in the reigns of Ferdinand and Isabella, 
and of Charles the Fifth. 

But these few historical notices of ballad poetry are, 
except those which point to its early origin, too slight to 
be of much value. Indeed until after the middle of the 
sixteenth century, it is difficult to find ballads written by 
known authors ; so that, when we speak of the Old Spanish 
Ballads, we do not refer to the few whose period can be 
settled with some accuracy, but to the great mass found in 
the ** Komanceros Generales " and elsewhere, whose authors 
and dates are alike unknown. This mass consists of above 
a thousand old poems, unequal in length and still more un- 
equal in merit, composed between the period when verse 
first appeared in Spain and the time when such verse as 
that of the ballads was thought worthy to be written down ; 
the whole bearing to the mass of the Spanish people, their 

** The Marquis of Santillana, in I.,) siicaks of the RtnmmcesecantareSy 
his well-known letter, (Sanchez, Tom. but very slightly. 

Chap.vt. ballads preserved by tradition. 109 

feelings, passions, and character, the same relations that 
a single ballad bears to the character of the individual au- 
thor who produced it. 

For a long time, of course, these primitive national bal- 
lads existed only in the memories of the common people, 
from whom they sprang, and were preserved through suc- 
cessive ages and long traditions only by the interests and 
feelings that originally gave them birth. We cannot, there- 
fore, reasonably hope that we now read any of them exactly 
as they were first composed and sung, or that there are 
many to which we can assign a definite age with any good 
degree of probability. No doubt we may still possess 
some which, with little change in their simple thoughts and 
melody, were among the earliest breathings of that popular 
enthusiasm which, between the twelfth and the fifteenth 
centuries, was carrymg the Christian Spaniards onward to 
the emancipation of their country; ballads which were 
heard amidst the valleys of the Sierra Morena, or on the 
banks of the Turia and the Guadalquivir, with the first 
tones of the language that has since spread itself through 
the whole Peninsula, But the idle minstrel who, in such 
troubled times, sought a precarious .subsistence from cot- 
tage to cottage, or the thoughtless soldier, who, when the 
battle was over, sung its achievements to his guitar at the 
door of his tent, could not be expected to look beyond the 
passing moment ; so that, if their unskilled verses were 
preserved at all, they must have been preserved by those 
who repeated them fi*om memory, changing their tone and 
language with the changed feelings of the times and events 
that chanced to recall them. Whatever, then, belongs to 
this earliest period belongs, at the same time, to the un- 
chronicled popular life and character of which it was a part ; 
and although many of the ballads thus produced may have 
survived to our own day, many more, undoubtedly, lie 
buried with the poetical hearts that gave them birth. 

This, indeed, is the great diflSculty in relation to all re- 


searches concerning the oldest Spanish ballads. The very 
excitement of the national spirit that warmed them into 
life was the result of an age of such violence and suffering, 
that the ballads it produced failed to command such an in- 
terest as would cause them to be written down. Individual 
poems, like that of the Cid, or the works of individual 
authors, like those of the Archpriest of Hita or Don John 
Manuel, were of course cared for, and, perhaps, from time 
to time transcribed. But the popular poetry was neglected. 
Even when the special " Cancioneros " — which were col- 
lections of whatever verses the person who formed them 
happened to fancy, or was able to find " — began to come 
in fashion, during the reign of John the Second, the bad 
taste of the time caused the old national literature to be so 
entirely overlooked, that not a single ballad occurs in either 
of them. 

The first printed ballads, therefore, are to be sought in 
the earliest edition of the '* Cancioneros Generales," com- 
piled by Fernando del Castillo, and printed at Valencia 
in 1511. Their number, including fragments and imita- 
tions, is thirty-seven, of which nineteen are by authors 
whose names are given, and who, like Don John Manuel 
of Portugal, Alonso de Cartagena, Juan de la Enzina, and 
Diego de San Pedro, are known to have flourished in the 
period between 1450 and 1500, or who, like Lope de Sosa, 
appear so often in the collections of that age, that they 
may be fairly assumed to have belonged to it. Of the re- 
mainder, several seem much more ancient, and are there- 
fore more curious and important 

The first, for instance, called " Count Claros," is the 
fragment of an old ballad afterwards printed in full. It 
is inserted in this Cancionero on account of an elaborate 

* Cancicn Canzone, Chansos, in tori, Modena, 1829, 8vo., p. 29.) In 

the Romance language, signified origi- this way, Candanero in Spanish was 

nally any kind of poctiy, because all long understood to mean simply a 

poetry, or almost all, was then sung. collection of i)oetry, — sometimes all 

(Giovanni Galvani, Pocsia del Trova- by one author, sometimes by many. 


gloss made on it iii the Proven9al manner by Francisco 
de Leon, as well as on account of an imitation of it by Lope 
de Sosa, and a gloss upon the imitation by Soria ; all of 
which follow, and leave little doubt that the ballad itself 
had long been known and admired. The fragment, which 
alone is curious, consists of a dialogue between the Count 
Claros and his uncle, the Archbishop, on a subject and in 
a tone which made the name of the Count, as a true lover, 
pass almost into a proverb. 

" It grieves me, Count, it grieves my heart, 

That thus they urge thy fate ; 
Since this fond guilt upon thy part 

Was still no crime of state. 
For all the errors love can bring 

Deserve not mortal pain ; 
And I have knelt before the king, 

To free thee from thy chain. 
But he, the king, with angry pride 

Would hear no word I spoke ; ^ 

* The sentence is pronounced,* he cried ; 

* Who may its power revoke ? * 
The Infanta*s love you won, he says, 

When you her guardian were. 
O cousin, less, if you were wise. 

For ladies you would care. 
For he that labours most for them 

Your fate will always prove ; 
Since death or ruin none escape 

Who trust their dangerous love." 
** O uncle, uncle, words like these 

A true heart never hears ; 
For I would rather die to please 

Than live and not be theirs." *• 

«• The whole ballad, with a different P«*»« de vo», el Conde. 

,. n^t 1 . 1 J. J Porque asm OS quieren matar ; 

readmg of the passage here translated, porm,e ei yerro que hezistea 

is in the Cancionero de Romances, No ftio mucho de cuipar ; 

Sara^sa. 1560, 12mo Parte II. f^'^ZTS^VSr 

f. 188, begmnmg ** Media noche era supiiqne por vos ai Rey, 

por hilo." Often, however, as the Cw mandawe de librar ; 

* 1 X !• xL Vt X /"ii Ma» el Rcy, con gran enojo, 

adventurer of the Count Claros are No me quuien e«»char, etc. 

alluded to in the old Sitanish poetry, ^. , . . ^ , . , „ , . , 

there is no trace of them in the old The beginnmg of this ballad in the 

chronicles. The fragment in the text complete copy from the Saragossa 

begins thus, in the Cancionero Gene- Romancero shows that it was com- 

ral (1636, f. 106 a) :— I^^ ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^ known. 



Period I. 

The next is also a fragment, and relates, with great 
simplicity, an incident which belongs to the state of society 
that existed in Spain between the thirteenth and sixteenth 
centuries, when flie two races were much mingled together 
and always in conflict. 

I was the Moorish maid, Morayma, 

I was that maiden dark and iair, — 
A Christian came, he seemed in sorrow, 

Full of falsehood came he there. 
Moorish he spoke, — he spoke it well, — 

" Open the door, thou Moorish maid. 
So shalt thou be by Allah blessed. 

So shall I save my forfeit head." 
*^ But how can I, alone and weak. 

Unbar, and know not who is there ?" 
** But I *m the Moor, the Moor Mazotc, 

The brother of thy mother dear. 
A Christian fell beneath my hand, 

The Alcalde comes, he comes apace, 
And if thou open not thy door, 

I perish here before thy face." 
I rose in haste, I rose in fear, 

I seized my cloak, I missed my vest, 
And, rushing to the &tal door, 

I threw it wide at his behest. 

The next is complete, and, from its early imitations and 
ses, it must probably be quite ancient. It begins 
"Fonte frida, Fonte frida," and is, perhaps, itself an 
imitation of " Rosa fresca, Rosa fresca," another of the 
early and very graceful lyrical ballads which were always 
so popular. 

«7 The forced alliteration of the first 
lines, and the phraseology of the 
whole, indicate the rudeness of the 
veiy early Castilian : — 

Yo men mom Monyma, 
Morilla d' nn bel catar ; 
Qiristiauo vino a mi puerta, 
Cuvtada, por me engaflar. 
HaUome en alganvla, 
Como aqnel que la bien sabe : 
** Ahima me laa pueitas. Mom, 
Si Ala te guarde de mal 1 " 
**Como te abrire, mesqaina. 

Que no fe qui^n to wras ? *' 
** Yo aoy el Moro Ma^ote, 
Ilennano de la tu madre. 
Que un Christiano dejo moerto ; 
Tins mi venia el alcalde. 
8ino me abret tn, mi vida, 
A qui me verai matar." 
Qnando eato oy, cnytada, 
Comeneeme a levantar ; 
Vistierame vn almexia. 
No hallando mi brial ; 
Fiienme pan la puerta, 
Y abrila de par en par. 

Cancionero General, 153&, f. 1 11. a. 


Cooling fountain, cooling fountain, 

Cooling fountain, full of love ! 
Where the little birds all gather, 

Thy refreshing power to prove ; 
All except the widowed turtle 

Full of grief, the turtle-dove. 
There the traitor nightingale 

All by chance once passed along, 
Uttering words of basest falsehood 

In his guilty, treacherous song : 
'* If it please thee, gentle lady, 

I thy servant-love would be.*' 
*' Hence, begone, ungracious traitor, 

Base deceiver, hence from me ! 
I nor rest upon green branches. 

Nor amidst the meadow's flowers ; 
The very wave my thirst that quenches 

Seek I where it turbid pours. 
No wedded love my soul shall know, 

Lest children's hearts my heart should win ; 
No pleasure would I seek for, no ! 

No consolation feel within ; 
So leave me sad, thou enemy I 

Thou foul and base deceiver, go ! 
For I thy love will never be, 

Nor ever, fiilse one, wed thee, no !" 

The parallel ballad of " Rosa fresca, Rosa fresca," is no 
less simple and characteristic ; Rosa being the name of the 

*^ Rose, fresh and fair, Rose, fresh and fiur. 
That with love so bright dost glow, 
When within my arms I held thee, 

I could never serve thee, no ! 
And now that I would gladly serve thee, 
I no more can see thee, no ! " 

** The fault, my friend, the fiiult was thine, — 

Thy fault alone, and not mine, no I 
A message came, — ^the words you sent, — 

Your servant brought it, well you know. 
And nought of love, or loving bands, 

But other words, indeed, he said : 
That you, my friend, in Leon's lands 

A noble dame had long since wed ; — 
A lady fair, as fair could be ; 
Iler children bright as flowers to see.'* 

VOL. I. 1 


<< Who told that tale, who spoke those words, 

No truth he spoke, my lady, no ! 
For Castile's lands I never saw, 

Of Leon*s mountains nothing know, 
Save as a little child, I ween, 
Too young to know what love should mean.'* ** 

Several of the other anonymous ballads in this little col- 
lection are not less curious and ancient, among which may 
be noted those beginning, " Decidme vos^pensamiento/* — 
" Que por Mayo era por Mayo," — and " Durandarte, 
Durandarte,** — together with parts of those beginning, 
"Triste estaba el caballero," and "Amara yo una 
Sefiora,** ^ Most of the rest, and all whose authors are 
known, are of less value and belong to a later period. 

The Cancionero of Castillo, where they appeared, was 
enlarged and altered in eight subsequent editions, the last 
of which was published in 1573 ; but in all of them this 
little collection of ballads, as originally printed in the first 
edition, remained by itself, unchanged, though in the 
editions of newer poetry a modern ballad is occasionally 
inserted. ^ It may, therefore, be doubted whether the 

•These two ballads are in the One no quiwo •» lu waigm, 

Cancionero of 1635, fF. 107 and 108 ; _ Ni c«arcontigo no. 

both cvidenUy very old. The use of The other is as follows :— 
carta in the last for an unwritten jjiio* ftjMtsa, Ro« ftwc«, 

#> i> ^1. • T • Tkn irmiTiaa y con amor ; 

message is one proof of this. I give gwmdo yo* tnrr en mla bmos, 

the originals of ooth for their beauty. No vm rape ■enrJr. no I 

Fonte Wda. fonte frida, <« Vuerti* fUe U culpa, amigo, 

Pontc Wda, y con amor, Vueitia ftie. one mta/no I "^ 

Do todai la« a^eiiraf Emblartet me una carta, 

V an tomar conaoladon, Con „„ ^u^t^ iervidor, 

Sino en la tortolica,. y ^n luvar de recaudar, 

Que tnu bmda y eon dolor. n dixera otra raion : 

Vot ay fue a panar Querade. cattdo. amiffo, 

P traylor del ruyaeftor ; ^lla en tierra* de L«5n ; 

Laa palabras que el dezia g^e teneit mnffer hermoM, 

Llenai wn de traicion ; y hijoa como ana flor." 

" 8i tn qoisieaaet. Seilora, « Quj^n o. lo dixo. Sefiora, 

J o "eria tu .eruidor. No voi dUo verdad. no I 

»,\®^*-?f *y» «n««V^. Que yo nunea entre en CkttllU, 

Malo, fkUo, engaflador, Nl alia en tierrai de Leon, 

Que nl po^ en ramo Yerde si no quando era peqiioHo, 

TurbU la bebia*?" *^ "** ** These ballads are in the edition 

Que no quiero aver marido, of 1 635, On ff. 109, 1 1 1 , and 1 1 3. 

Porqne hijoa no nay a, no ; 

No quiero piaier con eiloe, ** Qnc of the most Spirited of these 

Main, falM .mal traidor , begins thus (f. 3/ 3) I — 


General Caiicioneros did much to attract attention to the 
ballad poetry of the country> especially when we bear in 
mind that they are almost entirely filled with the works of 
the conceited school of the period that produced them, and 
were probably little known except among the courtly 
classes, who placed small value on what was old and na- 
tional in their poetical literature, '^ 

But while the Cancioneros were still in course of pub- 
lication, a separate effort was made in the right direction 
to preserve the old ballads, and proved successful. In 
1550, Stevan G. de Nagera printed at Saragossa, in two 
successive parts, what he called a " Sil va de Eomances," the 
errors of which he partly excuses in his Preface, on the 
ground that the memories of those from whom he gathered 
the "ballads he publishes were often imperfect Here, then, 
is the oldest of the proper ballad-books; one obviously 
taken from the traditions of the country. It is, therefore, 
the most curious and important of them all. A consider- 
able number of the short poems it contains must, however, 
be regarded only as fragments of popular ballads already 
lost, while, on the contrary, that on the Count Claros is 
the complete one, of which the Cancionero, published forty 
years earlier, had given only such small portions as its 
editor had been able to pick up ; both striking facts, which 
show, in opposite ways, that the ballads here collected were 
obtained, as the Preface says they were, from the memo- 
ries of the people. 

As might be anticipated from such an origin, their cha- 
racter and tone are very various. Some are connected 
with the fictions of chivalry, and the story of Charlemagne; 
the most remarkable of which are those on Gayferos and 

Ay.DiMdcmi tiemi. It was probably written by some 

A^l^%Tj:i^' ' homesick follower of Philip II. 

Ya no e« para mi. 8> gajv^ (Catalogue, London, 1826, 

God of my native land, q^q j^q. 60) reckons nine Cancione- 

O, once more set me free ! A iaU ''iri'L 

For here, on England's soil. ros Gcnerales, the pnncipal of which 

There ii no place for me. will be noticcd hereafter. 

I 2 



Period I. 

Melisendra, on the Marquis of Mantua and on Count 
Irlos. ^ Others, like that of the cross miraculously made 
for Alfonso the Chaste, and that on the fall of Valencia, 
belong to the early history of Spain, " and may well have 
been among those old Castilian ballads which Argote de 
Molina says were used in compiling the "General Chro- 
nicle." And finally, we have that deep domestic tragedy 
of Count Alarcos, which goes back to some period in the 
national history or traditions of which we have no other 
early record. " Few among them, even the shortest and 
least perfect, are without interest ; as, for instance, the ob- 
viously old one in which Virgil figures as a person punished 
for seducing the afiections of a king's daughter. ** As speci- 
mens, however, of the national tone which prevails in most 
of the collection, it is better to read such ballads as that 
upon the rout of Roderic on the eighth day of the battle 
that surrendered Spain to the Moors, '• or that on Garci 

■• Those on Gayferos begin, ** Es- 
tabase la Condessa/' '^ Vamonos, dixo 
nu tio/' and *^ Asscntado esta Gay- 
feros." The two long ones on ihe 
Marquis of Mantua and the Conde 
d' Irlos begin, ** De Mantua salid el 
Marquds/' and '* Estabase cl Conde 
d' Irlos." 

■• Compare the story of the angels 
in disguise, who made the miraculous 
cross for Alfonso, A. D. 794, as told 
in the ballad, ** Reynando el Rev 
Alfonso," in the Romancero of 1550, 
with the same stoiy as told in the 
"Crdnica General^' (1604, Parte 
III. f. 29) ;— and compare the ballad, 
** Apretada estk Valencia," (Ro- 
mancero, 1550,) with the " Crdnica 
del Cid," 1693, c. 183, p. 154. 

•* It begins, " Retrayida est^ la 
Infanta," (Romancero, 1550,) and is 
one of the most tender and beautiful 
ballads in any language. There are 
translations of it by Bowring (p. 51) 
and by Lockhart (Spanish Ballads, 
London, 1823, 4to., p. 202). It has 
been at least four times brought into 
A dramatic form ; — viz., by Lope de 
Vega, in his ** Fuerza liastimosa"; 

by Guillen de Castro ; by Mira do 
Mcscua ; and by Jos^ J. Milanes, a 
poet of Havana, whose works were 
printed there in 1846 (3 vols. 8vo.) ; — 
the three last giving their dramas sim- 
ply the name of the ballad, — *' Conde 
Alarcos." The best of them all is, 
I think, that of Mira de Mescua, which 
is found in Vol. V. of the " Comedias 
Escogidas " (1653, 4to.) ; but that of 
Miluics contains passages of very pas- 
sionate poetry. 

■* " Mandd el Rey prender Virgi- 
lios" (Romancero, 1550). It is among 
the very old ballads, and is full of the 
loyalty of its time. Virgil, it is well 
known, was treated, in the Middle 
Ages, sometimes as a knight, and 
sometimes as a wizard. 

•• Compare the ballads beginning, 
*^ Los Uuestes de Don Rodrigo," and 
** Dcspues aue el Rey Don Rodrieo," 
with the ** Cr6nica del Rey Don Ro- 
drigo y la Destruycion de Espafia" 
(Alcald, 1587, foL, Capp. 238, 254). 
There is a stirring translation of the 
first by Lockhart, in his ** Ancient 
Spanish Ballads,": (London, 1823, 
4to., p. 5,) — a work of genius beyond 


Perez de Vargas, taken, probably, from the "General 
Chronicle," and founded on a fact of so much consequence 
as to be recorded by Mariana, and so popular as to be 
referred to for its notoriety by Cervantes. ' ' 

The genuine ballad-book thus published was so successful, 
that, in less than five years, three editions or recensions of 
it appeared ; that of 1555, commonly called the Cancionero 
of Antwerp, being the last, the amplest, and the best known. 
Other similar coUections followed ; particularly one in nine 
parts, which, between 1593 and 1597, were separately 
published at Valencia, Burgos, Toledo, AlcaU, and Ma- 
drid ; a variety of sources, to which we no doubt owe, not 
only the preservation of so great a number of old ballads, 
but much of the richness and diversity we find in their sub- 
jects and tone ; — all the great divisions of the kingdom, 
except the south-west, having sent in their long-accumulated 
wealth to fill this first great treasure-house of the national 
popular poetry. Like its humbler predecessor, it had 
great success. Large as it was originally, it was still 
fiirther increased in four subsequent recensions, that ap- 
peared in the course of about fifteen years; the last 
being that of 1605-1614, in thirteen parts, constituting 
the great repository called the "Romancero General," 
from which, and from the smaller and earlier baUad-books, 
we still draw nearly all that is curious and interesting in 
the old popular poetry of Spain. The whole number of 
ballads found in these several volumes is considerably over 
a thousand. ^* 

But since the appearance of these collections, above 
two centuries ago, little has been done to increase our stock 

any of the sort known to me in any cal in such matters, like nearly all of 

language. his countrymen. The story of Gard 

^ Ortiz de Zuniga (Anales de Sc- Perez de Vargas is in the " Crdnica 

villa, Appendix, p. 831) gives this General," Parte IV. ; in the" Cronica 

ballad, and says it had been printed de Fernando III.," c. 48, etc. ; and in 

two hundred years. If this be true, it Mariana, Historia, Lib. XIII., c. 7. 
is, no doubt, the oldest iWii/erf ballad * See Appendix (B), on the Ro- 

in the language. But Ortiz is uncriti- manceros. 


of old Spanish baUads. Small ballad-books on particular 
subjects, like those of the Twelve Peers and of the Cid, 
were, indeed, early selected from the larger ones, and have 
since been frequently called for by the general favour ; but 
still it should be understood, that, from the middle and 
latter part of the seventeenth century, the true popular 
ballads, drawn from the hearts and traditions of the common 
people, were thought little worthy of regard, and remained 
until lately floating about among the humbler classes that 
gave them birth. There, however, as if in their native 
homes, they have always been no less cherished and culti- 
vated than they were at their first appearance, and there 
the old ballad-books themselves were oftenest found, until 
they were brought forth anew, to enjoy the favour of all, 
by Quintana, Depping, and Duran, who, in this, have but 
obeyed the feeling of the age in which we live. 

The old collections of the sixteenth century, however, 
are still the only safe and sufficient sources in which to seek 
the true old ballads. That of 1593-1597 is particularly 
valuable, as we have already intimated, from the aircum- 
stance that its materials were gathered so widely out of 
different parts of Spain ; and if to the multitude of ballads 
it contains we add those found in the Cancionero of 151 1, 
and in the ballad-book of 1550, we shall have the great 
body of the anonymous ancient Spanish ballads, more near 
to that popular tradition which was the common source of 
what is best in them than we can find it anywhere else. 

But, from whatever source we may now draw them, we 
must give up, at once, all hope of arranging them in chro- 
nological order. They were originally printed in small 
volumes, or on separate sheets, as they chanced, from time 
to time, to be composed or found, — those that were taken 
from the memories of the blind ballad-singers in the streets 
by the side of those that were taken from the works of Lope 
de Vega and Gongora ; and just as they were first collected, 
so they were afterwards heaped together in the General classification of ballads. 119 

Bomanceros, without affixing to them the names of their 
authors, or attempting to. distinguish the ancient ballads 
from the recent, or even to group together such as belonged 
to the same subject Indeed, they seem to have been pub- 
lished at all merely to furnish amusement to the less cul- 
tivated classes at home, or to solace the armies that were 
fighting the battles of Charles the Fifth and Philip the 
Second in Italy, Germany, and Flanders ; so that an or- 
derly arrangement of any kind was a matter of small conse- 
quence. Nothing remains for us, therefore, but to consi- 
der them by their subjects ; and for this purpose the most 
convenient distribution will be, first, into such as relate to 
fictions of chivalry, and especially to Charlemagne and his 
peers ; next, such as regard Spanish history and traditions, 
with a few relating to classical antiquity ; then such as are 
founded on Moorish adventures ; and lastly, such as be- 
long to the private life and manners of the Spaniards them- 
selves. What do not fall naturally under one of these 
divisions are not, probably, ancient ballads ; or, if they are 
such, are not of consequence enough to be separately no- 





Lara. — ^Thb Cid. — Ballads from Ascikkt Uistort akd Fable, 
Sacred and Profane. — Ballads on Moobish Subjects. — Miscei^ 
LANEous Ballads, Amatobt, Bublbsque, Satibical, btc. — Cuabacteb 
OF THE old Spanish Ballads. 

Ballads of Chivalry. — The first thing that strikes us, on 
opening any one of the old Spanish ballad-books, is the 
national air and spirit that prevail throughout them. But 
we look in vain for many of the fictions found in the popular 
poetry of other countries at the same period, some of which 
we might well expect to find here. Even that chivalry, 
which was so akin to the character and condition of Spain 
when the ballads appeared, fails to sweep by us with the 
train of its accustomed personages. Of Arthur and his 
Bound Table the old ballads tell us nothing at all, nor of 
the **Mervaile of the Graal,** nor of Perceval, nor of the 
Palmerins, nor of many other well-known and famous he- 
roes of the shadow land of chivalry. Later, indeed, some 
of these personages figure largely in the Spanish prose 
romances. But, for a long tiijie, the history of Spain itself 
furnished materials enough for its more popular poetry ; 
and therefore, though Amadis, Lancelot du Lac, Tristan 
de Leonnais, and their compeers, present themselves now 
and then in the ballads, it is not till after the prose ro- 
mances, filled with their adventures, had made them 
femiliar. Even then, they are somewhat awkwardly intro- 
duced, and never occupy any well-defined place ; for the 
stories of the Cid and Bernardo del Carpio were much 


nearer to the hearts of the Spanish people, and had left little 
space for such comparatively cold and unsubstantial fancies. 
The only considerable exception to this remark is to be 
found in the stories connected with Charlemagne and his 
peers. That great sovereign — who, in the darkest period 
of Europe since the days of the Roman republic, roused 
up the nations, not only by the glory of his military con- 
quests, but by the magnificence of his civil institutions — 
crossed the Pyrenees in the latter part of the eighth century 
at the solicitation of one of his Moorish allies, and ravaged 
the^Spanish marches as far as the Ebro, taking Pamplona and 
Saragossa* ' The impression he made there seems to have 
been the same he made everywhere ; and from this time 
the splendour of his great name and deeds was connected 
in the minds of the Spanish people with wild imaginations 
of their own achievements, and gave birth to that series of 
fictions which is embraced in the story of Bernardo del 
Carpio, and ends with the great rout, when, according to 
the persuasions of the national vanity, 

'* Charlemun with all his peerage fell 
By Fontarabbia." 

These picturesque adventures, chiefly without counte- 
nance from history, in which the French paladins appear 
associated with fabulous Spanish heroes, such as Montesi- 
nos and Durandarte, * and once with the noble Moor Ca- 
laynos, are represented with some minuteness in the old 
Spanish ballads. The largest number, including the long- 
est and the best, are to be found in the ballad-book of 
1550-1555, to which may be added a few from that of 
1593-1597, making together somewhat more than fifty, 
of which only twenty occur in the collection expressly de- 
voted to the Twelve Peers, and first published in 1608. 

* Sismondi, Hist, dcs Fran^ais, the cave of Montesinos, that all 

Paris, 1821, 8vo., Tom. II. pp. relating to them is to be found in the 

257-260. notes of Pellicer and Clcmencin to 

' MontesinoA and Durandarte figure Parte II. can. 23, of tho history of 

so largely in Don Quixote's visit to the uuid knignt. 


Some of them are evidently very old ; as, for instance, 
that on the Conde d' Irlos, that on the Marquis of Mantua, 
two on Claros of Montalban, and both the fragments on 
Durandarte, the last of which can be traced back to the 
Cancionero of 1 5 1 1 . ' 

The ballads of this class are occasionally quite long, and 
approach the character of the old French and English 
metrical romances ; that of the Conde d' Irlos extending 
to about thirteen hundred lines. The longer ballads, too, 
are generally the best ; and those, through large portions 
of which the same asonante, and sometimes even the same 
consonante or full rhyme, is continued to the end, have a 
solemn harmony in their protracted cadences, that produces 
an effect on the feelings like the chanting of a rich and 
well-sustained recitative. 

Taken as a body, they have a grave tone, combined with 
the spirit of a picturesque narrative, and entirely different 
from the extravagant and romantic air afterwards given to 
the same class of fictions in Italy, and even from that of 
the few Spanish ballads which, at a later period, were con- 
structed out of the imaginative and fantastic materials 
found in the poems of Bojardo and Ariosto. But in all 
ages and in all forms they have been favourites with the 
Spanish people. They were alluded to as such above five 
hundred years ago, in the oldest of the national chronicles; 
and when, at the end of the last century, Sarmiento notices 
the ballad-book of the Twelve Peers, he speaks of it as 
one which the peasantry and the children of Spain still 
knew by heart. * 

" These ballads begin, ** Estabase el Emperador/' also cited repeatedly by 

Conde d* Irlos," which b the longest I Cervantes ; and " O Belerma, O Bc- 

knowof; ^^Assentado esta Gayferos," lerma," translated by M. G. Lewis; 

which is one of the best, and cited to which niay be added, ** Durandartc, 

more than once by Cervantes ; ** Me- Durandartc," found in the Antwerp 

dia noche era por hilo," where the Romancero, and in the old Cancioneros 

counting of time by the dripping Generales. 

of water is a proof of antiquity in ^ Mcmorias para la Poesia Espaiiola, 

the ballad itself; *♦ A ca^a va el Sect. 528. 


Hisiarioal Ballads. — The most important and the 
largest division of the Spanish ballads is, however, the 
historical. Nor is this surprising. The early heroes in 
Spanish history grew so directly out of the popular cha- 
racter, and the early achievements of the national arms so 
nearly touched the personal condition of every Christian 
in the Peninsula, that they naturally became [the first and 
chief subjects of a poetry which has always^ to a remarkable 
degree, been the breathing of the popular feelings and pas- 
sions. It would be easy, therefore, to collect a series of 
ballads, — few in number as far as respects the Gothic and 
Roman periods, but ample from the time of Boderic and 
the Moorish conquest of Spain down to the moment when 
its restoration was gloriously fulfiUed in the fall of Granada, 
— a series which would constitute such a poetical illustra- 
tion of Spanish history as can be brought in aid of the his- 
tory of no other country. But, for our present purpose, it 
is enough to select a few sketches from these remarkable 
ballads devoted to the greater heroes, — personages half- 
shadowy, half-historical, — who, between the end of the 
eighth and the beginning of the twelfth century, occupy a 
wide space in all the old traditions, and serve alike to 
illustrate the early popular character in Spain, and the 
poetry to which that character gave birth. 

The first of these, in the order of time, is Bernardo del 
Carpio, concerning whom we have about forty ballads, 
which, with the accounts in the Chronicle of Alfonso the 
Wise, have constituted the foundations for many a drama 
and tale, and at least three long heroic poems. According 
to these early narratives, Bernardo flourished about the 
year 800, and was the offspring of a secret marriage between 
the Count de Saldaiia and the sister of Alfonso the Chaste, 
at which the king was so much offended, that he kept the 
Count in perpetual imprisonment, and sent the Infanta to 
a convent ; educating Bernardo as his own son, and keeping 
him ignorant of his birth. The achievements of Bernardo, 


ending with the victory of Roncesvalles, — his efforts to 
procure the release of his father, when he learns who his 
father is, — the falsehood of the king, who promises re- 
peatedly to give up the Count de Saldana and as often 
breaks his word, — with the despair of Bernardo, and his 
final rebellion, after the Counts death in prison, — are all 
as fully represented in the ballads as they are in the 
chronicles, and constitute some of the most romantic and 
interesting portions of each. * 

Of the ballads which contain this story, and which 
generally suppose the whole of it to have passed in one 
reign, though the Chronicle spreads it over three, none, 
perhaps, is finer than the one in which the Count de 
Saldana, in his solitary prison, complains of his son, who, 
he supposes, must know his descent, and of his wife, the 
Infanta, who, he presumes, must be in league with her 
royal brother. After a description of the castle in which 
he is confined, the Count says : — 

The talc of my imprifioned life 

Within these loathsome walls, 
Each moment as it lingers by, 

My hoary hair recalls ; 
For when this castle first I saw, 

My beard was scarcely grown, 
And now, to purge my youthful sins, 

Its folds hang whitening down. 
Then where art thou, my careless son ? 

And why so dull and cold ? 
Doth not my blood within thee run ? 

Speaks it not loud and bold ? 
Alus ! it may be so, but still 

Thy mother's blood i» thine ; 
And what is kindred to the king 

Will plead no cause of mine : 
And thus all three against me stand ; — 

For the whole man to quell, 
*Ti8 not enough to ha?c our foes, 

Our heart's blood must rebel. 

•The story of Bernardo is in the winning at f. 30, in the edition of 1604. 
' Crdnica General," Parte III., be- But it must be almost entirely fabulous. 

Chap. VII. 



Meanwhile the guards that watch mc here 

Of thy proud conquests boast ; 
But if for me thou ]ead*st it not, 

For whom, then, fights thy host ? 
And since thou Ieav*st me prisoned here. 

In cruel chuns to groan, 
Or I must be a guilty sire, 

Or thou a guilty son I 
Yet pardon me if I offend 

By uttering words so free ; 
For while oppressed with age I moan, 

No words come back from thee. * 

The old Spanish ballads have often a resemblance to 
each other in their tone and phraseology ; and occasionally 
several seem imitated from some common original. Thus, 
in another, on this same subject of the Count de Saldaiia's 
imprisonment, we find the length of time he had suffered, 
and the idea of his relationship and blood, enforced in the 
following words, not of the Count himself, but of Bernardo, 
when addressing the king : — 

The very walls are wearied there, 

So long in g^ef to hold 
A man whom first in youth they saw, 

And now see gray and old. 
And if, for errors such as these. 

The forfeit must be blood, 
Enough of hb has flowed from me. 

When for your rights I stood. ' 

* Lot tiempos de mi prifion 
Tan alxxnracida y Uu^ 
Por momentoa me lo dfien 

Aoaettu mil triste* canu. 

Quando entro en este caatillo, 
Apenas entre ron barhas, 
Y atfora por mi* peeadoa 
Las ^eo crecidat y blancaa. 

Que descuydo es e«te, hljo ? 
Como a voM« no te llama 
I.a san^re que tienea mia, 
A aocoirer donde falta? 

I^n duda qne te detlene 
La que de tu madre alcannas. 
Que por aer de la del Rey 
Juzffaraa qoal el mi causa. 

lodos tres sois rots conrrarioa ; 
Que a un desdichado no basta 
Que sus contrarioa lo sean, 
iHno sns propias entraiias. 

Todos loa aue aqnl me tienen 
Me euentan de tus haxaRas : 
Si pum tu padre no. 
Dime para quien las guardas ? 

Aqui eatoy en estroa liierroe, 

Y pnea dell«ia no me sacas, 
Mai padre deuo de ser, 

O mid hijo paes me fkltaa. 
Perdoname, ai te ofendo. 
Que descanao en las palabraa. 
Que yo como vicrjo lloro» 

Y tu como ausente CHllaa. 

Romanoero General. IMS, f. 46. 

But it was printed as early as 1593. 

7 This is evidently among the older 
ballads. The earliest printed copy of 
it that I know is to be found in the 
** Flor de Romances," Novena Parte, 
(Madrid, 1597, 18mo., f. 45,) and the 
passage I have translated is very 
striking in the original : — 

Cansadas ya laa paredea 

De guardar en tanto tiempo 

A un hombrCt <1<m Tieron mo^o 

Y ya le yma eano y vlejo. Si 



Period I. 

In reading the ballads relating to Bernardo del Carpio, 
it is impossible not to be often struck with their re- 
semblance to the corresponding passages of the " General 
Chronicle." Some of them are undoubtedly copied from 
it ; others possibly may have been, in more ancient forms, 
among the poetical materials out of which we know that 
Chronicle was in part composed." The best are those 
which are least strictly conformed to the history itself; but 
all, taken together, form a curious and interesting series, 
that serves strikingly to exhibit the manners and feelings 
of the people in the wild times of which they speak, as well 
as in the later periods when many of them must have been 

The next series is that on Feman Gonzalez, a popular 
chieftain, whom we have already mentioned when noticing 

Si ys mu cnlptt nMrecsn* 

Que Mngro sm en so deacuento, 

HarU tuya he derramado, 

Y toda en aerricio vuestro. 

It is given a little differently by 

" The ballad bcpnning " En Cortc 
del casto Alfonso, in the ballad-book 
of 1555, is taken from the *' Crdnica 
General/' (Parte III. ff. 32, 3d, ed. 
1604,) as the following passage, 
speaking of Bernardo's first knowledge 
that his father was the Count of 
Saldana, will show : — 

Qutmdo Bernaldo lo smpo 
Peiole a gran demaala, 
Tanto que demtro em el enerpo 
La sangre $e le vofota. 
Yendo para su poeada 
May i^nde Ilanto haeia, 
Vi»tio%e pa^o$ de tmto, 

Y delante el Rey ae ib*. 
SI Rey qwatdo aai te xii, 

** Bernaldo, por aTentnra 
Cobdicias la mmerte mia f " 

The Chronicle reads thus: *'Eel 
[Bernardo] qucmdolsupo, que su padre 
era prcso, pesol mucho de cora^on, e 
bollnosde la sangre en d cuerpo, e 
iiiesse para su posada, fazienuo el 
mayor duelo del mundo ; e vintidse 
pafios de duelo, e fucsse para el Rey 
Don Alfonso ; e c/ Rey, quando lo 
vido, dixol : * Bernaldo, cobdiciades 

la muerte mia f*" It is plain enough, 
in this case, that the Chronicle is the 
original of the ballad ; but it is very 
difficult, if not impossible, from the 
nature of the case, to show that any 
particular ballad was used in the 
composition of the Chronicle, because 
we nave undoubtedly none of the 
ballads in the form in which thoy 
existed when the Chronicle was com- 
piled in the middle of the thirteenth 
century, and therefore a correspond- 
ence of phraseology like that just 
cited is not to be expected. Yet it 
would not be surprising if some of 
these ballads on Bernardo, found in 
the Sixth Part of the " Flor de 
Romances," (Toledo, ISM, 18mo.,) 
which Pedro Florcs tells us he col- 
lected far and wide from tradition, 
were known in the time of Alfonso 
the Wise, and were among the 
Cantares de Gesta to which he 
alludes. 1 would instance particularly 
the three beginning, ** Contandolc 
estaba un dia," *^ Antesque barbas 
tuviesse," and ** Mai mis servieios 
pagaste." The language of those bol* 
lads is, no doubt, chiefly that of the 
age of Charles V. and Philip II., but 
the thoughts and feelings are evidently 
much older. 


his metrical chronicle ; and one who, in the middle of the 
tenth century, recovered Castile anew from the Moors, 
and became its first sovereign Count. The number of 
ballads relating to him is not large ; probably not twenty. 
The most poetical are those which describe his being twice 
rescued from prison by his courageous wife, and those 
which relate his contest with King Sancho, where he dis- 
played all the turbulence and cunning of a robber baron 
in the Middle Ages. Nearly all their facts may be found 
in the Third Part of the "General Chronicle;" and 
though only a few of the ballads themselves appear to be 
derived from it as distinctly as some of those on Bernardo 
del Carpio, still two or three are evidently indebted to 
that Chronicle for their materials and phraseology, while 
yet others may possibly, in some ruder shape, have pre- 
ceded it, and contributed to its composition. ' 

The ballads which naturally form the next group are 
those on the Seven Lords of Lara, who lived in the time 
of Garcia Ferrandez, the son of Fernan Gonzalez. Some 
of them are beautiful, and the story they contain is one of 
the most romantic in Spanish history. The Seven Lords 
of Lara, in consequence of a family quarrel, are betrayed 
by their uncle into the hands of the Moors, and put to 
death ; while their father, by the basest treason, is confined 
in a Moorish prison, where, by a noble Moorish lady, he 
has an eighth son, the famous Mudarra, who at last 
avenges all the wrongs of his race. On this story there 
are about thirty ballads; some very old, and exhibiting 
either inventions or traditions not elsewhere recorded. 

* Among the ballads taken from the the two last, is very spirited, is found 
" Crbnica General " is, I think, the in the ** Flor de Romances," S^ptima 
one in the ballad-book of 1665, be- Parte, (AlcaU, 1597, ISmo., f. 66,) 
ginning ** Preso esta Fernan Gon- beginning " El Conde Fernan Gon- 
zalez," though the Chronicle says zalez," and contains an account of one 
(Parte III. f. 62, ed. 1604^ that it of his victories over Almanzor not told 
was a Norman count who bnbcd the elsewhere, and therefore the more 
castellan, and the ballad says it was curious, 
a Lombard. Another, which, like 


while others seem to have come directly from the 
"General Chronicle." The following is a part of one of 
the last, and a good specimen of the whole : — ^® 

What knight goes there, so fSdse and fair, 

Tliat thus for treason stood ? 
Velasquez hight is that false knight, 

Who sold his brother's blood. 
Where Almendr extends afar, 

He called his nephews forth, 
And on that plain he bade them gain 

A name of fame and worth. 
The Moors he shows, the common foes, 

And promises their rout ; 
But while they stood, prepared for blood, 

A mighty host came out 
Of Moorish men were thousands ten, 

With i)ennons flowing fair ; 
Whereat each knight, as well he might. 

Inquired what host came there. 
** (), do not fear, my kinsmen dear,** 

The base Velasquez cried, 
" The Moors you see can never be 

Of power your shock to bide ; 
I oft have met their craven set. 

And none dared face my might ; 
So think no fear, my kinsmen dear, 

But boldly seek the fight'* 
Thus words deceive, and men believe. 

And falsehood thrives amain ; 
And those brave knights, for Christian rights, 

Have sped across the plain ; 
And men ten score, but not one more, 

To follow fipeely chose : 
So Velasquez base his kin and race 

Has bartered to their foes. 

But, as might be anticipated, the Cid was seized upon 

*^ The story of the Infantes do Lara his notes to the '* Chronicle of the 

is in the**Cr6nica General," Parte Cid "(p. 401). Sepulveda (1551-84) 

III., and in the edition of 1604 begins has a rood many ballads on the sub- 

at f. 74. I possess, also, a striking ject ; 5ie one I have partly translated 

volume, containing forty olates, on in the text beginning, — 
their history, by Otto Vaenius, a Qaien « .qaei cuiiero 

scholar and artist, who died in 1634. Que tmn gnn tnydon hada? 

It is entitled " Historia Septem In- S?.I i Ji^TSTb^Ji^^^^lSSS^ 
fiuitium deLara (Antverpiae, 1612, 

fol.) ; the same, no doubt, an imper- The corresponding passage of the 

feet copy of which Southey praises in Chronicle is at f. 78, ed. 1604. 


vith the first formation of the language as the subject of 
popular poetry, and has been the occasion of more ballads 
than any other of the great heroes of Spanish history or 
fable." They were first collected in a separate ballad- 
book as early as 1612, and have continued to be published 
and republished at home and abroad down to our own 
times. " It would be easy to find a hundred and sixty ; 
some of them very ancient ; some poetical ; many prosaic 
and poor. The chronicles seem to have been little resorted 
to in their composition. " The circumstances of the Cid's 
history, whether true or fictitious, were too well settled in 
the popular faith, and too familiar to all Christian Spaniards, 
to render the use of such materials necessary. No portion 
of the old ballads, therefore, is more strongly marked with 
the spirit of their age and country ; and none constitutes 
a series so complete. They give us apparently the whole 
of the Cid s history, which we find nowhere else entire ; 
neither in the ancient poem, which does not pretend to be 
a life of him ; nor in the prose chronicle, which does 
not begin so early in his story ; nor in the Latin document, 
which is too brief and condensed. At the very outset we 
have the following minute and living picture of the mor- 

" In the barbarous rhymed Latin 18mo. ;) but the Madrid edition, 

poem, printed with great care by San- (1818, 18mo.,) the Frankfort, (1827, 

doval, (Reyes de Castilla, Pamplona, 12mo.O and the collection in Duran, 

1615, f. 189, etc.,) and apparently (Caballarescos, Madrid, 1832, 12mo., 

written, as we have noticed, oy some Tom. II. pp. 43-191,) are more eom- 

one who witnessed the siege of Alme^ plete. The most complete of all is 

ria in 1147, we have the following that by Keller, (Stuttgard, 1840, 

lines : — 12mo.,3 and contsuns 154 ballads. 

,_ _ But a row could be added even to this 

Ipic Rodencas, Mic Ctd wmper vocatat, 

De qmo tantattir, quod ab hoatibot haud rapera- ""7* -.,,,,-., . . , ^ 

tua, " The ballads begmmng, " Guarte^ 

Qai domuit Mora, comitea qaoqoe domuit not- guarte, Rey Don Sancho," and " De 

Zamora sale Dolfos," are indebted to 

These poems must, by the phrase the ** Crdnica del Cid," 1693, c. 61, 
Mio Cid, nave been in Spanish ; and, 62. Others, especially those in Se- 
lf so, could hardly have been any pulveda's collection, show marks of 
thing but ballads. other parts of the same chronicle, or 

»* Nic. Antonio (Bib. Nova, Tom. of the " Crdnica General," Parte IV. 

I. p. 684) gives 1612 as the date of But the whole amount of such indebt- 

the oldest Romancero del Cid. The edncss in the ballads of the Cid is 

oldest I possess is of Pamplona, (1706, small. 



tification and sufferings of Diego Laynez, the Cid's father, 
in consequence of the blow he had received from Count 
Lozano, which his age rendered it impossible for him to 
avenge : — 

Sorrowing old Laynez sat, 

Sorrowing on the deep disgrace 
Of his house, so rich and knightly, 

Older than Abarca's race. 
For he saw that youthful strength 

To avenge his wrong was needed ; 
That, by years enfeebled, broken, 

None his arm now feared or heeded. 
But he of Orgaz, Count Lozano, 

Walks secure where men resort ; 
Hindered and rebuked by none, 

Proud his name, and proud his port. 
While he, the injured, neither sleeps. 

Nor tastes the needful food, 
Nor from the ground dares lift his eyes, 

Nor moves a step abroad, 
Nor friends in friendly converse meets. 

But hides in shame his face ; 
His very breath, he thinks, offends. 

Charged with insult and disgrace. " 

In this state of his father's feelings, Roderic, a mere 
stripling, determines to avenge the insult by challenging 
Count Lozano, then the most dangerous knight and the 
first nobleman in the kingdom. The result is the death of 
his proud and injurious enemy ; but the daughter of the 
fallen Count, the fair Ximena, demands vengeance of the 
king, and the whole is adjusted, after the rude fashion of 
those times, by a marriage between the parties, which ne- 
cessarily ends the feud. 

**The earliest place in which I Sinqne nadie » lo impitU, 

have seen this ballad-^vidcnUy very i^n'JSA" do^/e nocC 

old in its materiel — ^is ** Flor de Ro- Nin gustjur de 1m TiHndu, 

mances," Novena Parte, 1597, f. 133. Ni'S^-fuVe'tuiS:?^'*' 

Cuydando Wego Laynei Nin fablap con bob unigot, 

En la mentpia de su caM, Antes lei niega la fabia, 

Fidalga, rica y antisna, Temiendo no lea ofenda 

Antes de NuKo y Abarca, Ei aiiento de sa iofamia. 

Y viendo qae le fidleoen 

Fuercas para u venganca. The pun on the name of Count LO' 

pSTnriu'S.'Si.f "" '««> (iWhty or Pnwd) i, of course 

Y qae el de Orgas ae vaaaea not translated. 

Segiiro y libre en la 



The ballads^ thus far, relate only to the early youth of 
the Cid in the reign of Ferdinand the Great, and consti- 
tute a separate series, that gave to Guillen de Castro, and 
after him to Corneille, the best materials for their respec- 
tive tragedies on this part of the Cid s ^tory. But at the 
death of Ferdinand, his kingdom was divided, according 
to his will, among his four children ; and then we have 
another series of ballads on the part taken by the Cid in 
the wars almost necessarily produced by such a division, 
and in the siege of Zamora, which fell to the share of 
Queen Urraca, and was assailed by her brother, Sancho the 
Brave. In one of these ballads, the Cid, sent by Sancho 
to summon the city, is thus reproached and taunted by 
Urraca, who is represented as standing on one of its towers, 
and answering him as he addressed her from below : — 

Away I away I proud Roderic I 

Castilian proud, away I 
Bethink thee of that oldcn time, 

That happy, honoured day, 
When, at St. James's holy shrine, 

Thy knighthood first was won ; 
When Ferdinand, my royal sire, 

Confessed thee for a son. 
He gave thee then thy knightly arras, 

My mother gave thy steed ; 
Thy spurs were buckled by these hands, 

That thou no grace might*st need. 
And had not chance forbid the vow, 

I thought with thee to wed ; 
But Count Lozano's daughter fair 

Thy happy bride was led. 
With her came wealth, an ample store, 

But power was mine, and state : 
Broad lands are good, and have their grace. 

But he that reigns is great. 
Thy wife is well ; thy match was wise ; 

Yet, Roderic ! at thy side 
A vassal's daughter sits by thee. 

And not a royal bride 1 ^ 

" This is a very old as well as a Durandarte," found as early as 1611, 
very spirited ballad. It occurs first is an obvious imitation of it, so that it 
in print in 1655 ; but ** Durandarte, was probably old and fiunous at that 

K 2 


Alfonso the Sixth succeeded on the death of Sancho, 
who perished miserably by treason before the walls of Za- 
mora ; but the Cid quarrelled with his new master, and 
was exiled. At this moment begins the old poem already 
mentioned ; but even here and afterwards the ballads form 
a more continuous account of his life, carrying us, oft«n 
with great minuteness of detail, through his conquest of 
Valencia, his restoration to the king's favour, his triumph 
over the Counts of Carrion, his old age, death, and burial, 
and giving us, when taken together, what Miiller the 
historian and Herder the philosopher consider, in its 
main circumstances, a trustworthy history, but what can 
hardly be more than a poetical version of traditions current 
at the different times when its different portions were 

Indeed, in the earlier part of the period when historical 
ballads were written, their subjects seem rather to have 
been chosen among the traditional heroes of the country 
than among the known and ascertained events in its annals. 
Much fiction, of course, was mingled with whatever related 
to such personages by the willing credulity of patriotism, 
and portions of the ballads about them are incredible to 
any modem faith ; so that we can hardly fail to agree with 
the good sense of the canon in Don Quixote, when he 
says, ^^ There is no doubt there was such a man as the Cid 
and such a man as Bernardo del Carpio, but much doubt 

time. In the oldest copy now known &?^.*^«* ?»•"» Gomei, 

it readB thus, but wiS afterwards a?n'ei£S5£i"dhSSr 

changed. I omit the last lines, which Oonmlgo uyieam estado. 

seem to be an addition. . »« SS^fa^Sdo : 

AftMn,aftiam,Rodriits DexMte hHa d« Rey, 

El Mbertalo GutoUADoT Por tomar u de mi YaiaUo. 

Aeordaita to debria 

Dt aqnei tiempo ya pMndo. This was One of the most popular 

SdutSd/SSST; oftheoldballad«. It is often alluded 

Qaudo «i Rey Am to piditnok to by the writen of the best ago of 

Mi madra to dio el eabldio, Cervantes, m ** Persiles y Sigismun- 

. Totoe^iMMpMiat, da/' (Lib. III. c. 21,) and was used 

S!S;;:i^SS^^^ ^y GuUlen de Castro in his play on 

No lo qolM ul peeado ; the Cid. 


whether they achieved what is imputed to them ;" " while, 
at the same time, we must admit there is no less truth in 
the shrewd intimation of Sancho, that, after all, the old 
ballads are too old to tell lies. At least, some of them 
are so. 

At a later period all sorts of subjects were introduced 
into the ballads ; ancient subjects as well as modern, sacred 
as well as profane. Even the Greek and Roman fables 
were laid under contribution, as if they were historically 
true ; but more ballads are connected with Spanish history 
than with any other, and, in general, they are better. The 
most striking peculiarity of the whole mass is, perhaps, 
to be found in the degree in which it expresses the na- 
tional character. Loyalty is constantly prominent The 
Lord of Butrago sacrifices his own life to save that 
of his sovereign. " The Cid sends rich spoils from his 
conquests in Valencia to the ungrateful king who had 
driven him thither as an exile.*® Bernardo del Carpio 
bows in submission to the uncle who basely and brutdly 
outrages his filial affections ; '* and when, driven to despair, 
he rebels, the ballads and the chronicles absolutely forsake 

"• " En lo que hubo Cid, no hay du- letter following it, — " El vasallo des- 

da, ni menos Bernardo del Carpio ; pero leale." This trait in the Cid's charac- 

de que hicieron las hazanasque dicen, ter is noticed by Diego Ximenez Ay- 

creo que ha^ muy grande." (Parte I., lion, in his poem on that hero, 1579, 

c. 49.) This, indeed, is the good sense where, having spoken of his being 

of the matter, — a point in which Cer- treated by the kin^ with harshness, — 

vantes rarely fails, — and it forms a *^ Tratado de su Key con aspereza," 

strong contrast to the extravagant faith — the poet adds, — 

of those who, on the one side, consider JamM le dio ingar n Tirtod kIu 

the ballads good historical documents, Q«« •" •« ^^^ ^°i«" •>««»» gj^ j 

as Miiller and Herder are disposed to « ^-. r li. • l * 

do, and the sturdy incredulity of Mas- „ ^ ®?® j®[ "*® occasions when 

deu, on the other, who denies that Bernardo had been most foully and 

there ever was a Cid. falsely treated by the king, he says,— 

^^ See the fine ballad begimiing ^SS^qr^r^^" 

"Si el cavallo vos ban muerto, — . . . „ „^ .^ ,„, ^„ ^. , 

,.,«, ,,..—,,', A king you are, ana yon moat ao, 

which first appears m the **Florde in yoar own way, what pleaaea you. 

Romances," Octava Parte (AlcalA, ^„j ^„ ^^^her similar occasion, in 
1 597, f. 129). It 18 boldly translated ^^^^^ ^y^ j^e says to the king,— 

by Lockhart. ^^^ ^^ ©• deiare 

" I refer to the ballad in the ** Ro- MienSHJqae^n^Tuvida. 

mancero del Cid " beginning " Lleeo ^^, .^ali , f.ii ^^ aerve your G«ce 

Alvar Faiiez a Burgos," with the WhUe life within me keept ha plac^. 


him. In short, this and the other strong traits of the na- 
tional character are constantly appearing in the old histori- 
cal ballads, and constitute a chief part of the peculiar 
charm that invests them. 

Ballads on Moorish Subjects. — The Moorish ballads 
form a brilliant and large class by themselves, but none of 
them are as old as the earliest historical ballads. Indeed, 
their very subjects intimate their later origin. Few can 
be found alluding to known events or personages that occur 
before the period immediately preceding the fall of Gra- 
nada ; and even in these few the proofs of a more recent 
and Christian character are abundant The truth appears 
to be, that, after the final overthrow of the Moorish power, 
when the conquerors for the first time came into full possession 
of whatever was most luxurious in the civilization of their 
enemies, the tempting subjects their situation suggested 
were at once seized upon by the spirit of their popular 
poetry. The sweet South, with its picturesque though 
effeminate refinement; the foreign, yet not absolutely 
stranger, manners of its people ; its magnificent and fan- 
tastic architecture ; the stories of the warlike achievements 
and disasters at Baza, at Bonda, and at Alhama, with the 
romantic adventures and fierce feuds of the Zegris and 
Abencerrages, the Gomeles and the Aliatares ; — all took 
strong hold of the Spanish imagination, and made of 
Granada, its rich plain and snow-capped mountains, that 
fairy land which the elder and sterner ballad poetry of the 
North had failed to create. From this time, therefore, 
we find a new class of subjects, such as the loves of Gazul 
and Abindarraez, with games and tournaments in the Bi- 
varrambla, and tales of Arabian knights in the Generalife ; 
in short, whatever was matter of Moorish tradition or 
manners, or might by the popular imagination be deemed 
such, was wrought into Spanish ballad poetry, until the 
very excess became ridiculous, and the ballads themselves 
laughed at one another for deserting their own proper 


subjects, and becoming, as it were, ren^ades to nationality 
and patriotism. ^ 

The period when this style of poetry came into favour 
was the century that elapsed after the fsdl of Granada ; the 
same in which all classes of the ballads were first vnritten 
down and printed. The early collections give full proof 
of this. Those of 1511 and 1550 contain several Moorish 
ballads, and that of 1593 contains above two hundred. 
But though their subjects involve known occurrences, they 
are hardly ever really historical ; as, for instance, the well- 
known ballad on the tournament in Toledo, which is sup- 
posed to have happened before the year 1085, while its 
names belong to the period immediately preceding the 
fall of Granada ; and the ballad of King Belchite, which, 
like many others, has a subject purely imaginary. Indeed, 
this romantic character is the prevalent one in the ballads 
of this class, and gives them much of their interest ; a fact 
well illustrated by that beginning "The star of Venus 
rises now," which is one of the best and most consistent in the 
" Romancero General," and yet, by its allusions to Venus 
and to Rodamonte, and its mistake in supposing a Moor 
to have been Alcayde of Seville, a century after Seville 
had become a Christian city, shows that there was, in its 
composition, no serious thought of anything but poetical 

These, with some of the ballads on the famous Gazul, 

» In the humorous ballad, " Tanta ^L1^b***thS?Ihi'Xw '^***' 

Zayda y Adalifa ," (first printed, Flor to h^m^toJ, in beaUira ilmd«, 

de Romances, Quinta Parte, Burg^, For fictiont poor and cold. 

1594, 18mo., f. 158,) we have the fol- Gdngora, too, attacked them in an 

lowing : — amusinp ballad, — " A mis Sefiores 

Ren«aronde«iiey poetas, '-and they wcre defendwi 

Lot Romancirtas de Eapafla, m another, begimung " Forque, 8e- 

Y ofrederonle a Mahoma nores pOCtas *' 

fe^S".^^,»rh& •• "^ho i ocho du« i diez," and 

De ra Teneedora patria, « Sale la estrella de Venus, two ot 

Y mendigan de laagena ^^^ ballads here referred to, are in the 
invencioneayp^M Romanceroof 1593. Of the last there 

Like reneeades to Chnatian faith, . i ^ i a* • ^ .^ii^^a 

These baiiad-mongew vain IS a good translation m an excellent 

Have given to Mahound himaeif- article on Spanish Poetrv in the Edin- 

The offering, due to Spain ; ^^^^ Review, Vol. XXXIX., p. 419. 


occur in the popular story of the "Wars of Granada,*' 
where they are treated as if contemporary with the facts 
they record, and are beautiful specimens of the poetry 
which the Spanish imagination delighted to connect with 
that most glorious event in the national history. ^ Others 
can be found in a similar tone on the stories, partly or 
wholly fabulous, of Mu9a, Xarifig, Lisaro^ and Tarfis ; while 
yet others, in greater number, belong to the treasons and 
rivalries, the plots and adventures, of the more famous 
Zegris and Abencerrages, which, as far as they are founded 
in fact, show how internal dissensions, no less than exter- 
nal disasters, prepared the way for the final overthrow of 
the Moorish empire. Some of them were probably written 
in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella ; many more in the 
time of Charles the Fifth ; the most brilliant, but not the 
best, somewhat later. 

Ballads on Manners and Private Life, — But the ballad 
poetry of Spain was not confined to heroic subjects drawn 
firom romance or history, or to subjects depending on 
Moorish traditions *and manners; and therefore, though 
these are the three largest classes into which it is divided, 
there is yet a fourth, which may be called miscellaneous, 
and which is of no little 'moment For, in truth, the 
poetical feelings even of the lower portions of the Spanish 
people were spread out over more subjects than we should 
anticipate ; and their genius, which, firom the first, had a 
charter as firee as the wind, has thus left us a vast number 
of records, that prove at least the variety of the popular 
perceptions, and the quickness and tenderness of the 
popular sensibility. Many of the miscellaneous ballads 
thus produced — perhaps most of them — are efiusions of 
love ; but many are pastoral, many are burlesque, satirical, 
and picaresque ,• many are called Letrillas^ but have nothing 
epistolary about them except the name ; many are lyrical 

* Amonfir the fine ballads on Gazul are^ ** For la plaza dc San Juan/' and 
(« Estando toda la corto.'* 


in their tone, if not in their form ; and many are descrip- 
tive of the manners and amusements of the people at large. 
But one characteristic runs through the whole of them — 
they are true representations of Spanish life. Some of those 
first printed have already been referred to ; but there is a 
considerable class marked by an attractive simplicity of 
thought and expression, united to a sort of mischievous 
shrewdness, that should be particularly noticed. No such 
popular poetry exists in any other language. A number of 
these ballads occur in the peculiarly valuable Sixth Part 
of the Bomancero, that appeared in 1594, and was gathered 
by Pedro Flores, as he himself tells us, in part at least, from 
the memories of the common people. *' They remind us 
not unfrequently of the lighter poetry of the Archpriest of 
Hita in the middle of the fourteenth century, and may, pro- 
bably, be traced back in their tone and spirit to a yet earlier 
period. Indeed, they are quite a prominent and charm- 
ing part of all the earliest Bomanceros, not a few of them 
being as simple, and yet as shrewd and humorous, as the 
following, in which an elder sister is represented lecturing 
a younger one, on first noticing in her the symptoms of 
love : — 

Her sister Miguela ** When you take up your work, 

Once chid little Jane, You look vacant and stare, 

And the words that she spoke And gaze on your sampler, 

Gave a great deal of pain. But miss the stitch there, 

** You went yesterday playing, ** You 're in love, people say, 

A child like the rest ; Your actions all show it : — 

And now you come out. New ways we shall have 

More than other girls dressed. When mother shall know it. 

** You take pleasure in sighs, ** She *11 nail up the windows, 

In sad music delight ; And lock up the door ; 

W^ith the dawning you rise, Leave to frolic and dance 

Yet sit up half the night. She will give us no more. 

** For example, ** Que cs do mi un cavallero," " Mai ayan mis ojos," 
tontento," " Plcpa ^ Dios quo si yo ** Nina, que vives," etc. 
nrofi " ** AniiAlls) mnronft '* *• Madre. 

croo," ** Aquella morena,'* " Madre, 



Period I. 

'' Old aunt will be sent 
To take us to mass, 
And stop all our talk 

With the girls as we pass. 

*' And when we walk out, 

She will bid our old shrew 
Keep a faithful account 
Of what our eyes do ; 

** And mark who goes by, 

If I peep through the blind, 
And be sure and detect us 
In looking behind. 

" Thus for your idle follies 
Must I sufier too, 
And, though nothing I 've done. 
Be punished like you." 

** O sister Miguela, 

Your chiding pray spare ; — 
That I 'vc troubles you guess. 
But not what they are. 

*' Young Pedro it is. 

Old Juan's fair youth ; 
But he 's gone to the wars, 
And where is his truth ? 

'* I loved him sincerely, 
I loved all he said ; 
But I fear ho is fickle, 
I fear he is fled I 

'* He is gone of free choice. 
Without summons or call, 

• And 't is foolish to love him, 
Or like him at all." 

" Nay, rather do thou 
To God pray above. 
Lest Pedro return, 
And agun you should love,** 

Said Miguela in jest, 
As she answered poor Jane ; 
** For when love has been bought 
At cost of such pain, 

** What hope is there, sister. 
Unless the soul part. 
That the passion you cherish 
Should yield up your heart ? 

" Your years will increase. 
But so will your pains. 
And this you may learn 

From the proverb^s old strains : 

' If, when but a child, 

Love's power you own, 
Pray, what will you do 

When you older are grown ?' " •* 

** The oldest copy of this ballad 
or leira that I have seen b in the 
** Flor de Romances," Sexta Parte, 
(1594, f. 27,) collected by Pedro Flo- 
res from popular traditions, and of 
which a less perfect copy is given, by 
an oversight, in the Ninth Part of the 
same collection, 1597, f. 116. I have 
not translated the verses at the end, 
because they seem to be a poor gloss 
by a later hand and in a different 
measure. The ballad itself is as fol- 
lows : — 

Riflo con JuaniUa 

Su hermana Miguela; 
PalaUras le dize. 

Que mucho le duelan : 
" Ayer en mantillas 

Andauaa pequefla, 
Oy andoa galana 

Mas que otrss donsellas. 

Tuffoio es susplros, 

Tu can tar endecbas ; 
Al alua madrugas, 

Muy tarde te acnesta» ; 
Quando estas lalnrando. 

No se en que te piensas, 
Al dechado mins, 

Y los puntos yerras. 
Dizenme que hazes 

Amorosas sefias : 
Si madre lo sabe. 

Aura cosM nuenas. 
Clauara ventanas, 

Cerrara las puertas ; 
Para que bayfenios, 

No dara licencia ; 
Mandara que tia 

Nos lleue a la Yglesia, 
Porque no nos hablon 

Las amigas nuestras. 
Quando Tuera saiga, 

Dirale a la duefia, 
Que con nuestros ojos 

Tenga mucha euenta ; 
Que mire quien paasa, 

Si miro a la reja. 


A single specimen like this^ however, can give no idea 
of the great variety in the class of ballads to which it be- 
longs, nor of their poetical beauty. To feel their true 
value and power, we must read large numbers of them, 
and read them too in their native language ; for there is 
a winning freshness in the originals, as they lie imbedded 
in the old Bomanceros, that escapes in translations, how- 
ever free or however strict; — a remark that should be 
extended to the historical as well as the miscellaneous 
portions of that great mass of popular poetry which is 
found in the early ballad-books, and which, though it is 
all nearly three centuries old, and some of it older, has 
been much less carefully considered than it deserves to be. 

Yet there are certainly few portions of the literature of 
any country that will better reward a spirit of adventurous 
inquiry than these ancient Spanish ballads, in all their 
forms. In many respects they are unlike the earliest 
narrative poetry of any other part of the world ; in some 
they are better. The English and Scotch ballads, with 
which they may most naturally be compared, belong to a 
ruder state of society, where a personal coarseness and 
violence prevailed, which did not, indeed, prevent the 
poetry it produced from being fiill of energy, and sometimes 
of tenderness, but which necessarily had less dignity and 
elevation than belong to the character, if not the condition, 
of a people who, like the Spanish, were for centuries en- 

Y qaal de noaotru Sin AierQa y eon gtuto, 

Boluio U cabe^a. No es bien que le qnien." 

For tits libertades *• RaegiUe tu a Dios 

Sere yo tujreta ; Que Pedro no baelua," 

Pu^aremot Jostoe Reapondio burlando 

Lo qae maloa pecan." Su bermana Miffnela, 

** Ay 1 Miguela bermana, ** Que el amor comprado 

Que mal que soapechaa ! Con tan ricaa prendas 

Mil males presumes, No saldra del alma 

Y no los aciertas. Sin salir con ella. 

A Pedro, el <1e Juan, Creciendo tns aflos. 

Que se ftie a la ^erra, Creoeran tos penis ; 

Addon le tuoe, Y si no lo s>uc«, 
Y escache sus quexas ; Escucha esU letra : 

Mas vinto que es Tario Si eres nifia y has amor, 

Mediante el ausencia, Que bans quando mayor ? " 

De su fe finsida f^^^^ p^^e de Flor de Romances, Toledo^ 

Ya no se me ncuerda. 
'infpila la llamo, 
Porque, qaien se ausenta. 

Ya no se me ncuerda. ..q. •(>_,. r ••« 

Pinfpila la llamo, ' ' 


gaged in a contest ennobled by a sense of religion and 
loyalty ; a contest which could not fail sometimes to raise 
the minds and thoughts of those engaged in it far above 
such an atmosphere as settled round the bloody feuds of 
rival barons or the gross maraudings of a border warfare. 
The truth of this will at once be felt if we compare the 
striking series of ballads on Bobin Hood with those on the 
Cid and Bernardo del Carpio ; or if we compare the deep 
tragedy of Edom o' Gordon with that of the Ck>nde Alar- 
cos ; or, what would be better than either, if we would sit 
down to the " Bomancero General," with its poetical con- 
fusion of Moorish splendours and Christian loyalty, just 
when we have come fresh from Percy's " Beliques," or 
Scott's "Minstrelsy."" 

But, besides what the Spanish ballads possess different 
from the popular poetry of the rest of Europe, they ex- 
hibit, as no others exhibit it, that nationality which is the 
truest element of such poetry everywhere. They seem, 
indeed, as we read them, to be often little more than the 
great traits of the old Spanish character brought out by 
the force of poetical enthusiasm ; so that, if their nationality 
were taken away from them, they would cease to exist 
This, in its turn, has preserved them down to the present 
day, and will continue to preserve them hereafter. The 
great Castilian heroes, such as the Cid, Bernardo del 
Carpio, and Pelayo, are even now an essential portion of 
the faith and poetry of the common people of Spain ; and 
are still, in some degree, honoured as they were honoured 
in the age of the Great Captain, or, farther back, in that 
of Saint Ferdinand. The stories of Guarinos, too, and of 

^ If we choose to strike more poetical feeling that filled the whole 

widely, and institute a comparison nation during that period when the 

with the garrulous old Fabliaux, or Moorish power was gradually broken 

with the overdone refinements of the down by an enthusiasm that beoaine 

Troubadours and Minnesingers, the at last irresistible, because from the 

result would be yet more in favour bearinning it was founded on a sense 

of the early Spanish ballads, which of loyalty and religious duty, 
represent and embody the excited 


the defeat of Roncesvalles are still sung by the wayfaring 
muleteers, as they were when Don Quixote heard them in 
his journeying to Toboso ; and the showmen still rehearse 
the adventures of Gayferos and Melisendra, in the streets 
of Seville, as they did at the solitary inn of Montesinos, 
when he encountered them there. In short, the ancient 
Spanish ballads are so truly national in their spirit, that 
they became at once identified with the popular character 
that had produced them, and with that same character 
will go onward, we doubt not, till the Spanish people shall 
cease to have a separate and independent existence. ^ 

"^ See Appendix, B. 



SscoKD Class. — CHBoncLES. — Obigiv. — Rotal Chbohiclbs. — Gerkbal 
Chsoniclb bt Alfonso thb Tbhth. — Its Divisions axd Sobjbgts. — Its 
MOBB PocricAL PoBTiovs.— Itb Chabacteb. — Chboiqclb of thb Cid.-> 
Its OBiGiir, Subject, abd Cbabactbb. 

Chronicles. — Ballad poetry constituted, no doubt, 
originally, the amusement and solace of the whole mass 
of the Spanish people ; for, during a long period of their 
early history, there was little division of the nation into 
strongly marked classes, little distinction in manners, little 
variety or progress in refinement The wars going on 
with unappeased violence from century to century, though 
by their character not without an elevating and poetical 
influence upon all, yet oppressed and crushed all by the 
sufferings that followed in their train, and kept the tone 
and condition of the body of the Spanish nation more 
nearly at the same level than the national character was 
probably ever kept, for so long a period, in any other 
Christian country. But as the great Moorish contest was 
transferred to the South, Leon, Castile, and indeed the 
whole North, became comparatively quiet and settled. 
Wealth began to be accumulated in the monasteries, and 
leisure followed. The castles, instead of being constantly 
in a state of anxious preparation against the common 
enemy, were converted into abodes of a crude, but free, 
hospitality; and those distinctions of society that come 
from different degrees of power, wealth, and cultivation 
grew more and more apparent From this time, then, the 
ballads, though not really neglected, began to subside into 


the lower portions of society, where for so long a period 
they remained; while the more advanced and educated 
sought, or created for themselves, forms of literature better 
suited, in some respects, to their altered condition, and 
marking at once more leisure and knowledge, and a more 
settled system of social life. 

The oldest of these forms was that of the Spanish prose 
chronicles, which, besides being called for by the changed 
condition of things, were the proper successors of the 
monkish Latin chronicles and legends, long before known 
in the country, and were of a nature to win favour with 
men who themselves were every day engaged in achieve- 
ments such as these very stories celebrated, and who 
consequently looked on the whole class of works to which 
they belonged as the pledge and promise of their own 
future fame. The chronicles were, therefore, not only the 
natural oflfepring of the times, but were fostered and 
favoured by the men who controlled the times. * 

I. General Chronicles and Royal Chronicles. — Under 
such circumstances, we might well anticipate that the 
proper style of the Spanish chronicle would first appear at 
the court, or in the neighbourhood of the throne ; because 
at court were to be found the spirit and the materials most 
likely to give it birth. But it is still to be considered 
remarkable, that the first of the chronicles in the order of 
time, and the first in merit, comes directly firom a royal 
hand. It is called in the printed copies ** The Chronicle 
of Spain,"' or "The General Chronicle of Spain," and is, 
no doubt, the same work earlier cited in manuscript as 
" The History of Spain." * In its characteristic Prologue, 

* In the code of the Partidas, and the ** hestanas*' in Spanish most 

(circa A. D. 1260,) good knights are probably have been the Chronicle 

directed to listen at their meals to now to be mentioned, and the ballads 

the rawiing of ** las hestorias de lo« or gestes on which it was, in part, 

ffrandes fechos de annas que los otros founded. 

fecieran," etc. (Parte II. Tftulo ■ It is the opinion of Mondcjar that 

XXI. Ley 20.) Few knights at the original title of the " CnSnica de 

that time could understand Latin, E8paSa"was** EstoriadeEBpafia."— 



Period T. 

after solemnly giving the reasons why such a work ought 
to be compiled, we are told: "And therefore we, Don 
Alfonso, son of the very noble King Don Fer- 
nando, and of the Queen Dona Beatrice, have ordered to 
be collected as many books as we could have of histories 
that relate anything of the deeds done aforetime in Spain, 
and have taken the chronicle of the Archbishop Don 

Bodrigo, and of Master Lucas, Bishop of Tuy, 

..... and composed this book ;" words which give us 
flie declaration of Alfonso the Wise, that he himself com- 
posed this Chronicle, ' and which thus carry it back cer- 
tainly to a period before the year 1284, in which he died. 

Memorias de Alfonso el Sabio, p. 

*The distinction Alfonso makes 
between ordering the materidU to be 
collected by others ('* mandamos 
ayuntar ") and campatmg or comptlmg 
tne Chronicle himself (*' composimos 
este libro ") seems to show that he 
was its author or compiler,— certainly 
that he claimed to be such. But there 
are different opinions on this point 
Florian de Ocampo, the historian, 
who, in 1541, puolished in folio, at 
Zamora, the nrst edition of the 
Chronicle, says, in notes at the end 
of the Third and Fourth Parts, that 
some persons believe only the first 
three parts to have been written by 
Alfonso, and the fourth to have been 
compiled later ; an opinion to which 
it is obvious that he himself inclines, 
thouffh ho says he will neither affirm 
nor deny any thing about the matter. 
Others have gone fkrther, and sup- 
posed the whole to have been com- 
gcd by several difierent persons, 
it to all this it may be replied, — 
1. That the Chronicle is more or less 
well ordered, and more or less weU 
written, acocvding to the materials 
used in its composition ; and that the 
objections made to the looseness and 
want of finish in the Fourth Part 
apply also, in a good degree, to the 
Third ; thus proving more than Flo- 
rian de Ocampo intends, since he 
declares it to be certain ('* sabemos 
por cierto ") that the first three parts 

were the work of Alfonso. 2. Alfonso 
declares, more than once, in his 
Prdlogo, whose genuineness has been 
made sure by Mondejar, from the 
four best manuscripts, that his His- 
tory comes down to his own times, 
(** &sta el nucstro tiempo,") — which 
we reach only at the end of the 
Fourth Part, — treating the whole, 
throughout the Pr61ogo, as his own 
work. S. There is strong internal 
evidence that he himself wrote the 
last part of the work, relating to his 
fifither ; as, for instance, the beautiful 
account of the relations between St 
Ferdinand and his mother, Berengucla 
(ed. 1541, f. 404); the solemn ac- 
count of St Ferdinand's death, at the 
very end of the whole ; and other 
passages between if. 402 and 426. 
4. His nephew Don John Manuel, 
who made an abridgment of the 
Crdnica de Espafia, speaks of his 
uncle Alfonso the Wis5 as if he were 
its acknowledged author. 

It should he borne in mind, also, 
that Mondejar says the edition of 
Florian de Ocampo b very corrupt 
and imperfect, omitting whole reigns 
in one instance ; and the passages he 
dtes from the old manuscripts of the 
entire work prove what he says. 
(Memorias, Lib. VII., capp. 15, 16.) 
The only other edition or the Chro- 
nicle, that of Valladolidj i fol., 1604,) 
b still worse. Indeed, it b, from the 
number of its ffross errors, one of the 
worst printed books I have overused. 


From internal evidence, however, it is probable that it was 
written in the early part of his reign, which began in 
1252 ; and that he was assisted in its composition by 
persons familiar with Arabic literature and with whatever 
there was of other refinement in the age. * 

It is divided, perhaps not by its author, into four parts : 
the first opening with the creation of the world, and giving 
a large space to Roman history, but hastening over every- 
thing else till it comes to the occupation of Spain by the 
Visigoths ; the second comprehending the Gothic empire 
of the country and its conquest by the Moors ; the third 
coming down to the reign of Ferdinand the Great, early 
in the eleventh century; and the fourth closing in 1252, 
with the death of Saint Ferdinand, the conqueror of 
Andalusia, and father of Alfonso himself 

Its earliest portions are the least interesting. They 
contain such notions and accounts of antiquity, and 
especially of the Eoman empire, as were current among 
the common writers of the Middle Ages, though occasion- 
ally, as in the case of Dido, whose memory has always 
been defended by the more popular chroniclers and poets 
of Spain against the imputations of Virgil, * we have a 
glimpse of feelings and opinions which may be considered 
more national. Such passages naturally become more 
frequent in the Second Part, which relates to the empire 

* The statement referred to in the its age throughout Europe. 
Chronicle, that it was written four * The account of Dido is worth 

hundred years after the time of Char- reading, especially by those who have 

lemagne, is, of course, a very loose occasion to see her story referred to 

one ; for Alfonso was not bom in in the Spanish poets, as it is by £r- 

1210. But I think he would hardly cilia and Lope de Vega, in a way 

have said, '* It is now full four hun- quite unintelligible to those who know 

dred years," (ed. 1541, fol. 228,) if only the Roman version of it as given 

it had been mil four hundred and by Virgil. It is found in the Cr6nica 

fifly. From this it may be inferred de Espana, (Parte I. c. 51-57,) and 

that the Chronicle was composed ends with a very heroical episde of 

before 1260. Other passages tend the queen to JEneas; — the Spanish 

to the same conclusion. (Jonde, in view taken of the whole matter being 

his Preface to his *' Arabes en in substance that which is taken by 

Espana," notices the Arabic air of Justin, very briefly, in his " Universal 

the Chronicle, which, however, seems History," Lib. XVlII. c. 4-6. 
to me to have been rather die air of 

VOL. I. L 


of the Visigoths in Spain ; though here, as the eccle- 
siastical writers are almost the only authority that could 
be resorted to, their peculiar tone prevails too much. But 
the Third Part is quite free and genial in its spirit, and 
truly Spanish ; setting forth the rich old traditions of the 
country about the first outbreak of Pelayo from the 
mountains ; * the stories of Bernardo del Carpio, "^ Feman 
Gonzalez, * and the Seven Children of Lara; ® with spirited 
sketches of Charlemagne, ^° and accounts of miracles like 
those of the cross made by angels for Alfonso the Chaste, *^ 
and of Santiago fighting against the infidels in the glorious 
battles of Clavijo and Hazinas. " 

The last part, though less carefully compiled and elabo- 
rated, is in the same general tone. It opens with the well- 
known history of the Cid, *' to whom, as to the great hero 
of the popular admiration, a disproportionate space is 
assigned. After this, being already within a hundred and 
fifty years of the writer's own time, we, of course, approach 
the confines of more sober history, and finally, in the reign 
of his father, Saint Ferdinand, fairly settle upon its sure 
and solid foundations. 

The striking characteristic of this remarkable Chronicle 
is, that, especially in its Third Part, and in a portion of 
the Fourth, it is a translation, if we may so speak, of the 
old poetical fables and traditions of the country into a 
simple, but picturesque prose, intended to be sober history. 
What were the sources of those purely national passages, 
which we should be most curious to trace back and authen- 
ticate, we can never know. Sometimes, as in the case of 

• Cronica de Espana, Parte III. c. by Rodrigo de Heirera, entitled " Vo- 

1,2. to do Santiago y Batalla de Clavijo," 

7 Ibid., Capp. 10 and 13. (Comediasficog:idas,Tom.XXXIII., 

" Ibid., Capp. 18, etc. 1670, 4to.,) is founded on the first of 

' Ibid., Cap. 20. these passages, but has not used its 

^^ Ibid., Cap. 10. good material with much skill. 

" Ibid., Cap. 10, with the ballad ^ The separate history of the Cid 

madeoutof it, beginning ** Reynando begins with the beginning of Part 

el Rev Alfonso." Fourth, f. 279, and ends on f. 346, 

» Ibid., Capp. 11 and 19. A drama ed. 1541. 


Bernardo del Garpio and Charlemagne, the ballads and 
gestes of the olden time ** are distinctly appealed to. 
Sometimes, as in the case of the Children of Lara, an early 
Latin chronicle, or perhaps some poetical legend, of which 
all trace is now lost, may have constituted the fomidations 
of the narrative. ** And once at least, if not oftener, an 
entire and separate history, that of the Cid, is inserted with- 
out being well fitted into its place. Throughout all these 
portions, the poetical character predominates much oflener 
than it does in the rest; for while, in the earlier parts, 
what had been rescued of ancient history is given with a 
grave sort of exactness, that renders it dry and uninterest- 
ing, we have in the concluding portion a simple narrative, 
where, as in the account of the death of Saint Ferdinand, 
we feel persuaded that we read touching details sketched 
by a faithful and affectionate eye-witness. 

Among the more poetical passages are two at the end 
of the Second Part, which are introduced, as contrasts to 
each other, with a degree of art and skill rare in these 
simple-hearted old chronicles. They relate to what was 
long called " the Ruin of Spain,** ^* or its conquest by the 
Moors, and consist of two picturesque presentments of its 
condition before and after that event, which the Spaniards 
long seemed to regard as dividing the history of the world 
into its two great constituent portions. In the first of these 
passages, entitled " Of the Good Things of Spain,"*' after 
a few general remarks, the fervent old chronicler goes on : 
** For this Spain, whereof we have spoken, is like the very 

*^ These Cantares and Cantarei de ther back than to this passa^ in the 

Gesta are referred to in Parte III. c. Cronica de Esjiana, on which rests 

10 and 13. every thing relating to the Children of 

** I cannot help feeling, as I read Lara in Spanish poetry and romance. 

it, that the beautiful story of the In- " " La P^rdida de Esoana " is the 

fantes de Lara, as told in this Third common name, in the older writers, 

Part of the Cr6nica de Espafia, be- for the Moorish conquest, 

pinning f. 261 of the edition of 1641, »' " Los Bienesque tiene EspaSa " 

IS from a separate and older chronicle ; (ed. 1641 , f. 202) ; —and, on the other 

probably from some old monkish Latin side of the leaf, the passage that fol- 

legend. But it can be traced no &r- lows, called '< £1 Llanto de Espana.*' 



Paradise of God ; for it is watered by five noble rivers, 
which are the Duero, and the Ebro, and the Tagus, and 
the Guadalquivir, and the Guadiana ; and each of these 
hath, between itself and the others, lofly mountains and 
sierras ; ^® and their valleys and plains are great and broad, 
and, through the richness of the soil and the watering of 
the rivers, they bear many fruits and are fiiU of abundance. 
And Spain, above all other things, is skilled in war, feared 
and very bold in battle ; light of heart, loyal to her lord, 
diligent in learning, courtly in speech, accomplished in all 
good things. Nor is there land in the world that may be 
accounted like her in abundance, nor may any equal her 
in strength, and few there be in the world so great. And 
above all doth Spain abound in magnificence, and more 
than all is she famous for her loyalty. O Spain ! there 
is no man can tell of all thy worthiness!" 

But now reverse the medal, and look on the other picture, 
entitled " The Mourning of Spain," when, as the Chronicle 
tells us, after the victory of die Moors, " all the land re- 
mained empty of people, bathed in tears, a byword, nourish- 
ing strangers, deceived of her own people, widowed and 
deserted of her sons, confounded among barbarians, worn 
out with weeping and wounds, decayed in strength, weak- 
ened, imcomforted, abandoned of all her own 

Forgotten are her songs, and her very language is become 
foreign and her words strange." 

The more attractive passages of the Chronicle, however, 
are its long narratives. They are also the most poetical ; 
— so poetical, indeed, that large portions of them, with 
little change in their phraseology, have since been converted 
into popular ballads ; ^^ while other portions, hardly less 

" The original, in bath the printed *• This remark will apply to many 

editions, is tierras, though it should passages in the Third Part of the 

plsunl^r be tierras from the context ; Chronicle of Spain, but to none, per- 

tmt this is noticed as only one of the haps, so strikmgly as to the stories 

thousand ffross typographical errors of Benuatio del Carpio and the In- 

with which these editions are de- &ntesde Lara, large portions of which 

formed. may be found almost verbatim in the 


considerable, are probably derived from similar, but older, 
popular poetry, now either wholly lost, or so much changed 
by successive oral traditions, that it has ceased to show its 
relationship with the chronicling stories to which it origi- 
nally gave birtk Among these narrative passages, one of 
the most happy is the history of Bernardo del Carpio, for 
parts of which the Chronicle appeals to ballads more ancient 
than itself, while to the whole, as it stands in the Chronicle, 
ballads more modem have, in their turn, been much in- 
debted. It is founded on the idea of a poetical contest 
between Bernardo's loyalty to his king on the one side, 
and his attachment to his imprisoned father on the other. 
For he was, as we have already learned from the old bal- 
lads and traditions, the son of a secret marriage between 
the king's sister and the Count de Sandias de Saldafla, 
which had so offended the king, that he kept the Count in 
prison from the time he discovered it, and concealed what- 
ever related to Bernardo's birth ; educating him meantime 
as his own son. When, however, Bernardo grew up, he 
became the great hero of his age, rendering important 
military services to his king and country. " But yet," 
according to the admirably strong expression of the old 
Chronicle, *® " when he knew all this, and that it was his 
own father that was in prison, it grieved him to the heart, 
and his blood turned in his body, and he went to his house, 
making the greatest moan that could be, and put on raiment 
of mourning, and went to the King, Don Alfonso. And 

ballads. I will now refer only to the aquel caballero,*\ and "[Ruy^Velas- 

following : — 1. On Bernardo del Car- quez de Lara." All these are found 

pio, the ballads beginning, ** £1 in the older collections of ballads ; 

Conde Don Sancho Diaz," "En those, I mean, printed before 1660; 

corte del Casto Alfonso," ** Estando and it is worthy of particular notice, 

en f»z y sosicgo," " Andados treinta that this same General! Chronicle 

y seis afios," and " En gran pesar y makes especial mention of Con/ares efe 

tnstcza." 2. On the Infantes de La- Gesta al)out Bernardo del Carpio that 

ra, the ballads beginning, " A Cala- were known and popular when it was 

trava la Vieja," which was evidently itself compiled, in the thirteenth cen- 

arrangcd for singing at a puppet-show tury. 

or some such exhibition, " Llega- ^ See the Cr6hica General de 

dos son los Infantes," *' Quicn cs EspaBa, ed. 1541, f. 227. a. 


the King, when he saw it, said to him, * Bernardo, do you 
desire my death ? ' for Bernardo until that time had held 
himself to be the son of the King, Don Alfonso. And 
Bernardo said, *8ire, I do not wish for your death, 
but I have great grie^ because my father, the Count 
of Sandias, lieth in prison, and I beseech you of 
your grace that you would command him to be given up 
to me/ And the King, Don Alfonso, when he heard 
this, said to him, * Bernardo, begone from before me, and 
never be so bold as to speak to me again of this matter ; 
for I swear to you, that, in all the days that I shall live, 
you shall never see your father out of his prison.* And 
Bernardo said to him, * Sire, you are my king, and may 
do whatsoever you shall hold for good, but I pray God 
that he will put it into your heart to take him tlience ; 
nevertheless, I, Sire, shall in no wise cease to serve you in 
all that I may.* " 

Notwithstanding this refusal, however, when great ser- 
vices are wanted from Bernardo in troubled times, his 
father's liberty is promised him as a reward ; but these 
promises are constantly broken, until he renounces his alle- 
giance, and makes war upon his false uncle, and on one of 
his successors, Alfonso the Great. *^ At last, Bernardo 
succeeds in reducing the royal authority so low, that the 
king again, and more solemnly, promises to give up his 
prisoner, if Bernardo, on his part, will 'give up the great 
castle of Carpio, which had rendered him really formi- 
dable. The faithful son does not hesitate, and the king sends 
for the Count, but finds him dead, probably by the royal 
procurement. The Count's death, however, does not pre- 
vent the base monarch from determining to keep the castle, 
which was the stipulated price of his prisoner's release. 
He therefore directs the dead body to be brought, as if 
alive, on horseback, and, in company with Bernardo, who 

*' Crdnica Gen., ed. 1641, f. 236. a. 


has no suspicion of the cruel mockery, goes out to 
meet it. 

" And when they were all about to meet," the old Chro- 
nicle goes on, " Bernardo began to shout aloud with great 
joy, and to say, ^ Cometh indeed the Count Don Sandias 
de Saldafia ! ' And the King, Don Alfonso, said to him, 
^ Behold where he cometh ! Go, therefore, and salute him 
whom you have sought so much to behold.' And Bernardo 
went towards him, and kissed his hand ; but when he found 
it cold, and saw that all his colour was black, he knew that 
he was dead; and with the grief he had from it, he began 
to cry aloud and to make great moan, saying, ^ Alas ! Count 
Sandias, in an evil hour was I born, for never was man so 
lost as I am now for you ; for, since you are dead, and my 
castle is gone, I know no counsel by which I may do aught* 
And some say in their ballads {cantares de gestd) that the 
King then said, ^ Bernardo, now is not the time for much 
talking, and therefore I bid you go straightway forth from 
my land,' " etc. 

This constitutes one of the most interesting parts of the 
old General Chronicle ; but the whole is curious, and much 
of it is rich and picturesque. It is written with more free- 
dom and less exactness of style than some of the other 
works of its noble author ; and in the last division shows 
a want of finish, which in the first two parts is not percep- 
tible, and in the third only slightly so. But everywhere 
it breathes the spirit of its age, and, when taken together, 
is not only the most interesting of the Spanish chronicles, 
but the most interesting of all that, in any country, mark 
the transition from its poetical and romantic traditions to 
the grave exactness of historical truth. 

The next of the early chronicles that claims our notice 
is the one called, with primitive simplicity, " The Chro- 
nicle of the Cid ;" in some respects as important as the one 
we have just examined ; in others, less so. The first thing 
that strikes us, when we open it, is, that, although it has 


much of the appearance and arrangement of a separate and 
independent work, it is substantially the same with the two 
hundred and eighty pages which constitute the first portion 
of the Fourth Book of the General Chronicle of Spain ; 
80 that one must certainly have been taken from the other, 
or both from some common source. The latter is, perhaps, 
the more obvious conclusion, and has sometimes been 
adopted ; ** but, on a careful examination, it will probably 
be found that the Chronicle of the Cid is rather taken from 
that of Alfonso the Wise than from any materials common 
to both and older than both. For, in the first place, each, 
in the same words, often claims to be a translation from 
the same authors ; yet, as the language of both is frequently 
identical for pages together, this cannot be true, unless one 
copied from the other. And, secondly, the Chronicle of 
the Cid, in some instances, corrects the errors of the Gene- 
ral Chronicle, and in one instance at least makes an addi- 
tion to it of a date later than that of the Chronicle itself. ^^ 

** This is the opinion of Southey, passages in the Chronicle of the Cid 

in the Preface to nis ** Chronicle of which prove it to be later than the 

the Cid," which, though one of the Greiieral Chronicle. For instance, in 

most amusing and instructive books. Chapters 294, 295, and 296 of the 

in relation to the manners and feelings Chronicle of the Cid, there is a cor- 

of the Middle Ages, that is to be rcction of an error of two years in the 

found in the English language, is not General Chronicle's chronoloery. And 

auitc so wholly a translation from its again, in the General Chronicle, 

tnree Spanish sources as it claims to (ed. 1604, f. 313. b,) after relating 

be. The opinion of Huber on the the burial of the Cid, by the bishops, 

same point is like that of Southey. in a vault, and dressed in his clothes, 

" Both the chronicles cite for their (** vestido con sus pafios,") it adds, 

authorities the Archbishop Rodrigo of ** And thus he was laid where he 

Toledo, and the Bishop Lucas of Tuy, still lies " (" E eusiyaze ay do agora 

in (Jalicia, (Cid, Cap. 293 ; Greneral, yaze ") ; but in the Chronicle of the 

1604, f. 313. b, and elsewhere,) and Cid, the words in Italics are stricken 

represent them as dead. Now the out, and we have instead, *' And 

first died in 1247, and the last in there he remained a long time, till 

1250 ; and as the General Chronicle King Alfonso came to reign'* (** £ hy 

of Alfonso X. was necessarily written estudo muy grand tiempo, fasta que 

between 1252 and 1282, and probably vino el Rev Don Alfonso a reynar ^ ) ; 

written soon after 1252, it is not to after which words we have an account 

be supposed, either that the Chronicle of the translation of his body to 

of the Cid, or any other chronicle in another tomb, by Alfonso tlie Wise, 

the Sjxmish language which the the son of Ferdinand. But, besides 

Greneral Chronicle could use, was that this is plainly an addition to the 

already compiled. But there are Chi onicle of the Cid, made lattT than 

Chap. VIII. 



But, passing over the details of this obscure, but not unim- 
portant, point, it is sufficient for our present purpose to say, 
that the Chronicle of the Cid is the same in substance with 
the history of the Cid in the General Chronicle, and was 
probably taken from it. 

When it was arranged in its present form, or by whom 
this was done, we have no notice. " But it was found, as 

the account given in the General 
Chronicle, there is a little clumsiness 
about it that renders it quite curious ; 
for, in speaking of St. Ferdinand with 
the usual formulary, as *' he who con- 

3uered Andalusia, and the city of 
aen, and many other royal towns 
and castles,** it adds, ** As the history 
will relate to you farther on (" Begun 
que adelante vos lo contar^ la his- 
toria"). Now the history of the 
Cid has nothing to do with the his- 
tory of St. Ferdinand, who lived a 
hundred years after him, and is never 
again mentioned in this Chronicle ; 
and therefore the little passage con- 
taining the account of the translation 
of the body of the Cid, in the thir- 
teenth century, to its next resting- 
place was probably cut out from some 
other chronicle which contained the 
history of St. Ferdinand, as well as 
that of the Cid. My own conjecture 
is, that it was cut out from the abridg- 
ment of the General Chronicle of 
Alfonso the Wise made by his 
nephew Don John Manuel, who 
would be quite likely to insert an 
addition so honourable to his uncle, 
when he came to the point of the 
Cid's interment ; an interment of 
which the General Chronicle's ac- 
count had ceased to be the true one. 
Cap. 291. 

It is a curious fact, though not one 
of consequence to this inquiry, that 
the remains of the Cid, besides their 
removal by Alfonso the Wise, in 
1272, were successively transferred 
to different places, in 1447, in 1541, 
again in the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, and again, by 
the bad taste of the French General 
Thibaut,in I809orl810, until, at last, 
in 1824, they were restored to their 

original sanctuary in San Pedro de 
Cardenas. Semanario Pintoresco, 
1838, p. 648. 

•* If it be asked what were the au- 
thorities on which the portion of the 
Crdnica General relating to the Cid 
relies for its materials, I should an- 
swer : — 1. Those cited in the Pr61ogo 
to the whole work by Alfonso him- 
self, some of which are again cited 
when speaking of the Cid. Among 
these, the most important is the Arch- 
bishop Rodrigo's ** Hbtoria Gothica." 
(See Nic. Ant., Bibl. Vet., lib. 
VIII. c. 2, $ 28.) 2. It is probable 
there were Arabic records of the 
Cid, as a life of him, or part of a life 
of him, by a nephew of Alfaxati, the 
converted Moor, is referred to in the 
Chronicle itself. Cap. 278, and in 
Crdn. Gen., 1641, f. 369. b. But 
there is nothing in the Chronicle 
that sounds like Arabic, except the 
** Lament for the Fail of Valencia," 
beginning ** Valencia, Valencia, vini- 
eron sobre ti muchos quebrantos," 
which is on f. 329. a, and again, 
poorly amplified, on f. 329. b, but 
out of which has been made the fine 
ballad, "Apretada esta Valencia," 
which can be traced back to the 
ballad-book printed by Martin Nucio, 
at Antwerp, 1 660, though, I believe, 
no farther. If, therefore, there be 
any thing in the Chronicle of the Cid 
taken from documents in the Arabic 
language, such documents were writ- 
ten by Christians, or a Christian 
character was impressed on the fiusts 
taken from them.* 3. It has been 
suggested by the Spanish translators 

* Hince writing this note, I learn that my 
friend Don I'aacual de Gayangok poabemm an 
Arabic chronicle that throws much light on this 
Spanish chronicle and on the life of the Cid. 




we now read it, at Cardenas, in the very monastery where 
the Cid lies buried, and was seen there by the youthful 
Ferdinand, great-grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella, who 
was afterwards emperor of Germany, and who was induced 
to give the abbot an order to have it printed. ** This was 
done accordingly in 1512, since which time there have been 
but two editions of it, those of 1552 and of 1593, until it 
was reprinted in 1844, at Marburg, in Germany, with an 
excellent critical preface in Spanish, by Huber. 

As a part of the General Chronicle of Spain, *• we must, 
with a little hesitation, pronounce the Chronicle of the 

of Bouterwck, (p. 255,) that the 
Chronicle of the Cid in Spanish is 
substantially taken from the ^* His- 
toria Roderici Didaci," published by 
lUsco, in ** La CastiUa y el mas 
Famoso Castellano," (1792, App., 
pp. xvi.-lx.) But the Latin, though 
curious and valuable, is a mea^ 
compendium, in which I find nothmg 
of tne attractive stories and adven- 
tures of the Spanish, but occasionally 
something to contradict or discredit 
them. 4. The old '' Poem of the 
Cid " was, no doubt, used, and used 
freely, by the chronicler, whoever he 
was, though he never alludes to it. 
This has been noticed by Sanchez, 
(Tom. I. pp. 226-228,) and must be 
noticed again in note 28, where I 
shall give an extract from the Chro- 
mde. I add here only, that it is 
clearly the Poem that was used by 
the Chronicle, and not the Chronicle 
that was used by the Poem. 

* Prohemio. The good abbot con- 
siders the Chronicle to have been 
written in the lifetime of the Cid, i. e. 
before A.D. 1100, and yet it refers 
to the Archbishop of Toledo and the 
Bishop of Tuy, who were of the 
thirteenth century. Moreover, he 
speaks of the intelligent interest the 
Prince Ferdinand took in it; but 
Oviedo, in his Dialogue on Cardinal 
Ximcnes, says the young prince was 
only eight years and some months old 
when he gave the order. CJuiuijua- 
gcna^ MS. 

^ Sometimes it is necessair earlier 
to allude to a portion of the Cid's 
history, and then it is added, *' As we 
shall relate fturther on;" so that it 
is quite certain the Cid's history was 
originally regarded as a necessary 
portion of the Greneral Chronicle. 
(Crdnica General, ed. 1604, Tercera 
Parte, f. 92. b.) When, therefore, 
we come to the Fourth Part, where it 
really belongs, we have, first, a chap- 
ter on the accession of Ferdinand the 
Great, and then the histoir of the Cid 
connected with that of the reigns of 
Ferdinand, Sancho II., and Alfonso 
VI. ; but the whole is so truly an in- 
tegral part of the General Chronicle, 
and not a separate chronicle of the 
Cid, that, when it was taken out to 
serve as a separate chronicle, it was 
taken out as the three reigns of the 
three sovereigns above mentioned, 
beginning with one chapter that goes 
back ten years before the Cid was 
bom, and ending with five chapters 
that run forward ten years after his 
death ; while, at the conclusion of the 
whole, is a sort of colophon, apolo- 
gizing (Chrdnica del Cid, Burgos, 
1593, fol., f. 277) for the fact that it 
is so much a chronicle of these three 
kings, rather than a mere chronicle 
of Uie Cid. This, with the peculiar 
character of the differences between 
the two that have been alreaily 
noticed, has satisfied me that the 
Chronicle of the Ci<l was taken from 
the General Chronicle. 


Cid less interesting than several of the portions that imme- 
diately precede it. But still it is the great national version 
of the achievements of the great national hero who freed 
the fourth part of his native land from the loathed intrusion 
of the Moors, and who stands to this day connected with 
the proudest recollections of Spanish glory. It begins with 
the Cid'f first victories under Ferdinand the Great, and 
therefore only alludes to his early youth, and to the extra- 
ordinary circumstances on which Comeille, following the 
old Spanish play and ballads, has founded his tragedy ; 
but it gives afterwards, with great minuteness, nearly every 
one of the adventures that in the older traditions are as- 
cribed to him, down to his death, which happened in 1099, 
or rather down to the death of Alfonso the Sixth, ten 
years later. 

Much of it is as fabulous '^ as the accounts of Bernardo 
del Carpio and the Children of Lara, though perhaps not 
more so than might be expected in a work of such a period 
and such pretensions. Its style, too, is suited to its roman- 
tic character, and is more difiuse and grave than that of 
the best narrative portions of the General Chronicle. But 
then, on the other hand, it is overflowing with the very 
spirit of the times when it was written, and offers us so 
true a picture of their generous virtues, as well as their 
stern violence, that it may well be regarded as one of the 
best books in the world, if not the very best, for studying 
the real character and manners of the ages of chivalry. 
Occasionally there are passages in it like the following 
description of the Cid's feelings and conduct when he left 
his good castle of Bivar, unjustly and cruelly exiled by the 
king, which, whether invented or not, are as true to the 

•^ Masdeu (Historia Crftica de and learning in "Jos. Aschbach de 

Espana, Madnd, 1783-1806, 4to., Cidi Historiae Fontibus Dissertatio," 

Tom. XX.) would have us believe (Bonnae, 4to., 1843, pn. 5, etc.,) but 

that the whole is a fable ; but this little can be settled about individual 

demands too much credulity. The facts, 
question is discussed with acutencss 


spirit of the period they represent, as if the minutest of 
their details were ascertained facts : — 

^^ And when he saw his courts deserted and without 
people, and the perches without falcons, and the gateway 
without its judgment-seats, he turned himself toward the 
East and knelt down and said, ^ Saint Mary, Mother, and 
all other Saints, graciously beseech God that he would 
grant me might to overcome all these pagans, and that I 
may gain from them wherewith to do good to my friends, 
and to all those that may follow and help me.' And then 
he went on and asked for Alvar Faflez, and said to him, 
* Cousin, what fault have the poor in the wrong that the 
king has done us ? Warn all my people, then, that they 
harm none, wheresoever we may go/ And he called for 
his horse to mount. Then spake up an old woman stand- 
ing at her door and said, ^ Go on with good luck, for you 
shall make spoil of whatsoever you may find or desire.* 
And the Cid, when he heard that saying, rode on, for he 
would tarry no longer ; and as he went out of Bivar, he 
said, * Now do I desire you should know, my friends, that 
it is the will of God that we should return to Castile with 
great honour and great gain." ** 

Some of the touches of manners in this little passage, 
such as the allusion to the judgment-seats at his gate, 
where the Cid in patriarchal simplicity had administered 
justice to his vassals, and the hint of the poor augury 
gathered from the old woman's wish, which seems to be of 

" The portion of the Chronicle of the " Pocma del Cid ;" and perhaps, 

the Cid mm which I have taken the if we had the preceding lines of that 

extract is among the portions which poem, wo should be able to account 

least resemble the corresponding parts for yet more of the additions to the 

of the Genened Chronicle. It is in Chronicle in this passage. The lines 

Chap. 91 ; and from Chap. 88 to Chap. I refer to are as follows : — 

98 there is a good d^ not found m _ , , ^ . ^ , *_ i a 

4L .^^ II 1 ^ • ^v /^ I De lo« •(»• oio« Un fhertea mlentre lorando 

the parallel passes m the General Torn»i« u «be», e wuuio. caundo. 

Chronicle, ( 1 604, f. 224, etc. ,) though, Vlo paertM aUiertu e vauM sin cafladii*, 

wnere tney ao rescmoie eacn otncr, ,, ^„ fwconw e idn adunres mudado.. 

the phraseology is still frequently S(wpir6 mio ad, ca mucho avie grandea cuida- 

identical. The particular pussagc 1 <^<*- 

have selected was, I think, suggested Other passages are quite as obviously 

by the first lines that remain to us of taken from the poem. 


more power with him than the prayer he had just uttered, 
or the bold hopes that were driving him to the Moorish 
frontiers, — such touches give life and truth to this old 
chronicle, and bring its times and feelings, as it were, 
sensibly before us. Adding its peculiar treasures to those 
contained in the rest of the General Chronicle, we shall 
find, in the whole, nearly all the romantic and poetical 
fables and adventures that belong to the earliest portions 
of Spanish history. At the same time we shall obtain a 
living picture of the state of manners in that dark period, 
when the elements of modem society were just begimiing 
to be separated from the chaos in which they had long 
struggled, and out of which, by the action of successive 
ages, they have been gradually wrought into those forms 
of policy which now give stability to governments and 
peace to the intercourse of men. 



Effkcts of the Example of Alfonso the Tenth. — Chbontcles of his 
OWH Reiqn, and of the Reigns of Sancho the Bbave and Ferdinand 


— Chronicles of Peter the Cruel, IIenrt the Second, John the 
First, and Henrt the Third, by Ayala. — Chronicle of John the 
Second. — Two Chronicles of Henry the Fourth, and two of Fer- 
dinand AND Isabella. 

The idea of Alfonso the Wise, simply and nobly ex- 
pressed in the opening of his Chronicle, that he was desi- 
rous to leave for posterity a record of what Spain had 
been and had done in all past time, ^ was not without 
influence upon the nation, even in the state in which it 
then was, and in which, for above a century afterwards, it 
continued. But, as in the case of that great king's project 
for a uniform administration of justice by a settled code, 
his example was too much in advance of his age to be im- 
mediately followed ; though, as in that memorable case, 
when it was once adopted, its fruits became abundant. 
The two next kings, Sancho the Brave and Ferdinand the 
Fourth, took no measures, so far as we know, to keep up 
and publish the history of their reigns. But Alfonso the 
Eleventh, the same monarch, it should be remembered, 
under whom the ** Fartidas '* became the law of the land, 
recurred to the example of his wise ancestor, and ordered 

* It sounds much like the ** Parti- quisiessen para los otros que avion de 

das,'* beginning, *^ Los sabios antiguos venir, como para si mesmos o por los 

que fueron en los tiempos primeros, y otros que eran en su tiempo,'* etc. 

iallaron los saberes y las otras cosas, But such introductions are common in 

tovieron que menguarien en sus fechos other early chronicles, and in other 

y en su lealtad, si tambien no lo old Spanish books. 


the annals of the kingdom to be continued from the time 
when those of the General Chronicle ceased down to his 
own; embracing, of course, the reigns of Alfonso the 
Wise, Sancho the Brave, andTerdinand the Fourth, or the 
period from 1252 to 1312.* This is the first instance of 
the appointment of a royal chronicler, and may, therefore, 
be regarded as the creation of an office of consequence in 
all that regards the history of the country, and which, 
however much it may have been neglected in later times, 
furnished important documents down to the reign of 
Charles the Fifth, and was continued, in form at least, 
till the establishment of the Academy of History in the 
beginning of the eighteenth century. 

By whom this office was first filled does not appear ; 
but die Chronicle itself seems to have been prepared about 
the year 1320. Formerly it was attributed to Fernan 
Sanchez de Tovar ; but Fernan Sanchez was a personage 
of great consideration and power in the state, practised in 
public afiairs, and familiar with their history, so that we 
can hardly attribute to him the mistakes with which this 
Chronicle abounds, especially in the part relating to Al- 
fonso the Wise. ' But, whoever may have been its author, 
the Chronicle, which, it may be noticed, is so distinctly di- 
vided into the three reigns that it is rather three chronicles 
than one, has little value as a composition. Its narrative 
is given with a rude and dry formality, and whatever in- 
terest it awakens depends, not upon its style and manner, 
but upon the character of the events recorded, which 
sometimes have an air of adventure about them belonging 
to the elder times, and, like them, are picturesque. 

• " Chrdnica del muy Eisclarecido del Santo Rcy D. Fernando," etc., 

Prfneipe y Rey D. Alfonso, el que fue Valladolid, 1664, folio, 

par de Emperador, y hizo el Libro de ' All this maybe found abundantly 

las Siete rartidas, y ansimismo al fin discussed in the ** Memorias de Alfon* 

deste Libro va encorporada la Crdnica so el Sabio," by the Marques de Mon- 

del Rey D. Sancho el Bravo," etc., dejar, pp. 569-636. Clemencin, how- 

Valladolid, 1 564, folio ; to which ever, still attributes the Chronicle to 

should be added '* Crdnica del inuy Fernan Sanchez de Tovar. Mem. de 

Valeroso Rey D. Fernando, Visnieto la Acad, de Historia, Tom. VI. p. 461. 


The example of regular chronicling having now been 
fairly set at the court of Castile, was followed by Henry 
the Second, who commanded his Chancellor and Chief- 
Justiciary, Juan Nufiez de Villaizan, to prepare, as we 
are told in the Preface, in imitation of the ancients, an 
account of his father's reign. In this way the series goes 
on unbroken, and now gives us the " Chronicle of Alfonso 
the Eleventh," * beginning with his birth and education, of 
which the notices are slight, but relating amply the events 
from the time he came to the throne in 1312, till his 
death in 1350. How much of it was actually written by 
the chancellor of the kingdom cannot be ascertained.^ 
From different passages, it seems that an older chronicle 
was used freely in its composition ; • and the whole should, 
therefore, probably be regarded as a compilation made 
under the responsibility of the highest personages of the 
realm. Its opening will show at once the grave and 
measured tone it takes, and the accuracy it claims for its 
dates and statements. ^^ God is the beginning and the 
means and the end of all things ; and without him they 
cannot subsist. For by his power they are made, and by 
his wisdom ordered, and by his goodness maintained. 
And he is the Lord; and, in all things, almighty, and 
conqueror in all battles. Wherefore, whosoever would 
begin any good work should first name the name of God, 
and place him before all things, asking and beseeching of 
his mercy to give him knowledge and will and power, 
whereby he may bring it to a good end. Therefore will 
this pious chronicle henceforward relate whatsoever hap- 
pened to the noble King, Don Alfonso, of Castile and 

* There is an edition of this Chro- * The phrase is, ** Mand6 ^ Juan 

nicle (Valladolid, 1551, folio) better Nunez de Villaizan, Alguacil de la su 

than the old editions of such Spanish Casa, que la ficiese trasladar en 

books commonly are ; but the best is Porgaminos, e fizola trasladar, ct 

that of Madrid, 1787, 4to., edited by escnbidla Ruy Martinez de Medina 

Cerd^ y Rico, and published under de Rioseco," etc. See Preface, 

the auspices of the Spanish Academy ' In Cap. 840 and elsewhere, 
of Histoiy. 


Leon, and the battles and conquests and victories that he 
had and did in his life against Moors and against 
Christians. And it will begin in the fifteenth year of 
the reign of the most noble King, Don Fernando, his 

The reign of the father, however, occupies only three 
short chapters ; after which, the rest of the Chronicle, con- 
taining in all three hundred and forty-two chapters, comes 
down to the death of Alfonso, who perished of the plague 
before Gibraltar, and then abruptly closes. Its general 
tone is grave and decisive, like that of a person speaking 
with authority upon matters of importance, and it is rare 
that we find in it a sketch of manners like the following 
account of the young king at the age of fourteen or fif- 
teen: — 

" And as long as he remained in the city of Vallado- 
lid, there were with him knights and esquires, and his 
tutor, Martin Fernandez de Toledo, that brought him up, 
and that had been with him a long time, even before 
the queen died, and other men, who had long been used 
to palaces, and to the courts of kings ; and all these gave 
him an ensample of good manners. And, moreover, he 
had been brought up with the children of men of note, and 
with noble knights. But the king, of his own condition, 
was well-mannered in eating, and drank little, and was 
clad as became his estate ; and in all other his customs he 
was well-conditioned, for his speech was true Castilian, 
and he hesitated not in what he had to say. And so long 
as he was in Valladolid, he sat three days in the week to 
hear the complaints and suits that came before him ; and 
he was shrewd in understanding the facts thereof, and he 
was faithful in secret matters, and loved them that served 
him, each after his place, and trusted truly and entirely 
those whom he ought to trust. And he began to be much 

7 Ed. 1787, p. 3. 
VOL. I. M 


given to horsemanshipy and pleased himself with arms, 
and loved to have in his household strong men, that were 
bold and of good conditions. And he loved much all his 
own people, and was sore grieved at the great mischief and 
great harm there were in the land through failure of jus- 
tice, and he had indignation against evil-doers." ® 

But though there are few sketehes in the Chronicle 
of Alfonso the Eleventh like the preceding, we find in 
general a well-ordered account of the affairs of that 
monarch's long and active reign, given with a simplicity 
and apparent sincerity which, in spite of the formal plain- 
ness of its style, make it almost always interesting, and 
sometimes amusing. 

The next considerable attempt approaches somewhat 
nearer to proper history. It is the series of chronicles 
relating to the troublesome reigns of Peter the Cruel and 
Henry the Second, to the hardly less unsettled times of 
John the First, and to the more quiet and prosperous 
reign of Henry the Third. They were written by Pedro 
Lopez de Ayala, in some respects the first Spaniard of his 
age ; distinguished, as we have seen, among the poets of 
the latter part of the fourteenth century, and now to be 
noticed as the best prose-writer of the same period. He 
was born in 1332,^ and, though only eighteen years old 
when Peter ascended the throne, was soon observed and 
employed by that acute monarch. But when troubles arose 
in the kingdom, Ayala left his tyrannical master, who had 
already shown himself capable of almost any degree of 
guilt, and joined his fortunes to those of Henry of Tras- 
tamara, the king's illegitimate brother, who had, of course, 
no claim to the throne but such as was laid in the crimes 
of its possessor, and the good-will of the suffering nobles 
and people. 

At first, the cause of Henry was successfiil. But Peter 

«» E<1. 1787, p. 80. Antonio, Bibliothcca Vetus, Lib. X. 

• For the Lire of Ayala, 8ce Nic. c. 1 . 


addressed himself for help to Edward the Black Prince, 
then in his, duchy of Aquitaine, who, as Froissart relates, 
thinking it would be a great prejudice against the estate 
royal ^° to have a usurper succeed, entered Spain, and, 
with a strong hand, replaced the fallen monarch on his 
throne. At the decisive battle of Naxera, by which this was 
achieved, in 1367, Ayala, who bore his prince's standard, 
was taken prisoner ^^ and carried to England, where he 
wrote a part at least of his poems on a courtly life. Some- 
what later, Peter, no longer supported by the Black Prince, 
was dethroned ; and Ayala, who was then released from 
his tedious imprisonment, returned home, and afterwards 
became Grand-Chancellor to Henry the Second, in whose 
service he gained so much consideration and influence, 
that he seems to have descended as a sort of traditionary 
minister of state through the reign of John the First, and 
far into that of Henry the Third. Sometimes, indeed, 
like other grave personages, ecclesiastical as well as civil, 
he appeared as a military leader, and once again, in the 
disastrous battle of Aljubarotta, in 1385, he was taken 
prisoner. But his Portuguese captivity does not seem to 
have been so long or so cruel as his English one ; and, at 
any rate, the last years of his life were passed quietly 
in Spain. He died at Calahorra in 1407, seventy-five 
years old. 

" He was,** says his nephew, the noble Fernan Perez de 
Guzman, in the striking gallery of portraits he has left us," 
" He was a man of very gentle qualities and of good con- 
versation ; had a great conscience and feared God much. 
He loved knowledge, also, and gave himself much to 
reading books and histories ; and though he was as goodly 
a knight as any, and of great discretion in the practices of 

''' The whole account in Froissart " See the passage in which Mariana 

is worth reading, especially in Lord gives an account of the battle. His- 
Bemers*s translation, (London, 1812, toria. Lib. XVIL c. 10. 
4to., Vol. L c. 231, etc.,) as an '" Generaciones y Serablanzas, Cap. 

illustration of Ayala. 7, Madrid, 1776, 4to., p. 222. 

M 2 


the world, yet he was by nature bent on learning, and 
spent a great part of his time in reading and studying, not 
books of law, but of philosophy and history. Through his 
means some books are now known in Castile that were 
not known aforetime; such as Titus Livius, who is the 
most notable of the Roman historians; the ^Fall of 
Princes;' the * Ethics* of Saint Gregory; Isidorus *De 
Summo Bono ;' Boethius ; and the * History of Troy.' 
He prepared the History of Castile from the King Don 
Pedro to the King Don Henr)"^ ; and made a good book 
on Hunting, which he greatly affected, and another called 

We should not, perhaps, at the present day, claim so 
much reputation as his kinsman does for the Chancellor 
Ayala, in consequence of the interest he took in books of 
such doubtful vdue as Guido de Colonna's " Trojan War," 
and Boccaccio " De Casibus Principum,"but, in translating 
Livy," he unquestionably rendered his country an important 
service. He rendered, too, a no less important service to 
himself; since a familiarity with Livy tended to fit him 
for the task of preparing the Chronicle, which now con- 
stitutes his chief distinction and merit^^ It begins in 
1350, where that of Alfonso the Eleventh ends, and comes 
down to the sixth year of Henry the Third, or to 1396, 
embracing that portion of the author's own life which was 
between his eighteenth year and his sixty-fourth, and con- 

** It is probable Avala translated, Chronicles is of Seville, 1495, folio, 

or caused to be translated, all these but it seems to have been printed 

books. At least, such has been the from a MS. that did not contain the 

impression ; and the mention of Isidore entire series. The best edition is 

of Seville among the authors *' made that published under the auspices of 

known " seems to justify it, for, as a the Academy of History, by D. £u- 

Spaniard of great fame, St. Isidore gcnio de Llaguno Amirola, its secrc- 

must always have been known in tary, (Madrid, 1779, 2 tom., 4to.) 

Spain ill every other way, except by a That Ayala was the authorized chro- 

translation into Spanish. See, also, nicler of Castile is apparent from the 

the Preface to the edition of Boc- whole tone of his work, and is directly 

caccio, Cafda de Prfncipes, 1495, in asserted in an old MS. of a part of it, 

Fr. Mendez, Typogrami EspaSola, cited by Bayer in his notes to N. An- 

Madrid, 1796, 4to., p. 202. tonio. Bib. Vet., Lib. X., cap. 1, 

»* The first edition of Ayala's num. 10, n. 1. 


stituting the first safe materials for the history of his native 

For such an undertaking Ayala was singularly well 
fitted. Spanish prose was already well advanced in his 
time ; for Don John Manuel, the last of the elder school 
of good writers, did not die till Ayala was fifteen years 
old. He was, moreover, as we have seen, a scholar, and, 
for the age in which he lived, a remarkable one ; and, what 
is of more importance than either of these circumstances, 
he was personally familiar with the course of public afiairs 
during the forty-six years embraced by his chronicle. Of 
all this traces are to be found in his work. His style is 
not, like that of the oldest chroniclers, full of a rich vivacity 
and freedom ; but, without being over-carefully elaborated, 
it is simple and business-like ; while, to give a n^ore earnest 
air, if not an air of more truth to the whole, he has, in 
imitation of Livy, introduced into the course of his nar- 
rative set speeches and epistles intended to express the 
feelings and opinions of his principal actors more distinctly 
than they could be expressed by the mere facts and current 
of the story. Compared with the Chronicle of Alfonso 
the Wise, which preceded it by above a century, it lacks 
the charm of that poetical credulity which loves to deal in 
doubtful traditions of glory, rather than in those ascertained 
facts which are often little honourable either to the national 
fame or to the spirit of humanity. Compared with the 
Chronicle of Froissart, with which it was contemporary, 
we miss the honest-hearted, but somewhat childlike, 
enthusiasm that looks with unmingled delight and admira- 
tion upon all the gorgeous phantasmagoria of chivalry, and 
find, instead of it, the penetrating sagacity of an experienced 
statesman, who looks quite through the deeds of men, and, 
like Comines, thinks it not at all worth while to conceal 
the great crimes with which he has been familiar, if they 
can be but wisely and successfully set forth. When, 
therefore, we read Ayala's Chronicle, we do not doubt that 


we have made an important step in the progress of the 
species of writing to which it belongs, and that we are 
beginning to approach the period when history is to teach 
with sterner exactness the lesson it has learned irom the 
hard experience of the past 

Among the many curious and striking passages in 
Ayala's Chronicle, the most interesting are, perhaps, those 
that relate to the unfortunate Blanche of Bourbon, the 
young and beautiful wife of Peter the Cruel, who, for the 
sake of Maria de Padilla, forsook her two days after his 
marriage, and, when he had kept her long in prison, at 
last sacrificed her to his base passion for his mistress ; an 
event which excited, as we learn from Froissart's Chronicle, 
a sensation of horror, not only in Spain, but throughout 
Europe, and became an attractive subject for the popular 
poetry of the old national ballads, several of which we find 
were devoted to it^* But it may well be doubted whether 
even the best of the ballads give us so near and moving a 
picture of her cruel sufferings as Ayala does, when, going 
on step by step in his passionless manner, he shows us the 
queen first solemnly wedded in the church at Toledo, and 
t^en pining in her prison at Medina Sidonia ; the excite- 
ment of the nobles, and the indignation of the king's own 
mother and family ; carrying us all the time with painful 
exactness through the long series of murders and atrocities 
by which Pedro at last reaches the final crime which, 
during eight years, he had hesitated to commit For 
there is, in the succession of scenes he thus exhibits to us, 
a circumstantial minuteness which is above all power of 
generalization, and brings the guilty monarch's character 
more vividly before us than it could be brought by the 
most fervent spirit of poetry or of eloquence.^* And it is 

" There are about a dozen ballads tento el Rey D. Pedro," and ** Dona 

on the subject of Don Pedro, of which Maria de Padilla," the last of which 

the best, I think, are those beginning, is in the Saragossa Cancionero of 

" Doiia Blanca esta en Sidonia," " En 1660, Parte IL, f. 46. 

on rctrcte en que apenas," '* No con- ^* Seo the Crdnica de Don Pedro, 

Chap. IX. 



precisely this cool and patient minuteness of the chronicler, 
founded on his personal knowledge, that gives its peculiar 
character to Ayala's record of the four wild reigns in 
which he lived; presenting them to us in a style less 
spirited and vigorous, indeed, than that of some of the 
older chronicles of the monarchy, but certainly in one more 
simple, more judicious, and more eflTective for the true 
purposes of history." 

The last of the royal chronicles that it is necessary to 
notice with much particularity is that of John the Second, 
which begins with the death of Henry the Third, and comes 

Ann. 1863, Capp. 4, 6, 11, 12, 14, 21 ; 
Ann. 1354, Capp. 19, 21 ; Ann. 1368, 
Capp. 2 and 3; and Ann. 1361, 
Cap. 3. 

^ The fairness of Ajala in regard 
to Don Pedro has been questioned, and, 
from his relations to that monarch, 
may naturally be suspected ; — a point 
on which Mariana touches, (Historia, 
Lib. XVII., c. 10,) without settling it, 
but one of some little consequence in 
Spanish literary history, wnere the 
character of Don Pedro often appears 
connected with poetry and the drama. 
The first person who attacked A^da 
was, I believe, Pedro de Gracia Dei, 
a courtier in the time of Ferdinand and 
Isabella and in that of Charles V. He 
was King-at-Arms and Chronicler to 
the Catholic Sovereigns, and I have, 
in manuscript, a collection of his pro- 
fessional copias on the lineages and 
arms of the principal families of Spain, 
and on the general history of the coun- 
try ; — short poems, worthless as verse, 
and sneered at by Ai^te de Molina, 
in the Preface to his ** Nobleza del 
Andaluzia," (1688,) for the imper- 
fect knowledge their author haa of 
the subjects on which he treated. 
His defence of Don Pedro is not 
better. It is found in the Scmina- 
rio Erudito, (Madrid, 1790, Tom. 
XXVIII. and XXIX.,) with additions 
by a later hand, probably Diego de 
Castilla, Dean of Toledo, who, I be- 
lieve, was one of Don Pedro's de- 
scendants. It cites no sufficient au- 

thorities for the averments which it 
makes about events that happened a 
century and a half earlier, and on 
which, therefore, it was unsuitable to 
trust the voice of tradition. Francisco 
de Castilla, who certainly had blood 
of Don Pedro in his veins, followed in 
the same track, and s[)eaks, in his 
** Pratica de las Virtudes," (Carago^a, 
1662, 4to., fol. 28,) of the monarch 
and of Ayala as 

El grmn ray Don Pedro, qael vulgo rapraeva 
For wile raemigo, quien hiso su historia, etc. 

All this, however, produced little 
efiect But, in process of time, books 
were written upon the question ;— 
the " Apologia del Rey Don Pedro," 
by Ledo del Pozo, (Madrid, folio, 
s. a.,) and ** El Rey Don Pedro defen- 
dido," (Madrid, 1648, 4to.,) bv Veray 
Fifueroa, the diplomatist of the reign 
of Philip IV. J works intended, ap- 
parently, only to flatter the pretensions 
of royalty, but whose consequences 
we shall find when we come to the 
" Valiente Justiciero "of Moreto, Cal- 
deron's ** Mddico de su Honra," and 
similar poetical delineations of Pedro's 
character in the seventeenth century. 
The ballads, however, it should be no- 
ticed, are almost always true to the 
view of Pedro given by Ayala ; — the 
most striking exception that I remem- 
ber being the admirable ballad begin- 
ning ** A los pies de Don Enrique,** 
Qumta Parte de Flor de Romances, 
recopilado por Sebastian Velez de 
Guevara, Burgos, 1694, 18mo. 



Peuod I. 

down to the death of John himself, in 1454 J'* It was 
the work of several hands, and contains internal evidence 
of having been written at different periods. Alvar Garcia 
de Santa Maria, no doubt, prepared the account of the 
first fourteen years, or to 1420, constituting about one 
third of the whole work ; " after which, in consequence 
perhaps of his attachment to the Infante Ferdinand, who 
was regent during the minority of the king, and subse- 
quently much disliked by him, his labours ceased. *® Who 
wrote the next portion is not known ;*^ but from about 
1429 to 1445, John de Mena, the leading poet of his time, 
was the royal annalist, and, if we are to trust the letters of 
one of his friends, seems to have been diligent in collecting 
materials for his task, if not earnest in all its duties.^* 
Other parts have been attributed to Juan Rodriguez del 
Padron, a poet, and Diego de Valera," a knight and gen- 

»» The first edition of the "Cr6nica 
del Senor Key D. Juan, segiindo de 
este Nombre/' was printed at Logro- 
fio, (1517, fol.,) and is the most cor- 
rect of the old editions that I have 
used. The best of all> however, is 
the beautiful one printed at Valencia, 
by Monfort, in 1779, folio, to which 
ma^ be added an appendix by P. Fr. 
Liciniano Saez, Madrid, 1786, folio. 

'*• See his PnSlogo, in the edition of 
1779, p. zix.,and Galindez de Carva- 
jal, Prefacion, p. 19. 

^ He lived as late as 1444 ; for he 
is mentioned more than once in that 
year, in the Chronicle. See Ann. 
1444, Capp. 14, 15. 

■* Prelacion de Carvajal. 

•• Feman Gomez de Cibdareal, 
physician to John II., Centon Episto- 
hno, Madrid, 1775, 4to., Epist. 23 
and 74 ; a work, however, whose ge- 
nuineness I shall be obliged to question 

■■ Prefacion de Carvajal. Poetry of 
Rodriguez del Padron is found in the 
Cuncioncros Grencrales ; and of Diego 
de Valera there is ** La Crdnica de ES' 
pafia abreviada por Mandado de la muy 
roderosa Senora Doiia Isabel, Reyna 

de Castilla,*' made in 1481, when its 
author was sixty-nine years old, and 
printed 1482, 1493, 1495, etc.,— a 
chronicle of considerable merit for its 
style, and of some value, notwithstand- 
ing it is a compendium, for the original 
materials it contains towards the end, 
such as two eloquent and bold letters 
by Valera himself to John II., on the 
troubles of the time, and an account 
of what he personally saw of the last 
days of the Great Constable, (Parte 
lY., c. 125,)— the last and the most 
im{)ortant chapter in the book. (Men- 
dez, p. 138. Capmany, Eloquencia 
Espafiola, Madrid, 1786, 8vo., Tom. 
I., p. 180.) It should be added, that the 
editor of the Chronicle of John II. 
(1779) thinks Valera was the person 
who finally arranged and settled that 
Chronicle ; but the opinion of Carva- 
jal seems the more probable. Cer- 
tainly, I ho[)e Valera had no hand in 
the praise bestowed on himself in the 
excellent story told of him in the 
Chronicle, (Ann. 1437, cap. 3,) show- 
ing how, in presence of the king of 
Bohemia, at Prague, he defended the 
honour of his liege lord, the king of 
Castile. A treatise of a few |>ages on 


deman often mentioned in the Chronicle itself, and after- 
wards himself employed as a chronicler by Queen Isabella. 

But whoever may have been at first concerned in it, the 
whole work was ultimately committed to Feman Perez de 
Guzman, a scholar, a courtier, and an acute as well as a 
witty observer of manners, who survived John the Second, 
and probably arranged and completed the Chronicle of his 
master's reign, as it was published by order of the Em- 
peror Charles the Fifth ; ** some passages having been 
added as late as the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, who 
are more than once alluded to in it as reigning sovereigns." 
It is divided, like the Chronicle of Ayala, which may 
naturally have been its model, into the different years of 
the king's reign, each year being subdivided into chapters ; 
and it contains a great number of important original letters 
and other curious contemporary documents, ** from which, 
as well as from the care used in its compilation, it has 
been considered more absolutely trustworthy than any 
Castilian chronicle that preceded it. " 

In its general air, there is a good deal to mark the 
manners of the age, such as accounts of the court cere- 
monies, festivals, and tournaments that were so much loved 
by John ; and its style, though, on the whole, unorna- 

Providcnce, by Diego de Valera, bable, y abrevid algunas cosas, to- 
printed in tiie edition of the *^ Vision mando la sustancia dellas ; porque afi£ 
Deleytable/* of 1489, and reprinted, crey6 oue convcnia." He adds, that 
almost entire, in the first volume of this Cnronicle was much valued by 
Capmany's '^Eloqueneia Espaiiola,*' Isabella, who was the daughter of 
is worth reading, as a specimen of the John II. 

grave didactic prose of the fifteenth ^ Anno 1451, Cap. 2, and Anno 

century. A Cnronicle of Ferdinand 1463, Cap. 2. See, also, some re- 

and Isabella, by Valera, which may marks on the author of this Chronicle 

well have been the best and most im- by the editor of the *' Crdnica de Al- 

portant of his works, has never been varo dcLuna," (Madrid, 1784, 4to.,) 

printed. Geronimo Gudiel, Com- Prdlopo, pp. xxv.-xxviii. 

pendio de Algunas Historias de Es- •* For example, 1406, Cap. 6, etc. ; 

pafia, Alcald, 1577, fol., f. 101. b. 1430, Cap. 2; 1441, Cap. 30; 1463, 

*■* From the phraseology of Carva- Cap. 3. 

ial, (p. 20,) we may infer that Feman *" ** Es sin duda la mas puntual i la 

rerez de Guzman is cbiefly respon- mas segura de quantas se conservan an- 

sible for the style and general charac- tiguas.'* Mondejar, Noticia y Juicio 

ter of the Chronicle. *' Cogi6 de de los mas Principales Ilistoriadores 

cada uno lo que le pareci6 mas pro- de Espana, Madrid, 1746, fol., p. 112. 


mented and unpretending, is not wanting in variety, spirit, 
and solemnity. Once, on occasion of the fall and igno- 
minious death of the Great Constable Alvaro de Luna, 
whose commanding spirit had, for many years, impressed 
itself on the a&irs of the kingdom, the honest chronicler, 
though little favourable to that haughty minister, seems 
unable to repress his feelings, and, recollecting the treatise 
on the " Fall of Princes,'* which Ayala had made known 
in Spain, breaks out, saying : '^ O John Boccaccio, if thou 
wert now alive, thy pen surely would not fail to record 
the fall of this strenuous and bold gentleman among those 
of the mighty princes whose fate thou hast set forth. For 
what greater example could there be to every estate? 
what greater warning ? what greater teaching to show the 
revolutions and movements of deceitful and changing 
fortune? O blindness of the whole race of man I O un- 
expected fall in the affairs of this our world I " And so 
on through a chapter of some length. ^ But this is the 
only instance of such an outbreak in the Chronicle. On 
the contrary, its general tone shows that historical composi- 
tion in Spain was about to undergo a permanent change ; 
for, at its very outset, we have regular speeches attributed 
to the principal personages it records, *^ such as had been 
introduced by Ayala; and, through the whole, a well- 
ordered and documentary record of affairs, tinged, no doubt, 
with some of the prejudices and passions of the troublesome 
times to which it relates, but still claiming to have the 
exactness of regular annals, and striving to reach the grave 
and dignified style suited to the higher purposes of history. ^ 

" Anno 1463, Cap. 4. longs were sometimes used in the 

» Anno 1406, Capp. 2, 3, 4, 6, 6, poetry of the old ballads we so much 

and 15; Anno 1407, Capp. 6, 7, admire. The instance to which I 

3, etc. refer is to be found in the account of 

*° This Chronicle affords us, in one the leading event of the time, the 

place that I have noticed,— probably violent death of the Great Constable 

not the only one, — a curious instance Alvaro de Luna, which the fine 

of the way in which the whole class ballad beginning " Un Miercolcs de 

of Spanish chronicles to which it be- manana " takes plainly from this 

Gbap. IX. 



Of the disturbed and corrupt reign of Henry the Fourth, 
who, at one period, was nearly driven from his throne by 
his younger brother, Alfonso, we have two chronicles : the 
first by Diego Enriquez de Castillo, who was attached, 
both as chaplain and historiographer, to the person of the 
legitimate sovereign ; and the other by Alonso de Palencia, 
chronicler to the unfortunate pretender, whose claims were 
sustained only three years, though the Chronicle of Palencia, 
like that of Castillo, extends over the whole period of the 
regular sovereign's reign, from 1454 to 1474. They are 
as unlike each other as the fates of the princes they record. 
The Chronicle of Castillo is written with great plainness 
of manner, and, except in a few moral reflections, chiefly 
at the beginning and the end, seems to aim at nothing but 
the simplest and even the driest narrative;'^ while the 

Chronicle of John II. The two are 
worth comparing throughout, and 
their coincidences can be properly 
felt only when this is done; but a 
little specimen may serve to show how 
curious is the whole. 

The Chronicle (Anno 1453, Cap. 
2) has it as follows : — ** E vid6a Bar- 
rasa, Caballerizo del Principe, e 
llamdle 6 dix61e : * Yen acd, Barrasa, 
tu estas aqui mirando la muerte que 
me dan. Yo te ruego, que digas al 
Principe mi Senor, que d6 mejor 
gualardon a sus criados, quel Rey mi 
Seiior mand6 dar ^ mi.' " 

The ballad, which is cited as ano- 
nymous by Duran, but is found in Se- 
pulveda*8 Romances, etc., 1684, (f. 
204,) though not in the edition of 
1551, gives the same striking cir- 
cumstance, a little amplified, in these 
words: — 

Y vido eiur a Bamjia, 
Que al Principe le servia, 
De ser su cavallerizo, 

Y vino a ver aquel dia 
A executar lajusticia. 
Que el maestre recebia : 

*' Ven aca, hermano Barraaa, 
Di al Principe por tu vida. 
Que de mejor galardon 
A quien sir^e a su tefforia, 
Que no el, aue el Rey mi Seilor 
Me ha manaado dar eate dia." 

So near do the old Spanish chro- 
nicles often come to being poetry, and 
so near do the old Spanish ballads 
often come to being history. But the 
Chronicle of John II. is, I think, the 
last to which this remark can be 

if I felt sure of the genuineness of 
the '* Centon Epistolario " of Gomez 
de Cibdareal, I should here cite the 
one hundred and third Letter as the 
material from which the Chronicle's 
account was constructed. 

•^ When the first edition of Cas- 
tillo's Chronicle was published I do 
not know. It is treated as if still only 
in manuscript by Mondejar in 1746 
(Advertencias, p. 112) ; by Bayer, in 
his notes to Nic. Antonio, (Bib. 
Vetus, Vol. II. p. 349,) which, 
though written a little earlier, were 
published in 1788 ; and by Ochoa, in 
the notes to the inedited poems of the 
Marquis of Santillana, ^Paris, 1844, 
8vo., p. 397,) and in his " Manu- 
scritos Espanoles," (1844, p. 92, etc.) 
The very good edition, however, 
prepared by Josef Miguel de Flores, 
published in Madrid, by Sancha, 
(1787, 4to.,) as a part of the Aca- 
demy's collection, is announced, on its 


Chronicle of Palencia, who had been educated in Italy 
under the Greeks recently arrived there from the ruins of 
the Eastern Empire, is in a false and cumbrous style ; a 
single sentence frequently stretching through a chapter, 
and the whole work showing that he had gained little but 
affectation and bad taste under the teachings of John 
Lascaris and George of Trebizond. '* Both works, how- 
ever, are too strictly annals to be read for anything but 
the facts they contain. 

Similar remarks must be made about the chronicles of 
the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, extending from 1474 
to 1504-16. There are several of them, but only two 
need be noticed. One is by Andres Bernaldez, often 
called " El Cura de los Palacios,** because he was curate 
in the small town of that name, though the materials for 
his Chronicle were, no doubt, gathered chiefly in Seville, 
the neighbouring splendid capital of Andalusia, to whose 
princely Archbishop he was chaplain. His Chronicle, 
written, it should seem, chiefly to please his own taste, 
extends from 1488 to 1513. It is honest and sincere, 
reflecting faithfully the physiognomy of his age ; its cre- 
dulity, its bigotry, and its love of show. It is, in truth, 
such an account of passing events as would be given by one 
who was rather curious about them than a part of them ; 
but who, from accident, was familiar with whatever was 
going on among the leading spirits of his time and comitry. ^ 

title-page, as the second. If these Frescott, whose copy I have used. It 

learned men have all been mistaken consists of one hundred and fortv-four 

on such a point, it is very Strang^. chapters, and the credulity and bigotry 

" For the use of a manuscript copy of its author, as well as his better 

of Palencia^s Chronicle I am indebted qualities, may be seen in his accounts 

to my friend W. H. Prescott, Esq., of the Sicilian Vesi)ers, (Cap. 193,) 

who notices it among the materials for of the Canary Islands, (Cap. 64,) of 

his ** Ferdinand and Isabella," (Vol. the earthquake of 1604, (Cap. 200,) 

I. p. 136, Amer. ed.,) with his accus- and of the election of Leo X., (Cap. 

tomed acutcncss. A full lifeofPalen- 239.) Of his prejudice and par- 

cia is to be found in Juan Pellicer, tiality, his version of the Iwld visit of 

Bib. dc Traductorcs, (Madrid, 1778, thogreatMarquisofCadiz to Isabella, 

4to.,) Second Part, pp. 7-12. (p^P* ^^») ^^®° compared with Mr. 

■• I owe ■ my knowledge of this Prescott's notice of it, (Part I. Chap, 

manuscript, also, to my friend Mr. 6,) will give an idea ; and of his 


No portion of it is more valuable and interesting than that 
which relates to Columbus, to whom he devotes thirteen 
chapters, and for whose history he must have had excellent 
materials, since not only was Deza, the Archbishop to 
whose service he was attached, one of the friends and 
patrons of Columbus, but Columbus himself, in 1496, was 
a guest at the house of Bernaldez, and intrusted to him 
manuscripts which, he says, he has employed in this very 
account; thus placing his Chronicle among the documents 
important alike in the history of America and of Spain. ^ 
The other chronicle of the time of Ferdinand and 
Isabella is that of Fernando del Pulgar, their Councillor 
of State, their Secretary, and their authorized Annalist 
He was a person of much note in his time, but it is not 
known when he was born or where he died. ** That he 
was a man of wit and letters, and an acute observer of life, 
we know from his notices of the Famous Men of Castile ; 
from his Commentary on the Coplas of Mingo Revulgo ; 
and from a few spirited and pleasant letters to his friends 
that have been spared to us. But as a chronicler his merit 
is inconsiderable.^ The early part of his work is not 
trustworthy, and the latter part, beginning in 1482 and 

intolerance, the chapters (110-114) » A notice of him is prefixed to his 

about the Jews afford proof even ** Claros Varones" (Madrid, 1775, 

beyond what might be expected from 4to.) ; but it is not much. We know 

his age. There is an imperfect article from himself that he was an old man 

about Bernaldez in N. Antonio, Bib. in 1490. 

Nov., but the best materials for his " The first edition of his Chroni- 

life are in the egotism of his own cle, published by an accident, as if it 

Chronicle. were the work of the famous Antonio 

** The chapters about Columbus de Lebriia, appeared in 1665, at 

arc 118-131. The account of Colum- Valladolid. But the error was soon 

bus's visit to him is in Cap. 131, and discovered, and in 1567 it was printed 

that of Ihe manuscripts intrusted to anew, at Saragossa, with its true au- 

him is in Cap. 123. He says, that, thor's name. The only other edition 

when Columbus came to court in 1496, of it, and by far the best of the 

he was dressed as a Franciscan monk, three, is the beautiful one, Vulencia, 

and wore the cord por dewcum. He 1780, folio. See the Pr61ogo to this 

cites Sir John Mandcvilie's Travels, edition for the mistake by which 

and seems to have read them (Cap. Pulgar's Chronicle was attributed to 

123) ; a fact of some significance, Lebrija. 
when we bear in mind his connexion 
with Columbu.<», 


ending in 1490, is brief in its narrative, and tedious in the 
somewhat showy speeches with which it is burdened. The 
best of it is its style, which is often dignified ; but it is the 
style of history rather than that of a chronicle ; and, indeed, 
the formal division of the work, according to its subjects, 
into three parts, as well as the philosophical reflectioas 
with which it is adorned, show that the ancients had been 
studied by its author, and that he was desirous to imitate 
them.'*^ Why he did not continue his account beyond 
1490, we cannot tell. It has been conjectured that he 
died then.^ But this is a mistake, for we have a well- 
written and curious report, made by him to the queen, on 
the whole Moorish history of Granada, after the capture 
of the city in 1492. »• 

The Chronicle of Ferdinand and Isabella by Pulgar is 
the last instance of the old style of chronicling that should 
now be noticed ; for though, as we have already observed, 
it was long thought for the dignity of the monarchy that 
the stately forms of authorized annals should be kept up, 
the free and picturesque spirit that gave them life was no 
longer there. Chroniclers were appointed, like Feman de 
Ocampo and Mexia; but the true chronicling style was 
gone by, not to return. 

^ Read, for instance, the long observed, in the Chronicles of Ayala, 

speech of Gomez Manrique to the in- eighty or ninety years earlier, 

habitants of Toledo. (Parte II. c. "" *' Indicio harto probable de qae 

79.) It is one of the best, and has a falleci6 &ntes de latomade Granada," 

good deal of merit as an oratorical says Martinez de la Rosa, '* Hcman 

<x>mposition, though its Roman tone Perez del Pulgar, el dc las HazaEas." 

is misplaced in such a chronicle. It Madrid, 1834, 8vo., p. 229. 

is a mistake, however, in the pub- * This important oocument, which 

lisher of the edition of 1780 to suppose does Pulgar some honour as a states- 

that Pulgar first introduced tnese man, is to be found at len^ in the 

formal speeches into the Spanish. Seminario Erudito, Madnd, 1788, 

They occur, as has been already Tom. XII. pp. 67-144. 

chap.x chbonicles of pahticulab events. 176 


Chsonicles op Pabttculab Events. — The Passo Hokboso. — The Segubo 


Alt ABO DE LuvA. — Gonzalvo de C<5edova. — Chboiqcles op Tbatels. — 
Clavijo, Columbus, Balboa, and othebs. — Romantic Chbonicles. — 


SpAinsH Chbonicles. 

Chronicles of Particular Events. — It should be borne 
in mind, that we have thus far traced only the succession 
of what may be called the general Spanish chronicles, 
which, prepared by royal hands or under royal authority, 
have set forth the history of the whole country, from its 
earliest beginnings and most fabulous traditions, down 
through its fierce wars and divisions, to the time when it 
had, by the final overthrow of the Moorish power, been 
settled into a quiet and compact monarchy. From their 
subject and character, they are, of course, the most impor- 
tant, and, generally, the most interesting, works of the 
class to which they belong. But, as mighty be expected 
from the influence they exercised and the popularity they 
enjoyed, they were often imitated. Many chronicles were 
written on a great variety of subjects, and many works in 
a chronicling style which yet never bore the name. Most 
of them are of no value. But to the few that, from their 
manner or style, deserve notice we must now turn for 
a moment, beginning with those that refer to particular 

Two of these special chronicles relate to occurrences in 
the reign of John the Second, and are not only curious in 
themselves and for their style, but valuable, as illustrating 


the manners of the time. The first, according to the date 
of its events, is the " Passo Honroso," or the Passage of 
Honour, and is a formal account of a passage at arms which 
was held against all comers in 1434, at the bridge of Orbigo, 
near the city of Leon, during thirty days, at a moment 
when the road was thronged with knights passing for a 
solemn festival to the neighbouring shrine of Santiago. 
The challenger was Suero de Quinones, a gentleman of 
rank, who claimed to be thus emancipated from the service 
of wearing for a noble lady's sake a chain of iron around 
his neck every Thursday. The arrangements for this ex- 
traordinary tournament were all made under the king's 
authority. Nine champions, mantenedoreSj we are told, 
stood with Quiiiones, and at the end of the thirty days it 
was found that sixty-eight knights had adventured them- 
selves against his claim ; that six hundred and twenty-seven 
encounters had taken place ; and that sixty-six lances had 
been broken; — one knight, an Aragonese, having been 
killed and many wounded, among whom were Quiiiones 
and eight out of his nine fellow-champions. ^ 

Strange as all this may sound, and seeming to carry us 
back to the fabulous days when the knights of romance 

** Jousted in Aspramont or Montalban/* 

and Rodamont maintained the bridge of Montpellier, for 
the sake of the lady of his love, it is yet all plain matter 

' Some account of the Passo Hon- in it verbatim, as in sections 1, 4, 7, 

roso is to be found among the Memo- 14, 74, 75, etc. In other parts it 

rabilia of the time in the *' CnSnica de seems to have, been disfig^urcd by 

Juan el IP," (ad Ann. 1483, Cap. 6,) Pineda. (Pellicer, note to Don 

and in Zurita, ** Anales de Aragon," Quixote, Parte I. c. 49.) The poem 

(Lib. XIV. c. 22.) The book itself, of *' Esvero y Almedora," in twelve 

" El Passo Honroso,*' was prepared cantos, by D. Juan Maria Maury, 

on the spot, at Orbigo, by Delcna, (Paris, 1840, 12mo.,) is founded on 

one of the authorized scribes of John the adventures recorded in this Chro- 

11. ; and was abridged by Fr. Juan nicle, and so is the " Passo Honroso," 

de Pineda, and published at Sala- by Don Angel de Saavedra, Duque 

manoa in 1588, and again at Madrid, de Ri\'as, in four cantos, in the second 

under the auspices of the Academy volume of his Works, (Madrid, 1820- 

ot History, in 1783, (4to.) Large 21, 2 tom. 12mo.) 
portions of the originid are preserved 

Chap. X. THE PA8S0 HONROSO. 177 

of fact, spread out in becoming style, by an eyewitness, 
with a full account of the ceremonies, both of chivalry and 
of religion, that accompanied it. The theory of the whole 
is that Quiflones, in acknowledgment of being prisoner to 
a noble lady, had, for some time, weekly worn her chains ; 
and that he was now to ransom himself from this fanciful 
imprisonment by the payment of a certain number of real 
spears broken by him and his friends in fair fight. All 
this, to be sure, is fantastic enough. But the ideas of love, 
honour, and religion displayed in the proceedings of the 
champions, ' who hear mass devoutly every day, and yet 
cannot obtain Christian burial for the Aragonese knight 
who is killed, and in the conduct of Quiiiones himself, who 
fasts each Thursday, partly, it should seem, in honour of 
the Madonna, and partly in honour of his lady, — these 
and other whimsical incongruities are still more fantastic. 
They seem, indeed, as we read their record, to be quite 
worthy of the admiration expressed for them by Don 
Quixote in his argument with the wise canon, ' but h JSily 
worthy of any other ; so that we are surprised, at first, 
when we find them specially recorded in the contemporary 
Chronicle of King John, and filling, long afterwards, a se- 
parate chapter in the graver Annals of Zurita. And yet 
such a grand tournament was an important event in the age 
when it happened, and is highly illustrative of the contem- 
porary manners. * History and chronicle, therefore, alike 
did well to give it a place ; and, indeed, down to the pre- 
sent time, the curious and elaborate record of the details 

■ See Sections 23 and 64 ; and for of the workings of human nature, 
a curious vow made by one of the Parte I. c. 49. 

wounded knights, that he would never * Take the years immediately about 

agun make love to nuns as he had 1434, in which the Passo Honroso 

done, see Sect. 26. occurred, and we find four or five 

■ Don Quixote makes precisely instances. (Crdnica de Juan el IF, 
such a use of the Passo Honroso as 1433, Cap. 2 ; 1434, Cap. 4 ; 1436, 
might be expected from the perverse Capp. 3 and 8 ; 1436, Cap. 4.) In- 

acuteness so often shown by madmen, deed, the Chronicle is full of them ; 

— one of the many instances in which and in several, the Great Constable 

we see Cervantes's nice observation Alvaro de Luna figures. 

VOL. I. N 


and ceremonies of the Fasso Honroso is of no little value 
as one of the best exhibitions that remain to us of the ge- 
nius of chivalry, and as quite the best exhibition of what 
has been considered the most characteristic of all the 
knightly institutions. 

The other work of the same period to which we have 
referred gives us, also, a striking view of the spirit of the 
times ; one less picturesque, indeed, but not less instruc- 
tive. It is called " El Seguro de Tordesillas," the Pledge 
or the Truce of Tordesillas, and relates to a series of con- 
ferences held in 1439, between John the Second and a 
body of his nobles, headed by his own son, who, in a sedi- 
tious and violent manner, interfered in the aflPairs of the 
kingdom, in order to break down the influence of the 
Constable de Luna. * It receives its peculiar name from 
the revolting circumstance, that, even in the days of the 
Passo Honroso, and with some of the knights who figured 
in that gorgeous show for the parties, true honour was yet 
sunk so low in Spain, that none could be found on either 
side of this great quarrel, — not even the King or the 
Prince, — whose word would be taken as a pledge for the 
mere personal safety of those who should be engaged in the 
discussions at Tordesillas. It was necessary, therefore, to 
find some one not strictly belonging to either party, who, 
invested with higher powers and even with supreme mili- 
tary control, should become the depositary of the general 
faith, and, exercising an authority limited only by his own 
sense of honour, be obeyed alike by the exasperated sove- 
reign and his rebellious subjects. * 

This proud distinction was given to Pedro Fernandez 
de Velasco, commonly called the Good or Faithful Count 

* The " Seguro de Tordesillas " Castilian phrase used by the principal 
was first printed at Milan, 1611 ; but personages on this occasion, and among 
the only other edition, that of Madrid, the rest by the Constable Alvaro de 
1784, (4to.,) is much better. Luna, to signify that they are not, for 

• " Nos desnaturamos," ** We fal- the time being, bound to obey even 
•ify our natures/* is the striking old the king. Seguro, Cap. 3. 


Hare ; and the " Seguro de Tordesillas,** prepared by him 
some time afterwards, shows how honourably he executed 
the extraordinary trust Few historical works caa challenge 
such absolute authenticity. The documents of the case, 
constituting the chief part of it, are spread out before the 
reader ; and what does not rest on their foundation rests on 
that word of the Good Count to which the lives of what- 
ever was most distinguished in the kingdom had just been 
fearlessly trusted. As might be expected, its character- 
istics are simplicity and plainness, not elegance or elo- 
quence. It is, in fact, a collection of documents, but it is 
an interesting and a melancholy record. The compact 
that was made led to no permanent good. The Count 
soon withdrew, ill at ease, to his own estates ; and in less than 
two years his unhappy and weak master was assailed anew, 
and besieged in Medina del Campo, by his rebellious 
family and their adherents. ^ After this, we hear little of 
Count Haro, except that he continued to assist the king 
from time to time, in his increasing troubles, until, worn 
out with fatigue of body and mind, he retired from the 
world, and passed the last ten years of his life in a monas- 
tery, which he had himself founded, and where he died at 
the age of threescore and ten. ® 

Chronicles of Particular Persons. — But while remark- 
able events^ like the Passage of Arms at Orbigo and the 
Pledge of Tordesillas, were thus appropriately recorded, 
the remarkable men of the time could hardly fail occasion- 
ally to find fit chroniclers. 

Pero Niiio, Count de Buelna, who flourished between 

' See Crdnica de Juan el II', 1440- Luis de Aranda's commentanr on this 
41 and 1444, Cap. 3. Well might passage is good, and well illustrates 

Manrique, in his beautiful Coplas the old Chronicle ; — a rare circum- 

on the instability of fortune, break stance in such commentaries on 

forth, — Spanish poetry. 

Que M hizo el Be^r Don Joan ? 8 Puirrar (Claros Varones de Cas- 

Qr««t^t *"*•"• tilla, Madrid, 1775, 4to., T.tulo 3) 



Quo ae hixieron ? 
Que fue de taoito 
Que fue de tanU 
Como truxeion ? 

Que fue de taoito ffAian, givcs a bcautiful character of him, 

Que fue de tanU invencion. 


1379 and 1453, is the first of them. He was a distin- 
guished naval and military commander in the reigns of 
Henry the Third and John the Second ; and his Chro- 
nicle is the work of Gutierre Diez de Gamez, who was 
attached to his person from the time Pero Nino was 
twenty-three years old, and boasted the distinction of being 
his standard-bearer in many a rash and bloody fight A 
more faithful chronicler, or one more imbued with knightly 
qualities, can hardly be found. He may be well compared 
to the " Loyal Serviteur," the biographer of the Chevalier 
Bayard ; and, like him, not only enjoyed the confidence 
of his master, but shared his spirit. * His accounts of the 
education of Pero Nino, and of the counsels given him by 
his tutor ; ^^ of Pero's marriage to his first wife, the lady 
Constance de Guebara ; ^^ of his cruises against the corsairs 
and Bey of Tunis ; ^* of the part he took in the war against 
England, after the death of Richard the Second, when he 
commanded an expedition that made a descent on Cornwall, 
and, according to his chronicler, burnt the town of Poole 
and took Jersey and Guernsey ; ^^ and finally, of his share 
in the common war against Granada, which happened in 
the latter part of his life and under the leading of the Con- 
stable Alvaro de Luna, ** are all interesting and curious, 
and told with simplicity and spirit. But the most charac- 
teristic and amusing passages of the Chronicle are, per- 
haps, those that relate, one to Pero Nino's gallant visit at 
Girfontaine, near Rouen, the residence of the old Admiral 
of France, and his gay young wife, '* and another to the 

^ The " Cr6nica de Don Pero would have done better to print the 

Niilo" was cited early and often, as whole; especially the whole of what 

containing important materials for the he says he found in the part which he 

history of the reign of Henry III., calls **' La Cr6nica de los Reyes de 

but was not printed until it was Inglnterra." 

edited by Don Eugenio de Llaguno *® See Parte I. c. 4. 

Amirola (Madrid, 1782, 4to.^ ; who, " Parte I. c. 14, 15. 

however, has omitted a goocl deal of " Parte II. c. 1-14. 

what he calls '' fabulas caballarescas.'* ** Parte II. c. 16-40. 

Instances of such omissions occur in ^* Parte III. c. 11, etc. 

Parte I. c. 16, Parte II. c. 18, 40, etc., " Parte II. c. 31, 36. 
and I cannot but think Don Eugenio 


course of his true love for Beatrice, daughter of the Infante 
Don John, the lady who, after much opposition and many 
romantic dangers, became his second wife. ^* Unfortu- 
nately, we know nothing about the author of all this enter- 
taining history except what he modestly tells us in the 
work itself; but we cannot doubt that he was as loyal in 
his life as he claims to be in his true-hearted account of 
his master's adventures and achievements. 

Next after Pero Nino's Chronicle comes that of the 
Constable Don Alvaro de Luna, the leading spirit of the 
reign of John the Second, almost from the moment when, 
yet a child, he appeared as a page at court, in 1408, down 
to 1453, when he perished on the scaffold, a victim to his 
own haughty ambition, to the jealousy of the nobles near- 
est the throne, and to the guilty weakness of the king. 
Who was the author of the Chronicle is unknown. ^' But, 
from internal evidence, he was probably an ecclesiastic of 
some learning, and certainly a retainer of the Constable, 
much about his person, and sincerely attached to him. It 
reminds us, at once, of the fine old Life of Wolsey by his 
Gentleman Usher, Cavendish ; for both works were writ- 
ten after the fall of the great men whose lives they record, 
by persons who had served and loved them in their pros- 
perity, and who now vindicated their memories with a 
grateful and trusting affection, which often renders even 
their style of writing beautiful by its earnestness, and some- 
times eloquent. The Chronicle of the Constable is, of 

*• Parte III. c. 3-5. The love one edition has been published since, 

of Pero Nino for the lady Beatrice — that by Flores, the diligent Secre- 

comes, also, into the poetry of the tarv of the Academy of History, 

time; for he employed Villasandino, (Madrid, 1784, 4to.) " Privado del 

a poet of the age of Henry III. and Rey " was the common style of 

John II., to write verses for him, Alvaro de Luna; — ** Tan privado," 

addressed to her. See Castro, Bibl. as Manriquc calls him ; — a word 

£sp., Tom. I. pp. 271 and 274. which almost became £nglish, for 

*' The *' Crunica de Don Alvaro Lord Bacon, in his twentv-seventh 

de Luna" was first printed at Milan, Essay, says, ** The modem languages 

1646, (folio,) by one of the Con- give unto such persons the names of 

stable's descendants, but, notwith- favourites or privadoes.** 
standing its value and interest, only 


course, the oldest. It was composed between 1453 and 
1460, or about a century before Cavendish's Wokey. It 
is grave and stately, sometimes too fttately ; but there is a 
great air of reality about it. The account of the siege of 
Palenzuela, ^® the striking description of the Constable's 
person and bearing, ^* the scene of the royal visit to the 
favourite in his castle at Escalona, with the festivities that 
followed, *° and, above all, the minute and painful details 
of the Constable's fall from power, his arrest, and death, '* 
show the freedom and spirit of an eyewitness, or, at least, 
of a person entirely familiar with the whole matter about 
which he writes. It is, therefore, among the richest and 
most interesting of the old Spanish chronicles, and quite 
indispensable to one who would comprehend the troubled 
spirit of the period to which it relates ; the period known 
as that of the bandosy or armed feuds, when the whole 
country was broken into parties, each in warlike array, 
fighting for its own head, but none fully submitting to the 
royal authority. 

The last of the chronicles of individuals written in the 
spirit of the elder times, that it is necessary to notice, is 
that of Gonzalvo de Cdrdova, " the Great Captain," who 
flourished from the period immediately preceding the 
war of Granada to that which begins the reign of Charles 
the Fifth ; and who produced an impression on the Spanish 
nation hardly equalled since the earlier days of that great 
Moorish contest, the cyclus of whose heroes Gonzalvo 
seems appropriately to close up. It was about 1526 that 
the Emperor Charles the Fifth desired one of the favourite 
followers of Gonzalvo, Heman Perez del Pulgar, to prepare 

*" Tit 91-95, with the curious piece countenance and manner, as he rode 

of poetry bv the court poet, Juan de on his mule to the place of death, and 

Mena, on the wound of the Constable the awful silence of the multitude 

durint^ the siege. that preceded his execution, with the 

** Tft. 68. universal sob that followed it — are 

•® Tit. 74, etc. admirably set forth, and show, I think, 

"'Tit. 127, 128. Some of the that the author witnessed what he so 

details — the Constable's composed well describes. 

Cbap. X. 



an account of his great captain's life. A better person 
could not easily have been selected. For he is not, as was 
long supposed, Fernando del Pulgar, the wit and courtier 
of the time of Ferdinand and Isabella. " Nor is the work he 
produced the poor and dull Chronicle of the life of Gon- 
zalvo first printed in 1580, or earlier, and often attributed 
to him. ^ But he is that bold knight who, with a few fol- 
lowers, penetrated to the very centre of Granada, then all 
in arms, and affixing an Ave Maria, with the sign of the 
cross, to the doors of the principal mosque, consecrated its 
massive pile to the service of Christianity, while Ferdinand 
and Isabella were still beleaguering the city without ; an 
heroic adventure, with which his country rang from side to 
side at the time, and which has not since been forgotten 
either in its ballads or in its popular drama. ^ 

•* The mistake between the two 
Pulfrars — one called Hernan Perez 
del Pulgar, and the other Fernando 
del Pulgar — seems to have been made 
while they were both alive. At least, 
I so infer from the following good- 
humoured passage in a letter from the 
latter to his correspondent Pedro de 
Toledo : ** E pues quereis saber como 
me aveis de llamar, sabed, Senor, que 
me llaman Fernando, e me llamabaii e 
llamaran Fernando, e si me dan el 
Maestrazgo de Santiago, tambien 
Fernando," etc. (Letra XII., Ma- 
drid, 1775, 4to., p. 163.) For the 
mistakes made concerning them in 
more modem times, see Nic. Antonio, 
(Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p. 387,) who 
seems to be sadly confused about the 
whole matter. 

" This dull old anonymous Chro- 
nicle is tlie ^^ Cr6nicadel GranCapitan 
Gonzalo Fernandez de Cordoba y 
Aguilar, en la aual se contienen las dos 
Conquistas del Reino de Napoles," 
etc., (Sevilla, 1580, fol.,)— which 
does not yet seem to be th<i first edi- 
tion, because, in the licencia, it is said 
to be printed, ** porque hay falta de 
ellas." It contains some of the family 
documents that are found in Pulgar s 
account of him, and was reprinted at 

least twice afterwards, viz., Sevilla, 
1582, and AlcaM, 1584. 

" Pulgar was permitted by his 
admiring sovereigns to have his 
burial-place where he knelt when he 
affixed the Ave Maria to the door of 
the mosque, and his descendants still 
preserve his tomb there with becom- 
ing reverence, and still occupy the 
most distinguished place in the choir 
of the cathedral, which was originally 
granted to him and to his heirs male 
in right line. (Alcantara, Historia 
de Granada, Granada, 1846, 8vo., 
Tom. IV., p. 102 ; and the curious 
documents collected by Martinez de 
la Rosa in his ** Hernan Perez del 
Pulgar,** pp. 279-283, for which see 
next note.) The oldest play known 
to me on the subject of Hernan 
Perez del Pulgar's achievement is 
" El Cerco de Santa Fe," in the first 
volume of Lope de Vega's " Come- 
dias," (Valladolid, 1604, 4to.) But 
the one commonly represented is by 
an unknown author, and founded on 
Lope*s. It is called '' El Triunfo del 
Ave Maria," and is said to be ** de 
un Ingenio de este Corte,** dating 
probably from the rei^n of Philip 
iV. My copy of it is printed in 
1793. Martinez de la Rosa speaks 


As might be expected from the character of its author, 
— who, to distinguish him from the courtly and peaceful 
Pulgar, was well called " He of the Achievements," El de 
las HazafiaSj — the book he offered to his monarch is not a 
regular life of Gonzalvo, but rather a rude and vigorous 
sketch of him, entitled " A Small Part of the Achieve- 
ments of that Excellent Person called the Great Captain,** 
or, as is elsewhere yet more characteristically said, " of the 
achievements and solemn virtues of the Great Captain, 
both in peace and war.** ** The modesty of the author is 
as remarkable as his adventurous spirit. He is hardly 
seen at all in his narative, while his love and devotion to 
his great leader give a fervour to his style, which, notwith- 
standing a frequent display of very unprofitable learning, 
renders his work both curious and striking, and brings out 
his hero in the sort of bold relief in which he appeared to 
the admiration of his contemporaries. Some parts of it, not- 
withstanding its brevity, are remarkable even for the details 
they afford ; and some of the speeches, like that of the 
Alfaqui to the distracted parties in Granada, '^ and that of 
Gonzalvo to the population of the Abbaycin, " savour of 
eloquence as well as wisdom. Regarded as the outline 
of a great man's character, few sketches have more an air 
of truth ; through, perhaps, considering the adventurous 
and warlike lives both of the author and his subject, no- 
thing in the book is more remarkable than the spirit of 
humanity that pervades it *® 

of seeing it, and of the strong im- sant life of Pulgar and valuable 
pression it produced on his youthful notes, so that we now have this very 
imagination. curious little book in an agreeable 
■* This Life of the Great Captain, fonn for reading, — thanks to the 
by Pulgar, was printed at Seville, zeal and persevering literary curiosity 
by Cromberger, in 1627 ; but only of the distinguished Spanish states- 
one copy of this edition — the one in man who discovered it. 
the passcission of the Royal Spanish ^ Ed. Fr. Martinez de la Rosa, pp. 
Academy — is now known to exist. 155, 156. 
A reprint was made from it at Ma- *^ Ibid., pp. 159-16^. 
drid, entitled ** Ileman Perez del " Ilenian Perez del Pulgar, el de 
Pulgar," 1834, ( 8 vo., edited by D. las Ilazafias, was born in 1451, and 
Fr. Marthicz de la Rosa,) with a i>lca- died in 1531. 


Chronicles of Travels. — In the same style with the his- 
tories of their kiugs and great men, a few works should be 
noticed in the nature of travels, or histories of travellers, 
though not always bearing the name of Chronicles. 

The oldest of them, which has any value, is an account 
of a Spanish embassy to Tamerlane, the great Tartar po- 
tentate and conqueror. Its origin is curious. Heiury the 
Third of Castile, whose aflFairs, partly in consequence of 
his marriage with Catherine, daughter of Shakspeare's 
" time-honoured Lancaster," were in a more fortunate and 
quiet condition than those of his immediate predecessors, 
seems to have been smitten in his prosperity with a desire 
to extend his fame to the remotest countries of the earth ; 
and for this purpose, we are told, sought to establish 
friendly relations with the Greek Emperor at Constanti- 
nople, with the Sultan of Babylon, with Tamerlane or 
Timour Bee the Tartar, and even with the fabulous Pres- 
ter John of that shadowy India which was then the subject 
of so much speculation. 

What was the result of all this widely spread diplomacy, 
so extraordinary at the end of the fourteenth century, we do 
not know, except that the first ambassadors sent to Ta- 
merlane and Bajazet chanced actually to be present at the 
great and decisive battle between those two preponderat- 
ing powers of the East, and that Tamerlane sent a splendid 
embassy in return, with some of the spoils of his victory, 
among which were two fair captives, who figure in the 
Spanish poetry of the time. *• King Henry was not un- 
grateful for such a tribute of respect, and, to acknowledge 
it, despatched to Tamerlane three persons of his court, 
one of whom. Buy Gonzalez de Clavijo, has left us a 
minute account of the whole embassy, its adventures and 
its results. This account was first published by Argote 
de Molina, the careful antiquary of the time of Philip the 

^ Discurso hecho por Argote de Gonzalez de CUvijo, Madrid, 1782, 
Molina, sobre el Itincrario de Ruy 4to., p. 3. 


Second, ^ and was then called, probably in order to give 
it a more winning title, " The Life of the Great Tamer- 
lane," — Vida del Gran Tamurlarij — though it is, in fact, 
a diary of the voyagings and residences of the ambassadors 
of Henry the Third, beginning in May, 1403, when they 
embarked at Puerto Santa Maria, near Cadiz, and ending 
in March, 1406, when they landed there on their return. 

In the course of it, we have a description of Constanti- 
npple, which is the more curious because it is given at the 
moment when it tottered to its fall ; '^ of Trebizond, with 
its Greek churches and clergy ; ^ of Teheran, now the 
capital of Persia ; " and of Samarcand, where they found 
the great Conqueror himself, and were entertained by him 
with a series of magnificent festivals continuing almost to 
the moment of his death, ^ which happened while they 
were at his court, and was followed by troubles embarrassing 
to their homeward journey. " The honest Clavijo seems 
to have been well ple«ised to lay down his commission at 
the feet of his sovereign, whom he found at Alcala ; and 
though he lingered about the court for a year, and was one 
of the witnesses of the king's will at Christmas, yet on the 
death of Henry he retired to Madrid, his native place, where 
he spent the last four or five years of his life, and where, 
in 1412, he was buried in the convent of Saint Francis, 
with his fathers, whose chapel he had piously rebuilt. '* 

^ The edition of Argote de Molina give those where the said relics were,** 

was published in 1582; and there is etc. p. 52. 
only one other, the very good one " Page 84, etc. 

printed at Madrid, 1782, 4to. ■• Page 118, etc. 

•* They were much struck with the •* Pages 149-198. 
works in mosaic in Constantinople, •* Page 207, etc. 
and mention them re|)eatedly, pp. 61, •• Ilijos de Madrid, Ilustres en San- 
69, and elsewhere. The reason why tidad, Dignidades, Armas, Ciencias, y 
they did not, on the first day, see all Artes, Diecionario Historico, su Autor 
the relics they wishe<l to see in the D. Joseph Ant. Alvarez y Baena, Na- 
church of San Juan de la Piedra is very tural de la misma Villa ; Madrid, 1789 
quaint, and shows great simi)liritv of -91, 4 tom., 4to. ; — a book whose ma- 
manners at the im|)enal court : ** The terials, somewhat crudely put together, 
Emperor went to hunt, and left the are abundant and important, especially 
keys with the Empress his wife, and in what relates to the literary history 
when she gave them, she forgot to of tlie Spanish capital. A Life of 


His travels will not, on the whole, suffer by a compari- 
son with those of Marco Polo or Sir John Mandeville ; 
for, though his discoveries are much less in extent than 
those of the Venetian merchant, they are, perhaps, as re- 
markable as those of the English adventurer, while the 
manner in which he has presented them is superior to that 
of either. His Spanish loyalty and his Catholic faith are 
everywhere apparent He plainly believes that his modest 
embassy is making an impression of his king's power and 
importance, on the countless and careless multitudes of 
Asia, which will not be effaced ; while, in the luxurious 
capital of the Greek empire, he seems to look for little but 
the apocryphal relics of saints and apostles which then bur- 
dened the shrines of its churches. With all this, however, 
we may be content, because it is national ; but when we 
find him filling the island of Ponza with buildings erected 
by Virgil, ^ and afterwards, as he passes Amalfi, taking 
note of it only because it contained the head of Saint An- 
drew, ^ we are obliged to recall his frankness, his zeal, and 
all his other good qualities, before we can be quite recon- 
ciled to his ignorance. Mariana indeed intimates, that, 
after all, his stories are not to be wholly believed. But, 
as in the case of other early travellers, whose accounts were 
often discredited merely because they were so strange, 
more recent and careful inquiries have confirmed Clavijo's 
narrative ; and we may now trust to his faithfulness as much 
as to the vigilant and penetrating spirit he shows constantly 
except when his religious faith, or his hardly less religious 
loyalty, interferes with its exercise. ^^ 

Clavijo is to be found in it, Tom. IV., contains ^^ muchas otras cosas asaz 

p. 302. maraviilosas, si verdaderas." (Hist., 

•^ **Hay en ella grandcs edificios Lib. XIX., c. 11.) But Blanco White, 

de muy grande obra, que fizo Virgilio." in his ** Variedades," (Tom. I., pp. 

p. 30. 316-318,) shows, from an examina- 

" All he says of Amalfi is, " Y en tion of Clavijo*s Itinerary, by Major 

esta ciudad de Malfadicen que estd la Renncll, and from other sources, that 

cabeza de Sarit Andres." p. 33. its general fidelity may be depended 

** Mariana says that the Itinerary upon. 


But the great voyagiugs of the Spaniards were not des- 
tined to be in the East. The Portuguese, led on originally 
by Prince Henry, one of the most extraordinary men of 
his age, had, as it were, already appropriated to themselves 
that quarter of the world by discovering the easy route of 
the Cape of Good Hope ; and both by the right of disco- 
very and by the provisions of the well-known Papal bull and 
the equally well-known treaty of 14/9, had cautiously cut 
off their great rivals, the Spaniards, from all adventure in 
that direction ; leaving open to them only the wearisome 
waters that were stretched out unmeasured towards the 
West. Happily, however, there was one man to whose 
courage even the terrors of this unknown and dreaded 
ocean were but spurs and incentives, and whose gifted 
vision, though sometimes dazzled from the height to which 
he rose, could yet see, beyond the waste of waves, that 
broad continent which his fervent imagination deemed 
needful to balance the world. It is true, Columbus was 
not born a Spaniard. But his spirit was eminently Spa- 
nish. His loyalty, his religious faith and enthusiasm, his 
love of great and extraordinary adventure, were all Spanish 
rather than Italian, and were all in harmony with the 
Spanish national character, when he became a part of its 
glory. His own eyes, he tells us, had watched the silver 
cross, as it slowly rose, for the first time, above the towers 
of the Alhambra, announcing to the world the final and 
absolute overthrow of the infidel power in Spain ; ^ and 
from that period, — or one even earlier, when some poor 

*" In the account of his first voyage, and of great value, as containing the 

rendered to his sovereigns, he says he authentic materials for the histoiy of 

was in 1492 at Granada, "adonde, the discovery of America. Old Ber- 

este presente afio, i. dos dias del mes naldez, the friend of Columbus, de- 

de Enero, \x)t fuerza de annas, vide scribes more exactly what Columbus 

poner las l)anderas reales de Vuestras saw : ** E mostraron en la mas alta 

Altezas en las torres de Alfambra,*' torrc jprimeramentc el cstandarte de 

etc. Navarrete, Coleccion de los Vi- Jesu Cristo, que fue la Santa Cruz de 

ajcs y Descubrimientos que hicieron plata, que el rvy traia siemprc en la 

S or Mar los Espanoles desde Fines del santa conquista consigo.*' Hist, de 

iglo XV., Madrid, 1825, 4to., Tom. los Reyes Cat61icos, Cap. 102, MS. 
I., p. 1 ; — a work admirably edited, 

Chap.X. COLUMBUS. 189 

monks from Jerusalem had been at the camp of the two 
sovereigns before Granada, praying for help and protec- 
tion against the mibelievers in Palestine, — he had con- 
ceived the grand project of consecrating the untold wealth 
he trusted to find in his westward discoveries, by devot- 
ing it to the rescue of the Holy City and sepulchre of 
Christ ; thus achieving, by his single power and resources, 
what all Christendom and its ages of crusades had failed 
to accomplish. ** 

Gradually these and other kindred ideas took firm pos- 
session of his mind, and are found occasionally in his later 
journals, letters, and speculations, giving to his otherwise 
quiet and dignified style a tone elevated and impassioned 
like that of prophecy. It is true, that his adventurous 
spirit, when the mighty mission of his life was upon him, 
rose above all this, and, with a purged vision and through 
a clearer atmosphere, saw from the outset what he at last 
so gloriously accomplished ; but still, as he presses onward, 
there not unfrequently break from him words which leave 
no doubt that, in his secret heart, the foundations of his 
great hopes and purposes were laid in some of the most 
magnificent illusions that are ever permitted to fill the hu- 
man mind. He believed himself to be, in some degree at 
least, inspired ; and to be chosen of Heaven to fulfil certain 
of the solemn and grand prophecies of the Old Testament ** 
Hewrote to hissovereigns in 1501, that he had been induced 
to undertake his voyages to the Indies, not by virtue of 

*^ This appears from his letter to posed himself called on to fulfil was 

the Pope, Fehmary, 1502, in which that in the eighteenth Psalm. (Na- 

he says he had counted upon furnish- varrete, Col., Tom. I., pp. zlviii., 

ing, in twelve years, 10,000 horse and xlix., note ; Tom. II., pp. 262-266.) 

100,000 foot soldiers for the conquest In King James's version the passage 

of the Holy City, and that his under- stands thus : — " Thou hast made me 

taking to discover new countries was the head of the heathen ; a i)eople 

with the view of spending the means whom I have not known shall serve 

he might there acquire in this sacred me. As soon as they hear of me, thev 

service. Navarrete, Coleccion, Tom. shall obey me ; the strangers shall 

II., p. 282. submit themselves unto me." w. 

** One of the prophecies he sup- 43, 44. 



Pebiod I. 

human knowledge, but by a Divine impulse, and by the 
force of Scriptural prediction.*' He declared, that the 
world could not continue to exist more than a hundred and 
fifty-five years longer, and that, many a year before that 
period, he counted the recovery of the Holy City to be 
sure. ^ He expressed his belief, that the terrestrial para- 
dise, about which he cites the fanciful speculations of Saint 
Ambrose and Saint Augustin, would be found in the 
southern regions of those newly discovered lands, which he 
describes with so charming an amenity, and that the 
Orinoco was one of the mystical rivers issuing from it ; in- 
timating, at the same time, that, perchance, he alone of 
mortal men would, by the Divine will, be enabled to reach 
and enjoy it. ** In a remarkable letter of sixteen pages, 
addressed to his sovereigns from Jamaica in 1503, and 
written with a force of style hardly to be found in any 
thing similar at the same period, he gives a moving account 
of a miraculous vision, which he believed had been vouch- 

*• " Ya dije oue para la csccucion 
dc la impresa de las Indias no me apro- 
vech6 razon ni inatcmatica ni niapa- 
mundos ; — llenanicntc sc cuinpli6 lo 
oue dijo Isafas, y esto es lo que dcsco 
ae escrebir aqui por le rcducir d V. A. 
^ memoria, y porque se alegren del 
otro que yo le dije de Jeruaalcn por 
las mesmas autoridadcs, de la qual im- 

Eresa, si fe hay, tengo por muy cierto 
I vitoria." JUjtter ot Columbus to 
Ferdinand and Isabella, (Navarrete, 
Col., Tom. II., p. 266.) And else- 
where in the same letter he says: 
" Yo dije que diria la mron que tengo 
de la restitucion de la Casa Santa d la 
Santa Iglesia ; digo oue yo dejo todo 
mi navegar desde caad nueva y las 
pMticas que yo haya tenido con tanta 
gentc en t^ntas tiorras y dc tantas se- 
tasy y dejo las tantas artes y cscrituras 
dc que yo dije arriba ; sofamcnte mc 
tengo d la Santa y Sacra Escritura y 
A algunas autoridades proii^ticas de 
algunas personas santas, que por reve- 
lacion divina han dicho algo desto." 
Ibid., p. 263. 

" ** Segund esta cuenta, no falta, 
salvo ciento c cincuenta y cinco anos, 
para complimicnto dc sietc mil, en los 

3ualcs digo arriba por las autoridades 
ichas que habrd lie icnecer el mun- 
do." Ibid., p. 264. 

** Sec the very bcautiftil passage 
about the Orinoco River, mixed with 
prophetical interpretations, in his ac« 
count of his third voyage, to the King 
and Queen, (Navarrete, Col., Tom. 
I. pp. 266, etc.,) — a singular mixture 
of practical judgment and wild , dreamy 
speculation. " I believe," he says, 
** that there is the terrestrial paradise, 
at which no man can arrive except by 
the Divine will," — ** Creo, que allii 
es el Paraiso terrenal, adondc no puede 
llegar nadie, salvo por voluntad divi- 
na." The honest Clavijo thought he 
had found another river of iMiradise on 
iust the opposite side of the earth, as 
he journeyed to Samarcand, nearly a 
century before. Vida del Gran Ta- 
morlan, p. 137. 

Chap. X. COLUBiBUS. 191 

safed to him for his consolation, when at Veragua, a few 
months before, a body of his men, sent to obtain salt and 
water, had been cut off by the natives, thus leaving him 
outside the mouth of the river in great peril. 

"My brother and the rest of the people," he says, "were 
in a vessel that remained within, and I was left solitary on 
a coast so dangerous, with a strong fever and grievously 
worn down. Hope of escape was dead within me. I 
climbed aloft with difficulty, calling anxiously and not 
without many tears for help upon your Majesties' captains 
from all the four winds of heaven. But none made me 
answer. Wearied and still moaning, I fell asleep, and 
heard a pitiful voice, which said : * O fool, and slow to trust 
and serve thy God, the God of all I What did He more 
for Moses, or for David his servant? Ever since thou 
wast born, thou hast been His especial charge. When He 
saw thee at the age wherewith He was content. He made 
thy name to sound marvellously on the earth. The Indies, 
which are a part of the world, and so rich, He gave them 
to thee for thine own, and thou hast divided them unto 
others as seemed good to thyself, for He granted thee 
power to do so. Of the barriers of the great ocean, which 
were bound up with such mighty chains. He hath given 
unto thee the keys. Thou hast been obeyed in many 
lands, and thou hast gained an honoured name among 
Christian men. What did He more for the people of 
Israel when He led them forth from Egypt ? or for David, 
whom from a shepherd He made king in Judea ? Turn 
thou, then, again unto Him, and confjss thy sin. His 
mercy is infinite. Thine old age shall not hinder thee of 
any great thing. Many inheritances hath He, and very 
great Abraham was above a hundred years old when he 
begat Isaac ; and Sarah, was she young ? Thou callest 
for uncertain help; answer. Who hath afflicted thee so 
much and so often ? God or the world ? The privileges 
and promises that God giveth. He breaketh not, nor, after 


He hath received service, dotb He say tJiat dios was not 
his mind, and that his meaidng was other. Neither 
punisheth He, in order to hide a refusal of justice. What 
He promiseth, that He fulfiUeth, and yet m<H^. And 
doth the world thus ? I have told thee what thy Maker 
hath done for thee, and what He doth for alL Even now 
He in part showeth thee the reward of the sorrows and 
dai^rs thou hast gone through in serving others.' All 
this heard I, as one half dead ; but answer had I none to 
words so true, save tears for my sins. And whosoever it 
might be that thus spake, he ended, saying, * Fear not ; be 
of good cheer ; all these thy grie& are written in marble, 
and not without cause.' And I arose as soon as I might, 
and at the end of nine days the weather became calm." ** 

Three years afterwards, in 1506, Columbus died at 
Valladolid, a disappointed, broken-hearted old man ; little 
comprehending what he had done for mankind, and still 
less the glory and homage that through all future generations 
awaited his name. ^^ 

^ Sec the letter to Ferdinand and oootumng seTeral interesting passages 

Isabella, oonceniing his fourth and showing that he had a love for the 

last voyage, dated Jamaica, 7 July, beautiful in nature. (Navarrete, Col., 

1603, in which this extraordinarynas- Tom. I. pp. 242-276.) a The letter 

sage occurs. Navarrete, Col., Tom. to the sovereigns about hb fourth and 

I. p. 303. last voyage, which contains the ac- 

*^ To those who wish to know count of his vision at Veragua. (Na- 
more of Columbus as a writer than varrete, Col., Tom. I. pp. 296-312.) 
can be properly sought in a classical 4. Fifteen miscellaneous letters. (Ibid., 
life of hmi like that of Irving, I com- Tom. I. pp. 330-352.) 5. His specu- 
mend as precious: 1. The account of lations about the prophecies, (Tom. 
his first voyage, addressed to his sovc- II. pp. 260-273,) and nis letter to the 
reigns, with the letter to Rafael San- Pope (Tom. II. pp. 280-282). But 
chez on the same subject (Navarrete, whoever would speak worthily of 
Col., Tom. I. pp. 1-197) ; the first Columbus, or know what was moat 
document being extant only in an ab- noble and elevated in his character, 
stract, which contains, however, large will be gruilty of an unhappy neglect 
extracts from the original made by if he fails to read the discussions 
Las Casas, and of which a very good about him hf Alexander von Hum- 
translation appeared at Boston, 1827, boldt ; especially those in the '' £xa- 
(8vo.) Notning is more remarkable, men Critique de THistoirede la G^- 
in the tone of these narratives, than graphic du Nouveau Continent," 
the devout spirit that constantly breaks (Paris, 1836-88, 8vo., Vol. II. pp, 
forth. 2. The account by Columbus 360, etc., Vol. III. pp. 227-262,)— 
himself, of his third voyage, in a a book no less remarkable for the 
letter to his sovereigns and in a letter vastness of its views than for the 
to the nurse of Prince John ; the first minute accuracy of its learning on 


But the mantle of his devout and heroic spirit fell on 
none of his successors. The discoveries of the new conti- 
nent, which was soon ascertained to be no part of Asia, 
were indeed prosecuted with spirit and success by Balboa, 
by Vespucci, by Hojeda, by Pedr^rias Davila, by the Por- 
tuguese Magellanes, by Loaisa, by Saavedra, and by many 
more; so that in twenty-seven years the general outline 
and form of the New World were, through their reports, 
fairly presented to the Old. But though some of these 
early adventurers, like Hojeda, were men apparently of 
honest principles, who suffered much, and died in poverty 
and sorrow, yet none had the lofty spirit of the original 
discoverer, and none spoke or wrote with the tone of dignity 
and authority that came naturally from a man whose cha- 
racter was so elevated, and whose convictions and purposes 
were founded in some of the deepest and most mysterious 
feelings of our religious nature. *® 

Romantic Chronicles, — It only remains now to speak of 
one other class of the old chronicles ; a class hardly repre- 
sented in this period by more than a single specimen, but 
that a very curious one, and one which, by its date and 
character, brings us to the end of our present inquiries, 
and marks the transition to those that are to follow. The 
Chronicle referred to is that called **The Chronicle of 
Don Roderic, with the Destruction of Spain," and is an 
accoimt, chiefly fabulous, of the reign of King Boderic, 
the conquest of the country by the Moors, and the first 
attempts to recover it in the beginning of the eighth cen- 
tury. An edition is cited as early as 1511, and six in all 
may be enumerated, including the last, which is of 1587 ; 

some of the most obscure subjects and voyages worth looking at on the 

of historical inauiry. Nobody has score of lanffuage or style is to bo 

comprehended tne character of Co- found in Vols. III., IV., V. of Na- 

lumbus as he has, — its generosity, its varrete, Coleccion, etc., published by 

enthusiasm, its far-reaching visions, the Grovemment, Madrid, 1829-37, 

which seemed watching beforehand but unhappily not continued since, so 

for the great scientific discoveries of as to contain the accounts of the dis- 

the sixteenth century. covery and conquest of Mexico, Peru, 

^ All relating to these adventures etc. 

VOL. I. O 


thus showing a good degree of popularity, if we consider 
the number of readers in Spain in the sixteenth century. *• 
Its author is quite unknown. According to the fashion of 
the times, it professes to have been written by Eliastras, 
one of the personages who figures in it : but he is killed in 
battle just before we reach the end of the book ; and the 
remainder, which looks as if it might really be an addition 
by another hand, is in the same way ascribed to Carestes^ 
a knight of Alfonso the Catholic *® 

Most of the names throughout the work are as imaginary 
as those of its pretended authors ; and the circumstances 
related are, generally, as much invented as the dialogue 
between its personages, which is given with a heavy mi- 
nuteness of detail, alike uninteresting in itself and &lse to 
the times it represents. In truth, it is hardly more than 
a romance of chivalry, founded on the materials for the 
history of Roderic and Pelayo, as they still exist in the 
" General Chronicle of Spain " and in the old ballads ; so 
that, though we often meet what is familiar to us about 
Count Julian, La Cava, and Orpas, the false Archbishop 
of Seville, we find ourselves still oftener in the midst of 
impossible tournaments *^ and incredible adventures of chi- 
valry. ^' Kings travel about like knights-errant, ^ and ladies 

^ My copy is of the edition of Al- the tournament of twentjr thousand 

cal^ de Hcnarcs, 1587, and has the knights in Cap. 40 ; that m Cap. 49, 

characteristic title, '* Crdnica del Rey etc. ; — all just as such things are g^iyen 

Don Rodrigo, con la Destruycion de in the books of chivalry, and emi- 

Espana, y como los Moros la gana- nently absurd here, because the 

ron. Nuevamento corregida. Con- events of the Chronicle are laid in the 

ticne, demas de la Historia, muchas beginning of the eighth century, and 

vivas Razones y Avisos muy prove- tournaments were unknown till above 

chosos." It is in folio, in double two centuries later. (A. P. Budik, 

columns, closely printed, and fills Ursprune, Ausbildung, Abnahme, 

225 leaves or 460 pages. und Verfall des Tumiers, Wien, 1 837, 

^ From Parte II. c. 237 to the end, 8vo.) He places the first tournament 

containing the account of the fabulous in 936. Clemencin thinks they were 

and loathsome penance of Don not known in Spun till after 11 31. 

Roderic, with his death. Nearly the Note to Don Quixote, Tom. IV. p. 316. 

whole of it is translated as a note to ^ See the duels described. Parte 

the twenty-fifth canto of Souther's II. c. 80, etc., 84, etc., 93. 

<' Roderic, the Last of the Goths.'^ ^ The King of Poland is one of the 

^' See the grand Ibmeo when kin^s that comes to the court of Ro- 

Roderic is crowned. Parte I. c. 27 ; dene ** like a wandering knight so 


in distress wander from country to country, ** as they do in 
" Palmerin of England,** while, on all sides, we encounter 
fantastic personages, who were never heard of anywhere 
but in this apocryphal chronicle.** 

The principle of such a work is, of course, nearly the 
same with that of the modern historical romance. What, 
at the time it was written, was deemed history was taken 
as its basis from the old chronicles, and mingled with what 
was then the most advanced form of romantic fiction, just 
as it has been since in the series of works of genius begin- 
ning with Defoe's " Memoirs of a Cavalier." The difference 
is in the general representation of manners, and in the ex- 
ecution, both of which are now immeasurably advanced. 
Indeed, though Southey has founded much of his beautiful 
poem of "Roderic, the Last of the Goths,** on this old 
Chronicle, it is, after all, hardly a book that can be read. 
It is written in a heavy, verbose style, and has a suspiciously 
monkish prologue and conclusion, which look as if the whole 
were originally intended to encourage theRomish doctrine 
of penance, or, at least, were finally arranged to subserve 
that devout purpose. *• 

fair/' (Parte I. c. 39.) One might Lib. VII. c. 2,) where it is polished 

be curitras to know who was King of down into a sort of dramatized nistorv ; 

Poland about A. D. 700. and, finally, with Southey's ** Rodenc, 

^Thus, the Duchess of Loraine the Last of the G^ths," (Canto 

comes to Roderic (Parte I. c. 37) with XXIII.,) where it is again wrought 

much the same sort of a case that the up to poetry and romance. It is an 

Princess Mioomicona brings to Don aamirable scene both for chronicling 

Quixote. narrative and for poetical fiction to 

** Parte I. c. 234, 236, etc. deal with ; but Alfonso the Wise 

^ To learn through what curious and Southey have much the best of it, 

transformations the same ideas can be while a comparison of the four will at 

made to pass, it may be worth while once give the poor '' Chronicle of 

to compare, in the * * Crdnica General," Roderic or the Destruction of Spain " 

1604, (Parte III. f. 6,) the original its true place. 

account of the famous battle of Cova- Another work, something like this 

donga, where the Archbishop Orpas Chronicle, but still more worthless, 

is represented picturesquely coming was published, in two parts, in 1592- 

upon his mule to the cave in which 1600, and seven or eignt times after- 

Pelayo and his people lay, with the wards ; thus giving proof that it long 

tame and elaborate account evidently enjoyed a de^e of favour to which it 

taken from it in this Chronicle of was little entitled. It was written by 

Roderic, (Parte II. c. 196 ;) then with Miguel de Luna, in 1589, as appears 

the account in Mariana, (Ilistoria, by a note to the first part, and is 



This ia the last, and, in many respects, the worst, of the 
chronicles of the fifteenth century, and marks but an un- 
graceful transition to the romantic fictions of chivalry that 
were already beginning to inundate Spain. But as we close 
it up, we should not forget that the whole series, extending 
over full two hundred and fifty years, firom the time of 
Alfonso the Wise to the accession of Charles the Fifth, and 
covering the New World as well as the Old, is unrivalled 
in richness, in variety, and in picturesque and poetical 
elements. In truth, Uie chronicles of no other nation can, 
on such points, be compared to them ; not even the Portu- 
guese, which approach the nearest in original and early 
materials ; nor tie French, which, in Joinville and Frois- 
sart, make the highest claims in another direction. For 
these old Spanish chronicles, whether they have their foun- 
dations in truth or in fable, always strike farther down 
than those of any other nation into the deep soil of the 
popular feeling and character. The old Spanish loyalty, 
the old Spanish religious faith, as both were formed and 
nourished in the long periods of national trial and sufiering, 
are constantly coming out ; hardly less in Columbus and 
his followers, or even amidst the atrocities of the conquests 
in the New World, than in the half-miraculous accounts of 

called <' Verdadera Historia del Rey Miguel de Luna, who, though a 

Rodrieo, con la Perdida do Espana, Christian, was of an old Moorish 

y Vida del Rey Jacob Almanzor, family in Granada, and an inter- 

traduzida de Lengua Ardbiga," etc., preter of Philip II., should have 

my copy being printed at Valencia, shown a great ignorance of the Arabic 

I0O6, 4to. Southev, in his notes to language and history of Spain, or, 

his "Roderic," (Canto IV.,) is showing it, should yet haye succeeded 

disposed to regard thb work as an in passing off his miserable stories as 

authentic history of the invasion and autnentic, is certunly a singular 

conquest of Spain, coming down to circumstance. That such, however, 

the year of Christ 761, and written in is the fact, Conde, in his <* Historia 

the original Arabic only two years de la Dominacion de los Arabes,'* 

later. But this is a mistekc. It is a (Preface, p. x.,) and Grayan^, in 

bold and scandalous foreeiyy with his '* Mohammedan Dynasties of 

even less merit in its style than the Spain," (Yol. I. p. viii.,) leave no 

elder Chronicle on the same subject, doubt, — the latter citing it as a proof 

and without any of the really romantic of the utter contempt and neglect 

adventurers that sometimes give an into which the study of Arabic 

interest to that singular work, half literature had fallen in Spain in the 

monkish, half chivalrous. How sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 




the battles of Hazinas and Tolosa, or in the grand and 
glorious drama of the fall of Granada. Indeed, wherever 
we go under their leading, whether to the court of Tamer- 
lane or to that of Saint Ferdinand, we find the heroic ele- 
ments of the national genius gathered around us ; and thus, 
in this vast, rich mass of chronicles, containing such a body 
of antiquities, traditions, and fables as has been offered to 
no other people, we are constantly discovering, not only 
the materials from which were drawn a multitude of the 
old Spanish ballads, plays, and romances, but a mine which 
has been unceasingly wrought by the rest of Europe for 
similar purposes, and still remains unexhausted,*' 

^ Two Spanbh translations of 
chronicles should be here remember- 
ed ; one for its style and author, and 
the other for its subject. 

The first is the "Universal Chro- 
nicle " of Felipe Foresto, a modest 
monk of Bergamo, who refused the 
higher honours of his Church in order 
to be able to devote his life to letters, 
and who died in 1520, at the age of 
eighty-six. He published, in 1486, 
his larffe Latin Chronicle, entitled 
'* SuppTementum Chronicarum ; " — 
meanmg rather a chronicle intended 
to suppnr all needful historical know- 
ledge than one that should be re- 
garded as a supplement to other 
similar works. It was so much 
esteemed at the time, that its author 
saw it pass through ten editions ; 
and it is said to be still of some value 
for facts stated nowhere so well as on 
his personal authority. At the re- 
quest of Luis Carroz and Pedro Boy], 
it was translated into Spanish by 
Narcis Vinoles, the Valendan poet, 
known in the old Cancioneros for his 
compositions both in his native dialect 
and in Castilian. An earlier version 
of it into Italian, published in 1491, 
may also have been the work of 
ViSoles, since he intimates that he 
had made one ; but his Castilian 
version was printed at Valencia, in 

1510, with a licence from Ferdinand 
the Catholic, acting for his daughter 
Joan. It is a large book, of nearly 
nine hundred pages, in folio, entitled 
*^ Suma de todas las Cronicas del 
Mundo ;" and though Viiloles hints it 
was a rash thing in him to write 
in Castilian, his style is good, and 
sometimes gives an interest to his 
otherwise dry annals. Ximeno, Bib. 
Val., Tom. I. p. 61. Fuster, Tom. 
I. p. 54. Diana £nam. de Polo, 
ed. 1802, p. 304. Biographic Uni- 
verselle, art. Foresto. 

The other Chronicle referred to b 
that of St. Louis, by his faithful fol- 
lower Join ville ; the most picturesque 
of the monuments for the French lan- 
guage and literature of the thirteenth 
century. It was translated into Span- 
ish by Jacques Ledel, one of the suite 
of the French Princess Isabel de 
Bourbon, when she went to Spain to 
become the wife of Philip II. Re- 
garded as the work of a foreigner, the 
version is respectable ; and though it 
was not printed till 1567. yet its 
whole tone prevents it from nnding an 
appropriate place anywhere except in 
the period of the old Castilian chro- 
nicles. Cr6nica de San Luis, etc., 
traducida por Jacques Ledel, Madrid, 
1794, folio. 



Third Ci«a8B. — Romances or Chivalbt. — ABTHcm. — Chaklxxagks. — 
Am ABI8 Ds Gaula. — Its Patb, Authob, Trakslatioit nrxo CASiujAKy 
Success, akd Character. — Esplahdiah. — Florisakdo. — Lisuartb dr 
Grbcia. — Amabis db Grecia.—F]x»i8sl db Niquea. — Akaxartes. — 


Ficnov. — Palmerdt dr Out a. — Pbimauboh. — FtATiR.— P at.mrrie dr 

BoMANCES OF Chivalry. — ^Thc ballads of Spain belonged 
originally to the whole nation, but especially to its less 
cultivated portions. The chronicles, on the contrary, 
belonged to the proud and knightly classes, who sought in 
such picturesque records, not only the glorious history of 
their forefathers, but an appropriate stimulus to their own 
virtues and those of their children. As, however, security 
was gradually extended through the land, and the tendency 
to refinement grew stronger, other wants began to be felt 
Books were demanded, that would furnish amusement less 
popular than that afibrded by the ballads, and excitement 
less grave than that of the chronicles. What was asked 
for was obtained, and probably without difficulty ; for the 
spirit of poetical invention, which had been already 
thoroughly awakened in the country, needed only to be 
turned to tiie old traditions and fables of the early national 
chronicles, in order to produce fictions allied to both of 
them, yet more attractive than either. There is, in fact, 
as we can easily see, but a single step between large por- 
tions of several of the old chronicles, especially that of Don 
Roderic, and proper romances of chivalry. ^ 

» An edition of the " Chronicle of 1511 ; none of ** Amadis de Gaula" 
Don Roderic" b cited as early as earlier than 1610, and this one uncer- 


Such fictions^ under ruder or more settled forms, had 
already existed in Normandy, and perhaps in the centre of 
France, above two centuries before they were known in 
the Spanish peninsula. The story of Arthur and the 
Knights of his Round Table had come thither from Brit- 
tany through Geoffrey of Monmouth, as early as the begin- 
ning of the twelfth century, " The story of Charlemagne 
and his Peers, as it is found in the Chronicle of the fabu- 
lous Turpin, had followed from the South of France soon 
afterwards. ' Both were, at first, in Latin, but both were 
almost immediately transferred to the French, then spoken 
at the courts of Normandy and England, and at once 
gained a wide popularity. Robert Wace, bom in the 
island of Jersey, gave in 1158 a metrical history founded 
on the work of Geofeey, which, besides the story of Arthur, 
contains a series of traditions concerning the Breton kings, 
tracing them up to a fabulous Brutus, the grandson of 
-tineas.* A century later, or about 1270-1280, after 
less successful attempts by others, the same service was 
rendered to the story of Charlemagne by Adenes in his 
metrical romance of " Ogier le Danois," the chief scenes 
of which are laid either in Spain or in Fairy Land.* 
These, and similar poetical inventions, constructed out of 
them by the Trouveurs of the North, became, in the next 
age, materials for the famous romances of chivalry in prose 
which, during three centuries, constituted no mean part of 

tadn. But " Tirant lo Blanch " was Metrical Romance, London, 1811, 

printed in 1490, in the Valencian 8vo., Vol. I. Turner's Vindication of 

dialect, and the Amadis appeared Ancient British Poems, London, 

perhaps soon afterwards, in the 1803, 8vo. 

Castilian ; so that it is not improbable ' Turpin, J., De Vit& Carol! 

the "Chronicle of Don Roderic" may Magni et Rolandi, ed. S. Ciampi, 

mark, by the time of its appearance, Florcntiae, 1822, 8vo. 

as well as by its contents and spirit, * Prefiice to the ** Roman de Rou," 

the change, of which it is certainly a by Robert Wace, ed. F. Fluquet, 

very curious monument. Paris, 1827, 8vo. Vol. I. 

• Warton's Hist, of English Poetry, * Letter to M. de Monmerqu^, by 

first Dissertation, with the notes of Paulin Paris, prefixed to '* Li Romans 

Price, London, 1824, 4 vols. 8vo. de Berte aux Grans Pi^," Paris, 

Ellis's Specimens of Eariy English 1836, 8vo. 


the vernacular literature of France, and, down to our own 
times, have been the great mine of wild fables for Ariosto, 
Spenser, Wieland, and the other poets of chivalry, whose 
fictions are connected either with the stories of Arthur 
and his Round Table, or with those of Charlemagne and 
his Peers. • 

At the period, however, to which we have alluded, and 
which ends about the middle of the fourteenth century, 
there is no reasonable pretence that any such form of 
fiction existed in Spain, There, the national heroes con- 
tinued to fill the imaginations of men and satisfy their 
patriotism. Arthur was not heard of at all, and Charle- 
magne, when he appears in the old Spanish chronicles and 
ballads, comes only as that imaginary invader of Spain 
who sustained an inglorious defeat in the gorges of the 
Pyrenees. But in the next century things are entirely 
changed. The romances of France, it is plain, have pene- 
trated into the Peninsula, and their effects are visible. 
They were not, indeed, at first, translated or versified ; 
but they were imitated, and a new series of fictions was 
invented, which was soon spread through the world, and 
became more famous than either of its predecessors. 

This extraordinary family of romances, whose descend- 
ants, as Cervantes says, were innumerable, ^ is the family 
of which Amadisis the poetical head and type. Our first 
notice of it in Spain is firom a grave statesman, Ayala, 
the Chronicler and Chancellor of Castile, who, as we have 
already seen, died in 1407.* But the Amadis is of an 

• See, on the whole subject, the that, to defeat any anny of two hun- 
Essays of F. W. Valentine Schmidt, dred thousand men, it would only be 
Jahrbiicher der Literatur, Vienna, necessary to have living '* alguno do 
1824-26, Bande XXVI. p. 20, los del inumcrable linage de Amadis 
XXIX. p. 71, XXXI. p. 99, and deC^ula," — ^**any oneofthenumber- 
XXXIII. p. ]6. I shall have less descendants of Amadis de Gaul." 
occasion to use the last of these " Ayala, in his ** Rimado de Pala- 
discussions when speaking of the cio," already cited, says : — 
Spanish romances bclont^ing to the 
family of Ama<Hs. ' SSTrrL'J^T^ISltlSlSlud-. 

^ Don Quixote, m his conversation Amiulise Unuurote, e ImifIm • n<auiM. 

with the curate, (Parte II., c. 1 ,) says, ^ 4»»« v^^ ^ ^»P« * ■»*" maU* jonudu. 


earlier date than this fact necessarily implies^ though not 
perhaps earlier known in Spain. Gomez Eannes de 
Zurara, Keeper of the Archives of Portugal in 1454, who 
wrote three striking chronicles relating to the affairs of his 
own country, leaves no substantial doubt that the author 
of the Amadis of Gaul was Vasco de Lobeira, a Portu- 
guese gentleman who was attached to the court of John 
the First of Portugal, was armed as a knight by that 
monarch just before the battle of Aljubarotta, in 1385, and 
died in 1403. • The words of the honest and careftil 
annalist are quite distinct on this point. He says he is un- 
willing to have his true and faithful book, the " Chronicle 
of Count Pedro de Meneses," confounded with such stories 
as " the book of Amadis, which was made entirely at the 
pleasure of one man, called Vasco de Lobeira, in the time 
of the King Don Ferdinand ; all the things in the said 
book being invented by its author." ^^ 

Whether Lobeira had any older popular tradition or 
fancies about Amadis, to quicken his imagination and 
marshal him the way he should go, we cannot now tell. 

' Barbosa, Bib. Lusitana, Lisboa, ** Colec^iodeLibrosIneditosde His- 

1762, fol., Tom. III., p. 776, and the toria Portueuesa," Lisboa, 1792, fol., 

many authorities there cited, none of Tom. II. I have a curious manuscript 

which, perhaps, is of much conse- ** Dissertation on the Authorship of 

quence except that of Joao de Barros, the Amadis de Gaula," by Father 

who, being a careful historian, bom in Sarmiento, who wrote the valuable 

149G, and citing an older author than fragment of a History of Spanish 

himself, adds something to the testi- Poetry to which I have often referred, 

mony in favour of Lobeira. This learned Galician is much con- 

*• Gomez de Zurara, in the outset fused and vexed by the question : — 
of his ** Chronicle of the Conde Don first denying that there b any autho- 
Pedro de Meneses," says that he rity at all for saying Lobeira wrote 
wishes to write an account only of the Amadis ; then asserting, that, if 
** the things that happened in his own Lobeira wrote it, he was a Galician ; 
times, or of those wnich happened so then successively suggesting that it 
near to his own times that ne could may have been written by Vasco 
have true knowledge of them." This Perea de Camoes, by the Chancellor 
stren^ens what he says concerning AyaJa, by Montalvo, or by the Bishop 
Lobeira, in the passage cited in the of Cartagena ; — all absurd conjee- 
text from the opening of Chap. 63 of turcs, much connected with his pre- 
the Chronicle. The Ferdinand to vailing passion to refer the origin of 
whom Zurara there refers was the all Spanish poetry to Galicia. He 
father of John I., and died in 1383. does not seem to have been aware of 
The Chronicle of Zurara is published the (xissage in Gomez do Zurara. 
by the Academy of Lisbon, in their 


He certainly had a knowledge of some of the old French 
romances, such as that of the Saint Graal, or Holy Cup, — 
the crowning fiction of the Knights of the Round Table " 
—and distinctly acknowledges himself to have been in- 
debted to the Infante Alfonso, who was born in 1370, for 
an alteration made in the character of Amadis. ^' But that 
he was aided, as has been suggested, in any considerable 
degree, by fictions known to have been in Picardy in the 
eighteenth century, and claimed, without the slightest 
proo^ to have been there in the twelfth, is an assumption 
made on too slight grounds to be seriously considered. ^* 
We must therefore conclude, from the few, but plain, figicts 
known in the case, that the Amadis was originally a Por- 
tuguese fiction produced before the year 1400, and that 
Vasco de Lobeira was its author. 

But the Portuguese original can no longer be found* 
At the end of the sixteenth century, we are assured, it was 
extant in manuscript in the archives of the Dukes of 
Arveiro at Lisbon ; and the same assertion is renewed, on 
good authority, about the year 1750. From this time, 
however, we lose all trace of it; and the most careful 
inquiries render it probable that this curious manuscript, 
about which there has been so much discussion, perished 
in the terrible earthquake and conflagration of 1755, when 
the palace occupied by the ducal family of Arveiro was 
destroyed with all its precious contents. " 

" The Saint Graalyorthe Holy Cup ** See tho end of Chap. 40, Book 

which the Saviour used for the wine I., in which he says, '* The In&nte 

of the Last Supper, and which, in the Don Alfonso of Portugal, having pity 

story of Arthur, is supposed to have on the fair damsel, [the lady Briolana,] 

been brought to Ensland by Joseph of ordered it to be otherwise set down, 

Arimathea, is alluded to m Amadis and in this was done what was his 

de Gaula (Lib. IV., c. 48). Arthur good pleasure." 

himself—*' £1 muy virtuoso rey Ar- " Ginguend, Hist. Idtt. d*Italie, 

tur"— is spoken of in Lib. L, c. 1, Paris, 1812, 8vo., Tom. V., p. 62, 

and in Lib. IV., c. 49, where '* the note (4), answering the Preface of 

Book of Don Tristan and Launcelot " the Conte de Tressan to his too free 

is also mentioned. Other passages abridgment of the Amadis de Gaula, 

might be cited, but there can be no CEuvres, Paris, 1787, 8vo., Tom. I., 

doubt the author of Amadis knew p. zxii. 

some of the French fictions. ^ The fact that it was in the Ar- 

Chap. XI. 



The Spanish version, therefore, stands for us in place of 
the Portuguese original. It was made between 1492 and 
1504, by Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo, governor of the 
city of Medina del Campo, and it is possible that it was 
printed for the first time during the same interval, " But 
no copy of such an edition is known to exist, nor any one 
of an edition sometimes cited 9S having been printed at 
Salamanca in 1510;^^ the earliest now accessible to us 
dating from 1519. Twelve more followed in the course 
of half a century, so that the Amadis succeeded, at once, 
in placing the fortunes of its family on the sure foundations 
of popular favour in Spain. It was translated into Italian 
in 1546, and was again successful; six editions of it 
appearing in that language in less than thirty years. '^ In 
France, beginning with the first attempt in 1540, it 
became such a favourite, that its reputation there has 
not yet wholly faded away ; *• while, elsewhere in Europe, 

yeiro collection is stated in Ferreira, 
'* Poemas Lusitanas," (Lisboa, 1598, 
4to.y) where is the sonnet, No. 33, by 
Ferreira in honour of Vasco de Lobeira, 
which Southej, in his Preface to his 
" Amadis of Gaul," (London, 1803, 
12mo., Vol. I., p. vii.,) erroneously at- 
tributes to Uie Infante Antonio of ror- 
togal, and thus would make it of con- 
secjuence in the present discussion. 
Nic. Antonio, who leaves no doubt as 
to the authorship of the sonnet in 
question, refers to the same note in 
Ferreira to prove the deposit of the 
manuscript of the Amadis; so that 
the two constitute onl^ one authority, 
and not two authorities, as Southey 
supposes. (Bib. Vetus, Lib. VIII., 
cap. vii., sect. 291.^ Barbosa is more 
distinct. (Bib. Lusitana, Tom. III., p. 
775.) But there is a careful summing 
up of the matter in Clcmencin's notes 
to Don Quixote, (Tom. I., pp. 105, 
106,) beyond which it is not likely we 
shall advance in our knowledge con- 
cerning the fate of the Portuguese 

^ In his Prdlogo, Montalvo alludes 
to the conquest of Granada, in 1492, 

and to both the Catholic sovereigns as 
still alive, one of whom, Isabella, died 
in 1504. 

^ I doubt whether the Salamanca 
edition of 1510, mentioned by Barbosa, 
(article Fcwco cfc ZoftwVa,) is not, after 
all, the edition of 1519, mentioned in 
Brunet as printed by Antonio de Solar 
manca. The error in printing, or copy- 
ing, would be small, and nobody out 
Barbosa seems to have heard of the 
one he notices. When the first edition 
appeared is quite uncertiun. 

^ Ferrario, Storia ed Analisi desli 
antichi Romanzi di Cavalleria, (Mi- 
lano, 1829, 8vo., Tom. IV., p. 242,^ 
and Brunet's Manuel ; to all which 
should be added the *' Amadigi " of 
Bernardo Tasso, 1560, constructed 
almost entirely from the Spanish 
romance ; a poem which, though no 
longer popular, had much reputation m 
its time, and is still much praised by 

" For the old French version, see 
Brunet's '* Manuel du Libraire ;" but 
''/ount Tressan's rifacimento, first 
printed in 1779, has kept it familiar 
to French readers doym to our own 


a multitude of translatioiis and imitatioiis have followed, 
that seem to stretch out the line of the £unily, as Don 
Quixote declares, from the age immediately after the 
introduction of Christianity down almost to that in which 
he himself lived. " 

The translation of Montalvo does not seem to have been 
very literal. It was, as iie intimates, much better than 
the Portuguese in its style and phraseology ; and the last 
part especially appears to have been more altered than 
either of the others. *^ But the structure and tone of the 
whole fiction are original, and much more free than those 
of the French romances that had preceded it The story 
of Arthur and the Holy Gup is essentially religious ; the 
story of Charlemagne is essentially military ; and both are 
involved in a series of adventures previously ascribed to 
their respective heroes by chronicles and traditions, which, 
whether true or false, were so far recognised as to prescribe 
limits to the invention of all who subsequently adopted 
them. But the Amadis is of imagination all compact 
No period of time is assigned to its events, except that 
they begin to occur soon after the very commencement of 
the Christian era ; and its gec^aphy is generally as un- 
settled and uncertain as the age when its hero lived. It 
has no purpose, indeed, but to set forth the character of a 
perfect knight, and to illustrate the virtues of courage 
and chastity as the only proper foundations of such a cha- 

Amadis, in ftdfilment of this idea, is the son of a merely 
imaginary king of the imaginary kingdom of Gaula. His 

times. In German it was known from y corounicamos y oimos al invencible 

1583, and in English from 1619 ; but y valeroso caballero D. Belianis de 

the abridgment of it by Southey Grecia/* says the mad knight, when 

(London, 1803, 4 vols. ]2mo.) is the he gets to the maddest, and follows 

only form of it in English that can now out the consequence of making Amadis 

be read. It was al^ translated into live above two hundred years and have 

Dutch ; and Castro, somewhero in his descendants iunumeiable. Parte I., 

** Bibliotoca," speaks of a Hebrew a 13. 

translation of it. ^ Don Quixote, cd. Clemcxtcin, 

^ ** Casi que en nueiiras dUu vunos Tom. I., p. 107, note. 


birth is illegitimate, and his mother, Elisena, a British 
princess, ashamed of her child, exposes him on the sea, 
where he is found by a Scottish knight, and carried, first 
to England, and afterwards to Scotland. In Scotland he 
falls in love with Oriana, the true and peerless lady, 
daughter of an imaginary Lisuarte, King of England. 
Meantime, Perion, King of Gaula, which has sometimes 
been conjectured to be a part of Wales, has married the 
mother of Amadis, who has by him a second son, named 
Galaor. The adventures of these two knights, partly in 
England, France, Germany, and Turkey, and partly in 
unknown regions and amidst enchantments, — sometimes 
under the favour of their ladies, and sometimes, as in the 
hermitage of the Firm Island, under their frowns, — fill up 
the book, which, after the broad journeyings of the prin- 
cipal knights, and an incredible number of combats between 
them and other knights, magicians, and giants, ends, at last, 
in the marriage of Amadis and Oriana, and the overthrow 
of all the enchantments that had so long opposed their 

The Amadis is admitted, by general consent, to be the 
best of all the old romances of chivalry. One reason of 
this is, that it is more true to the manners and spirit of 
the age of knighthood ; but the principal reason is, no 
doubt, that it is written with a more free invention, and 
takes a greater variety in its tones, than is found in other 
similar works. It even contains, sometimes, — what we 
should hardly expect in this class of wild fictions, — 
passages of natural tenderness and beauty, such as the 
following description of the young loves of Amadis and 

" Now Lisuarte brought with him to Scotland Brisena, 
his wife, and a daughter that he had by her when he dwelt 
in Denmark, named Oriana, about ten years old, and the 
fairest creature that ever was seen ; so fair, that she was 
called * Without Peer,' since in her time there was none 


«PBi t» her. AjiS ^bujik 4^ iudfawl mck from die 
ke ffiimsgaM n jssst* hsr liier^ i^ior Ibe King 
CDi ks Qnsex. ^oc 'Axr wmiii lore caore (^ 
her. And is^y ^ro^ 2La^ t^ot dbd dia g nilk , and the 
Qoem fibl. * Tmr zm tsic I -viS hirie sock a aire of her 
as Ikt wkAo' wgcjl.* Aim! LosBanc. emaiim info hk 
d]i^HL ssaik kosBe Indk roo Gtoff Brana, and found 
tfave SOCK vho had zade dsccz^asees, andi as are wont 
to be c sach ca9e& Asd iar ^js cKse, he remembered 
him DOC of hii dasdx^ia- fcr scsDt space of lime. Bot at 
lasL visfa niioch toO thai he toul;. he o!«aised his kingdom, 
aad he vas the best kf-Tg that erer vas befare his time, nor 
did any aftenrards better :Tiai?!tiH knishtfaood in its ri^ts, 
tin Kins ATtharrete«d,vhosiirpasedaD the kings before 
him IB goodnesi^ thooeh the number diat reigned between 
these two was great. 

^'And now the author leaves Ltsuaite reigning in 
peace and quietness in Great Britain, and tmns to the 
Child of the Sea, [Amadis,] who was twehne jfeais old, 
hot in sixe and Umhs seemed to be fifteen. He served 
befive the Queen, and was much loved of her, as he was 
of all ladies and damsek. But as soon as Oriana, the 
daughter of King Lisnarte, came there, she gave to her 
the Child of the Sea, that he should serve her, sayings 
^ This is a chfld who shaU serve you.' And she answered, 
that it pleased her. And the child kept this word in his 
heart, in such wise that it never afterwards left it; and, 
as this history truly sa3rs, he was never, in all the days 
of his life, wearied with serving her. And this their love 
lasted as long as they lasted ; but the Child of the Sea, 
who knew not at all how she loved him, held himself to 
be very bold, in that he had placed his thoughts on her, 
considering both her greatness and her beauty, and never 
so much as dared to speak any word to her concerning it 
And she, though she loved him in her heart, took heed 
that she should not speak with him more than with another ; 


but her eyes took great solace in showing to her heart 
what thing in the world she most loved. 

^^ Thus lived they silently together, neither saying aught 
to the other of their estate. Then came, at last, the time 
when the Child of the Sea, as I now tell you, understood 
within himself that he might take arms, if any there were 
that would make him a knight. And this he desired, 
because he considered that he should thus become such 
a man and should do such things, as that either he should 
perish in them, or, if he lived, then his lady should deal 
gently with him. And with this desire he went to the 
King, who was in his garden, and, kneeling before him, 
said, ^ Sire, if it please you, it is now time that I should 
be made a knight.' And the King said, * How, Child of 
the Sea, do you already adventure to maintain knight- 
hood ? Know that it is a light matter to come by it, but 
a weighty thing to maintain! it And whoso seeks to g6t 
this name of knighthood and maintain it in its honour, he 
hath to do so many and such grievous things, that often 
his heart is wearied out ; and if he should be such a knight, 
that, from faint-heartedness or cowardice, he should fail 
to do what is beseeming, then it would be better for him 
to die than to live in his shame. Therefore I hold it 
good that you wait yet a little.' But the Child of the 
Sea said to him, ^ Neither for all this will I fail to be 
a knight ; for, if I had not already thought to fulfil this 
that you have said, my heart would not so have striven 
to be a knight.'"" 

Other passages of quite a different character are no 
less striking, as, for instance, that in which the fairy 
Urganda comes in her fire-galleys, " and that in which 
the venerable Nasciano visits Oriana;" but the most 
characteristic are those that illustrate the spirit of chivalry, 
and inculcate the duties of princes and knights. In these 

•» Amadig de Gaula, Lib. I. c. 4. " Lib. IV. c. 32. 

« Lib. II. c. 17. 


portions of the work, there is sometimes a lofty tone that 
rises to eloquence,** and sometimes a sad one full of 
earnestness and truth. ** The general story, too, is more 
simple and eflTective than the stories of the old French 
romances of chivalry. Instead of distracting our attention 
by the adventures of a great number of knights, whose 
claims are nearly equal, it is kept fastened on two, whose 
characters are well preserved ; — Amadis, the model of all 
chivalrous virtues, and his brother, Don Galaor, hardly 
less perfect as a knight in the field, but by no means so 
faithful in his loves ; — and, in this way, it has a more epic 
proportion in its several parts, and keeps up our interest 
to the end more successfully, than any of its followers or 

The great objection to the Amadis is one that must 
be made to all of its class. We are wearied by its length, 
and by the constant recurrence of similar adventures and 
dangers, in which, as we foresee, the hero is certain to 
come off victorious* But this length and these repetitions 
seemed no fault when it first appeared, or for a long time 
afterwards. For romantic fiction, the only form of elegant 
literature which modem times have added to the mar- 
vellous inventions of Greek genius, was then recent and 
fresh ; and the few who read for amusement rejoiced even 
in the least graceful of its creations, as vastly nearer to 
the hearts and thoughts of men educated in the institutions 
of knighthood than any glimpses they had thus far caught 
of the severe glories of antiquity. The Amadis, there- 
fore, — as we may easily learn by the notices of it from 
the time when the great Chancellor of Castile mourned 
that he had wasted his leisure over its idle fancies, down 

•* See Lib. II. c. 13, Lib. IV. c. 14, been a just description of any part of 

and in many other places, exhorta- the reign of the Catholic kings in 

tions to knightly and princely virtues. Spain ; and must therefore, I suppose, 

■* See the mourning al)out his own have been in the originsd wonc of 

time, as a ])eriod of great sufiering, Lobeira, and have referred to troubles 

(Lib. IV. c. 63.) This could not have in Portugal. 


to the time when the whole sect disappeared before the 
avenging satire of Cervantes, — was a work of extraordinary 
popularity in Spain ; and one which, during the two 
centuries of its greatest favour, was more read than any 
other book in the language. 

Nor should it be forgotten that Cervantes himself was 
not insensible to its merits. The first book that, as he 
tells us, was taken firom the shelves of Don Quixote, when 
the curate, the barber, and the housekeeper began the 
expurgation of his library, was the Amadis de Gaula. 
" * There is something mysterious about this matter,' said 
the curate ; * for, as I have heard, this was the first book 
of knight-errantry that was printed in Spain, and all the 
others have had their origin and source here, so that, as 
the arch-heretic of so mischievous a sect, I think he should, 
without a hearing, be condemned to the fire.' * No, Sir,' 
said the barber, * for I, too, have heard that it is the best 
of all the books of its kind that have been written, and 
therefore, for its singularity, it ought to be forgiven.' 
* That is the truth,' answered the curate, * and so let us 
spare it for the present;'" — a decision which, on the 
whole, has been confirmed by posterity, and precisely for 
the reason Cervantes has assigned. '^ 

■• Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 6. Cer- of this Period. On the point of the 
▼antes, however, is mistaken in his general merits of the Amadis, two 
biblio^phy, when he says that the opinions are worth citing. The first, 
Amadis was the first book of chi- on its style, is by the severe anony- 
valry printed in Spain. It has often mous auUior of the ** Didloffo de las 
been noted that this distinction belongs Lenguas," temp. Charles v., who, 
to ** Tirant lo Blanch," 1490 ; though after discussing the general character 
Southey (Omniana, London, 1812, of the book, adds, ** It should be rc»d 
12mo.,Tom. II. p. 219) thinks'* there by those who wish to learn our Ian- 
is a total want of the spirit of chival- guage." (Mayans y Siscar, Orffcnes, 

ly^in it; and it should further be Madrid, 1737, 12mo., Tom. II. p. 

noted now, as curious facts, that ** Ti- 163.) The other, on its invention and 

rant lo Blanch," though it appeared story, is by Torquato Tasso, who says 

in Valencian in 1490, in Castilian in of the Amadis, ** In the opinion of 

1511, and in Italian in 1538, was yet, many, and particularly in my own 

like the Amadis, originally written in opinion, it is the most beautiful, and 

Portuguese, to please a Portuguese perhaps the most profitable, story of 

prince, and that this Portuguese ori- its kind that can be read, because, in 

ginal is now lost ; — all remarkable co- its sentiment and tone, it leaves all 

incidences. See note on Chap. XVII. others behind it, and, in the variety of 

VOL. I. P 


But before Montalvo published his translation of the 
Amadis, and perhaps before he had made it, he had 
written a continuation, which he announced in the Preface 
to the Amadis as its fifth book. It is an origmal work, 
about one-third part as long as the Amadis, and contains 
the story of the son of that hero and Oriana, named 
Esplandian, whose birth and education had already been 
given in the story of his father's adventures, and constitute 
one of its pleasantest episodes. But, as the curate says, when 
he comes to this romance in Don Quixote's library, " the 
merits of the father must not be imputed to the son." The 
story of Esplandian has neither freshness, spirit, nor dig- 
nity in it It opens at the point where he is left in the 
original fiction, just armed as a knight, and is filled with 
his adventures as he wanders about the world, and with 
the supernumerary achievements of his father Amadis, who 
survives to the end of the whole, and sees his son made 
Emperor of Constantinople, he himself having long before 
become King of Great Britain by the death of Lisuarte. *' 

But, from the beginning, we find two mistakes committed, 
which run through the whole work. Amadis, represented 
as still alive, fills a large part of the canvas ; while, at the 
same time, Esplandian is made to perform achievements 
intended to be more brilliant than his father's, but which, 
in fact, are only more extravagant. From this sort of 

its incidents, yields to none written evidently an awkward corruption of 

before or since." Apologia della the Greek "Epyoy works or ackieoe- 

Gerusalemme, Opero, Pisa, 1824, ments. Allusions are made to it, as 

8vo., Tom. X. p. 7. to a continuation, in the Amadis, Lib. 

*^ I possess of ** Esplandian " the IV. ; besides which, in Lib. III. cap. 

curious edition printed at Burgos, in 4, we have the birth and baptism of 

folio, double columns, 1687, by Simon Esplandian; in Lib. III. c. 8, his 

de Aguaya. It fills 136 leaves, and is marvellous nt)wth and progress ; and 

divided into 184 chapters. As in the so on, till, m the last chapter of the 

other editions I have seen mentioned romance, he is armed as a^lmight. So 

or have noticed in public libraries, it is that the Esplandian is, in the strictest 

called ^*- Las Sergas del muy Esfor9ado manner, a continuation of the Amadis. 

Cavallero Esplandian," in order to Southey (Omniana, Vol. I. p. 145) 

give it the learned appearance of thinks there is some error about the 

having really been translated, as it authorship of the Esplandian. If 

pretends to be, from the Greek of there is, I think it is merely ty]K>- 

Master Eiisabad ; — ** Sergas" being graphical. 

Chap. XI. ESPLANDIAN. 211 

emulation the work becomes a succession of absurd and 
frigid impossibilities. Many of the characters of the 
Amadis are preserved in it, like Lisuarte, who is rescued 
out of a mysterious imprisonment by Esplandian as his 
first adventure ; Urganda, who, from a graceful fairy, be- 
comes a savage enchantress; and ^^the great master 
Elisabad,** a man of learning and a priest, whom we first 
knew as the leech of Amadis, and who is now the pretended 
biographer of his son, writing, as he says, in Greek. But 
none of them, and none of the characters invented for the 
occasion, are managed with skill. 

The scene of the whole work is laid chiefly in the East, 
amidst battles with Turks and Mohammedans ; thus show- 
ing to what quarter the minds of men were turned when it 
was written, and what were the dangers apprehended to 
the peace of Europe, even in its westernmost borders, 
during the century afler the fall of Constantinople. But 
all reference to real history or real geography was appa- 
rently thought inappropriate, as may be inferred from the 
circumstances, that a certain Calafria, queen of the island 
of California, is made a formidable enemy of Christendom 
through a large part of the story ; and that Constantinople 
is said at one time to have been besieged by three millions 
of heathen. Nor is the style better than the story. The 
eloquence which is found in many passages of the Amadis 
is not found at all in Esplandian. On the contrary, large 
portions of it are written in a low and meagre style, and 
the rhymed arguments prefixed to many of the chapters 
are anything but poetry, and quite inferior to the few pas- 
sages of verse scattered through the Amadis. ^ 

The oldest edition of the Esplandian now known to exist 

■•There are two Condones in similar Candofi^ in the " Floresta " 

Amadis, (Lib. II. c. 8 and c. 11,) of Bohl de Faber. The last begins,— 
which, notwithstandinir something of , . i> . 

the conceits of their time, m the rro- BUnca tobre toda flor ; 

vencal manner, are quite charming. Fin iweu. no me meu 

and ought to be placed among the En ul cuyu vuertro amor. 



was printed in 1526, and five others appeared before the 
end of the century ; so that it seems to have enjoyed its 
full share of popular favour. At any rate, the example it 
set was quickly followed. Its principal personages were 
made to figure again in a series of connected romances, each 
having a hero descended from Amadis, who passes through 
adventures more incredible than any of his predecessors, 
and then gives place, we know not why, to a son still more 
extravagant, and, if the phrase may be used, still more 
impossible, than his father. Thus, in the same year 1526, 
we have the sixth book of Amadis de Gaula, eddied ^^ The 
History of Florisando," his nephew, which is followed by 
the still more wonderful "Lisuarte of Greece, Son of 
Esplandian," and the most wonderful " Amadis of Greece," 
making respectively the seventh and eighth books. To 
these succeeded " Don Florisel de Niquea," and " Anax- 
artes, Son of Lisuarte," whose history, with that of the 
children of the last, fills three books ; and finally we have 
the twelfth book, or " The Great Deeds in Arms of that 
Bold Knight, Don Silves de la Selva," which was printed 
in 1549 ; thus giving proof how extraordinary was the suc- 
cess of the whole series, since its date allows hardly half a 
century for the production in Spanish of all these vast 
romances, most of which, during the same period, appeared 
in several, and some of them in many editions. 

Nor did the efiects of the passion thus awakened stop 
here. Other romances appeared, belonging to the same 
family, though not coming into the regular line of succes- 
sion, such as a duplicate of the seventh book on Lisuarte, 
by the Canon Diaz, in 1526, and "Leandro the Fair," in 
1563, by Pedro de Luxan, which has sometimes been 
called the thirteenth ; while in France, where they were 
aU translated successively, as they appeared in Spain, and 
became instantly famous, the proper series of the Amadis 
romances was stretched out into twenty-four books ; after 
all which, a certain Sieur Duverdier, grieved that many of 

Chjlp. XI. THE PALMERINS. 213 

them came to no regular catastrophe, collected the scat- 
tered and broken threads of their multitudinous stories 
and brought them all to an orderly sequence of conclusions, 
in seven large volumes, under the comprehensive and ap- 
propriate name of the ** Eoman des Eomans." And so 
ends the history of the Portuguese type of Amadis of Gaul, 
as it was originally presented to the world in the Spanish 
romances of chivalry; a fiction which, considering the 
passionate admiration it so long excited, and the influence 
it has, with little merit of its own, exercised on the poetry 
and romance of modern Europe ever since, is a phenome- 
non that has no parallel in literary history. *• 

The state of manners and opinion in Spain, however, 
which produced this extraordinary series of romances, 
could hardly fail to be fertile in other fictitious heroes, 
less brilliant, perhaps, in their fame than was Amadis, 
but with the same general qualities and attributes. And 
such, indeed, was the case. Many romances of chivalry 
appeared in Spain, soon after the success of this their great 
leader; and others followed a little later. The first of 
all of them in consequence, if not in date, is ^^ Palmerin 

* The whole subject of these twelve that have since elapsed ; and he is so 
books of Amadis in Spanish and the inaccurate in such matters, that his 
twenlT-four in French oelongs rather authority is not sufficient. In the 
to bibliography than to literary his- same way, he is the only authority for 
tory, and is amons the most obscure an edition in 1525 of the seventh book, 
points in both. The twelve Spanish — ** Lisuarte of Greece." But, as the 
books are said by Brunet never to have twelfth book was certainly printed in 
been all seen by any one bibliogra- 1549, the only fact of much importance 
pher. I have seen, I believe, seven b settled ; viz., that the whole twelve 
or eight of them, and own the only were published in Spain In the course 
two for which any real value has of about half a century. For all the 
ever been claimed, — the Amadis de curious learning on the subject, how- 
Gaula in the rare and well-printed ever, see an article by Salv^, in 
editionof Venice, 1533, folio, and the the Repertorio Americano, Ldndres, 
Esplandian in the more rare, but Agosto de 1827, pp. 29-39; F. 
very coarse, edition already referred to. A. Ebert, Lexicon, Leipzig, 1821, 
When the earliest edition of either of 4to., Nos. 479-489; Brunet, article 
them, or of most of the others, was Amadis; and, especially, the re- 
printed cannot, I presume, be deter- markable discussion, already referred 
mined. One of Esplandian, of 1510, to, by F. W. V. Schmidt, in the 
is mentioned by N. Antonio, but by Wiener Jahrbiicher, Band XXXIII. 
nobody else in the century and a half 1826. 


de Oliva ; " a personage the more important, because he 
had a train of descendants that place him, beyond all 
doubt, next in dignity to Amadis. 

The Palmerin has often, perhaps generally, been re- 
garded as Portuguese in its origin, and as the work of a 
lady ; though the proof of each of these allegations is 
somewhat imperfect. If, however, the facts be really as 
they have been stated, not the least curious circumstance 
in relation to them is, that, as in the case of the Amadis, 
the Portuguese original of the Palmerin is lost, and the 
first and only knowledge we have of its story is from the 
Spanish version. Even in this version, we can trace it up 
no higher than to the edition printed at Seville in 1525, 
which was certainly not the first 

But whenever it may have been first published, it 
was successfiil. Several editions were soon printed in 
Spanish, and translations followed in Italian and French. 
A continuation, too, appeared, called in form, " The Se- 
cond Book of Palmerin," which treats of the achievements 
of his sons, Primaleon and Polendos, and of which we have 
an edition in Spanish, dated in 1524. The external ap- 
pearances of the Palmerin, therefore, announce at once an 
imitation of the Amadis. The internal are no less deci- 
sive. Its hero, we are told, was grandson to a Greek 
emperor in Constantinople, but, being illegitimate, was 
exposed by his mother, immediately after his birth, on a 
mountain, where he was found, in an osier cradle among 
olive and palm trees, by a rich cultivator of bees, who car- 
ried him home and named him Palmerin de Oliva, from 
the place where he was discovered. He soon gives token 
of his high birth ; and, making himself famous by num- 
berless exploits, in Germany, England, and the East, 
against heathen and enchanters, he at last reaches Con- 
stantinople, where he is recognised by his mother, marries 
the daughter of the Emperor of Germany, who is the 
heroine of the story, and inherits the crown of . Byzan- 


tium. The adventures of Primaleon and Polendos, which 
seem to be by the same unknown author, are in the same 
vein, and were succeeded by those of Platir, grandson of 
Falmerin, which were printed as early as 1533. All, 
taken together, therefore, leave no doubt that the Amadis 
was their model, however much they may have fallen 
short of its merits. *® 

The next in the series, " Palmerin of England," son of 
Don Duarde, or Edward, King of England, and Flerida, 
a daughter of Palmerin de Oliva, is a more formidable 
rival to the Amadis than either of its predecessors. For 
a long time it was supposed to have been first written in 
Portuguese, and was generally attributed to Francisco 
Moraes, who certainly published it in that language at 
Evora, in 1567i and whose allegation that he had trans- 
lated it from the French, though now known to be true, 
was supposed to be only a modest concealment of his own 
merits. But a copy of the Spanish original, printed at 
Toledo, in two parts, in 1547 and 1548, has been dis- 
covered, and at the end of its dedication are a few verses 
addressed by the author to the reader, announcing it, in an 
acrostic, to be the work of Luis Hurtado, known to have 
been, at that time, a poet in Toledo. '* 

** Like whatever relates to the se- brino Roseo, 1656— both of which 

ries of the Amadis, the account of the claimed to be translations from the 

Palmerins is yery obscure. Materials Spanish ; and 2. the Portuguese by 

for it are to be found in N. Antonio, Moraes, 1567, which claimed to be 

Bibliotheca Nova, Tom. II. p. 393 ; translated from the French. In genc- 

in Salvd, Repertorio Americano, Tom. ral it was supposed to be the work 

I-V. pp. 39, etc. ; Brunet, article of Moraes, wno, having long lived in 

Pabnertn ; Ferrario, Romanzi di Ca- France, was thought to have fur- 

vallerfa, Tom. IV. pp. 266, etc. ; and nished his manuscnpt to the French 

Clemencin, notes to Don Quixote, translator, (Barbosa, Bib. Lus., Tom. 

Tom. I. pp. 124, 125. II. p. 209,) and, under this persua- 

•* The fate of Palmerin of England sion, it was published as his in Portu- 

has been a very strange one. Until guese, at Lisbon, in three handsome 

a , few years since, the only question volumes, small 4to., 1786, and in 

was, whether it were originally French English by Southey, London, 1807, 

or Portuguese ; for the oldest forms 4 vols. 12mo. Even Clemencin, (ed. 

in which it was then known to exist Don Quixote, Tom. I. pp. 126, 126,^ 

were, 1. the French by Jacques Vi- if he did not think it to be the work 

cent, 1563, and the Italian by Mam- of Moraes, had no doubt that it was 


Regarded as a work of art, Palmerin of England is 
second only to the Amadis of Gaul, among the romances 
of chivalry. Like that great prototype of the whole class, 
it has among its actors two brothers, — Palmerin, the faith- 
ful knight, and Florian, the free gallant, — and, like that, 
it has its great magician, Deliante, and its perilous isle, 
where occur not a few of the most agreeable adventures of 
its heroes. In some respects, it may be favourably dis- 
tinguished from its model. There is more sensibility to 
the beauties of natural scenery in it, and often an easier 
dialogue, with quite as good a drawing of individual cha- 
racters. But it has greater faults; for its movement is 
less natural and spirited, and it is crowded with an unrea- 
sonable number of knights, and an interminable series of 
duels, battles, aJid exploits, all of which claim to be 
founded on authentic English chronicles and to be true 
history, thus affording new proof of the connexion between 
the old chronicles and the oldest romances. Cervantes 
admired it excessively. "Let this Palm of England,*" 
says his curate, " bei cared for and preserved, as a thing 
singular in its kind, and let a casket be made for it, like 
that which Alexander found among the spoils of Darius, 
and destined to keep in it the works of the poet Homer ; " 
praise, no doubt, much stronger than can now seem reason- 
able, but marking, at least, the sort of estimation in which 
the romance itself must have been generally held when 
the Don Quixote appeared. 

But the family of Palmerin had no ftulJber success in 
Spain. A third and fourth part, indeed, containing " The 
Adventures of Duardos the Second," appeared in Portu- 

originally Portuguese. At last, how- its author, Luis Hurtado, is to be 

ever, Sal v^ found a copy of the lost foundinAntonio,Bib. Nov., Tom. II. 

Spanish original, which settles the p. 44, where one of hia works, 

question, and places the date of the '* Cortes del Casto Amor 7 de la 

work in 1547-48, Toledo, S torn. fol. Muerte,** is said to have been printed 

(Repertorio Americano, Tom. IV. in 1557. He sHao translated the 

pp. 42-46.) The little we know of << Metamorphoses " of Ovid. 

Chap. XI. 



guese, written by Diogo Fernandez, in 1587 ; and a fifth and 
sixth are said to have been written by Alvarez do Oriente, 
a contemporary poet of no mean reputation. But the last 
two do not seem to have been printed, and none of them were 
much known beyond the limits of their native country. " 
The Palmerins, therefore, notwithstanding the merits of 
one of them, failed to obtain a fame or a succession that 
could enter into competition with those of Amadis and his 

■ Barbofla, Bib. Lusit., Tom. I. p. 652 ; Tom. II. p. 17. 

The "Bibliotheca Hispana" has 
already been referred to more than 
once m this chapter, and must so 
often be relied on as an authority 
hereafter that some notice of its claims 
should be given before we proceed 
further. Its author, Nicolas Antonio, 
was bom at Seville, in 1617. He 
was educated, first by the care of 
Francisco Jimenez, a blind teacher, 
of singular merit, attached to the Col- 
lege of St. Thomas in that city ; and 
aflerwards atSahunanca, where he de- 
voted himself with success to the 
study of history and canon law. 
When he had completed an honour- 
able career at the University, he re- 
turned home, and lived chiefly in the 
Convent of the Benedictines, where 
he had been bred, and where an 
abundant and curious library iiir- 
nished him with means for study, 
which he used with eagerness and as- 

He was not, however, in haste to 
be known. He published nothing 
till 1659, when, at the age of forty- 
two, he printed a Latin treatise on 
the Punishment of Exile, and, the 
same year, was appointed to the ho- 
nourable and important post of €re- 
neral Agent of Philip I V. at Rome. 
But from this time to the end of his 
life he was in the public service, and 
filled places of no little responsibility. 
In Rome he lived twenty years, col- 
lecting about him a library sud to 
have been second in importance only 
to that of the Vatican, and devoting 

all his leisure to the studies he loved. 
At the end of that i)eriod he returned 
to Madrid, and continued there in ho- 
nourable employments till his death, 
which occurred in 1684. He left bo- 
hind him several works in manuscript, 
of which his *' Censura de Histonas 
Fabulosas " — an examination and ex- 
posure of several forged chronicles 
which had appeared in the preceding 
century— was first published by May- 
ans y Siscar, and must be noticed 

But his ereat labour — the labour of 
his life ana of his fondest preference 
—was his literary history of his own 
country. He be^an it m his youth, 
while he was still living with the 
Benedictines, — an order m the Ro- 
mish Church honourably distinguished 
by its zeal in the history of letters, — 
and he continued it, employing on 
his task all the resources which his 
own large library and the libraries of 
the capitals of Spain and of the 
Christian world could furnish him, 
down to the moment of his death. 
He divided it into two parts. The 
first, beginning with the age of Au- 
gustus, and coming down to the year 
1500, was found, after his death, di- 
gested into the form of a regular his- 
tory; but as his pecuniary means, 
during his lifetime, had been entirely 
devoted to the purchase of books, it 
was published by his friend Cardinal 
Aguirre, at Rome, in 1696. The se- 
cond pert, which had been already 
printed there, in 1672, is thrown 



PmoD I. 

into the form of a dictionary, whose 
separate articles are arranged, like 
those in most other Spanish works of 
the same sort, under the baptismal 
names of their subjects, — an nonour 
shown to the saints, which renders 
the use of such dictionaries somewhat 
inconvenient, even when, as in the 
case of Antonio's, full indexes are 
added, which facilitate a reference to 
the respective articles by the more 
common arrangement, according to 
the surnames. 

Of both parts an excellent edition 
was published in the original Latin, 
at Madrid, in 1787 and 1788, in four 
volumes, folio, commonly known as 
the " Bibliotheca Vetus et Nova 
of Nicolas Antonio ; " the first being 
enriched with notes by Perez Bayer, 
a learned Valencian, long the head of 
the Royal Library at Sfadrid; and 
the last receiving additions from 
Antonio's own manuscripts that bring 
down his notices of Spanish writers to 
the time of his death m 1684. In the 
earlier portion, embracing the names 
of about thirteen hund^d authors, 

littie remains to be desired, so fiir as 
the Roman or the ecclesiasticaBd literary 
history of Spain is ooncemed ; Irat for 
the Arabic we must go to Casiri and 
Cravangos, and for the Jewish to Castro 
and Amador de los Rios ; while, for 
the proper Spanish literature that ex- 
isted before the reign of Charles V., 
manuscripts discovered since the care- 
ful labours of Bayer fiimish important 
additions. Li the latter portion, which 
contains notices of nearly eight thou- 
sand writers of the best period of 
Spanish literature, we have — notwith- 
standing the occasional inaccuracies 
and oversights inevitable in a work so 
vast and so various — a monument of 
industry, fairness, and fidelity, for 
which those who most use it will al- 
ways be most grateful. The two, 
ti^en together, constitute their author, 
beyond all reasonable question, the 
father and founder of the literary his- 
tory of his country. 

See the lives of Antoiuo prefixed by 
Mayans to the " Historias Fabulosas,^' 
(Valencia, 1742, fol.,) and by Bayer 
to the " Bibliotheca Vetus," in 1787. 



Other Romances of Chiyaiat. — Lspolsmo. — ^Tbavslations fbom the 
Fbeitch. — Religious Romances. — CAYAixEBfA Ceuestial. — Pebiod 
DUEiHo WHICH Romances of Chitalet peev ailed. — ^Theie Ndmbee. — 
Theib Foundation nr the State of Society. — The Passion fob them. 
— Theie Fate. 

Although the Palmerins failed as rivals of the great family 
of Amadis, they were not without their influence and con- 
sideration. Like the other works of their class, and more 
than most of them, they helped to increase the passion for 
fictions of chivalry in general, which, overbearing every 
other in the Peninsula, was now busily at work producing 
romances, both original and translated, that astonish us 
alike by their number, their length, and their absurdities. 
Of those originally Spanish, it would not be diflicult, after 
setting aside the two series belonging to the families of 
Amadis and Palmerin, to collect the names of about forty, 
all produced in the course of the sixteenth century. Some 
of them are still more or less familiar to us, by their 
names at least, such as "Belianis of Greece" and "Oli- 
vante de Laura," which are found in Don Quixote's 
library, and " Felixmarte of Hircania," which was once, 
we are told, the summer reading of Dr. Johnson. * But, 
in general, like " The Renowned Knight Cifar " and " The 
Bold Knight Claribalte," their very titles sound strangely 
to our ears, and excite no interest when we hear them 

' Bishop Percy says that Dr. John- doubted whether the book has been 
son read *^ Felixmarte of Hircania" read through since by any English- 
quite through, when at his parsonage- man. Boswell's Life, ed. Croker, 
house, one summer. It may be London, 1831, 8vo., Vol. I. p. 24. 


repeated. Most of them, it may be added — perhaps all — 
deserve the oblivion into which they have feUen ; though 
some have merits which, in the days of their popularity, 
placed them near the best of those aJready noticed. 

Among the latter is ^' The Invincible Knight Lepolemo, 
called the Knight of the Cross and Son of the Emperor 
of Germany ;" a romance which was published as early as 
1525, and, besides drawing a continuation after it, was 
reprinted thrice in the course of the century, and trans- 
lated into French and Italian.* It is a striking book 
among those of its class, not only from the variety of for- 
tunes -through which the hero passes, but, in some d^ree, 
from its general tone and purpose. In his infancy Lepo- 
lemo is stolen from the shelter of the throne to which he 
is heir, and completely lost for a long period. During 
this time he lives among the heathen, at first in slavery, 
and afterwards as an honourable knight-adventurer at the 
court of the Soldan. By his courage and merit he rises 
to great distinction, and, while on a journey through France, 
is recognised by his own family, who happen to be there. 
Of course he is restored, amidst a generd jubilee, to his 
imperial estate. 

In all this, and especially in the wearisome series of its 
knightly adventures, the Lepolemo has a sufficient resem- 
blance to the other romances of chivalry. But in two points 
it diflers from them. In the first place, it pretends to be 
translated by Pedro de Luxan, its real author, from the 
Arabic of a wise magician attached to the person of the 
Sultan ; and yet it represents its hero throughout as a most 
Christian knight, and his father and mother, the Emperor 
and Empress, as giving the force of their example to en- 

' Ebert cites the first edition known these I have I do not know, as the 

as of 1525 ; Bowie, in the list of his colophon is gone and there is no date 

authorities, gives one of 1534 ; Cle- on tnc title- pace; but its tjpo and pa- 

mencin says there is one of 1543 in per seem to indicate an edition from 

the Royal Library at Madrid; and Antwerp, while all the preceding 

Pelliccr used one of 1562. Which of were pnnted in Spain. 


courage pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulchre ; making the 
whole story subserve the projects of the Church, in the 
same way, if not to the same degree, that Turpin's Chro- 
nicle had done. And in the next place, it attracts our 
attention, from time to time, by a picturesque air and 
touches of the national manners, as, for instance, in the 
love-passages between the Knight of the Cross and the 
Infanta of France, in one of which he talks to her at her 
grated balcony in the night, as if he were a cavalier of one 
of Calderon's comedies. ' Except in these points, however, 
the Lepolemo is much like its predecessors and followers^ 
and quite as tedious. 

Spain, however, not only gave romances of chivalry to 
the rest of Europe in large numbers, but received also from 
abroad in some good proportion to what she gave. From 
the first, the early French fictions were known in Spain, as 
we have seen by the allusions to them in the ^^ Amadis de 
Gaula ;** a circumstance that may have been owing either to 
the old connexion with France through the Burgundian fa- 
mily, a branch of which filled the throne of Portugal, or to 
some strange accident, like the one that carried ^^ Palmeriu 
de Inglaterra " to Portugal from France rather than from 
Spain, its native country. At any rate, somewhat later, 
when the passion for such fictions was more developed, the 
French stories were translated or imitated in Spanish, and 
became a part, and a favoured part, of the literature of 
the country. "The Eomance of Merlin" was printed 
very early — as early as 1498 — and "The Romance of 
Tristan de Leonnais," and that of the Holy Cup, " La 
Demanda del Sancto Grial," followed it as a sort of 
natural sequence. ^ 

' See Parte I. c. 112, 144. now be found, though mentioned by 

* ** Merlin," 1498, ** Artus," 1501, Quadrio, who, in his fourth volume, 

" Tristan," 1628, ** Sancto Grial," has a good deal of curious mtitter on 

1555, and ** Segunda Tabla Redon- these old romances generally. I do 

da," 1567, would seem to be the se- not think it needful to notice others, 

ries of them given by the bibliogra- such as ** Pierres jr Magalona," 1526, 

phers. But the last cannot, perhaps, ** Tallante de Ricamonte," and the 


The rival story of Charlemagney however, — perhaps from 
the greatness of his name, — seems to have been, at last, 
more successful. It is a translation directly from the 
French, and therefore gives none of those accounts of his 
defeat at Roncesvalles by Bernardo del Carpio, which, in 
the old Spanish chronicles and ballads, so gratified the 
national vanity ; and contains only the accustomed stories 
of Oliver and Fierabras the Giant ; of Orlando and the 
False Ganelon ; relying, of course, on the fabulous Chro- 
nicle of Turpin as its chief authority. But, such as it was, 
it found great favour at the time it appeared; and such, 
in fact, as Nicolas de Piamonte gave it to the world, in 
1528, under the title of ** The History of the Emperor 
Charlemagne," it has been constantly reprinted down to 
oiu* own times, and has done more than any other tale of 
chivalry to keep alive in Spain a taste for such reading. • 
During a considerable period, however, a few other ro- 
mances shared its popularity. " Reynaldos de Montalban," 
for instance, always a favourite hero in Spain, was one of 
them;* and a little later we find another, the story of 
*' Cleomadez," an invention of a French queen in the 
thirteenth century, which first gave to Froissart the love 
for adventure that made him a chronicler. ' 

In most of the imitations and translations just noticed, 
the influence of the Church is more visible than it is in 

** Conde Tomillas," — the last referred First Part of it mentioned in Clemen- 

to in Don Quixote, but otherwise un- cin's notes to Don Quixote (Parte I., 

known. c. 6^ ; besides which it had succcssioD, 

* Discussions on the origin of these in Farts II. and III., before 165S. 
stories may be found in the Preface to ' The " Cleomadez," one of the 
the excellent edition of Einhard or most popular stories in Europe for 
Eginhard by Ideler (Hamburg, 1839, three centuries, was composed by 
8vo., Band I. pp. 40-46). The very Adenez, at the dictation of Marie, 
name, RoncesvaUes^ does not seem to queen of Philip III. of France, who 
have occurred out of Spain till much married her in 1272. (Fauchet, Re- 
later (Ibid., p. 169). There is an cueil, Paris, 1581, foUo, Idv. II. c. 
edition ofthe*' Carlo Magno" printed 116.) Froissart gives a simple mc- 
at Madrid in 1806, 12mo., evidently count of his reading and admiring it 
for popular use, and I notice others in his youth. Poisies, Puis, 1889, 
since. 8vo., pp. 206, etc. 

* There arc several editions of the 


the class of the original Spanish romances. This is the 
case, from its very subject, with the story of the Saint 
Graal, and with that of Charlemagne, which, so far as it 
is taken from the pretended Archbishop Turpin*s Chronicle, 
goes mainly to encourage founding religious houses and 
making pious pilgrimages. But the Church was not 
satisfied with this indirect and accidental influence. 
Romantic fiction, though overlooked in its earliest be- 
ginnings, or perhaps even punished by ecclesiastical au- 
thority in the person of the Greek Bishop to whom we 
owe the first proper romance, " was now become important, 
and might be made directly useful. Beligious romances, 
therefore, were written. In general, they were cast into 
the form of allegories, like "The Celestial Chivalry,*' 
"The Christian Chivalry," "The Knight of the Bright 
Star," and " The Christian History and Warfare of the 
Stranger Knight, the Conqueror of Heaven;" — all 
printed after the middle of the sixteenth century, and 
during the period when the passion for romances of 
chivalry was at its height. ' 

One of the oldest of them is probably the most curious 
and remarkable of the whole number. It is appropriately 

* The " Ethiopica," or the ** Loves public authority. Erotici Grseci, ed^ 

of Theagcnes and Chariclea," written Mitscherlich, Biponti, 1792, 8vo., 

in Greek by Heliodorus, who lived in Tom. II. p. viii. 
the time of the Emperors Theodosius, • The ** Caballerla Christiana " was 

Arcadius, and Honorius. It was well printed in 1570, the ^* Caballero de 

known in Spain at the period now fa Clara Estrella " in 1580, and the 

spoken of, for, though it was not ** Caballero Peregrino" in 1601. Be- 

printed in the original before 1534, a sides these, ** Roberto el Diablo " — ^a 

Spanish translation of it appeared as story which was famous throughout 

early as 1554, anonymously, and an- Europe in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and 

other, by Ferdinand de Mena, in seventeenth centuries, and has been 

1587, which was republished at least revived in our own times — was known 

twice in the course of thirty years. in Spain from 1628, and probably 

(Nic. Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. earlier. (Nic. Antonio, Bib. Nov., 

380, and Condc's Catalogue, London, Tom. II. p. 251.) In France it was 

1824, 8vo., Nos. 263, 264.) It has printed in 1496, (Ebert, No. 19175,) 

been said that the Bishop preferred and in England by Wynkyn do 

to give up his rank and place rather Worde. Sec Thoms, Romances, Lon- 

than consent to have this romance, don, 1828, 12mo., Vol. I. p. v. 
the work of his youth, burned by 


called "The Celestial Chivalry,** and was written by 
Hierdnimo de San Pedro, at Valencia, and printed in 
1554, in two thin folio volumes. " In his Prefsuse, the 
author declares it to be his object to drive out of the world 
the profane books of chivalry ; the mischief of which he 
illustrates by a reference to Dante*s account of Francesca 
da Bimini. In pursuance of this purpose, the First 
Part is entitled *' The Root of the Fragrant Rose ; " which, 
instead of chapters, is divided into " Wonders,** Maror 
viUaSj and contains an allegorical version of the most 
striking stories in the Old Testament, down to the time 
of the good King Hezekiah, told as the adventures of a 
succession of knights-errant The Second Part is divided, 
according to a similar conceit, into " The Leaves of the 
Rose;'* and, beginning where the preceding one ends, 
comes down, with the same kind of knightly adventures, 
to the Saviour's death and ascension. The Third, which 
is promised under the name of " The Flower of the Rose," 
never appeared, nor is it now easy to understand where 
consistent materials could have been found for its com- 
position ; the Bible having been nearly exhausted in the 
two former parts. But we have enough without it 

Its chief allegory, from the nature of its subject, relates 
to the Saviour, and fills seventy-four out of the one hundred 
and one " Leaves," or chapters, that constitute the Second 
Part Christ is represented in it as the Knight of the 
Lion ; his twelve Apostles as the twelve Knights of his 
Round Table; John the Baptist as the Knight of the 
Desert ; and Lucifer as the Knight of the Serpent ; — the 

^ Who this Hierdnimo dc San Pe- to him is not attributed the " Cabal- 

dro was is a curious question. The leria Celestial ;" nor does any other 

Privile^o declares he was a Valen- Hierdnimo de San Pedro occur in 

cian, aliye in 1554 ; and in the Bibli- these collections of lives, or in Ni- 

othecas of Ximcno and Fuster, under colas Antonio, or elsewhere that I 

the year 1560, we have GenSnimo have noted. Are they, nevertheless, 

Sempere given as the name of the one and the same person, the name of 

well-known author of the *' Carolea," the poet being sometimes written 

a long poem printed in that year. But Sentperc, Senct Pere, etc ? 


main history being a warfare between the Knight of the 
Lion and the Knight of the Serpent It begins at the 
manger of Bethlehem, and ends on Mount Calvary, 
involving in its progress almost every detail of the Gospel 
history, and often using the very words of Scripture. 
Every thing, however, is forced into the forms of a strange 
and revolting allegory. Thus, for the temptation, the 
Saviour wears the shield of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, 
and rides on the steed of Penitence, given to him by 
Adam. He then takes leave of his mother, the daughter 
of the Celestial Emperor, like a youthful knight going 
out to his first passage at arms, and proceeds to the waste 
and desert country, where he is sure to find adventures. 
On his approach, the Knight of the Desert prepares 
himself to do battle; but, perceiving who it is, humbles 
himself before his coming prince and master. The 
baptism of course follows ; that is, the Knight of the Lion 
is received into the order of the Knighthood of Baptism, 
in the presence of an old man, who turns out to be the 
Anagogic Master, or the Interpreter of all Mysteries, 
and two women, one young and the other old. All 
three of them enter directly into a spirited discussion 
concerning the nature of the rite they have just witnessed. 
The old man speaks at large, and explains it as a heavenly 
allegory. The old woman, who proves to be Sinagoga, 
or the representation of Judaism, prefers the ancient 
ordinance provided by Abraham, and authorized, as she 
says, by "that celebrated Doctor, Moses,** rather than 
this new rite of baptism. The younger woman replies, 
and defends the new institution. She is the Church 
Militant; and the Knight of the Desert deciding the 
point in her favour, Sinagoga goes off full of anger, ending 
thus the first part of the action. 

The great Anagogic Master, according to an under- 
standing previously had with the Church Militant, now 
follows the Knight of the Lion to the desert, and there ex- 

VOL. I. Q 


plains to him the true mystery and efficacy of Christian 
baptism. After this preparation, the Knight enters oh 
his first adventure and battle with the Knight of the 
Serpent, which, in all its details, is represented as a duel, 
— one of the parties coming into the lists accompanied by 
Abel, Moses, and David, and the other by Cain, Groliath, 
and Haman. Each of the speeches recorded in the Evan- 
gelists is here made an arrow-shot or a sword-thrust ; the 
scene on the pinnacle of the temple, and the promises 
made there, are brought in as far as their incongruous 
nature will permit; and then the whole of this part of the 
long romance is abruptly ended by the precipitate and 
disgraceful flight of the Knight of the Serpent 

This scene of the temptation, strange as it now seems 
to us, is, nevertheless, not an unfavourable specimen of 
the entire fiction. The allegory is almost everywhere quite 
as awkward and unmanageable as it is here, and often 
leads to equally painfiil and disgusting absurdities. On 
the other hand, we have occasionally proois of an imagina- 
tion that is not ungraceful ; just as the formal and extra- 
vagant style in which it is written now and then gives 
token that its author was not insensible to the resources of 
a language he, in general, so much abuses. ^^ 

There is, no doubt, a wide space between such a fiction 
as this of the Celestial Chivalry and the comparatively 
simple and direct story of the Amadis de Gaula; and 
when we recollect that only half a century elapsed between 
the dates of these romances in Spain, ^* we shall be struck 
with the fact that this space was very quickly passed over, 
and that all the varieties of the romances of chivalry are 
crowded into a comparatively short period of time. But 
we must not forget that the success of these fictions, thus 

" It is prohibited in the Index £z- Spanish version as the period of the 

purgatorius, Madrid, 1667, folio, p. first success of the Amadis in Spain, 

863. and not the date of the Portuguese 

" I take, as in fairness I ought, the original ; the difference being ammt a 

date of the appearance of Montalro's century. 


suddenly obtained, is spread afterwards over a much longer 
period. The earliest of them were familiarly known in 
Spain during the fifteenth century, the sixteenth is thronged 
with them, and, far into the seventeenth, they were still 
much read ; so that their influence over the Spanish cha- 
racter extends through quite two hundred years. Their 
number, too, during the latter part of the time when they 
prevailed, was large. It exceeded seventy, nearly all of 
them in folio ; each oft^en in more than one volume, and still 
oftener repeated in successive editions; — circumstances 
which, at a period when books were comparatively rare and 
not frequently reprinted, show that their popularity must 
have been widely spread, as well as long continued. 

This might, perhaps, have been, in some degree, ex- 
pected in a country where the institutions and feelings of 
chivalry had struck such firm root as they had in Spain. 
For Spain, when the romances of chivalry first appeared, 
had long been peculiarly the land of knighthood. The 
Moorish wars, which had made every gentleman a soldier, 
necessarily tended to this result ; and so did the free spirit 
of the communities, led on, as they were, during the next 
period, by barons, who long continued almost as independ- 
ent in their castles as the king was on his throne. Such a 
state of things, in fact, is to be recognised as far back as 
the thirteenth century, when the Partidas, by the most 
minute and painstaking legislation, provided for a con- 
dition of society not easily to be distinguished from that 
set forth in the Amadis or the Palmerin. ^* The poem 
and history of the Cid bear witness yet earlier, indirectly 
indeed, but very strongly, to a similar state of the country ; 
and so do many of the old ballads and other records of 
the national feelings and traditions that had come from the 
fourteenth century. 

*' See the very curious laws that most minute regulations ; such as how 
constitute the twenty-first Title of the a knight should be washed and 
second of the Partidas, containing the dressed, etc. 



But in the fifteenth, the chronicles are full of it, and 
exhibit it in forms the most grave and imposing. Dan- 
gerous tournaments, in some of which the chief men of the 
time, and even the kings themselves, took part, occur con- 
stantly, and are recorded among the important events of 
the age. '* At the passage of arms near Orbigo, in the 
reign of John the Second, eighty knights, as we have seen, 
were found ready to risk their lives for as fantastic a fiction 
of gallantry as is recorded in any of the romances of chi- 
valry ; a folly of which this was by no means the only 
instance. ^* Nor did they confine their extravagances to 
their own country. In the same reign, two Spanish 
knights went as far as Burgundy, professedly in search of 
adventures, which they strangely mingled with a pilgrim- 
age to Jerusalem ; seeming to regard both as religious 
exercises. ^* And as late as the time of Ferdinand and 
Isabella, Fernando del Pulgar, their wise secretary, gives 
us the names of several distinguished noblemen personally 
known to himself who had gone into foreign countries, 
" in order,*' as he says, "to try the fortune of arms with 
any cavalier that might be pleased to adventure it with 
them, and so gain honour for themselves, and the fame of 
valiant and bold knights for the gentlemen of Castile.*' " 

A state of society like this was the natural result of the 
extraordinary development which the institutions of chi- 
valry had then received in Spain. Some of it was suited 

^* I should think there arc accounts Valladolid, by Rui Diaz de Mendoza, 
of twenty or thirty such tournaments on occasion of the marriage of Prince 

in the Chronicle of John II. There Henry, in 1440, but which was stop- 
are many, also, in that of Alvaro de ped by the royal order, in consequence 
Luna ; and so there are in all the con- of the serious nature of its results, 
temporary histories of Spain during Chrdnica de Juan el IF, Ann. 1440, 
the fifteenth century. In the year c. 16. 
1428, alone, four are recorded; two ** Ibid., Ann. 1435, c. 3. 
of which involved loss of life, and all *^ Claros Varones de CastiUa, Tftu- 
of which were held under the royal lo XVII. He boasts, at the same 
auspices. time, that more Spanish kniehts went 
'^ See the account of the Passo abroad to seek adventures than there 
Honroso already given, to which add were foreign knights who came to 
the accounts in the Chronicle of John Castile and Leon ; a fact pertinent to 
II. of one which was attempted in this point. 


to the age, and salutary ; the rest was knight-errantry, 
and knight-errantry in its wildest extravagance. When, 
however, the imaginations of men were so excited as to 
tolerate and maintain, in their daily life, such manners and 
institutions as these, they would not fail to enjoy the 
boldest and most free representations of a corresponding 
state of society in works of romantic fiction. But they 
went farther. Extravagant and even impossible as are 
many of the adventures recorded in the books of chivalry, 
they still seemed so little to exceed the absurdities fire- 
quently witnessed or told of known and living men, that 
many persons took the romances themselves to be true his- 
tories, and believed them. Thus, Mexia, the trustworthy 
historiographer of Charles the Fifth, says, in 1545, when 
speaking of "the Amadises, Lisuartes, and Clarions," that 
*' their authors do waste their time and weary their facul- 
ties in writing such books, which are read by all and be- 
lieved by many. For," he goes on, " there be men who 
Ihink all these things really happened, just as they read 
or hear them, though the greater part of the things them- 
selves are sinful, profane, and unbecoming." ^® And Cas- 
tillo, another chronicler, tells us gravely, in 1587, that 
Philip the Second, when he married Mary of England, 
only forty years earlier, promised that, if King Arthur 
should return to claim the throne, he would peaceably 
yield to that prince all his rights ; thus implying, at least 
in Castillo himself, and probably in many of his readers, 
a full faith in the stories of Arthur and his Round 
Table. ^^ 

Such credulity, it is true, now seems impossible, even 
if we suppose it was confined to a moderate number of 
intelligent persons; and hardly less so, when, as in the 
admirable sketch of an easy faith in the stories of chivalry 

** Historia Imperial, Anvere, 1661, " Pellicer, note to Don Quixote, 

folio, flF. 123, 124. The first edition Parte I. c. 13. 
was of 1545. 


by the innkeeper and Maritornes in Don Quixote, we are 
shown that it extended to the mass of the people. ^ But 
before we refuse our assent to the statements of such 
faithful chroniclers as Mexia, on the * ground that what 
they relate is impossible, we should recollect that, in the 
age when they lived, men were in the habit of believing 
and asserting every day things no less incredible than 
those recited in the old romances. The Spanish Church 
then countenanced a trust in miracles, as of constant 
recurrence, which required of those who believed them 
more credulity than the fictions of chivalry ; and yet how 
few were found wanting in faith ! And how few doubted 
the tales that had come down to them of the impossible 
achievements of their fathers during the seven centuries 
of their warfare against the Moors, or the glorious tra- 
ditions of all sorts, that still constitute the charm of their 
brave old chronicles, though we now see at a glance that 
many of them are as fabulous as anything told of Palnierin 
or Launcelot ! 

But whatever we may think of this belief in the 
romances of chivalry, there is no question that in Spain, 
during the sixteenth century, there prevailed a passion for 
them such as was never known elsewhere. The proof of 
it comes to us from all sides. The poetry of the country 
is full of it, from the romantic ballads that still live in 
the memory of the people, up to the old plays that have 
ceased to be acted and the old epics that have ceased to 
be read. The national manners and the national dress, 
more peculiar and picturesque than in other countries, 
long bore its sure impress. The old laws, too, speak no 
less plainly. Indeed, the passion for such fictions was so 
strong, and seemed so dangerous, that in 1553 they were 
prohibited from being printed, sold, or read in the Ame- 
rican colonies ; and in 1 555 the Cortes earnestly asked 

«" Parte I. c. 32. 



that the same prohibition might be extended to Spain 
itself and that all the extant copies of romances of 
chivalry might be publicly burned. *^ And finally, half a 
century later, the happiest work of the greatest genius 
Spain has produced bears witness on every page to the 
prevalence of an absolute fanaticism for books of chivalry, 
and becomes at once the seal of their vast popularity and 
the monument of their fate. 

'* The abdication of the emperor 
happened the same year, and pre- 
vented this and other petitions of the 
Cortes from beinjr acted upon. For 
the laws here referred to, and other 

proofs of the prevalence and influence 
of the romances of chivalry down to 
the time of the appcanmce of Don 
Quixote, see Clemencin's Pre&ce to 
hb edition of that work. 



Fourth Class. — Drama. — Extivctiov of the Greek and Roman Thea- 
tres. —Religious Origin of the Modern Drama. — Earliest Notice 
OF it in Spain. — Hints of it in the Fifteenth Century. — Marquis of 
ViLLENA. — Constable de Luna. — Mingo Revulgo. — Robrioo Cota.— 
The Celestina. — First Act. — ^The Remainder. — It« Stort, Cha- 
racter, AND Effects on Spanish Literature. 

The Drama. — The ancient theatre of the Greeks and 
Romans was continued under some of its grosser and more 
popular forms at Constantinople, in Italy, and in many 
other parts of the falling and fallen empire, far into the 
Middle Ages. But, under whatever disguise it appeared, 
it was essentially heathenish ; for, from first to last, it was 
mythological, both in tone and in substance. As such, 
of course, it was rebuked and opposed by the Christian 
Church, which, favoured by the confusion and ignorance 
of the times, succeeded in overthrowing it, though not 
without a long contest, and not until its degradation and 
impurity had rendered it worthy of its fate and of the 
anathemas pronounced against it by Tertullian and Saint 
Augustin. * 

A love for theatrical exhibitions, however, survived the 
extinction of these poor remains of the classical drama; 
and the priesthood, careful neither to make itself need- 
lessly odious, nor to neglect any suitable method of in- 
creasing its own influence, seems early to have been 
willing to provide a substitute for the popular amusement 

* A Spanish Bishop of Barcelona, sions to heathen mythology to be acted 
in the seventh century, was deposed in his diocese. Mariana, Hist., Lib. 
for merely permitting plays with allu- VI. c. 3. 


it had destroyed. At any rate a substitute soon appeared ; 
and, coming as it did out of the ceremonies and com- 
memorations of the religion of the times, its appearance 
was natural and easy. The greater festivals of the Church 
had for centuries been celebrated with whatever of pomp 
the rude luxury of ages so troubled could afford, and they 
now everywhere, from London to Rome, added a dramatic 
element to their former attractions. Thus, the manger 
at Bethlehem, with the worship of the shepherds and 
Magi, was, at a very early period, solemnly exhibited 
every year by a visible show before the altars of the 
churches at Christmas, as were the tragical events of the 
last days of the Saviour's life during Lent and at the 
approach of Easter. 

Gross abuses, dishonouring alike the priesthood and 
religion, were, no doubt, afterwards mingled with these 
representations, both while they were given in dumb show, 
and when, by the addition of dialogue, they became what 
were called Mysteries ; but in many parts of Europe the 
representations themselves, down to a comparatively late 
period, were found so well suited to the spirit of the times, 
that different Popes granted especial indulgences to the 
persons who frequented them, and they were in fact used 
openly and successfully, not only as means of amusement, 
but for the religious edification of an ignorant multitude. 
In England such shows prevailed for above four hundred 
years — a longer period than can be assigned to the English 
national drama as we now recognise it ; while in Italy and 
other countries still under the influence of the See of Rome, 
they have, in some of their forms, been continued, for the 
edification and amusement of the populace, quite down to 
our own times. * 

• On^ime le Roy, Etudes sur les Vol. I. p. 159. Spence's Anecdotes, 

Myst^res, Paris, 1837, 8vo., Chap. I. ed. Singer, London, 1820, 8vo., p. 

De la Rue, Essai sur les Bardes, les 397. The exhibition still annually 

Jongleurs, etc., Caen, 1834, 8vo., made, in the church of Ara CobH, on 


That all traces of the ancient Roman theatre, except the 
architectural remains which still bear witness to its splen- 
dour, * disappeared from Spain in consequence of the 
occupation of the country by the Arabs, whose national 
spirit rejected the drama altogether, cannot be reasonably 
doubted. But the time when the more moderu repre- 
sentations were begun on religious subjects, and under 
ecclesiastical patronage, can no longer be determined. It 
must, however, have been very early ; for in the middle 
of the thirteenth century such performances were not only 
known, but had been so long practised, that they had 
already taken various forms, and become disgraced by va- 
rious abuses. This is apparent from the code of Alfonso 
the Tenth, which was prepared about 1260; and in which, 
after forbidding the clergy certain gross indulgences, the 
law goes on to say : ^' Neither ought they to be makers of 
buffoon plays, ^ that people may come to see them; and if 
other men make them, clergymen should not come to see 
them, for such men do many things low and unsuitable. 
Nor, moreover, should such things be done in the 
churches; but rather we say that they should be cast 
out in dishonour, without punishment to those engaged 
in them. For the church of God was made for prayer, 
and not for buffoonery ; as our Lord Jesus Christ declared 
in the Gospel, that his house was called the House of 
Prayer, and ought not to be made a den of thieves. But 
exhibitions there be, that clergymen may make, such as 
that of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, which shows 
how the angel came to the shepherds, and how he told 

the Capitol at Rome, of the manner tinez de la Rosa, who is a good au- 

and the scene of the Nativity, is, hke thority, and who considers it to mean 

many similar exhibitions elsewhere, of short satirical compositions, from 

the same class. which arose, perhaps, afterwards, ^n- 

" Remains of Roman theatres are tremeses and Sayneies, (Isabel de 

found at Seville (Triana), Tarragona, Sol/s, Madrid, 1837, 12mo., Tom. I. 

Murviedro (Saguntum), Merida, etc. p. 225, note 13.) Escamido, in Don 

* Juegos par Escamio 18 the ythnse Quixote, (Parte II. c. xxi..) is used 

in the original. It is obscure; but I in the sen^o of *' trifled with.** 
have followed the intimation of Mar- 


them Jesus Christ was bom, and, moreover, of his ap- 
pearance when the Three Kings came to worship him, and 
of his resurrection, which shows how he was crucified and 
rose the third day. Such things as these, which move 
men to do well, may the clergy make, as well as to the end 
that men may have in remembrance that such things did 
truly happen. But this must they do decently, and in 
devotion, and in the great cities where there is an arch- 
bishop or bishop, and under their authority, or that of 
others by them deputed, and not in villages, nor in small 
places, nor to gain money thereby." * 

But though these earliest religious representations in 
Spain, whether pantomimic or in dialogue, were thus given, 
not only by churchmen, but by others, certainly before the 
middle of the thirteenth century, and probably much 
sooner, and though they were continued for several cen- 
turies afterwards, still no fragment of them and no distinct 
account of them now remain to us. Nor is anything 
properly dramatic found even amongst the secular poetry 
of Spain till the latter part of the fifteenth century, though 
it may have existed somewhat earlier, as we may infer 
from a passage in the Marquis of Santillana's letter to the 
Constable of Portugal ; * from the notice of a moral play 
by the Marquis of Yillena, now lost, which is said to have 
been represented in 1414, before Ferdinand of Aragon;' 
and from the hint left by the picturesque chronicler of the 
Constable de Luna concerning the Entremeses^ ® or Inter- 

^Partidal. Ta.VI. Le7 34,ed.dc says, (Anales, Libra XII., ASo 

la Acadcniia. I4I^») that, at the coronation of Fer- 

* He says that his grandfather, Pe- dinand, there were ^' gnuidcs juegos 

dro Gonzalez de Mendoza, who lived y entremtsesy Otherwise we must 

in the time of Peter the Cruel, wrote suppose there were several different 

scenic poems in the manner of Plau- dramatic entertainments, which is pos- 

tus and Terence, in couplets like sible, but not probable. 

Scrranas. Sanchez, Poesias Ante- " ^* He had a great deal of inven- 

riores, Tom. I. p. lix. tive faculty, and was much given to 

^ Velasquez, Orfgenes de la Pocs(a making inventions and entremesea for 

Castellana, Mdlaga, 1764, 4to., p. 95. fostivfiUs," etc. (Crdnica del Condcs- 

I think it not unlikely that Zurita re- table Don Alvaro dc Luna, ed. Flores, 

fers to this play of Villcna, when he Madrid, 1784, 4to., Tftulo 68.) It \% 



Pkuod I. 

ludes, which were sometimes arranged by that * proud 
favourite a little later in the same century. These indi- 
cations, however, are very slight and uncertain. ' 

A nearer approach to the spirit of the drama, and par- 
ticularly to the form which the secular drama first took in 
Spain, is to be found in the curious dialogue called t^ The 
Couplets of Mingo Revulgo;" a satire thrown mto the 
shape of an eclogue, and given in the free and spirited 
language of the lower classes of the people, on the deplo- 
rable state of public affairs, as they existed in the latter 
part of the weak reign of Henry the Fourth. It seems to 
have been written about the year 1472.*° The interlo- 

not to be supposed that these were 
like the gay tarces that have since 
passed under the same name, but there 
can be little doubt that they were 
poetical and were exhibited. The 
Constable was beheaded in 1453. 

' I am not unaware that attempts 
have been made to give the Spanish 
theatre a different origin from tne one 
I have assigned to it. 1. The mar- 
riage of Dona Endrina and Don Melon 
has been cited for this purpose in the 
French translation of ** Celestina " by 
Dc Lavigne (Paris, 12mo., 1841, pp. 
v., vi.) But their adventures, taken 
from Pamphylus Maurianus, already 
noticed, (p. 75,) constitute, in fact, a 
mere story arranged about 1335, by 
the Archpriest of Ilita, out of an old 
Latin dialogue, (Sanchez, Tom. IV., 
stanz. 550-865,) but differing in no- 
thing important from the other tales 
of the Archpriest, and quite insuscep- 
tible of dramatic representation. (See 
Preface of Sanchez to the same 
volume, pp. xxiii., etc.) 2. The 
** Dan^a General de la Muerte," al- 
ready noticed as written about 1350, 
(Castro, Bibliotcca flspanola, Tom. I. 
pp. 200, etc.,) has been cited by L. 
r; Moratin (Obras, ed. de la Aca- 
demia, Madrid, 1830, 8vo., Tom. I. 

g. 112^ as the earliest specimen of 
panisn dramatic literature. But it 
is unquestionably not a drama, but a 
didactic poem, which it would have 
been quite absurd to attempt to exhi- 

bit 8. The ** Comedieta de Ponza," 
on the great naval battle fought near 
the island of Ponza, in 1435, and writ- 
ten by the Marquis of Santillana, who 
died m 1454, has been referred to as a 
drama by Martinez de la Rosa, (Obras 
Literarias, Paris, 1827, 12mo., Tom. 
II. pp. 518, etc.,) who assifirns it to 
about 1436. But it is, in truth, 
merely an allegorical poem thrown into 
the form of a dialogue and written in 
coplas de arte mayor, I shall notice 
it hereafter. And finally, 4. Bias de 
Nasarre, in his Prdlogo to the plays 
of Cervantes, (Madrid, 1749, 4to., 
Vol. I.,) says there was a comedia 
acted before Ferdinand .and Isabella 
in 1469, at the house of the Count 
de Ureiia, in honour of their wedding. 
But we have only Bias de Nasarre "s 
dictum for this, and he is not a good 
authority : besides which, he adds 
that the author of the comedia in 
question was John de la Enzina, who, 
we know, was not bom earlier than 
the year before the event referred to. 
The moment of the somewhat secret 
marriage of these illustrious persons 
was, moreover, so fiill of anxiety, that 
it is not at all likely any show or 
mumming accompanied it See Pres- 
cott's Ferdinand and Isabella, Part I. 
c. 3. 

" " Coplas de Mingo Revulgo," 
oflen printed, in the fifteenth and six- 
teenth centuries, with the beautiful 
Coplas of Manrique. The editions 


cutors are two shepherds; one of whom, called Mingo 
Revulgo, — a name corrupted from Domingo Vulgus, — 
represents the common people ; and the other, called Gil 
Arribato, or Gil the Elevated, represents the higher classes, 
and speaks with the authority of a prophet, who, while 
. complaining of the ruinous condition of the state, yet lays 
no small portion of the blame on the common people, for 
having, as he says, by their weakness and guilt, brought 
upon themselves so dissolute and careless a shepherd. It 
opens with the shouts of Arribato, who sees Bevulgo at a 
distance, on a Sunday morning, ill dressed and with a dispi- 
rited air : — 

HollO) Revulgo ! Mingo, ho ! 

Mingo Revulgo I Ho, hollo ! 

Why, where 's your cloak of blue so bright ? 

Is it not Sunday's proper wear ? 

And where 's your jacket red and tight ? 

And such a brow why do you bear, 

And come abroad, this dawning mild, 

With all your hair in elf-locks wild ? 

Pray, are you broken down with care ? " 

Revulgo replies, that the state of the flock, governed by so 
unfit a shepherd, is the cause of his squalid condition ; and 
then, under this allegory, they urge a coarse, but efficient, 
satire against the measures of the government, against the 
base, cowardly character of the king and his scandalous 
passion for his Portuguese mistress, and against the 
ruinous carelessness and indifference of the people, 
ending with praises of the contentment found in a middle 
condition of life. The whole dialogue consists of only 
thirty-two stanzas of nine lines each; but it produced 
a great effect at the time, was often printed in the 

I use are those of 1 588, 1682, and the ^u^l^J^S^D^i^? 

one at the end of the ** CnSnica de Qne«d^tujabonbermSo? 

Enrique IV.," (Madrid, 1787, 4tO., Por que tna« tal iobwefsJo ? 

ed. de la Acadcmia,) with the com- ia'tbSl^dS^lJSSJ: 

inentary of Pulgar. No te llotrMde buen rajo ? 

II A Minjjo Rerulgo, Mingo 1 ^P** ^• 

A Ninfo Rerulgo, haol 


next centory, and was twice elucidated by a grave com- 
mentary. " 

Its andior wisely concealed his name, and has never 
been absolutely ascertained. ^' The earlier editions gene- 
rally suppose him to have he&n Bodrigo C(^ Uie elder, 
of Toledo, to whom also is attributed **A Dialogue 
between Love and an Old Man,** whidi dates from the 
same period, and is no less spirited and even more dra- 
matic. It opens with a representation of an old man 
retired into a poor hut, which stands in the midst of a 
neglected and decayed garden. Suddenly Love appears 
before him, and he exclaims, "My door is shut; what 
do you want? Where did you enter? Tell me how, 
robber-like, you leaped the walls of my garden. Age 
and reason had fre«l me from you ; leave, therefore, my 
heart, retired into its poor comer, to think only of the 
past." He goes on giving a sad account of his own 
condition, and a still laore sad description of Love; to 
which Love replies, with great coolness, " Your discourse 
shows that you have not been well acquainted with me." 
A discussion follows, in which Love, of course, gains the 
advantage. The old man is promised that his garden 
shall be restored and his youth renewed; but when he 

" Veliwquez (Oiigencs, p. 62) bles of Henry IV., declares (Historia, 

treats Mingo Revulffo as a satire Lib. XXIII. c. 17, Tom. it. p. 475) 

against King John and his court But the Coplas to have been written by 

it applies much more naturally and Hernando del Pulgar, the chromder ; 

truly to the time of Henry I V., and but no reason is given for this opinion 

has, indeed, generally been considered except the iact that Pulgar wrote a 

as directed against that unhappy commentary on them, making their 

monarch. Copla the sixth seems allegory more intelliffible than it 

plainly to allude to his passion for woiSd have been likely to be made 

Dona Guiomar de Castro. by any body not quite fiuniliar with 

*' The Coplas of Mingo Revulgo the thoughts and purposes of the 

were very early attributed to John author. See the dedication of this 

dc Mena, the most famous poet of the commentary to Count Haro, with the 

time (N. Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I. PnSlogo, and Sarmi^ito, Poesfa £s- 

p. 387); but, unhappily for this con- wifiola, Madrid, 1776, 4to., § 872, 
jecture, Mena was of the opposite But whoever wrote Mingo Revulgo, 
rarty in politics. Mariana, who found 
Revulgo of consequence enough to be 
mentioned when discussing the trou- 

rarty in politics. Mariana, who found there is no doubt it was an importuit 
Revulgo of consequence enough to be and a popular poem in its day. 


has surrendered at discretion, he is only treated with the 
gayest ridicule by his conqueror, for thinking that at his 
age he can again make himself attractive in the ways of 
love. The whole is in a light tone, and managed with a 
good deal of ingenuity ; but though susceptible, like other 
poetical eclogues, of being represented, it is not certain 
that it ever was. It is, however, as well as the Couplets 
of Revulgo, so much like the pastorals which we know 
were publicly exhibited as dramas a few years later, that 
we may reasonably suppose it had some influence in pre- 
paring the way for them. ** 

The next contribution to the foundations of the Spanish 
theatre is the " Celestina,** a dramatic story, contemporary 
with the poems just noticed, and probably, in part, the 
work of the same hands. It is a prose composition, in 
twenty-one acts, or parts, originally called " The Tragi- 
comedy of Calisto and MeliboBa ; " and though, from its 
length, and, indeed, from its very structure, it can never 
have been represented, its dramatic spirit and movement 
have left traces, that are not to be mistaken, ^* of their 
influence on the national drama ever since. 

The first act, which is much the longest, was probably 

" The " DialogO entre el Amor y Let no man shut hia door* : 

un Viejo" ^irst printed, I be- iJ^JTd'Jrgri^r' 
here, in the " Cancionero General 

of 1611, but it is found with the „ Tk«„ .~. ^n^ -«*«- :_ tu ; 

CoplM de Manrique, 1688 and 1682. . ^hey are called «rfo« m the on- 
See, also, N. Attlnio, Bib. Nov., f^"^' ^*^ »«>*«'«* T*Tk'k 
Tom. II. pp. 263, 264, for notices of f.^Pf^ ,T* •° * ^ o^.^^^cb 
Cota. The fact of thi^ old Dialogue t^« <r«'«?f °» .« «»np««?l ! »•»«> U 
having an effect on the coming dnSna o<=«^«>nf«y mmgles up, m the mort 
may L inferred, not only from the confiised manner, and m the «»»e act, 
obvious resemblakcebetwwn the two, conversations that necessarily hap- 
but from a passage in Juan de la pened at the «om« moment m </#r«rf 
Enzina's EcloVue&ginning « Vamo- f^'- ^hus, in the fourteenUi art, 
nos, Gil, al aldea," which plainly *" »»'« «??«'n«t'0'"^eWp»rU;- be- 
alludes to' the opening of Cota^s DiZ ^1%° S"'1JS^„ ^a'T^irw 
logue, and, indeed, to the whole of it. ?^L^*^,^i?.*?f*!2' "^ ^I ± 

TEe ^ssa^ in En'zina is the conclud- t'^" ^','^* *, '^'^*^ J'^^J^ 

ir-n • I.* L u * outside 01 it I Ell cnven as a consecu- 

ing Vjlan^, which begins,- ^j^^ ^^^^ ^-^^ ^^^ ^j 

Qoe no le ha aproTechar. 


written by Rodrigo Cota, of Toledo, and in that ease we 
may safely assume that it was produced about 1480. " It 
opens in the environs of a city, which is not named, ^' with 
a scene between Calisto, a young man of rank, and Meli- 
bcea, a maiden of birth and qualities still more noble than 
his own. He finds her in her father s garden, where he 
had accidentally followed his bird in hawking, and she 
receives him as a Spanish lady of condition in that age 
would be likely to receive a stranger who begins his 
acquaintance by making love to her. The result is, that 
the presumptuous young man goes home full of mortifi- 
cation and despair, and shuts himself up in his darkened 
chamber. Sempronio, a confidential servant, understand- 
ing the cause of his master s trouble, advises him to apply 
to an old woman, with whom the unprincipled valet is 
secretly in league, and who is half a pretender to witch- 
craft and half a dealer in love philters. This personage 
is Celestina. Her character, the first hint of which may 

** Rojas, the author of all but the was written, we must bring it into 
first act of the Celestina, says, in a the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, 
prefatory letter to a friend, that the before which we cannot find sufficient 
nrst act was supposed by some to have ground for believing such Spanish 
been the work of Juan de Mena, and prose to have been possible. It is 
by others to have been the work of curious, however, that, from one and 
Rodrigo Cota. The absurdity of the the same passage in the third act of 
first conjecture was noticed long ago the Celestina, Blanco White (Varie- 
by Nicolas Antonio, and has been dades, London, 1824, 8vo., Tom. I. 
admitted ever since, while, on the p. 226) supposes Rojas to have writ- 
other hand, what we have of Cota ten his part of it before the fiill of 
falls in quite well with the conjecture Granada, and (xcrmond de Lavigne 
that he wrote it; besides which, (Celestine, p. 63) supposes him to 
Alonso de Villegas, in the verses pre- have written it either afterwards, or 
fixed to his ** Selvagia,*' 1554, to be at the very time when the last aege 
noticed hereafter, says expressly, was going on. But Blanco White s 
** Though he was poor and of low inference seems to be the true one, 
estate, (pobre y de haxo lugar,) we and would place both parts of it before 
know that Cota's skill (ciencid) en- 1490. If to this we add the allusions 
abled him to begin the great Celes- (Acts 4 and 7) to the ctutos dafe and 
tina, and that Rojas finished it with an their arrangements, we must place it 
ambrosial air that can never be enough after 1480, when the Inquiation was 
valued;'' — a testimony heretofore first established. But this is doubtful, 
overlooked, but one which, under the *^ Blanco White gives ingenioua 
circumstances of the case, seems suf- reasons for supposing that Seville is 
ficient to decide the question. the city refcrreo to. He himself was 

As to the time when the Celestina l)orn there, and could judge well. 

Chap. XIII. LA CELE8TINA. 241 

have been taken from the Archpriest of Hita's sketch of 
one with not dissimilar pretensions, is at once revealed in 
all its power. She boldly promises Calisto that he shall 
obtain possession of MelibcBa, and from that moment 
secures to herself a complete control over him, and over 
all who are about him. ^® 

Thus far Cota had proceeded in his out] me, when, 
from some unknown reason, he stopped short. The 
fragment he had written was, however, circulated and 
admired, and Fernando de Bojas of Montalvan, a bachelor 
of laws living at Salamanca, took it up, at the request of 
some of his friends, and, as he himself tells us, wrote the 
remainder in a fortnight of his vacations ; the twenty acts 
or scenes which he added for this purpose constituting 
about seven eighths of the whole composition.^* That 
the conclusion he thus arranged was such as the original 
inventor of the story intended is not to be imagined. 
Bojas was even uncertain who this first author was, and 
evidently knew nothing about his plans or purposes; 
besides which, he says, the portion that came into his 
hands was a comedy, while the remainder is so violent 
and bloody in its course, that he calls his completed work 
a tragicomedy; a name which it has generally borne 
since, and which he perhaps invented to suit this particular 
case. One circumstance, however, connected with it 
should not be overlooked : it is, that the difierent portions 
attributed to the two authors are so similar in style* and 
finish, as to have led to the conjecture, that, after all, 

" The Trota-Conventos of Juan un su Amigo ;" and he declares his 

RuiZ) the Archpriest of Hita, has own name and authorship in an acros- 

already been noticed , and certainly tic, called ** £1 Autor excusando su 

is not without a resemblance to the Obra," which immediately follows the 

Celestina. Besides, in the Second epistle, and the initial letters of which 

Act of ** Calisto y Melibcea," Celcs- bring out the following words : " EI 

tina herself is once expressly called Bachiller Fernando de Rojas acabd la 

Trota-Conventos. comcdia de Calysto y Meliboea, y fue 

^' Rojas states these facts in his nascidoen la puebla de Montalvan." 

prefatory anonymous letter, already Ofcourse, if we believe Roias himself, 

mentioned, and entitled ** £1 Autor i. there can be no doubt on this point. 

VOL. I. R 


the whole might have been the work of Bojas, who, for 
reasons, perhaps, arising out of his ecclesiastical position 
in society, was unwilling to take the responsibility of 
being the sole author of it ^ 

But this is not the account given by Rojas himself. 
He says that he found the first act already written ; and 
he begins the second with the impatience of Calisto, 
in ui^ng Celestina to obtain access to the high-bom and 
high-bred Meliboea. The low and vulgar woman succeedsi 
by presenting herself at the house of Meliboea's &ther 
with lady-like trifles to sell, and, having once obtained an 
entrance, easily finds the means of establishing her right 
to return. Intrigues of the grossest kind amongst the 
servants and subordinates follow; and the machinations 
and contrivances of the mover of the whole mischief 
advance through the midst of them with great rapidity, — 
all managed by herself, and all contributing to her power 
and purposes. Nothing, indeed, seems to be beyond the 
reach of her unprincipled activity and talent. She talks 
like a saint or a philosopher, as it suits her purpose. She 
flatters; she threatens; she overawes; her unscrupulous 
ingenuity is never at fault; her main object is never 
forgotten or overlooked. 

Meantime, the unhappy MelibcBa, urged by whatever 
insinuation and seduction can suggest, is made to con- 
fess her love for Calisto. From this moment her fate 
is sealed. Calisto visits her secretly in the night, after 
the fashion of the old Spanish gallants; and tiben the 
conspiracy hurries onward to its consummation. At the 

*^ Blanco White, in a criticism on though he treats them as the work of 

the Celestina, (Variedades, Tom. I. difierent writers. But the acute au- 

pp. 224, 296,) expresses this opinion, thor of the ** Didlogo de las Lenguas " 

which is also found in the • Preface (Mayans j Siscar, Orfgenes, Madrid* 

to M. Germond de Lavigne's French 1737, 12mo., Tom. IL p. 166) is of 

translation of the Celestina. L. F. a different opinion, and so is Lam- 

Moratin, too, (Obras, Tom. I. Parte pillas, Ensayo, Madrid, 1789, 4to., 

I. p. 88,) thinks there is no differ- Tom. VI. p. 64. 
ence in style between the two parts, 


same time, however, the retribution begins. The persons 
who had assisted Calisto to bring about his first interview 
with her quarrel for the reward he had given them ; and 
Celestina, at the moment of her triumph, is murdered by 
her own base agents and associates, two of whom, attempt- 
ing to escape, are in their turn summarily put to death 
by the officers of justice. Great confusion ensues. Calisto 
is regarded as the indirect cause of Celestina's death, since 
she perished in his service ; and some of those who had 
been dependent upon her are roused to such indignation, 
that they track him to the place of his assignation, seeking 
for revenge. There they fall into a quarrel ,with the 
servants he had posted in the streets for his protection. 
He hastens to the rescue, is precipitated from a ladder, 
and is killed on the spot. Meliboea confesses her guilt 
and shame, and throws herself headlong from a high 
tower; immediately upon which the whole melancholy 
and atrocious story ends with the lament of the broken- 
hearted father over her dead body. 

As has been intimated, the Celestina is rather a dra- 
matized romance than a proper drama, or even a well- 
considered attempt to produce a strictly dramatic effect 
Such as it is, however, Europe can show nothing on its 
theatres, at the same period, of equal literary merit It 
is full of life and movement throughout Its characters, 
from Celestina down to her insolent and lying valets, and 
her brutal female associates, are developed with a skill 
and truth rarely found in the best periods of the Spanish 
drama. Its style is easy and pure, sometimes brilliant, 
and always full of the idiomatic resources of the old and 
true Castilian; such a style, unquestionably, as had not 
yet been approached in Spanish prose, and was not oflen 
reached afterwards. Occasionally, indeed, we are offended 
by an idle and cold display of learning; but, like the 
gross manners of the piece, this poor vanity is a fault that 
belonged to the age. 



The great offence of the Celestina, however, is, that 
large portions of it are foul with a shameless libertinism 
of thought and language. Why the authority of Church 
and State did not at once interfere to prevent its circu- 
lation seems now hardly intelligible. Probably it was, in 
part, because the Celestina claimed to be written for the 
purpose of warning the young against the seductions and 
crimes it so loosely unveils ; or, in other words, because it 
claimed to be a book whose tendency was good. Cer- 
tainly, strange as the fact may now seem to us, many so 
received it. It was dedicated to reverend ecclesiastics, 
and to ladies of rank and modesty in Spain and out of it, 
and seems to have been read generally, and perhaps by 
the wise, the gentle, and the good, without a blush. 
When, therefore, those who had the power were called 
to exercise it, they shrank from the task; only slight 
changes were required; and the Celestina was then left 
to run its course of popular favour unchecked. *^ In the 
century that followed its first appearance from the press 
in 1499, a century in which the number of readers was 
comparatively very small, it is easy to enumerate above 
thirty editions of the original — probably there were more. 
At that time, too, or soon afterwards, it was made known 

■* For a notice of the first known Index of 1806. No other book, that 
edition, — that of 1499,— which is en- I know of, shows so distinctly how 
titled ** Comedia," and is divided into supple and compliant the Inquisition 
sixteen acts, see an article on the was, where, as in this case, it was 
Celestina by F. Wolf, in Blatter fiir deemed impossible to control the pub- 
Literarische Unterhaltung, 1845, Nos. lie taste. An Italian translation, 
213 to 217, which leaves little to de- printed at Venice in 1625, which is 
sire on the subject it so thoroughly well made, and is dedicated to a lady, 
discusses. The expurgations in the is not expurgated at all. There are 
editions of Acald, 1586, and Madrid, lists of tne editions of the original in 
1695, are slight, and in the Plantini- L. F. Moratin, (Obras, Tom. 1. Parte 
ana edition, 1596, I think there are I. p. 89,) and B. C. Aribau's ** Bib- 
nonc. It is curious to observe how lioteca de Autores Espafioles,'* (Ma- 
few are ordered in the Index of 1667, drid, 1846, 8vo., Tom. III. p. xii.,) 
(p. 948,) and that the whole book was to which, however, additions can be 
not forbidden till 1793, having been made by turning to Brunet, Ebert, 
expressly permitted, with expurga- and the other bibliographers. The 
tions, in the Index of 1790, and ap- best editions are those of Amarita 
pearing first, as prohibited, in thp (1822) and Aribau (1846). 


in English, in German, and in Dutch ; and, that none of 
the learned at least might be beyond its reach, it appeared 
in the universal Latin. Thrice it was translated into 
Italian, and thrice into French. The cautious and severe 
author of the "Dialogue on Languages, ** the Protestant 
Valdes, gave it the highest praise. " So did Cervantes. *• 
The very name of Celestina became a proverb, like the 
thousand bywords and adages she herself pours out with 
such wit and fluency ; ** and it is not too much to add, 
that, down to the days of the Don Quixote, no Spanish 
book was so much known and read at home and abroad. 

Such success insured for it a long series of imitations ; 
most of them yet more offensive to morals and public 
decency than the Celestina itself, and all of them, as 
might be anticipated, of inferior literary merit to their 
model. One, called " The Second Comedia of Celestina," 
in which she is raised from the dead, was published in 
1530, by Feliciano de Silva, the author of the old romance 
of " Florisel de Niquea," and went through four editions. 
Another, by Domingo de Castega, was sometimes added 
to the successive reprints of the original work after 1534. 
A third, by Gaspar Gomez de Toledo, appeared in 1537; 
a fourth, ten years later, by an unknown author, called 
" The Tragedy of Policiana," in twenty-nine acts ; a fifth, 
in 1554, by Joan Rodrigues Florian, in forty- three scenes, 
caUed " The Comedia of Florinea ;** and a sixth, " The 
Selvagia,'* in five acts, also in 1554, by Alonso de Villegas. 
In 1513, Pedro de Urrea, of the same family with the 
translator of Ariosto, rendered the first act of the original 
Celestina into good Castilian verse, dedicating it to his 
mother; and in 1540, Juan Sedeno, the translator of 
Tasso, performed a similar service for the whole of it 

*■ Mayans y Siscar, Orfgenes, Tom. *• Verses by "El Donoso," pre- 

II. p. 167. "No book in Castilian fixed to the First Part of Don Quixote, 

has been written in a language ** Sebastian de Covamibias.Tesoro 

more natural, appropriate, and ele- de la Lengua Castcllana, Madrid, 

gant." 1674, fol., ad verb. 




Tales and romances followed, somewhat later, in large 
numbers ; some, like " The Ingenious Helen/* and " The 
Cunning Flora," not without merit; while others, like 
♦* The Eufrosina," praised more than it deserves by Que- 
vedo, were little regarded from the first •• 

■* Puibusmie, Hist Comparde des 
Litteratures Espagnole et Fran^aise, 
Paris, 1848, 8vo., Tom. I. p. 478 ;— 
the Essay prefixed to the French trans- 
lation of Lavigne, Paris, 1841, 12mo. ; 
— Montiano y Lu^ndo, Discurso so- 
bre las Tragedias Espanolas, Madrid, 
1750, 12mo., p. 9, mdpost, c. 21. The 
**Ingeniosa Helena" (1618) and the 
" Flora Malsabidilla" (1623) are by 
Salas Barbadillo, and will be noticed 
hercailer among the prose fictions of 
the seventeenth century. The ** Eu- 
frosina " is by Ferrcira de Vasconcel- 
los, a Portuguese ; and why, in 1631, 
it was translated into Spanish by 
Ballcsteros Saavedra as if it had been 
anonymous, I know not. It is often 
mentioned as the work of Lobo, an- 
other Portuguese, (Barbosa, Bib. Lu- 
sit., Tom. ft. p. 242, and Tom. IV. 
p. 148,) and Quevedo, in his Preface 
to the Spanish version, seems to have 
been of that opinion ; but this, too, 
is not true. Lobo only prepared, in 
1613, an edition of the Portuguese 

Of the imitations of the Celestina 
mentioned in the text, two, perhaps, 
deserve further notice. 

The first is the one entitled ** Flori- 
nea," which was printed at Medina 
del Campo, in 1554, and which, 
though certainly without the power 
and life of the work it imitates, is 
yet written in a pure and good style. 
The principal personage is Marcelia, 
— parcel witch, wholly shameless, — 
gomg regularly to matins and vespers, 
and talking religion and philosophy, 
while her house and life are full of 
whatever is most infamous. Some 
of the scenes are as indecent as any 
in the Celestina ; but the story is less 
disagreeable, as it ends with an ho- 
nourable love-match between Floriano 
and Belisea, the hero and heroine of 
the drama, and promises to give their 

weddmg in a oontinuatioD, which, 
however, never appeared. It is longer 
than its prototype, filling 312 pages 
of black letter, closely printed, in 
small quarto ; abounds in proverbs ; 
and contains occasional snatches of 
poetry, which are not in so good taste 
as the prose. Florian, i^ author, 
says, that, though hia work is called 
comecUa, he is to be regarded as 
'* historiador cdmico,'* a dramatic nar- 

The other is the " Selvagia," by 
Alonso de Yillegas, published at To- 
ledo in 1 554, 4to., tiie same year with 
the Florinea, to which it alludes with 
great admiration. Its story is inge- 
nious. Flesinardo, a rich gentieman 
from Mexico, falls in love with Rosi- 
ana, whom he has only seen at a 
window of her father's house. His 
friend Selvago, who is advised of thb 
circumstance, watches the same win- 
dow, and falls in love with a hidy 
whom he supposes to be the same that 
had been seen by Flesinardo. Much 
trouble naturally follows. But it is 
happily discovered that the lady is not 
the same ; after which — except in the 
episodes of the servants, the bully, 
and the inferior lovers— everything 
goes on successfiilly, under the ma- 
nagement of an unprincipled counter- 
part of the profligate Celestina, and 
ends with the marriage of the four 
lovers. It is not so long as the Celes- 
tina or the Florinea, filling only se- 
venty-three leaves in quarto, but it is 
an avowed imitation of both. Of the 
genius that gives such life and move- 
ment to its prindpal prototype there 
is litUe trace, nor nas it an equal pu^ 
rity of style. But some of its decla- 
mations, perhaps — though as mis- 
placed as Its pedantry — are not with- 
out power, and some of its dialogue 
is free and natural. It claims every- 
where to be very religious and moral, 


At last it came upon the stage, for which its original 
character had so nearly fitted it Cepeda, in 1582, formed 
out of it one half of his " Comedia Selvage," which is 
only the four first acts of the Celestina, thrown into easy 
verse;** and Alfonso Vaz de Velasco, as early as 1602, 
published a drama in prose, called " The Jealous Man," 
founded entirely on the Celestina, whose character, under 
th^ name of Lena, is given with nearly all its original 
spirit and effect. " How far either the play of Velasco 
or that of Cepeda succeeded, we are not told ; but the 
coarseness and indecency of both are so great, that they 
can hardly have been long tolerated by the public, if they 
were by the Church. The essential type of Celestina, 
however, the character as originally conceived by Cota 
and Eojas, was continued on the stage in such plays as 
the "Celestina" of Mendoza, "The Second Celestina" 
of Agustin de Salazar, and " The School of Celestina " 
by Salas Barbadillo, all' produced soon after the year 
1600, as well as in others that have been produced 
since. Even in our own days, a drama containing so 
much of her story as a modern audience will listen to 
has been received with favour ; while, at the same time, 
the original tragicomedy itself has been thought worthy 

bat it is anything rather than either. been given in two or three different 

Ot* its author there can be no doubt. ways, — Alfonso Vaz, Vazquez, Velaa- 

As in everything else he imitates the quez, and Uz de Velasco. I take it 

Celestina, so he imitates it in some as it stands in Antonio, Bib. Nov. 

prefatory acrostic verses, from which (Tom. I. p. 52.) The shameless play 

I have spelt out the following sen- itself is to be found in Ochoa^ 

tence : ** Alonso de Villegas Selvago edition of the ** Orfgenes del Teatro 

compuso la Comedia Selvagia en ser- Espaiiol," (Paris, 1838, 8vo.) Some 

yicio de su Sennora Isabel de Barrio- of the characters are well drawn ; for 

nuevo, siendo de edad de veynte an- instance, that of Inocencio, which re- 

nos, en Toledo, su patria ;" — a singu- minds me occasionally of the ini- 

lar offering, certainly, to a lady-love. mitable Dominie Sampson. An edition 

It b divided into scenes as well as of it appeared at Milan in 1602. 

acts. probably preceded— as in almost all 

*• L. F. Moratin, Obras, Tom. I. cases of'^Spanish books printed abroad 

Parte I. p. 280, ond past. Period II., —by an edition at home, and cer- 

c. 28. tainly followed by one at Barcelona 

*^ The name of this author seems in 1613. 
to be somewhat uncertain, and has 



Pbeiod I. 

of being reprinted at Madrid, witii various readings 
to settle its text, and of being rendered anew by fresh 
and vigorous translations into the French and the 
German. •• 

The influence, therefore, of the Celestina seems not yet 
at an end, little as it deserves regard, except for its life- 
like exhibition of the most unworthy forms of human 
character, and its singularly pure, rich, and idiomatic 
Castilian style. 

** Custine, L'Espagne sous Ferdi- 
naiid yil., troisi^e ^t., Paris, 
1838, 8vo., Tom. I. p. 279. The 
edition of Celestina witn the tbhous 
readings is tiiat of Madrid, 1822, 
ISmo.ybjLeonAmarita. The French 
translation is the one already men- 
tioned, by Gennond de I^Avigne, 
(Paris, 1841, 12mo. ;) and the Ger- 
man translation, which is very accu- 
rate and spirited, is by Edw. Biilow, 
(Leipzig, 1843, 12mo.) Traces of it 
on tne English stage are found as 

early as about 1580 (Collier's History 
of Dram. Poetry, etc, London, 1831, 
8vo., Tom. II. p. 408,) and I have a 
translation of it by James liabbe, 
([London, 1631, folio,) which, for its 
idiomatic 'English style, desenres to 
be called beautiful. Three tnmsl»- 
tions of it, in the sixteenth century, 
into French, and three into Italian, 
which were frequentiy reprinted, be- 
ndes one into Latin, alr^y aUuded 
to, and one into German, may be 
found noted in Brunet, Ebort, etc. 




Rbpbuentaciokbb, axd thbib Chabactbb. — F1B8T Sbculab Dbamas 
ACTED nr SpAur. — Somb Rblioioub nr thbib Tonb, ahd bomb vot. — 
Gil Vicbktb, a Pobtcgubsb. — Hi8 Spanish Dbamas. — Auto op Cab- 



Thb '^ Celestina," as has been intimated, produced little 
or no immediate effect on the rude beginnings of the 
Spanish drama ; perhaps not so much as the dialogues of 
** Mingo Revulgo,** and " Love and the Old Man,** But 
the three taken together unquestionably lead us to the 
true founder of the secular theatre in Spain, Juan de la 
Enzina,' who was probably bom in the village whose 
name he bears, in 1468 or 1469, and was educated at the 
neighbouring University of Salamanca, where he had the 
good fortune to enjoy the patronage of its chancellor, then 
one of the rising family of Alva. Soon afterwards he was 
at court ; and at the age of twenty-five we find him in the 
household of Fadrique de Toledo, first Duke of Alva, to 
whom and to his duchess Enzina addressed much of his 
poetry. In 1496 he published the earliest edition of his 
works, divided into four parts, which are successively 
dedicated to Ferdinand and Isabella, to the Duke and 
Duchess of Alva, to Prince John, and to Don Garcia de 
Toledo, son of his patron. 

Somewhat later, Enzina went to Rome, where he be- 

^ He spells his name differently Encina in 1496, Enzina in 1609 and 
in different editions of his works : elsewhere. 


came a priest, and, from his skill in music, rose to be head 
of Leo the Tenth's chapel — the highest honour the world 
then oflTered to his art. In the course of the year 1519 
he made a pilgrimage from Rome to Jerusalem, with 
Fadrique Afan de Ribera, Marquis of Tarifa ; and on his 
return published, in 1521, a poor poetical account of his 
devout adventures, accompanied with great praises of the 
Marquis, and ending with an expression of his happiness 
at living in Rome. * At a more advanced age, however, 
having received a priory in Leon as a reward for his 
services, he returned to his native country, and died, in 
1534, at Salamanca, in whose cathedral his monument is 
probably still to be seen. ' 

Of his collected works six editions at least were pub- 
lished between 1496 and 1516; showing that, for the 
period in which he lived, he enjoyed a remarkable degree 
of popularity. They contain a good deal of pleasant 
lyrical poetry, songs, and villancicoSj in the old popular 
Spanish style ; and two or three descriptive poems, par- 
ticularly "A Vision of the Temple of Fame and the 
Glories of Castile,** in which Ferdinand and Isabella 
receive great eulogy, and are treated as if they were his 

' There is an edition of it (Madrid, graphy, is as free from the apirit of 

1786, 12mo.) filling a hundred pages, poetry as can well be imagined, 

to which is added a summary of the Nearly the whole of it, if not broken 

whole in a ballad of eighteen pages, into verses, might be read as pure and 

which may have been intended for dignified CastiJian prose, and parts of 

popular recitation. The last is not, it would have considerable merit as 

perhap, the work of Enzina. A simi- such. 

lar pilerimage, partly devout, partly ■ The best life of Enzina is one in 

poetical, was made a century later the ^'Allgemeine Encyclopedic der 

by Pedro de Escobar Cabeza de la Wissensc£iften und Kiinste " (Erste 

Vaca, who published an account of it Section, Leipzig, 4to., Tom. XXXIV. 

in 1587, (12mo.,) at Valladolid, in pp. 187-189). It is by Ferdinand 

twenty-five cantos of blank verse, en- Wolf, of Vienna. An early and sa- 

titled ** Lucero de la Tierra Santa," tisfactory notice of Enzina is to be 

— A Lighthouse for the Holy Land, found in Gonzalez de Avila, '' His- 

He went and returned by me way toria de Salamanca," (Salamanca, 

of Egypt, and at Jerusalem became 1606, 4to., Lib. IIL c. xxii.,) where 

a knight-templar ; but his account of Enzina is called ** hijo desta patria," 

what lie saw and did, though I doubt i. e. Salamanca, 
not it is curious for the history of geo- 


patrons. But most of his shorter poems were slight con- 
tributions of his talent offered on particular occasions ; and 
by far the most important works he has left us are the 
dramatic compositions which fill the fourth division of his 

These compositions are called by Enzina himself 
" Representaciones ;" and in the edition of 1496 there 
are nine of them, while in the last two editions there are 
eleven, one of which contains the date of 1498. They 
are in the nature of eclogues, though one of them, it is 
difficult to tell why, is called an " Auto ;" * and they were 
represented before the Duke and Duchess of Alva, the 
Prince Don John, the Duke of Infantado, and other dis- 
tinguished personages enumerated in the notices prefixed 
to them. All are in some form of the old Spanish verse ; 
in all there is singing ; and in one there is a dance. They 
have, therefore, several of the elements of the proper 
secular Spanish drama, whose origin we can trace no far^ 
ther back by any authentic monument now existing. 

Two things, however, should be noted, when consider- 
ing these dramatic efforts of Juan de la Enzina as the 
foundation of the Spanish drama. The first is their 
internal structure and essential character. They are 
eclogues only in form and name, not in substance and 
spirit. Enzina, whose poetical account of his travels in 
Palestine proves him to have had scholarlike knowledge, 
began by translating, or rather paraphrasing, the ten 

* ** Auto del Repelon," or Auto and the account of Lope de Vega's 

of the Brawl, being a quarrel in the drama, in the next period.) In 1514 

market-place of Salamanca, between Enzina published, at Rome, a drama 

some students of the University and entitled " Placida y Victoriano," 

sundry shepherds. The word auto which he called una egloga^ and which 

comes from the Latin actus, and was is much praised by the author of the 

applied to any particularly solemn " Diilogo de las Lenguas ;" hut it 

acts, however different in their nature was put into the Index Expurgato- 

and character, like the autos sacra- rius, 1569, and occurs again in that 

mentales of the Corpus Christi days, of 1667, p. 733. I believe no copy of 

and the autos dafi of the Inouisition. it is known to be extant. 
(See Covarrubias, Tcsoro, aa verb. ; 


Eclogues of Virgil, accommodating some of them to 
events in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, or to 
passages in the fortunes of the house of Alva. * From 
these he easily passed to the preparation of eclogues to be 
represented before his patrons and their courtly friends. 
But in doing this he was naturally reminded of the 
religious exhibitions which had been popular in Spain 
from the time of Alfonso the Tenth, and had always been 
given at the great festivals of the Church. Six, therefore, 
of his eclogues, to meet the demands of ancient custom, 
are, in fact, dialogues of the simplest kind, represented at 
Christmas and Easter, or during Carnival and Lent ; in 
one of which the manger at Bethlehem is introduced, and 
in another a sepulchral monument, setting forth the burial 
of the Saviour, while all of them seem to have been 
enacted in the chapel of the Duke of Alva, though two 
certainly are not very religious in their tone and cha- 

The remaining five are altogether secular; three of 
them having a sort of romantic story ; the fourth intro- 
ducing a shepherd so desperate with love that he kills 
himself; and the fifth exhibiting a market-day farce and 
riot between sundry country people and students, the ma- 
terials for which Enzina may well enough have gathered 
during his own life at Salamanca. These five eclogues, 
therefore, connect themselves with the coming secular 
drama of Spain in a manner not to be mistaken, just as 
the first six look back towards the old religious exhibitions 
of the country. 

The other circumstance that should be noted in relation 
to them, as proof that they constitute the commencement 
of the Spanish secular drama, is, that they were really 
acted. Nearly all of them speak in their titles of this 

* They ma^ have been represented, personals some of whom are known 
but I know of no proof that they were, to have been of his audience on simi- 
except this accommodation of Uiem to lar occasions. 


fact, mentioning sometimes the personages who were pre« 
sent) and in more than one instance alluding to Enzina 
himself, as if he had performed some of the parts in per- 
son. Eojas, a great authority in whatever relates to the 
theatre, declares the same thing expressly, coupling the 
fall of Granada and the achievements of Columbus with 
the establishment of the theatre in Spain by Enzina; 
events which, in the true spirit of his profession as an 
actor, he seems to consider of nearly equal importance. * 
The precise year when this happened is given by a learned 
antiquary of the time of Philip the Fourth, who says, " In 
1492 companies began to represent publicly in Castile 
plays by Juan de la Enzina.** ' From this year, then, the 
great year of the discovery of America, we may safely 
date the foundation of the Spanish secular theatre. 

It must not, however, be supposed that the " Repre- 
sentations," as he calls them, of Juan de la Enzina have 
much dramatic merit On the contrary, they are rude 
and slight Some have only two or three interlocutors, 
and no pretension to a plot; and none has more than 
six personages, nor anything that can be considered a 
proper dramatic structure. In one of those prepared for 
the Nativity, the four shepherds are, in fact, the four 
Evangelists ; — Saint John, at the same time, shadowing 
forth the person of the poet He enters first, and dis- 
courses, in rather a vainglorious way, of himself as a 
poet; not forgetting, however, to compliment the Duke 

* Ag^tin de Rojas, Viage Entre- at the end of his ** Poblacion de 

tcnido, Madrid, 1614, 12mo., ff. 46, Espana," (Madrid, 1676, folio, f. 260. 

47. Speaking of the bucolic dramas b.) Mendez de Silva was a learned 

of Enzina, represented before the and voluminous author. See his Life, 

Dukes of Alva, Infantado, etc., he Barbosa, Bib. Lusitana, Tom. III. p. 

says expressly, *< These were the 649, where is a sonnet of Lope ae 

first." Rojas was not bom till 1677, Vega ih praise of the learning of 

but he was devoted to the theatre his this very Cat^ogo Real. The word 

whole life, and seems to have been «* publicly," however, seems only to 

more familiar with its history than refer to the representations in the 

anybody else of his time. houses of Enzina's patrons, etc., as 

' Rodrigo Mendez de Silva, Cati- we shall see hereafter, 
logo Real 6eneal<5gico de Espana, 


of Alva, his patron, as a person feared in France and in 
Portugal, with which countries • the political relations of 
Spain were then unsettled. Matthew, who follows, rebukes 
John for this vanity, telling him that " all his works are 
not worth two straws;'' to which John replies, that, in 
pastorals and graver poetry, he defies competition, and 
intimates that, in the course of the next May, he shall 
publish what will prove him to be something even more 
than bucolic. They both agree that the Duke and Duchess 
are excellent masters, and Matthew wishes that he, too, 
were in their service. At this point of the dialogue, Luke 
and Mark come in, and, with slight preface, announce the 
birth of the Saviour as the last news. All four then talk 
upon that event at large, alluding to John's Gospel as if 
already known, and end with a determination to go to 
Bethlehem, after singing a villancico or rustic song, which 
is much too light in its tone to be religious. * The whole 
eclogue is short, and comprised in less than forty rhymed 
stanzas of nine lines each, including a wild Ijrric at the 
end, which has a chorus to every stanza, and is not without 
the spirit of poetry. • 

This belongs to the class of Enzina's religious dramas. 
One, on the other hand, which was represented at the 
conclusion of the Carnival, during the period then called 
popularly at Salamanca AntruejOj seems rather to savour 
of heathenism, as the festival itself did. ^° It is merely a 

" The viUancicas long retained a nero de Todas las Obnis de Juan de 

pastoral tone and something of a dra- la Encina ; impreso en Salamanca, a 

matic character. At the marriage of reinte dias del Mes de Junio de 

Philip II., in Segovia, 1670, "The M.CCCC. E XCVI. afioe" (116 

youth of the choir, gaily dressed as leaves, folio). It was represented 

shepherds, danced and san^ a vilkm- before the Duke and Duchess of Alva 

dco" says Colmenares, (Hist, de Se- while they were in the chapel Ux 

govia, l^govia, 1627, fol., p. 558,) matins on Christmas morning; and 

and in 1600 villancicos were again the next eclogue, beginning "Dios 

performed by the choir when Philip mantenga, Dios mantenga," was re- 

III. visited the city. Ibid., p. presented in the same place,. at ves- 

594. pers, the same day. 

• This is the eclogue beginning *® ** This word," says Covarmvits, 

'< Dios salva ac^ buena gente," etc., in his Tesoro, '* is used in Salamanca, 

and is on fol. 103 of the *' Cando- and means Carnival. In the villages 


rude dialogue between four shepherds. It begins with a 
description of one of those mummings, common at the 
period when Enzina lived, which, in this case, consisted 
of a mock battle in the village between Carnival and 
Lent, ending with the discomfiture of Carnival ; but the 
general matter of the scene presented is a somewhat free 
frolic of eating and drinking among the four shepherds, 
ending, like the rest of the eclogues, with a villancico, in 
which Antruejo, it is not easy to tell why, is treated as a 
saint. " 

Quite opposite to both of the pieces already noticed is 
the Kepresentation for Good Friday, between two hermits. 
Saint Veronica, and an angel. It opens with the meeting 
and salutation of the two hermits, the elder of whom, as 
they walk along, tells the younger, with great grief, that 
the Saviour has been crucified that very day, and agrees 
with him to visit the sepulchre. In the midst of their 
talk. Saint Veronica joins them, and gives an account of 
the crucifixion, not without touches of a simple pathos; 
showing, at the same time, the napkin on which the por- 
trait of the Saviour had been miraculously impressed as 
she wiped from his face the sweat of his agony. Arrived 
at the sepulchre — which was some kind of a monument 
for the Corpus Christi in the Duke of Alva's chapel, 
where the representation took place — they kneel ; an 
angel whom they find there explains to them the mystery 
of the Saviour's death ; and then, in a villancico in which 

they call it Aniruydo; it is certain " The " Antruejo " eclopie begins 

days before Lent .... They savour " Carnal fueral Carnal hieral — 

a little of heathenism." Later, Ann •* Away, Carnival 1 away, Carnival ! " 

irugfo became, from a provincialism, — and recalls the old ballad, '* Aiiie- 

an admitted word. Villalobos, about ra, afuera, Rodrigo I " It is found at 

1520, in his amusing *' Dialogue be- f. 86 of the edition of 1509, and is 

tween the Duke and the Doctor," preceded by another ** Antruejo** 

says, ** Y el dia de Antruejo," etc. eclogue, represented the same day 

(Obras, 9arag09a, 1544, folio, f. 35) ; before the Duke and Duchess, be- 

and the Academy's dictionary has it, ginning *^ O triste de mi cuprtado," 

and defines it to be *' the three last (f. 83,) and ending with a vUkmcico 

days of Canuval." full of hopes of a peace with France. 


all join, they praise God, and take comfort with the 
promise of the resurrection. " 

But the nearest approach to a dramatic composition 
made by Juan de la Enzina is to be found in two eclogues 
between " The Esquire that turns Shepherd,** and " The 
Shepherds that turn Courtiers ;** both of which should be 
taken together and examined as one whole, though, in his 
simplicity, the poet makes them separate and independent 
of each other. ^' In the first, a shepherdess, who is a 
coquette, shows herself well disposed to receive Mingo, 
one of the shepherds, for her lover, till a certain gay 
esquire presents himself, whom, after a fair discussion, she 
prefers to accept, on condition he will turn shepherd; — 
an unceremonious transformation, with which, and the 
customary villancicOj the piece concludes. The second 
eclogue, however, at its opening, shows the esquire already 
tired of his pastoral life, and busy in persuading all the 
shepherds, somewhat in the tone of Touchstone in " As 
Ton Like It,** to go to court, and become courtly. In the 
dialogue that follows, an opportunity occurs, which is not 
Delected, for a satire on court manners, and for natural 
and graceful praise of life in the country. But the esquire 
carries his point They change their dresses, and set forth 
gaily upon their adventures, singing, by way of finale, a 
spirited villancico in honour of the power of Love, that 
can thus transform shepherds to courtiers, and courtiers 
to shepherds. 

The most poetical passage in the two eclogues is one 
in which Mingo, the best of the shepherds, still unper- 
suaded to give up his accustomed happy life in the country, 
describes its cheerfiil pleasures and resources, with more 

^' It begins '^ Deo gracias, padre little doubt, represented in saccessioo, 
oniudo 1 " and is at f. SO of the edition with a pause between, like that be- 
ef 1509. twcen tne acts of a modem plaj, in 

** These are the two eclogues, which Enzina presented a copy of his 

'' Pascuala, Dios te mantcnga! " (f. Works to the Duke and Ducness, vA 

86,) and *' Ha, Mingo, quedaste promised to write no more poetiy un- 

atras " (f. 88). They were, I have less they ordered him to do it 

Cbap. XIV. 



of natural feeling, and more of a pastoral air, than are 
found anywhere else in these singular dialogues. 

But look ye, Gil, at morning dawn. 

How fresh and fragrant are the fields ; 

And then what sayoury coolness yields 
The cabin's shade upon Uie lawn. 

And he that knows what 't is to rest 

Amidst his flocks the livelong night, 

Sure he can never find delight 
In courts, by courtly ways oppressed. 
O, what a pleasure 't is to hear 

The cricket's cheerful, piercing cry ! 

And who can tell the melody 
His pipe afibrds the shepherd's ear 1 

Thou know'st what luxury 't is to drink, 

As shepherds do, when worn with heat, 

From the still fount, its waters sweet. 
With lips that gently touch their brink ; 
Or else, where, hurrying on, they rush 

And frolic down their pebbly bed, 

O, what delight to stoop the head. 
And drink from out their merry g^h I ** 

Both pieces, like the preceding translation, are in 
double redondillaSj forming octave stanzas of eight-syllable 
verses ; and as the two together contain about four hun- 
dred and fifty lines, their amount is sufficient to show the 
direction Enzina's talent naturally took, as well as the 
height to which it rose. 

Enzina, however, is to be regarded not only as the 
founder of the Spanish theatre, but as the founder of the 
Portuguese, whose first attempts were so completely imi- 
tated from his, and had in their turn so considerable an 
effect on the Spanish stage, that they necessarily become 

^ There is such a Doric simplicity 
in this passage, with its antiquated, 
and yet rich, words, that I transcribe 
it as a specimen of description very 
remarkable for its age : — 

Oata, Oil, qae las mafluiat. 
En el campo hay gran ft«aoor, 
Y tiene may gran tabor 
*e laar 

La aombra de 1 

Qaien ei ducho de dormir 
Ckin el ganado de noche. 
No creaa que no reprochie 

VOL. I. 

El paladego Tivlr. 
Ohl qaenH^eaoir 

El aonido de loa grillot, 

Y fl tafier loa earamilloa : 
No luty qaien lo paeda doeir f 

Ya aabet qae goso alente 

El naaior moy calaioao 

En beber con gran repoao, 
De bnina, agna en la ftiente, 
O de la qne va corriente 

For el eaic^jal corriendo, 

Qae ae va todo riendo ; 
Oh I que piiser tan tallente I 

Ed. 1509, r. 90. 



a part of its history. These attempts were made by Gil 
Vicente, a gentleman of good &mily, who was bred to the 
law, but left that profession early and devoted himself to 
dramatic compositions, chiefly for the entertainment of 
the families of Manuel the Great and John the Third. 
When he was born is not known, but he died in 1557. 
As a writer for the stage he flourished from 1502 to 
1536, ** and produced, in all, forty-two pieces, arranged as 
works of devotion, comedies, tragicomedies, and farces ; 
but most of them, whatever be their names, arc in fact 
short, lively dramas, or religious pastorals. Taken to- 
gether, they are better than anything else in Portuguese 
dramatic literature. 

The first thing, however, that strikes us in relation to 
them is, that their air is so Spanish, and that so many of 
them are written in the Spanish language. Of the whole 
number, ten are in Castilian, fifteen partly or chiefly so, 
and seventeen entirely in Portuguese. Why this is the 
case it is not easy to determine. The languages are, no 
doubt, very nearly akin to each other; and the writers 
of each nation, but especially those of Portugal, have not 
unfrequently distinguished themselves in the use of both. 
But the Portuguese have never, at any period, admitted 
their language to be less rich or less fitted for all kinds of 
composition than that of their prouder rivals. Perhaps^ 
therefore, in the case of Vicente, it was, that the courts 
bf the two countries had been lately much connected by 
intermarriages ; that King Manuel had been accustomed 
to have Castilians about his person to amuse him ; ^* that 
the queen was a Spaniard ; ^^ or that, in language as in 

" Barbosa, Biblioteca Lusitana, *' Dami&o de Goes, Crdnict de 

Tom. II., pp. 383, etc. The dates D. Manoei, lisboa, 1749, fol., Ptate 

of 1502 and 1636 are from the pre- IV., c. 84, p. 595. *< Trezia con- 

fatory notices, by the son of Vicente, tinuadamente na sua Corte choqntr- 

to the first of his works, in the reiros Castellanos." 

**Obras de Devo^ao," and to the »' Married in 1600. (Ibid., F^ute 

'^Floresta de Enganos,*' which was I., c. 46.) As so many of Vioente's 

the latest of them. Spanish verses were inade to please 


r things, he found it convenient thus to follow the 
ng of his master, Juan de la Enzina : but, whatever 
have been the cause, it is certain that Vicente, though 
ras bom and lived in Portugal, is to be numbered 
3g Spanish authors as well as among Portuguese, 
is earliest effort was made in 1502, on occasion of 
birth of Prince John, afterwards John the Third. ^' 
a monologue in Spanish, a little more than a hundred 
long, l^poken before the king, the king's mother, and 
Duchess of Braganza, probably by Vicente himself, 
le person of a herdsman, who enters the royal cham- 
and, after addressing the queen mother, is followed 
number of shepherds, bringing presents to the new- 
prince. The poetry is simple, fresh, and spirited, 
expresses the feelings of wonder and admiration that 
id naturally rise in the mind of such a rustic, on first 
ring a royal residence. Regarded as a courtly com- 
ent, the attempt succeeded. In a modest notice, 
jhed to it by the son of Vicente, we are told, that, 

panish queens , I cannot agree portant to see a copy of them, and 

iapp, (Froth's Literarhistonsch who knew whatever was to be found 

tenbuch, 1846, p. 341,) that at Madrid and Paris, in both which 

ite used Spanish in his Pastorals places he lived long, never saw one, 

ow, vulgar language. Besides, as is plain from No. 49 of his ** Ca- 

was so regarded, why did Ca* t^logo de Piezas Dramiiticas.*' We 

! and Saa de Miranda, — two df therefore owe much to two Portuguese 

lur jpncat noets of Portugal, — to gentlemen, J. V. Barreto Feio and 

othmg or a multitude of other J. G. Monteiro, who published an 

Portuguese, write occasionally excellent edition of Vicente's Works 

inish? at Hamburg, 1834, in three volumes, 

Fhe youngest son of Vicente Svo., using chiefly the Gottingcn 

ihed his father's Works at Lis- copy. In this edition (Vol. I. p. 1) 

n folio, in 1562, of which a re- occurs the monologue spoken of in 

in quarto appeared there in the text, placed first, as tne son says, 

much disfigured by the Inqui- ** por ser & primeira coisa, que o autor 

. But these are among the fez, e que em Portugal aerepresentou.** 

and most curious books in He says, the representation took 

m literature, and I remember to place on the second night after the 

seen hardly five copies, one of oirth of the prince, and, this being 

I was in the library at Gottin- so exactly stated, we know that the 

usd another in the public library first secular dramatic exhibition in 

ibon, the first in rblio, and the Portugal took place June 8, 1502, 

Q Quarto. Indeed, so rare had John III. having been bom on the 

ITorks of Vicente become, that 6th. Cr6nica de D. Manoel, Parte 

kin, to whom it was very im- I. c. 62. 



being the first of his father's compositions, and the first 
dramatic representation ever made in Portugal, it pleased 
the queen mother so much, as to lead her to ask its 
author to repeat it at Christmas, adapting it to the birth 
of the Saviour. 

Vicente, however, understood that the queen desired 
to have such an entertainment as she had been accustomed 
to enjoy at the court of Castile, when John de la Enzina 
brought his contributions to the Christmas festivities. He 
therefore prepared for Christmas morning what he called 
an "Auto Pastoril,** or Pastoral Act; — a dialogue in 
which four shepherds with Luke and Matthew are the 
interlocutors, and in which not only the eclogue forms of 
Enzina are used, and the manger of Bethlehem is intro- 
duced, just as that poet had introduced it, but in which 
his verses are freely imitated. This effort, too, pleased 
the queen, and again, on the authority of his son, we are 
told she asked Vicente for another composition, to be 
represented on Twelfth Night, 1503. Her request was 
not one to be slighted ; and in the same way four other 
pastorals followed for similar devout occasions, making, 
when taken together, six ; all of which being in Spanish, 
and all religious pastorals, represented with singing and 
dancing before King Manuel^ his queen, and other dis- 
tinguished personages, they are to be regarded throughout 
as imitations of Juan de la Enzina's eclogues.** 

Of these six pieces, three of which, we know, were 
written in 1502 and 1503, and the rest, probably, soon 
afterwards, the most curious and characteristic is the one 

^ The imitaUon of Enzina*8 poetry ^ ^>«« «*n(nil*nnente 

by Vicente is noticed by the Hamburg SSTioTTSS^.. 

editors. (Vol. I. EnsaiO, p. XXXviii.) De may notM invm^oes. 

Indeed, it is quite too obvious to be hu fo?rue inl^ilSto?' 

overlooked, and is distinctly acknow- ittoaie^o'wott^'* 

ledged by one of his contemporaries, ^ »•*• «»?f • m^ doteiiu ; 

Garcia de Resende, the colfcctor of S^! iSSnt^^**" 

the Portuguese Cancionciro of 1617, mi u i v >d.d d ii fateri^ mi Um 

who says, in some rambling verses on end o7KiiS»u«'.cSnl«de jiolT!iMf, foU^ 

things that had happened in nis time, — '• i«4« 

Chap. XIV. GIL VICENTE. 261 

called '*The Auto of the Sibyl Cassandra,** which was 
represented in the rich old monastery of Enxobregas, on 
a Christmas morning, before the queen mother. It is an 
eclogue in Spanish, above eight hundred lines long, and 
is written in the stanzas most used by Enzina. Cassandra, 
the heroine, devoted to a pastoral life, yet supposed to 
be a sort of lay prophetess who has had intimations of the 
approaching birth of the Saviour, enters at once on the 
scene, where she remains to the end, the central point, 
round which the other seven personages are not inarti- 
ficially grouped. She has hardly avowed her resolution 
not to be married, when Solomon appears making love 
to her, and telling her, with great simplicity, that he has 
arranged everything with her aunts, to marry her in three 
days. Cassandra, nothing daunted at the annunciation, 
persists in the purpose of celibacy ; and he, in consequence, 
goes out to summon these aunts to his assistance. During 
his absence, she sings the following song : — 

They say, ** 'T is time, go, marry ! go ! " 
But I '11 no husband ! not I ! no 1 
For I would live all carelessly. 
Amidst these hills, a maiden free, 
And never ask, nor anxious be, 

Of wedded weal or woe. 
Yet still they say, ** Go, marry 1 go! " 
But I 'II no husband 1 not 1 1 no I 

So, mother, think not I shall wed, 
And through a tiresome life be led. 
Or use, in folly's ways instead. 

What grace the heavens bestow. 
Yet still they say, ** Go, marry ! go ! " 
But I '11 no husband I not I! no ! 

The man has not been bom, I ween, 

Who as my husband shall be seen ; 

And since what frequent tricks have been 

Undoubtingly I know. 
In vain they say, ** Go, marry ! go ! " 
For I '11 no husban<l 1 not I ! no ! *° 

Dicen que meeaaeyo; Que no •Hmt en ▼entor* 

No quiero marido, no ! Si cmaare Wen 6 no. 

Mas quiero vivir aegura Dicen que me case 70 ; 

Neaca tiem 4 mi aoltuia. No qaiero maiido, no I 



The aunts, named Cimeria, Feresica, and Erutea, who 
are, in fact, the Cumaean, Persian, and Erythraean Sibyls, 
now come in with King Solomon and endeavour to per- 
suade Cassandra to consent to his love ; setting forth his 
merits and pretensions, his good looks, his good temper, 
and his good estate. But, as they do not succeed, Solo- 
mon, in despair, goes for her three uncles, Moses, Abraham, 
and Isaiah, with whom he instantly returns, all four dancing 
a sort of mad dance as they enter, and singing, — 

She 18 wild I She is wild I 
Who shall speak to the child ? 

On the hUb pass her hours, 
As a shepherdess free ; 

She is fair as the flowers, 
She is wild as the sea ! 
She is wild ! She is wild 1 
Who shall speak to the child ? " *' 

The three uncles first endeavour to bribe their niece 
into a more teachable temper; but, failing in that, Moses 
undertakes to show her, from his own history of the cre- 
ation, that marriage is an honourable sacrament, and that 
she ought to enter into it Cassandra replies, and; in the 
course of a rather jesting discussion with Abraham about 
good-tempered husbands, intimates that she is aware the 
Saviour is soon to be born of a virgin ; an augury which 
the three Sibyls, her aunts, prophetically confirm, and to 
which Cassandra then adds that she herself has hopes to be 
this Saviour's mother. The uncles, shocked at the inti- 
mation, treat her as a crazed woman, and a theological and 

Madre, no aere oasada, « Tna, Salomao, BMiaa, e Movmi, e Abra- 

Por no ver Tida canaada, hab cantando todoa qoatro de fuU 4 cantiga 

O qnizA mal empleada aegninte .- — 
La gracU que Dioe me di6. 

Dloen que me caae yo ; woe nfloaa «it4 la nioa ! 

No quiero marido, no ! ^X ^"»» <!«*««> *• l»»W"** ? 

No ser4 nt n naddo En la alerra anda la nifla 

Tal para aer mi murido ; Sn ganado 4 repaaUr ; 

Y paea que tengo aabido Ilermoaa como laa flotea. 

Que la flur yo mo la au, Safioaa como la mar. 

Dicen que me caae yo ; Sajloaa como la mar 

No quiero marido, no ! Eat4 la niiia : 

Gil Vicente, Obraa, Ilamburgo, 1834, 8vo., Ay Dloa, quien le bablaria? 

Tom. I. p. 48. Vicente, Obfw, Tom. I. p. 4«. 

Cbap. XIV. GIL VICENTE. 263 

mystical discussion follows, which is carried on by all 
present, till a curtain is suddenly withdrawn, and the 
manger of Bethlehem and the child are discovered, with 
four angels, who sing a hymn in honour of his birth. The 
rest of the drama is taken up with devotions suited to the 
occasion, and it ends with the following graceful cancion to 
the Madonna, sung and. danced by the author, as well as 
the other performers :^- 

The maid is gradous all and fair ; 
How beautiful beyond compare I 

Say, sailor bold and free, 
That dwell'st upon the sea, 
If ships or sail or star 
So winning are. 

And say, thou gallant knight, 
That donn'st thine armour bright, 
If steed or arms or war 
So winning are. 

And say, thou shepherd hind, 
That bravest storm and wind, 
If flocks or Tales or hill afar 
So winning are. " 

And so ends this incongruous drama ; " a strange union of 

n May graeion es la donceiu : sinco the vUoncete Is evidently in- 

ComoesbeiUyheniuMal tended to Stir up the noble company 

iHgas Id, el muinwo, ^ present to some warlike enterprise in 

auMye6"u^U6Ucrtwiu which their services were wanted; 

Es tan belia. probably against the Moors of Africa, 

Disaa t6, el eabaiiero, as King Manoel had no other wars. 

Que Im annas Teatias, 

Si el caballo 6 1m armas 6 la gneira To the field 1 To the field! 

b tan bella. Cavalien of empriae I 

-^ ^, , . , Angela pure from the akiea 

rJ^ ^- *}i P"*«^«>» Come to h&p ua and ahield. 

One el gana^oo gnanlaa. To the field 1 To the field I 
8i el ganado 6 laa ralles 6 la aierra 

With armoor all bright, 

V.«n... Ob«. T.™. 1. p. ... S'iSf^l^orGSS" "^' 

" It is in the Hamburg edition To auocour the right. 

(Tom. I. pp. 36-62); but though it To the field I To the field I 
properly ends, as has been said, with K*^ friSfS'e .ki« 

the song to the Madonna, there is come to help w and shield, 

afterwards, by way of envoi, the foU To the field I To the field i 
lowing vilancete, ("/>or despedida 6 cabali^rTSSUo. ; 

tnbmcete segmnte") which is cunous j^^ \^ sngeies sagndoa 

as showing how the theatre was, from A aoeono son en tiena. 

the first, made to serve for immediate ^ ^tJSS^iL^n^td^um 

excitement and political purposes; Vienen del dtlo voUndo, 



the spirit of an ancient mystery and of a modern twudmVfe, 
but not without poetry, and not more incongruous or more 
indecorous than the similar dramas which, at the same 
period, and in other countries, found a place in the princely 
halls of the most cultivated, and were listened to with 
edification in monasteries and cathedrals by the most 

Vicente, however, did not stop here. He took counsel 
of his success, and wrote dramas which, without skill in 
the construction of their plots, and without any idea of con- 
forming to rules of propriety or taste, are yet quite m 
advance of what was known on the Spanish or Portuguese 
theatre at the time. Such is the ^^ Comedia," as it is called, 
of "The Widower," — Viudo^ — which was acted before 
the court in 1514.** It opens with the grief of the 
widower, a merchant of Burgos, on the loss of an affec- 
tionate and faithful wife, for which he is consoled, first by 
a friar, who uses religious considerations, and afterwards 
by a gossiping neighbour, who, being married to a shrew, 
assures his friend that, after all, it is not probable his loss 
is very great The two daughters of the disconsolate 
widower, however, join earnestly with their father in his 
mourning ; but their sorrows are mitigated by the appear- 
ance of a noble lover who conceals himself in the disguise 
of a herdsman, in order to be able to approach them. His 
love is very sincere and loyal ; but, unhappily, he loves 
them both, and hardly addresses either separately. His 
trouble is much increased and brought to a crisis by the 
father, who comes in and announces that one of his daugh- 
ters is to be married immediately, and the other probably 
in the course of a week. In his despair, the noble lover 

Dio« y hombre apeiidando A similar tone is more funy heard in 

"AiTJue^Ji^ ^°^' the spirited little drama entitied " The 

Cabaiierot eunenwlot ; Exhortation to War/' performed 1 513. 

Puet 1m angeles Mcrados .. „, •>▼ i ^^. 

A Mcorro wn en ti«m. ^ Obras, Hamburgo, 1834, 8?0.| 

A Uguerral Tom. II. pp. 68, etC. 

Vicente, Obns, Tom. I. p. 6S. '^^ 

Chap. XIV. GIL VICENTE. 265 

calls on death ; but insists that, as long as he lives, he 
will continue to serve them both faithfully and truly. At 
this juncture, and without any warning, as it is impossible 
that he should marry both, he proposes to the two ladies 
to draw lots for him ; a proposition which they modify by 
begging the Prince John, then a child twelve years old 
and among the audience, to make a decision on their be- 
half. The prince decides in favour of the elder, which 
seems to threaten new anxieties and troubles, till a brother 
of the disguised lover appears and consents to marry the 
remaining lady. Their father, at first disconcerted, soon 
gladly accedes to the double arrangement, and the drama 
ends with the two weddings and the exhortations of the 
priest who performs the ceremony. 

This, indeed, is not a plot, but it is an approach to one. 
The "Eubena," acted in 1521, comes still nearer, " and so 
do ** Don Duardos," founded on the romance of " Palme- 
rin," and ^* Amadis of Gaul,"** founded on the romance 
of the same name, both of which bring a large number of 
personages on the stage, and, if they have not a proper 
dramatic action, yet give, in much of their structure, inti- 
mations of the Spanish heroic drama, as it was arranged 
half a) century later. On the other hand, the " Templo 
d'A polio,*"' acted in 1526, in honour of the marriage of 
the Portuguese princess to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, 
belongs to the same class with the allegorical plays subse- 
quently produced in Spain ; the three Autos on the three 
ships that carried souls to Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, 
evidently gave Lope de Vega the idea and some of the 

» The *' Rubena" is the first of Spanish, are the first two of those an- 

the plays called, — it is difficult to tell nounced as '* Tragicomedias " in Book 

why, — by Vicente or his editor, Co- III. of the Works of Vicente. No 

medias; and is partly in Spanish, reason that I know of can be given 

partly in Portuguese. It is among for this precise arrangement and 

those prohibited in the Index Ezpur- name. 

gatorius of 1667, (p. 464,)— a prohi- ^ This, too, is one of the ** Tragi- 

ition renewed down to 1790. comedias," and is chiefly, but not 

** ThotfO two long pluys, wholly in wholly, io Spanish. 




materials for one of his early moral plays ; ^ and the Auto 
in which Faith explains to the shepherds the origin and 
mysteries of Christianity ^ might, with slight alterations, 
have served for one of the processions of the Corpus 
Christi at Madrid, in the time of Calderon. All of thein, 
it is true, are extremely rude ; but nearly all contain ele- 
ments of the coming drama, and some of them, like ^^Don 
Duardos,*' which is longer than a fiill-length play ordina- 
rily is, are quite long enough to show what was their dra- 
matic tendency. But the real power of Gil Vicente does 
not lie in the structure or the interest of his stories — it 
lies in his poetry, of which, especially in the lyrical por- 
tions of his dramas, there is much. *^ 

■ The first of these three Ataoi, 
the ** Barca do Inferno/' was repre- 
sented, in 1517, before the queen, 
Maria of Castile, in her sick-chamber, 
when she was suffering: under the 
dreadful disease of which she soon 
afterwards died. Like the '* Barca do 
Purgatorio," (1518,) it is in Portu- 
guese, but the remaining AutOf the 
"Barca da Gloria," (1519,) is in 
Spanish. The last two were repre- 
sented in the reyal chapel. The moral 
play of Lope de Vega which was sug- 
gested hy them is the one called 
" The Voyage of the Soul," and is 
found in the First Book of his " Pere- 
grine en su Patria." The opening 
of Vicente's play resembles remark- 
ably the setting forth of the Demonio 
on his yoynec in Lope, besides that 
the genenu idea of the two fictions is 
almost the same. On the other side 
of the account, Vicente shows him- 
self frequently familiar with the old 
Spanish literature. For instance, in 
one of his Portuguese Farcas, called 
«* Dos Fisioos," (Tom. III. p. 823,) 
we have — 

En el mes en de Mayo. 
Vet]>on de Navidad, 
Caando canta la dgana, ete. ; 

plainly a narody of the well-known 
and beautiful old Spanish ballad be- 

Por el mes era de Mayo, 
Qaando bate la oUor, 
Qoando canta la ealandiia, ete^ 

a ballad which, so far as I know, can 
be traced no farther back than the 
ballad-book of 1555, or, at any rate, 
that of 1550, while here we liaTe a 
distinct allusion to it before 1536, 
giving a curious proof how widely thu 
old Dopular poetry was carried about 
by tne memories of the people before 
it was written down and printed, and 
how much it was used lor dramatic 
purposes from the earliest period of 
theatrical compositions. 

» This ** Auto da Fd," as it is 
strangely called, is in Spanish (Obras, 
Tom. I. pp. 64, etc.) ; but there b 
one in Portuguese, represented before 
John IIL, (1527,) which is still 
more strangely called " Breve Sum- 
mario da Historia de Deos," the 
action beginning with Adam and Eve, 
and ending with the Saviour. Ibid., 
I. pp. 306, etc. 

*^ Joam de Barros, the historian, 
in his dialogue on the Portusuese 
Language, (Varias Obras, Lisboa, 
1785, 12mo., p. 222,) praises Vicente 
for the purity of his thoughts and 
style, and contrasts him proudly with 
the Celestina; **a book," he adds, 
" to which the Portuguese language 
has no parallel." 

Chap. XV. ESCBIVA. 267 


Dbama coirrnruKD. — EecBiTA. — Yillauobos, — Qunnoir di Amob. — 
T0BBE8 Naharbo, in Italy. — Hn Eiout Pults. — His Dbamatic 


Thb Htmbnba. — Iktbiouiitq Dbama.— Buffoon. — Chabactbb ahd 
Pbobablb Effbcts of Nahabbo's Plats. — Statb of the Thbatbb 
AT THB Eud of the Rbiqn of Fbbdinand ahd Isabella. 

While Vicente, in Portugal, was thus giving an impulse 
to Spanish dramatic literature, which, considering the 
intimate connexion of the two countries and their courts, 
can hardly have been unfelt in Spain at the time, and was 
certainly recognized there afterwards, scarcely anything 
was done in Spain itself. During the five-and-twenty 
years that followed the first appearance of Juan de la 
Enzina, no other dramatic poet seems to have been en- 
couraged or demanded. He was sufficient to satisfy the 
rare wants of his royal and princely patrons ; and, as we 
have seen, in both countries, the drama continued to be 
a courtly amusement, confined to a few persons of the 
highest rank. The commander Escriva, who lived at this 
time, and is the author of a few beautiful verses found in 
the oldest Cancioneros, ^ wrote, indeed, a dialogue, partly 

> His touching verses, '' Yen, muer- the year 1600-1510. But I should 

te, tan escondida," so often cited, and not, probably, have alluded to him 

at least once in Don Quixote, (Parte here, if he had not been noticed in 

II. c. 88,^ are found as far back as connexion with the early Spanish 

the Cancionero of 1511 ; but I am theatre, by Martinez de la Rosa 

not aware that Escriva's *' Quexa de (Obras, Paris, 1827, 12mo., Tom. 

su Amiga " can be found earlier than ll. p. 336). Other poems, written 

in the Cancionero, Sevilla, 1535, in dialogue, by Alfonso de Cartagena, 

where it occurs, f. 175. b, etc. He and by Puerto Carrero, occur in the 

himself, no doubt, flourished about Cancioneros Generales, but they can 


in prose and partly in verse, in which he introduces 
several interlocutors and brings a complaint to the god 
of Love against his lady. But the whole is an allegory, 
occasionally graceful and winning frdm its style, but 
obviously not susceptible of representation ; so that there 
is no reason to suppose it had any influence on a class 
of compositions already somewhat advanced. A similar 
remark may be added about a translation of the " Am- 
phitryon " of Plautus, made into terse Spanish prose by 
Francisco de Villalobos, physician to Ferdinand the 
Catholic and Charles the Fifth, which was first printed in 
1515, but which it is not at all probable was ever acted.' 
These, however, are the only attempts made in Spain or 
Portugal before 1517, except those of Enzina and Vicente, 
which need to be referred to at all. 

But in 1517, or a little earlier, a new movement was 
felt in the difficult beginnings of the Spanish drama ; and 
it is somewhat singular that, as the last came from Por- 
tugal, the present one came from Italy. It came, how- 
ever, from two Spaniards. The first of them is the 
anonymous author of the " Question of Love,** a fiction 
to be noticed hereafter, which was finished at Ferrara in 
1512, and which contains an eclogue of respectable 
poetical merit, that seems undoubtedly to have been 
represented before the court of Naples. ' 

The other, a person of more consequence in the history 
of the Spanish drama, is Bartolomfe de Torres Naharro, 

hardly be regarded as dramatic ; and the earliest of which is in 1515. My 

Clemcncin twice notices Pedro de copjr, however, is of neither of thenu 

Lerma as one of the early contribu- It is dated (fdomgocBi, 1544, (folio,) 

tors to the S[)ani8h drama ; but he is and is at the endof tne '* Problemas 

not mentioned by Moratin, Antonio, and of the other works of Villalobos, 

Pcllicer, or any of the other authors which also precede it in the editions 

who would naturally be consulted in of 1543 and 1574. 
relation to such a \mni. Don Quiz- ' It fills about twenty-six nages 

ote, ed. Clemcncin, Tom. IV. p. and six hundred lines, chiedy in 

viii., and Memorias de la Acadcmia octave stanzas, in the edition of Ant- 

de Ilistoria, Tom. VI. p. 406. werp, 1576, and contains a detailed 

' Three editions of it are cited by account of the circumstances attending 

L. F. Moratin, (Cat^ogo, No. 20,) its representation. 


born at Torres, near Badajoz, on the borders of Portugal, 
who, after he had been for some time a captive in Algiers, 
was redeemed, and visited Rome, hoping to find favour at 
the court of Leo the Tenth. This must hiave been after 
1513, and was, of course, at the time when Juan de la 
Enzina resided there. But Naharro, by a satire against 
the vices of the court, made himself obnoxious at Rome, 
and fled to Naples, where he lived for some time under 
the protection of the noble-minded Fabricio Colonna, and 
where, at last, we lose sight of him. He died in poverty. * 
His works, first published by himself at Naples in 1517, 
and dedicated to a noble Spaniard, Don Fernando Davalos, 
a lover of letters, * who had married Victoria Colonna, the 
poetess, are entitled " Propaladia,** or " The Firstlings of 
his Genius." * They consist of satires, epistles, ballads, a 
Lamentation for King Ferdinand, who died in 1516, and 
some other miscellaneous poetry; but chiefly of eight 
plays, which he calls " Comedias," and which fill almost 
the whole volume. '' He was well situated for making an 
attempt to advance the drama, and partly succeeded in it 
There was, at the time he wrote, a great literary move- 
ment in Italy, especially at the court of Rome. The 

* This notice of Naharro is taken been printed at Naples (Ebert, etc.) 
from the slight accounts of him con- and sometimes (Moratiny etc.) at 
tuned in the letter of Juan Baverio Rome ; but as it was dedicated to one 
Mesinerio prefixed to the ** Propala- of its author's Neapolitan patrons, and 
dia *' (Sevilla, 1573, 18mo.), as a life as Mesinerio, who seems to have been 
of its author, and from the article in a personal acquaintance of its author, 
Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. 202. implies that it was, at same time, 

^ Antonio (Preface to Biblioteca printed at Naples, I have assigned its 

Nova, Sec. 29) says he bred young Jfirst edition to that city. Editions 

men to become soldiers by teaching appeared at Seville in 15^, 1533, and 

them to read romances of chivalry. 1545; one at Toledo, 1535; one at 

• " Intitul las " (he says, ** Al Madrid, 1573 ; and one without date 
Letor") "PropidadiaaProthon, cjuod at Antwerp. I have used the edi- 
est primum, et Pallade, id eat, pnmse tions of SeviUe, 1533, small quarto, 
res ralladis, a diiferoncia de las que and Madrid, 1573, small 18mo. ; the 
segundariamente y con mas maduro latter being expurgated, and having 
estudio podrian succeder." They ** Lazarillo de Tonnes " at the end. 
were, therefore, probably written There were but six plays in the early 
when he was a young man. editions; the ** Calamita" and **Aqui- 

' I have never seen the first edi- lana " being added afterwards, 
tion, which is sometimes said to have 


representations of plays, he tells us, were much resorted 
to, • and, though he may not have known it, Trissino had, 
in 1515, written the first regular tragedy in the Italian 
language, and thus given an impulse to dramatic literature, 
which it never afterwards entirely lost • 

The eight plays of Naharro, however, do not afford 
much proof of a familiarity with antiquity, or of a desire 
to follow ancient rules or examples ; but their author gives 
us a little theory of his own upon the subject of the drama, 
which is not without good sense. Horace, he says, re- 
quires five acts to a play, and he thinks this reasonable ; 
though he looks upon the pauses they make rather as 
convenient resting-places than anything else, and calls 
them, not acts, but " Jomadas," or days.^® As to the 
number of persons, he would have not less than six, nor 
more than twelve ; and as to that sense of propriety which 
refuses to introduce materials into the subject that do not 
belong to it, or to permit the characters to talk and act 
inconsistently, he holds it to be as indispensable as the 
rudder to a ship. This is all very well. 

Besides this, his plays are all in verse, and all open 
with a sort of prologue, which he calls " Introyto," gene- 
rally written in a rustic and amusing style, asking the 
favour and attention of the audience, and giving hints con- 
cerning the subject of the piece that is to follow. 

But when we come to the dramas themselves, though 
we find a decided advance, in some respects, beyond any 
thing that had preceded them, in others we find great 
rudeness and extravagance. Their subjects are very 

® " Vicndoassi mismo todo el mun- journey, etc. The old French mys- 

do en fiestas de Comedias y destas teries were divid^ into jowmdes or 

oosas," is port of his apology to Don portions, each of which coald conre- 

Fernando Davalos for asking leave to niently be represented in the time 

dedicate them to him. given by the Church to such enter- 

' Trissino's *^ Sofonisba " was writ- tainments on a single day. One of 

ten as early as 1515, though not the mysteries in diis way required 

printed till later. forty days for its exhibition. 

'" *'Jomadas," days'- work, days'- 


various. One of them, the " Soldadesca,** is on the Papal 
recruiting service at Rome. Another, the ** Tinelaria,'* or 
Servants' Dining Hall, is on such riots as were likely to 
happen in the disorderly service of a cardinal's household ; 
fuU of revelry and low life. Another, "La Jacinta,** gives 
us the story of a lady who lives at her castle on the road 
to Rome, where she violently detains sundry passengers 
and chooses a husband among them. And of two others, 
one is on the adventures of a disguised prince, who comes 
to the coiurt of a fabulous king of Leon, and wins his 
daughter after the fashion of the old romances of chi- 
valry ; " and the other on the adventures of a child stolen 
in infancy, which involve disguises in more humble life. " 

How various were the modes in which these subjects 
were thrown into action and verse, and, indeed, how differ- 
ent was the character of his different dramas, may be best 
understood by a somewhat ampler notice of the two not 
yet mentioned. 

The first of these, the " Trofea," is in honour of King 
Manuel of Portugal, and the discoveries and conquests 
that were made in India and Africa, under his auspices ; 
but it is very meagre and poor. After the prologue, which 
fills above three hundred verses, Fame enters in the first 
act and announces that the great king has, in his most holy 
wars, gained more lands than are described by Ptolemy ; 
whereupon Ptolemy appears instantly, by especial per- 
mission of Pluto, from the regions of torment, and denies 
the fact ; but, after a discussion, is compelled to admit it, 
though with a saving clause for his own honour. In the 
second act, two shepherds come upon the stage to sweep it 
for the king's appearance. They make themselves quite 
merry, at first, with the splendour about them, and one of 
them sits on the throne, and imitates grotesquely the 
curate of his village ; but they soon quarrel, and continue 

'• La Aquilana. " La Calamita. 


in bad humour, till a royal page interferes and compeb 
them to go on and arrange the apartment The whole of 
the third act is taken up with the single speech of an inter- 
preter, bringing in twenty Eastern and African kings who 
are unable to speak for themselves, but avow, through his 
very tedious harangue, their allegiance to the crown of 
Portugal ; to all which the king makes no word of reply. 
The next act is absurdly filled with a royal reception of 
four shepherds, who bring him presents of a fox, a lamb, 
an eagle, and a cock, which they explain with some 
humour and abundance of allegory ; but to all which he 
makes as little reply as he did to the profiered fealty of the 
twenty heathen kings. In the fifth and last act, Apollo 
gives verses, in praise of the king, queen, and prince, to 
Fame, who distributes copies to the audience ; but, refusing 
them to one of the shepherds, has a riotous dispute with him. 
The shepherd tauntingly offers Fame to spread the praises 
of King Manuel through the world as well as she does, if 
she will but lend him her wings. The goddess consents. 
He puts them on and attempts to fly, but falls headlong on 
the stage, with which poor practical jest and a villancico 
the piece ends. 

The other drama, called " Hymenea,** is better, and 
gives intimations of what became later the foundations 
of the national theatre. Its " Introyto," or prologue, is 
coarse, but not without wit, especially in those parts which, 
according to the peculiar toleration of the times, were 
allowed to make free with religion, if they but showed 
suflScient reverence for the Church. The story is entirely 
invented, and may be supposed to have passed in any city 
of Spain. The scene opens in front of the house of Febea, 
the heroine, before daylight, where Hymeneo, the hero, 
after making known his love for the lady, arranges with 
his two servants to give her a serenade the next night 
When he is gone, the servants discuss their own posi- 
tion, and Boreas, one of them, avows his desperate love 


for Doresta, the heroine's maid ; a passion which, through 
the rest of the piece, becomes the running caricature of 
his master's. But at this moment the Marquis, a brother 
of Febea, comes with his servants into the street, and, by 
the escape of the others, who fly immediately, has little 
doubt that there has been love-making about the house, and 
goes away determined to watch more carefully. Thus ends 
the first act, which might furnish materials for many a 
Spanish comedy of the seventeenth century. 

In the second act, Hymeneo enters with his servants 
and musicians, and they sing a cancion which reminds 
us of the sonnet in Moliere's " Misantrope," and a viUancico 
which is but little better. Febea then appears in the 
balcony, and afler a conversation, which, for its substance 
and often for its graceful manner, might have been in 
Calderon's "Dar la Vida por su Dama," she promises 
to receive her lover the next night. When she is gone, 
the servants and the master confer a little together, the 
master showing himself very generous in his happiness ; 
but they all escape at the approach of the Marquis, whose 
suspicions are thus fully confirmed, and who is with dif- 
ficulty restrained by his page from attacking the ofienders 
at once. 

The next act is devoted entirely to the loves of the 
servants. It is amusing, from its caricature of the troubles 
and trials of their masters, but does not advance the 
action at all. The fourth, however, brings the hero and 
lover into the lady*s house, leaving his attendants in the 
street, who confess their cowardice to one another, and 
agree to run away, if the Marquis appears. This happens 
immediately. They escape, but leave a cloak, which 
betrays who they are, and the Marquis remains undisputed 
master of the ground at the end of the act. 

The last act opens without delay. The Marquis, of- 
fended in the nicest point of Castilian honour, — tfie very 
point on which the plots of so many later Spanish dramas 

VOL. I. T 


turn, — resolves at once to put both of the guilty parties 
to death, though their offence is no greater than that of 
having been secretly in the same house together. The 
lady does not deny her brother's right, but enters into a 
long discussion with him about it, part of which is touching 
and effective, but most of it very tedious ; in the midst 
of all which Hymeneo presents himself, and after ex- 
plaining who he is and what are his intentions, and 
especially after admitting that, under the circumstances 
of the case, the Marquis might justly have killed his 
sister, the whole is arranged for a double wedding of 
masters and servants, and closes with a spirited vittancico 
in honour of Love and his victories. 

The two pieces are very different, and mark the extremes 
of the various experiments Naharro tried in order to 
produce a dramatic effect " As to the kinds of dramas," 
he says, " it seems to me that two are sufficient for our 
Castilian language: dramas founded on knowledge, and 
dramas founded on fancy.** " The " Trofea,** no doubt, 
was intended by him to belong to the first class. Its tone 
is that of compliment to Manuel, the really great king 
then reigning in Portugal; and from a passage in the 
third act it is not unlikely that it was represented in Rome 
before the Portuguese ambassador, the venerable Tristan 
d* Acuna. But the rude and buffoon shepherds, whose 
dialogue fills . so much of the slight and poor action, show 
plainly that he was neither unacquainted with Enzina and 
Vicente, nor unwilling to imitate them; while the rest 
of the drama — the part that is supposed to contain his- 
torical facts — is, as we have seen, still worse. The 

" ^'Comedia li noticia" he calls servants. His com«{&u are extremelj 

them, in the Address to the Reader, different in length ; one of them ez- 

and ** comedia ^ fantasia " ; and ex- tending to about twentj-six hundred 

plains the first to be '* de cosa nota y lines, which would be very long, if 

vista en realidad," illustrating the represented, and another hardly 

remark by his plays on recruiting and reaching twelve hundred. All, how- 

on the riotous life of a cardinal's ever, are divided into five jomocftis. 


"Hymenea," on the other hand, has a story of con- 
siderable interest, announcing the intriguing plot which 
became a principal characteristic of the Spanish theatre 
afterwards. It has even the " Gracioso,** or Droll Servant, 
who makes love to the heroine's maid ; a character which 
is also found in Naharro's " Serafina,** but which Lope de 
Vega above a century afterwards claimed as if invented 
by himself ** 

What is more singular, this drama approaches to a 
fulfilment of the requisitions of the unities, for it has but 
one proper action, which is the marriage of Febea; it 
does not extend beyond the period of twenty-four hours ; 
and the whole passes in the street before the house of the 
lady, unless, indeed, the fifth act passes within the house, 
which is doubtful. ^* The whole, too, is founded on the 
national manners, and preserves the national costume and 
character. The best parts, in general, are the humorous ; 
but there are graceful passages between the lovers, and 
touching passages between the brother and sister. The 
parody of the servants, Boreas and Doresta, on the 
passion of the hero and heroine is spirited ; and in the 
first scene between them we have the following dialogue, 
which might be transferred with effect to many a play of 
Calderon : — 

Boreas, O, would to heaTen, my lady dear, 
That, at the instant I first looked on thee, 
Thy love had equalled mine I 

Boresta, Well I that 's not bod 1 
But still you 're not a bone for me to pick. ** 

Boreas. Make trial of me. Bid me do my best, 
In humble senrice of my love to thee ; 

" In the Dedication of " La Fran- can con esse huesso." It occurs more 

cesilla " in his Comedias, Tom. XIII., than once in Don Quixote. A little 

Madrid, 1620, 4to. lower we have another, *' Ya las to- 

^ The ** Aquilana," absurd as its man do las dan," — ** Where they 

story is, approaches, perhaps, even give, they take." Naharro is accus- 

nearer to absolute regulari^ in its tomed to render his humorous dia- 

form. logue savoury by introducing such old 

" This is an old proverb, ** A otro proverbs frequently. 





So shalt thou pot me to the proof, and know 
If what I say accord with what I feel. 

Doresta, Were mj desire to bid thee terre qtute dear. 
Perchance thy offers would not be so prompt 

Boreas, O lady, look'ee, that 's downright abase ! 

Doresia, Abuse ? How 's that ? Can words and ways so kind, 
And full of courtesy, be called abase ? 

Boreas, I *ve done. * 

I dare not speak. Your answers are so sharp, 
They pierce my very boweb throagh and through. 

Doresta, Well, by my faith, it grieres my heart to see 
That thou so mortal art Dost think to die 
Of this disease ? 

Boreas, 'T would not be wonderful. 

Doresta, But still, my gallant Sir, perhaps you 11 find 
That they who give the suffering take it too. 

Boreas, In sooth, I ask no better than to do 
As do my fellows,— give and take ; but now 
I take, fair dame, a thousand hurts, 
And still give none. 

Doresta, How know'st thou that ? 

And SO she continues till she comes to a plenary con- 
fession of being no less hurt, or in love, herself than 
he is." 

All the plays of Naharro have a versification remark- 
ably fluent and harmonious for the period in which he 
wrote, '^ and nearly all of them have passages of easy and 

17 BartoM, Plug ierm, Sefion, a DIm. 

En aquel punto qae os ▼{, 

Que quisiexM unto a mi, 

Como laego quiae a Toa. 
Dbmto. Baeno m «aw> ; 

A oCro can eon eaae hueaio I 
Bortoi, EnMyad Toa de mandanae 

Qoanto yo podie haser, 

Puet oa deaMO wniir : 

8i quieia porqu' en proaarme, 

Conoacajn ai mi qnerer 

Conderta con mi detlr. 
AirvKo. 81 mia ipinaa fbeaaen elertaa 

De quereroa yo mandar, 

Quin de yueatro hablar 

Saldrian menoa offertaa. 
Bortai, Si miraya, 

Seflora, mal me trataia. 
Domia, Como paedo maltrataroa 

Con palabraa tan boneataa 

Y por tan cocteaaa mafiaa? 

Como ? ya no oaao habUroa, 

One teneya elertaa reapneaCaa 

Que laatiman laa entrafiaa. 


Doretta. Por mi fe tengo mantilla 
De Teroa aari mortal : 
Mocf reyi de aqueme mal i 

BofMM. No aeria maraTilla. 

Airwta. Pneiigalan, 

Ya lai toman do laa dan. 

Por mi fe, qae holfaria, 
8i, como otroi mia yfnaloi. 
Pudieaae dar y toaaar : 
Maa Teo, Sefiora mia, 
Qae redbo doa mil males 
Y ninfono poedo dar. 

Plrapaladia, Madrid, 1&7S, iSmo^ f. 8SS. 

" There ia a good deal of art in 
Naharro's verse. The ** Hymenca/' 
for instance, is written in twelve-line 
stanzas; the eleventh being a Die ^we- 
brado^ or broken line. The " Jadnta " 
is in twelve-line stanzas, without the 
pie quelrrado. The <* CsJamita " is in 
flvm/tflof. connected by the pie am- 
irado. The << AauUana '"^ b in 
gvartetas, connected in the same 
way ; and so on. But the number of 
feet in each of his lines is not always 
eiact, nor are the rhymes always 
good, though, on the whole, a hanno- 
nious result is generally produced. 

Chap. XV. 



natural dialogue, and of spirited lyrical poetry. But 
several are very gross; two are absurdly composed in 
different languages — one of them in four, and the other 
in six ; ^* and all contain abundant proo^ in their structure 
and tone, of the rudeness of the age that produced them. 
In consequence of their little respect for the Church, they 
were soon forbidden by the Inquisition in Spain. ^ 

That they were represented in Italy before they were 
printed, *^ and that they were so far circulated before their 
author gave them to the press, '* as to be already in some 
degree beyond his own control, we know on his own 
authority. He intimates, too, that a good many of the 
clergy were present at the representation of at least one 
of them. " But it is not likely that any of his plays were 
acted, except in the same way with Vicente's and Enzina's; 
that is, before a moderate number of persons in some great 
man's house, ** at Naples, and perhaps at Rome, They, 

" He partly apologizes for this in 
his Preface to the Reader, by saying 
that Itklian words are introduced into 
the comedias because of the audiences 
in Italy. This will do, as &r as the 
Italian is concerned ; but what is to 
be said for the other languages that 
are used? In the Intr(fyto to the 
** Serafina," he makes a jest of the 
whole, telling the audience, — 

But voa must all keep wide awake. 
Or elae in vain you 'll andeitake 
To comprehend the differing speech. 
Which nere is quite distinct for each ;— 
Four langua^^es, as yon will hear, 
Castilian wiUi Valencian clear, 
And Latin and Italian too ; — 
So take care lest they trouble you. 

No doubt his camedias were exhi- 
bited before only a few persons, who 
were able to understanci the various 
languages they contained, and found 
them only the more amusing for this 

* It is singular, however, that a 
very severe passage on the Pope and 
the clergy at Rome, in the ** Jacinta," 
was not struck out, ed. 1573, f. 256. 
b ; — a proof, among many others, how 
capriciously and carelessly the Inqui- 
sition acted in such matters. In the 

Index of 1667, (p. 114,) only the 
** Aquilana " is prohibited. 

** As the question, whether Na* 
harro's plays were acted in Italy or 
not, has been angrily discussed be* 
tween Lampillas (Ensayo, Madrid, 
1789, 4to., Tom. VI. |)p. 160-167) 
and Signorelli (Storia dei Teatri, Na- 
poli, 1818, 8vo., Tom. VI. pp. 171, 
etc.), in consequence of a rash pas- 
sage in Nasarre's Prdloeo to the 
plays of Cervantes, (Maorid, 1749, 
4to.,) I will copy the orinnal phrase 
of Naharro himself, which had es- 
caped all the combatants, and in 
which he says he used Italian words 
in his plays, **aviendo respeto al 
ittgar, y ^ las personas, & quien ae 
recitaron,** Neither of these learned 
persons knew even that the first edi- 
tion of the ** Propaladia " was proba- 
bly printed in Italy, and that one early 
edition was certainly printed there. 

** ^^ Las mas destas obrillas an- 
davan ya fuera de mi obediencia y 

** In the opening of the Introyto 

*^ I am quite aware that, in the 



PnaoD I. 

therefore, did not probably produce much effect at first on 
the condition of the drama, so far as it was then developed 
in Spain. Their influence came in later, and through the 
press, when three editions, beginning with that of 1520, 
appeared in Seville alone in twenty-five years, curtailed 
indeed, and expurgated in the last, but still giving spe- 
cimens of dramatic composition much in advance of any- 
thing then produced in the country. 

But though men like Juan de la Enzina, Gil Vicente, 
and Naharro had turned their thoughts towards dramatic 
composition, they seem to have had no idea of founding a 
popular national drama. For this we must look to the 
next period ; since, as late as the end of the reign of Fer- 
dinand and Isabella, there is no trace of such a theatre in 

important passage already cited from 
Mendez Silva, on the first acting of 
plavs in 1492, we have the words, 
'* Afio de 1492 comenzaron en Cas- 
tilla las compa&ias li rcpresentar fmfr- 
Ucamente comcdias de Juan de la 
Enzina ; " but what the word pubU- 
camefUe was intended to mean is 
shown by the words that follow : 

^^fut^ando con dia$ d D, Fadrique 
de Ibledo, Enriquez AbmiranU de 
CastiHaf y d Dm Biigo Lopez de 
Mendoxa itegwuio Duqme del If^tm- 
tado,** So that the representations 
in the halb and chapels of Uiese great 
houses were accounted pubUc repre- 



Pbovxv^al Litebatubi ur Spain. — Pbovxkck. — BintouimiANs. — Obiodt 


LBCT OY Catalonia. — Abagon. — Tboubadodb Poets in Catalonia and 
Abaoon. — Wab of the Albiqenses. — Petbb the Second. — James the 


NicLE. — Decay of Poetby in Pbovence, and Decay of Pboven9AIi 
Pobtby in Spain. — Catalonian Dialect. 

Provencal literature appeared in Spain as early as any 
portion of the Castilian, with which we have thus far been 
exclusively occupied. Its introduction was natural, and, 
being intimately connected with the history of political 
power in both Provence and Spain, can be at once ex- 
plained, at least so far as to account for its prevalence in 
the quarter of the Peninsula where, during three centuries, 
it predominated, and for its large influence throughout the 
rest of the country, both at that time and afterwards. 

Provence — or, in other words, that part of the South 
of France which extends from Italy to Spain, and which 
originally obtained its name in consequence of the con- 
sideration it enjoyed as an early and most important pro- 
vince of Rome — was singularly fortunate, during the latter 
period of the Middle Ages, in its exemption from many 
of the troubles of those troubled times. ^ While the great 
movement of the Northern nations lasted, Provence was 
disturbed chiefly by the Visigoths, who soon passed onward 
to Spain, leaving few traces of their character behind 
them, and by the Burgundians, the mildest of all the 

» F. Diez, Troubadours, Zwickau, 1826, 8?o., p. 6. 


Teutonic invaders, who did not reach the South of France 
till they had been long resident in Italy, and, when ihey 
came, established themselves at once as the permanent 
masters of that tempting country. 

Greatly favoured in this comparative quiet, which, 
though sometimes broken by internal dissension, or by the 
ineffectual incursions of their new Arab neighbours, was 
nevertheless such as was hardly known elsewhere, and 
favoured no less by a soil and climate almost without rivak 
in the world, the civilization and refinement of Provence 
advanced faster than those of any other portion of Europe. 
From the year 879, a large part of it was fortunately 
constituted into an independent government; and, what 
was very remarkable, it continued under the same family 
till 1092, two hundred and thirteen years.* Durmg this 
second period, its territories were again much spared from 
the confusion that almost constantly pressed their borders 
and threatened their tranquillity; for the troubles that 
then shook the North of Italy did not cross the Alps and 
the Var ; the Moorish power, so far from making new 
aggressions, maintained itself with difficulty in Catalonia ; 
and the wars and convulsions in the North of France, 
from the time of the first successors of Charlemagne to 
that of Philip Augustus, flowed rather in the opposite 
direction, and furnished, at a safe distance, occupation for 
tempers too fierce to endure idleness. 

In the course of these two centuries, a language sprang 
up in the South and along the Mediterranean, com- 
pounded, according to the proportions of their power and 
refinement, from that spoken by the Burgundians and fit)m 
the degraded Latin of the country, and slowly and quietly 
took the place of both. With this new language appeared, 
as noiselessly, about the middle of the tenth century, a 

* Sismondi, Histoirc dcs Fran9ai8, Paris, 1821, 8vo., Tom. III. pp. 
23D, etc. 


new literature, suited to the climate, the age, and the 
manners that produced it, and one which, for nearly three 
hundred years, seemed to be advancing towards a grace 
and refinement such as had not been known since the fall 
of the Komans. 

ITius things continued under twelve princes of the Bur- 
gundian race, who make little show in the wars of their 
times, but who seem to have governed their states with a 
moderation and gentleness not to have been expected 
amidst the general disturbance of the world. This family 
became extinct, in the male branch, in 1092 ; and in 
1113 the crown of Provence was transferred, by the mar- 
riage of its heir, to Raymond Berenger, the third Count 
of Barcelona. ' The Proven9al poets, many of whom were 
noble by birth, and all of whom, as a class, were attached 
to the court and its aristocracy, naturally followed their 
liege lady, in considerable numbers, from Aries to Barce- 
lona, and willingly established themselves in her new capi- 
tal, under a prince full of knightly accomplishments and 
yet not disinclined to the arts of peace. 

Nor was the change for them a great one. The Py- 
renees made then, as they make now, no very serious 
difference between the languages spoken on their opposite 
declivities ; similarity of pursuits had long before induced 
a similarity of manners in the population of Barcelona and 
Marseilles ; and if the Proven9als had somewhat more of 
gentleness and culture, the Catalonians, from the share 
they had taken in the Moorish wars, possessed a more 
strongly marked character, and one developed in more 
manly proportions. * At the very commencement of the 

" E. A. Schmidt, Greschichte Ara- c. 9.) Whatever relates to its early 

goniensim Mittelalter, Leipzig, 1828, power and glory may be found in 

8vo., p. 92. Capmany, (Mcmorias de la Antigua 

* mrcelona was a prize often Ciudad de Barcelona, Madrid, 1779- 

fought for successfully by Moors and 1792, 4 tom., 4to.,) and esi)ecially 

Christians, but it was finally rescued in the curious documents and notes in 

from the misbelievers in 985 or 986. Tom. II. and IV. 
(Zurita, Analcs de Aragon, Lib. I. 


twelfth century, therefore, we may fidrly consider a Pro- 
yen9al refinement to have been introduced into the north- 
eastern corner of Spain ; and it is worth notice, that this 
is just about the period when^ as we have ahready seen, 
the ultimately national school of poetry b^an to show 
itself in quite the opposite comer of the Peninsula, amidst 
the mountains of Biscay and Asturias. * 

Political causes, however, similar to those which first 
brought the spirit of Provence from Aries and Marseilles 
to Barcelona, soon carried it farther onward towards the 
centre of Spain. In 1137 the Counts of Barcelona ob- 
tained by marriage the kingdom of Aragon ; and though 
they did not, at once, remove the seat of their government 
to Saragossa, they early spread through their new terri- 
tories some of the refinement for which they were indebted 
to Provence. This remarkable family, whose power was 
now so fast stretching up to the North, possessed, at differ- 
ent times, during nearly three centuries, different portions 
of territory on both sides of the Pyrenees, generally main- 
taining a control over a large part of the North-east of 
Spain and of the South of France. Between 1229 and 
1253 the most distinguished of its members gave the widest 
extent to its empire by broad conquests from the Moors ; 
but later the power of the kings of Aragon became gra- 
dually circumscribed, and their territory diminished, by 
marriages, successions, and military disasters. Under 
eleven princes, however, in the direct line, and three more 
in the indirect, they maintained their right to the king- 
dom down to the year 1479, when, in the person of Fer- 
dinand, it was united to Castile, and the solid foundations 
were laid on which the Spanish monarchy has ever since 

With this slight outline of the course of political power 

* The members of the French France, (Paris, 4to., Tom. XVI. 
Academy, in their continuation of 1824, p. 196,) trace it back a little 
the Benedictine Hist. Litt. dc U earlier. 


in the north-eastern part of Spain, it will be easy to trace 
the origin and history of the literature that prevsdled there 
from the beginning of the twelfth to the middle of the 
fifteenth century ; a literature which was introduced from 
Provence, and retained the Proven9al character, till it 
came in contact with that more vigorous spirit which, 
during the same period, had been advancing firom the 
north-west, and afterwards succeeded in giving its tone to 
the literature of the consolidated monarchy. * 

The character of the old Proven9al poetry is the same 
on both sides of the Pyrenees. In general, it is graceful 
and devoted to love ; but sometimes it becomes involved 
in the politics of the time, and sometimes it runs into a 
severe and unbecoming satire. In Catalonia, as well as 
in its native home, it belonged much to the court ; and 
the highest in rank and power are the earliest and fore- 
most on its lists. Thus, both the princes who first wore 
the united crowns of Barcelona and Provence, and who 
reigned from II 13 to 1 162, are often set down as Limousin 
or Provencal poets, though with slight claims to the 
honour, since not a verse has been published that can be 
attributed to either of them. '' 

Alfonso the Second, however, who received the crown 
of Aragon in 1162, and wore it till 1196, is admitted 

* Catalan patriotism has denied all los Autores Catalanes,*' etc., by D. 

this, and claimed that the Provencal Felix Torres Amat, Bishop of As- 

literature was derived from Catalonia. torga, etc., (Barcelona, 1836, 8vo.,^ 

See Torres Amat, Pr61ogo to ** Me- is, however, an indispensable booK 

morias de los Escri tores Catalanes," for the history of the literature of Ca- 

and elsewhere. But it is only neces- talonia ; for its author, descended 

sarjr to read what its friends luive said from one of the old and distinguished 

in defence of this position, to be families of the country, and nephew 

satisfied that it is untenable. The of the learned Archbishop Amat, who 

simple fact, that the literature in died in 1824, has devoted much of 

question existed a full century in Pro- his life and of his ample means to 

vence before there is any pretence to collect materials for it. It contains 

ckiim its existence in Catalonia, is more mistakes than it should ; but a 

dedsive of the controversy, if there gp'eat deal of its information can be ob- 

really be a controversy about the tained nowhere else in a printed form, 
matter. The ** Memorias para ayudar ' See the articles in Torres Amat, 

d formar un Diccionario Critico de Memorias, pp. 104, 106. 



PoaoD I. 

by all to have been a Troubadour, Of him we still 
possess a few not inelegant cohlas^ or stanzas, addressed 
to his lady, which are curious from the circumstance that 
they constitute the oldest poem in the modem dialects 
of Spain, whose author is known to us ; and one that is 
probably as old, or nearly as old, as any of the anonymous 
poetry of Castile and the North. * Like the other sove- 
reigns of his age, who loved and practised the art of the 
gai sahevj Alfonso collected poets about his person. 
Pierre Rogiers was at his court, and so were Pierre 
Raimond de Toulouse, and Aimferic de P&guilain, who 
mourned his patron's death in verse, — all three famous 
Troubadours in their time, and all three honoured and 
favoured at Barcelona. • There can be no doubt, there- 
fore, that a Proven9al spirit was already established and 
spreading in that part of Spain before the end of the 
twelfth century. 

In the beginning of the next century, external cir- 
cumstances imparted a great impulse to this spirit in 
Aragon. From 1209 to 1229, the shameful war which 

' The pp^m is in Raynouard, Trou- 
badours, Tom. III. p. 118. It be- 

Per nuntas gniiaa m* et daU 
Joys e deport e aoUtx. 

The life of its author is in Zurita, 
*» Analcs de Aragon " (Lib. II.) ; but 
the few literary notices needed of 
him are best found in Latassa, ** Bi- 
blioteca Antigua de los f^cri tores 
Aragoneses," (Zaragoza, 1796, 8vo., 
Tom. I. p. 176,) and in " Ilistoire 
Litt^raire de la France " (Paris, 4to., 
Tom. XV., 1820, p. 168). As to 
the word coblaSy I cannot but think 
— notwithstanding all the refined dis- 
cussions about it in Raynouard, 
(Tom. II. pp. 174-178,) and Diez, 
** Troubadours," (p. Ill and note,1 
— that it was quite synonymous witn 
the Spanish coploif and may, for all 
common purposes, be translated by 

our English stanzas^ or even some- 
times by coiqDlets, 

• For Pierre Rogiers, see Ray- 
nouard, Troubadours, Tom. V., p. 
830, Tom. III. pp. 27, etc., with 
Millot, Hist. Litt. des Troubadours, 
Paris, 1774, 12mo., Tom. I. pp. 103, 
etc., and the Hist Litt. de la France, 
Tom. XV. p. 469. For Pierre Rai- 
mond de Toulouse, see Raynooard, 
Tom. V. p. 322, and Tom, III. p. 
120, with Hist. Litt. de la France, 
Tom. XV. p. 467, and Crescimbeni, 
Istoria dolla Volgar Poesia, (Roma, 
1710, 4to., Tom. IL p. 66,) where, 
on the authority of a manuscript in 
the Vatican, he says of Pierre Rai- 
mond, ** And6 in corte del Re Al- 
fonso d' Ara^ona, che i'accolse e molto 
onor6." For Aim^ric de P^ui- 
lain, see Hist. Litt de la France, 
Paris, 4to., Tom. XVIIL, 1836, 
p. 684. 


gave birth to the Inquisition was carried on with ex- 
traordinary cruelty and fiiry against the Albigenses; a 
religious sect in Provence accused of heresy, but per- 
secuted rather by an implacable political ambition. To 
this sect — which, in some points, opposed the preten- 
sions of the See of Rome, and was at last exterminated 
by a crusade under the Papal authority — belonged nearly 
all the contemporary Troubadours, whose poetry is full 
of their sufferings and remonstrances.^® In their great 
distress, the principal ally of the Albigenses and Trou- 
badours was Peter the Second of Aragon, who, in 1213, 
perished nobly fighting in their cause at the disastrous 
battle of Muret When, therefore, the Troubadours of 
Provence were compelled to escape from the burnt and 
bloody ruins of their homes, not a few of them hastened 
to the friendly court of Aragon, sure of finding them- 
selves protected, and their art held in honour, by princes 
who were, at the same time, poets. 

Among those who thus appeared in Spain in the time 
of Peter the Second were Hugues de Saint Cyr ; " Az6- 
mar le Noir ; " Pons Barba ; " Raimond de Miraval, 
who joined in the cry urging the king to the defence of 
the Albigenses, in which he perished ; ^* and Perdigon, ^* 
who, after being munificently entertained at his court, be- 
came, like Folquet de Marseille, *• a traitor to the cause 

*• Sismondi (Hist, des Francais, " Raynouard, Troub., Tom. V. p. 

Paris, 8vo., Tom. VI. and VII., 222, Tom. III. p. 830. Millot, Hist, 

1623, 1826) ^ves an ample account Tom. II. p. 174. 

of the cruelties and horrors of the " Hist. Litt. de la France, Tom. 

war of the Albigenses, and Llorente XVIII. p. 686. 

(HistoiredeTInquisition, Paris, 1817, *• Ibid., p. 644. 

Svo., Tom. I. p. 43) shows the con- ** Raynouard, Troub., Tom. V. pp. 

ncxion of that war with the origin of 382, 386. Hist. Litt. de la France, 

the Inquisition. The fact that neariv Tom. XVII. pp. 466-467. 

all the Troubadours took part with ^ Hist. Litt de U France, Tom. 

the persecuted Albigenses, is equally XVIII. pp. 603-606. Millot, Hist., 

notorious. Histoire Litt. de la France, Tom. I. p. 428. 

Tom. XVIII. p. 688, and Fauriel, *• For this cruel and false chief 

Introduction to the Histoire de la among the crusaders, praised bv Pe- 

Croisade centre les Hdr^tiques Albi- trarca (^Trionfo d' Amore, C. IV.) and 

geois, Paris, 1837, 4to., p. xv. by Dante (Pared., IX. 94, etc.), 


he had espoused, and openly exulted in thei king's untimely 
fate. But none of the poetical followers of Peter the 
Second did him such honour as the author of the curious 
and long ]K)em of " The War of the Albigenses," in 
which much of the king of Aragon's life is recorded, and 
a minute account given of his disastrous deatL ^ All, 
however, except Ferdigon and Folquet, regarded him with 
gratitude, as their patron and as a poet, ^^ who, to use the 
language of one of them, made himself ^^ their head and the 
head of their honoims.** " 

The glorious reign of Jayme or James the Conqueror, 
which followed, and extended from 1213 to 1276, exhibits 
the same poetical character with that of the less fortunate 
reign of his immediate predecessor. He protected the 
Troubadours, and the Troubadours, in return, praised and 
honoured him. Guillaume An&lier addressed a sirvente to 
him as "the young king of Aragon, who defends mercy 
and discountenances wrong." ^ Nat de Mons sent him 
two poetical letters, one of which gives him advice concern- 
ing the composition of his court and government '^ Ar- 
naud Plagues offered a chanso to his fair queen Eleanor of 
Castile ; " and Mathieu de Querci, who survived the great 

see Hist Litt. de la France, Tom. first part of it, and the aocoimt of his 

XVIII. p. 594. His poetry is in death at tt. 3061, etc 

Raynouard, Troub., Tom. III. pp. ** What remains of his poetry is in 

149-162. Raynouard, Troub., Tom. V. pp. 290, 

»» This important poem, admirably etc., and in Hist. Litt de la Frwicc, 

edited by M. Charles Fauriel, one of Tom. XVII., 1832, pp. 443-447, 

the soundest and most genial French where a sufficient notice is giTen of his 

scholars of the nineteenth century, is life, 
in a series of works on the history of 

Fnu.ce published bv order of the » S'i.^lTSSTir.SIJ 

king of France, and begun under the vtma Bui». 

auspices of M. Guizot, and by his re- •. tt. ^ t '-l^ j i i? m 

commendation, when he was Minister ^ "^5"*' ■^'": j*® %J^^^' ^T' 

of Public Instruction. It is entitled XVIII. p. 663. Ihe poem be- 

Histoire de la Croisade centre les S"^ 

H^rdtiques Albigeois, dcrite en Vers a; jore rei d* Anfo, que mtem 

Froveniaux, par un Po^te contempo- »**"* * *^' • ™*^*^ *^« 

rain," Paris, 1837, 4to., pp. 738. It " MiUot, Hist des Troubadours, 

consists of 9678 verses, — the notices Tom. II. pp. 186, etc 

of Peter II. occurring chiefly in the " Hist Litt de la France, Tom. 


conqueror, poured forth at his grave the sorrows of his 
Christian compatriots at the loss of the great champion 
on whom they had depended in their struggle with the 
Moors." At the same period, too, Hugues de Mata- 
plana, a noble Catalan, held at his castle courts of love 
and poetical contests, in which he himself bore a large 
part ; " while one of his neighbours, Guillaume de Ber- 
g^dan, no less distinguished by poetical talent and ancient 
descent, but of a less honourable nature, indulged himself 
in a style of verse more gross than can easily be found 
elsewhere in the Troubadour poetry. ** All, however, the 
bad and the good, — those who, like Sordel *• and Bernard 
de Kovenac, *^ satirized the king, and those who, like Pierre 
Cardenal, enjoyed his favour and praised him, *• — all show 
that the Troubadours, in his reign, continued to seek pro- 
tection in Catalonia and Aragon, where they had so long 
been accustomed to find it, and that their poetry was con- 
stantly taking deeper root in a soil where its nourishment 
was now become so sure. 

James himself has sometimes been reckoned among the 
poets of his age.'* It is possible, though none of his 
poetry has been preserved, that he really was such ; for 
metrical composition was easy in the flowing language he 
spoke, and it had evidently grown common at his court, 
where the examples of his father and grandfather, as 
Troubadours, would hardly be without their effiect But 
however this may be, he loved letters, and left behind 
him a large prose work, more in keeping than any poetry 
with his character as a wise monarch and successful con- 

XVIII. p. 635, and Raynouard, •« MUlot, Hist, Tom. II. p. 92. 

Troub., Tom. V. p. 60. ^ Raynouard, Troub., Tom. lY. 

■• Raynouard, Troub., Tom. V. pp. 203-206. 

pp. 261, 262. Hist. Litt. de la » Ibid., Tom. V. p. 302. HistLitt. 

Irance, Tom. XIX., Paris, 1838, p. de la France, Tom. XX., 1842, p. 674. 

607. • Quadrio (Storia d* Ogni roesia, 

" Hist. Litt. de la France, Tom. Bologna, 1741, 4to., Tom. II. p. 132) 

XVIII. pp. 671-676. and Zurita (Anales, Lib. X. c. 42) 

" Ibid., pp. 676-679. state it, but not with proof. 


queror, whose legislation and government were fiur in ad- 
vance of the condition of his subjects. ^ 

The work here referred to is a chronicle or commentary 
on the principal events of his reign, divided into four 
parts ; — the first of which is on the troubles that followed 
his accession to the throne, after a long minority, with the 
rescue of Majorca and Minorca from the Moors, between 
1229 and 1233; the second is on the greater conquest of 
the kingdom of Valencia, which was substantially ended 
in 1239, so that the hated misbelievers never again ob- 
tained any firm foothold in all the north-eastern part of 
the Peninsula ; the third is on the war James prosecuted 
in Murcia, till 1266, for the benefit of his kinsman, Al- 
fonso the Wise, of Castile ; and the last is on the embassies 
he received from the Khan of Tartary, and Michael Pa- 
laeologus of Constantinople, and on his own attempt, in 
1268, to lead an expedition to Palestine, which was de- 
feated by storms. The story, however, is continued to the 
end of his reign by slight notices, which, except the last, 
preserve throughout the character of an autobiography; 
the very last, which, in a few words, records his death 
at Valencia, being the only portion written in the third 

From this Chronicle of James the Conqueror there was 
early taken an account of the conquest of Valencia, begin- 
ning in the most simple-hearted manner with the conversa- 
tion the king held at Alcafli9 (Alcailizas) with Don Blasco 
de Alagon and the Master of the Hospitallers, Nuch de 
Follalquer, who ui^e him, by his successes in Minorca, to 

•*• In the Guia del Comercio de Jay me was seven feet high, — and by 

Madrid, 1848, is an account of the dis- the mark of an arrow- wound in his 

interment, at Poblet, in 1846, of the forehead which he received at Valen- 

remains of several royal personages cia, and which was still perfectly dis- 

who had been loner buried there ; tinct. An eyewitness dedared that 

among which the body of Don Jayme, a painter might have found in his 

afltcr a period of six hundred and se- remains the general outline of his 

venty years, was found remarkably physiognomy. Faro Industrial de k 

E reserved. It was easily distinguished Uabana, 6 Abril, 1848. 
y its size, — for when alive Don 


undertake the greater achievement of the conquest of Va- 
lencia; and ending with the troubles that followed the 
partition of the spoils after the fall of that rich kingdom 
and its capital. This last work was printed in 1515, in a 
magnificent volume, where it serves for an appropriate 
introduction to the Foros, or privileges, granted to the city 
of Valencia from the time of its conquest down to the end 
of the reign of Ferdinand the Catholic;'* but the complete 
work, the Chronicle, did not appear till 1557, when it was 
published to satisfy a requisition of Philip the Second. '* 

It is written in a simple and manly style, which, with- 
out making pretensions to elegance, often sets before us 
the events it records with a living air of reality, and some- 
times shows a happiness in manner and phraseology which 
effort seldom reaches. Whether it was undertaken in con- 
sequence of the impulse given to such vernacular histories 
by Alfonso the Tenth of Castile, in his " General Chro- 
nicle of Spain," or whether the intimations which gave 
birth to that remarkable Chronicle came rather from 
Aragon, we cannot now determine. Probably both works 
were produced in obedience to the demands of their age ; 

•* ltd first title is " Aureum Opus Rational de la insigne Ciutat de Va- 

Regalium Privilegiorum Civitatis et lencia, hon stava custodita." It was 

Regni Valentiae," etc. ; but the work printed under the order of the Jurats 

itself begins, ** Comenca la conq^uesta of Valencia by the widow of Juan 

Serlo serenisimo e Catnolich Pnncep Mey, in folio, in 1667. The Rational 
e inmortal memoria, Don Jaume, being the proper archive-keeper, the 
etc. It is not divided into chapters nor Jurats being the council of the city, 
paged, but it has ornamental capitals and the work being dedicated to 
at the beginning of its paragraphs, and Philip II., who asked to see it in 
fills 42 urge pages in folio, double print, all needful assurance is given of 
colunuis, litt. goth., and was printed, its genuineness. Each part is divided 
as its colophon shows, at Valencia, in into very short chapters ; the first con- 
1616, by Diez de Gumiel. taining one hundred and ^ye, the se- 
■• Rodriguez, Biblioteca Valentina, cond one hundred and fifteen, and so 
Valencia, 1747, fol., p. 674. Its on. A series of letters, by Jos. Villa- 
title is ** Chr6nica o Commentari del roya, printed at Valencia in 1800, 
Gloriosissim e Invictissim Rey En (^8vo.,) to prove that James was not 
Jacme, Rey d' Arag6, de Mallorques, the author of this Chronicle, are in- 
e de Valencia, Compte de Barcelona e genious, learned, and well written, 
de Urgell e de Muntpeiller, feita e but do not, I think, establish their 
sen taper aquell en sa llengua natural, author's position. 
e treita del Archiu del molt magnifich 

VOL. I. V 



Period I. 

but still, as both must have been written at nearly the 
same time, and as the two kings were united by a family 
alliance and constant intercourse, a full knowledge of 
whatever relates to these two curious records of diflFerent 
parts of the Peninsula would hardly fail to show us some 
connexion between them. In that case, it is by no means 
impossible that the precedence in point of time would be 
found to belong to the Chronicle of the King of Aragon, 
who was not only older than Alfonso, but was frequently 
his wise and eflScient counsellor. " 

But James of Aragon was fortunate in having yet 
another chronicler, Kamon Muntaner, bom at Peralada, 
nine years before the death of that monarch ; a Catalan 
gentleman, who in his old age, after a life of great adven- 
ture, felt himself to be specially summoned to write an 
account of his own times. ^ " For one day," he says, 

^ Alfonso was bom in 1221 and 
died in 1284, and Jayme I., whose 
name, it should be noted, is also spelt 
Jaume, Jaime, and Jacme, was born 
in 1208 and died in 1276. It is pro- 
bable, as I haye already said, that 
Alfonso^s Chronicle was written a 
little before 1260; but that period 
was twenty-one years after the date 
of all the facts recorded in Jayme's 
account of the conquest of Valencia. 
In connexion with the question of the 
precedence of these two Chronicles 
may be taken the circumstance, that 
it has been believed by some persons 
that Jayme attempted to make Catalan 
the language of the law and of all 
public records, thirty years before the 
similar attempt already noticed was 
made by Alfonso X. in relation to the 
Castilian. Villanueva, Viage Literario 
d las Iglesias de Espana, Valencia, 
1821, Tom. VII. p. 196. 

Another work of the king remains 
in manuscript It b a moral and phi- 
losophical treatise, called ** Lo Libre 
de la Saviesa," or The Book of Wis- 
dom, of which an account may be 
found in Castro, Biblioteca EspaHola, 
Tom. II. p. 606. 

•* Probably the best notice of Mun- 
taner is to be found in Antonio, Bib. 
Vetus (ed. Bayer, Vol. II. p. 146). 
There is, however, a more ample one 
in Torres Amat, Memorias, (p. 437,) 
and there are other notices elsewhere. 
The title of his Chronicle is ** CnSnica 
o Descripcio dels Fets e Hazanyes del 
Incl3rt Key Don Jaume Primer, Key 
Daragb, de Mallorques, e de Valencia, 
Compte de Barcelona, e de Munpes- 
ller, e de molts de sos Descendents, 
feta per lo magnifich En Bjunoo 
Muntaner, lo qual senri axi al dit 
inclyt Rey Don Jaume com i sos 
Fills e Desccndents, es troba present 
d las Coses contengudes en la present 
Historia.*' There are two old ^itioos 
of it ; the first, Valencia, 1568, and 
the second, Barcelona, 1662 ; both in 
folio, and the last consbting of 248 
leaves. It was evidently much used 
and trusted by Zurita. (See bis 
Anales, Lib. Vll. c. 1, etc.) A 
neat edition of it in large 8vo., edited 
by Karl Lanz, was published in 1844, 
by the Stuttgard Verein, and a trans- 
lation of it into (rerman, by the same 
accomplished scholar, appeared at 
Leipzig in 1842, in 2 toIs. 8to. 


" being in my country-house, called Xilvella, in the 
garden-plain of Valencia, and sleeping in my bed, there 
came unto me in vision a venerable old man, clad in white 
raiment, who said unto me, ^ Arise, and stand on thy feet, 
Muntaner, and think how to declare the great wonders 
thou hast seen, which God hath brought to pass in the 
wars where thou wast ; for it hath seemed well pleasing to 
Him that through thee should all these things be made 
manifest' " At first, he tells us, he was disobedient to the 
heavenly vision, and unmoved by the somewhat flattering 
reasons vouchsafed him, why he was elected to chronicle 
matters so notable. " But another day, in that same 
place," he goes on, ** I beheld again that venerable man, 
who said unto me, * O my son, what doest thou ? Why 
dost thou despise my commandment ? Arise, and do even 
as I have bidden thee ! And know of a truth, if thou 
so doest, that thou and thy children and thy kinsfolk 
and thy friends shall find favour in the sight of God/ *' 
Being thus warned a second time, he undertook the work. 
It was, he tells us, the fifteenth day of May, 1325, when 
he began it; and when it was completed, as it notices 
events which happened in April, 1328, it is plain that its 
composition must have occupied at least three years. 

It opens, with much simplicity, with a record of the 
earliest important event he remembered, a visit of the 
great conqueror of Valencia at the house of his father, 
when he was himself a mere child. ^ The impression of 

" " E per 90 comen^ al fcyt del the said Lord Kint was in the said 

dit senyor, Rev En Jacme, com vol city of Peralada, where I was bom, 

viu, e asenyaladament esscnt yo fadrf, and tarried in the house of my father, 

e lo dit senyor Rey essent d la dita Don John Muntaner, which was one 

Vila de Peralada hon yo naxqui, e of the largest houses in that place, 

posa en lalberch de mon pare En Joan and was at the head of the square." 

Muntaner, qui era dels majors al- ^n, which I have translated X)ow, is 

berchs daquell lloch, e eraalcapde the corresponding title in Catalan, 

la pla<?a," (Cap. II.,)—** And there- See Andrev Bosch, Titols de Honor 

fore I begin with the fact of the said de Cathalunya, etc., Perpinya, folio, 

Lord Don James, as I saw him, and 1628, p. 574. 
namely, when I was a little boy, and 



such a visit on a boyish imagination would naturally be 
deep ; — in the case of Muntaner it seems to have been 
peculiarly so. From that moment the king became to 
him, not only the hero he really was, but something more ; 
one whose very birth was miraculous, and whose entire 
life was filled with more grace and favour than God had 
ever before shown to living man ; for, as the fond old 
chronicler will have it, " He was the goodliest prince in 
the world, and the wisest and the most gracious and the 
most upright, and one that was more loved than any king 
ever was of all men ; both of his own subjects and strangers, 
and of noble gentlemen everywhere," ** 

The life of the Conqueror, however, serves merely as 
an introduction to the work ; for Muntaner announces his 
purpose to speak of little that was not within his own 
knowledge; and of the Conqueror's reign he could re- 
member only the concluding glories. His Chronicle, 
therefore, consists chiefly of what happened in the time 
of four princes of the same house, and especially of Peter 
the Third, his chief hero. He ornaments his story, how- 
ever, once with a poem two hundred and forty lines long, 
which he gave to James the Second and his son Alfonso, 
by way of advice and caution, when the latter was about 
to embark for the conquest of Sardinia and Corsica. " 

The whole work is curious, and strongly marked with 

•• This passage reminds us of the o, the second in entj the third in ayUj 

beautiful character of Sir Launcelot, and so on. It sets forth the counsel 

near the end of the **MorteDarthur " of Muntaner to the king and prince 

and therefore I transcribe the simple on the subject of the conquest they 

and strong words of the original: **E had projected; counsel which the 

apres ques v-ae le pus bell princep del chronicler says was partly followed, 

mon, e lo pus savi, e lo pus gracios, e and so the expedition turned out well, 

lo pus dreturer, e cell qui fo mes amat but that it would hare turned out 

de totes gents, axi dels sens sotsmesos better if the advice had been followed 

com daltres estranys e privades gents, entirely. How good Muntaner's 

que Rey qui hancn fos." Cap. VII. counsel was we cannot now judge, but 

^ This poem is in Cap. CCLXXII. his poetry is certainly nought. It is 

of the (Jhronicle, and consists of in the most artificial style used by the 

twelve stanzas, each of twenty lines. Troubadours, and is well called by its 

and each having all its twenty lines author a sermo. He says, however, 

in one rhyme, the first rhyme being in that it was actually given to the king. 


the character of its author; — a man brave, loving ad- 
venture and show; courteous and loyal; not without 
intellectual training, yet no scholar ; and, though faithful 
and disinterested, either quite unable to conceal, or quite 
willing, at every turn, to exhibit, his good-natured personal 
vanity. His fidelity to the family of Aragon was ad- 
mirable. He was always in their service; often in 
captivity for them; and engaged at different times in 
no less than thirty-two battles in defence of their rights, 
or in furtherance of their conquests from the Moors. 
His life, indeed, was a life of knightly loyalty, and 
nearly all the two hundred and ninety-eight chapters of 
his Chronicle are as full of its spirit as his heart was. 

In relating what he himself saw and did, his statements 
seem to be accurate, and are certainly lively and fresh ; 
but elsewhere he sometimes falls into errors of date, and 
sometimes exhibits a good-natured credulity that makes 
him believe many of the impossibilities that were related 
to him. In his gay spirit and love of show, as well as in 
his simple, but not careless, style, he reminds us of 
Froissart, especially at the conclusion of the whole 
Chronicle, which he ends, evidently to his own satisfaction, 
with an elaborate account of the ceremonies observed at 
the coronation of Alfonso the Fourth at Saragossa, which he 
attended in state as syndic of the city of Valencia ; the 
last event recorded in the work, and the last we hear of its 
knightly old author, who was then near his grand climacteric. 

During the latter part of the period recorded by this 
Chronicle, a change was taking place in the literature 
of which it is an important part The troubles and con- 
fusion that prevailed in Provence, from the time of the 
cruel persecution of the Albigenses and the encroaching 
spirit of the North, which, from the reign of Philip Au- 
gustus, was constantly pressing down towards the Mediter- 
ranean, were more than the genial, but not hardy, spirit 
of the Troubadours could resist. Many of them, there- 


fore, fled; others yielded in despair; and all were dis- 
couraged. From the end of the thirteenth century, their 
songs are rarely heard on the soil that gave them birth 
three hundred years before. With the beginning of the 
fourteenth, the purity of their dialect disappears. A 
little later, the dialect itself ceases to be cultivated. ** 

As might be expected, the delicate plant, whose flower 
was not permitted to expand on its native soil, did not 
long continue to flourish in that to which it was trans- 
planted. For a time, indeed, the exiled Troubadours, 
who resorted to the court of James the Conqueror and 
his father, gave to Saragossa and Barcelona something of 
the poetical grace that had been so attractive at Aries and 
Marseilles. But both these princes were obliged to protect 
themselves from the suspicion of sharing the heresy with 
which so many of the Troubadours they sheltered were 
infected ; and James, in 1233, among other severe ordi- 
nances, forbade to the laity the Limousin Bible, which 
had been recently prepared for them, and the use of 
which would have tended so much to confirm their 
language and form their literature. '• His successors, 
however, continued to favour the spirit of the minstrels 
of Provence. Peter the Third was numbered amongst 
them ; ^^ and if Alfonso the Third and James the Second 
were not themselves poets, a poetical spirit was found 
about their persons and in their court ; ^^ and when Alfonso 
the Fourth, the next in succession, was crowned at Sara- 
gossa in 1328, we are told that several poems of Peter, 

" Raynouard, in Tom. III., shows critores Aragonescs, Tom. I. p. 242. 

this; and more fully in Tom. V., in Hist. Litt. de la France, Tom. XX. 

the list of poets, so does the Hist. p. 529. 

Litt. de la France, Tom. XVIII. *' Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, 

See, also, Fauriers Introduction to Tom. II. Lib. VIII. c. vi. viL, and 

the poem on the Crusade against the Amat, p. 207. But Serveri of Ginma, 

Albigenses, pp. xv., xvi. about 1277, mourns the good old 

^ Castro, Biblioteca Espanola, days of James I., (Hist. Litt. de la 

Tom. I. p. 411, and Schmidt, Gesch. France, Tom. XX. p. 662,) as if 

Aragoniens im Mittelalter, p. 466. poets were, when he wrote, begimiing 

^ Latassa, Bib. Antigua de los Es- to fail at the court of Aiagon. 


the king's brother, were recited in honour of the occasion, 
one of which consisted of seven hundred verses." 

But these are among the later notices of Proven9al 
literature in the north-eastern part of Spain, where it began 
now to be displaced by one taking its hue rather from the 
more popular and peculiar dialect of the country. What this 
dialect was has already been intimated. It was commonly 
called the Catalan or Catalonian, from the name of the 
country, but probably, at the time of the conquest of Barce- 
lona from the Moors in 985, differed very little from the Pro- 
vencal spoken at Perpignan, on the other side of the Pyre- 
nees. ^^ As, however, the Proven9al became more culti- 
vated and gentle, the neglected Catalan grew stronger and 
ruder; and when the Christian power was extended, in 
1118, to Saragossa, and in 1239 to Valencia, the modifica- 
tions which the indigenous vocabularies underwent, in order 
to suit the character and condition of the people, tended 
rather to confirm the local dialects than to accommodate 
them to the more advanced language of the Troubadours. 

Perhaps, if the Troubadours had maintained their 
ascendency in Provence, their influence would not easily 
have been overcome in Spain : at least there are indications 
that it would not have disappeared so soon. Alfonso the 
Tenth of Castile, who had some of the more distinguished 
of them about him, imitated the Proven9al poetry, if he 

^ Muntaner, Crdnica, ed. 1562, when Luitprand wrote, which it is 

foL, if. 247, 248. not improbable they did, though only 

^ Du Cange, Glossarium Mediae in their rudest elements, amone the 

et Infimse Latinitatis, Parisiis, 1733, Christians in that part of Spain, 

fol., Tom. I., Prsfatio, sect. 34-36. Some good remarks on the connexion 

Rarnouard (Troub., Tom. I. pp. xii. of the South of France with the 

and ziii.) would carry back both the South of Spain, and their common 

Catalonian and Valencian dialects to idiom, may be found in Capmany, 

A. D. 728 ; but the authority of Luit- Mcmorias Hist<5ricas de Barcelona, 

prand, on which he relies, is not (Madrid, 1779-92, 4to.,) Parte I., 

sufficient, especially as Luitprand Introd., and the notes on it. The 

shows that he believed these dialects second and fourth volumes of thia 

to have existed also in the time of valuable historical work furnish many 

Strabo. The most that should be in- documents both curious and important 

ferred from the passage Raynouard for the illustration of the Catalan 

cites is, that they existed about 960, language. 


did not write it ; and even earlier, in the time of Alfonso 
the Ninth, who died in 1214, there are traces of its pro- 
gress in the heart of the country that are not to be mis- 
taken." But failing in its strength at home, it failed 
abroad. The engrafted fruit perished with the stock from 
which it was originally taken. After the opening of the 
fourteenth century we find no genuinely Proven9al poetry 
in Castile, and after the middle of that century it begins 
to recede from Catalonia and Aragon, or rather to be cor- 
rupted by the harsher, but hardier, dialect spoken there by 
the mass of the people. Peter the Fourth, who reigned 
in Aragon from 1336 to 1387, shows the conflict and 
admixture of the two influences in such portions of his 
poetry as have been published, as well as in a letter he 
addressed to his son;^^ — a confiision or transition which 
we should probably be able to trace with some distinctness, 
if we had before us the curious dictionary of rhymes, still 
extant in its original manuscript, which was made at this 
king's command, in 1371, by Jacme March, a member of 
the poetical family that was aft^erwards so much distin- 
guished. ^ In any event, there can be no reasonable doubt 
that, soon after the middle of the fourteenth century, if not 
earlier, the proper Catalan dialect began to be perceptible 
in the poetry and prose of its native country. *^ 

** Millot, Hist, des Troubadours, memorandum by himself, declaring 

Tom. II. pp. 186-201. Hist. Litt. that ho bought it at Barcelona, in 

de la France, Tom. XVIII. pp. 688, June, 1636, for 12 dineros, the ducat 

634, 635. Diez, Troubadours, pp. then being worth 588 .dineros. See, 

75, 227, and 331-350 ; but it may be also, the notes of Cerdi y Rico to the 

doubted whether Riauier did not *' Diana Enamorada*' of Montemayor, 

write the answer of Alfonso, as well 1802, pp. 487-490 and 293-295. 

as the petition to him given b^ Diez. *^ Bruce- Whyte (Histoire des 

** Bouterwek, Hist, de la Lit. Es- Langues Romanes et de leur Litt6«- 

riiola, traducida por Cortina, Tom. ture, Paris, 1841, 8vo., Tom. II. pp. 

p. 162. Latassa, Bib. Antigua, 406-414) gives a striking extract Irom 

Tom. II. pp. 25-38. a manuscript in the Royal Libraiy, 

^ Bouterwek, trad. Cortina, p. 177. Paris, which shows this mixture of 

This manuscript, it may be cunous to the Proven9al and Catalan Teiy 

notice, was once owned by Ferdinand plainly. He implies that it is from 

Columbus, son of the great discoverer, the middle of the fourteenth century, 

and is still to be found amidst the but he does not prove it. 
ruins of his library in Seville, with a 



Ekdbayoubs to bsyivx thx PsoyxN9AL Spibtt. — Flobai. Games at Tou- 



— Valenciak Poetb who wbote ur Castiuan. — Pbeyaijbnce of the 

The failure of the Proven9al language, and especially the 
fitilure of the Proven9al culture, were not looked upon with 
indifference in the countries on either side of the Pyrenees, 
where they had so long prevailed. On the contrary, efforts 
were made to restore both, first in France, and afterwards 
in Spain. At Toulouse, on the Garonne, not far from 
the foot of the mountains, the magistrates of the city 
determined, in 1323, to form a company or guild for this 
purpose ; and, after some deliberation, constituted it under 
the name of the " Sobregaya Companhia dels Sept Troba- 
dors de Tolosa,'* or the Very Gay Company of the Seven 
Troubadours of Toulouse. This company immediately 
sent forth a letter, partly in prose and partly in verse, 
summoning all poets to come to Toulouse on the first day 
of May in 1324, and there, " with joy of heart, contend 
for the prize of a golden violet,** which should be adjudged 
to him who should offer the best poem, suited to the occa- 
sion. The concourse was great, and the first prize was 
given to a poem in honour of the Madonna by Ramon Vidal 
de Besalii, a Catalan gentleman, who seems to have been 
the author of the regulations for the festival, and to have 
been declared a doctor of the Gay Saber on the occasion. 
In 1355 this company formed for itself a more ample 


body of laws, partly in prose and partly in verse, under the 
title of " Ordenanzas dels Sept Seniors Mantenedors del 
Gay Saber,** or Ordinances of the Seven Lords Con- 
servators of the Gay Saber, which, with the needful modi- 
fications, have been observed down to our own times, 
and still regulate the festival annually celebrated at Tou- 
louse, on the first day of May, under the name of the 
Floral Games. ' 

Toulouse was separated from Aragon only by the pic- 
turesque range of the Pyrenees, and similarity of language 
and old political connexions prevented even the mountains 
from being a serious obstacle to intercourse. What was 
done at Toulouse, therefore, was soon known at Barcelona, 
where the court of Aragon generally resided, and where 
circumstances soon favoured a formal introduction of the 
poetical institutions of the Troubadours. John the First, 
who, in 1387, succeeded Peter the Fourth, was a prince of 
more gentle manners than were common in his time, and 
more given to festivity and shows than was, perhaps, con- 
sistent with the good of his kingdom, and certainly more 
than was suited to the fierce and turbulent spirit of his no- 
bility. * Among his other attributes was a love of poetry; 
and, in 1388, he despatched a solemn embassy, as if for an 
affair of state, to Charles the Sixth of France, praying him 
to cause certain poets of the company at Toulouse to visit 
Barcelona, in order that they might found there an institu- 
tion, like their own, for the Gay Saber. In consequence of 
this mission, two of the seven conservators of the Floral 
Games came to Barcelona in 1390 and established what 
was called a " Consistory of the Gaya Sciencia,'' with laws 
and usages not unlike those of the institution they repre- 

» Sarmiento, Memorias, Sect. 769- Paris, 1813, 8vo., Tom. I. pp. 227- 

768. Torres Amat, Memorias, p. 230. Andres, Storia d* Ogm Lette- 

661, article Vidal de Besalu. San- ratura, Roma, 1808, 4to., Tom. IL 

tillana, Proverbios, Madrid, 1799, Lib. I. c. 1, sect. 23, where the re- 

18mo., Introduccion, p. zxiii. San- marks are important at pp. 49, 60. 

chez, Poesfas Anteriores, Tom. I. ' Mariana, Hist, de EspaSa, Lib. 

pp. 6-9. Sismondi, Litt. du Midi, XVIII. c. 14. 


sented. Martin, who followed John on the throne, in- 
creased the privileges of the new Consistory, and added to 
its resources ; but at his death, in 1409, it was removed to 
Tortosa, and its meetings were suspended by troubles that 
prevailed through the country in consequence of a disputed 

At length, when Ferdinand the Just was declared 
king, their meetings were resumed. Enrique de ViUena 
— whom we must speedily notice as a nobleman of the 
first rank in the state, nearly allied to the blood royal, both 
of Castile and Aragon — came with the new king to Barce- 
lona in 1412, and, being a lover of poetry, busied himself 
while there in re-establishing and reforming the Consistory, 
of which he became, for some time, the principal head and 
manager. This was, no doubt, the period of its greatest 
glory. The king himself frequently attended its meetings. 
Many poems were read by their authors before the judges 
appointed to examine them, and prizes and other distinc- 
tions were awarded to the successful competitors. ' From 
this time, therefore, poetry in the native dialects of the 
country was held in honour in the capitals of Catalonia 
.and Aragon. Public poetical contests were, from time to 
time, celebrated, and many poets called forth under their 
influence during the reign of Alfonso the Fifth and that of 
John the Second, which, ending in 1479, was followed by 
the consolidation of the old Spanish monarchy, and the pre- 
dominance of the Castilian power and language. * 

• "El Arte de Trobar," or the Mariana, Zurita, and other mve his- 

'* Gaya Sciencia/'—a treatise on the torians. The treatise of Villena has 

Art of Poetry, which, in 1433, never been printed entire; but a 

Henry, Marquis of Villena, sent to poor abstract of its contents, with 

his kinsman, the famous Inigo Lopez valuable extracts, is to be found in 

de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana, Mayans y Siscar, Orfgenes de la 

in order to facilitate the introduction • Lengua Espariola, Madrid, 1737, 

of such poetical institutions into Cas- 12mo., Tom. II. 

tile as then existed in Barcelona, — * See Zurita, passim, and Eich- 

contains the best account of the es- horn, Allg. Geschichte der Cultur, 

tablishment of the Consistory of Bar- Gottingen, 1796, 8vo., Tom. I. pp. 

celona, which was a matter of such 127-131, with the authorities he citei 

consequence as to be mentioned by in his notes. 


During the period, however, of which we have been 
speaking, and which embraces the century before the reign 
of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catalan modification of 
Proven9al poetry had its chief success, and produced all 
the authors that deserve notice. At its opening Zurita, 
the faithful annalist of Aragon, speaking of the reign of 
John the First, says that, " in place of arms and warlike 
exercises, which had formerly been the pastime of princes, 
now succeeded trohas and poetry in the mother tongue, 
with its art, called the * Gay a Sciencia,' whereof schools 
began to be instituted ; " — schools which, as he intimates, 
were so thronged, that the dignity of the art they taught 
was impaired by the very numbers devoted to it * Who 
these poets were, the grave historian does not stop to inform 
us, but we learn something of them from another and 
better source ; for, according to the fashion of the time, a 
collection of poetry was made a little after the middle of 
the fifteenth century, which includes the whole period, and 
contains the names, and more or less of the works, of those 
who were then best known and most considered. It begins 
with a grant of assistance to the Consistory of Barcelona, 
by Ferdinand the Just, in 1413; and then, going back as 
far as to the time of Jacme March, who, as we have seen, 
flourished in 1371, presents a series of more than three 
hundred poems, by about thirty authors, down to the time 
of Ausias March, who certainly lived in 1460, and whose 
works are, as they well deserve to be, prominent in the 

Among the poets here brought together are Luis de 
Vilarasa, who lived in 1416;* Berenguer de Masdo- 
velles, who seems to have flourished soon after 1453;'' 
Jordi, about whom there has been much discussion, 
but whom reasonable critics must place as late as 1450- 

* Anales de la Corona de Aragon, • Torres Amat. Memorias, p. 666. 

Lib. X. c. 48, ed. 1610, folio, Tom. ' Ibid., p. 408. 

II. f. 393. *^ 

Chap. XVII. 



1460 ; * and Antonio Vallmanya, some of whose poems are 
dated in 1457 and 1458. • Besides these, Juan Rocaberti, 
Foga9ot, and Guerau, with others apparently of the same 
period, are contributors to the collection, so that its whole 
air is that of the Catalan and Yalencian imitations of the 
Proven9al Troubadours in the fifteenth century. *** If, 'there- 
fore, to this curious Cancionero we add the translation of 
the " Divina Commedia " made into Catalan by Andres 
Febrer in 1428, ^* and the romance of " Tirante the 

' The discussion makes out two 
points quite clearly, viz. : 1st. There 
was a person named Jordi, who lived 
in the thirteenth century and in the 
time of Jayme the Conqueror, was 
much with that monarch, and wrote, 
as an eyewitness, an account of tlie 
storm from which the royal fleet suf- 
fered at sea, near Majorca, in Sep- 
tember, 1269 (Ximeno, Escritores 
de Valencia, Tom. I. p. 1 ; and Fus- 
ter, Biblioteca Valentiana, Tom. I. 
p. 1) ; and, 2nd. There was a person 
named Jordi, a poet in the fifteenth 
century; because the Marquis of San- 
tillana, in his well-known letter, writ- 
ten between 1454 and 1458, spc^dcs of 
such a person as having lived in his 
time. (See the letter in Sanchez, 
Tom. I. pp. Ivi. and Ivii., and the 
notes on it, pp. 81-85.) Now the 
question is, to which of these two 
persons belong the poems bearing the 
name of Jordi in the various Cancio- 
neros ; for example, in the '^ Cancio- 
nero General," 1573, f. 301, and in 
the MS. Cancionero in the Kine's 
Library at Paris, which is of tne 
fifteenth centunr. (Torres Amat, pp. 
828-333.) This question is of some 
consequence, because a passage attri- 
buted to Jordi is so very like one in 
the 103rd sonnet of Petrarch, (Parte 
I.,) that one of them must be taken 
quite unceremoniously from the other. 
The Spaniards, and especially the 
Catalans, have generally claimed the 
lines referred to as the work of the 
dder Jordi, and so would make Pe- 
trarch the copyist ; — a claim in which 
foreigners have sometimes concurred. 
(Retrospective Review, Vol. IV. pp. 

46, 47, and Foscolo's Essay on Pe- 
trarch, London, 1823, 8vo., p. 65.) 
But it seems to me difficult for an 
impartial person to read the verses 
printed by Torres Amat with the 
name of Jordi from the Paris MS. 
Cancionero, and not believe that they 
belong to the same century with the 
other poems in the same manuscript, 
and that thus the Jordi in question 
lived after 1400, and is the copyist of 
Petrarch. Indeed, the very position 
of these verses in such a manuscript 
seems to prove it, as well as their 
tone and cnaracter. 

• Torres Amat, pp. 636-643. 

*® Of this remarkable manuscript, 
which is in the Royal Library at 
Paris, M. Tastu, in 1834, ^ave an 
account to Torres Amat, who was 
then preparing his '' Memorias para 
un Diccionario de Autores (;ata- 
lanes," (Barcelona, 1836, 8vo.) It is 
numbered 7699, and consists of 260 
leaves. See the Memorias, pp. zviii. 
and xli., and the many poetical pas- 
sages from it scattered through other 
parts of that work. It is much to be 
desired that the whole should be pub- 
lished; but, in the mean time, the 
ample extracts from it given by 
Torres Amat leave no doubt of its 
general character. Another, and in 
some respects even more ample, ac- 
count of it, with extracts, is to be 
found in Ochoa's *' Catdlogo de Ma^ 
nuscritos,** (4to., Paris, 1844, pp. 
286-374.) From this last description 
of the manuscript we learn that it 
contains works or thirty-one poets. 

" Torres Amat, p. 237. Febrer 
says expressly, that it is translated 


White,** translated into Valencian by its author, Joannot 
Martorell, — which Cervantes calls " a treasure of content- 
ment and a mine of pleasure," *' — we shall have all that is 
needful of the peculiar literature of the north-eastern part 
of Spain during the greater part of the century in which 
it flourished. Two authors, however, who most illustrated 
it, deserve more particular notice. 

The first of them is Ausias or Augustin March. His 
family, originally Catalan, went to Valencia at the time 
of the conquest, in 1238, and was distinguished, in suc- 
cessive generations, for the love of letters. He himself 
was of noble rank, possessed the seigniory of the town 
of Beniarjd and its neighbouring villages, and served in 
the Cortes of Valencia in 1446. But, beyond these few 
facts, we know little of his life, except that he was an 
intimate personal friend of the accomplished and unhappy 
Prince Carlos of Viana, and that he died, probably, in 
1460 — certainly before 1462 — well deserving the record 
made by his contemporary, the Grand Constable of Castile, 
that " he was a great Troubadour and a man of a very 
lofly spirit"^' 

" en rims vulgars Calhalans." The 1796, 4to., pp. 72-76.) What is in 
first verses are as follows, word for Ximeno (Tom. I. p. 12) and Fuster 
word from the Italian : — (Tom. I. p. 10) goes on the false 

En lo mig del cami de nostra vida Suppositiwi that the Tiiante WaS writ- 

Me retrobe per una aelva oMura, etc. ten m Spanish before 1383, and 

and the last is- P'?"*^,, ''' \t^^' . ^^ ]J^' '" ^^ 

oncnnally wntten in Portuflruesc, but 
Lamar qui niottlo«,ieie. .telle.. ^J p^^^d first in the Valencian 

It was done at Barcelona, and finished dialect, in 1490. Of this edition only 

August 1 , 1428, according to the MS. two copies are known to exist, for 

copy in the Escurial. one of which 300/. was paid in 1825. 

" Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 6, Rei)ertorioAmericano,L<5ndpe8, 1827, 

where Tirante is saved in the confla- 8vo., Tom. IV. pp. 67-60. 

gration of the mad knight's libiary. '^ The Life of Ausias March is 

But Sou they is of quite a different found in Ximeno, *' Escritores dc 

opinion. See ante, note to Chap. XI. Valencia," (Tom. I. p. 41 ,) and Fus- 

The best accounts of it are those by ter's continuation of it, (Tom. I. pp. 

Clemcncin in his edition of Don 12, 15, 24,) and in the ample notes 

Quixote, (Tom. I. pp. 132-134,) of Ccrdd y Rico to the ** Diana" of 

bv Diosdado, ** De Prima Typogra- Gil Polo, (1802, pp. 290, 293, 486.) 

phiee Hispanicee -State," (Komae, For his connexion with the Prince of 

1794, 4to., p. 32,) and by Mendez, Viana, — ** Mozo," as Mariana beauti- 

** Typograpma Espanola," (Madrid, fully says of him, " dignisimo de me- 

Chap. XVII. AUSIA8 MARCH. 303 

So much of his poetry as has been preserved is dedi- 
cated to the honour of a lady, whom he loved and served 
in life and in death, and whom, if we are literally to 
believe his account, he first saw on a Good Friday in 
church, exactly as Petrarch first saw Laura. But this is 
probably only an imitation of the great Italian master, 
whose fame then overshadowed whatever there was of 
literature in the world. At any rate, the poems of March 
leave no doubt that he was a follower of Petrarch. They 
are in form what he calls cants ; each of which generally 
consists of from five to ten stanzas. The whole collection, 
amounting to one hundred and sixteen of these short 
poems, is divided into four parts, and comprises ninety- 
three cants or canzones of Love, in which he complains 
much of the falsehood of his mistress, fourteen moral and 
didactic canzones^ a single spiritual one, and eight on 
Death. But though March, in the framework of his 
poetry, is an imitator of Petrarch, his manner is his own. 
It is grave, simple, and direct, with few conceits, and much 
real feeling ; besides which, he has a truth and freshness 
in his expressions, resulting partly from the dialect he 
uses, and partly from the tenderness of his own nature, 
which are very attractive. No doubt he is the most 
successful of all the Valencian and Catalan poets whose 
works have come down to us ; but what distinguishes him 
from all of them, and indeed from the Proven9al school 
generally, is the sensibility and moral feeling that pervade 
so nmch of what he wrote. By these qualities his reputa- 
tion and honours have been preserved in his own country 
down to the present time. His works passed through four 
editions in the sixteenth century, and enjoyed the honour 
of being read to Philip the Second, when a youth, by his 
tutor ; they were translated into Latin and Italian, and in 

jor fortuna, y de padre mas manso/' fortunate prince by Quintana, in the 
— see Zurita, Anales, (Lib. XVII. c. first volume of his " Espanoles C^le- 
24,) and the graceful Life of the un- bres/' Madrid, Tom. I. 1807, 12mo. 


the. proud Castilian were versified by a poet of no less 
consequence than Montemayor. ** 

The other poet who should be mentioned in the same 
relations was a contemporary of March, and, like him, a 
native of Valencia. His name is Jaume or James Roig, 
and he was physician to Mary, queen of Alfonso the Fiffli 
of Aragon. If his own authority is not to be accounted 
rather poetical than historical, he was a man of much 
distinction in his time, and respected in other countries as 
well as at home. But if that be set aside, we know little 
of him, except that he was one of the persons who con- 
tended for a poetical prize at Valencia in 1474, and that 
he died there of apoplexy on the 4th of April, 1478." 
His works are not much better known than his life, 
though, in some respects, they are well worthy of notice. 
Hardly anything, indeed, remains to us of them, except 
the principal one, a poem of three hundred pages, some- 
times called the " Book of Advice," and sometimes the 
" Book of the Ladies.*' *• It is chiefly a satire on women, 
but the conclusion is devoted to the praise and glory of the 
Madonna ; and the whole is interspersed with sketches of 

^* There are editions of his Works we are told, he used to delight that 

of 1543, 1545, 1555, and 1560, in the young prince and his courtiers by 

original Catalan, and translations of reading the works of March aloud 

parts of them into Castilian by Ro- to them. I have seen none of the 

mani, 1539, and Montemayor, 1562, translations, except those of Moote^ 

which are united in the edition of mayor and Mariner, both good, but 

1579, besides one quite complete, the last not entire, 
but unpublished, by Arano v Onate. ** Ximeno, Escritores de Valencia, 

Vicente Mariner translated March Tom. I. p. 50, with Fuster's continu* 

into Latin, and wrote his life. (Opera, ation, Tom. I. p. 30 ; Rodriguez, p. 

Tumoni, 1633, 8vo., pp. 497-856.) 196; and Cerd^'s notes to Polo's 

Who was his Italian translator I do Diana, pp. 300, 302, etc. 
not find. See (besides Ximeno and " '* Libre de Consells fet per lo 

others, cited in the last note) Rodri- Magnifich Mestre Jaume Roig " is 

guez. Bib. Val., p. 68, etc. The the title in the edition of 1531, 

edition of March's Works, 1560, Bar- as given by Ximeno, and in that 

celona, 12mo., is a neat volume, and of 1561, (Valencia, 12mo., 149 

has at the end a very short and imper- leaves,) which I use. In that of 

feet list of obscure terms, with the Valencia, 1735, (4to.,) which is also 

corresponding Spanish, supposed to before me, it is called, according to 

have been made by the tutor of Philip its subject, '* Lo Libre de les Dones 

II., the Bishop of Osma, when, as e dc Concells," etc. 


himself and his times, and advice to his nephew, Balthazar 
Bou, for whose especial benefit the poem seems to have 
been written. 

It is divided into fom* books, which are subdivided into 
parts, little connected with each other, and often little in 
harmony with the general subject of the whole. Some of 
it is full of learning and learned names, and some of it 
would seem to be devout, but its prevailing air is certainly 
not at all religious. It is written in short rhymed verses, 
consisting of from two to five syllables — an irregular 
measure, which has been called eudohdoj and one which, 
as here used, has been much praised for its sweetness by 
those who are familiar enough with the principles of its 
structure to make the necessary elisions and abbreviations ; 
though to others it can hardly appear better than whimsical 
and spirited. *'' The following sketch of himself may be 
taken as a specimen of it, and shows that he had as little 
of the spirit of a poet as Skelton, with whom, in many 
respects, he may be compared. Roig represents himself 
to have been ill of a fever, when a boy, and to have 
hastened from his sick bed into the service of a Catalan 
freebooting gentleman, like Roque Guinart or Rocha 
Guinarda, an historical personage of the same Catalonia, 
and of nearly the same period, who figures in the Second 
Part of Don Quixote. 

Bed I abjured, Till I came out 

Though hardly cured, Man grown and stout ; 

And then went straight For he was wise, 

To seek my fate. Taught me to prize 

A Catalan, My time, and learn 

A nobleman. My bread to earn, 

A highway knight, By service hard 

Of ancient right, At watch and ward, 

Gave me, in grace. To hunt the game, 

A page's place. Wild hawks to tame. 

With him I lived. On horse to prance. 

And with him thrived, In hall to dance. 

*^ Orfgenes de la Lcngua Espauola de Mayans y Sbcar, Tom. I. p. 57. 
VOL. I. X 



PaioD I. 

To canre, to pUy, 
And make my way. *• 

The poem, its author tells us, was written in 1460, and 
we know that it continued popular long enough to pass 
through five editions before 1562. But portions of it are 
so indecent, that when, in 1735, it was thought worth 
while to print it anew, its editor, in order to account for 
the large omissions he was obliged to make, resorted to 
the amusing expedient of pretending he could find no 
copy of the old editions which was not deficient in the 
passages he left out of his own. ^* Of course, Roig is 
not much read now. His indecency and the obscurity 
of his idiom alike cut him off from the polished portions 
of Spanish society ; though out of his free and spirited 
satire much may be gleaned to illustrate the tone of 
manners and the modes of living and thinking in his time. 

The death of Roig brings us to the period when the 
literature of the eastern part of Spain, along the shores 
of the Mediterranean, began to decline. Its decay was 
the natural, but melancholy, result of the character of 
the literature itself, and of the circumstances in which 
it was accidentally placed. It was originally Proven9al 

» Sorti del Hit, Ab Ibom Aiacnt 

E mig goarit. Tempt no hi petdi, 

Yo men parti, Dell aprengul, 

A pea anl De ben terrir, 

Seguint fortana. Armes leguir. 

En Catalunya, Fuy ca^ador, 

Un Cavalier, Cavalcador, 

Gran vandoler, De CetrerU, 

Dantitch Uinatge, MeneMalia, 

Me pr^ per patge. Sonar, ballar, 

Ab ell nxqul. Fins k Ullar 

Finn quem ixqul, EU men mostri. 
Ja home fet. 
Libre de les Donet, Primera Part del Primer 
Libre, ed. 1561, 4to., f. xv. b. 

The *' Cavalier, eran vandoler, dan- 
titch Wimtee" whom I have called, 
in the translation, *' a highway knight, 
of ancient right," was one of the suc- 
cessors of the marauding knights of 
the Middle Ages, who were not 
always without generosity or a sense 
of justice, and whose character is well 
set forth in the accounts of Roque 
Guinart or Rocha Guinarda, the per- 

sonaffe referred to in the text, and 
found in the Second Part of Don 
Quixote (Capp. 60 and 61). He 
and his followers are all called by 
Cervantes BcauMeros, and are the 
** banished men " of ** Robin Hood " 
and** The Nut-Brown Maid." They 
took their name of Bandoleros from 
the shoulder-belts they wore. Calde- 
ron's ** Luis Perez, el GaUego " is 
founded on the history of a Bandolero 
supposed to have lived in the time of 
the Armada, 1588. 

^ The editor of the last edition 
that has appeared is Clb*lo6 Ros, a 
curious collection of Valendan pro- 
verbs by whom (in 12mo., Valencia, 
1733) I have seen, and who, I be- 
lieve, the year previous, printed a 
work on the Valencian and Castilian 


in its spirit and elements, and had therefore been of quick 
rather than of firm growth; — a gay vegetation, which 
sprang forth spontaneously with the first warmth of the 
spring, and which could hardly thrive in any other season 
than the gentle one that gave it birth. As it gradually 
advanced, carried by the removal of the seat of political 
power, from Aix to Barcelona, and from Barcelona to 
Saragossa, it was constantly approaching the literature 
that had first appeared in the mountains of the North-west, 
whose more vigorous and grave character it was ill fitted 
to resist. When, therefore, the two came in contact, there 
was but a short struggle for the supremacy. The victory 
was almost immediately decided in favour of that which, 
springing from the elements of a strong and proud character, 
destined to vindicate for itself the political sway of the 
whole country, was armed with a power to which its more 
gay and gracious rival could ofler no effective opposition. 

The period when these two literatures, advancing from 
opposite corners of the Peninsula, finally met, cannot, 
from its nature, be determined with much precision. But, 
like the progress of each, it was the result of political 
causes and tendencies which are obvious and easily traced. 
The family that ruled in Aragon had, from the time of 
James the Conqueror, been connected with that established 
in Castile and the North ; and Ferdinand the Just, who 
was crowned in Saragossa in 1412, was a Castilian prince; 
so that, from this period, both thrones were absolutely 
filled by members of the same royal house ; and Valencia 
and Burgos, as far as their courts touched and controlled 
the literature of either, were to a great degree under the 
same influences. And this control was neither slight nor 
ineflBcient. Poetry, in that age, everywhere sought shelter 
under courtly favour, and in Spain easily found it. John 
the Second was a professed and successfiil patron of 
letters ; and when Ferdinand came to assume the crown 
of Aragon, he was accompanied by the Marquis of Villena, 

X 2 


a nobleman whose great fiefs lay on the borders of Va- 
lencia, but who, notwithstanding his interest in the Southern 
literature and in the Consistory of Barcelona, yet spoke 
the Castilian as his native language, and wrote in no other. 
We may, therefore, well believe that, in the reigns of 
Ferdinand the Just and Alfonso the Fifth, between 1412 
and 1458, the influence of the North began to make 
inroads on the poetry of the South, though it does not 
appear that either March or Roig, or any one of their 
immediate school, proved habitually unfaithful to his 
native dialect 

At length, forty years after the death of Villeua, we 
find a decided proof that the Castilian was beginning 
to be known and cultivated on the shores of the Medi- 
terranean. In 1474, a poetical contest was publicly held 
at Valencia, in honour of the Madonna; — a sort of 
literary jousting, like those so common afterwards in 
die time of Cervantes and Lope de Vega. Forty poets 
contended for the prize. The Viceroy was present It 
was a solemn and showy occasion; and all the poems 
offered were printed the same year by Bernardo Fenollar, 
Secretary of the meeting, in a volume which is valued as 
the first book known to have been printed in Spain.*® 
Four of these poems are in Castilian. This leaves no 
doubt that Castilian verse was now deemed a suitable 
entertainment for a popular audience at Valencia. Fe- 
nollar, too, who unrote, besides what appears in this contest, 
a small volume of poetry on the Passion of our Saviour, 
has left us at least one cancion in Castilian, though his 
works were otherwise in his native dialect, and were 
composed apparently for the amusement of his friends in 
Valencia, where he was a person of consideration, and in 
whose University, founded in 1499, he was a professor.*^ 

* Fuster, Tom. I. p. 62, and Men- •* Ximcno, Tom. I. p. 69 ; Fuster. 
dez, Typographia Espanola, p. 66. Tom. I. p. 6] ; and the Diana of 

Roig is one of the competitors. Polo, cd. Cerda y Rico, p. 317. 

chap.xvii. decay of valencian poetry. 309 

Probably Castilian poetry was rarely written in Va- 
lencia during the fifteenth century, while, on the other 
hand, Valencian was written constantly. " The Suit of 
the Olives/' for instance, wholly in that dialect, was com- 
posed by Jaume Gazull, Fenollar, and Juan Moreno, 
who seem to have been personal friends, and who united 
their poetical resources to produce this satire, in which, 
under the allegory of olive-trees, and in language not 
always so modest as good taste requires, they discuss 
together the dangers to which the young and the old are 
respectively exposed from the solicitations of worldly 
pleasure. ^ Another dialogue, by the same three poets» 
in the same dialect, soon followed, dated in 1497, which 
is supposed to have occurred in the bedchamber of a 
lady just recovering from the birth of a child, in which 
is examined the question whether young men or old make 
the best husbands ; an inquiry decided by Venus in favour 
of the young, and ended, most inappropriately, by a 
religious hymn.*' Other poets were equally faithful to 
their vernacular ; among whom were Juan Escriva, am- 
bassador of the Catholic sovereigns to the Pope in 1497, 
who was probably the last person of high rank that wrote 
in it ; ** and Vincent Ferrandis, concerned in a poetical 

His poems are in the '* Cancioncro "* There is an edition of 1497, 

General," 1673, Heaves 240, 251, (Mendcz, p. 88,) but I use one with 

307,) in the ** Obras de Ausias this title : *' Comen^a lo Somni de 

March,'* (1560, f. 134,) and in the Joan loan ordenat per lo Magnifich 

*' Process dc les Olives," mentioned Mosscn Jaume Ga^uIl, Cavalier, Natu- 

in the next note. The ** llistoria de ral de Valencia, en Valencia, 1661," 

la Passio de Nostre Scnyor " was (ISmo.) At the end is a humorous 

printed at Valencia, in 1493 and poem by Gacull in reply to FcnoUar, 

1564. who had spoKen slightingly of many. 

" ** Lo Process de les Olives k words used in Valencian, which Ga- 

Disputa del Jovens hi del Vels " was cull defends. It is called ** La Brama 

first printed in Barcelona, 1532. But dels Llauradors del Orto de Valen- 

the copy I use is of Valencia, printed cia." Gacull also occurs in the ** Pro- 

by Joan dc Arcos, 1501 (18mo., 40 cessdc les Olives," and in the poetical 

leaves). One or two other poets contest of 1474. See his life in 

look jMirt in the discussion, and the Ximeno, Tom. I. p. 59, and Fuster^ 

whole seems to have grown under Tom. I. p. 37. 

their hands, by successive additions, ^ Xuneuo, Tom. I. p. 64. 
to its present state and size. 


contest in honour of Saint Catherine of Siena, at Valencia, 
in 1511, whose poems seem, on other occasions, to have 
carried off public honours, and to have been, from their 
sweetness and power, worthy of the distinction they won. ** 
Meantime, Valencian poets are not wanting who wrote 
more or less in Castilian. Francisco Castelvi, a friend of 
FenoUar, is one of them. "* Another is Narcis Vinoles, 
who flourished in 1500, who wrote in Tuscan as well as 
in Castilian and Valencian, and who evidendy thought his 
native dialect somewhat barbarous." A third is Juan 
Tallante, whose religious poems are found at the opening 
of the old General Cancionero. " A fourth is Luis Crespi, 
member of the ancient family of Valdaura, and in 1506 
head of the University of Valencia.** And among the 
latest, if not the very last, was Fernandez de Heredia, who 
died in 1549, of whom we have hardly anything in Valen- 
cian, but much in Castilian. '^ Indeed, that the Castilian, 
in the early part of the century, had obtained a real su- 

" The poems of Ferrandis are in *^ Ximeno, Tom. I. p. 61. Fuster, 

the Cancionero General of Seville, Tom. I. p. 64. Cancionero General, 

1635, ff. 17, 18, and in the Cancio- 1673, if. 241,261,316, 318. Cerdi's 

nero of Antwerp, 1673, ff. 31-34. notes to Polo's Diana, 1802, p. 304. 

The notice of the certamen of 1611 is Vinoles, in the Pnflogo to the transla- 

in Fuster, Tom. I. pp. 66-68. tion of the Latin Chronicle noticed on 

Some other poets in the ancient Va- p. 197, says, **He has ventured to 
lencian have been mentioned, as Juan stretch out his rash hand and put it 
Roiz de Corella, (Ximeno, Tom. I. into the puro, eleeant, and mcious 
p. 62,) a friend of the unhappy Prince Castilian, which, without ialsenood or 
Cdrlos de Viana ; two or tnree, by flattery, may, among the many bar- 
no means without merit, who remain barous and savage dudects of our own 
anonymous (Fuster, Tom. 1. pp. 284- Spain, be (ailed Latin-sounding and 
and several who joined in a most elegant.'* Suma de Todas las 

certamen at Valencia, in 1498, in ho- CnSnicas, Valencia, 1610, folio, f. 2. 

nour of St. Christopher (Ibid., pp. ^ The religious poems of Tallante 

296, 297). But the attempt to press begin, I believe, all Uie Cancioneros 

into the service and to place in the Generales, from 1611 to 1673. 

thirteenth century the manuscript in *" Cancionero General, 1573, ff. 

the Escurial containing the poems 238, 248, 300, 301. Fuster, Tom. I. 

of Sta. Marfa Egypciaca and King p. 66 ; and Cerdi's notes to Gil Polo's 

Apollonius, already referred to (on/e, Diana, p. 306. 

p. 23) among the earliest Castilian ^ Ximeno, Tom. I. p. 102. Foster, 

poems, is necessarily a failure. Ibid., Tom. I. p. 87. Diana de Polo, ed. 

p. 284. Cerdd, 326. Cancionero General, 

*» Cancionero General, 1673, f. 1673, ff. 186, 222, 226, 228, 230, 

261, and elsewhere. 306-307. 


premacy in whatever there was of poetry and elegant 
literature along the shores of the Mediterranean cannot be 
doubted ; for, before the death of Heredia, Boscan had 
already deserted his native Catalonian, and begun to form 
a school in Spanish literature that has never since disap- 
peared ; and shortly afterwards, Timoneda and his followers 
showed, by their successful representation of Castilian 
farces in the public squares of Valencia, that the ancient 
dialect had ceased to be insisted upon in its own capital. 
•The language of the court of Castile had, for such purposes, 
become the prevailing language of all the South. 

This, in fact, was the circumstance that determined the 
fate of all that remained in Spain on the foundations of the 
Proven9al refinement. The crowns of Aragon and Castile 
had been united by the marriage of Ferdinand and Isa- 
bella ; the court had been removed from Saragossa, though 
that city still claimed the dignity of being regarded as an 
independent capital ; and, with the tide of empire, that of 
cultivation gradually flowed down from the West and 
the North. Some of the poets of the South have, it is 
true, in later times, ventured to write in their native dia- 
lects. The most remarkable of them is Vicent Garcia, 
who was a friend of Lope de Vega, and died in 1623." 
But his poetry, in all its various phases, is a mixture of 
several dialects, and shows, notwithstanding its provincial 
air, the influence of the court of Philip the Fourth, where 
its author for a time lived ; while the poetry printed later, 
or heard in our own days on the popular theatres of Barce- 

'* His Works were first printed sonnets, ddcimaSy redondiUaiy ballads, 

with the following title : ** La Anno- etc. ; but at the end is a dnuna called 

nia del Pamas mes numerosa en las ** Santa Barbara," in three short Jor- 

Poesfas varias del Atlant del Cel Po^ nadas, with forty or fifty personages, 

tic, lo D'- Vicent Garcia," (Barce- some allegorical and some supema- 

lona, 1700, 4to., 201 pp.) There has tural, and the whole as fantastic as 

been some question about the proper anything of the age that produced it. 

date of this edition, and therefore I Another edition of Garcia's Works 

give it as it is in my copy. (See Tor- was printed in Barcelona in 1840, 

res Amat, Memonas, pp. 271-274.) and a notice of him occurs in the 

It consists chiefly of lyrical poetry, Semanario Pintoresco, 1848, p. 84. 




lona and Valencia, is in a dialect so grossly comipted, that 
it is no longer easy to acknowledge it as that of the descend- 
ants of Miintaner and March.'* 

The degradation of the two more refined dialects in the 

■■ The Valencian has alwajrs re- 
muned a sweet dialect. Cervantes 
praises it for its " honeyed grace " 
more than once. See the second act 
of the '* Gran Sultana," and the open- 
ing of the twelfth chapter in the 
third book of ^* Persiles and Sigis- 
munda." Mayans 7 Siscar loses no 
occasion of honouring it ; but he was 
a native of Valencia, and full of Va- 
lencian prejudices. 

The literary history of the kingdom 
of Valencia — both that of the period 
when its native dialect prevailed, and 
that of the more recent period during 
which the Castilian has enjoyed the 
supremacy — has been illustrated with 
remarkable diligence and success. The 
first person who devoted himself to it 
was Josef Rodriguez, a learned eccle- 
nastic, who was bom in its capital in 
1630, and died there in 1703, just at 
Uie moment when his ** Biblioteca Va- 
Icntina" was about to be issued from 
the press, and when, in fact, all but a 
few pages of it had been printed. But 
though it was so near to publication, 
a long time elapsed before it finally 
appeared ; for his friend, Ignacio Sa- 
vafls, to whom the duty of completing 
it was intrusted, and who at once 
busied himself with his task, died, at 
last, in 1746, without having quite 
accomplished it. 

Meanwhile, however, copies of the 
imperfect work had got abroad, and 
one of them came into the hands of 
Vicente Ximcno, a Valencian, as well 
as Rodriguez, and, like him, intcr^ 
csted in the literary history of his 
native kingdom. At first Ximeno 
conceived the project of completing 
the work of his predecessor ; but soon 
determined rather to use its materials 
in preparing on the same subject an- 
other and a larger one of his own, 
whose notices should come down to 
his own time. This he soon com- 
pleted, and published it at Valencia, 
m 1747-49, in two volumes, folio. 

with the title of <' EKntores de Va- 
lencia," — not, however, so quickly 
that the Biblioteca of Rodriguez had 
not been ftdrly launched into the 
worid, in the same d^, in 1747, a 
few months before the ust Tolaine of 
Ximeno's appeared. 

The dicticmary of Ximeno, who died 
in 1764, brings down the literary his- 
tory of Valencia to 1748, from which 
date to 1829 it is continued by the 
** Biblioteca Valendana" of Justo 
Pastor Fuster, (Valencia, 1827-30, 
2 tom., folio,) a valuable woriL, con- 
taining a great nomber of new articles 
for the earlier period embraced by the 
labours of Rodriguez and Ximeno, and 
making additions to many which they 
had left imperfect. 

In the ^ye volumes, folio, of which 
the whole series conasts, there are 
2841 articles. How many of those 
in Ximeno relate to authora noticed 
by Rodriguez, and how many of those 
in Fuster relate to authors noticed by 
either or both of his predecessors, I 
have not examined ; but the number 
is, I think, smaller than might be an- 
ticipated ; while, on the o£er hand, 
the new articles and the additions to 
the old ones are more considerable and 
important Perhaps, taking the whde 
together, no portion of Europe equally 
la^ has had its intellectual history 
more carefully investigated than the 
kingdom of Valencia; — a circum- 
stance the more remarkable, if we 
bear in mind that Rodriguez, the first 
person who undertook the work, was. 
as he says, the first who attempted 
such a labour in any modem langiuge, 
and that Fuster, the last of them, 
though evidentiy a man of curious 
learnmg, was by occupation a book- 
binder, and was led to his investiea- 
tions, in a considerable degree, by his 
interest in the rare books that were, 
from time to time, intrusted to his 
mechanical skill. 


southern and eastern parts of Spain, which was begun in 
the time of the Catholic sovereigns, may be considered as 
completed when the seat of the national government was 
settled, first in Old and afterwards in New Castile ; since, 
by this circumstance, the prevalent authority of the Casti- 
lian was finally recognised and insured. The change was 
certainly neither unreasonable nor ill-timed. The language 
of the North was already more ample, more vigorous, and 
more rich in idiomatic constructions; indeed, in almost 
every respect, better fitted to become national than that of 
the South. And yet we can hardly follow and witness the 
results of such a revolution but with feelings of a natural 
regret ; for the slow decay and final disappearance of any 
language bring with them melancholy thoughts, which are, 
in some sort, peculiar to the occasion. We feel as if a 
portion of the world's intelligence were extinguished ; — as 
if we were ourselves cut off from a part of the intellectual 
inheritance, to which we had in many respects an equal 
right with those who destroyed it, and which they were 
bound to pass down to us unimpaired as they themselves 
had received it The same feeling pursues us even when, 
as in the case of the Greek or Latin, the people that spoke 
it had risen to the full height of their refinement, and left 
behind them monuments by which all future times can 
measure and share their glory. But our regret is deeper 
when the language of a people is cut off in its youth, before 
its character is fully developed ; when its poetical attributes 
are just beginning to appear, and when all is bright with 
promise and hope. '' 

This was singularly the misfortune and the fate of the 
Proven9al and of the two principal dialects into which it 
was modified and moulded. For the Proven9al started 

" The Catalans have always felt nand and Isabella, more abundant and 

this reCTet, and have never reconciled harmonious than the ]jrouder one that 

themselves heartily to the use of the has so far displaced it. Villanucva, 

Castilian; holding their own dialect Viage d las Iglesias, Valencia, 1821, 

to have been, in the time of Ferdi- 8vo., Tom. VII. p. 202. 


forth in the darkest period Europe had seen since Grecian 
civilization had first dawned on die world. It kindled, at 
once, all the South of France with its brightness, and 
spread its influence, not only into the neighbouring coun- 
tries, but even to the courts of the cold and unfriendly North. 
It flourished long, with a tropical rapidity and luxuriance, 
and gave token, from the first, of a light-hearted spirit, 
that promised, in the fulness of its strength, to produce a 
poetry, different, no doubt, from that of antiquity, with 
which it had no real connexion, but yet a poetry as fresh 
as the soil from which it sprang, and as genial as the cli- 
mate by which it was quickened. But the cruel and shame- 
ful war of the Albigenses drove the Troubadours over the 
Pyrenees, and the revolutions of political power and the 
prevalence of the spirit of the North crushed them on the 
Spanish shores of the Mediterranean. We follow, there- 
fore, with a natural and inevitable regret, their long and 
wearisome retreat, marked as it is everywhere with the 
wrecks and fragments of their peculiar poetry and cultiva- 
tion, from Aix to Barcelona, and from Barcelona to Sara- 
gossa and Valencia, where, oppressed by the prouder and 
more powerful Castilian, what remained of the language 
that gave the first impulse to poetical feeling in modern 
times sinks into a neglected dialect, and, without having 
attained the refinement that would preserve its name and 
its glory to future times, becomes as much a dead language 
as the Greek or the Latin. ^ 

** One of the most valuable monu- may be found in Castro, Bib. Espa- 
ments of the old dialects of Spain is fiofa, (Tom. I. pp. 444-448^ and 
a translation of the Bible into Ca- McCrie's *' Reformation in Spain" 
talan, made by Bonifacio Ferrer, who (Edinburgh, 1829, 8vo., pp. 191 and 
died in 1477, and was the brother of 414). Sbmondi, at the end of his 
St. Vincent Ferrer. It was printed discussion of the Provencal literature, 
at Valencia, in 1478, (folio,) but the in his " Litt^rature du Midi de TEu- 
Inquisition came so soon to suppress rope," has some remarks on its de- 
it, that it never exercised mucn in- cay, which in their tone are not 
fluence on the literature or language entirely unlike those in the last pages 
of the country ; nearly every copy of of this chapter, and to which I would 
it having been destroyed. Extracts refer both to illustrate and to justify 
from it and sufficient accounts of it my own. 



The Pboven^al aitd Coubtlt School in Casthjait Litexature. — Pabtlt 


Italy, Religious, Intellectual, and Political. — Similabitt of Lan- 

Reign of John the Second. — Tboubadoubs and Minnesingbbs 


OF ViLLENA. — His Abt op Cabting. — His Abt of Poetbt. — His 
Laboubs op Hebcules. 

The Proven9al literature, which appeared so early in 
Spain, and which, during the greater part of the period 
when it prevailed there, was in advance of the poetical 
culture of nearly all the rest of Europe, could not fail to 
exercise an influence on the Castilian, springing up and 
flourishing at its side. But, as we proceed, we must no- 
tice the influence of another literature over the Spanish, 
less visible and important at first than that of the Proven- 
9al, but destined subsequently to become much wider and 
more lasting ; — I mean, of course, the Italian. 

The origin of this influence is to be traced far back in the 
history of the Spanish character and civilization. Long, 
indeed, before a poetical spirit had been re-awakened any- 
where in the South of Europe, the Spanish Christians, 
through the wearisome centuries of their contest with the 
Moors, had been accustomed to look towards Italy as to 
the seat of a power whose foundations were laid in faith 
and hopes extending far beyond the mortal struggle in 
which they were engaged ; not because the Papal See, in 
its political capacity, had then obtained any wide authority 
in Spain, but because, from the peculiar exigencies and 


trials of their condition, the religion of the Bomish Church 
had nowhere found such implicit and faithful followers as 
the body of the Spanish Christians. 

In truth, from the time of the great Arab invasion 
down to the fall of Granada, this devoted people had 
rarely come into political relations with the rest of Europe* 
Engrossed and exhausted by their wars at home, they had, 
on the one hand, hardly been at all the subjects of foreign 
cupidity or ambition; and, on the other, they had been 
little able, even when they most desired it, to connect 
themselves with the stirring interests of the world beyond 
their mountains, or attract the sympathy of those more 
favoured countries which, with Italy at their head, were 
coming up to constitute the civilized power of Christendom. 
But the Spaniards always felt their warfare to be peculiarly 
that of soldiers of the Cross ; they always felt themselves, 
beyond everything else and above everything else, to be 
Christian men contending against misbelief. Their reli- 
gious sympathies were, therefore, constantly apparent, and 
often predominated over all others ; so that while they were 
little connected with the Church of Rome by those political 
ties that were bringing half Europe into bondage, they were 
more connected with its religious spirit than any other 
people of modem times; more even than the armies of the 
Crusaders whom that same Church had summoned out of 
all Christendom, and to whom it had given whatever of its 
own resources and character it was able to impart. 

To these religious influences of Italy upon Spain were 
early added those of a higher intellectual culture. Before 
the year 1300, Italy possessed at least five universities ; 
some of them famous throughout Europe, and attracting 
students from its most distant countries. Spain, at the 
same period, possessed not one, except that of Salamanca, 
which was in a very unsettled state. ^ Even during the 

* The University of Salamanca owes 1254; but in 1310 it had already 
its first endowment to Alfonso X., fallen into great decay, and did not 


next century, those established at Huesca and Valladolid 
produced comparatively little eflFect The whole Penin- 
sula was still in too disturbed a state for any proper encou- 
ragement of letters; and those persons, therefore, who 
wished to be taught, resorted, some of them, to Paris, but 
more to Italy. At Bologna, which was probably the 
oldest, and for a long time the most distinguished, of the 
Italian universities, we know Spaniards were received and 
honoured, during the thirteenth century, both as students 
and as professors.* At Padua, the next in rank, a Spa- 
niard, in 1260, was made the Rector, or presiding officer. • 
And, no doubt, in all the great Italian places of education, 
which were easily accessible, especially m those of Bome 
and Naples, Spaniards early sought the culture that was 
either not then to be obtained in their own country, or to 
be had only with difficulty or by accident 

In the next century, the instruction of Spaniards in 
Italy was put upon a more permanent foundation, by 
Cardinal Carillo de Albornoz ; a prelate, a statesman, and 
a soldier, who, as Archbishop of Toledo, was head of the 
Spanish Church in the reign of Alfonso the Eleventh, 
and who afterwards, as regent for the Pope, conquered 
and governed a large part of the Roman States, which, in 
the time of Rienzi, had fallen off from their allegiance. 
This distinguished personage, during his residence in Italy, 
felt the necessity of better means for the education of 
his countrymen, and founded, for their especial benefit, at 
Bologna, in 1364, the College of Saint Clement, — a muni- 
ficent institution, which has subsisted down to our own age. * 
From the middle of the fourteenth century, therefore, it 
cannot be doubted that the most direct means existed for 

become an efficient and frequented turaltaliana, Roma, 1782, 4to., Tom. 

university till some time afterwards. IV. Lib. I. c. 3 ; and Fustcr, Biblio* 

Ilist. de la Univcrsidad de Salamanca, teca Valenciana, Tom. I. pp. 2, 9. 
})or Pedro Chacon. Seminario Em- • Tiraboschi, ut sup. 

dito, Madrid, 1789, 4to., Tom. ♦ Ibid., Tom. IV. Lib. I.e. 3, sect. 

XVIII. pp. 13, 21, etc. 8. Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, 

* Tiraboschi, Storia della Lcttcra- Tom. II. pp. 169, 170. 


the transmission of culture from Italy to Spain ; one of 
the most striking proofe of which is to be found in the case 
of Antonio de Lebrixa, commonly called Nebrissensis, 
who was educated at this college in the century following 
its first foundation, and who, on his return home, did more 
to advance the cause of letters in Spain than any other 
scholar of his time. * 

Commercial and political relations still fiirther promoted 
a free communication of the manners and literature of 
Italy to Spain. Barcelona, long the se^t of a cultivated 
court, — a city whose liberal institutions had given birth to 
the first bank of exchange, and demanded the first commer- 
cial code of modern times, — had, from the days of James 
the Conqueror, exercised a sensible influence round the 
shores of the Mediterranean, and come into successful com- 
petition with the enterprise of Pisa and Genoa, even in the 
ports of Italy. The knowledge and refinement its ships 
brought back, joined to the spirit of commercial adven- 
ture that sent them out, rendered Barcelona, therefore, in 
the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, one of 
the most magnificent cities in Europe, and carried its in- 
fluence not only quite through the kingdoms of Aragon 
and Valencia, of which it was in many respects the capital, 
but into the neighbouring kingdom of Castile, with which 
that of Aragon was, during much of this period, intimately 
connected. * 

The political relations between Spain and Sicily were, 
however, earlier and more close than those between Spain 
and Italy, and tended to the same results. Giovanni de 
Frocida, after long preparing his beautifiil island to shake 
oflF the hated yoke of the French, hastened in 1282, as 

* Antonio, Bib. Nova, Tom. I. pp. Quintana's Life of that unhappy 
132-138. ET^^^i (Vidas de Espafioles C^lebres, 

• Prescott's Hist, of Ferdinand and Tom. I.,) and the very curious notice 
Isabella, Introd., Section 2; to which of Barcelona in Leo Von Rozmital's 
add the account of the residence in Ritter-Hof-und-Pilger-Reise, 1465- 
Barcelona of Cirlos de Viana, in 67, Stuttgard, 1844, 8vo., p. HI. 


soon as the horrors of the Sicilian Vespers were fulfilled, 
to lay the allegiance of Sicily at the feet of Peter the 
Third of Aragon, who, in right of his wife, claimed Sicily 
to be a part of his inheritance, as heir of Conradin, the 
last male descendant of the imperial family of the Hohen- 
stauflTen. '' The revolution thus begun by a fiery patriotism 
was successful ; but from that time Sicily was either a fief 
of the Aragonese crown, or was possessed, as a separate 
kingdom, by a branch of the Aragonese family, down to 
the period when, with the other possessions of Ferdinand 
the Catholic, it became a part of the consolidated monarchy 
of Spain. 

The connexion with Naples, which was of the same sort, 
followed later, but was no less intimate. Alfonso the Fifth 
of Aragon, a prince of rare wisdom and much literary cul- 
tivation, acquired Naples by conquest in 1441, afler a 
long struggle ; ® but the crown he had thus won was passed 
down separately in an indirect line through four of his 
descendants, till 1503, when, by a shameful treaty with 
France, and by the genius and arms of Gonzalvo of Cor- 
dova, it was again conquered and made a direct depend- 
ence of the Spanish throne. * In this condition, as fiefs 
of the crown of Spain, both Sicily and Naples continued 
subject kingdoms until afler the Bourbon accession ; both 
affording, from the very nature of their relations to the 
thrones of Castile and Aragon, constant means and oppor- 
tunities for the transmission of Italian cultivation and 
Italian literature to Spain itself. 

But the language of Italy, from its aflSnity to the 
Spanish, constituted a medium of communication perhaps 

'' Zurita, Anales de Aragon, Zaiu- • Schmidt, Geschichte Araffoniens 

goza, 1604, folio, Lib. IV. c. 13, etc. ; im Mittelalter, pp. 337-364. Heeren, 

Mariana, Historia, Lib. XIV. c. 6 ; — Geschichte des Studiums der Clas- 

both important, but especially the sischen Litteratur, Gottingen, 1797, 

first, as giving the Sparash view of a 8?o., Tom. II. pp. 109-111. 
case which we are more in the habit ' Prescott's Hist, of Ferdinand and 

of considering cither in its Italian or Isabella, Vol. III. 
its French relations. 


more important and effectual than any or all of the others. 
The Latin was the mother of both ; and the resemblance 
between them was such, that neither could daim to have 
features entirely its own : Fades non unoj nee diversa ta^ 
men; qualem decet esse sororum. It cost little labour 
to the Spaniard to make himself master of the Italian. 
Translations, therefore, were less common from the few 
Italian authors that then existed, worth translating, than 
they would otherwise have been ; but enough are found, 
and early enough, to show that Italian authors and Italian 
literature were not neglected in Spain. Ayala, the chro- 
nicler, who died in 1407, was, as we have already ob- 
served, acquainted with the works of Boccaccio. *® A little 
later, we are struck by the fact that the " Divina Comme- 
dia" of Dante was twice translated in the same year, 
1 428 ; once by Febrer into the Catalan dialect, and once by 
Don Enrique de Villena into the Castilian. Twenty years 
afterwards, the Marquis of Santillana is complimented as 
a person capable of correcting or surpassing that great poet, 
and speaks himself of Dante, of Petrarch, and of Boccaccio 
as if he were familiar with them aU. *^ But the name of 
this great nobleman brings us at once to the times of John 
the Second, when the influences of Italian literature and 
the attempt to form an Italian school in Spain are not to 
be mistaken. To this period, therefore, we now turn. 

The long reign of John the Second, extending fit)m 
1407 to 1454, unhappy as it was for himself and for his 
country, was not unfavourable to the progress of some 
of the forms of elegant literature. During nearly the 
whole of it, the weak king himself was subjected to the 
commandmg genius of the Constable Alvaro de Luna, 

^° Sec antCyii, 164. interpret them, imply a familiar know- 
" ** ConvosquecmcndavslasObras ledge of Dante, which the Marquis 
de Dante," says Gomez Alanrique, in himself yet more directly announces 
a poem addressed to his uncle, the in his well-known letter to the Con- 
great Marquis, and found in the stable of Portugal. Sanchez, Poesias 
"Cancionero General," 1573, f. 76. Antcriorcs, Tom. I. p. liv. 
b; — words which, however we may 


whose control, though he sometimes felt it to be oppressive, 
he always regretted, when any accident in the troubles of 
the times threw it ofl^ and left him to bear alone the bur- 
den which belonged to his position in the state. It seems, 
indeed, to have been a part of the Constable's policy to 
give up the king to his natural indolence, and encourage 
his effeminacy by filling his time with amusements that 
would make business more unwelcome to him than the 
hard tyranny of the minister who relieved him from it. ^' 

Among these amusements, none better suited the hu- 
mour of the idle king than letters. He was by no means 
without talent He sometimes wrote verses. He kept 
the poets of the time much about his person, and more in 
his confidence and favour than was wise. He had, per- 
haps, even a partial perception of the advantage of intel- 
lectual refinement to his country, or at least to his court. 
One of his private secretaries, to please his master and 
those nearest to the royal influence, made, about the year 
1449, an ample collection of the Spanish poetry then most 
in favour, comprising the works of about fifty authors. '* 
Juan de Mena, the most distinguished poet of the time, 
was his official chronicler, and the king sent him docu- 
ments and directions, with great minuteness and an amusing 
personal vanity, respecting the maimer in which the his- 
tory of his reign should be written ; while Juan de Mena, 
on his part, like a true courtier, sent his verses to the king 
to be corrected. " His physician, too, who seems to have 
been always in attendance on his person, was the gay and 
good-humoured Ferdinand Gomez, who has left us, if we 
are to believe them genuine, a pleasing and characteristic 

*' Mariana, Historia, Madrid, 1780, " See the amusing letters in the 

fol., Tom. II. pp. 236 407. See also ** Centon Epistolario" of Fern. Go- 

the very remarkable detdls given bv mez de Cibdareal, Nos. 47, 49, 66, 

Feman Perez de Guzman, in his and 76;— a work, however, whose 

''Greneraciones y Semblanzas," c. 33. authority will hereafter be called in 

*• Castro, Bib. Espafiola, Tom. I. question, 
pp. 265-346. 

VOL. I. Y 


collection of letters ; and who, after having served and fol- 
lowed his royal master above forty years, sleeping, as he 
tells us, at his feet and eating at his table, mourned his 
death, as that of one whose kindness to him had been con- 
stant and generous. " 

Surrounded by persons such as these, in continual in- 
tercourse with others like them, and often given up to 
letters to avoid the solicitation of state aflFairs and to gratify 
his constitutional indolence, John the Second made his 
reign, though discreditable to himself as a prince, and dis- 
astrous to Castile as an independent state, still interesting 
by a sort of poetical court which he gathered about him, 
and important as it gave an impulse to refinement percep- 
tible afterwards through several generations. 

There has been a period like this in the history of 
nearly all the modern European nations, — one in which a 
taste for poetical composition was common at court, and 
among those higher classes of society within whose limits 
intellectual cultivation was then much confined. In Gei> 
many, such a period is found as early as the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries; the unhappy young Conradin, who 
perished in 1268 and is commemorated by Dante, being 
one of the last of the princely company that illustrates it 
For Italy, it begins at about the same time, in the Sicilian 
court ; and though discountenanced both by the spirit of 
the Church, and by the spirit of such commercial republics 
as Pisa, Genoa, and Florence, — no one of which had then 
the chivalrous tone that animated, and indeed gave birth 
to this early refinement throughout Europe, — it can still 
be traced down as far as the age of Petrarch. 

Of the appearance of such a taste in the South of 
France, in Catalonia, and in Aragon, with its spread to 
Castile under the patronage of Alfonso the Wise, notice 
has already been taken. But now we find it in the heart 

** Fem. Gomez dc Cibdareal, Centon Epistolario, Epist. 106. 


and in the North of the country, extending, too, into An- 
dalusia and Portugal, full of love and knighthood ; and 
though not without the conceits that distinguished it wher- 
ever it appeared, yet sometimes showing touches of nature, 
and still oflener a graceful ingenuity of art, that have not 
lost their interest down to our own times. Under its in- 
fluence was formed that school of poetry which, marked 
by its most prominent attribute, has been sometimes 
called the school of the Minnesingers^ or the poets of love 
and gallantry ; ^^ a school which either owed its existence 
everywhere to the Troubadours of Provence, or took, as it 
advanced, much of their character. In the latter part of 
the thirteenth century, its spirit is already perceptible in 
the Castilian ; and, from that time, we have occasionally 
caught glimpses of it, down to the point at which we are 
now arrived, — the first years of the reign of John the 
Second, — when we find it beginning to be coloured by an 
infiision of the Italian, and spreading out into such im- 
portance as to require a separate examination. 

And the first person in the group to whom our notice 
is attracted, as its proper, central figure, is King John 
himself. Of him his chronicler said, with much truth, 
though not quite without flattery, that " he drew all men 
to him, was very free and gracious, very devout, and very 
bold, and gave himself much to the reading of philosophy 
and poetry. He was skilled in matters of the Church, 
tolerably learned in Latin, and a great respecter of such 
men as had knowledge. He had manj^atural gifts. He 
was a lover of music ; he played, sung, and made verses ; 

*' Minne is the word for bwe in the Wachter, Manage, Adelung, etc. ; 

** Nibelungcniied" and in the oldest but it is enough for our purpose to 

German poetry generally, and is ap- know that the word itself is peculiarly 

f)lied occasionally to spiritual and re- appropriate to the fiinciful and more 

igious affections, but almost always or less conceited school of poetry that 

to the love connected with gallantry, everywhere appeared under the influ- 

There has been a great deS of div- ences of chivalry. It is the word that 

cussion about its etymology and pri- gave birth to the French nu'gnon, the 

mitive meanings in the Lexicons of English mmwnf etc. 



and he danced well.*'" One who knew him better de- 
scribes him more skilfully. " He was," says Fernan Perez 
de Guzman, " a man who talked with judgment and dis- 
cretion. He knew other men, and understood who con- 
versed well, wisely, and graciously ; and he loved to listen 
to men of sense, and noted what they said. He spoke 
and understood Latin. He read well, and liked books 
and histories, and loved to hear witty rhymes, and knew 
when they were not well made. He took great solace in 
gay and shrewd conversation, and could bear his part in 
it He loved the chace, and hunting of fierce animals, 
and was well skilled in all the arts of it. Music, too, he 
understood, and sung and played ; was good in jousting, 
and bore himself well in tilting with reeds." ^® 

How much poetry he wrote we do not know. His 
physician says, " The king recreates himself with writing 
verses ;" ^* and others repeat the fact But the chief proof 
of his skill that has come down to our times is to be found 
in the following lines, in the Proven9al manner, on the 
falsehood of his lady : ^ — 

O Love, I never, never thought 

Thy power had been so great, 

That thou couldst change my &te, 
By changes in another wrought, 
Tin now, alas 1 I know it 

■7 Cr<$iuca de D. Juan el Segundo, gladly books of philosophy and poe^, 

Alio 1464, e. 2. and was learned in matters belonging 

" Generaciones y Semblanzas, Cap. to the Church." Crdnicade Hyspafia, 

83. Diego de Valera, who, like Guz- Salamanca, 1496, folio, f. 89. 
man, just dted, had much personal ** Fernan Gomez de Cibdareal, 

intercourse with the king, gives a Centon Epistolario, Ep. 20. 
similar account of him, in a s^le no ^ They are commonly printed vrith 

less natural and striking. ** He was," the works of Juan de Mena, as in the 

says that chronicler, "devout and edition of Seville, 1634, folio, f. 104, 

humane ; liberal and gentle ; tolera- but are often found elsewhere, 
bly well taught in the Latin tongue ; 

bold, gracious, and of winning ways. ^™» J® ™f* P***^* 

He was tall of stature, and his bear- qqc podriM traer maiMrat 

a; was regal, with much natural ease. Pi^ tnttomw u 6, 

oreover, he was a good musician; Fmu .gora qu« lo ifc. 

sang, played, and danced ; and wrote PennU qoe eonoddo 

-p^ verses Itrobaua muy Woi]. M*Mnopli5iJrSI!ar 

iimtiiig pleased him much ; he read qm tacrMten oui MbMo. 




I thought I knew thee well, 

For I had known thee long ; 

But though I felt thee strong, 
I felt not all thy spell. 

Nor ever, ever had I thought 

Thj power had been so great, 

That thou couldst change my fate. 
By changes in another wrought. 
Till now, alas ! I know it. 

Among those who most interested themselves in the 
progress of poetry in Spain, and laboured most directly to 
introduce it at the court of Castile, the person first in rank 
after the king was his near kinsman, Henry, Marquis of 
Villena, born in 1384, and descended in the paternal line 
from the royal house of Aragon, and in the maternal from 
that of Castile. " " In early youth," says one who knew 
him well, " he was inclined to the sciences and the arts, 
rather than to knightly exercises, or even to aflairs, whe- 
ther of the state or the Church ; for, without any master, 
and none constraining him to learn, but rather hindered 
by his grandfather, who would have had him for a knight, 
he did, in childhood, when others are wont to be carried 
to their schools by force, turn himself to learning, against 
the good-will of all ; and so high and so subtile a wit had 
he, that he learned any science or art to which he addicted 
himself in such wise that it seemed as if it were done by 
force of nature/* '* 

But his rank and position brought him into the affairs 
of the world and the troubles of the times, however little 
he might be fitted to play a part in them. He was made 
Master of the great military and monastic Order of Cala- 
trava, but, owing to irregularities in his election, was ulti- 

Ni jamu no lo peiue, in the kingdom. Salazar dc Mendoza. 

CPS^'r^'Sk™. Origen de las Dipjidadea 

Para trutoniar U fe, Castllla y Lcon, ToleUO, 1618, follO, 

Faato agora que lo ak. LJJ,. HI, c. xii. 

•* His femily, at the time of his ** Feman Perei de Guzman, Gen. 

birth, possessed the only marquisate y Semblanzas, Cap. 28. 


mately ejected from his place, and left in a worse condition 
than if he had never received it*^ In the mean time he 
resided chiefly at the court of Castile; but from 1412 to 
1414 he was at that of his kinsman, Ferdinand the Just, 
of Aragon, in honour of whose coronation at Saragossa he 
composed an allegorical drama, which is unhappily lost. 
Afterwards he accompanied that monarch to Barcelona, 
where, as we have seen, he did much to restore and sus- 
tain the poetical school called the Consistory of the Gaya 
Sciencia. When, however, he lost his place as Master 
of the Order of Calatrava, he sunk into obscurity. The 
Regency of Castile, willing to make him some amends for 
his losses, gave him the poor lordship of Iniesta in the 
bishopric of Cuenca ; and there he spent the last twenty 
years of his life in comparative poverty, earnestly devoted 
to such studies as were known and fashionable in his time. 
He died while on a visit at Madrid, in 1434 — the last of 
his great family. ** 

Among his favourite studies, besides poetry, history, 
and elegant literature, were philosophy and the mathe- 
matics, astrology, and alchemy. But in an age of great 
ignorance and superstition, such pursuits were not indulged 
in without rebuke. Don Enrique, therefore, like others, 
was accounted a necromancer; and so deeply did this 

*" Cr6nica de D. Juan el Segundo, ** Zurita, Anales de Aragon, Lib. 

Afio 1407, Cap. 4, and 1434, Cap. 8, XIV. c. 22. The best notice of the 

where his character is pithily given Marquis of Villena is in Juan An- 

in the following words : " Este cabal- tonio Pellicer, ** Biblioteca de Tra- 

lero fue muy grande letrado ^ supo ductores Espanoles," (Madrid, 1778, 

muj poco en lo que le cumplia." In 8vo., Tom. II. pp. 58-76,^ to which, 

the ** Comedias Escogidas " (Madrid, however, the accounts in Antonio 

4to., Tom. IX., 1657) is a poor play (Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, Lib. X. c. 

entitled ** El Hey Enrique el En- 8^ and Mariana (Hist, Lib. XX. c. 

fermo, de seis Ingenios," in which 6) should be added. The character 

that unhappy king, contrary to the of a bold, unscrupulous, ambitious 

truth of history, is represented as man, given to Villena by Larra, in 

making the Marquis of Villena his novel entitled '*£! Doncel de 

Master of Calatrava, in order to dis- Don Enrique el Doliente," published 

solve his marriage and obtain his wife, at Madrid, about 1835, has no proper 

Who were the six wits that invented foundation in hbtory. 
this calumny does not appear. 


belief strike its roots, that a popular tradition of his guilt 
has survived in Spain nearly or quite down to our own 
age.^* The effects at the time were yet more unhappy 
and absurd. A large and rare collection of books that he 
left behind him excited alarm immediately after his death. 
" Two cart-loads of them," says one claimed to have been 
his contemporary and friend, *'were carried to the king, 
and because it was said they related to magic and unlawful 
arts, the king sent them to Friar Lope de Barrientos ; *• 
and Friar Lope, who cares more to be about the Prince 
than to examine matters of necromancy, burnt above a 
hundred volumes, of which he saw no more than the King 
of Morocco did, and knew no more than the Dean of 
Ciudad Rodrigo ; for many men now-a-days make them- 
selves the name of learned by calling others ignorant ; but 
it is worse yet when men make themselves holy by calling 
others necromancers." ^' Juan de Mena, to whom the letter 
containing this statement was addressed, oflFered a not un- 
graceful tribute to the memory of Villena in three of his 
three hundred coplas ; *® and the Marquis of Santillana, 
distinguished for his love of letters, wrote a separate poem 
on the occasion of his noble friend's death, placing him, 

** Pellicer speaks of the traditions Pascual de Gayangos, and in which 

of Villena's necromancy as if still cur- the author savs that among the books 

rent in his time (loc. cit., p. 65). burned was the one called ** Raziel," 

Uow absurd some of them were may from the name of one of the angels 

be seen in a note of Pellicer to his who guarded the entrance to Paradise, 

edition of Don Quixote, (Parte I. c. and taught the art of divination to a 

49,) and in the Dissertation of Feyjoo, son of Adam, from whose traditions 

** Teatro Crftico " (Madrid, 1751, the book in question was compiled. 

8vo., Tom. VI. Disc. ii. sect. 9), It may be worth while to add, that 

Mariana evidently regarded the Mar- this Barrientos was a Dominican, one 

quis as a dealer in the black arts, of the order of monks to whom, 

(llist.. Lib. XIX. c. 8,) or, at least, ^ thirty years afterwards, Spain was 

chose to have it thought he did. chiefly indebted for the Inquisition, 

*• Lope de Barrientos was con- which soon bettered his example by 

fessor to John II., and perhaps his burning, not only books, but men. 

knowledge of these very books led He died in 1469, having filled, at 

him to compose a treatise against different times, some of the principal 

Divination, which has never been offices in the kingdom, 
printed, (Antonio, Bib. Vetus, Lib. *' Cibdareal, Centon Epistolario, 

X. c. 11,) but of which I have ample Epist. Ixvi. 
extracts, through the kindness of D. " Coplas 126-128. 


after the fashion of his age and country, above all Greek, 

above all Roman &me. ** 

But though the unhappy Marquis of VilleBa may have 
been in advance of his age, as far as his studies and know- 
led'^e were concerned, still the few of his works now known 
to us are far from justifying the whole of the reputation his 
contemporaries gave him. His "Arte Cisoria," or Art 
of Carving, is proof of this. It was written in 1423, at the 
requ(;st of his friend the chief carver of John the Second, 
and begins, in the most formal and pedantic manner, with 
the creation of the world and the invention of all the arts, 
among which the art of carving is made early to assume a 
high place. Then follows an account of what is necessary 
to make a good carver ; after which we have, in detail, 
the whole mystery of the art, as it ought to be practised at 
the royal table. It is obvious from sundry passages of the 
work that the Marquis himself was by no means without 
a love for the good cheer he so careftdly explains, — a cir- 
cumstance, perhaps, to which he owed the gout that we 
are told severely tormented his latter years. But in its 
style and composition this specimen of the didactic prose 
of the age has little value, and can be really curious only to 
those who are interested in the history of manners. ** 

Similar remarks might probably be made about his trea- 
tise on the " Arte de Trobar," or the " Gaya Sciencia ;" a 
sort of Art of Poetry, addressed to the Marquis of Santil- 
lana, in order to carry into his native Castile some of the 
poetical skill possessed by the Troubadours of the South. 
But wc have only an imperfect abstract of it, accompanied, 

»• It 18 found in the " Cancioncro fire of 1671. It is not likely soon to 

(toiioral/* 1673, "(if. 34-37,) and is a come to a second edition. If I were 

Vi«ioii in imitation of Dante's. to compare it with any contemporary 

*» The ** Arte Ciw)ria 6 Tratado work, it would be with the old Eng- 

del Arte do oortar del Curhillo" was lish ** Treatyse on Fyshyngre with an 

flnit printed under the au.spices of the Angle," sometimes attributed to 

Library of the Escurial, (Madrid, Dame Juliana Bemers, but it lacks 

1760, 4to.,) from a maimscript in that the few literary merits found in that 

precious collection marked with the little work. 


indeed, with portions of the original work, which are in- 
teresting as being the oldest on its subject in the language. '^ 
More interesting, however, than either would be his transla- 
tions of the Rhetorica of Cicero, the Divina Commedia of 
Dante, and the ^neid of Virgil. But of the first we have 
lost all trace. Of the second we know only that it was in 
prose, and addressed to his friend and kinsman the Marquis 
of Santillana. And of the ^neid there remain but seven 
books, with a commentary to three of them, from which a 
few extracts have been published. ^ 

Villena's reputation, therefore, must rest chiefly on his 
"Trabajos de Hercules," or The Labours of Hercules^ 
written to please one of his Catalonian friends, Pero 
Fardo, who asked to have an explanation of the virtues 
and achievements of Hercules, always a great national 
hero in Spain. The work seems to have been much ad- 
mired and read in manuscript, and, after printing was 
introduced into Spain, it went through two editions before 
the year 1500 ; but all knowledge of it was so completely 
lost soon afterwards, that the most intelligent authors of 
Spanish literary history down to our own times have gene- 
rally spoken of it as a poem. It is however, in fact, a 
short prose treatise, filling, in the first edition, — that of 
1483, — thirty large leaves. It is divided into twelve 
chapters, each devoted to one of the twelve great labours 

*^ All we havo of this '* Arte de riosity about Virgil had been ezdted 

Trobar " is in Mayans y Siscar, " Orf- by the reverentSil notices of him in 

genes de la Lengua Esijaiiola" (Ma- Dante's <* Divina Commedia." See, 

drid, 1737, 12mo., Tom. II., pp. also, Memorias de la Academia de 

321-342). It seems to have been Historia, Tom. VI. p. 455, note, 

written in 1433. In the King's Library at Paris is a 

^ The best account of them is in prose translation of the last nine 

Pellicer, Bib. de Traductorcs, loc. oooks of Virnl's JEneid, made, in 

cit. I am sorry to add, that the sped- 1430, by a Juan de Villena, who 

men given of the translation from qualifies himself as a ** servant of 

Virgil, though short, affords some Inigo Lopez de Mendoza." (Ochoa, 

reason to doubt whether the Marquis Catdlogo de Manuscritos, Paris, 1844, 

was a good Latin scholar. It is in 4to., p. 375.^ It would bo curious 

prose, and the Preface sets forth that to ascertain whether the two have any 

It was written at the earnest request connexion, as both seem to be con- 

of John, King of Navarre, whose cu- nected with the Marquis of Santil1«n^ 


of Hercules, and each subdivided into four parts: the first 
part containing the common mythological story of the 
labour under consideration ; the second, an explanation of 
this story as if it were an allegory ; the third, the historical 
facts upon which it is conjectured to have been founded ; 
and the fourth, a moral application of the whole to some 
one of twelve conditions into which the author very arbi- 
trarily divides the human race, beginning with princes and 
ending with women. 

Thus, in the fourth chapter, after telling the commonly 
received tale, or, as he calls it, " the naked story," of the 
Garden of the Hesperides, he gives us an allegory of it, 
showing that Libya, where the fair garden is placed, is hu- 
man nature, dry and sandy; that Atlas, its lord, is the 
wise man, who knows how to cultivate his poor desert; 
that the garden is the garden of knowledge, divided ac- 
cording to the sciences; that the tree in the midst is 
philosophy ; that the dragon watching the tree is the diffi- 
culty of study ; and that the three Hesperides are Intelli- 
gence, Memory, and Eloquence. All thi? and more he 
explains under the third head, by giving the facts which 
he would have us suppose constituted the foundation of the 
first two ; telling us that King Atlas was a wise king of the 
olden time, who first arranged and divided all the sciences; 
and that Hercules went to him and acquired them, after 
which he returned and imparted his acquisitions to King 
Eurystheus. And finally, in the fourth part of the chapter, 
he applies it all to the Christian priesthood and the duty of 
this priesthood to become learned and explain the Scrip- 
tures to the ignorant laity, as if there were any possible 
analogy between them and Hercules and his fables. ^ 

•• The ** Trabajos de Hercules " Fascual de Gayangos. It was printed 

is one of the rarest books in the at (^amora, by Centenera, naving 

world, though there are editions of it been completed, as the colophon tel£ 

of 1483 and 1499, and perhaps one of us, on the 15th of January, 1483. It 

1502. The copy which I use is of fills thirty leaves in folio, double 

the first edition, and belongs to Don columns, and is illustrated by eleven 


The book, however, is worth the trouble of reading. 
It is, no doubt, fall of the faults peculiar to its age, 
and abounds in awkward citations from Virgil, Ovid, 
Lucan, and other Latin authors, then so rarely found 
and so little known in Spain, that they added materially 
to the interest and value of the treatise.'* But the 
allegory is sometimes amusing; the language is almost 
always good, and occasionally striking by fine archaisms ; 
and the whole has a dignity about it which is not without 
its appropriate power and grace.** 

From the Marquis of Villena himself it is natural 
for us to turn to one of his followers, known only as 
"Macias el Enamorado,** or Macias the Lover; a name 
which constantly recurs in Spanish literature with a 
peculiar meaning, given by the tragical history of the 
poet who bore it. He was a Galician gentleman, who 
served the Marquis of Villena as one of his esquires, 
and became enamoured of a maiden attached to the same 
princely household with himself. But the lady, though 
he won her love, was married, under the authority that 
controlled both of them, to a knight of Porcuna. Still 

curious wood-cuts, well done for the ** See Heeren, Geschichte der 

period and country. The mistakes Class. Litteratur im Mittelaltcr, Got- 

made about it are remarkable, and tingen, 8vo., Tom. II., 1801, pp. 

render the details I have given of 126-131. From the Advertencia to 

some consequence. Antonio, (Bib. the Marquis of Villena's translation 

Vetus, ed. Baver, Tom. II. p. 222,) of Virgil, it would seem that even 

VelasQuez, (Orlgenes de la Poesia Virgil was hardly known in Spain in 

Castellana, 4to., Mdla^, 1754, p. the beginning of the fifteenth cen- 

49,) L. F. Moratin, (Obras, ed. de tury, 

la Acadcmia, Madrid, 1830, 8vo., ** Another work of the Marquis of 

Tom. I. Parte I. p. 114,) and even Villena is mentioned in Sem{)cre y 

Torres Amat, in nis ** Memorias,'* Guarinos, ** Uistoria del Luxo de Es- 

(Barcclona, 1836, 8vo., p. 669,) all pana," (Madrid, ;i788, 8vo., Tom. I. 

speak of it 04 a poem. Of the edi- pp. 176-179,) called '' £1 Triunfo de 

tion printed at Burgos, in 1499, and las Donas,*' and is said to have been 

mentioned in Mendez, Typog. Esp., found by him in a manuscript of the 

(p. 289,) I have never seen a copy, fifteenth century, ** with other works 

and, except the above-mentioned of the same wise author." The 

copy of the first edition and an im- extract given by Sempero is on the 

LHerfect one in the Royal Librai^ at fope of the time, and is written with 

Paris, I know of none of any edition ; spirit 
rare is it become. 


Macias in no degree restrained his passion, but continued 
to express it to her in his verses, as he had done before. 
The husband was naturally offended, and complained to 
the Marquis, who, after in vain rebuking his follower, 
used his full power as Grand Master of the Order of 
Calatrava, and cast Macias into prison. But there he 
only devoted himself more passionately to the thoughts 
of his lady, and, by his persevering love, still more pro- 
voked her husband, who, secretly following him to his 
prison at Arjonilla, and watching him one day as he 
chanced to be singing of his love and his sufferings, was 
80 stung by jealousy, that he cast a dart through the 
gratings of the window, and killed the unfortunate poet 
with the name of his lady still trembling on his lips. 

The sensation produced by the death of Macias was 
such as belongs only to an imaginative age, and to the 
sympathy felt for one who perished because he was both 
a Troubadour and a lover. All men who desired to be 
thought cultivated mourned his fate. His few poems in 
his native Galician — only one of which, and that of 
moderate merit, is preserved entire — became generally 
known, and were generally admired. His master, the 
Marquis of Villena, Bodriguez del Padron, who was his 
countryman, Juan de Mena, the great court poet, and 
the still greater Marquis of Santillaua, all bore testimony, 
at the time or immediately afterwards, to the general 
sorrow. Others followed their example ; and the custom 
of referring constantly to him and to his melancholy fate 
was continued in ballads and popular songs, until, in the 
poetry of Lope de Vega, Calderon, and Quevedo, the 
name of Macias passed into a proverb, and became synony- 
mous with the highest and tenderest love. '• 

** The best account of Macias and Molina, '* Nobleza del Andaluzia," 

of his verses is in Bellermann's *' Alte (Se villa, 1588, folio, Lib. II. c. 148, 

Liederbiicher der Portuguiesen " f. 272,) Castro, *' Biblioteca Espft- 

(Berlin, 1840, 4to., pp. 24-26); to nola," (Tom. l.p.812,)andCortina'8 

which may well be added, Argote de notes to Bouterwek (p. 195). But 

Chap. XVIII. 



the proofs of his early and wide- 
spread fame are to be sought in San- 
cnez, ** Poes£as Anteriores " (Tom. I. 
p. 138); in the " Cancionero Gene- 
ral," 1635 (ff. 67, 91) ; in Juan de 
Mcna, Copla 105, with the notes on 
it in the edition of Mena's Works, 
1566 ; in ** Celestina," Act II. ; in 
several plays of Calderon, such as 
** Para veneer Amor querer vencerlo," 
and '* Qual es mayor Perfeccion ;" in 
Gongora^s ballads ; and in many pas- 
sages of Lope de Vega and Cer- 
vantes. There are notices of Macias 
also in Ochoa, *' Manuscritos Espa- 

Soles," Paris, 1844, 4to., p. 605. In 
Vol. XLVIII. of " Comedias Esco- 
gidas '' (1704, 4to.) is an anonymous 
play on his adventures and death, 
entitled '< £1 Espafiol mas Amante," 
in which the unhappy Macias is 
killed at the moment tne Marquis of 
Villcna arrives to release him from 

E risen ; and in our own times, Larra 
as made him the hero of his '* Doncel 
de Don Enrique el Doliente," already 
referred to, and of a tragedy that bears 
his name, ** Macias," neither of them 
true to the facts of hbtory. 



Makquis of Santillaka. — His Lifb. — His Teitdkhct to noTATE th» 
Italian and the Proven9Al.— His Coubtlt Sttu. — His Works.— 
His Cuaractsb. — Juan db Mena. — His Lifb. — His Shorter Poems.— 
His Labtrinth, and its Merits. 

Next after the king and Villena in rank, and much 
before them in merit, stands, at the head of the courtiers 
and poets of the reign of John the Second, Ifiigo Lopez 
de Mendoza, Marquis of Santillana; one of the most 
distinguished members of that great family which has 
sometimes claimed the Cid for its founder, * and which 
certainly, with a long succession of honours, reaches down 
to our own times.* He was born in 1398, but was left 
an orphan in early youth ; so that, though his father, the 
Grand Admiral of Castile, had, at the time of his death, 
larger possessions than any other nobleman in the kingdom, 
the son, when he was old enoi^h to know their value, 
found them chiefly wrested from him by the bold barons 
who in the most lawless manner then divided among 
themselves the power and resources of the crown. 

But the young Mendoza was not of a temper to submit 
patiently to such wrongs. At the age of sixteen he already 

* Perez de Guzman, Generaciones ballad, — 

y Scmblanzas, Cap. 9. « , « v __. 

• This wr^t family is early con- fuSl^S;': irirc.';;^^ 
nected with the poetry of Spain. The 

grandfather of liiigo sacrificed his It is found at the end of the Eighth 

own life voluntarily to save the life of Part of the Romancero, 1597, and is 

John I. at the battle of Aljubarrota in translated with much spirit by Lock- 

1385, and became in consequence the hart, who, however, evidently did not 

subject of that stirring and glorious seek exactness in his versioD. 


figures in the chronicles of the time, as one of the dignitaries 
of state who honoured the coronation of Ferdinand of 
Aragon ; * and at the age of eighteen, we are told, he 
boldly reclaimed his possessions, which, partly through the 
forms of law and partly by force of arms, he recovered. * 
From this period we find him, during the reign of John 
the Second, busy in the aflairs of the kingdom, both civil 
and military ; always a personage of great consideration, 
and apparently one who, in diflSicult circumstances and wild 
times, acted from manly motives. When only thirty years 
old, he was distinguished at court as one of the persons 
concerned in arranging the marriage of the Infanta of 
Aragon ; ^ and, soon afterwards, had a separate command 
against the Navarrese, in which, though he suffered a defeat 
from greatly superior numbers, he acquired lasting honour 
by his personal bravery and firmness.* Against the Moors 
he commanded long, and was oft;en successful ; and after the 
battle of Olmedo, in 1445, he was raised to the very high 
rank of Marquis ; none in Castile having preceded him in 
that title except the family of Villena, already extinct. '' 

He was early, but not violently, opposed to the great 
favourite, the Constable Alvaro de Luna. In 1432, some 
of his friends and kinsmen, the good Count Haro and the 
Bishop of Palencia, with their adherents, having been 
seized by order of the Constable, Mendozashut himself up 
in his strongholds till he was fully assured of his own 
safety. ® From this time, therefore, the relations between 

* Crdnicade D. Juaii el Segundo, ofaman** Batallal. Quinquagena i. 

Ano 1414, Cap. 2. DiiUogo 8, MS. 

^ It is Perez de Guzman, uncle of ^ Crdnica dc D. Juan el Segundo, 

the Marquis, who declares (Genera- Ano 1428, Cap. 7. 

ciones y Semblanzas, Cap. 9) that the * Sanchez, Poeslas Anteriores,ToiD. 

father of the Marquis had larger es- I. pp. v., etc. 

tatcs than any other Castilian knight ; ^ Crdnica de D. Juan el Segundo, 

to which may be added what Oviedo Ano 1438, Cap. 2 ; 1445, Cap. 17 ; 

says so characteristically of the young and Salazar de Mendoza, Digmdades 

nobleman, that, ** as he grew up, he de Castilla, Lib. III. c. 14. 

recovered his estates pe^y by law ' Crdnica de D. Juan el Segundo, 

and partly by force of arms, and so Ano 1432, Capp. 4 and 5. 
began forthwith to be accounted much 


two such personages could not be considered friendly ; but 
still appearances were kept up, and the next year, at a 
grand jousting before the king in Madrid, where Mendoza 
offered himself against all comers, the Constable was one 
of his opponents ; and after the encounter, they feasted 
together merrily and in all honour. * Indeed, the troubles 
between them were inconsiderable till 1448 and 1449, 
when the hard proceedings of the Constable against others 
of the friends and relations of Mendoza led him into a 
more formal opposition, ^® which in 1452 brought on a 
regular conspiracy between himself and two more of the 
leading nobles of the kingdom. The next year the fa- 
vourite was sacrificed." In the last scenes, however, of 
this extraordinary tragedy, the Marquis of Santillana seems 
to have had little share. 

The king, disheartened by the loss of the minister on 
whose commanding genius he had so long relied, died 
in 1454. But Henry the Fourth, who followed on the 
throne of Castile, seemed even more willing to favour the 
great family of the Mendozas than his father had been. 
The Marquis, however, was little disposed to take ad- 
vantage of his position. His wife died in 1455, and the 
pilgrimage he made on that occasion to the shrine of Our 
Lady of Guadalupe, and the religious poetry he wrote the 
same year, show tiie direction his thoughts had now taken. 
In this state of mind he seems to have continued ; and 
though he once afterwards joined effectively with others 
to urge upon the king's notice the disordered and ruinous 
state of the kingdom, yet, from the fall of the Constable to 
the time of his own death, which happened in 1458, the 
Marquis was chiefly busied with letters, and with such 
other occupations and thoughts as were consistent with a 
retired life." 

• Crdnica de D. Juan el Segundo, " Ibid., ASo 1462, Capp. 1, etc 

Afio 1488, Cap. 2. »• The principal fticts in the life of 

•• Ibid., Afio 1449, Cap. 11. the Marquis of Santillana are to be 


It is remarkable that one who, from his birth and 
position, was so much involved in the affairs of state at a 
period of great confusion and violence, should yet have 
cultivated elegant literature with earnestness. But the 
Marquis of Santillana, as he wrote to a friend and repeated 
to Prince Henry, believed that knowledge neither blunts 
the point of the lance, nor weakens the arm that wields a 
knightly sword. '* He therefore gave himself freely to 
poetry and other graceful accomplishments ; encouraged, 
perhaps, by the thought, that he was thus on the road to 
please the wayward monarch he served, if not the stern 
favourite who governed them all. One who was bred at 
the court, of which the Marquis was so distinguished an 
ornament, says, " He had great store of books, and gave 
himself to study, especially the study of moral philosophy 
and of things foreign and old. And he had always in his 
house doctors and masters, with whom he discoursed con- 
cerning the knowledge and the books he studied. Like- 
wise, he himself made other books in verse and in prose, 
profitable to provoke to virtue and to restrain from vice. 
And in such wise did he pass the greater part of his leisure. 
Much fame and renown, also, he had in many kingdoms 
out of Spain ; but he thought it a greater matter to have 
esteem among the wise than name and fame with the 
many.*' ^* 

The works of the Marquis of Santillana show, with 
sufficient distinctness, the relations in which he stood to 
his times and the direction he was disposed to take. From 
his social position, he could easily gratify any reasonable 
literary curiosity or taste he might possess; for the 

gathered — as, from his rank and con- but ill-digested, biognmhy in the first 

sideration in the state, mipht be ex- volume of Sanchez, ** Poes^as Anteri- 

pected— out of the Chronicle of John ores.** 

II., in which he constantly appears *» In the " Introduction del Mar- 

after the year 1414 j but a very lively ques d los Proverbios,** Anvers, 1662, 

and successful sketch of him is to be ISmo., f. 160. 

found in the fourth chapter of Pulgars " Pulgar, Claros Varones, ut supra. 

'* Claros Varones,'* and an elaborate, 

VOL. I. Z 


resources of the kingdom were open to him, and he could, 
therefore, not only obtain for his private study the poetry 
then abroad in the world, but often command to his 
presence the poets themselves. He was bom in the 
Asturias, where his great family fiefs lay, and was educated 
in Castile; so that, on this side, he belonged to the 
genuinely indigenous school of Spanish poetry. But then 
he was also intimate with the Marquis of Villena, the 
head of the poetical Consistory of Barcelona, who, to 
encourage his poetical studies, addressed to him, in 1433, 
his curious letter on the art of the Troubadours, which 
Villena thus proposed to introduce into Castile. ^* And, 
after all, he lived chiefly at the court of John the Second, 
and was the fi'iend and patron of the poets there, through 
whom and through his love of foreign letters it was natural 
he should come in contact with the great Italian masters, 
now exercising a wide sway within their own peninsula. 
We must not be surprised, therefore, to find that his own 
works belong more or less to each of these schools, and 
define his position as that of one who stands connected 
with the Proven9al literature in Spain, which we have 
just examined; with the Italian, whose influences were 
now beginning to appear ; and with the genuinely Spanish, 
which, though it often bears traces of each of the others, 
prevails at last over both of them. 

Of his familiarity with the Proven9al poetry abundant 
proof may be found in the Preface to his Proverbs, which 
he wrote when young, and in his letter to the Constable 
of Portugal, which belongs to the latter period of his life- 
In both he treats the rules of that poetry as well founded, 
explaining them much as his friend and kinsman, the 
Marquis of Villena, did ; and of some of the principal of 
its votaries in Spain, such as Bergedan, and Pedro and 
Ausias March, he speaks with great respect. ^' To Jordi, 

^ See the preceding notice of ** In the Introduction to his Pn>- 

Villena. verbs, he boasts of his ftmiliarity 


his contemporary, he elsewhere devotes an allegorical 
poem of some length and merit, intended to do him the 
highest honour as a Troubadour. ^' 

But, besides this, he directly imitated the Provencal 
poets. By far the most beautiful of his works, and one 
which may well be compared with the most graceful of 
the smaller poems in the Spanish language, is entirely in 
the Provencjal manner. It is called " Una Serranilla," or 
A Little Mountain Song, and was composed on a little 
girl, whom, when following his military duty, he found 
tending her father's herds on the hills. Many such short 
songs occur in the later Proven9al poets, under the name 
of " Pastoretas," and " Vaqueiras,** one of which, by 
Giraud Riquier — the same person who wrote verses on 
the death of Alfonso the Wise — might have served as the 
very prototype of the present one, so strong is the re- 
semblance between them. But none of them, either in 
the Provencjal or in the Spanish, has ever equalled this 
" Serranilla " of the soldier ; which, besides its inherent 
simplicity and liquid sweetness, has such grace and light- 
ness in its movement, that it bears no marks of an un- 
becoming imitation, but, on the contrary, is rather to be 
regarded as a model of the natural old Castilian song, 
never to be transferred to another language, and hardly to 
be imitated with success in its own. *® 

with the Provencal rules of versi- Moia un fermcwa 

*/*"©• , . ^ . Como una ▼•quera 

*^ It 18 m the oldest Cancionero De i* Finojon. 

General, and copied from that into „ • • • • •. 

Faber's " Floresta/' No. 87. S SLTe floS!*" 

" The Serranas of the Arcipreste Guwdando ganado 

de Hita were noticed when sp^mg S^t^Sl^^S; 

of his works; but the six by the Qae apenas ereyna. 

Marquis of Santillana approach nearer DS^URno^oS**'* 

to the Proven9al model, and have a sanche«.Poed«.'wlor«..Toiii.i.p.xUv. 

higher poetical merit. For their form ,„, ^ ,i . . . . o ^ 

and structure, see Diez, Troubadours, ^ The following is the opening of that 

p. 114. The one specially referred ^Y Riquier;— 

to in the text is so beautiful, that I Raya paatorelha 

add a part of it, with the correspond- S^^iiiSJ^ ^ 

ing portion of the one by Riquier. Qua per caat la b«lha 


The traces of Italian culture in the poetry of the 
Marquis of Santillana are no less obvious and important 
Besides praising Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, ^* he 
imitates the opening of the " Inferno,** in a long poem, in 
octave stanzas, on the death of the Marquis of Villena ; ^ 
while, in the " Coronation of Jordi," he shows that he was 
sensible to the power of more than one passage in the 
** Purgatorio.*"^ Moreover he has the merit — if it be 
one — of introducing the peculiarly Italian form of the 
Sonnet into Spain ; and with the diflFerent specimens of it 
that still remain among his works begins the ample series 
which, since the time of Boscan, has won for itself so 
large a space in Spanish literature. Seventeen sonnets 
of the Marquis of Santillana have been published, which 
he himself declares to be written in ^^ the Italian fashion,** 
and appeals to Cavalcante, Guido d' Ascoli, Dante, and 
especially Petrarch, as his predecessors and models; an 
appeal hardly necessary to one who has read them, so 
plain is his desire to imitate the greatest of his masters. 
The sonnets of the Marquis of Santillana, however, have 
little merit, except in their careful versification, and were 
soon forgotten. " 

But his principal works were more in the manner then 
prevalent at the Spanish court Most of them are in 

g^heis tenia 12mo., Tom. I. p. 18. There are im- 

u^Speih^fwoT ' perfect discussions about the introduc- 

De flora e sexU, tioD of soimets into Spanish poetry in 

8u.enUfre«iueria,etc^ Argotc dc Molina's " Discurso/' at 

Raynoui^rd, Troabadoura, Tom. III. p, 470. ^^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ,, ^^^^^ LucaAor/' 

None of the Proven<;al poets, I think, 0575, f. 97,) and in Herrera's edi- 

wrote so beautiful Pastoretas as Ri- tion of (xarcilasso, (Sevilla,! 580,8 vo., 

quier ; so that the Marquis chose a p. 75.^ But all doubts are put at rest, 

good model. and all questions answered, in the edi« 

*' See the Letter to the Constable tion of the " Rimas Ineditas de Don 

of Portugal. Ifiigo Lopez de Mendoza," published 

" Cancionero General, 1573, f. 34. at Paris, by Ochoa, (1844, 8vo.;) 

It was, of course, written after 1434, where, in a letter by the Marquis, 

that being the year Villena died. dated Mav 4, 1444, and addressed, 

** Faber, Floresta, ut sup. with his Poems, to Dona Violante de 

" Sanchez, Poesias Anteriores, Pradas, he tells her expressly that he 

Tom. L pp. XX., xxi., xl. Quintana, imitated the Italian masters in the 

Poesias Castellanas, Madrid, 1807, composition of his poems. 


verse, and, like a short poem to the queen, several riddles, 
and a few religious compositions, are generally full of 
conceits and aflFectation, and have little value of any sort. " 
Two or three, however, are of consequence. One called 
" The Complaint of Love," and referring apparently to 
the story of Macias, is written with fluency and sweetness, 
and is curious as containing lines in Galician, which, with 
other similar verses and his letter to the Constable of 
Portugal, show he extended his thoughts to this ancient 
dialect, where are found some of the earliest intimations 
of Spanish literature. ^ Another of his poems, which has 
been called " The Ages of the World," is a compendium 
of universal history, beginning at the creation and coming 
down to the time of John the Second, with a gross com- 
pliment to whom it ends. It was written in 1426, and 
fills three hundred and thirty-two stanzas of double redorir 
dilldSj dull and prosaic throughout.** The third is a 
moral poem, thrown into the shape of a dialogue between 
Bias and Fortune, setting forth the Stoical doctrine of the 
worthlessness of all outward good. It consists of a hundred 
and eighty octave stanzas in the short Spanish measure, 
and was written for the consolation of a cousin and much- 
loved firiend of the Toledo family, whose imprisonment in 
1448, by order of the Constable, caused great troubles in 
the kingdom, and contributed to the final alienation of the 
Marquis from the favourite. *• The fourth is on the kin- 
dred subject of the fall and death of the Constable him- 
self, in 1453; a poem in fifty-three octave stanzas, each 
of two redondillaSj containing a confession supposed to 

■" They are found in the Cancio- dios sobre los Judios do Espana,** 

nero General of 1673, ff. 24, 27, 37, (Madrid, 1848, 8vo., p. 342,) Hives 

40, and 234. reasons which induce nim to believe 

•* Sanchez, Poesfas Anteriores, it to be the work of Pablo de Sta. 

Tom. I. pp. 143-147. Maria, who will be noticed hereafter. 

** It received its name from Ochoa, " Faber, Floresta, No. 743. San- 

who first printed it in his edition of chez, Tom. I. p. xli. Claros Varones 

the Marquis's Poems, (pp. 97-240 ;) de PuW, ed. 1776, p. 224. CnSnica 

but Amador de los Kios, m his *' Estu- de D. Juan 11^, Ano 1448, Cap. 4. 


have been made by the victim on the scaffold, partly to 
the multitude, and partly to his priest. " In both of the 
last two poems, and especially in the dialogue between 
Bias and Fortune, passages of merit are found, which are 
not only fluent, but strong ; not only terse and pointed, 
but graceful. " 

But the most important of the poetical works of the 
Marquis of Santillana is one approaching the form of a 
drama, and called the " Comedieta de Ponza,*' or The 
Little Comedy of Ponza. It is founded on the story of 
a great sea-fight near the island of Ponza in 1435, where 
the kings of Aragon and Navarre, and the Infante Don 
Henry of Castile, with many noblemen and knights, were 
taken prisoners by the Genoese, — a disaster to Spain 
which fills a large space in the old national chronicles. ^* 
The poem of Santillana, written immediately after the 
occurrence of the calamity it commemorates, is called a 
Comedy, because its conclusion is happy, and Dante is 
cited as authority for this use of the word. ^ But in fact 
it is a dream or vision ; and one of the early passages in 
the " Inferno," imitated at the very opening, leaves no 
doubt as to what was in the author's mind when he wrote 
it '^ The Queens of Navarre and Aragon, and the Infante 
Dofia Catalina, as the persons most interested in the un- 
happy battle, are the chief speakers. But Boccaccio is 
also a principal personage, though seemingly for no better 
reason than that he wrote the treatise on the Disasters of 

■^ Cancionero General, 1673, f. 37. •• For example, Crdoica de D. 

•■ Two or three other poems are Juan el Segundo, Alio 1435, 

S'ven bv Ochoa: the ** Pregunta de Cap. 9. 

obles,^' a sort of moral lament of * In the letter to Dona Violantc 

the poet, that he cannot see and know de Pradas, he says he began it im- 

the great men of all times ; the mediately after the battle. 

** Doze Trabajos de Ercoles," which •* Sjieaking of the dialogue be 

has sometimes been confounded with heard about the battle, the Marquis 

the prose work of Villena bearing the says, using almost the very words of 

same title ; and the ** Infiemo de Ena- Dionte, — 

moradas,** which was afterwards imi- x^n panrow, 

tatcd by Garci Sanchez de Badaioz. Que lolo en pcnsulo me vence piedmd. 
All three are short and of little value. 

Chap. XIX. 



Princes ; and, after being addressed very solemnly in this 
capacity by the three royal ladies, and by the Marquis of 
Santillana himself, he answers no less solemnly in his 
native Italian. Queen Leonora then gives him an account 
of the glories and grandeur of her house, accompanied 
with auguries of misfortune, which are hardly uttered 
before a letter comes announcing their fulfilment in the 
calamities of the battle of Ponza. The queen mother, 
after hearing the contents of this letter quite through, falls 
as one dead. Fortune, in a female form, richly attired, 
enters, and consoles them all ; first showing a magnificent 
perspective of past times, with promises of still greater 
glory to their descendants, and then fairly presenting to 
them in person the very princes whose captivity had just 
filled them with such fear and grief. And this ends the 

It fills a hundred and twenty of the old Italian octave 
stanzas, — such stanzas as are used in the " Filostrato" of 
Boccaccio, — and much of it is written in easy verse. 
There is a great deal of ancient learning introduced into 
it awkwardly and in bad taste ; but there is one passage 
in which a description of Fortune is skilfully borrowed 
firom the seventh canto of the " Inferno," and another in 
which is a pleasing paraphrase of the Beatus ille of 
Horace. '* The machinery and management of the story, 
it is obvious, could hardly be worse ; and yet when it was 
written, and perhaps still more when it was declaimed, as 
it probably was before some of the sufferers in the disaster 
it records, it may well have been felt as an effective exhi- 

•* As a specimen of the best parts 
of the Comedieta, I copy the para- 
phrase from a manuscript, better, I 
think, than that used by Ochoa : — 

»T. XVI. 

Ilenditoa'aqnellos, qnc, con el a^ada, 
Sustentan hus vidas y bivcn contentot, 

Y de quando ♦m qimndo conoscen morada, 

Y sufkvn placientes laa lluviac y vientos, 
Ca eatoa no temen loa lua moTimientos, 

Nin saben laa coma del tiempo pasado» 
Nin dn laa presontes se hacen cuidado, 
Nin^laa venideras do an nascimientoa. 

8T. XVII. 

Benditos aqnellos qne idguen laa fieraa 
Con laa zruesas rcdea y canes ardidos, 

Y tabcn la.4 troxas y lau* dvlanteras, 

Y flcren de arcon en tiempos devidoa. 
Ca estOM por aafia no son comovidoa, 
Nin vana cobdicia loa tiene subjetoa, 
Nin quiercn teaoroa, ni aienten dcfetoa, 
Nin tarbft fntuna aua libra* aentldoa. 


bition of a very grave passage in the history of the time. 
On this account, too, it is still interesting. 

The Comedieta, however, was not the most popular, if 
it was the most important, of the works of Santillana. 
That distinction belongs to a collection of Proverbs, which 
he made at the request of John the Second, for the educa- 
tion of his son Henry, afterwards Henry the Fourth. It 
consists of a hundred rhymed sentences, each generally 
containing one proverb, and so sometimes passes under the 
name of the " Centiloquio." The proverbs themselves 
are, no doubt, mostly taken from that unwritten wisdom of 
the common people, for which, in this form, Spain has 
always been more' famous than any other country; but, in 
the general tone he has adopted, and in many of his sepa- 
rate instructions, the Marquis is rather indebted to King 
Solomon and the New Testament Such as they are, 
however, they had — perhaps from their connexion with 
the service of the heir-apparent — a remarkable success, to 
which many old manuscripts, still extant, bear witness. 
They were printed, too, as early as 1496; and in the 
course of the next century nine or ten editions of them 
may be reckoned, generally encumbered with a learned 
commentary by Doctor Pedro Diaz of Toledo. They 
have, however, no poetical value, and interest us only from 
the circumstances attending their composition, and from 
the fact that they form the oldest collection of proverbs 
made in modern times. " 

■® There is another collection of rhymed proverbs prepared for Prince 

proverbs made by the Marquis of Henry, sec Mendez, Typog. Esp., p. 

Santillana, that is to be found in 196, and Sanchez, Tom. I. p. xxxiv. 

Mayans y Siscar, ** Orfgenes de la The seventeenth proverb, or that on 

Lengua Castellana," (Tom. II. pp. Prudence, may be taken as a fair spe- 

179, etc.) They are, however, neither cimen of the whole, all being in the 

rhymed nor elossed : but simply same measure and manner. It is as 

arranged in alphabetical order, as follows : — 
they were crathered from the lii>s of 

the common people, or, as the col- Bte^lSrif"" '^'•°'' 

lector says, ^^ from the old women in P^ro nuw te oonverri 

their chimney-corners." For an ac- ^' prudente. j^. . 

count of the i>nnted editions of the Tod«vU 

A montl 


In the latter part of his life, the fame of the Marquis of 
Santillana was spread very widely. Juan de Mena says, 
that men came from foreign countries merely to see him ; ** 
and the young Constable of Portugal — the same prince 
who afterwards entered into the Catalonian troubles, and 
claimed to be King of Aragon — formally asked him for 
his poems, which the Marquis sent with a letter on the 
poetic art, by way of introduction, written about 1455, 
and containing notices of such Spanish poets as were his 
predecessors or contemporaries ; a letter which is, in fact, 
the most important single document we now possess touch- 
ing the early literature of Spain. It is one, too, which 
contrasts favourably with the curious epistle he himself 
received on a similar subject, twenty years before, from 
the Marquis of Villena, and shows how much he was ^in 
advance of his age in the spirit of criticism and in a well- 
considered love of letters. '* 

Indeed, in all respects we can see that he was a remark- 
able man ; one thoroughly connected with his age, and 
strong in its spirit. His conduct in affairs, from his youth 
upwards, shows this. So does the tone of his Proverbs, 
that of his letter to his imprisoned cousin, and that of his 
poem on the death of Alvaro de Luna. He was a poet 

A moni flioflofiA leavcs). They are about one hun- 

Y«rvi«nte. drcd and fifty in number, and the 

A few of the hundred proverbs have p^g^ ^\q^ ^j^h which each is accom- 

a prose commentary by the Marquis ponied seems in better taste and more 

himselt ; but neither have these the Secoming its position than it does in 

pood fortune to escape the learned the case of the rhymed proverbs of 

discussions ot the 1 oledan Doctor. f^Q Marouis 

The whole collection is spoken of S4 j^ ^^ Preface to the " Corona- 

sliphtinply by the wise author of the cion," Obras, AlcalA, 1666, 12mo., f. 

** Di^logo de las Lcnguas. Mayans 260 

ySiscar, Orfffcnes Tom.II p. la »' This important letter-which, 

The same Pero Dim, who burdened from the notice of it by Argote do 

the Proverbs of the Marquis of San- Molina, (Nobleza, 1588, f. 335,) was 

tillana with a commentary, prcjuired, ^ sort of acknowledged introduction 

at the request of John II., a collec- to the Cancionero of the Marquis— 

tion of proverbs from Seneca, which ig found, with learned notes to it, in 

were first printed in 1482, and after- the first volume of Sanchez. The 

wanis went through several editions. Constable of Portuiral, to whom it was 

(Mendez, Typog., pp. 266 and 197.) - 

1 tiave one of Seville, 1500 (fol., 66 


also, though not of a high order ; a man of much reading, 
when reading was rare ; ^* and a critic, who showed judg- 
ment, when judgment and the art of criticism hardly went 
together. And, finally, he was the founder of an Italian 
and courtly school in Spanish poetry ; one, on the whole, 
adverse to the national spirit, and finally overcome by it, 
and yet one that long exercised a considerable sway, and at 
last contributed something to the materials which, in the 
sixteenth century, went to build up and constitute the 
proper literature of the country. 

There lived, however, during the reign of John the 
Second, and in the midst of his court, another poet, whose 
general influence at the time was less felt than that of his 
patron, the Marquis of Santillana, but who has since been 
oftcner mentioned and remembered, — Juan de Mena, 
sometimes, but inappropriately, called the Ennius of 
Spanish poetry. He was born in Cordova, about the year 
1411, the child of parents respected, but not noble." He 
was early left an orphan, and from the age of three-and- 
twenty, of his own free choice, devoted himself whoUy to 
letters ; going through a regular course of studies, first at 
Salamanca, and afterwards at Rome. On his return home, 
he became a Veinte-^uatro of Cordova, or one of the 
twenty-four persons who constituted the government of the 
city ; but we early find him at court, on a footing of fami- 

■• I do not account him learned, language. That the Marquis could 

because he had not the accomplish- recui Latin, however, is ])robablc 

mcnt common to all learned men of from his works, which arc full of al- 

his^ time, — that of speaking Latin. lusions to Latin authors, and some- 

This appears from the very quaint times contain imitations of them, 

and rare treatise of the ** Vita Beata," ^ The chief materials for the life 

by Juan de Lucena, his contemporary of Juan de Mena are to be found in 

and friend, where (ed. 1483, fol., f. some poor verses by Francisco Rome- 

ii. b) the Marquis is made to say, ro, in nis ** Epicedioen laMuertedel 

" Me vco defetuoso de letras Latinas," Maestro Ilernan Nunez," (Salamanca, 

and adds, that the Bishop of Burgos 1578, 12nio., pi). 485, etc.,) at the 

and Juan do Mena would have car- end of the **Kefranes de Uenian 

ried on in Latin the discu.^sion re- Nurlez." Concerning the place of his 

corded in that treatise, instead of birth there is no doubt. He alludes 

carrying it on in Spanish, if he had to it himself (Trescientas, Copla 124) 

been able to join them in that learned in a way that does him honour. 

Cbaf. XIX. JUAN DE MENA. 347 

Harity as a poet, and we know he was soon afterwards 
Latin secretary to John the Second, and historiographer 
of Castile. ^ This brought him into relations with the 
king and the Constable ; relations important in themselves, 
and of which we have by accident a few singular intima- 
tions. The king, if we can trust the witness, was desirous 
to be well regarded in history ; and, to make sure of it, 
directed his confidential physician to instruct his histo- 
riographer, from time to time, how he ought to treat 
difierent parts of his subject. In one letter, for instance, 
he is told with much gravity, " The king is very desirous 
of praise ;*' and then follows a statement of facts, as they 
ought to be represented, in a somewhat delicate case of 
the neglect of the Count de Castro to obey the royal com- 
mands. '^ In another letter he is told, " The king expects 
much glory from you;" a remark which is followed by 
another narrative of facts as they should be set forth.*® 
But though Juan de Menawas employed on this important 
work as late as 1445, and apparently was favoured in it, 
both by the king and the Constable, still there is no reason 
to suppose that any part of what he did is preserved in 
the Chronicle of John the Second exactly as it came from 
his hands. 

The chronicler, however, who seems to have been happy 
in possessing a temperament proper for courtly success, has 
left proofs enough of the means by which he reached it. 
He was a sort of poet-laureate without the title, writing 
verses on the battle of Olmedo in 1445, on the pacification 
between the king and his son in 1446, on the affair of 
Pefiafiel in 1449, and on the slight wound the Constable 
received at Palencia in 1452 ; in all which, as well as in 
other and larger poems, he shows a great devotion to the 
reigning powers of the state. *' 

»« Cibdarcal, Epist. XX., XXIII. Bibl. Esnanola, Tom. I. p. 331; 

" Ibid., Epist. XLVII. and for those on the Constable, see 

*" Ibid., Epist. XLIX. his Chronicle, Milano, 1546, fol., f. 

*' For the first verses, see Castro, 60. b. Tit. 95. 


He stood well, too, in Portugal. The Infante Don 
Pedro — a verse-writer of some name, who travelled much 
in different parts of the world — became personally ac- 
quainted with Juan de Mena in Spain, and, on his return 
to Lisbon, addressed a few verses to him, better than the 
answer they called forth ; besides which, he imitated, with 
no mean skill, Mena's " Labyrinth," in a Spanish poem 
of a hundred and twenty-five stanzas. ** With such con- 
nexions and habits, with a wit that made him agreeable in 
personal intercourse,*^ and with an even good-humour 
which rendered him welcome to the opposite parties in the 
kingdom,^ he seems to have led a contented life ; and at his 
death, which happened suddenly in 1456, in consequence 
of a fall from his mule, the Marquis of Santillana, always 
his friend and patron, wrote his epitaph, and erected a 
monument to his memory in Torrelaguna, both of which 
are still to be seen. ** 

The works of Juan de Mena evidently enjoyed the 
sunshine of courtly favour from their first appearance. 
While still young, if we can trust the simple-hearted letters 
that pass under the name of the royal physician, they were 
already the subject of gossip at the palace ; ** and the col- 
lections of poetry made by Baena and Estuniga, for the 
amusement of the king and the court, about 1450, contain 

*■ The Ycrses inscribed " Do Ifante *■ See the Dialogue of Joan de La- 

Dom Pedro, Fylho del Rev Dom cena, ** La Vita Beata/' passim, in 

Joam, em Loor de Joam dc Mena," which Juan de Mena b one of the 

with Juan dc Mena's answer, a short principal speakers, 

rejoinder by the Infante, and a con- ** He stood well with the king 

elusion, arc in the Cancioneiro de and the Infantes, with the Constable, 

Rrcsende, TLisUja, 1616, folio,) f. 72. with the Marquis of Santilhuia, etc. 

b. See, also, Die Alten Liederbii- ** Ant. Ponz, Viage de f^pana, 

cher dcr Portupiesen, von C. F. Bel- Madrid, 1787, 12mo., Tom. A. p. 

lermann, (Bi>rlm, 1840, 4to., pp. 27, 88. Clemencin, note to Don Quixote, 

64,) and Mcndez, Typographta (p. Parte II. c. 44, Tom. V. p. 879. 

187, note). This Infante Don Pedro *• Cibdareal, Epist XX. No less 

is, I 8upi>ose, the one alluded to as a than twelve of the hundred and ^ye 

ri traveller in Don Quixote (Part letters of the courtly leech are ad- 

, end of Chap. 23) ; but Pellicer dressed to the poet, showing, if they 

and Clemencin give us no light on are genuine, how much favour Juan 

the matter. de Mena enjoyed. 

Chap. XIX. JUAN DE MENA. 349 

abundant proofs that his favour was not worn out by time ; 
for as many of his verses as could be found seem to have 
been put into each of them. But though this circum- 
stance, and that of their appearance before the end of the 
century in two or three of the very earliest printed collec- 
tions of poetry, leave no doubt that they enjoyed, from the 
first, a sort of fashionable success, still it can hardly be 
said they were at any time really popular. Two or three 
of his shorter effusions, indeed, like the verses addressed 
to his lady to show her haw formidable she is in every 
way, and those on a vicious mule he had bought from a 
friar, have a spirit that would make them amusing any- 
where. ^' But most of 'his minor poems, of which about 
twenty may be found scattered in rare books, ** belong only 
to the fashionable style of the society in which he lived, 
and, from their affectation, conceits, and obscure allusions, 
can have had little value, even when they were first circu- 
lated, except to the persons to whom they were addressed, 
or the narrow circle in which those persons moved. 

His poem on the Seven Deadly Sins, in nearly eight 
hundred short verses, divided into double redondillaSy is 
a work of graver pretensions. But it is a dull allegory, ftdl 
of pedantry and metaphysical fancies on the subject of a 
war between Reason and the Will of Man. Notwithstand- 
ing its length, however, it was left unfinished ; and a cer- 
tain friar, named Gerdnimo de Olivares, added four hun- 
dred more verses to it, in order to bring the discussion to 
what he conceived a suitable conclusion. Both parts, 
however, are as tedious as the theology of the age could 
make them. 

*' The last, which is not without most be sought in the old editions of 
humour, is twice alluded to in Cib- his own works. For ciample, in the 
dareal, viz., Epist. XXXIII. and valuable folio one of 1 534, in which 
XXXVL, and seems to have been the **Trescienta8" and the "Corona- 
liked at court and by the king. cion " form separate publications, 

*" The minor poems of Juan de with separate titles, papinj^s, and co- 

Mcna are to be found chiefly in the lophons, each is followed by a few of 

old Cancioneros (^enerales ; but some the author's short poems. 


merit, and are often shadowed forth very indistinctly. 
The best sketches are those of personages who lived in the 
poet's own time or country; some drawn with courtly 
flattery, like the king's and the Constable's ; others with 
more truth, as well as more skill, like those of the Mar- 
quis of Villena, Juan de Merlo, and the young Davalos, 
whose premature fate is recorded in a few lines of un- 
wonted power and tenderness. *® 

The story told most in detail is that of the Count de 
Niebla, who, in 1 436, at the siege of Gibraltar, sacrificed 
his ovm life in a noble attempt to save that of one of his 
dependants ; the boat in which the Count might have 
been rescued being too small to save the whole of the 
party, who thus all perished together in a flood-tide. This 
disastrous event, and especially the self-devotion of Niebla, 
who was one of the principal nobles of the kingdom, and 
at that moment employed on a daring expedition against 
the Moors, are recorded in the chronicles of the age, and 
introduced by Juan de Mena in the following characteristic 
stanzas : ** — 

Juan de Mcna*s pootry, three centu- Brocensc, printed another in 1582 ; 

ries agOf — a fault made abundantly one or the other of which accom- 

apparent in the elaborate explanations panics the poems for their elucidation 

of nis dark passages by the two oldest m nearly every edition since, 

and most learned of his commentators. '^ Cr6nica de D. Juan el Se^ndo, 

^ Juan de Mena has always stood Ano 1436, c. 8. Mena, Trescientas, 

well with his countrymen, if he has Cop. 160-162. 
not been absolutely populcu*. Verses 

by him appeared, during his lifetime, A^coel oae en U bwca Jpareoe wntado, 

in'Ae Ciincioneit, of Baena and im- ^r^i'^^aSf'^^,';;:':: ^;o'a^ 

mediately afterwards m the Chronicle Con muelM gnn gente en U mar Anegado, 

of the Constable. Others are in the ^ J^ ^!^» °*l^'° u!^<^'f' 

tt ^ r 1 J A- t May TirtnoM, penncuto doBde 

collection of poems already noticed, De Niebla, aaetudoenbebbienadonde 

printed at Saragassa in 1492, and in Di6 fln ai du del cnno hadado. 
another collection of the same period, -. , ^„. . ^^„ ^^ , a*«*i«r 

, i •.! A. J A. mL • II I loa que lo cercan por el aeireaor, 

but Without date. They are m all Pueirto aue taemen majrniflcoa hombraa, 

Uio old Cancioneros Grcnerales, and *-«• titoloe todo« de todoa tas nombra, 

m a succession of separate editions, q„^ ^^^ ^^ ^echoe queion de y»u» 

from 1496 to our own times. And Para se moetzar por ■( eada ono, 

tesides all thU, the learned Heman ^S^^rJX:!^,,':^^!:!^ 
Nunez de Guzman printed a com- 
mentary on them in 1499, and the Arlanxa, PUuerga, y aon Canton, 
.tiU more learned Fnmcisco Sanch^ %S^'^^t:i1Si:ZKSrv^ ; 
de las Brozas, commonly called El Hwrao. d* mnehM am iclMioa. 

Chap. XIX. JUAN DE LA MENA. 3j3 

And he who seems to sit upon that bark, 
Invested by the cruel waves, that wait 
And welter round him to prepare his fate, — 

His and his bold companions', in their dark 

And watery abyss ;— that stately form 
Is Count Niebla's, he whose honoured name. 
More brave than fortunate, has given to fame 

The very tide that drank his life-blood warm. 

And they that eagerly around him press, 

Though men of noble mark and bold emprise, 

Grow pale and dim as his full glories rise, 
Showing their own peculiar honours less. 
Thus Carrion or Arlanza, sole and free, 

Bears, like Pisuerga, each its several name, 

And triumphs in its undivided fame. 
As a fiiir, graceful stream. But when the three 

Are joined in one, each yields its separate right. 

And their accumulated headlong course 

We call Duero. Thus might these enforce 
Each his own claim to stand the noblest knight, 

If brave Niebla came not with his blaze 

Of glory to eclipse their humbler praise. 

Too much honour is not to be claimed for such poetry ; 
but there is little in Juan de Mena's works equal to this 
specimen, which has at least the merit of being free from 
the pedantry and conceits that disfigure most of his writings. 
Such as it was, however, the Labyrinth received great 
admiration from the court of John the Second, and, above 
all, from the king himself, whose physician, we are told, 
wrote to the poet: "Your polished and erudite work, 
called * The Second Order of Mercury,' hath much pleased 
his Majesty, who carries it with him when he journeys 
about or goes a-hunting." " And again : " The end of 
the * third circle * pleased the king much. I read it to 
his Majesty, who keeps it on his table with his prayer- 
book, and takes it up often." " Indeed, the whole poem 
was, it seems, submitted to the king, piece by piece, as it 
was composed ; and we are told, that, in one instance, at 

« Cibdareal, Epist. XX. * Ibid., Epist. XLIX. 

VOL. I. 2 k 



Period I- 

leasty it received a royal correction, which still stands 
unaltered. ** His Majesty even advised that it should be 
extended from three hundred stanzas to three hundred 
and sixty-five, though for no better reason than to make 
their number correspond exactly with that of the days in 
the year ; and the twenty-four stanzas commonly printed 
at the end of it are supposed to have been an attempt to 
fiilfil the monarch's command. But whether this be so or 
not, nobody now wishes the poem to be longer than it is. " 

»• Cibdareal, Epist XX. 

•* Thcjr are pnnted separately in 
the Cancionero General 011573; but 
do not appear at all in the edition of 
the Works of the poet in 1666, and 
were not commented upon by Heman 
Nunez. It is, indeed, doubtful whe- 
ther they were really written by Juan 
de Mena. If they were, they must 

probably have been produced after 
the kind's death, for they are far 
from bemg flattering to him. On 
this account, I am disposed to think 
they are not genuine; for the poet 
seems to have permitted his great 
eulogies of the king and of the Con- 
stable to stand after the death of both 
of them. 



Pboobess of the Castiliak Lavguagk. — Poets of the Time of Johx 
THE Second. — Villasandino. — Francisco Impebial. — Baena. — Rodbi- 


DE Guzman. 

In one point of view, all the works of Juan de Mena are 
of consequence. They mark the progress of the Castilian 
language, which, in his hands, advanced more than it had 
for a long period before. From the time of Alfonso the 
Wise, nearly two centuries had elapsed, in which, though 
this fortunate dialect had almost completely asserted its 
supremacy over its rivals, and by the force of political 
circumstances had been spread through a large part of 
Spain, still, little had been done to enrich and nothing to 
raise or purify it The grave and stately tone of the 
" Partidas " and the " General Chronicle " had not again 
been reached ; the lighter air of the " Conde Lucanor " 
had not been attempted. Indeed, such wild and troubled 
times, as those of Peter the Cruel and the three monarchs 
who had followed him on the throne, permitted men to 
think of little except their personal safety and their imme- 
diate well-being. 

But now, in the time of John the Second, though the 
affairs of the country were hardly more composed, they 
had taken the character rather of feuds between the great 
nobles than of wars with the throne ; while, at the same 
time, knowledge and literary culture, from accidental cir- 
cumstances, were not only held in honour, but had become 

1 K'l 


a courtly fashion. Style, therefore, began to be r^arded 
as a matter of consequence, and the choice of words, as 
the first step towards elevating and improving it, was 
attempted by those who wished to enjoy the favour of the 
highest class, that then gave its tone alike to letters and to 
manners. But a serious obstacle was at once found to 
such a choice of phraseology as was demanded. The 
language of Castile had, from the first, been dignified and 
picturesque, but it had never been rich. Juan de Mena, 
therefore, looked round to see how he could enlarge his 
poetical vocabulary ; and if he had adopted means more 
discreet, or shown more judgment in the use of those to 
which he resorted, he might almost have modelled the 
Spanish into such forms as he chose. 

As it was, he rendered it good service. He took boldly 
such words as he thought suitable to his purpose, wherever 
he found them, chiefly firom the Latin, but sometimes firom 
other languages. ^ Unhappily he exercised no proper skill 
in the selection. Some of the many he adopted were low 
and trivial, and his example failed to give them dignity ; 
others were not better than those for which they were sub- 
stituted, and so were not afterwards used ; and yet others 
were quite too foreign in their structure and sound to 

^ Thus fiy Yalencian or Proyen9al Cid/* we have cuer for heart, tie$ta for 

for hijo, in the ** Trescientas/' Copla head, etc. ; in Bereco, we have asem- 

87, and trinquete for foregail, in Copla biar, to meet ; sopear, to sup, etc. 

165, may serve as specimens. Lope (See Don Quixote, ed. Clemencin, 

de Vega (Obras Sueltas, Tom. IV. p. 1835, Tom. IV. p. 56.) If, there- 

474^ complains of Juan de Mena s fore, we find a few French words in 

Latmisms, which are indeed very Juan de Mena that are no longer 

awkward and abundant, and cites the used, like aage, which he makes a 

following line : — dissyllable guttural to rhyme with 

£1 unor et Qcto, vmniioco, pigro. vioge in Copla 167, we may presume 

I do notremember it ; butitisasbad *»® found tJiem already in the lan- 

as some of the worst verses of the P^^', ^■!L,'^*"?^^t''^ have since 

same sort for which Ronsaiti has been ^° .^">RH- J^^ J"*"J« Mena 

ridiculed. It should be observed, ^»«' »? ^^ respects, too bold; and. 

however, that, in the earliest period^ ^ ^^ ^^^^ Sarmiento says of him 

of the Castiliin language, the^; was |? J manuscript which 1 possess 

a gmiter connexion W& the French "Many of his words are not at all 

thin there was in the time of Juan de C^tilian, and were never used either 

Mena. Thus, in the - Poem of the ^«^««* *^»« ^™^ «^ *^' »*' 


strike root where they should never have been trans- 
planted. Much, therefore, of what Juan de Mena did in 
this respect was unsuccessful. But there is no doubt that 
the language of Spanish poetry was strengthened and its 
versification ennobled by his efforts, and that the example 
he set, followed, as it was, by Lucena, Diego de San 
Pedro, Garci Sanchez de Badajos, the Manriques, and 
others, laid the true foundations for the greater and more 
judicious enlargement of the whole Castilian vocabulary in 
the age that followed. 

Another poet, who, in the reign of John the Second, 
enjoyed a reputation which has faded away much more 
than that of Juan de Mena, is Alfonso Alvarez de Vil«- 
lasandino, sometimes called De Ulescas. His earliest 
verses seem to have been written in the time of John the 
First ; but the greater part fall within the reigns of Henry 
the Third and John the Second, and especially within that 
of the last A few of them are addressed to this monarch, 
and many more to his queen, to the Constable, to the In- 
fante Don Ferdinand, afterwards King of Aragon, and to 
other distinguished personages of the time. From different 
parts of them we learn that their author was a soldier and 
a courtier; that he was married twice, and repented 
heartily of his second match ; and that he was generally 
poor, and oflen sent bold solicitations to everybody, from 
the king downwards, asking for places, for money, and even 
for clothes. 

As a poet, his merits are small. He speaks of Dante, 
but gives no proof of familiarity with Italian literature. 
In fact, his verses are rather in the Proven9al forms, 
though their courtly tone and personal claims predominate 
to such a degree as to prevent anything else from being 
distinctly heard. Puns, conceits, and quibbles, to please 
the taste of his great friends, are intruded everywhere ; yet 
perhaps he gained his chief favour by his versification, 
which is sometimes uncommonly easy and flowing ; and by 


his rhymes, which are singularly abundant and almost uni- 
formly exact. * 

At any rate, he was much regarded by his contempora- 
ries. The Marquis of Santillana speaks of him as one of 
the leading poets of his age, and says that he wrote a great 
number of songs and other short poems, or decires^ which 
were well liked and widely spread. ^ It is not remarkable, 
therefore, when Baena, for the amusement of John the 
Second and his court, made the collection of poetry which 
now passes under his name, that he filled much of it with 
verses by Villasandino, who is declared by the courtly 
secretary to be " the light, and mirror, and crown, and 
monarch of all the poets that, till that time, had lived in 
Spain." But the poems Baena admired are almost all of 
them so short and so personal, that they were soon for- 
gotten, with the circumstances that gave them birth. 
Several are curious, because they were written to be used 
by persons of distinction in the state, such as the Adelan- 
tado Manrique, the Count de Buelna, and the Great Con- 
stable, all of whom were among Villasandino's admirers, 
and employed him to write verses which passed afterwards 
under their own names. Of one short poem, a Hymn to 
the Madonna, the author himself thought so well, that he 
often said it would surely clear him, in the other world, 
from the power of the Arch-enemy. * 

■ The accounts of Villasandino are which he wrote for Count Pero Nino, 

found in Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. to be given to the Lady Beatrice, of 

Bayer, Tom. II. p. 341 ; and San- whom, as was noticed when speaking 

chez, Poesfas Anteriores, Tom. I. pp. of his Chronicle, the Count was 

200, etc. His earlier poems are m enamoured : — 
the Academy's edition of the Chroni- La qne liempre obeded, 

cles of Ayala, Tom. II. pp. 604, 616, M2i;JSSJ.^rJ*a*i di. 

621, 626, 646; but the mass of his Non m le membn de mi. 

works as yet printed is in the Cancio- _, P"^* 

nero of Baena, extracted by Castro, ' KU^vS^^"!^yl 

Bibliotcca Espanola, Tom. I. pp. CoidoM deaque la tI, etc 

268.296, etc. But as the editor of the Chronicle 

• Sanchez, Tom. I. p. Ix. says, (Madrid, 1782, 4to., p. 228,) 

* The Hymn in question is in '* They are verses that might be at- 
Castit), Tom. I. p. 269 ; but, as a tributed to any other galluit or any 
specimen of Villasandino's easiest other lady, so that it seems as if Vif- 
nmrneTf I prefer the following yerses, lasandino prepared such couplets to 


Francisco Imperial, born in Genoa, but in fact a Spa- 
niard, whose home was at Seville, is also among the poets 
who were favoured at this period, and who belonged to the 
same artificial school with Villasandino. The principal of 
his longer poems is on the birth of King John, in 1405; 
and most of the others are on subjects connected, like this, 
with transient interests. One, however, from its tone and 
singular subject, is still curious. It is on the fate of a lady, 
who, having been taken among the spoils of a great victory 
in the far East, by Tamerlane, was sent by him as a pre- 
sent to Henry the Third of Castile ; and it must be ad- 
mitted that the Genoese touches the peculiar misfortune of 
her condition with poetical tenderness. * 

Of the remaining poets who were more or less valued in 
Spain in the middle of the fifteenth century, it is not neces- 
sary to speak at all. Most of them are now known only 
to antiquarian curiosity. Of by far the greater part very 
little remains ; and in most cases it is uncertain whether 
the persons whose names the poems bear were their real 
authors or not. Juan Alfonso de Baena, the editor of the 
collection in which most of them are found, wrote a good 
deal, ^ and so did Ferrant Manuel de Lando, ^ Juan 
Bodriguez del Padron, ® Pedro Velez de Guevara, and 
Gerena and Calavera.' Probably, however, nothing re- 
be given to the first person that should as a page of John II. in Argote de 
ask for them;" — words cited here, Molina's ''Sucesion de los Manu- 
because they apply to a great deal of eles," prefixed to the ** Conde Lu- 
the poetry of the time of John II., canor," 1575; and his poems are 
which deals often in the coldest com- said to have been '* agradables para 
monplaces, and some of which was aquel siglo." 

used, no doubt, as this was. " That is, if the Juan Rodrigues 

* The notices of Francisco Impe- del Padron, whose poems occur in 

rial are in Sanchez (Tom. I. pp. Ix., Castro, (Tom. I. p. 331, etc.,) and 

205, etc.) ; in Argote de Molina's in the manuscript Cancionero called 

** Nobleza del Ant&luzia" (1588, ff. Estunigas, (f. 18,) be the same, as 

244, 260) ; and in his Discourse pre- he is commonly supposed to be, with 

fixed to the ** Vida del Gran Tamor- the Juan Rodriguez del Padron of 

Ian" (Madrid, 1782, 4to., p. 8). the "Cancionero General," 1578, 

His poems are in Castro, Tom. 1. (ff. 121-124 and elsewhere.) But of 

pp. 296, 301, etc. this I entertain doubts. 

« Castro, Tom. I. pp. 319-330, etc. » Sanchez, Tom. I. pp. 199, 207, 

^ Ferrant Manuel ae Lando is noted 208. 


mains of the inferior authors more interesting than a 
Vision composed by Diego de Castillo, the chronicler, on 
the death of Alfonso the Fifth of Aragon, ^® and a sketch 
of the life and character of Henry the Third of Castile, 
given in the person of the monarch hiniseli^ by Pero 
Ferrus;" — poems which remind us strongly of the 
similar sketches found in the old English " Mirror for 

But while verse was so much cultivated, prose, though 
less regarded, and not coming properly into the fashion- 
able literature of the age, made some progress. We turn, 
therefore, now to two writers who flourished in the reign 
of John the Second, and who seem to furnish, with the 
contemporary chronicles and other similar works already 
noticed, the true character of the better prose literature 
of their time. 

The first of them is Fernan Gomez de Cibdareal, who, 
if there ever were such a person, was the king's physician, 
and, in some respects, his confidential and familiar friend. 
He was born, according to the Letters that pass under his 
name, about 1386, ^' and, though not of a distinguished 
family, had for his godfather Pedro Lopez de Ayala, the 
great chronicler and chancellor of Castile. When he was 
not yet four-and-twenty years old, John the Second being 
still a child, Cibdareal entered the royal service, and re- 
mained attached to the king's person till the death of his 

*° It is published by Ochoa, in the 4to.) But his birth is there placed 

same volume with the inedited poems about 1388, though he himself (Ep. 

of the Marquis of Santillana, where 105) says he was sixty-eight years 

it is followed by poems of Suero de old in 1454, which gives 1386 as the 

Ribera, (who occurs also in Baena*s true date. But we know absolutely 

Cancioncro, and that of Estuniga,) nothing of him beyond what we find 

Juan de Ducnas, (who occurs in E^tu- in the Letters that pass under his 

£uffa*s,) and one or two others of no name. The Noticia prefixed to the 

value, — all of the age of John II. edition referred to was— as we are 

" Castro, Tom. I. pp. 310-312. told in the Preface to the Chronicle 

^ The best life of Cibdareal is pref- of Alvaro de Luna (Madrid, 1784, 

fired to his Letters, (Madrid, ed. 1775, 4to.) — prepared by Llaguno Amirola. 


master, when we lose sight of him altogether. During 
this long period of above forty years he maintained a 
correspondence, to which we have already alluded morft 
than once, with many of the principal persons in the state ; 
with the king himself, with several of the archbishops and 
bishops, and with a considerable number of noblemen and 
men of letters, among the last of whom were Alfonso de 
Cartagena and Juan de Mena. A part of this correspond- 
ence, amounting to one hundred and five letters, written 
between 1425 and 1454, has been published, in two 
editions; the first claiming to be of 1499, and the last 
prepared in 1 775, with some care, by Amirola, the Secre- 
tary of the Spanish Academy of History. Most of the 
subjects discussed by the honest physician and courtier in 
these letters are still interesting ; and some of them, like 
the death of the Constable, which he describes minutely 
to the Archbishop of Toledo, are important, if they can 
be trusted as genuine. In almost all he wrote he shows 
the good-nature and good sense which preserved for him 
the favour of leading persons in the opposite factions of 
the time, and which, though he belonged to the party of 
the Constable, yet prevented him from being blind to that 
great man's faults, or becoming involved in his fate. The 
tone of the correspondence is simple and natural, always 
quite Castilian, and sometimes very amusing; as, for 
instance, when he is repeating court gossip to the Grand 
Justiciary of Castile, or telling stories to Juan de Mena. 
But a very interesting letter to the Bishop of Orense, 
containing an account of John the Second's death, will 
perhaps give a better idea of its author's general spirit 
and manner, and, at the same time, exhibit somewhat of 
his personal character. 

" I foresee very plainly,** he says to the Bishop, " that 
you will read with tears this letter, which I write to you 
in anguish. We are both become orphans; and so has 
all Spain : for the good and noble and just King John, 


our sovereign lord, is dead. And I, miserable man that 
I am, — who was not yet twenty-four years old when I 
entered his service with the Bachelor Arrevalo, and have, 
till I am now sixty-eight, lived in his palace, or, I might 
almost say, in his bed-chamber and next his bed, always 
in his confidence, and yet never thinking of myself, — I 
should now have but a poor pension of thirty thousand 
maravedis for my long service, if, just at his death, he had 
not ordered the government of Cibdareal to be given to 
my son, who I pray may be happier than his father has 
been. But, in truth, I had always thought to die before 
his Highness ; whereas he died in my presence, on the eve 
of Saint Mary Magdalen, a blessed saint, whom he greatly 
resembled in sorrowing over his sins. It was a sharp 
fever that destroyed him. He was much wearied with 
travelling about hither and thither; and he had always 
the death of Don Alvaro de Luna before him, grieving 
about it secretly, and seeing that the nobles were never 
the more quiet for it, but, on the contrary, that the King 
of Navarre had persuaded the King of Portugal to think 
he had grounds of complaint concerning the wars in 
Barbary, and that the king had answered him with a 
crafty letter. All this wore his heart out And so, tra- 
velling along from Avila to Medina, a paroxysm came 
upon him with a sharp fever, that seemed at first as if it 
would kill him straightway. And the Prior of Guadalupe 
sent directly for Prince Henry ; for he was afraid some 
of the nobles would gather for the Infante Don Alfonso ; 
but it pleased God that the king recovered his faculties 
by means of a medicine I gave him. And so he went on 
to Valladolid ; but as soon as he entered the city he was 
struck with death, as I said before the Bachelor Frias, 
who held it to be a small matter, and before the Bachelor 

Beteta, who held what I said to be an idle tale The 

consolation that remains to me is, that he died like a 
Christian king, faithful and loyal to his Maker. Three 


hours before he gave up the ghost he said to me: 
* Bachelor Cibdareal, I ought to have been born the son 
of a tradesman, and then I should have been a friar of 
Abrojo, and not a king of Castile/ And then he asked 
pardon of all about him, if he had done them any wrong ; 
and bade me ask it for him of those of whom he could not 
ask it himself I followed him to his grave in Saint FauFs, 
and then came to this lonely room in the suburbs ; for I 
am now so weary of life that I do not think it will be a 
difficult matter to loosen me from it, much as men com- 
monly fear death. Two days ago I went to see the queen ; 
but I found the palace, from the top to the bottom, so 
empty, that the house of the Admiral and that of Count 
Benevente are better served. King Henry keeps all 
King John's servants ; but I am too old to begin to follow 
another master about, and, if God so pleases, I shall go 
to Cibdareal with my son, where I hope the king will 
give me enough to die upon." This is the last we hear 
of the sorrowing old man, who probably died soon after 
the date of this letter, which seems to have been written 
in July, 1454.^^ 

The other person who was most successful as a prose- 
writer in the age of John the Second was Fernan Perez 
de Guzman, — like many distinguished Spaniards, a soldier 
and a man of letters, belonging to the high aristocracy of 
the country, and occupied in its affairs. His mother was 
sister to the great Chancellor Ayala, and his father was a 
brother of the Marquis of Santillana, so that his con- 
nexions were as proud and noble as the monarchy could 
afford ; while, on the other hand, Garcilasso de la Vega 
being one of his lineal descendants, we may add that his 
honours were reflected back from succeeding generations as 
brightly as he received them. 

He was born about the year 1400, and was bred a 

^' It is the last letter in the collection. See Appendix (C), on the 
genuineness of the whole. 


knight At the battle of the Higueruela, near Granada, 
in 1431, led on by the Bishop of Palencia, — who, as the 
honest Cibdareal says, ^^ fought that day like an armed 
Joshua,** — he was so unwise in his courage, that, after the 
fight was over, the king, who had been an eye-witness of 
his indiscretion, caused him to be put under arrest, and 
released him only at the intercession of one of his powerful 
friends. ^* In general, Perez de Guzman was among the 
opponents of the Constable, as were most of his family ; 
but he does not seem to have shown a factious or violent 
spirit, and, after being once unreasonably thrown into 
prison, found his position so false and disagreeable, that he 
retired from affairs altogether. 

Among his more cultivated and intellectual friends was 
the family of Santa Maria, two of whom, having been 
Bishops of Cartagena, are better known by the name of 
the see they filled than they are by their own. The oldest 
of them all was a Jew by birth,— Selomo Halevi, — who, 
in 1390, when he was forty years old, was baptized as 
Pablo de Santa Maria, and rose, subsequently, by his great 
learning and force of character, to some of the highest 
places in the Spanish Church, of which he continued a 
distinguished ornament till his death in 1432. His bro- 
ther, Alvar Garcia de Santa Maria, and his three sons, 
Gonzalo, Alonso, and Pedro, the last of whom lived as 
late as the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, were, like 
the head of the family, marked by literary accom- 
plishments, of which the old Cancioneros afford abun- 
dant proof, and of which, it is evident, the court of 
John the Second was not a little proud. The con- 
nexion of Perez de Guzman, however, was chiefly with 
Alonso, long Bishop of Cartagena, who wrote for the 
use of his friend a religious treatise, and who, when he 
died, in 1435, was mourned by Perez de Guzman in 

'* Cibdareal, Epist 61. 


a poem comparing the venerable Bishop to Seneca and 
Plato. '' 

The occupations of Perez de Guzman, in his retirement 
on his estates at Batras, where he passed the latter part of 
his life, and where he died, about 1470, were suited to 
his own character and to the spirit of his age. He wrote 
a good deal of poetry, such as was then fashionable among 
persons of the class to which he belonged, and his uncle, 
the Marquis of Santillana, admired what he wrote. Some 
of it maybe found in the collection of Baena, showing that 
it was in favour at the court of John the Second. Yet 
more was printed in 1492, and in the Cancioneros that 
began to appear a few years later ; so that it seems to have 
been still valued by the limited public interested in letters 
in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. 

But the longest poem he wrote, and perhaps the most 
important, is his " Praise of the Great Men of Spain," a 
kind of chronicle, filling four hundred and nine octave 
stanzas; to which should be added a hundred and two 
rhymed Proverbs, mentioned by the Marquis of Santillana, 
but probably prepared later than the collection made by 
the Marquis himself for the education of Prince Henry. 
After these, the two poems of Perez de Guzman that make 
most pretensions from their length are an allegory on the 
Four Cardinal Virtues, in sixty-three stanzas, and an- 
other on the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Works 
of Mercy, in a hundred. The best verses he wrote are 

'* The longest extracts from the printed : — the " Oracional," or Book 

works of this remarkable family of of Devotion, mentioned in the text 

Jews, and the best accounts of them, as written for Perez de Guzman, 

are to be found in Castro, ^^ Biblioteca which appeared at Murcia in 1487, 

Espanola," (Tom. I. p. 236, etc.,) and and the ** Doctrinal de Cavalleros," 

Amador delosRios, ^'Estudiossobre which appeared the same year at 

los Judios de Espafia,'* (Madrid, Burgos. (Diosdado, De Prima Ty- 

1848, 8vo., pp. 339-398, 458, etc.) pographin Hispan. iEtate, Roms, 

Much of their poetry, which is found 1793, 4to., pp. 22, 26, 64.) Both 

in the Cancioneros Generales, is are curious : but much of the last is 

amatory, and is as good as the poetiy taken from the ** Partidas " of Alfonso 

of those old collections generally is. the Wise. 
Two of the treatises of Alonso were 


in his short hymns. But all are forgotten, and deserve to 
be so. " 

His prose is much better. Of the part he bore in the 
Chronicle of John the Second notice has already been 
taken. But at different times, both before he was en- 
gaged in that work and afterwards, he was employed on an- 
other, more original in its character and of higher literary 
merit It is called " Genealogies and Portraits,** and con- 
tains, under thirty-four heads, sketches, rather than con- 
nected narratives, of the lives, characters, and families of 
thirty-four of the principal persons of his time, such as 
Henry the Third, John the Second, the Constable Alvaro 
de Luna, and the Marquis of Villena. ^^ A part of this 
genial work seems, from internal evidence, to have been 
written in 1430, while other portions must be dated after 
1454 ; but none of it can have been much known till all 
the principal persons to whom it relates had died, and not, 
therefore, till the reign of Henry the Fourth, in the course 
of which the death of Perez de Guzman himself must have 
happened. It is manly in its tone, and is occasionally 

^' The manuscript I have uded is a Fathers of the Church, and others, 

copy from one, apparently of the fif- taken from Colonna. (Mem. de la 

teenth century, in the magnificent Acad, de Historia, Tom. VI. pp. 

collection of Sir Thomas rhillips, 452, 453, note.) The first edition of 

Middle Hill, Worcestershire, Eng- the Generaciones y Semblanzas sepa- 

land. The printed poems are found rated from this connexion occurs at 

in the " Cancionero General," 1585, the end of the Chronicle of John II., 

ff. 28, etc. ; in the ** Obras de Juan 1517. They are also found in the 

de Mena," ed. 1566, at the end ; in edition of that Chronicle of 1779, 

Castro, Tom. I. pp. 298, 340-342 ; and with the ** Centon Epistolario," 

and at the end of^ Ochoa*s ** Rimas in the edition of Uaguno Amirola, 

Ineditas de Don Ifiigo Lopez de Men- Madrid, 1775, 4to., where they are 

doza,*' Paris, 1844, 8vo., pp. 269- weceded by a life of Feman Fere* 

356. See also Mendez, Typ^. Esp., de Guzman, containing the little we 

p. 383 ; and Cancionero General, know of him. The suggestion made 

1573, fF. 14, 15, 20-22. in the Preface to the Chronicle of 

'^ The ** Generaciones y Semblan. John II., (1779, p. xi.,) that the 

zas" first' appeared in 1512, as port two very important chapters at the 

of a rifacvmenio in Spanish of Gio- end of the Generaciones y Semblanzas 

vanni CoIonna*8 *'Mare Historiarum,'* are not the work of Feman Perez de 

which may have been the woric of Guzman, is, I think, sufficiently an- 

Perez de Guzman. They begin in swered by the editor of the Chronicle 

this edition, at Cap. 137. after long of Alvaro de Luna, Madrid, 1784, 

account*? of Trojans, Greeks, Romans, 4to., PnSIogo, p. xxiii. 


marked with vigorous and original thought. Some of its 
sketches are, indeed, brief and dry, like that of Queen 
Catherine, daughter of John of Gaunt. But others are 
long and elaborate, like that of the Infante Don Ferdinand. 
Sometimes he discovers a spirit in advance of his age, such 
as he shows when he defends the newly converted Jews 
from the cruel suspicions with which they were then per- 
secuted. But he oftener discovers a willingness to rebuke 
its vices, as when, discussing the character of Gonzalo Nu- 
nez de Guzman, he turns aside from his subject and says 
solemnly, — 

" And no doubt it is a noble thing and worthy of praise 
to preserve the memory of noble families and of the ser- 
vices they have rendered to their kings and to the common- 
wealth ; but here, in Castile, this is now held of small 
account. And, to say truth, it is really little necessary ; 
for now-a-days he is noblest who is richest Why, then, 
should we look into books to learn what relates to families, 
since we can find their nobility in their possessions ? Nor 
is it needful to keep a record of the services they render ; 
for kings now give rewards, not to him who serves diem most 
faithfully, nor to him who strives for what is most worthy, but 
to him who most follows their will and pleases them most" " 

In this and other passages, there is something of the 
tone of a disappointed statesman, perhaps of a disappointed 
courtier. But more frequently, as, for instance, when he 
speaks of the Great Constable, there is an air of good 
faith and justice that do him much honour. Some of his 
portraits, among which we may notice those of Villena and 
John the Second, are drawn with skill and spirit; and 
everywhere he writes in that rich, grave, Castilian style, 
with now and then a happy and pointed phrase to relieve its 
dignity, of which we can find no earlier example without 
going quite back to Alfonso the Wise and Don Juan Manuel. 

'* Gencraciones y Somblanzas, c. 10. A similar harshness is shown in 
Chapters 5 and 30. 




Family of the Manbiquu. — Pedeo, Rodeigo, Gk>MEz, ahd Joboe. — 
The Copuls of the Last. — The Ueeeas.^Juait de Padiixa. 

Contemporary with all the authors we have just examined, 
and connected by ties of blood with several of them, was 
the family of the Manriques, — poets, statesmen, and sol- 
diers, — men suited to the age in which they lived, and 
marked with its strong characteristics. They belonged to 
one of the oldest and noblest races of Castile; a race 
beginning with the Laras of the ballads and chronicles. ' 
Pedro, the father of the first two to be noticed, was among 
the sturdiest opponents of the Constable Alvaro de Luna, 
and filled so large a space in the troubles of the time, that 
his violent imprisonment, just before he died, shook the 
country to its very foundations. At his death, however, 
in 1440, the injustice he had suffered was so strongly felt 
by all parties, that the whole court went into mourning for 
him, and the good Count Haro — the same in whose hands 
the honour and faith of the country had been put in pledge 
a year before at Tordesillas — came into the king's pre- 
sence, and, in a solemn scene well described by the chro- 
nicler of John the Second, obtained for the children of the 
deceased Manrique a confirmation of all the honours and 
rights of which their father had been wrongfully deprived. ' 
One of these children was Rodrigo Manrique, Count of 
Paredes, a bold captain, well known by the signal advan- 

' Generaciones, etc., c. 11, 15, Afio 1437, c. 4; 1438, c. 6; 1440, 
and 24. c. 18. 

' Chrdnica de Don Juan el II., 


tages he gained for his country over the Moors. He was 
born in 1416, and his name occurs constantly in the history 
of his time^ for he was much involved, not only in the 
wars against the common enemy in Andalusia and Gra- 
nada, but in the no less absorbing contests of the factions 
which then rent Castile and all the North. But, notwith- 
standing the active life he led, we are told that he found 
time for poetry, and one of his songs, by no means without 
merit, which has been preserved to us, bears witness to it. 
He died in 1476.' 

His brother, Gomez Manrique, of whose life we have 
less distinct accounts, but whom we know to have been 
both a soldier and a lover of letters, has left us more proofs 
of his poetical studies and talent. One of his shorter 
pieces belongs to the reign of John the Second, and one 
of more pretensions comes into the period of the Catholic 
sovereigns; so that he lived in three different reigns.^ 
At the request of Count Benevente, he at one time col- 
lected what he had written into a volume, which may still 
be extant, but has never been published. * The longest of 
his works, now known to exist, is an allegorical poem of 
twelve hundred lines, on the death of his uncle, the Mar- 
quis of Santillana, in which the Seven Cardinal Virtues, 
together with Poetry and Gomez Manrique himself, appear 
and mourn over the great loss their age and country had 
sustained. It was written soon after 1458, and sent, with 
an amusingly pedantic letter, to his cousin, the Bishop of 
Calahorra, son of the Marquis of Santillana.* Another 
poem, addressed to Ferdinand and Isabella, which is neces- 
sarily to be dated as late as the year 1474, is a little more 
than half as long as the last, but, like that, is allegorical, 
and resorts to the same poor machinery of the Seven Vir- 

* Pulgar, Claros Varoncs, Tit. 13. is in the Cancionero General, 1678, 
Cancionero General, 1573, f. 183. ff. 57- 77, and 243. 

Mariana, Hist, Lib. XXIV. c. * Adiciones ^ Pulgar, ed. 1776. p. 

14. 239. 

* The poetry of Gomez Manrique * Ibid-., p. 223. 

VOL. I. '2 1^ 


tues, who come this time to give counsel to the Catholic 
sovereigns on the art of government It was originally 
preceded by a prose epistle, and was printed -in 1482, so 
that it is among the earliest books that came from the 
Spanish press.'' 

These two somewhat long poems, with a few that are 
much shorter, — the best of which is on the bad government 
of a town where he lived, — fill up the list of what remain 
to us of their author's works. They are found in the Can- 
cioneros printed from time to time during the sixteenth 
century, and thus bear witness to the continuance of the 
regard in which he was long held. But, except a few 
passages, where he speaks in a natural tone, moved by 
feelings of personal affection, none of his poetry can now 
be read with pleasure ; and, in some instances, the Latin- 
isms in which he indulges, misled probably by Juan de 
Mena, render the lines where they occur quite ridiculous. * 

Jorge Manrique is the last of this chivalrous family that 
comes into the literary history of his country. He was 
the son of Bodrigo, Count of Paredes, and seems to have 
been a young man of an uncommonly gentle cast of character, 
yet not without the spirit of adventure that belonged to his 
ancestors, — a poet full of natural feeling, when the best of 
those about him were almost wholly given to metaphysical 
conceits, and to what was then thought a curious elegance 
of style. We have, indeed, a considerable number of his 
lighter verses, chiefly addressed to the lady of his love, 
which are not without the colouring of his time, and 
remind us of the poetry on similar subjects produced a 

' Mendez, Typog. Esp., n. 266. Gato, beloncrinp: to the Library of the 

To these poems, when sjieaKing of Academy of History at Madrid and 

Gomez Manrique, should be added, numbered 114, — trifles, however, 

— 1. his poetical letter to his uncle, which ought to be published, 
the Marauis of Santiilana, asking for " Such as the word definicion for 

a copy ox his works, with the reply death, and other similar euphuisms, 

of his uncle, both of which are in the For a notice of Gomez Mannque, see 

Cancioneros Generates ; and 2. some Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, 

of his smaller trifles, which occur in Tom. II. p. 342. 
a manuscript of the poems of Alvarez 


century later in England, after the Italian taste had been 
introduced at the court of Henry the Eighth. • But the 
principal poem of Manrique the younger is almost entirely 
free from affectation. It was written on the death of his 
father, which occurred in 1476, and is in the genuinely 
old Spanish measure and manner. It fills about five hun- 
dred lines, divided into forty-two coplas or stanzas, and is 
called, with a simplicity and directness worthy of its own 
character, " The Coplas of Manrique," as if it needed no 
more distinctive name. 

Nor does it. Instead of being a loud exhibition of his 
sorrows, or, what would have been more in the spirit of 
the age, a conceited exhibition of his learning, it is a simple 
and natural complaint of the mutability of all earthly hap- 
piness ; the mere overflowing of a heart filled with de- 
spondency at being brought suddenly to feel the worthless- 
ness of what it has most valued and pursued. His father 
occupies hardly half the canvas of the poem, and some of 
the stanzas devoted more directly to him are the only 
portion of it we could wish away. But we everywhere 
feel — before its proper subject is announced quite as much 
as afterwards — that its author has just sustained some loss, 
which has crushed his hopes, and brought him to look 
only on the dark and discouraging side of life. In the 
earlier stanzas he seems to be in the first moments of his 
great affliction, when he does not trust himself to speak out 
concerning its cause; when his mind, still brooding in 
solitude over his sorrows, does not even look roimd for 
consolation. He says, in his grief, — 

Our lives are rivers, gliding free Thither all earthly pomp and boast 

To that unfathomcd, boundless sea, Roll, to be swallowed up and lost 
The silent grave ; In one dark wave. 

^ These poems, some of them too etc., and in that of 1573, at if. 131- 
frce for the notions of his Church, 139, 176, 180, 187, 189, 221, 243, 
are in the Cancioneros Gcnerales ; for 245. A few are also in the ** Can- 
example, in that of 1535, ff. 72-76, cionero de Burlas," 1619. 

2 b2 


Thither the mighty torrents stray, There all are equal. Side by aide 

Thither the brook pursues its way, The poor man and the son of pride 

And tinkling rill. Lie calm and still. 

The same tone is heard, though somewhat softened, 
when he touches on the days of his youth and of the court 
of John the Second, already passed away ; and it is felt 
the more deeply, because the festive scenes he describes 
come into such strong contrast with the dark and solemn 
thoughts to which they lead him. In this respect his 
verses fall upon our hearts like the sound of a heavy bell, 
struck by a light and gentle hand, which continues long 
afterwards to give forth tones that grow sadder and more 
solemn, till at last they come to us like a wailing for those 
we have ourselves loved and lost But gradually the 
movement changes. Aft;er his father's death is distinctly 
announced, his tone becomes religious and submissive. 
The light of a blessed future breaks upon his reconciled 
spirit ; and then the whole ends like a mild and radiant 
sunset, as the noble old warrior sinks peacefiilly to his 
rest, surrounded by his children and rejoicing in his 
release. ^° 

*** The lines on the Court of John one in the text, are from Mr. H. W. 

II. are among the most beautiful in Longfellow's beautiful translation of 

the ix)em : — the Coplas, first printed, Boston, 

,„. ,,.«., n 1 > u 1833, 12mo., and often since. They 

Where is the King, Don Juan? where I j 'xu • 

Ewh royal prineeand noble heir may bc Compared With a [wssagc m 

Of Anqfon ? the vcrscs on Edward IV., attributed 

ZT.r. o%« «x C-X. «° s>«"r • ^ '■""I!'' }" ♦•'« " **'■•- 

In battle done? ror for Magistrates, (London, 1815, 

Tonrney and iourt, that charmed the eye, 4to Tom. II. p. 246,) in which 

And icarf, and gonreous panoply, .1'. • «", *''.- , 

And nodding niume,-- that pnnce IS made to say, as if speak- 

And nodding plume, — umi. iiriuuv is uihuu lu i 

What were tliey bat a pageant scene ? inir Irom his STave. — 

What but the garland*, gay and green, ^ ^ ' 

That deck the tomb ? •* Where ii now my conaueit and victory ? 

wu .v i-» u i„ J J ». Where ii my richea ano royall array ? 

Where are the high-born dame^ and where where be my oooiMn and my hon^ bye ? 

Their gavatUre. and jewelled hair, ^here b my myrrh, my Mlaee, and my 

Andodouniweet? plav?" ' ' * ' » ' 

Where are the gentle knigbta that came ^ ^ 

To kneel, and ^eathe love'i ardent flame, J^A^^A *!%«. a^«^ ^c aU^ *««^ ^^^...^ :- 

Low at their feet ? Indeed, tDc tone 01 the two poems is 

Where is the song of the Troubadour ? not unlike, though, of COUrse, thc old 

Where are the lute and gay tambour English laureate never heard of Man- 

Thev loved of yore ? . ® , • • j .^i. 

Where' is the maxy dance of old, noue, and never imagined any thing 

The flowing robes, inwrought «ith gold, half SO gOod aS the Coplas. The 

•nie dancers ^orc ? ^^p,^ ^^^^ ^^^ imitated j-among 

These two stanzas, as well as th« the rest, as Lope de Vega tells us, 


No earlier poem in the Spanish language, if we except, 
perhaps, some of the early ballads, is to be compared with 
the Coplas of Manrique for depth and truth of feeling ; 
and few of any subsequent period have reached the beauty 
or power of its best portions. Its versification, too, is 
excellent ; free and flowing, with occasionally an antique 
air and turn, that are true to the character of the age that 
produced it, and increase its picturesqueness and effect 
But its great charm is to be sought in a beautiful simpli- 
city, which, belonging to no age, is the seal of genius in all. 

The Coplas, as might be anticipated, produced a strong 
impression from the first. They were printed in 1492, 
within sixteen years after they were written, and are found 
in several of the old collections a little later. Separate 
editions followed. One, with a very dull and moralizing 
prose commentary by Luis de Aranda, was published in 
1552. Another, with a poetical gloss in the measure of 
the original, by Luis Perez, appeared in 1561 ; yet another, 
by Kodrigo de Valdepeflas, in 1588 ; and another, by 
Gregorio Silvestre, in 1589 ; — all of which have been 
reprinted more than once, and the first two many times. 
But in this way the modest Coplas themselves became so 
burdened and obscured, that they almost disappeared from 
general circulation, till the middle of the last century, 
since which time, however, they have been often reprinted, 
both in Spain and in other countries, until they seem at 
last to have taken that permanent place among the most 
admired portions of the elder Spanish literature, to which 
their merit unquestionably entitles them. ** 

(Obras Sueltas, Madrid, 1777, 4to., I possess ten or twelve copies of other 

Tom. XI. p. xxix.,) by Camoens; editions, one of which was printed at 

but I do not know the Biedondillas of Boston, 1833, with Mr. Longfellow's 

Cambcns to which he refers. Lope translation. My copies, dated 1574, 

admired the Conlas very much. He 1588, 1614, 1632, and 1799, all have 

says they should be written in letters Ghsas in verse. That of Aranda is 

of gold. in folio, 1 552, black letter, and in 

" For the earliest editions of the prose. 

Coplas, 1492, 1494, and 1501, see At the end of a translation of the 

Mendez, Typog. Espafiola, p. 186. "Inferno "of Dante, made by Pero 



Period I. 

The death of the younger Manrique was not unbe- 
coming his ancestry and his life. In an insurrection 
which occurred in 1479, he served on the loyal side, and 
pushing a skirmish too adventurously was wounded and 
fell. In his bosom were found some verses, still unfinished, 
on the uncertainty of all human hopes; and an old ballad 
records his fate and appropriately seals up, with its simple 
poetry, the chronicle of this portion, at least, of his time- 
honoured race. ^* 

Fernandez de Villogas, Archdeacon of 
Burgos, published at Burgos in 1515, 
folio, with an elaborate commentary, 
chiefly from that of Landino, — a \ery 
rare book, and one of considerable 
merit, — is found, in a few copies, a 
poem on the ** Vanity of Life," by 
the translator, which, though not 
eoual to the Coplas of Manrique, re- 
minds me of them. It is called 
** Aversion del Mundo y Conversion 
d Dios," and is divided, with too 
much formality, into twenty stanzas 
on the contempt of the world, and 
twenty in honour of a religious life ; 
bi*t the verses, which are in the old 
national manner, are very flowing, 
and their style is that of the purest 
and richest Cfastilian. It opens thus : — 

Away, malignant, cruel world. 

With sin ami sorrow rife I 
I seek the meeker, wiser way 

That leadif to heavenly life. 
Your fatal poisons liere we drink. 

Lured by tlieir savoun sweet. 
Though, lurking in our flowery path. 

The serpent wounds our feet 
Away with thy deoeitAil snarea, 

I, who, a coward, followed theo 

Till my last years are nigh ; 
Till thy most strange, revolting sins 

Force me to turn firom thee. 
And drive me forth to seek repose, 

Thy service hard to flee. 
Away with all thy wickedness, 

And all thy heartless toil. 
Where brother, to hi« brother false, 

In treachery seeks for spoil I— 
Dead is all charity in thee. 

All good in thee is dead ; 
I seek a p«irt where from thy storm 

To hide my weary Iiead, 

I add the original, for the sake of 
its flowing sweetness and power : — 

Quedate, mundo malino, 
IJeno de mal y dolor, 
Que me vo tras el dul^or 
Del bien eterno dirino. 

Tu tosigo, tn venino, 
Vevemos ayucarado, 
Y la sierpt! esita en el prado 
De tu tan falso camino. 

Quedate con tus engailos, 
Maguera te dexo turde. 
Que te segui de cobarde 
Fksta mlt postroros afios. 
Mas ya tus males estrafioa 
De ti me alan^n for^oso, 
Vome a bu*car el reposo 
De tus trabajosos dafioa. 

Quedate con tu maldad. 
Con tu tralmjo inhumano, 
Donde el hermano al hermano 
No guarda fe ni verdad. 
Muerta es tod a caridad ; 
Todo bicn en ti ee ya muerio ; — 
Acojome para el puerto, 
Fayendo tu tempestad. 

After the forty stanzas to which the 
preceding lines belong, follow two 
more poems, the first entitled ** The 
Complaint of Faith," partly by Di- 
ego de Burgos and partly by Pero 
Fernandez de Villegas, and the se- 
cond, a free translation of the Tenth 
Satire of Juvenal, by Gerdnimo de 
Villegas, brother of rero Fernandez, 
— each poem in about seventy or 
eighty octave stanzas, of arte mat/or, 
but neither of them as good as the 
^* Vanity of Life." Geronimo also 
translated the Sixth Satire of Juvenal 
into cojdas de arte mayor^ and pub- 
lished it at Valladolid in 1519, in 4to. 

" Mariana, Hist., Lib. XXIV. c. 
19, noticing his death, says, ** He 
died in his best years," — " en lo 
mejor de su edad ; " but we do not 
know how old he was. On three 
other occasions, at least, Don Jorge 
is mentioned in the great Spanish his- 
torian as a personage important in the 
aflairs of his time; — but on yet a 
fourth, -that of the death of his fa- 
ther, Rodrigo, — ^the words of Mariana 

Chap. XXI. THE URREAS. 375 

Another family that flourished in the time of Ferdinand 
and Isabella, and one that continued to be distinguished 
in that of Charles the Fifth, was marked with similar 
characteristics, serving in high places in the state and in 
the army, and honoured for its success in letters. It was 
the family of the Urreas. The first of the name who rose 
to eminence was Lope, created Count of Aranda in 1488 ; 
the last was Geronimo de Urrea, who must be noticed 
hereafter as the translator of Ariosto, and as the author of 
a treatise on Military Honour, which was published in 

Both the sons of the first Count of Aranda, Miguel and 
Pedro, were lovers of letters ; but Pedro only was embued 
with a poetical spirit beyond that of his age, and emanci- 
pated from its aflectations and follies. His poems, which 
he published in 1513, are dedicated to his widowed mother, 
and are partly religious and partly secular. Some of them 
show that he was acquainted with the Italian masters. 
Others are quite untouched by any but national influences ; 
and among the latter is the following ballad, recording the 
first love of his youth, when a deep distrust of himself 
seemed to be too strong for a passion which was yet evi- 
dently one of great tenderness : — 

In the soft and joyous summer-time, 

When the days stretch out their span, 
It was then my peace was ended all, 

It was then my griefs began. 

When the earth is clad with springing grass. 

When the trees with flowers are clad ; 
When the birds are building up their nests, 

When the nightingale sings sad ; 

are so beautiful and apt, that I tran- tory goes out of its bloody course to 

scribe them in the original. ** Su render such a tribute to roetry, and 

hijo D. Jorge Manrique, en unas tro- still more seldom that it does it so 

vas muy elegantes, en que hay virtu- gracefully. The old ballad on Jorge 

des poeticas y ricas esmaltes de inge- Manrique is in Fuentes, Libro dc los 

nio, y sentencias graves, a manera de Quarenta Cantos, AlcaU, 1587, 

endecha, llor6 la muerte de su padre." 12mo., p. 874. 
Lib. XXIV. c. 14. It is seldom His- 


When the stonny sea is hushed and still, 

And the sailors spread their sail ; 
When the rose and lily lift their heads, 

And with fragrance fill. the gale ; 

When, burdened with the coming heat, 

Men cast their cloaks aside, 
And turn themselves to the cooling shatle. 

From the sultry sun to hide ; 

When no hour like that of night is sweet, 

Save the gentle twilight hour ; — 
In a tempting, gracious time like this, 

I felt love's earliest power. ^ 

But the lady that then I first beheld 

Is a lady so fair to see, 
That, of idl who witness her blooming charms. 

None fails to bend the knee. 

And her beauty, and all its glory and grace, 

By so many hearts are sought. 
That as many pains and sorrows, I know. 

Must fall to my hapless lot ; — 

A lot that grants me the hope of death 

As my only sure relief. 
And while it denies the love I seek. 

Announces the end of my grief. 

Still, still, these bitterest sweets of life 

I never will ask to forget ; 
For the lover's truest glory is found 

When unshaken his fate is met. *• 

The last person wbo wrote a poem of any considerable 
length, and yet is properly to be included within the old 

'^ Cancionero de las Obras de Don X3'**5^**!*** ** **^"**» 

Pedro Manuel de Urrea, Logrono, vS'lSJ'anao'ui'Spa.. 

fol., 1513, apud Ig. de Asso, De Y buacmndo h-s rmciwn ; 

Libris quibusdam lli8|NUioruni llano- Do uon 1m meiorec oru 

ribuH Cffisaraugust*. 1794, 4to., ,.,.. i-JTiSTmy^^X.' ~ 

89-92. Comenuron mia ainOT«>ri. 

T)e una dama que >o vi, 
Kn el placiente vurano, Duma de lantw primona, 
V6 ion las disa mayorei, De quantos es conodda 
Anabarun mia placerea, De tantoa ticne looiea : 
CoiDenzaron mia dulorus. <„ . _ . 

>u gnciM. por hermoaura 

Quaiido la tierra da y erva !"«•«« ^"t* ■T**\*?T'^ 

Y !i« arlwlea dan flow*, ijl"*"*® >« P"' deMlichado 
Quando avea haci>n nidua J^f "«<> P*"" y «*"»""-* • 

Y caiitan hw ruiaeiiurea : n""*'*^ "^ *»" ^"^-i^ n»"*'rtc 

Y caiitan hw ruiaeiiurea ; »!""»"^ "^ ^" ^"^-i^ "»"< 

1 ae me nicgan fnvvra. 

guando en la mar •08»?j(ada Maa nunca olvidaie 

Kntran I<m iiavcKodortnt, KmoM auiargoa dulxon-a, 

Quando It* lirioa y rtMita Porqu« vn U mucha Hrmoia 

Noa dan buenoa uloraa ; »h. mueatran lo* amadoiea. 


school, is one who, by his imitations of Dante, reminds us 
of the beginnings of that school in the days of the Marquis 
of Santillana. It is Juan de Padilla, commonly called 
" El Cartuxano," or the Carthusian, because he chose thus 
modestly to conceal his own name, and 'announce himself 
only as a monk of Santa Maria de las Cuevas in Seville. " 
Before he entered into that severe monastery, he wrote a 
poem, in a hundred and fifty coplas, called " The Laby- 
rinth of the Duke of Cadiz," which was printed in 1493; 
but his two chief works were composed afterwards. The 
first of them is called " Retablo de la Vida de Christo," or 
A Picture of the Life of Christ ; a long poem, generally 
in octave stanzas of versos de arte mayor ^ containing a his- 
tory of the Saviours life, as given by the Prophets and 
Evangelists, but interspersed with prayers, sermons, and 
exhortations ; all very devout and very dull, and all finished, 
as he tells us, on Christmas-eve, in the year 1500. 

The other is entitled " The Twelve Triumphs of the 
Twelve Apostles," which, as we are informed, with the 
same accuracy and in the same way, was completed on the 
14th of February, 1518 ; again a poem formidable for its 
length, since it fills above a thousand stanzas of nine lines 
each. It is partly an allegory, but wholly religious in its 
character, and is composed with more care than anything 
else its author wrote. The action passes in the twelve signs 
of the zodiac, through which the poet is successively car- 
ried by Saint Paul, who shows him, in each of them, first, 
the marvels of one of the twelve Apostles ; next, an open- 
ing of one of the twelve mouths of the infernal regions; 
and lastly, a glimpse of the corresponding division of Pur- 
gatory. Dante is evidently the model of the good monk, 
however unsuccessful he may be as a follower. Indeed, 
he begins with a direct imitation of the opening of the 

^^ The monk, however, finds it at the end of the " Retablo." IIo 
impossible to keep his secret, and was born in 1468, and died after 
fairly lets it out in a sort of acrostic 1618. 



Period I. 

" Divina Commedia," from which, in other parts of the 
poem, phrases and lines are not unfrequently borrowed. 
But he has thrown together what relates to earth and 
heaven, to the infernal regions and to Purgatpry, in such 
an unhappy confusion^ and he so mingles allegory, mytho- 
logy, astrology, and known history, that his work turns 
out, at last, a mere succession of wild inconsistencies and 
vague, unmeaning descriptions. Of poetry there is rarely 
a trace ; but the language, which has a decided air of yet 
elder times about it, is free and strong, and the versifi- 
cation, considering the period, is uncommonly rich and 
easy. '* 

»* The " Doze Triumfos de los 
Doze Ap6stolos " was printed entire 
in London, 1843, 4to., by Don Mi- 
guel del Riego, Canon of Oviedo, 
and brother of the Spanish patriot 
and martyr of the same name. In 
the volume containing the Triumfos, 
the Canon has given large extracts from 
the " Retablo de la Vida de Christo," 
omitting Cantos VII., VIIL, IX., 
und X. For notices of Juan de Pa- 
dilla, see Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I. 

p. 761, and Tom. II. p. 332 ; Mendez, 
Tvpog. Esp., p. 193; and Sarmiento, 
Memorias, Sect. 844-847. From the 
last, it appears that he rose to im-. 
portant ecclesiastical authority under 
the crown, as well as in his own 
order. The Doze Triumfos was first 
printed in 1512, the Retablo in 1505. 

There is a contemporary Spanish 
book, with a title something resom- 
bline that of the Retablo de la Vida 
de Christo del Cartuxano ; — I mean 
the ** Vita Christi Cartuxano," which 
is a translation of the " Vita Christi " 
of Ludolphus of Saxony, a Carthu- 
sian monk who died about 1370, made 
into Castilian by Ambrosio Monte- 
sino, and first published at Seville, in 
1502. It is, in fact, a Life of Christ, 
compiled out of the Evangelists, with 
ample commentaries and reflections 
from the Fathers of the Church, — 
the whole filling four folio volumes, — 
and in the version of Montesino it 
appears in a grave, pure Castilian 
prose. It was translated by him at 
the command, he says, of Fenlioand 
and Isabella. 

Chap. XXll. JUAN DE LUCENA. 379 


Prose-writkes. — Juan de Lucena. — Alfonso db la Torrk. — Diego 
DE Almela. — Alonso Ortiz. — Fernando del Puloar. — Diego de San 

The reign of Henry the Fourth was more favourable to 
the advancement of prose composition than that of John 
the Second. This we have already seen when speaking 
of the contemporary chronicles, and of Perez de Guzman 
and the author of the " Celestina." In other cases, we ob- 
serve its advancement in an inferior degree, but, encum- 
bered as they are with more or less of the bad taste and 
pedantry of the time, they still deserve notice, because they 
were so much valued in their own age. 

Regarded from this point of view, one of the most pro- 
minent prose-writers of the century was Juan de Lucena ; 
a personage distinguished both as a private counsellor of 
John the Second, and as that monarch's foreign ambassador. 
We know, however, little of his history ; and of his works 
only one remains to us, — if, indeed, he wrote any more. 
It is a didactic prose dialogue " On a Happy Life," carried 
on between some of the most eminent persons of the age : 
the great Marquis of Santillana, Juan de Mena, the poet, 
Alonso de Cartagena, the bishop and statesman, and Lu- 
cena himself, who acts in part as an umpire in the discus- 
sion, though the Bishop at last ends it by deciding that 
true happiness consists in loving and serving God. 

The dialogue itself is represented as having passed 
chiefly in a hall of the palace, and in presence of several of 
the nobles of the court ; but it was not written till after 
the death of the Constable, in 1453; that event being 


alluded to in it. It is plainly an imitation of the treatise 
of Boethius " On the Consolation of Philosophy,'' then a 
favorite classic ; but it is more spirited and effective than 
its model. It is frequently written in a pointed, and even 
a dignified style ; and parts of it are interesting and 
striking. Thus, the lament of Santillana over the death 
of his son is beautiful and touching, and so is the final sum- 
ming up of the trials and sorrows of this life by the Bishop. 
In the midst of their discussions, there is a pleasant descrip- 
tion of a collation with which they were refreshed by the 
Marquis, and which recalls, at once, — as it was probably 
intended to do, — the Greek Symposia and the dialogues 
that record them. Indeed, the allusions to antiquity with 
which it abounds, and the citations of ancient authors, 
which are still more frequent, are almost always apt, and 
oflen free from the awkwardness and pedantry which mark 
most of the didactic prose of the period ; so that, taken 
together, it may be regarded, notwithstanding the use of 
many strange words, and an occasional indulgence in con- 
ceits, as one of the most remarkable literary monuments 
of the age from which it has come down to us. * 

^ My copy is of the first edition, of man of the world. ** Resta, pues, 

9amora, Centcnera, 1483, folio, 23 Sefior Marques y tu Juan de Mena, 

leaves, double columns, black letter. mi sentencia primera verdadera, que 

It begins with these singular words, ninguno en csta vida vive boato. 

instead of a title-page : ** Aqui co- Desde Cadiz hasta Ganges si toda la 

men9a un tratado en estillo breve, en tierra expiamos [espiamos ?] a nin- 

scntcncias no solo largo mas hondo y gund mortal contenta su sucrtc. £1 

prolixo, el qual ha nombre Vita Beata, caballero entre las puntas se codicia 

necho y compuesto por el honrado y mercader ; v el mercader cavallero 

muy discreto Juan ae Lucena," etc. cntre las brumas del mar, si los 

There are also editions of 1499 and vientos australes enprefiian las velas. 

1641, and, I believe, yet another of Al parir de las lombardes desca hal- 

1601. (Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. larse el pastor en el poblado ; en 

Bayer, Tom. II. p. 260 ; and Men- campo el cibdadano ; fuera religion 

dez, Typog., p. 267.) The follow- los de dentro como pc<^es y dentro 

ing short passage — with an allusion querrian estar los de fuera," etc. 

to the opening of Juvenal's Tenth (fol. xviii. a.) The treatise contains 

Satire, in bettor taste than is common many Latinisms and Latin words, 

in similar works of the same period after the absurd example of Juan dc 

--will well illustrate its style. It is Mena ; but it also contains many 

from the remarks of the Bishop, in stood old words that we are sorry 

reply both to the poet and to the have become obsolete. 


To this period, also, we must refer the " Vision Deley- 
table," or Delectable Vision, which we are sure was written 
before 1463. Its author was Alfonso de la Torre, com- 
monly called " The Bachelor," who seems to have been a 
native of the bishopric of Biirgos, and who was, from 
1437 till the time of his death, a member of the College of 
Saint Bartholomew at Salamanca ; a noble institution, 
founded in imitation of that established at Bologna, by 
Cardinal Albornoz. It is an allegorical vision, in which 
the author supposes himself to see the Understanding of 
Man in the form of an infant brought into a world full of 
ignorance and sin, and educated by a succession of such 
figures as Grammar, Logic, Music, Astrology, Truth, 
Reason, and Nature. He intended it, he says, to be a 
compendium of all human knowledge, especially of all that 
touches moral science and man's duty, the soul and its 
immortality ; intimating, at the end, that it is a bold thing 
in him to have discussed such subjects in the vernacular, 
and begging the noble Juan de Beamonte, at whose request 
he had undertaken it, not to permit a work so slight to be 
seen by others. 

It shows a good deal of the learning of its time, and still 
more of the aeuteness of the scholastic metaphysics then in 
favor. But it is awkward and uninteresting in the general 
structure of its fiction, and meagre in its style and illustra- 
tions. This, however, did not prevent it from being much 
read and admired. There is one edition of it without date, 
which probably appeared about 1480, showing that the 
wish of its author to keep it from the public was not long 
respected; and there were other editions in 1489, 1526, 
and 1538, besides a translation into Catalan, printed as 
early as 1484. But the taste for such works passed away 
in Spain as it did elsewhere ; and the Bachiller de la Torre 
was soon so completely forgotten, that his Vision was not 
only published by Dominico Delphino in Italian, as a work 
of his own, but was translated back into its native Spanish 


by Francisco de Caceres, a converted Jew, and printed in 
1663, as if it had been an original Italian work till then 
quite unknown in Spain.* 

An injustice not unlike the one that occurred to Alfonso 
de la Torre, happened to his contemporary, Diego de 
Almela, and for some time deprived him of the honor, to 
which he was entitled, of being regarded as the author of 
" The Valerius of Stories,'* — a book long popular and still 
interesting. He wrote it after the death of his patron, the 
wise Bishop of Carthagena, who had projected such a work 
himself, and as early as 1472 it was sent to one of the 
Manrique family. But though the letter which then 
accompanied it is still extant, and though, in four editions, 
beginning with that of 1487, the book is ascribed to its true 
author, yet in the fifth, which appeared in 1541, it is 
announced to be by the well-known Fernan Perez de Guz- 
man ; — a mistake which was discovered and announced by 
Tamayo de Vargas, in the time of Philip the Third, but 

•The oldest edition, which is limits between which the Vision must 
without date, seems, from its tyjie and have been produced. Indeed, being 
paper, to have come from the press addressed to Beamonte, the Prince's 
of Centcncra at 9a™ora, in which tutor, it was probably written about 
case it was printed about 1480-1483. 1430-1440, duringthe Prince's nonage. 
It begins thus: '* Comen<;« el tra- One of the old manuscripts of it says, 
tado llamado Vision Deleytable, com- ** It was held in great esteem, and, 
puesto por Alfonso de la Torre, ba- as such, was carefully kept in the 
chiller, endcre<^do al muy noble chamber of the said king of Aragon." 
Don Juan de Beamonte, Prior de There is a life of the author in Reza- 
San Juan en Navarra." It is not bal y Ugarte, ** Biblioteca de los Au- 
paged, but fills 71 leaves in folio, tores, que han sido individuos de los 
double columns, black letter. The seis colcgios mayores" (Madrid, 
little known of the different manu- 1805, 4to., p. 359). The best pas- 
scripts and printed editions of the sage in the Vision Deleytable is at 
Vision is to be found in Antonio, the end ; the address ol Truth to 
Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer, Tom. II., pp. Reason. There is a poem of Alfonso 
328, 329, with the note; Mendez, de la Torre in MS. 7826, in the 
Typog., pp. 100 and 380, with the National Library, Paris (Ochoa, 
Api)endix, p. 402 ; and Castro Bib- Manuscritos, Paris, 1844, 4to., p. 
lioteca Espafiola, Tom. I. pp. 630- 479) ; and the poems of the Bachiller 
635. The Vision was written for the Francisco de la Torre in the Cancio- 
instruction of the Prince of Viana, nero, 1673, (ff. 124-127,) and else- 
who is spoken of near the end as if where, so much talked about in con- 
still alive ; and since this well-known nexion with Quevedo, have some- 
prince, the son of John, king of times been thought to be his, though 
Navarre and Aragon, was bom in the names differ, 
1421 and died in 1463, we know the. 


does not seem to have been generally corrected till the 
work itself was edited anew by Moreno, in 1 793. 

It is thrown into the form of a discussion on Morals, in 
which, after a short explanation of the different virtues and 
vices of men, as they were then understood, we have all 
the illustrations the author could collect under each head 
from the Scriptures and the history of Spain. It is, 
therefore, rather a series of stories than a regular didactic 
treatise, and its merit consists in the grave, yet simple and 
pleasing, style in which they are told, — a style particularly 
fitted to most of them, which are taken from the old na- 
tional chronicles. Originally, it was accompanied by 
**An Account of Pitched Battles;" but this, and his 
Chronicles of Spain, his collection of the Miracles of 
Santiago, and several discussions of less consequence, are 
long since forgotten. Almela, who enjoyed the favour of 
Ferdinand and Isabella, accompanied those sovereigns to 
the siege of Granada, in 1491, as a chaplain, carrying 
with him, as was not uncommon at that time among the 
higher ecclesiastics, a military retinue to serve in the wars.' 

In 1493, another distinguished ecclesiastic, Alonso 
Ortiz, a canon of Toledo, published, in a volume of 
moderate size, two small works which should not be 
entirely overlooked. The first is a treatise, in twenty- 
seven chapters, addressed, through the queen, Isabella, to 
her daughter, the Princess of Portugal, on the death of 
that princess's husband, filled with such consolation as the 
courtly Canon deemed suitable to her bereavement and his 
own dignity. The other is an oration, addressed to Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella, after the fall of Granada, in 1492, 
rejoicing in that great event, and glorying almost equally 
in the cruel expulsion of all Jews and heretics from Spain. 

• Antonio, Bib. Vctus, cd. Bayer, bears on its title-page the name of 

Tom. II. p. 325. Mendez, Typog., Fem. Perez de Guzman, yet contains, 

p. 315. It is sing:ular that the edi- at f. 2, the very letter of Almela, 

tionof the ** ValeriodelasIIistorias" dated 1472, which leaves no doubt 

printed at Toledo, 1 541 , folio, which that its writer is the author of the book. 


Both are written in too rhetorical a style, but neither is 
without merit ; and in the oration there are one or two 
beautiful and even touching passages on the tranquillity to 
be enjoyed in Spain, now that a foreign and hated enemy, 
after a contest of eight centuries, had been expelled firom 
its borders, — passages which evidently came from the 
writer's heart, and no doubt found an echo wherever his 
words were heard by Spaniards. * 

Another of the prose writers of the fiftieenth century, 
and one that deserves to be mentioned with more respect 
than either of the last, is Fernando del Pulgar. He was 
born in Madrid, and was educated, as he himself tells us, 
at the court of John the Second. During the reign of 
Henry the Fourth he had employments which show him 
to have been a person of consequence ; and during a large 
part of that of Ferdinand and Isabella, he was one of their 
counsellors of state, their secretary, and their chronicler. 
Of his historical writings notice has already been taken ; 
but in the course of his inquiries after what related to the 
annals of Castile, he collected materials for another work, 
more interesting, if not more important For he found, 
as he says, many famous men whose names and characters 
had not been so preserved and celebrated as their merits 
demanded ; and, moved by his patriotism, and taking for 
his example the portraits of Perez de Guzman and the 
biographies of the ancients, he careftiUy prepared sketches 
of the lives of the principal persons of his own age, 

* The volume of the learned Alonso celona, December 7, 1492 ; two letters 
Ortiz 18 a curious one, printed at from the city and cathedral of Toledo, 
Seville, 1493, folio, 100 leaves. It is praying tfiat the name of the newly- 
noticed by Mendcz, (p. 194,) and by conquered Granada may not be placed 
Antonio, (Bib. Nov., Tom. 1. p. 89,) before that of Toledo in the roval 
who sconiH to have known nothing title; and an attack on the Protho- 
about itA author, except that he be- notary Juan de Lucena, — probabty 
queathod his library to the University not Uie author lately mentioned, — 
of Salamanca. Besides the two trea- who had ventured to assail the Inqui- 
tises mentione<l in the text, this vo- sition, then in the freshness of its 
lume contains an account of the wound holy pretensions. The whole volume 
received by Ferdinand the Catholic, is full of bigotry, and the spirit of a 
from the hand of an assassin, at Bar- triumphant priesthood. 


beginning with Henry the Fourth, and confining himself 
chiefly within the limits of that monarch's reign and 
court * 

Some of these sketches, to which he has given the 
general title of " Claros Varones de Castilla," like those 
of the good Count Haro • and of Rodrigo Manrique, ^ are 
important for their subjects, while others, like those of the 
great ecclesiastics of the kingdom, are now interesting only 
for the skill with which they are drawn. The style in 
which they are written is forcible, and generally concise, 
showing a greater tendency to formal elegance than any- 
thing by either Cibdareal or Guzman, with whom we 
should most readily compare him ; but we miss the con- 
fiding naturalness of the warm-hearted physician and the 
severe judgments of the retired statesman. The whole 
series is addressed to his great patroness. Queen Isabella, 
to whom, no doubt, he thought a tone of composed dignity 
more appropriate than any other. 

As a specimen of his best manner we may take the 
following passage, in which, after having alluded to some 
of the most remarkable personages in Roman history, he 
turns, as it were, suddenly round to the queen, and thus 
boldly confronts the great men of antiquity with the great 
men of Castile, whom he had already discussed more at 
large : — 

" True, indeed, it is, that these great men — Castilian 
knights and gentlemen — of whom memory is here made 
for fair cause, and also those of the elder time, who, fight- 
ing for Spain, gained it from the power of its enemies, did 
neither slay their own sons, as did those consuls, Brutus 
and Torquatus ; nor burn their own flesh, as did Scaevola ; 

* The notices of the life of Pulgar says, in his Dialogue on Mendoza, 

are from the edition of his " Claros Duke of Infantado, that Pulgar was 

Varones,' Madrid, 1775, 4to. ; but **de Madrid natural,'* Quinquage- 

there, as elsewhere, he is said to be nas, MS. 

a native of the kingdom of Toledo. * Claros Varones, Tit. 3. 

This, however, is probably a mistake. ^ Ibid., Tft. 13. 
Ovicdo, who knew him personally, 

VOL. I. ^ ^ 


nor commit against their own blood cruelties which nature 
abhors and reason forbids ; but rather, with fortitude and 
perseverance, with wise forbearance and prudent energy, 
with justice and clemency, gaining the love of their own 
countrymen, and becoming a terror to strangers, they 
disciplined their armies, ordered their battles, overcame 
their enemies, conquered hostile lands, and protected their 

own So that^ most excellent Queen, these knights 

and prelates, and many others bom within your realm, 
whereof here leisure fails me to speak, did, by the praise- 
worthy labours they fulfilled, and by the virtues they 
strove to attain, achieve unto themselves the name of 
Famous Men, whereof their descendants should be above 
others emulous ; while, at the same time, all the gentle- 
men of your kingdoms should feel themselves called to 
the same pureness of life, that they may at last end their 
days in unspotted success, even as these great men also 
lived and died." ® 

This is certainly remarkable, both for its style and 
for the tone of its thought, when regarded as part of a 
work written at the conclusion of the fifteenth century. 
Pulgar s Chronicle, and his commentary on " Mingo Re- 
vulgo," as we have already seen, are not so good as such 

The same spirit, however, reappears in his letters. 
They are thirty-two in number; all written during the 
reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the earliest being dated 
in 1473, and the latest only ten years afterwards. Nearly 
all of them were addressed to persons of honourable dis- 
tinction in his time, such as the queen herself Henry the 
king's uncle, the Archbishop of Toledo, and the Count 
of Tendilla. Sometimes, as in the case of one to the 
King of Portugal, exhorting him not to make war on 
Castile, they are evidently letters of state. But in other 

• Claros Varoncs, Tit 17. 


cases, like that of a letter to his physician, complaining 
pleasantly of the evils of old age, and one to his daughter, 
who was a nun, they seem to be familiar, if not confi- 
dential. • On the whole, therefore, taking all his different 
works together, we have a very gratifying exhibition of 
the character of this ancient servant and counsellor of 
Queen Isabella, who, if he gave no considerable impulse 
to his age as a writer, was yet in advance of it by the 
dignity and elevation of his thoughts, and the careless 
richness of his style. He died after 1492, and probably 
before 1500. 

We must not, however, go beyond the limits of the 
reign of Ferdinand and Isabella without noticing two re- 
markable attempts to enlarge, or at least to change, the 
forms of romantic fiction, as they had been thus far settled 
in the books of chivalry. 

The first of these attempts was made by Diego de San 
Pedro, a senator of Valladolid, whose poetry is found in 
all the Cancioneros Generales. *^ He was evidently known 
at the court of the Catholic sovereigns, and seems to have 
been favoured there ; but, if we may judge from his prin- 
cipal poem, entitled " Contempt of Fortune," his old age 
was unhappy, and filled with regrets at the follies of his 
youth. *^ Among these follies, however, he reckons the 
work of prose fiction which now constitutes his only real 
claim to be remembered. It is called the Prison of Lov^ 
"Carcel de Amor," and was written at the request of 
Diego Hernandez, a governor of the pages in the time of 
Ferdinand and Isabella. 

• The letters are at the end of the ample, in the last, at ff. 165-161, 

Claros Varoncs (Madrid, 1776, 4to.) ; 176, 177, 180, etc. 
which was first printed in 1600. " " El Dcsprecio de la Fortuna" — 

'** The Coplas of San Pedro on the with a curious dedication to the 

Passion of Christ and the Sorrows of Count Uruefia, whom he says he 

the Madonna are in the Cuncionero of served twenty-nine years — is at the 

1492, (Mendcz, p. 136,) and many of end of Juan de Mena*8 Works, ed. 

his other poems arc in the Cancione- 1566. 
ros Generates, 1611-1673; for ex- 


It opens with an allegory. The author supposes him- 
self to walk out on a winter's morning, and to find in a 
wood a fierce, savage-looking person, who drags along an 
unhappy prisoner bound by a chain. This savage is Desire, 
and his victim is Leriano, the hero of the fiction. San 
Pedro, from natural sympathy, follows them to the castle 
or prison of Love, where, after groping through sundry 
mystical passages and troubles, he sees the victim &stened 
to a fiery seat and enduring the most cruel torments. Le- 
riano tells him that they are in the kingdom of Macedonia, 
that he is enamoured of Laureola, daughter of its king, 
and that for his love he is thus cruelly imprisoned ; all 
which he illustrates and explains allegorically, and begs the 
author to carry a message to the lady Laureola. The 
request is kindly granted, and a correspondence takes 
place, immediately upon which Leriano is released from 
his prison, and the allegorical part of the work is brought 
to an end. 

From this time the story is much like an episode in one 
of the tales of chivalry. A rival discovers the attachment 
between Leriano and Laureola, and making it appear to 
the king, her father, as a criminal one, the lady is cast into 
prison. Leriano challenges her accuser and defeats him 
in the lists ; but the accusation is renewed, and, being fully 
sustained by false witnesses, Laureola is condemned to 
death. Leriano rescues her with an armed force and de- 
livers her to the protection of her uncle, that there may exist 
no further pretext for malicious interference. The king, 
exasperated anew, besieges Leriano in his city of Susa. In 
the course of the siege, Leriano captures one of the false 
witnesses, and compels him to confess his guilt. The king, 
on learning this, joyfully receives his daughter again, and 
shows all favour to her faithful lover. But Laureola, for 
her own honour's sake, now refuses to hold further inter- 
course with him ; in consequence of which he takes to his 
bed and with sorrow and fasting dies. Here the original 


work ends ; but there is a poor continuation of it by Nicolas 
Nuiiez, which gives an account of the grief of Laureola 
and the return of the author to Spain. ^* 

The style, so far as Diego de San Pedro is concerned, 
is good for the age ; very pithy, and full of rich aphorisms 
and antitheses. But there is no skill in the construction of 
the fable ; and the whole work only shows how little ro- 
mantic fiction was advanced in the time of Ferdinand and 
Isabella. The Carcel de Amor was, however, very suc- 
cessful. The first edition appeared in 1492; two others 
followed in less than eight years ; and before a century 
was completed, it is easy to reckon ten, besides many 
translations. ^* 

Among the consequences of the popularity enjoyed by 
the Carcel de Amor was probably the appearance of the 
" Question de Amor," an anonymous tale, which is 
dated at the end, 17 April, 1512. It is a discussion of 
the question, so often agitated from the age of the Courts 
of Love to the days of Garcilasso de la Vega, who suffers 
most, the lover whose mistress has been taken from him 
by death, or the lover who serves a living mistress without 
hope. The controversy is here carried on between Vas- 
quiran, whose lady-love is dead, and Flamiano, who is 
rejected and in despair. The scene is laid at Naples and 

*' Of Nicolas Nufiez I know only bris Hisp. Rarioribus, Caesaraugustae, 

a few poems in the Caneioncro Gene- 1794, 4to., p. 44.) From a phrase 

ral of 1573, (ff. 17, 23, 176, etc.,) in his ** Contempt of Fortune," (Can- 

one or two of which are not without cionero General, 1573, f. 158,) 

merit. where he speaks of ** aquollaa cartas 

'* Mendez, pp. 185, 283 ; Brunet, de Amores, escriptas de dos en dos," 
etc. There is a translation of the I suspect he wrote the ''Proceso 
Carcel into English bv good old de Cartas do Amores, que entre dos 
Lord Bemers. (Walpole s Royal and amantes pasaron," — a series of extra- 
Noble Authors, London, 1806, 8vo., va^t love-letters, full of the con- 
Vol. L p. 241. Dibdin's Ames, ceits of the times ; in which last case, 
London, 1810, 4to., Vol. III. p. 195; he may also be the author of the 
Vol. IV. p. 339.) To Diego de San ** Quexa y Aviso contra Amor," or 
Pedro is also attributed the *' Tra- the story of Luzindaro and Medusina, 
tado do Amalte y Lucenda," of which alluded to in the last of these letters, 
an edition, apparently not the first, But as I know no edition of this story 
was printed at Burgos in 1522, and earlier than that of 1553, I prefer to 
another in 1527. (Asso, De Li- consider it in the next perioa. 


in other parts of Italy, beginning in 1508, and ending with 
the battle of Kavenna and its disastrous consequences, four 
years later. It is full of the spirit of the times. Chival- 
rous games and shows at the court of Naples, a hunting 
scene, jousts and tournaments, and a tilting match with 
reeds, are all minutely described, with the dresses and 
armour, the devices and mottoes, of the principal person- 
ages who took part in them. Poetry, too, is freely scat- 
tered through it, — villancicoSj motes^ and invenciones^ such 
as are found in the Cancioneros ; and, on one occasion, 
an entire eclogue is set forth, as it was recited or played 
before the court, and, on another, a poetical vision, in 
which the lover who had lost his lady sees her again as if 
in life. The greater part of the work claims to be true, 
and some portions of it are known to be so ; but the meta- 
physical discussion between the two suflTerers, sometimes 
angrily borne in letters, and sometimes tenderly carried 
on in dialogue, constitutes the chain on which the whole 
is hung, and was originally, no doubt, regarded as its chief 
merit The story ends with the death of Flamiano, from 
wounds received in the battle of Ravenna ; but the ques- 
tion discussed is as little decided as it is at the beginning. 
The style is that of its age; sometimes picturesque, 
but generally dull ; and the interest of the whole is small, in 
consequence both of the inherent insipidity of such a fine- 
spun discussion, and of the too minute details given of the 
festivals and fights with which it is crowded. It is, there- 
fore, chiefly interesting as a very early attempt to write 
historical romance ; just as the " Carcel de Amor," which 
called it forth, is an attempt to write sentimental romance. ** 

" The " Question de Amor" was the Carcel for its style more than the 
printed as early as 1527, and, besides Question de Amor. (Mayans y Sis- 
several editions of it that appeared car, Orfgenes, Tom. II. p. 1G7.) 
aeparatoly, it often occurs in tne same Both are in the Index Expur^torius, 
volume with the Carcel. Both arc 1667, pp. 323, 864 ; the last with a 
amon<r the few books criticised by the seeming ignorance, that regards it as 
author of the ** Diillogo de las Len- a Portuguese book, 
guas," who praises both moderately ; 



The Cancionkbos or Babna, Esturiga, and Martinez dk Bdboos. — 
The Cancionero Gexeral or Castillo. — Its Editions. — Its Divisions, 
Contents, and CnARACTSR. 

The reigns of John the Second and of his children, Henry 
the Fourth and Isabella the Catholic, over which we have 
uow passed, extend from 1407 to 1504, and therefore fill 
almost a complete century, though they comprise only two 
generations of sovereigns. Of the principal writers who 
flourished while they sat on the throne of Castile we have 
already spoken, whether they were chroniclers or dra- 
matists, whether they were poets or prose-writers, whether 
they belonged to the Proven9al school or to the Castilian. 
But, after all, a more distinct idea of the poetical culture 
of Spain during this century, than can be readily obtained 
in any other way, is to be gathered from the old Canci- 
oneros ; those ample magazines, filled almost entirely with 
the poetry of the age that preceded their formation. 

Nothing, indeed, that belonged to the literature of the 
fifteenth century in Spain marks its character more plainly 
than these large and ill-digested collections. The oldest 
of them, to which we have more than once referred, was 
the work of Juan Alfonso de Baena, a converted Jew, and 
one of the secretaries of John the Second. It dates, from 
internal evidence, between the years 1449 and 1454, and 
was made, as the compiler tells us in his preface, chiefly 
to please the king, but also, as he adds, in the persuasion that 
it would not be disregarded by the queen, the heir-appa- 
rent, and the court and nobility in general. For this 


purpose, he says, he had brought together the works of all 
the Spanish poets who, in his .'own or any preceding age, 
had done honour to what he calls " the very gracious art 
of the Gaya Ciencia.^ 

On examining the Cancionero of Baena, however, we 
find that quite one-third of the three hundred and eighty- 
four manuscript pages it fills are given to Villasandino, — 
who died about 1424, and whom Baena pronounces " the 
prince of all Spanish poets," — and that nearly the whole 
of the remaining two-thirds is divided among Diego de 
Valencia, Francisco Imperial, Baena himself, Fernan 
Perez de Guzman, and Ferrant Manuel de Lando ; while 
the names of about fifl;y other persons, some of them 
reaching back to the reign of Henry the Third, are affixed 
to a multitude of short poems, of which, probably, they 
were not in all cases the authors. A little of it, like what 
is attributed to Macias, is in the Galician dialect ; but by 
far the greater part was written by Castilians, who valued 
themselves upon their fashionable tone more than upon 
anything else, and who, in obedience to the taste of their 
time, generally took the light and easy forms of Proven9al 
verse, and as much of the Italian spirit as they compre- 
hended and knew how to appropriate. Of poetry, except 
in some of the shorter pieces of Ferrant Lando, Alvarez 
Gato, and Perez de Guzman, the Cancionero of Baena 
contains hardly a trace. * 

* Accounts of the Cancionero of note,) and is now in the National Li- 

Bacna are found in Castro, ** Biblio- bnuy, Paris. Its collector, Baena, is 

teca Espanola " (Madrid, 1786, folio, sneered at in the Cancionero of Fer- 

Tom. 1. pp. 265-346) ; in Puy- nan Martinez de Burgos, (Memorias 

busque, ** Histoire Compar6e des de Alfonso VIII., por Mondexar, 

Littdratures Espagnole et Fran^aise " Madrid, 1783, 4to., App. cxxxix.,) as 

(Paris, 1843, 8vo., Tom. I. pp. 893- a Jew who wrote Tulgar verses. 
897); in ()choa, " Manuscritos" The poems in thb Cancionero that 

(Paris, 1844, 4to., pp. 281-286) ; and are probably not by the persons whose 

in Amador de los Rios, ** Estudios names they bear are short and trifling, 

sobre los Judios" (Madrid, 1848, — such as might be furnished to men 

8vo., pp. 408-419). The copy used of distinction by humble versifiers, 

by Castro was probably from the who sought their protection or formed 

library of Queen Isabella, (Mem. de a part of their courts. Thus a poem 

la Acad, de Hist., Tom. VI. p. 468, already noticed, that bean the name 


Many similar collections were made about the same 
time, enough of which remain to show that they were 
among the fashionable wants of the age, and that there was 
little variety in their character. Among them was the 
Cancionero in the Limousin dialect already mentioned ; • 
that called Lope de Estuiiiga's, which comprises works of 
about forty authors ; ' that collected in 1464 by Fernan 
Martinez de Burgos ; and no less than seven others, pre- 
served in the National Library at Paris, all containing 
poetry of the middle and latter part of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, often the same authors, and sometimes the same 
poems, that are found in Baena and in Estuniga. * They 
all belong to a state of society in which the great nobility, 
imitating the king, maintained poetical courts about them, 
such as that of the Marquis of Yillena at Barcelona, or 
the more brilliant one, perhaps, of the Duke Fadrique de 
Castro, who had constantly in his household Puerto 
Carrero, Gayoso, Manuel de Lando, and others then ac- 

of Count Pero Nifio, was, as we Talavera, some of which are dated 

are expressly told in a note to it, 1408 ; by Pero Velez de Guevara, 

written by Villasandino, in order that 1422 ; by Gomez Manrique ; by San- 

the Count might present himself tillana ; by Fernan Perez de Guz- 

before the lady Blanche more g^race- man ; and, in short, by the authors 

fully than such a rough old soldier then best known at court. Mem. de 

would be likely to do, unless he were Alfonso VIII., Madrid, 1783, 4to., 

helped to a little poetical gallantry. '^PP* cxxxiv.-cxl. 

* See ante J Chapter XVII. note 10. Several other Cancioneros of the 
' The Cancionero of Lope de £s- same period are in the National 

tuAiga is, or was lately, in the Na- Library, Paris, and contain almost 
tional Library at Madrid, among the exclusively the known fashionable 
folio MSS., marked M. 48, well authors of that century ; such as San- 
written and filling 163 leaves. tillana, Juan de Mena, Lopez de 

* The fashion of making such col- Cuiiiga [Estuniga?], Juan Rodriguez 
lections of {)oetry, generally called del Padron, Juan de Villalpando, 
" Canci<Mieros," was very common in Suero de Ribera, Fernan Perez de 
Spain in the fifteenth century, just Guzman, Gk)mcz Manricjue, Diego 
before and just ai^r the introduction del Castillo," Alvaro Garcia de Santa 
of the art of printing. Maria, Alonso Alvarez de Toledo, 

One of them, compiled in 1464, etc. There are no less than seven 

with additions of a later date, by such Cancioneros in all, notices of 

Fernan Martinez de Burgos, begins which arc found in Ochoa, " Catd- 

with poems by his father, and goes logo de MSS. Espafioles en la Bib- 

on with others by Villasandino, who lioteca Real de Paris/' Paris, 1844, 

is greatly praised both as a soldier 4to., pp. 378-525. 
and a wnter ; by Fernan Sanchez de 


counted great poets. That the prevailing tone of all this 
was Proven9al we cannot doubt ; but that it was somewhat 
influenced by a knowledge of the Italian we know from 
many of the poems that have been published, and from 
the intimations of the Marquis of Santillana in his letter to 
the Constable of Portugal. * 

Thus far, more had been done in collecting the poetry of* 
the time than might have been anticipated from the trou- 
bled state of public affairs ; but it had been done only in 
one direction, and even in that with little judgment. The 
king and the more powerful of the nobility might indulge 
in the luxury of such Cancioneros and such poetical courts, 
but a general poetical culture could not be expected to 
follow influences so partial and inadequate. A new order 
of things, however, soon arose. In 1474 the art of print- 
ing was fairly established in Spain ; and it is a striking 
fact, that the first book ascertained to have come from the 
Spanish press is a collection of poems recited that year by 
forty difierent poets contending for a public prize. * No 
doubt such a volume was not compiled on the principle of 
the elder manuscript Cancioneros. Still, in some respects, 
it resembles them, and in others seems to have been the 
result of their example. But however this may be, a col- 
lection of poetry was printed at Saragossa, in 1492, con- 
taining the works of nine authors, among whom were 
Juan de Mena, the younger Manrique, and Fernan Perez 
de Guzman ; the whole evidently made on the same prin- 
ciple and for the same purpose as the Cancioneros of 
Baena and Estufiiga, and dedicated to Queen Isabella, as 
the great patroness of whatever tended to the advance- 
ment of letters. ' 

It was a remarkable book to appear within eighteen 

* Sanchez, Poosfus Antcriores, I. p. 52. All the Cancioneros 

Tom. I. p. Ixi., with tlic notes on the mentioned before 1474 are stUI in 

IKu^sfure relating to the Duke Fa- MS. 

drique. 7 Mcndez, Typog., pp. 134-137 

' Fuster, Bib. Valenciana, Tom. and 383. 


years after the introduction of printing into Spain, when 
little but the most worthless Latin treatises had come from 
the national press ; but it was far from containing all the 
Spanish poetry that was soon demanded. In 1511, 
therefore, Fernando del Castillo printed at Valencia what 
he called a " Cancionero General," or General Collection 
of Poetry ; the first book to which this well-known title 
was ever given. It professes to contain " many and divers 
works of all or of the most notable Troubadours of Spain, 
the ancient as well as the modem, in devotion, in morality, 
in love, in jests, ballads, villancicoSy songs, devices, mottoes, 
glosses, questions, and answers." It, in fact, contains 
poems attributed to about a hundred different persons, 
from the time of the Marquis of Santillana down to the 
period in wjiich it was made ; most of the separate pieces 
being placed under the names of those who were their 
authors, or were assumed to be so, while the rest are col- 
lected under the respective titles or divisions just enume- 
rated, which then constituted the favourite subjects and 
forms of verse at court. Of proper order or arrangement, 
of critical judgment, or tasteful selection, there seems to 
have been little thought. 

The work, however, was successful. In 1514, anew 
edition of it appeared ; and before 1540, six others had 
followed, at Toledo and Seville, making, when taken 
together, eight in less than thirty years ; a number which, 
if the peculiar nature and large size of the work are con- 
sidered, can hardly find its parallel, at the same period, in 
any other European literature. Later, — in 1557 and 
1573, — yet two other editions, somewhat enlarged, ap- 
peared at Antwerp, whither the inherited rights and mili- 
tary power of Charles the Fiflh had carried a familiar 
knowledge of the Spanish language and a love for its cul- 
tivation. In each of the ten editions of this remarkable 
book, it should be borne in mind, that we may look for 
the body of poetry most in favour at court and in the 


more refined society of Spain during the whole of the 
fifteenth century and the early part of the sixteenth ; the last 
and amplest of them comprising the names of one hundred 
and thirty-six authors, some of whom go back to the begin- 
ning of the reign of John the Second, while others come 
down to the time of the Emperor Charles the Fifth.® 

Taking this Cancionero, then, as a true poetical repre- 
sentative of the period it embraces, the first thing we 
observe, on opening it, is a mass of devotional verse, 
evidently intended as a vestibule to conciliate favour for 
the more secular and free portions that follow. But it is 
itself very poor and gross ; so poor and so gross, that we 
can hardly understand how, at any period, it can have 
been deemed religious. Indeed, within a century from 
the time when the Cancionero was published, this part of 
it was already become so oflensive to the Church it had 
originally served to propitiate, that the whole of it was 
cut out of such printed copies as came within the reach of 
the ecclesiastical powers. • 

There can be no doubt, however, about the devotional 
purposes for which it was first destined; some of the 
separate compositions being by the Marquis of Santillana, 
Fernan Perez de Guzman, and other well-known authors 
of the fifteenth century, who thus intended to give an 
odour of sanctity to their works and lives. A few poems 
in this division of the Cancionero, as well as a few scattered 
in other parts of it, are in the Limousin dialect; a cir- 
cumstance which is probably to be attributed to the fact, 
that the whole was first collected and published in Valen- 

" For the bibliography of these ruthlessly cut to pieces, bears this 

excessively rare ana cunous books, memorandum: — 
see Ebert,Bibliographisches Lexicon: m? ^ i-i x j i 

and Brunct, Manuef, in verb. Cancio^ ^ ^^\ libro esta expurgado por el 

nero and Castilio. I have, I believe, Expurgratorio del Santo Dficio, con 

soon copies of eight of the editions. "cencia. .. ^ *, _. 

Those which I possess are of 1536 ^' Baptista Martinex. 

and 1573. The whole of the religious poetry 

• A copy of the edition of 1635, at the beginning is torn out of it. 


cia. But nothing in this portion can be accounted truly 
poetical, and very little of it religious. The best of its 
shorter poems is, perhaps, the following address of Mossen 
Juan Tallante to a figure of the Saviour expiring on the 
cross : — 

O God I the infinitely great, 
That didst this ample world outspread, — 
The true ! the high I 
And, in thy grace compassionate, 
Upon the tree didst bow thy head, 
For us to die ! 

O ! since it pleased thy love to bear 
Such bitter suffering for our sake, 
O Agnus Dei I 
Save us with him whom thou didst spare. 
Because that single word he spake, — 
Memento mei ! ^® 

Next after the division of devotional poetry comes the 
series of authors upon whom the whole collection relied 
for its character and success when it was first pub- 
lished; a series, to form which, the editor says, in the 
original dedication to the Count of Oliva, he had em- 
ployed himself during twenty years. Of such of them as 
are worthy a separate notice — the Marquis of Santillana, 
Juan de Mena, Fernan Perez de Guzman, and the three 
Manriques — we have already spoken. The rest are the 
Viscount of Altamira, Diego Lopez de Haro, ^* Antonio 

w Imenflo Dio«, oerdurable, DicgO Lopez de HaiO, of about a 

^^verd^e^r^**"**^.* thousand lines, in a manuscript ap- 

Y con amor entriiSabie parentlj of the end of the fiitcenth 

P»' E^rS^iSlwo^ ^^ beginning of the sixteenth century, 

PuettepiagTui^^on of which I have a copy. It is en- 

Por nuestraa euipM tafrir, titled ** Aviso para Cucrdos," — A 

o i^na. Dei. Word for the Wise,— and is arranged 

LleTanof do eita el ladron, j. , .^i /. ° 

Que BaWMte por decir, ^ * dialogue. With a few verses 

Memento mei. spokcn in tne character of some dis- 

Cancionero General, Anren, 1578, f. 5. tinguished personage, human or super- 

Fuster, Bib. Valenciana, (Tom. I. human, allegorical, historical, or from 

p. 81,) tries to make out something Scripture, and then an answer to 

concerning the author of this little each, by the author himself. In this 

poem ; but docs not, I think, succeed. way above sixty persons are intro- 

" In the Library of the Academy duccd, among whom are Adam and 

of History at Madrid (Misc. Hist., Eve, with the Angel that drove them 

MS., Tom. III., No. 2) is a poem by from Paradise, Troy, Priam, Jenisa- 



Period I. 

de Velasco, Luis de Vivero, Hernan Mexia, Suarez, 
Cartagena, Rodriguez del Padron, Pedro Torellas, Dava- 
los, ** Guivara, Alvarez Gato, ^^ the Marquis of Astorga, 
Diego de San Pedro, and Garci Sanchez de Badajoz, — 
the last a poet whose versification is his chief merit, but 
who was long remembered by succeeding poets from the 
circumstance that he went mad for loveJ* They all 

lorn, Christ, Julius Cesar, and so 
on down to Kin^ Bamba and Maho- 
met. The whole is in the old Spa- 
nish verse, and has little poetical 
thought in it, as may be seen by the 
following words of Saul and the 
answer by Don Diego, which I give 
as a favourable specimen of the entire 
poem :— 

En ml pena es de mirar, 
Que peliffro e« para vm 
EI Klosar u el mudar 
Lo que manda el alto Diot ; 
Porqne el manda obedecelle ; 
No jucKalie, mat creelle. 
A qvran a Dies a de entender, 
Lo que el sabe a de saber. 


Plento yo qne en tal defecto 
Cae preiito el cora^on 
Del nu aabio en rreliglon, 
Creyendo qne a lo jaerteoto 
Puede dar ma* perncion. 
Kate mal tiene el gloaar; 
Luego a Diot quiere enmendar. 

Oviedo, in his ** Quinquagenas,*' 
says that Diego Lopez de Haro was 
** the mirror of gallantry among the 
youth of his time ;" and he is known 
to history for his services in the war 
of Granada, and as Spanish ambassa- 
dor at Rome. (See Clemencin, in 
Mem. de la Acad, de Hist., Tom. 
VI. p. 404.) He figures in the 
" Inferno de Amor" of Sanchez de 
Badajoz ; and his poems are found in 
the Cancionero General, 1673, ff. 
82-90, and a few other places. 

" He founded the fortunes of the 
family of which the Marouis of Pes- 
cara was so distinguished a member 
in the time of Charles V. ; his first 
achievement having been to kill a 
Portuguese in fair fight, after public 
challenge, and in presence or both 
the armies. The poet rose to be 
Constable of Castile. Ilistoria dc 
D. Hernando Divalos, Marques de 

Pescara, Anvers, 1568, r2mo.. Lib. 
L, c 1. 

'* Besides what are to be found in 
the Cancioneros Generales, — for ex- 
ample, in that of 1573, at ff. 148-152, 
189, etc., — there is a MS. in posses- 
sion of the Royal Academy at Madrid, 
(Codex No. 114,) which contains a 
large number of poems by Alvarez 
Gato. Their author was a person of 
consequence in his time, and served 
John II., Henry IV., and Ferdinand 
and Isabella, in afiairs of state. With 
John he was on terms of friendship. 
One da^, when the king missed him 
from his hunting-party and was told 
he was indisposed, he replied, ** Let 
us, then, go and see him ; he is my 
friend," — and returned to make the 
kindly visit Gato died af\er 1496. 
Gerdnimo Quintana, Historia de 
Madrid, Madrid, 1629, folio, f. 221. 

The poetry of Gato is sometimes 
connected with public affairs ; but, in 
general, like the rest of that which 
marks the period when it was written, 
it is in a courtly and affected tone, and 
devoted to love and gallantry. Some 
of it is more lively and natural than 
most of its doubtful class. Thus, 
when his lady-love told him ** he must 
talk sense,'* he replied, that he had 
lost the little he ever had from the 
time when he first saw her, ending his 
poetical answer with these words : — 

But if, in good (Vith, yoa require 

That aerrnc shoald come back to me, 
Show the kindneaa to which f aspire. 
Give the freedom j-oti know I desire. 
And pay me my service A*e. 

Si queret que de verdad 

Tome a mi seso v aentido, 
Uaad agoTA bondacf. 
Torname mi libertad, 

K pa^^ame lo aervido. 

^* Memorias de U Acad, dc Histo- 
ria, Tom. VI. p. 404. The " Lecd- 


belong to the courtly school ; and we know little of any 
of them except from hints in their own poems, nearly all 
of which are so wearisome from their heavy sameness, that 
it is a task to read them. 

Thus, the Viscount Altamira has a long, dull dialogue 
between Feeling and Knowledge ; Diego Lopez de Haro 
has another between Reason and Thought; Hernan 
Mexia, one between Sense and Thought; and Costana, 
one between Affection and Hope ; — all belonging to the 
fashionable class of poems called moralities or moral dis- 
cussions, all in one measure and manner, and all counterparts 
to each other in grave, metaphysical refinements and poor 
conceits. On the other hand, we have light, amatory 
poetry, some of which, like that of Garci Sanchez de 
Badajoz on the Book of Job, that of Eodriguez del Padron 
on the Ten Commandments, and that of the younger 
Manrique on the forms of a monastic profession, irreve- 
rently applied to the profession of love, are, one would 
think, essentially irreligious, whatever they may have been 
deemed at the time they were written. But in all of 
them, and, indeed, in the whole series of works of the 
twenty different authors filling this important division of 
the Cancionero, hardly a poetical thought is to be found, 
except in the poems of a few who have already been 
noticed, and of whom the Marquis of Santillana, Juan de 
Mena, and the younger Manrique are the chief. ^* 

Next after the series of authors just mentioned, we have 
a collection of a hundred and twenty-six " Canciones," or 
Songs, bearing the names of a large number of the most dis- 
tinguished Spanish poets and gentlemen of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. Nearly all of them are regularly constructed, each 

ones de Job," by Badajoz, were early leaves, and the series of authors men- 
put into the Index Expurgatorius, tioned above extends from f. 18 to f. 
and kept there to the last. 97. It is worth notice, that the 
^ The Cancionero of 1535 consists beautiful Coplas of Manrique do not 
of 191 leaves, in large folio, Gothic occur in any one of these courtly 
letters, and triple columns. Of these, Cancioneros. 
the devotional poetry fills eighteen 


(Ic Vclasco, Luis de Vivero, Herr -'e second 

Cartaixcna. Rodriguez del Padron, ' .'»' '^^^ ^""^ 

l,.s, " (iuivara, Alvarez Gato, » - f^"""*^":^ '" 

Diofjo de San Pedro, and Gb . ' '«« constrained 

the last a poet whose vers/ «'* "at"ff^ """'"f'^ '. 

wlio was long rememberr ^^ collection of the ^ 

circumstance that he -^ f«"o*'"S' '^V ^f V" ^ 

cind who was one ot the 

Inn. Christ, Julius CfT ^jigh ill the Church after its 

on down to King Bamr ^ .. n ^^ i ii 

met. The whole is ' average merit ot its class. 

nish vornc, and b 

thought injt,M • ^,0^ not why first I drew breath, 

ISw^'t dT^ ^'"^ ^^^'"^ '^ ^"'-^ » ^^"^^' 

u a favooi** Whvrv I am rejected of Death, 

poem:— And would irladly reject my own life. 

For all the days I may live 

Can only Ik* filknl with prief ; 
With Death I must ever strive, 

And never from Death find relief. 
So that HofK? must desert me at last, 

Since Death has not failinl to sec 

Tliat life will revive in me 
The moment his arrow is cast. ^^ 

This was thought to be a tender compliment to the lady 
whose coldness had made her lover desire a death that 
would not obey his summons. 

Tliirty-seven Ballads succeed ; a charming collection of 
wild flowers, which have already been suflSciently examined 
when speaking of the ballad poetry of the earliest age of 
Spanish literature. '* 

After the Ballads we come to the " Invenciones," a 
form of verse peculiarly characteristic of the period, and 
of which we have here two hundred and twenty specimens. 

'•The Canciones are found, ff. Qu* fln e«pero daqui. 

yo- lUO. Vun qur rlnraniente viu 

i7 No w pain que naici, Qucra viila para mi. 

Piii'^ vn tal e.-itromo eito f. 98. b. 

Que rl morir no qiiipre a mi, 

Y fi viuir no quU-ro yo. " These Imlladis, alr€^a<iv notiivd 

r.H>o el tiempii que viviere „„f ('|u,p VI., are in the tanciwnero 

TiTui- inu> juKta qucn'lla r i rqi* ir i Ai! 1 1 1; 

Ik' la inurrrf, piiriN no nuicrc 01 IJOJ, 11. lUO-110. 
A ui, quui-lvndu yo a i*lia. 


They belong to the mstitutions of chivalry, and especially 
to the arrangements for tourneys and joustiugs, which were 
the most gorgeous of the public amusements known in the 
reigns of John the Second and Henry the Fourth. Each 
knight, on such occasions, had a device, or drew one for 
himself by lot ; and to this device or crest a poetical expla- 
nation was to be aflSxed by himself, which was called an 
invencion. Some of these posies are very ingenious ; for 
conceits are here in their place. King John, for instance, 
drew a prisoner's cage for his crest, and furnished for its 
motto, — 

Even imprisonment still is confessed, '. • .r -^ 

Though heavy its sorrows may fall, / ." : , . , v;^ 

To be but a righteous behest, ;;, , -\ 

When it comes from the fairest and best '/ .J 

Whom the earth its mistress can call. V '^ ^ 

The well-known Count Haro drew a norioj or a Vhieel 
over which passes a rope, with a series of buckets attached 
to it, that descend empty into a well, and come up full of 
water. He gave, for his invencion^ — 

The full show my griefs running o'er ; 
The empty, the hopes I deplore. 

On another occasion, he drew, like the king, an emblem 
of a prisoner's cage, and answered to it by an imperfect 
rhyme, — 

In the gaol which you here behold — 
Whence escape there is none, as you see — 
I must live. What a life must it be ! *' 

Akin to the Invenciones were the " Motes con sus 

'" *' Saco el Rey nuestro seizor una '* El mismo uor cimera una carcel, 

red de carcel, y decia la letra:-^ y el en clla, y dixo : — 

Qiudqa ier priiion y dolor En «■»» cwm\ qua veyt, 

Qneiewfra,Mjiutacon, Que no le htlU aalida, 

Pnet M 8uft« por amor V iu Ire, ma* ved qoe Tidal- 

^I'n.^rjStL h«n«.. The /nw»«Vw«, though so numer- 

ous, fill only three leaves, 115 to 

** El conde de Haro saco una noria, 1 17. They occur, also, constantly in 

y dixo : — the old chronicles and books of chi- 

Lo.iieno.,; ''^^^\ ^hc "Question de Amor" 

D' eapcran^a, lot vaiioa. contams many of them. 

VOL.1. 2 D 


Glosas;" mottoes or short apophthegms, which we find 
here to the number of above forty, each accompanied by a 
heavy, rhymed gloss. The mottoes themselves are gene- 
rally proverbs, and have a national and sometimes a spi- 
rited air. Thus, the lady Catalina Manrique took 
" Never mickle cost but little," referring to the difficulty of 
obtaining her regard, to which Cartagena answered, with 
another proverb, " Merit pays all," and then explained or 
mystified both with a tedious gloss. The rest are not 
better, and all were valued, at the time they were com- 
posed, for precisely what now seems most worthless in 
them. '' 

The " Villancicos " that follow — songs in the old 
Spanish measure, with a refi'ain and occasionally short 
verses broken in — are more agreeable, and sometimes are 
not without merit. They received their name from their 
rustic character, and were believed to have been first com- 
posed by the villanoSj or peasants, for the Nativity and 
other festivals of the Church. Imitations of these rude 
roundelays are found, as we have seen, in Juan de la 
Euzina, and occur in a multitude of poets since ; but the 
fifty-four in the Cancionero, many of which bear the 
names of leading poets in the preceding century, are too 
courtly in their tone, and approach the character of the 
Canciones. *^ In other respects, they remind us of the 

•* Though Lope de Veea, in his poetical results obtained were little 

"Justa Po^ticade San Isidro," (Ma- worth the trouble they cost. The 

drid, 1620, 4to., f. 76,) declares the Glosas of the Cancionero of 1536 are 

Glosas to be ** a most ancient and at fT. 118-120. 

peculiarly Spanish composition, never *' The author of the ** Didlogo de 

used in an^r other nation," they were, las Lenguas " (Mayans y Siscar, Orf- 

in fact, an invention of the Provencal genes, Tom. II. p. 151) eives the 

poets, and, no doubt, came to Spain refrain or ritomeUo of a ViUancico, 

with their original authors. (Rayoou- which, he says, was sung by every 

ard, Troub., Tom. II. pp. 248-254.) body in Spain in his time, and is the 

The rules for their composition in happiest specimen I know of the 

Spain were, as we see also from Cer- genus, conceit and all. 

vantes, (Don Quixote, Parte II. c. q, ,v .^ ,i .^ 

18,) veiy strict and mrely observed ; ^'l^Al^Ty x:::S'I^'^ ^' 

and I cannot help agreeing with the But, had i nevn known th«t gncm, 

friend of the mad knight, that the "**'' ""^^ ' ***^* deterved »uch biiM ? 


earliest French madrigals^ or, still more, of the Proven9al 
poems, that are nearly in the same measures. ** 

The last division of this conceited kind of poetry col- 
lected into the first Cancioneros Generales is that called 
"Preguntas," or Questions; more properly. Questions 
and Answers ; since it is merely a series of riddles, with 
their solutions in verse. Childish as such trifles may seem 
now, they were admired in the fifteenth century. Baena, 
in the Preface to his collection, mentions them among its 
most considerable attractions ; and the series here given, 
consisting of fifty-five, begins with such authors as the 
Marquis of Santillana and Juan de Mena, and ends with 
Garci Sanchez de Badajoz, and other poets of note who 
lived in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. Probably it 
was an easy exercise of the wits in extemporaneous verse 
practised at the court of John the Second, as we find it 
practised, above a century later, by the shepherds in the 
*' Galatea " of Cervantes. *^ But the specimens of it in the 
Cancioneros are painfully constrained ; the answers being 
required to correspond in every particular of measure, 
number, and the succession of rhymes with those of the 
precedent question. On the other hand, the riddles them- 
selves are sometimes very simple, and sometimes very 
familiar ; Juan de Mena, for instance, gravely proposing 
that of the Sphinx of (Edipus to the Marquis of Santil- 
lana, as if it were possible the Marquis had never before 
heard of it. ** 

Thus far the contents of the Cancionero General date 
from the fifteenth century, and chiefly from the middle 
and latter part of it. Subsequently, we have a series of 
poets who belong rather to the reign of Ferdinand and 
Isabella, such as Puerto Carrero, the Duke of Medina 

« The ViUancicoa are in the Can- " Galatea, Lib. VI. 

cionero of' 1636, at ff. 120-126. See " The Preguntas extend from f. 

also Covamibias, Tesoro, in verb. 126 to f. 184. 




Peeiod I. 

Sidonia, Don Juan Manuel of Portugal, Heredia, and a 
few others ; after which follows, in the early editions, a 
collection of what are called "Jests provoking Laugh- 
ter," — really, a number of very gross poems which consti- 
tute part of an indecent Cancionero printed separately at 
Valencia, several years afterwards, but which were soon 
excluded from the editions of the Cancionero General, 
where a few trifles, sometimes in the Valencian dialect, are 
inserted, to fill up the space they had occupied. ^* The 
air of this second grand division of the collection is, how- 
ever, like the air of that which precedes it, and the poetical 
merit is less. At last, near the conclusion of the editions 
of 1557 and 1573, we meet with compositions belonging 
to the time of Charles the Fifth, among which are two by 
Boscan, a few in the Italian language, and still more in the 
Italian manner ; all indicating a new state of things, and a 
new development of the forms of Spanish poetry. *^ 

•* The complete list of the authors 
in this part of the Cancionero is as 
follows : — Costana, Puerto Carrcro, 
Avila, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, 
the Count Castro, Luis dc Tovar, Don 
Juan Manuel, Tapia, Nicolas Nunez, 
Soria, Pinar, Ayllon, Badajoz el 
Miisico, the Count of Oliva, Cardona, 
Frances Carroz, Heredia, Artes, 
Quiros, Coronel, Escriva, Vazquez, 
and Luduena. Of most of them only 
a few trifles arceiven. The ** Burlas 
provocantes a Kisa " follow, in the 
edition of 1514, after the poems of 
Luduefia, but do not appear in that 
of 1626, or in any subsequent edi- 
tion. Most of them, however, are 
found in the collection referred to, 
entitled *' Cancionero de Obras de 
Burlas provocantes a Risa," (Valencia, 
1519, 4to.) It begins with one 
rather long poem, and ends with an- 
other, — the last being a brutal parody 
of the " Trescientas " of Juan de Mena. 
The shorter poems are often by well- 
known names, such as Jorge Man- 
riquc and Diego de San Pedro, and 
are not always liable to objection on 

the score of decency. But the gene- 
ral tone of the work, which is attri- 
buted to ecclesiastical hands, is as 
coarse as possible. A small edition 
of it was printed at London, in 1841, 
marked on its title-page ** Cum Privi- 
legio, en Madrid, por Luis Sanchez." 
It has a curious and well- written Pre- 
face, and a short, but learned, Glos- 
sary. From p. 203 to the end, p. 246, 
are a few poems not found m the 
original Cancionero de Burlas ; one 
by Garci Sanchez de Badajoz, one by 
Rodrigo de Reynosa, etc. 

*" This part of the Cancionero of 
1635, which is of very little value, 
fills ff. 134-191. The whole volume 
contains about 49,000 verses. The 
Antwerp editions of 1557 and 1573 
are larger, and contain about 58,000 ; 
but the last part of each is the worst 
part. One of the pieces near the end 
IS a ballad on the renunciation of em- 
pire made by Charles V. at Brussels, 
in October, 1655; the most recent 
date, so far as I have observed, that 
can be assigned to any \Kicm in any of 
the collections. 


But this change belongs to another period of the litera- 
ture of Castile, before entering on which we must notice 
a few circumstances in the Caiicioueros characteristic of 
the one we have just gone over. And here the first 
thing that strikes us is the large number of persons whose 
verses are thus collected. In that of 1535, which may 
be taken as the average of the whole series, there are 
not less than a hundred and twenty. But out of this mul- 
titude, the number really claiming any careful notice is 
small. Many persons appear only as the contributors of 
single trifles, such as a device or a cancioUy and sometimes, 
probably, never wrote even these. Others contributed only 
two or three short poems, which their social position, ra- 
ther than their taste or talents, led them to adventure. So 
that the number of those appearing in the proper character 
of authors in the Cancionero General is only about forty, 
and of these not more than four or five deserve to be re- 

But the rank and personal consideration of those that 
throng it are, perhaps, more remarkable than their number, 
and certainly more so than their merit. John the Second 
is there, and Prince Henry, afterwards Henry the Fourth ; 
the Constable Alvaro de Luna, " the Count Haro, and 
the Count of Plascncia ; the Dukes of Alva, Albuquerque, 
and Medina Sidonia; the Count of Tendilla and Don 
Juan Manuel ; the Marquises of Santillana, Astorga, and 
Villa Franca; the Viscount Altamira, and other lead- 

^ There is a short ixoem by the dated 1446, ** On Virtuous and Famous 

Constable in the Conimentair of Fer- Women," to whieh Juan de Mcna 

nan Nunez to the 265th Copla of wrote a Preface ; the Constable, at 

Juan de Mena ; and in the fine old that time, being at the height of his 

Chronicle of the Constables life, we power. It is not, as its title might 

are told of hini, (Titulo LXVIII.,) seem to indicate, translated from a 

** Fue inuy invontivo e mucho dado a work by Boccaccio, with nearly the 

fallar invencioncs y sacar entremeses, same name ; but an original ^)roduc- 

o en justas o en gucrra ; en las qualcs tion of the great Castilian minister of 

invencioncs muy ajiudamente signi- state. Mem. de la Acad, de Hist., 

ficaba lo que queria." lie is also the Tom. VI. p. 464, note, 
author of an unpublishetl prose work, 


irig personages of their time ; so thsit, as Lope de Vega 
once said, " most of the poets of that age were great lords, 
admirals, constables, dukes, counts, and kings ; " ^ or, in 
other words, verse*writing was a fashion at the court of 
Castile in the fifteenth century.