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Title: A History of Spanish Literature
Author: Fitzmaurice-Kelly, James
Language: English
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                   *       *       *       *       *

                  _Short Histories of the Literatures
                             of the World_

                       _Edited by Edmund Gosse_

                             A HISTORY OF

                          SPANISH LITERATURE


                        JAMES FITZMAURICE-KELLY

                    C. DE LA REAL ACADEMIA ESPAÑOLA


                          NEW YORK AND LONDON

                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY


                           COPYRIGHT, 1898,
                      BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.

                Printed in the United States of America


Spanish literature, in its broadest sense, might include writings
in every tongue existing within the Spanish dominions; it might, at
all events, include the four chief languages of Spain. Asturian and
Galician both possess literatures which in their recent developments
are artificial. Basque, the spoiled child of philologers, has not
added greatly to the sum of the world's delight; and even if it had,
I should be incapable of undertaking a task which would belong of
right to experts like Mr. Wentworth Webster, M. Jules Vinson, and
Professor Schuchardt. Catalan is so singularly rich and varied that
it might well deserve separate treatment: its inclusion here would
be as unjustifiable as the inclusion of Provençal in a work dealing
with French literature. For the purposes of this book, minor varieties
are neglected, and Spanish literature is taken as referring solely to
Castilian—the speech of Juan Ruiz, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Tirso de
Molina, Quevedo, and Calderón.

At the close of the last century, Nicolas Masson de Morvilliers
raised a hubbub by asking two questions in the _Encyclopédie
Méthodique_:—"Mais que doit-on à l'Espagne? Et depuis deux siècles,
depuis quatre, depuis six, qu'a-t elle fait pour l'Europe?" I have
attempted an answer in this volume. The introductory chapter has
been written to remind readers that the great figures of the Silver
Age—Seneca, Lucan, Martial, Quintilian—were Spaniards as well as
Romans. It further aims at tracing the stream of literature from its
Roman fount to the channels of the Gothic period; at defining the
limits of Arabic and Hebrew influence on Spanish letters; at refuting
the theory which assumes the existence of immemorial _romances_, and
at explaining the interaction between Spanish on the one side and
Provençal and French on the other. It has been thought that this
treatment saves much digression.

Spanish literature, like our own, takes its root in French and in
Italian soil; in the anonymous epics, in the _fableaux_, as in Dante,
Petrarch, and the Cinque Cento poets. Excessive patriotism leads men
of all lands to magnify their literary history; yet it may be claimed
for Spain, as for England, that she has used her models without
compromising her originality, absorbing here, annexing there, and
finally dominating her first masters. But Spain's victorious course,
splendid as it was in letters, arts, and arms, was comparatively brief.
The heroic age of her literature extends over some hundred and fifty
years, from the accession of Carlos Quinto to the death of Felipe IV.
This period has been treated, as it deserves, at greater length than
any other. The need of compression, confronting me at every page,
has compelled the omission of many writers. I can only plead that
I have used my discretion impartially, and I trust that no really
representative figure will be found missing.

My debts to predecessors will be gathered from the bibliographical
appendix. I owe a very special acknowledgment to my friend Sr. D.
Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo, the most eminent of Spanish scholars and
critics. If I have sometimes dissented from him, I have done so with
much hesitation, believing that any independent view is better than the
mechanical repetition of authoritative verdicts. I have to thank Mr.
Gosse for the great care with which he has read the proofs; and to Mr.
Henley, whose interest in all that touches Spain is of long standing, I
am indebted for much suggestive criticism. For advice on some points of
detail, I am obliged to Sr. D. Ramón Menéndez Pidal, to Sr. D. Adolfo
Bonilla y San Martín, and to Sr. D. Rafael Altamira y Crevea.


  CHAPTER                                               PAGE

  I. INTRODUCTORY                                          1

  II. THE ANONYMOUS AGE (1150-1220)                       43

  (1220-1300)                                             57

  IV. THE DIDACTIC AGE (1301-1400)                        74

  V. THE AGE OF JUAN II. (1419-1454)                      93

  (1454-1516)                                            109

  VII. THE AGE OF CARLOS QUINTO (1516-1556)              129

  VIII. THE AGE OF FELIPE II. (1556-1598)                165

  IX. THE AGE OF LOPE DE VEGA (1598-1621)                211

  (1621-1700)                                            275

  XI. THE AGE OF THE BOURBONS (1700-1808)                343

  XII. THE NINETEENTH CENTURY                            363

  XIII. CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE                          383

  BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE                                   399

  INDEX      413

                             A HISTORY OF

                          SPANISH LITERATURE

                               CHAPTER I


The most ancient monuments of Castilian literature can be referred
to no time later than the twelfth century, and they have been dated
earlier with some plausibility. As with men of Spanish stock, so
with their letters: the national idiosyncrasy is emphatic—almost
violent. French literature is certainly more exquisite, more brilliant;
English is loftier and more varied; but in the capital qualities of
originality, force, truth, and humour, the Castilian finds no superior.
The Basques, who have survived innumerable onsets (among them, the
ridicule of Rabelais and the irony of Cervantes), are held by some
to be representatives of the Stone-age folk who peopled the east,
north-east, and south of Spain. This notion is based mainly upon the
fact that all true Basque names for cutting instruments are derived
from the word _aitz_ (flint). Howbeit, the Basques vaunt no literary
history in the true sense. The _Leloaren Cantua_ (_Song of Lelo_) has
been accepted as a contemporary hymn written in celebration of a
Basque triumph over Augustus. Its date is uncertain, and its refrain
of "_Lelo_" seems a distorted reminiscence of the Arabic catchword _Lā
ilāh illā 'llāh_; but the _Leloaren Cantua_ is assuredly no older than
the sixteenth century.

A second performance in this sort is the _Altobiskarko Cantua_ (_Song
of Altobiskar_). Altobiskar is a hill near Roncesvalles, where
the Basques are said to have defeated Charlemagne; and the song
commemorates the victory. Written in a rhythm without fellow in the
Basque metres, it contains names like Roland and Ganelon, which are in
themselves proofs of French origin; but, as it has been widely received
as genuine, the facts concerning it must be told. First written in
French (_circa_ 1833) by François Eugène Garay de Monglave, it was
translated into very indifferent Basque by a native of Espelette named
Louis Duhalde, then a student in Paris. The too-renowned _Altobiskarko
Cantua_ is therefore a simple hoax: one might as well attribute
_Rule Britannia_ to Boadicea. The conquerors of Roncesvalles wrote
no triumphing song: three centuries later the losers immortalised
their own overthrow in the _Chanson de Roland_, where the disaster is
credited to the Arabs, and the Basques are merely mentioned by the way.
Early in the twelfth century there was written a Latin _Chronicle_
ascribed to Archbishop Turpin, an historical personage who ruled the
see of Rheims some two hundred years before his false _Chronicle_ was
written. The opening chapters of this fictitious history are probably
due to an anonymous Spanish monk cloistered at Santiago de Compostela;
and it is barely possible that this late source was utilised by such
modern Basques as José María Goizcueta, who retouched and "restored"
the _Altobiskarko Cantua_ in ignorant good faith.

However that may prove, no existing Basque song is much more than three
hundred years old. One single Basque of genius, the Chancellor Pero
López de Ayala, shines a portent in the literature of the fourteenth
century; and even so, he writes in Castilian. He stands alone, isolated
from his race. The oldest Basque book, well named as _Linguæ Vasconum
Primitiæ_, is a collection of exceedingly minor verse by Bernard
Dechepare, curé of Saint-Michel, near Saint-Jean Pied de Port; and
its date is modern (1545). Pedro de Axular is the first Basque who
shows any originality in his native tongue; and, characteristically
enough, he deals with religious matters. Though he lived at Sare, in
the Basses Pyrénées, he was a Spaniard from Navarre; and he flourished
in the seventeenth century (1643). It is true that a small knot of
second-class Basque—the epic poet Ercilla y Zúñiga, and the fabulist
Iriarte—figure in Castilian literature; but the Basque glories are
to be sought in other field—in such heroic personages as Ignacio
Loyola, and his mightier disciple Francisco Xavier. Setting aside
devotional and didactic works, mostly translated from other tongues,
Basque literature is chiefly oral, and has but a formal connection
with the history of Spanish letters. Within narrow geographical
limits the Basque language still thrives, and on each slope of the
Pyrenees holds its own against forces apparently irresistible. But
its vitality exceeds its reproductive force: it survives but does not
multiply. Whatever the former influence of Basque on Castilian—an
influence never great—it has now ceased; while Castilian daily tends
to supplant (or, at least, to supplement) Basque. Spain's later
invaders—Iberians, Kelts, Phœnicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Alani,
Suevi, Goths, and Arabs—have left but paltry traces on the prevailing
form of Spanish speech, which derives from Latin by a descent more
obvious, though not a whit more direct, than the descent of French.
So frail is the partition which divides the Latin mother from her
noblest daughter, that late in the sixteenth century Fernando Pérez
de Oliva wrote a treatise that was at once Latin and Spanish: a thing
intelligible in either tongue and futile in both, though held for
praiseworthy in an age when the best poets chose to string lines into a
polyglot rosary, without any distinction save that of antic dexterity.

For our purpose, the dawn of literature in Spain begins with the
Roman conquest. In colonies like Pax Augusta (Badajoz), Cæsar Augusta
(Zaragoza), and Emerita Augusta (Mérida), the Roman influence was
strengthened by the intermarriage of Roman soldiers with Spanish women.
All over Spain there arose the _odiosa cantio_, as St. Augustine calls
it, of Spanish children learning Latin; and every school formed a fresh
centre of Latin authority. With their laws, the conquerors imposed
their speech upon the broken tribes; and these, in turn, invaded
the capital of Latin politics and letters. The breath of Spanish
genius informs the Latinity of the Silver Age. Augustus himself had
named his Spanish freedman, Gaius Julius Hyginus, the Chief Keeper
of the Palatine Library. Spanish literary aptitude, showing stronger
in the prodigious learning of the Elder Seneca, matures in the
altisonant rhetoric and violent colouring of the Younger, in Lucan's
declamatory eloquence and metallic music, in Martial's unblushing
humour and brutal cynicism, in Quintilian's luminous judgment and wise

All these display in germ the characteristic points of strength and
weakness which were to be developed in the evolution of Spanish
literature; and their influence on letters was matched by their
countrymen's authority on affairs. The Spaniard Balbus was the first
barbarian to reach the Consulship, and to receive the honour of a
public triumph; the Spaniard Trajan was the first barbarian named
Emperor, the first Emperor to make the Tigris the eastern boundary of
his dominion, and the only Emperor whose ashes were allowed to rest
within the Roman city-walls. And the victory of the vanquished was
complete when the Spaniard Hadrian, the author of the famous verses—

  "_Animula vagula blandula,
  Hospes comesque corporis,
  Quæ nunc abibis in loca,
  Pallidula rigida nudula,
  Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos?_"—

himself an exquisite in art and in letters—became the master of
the world. Gibbon declares with justice that the happiest epoch in
mankind's history is "that which elapsed from the death of Domitian
to the accession of Commodus"; and the Spaniard, accounting Marcus
Aurelius as a son of Córdoba, vaunts with reasonable pride, that of
those eighty perfect, golden years, three-score at least were passed
beneath the sceptre of the Spanish Cæsars.

Withal, individual success apart, the Spanish utterance of Latin teased
the finer ear. Cicero ridiculed the accent—_aliquid pingue_—of
even the more lettered Spaniards who reached Rome; Martial, retired
to his native Bilbilis, shuddered lest he might let fall a local
idiom; and Quintilian, a sterner purist than a very Roman, frowned at
the intrusion of his native provincialisms upon the everyday talk of
the capital. In Rome incorrections of speech were found where least
expected. That Catullus should jeer at Arrius—the forerunner of a
London type—in the matter of aspirates is natural enough; but even
Augustus distressed the nice grammarian. _A fortiori_, Hadrian was
taunted with his Spanish solecisms. Innovation won the day. The century
between Livy and Tacitus shows differences of style inexplicable by the
easy theory of varieties of temperament; and the two centuries dividing
Tacitus from St. Augustine are marked by changes still more striking.
This is but another illustration of the old maxim, that as the speed of
falling bodies increases with distance, so literary decadences increase
with time.

As in Italy and Africa, so in Spain. The statelier _sermo urbanus_
yielded to the _sermo plebeius_. Spanish soldiers had discovered
"the fatal secret of empire, that emperors could be made elsewhere
than at Rome"; no less fatal was the discovery that Latin might be
spoken without regard for Roman models. As the power of classic forms
waned, that of ecclesiastical examples grew. Church Latin of the
fourth century shines at its best in the verse of the Christian poet,
the Spaniard Prudentius: with him the classical rhythms persist—as
survivals. He clutches at, rather than grasps, the Roman verse
tradition, and, though he has no rhyming stanzas, he verges on rhyme
in such performances as his _Hymnus ad Galli Cantum_. Throughout the
noblest period of Roman poetry, soldiers, sailors, and illiterates
had, in the _versus saturnius_, preserved a native rhythmical system
not quantitative but accentual; and this vulgar metrical method was to
outlive its fashionable rival. It is doubtful whether the quantitative
prosody, brought from Greece by literary dandies, ever flourished
without the circle of professional men of letters. It is indisputable
that the imported metrical rules, depending on the power of vowels and
the position of consonants, were gradually superseded by looser laws of
syllabic quantity wherein accent and tonic stress were the main factors.

When the empire fell, Spain became the easy prey of northern
barbarians, who held the country by the sword, and intermarried but
little with its people. To the Goths Spain owes nothing but eclipse
and ruin. No books, no inscriptions of Gothic origin survive; the
Gongoristic letters ascribed to King Sisebut are not his work, and
it is doubtful if the Goths bequeathed more than a few words to the
Spanish vocabulary. The defeat of Roderic by Tarik and Mūsa laid Spain
open to the Arab rush. National sentiment was unborn. Witiza and
Roderic were regarded by Spaniards as men in Italy and Africa regarded
Totila and Galimar. The clergy were alienated from their Gothic rulers.
Gothic favourites were appointed to non-existent dioceses carrying huge
revenues; a single Goth held two sees simultaneously; and, by way of
balance, Toledo was misgoverned by two rival Gothic bishops. Harassed
by a severe penal code, the Jew hailed the invading Arabs as a kindred,
oriental, circumcised race; and, with the heathen slaves, they went
over to the conquerors. So obscure is the history of the ensuing years
that it has been said that the one thing certain is Roderic's name.
Not less certain is it that, within a brief space, almost the entire
peninsula was subdued. The more warlike Spaniards,

  "_Patient of toil, serene among alarms,
  Inflexible in faith, invincible in arms,_"

foregathered with Pelayo by the Cave of Covadonga, near Oviedo, among
the Pyrenean chines, which they held against the forces of the Berber
Alkamah and the renegade Archbishop, Don Opas. "Confident in the
strength of their mountains," says Gibbon, these highlanders "were the
last who submitted to the arms of Rome, and the first who threw off
the yoke of the Arabs." While on the Asturian hillsides the spirit of
Spanish nationality was thus nurtured amid convulsions, the less hardy
inhabitants of the south accepted their defeat. The few who embraced
Islamism were despised as Muladíes; the many, adopting all save the
religion of their masters, were called Muzárabes, just as, during the
march of the reconquest, Moors similarly placed in Christian provinces
were dubbed Mudéjares.

The literary traditions of Seneca, Lucan, and their brethren, passed
through the hands of mediocrities like Pomponius Mela and Columella,
to be delivered to Gaius Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus, who gave a
rendering of the gospels, wherein the Virgilian hexameter is aped with
a certain provincial vigour. Minor poets, not lacking in marmoreal
grace, survive in Baron Hübner's _Corpus Inscriptionum Latinorum_.
Among the breed of learned churchmen shines the name of St. Damasus,
first of Spanish popes, who shows all his race's zeal in heresy-hunting
and in fostering monkery. The saponaceous eloquence that earned him
the name of _Auriscalpius matronarum_ ("the Ladies' Ear-tickler") is
forgotten; but he deserves remembrance because of his achievement
as an epigraphist, and because he moved his friend, St. Jerome, to
translate the Bible. To him succeeds Hosius of Córdoba, the mentor of
Constantine, the champion of Athanasian orthodoxy, and the presiding
bishop at the Council of Nicæa, to whom is attributed the incorporation
in the Nicene Creed of that momentous clause, "_Genitum non factum,
consubstantialem Patri_."

Prudentius follows next, with that savour of the terrible and agonising
which marks the Spagnoletto school of art; but to all his strength
and sternness he adds a sweeter, tenderer tone. At once a Christian,
a Spaniard, and a Roman, to Prudentius his birthplace is ever _felix
Tarraco_ (he came from Tarragona); and he thrills with pride when he
boasts that Cæsar Augusta gave his Mother-Church most martyrs. Yet,
Christian though he be, the imperial spirit in him fires at the thought
of the multitudinous tribes welded into a single people, and he plainly
tells you that a Roman citizen is as far above the brute barbarian as
man is above beast. Priscillian and his fellow-sufferer Latrocinius,
the first martyrs slain by Christianity set in office, were both clerks
of singular accomplishment. As disciple of St. Augustine, and comrade
of St. Jerome, Orosius would be remembered, even were he not the
earliest historian of the world. Like Prudentius, Orosius blends the
passion of universal empire with the fervour of local sentiment. Good,
haughty Spaniard as he is, he enregisters the battles that his fathers
gave for freedom; he ranks Numancia's name only below that of the
world-mother, Rome; and his heart softens towards the blind barbarians,
their faces turned towards the light. Cold, austere, and even a trifle
cynical as he is, Orosius' pulses throb at memory of Cæsar; and he
glows on thinking that, a citizen of no mean city, he ranges the world
under Roman jurisdiction. And this vast union of diverse races, all
speaking one single tongue, all recognising one universal law, Orosius
calls by the new name of Romania.

Licinianus follows, the Bishop of Cartagena and the correspondent
of St. Gregory the Great. A prouder and more illustrious figure is
that of St. Isidore of Seville—"_beatus et lumen noster Isidorus_."
Originality is not Isidore's distinction, and the Latin verses which
pass under his name are of doubtful authenticity. But his encyclopædic
learning is amazing, and gives him place beside Cassiodorus, Boëtius,
and Martianus Capella, among the greatest teachers of the West. St.
Braulius, Bishop of Zaragoza, lives as the editor of his master
Isidore's posthumous writings, and as the author of a hymn to that
national saint, Millán. Nor should we omit the names of St. Eugenius,
a realist versifier of the day, and of St. Valerius, who had all the
poetic gifts save the accomplishment of verse. Naturalised foreigners,
like the Hungarian St. Martin of Dumi, Archbishop of Braga, lent
lustre to Spain at home. Spaniards, like Claude, Bishop of Turin and
like Prudentius Galindus, Bishop of Troyes, carried the national fame
abroad: the first in writings which prove the permanence of Seneca's
tradition, the second in polemics against the pantheists. More rarely
dowered was Theodolphus, the Spanish Bishop of Orleans, distinguished
at Charlemagne's court as a man of letters and a poet; nor is it likely
that Theodolphus' name can ever be forgotten, for his exultant hymn,
_Gloria, laus, et honor_, is sung the world over on Palm Sunday. And
scarcely less notable are the composers of the noble Latin-Gothic
hymnal, the makers of the _Breviarum Gothicum_ of Lorenzana and of
Arévalo's _Hymnodia Hispanica_.

Enough has been said to show that, amid the tumult of Gothic supremacy
in Spain, literature was pursued—though not by Goths—with results
which, if not splendid, are at least unmatched in other Western lands.
Doubtless in Spain, as elsewhere, much curious learning and insolent
ignorance throve jowl by jowl. Like enough, some Spanish St. Ouen
wrote down Homer, Menander, and Virgil as three plain blackguards;
like enough, the Spanish biographer of some local St. Bavo confounded
Tityrus with Virgil, and declared that Pisistratus' Athenian
contemporaries spoke habitually in Latin. The conceit of ignorance is
a thing eternal. Withal, from the age of Prudentius onward, literature
was sustained in one or other shape. For a century after Tarik's
landing there is a pause, unbroken save for the _Chronicle_ of the
anonymous Córdoban, too rashly identified as Isidore Pacensis. The
intellectual revival appears, not among the Arabs, but among the Jews
of Córdoba and Toledo; this last the immemorial home of magic where
the devil was reputed to catch his own shadow. It was a devout belief
that clerks went to Paris to study "the liberal arts," whereas in
Toledo they mastered demonology and forgot their morals. Córdoba's
fame, as the world's fine flower, crossed the German Rhine, and
even reached the cloister of Roswitha, a nun who dabbled in Latin
comedies. The achievements of Spanish Jews and Spanish Arabs call
for separate treatises. Here it must suffice to say that the roll
contains names mighty as that of the Jewish poet and philosopher Ibn
Gebirol or Avicebron (d. ? 1070), whom Duns Scotus acknowledges as his
master; and that of Judah ben Samuel the Levite (b. 1086), whom Heine
celebrates in the _Romanzero_:

  "_Rein und wahrhaft, sonder Makel
  War sein Lied, wie seine Seele._"

In one sense, if we choose to fasten on his favourite trick of closing
a Hebrew stanza with a romance line, Judah ben Samuel the Levite may
be accounted the earliest of known experimentalists in Spanish verse;
and an Arab poet of Spanish descent, Ibn Hazm, anticipated the Catalan,
Auzías March, by founding a school of poetry, at once mystic and

But the Spanish Jews and Spanish Arabs gained their chief distinction
in philosophy. Of these are Ibn Bājjah or Avempace (d. 1138), the
opponent of al-Gazāli and his mystico-sceptical method; and Abū Bakr
ibn al-Tufail (1116-85), the author of a neo-platonic, pantheistic
romance entitled _Risālat Haiy ibn Yakzān_, of which the main thesis
is that religious and philosophic truth are but two forms of the same
thing. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd (1126-98), best known as Averroes,
taught the doctrine of the universal nature and unity of the human
intellect, accounting for individual inequalities by a fantastic
theory of stages of illumination. Arab though he was, Averroes was
more reverenced by Jews than by men of his own race; and his permanent
vogue is proved by the fact that Columbus cites him three centuries
afterwards, while his teachings prevailed in the University of Padua
as late as Luther's time. A more august name is that of "the Spanish
Aristotle," Moses ben Maimon or Maimonides (1135-1204), the greatest
of European Jews, the intellectual father, so to say, of Albertus
Magnus and St. Thomas of Aquin. Born at Córdoba, Maimonides drifted
to Cairo, where he became chief rabbi of the synagogue, and served as
Saladin's physician, having refused a like post in the household of
Richard the Lion-hearted. It is doubtful if Maimonides was a Jew at
heart; it is unquestioned that at one time he conformed outwardly to
Muhammadanism. A stinging epigram summarises his achievement by saying
that he philosophised the Talmud and talmudised philosophy. It is, of
course, absurd to suppose that his critical faculty could accept the
childish legends of the _Haggadah_, wherein rabbis manifold report that
the lion fears the cock's crow, that the salamander quenches fire, and
other incredible puerilities. In his _Yad ha-Hazakah_ (The Strong Hand)
Maimonides seeks to purge the Talmud of its _pilpulim_ or casuistic
commentaries, and to make the book a sufficient guide for practical
life rather than to leave it a dust-heap for intellectual scavengers.
Hence he tends to a rationalistic interpretation of Scriptural records.
Direct communion with the Deity, miracles, prophetic gifts, are not
so much denied as explained away by means of a symbolic exegesis,
infinitely subtle and imaginative. Spanish and African rabbis received
the new teaching with docility, and in his own lifetime Maimonides'
success was absolute. A certain section of his followers carried
the cautious rationalism of the master to extremities, and thus
produced the inevitable reaction of the _Kabbala_ with its apparatus
of elaborate extravagances. This reaction was headed by another
Spaniard, the Catalan mystic, Bonastruc de Portas or Moses ben Nahman
(1195-1270); and the relation of the two leaders is exemplified by
the rabbinical legend which tells that the soul of each sprang from
Adam's head: Maimonides, from the left curl, which typifies severity of
judgment; Moses ben Nahman from the right, which symbolises tenderness
and mercy.

On literature the pretended "Arab influence," if it exist at all, is
nowise comparable to that of the Spanish Jews, who can boast that
Judah ben Samuel the Levite lives as one of Dante's masters. Judah
ranks among the great immortals of the world, and no Arab is fit
to loosen the thong of his sandal. But it might very well befall a
second-rate man, favoured by fortune and occasion, to head a literary
revolution. It was not the case in Spain. The innumerable Spanish-Arab
poets, vulgarised by the industry of Schack and interpreted by the
genius of Valera, are not merely incomprehensible to us here and now;
they were enigmas to most contemporary Arabs, who were necessarily
ignorant of what was, to all purposes, a dead language—the elaborate
technical vocabulary of Arabic verse. If their own countrymen failed
to understand these poets, it would be surprising had their stilted
artifice filtered into Castilian. It is unscientific, and almost
unreasonable, to assume that what baffles the greatest Arabists of
to-day was plain to a wandering mummer a thousand, or even six hundred,
years ago. There is, however, a widespread belief that the metrical
form of the Castilian _romance_ (a simple lyrico-narrative poem in
octosyllabic assonants) derives from Arabic models. This theory is as
untenable as that which attributed Provençal rhythms to Arab singers.
No less erroneous is the idea that the entire assonantic system is an
Arab invention. Not only are assonants common to all Romance languages;
they exist in Latin hymns composed centuries before Muhammad's birth,
and therefore long before any Arab reached Europe. It is significant
that no Arabist believes the legend of the "Arab influence"; for
Arabists are not more given than other specialists to belittling the
importance of their subject.

In sober truth, this Arab myth is but a bad dream of yesterday, a
nightmare following upon an undigested perusal of the _Thousand and One
Nights_. Thanks to Galland, Cardonne, and Herbelot, the notion became
general that the Arabs were the great creative force of fiction. To
father Spanish _romances_ and Provençal _trobas_ upon them is a mere
freak of fancy. The tacit basis of this theory is that the Spaniards
took a rare interest in the intellectual side of Arab life; but the
assumption is not justified by evidence. Save in a casual passage,
as that in the _Crónica General_ on the capture of Valencia, the
Castilian historians steadily ignore their Arab rivals. On the other
hand, there is a class of _romances fronterizos_ (border ballads),
such as that on the loss of Alhama, which is based on Arabic legends;
and at least one such ballad, that of Abenamar, may be the work of a
Spanish-speaking Moor. But these are isolated cases, are exceptional
solely as regards the source of the subject, and nowise differ in form
from the two thousand other ballads of the _Romanceros_. To find a case
of real imitation we must pass to the fifteenth century, when that
learned lyrist, the Marqués de Santillana, deliberately experiments in
the measures of an Arab _zajal_, a performance matched by a surviving
fragment due to an anonymous poet in the _Cancionero de Linares_. These
are metrical audacities, resembling the revival of French _ballades_
and _rondeaux_ by artificers like Mr. Dobson, Mr. Gosse, and Mr. Henley
in our own day. On the strength of two unique modern examples in the
history of Castilian verse, it would be unjustifiable to believe, in
the teeth of all other evidence, that simple strollers intuitively
assimilated rhythms whose intricacy bewilders the best experts. This
is not to say that Arabic popular poetry had no influence on such
popular Spanish verse as the _coplas_, of which some are apparently but
translations of Arabic songs. That is an entirely different thesis; for
we are concerned here with literature to which the halting _coplas_ can
scarcely be said to belong.

The "Arab influence" is to be sought elsewhere—in the diffusion of
the Eastern apologue, morality, or maxim, deriving from the Sanskrit.
M. Bédier argues with extraordinary force, ingenuity, and learning,
against the universal Eastern descent of the French _fabliaux_.
However that be, the immediate Arabic origin of such a collection as
the _Disciplina Clericalis_ of Petrus Alfonsus (printed, in part,
as the _Fables of Alfonce_, by Caxton, 1483, in _The Book of the
subtyl Historyes and Fables of Esope_), is as undoubted as the source
of the apologue grafted on Castilian by Don Juan Manuel, or as the
derivation of the maxims of Rabbi Sem Tom of Carrión. To this extent,
in common with the rest of Europe, Spain owes the Arabs a debt which
her picaresque novels and comedies have more than paid; but here again
the Arab acts as a mere middleman, taking the story of _Kalilah and
Dimna_ from the Sanskrit through the Pehlevī version, and then passing
it by way of Spain to the rest of the Continent. Nor should it be
overlooked that Spaniards, disguised as Arabs, shared in the work of

It is less easy to determine the extent to which colloquial Arabic
was used in Spain. Patriots would persuade you that the Arabs brought
nothing to the stock of general culture, and the more thoroughgoing
insist that the Spaniards lent more than they borrowed. But the point
may be pressed too far. It must be admitted that Arabic had a vogue,
though perhaps not a vogue as wide as might be gathered from the
testimony of Paulus Alvarus Cordubiensis, whose _Indiculus Luminosus_,
a work of the ninth century, taunts the writer's countrymen with
neglecting their ancient tongue for Hebrew and Arabic technicalities.
The ethnic influence of the Arabs is still obvious in Granada and other
southern towns; and intermarriages, tending to strengthen the sway of
the victor's speech, were common from the outset, when Roderic's widow,
Egilona, wedded Abd al-Aziz, son of Musa, her dead husband's conqueror.
An Alfonso of León espoused the daughter of Abd Allah, Emir of Toledo;
and an Alfonso of Castile took to wife the daughter of an Emir of
Seville. "The wedding, which displeased God," of Alfonso the Fifth's
sister with an Arab (some say with al-Mansūr), is sung in a famous
_romance_ inspired by the _Crónica General_.

In official charters, as early as 804, Arabic words find place. A local
disuse of Latin is proved by the fact that in this ninth century the
Bishop of Seville found it needful to render the Bible into Arabic for
the use of Muzárabes; and still stronger evidence of the low estate of
Latin is afforded by an Arabic version of canonical decrees. It follows
that some among the very clergy read Arabic more easily than they read
Latin. Jewish poets, like Avicebron and Judah ben Samuel the Levite,
sometimes composed in Arabic rather than in their native Hebrew; and it
is almost certain that the lays of the Arab _rāwis_ radically modified
the structure of Hebrew verse. Apart from the evidence of Paulus
Alvarus Cordubiensis, St. Eulogius deposes that certain Christians—he
mentions Isaac the Martyr by name—spoke Arabic to perfection. Nor can
it be pleaded that this zeal was invariably due to official pressure:
on the contrary, a caliph went the length of forbidding Spanish Jews
and Christians to learn Arabic. Neither did the fashion die soon:
long after the Arab predominance was shaken, Arabic was the modish
tongue. Álvar Fáñez, the Cid's right hand, is detected signing his
name in Arabic characters. The Christian _dīnār_, Arabic in form and
superscription, was invented to combat the Almoravide _dīnār_, which
rivalled the popularity of the Constantinople besant; and as late as
the thirteenth century Spanish coins were struck with Arabic symbols on
the reverse side.

Yet, even so, the rude Latin of the unconquered north remained
well-nigh intact. Save in isolated centres, it was spoken by countless
Christians and by the Spaniards who had escaped to the African province
of Tingitana. Vast deduction must be made from the jeremiads of Paulus
Alvarus Cordubiensis. As he bewails the time wasted on Hebrew and
Arabic by Spaniards, so does Avicebron lament the use of Arabic and
Romance by Jews. "One party speaks Idumean (Romance), the other the
tongue of Kedar (Arabic)." If the Arab flood ran high, the ebb was no
less strong. Arabs tended more and more to ape the dress, the arms,
the customs of the Spaniards; and the Castilian-speaking Arab—the
_moro latinado_—multiplied prodigiously. No small proportion of Arab
writers—Ibn Hazm, for example—was made up of sons or grandsons
of Spaniards, not unacquainted with their fathers' speech. When
Archbishop Raimundo founded his College of Translators at Toledo, where
Dominicus Gundisalvi collaborated with the convert Abraham ben David
(Johannes Hispalensis), it might have seemed that the preservation
of Arabic and Hebrew was secure. There and then, there could not
have occurred such a blunder as that immortal one of the Capuchin,
Henricus Seynensis, who lives eternal by mistaking the _Talmud_—"Rabbi
Talmud"—for a man. But no Arab work endures. And as with Arab
philosophy in Spain, so with the Arabic language: its soul was required
of it. Hebrew, indeed, was not forgotten; and for Arabic, a revival
might be expected during the Crusades. Yet in all Europe, outside
Spain, but three isolated Arabists of that time are known—William of
Tyre, Philip of Tripoli, and Adelard of Bath; and in Spain itself,
when Boabdil surrendered in 1492, the tide had run so low that not a
thousand Arabs in Granada could speak their native tongue. Nearly two
centuries before (in 1311-12) a council under Pope Clement V. advised
the establishment of Arabic chairs in the universities of Salamanca,
Bologna, Paris, and Oxford. Save at Bologna, the counsel was ignored;
and in Spain, where it had once swaggered with airs official, Arabic
almost perished out of use.

Save a group of technical words, the sole literary legacy bequeathed
to Spain by the Arabs was their alphabet. This they used in writing
Castilian, calling their transcription _aljamía_ (_ajami_ = foreign),
which was the original name of the broken Latin spoken by the
Muzárabes. First introduced in legal documents, the practice was
prudently continued during the reconquest, and, besides its secrecy,
was further recommended by the fact that a special sanctity attaches
to Arabic characters. But the peculiarity of _aljamía_ is that it
begot a literature of its own, though, naturally enough, a literature
modelled on the Spanish. Its best production is the _Poema de Yusuf_;
and it may be noted that this, like its much later fellow, _La Alabanza
de Mahoma_ (The Praise of Muhammad), is in the metre of the old Spanish
"clerkly poems" (_poesías de clerecía_). So also the Aragonese Morisco,
Muhammad Rabadán, writes his cyclic poem in Spanish octosyllabics; and
in his successors there are hendecasyllabics manifestly imitated from
a characteristic Galician measure (_de gaita gallega_). The subjects
of the _textos aljamiados_ are frankly conveyed from Western sources:
the _Compilation of Alexander_, an orientalised version of the French;
the _History of the Loves of Paris and Viana_, a translation from
the Provençal; and the _Maid of Arcayona_, based on the Spanish poem
_Apolonio_. In the _Cancionero de Baena_ appears Mahomat-el-Xartosse,
without his turban, as a full-fledged Spanish poet; and the old
tradition of servility is continued by an anonymous refugee in Tunis,
who shows himself an authority on the plays and the lyric verse of Lope
de Vega.

It is therefore erroneous to suppose that the northern Spaniards on
their southward march fell in with numerous kinsmen, of wider culture
and of a higher civilisation, whose everyday speech was unintelligible
to them, and who prayed to Christ in the tongue of Muhammad. Such
cases may have occurred, but as the rarest exceptions. Not less
unfounded is the theory that Castilian is a fusion of southern
academic Arabic with barbarous northern Latin. In southern Spain Latin
persisted, as Greek, Syriac, and Coptic persisted in other provinces
of the Caliphate; and in the school founded at Córdoba by the Abbot
Spera-in-Deo, Livy, Cicero, Virgil, Quintilian, and Demosthenes were
read as assiduously as Sallust, Horace, and Terence were studied in
the northern provinces. Granting that Latin was for a while so much
neglected that it was necessary to translate the Bible into Arabic, it
is also true that Arabic grew so forgotten that Peter the Venerable
was forced to translate the Ku'rān for the benefit of clerks. Lastly,
it must be borne in mind that the variety of Romance which finally
prevailed in Spain was not the speech of the northern highlanders,
but that of the Muzárabes of the south and the centre. Long before
"the sword of Pelagius had been transformed into the sceptre of the
Catholic kings," the linguistic triumph of the south was achieved. The
hazard of war might have yielded another issue; and to adopt another
celebrated phrase of Gibbon's, but for the Cid and his successors, the
Ku'rān might now be taught in the schools of Salamanca, and her pulpits
might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of
the revelation of Muhammad. As it chanced, Arabic was rebuffed, and
the Latin speech (or _Romance_) survived in its principal varieties of
Castilian, Galician, Catalan, and _bable_ (Asturian).

Gallic Latin had already bifurcated into the _langue d'oui_ and the
_langue d'oc_, though these names were not applied to the varieties
till near the close of the twelfth century. Two hundred years before
Roderic's overthrow a Spanish horde raided the south-west of France,
and, in the corner south of the Adour, reimposed a tongue which Latin
had almost entirely supplanted, and which lingered solely in the Basque
Provinces and in Navarre. In the eighth century this Basque invasion
was avenged. The Spaniards, concentrating in the north, vacated the
eastern provinces, which were thereupon occupied by the Roussillonais,
who, spreading as far south as Valencia, and as far east as the
Balearic Islands, gave eastern Spain a new language. Deriving from the
_langue d'oc_, Catalan divides into _plá Catalá_ and _Lemosí_—the
common speech and the literary tongue. Vidal de Besalu calls his own
Provençal language _limosina_ or _lemozi_, and the name, taken from
his popular treatise _Dreita Maneira de Trobar_, was at first limited
to literary Provençal; but endless confusion arises from the fact that
when Catalans took to composing, their poems were likewise said to be
written in _lengua lemosina_.

The Galician, akin to Portuguese, though free from the nasal element
grafted on the latter by Burgundians, is held by some for the
oldest—though clearly not the most virile—form of Peninsular Romance.
It was at least the first to ripen, and, under Provençal guidance,
Galician verse acquired the flexibility needed for metrical effects
long before Castilian; so that Castilian court-poets, ambitious of
finer rhythmical results, were driven to use Galician, which is
strongly represented in the _Cancionero de Baena_, and boasts an
earlier masterpiece in Alfonso the Learned's _Cantigas de Santa María_,
recently edited, as it deserved, after six centuries of waiting, by
that admirable scholar the Marqués de Valmar. Galician, now little
more than a simple dialect, is artificially kept alive by the efforts
of patriotic minor poets; but its literary influence is extinct,
and the distinguished figures of the province, as Doña Emilia Pardo
Bazán, naturally seek a larger audience by writing in Castilian.
So, too, _bable_ is but another dialect of little account, though a
poet of considerable charm, Teodoro Cuesta (1829-95), has written in
it verses which his own loyal people will not willingly let die.
The classification of other characteristic sub-genera—Andalucían,
Aragonese, Leonese—belongs to philology, and would be, in any event,
out of place in the history of a literature to which, unlike Catalan
and unlike Galician, they have added nothing of importance. What befell
in Italy and France befell in Spain. Partly through political causes,
partly by force of superior culture, the language of a single centre
ousted its rivals. As France takes its speech from Paris and the
Île de France, as Florence dominates Italy, so Castile dictates her
language to all the Spains. The dominant type, then, of Spanish is the
Castilian, which, as the most potent form, has outlived its brethren,
and, with trifling variations, now extends, not only over Spain, but
as far west as Lima and Valparaiso, and as far east as the Philippine
Islands: in effect, "from China to Peru." And the Castilian of to-day
differs little from the Castilian of the earliest monuments.

The first allusion to any distinct variety of Romance is found in the
life of a certain St. Mummolin who was Bishop of Noyen, succeeding St.
Eloi in 659. A reference to the Spanish type of Romance is found as far
back as 734; but the authenticity of the document is very doubtful.
The breaking-up of Latin in Spain is certainly observable in Bishop
Odoor's will under the date of 747. The celebrated Strasburg Oaths,
the oldest of Romance instruments, belong to the year 842; and, in
an edict of 844, Charles the Bald mentions, as a thing apart, "the
customary language"—_usitato vocabulo_—of the Spaniards. There is,
however, no existing Spanish manuscript so ancient, nor is there any
monument as old, as the Italian _Carta di Capua_ (960). The British
Museum contains a curious codex from the Convent of Santo Domingo de
Silos, on the margin of which a contemporary has written the vernacular
equivalent of some four hundred Latin words; but this is no earlier
than the eleventh century. The Charter called the _Fuero de Avilés_ of
1155 (which is in _bable_ or Asturian, not Castilian), has long passed
for the oldest example of Spanish, on the joint and several authority
of González Llanos, Ticknor, and Gayangos; but Fernández-Guerra y Orbe
has proved it to be a forgery of much later date.

These intricate questions of authority and ascription may well be
left unsettled, for legal documents are but the dry bones of letters.
Castilian literature dates roughly from the twelfth century. Though
no Castilian document of extent can be referred to that period, the
_Misterio de los Reyes Magos_ (The Mystery of the Magian Kings) and
the group of _cantares_ called the _Poema del Cid_ can scarcely
belong to any later time. These, probably, are the jetsam of a cargo
of literature which has foundered. It is unlikely that the two most
ancient compositions in Castilian verse should be precisely the two
preserved to us, and it is manifest that the epic as set forth in the
_Poema del Cid_ could not have been a first effort. Doubtless there
were other older, shorter songs or _cantares_ on the Cid's prowess;
there unquestionably were songs upon Bernaldo de Carpio and upon
the Infantes de Lara which are rudely preserved in assonantic prose
passages of the _Crónica General_. An ingenious, deceptive theory lays
it down that the epic is but an amalgam of _cantilenas_, or short
lyrics in the vulgar tongue. At most this is a pious opinion.

To judge by the analogy of other literatures, it is safe to say
that as verse always precedes prose (just as man feels before he
reasons), so the epic everywhere precedes the lyric form, with the
possible exception of hymns. The _Poema del Cid_, for instance, shows
no trace of lyrical descent; and it is far likelier that the many
surviving _romances_ or ballads on the Cid are detached fragments
of an epic, than that the epic should be a _pastiche_ of ballads
put together nobody knows why, when, where, how, or by whom. But in
any case the _cantilena_ theory is idle; for, since no _cantilenas_
exist, no evidence is—or can be—forthcoming to eke out an attractive
but unconvincing thesis. In default of testimony and of intrinsic
probability, the theory depends solely on bold assertion, and it
suffices to say that the _cantilena_ hypothesis is now abandoned by all
save a knot of fanatical partisans.

The exploits of the battle-field would, in all likelihood, be
the first subjects of song; and the earliest singers of these
deeds—_gesta_—would appear in the chieftain's household. They sang to
cheer the freebooters on the line of march, and a successful foray was
commemorated in some war-song like Dinas Vawr's:

  "_Ednyfed, King of Dyfed,
  His head was borne before us;
  His wine and beasts supplied our feasts,
  And his overthrow our chorus._"

Soon the separation between combatants and singers became absolute:
the division has been effected in the interval which divides the
_Iliad_ from the _Odyssey_. Achilles himself sings the heroes' glories;
in the _Odyssey_ the _ἀοιδός_ or professional singer appears, to be
succeeded by the rhapsode. Slowly there evolve in Spain, as elsewhere,
two classes of artists known as _trovadores_ and _juglares_.
The _trovadores_ are generally authors; the _juglares_ are mere
executants—singers, declaimers, mimes, or simple mountebanks. Of
these lowlier performers one type has been immortalised in M. Anatole
France's _Le Jongleur de Notre Dame_, a beautiful re-setting of the
old story of _El Tumbeor_. But between _trovadores_ and _juglares_
it is not possible to draw a hard-and-fast line: their functions
intermingled. Some few _trovadores_ anticipated Wagner by eight or nine
centuries, composing their own music-drama on a lesser scale. In cases
of special endowment, the composer of words and music delivered them to
the audience.

Subdivisions abounded. There were the _juglares_ or singing-actors, the
_remendadores_ or mimes, the _cazurros_ or mutes with duties undefined,
resembling those of the intelligent "super." Gifted _juglares_ at
whiles produced original work; a _trovador_ out of luck sank to
delivering the lines of his happier rivals; and a stray _remendador_
struggled into success as a _juglar_. There were _juglares de boca_
(reciters) and _juglares de péñola_ (musicians). Even an official label
may deceive; thus a "Gómez _trovador_" is denoted in the year 1197, but
the likelihood is that he was a mere _juglar_. The normal rule was that
the _juglar_ recited the _trovador's_ verses; but, as already said, an
occasional _trovador_ (Alfonso Álvarez de Villasandino, at Seville,
in the fifteenth century, is a case in point) would declaim his own
ballad. In the _juglar's_ hands the original was cut or padded to suit
the hearers' taste. He subordinated the verses to the music, and gave
them maimed, or arabesqued with _estribillos_ (refrains), to fit a
popular air. The monotonous repetition of epithet and clause, common
to all early verse, is used to lessen the strain on the _juglar's_
memory. The commonest arrangement was that the _juglar de boca_ sang
the _trovador's_ words, the _juglar de péñola_ accompanying on some
simple instrument, while the _remendador_ gave the story in pantomime.

All the world over the history of early literatures is identical.
With the Greeks the minstrel attains at last an important post in
the chieftain's train. Seated on a high chair inlaid with silver, he
entertains the guests, or guards the wife of Agamemnon, his patron and
his friend. Just so does Phemios sing amid the suitors of Penelope. It
was not always thus. Bentley has told us in his pointed way that "poor
Homer in those circumstances and early times had never such aspiring
thoughts" as mankind and everlasting fame; and that "he wrote a sequel
of songs and rhapsodies to be sung by himself for small earnings and
good cheer, at festivals, and other days of merriment." This rise
and fall occurred in Spain as elsewhere. For her early _trovadores_
or _juglares_, as for Demodokos in the _Odyssey_, and as for Fergus
MacIvor's sennachie, a cup of wine sufficed. "_Dat nos del vino si non
tenedes dinneros_," says the _juglar_ who sang the Cid's exploits:
"Give us wine, if you have no money." Gonzalo de Berceo, the first
Castilian writer whose name reaches us, is likewise the first Castilian
to use the word _trovador_ in his _Loores de Nuestra Señora_ (The
Praises of Our Lady):

  "_Aun merced te pido por el tu trobador._"

  (Thy favour I implore for this thy troubadour.)

But, though a priest and a _trovador_ proud of his double office,
Berceo claims his wages without a touch of false shame. In his
_Vida del glorioso Confesor Sancto Domingo de Silos_ he proves the
overlapping of his functions by styling himself the saint's _juglar_;
and in the opening of the same poem he vouches for it that his song
"will be well worth, as I think, a glass of good wine":

  "_Bien valdrá, commo creo, un vaso de bon vino._"

As popularity grew, modesty disappeared. The _trovador_, like the
rest of the world, failed under the trials of prosperity. He became
the curled darling of kings and nobles, and haggled over prices and
salaries in the true spirit of "our eminent tenor." In a rich land
like France he was given horses, castles, estates; in the poorer Spain
he was fain to accept, with intermittent grumblings, embroidered
robes, couches, ornaments—"_muchos paños é sillas é guarnimientos
nobres_." He was spoon-fed, dandled, pampered, and sedulously ruined
by the disastrous good-will of his ignorant betters. These could not
leave Ephraim alone: they too must wed his idols. Alfonso the Learned
enlisted in the corps of _trovadores_, as Alfonso II. of Aragón had
done before him; and King Diniz of Portugal followed the example. To
pose as a _trovador_ became in certain great houses a family tradition.
The famous Constable, Álvaro de Luna, composes because his uncle,
Don Pedro, the Archbishop of Toledo, has preceded him in the school.
Grouped round the commanding figure of the Marqués de Santillana stand
the rivals of his own house-top: his grandfather, Pedro González de
Mendoza; his father, the Admiral Diego Furtado de Mendoza, a picaroon
poet, spiteful, brutal, and witty; his uncle, Pedro Vélez de Guevara,
who turns you a song of roguery or devotion with equal indifference and
mastery. Santillana's is "a numerous house, with many kinsmen gay";
still, in all save success, his case typifies a dominant fashion.

In the society of clerkly magnates the _trovador's_ accomplishments
developed; and the equipped artist was expected to be master of several
instruments, to be pat with litanies of versified tales, and to have
Virgil at his finger-tips. Schools were founded where aspirants were
taught to _trobar_ and _fazer_ on classic principles, and the breed
multiplied till _trovador_ and _juglar_ possessed the land. The world
entire—tall, short, old, young, nobles, serfs—did nought but make or
hear verses, as that _trovador_ errant, Vidal de Besalu, records. It
may be that Poggio's anecdote of a later time is literally true: that a
poor man, absorbed in Hector's story, paid the spouter to adjourn the
catastrophe from day to day till, his money being spent, he was forced
to hear the end with tears.

Troubadouring became at last a pestilence no less mischievous than its
successor knight-errantry, and its net was thrown more widely. Alfonso
of Aragón led the way with a celebrated Provençal ballad, wherein he
avers that "not snow, nor ice, nor summer, but God and love are the
motives of my song":

  "_Mas al meu chan neus ni glatz
  No m'ajuda, n'estaz,
  Ni res, mas Dieus et amors._"

Not every man could hope to be a knight; but all ranks and both sexes
could—and did—sing of God and love. To emperors and princes must be
added the lowlier figures of Berceo, in Spain, or—to go afield for the
extremest case—the _Joculator Domini_, the inspired madman, Jacopone
da Todi, in Italy. With the _juglar_ strolled the primitive actress,
the _juglaresa_, mentioned in the _Libre del Apolonio_, and branded
as "infamous" in Alfonso's code of _Las Siete Partidas_. At the court
of Juan II., in the fifteenth century, the eccentric Garci Ferrandes
of Jerena, a court poet, married a _juglaresa_, and lived to lament
the consequences in a _cántica_ of the _Cancionero de Baena_ (No.
555). In northern Europe there flourished a tribe of jovial clerics
called Goliards (after a mythical Pope Golias), who counted Catullus,
Horace, and Ovid for their masters, and blent their anacreontics with
blasphemy—as in the _Confessio Goliæ_, wrongly ascribed to our Walter
Map. The repute of this gentry is chronicled in the _Canterbury Tales_:

  "_He was a jangler and a goliardeis,
  And that was of most sin and harlotries._"

And the type, if not the name, existed in the Peninsula. So much might
be inferred from the introduction and passage of a law forbidding
the ordination of _juglares_; and, in the _Cancioneiro Portuguez
da Vaticana_ (No. 931), Estevam da Guarda banters a _juglar_ who,
taking orders in expectance of a prebend which he never received, was
prevented by his holy estate from returning to his craft. But close at
hand, in the person of Juan Ruiz, Archpriest of Hita—the greatest name
in early Castilian literature—is your Spanish Goliard incarnate.

The prosperity of _trovador_ and _juglar_ could not endure. First of
foreign _trovadores_ to reach Spain, the Gascon Marcabru treats Alfonso
VII. (1126-57) almost as an equal. Raimbaud de Vaquerias, in what must
be among the earliest copies of Spanish verse (not without a Galician
savour), holds his head no less high; and the apotheosis of the
_juglar_ is witnessed by Vidal de Besalu at the court of Alfonso VIII.

  "_Unas novas vos vuelh comtar
  Que auzi dir a un joglar
  En la cort del pus savi rei
  Que anc fos de neguna lei._"

"Fain would I give ye the verses which I heard recited by a _juglar_
at the court of the most learned king that ever any rule beheld." This
was the "happier Age of Gold." A century and a half later, Alfonso the
Learned, himself, as we have seen, a _trovador_, classes the _juglar_
and his assistants—_los que son juglares, e los remendadores_—with
the town pimp; and fathers not themselves _juglares_ are empowered to
disinherit any son who takes to the calling against his father's will.
The Villasandino, already mentioned, a pert Galician _trovador_ at Juan
II.'s court, was glad to speak his own pieces at Seville, and candidly
avowed that, like his early predecessors, he "worked for bread and
wine"—"_labro por pan e vino_."

The foreign singer had received the half-pence; the native received the
kicks. And in the last decline the executants were blind men who sang
before church-doors and in public squares, lacing old ballads with what
they were pleased to call "emendations," or, in other words, intruding
original banalities of their own. This decline of material prosperity
had a most disastrous effect upon literature. A popular _cantar_ or
song was written by a poor man of genius. Accordingly he sold his
copyright: that is to say, he taught his _cantar_ to reciters, who paid
in cash, or in drink, when they had it by heart, and thus the song
travelled the country overlong with no author's name attached to it.
More: repeated by many lips during a long period of years, the form of
a very popular _cantar_ manifestly ran the risk of change so radical
that within a few generations the original might be transformed in such
wise as to be practically lost. This fate has, in effect, overtaken the
great body of early Spanish song.

It is beyond question that there once existed _cantares_ (though we
cannot fix their date) in honour of Bernaldo de Carpio, of Fernán
González, and of the Infantes de Lara; the point as regards the
Infantes de Lara is proved to demonstration in the masterly study of
D. Ramón Menéndez Pidal. The assonants of the original songs are found
preserved in the chronicles, and no one with the most rudimentary idea
of the conditions of Spanish prose-composition (whence assonants are
banned with extreme severity) can suppose that any Spaniard could write
a page of assonants in a fit of absent-mindedness. Two considerable
_cantares de gesta_ of the Cid survive as fragments, and they owe their
lives to a happy accident—the accident of being written down. They
must have had fellows, but probably not an immense number of them, as
in France. If the formal _cantar de gesta_ died young, its spirit lived
triumphantly in the set chronicle and in the brief _romance_. In the
chronicle the author aims at closer exactitude and finer detail, in
the _romance_ at swifter movement and at greater picturesqueness of
artistic incident. The term _romanz_ or _romance_, first of all limited
to any work written in the vernacular, is used in that sense by the
earliest of all known troubadours, Count William of Poitiers.

In the thirteenth century, _romanz_ or _romance_ acquires a fresh
meaning in Spain, begins to be used as an equivalent for _cantar_,
and ends by supplanting the word completely. Hence, by slow degrees,
_romance_ comes to have its present value, and is applied to a
lyrico-narrative poem in eight-syllabled assonants. The Spanish
_Romancero_ is, beyond all cavil, the richest mine of ballad poetry
in the world, and it was once common to declare that it embodied
the oldest known examples of Castilian verse. As the assertion is
still made from time to time, it becomes necessary to say that it
is unfounded. It is true that the rude _cantar_ was never forgotten
in Spain, and that its persistence partly explains the survival of
assonance in Castilian long after its abandonment by the rest of
Europe. In his historic letter to Dom Pedro, Constable of Portugal,
the Marqués de Santillana speaks with a student's contempt of singers
who, "against all order, rule, and rhythm, invent these _romances_
and _cantares_ wherein common lewd fellows do take delight." But no
specimens of the primitive age remain, and no existing _romance_ is
older than Santillana's own fifteenth century.

The numerous _Cancioneros_ from Baena's time to the appearance of the
_Romancero General_ (the First Part printed in 1602, with additions in
1604-14; the Second Part issued in 1605) present a vast collection of
admirable lyrics, mostly the work of accomplished courtly versifiers.
They contain very few examples of anything that can be justly called
old popular songs. Alonso de Fuentes published in 1550 his _Libro
de los Cuarenta Cantos de Diversas y Peregrinas Historias_, and in
the following year was issued Lorenzo de Sepúlveda's selection. Both
profess to reproduce the "rusticity" as well as the "tone and metre" of
the ancient _romances_; but, in fact, these songs, like those given
by Escobar in the _Romancero del Cid_ (1612), are either written by
such students as Cesareo, who read up his subject in the chronicles,
and imitated the old manner as best he could, or they are due to others
who treated the oral traditions and _pliegos sueltos_ (broadsides) of
Spain with the same inspired freedom that Burns showed to the local
ditties and chapbooks of Scotland. The two oldest _romances_ bearing
any author's name are given in Lope de Stúñiga's _Cancionero_, and
are the work of Carvajal, a fifteenth-century poet. Others may be
of earlier date; but it is impossible to identify them, inasmuch as
they have been retouched and polished by singers of the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries. If they exist at all—a matter of grave
uncertainty—they must be sought in the two Antwerp editions of Martin
Nucio's _Cancionero de Romances_ (one undated, the other of 1550), and
in Esteban de Nájera's _Silva de Romances_, printed at Zaragoza in 1550.

There remains to say a last word on the disputed relation between
the early Castilian and French literatures. Like the auctioneer in
_Middlemarch_, patriots "talk wild": as Amador de los Ríos in his
monumental fragment, and the Comte de Puymaigre in his essays. No fact
is better established than the universal vogue of French literature
between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, a vogue which lasted
till the real supremacy of Dante and Boccaccio and Petrarch was
reluctantly acknowledged. It is probable that Frederic Barbarossa wrote
in Provençal; his nephew, Frederic II., sedulously aped the Provençal
manner in his Italian verses called the _Lodi della donna amata_. Marco
Polo, Brunetto Latini, and Mandeville wrote in French for the same
reason that almost persuaded Gibbon to write his _History_ in French.
The substitution of the Gallic for the Gothic character in the eleventh
century advanced one stage further a process begun by the French
adventurers who shared in the reconquest.

With these last came the French _jongleurs_ to teach the Spaniards the
gentle art of making the _chanson de geste_. The very phrase, _cantar
de gesta_, bespeaks its French source. As the root of the Cid epic lies
in _Roland_, so the _Mystery of the Magian Kings_ is but an offshoot
of the Cluny Liturgy. The earliest mention of the Cid, in the Latin
_Chronicle of Almería_, joins the national hero, significantly enough,
with those two unexampled paragons of France, Oliver and Roland.
Another French touch appears in the _Poem of Fernán González_, where
the writer speaks of Charlemagne's defeat at Roncesvalles, and laments
that the battle was not an encounter with the Moors, in which Bernaldo
del Carpio might have scattered them. But we are not left to conjecture
and inference; the presence of French _jongleurs_ is attested by
irrefragable evidence.[1] Sancho I. of Portugal had at court a French
_jongleur_ who in name, if in nothing else, somewhat resembled Guy de
Maupassant's creation, "Bon Amis." It is not proved that Sordello ever
reached Spain; but, in the true manner of your bullying parasite, he
denounces St. Ferdinand as one who "should eat for two, since he rules
two kingdoms, and is unfit to govern one":—

  "_E lo Reis castelás tanh qu'en manje per dos,
  Quar dos regismes ten, ni per l'un non es pros._"

Sordello, indeed, in an earlier couplet denounces St. Louis of France as
"a fool"; but Sordello is a mere bilk and blackmailer with the gift of

Among French minstrels traversing Spain are Père Vidal, who vaunts the
largesse of Alfonso VIII., and Guirauld de Calanson, who lickspittles
the name of Pedro II. of Aragón. Upon them followed Guilhem Azémar, a
_déclassé_ noble, who sank to earning his bread as a common _jongleur_,
and later on there comes a crowd of singing-quacks and booth-spouters.
It is usual to lay stress upon the influx of French among the pilgrims
of the Milky Way on the road to the shrine of the national St. James
at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia; and it is a fact that the first
to give us a record of this pious journey is Aimeric Picaud in the
twelfth century, who unkindly remarks of the Basques, that "when they
eat, you would take them for hogs, and when they speak, for dogs."
This vogue was still undiminished three hundred years later when our
own William Wey (once Fellow of Eton, and afterwards, as it seems,
an Augustinian monk at Edyngdon Monastery in Wiltshire) wrote his
_Itinerary_ (1456). But though the pilgrimage to Santiago is noted as
a peculiarly "French devotion" by Lope de Vega in his _Francesilla_
(1620), it is by no means clear that the French pilgrims outnumbered
those of other nations. Even if they did, this would not explain the
literary predominance of France. This is not to be accounted for by
the scampering flight of a horde of illiterate fakirs anxious only to
save their souls and reach their homes: it is rather the natural result
of a steady immigration of clerks in the suites of French bishops and
princes, of French monks attracted by the spoil of Spanish monasteries,
of French lords and knights and gentlemen who shared in the Crusades,
and whose _jongleurs_, mimes, and tumblers came with them.

Explain it as we choose, the influence of France on Spain is puissant
and enduring. One sees it best when the Spaniard, natural or
naturalised, turns crusty. Roderic of Toledo (himself an archbishop
of the Cluny clique) protests against those Spanish _juglares_ who
celebrate the fictitious victories of Charlemagne in Spain; and Alfonso
the Learned bears him out by deriding the songs and fables on these
mythic triumphs, since the Emperor "at most conquered somewhat in
Cantabria." A passage in the _Crónica General_ goes to show that some,
at least, of the early French _jongleurs_ sang to their audiences in
French—clearly, as it seems, to a select, patrician circle. And this
raises, obviously, a curious question. It seems natural to admit that
in Spain (let us say in Navarre and Upper Aragón) poems were written
by French _trouvères_ and _troubadours_ in a mixed hybrid jargon; and
the very greatest of Spanish scholars, D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo,
inclines to believe in their possible existence. There is, in _L'Entrée
en Espagne_, a passage wherein the author declares that, besides the
sham _Chronicle_ of Turpin, his chief authorities are

      "_dous bons clerges Çan-gras et Gauteron,
  Çan de Navaire et Gautier d'Arragon._"

John of Navarre and Walter of Aragón may be, as Señor Menéndez y
Pelayo suggests, two "worthy clerks" who once existed in the flesh,
or they may be imaginings of the author's brain. More to the point is
the fact that, unlike the typical _chanson de geste_, this _Entrée
en Espagne_ has two distinct types of rhythm (the Alexandrine and
the twelve-syllable line), as in the _Poema del Cid_; and not less
significant is the foreign savour of the language. All that can be
safely said is that Señor Menéndez y Pelayo's theory is probable enough
in itself, that it is presented with great ingenuity, that it is backed
by the best authority that opinion can have, and that it is incapable
of proof or disproof in the absence of texts.

But if Spain, unlike Italy, has no authentic poems in an intermediate
tongue, proofs of French influence are not lacking in her earliest
movements. Two of the most ancient Castilian lyrics—_Razón feita
d'Amor_ and the _Disputa del Alma_—are mere liftings from the French;
the _Book of Apolonius_ teems with Provençalisms, and the poem called
the _History of St. Mary of Egypt_ is so gallicised in idiom that Milá
y Fontanals, a ripe scholar and a true-blue Spaniard, was half inclined
to think it one of those intermediary productions which are sought in
vain. At every point proofs of French guidance confront us. Anxious to
buffet and outrage his father's old _trovador_, Pero da Ponte, Alfonso
the Learned taunts him with illiteracy, seeing that he does not compose
in the Provençal vein:—

  "_Vos non trovades como proençal._"

And, for our purpose, we are justified in appealing to Portugal for
testimony, remembering always that Portugal exaggerates the condition
of things in Spain. King Diniz, Alfonso the Learned's nephew, plainly
indicates his model when in the Vatican _Cancioneiro_ (No. 123)
he declares that he "would fain make a love-song in the Provençal

      "_Quer' eu, en maneyra de proençal,
  Fazer agora um cantar d'amor._"

And Alfonso's own _Cantigas_, honeycombed with Gallicisms, are frankly
Provençal in their wonderful variety of metre. Nor should we suppose
that the Provençaux fought the battle alone: the northern _trouvères_
bore their part.

The French school, then, is strong in Spain, omnipotent in Portugal,
and, were the Spanish _Cancioneros_ as old as the Portuguese Song-book
in the Vatican, we should probably find that the foreign influence was
but a few degrees less marked in the one country than in the other.
As it is, Alfonso the Learned ranks with any Portuguese of them all;
and it is reasonable to think that he had fellows whose achievement
and names have not reached us. For Spanish literature and ourselves
the loss is grave; and yet we cannot conceive that there existed in
early Castilian any examples comparable in elaborate lyrical beauty to
the _cantars d'amigo_ which the Galician-Portuguese singers borrowed
from the French _ballettes_. In the first place, if they had existed,
it is next to incredible that no example and no tradition of them
should survive. Next, the idea is intrinsically improbable, since the
Castilian language was not yet sufficiently ductile for the purpose.
Moreover, from the outset there is a counter-current in Castile. The
early Spanish legends are mostly concerned with Spanish subjects. Apart
from obvious foreign touches in the early recensions of the story of
Bernaldo de Carpio (who figures as Charlemagne's nephew), the tone of
the ballads is hostile to the French, and, as is natural, the enmity
grows more pronounced with time. That national hero, the Cid, is
especially anti-French. He casts the King of France in gaol; he throws
away the French King's chair with insult in St. Peter's. Still more
significant is the fact that the character of French women becomes
a jest. Thus, the balladist emphasises the fact that the faithless
wife of Garci-Fernández is French; and, again, when Sancho García's
mother, likewise French, appears in a _romance_, the singer gives her
a blackamoor—an Arab—as a lover. This is primitive man's little
way, the world over: he pays off old scores by deriding the virtue of
his enemy's wife, mother, daughter, sister; and in primitive Spain
the Frenchwoman is the lightning-conductor of international scandals,
tolerable by the camp-fire, but tedious in print.

In considering early Spanish verse it behoves us to denote facts
and to be chary in drawing inferences. Thus, while we admit that
the _Poema del Cid_ and the _Chanson de Roland_ belong to the same
_genre_, we can go no further. It is not to be assumed that similarity
of incident necessarily implies direct imitation. The introduction of
the fighting bishop in the Cid poem is a case in point. His presence
in the field may be—almost certainly is—an historic event, common
enough in days when a militant bishop loved to head a charge; and the
chronicler may well have seen the exploits which he records. It by
no means follows, and it is extravagant to suppose, that the Spanish
_juglar_ merely filches from the _Chanson de Roland_. That he had
heard the _Chanson_ is not only probable, but likely; it is not, to
say the least, a necessary consequence that he annexed an episode as
familiar in Spain as elsewhere. Nothing, if you probe deep enough, is
new, and originality is a vain dream. But some margin must be left for
personal experience and the hazard of circumstance; and if we take
account of the chances of coincidence, the debt of Castilian to French
literature will appear in its due perspective. Nor must it be forgotten
that from a very early date there are traces of the reflex action of
Castilian upon French literature. They are not, indeed, many; but they
are authentic beyond carping. In the ancient _Fragment de la Vie de
Saint Fidès d'Agen_, which dates from the eleventh century, the Spanish
origin is frankly admitted:—

  "_Canson audi que bellantresca
  Que fo de razon espanesca_"—

"I heard a beauteous song that told of Spanish things." Or, once more,
in Adenet le Roi's _Cléomadès_, and in its offshoot the _Méliacin_ of
Girard d'Amiens, we meet with the wooden horse (familiar to readers
of _Don Quixote_) which bestrides the spheres and curvets among the
planets. Borrowed from the East, the story is transmitted to the
Greeks, is annexed by the Arabs, and is passed on through them to
Spain, whence Adenet le Roi conveys it for presentation to the western

More directly and more characteristically Spanish in its origin is the
royal epic entitled _Anséis de Carthage_. Here, after the manner of
your epic poet, chronology is scattered to the winds, and we learn that
Charlemagne left in Spain a king who dishonoured the daughter of one
of his barons; hence the invasion by the Arabs, whom the baron lets
loose upon his country as avengers. The basis of the story is purely
Spanish, being a somewhat clumsy arrangement of the legend of Roderic,
Cora, and Count Julian; the city of Carthage standing, it may be, for
the Spanish Cartagena. Hence it is clear that the mutual literary debt
of Spain and France is, at this early stage, unequally divided. Spain,
like the rest of the world, borrows freely; but, with the course of
time, the position is reversed. Molière, the two Corneilles, Rotrou,
Sorel, Scarron, and Le Sage, to mention but a few eminent names at
hazard, readjust the balance in favour of Spain; and the inexhaustible
resources of the Spanish theatre, which supply the arrangements
of scores of minor French dramatists, are but a small part of the
literature whose details are our present concern.


[1] See Milá y Fontanals, _Los Trovadores en España_ (Barcelona, 1889),
and the same writer's _Resenya histórica y crítica dels antichs poetas
catalans_ in the third volume of his _Obras completas_ (Barcelona,

                              CHAPTER II

                           THE ANONYMOUS AGE


In Spain, as in all countries where it is possible to observe the
origin and the development of letters, the earliest literature bears
the stamp of influences which are either epic or religious. These
primitive pieces are characterised by a vein of popular, unconscious
poetry, with scarce a touch of personal artistry; and the ascription
which refers one or other of them to an individual writer is, for
the most part, arbitrary. Insufficiency of data makes it impossible
to identify the oldest literary performance in Spanish Romance. Jews
like Judah ben Samuel the Levite, and _trovadores_ like Rambaud de
Vaqueiras, arabesque their verses with Spanish tags and refrains;
but these are whimsies. Our choice lies rather between the _Misterio
de los Reyes Magos_ (Mystery of the Magian Kings) and the so-called
_Poema del Cid_ (Poem of the Cid). Experts differ concerning their
respective dates; but the liturgical derivation of the _Misterio_
inclines one to hold it for the elder of the two. If Lidforss were
right in attributing it to the eleventh century, the play would rank
among the first in any modern language. Amador de los Ríos dates it
still further back. As these pretensions are excessive, the known facts
may be briefly given. The _Misterio_ follows upon a commentary on
the Lamentations of Jeremiah, written by a canon of Auxerre, Gilibert
l'Universel, who died in 1134; and its existence was first denoted at
the end of the last century by Felipe Fernández Vallejo, Archbishop of
Santiago de Compostela between 1798 and 1800, who correctly classified
it as a dramatic scene to be given on the Feast of the Epiphany, and
considered it a version from some Latin original. Both conjectures
have proved just. Throughout Europe the Christian theatre derives from
the Church, and the early plays are but a lay vernacular rendering of
models studied in the sanctuary. Simplified as the liturgy now is,
the Mass itself, the services of Palm Sunday and Good Friday, are the
unmistakable _débris_ of an elaborate sacred drama.

The Spanish _Misterio_ proceeds from one of the Latin offices used at
Limoges, Rouen, Nevers, Compiègne, and Orleans, with the legend of the
Magi for a motive; and these, in turn, are dramatic renderings of pious
traditions, partly oral, and partly amplifications of the apocryphal
_Protevangelium Jacobi Minoris_ and the _Historia de Nativitate Mariæ
et de Infantiâ Salvatoris_.[2] These Franco-Latin liturgical plays,
here mentioned in the probable order of their composition during the
eleventh and twelfth centuries, reached Spain through the Benedictines
of Cluny; and as in each original redaction there is a distinct advance
upon its immediate predecessor, so in the Spanish rendering these
primitive exemplars are developed. In the Limoges version there is
no action, the rudimentary dialogue consisting in the allotment of
liturgical phrases among the personages; in the Rouen office, the
number of actors is increased, and Herod, though he does not appear, is
mentioned; a still later redaction brings the shepherds on the scene.
The Spanish _Misterio_ reaches us as a fragment of some hundred and
fifty lines, ending at the moment when the rabbis consult their sacred
books upon Herod's appeal to

        "_the prophecies
  Which Jeremiah spake_."

Its _provenance_ is proved by the inclusion of three Virgilian lines
(_Æneid_, viii. 112-114), lifted by the arranger of the Orleans rite.
The Magi are mentioned by name, and one speech is given by Gaspar:
important points which help to fix the date of writing. A passage
in Bede speaks of Melchior, _senex et canus_; of Baltasar, _fuscus,
integre barbatus_; of Gaspar, _juvenis imberbis_; but this appears to
be interpolated. The names likewise appear in the famous sixth-century
mosaic of the Church of Sant' Apollinare della Città at Ravenna;
and here, again, the insertion is probably a pious afterthought. If
Hartmann be justified in his contention, that the traditional names of
the Magi were not in vogue till after the alleged discovery of their
remains at Milan in 1158, the Spanish _Misterio_ can be, at best, no
older than the end of the twelfth century.

Enough of it remains to show that the Spanish workman improved upon his
models. He elaborates the dramatic action, quickens the dialogue with
newer life, and gives his scene an ampler, a more vivid atmosphere.
Led by the heavenly star, the three Magi first appear separately, then
together; they celebrate the birth of Christ, whom they seek to adore,
at the end of their thirteen days' pilgrimage. Encountering Herod,
they confide to him their mission; the King conjures his "abbots"
(rabbis), counsellors, and soothsayers to search the mystic books, and
to say whether the Magis' tale be true. The passages between Herod
and his rabbis are marked by intensity and passion, far exceeding the
Franco-Latin models in dramatic force; and there is a corresponding
progress of mechanism, distribution, and rapidity.

There is even a breath of the critical spirit wholly absent from
all other early mysteries, which accept the miraculous sign of the
star with a simple, unquestioning faith. In our play, the first and
third Magi wish to observe it another night, while the second King
would fain watch it for three entire nights. Lastly, the scale of the
_Misterio_ is larger than that of any predecessor; the personages are
not huddled upon the scene at once, but appear in appropriate, dramatic
order, delivering more elaborate speeches, and expressing at greater
length more individual emotions. This fragmentary piece, written in
octosyllabics, forms the foundation-stone of the Spanish theatre; and
from it are evolved, in due progression, "the light and odour of the
flowery and starry _Autos_" which were to enrapture Shelley. Important
and venerable as is the _Misterio_, its freer treatment of the liturgy,
its effectual blending of realism with devotion, and its swiftness of
action are so many arguments against its reputed antiquity. It is still
old if we adopt the conclusion that it was written some twenty years
before the _Poema del Cid_.

This misnamed epic, no unworthy fellow to the _Chanson de Roland_, is
the first great monument of Spanish literature. Like the _Misterio
de los Reyes Magos_, like so many early pieces, the _Poema del Cid_
reaches us maimed and mutilated. The beginning is lost; a page in the
middle, containing some fifty lines following upon verse 2338, has
gone astray from our copy; and the end has been retouched by unskilful
fingers. The unique manuscript in which the _cantar_ exists belongs to
the fourteenth century: so much is now settled after infinite disputes.
The original composition is thought to date from about the middle third
of the twelfth century (1135-75), some fifty years after the Cid's
death at Valencia in 1099. Hence the _Poem of the Cid_ stands almost
midway between the _Chanson de Roland_ and the _Niebelungenlied_.
Nevertheless, in its surviving shape it is the result of innumerable
retouches which amount to botching. Its authorship is more than
doubtful, for the Per Abbat who obtrudes in the closing lines is,
like the Turoldus of _Roland_, the mere transcriber of an unfaithful
copy. Our gratitude to Per Abbat is dashed with regret for his
slapdash methods. The assonants are roughly handled, whole phrases are
unintelligently repeated, are transferred from one line to another, or
are thrust out from the text, and in some cases two lines are crushed
into one. The prevailing metre is the Alexandrine or fourteen-syllabled
verse, probably adopted in conscious imitation of that Latin chronicle
on the conquest of Almería which first reveals the national champion
under his popular title—

  "_Ipse Rodericus, Mio Cid semper vocatus,
  De quo cantatur, quod ab hostibus haud superatus._"

However that may be, the normal measure is reproduced with curious
infelicity. Some lines run to twenty syllables, some halt at ten, and
it cannot be doubted that many of these irregularities are results of
careless copying. Still, to Per Abbat we owe the preservation of the
Cid _cantar_ as we owe to Sánchez its issue in 1779, more than half a
century before any French _chanson de geste_ was printed.

The Spanish epic has a twofold theme—the exploits of the exiled Cid,
and the marriage of his two (mythical) daughters to the Infantes de
Carrión. Diffused through Europe by the genius of Corneille, who
conveyed his conception from Guillén de Castro, the legendary Cid
differs hugely from the Cid of history. Uncritical scepticism has
denied his existence; but Cervantes, with his good sense, hit the white
in the first part of _Don Quixote_ (chapter xlix.). Unquestionably
the Cid lived in the flesh: whether or not his alleged achievements
occurred is another matter. Irony has incidentally marked him for its
own. The mercenary in the pay of Zaragozan emirs is fabled as the
model Spanish patriot; the plunderer of churches becomes the flower of
orthodoxy; the cunning intriguer who rifled Jews and mocked at treaties
is transfigured as the chivalrous paladin; the unsentimental trooper
who never loved is delivered unto us as the typical _jeune premier_.
Lastly, the mirror of Spanish nationality is best known by his Arabic
title (_Sidi_ = lord). Yet two points must be kept in mind: the facts
which discredit him are reported by hostile Arab historians; and,
again, the Cid is entitled to be judged by the standard of his country
and his time. So judged, we may accept the verdict of his enemies, who
cursed him as "a miracle of the miracles of God and the conqueror of
banners." Ruy Diaz de Bivar—to give him his true name—was something
more than a freebooter whose deeds struck the popular fancy: he stood
for unity, for the supremacy of Castile over León, and his example
proved that, against almost any odds, the Spaniards could hold their
own against the Moors. In the long night between the disaster of
Alarcos and the crowning triumph of Navas de Tolosa, the Cid's figure
grew glorious as that of the man who had never despaired of his
country, and in the hour of victory the legend of his inspiration was
not forgotten. From his death at Valencia in 1099, his memory became a
national possession, embellished by popular poetic fancy.

In the _Poema_ the treatment is obviously modelled upon the _Chanson de
Roland_. But there is a fixed intent to place the Spaniard first. The
Cid is pictured as more human than Roland: he releases his prisoners
without ransom; he gives them money so that they may reach their homes.
Charlemagne, in the _Chanson_, destroys the idols in the mosques,
baptizes a hundred thousand Saracens by force, hangs or flays alive
the recalcitrant; the Cid shows such humanity to a conquered province
that on his departure the Moors burst forth weeping, and pray for his
prosperous voyage. The machinery in both cases is very similar. As the
archangel Gabriel appears to Charlemagne, he appears likewise to the
Cid Campeador. Bishop Turpin opens the battle in _Roland_, and Bishop
Jerome heads the charge for Spain. Roland and Ruy Diaz are absolved
and exhorted to the same effect, and the resemblance of the epithet
_curunez_ applied to the French bishop is too close to the _coronado_
of the Spaniard to be accidental. But allowing for the fact that the
Spanish _juglar_ borrows his framework, his performance is great by
virtue of its simplicity, its strength, its spirit and fire. Whether
he deals with the hungry loyalty of the Cid in exile, or his reception
into favour by an ingrate king; whether he celebrates the overthrow of
the Count of Barcelona or the surrender of Valencia; whether he sings
the nuptials of Elvira and Sol with the Infantes de Carrión, or the
avenging Cid who seeks reparation from his craven son-in-law, the touch
is always happy and is commonly final.

There is an unity of conception and of language which forbids our
accepting the _Poema_ as the work of several hands; and the division
of the poem into separate _cantares_ is managed with a discretion
which argues a single artistic intelligence. The first part closes
with the marriage of the hero's daughters; the second with the shame
of the Infantes de Carrión, and the proud announcement that the kings
of Spain are sprung from the Cid's loins. In both the singer rises to
the level of his subject, but his chiefest gust is in the recital of
some brilliant deed of arms. Judge him when, in a famous passage well
rendered by Ormsby, he sings the charge of the Cid at Alcocer:—

  "_With bucklers braced before their breasts, with lances pointing low,
  With stooping crests and heads bent down above the saddle-bow,
  All firm of hand and high of heart they roll upon the foe.
  And he that in a good hour was born, his clarion voice rings out,
  And clear above the clang of arms is heard his battle-shout,
  'Among them, gentlemen! Strike home for the love of charity!
  The Champion of Bivar is here—Ruy Diaz—I am he!'
  Then bearing where Bermuez still maintains unequal fight,
  Three hundred lances down they come, their pennons flickering white;
  Down go three hundred Moors to earth, a man to every blow;
  And, when they wheel, three hundred more, as charging back they go.
  It was a sight to see the lances rise and fall that day;
  The shivered shields and riven mail, to see how thick they lay;
  The pennons that went in snow-white come out a gory red;
  The horses running riderless, the riders lying dead;
  While Moors call on Muhammad, and 'St. James!' the Christians cry._"

Indubitably this (and it were easy to match it elsewhere in the
_Poema_) is the work of an original genius who redeems his superficial
borrowings of incident from _Roland_ by a treatment all his own. That
he knew the French models is evident from his skilful conveyance of the
bear episode in _Ider_ to his own pages, where the Cid encounters the
beast as a lion. But the language shows no hint of French influence,
and both thought and expression are profoundly national. The poet's
name is irrecoverable, but the internal evidence points strongly to
the conclusion that he came from the neighbourhood of Medina Celi.
The surmise that he was an Asturian rests solely upon the absence of
the diphthong _ue_ from his lines, an inference on the face of it
unwarrantable. Against this is the topographical minuteness with which
the poet reports the sallies of the Cid in the districts of Castejón
and Alcocer; his marked ignorance of the country round Zaragoza and
Valencia, his detailed description of the central episode—the outrage
upon the Cid's daughters in the wood of Corpes, near Berlanga; and
the important fact that the four chief itineraries in the _Poema_
are charged with minutiæ from Molina to San Esteban de Gormaz, while
they grow vague and more confused as they extend towards Burgos and
Valencia. The most probable conjecture, then, is that the unknown maker
of this primitive masterpiece came from the Valle de Arbujuelo; and
it is worth adding that this opinion is supported by the authority
of Sr. Menéndez Pidal. Perhaps the greatest testimony to the early
poet's worth is to be found in this: that his conception of his hero
has outlived the true historic Cid, and has forced the child of his
imagination upon the acceptance of mankind.

Even more fantastic is the personality of Ruy Diaz as rendered by
the anonymous compiler of the _Crónica Rimada_ (Rhymed Chronicle of
Events in Spain from the Death of King Pelayo to Ferdinand the Great,
and more especially of the Adventures of the Cid). The composition
which bears this clumsy and inappropriate title is better named the
_Cantar de Rodrigo_, and consists of 1125 lines, preceded by a scrap
of rugged prose. Not till after digressions into other episodes,
and irrelevant stories of Miro and Bernardo, Bishops of Palencia,
probably fellow-townsmen of the compiler, does the Cid appear. He is
no longer, as in the _Poema_, a popular hero, idealised from historic
report; he is a purely imaginary figure, incrusted with a mass of
fables accumulated in course of time. At the age of twelve he slays
Gómez Górmaz (an almost impossible style, compounded of a patronymic
and the name of a castle belonging to the Cid), is claimed by the
dead man's daughter, weds her, vanquishes the Moors, and leads his
King's—Fernando's—troops to the gates of Paris, defeating the Count
of Savoy upon the road. One legend is heaped upon another, and the
poem, the end of which is lost, breaks off with the Pope's request
for a year's truce, which Fernando, acting as ever upon the Cid's
advice, magnanimously extends for twelve years. It is hard to say
whether the _Cantar de Rodrigo_ as we have it is the production of
a single composer, or whether it is a patchwork by different hands,
arranged from earlier poems, and eked out by prose stories and by oral
traditions. The versification is that of the simple sixteen-syllabled
line, each hemistich of which forms a typical _romance_ line. This
in itself is a sign of its later date, and to this must be added
the traces of deliberate imitation of the _Poema_, and the writer's
familiarity with such modern devices as heraldic emblems. Further,
the use of a Provençal form like _gensor_, the unmistakable tokens of
French influence, the anticipation of the metre of the clerkly poems,
the writer's frank admission of earlier songs on the same subject,
the metamorphosis of the Cid into a feudal baron, and, above all, the
decadent spirit of the entire work: these are tokens which imply a
relative modernity. Much of the obscurity of language, which has been
mistaken for archaism, is simply due to the defects of the manuscript;
and the evidence goes to show that the _Rodrigo_, put together in the
last decade of the twelfth century or the first of the thirteenth, was
retouched in the fourteenth by Spanish _juglares_ humiliated by the
recent French invasions. Even so, much of the primitive _pastiche_
remains, and the _Rodrigo_, which is mentioned in the _General
Chronicle_, interests us as being the fountain-head of those _romances_
on the Cid whose collection we owe to that enthusiastic and most
learned investigator, Madame Carolina Michaëlis de Vasconcellos. Far
inferior in merit and interest to the _Poema_, the _Rodrigo_ ranks with
it as representative of the submerged mass of _cantares de gesta_, and
is rightly valued as the venerable relic of a lost school.

To these succeed three anonymous poems, the _Libro de Apolonio_ (Book
of Apollonius), the _Vida de Santa María Egipciaqua_ (Life of St. Mary
the Egyptian), and the _Libre dels Tres Reyes dorient_ (Book of the
Three Eastern Kings), all discovered in one manuscript in the Escurial
Library by Pedro José Pidal, and first published by him in 1844. The
story of Apollonius, supposed to be a translation of a Greek _romance_,
filters into European literature by way of the _Gesta Romanorum_,
is found even in Icelandic and Danish versions, and is familiar to
English readers of _Pericles_. The nameless Spanish arranger of the
thirteenth century (probably a native of Aragón) gives the story of
Apollonius' adventures with force and clearness, anticipating in the
character of Tarsiana the type of Preciosa, the heroine of Cervantes'
_Gitanilla_ and of Weber's opera. Unfortunately the closing tags of
moralisings on the vanity of life destroy the effect which the writer
has produced by his free translation. His text is suffused with
Provençalisms, and his mono-rhymed quatrains of fourteen syllables
are evidence of French or Provençal origin. This metrical novelty,
extending over more than six hundred stanzas, is properly regarded by
the author as his chief distinction, and he implores God and the Virgin
to guide him in the exercise of the new mastery (_nueva maestría_). It
is fair to add that his experiment has the interest of novelty, that
it succeeded beyond measure in its time, and that its monotonous vogue
endured for some two hundred years.

To the same period belongs the _Vida de Santa María Egipciaqua_, the
earliest Castilian example of verses of nine syllables. In substance it
is a version of the _Vie de Saint Marie l'Egyptienne_, ascribed without
much reason to the veritable Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste (?
1175-1253), among whose _Carmina Anglo-Normannica_ the French original
is interpolated. The Spanish version follows the French lead with
almost pedantic exactitude; but the metre, new and well suited to the
common ear, is handled with an easy grace remarkable in a first effort.
As happens with other works of this time, the title of the short _Libre
dels Tres Reyes dorient_ is misleading. The visit of the Magi is
briefly dismissed in the first fifty lines, the poem turning chiefly
upon the Flight into Egypt, the miracle wrought upon the leprous child
of the robber, and the identification of the latter with the repentant
thief of the New Testament. Like its predecessor, this legend is given
in nine-syllabled verse, and is undoubtedly borrowed from a French or
Provençal source not yet discovered.

In the _Disputa del Alma y el Cuerpo_ (Argument betwixt Body and Soul),
a subject which passes into all mediæval literatures from a copy of
Latin verses styled _Rixa Animi et Corporis_, there is a recurrence,
though with innumerable variants of measure, to the Alexandrine type.
Thus it is sought to reproduce the music of the model, an Anglo-Norman
poem, written in rhymed couplets of six syllables, and wrongly
attributed to Walter Map. With it should go the _Debate entre el Agua
y el Vino_ (Debate between Water and Wine), and the first Castilian
lyric, _Razón feita d'Amor_ (the Lay of Love). Composed in verses of
nine syllables, the poem deals with the meeting of two lovers, their
colloquy, interchanges, and separation. Both pieces, discovered within
the last seventeen years by M. Morel-Fatio, are the productions of a
single mind. It is tempting to identify the writer with the Lope de
Moros mentioned in the final line, "_Lupus me feçit de Moros_"; still
the likelihood is that, here as elsewhere, the copyist has but signed
his transcription. Whoever the author may have been—and the internal
evidence tends to show that he was a clerk familiar with French,
Provençal, Italian, or Portuguese exemplars—he shines by virtue
of qualities which are akin to genius. His delicacy and variety of
sentiment, his finish of workmanship, his deliberate lyrical effects,
announce the arrival of the equipped artist, the craftsman no longer
content with rhymed narration, the singer with a personal, distinctive
note. Here was a poet who recognised that in literature—the least
moral of the arts—the end justifies the means; hence he transformed
the material which he borrowed, made it his own possession, and
conveyed into Castile a new method adapted to her needs. But time and
language were not yet ripe, and the Spanish lyric flourished solely
in Galicia: it was not to be transplanted at a first attempt. Yet the
attempt was worth the trial; for it closes the anonymous period with
a triumph to which, if we except the _Poema del Cid_, it can show no


[2] Joannes Karl Thilo, _Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti_. Lipsiæ,
1833. Pp. 254-261, 388-393.

                              CHAPTER III



If we reject the claim of Lope de Moros to be the author of the
_Razón feita d'Amor_, the first Castilian poet whose name reaches us
is GONZALO DE BERCEO (?1198-?1264), a secular priest attached to the
Benedictine monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla, in the diocese of
Calahorra. A few details are known of him. He was certainly a deacon in
1220, and his name occurs in documents between 1237 and 1264. He speaks
of his advanced age in the _Vida de Santa Oria, Virgen_, his latest and
perhaps most finished work; and his birthplace, Berceo, is named in his
_Historia del Señor San Millán de Cogolla_, as in his rhymed biography
of _St. Dominic of Silas_. His copiousness runs to some thirteen
thousand lines, including, besides the works already named, the
_Sacrificio de la Misa_ (Sacrifice of the Mass), the _Martirio de San
Lorenzo_ (Martyrdom of St. Lawrence), the _Loores de Nuestra Señora_
(Praises of Our Lady), the _Signos que aparecerán ante del Juicio_
(Signs visible before the Judgment), the _Milagros de Nuestra Señora_
(Miracles of Our Lady), the _Duelo que hizo la Virgen María el día de
la Pasión de su hijo Jesucristo_ (The Virgin's Lament on the day of her
Son's Passion), and three hymns to the Holy Ghost, the Virgin, and God
the Father. In most editions of Berceo there is appended to his verses
a poem in his praise, attributed to an unknown writer of the fourteenth
century. This poem is, in fact, conjectured to be an invention of
Tomás Antonio Sánchez, the earliest editor of Berceo's complete works
(1779). The chances are that Berceo and his writings had passed out of
remembrance within two hundred years of his death, and he was evidently
unknown to Santillana in the fifteenth century. But a brief extract
from him is given in the _Moisén Segundo_ (Second Moses) of Ambrosio
Gómez, published in 1653. With the exception of the _Martirio de San
Lorenzo_, of which the end is lost, all Berceo's writings have been
preserved, and he suffers by reason of his exuberance.

He sings in the vernacular, he declares, being too unlearned in the
Latin; but he has his little pretensions. Though he calls himself a
_juglar_, he marks the differences between his _dictados_ (poems) and
the _cantares_ (songs) of a plain _juglar_, and he vindicates his title
by that monotonous metre—the _cuaderna vía_—which was taken up in
the _Libro de Apolonio_ and became the model of all learned clerks in
the next generations. Berceo uses the rhythm with success, and if his
results are not splendid, it was not because he lacked perseverance.
On the contrary, his industry was only too formidable. And, as a
little of the mono-rhymed quatrain goes far, he must have perished had
he depended upon execution. Beside Dante's achievement, as Puymaigre
notes, the paraphrases of Berceo in the _Sacrificio de la Misa_
(stanzas 250-266) seem thin and pale; but the comparison is unfair to
the earlier Castilian singer, who died in his obscure hamlet without
the advantage of Dante's splendid literary tradition. Berceo is
hampered by his lack of imagination, by the poverty of his conditions,
by the absence of models, by the narrow circle of his subjects, and by
the pious scruples which hindered him from arabesquing the original
design. Yet he possesses the gifts of simplicity and of unction, and
amid his long digressions into prosy theological commonplace there
are flashes of mystic inspiration unmatched by any other poet of his
country and his time. Even when his versification, clear but hard, is
at its worst, he accomplishes the end which he desires by popularising
the pious legends which were dear to him. He was not—never could have
been—a great poet. But in his own way he was, if not an inventor, the
chief of a school, and the necessary predecessor of such devout authors
as Luis de León and St. Teresa. He was a pioneer in the field of devout
pastoral, with all the defects of the inexperienced explorer; and,
for the most part, he had nothing to guide him but his own uncultured
instinct. Some specimen of his work may be given in Hookham Frere's
little-known fragmentary version of the _Vida de San Millán_:—

  "_He walked those mountains wild, and lived within that nook
  For forty years and more, nor ever comfort took
  Of offer'd food or alms, or human speech a look;
  No other saint in Spain did such a penance brook._

  _For many a painful year he pass'd the seasons there,
  And many a night consumed in penitence and prayer—
  In solitude and cold, with want and evil fare,
  His thoughts to God resigned, and free from human care._

  _Oh! sacred is the place, the fountain and the hill,
  The rocks where he reposed, in meditation still,
  The solitary shades through which he roved at will:
  His presence all that place with sanctity did fill._"

This is Berceo in a very characteristic vein, dealing with his own
special saint in his chosen way—the way of the "new mastery"; and
he keeps to the same rhythm in the nine hundred odd stanzas which he
styles the _Milagros de Nuestra Señora_. Here his devotion inspires
him to more conscientious effort; and it has been sought to show
that Berceo takes his tales as he finds them in the _Miracles de la
Sainte Vierge_, by the French _trouvère_, Gautier de Coinci, Prior of
Vic-sur-Aisne (1177-1236). Certain it is that Gautier's source, the
Soissons manuscript, was known to Alfonso the Learned, who mentions it
in the sixty-first of his Galician songs as "a book full of miracles":—

  "_En Seixons ... un liuro a todo cheo de miragres._"

There were doubtless earlier Latin collections—amongst others, Vincent
de Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ and Pothon's _Liber de miraculis
Sanctæ Dei Genitricis Mariæ_—which both Berceo and Alfonso used. But
since Alfonso, a middle-aged man when Berceo died, knew the Soissons
collection, it seems possible that Berceo also handled it. A close
examination of his text converts the bare possibility into something
approaching certainty. Of Berceo's twenty-five Marian legends, eighteen
are given by Gautier de Coinci, whose total reaches fifty-five. This
is not by itself final, for both writers might have selected them from
a common source. Yet there are convincing proofs of imitation in the
coincidences of thought and expression which are apparent in Gautier
and Berceo. These are too numerous to be accidental; and still more
weight must be given to the fact that in several cases where Gautier
invents a detail of his own wit, Berceo reproduces it. Taken in
conjunction with his known habit of strict adherence to his text, it
follows that Berceo took Gautier for his guide. He did what all the
world was doing in borrowing from the French, and in the _Virgin's
Lament_ he has the candour to confess the northern supremacy.

Still, it would be wrong to think that Berceo contents himself with
mere servile reproduction, or that he trespasses in the manner of
a vulgar plagiary. Seven of his legends he seeks elsewhere than in
Gautier, and he takes it upon himself to condense his predecessor's
diffuse narration. Thus, where Gautier needs 1350 lines to tell the
legend of St. Ildefonsus, or 2090 to give the miracle of Theophilus,
Berceo confines himself to 108 and to 657 lines. Gautier will spare
you no detail; he will have you know the why, the when, the how, the
paltriest circumstance of his pious story. Beside him Berceo shines by
his power of selection, by his finer instinct for the essential, by
his relative sobriety of tone, by his realistic eye, by his variety of
resource in pure Castilian expression, by his richer melody, and by the
fleeter movement of his action. In a word, with all his imperfections,
Berceo approves himself the sounder craftsman of the two, and therefore
he finds thirty readers where the Prior of Vic-sur-Aisne finds one.
Small and few as his opportunities were, he rarely failed to use
them to an advantage; as in the invention of the singular rhymed
octosyllabic song—with its haunting refrain, _Eya velar!_—in the
_Virgin's Lament_ (stanzas 170-198). This argues a considerable lyrical
gift, and the pity is that the most of Berceo's editors should have
been at such pains to hide it from the reader.

In the ten thousand lines of the _Libro de Alexandre_ are recounted
the imaginary adventures of the Macedonian king, as told in Gautier
de Lille's _Alexandreis_ and in the versions of Lambert de Tort and
Alexandre de Bernai. Traces of the Leonese dialect negative the
ascription to Berceo, and the Juan Lorenzo Segura de Astorga mentioned
in the last verses is a mere copyist. The _Poema de Fernán González_,
due to a monk of San Pedro de Arlanza, embodies many picturesque and
primitive legends in Berceo's manner. But the value of both these
compositions is slight.

So much for verse. Castilian prose develops on parallel lines with
it. A very early specimen is the didactic treatise called the _Diez
Mandamientos_, written by a Navarrese monk, at the beginning of the
thirteenth century, for the use of confessors. Somewhat later follow
the _Anales Toledanos_, in two separate parts (the third is much more
recent), composed between the years 1220 and 1250. Rodrigo Jiménez
de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo (1170-1247), wrote a Latin _Historia
Gothica_, which begins with the Gothic invasion, and ends at the year
1243. Undertaken at the bidding of St. Ferdinand of Castile, this work
was summarised, and done into Castilian, probably by Jiménez de Rada
himself, under the title of the _Historia de los Godos_. Its date would
be the fourth decade of the thirteenth century, and to this same time
(1241) belongs the _Fuero Juzgo_ (_Forum Judicum_). This is a Castilian
version of a code of so-called Gothic laws, substantially Roman in
origin, given by St. Ferdinand (1200-1252) to the Spaniards settled in
Córdoba and other southern cities after the reconquest; but though of
extreme value to the philologer, its literary interest is too slight to
detain us here. Two most brilliant specimens of early Spanish prose
are the letters supposed to have been written by the dying Alexander
to his mother; and the accident of their being found in the manuscript
copied by Lorenzo Segura de Astorga has led to their being printed at
the end of the _Libro de Alexandre_. There is good reason for thinking
that they are not by the author of that poem; and, in truth, they
are mere translations. Both letters are taken from _Hunain ibn Ishāk
al-'Ibādī's_ Arabic collection of moral sentences; the first is found
in the _Bonium_ (so called from its author, a mythical King of Persia),
and the second on the Castilian version of the _Secretum Secretorum_,
of which the very title is reproduced as _Poridat de las Poridades_.
Further examples of progressive prose are found in the _Libro de los
doce Sabios_, which deals with the political education of princes,
and may have been drawn up by the direction of St. Ferdinand. But
the authorship and date of these compilations are little better than

These are the preliminary essays in the stuff of Spanish prose. Its
permanent form was received at the hands of ALFONSO THE LEARNED
(1226-84), who followed his father, St. Ferdinand, to the Castilian
throne in 1252. Unlucky in his life, balked of his ambition to wear the
title of Emperor, at war with Popes, his own brothers, his children,
and his people, Alfonso has been hardly entreated after death.
Mariana, the greatest of Spanish historians, condenses the vulgar
verdict in a Tacitean phrase: _Dum cœlum considerat terra amissit_.
A mountain of libellous myth has overlaid Alfonso's fame. Of all the
anecdotes concerning him, the best known is that which reports him
as saying, "Had God consulted me at the creation of the world, He
would have made it differently." This deliberate invention is due
to Pedro IV. (the Ceremonious); and if Pedro foresaw the result,
he must have been a scoundrel of genius. Fortunately, nothing can
rob Alfonso of his right to be considered, not only as the father of
Castilian verse, but as the centre of all Spanish intellectual life.
Political disaster never caused his intellectual activity to slacken.
Like Bacon, he took all knowledge for his province, and in every
department he shone pre-eminent. Astronomy, music, philosophy, canon
and civil law, history, poetry, the study of languages: he forced his
people upon these untrodden roads. To catalogue the series of his
scientific enterprises, and to set down the names of his Jewish and
Arab collaborators, would give ample work to a bibliographer. Both the
_Tablas Alfonsis_ and the colossal _Libros del Saber de Astronomía_
(Books on the Science of Astronomy) are packed with minute corrections
of Ptolemy, in whose system the learned King seems to have suspected
an error; but their present interest lies in the historic fact, that
with their compilation Castilian makes its first great stride in the
direction of exactitude and clearness.

Similar qualities of precision and ease were developed in encyclopædic
treatises like the _Septenario_[3] which, together with the _Fuero
Juzgo_, Alfonso drew up in his father's lifetime; and in practical
guides such as the _Juegos de Açedrex, Dados, et Tablas_ (Book of
Chess, Dice, and Chequers). This miraculous activity astounded
contemporaries, and posterity has multiplied the wonder by attributing
well-nigh every possible anonymous work to the man whose real activity
is a marvel. It has been sought to prove him the author of the _Libro
de Alexandre_, the writer of Alexander's _Letters_, the compiler of
treatises on the chase, the translator of _Kalilah and Dimnah_, and
innumerable more pieces. Not one of these can be brought home to him,
and some belong to a later time. Ticknor, again, foists on Alfonso two
separate works each entitled the _Tesoro_, and the authorship has been
accepted upon that authority. It is therefore necessary to state the
real case. The one _Tesoro_ is a prose translation of Brunetto Latini's
_Li Livres dou Trésor_ made by Alfonso de Paredes and Pero Gómez,
respectively surgeon and secretary at the court of Sancho, Alfonso's
son and successor; the other _Tesoro_, with its prose preamble and
forty-eight stanzas, is a forgery vamped by some parasite in the train
of Alonso Carrillo, Archbishop of Toledo, during the fifteenth century.

Alonso de Fuentes, writing three hundred years after Alfonso's death,
names him as author of a celebrated _romance_—"_I left behind my
native land_"; the rhythm and accentuation prove the lines to belong
to a fifteenth-century maker whose attribution of them to the King is
palpably dramatic. Great authorities accept as authentic the _Libro de
Querellas_ (Book of Plaints), which is represented by two fine stanzas
addressed to Diego Sarmiento, "brother and friend and vassal leal" of
"him whose foot was kissed by kings, him from whom queens sought alms
and grace." One is sorry to lose them, but they must be rejected. No
such book is known to any contemporary; the twelve-syllabled octave in
which the stanzas are written was not invented till a hundred years
later; and these two stanzas are simply fabrications by Pellicer, who
first published them in the seventeenth century in his _Memoir on the
House of Sarmiento_, with a view to flattering his patron.

This to some extent clears the ground: but not altogether. Setting
aside minor legal and philosophic treatises which Alfonso may have
supervised, it remains to speak of more important matters. A great
achievement is the code called, from the number of its divisions, the
_Siete Partidas_ (Seven Parts). This name does not appear to have been
attached to the code till a hundred years after its compilation; but it
may be worth observing that the notion is implied in the name of the
_Septenario_, and that Alfonso, regarding the number seven as something
of mysterious potency, exhausts himself in citing precedents—the seven
days of the week, seven metals, seven arts, seven years that Jacob
served, seven lean years in Egypt, the seven-branched candlestick,
seven sacraments, and so on. The trait is characteristic of the time.
It would be a grave mistake to suppose that the _Siete Partidas_ in
any way resembles a modern book of statutes, couched in the technical
jargon of the law. Its primary object was the unification of the
various clashing systems of law which Alfonso encountered within his
unsettled kingdom; and this he accomplished with such success that all
subsequent Spanish legislation derives from the _Siete Partidas_, which
are still to some extent in force in the republican states of Florida
and Louisiana. But the design soon outgrows mere practical purpose,
and expands into dissertations upon general principles and the pettier
details of conduct.

Sancho Panza, as Governor of Barataria, could not have bettered the
counsels of the _Siete Partidas_, whose very titles force a smile:
"What things men should blush to confess, and what _not_," "Why
no monk should study law or physics," "Why the King should abstain
from low talk," "Why the King should eat and drink moderately," "Why
the King's children should be taught to be cleanly," "How to draw
a will so that the witnesses shall not know its tenor," with other
less prudish discussions. The reading of this code is not merely
instructive and curious; apart from its dry humouristic savour, the
_Siete Partidas_ rises to a noble eloquence when the subject is the
common weal, the office of the ruler, his relations to his people, and
the interdependence of Church and State. No man, by his single effort,
could draw a code of such intricacy and breadth, and it is established
that Jacobo Ruiz and Fernán Martínez laboured on it; but Alfonso's is
the supreme intelligence which appoints and governs, and his is the
revising hand which leaves the text in its perfect verbal form.

In history, too, Alfonso sought distinction; and he found it. The
_Crónica_ or _Estoria de Espanna_, composed between the years 1260 and
1268, the _General e grand Estoria_, begun in 1270, owe to him their
inspiration. The latter, ranging from the Creation to Apostolic times,
glances at such secular events as the Babylonian Empire and the fall
of Troy; the former extends from the peopling of Europe by the sons of
Japhet to the death of St. Ferdinand. Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada and Lucas
de Tuy are the direct authorities, and their testimonies are completed
by elaborate references that stretch from Pliny to the _cantares de
gesta_. Moreover, the Arab chronicles are avowedly utilised in the
account of the Cid's exploits: "thus says Abenfarax in his Arabic
whence this history is derived." A singular circumstance is the
inferiority of style in these renderings from the Arabic. Elsewhere
a strange ignorance of Arabs and their history is shown by the
compiler's inclusion of such fables as Muhammad's crusade in Córdoba.
The inevitable conclusion is that the _Estorias_, like the _Siete
Partidas_, are compilations by several hands; and the idea is supported
by the fact that the prologue to the _Estoria de Espanna_ is scarcely
more than a translation of Jiménez de Rada's preface.

Late traditions give the names of Alfonso's collaborators in one or
the other _History_ as Egidio de Zamora, Jofre de Loaysa, Martín de
Córdoba, Suero Pérez, Bishop of Zamora, and Garci Fernández de Toledo;
and even though these attributions be (as seems likely) a trifle
fantastical, they at least indicate a long-standing disbelief in the
unity of authorship. It is proved that Alfonso gathered from Córdoba,
Seville, Toledo, and Paris some fifty experts to translate Ptolemy's
_Quadri partitum_ and other astronomic treatises; it is natural that he
should organise a similar committee to put together the first history
in the Castilian language. Better than most of his contemporaries,
he knew the value of combination. As with astronomy so with history:
in both cases he conceived the scheme, in both cases he presided at
the redaction and stamped the crude stuff with his distinctive seal.
Judged by a modern standard, both _Estorias_ lend themselves to a
cheap ridicule; compared with their predecessors, they imply a finer
appreciation of the value of testimony, and this notable evolution of
the critical sense is matched by a manner that rises to the theme. Side
by side with a greater care for chronology, there is a keener edge of
patriotism which leads the compilers to embody in their text whole
passages of lost _cantares de gesta_. And these are no purple patches:
the expression is throughout dignified without pomp, and easy without
familiarity. Spanish prose sheds much of its uncouthness, and takes
its definitive form in such a passage as that upon the Joys of Spain:
"More than all, Spain is subtle,—ay! and terrible, right skilled in
conflict, mirthful in labour, stanch to her lord, in letters studious,
in speech courtly, fulfilled of gifts; never a land the earth overlong
to match her excellence, to rival her bravery; few in the world as
mighty as she." It may be lawful to believe that here we catch the
personal accent of the King.

Compilations abound in which Alfonso is said to have shared, but they
are of less importance than his _Cantigas de Santa María_ (Canticles
of the Virgin)—four hundred and twenty pieces, written and set to
music in the Virgin's praise. Strictly speaking, these do not belong to
Castilian literature, being written in the elaborate Galician language,
which now survives as little better than a dialect. But they must be
considered if we are to form any just idea of Alfonso's accomplishments
and versatility. At the outset a natural question suggests itself: "Why
should the King of Castile, after drawing up his code in Castilian,
write his verses in Galician?" The answer is simple: "For the reason
that he was an artist." Velázquez, indeed, asserts that Alfonso was
reared in Galicia; but this is assertion, not evidence. The real motive
of the choice was the superior development of the Galician, which so
far outpassed the Castilian in flexibility and grace as to invite
comparison with the Provençal. Troubadours in full flight from the
Albigensian wars found grace at Alfonso's court; Aimeric de Belenoi,
Nat de Mons, Calvo, Riquier, Lunel, and more.

That Alfonso wrote in Provençal seems probable enough, especially as
he derides the incapacity in this respect of his father's _trovador_,
Pero da Ponte; still, the two Provençal pieces which bear his name are
spurious, and are the work of Nat de Mons and Riquier. Howbeit, the
Provençal spell mastered him, and drove him to reproduce its elaborate
rhythms. The first impression given by the _Cantigas_ is one of unusual
metrical resource. Verses of four syllables, of five, octosyllabics,
hendecasyllabics, are among the singer's experiments. From the popular
_coplas_, not unlike the modern _seguidillas_, he strays to the
lumbering line of seventeen syllables; in five strophes he commits
an acrostic as the name _María_; and half a thousand years before
Matilda's lover went to Göttingen, he anticipates Canning's freak
in the _Anti-Jacobin_ by splitting up a word to achieve a difficult
rhyme; he abuses the refrain by insistent repetition, so as to give
the echo of a litany, or fit the ready-made melody of a _juglar_
(clxxii.);—puerilities perhaps, but characteristic of a school and an
epoch. Subjects are taken as they come, preference being given to the
more universal version, and local legends taking a secondary place.
A living English poet has merited great praise for his _Ballad of a
Nun_. Six hundred years before Mr. Davidson, Alfonso gave six splendid
variants of the famous story. Two men of genius have treated the legend
of the statue and the ring—Prosper Mérimée in his _Vénus d'Ille_, and
Heine in _Les Dieux en Exile_—with splendid effect. Alfonso (xlii.)
anticipated them by rendering the story in verses of incomparable
beauty, pregnant with mystery and terror.

For his part, Alfonso rifles Vincent de Beauvais, Gautier de Coinci,
Berceo, and, in his encyclopædic way, borrows a hint from the old
Catalan _Planctus Mariæ Virginis_; but his touch transmutes bold
hagiology to measures of harmony and distinction. He was not—it
cannot be claimed for him—a poet of supreme excellence; yet, if he
fail to reach the topmost peaks, he vindicates his choice of a medium
by outstripping his predecessors, and by pointing the path to those
who succeed him. With the brain of a giant he combined the heart of
a little child, and, technique apart, this amalgam which wrought his
political ruin was his poetic salvation. Still an artist, even when
he stumbles into the ditch, his metrical dexterity persists in such
brutally erotic and satiric verse as he contributes to the Vatican
_Cancioneiro_ (Nos. 61-79). Withal, he survives by something better
than mere virtuosity; for his simplicity and sincere enthusiasm,
sundered from the prevalent affectation of his contemporaries, ensure
him a place apart.

His example in so many fields of intellectual exercise was followed.
What part he took (if any) in preparing _Kalilah and Dimnah_ is not
settled. The Spanish version, probably made before Alfonso's accession
to the throne, derives straight from the Arabic, which, in its turn,
is rendered by Abd Allah ibn al-Mukaffa (754-775) from Barzoyeh's lost
Pehlevī (Old Persian) translations of the original Sanskrit. This
last has disappeared, though its substance survives in the remodelled
_Panchatantra_, and from it descend the variants that are found in
almost all European literatures. The period of the Spanish rendering is
hard to determine exactly, but 1251 is the generally accepted date, and
its vogue is proved by the use made of it by Raimond de Béziers in his
Latin version (1313). It does not appear to have been used by Raimond
Lull (1229-1315), the celebrated _Doctor illuminatus_, in his Catalan
Beast-Romance, inserted in the _Libre de Maravelles_ about the year
1286. The value of the Spanish lies in the excellence of the narrative
manner, and in its reduction of the oriental apologue to terms of the
vernacular. Alfonso's brother, Fadrique, followed the lead in his
_Engannos é Assayamientos de las Mogieres_ (Crafts and Wiles of Women),
which is referred to 1253, and is translated from the Arabic version of
a lost Sanskrit original, after the fashion of _Kalilah and Dimnah_.

Translation is continued at the court of Alfonso's son and successor,
SANCHO IV. (d. 1295), who, as already noted, commands a version of
Brunetto Latini's _Tesoro_; and the encyclopædic mania takes shape
in a work entitled the _Luçidario_, a series of one hundred and six
chapters, which begins by discussing "What was the first thing in
heaven and earth?" and ends with reflections on the habits of animals
and the whiteness of negroes' teeth. The _Gran Conquista de Ultramar_
(Great Conquest Oversea) is a perversion of the history originally
given by Guillaume de Tyr (d. 1184), mixed with other fabulous
elements, derived perhaps from the French, and certainly from the
Provençal, which thus comes for the first time in direct contact with
Castilian prose. The fragmentary Provençal _Chanson d'Antioche_ which
remains can scarcely be the original form in which it was composed by
its alleged author, Grégoire de Bechada: at best it is a _rifacimento_
of a previous draught. But that it was used by the Spanish translator
has been amply demonstrated by M. Gaston Paris. The translator has been
identified with King Sancho himself; the safer opinion is that the work
was undertaken by his order during his last days, and was finished
after his death.

With these should be classed compilations like the _Book of Good
Proverbs_, translated from Hunain ibn Ishāk al-'Ibādī; the _Bonium_
or _Bocados de Oro_, from the collections of Abu 'l Wafā Mubashshir
ibn Fātik, part of which was Englished by Lord Rivers, and thence
conveyed into Caxton's _Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers_; and
the _Flowers of Philosophy_, a treatise composed of thirty-eight
chapters of fictitious moral sentences uttered by a tribe of thinkers,
culminating—fitly enough for a Spanish book—in Seneca of Córdoba.
In dealing with these works it is impossible to speak precisely as to
source and date: the probability is that they were put together during
the reign of Sancho, who was his father's son in more than the literal
sense. Like Alfonso's, his ambition was to force his people into the
intellectual current of the age, and in default of native masterpieces
he supplied them with foreign models whence the desired masterpieces
might proceed; and, like his father, Sancho himself entered the lists
with his _Castigos y Documentos_ (Admonitions and Exhortations),
ninety chapters designed for the guidance of his son. This production,
disfigured by the ostentatious erudition of the Middle Ages, is saved
from death by its shrewd common-sense, by its practical counsel, and
by the admirable purity and lucidity of style that formed the most
valuable asset in Sancho's heritage. With him the literature of the
thirteenth century comes to a dramatic close: the turbulent fighter,
whose rebellion cut short his father's days, becomes the conscientious
promoter of his father's literary tradition.


[3] So called because it embraced the seven subjects of learning: the
_trivio_ (grammar, logic, and rhetoric), and the _quadrivio_ (music,
astrology, physics, and metaphysics).

                              CHAPTER IV

                           THE DIDACTIC AGE


Only the barest mention need be made of a "clerkly poem" called the
_Vida de San Ildefonso_ (Life of St. Ildephonsus), a dry narrative
of over a thousand lines, probably written soon after 1313, when the
saint's feast was instituted by the Council of Peñafiel. Its author
declares that he once held the prebend of Úbeda, and that he had
previously rhymed the history of the Magdalen. No other information
concerning him exists; nor is it eagerly sought, for the Prebendary's
poem is a colourless imitation of Berceo, without Berceo's visitings of
inspiration. More merit is shown in the _Proverbios en Rimo de Salomón_
(Solomon's Rhymed Proverbs), moralisings on the vanity of life,
written, with many variations, in the manner of Berceo. The author of
these didactic, satiric verses is announced in the oldest manuscript
copy as one Pero Gómez, son of Juan Fernández. He has been absurdly
confounded with an ancient "Gómez, _trovador_," and, more plausibly,
with the Pero Gómez who collaborated with Paredes in translating
Brunetto Latini's _Tesoro_; but the name is too common to allow of
precise opinion as to the real author, whom some have taken for Pero
López de Ayala. Whoever the writer, he possessed a pleasant gift of
satirical observation, and a knowledge of men and affairs which he puts
to good use, with few lapses upon the merely trite and banal.

Of more singular interest is the incomplete _Poema de José_ or
_Historia de Yusuf_, named by the writer, _Al-hadits de Jusuf_. This
curious monument, due doubtless to some unconverted Mudéjar of Toledo,
is the typical example of the literature called _aljamiada_. The
language is correct Castilian of the time, and the metre, sustained for
312 stanzas, is the right Bercean: the peculiarity lies in the use of
Arabic characters in the phonetic transcription. A considerable mass
of such compositions has been discovered (and in the discovery England
has taken part); but of them all the _Historia de Yusuf_ is at once
the best and earliest. It deals with the story of Joseph in Egypt, not
according to the Old Testament narrative, but in general conformity
with the version found in the eleventh _sura_ of the Ku'rān, though
the writer does not hesitate to introduce variants and amplifications
of his own invention, as (stanza 31) when the wolf speaks to the
patriarch whose son it is supposed to have slain. The persecution
of Joseph by Potiphar's wife, who figures as Zulija (Zuleikah), is
told with considerable spirit, and the mastery of the _cuaderna vía_
(the Bercean metre of four fourteen-syllabled lines rhymed together)
is little short of amazing in a foreigner. At whiles an Arabic word
creeps into the text, and the invocation of Allah, with which the poem
opens, is repeated in later stanzas; but, taken as a whole, apart from
the oriental colouring inseparable from the theme, there is a marked
similarity of tone between the _Historia de Yusuf_ and its predecessors
the "clerkly poems." An oriental subject handled by an Arab gave the
best possible opportunity for introducing orientalism in the treatment;
the occasion is eschewed, and the lettered Arab studiously follows in
the wake of Berceo and the other Castilian models known to him. There
could scarcely be more striking evidence of the irresistible progress
of Castilian modes of thought and expression. The Arabic influence, if
it ever existed, was already dead.

JUAN RUIZ, Archpriest of Hita, near Guadalajara, is the greatest name
in early Castilian literature. The dates of his birth and death are
not known. A line in his _Libro de Cantares_ (stanza 1484) inclines us
to believe that, like Cervantes, he was a native of Alcalá de Henares;
but Guadalajara also claims him for her own, and a certain Francisco
de Torres reports him as living there so late as 1415. This date is
incompatible with other ascertained facts in Ruiz' career. We learn
from a note at the end of his poems that "this is the book of the
Archpriest of Hita, which he wrote, being imprisoned by order of the
Cardinal Don Gil, Archbishop of Toledo." Now, Gil Albornoz held the
see between the years 1337 and 1367; and another clerk, named Pedro
Fernández, was Archpriest of Hita in 1351. Most likely Juan Ruiz was
born at the close of the thirteenth century, and died, very possibly
in gaol, before his successor was appointed. On the showing of his
own writings, Juan Ruiz was a cleric of irregular life at a time when
disorder was at its worst, and his thirteen years in prison proclaim
him a Goliard of the loosest kind. He testifies against himself with
a splendid candour; and yet there have been critics who insisted on
idealising this libidinous clerk into a smug Boanerges. There was
never a more grotesque travesty, a more purblind misunderstanding of
facts and the man.

The Archpriest was a fellow of parts and of infinite fancy. He
does, indeed, allege that he supplies, "incentives to good conduct,
injunctions towards salvation, to be understanded of the people and
to enable folk to guard against the trickeries which some practise in
pursuit of foolish loves." He comes pat with a text from Scripture
quoted for his own purpose:—"_Intellectum tibi dabo, et instruam te in
via hac, qua gradieris._" He passes from David to Solomon, and, with
his tongue in his cheek, transcribes his versicle:—"_Initium sapientiæ
timor Domini._" St. John, Job, Cato, St. Gregory, the Decretals—he
calls them all into court to witness his respectable intention, and at
a few lines' distance he unmasks in a passage which prudish editors
have suppressed:—"Yet, since it is human to sin, if any choose
the ways of love (which I do not recommend), the modes thereof are
recounted here;" and so forth, in detail the reverse of edifying.
Ovid's erotic verses are freely rendered, the Archpriest's unsuccessful
battle against love is told, and the liturgy is burlesqued in the
procession of "clerks and laymen and monks and nuns and duennas and
gleemen to welcome love into Toledo." The attempt to exhibit Ruiz as an
edifying citizen is, on the face of it, absurd.

Much that he wrote is lost, but the seventeen hundred stanzas that
remain suffice for any reputation. Juan Ruiz strikes the personal
note in Castilian literature. To distinguish the works of the clerkly
masters, to declare with certainty that this Castilian piece was
written by Alfonso and that by Sancho, is a difficult and hazardous
matter. Not so with Ruiz. The stamp of his personality is unmistakable
in every line. He was bred in the old tradition, and he long abides
by the rules of the _mester de clerecía_; but he handles it with a
freedom unknown before, imparts to it a new flexibility, a variety, a
speed, a music beyond all precedent, and transfuses it with a humour
which anticipates Cervantes. Nay, he does more. In his prose preface he
asserts that he chiefly sought to give examples of prosody, of rhyme
and composition:—"_Dar algunas lecciones, é muestra de versificar,
et rimar et trobar._" And he followed the bent of his natural genius.
He had an infinitely wider culture than any of his predecessors in
verse. All that they knew he knew—and more; and he treated them in
the true cavalier spirit of the man who feels himself a master. His
famous description of the tent of love is manifestly suggested by the
description of Alexander's tent in the _Libro de Alexandre_. The entire
episode of Doña Endrina is paraphrased from the _Liber de Amore_,
attributed to the Pseudo-Ovid, the Auvergnat monk who hides beneath the
name of Pamphilus Maurilianus.

French _fableaux_ were rifled by Ruiz without a scruple, though he
had access to their great originals in the _Disciplina clericalis_ of
Petrus Alphonsus; for to his mind the improved treatment was of greater
worth than the mere bald story. He was familiar with the _Kalilah and
Dimnah_, with Fadrique's _Crafts and Wiles of Women_, perhaps with the
apologues of Lull and Juan Manuel. Vast as his reading was, it had
availed him nothing without his superb temperament, his gift of using
it to effect. Vaster still was his knowledge of men, his acquaintance
with the seamy side of life, his interest in things common and rare,
his observation of manners, and his lyrical endowment. The name of "the
Spanish Petronius" has been given to him; yet, despite a superficial
resemblance between the two, it is a misnomer. Far nearer the truth,
though the Spaniard lacks the dignity of the Englishman, is Ticknor's
parallel with Chaucer. Like Chaucer, Ruiz had an almost incomparable
gust for life, an immitigable gaiety of spirit, which penetrates his
transcription of the Human Comedy. Like Chaucer, his adventurous
curiosity led him to burst the bonds of the prison-house and to
confer upon his country new rhythms and metres. His four _cánticas de
serrana_, suggested by the Galician makers, anticipate by a hundred
years the _serranillas_ and the _vaqueiras_ of Santillana, and entitle
him to rank as the first great lyric poet of Castile. Ruiz, likewise,
had a Legend of Women; but his reading was his own, and Chaucer's
adjective cannot be applied to it. His ambition is, not to idealise,
but to realise existence, and he interprets its sensuous animalism in
the spirit of picaresque enjoyment. Jewesses, Moorish dancers, the
procuress _Trota-conventos_, her finicking customers, the loose nuns,
great ladies, and brawny daughters of the plough,—Ruiz renders them
with the merciless exactitude of Velázquez.

The arrangement of Ruiz' verse, disorderly as his life, foreshadows the
loose construction of the picaresque novel, of which his own work may
be considered the first example. One of his greatest discoveries is the
rare value of the autobiographic form. Mingled with parodies of hymns,
with burlesques of old _cantares de gesta_, with glorified paraphrases
of both Ovids (the true and the false), with versions of oriental
fables read in books or gathered from the lips of vagrant Arabs, with
peculiar wealth of popular refrains and proverbs—with these goes the
tale of the writer's individual life, rich in self-mockery, gross in
thought, abundant in incident, splendid in expression, slyly edifying
in the moral conclusion which announces an immediate relapse. Poet,
novelist, expert in observation, irony, and travesty, Ruiz had,
moreover, the sense of style in such measure as none before him and
few after him, and to this innate faculty of selection he joined a
great capacity for dramatic creation. Hence the impossibility of
exhibiting him in elegant extracts, and hence the permanence of his
types. The most familiar figure of _Lazarillo de Tormes_—the starving
gentleman—is a lineal descendant of Ruiz' Don Furón, who is scrupulous
in observing facts so long as there is nothing to eat; and Ruiz' two
lovers, Melón de la Uerta and Endrina de Calatayud, are transferred
as Calisto and Melibea to Rojas' tragi-comedy, whence they pass into
immortality as Romeo and Juliet. Lastly, Ruiz' repute might be staked
upon his fables, which, by their ironic appreciation, their playful
wit and humour, seem to proceed from an earlier, ruder, more virile La

Contemporary with Juan Ruiz was the Infante JUAN MANUEL (1282-1347),
grandson of St. Ferdinand and nephew of Alfonso the Learned. In his
twelfth year he served against the Moors on the Murcian frontier,
became Mayordomo to Fernando IV., and succeeded to the regency
shortly after that King's death in 1312. Mariana's denunciation of
"him who seemed born solely to wreck the state" fits Juan Manuel so
exactly that it is commonly applied to him; but, in truth, its author
intended it for another Don Juan (without the "Manuel"), uncle of
the boy-king, Alfonso XI. Upon the regency followed a spell of wars,
broils, rebellions, assassinations, wherein King and ex-Regent were
pitted against each other. Neither King nor soldier bore malice, and
the latter shared in the decisive victory of Salado and—perhaps with
Chaucer's Gentle Knight—in the siege of Algezir (_Algeciras_). Fifty
years of battle would fill most men's lives; but the love of literature
ran in the blood of Juan Manuel's veins, and, like others of his
kindred, he proved the truth of the old Castilian adage:—"Lance never
blunted pen, nor pen lance."

He set a proper value on himself and his achievement. In the General
Introduction to his works he foresees, so he announces, that his books
must be often copied, and he knows that this means error:—"as I have
seen happen in other copies, either because of the transcriber's
dulness, or because the letters are much alike." Wherefore Juan
Manuel prepared, so to say, a copyright edition, with a prefatory
bibliography, whose deficiencies may be supplemented by a second list
given at the beginning of his _Conde Lucanor_. And he closes his
General Introduction with this prayer:—"And I beg all those who may
read any of the books I made not to blame me for whatever ill-written
thing they find, until they see it in this volume which I myself have
arranged." His care seemed excessive: it proved really insufficient,
since the complete edition which he left to the monastery at Peñafiel
has disappeared. Some of his works are lost to us, as the _Book of
Chivalry_,[4] a treatise dealing with the _Engines of War_, a _Book
of Verses_, the _Art of Poetic Composition_ (_Reglas como se debe
Trovar_), and the _Book of Sages_. The loss of the _Book of Verses_ is
a real calamity; all the more that it existed at Peñafiel as recently
as the time of Argote de Molina (1549-90), who meant to publish it.
Juan Manuel's couplets and quatrains of four, eight, eleven, twelve,
and fourteen syllables, his arrangement (_Enxemplo XVI._) of the
octosyllabic _redondilla_ in the _Conde Lucanor_, prove him an adept
in the Galician form, an irreproachable virtuoso in his art. It seems
almost certain that his _Book of Verses_ included many remarkable
exercises in political satire; and, in any case, his example and
position must have greatly influenced the development of the courtly
school of poets at Juan II.'s court.

A treatise like his _Libro de Caza_ (Book of Hawking), recently
recovered by Professor Baist, needs but to be mentioned to indicate
its aim. His histories are mere epitomes of Alfonso's chronicle. The
_Libro del Caballero et del Escudero_ (Book of the Knight and Squire),
in fifty-one chapters, of which some thirteen are missing, is a
didacticism, a _fabliella_, modelled upon Ramón Lull's _Libre del Orde
de Cavallería_. A hermit who has abandoned war instructs an ambitious
squire in the virtues of chivalry, and sends him to court, whence he
returns "with much wealth and honour." The inquiry begins anew, and the
hermit expounds to his companion the nature of angels, paradise, hell,
the heavens, the elements, the art of posing questions, the stuff of
the planets, sea, earth, and all that is therein—birds, fish, plants,
trees, stones, and metals. In some sort the _Tratado sobre las Armas_
(Treatise on Arms) is a memoir of the writer's house, containing a
powerful presentation of the death of Juan Manuel's guardian, King
Sancho, passing to eternity beneath his father's curse.

Juan Manuel follows Sancho's example by preparing twenty-six chapters
of _Castigos_ (Exhortations), sometimes called the _Libro infinido_, or
Unfinished Book, addressed to his son, a boy of nine. He reproduces
Sancho's excellent manner and sound practical advice without the
flaunting erudition of his cousin. The _Castigos_ are suspended to
supply the monk, Juan Alfonso, with a treatise on the _Modes of
Love_, fifteen in number; being, in fact, an ingenious discussion on
friendship. Juan Manuel is seen almost at his best in his _Libro de
los Estados_ (Book of States), otherwise the _Book of the Infante_,
and thought by some to be the missing _Book of Sages_. The allegorical
didactic vein is worked to exhaustion in one hundred and fifty
chapters, which relate the education of the pagan Morován's son, Johas,
by a certain Turín, who, unable to satisfy his pupil, calls to his
aid the celebrated preacher Julio. After interminable discussions and
resolutions of theological difficulties, the story ends in the baptism
of father, son, and tutor. Gayangos gives us the key; Johas is Juan
Manuel; Morován is his father, Manuel; Turín is Pero López de Ayala,
grandfather of the future Chancellor; and Julio represents St. Dominic
(who, as a matter of fact, died before Juan Manuel's father was born).
This confused philosophic story, suggestive of the legend of Barlaam
and Josaphat, is in truth the vehicle for conveying the author's ideas
on every sort of question, and it might be described without injustice
as the carefully revised commonplace book of an omnivorous reader with
a care for form. A postscript to the _Book of States_ is the _Book of
Preaching Friars_, a summary of the Dominican constitution expounded
by Julio to his pupil. A very similar dissertation is the _Treatise
showing that the Blessed Mary is, body and soul, in Paradise_, directed
to Remón Masquefa, Prior of Peñafiel.

Juan Manuel's masterpiece is the _Conde Lucanor_ (also named the _Book
of Patronio_ and the _Book of Examples_), in four parts, the first
of which is divided into fifty-one chapters. Like the _Decamerone_,
like the _Canterbury Tales_—but with greater directness—the _Conde
Lucanor_ is the oriental apologue embellished in terms of the
vernacular. The convention of the "moral lesson" is maintained, and
each chapter of the First Part (the others are rather unfinished notes)
ends with a declaration to the effect that "when Don Johan heard this
example he found it good, ordered it to be set down in this book,
and added these verses"—the verses being a concise summary of the
prose. The _Conde Lucanor_ is the Spanish equivalent of the _Arabian
Nights_, with Patronio in the part of Scheherazade, and Count Lucanor
(as who should say Juan Manuel) as the Caliph. Boccaccio used the
framework first in Italy, but Juan Manuel was before him by six years,
for the _Conde Lucanor_ was written not later than 1342. The examples
are taken from experience, and are told with extraordinary narrative
skill. Simplicity of theme is matched by simplicity of expression. The
story of father and son (_Enxemplo II._), of the Dean of Santiago and
the Toledan Magician (_Enxemplo XI._), of Ferrant González and Nuño
Laynez, a model of dramatic presentation (_Enxemplo XVI._), are perfect
masterpieces in little.

Juan Manuel is an innovator in Castilian prose, as is Juan Ruiz
in Castilian verse. He lacks the merriment, the genial wit of the
Archpriest; but he has the same gift of irony, with an added note of
cutting sarcasm, and a more anxious research for the right word. He
never forgets that he has been the Regent of Castile, that he has
mingled with kings and queens, that he has cowed emirs and barons, and
led his troopers at the charge; and it is well that he never unbends,
since his unsmiling patrician humour gives each story a keener point.
In mind as in blood he is the great Alfonso's kinsman, and the relation
becomes evident in his treatment of the prose sentence. He inherited
it with many another splendid tradition, and, while he preserves
entire its stately clearness, he polishes to concision; he sets with
conscience to the work, sharpening the edges of his instrument,
exhibits its possibilities in the way of trenchancy, and puts it to
subtler uses than heretofore. In his hands Castilian prose acquires a
new ductility and finish, and his subjects are such that dramatists of
genius have stooped to borrow from him. In him (_Enxemplo XLV._) is the
germ of the _Taming of the Shrew_ (though it is scarcely credible that
Shakespeare lifted it direct), and from him Calderón takes not merely
the title—_Count Lucanor_—of a play, but the famous apologue in the
first act of _Life is a Dream_, an adaptation to the stage of one of
Juan Manuel's best instances (_Enxemplo XXXI._). Pilferings by Le Sage
are things of course, and _Gil Blas_ benefits by its author's reading.
Translations apart—and they are forthcoming—the _Conde Lucanor_
is one of the books of the world, and each reading of it makes more
sensible the loss of the verses which, one would fain believe, might
place the writer as high among poets as among prose writers.

The _Poema de Alfonso Onceno_, also known as his _Rhymed Chronicle_,
was unearthed at Granada in 1573 by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, and an
extract from it, printed fifteen years later by Argote de Molina,
encouraged the idea that Alfonso XI. wrote it. That King's sole exploit
in literature is a handbook on venery, often attributed to Alfonso the
Learned. The fuller, but still incomplete text of the _Poema_, first
published in 1864, discloses (stanza 1841) the author's name as RODRIGO
YAÑEZ or Yannes. It is to be noted that he speaks of rendering Merlin's
prophecy in the Castilian tongue:—

  "_Yo Rodrigo Yannes la noté
  En lenguaje castellano._"

Everything points to his having translated from a Galician original,
being himself a Galician who hispaniolised his name of Rodrigo Eannes.
Strong arguments in favour of this theory are advanced by great
authorities—Professor Cornu, and that most learned lady, Mme. Carolina
Michaëlis de Vasconcellos. In the first place, the many technical
defects of the _Poema_ vanish upon translation into Galician; and
next, the verses are laced with allusions to Merlin, which indicate a
familiarity with Breton legends, common enough in Galicia and Portugal,
but absolutely unknown in Spain. Be that as it prove, the _Poema_
interests as the last expression of the old Castilian epic. Here we
have, literally, the swan-song of the man-at-arms, chanting the battles
in which he shared, commemorating the names of comrades foremost in
the van, reproducing the martial music of the camp _juglar_, observing
the set conventions of the _cantares de gesta_. His last appearance
on any stage is marked by a portent—the suppression of the tedious
Alexandrine, and the resolution into two lines of the sixteen-syllabled
verse. Yañez is an excellent instance of the third-rate man, the
amateur, who embodies, if he does not initiate, a revolution. His own
system of octosyllabics in alternate rhymes has a sing-song monotony
which wearies by its facile copiousness, and inspiration visits him at
rare and distant intervals. But the step that costs is taken, and a
place is prepared for the young _romance_ in literature.

No precise information offers concerning Rabbi SEM TOB of Carrión,
the first Jew who writes at length in Castilian. His dedication to
Pedro the Cruel, who reigned from 1350 to 1369, enables us to fix
his date approximately, and to guess that he was, like others of his
race, a favourite with that maligned ruler. Written in the early
days of the new reign, Sem Tob's _Proverbios Morales_, consisting of
686 seven-syllabled quatrains, are more than a metrical novelty. His
collection of sententious maxims, borrowed mainly from Arabic sources
and from the Bible, is the first instance in Castilian of the versified
epigram which was to produce the brilliant _Proverbs_ of Santillana,
who praises the Rabbi as a writer of "very good things," and reports
his esteem as a "_grand trovador_." In Santillana's hands the maxims
are Spanish, are European; in Sem Tob's they are Jewish, oriental. The
moral is pressed with insistence, the presentation is haphazard; while
the extreme concision of thought, the exaggerated frugality of words,
tends to obscurity. Against this is to be set the exalted standard
of the teaching, the daring figures of the writer, his happiness of
epithet, his note of austere melancholy, and his complete triumph in
naturalising a new poetic _genre_.

It has been sought to father on Sem Tob three other pieces: the
_Treatise of Doctrine_, the _Revelation of a Hermit_, and the _Danza de
la Muerte_. The _Treatise_, a catechism in octosyllabic triplets with
a four-syllabled line, is by Pedro de Berague, and is only curious for
its rhythm, imitated from the _rime couée_, and for being the first
work of its kind. Sem Tob was in his grave when the ancient subject
of the _Argument between Body and Soul_ was reintroduced by the maker
of the _Revelation of a Hermit_, wherein the souls are figured as
birds, gracious or hideous as the case may be. The third line of this
didactic poem gives its date as 1382, and this is confirmed by the
evidence of the metre and the presence of an Italian savour. In the
case of the anonymous _Danza de la Muerte_ the metre once more fixes
the period of composition at about the end of the fourteenth century.
Most European literatures possess a _Danse Macabré_ of their own; yet,
though the Castilian is probably an imitation of some unrecognised
French original, it is the oldest known version of the legend. It is
not rash to assume that its immediate occasion was the last terrific
outbreak of the Black Death, which lasted from 1394 to 1399. Death
bids mankind to his revels, and forces them to join his dance. The
form is superficially dramatic, and the thirty-three victims—pope,
emperor, cardinal, king, and so forth, a cleric and a layman always
alternating—reply to the summons in a series of octaves. Whoever
composed the Spanish version, he must be accepted as an expert in the
art of morbid allegory. Odd to say, the Catalan Carbonell, constructing
his _Dance of Death_ in the sixteenth century, rejects this fine
Castilian version for the French of Jean de Limoges, Chancellor of

A writer who represents the stages of the literary evolution of his
age is the long-lived Chancellor, PERO LÓPEZ DE AYALA (1332-1407). His
career is a veritable romance of feudalism. Living under Alfonso XI.,
he became the favourite of Pedro the Cruel, whom he deserted at the
psychological moment. He chronicles his own and his father's defection
in such terms as Pepys or the Vicar of Bray might use:—"They saw that
Don Pedro's affairs were all awry, so they resolved to leave him, not
intending to return." Pedro the Cruel, Enrique II., Juan I., Enrique
III.—Ayala served all four with profit to his pouch, without flagrant
treason. Loyalty he held for a vain thing compared with interest; yet
he earned his money and his lands in fight. He ever strove to be on the
winning side, but luck was hostile when the Black Prince captured him
at Nájera (1367), and when he was taken prisoner at Aljubarrota (1385).
The fifteen months spent in an iron cage at the castle of Oviedes after
the second defeat gave Ayala one of his opportunities. He had wasted no
chance in life, nor did he now. It were pleasant to think with Ticknor
that some part of Ayala's _Rimado de Palacio_ "was written during his
imprisonment in England,"—pleasant, but difficult. To begin with,
it is by no means sure that Ayala ever quitted the Peninsula. More
than this: though the _Rimado de Palacio_ was composed at intervals,
the stages can be dated approximately. The earlier part of the poem
contains an allusion to the schism during the pontificate of Urban VI.,
so that this passage must date from 1378 or afterwards; the reference
to the death of the poet's father, Hernán Pérez de Ayala, brings us to
the year 1385 or later; and the statement that the schism had lasted
twenty-five years fixes the time of composition as 1403.

_Rimado de Palacio_ (Court Rhymes) is a chance title that has attached
itself to Ayala's poem without the author's sanction. It gives a false
impression of his theme, which is the decadence of his age. Only within
narrow limits does Ayala deal with courts and courtiers; he had a wider
outlook, and he scourges society at large. What was a jest to Ruiz was
a woe to the Chancellor. Ruiz had a natural sympathy for a loose-living
cleric; Ayala lashes this sort with a thong steeped in vitriol. The
one looks at life as a farce; the other sees it as a tragedy. Where
the first finds matter for merriment, the second burns with the white
indignation of the just. The deliberate mordancy of Ayala is impartial
insomuch as it is universal. Courtiers, statesmen, bishops, lawyers,
merchants—he brands them all with corruption, simony, embezzlement,
and exposes them as venal sons of Belial. And, like Ruiz, he places
himself in the pillory to heighten his effects. He spares not his
superstitious belief in omens, dreams, and such-like fooleries; he
discovers himself as a grinder of the poor man's face, a libidinous
perjurer, a child of perdition.

But not all Ayala's poem is given up to cursing. In his 705th stanza
he closes what he calls his _sermón_ with the confession that he had
written it, "being sore afflicted by many grievous sorrows," and in the
remaining 904 stanzas Ayala breathes a serener air. In both existing
codices—that of Campo-Alange and that of the Escorial—this huge
postscript follows the _Rimado de Palacio_ with no apparent break of
continuity; yet it differs in form and substance from what precedes.
The _cuaderna vía_ alone is used in the satiric and autobiographical
verses; the later hymns and songs are metrical experiments—echoes of
Galician and Provençal measures, _redondillas_ of seven syllables,
attempts to raise the Alexandrine from the dead, results derived from
Alfonso's _Cantigas_ and Juan Ruiz' _loores_. In his seventy-third
year Ayala was still working upon his _Rimado de Palacio_. It was
too late for him to master the new methods creeping into vogue, and
though in the _Cancionero de Baena_ (No. 518) Ayala answers Sánchez
Talavera's challenge in the regulation octaves, he harks back to the
_cuaderna vía_ of his youth in his paraphrase of St. Gregory's _Job_.
If he be the writer of the _Proverbios en Rimo de Salomón_—a doubtful
point—his preference for the old system is there undisguised. Could
that system have been saved, Ayala had saved it: not even he could stay
the world from moving.

His prose is at least as distinguished as his verse. A treatise
on falconry, rich in rarities of speech, shows the variety of his
interests, and his version of Boccaccio's _De Casibus Virorum
illustrium_ brings him into touch with the conquering Italian
influence. His reference to _Amadís_ in the _Rimado de Palacio_ (stanza
162), the first mention of that knight-errantry of Spain, proves
acquaintance with new models. Translations of Boëtius and of St.
Isidore were pastimes; a partial rendering of Livy, done at the King's
command, was of greater value. In person or by proxy, Alfonso the
Learned had opened up the land of history; Juan Manuel had summarised
his uncle's work; the chronicle of the Moor Rasis, otherwise Abu Bakr
Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Mūsā, had been translated from the Arabic;
the annals of Alfonso XI. and his three immediate predecessors were
written by some industrious mediocrity perhaps Fernán Sánchez de Tovar,
or Juan Núñez de Villaizán. These are not so much absolute history
as the raw material of history. In his _Chronicles of the Kings of
Castile_, Ayala considers the reigns of Pedro the Cruel, Enrique II.,
Juan I., and Enrique III., in a modern scientific spirit. Songs,
legends, idle reports, no longer serve as evidence. Ayala sifts his
testimonies, compares, counts, weighs them, checks them by personal
knowledge. He borrows Livy's framework, inserting speeches which,
if not stenographic reports of what was actually said, are complete
illustrations of dramatic motive. He deals with events which he had
witnessed: plots which his crafty brain inspired, victories wherein
he shared, battles in which he bit the dust. The portraits in his
gallery are scarce, but every likeness, is a masterpiece rendered with
a few broad strokes. He records with cold-blooded impartiality as a
judge; his native austerity, his knowledge of affairs and men, guard
him from the temptations of the pleader. With his unnatural neutrality
go rare instinct for the essential circumstance, unerring sagacity in
the divination and presentment of character, unerring art in preparing
climax and catastrophe, and the gift of concise, picturesque phrase.
A statesman of genius writing personal history with the candour of
Pepys: as such the thrifty Mérimée recognised Ayala, and, in his own
confection, so revealed him to the nineteenth century.


[4] The contents of this work are summarised in the author's _Book of
States_ (chap. xci.).

                               CHAPTER V

                          THE AGE OF JUAN II.


Ayala's verse, the conscious effort of deliberate artistry, contrasts
with those popular _romances_ which can be divined through the varnish
of the sixteenth century. Few, if any, of the existing ballads date
from Ayala's time; and of the nineteen hundred printed in Durán's
_Romancero General_ the merest handful is older than 1492, when
Antonio de Nebrija examined their structure in his _Arte de la Lengua
Castellana_. Yet the older _romances_ were numerous and long-lived
enough to supplant the _cantares de gesta_, against which chronicles
and annals made war by giving the same epical themes with more detail
and accuracy. In turn these chronicles afforded subjects for _romances_
of a later day. An illustration suffices to prove the point. Every one
knows the spirited close of the first in order of Lockhart's _Ancient
Spanish Ballads_:—

  "_Last night I was the King of Spain—to-day no King am I.
  Last night fair castles held my train—to-night where shall I lie?
  Last night a hundred pages did serve me on the knee—
  To-night not one I call my own: not one pertains to me._"

The original is founded on Pedro de Corral's _Crónica de Don Rodrigo_
(chapters 207, 208), which was not written till 1404, and from the
same source (chapters 238-244) comes the substance of Lockhart's second

  "_It was when the King Rodrigo had lost his realm of Spain._"

The modernity of almost every piece in Lockhart's collection were as
easily proved; but it is more important at this point to turn from the
popular song-makers to the new school of writers which was forming
itself upon foreign models.

Representative of these innovations is the grandson of Enrique II.,
ENRIQUE DE VILLENA (1384-1434), upon whom posterity has conferred a
marquisate which he never possessed in life.[5] His first production is
said to have been a set of _coplas_ written, as Master of the Order of
Calatrava, for the royal feasts at Zaragoza in 1414; his earliest known
work is his _Arte de trovar_ (Art of Poetry), given in the same year
at the Consistory of the Gay Science at Barcelona. Villena, of whose
treatise mere scraps survive, shows minute acquaintance with the works
of early _trovadores_; of general principles he says naught, losing
himself in discursive details. Early in 1417 followed the _Trabajos de
Hércules_ (Labours of Hercules), first written in Catalan by request
of Pero Pardo, and done into Castilian in the autumn of the year. This
tedious allegory, crushed beneath a weight of pedantry, is unredeemed
by ingenuity or fancy, and the style is disfigured by violent and
absurd inversions which bespeak long, tactless study of Latin texts.
Juan Manuel's dignified restraint is lost on his successor, itching
to flaunt inopportune learning with references to Aristotle, Aulus
Gellius, and St. Jerome. In 1423, at the instance of Sancho de Jaraba,
Villena wrote his twenty chapters on carving—the _Arte cisoria_, an
epicure's handbook to the royal table, compact of curious counsels
and recipes expounded with horrid eloquence by a pedant who tended to
gluttony. Still odder is the _Libro de Aojamiento_ (Dissertation on
the Evil Eye) with its three "preventive modes," as recommended by
Avicenna and his brethren. Translations of Dante and Cicero are lost,
and three treatises on leprosy, on consolation, and on the Eighth Psalm
are valueless. Villena piqued himself on being the first in Spain—he
might perhaps have said the first anywhere—to translate the whole
_Æneid_; but he marches to ruin with his mimicry of Latin idioms, his
abuse of inversion, and his graces of a cart-horse in the lists. No
contemporary was more famed for universal accomplishment; so that,
while he lived, men held him for a wizard, and, when he died, applauded
the partial burning of his books by Lope de Barrientos, afterwards
Bishop of Segovia, who put the rest to his private uses. Santillana
and Juan de Mena assert that Villena wrote Castilian verse, and Baena
implies as much; if so, he was probably a common poetaster, the loss of
whose rhymes is a stroke of luck. A Castilian poem on the labours of
Hercules, ascribed to him by Pellicer, is a rank forgery. Measured by
his repute, Villena's works are disappointing. But if we reflect that
he translated Dante, that he strove to naturalise successful foreign
methods, and that in his absurdest moments he proves his susceptibility
to new ideas, we may explain his renown and his influence. Nor did
these end with his life; for Lope de Vega, Alarcón, Rojas Zorrilla,
and Hartzenbusch have brought him on the boards, and he has appealed
with singular force to the imaginations of both Quevedo and Larra.

To Villena's time belong two specimens of the old encyclopædic school:
the _Libro de los Gatos_, translated from the _Narrationes_ of the
English monk, Odo of Cheriton; and the _Libro de los Enxemplos_ of
Clemente Sánchez of Valderas, whose seventy-one missing stories were
brought to light in 1878 by M. Morel-Fatio. Sánchez' collection,
thus completed, shows the entrance into Spain of the legend of
Buddha's life, adapted by some Christian monk from the Sanskrit
_Lalita-Vistara_, and popular the world over as the _Romance of Barlaam
and Josaphat_. The style is carefully modelled on Juan Manuel's manner.

The _Cancionero de Baena_, named after the anthologist Juan Alfonso
de Baena above mentioned, contains the verses of some sixty poets
who flourished during the reign of Juan II., or a little earlier.
This collection, first published in 1851, mirrors two conflicting
tendencies. The old Galician school is represented by Alfonso Álvarez
de Villasandino (sometimes called de Illescas), a copious, foul-mouthed
ruffian, with gusts of inspiration and an abiding mastery of technique.
To the same section belong the Archdeacon of Toro, a facile versifier,
and Juan Rodríguez de la Cámara, whose name is inseparable from that
of Macías, _El Enamorado_. Macías has left five songs of slight
distinction, and, as a poet, ranks below Rodríguez de la Cámara. Yet he
lives on the capital of his legend, the type of the lover faithful unto
death, and the circumstances of his passing are a part of Castilian
literature. The tale is (but there are variants), that Macías, once a
member of Villena's household, was imprisoned at Arjonilla, where a
jealous husband slew the poet in the act of singing his platonic love.
Quoted times innumerable, this more or less authentic story of Macías'
end ensured him an immortality far beyond the worth of his verses: it
fired the popular imagination, and enters into literature in Lope de
Vega's _Porfiar hasta morir_ and in Larra's _El Doncel de Don Enrique
el Doliente_.

A like romantic memory attaches to Macías' friend, Juan Rodríguez
de la Cámara (also called Rodríguez del Padrón), the last poet of
the Galician school, represented in Baena's _Cancionero_ by a single
_cántica_. The conjectures that make Rodríguez the lover of Juan
II.'s wife, Isabel, or of Enrique IV.'s wife, Juana, are destroyed by
chronology. None the less it is certain that the writer was concerned
in some mysterious, dangerous love-affair which led to his exile, and,
as some believe, to his profession as a Franciscan monk. His seventeen
surviving songs are all erotic, with the exception of the _Flama del
divino Rayo_, his best performance in thanksgiving for his spiritual
conversion. His loves are also recounted in three prose books, of
which the semi-chivalresque novel, _El Siervo libre de Amor_, is still
readable. But Rodríguez interests most as the last representative of
the Galician verse tradition.

Save Ayala, who is exampled by one solitary poem, the oldest singer in
Baena's choir is Pero Ferrús, the connecting link between the Galician
and Italian schools. A learned rather than an inspired poet, Ferrús
is remembered chiefly because of his chance allusion to _Amadís_ in
the stanzas dedicated to Ayala. Four poets in Baena's song-book herald
the invasion of Spain by the Italians, and it is fitting that the
first and best of these should be a man of Italian blood, Francisco
Imperial, the son of a Genoese jeweller, settled in Seville. Imperial,
as his earliest poem shows, read Arabic and English. He may have met
with Gower's _Confessio Amantis_ before it was done into Castilian by
Juan de la Cuenca at the beginning of the fifteenth century—being
the first translation of an English book in Spain. Howbeit, he quotes
English phrases, and offers a copy of French verses. These are trifles:
Imperial's best gift to his adopted country was his transplanting of
Dante, whom he imitates assiduously, reproducing the Florentine note
with such happy intonation as to gain for him the style of poet—as
distinguished from _trovador_—from Santillana, who awards him "the
laurel of this western land." Thirteen poems by Ruy Paez de Ribera,
vibrating with the melancholy of illness, shuddering with the squalor
of want, affiliate their writer with Imperial's new expression, and
vaguely suggest the realising touch of Villon. At least one piece by
Ferrant Sánchez Talavera is memorable—the elegy on the death of the
Admiral Ruy Díaz de Mendoza, which anticipates the mournful march,
the solemn music, some of the very phrases of Jorge Manrique's noble
_coplas_. In the Dantesque manner is Gonzalo Martínez de Medina's
flagellation of the corruptions of his age. Baena, secretary to
Juan II., in eighty numbers approves himself a weak imitator of
Villasandino's insolence, and is remembered simply as the arranger of
a handbook which testifies to the definitive triumph of the compiler's

A poet of greater performance than any in the _Cancionero de Baena_ is
the shifty politician, Íñigo López de Mendoza, Marqués de SANTILLANA
(1398-1458), townsman of Rabbi Sem Tob, the Jew of Carrión. Oddly
enough, Baena excludes Santillana from his collection, and Santillana,
in reviewing the poets of his time, ignores Baena, whom he probably
despised as a parasite. A remarkable letter to the Constable of
Portugal shows Santillana as a pleasant prose-writer; in his rhetorical
_Lamentaçion en Propheçia de la segunda Destruyçion de España_ he
fails in the grand style, though he succeeds in the familiar with his
collection of old wives' fireside proverbs, _Refranes que diçen las
Viejas tras el Huego_. His _Centiloquio_, a hundred rhymed proverbs
divided into fourteen chapters, is gracefully written and skilfully
put together; his _Comedieta de Ponza_ is reminiscent of both Dante
and Boccaccio, and its title, together with the fact that the dialogue
is allotted to different personages, has led many into the error of
taking it for a dramatic piece. Far more essentially dramatic in spirit
is the _Diálogo de Bias contra Fortuna_, which embodies a doctrinal
argument upon the advantages of the philosophic mind in circumstances
of adversity; and grouped with this goes the _Doctrinal de Privados_,
a fierce philippic against Álvaro de Luna, Santillana's political foe,
who is convicted of iniquities out of his own mouth.

It is impossible to say of Santillana that he was an original genius:
it is within bounds to class him as a highly gifted versifier with
extraordinary imitative powers. He has no "message" to deliver, no wide
range of ideas: his attraction lies not so much in what is said as in
his trick of saying it. He is one of the few poets whom erudition has
not hampered. He was familiar with writers as diverse as Dante and
Petrarch and Alain Chartier, and he reproduces their characteristics
with a fine exactness and felicity. But he was something more than
an intelligent echo, for he filed and laboured till he acquired a
final manner of his own. Doubtless to his own taste his forty-two
sonnets—_fechos al itálico modo_, as he proudly tells you were his
best titles to glory; and it is true that he acclimatised the sonnet
in Spain, sharing with the Aragonese, Juan de Villapando, the honour
of being Spain's only sonneteer before Boscán's time. Commonplace
in thought, stiff in expression, the sonnets are only historically
curious. It is in his lighter vein that Santillana reaches his full
stature. The grace and gaiety of his _decires_, _serranillas_ and
_vaqueiras_ are all his own. If he borrowed suggestions from Provençal
poets, he is free of the Provençal artifice, and sings with the
simplicity of Venus' doves. Here he revealed a peculiar aspect of
his many-sided temperament, and by his tact made a living thing of
primitive emotions, which were to be done to death in the pastorals of
heavy-handed bunglers. The first-fruits of the pastoral harvest live in
the house where Santillana garnered them, and those roses, amid which
he found the milkmaid of La Finojosa, are still as sweet in his best
known—and perhaps his best—ballad as on that spring morning, between
Calateveño and Santa María, some four hundred years since. Ceasing to
be an imitator, Santillana proves inimitable.

The official court-poet of the age was JUAN DE MENA (1411-56), known to
his own generation as the "prince of Castilian poets," and Cervantes,
writing more than a hundred and fifty years afterwards, dubs him
"that great Córdoban poet." A true son of Córdoba, Mena has all the
qualities of the Córdoban school—the ostentatious embellishment
of his ancestor, Lucan, and the unintelligible preciosity of his
descendant, Góngora. The Italian travels of his youth undid him,
and set him on the hopeless line of Italianising Spanish prose. A
false attribution enters the Annals of Juan II. under Mena's name:
the mere fact that Juan II.'s _Crónica_ is a model of correct prose
disposes of the pretension. Mena's summary of the _Iliad_, and the
commentary to his poem the _Coronación_, convict him of being the
worst prose-writer in all Castilian literature. Simplicity and
vulgarity were for him synonyms, and he carries his doctrine to its
logical extreme by adopting impossible constructions, by wrenching
his sentences asunder by exaggerated inversions, and by adding absurd
Latinisms to his vocabulary. These defects are less grave in his verse,
but even there they follow him. Argote de Molina would have him the
author of the political satire called the _Coplas de la Panadera_;
but Mena lacked the lightness of touch, the wit and sparkle of the
imaginary baker's wife. If he be read at all, he is to be studied in
his _Laberinto_, also known as the _Trescientas_, a heavy allegory
whose deliberate obscurity is indicated by its name. The alternative
title, _Trescientas_; is explained by the fact that the poem consisted
of three hundred stanzas, to which sixty-five were added by request of
the King, who kept the book by him of nights and hankered for a stanza
daily, using it, maybe, as a soporific. The poet is whisked by the
dragons in Bellona's chariot to Fortune's palace, and there begins the
inevitable imitation of Dante, with its machinery of seven planetary
circles, and its grandiose vision of past, present, and future. The
work of a learned poet taking himself too seriously and straining after
effects beyond his reach, the _Laberinto_ is tedious as a whole; yet,
though Mena's imagination fails to realise his abstractions, though
he be riddled with purposeless conceits, he touches a high level in
isolated episodes. Much of his vogue may be accounted for by the
abundance with which he throws off striking lines of somewhat hard,
even marmoreal beauty, and by the ardent patriotism which inspires
him in his best passages. A poet by flashes, at intervals rare and far
apart, Mena does himself injustice by too close a devotion to æsthetic
principles, that made failure a certainty. Careful, conscientious,
aspiring, he had done far more if he had attempted much less.

                   *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile Castilian prose goes forward on Alfonso's lines. The
anonymous _Crónica_ of Juan II., wrongly ascribed to Mena and Pérez de
Guzmán, but more probably due to Álvar García de Santa María and others
unknown, is a classic example of style and accuracy, rare in official
historiography. Mingled with many chivalresque details concerning the
hidalgos of the court is the central episode of the book, the execution
of the Constable, Álvaro de Luna. The last great scene is skilfully
prepared and is recounted with artful simplicity in a celebrated
passage:—"He set to undoing his doublet-collar, making ready his long
garments of blue camlet, lined with fox-skins; and, the master being
stretched upon the scaffold, the executioner came to him, begged his
pardon, embraced him, ran the poniard through his neck, cut off his
head, and hung it on a hook; and the head stayed there nine days, the
body three." Passionate declamation of a still higher order is found
in the _Crónica de Don Álvaro de Luna_, written by a most dexterous
advocate, who puts his mastery of phrase, his graphic presentation
and dramatic vigour, to the service of partisanship. Perhaps no man
was ever quite so great and good as Álvaro de Luna appears in his
_Crónica_, but the strength of conviction in the narrator is expressed
in terms of moving eloquence that would persuade to accept the
portrait, not merely as a masterpiece—for that it is—but, as an
authentic presentment of a misunderstood hero.

After much violent controversy, it may now be taken as settled that
the _Crónica del Cid_ is based upon Alfonso's _Estoria de Espanna_.
But it comes not direct, being borrowed from Alfonso XI.'s _Crónica
de Castilla_, a transcript of the _Estoria_. The differences from
the early text may be classed under three heads: corruptions of the
early text, freer and exacter quotations from the _romances_, and
deliberate alterations made with an eye to greater conformity with
popular legends. Valuable as containing the earliest versions of many
traditions which were to be diffused through the _Romanceros_, the
_Crónica del Cid_ is of small historic authority, and Alfonso's stately
prose loses greatly in the carrying.

Ayala's nephew, FERNÁN PÉREZ DE GUZMÁN (1378-1460), continues his
uncle's poetic tradition in the forms borrowed from Italy, as well as
in earlier lyrics of the Galician school; but his mediocre performances
as a poet are overshadowed by his brilliant exploit as a historian. He
is responsible for the _Mar de Historias_ (The Sea of Histories), which
consists of three divisions. The first deals with emperors and kings
ranging from Alexander to King Arthur, from Charlemagne to Godfrey de
Bouillon; the second treats of saints and sages, their lives and the
books they wrote; and both are arrangements of some French version of
Guido delle Colonne's _Mare Historiarum_. The third part, now known
as the _Generaciones y Semblanzas_ (Generations and Likenesses), is
Pérez de Guzmán's own workmanship. Foreign critics have compared him to
Plutarch and to St. Simon; and, though the parallel seems dangerous, it
can be maintained. This amounts to saying that Pérez de Guzmán is one
of the greatest portrait-painters in the world; and that precisely he
is. He argues from the seen to the unseen with a curious anticipation
of modern psychological methods; and it forms an integral part of his
plan to draw his personages with the audacity of truth. He does his
share, and there they stand, living as our present-day acquaintances,
and better known. Take a few figures at random from his gallery:
Enrique de Villena, fat, short, and fair, a libidinous glutton, ever in
the clouds, a dolt in practice, subtle of genius so that he came by all
pure knowledge easily; Núñez de Guzmán, dissolute, of giant strength,
curt of speech, a jovial roysterer; the King Enrique, grave-visaged,
bitter-tongued, lonely, melancholy; Catherine of Lancaster, tall, fair,
ruddy, wine-bibbing, ending in paralysis; the Constable López Dávalos,
a self-made man, handsome, taking, gay, amiable, strong, a fighter,
clever, prudent, but—as man must have some fault—cunning and given
to astrology. With such portraits Pérez de Guzmán abounds. The picture
costs him no effort: the man is seized in the act and delivered to
you, with no waste of words, with no essential lacking, classified
as a museum specimen, impartially but with a tendency to severity;
and when Pérez de Guzmán has spoken, there is no more to say. He is
a good hater, and lets you see it when he deals with courtiers, whom
he regards with the true St. Simonian loathing for an upstart. But
history has confirmed the substantial justice of his verdicts, and has
thus shown that the artist in him was even stronger than the malignant
partisan. It is saying much. And to his endowment of observation,
intelligence, knowledge, and character, Pérez de Guzmán joins the
perfect practice of that clear, energetic Castilian speech which his
forebears bequeathed him.

An interesting personal narrative hides beneath the mask of the _Vida
y Hazañas del gran Tamarlán_ (Life and Deeds of the Mighty Timour).
First published in 1582, this work is nothing less than a report of the
journey (1403-6) of Ruy González de Clavijo (d. 1412), who traversed
all the space "from silken Samarcand to cedar'd Lebanon," and more.
Clavijo tells of his wanderings with a quaint mingling of credulity
and scepticism; still, his witness is at least as trustworthy as Marco
Polo's, and his recital is vastly more graphic than the Venetian's.
A very similar motive informs the _Crónica del Conde de Buelna, Don
Pero Niño_ (1375-1446), by Pero Niño's friend and pennon-bearer,
Gutierre Díaz Gámez. An alternative title—the _Victorial_—discloses
the author's intention of representing his leader as the hero of
countless triumphs by sea and land. A well-read esquire, Díaz Gámez
quotes from the _Libro de Alexandre_, flecks his pages with allusions,
and—with a true traveller's lust for local colouring—comes pat with
technical French terms: his _sanglieres_, _mestrieres_, _cursieres_,
_destrieres_. These affectations apart, Díaz Gámez writes with sense
and force; exalting his chief overmuch, but giving bright glimpses
of a mad, adventurous life, and rising to altisonant eloquence in
chivalresque outbursts, one of which Cervantes has borrowed, and not
bettered, in Don Quixote's great discourse on letters and arms.

Knight-errantry was, indeed, beginning to possess the land, and, as
it chances, an account of the maddest, hugest tourney in the world's
history is written for us by an eye-witness, Pero Rodríguez de Lena,
in the _Libro del Paso Honroso_ (Book of the Passage of Honour). Lena
tells how the demon of chivalry entered into Suero de Quiñones, who,
seeking release from his pledge of wearing in his lady's honour
an iron chain each Thursday, could hit on no better means than by
offering, with nine knightly brethren, to hold the bridge of San Marcos
at Órbigo against the paladins of Europe. The tilt lasted from July 10
to August 9, 1434, and is described with simple directness by Lena, who
looks upon the six hundred single combats as the most natural thing in
the world: but his story is important as a "human document," and as
testimony that the extravagant incidents of the chivalrous romances had
their counterparts in real life.

The fifteenth century finds the chivalrous romance established in
Spain: how it arrived there must be left for discussion till we come
to deal with the best example of the kind—_Amadís de Gaula_. Here and
now it suffices to say that there probably existed an early Spanish
version of this story which has disappeared; and to note that the
dividing line between the annals, filled with impossible traditions,
and the chivalrous tales, is of the finest: so fine, in fact, that
several of the latter—for example, _Florisel de Niquea_ and _Amadís
de Grecia_—take on historical airs and call themselves _crónicas_.
The mention of the lost Castilian _Amadís_ is imperative at this point
if we are to recognise one of the chief contemporary influences. For
the moment, we must be content to note its practical manifestations
in the extravagances of Suero de Quiñones, and of other knights whose
names are given in the chronicles of Álvaro de Luna and Juan II. The
spasmodic outbursts of the craze observable in the serious chapters of
Díaz Gámez are but the distant rumblings before the hurricane.

While _Amadís de Gaula_ was read in courts and palaces, three
contemporary writers worked in different veins. ALFONSO MARTÍNEZ DE
TOLEDO (1398-?1466), Archpriest of Talavera, and chaplain to Juan
II., is the author of the _Reprobación del Amor mundano_, otherwise
_El Corbacho_ (The Scourge). The latter title, not of the author's
choosing, has led some to say that he borrowed from Boccaccio. The
resemblance between the _Reprobación_ and the Italian _Corbaccio_
is purely superficial. Martínez goes forth to rebuke the vices of
both sexes in his age; but the moral purpose is dropped, and he
settles down to a deliberate invective against women and their ways.
Amador de los Ríos suggests that Martínez stole hints from Francisco
Eximenis' _Carro de la donas_, a Catalan version of Boccaccio's _De
claris mulieribus_: as the latter is a panegyric on the sex, the
suggestion is unacceptable. The plain fact stares us in the face that
Martínez' immediate model is the Archpriest of Hita, and in his fourth
chapter that jovial clerk is cited. Indiscriminate, unjust, and even
brutal, as Martínez often is, his slashing satire may be read with
extraordinary pleasure: that is, when we can read him at all, for his
editions are rare and his vocabulary puzzling. He falls short of Ruiz'
wicked urbanity; but he matches him in keenness of malicious wit, in
malignant parody, in picaresque intention, while he surpasses him as
a collector of verbal quips and popular proverbs. The wealth of his
splenetic genius (it is nothing less) affords at least one passage to
the writer of the _Celestina_. Last of all—and this is an exceeding
virtue—Martínez' speech maintains a fine standard of purity at a time
when foreign corruptions ran riot. Hence he deserves high rank among
the models of Castilian prose.

Another chaplain of Juan II., JUAN DE LUCENA (fl. 1453), is the
author of the _Vita Beata_, lacking in originality, but notable for
excellence of absolute style. He follows Cicero's plan in the _De
finibus bonorum et malorum_, introducing Santillana, Mena, and García
de Santa María (the probable author, as we have seen, of the King's
_Crónica_). In an imaginary conversation these great personages discuss
the question of mortal happiness, arriving at the pessimist conclusion
that it does not exist, or—sorry alternative—that it is unattainable.
Lucena adds nothing to the fund of ideas upon this hackneyed theme,
but the perfect finish of his manner lends attraction to his lucid

The last considerable writer of the time is the Bachelor ALFONSO DE
LA TORRE (fl. 1461), who returns upon the didactic manner in his
_Visión deleitable de la Filosofía y Artes liberales_. Nominally,
the Bachelor offers a philosophic, allegorical novel; in substance,
his work is a mediæval encyclopædia. It was assuredly never designed
for entertainment, but it must still be read by all who are curious
to catch those elaborate harmonies and more delicate refinements of
fifteenth-century Castilian prose which half tempt to indulgence for
the writer's insufferable priggishness. Alfonso de la Torre figures by
right in the anthologies, and his elegant extracts win an admiration of
which his unhappy choice of subject would otherwise deprive him.


[5] Strictly speaking, this writer should be called Enrique de Aragón;
but, since this leads to confusion with his contemporary, the Infante
Enrique de Aragón, it is convenient to distinguish him as Enrique de
Villena. He was not a marquis, and never uses the title.

                              CHAPTER VI



The literary movement of Juan II.'s reign is overlapped and continued
outside Spain by poets in the train of Alfonso V. of Aragón, who,
conquering Naples in 1443, became the patron of scholars like George
of Trebizond and Æneas Sylvius. It is notable that, despite their new
Italian environment, Alfonso's singers write by preference in Castilian
rather than in their native Catalan. Their work is to be sought in
the _Cancionero General_, in the _Cancionero de burlas provocantes á
risa_, and especially in the _Cancionero de Stúñiga_, which derives
its name from the accident that the first two poems in the collection
are by Lope de Stúñiga, cousin of that Suero de Quiñones who held the
_Paso Honroso_, mentioned under Lena's name in the previous chapter.
Stúñiga prolongs the courtly tradition in verses whose extreme finish
is remarkable. Juan de Tapia, Juan de Andújar, and Fernando de la
Torre practise in the same school of knightly hedonism; and at the
opposite pole is Juan de Valladolid, son of the public executioner, a
vagabond minstrel, who passed his life in coarse polemics with Antón de
Montero, with Gómez Manrique, and with Manrique's brother, the Conde
de Paredes. A notorious name is that of Pero Torrellas, whose _Coplas
de las calidades de las donas_ won their author repute as a satirist
of women, and begot innumerable replies and counterpleas: the satire,
to tell the truth, is poor enough, and is little more than violent but
pointless invective. The best as well as the most copious poet of the
Neapolitan group is CARVAJAL (or CARVAJALES), who bequeaths us the
earliest known _romance_, and so far succumbs to circumstances as to
produce occasional verses in Italian. In Castilian, Carvajal has the
true lyrical cry, and is further distinguished by a virile, martial
note, in admirable contrast with the insipid courtesies of his brethren.

To return to Spain, where, in accordance with the maxim that one
considerable poet begets many poetasters, countless rhymesters
spring from Mena's loins. The briefest mention must suffice for the
too-celebrated _Coplas del Provincial_, which, to judge by the extracts
printed from its hundred and forty-nine stanzas, is a prurient lampoon
against private persons. It lacks neither vigour nor wit, and denotes
a mastery of mordant phrase: but the general effect of its obscene
malignity is to make one sympathise with the repeated attempts at
its suppression. The attribution to Rodrigo Cota of this perverse
performance is capricious: internal evidence goes to show that the
libel is the work of several hands.

A companion piece of far greater merit is found in thirty-two
octosyllabic stanzas entitled _Coplas de Mingo Revulgo_. Like the
_Coplas del Provincial_, this satirical eclogue has been referred
to Rodrigo Cota, and, like many other anonymous works, it has been
ascribed to Mena. Neither conjecture is supported by evidence, and
Sarmiento's ascription of _Mingo Revulgo_ to Hernando del Pulgar, who
wrote an elaborate commentary on it, rests on the puerile assumption
that "none but the poet could have commented himself with such
clearness." Two shepherds—Mingo Revulgo and Gil Aribato—represent
the lower and upper class respectively, discussing the abuses of
society. Gil Aribato blames the people, whose vices are responsible for
corruption in high places; Mingo Revulgo contends that the dissolute
King should bear the blame for the ruin of the state, and the argument
ends by lauding the golden mean of the burgess. The tone of _Mingo
Revulgo_ is more moderate than that of the _Provincial_; the attacks
on current evils are more general, more discreet, and therefore more
deadly; and the aim of the later satire is infinitely more serious and
elevated. Cast in dramatic form, but devoid of dramatic action, _Mingo
Revulgo_ leads directly to the eclogues of Juan del Encina, so often
called the father of the Spanish theatre; but its immediate interest
lies in the fact that it is the first of effective popular satires.

Among the poets of this age, the Jewish convert, ANTÓN DE MONTORO, _el
Ropero_ (1404-?1480), holds a place apart. A fellow of parts, Montoro
combined verse-making with tailoring, and his trade is frequently
thrown in his teeth by rivals smarting under his bitter insolence.
Save when he pleads manfully for his kinsfolk, who are persecuted and
slaughtered by a bloodthirsty mob, Montoro's serious efforts are mostly
failures. His picaresque verses, especially those addressed to Juan
de Valladolid, are replenished with a truculent gaiety which amuses
us almost as much as it amused Santillana; but he should be read in
extracts rather than at length. He is suspected of complicity in the
_Coplas del Provincial_, and there is good ground for thinking that
to him belong the two most scandalous pieces in the _Cancionero de
burlas provocantes á risa_—namely, the _Pleito del Manto_ (Suit of
the Coverlet), and a certain unmentionable comedy which purports to
be by Fray Montesino, and travesties Mena's _Trescientas_ in terms of
extreme filthiness. Montoro's short pieces are reminiscent of Juan
Ruiz, and, for all his indecency, it is fair to credit him with much
cleverness and with uncommon technical skill. His native vulgarity
betrays him into excesses of ribaldry which mar the proper exercise of
his undeniable gifts.

A better man and a better writer is JUAN ÁLVAREZ GATO (?1433-96), the
Madrid knight of whom Gómez Manrique says that he "spoke pearls and
silver." It is difficult for us to judge him on his merits, for, though
his _cancionero_ exists, it has not yet been printed; and we are forced
to study him as he is represented in the _Cancionero General_, where
his love-songs show a dignity of sentiment and an exquisiteness of
expression not frequent in any epoch, and exceptional in his own time.
His sacred lyrics, the work of his old age, lack unction: but even
here his mastery of form saves his pious _villancicos_ from oblivion,
and ranks him as the best of Encina's predecessors. His friend, Hernán
Mexía, follows Pero Torrellas with a satire on the foibles of women, in
which he easily outdoes his model in mischievous wit and in ingenious

GÓMEZ MANRIQUE, Señor de Villazopeque (1412-91), is a poet of
real distinction, whose entire works have been reprinted from two
complementary _cancioneros_ discovered in 1885. Sprung from a family
illustrious in Spanish history, Gómez Manrique was a foremost leader
in the rebellion of the Castilian nobles against Enrique IV. In
allegorical pieces like the _Batalla de amores_, he frankly imitates
the Galician model, and in one instance he replies to a certain Don
Álvaro in Portuguese. Then he joins himself to the rising Italian
school, wherein his uncle, Santillana, had preceded him; and his
experiments extend to adaptations of Sem Tob's sententious moralisings,
to didactic poems in the manner of Mena, and to _coplas_ on Juan de
Valladolid, in which he measures himself unsuccessfully with the
rude tailor, Montoro. Humour was not Gómez Manrique's calling, and
his attention to form is an obvious preoccupation which diminishes
his vigour: but his chivalrous refinement and noble tenderness are
manifest in his answer to Torrellas' invective. His pathos is nowhere
more touching than in the elegiacs on Garcilaso de la Vega; while in
the lines to his wife, Juana de Mendoza, Gómez Manrique portrays the
fleetingness of life, the sting of death, with almost incomparable

His _Representación del Nacimiento de Nuestro Señor_, the earliest
successor to the _Misterio de los Reyes Magos_, is a liturgical
drama written for and played at the convent of Calabazanos, of which
his sister was Superior. It consists of twenty octosyllabic stanzas
delivered by the Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Gabriel, St. Michael, St.
Raphael, an angel, and three shepherds, the whole closing with a
cradle-song. Simple as the construction is, it is more elaborate than
that of a later play on the Passion, wherein the Virgin, St. John, and
the Magdalen appear (though the last takes no part in the dialogue).
The refrain or _estribillo_ at the end of each stanza goes to show
that this piece was intended to be sung. These primitive essays in
the hieratic drama have all the interest of what was virtually a new
invention, and their historical importance is only exceeded by that of
a secular play, written by Gómez Manrique for the birthday of Alfonso,
brother of Enrique IV., in which the Infanta Isabel played one of the
Muses. In all three experiments the action is of the slightest, though
the dialogue is as dramatic as can be expected from a first attempt.
The point to be noted is that Gómez Manrique foreshadows both the lay
and sacred elements of the Spanish theatre.

His fame has been unjustly eclipsed by that of his nephew, JORGE
MANRIQUE, Señor de Belmontejo (1440-1478), a brilliant soldier and
partisan of Queen Isabel's, who perished in an encounter before
the gates of Garci-Múñoz, and is renowned by reason of a single
masterpiece. His verses are mostly to be found in the _Cancionero
General_, and a few are given in the _cancioneros_ of Seville and
Toledo. Like that of his uncle, Gómez, his vein of humour is thin and
poor, and the satiric stanzas to his stepmother border on vulgarity.
In acrostic love-songs and in other compositions of a like character,
Jorge Manrique is merely clever in the artificial style of many
contemporaries—is merely a careful craftsman absorbed in the technical
details of art, with small merit beyond that of formal dexterity. The
forty-three stanzas entitled the _Coplas de Jorge Manrique por la
muerte de su padre_, have brought their writer an immortality which,
outliving all freaks of taste, seems as secure as Cervantes' own. An
attempt has been made to prove that Jorge Manrique's elegiacs on his
father are not original, and that the elegist had some knowledge of Abu
'l-Bakā Salih ar-Rundi's poem on the decadence of the Moslem power in
Spain. Undoubtedly Valera has so ingeniously rendered the Arab poet as
to make the resemblance seem pronounced: but the theory is untenable,
for it is not pretended that Jorge Manrique could read Arabic, and
lofty commonplaces on death abound in all literature, from the Bible

In this unique composition Jorge Manrique approves himself, for once,
a poet of absolute genius, an exquisite in lyrical orchestration. The
poem opens with a slow movement, a solemn lament on the vanity of
grandeur, the frailty of life; it modulates into resigned acceptance of
an inscrutable decree; it closes with a superb symphony, through which
are heard the voices of the seraphim and the angelic harps of Paradise.
The workmanship is of almost incomparable excellence, and in scarcely
one stanza can the severest criticism find a technical flaw. Jorge
Manrique's sincerity touched a chord which vibrates in the universal
heart, and his poem attained a popularity as immediate as it was
imperishable. Camões sought to imitate it; writers like Montemôr and
Silvestre glossed it; Lope de Vega declared that it should be written
in letters of gold; it was done into Latin and set to music in the
sixteenth century by Venegas de Henestrosa; and in our century it has
been admirably translated by Longfellow in a version from which these
stanzas are taken:—

  "_Behold of what delusive worth
  The bubbles we pursue on earth,
      The shapes we chase
  Amid a world of treachery;
  They vanish ere death shuts the eye,
      And leave no trace._

  _Time steals them from us,—chances strange,
  Disastrous accidents, and change,
      That come to all;
  Even in the most exalted state,
  Relentless sweeps the stroke of fate;
      The strongest fall._

  _Tell me,—the charms that lovers seek
  In the clear eye and blushing cheek,
      The hues that play
  O'er rosy lip and brow of snow,
  When hoary age approaches slow,
      Ah, where are they?..._

  _Tourney and joust, that charmed the eye,
  And scarf, and gorgeous panoply,
      And nodding plume,—
  What were they but a pageant scene?
  What but the garlands gay and green,
      That deck the tomb?..._

  _O Death, no more, no more delay;
  My spirit longs to flee away,
      And be at rest;
  The will of Heaven my will shall be,—
  I bow to the divine decree,
      To God's behest...._

  _His soul to Him who gave it rose:
  God lead it to its long repose,
      Its glorious rest!
  And though the warrior's sun has set,
  Its light shall linger round us yet,
      Bright, radiant, blest._"

By the side of this achievement the remaining poems of Enrique IV.'s
reign seem wan and withered. But mention is due to the Sevillan, Pedro
Guillén de Segovia (1413-74), who, beginning life under the patronage
of Álvaro de Luna, Santillana, and Mena, passes into the household of
the alchemist-archbishop Carrillo, and proclaims himself a disciple
of Gómez Manrique. His chief performance is his metrical version of
the Seven Penitential Psalms, which is remarkable as being the first
attempt at introducing the biblical element into Spanish literature.

Prose is represented by the Segovian, Diego Enríquez del Castillo (fl.
1470), chaplain and privy councillor to Enrique IV., whose official
_Crónica_ he drew up in a spirit of candid impartiality; but there is
ground for suspecting that he revised his manuscript after the King's
death. Charged with speeches and addresses, his history is written with
pompous correctness, and it seems probable that the wily trimmer so
chose his sonorous ambiguities of phrase as to avoid offending either
his sovereign or the rebel magnates whose triumph he foresaw. Another
chronicle of this reign is ascribed to Alfonso Fernández de Palencia
(1423-92), who is also rashly credited with the authorship of the
_Coplas del Provincial_; but it is not proved that Palencia wrote any
other historical work than his Latin _Gesta Hispaniensia_, a mordant
presentation of the time's corruptions. The Castilian chronicle which
passes under his name is a rough translation of the _Gesta_, made
without the writer's authority. Its involved periods, some of them a
chapter long, are very remote from the admirably vigorous style of
Palencia's allegorical _Batalla campal entre los lobos y los perros_
(Pitched Battle between Wolves and Dogs), and his patriotic _Perfección
del triunfo militar_, wherein he vaunts, not without reason, his
countrymen as among the best fighting men in Europe. Palencia's gravest
defect is his tendency to Latinise his construction, as in his poor
renderings of Plutarch and Josephus. But at his best he writes with
ease and force and distinction. The _Crónica de hechos del Condestable
Miguel Lucas Iranzo_, possibly the work of Juan de Olid, is in no sense
the history it professes to be, and is valuable mainly because of its
picturesque, yet simple and natural digressions on the social life of

                   *       *       *       *       *

The very year of the Catholic King's accession (1474) coincides with
the introduction of the art of printing into Spain. Ticknor dates
this event as happening in 1468, remarking that "there can be no
doubt about the matter." Unluckily, the book upon which he relies
is erroneously dated. _Les Trobes en lahors de la Verge María_—the
first volume printed in Spain—is a collection of devout verses in
Valencian, by forty-four poets, mostly Catalans. Of these, Francisco
de Castellví, Francisco Barcelo, Pedro de Civillar, and an anonymous
singer—_Hum Castellá sens nom_—write in Castilian. From 1474 onward,
printing-presses multiply, and versions of masters like Dante,
Boccaccio, and Petrarch, made by Pedro Fernández de Villegas, by Álvar
Gómez, and by Antonio de Obregón, are printed in quick succession.
Henceforward the best models are available beyond a small wealthy
circle; but the results of this popularisation are not immediate.

Íñigo de Mendoza, a gallant and a Franciscan, appears as a disciple
of Mena and Gómez Manrique in his _Vita Christi_, which halts at the
Massacre of the Innocents. Fray Íñigo is too prone to digressions,
and to misplaced satire mimicked from _Mingo Revulgo_, yet his verses
have a pleasing, unconventional charm in their adaptation to devout
purpose of such lyric forms as the _romance_ and the _villancico_. His
fellow-monk, Ambrosio Montesino, Isabel's favourite poet, conveys to
Spain the Italian realism of Jacopone da Todi in his _Visitación de
Nuestra Señora_, and in hymns fitted to the popular airs preserved in
Asenjo Barbieri's _Cancionero Musical de los siglos xv. y xvi_. This
embarrassing condition, joined to the writer's passion for conciseness,
results in hard effects; yet, at his best, he pipes "a simple song
for thinking hearts," and, as Menéndez y Pelayo, the chief of Spanish
critics, observes, Montesino's historic interest lies in his suffusing
popular verse with the spirit of mysticism, and in his transmuting the
popular forms of song into artistic forms.

Space fails for contemporary authors of _esparsas_, _decires_,
_resquestas_, more or less ingenious; but we cannot omit the name of
the Carthusian, JUAN DE PADILLA (1468-?1522), who suffers from an
admirer's indiscretion in calling him "the Spanish Homer." His _Retablo
de la Vida de Cristo_ versifies the Saviour's life in the manner of
Juvencus, and his more elaborate poem, _Los doce triunfos de los doce
Apóstoles_, strives to fuse Dante's severity with Petrarch's grace.
Rhetorical out of season, and tending to abuse his sonorous vocabulary,
Padilla indulges in verbal eccentricities and in sudden drops from
altisonance to familiarity; but in his best passages—his journey
through hell and purgatory, guided by St. Paul—he excels by force
of vision, by his realisation of the horror of the grave, and by his
vigorous transcription of the agonies of the lost. The allegorical form
is again found in the _Infierno del Amor_ of Garci Sánchez de Badajoz,
who ended life in a madhouse. His presentation of Macías, Rodríguez
del Padrón, Santillana, and Jorge Manrique in thrall to love's
enchantments, was to the taste of his time, and a poem with the same
title, _Infierno del Amor_, made the reputation of a certain Guevara,
whose scattered songs are full of picaresque and biting wit. For the
rest, Sánchez de Badajoz depends upon his daring, almost blasphemous
humour, his facility in improvising, and his mastery of popular forms.

Of the younger poetic generation, PEDRO MANUEL DE URREA (1486-? 1530)
is the most striking artist. His _Peregrinación á Jersualén_ and his
_Penitencia de Amor_ are practically inaccessible, but his _Cancionero_
displays an ingenious and versatile talent. Urrea's aristocratic
spirit revolts at the thought that in this age of printing his songs
will be read "in cellars and kitchens," and the publication of his
verses seems due to his mother. His _Fiestas de Amor_, translated from
Petrarch, are tedious, but he has a perfect mastery of the popular
_décima_, and his _villancicos_ abound in quips of fancy matched by
subtleties of expression. Urrea fails when he closes a stanza with a
Latin tag—a dubious adonic, such as _Dominus tecum_. He fares better
with his modification of Jorge Manrique's stanza, approving his skill
in modulatory effects. His most curious essay is his verse rendering of
the _Celestina's_ first act; for here he anticipates the very modes of
Lope de Vega and of Tirso de Molina. But in his own day he was not the
sole practitioner in dramatic verse.

A distinct progress in this direction is made by RODRIGO COTA DE
MAGUAQUE (fl. 1490), a convert Jew, who incited the mob to massacre his
brethren. Wrongly reputed the author of the _Coplas del Provincial_,
of _Mingo Revulgo_, and of the _Celestina_, Cota is the parent of
fifty-eight quatrains, in the form of a burlesque wedding-song,
recently discovered by M. Foulché-Delbosc. But Cota's place in
literature is ensured by his celebrated _Diálogo entre el Amor y un
Viejo_. In seventy stanzas Love and the Ancient argue the merits of
love, till the latter yields to the persuasion of the god, who then
derides the hoary amorist. The dialogue is eminently dramatic both in
form and spirit, the action convincing, clear, and rapid, while the
versification is marked by an exquisite melody. It is not known that
the _Diálogo_ was ever played, yet it is singularly fitted for scenic

The earliest known writer for the stage among the moderns was,
as we have already said, Gómez Manrique; but earlier spectacles
are frequently mentioned in fifteenth-century chronicles. These
may be divided into _entremeses_, a term loosely applied to balls
and tourneys, accompanied by chorus-singing; and into _momos_,
entertainments which took on a more literary character, and which found
excuses for dramatic celebrations at Christmas and Eastertide. Gómez
Manrique had made a step forward, but his pieces are primitive and
fragmentary compared to those of JUAN DEL ENCINA (1468-1534). A story
given in the scandalous _Pleito del Manto_ reports that Encina was the
son of Pero Torrellas, and another idle tale declares him to be Juan de
Tamayo. The latter is proved a blunder; the former is discredited by
Encina's solemn cursing of Torrellas. Encina passed from the University
of Salamanca to the household of the Duke of Alba (1493), was present
next year at the siege of Granada, and celebrated the victory in his
_Triunfo de fama_. Leaving for Italy in 1498, he is found at Rome in
1502, a favourite with that Spanish Pope, Alexander VI. He returned
to Spain, took orders, and sang his first mass at Jerusalem in 1519,
at which date he was appointed Prior of the Monastery of León. He is
thought to have died at Salamanca.

Encina began writing in his teens, and has left us over a hundred and
seventy lyrics, composed before he was twenty-five years old. Nearly
eighty pieces, with musical settings by the author, are given in
Asenjo Barbieri's _Cancionero Musical_. His songs, when undisfigured
by deliberate conceits, are full of devotional charm. Still, Encina
abides with us in virtue of his eclogues, the first two being given
in the presence of his patrons at Alba de Tormes, probably in 1492.
His plays are fourteen in number, and were undoubtedly staged. Ticknor
would persuade us that the seventh and eighth, though really one piece,
"with a pause between," were separated by the poet "in his simplicity."
Even Encina's simplicity may be overstated, and Ticknor's "pause" must
have been long: for the seventh eclogue was played in 1494, and the
eighth in 1495. His eclogues are eclogues only in name, being dramatic
presentations of primitive themes, with a distinct but simple action.
The occasion is generally a feast-day, and the subject is sometimes
sacred. Yet not always so: the _Égloga de Fileno_ dramatises the
shepherd's passion for Lefira, and ends with a suicide suggested by the
_Celestina_. In like wise, Encina's _Plácida y Vitoriano_, involving
two attempted suicides and one scabrous scene, introduces Venus and
Mercury as characters. Again, the _Aucto del Repelón_ dramatises the
adventures in the market-place of two shepherds, Johan Paramas and
Piernicurto; while _Cristino y Febea_ exhibits the ignominious downfall
of a would-be hermit in phrases redolent of Cota's _Diálogo_. Simple
as the motives are, they are skilfully treated, and the versification,
especially in _Plácida y Vitoriano_, is pure and elegant. Encina
elaborates the strictly liturgical drama to its utmost point, and his
younger contemporary, Lucas Fernández, makes no further progress, for
the obvious reason that no novelty was possible without incurring a
charge of heresy. As Sr. Cotarelo y Mori has pointed out, the sacred
drama remains undeveloped till the lives of saints and the theological
mysteries are exploited by men of genius. Meanwhile, Encina has begun
the movement which culminates in the _autos_ of Calderón.

In another direction, the Spanish version of _Amadís de Gaula_ (1508)
marks an epoch. This story was known to Ayala and three other singers
in Baena's chorus; and the probability is that the lost original was
written in Portuguese by Joham de Lobeira (1261-1325), who uses in
the Colocci-Brancuti _Canzoniere_ (No. 230) the same _ritournelle_
that Oriana sings in _Amadís_. GARCÍA ORDÓÑEZ DE MONTALVO (fl. 1500)
admits that three-fourths of his book is mere translation; and it may
be that he was not the earliest Spaniard to annex the story, which, in
the first instance, derives from France. Amadís of Gaul is a British
knight, and, though the geography is bewildering, "Gaul" stands for
Wales, as "Bristoya" and "Vindilisora" stand for Bristol and Windsor.
The chronology is no less puzzling, for the action occurs "not many
years after the Passion of our Redeemer." Briefly, the book deals
with the chequered love of Amadís for Oriana, daughter of Lisuarte,
King of Britain. Spells incredible, combats with giants, miraculous
interpositions, form the tissue of episode, till fidelity is rewarded,
and Amadís made happy.

Cervantes' Barber, classing the book as "the best in that kind,"
saved it from the holocaust, and posterity has accepted the Barber's
sentence. _Amadís_ is at least the only chivalresque novel that
man need read. The style is excellent, and, though the tale is too
long-drawn, the adventures are interesting, the supernatural machinery
is plausibly arranged, and the plot is skilfully directed. Later
stories are mostly burlesques of _Amadís_: the giants grow taller,
the monsters fiercer, the lakes deeper, the torments sharper. In his
_Sergas de Esplandián_, Montalvo fails when he attempts to take up
the story at the end of _Amadís_. One tedious sequel followed another
till, within half a century, we have a thirteenth _Amadís_. The
best of its successors is Luis Hurtado's (or, perhaps, Francisco de
Moraes') _Palmerín de Inglaterra_, which Cervantes' Priest would have
kept in such a casket as "that which Alexander found among Darius'
spoils, intended to guard the works of Homer." Nor is this mere
irony. Burke avowed in the House of Commons that he had spent much
time over _Palmerín_, and Johnson wasted a summer upon _Felixmarte de
Hircania_. Wearisome as the kind was, its popularity was so unbounded
that Hieronym Sempere, in the _Caballería cristiana_, applied the
chivalresque formula to religious allegory, introducing Christ as
the Knight of the Lion, Satan as the Knight of the Serpent, and the
Apostles as the Twelve Knights of the Round Table. Of its class,
_Amadís de Gaula_ is the first and best.

From an earlier version of _Amadís_ derives the _Cárcel de Amor_ of
Diego San Pedro, the writer of some erotic verses in the _Cancionero
de burlas_. San Pedro tells the story of the loves of Leriano and
Laureola, mingled with much allegory and chivalresque sentiment.
The construction is weak, but the style is varied, delicate, and
distinguished. Ending with a panegyric on women, "who, no less than
cardinals, bequeath us the theological virtues," the book was banned
by the Inquisition. But nothing stayed its course, and, despite all
prohibitions, it was reprinted times out of number. The _Cárcel de
Amor_ ends with a striking scene of suicide, which was borrowed by many
later novelists.

The first instance of its annexation occurs in the _Tragicomedia de
Calisto y Melibea_, better known as the _Celestina_. This remarkable
book, first published (as it seems) at Burgos, in 1499, has been
classed as a play, or as a novel in dialogue. Its length would make
it impossible on the boards, and its influence is most marked on the
novel. As first published, it had sixteen acts, extended later to
twenty-one, and in some editions to twenty-two. On the authority of
Rojas, anxious as to the Inquisition, the first and longest act has
been attributed to Mena and to Cota; but the prose is vastly superior
to Mena's, while the verse is no less inferior to the lyrism of Cota's
_Diálogo_. There is small doubt but that the whole is the work of the
lawyer FERNANDO DE ROJAS, a native of Montalbán, who became Alcaide of
Salamanca, and died, at a date unknown, at Talavera de la Reina.

The tale is briefly told. Calisto, rebuffed by Melibea, employs the
procuress Celestina, who arranges a meeting between the lovers. But
destiny works a speedy expiation: Celestina is murdered by Calisto's
servants, Calisto is accidentally killed, and Melibea destroys herself
before her father, whom she addresses in a set speech suggested by the
_Cárcel de Amor_. Celestina is developed from Ruiz' Trota-conventos;
Rojas' lovers, Calisto and Melibea, from Ruiz' Melón and Endrina;
and some hints are drawn from Alfonso Martínez de Toledo. But,
despite these borrowings, we have to deal with a completely original
masterpiece, unique in its kind. We are no longer in an atmosphere
thick with impossible monsters in incredible circumstances: we are in
the very grip of life, in commerce with elemental, strait passions.

Rojas is the first Spanish novelist who brings a conscience to his
work, who aims at more than whiling away an idle hour. He is not great
in incident, his plot is clumsily fashioned, the pedantry of his age
fetters him; but in effects of artistry, in energy of phrasing, he
is unmatched by his coevals. Though he invented the comic type which
was to become the _gracioso_ of Calderón, his humour is thin; on the
other hand, his realism and his pessimistic fulness are above praise.
Choosing for his subject the tragedy of illicit passion, he hit on
the means of exhibiting all his powers. His purpose is to give a
transcript of life, objective and impersonal, and he fulfils it, adding
thereunto a mysterious touch of sombre imagination. His characters
are not Byzantine emperors and queens of Cornwall: he traffics in
the passions of plain men and women, the agues of the love-sick, the
crafts of senile vice, the venality and vauntings of picaroons, the
effrontery of croshabells. Hence, from the first hour, his book took
the world by storm, was imprinted in countless editions, was continued
by Juan Sedeño and Feliciano da Silva—the same whose "reason of the
unreasonableness" so charmed Don Quixote—was imitated by Sancho Muñón
in _Lisandro y Roselia_, was used by Lope de Vega in the _Dorotea_, and
was passed from the Spanish stage to be glorified as _Romeo and Juliet_.

Between the years 1508-12 was composed the anonymous _Cuestión de
Amor_, a semi-historical, semi-social novel wherein contemporaries
figure under feigned names, some of which are deciphered by the
industry of Signor Croce, who reveals Belisena, for example, as Bona
Sforza, afterwards Queen of Poland. Though much of its first success
was due to the curiosity which commonly attaches to any _roman à clef_,
it still interests because of its picturesque presentation of Spanish
society in Italian surroundings, and the excellence of its Castilian
style was approved by that sternest among critics, Juan de Valdés.

History is represented by the _Historia de los Reyes católicos_ of
Andrés Bernáldez (d. 1513), parish priest of Los Palacios, near
Seville, who relates with spirit and simplicity the triumphs of the
reign, waxing enthusiastic over the exploits of his friend Columbus.
A more ambitious historian is HERNANDO DEL PULGAR (1436-?1492), whose
_Claros Varones de Castilla_ is a brilliant gallery of portraits,
drawn by an observer who took Pérez de Guzmán for his master. Pulgar's
_Crónica de los Reyes católicos_ is mere official historiography, the
work of a flattering partisan, the slave of flagrant prejudice; yet
even here the charm of manner is seductive, though the perdurable value
of the annals is naught. As a portrait-painter, as an intelligent
analyst of character, as a wielder of Castilian prose, Pulgar ranks
only second to his immediate model. He is to be distinguished from
another Hernando del Pulgar (1451-1531), who celebrated the exploits of
the great captain, Gonzalo de Córdoba, at the request of Carlos V. In
this case, as in so many others, the old is better.

One great name, that of Christopher Columbus or CRISTÓBAL COLÓN
(1440-1506) is inseparable from those of the Catholic kings, who
astounded their enemies by their ingratitude to the man who gave them
a New World. Mystic and adventurer, Columbus wrote letters which are
marked by sound practical sense, albeit couched in the apocalyptic
phrases of one who holds himself for a seer and prophet. Incorrect,
uncouth, and rugged as is his syntax, he rises on occasion to heights
of eloquence astonishing in a foreigner. But it is perhaps imprudent to
classify such a man as Columbus by his place of birth. An exception in
most things, he was probably the truest Spaniard in all the Spains; and
by virtue of his transcendent genius, visible in word as in action, he
is filed upon the bede-roll of the Spanish glories.

                              CHAPTER VII

                       THE AGE OF CARLOS QUINTO


With the arrival of printing-presses in 1474 the diffusion of foreign
models became general throughout Spain. The closing years of the reign
of the Catholic Kings were essentially an era of translation, and
this movement was favoured by high patronage. The King, Fernando, was
the pupil of Vidal de Noya; the Queen, Isabel, studied under Beatriz
Galindo, _la latina_; and Luis Vives reports that their daughter, Mad
Juana, could and did deliver impromptu Latin speeches to the deputies
of the Low Countries. Throughout the land Italian scholars preached
the gospel of the Renaissance. The brothers Geraldino (Alessandro and
Antonio) taught the children of the royal house. Peter Martyr, the
Lombard, boasts that the intellectual chieftains of Castile sat at his
feet; and he had his present reward, for he ended as Bishop of Granada.
From the Latin chair in the University of Salamanca, Lucio Marineo lent
his aid to the good cause; and, in Salamanca likewise, the Portuguese,
Arias Barbosa, won repute as the earliest good Peninsular Hellenist.
Spanish women took the fever of foreign culture. Lucía de Medrano and
Juana de Contreras lectured to university men upon the Latin poets
of the Augustan age. So, too, Francisca de Nebrija would serve as
substitute for her father, ANTONIO DE NEBRIJA (1444-1522), the greatest
of Spanish humanists, the author of the _Arte de la Lengua Castellana_
and of a Spanish-Latin dictionary, both printed in 1492. Nebrija
touched letters at almost every point, touching naught that he did not
adorn; he expounded his principles in the new University of Alcalá de
Henares, founded in 1508 by the celebrated Cardinal Francisco Jiménez
de Cisneros (1436-1517). Palencia had preceded Nebrija by two years
with the earliest Spanish-Latin dictionary; but Nebrija's drove it from
the field, and won for its author a name scarce inferior to Casaubon's
or Scaliger's.

The first Greek text of the New Testament ever printed came from
Alcalá de Henares in 1514. In 1520 the renowned Complutensian Polyglot
followed; the Hebrew and Chaldean texts being supervised by converted
Jews like Alfonso de Alcalá, Alfonso de Zamora, and Pablo Coronel; the
Greek by Nebrija, Juan de Vergara, Demetrio Ducas, and Hernán Núñez,
"the Greek Commander." Versions of the Latin classics were in all men's
hands. Palencia rendered Plutarch and Josephus, Francisco Vidal de Noya
translated Horace, Virgil's _Eclogues_ were done by Encina, Cæsar's
_Commentaries_ by Diego López de Toledo, Plautus by Francisco López
Villalobos, Juvenal by Jerónimo de Villegas, and Apuleius' _Golden Ass_
by Diego López de Cartagena, Archdeacon of Seville. Juan de Vergara
was busied on the text of Aristotle, while his brother, Francisco
de Vergara, gave Spaniards their first Greek grammar and translated
Heliodorus. Nor was activity restrained to dead languages: the Italian
teachers saw to that. Dante was translated by Pedro Fernández de
Villegas, Archdeacon of Burgos; Petrarch's _Trionfi_ by Antonio
Obregón and Álvar Gómez; and the _Decamerone_ by an anonymous writer of
high merit.

If Italians invaded Spain, Spaniards were no less ready to settle
in Italy. Long before, Dante had met with Catalans and had branded
their proverbial stinginess:—"_l'avara povertà di Catalogna_." A
little later, and Boccaccio spurned Castilians as so many wild men:
"_semibarbari et efferati homines_." Lorenzo Valla, chief of the
Italian scholars at Alfonso V.'s Neapolitan court, denounced the King's
countrymen as illiterates:—"_a studiis humanitatis abhorrentes_."
Benedetto Gareth of Barcelona (1450-?1514) plunged into the new
current, forswore his native tongue, wrote his respectable _Rime_ in
Italian, and re-incarnated himself under the Italian form of Chariteo.
A certain Jusquin Dascanio is represented by a song, half-Latin,
half-Italian, in Asenjo Barbieri's _Cancionero Musical de los Siglos
xv. y xvi._ (No. 68), and a few anonymous pieces in the same collection
are written wholly in Italian. The Valencian, Bertomeu Gentil, and the
Castilian, Tapia, use Italian in the _Cancionero General_ of 1527, the
former succeeding so far that one of his eighteen Italian sonnets has
been accepted as Tansillo's by all Tansillo's editors. The case of the
Spanish Jew, Judas Abarbanel, whom Christians call León Hebreo, is
exceptional. Undoubtedly his famous _Dialoghi di amore_, that curious
product of neo-platonic and Semitic mysticism which charmed Abarbanel's
contemporaries no less than it charmed Cervantes, reaches us in Italian
(1535). Yet, since it was written in 1502, its foreign dress is the
chance result of the writer's expulsion from Spain with his brethren in
1492. It is unlikely that Judas Abarbanel should have mastered all the
secrets of Italian within ten years: that he composed in Castilian, the
language most familiar to him, is overwhelmingly probable.

But the Italian was met on his own ground. The Neapolitan poet, Luigi
Tansillo, declares himself a Spaniard to the core:—"_Spagnuolo
d'affezione_." And, later, Panigarola asserts that Milanese fops,
on the strength of a short tour in Spain, would pretend to forget
their own speech, and would deliver themselves of Spanish words and
tags in and out of season. Meanwhile, Spanish Popes, like Calixtus
III. and Alexander VI., helped to bring Spanish into fashion. It is
unlikely that the epical _Historia Parthenopea_ (1516) of the Sevillan,
Alonso Hernández, found many readers even among the admirers of the
Great Captain, Gonzalo de Córdoba, whose exploits are its theme; but
it merits notice as a Spanish book issued in Rome, and as a poor
imitation of Mena's _Trescientas_, with faint suggestions of an Italian
environment. A Spaniard, whom Encina may have met upon his travels,
introduced Italians to the Spanish theatre. This was BARTOLOMÉ TORRES
NAHARRO, a native of Torres, near Badajoz. Our sole information
concerning him comes from a Letter Prefatory to his works, written by
one Barbier of Orleans. The dates of his birth and death are unknown,
and no proof supports the story that he was driven from Rome because
of his satires on the Papal court. Neither do we know that he died in
extreme poverty. These are baseless tales. What is certain is this:
that Torres Naharro, having taken orders, was captured by Algerine
pirates, was ransomed, and made his way to Rome about the year 1513.
Further, we know that he lived at Naples in the service of Fabrizio
Colonna, and that his collected plays were published at Naples in
1517 with the title of _Propaladia_, dedicated to Francisco Dávalos,
the Spanish husband of Vittoria Colonna. That Torres Naharro was a
favourite with Leo X. rests on no better basis than the fact that in
the Pope's privilege to print he is styled _dilectus filius_.

His friendly witness, Barbier, informs us that, though Torres Naharro
was quite competent to write his plays in Latin, he chose Castilian of
set purpose that "he might be the first to write in the vulgar tongue."
This phrase, taken by itself, implies ignorance of Encina's work; in
any case, Torres Naharro develops his drama on a larger scale than that
of his predecessor. His _Prohemio_ or Preface is full of interesting
doctrine. He divides his plays into five acts, because Horace wills it
so, and these acts he calls _jornadas_, "because they resemble so many
resting-points." The personages should not be too many: not less than
six, and not more than twelve. If the writer introduces some twenty
characters in his _Tinellaria_, he excuses himself on the ground that
"the subject needed it." He further apologises for the introduction
of Italian words in his plays: a concession to "the place where, and
the persons to whom, the plays were recited." Lastly, Torres Naharro
divides dramas into two broad classes: first, the _comedia de noticia_,
which treats of events really seen and noted; second, the _comedia de
fantasía_, which deals with feigned things, imaginary incidents that
seem true, and might be true, though in fact they are not so.

Of the _comedia de fantasía_ Torres Naharro is the earliest master. He
adventures on the allegorical drama in his _Trofea_, which commemorates
the exploits of Manoel of Portugal in Africa and India, and brings Fame
and Apollo upon the stage. The chivalresque drama is represented by
him in such pieces as the _Serafina_, the _Aquilana_, the _Himenea_;
while he examples the play of manners by the _Jacinta_ and the
_Soldadesca_. Each piece begins with an _introyto_ or prologue, wherein
indulgence and attention are requested; then follows a concise summary
of the plot; last, the action opens. The faults of Torres Naharro's
theatre are patent enough: his tendency to turn comedy to farce, his
inclination to extravagance, his want of tact in crowding his stage—as
in the _Tinellaria_—with half-a-dozen characters chattering in
half-a-dozen different languages at once.

Setting aside these primitive humours, it is impossible to deny that
Torres Naharro has a positive, as well as an historic value. His
versification, always in the Castilian octosyllabic metre, with no
trespassing on the Italian hendecasyllabic, is neat and polished,
and, though far from splendid, lacks neither sweetness nor speed; his
dialogue is pointed, opportune, dramatic; his characters are observed
and are set in the proper light. His verses entitled the _Lamentaciones
de Amor_ are in the old, artificial manner; his satirical couplets
on the clergy are vigorous and witty attacks on the general life of
Rome; his devout songs are neither better nor worse than those of his
contemporaries; and his sonnets—two in Italian, one in a mixture of
Italian and Latin—are mere curiosities of no real worth, yet they
testify to the writer's uncommon versatility. Versatile Torres Naharro
unquestionably was, and his gift serves him in the plays for which he
is remembered. He is the first Spaniard to realise his personages, to
create character on the boards; the first to build a plot, to maintain
an interest of action by variety of incident, to polish an intrigue, to
concentrate his powers within manageable limits, to view stage-effects
from before the curtain. In a word, Torres Naharro knew the stage,
its possibilities, and its resources. For his own age and for his
opportunities he knew it even too well; and his _Himenea_—the theme
of which is the love of Himeneo for Febea, with the interposition of
Febea's brother, petulant as to the "point of honour"—is an isolated
masterpiece, unrivalled till the time of Lope de Vega. The accident
that Torres Naharro's _Propaladia_ was printed in Italy; the misfortune
that its Spanish reprints were tardy, and that his plays were too
complicated for the primitive resources of the Spanish stage: these
delayed the development of the Spanish theatre by close on a century.
Yet the fact remains: to find a match for the _Himenea_ we must pass to
the best of Lope's pieces.

Thus the Spaniard in Italy. In Portugal, likewise, he made his way. GIL
VICENTE (1470-1540), the Portuguese dramatist, wrote forty-two pieces,
of which ten are wholly in Castilian, while fifteen are in a mixed
jargon of Castilian and Portuguese which the author himself ridicules
as _aravia_ in his _Auto das Fadas_. An important historical fact is
that Vicente's earliest dramatic attempt, the _Monologo da Visitação_,
is in Castilian, and that it was actually played—the first lay piece
ever given in Portugal—on June 8, 1502. Its simplicity of tone and
elegance of manner are reminiscent of Encina, and it can scarce be
doubted that Vicente's imitation is deliberate. Still more obvious
is the following of Encina's eclogues in Vicente's _Auto pastoril
Castelhano_ and the _Auto dos Reis Magos_, where the legend is treated
with Encina's curious touch of devotion and modernity, the whole
closing with a song in which all join. Once again Encina's influence
is manifest in the _Auto da Sibilla Cassandra_, wherein Cassandra,
niece of Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah, is wooed by Solomon. In _Amadís de
Gaula_ and in _Dom Duardos_ there is a marked advance in elaboration
and finish; and in the _Auto da Fé_ Vicente proves his independence by
an ingenuity and a fancy all his own. Here he displays qualities above
those of his model, and treats his subject with such brilliancy that,
a century and a half later, Calderón condescended to borrow from the
Portuguese the idea of his _auto_ entitled _El Lirio y la Azucena_. Gil
Vicente is technically a dramatist, but he is not dramatic as Torres
Naharro is dramatic. His action is slight, his treatment timid and
conventional, and he is more poetic than inventive; still, his dramatic
songs are of singular beauty, conceived in a tone of mystic lyricism
unapproached by those who went before him, and surpassed by few who
followed. That Vicente was ever played in Spain is not known; but that
he influenced both Lope de Vega and Calderón is as sure as that he
himself was a disciple of Encina.

A more immediate factor in the evolution of Spanish letters was the
Catalan Boscá, whom it is convenient to call by his Castilian name,
JUAN BOSCÁN ALMOGAVER (?1490-1542). A native of Barcelona, Boscán
served as a soldier in Italy, returned to Spain in 1519, and, as we
know from Garcilaso's Second Eclogue, was tutor to Fernando Álvarez
de Toledo, whom the world knows as the Duque de Alba. Boscán's
earliest verses are all in the old manner; nor does he venture
on the Italian hendecasyllabic till the year 1526, just before
resigning his guardianship of Alba. His conversion was the work of
the Venetian ambassador, Andrea Navagiero, an accomplished courtier,
ill represented by his _Viaggio fatto in Spagna_. Being at Granada
in the year 1526, Navagiero met Boscán, who has left us an account
of the conversation:—"Talking of wit and letters, especially of
their varieties in different tongues, he inquired why I did not try
in Castilian the sonnets and verse-forms favoured by distinguished
Italians. He not only suggested this, but pressed me urgently to the
attempt. Some days later, I made for home, and, because of the length
and loneliness of the journey, thinking matters over, I returned to
what Navagiero had said, and thus I first attempted this sort of verse;
finding it hard at the outset, since it is very intricate, with many
peculiarities, varying greatly from ours. Yet, later, I fancied that I
was progressing well, perhaps because we all love our own essays; hence
I continued, little by little, with increasing zeal." This passage is
a _locus classicus_. Ticknor justly observes that no single foreigner
ever affected a national literature more deeply and more instantly
than Navagiero, and that we have here a first-hand account, probably
unique in literary history, of the first inception of a revolution by
the earliest, if not the most conspicuous, actor in it. We have at
last reached the parting of the ways, and Boscán presents himself as
a guide to the Promised Land. The astonishing thing is that Boscán, a
Barcelonese by birth and residence, ignores Auzías March.

There were many Italianates before Boscán—as Francisco Imperial and
Santillana; but their hour was not propitious, and Boscán is with
justice regarded as the leader of the movement. He was not a poet of
singular gifts, and he had the disadvantage of writing in Castilian,
which was not his native language; but Boscán had the wit to see
that Castilian was destined to supremacy, and he mastered it for his
purpose with that same dogged perseverance which led him to undertake
his more ambitious attempt unaided. He does not, indeed, appear to
have sought for disciples, nor were his own efforts as successful
as he believed: "perhaps because we all love our own essays." His
Castilian prose is evidence of his gift of style, and his translation
of Castiglione's _Cortegiano_ is a triumph of rendering fit to take
its place beside our Thomas Hoby's version of the same original. But,
it must be said frankly, that Boscán's most absolute success is in
prose. Herrera bitterly taunts him with decking himself in the precious
robes of Petrarch, and with remaining, spite of all that he can do, "a
foreigner in his language." And the charge is true. In verse Boscán's
defects grow very visible: his hardness, his awkward construction, his
unrefined ear, his uncertain touch upon his instrument, his boisterous
execution. Still, it is not as an original genius that Boscán finds
place in history, but rather as an initiator, a master-opportunist
who, without persuasion, by the sheer force of conviction and example,
led a nation to abandon the ancient ways, and to admit the potency and
charm of exotic forms. That in itself constitutes a title, if not to
immortality, at least to remembrance.

Boscán's influence manifested itself in diverse ways. His friend,
Garcilaso de la Vega, sent him the first edition of Castiglione's
_Cortegiano_, printed at Venice in 1528. This—"the best book that
ever was written upon good breeding," according to Samuel Johnson—was
triumphantly translated into Castilian by Boscán at Garcilaso's prayer;
and, though Boscán himself held translation to be a thing meet for
"men of small parts," his rendering is an almost perfect performance.
Moreover, it was the single work published by him (1534), for his poems
appeared under his widow's care. Once more, in an epistle directed
to Hurtado de Mendoza, Boscán re-echoes Horace's note of elegant
simplicity with a faithfulness not frequent in his work; and, lastly,
it is known that he did into Castilian an Euripidean play, which,
though licensed for the press, was never printed. Truly it seems that
Boscán was conscious of his very definite limitations, and that he
felt the necessity of a copy, rather than a direct model. If it were
so, this would indicate a power of conscious selection, a faculty
for self-criticism which cannot be traced in his published verses.
His earlier poems, written in Castilian measures, show him for a
man destitute of guidance, thrown on his own resources, a perfectly
undistinguished versifier with naught to sing and with no dexterity of
vocalisation. Yet, let Boscán betake himself to the poets of the Cinque
Cento, and he flashes forth another being: the dauntless adventurer
sailing for unknown continents, inspired by the enthusiasm of immediate

His _Hero y Leandra_ is frankly based upon Musæus, and it is
characteristic of Boscán's mode that he expands Musæus' three hundred
odd hexameters into nigh three thousand hendecasyllabics. Professor
Flamini has demonstrated most convincingly that Boscán followed Tasso's
_Favola_, but he comes far short of Tasso's variety, distinction, and
grace. He annexes the Italian blank verse—the _versi sciolti_—as it
were by sheer force, but he never subdues the metre to his will, and
his monotony of accent and mechanical cadence grow insufferable. Not
only so: too often the very pretence of inspiration dissolves, and the
writer descends upon slothful prose, sliced into lines of regulation
length, honeycombed with flat colloquialisms. Conspicuously better is
the _Octava Rima_—an allegory embodying the Court of Love and the
Court of Jealousy, with the account of an embassage from the former to
two fair Barcelonese rebels. Of this performance Thomas Stanley has
given an English version (1652) from which these stanzas are taken:—

  "_In the bright region of the fertile east
    Where constant calms smooth heav'n's unclouded brow,
  There lives an easy people, vow'd to rest,
    Who on love only all their hours bestow:
  By no unwelcome discontent opprest,
    No cares save those that from this passion flow,
  Here reigns, here ever uncontroll'd did reign;
  The beauteous Queen sprung from the foaming main._

  _Her hand the sceptre bears, the crown her head,
    Her willing vassals here their tribute pay:
  Here is her sacred power and statutes spread,
    Which all with cheerful forwardness obey:
  The lover by affection hither led,
    Receives relief, sent satisfied away:
  Here all enjoy, to give their last flames ease,
  The pliant figure of their mistresses ..._

  _Love every structure offers to the sight,
    And every stone his soft impression wears.
  The fountains, moving pity and delight,
    With amorous murmurs drop persuasive tears.
  The rivers in their courses love invite,
    Love is the only sound their motion bears.
  The winds in whispers soothe these kind desires,
  And fan with their mild breath Love's glowing fires._"

Ticknor ranks this as "the most agreeable and original of Boscán's
works," and as to the correctness of the first adjective there can
be no two opinions. But concerning Boscán's originality there is much
to say. Passage upon passage in the _Octava Rima_ is merely a literal
rendering of Bembo's _Stanze_, and the translation begins undisguised
at the opening line. Where the Italian writes, "_Ne l'odorato e lucido
Oriente_," the Spaniard follows him with the candid transcription, "_En
el lumbroso y fértil Oriente_"; and the imitation is further tesselated
with mosaics conveyed from Claudian, from Petrarch, and Ariosto.
None the less is it just to say that the conveyance is executed with
considerable—almost with masterly—skill. The borrowing nowise
belittles Boscán; for he was not—did not pose as—a great spirit
with an original voice. He makes no claim whatever, he seeks for no
applause—the shy, taciturn experimentalist who published never a line
of verse, and piped for his own delight. Equipped with the ambition,
though not with the accomplishment, of the artist, Boscán has a prouder
place than he ever dreamed of, since he is confessedly the earliest
representative of a new poetic dynasty, the victorious leader of a
desperately forlorn hope. That title is his laurel and his garland.
He led his race into the untrodden ways, triumphing without effort
where men of more strenuous faculty had failed; and his results have
successfully challenged time, inasmuch as there has been no returning
from his example during nigh four hundred years. Not a great genius,
not a lordly versifier, endowed with not one supreme gift, Boscán ranks
as an unique instance in the annals of literary adventure by virtue of
his enduring and irrevocable victory.

His is the foremost post in point of time. In point of absolute merit
he is easily outshone by his younger comrade, GARCILASO DE LA VEGA
(1503-36), the bearer of a name renowned in Spanish chronicle and song.
Grandson of Pérez de Guzmán, Garcilaso entered the Royal Body-guard in
his eighteenth year. He quitted him like the man he was in crushing
domestic rebellion, and, despite the fact that his brother, Pedro,
served in the insurgent ranks, Garcilaso grew into favour with the

At Pavia, where Francis lost all save honour, Garcilaso distinguished
himself by his intrepidity. For a moment he fell into disgrace
because of his connivance at a secret marriage between his cousin
and one of the Empress' Maids of Honour: interned in an islet on the
Danube,—_Danubio, rio divino_, he calls it,—he there composed one
of his most admired pieces, richly charged with exotic colouring. His
imprisonment soon ended, and, with intervals of service before Tunis,
and with spells of embassies between Spain and Italy, his last years
were mostly spent at Naples in the service of the Spanish Viceroy,
Pedro de Toledo, Marqués de Villafranca, father of Garcilaso's friend,
the Duque de Alba. In the Provençal campaign the Spanish force was held
in check by a handful of yeomen gathered in the fort of Muy, between
Draguignan and Fréjus. Muy recalls to Spanish hearts such memories
as Zutphen brings to Englishmen. In itself the engagement was a mere
skirmish: for Garcilaso it was a great and picturesque occasion. The
accounts given by Navarrete and García Cerezeda vary in detail, but
their general drift is identical. The last of the Spanish Cæsars named
his personal favourite, the most dashing of Spanish soldiers and the
most distinguished of Spanish poets, to command the storming-party.
Doffing his breastplate and his helmet that he might be seen by all
beholders—by the Emperor not less than by the army—Garcilaso led
the assault in person, was among the first to climb the breach, and
fell mortally wounded in the arms of Jerónimo de Urrea, the future
translator of Ariosto, and of his more intimate friend, the Marqués de
Lombay, whom the world knows best as St. Francis Borgia. He was buried
with his ancestors in his own Toledo, where, as even the grudging
Góngora allows, every stone within the city is his monument.

His illustrious descent, his ostentatious valour, his splendid
presence, his seductive charm, his untimely death: all these, joined
to his gift of song, combine to make him the hero of a legend and the
idol of a nation. Like Sir Philip Sidney, Garcilaso personified all
accomplishments and all graces. He died at thirty-three: the fact must
be borne in mind when we take account of his life's work in literature.
Yet Europe mourned for him, and the loyal Boscán proclaimed his debt
to the brilliant soldier-poet. Pleased as the Catalan was with his
novel experiments, he avows he would not have persevered "but for the
encouragement of Garcilaso, whose decision—not merely to my mind, but
to the whole world's—is to be taken as final. By praising my attempts,
by showing the surest sign of approval through his acceptance of my
example, he led me to dedicate myself wholly to the undertaking."
Boscán and Garcilaso were not divided by death. The former's widow, Ana
Girón de Rebolledo, gave her husband's verses to the press in 1543;
and, more jealous for the fame of her husband's friend than were any of
his own household, she printed Garcilaso's poems in the Fourth Book.

Garcilaso is eminently a poet of refinement, distinction, and
cultivation. What Boscán half knew, Garcilaso knew to perfection, and
his accomplishment was wider as well as deeper.[6] Living his last
years in Naples, Garcilaso had caught the right Renaissance spirit, and
is beyond all question the most Italianate of Spanish poets in form
and substance. He was not merely the associate of such expatriated
countrymen as Juan de Valdés: he was the friend of Bembo and Tansillo,
the first of whom calls him the best loved and the most welcome of
all the Spaniards that ever came to Italy. To Tansillo, Garcilaso was
attached by bonds of closest intimacy, and the reciprocal influence
of the one upon the other is manifest in the works of both. This
association would seem to have been the chief part of Garcilaso's
literary training. His few flights in the old Castilian metres, his
songs and _villancicos_, are of small importance; his finest efforts
are cast in the exotic moulds. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say
that fundamentally he is a Neapolitan poet.

The sum of his production is slight: the inconsiderable _villancicos_,
three eclogues, two elegies, an epistle, five highly elaborated songs,
and thirty-eight Petrarchan sonnets. Small as is his work in bulk,
it cannot be denied that it was like nothing before it in Castilian.
Auzías March, no doubt, had earlier struck a similar note in Catalan,
and Garcilaso, who seems to have read everything, imitates his
predecessor's harmonies and cadences. His trick of reminiscence is
remarkable. Thus, his first eclogue is plainly suggested by Tansillo;
his second eclogue is little more than a rendering in verse of picked
passages from the _Arcadia_ of Jacopo Sannazaro; while the fifth of
his songs—_La Flor de Gnido_—is a most masterly transplantation of
Bernardo Tasso's structure to Castilian soil. And almost every page is
touched with the deliberate, conscious elegance of a student in the
school of Horace. In simple execution Garcilaso is impeccable. The
objection most commonly made is that he surrenders his personality, and
converts himself into the exquisite echo of an exhausted pseudo-classic
convention. And the charge is plausible.

It is undeniably true that Garcilaso's distinction lacks the force
of real simplicity, that his eternal sweetness cloys, and that the
thing said absorbs him less than the manner of saying it. He would
have met the criticism that he was an artificial poet by pointing
out that, poetry being an art, it is of essence artificial. That he
was an imitative artist was his highest glory: by imitating foreign
models he attained his measure of originality, enriching Spain, with
not merely a number of technical forms but a new poetic language.
Without him Boscán must have failed in his emprise, as Santillana
failed before him. Besides his technical perfection, Garcilaso owned
the poetic temperament—a temperament too effeminately delicate for the
vulgarities of life. As he tells us in his third eclogue, he lived,
"now using the sword, now the pen:"—

  "_Tomando ora la espada, ora la pluma._"

But the clank of the sabre is never heard in the fiery soldier's verse.
His atmosphere is not that of battle, but is rather the enchanted haze
of an Arcadia which never was nor ever could be in a banal world. As
thus, in Wiffen's version:—

  "_Here ceased the youth his Doric madrigal,
  And sighing, with his last laments let fall
  A shower of tears; the solemn mountains round,
  Indulgent of his sorrow, tossed the sound
  Melodious from romantic steep to steep,
  In mild responses deep;
  Sweet Echo, starting from her couch of moss,
  Lengthened the dirge; and tenderest Philomel,
  As pierced with grief and pity at his loss,
  Warbled divine reply, nor seemed to trill
  Less than Jove's nectar from her mournful bill.
  What Nemoroso sang in sequel, tell,
  Ye sweet-voiced Sirens of the sacred hill._"

This is, in a sense, "unnatural"; but if we are to condemn it as such,
we must even reject the whole school of pastoral, a convention of which
the sixteenth century was enamoured. When Garcilaso introduced himself
as Salicio, and, under the name of Nemoroso, presented Boscán (or, as
Herrera will have it, Antonio de Fonseca), he but took the formula as
he found it, and translated it in terms of genius. He was consciously
returning upon nature; not upon the material facts of existence as it
is, but upon a figmentary nature idealised into a languid and ethereal
beauty. He sought for effects of suavest harmony, embodying in his song
a mystic neo-platonism, the _morbidezza_ of "love in the abstract," set
off by grace and sensibility and elfin music. It may be permissible
for the detached critic to appreciate Garcilaso at something less than
his secular renown, but this superior attitude were unlawful and
inexpedient for an historical reviewer.

Time and unanimity settle many questions: and, after all, on a
matter concerning Castilian poetry, the unbroken verdict of the
Castilian-speaking race must be accepted as weighty, if not final.
Garcilaso may not be a supreme singer; he is at least one of the
greatest of the Spanish poets. Choosing to reproduce the almost
inimitable cadences of the Virgilian eclogue, he achieves his end with
a dexterity that approaches genius. Others before him had hit upon
what seemed "pretty i' the Mantuan": he alone suggests the secret
of Virgil's brooding, incommunicable, and melancholy charm. What
Boscán saw to be possible, what he attempted with more good-will than
fortune, that Garcilaso did with an instant and peremptory triumph.
He naturalised the sonnet, he enlarged the framework of the song, he
invented the ode, he so bravely arranged his lines of seven and eleven
syllables that the fascination of his harmonies has led historians
to forget Bernardo Tasso's priority in discovering the resources of
the _lira_. In rare, unwary moments he lets fall an Italian or French
idiom, nor is he always free from the pedantry of his time; but
absolute perfection is not of this world, and is least to be asked of
one who, writing in moments stolen from the rough life of camps, died
at thirty-three, full of immense promise and immense possibilities. To
speculate upon what Garcilaso might have become is vanity. As it is,
he survives as the Prince of Italianates, the acknowledged master of
the Cinque Cento form. Cervantes and Lope de Vega, agreed upon nothing
else, are at one in holding him for the first of Castilian poets. With
slight reservations, their judgment has been sustained, and even to-day
the sweet-voiced, amatorious paladin leaves an abiding impress upon
the character of his national literature.

An early sectary of the school is discovered in the person of the
Portuguese poet, FRANCISCO DE SÂ DE MIRANDA (1495-1558), who so
frequently forsakes his native tongue that of 189 pieces included in
Mme. Carolina Michaëlis de Vasconcellos' edition, seventy-four are
in Castilian. Sâ de Miranda's early poems written before 1532—the
_Fábula de Mondego_, the _Canção á Virgem_, and the eclogue entitled
_Aleixo_—are in the old manner. His later works, such as _Nemoroso_,
with innumerable sonnets and the three elegies composed between 1552
and 1555, are all undisguised imitations of Boscán and Garcilaso, for
whom the writer professes a rapturous enthusiasm. Sâ de Miranda ranks
among the six most celebrated Portuguese poets; and, stranger though
he be, even in Castilian literature he distinguishes himself by his
correctness of form, by his sincerity of sentiment, and by a genuine
love of natural beauty very far removed from the falsetto admiration
too current among his contemporaries.

The soldier, GUTIERRE DE CETINA (1520-60) is another partisan of the
Italian school. Serving in Italy, he pursued his studies to the best
advantage, and won friendship and aid from literary magnates like the
Prince of Ascoli, and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza; but soldiering was
little to his taste, and, after a campaign in Germany, Cetina retired
to his native Seville, whence he passed to Mexico about the year 1550.
He is known to have written in the dramatic form, but no specimen of
his drama survives, unless it be sepultured in some obscure Central
American library. Cetina is a copious sonneteer who manages his
rhyme-sequences with more variety than his predecessors, and his songs
and madrigals are excellent specimens of finished workmanship. His
general theme is Arcadian love—the beauty of Amaríllida, the piteous
passion of the shepherd Silvio, the grief of the nymph Flora for
Menalca. His treatment is always ingenious, his frugality in the matter
of adjectives is edifying, though it scandalised the exuberant Herrera,
who, as a true Andalucían, esteems emphasis and epithet and metaphor as
the three things needful. Cetina's sobriety is paid for by a certain
preciosity of utterance near akin to weakness; but he excels in the
sonnet form, which he handles with a mastery superior to Garcilaso's
own, and he adds a touch of humour uncommon in the mannered school that
he adorns.

FERNANDO DE ACUÑA (? 1500-80) comes into notice as the translator
of Olivier de la Marche's popular allegorical poem, the _Chevalier
Délibéré_, a favourite with Carlos Quinto. The Emperor is said to have
amused himself by translating the French poem into Spanish prose,
and to have commissioned Acuña to a poetic version. A courtier like
Van Male gives us to understand that some part of Acuña's _Caballero
determinado_ is based upon the Emperor's prose rendering, and the
insinuation is that Acuña and his master should share the praise of
the former's exploit. This pleasant tale is scarce plausible, for we
know that the Cæsar never mastered colloquial Castilian, and that he
should shine in its literary exercise is almost incredible. Be that
as it may, Acuña's _Caballero determinado_, a fine example of the old
_quintillas_, met with wide and instant appreciation; yet he never
sought to follow up his triumph in the same kind. The new influence
was irresistible, and Acuña succumbed to it, imitating the _lira_ of
Garcilaso to the point of parody, singing as "Damon in absence,"
practising the pastoral, aspiring to Homer's dignity in his blank
verses entitled the _Contienda de Ayax Telamonio y de Ulises_. Three
Castilian cantos of Boiardo's _Orlando Innamorato_ won applause in
Italy; but Acuña's best achievements are his sonnets, which are almost
always admirable. One of them contains a line as often quoted as any
other in all Castilian verse:—

  "_Un Monarca, un Imperio, y una Espada,_"

"One Monarch, one Empire, and one Sword." And this pious aspiration
after unity had perhaps been fulfilled if Spain had abounded with such
prudent and accomplished figures as Fernando de Acuña.

A more powerful and splendid personality is that of the illustrious
DIEGO HURTADO DE MENDOZA (1503-1575), one of the greatest figures in
the history of Spanish politics and letters. Educated for the Church at
the University of Salamanca, Mendoza preferred the career of arms, and
found his opportunity at Pavia and in the Italian wars. Before he was
twenty-nine he was named Ambassador to the Venetian Republic, became
the patron of the Aldine Press, and studied the classics with all the
ardour of his temperament. One of the few Spaniards learned in Arabic,
Mendoza was a distinguished collector: he ransacked the monastery of
Mount Athos for Greek manuscripts, secured others from Sultan Suliman
the Magnificent, and had almost all Bessarion's Greek collection
transcribed for his own library, now housed in the Escorial. The first
complete edition of Josephus was printed from Mendoza's copies. He
represented the Emperor at the Council of Trent, and saw to it that
Cardinals and Archbishops did what Spain expected of them. In 1547 he
was appointed Plenipotentiary to Rome, where he treated Pope Julius
III. as cavalierly as his Holiness was accustomed to treat his own
curates. In 1554 Mendoza returned to Spain, and the accession of Felipe
II. in 1556 brought his public career to a close. He is alleged to have
been Ambassador to England; and one would fain the report were true.

His wit and picaresque malice are well shown in his old-fashioned
_redondillas_; which delighted so good a judge as Lope de Vega, and
his real strength lay in his management of these forms. But his long
Italian residence and his sleepless intellectual curiosity ensured his
experimenting in the high Roman manner. Tibullus, Horace, Ovid, Virgil,
Homer, Pindar, Anacreon: all these are forced into Mendoza's service,
as in his epistles and his _Fábula de Adonis, Hipómenes y Atalanta_.
It cannot be said that he is at his best in these pseudo-classical
performances, and he dares to eke out his hendecasyllabics by using a
final _palabra aguda_; but the extreme brilliancy of the humour carries
off all technical defects in the burlesque section of his poems, which
are of the loosest gaiety, most curious in a retired proconsul. Yet, if
Mendoza, who excelled in the old, felt compelled to pen his forty odd
sonnets in the new style, how strong must have been its charm! Whatever
his formal defects, Mendoza's authority was decisive in the contest
between the native and the foreign types of verse: he helped to secure
the latter's definitive triumph.

The greatest rebel against the invasion was CRISTÓBAL DE CASTILLEJO (?
1494-1556), who passed thirty years abroad in the service of Ferdinand,
King of Bohemia. Much of his life was actually spent in Italy, but
he kept his national spirit almost absolutely free from the foreign
influence. If he compromises at all, the furthest he can go is in
adopting the mythological machinery favoured by all contemporaries, and
even for this he could plead respectable Castilian precedent; but in
the matter of form, Castillejo is cruelly intransigent. Boscán is his
especial butt.

  "_Él mismo confesará
  Que no sabe donde va_"—

"He himself will confess that he knows not whither he goes." That,
indeed, appears to have been Castillejo's fixed idea on the subject,
and he expends an infinite deal of sarcasm and ridicule upon the
apostates who, as he thinks, hide their poverty of thought in tawdry
motley. His own subjects are perfectly fitted to treatment in the
_villancico_ form, and when he is not simply improper—as in _El Sermón
de los Sermones_—his verses are remarkable for their sprightly grace
and bitter-sweet wit, which can, at need, turn to rancorous invective
or to devotional demureness. Had he lived in Spain, it is probable that
Castillejo's mordant ridicule might have delayed the Italian supremacy.
As it was, his flouts and jibes arrived too late, and the old patriot
died, as he had lived, a brilliant, impenitent, futile Tory.

In one of his sonnets, conceived in the most mischievous spirit of
travesty, Castillejo singles out for reprobation a poet named Luis de
Haro, as one of the Italian agitators. Unluckily Haro's verses have
practically disappeared from the earth, and the few specimens preserved
in Nájera's _Cancionero_ are banal exercises in the old Castilian
manner. A practitioner more after Castillejo's heart was the ingenious
Antonio de Villegas (fl. 1551), whose _Inventario_, apart from tedious
paraphrases of the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe in the style of Bottom
the Weaver, contains many excellent society-verses, touched with
conceits of extreme sublety, and a few more serious efforts in the
form of _décimas_, not without a grave urbanity and a penetration of
their own. Francisco de Castilla, a contemporary of Villegas, vies with
him in essaying the hopeless task of bringing the old rhythms into
new repute; but his _Teórica de virtudes_, dignified and elevated in
style and thought, had merely a momentary vogue, and is now unjustly
considered a mere bibliographical curiosity.

A student in both schools was the Portuguese GREGORIO SILVESTRE
(1520-70), choirmaster and organist in the Cathedral of Granada,
who, beginning with a boy's admiration for Garci Sánchez and Torres
Naharro, practised the _redondilla_ with such success as to be esteemed
an expert in the art. A certain Pedro de Cáceres y Espinosa, in a
_Discurso_ prefixed to Silvestre's poems (1582), tells us that his
author "imitated Cristóbal de Castillejo, in speaking ill of the
Italian arrangements," and that he cultivated the novelties for the
practical reason that they were popular. It is certain that Silvestre
is as attractive in the new as in the old kind, that his elegance never
obscures his simplicity, that he shows a rare sense of ordered outline,
an exceptional finish in the technical details of both manners. His
conversion is the last that need be recorded here. The _villancico_
still found its supporters among men of letters, and, as late as
the seventeenth century, both Cervantes and Lope de Vega profess a
platonic attachment to it and kindred metres; but the public mind was
set against a revival, and Cervantes and Lope were forced to abandon
any idea (if, indeed, they ever entertained it) of breathing life into
these dead bones.

Didactic prose was practised, according to the old tradition, by Juan
López de Vivero Palacios Rubios, who published in 1524 his _Tratado
del esfuerzo bélico heróico_, a pseudo-philosophic inquiry into the
origin and nature of martial valour, written in a clear and forcible
style. Francisco López de Villalobos (1473-1549), a Jewish convert
attached to the royal household as physician, began by translating
Pliny's _Amphitruo_ in such fashion as to bring down on him the
thunders of Hernán Núñez. Villalobos works the didactic vein in his
rhymed _Sumario de Medicina_ which Ticknor ignores, though he mentions
its late derivatives, the _Trescientas preguntas_ of Alonso López de
Corelas (1546) and the _Cuatrocientas respuestas_ of Luis de Escobar
(1552). But the witty physician's most praiseworthy performance is
his _Tratado de las tres Grandes_—namely, talkativeness, obstinacy,
and laughter—where his familiar humour, his frolic, fantasy, and
perverse acuteness far outshine the sham philosophy and the magisterial
intention of his other work. A graver talent is that of Fernando
Pérez de Oliva (1492-1530), once lecturer in the University of Paris,
and, later, Rector of Salamanca, who boasts of having travelled three
thousand leagues in pursuit of culture. His _Diálogo de la Dignidad del
Hombre_, written to show that Castilian is as good a vehicle as the
more fashionable Latin for the discussion of transcendental matters,
is an excellent example of cold, stately, Ciceronian prose, and the
continuation by his friend, Francisco Cervantes de Salazar, is worthy
of the beginning; but the hold of ecclesiastical Latin was too fast to
be loosed at a first attempt.

Oliva's reputation is strictly Spanish: not so that of Carlos Quinto's
official chronicler, ANTONIO DE GUEVARA (d. 1545), a Franciscan monk
who held the bishopric of Mondoñedo. His _Reloj de Príncipes_ (Dial
of Princes), a didactic novel with Marcus Aurelius for its hero, was
originally composed to encourage his own patron to imitate the virtues
of the wisest ancient. Unluckily, however, Guevara passed his book off
as authentic history, alleging it to be a translation of a non-existent
manuscript in the Florentine collection. This brought him into trouble
with antagonists as varied as the court-fool, Francesillo de Zúñiga,
and a Sorian professor, the Bachelor Pedro de Rhua, whose _Cartas
censorias_ unmasked the imposture with malignant astuteness. But this
critical faculty was confined to the Peninsula, and North's English
translation, dedicated to Mary Tudor, popularised Guevara's name in
England, where he is believed by some authorities to have exercised
considerable influence on the style of English prose. This, however,
is not the place to discuss that most difficult question. An instance
of Guevara's better manner is offered by his _Década de los Césares_,
though even here he interpolates his own unscrupulous inventions
and embellishments, as he also does in his _Familiar Epistles_,
Englished by Edward Hellowes, Groom of the Leash, from whose version
an illustration may be borrowed:—"The property of love is to turn
the rough into plain, the cruel to gentle, the bitter to sweet, the
unsavoury to pleasant, the angry to quiet, the malicious to simple, the
gross to advised, and also the heavy to light. He that loveth, neither
can he murmur of him that doth anger him: neither deny that they ask
him: neither resist when they take from him: neither answer when they
reprove him: neither revenge if they shame him: neither yet will he
be gone when they send him away." These pompous commonplaces abound
in the _Familiar Epistles_, which, though still the most readable of
Guevara's performances, are tedious in their elaborate accumulation of
saws and instances, unimpressively collected from the four quarters of
the earth. But the rhetorical letters went the round of the world, were
translated times out of number, and were commonly called "The Golden
Letters," to denote their unique worth.

More serious and less attractive historians are Pedro Mexía
(1496-1552), whose _Historia Imperial y Cesárea_ is a careful
compilation of biographies of Roman rules from Cæsar to Maximilian,
and Florián de Ocampo (1499-1555), canon of Zamora, and an official
chronicler, who, taking the Deluge as his starting-point, naturally
enough fails to bring his dry-as-dust annals later than Roman times,
and endeavours to follow the critical canons of his time with better
intention than performance. The _Comentarios de la Guerra en Alemania_
of Luis de Ávila y Zúñiga are valuable as containing the evidence of an
acute, direct observer of events; but Ávila's exaggerated esteem for
his master causes him to convert his history into an elaborate apology.
Carlos Quinto's own dry criticism of the book is final:—"Alexander's
achievements surpassed mine—but he was less lucky in his chronicler."
The conquest of America begot a crowd of histories, of which but few
need be named here. González Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés (1478-1557),
once secretary to the Great Captain, gives an official picture of the
New World in his _Historia general y natural de Indias_, and a similar
study from an opposed and higher point of view is to be found in the
work of Bartolomé de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa (1474-1566), whose
passionate eloquence on behalf of the American Indians is displayed in
his _Brevísima relación de la destrucción de Indias_ (1552); but here
again history declines into polemics, the offices of judge and advocate
overlapping. The famous HERNÁN CORTÉS (1485-1554), _El Conquistador_,
was a man of action; but his official reports on Mexico and its
affairs are drawn up with exceeding skill, and in energy of phrase and
luminous concision may stand as models in their kind. Cortés found his
panegyrist in his chaplain, Francisco López de Gómara (1519-60), whose
interesting _Conquista de Méjico_ is an uncritical eulogy on his chief,
whom he extols at the expense of his brother adventurers. The antidote
was supplied by BERNAL DÍAZ DEL CASTILLO (fl. 1568), whose _Historia
verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España_ is a first-class example
of military indignation. "Here the chronicler Gómara in his history
says just the opposite of what really happened. Whoso reads him will
see that he writes well, and that, with proper information, he could
have stated his facts correctly: as it is, they are all lies." The
manifest honesty and simplicity of the old soldier, who shared in one
hundred and nineteen engagements and could not sleep unless in armour,
are extremely winning; his prolix ingenuousness has been admirably
rendered in our day by a descendant of the Conquistadores, M. José
María Heredia, whose French version is a triumph of translation.

Incredible tales from the Western Indies stimulated the popular
appetite for miracles in terms of fiction. Paez de Ribera added a sixth
book to _Amadís_, under the title of _Florisando_ (1510); Feliciano de
Silva wrote a seventh, ninth, tenth, and eleventh—_Lisuarte_ (1510),
_Amadís de Grecia_ (1530), _Florisel de Niquea_ (1532), and _Rogel de
Grecia_; and he would certainly have supplied the eighth book had he
not been anticipated by Juan Díaz with a second _Lisuarte_. Parallel
with _Amadís_ ran the series of _Palmerín de Oliva_ (1511), which
tradition ascribes to an anonymous lady of Augustobriga, but which
may just as well be the work of Francisco Vázquez de Ciudad Rodrigo,
as it is said to be in its first descendant _Primaleón_ (1512).
_Polindo_ (1526) continues the tale, and an unknown author pursues it
in the _Crónica del muy valiente Platir_ (1533), while _Palmerín de
Inglaterra_ (1547-48) closes the cycle. Curious readers may study this
last in the English version of Anthony Munday (1616), who commends
it as an excellent and stately history, "wherein gentlemen may find
choice of sweet inventions, and gentlewomen be satisfied in courtly
expectations." These are but a few of the extravagances of the press,
and the madness spread so wide that Carlos Quinto, admirer as he was
of _Don Belianís de Grecia_, was forced to protect the New World
against invasion by books of this class. Scarcely less numerous are the
continuations of the _Celestina_, due to the indefatigable Feliciano de
Silva, to Gaspar Gómez de Toledo, to Sancho Muñoz, and others.

A new species begins with the first picaroon novel, _Lazarillo de
Tormes_, long ascribed to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, an attribution
now commonly rejected on the authority of that distinguished Spanish
scholar, M. Alfred Morel-Fatio. There is something to be said in favour
of Mendoza's claim which may not be said for lack of space. As to
_Lazarillo de Tormes_, authorship, date and place of publication are
all uncertain: the three earliest editions known appeared at Antwerp,
Burgos, and Alcalá de Henares in 1554. It is the autobiography of
Lázaro, son of the miller, Tomé González, and the trull, Antonia
Pérez. He describes his adventures as leader of a blind man, as servant
to a miserly priest, to a starving gentleman, to a beggar-monk, to a
vendor of indulgences, to a signboard painter, to an alguazil, ending
his career in a Government post—_un oficio real_—as town-crier
of Toledo. There we leave him "at the height of all good fortune."
Lázaro's experience with the hungry hidalgo may be quoted from the
admirable archaic rendering by David Rowland, of Anglesea:—

"It pleased God to accomplish my desire and his together, for when as I
had begun my meat, as he walked, he came near to me, saying: 'Lázaro,
I promise thee thou hast the best grace in eating that ever I did see
any man have; for there is no man that seest thee eat, but seeing thee
feed, shall have appetite, although they be not a-hungered.' Then
would I say to myself, 'The hunger which thou sustainest causeth thee
to think mine so beautiful.' Then I trusted I might help him, seeing
that he had so helped himself, and had opened me the way thereto.
Wherefore I said unto him, 'Sir, the good tools make the workmen good:
this bread hath good taste, and this neat's-foot is so well sod, and
so cleanly dressed, that it is able, with the flavour of it only, to
entice any man to eat of it.' 'What? is it a neat's-foot?' 'Yes, sir.'
'Now, I promise thee it is the best morsel in the world: there is no
pheasant that I would like so well.' 'I pray thee, sir, prove of it
better and see how you like it.'... Whereupon he sitteth down by me,
and then began to eat like one that hath great need, gnawing every one
of those little bones better than any greyhound could have done for
life, saying, 'This is a singular good meal: by God, I have eaten it
with a good stomach, as if I had eaten nothing all this day before.'
Then I, with a low voice, said, 'God send me to live long as sure as
that is true.' And, having ended his victuals, he commanded me to reach
him the pot of water, which I gave him even as full as I had brought it
from the river.... We drank both, and went to bed, as the night before,
at that time well satisfied. And now, to avoid long talk, we continued
after this sort eight or nine days. The poor gentleman went every day
to brave it out in the street, to content himself with his accustomed
stately pace, and always I, poor Lázaro, was fain to be his purveyor."

Written in the most debonair, idiomatic Castilian, _Lazarillo de
Tormes_ condenses into nine chapters the cynicism, the wit, and the
resource of an observer of genius. After three hundred years, it
survives all its rivals, and may be read with as much edification and
amusement as on the day of its first appearance. It set a fashion, a
fashion that spread to all countries, and finds a nineteenth-century
manifestation in the pages of _Pickwick_; but few of its successors
match it in satirical humour, and none approach it in pregnant
concision, where no word is superfluous, and where every word tells
with consummate effect. Whoever wrote the book, he fixed for ever the
type of the comic prose epic as rendered by the needy, and he did it
in such wise as to defy all competition. Yet ill-advised competitors
were found: one, who has the grace to hide his name, at Antwerp,
continuing Lázaro's adventures by exhibiting the gay scamp as a tunny,
and a certain Juan de Luna, who, so late as 1620, converted Lázaro to a
sea-monster on show.

Mysticism finds two distinguished exponents, of whom the earlier is
the Apostle of Andalucía, the Venerable JUAN DE ÁVILA (1502-69), a
priest, who, educated at the University of Alcalá, is famous for his
sanctity, his evangelic missions in Granada, Córdoba, and Seville.
The merest accident prevented his sailing for the New World in the
suite of the Bishop of Tlaxcala, and his inopportune fervour led to
his imprisonment by the Inquisition. Most of his religious treatises,
beautiful as they are, are too technical for our purpose here; but
his _Cartas Espirituales_ are redolent of religious unction combined
with the wisest practical spirit, the most sagacious counsel, and the
rarest loving-kindness. Long practice in exhorting crowds of unlettered
sinners had purged Juan de Ávila's style of the Asiatic exuberance in
favour with Guevara and other contemporaries; and, though he considered
letters a vanity, his own practice shows him to be a master in the
accommodation of the lowliest, most familiar language to the loftiest

In the opposite camp is JUAN DE VALDÉS (d. 1541), attached in some
capacity to the court of Carlos Quinto, and suspect of heterodox
tendencies in the eyes of all good Spaniards. Francisco de Encinas
reports that Valdés found it convenient to leave Spain on account of
his opinions; but, as his twin-brother, Alfonso, continued in the
service of Carlos Quinto, and as Juan himself lived unmolested at Rome
and Naples from 1531 to his death, this story cannot be accepted. None
the less is it certain that Valdés, possibly through his friendship
with Erasmus, was drawn into the current of the Reformation. His
earliest work, written, perhaps, in collaboration with his brother,
is the anonymous _Diálogo de Mercurio y Carón_ (1528), an ingenious
fable in Lucian's manner, abounding in political and religious malice,
charged with ridicule of abuses in Church and State. Apart from its
polemical value, it is indisputably the finest prose performance of the
reign. Boscán's version of the _Cortegiano_ most nearly vies with it;
but Valdés excels Boscán in the artful construction of his periods, in
the picturesqueness and moderation of his epithets, in the variety of
his cadence, and in the refined selection of his means. It is possible
that Cervantes, at his best, may match Valdés; but Cervantes is one
of the most unequal writers in the world, while Valdés is one of the
most scrupulous and vigilant. Hence, sectarian prejudice apart, Valdés
must be accounted, if not absolutely the first, at least among the very
first masters of Castilian prose.

A curious fact in connection with one of Valdés' most popular works,
the _Ciento y diez Consideraciones divinas_, is that it has never been
printed in its original Castilian.[7] Even so the book was translated
into English by Nicholas Farrer (1638), and found favour in the eyes of
George Herbert, who commends Signior Iohn Valdesso as "a true servant
of God," "obscured in his own country," and brought by God "to flourish
in this land of light and region of the Gospel, among His chosen." It
may be expedient to give an illustration of Valdés from the version
to which Herbert stood sponsor:—"Here I will add this. That, as
liberality is so annexed to magnanimity that he cannot be magnanimous
that is not liberal, so hope and charity are so annexed unto faith
that it is impossible that he should have faith who hath not hope and
charity; it being also impossible that one should be just without
being holy and pious. But of these Christian virtues they are not
capable who have not experience in Christian matters, which they only
have who, by the gift of God and by the benefit of Christ, have faith,
hope, and charity, and so are pious, holy, and just in Christ." The
Arian flavour of this work explains its non-appearance in Castilian,
and we must suppose that Herbert esteemed it for its austere doctrinal
asceticism rather than its crude anti-trinitarianism. A Quaker before
his time, Valdés owes no small part of his recent vogue to Wiffen, who
first heard of the _Consideraciones_ through a friend as an "old work
by a Spaniard, which represented essentially the principles of George
Fox." Whatever its defects, it is the one logical presentation of the
dogmas of German mysticism, at the same time that it is a powerful,
searching psychological study of the springs of motives and the
innermost recesses of the human heart.

In another and a less contested field, we owe to Valdés the admirable
_Diálogo de la Lengua_, written at Naples in 1535-36. The personages
are four: two Italians, named Marcio and Coriolano; and two Spaniards,
Valdés himself, and a Spanish soldier, called indifferently Pacheco
and Torres. For all purposes this dialogue is as important a monument
of literary criticism as was the conversation in Don Quixote's library
between the Priest and the Barber. In almost every case posterity has
ratified the personal verdict of Valdés, who approves himself the
earliest, as well as one of the most impartial and most penetrating
among Spanish critics. Moreover, he conducts his dialogue with
extraordinary dramatic skill in the true vein of highest comedy. The
courtly grace of the two Italians, the military swagger of Pacheco,
the unwearied sagacity, the patrician wit and disdainful coolness of
Valdés himself, are given with incomparable lightness of touch and
felicity of accent. For the first time in Castilian literature we have
to do with a man of letters, urbane from study, and accomplished from
commerce with a various world. Valdés overtops all the literary figures
of Carlos Quinto's reign in natural gift and acquired accomplishment;
nor in later times do we easily find his match.


[6] Garcilaso's forty-eight Latin stanzas, written after the Danubian
imprisonment, are sufficiently unknown to justify a brief quotation
here. They occur in Antonius Thylesius' _Opera_ (Naples, 1762), pp.
128-129: _Garcilassi di Vega Toletani ad Antonium Thylesium_:—

    "_Uxore, natis, fratribus et solo
  Exul relictis, frigida per loca
  Musarum alumnus, barbarorum
  Ferre superbiam, et insolentes
    Mores coactus jam didici, et invia
  Per saxa voce in geminantia
  Fletusque, sub rauco querelas
  Murmure Danubii levare._"

[7] Boehmer gives thirty-nine _Consideraciones_ in the _Tratatidos_
(Bonn, 1880); for the sixty-fifth see Menéndez y Pelayo, _Historia de
los Heterodoxos Españoles_ (Madrid, 1880), vol. ii. p. 375.

                             CHAPTER VIII

                         THE AGE OF FELIPE II.


In Spain, as elsewhere, the secular battle waged between classicism
and romanticism. As poets sided with Boscán and Garcilaso, or with
Castillejo, so dramatists declared for the _uso antiguo_ or for the
_uso nuevo_. The partisans of the "old usage" put their trust in
prose translations. We have already seen that the roguish Villalobos
translated the _Amphitruo_ of Plautus, and Pérez de Oliva not only
repeated the performance, but gave a version of Euripides' _Hecuba_.
Encina's successor was found in the person of Miguel de Carvajal, whose
_Josefina_ deals, in classic fashion, with the tale of Joseph and his
brethren. Carvajal draws character with skill, and his dialogue lives;
but he is best remembered for his division of the play into four acts.
Editions of Vasco Díaz Tanco de Fregenal are of such extreme rarity
as to be practically inaccessible. So are the _Vidriana_ of Jaime de
Huete and the _Jacinta_ of Agustín Ortiz—two writers who are counted
as followers of Torres Naharro. A farce by the brilliant reactionary,
Cristóbal de Castillejo, entitled _Costanza_, is only known in extract,
and is as remarkable for ribaldry as for good workmanship. The _Preteo
y Tibaldo_ of Pero Álvarez de Ayllón and the _Silviana_ of Luis Hurtado
are insipid pastorals. Many contemporary plays, known only by rumour,
have disappeared—suppressed, no doubt, because of their coarseness.
Torres Naharro's _Propaladia_ was interdicted in 1540, and, eight
years later, the Cortes of Valladolid petitioned that a stop be put to
the printing of immoral comedies. The prayer was heard. Scarce a play
of any sort survives, and the few that reach us exist in copies that
are almost unique. The time for the stage was not yet. It is possible
that, had Carlos Quinto resided habitually in some Spanish capital, a
national theatre might have grown up; but the lack of Court patronage
and the classical superstition delayed the evolution of the Spanish
drama. This comes into being during the reign of Felipe _el Prudente_.

Encina's precedence in the sacred pastoral is granted; but his eclogues
were given before small, aristocratic audiences. We must look elsewhere
for the first popular dramatist, and Lope de Vega, an expert on
theatrical matters, identifies our man. "Comedies," says Lope, "are no
older than Rueda, whom many now living have heard." The gold-beater,
LOPE DE RUEDA (fl. 1558), was a native of Seville. A prefatory sonnet
to his _Medora_, written by Francisco Ledesma, informs us that Rueda
died at Córdoba, and Cervantes adds the detail that he was buried in
the cathedral there. This would go to show that a Spanish comedian was
not then a pariah; unluckily, the cathedral archives do not corroborate
the story. Taking to the boards, Lope de Rueda rose to be an _autor
de comedias_—an actor-manager and playwright. Cervantes, who speaks
enthusiastically of Rueda's acting, describes the material conditions
of the scene. "In the days of this famous Spaniard, the whole equipment
of an _autor de comedias_ could be put in a bag: it consisted of four
white sheepskins edged with gilt leather, four beards and wigs, and
four shepherd's-staves, more or less.... No figure rose, or seemed to
rise, from the bowels of the earth or from the space under the stage,
which was built up by four benches placed square-wise, with four or
six planks on top, about four hand's-breadths above ground. Still
less were clouds lowered from the sky with angels or spirits. The
theatrical scenery was an old blanket, hauled hither and thither by
two cords. This formed what they called the _vestuario_, behind which
were the musicians, who sang some old _romance_ without a guitar." This
account is substantially correct, though official documents in the
Seville archives go to prove that Cervantes unconsciously exaggerated
some details—a thing natural enough in a man recalling memories
fifty years old. A passage in the _Crónica del Condestable Miguel
Lucas Iranzo_ implies that women appeared in the early _momos_ or
_entremeses_. But Spaniards inherited the Arab notion that women are
best indoors. The fact that Rueda was the first man to choose his pitch
in the public place, and to appeal to the general, would explain his
substitution of boys for girls in the female characters. Rueda was the
first in Spain to bring the drama into the day. One of his personages
in _Eufemia_—the servant Vallejo—makes a direct appeal to the
public:—"Ye who listen, go and dine, and then come back to the square,
if you wish to see a traitor's head cut off and a true man set free."
Thenceforward the theatre becomes a popular institution.

Lope de Rueda is often called _el excelente poeta_, and his verse
is exampled in the _Prendas de Amor_, as also in the _Diálogo sobre
la Invención de las Calzas_. The _Farsa del Sordo_, included by the
Marqués de la Fuensanta del Valle in his admirable new edition of
Rueda's works, is almost certainly due to another hand. Cervantes
commends Rueda's _versos pastoriles_, but these only reach us in the
fragment which Cervantes himself quotes in _Los Baños de Argel_.
Still, it is not as a poet that Rueda lives: he is rightly remembered
as the patriarch of the Spanish stage. For his time and station he
was well read: López Madera will have it that he knew Theocritus, and
it may be so. More manifest are the Plautine touches in the _paso_
which Moratín names _El Rufián Cobarde_, with its bully, Sigüenza,
a lineal descendant of the _Miles Gloriosus_. It has been inferred
that, in choosing Italian themes, Rueda followed Torres Naharro.
This gives a wrong impression, for his debt to the Italians is far
more direct. The _Eufemia_ takes its root in the _Decamerone_, being
identical in subject with _Cymbeline_; the _Armelina_ is compounded of
Antonio Francesco Ranieri's _Attilia_, with Giovanni Maria Cecchi's
_Servigiale_; the _Engaños_ is a frank imitation of Niccolò Secchi's
_Commedia degli Inganni_; and the _Medora_ is conveyed straight from
Gigio Arthenio Giancarli's _Zingara_.[8]

Neither in his fragments of verse nor in his Italian echoes is the true
Rueda revealed. His historic importance lies in his invention of the
_paso_—a dramatic interlude turning on some simple episode: a quarrel
between Torubio and his wife Águeda concerning the price of olives not
yet planted, an invitation to dinner from the penniless licentiate
Xaquima. Rueda's most spirited work is given in the _Deleitoso
Compendio_ (1567) and in the _Registro de Representantes_ (1570), both
published by his friend, Juan de Timoneda. In a longer flight the
effect is less pleasing; the prose _Coloquio de Camila_ and its fellow,
the _Coloquio de Timbria_, are long _pasos_, complicated in development
and not drawn to scale. Still, even here there is a keen dramatic sense
of situation; while the comic extravagance of the themes—farcical
incidents in picaresque surroundings—is set off by spirited dialogue
and vigorous style. Rueda had clearly read the _Celestina_ to his
profit; and his prose, with its archaic savour, is of great purity
and power. The patriotic Lista comes as near flat blasphemy as a good
Spaniard may by mentioning Rueda in the same breath as Cervantes, and
that the latter learned much from his predecessor is manifest; but the
point need be pressed no further. Considerable as were Rueda's positive
qualities of gay wit and inventive resource, his highest merit lies in
this, that he laid the foundation-stone of the actual Spanish theatre,
and that his dramatic system became a capital factor in his people's
intellectual history.

He found instant imitators: one in a brother actor-manager, Alonso
de la Vega (d. 1566), whose _Tolomea_ is adapted from _Medora_; the
other in Luis de Miranda (fl. 1554), who dramatised the story of
the Prodigal, to which, in a monstrous fit of realism, he gave a
contemporary setting. Of Pedro Navarro or Naharro, whom Cervantes ranks
after Rueda, naught survives. Francisco de Avendaño's verse comedy
concerning Floriseo and Blancaflor had long since been forgotten were
it not for the fact that here, for the first time, a Spanish play is
divided into three acts—a convention which has endured, and for which
later writers, like Artieda, Virués, and Cervantes, ingenuously claimed
the credit. JUAN DE TIMONEDA (d. ? 1598), the Valencian bookseller who
printed Rueda's _pasos_, is a sedulous mimic in every sort. He began by
arranging Plautus' _Comedy of Errors_ in _Los Menecmos_; his _Cornelia_
is based upon Ariosto's _Nigromante_; and his _Oveja Perdida_ adapts
an early morality on the Lost Sheep with scarcely a suggestion of
original treatment. Torres Naharro is the inspiration of Timoneda's
_Aurelia_; but his chief tempter was Lope de Rueda. In the volume
entitled _Turiana_ (1565), issued under the anagrammatic name of Joan
Diamonte, he attempts the _paso_ (which he also calls the _entremés_)
to good purpose. An imitator he remains; but an imitator whose pleasant
humour takes the place of invention, and whose lively prose dialogue
is in excellent contrast with his futile verse. His _Patrañuelo_, a
collection of some twenty traditional stories, is a well-meant attempt
to satisfy the craving created by _Lazarillo de Tormes_. If Timoneda
experimented in every field, it is not unjust to infer that, taking
the tradesman's view of literature, he was moved less by intelligent
curiosity than by the desire to supply his customers with novelties.
Withal, if he be not individual, his unpolished drolleries are vastly
more engaging than the ambitious triflings of many contemporaries.

Pacheco, the father-in-law of Velázquez, notes that Juan de Malara
(1527-71) composed "many tragedies" both in Latin and Castilian; and
Cueva, in his _Ejemplar poético_, gives the number hyperbolically:—

  "_En el teatro mil tragedias puso._"

That Malara, or any one save Lope de Vega, "placed a thousand tragedies
on the boards," is incredible; but by general consent his fecundity
was prodigious. None of his plays survives, and we are left to gather,
from a chance remark of the author's, that he wrote a tragedy entitled
_Absalón_ and another drama called _Locusta_. His repute as a poet
must be accepted, if at all, on authority; for his extant imitations
of Virgil and renderings of Martial are mere technical exercises.
For us he is best represented by his _Filosofía vulgar_ (1568), an
admirable selection made from the six thousand proverbs brought
together by Hernán Núñez, who thus continued what Santillana had begun.
A contemporary, Blasco de Garay (fl. 1553), had striven to prove the
resources of the language by printing, in his _Cartas de Refranes_,
three ingenious letters wholly made up of proverbial phrases; and in
our own day the incomparable wealth of Castilian proverbs has been
shown in Sbarbi's _Refranero General_ and in Haller's _Altspanische
Sprichtwörter_. But no later and fuller collection has supplanted
Malara's learned and vivacious commentary.

His friend, JUAN DE LA CUEVA DE GAROZA of Seville (?1550-?1606),
matched Malara in productiveness, and perhaps surpassed him in talent.
Little is known of Cueva's life, save that he had certain love passages
with Brígida Lucía de Belmonte, and that he became almost insane
for a short while after her death. He distinguishes himself by his
independence of the Senecan example, which he roundly declares to be
at once inartistic and tedious (_cansada cosa_), and by urging the
Spanish dramatists to abjure abstractions and to treat national themes
without regard for Greek and Latin superstitions. Incident, character,
plot, situation, variety: these are to be developed with small regard
for "the unities" of the classic model. And Cueva carried out his
doctrines. Ignoring Carvajal, he took a special pride in reducing
plays from five acts to four, and he enriched the drama by introducing
a multitude of metrical forms hitherto unknown upon the stage. The
cunning fable of the people—_la ingeniosa fábula de España_—is
illustrated in his _Siete Infantes de Lara_, in his _Cerco de Zamora_
(Siege of Zamora), where he utilises subjects enshrined in _romances_
which half his audience knew by heart. It is literally true that he
had been preceded by Bartolomé Palau, who, as far back as 1524, had
written a play on a national subject—the _Historia de la gloriosa
Santa Orosia_, published in 1883 by Fernández-Guerra y Orbe; but this
was an isolated, fruitless essay, whereas Cueva's was a deliberate,
well-organised attempt to shape the drama anew and to quicken it
into active life. Nor did Cueva's mission end with indicating the
possibilities of dramatic motive afforded by heroico-popular songs and
legends. His _Saco de Roma y Muerte de Borbón_ exploits an historical
actuality by dramatising Carlos Quinto's Italian triumphs (1527-30);
and his _El Infamador_ (The Calumniator) not merely foreshadows the
_comedia de capa y espada_, but gives us in his libertine, Leucino, the
first sketch of the type which Tirso de Molina was to eternalise as Don

It is certain that Cueva was often less successful in performance than
in doctrine, and that his gods and devils, his saints and ruffians,
too often talk in the same lofty vein—the vein of Juan de la Cueva.
It is no less certain that he improvises recklessly, placing his
characters in difficulties whence escape is impossible, and that
he takes the first solution that offers—a murder, a supernatural
interposition—with no heed for plausibility. But his bombast is the
trick of his school, and, to judge by his epical _Conquista de la
Bética_ (1603), he showed remarkable self-suppression in his plays.
In his later years, after visiting the Western Indies, he seems to
have abandoned the theatre which he had so courageously developed,
and to have wasted himself upon his epic and the poor confection of
old ballads which he published in the ten books entitled _Coro Febeo
de Romances historiales_. Yet, despite these backslidings, he merits
gratitude for his dramatic initiative.

The Galician Dominican, Gerónimo Bermúdez (1530-89), apologises for his
presentation in Castilian of the _Nise Lastimosa_, which he published
under the name of Antonio de Silva in 1577. Bermúdez has seemingly done
little more than rearrange the _Inez de Castro_ of the distinguished
Portuguese poet, Antonio Ferreira, who had died eight years earlier.
Though this "correct" play has tirades of remarkable beauty in the
Senecan manner, its loose construction unfits it for the stage. All
that it contains of good is due to Ferreira, and its continuation—the
_Nise Laureada_—is a mere collection of incoherent extravagances and
brutalities, conceived in Thomas Kyd's most frenzied mood.

The Captain ANDRÉS REY DE ARTIEDA (1549-1613) is said to have been
born at Valencia, and he certainly died there; yet Lope de Vega,
once his friend, speaks of him as a native of Zaragoza. Artieda was
a brilliant soldier, who received three wounds at Lepanto, and his
conspicuous bravery was shown in the Low Countries, where he swam the
Ems in mid-winter under the enemy's fire, with his sword between his
teeth. He is known to have written plays entitled _Amadís de Gaula_ and
_Los Encantos de Merlín_, but his one extant drama is _Los Amantes_:
the first appearance on the stage of those lovers of Teruel who were
destined to attract Tirso de Molina, Montalbán, and Hartzenbusch.
Artieda is essentially a follower of Cueva's, and he has something of
his model's clumsy manipulation; but his dramatic instinct, his pathos
and tenderness, are his personal endowment. In his own day he was an
innovator in his kind: his opposition to the methods of Lope made him
unpopular, and condemned him to an unmerited neglect, which he bitterly
resented in the miscellaneous _Discursos, epístolas y epigramas_,
published by him (1605) under the name of Artemidoro.

Another dramatist and friend of Lope de Vega's was the Valencian
Captain CRISTÓBAL DE VIRUÉS (1550-1610), Artieda's comrade at Lepanto
and in the Low Countries. Unfortunately for himself, Virués had his
share of learning, and misused it in his _Semíramis_, an absurd
medley of pedantry and horror. His _Átila Furioso_, involving more
slaughter than many an outpost engagement, is the maddest caricature of
romanticism. He appears to think that indecency is comedy, and that the
way to terror lies through massacre. It is the eternal fault of Spain,
this forcing of the note; and it would seem that Virués repented him in
_Elisa Dido_, where he returns to the apparatus of the Senecan school.
Yet, with all their defects, his earlier attempts were better, inasmuch
as they presaged a new method, and a determination to have done with a
sterile formula. He essayed the epic in his _Historia del Monserrate_,
and once more courted disaster by his choice of subject: the outrage
and murder of the Conde de Barcelona's daughter by the hermit Juan
Garín, the Roman pilgrimage of the assassin, and the miraculous
resurrection of his victim. As in his plays, so in his epic, Virués is
an inventor without taste, brilliant in a single page and intolerable
in twenty. His tactless fluency bade for applause at any cost, and
his incessant care to startle and to terrify results in a monstrous
monotony. Yet, if he failed himself, his exaggerated protest encouraged
others to seek a more perfect way, and, though he had no direct
influence on the stage, he is interesting as an embodied remonstrance.

His mantle was caught by Joaquín Romero de Cepeda of Badajoz (fl.
1582), whose _Selvajía_ is a dramatic arrangement of the _Celestina_,
with extravagant episodes suggested by the chivalresque novels; and
in the opposite camp is the Aragonese LUPERCIO LEONARDO DE ARGENSOLA
(1559-1613), whom Cervantes esteemed almost as good a dramatist as
himself—which, from Cervantes' standpoint, is saying much. Cervantes
praises Argensola, not merely because his plays "delighted and amazed
all who heard them," but for the practical reason that "these three
alone brought in more money than thirty of the best given since their
time." If it be uncharitable to conceive that this aims at Lope de
Vega, we are bound to suppose that Argensola's popularity was immense.
It was also fleeting. His _Filis_ has disappeared, and his _Isabela_
and _Alejandra_ were not printed till 1772, when López de Sedano
included them in his _Parnaso Español_. The _Alejandra_ is a tissue
of butcheries, and the _Isabela_ is scarcely better, the nine chief
characters being killed out of hand. Argensola's excuse is that he
was only a lad of twenty when he perpetrated these iniquities; where,
for the rest, he already proves himself endowed with that lyrical
gift which was to win for him the not excessive title of "the Spanish
Horace." But he was never reconciled to his defeat as a dramatist, and
he avenged himself in 1597 by inditing a spiteful letter to the King,
praying that the prohibition of plays on the occasion of the Queen
of Piedmont's death should be made permanent. The urbanity of men of
letters is, it will be seen, constant everywhere.

                   *       *       *       *       *

The school founded by Boscán and Garcilaso spread into Portugal,
and bifurcated into Spanish factions settled in Salamanca and in
Seville. BALTASAR DE ALCÁZAR (1530-1606), who served under that stout
sea-dog the Marqués de Santa Cruz, is technically an adherent of the
Sevillan sect; but his laughing muse lends herself with an ill grace
to artificial sentiment, and is happiest in stinging epigrams, in
risky jests, and in gay _romances_. DIEGO GIRÓN (d. 1590), a pupil of
Malara's, is an ardent Italianate: prompt to challenge comparison with
Garcilaso by reproducing Corydon and Tirsis from the seventh Virgilian
eclogue, to mimic Seneca—"him of Córdoba dead"—or to echo the note of
Giorolamo Bosso. His verses, mostly hidden away among the annotations
made by Herrera in his edition of Garcilaso, deserve to be better known
for specimens of sound craftsmanship.

The greatest poet of the Sevillan group is indisputably FERNANDO DE
HERRERA (1534-97), who comes into touch with England as the writer of
an eulogy on Sir Thomas More. Cleric though he were, Herrera dedicated
much of his verse (1582) to Leonor de Milán, Condesa de Gelves, wife
of Álvaro de Portugal, himself a fashionable versifier. Herrera being
a clerk in minor orders, the situation is piquant, and opinions differ
as to whether his erotic songs are, or are not, platonic. It is another
variant of the classic cases of Laura and Petrarch, of Catalina de
Atayde and Camões. All good Sevillans contend that Herrera, as the
chief of Spanish _petrarquistas_, indited sonnets to his mistress in
imitation of the master:—

  "_So the great Tuscan to the beauteous Laura
  Breathed his sublime, his wonder-working song._"

Disguised as Eliodora, Leonor is Herrera's firmament: his _luz_,
_sol_, _estrella_—light, sun, and star. And no small part of the
love-sequence is passionless and even frigid. Yet not all the elegies
are compact of conceit; a genuine emotion bursts forth elsewhere than
in the famous line:—

  "_Now sorrow passes: now at length I live._"

In view of the poet's metaphysical refinements no decisive judgment is
possible, and the dispute will continue for all time; perhaps the real
posture of affairs is indicated by Latour's happy phrase concerning
Herrera's "innocent immorality."

Fine as are isolated passages in these "vain, amatorious" rhapsodies,
the true Herrera is best revealed in his ode to Don Juan de Austria on
the occasion of the Moorish revolt in the Alpujarra, in his elegy on
the death of Sebastian of Portugal at Alcázar al-Kebir, in his song
upon the victory of Lepanto. In patriotism Herrera found his noblest
inspiration, and in these three great pieces he attains an exceptional
energy and conciseness of form. He sings the triumph of the true
faith with an Hebraic fervour, a stateliness derived from biblical
cadences, as he mourns the overthrow of Christianity, "the weapons of
war perished," in accents of profound affliction. His sincerity and
his lyrical splendour place him in the foremost rank of his country's
singers; and hence his title of _El divino_.

Differing in temperament from Garcilaso, Herrera may be considered as
the true inheritor of his predecessor's unfulfilled renown. Two of
his finest sonnets—one to Carlos Quinto, the other to Don Juan de
Austria—are superior to any in Garcilaso's page. The latter may be
exampled here in Archdeacon Churton's rendering:—

  "_Deep sea, whose thundering waves in tumult roar,
    Call forth thy troubled spirit—bid him rise,
    And gaze, with terror pale, and hollow eyes,
  On floods all flashing fire, and red with gore.
  Lo! as in list enclosed, on battle-floor
    Christian and Sarzan, life and death the prize,
    Join conflict: lo! the batter'd Paynim flies;
  The din, the smouldering flames, he braves no more.
  Go, bid thy deep-toned bass with voice of power
    Tell of this mightiest victory under sky,
    This deed of peerless valour's highest strain;
  And say a youth achieved the glorious hour,
    Hallowing thy gulf with praise that ne'er shall die,—
    The youth of Austria, and the might of Spain._"

Herrera takes up the tradition of his forerunner, perfects his form,
imparts a greater sonority of expression, a deeper note of pathos and
dignity. The soldier, with his languid sentiment, might be the priest;
the priest, with his martial music, might be the soldier. Yet Herrera's
fealty never wavers; for him there is but one model, one pattern, one
perfect singer. "In our Spain," he avers, "Garcilaso stands first,
beyond compare." And in this spirit, aided by suggestions from the
poet's son-in-law, Puerto Carrero, aided also by illustrations from
the whole Sevillan group,—Francisco de Medina, Diego Girón, Francisco
Pacheco, and Cristóbal Mosquera de Figueroa,—Herrera undertook his
commentary, _Anotaciones á las obras de Garcilaso de la Vega_ (1580).
Its publication caused one of the bitterest quarrels in Spanish
literary history.

Four years earlier Garcilaso had been edited by the learned Francisco
Sánchez (1523-1601), commonly called _El Brocense_, from Las Brozas,
his birthplace, in Extremadura; and an excitable admirer of the poet,
Francisco de los Cobos, denounced Sánchez for exhibiting his author's
debts by means of parallel passages. The partisans of Sánchez took
Herrera's commentary as a challenge, and were not mollified by the fact
that Herrera nowhere mentioned Sánchez by name. It had been bad enough
that an Extremaduran pundit should edit a Castilian poet; that a mere
Andalucían should repeat the outrage was insufferable. It was as though
an Englishman edited Burns. The Clan of Clonglocketty (or of Castile)
rose as one man, and Herrera was flagellated by a tribe of scurrilous,
illiterate patriots. Among his more urbane opponents was Juan Fernández
de Velasco, Conde de Haro, son of the Constable of Spain, who published
his _Observaciones_ under the pseudonym of Prete Jacopín, and was
rapturously applauded for calling Herrera an ass in a lion's skin. It
is discouraging to record that Haro's impertinence went through several
editions, while Herrera's commentary has never been reprinted.[9] Yet
this monument of enlightened learning reveals its author, not only
as the best lyrist, but as the acutest critic of his age. Cervantes
knew it almost by heart, and he honoured it by writing his dedication
of _Don Quixote_ to the Duque de Béjar in the very words of Medina's
preface and of Herrera's epistle to the Marqués de Ayamonte. So that,
since countless readers have admired a passage from the _Anotaciones_
without knowing it, Herrera the prose-writer has enjoyed a vicarious

The most eminent poet of the Salamancan school is LUIS PONCE DE LEÓN
(1529-91), a native of Belmonte de Cuenca, who joined the Augustinian
order in his eighteenth year, and became professor of theology at the
University of Salamanca in 1561. He soon found himself in the midst of
a theological squabble as to the comparative merits of the Septuagint
and the Hebrew MSS. Rivals spread the legend—fatal in Spain—that
he was of Jewish descent, and that he conspired with the Hebrew
professors, Martínez de Cantalapiedra and Grajal, in interpreting
Scripture according to Jewish traditions. His chief opponent was
León de Castro, who held the Greek chair. Public discussions were
the fashion, and debates waxed acrimonious, after the custom of
professors at large. On one occasion Luis de León went so far as to
threaten Castro with the public burning of the latter's treatise
on Isaiah. Castro was not the man to flinch, and anticipated his
enemy by denouncing Fray Luis to the Inquisition. The matter would
doubtless have ended here, had it not been discovered that Fray Luis
had translated the _Song of Solomon_ into Castilian: a grave offence
in the eyes of the Holy Office, which, rejecting the Lutheran formula
of "every man his own pope," forbade the circulation of Bibles in the
vernacular. In March 1572 Luis de León was arrested, and was kept a
prisoner by the local authorities for four and a half years, during
which he was baited with questions calculated to convict him of heresy
and to involve his friend Benito Arias Montano. Notwithstanding the
efforts of Bartolomé Medina and his brother-Dominicans, Fray Luis
was acquitted on December 7, 1576. Judged by modern standards, he
was harshly treated; but toleration is a modern birth, begotten by
indifference and fear. In the sixteenth century men believed what they
professed, and acted on their beliefs—the Spaniards by imprisoning
their own countryman, Luis de León; Calvin by burning Harvey's
forerunner, the Spaniard Miguel Servet. Fray Luis was the last of
men to whine and whimper: he was judged by the tribunal of his own
choosing, the tribunal with which he had menaced Castro: and the result
vindicated his choice.[10] _Ex forti dulcedo_. The indomitable nobility
of his character is visible in the first words he uttered on his return
to the chair which Salamanca had kept for him:—"Gentlemen, as we were
saying the other day." In 1591 he was elected Vicar-General of Castile,
was chosen Provincial of his order, and was then commanded, against his
will, to publish all his writings. He died ten days later.

In prison Fray Luis wrote his celebrated treatise, the greatest
of Spanish mystic books, _Los Nombres de Cristo_, a series of
dissertations, in Plato's manner, on the symbolic value of such names
of Christ as the Mount, the Shepherd, the Arm of God, the Prince of
Peace, the Bridegroom. Published in 1583, the exposition is cast in
the form of a dialogue, in which Marcelo, Sabino, and Julián examine
the theological mysteries implied by the subject. With Fray Luis's
theology we have no concern; nor with his learning, save in so far as
it is curious to see the Hellenic-Alexandrine leaven working through
in his imitation of St. Clement's _Epistle to the Corinthians_. But
his concise eloquence and his classic purity of expression rank him
among the best masters of Castilian prose. The like great qualities
are shown in his _Exposición del libro de Job_, drawn up by request of
Santa Teresa's friend, Sor Ana de Jesús, and in his rendering of and
commentary on the _Song of Solomon_, which he holds for an emblematic
eclogue to be interpreted as a poetic foreshadowing of the Divine
Espousal of the Church with Christ. A book still held in great esteem
is his _Perfecta Casada_ (The Perfect Wife), suggested, it may be, by
Luis Vives' _Christian Woman_, and composed (1583) for the benefit of
María Varela Osorio. It is not, indeed,

  "_That hymn for which the whole world longs,
    A worthy hymn in woman's praise._"

It is rather a singularly brilliant paraphrase of the thirty-first
chapter of the _Book of Proverbs_, a code of practical conduct for the
ideal spouse, which may be read with delight even by those who think
the friar's doctrine reactionary.

Great in prose, Luis de León is no less great in verse. With San Juan
de la Cruz he heads the list of Spain's lyrico-mystical poets. Yet he
set no value on his poems, which he regarded as mere toys of childhood:
so that their preservation is due to the accident of his collecting
them late in life to amuse the leisure of the Bishop of Córdoba.
We owe their publication to Quevedo, who issued them in 1631 as a
counterblast to _culteranismo_. Of the three books into which they are
divided, two consist of translations—from Virgil, Horace, Tibullus,
Euripides, and Pindar; and from the Psalms, the Book of Job, and St.
Thomas of Aquin's _Pange lingua_. "I have tried," says Fray Luis of his
sacred renderings, "to imitate so far as I might their simple origin
and antique flavour, full of sweetness and majesty, as it seems to me;"
and he succeeds as greatly in the primitive unction of the one kind
as in the faultless form of the other. Still these are but inspired
imitations, and the original poet is to be sought for in the first
book. Some idea of his ode entitled _Noche Serena_ may be gathered from
Mr. Henry Phillips' version of the opening stanzas:—

  "_When to the heavenly dome my thoughts take flight,
  With shimmering stars bedecked, ablaze with light,
      Then sink my eyes down to the ground,
      In slumber wrapped, oblivion bound,
  Enveloped in the gloom of darkest night._

  _With love and pain assailed, with anxious care,
  A thousand troubles in my breast appear,
      My eyes turn to a flowing rill,
      Sore sorrow's tearful floods distil,
  While saddened, mournful words my woes declare._

  _Oh, dwelling fit for angels! sacred fane!
  The hallowed shrine where youth and beauty reign!
      Why in this dungeon, plunged in night,
      The soul that's born for Heaven's delight
  Should cruel Fate withhold from its domain?_"

In his _Profecía del Tajo_ (Prophecy of the Tagus) Luis de León
displays a virility absent from his other pieces, and the impetuosity
of the verse matches the speed which he attributes to the Saracenic
invaders advancing to the overthrow of Roderic; and, if he still
abide by his Horatian model, he introduces an individual treatment,
a characteristic melody of his own invention. A famous devout song,
_Á Cristo Crucifijado_ (To Christ Crucified), appears in all editions
of Fray Luis; but as its authenticity is disputed—some ascribing it
to Miguel Sánchez—its quotation must be foregone here. The ode _Al
Apartamiento_ (To Retirement) exhibits the contemplative vein which
distinguishes the singer, and, as in the _Ode to Salinas_, seems an
early anticipation of Wordsworth's note of serene simplicity. Luis
de León is not splendid in metrical resource, and his adherence to
tradition, his indifference to his fame, his ecclesiastical estate, all
tend to narrow his range of subject; yet, within the limits marked out
for him, he is as great an artist and as rich a voice as Spain can show.

In the same year (1631) that Quevedo issued Luis de León's verses, he
also published an exceedingly small volume of poems which he ascribed
to a Bachelor named FRANCISCO DE LA TORRE (1534-?1594). From this arose
a strange case of mistaken identity. Quevedo's own account of the
matter is simple: he alleges that he found the poems—"by good luck and
for the greater glory of Spain"—in the shop of a bookseller, who sold
them cheap. It appears that the Portuguese, Juan de Almeida, Senhor de
Couto de Avintes, saw them soon after Torre's death, that he applied
for leave to print them, and that the official licence was signed by
the author of _La Araucana_, Ercilla y Zúñiga, who died in 1595. For
some reason Almeida's purpose miscarried, and, when Quevedo found the
manuscript in 1629, Torre was generally forgotten. Quevedo solved
the difficulty out of hand in the high editorial manner, evolved the
facts from his inner consciousness, and assured his readers that the
author of the poems was the Francisco de la Torre who wrote the _Visión

Ticknor lays it down that "no suspicion seems to have been whispered,
either at the moment of their first publication, or for a long time
afterwards," of the correctness of this attribution; and he implies
that the first doubter was Luis José Velázquez, Marqués de Valdeflores,
who, when he reprinted the book in 1753, started the theory that the
poems were Quevedo's own. This is not so. Quevedo's mistake was pointed
out by Manuel de Faria y Sousa in his commentary to the _Lusiadas_,
printed at Madrid in 1639. That Quevedo should make a Bachelor of a
man who had no university degree, that he should call the writer of
the _Visión deleitable_ Francisco when in truth his name was Alfonso,
were trifles: that he should antedate his author by nearly two
centuries—this was a serious matter, and Faria y Sousa took pains to
make him realise it. It must have added to the editor's chagrin to
learn that Torre had been friendly with Lope de Vega, who could have
given accurate information about him; but Lope and Quevedo were not on
speaking terms, owing to the mischief-making of the former's parasite,
Pérez de Montalbán. Quevedo had made no approach to Lope; Lope saw the
blunder, smiled, and said nothing in public. Through Pérez de Montalbán
the facts reached Faria y Sousa, who exulted over a mistake which was,
indeed, unpardonable. The discomfiture was complete: for the first and
last time in his life Quevedo was dumb before an enemy. Meanwhile,
Velázquez' theory has found some favour with López Sedano and with many
foreign critics: as, for example, Ticknor.

What we know of Francisco de la Torre is based upon the researches of
Quevedo's learned editor, Aureliano Fernández-Guerra y Orbe.[12] A
native of Torrelaguna, he matriculated at Alcalá de Henares in 1556,
fell in love with the "_Filis rigurosa_" whom he sings, served with
Carlos Quinto in the Italian campaigns, returned to find Filis married
to an elderly Toledan millionaire, remained constant to his (more
or less) platonic flame, and ended by taking orders in his despair.
The unadorned simplicity of his manner is at the remotest pole from
Quevedo's frosty brilliancy. No small proportion of his sonnets is
translated from the Italian. Thus, where Benedetto Varchi writes
"_Questa e, Tirsi, quel fonte in cui solea_," Torre follows close with
"_Ésta es, Tirsi, la fuente do solia_;" and when Giovanni Battista
Amalteo celebrates "_La viva neve e le vermiglie rose_," the Spaniard
echoes back "_La blanca nieve y la purpúrea rosa_." Schelling finds
the light fantastic rapture of the Elizabethan lover expressed to
perfection in the eighty-first of Spenser's _Amoretti_: line for line,
and almost word for word, Torre's twenty-third sonnet is identical,
and, when we at length possess a critical edition of Spenser, it will
surely prove that both poems derive from a common Italian source.
Such examples are numerous, and are worth noting as germane to the
general question. No man in Europe was more original than Quevedo,
none less disposed to lean on Italy. To conceive that he should seek
to reform _culteranismo_ by translating from Italians of yesterday, or
to suppose that he knowingly passed as original work imitations made
by a man who—_ex hypothesi_—died before his models were born, is to
believe Quevedo a clumsy trickster. That conclusion is untenable; and
Torre deserves all credit for his graceful renderings, as for his more
original poems—gallant, tender, and sentimental. He is one of the
earliest Spanish poets to choose simple, natural themes—the ivy fallen
to the ground, the widowed song-bird, the wounded hind, the charms
of landscape and the enchantment of the spring. A smaller replica of
Garcilaso, with a vision and personality of his own: so Francisco de la
Torre appears in the perspective of Castilian song.

An allied poet of the Salamancan school is Torre's friend, FRANCISCO DE
FIGUEROA (1536-?1620), a native of Alcalá de Henares, whom his townsman
Cervantes introduces in the pastoral _Galatea_ under the name of Tirsi.
Little is recorded of his life save that he served as a soldier in
Italy, that he studied at Rome, Bologna, Siena, and perhaps Naples,
that the Italians called him the _Divino_ (the title was sometimes
cheaply given), and that some even ranked him next to Petrarch. He
returned to Alcalá, where he married "nobly," as we are told; and he is
found travelling with the Duque de Terranova in the Low Countries about
1597. On his deathbed he bethought him of Virgil's example, and ordered
that all his poems should be burned; those that escaped were published
at Lisbon in 1626 by the historian Luis Tribaldos de Toledo, who
reports what little we know concerning the writer. That he versified
much in Italian appears from Juan Verzosa's evidence:—

  "_El lingua perges alterna pangere versus._"

And a vestige of the youthful practice is preserved in the elegy to
Juan de Mendoza y Luna, where one Spanish line and two Italian lines
compose each tercet. One admirable sonnet is that written on the death
of the poet's son, Garcilaso de la Vega _el Mozo_, who, like his famous
father, fell in battle. Figueroa's bent is towards the pastoral; he
sings of sweet repose, of love's costly glory, of Tirsi's pangs,
of Fileno's passion realised, and of _ingrata_ Fili. His points of
resemblance with Torre are many; but his talent is more original, his
mood more melancholy, his taste finer, his diction more exquisite. He
ranks so high among his country's singers, it is not incredible that
he might take his stand with the greatest if we possessed all his
poems, instead of a few numbers saved from fire. And, as it is, he
deserves peculiar praise as the earliest poet who, following Boscán
and Garcilaso, mastered the blank verse, whose secrets had eluded
them. He avoids the subtle peril of the assonant; he varies the
mechanical uniformity of beat or stress; and, by skilful alternations
of his cæsura, diversifies his rhythm to such harmonic purpose as no
earlier experimentalist approaches. At his hands the most formidable
of Castilian metres is finally vanquished, and the _verso suelto_
is established on an equality with the sonnet. That alone ensures
Figueroa's fame: he sets the standard by which successors are measured.

Ariosto's vigorous epical manner is faintly suggested in twelve cantos
of the _Angélica_, by a Seville doctor, LUIS BARAHONA DE SOTO (fl.
1586). Lope de Vega, in the _Laurel de Apolo_, praises

  "_The doctor admirable
  Whose page of gold
  The story of Medora told_,"

and all contemporaries, from Diego Hurtado de Mendoza downwards,
swell the chorus of applause. The priest who sacked Don Quixote's
library softened at sight of Barahona's book, which he calls by its
popular title, the _Lágrimas de Angélica_ (Tears of Angelica):—"I
should shed tears myself were such a book burned, for its author is
one of the best poets, not merely in Spain, but in all the world."
Cervantes was far from strong in criticism, and he proves it in this
case. The _Angélica_, which purports to continue the story of _Orlando
Furioso_—itself a continuation of the _Orlando Innamorato_—looks
mean beside its great original. Yet, though Barahona fails in epic
narrative, his lyrical poems, given in Espinosa's _Flores de poetas
ilustres_, are full of grace and melody.

The epic's fascination also seduced the Córdoban, JUAN RUFO GUTIÉRREZ.
We know the date of neither his birth nor his death, but he must have
lived long if his collection of anecdotes, entitled _Las seiscientas
Apotegmas_, were really published in 1548. His _Austriada_, printed in
1584, takes Don Juan de Austria for its hero, and contains some good
descriptive stanzas; but Rufo's invention finds no scope in dealing
with contemporary matters, and what might have been a useful chronicle
is distorted to a tedious poem. Great part of the _Austriada_ is but a
rhymed version of Mendoza's _Guerra de Granada_, which Rufo must have
seen in manuscript. When, leaving Ariosto in peace, he becomes himself,
as in the verses at the end of the _Apotegmas_, he gives forth a
natural old-world note, reminiscent of earlier models than Boscán and
Garcilaso. Since Luis de Zapata (1523-? 1600) wrote an epic history
of the Emperor, the _Carlos famoso_, he must have read it; and it is
possible that Cervantes (who delighted in it) was familiar with its
fifty cantos, its forty thousand lines. It is more than can be said
of any later reader. Zapata wasted thirteen years upon his epic, and
witnessed its failure; but he was undismayed, and lived to maltreat
Horace—it sounds incredible—beyond all expectation. It is another
instance of a mistaken calling. The writer knew his facts, and had a
touch of the historic spirit. Yet he could not be content with prose
and history.

A nearer approach to the right epical poem is the _Araucana_ of ALONSO
DE ERCILLA Y ZÚÑIGA (1533-95), who appeared as Felipe II.'s page at his
wedding with Mary Tudor in Winchester Cathedral. From England he sailed
for Chile in 1554, to serve against the Araucanos, who had risen in
revolt; and in seven pitched battles, not to speak of innumerable small
engagements, he greatly distinguished himself. His career was ruined by
a quarrel with a brother-officer named Juan de Pineda; he was judged to
be in fault, was condemned to death, and actually mounted the scaffold.
At the last moment the sentence was commuted to exile at Callao, whence
Ercilla returned to Europe in 1562. With him he brought the first
fifteen cantos of his poem, written by the camp-fire on stray scraps
of paper, leather, and skin. The first book ever printed in America
was, as we learn from Señor Icazbalceta, Juan de Zumárraga's _Breve
y compendiosa Doctrina Cristiana_. The first literary work of real
merit composed in either American continent was Ercilla's _Araucana_.
It was published at Madrid in 1569; and continuations, amounting to
thirty-seven cantos in all, followed in 1578 and 1590. Ercilla never
forgave what he thought the injustice of his general, García Hurtado de
Mendoza, Marqués de Cañete, and carefully omits his name throughout the
_Araucana_. The omission cost him dear, for he was never employed again.

His is an exceeding stately poem on the Chilian revolt; but epic it
is not, whether in spirit or design, whether in form or effect. In
the Essay Prefatory to the _Henriade_, Voltaire condescends to praise
the _Araucana_, the name of which has thus become familiar to many;
and, though he was probably writing at second hand, he is justified
in extolling the really noble speech which Ercilla gives to the aged
chief, Colocolo. It is precisely in declamatory eloquence that Ercilla
shines. His technical craftsmanship is sound, his spirit admirable,
his diction beyond reproach, or nearly so; and yet his work, as a
whole, fails to impress. Men remember isolated lines, a stanza here
and there; but the general effect is blurred. To speak truly, Ercilla
had the orator's temperament, not the poet's. At his worst he is
debating in rhyme, at his best he is writing poetic history; and,
though he has an eye for situation, an instinct for the picturesque,
the historian in him vanquishes the poet. He himself was vaguely
conscious of something lacking, and he strove to make it good by means
of mythological episodes, visions by Bellona, magic foreshadowings of
victory, digressions defending Dido from Virgil's scandalous tattle.
But, since the secret of the epic lies not in machinery, this attempt
at reform failed. Ercilla's first part remains his best, and is still
interesting for its martial eloquence, and valuable as a picture
of heroic barbarism rendered by an artist in _ottava rima_ who was
also a vigilant observer and a magnanimous foe. His omission of his
commander's name was made good by a copious Chilian poet, Pedro de
Oña, in his _Arauco domado_ (1596), which closed with the capture of
"Richerte Aquines" (as who should say Richard Hawkins); and, in the
following year, Diego de Santisteban y Osorio added a fourth and fifth
part to the original _Araucana_. Neither imitation is of real poetic
worth, and, as versified history, they are inferior to the _Elegías
de Varones ilustres de Indias_ of Juan de Castellanos (?1510-?1590),
a priest who in youth had served in America, and who rhymed his
reminiscences with a conscientious regard for fact more laudable in a
chronicler than a poet.

But we turn from these elaborate historical failures to religious work
of real beauty, and the first that offers itself is the famous sonnet
"To Christ Crucified," familiar to English readers in a free version
ascribed to Dryden:—

  "_O God, Thou art the object of my love,
  Not for the hopes of endless joys above,
  Nor for the fear of endless pains below
  Which those who love Thee not must undergo:
  For me, and such as me, Thou once didst bear
  The ignominious cross, the nails, the spear,
  A thorny crown transpierced Thy sacred brow,
  What bloody sweats from every member flow!
  For me, in torture Thou resign'st Thy breath,
  Nailed to the cross, and sav'dst me by Thy death:
  Say, can these sufferings fail my heart to move?
  What but Thyself can now deserve my love?
  Such as then was and is Thy love to me,
  Such is, and shall be still, my love to Thee.
  Thy love, O Jesus, may I ever sing,
  O God of love, kind Parent, dearest King._"

The authorship is referred to Ignacio Loyola, to Francisco Xavier, to
Pedro de los Reyes, and to the Seraphic Mother, SANTA TERESA DE JESÚS,
whose name in the world was Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada (1515-82). None
of these attributions can be sustained, and _No me mueve, mi Dios,
para quererte_ must be classed as anonymous.[13] Yet its fervour and
unction are such as to suggest its ascription to the Saint of the
Flaming Heart. Santa Teresa is not only a glorious saint and a splendid
figure in the annals of religious thought: she ranks as a miracle of
genius, as, perhaps, the greatest woman who ever handled pen, the
single one of all her sex who stands beside the world's most perfect
masters. Macaulay has noted, in a famous essay, that Protestantism has
gained not an inch of ground since the middle of the sixteenth century.
Ignacio Loyola and Santa Teresa are the life and brain of the Catholic
reaction: the former is a great party chief, the latter belongs to

Her life in all its details may be read in Mrs. Cunninghame Graham's
minute and able study. Here it must suffice to note that she sallied
forth to seek martyrdom at the age of seven, that she entered
literature as the writer of a chivalresque romance, and that in her
sixteenth year she made her profession as a nun in the Carmelite
convent of her native town, Ávila. Years of spiritual aridity, of
ill-health, weighed her down, aged her prematurely. But nothing
could abate her natural force; and from 1558 to the day of her
death she marches from one victory to another, careless of pain,
misunderstanding, misery, and persecution, a wonder of valour and

  "_Scarce has she blood enough to make
  A guilty sword blush for her sake;
  Yet has a heart dares hope to prove
  How much less strong is Death than Love....
  Love touch't her heart, and lo! it beats
  High, and burns with such brave heats,
  Such thirst to die, as dares drink up
  A thousand cold deaths in one cup._"

What Crashaw has here said of her in verse he repeats in prose,
and the heading of his poem may be quoted as a concise summary of
her achievement:—"Foundress of the Reformation of the Discalced
Carmelites, both men and women; a woman for angelical height of
speculation, for masculine courage of performance more than a woman;
who, yet a child, outran maturity, and durst plot a martyrdom." And all
the world has read with ever-growing admiration the burning words of
Crashaw's "sweet incendiary," the "undaunted daughter of desires," the
"fair sister of the seraphim," "the moon of maiden stars."

Simplicity and conciseness are Santa Teresa's distinctive qualities,
and the marvel is where she acquired her perfect style. Not, we may
be sure, in the numerous prose of _Amadís_. Her confessor, the worthy
Gracián, took it upon him to "improve" and polish her periods; but,
in a fortunate hour, her papers came into the hands of Luis de León,
who gave them to the press in 1588. Himself a master in mysticism and
literature, he perceived the truth embodied later in Crashaw's famous

  "_O 'tis not Spanish but 'tis Heaven she speaks._"

Her masterpiece is the _Castillo interior_, of which Fray Luis
writes:—"Let naught be blotted out, save when she herself emended:
which was seldom." And once more he commends her to her readers,
saying:—"She, who had seen God face to face, now reveals Him unto
you." With all her sublimity, her enraptured vision of things heavenly,
her "large draughts of intellectual day," Santa Teresa illustrates
the combination of the loftiest mysticism with the finest practical
sense, and her style varies, takes ever its colour from its subject.
Familiar and maternal in her letters, enraptured in her _Conceptos del
Amor de Dios_, she handles with equal skill the trifles of our petty
lives and—to use Luis de León's phrase—"the highest and most generous
philosophy that was ever dreamed." And from her briefest sentence
shines the vigorous soul of one born to govern, one who governed
in such wise that a helpless Nuncio denounced her as "restless,
disobedient, contumacious, an inventress of new doctrines tricked out
with piety, a breaker of the cloister-rule, a despiser of the apostolic
precept which forbiddeth a woman to teach."

Santa Teresa taught because she must, and all that she wrote was
written by compulsion, under orders from her superior. She could
never have understood the female novelist's desire for publicity;
and, had she realised it, merry as her humour was, she would
scarcely have smiled. For she was, both by descent and temperament,
a gentlewoman—_de sangre muy limpia_, as she writes more than once,
with a tinge of satisfaction which shows that the convent discipline
had not stifled her pride of race any more than it had quenched her
gaiety. She always remembers that she comes from Castile, and the fact
is evidenced in her writings, with their delicious old-world savour.
Boscán and Garcilaso might influence courtiers and learned poets; but
they were impotent against the brave Castilian of Sor Teresa de Jesús,
who wields her instrument with incomparable mastery. It were a sin to
attempt a rendering of her artless songs, with their resplendent gleams
of ecstasy and passion. But some idea of her general manner, when
untouched by the inspiration of her mystic nuptials, may be gathered
from a passage which Froude has Englished:—

"A man is directed to make a garden in a bad soil overrun with sour
grasses. The Lord of the land roots out the weeds, sows seeds, and
plants herbs and fruit-trees. The gardener must then care for them
and water them, that they may thrive and blossom, and that the Lord
may find pleasure in his garden and come to visit it. There are four
ways in which the watering may be done. There is water which is drawn
wearily by hand from the well. There is water drawn by the ox-wheel,
more abundantly and with greater labour. There is water brought in
from the river, which will saturate the whole ground; and, last and
best, there is rain from heaven. Four sorts of prayer correspond to
these. The first is a weary effort with small returns; the well may run
dry: the gardener then must weep. The second is internal prayer and
meditation upon God; the trees will then show leaves and flower-buds.
The third is love of God. The virtues then become vigorous. We converse
with God face to face. The flowers open and give out fragrance. The
fourth kind cannot be described in words. Then there is no more toil,
and the seasons no longer change; flowers are always blowing, and
fruit ripens perennially. The soul enjoys undoubting certitude; the
faculties work without effort and without consciousness; the heart
loves and does not know that it loves; the mind perceives, yet does
not know that it perceives. If the butterfly pauses to say to itself
how prettily it is flying, the shining wings fall off, and it drops
and dies. The life of the spirit is not our life, but the life of God
within us."

And, as Santa Teresa excelled in spiritual insight, so she has the
sense of affairs. Durtal, in M. Joris-Karl Huysmans' _En Route_, first
says of her:—"Sainte Térèse a exploré plus à fond que tout autre
les régions inconnues de l'âme; elle en est, en quelque sorte, la
géographe; elle a surtout dressé la carte de ses pôles, marqué les
latitudes contemplatives, les terres intérieures du ciel humain."
And he shows the reverse of the medal:—"Mais quel singulier mélange
elle montre aussi, d'une mystique ardente et d'une femme d'affaires
froide; car, enfin, elle est à double fond; elle est contemplative hors
le monde et elle est également un homme d'état: elle est le Colbert
féminin des cloîtres." The key to Durtal's difficulties is given in
the Abbé Gévresin's remark, that the perfect balance of good sense is
one of the distinctive signs of the mystics. In Santa Teresa's case
the sign is present. An uninquiring world may choose to think of her
as a fanatic in vapours and in ecstasies. Yet it is she who writes,
in the _Camino de Perfección_:—"I would not have my daughters be, or
seem to be, women in anything, but brave men." It is she who holds
that "of revelations no account should be made"; who calls the usual
convent life "a shortcut to hell"; who adds that "if parents took my
advice, they would rather marry their daughters to the poorest of
men, or keep them at home under their own eyes." Her position as a
spiritual force is as unique as her place in literature. It is certain
that her "own dear books" were nothing to her; that she regarded
literature as frivolity; and no one questions her right so to regard
it. But the world also is entitled to its judgment, which is expressed
in different ways. Jeremy Taylor cites her in a sermon preached at the
opening of the Parliament of Ireland (May 8, 1661). Protestant England,
by the mouth of Froude, compares Santa Teresa to Cervantes. Catholic
Spain places her manuscript of her own _Life_ beside a page of St.
Augustine's writing in the Palace of the Escorial.

In some sense we may almost consider the Ecstatic Doctor, SAN JUAN DE
LA CRUZ (1542-91), as one of Santa Teresa's disciples. He changed his
worldly name of Juan de Yepes y Álvarez for that of Juan de la Cruz
on joining the Carmelite order in 1563. Shortly afterwards he made
the acquaintance of Santa Teresa, and, fired by her enthusiasm, he
undertook to carry out in monasteries the reforms which she introduced
in convents. In his _Obras espirituales_ (1618) mysticism finds its
highest expression. There are moments when his prose style is of
extreme clearness and force, but in many cases he soars to heights
where the sense reels in the attempt to follow him. St. John of the
Cross holds, with the mystics of all time, with Plotinus and Böhme and
Swedenborg, that "by contemplation man may become incorporated with the
Deity." This is a hard saying for some of us, not least to the present
writer, and it were idle, in the circumstances, to attempt criticism of
what for most men must remain a mystery. Yet in his verse one seizes
the sense more easily; and his high, amorous music has an individual
melody of spiritual ravishment, of daring abandonment, which is not
all lost in Mr. David Lewis' unrhymed version of the _Noche oscura del
Alma_ (Dark Night of the Soul):—

  "_In an obscure night,
  With anxious love inflamed,
  O happy lot!
  Forth unobserved I went,
  My house being now at rest...._

  _In that happy night,
  In secret, seen of none,
  Seeing nought but myself,
  Without other light or guide
  Save that which in my heart was burning._

  _That light guided me
  More surely than the noonday sun
  To the place where he was waiting for me
  Whom I knew well,
  And none but he appeared._

  _O guiding night!
  O night more lovely than the dawn!
  O night that hast united
  The lover with his beloved
  And charged her with her love._

  _On my flowery bosom,
  Kept whole for him alone,
  He reposed and slept:
  I kept him, and the waving
  Of the cedars fanned him._

  _Then his hair floated in the breeze
  That blew from the turret;
  He struck me on the neck
  With his gentle hand,
  And all sensation left me._

  _I continued in oblivion lost,
  My head was resting on my love;
  I fainted at last abandoned,
  And, amid the lilies forgotten,
  Threw all my cares away._"

St. John of the Cross has absorbed the mystic essence of the _Song of
Solomon_, and he introduces infinite new harmonies in his re-setting of
the ancient melody. The worst that criticism can allege against him is
that he dwells on the very frontier line of sense, in a twilight where
music takes the place of meaning, and words are but vague symbols of
inexpressible thoughts, intolerable raptures, too subtly sensuous for
transcription. The _Unknown Eros_, a volume of odes, mainly mystical
and Catholic, by Coventry Patmore, which has had so considerable an
influence on recent English writers, was a deliberate attempt to
transfer to our poetry the methods of St. John of the Cross, whose
influence grows ever deeper with time.

The Dominican monk whose family name was Sarriá, but who is only known
from his birthplace as LUIS DE GRANADA (1504-88), is usually accounted
a mystic writer, though he is vastly less contemplative, more didactic
and practical, than San Juan de la Cruz. He is best known by his _Guía
de Pecadores_, which Regnier made the favourite reading of Macette, and
which Gorgibus recommends to Célie in _Sganarelle_:—

  "_La Guide des pécheurs est encore un bon livre:
  C'est là qu'en peu de temps on apprend à bien vivre._"

Unluckily for Granada, his _Guía de Pecadores_ and his _Tratado de
la Oración y Meditación_ were placed on the Index, chiefly at the
instigation of that hammer of heretics, Melchor Cano, the famous
theologian of the Council of Trent. Certain changes were made in the
text, and the books were reprinted in their amended form; but the
suspicion of _iluminismo_ long hung over Granada, whose last years were
troubled by his rash simplicity in certifying as true the sham stigmata
of a Portuguese nun, Sor María de la Visitación. The story that Granada
was persecuted by the Inquisition is imaginary.

His books have still an immense vogue. His sincerity, learning, and
fervour are admirable, and his forty years spent between confessional
and pulpit gave him a rare knowledge of human weakness and a mastery
of eloquent appeal. He is not declamatory in the worst sense, though
he bears the marks of his training. He sins by abuse of oratorical
antithesis, by repetition, by a certain mechanical see-saw of the
sentence common to those who harangue multitudes. Still, the sweetness
of his nature so flows over in his words that didacticism becomes
persuasive even when he argues against our strongest prepossessions.
It may interest to quote a passage from the translation made by that
Francis Meres whose _Palladis Tamia_ contains the earliest reference to
Shakespeare's "sugared sonnets":—

"This desire which doth hold many so resolutely to their studies, and
this love of science and knowledge under pretence to help others,
is too much and superfluous. I call it a love too much and desire
superfluous; for when it is moderate and according to reason, it is
not a temptation, but a laudable virtue and a very profitable exercise
which is commended in all kind of men, but especially in young men who
do exercise their youth in that study, for by it they eschew many vices
and learn that whereby they will counsel themselves and others. But
unless it be moderately used it hurteth devotion.... There be some that
would know for this end only, that they might know—and it is foolish
curiosity. There be some that would know, that they might be known—and
it is foolish vanity; and there be some that would know, that they
might sell their knowledge for money or for honours—and it is filthy
lucre. There be also some that desire to know, that they may edify—and
it is charity. And there are some that would know, that they may be
edified—and it is wisdom. All these ends may move the desire, and, in
choice of these, a man is often deceived, when he considereth not which
ought especially to move; and this error is very dangerous."

This distrust of profane letters is yet more marked in the Augustinian,
PEDRO MALÓN DE CHAIDE of Cascante (1530-?1590), who compares the
"frivolous love-books" of Boscán, Garcilaso, and Montemôr and the
"fabulous tales and lies" of chivalresque romance to a knife in
a madman's hand. His practice clashes with his theory, for his
_Conversión de la Magdalena_, written for Beatriz Cerdán, is learned to
the verge of pedantry, and his elaborate periods betray the imitation
of models which he professed to abhor. More ascetic than mystic,
Malón de Chaide lacks the patrician ease, the tolerant spirit of Juan
de Ávila, Granada, and León; but his austere doctrine and sumptuous
colouring have ensured him permanent popularity. His admirable verse
paraphrases of the _Song of Solomon_ have much of the unction, without
the sensuous exaltation, of Juan de la Cruz. A better representative of
pure mysticism is the Extremaduran Carmelite, JUAN DE LOS ÁNGELES (fl.
1595), whose _Triumphos del Amor de Dios_ is a profound psychological
study, written under the influence of Northern thinkers, and not less
remarkable for beauty of expression than for impassioned insight. With
him our notice of the Spanish mystics must close. It is difficult
to estimate their number exactly; but since at least three thousand
survive in print, it is not surprising that the most remain unread. A
breath of mysticism is met in the few Castilian verses of the brilliant
humanist, BENITO ARIAS MONTANO (1527-98), who gave up to scholarship
and theology what was meant for poetry. His achievement in the two
former fields is not our concern here, but it pleases to denote the
ample inspiration and the lofty simplicity of his song, which is hidden
from many readers, and overlooked even by literary historians, in Böhl
de Faber's _Floresta de rimas antiguas_.

                   *       *       *       *       *

The pastoral novel, like the chivalresque romance, reaches Spain
through Portugal. The Italianised Spaniard, Jacopo Sannazaro, had
invented the first example of this kind in his epoch-making _Arcadia_
(1504); and his earliest follower was the Portuguese, Bernardim Ribeiro
(?1475-?1524), whose _Menina e moça_ transplants the prose pastoral
to the Peninsula. This remarkable book, which derives its title from
the first three words of the text, is the undoubted model of the first
Castilian prose pastoral, the unfinished _Diana Enamorada_. This we
owe to the Portuguese, JORGE DE MONTEMÔR (d. 1561), whose name is
hispaniolised as Montemayor. There is nothing strange in this usage
of Castilian by a Portuguese writer. We have already recorded the
names of Gil Vicente, Sâ de Miranda, and Silvestre among those of
Castilian poets; the lyrics and comedies of Camões, the _Austriada_ of
Jerónimo Corte Real, continue a tradition which begins as early as the
_General Cancioneiro_ of García de Resende (1516), wherein twenty-nine
Portuguese poets prefer Castilian before their own language. A
Portuguese writer, Innocencio da Silva, has gone the length of
asserting that Montemôr wrote nothing but Castilian. This only proves
that Silva had not read the _Diana_, which contains two Portuguese
songs, and Portuguese prose passages spoken by the shepherd, Danteo,
and the shepherdess, Duarda. Nor is Silva alone in his bad eminence;
the date of the earliest edition of the _Diana_ is commonly given as
1542. Yet, as it contains, in the _Canto de Orpheo_, an allusion to the
widowhood of the Infanta Juana (1554), it must be later. The time of
publication was probably 1558-59,[14] some four or five years after the
printing of his _Cancionero_ at Antwerp.

Little is known of Montemôr's life, save that he was a musician at
the Spanish court in 1548. He accompanied the Infanta Juana to Lisbon
on her marriage to Dom João, returning to Spain in 1554, when he is
thought to have visited England and the Low Countries in Felipe II.'s
train. He was murdered in 1651, apparently as the result of some amour.
Faint intimations of pastoralism are found in such early chivalresque
novels as _Florisel de Niquea_, where Florisel, dressed as a shepherd,
loves the shepherdess, Sylvia. Ribeiro had introduced his own flame
in _Menina e moça_ in the person of Aonia, and Montemôr follows with
Diana. The identification of Aonia with the Infanta Beatriz, and with
King Manoel's cousin, Joana de Vilhena, has been argued with great
heat: in Montemôr's case the lady is said to have been a certain Ana.
Her surname is withheld by the discreet Sepúlveda, who records that she
was seen at Valderas by Felipe III. and his queen in 1603.

In all pastoral novels there is a family likeness, and Montemôr is not
successful in avoiding the insipidity of the _genre_. He endeavours
to lighten the monotony of his shepherds by borrowing Sannazaro's
invention of the witch whose magic draughts work miracles. This
wonder-worker is as convenient for the novelist as she is tedious for
the reader, who is forced to cry out with Don Quixote's Priest:—"Let
all that refers to the wise Felicia and the enchanted water be
omitted." The bold Priest would further drop the verses, honouring the
book for its prose, and for being the first of its class. Montemôr
accepts the convention by making his shepherds—Sireno, Silvano, and
the rest—mouth it like grandiloquent dukes; but the style is correct,
and pleasing in its grandiose kind. The _Diana's_ vogue was immense:
Shakespeare himself based the _Two Gentlemen of Verona_ upon the
episode of the shepherdess Felismena, which he had probably read in
the manuscript of Bartholomew Young, whose excellent version, although
not printed until 1598, was finished in 1583; and Sidney, whose own
pastoral is redolent of Montemôr, has given Sireno's song in this

  "_Of this high grace with bliss conjoin'd
    No further debt on me is laid,
  Since that is self-same metal coin'd,
    Sweet lady, you remain well paid.
  For, if my place give me great pleasure,
  Having before me Nature's treasure,
    In face and eyes unmatchèd being,
    You have the same in my hands, seeing
  What in your face mine eyes do measure._

  _Nor think the match unev'nly made,
    That of those beams in you do tarry;
  The glass to you but gives a shade,
    To me mine eyes the true shape carry:
  For such a thought most highly prizèd,
  Which ever hath Love's yoke despisèd,
    Better than one captiv'd perceiveth,
    Though he the lively form receiveth,
  The other sees it but disguisèd._"

Montemôr closes with the promise of a sequel, which never appeared.
But, as his popularity continued, publishers printed new editions,
containing the story of Abindarraez and Jarifa, boldly annexed from
Villegas' _Inventario_, which was licensed so early as 1551. The
tempting opportunity was seized by Alonso Pérez, a Salamancan doctor,
whose second _Diana_ (1564) is extremely dull, despite the singular
boast of its author that it contains scarcely anything "not stolen or
imitated from the best Latins and Italians." Pérez alleges that he
was a friend of Montemôr's; but, as that was his sole qualification,
his third _Diana_—written, though "not added here, to avoid making
too large a volume"—has fortunately vanished. In this same year,
1564, appeared Gaspar Gil Polo's _Diana_, a continuation which, says
Cervantes, should be guarded "as though it were Apollo's"—the praise
has perplexed readers who missed the pun on the author's name. The
merits of Polo's sequel, excellent in matter and form, were recognised,
as Professor Rennert notes, by Jerónimo de Texeda, whose _Diana_ (1627)
is a plagiary from Polo. Though the contents of the one and the other
are almost identical, Ticknor, considering them as independent works,
finds praise for the earlier book, and blame for the later. An odd,
mad freak is the versified _Diez libros de Fortuna de Amor_ (1573),
wherein Frexano and Floricio woo Fortuna and Augustina in Arcadian
fashion. Its author, the Sardinian soldier, Antonio Lo Frasso, shares
with Avellaneda the distinction of having drawn Cervantes' fire—his
one title to fame. Artificiality reaches its full height in the
_Pastor de Fílida_ (1582) of Luis Gálvez de Montalvo, who presents
himself, Silvestre, and Cervantes as the (Dresden) shepherds Siralvo,
Silvano, and Tirsi. Almost every Spanish man of letters attempted a
pastoral, but it were idle to compile a catalogue of works by authors
whose echoes of Montemôr are merely mechanical. The occasion of much
ornate prose, the pastoral lived partly because there was naught to
set against it, partly because born men of action found pleasure in
literary idealism and in "old Saturn's reign of sugar-candy." Its
unreality doomed it to death when Alemán and others took to working
the realistic vein first struck in _Lazarillo de Tormes_. Meanwhile
the spectacle of love-lorn shepherds contending in song scandalised
the orthodox, and the monk Bartolomé Ponce produced his devout parody,
the _Clara Diana á lo divino_ (1599) in the same edifying spirit that
moved Sebastián de Córdoba (1577) to travesty Boscán's and Garcilaso's
works—_á lo divino, trasladadas en materias cristianas_.

Didactic prose is practised by the official chronicler, JERÓNIMO DE
ZURITA (1512-80), author of the _Anales de la Corona de Aragón_, six
folios published between 1562 and 1580, and ending with the death of
Fernando. Zurita is not a great literary artist, nor an historical
portrait-painter. Men's actions interest him less than the progress
of constitutional growth. His conception of history, to give an
illustration from English literature, is nearer Freeman's than
Froude's, and he was admirably placed by fortune. Simancas being thrown
open to him, he was first among Spanish historians to use original
documents, first to complete his authorities by study in foreign
archives, first to perceive that travel is the complement of research.
Science and Zurita's work gain by his determination to abandon the
old plan of beginning with Noah. He lacks movement, sympathy, and
picturesqueness; but he excels all predecessors in scheme, accuracy,
architectonics—qualities which have made his supersession impossible.
Whatever else be read, Zurita's _Anales_ must be read also. His
contemporary, AMBROSIO DE MORALES (1513-91), nephew of Pérez de Oliva,
was charged to continue Ocampo's chronicle. His nomination is dated
1580. His authoritative fragment, the result of ten years' labour,
combines eloquent narrative with critical instinct in such wise as to
suggest that, with better fortune, he might have matched Zurita.

Hurtado de Mendoza as a poet belongs to Carlos Quinto's period. Even
if he be not the author of _Lazarillo_, he approves himself a master
of prose in his _Guerra de Granada_, first published at Lisbon by
the editor of Figueroa's poems, Luis Tribaldos de Toledo, in 1627.
Mendoza wrote his story of the Morisco rising (1568-71) in the
Alpujarra and Ronda ranges, while in exile at Granada. On July 22,
1568 (if Fourquevaulx' testimony be exact), a quarrel arose between
Mendoza and a young courtier, Diego de Leiva. The old soldier—he was
sixty-four—disarmed Leiva, threw his dagger out of window, and, by
some accounts, sent Leiva after it. This, passing in the royal palace
at Madrid, was flat _lèse majesté_, to be expiated by Mendoza's exile.
To this lucky accident we owe the _Guerra de Granada_, written in the
neighbourhood of the war.

Mendoza writes for the pleasure of writing, with no polemical or
didactic purpose. His plain-speaking concerning the war, and the part
played in it by great personages whom he had no cause to love, accounts
for the tardy publication of his book, which should be considered as
a confidential state-paper by a diplomatist of genius. Yet, though
he wrote chiefly to pass the time, he has the qualities of the great
historian—knowledge, impartiality, narrative power, condensation,
psychological insight, dramatic apprehension, perspective and
eloquence. His view of a general situation is always just, and, though
he has something of the credulity of his time, his accuracy of detail
is astonishing. His style is a thing apart. He had already shown, in
a burlesque letter addressed to Feliciano de Silva, an almost unique
capacity for reproducing that celebrity's literary manner. In his
_Guerra de Granada_ he repeats the performance with more serious aim.
One god of his idolatry is Sallust, whose terse rhetoric is repeatedly
echoed with unsurpassable fidelity. Another model is Tacitus, whose
famous description of Germanicus finding the unburied corpses of Varus'
legions is annexed by Mendoza in his account of Arcos and his troops
at Calalín. This is neither plagiarism nor unconscious reminiscence;
it is the deliberate effort of a prose connoisseur, saturated in
antiquity, to impart the gloomy splendour of the Roman to his native
tongue. To say that Mendoza succeeded were too much, but he did not
altogether fail; and, despite his occasional Latinised construction,
his _Guerra de Granada_ lives not solely as a brilliant and picturesque
transcription. It is also a masterly example of idiomatic Castilian
prose, published without the writer's last touches, and, as is plain,
from mutilated copies.[15] Mendoza may not be a great historian: as a
literary artist he is extremely great.


[8] The sources are carefully traced by L. A. Stiefel in the
_Zeitschrift für Romanische Philologie_ (vol. xx. pp. 183 and 318). One
specimen suffices here:—

GIANCARLI, iii. 16.

 _Falisco._ Padrone, o che la imaginatione m'inganna, o pur quella è la
 vuestra Madonna Angelica.

 _Cassandro._ Sarebbe gran cosa che la imaginatione inganassa me
 anchora, perch' io voleva dirloti, etc.

RUEDA, _Escena_ iii.

 _Falisco._ Señor, la vista ó la imaginacion me engaña ó es aquella
 vuestra muy querida Angélica.

 _Casandro._ Gran cosa seria si la imaginacion no te engañase, antes yo
 te lo quería decir, etc.

[9] I learn that D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo is preparing a new
edition of the _Anotaciones_.

[10] For a full and very able account of the proceedings, see Alejandro
Arango y Escandon's _Ensayo histórico_ (Méjico, 1866).

[11] The Christian name of the author of the _Visión deleitable_ was

[12] See the second volume (pp. 79-104) of the _Discursos leidos en
las recepciones públicas que ha celebrado desde 1847 la Real Academia
Española_ (Madrid, 1861).

[13] A very able discussion of these ascriptions is presented by M.
Foulché-Delbosc in the _Revue hispanique_ (1895), vol. ii. pp. 120-45.

[14] The question is discussed in the _Revue hispanique_ (1895), vol.
ii. pp. 304-11.

[15] See two very able studies in the _Revue hispanique_ (vol. i. pp.
101-65, and vol. ii. pp. 208-303), by M. Foulché-Delbosc, whose edition
of the _Guerra de Granada_ is now printing.

                              CHAPTER IX

                        THE AGE OF LOPE DE VEGA


The death of Felipe II. in 1598 closes an epoch in the history of
Castilian letters. Not merely has the Italian influence triumphed
definitively: the chivalresque romance has well-nigh run its course;
while mysticism and the pastoral have achieved expression and
acceptance. Moreover, the most important of all developments is the
establishment of the stage at Madrid in the Teatro de la Cruz and in
the Teatro del Príncipe. There is evidence to prove that theatres were
also built at Valencia, at Seville, and possibly at Granada. Nor was a
foreign impulse lacking. Kyd's _Spanish Tragedy_ records the invasion
of England by Italian actors:—

  "_The Italian tragedians were so sharp of wit,
  That in one hour's meditation
  They could perform anything in action._"

In like wise the famous Alberto Ganasa and his Italian histrions
revealed the art of acting to the Spains. Thenceforth every province is
overrun by mummers, as may be read in the _Viaje entretenido_ (1603) of
Agustín de Rojas Villandrando, who denotes, with mock-solemn precision,
the nine professional grades.

There was the solitary stroller, the _bululú_, tramping from village
to village, declaiming short plays to small audiences, called together
by the sacristan, the barber, and the parish priest, who—_pidiendo
limosna en un sombrero_—passed round the hat, and sped the vagabond
with a slice of bread and a cup of broth. A pair of strollers (such as
Rojas himself and his colleague Ríos) was styled a _ñaque_, and did no
more than spout simple _entremeses_ in the open. The _cangarilla_ was
on a larger scale, numbering three or four actors, who gave Timoneda's
_Oveja Perdida_, or some comic piece wherein a boy played the woman's
part. Five men and a woman made up the _carambaleo_, which performed in
farmhouses for such small wages as a loaf of bread, a bunch of grapes,
a stew of cabbage; but higher fees were asked in larger villages—six
_maravedís_, a piece of sausage, a roll of flax, and what not. Though
"a spider could carry" its properties, says Rojas, yet the _carambaleo_
contrived to fill the bill with a set piece, or two _autos_, or four
_entremeses_. More pretentious was the _garnacha_, with its six men,
its "leading lady," and a boy who played the _ingénue_. With four set
plays, three _autos_, and three _entremeses_ it would draw a whole
village for a week. A large choice of pieces was within the means of
the seven men, two women, and a boy that made up the _bojiganga_,
which journeyed from town to town on horseback. Next in rank came the
_farándula_, the stepping-stone to the lofty _compañía_ of sixteen
players, with fourteen "supers," capable of producing fifty pieces at
short notice. To such a troupe, no doubt, belonged the Toledan Naharro,
famous as an interpreter of the bully, and as the foremost of Spanish
stage-managers. "He still further enriched theatrical adornment,
substituting chests and trunks for the costume-bag. Into the body of
the house he brought the musicians, who had hitherto sung behind the
blanket. He did away with the false beards which till then actors had
always worn, and he made all play without a make-up, save those who
performed old men's parts, or such characters as implied a change of
appearance. He introduced machinery, clouds, thunder, lightning, duels,
and battles; but this reached not the perfection of our day."

This is the testimony of the most renowned personality in Castilian
literature. MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRA (1547-1616) describes himself
as a native of Alcalá de Henares, in a legal document signed at Madrid
on December 18, 1580: the long dispute as to his birthplace is thus
at last settled. His stock was pure Castilian, its _solar_ being at
Cervatos, near Reinosa: the connection with Galicia is no older than
the fourteenth century. His family surname of Cervantes probably comes
from the castle of San Cervantes, beyond Toledo, which was named after
the Christian martyr Servandus. The additional name of Saavedra is not
on the title-page of the writer's first book, the _Galatea_. However,
Miguel de Cervantes uses the Saavedra in a petition addressed to Pope
Gregory XIII. and Felipe II. in October 1578; and, as Cervantes was
not then, though it is now, an uncommon name, the addition served to
distinguish the author from contemporary clansmen. He was the second
(though not, as heretofore believed, the youngest) son of Rodrigo
de Cervantes Saavedra and of Leonor Cortinas. Of the mother we know
nothing: garrulous as was her famous son, he nowhere alludes to her,
nor did he follow the usual Spanish practice by adding her surname to
his own. The father was a licentiate—of laws, so it is conjectured.
Research only yields two facts concerning him: that he was incurably
deaf, and that he was poor.

Cervantes' birthday is unknown. He was baptized at the Church of
Santa María Mayor, in Alcalá de Henares, on Sunday, October 9, 1547.
One Tomás González asserted that he had found Cervantes' name in the
matriculation lists of Salamanca University; but the entry has never
been verified since, and its report lacks probability. If Cervantes
ever studied at any university, we should expect to find him at that
of his native town, Alcalá de Henares. His name does not appear in
the University calendar. Though he made his knowledge go far, he was
anything but learned, and college witlings bantered him for having
no degree. No information exists concerning his youth. He is first
mentioned in 1569, when a Madrid dominie, Juan López de Hoyos, speaks
of him as "our dear and beloved pupil"; and some conjecture that he
was an usher in Hoyos' school. His earliest literary performance is
discovered (1569) in a collection of verses on the death of Felipe
II.'s third wife. The volume, edited by Hoyos, is entitled the
_Historia y relación verdadera de la enfermedad, felicísimo tránsito
y suntuosas exequias fúnebres de la Serenísima Reina de España, Doña
Isabel de Valois_. Cervantes' contributions are an epitaph in sonnet
form, five _redondillas_, and an elegy of one hundred and ninety-nine
lines: this last being addressed to Cardinal Diego de Espinosa in the
name of the whole school—_en nombre de todo el estudio_. These poor
pieces are reproduced solely because Cervantes wrote them: it is very
doubtful if he ever saw them in print. He is alleged to have been
guilty of _lèse-majesté_ in Hurtado de Mendoza's fashion; but this is
surmise, as is also a pendant story of his love passages with a Maid
of Honour. It is certain that, on September 15, 1569, a warrant was
signed for the arrest of one Miguel de Cervantes, who was condemned to
lose his right hand for wounding Antonio de Sigura in the neighbourhood
of the Court. There is nothing to prove that our man was the culprit;
but if he were, he had already got out of jurisdiction. Joining the
household of the Special Nuncio, Giulio Acquaviva, he left Madrid for
Rome as the Legate's chamberlain in the December of 1568.

He was not the stuff of which chamberlains are made; and in 1570 he
enlisted in the company commanded by Diego de Urbina, captain in Miguel
de Moncada's famous infantry regiment, at that time serving under Marc
Antonio Colonna. It is worth noting that the _Galatea_ is dedicated
to Marc Antonio's son, Ascanio Colonna, Abbot of St. Sophia. In 1571
Cervantes fought at Lepanto, where he was twice shot in the chest and
had his left hand maimed for life: "for the greater honour of the
right," as he loved to think and say with justifiable vainglory. That
he never tired of vaunting his share in the great victory is shown by
his frequent allusions to it in his writings; and it should almost seem
that he was prouder of his nickname—the Cripple of Lepanto—than of
writing _Don Quixote_. He served in the engagements before Navarino,
Corfu, Tunis, the Goletta; and in all he bore himself with credit.
Returning to Italy, he seems to have learned the language, for traces
of Italian idioms are not rare even in his best pages. From Naples he
sailed for Spain in September 1575, with recommendatory letters from
Don Juan de Austria and from the Neapolitan Viceroy. On September 26,
his caravel, the _Sol_, was attacked by Moorish pirates, and, after a
brave resistance, all on board were carried as prisoners into Algiers.
There for five years Cervantes abode as a slave, writing plays between
the intervals of his plots to escape, striving to organise a general
rising of the thousands of Christians. Being the most dangerous,
because the most heroic of them all, he became, in some sort, the chief
of his fellows, and, after the failure of several plans for flight,
was held hostage by the Dey for the town's safety. His release was due
to accident. On September 19, 1580, the Redemptorist, Fray Juan Gil,
offered five hundred gold ducats as the ransom of a private gentleman
named Jerónimo Palafox. The sum was held insufficient to redeem a man
of Palafox's position; but it sufficed to set free Cervantes, who was
already shipped on the Dey's galley bound for Constantinople.[16] He
is found at Madrid on December 19, 1580, and it is surmised that he
served in Portugal and at the Azores. There are rumours of his holding
some small post at Oran: however that may be, he returned to Spain, at
latest, in the autumn of 1582. And henceforth he belongs to literature.

The plays written at Algiers are lost; but there survive two sonnets
of the same period dedicated to Rufino de Chamberí (1577). A rhymed
epistle to the Secretary of State, Mateo Vázquez, also belongs to this
time. We must suppose Cervantes to have written copiously on regaining
his liberty, since Gálvez de Montalvo speaks of him as a poet of repute
in the _Pastor de Fílida_ (1582); but the earliest signs of him in
Spain are his eulogistic sonnets in Padilla's _Romancero_ and Rufo
Gutiérrez' _Austriada_, both published in 1583. Padilla repaid the debt
by classing the sonneteer among "the most famous poets of Castile."
In December 1584, Cervantes married Catalina de Palacios Salazar y
Vozmediano, a native of Esquivias, eighteen years younger than himself.
It is often said that he wrote the _Galatea_ as a means of furthering
his suit. It may be so. But the book was not printed by Juan Gracián
of Alcalá de Henares till March 1585, though the _aprobación_ and the
privilege are dated February 1 and February 22, 1584. In the year after
his marriage, Cervantes' illegitimate daughter, Isabel de Saavedra,
was born. We shall have occasion to refer to her later. Our immediate
concern is with the _Primera Parte de Galatea_, an unfinished pastoral
novel in six books, for which Cervantes received 1336 _reales_ from
Blas de Robles; a sum which, with his wife's small dowry, enabled him
to start housekeeping.[17] As a financial speculation the _Galatea_
failed: only two later editions appeared during the writer's lifetime,
one at Lisbon in 1590, the other at Paris in 1611. Neither could have
brought him money; but the book, if it did nothing else, served to make
him known.

He trimmed his sails to the popular breeze. Montemôr had started
the pastoral fashion, Pérez and Gaspar Gil Polo had followed, and
Gálvez de Montalvo maintained the tradition. Later in life, in the
_Coloquio de los Perros_ (Dialogue of the Dogs), Cervantes made his
Berganza say that all pastorals are "vain imaginings, void of truth,
written to amuse the idle"; yet it may be doubted if Cervantes ever
lost the pastoral taste, though his sense of humour forced him to see
the absurdity of the convention. It is very certain that he had a
special fondness for the _Galatea_: he spared it at the burning of Don
Quixote's library, praised its invention, and made the Priest exhort
the Barber to await the sequel which is foreshadowed in the _Galatea's_
text. This is again promised in the Dedication of the volume of plays
(1615), in the Prologue to the Second Part of _Don Quixote_ (1615),
and in the Letter Dedicatory of _Persiles y Sigismunda_, signed on
the writer's deathbed, April 19, 1616. For thirty-one years Cervantes
held out the promise of the _Galatea's_ Second Part: five times did he
repeat it. It is plain that he thought well of the First, and that his
liking for the _genre_ was incorrigible.

His own attempt survives chiefly because of the name on its
title-page. Pastorals differ little in essentials, and the kind offers
few openings to Cervantes' peculiar humoristic genius. Like his
fellow-practitioners, he crowds his stage with figures: he presents his
shepherds Elicio and Erastro warbling their love for Galatea on Tagus
bank; he reveals Mirenio enamoured of Silveria, Leonarda love-sick
for Salercio, Lenio in the toils of Gelasia. Hazlitt, in his harsh
criticism of Sidney's _Arcadia_, hits the defects of the pastoral, and
his censures may be justly applied to the _Galatea_. There, as in the
English book, we find the "original sin of alliteration, antithesis,
and metaphysical conceit"; there, too, is the "systematic interpolation
of the wit, learning, ingenuity, wisdom, and everlasting impertinence
of the writer." Worst of all are "the continual, uncalled-for
interruptions, analysing, dissecting, disjointing, murdering
everything, and reading a pragmatical, self-sufficient lecture over the
dead body of nature." But if Cervantes sins in this wise, he sins of
set purpose and in good company. In his Fourth Book, he interpolates a
long disquisition on the Beautiful which he calmly annexes from Judas
Abarbanel's _Dialoghi_. As Sannazaro opens his _Arcadia_ with Ergasto
and Selvaggio, so Cervantes thrusts his Elicio and Erastro into the
foreground of the _Galatea_; the funeral of Meliso is a deliberate
imitation of the Feast of Pales; and, as the Italian introduced
Carmosina Bonifacia under the name of Amaranta, the Spaniard perforce
gives Catalina de Palacios Salazar as Galatea. Nor does he depart
from the convention by placing himself upon the scene as Elicio, for
Ribeiro and Montemôr had preceded him in the characters of Bimnardel
and Sereno. Lastly, the idea and the form of the _Canto de Calíope_,
wherein the uncritical poet celebrates whole tribes of contemporary
singers, are borrowed from the _Canto del Turia_, which Gil Polo had
interpolated in his _Diana_.

Prolixity, artifice, ostentation, monotony, extravagance, are
inherent in the pastoral school; and the _Galatea_ savours of these
defects. Yet, for all its weakness, it lacks neither imagination nor
contrivance, and its embroidered rhetoric is a fine example of stately
prose. Save, perhaps, in the _Persiles y Sigismunda_, Cervantes never
wrote with a more conscious effort after excellence, and, in results
of absolute style, the _Galatea_ may compare with all but exceptional
passages in _Don Quixote_. Yet it failed to please, and the author
turned to other fields of effort. His verses in Pedro de Padilla's
_Jardín Espiritual_ (1585) and in López Maldonado's _Cancionero_ (1586)
denote good-nature and a love of literature; and in both volumes
Cervantes may have read companion-pieces written by a marvellous youth,
Lope de Vega, whom he had already praised—as he praised everybody—in
the _Canto de Calíope_. He could not foresee that in the person of
this boy he was to meet his match and more. Meanwhile in 1587 he
penned sonnets for Padilla's _Grandezas y Excelencias de la Virgen_,
and for Alonso de Barros' _Filosofía cortesana_. Verse-making was his
craze; and, in 1588, when the physician, Francisco Díaz, published a
treatise on kidney disease—_Tratado nuevamente impreso acerca de las
enfermedades de los riñones_—the unwearied poetaster was forthcoming
with a sonnet pat to the strange occasion.

Still, though he cultivated verse with as sedulous a passion as Don
Quixote spent on Knight-Errantries, he recognised that man does not
live by sonneteering alone, and he tried his fate upon the boards. He
died with the happy conviction that he was a dramatist of genius; his
contemporaries ruled the point against him, and posterity has upheld
the decision. He tells us that at this time he wrote between twenty and
thirty plays. We only know the titles of a few among them—the _Gran
Turquesca_, the _Jerusalén_, the _Batalla Naval_ (attributed by Moratín
to the year 1584), the _Amaranta_ and the _Bosque Amoroso_ (referred
to 1586), the _Arsinda_ and the _Confusa_ (to 1587). It is like enough
that the _Batalla Naval_ was concerned with Lepanto, a subject of which
Cervantes never tired; the _Arsinda_ existed so late as 1673, when Juan
de Matos Fragoso mentioned it as "famous" in his _Corsaria Catalana_;
and our author himself ranked the _Confusa_ as "good among the best."
The touch of self-complacency is amusing, though one might desire a
better security than Bardolph's.

Two surviving plays of the period are _El Trato de Argel_ and _La
Numancia_, first printed by Antonio de Sancha in 1784. The former deals
with the life of the Christian slaves in Algiers, and recounts the
passion of Zara the Moor for the captive Aurelio, who is enamoured of
Silvia. We must assume that Cervantes thought well of this invention,
since he utilised it some thirty years later in _El Amante Liberal_;
but the play is merely futile. The introduction of a lion, of the
Devil, and of such abstractions as Necessity and Opportunity, is as
poor a piece of machinery as theatre ever saw; the versification
is rough and creaking, improvised without care or conscience; the
situations are arranged with a glaring disregard for truth and
probability. Like Paolo Veronese, Cervantes could rarely resist the
temptation of painting himself into his canvas, and in _El Trato de
Argel_ he takes care that the prisoner Saavedra should declaim his
tirade. The piece has no dramatic interest, and is valuable merely
as an over-coloured picture of vicissitudes by one who knew them at
first-hand, and who presented them to his countrymen with a more or
less didactic intention. Yet, even as a transcript of manners, this
luckless play is a failure.

A finer example of Cervantes' dramatic power is the _Numancia_, on
which Shelley has passed this generous judgment:—"I have read the
_Numancia_, and, after wading through the singular stupidity of the
First Act, began to be greatly delighted, and at length interested in
a very high degree, by the power of the writer in awakening pity and
admiration, in which I hardly know by whom he is excelled. There is
little, I allow, to be called _poetry_ in this play; but the command
of language and the harmony of versification is so great as to deceive
one into an idea that it is poetry." Nor is Shelley alone in his
admiration. Goethe's avowal to Humboldt is on record:—"Sogar habe
ich ... neulich das Trauerspiel _Numancia_ von Cervantes mit vielem
Vergnügen gelesen;" but eight years later he confided a revised
judgment to Riemer. The gushing school of German Romantics waxed
delirious in praise. Thus Friedrich Schlegel surpassed himself by
calling the play "godlike"; and August Schlegel, not content to hold it
for a dramatic masterpiece, would persuade us to accept it for great
poetry. Even Sismondi declares that "le frisson de l'horreur et de
l'effroi devient presque un supplice pour le spectateur."

Raptures apart, the _Numancia_ is Cervantes' best play. He has a
grandiose subject: the siege of Numantia, and its capture by Scipio
Africanus after fourteen years of resistance. On the Roman side were
eighty thousand soldiers; the Spaniards numbered four thousand or less;
and the victors entered the fallen city to find no soul alive. With
scenes of valour is mingled the pathetic love-story of Morandro and
Lyra. But, once again, Cervantes fails as a dramatic artist; one doubts
if he knew what a plot was, what unity of conception meant. He has
scenes and episodes of high excellence, but they are detached from the
main composition, and produce all the bad effect of a portrait painted
in different lights. Abstractions fill the stage—War, Sickness,
Hunger, Spain, the river Duero. But the tirades of rhetoric are
unsurpassed by anything from Cervantes' pen, and Marquino's scene with
the corpse in the Second Act is pregnant with a suggestion of weirdness
which Mr. Gibson has well conveyed:—


  "_What! Dost not answer? Dost not live again,
  Or haply hast thou tasted death once more?
  Then will I quicken thee anew with pain,
  And for thy good the gift of speech restore.
  Since thou art one of us, do not disdain
  To speak and answer, as I now implore;...
  Ye spirits vile, it worketh not ye trust!
  But wait, for soon the enchanted water here
  Will show my will to be as strong and just
  As yours is treacherous and insincere.
  And though this flesh were turned to very dust,
  Yet being quickened by this lash austere,
  Which cuts with cruel rigour like a knife,
  It will regain a new though fleeting life.
  Thou rebel soul, seek now the home again
  Thou leftest empty these few hours ago._

The Body.

  _Restrain the fury of thy reckless pain;
  Suffice it, O Marquino, man of woe,
  What I do suffer in the realms obscure,
  Nor give me pangs more fearful to endure.
  Thou errest, if thou thinkest that I crave
  This painful, pinched, and narrow life I have,
  Which even now is ebbing fast away,...
  Since Death a second time, with bitter sway,
  Will triumph over me in life and soul,
  And gain a double palm, beyond control.
  For he and others of the dismal band,
  Who do thy bidding subject to thy spell,
  Are raging round and round, and waiting stand,
  Till I shall finish what I have to tell....
  The Romans ne'er shall victory obtain
  O'er proud Numantia; still less shall she
  A glorious triumph o'er her foemen gain;
  'Twixt friends and foes, both have to a degree,
  Think not that settled peace shall ever reign
  Where rage meets rage in strife eternally.
  The friendly hand, with homicidal knife,
  Will slay Numantia and will give her life._
        [He hurls himself into the sepulchre, and says:—
  _I say no more, Marquino, time is fleet;
  The Fates will grant to me no more delay,
  And, though my words may seem to thee deceit,
  Thou'lt find at last the truth of what I say._"

Even in translation—still more in the original—the rhetoric of
this passage is imposing; yet we perceive rhetoric to be contagious
when Ticknor asserts that "there is nothing of so much dignity in
the incantations of Marlowe's _Faustus_." Still more amazing is
Ticknor's second appreciation:—"Nor does even Shakspeare demand from
us a sympathy so strange with the mortal head reluctantly rising to
answer Macbeth's guilty question, as Cervantes makes us feel for this
suffering spirit, recalled to life only to endure a second time the
pangs of dissolution." The school is decently interred which mistook
critics for Civil Service Commissioners, and Parnassus for Burlington
House. It is impossible to compare Cervantes' sonorous periods and
Marlowe's majestic eloquence, nor is it less unwise to match his moving
melodrama against one of the greatest tragedies in the world. His great
scene has its own merit as an artificial embellishment, as a rhetorical
adornment, as an exercise in bravura; but the episode is not only out
of place where it is found—it leads from nowhere to nothing. More
dramatic in spirit and effect is the speech declaimed by Scipio when
the last Numantian, Viriato, hurls himself from the tower:—

  "_O matchless action, worthy of the meed
  Which old and valiant soldiers love to gain!
  Thou hast achieved a glory by thy deed,
  Not only for Numantia, but for Spain!
  Thy valour strange, heroical in deed,
  Hath robbed me of my rights, and made them vain;
  For with thy fall thou hast upraised thy fame,
  And levelled down my victories to shame!
  Oh, could Numantia gain what she hath lost,
  I would rejoice, if but to see thee there!
  For thou hast reaped the gain and honour most
  Of this long siege, illustrious and rare!
  Bear thou, O stripling, bear away the boast,
  Enjoy the glory which the Heavens prepare,
  For thou hast conquered, by thy very fall,
  Him who in rising falleth worst of all._"

Here, once more, we are dealing with a passage which gains by
detachment from its context. To speak plainly, the interest of the
_Numancia_ is not dramatic, and its versification, good of its kind,
may easily be overpraised, as it was by Shelley. First and last, the
play is a devout and passionate expression of patriotism; and, as
such, the writer's countrymen have held it in esteem, never claiming
for it the qualities invented by well-meaning foreigners. Lope de Vega
and Calderón still hold the stage, from which Cervantes, the disciple
of Virués, was driven three centuries ago; and they survive, the one
as an hundredfold more potent dramatist, the other as an infinitely
greater poet. Yet, like the ghost raised by Marquino, Cervantes was
to undergo a momentary resurrection. When Palafox (and Byron's Maid)
held Zaragoza, during the War of Independence, against the batteries
of Mortier, Junot, and Lannes, the _Numancia_ was played within the
besieged walls, so that Spaniards of the nineteenth century might see
that their fathers had known how to die for freedom. The tragedy was
received with enthusiasm; the marshals of the world's Greatest Captain
were repulsed and beaten; and Cervantes' inspiriting lines helped on
the victory. In life, he had never met with such a triumph, and in
death no other could have pleased him better.

He asserts, indeed, that his plays were popular, and he may have
persuaded himself into that belief. His idolaters preach the legend
that he was driven from the boards by that "portent of genius," Lope
de Vega. This tale is a vain imagining. Cervantes failed so wretchedly
in art that in 1588 he left the Madrid stage to seek work in Seville;
and no play of Lope's dates so early as that, save one written while
he was at school. In June 1588, Cervantes became Deputy-Purveyor to
the Invincible Armada, and in May 1590 he petitioned for one of four
appointments vacant in Granada, Guatemala, Cartagena, and La Paz. But
he never quite abandoned literature. In 1591 he wrote a _romance_
for Andrés de Villalba's _Flor de varios y nuevos romances_, and, in
the following year, he contracted with the Seville manager, Rodrigo
Osorio, to write six comedies at fifty ducats each—no money to be paid
unless Osorio should rank the plays "among the best in Spain." No more
is heard of this agreement, and Cervantes disappears till 1594, when
he was appointed tax-gatherer in Granada. Next year he competed at a
literary tournament held by the Dominicans of Zaragoza in honour of
St. Hyacinth, and won the first prize—three silver spoons. His sonnet
to the famous sea-dog, Santa Cruz, is printed in Cristóbal Mosquera
de Figueroa's _Comentario en breve Compendio de Disciplina militar_
(1596), and his bitter sonnet on Medina Sidonia's entry into Cádiz,
already sacked and evacuated by Essex, is of the same date.

In 1597, being in Seville about the time of Herrera's death, Cervantes
wrote his sonnet in memory of the great Andalucían. In September of
this year the sonneteer was imprisoned for irregularities in his
accounts, due to his having entrusted Government funds to one Simón
Freire de Lima, who absconded with the booty. Released some three
months later, Cervantes was sent packing by the Treasury, and was never
more employed in the public service. Lost, as it seemed, to hope and
fame, the ruined man lingered at Seville, where, in 1598, he wrote two
sonnets and a copy of _quintillas_ on Felipe II.'s death. Four years of
silence were followed by the inevitable sonnet in the second edition of
Lope de Vega's _Dragontea_ (1602). It is certain that all this while
Cervantes was scribbling in some naked garret; but his name seemed
almost forgotten from the earth. In 1603 he was run to ground, and
served with an Exchequer writ concerning those outstanding balances,
still unpaid after nearly eight years. He must appear in person at
Valladolid to offer what excuse he might. Light as his baggage was,
it contained one precious, immediate jewel—the manuscript of _Don
Quixote_. The Treasury soon found that to squeeze money from him was
harder than to draw blood from a stone: the debt remained unsettled.
But his journey was not in vain. On his way to Valladolid, he found a
publisher for _Don Quixote_. The Royal Privilege is dated September
26, 1604, and in January 1605 the book was sold at Madrid across the
counter of Francisco de Robles, bookseller to the King. Cervantes
dedicated his volume, in terms boldly filched from Herrera and Medina,
to the Duque de Béjar. In a previous age the author's kinsman had
anticipated the compliment by addressing a gloss of Jorge Manrique's
_Coplas_ to Álvaro de Stúñiga, second Duque de Béjar.

It is difficult to say when _Don Quixote_ was written; later,
certainly, than 1591, for it alludes to Bernardo de la Vega's _Pastor
de Iberia_, published in that year. Legend says that the First Part
was begun in gaol, and so Langford includes it in his _Prison Books
and their Authors_. The only ground for the belief is a phrase in the
Prologue which describes the work as "a dry, shrivelled, whimsical
offspring ... just what might be begotten in a prison." This may be a
mere figure of speech; yet the tradition persists that Cervantes wrote
his masterpiece in the cellar of the Casa de Medrano at Argamasilla de
Alba. Certain it is that Argamasilla is Don Quixote's native town. The
burlesque verses at the end indicate precisely that "certain village
in La Mancha, the name of which," says Cervantes dryly, "I have no
desire to recall." Quevedo witnesses that the fact was accepted by
contemporaries, and topography puts it beyond doubt. The manuscript
passed through many hands before reaching the printer, Cuesta: whence
a double mention of it before publication. The author of the _Pícara
Justina_, who anticipated Cervantes' poor device of the _versos de
cabo roto_—truncated rhymes—in _Don Quixote_, ranks the book beside
the _Celestina_, _Lazarillo de Tormes_, and _Guzmán de Alfarache_; yet
the _Pícara Justina_ was licensed on August 22, 1604. The title falls
from a far more illustrious pen: in a private letter written on August
14, 1604, Lope de Vega observes that no budding poet "is so bad as
Cervantes, none so silly as to praise _Don Quixote_." There will be
occasion to return presently to this much-quoted remark.

Clearly the book was discussed, and not always approved, by literary
critics some months before it was in print: but critics of all
generations have been taught that their opinions go for nothing
with the public, which persists in being amused against rules and
dogmas. _Don Quixote_ carried everything before it: its vogue almost
equalled that of _Guzmán de Alfarache_, and by July a fifth edition
was preparing at Valencia. Cervantes has told us his purpose in plain
words:—"to diminish the authority and acceptance that books of
chivalry have in the world and among the vulgar." Yet his own avowal
is rejected. Defoe averred that _Don Quixote_ was a satire on Medina
Sidonia; Landor applauded the book as "the most dexterous attack ever
made against the worship of the Virgin"; and such later crocheteers
as Rawdon Brown have industriously proved Sancho Panza to be Pedro
Franqueza, and the whole novel to be a burlesque on contemporary

Cervantes was unlucky in life, nor did his misfortunes end with his
days. Posthumous idolatry seeks to atone for contemporary neglect, and
there has come into being a tribe of ignorant fakirs, assuming the
title of "Cervantophils," and seeking to convert a man of genius into a
common Mumbo-Jumbo. A master of invention, a humourist beyond compare,
an expert in ironic observation, a fellow meet for Shakespeare's self:
all that suffices not for these fanatical dullards. Their deity must be
accepted also as a poet, a philosophic thinker, a Puritan tub-thumper,
a political reformer, a finished scholar, a purist in language,
and—not least amazing—an ascetic in private morals. A whole shelf
might be filled with works upon Cervantes the doctor, Cervantes the
lawyer, the sailor, the geographer, and who knows what else? Like his
contemporary Shakespeare, Cervantes took a peculiar interest in cases
of dementia; and, in England and Spain, the afflicted have shown both
authors much reciprocal attention. We must even take Cervantes as he
was: a literary artist stronger in practice than in theory, great by
natural faculty rather than by acquired accomplishment. His learning
is naught, his reasonings are futile, his speculation is banal. In
short passages he is one of the greatest masters of Castilian prose,
clear, direct, and puissant: but he soon tires, and is prone to lapse
into Italian idioms, or into irritating sentences packed with needless
relatives. Cervantes lives not as a great practitioner in style, a
sultan of epithet—though none could better him when he chose; nor
is he potent as a purely intellectual influence. He is immortal by
reason of his creative power, his imaginative resource, his wealth of
invention, his penetrating vision, his inimitable humour, his boundless
sympathy. Hence the universality of his appeal: hence the splendour of
his secular renown.

It is certain that he builded better than he knew, and that not even
he realised the full scope of his work: we know from Goethe that the
maker has to be taught his own meaning. The contemporary allusions,
the sly hits at foes, are mostly mysteries for us, though they amuse
the laborious leisure of the commentator. Chivalresque romances are
with last year's snows: but the interest of _Don Quixote_ abides for
ever. Cervantes set out intending to write a comic short story, and the
design grew under his hand till at length it included a whole Human
Comedy. He himself was as near akin to Don Quixote as a man may be:
he knew his chivalresque romances by heart, and accounted _Amadís de
Gaula_ as "the very best contrived book of all those of that kind." Yet
he has been accused by his own people of plotting his country's ruin,
and has been held up to contempt as "the headsman and the ax of Spain's
honour." Byron repeats the ridiculous taunt:—

  "_Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away;
    A single laugh demolished the right arm
  Of his own country; seldom since that day
    Has Spain had heroes. While Romance could charm,
  The world gave ground before her bright array;
    And therefore have his volumes done such harm,
  That all their glory, as a composition,
  Was dearly purchased by his land's perdition._"

The chivalresque madness was well-nigh over when our author made his
onset: he but hastened the end. After the publication of _Don Quixote_,
no new chivalresque romance was written, and only one—the _Caballero
del Febo_ (1617)—was reprinted. And the reason is obvious. It was
not that Cervantes' work was merely destructive, that he was simply
a clever artist in travesty: it was that he gave better than he took
away, and that he revealed himself, not only to Spain, but to the
world, as a great creative master, and an irresistible, because an
universal, humourist.

There is endless discussion as to the significance of his masterpiece,
and the acutest critics have uttered "great argument about it and
about." That an allegory of human life was intended is incredible.
Cervantes presents the Ingenious Gentleman as the Prince of Courtesy,
affable, gallant, wise on all points save that trifling one which
annihilates Time and Space and changes the aspect of the Universe:
and he attaches to him, Sancho, self-seeking, cautious, practical in
presence of vulgar opportunities. The types are eternal. But it were
too much to assume that there exists any conscious symbolic or esoteric
purpose in the dual presentation. Cervantes is inspired solely by the
artistic intention which would create personages, and would divert by
abundance of ingenious fantasy, by sublimation of character, by wealth
of episode and incident, and by the genius of satiric portraiture. He
tessellates with whatsoever mosaic chances to strike his fancy. It may
be that he inlays his work with such a typical sonnet as that which Mr.
Gosse has transferred from the twenty-third chapter of _Don Quixote_
to _In Russet and Silver_—an excellent example, which shall be quoted

  "_When I was marked for suffering, Love forswore
    All knowledge of my doom: or else at ease
    Love grows a cruel tyrant, hard to please;
  Or else a chastisement exceeding sore
  A little sin hath brought me. Hush! no more!
    Love is a god! all things he knows and sees,
    And gods are bland and mild! Who then decrees
  The dreadful woe I bear and yet adore?
  If I should say, O Phyllis, that 'twas thou,
    I should speak falsely, since, being wholly good
      Like Heaven itself, from thee no ill may come.
  There is no hope; I must die shortly now,
    Not knowing why, since sure no witch hath brewed
      The drug that might avert my martyrdom._"

Hereunto the writer adds reminiscences of slavery, picaresque scenes
observed during his vagabond life as tax-gatherer, tales of Italian
intrigue re-echoed from Bandello, flouts at Lope de Vega, a treasure
of adventures and experience, a strain of mockery both individual
and general. Small wonder if the world received _Don Quixote_ with
delight! There was nothing like unto it before: there has been nothing
to eclipse it since. It ends one epoch and begins another: it intones
the dirge of the mediæval novel: it announces the arrival of the new
generations, and it belongs to both the past and the coming ages. At
the point where the paths diverge, _Don Quixote_ stands, dominating
the entire landscape of fiction. Time has failed to wither its variety
or to lessen its force, and posterity accepts it as a masterpiece of
humoristic fancy, of complete observation and unsurpassed invention.
It ceases, in effect, to belong to Spain as a mere local possession,
though nothing can deprive her of the glory of producing it. Cervantes
ranks with Shakespeare and with Homer as a citizen of the world, a man
of all times and countries, and _Don Quixote_, with _Hamlet_ and the
_Iliad_, belongs to universal literature, and is become an eternal
pleasaunce of the mind for all the nations.

Cervantes had his immediate reward in general acceptance. Reprints of
his book followed in Spain, and in 1607 the original was reproduced
at Brussels. The French teacher of Spanish, César Oudin, interpolated
the tale of the _Curious Impertinent_ between the covers of Julio
Iñíguez de Medrano's _Silva Curiosa_, published for the second time
at Paris in 1608; in the same year Jean Baudouin did this story into
French, and in 1609 an anonymous arrangement of Marcela's story was
Gallicised as _Le Meurtre de la Fidélité et la Défense de l'Honneur_.
This sufficed for fame: yet Cervantes made no instant attempt to repeat
his triumph. For eight years he was silent, save for occasional copies
of verse. The baptism of the future Felipe IV., and the embassy of Lord
Nottingham—best known as Howard of Effingham, the admiral in command
against the Invincible Armada—are recorded in courtly fashion by
the anonymous writer of a pamphlet entitled _Relación de lo sucedido
en la Ciudad de Valladolid_. Góngora, who dealt with both subjects,
flouts Cervantes as the pamphleteer; but the authorship is doubtful.
Cervantes is next heard of in custody on suspicion of knowing more
than he chose to tell concerning the death of Gaspar de Ezpeleta,
in June 1605. Legend makes Ezpeleta the lover of Cervantes' natural
daughter, Isabel de Saavedra: "the point of honour" at once suggests
itself, and the incident has inspired both dramatists and novelists.
A conspiracy of silence on the part of biographers has done Cervantes
much wrong, and is responsible for exaggerated stories of his guilt. He
was discharged after inquiry, and seems to have been entirely innocent
of contriving Ezpeleta's end. Many romantic stories have gathered
about the personality of Isabel: she has been passed upon us as the
daughter of a Portuguese "lady of high quality," and the prop of her
father's declining days. These are idolatrous inventions: we now know
for certain that her mother's name was Ana Franca de Rojas, a poor
woman married to Alonso Rodríguez, and that the girl herself (who in
1605 was unable to read and write) was indentured as general servant to
Cervantes' sister, Magdalena de Sotomayor, in August 1599.[19] Thence
she passed to Cervantes' household, and it is even alleged that she was
twice married in her father's lifetime. She has been so picturesquely
presented by imaginative "Cervantophils," that it is necessary to state
the humble truth here and now, for the first time in English. Thus
the grotesque travesty of Cervantes as a plaster saint returns to the
Father of Lies, who begat it. Confirmation of his exploits as a loose
liver in gaming-houses is afforded by the _Memorias de Valladolid_, now
among the manuscripts in the British Museum.[20]

Such diversions as these left him scant time for literature. The space
between 1605 and 1608 yields the pitiful show of three sonnets in four
years: _To a Hermit_, _To the Conde de Saldaña_, _To a Braggart turned
Beggar_. Even this last is sometimes referred to Quevedo. It should
hardly seem that prosperity suited Cervantes. Meanwhile, his womenfolk
gained their bread by taking in the Marqués de Villafranca's sewing.
Still, he made no sign: the author of _Don Quixote_ sank lower and
lower, writing letters for illiterates at a small fee. The _Letter
to Don Diego de Astudillo Carrillo_, the _Story of what happens in
Seville Gaol_ (a sequel to Cristóbal de Chaves' sketch made twenty
years before), the _Dialogue between Sillenia and Selanio_, the three
_entremeses_ entitled _Doña Justina y Calahorra_, _Los Mirones_, and
_Los Refranes_—all these are of doubtful authenticity. In April
1609, Cervantes took a thought and mended: he joined Fray Alonso de
la Purificación's new Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, and in
1610 wrote his sonnet in memory of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. In 1611 he
entered the Academia Selvaje, founded by that Francisco de Silva whose
praises were sung later in the _Viaje del Parnaso_, and he prepared
that unique compound of fact and fancy, the rarest humour and the
most curious experience—his twelve _Novelas Exemplares_, which were
licensed on August 8, 1612, and appeared in 1613.

These short tales were written at long intervals of time, as the
internal evidence shows. In the forty-seventh chapter of _Don Quixote_
there is mention by name of _Rinconete y Cortadillo_, a picaresque
story of extraordinary brilliancy and point included among the
_Exemplary Novels_; and a companion piece is the _Coloquio de los
Perros_, no less a masterpiece in little. Monipodio, master of a school
for thieves; his pious jackal, Ganchuelo, who never steals on Friday;
the tipsy Pipota, who reels as she lights her votive candle—these are
triumphs in the art of portraiture. Not even Sancho Panza is wittier in
reflection than the dog Berganza, who reviews his many masters in the
light of humorous criticism. No less distinguished is the presentation,
in _El Casamiento Engañoso_, of the picaroons Campuzano and Estefanía
de Caicedo; and as an exercise in fantastic transcription of mania the
_Licenciado Vidriera_ lags not behind _Don Quixote_. So striking is the
resemblance that some have held the Licentiate for the first sketch of
the Knight; but an attentive reading shows that he was not conceived
till after _Don Quixote_ was in print. In 1814, Agustín García Arrieta
included _La Tía fingida_ (The Mock Aunt) among Cervantes' novels, and,
in a more complete form, it now finds place in all editions. Admirable
as the story is, the circumstance of its late appearance throws doubt
on its authenticity; yet who but Cervantes could have written it?
Perhaps the surest sign of his success is afforded by the quality and
number of his northern imitators.

  "_The land that cast out Philip and his God
  Grew gladly subject where Cervantes trod._"

Despite assertions to the contrary, his _Gitanilla_ is no original
conception, for the character of his gipsy, Preciosa, is developed from
that of Tarsiana in the _Apolonio_; yet from Cervantes' rendering of
her, which

  "_Gave the glad watchword of the gipsies' life,
  Where fear took hope and grief took joy to wife,_"

and from his tale entitled _La Fuerza de la Sangre_, Middleton's
_Spanish Gipsy_ derives. From Cervantes, too, Weber takes his opera
_Preciosa_, and from Cervantes comes Hugo's _Esmeralda_. In _Las dos
Doncellas_ Fletcher, who had already used _Don Quixote_ in the _Knight
of the Burning Pestle_, finds the root of _Love's Pilgrimage_; from _El
Casamiento Engañoso_ he takes his _Rule a Wife and Have a Wife_; and
from _La Señora Cornelia_ he borrows his _Chances_. And, as Fielding
had rejoiced to own his debt to Cervantes, so Sir Walter has confessed
that "the _Novelas_ of that author had first inspired him with the
ambition of excelling in fiction."

The next performance shows Cervantes tempting fate as a poet. His
_Viaje del Parnaso_ (1614) was suggested by the _Viaggio di Parnaso_
(1582) of the Perugian, Cesare Caporali, and is, in effect, a rhymed
review of contemporary poets. Verse is scarcely a lucky medium for
Cervantic irony, and Cervantes was the least critical of men. His poem
is interesting for its autobiographic touches, but it degenerates
into a mere stream of eulogy, and when he ventures on an attack he
rarely delivers it with force or point. He thought, perhaps, to put
down bad poets as he had put down bad prose-writers. But there was
this difference, that, though admirable in prose, he was not admirable
in verse. In the use of the first weapon he is an expert; in the
practice of the second he is a clever amateur. Cervantes satirising
in prose and Cervantes satirising in verse are as distinct as Samson
unshorn and Samson with his hair cut. Fortunately he appends a prose
postscript, which reveals him in his finest manner. Nor is this
surprising. Apollo's letter is dated July 22, 1614; and we know that,
two days earlier, Sancho Panza had dictated his famous letter to his
wife Teresa. The master had found himself once more. The sequel to _Don
Quixote_, promised in the Preface to the _Novelas_, was on the road at
last. Meanwhile he had busied himself with a sonnet to be published
at Naples in Juan Domingo Roncallolo's _Varias Aplicaciones_, with
quatrains for Barrio Ángulo, and stanzas in honour of Santa Teresa.

Moreover, the success of the _Novelas_ induced him to try the theatre
again. In 1615 he published his _Ocho Comedias, y ocho Entremeses
nuevos_. The eight set pieces are failures; and when the writer
tries to imitate Lope de Vega, as in the _Laberinto de Amor_, the
failure is conspicuous. Nor does the introduction of a Saavedra
among the personages of _El Gallardo Español_ save a bad play. But
Cervantes believed in his eight _comedias_, as he believed in the
eight _entremeses_ which are imitated from Lope de Rueda. These are
sprightly, unpretentious farces, witty in intention and effect,
interesting in themselves and as realistic pictures of low life seen
and rendered at first hand. Of these farcical pieces one, _Pedro de
Urdemalas_, is even brilliant.

While Cervantes was writing the fifty-ninth chapter of _Don Quixote's
Second Part_, he learned that a spurious continuation had appeared
(1614) at Tarragona under the name of Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda.
This has given rise to much angry writing. Avellaneda is doubtless
a pseudonym. The King's confessor, Aliaga, has been suspected, on
the ground that he was once nicknamed Sancho Panza, and that he thus
avenged himself: the idea is absurd, and the fact that Avellaneda makes
Sancho more offensive and more vulgar than ever puts the theory out of
court. Lope de Vega is also accused of being Avellaneda, and the charge
is based on this: that (in a private letter) he once spoke slightingly
of _Don Quixote_. The personal relations between the two greatest
Spanish men of letters were not cordial. Cervantes had ridiculed Lope
in the Prologue to _Don Quixote_, had belittled him as a playwright,
and had shown hostility in other ways. Lope, secure in his high seat,
made no reply, and in 1612 (in another private letter) he speaks kindly
of Cervantes. "Cervantophils" insist upon being too clever by half.
They first assert that the outward form of Avellaneda's book was an
imitation of _Don Quixote_, and that the intention was "to pass off
this spurious Second Part as the true one"; they then contend that
Avellaneda's was "a deliberate attempt to spoil the work of Cervantes."
These two statements are mutually destructive: one must necessarily
be false. It is also argued, first, that Avellaneda's is a worthless
book; next, that it was written by Lope, the greatest figure, save
Cervantes, in Spanish literature. Lope had many jealous enemies, but no
contemporary hints at such a charge, and no proof is offered in support
of it now. Indeed the notion, first started by Máinez, is generally
abandoned. Other ascriptions, involving Blanco de Paz, Ruiz de Alarcón,
Andrés Pérez, are equally futile. The most plausible conjecture, due
to D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo, is that Avellaneda was a certain
Aragonese, Alfonso Lamberto. Lamberto's very obscurity favours this
surmise. Had Avellaneda been a figure of great importance, he had been
unmasked by Cervantes himself, who assuredly was no coward.

We owe to Avellaneda a clever, brutal, cynical, amusing book, which
is still reprinted. Nor is this our only debt to him: he put an end
to Cervantes' dawdling and procured the publication of the second
_Don Quixote_. Cervantes left it doubtful if he meant to write the
sequel; he even seems to invite another to undertake it. Nine years had
passed, during which Cervantes made no sign. Avellaneda, with an eye to
profit, wrote his continuation in good faith, and his insolent Preface
is explained by his rage at seeing the bread taken out of his mouth
when the true sequel was announced in the Preface to the _Novelas_.
Had not his intrusion stung Cervantes to the quick, the second _Don
Quixote_ might have met the fate of the second _Galatea_—promised for
thirty years and never finished. As it is, the hurried close of the
Second Part is below the writer's common level, as when he rages at
Avellaneda, and wishes that the latter's book be "cast into the lowest
pit of hell." But this is its single fault, which, for the rest, is
only found in the last fourteen chapters. The previous fifty-eight
form an almost impeccable masterpiece. As an achievement in style, the
Second excels the First Part. The parody of chivalresque books is less
insistent, the interest is larger, the variety of episode is ampler,
the spirit more subtly comic, the new characters are more convincing,
the manner is more urbane, more assured. Cervantes' First Part was an
experiment in which he himself but half believed; in the Second he
shows the certainty of an accepted master, confident of his intention
and his popularity. So his career closed in a blaze of triumph. He had
other works in hand: a play to be called _El Engaño á los Ojos_, the
_Semanas del Jardín_, the _Famoso Bernardo_, and the eternal second
_Galatea_. These last three he promises in the Preface to _Los Trabajos
de Persiles y Sigismunda_ (1617), a posthumous volume "that dares
to vie with Heliodorus," and was to be "the best or worst book ever
written in our tongue." Ambitious in aim and in manner, the _Persiles_
has failed to interest, for all its adventures and scapes. Yet it
contains perhaps the finest, and certainly the most pathetic passage
that Cervantes ever penned—the noble dedication to his patron, the
Conde de Lemos, signed upon April 19, 1616. In the last grip of dropsy,
he gaily quotes from a _romance_ remembered from long ago:—

  "_Puesto ya el pié en el estribo_"—

"One foot already in the stirrup." With these words he smilingly
confronts fate, and makes him ready for the last post down the Valley
of the Shadow. He died on April 23, nominally on the same day as
Shakespeare, whose death is dated by an unreformed calendar. They were
brethren in their lives and afterwards. Montesquieu, in the _Lettres
Persanes_, makes Rica say of the Spaniards that "le seul de leurs
livres qui soit bon est celui qui a fait voir la ridicule de tous les
autres." If he meant that _Don Quixote_ was the one Spanish book which
has found acceptance all the world over, he spoke with equal truth and
point. A single author at once national and universal is as much as any
literature can hope to boast.

In his own day Cervantes was shone down by the ample, varied,
magnificent gifts of LOPE FÉLIX DE VEGA CARPIO (1562-1635): a very
"prodigy of nature," as his rival confesses. A prodigy he was from his
cradle. At the age of five he lisped in numbers, and, unable to write,
would bribe his schoolmates with a share of his breakfast to take down
verses at his dictation. He came of noble highland blood, his father,
Félix de Vega, and his mother, Francisca Fernández, being natives of
Carriedo. Born in Madrid, he was there educated at the Jesuit Colegio
Imperial, of which he was the wonder. All the accomplishments were his:
still a child, he filled his copy-books with verses, sang, danced,
handled the foil like a trained sworder. His father, a poet of some
accomplishment, died early, and Lope forthwith determined to see the
world. With his comrade, Hernando Muñoz, he ran away from school. The
pair reached Astorga, and turned back to Segovia, where, being short
of money, they tried to sell a chain to a jeweller, who, suspecting
something to be wrong, informed the local Dogberry. The adventurous
couple were sent home in charge of the police. Lope's earliest
surviving play, _El verdadero Amante_, written in his thirteenth year,
is included in the fourteenth volume of his theatre, printed in 1620.
Nicolás de los Ríos, one of the best actor-managers of his time,
was proud to play in it later; and, crude as it is in phrasing, it
manifests an astonishing dramatic gift.

The chronology of Lope's youth is perplexing, and the events of this
time are, as a rule, wrongly given by his biographers, even including
that admirable scholar, Cayetano Alberto de la Barrera y Leirado,
whose _Nueva Biografía_ is almost above praise. In a poetic epistle
to Luis de Haro, Lope asserts that he fought at Terceira against
the Portuguese: "in my third lustre"—_en tres lustros de mi edad
primera_: and Ticknor is puzzled to reconcile this with facts. It
cannot be done. Lope was fifteen in 1577, and the expedition to the
Azores occurred in 1582. The obvious explanation is that Lope was in
his fourth lustre, but that, as _cuatro_ would break the rhythm of
the line, he wrote _tres_ instead. Some little licence is admitted in
verse, and literal interpreters are peculiarly liable to error. At
the same time, it should be said that Lope is coquettish as regards
his age. Thus, he says that he was a child at the time of the Armada,
being really twenty-six; and that he wrote the _Dragontea_ in early
youth, when, in fact, he was thirty-five. This little vanity has led to
endless confusion. It is commonly stated that, on Lope's return from
the Azores, he entered the household of Gerónimo Manrique, Bishop of
Ávila, who sent him to Alcalá de Henares. That Lope studied at Alcalá
is certain; but undergraduates then matriculated earlier than they do
now. When Lope's first campaign ended he was twenty-one, and therefore
too old for college. He was a Bachelor before ever he went to the
wars. The love-affair, recounted in his _Dorotea_, is commonly said to
have prevented his taking orders at Alcalá: in truth, he never saw the
lady till he came back from the Azores! He became private secretary to
Antonio Álvarez de Toledo y Beaumont, fifth Duque de Alba, and grandson
of the great soldier; but the date cannot be given precisely. As far
back as 1572 he had translated Claudian's _Rape of Proserpine_ into
Castilian verse, and we have already seen him joined with Cervantes in
penning complimentary sonnets for Padilla and López Maldonado (1584).
It may be that, while in Alba's service, he wrote the poems printed in
Pedro de Moncayo's _Flor de varios romances_ (1589).

The history of these years is obscure. It is usually asserted that,
while in Alba's service, about the year 1584-5, Lope married, and
that he was soon afterwards exiled to Valencia, whence he set out
for Lisbon to join the Invincible Armada. This does not square with
Lope's statement in the Dedication of _Querer la propia Desdicha_ to
Claudio Conde. There he alleges that Conde helped him out of prison
in Madrid, a service repaid by his helping Conde out of the Serranos
prison at Valencia, and he goes on to say that "before the first down
was on their cheeks" they went to Lisbon to embark on the Armada. He
nowhere alleges that they started from Valencia, or that the journey
followed the banishment. In an eclogue to the same Conde, Lope avers
that he joined the Armada to escape from Filis (otherwise Dorotea),
and he adds:—"Who could have thought that, returning from the war,
I should find a sweet wife?" The question would be pointless if Lope
were already married. Moreover, Barrera's theory that the intrigue
with Dorotea ended in 1584 is disproved by the fact that the _Dorotea_
contains allusions to the Conde de Melgar's marriage, which, as we know
from Cabrera, took place in 1587. What is certain is that Lope went
aboard the _San Juan_, and that during the Armada expedition he used
his manuscript verses in Filis's praise for gun-wads.

He was a first-class fighting-man, and played his part in the combats
up the Channel, where his brother was killed beside him during an
encounter between the _San Juan_ and eight Dutch vessels. Disaster
never quenched his spirit nor stayed his pen; for, when what was left
of the defeated Armada returned to Cádiz, he landed with the greater
part of his _Hermosura de Angélica_—eleven thousand verses, written
between storm and battle, in continuation of the _Orlando Furioso_.
First published in 1602, the _Angélica_ comes short of Ariosto's epic
nobility, and is unrelieved by the Italian's touch of ironic fantasy.
Nor can it be called successful even as a sequel: its very wealth
of invention, its redundant episodes and innumerable digressions,
contribute to its failure. But the verse is singularly brilliant and
effective, while the skill with which the writer handles proper names
is almost Miltonic.

Returned to Spain, Lope composed his pastoral novel, the _Arcadia_,
which, however, remained unpublished till 1598. Ticknor believed it "to
have been written almost immediately" after Cervantes' _Galatea_: this
cannot be, for the _Arcadia_ refers to the death of Santa Cruz, which
occurred in 1588, and it discusses in the conventional manner Alba's
love-affairs of 1589-90. The _Arcadia_, where Lope figures as Belardo,
and Alba as Amfriso, makes no pretence to be a transcript of manners
or life, and it is intolerably prolix withal. Yet it goes beyond its
fellows by virtue of its vivid landscapes, its graceful, flowing verse,
and a certain rich, poetic, Latinized prose, here used by Lope with
as much artistry as he showed in his management of the more familiar
kind in the _Dorotea_. Its popularity is proved by the publication
of fifteen editions in its author's lifetime. About the year 1590 he
married Isabel de Urbina, a distant connection of Cervantes' mother,
and daughter of Felipe II.'s King-at-Arms. Hereupon followed a duel,
wherein Lope wounded his adversary, and, earlier escapades being raked
up, he was banished the capital. He spent some time in Valencia, a
considerable literary centre; but in 1594 he signed the manuscript of
his play, _El Maestro de danzar_, at Tormes, Alba's estate, whence
it is inferred that he was once more in the Duke's service. A new
love-affair with Antonia Trillo de Armenta brought legal troubles upon
him in 1596. His wife apparently died in 1597.

The first considerable work printed with Lope's name upon the
title-page was his _Dragontea_ (1598), an epic poem in ten cantos
on the last cruise and death of Francis Drake. We naturally love to
think of the mighty seaman as the patriot, the chiefest of Britannia's
bulwarks, as he figures in Mr. Newbolt's spirited ballad:—

  "_Drake lies in his hammock till the great Armadas come ...
  Slung atween the round shot, listenin' for the drum ...
  Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound,
    Call him when ye sail to meet the foe;
  Where the old trade's plyin' and the old flag flyin',
    They shall find him 'ware an' waking, as they found him long ago._"

Odd to say, though, Lope has been censured for not viewing Drake
through English Protestant spectacles. Seeing that he was a good
Catholic Spaniard whom Drake had drummed up the Channel, it had been
curious if the _Dragontea_ were other than it is: a savage denunciation
of that Babylonian Dragon, that son of the devil whose piracies had
tormented Spain during thirty years. The _Dragontea_ fails not because
of its national spirit, which is wholly admirable, but because of its
excessive emphasis and its abuse of allegory. Its author scarcely
intended it for great poetry; but, as a patriotic screed, it fulfilled
its purpose, and, when reprinted, it drew an approving sonnet from

The _Dragontea_ was written while Lope was in the household of the
Marqués de Malpica, whence he passed as secretary to the lettered
Marqués de Sarriá, best known as Conde de Lemos, and as Cervantes'
patron. In 1599 he published his devout and graceful poem, _San
Isidro_, in honour of Madrid's patron saint. Popular in subject and
execution, the _San Isidro_ enabled him to repeat in verse the triumph
which he had achieved with the prose of the _Arcadia_. From this day
forward he was the admitted pontiff of Spanish literature. His marriage
with Juana de Guardo probably dates from the year 1600. An example of
Lope's art in manipulating the sonnet-form is afforded by Longfellow's
Englishing of _The Brook_:—

  "_Laugh of the mountain! lyre of bird and tree!
    Pomp of the meadow! mirror of the morn!
    The soul of April, unto whom are born
  The rose and jessamine, leaps wild in thee!
  Although where'er thy devious current strays,
    The lap of earth with gold and silver teems,
    To me thy clear proceeding brighter seems
  Than golden sands that charm each shepherd's gaze.
  How without guile thy bosom, all transparent
    As the pure crystal, lets the curious eye
    Thy secrets scan, thy smooth, round pebbles count!
  How, without malice murmuring, glides thy current!
    O sweet simplicity of days gone by!
    Thou shun'st the haunts of man, to dwell in limpid fount!_"

Two hundred sonnets in Lope's _Rimas_ are thought to have been issued
separately in 1602: in any case, they were published that year at the
end of a reprint of the _Angélica_. They include much of the writer's
sincerest work, earnest in feeling, skilful and even distinguished as
art. One sonnet of great beauty—_To the Tomb of Teodora Urbina_—has
led Ticknor into an amusing error often reproduced. He cites from it
a line upon the "heavenly likeness of my Belisa," notes that this
name is an anagram of Isabel (Lope's first wife), and pronounces the
performance a lament for the poet's mother-in-law. The Latin epitaph
which follows it contains a line,—

  "_Exactis nondum complevit mensibus annum_,"—

showing that the supposed mother-in-law died in her first year.
Manifestly the sonnet refers to the writer's daughter, and, as always
happens when Lope speaks from his paternal heart, is instinct with a
passionate tenderness.

To 1604 belong the five prose books of the _Peregrino en su patria_,
a prose romance of Pánfilo's adventures by sea and land, partly
experienced and partly contrived; but it is most interesting for the
four _autos_ which it includes, and for its bibliographical list
of two hundred and thirty plays already written by the author. His
quenchless ambition had led him to rival Ariosto in the _Angélica_:
in the twenty cantos of his _Jerusalén Conquistada_ he dares no less
greatly by challenging Tasso. Written in 1605, the _Jerusalén_
was withheld till 1609. Styled a "tragic epic" by its creator, it
is no more than a fluent historico-narrative poem, overlaid with
embellishments of somewhat cheap and obvious design. In 1612 appeared
the _Four Soliloquies of Lope de Vega Carpio_: _his lament and tears
while kneeling before a crucifix begging pardon for his sins._ These
four sets of _redondillas_ with their prose commentaries were amplified
to seven when republished (1626) under the pseudonym of Gabriel
Padecopeo, an obvious anagram. The deaths of Lope's wife and of his son
Carlos inspired the _Pastores de Belén_, a sacred pastoral of supreme
simplicity, truth, and beauty—as Spanish as Spain herself—which
contains one of the sweetest numbers in Castilian. The Virgin lulls
the Divine Child with a song in Verstegan's manner, which Ticknor has
rendered to this effect:—

  "_Holy angels and blest,
    Through those palms as ye sweep
  Hold their branches at rest,
    For my babe is asleep._

  _And ye Bethlehem palm-trees,
    As stormy winds rush
  In tempest and fury,
    Your angry noise hush;
  More gently, more gently,
    Restrain your wild sweep;
  Hold your branches at rest,
    My babe is asleep._

  _My babe all divine,
    With earth's sorrows oppressed,
  Seeks in slumber an instant
    His grievings to rest;
  He slumbers, he slumbers,
    Oh, hush, then, and keep
  Your branches all still,
    My babe is asleep!_

  _Cold blasts wheel about him,
    A rigorous storm,
  And ye see how, in vain,
    I would shelter his form.
  Holy angels and blest,
    As above me ye sweep,
  Hold these branches at rest,
    My babe is asleep!_"

Lope lived a life of gallantry, and troubled his wife's last years
by his intrigue with María de Luján. This lady bore him the gifted
son, Lope Félix, who was drowned at sea, and the daughter Marcela,
whose admirable verses, written after her profession in the Convent of
Barefoot Trinitarians, proclaim her kinship with the great enchanter.
A relapsing, carnal sinner, Lope was more weak than bad: his rare
intellectual gifts, his renown, his overwhelming temperament, his
seductive address, his imperial presence, led him into temptation. Amid
his follies and sins he preserved a touching faith in the invisible,
and his devotion was always ardent. Upon the death of his wife in
1612 or later, he turned to religion with characteristic impetuosity,
was ordained priest, and said his first mass in 1614 at the Carmelite
Church in Madrid. It was an ill-advised move. Ticknor, indeed, speaks
of a "Lope, no longer at an age to be deluded by his passions"; but
no such Lope is known to history. While a Familiar of the Inquisition
the true Lope wrote love-letters for the loose-living Duque de Sessa,
till at last his confessor threatened to deny him absolution. Nor is
this all: his intrigue with Marta de Nevares Santoyo, wife of Roque
Hernández de Ayala, was notorious. The pious Cervantes publicly
jeered at the fallen priest's "continuous and virtuous occupation,"
forgetting his own coarse pranks with Ana de Rojas; and Góngora hounded
his master down with a copy of venomous verses passed from hand to
hand. Those who wish to study the abasement of an august spirit may
do so in the _Últimos Amores de Lope de Vega Carpio_, forty-eight
letters published by José Ibero Ribas y Canfranc.[21] If they judge by
the standard of Lope's time, they will deal gently with a miracle of
genius, unchaste but not licentious; like that old Dumas, who, in the
matters of gaiety, energy, and strength is his nearest modern compeer.
His sin was yet to find him out. He vanquished every enemy: the child
of his old age vanquished him.

Devotion and love-affairs served not to stay his pen. His _Triunfo
de la fe en el Japón_ (1618) is interesting as an example of Lope's
practice in the school of historical prose, stately, devout, and
elegant. In honour of Isidore, beatified and then canonised, he
presided at the poetic jousts of 1620 and 1622, witnessing the
triumph of his son, Félix Lope; standing literary god-father to the
boyish Calderón; declaiming, in the character of Tomé Burguillos,
the inimitable verse which hit between wind and water. Perhaps Lope
was never happier than in this opportunity of speaking his own witty
lines before the multitude. His noble person, his facility, his urbane
condescension, his incomparable voice, which thrilled even clowns
when he intoned his mass—all these gave him the stage as his own
possession. Heretofore the common man had only read him: once seen and
heard, Lope ruled Castilian literature as Napoleon ruled France.

His _Filomena_ (1621) contains a poetic defence of himself (the
Nightingale) against Pedro de Torres Rámila (the Thrush), who, in 1617,
had violently attacked Lope in his _Spongia_, which seems to have
vanished, and is only known by extracts embodied in the _Expostulatio
Spongiæ_, written by Francisco López de Aguilar Coutiño under the
name of Julius Columbarius. Polemics apart, the chief interest of
the _Filomena_ volume lies in its short prose story, _Las Fortunas
de Diana_, an experiment which the author repeated in the three
tales—_La Desdicha por la honra_, _La prudente Venganza_, and _Guzmán
el Bravo_—appended to his _Circe_ (1624), a poem, in three cantos, on
Ulysses' adventures. The five cantos of the _Triunfos divinos_ are
pious exercises in the Petrarchan manner, with forty-four sonnets given
as a postscript. Five cantos go to make up the _Corona Trágica_ (1627),
a religious epic with Mary Stuart for heroine. Lope has been absurdly
censured for styling Queen Elizabeth a Jezebel and an Athaliah, and for
regarding Mary as a Catholic martyr. This criticism implies a strange
intellectual confusion; as though a veteran of the Armada could be
expected to write in the spirit of a Clapham Evangelical! Religious
squabbles apart, he had an old score to settle; for—

  "_Where are the galleons of Spain?_"

was a question which troubled good Spaniards as much as it delighted
Mr. Dobson. Dedicated to Pope Urban VIII., the poem won for its author
the Cross of St. John and the title of Doctor of Divinity. Three years
later he issued his _Laurel de Apolo_, a cloying eulogy on some three
hundred poets, as remarkable for its omissions as for its flattering
of nonentities. The _Dorotea_ (1632), a prose play fashioned after
the model of the _Celestina_, was one of Lope's favourites, and is
interesting, not merely for its graceful, familiar style, retouched
and polished for over thirty years, but as a piece of self-revelation.
The _Rimas del licenciado Tomé de Burguillos_ (1634) closes with the
mock-heroic _Gatomaquia_, a vigorous and brilliant travesty of the
Italian epics, replenished with such gay wit as suffices to keep it
sweet for all time.

Lope de Vega's career was drawing to its end. The elopement, with a
court gallant, of his daughter, Antonia Clara, broke him utterly.[22]
He sank into melancholy, sought to expiate by lashing himself with the
discipline till the walls of his room were flecked with his blood.
Withal he wrote to the very end. On August 23, 1635, he composed his
last poem, _El Siglo de Oro_. Four days later he was dead. Madrid
followed him to his grave, and the long procession turned from the
direct path to pass before the window of the convent where his
daughter, Sor Marcela, was a nun. A hundred and fifty-three Spanish
authors bewailed the Phœnix in the _Fama póstuma_, and fifty Italians
published their laments at Venice under the title of _Essequie

Lope left no achievement unattempted: the epic, Homeric or Italian,
the pastoral, the romantic novel, poems narrative and historical,
countless eclogues, epistles, not to speak of short tales, of
sonnets innumerable, of verses dashed off on the least occasion. His
voluminous private letters, full of wit and malice and risky anecdote,
are as brilliant and amusing as they are unedifying. It is sometimes
alleged that he deliberately capped Cervantes' work; and, as instances
in this sort, we are bid to note that the _Galatea_ was followed by
_Dorotea_, the _Viaje del Parnaso_ by the _Laurel de Apolo_. In the
first place, exclusive "spheres of influence" are not recognised in
literature; in the second, the observation is pointless. The _Galatea_
is a pastoral novel, the _Dorotea_ is not; the first was published in
1585, the second in 1632. Again, the _Viaje del Parnaso_ appeared in
1614, the _Laurel de Apolo_ in 1630. The first model was the _Canto
del Turia_ of Gil Polo. It would be as reasonable—that is to say, it
would be the height of unreason—to argue that _Persiles y Sigismunda_
was an attempt to cap the _Peregrino en su patria_. The truth is, that
Lope followed every one who made a hit: Heliodorus, Petrarch, Ariosto,
Tasso. A frank success spurred him to rivalry, and the difficulty of
repeating it was for him a fresh stimulus. Obstacles existed to be
vanquished. He was ever ready to accept a challenge; hence such a
dexterous _tour de force_ as his famous _Sonnet on a Sonnet_, imitated
in a well-known _rondeau_ by Voiture, translated again and again, and
by none more successfully than by Mr. Gibson:—

  "_To write a sonnet doth Juana press me,
    I've never found me in such stress and pain;
    A sonnet numbers fourteen lines 'tis plain,
  And three are gone ere I can say, God bless me!
  I thought that spinning rhymes might sore oppress me,
    Yet here I'm midway in the last quatrain;
    And, if the foremost tercet I can gain,
  The quatrains need not any more distress me.
  To the first tercet I have got at last,
    And travel through it with such right good-will,
    That with this line I've finished it, I ween.
  I'm in the second now, and see how fast
    The thirteenth line comes tripping from my quill—
    Hurrah, 'tis done! Count if there be fourteen!_"

The foregoing list of Lope's exploits in literature, curtailed as
it is, suffices for fame; but it would not suffice to explain that
matchless popularity which led to the publication—suppressed by the
Inquisition in 1647—of a creed beginning thus:—"I believe in Lope de
Vega the Almighty, the Poet of heaven and earth." So far we have but
reached the threshold of his temple. His unique renown is based upon
the fact that he created a national theatre, that he did for Spain what
Shakespeare did for England. Gómez Manrique and Encina led the way
gropingly; Torres Naharro, though he bettered all that had been done,
lived out of Spain; Lope de Rueda and Timoneda brought the drama to the
people; Artieda, Virués, Argensola, and Cervantes tore their passions
to tatters in conformity with their own strange precepts, which the
last-named would have enforced by a literary dictatorship. Moreover,
Argensola and the three veterans of Lepanto wrote to please themselves:
Lope invented a new art to enchant mankind. And he succeeded beyond all
ambition. Nor does he once take on the airs of philosopher or pedant:
rather, in a spirit of self-mockery, he makes his confession in the
_Arte Nuevo de hacer Comedias_ (New Mode of Playwriting), which his
English biographer, Lord Holland, translates in this wise:—

  "_Who writes by rule must please himself alone,
  Be damn'd without remorse, and die unknown.
  Such force has habit—for the untaught fools,
  Trusting their own, despise the ancient rules.
  Yet true it is, I too have written plays.
  The wiser few, who judge with skill, might praise;
  But when I see how show (and nonsense) draws
  The crowds and—more than all—the fair's applause,
  Who still are forward with indulgent rage
  To sanction every master of the stage,
  I, doom'd to write, the public taste to hit,
  Resume the barbarous taste 'twas vain to quit:
  I lock up every rule before I write,
  Plautus and Terence drive from out my sight, ...
  To vulgar standards then I square my play,
  Writing at ease; for, since the public pay,
  'Tis just, methinks, we by their compass steer,
  And write the nonsense that they love to hear._"

Thus Lope in his bantering avowal of 1609. Yet what takes the form of
an apology is in truth a vaunt; for it was Lope's task to tear off
the academic swaddling-bands of his predecessors, and to enrich his
country with a drama of her own. Nay, he did far more: by his single
effort he dowered her with an entire dramatic literature. The very
bulk of his production savours of the fabulous. In 1603 he had already
written over two hundred plays; in 1609 the number was four hundred
and eighty-three; in 1620 he confesses to nine hundred; in 1624 he
reaches one thousand and seventy; and in 1632 the total amounted to
one thousand five hundred. According to Montalbán, editor of the
_Fama póstuma_, the grand total, omitting _entremeses_, should be one
thousand eight hundred plays, and over four hundred _autos_. Of these
about four hundred plays and forty _autos_ survive. If we take the
figures as they stand, Lope de Vega wrote more than all the Elizabethan
dramatists put together. Small wonder that Charles Fox was staggered
when his nephew, Lord Holland, spoke of Lope's twenty million lines.
Facility and excellence are rarely found together, yet Lope combined
both qualities in such high degree that any one with enough Spanish to
read him need never pass a dull moment so long as he lives.

Hazlitt protests against the story which tells that Lope wrote a play
before breakfast, and in truth it rests on no good authority. But it is
history that, not once, but an hundred times, he wrote a whole piece
within twenty-four hours. Working in these conditions, he must needs
have the faults inseparable from haste. He repeats his thought with
small variation; he utilises old solutions for a dramatic _impasse_;
and his phrase is too often more vigorous than finished. But it is
not as a master of artistic detail that Lope's countrymen place him
beside Cervantes. First, and last, and always, he is a great creative
genius. He incarnates the national spirit, adapts popular poetry to
dramatic effects, substitutes characters for abstractions, and, in
a word, expresses the genius of a people. It is true that he rarely
finds a perfect form for his utterance, that he constantly approaches
perfection without quite attaining unto it, that his dramatic instinct
exceeds his literary execution. Yet he survives as the creator of
an original form. His successors improved upon him in the matter of
polish, yet not one of them made an essential departure of his own, not
one invented a radical variant upon Lope's method. Tirso de Molina may
exceed him in force of conception, as Ruiz de Alarcón outshines him in
ethical significance, in exposition of character; yet Tirso and Alarcón
are but developing the doctrine laid down by the master in _El Castigo
sin Venganza_—the lesson of truth, realism, fidelity to the actual
usages of the time. Tirso, Alarcón, and Calderón are a most brilliant
progeny; but the father of them all is the unrivalled Lope. He seized
upon what germs of good existed in Torres Naharro, Rueda, and Cueva;
but his debt to them was small, and he would have found his way without
them. Without Lope we should have had no Tirso, no Calderón.[23]

Producing as he produced, much of his work may be considered as
improvisation; even so, he takes place as the first improvisatore in
the world, and compels recognition as, so to say, "a natural force
let loose." He imagined on a Napoleonic scale; he contrived incident
with such ease and force and persuasiveness as make the most of
his followers seem poor indeed; and his ingenuity of diversion is
miraculously fresh after nearly three hundred years. His gift never
fails him, whether he deal with historical tragedy, with the heroic
legend, with the presentation of picaresque life, or with the play
of intrigue and manners—the _comedia de capa y espada_. This last,
"the cloak and sword play" is as much his personal invention as is
the _gracioso_—the comic character—as is the _enredo_—the maze of
plot—as is the "point of honour," as is the feminine interest in
his best work. Hitherto the woman had been allotted a secondary, an
incidental part, ludicrous in the _entremés_, sentimental in the set
piece. Lope, the expert in gallantry, in manners, in observation,
placed her in her true setting, as an ideal, as the mainspring of
dramatic motive and of chivalrous conduct. He professed an abstract
approval of the classic models; but his natural impulse was too strong
for him. An imitator he could not be, save in so far as he, in his own
phrase, "imitated men's actions, and reproduced the manners of the
age." He laid down rules which in practice he flouted; for he realised
that the business of the scene is to hold an audience, is to interest,
to surprise, to move. He could not thump a pulpit in an empty hall: he
perceived that a play which fails to attract is—for the playwright's
purpose—a bad play. He can be read with infinite pleasure; yet he
rarely attempted drama for the closet. Emotion in action was his aim,
and he achieved it with a certainty which places him among the greatest
gods of the stage.

It is difficult to fix upon the period when Lope's dramatic genius was
accepted by his public: 1592 seems a likely date. He took no interest
in publishing his plays, though _El Perseguido_ was issued by a Lisbon
pirate so early as 1603. Eight volumes of his theatre were in print
before he was induced in 1617 to authorise an edition which was called
the _Ninth Part_, and after 1625 he printed no more dramatic pieces,
despite the fact that he produced them more abundantly than ever. We
may, perhaps, assume that the best of his work has reached us. Among
the finest of his earlier efforts is justly placed _El Acero de Madrid_
(The Madrid Steel), from which Molière has borrowed the _Médecin
malgré lui_, and the opening scene, as Ticknor renders it, admirably
illustrates Lope's power of interesting his audience from the very
outset by a situation which explains itself. Lisardo, with his friend
Riselo, enamoured of Belisa, awaits the latter at the church-door, and,
just as Riselo declares that he will wait no more, Belisa enters with
her pious aunt, Teodora, as _dueña_:—


  "_Show more of gentleness and modesty;
  Of gentleness in walking quietly,
  Of modesty in looking only down
  Upon the earth you tread._

                            _'Tis what I do._


  _What? When you're looking straight towards that man?_


  _Did you not bid me look upon the earth?
  And what is he but just a bit of it?_


  _I said the earth whereon you tread, my niece._


  _But that whereon I tread is hidden quite
  With my own petticoat and walking-dress._


  _Words such as these become no well-bred maid.
  But, by your mother's blessed memory,
  I'll put an end to all your pretty tricks;—
  What? You look back at him again._


                                    _Who? I?_


  _Yes, you;—and make him secret signs besides._


  _Not I! 'Tis only that you troubled me
  With teasing questions and perverse replies,
  So that I stumbled and looked round to see
  Who would prevent my fall._

Riselo (to Lisardo).

                            _She falls again.
  Be quick and help her._

Lisardo (to Belisa).

                        _Pardon me, lady,
  And forgive my glove._


                        _Who ever saw the like?_


  _I thank you, sir; you saved me from a fall._


  _An angel, lady, might have fallen so,
  Or stars that shine with heaven's own blessed light._


  _I, too, can fall; but 'tis upon your trick.
  Good gentleman, farewell to you!_


  Your servant._ (_Heaven save us from such spleen!_)


  _A pretty fall you made of it; and now I hope
  You'll be content, since they assisted you._


  _And you no less content, since now you have
  The means to tease me for a week to come._


  _But why again do you turn back your head?_


  _Why, sure you think it wise and wary
  To notice well the place I stumbled at,
  Lest I should stumble there when next I pass._


  _Mischief befall you! But I know your ways!
  You'll not deny this time you looked upon the youth?_


  _Deny it? No!_


                _You dare confess it, then?_


  _Be sure I dare. You saw him help me;
  And would you have me fail to thank him for it?_


  _Go to! Come home! come home!_"

This is a fair specimen, even in its sober English dress, of Lope's
gallant dialogue and of his consummate skill in gripping his subject.
No playwright has ever shown a more infallible tact, a more assured
confidence in his own resources. He never attempts to puzzle his
audience with a dull acrostic: complicated as his plot may be (and
he loves to introduce a double intrigue when the chance proffers),
he exposes it at the outset with an obvious solution; but not one in
twenty can guess precisely how the solution is to be attained. And,
till the last moment, his contagious, reckless gaiety, his touches of
perplexing irony, his vigilant invention, help to thrill and vivify the

Yet has he all the defects of his facility. In an indifferent mood,
besieged by managers for more and more plays, he would set forth upon a
piece, not knowing what was to be its action, would indulge in a triple
plot of baffling complexity eked out by incredible episodes. Even his
ingenuity failed to find escape from such unprepared situations. Still
it is fair to say that such instances are rare with him: time upon time
his dramatic instinct saved him where a less notable inventor must have
succumbed. He could create character; he was an artist in construction;
he knew what could, and could not, be done upon the stage. Like Dumas,
he needed but "four trestles, four boards, two actors, and a passion";
and, at his best, he rises to the greatest occasion. In a single
scene, in an act entire, you shall read him with wonder and delight for
his force and truth and certainty. Yet the trail of carelessness is
upon his last acts, and his conscience sometimes sleeps ere his curtain
falls. The fact that he thought more of a listener than of ten readers
comes home to a constant student. Lope had few theories as to style,
and he rarely aims at sheer beauty of expression, at simple felicity of
phrase. Hence his very cleverness grows wearisome at last. But, after
all, he must be judged by the true historic standard: his achievement
must be compared with what preceded, not with what came after him.
Tirso de Molina and Calderón and Moreto grew the flower from Lope's
seed. He took the farce as Lope de Rueda left it, and transformed
its hard fun by his humane and sparkling wit. He inherited the cold
mediæval morality, and touched it into life by the breath of devout
imagination. He re-shaped the crude collection of massacres which
Virués mistook for tragedy, and produced effects of dread and horror
with an artistry of his own devising, a selection, a conscience, a
delicate vigour all unknown until he came. And for the _comedia de capa
y espada_, it springs direct from his own cunning brain, unsuggested
and even unimagined by any forerunner.

It were hopeless to analyse any part of the immense theatre which he
bequeathed to the world. But among his best tragedies may be cited
_El Castigo sin Venganza_, with its dramatic rendering of the Duke of
Ferrara sentencing his adulterous wife and incestuous son to death.
Among his historic dramas none surpasses _El Mejor Alcalde el Rey_,
with its presentation of the model Spanish heroine, Elvira; of the
feudal baron, Tello; and of the King as the buckler of his people,
the strong man doing justice in high places: a most typical piece
of character, congenial to the aristocratic democracy of Spain. A
more morbid version of the same monarchical sentiment is given in
_La Estrella de Sevilla_, the argument of which is brief enough for
quotation. King Sancho _el Bravo_ falls enamoured of Busto Tavera's
sister, Estrella, betrothed to Sancho Ortiz de las Roelas. Having
vainly striven to win over Busto, the King follows the advice of Arias,
corrupts her slave, enters Estrella's room, is there discovered,
is challenged by Busto, and escapes with a sound skin. The slave,
confessing her share in the scheme, is killed by the innocent
heroine's brother. Meanwhile, the King determines upon Busto's death,
summons Sancho Ortiz, and bids him slay a certain criminal guilty of
_lèse-majesté_. Herewith the King offers Sancho a guarantee against
consequences. Sancho Ortiz destroys it, saying that he asks for nothing
better than the King's word, and ends by begging the sovereign to
grant him the hand of an unnamed lady. To this the King accedes, and
he hands Sancho Ortiz a paper containing the name of the doomed man.
After much hesitation and self-torment, Sancho Ortiz resolves to do his
duty to his King, slays Busto, is seized, refuses to explain, undergoes
sentence of death, and is finally pardoned by King Sancho, who avows
his own guilt, and endeavours to promote the marriage between Sancho
Ortiz and Estrella. For an obvious reason they refuse, and the curtain
falls upon Estrella's determination to get herself to a nunnery.

Thus baldly told, the story resembles a thousand others; under Lope's
hand it throbs with life and movement and emotion. His dialogue is
swift and strong and appropriate, whether he personifies the blind
passion of the King, the incorruptibility of Busto, the feudal ideal of
Sancho Ortiz, or the strength and sweetness of Estrella. Of dialogue he
is the first and best master on the Spanish stage: more choice, if less
powerful, than Tirso; more natural, if less altisonant, than Calderón.
The dramatic use of certain metrical forms persisted as he sanctioned
it: the _décimas_ for laments, the _romance_ for exposition, the _lira_
for heroic declamation, the sonnet to mark time, the _redondilla_ for
love-passages. His lightness of touch, his gaiety and resourcefulness
are exampled in _La Dama Melindrosa_ (The Languishing Lady), as good
a cloak-and-sword play as even Lope ever wrote. His gift of sombre
conception is to be seen in _Dineros son Calidad_ (Money is Rank),
where his contrivance of the King of Naples' statue addressing Octavio
is the nearest possible approach to Tirso's figures of the Commander
and of Don Juan.

Whether or not Tirso took the idea from Lope cannot well be decided;
but if he did so, he was no worse than the rest of the world. For
ages dramatists of all nations have found Lope de Vega "good to steal
from," and in many forms he has diverted other countries than the
Spains. Alexandre Hardy is said by tradition to have exploited him
vigorously, and probably we should find the imitations among Hardy's
lost plays. Jean Mairet is reputed to have borrowed generously, and
an undoubted follower is Jean Rotrou, many of whose pieces—from the
early _Occasions perdues_ and _La belle Alfrède_ to his last effort,
_Don Lope de Cardonne_—are boldly annexed from Lope. D'Ouville, in
_Les Morts vivants_ and in _Aimer sans savoir qui_, exploited Lope
to the profit of French playgoers. It is a rash conjecture which
identifies the _Wild Gallant_ with the _Galán escarmentado_, inasmuch
as the latter play is even still "inedited," and could scarcely have
reached Dryden; but it cannot be doubted that when the sources of our
Restoration drama are traced out, Lope will be found to rank with
Calderón, and Moreto, and Rojas Zorrilla.

Yet his chief glory must, like Burns's, be ever local. Cervantes, for
all his national savour, might conceivably belong to any country; but
Lope de Vega is the incarnate Spains. His gaiety, his suppleness, his
adroit construction, his affluence, his realism, are eminently Spanish
in their strength; his heedless form, his journalistic emphasis, his
inequality, his occasional incoherence, his anxiety to please at any
cost, are eminently Spanish in their weakness. He lacks the universal
note of Shakespeare, being chiefly for his own time and not for all the
ages. Shakespeare, however, stands alone in literature. It is no small
praise to say that Lope follows him on a lower plane. There are two
great creators in the European drama: Shakespeare founds the English
theatre, Lope de Vega the Spanish, each interpreting the genius of his
people with unmatched supremacy. And unto both there came a period of
eclipse. That very generation which Lope had bewildered, dominated, and
charmed by his fantasy turned to the worship of Calderón. Nor did he
profit by the romantic movement headed by the Schlegels and by Tieck.
For them, as for Goethe, Spanish literature was incarnated by Cervantes
and by Calderón. The immense bulk of Lope's production, the rarity of
his editions, the absence of any representative translation, caused
him to be overlooked. To two men—to Agustín Durán in Spain and to
Grillparzer in Germany—he owes his revival;[24] and, in more modest
degree, Lord Holland and George Henry Lewes have furthered his due
recognition. The present tendency is, perhaps, to overrate him, and to
substitute uncritical adoration for uncritical neglect. Yet he deserves
the fame which grows from day to day; for if he have bequeathed us
little that is exquisite in art—as _Los Pastores de Belén_—the world
is his debtor for a new and singular form of dramatic utterance. In
so much he is not only a great executant in the romantic drama, a
virtuoso of unexcelled resource and brilliancy. He is something still
greater: the typical representative of his race, the founder of a
great and comprehensive _genre_. The genius of Cervantes was universal
and unique; Lope's was unique but national. Cervantes had the rarer
and more perfect endowment. But they are immortals both; and, paradox
though it may seem, a second Cervantes is a likelier miracle than a
second Lope de Vega.

                   *       *       *       *       *

In 1599, the year following upon the issue of Lope's _Dragontea_,
the picaresque tradition of _Lazarillo de Tormes_ was revived by the
Sevillan MATEO ALEMÁN (fl. ? 1550-1609) in the First Part of his
_Atalaya de la Vida humana_: _Vida del Pícaro Guzmán de Alfarache_. The
alternative title—the _Watch-Tower of Human Life_—was rejected by the
reading public, which, to the author's annoyance, insisted on speaking
of the _Pícaro_ or _Rogue_. Little is known of Alemán's life, save that
he took his Bachelor's degree at Seville in 1565. He is conjectured
to have visited Italy, perhaps as a soldier, is found serving in
the Treasury so early as 1568, and, after twenty years, left the
King's service as poor as he entered it. A passage in his _Ortografía
Castellana_, published at Mexico in 1609, is thought to show that he
was a printer; but this is surmise. That he emigrated to America seems
certain; but the date of his death is unknown.

His _Guzmán de Alfarache_ is an amplified version of Lázaro's
adventures; and, though he adds little to the first conception, his
abundant episode and interminable moralisings hit the general taste.
Twenty-six editions, amounting to some fifty thousand copies, appeared
within six years of the first publication: not even _Don Quixote_
had such a vogue. Nor was it less fortunate abroad. In 1623 it was
admirably translated by James Mabbe in a version for which Ben Jonson
wrote a copy of verses in praise of

        "_this Spanish Proteus; who, though writ
  But in one tongue, was form'd with the world's wit;
  And hath the noblest mark of a good book,
  That an ill man dares not securely look
  Upon it, but will loathe, or let it pass,
  As a deformed face doth a true glass._"

It is curious to note that Mabbe's rendering appeared in the same year
as Shakespeare's First Folio, to which Ben Jonson also contributed; but
while the _Rogue_ reached its fourth edition in 1656, the third edition
of the First Folio was not printed till 1664.

The pragmatical cant and the moral reflections which weary us as much
as they wearied the French translator, Le Sage, were clearly to the
liking of Ben Jonson and his contemporaries. Guzmán's experiences
as boots at an inn, as a thief in Madrid, as a soldier at Genoa, as
a jester at Rome, are told with a certain impudent spirit; but the
"moral intention" of the author obtrudes itself with an insistence
that defeats its own object, and the subsidiary tales of Dorido and
Clorinia, of Osmín and Daraja—a device imitated in _Don Quixote_—are
digressions of neither interest nor relevancy. The popularity of the
book was so great as to induce imitation. While Alemán was busied with
his devout _Vida de San Antonio de Padua_ (1604), or perhaps with
his fragmentary versions of Horace, a spurious sequel was published
(1601) by a Valencian lawyer, Juan Martí, who took the pseudonym of
Mateo Luján de Sayavedra. Martí had somehow managed to see Alemán's
manuscript of the Second Part, and, in so much, his trick was far baser
than Avellaneda's. Alemán's self-control under greater provocation
contrasts most favourably with Cervantes' petulance. In the true
Second Part he good-humouredly acknowledges his competitor's "great
learning, his nimble wit, his deep judgment, his pleasant conceits";
and he adds that "his discourses throughout are of that quality and
condition that I do much envy them, and should be proud that they were
mine." And having thus put his rival in the wrong, Alemán proceeds to
introduce among his personages a Sayavedra who would pass himself off
as a native of Seville:—"but all were lies that he told me; for he was
of Valencia, whose name, for some just causes, I conceal." Sayavedra
figures as Guzmán's bonnet and jackal till he ends by suicide, and he
is made to supply whatever entertainment the book contains. Far below
_Lazarillo de Tormes_ in caustic observation and in humour, _Guzmán de
Alfarache_ is a rapid and easy study of blackguardism, forcible and
diverting despite its unctuousness, and written in admirable prose.

So much cannot be claimed for the _Pícara Justina_ (1605) of Francisco
López de Úbeda, who is commonly identified as the Dominican, ANDRÉS
PÉREZ, author of a _Vida de San Raymundo de Peñafort_ and of other
pious works. His _Pícara Justina_ was long in maturing, for he
confesses to having "augmented after the publication of the admired
work of the _pícaro_," Guzmán; whom Justina, in fact, ends by marrying.
Pérez has acquired a notorious reputation for lubricity; yet it is
hard to say how he came by it, since he is no more indecent than most
picaresque writers. He lacks wit and invention; his style, the most
mannered of his time, is full of pedantic turns, unnatural inversions
and verbal eccentricities wherewith he seeks to cover his bald
imagination and his witless narrative. But his freaks of vocabulary,
his extravagant provincialisms, lend him a certain philological
importance which may account for the reprints of his volume. It may
be added that, in his _Pícara_, Pérez anticipates Cervantes' trifling
find of the _versos de cabo roto_; and, from the angry attack upon the
monk in the _Viaje del Parnaso_, it seems safe to infer that Cervantes
resented being forestalled by one who had probably read the _Quixote_
in manuscript.[25]

A more successful attempt in the same kind is the _Relaciones de la
Vida del Escudero Marcos de Obregón_ by Vicente Espinel (?1544-1634),
a poor student at Salamanca, a soldier in Italy and the Low Countries,
and finally a priest in Madrid. His _Diversas Rimas_ (1591) are
correct, spirited exercises, in new metrical forms, including versions
of Horace which, in the last century, gave rise to a bitter polemic
between Iriarte and López de Sedano. Moreover, Espinel is said to
have added a fifth string to the guitar. But it is by his _Marcos
de Obregón_ (1618) that he is best known. Voltaire alleged that _Gil
Blas_ was a mere translation of _Marcos de Obregón_, but the only
foundation for this pretty exercise in fancy is that Le Sage borrowed
a few incidents from Espinel, as he borrowed from Vélez de Guevara
and others. The book is excellent of its kind, brilliantly phrased,
full of ingenious contrivance, of witty observation, and free from the
long digressions which disfigure _Guzmán de Alfarache_. Espinel knew
how to build a story and how to tell it graphically, and his artistic
selection of incident makes the reading of his _Marcos_ a pleasure even
after three centuries.

As the picaresque novel was to supply the substance of Charles Sorel's
_Francion_ and of Paul Scarron's _Roman Comique_, so the _Almahide_
of Mlle. de Scudéry and the _Zayde_ of Mme. de Lafayette find their
root in the Hispano-Mauresque historical novel. This invention we owe
to GINÉS PÉREZ DE HITA of Murcia (fl. 1604), a soldier who served in
the expedition against the Moriscos during the Alpujarra rising. His
_Guerras civiles de Granada_ was published in two parts—the first
in 1595, and the second, which is distinctly inferior, in 1604. The
author's pretence of translating from the Arabic of a supposititious
Ibn Hamin is refuted by the fact that the authority of Spanish
chroniclers is continually cited as final, and the fact that the
point of view is conspicuously Christian. Some tittle of history
there is in Pérez de Hita, but the value of his work lies in his own
fantastic transcription of life in Granada during the last weeks before
its surrender. Challenges, duels between Moorish knights, personal
encounters with Christian champions, harem intrigues, assassinations,
jousts, sports, and festivals held while the enemy is without the
gates—such circumstances as these make the texture of the story,
which is written with extraordinary grace and ease. Archæologists join
with Arabists in censuring Pérez de Hita's detail, and historians
are scandalised by his disdain for facts; yet to most of us he is
more Moorish than the Moors, and his vivid rendering of a great and
ancient civilisation on the eve of ruin is more complete and impressive
than any that a pile of literal chronicles can yield. As a literary
artist he is better in his first part than in his second, where he is
embarrassed by a knowledge of events in which he bore a part; yet, even
so, he never fails to interest, and the beauty of his style would alone
suffice for a reputation. A story of doubtful authority represents
Scott as saying that, if he had met with the _Guerras civiles de
Granada_ in earlier days, he would have chosen Spain as the scene of a
Waverley Novel. Whatever be the truth of this report, we cannot doubt
that Sir Walter must have read with delight his predecessor's brilliant
performance in the province of the historical novel.

The _Romancero General_, published at Madrid in 1600, and amplified
in the reprint of 1604, is often described as a collection of old
ballads, made in continuation of the anthologies arranged by Nucio
and Nájera. Old, as applied to _romances_, has a relative meaning;
but even in the lowest sense the word can scarcely be used of the
songs in the _Romancero General_, which is very largely made up of the
work of contemporary poets. Another famous volume of lyrics is Pedro
Espinosa's _Flores de Poetas ilustres de España_ (1605), which includes
specimens of Camões, Barahona de Soto, Lope de Vega, Góngora, Quevedo,
Salas Barbadillo, and others of less account. Of minor singers, such
as López Maldonado, the friend of Cervantes and of Lope, there were
too many; but Maldonado's _Cancionero_ (1586) reveals a combination
of sincerity and technical excellence which distinguishes him from
the crowd of fluent versifiers typified by Pedro de Padilla. Devout
songs, as simple as they are beautiful, are found in the numbers of
Juan López de Úbeda and of Francisco de Ocaña, who may be studied in
their respective _cancioneros_ (1588, 1604), or—much more briefly, and
perhaps to better purpose—in Rivadeneyra's _Romancero y Cancionero
sagrados_. The chief of these pious minstrels was JOSÉ DE VALDIVIELSO
(?1560-1636), the author of a long poem entitled _Vida, Excelencias
y Muerte del gloriosísimo Patriarca San José_; but it is neither by
this tedious sacred epic nor by his twelve _autos_ that Valdivielso
should be judged. His lyrical gift, scarcely less sweet and sincere
than Lope's own, is best manifested in his _Romancero Espiritual_, with
its _romances_ to Our Lady, its pious _villancicos_ on Christ's birth,
which anticipate the mingled devotion and familiarity of Herrick's
_Noble Numbers_.

ANTONIO PÉREZ (1540-1611), once secretary to Felipe II., and in all
probability the King's rival in love, figures here as a letter-writer
of the highest merit. No Spaniard of his age surpasses him in
clearness, vigour, and variety. Whether he attempt the vein of high
gallantry, the flattery of "noble patrons," the terrorising of an
enemy by hints and innuendos, his phrase is always a model of correct
and spirited expression. In a graver manner are his _Relaciones_ and
his _Memorial del hecho de su causa_, which combine the dignity of a
statesman with the ingenuity of an attorney. But in all circumstances
Pérez never fails to interest by the happy novelty of his thought,
the weighty sententiousness of his aphorisms, and by his unblushing
revelation of baseness and cupidity.

To this period belongs also the _Centón Epistolario_, a series of a
hundred letters purporting to be written by Fernán Gómez de Cibdareal,
physician at Juan II.'s court. It is obviously modelled upon the
_Crónica_ of Juan II.'s reign, and the imitation goes so far that, when
the chronicler makes a blunder, the supposed letter-writer follows him.
The _Centón Epistolario_ is now admitted to be a literary forgery, due,
it is believed, to Gil González de Ávila, who wrote nothing of equal
excellence under his own name. In these circumstances the _Centón_
loses all historic value, and what was once cited as a monument of old
prose must now be considered as a clever mystification—perhaps the
most perfect of its kind.

Contemporary with Cervantes and Lope de Vega was the greatest of all
Spanish historians, JUAN DE MARIANA (1537-1624). The natural son
of a canon of Talavera, Mariana distinguished himself at Alcalá de
Henares, was brought under the notice of Diego Láinez, General of the
Jesuits, and joined the order, whose importance was growing daily. At
twenty-four Mariana was appointed professor of theology at the great
Jesuit College in Rome, whence he passed to Sicily and Paris. In
1574 he returned to Spain, and was settled in the Society's house at
Toledo. He was appointed to examine into the charges made by Léon de
Castro against Arias Montano, whose Polyglot Bible appeared at Antwerp
in 1569-72. Montano was accused of adulterating the Hebrew text, and
among the Jesuits the impression of his trickery was general. After a
careful examination, extending over two years, Mariana pronounced in
Montano's favour. In 1599 there appeared his treatise entitled _De
Rege_, with official sanction by his superiors. No Spaniard raised his
voice against the book; but its sixth chapter, which laid it down that
kings may be put to death in certain circumstances, created a storm
abroad. It was sought to prove that, if Mariana had never written,
Ravaillac would not have assassinated Henri IV.; and, eleven years
after publication, Mariana's book was publicly burned by the hangman.
His seven Latin treatises, published at Köln in 1609, do not concern
us here; but they must be mentioned, since two of the essays—one on
immortality, the other on currency questions—led to the writer's

The main work of Mariana's lifetime was his _Historia de España_,
written, as he says, to let Europe know what Spain had accomplished. It
was not unnatural that, with a foreign audience in view, Mariana should
address it in Latin; hence his first twenty books were published in
that language (1592). But he bethought him of his own country, and, in
a happy hour, became his own translator. His Castilian version (1601)
almost amounts to a new work; for, in translating, he cut, amplified,
and corrected as he saw fit. And in subsequent editions he continued
to modify and improve. The result is a masterpiece of historic prose.
Mariana was not minute in his methods, and his contempt for literal
accuracy comes out in his answer to Lupercio de Argensola, who had
pointed out an error in detail:—"I never pretended to verify each
fact in a history of Spain; if I had, I should never have finished
it." This is typical of the man and his method. He makes no pretence
to special research, and he accepts a legend if he honestly can: even
as he follows a common literary convention when he writes speeches in
Livy's manner for his chief personages. But while a score of writers
cared more for accuracy than did Mariana, his work survives not as a
chronicle, but as a brilliant exercise in literature. His learning is
more than enough to save him from radical blunders; his impartiality
and his patriotism go hand in hand; his character-drawing is firm and
convincing; and his style, with its faint savour of archaism, is of
unsurpassed dignity and clearness in his narrative. He cared more for
the spirit than for the letter, and time has justified him. "The most
remarkable union of picturesque chronicling with sober history that the
world has ever seen"—in such words Ticknor gives his verdict; and the
praise is not excessive.


[16] In Felipe II.'s time the normal value of an _escudo de oro_ was
8s. 4-1/4d. The actual exchange value varied between seven and eight

[17] One _real de vellón_ = 34 _maravedís_ = 2 pence, 2 farthings, and
2/3 of a farthing. One _real de plata_ = 2 _reales de vellón_. Unless
otherwise stated, a _real_ may be taken to mean a _real de plata_.

[18] See _The Athenæum_, April 12, April 19, and May 3, 1873.

[19] See Cristóbal Pérez de Pastor's _Documentos cervantinos hasta
ahora inéditos_ (Madrid, 1897), pp. 135-137.

[20] British Museum Add. MSS., 20, 812.

[21] This is taken by all English writers, and appears in the British
Museum Catalogue, as a real name. I only reveal an open secret if I
point out that it is a perfect anagram for Francisco Asenjo Barbieri,
the excellent scholar to whom we owe the _Cancionero musical de los
siglos xv. y xvi._ and the new edition of Encina's theatre.

[22] The seducer is conjectured to be Olivares' son-in-law, the Duque
de Medina de las Torres.

[23] Lope's popularity spread as far as America. Three of his plays
were translated into the _nahuatl_ dialect by Bartolomé Alba. See José
Mariano Beristain de Souza's _Biblioteca Hispano-Americana_ (Mexico,
1816), vol i. p. 64.

[24] See M. Farinelli's learned study, _Grillparzer und Lope de Vega_
(Berlin, 1894).

[25] It seems probable that Cervantes and Pérez were both anticipated
by Alonso Álvarez de Soria, who was finally hanged. See Bartolomé José
Gallardo, _Ensayo de una Biblioteca Española_ (Madrid, 1863, vol. i.,
col. 285).

                               CHAPTER X



The reign of Felipe IV. opens with as fair a promise of achievement
as any in history. At Madrid, in the third and fourth decades of the
seventeenth century, the court of the Grand Monarque was anticipated
and perhaps outdone. We are inclined to think of Felipe as Velázquez
has presented him, on his "Cordobese barb, the proud king of
horses, and the fittest horse for a king"; and to recall the praise
which William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, lavished on his
horsemanship:—"The great King of Spain, deceased, did not only love it
and understand it, but was absolutely the best horseman in all Spain."
Yet is it a mistake to suppose him a mere hunter. Art and letters
were his constant care; nor was he without a touch of individual
accomplishment. He was not content with instructing his Ministers to
buy every good picture offered in foreign markets: his own sketches
show that he had profited by seeing Velázquez at work. It is no small
point in his favour to have divined at a glance the genius of the
unknown Sevillan master, and to have appointed him—scarcely out of his
teens—court-painter. He likewise collated the artist, Alonso Cano,
to a canonry at Granada, and, when the chapter protested that Cano had
small Latin and less Greek, the King's reply was honourable to his
taste and spirit:—"With a stroke of the pen I can make canons like
you by the score; but Alonso Cano is a miracle of God." He would even
stay the course of justice to protect an artist. Thus, when Velázquez's
master, the half-mad Herrera, was charged with coining, the monarch
intervened with the remark: "Remember his _St. Hermengild_." Music
becalmed the King's fever, and the plays at the Buen Retiro vied with
the masques of Whitehall. His antechambers were thronged with men of
genius. Lope de Vega still survived, his glory waxing daily, though
the best part of his life's work was finished. Vélez de Guevara was
the royal chamberlain; Góngora, the court chaplain, hated, envied,
and admired, was the dreaded chief of a combative poetic school; his
disciple, Villamediana, struck terror with his vitriolic epigrams,
his rancorous tongue; the aged Mariana represented the best tradition
of Spanish history; Bartolomé de Argensola was official chronicler of
Aragón; Tirso de Molina, Ruiz de Alarcón, and Rojas Zorrilla filled the
theatres with their brilliant and ingenious fancies; the incorruptible
satirist, Quevedo, was private secretary to the King; the boyish
Calderón was growing into repute and royal favour.

Of the Aragonese playwright, Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola, we have
already spoken in a previous chapter. His brother, BARTOLOMÉ LEONARDO
DE ARGENSOLA (1562-1631), took orders, and, through the influence of
the Duque de Villahermosa, was named rector of the town whence his
patron took his title. His earliest work, the _Conquista de las Islas
Molucas_ (1609), written by order of the Conde de Lemos, is uncritical
in conception and design; but the matter of its primitive, romantic,
and even sentimental legends derives fresh charm from the author's apt
and polished narrative. In 1611 he and his brother accompanied Lemos
to Naples, thereby stirring the anger of Cervantes, who had hoped to
be among the Viceroy's suite, as appears from a passage in the _Viaje
del Parnaso_, which roundly insinuates that the Argensolas were a
pair of intriguers. The disappointment was natural; yet posterity is
even grateful for it, since a transfer to Naples would certainly have
lost us the second _Don Quixote_. Doubtless the Argensolas, who were
of Italian descent, were better fitted than Cervantes for commerce
with Italian affairs, and Bartolomé made friends on all sides in
Naples as in Rome. On his brother's death in 1613, he became official
chronicler of Aragón, and, in 1631, published a sequel to _Zurita_,
the _Anales de Aragón_, which deals so minutely with the events of the
years 1516-20 as to become wearisome, despite all Argensola's grace of
manner. The _Rimas_ of the two brothers, published posthumously in 1634
by Lupercio's son, Gabriel Leonardo de Albión, was stamped with the
approval of the dictator, Lope de Vega, who declared that the authors
"had come from Aragón to reform among our poets the Castilian language,
which is suffering from new horrible phrases, more puzzling than

This is an overstatement of a truth, due to Lope's aversion from
Gongorism in all its shapes. Horace is the model of the Argensolas,
whose renderings of the two odes _Ibam forte via sacra_ and _Beatus
ille_ are among the happiest of versions. Their sobriety of thought
is austere, and their classic correctness of diction is in curious
contrast with the daring innovations of their time. Lupercio has a
polite, humorous fancy, which shows through Mr. Gibson's translation of
a well-known sonnet:—

  "_I must confess, Don John, on due inspection,
    That dame Elvira's charming red and white,
    Though fair they seem, are only hers by right,
  In that her money purchased their perfection;
  But thou must grant as well, on calm reflection,
    That her sweet lie hath such a lustre bright,
    As fairly puts to shame the paler light,
  And honest beauty of a true complexion!
  And yet no wonder I distracted go
    With such deceit, when 'tis within our ken
    That nature blinds us with the self-same spell;
  For that blue heaven above that charms us so,
    Is neither heaven nor blue! Sad pity then
    That so much beauty is not truth as well._"

Lupercio's manifold interests in politics, in history, and in the
theatre left him little time for poetry, and a large proportion of his
verses were destroyed after his death; still, partially represented
as he is, the pretty wit, the pure idiom, and elegant form of his
lyrical pieces vindicate his title to rank among Castilian poets of the
second order. As for Bartolomé, he resembles his brother in natural
faculty, but his fibre is stronger. A hard, dogmatic spirit, a bigot
in his reverence for convention, an idolater of Terence, with a stern,
patriotic hatred of novelties, he was regarded as the standard-bearer
of the anti-Gongorists. Too deeply ingrained a doctrinaire to court
popularity, he was content with the applause of a literary clique, and
had practically no influence on his age. Yet his precept was valuable,
and his practice, always sound, reaches real excellence in such devout
numbers as his _Sonnet to Providence_.

Much meritorious academic verse is found in the works of other
contemporary writers, though most rivals lapse into errors of
taste and faults of expression from which the younger Argensola is
honourably free. But no great leader is formed in the school of prudent
correctness, and by temperament, as well as by training, the Rector
of Villahermosa was unfit to cope with so virile and so combative a
genius as LUIS DE ARGOTE Y GÓNGORA (1561-1627), the ideal chief of an
aggressive movement. Son of Francisco de Argote, Corregidor of Córdoba,
and of Leonora de Góngora, he adopted his mother's name, partly because
of its nobility and partly because of its euphony. In his sixteenth
year Góngora left his native Córdoba to read law at Salamanca, with a
view to following his father's profession; but his studies were never
serious, and, though he took his bachelor's degree, he gave most of his
time to fencing and to dancing. To the consternation of his family, he
abandoned law and announced himself as a professional poet. So early
as 1585 Cervantes names him in the _Canto de Calíope_ as a rare and
matchless genius—_raro ingenio sin segundo_—and, though flattery from
Cervantes is too indiscriminating to mean much, the mention at least
implies that Góngora's promise was already recognised. Few details of
his career are with us, though rumour tells of platonic love-passages
with a lady of Valencia, Luisa de Cardona, who finally entered a
convent in Toledo. His repute as a poet, aided by his mother's
connection with the ducal house of Almodóvar, won for him a lay canonry
in 1590, and this increase of means enabled him to visit the capital,
where he was instantly hailed as a wit and as a brilliant poet. His
fame had hitherto been local; with the publication of his verses in
Espinosa's _Flores de Poetas_. _ilustres_ (1605), it passed through
the whole of Spain. In the same year, or at latest in 1606, Góngora
was ordained priest. His private life was always exemplary, and this,
together with his natural harshness, perhaps explains his intolerance
for the foibles of Cervantes and of Lope. When the favourite, the Duque
de Lerma, fell from power, Góngora attached himself to Sandoval, who
nominated him to a small prebend at Toledo. As chaplain to the King,
the poet's circle of friends enlarged, and his literary influence grew
correspondingly. In 1626 he had a cerebral attack, during which the
physicians of the Queen attended him. The story that he died insane is
a gross exaggeration: he lingered on a year, having lost his memory,
died of apoplexy at Córdoba on May 23, 1627, and is buried in the St.
Bartholomew Chapel of the cathedral.

An _entremés_ entitled _La destrucción de Troya_, a play called _Las
Firmezas de Isabela_ (written in collaboration with his brother,
Juan de Argote), and a fragment, the _Comedia Venatoria_, remain to
show that Góngora wrote for the stage. Whether he was ever played
is doubtful, and, in any case, his gift is not dramatic. He was so
curiously careless of his writings that he never troubled to print or
even to keep copies of them, and a remark which he let fall during his
last illness goes to show his artistic dissatisfaction:—"Just as I was
beginning to know something of the first letters in my alphabet does
God call me to Himself: His will be done!" His poems circulated mostly
in manuscript copies, which underwent so many changes that the author
often knew not his own work when it returned to his hands; and, but for
the piety of Juan López de Vicuña, Góngora might be for us the shadow
of a great name. López de Vicuña spent twenty years in collecting his
scattered verse, which he published in the very year of the poet's
death, under the resounding title of _Works in Verse of the Spanish
Homer_. A later and better edition was produced by Gonzalo de Hoces y
Córdoba (1633).

Góngora began with the lofty ode, as a strict observer of literary
tradition, a reverent imitator of Herrera's heroics. His earliest
essays are not very easy to distinguish from those of his
contemporaries, save that his tone is nobler and that his execution
is more conscientious. He was a craftsman from the outset, and his
technical equipment is singularly complete. So far was he from showing
any freakish originality, that he is open to the reproach of undue
devotion to his masters. His thought is theirs as much as are his
method, his form, his ornament, his ingenuity. An example of his early
style is his _Ode to the Armada_, of which we may quote a stanza from
Churton's translation:—

  "_O Island, once so Catholic, so strong,
    Fortress of Faith, now Heresy's foul shrine,
  Camp of train'd war, and Wisdom's sacred school;
    The time hath been, such majesty was thine,
  The lustre of thy crown was first in song.
  Now the dull weeds that spring by Stygian pool
  Were fitting wreath for thee. Land of the rule
    Of Arthurs, Edwards, Henries! Where are they?
    Their Mother where, rejoicing in their sway,
  Firm in the strength of Faith? To lasting shame
        Condemn'd, through guilty blame
        Of her who rules thee now.
  O hateful Queen, so hard of heart and brow,
    Wanton by turns, and cruel, fierce, and lewd,
  Thou distaff on the throne, true virtue's bane,
        Wolf-like in every mood,
  May Heaven's just flame on thy false tresses rain!_"

This is excellent of its kind, and among all Herrera's imitators none
comes so near to him as Góngora in lyrical melody, in fine workmanship,
in a certain clear distinction of utterance. Yet already there are
hints of qualities destined to bear down their owner. Not content with
simple patriotism, with denunciation of schism and infidelity, Góngora
foreshadows his future self as a very master of gibes and sneers. The
note of altisonance, already emphatic in Herrera, is still more forced
in the young Córdoban poet, who adds a taste for far-fetched conceits
and extravagant metaphor, assuredly not learned in the Sevillan
school. Rejecting experiments in the stately ode, he for many years
continued his practice in another province of verse, and by rigorous
discipline he learned to excel in virtue of his fine simplicity, his
graceful imagery, and his urbane wit. It should seem that intellectual
self-denial cost him little, for his transformations are among the most
complete in literary history. Consider, for instance, the interval
between the emphatic dignity of his Armada ode and the charming fancy,
the distinguished cynicism of _Love in Reason_, as Archdeacon Churton
gives it:—

  "_I love thee, but let love be free:
    I do not ask, I would not learn,
  What scores of rival hearts for thee
    Are breaking or in anguish burn._

  _You die to tell, but leave untold,
    The story of your Red-Cross Knight,
  Who proffer'd mountain-heaps of gold
    If he for you might ride and fight;_

  _Or how the jolly soldier gay
    Would wear your colours, all and some;
  But you disdain'd their trumpet's bray,
    And would not hear their tuck of drum._

  _We love; but 'tis the simplest case:
    The faith on which our hands have met
  Is fix'd, as wax on deeds of grace,
    To hold as grace, but not as debt._

  _For well I wot that nowadays
    Love's conquering bow is soonest bent
  By him whose valiant hand displays
    The largest roll of yearly rent...._

  _So let us follow in the fashion,
    Let love be gentle, mild, and cool:
  For these are not the days of passion,
    But calculation's sober rule._

  _Your grace will cheer me like the sun;
    But I can live content in shades.
  Take me: you'll find when all is done,
    Plain truth, and fewer serenades._"

Even in translation the humorous amenity is not altogether lost,
though no version can reproduce the technical perfection of the
original. For refined wit and brilliant effect Góngora has seldom
been exceeded; yet his fighter pieces failed to bring him the renown
and the high promotion which he expected. He feigned to despise
popularity, declaring that he "desired to do something that would not
be for the general"; but none was keener than he in courting applause
on any terms. He would dazzle and surprise, if he could not enchant,
his public, and forthwith he set to founding the school which bears
the name of _culteranismo_. We do not know precisely when he first
practised in this vein; but it seems certain that he was anticipated
by a young soldier, Luis de Carrillo y Sotomayor (1583-1610), whose
posthumous verses were published by his brother at Madrid in 1611.
Carrillo had served in Italy, where he came under the spell of Giovanni
Battista Marino, then at the height of his influence; and the _Obras_
of Carrillo contain the first intimations of the new manner. Many of
Carrillo's poems are admirable for their verbal melody, his eclogues
being distinguished for simple sincerity of sentiment and expression.
But these passed almost unnoticed, for Carrillo was only doing well
what Lope de Vega was doing better; and in fact it seems likely that
the merits of the dead soldier-poet were unjustly overlooked by a
generation which was content with two editions of his works.

He found, however, a passionate admirer in Góngora, who perceived in
such work as Carrillo's _Sonnet to the Patience of his Jealous Hope_
the possibilities of a revolution. When Carrillo writes of "the proud
sea bathing the blind forehead of the deaf sky," he is merely setting
down a tasteless conceit, which gains nothing by a forced inversion
of phrase; but, as it happened, conceit of this sort was a novelty in
Spain, and Góngora, who had already shown a tendency to preciosity
in Espinosa's collection, resolved to develop Carrillo's innovation.
Few questions are more debated and less understood than this of
Gongorism. So good a critic as Karl Hillebrand gives forth this strange
utterance:—"Not only Italian and German Marinists were imitators of
Spanish Gongorists: even your English Euphuism of Shakespeare's time
had its origin in the _culteranismo_ of Spain." One hardly likes to
accuse Hillebrand of writing nonsense, but he certainly comes near,
perilously near it in this case. Lyly's _Euphues_ was published in
1579, while Góngora was still a student at Salamanca, and Shakespeare
died nearly twelve years before a line of Góngora's later poems was in
print. Spanish scholars, indeed, disclaim responsibility for Euphuism
in any shape. They refuse to admit that Lord Berners' or North's
translations of Guevara could have produced the effects ascribed to
them; and they argue with much reason that Gongorism is but the local
form of a disease which attacked all Europe. However that may be, there
can exist no possible connection between English Euphuism and Spanish
Gongorism, save such as comes from a common Italian origin. Gongorism
derives directly from the Marinism propagated in Spain by Carrillo,
though it must be confessed that Marino's extravagances pale beside
those of Góngora.

This, in fact, is no more than we should expect, for Marino's conceits
were, so to say, almost natural to him, while Góngora's are a pure
effect of affectation. He wilfully got rid of his natural directness,
and gave himself to cultivating artificial antithesis, violent
inversions of words and phrases, exaggerated metaphors piled upon sense
tropes devoid of meaning. Other poets appealed to the vulgar: he would
charm the cultivated—_los cultos_. Hence the name _culteranismo_.[26]
At the same time it is fair to say that he has been blamed for more
crimes than he ever committed. Ticknor, more than most critics, loses
his head whenever he mentions Góngora's name, and holds the Spaniard
up to ridicule by printing a literal translation of his more daring
flights. Thus he chooses a passage from the first of the _Soledades_,
and asserts that Góngora sings the praise of "a maiden so beautiful,
that she might parch up Norway with her two suns, and bleach Ethiopia
with her two hands." Perhaps no poet that ever lived would survive the
test of such bald, literal rendering as this, and a much more exact
notion of the Spanish is afforded by Churton:—

  "_Her twin-born sun-bright eyes
  Might turn to summer Norway's wintry skies;
  And the white wonder of her snowy hand
  Blanch with surprise the sons of Ethiopian land._"

Another sonnet on Luis de Bavia's _Historia Pontifical_ is presented
in this fashion:—"This poem which Bavia has now offered to the world,
if not tied up in numbers, yet is filed down into a good arrangement,
and licked into shape by learning; is a cultivated history, whose
grey-headed style, though not metrical, is combed out, and robs three
pilots of the sacred bark from time, and rescues them from oblivion.
But the pen that thus immortalises the heavenly turnkeys on the bronzes
of its history is not a pen, but the key of ages. It opens to their
names, not the gates of failing memory, which stamps shadows on masses
of foam, but those of immortality." This, again, is translation of a
kind—of a kind very current among fourth-form boys, and, perpetrated
by such an excellent scholar as Ticknor, is to be accepted as
intentional caricature of the original. Once more the loyal Churton
shall elucidate his author:—

  "_This offering to the world by Bavia brought
    Is poesy, by numbers unconfined;
    Such order guides the master's march of mind,
  Such skill refines the rich-drawn ore of thought.
  The style, the matter, gray experience taught,
    Art's rules adorn'd what metre might not bind:
    The tale hath baffled time, that thief unkind,
  And from Oblivion's bonds with toil hath brought_

  _Three helmsmen of the sacred barque; the pen,
    That so these heavenly wardens doth enhance,—
  No pen, but rather key of Fame's proud dome,
  Opening her everlasting doors to men,—
    Is no poor drudge recording things of chance,
  Which paints her shadowy forms on trembling foam._"

Still, when all allowance is made, it must be confessed that Góngora
excels in hiding his meanings. By many his worst faults were extolled
as beauties, and there was formed a school of disciples who agreed with
Le Sage's Fabrice in holding the master for "le plus beau génie que
l'Espagne ait jamais produit." But Góngora was not to conquer without
a struggle. One illustrious writer was an early convert: Cervantes
proclaimed himself an admirer of the _Polifemo_, which is among the
most difficult of Góngora's works. Pedro de Valencia, one of Spain's
best humanists, was the first to denounce Góngora's transpositions,
licentious metaphors, and verbal inventions as manifested in the
_Soledades_ (Solitary Musings), round which the controversy raged
hottest. Within twenty-five years of Góngora's death the first
_Soledad_ found an English translator in the person of Thomas Stanley
(1651), who renders in this fashion:—

  "_'Twas now the blooming season of the year,
  And in disguise Europa's ravisher
  (His brow arm'd with a crescent, with such beams
  Encompast as the sun unclouded streams
  The sparkling glory of the zodiac!) led
  His numerous herd along the azure mead.
    When he, whose right to beauty might remove
  The youth of Ida from the cup of Jove,
  Shipwreck't, repuls'd, and absent, did complain
  Of his hard fate and mistress's disdain;
  With such sad sweetness that the winds, and sea,
  In sighs and murmurs kept him company....
  By this time night begun t'ungild the skies,
  Hills from the sea, seas from the hills arise,
  Confusedly unequal; when once more
  The unhappy youth invested in the poor
  Remains of his late shipwreck, through sharp briars
  And dusky shades up the high rock aspires.
  The steep ascent scarce to be reach'd by aid
  Of wings he climbs, less weary than afraid.
    At last he gains the top; so strong and high
  As scaling dreaded not, nor battery,
  An equal judge the difference to decide
  'Twixt the mute load and ever-sounding tide.
  His steps now move secur'd; a glimmering light
  (The Pharos of some cottage) takes his sight._"

And so on in passages where the darkness grows denser at every line.
"C'est l'obscurité qui en fait tout le mérite," as Fabrice observes
when Gil Blas fails to understand his friend's sonnet.

Valencia's protest was followed by another from the Sevillan, Juan de
Jáuregui, whose preface to his _Rimas_ (1618) is a literary manifesto
against those poems "which only contain an embellishment of words,
being phantoms without soul or body." Jáuregui returned to the
attack in his _Discurso poético_ (1623), a more formal and elaborate
indictment of the whole Gongoristic movement. This treatise, of
which only one copy is known to exist, has been reprinted with some
curtailments by Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo in his _Historia de las Ideas
Estéticas en España_. It deserves study no less for its sound doctrine
than for the admirable style of the writer, whose courtesy of tone
makes him an exception among the polemists of his time. As Jáuregui
represents the opposition of the Seville group, so Manuel Faria y
Sousa, the editor of the _Lusiadas_, speaks in the name of Portugal.
Faria y Sousa's theory of poetics is the simplest possible: there is
but one great poet in the world, and his name is Camões. Faria y Sousa
transforms the _Lusiadas_ into a dull allegory, where Mars typifies St.
Peter; he writes down Tasso as "common, trivial, not worth mentioning,
poor in knowledge and invention"; and, in accordance with these
principles, he accuses Góngora of being no allegorist, and protests
that to rank him with Camões is to compare "Marsyas to Apollo, a fly to
an eagle."

A more formidable opponent for the Gongorists was Lope de Vega, who
was himself accused of obscurity and affectation. Bouhours, in his
_Manière de bien penser dans les ouvrages d'esprit_ (1687), tells
that the Bishop of Belley, Jean-Pierre Camus, meeting Lope in Madrid,
cross-examined him as to the meaning of one of his sonnets. With his
usual good-nature, the poet listened, and "ayant leû et releû plusieurs
fois son sonnet, avoua sincèrement qu'il ne l'entendoit pas luy
mesme." It must have irked his inclination to take the field against
Góngora, for whom he had a strong personal liking:—"He is a man whom
I must esteem and love, accepting from him with humility what I can
understand, and admiring with veneration what I cannot understand." Yet
he loved truth (as he understood it) more than he loved Socrates. "You
can make a _culto_ poet in twenty-four hours: a few inversions, four
formulas, six Latin words, or emphatic phrases—and the trick is done,"
he writes in his _Respuesta_; and he follows up this plain speaking
with a burlesque sonnet.

Of Faria y Sousa and his like, Góngora made small account: he fastened
upon Lope as his victim, pursuing him with unsleeping vindictiveness.
There is something pathetic in the Dictator's endeavours to soften
his persecutor's heart. He courts Góngora with polite flatteries in
print; he dedicates to Góngora the play, _Amor secreto_; he writes
Góngora a private letter to remove a wrong impression given by one
Mendoza; he repeats Góngora's witty sayings to his intimates; he makes
personal overtures to Góngora at literary gatherings; and, if Góngora
be not positively rude, Lope reports the fact to the Duque de Sessa as
a personal triumph:—"_Está más humano conmigo, que le debo de haber
pareçido más ombre de bien de lo que él me ymaginava_" ("He is gentler
with me, and I must seem to him a better fellow than he thought").
Despite all his ingratiating arts, Lope failed to conciliate his foe,
who rightly regarded him as the chief obstacle in _culteranismo's_
road. The relentless riddlemonger lost no opportunity of ridiculing
Lope and his court in such a sonnet as the following, which Churton
Englishes with undisguised gusto:—

  "_Dear Geese, whose haunt is where weak waters flow,
    From rude Castilian well-head, cheap supply,
    That keeps your flowery Vega never dry,
  True Vega, smooth, but somewhat flat and low;
  Go; dabble, play, and cackle as ye go
    Down that old stream of gray antiquity;
    And blame the waves of nobler harmony,
  Where birds, whose gentle grace you cannot know,
  Are sailing. Attic wit and Roman skill
    Are theirs; no swans that die in feeble song,
  But nursed to life by Heliconian rill,
    Where Wisdom breathes in Music. Cease your wrong,
  Flock of the troubled pool: your vain endeavour
  Will doom you else to duck and dive for ever._"

The warfare was carried on with singular ferocity, the careless Lope
offering openings at every turn. "Remove those nineteen castles from
your shield," sang Góngora, deriding Lope's foible in blazoning his
descent. The amour with Marta Nevares Santoyo was the subject of
obscene lampoons innumerable. A passage in the _Filomena_ volume
arabesques the story of Perseus and Andromeda with a complimentary
allusion to an anonymous poet whose name Lope withheld: "so as not to
cause annoyance." Góngora's copy of the _Filomena_ exists with this
holograph annotation on the margin:—"If you mean yourself, Lopillo,
then you are an idiot without art or judgment." Yet, despite a hundred
brutal personalities, Lope went his way unheeding, and on Góngora's
death he penned a most brilliant sonnet in praise of that "swan of
Betis," for whom his affection had never changed.

Góngora lived long enough to know that he had triumphed. Tirso de
Molina and Calderón, with most of the younger dramatists, show the
_culto_ influence in many plays; Jáuregui forgot his own principles,
and accepted the new mode; even Lope himself, in passages of his later
writings, yielded to preciosity. Quevedo began by quoting Epictetus's
aphorism:—_Scholasticum esse animal quod ab omnibus irridetur_. And
he renders the Latin in his own free style:—"The _culto_ brute is a
general laughing-stock." But the "_culto_ brute" smiled to see Quevedo
given over to _conceptismo_, an affectation not less disastrous in
effect than Góngora's own. Meanwhile enthusiastic champions declared
for the Córdoban master. Martín de Ángulo y Pulgar published his
_Epístolas satisfactorias_ (1635) in answer to the censures of the
learned Francisco de Cascales; Pellicer preached the Gongoristic
gospel in his _Lecciones solemnes_ (1630); the _Defence of the Fable
of Pyramus and Thisbe_ fills a quarto by Cristóbal de Salazar Mardones
(1636); García de Salcedo Coronel's huge commentaries (1636-46) are
perhaps, more obscure than anything in his author's text; and, so far
away as Peru, Juan de Espinosa Medrano, Rector of Cuzco, published
an _Apologético en favor de Don Luis de Góngora, Príncipe de los
Poetas Lyricos de España_ (1694). There came a day when, as Salazar y
Torres informs us, the _Polifemo_ and the _Soledades_ were recited on
Speech-Day by the boys in Jesuit schools.

It took Spain a hundred years to rid her veins of the Gongoristic
poison, and Gongorism has now become, in Spain itself, a synonym for
all that is bad in literature. Undoubtedly Góngora did an infinite
deal of mischief: his tricks of transposition were too easily learned
by those hordes of imitators who see nothing but the obvious, and his
verbal audacities were reproduced by men without a tithe of his taste
and execution. And yet, though it be an unpopular thing to confess,
one has a secret sympathy with him in his campaign. Lope de Vega and
Cervantes are as unlike as two men may be; but they are twins in their
slapdash methods, in their indifference to exquisiteness of form. Their
fatal facility is common to their brethren: threadbare phrase, accepted
without thought and repeated without heed, is, as often as not, the
curse of the best Spanish work. It was, perhaps, not altogether love
of notoriety which seduced Góngora into Carrillo's ways. He had, as
his earliest work proves, a sounder method than his fellows and a
purer artistic conscience. No trace of carelessness is visible in his
juvenile poems, written in an obscurity which knew no encouragement. It
is just to believe that his late ambition was not all self-seeking, and
that he aspired to renew, or rather to enlarge, the poetic diction of
his country.

The aim was excellent, and, if Góngora finally failed, he failed partly
because his disciples burlesqued his theories, and partly because he
strove to make words serve instead of ideas. That his endeavour was
praiseworthy in itself is as certain as that he came at last to regard
his principles as almost sacred. He doubtless found some pleasure in
astounding and annoying the burgess; but he aimed at something beyond
making readers marvel. And though he failed to impose his doctrines
permanently, it is by no means certain that he laboured in vain. If
any later Spaniard has worked in the conscious spirit of the artist,
seeking to avoid the commonplace, to express high thoughts in terms
of beauty—though he knows it not, he owes a debt to Góngora, whose
hatred of the commonplace made Castilian richer. The _Soledades_ and
the _Polifemo_ have passed away, but many of the words and phrases for
which Góngora was censured are now in constant use; and, _culteranismo_
apart, Góngora ranks among the best lyrists of his land. Cascales,
who was at once his friend and his opponent, said that there were two
Góngoras—one an angel of light, the other an angel of darkness; and
the saying was true in so far as it implied that in all circumstances
his air of distinction never quits him. Still the earlier Góngora is
the better, and before we leave him we should quote, as an example of
that first happy manner, inimitable in its grace and humour, Churton's
not too unsuccessful version of _The Country Bachelor's Complaint_:—

  "_Time was, ere Love play'd tricks with me,
    I lived at ease, a simple squire,
  And sang my praise-song, fancy free,
    At matins in the village quire...._

  _I rambled by the mountain side,
    Down sylvan glades where streamlets pass
  Unnumber'd, glancing as they glide
    Like crystal serpents through the grass...._

  _And there the state I ruled from far,
    And bade the winds to blow for me,
  In succour to our ships of war,
    That plough'd the Briton's rebel sea;_

  _Oft boasting how the might of Spain
    The world's old columns far outran,
  And Hercules must come again,
    And plant his barriers in Japan...._

  _'Twas on St. Luke's soft, quiet day,
    A vision to my sight was borne,
  Fair as the blooming almond spray,
    Blue-eyed, with tresses like the morn...._

  _Ah! then I saw what love could do,
    The power that bids us fall or rise,
  That wounds the firm heart through and through,
    And strikes, like Cæsar, at men's eyes._

  _I saw how dupes, that fain would run,
    Are caught, their breath and courage spent,
  Chased by a foe they cannot shun,
    Swift as Inquisitor on scent...._

  _Yet I've a trick to cheat Love's search,
    And refuge find too long delay'd;
  I'll take the vows of Holy Church,
    And seek some reverend cloister's shade._"

Among Góngora's followers none is better known than Juan de Tassis y
Peralta, the second CONDE DE VILLAMEDIANA (1582-1622), whose ancestors
came from Bergamo. His great-grandfather, Juan Bautista de Tassis,
entered the service of Carlos Quinto; his grandfather, Raimundo de
Tassis, was the first of his race to live in Spain, where he married
into the illustrious family of Acuña; his father, Juan de Tassis y
Acuña, rose to be Ambassador in Paris and Special Envoy in London.
Villamediana's tutors were two well-known men of letters: Bartolomé
Jiménez Patón, author of _Mercurius Trismegistus_, and Tribaldos
de Toledo, whom we already know as editor of Figueroa and Mendoza.
After a short stay at Salamanca, Villamediana was appointed to the
King's household, and in 1601 married Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda,
grand-daughter in the fifth generation of Santillana. His reputation
as a gambler was of the worst, and his winning thirty thousand gold
ducats at a sitting led to his expulsion from court in 1608. He joined
the army in Italy, returned to Spain in 1617, and at once launched
into epigrams and satires against all and sundry. The court favourites
were his special mark—Lerma, Osuna, Uceda, Rodrigo Calderón. In 1618
he was again banished, but returned in 1621 as Lord-in-Waiting to the
Queen, Isabel de Bourbon, daughter of Henry of Navarre. At her request
Villamediana wrote a masque, _La Gloria de Niquea_, in which the Queen
acted on April 8, 1622, before Lord Bristol. If report speak truly,
the performance led him to his death. When the second act opened, an
overturned lamp set the theatre ablaze, and as Villamediana seized the
Queen in his arms, and carried her out of danger, scandal declared the
fire to be his doing, and gave him out as the Queen's lover. There
is a well-known story that Felipe IV., stealing up behind the Queen
one day, placed his hands on her eyes; whereon "Be quiet, Count,"
she said, and so unwittingly doomed Villamediana. The tale is even
too well known. Brantôme had already told it in _Les Dames galantes_
before Felipe was born, and it really dates from the sixth century.
Even so, Villamediana's admiration for the Queen was openly expressed.
He appeared at a tournament covered with silver _reales_, and used
the motto, "_Mis amores son reales_" (My love is royal). The King's
confessor, Baltasar de Zúñiga, warned him that his life was in danger,
and Villamediana laughed in his face. It was no joke, for he had
contrived to make more dangerous enemies in four months than any other
man has made in a lifetime. On August 21, 1622, as he was alighting
from his coach, a stranger ran him through the body; "_¡Jesús! esto
es hecho!_" ("My God! done for!") said Villamediana, and fell dead.
The word was passed round that the assassin, Ignacio Méndez, should go
free; tongues that had hitherto wagged were still. It is almost certain
that the murder was done by the King's order. If it were so, Felipe IV.
had more spirit at seventeen than he ever showed afterwards.

Villamediana had many of Góngora's qualities: his courage, his wit, his
sense of form, his preciosity. In his _Fábula de Faetón_, as in his
_Fábula de la Fénix_, he outdoes his master in eccentricity and verbal
foppery: fish become "swimming birds of the cerulean seat," water is
"liquid nutriment," time "gnaws statues and digests the marble"; and by
hyperbaton and word-juggling he proves himself as _culto_ as he can.
But it is fair to say that when it pleases him he is as simple and
direct as the early Góngora. It must suffice here to quote Churton's
rendering of a sonnet on the proposed marriage of the Infanta Doña
María to the Prince of Wales:—

  "_By Heresy upborne, that giantess
    Whose pride heaven's battlements in fancy scales,
    With Villiers his proud Admiral, Charles of Wales
  To Mary's heavenly sphere would boldly press.
  A heretic he is, he must confess
    Heaven's light ne'er led his knighthood's roving sails;
    But the bright cause his error countervails,
  And heavenly beauty pleads for love's excess.
  So now the lamb with cub of wolf must mate;
    The dove must take the raven to her nest;
  Our palace, like the old ark, must shelter all:
  Confusion, as of Babylon the Great,
    Is round us, and the faith of Spain, oppress'd
  By fine State-reason, trembles to its fall._"

This expresses—much more clearly than the _Gloria de Niquea_—the true
feeling of Góngora and his circle towards Steenie and Baby Charles.

Less nervous and energetic, but not less fantastic than Villamediana's
worst extravagances, are the _Obras póstumas divinas y humanas_ (1641)
of HORTENSIO FÉLIX PARAVICINO Y ARTEAGA (1580-1633), whose praises were
sung by Lope:—

  "_Divine Hortensio, whose exalted strain,
    Sweet, pure, and witty, censure cannot wound,
  The Cyril and the Chrysostom of Spain._"

The divine Hortensio was court-preacher to Felipe IV., and enchanted
his congregations by preaching in the _culto_ style. His verses
exaggerate Góngora's worst faults, and are disfigured by fulsome
flattery of his leader, before whom, as he says, he is dumb with
admiration. As thus:—"May my offering in gracious cloud, in equal
wealth of fragrance, bestrew thine altars." Paravicino, whose works
were published under the name of Arteaga, was a powerful centre
of Gongoristic influence, and did more than most men to force
_culteranismo_ into fashion. In sermons, poems, and a masque entitled
_Gridonia_, he never ceases to spread the plague, which lasted for
a century, attacking writers as far apart as Ambrosio Roca y Serna
(whose _Luz del Alma_ appeared in 1623), and Agustín de Salazar, the
author of the _Cítara de Apolo_ (1677).

Meanwhile a few held out against the mode. The Sevillan, Juan de
Arguijo (? d. 1629), continued the tradition of Herrera, writing in
Italian measures with a smoothness of versification and a dignified
correctness which drew applause from one camp and hissing from the
other. His townsman, JUAN DE JÁUREGUI Y AGUILAR (? 1570-1650), came
into notice with his version of Tasso's _Aminta_ (1607), one of the
best translations ever made, deserving of the high praise which
Cervantes bestows on it and on Cristóbal de Figueroa's rendering of the
_Pastor Fido_:—"They make us doubt which is the translation and which
the original." In his _Aminta_, as in his original poems, Jáuregui's
style is a model of purity and refinement, as might be expected from
the _Discurso poético_ launched later against Góngora; but the tide
was too strong for him. His _Orfeo_ (1624) shows signs of wavering,
and in his translation, the _Farsalia_, which was not published till
1684, he is almost as extreme a Gongorist as the worst. Still it
should be remembered that Lucan also was a Córdoban, practising early
Gongorism at Nero's court, and a translator is prone to reproduce the
defects of his original. Jáuregui has some points of resemblance with
Rossetti, was a famous artist in his day, and is said, on the strength
of a dubious passage in the prologue to the _Novelas_, to have painted

ESTEBAN MANUEL DE VILLEGAS (1596-1669) shows rare poetic qualities in
his _Eróticas ó Amatorias_ (1617), in which he announces himself as
the rising sun. _Sicut sol matutinus_ is printed on his title-page,
where those waning stars, Lope, Calderón, and Quevedo, are also
supplied with a prophetic motto: _Me surgente, quid istæ?_ His
imitations of Anacreon and Catullus are done with amazing gusto,
all the more wonderful when we remember that his "sweet songs and
suave delights" were written at fourteen, retouched and published at
twenty. But Villegas is one of the great disappointments of Castilian
literature: he married in 1626, deserted verse for law, and ended life
a poor, embittered attorney. The Sevillan canon and royal librarian,
FRANCISCO DE RIOJA (? 1586-1659), follows the example of Herrera,
his sonnets and _silvas_ being distinguished for their correct form
and their philosophic melancholy. But Rioja has been unlucky. One
poem, entitled _Las Ruinas de Itálica_, has won for him a very great
reputation; and yet, in fact, as Fernández-Guerra y Orbe has proved,
the _Ruinas_ is due to Rodrigo Caro (1573-1647), the archæologist who
wrote the _Memorial de Utrera_ and the _Antigüedades de Sevilla_.
Adolfo de Castro goes further, ascribing the _Epístola moral á Fabio_
to Pedro Fernández de Andrado, author of the _Libro de la Gineta_. Thus
despoiled of two admirable pieces, Rioja is less important than he
seemed thirty years since; yet, even so, he ranks, with the Príncipe de
Esquilache (1581-1658) and the Conde de Rebolledo (1597-1676), among
the sounder influences of his time.

The Segovian poet, Alonso de Ledesma Buitrago (1552-1623), founded the
school of _conceptismo_ with its metaphysical conceits, philosophic
paradoxes, and sententious moralisings, as of a Seneca gone mad. His
_Conceptos espirituales_ and _Juegos de la Noche Buena_ (1611) lead up
to the allegorical gibberish of his _Monstruo Imaginado_ (1615), and to
the perverted ingenuity of Alonso de Bonilla's _Nuevo Jardín de Flores
divinas_ (1617). _Conceptismo_ was no less an evil than _culteranismo_,
but it was less likely to spread: the latter played with words, the
former with ideas. A bizarre vocabulary was enough for a man to pass as
_culto_; the _conceptista_ must be equipped with various learning, and
must have a smattering of philosophy. Under such chiefs as Ledesma and
Bonilla the new mania must have died; but _conceptismo_ was in the air,
and, as Carrillo seduced Góngora, so Ledesma captured FRANCIS GÓMEZ
DE QUEVEDO Y VILLEGAS (1580-1645): (it should be said, however, that
Quevedo nowhere mentions Ledesma by name). Like Lope, like Calderón,
Quevedo was a highlander. His family boasted the punning motto:—"I am
he who stopped—_el que vedó_—the Moors' advance." His father (who
died early) and mother both held posts at court. At Alcalá de Henares,
from 1596 onwards, Quevedo took honours in theology, law, French,
Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew. He is also said to have studied
medicine; and certainly he hated Sangrado as Dickens hated Bumble. When
scarcely out of his teens he corresponded with Justus Lipsius, who
hailed him as _μέγα κῦδος Ἱβήρων_, and at Madrid he speedily became
the talk of the town. Strange stories were told of him: that he had
pinked his man at Alcalá, that he ran Captain Rodríguez through the
body rather than yield him the wall, that he put an escaped panther to
the sword, that he disarmed the famous fencing-master, Pacheco Narváez.
This last tale is true, and is curious in view of Quevedo's physical
defects. His reply to Vicencio Valerio in _Su Espada por Santiago_ is
well known:—"He says I hobble, and can't see. I should lie from head
to foot if I denied it: my eyes and my gait would contradict me."

For all his short sight and clubbed feet, he was ever too ready with
his rapier. On Maundy Thursday, 1611, he witnessed a scuffle between
a man and woman during Tenebræ in St. Martin's Church. He intervened,
the argument was continued outside, swords were crossed, and Quevedo's
opponent fell mortally wounded. As the man was a noble, Quevedo
prudently escaped from possible consequences to Sicily. He returned to
his estate, La Torre de Juan Abad, in 1612, but soon wearied of country
life, and was sent on diplomatic missions to Genoa, Milan, Venice, and
Rome. On Osuna's promotion to Naples, Quevedo became Finance Minister,
proving himself a capable administrator. In 1618 he meddled in the
Spanish plot which forms the motive of Otway's _Venice Preserved_, and,
disguised as a beggar, escaped from the bravos told off to murder him.
His public career ended at this time, for his subsequent appointment
as Felipe IV.'s secretary was merely nominal. In 1627 he shared in a
furious polemic. Santa Teresa was canonised in 1622, and, at the joint
instance of Carmelites and Jesuits, was made co-patron of Spain with
Santiago. The Papal Bull (July 31, 1627) divided Spain into two camps.
Quevedo, who was of the Order of Santiago—"red with the blood of the
brave"—took up the cudgels for St. James, was branded a "hypocritical
blackguard" by one party, and was extolled by the other as the "Captain
of Combat," "the Ensign of the Apostle." He shamed Pope, King,
Olivares, the religious, and half the laity, and the Bull was withdrawn
(June 28, 1630). The victory cost him a year's exile, and when Olivares
offered him the embassy at Genoa, he refused it, on the ground that he
did not wish to have his mouth thus closed. After his unlucky marriage
to Esperanza de Mendoza, widow of Juan Fernández de Heredia, he began a
campaign against the royal favourite. Olivares' turn came in December
1639, when the King found by his plate a copy of verses urging him to
cease his extravagance and to dismiss his incapable ministers. Quevedo
was—perhaps rightly—suspected of writing these lines, was arrested
at midnight, and was whisked away, half dressed, to the monastery of
St. Mark in León. For four years he was imprisoned in a cell below
the level of the river, and, when released after Olivares' fall in
1643, his health was broken. A flash of his old humour appears in
his reply to the priest who begged him to arrange for music at his
funeral:—"Nay, let them pay that hear it."

As a prose writer he began with a _Life of St. Thomas of Villanueva_
(1620), and ended with a _Life of St. Paul the Apostle_ (1644).
These, and his other moralisings—_Virtue Militant_, the _Cradle and
the Tomb_—call for no notice here. The _Política de Dios_ (1618) is
apparently an abstract plea for absolutism; in fact, it exposes the
weakness of Spanish administration just as the _Marcus Brutus_ (1644)
is a vehicle for opinions on contemporary politics. Learned and acute,
these treatises show Quevedo's concern for his country's future, and a
passage in his sixty-eighth sonnet forecasts the future of the Spanish
colonies:—"'Tis likelier far, O Spain! that what thou alone didst take
from all, all will take from thee alone"—

  "_Y es más facil! oh España ¡en muchas modas
  Que lo que á todos les quitaste sola,
  Te puedan á tí sola quitar todos._"

The prophecy is just being fulfilled, and the chief interest
of Quevedo's prose treatises lies in their _conceptismo_—the
flashy epigram, the pompous paradox, the strained antithesis, the
hairsplitting and refining in and out of season. It was vain for
Quevedo to edit Luis de León and Torre as a protest against Gongorism,
for in his own practice he substituted one affectation for another.

The true and simpler Quevedo is to be sought elsewhere. His picaresque
_Historia de la Vida del Buscón_, best known by its unauthorised
title, _El Gran Tacaño_ (The Prime Scoundrel), though not published
till 1626, was probably written soon after 1608. Pablo, son of a
barber and a loose woman, follows a rich schoolfellow to Alcalá, where
he shines in every kind of devilry. Thence he passes into a gang of
thieves, is imprisoned, lives as a sham cripple, an actor, a bravo, and
finally—his author being weary of him—emigrates to America. There
is no attempt at creating character, no vulgar obtrusion of Alemán's
moralising tone: such amusement as the novel contains is afforded by
the invention of heartless incident and the acrid rendering of villany.
The harsh jeering, the intense brutality, the unsympathetic wit and art
of the _Buscón_, make it one of the cleverest books in the world, as it
is one of the cruellest and coarsest in its misanthropic enjoyment of
baseness and pain. No less characteristic of Quevedo are his _Sueños_
(Visions), printed in 1627. These fantastic pieces are really five in
number, though most collections print seven or eight; for the _Infierno
Enmendado_ (Hell Reformed) is not a vision, but is rather a sequel to
the _Política de Dios_; the _Casa de Locos de Amor_ is probably the
work of Quevedo's friend, Lorenzo van der Hammen; and the _Fortuna con
Seso_ was not written till 1635. Quevedo himself calls the _Sueño de
la Muerte_ (Vision of Death) the fifth and last of the series. Satire
in Lucian's manner had already been introduced into Spanish literature
by Valdés in the _Diálogo de Mercurio y Carón_, in the _Crotalón_
(which most authorities ascribe to Cristóbal de Villalón), and in the
_Coloquio de los Perros_. In witty observation and ridicule of whole
sections of society, Quevedo almost vies with Cervantes, though his
unfeeling cynicism gives his work an individual flavour. His lost poets
are doomed to hear each other's verses for eternity, his statesmen
jostle bandits, doctors and murderers end their careers as brethren,
comic men dwell in an inferno apart lest their jokes should damp hell's
fires,—grim jests which may be read in Roger L'Estrange's spirited

Quevedo's serious poems suffer from the _conceptismo_ which disfigures
his ambitious prose; his wit, his complete knowledge of low life, his
mastery of language show to greater advantage in his picaroon ballads
and exercises in lighter verse. His freedom of tone has brought upon
him an undeserved reputation for obscenity; the fact being that lewd,
timorous fellows have fathered their indecencies upon him. A passage
from his _Last Will of Don Quixote_ may be cited, as Mr. Gibson gives
it, to illustrate his natural method:—

  "_Up and answered Sancho Panza;
    List to what he said or sung,
  With an accent rough and ready
    And a forty-parson tongue:
  ''Tis not reason, good my master,
    When thou goest forth, I wis,
  To account to thy Creator,
    Thou shouldst utter stuff like this;
  As trustees, name thou the Curate
    Who confesseth thee betimes,
  And Per Anton, our good Provost,
    And the goat-herd Gaffer Grimes;
  Make clean sweep of the Esplandians,
    Who have dinned us with their clatter;
  Call thou in a ghostly hermit,
    Who may aid thee in the matter.'
  'Well thou speakest,' up and answered
    Don Quixote, nowise dumb;
  'Hie thee to the Rock of Dolour,
    Bid Beltenebros to come!_'"

Overpraised and overblamed, Quevedo attempted too much. He had it
in him to be a poet, or a theologian, or a stoic philosopher, or
a critic, or a satirist, or a statesman: he insisted on being all
of these together, and he has paid the penalty. Though he never
fails ignominiously, he rarely achieves a genuine success, and
the bulk of his writing is now neglected because of its local and
ephemeral interest. Yet he deserves honour as the most widely-gifted
Spaniard of his time, as a strong and honest man in a corrupt age,
and as a brilliant writer whose hatred of the commonplace beguiled
him into adopting a dull innovation. It is not likely that his
numerous inedited lyrics will do more than increase our knowledge of
Góngora's and Montalbán's failings; but the two plays promised by Sr.
Menéndez y Pelayo—_Cómo ha de ser el Privado_ and _Pero Vázquez de
Escamilla_—cannot but reveal a new aspect of a many-sided genius.

Quevedo was not, however, known as a dramatist to the same extent as
the Valencian, GUILLÉN DE CASTRO Y BELLVIS (1569-1631), an erratic
soldier who has achieved renown in and out of Spain. Castro is
sometimes credited with the _Prodigio de los Montes_, whence Calderón
derived his _Mágico Prodigioso_, but the _Prodigio_ is almost certainly
by Lope. Castro's fame rests on his _Mocedades del Cid_ (The Cid's
First Exploits), a dramatic adaptation of national tradition in Lope's
manner. Ximena, daughter of Lozano, loves Rodrigo before the action
begins, and, on Lozano's death by Rodrigo's hand, her passion and
her duty are in conflict. Rodrigo's victories against the Moors help
to expiate his crime: on a false rumour of his death, Ximena avows
her love for him, and patriotism combines with inclination to yield a
dramatic ending. Corneille, treating Castro's play with the freedom of
a man of genius, founded the French school of tragedy; but not all his
changes are improvements. By limiting the time of action he needlessly
emphasises the difficulty of the situation. Castro's device is sounder
when he prolongs the space which shall diminish Ximena's filial grief
and increase her admiration of the Cid. The strife between love and
honour exists already in the Spanish, and Corneille's merit lies in
his suppression of Castro's superfluous third act, in his magnificent
rhetoric, beside which the Spaniard's simplicity seems weak. But though
Castro wrote no masterpiece, he begot one based upon his original
conception, and some of Corneille's most admired tirades are but
amplified translations.

Less remarkable as a playwright than as a novelist, the lawyer, LUIS
VÉLEZ DE GUEVARA (1570-1643); is reputed to have written no fewer than
four hundred pieces for the stage. Of these, eighty survive, mostly on
historic themes, which—as in _El Valor no tiene Edad_—are treated
with tiresome extravagance; but the most difficult critics have found
praise for _Más pesa el Rey que la Sangre_ (King First, Blood Second).
The story is that, in the thirteenth century, Guzmán the Good held
Tarifa for King Sancho; the rebel Infante, Don Juan, called upon him
to surrender under pain of his son's death; for answer, Guzmán threw
his dagger over the battlement, and saw the boy murdered before his
eyes. Rarely has the old Castilian tradition of loyalty to the King
been presented with more picturesque force, and few scenes in any
dramatic literature surpass that last one on the raising of the siege,
when Guzmán points to his child's corpse. Vélez de Guevara collaborated
with Rojas Zorrilla and Mira de Amescua in _The Devil's Suit against
the Priest of Madrilejos_, a play in which a lunatic girl saves her
life by pleading demoniacal possession. The idea is characteristic of
Guevara's uncanny invention; but the Inquisition frowned upon stage
representatives of exorcism, and, though the author's orthodoxy was
not questioned, the play was withdrawn. He is best remembered for his
satire _El Diablo Cojuelo_ (1641), which describes observations taken
during a flight through the air by a student who releases the Lame
Devil from a flask, and is repaid by glimpses of life in courts and
slums and stews. Le Sage, in his _Diable Boiteux_, has greatly improved
upon the first conception; but the original is of excellent humour,
and the style is as idiomatic as the best Castilian can be. Felipe IV.
is said to have smiled only three times in his life—twice at quips by
Guevara, who was his chamberlain.

Of all Lope's imitators the most undisguised is the son of the King's
bookseller, Doctor JUAN PÉREZ DE MONTALBÁN (1602-38), who became a
priest of the Congregation of St. Peter in 1625. His father was plain
Juan Pérez (as who should say John Smith), and the son was cruelly
bantered for his airs and graces:—"Put Doctor in front and Montalbán
behind, and plebeian Pérez shines an aristocrat." It was rumoured that
his _Orfeo_ (1624), written to compete with Jáuregui, was really Lope's
work, given by the patriarch to start his favourite in life. The story
is probably false, for the verse lacks Lope's ease and grace; but the
_Orfeo_ won Montalbán a name, and—there is no such luck for modern
minor poets—in 1625 a Peruvian merchant expressed his admiration by
settling a pension on the young priest. Montalbán lived in closest
intimacy with Lope, who taught his young admirer stagecraft, and helped
him with introductions to managers. Unluckily he sought to rival his
master in fecundity as well as in method, and the effort broke him.
He is often credited with writing the _Tribunal of Just Vengeance_, a
work which describes Quevedo as "Master of Error, Doctor of Impudence,
Licentiate of Buffoonery, Bachelor of Filth, Professor of Vice, and
Archdevil of Mankind." Quevedo, on his side, had a grievance, inasmuch
as Pérez, the bookseller, had pirated the _Buscón_. He prophesied that
Montalbán would die a lunatic, and, in fact, his words came true.

Pellicer credits Montalbán with literary theories of his own, but they
are mere repetitions of Lope's precepts in the _Arte Nuevo_. Like his
master, Montalbán has a keen eye for a situation, for the dramatic
value of a popular story, as he shows in his _Amantes de Teruel_, those
eternal types of constancy; but he writes too hurriedly, with more
ambition than power, is infected with _culteranismo_, and, though he
apes Lope with superficial success in his secular plays, fails utterly
when he attempts the sacred drama. His own age thought most highly of
_No hay Vida como la Honra_, one of the first pieces to have a "run" on
the Spanish stage; but the _Amantes_ is his best work, and its vigorous
dialogue may still be read with emotion.

These lovers of Teruel were also staged by a man of genius whose
pseudonym has completely overshadowed his family name of Gabriel
Téllez. The career of TIRSO DE MOLINA (1571-1648) is often dismissed
in six lines packed with errors; but the publication of Sr. Cotarelo
y Mori's study has made such summary treatment impossible in the
future. Writers whose imagination does service for research have
invented the fables that Tirso led a scandalous, stormy life, and that
the repentant sinner took orders in middle age. These legends are
baseless, and are conceived on the theory that Tirso's outspoken plays
imply a deep knowledge of human nature's weak side and of the shadiest
picaresque corners. It appears to be forgotten that Tirso spent years
in the confessional: no bad position for the study of frailty. It
seems certain that he was born at Madrid, and that he studied at
Alcalá is clear from Matías de los Reyes' dedication of _El Agravio
agraviado_. The date of his profession is not known; but he is named as
a Mercedarian monk and as "a comic poet" by the actor-manager, Andrés
de Claramonte y Corroy, in his _Letanía moral_, written before 1610,
though not printed till 1613. His holograph of _Santa Juana_ is dated
in 1613 from Toledo, where he also wrote his _Cigarrales_. Passages in
_La Gallega Mari Hernández_ imply a residence in Galicia. That he lived
in Seville, and visited the island of Santo Domingo, is certain, though
the dates are not known. In 1619 he was Superior of the Mercedarian
convent at Trujillo, an appointment which implies that he was a monk of
long standing. In 1620 Lope dedicated to him _Lo Fingido verdadero_,
and in the same year Tirso returned the compliment by dedicating his
_Villana de Vallecas_ to Lope. Though he competed in 1622 at the Madrid
feasts in honour of St. Isidore, he failed to receive even honourable
mention. Ten years later he became official chronicler of his order,
and showed his opinion of his predecessor, Alonso Remón—with whom he
has been confounded, even by Cervantes—by rewriting Remón's history.
In 1634 he was made _Definidor General_ for Castile, and his name
reappears as licenser of books, or in legal documents. He died on March
21, 1648, being then Prior at Soria, renowned as a preacher of most
tranquil, virtuous life, the very opposite of what ignorant fancy has
feigned of him. He is known to have written plays so recently as 1638,
for the holograph of his _Quinas de Portugal_ bears that date; but the
preface to the _Deleitar Aprovechado_ shows that his popularity was on
the wane in 1635. His last years were given to writing a _Genealogía
del Conde de Sástago_ and the chronicle of the Mercedarian Order.

Tirso's earliest printed volume is his _Cigarrales de Toledo_ (1621 or
1624), so called from a local Toledan word for a summer country-house
set down in an orchard. The book is a collection of tales and verse,
supposed to be recited during five days of festivity which have
followed a wedding. Tirso, indeed, announces stories and verse which
shall last twenty days; yet he breaks off at the fifth, announcing a
Second Part, which never appeared. Critics profess to find in Tirso's
tales some traces of Cervantes, who is praised in the text as the
"Spanish Boccaccio": the influence of the Italian Boccaccio is far
more obvious throughout, and—save for a tinge of Gongorism—_Los
Tres Maridos burlados_ might well pass as a splendid adaptation from
the _Decamerone_. Still, even in the _Cigarrales_ the born playwright
asserts himself in _Cómo han de ser los Amigos_, in _El Celoso
prudente_, and in one of Tirso's most brilliant pieces, _El Vergonzoso
en Palacio_. A second collection entitled _Deleitar Aprovechado_
(Business with Profit), issued in 1635, contains three pious tales
of no great merit, and several _autos_, one of which—_El Colmenero
divino_—is Tirso's best attempt at religious drama.

Essentially a dramatist, he is to be but partially studied in his
theatre, of which the first part appeared in 1627, the third in 1634,
the second and fourth in 1635, and the fifth in 1637. A famous play is
the _Condenado por Desconfiado_ (The Doubter Damned), of which some
would deprive Tirso; yet the treatment is specially characteristic of
him. Paulo, who has left the world for a hermitage, prays for light
as to his future salvation, dreams that his sins exceed his merits,
and is urged by the devil to go to Naples to seek out Enrico, whose
ending will be like his own. Paulo obeys, discovers Enrico to be a
rook and bully, and in despair takes to a bandit's life. Meanwhile
Enrico shows a hint of virtue by refusing to slay an old man whose
appearance reminds the bully of his own father, and kills the master
who taunted him with flinching from a bargain. He escapes to where
Paulo and his gang are hidden. Garbed as a hermit, Paulo vainly exhorts
Enrico to confess, though the criminal finally repents, and is seen by
Pedrisco—Paulo's servant—passing to heaven. Duped by the devil, Paulo
refuses to believe Pedrisco's story, and dies damned through his own
distrust and pride. The substance of this play, which is contrived with
abounding skill and theological knowledge, is the old conflict between
free-will and predestination. Some would ascribe the play to Lope,
because the pastoral scenes are in his manner, but the notion that Lope
would publish under Tirso's name is untenable. Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo
will not be suspected of a prejudice against Lope; and he avers, in so
many words, that the only playwright in Spain with enough theology
to write the _Condenado_ was Tirso, who, had he written nothing else,
would rank among the greatest Spanish dramatists.

The piece which has won Tirso immortality is his _Burlador de Sevilla
y Convidado de Piedra_ (The Seville Mocker and the Stone Guest), first
printed at Barcelona in 1630 as the seventh of _Twelve New Plays by
Lope de Vega Carpio, and other Authors_; and the omission of the
_Burlador_ from all authorised editions has led critics of authority
to question Tirso's authorship.[27] The discovery in 1878 of a new
version caused Manuel de la Revilla to declare that the play was by
Calderón, on the ground that Calderón's name is on the title-page,
and that Calderón never trespassed on other men's property. This
is an overstatement: to mention but a few instances, Calderón's _Á
Secreto Agravio Secreta Venganza_ is re-arranged from Tirso's _Celoso
prudente_; his _Secreto á Voces_ from Tirso's _Amar por Arte mayor_,
while the second act of Calderón's _Cabellos de Absalón_ is lifted,
almost word for word, from the third act of Tirso's _Venganza de
Tamar_. On the whole, then, Tirso may be taken as the creator of Don
Juan. No analysis is needed of a play with which Mozart, the most
Athenian of musicians, has familiarised mankind; nor is translation
possible in the present corrupt state of the text. Whether or not there
existed an historic Don Juan at Plasencia or at Seville is doubtful,
for folklorists have found the story as far away from Spain as Iceland
is; but it is Tirso's glory to have so treated it that the world has
accepted it as a purely Spanish conception. The _Festin de Pierre_
(1659) by Dorimond, the _Fils Criminel_ (1660) of De Villiers, the
_Dom Juan_ (1665) of Molière, the _Nouveau Festin de Pierre_ (1670)
of Rosimond, and the arrangement of Thomas Corneille, are but pale
reflections of the Spanish type which passes onward from Shadwell's
_Libertine_ (1676) till it reaches the hands of Byron and Zorrilla and
Barbey d'Aurévilly and Flaubert (whose posthumous sketch comes closer
back to the original). Of these later artists not one has succeeded in
matching the patrician dignity, the infernal, iniquitous valour of the
original. To have created a universal type, to have imposed a character
upon the world, to have outlived all rivalry, to have achieved in words
what Mozart alone has expressed in music, is to rank among the great
creators of all time.

If Tirso excelled in sombre force, he was likewise a master in the
lighter comedy of _El Vergonzoso en Palacio_, where Mireno, the Shy
Man at Court, is rendered with rare sympathetic delicacy, and in the
farcical intrigue of _Don Gil de las Calzas verdes_ (Don Gil of the
Green Breeches), where the changes of Juana to Elvira or to Don Gil
are such examples of subtle, gay ingenuity as delight and bewilder
the reader no less than the comic trio of the _Villana de Vallecas_,
or the picture of unctuous hypocrisy in _Marta la piadosa_. Tirso's
fate was to be forgotten, not merely by the public, but by the very
dramatists who used his themes; and, as in Lope's case, the neglect is
partly due to the rarity of his editions. Yet, even so, his eclipse
is unaccountable, for his various gifts are hard to match in any
literature. He has not the disconcerting cleverness of Lope, nor has he
Lope's infinite variety of resource; moreover, his natural frankness
has won him a name for indecency. Yet has he imagination, passion,
individual vision, knowledge of dramatic effect. He could create
character, and his women, if less noble, are more real than Lope's own
in their frank emotion and seductive abandonment. At whiles his diction
tends to Gongorism, as when—in _El Amor y la Amistad_—a personage,
at sight of a mountain, babbles of "the lofty daring of the snow,
the pyramid of diamond"; but this is exceptional, and his hostility
to _culteranismo_ inspired Góngora to write more than one stinging
epigram. Tirso had not Lope's matchless facility, and, considering
the maturity of the Spanish genius, it is strange that he should have
written no play before 1606 or 1608. Moreover, he composed by fits and
starts in moments snatched from duty, and, beginning late, he ended
early. Even in these circumstances he could boast in 1621 that he
had produced three hundred plays—a number afterwards raised to four
hundred. Only some eighty survive: in other words, four-fifths of his
theatre has vanished, and the loss is surely great for those who would
fain know every aspect of his genius. But enough remains to justify his
high position, and his fame, like Lope's, grows from day to day.

Of such dramatists as the courtly Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza (?
1590-1644), and the festive Luis Belmonte y Bermúdez (1587-? 1650)
mere mention must suffice: the former's _Querer por sólo querer_ may
be read in an excellent version made by Sir Richard Fanshawe during
his imprisonment "by Oliver, after the Battail of Worcester." Antonio
Mira de Amescua (? 1578-1640), chaplain of Felipe IV., mingled the
human with the divine, was praised by all contemporaries from Cervantes
onwards, had the right lyrical note, and, if his plays were collected,
might prove himself worthy of his dramatic fame; as it is, he is best
known as a playwright from whom Calderón, Moreto, and Corneille have
borrowed themes. A more original talent is shown by JUAN RUIZ DE
ALARCÓN (? 1581-1639), whose father was administrator of the Tlacho
mines in Mexico. Ruiz de Alarcón left Mexico for Spain in 1600, and
studied at Salamanca for five years; he returned to America in 1608 in
the hope of being elected to a University chair, but the deformity—a
hunched back—with which he was taunted his life long was against
him, and he made for Spain in 1611. He entered the household of the
Marqués de Salinas, wrote some laudatory _décimas_ for the _Desengaño
de la Fortuna_ in 1612, and next year produced his first play, the
_Semejante de sí mismo_, founded, like Tirso's _Celosa de sí misma_,
on the _Curious Impertinent_. It was no great success, but it made him
known and hated. He was far too ready to attack others, being himself
most vulnerable. Cristóbal Suárez de Figueroa, who had jeered at
Cervantes for "writing prologues and dedications when at death's door,"
spoke for others besides himself when he lampooned Alarcón as "an ape
in man's guise, an impudent hunchback, a ludicrous deformity." Tirso
befriended the Mexican, while Mendoza, Lope, Quevedo, and the rest
scourged him mercilessly; and when his _Antecristo_ (which Voltaire
used in _Mahomet_) was played, a band of rioters ruined the performance
by squirting oil on the spectators and firing squibs in the pit. Yet
the women always crowded the house when his name was in the bill, and
they made his fortune by contriving that his play, _Siempre ayuda la
Verdad_—probably written in collaboration with Tirso—should be given
at court in 1623. Three years later he was named Member of Council for
the Indies. His collected pieces were published in 1628 and 1634.

Ruiz de Alarcón was never popular in the sense that Lope and Calderón
were popular; still, he had his successes, and no Spanish dramatist
is better reading. Compared with his rivals he was sterile, for the
total of his plays is less than thirty, even if we accept all the
doubtful pieces ascribed to him. Lope excels him in invention, Tirso
in force and fun, Calderón in charm; Ruiz de Alarcón is less intensely
national than these, and the very individuality—the _extrañeza_—which
Montalbán noted with perplexity, makes him almost better appreciated
abroad than at home. Corneille has based French tragedy upon Guillén de
Castro's _Mocedades del Cid_; French comedy is scarcely less influenced
by his adaptation of the _Menteur_ from Ruiz de Alarcón's _Verdad
Sospechosa_ (Truth Suspected). García has lied all his life, lies to
his father, his friends, his betrothed, lies to himself, and defeats
his own purpose by his ingenuity. He would speak the truth if he could,
but he has no talent that way. Why trouble with truth when lying comes
easier? His father, Beltrán, perceives that the miser enjoys money,
that murder slakes vengeance, that the drunkard grows glorious with
wine; but his son's failing is beyond him. The noble Philistine has
not the artist's soul, and cannot understand why García should lie for
lying's sake, against his own interest. Throughout the play Ruiz de
Alarcón is never once at fault, and the gay ingenuity with which he
enforces the old moral, that honesty is the best policy, is equalled
by his masterly creation of character. Ethics are his preoccupation;
yet, though almost all his plays seek to enforce a lesson, he nowhere
descends to pulpiteering or merges the dramatist in the teacher. While
in _Las Paredes Oyen_ (Walls have Ears) and in _El Examen de Maridos_
(Husbands Proved) the triumph of the _Verdad Sospechosa_ is repeated,
the more national play is admirably exampled in _El Tejedor de Segovia_
(The Weaver of Segovia) and _Ganar Amigos_ (How to Win Friends).

There are greater Spanish playwrights than Ruiz de Alarcón: there is
none whose work is of such even excellence. In so early a piece as the
_Cueva de Salamanca_, though there is manifest technical inexperience,
the mere writing is almost as good as in _La Verdad Sospechosa_.
The very infertility at which contemporaries mocked is balanced by
equality of execution. Lope and Calderón have written better pieces,
and many worse: no line that Ruiz de Alarcón published is unworthy
of him. While his contemporaries were content to improvise at ease,
he sat aloof, never joining in the race for money and applause, but
filing with a scrupulous conscience to such effect that all his work
endures. His chief titles to fame are his power of creating character
and his high ethical aim. But he has other merits scarcely less rare:
his versification is of extreme finish, and his spirited dialogue,
free from any tinge of Gongorism, is a triumph of fine idiom over
perverse influences which led men of greater natural endowment astray.
His taste, indeed, is almost unerring, and it goes to form that sober
dignity, that individual tone, that uncommon counterpoise of faculties
which place him below—and a little apart from—the two or three best
Spanish dramatists.

If there be an exotic element in the quality of Ruiz de Alarcón's
distinction as in his frugal dramatic method, the _españolismo_ of the
land is incarnate in the genius of PEDRO CALDERÓN DE LA BARCA HENAO
DE LA BARREDA Y RIAÑO (1600-1681), the most representative Spaniard of
the seventeenth century. His father was Secretary to the Treasury, and,
on this side, Calderón was a highlander, like Santillana, Lope, and
Quevedo; he inherited a strain of Flemish blood through his mother, who
claimed descent from the De Mons of Hainault. He was educated at the
Jesuit Colegio Imperial in Madrid, and fond biographers declare that
he studied civil and canon law at Salamanca; this is mere assertion,
unsupported by any proof. Though he is said to have written a play,
_El Carro del Cielo_, at thirteen, he was not very precocious for a
Spaniard, his first authentic appearances being made at the Feast of
St. Isidore in 1620 and 1622. On the latter occasion he won the third
prize, and was praised by the good-natured Lope as one "who in his
tender years earns the laurels which time commonly awards to grey
hairs." His Boswell, Vera Tasis, reports that he served in Milan and
Flanders from 1625 to 1635; but there must be an error of date, for in
1629 he is found at Madrid drawing his sword upon the actor, Pedro de
Villegas, who had treacherously stabbed Calderón's brother, and who
fled for sanctuary to the Trinitarian Church. The Gongorist preacher,
Paravicino, referred to the matter in public; Calderón replied by
scoffing at "sermons of Barbary," and was sent to gaol for insulting
the cloth. Pellicer signals another outburst in 1640, when the
dramatist whipped out his sword at rehearsal and came off second best.
These are pleasing incidents in a career of sombre respectability,
though one half fears that the second is fiction. In 1637 Calderón
was promoted to the Order of Santiago, and in 1640 he served with his
brother knights against the Catalan rebels, hastily finishing his
_Certamen de Amor y Celos_ (Strife of Love and Jealousy) so as to
share in the campaign. He was sent to Madrid on some military mission
in 1641; received from the artillery fund a monthly pension of thirty
gold crowns; was ordained priest in 1651; was made chaplain of the New
Kings at Toledo in 1653; became honorary chaplain to Felipe IV. in
1663, when he joined the Congregation of St. Peter, which elected him
its Superior in 1666. On taking orders, Calderón's intention was to
forsake the secular stage, but he yielded to the King's command, and,
so late as 1680, celebrated Carlos II.'s wedding with Marie Louise de
Bourbon. "He died singing, as they say of the swan," wrote Solís to
Alonso Carnero. When death took him he was busied with an _auto_, which
was finished by Melchor de León—a fit ending to a happy, blameless

Calderón's prose writings are small in volume and in importance. The
description (written under the name of his colleague, Lorenzo Ramírez
de Prado) of the entry into Madrid of Felipe IV.'s second queen is
an official performance. More interest attaches to a treatise on the
dignity of painting, first printed in the fourth volume of Francisco
Mariano Nifo's _Cajón de Sastre literato_ (1781):—"Painting," says
Calderón, "is the art of arts, dominating all others and using them as
handmaids." He had an admirable gift of appreciation, and he proves it
by rescuing from the oblivion of the _Cancionero General_ such a ballad
as Escribá's, which he quotes in _Manos Blancas no ofenden_, and again
in _El Mayor Monstruo de los Celos_. Churton's version of the song is
not unhappy:—

  "_Come, death, ere step or sound I hear,
    Unknown the hour, unfelt the pain;
  Lest the wild joy to feel thee near,
    Should thrill me back to life again._

  _Come, sudden as the lightning-ray,
    When skies are calm and air is still;
  E'en from the silence of its way,
    More sure to strike where'er it will._

  _Such let thy secret coming be,
    Lest warning make thy summons vain,
  And joy to find myself with thee
    Call back life's ebbing tide again._"

A great lyric poet, his lyrics are mostly included in his plays.
One ballad, supposed to be a description of himself, written at a
lady's request, is often quoted, and has been well Englished by Mr.
Norman MacColl; it is, however, unauthentic, being due to a Sevillan
contemporary, Carlos Cepeda y Guzmán.[28] The earliest play printed
with Calderón's name is _El Astrólogo fingido_ (1632), and from 1633
onwards collected editions of his works were published; but he had no
personal concern in these issues, which so presented him that, as he
protested, he could not recognise himself. Though he printed a volume
of _autos_ in 1676, he was so indifferent as to the fate of his secular
plays that he never troubled to collect them. Luckily, in 1680 he drew
up a list of his pieces for the Duque de Veragua, the descendant of
Columbus, and upon this foundation Vera Tasis constructed a posthumous
edition in nine volumes. Roughly speaking, we possess one hundred and
twenty formal plays, and some seventy _autos_, with a few _entremeses_
of no great account.

Calderón has been fortunate in death as in life; for though his
vogue never quite equalled that of his great predecessor, Lope, it
proved far more enduring. From Lope's death to the close of the
seventeenth century, Calderón was chief of the Spanish stage; and,
though he underwent a temporary eclipse in the eighteenth century, his
sovereignty was restored in the nineteenth by the enthusiasm of the
German Romantics. He has suffered more than most from the indiscretion
of admirers. When Sismondi pronounced him simply a clever playwright,
"the poet of the Inquisition," he was no further from the truth than
the extravagant Friedrich Schlegel, who proclaimed that "in this great
and divine master the enigma of life is not merely expressed, but
solved": thus placing him above Shakespeare, who (so raved the German)
only stated life's riddle without attempting a solution. James the
First once said to the ambassador whom Ben Jonson called "Old Æsop
Gondomar":—"I know not how, but it seems to be the trade of a Spaniard
to talk rodomontade." It was no less the trade of the German Romantic,
who mistook lyrism for scenic presentation. Nor were the Germans alone
in their enthusiasm. Shelley met with Calderón's ideal dramas, read
them "with inexpressible wonder and delight," and was tempted "to throw
over their perfect and glowing forms the grey veil of my own words."
The famous speech of the Spirit replying, in the _Mágico Prodigioso_,
to Cyprian's question, "Who art thou, and whence comest thou?" has
become familiar to every reader of English literature:—

  "_Since thou desirest, I will then unveil
  Myself to thee;—for in myself I am
  A world of happiness and misery;
  This I have lost, and that I must lament
  For ever. In my attributes I stood
  So high and so heroically great,
  In lineage so supreme, and with a genius
  Which penetrated with a glance the world
  Beneath my feet, that was by my high merit.
  A King—whom I may call the King of kings,
  Because all others tremble in their pride
  Before the terrors of his countenance—
  In his high palace roofed with brightest gems
  Of living light—call them the stars of heaven—
  Named me his counsellor. But the high praise
  Stung me with pride and envy, and I rose
  In mighty competition, to ascend
  His seat, and place my foot triumphantly
  Upon his subject thrones. Chastised, I know
  The depth to which ambition falls: too mad
  Was the attempt, and yet more mad were now
  Repentance of the irrevocable deed;
  Therefore I close this ruin with the glory
  Of not to be subdued, before the shame
  Of reconciling me with him who reigns
  By coward cession. Nor was I alone,
  Nor am I now, nor shall I be alone;
  And there was hope, and there may still be hope,
  For many suffrages among his vassals
  Hailed me their lord and king, and many still
  Are mine, and many more shall be.
  Thus vanquished, though in fact victorious,
  I left his seat of empire._"

This "grey veil" serves but to heighten the noble poetic quality which
turned a cooler head than Shelley's. Goethe was moved to tears, and,
though towards the end he perceived the mischief wrought in Germany
by the uncritical idolatry of Calderón, he never ceased to admire
the only Spanish poet that he really knew. And in our time men like
Schack and Schmidt have dedicated their lives to the propagation of
the Calderonian gospel. Some part of the poet's fame is due to his
translators, some also to the fact that for a long time there was
no rival in the field. To the rest of Europe he has stood for Spain.
Readers could not divine (and in default of editions they could not
contrive to learn) that Calderón, great as he is, comes far short
of Lope's freshness, force, and invention, far short of Tirso's
creative power and impressive conception. But Spaniards know better
than to give him the highest place among their dramatic gods. He is
too brilliant to be set aside as a mere follower of Lope's, for he
rises to heights of poetry which Lope never reached; yet it is simple
history that he did but develop the seed which Lope planted. He made
no attempt—and there he showed good judgment—to reform the Spanish
drama; he was content to work upon the old ways, borrowing hints from
his predecessors, and, in a lazy mood, incorporating entire scenes.
If we are to believe Viguier and Philarète Chasles, he went so far as
to annex Corneille's _Heraclius_ (1647), and publish it in 1664 as
_En esta vida todo es verdad y todo es mentira_ (In this Life All's
True and All's False); but, as he knew no French, the chances are that
both plays derive from a common source—Mira de Amescua's _Rueda de
la fortuna_ (1614). In attempts to create character he almost always
fails, and when he succeeds—as in _El Alcalde de Zalamea_—he succeeds
by brilliantly retouching Lope's first sketch. Goethe hit Calderón's
weak spot with the remark that his characters are as alike as bullets
or leaden soldiers cast in the same mould; and the constant lyrical
interruptions go to show that he knew his own strength. Others might
match and overcome him as a playwright: there was none to approach
him in such magnificent lyrism as he allots to Justina in _El Mágico
Prodigioso_—to be quoted here in FitzGerald's rendering:—

  "_Who that in his hour of glory
    Walks the kingdom of the rose,
  And misapprehends the story
    Which through all the garden blows;
  Which the southern air who brings
  It touches, and the leafy strings
    Lightly to the touch respond;
  And nightingale to nightingale
    Answering a bough beyond...._

  _Lo! the golden Girasolé,
    That to him by whom she burns,
  Over heaven slowly, slowly,
    As he travels, ever turns,
  And beneath the wat'ry main
  When he sinks, would follow fain,
    Follow fain from west to east,
  And then from east to west again...._

  _So for her who having lighted
    In another heart the fire,
  Then shall leave it unrequited
    In its ashes to expire:
  After her that sacrifice
  Through the garden burns and cries,
  In the sultry, breathing air,
  In the flowers that turn and stare...._"

Such songs as these are, perhaps, better to read than to hear, and
Calderón is careful to supply a more popular interest. This he finds
in three sentiments which are still most characteristic of the Spanish
temperament: personal loyalty to the King, absolute devotion to the
Church, and the "point of honour." Through good report and evil,
Spain has held by the three principles which have made and undone
her. These three sources of inspiration find their highest expression
in the theatre of Calderón. A favourite with Felipe IV., a courtly
poet, if ever one there were, he becomes the mouthpiece of a nation
when he deifies the King in the _Príncipe Constante_, in _La Banda y
la Flor_ (The Scarf and the Flower), in _Guárdate de la Agua mansa_
(Beware of Still Water), and in a score of plays. Ticknor speaks of
"Calderón's flattery of the great": he overlooks the social condition
implied in the title of Rojas Zorrilla's famous play, _Del Rey abajo
Ninguno_ (Nobody, under the King). A titular aristocracy, shorn of all
power, counted for less than a foreigner can conceive in a land where
half the population was noble, and the reverence which was centred on
the person of the Lord's anointed evolved into a profound devotion,
a fantastic passion as exaggerated as anything in _Amadís_. A Church
which had inspired the seven-hundred-years' battle against the Moors,
which had produced miracles of holiness and of genius like Santa Teresa
and San Juan de la Cruz, which had stemmed the flood of the Reformation
and rolled it back from the Pyrenees, was regarded as the one moral
authority, the sole possible form of religion, and as the symbol of
Latin unity under Spain's headship.

The "point of honour"—the vengeance wrought by husbands, fathers,
and brothers in the cases of women found in dubious circumstances—is
harder to explain, or, at least, to justify; yet even this was a
perverted outcome of chivalresque ideals, very acceptable to men who
esteemed life more cheaply than their neighbours. Calderón's treatment
of such a situation may be followed in FitzGerald's version of _El
Pintor de su Deshonra_. The husband, who has slain his wife and her
lover, confronts her father and friends:—


                      "_Whoever dares
  Molest him, answers it to me. Open the door.
  But what is this?_      [Belardo unlocks the door.

Juan (coming out).

                      _A picture
  Done by the Painter of his own Dishonour,
  In blood.
  I am Don Juan Roca. Such revenge
  As each would have of me now let him take
  As far as our life holds—Don Pedro, who
  Gave me that lovely creature for a bride,
  And I return him a bloody corpse;
  Don Luis, who beholds his bosom's son
  Slain by his bosom friend; and you, my lord,
  Who, for your favours, might expect a piece
  In some far other style than this.
  Deal with me as you list; 'twill be a mercy
  To swell this complement of death with mine;
  For all I had to do is done, and life
  Is worse than nothing now._


                              _Get you to horse
  And leave the wind behind you._


                                _Nay, my lord;
  Whom should he fly from? Not from me at least,
  Who lov'd his honour as my own, and would
  Myself have help'd him in a just revenge
  Ev'n on an only son._


                        _I cannot speak,
  But I bow down these miserable grey hairs
  To other arbitrament than the sword,
  Ev'n to your Highness' justice._


                                  _Be it so.


                      _Meanwhile, my lord, let me depart;
  Free, if you will, or not. But let me go,
  Nor wound these fathers with the sight of me,
  Who has cut off the blossom of their age—
  Yea, and his own, more miserable than them all.
  They know me: that I am a gentleman,
  Not cruel, nor without what seem'd due cause
  Put on this bloody business of my honour;
  Which having done, I will be answerable
  Here and elsewhere, to all for all._


  In peace._


            _In peace! Come, Leonelo._"

Similar motives are used by Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina, both
priests and grey-beards; but the effect is more emphatic in Calderón,
and so early as 1683 his "immorality" was severely censured on the
occasion of Manuel de Guerra y Ribera's eulogistic _aprobación_.
In this matter, as in most others, he is satisfied to follow and
to exaggerate an existing convention. His heroes are untouched by
Othello's sublime jealousy: they kill their victims in cold blood as
something due to the self-respect of gentlemen placed in an absurd
position. He rehandles the theme in _Á Secreto Agravio Secreta
Venganza_ and in _El Médico de su Honra_; but the right emotion is
rarely felt by the reader, since Calderón himself is seldom fired by
real passion, and writes his scene as a splendid exercise in literature.

His genius is most visible in his _autos sacramentales_, a dramatic
form peculiar to Spain. The word _auto_ is first applied to any and
every play; then, the meaning becoming narrower, an _auto_ is a
religious play, resembling the mediæval Mysteries (Gil Vicente's _Auto
de San Martinho_ is probably the earliest piece of this type). Finally,
a far more special sense is developed, and an _auto sacramental_
comes to mean a dramatised exposition of the Mystery of the Blessed
Eucharist, to be played in the open on Corpus Christi Day. The Dutch
traveller, Frans van Aarssens van Sommelsdijk, has left an account
of the spectacle as he saw it when Calderón was in his prime. Borne
in procession through the city, the Host was followed by sovereigns,
courtiers, and the multitude, with artificial giants and pasteboard
monsters—_tarascas_—at their head. Fifers, bandsmen, dancers of
decorous measures accompanied the train to the cathedral. In the
afternoon the assembly met in the public square, and the _auto_ was
played before the King, who sat beneath a canopy, the richer public,
which lined the balconies, and the general, which filled the road.
Even for an educated Protestant nothing is easier than to confound an
_auto sacramental_ with a _comedia devota_ or a _comedia de santos_:
thus Bouterwek, in his _History_, and Longfellow, in his _Outre-Mer_,
have mistaken the _Devoción de la Cruz_ for an _auto_. The distinction
is radical. The true _auto_ has no secondary interest, has no mundane
personages: its one subject is the Eucharistic Mystery exposed by
allegorical characters. Denis Florence M'Carthy's version of _Los
Encantos de la Culpa_ (The Sorceries of Sin) enables English readers to
judge the _genre_ for themselves:—


  "_... Smell, come here, and with thy sense
  Test this bread, this substance,—tell me
  Is it bread or flesh?_

The Smell.

                            _Its smell
  Is the smell of bread._


                            _Taste, enter;
  Try it thou._

The Taste.

                _Its taste
  Is plainly that of bread._


                      _Touch, come; why tremble?
  Say what's this thou touchest._

The Touch.



  _Sight, declare what thou discernest
  In this object._

The Sight.

                  _Bread alone._


  _Hearing, thou, too, break in pieces
  This material, which, as flesh,
  Faith proclaims, and penance preacheth;
  Let the fraction by its noise
  Of their error undeceive them:
  Say, is it so?_

The Hearing.

                _Ungrateful Sin,
  Though the noise in truth resembles
  That of bread when broken, yet
  Faith and Penance teach us better.
  It is flesh, and what they call it
  I believe: that Faith asserteth
  Aught, is proof enough thereof._

The Understanding.

 _This one reason brings contentment
  Unto me._


            _O man, why linger,
  Now that Hearing hath firm fetter'd
  To the Faith thy Understanding?
  Quick, regain the saving vessel
  Of the sovereign Church, and leave
  Sin's so highly sweet excesses.
  Thou, Ulysses, Circe's slave,
  Fly this false and fleeting revel,
  Since, how great her power may be,
  Greater is the power of Heaven,
  And the true Jove's mightier magic
  Will thy virtuous purpose strengthen._

The Man.

  _Yes, thou'rt right, O Understanding;
  Lead in safety hence my senses._


  _Let us to our ship; for here
  All is shadowy and unsettled."_

As a writer of _autos_ Calderón is supreme. Lope, who outshines him
at so many points, is far less dexterous than his successor when
he attempts the sacramental play. This kind of drama would almost
seem created for the greater glory of Calderón. The personages
of his worldly plays, and even of his _comedias devotas_, tend
to become personifications of revenge, love, pride, charity, and
the rest. His set pieces are disfigured by want of humour and by
over-refinement—faults which turn to virtues in the _autos_, where
abstractions are wedded to the noblest poetry, where the Beyond is
brought down to earth, and where doctrinal subtleties are embellished
with miraculous ingenuity. To assert that Calderón is incomparably
great in the _autos_ is to imply some censure of his art in his
secular dramas. The monotony and artifice of his sacramental plays
might be thought inherent to the species, were not these two notes
characteristic of his whole theatre. Nor is it an explanation to say
that much writing of _autos_ had affected his general methods; for
not merely are the secular plays more numerous—they are also mostly
earlier than the _autos_, whose real defects are a lack of dramatic
interest, an appeal to a taste so local and so temporary that they are
now as extinct in Spain as are masques in England. Still the passing
fashions which produced _Comus_ in the north, and the _Encantos de la
Culpa_ or the _Cena de Baltasar_ in the south, are justified to all
lovers of great poetry. The _autos_ lingered on the stage till 1765,
but their genuine inspiration ended with Calderón, who, in all but a
literal sense, may be held for their creator.

Lope de Vega is the greatest of Spanish dramatists; Calderón is amongst
those who most nearly approach him. Lope incarnates the genius of a
nation; Calderón expresses the genius of an age. He is a Spaniard to
the marrow, but a Spaniard of the seventeenth century—a courtier
with a turn for _culteranismo_, averse from the picaresque contrasts
which lend variety to Lope's scene and to Tirso's. His interpretation
of existence is so idealised that his stage becomes in some sort the
apotheosis of his century. His characters are not so much men and
women, as allegorical types of men and women as Calderón conceived
them. It is not real life that he reveals, for he regarded realism as
ignoble and unclean: he offers in its place a brilliant pageant of
abstract emotions. He is not a universal dramatist: he ranks with the
greatest writers for the Spanish stage, inasmuch as he is the greatest
poet using the dramatic form. And, leaving aside his anachronisms and
jumblings of mythology, he is a scrupulous artist, careful of his
literary form and of his construction. The finished execution of his
best passages is so irresistible that FitzGerald declared Isabel's
characteristic speech in the _Alcalde de Zalamea_ to be "worthy of the
Greek Antigone":—"Oh, never, never might the light of day arise and
show me to myself in my shame! O fleeting morning star, mightest thou
never yield to the dawn that even now presses on thine azure skirts!
And thou, great Orb of all, do thou stay down in the cold ocean foam;
let Night for once advance her trembling empire into thine! For once
assert thy voluntary power to hear and pity human misery and prayer,
nor hasten up to proclaim the vilest deed that Heaven, in revenge on
man, has written on his guilty annals. Alas! even as I speak, thou
liftest thy bright, inexorable face above the hills." Contrast with
this impassioned lament (a little toned down in FitzGerald's version)
the aphoristic wisdom of Pedro Crespo's counsel to his son in the same
play:—"Thou com'st of honourable if of humble stock; bear both in
mind, so as neither to be daunted from trying to rise, nor puffed up so
as to be sure to fall. How many have done away the memory of a defect
by carrying themselves modestly, while others, again, have gotten a
blemish only by being too proud of being born without one. There is a
just humility that will maintain thine own dignity, and yet make thee
insensible to many a rub that galls the proud spirit. Be courteous in
thy manner, and liberal of thy purse; for 'tis the hand to the bonnet,
and in the pocket, that makes friends in this world, of which to gain
one good, all the gold the sun breeds in India, or the universal sea
sucks down, were a cheap purchase. Speak no evil of women; I tell thee
the meanest of them deserves our respect; for of women do we not all
come? Quarrel with no one but with good cause.... I trust in God to
live to see thee home again with honour and advancement on thy back."

Had Calderón always maintained this level, he would be classed with
the first masters of all ages and all countries. His blood, his
faith, his environment were limitations which prevented his becoming
a world-poet; his majesty, his devout lyrism, his decorative fantasy
suffice to place him in the foremost file of national poets. But he
was not so national that foreign adaptors left him untouched: thus
D'Ouville annexed the _Dama Duende_ under the title of _L'Esprit
follet_, which reappears as Killigrew's _Parson's Wedding_; thus
Dryden's _Evening's Love_ is Calderón done from Corneille's French;
thus Wycherley's _Gentleman Dancing Master_ derives from _El Maestro de
danzar_. Yet, though Calderón's plots may be conveyed, his substance
cannot be denationalised, being, as he is, the sublimest Catholic
poet, as Catholicism and poetry were understood by the Spaniards of
the seventeenth century: a local genius of intensely local savour,
exercising his dramatic in local forms.

Archbishop Trench has suggested that in the three great theatres of the
world the best period covers little more than a century, and he proves
his thesis by a reference to dates. Æschylus was born B.C. 525, and
Euripides died B.C. 406: Marlowe was born in 1564, and Shirley died in
1666: Lope was born in 1562, and Calderón died in 1681. With Calderón
the heroic age of the Spanish theatre reached a splendid close.
He chanced to outlive his Toledan contemporary, FRANCISCO DE ROJAS
ZORRILLA (1607-? 1661), from whose _Traición busca el Castigo_ Le Sage
has arranged his _Traître puni_, and Vanbrugh his _False Friend_. A
courtly poet, and a Commander of the Order of Santiago, Rojas Zorrilla
collaborated with fashionable writers like Vélez de Guevara, Mira de
Amescua, and Calderón, of whom he is accounted a disciple, though his
one great tragedy has real individual power. His two volumes of plays
(1640, 1645) reveal him as a most ingenious dramatist, who carries
the "point of honour" further than Calderón in his best known play,
_Del Rey abajo ninguno_, a characteristically Spanish piece. García
de Castañar, apparently a peasant living near Toledo, subscribes so
generously to the funds for the expedition to Algeciras that King
Alfonso XI. resolves to visit him in disguise. García gets wind of
this, and receives his guests honourably, mistaking Mendo for Alfonso.
Mendo conceives a passion for Blanca, García's wife, and is discovered
by the husband at Blanca's door. As the King is inviolate for a
subject, García resolves to slay Blanca, who escapes to court. García
is summoned by the King, finds his mistake, settles matters by slaying
Mendo in the palace, and explains to his sovereign (and his audience)
that _none under the King_ can affront him with impunity. Rojas
Zorrilla's style occasionally inclines to _culteranismo_; but this is
an obvious concession to popular taste, his true manner being direct
and energetic. His clever construction and witty dialogue are best
studied in _Lo que son Mujeres_ (What Women are) and in _Entre Bobos
anda el Juego_ (The Boobies' Sport).

A very notable talent is that of AGUSTÍN MORETO Y CAVAÑA (1618-69),
whose popularity as a writer of cloak-and-sword plays is only less than
Lope's. In 1639 Moreto graduated as a licentiate in arts at Alcalá de
Henares. Thence he made his way to Madrid, where he found a protector
in Calderón. He published a volume of plays in 1654, and is believed to
have taken orders three years later. Moreto is not a great inventor,
but so far as concerns stagecraft he is above all contemporaries. In
_El Desdén con el Desdén_ (Scorn for Scorn) he borrows Lope's _Milagros
del Desprecio_ (Scorn works Wonders), and it is fair to say that the
_rifacimento_ excels the original at every point. Diana, daughter of
the Conde de Barcelona, mocks at marriage: her father surrounds her
with the neighbouring gallants, among whom is the Conde de Urgel.
Urgel's affected coolness piques the lady into a resolve to captivate
him, and she so far succeeds as to lead him to avow his love for her:
he escapes rejection by feigning that his declaration was a jest,
and the dramatic solution is brought about by Diana's surrender. The
plot is ordered with consummate skill, the dialogue is of the gayest
humour, the characters more life-like than any but Alarcón's; and
as evidence of the playwright's tact, it is enough to say that when
Molière, in his _Princesse d'Élide_, strove to repeat Moreto's exploit
he met with ignominious disaster. In the delicacy of touch with which
Moreto handles a humorous situation he is almost unrivalled; and in the
broader spirit of farce, his _graciosos_—comic characters, generally
body-servants to the heroes—are admirable for natural force and for
gusts of spontaneous wit. In _El lindo Don Diego_ he has fixed the type
of the fop convinced that he is irresistible, and the presentation
of fatuity which leads Don Diego into marriage with a serving-wench
(whom he mistakes for a countess) is among the few masterpieces of high
comedy. Moreto's historical plays are of less universal interest; in
this kind, _El Rico Hombre de Alcalá_ is a powerful and sympathetic
picture of Pedro the Cruel—the strong man doing justice on the noble,
Tello García—from the standpoint of the Spanish populace, which
has ever respected _el Rey justiciero_. In his later years Moreto
betook him to the _comedia devota_; his _San Francisco de Sena_ is
extravagantly and almost ludicrously devout, as in the scenes where
Francisco wagers his eyes, loses, is struck blind, and repents on
recovering his sight. The devout play was not Moreto's calling: in his
first and best manner, as a master of the lighter, gayer comedy, he
holds his own against all Spain.

Among the followers of Calderón are Antonio Cuello (d. 1652), who is
reported to have collaborated with Felipe IV. in _El Conde de Essex_;
Álvaro Cubillo de Aragón (fl. 1664), whose _Perfecta Casada_ is a
good piece of work; Juan Matos Fragoso (? 1614-92), who borrowed and
plagiarised with successful audacity; but these, with many others,
are mere imitators, and the Spanish theatre declines lower and lower,
till in the hands of Carlos II.'s favourite, Francisco Antonio Bances
Candamo (1662-1704), it reaches its nadir. The last good playwright of
the classic age is ANTONIO DE SOLÍS Y RIVADENEIRA (1610-86), who, by
the accident of his long life, lends a ray of renown to the deplorable
reign of Carlos II. His dramas are excellent in construction and
phrasing, and his _Amor al uso_ was popular in France through Thomas
Corneille's adaptation.

But his title to fame rests, not on verse, but on prose. His _Historia
de la Conquista de Méjico_ (1684) is a most distinguished performance,
even if we compare it with Mariana's. Seeing that Solís lived through
the worst periods of Gongorism, his style is a marvel of purity,
though a difficult critic might well condemn its cloying suavity.
Still, his work has never been displaced since its first appearance,
for it deals with a very picturesque period, is eloquent and clear,
and is almost excessively patriotic in tone and spirit. Gibbon, in his
sixty-second chapter, mentions "an Aragonese history which I have read
with pleasure"—the _Expedición de los catalanes y aragoneses contra
turcos y griegos_ by Francisco de Moncada, Conde de Osuna (1586-1635).
"He never quotes his authorities," adds Gibbon; and, in fact, Moncada
mostly translates from Ramón Muntaner's Catalan _Crónica_, though he
translates in excellent fashion. Diego de Saavedra Fajardo (1584-1648)
writes with force and ease in his uncritical _Corona Gótica_, and in
his more interesting literary review, the _República literaria_; his
freedom from Gongorism is explained by the fact that he passed most
of his life out of Spain. The Portuguese, FRANCISCO MANUEL DE MELO
(1611-66), is ill represented by his _Historia de los Movimientos,
Separación y Guerra de Cataluña_ (1645), where he is given over to both
Gongorism and _conceptismo_: in his native tongue—as in his _Apologos
Dialogaes_—he writes with simplicity, strength, and wit. Melo's life
was unlucky: when he was not being shipwrecked, he was in jail on
suspicion of being a murderer; and being out of jail, he was exiled
to Brazil. His reward is posthumous: both Portuguese and Spaniards
hold him for a classic, and Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo even compares him to

Another man of Portuguese birth has won immortality outside of
literature; yet there is ground for thinking that DIEGO RODRÍGUEZ
DE SILVA Y VELÁZQUEZ (1599-1660) had the sense for language as for
paint. His _Memoria de las Pinturas_ (1658) exists in an unique
copy published at Rome under the name of his pupil, Juan de Alfaro,
though its substance is unscrupulously embodied in Francisco de
los Santos' _Descripción Breve_ of the Escorial. Formally, it is
a catalogue; substantially, it expresses the artist's judgment on
his great predecessors. Thus, of Paolo Veronese's _Wedding Feast_
he writes:—"There are admirable heads, and almost all of them seem
portraits. Not that of the Virgin: she has more reserve, more divinity:
though very beautiful, she corresponds fittingly to the age of Christ,
who is beside her—a point which most artists overlook, for they
paint Christ as a man, and His Mother as a girl." The great realist
speaks once more in describing Veronese's _Purification_:—"The Virgin
kneels ... holding on a white cloth the Child—naked, beautiful, and
tender—with a restlessness so suited to his age that He seems more
a piece of living flesh than something painted." And, in the same
spirit, he writes of Tintoretto's _Washing of the Feet_:—"It is hard
to believe that one is looking at a painting. Such is the truth of
colour, such the exactness of perspective, that one might think to go
in and walk on the pavement, tessellated with stones of divers colours,
which, diminishing in size, make the room seem larger, and lead you to
believe that there is atmosphere between each figure. The table, seats
(and a dog which is worked in) are truth, not paint.... Once for all,
any picture placed beside it looks like something expressed in terms of
colour, and this seems all the truer." Strangely enough, this writing
of Velázquez is ignored by most, perhaps by all, of his biographers;
yet it deserves a passing reference as a model of energetic expression
in a time when most professional men of letters were Gongorists or

A certain directness of style is found in Gerónimo de Alcalá Yañez y
Ribera's _Alonso, Mozo de muchos Amos_ (1625), in Alonso de Castillo
Solórzano's _Garduña de Seville_ (the Seville Weasel, 1634), in the
_Siglo Pitagórico_ (1644) of the Segovian Jew, Antonio Enríquez Gómez,
and in the half-true, half-invented _Vida y Hechos de Estebanillo
González_ (1646)—all picaresque tales, clever, amusing, and
improper, on the approved pattern. But the pest of preciosity spread
to fiction, is conspicuous in the _Español Gerardo_ of Gonzalo de
Céspedes y Meneses, and steadily degenerates till it becomes arrant
nonsense in the _Varios Efectos de Amor_ (1641) of Alonso de Alcalá y
Herrera—five stories, in each of which one of the vowels is omitted.
Alcalá, however, had neither talent nor influence. The Aragonese
Jesuit, BALTASAR GRACIÁN (1601-58), had both, and his vogue is proved
by numerous editions, by translations, by such references as that
in the _Entretiens_ of Bouhours, who proclaims him "_le sublime_."
Addison thrice mentions him with respect in the _Spectator_, and it
is suggested that Rycaut's rendering of the _Criticón_ may have given
Defoe the idea of Man Friday. In the present century Schopenhauer vowed
that the _Criticón_ was "one of the best books in the world," and Sir
Mountstuart Grant Duff, taking his cue from Schopenhauer, has extolled
Gracián with some vehemence.

Gracián seems to have been indifferent to popularity, and his works,
published somewhat against his will by his friend, Vincencio Juan de
Lastanosa, were mostly issued under the name of Lorenzo Gracián. His
first work was _El Héroe_ (1630), an ideal rendering of the Happy
Warrior, as _El Discreto_ (1647) is the ideal of the Politic Courtier;
more important than either is the _Agudeza y Arte de Ingenio_ (1642),
a _conceptista_ Art of Rhetoric, of singular learning, subtlety, and
catholic taste. The three parts of the _Criticón_, which appeared
between 1650 and 1653, correspond to "the spring of childhood," "the
summer of youth," and "the autumn of manhood." In this allegory of life
the shipwrecked Critilo meets the wild man Andrenio, who finally learns
Spanish and reveals his soul to Critilo, whom he accompanies to Spain,
where he communes with both allegorical figures and real personages
on all manner of philosophic questions. The general tone of the
_Criticón_ goes far towards explaining Schopenhauer's admiration; for
the Spaniard is no less a woman-hater, is no less bitter, sarcastic,
denunciatory, and pessimistic than the German. Gracián, to use his own
phrase, "flaunts his unhappiness as a trophy" in phrases whose laboured
ingenuity begins by impressing, and ends by fatiguing, the reader.

It is difficult to believe that Gracián's attitude towards life is more
than a pose; but the pose is dignified, and he puts the pessimistic
case with vigour and skill. His _Oráculo Manual ó Arte de Prudencia_
(1653), a reduction of his gospel to the form of maxims, has found
admirers (and even an excellent translator in the person of Mr.
Joseph Jacobs). The reflection is always acute, and seems at whiles
to anticipate the thought of La Rochefoucauld—doubtless because
both drew from common sources; but though the doctrine and spirit
be almost identical, Gracián nowhere approaches La Rochefoucauld's
metallic brilliancy and concise perfection. He is not content to
deliver his maxim, and have done with it: he adds—so to say—elaborate
postscripts and epigrammatic amplifications, which debase the maxim
to a platitude. Mr. John Morley's remark, that "some of his aphorisms
give a neat turn to a commonplace," is scarcely too severe. Yet one
cannot choose but think that Gracián was superior to his work. He had
it in him to be as good a writer as he was a keen observer, and in
many passages, when he casts his affectations from him, his expression
is as lucid and as strong as may be; but he would posture, would be
paradoxical to avoid being trite, would bewilder with his conceit and
learning, would try to pack more meaning into words than words will
carry. No man ever wrote with more care and scruple, with more ambition
to excel according to the formulæ of a fashionable school, with more
scorn for Gongorism and all its work. Still, though he avoided the
offence of obscure language, he sinned most grievously by obscurity of
thought, and he is now forgotten by all but students, who look upon him
as a chief among the wrong-headed, misguided _conceptistas_.

A last faint breath of mysticism is found in the _Tratado de la
Hermosura de Dios_ (1641) by the Jesuit, Juan Eusebio Nieremberg
(1590-1658), whose prose, though elegant and relatively pure, lacks the
majesty of Luis de León's and the persuasiveness of Granada's. More
familiar in style, the letters of Felipe IV.'s friend, María Coronel
y Arana (1602-65), known in religion as Sor MARÍA DE JESÚS DE ÁGREDA,
may still be read with pleasure. Professed at sixteen, she was elected
abbess of her convent at twenty-five, and her _Mística Ciudad de Dios_
has gone through innumerable editions in almost all languages; her
_Correspondencia con Felipe IV._ extends over twenty-two years, from
1643 onwards, and is as remarkable for its profound piety as for its
sound appreciation of public affairs. The common interest of King and
nun began with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which both
desired to have defined as an article of faith; domestic and foreign
politics come under discussion later, and it soon becomes plain that
the nun is the man. While Felipe IV. weakly laments that "the Cortes
are seeking places, taking no more notice of the insurrection than
if the enemy were at the Philippines," Sor María de Jesús strives to
steady him, to lend him something of her own strong will, by urging
him to "be a King," "to do his duty." There is a curious reference to
the passing of Cromwell—"the enemy of our faith and kingdom, the only
person whose death I ever desired, or ever prayed to God for." Her
practical advice fell on deaf ears, and when she died, no man seemed
left in Spain to realise that the country was slowly bleeding to death,
becoming a cypher in politics, in art, in letters.

One single ecclesiastic rises above his fellows during the ruinous
reign of Carlos the Bewitched, and his renown is greater out of Spain
than in it. MIGUEL DE MOLINOS (1627-97), the founder of Quietism, was a
native of Muniesa, near Zaragoza; was educated by the Jesuits; and held
a living at Valencia. He journeyed to Rome in 1665, won vast esteem as
a confessor, and there, in 1675, published his famous _Spiritual Guide_
in Italian. Mr. Shorthouse, an English apostle of Quietism, mentions a
Spanish rendering which "won such popularity in his native country that
some are still found who declare that the Spanish version is earlier
than the Italian." It is almost certain that Molinos wrote in Spanish,
and to judge by the translations, he must have written with admirable
force. But, as a matter of fact, no Spanish version was ever popular
in Spain, for the reason that none has ever existed. This is not the
place to discuss the personal character of Molinos, who stands accused
of grave crimes; nor to weigh the value of his teaching, nor to follow
its importation into France by Mme. de la Mothe Guyon; nor to look into
the controversy which wrecked Fénelon's career. Still it should be
noted as characteristic of Carlos II.'s reign, that a book by one of
his subjects was influencing all Europe without any man in Spain being
aware of it.


[26] According to Lope de Vega, the word _culteranismo_ was invented by
Jiménez Patón, Villamediana's tutor.

[27] See M. Farinelli's learned study, _Don Giovanni: Note critiche_
(Torino, 1896), pp. 37-39.

[28] Cp. Mr. Norman MacColl's _Select Plays of Calderón_ (London,
1888), pp. xxvi.-xxx., and Gallardo's _Ensayo de una Biblioteca
Española_ (Madrid, 1866), vol. ii. col. 367, 368.

                              CHAPTER XI

                        THE AGE OF THE BOURBONS


Letters, arts, and even rational politics, practically died in Spain
during the reign of Carlos II. Good work was done in serious branches
of study: in history by Gaspar Ibáñez de Segovia Peralta y Mendoza,
Marqués de Mondéjar; in bibliography by Nicolás Antonio; in law by
Francisco Ramos del Manzano; in mathematics by Hugo de Omerique,
whose analytic gifts won the applause of Newton. But all the rest was
neglected while the King was exorcised, and was forced to swallow a
quart of holy oil as a counter-charm against the dead men's brains
given him (as it was alleged) by his mother in a cup of chocolate. Nor
did the nightmare lift with his death on November 1, 1700: the War
of the Succession lasted till the signing of the Utrecht Treaty in
1713. The new sovereign, Felipe V., grandson of Louis XIV., interested
himself in the progress of his people; and being a Frenchman of his
time, he believed in the centralisation of learning. His chief ally was
that Marqués de Villena familiar to all readers of St. Simon as the
major-domo who used his wand upon Cardinal Alberoni's skull:—"Il lève
son petit bâton et le laisse tomber de toute sa force dru et menu sur
les oreilles du cardinal, en l'appelant petit coquin, petit faquin,
petit impudent qui ne méritoit que les étrivières." But even St. Simon
admits Villena's rare qualities:—"Il savoit beaucoup, et il étoit
de toute sa vie en commerce avec la plupart de tous les savants des
divers pays de l'Europe.... C'était un homme bon, doux, honnête, sensé
... enfin l'honneur, la probité, la valeur, la vertu même." In 1711
the Biblioteca Nacional was founded; in 1714 the Spanish Academy of
the Language was established, with Villena as "director," and soon set
to earnest work. The only good lexicon published since Nebrija's was
Sebastián de Covarrubias y Horozco's _Tesoro de la Lengua castellana_
(1611): under Villena's guidance the Academy issued the six folios
of its Dictionary, commonly called the _Diccionario de Autoridades_
(1726-39). Accustomed to his Littré, his Grimm, to the scientific
methods of MM. Arsène Darmesteter, Hatzfeld, and Thomas, and to that
monumental work now publishing at the Clarendon Press, the modern
student is too prone to dwell on the defects—manifest enough—of the
Spanish Academy's Dictionary. Yet it was vastly better than any other
then existing in Europe, is still of unique value to scholars, and was
so much too good for its age that, in 1780, it was cut down to one poor
volume. The foundation of the Academy of History, under Agustín de
Montiano, in 1738, is another symptom of French authority.

Mr. Gosse and Dr. Garnett, in previous volumes of the present series,
have justly emphasised the predominance of French methods both in
English and Italian literature during the eighteenth century. In
Germany the French sympathies of Frederick the Great and of Wieland
were to be no less obvious. Sooner or later, it was inevitable that
Spain should undergo the French influence; yet, though the French
nationality of the King is a factor to be taken into account, his
share in the literary revolution is too often exaggerated. Long before
Felipe V. was born Spaniards had begun to interest themselves in
French literature. Thus Quevedo, who translated the _Introduction à
la Vie Dévote_ of St. François de Sales, showed himself familiar with
the writings of a certain Miguel de Montaña, more recognisable as
Michel de Montaigne. Juan Bautista Diamante, apparently ignorant of
Guillén de Castro's play, translated Corneille's _Cid_ under the title
of _El Honrador de su padre_ (1658); and in March 1680 an anonymous
arrangement of the _Bourgeois Gentilhomme_ was given at the Buen Retiro
under the title of _El Labrador Gentilhombre_. Still more significant
is an incident recalled by Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo: the staging of
Corneille's _Rodogune_ and Molière's _Les Femmes Savantes_ at Lima,
about the year 1710, in Castilian versions, made by Pedro de Peralta
Barnuevo. Compared with this, the Madrid translations of Corneille's
_Cinna_ and of Racine's _Iphigénie_, by Francisco de Pizarro y
Piccolomini, Marqués de San Juan (1713), and by José de Cañizares
(1716), are of small moment. The latter performances may very well have
been due in great part to the personal influence of the celebrated
Madame des Ursins, an active French agent at the Spanish court.

Readers curious as to the Spanish poets of the eighteenth century
may turn with confidence to the masterly and exhaustive _Historia
Crítica_ of the Marqués de Valmar. Their number may be inferred from
this detail: that more than one hundred and fifty competed at a poetic
joust held in honour of St. Aloysius Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus
Kostka in 1727. But none of all the tribe is of real importance. It
is enough to mention the names of Juan José de Salazar y Hontiveros,
a priestly copromaniac, like his contemporary, Swift; of José León y
Mansilla, who wrote a third _Soledad_ in continuation of Góngora; and
of Sor María del Cielo, a mild practitioner in lyrical mysticism. A
little later there follow Gabriel Álvarez de Toledo, a representative
_conceptista_; Eugenio Gerardo Lobo, a romantic soldier with a craze
for versifying; Diego de Torres y Villarroel, an encyclopædic professor
at Salamanca, who, half-knowing everything from the cedar by Lebanon
to the hyssop that groweth on the wall, showed critical insight by the
contempt in which he held his own rhymes. The Carmelite, Fray Juan de
la Concepción, a Gongorist of the straitest sect, was the idol of his
generation, and proved his quality, when he was elected to the Academy
in 1744, by returning thanks in a rhymed speech: an innovation which
scandalised his brethren, and has never been repeated.

A head and shoulders over these rises the figure of IGNACIO DE LUZÁN
CLARAMUNT DE SUELVES Y GURREA (1702-54), who, spending his youth in
Italy, was—so it is believed—a pupil of Giovanni Battista Vico at
Naples, where he remained during eighteen years. For his century,
Luzán's equipment was considerable. His Greek and Latin were of the
best; Italian was almost his native tongue; he read Descartes and
epitomised the Port-Royal treatise on logic; he was versed in German,
and, meeting with _Paradise Lost_—probably during his residence as
Secretary to the Embassy in Paris (1747-50)—he first revealed Milton
to Spain by translating select passages into prose. His verses,
original and translated, are insignificant, though, as an instance of
his French taste, his version of Lachaussée's _Préjugé à la Mode_ is
worthy of notice: not so the four books of his _Poética_ (1737). So
early as 1728, Luzán prepared six _Ragionamenti sopra la poesia_ for
the Palermo Academy, and on his return to Spain in 1733 he re-arranged
his treatise in Castilian. The _Poética_ avowedly aims at "subjecting
Spanish verse to the rules which obtain among cultured nations"; and
though its basis is Lodovico Muratori's _Della perfetta poesia_, with
suggestions borrowed from Vincenzo Gravina and Giovanni Crescimbeni,
the general drift of Luzán's teaching coincides with that of French
doctrinaires like Rapin, Boileau, and Le Bossu. It seems probable that
his views became more and more French with time, for the posthumous
reprint of the _Poética_ (1789) shows an increase of anti-national
spirit; but on this point it is hard to judge, inasmuch as his pupil
and editor, Eugenio de Llaguno y Amírola (a strong French partisan, who
translated Racine's _Athalie_ in 1754), is suspected of tampering with
this text, as he adulterated that of Díaz Gámez' _Crónica del Conde de

Luzán's destructive criticisms are always acute, and are generally
just. Lope is for him a genius of amazing force and variety, while
Calderón is a singer of exquisite music. With this ingratiating
prelude, he has no difficulty in exposing their most obvious defects,
and his attack on Gongorism is delivered with great spirit. It is in
construction that he fails: as when he avers that the ends of poetry
and moral philosophy are identical, that Homer was a didactic poet
expounding political and transcendental truths to the vulgar, that
epics exist for the instruction of monarchs and military chiefs, that
the period of a play's action should correspond precisely with the time
that the play takes in acting. Luzán's rigorous logic ends by reducing
to absurdity the didactic theories of the eighteenth century; yet, for
all his logic, he had a genuine love of poetry, which induced him
to neglect his abstract rules. It is true that he scarcely utters a
proposition which is not contradicted by implication in other parts
of his treatise. Nevertheless, his book has both a literary and an
historic value. Written in excellent style and temper, with innumerable
parallels from many literatures, the _Poética_ served as a manifesto
which summoned Spain to fall into line with academic Europe; and Spain,
among the least academic because among the most original of countries,
ended by obeying. Her old inspiration had passed away with her wide
dominion, and Luzán deserves credit for lending her a new opportune

He was not to win without a battle. The official licensers,
Manuel Gallinero and Miguel Navarro, took public objection to the
retrospective application of his doctrines, and a louder note of
opposition was sounded in a famous quarterly, the _Diario de los
Literatos de España_, founded in 1737 by Juan Martínez Salafranca and
Leopoldo Gerónimo Puig. Though the _Diario_ was patronised by Felipe
V., though its judgments are now universally accepted, it came before
its time: the bad authors whom it victimised combined against it, and,
as the public remained indifferent, the review was soon suspended.
Even among the contributors to the _Diario_, Luzán found an ally in
the person of the clerical lawyer, JOSÉ GERARDO DE HERVÁS Y COBO DE
LA TORRE (d. 1742), author of the popular _Sátira contra los malos
Escritores de su Tiempo_. Hervás, who took the pseudonym of Jorge
Pitillas, wrote with boldness, with critical sense, with an ease and
point and grace which engraved his verse upon the general memory; so
that to this day many of his lines are as familiar to Spaniards as
are Pope's to Englishmen. They err who hold with Ticknor that Hervás
imitated Persius and Juvenal: in style and doctrine his immediate
model was Boileau, whom he adapts with rare skill, and without any
acknowledgment. He carries a step further the French doctrines,
insinuated rather than proclaimed in the _Poética_, and, though he was
not an avowed propagandist, his sarcastic epigrams perhaps did more
than any formal treatise to popularise the new doctrines.

A reformer on the same lines was the Benedictine, BENITO GERÓNIMO
FEIJÓO Y MONTENEGRO (1675-1764), whose _Teatro crítico_ and _Cartas
eruditas y curiosas_ were as successful in Spain as were the _Tatler_
and _Spectator_ in England. Feijóo's style is laced with Gallicisms,
and his vain, insolent airs of infallibility are antipathetic; yet
though his admirers have made him ridiculous by calling him "the
Spanish Voltaire," his intellectual curiosity, his cautious scepticism,
his lucid intelligence, his fine scent for a superstitious fallacy,
place him among the best writers of his age. A happy instance of his
skill in exposing a paradox is his indictment of Rousseau's _Discours
sur les Sciences et les Arts_. His rancorous tongue raised up crowds
of enemies, who scrupled not to circulate vague rumours as to his
heretical tendencies: in fact, his orthodoxy was as unimpeachable as
were the services which he rendered to his country's enlightenment.
His cause, and the cause of learning generally, were championed
by the Galician, Pedro José García y Balboa, best known as MARTÍN
SARMIENTO (1695-1772), the name which he bore in the Benedictine order.
Sarmiento's erudition is at least equal to Feijóo's, and his industry
is matched by the variety of his interests. As a botanist he won the
admiration and friendship of Linné; Feijóo's _Teatro crítico_ owes
much to his unselfish supervision; yet, while his name was esteemed
throughout Europe, he shrank from domestic criticism, and withheld his
miscellaneous works from the press. He owes his place in literature
to his posthumous _Memorias para la historia de la Poesía y Poetas
españoles_, which, despite its excessive local patriotism, is not only
remarkable for its shrewd insight, but forms the point of departure
for all later studies. Not less useful was the life's work of GREGORIO
MAYÁNS Y SISCAR (1699-1781), who was the first to print Juan de Valdés'
_Diálogo de la Lengua_, who was the first biographer of Cervantes, and
who edited Luis Vives, Luis de León, Mondéjar, and others. Though much
of Mayáns' writing has grown obsolete in its methods, he is honourably
remembered as a pioneer, and his _Orígenes de la Lengua castellana_ is
full of wise suggestion and acute divination.

Prominent among Luzán's followers in the self-constituted Academia
del Buen Gusto is BLAS ANTONIO NASARRE Y FÉRRIZ (1689-1751), an
industrious, learned polygraph who carried party spirit so far as to
reproduce Avellaneda's spurious _Don Quixote_ (1732), on the specific
ground that it was in every way superior to the genuine sequel.
Cervantes, indeed, was an object of pitying contempt to Nasarre, who,
when he reprinted Cervantes' plays in 1749, contended that they not
only were the worst ever written, but that they were a heap of follies
deliberately invented to burlesque Lope de Vega's theatre. Of the same
school is Lope's merciless foe, AGUSTÍN MONTIANO Y LUYANDO (1697-1765),
author of two poor tragedies, the _Virginia_ and the _Ataulfo_,
models of dull academic correctness. Yet he found an illustrious
admirer in the person of Lessing, who, by his panegyric on Montiano
in the _Theatralische Bibliotek_, remains as a standing example of
the fallibility of the greatest critics when they pronounce judgment
on foreign literatures. Even more exaggerated than Montiano was the
Marqués de Valdeflores, LUIS JOSÉ VELÁZQUEZ DE VELASCO (1722-72),
whom we have already seen ascribing Torre's poems to Quevedo, an
error almost sufficient to ruin any reputation. Velázquez expressed
his general literary views in his _Orígenes de la Poesía castellana_
(1749), which found an enthusiastic translator in Johann Andreas Dieze,
of Göttingen. Velázquez develops and emphasises the teaching of his
predecessors, denounces the dramatic follies of Lope and Calderón, and
even goes so far as to regret that Nasarre should waste his powder
on two common, discredited fellows like Lope and Cervantes. It is
impossible for us here to record the polemics in which Luzán's teaching
was supported or combated; defective as it was, it had at least the
merit of rousing Spain from her intellectual torpor.

Some effect of the new criticism is seen in the works of the Jesuit,
JOSÉ FRANCISCO DE ISLA (1703-81), whose finer humour is displayed in
his _Triunfo del Amor y de la Lealtad_ (1746), which professes to
describe the proclamation at Pamplona of Ferdinand VI.'s accession.
The author was officially thanked by Council and Chapter, and some
expressed by gifts their gratitude for his handsome treatment. As
Basques joke with difficulty, it was not until two months later that
the _Triunfo_ (which bears the alternative title of _A Great Day for
Navarre_) was suspected to be a burlesque of the proceedings and all
concerned in them. Isla kept his countenance while he assured his
victims of his entire good faith; the latter, however, expressed
their slow-witted indignation in print, and brought such pressure to
bear that the lively Jesuit—who kept up the farce of denial till the
last day of his life—was removed from Pamplona by his superiors.
The incorrigible wag departed to become a fashionable preacher; but
his sense of humour accompanied him to church, and was displayed at
the cost of his brethren. Paravicino, as we have already observed,
introduced Gongorism into the pulpit, and his lead was followed by
men of lesser faculty, who reproduced "the contortions of the Sibyl
without her inspiration." By degrees preaching almost grew to be a
synonym for buffoonery, and by the middle of the eighteenth century
it was as often as not an occasion for the vulgar profanity which
pleases devout illiterates. It is impossible to cite here the worst
excesses; it is enough to note that a "cultured" congregation applauded
a preacher who dared to speak of "the divine Adonis, Christ, enamoured
of that singular Psyche, Mary!" Bishops in their pastorals, monks
like Feijóo in his _Cartas eruditas_, and laymen like Mayáns in his
_Orador Cristiano_ (1733), strove ineffectually to reform the abuse:
where exhortation failed, satire succeeded. Isla had witnessed these
pulpit extravagances at first hand, and his six quarto volumes of
sermons—none of them inspiring to read, however impressive when
delivered—show that he himself had begun by yielding to a mode from
which his good sense soon freed him.

His _Historia del famoso Predicador Fray Gerundio de Campazas, alias
Zotes_ (1758), published by Isla under the name of his friend,
Francisco Lobón de Salazar, parish priest of Aguilar and Villagarcía
del Campo, is an attempt to do for pulpit profanity what _Don Quixote_
had done for chivalresque extravagances. It purports to be the story
of a peasant-boy, Gerundio, with a natural faculty for clap-trap, which
leads him to take orders, and gains for him no small consideration. A
passage from the sermon which decided Gerundio's childish vocation may
be quoted as typical:—"Fire, fire, fire! the house is a-flame! _Domus
mea, domus orationis vocabitur_. Now, sacristan, peal those resounding
bells: _in cymbalis bene sonantibus_. That's the style: as the
judicious Picinelus observed, a death-knell and a fire-tocsin are just
the same. _Lazarus amicus noster dormit_. Water, sirs, water! the earth
is consumed—_quis dabit capiti meo aquam_.... Stay! what do I behold?
Christians, alas! the souls of the faithful are a-fire!—_fidelium
animæ_. Molten pitch feeds the hungry flames like tinder: _requiescat
in pace, id est, in pice_, as Vetablus puts it. How God's fire devours!
_ignis a Deo illatus_. Tidings of great joy! the Virgin of Mount Carmel
descends to save those who wore her holy scapular: _scapulis suis_.
Christ says: 'Help in the King's name!' The Virgin pronounceth: 'Grace
be with me!' _Ave Maria._" And so forth at much length.

Isla fails in his attempt to solder fast impossibilities, to amalgamate
rhetorical doctrine with farcical burlesque; nor has his book the
saving quality of style. Still, though it be too long drawn out, it
abounds with an emphatic, violent humour which is almost irresistible
at a first reading. The Second Part, published in 1770, is a work of
supererogation. The First caused a furious controversy in which the
regulars combined to throw mud at the Jesuits with such effect that, in
1760, the Holy Office intervened, confiscated the volume, and forbade
all argument for or against it. Ridicule, however, did its work in
surreptitious copies; so that when the author was expelled from Spain
with the rest of his order in 1765, Fray Gerundio and his like were
reformed characters. In 1787 Isla translated _Gil Blas_, under the
impression that he was "restoring the book to its native land." The
suggestion that Le Sage merely plagiarised a Spanish original is due in
the first place to Voltaire, who made it, for spiteful reasons of his
own, in the famous _Siècle de Louis XIV._ (1751). As some fifteen or
twenty episodes are unquestionably borrowed from Espinel and others, it
was not unnatural that Spaniards should (rather late in the day) take
Voltaire at his word; none the less, the character of Gil Blas himself
is as purely French as may be, and Le Sage vindicates his originality
by his distinguished treatment of borrowed matter. Isla's version is
a sound, if unnecessary, piece of work, spoiled by the inclusion of a
worthless sequel due to the Italian, Giulio Monti.

The action of French tradition is visible in NICOLÁS FERNÁNDEZ DE
MORATÍN (1737-80), whose _Hormesinda_ (1770), a dramatic exercise in
Racine's manner, too highly rated by literary friends, was condemned
by the public. His prose dissertations consist of invectives against
Lope and Calderón, and of eulogies on Luzán's cold verse. These are
all forgotten, and Moratín, who remained a good patriot, despite his
efforts to Gallicise himself, survives at his best in his brilliant
panegyric on bull-fighting—the _Fiesta de Toros en Madrid_—whose
spirited _quintillas_, modelled after Lope's example, are in every
Spaniard's memory.

Moratín's friend, JOSÉ DE CADALSO Y VÁZQUEZ (1741-1782), a colonel
in the Bourbon Regiment, after passing most of his youth in Paris,
travelled through England, Germany, and Italy, returning as free from
national prejudices as a young man can hope to be. A certain elevation
of character and personal charm made him a force among his intimates,
and even impressed strangers; as we may judge by the fact that, when he
was killed at the siege of Gibraltar, the English army wore mourning
for him. His more catholic taste avoided the exaggerations of Nasarre
and Moratín; he found praise for the national theatre, and many of
his verses imply close study of Villegas and Quevedo. Even so, his
attachment to the old school was purely theoretical. His knowledge of
English led him to translate in verse—as Luzán had already translated
in prose—passages from _Paradise Lost_; his sepulchral _Noches
Lúgubres_, written upon the death of his mistress, the actress María
Ignacia Ibáñez, are plainly inspired by Young's _Night Thoughts_; his
_Cartas Marruecas_ derive from the _Lettres Persanes_; his tragedy,
_Don Sancho García_, an attempt to put in practice the canons of the
French drama, transplants to Spain the rhymed couplets of the Parisian
stage. The best example of Cadalso's cultivated talent is his poem
entitled _Eruditos á la Violeta_, wherein he satirises pretentious
scholarship with a light, firm touch. In curious contrast with
Cadalso's _Don Sancho García_ is the _Raquel_ (1778) of his friend
would seem to have affected his brain. Though Huerta brands Corneille
and Racine as a pair of lunatics, he is a strait observer of the sacred
"unities": in all other respects—in theme, monarchical sentiment,
sonority of versification—_Raquel_ is a return upon the ancient
classic models. Its disfavour among foreign critics is inexplicable,
for no contemporary drama equals it in national savour. Huerta's
good intention exceeds his performance in the _Theatro Hespañol_, a
collection (in seventeen volumes) of national plays, arranged without
much taste or knowledge.

This involved him in a bitter controversy, which probably shortened
his life. Prominent among his enemies was the Basque, FÉLIX MARÍA DE
SAMANIEGO (1745-1801), whose early education was entirely French,
and who regarded Lope much as Voltaire regarded Shakespeare. Though
Huerta's intemperance lost him his cause, Samaniego's real triumph was
in another field than that of controversy. His _Fábulas_ (1781-94),
mostly imitations or renderings of Phædrus, La Fontaine, and Gay,
are almost the best in their kind—simple, clear, and forcible. A
year earlier than Samaniego, the Jesuit Lasala, of Bologna, had
translated the fables of Lukmān al-Hakīm into Latin, and, in 1784,
Miguel García Asensio published a Castilian version. It does not
appear that Samaniego knew anything of Lasala, nor was he disturbed
by García Asensio's translation. Before the latter was in print,
he was annoyed at finding himself rivalled by TOMÁS DE IRIARTE Y
OROPESA (1750-91), who had begun his career as a prose translator of
Molière and Voltaire, and had charmed—or at least had drawn effusive
compliments from—Metastasio with a frigid poem, _La Música_ (1780).
In the following year Iriarte published his _Fábulas literarias_,
putting the versified apologue to doctrinal uses, censuring literary
faults, and expounding what he held to be true doctrine. He took
most pride in his plays, _El Señorito mimado_ and _La Señorita
mal criada_; yet the Spoiled Young Gentleman and the Ill-bred
Young Lady are forgotten—somewhat unjustly—by all but students,
while the wit and polish of the fables have earned their author an
excessive fame. Iriarte was, in the best sense, an "elegant" writer.
Unluckily for himself and us, much of his short life was, after the
eighteenth-century fashion, wasted in polemics with able, learned
ruffians, of whom Juan Pablo Forner (1756-97) is the most extreme type.
Forner's versified attack on Iriarte, _El Asno erudito_, is one of the
most ferocious libels ever printed. Literary men the world over are
famous for their manners: Spain is in this respect no better than her
neighbours, and the abusive personalities which form a great part of
her literary history during the last century are now the driest, most
vacant chaff imaginable.

In pleasing contrast with these irritable mediocrities is the figure of
GASPAR MELCHOR DE JOVE-LLANOS (1744-1811), the most eminent Spaniard
of his age. Educated for the Church, Jove-Llanos turned to law,
was appointed magistrate at Seville in his twenty-fourth year, was
transferred to Madrid in 1778, became a member of the Council of Orders
in 1780, was exiled to Asturias on the fall of Cabarrús in 1790, and
seven years later was appointed Minister of Justice. The incarnation
of all that was best in the liberalism of his time, he was equally
odious to reactionaries and revolutionists. A stern moralist, he
strove to end the intrigue between the Queen and the notorious Godoy,
Prince of the Peace, and at the latter's instance was dismissed from
office in 1798. He passed the years 1801-8 a prisoner in the Balearic
Islands, returning to find Spain under the heel of France. His prose
writings, political, economic, and didactic, do not concern us here,
though their worth is admitted by good judges. Jove-Llanos is most
interesting because of his own poetic achievement, and because of his
influence on the group of Salamancan poets. His play, _El Delincuente
Honrado_ (1774), is a doctrinaire exercise in the manner of Diderot's
_Fils Naturel_; it shows considerable knowledge of dramatic effect,
and its sentimental, sincere philanthropy persuaded audiences in and
out of Spain to accept Jove-Llanos for a dramatist. At most he is a
clever playwright. Yet, though not an artist in either prose or verse,
though far from irreproachable in diction, he occasionally utters a
pure poetic note, keen and vibrating in satire, noble and austere in
that _Epistle to the Duque de Veragua_, which, by common consent, best
reflects the tranquil dignity of his temperament.

Jove-Llanos' official position, his high ideals, his knowledge,
discernment, and wise counsel were placed at the service of JUAN
MELÉNDEZ VALDÉS (1754-1817), the chief poet of the Salamancan school,
who came under his influence in or about 1777. Jove-Llanos succeeded by
sheer force of character: Meléndez was a weather-cock at the mercy of
every breeze. A writer of erotic verses, he thought of taking orders;
a pastoral poet, he turned to philosophy by Jove-Llanos' advice;
unfortunate in his marriage, discontented with his professorship at
Salamanca, he dabbled in politics, becoming, through his friend's
patronage, a government official: and when Jove-Llanos fell, Meléndez
fell with him. It is hard to decide whether Meléndez was a rogue or
a weakling. Upon the French invasion, he began by writing verses
calling his people to arms, and ended by taking office under the
foreign government. He fawned upon Joseph Bonaparte, whom he vowed
"to love each day," and he hailed the restoration of the Spanish with
patriotic enthusiasm. Finally, the dishonoured man fled for very shame
and safety. Loving iniquity and hating justice, he died in exile at

He typifies the fluctuations of his time. His natural bent was towards
pastoralism, as his early poems, modelled on Garcilaso and on Torre,
remain to prove; he took to liberalism at Jove-Llanos' suggestion,
as he would have taken to absolutism had that been the craze of the
moment; he read Locke, Young, Turgot, and Condorcet at the instance of
his friends. "_Obra soy tuya_" ("I am thy handiwork"), he writes to
Jove-Llanos. He was ever the handiwork of the last comer: a shadow of
insincerity, of pose, is over all his verse. Yet, like his countryman
Lucan, Meléndez demonstrates the truth that a worthless creature may
be, within limits, a genuine poet. He has neither morals nor ideas; he
has fancy, ductility, clearness, music, charm, and a picturesque vision
of natural detail that have no counterpart in his period. Compared
with his brethren of the Salamancan school—with Diego Tadeo González
(1733-94), with José Iglesias de la Casa (1753-91), even with Nicasio
Álvarez de Cienfuegos (1764-1809)—Meléndez appears a veritable giant.
He was not quite that any more than they were pigmies; but he had a
spark of genius, while their faculty was no more than talent.[29]

His one distinct failure was when he ventured on the boards with his
_Wedding Feast of Camacho_, founded on Cervantes' famous story, though
even here the pastoral passages are pleasing, if inappropriate. It is
to his credit that his theme is national, while his general dramatic
sympathies were, like those of his associates, French. Luzán and his
followers found it easier to condemn the ancient masterpieces than
to write masterpieces of their own. Their function was negative,
destructive; yet when the prohibition of _autos_ was procured in 1765
by José Clavijo y Fajardo (1730-1806)—whose adventure with Louise
Caron, Beaumarchais' sister, gave Goethe a subject—they hoped to force
a hearing for themselves. They overlooked the fact that there already
existed a national dramatist named RAMÓN DE LA CRUZ Y CANO (1731-?
95), who had the merit of inventing a new _genre_, which, being racy
of the soil, was to the popular taste. Convention had settled it that
tragedies should present the misfortunes of emperors and dukes; that
comedies should deal with the middle class, their sentimentalities
and foibles. Cruz, a government clerk, with sufficient leisure to
compose three hundred odd plays, became in some sort the dramatist of
the needy, the disinherited, the have-nots of the street. He might
very well sympathise with them, for he was always pinched for money,
and died so destitute that his widow had not wherewith to bury him.
Beginning, like the rest of the world, with French imitations and
renderings, he turned to representing the life about him in short
farcical pieces called _sainetes_—a perfect development of the old
_pasos_. In the prologue to the ten-volume edition of his _sainetes_
(1786-91), Cruz proclaims his own merit in a just and striking
phrase—"I write, and truth dictates to me." His gaiety, his picaresque
enjoyment, his exuberant humour, his jokes and puns and quips, lend
an extraordinary vivacity to his presentation of the most trifling
incidents. He might have been—as he began by being—a pompous prig and
bore, preaching high doctrine, and uttering the platitudes, which alone
were thought worthy of the sock and buskin. He chose the better part in
rendering what he knew and understood and saw, in amusing his public
for thirty years, and in bequeathing a thousand occasions of laughter
to the world. He wrote with a reckless, contagious humour, with a comic
_brio_ which anticipates Labiche; and, unambitious and light-hearted as
Cruz was, we may learn more of contemporary life from _El Prado por la
Noche_ and _Las Tertulias de Madrid_ than from a mountain of serious
records and chronicles.

In the following generation LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ DE MORATÍN (1760-1828)
won deserved repute as a playwright. His father, the author of
_Hormesinda_, made a jeweller's apprentice of the boy who, in 1779
and 1782, won two _accesits_ from the Academy. He thus attracted the
notice of Jove-Llanos, who secured his appointment as Secretary to the
Paris Embassy in 1787. His stay in France, followed by later travels
through England, the Low Countries, Germany, and Italy, completed
his education, and obtained for him the post of official translator.
His exercises in verse are more admirable than his prose version of
_Hamlet_, which offended his academic theories in every scene. Molière,
who was his ideal, has no more faithful follower than the younger
Moratín. His translations of _L'École des Maris_ and _Le Médecin
malgré lui_ belong to his later years; but his theatre, including
those most striking pieces _El Sí de las Niñas_ (The Maids' Consent)
and _La Mojigata_ (The Hypocritical Woman), reflects the master's
humour and observation. The latter comedy (1804) brought him into
trouble with the Inquisition; the former (1806) established his fame
by its character-drawing, its graceful ingenuity, and witty dialogue.
His fortunes, which seemed assured, were wrecked by the French war.
Moratín was always timid, even in literary combats: he now proved
himself that very rare thing among Spaniards—a physical coward. He
neither dared declare for his country nor against it, and went into
hiding at Vitoria. He finally accepted the post of Royal Librarian to
Joseph Bonaparte, and when the crash came he decamped to Peñiscola.
These events turned his brain. All efforts to help him (and they were
many) proved useless. He wandered as far as Italy to escape imaginary
assassins, and finally settled in Bordeaux, where he believed himself
safe from the conspirators. _El Sí de las Niñas_ is an excellent piece
among the best, and is sufficient to persuade the most difficult reader
that Leandro Moratín was one of nature's wasted forces. He must have
won distinction in any company: in this dreary period he achieves real

No prose-writer of the time rises to Isla's level. His brother Jesuit,
Lorenzo Hervás y Panduro (1735-1809), is credited by Professor Max
Müller with "one of the most brilliant discoveries in the history of
the science of language," and may be held for the father of comparative
philology; but his specimens and notices of three hundred tongues, his
grammars of forty languages, his classic _Catálogo de las lenguas de
las naciones conocidas_ (1800-5) appeal more to the specialist than to
the lover of literature. Yet in his own department there is scarcely a
more splendid name.


[29] For two singularly acute critical studies by M. E. Mérimée on
Jove-Llanos and Meléndez Valdés, see the _Revue hispanique_ (Paris,
1894). vol. i. pp. 34-68, and pp. 217-235.

                              CHAPTER XII

                        THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Intellectual interaction between Spain and France is an inevitable
outcome of geographical position. To the one or to the other must
belong the headship of the Latin races; for Portugal is, so to say,
but a prolongation of Galicia, while the unity of Italy dates from
yesterday. This hegemony was long contested. During a century and a
half, fortune declared for Spain: the balance is now redressed in
France's favour. The War of the Succession, the invasion of 1808, the
expedition of 1823, the contrivance of the Spanish marriages show that
Louis XIV., Napoleon I., Charles X., and Louis-Philippe dared risk
their kingdoms rather than loosen their grip on Spain. More recent
examples are not lacking. The primary occasion of the Franco-German
War in 1870-71 was the proposal to place a Hohenzollern on the Spanish
throne, and the Parisian outburst against "Alfonso the Uhlan" was
an expression of resentment against a Spanish King who chafed under
French tutelage. Since there is no ground for believing that France
will renounce a traditional diplomacy maintained, under all forms of
government, for over two centuries, it is not rash to assume that in
the future, as in the past, intellectual development will tend to
coincide with political influence. French literary fashions affect all
Europe more or less: they affect Spain more.

It is a striking fact that the great national poet of the War of
Independence should be indisputably French in all but patriotic
sentiment. MANUEL JOSÉ QUINTANA (1772-1857) was an offshoot of the
Salamancan school, a friend of Jove-Llanos and of Meléndez Valdés, a
follower of Raynal and Turgot and Condorcet, a "philosopher" of the
eighteenth-century model. Too much stress has, perhaps, been laid on
his French constructions, his acceptance of neologisms: a more radical
fault is his incapacity for ideas. Had he died at forty his fame would
be even greater than it is; for in his last years he did nothing but
repeat the echoes of his youth. At eighty he was still perorating on
the rights of man, as though the world were a huge Jacobin Convention,
as though he had learned and forgotten nothing during half a century
He died, as he had lived, convinced that a few changes of political
machinery would ensure a perpetual Golden Age. It is not for his _Duque
de Viseo_, a tragedy based on M. G. Lewis's _Castle Spectre_, nor by
his _Ode to Juan de Padilla_, that Quintana is remembered. The partisan
of French ideas lives by his _Call to Arms against the French_, by his
patriotic campaign against the invaders, by his prose biographies of
the Cid, the Great Captain, Pizarro, and other Spaniards of the ancient
time. We might suspect, if we did not know, Quintana's habit of writing
his first rough drafts in prose, and of translating these into verse.
Though he proclaimed himself a pupil of Meléndez, nature and love
are not his true themes, and his versification is curiously unequal.
Patriotism, politics, philanthropy are his inspirations, and these
find utterance in the lofty rhetoric of such pieces as his _Ode to
Guzmán the Good_ and the _Ode on the Invention of Printing_. Unequal,
unrestrained, never exquisite, never completely admirable for more
than a few lines at a time, Quintana's passionate pride of patriotism,
his virile temperament, his individual gift of martial music have
enabled him to express with unsurpassed fidelity one very conspicuous
aspect of his people's genius.

Another patriotic singer is the priest, JUAN NICASIO GALLEGO
(1777-1853), who, like many political liberals, was so staunchly
conservative in literature that he condemned _Notre Dame de Paris_ in
the very spirit of an alarmed Academician. Slight as is the bulk of his
writings, Gallego's high place is ensured by his combination of extreme
finish with extreme sincerity. His elegy _On the Death of the Duquesa
de Frias_ is tremulous with the accent of profound emotion; but he is
even better known by _El Dos de Mayo_, which celebrates the historic
rising of the second of May, when the artillerymen, Jacinto Ruiz, Luis
Daoiz, and Pedro Velarte, by their refusal to surrender their three
guns and ten cartridges to the French army, gave the signal for the
general rising of the Spanish nation. His ode _Á la defensa de Buenos
Aires_, against the English, is no less distinguished for its heroic
spirit. There is a touch of irony in the fact that Gallego should be
best represented by his denunciation of the French, whom he adored, and
by his denunciation of the British, who were to assist in freeing his

Time has misused the work of FRANCISCO MARTÍNEZ DE LA ROSA (1788-1862)
who at one time was held by Europe as the literary representative of
Spain. No small part of his fame was due to his prominent position in
Spanish politics; but the disdainful neglect which has overtaken him
is altogether unmerited. Not being an original genius, his lyrics are
but variations of earlier melodies: thus the _Ausencia de la patria_
is a metrical exercise in Jorge Manrique's manner; the song which
commemorates the defence of Zaragoza is inspired by Quintana; the
elegy _On the Death of the Duquesa de Frias_, far short of Gallego's
in pathos and dignity, is redolent of Meléndez. His novel, _Doña
Isabel de Solís_, is an artless imitation of Sir Walter Scott; nor
are his declamatory tragedies, _La Viuda de Padilla_ and _Moraima_,
of perdurable value any more than his Moratinian plays, such as _Los
Celos Infundados_. Martínez de la Rosa's exile passed in Paris led him
to write the two pieces by which he is remembered: his _Conjuración de
Venecia_ (1834), and his _Aben-Humeya_ (the latter first written in
French, and first played at the Porte Saint-Martin in 1830) denote the
earliest entry into Spain of French romanticism, and are therefore of
real historic importance. Fate was rarely more freakish than in placing
this modest, timorous man at the head of a new literary movement. Still
stranger it is that his two late romantic experiments should be the
best of his manifold work.

But he was not fitted to maintain the leadership which circumstances
had allotted to him, and romanticism found a more popular exponent in
Ángel de Saavedra, DUQUE DE RIVAS (1791-1865), the very type of the
radical noble. His exile in France and in England converted him from
a follower of Meléndez and Quintana to a sectary of Chateaubriand and
Byron. His first essays in the new vein were an admirable lyric, _Al
faro de Malta_, and _El Moro expósito_, a narrative poem undertaken
by the advice of John Hookham Frere. Brilliant passages of poetic
diction, the semi-epical presentation of picturesque national legends,
are Rivas' contribution to the new school. He went still further in
his famous play, _Don Álvaro_ (1835), an event in the history of the
modern Spanish drama corresponding to the production of _Hernani_ at
the Théâtre Français. The characters of Álvaro, of Leonor, and of her
brother Alfonso Vargas are, if not inhuman, all but titanic, and the
speeches are of such magniloquence as man never spoke. But for the
Spaniards of the third decade, Rivas was the standard-bearer of revolt,
and _Don Álvaro_, by its contempt for the unities, by its alternation
of prose with lyrism, by its amalgam of the grandiose, the comic, the
sublime, and the horrible, enchanted a generation of Spanish playgoers
surfeited with the academic drama.

To English readers of Mr. Gladstone's essay, the Canon of Seville, JOSÉ
MARÍA BLANCO (1775-1841), is familiar by the alias of Blanco White. It
were irrelevant to record here the lamentable story of Blanco's private
life, or to follow his religious transformations from Catholicism to
Unitarianism. A sufficient idea of his poetic gifts is afforded by an
English quatorzain which has found favour with many critics:—

  "_Mysterious night! When our first parent knew
    Thee, from report divine, and heard thy name,
    Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
  This glorious canopy of light and blue?
  Yet 'neath a curtain of translucent dew
    Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,
    Hesperus, with the host of heaven, came,
  And lo! Creation widened in man's view.
    Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed
      Within thy beams, O Sun? or who could find,
    Whilst fly, and leaf, and insect stood revealed,
      That to such countless orbs thou madest us blind?
    Why do we then shun death with anxious strife?
    If light can thus deceive, wherefore not life?_"

This is as characteristic as his _Oda á Carlos III._ or the remorseful
Castilian lines on _Resigned Desire_, penned within a year of his
death. A very similar talent was that of Blanco's friend, ALBERTO LISTA
(1775-1848), also a Canon of Seville Cathedral, a most accomplished
singer, whose golden purity of tone compensates for a deficient volume
of voice and an affected method. But, save for such a fragment of
impassioned, plangent melody as the poem _Á la Muerte de Jesús_, Lista
is less known as a poet than as a teacher of remarkable influence. His
_Lecciones de Literatura Española_ did for Spain what Lamb's _Specimens
of English Dramatic Poets_ did for England, and his personal authority
over some of the best minds of his age was almost as complete in scope
as it was gentle in exercise and excellent in effect.

The most famous of his pupils was JOSÉ DE ESPRONCEDA (1810-42), who
came under Lista at the Colegio de San Mateo, in Madrid, where the boy,
who was in perpetual scrapes through idleness and general bad conduct,
attracted the rector's notice by his extraordinary poetic precocity.
Through good and evil report Lista held by Espronceda to the last,
and was perhaps the one person who ever persuaded him from a rash
purpose. At fourteen Espronceda joined a secret society called _Los
Numantinos_, which was supposed to work for liberty, equality, and the
rest. The young Numantine was deported to a monastery in Guadalajara,
where, on the advice of Lista (who himself contributed some forty
octaves), he began his epical essay, _El Pelayo_. Like most other boys
who have begun epics, Espronceda left his unfinished, and, though the
stanzas that remain are of a fine but unequal quality, they in no way
foreshadow the chief of the romantic school.

Returning to Madrid, Espronceda was soon concerned in more
conspiracies, and escaped to Gibraltar, whence he passed to Lisbon.
A suggestion of the Byronic pose is found in the story (of his own
telling) that, before landing, he threw away his last two _pesetas_,
"not wishing to enter so great a town with so little money." In Lisbon
he met with that Teresa who figures so prominently in his life; but
the Government was once more on his track, and he fled to London,
where Byron's poems came upon him with the force of a revelation. In
England he found Teresa, now married, and eloped with her to Paris,
where, on the three "glorious days" of July 1830, he fought behind
the barricades. The overthrow of Charles X. put such heart into the
Spanish _emigrados_ that, under the leadership of the once famous
Chapalangarra—Joaquín de Pablo—they determined to raise all Spain
against the monarchy. The attempt failed, Chapalangarra was killed in
Navarre, and Espronceda did not return to Spain till the amnesty of
1833. He obtained a commission in the royal bodyguard, and seemed on
the road to fortune, when he was cashiered because of certain verses
read by him at a political banquet. He turned to journalism, incited
the people to insurrection by articles and speeches, held the streets
against the regular army in 1835-36, shared in the liberal triumph
of 1840, and, on the morrow of the successful revolution which he
had organised, pronounced in favour of a republic. He was appointed
Secretary to the Embassy at the Hague in 1841, returning to Spain
shortly afterwards on his election as deputy for Almería. He died
after four days of illness on May 23, 1842, in his thirty-third year,
exhausted by his stormy life. A most formidable journalist, a demagogue
of consummate address, a man-at-arms who had rather fight than not,
Espronceda might have cut out for himself a new career in politics—or
might have died upon the scaffold or at the barricades. But, so far
as concerns poetry, his work was done: an aged Espronceda is as
inconceivable as an elderly Byron, a venerable Shelley.

Byron was the paramount influence of Espronceda's life and works. The
Conde de Toreno, a caustic politician and man of letters, who was once
asked if he had read Espronceda, replied: "Not much; but then I have
read all Byron." The taunt earned Toreno—"insolent fool with heart of
slime"—a terrific invective in the first canto of _El Diablo Mundo_:—

  "_Al necio audaz de corazón de cieno,
  Á quien llaman el Conde de Toreno._"

The gibe was ill-natured, but Espronceda's resentment goes to show
that he felt its plausibility. If Toreno meant that Espronceda,
like Heine, Musset, Leopardi, and Pushkin, took Byron for a model,
he spoke the humble truth. Like Byron, Espronceda became the centre
of a legend, and—so to say—he made up for the part. He advertised
his criminal repute with manifest gusto, and gave the world his own
portrait in the shape of pale, gloomy, splendid heroes. Don Félix de
Montemar, in _El Estudiante de Salamanca_, is Don Juan Tenorio in a
new environment—"fierce, insolent, irreligious, gallant, haughty,
quarrelsome, insult in his glance, irony on his lips, fearing naught,
trusting solely to his sword and courage." Again, in the famous
declamatory address _To Jarifa_, there is the same disillusioned view
of life, the same lust for impossible pleasures, the same picturesque
mingling of misanthropy and aspiration. Once more, the Fabio of the
fragmentary _Diablo Mundo_ is replenished with the Byronic spirit
of defiant pessimism, the Byronic intention of epical mockery. And
so throughout all his pieces the protagonist is always, and in all
essentials, José de Espronceda.

Whether any writer—or, at all events, any but the very greatest—has
ever succeeded completely in shedding his own personality is doubtful.
Espronceda, at least, never attempted it, and consequently his dramatic
pieces—_Doña Blanca de Borbón_, for example—were foredoomed to fail.
But this very force of temperament, this very element of artistic
egotism, lends life and colour to his songs. The _Diablo Mundo_,
the _Estudiante de Salamanca_, ostensibly formed upon the models of
Goethe, and Byron, and Tirso de Molina, are utterances of individual
impressions, detached lyrics held together by the merest thread.
Scarcely a typical Spaniard in life or in art, Espronceda is, beyond
all question, the most distinguished Spanish lyrical poet of the
century. His abandonment, his attitude of revolt, his love of love and
licence—one might even say his turn for debauchery and anarchy—are
the notes of an epoch rather than the characteristics of a country;
and, in so much, he is cosmopolitan rather than national. But the
merciless observation of _El Verdugo_ (The Executioner), the idealised
conception of Elvira in _El Estudiante de Salamanca_, are strictly
representative of Quevedo's and of Calderón's tradition; while his
artificial but sympathetic rhetoric, his resonant music, his brilliant
imagery, his uncalculating vehemence, bear upon them the stamp of all
his race's faults and virtues. In this sense he speaks for Spain, and
Spain repays him by ranking him as the most inspired, if the most
unequal, of her modern singers.

His contemporary, the Catalan, MANUEL DE CABANYES (1808-1833), died
too young to reveal the full measure of his powers, and his _Preludios
de mi lira_ (1833), though warmly praised by Torres Amat, Joaquín Roca
y Cornet, and other critics of insight, can scarcely be said to have
won appreciation. Cabanyes is essentially a poet's poet, inspired
mainly by Luis de León. His felicities are those of the accomplished
student, the expert in technicalities, the almost impeccable artist
whose hendecasyllabics, _Á Cintio_, rival those of Leopardi in their
perfect form and intense pessimism; but as his life was too brief, so
his production is too frugal and too exquisite for the general, and he
is rated by his promise rather than by his actual achievement. Milá y
Fontanals and Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo have striven to spread Cabanyes'
good report, and they have so far succeeded that his genius is now
admitted on all hands; but his chill perfection makes no appeal to the
mass of his countrymen.

Espronceda's direct successor was JOSÉ ZORRILLA (1817-1893), whose
life's story may be read in his own _Recuerdos del tiempo viejo_
(Old-time Memories). It was his misfortune to be concerned in politics,
for which he was unfitted, and to be pinched by continuous poverty,
which drove him in 1855 to seek his fortune in Mexico, whence he
returned empty-handed in 1866. His closing years were somewhat happier,
inasmuch as a pension of 30,000 _reales_, obtained at last by strenuous
parliamentary effort, freed him from the pressure of actual want. It
may be that it came too late, and that Zorrilla's work suffers from
his straitened circumstances; but this is difficult to believe. He
might have produced less, might have escaped the hopeless hack-work
to which he was compelled; but a finished artist he could never have
become, for, by instinct as by preference, he was an improvisatore. The
tale that (like Arthur Pendennis) he wrote verses to fit engravings
is possibly an invention; but the inventor at least knew his man, for
nothing is more intrinsically probable.

His carelessness, his haste, his defective execution are superficial
faults which must always injure Zorrilla in the esteem of foreign
critics; yet it is certain that the charm which he has exercised over
three generations of Spaniards, and which seems likely to endure,
implies the possession of considerable powers. And Zorrilla had three
essential qualities in no common degree: national spirit, dramatic
insight, and lyrical spontaneity. He is an inferior Sir Walter, with
an added knowledge of the theatre, to which Scott made no pretence.
His _Leyenda de Alhamar_, his _Granada_, his _Leyenda del Cid_ were
popular for the same reason that _Marmion_ and the _Lady of the Lake_
were popular: for their revival of national legends in a form both
simple and picturesque. The fate that overcame Sir Walter's poems seems
to threaten Zorrilla's. Both are read for the sake of the subject,
for the brilliant colouring of episodes, more than for the beauty of
treatment, construction, and form; yet, as Sir Walter survives in
his novels, Zorrilla will endure in such of his plays as _Don Juan
Tenorio_, in _El Zapatero y el Rey_, and in _Traidor, inconfeso,
y mártir_. His selection of native themes, his vigorous appeal to
those primitive sentiments which are at least as strong in Spain as
elsewhere—courage, patriotism, religion—have ensured him a vogue so
wide and lasting that it almost approaches immortality. In the study
Zorrilla's slapdash methods are often wearisome; on the stage his
impetuousness, his geniality, his broad effects, and his natural lyrism
make him a veritable force. Two of Zorrilla's rivals among contemporary
dramatists may be mentioned: ANTONIO GARCÍA GUTIÉRREZ (1813-1884), the
author of _El Trovador_, and JUAN EUGENIO HARTZENBUSCH (1806-1880),
whose _Amantes de Teruel_ broke the hearts of sentimental ladies in the
forties. Both the _Trovador_ and the _Amantes_ are still reproduced,
still read, and still praised by critics who enjoy the pleasures of
memory and association; but a detached foreigner, though he take his
life in his hand when he ventures on the confession, is inclined to
associate García Gutiérrez and Hartzenbusch with Sheridan Knowles and

A much superior talent is that of the ex-soldier, MANUEL BRETÓN DE LOS
HERREROS (1796-1873), whose humour and fancy are his own, while his
system is that of the younger Moratín. His _Escuela del Matrimonio_
is the most ambitious, as it is the best, of those innumerable pieces
in which he aims at presenting a picture of average society, relieved
by alternate touches of ironic and didactic purpose. Bretón de los
Herreros wrote far too much, and weakens his effects by the obtrusion
of a flagrant moral; but even if we convict him as a caricaturist
of obvious Philistinism, there is abundant recompense in the jovial
wit and graceful versification of his quips. To him succeeds Tomás
Rodríguez Rubí (1817-1890), who aimed at amusing a facile public
in such a trifle as _El Tejado de Vidrio_ (The Glass Roof), or at
satirising political and social intriguers in _La Rueda de Fortuna_
(Fortune's Wheel).

A Cuban like GERTRUDIS GÓMEZ DE AVELLANEDA (1816-1873), who spent most
of her life in Spain, may for our purposes be accounted a Spanish
writer. The proverbial gallantry of the nation and the sex of the
writer account for her vogue and her repute. If such a novel as _Sab_,
with its protest against slavery and its idealised presentation of
subject races, be held for literature, then we must so enlarge the
scope of the word as to include _Uncle Tom's Cabin_. Another novel,
_Espatolino_, reproduces George Sand's philippics against the injustice
of social arrangements, and re-echoes her lyrical advocacy of freedom
in the matter of marriage. The Sra. Avellaneda is too passionate to
be dexterous, and too preoccupied to be impressive; hence her novels
have fallen out of sight. That she had real gifts of fancy and melody
is shown by her early volume of poems (1841), and by her two plays,
_Alfonso Munio_ and _Baltasar_; yet, on the boards as in her stories,
she is inopportune, or, in plainer words, is a gifted imitator,
following the changes of popular taste with some hesitation, though
with a gracefulness not devoid of charm. With her may be mentioned
Carolina Coronado (b. 1823), a refined poetess with mystic tendencies,
whose vogue has so diminished that to the most of Spaniards she is
scarcely more than an agreeable reminiscence.

It is possible that the adroit politician, ADELARDO LÓPEZ DE AYALA
(1828-1879), who passed from one party to another, and served a monarch
or a republic with equal suppleness, might have won enduring fame as
a dramatist and poet had he been less concerned with doctrines and
theses. He was so intent on persuasion, so mindful of the arts of
his old trade, so anxious to catch a vote, that he rarely troubled
to draw character, contenting himself with skilful construction of
plot and arrangement of incident. His _Tanto por Ciento_ and his
_Consuelo_ are astute harangues in favour of high public and private
morals, composed with extraordinary care and laudable purpose. If mere
cleverness, a scrupulous eye to detail, a fine ear for sonorous verse
could make a man master of the scene, López de Ayala might stand beside
the greatest. His personages, however, are rather general types than
individual characters, and the persistent sarcasm with which he ekes
out a moral degenerates into ponderous banter. None the less he was a
force during many years, and, though his reputation be now somewhat
tarnished, he still counts admirers among the middle-aged.

A very conspicuous figure on the Spanish scene during the middle third
of the century was MANUEL TAMAYO Y BAUS (1829-1898), who, beginning
with an imitation of Schiller in _Juana de Arco_ (1847), passed under
the influence of Alfieri in _Virginia_ (1853), venturing upon the
national classic drama in _La Locura de Amor_ (1855), the most notable
achievement of his early period. The most ambitious, and unquestionably
the best, of his plays is _Un drama nuevo_ (1867), with which his
career practically closed. He effaced himself, was content to live
on his reputation and to yield his place as a popular favourite to
so poor a playwright as José Echegaray. Compared with his successor,
Tamayo shines as a veritable genius. Sprung from a family of actors,
he gauged the possibilities of the theatre with greater exactness than
any rival, and by his tact he became an expert in staging a situation.
But it was not merely to inspired mechanical dexterity that he owed
the high position which was allowed him by so shrewd a judge as Manuel
de la Revilla: to his unequalled knowledge of the scene he joined the
forces of passion and sympathy, the power of dramatic creation, and a
metrical ingenuity which enchanted and bewildered those who heard and
those who read him.

There is a feminine, if not a falsetto timbre in the voice of JOSÉ
SELGAS Y CARRASCO (1824-1882), a writer on the staff of the fighting
journal, _El Padre Cobos_, and a government clerk till Martínez
Campos transfigured him into a Cabinet Minister. Selgas' verse in the
_Primavera_ is so charged with the conventional sentiment and with
the amiable pessimism dear to ordinary readers, that his popularity
was inevitable. Yet even Spanish indulgence has stopped short of
proclaiming him a great poet, and now that his day has gone by, he is
almost as unjustly decried as he was formerly overpraised. Though not a
great original genius, he was an accomplished versifier whose innocent
prettiness was never banal, whose simplicity was unaffected, whose
faint music and caressing melancholy are not lacking in individuality
and fascination.

A more powerful poetic impulse moved the Sevillan, GUSTAVO ADOLFO
BÉCQUER (1836-1870). An orphan in his tenth year, Bécquer was educated
by his godmother, a well-meaning woman of some position, who would have
made him her heir had he consented to follow any regular profession
or to enter a merchant's office. At eighteen he arrived, a penniless
vagabond, in Madrid, where he underwent such extremes of hardship as
helped to shorten his days. A small official post, which saved him from
actual starvation, was at last obtained for him, but his indiscipline
soon caused him to be set adrift. He maintained himself by translating
foreign novels, by journalistic hack-work in the columns of _El
Contemporaneo_ and _El Museo Universal_, till death delivered him.

The three volumes by which he is represented are made up of prose
legends, and of poems modestly entitled _Rimas_. Though Hoffmann is
Bécquer's intellectual ancestor in prose, the Spaniard speaks with
a personal accent in such examples of morbid fantasy as _Los Ojos
Verdes_, wherein Fernando loses life for the sake of the green-eyed
mermaiden: as the tale of Manrique's madness in _El Rayo de Luna_
(The Moonbeam), as the rendering of Daniel's sacrilege in _La Rosa de
Pasión_. And as Hoffmann influences Bécquer's dreamy prose, so Heine
influences his _Rimas_. It is argued that, since Bécquer knew no
German, he cannot have read Heine—an unconvincing plea, if we remember
that Byron's example was followed in every country by poets ignorant of
English. Howbeit, it is certain that Heine has had no more brilliant
follower than Bécquer, who, however, substitutes a note of fairy
mystery for Heine's incomparable irony. His circumstances, and the
fact that he did not live to revise his work, account for occasional
inequalities of execution which mar his magical music. To do him
justice, we must read him in a few choice pieces where his apparently
simple rhythms and suave assonantic cadences express his half-delirious
visions in terms of unsurpassable artistry. At first sight one is
deceived into thinking that the simplicity is a spontaneous result,
and there has arisen a host of imitators who have only contrived to
caricature Bécquer's defects. His merits are as purely personal as
Blake's, and the imitation of either poet results almost inevitably in
mere flatness.

                   *       *       *       *       *

During the nineteenth century Spain has produced no more brilliant
master of prose than MARIANO JOSÉ DE LARRA (1809-1837), son of a
medical officer in the French army. It is a curious fact that, owing
to his early education in France, Larra—one of the most idiomatic
writers—should have been almost ignorant of Spanish till his tenth
year. Destined for the law, he was sent to Valladolid, where he got
entangled in some love affair which led him to renounce his career. He
took to literature, attempting the drama in his _Macías_, the novel in
_El Doncel de Don Enrique el Doliente_: in neither was he successful.
But if he could not draw character nor narrate incident, he could
observe and satirise with amazing force and malice. Under the name
of Fígaro[30] and of Juan Pérez de Munguia he won for himself such
prominence in journalism as no Spaniard has ever equalled. Spanish
politics, the weaknesses of the national character, are exposed in a
spirit of ferocious bitterness peculiar to the writer. His is, indeed,
a depressing performance, overcharged with misanthropy; yet for
unflinching courage, insight, and sombre humour, Larra has no equal
in modern Spanish literature, and scarcely any superior in the past.
In his twenty-eighth year he blew out his brains in consequence of an
amour in which he was concerned, leaving a vacancy which has never been
filled by any successor. It is gloomy work to learn that all men are
scoundrels, and that all evils are irremediable: these are the hopeless
doctrines which have brought Spain to her present pass. Yet it is
impossible to read Larra's pessimistic page without admiration for his
lucidity and power.

An essayist of more patriotic tone is SERAFÍN ESTÉBANEZ CALDERÓN
(1799-1867), whose biography has been elaborately written by his
nephew, Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, the late Prime Minister of
Spain. Estébanez' verses are well-nigh as forgotten as his _Conquista
y Pérdida de Portugal_, and his _Escenas Andaluzas_ (1847) have never
been popular, partly through fault of the author, who enamels his work
with local or obsolete words in the style of Wardour Street, and who
assumes a posture of superiority which irritates more than it amuses. A
record of Andalucían manners and of fading customs, the _Escenas_ has
special value as embodying the impression of an observer who valued
picturesqueness—valued it so highly, in fact, that one is haunted
(perhaps unjustly) by the suspicion that he heightened his tones for
the sake of effect. Another series of "documents" is afforded by RAMÓN
DE MESONERO ROMANOS (1803-82), who is often classed as a follower
of Larra, whereas the first of his _Escenas Matritenses_ appeared
before Larra's first essays. He has no trace of Larra's energetic
condensation, tending, as he does, to a not ungraceful diffuseness;
but he has bequeathed us a living picture of the native Madrid before
it sank to being a poor, pale copy of Paris, and has enabled us to
reconstruct the social life of sixty years since. Mesonero, who has
none of Estébanez' airs and graces, though he is no less observant, and
is probably more accurate, writes as a well-bred man speaks—simply,
naturally, directly; and those qualities are seen to most advantage in
his _Memorias de un Setentón_, which are as interesting as the best of
reminiscences can be.

These records of customs and manners influenced a writer of German
origin on her father's side, Cecilia Böhl de Faber, who was thrice
married, and whom it is convenient to call by her pseudonym, FERNÁN
CABALLERO (1796-1877), a village in Don Quixote's country. Her first
novel, _La Gaviota_ (1848), has probably been more read by foreigners
than any Spanish book of the century, and, with all its sensibility
and moralisings, we can scarcely grudge its vogue; for it is true to
common life as common life existed in an Andalucían village, and its
style is natural, if not distinguished. Even in _La Gaviota_ there is
an air of unreality when the scene is shifted from the country to the
drawing-room, and the suspicion that Fernán Caballero could invent
without observing deepens in presence of such a wooden lay-figure as
Sir George Percy in _Clemencia_. Her didactic bent increased with
time, so that much of her later work is bedevilled with sermons and
gospellings; yet so long as she deals with the rustic episodes which
were her earliest memories, so long as she is content to report and to
describe, she produces a delightful series of pictures, touched in with
an almost irreproachable refinement. She is not far enough from us to
be a classic; but she is sufficiently removed to be old-fashioned, and
she suffers accordingly. Still it is safe to prophesy that _La Gaviota_
will survive most younger rivals.

In all likelihood PEDRO ANTONIO DE ALARCÓN (1833-1891), who, like most
literary Spaniards, injured his work by meddling in politics, will
live by his shorter, more unambitious stories. His _Escándalo_ (1875),
after creating a prodigious sensation as a defence of the Jesuits from
an old revolutionist, is already laid aside, and _La Pródiga_ is in
no better case. The true Alarcón is revealed in _El Sombrero de tres
Picos_, a picture of rustic manners, rendered with infinite enjoyment
and merry humour; in the rapid, various sketches entitled _Historietas
Nacionales_; and in that gallant, picturesque account of the Morocco
campaign called the _Diario de un Testigo de la Guerra en África_—as
vivid a piece of patriotic chronicling as these latest years have shown.

Of graver prose modern Spain has little to boast. Yet the Marqués de
Valdegamas, JUAN DONOSO CORTÉS (1809-1853) has written an _Ensayo
sobre el Catolicismo, el Liberalismo y el Socialismo_, which has been
read and applauded throughout Europe. Donoso, the most intolerant of
Spaniards, overwhelms his readers with dogmatic statement in place
of reasoned exposition; but he writes with astonishing eloquence,
and with a superb conviction of his personal infallibility that has
scarcely any match in literature. At the opposite pole is the Vich
priest, JAIME BALMES Y USPIA (1810-48), whose _Cartas á un Escéptico_
and _Criterio_ are overshadowed by his _Protestantismo comparado en el
Catolicismo_, a performance of striking ingenuity, among the finest
in the list of modern controversy. Donoso denounced man's reason as
a gin of the devil, as a faculty whose natural tendency is towards
error. Balmes appeals to reason at every step of the road. With him,
indeed, it is unsafe to allow that two and two are four until it is
ascertained what he means to do with that proposition; for his subtlety
is almost uncanny, and his dexterity in using an opponent's admission
is surprising. If anything, Balmes is even too clever, for the most
simple-minded reader is driven to ask how it is possible that any
rational being can hold the opposite view. Still, from the Catholic
standpoint, Balmes is unanswerable, and—in Spain at least—he has
never been answered, while his vogue abroad has been very great.
Setting aside its doctrinal bearing, his treatise is a most striking
example of destructive criticism and of marshalled argument.


[30] M. Morel-Fatio points out that Fígaro, which seems so Castilian by
association, is not a Castilian name. See his _Études sur l'Espagne_
(Paris, 1895), vol. i. p. 76. If it be not Catalan, if Beaumarchais
invented it, it is among the most successful of his coinage.

                             CHAPTER XIII

                        CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE

To write an account of contemporary literature is an undertaking not
less tempting than to write the history of contemporary politics.
Its productions are likely to be familiar to us; its authors have
probably expressed ideas with which we are more or less in sympathy;
and in dealing with these we are free from the burdens of authority
and tradition. On the other hand, criticism of contemporaries is so
prone to be coloured by the prejudice of sects and cliques, that the
liberal historian of the past is in danger of exhibiting himself as a
blind observer of the present, or as a ludicrous prophet of the future.
A book on current literature is often, like Hansard, a melancholy
register of mistaken forecasts. Probably no critic of 1820 would have
ventured to place Keats among the greatest poets of the world. But
the risk of failing to recognise a Keats is, in the nature of things,
very slight; and for our present purpose we are only concerned with
those who, by general admission, are among the living influences of the
moment, the chiefs of a generation which is now almost middle-aged.

No Spaniard would contest the title of the Asturian, RAMÓN DE CAMPOAMOR
Y CAMPOOSORIO (b. 1817), to be considered as the actual _doyen_ of
Spanish literature. He purposed entering the Society of Jesus in his
youth, then turned to medicine as his true vocation, and finally gave
himself up to poetry and politics. A fierce conservative, Campoamor
has served as Governor of Alicante and Valencia, and has combated
democracy by speech and pen; but he has never been taken seriously as
a politician, and his few philosophic essays have caused his orthodoxy
to be questioned by writers with an imperfect sense of humour. His
controversy with Valera on metaphysics and poetry is a manifest joke
to which both writers have lent themselves with an affectation of
profound solemnity; and it may well be doubted if Campoamor's professed
convictions are more than occasions for humoristic ingenuity.

He has attempted the drama without success in such pieces as _El
Palacio de la Verdad_ and in _El Honor_. So also in the eight cantos
of a grandiose poem entitled _El Drama Universal_ (1873) he has failed
to impress with his version of the posthumous loves of Honorio and
Soledad, though in the matter of technical execution nothing finer
has been accomplished in our day. His chief distinction, according to
Peninsular critics, is that he has invented a new poetic _genre_ under
the names of _doloras_, _humoradas_ or _pequeños poemas_ (short poems).
It is not, however, an easy matter to distinguish any one of these from
its brethren, and Campoamor's own explanation lacks clearness when
he lays it down that a _dolora_ is a dramatised _humorada_, and that
a _pequeño poema_ is an amplified _dolora_. This is to define light
in terms of darkness. An acute critic, M. Peseux-Richard, has noted
that this definition is not only obscure, but that it is an evident
afterthought.[31] The _dolora_ is the first in order of invention, and
it is also the performance upon which, to judge by his _Poética_,
Campoamor sets most value. What, then, is a _dolora_? It is, in
fact, a "transcendental" fable in which men and women, their words
and acts, are made to typify eternal "verities": a poem which aims
at brevity, delicacy, pathos, and philosophy in an ironical setting.
The "transcendental" truth to be conveyed is the supreme point:
exquisiteness of form is unimportant.

M. Peseux-Richard dryly remarks that _humoradas_ are as old as anything
in literature, and that Campoamor's exploit consists in inventing
the name, not the thing. This is true; and it is none the less true
that the writing of _doloras_ (and the rest), after the recipe of the
master, has become a plague of recent Spanish literature. Fortunately
Campoamor is better than his theories, which, if he were consistent,
would lead him straight to _conceptismo_. Doubtless, at whiles, he
condescends upon the banal, mistakes sentimentalism for sentiment,
substitutes a commonplace for an aphorism, a paradox for an epigram;
doubtless, also, he is wanting in the right national note of exaltation
and rhetorical splendour. But for all his profession of indifference to
form, he is—at his best—a most accomplished craftsman, an admirable
artist in miniature, an expert in the art of concise expression,
and, in so much, a healthy influence—though not without a concealed
germ of evil. For if in his own hands the ingenious antithesis often
reaches the utmost point of condensation, in the hands of imitators it
is degraded to an obscure conceit, a rhymed conundrum. His vogue has
always been considerable, and he is one of the few Spanish poets whose
reputation extends beyond the Pyrenees; still, he is not in any sense
a national poet, a characteristic product of the soil, and with all
his distinguished scepticism, his picturesque pessimistic pose, and his
sound workmanship, he is more likely to be remembered for a score of
brilliant apophthegms than for any essentially poetic quality.

It was as a poet that JUAN VALERA Y ALCALÁ GALIANO (b. 1827) made his
first appearance in literature in 1856. Few in Europe have seen more
aspects of life, or have snatched more profit from their opportunities.
Born at Córdoba, educated at Málaga and Granada, Valera has so enjoyed
life from the outset that his youth is now the subject of a legend.
Passing from law to diplomacy, he learned the world in the legations
at Naples, Lisbon, Rio Janeiro, Dresden, St. Petersburg; he helped
to found _El Contemporaneo_, once a journal of great influence; he
entered the Cortes, and became minister at Frankfort, Washington,
Brussels, and Vienna. His native subtlety, his cosmopolitan tact, have
served him no less in literature than in affairs. To literature he has
given the best that is in him. He has protested, with the ironical
humility in which he excels, against the public neglect of his poems;
and when one reflects upon what has found favour in this kind, the
protest is half justified. Valera's verses, falling short as they do of
inspired perfection, are wrought with curious delicacy of technique.
But his very cultivation is against him: such poems as _Sueños_ or
_Último Adiós_ or _El Fuego divino_, admirable as they are, recall the
work of predecessors. Memories of Luis de León, traces of Dante and
Leopardi, are encountered on his best page; and yet he brings with
him into modern verse qualities which, in the actual stage of Spanish
literature, are of singular worth—repose and refinement and dignity
and metrical mastery.

As a critic his diplomatic training has been a hindrance to him.
He rarely writes without establishing some ingenious and suggestive
parallel or pronouncing some luminous judgment; but he is, so to say,
in fear of his own intelligence, and his instinctive courtesy, his
desire to please, often stay him from arriving at a clear conclusion.
His manifold interests, the incomparable beauty of his style, his wide
reading, his cold lucidity, are an almost ideal equipment for critical
work. Expert in ingratiation as he is, his suave complaisance becomes
a formidable weapon in such a performance as the _Cartas Americanas_,
where excessive urbanity has all the effect of commination: you set the
book down with the impression that the writers of the South American
continent have been complimented out of existence by a stately courtier.

But whatever reserves may be made in praising the poet and the critic,
Valera's triumph as a novelist is incontestable. Mr. Gosse has so
introduced him to English readers as to make further criticism almost
superfluous. Valera, for all his polite scepticism, is a Spaniard of
the best: a mystic by intuition and inheritance, a doubter by force of
circumstances and education. He himself has told us in the _Comendador
Mendoza_ how _Pepita Jiménez_ came into life as the result of much
mystic reading, which held him fascinated but not captive; and were we
to accept his humorous confession literally, we should take it that he
became a novelist by accident. It is, however, true that when he wrote
_Pepita Jiménez_ he still had much to learn in method. Writers with not
a tithe of his natural gift would have avoided his obvious faults—his
digressions, his episodes which check the current of his story. But
_Pepita Jiménez_, whatever its defects, is of capital importance in
literary history, for from its publication dates the renaissance of
the Spanish novel. Here at last was a book owing nothing to France,
taking its root in native inspiration, arabesquing the motives of Luis
de Granada, León, Santa Teresa, displaying once more what Coventry
Patmore has well described as "that complete synthesis of gravity of
matter and gaiety of manner which is the glittering crown of art, and
which, out of Spanish literature, is to be found only in Shakespeare,
and even in him in a far less obvious degree."

And Valera has continued to progress in art. In construction, in depth,
in psychological insight, _Doña Luz_ exceeds its predecessor, as the
_Comendador Mendoza_ outshines both in vigour of expression, in tragic
conception, in pathetic sincerity. _Las Ilusiones del Doctor Faustino_
has found less favour with critics and with general readers, perhaps
because its humour is too refined, its observation too merciless, its
style too subtle. Nor is Valera less successful in the short story,
and in the dialogue, in which sort _Asclepigenia_ may be held for an
absolute masterpiece in little. His work lies before us, complete for
all purposes; for though he still publishes for our delight, advancing
age compels him to dictate instead of writing—a harassing condition
for an artist whose talent is free from any touch of declamation. It
is hard for us who have undergone the spell of Prospero, who have
been fascinated by his truth and grace and sympathy, to judge him
with the impartiality of posterity. But we may safely anticipate its
general verdict. It may be that some of his improvisations will lack
durability; but these are few. Valera, like the rest of the world, is
entitled to be judged at his best, and his best will be read as long as
Spanish literature endures; for he is not simply a dexterous craftsman
using one of the noblest of languages with an exquisite delicacy
and illimitable variety of means, nor a clever novelist exercising
a superficial talent, nor even (though he is that in a very special
sense) the leader of a national revival. He is something far rarer
and more potent than an accomplished man of letters: a great creative
artist, and the embodiment of a people's genius.

A less cosmopolitan, but scarcely less original talent is that of
JOSÉ MARÍA DE PEREDA (b. 1834), who comes, like so many distinguished
Spaniards, from "the mountain." Born at Polanco, trained as a civil
engineer in his province of Santander, Pereda was—and, perhaps, still
is, theoretically—a stout Carlist, an intransigent ultramontane whose
social position has enabled him to despise the politics of expediency.
His earliest essays in a local newspaper, _La Abeja Montañesa_,
attracted no attention; nor was he much more fortunate with his
amazingly brilliant _Escenas Montañesas_ (1864). Fernán Caballero,
and a gentle sentimentalist now wholly forgotten, Antonio Trueba
(1821-89), satisfied readers with graceful insipidities, beside which
the new-comer's manly realism seemed almost crude. The conventional
villager, simple, Arcadian, and impossible, held the field; and
Pereda's revelation of unveiled rusticity was esteemed displeasing,
unnecessary, inartistic. He had to educate his public. From the outset
he found a few enthusiasts to appreciate him in his native province;
and, by slow degrees, he succeeded in imposing himself first upon the
general audience, and then, with much more difficulty, upon official
critics. It is commonly alleged against him that even in his more
ambitious novels—in _Don Gonzalo González de la Gonzalera_, in _Pedro
Sánchez_, where he deals with town life, and in _Sotileza_, which
is salt with the sea—his personages are local. The observation is
intended as a reproach; but, in truth, Pereda's men and women are only
local as Sancho Panza and Maritornes are local—local in particulars,
universal as types of nature. His true defects are his tendency to
abuse his knowledge of dialect, to insist on a moral aim, to caricature
his villains. These are spots on the sun. On the whole, he pictures
life as he sees it, with unblenching fidelity; his people live and
move; and—not least—he is a master of nervous, energetic phrase. No
writer outdoes him as a landscape-painter in rendering the fertile
valleys, the cold hills, the vexed Cantabrian sea, to which he returns
with the intimate passion of a lover.

The representative of a younger school is BENITO PÉREZ GALDÓS (b.
1845), who left the Canary Islands in his nineteenth year with the
purpose of reading law in Madrid. A brief trial of journalism, previous
to the revolution of 1868, led to the publication of his first novel,
_La Fontana de Oro_ (1870), and since 1873 he has shown a wondrous
persistence and suppleness of talent. His _Episodios Nacionales_
alone fill twenty volumes, and as many more exist detached from that
series. He has composed the modern national epic in the form of novels:
novels which have for their setting the War of Independence, and the
succeeding twenty years of civil combat; novels in which not less than
five hundred characters are presented. Galdós is in singular contrast
with his friend Pereda. The prejudiced Tory has educated his public;
the Liberal reformer has been educated by his contemporaries. Galdós
has always had his fingers on the general pulse; and when the readers
in the late seventies wearied of the historico-political novel, Galdós
was ready with _La Familia de León Roch_, with _Gloria_, and with
_Doña Perfecta_, in which the religious difficulty is posed ten years
before _Robert Elsmere_ was written. His third stage of development is
exampled in _Fortuna y Jacinta_, a most forcible study of contemporary
life. A prolific inventor, a minute observer of detail, Galdós combines
realism with fantasy, flat prose with poetic imagination, so that
he succeeds best in drawing psychological eccentricities like Ángel
Guerra. He is perhaps too Spanish to endure translation, too prone to
assume that his readers are familiar with the minutiæ of Peninsular
life and history, and his construction, broad as it is, lacks solidity;
but that he deserves the greater part of his fame is unquestionable,
and if there be doubters, _Fortuna y Jacinta_ and _Ángel Guerra_ are at
hand to vindicate the judgment.

In all the length and breadth of Spain no writer (with the possible
exception of that slashing, incorrigible, brilliant reviewer, Antonio
de Valbuena) is better known and more feared than LEOPOLDO ALAS (b.
1852), who uses the pseudonym of Clarín. Alas is often accused of
fierce intolerance as a critic; and the charge has this much truth in
it—that he is righteously, splendidly intolerant of a pretender, a
mountebank, or a dullard. He may be right or wrong in judgment; but
there is something noble in the intrepidity with which he handles an
established reputation, in the infinite malice with which he riddles an
enemy. An ample knowledge of other literatures than his own, a catholic
taste, as pretty a wit as our days have seen, and a most combative,
gallant spirit make him a critical force which, on the whole, is
used for good. He is not mentioned here, however, as the formidable
gladiator of journalism, but as the author of one of the best
contemporary novels. _La Regenta_ (1884-1885) is, in the first place,
a searching analysis of criminal passion, marked by fine insight; and
the examination of false mysticism which betrays Ana Ozores is among
the subtlest, most masterly achievements in recent literature. Galdós
is realistic and persuasive: Alas is real and convincing. He has not
the cunning of the contriver of situations, and as he never condescends
to the novelist's artifice, he imperils his chance of popularity. In
truth, far from enjoying a vulgar vogue, _La Regenta_ has had the
distinction of being condemned by criticasters who have never read it.
_Su único Hijo_, and the collection of short stories entitled _Pipá_,
interesting and finished in detail, are of slighter substance and
value. The duties of a law professorship at the University of Oviedo,
the tasks of journalism, have occupied Alas during the last four years.
Literature in Spain is but a poor crutch, and even the popular Valera
has told us that he must perish did he depend upon his pen. Spanish men
of letters have to be content with fame. Meanwhile, it is known that
Alas is at work upon the long-promised _Esperaindeo_, in which we may
fairly hope to find a companion to _La Regenta_.

Of ARMANDO PALACIO VALDÉS (b. 1853) it can hardly be said that he
has fulfilled the promise of _Marta y María_ and _La Hermana de San
Sulpicio_. Alas, with whom Palacio Valdés collaborated in a critical
review of the literature of 1881, has succeeded in absorbing the
good elements of the modern French naturalistic school without
losing his Spanish savour. Palacio Valdés has surrendered great part
of his nationality in _Espuma_ and in _La Fe_, which might, with a
change of names, be taken for translations of French novels. He has
abundant cleverness, a sure hand in construction, a distinct power of
character-drawing, which have won him more consideration out of Spain
than in it, and he has a fair claim to rank as the chief of the modern
naturalistic school. His most distinguished rival is the Galician,
the Sra. Quiroga, better known by her maiden name of EMILIA PARDO
BAZÁN (b. 1851), the best authoress that Spain has produced during
the present century. Her earliest effort was a prize essay on Feijóo
(1876), followed by a volume of verses which I have never seen, and
upon which the writer is satisfied that oblivion should scatter its
poppy. She pleases most in picturesque description of country life and
manners in her province, of scenes in La Coruña, which she glorifies
in her writings as Marineda. Her foundation of a critical review, the
_Nuevo Teatro Crítico_, written entirely by herself, showed confidence
and enterprise, and enabled her to propagate her eclectic views on life
and art. Women have hitherto been more impressionable than original,
and Doña Emilia has been drawn into the French naturalistic current in
_Los Pazos de Ulloa_ (1886) and in _La Madre Naturaleza_ (1887). Both
novels contain episodes of remarkable power, and _La Madre Naturaleza_
is an almost epical glorification of primitive instincts. But Spain
has a native realism of her own, and it is scarcely probable that
the French variety will ever supersede it. It is as a naturalistic
novelist that the Sra. Pardo Bazán is generally known; but the fashion
of naturalism is already passing, and it is by the rich colouring, the
local knowledge, the patriotic enthusiasm, and the exact vision of such
transcripts of local scene and custom as abound in _De mi tierra_ that
she best conveys the impressions of an exuberant and even irresistible
temperament. What Pereda has accomplished for the land of the mountain
the Sra. Pardo Bazán has, in lesser measure, done for Galicia.

One must hold it against her that she should have aided in establishing
the trivial vogue of the Jesuit, LUIS COLOMA (b. 1851), whose
_Pequeñeces_ (1890) caused more sensation than any novel of the last
twenty years. Palacio Valdés has been severely censured for writing,
in _Espuma_, of "society" in which he has never moved. "What," asked
Isaac Disraeli, "what does my son know about dukes?" The Padre Coloma's
acquaintance with dukes is extensive and peculiar. Born at Jerez de
la Frontera, he came under the influence of Fernán Caballero, whom he
has pictured in _El Viernes de Dolores_, and with whom he collaborated
in _Juan Miseria_. His lively youth was spent in drawing-rooms where
Alfonsist plots were hatched; and when, at the age of twenty-three, he
joined the Society of Jesus after receiving a mysterious bullet-wound
which brought him to death's door, he knew as much of Madrid "society"
as any man in Spain. His literary mission appears to be to satirise
the Spanish aristocracy, and _Pequeñeces_ is his capital effort in
that kind. An angry controversy followed, in which Valera made one of
his few mistakes by taking the field against Coloma, who, with all his
superficial smartness, is a special pleader and not an artist. A _roman
à clef_ is always sure of ephemeral success, and readers were too
intent on identifying the originals of Currita Albornoz and Villamelón
to observe that _Pequeñeces_ was a hasty improvisation, void of plot
and character and truth and style. Certain scenes are good enough to
pass as episodical caricatures, and had the Padre Coloma the endowment
of wit and gaiety and distinction, he might hope to develop into a
clerical Gyp. As it is, he has shot his bolt, achieved a notoriety
which is even now fading, and is in a fair way to be dethroned from his
position by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, the author of _Flor de Mayo_, and by
Juan Ochoa, the writer of _Un Alma de Dios_. These two novelists, the
rising hopes of the immediate future, are rapidly growing in repute as
in accomplishment. Narcís Oller y Moragas (b. 1846) has shown singular
gifts in such tales as _L'Escanyapobres_, _Vilaníu_, and _Viva
Espanya_. But, as he writes in Catalan, we have no immediate concern
with him here.

Of the modern Spanish theatre there is little originality to report.
Tamayo's successor in popular esteem is JOSÉ ECHEGARAY (1832), who
first came into notice as a mathematician, a political economist, a
revolutionary orator, and a minister of the short-lived republic.
Writing under the obvious anagram of Jorge Hayeseca, Echegaray first
attempted the drama so late as 1874, and has since then succeeded and
failed with innumerable pieces. He is essentially a romantic, as he
proves in _La Esposa del Vengador_ and in _Ó Locura ó Santidad_; but
there is nothing distinctively national in his work, which continually
reflects the passing fashions of the moment. His plays are commonly
well constructed, as one might expect from a mathematician applying his
science to the scene, and he has a certain power of gloomy realisation,
as in _El Gran Galeoto_, which moves and impresses; yet he has created
no character, he delights in cheap effects, and when he betakes himself
to verse, is prone to a banality which is almost vulgar. A delightfully
middle-class writer, his appreciation by middle-class audiences calls
for no special comment. It even speaks for itself.

The drama has also been attempted by GASPAR NÚÑEZ DE ARCE (b.
1834), whose _Haz de Leña_, in which Felipe II. figures, is the most
distinguished historical drama of the century, written with a reserve
and elegance rare on the modern Spanish stage. Núñez de Arce, however,
though he began with a successful play in his fifteenth year, was well
advised when he forsook the scene and gave himself to pure lyrism.
His disillusioning political experiences as Secretary of State for
the Colonies have reduced him to silence during the last few years.
He was born to sing songs of victory, to be the poet of ordered
liberty, and circumstances have cast his lot in times of disaster
and revolutionary excess. He has had no opportunity of celebrating a
national triumph, and his hopes of a golden age, to be brought about by
a few constitutional changes, have been grievously disappointed. Yet
it is as a political singer that he has won a present fame and that he
will pass onward to renown. His _Idilio_ is a rustic love story of fine
simplicity, of an impressive, pure realism which lifts it above the
common level of pastoral poems, and its sincerity, its austere finish,
are characteristic of the poet, who is always a scrupulous artist, a
passionate devotee and observer of nature, as he has proved once more
in _La Pesca_. In _Raimundo Lulio_, Núñez de Arce's superb execution
is displayed with a superb result which almost tempts the coldest
reader into pardoning the confusion of two separate themes—allegory
and amorism. But a political poet he remains, and the famous _Gritos
de Combate_ (1875), in which he denounces anarchy, pleads for freedom
and for concord, with a civic courage beyond all praise, is a lasting
monument in its kind. Modern Castilian shows no poetic figure to
compare with him, and the only promises of our time are Jacinto
Verdaguer and Joan Maragall, two Catalan singers who fall without our

The present century has produced no great Spanish historian, though
there has been an active movement of historical research, headed
by scholars like Fidel Fita, specialists like Cárdenas, Azcárate,
Costa, Pérez Pujol, Ribera, Jiménez de la Espada, Fernández Duro,
and Hinojosa, all of whom have produced brilliant monographs, or
have accumulated valuable materials for the Mariana of the future.
In criticism also there has been a marked advance of scholarship and
tolerance, thanks to the example of MARCELINO MENÉNDEZ Y PELAYO (b.
1856), whose extraordinary learning and argumentative acuteness were
first shown in his _Ciencia Española_ (1878), and his _Historia de
los Heterodoxos Españoles_ (1880-81). Since then the slight touch of
acerbity, of provincial narrowness, has disappeared, the writer's
talent has matured, and, starting as the standard-bearer of an
aggressive party, anxious to recover lost ground, his sympathies have
widened as his erudition has taken deeper root, till at the present
moment he is accepted by his ancient foes as the most sagacious and
accomplished of Spanish critics. His _Odas, Epístolas y Tragedias_, is
a signal instance of technical excellence in versification, containing
as good a version of the _Isles of Greece_ as any foreigner has
achieved. But, after all, it is not as poet, but as critic, as literary
historian, that he is hailed by his countrymen as a prodigy. He has,
perhaps, undertaken too much, and the editing of Lope de Vega may cause
the _Historia de las Ideas Estéticas en España_ to remain an unfinished
torso; but his example and influence have been wholly exercised
for good, and are evident in the excellent work of the younger
generation—the work of Emilio Cotarelo y Mori, of Rafael Altamira
y Crevea, of Ramón Menéndez Pidal. It would be a singular thing if
the bright, improvident Spain, which to most of us stands for the
embodiment of reckless romanticism, were to produce a race of writers
of the German type, a breed absorbed in detail and minute observation;
and as a nation's genius is no more subject to change than is the
temperament of individuals, the development may not come to pass. But,
as the century closes, the tendency inclines that way.


[31] See the _Revue hispanique_ (Paris, 1894), vol. i. pp. 236-257.

                         BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

George Ticknor's great _History of Spanish Literature_ (Boston, 1872)
is the widest survey of the subject; it should be read in the Castilian
version of Pascual de Gayangos and Enrique de Vedia (1851-56),[32] or
in the German of Nikolaus Heinrich Julius (Leipzig, 1852), both of
which contain valuable supplementary matter. Ludwig Gustav Lemcke shows
taste and learning and independence in his _Handbuch der spanischen
Literatur_ (Leipzig, 1855-56). On a smaller scale are Eugène Baret's
_Histoire de la littérature espagnole_ (1863), the volume contributed
by Jacques Claude Demogeot to Victor Duruy's series entitled
_Histoire des littératures étrangères_ (1880), Licurgo Cappelletti's
_Letteratura spagnuola_ (Milan, 1882), and Mr. H. Butler Clarke's
_Spanish Literature_ (1893). Ferdinand Wolf's _Studien zur Geschichte
der spanischen und portugiesischen Nationalliteratur_ (Berlin, 1859)
is a most masterly study of the early period; the Castilian version
by D. Miguel de Unamuno, with notes by D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo
(1895-96), corrects some of Wolf's conclusions in the light of recent
research. The _Darstellung der spanischen Literatur im Mittelalter_
(Mainz, 1846), by Ludwig Clarus, whose real name was Wilhelm Volk, is
learned and suggestive, though too enthusiastic in criticism. José
Amador de los Ríos' seven volumes, entitled _Historia crítica de la
literatura española_ (1861-65), end with the reign of the Catholic
Kings: an alphabetical index would greatly increase the value of this
monumental work. The Comte Théodore Joseph Boudet de Puymaigre's two
volumes, _Les vieux auteurs castillans_ (1888-90), give the facts in a
very agreeable, unpretentious way.

Among current handbooks by Spanish authors, those by Antonio Gil y
Zárate (1844), Manuel de la Revilla and Pedro de Alcántara García
(1884), F. Sánchez de Castro (1890), and Prudencio Mudarra y Párraga
(Sevilla, 1895), are well-meant, and are, one hopes, useful for
examination purposes. José Fernández-Espino's _Curso histórico-crítico_
(Sevilla, 1871) is excellent; but it ends with Cervantes' prose works,
and makes no reference to the Spanish theatre.

On the drama there is nothing to match Adolf Friedrich von Schack's
_Geschichte der dramatischen Literatur und Kunst in Spanien_ (Berlin,
1845-46) and his _Nachträge_ (Frankfurt am Main, 1854). Romualdo
Álvarez Espino's _Ensayo histórico-crítico del teatro español_
(Cádiz, 1876), containing long extracts from the chief dramatists,
is serviceable to beginners. The late Cayetano Barrera's _Catálogo
bibliográfico y biográfico del teatro antiguo español_ (1860) is
invaluable: lack of funds causes the supplement to remain "inedited."

In bibliography Castilian is richer than English. Nicolás Antonio's
_Bibliotheca Hispana Nova_ (1783-88) and _Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus_
(1788) are wonderful for their time. Bartolomé José Gallardo's _Ensayo
de una Biblioteca española de libros raros y curiosos_ (1863-89) owes
much to its editors, the Marqués de la Fuensanta del Valle and D. José
Sancho Rayón. For old editions Pedro Salvá y Mallén's _Catálogo de la
biblioteca de Salvá_ (Valencia, 1872) may be consulted. An admirable
monthly bibliography of new books is issued by D. Rafael Altamira y
Crevea in his _Revista crítica de historia y literatura españolas,
portuguesas é hispano-americanas_. Murillo's monthly _Boletín_ is a
mere sale list.

M. Foulché-Delbosc's _Revue hispanique_ and Sr. Altamira's _Revista
crítica_ are specially dedicated to our subject; the zeal and
self-sacrifice of both editors have earned the gratitude of all
students of Spanish literature. MM. Gaston Paris' and Paul Meyer's
_Romania_ frequently contains admirable essays and reviews by MM.
Morel-Fatio, Cornu, Cuervo, and others; as much may be said for Gustav
Gröber's _Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie_ (Halle), and for the
_Giornale storico della letteratura italiana_ (Torino), edited by MM.
Francesco Novati and Rodolfo Renier.

Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo's _Historia de las Ideas estéticas en España_
(1883-91) touches literature at many points, and abounds in acute
and suggestive reflections. Two treatises by M. Arturo Farinelli,
_Die Beziehungen zwischen Spanien und Deutschland in der Litteratur
der beiden Länder_ (Berlin, 1892), and _Spanien und die spanische
Litteratur im Lichte der deutschen Kritik und Poesie_ (Berlin, 1892),
are remarkable for curious learning and appreciative criticism.

The best general collection of classics is Manuel Rivadeneyra's
_Biblioteca de Autores españoles_ (1846-80), which consists of
seventy-nine volumes. Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo's _Antología de poetas
líricos castellanos_ (1890-96) is supplied with very learned and
elaborate introductions.

                               CHAPTER I

The _Leloaren Cantua_ and _Altobiskar Cantua_ are given, with
English renderings, in Mr. Wentworth Webster's admirable _Basque
Legends_ (1879); an exposure of the _Altobiskar_ hoax by the same
great authority is printed in the Academy of History's _Boletín_
(1883). Rafael and Pedro Rodríguez Mohedano display much discursive,
uncritical erudition in their ten-volumed _Historia literaria en
España_ (1768-85), which deals only with the early period. A recent
study (1888) on Prudentius by the Conde de Viñaza deserves mention.
Migne's _Patrologia Latina_ includes the chief Spanish Fathers. In
the fourth volume of Charles Cahier's and Arthur Martin's _Nouveaux
Mélanges d'archéologie, d'histoire, et de littérature sur le moyen âge_
(1877) there is a brilliant essay on the Gothic period by the Rev. Père
Jules Tailhan, to whom we also owe a splendid edition of the Rhymed
Chronicle, the _Epitoma Imperatorum_ (Paris, 1885), by the Anonymous
Writer of Córdoba.

For the Spanish Jews, Hirsch Grätz' _Geschichte der Juden von
den ältesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart_ (Leipzig, 1865-90) is
the best guide. Salomon Munk's _Mélanges de philosophie juive et
arabe_ (1857) is not yet superseded, and Abraham Geiger's _Divan
des Castilier Abu'l Hassan Juda ha Levi_ (Breslau, 1851) contains
information not to be found elsewhere. M. Kayserling's _Biblioteca
Española—Portugeza—Judaica_ (Strassburg, 1890) is extremely valuable.

Two works by Reinhart Pieter Anne Dozy are authoritative as regards
the Arab period: the _Histoire des Mussulmans d'Espagne_ (Leyde,
1861), and the _Recherches sur l'histoire politique et littéraire
de l'Espagne pendant le moyen âge_ (1881). The first edition of the
_Recherches_ (Leyde, 1849) embodies many suggestive passages cancelled
in the reprints. Schack's _Poesie und Kunst der Araber in Spanien
und Sicilien_ (Stuttgart, 1877) is a good general survey, a little
too enthusiastic in tone; it greatly gains in the Castilian version,
made from the first edition, by D. Juan Valera (1867-71). Nicolas
Lucien Leclerc's _Histoire de la médecine arabe_ (1876) is of much
wider scope than its title implies, and may be profitably consulted
on Arab achievements in other fields. Francisco Javier Simonet states
the case against the predominance of Arab culture in the preface to
his _Glosario de voces ibéricas y latinas usadas entre los Muzárabes_
(1888). D. Julián Ribera's learned _Orígenes de la justicia en Aragón_
(Zaragoza, 1897) deals with the facts in a more judicial spirit. Of
special monographs Ernest Renan's _Averroès et l'Averroïsme_ (1866) is
a recognised classic. The greater part of the codex from the Convent of
Santo Domingo de Silos, now in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 30,853),
has been published by Dr. Joseph Priebsch in the _Zeitschrift_, vol.

As regards the Provençal influence in the Peninsula, Manuel Milá y
Fontanals' _Trovadores en España_ (Barcelona, 1887) is a definitive
work. Eugène Baret's _Espagne et Provence_ (1857) is pleasing but
superficial. Theophilo Braga's learned introduction to the _Cancioneiro
Portuguez da Vaticana_ (Lisbon, 1878) is brilliantly suggestive,
though inaccurate in detail. The counter-current from Northern France,
as it affects the epic, is treated in Milá y Fontanals' _Poesía
heróico-popular castellana_ (Barcelona, 1874).

                              CHAPTER II

The _Misterio de los Reyes Magos_ is most accessible in Amador de
los Ríos' _Historia_, vol. iii. pp. 658-60, and in K. A. Martin
Hartmann's dissertation, _Ueber das altspanische Dreikönnigsspiel_
(Bautzen, 1879). The Swedish scholar, Eduard Lidforss, printed the
_Misterio_ in the _Jahrbuch für romanische und englische Literatur_
(Leipzig, 1871), vol. xii., and Professor Georg Baist's diplomatic
edition appeared at Erlangen in 1879. Arturo Grafs _Studii drammatici_
(Torino, 1878) contains an interesting essay on the Magi play; M.
Morel-Fatio's article in _Romania_, vol. ix., and Baist's review in the
_Zeitschrift_, vol. iv., are both important. D'Ancona's _Origini del
teatro italiano_ (Torino, 1891) discusses the question of the play's
date with much shrewdness and caution.

The most convenient reference for the _Poema del Cid_ is to
Rivadeneyra, vol. lvii. D. Ramón Menéndez Pidal's edition (1898)
supersedes all others: next, in order of merit, come Karl Vollmöller's
(Halle, 1879), Eduard Lidforss', called _Cantares de Myo Cid_ (Lund,
1895), and Mr. Archer Huntington's (New York, 1897). The _Cantar
de Rodrigo_ is in Rivadeneyra, vol. xvi.; vol. lvii. contains the
_Apolonio_, the _Vida de Santa María Egipciacqua_, and the _Tres Reyes
dorient_. The sources of _Santa María Egipciacqua_ are indicated by
Adolf Mussafia in the _Sitzungsberichte_ of the Vienna Academy of
Sciences, vol. clxiii. For the _Disputa del Alma y Cuerpo_ see the
_Zeitschrift_, vol. lx. M. Morel-Fatio edited the _Debate entre el Agua
y el Vino_ and the _Razón feita de Amor in Romania_, vol. xvi. Most
of the foregoing may be read in extract in Egidio Gorra's excellent
anthology, _Lingua e Letteratura Spagnuola delle origini_ (Milan, 1898).

                              CHAPTER III

Most of the writers referred to in this chapter are included in
Rivadeneyra, vols. li. and lvii. A valuable article on Berceo by D.
Francisco Fernández y González, now Dean of the Central University,
was published in _La Razón_ (1857): a translated fragment of Berceo is
given by Longfellow in _Outre-Mer_. Gautier de Coinci's _Les Miracles
de la Sainte Vierge_ were edited by the Abbé Alexandre Eusèbe Poquet
(1857) in a somewhat prudish spirit. M. Morel-Fatio's study on the
_Libro de Alexandre_, printed in the fourth volume of _Romania_, is an
extremely thorough performance.

Alfonso's _Siete Partidas_ (1807) and the _Fuero Juzgo_ (1815) have
been issued by the Spanish Academy; his scientific work is partially
represented by Manuel Rico y Sinobas' five folios entitled _Libros
del Saber de Astronomía_ (1863-67). There is no modern edition of
his histories, and a reprint is greatly needed: the inaugural speech
of D. Juan Facundo Riaño, read before the Academy of History (1869),
traces the sources with great ability and learning. The translations
in which Alfonso shared are best read in Hermann Knust's _Mitteilungen
aus dem Eskorial_ (vol. cxli. of the publications issued by the
Stuttgart Literarischer Verein), and in Knust's _Dos Obras didácticas
y dos Leyendas_ (1878). Alfonso's _Cantigas de Santa María_ have been
published by the Spanish Academy (1889) in two of the handsomest
volumes ever printed; the Marqués de Valmar has edited the text, and
supplied an admirable introduction and apparatus.

Fadrique's _Engannos e Assayamientos de las Mogieres_ is to be sought
in Domenico Comparetti's _Ricerche intorno al libro di Sindibad_
(Milan, 1869). The questions arising out of the _Gran Conquista de
Ultramar_ are discussed by M. Gaston Paris, with his usual lucidity and
learning, in _Romania_, vols. xvii., xix., and xxii.

                              CHAPTER IV

Most of the poems mentioned are printed in Rivadeneyra, vol. lvii.
_Solomon's Rhymed Proverbs_ are included by Antonio Paz y Melia in
_Opúsculos literarios de los siglos XIV.-XVI._ (1892). The _Poema
de José_ has been reproduced in Arabic characters by Heinrich Morf
(Leipzig, 1883) as part of a _Gratulationsschrift_ from the University
of Bern to that of Zurich.

Juan Manuel's writings were edited by Gayangos in Rivadeneyra, vol.
li.: we owe his _Libro de Caza_ to Professor Georg Baist (Halle, 1880),
and a valuable edition of the _Libro del Caballero et del Escudero_ to
S. Gräfenberg (Erlangen, 1883). Alfonso XI.'s handbook on hunting is
given by Gutiérrez de la Vega in the third volume of the _Biblioteca
Venatoria_ (Madrid, 1879). Ayala's history forms vols. i. and ii. of
Eugenio de Llaguno Amírola's _Crónicas Españolas_ (Madrid, 1779).

                               CHAPTER V

The Comte de Puymaigre's _La Cour littéraire de Don Juan II._ (1873) is
an excellent general view of the subject. D. Emilio Cotarelo y Mori's
_Don Enrique de Villena_ (1896) is a very learned and interesting
study. Villena's _Arte Cisoria_ was reprinted so recently as 1879.
The _Libro de los Gatos_ and Clemente Sánchez' _Exemplos_ are in
Rivadeneyra, vol. li.; the latter were completed by M. Morel-Fatio in
_Romania_, vol. vii. Mr. Thomas Frederick Crane's _Exempla_ of Jacques
Vitry (published in 1890 for the Folk-Lore Society) will be found
useful by English readers.

Baena's _Cancionero_ (1851) was edited by the late Marqués de Pidal:
the large-paper copies contain a few loose pieces, omitted from the
ordinary edition which was reprinted by Brockhaus in a cheap form at
Leipzig in 1860. D. Antonio Paz y Melia's _Obras de Juan Rodríguez de
la Cámara_ (1884) is a good example of this scholar's conscientious
work. Amador de los Ríos' edition of the _Obras del Marqués de
Santillana_ (1852) is complete and minute in detail.

There is no good edition of Juan de Mena's works; I have found it
most convenient to use that published by Francisco Sánchez (1804).
The _Coplas de la Panadera_ will be found in Gallardo, vol. i. cols.

Juan II.'s _Crónica_ is printed by Rivadeneyra, vol. lviii.; the
others—those of Clavijo, Gámez, Lena—are in Llaguno y Amírola's
_Crónicas Españolas_, already named. Llaguno also reprinted Pérez de
Guzmán's _Generaciones_ at Valencia in 1790.

No modern editor has had the spirit to reissue Martínez de Toledo's
_Corbacho_, nor did even Ticknor possess a copy. The edition of Logroño
(1529) is convenient. The _Visión deleitable_ is in Rivadeneyra, vol.
xxxvi. I know no later edition of Lucena's _Vita Beata_ than that of
Zamora, 1483.

                              CHAPTER VI

Hernando del Castillo's _Cancionero General_ should be read in the fine
edition (1882) published by the Sociedad de Bibliófilos Españoles; the
_Cancionero de burlas_ in Luis de Usoz y Río's reprint (London, 1841).
The Marqués de la Fuensanta del Valle and D. José Sancho Rayón edited
Lope de Stúñiga's _Cancionero_ in 1872. While the present volume has
been passing through the press, M. Foulché-Delbosc has, for the first
time, published the entire text of the _Coplas del Provincial_ in the
_Revue hispanique_, vol. v. The _Coplas de Mingo Revulgo_, Cota's
_Diálogo_, and Jorge Manrique's _Coplas_ are best read in D. Marcelino
Menéndez y Pelayo's _Antología_, vols. iii. and iv. An additional
piece of Cota's, discovered by M. Foulché-Delbosc, has been printed
in the _Revue hispanique_, vol. i.; and to D. Antonio Paz y Melia is
due the publication of Gómez Manrique's _Cancionero_ (1885). Iñigo
de Mendoza and Ambrosio Montesino are represented in Rivadeneyra,
vol. xxxv. Miguel del Riego y Núñez' edition of Padilla appeared
at London in 1841 in the _Colección de obras poéticas españolas_.
Pedro de Urrea's _Cancionero_ (1876) forms the second volume of the
_Biblioteca de Escritores Aragoneses_. Encina's _Teatro completo_ has
been admirably edited (1893) by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri: a suggestive
and penetrating criticism by Sr. Cotarelo y Mori appeared in _España
Moderna_ (May 1894).

Palencia is to be studied sufficiently in his _Dos Tratados_ (1876),
arranged by D. Antonio María Fabié. The _Crónica_ of Lucas Iranzo was
given by the Academy of History (1853) in the _Memorial histórico
español_. _Amadís de Gaula_ is most easily read in Rivadeneyra, vol.
xl., which is preceded by a very instructive preface, the work of
Gayangos. The derivation of the _Amadís_ romance is ably discussed
from different points of view by Eugène Baret in his _Études sur la
redaction espagnole de l'Amadis de Gaule_ (1853); by Theophilo Braga in
his _Historia das novelas portuguezas de cavalleria_ (Porto, 1873);
and by Ludwig Braunfels in his _Kritischer Versuch über den Roman
Amadís von Gallien_ (Leipzig, 1876). The fourth volume of Ormsby's _Don
Quixote_ (1885) contains an exhaustive bibliography of the chivalresque
novels, most of which are both costly and worthless. Of the _Celestina_
there are innumerable editions; the handiest is that in Rivadeneyra,
vol. iii. A reprint of Mabbe's splendid English version (1631) was
included by Mr. Henley in his _Tudor Translations_ (1894). D. Marcelino
Menéndez y Pelayo's brilliant essay on Rojas is reprinted in the second
series of his _Estudios de crítica literaria_ (1895). Bernáldez'
_Historia de los Reyes católicos_ (Granada, 1856) has been carefully
produced by Miguel Lafuente y Alcántara. Pulgar's _Claros Varones_
was inserted at the end of Llaguno y Amírola's edition of the _Centón
epistolario_ (1775). It is quite impossible to give any notion of the
immense mass of literature concerning Columbus; but anything bearing
the names of Martín Fernández de Navarrete or of Mr. Henry Harrisse is
entitled to the greatest respect.

                              CHAPTER VII

M. Morel-Fatio's _L'Espagne au 16^e et 17^e siécle_ (Heilbronn, 1878)
is invaluable for this period and the succeeding century. Dr. Adam
Schneider's _Spaniens Anteil an der deutschen Litteratur des 16. und
17. Jahrhunderts_ (Strassburg, 1898) is a work of immense industry,
containing much curious information in a convenient form. English
readers will find an excellent summary of the literary history of this
time in Mr. David Hannay's _Later Renaissance_ (1898).

Manuel Cañete, whose _Teatro español del siglo XVI._ (1885) is useful
but ill arranged, included a single volume of Torres Naharro's
_Propaladia_ among the _Libros de Antaño_ so long ago as 1880; the
second is still to come, and those who would read this dramatist
must turn to the rare sixteenth-century editions. Perhaps the best
reprint of Gil Vicente is that issued at Hamburg in 1834 by José
Victorino Barreto Feio and José Gomes Monteiro; a most complete
account of Vicente, his environment and influence, is given by
Theophilo Braga in the seventh volume of his learned _Historia de la
litteratura portuguesa_ (Porto, 1898). Boscán's Castilian version of
the _Cortegiano_ was reissued in 1873; the completest edition of his
verse is that published by Professor Knapp (of Yale University), issued
at Madrid in 1873. Professor Flamini's _Studi di storia letteraria
italiana e straniera_ (Livorno, 1895) contains a very scholarly essay
on the debt of Boscán to Bernardo Tasso. The poems of Garcilaso are
in Rivadeneyra, vols. xxxii. and xlii.; but a far pleasanter book to
handle is Azara's edition (1765). Benedetto Croce's study entitled
_Intorno al soggiorno di Garcilaso de la Vega in Italia_ (1894)
appeared originally in the _Rassegna storica napoletana di lettere ed
arte_ (a magazine which deserves to be better known in England than
it is). Croce's researches have been printed apart, and we may look
forward to his publishing others no less important. Jeremiah Holmes
Wiffen's biography and translation of Garcilaso (1823) are defective,
but nothing better exists in English. Few poets in the world have
been so fortunate in their editors as Sâ de Miranda. Mme. Carolina
Michaëlis de Vasconcellos' reprint (Halle, 1881), with its very learned
apparatus of introduction, notes, and variants, is a real achievement
unsurpassed in the history of editing. A fine edition of Gutierre de
Cetina has been published (Seville, 1895) with a scholarly introduction
by D. Joaquín Hazañas y la Rua. Acuña's works appeared at Madrid in
1804; his _Contienda de Ayax_ is in the second volume of López de
Sedano's _Parnaso Español_ (1778). Concerning Mendoza, the reader may
profitably turn to Charles Graux' _Essai sur les origines du fona grec
de l'Escorial_ (1880), published in the _Bibliothèque de l'École des
Hautes Études_. Professor Knapp edited Mendoza's verses in 1877: a
creditable piece of work, though inferior to his edition of Boscán.
Castillejo and Silvestre are exampled in Rivadeneyra, vol. xxxii. Of
Villegas' _Inventario_ there is no modern reprint.

Guevara is sufficiently represented in Rivadeneyra, vol. lxv.; the
English versions by Lord Berners, North, Fenton, Hellowes, and others,
are of exceptional merit and interest.

The most important historians of the Indies are reprinted by
Rivadeneyra, vols. xxii. and xxvi. Amador de los Ríos edited Oviedo for
the Academy of History in 1851-55. Very full details concerning Cortés
are given by Prescott in his classic book on Peru, and Sir Arthur
Helps' _Life of Las Casas_ (1868) is a pleasing piece of partisanship.

_Lazarillo de Tormes_ should be read in Mr. Butler Clarke's beautiful
reproduction of the _princeps_ (1897). M. Morel-Fatio's essay in the
first series of his _Études sur l'Espagne_ (1895) is exceedingly
ingenious, but, like all negative criticism, it is somewhat
unconvincing. His guess that _Lazarillo_ was written by some one
connected with the Valdés clique does not seem very happy, but even a
conjecture by M. Morel-Fatio carries great weight.

Eduard Böhmer gives a very full bibliography of Juan de Valdés in his
_Biblioteca Wiffeniana_ (Strassburg, 1874). Benjamin Barron Wiffen
had for Valdés a kind of cult which found partial expression in his
quarto _Life and Writings of Juan Valdés, otherwise Valdesio_ (1865).
But it is impossible to give more minute references to the voluminous
literature which deals with Valdés and his brother Alfonso. An
historical essay by Manuel Carrasco, published at Geneva in 1880, is
interesting as the work of a modern Spanish Protestant.

                             CHAPTER VIII

The Marqués de la Fuensanta del Valle's edition of Lope de Rueda
(1894) lacks an introduction, but it is in other respects as good
as possible. D. Ángel Lasso de la Vega y Arguëlles has published a
_Historia y Juicio crítico de la Escuela Poética Sevillana_ (1871),
which is useful, and even exhaustive, though far too eulogistic in
tone. The Argensolas may be conveniently studied in Rivadeneyra, vol.
xlii., which is supplemented by the Conde de Viñaza's collection of the
_Poesías sueltas_ (1889). Minor dramatists still await republication.
Herrera is easiest read in Rivadeneyra, vol. xxxii.; M. Morel-Fatio's
critical edition of the Lepanto Ode (Paris, 1893) is of great merit,
and an essay on Herrera by M. Édouard Bourciez in the _Annales de
la Faculté des lettres de Bordeaux_ (1891) is acute and suggestive.
Vicente de la Fuente is the editor of Santa Teresa's writings in
Rivadeneyra, vols. liii. and lv. The biography by Mrs. Cunninghame
Graham (1894), a work both learned and picturesque, presents rather the
woman of genius than the canonised saint. The text of the remaining
mystics will, with few exceptions, be found in Rivadeneyra, vols. vi.,
viii., ix., xxvii., and xxxii. The lesser lights exist only in editions
of great rarity.

Torre's verses are most accessible in Velázquez' edition (1753). Of
Figueroa there is no recent reprint, though a poor selection is offered
by Rivadeneyra, vol. xlii., which also includes Rufo Gutiérrez' minor
verse: his _Austriada_ is given in vol. xxix., and Ercilla's _Araucana_
in vol. xvii. The _Catálogo razonado biográfico y bibliográfico_ of
the Portuguese authors who wrote in Spanish is due (1890) to Domingo
García Peres. The Barcelona reprint (1886) of Montemôr is easily found:
Professor Hugo Albert Rennert's monograph, _The Spanish Pastoral
Romances_ (Baltimore, 1892), is extremely thorough. Zurita is best read
in the _princeps_. A new edition of Mendoza's _Guerra de Granada_ is
urgently called for, and is now being passed through the press by M.
Foulché-Delbosc. Mendoza's burlesque of Silva will be found in Paz y
Melia's _Sales Españolas_ (1890).

                              CHAPTER IX

Henceforward the task of the bibliographer is lighter; for, though
Cervantes, Lope, and later writers are the subjects of an enormous
mass of literature, and are reprinted in editions out of number, it
will only be necessary to name the most important. The twelve quartos
which form the _Obras Completas_ (1863-64) of Cervantes are open to
much damaging criticism; but they contain all his writings, except the
conjectural pieces gathered together by D. Adolfo de Castro in his
_Varias obras inéditas de Cervantes_ (1874). For a most exhaustive
bibliography of Cervantes' writings (Barcelona, 1895) we are indebted
to the late D. Leopoldo Rius y Llosellas: a posthumous volume is
to follow, but even in its present incomplete state Rius' book is
worth more than all previous attempts put together. Editions of _Don
Quixote_ abound, and of these Diego Clemencín's (1833-39) deserves
special mention for its very learned commentary. A new edition, in
course of issue by Mr. David Nutt (1898), presents a text freed from
arbitrary emendations which have crept in without authority. Fernández
de Navarrete's biography (1819) is still unequalled. Shelton's early
English version (1612-20) has been reprinted by Mr. Henley in his
series of _Tudor Translations_ (1896). Of later renderings John
Ormsby's (1885) is much the best, and is prefaced by a very judicious
account of Cervantes and his work. Duffield (1881) and Mr. H. E. Watts
(1894) have translated _Don Quixote_ in a spirit of enthusiasm. The
_Numancia_ (1885) and _Viaje del Parnaso_ (1883) were both admirably
rendered by the late James Young Gibson. Sr. Menéndez y Pelayo's paper
on Avellaneda appeared in _Los Lunes de El Imparcial_ (February 15,

The _Obras_ of Lope, now printing under the editorship of D. Marcelino
Menéndez y Pelayo, will be definitive; but as yet only eight quartos
(including Barrera's _Nueva Biografía_) are available. Lope's _Obras
sueltas_ (1776-79) fill twenty-one volumes; but the best reference
for readers is to Rivadeneyra, vols. xxiv., xxxv., xxxvii., xli.,
and xlii., where Lope is incompletely but sufficiently exhibited.
M. Arturo Farinelli's _Grillparzer und Lope de Vega_ (Berlin, 1894)
is most excellent. Edmund Dorer's _Die Lope-de-Vega Litteratur in
Deutschland_ (1877) is a praiseworthy compilation. Ormsby's article in
the _Quarterly Review_ (October 1894) is, as might be expected from
him, most exact and learned. I am especially indebted to it.

As to the picaresque novels, _Guzmán_ is in Rivadeneyra, vol. iii.;
the _Pícara Justina_ in vol. xxxiii., and _Marcos de Obregón_ in vol.
xviii. A thoughtful and appreciative study on Mateo Alemán has been
privately printed at Seville (1892) by D. Joaquín Hazañas y la Rua.
Antonio Pérez and Ginés Pérez de Hita are to be read in Rivadeneyra,
vols. xiii. and iii.: Mariana fills vols. xxx. and xxxi., but the two
noble folios of 1780 are in every way preferable.

                               CHAPTER X

The early editions of Góngora are named in the text; Rivadeneyra,
vol. xxxii., reprints him in unsatisfactory fashion, but there is
nothing better. Forty-nine inedited pieces by Góngora have been
recently published by Professor Rennert in the _Revue hispanique_,
vol. iv. Churton's essay on Góngora (1862) is learned, spirited, and
interesting. Villamediana figures in Rivadeneyra's forty-second volume:
D. Emilio Cotarelo y Mori's minute and judicious study (1886) is
extremely important. Lasso de la Vega's monograph, already cited, on
the Sevillan school, should be consulted for the poets of that group.
Villegas and the minor poets may be read in Rivadeneyra, vol. xlii.
Rioja has been admirably edited by Barrera (1867), who has supplied
a most scholarly biography and bibliography: the additional poems
issued in 1872 are more curious than valuable. Quevedo's prose works
were edited by Aureliano Fernández-Guerra y Orbe with great skill
and accuracy in Rivadeneyra, vols. xxiii. and xlviii.; his verse has
been printed in vol. lxix. by Florencio Janer, who was not the man
for the task. The new and complete edition, issued by the Sociedad de
Bibliófilos Andaluces, and edited by D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo,
promises to be admirable, and will include much new matter—for
instance, a pure text of the _Buscón_. As yet but one volume (1898)
has been issued to subscribers. M. Ernest Mérimée, the author of an
excellent monograph on Quevedo (1886), has given us a critical edition
of Castro's _Mocedades del Cid_ (Toulouse, 1890). Vélez de Guevara and
Montalbán are exampled in Rivadeneyra, vol. xlv.: the prose of the
former is in vol. xviii.

Hartzenbusch's twelve-volume edition of Tirso de Molina (1839-42) is
incomplete, but it is greatly superior to the selection in Rivadeneyra,
vol. v. D. Emilio Cotarelo y Mori's monograph on Tirso (1893)
contains many new facts, stated with great precision and lucidity.
Hartzenbusch's edition of Ruiz de Alarcón in Rivadeneyra, vo. xx., is
the best and fullest.

Calderón's editions are numerous, but none are really good. Keil's
(Leipzig, 1827) is the most complete; Hartzenbusch's, which fills
vols. vii., ix., xii., and xiv. of Rivadeneyra, is the easiest to
obtain, and is sufficient for most purposes. Mr. Norman MacColl's
_Select Plays of Calderon_ (1888) deserves special mention for its
excellent introduction and judicious notes. M. Morel-Fatio's edition
of _El Mágico Prodigioso_ is a model of skill and accuracy. Two small
collections of Calderón's verse were published at Cádiz, 1845, and
at Madrid, 1881. Archbishop Trench's monograph (1880) and Miss E.
J. Hasell's study (1879) are deservedly well known. D. Marcelino
Menéndez y Pelayo's lectures, _Calderón y su Teatro_ (1881) are full of
sound, impartial criticism. Friedrich Wilhelm Valentin Schmidt's _Die
Schauspiele Calderon's_ (Elberfeld, 1857) maintains its place by virtue
of its sound and sympathetic criticism. The history of the _autos_ is
fully given by Eduardo González Pedroso in Rivadeneyra, vol. lviii.
Edmund Dorer's _Die Calderon-Litteratur in Deutschland_ (Leipzig, 1881)
is useful and unpretending. D. Antonio Sánchez Moguel's study (1881) of
the relation between the _Mágico Prodigioso_ and Goethe's _Faust_ is
learned and ingenious, and D. Antonio Rubió y Lluch's _Sentimiento del
Honor en el Teatro de Calderón_ (Barcelona, 1882) is a very suggestive

The select plays of Rojas Zorrilla and Moreto are contained in
Rivadeneyra, vols. xxxix. and liv. There exists no good edition of
Gracián: Carl Borinski's study entitled _Baltasar Gracián und die
Hoflitteratur in Deutschland_ (Halle, 1894) is a very commendable book,
and M. Arturo Farinelli's criticism in the _Revista crítica_, vol.
ii., is not only learned, but is warm in its appreciation of Gracián's
perverse talent.

                              CHAPTER XI

An almost complete record of eighteenth-century literature is supplied
by Sr. D. Leopoldo Augusto de Cueto, Marqués de Valmar, in his
_Histórica Crítica de la poesía castellana en el siglo XVIII._ (1893),
a revised and augmented edition of the classic preface to Rivadeneyra,
vols. lxi., lxiii., and lxvii. D. Emilio Cotarelo y Mori's invaluable
_Iriarte y su época_ (1897) sheds much light on the literary history of
the period, and D. Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo's _Historia de las Ideas
estéticas en España_ (vol. iii. part ii., 1886) should be read as a
complement to all other works. Antonio María Alcalá Galiano's _Historia
de la literatura española, francesa, inglesa, é italiano en el siglo
XVIII._ (1845) is acute, but somewhat obsolete. I should recommend as
an honest, useful monograph the life of Sarmiento published under the
title of _El Gran Gallego_ (La Coruña, 1895) by D. Antolín López Peláez.

                         CHAPTERS XII AND XIII

The only summary of the period is Padre Francisco Blanco García's
_Literatura Española en el siglo XIX._ (1891): it is extremely
uncritical, and is marred by violent personal prejudices intemperately
expressed. But it has the merit of existing, and embodies useful
information in the way of facts. Gustave Hubbard's _Histoire de la
littérature contemporaine en Espagne_ (1876) and Boris de Tannenberg's
_La Poésie castellane contemporaine_ (1892) are pleasant but slight.
Pedro de Novo y Colsón's _Autores dramáticos contemporaneos y joyas del
teatro español del siglo XIX._ (1881-85), with a preface by Antonio
Cánovas del Castillo, is conscientiously put together, and will be
found very serviceable.


[32] Unless otherwise stated, it is to be understood that, of the books
named in this list, the Spanish are issued at Madrid, the English at
London, and the French at Paris.


  Abarbanel, Judas, 131, 219

  Abraham ben David, 19

  Acuña, Fernando de, 149-150

  Adenet le Roi, 41

  _Alabanza de Mahoma_, 20

  Alarcón, Pedro Antonio de, 381-382

  Alas, Leopoldo, 391-392

  Alba, Bartolomé, 257

  Alcalá, Alfonso de, 130

  Alcalá y Herrera, Alonso de, 338

  Alcázar, Baltasar de, 176

  Alemán, Mateo, 264-267

  _Alexander, Letters of_, 63, 65

  _Alexandre, Libro de_, 62, 63, 65

  Alfonso II. of Aragón, 28, 29

  Alfonso the Learned, 28, 30, 38, 60, 63-72

  Alfonso XI., 85

  _Aljamía_, 19-20

  Altamira y Crevea, Rafael, 398

  _Altobiskarko Cantua_, 2

  Al-Tufail, 12

  Álvarez de Ayllón, Pero, 165

  Álvarez de Cienfuegos, Nicasio, 359

  Álvarez de Toledo, Gabriel, 346

  Álvarez de Villasandino, Alfonso, 26, 31

  Álvarez Gato, Juan, 112

  _Amadís de Gaula_, 91, 97, 106, 123-124

  _Amadís de Grecia_, 106, 157

  Amador de los Ríos, José, 34, 43, 107

  Amalteo, Giovanni Battista, 186

  _Anales Toledanos_, 62

  Andújar, Juan de, 109

  Ángeles, Juan de los, 202

  Ángulo y Pulgar, Martín de, 291

  _Anséïs de Carthage_, 41

  Antonio, Nicolás, 343

  _Apolonio, Libro de_, 20, 30, 38, 53-54

  Arab influence, 14-19

  Arévalo, Faustino, 11

  Argensola. _See_ Leonardo de Argensola

  Argote, Juan de, 280

  Argote y Góngora, Luis, 143, 233, 250, 270, 276, 279-294

  Arguijo, Juan de, 298

  Arias Montano, Benito, 181, 202-203, 272

  Artieda. _See_ Rey de Artieda

  Asenjo Barbieri, Francisco, 19, 131, 250

  Avellaneda. _See_ Fernández de Avellaneda

  Avellaneda. _See_ Gómez de Avellaneda

  Avempace, 12

  Avendaño, Francisco de, 170

  Averroes, 12

  Avicebron, 11, 17, 18

  Ávila, Juan de, 161

  Ávila y Zúñiga, Luis, 156

  _Avilés, Fuero de_, 24

  Axular, Pedro de, 3

  Ayala. _See_ López de Ayala

  Azémar, Guilhem, 36

  Baena, Juan Alfonso de, 95, 96

  Baist, Professor, 82

  Balbus, 5

  Balmes y Uspia, Jaime, 382

  Bances Candamo, Francisco Antonio, 335

  Barahona de Soto, Luis, 189, 270

  Barcelo, Francisco, 118

  _Barlaam and Josaphat, Legend of_, 83, 96

  Barrera y Leirado, Cayetano Alberto de la, 242, 244

  Barrientos, Lope de, 95

  Basque influence, 3-4

  Baudouin, Jean, 233

  Bavia, Luis de, 286

  Bechada, Grégoire de, 72

  Bécquer, Gustavo Adolfo, 377-378

  Bédier, M. Joseph, 16

  _Belianís de Grecia_, 158

  Belmonte y Bermúdez, Luis, 314

  Bembo, Pietro, 144

  Berague, Pedro de, 87

  Berceo, Gonzalo de, 27, 28, 29, 57-61

  Beristain de Souza Fernández de Lara, José Mariano, 257

  Bermúdez, Gerónimo, 173

  Bernáldez, Andrés, 127

  Blanco, José María, 367-368

  Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente, 395

  _Bocados de Oro._ See _Bonium_

  Böhl de Faber, Cecilia. _See_ Caballero

  Böhl de Faber, Johan Nikolas, 203

  Böhmer, Eduard, 162

  Bonilla, Alonso de, 299

  _Bonium_, 63, 73

  Boscán Almogaver, Juan, 136-141, 143

  Bouterwek, Friedrich, 289

  Braulius, St., 10

  Bretón de los Herreros, Manuel, 374

  Burke, Edmund, 124

  Byron, Lord, 230, 313, 370

  Caballero, Fernán, 380-381, 389

  Cabanyes, Manuel de, 372

  _Cabo roto, Versos de_, 228, 268

  Cáceres y Espinosa, Pedro de, 153

  Cadalso y Vázquez, José de, 355

  Calanson, Guirauld de, 36

  Calderón de la Barca Henao de la Barreda y Riaño, Pedro, 85, 136, 225,
  250, 256, 261, 276, 317-332

  Camões, Luis de, 115, 177, 203, 270

  Campoamor y Campoosorio, Ramón de, 383-386

  Camus, Jean-Pierre, 289

  _Cancioneiro Portuguez da Vaticana_, 30, 71

  _Cancionero de Baena_, 30, 33, 96-98

  _Cancionero de burlas_, 109, 112, 124

  _Cancionero de Linares_, 15

  _Cancionero de Lope de Stúñiga_, 34

  _Cancionero General_, 109

  _Cancionero Musical_, 119, 122, 131

  Cañizares, José de, 345

  Cano, Alonso, 276

  Cano, Melchor, 200

  _Cantilenas_, 24-25

  _Canzoniere Colocci-Brancuti_, 123

  Carlos Quinto, 142, 149

  Caro, Rodrigo, 249

  Carrillo, Alonso, 65, 114

  Carrillo y Sotomayor, Luis de, 282-284

  Carvajal, 34, 110

  Carvajal, Miguel de, 165, 172

  Casas, Bartolomé de las, 156

  Cascales, Francisco de, 291, 293

  Castellanos, Juan de, 192

  Castellví, Francisco de, 118

  _Castilla, Crónica de_, 103

  Castilla, Francisco de, 153

  Castillejo, Cristóbal de, 151-152, 165

  Castillo Solórzano, Alonso de, 338

  Castro, Adolfo de, 299

  Castro y Bellvis, Guillén de, 305-306

  Cecchi, Giovanni Maria, 168

  _Celestina_, 107, 120, 125-126

  _Centón Epistolario_, 272

  Cepeda y Guzmán, Carlos, 320

  Cervantes de Salazar, Francisco, 154

  Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 180, 215-241, 249, 253, 267, 268, 276,
  278, 289, 350

  Céspedes y Meneses, Gonzalo de, 338

  Cetina, Gutierre de, 148-149

  Chaves, Cristóbal de, 235

  Chivalresque novels, 157-158

  Churton, Edward, 178, 281, 282-283, 286, 290, 319-320

  _Cid, Crónica del_, 103

  _Cid, Poema del_, 24, 25, 40, 46-51

  Cienfuegos. _See_ Álvarez de Cienfuegos

  Civillar, Pedro de, 118

  Claramonte y Corroy, Andrés, 309

  Claude, Bishop, 10

  Clavijo. _See_ González de Clavijo

  Clavijo y Fajardo, José, 360

  _Cobos, El Padre_, 377

  Cobos, Francisco de los, 179

  Coloma, Luis, 394

  Columbarius, Julius, 251

  Columbus, Christopher, 12, 127-128

  Columella, Lucius Junius Moderatus, 8

  Concepción, Juan de la, 346

  _Conceptismo_, 299-300

  Contreras, Juana de, 129

  Córdoba, Martín de, 68

  Córdoba, Sebastián de, 207

  Corneille, Pierre, 306, 345

  Corneille, Thomas, 313, 335

  Cornu, Professor, 86

  Coronado, Carolina, 375

  Coronel, Pablo, 130

  Corral, Pedro de, 93

  Corte Real, Jerónimo, 203

  Cortés, Hernán, 157

  Cota de Maguaque, Rodrigo de, 110, 120-121

  Cotarelo y Mori, Emilio, 122, 309, 398

  Covarrubias y Horozco, Sebastián, 344

  Croce, Benedetto, 126

  _Crotalón, El_, 303

  Cruz, San Juan de la, 182, 198-200

  Cruz y Cano, Ramón de la, 360-361

  Cubillo de Aragón, Álvaro, 335

  Cuello, Antonio, 335

  _Cuestión de Amor_, 126-127

  Cueva de la Garoza, Juan de la, 171-173

  _Culteranismo_, 283-285

  Cunninghame Graham, Mrs., 193

  Damasus, St., 8-9

  _Danza de la Muerte_, 87-88

  Dascanio, Jusquin, 131

  Davidson, Mr. John, 70

  _Debate entre el Agua y el Vino_, 55

  Dechepare, Bernard, 3

  Defoe, Daniel, 228

  Diamante, Juan Bautista, 345

  _Diario de los Literatos de España_, 348

  Díaz del Castillo, Bernal, 157

  Díaz Gámez, Gutierre, 105, 106, 347

  Díaz Tanco de Fregenal, Vasco, 164

  _Diez Mandamientos_, 62

  Diniz, King of Portugal, 28, 38

  _Disputa del Alma y el Cuerpo_, 55

  Dobson, Mr. Austin, 15, 251

  _Doce Sabios, Libro de los_, 63

  Dominicus Gundisalvi, 19

  Donoso Cortés, Juan, 382

  D'Ouville, Antoine Le Métel, 263, 332

  Dryden, John, 192, 264, 332

  Ducas, Demetrio, 130

  Duhalde, Louis, 2

  Durán, Agustín, 93, 264

  Echegaray, José, 376, 395

  Encina, Juan del, 111, 121-123, 130, 135

  _Enrique IV., Crónica de_, 117

  Enríquez del Castillo, Diego, 117

  Enríquez Gómez, Antonio, 338

  Ercilla y Zúñiga, Alonso de, 3, 184, 190-192

  _Ermitaño, Revelación de un_, 88

  Escobar, Juan de, 34

  Escobar, Luis de, 154

  Escribá, Comendador de, 319

  Espinosa, Pedro de, 189, 270, 279

  Espinosa Medrano, Juan de, 291

  Espronceda, José de, 368-372

  Esquilache, Príncipe de (Francisco de Borja), 299

  Estébanez Calderón, Serafín, 379-380

  _Estebanillo González, Vida y Hechos de_, 338

  Eugenius, St., 10

  Eulogius, St., 18

  Eximenis, Francisco, 107

  Fadrique, the Infante, 72, 78

  Fanshawe, Richard, 314

  Faria y Sousa, Manuel, 185, 288-289

  Farinelli, M. Arturo, 265, 312

  Feijóo y Montenegro, Benito Gerónimo, 349

  Ferdinand, St., 35, 62, 63

  _Fernán González, Poema de_, 35

  Fernández, Lucas, 122

  Fernández de Andrado, Pedro, 299

  Fernández de Avellaneda, Alonso, 238-240, 350

  Fernández de Moratín, Leandro, 361-362

  Fernández de Moratín, Nicolás Martín, 354

  Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, González, 156

  Fernández de Palencia, Alfonso, 117, 130

  Fernández de Toledo, Garci, 68

  Fernández de Villegas, Pedro, 118, 130

  Fernández-Guerra y Orbe, Aureliano, 24, 172, 299

  Fernández Vallejo, Felipe, 44

  Ferreira, Antonio, 173

  Ferrús, Pero, 97

  Figueroa, Francisco de, 187

  FitzGerald, Edward, 323, 324, 325, 326, 331, 332

  Flamini, Professor, 139

  Flaubert, Gustave, 313

  _Florisando_, 157

  _Florisel de Niquea_, 106, 157

  Forner, Juan Pablo, 357

  Foulché-Delbosc, M. R., 120, 193, 210

  French influence, 35-42

  Frere, John Hookham, 59

  Froude, James Anthony, 196-197

  Fuentes, Alonso de, 33, 65

  _Fuero Juzgo_, 62

  Furtado de Mendoza, Diego, 28

  Gallego, Juan Nicasio, 365

  Gallinero, Manuel, 348

  Gálvez de Montalvo, Luis, 207, 216

  Garay, Blasco de, 171

  Garay de Monglave, François Eugène, 2

  García Arrieta, Agustín, 237

  García Asensio, Miguel, 356

  García de la Huerta y Muñoz, Vicente Antonio, 355-356

  García de Santa María, Álvar, 102, 108

  García Gutiérrez, Antonio, 374

  Gareth, Benedetto, 131

  Garnett, Dr. Richard, 344

  _Gatos, Libro de los_, 96

  Gautier de Coinci, 60, 61

  Gayangos, Pascual de, 24, 83

  Gentil, Bertomeu, 131

  Geraldino, Alessandro, 129

  Geraldino, Antonio, 129

  Giancarli, Gigio Arthenio, 168

  Gibson, James Young, 222, 223, 224, 253, 278, 304

  Girard d'Amiens, 41

  Girón, Diego, 176, 179

  Goethe, Johan Wolfgang von, 221, 230, 323

  Goizcueta, José María, 2

  Gómara. _See_ López de Gómara

  Gómez, 26, 74

  Gómez, Álvar, 118, 131

  Gómez, Ambrosio, 58

  Gómez, Pero, 65, 74

  Gómez de Avellaneda, Gertrudis, 374-375

  Gómez de Cibdareal, Fernán, 272

  Gómez de Quevedo y Villegas, Francisco, 96, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187,
  228, 270, 277, 291, 300-305, 308, 345

  Góngora. _See_ Argote y Góngora

  González, Diego Tadeo, 359

  González de Ávila, Gil, 272

  González de Clavijo, Ruy, 105

  González de Mendoza, Pedro, 28

  González Llanos, Rafael, 24

  Gosse, Mr. Edmund, 15, 231, 344, 387

  Gower, John (the first English author translated into Castilian), 98

  Gracián, Baltasar, 338-340

  _Gran Conquista de Ultramar_, 72

  Granada, Luis de, 200-202

  Grant Duff, Sir M. E., 338

  Grillparzer, Franz, 265

  Grosseteste, Robert, 54

  Guarda, Estevam del, 30

  Guerra y Ribera, Manuel de, 327

  Guevara, 119

  Guevara, Antonio de, 154-156

  Guevara, Luis. _See_ Vélez Guevara

  Guillén de Segovia, Pedro, 116

  Hadrian, 5, 6

  Hammen, Lorenzo van der, 303

  Hardy, Alexandre, 263

  Haro, Conde de, 179

  Haro, Luis de, 152

  Hartzenbusch, Juan Eugenio, 96, 174, 374

  Hebreo, León. _See_ Abarbanel

  Hellowes, Edward, 155

  Henley, Mr. William Ernest, 15

  Henricus Seynensis, 19

  Herbert, George, 162

  Heredia, José Maria, 157

  Hernández, Alonso, 132

  Herrera, Fernando, 138, 146, 149, 176-180, 281, 282

  Hervás y Cobo de la Torre, José Gerardo de, 348-349

  Hervás y Panduro, Lorenzo, 362

  Hoces y Córdoba, Gonzalo de, 281

  Holland, Lord, 254, 256, 265

  Hosius, 9

  Hübner, Baron Emil, 8

  Huete, Jaime de, 165

  Hurtado, Luis, 124, 165

  Hurtado de Mendoza, Antonio, 314

  Hurtado de Mendoza, Diego, 139, 148, 150-151, 189, 208-210, 235

  Hussain ibn Ishāk, 63, 73

  Huysmans, M. Joris-Karl, 197

  Hyginus, Gaius Julius, 4

  Ibn Hazm, 12, 18

  Icazbalceta, Joaquín García, 190

  Iglesias de la Casa, José, 359

  Imperial, Francisco, 97-98, 137

  Iñíguez de Medrano, Julio, 233

  _Iranzo y Crónica del Condestable Miguel Lucas_, 117, 167

  Iriarte y Oropesa, Tomás de, 3, 268, 356-357

  Isaac the Martyr, 18

  Isidore, St., 10

  Isidore Pacensis, 11

  Isla, Francisco José de, 351-354

  Jáuregui y Aguilar, Juan de, 288, 298, 307

  Jiménez de Cisneros, Francisco, 130

  Jiménez de Rada, Rodrigo, 62, 67, 68

  Jiménez Patón, Bartolomé, 285, 295

  Johnson, Samuel, 124, 138

  _José, Poema de._ _See_ Yusuf

  Josephus, 150

  Jove-Llanos, Gaspar Melchor de, 357-358

  _Juan II., Crónica de_, 100-101

  Juan Manuel, 16, 80-85

  Judah ben Samuel the Levite, 12, 14, 17, 43

  _Juglares_, 26-31

  Juvencus, Vettius Aquilinus, 8

  _Kabbala_, the, 13

  _Kalilah and Dimnah_, 65, 71, 78

  Killigrew, Thomas, 332

  Lafayette, Madame de, 269

  Lamberto, Alfonso, 239

  Landor, Walter Savage, 228

  Larra, Mariano José de, 96, 97, 378-379

  Latini, Brunetto, 65

  Latrocinius, 9

  _Lazarillo de Tormes_, 80, 158-160

  Ledesma, Francisco, 166

  Ledesma Buitrago, Alonso de, 299

  _Leloaren Cantua_, 1-2

  Lena. _See_ Rodríguez de Lena

  León, Luis Ponce de, 180-184, 194, 195

  León y Mansilla, José, 346

  Leonardo de Albión, Gabriel, 277

  Leonardo de Argensola, Bartolomé, 276-279

  Leonardo de Argensola, Lupercio, 175-176, 276-278

  Lesage, 42, 85, 269, 307, 354

  Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, 350, 351

  L'Estrange, Roger, 304

  Lewes, George Henry, 265

  Licinianus, 10

  Lidforss, Professor, 43

  Lista, Alberto, 169, 368

  _Lisuarte_, 157, 158

  Llaguno y Amírola, Eugenio, 347

  Lo Frasso, Antonio, 207

  Loaysa, Jofre de, 68

  Lobeira, Joham, 123, 153

  Lobo, Eugenio Gerardo, 346

  Lockhart, James Gibson, 93

  Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 115, 328

  Lope de Moros, 55, 57

  Lope de Vega. _See_ Vega Carpio

  López de Aguilar Coutiño. _See_ Columbarius

  López de Ayala, Adelardo, 375-376

  López de Ayala, Pero, 3, 74, 88-92

  López de Cartagena, Diego, 130

  López de Corelas, Alonso, 154

  López de Gómara, Francisco, 157

  López de Sedano, José, 175, 187, 268

  López de Toledo, Diego, 130

  López de Úbeda, Francisco. _See_ Pérez, Andrés

  López de Úbeda, Juan, 271

  López de Vicuña, Juan, 280-281

  López de Villalobos, Francisco, 130, 154

  Lorenzana y Buitrón, Francisco Antonio, 11

  Lorenzo Segura de Astorga, Juan, 63

  Loyola, St. Ignacio, 3, 193

  Lucan, 4, 8

  Lucena, Juan de, 107, 108

  Luján de Sayavedra, Mateo. _See_ Martí

  Lull, Ramón, 73, 82

  Luna, Álvaro de, 28

  _Luna, Crónica de Álvaro de_, 102-103

  Luzán Claramunt de Suelves y Gurrea, Ignacio, 346-348

  M'Carthy, Denis Florence, 328-329

  MacColl, Mr. Norman, 320

  Macías, 96-97, 119

  _Magos, Misterio de los Reyes_, 24, 35, 43-46

  Mahomat-el-Xartosse, 20

  Maimonides, 12-14

  Máinez, Ramón León, 239

  Mairet, Jean, 263

  Malara, Juan de, 170-171, 176

  Maldonado, López, 219, 243

  Malón de Chaide, Pedro, 202

  Manrique, Gómez, 112-114, 254

  Manrique, Jorge, 114-116, 119, 227

  Maragall, Joan, 397

  Marcabru, 30

  March, Auzías, 12, 136, 145

  Marche, Olivier de la, 149

  Marcus Aurelius, 5

  María de Jesús de Ágreda, Sor, 340

  María del Cielo, Sor, 346

  _María Egipciacqua, Vida de Santa_, 38, 54

  Mariana, Juan de, 63, 272-274, 276

  Marineo, Lucio, 129

  Martí, Juan, 267

  Martial, 5, 6

  Martin of Dumi, St., 10

  Martínez, Fernán, 67

  Martínez de la Rosa, Francisco, 365-366

  Martínez de Medina, Gonzalo, 98

  Martínez de Toledo, Alfonso, 107

  Martínez Salafranca, Juan, 348

  Martyr, Peter, 128

  Matos Fragoso, Juan de, 220, 335

  Mayáns y Siscar, Gregorio, 350, 352

  Medina, Francisco, 179

  Medrano, Lucía, 129

  Mela, Pomponius, 8

  Meléndez Valdés, Juan, 358-359

  Melo, Francisco Manuel de, 336

  Mena, Juan de, 100-102

  Mendoza, Íñigo de, 118

  Menéndez Pidal, Ramón, 32, 51, 398

  Menéndez y Pelayo, Marcelino, 37, 38, 117, 179, 239, 288, 311, 336,
  345, 372, 397-398

  Meres, Francis, 201

  Mérimée, Ernest, 359

  Mesonero Romanos, Ramón de, 380

  Mexía, Hernán, 112

  Mexía, Pedro, 156

  Michaëlis de Vasconcellos, Mme., 86, 148

  Milá y Fontanals, Manuel, 35, 38, 372

  Milton, John, 346, 355

  _Mingo Revulgo, Coplas de_, 111

  Mira de Amescua, Antonio, 307, 314

  Miranda, Luis de, 169

  Molière, 42, 258, 313, 334, 345, 361

  Molina, Argote de, 81, 101

  Molinos, Miguel de, 341-342

  Moncada, Francisco de, 336

  Mondéjar, Marqués de, 343

  Montalbán. _See_ Pérez de Montalbán

  Montalvo. _See_ Ordóñez de Montalvo

  Montemôr, Jorge, 115, 203-206

  Montesino, Ambrosio, 118

  Monti, Giulio, 354

  Montiano y Luyando, Agustín, 344

  Montoro, Antón de, 111, 112

  Moraes, Francisco de, 124

  Morales, Ambrosio de, 208

  Moratín. _See_ Fernández de Moratín

  Morel-Fatio, M. Alfred, 55, 96, 158, 378

  Moreto y Cavaña, Agustín, 261, 333-335

  Morley, Mr. John, 340

  Mosquera de Figueroa, Cristóbal, 179, 226

  Muhammad Rabadán, 20

  Munday, Anthony, 158

  Muñón, Sancho, 126

  Muntaner, Ramón, 336

  Naharro, Pedro, 169, 212

  Nahman, Moses ben, 13-14

  Nájera, Esteban de, 34, 152, 270

  Nasarre y Férruz, Blas Antonio, 350

  Navagiero, Andrea, 136, 137

  Navarro, Miguel, 348

  Nebrija, Antonio de, 93, 130

  Nebrija, Francisca de, 129

  Nieremberg, Juan Eusebio, 340

  Nifo, Francisco Mariano, 319

  North, Thomas, 155

  Nucio, Martín, 34, 270

  Núñez, Hernán, 130, 154, 171

  Núñez de Arce, Gaspar, 395-396

  Núñez de Villaizán, Juan, 91

  Obregón, Antonio, 131

  Ocampo, Florián de, 156

  Ocaña, Francisco de, 271

  Ochoa, Juan, 395

  Odo of Cheriton, 96

  Olid, Juan de, 117

  Oliva. _See_ Pérez de Oliva

  Oller y Moragas, Narcís, 395

  Omerique, Hugo de, 343

  Oña, Pedro de, 192

  Ordóñez de Montalvo, García, 123-124

  Ormsby, John, 50

  Orosius, Paulus, 9-10

  Ortiz, Agustín, 165

  Oudin, César, 233

  Oviedo. _See_ Fernández de Oviedo

  Pacheco, Francisco, 170, 179

  Padilla, Juan de, 119

  Padilla, Pedro de, 216, 219, 243

  Paez de Ribera, 157

  Paez de Ribera, Ruy, 98

  Palacio Valdés, Armando, 392-393

  Palacios Rubios, Juan López de Vivero, 154

  Palau, Bartolomé, 172

  Palencia. _See_ Fernández de Palencia

  _Palmerín de Inglaterra_, 158

  _Palmerín de Oliva_, 158

  _Panadera, Coplas de la_, 101

  Paravicino y Arteaga, Hortensio Félix, 297, 319

  Pardo Bazán, Emilia, 22, 393-394

  Paredes, Alfonso de, 65

  Paris, M. Gaston, 72

  Patmore, Coventry, 200

  Paulus Alvarus Cordubiensis, 17, 18

  Pellicer, Casiano, 318

  Pellicer de Salas y Tobar, José, 65, 95, 291, 308

  Per Abbat, 47

  Peralta Barnuevo, Pedro de, 345

  Pereda, José María de, 389-390

  Pérez, Alonso, 206

  Pérez, Andrés, 228, 239, 268

  Pérez, Antonio, 271-272

  Pérez, Suero, 68

  Pérez de Guzmán, Fernán, 103-104, 142

  Pérez de Hita, Ginés, 269-270

  Pérez de Montalbán, Juan, 307-308

  Pérez de Oliva, Fernando, 4, 154

  Pérez Galdós, Benito, 390-391

  Peseux-Richard, M. H., 384, 385

  Peter the Venerable, 21

  Petrus Alphonsus, 16, 78

  Phillips, Mr. Henry, 183

  Picaud, Aimeric, 36

  Pitillas, Jorge. _See_ Hervás y Cobo de la Torre

  _Platir, Crónica del muy valiente_, 158

  _Pleito del Manto_, 112, 121

  _Polindo_, 158

  Polo, Gaspar Gil, 206

  Ponce, Bartolomé, 207

  Ponte, Pero da, 38

  _Poridat de las Poridades_, 63

  Prete Jacopín. _See_ Haro, Conde de

  _Primaleón_, 158

  Priscillian, 9

  Proverbs, Spanish, 171

  _Provincial, Coplas del_, 110, 112, 117

  Prudentius, Clemens Aurelius, 6, 9

  Prudentius Galindus, 10

  Puig, Leopoldo Gerónimo, 348

  Pulgar, Hernando del, 111, 127

  Puymaigre, Comte de, 34, 58

  _Querellas, Libro de_, 65

  Quevedo. _See_ Gómez de Quevedo

  Quintana, Manuel José, 364-365

  Quintilian, 5, 6

  Racine, Jean, 345

  Raimundo, 19

  Ramírez de Prado, Lorenzo, 319

  Ramos del Manzano, Francisco, 343

  Ranieri, Antonio Francesco, 168

  Rasis, 91

  Rebolledo, Conde de, 299

  Remón, Alonso, 310

  Rennert, Professor, 206

  Resende, García de, 204

  Revilla, Manuel de la, 312, 376

  Rey de Artieda, Andrés, 173-174

  Reyes, Matías de los, 309

  Reyes, Pedro de los, 193

  Rhua, Pedro de, 155

  Ribas y Canfranc, José Ibero, 250

  Rioja, Francisco de, 299

  Rivas, Duque de, 366-367

  Rivers, Lord, 73

  Roca y Serna, Ambrosio, 297

  _Rodrigo, Cantar de_, 51-53

  Rodríguez de la Cámara, Juan, 96, 97, 119

  Rodríguez de Lena, Pero, 105

  Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Diego, 337-338

  Rodríguez Rubí, Tomás, 374

  _Rogel de Grecia_, 158

  Rojas, Agustín de, 211

  Rojas, Fernando de, 125-126

  Rojas Zorrilla, Francisco de, 95, 276, 307, 325, 333

  _Romancero General_, 33, 93, 270

  _Romances_, Spanish, 32-34

  Romero de Cepeda, Joaquín, 175

  Roswitha, 11

  Rotrou, Jean, 263

  Rowland, David, 159-160

  Rueda, Lope de, 166-169, 254, 261

  Rufo Gutiérrez, Juan, 189-190, 216

  Ruiz, Jacobo, 67

  Ruiz, Juan, 30, 76-80, 84, 107

  Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza, Juan, 95, 239, 256, 276, 315-317

  Sâ de Miranda, Francisco de, 148

  Saavedra Fajardo, Diego de, 336

  Salas Barbadillo, Alonso de, 270

  Salazar Mardones, Cristóbal de, 291

  Salazar y Hontiveros, José de, 345

  Salazar y Torres, Agustín de, 291-298

  Salcedo Coronel, García de, 291

  _Salomón, Proverbios en Rimo de_, 74, 91

  Samaniego, Félix María de, 356

  San Juan, Marqués de, 345

  Sánchez, Clemente, 96

  Sánchez, Francisco, 179

  Sánchez, Miguel, 184

  Sánchez, Tomás Antonio, 48, 58

  Sánchez de Badajoz, Garci, 119

  Sánchez de Tovar, Fernán, 91

  Sánchez Talavera, Ferrant, 91, 98

  Sancho IV., 72-73

  Sannazaro, Jacopo, 145

  Santillana, Marqués de, 15, 28, 33, 58, 79, 98-100, 119, 137

  Santisteban y Osorio, Diego, 192

  Sarmiento, Martín, 111, 349

  Sbarbi, José María, 171

  Scarron, Paul, 42, 269

  Schack, Adolf Friedrich von, 14, 323

  Schopenhauer, Arthur, 338

  Scott, Sir Walter, 270, 366

  Scudéry, Mlle. de, 269

  Secchi, Niccolò, 168

  Sedeño, Juan, 126

  Selgas y Carrasco, José, 377

  Sem Tob, 16, 87, 113

  Sempere, Hieronym, 124

  Seneca, the Elder, 4

  Seneca, the Younger, 4, 8, 10, 73, 176

  Sepúlveda, Lorenzo, 33

  Shakespeare, William, 205

  Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 46, 221, 321-322

  Sidney, Philip, 143, 205

  _Siete Partidas, Las_, 66-67

  Silva, Feliciano de, 126, 157, 158

  Silvestre, Gregorio, 115, 153

  Sisebut, 7

  Solís y Rivadeneira, Antonio de, 335-336

  Sordello, 35

  Sorel, Charles, 42, 269

  Spera-in-Deo, 21

  Stanley, Thomas, 140, 287

  Stúñiga, Lope de, 34, 109

  Suárez de Figueroa, Cristóbal, 315

  Tamayo y Baus, Manuel, 376-377

  Tansillo, Luigi, 132, 144

  Tapia, Juan de, 109

  Taylor, Jeremy, 198

  Téllez, Gabriel. _See_ Tirso de Molina

  Teresa, Santa, 182, 193-198, 301

  _Tesoro_, the, 65, 72

  Texeda, Jerónimo de, 206

  Theodolphus, Bishop, 10

  Thylesius, Antonius, 144

  Ticknor, George, 24, 65, 89, 118, 122, 137, 140, 154, 206, 242, 244,
  247, 249, 258, 259, 274, 285, 325, 348

  Timoneda, Juan de, 170

  Tirso de Molina, 174, 256, 261, 263, 267, 308-314, 315

  Todi, Jacopone da, 30, 118

  Torre, Alfonso de la, 108

  Torre, Francisco de la, 184-187

  Torrellas, Pero, 110, 112, 121

  Torres Naharro, Bartolomé, 132-135, 166, 168, 170, 254

  Torres Rámila, Pedro de, 251

  Torres y Villarroel, Diego de, 346

  Trajan, 5

  Tribaldos de Toledo, Luis, 187, 208, 296

  _Trovadores_, 26-31

  Trueba, Antonio, 389

  Turpin, Archbishop, 2

  Tuy, Lucas de, 67

  Urrea, Jerónimo de, 143

  Urrea, Pedro Manuel de, 120

  Valbuena, Antonio de, 391

  Valdés, Juan de, 126-127, 144, 161-164, 303

  Valdivielso, José de, 271

  Valencia, Pedro de, 287, 288

  Valera y Alcalá Galiano, Juan, 14, 384, 386-389

  Valerius, St., 110

  Valladolid, Juan de, 109, 111

  Valmar, Marqués de, 22

  Vanbrugh, John, 333

  Vaqueiras, Raimbaud de, 30, 43

  Varchi, Benedetto, 186

  Vázquez de Ciudad Rodrigo, Francisco, 158

  Vega, Alonso de, 169

  Vega, Bernardo de la, 227

  Vega, Garcilaso de la, 136, 138, 141-148, 178-179, 207

  Vega Carpio, Lope Félix de, 20, 97, 136, 175, 185, 189, 219, 225, 226,
  238, 239, 241-265, 270, 280, 350

  Velázquez. _See_ Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez

  Velázquez de Velasco, Luis José, 69, 185, 351

  Vélez de Guevara, Luis, 269, 276, 306-307

  Venegas de Henestrosa, Luis, 115

  Verdaguer, Jacinto, 397

  Vergara, Francisco de, 130

  Vergara, Juan de, 130

  Vicente, Gil, 135

  Vidal, Père, 36

  Vidal de Besalu, Ramón, 22, 29

  Vidal de Noya, Francisco, 129, 130

  _Verge María, Trobes en lahors de la_, 118

  Villalobos. _See_ López de Villalobos

  Villalón, Cristóbal de, 303

  Villamediana, Conde de, 276

  Villapando, Juan de, 100

  Villasandino. _See_ Álvarez de Villasandino

  Villegas, Antonio de, 152-153, 206

  Villegas, Esteban Manuel de, 298-299

  Villegas, Jerónimo, 130

  Villena, Enrique de, 94-96

  Villena, Marqués de, 343-344

  Virués, Cristóbal de, 170, 174-175, 254, 261

  Vives, Luis, 129, 182

  Voltaire, 191, 269, 315, 354

  Wey, William, 36

  Wiffen, Benjamin Barron, 163

  Wiffen, Jeremiah Holmes, 146

  Wycherley, William, 332

  Xavier, St. Francisco, 3, 193

  Yañez, Rodrigo, 86

  Yañez y Ribera, Gerónimo de Alcalá, 338

  Young, Bartholomew, 299

  _Yusuf, Poema de_, 20, 75

  Zamora, Alfonso de, 130

  Zamora, Egidio de, 68

  Zapata, Luis de, 190

  Zorrilla, José, 313, 372-374

  Zumárraga, Juan de, 190

  Zúñiga, Francesillo de, 155

  Zurita, Jerónimo, 207-208

                                THE END

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