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Title: History of Spanish Literature, vol. 3 (of 3).
Author: Ticknor, George
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  * Italics are denoted by underscores as in _italics_, and small caps
    are represented in upper case as in SMALL CAPS.

  * Obvious printer errors have been silently corrected.

  * Original spelling was kept, but variant spellings were made
    consistent when a predominant usage was found.

  * Notwithstanding, original Spanish text in the Appendices has been
    kept without any alteration, as found in the printed book.

  * Footnotes have been renumbered into a single series and placed at
    the end of the paragraph that includes each anchor.








  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by
  in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of





  Satirical Poetry                                3
  Mendoza, Boscan                                 3
  Castillejo, Montemayor                          4
  Padilla, Cantorál                               4
  Murillo, Artieda                                4
  Barahona de Soto                                4
  Juan de Jauregui                                4
  The Argensolas                                  5
  Quevedo, Góngora                                5
  Cervantes, Espinel                              6
  Arguijo, Rioja                                  6
  Salcedo, Ulloa, Melo                            6
  Rebolledo, Solís                                6
  Satire discouraged                              7
  Elegiac Poetry                                  8
  Garcilasso                                      8
  Figueroa, Silvestre                             9
  Cantorál, the Argensolas                        9
  Borja, Herrera                                  9
  Rioja, Quevedo                                  9
  Villegas                                        9
  Elegy does not succeed                          9
  Pastoral Poetry                                10
  Garcilasso, Boscan, Mendoza                    10
  Figueroa, Cantorál                             10
  Montemayor                                     10
  Saa de Miranda                                 10
  Polo, Balbuena                                 12
  Barahona de Soto                               12
  Padilla, Silvestre                             12
  Pedro de Enzinas                               12
  Morales, Tapia                                 13
  Balvas, Villegas                               13
  Carrillo, Esquilache                           13
  Quevedo, Espinosa                              13
  Soto de Roxas, Zarate                          13
  Ulloa, Los Reyes                               13
  Barrios, Inez de la Cruz                       13
  Pastorals successful                           14
  Epigrams, amatory                              14
  Maldonado, Silvestre                           15
  Villegas, Góngora                              15
  Camoens, Argensolas                            15
  Villegas, Quevedo                              15
  Esquilache                                     15
  Francisco de la Torre                          15
  Rebolledo                                      16
  Didactic Poetry                                17
  Earliest                                       17
  In the Cancioneros                             17
  Boscan, Silvestre, Mendoza                     17
  Guzman, Aldana, Rufo                           19
  Virues, Cantorál                               19
  Morillo, Salas                                 19
  Argensola, Artieda                             19
  Mesa, Espinel                                  19
  Juan de la Cueva                               20
  Pablo de Céspedes                              20
  Lope de Vega                                   22
  Rebolledo, Trapeza                             22
  Emblems                                        22
  Daza, Covarrubias                              22
  Descriptive Poetry                             23
  Dicastillo                                     23
  Didactic Poetry fails                          23



  Effect of the Romanceros                       25
  Lorenzo de Sepúlveda                           26
  Alonso de Fuentes                              27
  Juan de Timoneda                               29
  Pedro de Padilla                               30
  Juan de la Cueva                               31
  Ginés Perez de Hita                            31
  Hidalgo, Valdivielso                           31
  Lope de Vega                                   32
  Arellano                                       32
  Roca y Serna, Esquilache                       33
  Mendoza, Quevedo                               33
  Silva de Romances                              33
  Los Doce Pares                                 34
  Romancero del Cid                              34
  Primavera de Perez                             34
  Esquilache                                     35
  Silvestre, Montemayor                          35
  Espinel, Castillejo                            35
  Lopez de Maldonado                             35
  Góngora, Arteaga                               35
  Villamediana, Coronel                          35
  Cervantes, Lope de Vega                        36
  Fereira, Alarcon                               36
  Diego de la Chica                              36
  Universal Love of Ballads                      37



  Romances of Chivalry                           38
  Changed Taste                                  39
  Seen in Pastoral Fictions                      39
  Shepherd’s Life in Spain                       39
  Sannazaro in Italy                             40
  Montemayor                                     41
  His Diana Enamorada                            41
  Continued by Perez                             43
  And by Gil Polo                                44
  Antonio de Lo Frasso                           45
  Luis Galvez de Montalvo                        46
  His Fílida                                     46
  Cervantes                                      47
  Bartolomé de Enciso                            47
  Bovadilla                                      48
  Bernardo de la Vega                            48
  Lope de Vega                                   49
  Bernardo de Balbuena                           49
  His Siglo de Oro                               49
  Suarez de Figueroa                             50
  His Amaryllis and Pastor Fido                  50
  Adorno, Botelho                                51
  Quintana, Cuevas                               51
  Corral, Saavedra                               51
  Popularity of Pastorals                        52
  Their Incongruities                            53
  Their Foundation                               54
  Their Failure                                  54



  Their Origin                                   55
  Military Life                                  56
  Contempt for honest Labor                      56
  Feeling of the lower Classes                   57
  The Pícaros                                    58
  Lazarillo de Tórmes                            58
  Mateo Aleman                                   59
  His Guzman de Alfarache                        59
  Spurious Second Part                           61
  Genuine Second Part                            61
  Andreas Perez                                  66
  His Pícara Justina                             67
  Drama and Short Tales                          67
  Vicente Espinel                                67
  His Marcos de Obregon                          68
  Yañez y Rivera                                 71
  His Alonso                                     71
  Quevedo, Solorzano                             72
  Enriquez Gomez                                 73
  Estevanillo Gonzalez                           74
  Success of Pícaro Stories                      75



  Early Specimens                                76
  Juan de Flores                                 77
  Nuñez de Reinoso                               77
  Luzindaro y Medusina                           77
  Hierónimo de Contreras                         78
  Relations with Italy and Algiers               79
  Ginés Perez de Hita                            79
  His Guerras de Granada                         79
  Not imitated                                   84
  La Cryselia de Lidaceli                        86
  Benito Remigio Noydens                         86
  Gonzalo de Céspedes                            87
  Cervantes, Lamarca                             87
  Dos Verdaderos Amigos                          88
  Valladares de Valdelomar                       88
  Grave Fictions discouraged                     89
  Cosmé de Texada                                90
  Christóval Lozano                              91
  Serious Fictions not successful                92



  Arise from the State of Society                93
  Antonio de Villegas                            93
  His Story of Narvaez                           94
  Juan de Timoneda                               96
  His Patrañuelo                                 97
  Cervantes, Hidalgo                             99
  Suarez, Figueroa                               99
  Salas Barbadillo                               99
  Eslava, Agreda                                102
  Liñan y Verdugo                               103
  Lope de Vega                                  103
  Salazar, Lugo, Camerino                       103
  Changed Form of Tales                         104
  Tirso de Molina                               104
  Montalvan                                     105
  Matias de los Reyes                           106
  Fernandez y Peralta                           106
  Montalvan                                     106
  Céspedes y Meneses, Moya                      107
  Castro y Anaya                                107
  Mariana de Carbajal                           107
  María de Zayas                                108
  Mata, Castillo, Lozano                        108
  Solorzano                                     108
  Alcalá, Villalpando, Prado                    109
  Isidro de Robles                              109
  Luis Velez de Guevara                         110
  Jacinto Polo                                  111
  Marcos Garcia                                 112
  Francisco Santos                              113
  Tales everywhere                              117
  Early Appearance of Romantic Fiction          118
  Its early Decay                               119



  Forensic Eloquence little cultivated          121
  Courts of Justice                             121
  Cortes                                        121
  Eloquence of the Pulpit                       122
  Luis de Leon                                  123
  Luis de Granada                               123
  Cultismo in the Pulpit                        127
  Paravicino                                    127
  Pulpit Eloquence fails                        128
  Letter-writers formal                         128
  Queen Isabella, Columbus                      128
  Guevara, Avila                                129
  Zurita and his Friends                        129
  Antonio Perez                                 130
  Santa Teresa                                  135
  Argensola, Lope de Vega                       136
  Quevedo, Cascales                             136
  Antonio, Solís                                136



  Fathers of Spanish History                    138
  Gerónimo de Zurita                            138
  Ambrosio de Morales                           141
  Diego de Mendoza                              142
  Ribadeneyra, Siguenza                         142
  Juan de Mariana                               143
  His Persecutions                              146
  His History of Spain                          147
  Prudencio Sandoval                            151
  Spanish Discoveries and Conquests             153
  Antonio de Herrera                            153
  Bartolomé de Argensola                        155
  Garcilasso de la Vega, Inca                   155
  Francisco de Moncada                          159
  Coloma, Marquis of Espinar                    160
  Manuel Melo                                   161
  Saavedra Faxardo                              164
  Antonio Solís                                 164
  Character of Spanish History                  167



  Proverbs                                      169
  Oldest                                        170
  Marquis of Santillana                         170
  Garay, Valles, Nuñez                          171
  Mal Lara, Palmireno                           172
  Oudin, Sorapan, Cejudo                        172
  Juan de Yriarte                               173
  Great Number of Proverbs                      173
  Didactic Prose                                174
  Antonio de Torquemada                         174
  Christóval de Acosta                          175
  Luis de Granada                               176
  Juan de la Cruz                               178
  Santa Teresa                                  179
  School of Spiritualists                       180
  Malon de Chaide                               180
  Agustin de Roxas                              181
  Suarez de Figueroa                            183
  Marquez, Vera y Zuñiga                        184
  Fernandez de Navarrete                        184
  Saavedra Faxardo                              185
  Quevedo, Antonio de Vega                      186
  Nieremberg, Benavente                         186
  Guzman, Dantisco                              187
  Andrada, Villalobos                           188
  Aleman, Faria y Sousa                         188
  Francisco de Andrade                          189
  Cultismo in Spanish Prose                     190
  Paravicino                                    191
  Baltazar Gracian                              191
  Cultismo prevails                             194
  Juan de Zabaleta                              194
  Lozano, Heredia, Ramirez                      195
  Small Success of Didactic Prose               196



  Decay of the Spanish Character                198
  Charles the Fifth, Philip the Second          199
  Philip the Third                              200
  Philip the Fourth                             201
  Charles the Second                            203
  Degradation of the Country                    203
  Religion sinks into Bigotry                   204
  Loyalty sinks into Servility                  207
  Literature fails with Character               209





  Death of Charles the Second                   213
  His Will                                      214
  War of the Succession                         214
  Peace of Utrecht                              214
  Philip the Fifth                              215
  Academy of the Language                       216
  State of the Language                         217
  Dictionaries of the Language                  219
  Dictionary of the Academy                     219
  Its Orthography                               220
  Its Grammar                                   221
  Its other Labors                              223
  Other Academies                               223
  State of Poetry                               224
  Moraes                                        225
  Reynosa, Cevallos                             226
  Lobo, Benegasi                                227
  Alvarez de Toledo                             228
  Antonio Muñoz                                 228
  Sagradas’s Flores                             228
  Jorge de Pitillas                             229



  Marquis of San Phelipe                        230
  French Influences                             232
  Translations from the French                  233
  Ignacio de Luzan                              233
  Elder Works on Criticism                      235
  Enzina, Rengifo, Lopez                        236
  Cascales, Salas                               236
  Luzan’s Poética                               237
  State of the Moral and Physical Sciences      239
  State of the Universities                     240
  Low State of Spanish Culture                  240
  Benito Feyjoó                                 242
  His Teatro Crítico                            244
  His Cartas Eruditas                           244
  Effect of his Works                           245



  The Inquisition                               246
  Intolerance                                   247
  Autos da Fé and Judaism                       248
  Culture under Ferdinand                       249
  The Inquisition                               249
  Policy of the State                           250
  Condition of Letters                          250
  Saldueña, Moraleja, Ortiz                     250
  Academy of Good Taste                         251
  Velazquez                                     251
  Mayans y Siscar                               252
  Blas Nasarre                                  253



  State of the Country                          254
  Character of the King                         255
  The Jesuits                                   256
  The Universities                              256
  The Inquisition                               257
  Dawn of Better Things                         258
  Father Isla                                   258
  His Juventud Triunfante                       258
  His Dia Grande                                259
  His Sermones                                  260
  His Fray Gerundio                             260
  His Exile                                     264
  His Cicero                                    265
  His Translation of Gil Blas                   266
  Question of its Authorship                    266
  Efforts to restore the Old School             270
  Sedano, Sanchez, Sarmiento                    271
  Efforts to encourage the French School        272
  Moratin the Elder                             272
  Club of Men of Letters                        274
  Cadahalso                                     275
  Yriarte                                       277
  His Fables                                    279
  Samaniego                                     280
  His Fables                                    281
  Arroyal, Montengon                            282
  Salas, Meras, Noroña                          282



  State of Literary Parties                     285
  Melendez Valdes                               285
  His Works                                     287
  His Exile and Death                           291
  Gonzalez                                      293
  Forner                                        294
  Iglesias                                      294
  Cienfuegos                                    295
  Jovellanos                                    297
  Connected with Melendez                       298
  His Political Services                        299
  His Exiles                                    300
  His Share in the Revolution                   301
  His Death                                     303
  His Character                                 304
  Muñoz                                         305
  Escoiquiz                                     306
  Moratin the Younger                           307
  His Relations to Godoy                        308
  Quintana                                      309



  Important Movement                            312
  Translations from the French                  312
  Cañizares, Torres, Lobo                       313
  Lower Classes rule                            313
  The old Court-yards                           314
  The new Theatres                              314
  The Opera                                     315
  Castro, Añerbe, Montiano                      316
  The Virginia and Athaulpho                    317
  Translations from the French                  318
  The Petimetra of Moratin the Elder            318
  His Hormesinda                                319
  His Guzman el Bueno                           319
  Cadahalso                                     319
  Sebastian y Latre                             320
  Yriarte, Melendez                             321
  Ayala                                         321
  Huerta                                        322
  Jovellanos                                    323
  Autos suppressed                              324
  Low State of the Theatre                      325
  Ramon de la Cruz                              326
  Sedano, Lassala, Cortés                       329
  Cienfuegos, Huerta                            329
  Discussions                                   330
  Valladares, Zavala                            331
  Comella                                       332
  Moratin the Younger                           333
  Patronized by Godoy                           334
  His first Play                                335
  His Nueva Comedia                             336
  His Baron and Mogigata                        337
  His Sí de las Niñas                           338
  His Translations                              339
  State of the Drama                            340
  Actors of Note                                340
  State of the Theatre                          341
  Prospects                                     341



  Charles the Fourth and Godoy                  343
  French Revolution                             343
  Index Expurgatorius                           344
  Affair of the Escurial                        345
  Abdication                                    345
  French Invasion                               345
  French expelled                               346
  Ferdinand the Seventh                         346
  Effect of the Times on Letters                347
  Interregnum in Culture                        349
  Revival of Letters                            349
  Prospects for the Future                      350



  Spain and its Name                            355
  The Iberians in Spain                         356
  The Celts                                     357
  The Celtiberians                              358
  The Phœnicians                                358
  The Carthaginians                             359
  The Romans                                    360
  Their Colonies                                362
  Their Language                                363
  Their Writers                                 364
  Christianity introduced                       365
  Its Effects on the Language                   366
  Irruption of the Northern Tribes              368
  The Franks, Vandali, etc.                     369
  The Goths                                     369
  Their Culture                                 370
  Their Effect on the Language                  371
  The Arabs                                     372
  Their Invasion                                373
  Their Effect on the Provençal                 374
  Their Refinement                              375
  The Christians and Pelayo                     376
  The Mozárabes                                 377
  Their Influence                               378
  Their Reunion                                 379
  The Language of the North                     380
  How modified                                  381
  First written Spanish                         382
  Carta Puebla de Avilés                        383
  The Romance                                   384
  The Spanish or Castilian                      384
  Materials that compose it                     385
  Its rapid Prevalence                          386



  Ballads on separate Sheets                    388
  Oldest Ballad-book                            389
  That of Antwerp                               390
  Other early Ballad-books                      392
  Ballad-book in Nine Parts                     392
  Romancero General                             393
  Early Selections from the Romanceros          394
  Recent Selections                             395
  What is still wanted                          396



  Suggestions on its Genuineness                397
  Probably a Forgery                            398
  No such Person mentioned early                398
  No Manuscript of the Letters                  398
  Date of the earliest Edition false            398
  Second Edition admits it                      398
  No Date to the Letters at first               399
  Their Style                                   399
  That of the First Edition                     399
  Misstatements about Juan de Mena              399
  About Barrientos                              400
  About Alvaro de Luna                          401
  Appeared in an Age of Forgeries               402
  State of the Question                         403



  Statement by Los Rios                         404
  By Ruydiaz                                    405
  Effect of their Statements                    406
  Don Adolfo de Castro                          406
  Publishes a Buscapié                          406
  What it is                                    407
  Contradicts Los Rios and Ruydiaz              408
  Its long Concealment suspicious               408
  Its External Evidence                         409
  Argote de Molina                              409
  The Duke of Lafões                            410
  Don Pascual de Gándara                        411
  Its Internal Evidence                         411
  Resemblances to the Style of Cervantes        411
  Mistake about Enzinas                         412
  About an old Proverb                          413
  Its Title-page                                414
  Its Notice of Alcalá                          414
  State of the Question                         415



  First Part                                    416
  Second Part                                   417
  Both Parts                                    417
  Lord Carteret’s Edition                       417
  That of the Academy                           418
  Of Bowle                                      418
  Of Pellicer                                   418
  Of Clemencin                                  419
  Translations                                  419
  Imitations out of Spain                       420
  In Spain                                      421
  Its Fame everywhere                           422



  Comedias de Diferentes Autores                423
  Comedias Nuevas Escogidas                     424
  Various smaller Collections                   426



  Controversy about it in Italy                 427
  Bettinelli and Tiraboschi                     427
  Spanish Jesuits in Italy                      428
  Serrano and Andres                            428
  Vannetti and Zorzi                            428
  Arteaga and Isla                              429
  Lampillas                                     429
  End of the Controversy                        430
  Result of it                                  431



  No. I. Poema de José el Patriarca             432
  No. II. La Danza General de la Muerte         459
  No. III. El Libro del Rabi Santob             475

         *       *       *       *       *

  INDEX                                         505









Satirical poetry, whether in the form of regular satires, or in the
more familiar guise of epistles, has never enjoyed a wide success
in Spain. Its spirit, indeed, was known there from the times of the
Archpriest of Hita and Rodrigo Cota, both of whom seem to have been
thoroughly imbued with it. Torres Naharro, too, in the early part of
the sixteenth century, and Silvestre and Castillejo a little later,
still sustained it, and wrote satires in the short national verse, with
much of the earlier freedom, and all the bitterness, that originally
accompanied it.

But after Mendoza and Boscan, in the middle of that century, had sent
poetical epistles to one another written in the manner of Horace,
though in the Italian _terza rima_, the fashion was changed. A rich,
strong invective, such as Castillejo dared to use when he wrote the
“Satire on Women,” which was often reprinted and greatly relished, was
almost entirely laid aside; and a more cultivated and philosophical
tone, suited to the stately times of Charles the Fifth and Philip the
Second, took its place. Montemayor, it is true, and Padilla, with
a few wits of less note, wrote in both manners; but Cantorál with
little talent, Gregorio Murillo with a good deal, and Rey de Artieda
in a familiar style that was more winning than either, took the new
direction so decidedly, that, from the beginning of the seventeenth
century, the change may be considered as substantially settled.[1]

  [1] All these satires are found in the works of their respective
  authors, heretofore cited, except that of Morillo “On the
  Corrupted Manners of his Times,” which is in Espinosa, Flores,
  1605, f. 119. The “Epístolas” of Artieda were printed the same
  year, under the name of “Artemidoro,” and are six in number. The
  best are one against the life of a sportsman, and one in ironical
  defence of the follies of society. A letter of Virues to his
  brother, also dated 1605, might have been added. It is a pleasant
  satirical account of a military march from Milan to the Low
  Countries, passing the St. Gothard.

Barahona de Soto was among the earliest that wrote in this new form,
which was a union of the Roman with the Italian. We have four of his
satires, composed after he had served in the Morisco wars; the first
and the last of which, assailing all bad poets, show plainly the school
to which he belonged and the direction he wished to follow. But his
efforts, though seriously made, did not raise him above an untolerated

  [2] They were first printed in Sedano, Parnaso, Tom. IX., 1778.

A single satire of Jauregui, addressed to Lydia, as if she might have
been the Lydia of Horace, is better.[3] But in the particular style
and manner of the philosophical Horatian satire, none succeeded so well
as the two Argensolas. Their discussions are, it is true, sometimes
too grave and too long; but they give us spirited pictures of the
manners of their times. The sketch of a profligate lady of fashion, for
instance, in the one to Flora, by Lupercio, is excellent, and so are
long passages in two others against a court life, by Bartolomé. All
three, however, are too much protracted, and the last contains a poor
repetition of the fable of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse, in
which, as almost everywhere else, its author’s relations to Horace are

  [3] Rimas, 1618, p. 198. It is a remarkably happy union of the
  Italian form of verse and the Roman spirit.

  [4] Rimas, 1634, pp. 56, 234, 254. It is singular, however, that,
  while Bartolomé imitates Horace, he expresses his preference for

        Pero quando á escribir sátiras llegues,
      A ningun irritado cartapacio,
      Sino al del cauto Juvenal, te entregues.

  He seems, too, to have been accounted an imitator of Juvenal by
  his contemporaries; for Guevara, in his “Diablo Cojuelo,” Tranco
  IX., calls him “Divino Juvenal Aragones.” But it is impossible
  not to see that he is full of Horatian turns of thought.

Quevedo, on the other hand, followed Juvenal, whose hard, unsparing
temper was better suited to his own tastes, and to a disposition
embittered by cruel persecutions. But Quevedo is often free and
indecorous, as well as harsh, and offends that sensibility to virtue
which a satirist ought carefully to cultivate. It should, however, be
remembered in his favor, that, though living under the despotism of the
Philips, and crushed by it, no Spanish poet stands before him in the
spirit of an independent and vigorous satire. Góngora approaches him
on some occasions, but Góngora rarely dealt with grave subjects, and
confined his satire almost entirely to burlesque ballads and sonnets,
which he wrote in the fervor of his youth. At no period of his life,
and certainly not after he went to court, would he have hazarded a
satirical epistle like the one on the decay of Castilian spirit and
the corruption of Castilian manners, which Quevedo had the courage
to send to the Count Duke Olivares, when he was at the height of his

  [5] It is the last poem in the “Melpomene.”

The greatest contemporaries of both of them hardly turned their
thoughts in this direction; for as to Cervantes, his “Journey to
Parnassus” is quite too good-natured an imitation of Caporali to be
classed among satires, even if its form permitted it to be placed
there; and as to Lope de Vega, though some of his sonnets and other
shorter poems are full of spirit and severity, especially those that
pass under the name of Burguillos, still his whole course, and the
popular favor that followed it, naturally prevented him from seeking
occasions to do or say any thing ungracious.

Nor did the state of society at this period favor the advancement,
or even the continuance, of any such spirit. The epistles of Espinel
and Arguijo are, therefore, absolutely grave and solemn; and those of
Rioja, Salcedo, Ulloa, and Melo are not only grave, but are almost
entirely destitute of poetical merit, except one by the first of them,
addressed to Fabio, which, if neither gay nor witty, is an admirably
wise moral rebuke of the folly and irksomeness of depending on royal
favor. Borja is more free, as became his high station, and speaks out
more plainly; but the best of his epistles--the one against a court
life--is not so good as the youthful _tercetos_ on the same subject by
Góngora, nor equal to his own jesting address to his collected poems.
Rebolledo, his only successor of any note at the time, is moral, but
tiresome; and Solís, like the few that followed him, is too dull to be
remembered. Indeed, if Villegas in his old age, when, perhaps, he had
been soured by disappointment, had not written three satires which he
did not venture to publish, we should have nothing worth notice as we
approach the disheartening close of this long period.[6]

  [6] The satires of all these authors are in their collected
  works, except those of Villegas, which were printed from
  manuscripts, supposed to be the originals, by Sedano (Tom. IX.
  pp. 3-18); or rather, two of them on bad poets were so printed,
  for the third seems to have been suppressed, on account of its

Nearly all the didactic satires and nearly all the satirical epistles
of the best age of Spanish literature are Horatian in their tone, and
written in the Italian _terza rima_. In general, their spirit is light,
though philosophical,--sometimes it is courtly,--and, taken together,
they have less poetical force and a less decided coloring than we might
claim from the class to which they belong. But they are frequently
graceful and agreeable, and some of them will be oftener read, for
the mere pleasure they bestow, than many in other languages which are
distinguished for greater wit and severity.

The truth, however, is, that wit and severity of this kind and in this
form were never heartily encouraged in Spain. The nation itself has
always been too grave and dignified to ask or endure the censure they
imply; and if such a character as the Spanish has its ridiculous side,
it must be approached by any thing rather than personal satire. Books
like the romances of chivalry may, indeed, be assailed with effect, as
they were by Cervantes; men in classes may be caricatured, as they are
in the Spanish _picaresque_ novels and in the old drama; and bad poetry
may be ridiculed, as it was by half the poets who did not write it, and
by some who did. But the characters of individuals, and especially
of those in high station and of much notoriety, are protected, under
such circumstances, by all the social influences that can be brought to
their defence, and cannot safely be assailed.

Such, at least, was the case in Spain. Poetical satire came there to
be looked upon with distrust, so that it was thought to be hardly in
good taste, or according to the conventions of good society, to indulge
in its composition.[7] And if, with all this, we remember the anxious
nature of the political tyranny which long ruled the country, and the
noiseless, sleepless vigilance of the Inquisition,--both of which
are apparent in the certificates and licenses that usher in whatever
succeeded in finding its way through the press,--we shall have no
difficulty in accounting for the fact, that poetical satire never had
a vigorous and healthy existence in Spain, and that, after the latter
part of the seventeenth century, it almost entirely disappeared till
better times revived it.

  [7] Cervantes is a strong case in point. In the fourth chapter
  of his “Journey to Parnassus,” immediately after speaking of his
  Don Quixote, he disavows having ever written any thing satirical,
  and denounces _all_ such compositions as low and base. Indeed,
  the very words _sátira_ and _satírico_ came at last to be used
  in a bad sense oftener than in a good one. Huerta, Sinónimos
  Castellanos, Valencia, 1807, 2 tom. 12mo, _ad verb._

       *       *       *       *       *

Elegies, though from their subjects little connected with satire,
are yet, by their measure and manner, connected with it in Spanish
poetry; for both are generally written in the Italian _terza rima_,
and both are often thrown into the form of epistles.[8] Garcilasso
could write elegies in their true spirit; but the second that passes
under that name in his works is merely a familiar epistle to a friend.
So is the first by Figueroa, which is followed by others in a tone
more appropriate to their titles. But all are in the Italian verse
and manner, and two of them in the Italian language. The eleven
“Lamentations,” as he calls them, of Silvestre, are elegiac epistles
to his lady-love, written in the old Castilian measures, and not
without the old Castilian poetical spirit. Cantorál fails; nor can the
Argensolas and Borja be said to have succeeded, though they wrote in
different manners, some of which were scarcely elegiac. Herrera is too
lyric--too lofty, perhaps, from the very nature of his genius--to write
good elegies; but some of those on his love, and one in which he mourns
over the passions that survive the decay of his youth, have certainly
both beauty and tenderness.

  [8] A striking instance of this is to be found in the “Primera
  Parle del Parnaso Antártico,” by Diego Mexia, printed at
  Seville, 1608, 4to, and the only portion of it ever printed.
  It consists of an original poetical letter by a lady to Mexia,
  and a translation of twenty-one of the Epistles of Ovid and his
  “Ibis”; all in _terza rima_, and nearly all in pure and beautiful
  Castilian verse. In the edition in the collection of Fernandez,
  Tom. XIX., 1799, the epistle by the lady is omitted, which is a
  pity, since it contains notices of several South American poets.

Rioja, on the contrary, seems to have been of the true temperament,
and to have written elegies from instinct, though he called them
_Silvas_; while Quevedo, if he were the author of the poems that pass
under the name of the Bachiller de la Torre, must have done violence
to his genius in the composition of ten short pieces, which he calls
_Endechas_, in Adonian verse, but which read much like imitations of
some of the gentler among the old ballads. If to these we add the
thirteen elegies of Villegas, nearly all of which are epistles, and
one or two of them light and amusing epistles, we shall have what is
most worthy of notice in this small division of Spanish poetry during
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, that has not been already
considered. From the whole, we should naturally infer that the Spanish
temperament was little fitted to the subdued, simple, and gentle
tone of the proper elegy; a conclusion that is undoubtedly true,
notwithstanding the examples of Garcilasso and Rioja, the best and most
elegiac portions of whose poetry do not even bear its name.[9]

  [9] The best elegiac poetry in the Spanish language is, perhaps,
  that in the two divisions of the first eclogue of Garcilasso.
  Elegies, or mournful poems of any kind, are often called
  _Endechas_ in Spanish, as Quevedo called his sad amatory poems;
  but the origin of the word is not settled, nor its meaning quite
  well defined. Venegas, in a vocabulary of obscure words at the
  end of his “Agonía del Tránsito de la Muerte,” 1574, p. 370, says
  he thinks it comes from _inde jaces_, as if the mourner addressed
  the dead body. But this is absurd. It may come from the Greek
  ἕνδεκα, for when the last verse of each stanza contained just
  eleven syllables, the poem was said to be written in _endechas
  reales_. See Covarrubias, and the Academy, _ad verbum_, who give
  no opinion.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pastoral poetry in Spain is directly connected with elegiac, through
the eclogues of Garcilasso, which unite the attributes of both. To his
school, indeed, including Boscan and Mendoza, we trace the earliest
successful specimens of the more formal Spanish pastoral, with the
characteristics still recognized. But its origin is much earlier. The
climate and condition of the Peninsula, which from a very remote period
had favored the shepherd’s life and his pursuits, facilitated, no
doubt, if they did not occasion, the first introduction into Spanish
poetry of a pastoral tone, whose echoes are heard far back among the
old ballads. But the Italian forms of pastoral verse were naturalized
as soon as they were introduced. Figueroa, Cantorál, Montemayor, and
Saa de Miranda--the last two of whom were Portuguese, and all of whom
visited Italy and lived there--contributed their efforts to those of
Garcilasso and Boscan, by writing Spanish eclogues in the Italian
manner. All had a good degree of success, but none so much as Saa de
Miranda, who was born in 1495, and died in 1558, and who, from the
promptings of his own genius, renounced the profession of the law, to
which he was bred, and the favor of the court, where his prospects were
high, in order to devote himself to poetry.

He was the first of the Portuguese who wrote in the forms introduced by
Boscan and Garcilasso, and none, perhaps, since his time has appeared
in them with more grace and power,--certainly none in the particular
form of eclogues. His pastorals, however, are not all in the new
manner. On the contrary, some of them are in the ancient short verse,
and seem to have been written before he was acquainted with the change
that had just been effected in Spanish poetry. But all of them are in
one spirit, and are marked by a simplicity that well becomes the class
of compositions to which they belong, though it may rarely be found in
them. This is true, both when he writes his beautiful pastoral story
of “The Mondego,” which is in the manner of Garcilasso, and contains
an account of himself addressed to the king; and when he writes his
seventh eclogue, which is in the forms of Enzina and Vicente, and
seems to have been acted amidst the rejoicings of the noble family of
Pereira, after one of their number had returned from military service
against the Turks.

But a love of the country, of country scenery and country occupations,
pervades nearly every thing Saa de Miranda wrote. The very animals
seem to be treated by him with more naturalness and familiarity than
they are elsewhere; and throughout the whole of his poetry, there is
an ease and amenity that show it comes from the heart. Why he wrote
so much in Spanish, it is not now easy to tell. Perhaps he thought
the language more poetical than his native Portuguese, or perhaps he
had merely personal reasons for his preference. But whatever may have
been the cause, six out of his eight eclogues are composed in natural,
flowing Castilian; and the result of the whole is, that, while, on all
accounts, he is placed among the four or five principal poets of his
own country, he occupies a position of enviable distinction among those
of the prouder nation that soon became, for a time, its masters.[10]

  [10] There are many editions of the Works of Saa de Miranda; but
  the second and best (s. l. 1614, 4to) is preceded by a life of
  him, which claims to have been composed by his personal friends,
  and which states the odd fact, that the lady of whom he was
  enamoured was so ugly, that her family declined the match until
  he had well considered the matter; but that he persevered, and
  became so fondly attached to her, that he died, at last, from
  grief at her loss. His merits as a poet are well discussed by
  Ant. das Neves Pereira, in the fifth volume of the “Memorias
  de Litt. Portugueza” of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Lisboa,
  1793, pp. 99, etc. Some of his works are in the Spanish Index
  Expurgatorius, 1667, p. 72.

Montemayor, Polo, and their followers in prose pastorals, scattered
bucolic verse of all kinds freely through their fictions; and
sometimes, though seldom, they added to the interest and merit of their
stories by this sort of ornament. One of those who had least success
in it was Cervantes; and of those who had most, Balbuena stands in
the first rank. His “Golden Age” contains some of the best and most
original eclogues in the language; written, indeed, rather in the free,
rustic tone of Theocritus, than with the careful finish of Virgil, but
not on that account the less attractive.[11]

  [11] Of the poets whose eclogues are found in their prose
  pastorals I shall speak at large when I examine this division of
  Spanish romantic fiction. Montemayor, however, it should be noted
  here, wrote other eclogues, which are in his Cancionero, 1588,
  ff. 111, etc.

Of Luis Barahona de Soto, we possess an eclogue better than any
thing else he has left us;[12] and of Pedro de Padilla, the friend
of Cervantes and of Silvestre, a remarkable improvisator and a much
loved man, we have a number of pastoral poems which carry with them a
picturesque, antique air, from being made up in part of ballads and
_villancicos_.[13] Pedro de Enzinas attempted to write religious
eclogues, and failed;[14] but, in the established forms, Juan de
Morales and Gomez Tapia, who are hardly known except for single
attempts of this kind,[15] and Vicente Espinel,--among whose eclogues,
that in which a Soldier and a Shepherd discuss the Spanish wars in
Italy is both original and poetical,[16]--were all successful.

  [12] It is found in the important collection, the “Flores,” of
  Espinosa, f. 66, where it first appeared.

  [13] “Eglogas Pastoriles de Pedro de Padilla,” Sevilla, 1582,
  4to; thirteen in number, in all measures, and the last one
  partly in prose. Of Padilla, who was much connected with the
  men of letters of his time, all needful notices may be found in
  Navarrete, “Vida de Cervantes,” pp. 396-402, and in Clemencin’s
  Notes to Don Quixote, Tom. I. p. 147. The curate well says of his
  “Tesoro de Poesías,” (Madrid, 1587, 12mo,) “They would be better,
  if they were fewer.” They fill above nine hundred pages, and are
  in all forms and styles. Padilla died as late as 1599.

  [14] There are six of them, in _terza_ and _ottava rima_, with a
  few lyrical poems interspersed, in other measures and in a better
  tone, in a volume entitled “Versos Espirituales,” Cuenca, 1596,
  12mo. Their author was a monk.

  [15] The eclogue of Morales is in Espinosa, f. 48, and that of
  Tapia occurs--where we should hardly look for it--in the “Libro
  de Montería, que mandó escribir el Rey Don Alfonso XI.,” edited
  by Argote de Molina, 1582. It is on the woods of Aranjuez, and
  was written after the birth of a daughter of Philip II.; but its
  descriptions are long and wearisome.

  [16] Rimas, 1591, ff. 50-57.

The eclogues of Lope de Vega, of which we have already spoken, drew
after them a train of imitations, like his other popular poetry.
But neither Balvas, nor Villegas, nor Carrillo, nor the Prince of
Esquilache equalled him. Quevedo alone among his compeers, and he only
if he is the author of the poems of the Bachiller de la Torre, proved
himself a rival of the great master, unless we must give an equal
place to Pedro de Espinosa, whose story of “The Genil,” half elegiac
and half pastoral, is the happiest and most original specimen of that
peculiar form of which Boscan in his “Hero and Leander” gave the first
imperfect example.[17] Pedro Soto de Roxas,--who wrote short lyric
poems with spirit, as well as eclogues,--Zarate, and Ulloa, belong to
the same school, which was continued, by Texada Gomes de los Reyes,
Barrios the Jew, and Inez de la Cruz the Mexican nun, down to the end
of the century. But in all its forms, whether tending to become too
lyrical, as it does in Figueroa, or too narrative, as in Espinosa,
Spanish pastoral poetry shows fewer of the defects that accompany such
poetry everywhere, and more of the merits that render it a gentle and
idealized representation of nature and country life, than can perhaps
be found in any other literature of modern times. The reason is, that
there was more of a true pastoral character in Spain on which to build

  [17] Espinosa includes it in his “Flores,” f. 107.

  [18] The authors mentioned in this paragraph are, I believe, all
  more amply noticed elsewhere, except Pedro Soto de Roxas. He was
  a friend of Lope de Vega, and published in Madrid, 1623, 4to, his
  “Desengaño de Amor,”--a volume of poems in the Italian manner,
  the best of which are the madrigals and eclogues.

       *       *       *       *       *

Quite as characteristic of the Spanish national genius as its pastorals
were short poems in different forms, but in an epigrammatic spirit,
which appeared through the whole of the best age of its literature.
They are of two kinds. The first are generally amorous, and always
sentimental. Of these, not a few are very short and pointed. They
are found in the old Cancioneros and Romanceros, among the works of
Maldonado, Silvestre, Villegas, Góngora, and others of less merit,
to the end of the century. They are generally in the truest tone of
popular verse. One, which was set to music, was in these few simple

    To what ear shall I tell my griefs,
      Gentle love mine?
    To what ear shall I tell my griefs,
      If not to thine?[19]

      Á quien contaré yo mis quejas,
      Mi lindo amor;
      Á quien contaré mis quejas,
      Si á vos no?

  Faber found this and a few more in Salina’s treatise on Music,
  1577, and placed it, with a considerable number of similar short
  compositions, in the first volume of his collection, pp. 303, etc.

And another, of the same period, which was on a Sigh, and became the
subject of more than one gloss, was hardly less simple:--

    O gentle sigh! O gentle sigh!
    For no more happiness I pray,
    Than, every time thou goest to God,
    To follow where thou lead’st the way.[20]

      O dulce suspiro mio!
      No quisiera dicha mas,
      Que las veces que á Dios vas
      Hallarme donde te envio.

  Ubeda, 1588, was the first, I think, who paraphrased this
  epigram; but where he discovered it I do not know.

But of those a little longer and more elaborate a favorable specimen
may be found in Camoens, who wrote such with tenderness and beauty, not
only in his own language, but sometimes in Spanish, as in the following
lines on a concealed and unhappy passion, the first two of which are
probably a snatch of some old song, and the rest his own gloss upon

    Within, within, my sorrow lives,
    But outwardly no token gives.
      All young and gentle in the soul,
    All hidden from men’s eyes,
    Deep, deep within it lies,
      And scorns the body’s low control.
    As in the flint the hidden spark
    Gives outwardly no sign or mark,
      Within, within, my sorrow lives.[21]

      De dentro tengo mi mal,
      Que de fora no ay señal.
        Mi nueva y dulce querella
      Es invisible á la gente:
      El alma sola la siente,
      Qu’ el cuerpo no es dino della:
      Como la viva sentella
      S’ encubre en el pedernal,
      De dentro tengo mi mal.

        Camões, Rimas, Lisboa, 1598, 4to, f. 179.

  Several that precede and follow, both in Spanish and Portuguese,
  are worth notice.

The number of such compositions, in their different serious forms,
is great; but the number of the second kind--those in a lighter and
livelier tone--is still greater. The Argensolas, Villegas, Lope de
Vega, Quevedo, the Prince Esquilache, Rebolledo, and not a few others,
wrote them with spirit and effect. Of all, however, who indulged in
them, nobody devoted to their composition so much zeal, and on the
whole obtained so much success, as Francisco de la Torre, who, though
of the _culto_ school, seemed able to shake off much of its influence,
when he remembered that he was a fellow-countryman of Martial.

He took for the foundation of his humor the remarkable Latin epigrams
of John Owen, the English Protestant, who died in 1622, and whose witty
volume has been often translated and printed at home and abroad down
to our own times;--a volume, it should be noted, so offensive to the
Romish Church as to have been early placed on its Index Expurgatorius.
But La Torre avoided whatever could give umbrage to the ecclesiastical
authorities of his time, and, adding a great number of original
epigrams quite as good as those he translated, made a collection that
fills two volumes, the last of which was printed in 1682, after its
author’s death.[22]

  [22] “Agudezas de Juan Oven, etc., con Adiciones por Francisco
  de la Torre,” Madrid, 1674, 1682, 2 tom. 4to. _Oven_ is the
  Owen or Audoenus of Wood’s “Athenæ Oxon.,” Tom. II. p. 320. His
  “Epigrammata,” printed about a dozen times between 1606 and 1795,
  were placed on the list of prohibited books in 1654. Index, Romæ,
  1786, 8vo, p. 216.

But though he wrote more good epigrams, and in a greater variety of
forms, than any other individual Spaniard, he did not, perhaps, write
the best or the most national; for a few of those that still remain
anonymous, and a still smaller number by Rebolledo, seem to claim this
distinction. Of the sort of wit frequently affected in these slight
compositions the following is an example:--

    Fair lady, when your beads you take,
      I never doubt you pray;
    Perhaps for my poor murdered sake,
      Perhaps for yours, that slay.[23]

Rebolledo was sometimes happier than he is in this epigram, though
rarely more national.

      Pues el rosario tomais,
        No dudo que le receis
        Por mí, que muerto me habeis,
      O por vos, que me matais.

        Obras, 1778, Tom. I. p. 337.

  Camoens had the same idea in some Portuguese _redondillas_,
  (Rimas, 1598, f. 159,) so that I suspect both of them took it
  from some old popular epigram.

       *       *       *       *       *

Didactic poetry in unsettled and uncertain forms appeared early in
Spain, and took, from time to time, the air both of moral philosophy
and of religious instruction. Specimens of it in the old long-line
stanza are found from the age of Berceo to that of the chancellor
Ayala; few, indeed, in number, but sufficiently marked in character
to show their purpose. Later, examples become more numerous, and
present themselves in forms somewhat improved. Several such occur in
the Cancioneros, among the best of which are Ludueña’s “Rules for
Good-Breeding”; “The Complaint of Fortune,” in imitation of Bias, by
Diego de San Pedro; and the “Coplas” of Don Juan Manuel of Portugal,
on the Seven Deadly Sins;--all of them authors known at the court of
Ferdinand and Isabella. Boscan’s poem on his own Conversion, that of
Silvestre on “Self-knowledge,” that of Castilla on “The Virtues,” and
that of Juan de Mendoza on “A Happy Life,” continue the series through
the reign of Charles the Fifth, but without materially advancing its
claims or its character.[24]

  [24] The poems of Boscan and Silvestre are found in their
  respective works, already examined; but of Francisco de Castilla
  and of Juan de Mendoza and their poetry it may be proper to give
  some notice, as their names have not occurred before.

  Castilla was a gentleman apparently of the old national type,
  descended from an illegitimate branch of the family of Pedro
  el Cruel. He lived in the time of Charles V., and passed his
  youth near the person of that great sovereign; but, as he says
  in a letter to his brother, the Bishop of Calahorra, he at last
  “withdrew himself, disgusted alike with the abhorred rabble and
  senseless life of the court,” and “chose the estate of matrimony,
  as one more safe for his soul and better suited to his worldly
  condition.” How he fared in this experiment he does not tell
  us; but, missing, in the retirement it brought with it, those
  pleasures of social intercourse to which he had been accustomed,
  he bought, as he says, “with a small sum of money, other surer
  and wiser friends,” whose counsels and teachings he put into
  verse, that his weak memory might the better preserve them. The
  result of this life merely contemplative was a book, in which he
  gives us, first, his “Theórica de Virtudes,” or an explanation,
  in the old short Spanish verse, accompanied with a prose gloss,
  of the different Virtues, ending with the vengeful Nemesis; next,
  a Treatise on Friendship, in long nine-line stanzas; and then,
  successively, a Satire on Human Life and its vain comforts; an
  Allegory on Worldly Happiness; a series of Exhortations to Virtue
  and Holiness, which he has unsuitably called Proverbs; and a
  short discussion, in _décimas_, on the Immaculate Conception.
  At the end, separately paged, as if it were quite a distinct
  treatise, we have a counterpart to the “Theórica de Virtudes,”
  called the “Prática de las Virtudes de los Buenos Reyes de
  España”; a poem in above two hundred octave stanzas, on the
  Virtues of the Kings of Spain, beginning with Alaric the Goth
  and ending with the Emperor Charles V., to whom he dedicates it
  with abundance of courtly flattery. The whole volume, both in the
  prose and verse, is written in the strong old Castilian style,
  sometimes encumbered with learning, but oftener rich, pithy, and
  flowing. The following stanza, written, apparently, when its
  author was already disgusted with his court life, but had not
  given it up, may serve as a specimen of his best manner:--

      Nunca tanto el marinero
      Desseo llegar al puerto
      Con fortuna;
      Ni en batalla el buen guerrero
      Ser de su victoria cierto
      Quando puña;
      Ni madre al ausente hijo
      Por mar con tanta aficion
      Le desseo,
      Como haver un escondrijo
      Sin contienda en un rincon
      Desseo yo.
                           f. 45. b.

      Never did mariner desire
      To reach his destined port
      With happy fate;
      Ne’er did good warrior, in the fire
      Of battle, victory court,
      With hopes elate;
      Nor mother for her child’s dear life,
      Tossed on the stormy wave
      So earnest pray,
      As I for some safe cave
      To hide me from this restless strife
      In peace away.

  An edition of Castilla’s very rare volume may have been printed
  about 1536, when it was licensed; but I have never seen it, nor
  any notice of it. The one of which I have a copy was printed at
  Zaragoza, 4to, lit. got., 1552; and I believe there is one of
  Alcalá, either in 1554 or 1564, 8vo.

  The poetry of Juan Hurtado de Mendoza, who was Regidor of Madrid,
  and a member of the Cortes of 1544, is, perhaps, more rare than
  that of Castilla, and is contained in a small volume printed
  at Alcalá in 1550, and entitled “Buen Placer trovado en treze
  discantes de quarta rima Castellana segun imitacion de trobas
  Francesas,” etc. It consists of thirteen discourses on a happy
  life, its means and motives, all written in stanzas of four lines
  each, which their author calls _French_, I suppose, because they
  are longer lines than those in the old national measures, and
  rhymed alternately,--the rhymes of one stanza running into the
  next. At the end is a _Canto Real_, as it is called, on a verse
  in the Psalms, composed in the same manner; and several smaller
  poems, one of which is a kind of religious _villancico_, and
  four of them sonnets. The tone of the whole is didactic, and its
  poetical value small. I cite eight lines, as a specimen of its
  peculiar manner and rhymes:--

      Errado va quien busca ser contento
        En mal plazer mortal, que como heno
        Se seca y passa como humo en viento,
        De vanos tragos de ayre muy relleno.

      Quando las negras velas van en lleno
        Del mal plazer, villano peligroso,
        De buen principio y de buen fin ageno,
        No halla en esta vida su reposo.

  Mendoza was a person of much consideration in his time, and is
  noticed as such by Quintana, (Historia de Madrid, Madrid, 1629,
  folio,) who gives one of his sonnets at f. 27, and a sketch of
  his character at f. 245.

In the age of Philip the Second, the didactic, like most of the other
branches of Spanish poetry, spreads out more broadly. Francisco de
Guzman’s “Opinions of Wise Men,” and especially his dull allegory of
“Moral Triumphs,” in imitation of Petrarch, are, for their length,
the most important of the different didactic poems which that period
produced.[25] But more characteristic than either is the deeply
religious letter of Francisco de Aldana to Montano, in 1573; and much
more beautiful and touching than either is one written at about the
same time by Juan Rufo to his infant son, filled with gentle affection
and wise counsels.

  [25] The “Triunfos Morales de Francisco de Guzman” (Sevilla,
  1581, 12mo) are imitations of Petrarca’s “Trionfi,” but are much
  more didactic, giving, for instance, under the head of “The
  Triumph of Wisdom,” the opinions of the wise men of antiquity;
  and under the head of “The Triumph of Prudence,” the general
  rules for prudent conduct.

Neither should a call made by Aldana, in the name of military glory,
to Philip himself, urging him to defend the suffering Church, be
overlooked. It breathes the very spirit of its subject, and may
well be put in direct contrast with the earnest and sad persuasions
to peace by Virues, who was yet a soldier by profession, and with
Cantorál’s winning invitation to the quietness of a country life. Some
of the religious poetry of Diego de Morillo and Pedro de Salas, in
the next reigns, with several of the wise epistles of the Argensolas,
Artieda, and Mesa, should be added; but they are all comparatively
short poems, except those by Morillo on the Words of Christ upon the
Cross, which extend to several hundred lines on each word, and which,
though disfigured by antithesis and exaggeration, are strongly marked
specimens of the Catholic didactic spirit.

In the mean time, and in the midst of this group,--partly because the
way had been already prepared for it by the publication, in 1591, of a
good translation of Horace’s “Art of Poetry” by Espinel, and partly
from other causes,[26]--we have, at last, a proper didactic poem,
or rather an attempt at one. It is by Juan de la Cueva, who in 1605
wrote in _terza rima_ three epistles, which he entitled “Egemplar
Poético,” and which constitute the oldest formal and original effort
of the kind in the Spanish language. Regarded as a whole, they are,
indeed, far from being a complete Art of Poetry, and in some parts
they are injudicious and inconsequent; but they not unfrequently
contain passages of acute criticism in flowing verse, and they have,
besides, the merit of nationality in their tone. In all respects,
they are better than an absurd didactic poem, by the same author,
on “The Inventors of Things,” which he wrote three years later, and
which shows, as he showed elsewhere, that he adventured in too many

  [26] The “Arte Poética” of Espinel is the first thing published
  in the “Parnaso Español” of Sedano, 1768, and was vehemently
  attacked by Yriarte, when, in 1777, he printed his own
  translation of the same work. (Obras de Yriarte, Madrid, 1805,
  12mo, Tom. IV.) To this Sedano replied in the ninth volume of his
  “Parnaso,” 1778. Yriarte rejoined in a satirical dialogue, “Donde
  las dan las toman” (Obras, Tom. VI.); and Sedano closed the
  controversy with the “Coloquios de Espina,” Malaga, 1785, 2 tom.
  12mo, under the name of Juan María Chavero y Eslava. It is a very
  pretty literary quarrel, quite in the Spanish manner.

  [27] The “Egemplar Poético” of Cueva was first printed in the
  eighth volume of the “Parnaso Español,” 1774; and the “Inventores
  de las Cosas,” taken generally from Polydore Virgil, and dated
  1608, was first published in the ninth volume of the same
  collection, 1778. How absurd the last is may be inferred from the
  fact, that it makes Moses the inventor of hexameter verse, and
  Alexander the Great the oldest of paper-makers.

Pablo de Céspedes, a sculptor and painter of the same period,--now
better known as a man of learning and a poet,--came nearer to success
than Cueva. He was born in 1538, at Córdova, and died there, a minor
canon of its magnificent cathedral, at the age of seventy; but he
spent a part of his life in Italy and at Seville, and devoted much
of his leisure to letters. Among other works, he began a poem, in
_ottava rima_, on “The Art of Painting.” Whether it was ever finished
is uncertain; but all we possess of it is a series of fragments,
amounting, when taken together, to six or seven hundred lines, which
were inserted in a prose treatise on the same subject by his friend
Francisco Pacheco, and printed above forty years after their author’s
death. They are, however, such as to make us regret that we have
received no more. Their versification is excellent, and their poetical
energy and compactness are uniform. Perhaps the best passage that has
been preserved is the description of a horse,--the animal of whose
race the poet’s native city has always been proud,--and of which, it
is evident, a single noble individual was pictured before his mind
as he wrote. But other portions show much talent,--perhaps more than
this does; especially one in which he explains the modes of acquiring
practical skill in his art, and that more poetical one in which he
discusses color.[28]

  [28] What remains of Céspedes’s poetry is to be found in the
  eighteenth volume of Fernandez’s collection. His life is well
  set forth in the excellent “Diccionario de los Profesores de las
  Bellas Artes, por A. Cean Bermudez,” Madrid, 1800, 6 tom. 12mo,
  Tom. I. p. 316; besides which, its learned author, at the end of
  Tom. V., has republished the fragments of the poem on Painting
  in a better order than that in which they had before appeared;
  adding a pleasant prose discourse, in a pure style, on Ancient
  and Modern Painting and Sculpture, which Céspedes wrote in 1604,
  when recovering from a fever, and two other of his trifles;
  to the whole of which is prefixed a judicious Preface by Cean
  himself. Céspedes had been a Greek scholar in his youth, and
  says, that, in his old age, when he chanced to open Pindar, he
  “never failed to find a well-drawn and rich picture, grand and
  fit for Michel Angelo to paint.” He was a friend of Carranza,
  the great archbishop, who, after being a leading member of the
  Council of Trent, and confessor of Mary of England after she
  married Philip II., was worried to death by the Inquisition in
  1576. (See, _ante_, Vol. I. p. 466.) Céspedes himself came near
  suffering from a similar persecution, in consequence of a letter
  he wrote to Carranza in 1559, in which he spoke disrespectfully
  of the Grand Inquisitor and the Holy Office. Llorente, Hist.,
  Tom. II. p. 440.

But the poems of Cueva and Céspedes were not printed till long after
the death of their authors; and none of their contemporaries was
inspired by like influences. The best that was done in didactic
poetry, at about the same time, was the slight, but pleasant, sort
of defence of his own irregularities produced by Lope de Vega, under
the name of “The New Art of Writing Plays”; and the best, written
later in the century, were the “Selvas,” as he called them, or poems
in irregular verse, by Count Rebolledo, on the Arts of War and Civil
Government, which date from 1652, but which are little more than rhymed
prose. A long poem in ten cantos, and in the old _quintilla_ verse, by
Trapeza, published in 1612, and entitled “The Cross,” because it is a
sort of exposition of all the theological virtues attributed to that
holy emblem, is too dull to be noticed, even if it were more strictly
didactic in its form.[29]

  [29] Lope’s “Arte Nuevo” has been already noticed. The “Selva
  Militar y Política” of Rebolledo was first printed at Cologne, in
  1652, 18mo, its author being then Spanish minister in Denmark,
  of whose kings he has given a sort of genealogical history in
  another poem, his “Selvas Dánicas.”--“La Cruz, por Albanio
  Ramirez de la Trapeza,” Madrid, 1612, 12mo, pp. 368, to which are
  added a few pages of short poems on the Cross.

Some other kindred attempts should, however, be remembered, of which
the oldest, made in the spirit of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries throughout Europe, were in the form called “Emblems,” or
explanations in verse for hieroglyphical devices. The most successful
of these were probably the Emblems of Daza, in 1549, imitated from
the more famous Latin ones of Alciatus; and those of Covarrubias,
published originally in Spanish by their author in 1591, and afterwards
translated by him into Latin;--both of them curious specimens of this
peculiar style of composition, and as agreeable, perhaps, as any which
the age of Emblems produced.[30]

  [30] “Los Emblemas de Alciato, etc., añadidos de nuevos
  Emblemas,” Lyon, 1549, 4to,--on the Index Expurgatorius of 1790.
  Those of Covarrubias were printed in Spanish in 1591; and in
  Spanish and Latin, Agrigenti, 1601, 12mo;--the last, a thick
  volume, with a long and learned Latin dissertation on Emblems
  prefixed. Covarrubias was brother of the lexicographer of the
  same name. Tesoro, Art. _Emblema_.

The other form was that in which the didactic runs into the
descriptive. Of this the most poetical example in Spanish is by
Dicastillo, a Carthusian monk, at Saragossa, who published, in
1637, under the auspices of his friend Mencos, a long poetical
correspondence, intended to teach the vanity of human things, and the
happiness and merit to be found in a life of penitential seclusion. The
parts that relate to the author himself are sometimes touching; but
the rest is of very unequal worth,--the better portions being devoted
to a description of the grand and sombre monastery of which he was an
inmate, and of the observances to which his life there was devoted.[31]
Castilian verse, however, did not often take a descriptive character,
except when it appeared in the form of eclogues and idyls; and even
then it is almost always marked by an ingenuity and brilliancy far
from the healthy tone inspired by a sincere love of what is grand or
beautiful in nature;--a remark which finds ample illustration in the
poems devoted to the Spanish conquests in America, where the marvellous
tropical vegetation of the valleys through which the wild adventurers
wound their way, and the snow-capped volcanoes that crowned the
_sierras_ above their heads, seem to have failed alike to stir their
imaginations or overawe their courage.[32]

  [31] “Aula de Dios, Cartuxa Real de Zaragoza. Descrive la Vida
  de sus Monjes, acusa la Vanidad del Siglo, etc., consagrala á
  la Utilidad Pública Don Miguel de Mencos,” Zaragoza, 1637, 4to.
  They are written in _silvas_, and their true author’s name is
  indicated by _puns_ in some of the laudatory verses that precede
  the work.

  [32] The pleasantest, if not the most important exception to
  this remark, which I recollect, is to be found in an epistle by
  the friend of Lope de Vega, Cristóval de Virues, to his brother,
  dated June 17, 1600, and giving an account of his passage over
  the Saint Gothard with a body of troops. It is in blank verse
  that is not very exact, but the descriptions are very good, and
  marked with the feeling of that stern scenery. Obras, 1609, f.

But except these irregular varieties of didactic poetry, we have,
for the whole of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, nothing
to add to what we have already noticed, beyond a repetition of the
old forms of epistles and _silvas_, which so frequently occur in the
works of Castillejo, Ledesma, Lope de Vega, Jauregui, Zarate, and
their contemporaries. Nor could we reasonably expect more. Neither
the popular character of Spanish poetry, nor the severe nature of the
Spanish ecclesiastical and political constitutions of government,
was favorable to the development of this particular form of verse,
or likely to tolerate it on any important subject. Didactic poetry
remained, therefore, at the end of the period, as it was at the
beginning, one of the feeblest and least successful departments of the
national literature.[33]

  [33] The shorter poems, noticed as didactic, are found in the
  Cancioneros and other collections already referred to, or in the
  works of their respective authors.



The collection and publication of the popular ballads of the country
in the Cancioneros and Romanceros, in the sixteenth century, attracted
to them a kind and degree of attention they had failed to receive
during the long period in which they had been floating about among the
unrecorded traditions of the common people. There was so much that
was beautiful in them, so much that appealed successfully to the best
recollections of all classes, so much directly connected with the great
periods of the national glory, that the minds of all were stirred by
them, as soon as they appeared in a permanent form, and they became, at
once, favorites of the more cultivated portion of the people, as they
had always been of the humble hearts that gave them birth. The natural
consequence followed;--they were imitated;--and not merely by poets who
occasionally wrote in this among other forms of verse, but by persons
who composed them in large numbers and published them by volumes.[34]

  [34] When looking through any of the large collections of
  ballads, especially those produced in the seventeenth century
  by the popularity of the whole class and the facility of their
  metrical structure, we find pertinent an excellent remark of
  Rengifo, in his “Arte Poética,” 1592, p. 38:--“There is nothing
  easier than to make a ballad, and nothing more difficult than to
  make it what it ought to be.”

The first of these persons was Lorenzo de Sepúlveda, whose Ballad-book
can be traced back to 1551, the very year after the appearance, at
Saragossa, of the earliest collection of popular and anonymous ballads,
gathered from the memories of the people. The attempt of Sepúlveda
was made in the right direction; for he founded it almost entirely on
the old Castilian Chronicles, and appealed, as they did, to popular
tradition and the national feelings for his support. In his Preface,
he says, that his ballads “ought to be more savory than many others,
because not only are they true and drawn from the truest histories he
could find, but written in the Castilian measure and in the tone of the
old ballads, which,” he adds, “_is now in fashion_. They were taken,”
he declares, “literally from the Chronicle which was compiled by the
most serene king Don Alfonso; the same who, for his good letters and
royal desires, and great learning in all branches of knowledge, was
called ‘The Wise.’” In fact, more than three fourths of this curious
volume consist of ballads taken from the “General Chronicle of Spain,”
often employing its very words, and always imbued with its spirit.
The rest is made up chiefly of ballads founded on sacred and ancient
history, or on mythological and other stories of an imaginary nature.

But, unfortunately, Sepúlveda was not truly a poet, and therefore,
though he sought his subjects in good sources and seldom failed to
select them well, he yet failed to give any more of a poetical coloring
to his ballads than he found in the old chronicles he followed. He was,
however, successful as far as the general favor was concerned; for
not only was his entire work reprinted at least four times, but the
separate ballads in it constantly reappear in the old collections[35]
that were, from time to time, published to meet the popular demand.

  [35] “Romances nuevamente sacados de Historias Antiguas de la
  Crónica de España, compuestos por Lorenço de Sepúlveda,” etc., en
  Anvers, 1551, 18mo. There were editions, enlarged and altered,
  in 1563, 1566, 1580, and 1584, mentioned by Ebert. That of
  1584 contains one hundred and fifty-six ballads;--that of 1551
  contains one hundred and forty-nine. Many of them are in the
  Romanceros Generales, and not a few in the recent collections of
  Depping and Duran.

Quite as characteristic of the period is a small selection of ballads
printed for the first time in 1564. It was made by some person of
distinction, who sent it to Alonso de Fuentes, with a request that he
would furnish it with all needful explanations in prose. This he did;
but the original collector died before it was published. Of the forty
ballads of which it consists, ten are on subjects from the Bible; ten
from Roman history; ten from other portions of ancient history; and
the remainder from the history of Spain, coming down to the fall of
Granada. We are not told where they were obtained, and none of them
has much value;--the great merit of the whole, in the eyes of those
who were concerned in their publication, consisting, no doubt, in the
wearisome historical and moral commentary by which each is followed.

Fuentes, however, who intimates that the task was hardly worthy of his
position, may have had a better taste in such things than the person
who employed him; for, in a prefatory epistle, he gives us, of his own
accord, the following ballad, evidently very old, if not very spirited,
which he attributes to Alfonso the Wise. But it is no otherwise the
work of that monarch than that all but the last stanzas are taken from
the remarkable letter he wrote on the disastrous position of his
affairs in 1280, when, by the rebellion of his son and the desertion
of the higher ecclesiastics of his kingdom, he was reduced, in his old
age, to misery and despair,--a letter already cited, and more poetical
than the ballad founded on it.

    I left my land, I left my home,
      To serve my God against his foes;
    Nor deemed, that, in so short a space,
      My fortunes could in ruin close.

    For two short months were hardly sped,
      And April was but gone, and May,
    When Castile’s towers and Castile’s towns
      From my fair realm were rent away.

    And they that should have counselled peace
      Between the father and his son,
    My bishops and my lordly priests,
      Forgetting what they should have done,--

    Not by contrivance deep and dark,
      Not silent, like the secret thief,
    But trumpet-tongued, rebellion raised,
      And filled my house with guilt and grief.

    Then, since my blood denies my cause,
      And since my friends desert and flee,--
    Since they are gone, who should have stood
      Between the guilty blow and me,--

    To thee I bend, my Saviour Lord,
      To thee, the Virgin Mother, bow,
    For your support and gracious help
      Pouring my daily, nightly vow:

    For your compassion now is all
      My child’s rebellious power hath left
    To soothe the piercing, piercing woes
      That leave me here of hope bereft.

    And since before his cruel might
      My friends have all in terror fled,
    Do thou, Almighty Father, thou,
      Protect my unprotected head.

    But I have heard in former days
      The story of another king,
    Who--fled from and betrayed like me--
      Resolved all fears away to fling,

    And launch upon the wide, wide sea,
      And find adventurous fortune there,
    Or perish in its rolling waves,
      The victim of his brave despair.

    This ancient monarch far and near--
      Old Apollonius--was known:
    I’ll follow where he sought his fate,
      And where he found it find my own.[36]

  [36] The “Cantos de Fuentes,” in the Epístola to which this
  ballad is found, were printed three times, and in the edition
  of Alcalá, 1587, 12mo, fill, with their tedious commentary,
  above eight hundred pages. Fuentes is noted by Zuñiga, in his
  “Annals of Seville,” 1677, p. 585, as a knight of Seville “of an
  illustrious lineage.” See also, _ante_, Vol. I. pp. 36-38.

Juan de Timoneda, partly bookseller and partly poet,--the friend of
Lope de Rueda, and, like him, the author of farces acted in the public
squares of Valencia,--was, both from his occupations and tastes, a
person who would naturally understand the general poetical feeling and
wants of his time. In consequence of this, probably, he published, in
1573, a collection of ballads, entitled “The Rose,” consisting, in
no small degree, of his own compositions, but containing, also, some
by other and older poets. Taken together, they constitute a volume
of nearly seven hundred pages, divided into “The Rose of Love”; “The
Spanish Rose”; “The Gentile Rose,” so called, because its subjects are
heathen; and “The Royal Rose,” which is on the fates and fortunes of
princes;--the whole being followed by about a hundred pages of popular,
miscellaneous verse, rustic songs, and fanciful glosses.

The best parts of this large collection are the ballads gathered by
its author from popular tradition, most of which were soon published
in other Romanceros, with the variations their origin necessarily
involved. The poorest parts are those written by himself,--such as the
last division, which is entirely his own, and is not superior to the
similar ballads in Sepúlveda and Fuentes. As a collection, however, it
is important; because it shows how true the Spanish people remained to
their old traditions, and how constantly they claimed to have the best
portions of their history repeated to them in the old forms to which
they had so long been accustomed. In another point of view, also, it is
of consequence. It furnishes ballads on the early heroes of Spain, some
of which are needed to fill up two or three of the best among their
traditional stories, while others come down, with similar accounts of
later heroes, to the end of the Moorish wars.[37]

  [37] The only copy of this volume known to exist is among the
  rare and precious Spanish books given by Reinhart to the Imperial
  Library at Vienna; but an excellent account of it, followed
  by above sixty of the more important ballads it contains, was
  published at Leipzig, 1846, 12mo, under the title of “Rosa de
  Romances,” by Mr. Wolf, the admirable scholar, to whom the lovers
  of Spanish literature owe so much.

In 1583, the series of such popular works was still further continued
by Pedro de Padilla, who published a Romancero containing sixty-three
long ballads of his own,--about half of them taken from uncertain
traditions, or from fables like those of Ariosto, and the others from
the known history of Spain, which they follow down through the times
of Charles the Fifth and the Flemish wars of Philip the Second. The
Italian measures several times intrude, where they can produce only an
awkward and incongruous effect; and the rest of the volume, not devoted
to ballads,--except fifty _villancicos_, which are full of the old
popular spirit,--is composed of poems in the Italian manner, that add
nothing to its value.[38]

  [38] “Romancero de Pedro de Padilla,” Madrid, 1583, 12mo. The
  ballads fill about three hundred and sixty pages. The first
  twenty-two are on the wars in Flanders; afterwards there are
  nine taken from Ariosto’s stories; then several on the story of
  Rodrigo de Narvaez, on Spanish traditions, etc.

Juan de la Cueva, finding the old national subjects thus seized upon
by his predecessors, resorted, it would seem, from necessity, to the
histories of Greece and Rome for his materials, and in 1587 published
a volume containing above a hundred ballads, which he divided into ten
books, placing nine of them under the protection of the nine Muses, and
the other under that of Apollo. Their poetical merit is inconsiderable.
The best are a few whose subjects are drawn from the old Castilian
Chronicle, like that on the sad story of Doña Teresa, who, after being
wedded against her will to the Moorish king of Toledo, was miraculously
permitted to take refuge in a convent, rather than consummate her hated
marriage with an infidel. Two ballads, however, in which the author
gives an account of himself and of his literary undertakings, are more
curious;--the latter containing an amusing account of some of the bad
poets of his time.[39]

  [39] Cueva, whom we have found in several other departments of
  Spanish literature, printed his ballads with the title of “Coro
  Febeo de Romances Historiales,” in his native city, Seville,
  1587, 12mo,--a volume of nearly seven hundred pages. Only four or
  five are on Spanish subjects;--that on Doña Teresa (f. 215) being
  obviously taken from the “Crónica General,” Parte III. c. 22. The
  ballad addressed to his book, “Al Libro,” is at the end of the
  “Melpomene,” and is of value for his personal history.

The publication of the first part of “The Civil Wars of Granada,” by
Hita, in 1595, containing about sixty ballads, some of them very old,
and several of great poetical merit, increased, no doubt, the impulse
which the frequent appearance of volumes of popular anonymous ballads
continued to give to Spanish poetry in this attractive form.[40] This
is yet more apparent in the new direction taken by ballad-writing,
which from this time began to select particular subjects and address
itself to separate classes of readers. Thus, in 1609, we have a volume
of ballads in the dialect of the rogues, written in the very spirit of
the vagabonds it represents, and collected by some one who concealed
himself under the name of Juan Hidalgo;[41]--while in 1612, at the
other extreme of the cycle, Valdivielso, the fashionable ecclesiastic,
printed a large “Spiritual Ballad-book,” whose ballads are all on
religious subjects, and all intended to promote habits of devotion.[42]
In 1614 and 1622, Lope de Vega, always a lover of such poetry, gave
to the religious world a collection of similar devout ballads, often
reprinted afterwards;[43] and in 1629 and 1634, he contributed
materials to two other collections of the same character,--the first
anonymous, and entitled “A Bouquet of Divine Flowers”; and the other by
Luis de Arellano, which, under the name of “Counsels for the Dying,”
contains thirty ballads, several of which are by the principal poets of
the time.[44]

  [40] Hita’s “Guerras Civiles de Granada” will be noticed when I
  come to speak of romantic fiction.

  [41] “Romances de Germanía,” 1609; reprinted, Madrid, 1789, 8vo.
  The words _Germanía_, _Germano_, etc., were applied to the jargon
  in which the rogues talked with one another. Hidalgo, who wrote
  only six of the ballads he published, gives at the end of his
  collection a vocabulary of this dialect, which is recognized as
  genuine by Mayans y Siscar, and reprinted in his “Orígenes”; so
  that the suggestion of Clemencin, which I have followed in the
  text, where I speak of Juan Hidalgo as a pseudonyme, may not be
  well founded;--a suggestion further discountenanced by the fact,
  that, in Tom. XXXVIII. of the Comedias Escogidas, 1672, the play
  of “Los Mozárabes de Toledo” is attributed to a Juan Hidalgo.
  That this had nothing to do with the Gypsies, though supposed, in
  the last edition, to have been connected with them, is shown in
  Borrow’s “Zincali,” London, 1841, 8vo, Tom. II. p. 143. Sandoval
  (Carlos V., Lib. III. § 38) more than once calls the rebellious
  _Comuneros_ of Valencia a _Germanía_, or combination, which can
  leave little doubt about the origin of the word from _Hermandad_,
  _Hermano_,--brotherhood and brother,--though Covarrubias does not
  seem sure about it, in verb. _Alemania._

  [42] Valdivielso’s name occurs very often in the _Aprobacion_
  of books in the sixteenth century. His “Romancero Espiritual,”
  Valencia, 1689, 12mo, first printed 1612, was several times
  reprinted, and fills above three hundred and fifty pages. It is
  not quite all in the ballad measure or in a grave tone.

  [43] In Lope’s Obras Sueltas, Tom. XIII. and XVII.

  [44] “Ramillete de Divinas Flores para el Desengaño de la Vida
  Humana,” Amberes, 1629, 18mo, pp. 262. “Avisos para la Muerte,
  por L. de Arellano,” Zaragoza, 1634, 1648, etc., 18mo, 90 leaves.
  See, _ante_, p. 341, note.

Others, like Roca y Serna, wrote large numbers of ballads, but did not
print them separately.[45] Those of the Prince Esquilache, some of
which are excellent, amount to nearly three hundred. Antonio de Mendoza
wrote about two hundred; and perhaps as many, in every possible variety
of character, are scattered through the works of Quevedo; so that,
by the middle of the seventeenth century, there can be no doubt that
large and successful efforts had been made by the known authors of the
period to continue the old ballad spirit by free contributions, both in
separate volumes and in masses of ballads inserted among their other
published works.

  [45] The ballads of Roca y Serna, often disfigured by his
  Gongorism, are found in his “Luz del Alma,” Madrid, 1726, 12mo,
  first printed in 1634, and frequently since.

Meantime the old spirit itself had not been lost. The ballad-book known
originally under the name of “Flor de Romances,” which we have already
traced in its individual parts to five small volumes,--published
between 1593 and 1597, in such widely different portions of Spain,
that its materials were gathered from the soil of nearly the whole
country,--continued to be valued, and was reprinted and enlarged,
under the name of “El Romancero General,” four times; till, with the
Ballad-book of 1550-1555, it comprehended nearly all the old ballads
that had been preserved by tradition, together with not a few by Lope
de Vega, Góngora, and other living authors. Out of these two vast
storehouses, and from such other sources as could still yield suitable
materials, smaller and more popular ballad-books were now selected and
published. One appeared at Barcelona in 1582, and was reprinted there
in 1602 and 1696, taken in a considerable degree from the collection
of 1550, but containing, besides, ballads not found elsewhere, and
among the rest, several on the history of the triple league and on
the death of Philip the Second.[46] A ballad-book for “The Twelve
Peers,” and their marvellous achievements, published for the first
time in 1608, has continued to be a favorite ever since;[47] and four
years afterwards appeared “The Ballad-Book of the Cid,” which has been
printed and reprinted again and again, at home and abroad, down to
our own times.[48] These were followed, in 1623, by the “Primavera,”
or Spring of Ballads, by Perez, of which a second part was collected
and published by Segura in 1629, comprehending together nearly three
hundred;--most, but not all, of them known before, and many of them of
great beauty.[49] And other ballad-books of the same sort, as well as
these, continued to be printed in cheap forms for popular use till the
old Castilian culture disappeared with the decay of the old national

  [46] It is entitled “Silva de Varios Romances,” and contains the
  well-known ballads of the Conde d’ Irlos, the Marquis of Mantua,
  Gayferos, and the Conde Claros, with others, to the number of
  twenty-three, that are in the Ballad-book of 1550. Those on the
  death of Philip II. and Doña Isabel de la Paz are, of course,
  not in the first edition of this Silva. They occur in that of
  Barcelona, 1602, 18mo.

  [47] “Floresta de Varios Romances, sacados de las Historias
  Antiguas de los Hechos Famosos de los Doce Pares de Francia,”
  Madrid, 1728, 18mo, first printed 1608. See Sarmiento, § 528, for
  its popularity; but the later ballads in the volume do not relate
  to the Twelve Peers.

  [48] “Romancero y Historia del muy Valeroso Cavallero, el Cid Ruy
  Diaz de Bivar, recopilado por Juan de Escobar,” Alcalá, 1612,
  18mo, and many other editions, the most complete being that of
  Stuttgard, 1840, 12mo.

  [49] Besides the editions of 1623 and 1629, I know that of
  Madrid, 1659, 18mo, in two parts, containing additions of
  satirical ballads, _letrillas_, etc., by Francisco de Segura.

But during the long period of a century and a half when this kind of
poetry prevailed so widely in Spain, the ballads were not left to the
formal Romanceros, whether anonymous, like the largest, or by known
authors, like those of Sepúlveda and Cueva, nor even to persons who
wrote them in great numbers and printed them in a separate department
of their collected works, as did Prince Esquilache. On the contrary,
between 1550 and 1700, hardly a Spanish poet can be found through
whose works they are not scattered with such profusion, that the
number of popular ballads that could be collected from them would,
if brought together, greatly exceed in amount all that are found
in the ballad-books proper. Many of the ballads which thus occur
either separately or in small groups are picturesque and beautiful in
the same way the elder ones are, though rarely to the same degree.
Silvestre, Montemayor, Espinel, Castillejo, and, above all of his time,
Lopez de Maldonado, wrote them with success, towards the end of the
sixteenth century.[50] A little later, those of Góngora are admirable.
Indeed, his more simple, childlike ballads, and those in which a
gay, mischievous spirit is made to conceal a genuine tenderness, are
unlike almost any of their class found elsewhere, and can hardly be
surpassed.[51] But Góngora afterwards introduced the same affected and
false style into this form of his poetry that he did into the rest,
and was followed, with constantly increasing absurdities, by Arteaga,
Pantaleon, Villamediana, Coronel, and the rest of his imitators, whose
ballads are generally worse than any thing else they wrote, because,
from the very simplicity and truth required by the proper nature of
such compositions, they less tolerate an appearance of affectation.

  [50] Lopez Maldonado was a friend of Cervantes, and his
  Cancionero (Madrid, 1586, 4to) was among the books in Don
  Quixote’s library. There is a beautiful ballad by him, (f. 35,)

      Ojos llenos de beldad,
      Apartad de vos la ira,
      Y no pagueis con mentira
      A los que os tratan verdad.

  The other authors referred to in the text have been before

  [51] Some of Góngora’s romantic ballads, like his “Angelica
  and Medoro,” and some of his burlesque ballads, are good; but
  the best are the simplest. There is a beautiful one, giving a
  discussion between a little boy and girl, how they will dress up
  and spend a holiday.

Cervantes, who was Góngora’s contemporary, tells us that he composed
vast numbers which are now lost; and, from his own opinion of them, we
have no reason to regret their fate. Lope’s, on the contrary, which
he preserved with a care for his own reputation that was not at all
characteristic of Cervantes, are still numerous and often excellent;
especially those that relate to himself and his loves, some of the
best of which seem to have been produced at Valencia and Lisbon.[52]
At the same time and later, good ballads were written by Quevedo,
who descended even to the style of the rogues in their composition;
by Bernarda de Fereira, a nun in the romantic convent of Buzaco, in
Portugal; by Rebolledo, the diplomatist; and perhaps, though with
some hesitation, we should add, by Solís, the historian.[53] Indeed,
wherever we turn, in the Spanish poetry of this period, we find ballads
in all their varieties of tone and character,--often by authors
otherwise little known, like Alarcon, who, in the end of the sixteenth
century, wrote excellent devout ballads,[54] or Diego de la Chica, who
is remembered only for a single satirical one, preserved by Espinosa in
the beginning of the seventeenth;[55]--but we always find them in the
works of those poets of note who desired to stand well with the mass of
their countrymen.

  [52] Cervantes speaks of his “numberless ballads” in his “Viage
  al Parnaso.” Those of Lope de Vega soon came into the popular
  ballad-books, if, indeed, some of the best of them were not,
  as I suspect, originally written for the “Flor de Romances” of
  Villalta, printed at Valencia in 1593, 18mo.

  [53] Solís, “Poesías Sagradas y Humanas,” 1692, 1732, etc.

  [54] “Vergel de Plantas Divinas, por Arcangel de Alarcon,” 1594.

  [55] It is a ballad about money (Espinosa, Flores, 1605, f. 30),
  and is the only thing I know by Diego de la Chica. I might add
  ballads by other authors, which are found where they would least
  be looked for; like one of by Rufo, in his “Apotegmas,”--one
  by Jauregui, in his “Rimas,”--and a beautiful one by Camoens,
  (Rimas, 1598, f. 187,) worthy of Góngora, and beginning,--

      Irme quiero, madre,
      A aquella galera,
      Con el marinero
      A ser marinera.

      I long to go, dear mother mine,
        Aboard yon galley fair,
      With that young sailor that I love,
        His sailor life to share.

Nor could it be otherwise;--for ballads, in the seventeenth century,
had become the delight of the whole Spanish people. The soldier solaced
himself with them in his tent, and the muleteer amidst the _sierras_;
the maiden danced to them on the green, and the lover sang them for his
serenade; they entered into the low orgies of thieves and vagabonds,
into the sumptuous entertainments of the luxurious nobility, and into
the holiday services of the Church; the blind beggar chanted them to
gather alms, and the puppet-showman gave them in recitative to explain
his exhibition; they were a part of the very foundation of the theatre,
both secular and religious, and the theatre carried them everywhere,
and added everywhere to their effect and authority. No poetry of modern
times has been so widely spread through all classes of society, and
none has so entered into the national character. The ballads, in fact,
seem to have been found on every spot of Spanish soil. They seem to
have filled the very air that men breathed.[56]

  [56] There is no need of authorities to prove the universal
  prevalence of ballads in the seventeenth century; for the
  literature of that century often reads like a mere monument
  of it. But if I wished to name any thing, it would be the Don
  Quixote, where Sancho is made to cite them so often; and the
  Novelas of Cervantes, especially “The Little Gypsy,” who sings
  her ballads in the houses of the nobles and the church of
  Santa María; and “Rinconete and Cortadillo,” where they make
  the coarse merriment of the thieves of Seville. Indeed, as the
  puppet-showman says, in Don Quixote, (Parte II. c. 26,) “They
  were in the mouths of every body,--of the very boys in the



The romances of chivalry, like the institutions on which they were
founded, lingered long in Spain. Their grave fictions were suited
to the air of the stern old castles with which the Moorish contest
had studded large portions of the country, while their general tone
harmonized no less happily with the stately manners which the spirit
of knighthood had helped to impress on the higher classes of society,
from the mountains of Biscay to the shores of the Mediterranean.
Their influence, therefore, was great; and, as one natural result of
its long continuance, other and better forms of prose fiction were
discountenanced in Spain, or appeared later than they might have done
under different circumstances;--a fact to which Cervantes alludes,
when, even at the opening of the seventeenth century, he complains that
Spanish books of the latter character were still rarely to be found.[57]

  [57] Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 28.

Fifty years, however, before that period, signs of a coming change are
perceptible. The magnificent successes of Charles the Fifth had already
filled the minds of men with a spirit of adventure very different from
that of Amadis and his descendants, though sometimes hardly less wild
and extravagant. The cruel wars unceasingly kept up with the Barbary
powers, and the miseries of the thousands of captives who returned from
Africa, to amaze their countrymen with tragical stories of their own
trials and those of their fellow-sufferers, were full of that bitter
romance of real life which outruns all fiction. Manners, too,--the
old, formal, knightly manners of the nobility,--were beginning to be
modified by intercourse with the rest of the world, and especially with
Italy, then the most refined and least military country of Christendom;
so that romantic fiction--the department of elegant literature, which,
above every other, depends on the state of society--was naturally
modified in Spain by the great changes going on in the external
relations and general culture of the kingdom. Of this state of things,
and of its workings in the new forms of fiction produced by it, we
shall find frequent proofs as we advance.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first form, however, in which a change in the national taste
manifested itself with well-defined success--that of _prose
pastorals_--is perhaps not one which would have been anticipated
even by the more sagacious; though, when we now look back upon its
history, we can easily discover some of the foundations on which it was
originally built.

From the Middle Ages the occupations of a shepherd’s life had prevailed
in Spain and Portugal to a greater extent than elsewhere in Europe;[58]
and, probably in consequence of this circumstance, eclogues and
bucolics were early known in the poetry of both countries, and became
connected in both with the origin of the popular drama. On the other
hand, the military spirit of such a civilization as existed in Spain
down to the sixteenth century may have gladly turned away from such
a monotonous exaggeration of its own character as is found in the
romances of chivalry, and sought refreshment and repose in the peace
and simplicity of a fabulous Arcadia. At least, these are the two
obvious circumstances in the condition and culture of Spain, that
favored the appearance of so singular a form of fiction as that of
prose pastorals, though how much influence either exercised it may now
be impossible to determine.

  [58] The laws of the “Partidas,” about 1260, afford abundant
  illustrations of the extent and importance of the pastoral life
  in Spain at that period, and for a long time before.

On one point, however, we are not left in doubt. We know whence the
impulse came that called forth such a work for the first time in
Castilian literature, and when it appeared there. It was Sannazaro,--a
Neapolitan gentleman, whose family had been carried from Spain to
Naples by the political revolutions of the preceding century,--who
is the true father of the modern prose pastoral, which, from him,
passed directly to Spain, and, during a long period of success in
that country, never entirely lost the character its author had
originally impressed upon it. His “Arcadia”--written, probably,
without any reference to the Greek pastoral of Longus, but hardly
without a knowledge of the “Ameto” of Boccaccio and the Eclogues of
Bembo--was first published entire, at Naples, in 1504.[59] It is a
genuine pastoral romance in prose and verse, in which, with a slight
connecting narrative, and under the disguise of the loves of shepherds
and shepherdesses, Sannazaro relates adventures that really occurred
to him and to some of his friends;--he himself appearing under the name
of Sincero, who is its principal personage. Such a work, of course, is
somewhat fantastic from its very nature; but the fiction of Sannazaro
was written in the purest and most graceful Italian, and had a great
success;--a success which, perhaps, from the Spanish connections of his
family, was early extended to Spain. At any rate, Spain was the first
foreign country where the Arcadia was imitated, and was afterwards the
only one where such works appeared in large numbers, and established a
lasting influence.

  [59] Ginguené, Hist. Litt. d’Italie, Tom. X., par Salvi, pp. 87,

It is singular, however, that, like the romances of chivalry, pastoral
romance was first introduced into Spain by a Portuguese,--by George of
Montemayor, a native of the town of that name, near Coimbra. When he
was born we are not told; probably it was before 1520. In his youth he
was a soldier; but later, from his skill in music, he became attached
to the travelling chapel of the prince of Spain, afterwards Philip the
Second, and thus enjoyed an opportunity of visiting foreign countries,
especially Italy and Flanders. But his mind was little cultivated by
study. He knew no Latin, which even those of the humblest literary
attainments were wont to acquire, in the age when he lived; so that
his success is due to his own genius and to the promptings of that
passion which gave its color to his life. Probably he left Spain
from disappointment in love; probably, too, he perished in a duel at
Turin, in 1561. But we know nothing more of him with any tolerable

  [60] Barbosa, Bib. Lusitana, Tom. II. p. 809, and the Prólogo to
  the Diana of Perez, ed. 1614, p. 362.

His “Diana Enamorada,” the chief of his works, was first printed
at Valencia, in 1542.[61] It is written in good Castilian, like his
poetry, which is published separately, though, like that, with some
intermixture of his native Portuguese;[62] and it contains, as he tells
us, stories of adventures which really occurred.[63] We know, too,
that, under the name of Sereno, he was himself its hero; and Lope de
Vega adds, that Diana, its heroine, was a lady of Valencia de Don Juan,
a town near the city of Leon.[64] Montemayor’s purpose, therefore, like
that of Sannazaro, is to give, in the forms of a pastoral romance, an
account of some events in his own life and in the lives of a few of
his friends. To effect this, he brings together on the banks of the
Ezla, at the foot of the mountains of Leon, a number of shepherds and
shepherdesses, who relate their respective stories through seven books
of prose, intermingled with verse. But the two principal personages,
Sereno and Diana, who are introduced at first as lovers, are separated
by magic; and the romance is brought to an abrupt conclusion, little
conformable to all the previous intimations, by the marriage of Diana
to Delio, the unworthy rival of Sereno.

  [61] I have never seen any edition of the Diana cited earlier
  than that of Madrid, 1545; but I possess one in 4to, 112 leaves,
  well printed at Valencia, in 1542, without the name of the
  printer. The story of Narvaez, of which I shall have occasion to
  speak when we come to Antonio Villegas, does not stand in the
  fourth book of this copy, as it does in the copies of subsequent
  editions. The Diana of Montemayor was so popular, that at least
  sixteen editions of the original appeared in eighty years; six
  French translations, according to Gordon de Percel (Bib. de
  l’Usage des Romans, Paris, 1734, 12mo, Tom. II. pp. 23, 24);
  two German, according to Ebert; and one English. The last, by
  Bartholomew Yong, (London, 1598, folio,) is excellent, and some
  of its happy versions of the poetry of Montemayor are found in
  “England’s Helicon,” 1600 and 1614, reprinted in the third volume
  of the “British Bibliographer,” London, 1810, 8vo. The story of
  Proteus and Julia, in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” was supposed
  by Mrs. Lenox and Dr. Farmer to be taken from that of Felismena,
  in the second book of Montemayor’s Diana, and therefore Collier
  has republished Yong’s translation of the last in the second
  volume of his “Shakspeare’s Library,” (London, s. a. 8vo,)
  though he doubts whether Shakspeare were really indebted to it.
  Malone’s Shakspeare, Boswell’s ed., London, 1821, 8vo, Vol. IV.
  p. 3, and Brydges, Restituta, London, 1814, 8vo, Vol. I. p.
  498. Poor abridgments of the Diana of Montemayor, and of Polo’s
  Continuation, were published at London, 1738, 12mo.

  [62] Sometimes he wrote in both languages at once; at least, he
  did so in his Cancionero, 1588, f. 81, where is a sonnet which
  may be read either as Spanish or as Portuguese.

  [63] In his _Argumento_ to the whole romance.

  [64] Dorotea, Act II. Sc. 2. Obras Sueltas, Tom. VII. p. 84.

On first reading the Diana of Montemayor, it is not easy to understand
it. The separate stories of which it is composed are so involved with
each other, and so inartificially united, that we are constantly
losing the thread of the principal narration;--a difficulty which is
much increased by the mixture of true and false geography, heathenism,
magic, Christianity, and all the various contradictory impossibilities
that naturally follow an attempt to place in the heart of Spain, and
near one of its best-known cities, a poetical Arcadia, that never
existed anywhere. The Diana, however, better merits the name of a
romance than the Arcadia, which served for its model. Its principal
fiction is ampler and more ingeniously constructed. Its episodes
are more interesting. Much of it is warm with the tenderness of a
disappointed attachment, which, no doubt, caused the whole to be
written. Some of the poetry is beautiful, especially the lyric poetry;
and if its prose style is not so pure as that of Sannazaro, it is still
to be remarked for its grace and richness. Notwithstanding its many
defects, therefore, the Diana is not without an interest for us even
at this remote period, when the whole class of fictions to which it
belongs is discountenanced and almost forgotten; and we feel that only
poetical justice was done to it when it was saved, by the good taste of
the curate, in the destruction of Don Quixote’s library.

The Diana, as has been intimated, was left unfinished by its author;
but in 1564, three years after his death, Alonso Perez, a physician
of Salamanca, to whom Montemayor, before he finally left Spain, had
communicated his plan for completing it, published a second part,
which opens in the enchanted palace of Felicia, where the first ends,
and gives us the adventures and stories of several shepherds and
shepherdesses, not introduced before, as well as a continuation of
the original fiction. But this second part, like the first, fails
to complete the romance. It advances no farther than to the death
of Delio, the husband of Diana,--which, according to the purpose of
Montemayor, was to have been followed by her union with Sereno, her
first and true lover,--and then stops abruptly, with the promise of
yet a third part, which never appeared. Nor was it, probably, demanded
with any earnestness; for the second, protracted through seven books,
and considerably longer than its predecessor, is much inferior to it
in merit. It lacks, in all its many stories, the tenderness which the
disappointment of Montemayor had given to the first portion of the
work; and, what perhaps is of no less consequence in this kind of
composition, the prose is heavy and monotonous, and the verse worse.[65]

  [65] The first edition cited (Ant., Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p.
  539) is of 1564, and I know of but one other, that which I
  have, Barcelona, 1614, 12mo; though I have seen one without a
  title-page, which may be different from both. At any rate, its
  editions were few, and its popularity was small. It was, however,
  translated into French, and by Bart. Yong into English; and
  was printed in the original more than once with the Diana of

But this unfortunate attempt was not the only consequence of
Montemayor’s success. The same year with that in which the work of
Perez was published, another continuation appeared at Valencia, by
Gaspar Gil Polo, a gentleman of that city, who was a Professor of
Greek in its University.[66] The Diana of Polo has the merit of being
shorter than either of its predecessors. It is divided into five books,
and contains an account of the falsehood and death of Delio, and
the marriage of Diana to Sereno, whom she finds when she is seeking
the husband who had basely abandoned her for another shepherdess.
Several episodes and much pastoral poetry of different kinds are
skilfully inserted; but though the original plan of Montemayor seems
to be completed, the book ends with the promise of a still further
continuation, which, though the author lived nearly thirty years after
he made it, seems never to have been written.[67] His work, however,
was successful. Its prose has always found favor, and so have some
portions of its verse; especially the _cancion_ of Nerea in the third
book, and several of the shorter poems in the last.[68]

  [66] Polo’s “Diana Enamorada” was first printed in 1564, and
  seven editions of the original appeared in half a century, with
  two French translations and a Latin one; the last by Caspar
  Barth. It is well translated by Bart. Yong, as the _third_ part
  of the Diana, in the same volume with the others; but is really
  the _second_ part.

  [67] There is, however, a third part to the Diana of Montemayor,
  written by Hier. Texada, and printed at Paris, 1627, 8vo, of
  which a copy in the Royal Library at Paris is cited by Ebert, but
  I have never seen it.

  [68] The best edition of Gil Polo’s Diana is that with a life of
  him by Cerdá, Madrid, 1802, 12mo; particularly valuable for the
  notes to the “Canto de Turia,” in which, imitating the “Canto de
  Orfeo,” where Montemayor gives an account of the famous _ladies_
  of his time, Polo gives an account of the famous _poets_ of
  Valencia. For lives of Polo see, also, Ximeno, Escritores de
  Valencia, Tom. I. p. 270, and Fuster, Bib. Valentina, Tom. I.
  p. 150. It is singular that Polo, who had such success with his
  Diana, should have printed nothing else, except one or two short
  and trifling poems.

The “Ten Books of Fortune and Love,” by Antonio de Lo Frasso, a
Sardinian and a soldier, published in 1573, is the next Spanish romance
of the same class with the Diana; but it is without merit, and was
forgotten soon after it appeared.[69] Nine years later, in 1582, a
better one was published,--the “Fílida,”--which passed early through
five editions, and is still valued and read.[70] Its author, Luis
Galvez de Montalvo, was born in Guadalaxara, a town near Alcalá, the
birthplace of Cervantes; and, perhaps from this circumstance, they
soon became acquainted, for they were long friends, and often praised
each other in their respective works.[71] They seem, however, to have
had very different characters; for, instead of the life of adventure
led by Cervantes, Montalvo attached himself to the great family of
Infantado, descended from the Marquis of Santillana, and passed most of
his life as a sort of idle courtier and retainer in their ducal halls,
near the place of his nativity. Subsequently he went to Italy, where
he translated and published, in 1587, “The Tears of Saint Peter,” by
Tansillo, and had begun a translation of the “Jerusalem Delivered” of
Tasso, when he was cut off in the midst of his labors by an accidental
death, in Sicily, about the year 1591.[72]

  [69] It is the same book that Cervantes ridicules in the sixth
  chapter of the first part of Don Quixote, and in the third
  chapter of his “Journey to Parnassus”; and is curious for some
  specimens of Sardinian poetry which it contains. But Pedro de
  Pineda, a teacher of Spanish in London, taking the irony of the
  good curate in Don Quixote on Lo Frasso’s romance to be sincere
  praise, printed a new edition of it, in two very handsome
  volumes, (London, 1740, 8vo,) with a foolish Dedication and
  Prólogo, alleging the authority of Cervantes for its great merit.
  Hardly any other of the Spanish prose pastorals is so absurd as
  this, or contains so much bad verse; a great deal of which is
  addressed to living and known persons by their titles. The tenth
  book, indeed, is almost entirely made up of such poetry. I do
  not recollect that Cervantes is so severe on any poet, in his
  “Journey to Parnassus,” as he is on Lo Frasso.

  [70] The best edition of the “Fílida” is the sixth, (Madrid,
  1792, 8vo,) with a biographical prologue by Mayans y Siscar;
  ill-digested, as are all his similar prefaces, but not without
  valuable matter.

  [71] Navarrete, Vida de Cervantes, pp. 66, 278, 407.

  [72] Lope de Vega, Obras Sueltas, Tom. I. p. 77, and Tom. XI. p.
  xxviii. Don Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Tom. I. p. 146, and Tom. III.
  p. 14, in the notes. The “Tears” of Tansillo enjoyed the honor of
  being four times translated into Spanish.

His “Fílida,” in seven parts, was written while he was attached to the
Duke of Infantado; for he announces himself on the title-page as “a
gentleman and a courtier,” and, in his Dedication to one of the family,
says that “his greatest labor is to live idle, contented, and honored
as one of the servants of their house.” The romance contains, as was
usual in such works, the adventures of living and known personages,
among whom were Montalvo himself, Cervantes, and the nobleman to whom
it is dedicated. But the tone of pastoral life is not better preserved
than it is in the other fictions of the same class. Indeed, in the
sixth part, there is a most inappropriate critical discussion on
the merits of the two schools of Spanish poetry then contending for
fashionable mastery; and in the seventh is a courtly festival, with
running at the ring, in which the shepherds appear on horseback with
lances and armorial bearings, like knights. The prose style of the
whole is pure and good; and among the poems with which it abounds, a
few in the old Spanish measure may be selected that are nearly, if not
quite, equal to the similar poems of Montemayor.

Cervantes, too, as we have already noticed, was led by the spirit of
the times, rather, perhaps, than by his own taste, to begin--as an
offering to the lady of his love--the “Galatea,” of which the first
six books, published in 1584, were all that ever appeared.[73] This
was followed, in 1586, by “Truth for the Jealous”; again a romance in
six books, and, like the last, unfinished. It was written by Bartolomé
Lopez de Enciso, of whom we know from himself that he was a young man
when he wrote it, and that it was his purpose to publish a second part,
of which, however, nothing more was heard. Nor can we regret that he
failed to fulfil his promise. His fictions, which are occupied chiefly
with the nymphs and shepherds of the Tagus, are among the most confused
and unmeaning that have ever been attempted. His scene is laid, from
its opening, in the days of the most ancient Greek mythology; but
the Genius of Spain, in the fifth book, carries the same shepherds
who thus figure in the first to a magnificent temple, and shows them
the statues of Charles the Fifth, of Philip the Second, and even of
Philip the Third, who was not yet on the throne;--thus confounding the
earliest times of classical antiquity with an age which, at the end of
the sixteenth century, was yet to come. Other inconsequences follow, in
great numbers, as matters of course, while nothing in either the prose
or the poetry is of value enough to compensate for the absurdities in
the story. Indeed, few portions of Spanish literature show any thing
more stiff and wearisome than the long declamations and discussions in
this dull fiction.[74]

  [73] _Ante_, Vol. II, pp. 61-64.

  [74] “Desengaño de Celos, compuesto por Bartholomé Lopez de
  Enciso, Natural de Tendilla,” Madrid, 1586, 12mo, 321 leaves.
  There is, I believe, absolutely nothing known of the author,
  except what he tells us of himself in this romance;--an extremely
  rare book, of which I possess the copy that belonged to Cerdá y
  Rico, and which Pellicer borrowed of him to make the needful note
  on Enciso for his edition of Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 6.

Another pastoral romance in six books, entitled “The Nymphs of the
Henares,” by Bernardo Gonzalez de Bovadilla, was printed in 1587. The
author, who was a native of the Canary Islands, confesses that he has
placed the scene of his story on the banks of the Henares without
having ever seen them; but both he and his romance have long since been
forgotten. So has “The Shepherds of Iberia,” in four books, by Bernardo
de la Vega, supposed to have been a native of Madrid, and certainly a
canon of Tucuman, in Peru, whose ill-written story appeared in 1591.
But that these, and all that preceded them, enjoyed for a time the
public favor is made plain by the fact, that they are all found in the
library of Don Quixote, and that three of them receive high praise from
Cervantes;--much higher than has been confirmed by the decision of
subsequent generations.[75]

  [75] Don Quixote, ed. Pellicer, Parte I. Tom. I. p. 67, and ed.
  Clemencin, Tom. I. p. 144.

Some time, however, elapsed before another came to continue the series,
except the “Arcadia” of Lope de Vega, which, though written long
before, was not printed till 1598.[76] At last, “The Age of Gold,”
by Bernardo de Balbuena, appeared. Its author, born on the vine-clad
declivities of the Val de Peñas, in 1568, early accompanied his family
to Mexico, where he was educated, and where, when only seventeen years
old, he was already known as a poet. Once, at least, he visited his
native country, and perhaps oftener; but he seems to have spent most
of his life, either in Jamaica, where he enjoyed an ecclesiastical
benefice, or in Puerto Rico, of which he was afterwards bishop, and
where he died in 1627.

  [76] _Ante_, Vol. II. p. 125. Perhaps the “Enamorada Elisea” of
  Gerónimo de Covarrubias Herrera, printed in 1594, 8vo, should
  also be excepted; but I know this work only from the title of it
  in Antonio.

Of the manners of the New World, however, or of its magnificent
scenery, his “Age of Gold in the Woods of Eriphile” shows no trace.
It was printed at Madrid, in 1608, and might have been written, if
its author had never been in any other city. But it is not without
merit. The poetry with which it abounds is generally of the Italian
school, but is much better than can be found in most of these doubtful
romances; and its prose, though sometimes affected, is oftener sweet
and flowing. Probably nothing in the nine eclogues--as its divisions
are unsuitably called--is connected with either the history or the
scandal of the times; and if this be the case, we have, perhaps, an
explanation of the fact that it was less regarded by those contemporary
with its publication than were similar works of inferior merit. But
whatever may have been the cause, it was long overlooked; no second
edition of it being demanded till 1821, when it received the rare
honor of being published anew by the Spanish Academy.[77]

  [77] The prefatory notice to this edition contains all that is
  known of Balbuena.

The very next year after the first appearance of “The Age of Gold,”
Christóval Suarez de Figueroa, a native of Valladolid, a jurist and
a soldier, published his “Constant Amaryllis, in Four Discourses,”
crowded, like all its predecessors, with short poems, and, like most
of them, claiming to tell a tale not a little of which was true.[78]
Its author, who lived a great deal in Italy, was already known by an
excellent translation of Guarini’s “Pastor Fido,”[79] and published, at
different times afterwards, several original works which enjoyed much

  [78] There was an edition with a French translation in 1614, but
  the best is that of Madrid, 1781, 8vo.

  [79] It was first printed, I believe, at Naples, in 1602, but was
  improved in the edition at Valencia, 1609, 12mo, pp. 278, from
  which I transcribe the opening of Act III.:--

      O primavera, juventud del año,
      Nueva madre de flores,
      De nuevas yervezillas y d’ amores,
      Tu buelves, mas contigo
      No buelven los serenos
      Y aventurosos dias de mis gustos;
      Tu buelves, sí, tu buelves,
      Mas contigo no torna
      Sino la remembrança
      Miserable y doliente
      De mi caro tesoro ya perdido.
                                      p. 94.

  This passage is so nearly word for word, that it is not worth
  while to copy the Italian, and yet its fluency and ease are

  There is a translation of the “Pastor Fido,” by a Jewess, Doña
  Isabel de Correa, of which I know only the third edition, that
  of Antwerp, 1694, 12mo. It is one of the few trophies in poetry
  claimed by the fair sex of its author’s faith; but it is not
  worthy of much praise. Ginguené complains of the original, which
  extends to seven thousand lines, for being too long. It is so;
  but this translation of Doña Isabel is much longer, containing, I
  think, above eleven thousand lines. Its worst fault, however, is
  its bad taste. There is a drama with the same title, “El Pastor
  Fido,” in the Comedias Escogidas, Tom. VIII., 1657, f. 106;--but,
  though it is said to be written by three poets no less famous
  than Solís, Coello, and Calderon, it has very little value.

  [80] Antonio (Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p. 251) gives a list of nine of
  the works of Figueroa, some of which must be noticed under their
  respective heads; but it is probably not complete, for Figueroa
  himself, in 1617, (Pasagero, f. 377,) says he had already
  published seven books, and Antonio gives only six before that
  date; besides which, a friend, in the Preface to Figueroa’s Life
  of the Marquis of Cañete, 1613, says he had written eight works
  in the ten years _then_ preceding.

But he seems to have been a man of an unkind and unfaithful character.
In a curious account of his own life which appeared in his “Traveller,”
he speaks harshly and insidiously of many of his contemporaries; and
towards Cervantes--who had just died, after praising every body most
generously during his whole life--he is absolutely malignant.[81]
His last work is dated in 1621, and this is the last fact we know
in relation to him. His “Amaryllis,” which, as he intimates, was
composed to please a person of great consideration, did not satisfy
its author.[82] It is, however, written in an easy and tolerably pure
style; and though it contains formal and wearisome discussions, like
that in the first part on Poetry, and awkward machinery, such as a
vision of Venus and her court in the second, it is the only one of his
works that has been reprinted or much read within the last century.

  [81] Navarrete, Vida de Cervantes, pp. 179-181, and elsewhere.
  The very curious notices given by Figueroa of his own life, which
  have never been used for his biography, are in his “Pasagero,”
  from f. 286 to f. 392, and are, like many other passages of that
  singular book, full of bitterness towards his contemporaries,
  Lope de Vega, Villegas, Espinosa, etc.

  [82] Pasagero, f. 96. b.

A few pastoral romances appeared in Spain after the Amaryllis, but
none of so much merit, and none that enjoyed any considerable degree
of favor. Espinel Adorno;[83] Botelho, a Portuguese;[84] Quintana, who
assumed the name of Cuevas;[85] Corral;[86] and Saavedra,[87] close up
the series;--the last bringing us down to just about a century from the
first appearance of such fictions in the time of Montemayor, and all of
them infected with the false taste of the period. Taken together, they
leave no doubt that pastoral romance was the first substitute in Spain
for the romances of chivalry, and that it inherited no small degree of
their popularity. Most of the works we have noticed were several times
reprinted, and the “Diana” of Montemayor, the first and best of them
all, was probably more read in Spain during the sixteenth century than
any Spanish work of amusement except the “Celestina.”

  [83] “El Premio de la Constancia y Pastores de Sierra Bermeja,
  por Jacinto de Espinel Adorno,” Madrid, 1620, 12mo, 162 leaves.
  I find no notice of it, except the slight one in Antonio, Bib.
  Nov., Tom. I. p. 613; but it is not worse than some that were
  more valued.

  [84] “El Pastor de Clenarda de Miguel Botelho de Cavalho,”
  Madrid, 1622, 8vo. He wrote, also, several other works; all in
  Castilian, except his “Filis,” a poem in octave stanzas. Barbosa,
  Bib. Lus., Tom. III. p. 466.

  [85] “Experiencias de Amor y Fortuna, por el Licenciado Francisco
  de las Cuevas de Madrid,” Barcelona, 1649, 12mo. See, also,
  Baena, Hijos de Madrid, Tom. II. pp. 172 and 189. Francisco de
  Quintana dedicated this pastoral to Lope de Vega, who wrote him a
  complimentary reply, in which he treats Quintana as a young man,
  and this as his first work. There were editions of it in 1626,
  1646, 1654, as well as the one at Barcelona, above noted, and one
  at Madrid, 1666, 12mo; and in the nineteenth volume of Lope’s
  Obras Sueltas, pp. 353-400, is a sermon which Quintana delivered
  at the obsequies of Lope, in the title of which he is called
  Lope’s “intimate friend.”

  [86] “La Cintia de Aranjuez, Prosas y Versos, por Don Gabriel de
  Corral, Natural de Valladolid,” Madrid, 1629, 12mo, 208 leaves.
  I know of no other edition. He lived in Rome from 1630 to 1632,
  and probably longer. (Antonio, Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p. 505.) He is
  Gongoresque in his style, as is Quintana.

  [87] “Los Pastores del Betis, por Gonzalvo de Saavedra,” Trani,
  1633, 4to, pp. 289. It seems to have been written in Italy; but
  we know nothing of its author, except that he was a Veintiquatro
  of Córdova. His style is affected. In my copy, which in the
  colophon is dated 1634, there are, as a separate tract, four
  leaves of religious and moral advice to the author’s son, when he
  was going as governor to one of the provinces of Naples; better
  written than the romance that precedes it.

All this seems remarkable and strange, when we consider only the
absurdities and inconsequences with which such fictions necessarily
abound. But there is another side to the question, which should not be
overlooked. Pastoral romance, after all, has its foundation in one of
the truest and deepest principles of our common nature,--that love of
rural beauty, of rural peace, in short, of whatever goes to constitute
a country life, as distinguished from the constrained life of a city,
which few are too dull to feel, and fewer still so artificial as wholly
to reject. It has, therefore, prevailed more or less in all modern
countries, as we may see in Italy, from the success that followed
Sannazaro; in France, from the “Astrea” of Durfé; and in England, from
the “Arcadia” of Sir Philip Sidney;--the two latter being pastoral
romances of enormous length, compared with any in Spanish; and the
very last enjoying for above a century a popularity which may well be
compared with that of the “Diana” of Montemayor, if, indeed, it did not
equal it.[88]

  [88] Portugal might have been added. The “Menina é Moça” of
  Bernardino Ribeyro, printed 1557, is a beautiful fragment; and
  the “Primaveira” of Francisco Rodriguez de Lobo, in three long
  parts, printed between 1601 and 1614,--the first of which was
  translated into Spanish by Juan Bart. Morales, 1629,--is among
  the best full-length pastoral romances extant. Both for a long
  time were favorites in Portugal, and are still read there.
  Barbosa, Bib. Lus., Tom. I. p. 518, Tom. II. p. 242.

No doubt, in Spain, as elsewhere, the incongruities of such fictions
were soon perceived. Even some of those who most indulged in them
showed that it was not entirely from a misapprehension of their nature.
Cervantes, who died regretting that he should leave his “Galatea”
unfinished, still makes himself merry more than once in his “Don
Quixote” with all such fancies; and, in his “Colloquy of the Dogs,”
permits one of them, who had been in shepherd service, to satirize
the false exhibition of life in the best pastorals of his time, not
forgetting his own among the rest.[89] Lope de Vega, too, though he
published his “Arcadia” under circumstances which show that he set a
permanent value upon its gentle tales, could still, in a play where
shepherds are introduced, make one of them--who found a real life among
flocks and herds in rough weather much less agreeable than the life he
had read of in the pastorals--say, when suffering in a storm,--

  [89] Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 6, in the examination of the
  library, where his niece begs that the pastorals may be burnt as
  well as the books of chivalry, lest, if her uncle were cured of
  knight-errantry, he should go mad as a shepherd;--and Parte II.
  c. 67 and 73, where her fears are very nigh being realized.

    And I should like just now to see those men
    Who write such books about a shepherd’s life,
    Where all is spring and flowers and trees and brooks.[90]

  [90] Comedias, Parte VI., Madrid, 1615, 4to, f. 102. El Cuerdo en
  su Casa, Act. I.

Still, neither Cervantes, nor Lope, nor any body else in their
time, thought seriously of discountenancing pastoral fictions. On
the contrary, there was in their very style--which was generally an
imitation of the Italian, that gave birth to them all--something
attractive to a cultivated Castilian ear, at a time when the school
of Garcilasso was at the height of its popularity and favor. Besides
this, the real events they recorded, and the love-stories of persons
in high life that they were known to conceal, made them sometimes
riddles and sometimes masquerades, which engaged the curiosity of
those who moved in the circles either of their authors or of their
heroes and heroines.[91] But more than all, the glimpses they afforded
of nature and truth--such genuine and deep tenderness as is shown by
Montemayor, and such graceful descriptions of natural scenery as abound
in Balbuena--were, no doubt, refreshing in a state of society stiff
and formal as was that at the Spanish court in the times of Philip the
Second and Philip the Third, and in the midst of a culture more founded
on military virtues and the spirit of knighthood than any other of
modern times. As long, therefore, as this state of things continued,
pastoral fictions and fancies, filled with the dreams of a poetical
Arcadia, enjoyed a degree of favor in Spain which they never enjoyed
anywhere else. But when this disappeared, they disappeared with it.

  [91] “The Diana of Montemayor,” says Lope de Vega, in the
  passage from his “Dorotea” already cited, (n. [64],) “was a lady of
  Valencia de Don Juan, near Leon, and he has made both her and
  the river Ezla immortal. So the Fílida of Montalvo, the Galatea
  of Cervantes, and the Filis of Figueroa, were real personages.”
  Others might be added, on the authority of their authors, such
  as “Los Diez Libros de Fortuna y Amor,” “La Cintia de Aranjuez,”
  etc. See a note of Clemencin, Don Quixote, Tom. VI. p. 440.



The next form of prose fiction produced in Spain, and the one which,
from its greater truth, has enjoyed a more permanent regard than the
last, is found in those stories that have commonly gone under the name
of “tales in the _gusto picaresco_,” or tales in the style of rogues.
Taken as a class, they constitute a singular exhibition of character,
and are, in fact, as separate and national in their air as any thing in
the whole body of modern literature.

Their origin is obvious, and the more so from what is most singular
in their character. They sprang directly from the condition of some
portions of society in Spain when they appeared;--a condition, it
should be added, which has existed there ever since, and contributed to
preserve for the stories that bear its impress no little of the favor
they have always enjoyed. Before speaking of them in detail, we must,
therefore, notice the peculiar circumstances of the country, and the
peculiar state of manners that gave them birth.

The wars of the opposing races and religions, that had constituted so
much of the business of life, and so long engrossed the thoughts of
men, in Spain, had, indeed, nearly ceased from the time of Ferdinand
and Isabella. But the state of character they had produced in the
Spanish people had by no means ceased with them. On the contrary, it
had been kept in the freshest activity by those vast enterprises which
Charles the Fifth had pushed forward in Italy, France, and Germany,
with such success, that the Spanish nation, always marked by a sanguine
enthusiasm, had become fully persuaded that it was destined to achieve
an empire which, covering the whole of the New World and whatever was
most desirable in the Old, should surpass in glory and power the empire
of the Cæsars in the days of its palmiest supremacy.

This magnificent result was a matter of such general faith, that
men often felt a desire to contribute their personal exertions to
accomplish it. Not only the high nobility of Spain, therefore, but
all cavaliers and men of honor who sought distinction, saw, with the
exception of places in the civil administration of affairs or in the
Church, no road open before them on which they were so much tempted
to enter as that of military enterprise. Laborious occupation in the
business of common life and practical and productive industry were, in
consequence, discountenanced, or held in contempt, while the armies
were thronged, and multitudes of gentlemen and men of culture, like
Cervantes and Lope de Vega, gladly served in them as simple soldiers.

But large as were the armies of Charles the Fifth and Philip the
Second, all who desired it could not be soldiers. Many persons of
decent condition, therefore, remained idle, because they found no
occupation which was not deemed below their rank in society; while
others, having made an experiment of military life sufficient to
disgust them with its hardships, returned home unfitted for every
thing else. These two sorts of persons formed a class of idlers that
hung loose upon society in the principal cities of Spain, thriving at
best by flattery and low intrigue, and sometimes driven for subsistence
to crime. Their number was by no means small. They were known and
marked wherever they went; and their characters, represented with much
spirit, and often with great faithfulness, are still to be recognized
in the proud, starving cavaliers of Mendoza and Quevedo, who stalk
about the streets upon adventure, or crowd the antechamber of the
minister, and weary his patience with their abject supplications for
the meanest places it is in his power to bestow.

But there was yet another body of persons in Spain, nearly akin to the
last in spirit, though differing from them in their original position,
who figure no less in this peculiar form of fiction. They were the
active, the shrewd, and the unscrupulous of the lower portions of
society;--men who were able to perceive that the resources and power
of the country, with all the advantages they desired to reach, were
already in possession of an aristocratic caste, who looked to them for
nothing but a sincere and faithful loyalty. During a long period,--the
period of danger and trouble at home,--the fidelity of this class
had been complete and unhesitating; bringing with it little feeling
of wrong, and perhaps no sense of degradation; for such men, in such
times, claimed from their superiors only protection, and, receiving
this, asked for nothing else.

At last, however, other prospects opened upon them. Peace came
gradually, as the Moors were driven out; and with it came a sense of
independence and personal rights, which sometimes expressed itself in
social restlessness, as in the frequent troubles at the universities;
and sometimes, as in the wars of the _Comuneros_, in open rebellion.
Contemporary, too, with these upward struggles of the masses of the
people, which were always successfully rebuked and repressed, came the
conquests in America, pouring such floods of wealth as the world had
never before seen upon a country that had for ages been one of the
poorest and most suffering in Europe. The easily got treasure--which
was at first only in the hands of military adventurers or of those
who had obtained grants of office and territory in the New World--was
scattered as lightly as it was won. The shrewd and unprincipled of
the less favored classes, therefore, soon learned to gather round its
possessors, as they came home with their tempting burdens, and found
ready means to profit by the golden shower that fell on all sides, with
a profusion which carried an unhealthy action through every division of
society. Little, however, could be obtained by men so humble and in a
position so false, except by the arts of cunning and flattery. Cunning
and flattery, therefore, were soon called forth among them in great
abundance. The wealth of the Indies was a rich compost, that brought
up parasites and rogues with other noxious weeds; and Paul, the son of
a barber, and nephew of a hangman; Cortadillo, a young thief, whose
father was a village tailor; and Little Lazarus, who could never settle
his genealogy to his own satisfaction, became, in the literature of
their country, the permanent representatives of their class;--a class
well known under the degrading name of the _Catariberas_,[92] or the
gayer one of _Pícaros_.

  [92] For these low, vagabond attorneys, or jackals of
  attorneys,--the _Catariberas_,--see, _ante_, Vol. I. p. 519, and

The first instance of a fiction founded on this state of things was, as
we have already seen, the “Lazarillo de Tórmes” of Mendoza, which was
published as early as 1554; a bold, unfinished sketch of the life of a
rogue, from the very lowest condition in society. This was followed,
forty-five years afterwards, by the “Guzman de Alfarache” of Mateo
Aleman, the most ample portraiture of the class to which it belongs
that is to be found in Spanish literature. What induced Aleman to write
it we do not know. Indeed, we know little about him, except that he
was a native of Seville, and wrote three or four other works of less
consequence than this tale; that he was long employed in the treasury
department of the government, and subjected to a vexatious suit at law
in consequence of it; and that at last, retiring of his own choice to
private life, he visited Mexico in 1609, and devoted the remainder of
his days, either there or in Spain, to letters.[93] He may, at some
period, have been a soldier; for one of his friends, in a eulogium
prefixed to the second part of “Guzman de Alfarache,” sums up his
character by saying that “never soldier had a poorer purse or a richer
heart, or a life more unquiet and full of trouble, than his was; and
all because he accounted it a greater honor to be a poor philosopher
than a rich flatterer.”

  [93] Antonio, Bib. Nova, Article _Matthæus Aleman_; and Salvá,
  Repertorio Americano, 1827, Tom. III. p. 65. For his troubles
  with the government, see Navarrete, “Vida de Cervantes,” 1819,
  p. 441. He seems to have been old when he went to Mexico; and
  Don Adolfo de Castro, at the end of the “Buscapié,” 1848, gives
  us a letter, dated at Seville, April 20th, 1607, from Aleman to
  Cervantes, of whose origin or discovery we receive no account
  whatever, and into which its author seems to have thrust all
  the proverbs and allusions he could collect;--none, however, so
  obscure that the curious learning of Don Adolfo cannot elucidate
  them. The whole letter is a complaint of Aleman’s own hard
  fortune, and a prediction of that of Cervantes, ending with a
  declaration of the purpose of its writer to go to Mexico. It does
  not seem to me to be genuine; but if it is, it gives the _coup
  de grace_ to Clemencin’s conjectures, in his notes to both the
  first and second part of Don Quixote, (Parte I. c. 22, and Parte
  II. c. 4,) that Cervantes intended to speak slightingly of the
  “Guzman de Alfarache”;--a conjecture not to be sustained, if
  the relations of Cervantes with Aleman were as friendly as this
  letter, published by Don Adolfo de Castro, implies.

But whatever he may have been, or whatever he may have suffered, his
claims to be remembered are now centred in his “Guzman de Alfarache.”
As it has reached us, it is divided into two parts, the first of which
was published at Madrid, in 1599. Its hero, who supposed himself
to be the son of a decayed and not very reputable Genoese merchant
established at Seville, escapes, as a boy, from his mother, after his
father’s ruin and death, and plunges into the world upon adventure. He
soon finds himself at Madrid, though not till he has passed through
the hands of the officers of justice; and there undergoes all sorts of
suffering, serving as a scullion to a cook, and as a ragged errand-boy
to whomsoever would employ him; until, seizing a good opportunity, he
steals a large sum of money that had been intrusted to him, and escapes
to Toledo, where he sets up for a gentleman. But there he becomes, in
his turn, the victim of a cunning like his own; and, finding his money
nearly gone, enlists for the Italian wars. His star is now on the wane.
At Barcelona, he again turns sharper and thief. At Genoa and Rome, he
sinks to the lowest conditions of a street beggar. But a cardinal picks
him up in the last city and makes him his page; a place in which, but
for his bold frauds and tricks, he might long have thriven, and which
at last he leaves in great distress, from losses at play, and enters
the service of the French ambassador.

Here the first part ends. It was very successful; falling in with the
vices and humors of the times, just as the loose court of Philip the
Third, and the corrupting influences of his favorite, the Duke of
Lerma, came to offer a sort of carnival to folly and vice, after the
hypocrisy and constraints of the last dark years of Philip the Second.
The Guzman, therefore, within a twelve-month after it appeared,
passed through three editions; and, in less than six years, through
twenty-six, besides being translated into French and Italian.[94] It
was imitated, too, in a second part by some unknown person, probably
by Juan Marti, a Valencian advocate, who disguised himself under the
name of Mateo Luxan de Sayavedra, and published in 1603 what he boldly
called a continuation of the Guzman.[95] But it was a base attempt,
which, though not without literary merit, brought upon its author the
just reproaches of Aleman, who intimates that his own manuscripts
had been improperly used in its composition, and the just sarcasm of
Aleman’s friend, Luis de Valdes, who exposed the meanness of the whole

  [94] The first three editions, those of Madrid, Barcelona, and
  Saragossa, are well known, and are all of 1599; but most of the
  remaining three-and-twenty rest on the authority of Valdes,
  in a letter prefixed to the first edition of the second part,
  (Valencia, 1605, 12mo,) an authority, however, which there seems
  no sufficient reason to question, remarkable as the story is.
  Valdes says expressly, “The number of printed volumes exceeds
  fifty thousand, and the number of impressions that have come to
  my notice is twenty-six.”

  [95] This continuation, not quite so long as the first part of
  the original work, was printed at Madrid, 1846, 8vo, in the
  third volume of the “Biblioteca” of Aribau. Previously, it had
  been hardly known in literary history, and much overlooked by
  the bibliographers; Ebert, who had found some traces of it,
  attributing it to Aleman himself, and considering it as a true
  second part of the Guzman. But this is a mistake. Both Aleman
  himself and his friend Valdes are explicit on the subject, in
  their epistles prefixed to the first edition of the second
  part;--Valdes declaring that the author of the continuation in
  question was “a Valencian, who, falsifying his own name, called
  himself Mateo Luxan, to assimilate himself to Mateo Aleman.”
  Aleman himself says he was obliged to rewrite his second part,
  because he had, through a prodigal communication of his papers,
  been robbed and defrauded of the materials out of which he had
  originally composed it. The work of the Valencian was printed at
  Barcelona in 1603, at Brussels, 1604, etc. On the title-page to
  the first edition of the genuine second part Aleman says, “Let
  the reader take notice, that the second part published before
  this is none of mine, and that this is the only one I recognize.”
  Fuster, in his “Biblioteca,” Tom. I. p. 198, gives strong reasons
  for supposing the spurious second part was written by Juan Marti,
  a Valencian advocate.

In 1605, the genuine second part appeared.[96] It begins with the
life of Guzman in the house of the French ambassador at Rome, where he
serves in some of the most dishonorable employments to which the great
of that period degraded their mercenary dependants. But his own follies
and crimes drive him away from a place for which he seems to have been
in most respects well fitted, and he goes to Siena. At this point in
his story, it seems to have occurred to Aleman to attack the Sayavedra
who had endeavoured to impose upon the world with a false second part
of the Guzman. He therefore introduces a person who is made thus to
describe himself:--

  [96] There has been some confusion about the time of the first
  appearance of these two second parts; one having sometimes
  been mistaken for the other. But Fuster evidently believed in
  no edition of the _spurious_ second part older than 1603, the
  license to which is dated in 1602; and I possess the edition of
  the _genuine_ second part, printed at Valencia in 1605, with a
  license of the same year, recognizing no earlier publication,
  and bearing all the usual proofs of being the first. Both of the
  second parts promise a third, which never appeared.

“He told me,” says Guzman, who always writes in the style of
autobiography, “he told me, that he was an Andalusian, born in Seville,
my own native city, Sayavedra by name, with papers to show that he
belonged to one of the oldest and most distinguished families among us.
Who would suspect fraud under such a fair outside? And yet it was all a
lie. He was a Valencian. I do not give his true name, for good reasons;
but what with his flowing Castilian, his good looks, and his agreeable
manners, it was impossible for me to suspect that he was a thief, a
sponge, and a cheat, who had dressed himself up in peacock’s feathers
only to obtain by falsehood such an entrance into my apartments that he
could rob me of whatever he liked.”[97]

  [97] Parte II. Lib. I. c. 8.

This personage, his history and adventures, fill too large a space in
the second part of the Guzman; for when once Aleman had seized him,
he seemed not to tire of inflicting punishment so soon as the reader
does of witnessing it. Sayavedra robs and cheats Guzman early in this
portion of the story; but afterwards accompanies him, in an equivocal
capacity, through Milan, Bologna, and Genoa, to Spain, where, partly
perhaps to get rid of him, and partly perhaps, as Cervantes did
afterwards in the case of Don Quixote and Avellaneda, in order to end
his story and prevent his enemy from continuing it any further, Aleman
brings his victim’s life to an end.

The remainder of the book is filled with the adventures of Guzman
himself, which are as wild and various as possible. He becomes
a merchant at Madrid, and cheats his creditors by a fraudulent
bankruptcy. He marries, but his wife dies soon; and then he begins, as
a student at Alcalá, to prepare himself for the Church;--a consummation
of wickedness which is prevented only by his marriage a second
time. His second wife, however, leaves him at Seville, where he had
established himself, and elopes with a lover to Italy. After this, he
is reduced again to abject poverty; and, unable to live with his old,
wretched, and shameless mother, he becomes major-domo to a lady of
fortune, robs her, and is sent to the galleys, where he has the good
luck to reveal a conspiracy and is rewarded with his freedom and a full

With this announcement the second part abruptly ends, not without
promising a third, which was never published, though the author, in his
Preface, says it was already written. The work, therefore, as it has
come to us, is imperfect. But it was not, on that account, the less
favored and admired. On the contrary, it was translated and printed
all over Europe, in French, in Italian, in German, in Portuguese, in
English, in Dutch, and even in Latin; a rare success, whose secret
lies partly in the age when the Guzman appeared, and still more in
the power and talent of the author.[98] The long moralizing discourses
with which it abounds, written in a pure Castilian style, with much
quaintness and point, were then admired, and saved it from censures
which it could otherwise hardly have failed to encounter. These are, no
doubt, the passages that led Ben Jonson to speak of it as

          “The Spanish Proteus, which, though writ
    But in one tongue, was formed with the world’s wit,
    And hath the noblest mark of a good booke,
    That an ill man doth not securely looke
    Upon it; but will loathe or let it passe,
    As a deformed face doth a true glasse.”[99]

  [98] The common bibliographers give lists of all the
  translations. The first English is by Mabbe, and is excellent.
  (See Wood’s Athenæ, ed. Bliss, Tom. III. p. 54, and Ret. Review,
  Tom. V. p. 189.) It went through at least four editions, the
  fourth being printed at London, 1656, folio; besides which
  there has been a subsequent translation by several hands,
  taken, however, I think, from the French of Le Sage. The Latin
  translation was by Gaspar Ens, and I have seen editions of it
  referred to as of 1623, 1624, and 1652. Every thing, indeed,
  shows that the popular success of the Guzman was immense
  throughout Europe.

  [99] See the verses prefixed to the translation of Mabbe, and
  signed by Ben Jonson.

This, however, is not its real, or at least not its main character.
The Guzman is chiefly curious and interesting because it shows us,
in the costume of the times, the life of an ingenious, Machiavellian
rogue, who is never at a loss for an expedient; who always treats
himself and speaks of himself as an honest and respectable man; and who
sometimes goes to mass and says his prayers just before he enters on
an extraordinary scheme of roguery, as if on purpose to bring it out
in more striking and brilliant relief. So far from being a moral book,
therefore, it is a very immoral one, and Le Sage spoke in the spirit of
its author, when, in the next century, undertaking to give a new French
version of it, he boasted that he “had purged it of its superfluous
moral reflections.”[100]

  [100] There are four French translations of it, beginning with
  one by Chappuis, in 1600, and coming down to that of Le Sage,
  1732, which last has been many times reprinted. The third in the
  order of dates was made by Bremont, while in prison in Holland;
  and, out of spite against the administration of justice, from
  which he was suffering, he made bitter additions to the original
  whenever a judge or a bailiff came into his hands. See the
  Preface of Le Sage.

It has, naturally, a considerable number of episodes. That of
Sayavedra has already been noticed, as occupying a space in the
work disproportionate to every thing but the anger of its author.
Another--the story of Osmyn and Daraxa, which occurs early--is a
pleasing specimen of those half-Moorish, half-Christian fictions
that are so characteristic a portion of Spanish literature.[101] And
yet another, which is placed in Spain and in the time of the Great
Constable, Alvaro de Luna, is, after all, an Italian tale of Masuccio,
used subsequently by Beaumont and Fletcher in “The Little French
Lawyer.”[102] But, on the whole, the attention of the reader is fairly
kept either upon the hero or upon the long discussions in which the
hero indulges himself, and in which he draws striking, though not
unfrequently exaggerated and burlesque, sketches of all classes of
society in Spain, as they successively pass in review before him. At
first, Aleman thought of calling his work “A Beacon-light of Life.” The
name would not have been inappropriate, and it is the qualities implied
under it--the sagacity, the knowledge of life and character, and the
acuteness of its reflections on men and manners--that have preserved
for it somewhat of its original popularity down to our own times.

  [101] Parte I. Lib. I. c. 8. It is related by Guzman, however,
  who is much too young to tell such a story. It may be noted,
  also, that Guzman grows very suddenly to man’s estate, after
  leaving Madrid and before reaching Toledo, whither he went as
  fast as he could to escape pursuit.

  [102] Beaumont and Fletcher, ed. Weber, Edinburgh, 1812, 8vo,
  Vol. V. p. 120. Le Sage omits it in his version, because, he
  says, Scarron had made it one in his collection of tales. It has,
  in fact, been often used, as have many other stories of the same

In 1605 another story of the same class appeared, the “Pícara
Justina,” or the Crafty Justina,--again a seeming autobiography,
and again a fiction of very doubtful morality. It was written by a
Dominican monk, Andreas Perez of Leon, who was known, both before and
after its appearance, as the author of works of Christian devotion,
and who had so far a sense of the incongruity of the Pícara Justina
with his religious position, that he printed it under the assumed name
of Francisco Lopez de Ubeda. He claims to have written it when he was
a student at the University of Alcalá, but admits, that, after the
appearance of the “Guzman de Alfarache,” he made large additions to
it. It is, however, in truth, a mere imitation, and a very poor one,
of Aleman. The first book is filled with a tedious, rambling account
of Justina’s ancestors, who are barbers and puppet-showmen; and the
rest consists of her own life, brought down to the time of her first
marriage, marked by few adventures, and ending with an intimation,
that, at the time of writing it, she had already been married yet twice
more; that she was then the wife of Guzman de Alfarache; and that she
should continue her memoirs still further, in case the public should
care to hear more about her.

The Justina discovers little power of invention in the incidents, which
are few and not interesting. Indeed, the author himself declares that
nearly all of them were actual occurrences within his own experience;
and this circumstance, together with the meagre “improvements,” as they
are called,--or warnings against the follies and guilt of the heroine,
with which each chapter ends,--is regarded by him as a sufficient
justification for publishing a work whose tendency is obviously
mischievous. Nor is the style better than the incidents. There is a
constant effort to say witty and brilliant things; but it is rarely
successful; and besides this, there is an affectation of new words and
singular phrases which do not belong to the genius and analogies of the
language, and which have caused at least one Spanish critic to regard
Perez as the first author who left the sober and dignified style of the
elder times, and, from mere caprice, undertook to invent a new one.[103]

  [103] The first edition of the “Pícara Justina” is that of
  Medina del Campo, 1605, 4to, since which time it has been often
  printed; the best edition being probably that of Madrid, 1735,
  4to, edited by Mayans y Siscar, who, in a prefatory notice, makes
  the reproach against its author, as the oldest corrupter of the
  Spanish prose style, alluded to in the text. There is a good
  deal of poetry scattered through the volume; all very conceited
  and poor. Some of it is in that sort of verses from which the
  final syllable is cut off,--such verses, I mean, as Cervantes has
  prefixed to the first part of Don Quixote; and as both that part
  and the “Pícara Justina” were originally published in the same
  year, 1605, some question has arisen with Pellicer and Clemencin,
  who is the inventor of these poor, truncated verses. _Le jeu ne
  vaut pas la chandelle._ But, as the first part of Don Quixote,
  according to the _Tassa_ prefixed to it, was struck off as early
  as the 20th of December, 1604, though the full copyright was not
  granted till the 9th of February following, there can be little
  doubt that Cervantes was the earliest.

But though the “Pícara Justina” proved a failure, the overwhelming
popularity of “Guzman de Alfarache,” when added to that of “Lazarillo,”
rendered this form of fiction so generally welcome in Spain, that it
made its way into the ductile drama, and into the style of the shorter
tales, as we have already seen when treating of Lope de Vega and
Cervantes, and as we shall see hereafter when we come to speak of Salas
Barbadillo and Francisco de Santos. Meantime, however, the “Escudero
Marcos de Obregon” appeared; a work which has, on many accounts,
attracted attention, and which deserves to be remembered, as the best
of its kind in Spanish literature, except “Lazarillo” and “Guzman.”

It was written by Vicente Espinel, who was born about 1540, at Ronda,
a romantic town, boldly built in the mountain range that stretches
through the southwestern portion of the kingdom of Granada, and
picturesquely described by himself in one of the most striking of
his poems.[104] He was educated at Salamanca, and, when Lope de Vega
appeared as a poet before the public, Espinel was already so far
advanced in his own career, that the young aspirant for public favor
submitted his verses to the critical skill of his elder friend;[105]--a
favor which Lope afterwards returned by praises in “The Laurel of
Apollo,” more heart-felt and effective than he has usually given in
that indiscriminate eulogium of the poets of his time.[106]

  [104] See the “Cancion á su Patria,” which is creditable alike to
  his personal feelings and--with the exception of a few foolish
  conceits--to his poetical character. Diversas Rimas de V.
  Espinel, Madrid, 1591, 12mo, f. 23.

  [105] Espinel’s own Prólogo to “Marcos de Obregon.”

  [106] End of the first _silva_ to the “Laurel de Apolo,” which
  was published in 1630.

What was the course of Espinel’s life we do not know. It has generally
been supposed that many of its events are related in his “Marcos de
Obregon”; but though this is probable, and though some parts of that
story are evidently true, yet many others are as evidently fictions, so
that, on the whole, we are bound to regard it as a romance, and not as
an autobiography. We know, however, that Espinel’s life in Italy was
much like that of his hero; that he was a soldier in Flanders; that
he wrote Latin verses; that he published a volume of Castilian poetry
in 1591; and that he was a chaplain in Ronda, though he lived much in
Madrid, and at last died there. He was regarded as the author of the
form of verse called sometimes _décimas_, and sometimes, after himself,
_Espinelas_; and he is said to have added a fifth string to the guitar,
which soon led to the invention of the sixth, and thus completed that
truly national instrument.[107] He died, according to Antonio, in 1634;
but according to Lope de Vega, he was not alive in 1630. All accounts,
however, represent him as having survived his ninetieth year,[108]
and as having passed the latter part of his life in poverty and in
unfriendly relations with Cervantes;--a fact the more observable,
because both of them enjoyed pensions from the same distinguished
ecclesiastic, the kindly old Archbishop of Toledo.[109]

  [107] Lope de Vega, Dorotea, Acto I. Sc. 8.

      Noventa años viviste,
      Nadie te dió favor, poco escribiste,--

  says Lope, in the “Laurel.”

  [109] Salas Barbadillo, Estafeta del Dios Momo, 1627, Dedicacion.
  Navarrete, Vida de Cervantes, 1819, 8vo, pp. 178, 406.

The “Escudero Marcos de Obregon” was first published in 1618, and
therefore appeared in the old age of its author.[110] He presents his
hero, at once, as a person already past the middle years of life; one
of the esquires of dames, who, at that period, were personages of
humbler pretensions and graver character than those who, with the same
title, had followed the men-at-arms of old.[111] The story of Marcos,
however, though it opens upon us, at first, with scenes later in his
life, soon returns to his youth, and nearly the whole volume is made up
of his own account of his adventures, as he related them to a hermit
whom he had known when he was a soldier in Flanders and Italy, and at
whose cell he was now accidentally detained by a storm and flood, while
on an excursion from Madrid.

  [110] The first edition is dedicated to his patron, the
  Archbishop of Toledo, whose _daily_ pension to him, however,
  _may_ have well been called “alms”--_limosna_--by Salas
  Barbadillo. Other editions followed, and “Marcos” has continued
  to be reprinted and read in Spain down to our own times. In
  London, a good English translation of it, by Major Algernon
  Langton, was published in 1816, in two volumes, 8vo; and in
  Breslau, in 1827, there appeared a very spirited, but somewhat
  free, translation into German, by Tieck, in two volumes, 18mo,
  with a valuable Preface and good notes. The original is on the
  Index of 1667 for expurgation.

  [111] The _Escudero_ of the plays and novels of the seventeenth
  century is wholly different from the _Escudero_ of the romances
  of chivalry of the sixteenth. Covarrubias, _in verb._, well
  describes both sorts, adding, “Now-a-days” (1611) “esquires are
  chiefly used by ladies, but _men_ who have any thing to live upon
  prefer to keep at home; for as esquires they earn little, and
  have a hard service of it.”

In many particulars, his history resembles that of his predecessor,
Guzman de Alfarache. It is the story of a youth who left his father’s
house to seek his fortune; became first a student and afterwards a
soldier; visited Italy; was a captive in Algiers; travelled over a
large part of Spain; and after going through a great variety of dangers
and trials, intrigues, follies, and crimes, sits down quietly in his
old age to give an account of them all, with an air as grave and
self-satisfied as if the greater part of them had not been of the most
discreditable character. It contains a moderate number of wearisome,
well-written moral reflections, intended to render its record of
tricks, frauds, and crimes more savory to the reader by contrast;
but though it falls below both the “Guzman de Alfarache” and the
“Lazarillo” in the beauty and spirit of its style, it has more life in
its action than either of them, and the series of its events is carried
on with greater rapidity, and brought to a more regular conclusion.[112]

  [112] “Marcos de Obregon” has been occasionally a good deal
  discussed, both by those who have read it and those who have not,
  from the use Le Sage has been supposed to have made of it in
  the composition of Gil Blas. The charge was first announced by
  Voltaire, who had personal reasons to dislike Le Sage, and who,
  in his “Siècle de Louis XIV.,” (1752,) said, boldly enough, that
  “The Gil Blas is taken entirely from the Spanish romance entitled
  ‘La Vidad de lo Escudiero Dom Marcos d’Obrego.’” (Œuvres, ed.
  Beaumarchais, Paris, 1785, 8vo, Tom. XX. p. 155.) This is one of
  the remarks Voltaire sometimes hazarded, with little knowledge
  of the matter he was discussing, and it is not true. That Le
  Sage had seen the “Marcos de Obregon” there can be no doubt; and
  none that he made some use of it in the composition of the Gil
  Blas. This is apparent at once by the story which constitutes its
  Preface, and which is taken from a similar story in the Prólogo
  to the Spanish romance; and it is no less plain frequently
  afterwards, in the body of the work, where the trick played on
  the vanity of Gil Blas, as he is going to Salamanca, (Lib. I.
  c. 2,) is substantially the same with that played on Marcos,
  (Relacion I. Desc. 9,)--where the stories of Camilla (Gil Blas,
  Liv. I. c. 16, Marcos, Rel. III. Desc. 8) and of Mergellina
  (Gil Blas, Liv. II. c. 7, Marcos, Rel. I. Desc. 3), with many
  other matters of less consequence, correspond in a manner not
  to be mistaken. But this was the way with Le Sage, who has used
  Estevanillo Gonzalez, Guevara, Roxas, Antonio de Mendoza, and
  others, with no more ceremony. He seemed, too, to care very
  little about concealment, for one of the personages in his Gil
  Blas is called Marcos de Obregon. But the idea that the Gil Blas
  was _taken entirely_ from the Marcos de Obregon of Espinel, or
  was very seriously indebted to that work, is absurd. See the next
  Period, Chap. IV., note on Father Isla.

Ten years later, another romance of the same sort appeared. It was by
Yañez y Rivera, a physician of Segovia; who, as if on purpose to show
the variety of his talent, published two works on ascetic devotion, as
well as this _picaresque_ romance; all of them remote from the cares
and studies of his regular profession. He calls his story “Alonso,
the Servant of Many Masters”; and the name is a sort of index to its
contents. For it is a history of the adventures of its hero, Alonso,
in the service, first of a military officer, then of a sacristan, and
afterwards of a gentleman, of a lawyer, and of not a few others, who
happened to be willing to employ him; and it is, in fact, neither
more nor less than a satire on the different orders and conditions of
society, as he studies them all in the houses of his different masters.
It is evidently written with experience of the world, and its Castilian
style is good; but something of its spirit is diminished by the
circumstance, that it is thrown into the form of a dialogue. When Yañez
published the first part, in 1624, he said that he had already been a
practising physician twenty-six years, and that he should print nothing
more, unless it related to the profession he followed. His success,
however, with his Alonso was too tempting. He printed, in 1626, a
second part of it, containing his hero’s adventures among the Gypsies
and in Algerine captivity, and died in 1632.[113]

  [113] The name of this author is one of the many that occur
  in Spanish literature and history, where it is difficult to
  determine which part of it should be used to designate its owner.
  The whole of it is Gerónymo de Alcalá Yañez y Rivera; and,
  no doubt, his personal acquaintances knew him as “the Doctor
  Gerónymo.” In the Index to Antonio’s Bib. Nova, he is placed
  under _Alcalá_; but as that name only implied, I presume, that
  he had studied in Alcalá, I have preferred to call him Yañez
  y Rivera, the first being his father’s name and the second
  his mother’s; and I mention the circumstance only because it
  is a difficulty which occurs in many cases of the same sort,
  and should be noticed once for all. The title of his romance
  is “Alonso Moço de Muchos Amos,” and the first part was first
  printed at Madrid, in 1624; but my copy is of the edition of
  Barcelona, 1625, 12mo, showing that it was well regarded in its
  time, and soon came to a second edition. Many editions have been
  published since; sometimes, like that of Madrid, 1804, 2 tom.
  12mo, with the title of “El Donado Hablador,” or The Talkative
  Lay-Brother, that being the character in which the hero tells his
  story. Yañez y Rivera was born in 1563.

Quevedo’s “Paul the Sharper,” which we have already noticed, was
published the year after Yañez had completed his story, and did much
to extend the favor with which works of this sort were received.
Castillo Solorzano, therefore, well known at the time as a writer
of popular tales and dramas, ventured to follow him, but with less
good-fortune. His “Teresa, the Child of Tricks,” was published in 1632,
and was succeeded immediately by “The Graduate in Frauds,” of which
a continuation appeared in 1634, under the whimsical title of “The
Seville Weasel, or a Hook to catch Purses.” This last, which is an
account of the adventures of the Graduate’s daughter, proved, though
it was never finished, the most popular of Solorzano’s works, and has
not only been often reprinted, but was early translated into French,
and gained a reputation in Europe generally. All three, however, are
less strictly _picaresque_ tales than the similar fictions that had
preceded them;--not that they are wanting in coarse sketches of life
and caricatures as broad as any in Guzman, but that romantic tales,
ballads, and even farces, or parts of dramas, are introduced, showing
that this form of romance was becoming mingled with others more
poetical, if not more true to the condition of manners and society at
the time.[114]

  [114] Alonso de Castillo Solorzano seems to have had his greatest
  success between 1624 and 1649, and was at one time in the service
  of Pedro Faxardo, the Marquis of Velez, who was Captain-general
  of Valencia. There is an edition of the “Niña de los Embustes” as
  early as 1632, and one of the “Garduña de Sevilla” in 1634. But,
  except the few hints concerning their author to be gathered from
  the titles and prefaces to his stories, and the meagre notices
  in Lope de Vega’s “Laurel de Apolo,” Silva VIII., and Antonio,
  Bib. Nova, Tom. I. p. 15, we know little of him. He sneers at
  _cultismo_ on one page of his “Niña de los Embustes,” and falls
  into it on the next.

Another proof of this change is to be found in “The Pythagoric Age” of
Enriquez Gomez, first published in 1644; a book of little value, which
takes the old doctrine of transmigration as the means of introducing a
succession of pictures to serve as subjects for its satire. It begins
with a poem in irregular verse, describing the existence of the soul,
first in the body of an ambitious man; then in that of a slanderer
and informer, a coquette, a minister of state, and a favorite; and it
ends with similar sketches, half in poetry and half in prose, of a
knight, a schemer, and others. But in the middle of the book is “The
Life of Don Gregorio Guadaña,” in prose, which is a tale in direct
imitation of Quevedo and Aleman, sometimes as free and coarse as theirs
are, but generally not offending against the proprieties of life;
and occasionally, as in the scenes during a journey and in the town
of Carmona, pleasant and interesting, because it evidently gives us
sketches from the author’s own experience. Like the rest of its class,
it is most successful when it deals with such realities, and least so
when it wanders off into the regions of poetry and fiction.[115]

  [115] “El Siglo Pitagórico y la Vida de Don Gregorio Guadaña,”
  was written by Antonio Enriquez Gomez, a Portuguese by descent,
  who was educated in Castile, and lived much in France, where
  several of his works were first printed. The earliest edition of
  the “Siglo Pitagórico” is dated Rouen, 1644, but the one I use is
  of Brussels, 1727, in 4to. There is a notice of the life of Gomez
  in Barbosa, Tom. I. p. 297, and an examination of his works in
  Amador de los Rios, “Judios de España,” 1848, pp. 569, etc. He
  was of a Jewish Portuguese family, and Barbosa says he was born
  in Portugal, but Amador de los Rios says he was born in Segovia.
  That he renounced the Christian religion, which his father had
  adopted, that he fled to France in 1638, and that he was burnt
  in effigy by the Inquisition in 1660, are facts not doubted.
  His Spanish name was Enriquez de Paz; and in the Preface to his
  “Sanson Nazareno” he gives a list of his published works.

But the work which most plainly shows the condition of social life that
produced all these tales, if not the work that best exhibits their
character, is “The Life of Estevanillo Gonzalez,” first printed in
1646. It is the autobiography of a buffoon, who was long in the service
of Ottavio Piccolomini, the great general of the Thirty Years’ war; but
it is an autobiography so full of fiction, that Le Sage, sixty years
after its appearance, easily changed it into a mere romance, which has
continued to be republished as such with his works ever since.[116]

  [116] “Vida y Hechos de Estevanillo Gonzalez, Hombre de Buen
  Humor, compuesta por el mismo,” was printed at Antwerp in 1646,
  and at Madrid in 1652. Whether there is any edition between these
  and the one of 1795, Madrid, 2 tom. 12mo, I do not know. The
  _rifacimento_ of Le Sage appeared, I believe, for the first time
  in 1707.

Both in the original and in the French translation, it is called
“The Life and Achievements of Estevanillo Gonzalez, the Good-natured
Fellow,” and gives an account of his travels all over Europe, and
of his adventures as courier, cook, and valet of the different
distinguished masters whom he at different times served, from the
king of Poland down to the Duke of Ossuna. Nothing can exceed the
coolness with which he exhibits himself as a liar by profession, a
constitutional coward, and an accomplished cheat, whenever he can thus
render his story more amusing;--but then, on the other hand, he is not
without learning, writes gay verses, and gives us sketches of his times
and of the great men to whom he was successively attached, that are any
thing but dull. His life, indeed, would be worth reading, if it were
only to compare his account of the battle of Nordlingen with that in
De Foe’s “Cavalier,” and his drawing of Ottavio Piccolomini with the
stately portrait of the same personage in Schiller’s “Wallenstein.”
Its faults, on the other hand, are a vain display of his knowledge;
occasional attempts at grandeur and eloquence of style, which never
succeed; and numberless intolerable puns. But it shows distinctly,
what we have already noticed, that the whole class of fictions to which
it belongs had its foundation in the manners and society of Spain at
the period when they appeared, and that to this they owed, not only
their success at home, in the age of Philip the Third and Philip the
Fourth, but that success abroad which subsequently produced the Gil
Blas of Le Sage,--an imitation more brilliant than any of the originals
it followed.



It was inevitable that grave fiction suited to the changed times should
appear in Spain, as well as fiction founded on the satire of prevalent
manners. But there were obstacles in its way, and it came late. The
old chronicles, so full of the same romantic spirit, and the more
interesting because they were sometimes built up out of the older and
longer-loved ballads; the old ballads themselves, still oftener made
out of the chronicles; the romances of chivalry, which had not yet lost
a popularity that, at the present day, seems nearly incredible;--all
contributed, in their respective proportions, to satisfy the demand for
books of amusement, and to repress the appearance and limit the success
of serious and historical fiction. But it was inevitable that it should
come, even if it should win little favor.

We have already noticed the attempts to introduce it, made in the time
of Ferdinand and Isabella, by Diego de San Pedro and his imitator, the
anonymous author of “The Question of Love.” Others followed, in the
reign of Charles the Fifth. The story, that very imperfectly connects
the discussions between Aurelio and Isabella, on the inquiry, whether
man gives more occasion for sin to woman, or woman to man, is one
of them. It is a slight and meagre fiction, by Juan de Mores, which
dates as far back as 1521, and which, in an early English translation,
was at one time thought to have furnished hints for Shakspeare’s
“Tempest.”[117] “The Loves of Clareo and Florisea,” published in 1552,
by Nuñez de Reinoso, at Venice, where he then lived, is another;--a
fiction partly allegorical, partly sentimental, and partly in the
manner of the romances of chivalry, but of no value for the invention
of its incidents, and of very little for its style.[118] The story
of “Luzindaro and Medusina,” printed as early as 1553, which, in the
midst of enchantments and allegories, preserves the tone and air of
a series of complaints against love, and ends tragically with the
death of Luzindaro, is yet a third of these crude attempts;[119]--all
of which are of consequence only because they led the way to better
things. But excepting these and two or three more trifles of the same
kind, and of even less value, the reign of Charles the Fifth, so far as
grave fiction was concerned, was entirely given up to the romances of

  [117] I know only the edition of Antwerp, 1556, 12mo, but there
  are several others. Lowndes, Bib. Manual, Article _Aurelio_, and
  Malone’s Shakspeare, by Boswell, Vol. XV.

  [118] “Historia de los Amores de Clareo y Florisea, por Alonso
  Nuñez de Reinoso,” Venecia, 1552, reprinted in the third volume
  of Aribau’s Biblioteca, 1846. The author is said by Antonio to
  have been a native of Guadalaxara, and, from his poems, published
  at the same time with his story, and of no value, he seems to
  have led an unhappy life, divided between the law, for which he
  felt he had no vocation, and arms, in which he had no success.

  [119] It claims to be “_sacado_ del estilo Griego,” and in this
  imitates one of the common fictions in the title-pages of the
  romances of chivalry. There are several editions of it,--one at
  Venice, 1553, 12mo, which is in my library, entitled “Quexa y
  Aviso de un Cavallero llamado Luzindaro.”

  [120] Historia de la Reyna Sevilla, 1532, and 1551;--and Libro de
  los Honestos Amores de Peregrino y de Jinebra, 1548.

In the reign of Philip the Second, when the literature of the country
began to develop itself on all sides, serious romances appeared in
better forms, or at least with higher pretensions and attributes. Two
instances of attempts in new directions, and with more considerable
success, present themselves at once.

The first was by Hierónimo de Contreras, and bears the affected title
of “A Thicket of Adventures.” It was published in 1573, and is the
story of Luzuman, a gentleman of Seville, who had been bred from
childhood in great intimacy with Arboleda, a lady of equal condition
with himself; but when, as he grows up, this intimacy ripens into love,
the lady rejects his suit, on the ground that she prefers a religious
life. The refusal is gentle and tender; but he is so disheartened by
it, that he secretly leaves his home in sorrow and mortification, and
goes to Italy, where he meets with abundance of adventures, and travels
through the whole peninsula, down to Naples. Wearied with this mode
of life, he then embarks for Spain, but on his passage is taken by a
corsair and carried to Algiers. There he remains in cruel slavery for
five years. His master then gives him his freedom, and he returns to
his home as secretly as he left it; but finding that Arboleda had taken
the veil, and that the society to which he belonged had forgotten him,
and had closed over the place he had once filled, he avoids making
himself known to any body, and retires to a hermitage, with the purpose
of ending his days in devotion.[121]

  [121] The “Selva de Aventuras” was printed at Salamanca, in 1573,
  12mo, and probably earlier, besides which there are subsequent
  editions of Barcelona, Saragossa, etc. (Antonio, Bib. Nova,
  Tom. I. p. 572); but it is in the Index Expurgatorius of 1667,
  p. 529. Philip II., in the _Licencia_, calls Contreras “nuestro
  cronista.” The Selva was translated into French by G. Chapuys,
  and printed in 1580. (Bibliothèque de Duverdier, Tom. IV. p.
  221.) Contreras wrote, also, a volume of allegories in prose and
  verse, (Dechado de Varios Subjetos, Zaragoza, 1572, and Alcalá,
  1581, 12mo,) which is very formal and dull.

The whole story, somewhat solemnly divided into seven books, is dull,
from want both of sufficient variety in the details, and of sufficient
spirit in the style. But it is of some importance, because it is the
first in a class of fictions, afterwards numerous, which--relying on
the curiosity then felt in Spain about Italy, as a country full of
Spaniards enjoying luxuries and refinements not yet known at home, and
about Algiers, crowded with thousands of other Spaniards suffering the
most severe forms of captivity--trusted, for no small part of their
interest, to the accounts they gave of their heroes as adventurers in
Italy, and as slaves on the coast of Barbary. Lope de Vega, Cervantes,
and several more among the most popular authors of the seventeenth
century, are among the writers of fictions like these.

The other form of grave fiction, which appeared in the time of Philip
the Second, was the proper historical romance; and the earliest
specimen of it, except such unsuccessful and slight attempts as we have
already noticed, is to be found in “The Civil Wars of Granada,” by
Ginés Perez de Hita. The author of this striking book was an inhabitant
of Murcia, and, from the little he tells us of himself, must not only
have been familiar with the wild mountains and rich valleys of the
neighbouring kingdom of Granada, but must have had an intimate personal
acquaintance with many of the old Moorish families that still lingered
in the homes of their fathers, repeating the traditions of their
ancient glory and its disastrous overthrow. Perhaps these circumstances
led him to the choice of a subject for his romance. Certainly they
furnished him with its best materials; for the story he relates is
founded on the fall of Granada, regarded rather from within, amidst the
feuds of the Moors themselves, than, as we are accustomed to consider
it, from the Christian portion of Spain, gradually gathered in military
array outside of its walls.

He begins his story by seeking a safe basis for it in the origin and
history of the kingdom of Granada, according to the best authorities
within his reach. This part of his work is formal and dry, and shows
how imperfect were the notions, at the time he lived, of what an
historical romance should be. But as he advances and enters upon the
main subject he had proposed to himself, his tone changes. We are,
indeed, still surrounded with personages that are familiar to us, like
the heroic Muza on one side and the Master of Calatrava on the other;
we are present with Boabdil, the last of the long line of Moorish
sovereigns, as he carries on a fierce war against his own father in
the midst of the city, and with Ferdinand and his knights, as they lay
waste all the kingdom without. But to these historical figures are
added the more imaginative and fabulous sketches of the Zegris and
Abencerrages, Reduan, Abenamar, and Gazul, as full of knightly virtues
as any of the Christian cavaliers opposed to them; and of Haja, Zayda,
and Fatima, as fair and winning as the dames whom Isabella had brought
with her to Santa Fé to cheer on the conquest.

But while he is thus mingling the creations of his own fancy with the
facts of history, Hita has been particularly skilful in giving to the
whole the manners and coloring of the time. He shows us a luxurious
empire tottering to its fall, and yet, while the streets of its capital
are filled with war-cries and blood, its princes and nobles abate not
one jot of their accustomed revelry and riot. Marriage festivals and
midnight dances in the Alhambra, and gorgeous tournaments and games in
presence of the court, alternate with duels and feuds between the two
great preponderating families that are destroying the state, and with
skirmishes and single combats against the advancing Christians. Then
come the cruel accusation of the Sultana by the false Zegris, and her
defence in arms by both Moors and Christians; the atrocious murder of
his sister Morayma by Boabdil, who suddenly breaks out with all the
jealous violence of an Oriental despot; and the mournful and scandalous
spectacle of three kings contending daily for empire in the squares and
palaces of a city destined in a few short weeks to fall into the hands
of the enemy that already surrounded its walls.

Much of this, of course, is fiction, so far as the details are
concerned; but it is not a fiction false to the spirit of the real
events on which it is founded. When, therefore, we approach the end of
the story, we come again without violence upon historical ground as
true as that on which it opened, though almost as wild and romantic
as any of the tales of feuds or festivals through which we have been
led to it. In this way, the temporary captivity of Boabdil and his
cowardly submission, the siege and surrender of Alhama and Malaga,
and the fall of Granada, are brought before us neither unexpectedly
nor in a manner out of keeping with what had preceded them; and the
story ends, if not with a regular catastrophe, which such materials
might easily have furnished, at least with a tale in the tone of all
the rest,--that which records the sad fate of Don Alonso de Aguilar.
It should be added, that not a few of the finest of the old Spanish
ballads are scattered through the work, furnishing materials for the
story, rich and appropriate in themselves, and giving an air of reality
to the events described, that could hardly have been given to them by
any thing else.

This first part, as it is commonly called, of the Wars of Granada
was written between 1589 and 1595.[122] It claims to be a translation
from the Arabic of a Moor of Granada, and, in the last chapter, Hita
gives a circumstantial account of the way in which he obtained it
from Africa, where, as he would have us believe, it had been carried
in the dispersion of the Moorish race. But though it is not unlikely,
that, in his wanderings through the kingdom of Granada, he may have
obtained Arabic materials for parts of his story, and though, in the
last century, it was more than once attempted to make out an Arabic
origin for the whole of it,[123] still his account, upon the face of
it, is not at all probable; besides which, he repeatedly appeals to the
chronicles of Garibay and Moncayo as authorities for his statements,
and gives to the main current of his work--especially in such passages
as the conversion of the Sultana--a Christian air, which does not
permit us to suppose that any but a Christian could have written
it. Notwithstanding his denial, therefore, we must give to Hita the
honor of being the true author of one of the most attractive books in
the prose literature of Spain; a book written in a pure, rich, and
picturesque style, which seems in some respects to be in advance of the
age, and in all to be worthy of the best models of the best period.

  [122] The Chronicle of Pedro de Moncayo, published in 1589, is
  cited in Chap. XII., and the first edition of the first part of
  the Guerras Civiles, as is well known, appeared at Saragossa in
  1595, 12mo. This part was reprinted much oftener than the second.
  There are editions of it in 1598, 1603, 1604 (three), 1606, 1610,
  1613, 1616, etc., besides several without date.

  [123] Bertuch, Magazin der Spanischen und Portugiesischen
  Literatur, Tom. I., 1781, pp. 275-280, with the extract there
  from “Carter’s Travels.” A suggestion recently reported--not,
  however, without expressing doubts of its accuracy--by Count
  Albert de Circourt, in his curious and important “Histoire des
  Arabes d’Espagne,” (Paris, 1846, 8vo, Tom. III. p. 346,) that
  Don Pascual de Gayangos, of Madrid, has in his possession the
  Arabic original of the Guerras de Granada, is equally unfounded.
  From Don Pascual himself, I learn that the MS. referred to is
  one obtained by him in London, where it had been carried from
  Madrid as a part of Conde’s collection, and that it is merely an
  ill-made translation, or rather abridgment, of the romance of
  Hita;--probably the work of some Morisco Spaniard, not thoroughly
  acquainted with his own language.

In 1604, he published the second part, on a subject nearly connected
with the first. Seventy-seven years after the conquest of Granada,
the Moors of that kingdom, unable any longer to bear the oppressions
to which they were subjected by the rigorous government of Philip
the Second, took refuge in the bold range of the Alpuxarras, on the
coast of the Mediterranean, and there, electing a king, broke out into
open rebellion. They maintained themselves bravely in their mountain
fastnesses nearly four years, and were not finally defeated till three
armies had been sent against them; the last of which was commanded by
no less a general than Don John of Austria. Hita served through the
whole of this war; and the second part of his romance contains its
history. Much of what he relates is true; and, indeed, of much he had
been an eye-witness, as we can see in his accounts of the atrocities
committed in the villages of Felix and Huescar, as well as in all the
details of the siege of Galera and the death and funeral honors of Luis
de Quijada. But other portions, like the imprisonment of Albexari,
with his love for Almanzora, and the jealousies and conspiracy of
Benalguacil, must be chiefly or wholly drawn from his own imagination.
The most interesting part is the story of Tuzani, which he relates with
great minuteness, and which he declares he received from Tuzani himself
and other persons concerned in it;--a wild tale of Oriental passion,
which, as we have seen, Calderon made the subject of one of his most
powerful and characteristic dramas.

If the rest of the second division of Hita’s romance had been like
this story, it might have been worthy of the first. But it is not.
The ballads with which it is diversified, and which are probably
all his own, are much inferior in merit to the older ballads he had
inserted before; and his narrative is given in a much less rich and
glowing style. Perhaps Hita felt the want of the old Moorish traditions
that had before inspired him, or perhaps he found himself awkwardly
constrained when dealing with facts too recent and notorious to be
manageable for the purposes of fiction. But whatever may have been the
cause of its inferiority, the fact is plain. His second part, regarded
as genuine history, is not to be compared with the account of the
same events by Diego de Mendoza; while, regarded as a romance, he had
already far surpassed it himself.[124]

  [124] The second part appeared for the first time at Alcalá, in
  1604, but has been reprinted so rarely since, that old copies
  of it are very scarce. There is a neat edition of both parts,
  Madrid, 1833, 2 tom. 12mo, and both are in the third volume of
  Aribau’s Biblioteca, 1846.

The path, however, which Hita by these two works had opened for
historical fiction amidst the old traditions and picturesque manners
of the Moors, tempting as it may now seem, did not, in his time, seem
so to others. His own romance, it is true, was often reprinted and
much read. But, from the nature of his subject, he showed the Moorish
character on its favorable side, and even went so far as to express
his horror at the cruelties inflicted by his countrymen on their hated
enemies, and his sense of the injustice done to the vanquished by the
bad faith that kept neither the promises of Ferdinand and Isabella nor
those of Don John.[125] Such sympathy with the infidel enemy that had
so long held Spain in fee was not according to the spirit of the times.
Only five years after Hita had published his account of the rebellion
of the Alpuxarras, the remainder of the Moors against whom he had there
fought were violently expelled from Spain by Philip the Third, amidst
the rejoicings of the whole Spanish people; few even of the most humane
spirits looking upon the sufferings they thus inflicted as any thing
but the just retributions of an offended Heaven.

  [125] Parte I. c. 18, Parte II. c. 25.

Of course, while this was the state of feeling throughout the nation,
it was not to be expected that works of fiction representing the Moors
in romantic and attractive colors, and filled with adventures drawn
from their traditions, should find favor in Spain. A century later,
indeed, a third part of the Wars of Granada--whether written by Hita
or somebody else we are not told--was licensed for the press, though
never published;[126] and, in France, Madame de Scudéri soon began,
in “The Almahide,” a series of fictions on this foundation, that has
been continued down, through the “Gonsalve de Cordoue” of Florian, to
“The Abencerrage” of Chateaubriand, without giving any token that it is
likely soon to cease.[127] But in Spain it struck no root, and had no

  [126] In my copy of the second part, printed at Madrid, 1731,
  12mo, the _Aprobacion_, dated 10th of September of that year,
  speaks distinctly of _three_ parts, mentioning the second as
  the one that was printed at Alcalá in 1604, and the _third_ as
  being in manuscript. I know no other notice of this _third_ part.
  Circourt (Histoire des Maures Mudejares et des Moresques) has
  frequently relied on the second part as an authority, and, in
  the passage just cited, gives his reasons for the confidence he
  reposes in it.

  [127] Scott is reported to have said, on being shown the Wars of
  Granada in the latter part of his life, that, if he had earlier
  known of the book, he might have placed in Spain the scene of
  some of his own fictions. Denis, Chroniques Chevalresques, Paris,
  1839, 8vo, Tom. I. p. 323.

Perhaps other circumstances, besides a national feeling of
unwillingness that romantic fiction should occupy the debatable ground
between the Moors and the Christians, contributed to check its progress
in Spain. Perhaps the publication of the first part of Don Quixote,
destroying, by its ridicule, the only form of romance much known or
regarded at the time, was not without an effect on the other forms,
by exciting a prejudice against all grave prose works of invention,
and still more by furnishing a substitute much more amusing than
they could aspire to be. But whether this were so or not, attacks on
all of them followed in the same spirit. “The Cryselia of Lidaceli,”
which appeared in 1609,--and which, as well as a dull prose satire on
the fantastic Academies then in fashion, bears the name of Captain
Flegetonte,--assails freely whatever of prose fiction had till then
enjoyed regard in Spain, whether the pastoral, the historical, or the
chivalrous.[128] Its attack, however, was so ineffectual, as to show
only the tendency of opinion to discourage romance-writing in Spain;--a
tendency yet more apparent a little later, not only in some of the best
ascetic writers of the seventeenth century, but in such works as “The
Moral History of the God Momus,” by Noydens, published in 1666, which,
as its author tells us distinctly in the Prologue, was intended to
drive out of society all novels and books of adventure whose subject
was love.[129]

  [128] “La Cryselia de Lidaceli, Famosa y Verdadera Historia de
  Varios Acontecimientos de Amor y Fortuna,” was first printed
  at Paris, 1609, 12mo, and dedicated to the Princess of Conti;
  besides which I have seen a _third_ edition, of Madrid, 1720.
  At the end a second part is announced, which never appeared.
  The other work of El Capitan Flegetonte is entitled “La Famosa
  y Temeraria Compañía de Rompe Columnas,” and was also printed
  in 1609, with two Dialogues on Love; all as poor as can well be
  imagined. The “Cryselia” is a strange confusion of the pastoral
  style with that of serious romance;--the whole mingled with
  accounts of giants and enchantments, and occasionally with short

  [129] Benito Remigio Noydens was author of a number of moral and
  ascetic works. The “Historia Moral del Dios Momo” (4to, Madrid,
  1666, 12mo) is an account of the exile of the god Momus from
  heaven, and his transmigration through the bodies of persons in
  all conditions on earth, doing mischief wherever he goes. Each
  chapter of the eighteen into which it is divided is followed
  by a moralizing illustration; as, for instance, (c. 5,) the
  disturbance Momus excites on earth against heaven is illustrated
  by the heresies of Germany and England, in which the Duke of
  Saxony and Henry VIII. appear to very little advantage.

Still, serious romance was written in Spain during the whole of the
seventeenth century, and written in several varieties of form and
tone, though with no real success. Thus, Gonzalo de Céspedes, a native
of Madrid, and author of several other works, published the first
part of his “Gerardo” in 1615, and the second in 1617. He calls it a
Tragic Poem, and divides it into discourses instead of chapters. But
it is, in fact, a prose romance, consisting of a series of slightly
connected adventures in the life of its hero, Gerardo, and episodes
of the adventures of different persons more or less associated with
him; in all which, amidst much that is sentimental and romantic, there
is more that is tragic than is common in such Spanish stories. It was
several times reprinted, and was succeeded, in 1626, by his “Various
Fortunes of the Soldier Píndaro,” a similar work, but less interesting,
and perhaps, on that account, never finished according to the original
purpose of its author. Both, however, show a power of invention which
is hardly to be found in works of the same class produced so early,
either in France or England, and both make pretensions to style, though
rather in their lighter than in their more serious portions.[130]

  [130] “Poema Trágico del Español Gerardo y Desengaño del Amor
  Lascivo” is the title of the story; and, besides the first
  edition, it was printed in 1617, 1618, 1623, 1625, 1654, etc. The
  “Varia Fortuna del Soldado Píndaro,” who, notwithstanding his
  classical name, is represented as a native of Castile, was less
  favored. I know only the editions of 1626 and 1661, till we come
  to that of Madrid, 1845, 8vo, illustrated with much spirit. Of
  Céspedes y Meneses a slight notice is to be found in Baena, Hijos
  de Madrid, Tom. II. p. 362.

Again in 1617,--the same year, it will be recollected, in which the
“Persiles and Sigismunda” of Cervantes appeared,--Francisco Loubayssin
de Lamarca, a Biscayan by birth, published his “Tragicomic History of
Don Enrique de Castro”; in which known facts and fanciful adventures
are mingled in the wildest confusion. The scene is carried back, by
means of the story of the hero’s uncle, who has become a hermit in
his old age, to the Italian wars of Charles the Eighth of France, and
forward, in the person of the hero himself, to the conquest of Chili
by the Spaniards; covering meanwhile any intermediate space that seems
convenient to its author’s purposes. As an historical novel, it is an
entire failure.[131]

  [131] The “Historia Tragicómica de Don Enrique de Castro” was
  printed at Paris, in 1617, when its author was twenty-nine years
  old. Two years earlier he had published “Engaños deste Siglo.”
  (Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 358.) I believe he sometimes
  wrote in French.

A similar remark may be made on another work published in 1625, which
takes in part the guise of imaginary travels, and is called “The
History of Two Faithful Friends”; a story founded on the supposed
adventures of a Frenchman and a Spaniard in Persia, and consisting
chiefly of incredible accounts of their intrigues with Persian ladies
of rank. Much of it is given in the shape of a correspondence, and it
ends with the promise of a continuation, which never appeared.[132]

  [132] I do not know who was the author of this foolish fancy,
  which is, perhaps, a _chronique scandaleuse_ of the court. It was
  printed at Roussillon, and is a small 18mo volume.

Many, indeed, of the works of fiction begun in Spain, during the
seventeenth century, remained, like the Two Faithful Friends,
unfinished, from want of encouragement and popularity; while others
that were written were never published at all.[133] One of these last,
called “The Fortunate Knight,” by Juan Valladares de Valdelomar, of
Córdova, was quite prepared for the press in 1617, and is still extant
in the original manuscript, with the proper licenses for printing and
the autograph approbation of Lope de Vega. It is an historical novel,
divided into forty-five “Adventures”; and the hero, like many others
of his class, is a soldier in Italy, and a captive in Africa; serving
first under Don John of Austria, and afterwards under Sebastian of
Portugal. How much of it is true is uncertain. Regular dates are given
for many of its events, some of which can be verified; but it is full
of poetry and poetical fancies, and several of the stories, like that
of the loves of the knight himself and the fair Mayorinda, must have
been taken from the author’s imagination. Still, in the Prologue, all
books of fiction are treated with contempt, as if the whole class were
so little favored, that it was discreditable to avow the intention of
publishing another, even at the moment of doing it. In the style of its
prose, the Fortunate Knight is as good as other similar works of the
same period; but the poems with which it is crowded, to the number of
about a hundred and fifty, are of less merit.[134]

  [133] The names of a good many unpublished manuscripts of such
  works can be found in the Bibliotheca of Antonio, and in Baena,
  “Hijos de Madrid.”

  [134] The MS. of “El Caballero Venturoso,” which is evidently
  autograph throughout, belongs to Don Pascual de Gayangos,
  Professor of Arabic in the University of Madrid, and fills 289
  closely written leaves, in 4to. A second part is announced, but
  was probably never written.

The discouragement just alluded to, whether proceeding from the
ridicule thrown on long works of fiction by Cervantes, or from the
watchfulness of the ecclesiastical authorities, or from both causes
combined, was probably one of the reasons that led persons writing
serious romances to seek new directions and unwonted forms in their
composition; sometimes going as far as possible from the truth of fact,
and sometimes coming down almost to plain history. Two instances of
such deviations from the beaten paths--probably the only examples in
their time of the class to which each belonged--should be noticed, for
their singularity, if not for their literary merit.

The first is by Cosmé de Texada, and is called “The Marvellous Lion.”
It was originally published in 1636, and consists of the history of
“the great Lion Auricrino,” his wonderful adventures, and, at last, his
marriage with Crisaura, his lady-love. It is divided into fifty-four
Apologues, which might rather have been called chapters; and if,
instead of the names of animals given to its personages, it had such
poetical names as usually occur in romantic fiction, it would--except
where it involves satirical sketches of the follies of the times--be
a mere love-romance, neither more unnatural nor more extravagant than
many of its fellows.

Such as it is, however, it did not entirely satisfy its author. The
early portions had been written in his youth, while he was a student
in theology at Salamanca; and when, somewhat later, he resumed his
task, and brought it to a regular conclusion, he was already far
advanced in the composition of another romance still more grave and
spiritualized and still farther removed from the realities of life.
This more carefully matured fiction is called “Understanding and Truth,
the Philosophical Lovers”; and all its personages are allegorical,
filling up, with their dreams and trials, a shadowy picture of human
life, from the creation to the general judgment. How long Texada was
employed about this cold and unsatisfactory allegory, we are not
told; but it was not published till 1673, nearly forty years after it
was begun, and then it was given to the public by his brother as a
posthumous work, with the inappropriate title of “The Second Part of
the Marvellous Lion.” Neither romance had a living interest capable of
insuring it a permanent success, but both are written in a purer style
than was common in such works at the same period, and the first of them
occasionally attacks the faults of the contemporary literature with
spirit and good-humor.[135]

  [135] “Leon Prodigioso, Apología Moral, por el Licenciado
  Cosmé Gomez Texada de los Reyes,” Madrid, 1670, 4to;--“Segunda
  Parte del Leon Prodigioso, Entendimiento y Verdad, Amantes
  Filosóficos,” Alcalá, 1673, 4to. The first part was licensed in
  1634. The author published “El Filósofo,” a miscellany on the
  physical sciences and moral philosophy, in 1650. In the “Leon
  Prodigioso” is a good deal of poetry; particularly, in the first
  part, a poem called “La Nada,” which is very dull, and one in
  the second, called “El Todo,” which is still worse. His ridicule
  of the _culto_ style, in Parte I. pp. 317, 391-395, is acute and

Quite different from both of them, “The New Kings of Toledo,” by
Christóval Lozano, introduces only real personages, and contains little
but the facts of known history and old tradition, slightly embellished
by the spirit of romance. Its author was attached to the metropolitan
cathedral of Toledo, and, with Calderon, served in the chapel set
apart for the burial of the New Kings, as the monarchs of Castile were
called from the time of Henry of Trastamara, who there established for
himself a cemetery, separate from that in which the race ending with
the dishonored Don Pedro had been entombed.

The pious chaplain, who was thus called to pray daily for the souls of
the line of sovereigns that had constituted the house of Trastamara,
determined to illustrate their memories by a romantic history; and,
beginning with the old national traditions of the origin of Toledo, the
cave of Hercules, the marriage of Charlemagne with a Moorish princess
whom he converted, and the refusal of a Christian princess to marry a
Moor whom she could not convert, he gives us an account of the building
of the chapel, and the adventures of the kings who sleep under its
altars, down as late as the death of Henry the Third, in 1406. From
internal evidence, it was written at the end of the reign of Philip
the Fourth, when Spanish prose had lost much both of its purity and of
its dignity; but Lozano, though not free from the affectations of his
age, wrote so much more simply than his contemporaries generally did,
and his story, though little indebted to his own invention, was yet
found so attractive, that, in about half a century, eleven editions
of it were published, and it obtained for itself a place in Spanish
literature which it has never entirely lost.[136]

  [136] My copy is of the eleventh edition, Madrid, 1734, 4to;
  and Lib. III. c. 1, p. 237, was written just at the moment of
  the accession of Charles II. The story is connected with the
  favorite doctrine of the Spanish Church: that of the immaculate
  conception, whose annunciation by the Madonna is described with
  dramatic effect in Lib. I. c. 10. The earliest edition I have
  seen noticed is of 1667.

After all, however, the serious and historical fictions produced in
Spain, that merit the name of full-length romances, were, from the
first, few in number, and, with the exception of Hita’s “Civil Wars
of Granada,” deserved little favor. Subsequent to the reign of Philip
the Fourth, they almost disappeared for above a century; and even at
the end of that period, they occurred rarely, and obtained little

  [137] The only grave romance of this class, after 1650, that
  needs, I believe, to be referred to, is “La Historia de Lisseno
  y Fenisa, por Francisco Parraga Martel de la Fuente,” (Madrid,
  1701, 4to,)--a very bad imitation of the “Gerardo Español” of
  Céspedes y Meneses.



Short stories or tales were more successful in Spain, during the latter
part of the sixteenth century and the whole of the seventeenth, than
any other form of prose fiction, and were produced in greater numbers.
They seem, indeed, to have sprung afresh, and with great vigor, from
the prevailing national tastes and manners, not at all connected
with the tales of Oriental origin, that had been introduced above
two hundred years earlier by Don Juan Manuel, and little affected by
the brilliant Italian school, of which Boccaccio was the head; but
showing rather, in the hues they borrowed from the longer contemporary
pastoral, satirical, and historical romances, how truly they belonged
to the spirit of their own times, and to the state of society in which
they appeared. We turn to them, therefore, with more than common

The oldest Spanish tales of the sixteenth century, that deserve to
be noticed, are two that are found in a small volume of the works of
Antonio de Villegas, somewhat conceitedly called “El Inventario,”
and prepared for the press about 1550, though not published till
1565.[138] The first of them is entitled “Absence and Solitude,” a
pastoral consisting of about equal portions of prose and poetry, and is
as affected and in as bad taste as the ampler fictions of the class to
which it belongs. The other--“The Story of Narvaez”--is much better. It
is the Spanish version of a romantic adventure that really occurred on
the frontiers of Granada, in the days when knighthood was in its glory
among Moors as well as among Christians. Its principal incidents are as

  [138] The “Inventario” of Villegas was twice printed, the first
  edition in 4to, 1565, and the second in small 12mo, 1577, 144
  leaves;--both times at Medina del Campo, of which its author
  is supposed to have been a native, and both times with a note
  especially prefixed, signifying that the first license to print
  it was granted in 1551.

Rodrigo de Narvaez, Alcayde of Alora, a fortress on the Spanish border,
grows weary of a life of inaction, from which he had been for some
time suffering, and goes out one night with a few followers, in mere
wantonness, to seek adventures. Of course they soon find what, in
such a spirit, they seek. Abindarraez, a noble Moor, belonging to the
persecuted and exiled family of the Abencerrages, comes well mounted
and well armed along the path they are watching, and sings cheerily
through the stillness of the night,--

    In Granada was I born,
      In Cartama was I bred;
    But in Coyn by Alora
      Lives the maiden I would wed.

A fight follows at once, and the gallant young Moor is taken prisoner;
but his dejected manner, after a resistance so brave as he had made,
surprises his conqueror, who, on inquiry, finds that his captive was
on his way that very night to a secret marriage with the lady of his
love, daughter of the lord of Coyn, a Moorish fortress near at hand.
Immediately on learning this, the Spanish knight, like a true cavalier,
releases the young Moor from his present thraldom, on condition that
he will voluntarily return in three days and submit himself again to
his fate. The noble Moor keeps his word, bringing with him his stolen
bride, to whom, by the intervention of the generous Spaniard with the
king of Granada, her father is reconciled, and so the tale ends to the
honor and content of all the parties who appear in it.

Some passages in it are beautiful, like the first declaration of
his love by Abindarraez, as described by himself; and the darkness
that, he says, fell upon his very soul, when his lady, the next day,
was carried away by her father, “as if,” he adds, “the sun had been
suddenly eclipsed over a man wandering amidst wild and precipitous
mountains.” His Moorish honor and faith, too, are characteristically
and finely expressed, when, on the approach of the time for his return
to captivity, he reveals to his bride the pledge he had given, and in
reply to her urgent offer to send a rich ransom and break his word,
he says, “Surely I may not _now_ fall into so great a fault; for
if, when formerly I came to you all alone, I kept truly my pledged
faith, my duty to keep it is doubled now that I am yours. Therefore,
questionless, I shall return to Alora, and place myself in the
Alcayde’s hands; and when I have done what I ought to do, he must also
do what to him seems right.”

The original story, as told by the Arabian writers, is found at the
end of “The History of the Arabs in Spain,” by Conde, who says it was
often repeated by the poets of Granada. But it was too attractive in
itself, and too flattering to the character of Spanish knighthood, not
to obtain a similar place in Spanish literature. Montemayor, therefore,
borrowing it with little ceremony from Villegas, and altering it
materially for the worse in point of style, inserted it in the editions
of his “Diana” published towards the latter part of his life, though it
harmonizes not at all with the pastoral scenery which there surrounds
it. Padilla, too, soon afterwards took possession of it, and wrought
it into a series of ballads; Lope de Vega founded on it his play of
“The Remedy for Misfortune”; and Cervantes introduced it into his “Don
Quixote.” On all sides, therefore, traces of it are to be found, but it
nowhere presents itself with such grace or to such advantage as it does
in the simple tale of Villegas.[139]

  [139] The story of Narvaez, who is honorably noticed in Pulgar’s
  “Claros Varones,” Título XVII., and who is said to have been
  the ancestor of Narvaez, the minister of state to Isabella II.,
  is found in Argote de Molina (Nobleza, 1588, f. 296); in Conde
  (Historia, Tom. III. p. 262); in Villegas (Inventario, 1565,
  f. 94); in Padilla (Romancero, 1583, ff. 117-127); in Lope de
  Vega (Remedio de la Desdicha; Comedias, Tom. XIII., 1620); in
  Don Quixote (Parte I. c. 5), etc. I think, too, that it may
  have been given by Timoneda, under the title of “Historia del
  Enamorado Moro Abindarraez,” _sine anno_, (Fuster, Bib., Tom.
  I. p. 162,) and it is certainly among the ballads in his “Rosa
  Española,” 1573. (See Wolf’s reprint, 1846, p. 107.) It is the
  subject, also, of a long poem by Francisco Balbi de Corregio,
  1593. (Depping’s Romancero, Leipsique, 1844, 12mo, Tom. II. p.
  231.) That Montemayor took his version of the story of Narvaez
  from Villegas nobody will doubt who compares both together and
  remembers that it does not appear in the first edition of the
  “Diana”; that it is wholly unsuited to its place in such a
  romance; and that the difference between the two is only that the
  story, as told by Montemayor, in the “Diana,” Book IV., though
  it is often, for several sentences together, in the same words
  with the story in Villegas, is made a good deal longer by mere
  verbiage. See, _ante_, Chap. XXXIII., note.

  In the “Nobiliario” of Ferant de Mexia, (Sevilla, 1492,
  folio,)--a curious book, written with Castilian dignity of style,
  and full of the feudal spirit of an age that believed in the
  inherent qualities of noble blood,--its author (Lib. II. c. 15)
  boasts that Narvaez was the brother of his grandfather, calling
  him “cavallero de los bienaventurados que ovo en nuestros tiempos
  desde el Cid acá batalloso é victorioso.”

Juan de Timoneda, already noticed as one of the founders of the popular
theatre in Spain, was also an early writer of Spanish tales. Indeed, as
a bookseller who sought to make profit of whatever was agreeable to
the general taste, and who wrote and published in this spirit several
volumes of ballads, miscellaneous poetry, and farces, it was quite
natural he should adventure in the ways of prose fiction, now become so
attractive. His first attempt seems to have been in his “Patrañuelo,”
or Story-teller, the first part of which appeared in 1576, but was not

  [140] Rodriguez, Biblioteca, p. 283. Ximeno, Bib., Tom. I. p. 72.
  Fuster, Bib., Tom. I. p. 161, Tom. II. p. 530. The “Sobremesa y
  Alivio de Caminantes,” by Timoneda, printed in 1569, and probably
  earlier, is merely a collection of a hundred and sixty-one
  anecdotes and jests, in the manner of Joe Miller, though
  sometimes cited as a collection of tales. They are preceded
  by twelve similar anecdotes, by a person who is called Juan
  Aragones. In all the editions of the “Patrañuelo,” I believe,
  except the first and that in Aribau’s Biblioteca, there are only
  twenty-one tales;--the eighth, which is a coarse one borrowed
  from Ariosto, being omitted.

It is a small work, which draws its materials from widely different
sources, some of them being found, like the well-known story of
Apollonius, Prince of Tyre, in the “Gesta Romanorum,” and some in the
Italian masters, like the story of Griselda in Boccaccio, and the one
familiar to English readers in the ballad of “King John and the Abbot
of Canterbury,” which Timoneda probably took from Sacchetti.[141] Three
or four--of which the first in the volume is one--had already been used
in the construction of dramas by Alonso de la Vega and Lope de Rueda.
All of them tend to show, what is proved in other ways, that such
popular stories had long been a part of the intellectual amusements of
a state of society little dependent on books; and, after floating for
centuries up and down through the different countries of Europe,--borne
by a general tradition or by the minstrels and _Trouveurs_,--were
about this period first reduced to writing, and then again passed
onward from hand to hand, till they were embodied in some form that
became permanent. What, therefore, the _Novellieri_ had been doing
in Italy for above two hundred years, Timoneda now undertook to do
for Spain. The twenty-two tales of his “Patrañuelo” are not, indeed,
connected, like those of the “Decamerone,” but he has given them a
uniform character by investing them all with his own easy, if not very
pure, style; and thus, without anticipating it, sent them out anew to
constitute a part of the settled literature of his country, and to draw
after them a long train of similar fictions, some of which bear the
most eminent names known among those of Spanish prose-writers.

  [141] The story of Apollonius,--the same with that in
  Shakspeare’s “Pericles,”--was, as we have seen, (Vol. I. p. 24,)
  known in Spanish poetry very early, though the old poetical
  version of it was not printed till 1844; but it is more likely
  to have been taken by Timoneda from the “Gesta Romanorum,”
  Tale 153, in the edition of 1488. The story of Griselda he, no
  doubt, took from the version of it with which the “Decamerone”
  ends, though he may have obtained it elsewhere. (Manni, Istoria
  del Decamerone, Firenze, 1742, 4to, p. 603.) As to the story
  so familiar to us in Percy’s “Reliques,” he probably obtained
  it from the fourth Novella of Sacchetti, written about 1370;
  beyond which I think it cannot be traced, though it has been
  common enough ever since, down to Bürger’s version of it. Similar
  inquiries would no doubt lead to similar results about other
  tales in the “Patrañuelo”; but these instances are enough to show
  that Timoneda took any thing he found suited to his purpose, just
  as the Italian _Novellieri_ and the French _Trouveurs_ had done
  before him, without inquiring or caring whence it came.

Indeed, the very next is of this high order. It is that of Cervantes,
who began by inserting such stories in the first part of his “Don
Quixote” in 1605, and, eight years later, produced a collection of
them, which he published separately. Of these tales, however, we
have already spoken, and will, therefore, now only repeat, that, for
originality of invention and happiness of style, they stand at the head
of the class to which they belong.[142]

  [142] See, _ante_, Vol. II. p. 84.

Others followed, of very various character. Hidalgo published, in
1605, an account of the frolics permitted during the last three
days of Carnival, in which are many short tales and anecdotes, like
the slightest and gayest of the Italian _novelle_;[143] and Suarez
de Figueroa, who was no friend of Cervantes, if he was his follower,
inserted other tales of a more romantic tone in his “Traveller,”
which he published in 1617.[144] Perhaps, however, no writer of such
fictions in the early part of the seventeenth century had more success
than Salas Barbadillo, who was born at Madrid, about 1580, and died in
1630.[145] During the last eighteen years of his life, he published not
less than twenty different works, all of which, except three or four
that are filled with such dramas and poetry as Lope de Vega had made
fashionable, consist of popular stories, neither so short as the tales
of Timoneda, nor long enough to be accounted regular romances, but all
written in a truly national spirit, and in a strongly marked Castilian

  [143] It is in the form of dialogues, and called “Carnestolendas
  de Castilla, dividido en las tres Noches del Domingo, Lunes y
  Martes de Antruexo, por Gaspar Lucas Hidalgo, Vezino de la Villa
  de Madrid,” Barcelona, 1605, 12mo, ff. 108. Editions are also
  noted of 1606 and 1618.

  [144] “El Pasagero” (Madrid, 1617, 12mo, ff. 492) is in ten
  dialogues, carried on in the pauses or rests of two travellers,
  and thence affectedly called _Alivios_. I have a small volume
  entitled “Historia de los Siete Sabios de Roma, compuesta por
  Marcos Perez, Barcelona por Rafael Figuero,” 12mo,--no date;
  but, I think, printed in the eighteenth century. It contains the
  story of “The Seven Wise Masters,” which is one of the oldest of
  modern fictions,--the Emperor, in this version of it, being named
  Ponciano, and being called the son of Diocletian. The style is
  somewhat better than that of the “Donzella Teodor,” (_ante_, II.
  212,) but seems to be of about the same period.

  [145] Notices for the life of Barbadillo may be found in Baena
  (Hijos de Madrid, Tom. I. p. 42); in Antonio (Bib. Nov., Tom. I.
  p. 28); and in the Prefaces to his own “Estafeta del Dios Momo,”
  (Madrid, 1627, 12mo,) and his “Coronas del Parnaso” (Madrid,
  1635, 12mo). He was associated with Cervantes in the same
  religious fraternity, and gave his strong testimony in favor of
  the tales of his friend in their first edition. (Navarrete, Vida,
  §§ 121, 132.) He seems to have had an office at court, for he
  calls himself “Criado de su Magestad.”

“The Ingenious Helen, Daughter of Celestina,” which is one of the
earliest and most spirited of these fictions, appeared in 1612, and was
frequently printed afterwards. It is the story of a courtesan, whose
adventures, from the high game she undertakes to play in life, are
of the boldest and most desperate kind. She is called the daughter of
Celestina, because she is made to deserve that name by her talent and
her crimes; but, with instinctive truth, she is at last left to perish
by the most disgraceful of all the forms of a Spanish execution, for
poisoning an obscure and vulgar lover. One or two minor stories are
rather inartificially introduced in the course of the main narrative,
and so are a few ballads, which have no value except as they serve to
illustrate the ruffian life, as it was called, then to be found in the
great cities of Spain. The best parts of the book are those relating to
Helen herself and her machinations; and the most striking scenes, and
perhaps the most true to the time, are those that occur when she rises
to the height of her fortunes by setting up for a saint and imposing on
all Seville.[146]

  [146] “La Ingeniosa Helena, Hija de Celestina,” Lerida, 1612, and
  often since. The edition I have is of Madrid, 1737, 12mo.

Of course, with such materials and incidents, the Helena takes much
of its tone from the stories in the _gusto picaresco_, or the style
of Spanish rogues. Quite opposite to it, therefore, in character and
purpose, is “The Perfect Knight,”--a philosophical tale, not without
some touch of the romances of chivalry. It is addressed to all the
noble youth of the realm, at a time when the Cortes were assembled,
and is intended to set the ideal of true knighthood before them, as
before an audience the younger part of which might be excited to strive
after its attributes and honors. To accomplish this, Barbadillo gives
the history of a Spanish cavalier, who, travelling to Italy during the
reign of Alfonso of Aragon, the conqueror of Naples, obtains the favor
of that monarch, and, after serving him in the highest military and
diplomatic posts,--commanding armies in Germany, and mediating between
imaginary kings of England and Ireland,--retires to the neighbourhood
of Baia and enjoys a serene and religious old age.[147]

  [147] “El Caballero Perfeto,” Madrid, 1620, 12mo.

Again, “The House of Respectable Amusements” differs from both of the
preceding fictions, and exhibits another variety of their author’s
very flexible talent. It relates the frolics of four gay students of
Salamanca, who, wearied by their course of life at the University,
come to Madrid, open a luxurious house, arrange a large hall for
exhibitions, and invite the rank and fashion of the city, telling
stories for the amusement of their guests, reciting ballads, and
acting plays;--all of which constitute the materials that fill the
volume. Six tales, however, are really the effective part of it; and
the whole is abruptly terminated by the dangerous illness of the most
active among the four gay cavaliers who had arranged these Lenten

  [148] “Casa del Plazer Honesto,” Madrid, 1620, 12mo.

But it is not necessary to examine further the light fictions of
Barbadillo. It is enough to say of the rest, that “The Point-Device
Knight,” in two parts, is a grotesque story in ridicule of those
who pretend to be first in every thing;[149]--that “The Lucky Fool”
is what its name implies;[150]--that “Don Diego” consists of the
love-adventures, during nine successive nights, of a gentleman who
always fails in what he undertakes;[151]--and that all of them, and all
Barbadillo’s other productions, are within the range of talent of not a
very high order, but uncommonly flexible, and dealing rather with the
surface of manners than with the secrets of character which manners
serve to hide. His latest work, entitled “Parnassian Crowns and Dishes
for the Muses,” consists of a medley of verse and prose, stories and
dramas, which were arranged for the press, and licensed in October,
1630; but he died immediately afterwards, and they were not printed
till 1635.[152]

  [149] “El Caballero Puntual,” Primera Parte, Madrid, 1614;
  Segunda Parte, Madrid, 1619, 12mo. At the end of the second part
  is a play, “Los Prodigios de Amor.” A work not entirely unlike
  the “Caballero Puntual” was printed at Rouen in 1610, 12mo,
  called “Rodomuntadas Castellanas.” It is in Spanish, as were many
  other books printed at that time in France, from the connection
  of the French court with Spain, and it consists of the incredible
  boastings of a braggadocio, something like Baron Munchausen. But
  it has little value of any sort, and I mention it only because it
  preceded the fiction of Barbadillo by four years.

  [150] “El Necio bien Afortunado,” Madrid, 1621, 12mo.

  [151] “Don Diego de Noche,” Madrid, 1623, 12mo. All nine of
  his unhappy adventures occur in the night. For some reason, I
  know not what, this story appears among the translated works of
  Quevedo, (Edinburgh, 1798, 3 vols. 8vo,) and, I believe, may be
  found, also, in the previous translation made by Stevens. There
  is a play with the same title, “Don Diego de Noche,” by Roxas (in
  Tom. VII. of the Comedias Escogidas, 1654); but it has, I think,
  nothing to do with the tale of Barbadillo.

  [152] “Coronas del Parnaso y Platos de las Musas,” Madrid, 1635,
  12mo. There is some resemblance in the idea to that of the
  “Convito” of Dante; but it is not likely that Salas Barbadillo
  imitated the philosophical allegory of the great Italian master.

During the life of Barbadillo, and probably in some degree from his
example and success, such fictions became frequent. “The Winter
Evenings” of Antonio de Eslava, published in 1609, belong to this
class, but are, indeed, so early in their date, that they may have
rather given an impulse to Barbadillo than received one from him.[153]
But “The Twelve Moral Tales” of Diego de Agreda, in 1620, belong
clearly to his manner,[154] as does also “The Guide and Counsel for
Strangers at Court,” published the same year, by Liñan y Verdugo,--a
singular series of stories, related by two elderly gentlemen to a
young man, in order to warn him against the dangers of a gay life
at Madrid.[155] Lope de Vega, as usual, followed where success had
already been obtained by others. In 1621, he added a short tale to
his “Philomena,” and, a little later, three more to his “Circe”; but
he himself thought them a doubtful experiment, and they, in fact,
proved an unhappy one.[156] Other persons, however, encouraged by the
general favor that evidently waited on light and amusing collections of
stories, crowded more earnestly along in the same path;--Salazar, with
his “Flowers of Recreation,” in 1622;[157]--Lugo, with his “Novelas,”
the same year;[158]--and Camerino, with his “Love Tales,”[159] only
a year later;--all the last six works having been produced in three
years, and all belonging to the school of Timoneda, as it had been
modified by the genius of Cervantes and the practical skill of Salas

  [153] The “Primera Parte de las Noches de Invierno, por Antonio
  de Eslava,” was printed at Pamplona in 1609, and at Brussels in
  1610, 12mo; but, as was so common in these works of amusement, I
  believe no second part followed. It is ordered to be expurgated
  in the Index of 1667, p. 67.

  [154] “Doce Novelas Morales y Exemplares, por Diego de Agreda
  y Vargas,” Madrid, 1620; reprinted by one of his descendants,
  at Madrid, in 1724, 12mo. Diego de Agreda, of whom there is a
  notice in Baena, (Tom. I. p. 331,) was a soldier as well as an
  author, and, in the tale he called “El Premio de la Virtud,”
  relates, apparently, an event in the history of his own family.
  Others of his tales are taken from the Italian. That of “Aurelio
  y Alexandra,” for instance, is a _rifacimento_ of Bandello’s
  story of “Romeo and Juliet,” used at just about the same time by

  [155] “Guia y Avisos de Forasteros, etc., por el Licenciado Don
  Antonio Liñan y Verdugo,” Madrid, 1620, 4to. In a discourse
  preceding the tales, which are fourteen in number, their author
  is spoken of as having written other works, and as being an old
  man; but I find no notice of him except that in Antonio, (Bib.
  Nov., Tom. I. p. 141,) which gives only the titles of the tales,
  and mistakes the year in which they were printed. Some of the
  stories, it may be added, seem true, and some of the sketches of
  manners are lively.

  [156] See, _ante_, Vol. II. pp. 156, 157, an account of these
  tales of Lope, and the way in which four others that are not his
  were added to them, and yet appear in his collected works, Tom.

  [157] Literally, _Pinks_ of Recreation,--“Clavellinas de
  Recreacion, por Ambrosio de Salazar,” Ruan, 1622, 12mo. He wrote
  several other Spanish works, printed, as this was, in France,
  where he was physician to the queen. Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I.
  p. 68.

  [158] “Novelas de Francisco de Lugo y Avila,” Madrid, 1622, 12mo.

  [159] “Novelas Amorosas por Joseph Camerino,” Madrid, 1623
  and 1736, 4to. (Antonio, Bib. Nova, Tom. II. p. 361.) He was
  an Italian, as appears from the hint in Lope de Vega’s sonnet
  prefixed to his tales, as well as from his own Proemio. His
  Spanish, however, is pure enough, except in those affectations of
  style which he shared with many Castilian writers of his time.
  His “Dama Beata,” a longer tale, was printed at Madrid, in 1655,
  in 4to.

This was popular success; but it was so much in one direction, that
its results became a little monotonous. Variety, therefore, was soon
demanded; and, being demanded by the voice of fashion, it was soon
obtained. The new form, thus introduced, was not, however, a violent
change. It was made by a well-known dramatic author, who--taking a hint
from the “Decamerone,” already in part adopted by Barbadillo, in his
“House of Respectable Amusements”--substituted a theatrical framework
to connect his separate stories, instead of the merely narrative one
used by Boccaccio and his followers. This fell in, happily, with
the passion for the stage which then pervaded all Spain, and it was

The change referred to is first found in the “Cigarrales de Toledo,”
published in 1624, by Gabriel Tellez, who, as we have already
observed, when he left his convent and came before the public as a
secular author, always disguised himself under the name of Tirso de
Molina. It is a singular book, and takes its name from a word of
Arabic origin peculiar to Toledo; _Cigarral_ signifying there a small
country-house in the neighbourhood of the city, resorted to only for
recreation and only in the summer season. At one of these houses Tirso
supposes a wedding to have happened, under circumstances interesting
to a large number of persons, who, wishing in consequence of it to
be much together, agreed to hold a series of entertainments at their
different houses, in an order to be determined by lot and under the
superintendence of one of their company, each of whom, during the
single day of his authority, should have supreme control and be
responsible for the amusements of the whole party.

The “Cigarrales de Toledo” is an account of these entertainments,
consisting of stories that were read or related at them, poetry that
was recited, and plays that were acted,--in short, of all that made up
the various exhibitions and amusements of the party. Some portions
of it are fluent and harmonious beyond the common success of the age;
but in general, as in the descriptions and in the poor contrivance
of the “Labyrinth,” it is disfigured by conceits and extravagances,
belonging to the follies of Gongorism. The work, however, pleased, and
Tirso himself prepared another of the same kind, called “Pleasure and
Profit,”--graver and more religious in its tone, but of less poetical
merit,--which was written in 1632, and printed in 1635. But, though
both were well received, neither was finished. The last ends with the
promise of a second part, and the first, which undertakes to give an
account of the entertainments of twenty days, embraces, in fact, only

  [160] Baena, Hijos de Madrid, Tom. II. p. 267. I find no edition
  of the “Cigarrales de Toledo” cited earlier than 1631; but my
  copy is dated Madrid, 1624, 4to, and is evidently of the first
  publication. Covarrubias (ad verb. _Cigarral_) gives the proper
  meaning of the word, which is perhaps plain enough from the work
  itself. The “Deleytar Aprovechando” was reprinted at Madrid in
  1765, in 2 tom. 4to. In the “Cigarrales,” Tirso promises to
  publish twelve _novelas_, with an argument to connect them,
  adding, satirically, ”_Not_ stolen from the Tuscans”;--but they
  never appeared.

The style they adopted was soon imitated. Montalvan, who, like his
master, never failed to follow the indications of the popular taste,
printed, in 1632, his “Para Todos,” or For Everybody, containing the
imaginary amusements of a party of literary friends, who agreed to
cater for each other during a week, and whose festivities are ended, as
those of the “Cigarrales” began, with a wedding. Some of its inventions
are very learnedly dull, and it is throughout less well arranged
than the account of the entertainments near Toledo, and falls less
naturally into a dramatic framework. But it shows its author’s talent.
The individual stories are pleasantly told, especially the one called
“At the End of the Year One Thousand”; and, as a whole, the “Para
Todos” was popular, going through nine editions in less than thirty
years, notwithstanding a very severe attack on it by Quevedo.[161] Its
popularity, too, had the natural effect of producing imitations, among
which, in 1640, appeared, “Para Algunos,”--For a Few,--by Matias de los
Reyes;[162] and, somewhat later, “Para Sí,”--For one’s own Self,--by
Juan Fernandez y Peralta.[163]

  [161] Baena, Tom. III. p. 157. I own the _ninth_ edition of “Para
  Todos,” Alcalá, 1661, 4to. Quevedo seems to have borne some
  personal ill-will against Montalvan, whom he calls “a little
  remnant of Lope de Vega,” and says his “Para Todos” is “like the
  coach from Alcalá to Madrid, full of all sorts of passengers,
  including the worst.” (Obras, Tom. XI. p. 129.) Quevedo does not
  appear among those who in 1639 offered verses or other tributes
  to the memory of Montalvan, though their number is above a
  hundred and fifty, and includes, I think, nearly or quite every
  other Spanish author of any note then living. See “Lágrimas
  Panegyricas en la Muerte de Montalvan,” 1639.

  [162] Matias de los Reyes was the author of other tales besides
  those in his “Para Algunos.” His “Curial del Parnaso,” (Madrid,
  1624, 8vo,) of which only the first part was published, contains
  several. He also wrote for the stage. His “Para Algunos” was
  printed at Madrid, 1640, in quarto, and is not ill written.
  Baena, Hijos, Tom. IV. p. 97.

  [163] I have never seen the “Para Sí” of Peralta, and know it
  only from its title in catalogues. Two other similar works, of a
  later date, may be added to these. The first is “El Entretenido,”
  by Antonio Sanchez Tortoles, which was licensed to be printed
  in 1671, but of which I have seen no edition except that of
  Madrid, 1729, 4to. It contains the amusements of an academy
  during the Christmas holidays; namely, a play, _entremes_, and
  poems, with discussions on subjects of natural history, learning,
  and theology. But it contains no tales, and goes through only
  ten of the fourteen evenings whose entertainments it announces.
  The remaining four were filled up by Joseph Moraleja, (Madrid,
  1741, 4to,) with materials generally more light and gay, and,
  in one instance, with a tale. The other work referred to is
  “Gustos y Disgustos del Lentiscar de Cartagena, por el Licenciado
  Gines Campillo de Bayle” (Valencia, 1689, 4to). It takes its
  name from the “Lentiscar,” a spot near Carthagena where the
  Lentisco or mastich-tree abounds; and it consists of twelve days’
  entertainment, given at a country-house to a young lady who
  hesitated about taking the veil, but, finding her mistake from
  the unhappy ending of each of these days of pleasure, returns
  gladly to her convent and completes her profession. Neither of
  these works is worth the trouble of reading. The four “Academias”
  of Jacinto Polo, the amusements of four days of a wedding,
  (Obras, 1670, pp. 1-106,) are better, but consist chiefly of

Meantime the succession of separate tales had been actively kept up.
Montalvan published eight in 1624, written with more than the usual
measure of grace in such Spanish compositions; one of them, “The
Disastrous Friendship,” founded on the sufferings of an Algerine
captivity, being one of the best in the language, and all of them
so successful, that they were printed eleven times in about thirty
years.[164] Céspedes y Meneses followed, in 1628, with a series
entitled “Rare Histories”;[165]--Moya, at about the same time,
published a single whimsical story on “The Fancies of a Fright”; in
which he relates a succession of marvellous incidents, that, as he
declares, flashed through his own imagination while falling down a
precipice in the Sierra Morena;[166]--and Castro y Anaya published, in
1632, five tales called “The Auroras of Diana,” because they are told
in the early dawn of each morning, during five successive days, to
amuse Diana, a lady who, after a long illness, had fallen into a state
of melancholy.[167]

  [164] They were translated into French by Rampale, and printed
  at Paris in 1644 (see Baena and Brunet); and are in the Index
  Expurgatorius of 1667, p. 735.

  [165] Gonzalo de Céspedes y Meneses, “Historias Peregrinas,”
  Zaragoza, 1628, 1630, and 1647, the last in 12mo. Only the first
  part was ever published. It is a curious book. It opens with
  “An Abridgment of the Excellences of Spain,” and each of the
  six tales of which it consists, having its scene laid in some
  famous Spanish city, is preceded by a similar abridgment of the
  excellences of the particular city to which it relates. Céspedes
  is the author of the “Gerardo Español,” noticed, _ante_, p. 87,
  and, like many of the story-writers of his time, was a native of

  [166] Juan Martinez de Moya, “Fantasías de un Susto.” It reminds
  us of the theory of Coleridge about the rapidity with which a
  series of events can be hurried through the mind of a drowning
  man, or any person under a similar excitement of mind. It is,
  however, a very poor story, intended for a satire on manners, and
  is full of bad verses. There is a reprint of it, Madrid, 1738,

  [167] “Auroras de Diana, por Don Pedro de Castro y Anaya.” He was
  a native of Murcia, and there are editions of his “Auroras” of
  1632, 1637, 1640, and 1654, the last printed at Coimbra, in 12mo.

The fair sex, too, entered into the general fashionable competition.
Mariana de Carbajal, a native of Granada, and descended from the
ancient ducal families of San Carlos and Rivas, published, in 1638,
eight tales, pleasing both by their invention and by the simplicity
of their style, which she called “Christmas at Madrid,” or “Evening
Amusements.”[168] And in 1637 and 1647, María de Zayas, a lady of
the court, printed two collections; the first called simply “Tales,”
and the last “Saraos,” or Balls; each a series of ten stories within
itself, and both connected together by the entertainments of a party of
friends at Christmas, and the dances and _fêtes_ at the wedding of two
of their number, during the holidays that followed.[169]

  [168] Mariana de Carbajal y Saavedra, “Novelas Entretenidas,”
  Madrid, 1633, 4to. At the end of these eight stories, she
  promises a second part; and in the edition of 1728 there are,
  in fact, two more stories, marked as the ninth and tenth, but I
  think they are not hers.

  [169] Baena, Hijos, Tom. IV. p. 48. Both collections are printed
  together in the edition of Madrid, 1795, 4to;--the first being
  called _Novelas_ and the second _Saraos_.

Again, slight changes in such fictions were attempted. Mata, in two
dull tales, called “The Solitudes of Aurelia,” published in 1637,
endeavoured to give them a more religious character;[170] and in 1641,
André del Castillo, in six stories misnamed “The Masquerade of Taste,”
sought to give them even a lighter tone than the old one.[171] Both
found successors. Lozano’s “Solitudes of Life,” which are four stories
supposed to be told by a hermit on the wild peaks of the Monserrate,
belong to the first class, and, notwithstanding a somewhat affected
style, were much praised by Calderon, and went through at least six
editions;[172]--while, in the opposite direction, between 1625 and
1640, we have a number of the freest secular tales, by Castillo
Solorzano, among which the best are probably “The Alleviations of
Cassandra,” and “The Country-House of Laura,” both imitations of
Castro’s “Diana.”[173]

  [170] Gerónimo Fernandez de Mata, “Soledades de Aurelia,” 1638,
  to which, in the edition of Madrid, 1737, 12mo, is added a poor
  dialogue between Crates and his wife, Hipparcha, against ambition
  and worldliness; originally printed in 1637.

  [171] André del Castillo, “La Mogiganga del Gusto,” Zaragoza,
  1641. Segunda Impresion, Madrid, 1734. They are written in the
  affected style of the _cultos_.

  [172] Christóval Lozano, “Soledades de la Vida,” 6a impresion,
  Barcelona, 1722, 4to. After the four connected stories told by
  the hermit, there follow, in this edition, six others, which,
  though separate, are in the same tone and style. Lozano wrote
  the “Reyes Nuevos de Toledo,” noticed, _ante_, p. 91; the “David
  Perseguido,” and other similar works;--at least, I believe they
  are all by one person, though the Index Expurgatorius of 1790
  makes the “Soledades” the work of Gaspar Lozano, as if he were
  not the same.

  [173] Of Alonso del Castillo Solorzano I have spoken, _ante_, p.
  72, as the author of _picaresque_ tales. A list of most of his
  works may be found in Antonio, (Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. 15,) among
  which is a sort of suite with the following titles: “_Jornadas_
  Alegres,” 1626;--“_Tardes_ Entretenidas,” 1625;--and “_Noches_
  de Placer,” 1631. None of these had much success; nor, indeed,
  did he succeed much in any of his tales, except “La Garduña
  de Sevilla,” already noticed. But his “Quinta de Laura” was
  printed three times, and his “Alivios de Cassandra,” which first
  appeared in 1640,--and is something like the “Para Todos” of
  Montalvan, being a collection of dramas, poetry, etc., besides
  six stories,--was translated into French, and printed at Paris,
  both in 1683 and 1685.

In the same way, the succession of short fictions was continued
unbroken, until it ceased with the general decay of Spanish literature
at the end of the century. Thus we have, in 1641, “The Various Effects
of Love and Fortune,” by Alonso de Alcalá; five stories, such as may be
imagined from the fact, that, in each of them, one of the five vowels
is entirely omitted;[174]--in 1645, “The Warnings, or Experiences,
of Jacinto,” by Villalpando, which may have been taken from his own
life, since Jacinto was the first of his own names;[175]--in 1663,
“The Festivals of Wit and Entertainments of Taste,” by Andres de
Prado;[176]--and, in 1666, a series collected from different authors,
by Isidro de Robles,[177] and published under the title of “Wonders of
Love.” All these, as their names indicate, belong to one school; and
although there is an occasional variety in their individual tones, some
of them being humorous and others sentimental, and although some of
them have their scenes in Spain and others in Italy or Algiers, still,
as the purpose of all was only the lightest amusement, they may all be
grouped together and characterized in the mass, as of little value, and
as falling off in merit the nearer they approach the period when such
fictions ceased in the elder Spanish literature.

  [174] Alonso de Alcalá y Herrera, “Varios Efetos de Amor,”
  Lisboa, 1641, 18mo. He was a Portuguese, but was of Spanish
  origin, and wrote Spanish with purity, as well as Portuguese.
  (Barbosa, Bib. Lus., fol., Tom. I. p. 26.) Clemencin cites
  these stories of Alcalá as proof of the richness of the Spanish
  language. (Ed. Don Quixote, Tom. IV. p. 286.) There is a tale,
  printed by Guevara, called “Los Tres Hermanos,” in the volume
  with his “Diablo Cojuelo,” (Madrid, 1733, 12mo,) in which the
  letter A is omitted; and in 1654 Fernando Jacinto de Zarate
  published a dull love-story, called “Méritos disponen Premios,
  Discurso Lírico,” omitting the same vowel;--but the five tales of
  Alcalá are better done than either.

  [175] Jacinto de Villalpando, “Escarmientos de Jacinto,”
  Zaragoza, 1645. He was Marquis of Osera, and published other
  works in the course of the next ten years after the appearance of
  the “Jacinto,” one of which, at least, appeared under the name of
  “Fabio Clymente.” See, _ante_, Vol. II. p. 483.

  [176] Literally, _Luncheons_ of Wit, etc. “Meriendas del Ingenio
  y Entretenimientos del Gusto,” Zaragoza, 1663, 8vo. Six tales.

  [177] Isidro de Robles collected the “Varios Efetos de Amor”
  (Madrid, 1666, 4to). They were published again, with the five
  tales of Alcalá, already noted, in 1709, 1719, and 1760;--the
  number of tales being thus eleven, with three “Sucesos” at the
  end, published under the title of “Varios Prodigios de Amor.”

One more variety in the characteristics of this style of writing
in Spain is, however, so distinct from the rest, that it should be
separately mentioned,--that which has sometimes been called the
Allegorical and Satirical Tale, and which generally took the form
of a Vision. It was, probably, suggested by the bold and original
“Visions” of Quevedo; and the instance of it most worthy of notice is
“The Limping Devil” of Luis Velez de Guevara, which appeared in 1641.
It is a short story, founded on the idea that a student releases from
his confinement, in a magician’s vial, the Limping Devil, who, in
return for this service, carries his liberator through the air, and,
unroofing, as it were, the houses of Madrid, during the stillness
of the night, shows him the secrets that are passing within. It is
divided into ten “Leaps,” as they afterwards spring from place to place
in different parts of Spain, in order to pounce on their prey, and
it is satirical throughout. Parts of it are very happy; among which
may be selected those relating to fashionable life, to the life of
rogues, and to that of men of letters, in the large cities of Castile
and Andalusia, though these, like the rest, are often disfigured
with the bad taste then so common. On the whole, however, it is an
amusing fiction,--partly allegorical and partly sketched from living
manners,--and is to be placed among the more spirited prose satires in
modern literature, both in its original form and in the form given to
it by Le Sage, whose _rifacimento_ has carried it, under the name of
“Le Diable Boiteux,” wherever letters are known.[178]

  [178] Antonio (Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 68) and Montalvan (in the
  catalogue at the end of his “Para Todos,” 1661, p. 545) make him
  one of the principal and most fashionable dramatic authors of
  his time. (See, _ante_, Vol. II. p. 293.) The “Diablo Cojuelo”
  has been very often reprinted in Spanish since 1641. Le Sage
  published his “Diable Boiteux” in 1707, chiefly from Guevara;
  and nineteen years afterwards enlarged it by the addition of
  more Spanish stories from Santos and others, and more Parisian
  scandal. In the mean time, it had been carried upon the stage,
  where, as well as in its original form, it had a prodigious

Earlier than the appearance of the Limping Devil, however, Polo had
written his “Hospital of Incurables,” a direct, but poor, imitation
of Quevedo; and in 1647, under an assumed name, he published his
“University of Love, or School for Selfishness,” a satire against
mercenary matches, thrown into the shape of a vision of the University
of Love, where the fair sex are brought up in the arts of profitable
intrigue, and receive degrees according to their progress.[179] It is,
in general, an ill-managed allegory, filled with bad puns and worse
verse; but there is one passage so characteristic of Spanish wit in
this form of fiction, that it may be cited as an illustration of the
entire class to which it belongs.

  [179] “Universidad de Amor y Escuela del Interes, Verdades
  Soñadas ó Sueño Verdadero.” The first part appeared under the
  name of Antolinez de Piedra Buena, and the second under that
  of El Bachiller Gaston Daliso de Orozco; but both were printed
  subsequently in the works of Jacinto Polo, and both appear
  together in a separate edition, 1664, filling sixty-three leaves,
  18mo, and including some of Polo’s poetry.

“‘That young creature whom you see there,’ said the God of Love, as he
led me on, ‘is the chief captain of my war, the one that has brought
most soldiers to my feet and enlisted most men under my banners. The
elderly person that is leading her along by the hand is her aunt.’ ‘Her
_aunt_, did you say?’ I replied; ‘her _aunt_? Then there is an end of
all my love for her. That word _aunt_ is a counter poison that has
disinfected me entirely, and quite healed the wound your well-planted
arrow was beginning to make in my heart. For, however much a man may
be in love, there can be no doubt an _aunt_ will always be enough to
purge him clean of it. Inquisitive, suspicious, envious,--one or the
other she cannot fail to be,--and if the niece have the luck to escape,
the lover never has; for if she is envious, she wants him for herself;
and if she is only suspicious, she still spoils all comfort, so
disconcerting every little project, and so disturbing every little nice
plan, as to render pleasure itself unsavory,’ ‘Why, what a desperately
bad opinion you have of aunts!’ said Love. ‘To be sure I have,’ said
I. ‘If the state of innocence in which Adam and Eve were created had
nothing else to recommend it, the simple fact that there could have
been no _aunts_ in Paradise would have been enough for me. Why, every
morning, as soon as I get up, I cross myself and say, “By the sign
of the Holy Rood, from all aunts deliver us this day, Good Lord!”
And every time I repeat the _Paternoster_, after “Lead us not into
temptation,” I always add,--“nor into the way of aunts either.”’”

The example of Quevedo was, again, followed by Marcos Garcia, who in
1657 published his “Phlegm of Pedro Hernandez,” an imaginary, but
popular, personage, whose arms, according to an old Spanish proverb,
fell out of their sockets from the mere listlessness of their owner.
It is a vision, in which women-servants who spend their lives in active
cheating, students pressing vigorously forward to become quacks and
pettifoggers, spendthrift soldiers, and similar uneasy, unprincipled
persons of other conditions, are contrasted with those who, trusting
to a quiet disposition, float noiselessly down the current of life,
and succeed without an effort and without knowing how they do it. The
general allegory is meagre; but some of the individual sketches are
well imagined.[180]

  [180] Marcos Garcia, “La Flema de Pedro Hernandez, Discurso
  Moral y Político,” Madrid, 1657, 12mo. The author was a surgeon
  of Madrid, and wrote “Honor de la Medecina”; and another
  “Papelillo,” without his name, which he mentions in his Prólogo.
  (Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 83.) He shows, at the beginning
  of his “Flema,” that he means to imitate Quevedo; but he has
  a good deal of _cultismo_ in his style. For the meaning of
  “Flema,” see Covarrubias, _ad verb_.--One more trifle may here
  be mentioned; the “Desengaño del Hombre en el Tribunal de la
  Fortuna y Casa de Descontentos, ideado por Don Juan Martinez de
  Cuellar,” 1663. It is a vision, in which the author goes to the
  house of “Desengaño,”--that peculiarly Castilian word, which may
  here be translated _Truth_. He is led afterwards to the palace
  and tribunal of Fortune, where he is disabused of his errors
  concerning all earthly good. The fiction is of little worth, and
  the style is that of the school of Góngora.

The person, however, who, in the latter part of the seventeenth
century, succeeded best in this style of composition, as well as in
tales of other kinds, was Francisco Santos, a native of Madrid, who
died not far from the year 1700. Between 1663 and 1697, he gave to
the world sixteen volumes of different kinds of works for popular
amusement;--generally short stories, but some of them encumbered with
allegorical personages and tedious moral discussions.[181] The oldest
of the series, “Dia y Noche en Madrid,” or, as it may be translated,
Life in Madrid, though a mere fiction founded on manners, is divided
into what the author terms Eighteen Discourses. It opens, as such
Spanish tales are too apt to open, somewhat pompously; the first scene
describing with too much elaborateness a procession of three hundred
emancipated captives, who enter Madrid praising God and rejoicing at
their release from the horrors of Algerine servitude. One of these
captives, the hero of the story, falls immediately into the hands of a
shrewd and not over-honest servant, named Juanillo, who, having begun
the world as a beggar, and risen by cunning so far as to be employed
in the capacity of an inferior servant by a fraternity of monks, now
undertakes to make the stranger acquainted with the condition of
Madrid, serving him as a guide wherever he goes, and interpreting to
him whatever is most characteristic of the manners and follies of
the capital. Some of the tales and sketches thus introduced are full
of life and truth, as, for instance, those relating to the prisons,
gaming-houses, and hospitals, and especially one in which a coquette,
meeting a poor man at a bull-fight, so dupes him by her blandishments,
that she sends him back penniless, at midnight, to his despairing wife
and children, who, anxious and without food, have been waiting from
the early morning to have him return with their dinner. This little
volume, several parts of which have been freely used by Le Sage, ends
with an account of the captive’s adventures in Italy, in Spain, and in
Algiers, given by himself in a truly national tone, and with fluency
and spirit.[182]

  [181] Baena, Hijos de Madrid, Tom. II. p. 216. There is a coarse
  edition of the works of Santos, in 4 tom. 4to, Madrid, 1723.

  [182] “Dia y Noche en Madrid, Discursos de lo mas Notable que en
  él passa,” Madrid, 1663, 12mo; besides which there are editions
  of 1708, 1734, etc.

“Periquillo”--another of these collections of sketches and tales,
less well written than the last, except in the merely narrative
portions--contains an account of a foundling, who, after the ruin and
death of a pious couple that first picked him up at their door on a
Christmas morning, begins the world for himself as the leader of a
blind beggar. From this condition, which, in such Spanish stories,
always seems to be regarded as the lowest possible in society, he
rises to be the servant of a cavalier, who proves to be a mysterious
robber, and after escaping from whom he falls into the hands of yet
worse persons, and is apprehended under circumstances that remind us
of the story of Doña Mencia in “Gil Blas.” He, however, vindicates his
innocence, and, being released from the fangs of justice, returns,
weary of the world, to his first home, where he leads an ascetic life;
makes long, pedantic discourses on virtue to his admiring townsmen; and
proves, in fact, a sort of humble philosopher, growing constantly more
and more devout till the account of him ends at last with a prayer.
The whole is interesting among Spanish works of fiction, because it
is evidently written both in imitation of the _picaresque_ novels and
in opposition to them; since Periquillo, from the lowest origin, gets
on by neither roguery nor cleverness, but by honesty and good faith;
and, instead of rising in the world and becoming rich and courtly,
settles patiently down into a village hermit, or a sort of poor
Christian Diogenes. No doubt, he has neither the wit nor the cunning
of Lazarillo; but that he should venture to encounter that shrewd
little beggar in any way makes Periquillo, at once, a personage of some

  [183] “Periquillo, él de las Gallineras,” Madrid, 1668, 12mo. He
  gets his name from the circumstance, that, as a child, he was
  employed to take care of chickens.

Yet one more of the works of Santos should be noticed; an allegorical
tale, called “Truth on the Rack, or the Cid come to Life again.” Its
general story is, that Truth, in the form of a fair woman, is placed
on the rack, surrounded by the Cid and other forms, that rise from the
earth about the scaffold on which she is tormented. There she is forced
to give an account of things as they really exist, or have existed,
and to discourse concerning shadowy multitudes, who pass, in sight of
the company that surrounds her, over what seems to be a long bridge.
The whole is, therefore, a satire in the form of a vision, but its
character is consistently sustained only at the beginning and the end.
The Cid, however, is much the same personage throughout,--bold, rough,
and free-spoken. He is heartily dissatisfied with every thing he finds
on earth, especially with the popular traditions and ballads about
himself, and goes back to his grave well pleased to escape from such
a world, “which,” he says, “if they would give it to me to live in, I
would not accept.”[184]

  [184] “El Verdad en el Potro y el Cid Resuscitado,” Madrid, 1679,
  12mo, and again, 1686. The ballads cited or repeated in this
  volume, as the popular ballads sung in the streets in honor of
  the Cid, are, it is curious to observe, _not_ always to be found
  in any of the Romanceros. Thus, the one on the insult to the
  Cid’s father begins,--

      Diego Lainez, el padre
      De Rodrigo el Castellano,
      Cuidando en la mengua grande
      Hecha á un hombre de su grado, etc.
                             p. 9, ed. 1686.

  It is quite different from the ballad on the same subject in
  any of the ballad-books. So is the one at p. 33, upon the death
  of Count Lozano, as well as the one at p. 105, upon the Cid’s
  insult to the Pope at Rome. On hearing the last sung in the
  streets, the Cid is made, in the story, to cry out, “Is it
  pretended I was ever guilty of such effrontery? I, whom God made
  a Castilian,--_I_ treat the great Shepherd of the Church so?--_I_
  be guilty of such folly? By St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Lazarus,
  with whom I held converse on earth, you lie, base ballad-singer!”
  Several ballads might be taken from this volume and added even to
  the “Romancero del Cid,” Keller, Stuttgard, 1840, which is the
  most ample of all the collections on the Cid.

Other works of Santos, like “The Devil let loose, or Truths of the
other World dreamed about in this,” and “The Live Man and the Dead
One,” are of the same sort with the last;[185] while yet others run
even more to allegory, like his “Tarascas de Madrid,”[186] and his
“Gigantones,”[187] suggested by the huge and unsightly forms led about
to amuse or to frighten the multitude in the annual processions of the
Corpus Christi;--the satirical interpretation he gives to them being,
that worse monsters than the Tarascas might be seen every day in Madrid
by those who could distinguish the sin and folly that always thronged
the streets of that luxurious capital. But though such satires were
successful when they first appeared, they have long since ceased to be
so; partly because they abound in allusions to local circumstances now
known only to the curiosity of antiquarians, and partly because, in all
respects, they depict a state of society and manners of which hardly a
vestige remains.

  [185] “El Diablo anda Suelto,” (Madrid, 1677,) and “El Vivo y el
  Difunto,” (1692,) are both very curious fictions.

  [186] “Las Tarascas de Madrid y Tribunal Espantoso,” Madrid,
  1664, Valencia, 1694, etc. “La Tarasca de Parto en el Meson
  del Infierno y Dias de Fiestas por la Noche,” Madrid, 1671,
  Valencia, 1694, are again interesting, partly because they
  contain anecdotes and sketches that serve to explain the popular
  religious theatre.

  [187] “Los Gigantones de Madrid por defuera,” Madrid, 1666, 12mo.

Santos is the last of the writers of Spanish tales previous to the
eighteenth century that needs to be noticed.[188] But though the number
we have gone over is large for the length of the period in which they
appeared, not a few others might be added. The pastoral romances from
the time of Montemayor are full of them;--the “Galatea” of Cervantes,
and the “Arcadia” of Lope de Vega, being little more than a series of
such stories, slightly bound together by yet another that connects
them all. So are, to a certain degree, the _picaresque_ fictions,
like “Guzman de Alfarache” and “Marcos de Obregon”;--and so are such
serious fictions as “The Wars of Granada” and “The Spanish Gerardo.”
The popular drama, too, was near akin to the whole; as we have seen in
the case of Timoneda, whose stories, before he produced them as tales,
had already been exhibited in the form of farces on the rude stage of
the public squares; and in the case of Cervantes, who not only put part
of his tale of “The Captive” in “Don Quixote” into his second play of
“Life in Algiers,” but constructed his story of “The Liberal Lover”
almost wholly out of his earlier play on the same subject. Indeed,
Spain, during the period we have gone over, was full of the spirit of
this class of fictions,--not only producing them in great numbers, and
strongly marked with the popular character, but carrying their tone
into the longer romances and upon the stage to a degree quite unknown

  [188] The Spanish tales of the middle and latter part of the
  seventeenth century are much infected with the false taste of
  _cultismo_; no portion of Spanish literature more so. As we
  approach the end of the century, not one, I think, is free from

  [189] Italy is the only country that can enter into competition
  with Spain in the department of tales, during the sixteenth and
  seventeenth centuries. Indeed, I am not certain, considering the
  short period (a little more than a century) during which Spanish
  tales were fashionable, that as many _in proportion_ were not
  produced as were produced of Italian tales in Italy during the
  long period--four centuries and a half--in which they have now
  been prevalent there. And if, to the Spanish tales found in
  books professing and not professing to be collections of them,
  we add the thousands used up in Spanish dramas, to which the
  elder Italian theatre offers no counterpart, I suppose there can
  hardly be a doubt that there are really more Spanish fictions of
  this class in existence than there are Italian. If, however, we
  were to settle the point only by a comparison of the meagre and
  imperfect catalogues of Spanish stories in Antonio’s Bibliotheca
  with the admirably complete one of Italian stories in the
  “Bibliografia delle Novelle Italiane,” by Gamba, we should settle
  it differently. But, in any event, when speaking of the Italian
  _novelle_, we should remember, that, until very lately, the whole
  spirit and power of fiction in Italy, so to speak, have been
  taken from the theatre and romances, and cast into these short

The most striking circumstance, however, connected with the history
of all romantic fiction in Spain,--whatever form it assumed,--is its
early appearance, and its early decay. The story of “Amadis” filled the
world with its fame, when no other Spanish prose romance of chivalry
was heard of; and, what is singular, though the oldest of its class,
it still remains the best-written in any language;--while, on the
other hand, the book that overthrew this same Amadis, with all his
chivalry, is the “Don Quixote”; again, the oldest and best of all
similar works, and one that is still read and admired by thousands
who know nothing of the shadowy multitudes it destroyed, except what
its great author tells them. The “Conde Lucanor” appeared full half
a century earlier than the “Decamerone.” The “Diana” of Montemayor
soon eclipsed its Italian prototype in popularity, and, for a time,
shone without a successful rival of its class throughout Europe. The
_picaresque_ stories, exclusively Spanish from the very first, and the
multitudes of tales that followed them with attributes hardly less
separate and national, never lose their Spanish air and costume, even
in the most successful of their foreign imitations. Taken together,
the number of these fictions is very great;--so great, that their mass
may well be called enormous. But what is more remarkable than their
multitude is the fact, that they were produced when the rest of Europe,
with a partial exception in favor of Italy, was not yet awakened to
corresponding efforts of the imagination; before Madame de Lafayette
had published her “Zayde”; before Sidney’s “Arcadia” had appeared, or
D’Urfé’s “Astrea,” or Corneille’s “Cid,” or Le Sage’s “Gil Blas.” In
short, they were at the height of their fame, just at the period when
the Hôtel de Rambouillet reigned supreme over the taste of France,
and when Hardy, following the indications of the public will and the
example of his rivals, could do no better than bring out upon the stage
of Paris nearly every one of the tales of Cervantes, and many of those
of Cervantes’s rivals and contemporaries.[190]

  [190] Puibusque, Histoire Comparée, Tom. II. c. 3.

But civilization and manners advanced in the rest of Europe rapidly
from this moment, and paused in Spain. Madrid, instead of sending its
influences to France, began itself to acknowledge the control of French
literature and refinement. The creative spirit, therefore, ceased in
Spanish romantic fiction, and, as we shall presently see, a spirit of
French imitation took its place.



We shall hardly look for forensic or deliberative eloquence in
Spain. The whole constitution of things there, the political and
ecclesiastical institutions of the country, and, perhaps we should add,
the very genius of the people, were unfriendly to the growth of a plant
like this, which flourishes only in the soil of freedom.

The Spanish tribunals, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,
whether in the ordinary course of their administration of justice, or
in the dark proceedings of the Inquisition, took less cognizance of the
influences of eloquence than those of any other Christian country of
modern times. They dealt with the wheel and the fagot,--not with the
spirit of persuasion. Nor was this spirit truly known or favored in
the political assemblies of the kingdom, though it was not supplanted
there by the formidable instruments familiar in the courts of justice.
In the ancient Cortes of Castile, and still more in those of Aragon,
there may have been discussions which were raised by their fervor to
something like what we now call deliberative eloquence. We have, in
fact, intimations of such discussions in the old chronicles; especially
in those that record the troubles and violence of the great nobles in
the reigns of John the Second and Henry the Fourth. But a free, living
debate on a great political principle, or on the conduct of those
who managed the affairs of the country,--such a debate as sometimes
shook the popular assemblies of antiquity, and in modern times has
often controlled the destinies of Christendom,--was, in Spain, a thing
absolutely unknown.

Even the grave and dry discussions, to which the pressure of affairs
gave rise, were rare and accidental. There was no training for them;
and they could be followed by none of the great practical results
that are at once the only sufficient motive and reward that can make
them enter freely into the institutions of a state. Indeed, whatever
there was of discussion in any open assembly could occur only in the
earlier period of the monarchy, when the language and culture of the
nation were still too little advanced to produce specimens of careful
debate; for from the time of Ferdinand and Isabella and the days of
the _Comunidades_, the Cortes were gradually restrained in their
privileges, until at last they ceased to be any thing but a part of
the pageantry of the empire, and served only to record the laws they
should themselves have discussed and modelled. From this period,
all opportunity for the growth of political eloquence in Spain was
lost. It would have been no more tolerated by one of the Philips than

The eloquence of the pulpit was checked by similar causes, but in a
different way. The Catholic religion has maintained in Spain, down to
a late period, more than it has in any other country, the character
it had during the Middle Ages. It has been to an extraordinary degree
a religion of mysteries, of forms, and of penance;--a religion,
therefore, in which such modes of moving the understanding and the
heart as have prevailed in France and England since the middle of the
seventeenth century have been rarely attempted, and never with great

If any exception is to be made to this remark, it must be made in the
case of Luis de Leon and in that of Luis de Granada. Of the first we
have already spoken. He printed, indeed, no sermons as such; but he
inserted in his other works, and especially in his “Names of Christ”
and in his “Perfect Wife,” long declamations, sometimes preceded by a
text and sometimes not, but regularly divided into heads, and wearing
the general appearance and attributes of religious discourses. These,
since they were printed as early as 1584, may be accounted the earliest
specimens of Spanish eloquence fitted for the pulpit, and, if not
actually delivered, are still worthy of notice.[191]

  [191] The most remarkable, and perhaps the most beautiful,
  specimen is in the first book of “The Names of Christ”; the text
  being from Isaiah, ix. 6: “The everlasting Father.”

The case of Luis de Granada is one more directly in point. That
remarkable man was head of the Dominican order, or the order of the
Preaching Monks, so that both his place and his profession led him to
the cultivation of the eloquence of the pulpit. But, besides this,
he seems to have devoted himself to it with the strong preference of
genius, preaching extemporaneously, it is said, with great power and
unction. In 1576, he published a Latin treatise on the subject of
Pulpit Eloquence; and in 1595, after his death, his friends printed, in
addition to those published during his lifetime, fourteen of his more
formal discourses, in which he has been thought, not only to have given
a full illustration of the precepts he inculcated, but to have placed
himself at the head of the department of eloquence to which he devoted
so much of his life.

They are in a bold and affluent style,--somewhat mystical, as were his
own religious tendencies,--and often more declamatory than seems in
keeping with the severe and solemn nature of their subjects; but they
are written with remarkable purity of idiom, and breathe everywhere
the spirit of the religion that was so deeply impressed on his age and
country. Perhaps a more characteristic specimen of Spanish eloquence
can hardly be found, than that in which Luis de Granada describes the
resurrection of the Saviour; adding to it his descent into hell to
rescue the souls of the righteous who were pining there because they
had died before his great sacrifice was completed,--a doctrine of the
Catholic Church capable of high poetical ornament, and one which, from
the time of Dante, has been often set forth with the most solemn effect.

“On that glorious day,” exclaims Luis de Granada, in his sermon on the
Resurrection, “the sun shone more brightly than on all others, serving
its Lord in dutiful splendor amidst his rejoicings, as it had served
him in darkness through his sufferings. The heavens, which had been
veiled in mourning to hide his agonies, were now bright with redoubled
glory as they saw him rise conquering from the grave. And who would
not rejoice in such a day? The whole humanity of Christ rejoiced in
it; all the disciples of Christ rejoiced in it; heaven rejoiced, earth
rejoiced; hell itself shared in the general jubilee. For the triumphant
Prince descended into its depths, clothed with splendor and might.
The everlasting darkness grew bright before his steps; the eternal
lamentations ceased; the realms of torment paused at his approach. The
princes of Edom were disturbed, and the mighty men of Moab trembled,
and they that dwelt in the land of Canaan were filled with fear. And
the multitude of the suffering murmured and said, ‘Who is this mighty
one, so resplendent, so powerful? Never before was his likeness seen in
these realms of hell; never hath the tributary world sent such a one to
these depths,--one who demands judgment, not a debtor; one who fills us
with dread, not one guilty like ourselves; a judge, and not a culprit;
a conqueror, not a sinner. Say, where were our watchmen and our guards,
when he burst in victory on our barred gates? By what might has he
entered? And who is he, that can do these things? If he were guilty, he
were not thus bold; if the shade of sin lay on his soul, how could our
darkness be made bright with his glory? If he be God, why should hell
receive him? and if he be man, whence hath he this might? If he be God,
why dwelt he in the grave? and if man, by what authority would he thus
lay waste our abodes?’

“Thus murmured the vassals of hell, as the Conqueror entered in glory
to free his chosen captives. For there stood they, all assembled
together,--all the souls of the just, who from the foundation of the
world till that day had passed through the gates of the grave; all the
prophets and men of might who had glorified the Lord in the manifold
agonies of martyrdom;--a glorious company!--a mighty treasure!--the
richest inheritance of Christ’s triumph! For there stood the two
original parents of the generations of mankind,--the first in sin and
the first in faith and hope. There stood that aged saint who rescued
in the ark of safety those that repeopled the world when the waters of
the deluge were spent. There stood the father of the faithful, who
first received by merit the revelation of God’s will, and wore, in
his person, the marks of his election. There stood his obedient son,
who, bearing on his shoulders the wood of his own sacrifice, showed
forth the redemption of the world. There stood the holy progenitor of
the Twelve Tribes, who, winning his father’s blessing in the stranger
guise of another’s garb, set forth the mystery of the humanity and
incarnation of the Divine Word. There stood, also, as it were, guests
newly arrived in that strange land, the Holy Baptist and the blessed
Simeon, who prayed that he might not be taken from the earth till with
his own eyes he had seen its salvation; who received it in his arms,
and sang gently its canticle of peace. And there, too, found a place
the poor Lazarus of the Gospel, who, for the patience with which he
bore his wounds, deserved to join so noble a company, and share its
longing hopes. And all this multitude of sanctified spirits stood
there mourning and grieving for this day; and in the midst of them
all, and as the leader of them all, the holy king and prophet repeated
without ceasing his ancient lamentation: ‘As the hart panteth after the
water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God! My tears have been
my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy
God?’ O blessed and holy king, if this be the cause of thy lamentation,
let it cease for ever; for behold thy God! behold thy Saviour! Change,
then, thy chant, and sing as thou wast wont to sing of old: ‘Lord, thou
hast been favorable unto thy land; thou hast pardoned the offences
of thy people; thou hast hidden thy face from the multitude of their

  [192] See the accounts of Luis de Granada in Antonio, and in the
  Preface to the “Guia de Pecadores,” Madrid, 1781, 2 tom. 8vo. His
  treatise on pulpit eloquence, entitled “Rhetoricæ Ecclesiasticæ,
  sive de Ratione Concionandi, Libri Sex,” was valued in other
  countries. An edition of it, Cologne, 1611, 12mo, fills above 500
  closely printed pages. It is somewhat remarkable, that, besides
  the sermon on the Resurrection, from which the extract I have
  translated was made, one of the best of his meditations, that
  entitled “De la Alegría de los Santos Padres,” is on the same
  subject. He was born in 1504, and died in 1588.

It would not be easy to select a more striking example than this of the
peculiar rhetoric that was most sought in the Spanish pulpit. But the
portions of equal merit are few, and the amount of the whole is small.
After the beginning of the seventeenth century, the affected style of
Góngora and the conceits of the school of Ledesma found their way into
the churches generally, and especially into the churches of Madrid.
This was natural. No persons depended more on the voice of fashion than
the preachers of the court and the capital, and the fashion of both was
thoroughly infected with the new doctrines. Paravicino, at this period,
was at the head of the popular preachers; himself a poet devoted to the
affectations of Góngora; a man of wit, a gentleman, and a courtier.
From 1616 he was, during twenty years, pulpit orator to Philip the
Third and Philip the Fourth, and enjoyed, as such, a kind and degree
of popularity before unknown. As might have been expected, he had
many followers, each of whom sought to have a fashionable audience.
Such audiences were soon systematically provided. They were, in fact,
collected, arranged, and seated by the friends and admirers of the
preacher himself,--generally by those who, from their ecclesiastical
relations, had an interest in his success; and then the crowds thus
gathered were induced in different ways to express their approbation
of the more elaborate passages in his discourse. From this time, and
in this way, religious dignity disappeared from the Spanish pulpit,
and whatever there was of value in its eloquence was confined to two
forms,--the learned discussions, often in Latin, addressed to bodies
of ecclesiastics, and the extemporaneous exhortations addressed to the
lower classes;--the latter popular and vehement in their tone, and,
by their coarseness, generally unworthy of the solemn subjects they

  [193] For Paravicino and his school, see Sedano, (Parnaso
  Español, Tom. V. p. xlviii.,) Baena, (Hijos de Madrid, Tom. II.
  p. 389,) and Antonio, (Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. 612,) who speaks
  as if he had often heard Paravicino’s eloquence, and witnessed
  its effects. _E contra_ is Figueroa, who, in his “Pasagero,”
  (1617, Alivio IV.,) is severe upon the preachers and audiences of
  Madrid. The fact, however, that Capmany, in his five important
  volumes devoted to Spanish eloquence, has been able to find
  nothing in the seventeenth century, either in the way of forensic
  orations or popular pulpit eloquence, with which to fill his
  pages, but is obliged to resort to the eloquent prose of history
  and philosophy, of ethics and religious asceticism, tells at
  once, in a way not to be mistaken, the tale of the deficiencies
  in Castilian eloquence, as the word _eloquence_ is understood in

       *       *       *       *       *

There is little in Spanish epistolary correspondence that requires
notice as a portion of the elegant literature of the country. The
heartiness of a simpler age gives, indeed, a charm to such letters as
those which claim to have been written by Cibdareal, and in a less
degree to those of Pulgar and Diego de Valera. Later, the despatches
of Columbus, in which he made known to the world his vast discoveries,
are occasionally marked by the fervor of an enthusiasm inspired by
his great subject; and those of his queen and patron, though few in
number and less interesting, are quite as characteristic and quite as

But, with the stately court brought from the North by Charles the
Fifth, all this was changed. Added forms, and more than the old
national gravity, passed into the intercourse of social life, and
infected the style of the commonest correspondence. Genial familiarity
disappeared from the letters of friends, and even private affections
and feelings were either seldom expressed, or were so covered up as
to be with difficulty recognized. Thus, what was most valued in this
department at the time, and for a century afterwards, were Guevara’s
“Golden Epistles,” which are only formal dissertations, and the
“Epistles” of Avila, which are sermons in disguise, that moved the
hearts of his countrymen because they were such earnest exhortations to
a religious life.[194]

  [194] These writers have all been mentioned earlier, (see,
  _ante_, Vol. I. pp. 395, 540, 543,) except Queen Isabella, whose
  letters are best found in Clemencin’s excellent work on her
  character and times, filling the sixth volume of the “Memorias de
  la Academia de la Historia.” They are addressed to her confessor,
  Hernando de Talavera, and strongly illustrate both her prudence
  and her submission to ecclesiastical influences. (See pp.
  351-383.) Several letters addressed to Columbus, and marked with
  her spirit rather than that of her husband, though signed by both
  of them, may be seen in the second volume of Navarrete, (Viages,
  etc.,) which is rich in such curious documents.

From these remarks, however, we should except portions of the
correspondence of Zurita, the historian, extending over the last thirty
years of his life, and ending in 1582, just before his death. They
give us the business-like intercourse of a man of letters, carried on
with all classes of society, from ministers of state and the highest
ecclesiastics of the realm down to persons distinguished only because
they were occupied in studies like his own. The number of letters in
this collection is large, amounting to above two hundred. More of them
are from Antonio Agustin, Archbishop of Tarragona, an eminent scholar
in Spanish history and civil law, than from any other person; but the
most interesting are from Zurita himself, from his friend Ambrosio
Morales, from Diego de Mendoza, the historian, Argote de Molina, the
antiquarian, and Fernan Nuñez, the Greek Commander. Each of these
series is marked by something characteristic of its author, and all of
them, taken together, show more familiarly the interior condition of a
scholar’s life in Spain, in the sixteenth century, than it can be found
anywhere else.[195]

  [195] The correspondence of Zurita and his friends is to be
  sought in the “Progresos de la Historia en el Reyno de Aragon,”
  by Diego Josef Dormer, (Zaragoza, 1680, folio,) and especially
  pp. 362-563, which are entirely given up to it.

But the principal exception to be made in favor of Spanish epistolary
correspondence is found in the case of Antonio Perez, secretary of
Philip the Second, and for some time his favorite minister. His father,
who was a scholar, and made a translation of the “Odyssey,”[196] had
been in the employment of Charles the Fifth, so that the younger Perez
inherited somewhat of the court influence which was then so important;
but his rapid advancement was owing to his own genius, and to a love
of intrigue and adventure, which seemed to be a part of his nature. At
last, in 1578, at the command of his master, he not unwillingly brought
about the murder of Escovedo, a person high in the confidence of Don
John of Austria, whose growing influence it was thought worth while
thus to curtail;--a crime which, perpetrated as it was in consequence
of the official connection of the secretary with the monarch, brought
Perez to the very height of his favor.

  [196] “La Ulyxea de Homero,” etc., por Gonzalo Perez, (Venecia,
  1553, 18mo,) is in blank verse; but in this edition we have
  only the first thirteen books, with a dedication to Philip the
  Prince, whose chief secretary Gonzalo Perez then was, as his
  son Antonio was afterwards secretary of the same Philip on the
  throne. Subsequently, when he had translated the remaining eleven
  books, he dedicated the whole anew to Philip as king, (Anvers,
  1556, 12mo,) correcting and amending the first part carefully.
  Lope de Vega (in his Dorotea, Acto IV. sc. 3) praises the version
  of Perez; but, like most of the Spanish translations from the
  ancients in the sixteenth century, it shows little of the spirit
  of the original.

But it was not long before the guilty agent became as unwelcome to his
guilty master as their victim had been. A change in their relations
followed, cautiously brought on by the unscrupulous king, but deep and
entire. At first, Philip permitted Perez to be pursued by the kinsmen
of the murdered man, and afterwards, contriving plausible pretexts
for hiding his motives, began himself to join in the persecution.
Eleven long years the wretched courtier was watched, vexed, and
imprisoned, at Madrid; and once, at least, he was subjected to cruel
bodily tortures. When he could endure this no longer, he fled to
Aragon, his native kingdom, whose freer political constitution did
not permit him to be crushed in secret. This was a great surprise
to Philip, and, for an instant, seems to have disconcerted his dark
schemes. But his resources were equal to the emergency. He pursued
Perez to Saragossa, and finding the regular means of justice unequal
to the demands of his vengeance, caused his victim to be seized by the
Inquisition, under the absurd charge of heresy. But this, again, in the
form in which Philip found it necessary to proceed, was a violation
of the ancient privileges of the kingdom, and the people broke out
into open rebellion, and released Perez from prison;--a consequence
of his measures, which, perhaps, was neither unforeseen by Philip
nor unwelcome to him. At any rate, he immediately sent an army into
Aragon, sufficient, not only to overwhelm all open resistance, but to
strike a terror that should prevent future opposition to his will; and
the result, besides a vast number of rich confiscations to the royal
treasury, was the condemnation of sixty-eight persons of distinction to
death by the Inquisition, and the final overthrow of nearly every thing
that remained of the long-cherished liberties of the country.

Meantime, Perez escaped secretly from Saragossa, as he had before
escaped from Madrid, and, wandering over the Pyrenees in the disguise
of a shepherd, sought refuge in Bearn, at the little court of Catherine
of Bourbon, sister of Henry the Fourth. Public policy caused him to be
well received both there and in France, where he afterwards passed the
greater part of his long exile. During the troubles between Elizabeth
and Philip, he instinctively went to England, and, while there, was
much with Essex, and became more familiar with Bacon than the wise and
pious mother of the future chancellor thought it well one so profligate
as Perez should be. Philip, who could ill endure the idea of having
such a witness of his crimes intriguing at the courts of his great
enemies, endeavoured to have Perez assassinated both in Paris and
London, and failed more from accident than from want of well-concerted
plans to accomplish his object.

At last peace came between France and England on one side, and Spain
on the other; and Perez ceased to be a person of consequence to those
who had so long used him. Henry the Fourth, indeed, with his customary
good nature, still indulged him even in very extravagant modes of
life, which rather resembled those of a prince than of an exile. But
his claims were so unreasonable, and were urged with such boldness and
pertinacity, that every body wearied of him. He therefore fell into
unhonored poverty, and dragged out the miserable life of a neglected
courtier till 1611, when he died at Paris. Four years later, the
Inquisition, which had caused him to be burnt in effigy as a heretic,
reluctantly did him the imperfect justice of removing their anathemas
from his memory, and thus permitted his children to enter into civil
rights, of which nothing but the most shameless violence had ever
deprived them.

From the time of his first imprisonment, Perez began to write the
letters that are still extant; and their series never stops, till we
approach the period of his death. Some of them are to his wife and
children; others, to Gil de Mesa, his confidential friend and agent;
and others, to persons high in place, from whose influence he hoped to
gain favor. His Narratives, or “Relations,” as he calls them, and his
“Memorial” on his own case, occasionally involve other letters, and are
themselves in the nature of long epistles, written with great talent
and still greater ingenuity, to gain the favor of his judges or of the
world. All these, some of which his position forbade him ever to send
to the persons to whom they were addressed, he carefully preserved,
and during his exile published them from time to time to suit his own
political purposes;--at first anonymously, or under the assumed name
of Raphael Peregrino; afterwards under the seeming editorship of his
friend Mesa; and finally, without disguise of any sort, dedicating some
of them to Henry the Fourth, and some to the Pope.

Their number is large, amounting in the most ample collection to
above a thousand pages. The best are those that are most familiar;
for even in the slightest of them, as when he is sending a present of
gloves to Lady Rich, or a few new-fashioned toothpicks to the Duke of
Mayenne, there is a nice preservation of the Castilian proprieties
of expression. Many of them sparkle with genius; sometimes most
unexpectedly, though not always in good taste; Thus, to his innocent
wife, shamefully kept in prison during his exile, he says: “Though you
are not allowed to write to me, or to enjoy what to the absent is the
breath of life; yet here [in France] there is no punishment for the
promptings of natural affection. I answer, therefore, what I hear in
the spirit, your complaints of the punishment laid on your own virtues
and on the innocence of your children,--complaints, which reach me
from that asylum of darkness and of the shadow of death, in which you
now lie. But when I listen, it seems as if I ought to hear you no less
with my outward ears, just as the words and cries that come from the
caves under the earth only resound the louder, as they are rolled up
to us from their dark hiding-places.”[197] And again, when speaking
of the cruel conduct of his judges to his family, he breaks out: “But
let them not be deceived. Their victims may be imprisoned and loaded
with irons; but they have the two mightiest advocates of the earth
to defend them,--their innocence and their wrongs. For neither could
Cicero nor Demosthenes so pierce the ears of men, nor so stir up their
minds, nor so shake the frame of things, as can these two, to whom God
has given the especial privilege to stand for ever in his presence, to
cry for justice, and to be witnesses and advocates for one another in
whatsoever he has reserved for his own awful judgment.”[198]

  [197] Obras, Genevra, 1654, 12mo, p. 1073.

  [198] Ibid., p. 96.

The letters of Perez are in a great variety of styles, from the
cautious and yet fervent appeals that he made to Philip the Second,
down to the gallant notes he wrote to court ladies, and the
overflowings of his heart to his young children. But they are all
written in remarkably idiomatic Castilian, and are rendered interesting
from the circumstance, that in each class there is a strict observance
of such conventional forms as were required by the relative social
positions of the author and his correspondents.[199]

  [199] The first publication of Perez, I think, is the one made
  at Lyons, without date, but supposed to be of 1598, and entitled
  “Pedaços de Historia,” etc.; but, the same year, the contents of
  this volume were reprinted at Paris, with the more appropriate
  title of “Relaciones.” Perez seems to have amused himself with
  publishing different portions of his works at different times and
  in different places; but the most complete collection is that of
  Geneva, 1654, 12mo, pp. 1126. His life is admirably discussed by
  M. Mignet, in his “Antonio Perez et Philippe II.” (2de édit.,
  Paris, 1846). The work of Salvador Bermudez de Castro, entitled
  “Antonio Perez, Estudios Históricos,” (Madrid, 1841, 8vo,) would
  be better worth reading if the author had not permitted himself
  to indulge in fictions, such as ballad poetry, which he calls
  the poetry of Perez, and which he gives as part of the means
  Perez used to stir up the people of Saragossa, but which is, no
  doubt, the work of Castro himself. The lives of Perez in Baena
  (Tom. I., 1789, p. 121) and Latassa (Bib. Nov., Tom. II., 1799,
  p. 108) show how afraid men of letters were, as late as the end
  of the eighteenth century, to approach any subject thus connected
  with royalty. The works of Perez are strictly forbidden by the
  Index Expurgatorius of the Inquisition to the last,--in 1790 and
  1805. The letters of Perez to Essex are in pretty good Latin,
  and out of his Spanish works there were early made two or three
  collections of very acute and striking aphorisms, which have
  been several times printed. There are many MS. letters of Perez
  at the Hague and elsewhere, referred to by Mignet, and there is
  in the Royal Library at Paris an important political treatise
  which bears his name, but which, though strongly marked with his
  acuteness and brilliancy, Ochoa hesitates to attribute to him. It
  is, however, I doubt not, his. (See Ochoa, Manuscritos Españoles,
  pp. 158-166; and Seminario Erudito, Tom. VIII. pp. 245 and 250.)
  Further accounts of Perez are to be found in Llorente, Tom. III.
  pp. 316-375.

The letters of Santa Teresa, who was a contemporary of the secretary of
Philip the Second, and died in 1582, are entirely different; for while
nothing can be more practical and worldly than those of Perez, the
letters of the devout nun are entirely spiritual. She believed herself
to be inspired, and therefore wrote with an air of authority, which
is almost always solemn and imposing, but which sometimes, through
its very boldness and freedom from all restraint, becomes easy and
graceful. Her talents were versatile and her perceptions acute. To each
of her many correspondents she says something that seems suited to the
occasion on which she is consulted;--a task not easy for a nun, who
lived forty-seven years in retirement from the world, and during that
time was called upon to give advice to archbishops and bishops, to wise
and able statesmen like Diego de Mendoza, to men of genius like Luis de
Granada, to persons in private life who were in deep affliction or in
great danger, and to women in the ordinary course of their daily lives.
Her letters fill four volumes, and though, in general, they are only
to be regarded as fervent exhortations or religious teachings, still,
by the purity, beauty, and womanly grace of their style, they may
fairly claim a distinguished place in the epistolary literature of her

  [200] “Cartas de Santa Teresa de Jesus,” Madrid, 1793, 4 tom.
  4to,--chiefly written in the latter part of her life.

Some portions of the correspondence of Bartolomé de Argensola about
1625, of Lope de Vega before 1630, and of Quevedo a little later, have
been preserved to us; but they are too inconsiderable in amount to have
much value. Of Cascales, the rhetorician, we have more. In 1634, he
printed three Decades of Letters; but they are almost entirely devoted
to discussions of points that involve learned lore; and, even where
they are not such, they are stiff and formal. A few by Nicolas Antonio,
the literary historian, who died in 1684, are plain and business-like,
but are written in a hard style, that prevents them from being
interesting. Those of Solís, who closes up the century and the period,
are better. They are such as belong to the intercourse of an old man,
left to struggle through the last years of a long life with poverty and
misfortune, and express the feelings becoming his situation, both with
philosophical calmness and Christian resignation.[201]

  [201] The letters of Argensola are in the “Cartas de Varios
  Autores Españoles,” by Mayans y Siscar, (Valencia, 1773, 5 tom.
  12mo,)--itself a monument of the poverty of Spanish literature
  in that department from which it attempts to make a collection,
  since by far the greater part of it consists of old printed
  dedications, formal epistles of approbation that had been
  prefixed to books when they were first published, lives of
  authors that had served as prefaces to their works, etc. The
  letters of Quevedo and Lope are chiefly on literary subjects, and
  are scattered through their respective writings. Those of Antonio
  and Solís are in a small volume published by Mayans at Lyons,
  in 1733; to which may be added those at the end of Antonio’s
  “Censura de Historias Fabulosas,” Madrid, 1742, fol. The “Cartas
  Philologicas” of Cascales, (of which there is a neat edition by
  Sanchez, Madrid, 1779, 8vo,) are to Spain and the age in which
  they were written what the terse and pleasant letters published
  by Melmoth, under the pseudonyme of Fitzosborne, are to England
  in the reign of George II.,--an attempt to unite as much learning
  as the public would bear with an infusion of lighter matter in
  discussions connected with morals and manners.

But no writer in the history of Spanish epistolary correspondence can
be compared for acuteness and brilliancy with Antonio Perez, or for
eloquence with Santa Teresa.



The fathers of Spanish history, as distinguished from Spanish
chronicling, are Zurita and Morales, both of whom, educated in the
reign of Charles the Fifth, show that they were not insensible to the
influences of that great period in the annals of their country, and
both of whom, after its close, prepared and published their works under
the happiest auspices.

Zurita was born in Saragossa in 1512, and died there in 1580; so that
he had the happiness to live while the political privileges of his
native kingdom were yet little impaired, and to die just before they
were effectually broken down. His father was a favored physician of
Ferdinand the Catholic, and accompanied that monarch to Naples in
1506. The son, who showed from early youth a great facility in the
acquisition of knowledge, was educated at the University of Alcalá,
where it was his good fortune to have, for his chief instructor,
Fernan Nuñez, who was commonly called the Greek Commander, from the
circumstance, that, while his position in the state as a member of the
great family of the Guzmans made him Knight Commander of the Order of
Santiago, his personal acquisitions and talents rendered him the first
Greek scholar of his age and country.

As the elder Zurita continued to be much trusted by Charles the
Fifth, and as his son’s connections were chiefly with persons of
great consideration, the progress of the future historian was, at
first, rather in the direction of public affairs. But in 1548,
under circumstances peculiarly honorable to him, he was appointed
historiographer of Aragon; being elected unanimously by the free Cortes
of the kingdom to the office, which they had just established, and as a
candidate for which he had to encounter the most powerful and learned
competitors. The election seems to have satisfied his ambition, and to
have given a new direction to his life. At any rate, he immediately
procured a royal warrant to examine and use all documents needful for
his purpose that could be found in any part of the empire. Under this
broad authority he went over much of Spain, consulting and arranging
the great national records at Simancas, and then visited Sicily and
Naples, from whose monasteries and public archives he obtained further
ample and learned spoils.

The result was, that between 1562 and 1580 he published, in six folio
volumes, “The Annals of Aragon,” from the invasion of the country by
the Arabs to 1516, the last third of his labor being entirely given to
the reign of Ferdinand the Catholic, for which the recollections of his
father’s life at the court of that monarch probably afforded some of
the more interesting materials. The whole work is more important for
Spanish history than any that had preceded it. It has hardly any thing
of the monkish credulity of the old chronicles, for Zurita was a man of
the world, and always concerned in the stirring interests of his time;
first, from having been intrusted with the municipal affairs of one of
the principal cities of the kingdom; next, from being charged with the
general correspondence of the Inquisition; and finally, from his duties
as one of the secretaries of Philip the Second, which kept him much at
court and about the king’s person. It shows, too, not unfrequently, a
love for the ancient privileges of Aragon, and a generosity of opinion
on political subjects, remarkable in one who was aware that whatever
he wrote would not only be submitted before its publication to the
censorship of jealous rivals, but read by the wary and severe monarch
on whom all his fortunes depended. Its faults are its great length and
a carelessness of style, scarcely regarded as faults at the time when
it was written.[202]

  [202] The best notice of Gerónimo de Zurita is the one at the end
  of Part II. Chap. I. of Prescott’s “Ferdinand and Isabella”;--the
  most ample is the folio volume of Diego Josef Dormer, entitled
  “Progresos de la Historia en Aragon” (Zaragoza, 1680, folio);
  really a life of Zurita, published in his honor by the Cortes of
  his native kingdom. There are several editions of his Annals;
  and Latassa (Bib. Nueva, Tom. I. pp. 358-373) gives a list of
  above forty of his works, nearly all unpublished, and none of
  them, probably, of much value, except his History, to which, in
  fact, they are generally subsidiary. He held several offices
  under Philip II., and there is a letter to him from the king in
  Dormer, (p. 109,) which shows that he enjoyed much of the royal
  consideration; though, as I have intimated, and as may be fully
  seen in Dormer, (Lib. II. c. 2, 3, 4,) he was much teased, at one
  time, by the censors of his History. The first edition of the
  “Anales de la Corona de Aragon” was published in different years,
  at Saragossa, between 1562 and 1580, to which a volume of Indices
  was added in 1604, making seven volumes, folio, in all. The third
  edition (Zaragoza, 1610-21, 7 tom. folio) is the one that is

  Another volume was added to the Annals of Zurita (Zaragoza,
  1630, fol.) by Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola, the poet, who
  brought them down to 1520, and whose style is better than that in
  Zurita’s portion; but not much of it is the work of Argensola, so
  heavy is it with documents.

  I have said that Zurita was employed as secretary of Philip
  II., from time to time; and such was the fact. But this title
  often implied little except the right of the person who bore
  it to receive a moderate salary from the public treasury;--a
  circumstance which I mention because I have occasion frequently
  to notice authors who were royal secretaries, from the time
  of Baena, the Jew, in the days of John II., down to the
  disappearance of the Austrian family. Thus Gonzalo Perez and his
  son Antonio were royal secretaries; so were the two Quevedos, and
  many more. In 1605, Philip III. had twenty-nine such secretaries.
  Clemencin, note to Don Quixote, Parte II. c. 47.

Morales, who was an admirer of Zurita, and defended him from one of
his assailants in a tract published at the end of the last volume of
the “Annals of Aragon,” was born in 1513, a year after his friend, and
died in 1591, having survived him by eleven years. He was educated
at Salamanca, and, besides early obtaining Church preferments and
distinctions, rose subsequently to eminence as a Professor in
the University of Alcalá. But from 1570, when he was appointed
historiographer to the crown of Castile, he devoted himself to the
completion of the History begun on so vast a scale by Ocampo, whose
work he seems to have taken up in some degree out of regard for the
memory of its author.

He began his task, however, too late. He was already sixty-seven years
old, and when he died, eleven years afterwards, he had been able to
bring it down no further than to the union of the crowns of Castile
and Leon, in 1037,--a point from which it was afterwards carried,
by Sandoval, to the death of Alfonso the Seventh, in 1097, where it
finally stops. Imperfect, however, as is the portion compiled in his
old age by Morales, we can hardly fail to regard it, not, indeed, as
so wise and well-weighed an historical composition as that of Zurita,
but as one marked with much more general ability, and showing a much
more enlightened spirit, than the work of Ocampo, to which it serves
as a continuation. Its style, unhappily, is wanting in correctness;--a
circumstance the more to be noticed, since Morales valued himself on
his pure Castilian, both as the son of a gentleman of high caste, and
as the nephew of Fernan de Oliva, by whom he was educated, and whose
works he had published because they had done so much to advance prose
composition in Spain.[203]

  [203] The History of Ambrosio de Morales was first published in
  three folios, Alcalá, 1574-77; but the best edition is that of
  Madrid, 1791, in six small quartos, to which are commonly added
  two volumes, dated 1792, on Spanish Antiquities, and three more,
  dated 1793, of his miscellaneous works;--the whole being preceded
  by the work of Ocampo, in two volumes, already noticed, and
  followed by the continuation of Sandoval, in one volume, a work
  of about equal merit with that of Morales, and first printed at
  Pamplona, in 1615, folio. The three authors, Ocampo, Morales, and
  Sandoval, taken together, are thus made to fill twelve volumes,
  as if they belonged to one work, to which is given the unsuitable
  title of “Corónica General de España.”

  Morales, in his youth, cruelly mutilated his person, in order
  to insure his priestly purity of life, and wellnigh died of the

  I might have mentioned here the “Comentario de la Guerra de
  Alemaña de Luis de Avila y Zuñiga,” a small volume, (Anvers,
  1550, 12mo,) first printed in 1548, and frequently afterwards,
  both in Latin and French, as well as in Spanish. It is an account
  of the campaigns of Charles V. in Germany, in 1546 and 1547,
  prepared, probably, from information furnished by the Emperor
  himself, (Navarra, Diálogos, 1567, f. 13,) and written in a
  natural, but by no means polished, Castilian style. Parts of
  it bear internal evidence of having been composed at the very
  time of the events they record, and the whole is evidently the
  work of one of the few personal friends Charles V. ever had;
  one, however, who does not appear to much advantage in the
  private letters of Guillaume van Male, printed by the Belgian
  Bibliophiles, in 1843. See, _ante_, Vol. I. p. 499, n.

Contemporary with both Zurita and Morales, but far in advance of
both of them as a writer of history, was the old statesman, Diego de
Mendoza, whose fresh and vigorous account of the rebellion of the Moors
in 1568 we have already considered, noticing it rather at the period
when it was written than at the beginning of the seventeenth century,
when it was first given to the world, and when Siguenza, Ribadeneyra,
Mariana, Sandoval, and Herrera had already appeared, and determined
the character which should be finally impressed on this department of
Spanish literature.

Of this group, the first two, who devoted themselves to ecclesiastical
history, and entered into the religious discussions of their time,
were, perhaps, originally the most prominent. Ribadeneyra, one of the
early and efficient members of the Society of Jesuits, distinguished
himself by his “History of the Schism in the English Church,” in the
time of Henry the Eighth, and by his “Lives of the Saints.” Siguenza,
who was a disciple of Saint Jerome, was no less faithful to the
brotherhood by whom he was adopted and honored, as his life of their
founder and his history of their Order abundantly prove. Both were
men of uncommon gifts, and wrote with a manly and noble eloquence;
the first with more richness and fervor, the last with a more simple
dignity, but each with the earnest and trusting spirit of his peculiar

  [204] Pedro de Ribadeneyra, who died, aged 84, in 1611, and for
  whom a beautiful epitaph was composed by Mariana, wrote several
  works in honor of his company, and several ascetic works, besides
  his “Cisma de Inglaterra,” (Valencia, 1588,) and his “Flos
  Sanctorum,” Madrid, 1599-1601, 2 tom. folio.

  José de Siguenza, who was born in 1545, and died in 1606, as
  Prior of the Escurial,--whose construction he witnessed and
  described,--published his “Vida de San Gerónimo,” in Madrid,
  1595, 4to, and his “Historia de la Orden de San Gerónimo,”
  in Madrid, 1600, 4to. He was persecuted by the Inquisition.
  Llorente, Hist. de l’Inquisition, Tom. II., 1817, p. 474.

  It would be easy to add to these two writers on ecclesiastical
  history the names of many more. Hardly a convent or a saint
  of any note in Spain, during the sixteenth and seventeenth
  centuries, failed of especial commemoration; and each of the
  religious orders and great cathedrals had at least one historian,
  and most of them several. The number of books on Spanish
  ecclesiastical history to be found in the list at the end of
  the second volume of Antonio’s Bibliotheca Nova is, therefore,
  one that may well be called enormous. Some of them, too, like
  the history of the order of St. Benedict, by Yepes, and several
  of the histories of those orders that were both knightly and
  religious, are of no little importance for the facts and
  documents with which they are crowded. But nearly all of them are
  heavy, monkish annals, and not one, I believe, has literary merit
  enough to attract our attention.

From the nature of their subjects, however, neither of them rose to be
the great historian of his country;--an honor which belongs to Juan
de Mariana, a foundling, who was born at Talavera in 1536, and whose
extraordinary talents attracted the attention of the Jesuits, then
fast advancing into notice as a religious power. Having gone through
a severe course of studies at Alcalá, he was selected, at the age of
twenty-four, to fill the most important place in the great college
which the members of his society were then establishing at Rome,
and which they regarded as one of their principal institutions for
consolidating and extending their influence. After five years, he was
removed to Sicily, to introduce similar studies into that island; and,
a little later, he was transferred to Paris, where he was received with
honor, and taught for several years, lecturing chiefly on the works and
opinions of Thomas Aquinas, to crowded audiences. But the climate of
France was unfriendly to his health, and in 1574, having spent thirteen
years in foreign countries, as a public instructor, he returned to
Spain, and established himself in the house of his order at Toledo,
which he hardly left during the forty-nine remaining years of his life.

This long period, which he devoted to literary labor, was not,
however, permitted to be as peaceful as his merits should have
made it. The Polyglot Bible published by Arias Montano at Antwerp,
in 1569-72,--which was at first received with great favor, but
afterwards, by the intrigues of the Jesuits, was denounced to the
Inquisition,--excited so bitter a quarrel, that it was deemed necessary
to inquire into the truth of the charges brought against it. By the
management of the Jesuits, Mariana was the principal person employed to
make the investigation; and, through his learning and influence, they
felt sure of a triumph. But though he was a faithful Jesuit, he was
not a subservient one. His decision was in favor of Montano; and this,
together with the circumstance that he did not follow the intimations
given to him when he was employed in arranging the Index Expurgatorius
of 1584, brought upon him the displeasure of his superiors in a way
that caused him much trouble.[205]

  [205] Llorente, Tom. I. p. 479, Tom. II. p. 457, Tom. III. pp.
  75-82. Carvajal, the author of the “Elógio Historico” of Montano,
  in the seventh volume of the Memoirs of the Academy of History,
  (1832, 4to, p. 84,) does not think the course of Mariana, in this
  investigation, was so frank as it should have been. Perhaps it
  was not; but he came to the right conclusion at last, and it was
  a bold and honest thing to do so.

In 1599, he published a Latin treatise on the Institution of Royalty,
and dedicated it to Philip the Third;--a work liberal in its general
political tone, and even intimating that there are cases in which it
may be lawful to put a monarch to death. At home, it caused little
remark. It was regularly approved by the censors of the press, and
is even said to have been favored by the policy of the government,
which, in the time of Philip the Second, had sent assassins to cut off
Elizabeth of England and the Prince of Orange. But in France, where
Henry the Third had been thus put to death a few years before, and
where Henry the Fourth suffered a similar fate a few years afterwards,
it excited a great sensation. Indeed, the sixth chapter of the first
book directly mentions, and by implication countenances, the murder of
the former of these monarchs, and was claimed, though contrary to the
truth of fact, to have been among the causes that stimulated Ravaillac
to the assassination of the latter. It was, therefore, both attacked
and defended with extraordinary acrimony; and at last the Parliament
of Paris ordered it to be burned by the hands of the common hangman.
What was more unfortunate for its author, the whole discussion having
brought much popular odium on the Jesuits, who were held responsible
for a book which was written by one of their order, and could not
have been published without permission of its heads, Mariana himself
became more than ever unwelcome to the great body of his religious

  [206] The account of this book, and of the discussions it
  occasioned, is given amply by Bayle, in the notes to his article
  _Mariana_; but, as is usual with him, in a manner that shows
  his dislike of the Jesuits. I know the treatise “De Rege et
  Regis Institutione” only in the edition “Typis Wechelianis,”
  1611, 12mo; but I believe that edition is not at all expurgated.
  Certainly, the passage Lib. I. c. 6 is quite strong enough, in
  extenuation of the atrocious crime of Jaques Clemens, to be
  open to severe animadversion. (Sismondi, Hist. des Français,
  Paris, 8vo, Tom. XXII., 1839, p. 191.) From the very remarkable
  letters of Loaysa, the confessor of Charles V., it appears that
  the great Emperor himself was as little scrupulous as his son in
  such matters. This renders the passage in Mariana more easy of
  explanation. See Briefe an Kaiser Karl V., etc., von D. G. Heine,
  Berlin, 1848, 8vo, p. 130, and note.

At last, an occasion was found where he could be assailed without
assigning the reasons for the attack. In 1609, he published, not in
Spain, but at Cologne, seven Latin treatises on various subjects of
theology and criticism, such as the state of the Spanish theatre, the
Arab computation of time, and the year and day of the Saviour’s birth.
Most of them were of a nature that could provoke no animadversion; but
one, “On Mortality and Immortality,” was seized upon for theological
censure, and another, “On the Coinage of the Realm,” was assailed on
political grounds, because it showed how unwise and scandalous had been
the practices of the reigning favorite, the Duke of Lerma, in tampering
with the currency and debasing it. The Inquisition took cognizance
of both; and their author, though then seventy-three years old, was
subjected first to confinement, and afterwards to penance, for his
offences. Both works were placed at once on the Index Expurgatorius;
and Philip the Third gave orders to collect and destroy as many copies
as possible of the volume in which they were contained. As Lope de Vega
said, “His country did not pardon the most learned Mariana when he

His treatment on this occasion was undoubtedly the more severe, because
among his papers was found a treatise “On the Errors in the Government
of the Society of Jesuits,” which was not printed till after its
author’s death, and then with no friendly views to the order.[207] But
the firm spirit of Mariana was not broken by his persecutions. He
went forward with his literary labors to the last; and when he died,
in 1623, it was of the infirmities which his extreme age had naturally
brought with it. He was eighty-seven years old.

  [207] “Joh. Mariana, e Soc. Jesu, Tractatus VII., nunc primum
  in Lucem editi,” Colon. Agrip., 1609, fol.; my copy of which is
  mutilated according to the minute directions given in the Index
  Expurgatorius, 1667, p. 719. It should be noted that the treatise
  “De Ponderibus et Mensuris,” which contains the obnoxious
  discussions about the coin, had been previously published at
  Toledo, in a neat quarto volume, in 1599, a copy of which I have,
  with all needful authority and privileges. (Santander, Catalogue,
  1792, 8vo, Tom. IV. pp. 152, 153, article _Proceso del Padre
  Mariana_, MS. Lope de Vega, Obras Sueltas, Tom. I. p. 295.) The
  “Discursus de Erroribus qui in Formâ Gubernationis Societatis
  Jesu occurrunt,” written in Mariana’s beautiful flowing style,
  was first printed at Bordeaux, 1625, 8vo, and then again on
  the suppression of the order by Charles III.; but in the Index
  Expurgatorius, (1667, p. 735,) where it is strictly prohibited,
  it is craftily treated as if it were still in manuscript, and as
  if its author were not certainly known. In the Index of 1790, he
  is still censured with great severity. A considerable number of
  his unpublished manuscripts is said to have been long preserved
  in the Jesuits’ Library at Toledo.

The main occupation of the last thirty or forty years of his life was
his great History. In the foreign countries where he had long lived,
the earlier annals of Spain were so little known to the learned men
with whom he had been associated, that, as a Spaniard, he had felt
mortified by an ignorance which seemed disrespectful to his country. He
determined, therefore, to do something that should show the world by
what manly steps Spain had come into the larger interests of Europe,
and to prove by her history that she deserved the consideration she
had, from the time of Charles the Fifth, everywhere enjoyed. He began
his work, therefore, in Latin, that all Christendom might be able to
read it, and in 1592 published, in that language, twenty out of thirty
of the books, of which it consists.

But, even before he had printed the other ten books, which appeared
in 1609, he was fortunately induced, like Cardinal Bembo, to become
his own translator, and to give his work to his countrymen in the pure
Castilian of Toledo. In doing this, he enjoyed a great advantage.
He might use a freedom in his version that could be claimed by no
one else; for he had not only a right to change the phraseology and
arrangement, but, whenever he saw fit, he might modify the opinions
of a book which was as much his own in the one language as in the
other. His “Historia de España,” therefore, the first part of which
appeared in 1601, has all the air and merit of an original work; and
in the successive editions published under his own direction, and
especially in the fourth, which appeared the very year of his death, it
was gradually enlarged, enriched, and in every way improved, until it
became, what it has remained ever since, the proudest monument erected
to the history of his country.[208]

  [208] The most carefully printed and beautiful edition of
  Mariana’s History is the fourteenth, published at Madrid, by
  Ibarra, (two vols. fol. 1780,) under the direction of the
  Superintendents of the Royal Library;--a book whose mechanical
  execution would do honor to any press in Europe. It is remarkable
  how much Mariana amended his History in the successive editions
  during his lifetime; the additions between 1608 and 1623 being
  equal, as stated by the editors of that of 1780, to a moderate

It begins with the supposed peopling of Spain by Tubal, the son of
Japhet, and comes down to the death of Ferdinand the Catholic and the
accession of Charles the Fifth; to all which Mariana himself afterwards
added a compressed abstract of the course of events to 1621, when
Philip the Fourth ascended the throne. It was a bold undertaking,
and in some respects is marked with the peculiar spirit of its age.
In weighing the value of authorities, for instance, he has been less
careful than became the high office he had assumed. He follows Ocampo,
and especially Garibay,--credulous compilers of old fables, who were
his own contemporaries,--confessing freely that he thought it safest
and best to take the received traditions of the country, unless obvious
reasons called upon him to reject them. His manner, too, is, in a few
particulars, open to remark. In the beautiful dedication of the Spanish
version of his History to Philip the Third, he admits that antiquated
words occasionally adhere to his style, from his familiar study of the
old writers; and Saavedra, who was pleased to find fault with him,
says, that, as other people dye their beards to make themselves look
young, Mariana dyed his to make himself look old.[209]

  [209] Mariana, Hist., Lib. I. c. 13. Saavedra, República
  Literaria, Madrid, 1759, 4to, p. 44. Mariana admits the want of
  critical exactness in some parts of his history, when, replying
  to a letter of Lupercio de Argensola, who had noticed his mistake
  in calling Prudentius a Spaniard, he says: “I never undertook
  to make a history of Spain, in which I should verify every
  particular fact; for if I had, I should never have finished it;
  but I undertook to arrange in a becoming style, and in the Latin
  language, what others had collected as materials for the fabric
  I desired to raise. To look up authorities for every thing would
  have left Spain, for another series of centuries, without a Latin
  History that could show itself in the world.” J. A. Pellicer,
  Ensayo de una Biblioteca de Traductores, p. 59.

But there is another side to all this. His willing belief in the old
chronicles, tempered, as it necessarily is, by his great learning,
gives an air of true-heartedness and good faith to his accounts, and
a picturesqueness to his details, which are singularly attractive;
while, at the same time, his occasional antiquated words and phrases,
so well suited to such views of his subject, add to the idiomatic
richness, in which, among Spanish prose compositions, the style of
Mariana is all but unrivalled. His narratives--the most important part
of an historical work of this class--are peculiarly flowing, free, and
impressive. The accounts of the wars of Hannibal, in the second book;
those of the irruption of the Northern nations, with which the fifth
opens; the conspiracy of John de Procida, in the fourteenth; the last
scenes in the troubled life of Peter the Cruel, in the seventeenth;
and most of the descriptions of the leading events in the reign of
Ferdinand and Isabella, towards the conclusion of the work, give
abundant proof of this peculiar historical talent. They seem instinct
with life and movement.

His formal speeches, in which he made Livy his model, are, generally,
less fortunate. Most of them want individuality and appropriateness.
But the one which in the fifth book he has given to Ruy Lope Davalos,
when that nobleman offers the crown of Castile to the Infante Don
Ferdinand, is remarkable for the courageous spirit in which it
discusses the foundations of all political government, and leaves the
rights of kings to rest on the assent of their subjects;--a boldness,
it should be added, which is apparent in many other parts of his
history, as it was in much of his life.

The characters he has drawn of the prominent personages that, from
time to time, come to the front of the stage, are almost always short,
sketched with a few touches, and struck off with the hand of a master.
Such are those of Alvaro de Luna, Alfonso the Wise, and the unhappy
Prince of Viana, in which so few words could hardly be made to express

As a general remark, a certain nobleness of air and carriage, not,
perhaps, without something of the old Castilian sturdiness, but
never without its dignity, is the characteristic that most prevails
throughout the whole work; and this, with its admirably idiomatic
style,--so full, yet so unencumbered, so pure and yet so rich,--renders
it, if not the most trustworthy of annals, at least the most remarkable
union of picturesque chronicling with sober history, that the world has
ever seen.[210]

  [210] The first attack on Mariana was made by a Spaniard in
  Italy, who called himself Pedro Mantuano, and who printed his
  “Advertencias” at Milan in 1611. Thomas Tamayo de Vargas wrote
  a vituperative reply to it (Toledo, 1616, 4to). But Mariana
  wisely refused to read either. The Marquis of Mondejar, a
  most respectable authority, renewed the discussion, and his
  “Advertencias” were published, (Valencia, 1746, folio,) with a
  preface by Mayans y Siscar, somewhat mitigating their force.
  Still, neither these, which are the principal criticisms that
  have appeared on Mariana, nor any others, have, in the estimation
  of Spaniards, seriously interfered with his claims to be regarded
  as the great historian of his country.

Sandoval, who was one of the salaried chroniclers of the monarchy, and
who, in that capacity, prepared the continuation of Morales, already
noticed, seems to have been willing to constitute himself the successor
of Mariana, and prosecute the general history of Spain where that
eloquent Jesuit was likely to leave it, rather than from the point
where he had himself officially taken it up. At least he began there,
and wrote an elaborate life of Charles the Fifth. But it is too long.
It fills as many pages as the entire work of Mariana, and, though
written with simplicity, is not attractive in its style. His prejudices
are strong and obvious. Not only the monk,--for he was a Benedictine,
and enjoyed successively two very rich bishoprics,--but the courtier
of Philip the Third, is constantly apparent. He lays the whole crime
of the assault and capture of Rome upon the Constable de Bourbon; and,
besides tracing the Austrian family distinctly to Adam, he connects
its honors genealogically with those of Hercules and Dardanus. Still,
the History of Sandoval is a documentary work of authority much relied
on by Robertson, and one that, on the whole, by its ample and minute
details, gives a more satisfactory account of the reign of Charles the
Fifth than any other single history extant. It was first published in
1604-6, and its author died at the end of 1620 or the beginning of

  [211] Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 255. La Mothe le Vayer,
  in a discourse addressed to Cardinal Mazarin, (Œuvres, Paris,
  1662, folio, Tom. I. pp. 225, etc.,) assails Sandoval furiously,
  and sometimes successfully, for his credulity, superstition,
  flattery, etc., not forgetting his style. It was a part of the
  warfare of France against Spain.

After this, no important and connected work on the history of Spain,
that falls within the domain of elegant literature, appeared for a long
period.[212] Portions of Spanish history, and portions of the history
of Spanish discovery and conquest in the East and the West, were indeed
published from time to time, but the official chroniclers of the crowns
of Castile and Aragon no longer felt themselves bound to go on with
the great works of their predecessors, and the decaying spirit of the
monarchy made no earnest demands on others to tread in their steps.
Some, however, of these historians of the outposts of an empire which
now extended round the globe, and some of the accounts of isolated
events in its annals at home, should be noticed.

  [212] During this period, embracing a large part of the
  seventeenth century, two remarkable controversies took place
  in Spain, which, by introducing a more critical caution into
  historical composition, were not without their effect on Mariana,
  and may have tended to diminish the number of his successors, by
  subjecting history, in all its forms, to more rigorous rules. The
  discussions referred to arose in consequence of two extraordinary
  forgeries, which, for a time, created a great sensation
  throughout the country, and deluded not a few intelligent men and
  honest scholars.

  The first related to certain metallic plates, sometimes called
  “The Leaden Books,” which, having been prepared and buried for
  the purpose several years before, were disinterred near Granada
  between 1588 and 1595, and, when deciphered, seemed to offer
  materials for defending the favorite doctrine of the Spanish
  Church on the Immaculate Conception, and for establishing the
  great corner-stone of Spanish ecclesiastical history, the coming
  to Spain of the Apostle James, the patron saint of the country.
  This gross forgery was received for authentic history by Philip
  II., Philip III., and Philip IV., each of whom, in a council of
  state, consisting of the principal personages of the kingdom,
  solemnly adjudged it to be true; so that, at one period of the
  discussion, some persons believed the “Leaden Books” would
  be admitted into the Canon of the Scriptures. The question,
  however, was in time settled at Rome, and they were decided, by
  the highest tribunal of the Church, to be false and forged; a
  decision in which Spain soon acquiesced.

  The other fraud was connected with this one of the “Leaden
  Books,” whose authority it was alleged to confirm; but it was
  much broader and bolder in its claims and character. It consisted
  of a series of fragments of chronicles, circulated earlier in
  manuscript, but first printed in 1610, and then represented to
  have come, in 1594, from the monastery of Fulda, near Worms, to
  Father Higuera, of Toledo, a Jesuit, and a personal acquaintance
  of Mariana. They purported, on their face, to have been written
  by Flavius Lucius Dexter, Marcus Maximus, Heleca, and other
  primitive Christians, and contained important and wholly new
  statements touching the early civil and ecclesiastical history
  of Spain. They were, no doubt, an imitation of the forgeries of
  John of Viterbo, given to the world about a century before as
  the works of Berosus and Manetho; but the Spanish forgeries were
  prepared with more learning and a nicer ingenuity. Flattering
  fictions were fitted to recognized facts, as if both rested
  on the same authority; new saints were given to churches that
  were not well provided in this department of their hagiology;
  a dignified origin was traced for noble families, that had
  before been unable to boast of their founders; and a multitude
  of Christian conquests and achievements were hinted at or
  recorded, that gratified the pride of the whole nation, the more
  because they had never till then been heard of. Few doubted
  what it was so agreeable to all to believe. Sandoval, Tamayo
  de Vargas, Lorenzo Ramirez de Prado, and, for a time, Nicolas
  Antonio,--all learned men,--were persuaded that these summaries
  of chronicles, or _chronicones_, as they were called, were
  authentic; and if Arias Montano, the editor of the Polyglot,
  Mariana, the historian, and Antonio Agustin, the cautious and
  critical friend of Zurita, held an opposite faith, they did not
  think it worth while openly to avow it. The current of opinion,
  in fact, ran strongly in favor of the forgeries; and they were
  generally regarded as true history till about 1650 or a little
  later, and therefore till long after the death of their real
  author, Father Higuera, which happened in 1624. The discussion
  about them, however, which, it is evident, was going quietly on
  during much of this time, was useful. Doubts were multiplied;
  the disbelief in their genuineness, which had been expressed to
  Higuera himself, as early as 1595, by the modest and learned
  Juan Bautista Perez, Bishop of Segorbe, gradually gained ground;
  writers of history grew cautious; and at last, in 1652, Nicolas
  Antonio began his “Historias _Fabulosas_”; a huge folio, which he
  left unfinished at his death, and which was not printed till long
  afterwards, but which, with its cumbrous, though clear-sighted
  learning, left no doubt as to the nature and extent of the fraud
  of Father Higuera, and made his case a teaching to all future
  Spanish historians, that does not seem to have been lost on them.
  See the Chronicle of Dexter at the end of Antonio’s Bibliotheca
  Vetus; the Historias Fabulosas of Antonio, with the Life of its
  author prefixed by Mayans y Siscar, (Madrid, 1742, folio,) to
  show the grossness of the whole imposture; and the “Chrónica
  Universal” of Alonso Maldonado, (Madrid, 1624, folio,) to show
  how implicitly it was then believed and followed by learned men.
  The man of learning who was the most clear-sighted about “The
  Leaden Books” and the _chronicones_, and who behaved with the
  most courage in relation to them from the first, was, I suppose,
  the Bishop of Segorbe, who is noticed in Villanueva, “Viage
  Literario á las Iglesias de España,” (Madrid, 1804, 8vo, Tom.
  III. p. 166,) together with the document (pp. 259-278) in which
  he exposes the whole fraud, but which was never before published.

Of this class, the first in importance and the most comprehensive
in character is “The General History of the Indies,” by Antonio de
Herrera. It embraces the period from the first discovery of America
to the year 1554; and as Herrera was a practised writer, and, from
his official position as historiographer to the Indies, had access to
every source of information known in his time, his work, which was
printed in 1601, is of great value. But he was the author of other
historical works, for which his qualifications and resources were less
satisfactory and his prejudices more abundant;--such as a “History of
the World during the Reign of Philip the Second,” a History of the
affairs of England and Scotland, during the unhappy times of Mary
Stuart; a History of the League in France; and a History of the affair
of Antonio Perez and the troubles that followed it;--all written under
the influence of contemporary passions, and all published between 1589
and 1612, before any of these passions had been much tranquillized.

It is sufficient to say of them, that, in the case of Antonio Perez,
Herrera suppresses nearly every one of the important facts that tend
to the justification of that remarkable man; and that, by way of a
glorious termination to his Universal History, he gives Philip the
Second, in his death-struggles, miraculous assistance from heaven,
to enable him to end his long and holy life by an act of devotion.
Herrera’s chief reputation, therefore, as an historian, must rest upon
his great work on the Discovery and Conquest of America, in which,
indeed, his style, nowhere rich or powerful, seems better and more
effective than it is in his other attempts at historical composition.
He died in 1625, above seventy-six years old, much valued by Philip the
Fourth, as he had been by that monarch’s father and grandfather.[213]

  [213] “Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las
  Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Océano,” Madrid, 1601-15, 4 vols.
  fol.--“Historia General del Mundo del Tiempo del Señor Rey Don
  Felipe II., desde 1559, hasta su Muerte,” Madrid, 1601-12,
  3 vols. fol.--Five books on the History of Portugal and the
  Conquest of the Azores were printed, Madrid, 1591, 4to; the
  History of the League, Madrid, 1598, 4to; and the History of
  the Troubles in Aragon, in 1612, 4to; the last being only a
  tract of 140 pages. A work on the History of Italy, from 1281
  to 1559, printed at Madrid in 1624, folio, I have never seen.
  The of Historia General del Mundo is on the Index of 1667, for

But the East, as well as the West, was now opened to Spanish adventure.
The conquest of Portugal had brought the Oriental dependencies of that
kingdom under the authority of the Spanish crown; and as the Count
de Lemos, the great patron of letters in his time, and President of
the Council of the Indies, chanced to have his attention particularly
drawn in that direction, he commanded the younger of the Argensolas to
write an account of the Moluccas. The poet obeyed, and published his
work in 1609, dedicating it to Philip the Third. It is one of the most
pleasing of the minor Spanish histories; full of the traditions found
among the natives by the Portuguese, when they first landed, and of the
wild adventures that followed when they had taken possession of the
islands. Parts of it are, indeed, inconsistent with the nature of the
civilization they found there, such as formal and eloquent harangues
attributed to the natives; while other parts, like some of its
love-stories, are romantic enough to be suspected of invention, even
if they are true. But, in general, the work is written in an agreeable
poetical style, such as is not unbefitting an account of the mysterious

    “Of Ternate and Tidore, whence merchants brought
    Their spicy drugs,”--

striving, for a long time, to hide from the competition of other
nations the history and resources of the oppressed race whom they
compelled to minister to their love of gain.[214]

  [214] “Conquista de las Islas Molucas,” Madrid, 1609, folio.
  Pellicer, Bib. de Trad., Tom. I. p. 87. The love-story of
  Durante, an ensign, in the third book of the “Conquista,” is
  good and probable; and the account of the Patagonian giants, in
  the same book, turns out to be almost true, like some of the
  long-discredited stories of Marco Polo and Mendez Pinto.

Quite as uncertain in authority and less elegant in style are the
histories of Garcilasso de la Vega,--a gentle and trusting spirit
rather than a wise one; proud of being a captain in the service of
the king of Spain, and allied, as a son of one of the unscrupulous
conquerors of Peru, to the great house of Infantado; but always
betraying the weaker nature of his mother, who was of the blood royal
of the Incas, and never entirely forgetting the glories of his Indian
race, or the cruel injuries they had suffered at the hands of Spain.
He was born at “Cuzco, in Peru, the seat of Atabalipa,” in 1540, and
was educated there, amidst the tumults of the conquest; but, when he
was twenty years old, he was sent to Spain, where, under difficult and
trying circumstances, he maintained an honorable reputation during a
life protracted to the age of seventy-six.

The military part of his personal history, which consisted of service
under Don John of Austria against the Moriscos of Granada, was not of
much consequence, though he seems to have valued himself upon it not a
little. The part he gave to letters was more interesting and important.
This portion he began, in 1590, with a translation of the “Dialogues
on Love,” by Abarbanel, a Platonizing Jew, whose family had been
expelled from Spain in the persecution under Ferdinand and Isabella,
and who in Italy had published this singular work under the name of
“The Hebrew Lion.” The attempt, so far as Garcilasso was concerned,
was not a fortunate one. The Dialogues, which enjoyed considerable
popularity at the time, had been already printed in Spanish,--a fact
evidently unknown to him; and though, as it appears from a subsequent
statement by himself, he had obtained for his translation the favorable
regard of Philip the Second, still there was an odor both of Judaism
and heathen free-thinking about it, that rendered it obnoxious to the
ecclesiastical authorities of the state. Garcilasso’s first work,
therefore, was speedily placed on the Index Expurgatorius, and was
rarely heard of afterwards.

His next attempt was on a subject in which he had a nearer interest. It
was a “History of Florida,” or rather of the first discovery of that
country, and was published in 1605,--a work which, when, twenty years
before, he spoke of writing it, he appropriately called “The Expedition
of Fernando de Soto”; since the adventures of that extraordinary man,
and his strange fate, not only form its most brilliant and attractive
portion, but constitute nearly the whole of its substance. In this
Garcilasso was more successful than he was in his version from the
Italian; and his “History of Florida,” as it is still called, has been
often reprinted since.

But, in his old age, his heart turned more and more to the thoughts
and feelings of his youth, and, gathering together the few materials
he could collect from among his kinsmen on the Pacific, as well as
from the stores of his own memory and the records already accumulated
in Spain, he published, in 1609, the first part of his “Commentaries
on Peru”; the second of which, though licensed for the press in
1613, did not appear till 1617, the year after its author’s death.
It is a garrulous, gossiping book, written in a diffuse style, and
abounding in matters personal to himself. In its very division, he
acknowledges frankly the conflicting claims that he felt were upon
him. The earlier half, he says, relates to the eighteen Incas known
to Peruvian history, and contains an account of the traditions of the
country, its institutions, manners, and general character; all which he
offers as a tribute due to his descent from the Children of the Sun.
The remainder--which, with many episodes and much irrelevant, but not
always unpleasant, discussion, contains the history of the Spanish
conquest, and of the quarrels of the Spaniards with each other growing
out of it--he offers, in like manner, to the glories of the great
Spanish family with which he was connected, and which numbered on its
rolls some of the brightest names in the Castilian annals. In both
parts, his Commentaries are a striking and interesting book, showing
much of the spirit of the old chronicles, and infected with even more
than the common measure of chronicling credulity; since, with a natural
willingness to believe whatever fables were honorable to the land of
his birth, he mingles a constant anxiety to show that he is, above
every thing else, a Catholic Christian, whose faith was much too ample
to reject the most extravagant legends of his Church, and too pure to
tolerate the idolatry of that royal ancestry which he yet cannot help
regarding with reverence and admiration.[215]

  [215] “La Traduccion del Indio de los Tres Diálogos de Amor,
  de Leon Hebreo, echado de Italiano en Espagnol, por Garcilasso
  Inga de la Vega,” Madrid, 1590, 4to. A Spanish translation of
  it, which I have seen, had appeared at Venice in 1568, and I
  believe there was another at Zaragoza in 1584, of which it seems
  strange that Garcilasso knew nothing. (Barbosa, Bib. Lus., Tom.
  II. p. 920; Castro, Bib., Tom. I. p. 371; and Antonio, Bib.
  Nov., Tom. I. p. 232.) The letter of Garcilasso to Philip II.,
  with additional remarks by its author, containing interesting
  materials for his own life, is prefixed to the first edition
  of the second part of the Commentaries on Peru. “La Florida”
  was printed at Lisbon in 1606, 4to; the first part of the Peru
  at Lisbon, 1609, folio; and the second part at Córdova, 1617,
  folio. Both of the historical works are to be found in several
  other editions, and both have been translated into most of the
  languages of modern Europe.

  Two striking examples may be given of the opposite kinds of that
  credulity in Garcilasso which so much impairs the value of his
  Commentaries. He believed that the subjection of Peru by the
  Spaniards was predicted by the last of the Incas that reigned
  before their arrival, (Parte I. Lib. IX. c. 15, and Parte II.
  Lib. VIII. c. 18,) and he believed that all the Spaniards in the
  army of Peru, who were notorious blasphemers, perished by wounds
  in the _mouth_ (Parte II., Lib. IV. c. 21).

The publication, in 1610, of “The War of Granada,” by Mendoza, had--as
might have been anticipated from its attractive subject and style--an
effect on Spanish historical composition; producing, in the course of
the century, several imitations more worthy of notice than any thing
in their class that appeared after the great work of Mariana.

The first of them is by Moncada, a nobleman of the highest rank in the
South of Spain, and connected with several of the principal families,
both in Catalonia and Valencia. His father was, successively, viceroy
of Sardinia and Aragon; he himself was governor of the Low Countries
and commander-in-chief of the armies there; and both of them filled, in
their respective times, the most important of the Spanish embassies.
But the younger Moncada had tastes widely different from the cares
that beset his life. In 1623 he published his “Expedition of the
Catalans against the Turks and Greeks”; and when he died, in 1635,
just after putting to rout two hostile armies, he left several other
works, of less value, one or two of which have since been printed.
The History of the Catalan Expedition, by which alone he has been
known in later times, is on the romantic adventures and achievements
of an extraordinary band of mercenaries, who, under Roger de
Flor,--successively a freebooter, a great admiral, and a Cæsar of the
Eastern Empire,--drove back the Turks, as they approached the Bosphorus
in the beginning of the fourteenth century, and then, after being for
some time no less formidable to their allies than they had been to the
infidel, settled down into a sort of uneasy tranquillity at Athens,
where their historian leaves them.

It is an account, therefore, of a most wild passage in the affairs
rather of the Middle Ages than of the Spanish peninsula,--one that may
be trusted, notwithstanding its air of romance, since its foundations
are laid in the great work of Zurita, and one by no means wanting in
picturesque effect, since its details are often taken from Ramon
Muntaner, the old Catalan, who had himself shared the perils of
this very expedition, and described them in his own Chronicle with
his accustomed spirit and vigor. Parts of it are very striking in
themselves, and strikingly told; especially the rise of Roger de Flor
till he had reached the highest place a subject could hold in the Greek
empire, and then his assassination in the presence and by the command
of the same Emperor who had raised him so high,--his blood soiling the
imperial table, to which, with treacherous hospitality, he had been
invited. The whole is written in a bold and free, rather than in a
careful style; but the coloring is well suited to the dark ground-work
of the picture, and, though less energetic in its tone than Mendoza’s
“War of Granada,” of which, from the first sentence, we see it is an
imitation, it is often more easy, flowing, and natural.[216]

  [216] “Expedicion de los Catalanes contra Griegos y Turcos,
  por Francisco de Moncada, Conde de Osona,” Barcelona, 1623,
  and Madrid, 1772 and 1805, 12mo. There is an edition, also, of
  Barcelona, 1842, 8vo, edited by Don Jaime Tió, with a poem at
  the end by Calisto Fernandez Campo-redondo, which is on the same
  subject with the History, and in 1841 gained a prize at Barcelona
  for its success at a festival, that reminds us of the days of the
  Floral Games and of the Marquis of Villena.

Another military history written by a nobleman connected with the
service of his country, both in its armies and its diplomacy, is to
be found in an account of eleven campaigns in Flanders by Coloma,
Marquis of Espinar, published in 1625. A translation which he made of
the “Annals” of Tacitus has been regarded as the best in the language;
but, in his own work, he shows no tendency to imitate the ancients. On
the contrary, it is, as it were, fresh from the fields of the author’s
glory, and full of the honorable feelings of a soldier, sketching the
adventures of the army when in camp, when in immediate action, and
when in winter-quarters; and adding to his main narrative occasional
glimpses of the negotiations then going on in the Low Countries
respecting Spanish affairs, and of the intrigues of the courtiers at
Madrid round the death-bed of Philip the Second. The style of Coloma is
unequal; but much of what he describes he had seen, and the rest had
passed within the compass of what he deemed sure information; so that
he speaks, not only with authority, but with the natural vivacity which
comes from being so near the events he records, that their color is
imparted to his language.[217]

  [217] “Las Guerras de los Estados Baxos, desde Maio, 1588, hasta
  el Año 1599,” Amberes, 1625 and 1635, 4to, and Barcelona, 1627.
  Ximeno, Tom. I. p. 338. He was ambassador to James I. of England,
  viceroy of Majorca, etc., and died in 1637, sixty-four years old.

To the same class with the last belongs the spirited history of a
portion of the Catalan rebellion in the time of Philip the Fourth. It
was written by Melo, a Portuguese gentleman, who remained attached to
the service of Spain till 1640-41, when he joined the standard of the
Braganzas, and fought for the independence of his own country. His
life, which extended from 1611 to 1667, was full of adventure. He was
in the dreadful tempest of 1627, when the whole navy, as it were, of
Portugal suffered shipwreck; and it fell to his lot to bury above two
thousand bodies of those who had perished in the waves, from which
he himself had hardly escaped. He was in the wars of Flanders and of
Catalonia. Twelve years he was in prison in his own country, under an
accusation of murder that was at last proved to be without foundation;
and six years he was an exile in Brazil. But under all circumstances,
and through all his trials, he sought consolation in letters. His
published works, in prose and verse, in Spanish and in Portuguese, some
of which have been already noticed, exceed a hundred volumes, and the
unpublished would materially increase even this vast amount. What is
more remarkable, he is, in both languages, admitted to the honors of a
classic writer.

His “History of the War of Catalonia,” which embraces only the short
period during which he served in it, was written while he was in
prison, and was first published in 1645. Owing to political causes,
he did not give his name to it; and when one of his friends in a
letter expressed surprise at this circumstance, he answered, with a
characteristic turn of phrase, “The book loses nothing for want of my
name, and I shall lose nothing for want of the book.” It was, however,
successful. The accounts of the first outbreak in Barcelona, on the
feast of Corpus Christi, when the city was thronged with the bold
peasantry of the interior; the subsequent strife of the exasperated
factions; the debates in the Junta of Catalonia, and those in the
king’s council, under the leading of the Count Duke Olivares; and the
closing scene of the whole,--the ineffectual storming of the grand
fortress of Mon Juich by the royal forces, and the disastrous retreat
that followed,--are all given with a freshness and power that could
come only from one who had shared in the feelings he describes, and
had witnessed the very movements he sets with such a lifelike spirit
before us. His style, too, is suited to his varying subjects; sometimes
animated and forcible, sometimes quaint and idiomatic, and sometimes in
its dark hints and abrupt turns reminding us of Tacitus. But the work
is short,--not longer than that of Mendoza, which was its model,--and
it covers only the space of about six months at the end of 1640 and the
beginning of 1641.

Whether Melo intended to carry his narrative farther is uncertain.
From his striking conclusion, where he says, “The events that
followed--greater in themselves than those I have related--are perhaps
reserved for a greater historian,” we might infer that he was desirous
to describe only what he had witnessed. But, on the other side, in his
Preface we have the following characteristic address to his readers,
alluding to the concealment of his name as the author of the work he
offers them. “If in any thing I have served you, I ask only that you
would not endeavour to know more of me than it pleases my humor to
tell you. I present to you my faithful opinion of things, just as it
has been my lot to form it;--I do not present myself to you; for a
knowledge of my person is not necessary to enable you to judge either
kindly or harshly of what I have written. If I do not please you, read
me no further;--if I do, I make no claims on your gratitude. I speak
without fear and without vanity. The theatre before us is vast; the
tragedy long. We shall meet again. You will know me by my voice; I
shall know you by your judgment.” But, whatever may have been Melo’s
original intentions, he survived the publication of this interesting
work above twenty years, and yet added nothing to its pages.[218]

  [218] “Historia de los Movimientos, Separacion, y Guerra de
  Cataluña, por Francisco Manuel de Melo,” Lisboa, 1645, and
  several other editions; one by Sanchez, 1808, 12mo, and one
  at Paris, 1830. His poetry in Spanish has been mentioned,
  _ante_, II. 529. For his life and multitudinous works, see
  the “Bibliotheca Lusitana” of Diogo Barbosa Machado, (Lisboa,
  1741-59, 4 tom. folio,) which I have often referred to, as to the
  great authority on all matters of fact in Portuguese literary
  history, though of little or no value for the literary opinions
  it expresses. It is one of the amplest and most important works
  of literary biography and bibliography ever published; but,
  unhappily, it is also one of the rarest, a large part of the
  impression of the first three volumes having been destroyed in
  the fire that followed the great earthquake at Lisbon in 1755.
  Its author, who gives some account of himself in his own work,
  was born in 1682, and died, I believe, in 1770.

From this period, prose composition, which had been long infected with
the bad taste of the age, suffered a still further and more marked
decline. Saavedra Faxardo, indeed, who lived forty years out of Spain,
employed in diplomatic missions, was educated in a better school, and
formed himself on more worthy models, than he could have found among
his contemporaries at home; but his “History of the Goths in Spain” is
an imperfect work, published in 1646, at Munster, when he was there
as a member of the congress that made the peace of Westphalia, and
was left unfinished at his death, which occurred at Madrid two years
later.[219] The only historian of eminence that remains to be noticed
in this period is, therefore, Solís.

  [219] The work of Saavedra was continued, very poorly, by Alonso
  Nuñez de Castro, through the reign of Henry II., the labors of
  both making seven volumes in the edition of Madrid, 1789-90,
  12mo, of which the first two only, coming down to 716, are by

Of him we have already spoken as a lyrical poet and a dramatist, who in
1667 had retired from the world, and dedicated himself to the separate
service of religion. He was, however, the official historiographer of
the Indies, and thought himself bound to do something in fulfilment
of the duties of an office to which, perhaps, a nominal income was
attached. He chose for his subject “The Conquest of Mexico,” and,
beginning with the condition of Spain when it was undertaken, and the
appointment of Cortés to command the invading force, he brings his
history down to the fall of the city and the capture of Guatimozin.
The period it embraces is, indeed, short,--less than three years; but
they are years so crowded with brilliant adventures and atrocious
crimes, that hardly any portion of the history of the world is of equal
interest. The subject, too, from this circumstance, is more easily
managed; and Solís, who looked upon it with the eye of an artist, as
well as of an historian, has succeeded in giving his work, to an
extraordinary degree, the air of an historical epic;--so exactly are
all its parts and episodes modelled into an harmonious whole, whose
catastrophe is the fall of the great Mexican empire.

The style of Solís is somewhat peculiar. That he had the Roman
historians, and especially Livy, before him, as he wrote, is apparent
both in the general air of his work and in the structure of its
individual sentences. Yet there are few writers of Spanish prose who
are more absolutely Castilian in their idiom than he is. His language,
if not simple, is rich and beautiful; suited to the romantic subject he
had chosen for his history, and deeply imbued with its poetical spirit.
In boldness of manner he falls below Mendoza, and in dignity is not
equal to Mariana; but for copious and sustained eloquence, he may be
placed by the side of either of them. That his work is as interesting
as either of theirs is proved by the unimpaired popularity it has
enjoyed from its first appearance down to our own times.

The Conquest of Mexico was written in the old age of its author, and
is darkened by the feelings that shut him out from the interests and
cares of the world. He refused to see the fierce and marvellous contest
which he recorded, except from the steps of the altar where he had been
consecrated. The Spaniards, therefore, are in his eyes only Christians;
the Mexicans, only heathen. The battle he witnesses and describes is
wholly between the powers of light and the legions of darkness; and
the unhappy Indians,--whom the Spaniards had no more right to invade,
in order to root out religious abominations, of which they had never
heard till after their landing, than Henry the Eighth or Elizabeth had
to invade Spain, in order to root out the abominations of the Spanish
Inquisition,--the unhappy Indians receive none of the historian’s
sympathy in the extremity of suffering they underwent during their
vain, but heroic, struggle for all that could make existence valuable
in their eyes.

The work of Solís, beautifully written and flattering to the national
vanity, was at once successful. But success was then a word whose
meaning was different from that which it bears now, or had borne in
Spain in the time of Lope de Vega. The publication, which took place
in 1684, by the assistance of a friend who defrayed the charges, found
its author poor and left him so. On this point there are passages in
his correspondence which it is painful to read;--one, for instance,
where he says, “I have many creditors who would stop me in the street,
if they saw I had new shoes on”; and another, where he asks a friend
for a warm garment to protect him from the winter’s cold. Still he was
gratified at the applause with which his work was received, though, at
the end of a year, only two hundred copies had been sold. Two years
afterwards he died, at the age of seventy-six, “leaving,” in the
technical phrase and the technical habit of the time, “his soul to be
the only heir of his body,” or, in other words, giving the remnants of
his poverty to purchase expiatory masses.[220] Diego de Tovar, the same
ecclesiastic who had been confessor to Quevedo and Nicolas Antonio,
stood by the bedside of the dying man, and consoled the last moments of
Solís, as he had consoled theirs.[221]

  [220] Mad. d’Aulnoy (Voyage, ed. 1693, Tom. II. pp. 17, 18)
  explains this custom, and shows to what an absurd and ridiculous
  length it was carried in the time of Solís.

  [221] There are many editions of the “Conquista de México,” the
  first being that of Madrid, 1654, folio, and the best in two
  vols. 4to, Madrid, 1783. The author of the life prefixed to his
  poems says: “Solís left materials for a continuation of the
  History of Mexico, but they are not now known to exist.” A few of
  his letters, with a sketch of his life, by Mayans y Siscar, were
  published, as I have already noticed, in 1733. They appear again,
  carefully revised, in the “Cartas Morales,” etc., 1773. See,
  _ante_, II. 420, 549, III. 136.

Solís was the last of the good writers in the elder school of Spanish
history;--a school which, even during its best days, numbered but few
names, and which, now that the whole literature of the country was
decaying, shared the general fate. Nor could it be otherwise. The
spirit of political tyranny in the government, and of religious tyranny
in the Inquisition,--now closer than ever united,--were more hostile to
bold and faithful inquiry in the department of history than in almost
any other; so that the generous national independence and honesty
announced in the old chronicles were stopped midway in their career,
before half of their power had been put forth.

Still, as we have seen, several of the historians that were produced
even under the overshadowing influence of the Austrian family were
not unworthy of the national character. Mariana shows much manly
firmness, Solís much fervor, Zurita much conscientious diligence, while
Mendoza, Moncada, Coloma, and Melo, who confined themselves to subjects
embracing shorter periods and less wide interests, have given us some
of the most striking sketches to be found in the historical literature
of any country. All of them are rich and dignified, abounding rather in
feeling than philosophy, and written in a tone and style that mark, not
so much, perhaps, the peculiar genius of their respective authors, as
that of the country that gave them birth; so that, though they may not
be entirely classical, they are entirely Spanish; and what they want in
finish and grace, they make up in picturesqueness and originality.[222]

  [222] From the times of Charles V. and Philip II., when, in
  Aragon and Castile, chroniclers were multiplied as a part of the
  pageantry of the court, the rest of the kingdoms that entered
  into the united Spanish monarchy began to desire to have their
  own separate histories, as we can see in Valencia, where those
  of Beuter, Escolano, and Diago were written. Besides this,
  a great number of the individual cities obtained their own
  separate annals from the hand of at least one author,--sometimes
  works of authority, like that on Segovia by Colmenares, and
  that on Seville by Avila y Zuñiga. But though more of such
  local histories were written in Spain between the middle of the
  sixteenth and the end of the seventeenth centuries, than were
  written during the same period, I believe, in any other country
  in Europe, none of them, so far as I know, has such peculiar
  merit as to be noticeable in the literary history of the country.
  Still, the spirit that produced them in such great numbers,
  and especially the spirit which, during the reign of Philip
  II., made, with so much care and cost, the vast collections of
  documents yet to be found in the Castle of Simancas and the
  convent of the Escurial, should not be overlooked.

  When the chapter on the Chronicles of the fifteenth century
  (First Period, Chap. IX.) was printed, I had not seen the
  Chronicle by the Prince of Viana, “Crónica de los Reyes de
  Navarra,”--of which there is only one edition, that of Pamplona,
  1843, 4to, by Don José Yanguas y Miranda. It was written in 1454
  by the Prince Don Carlos, to whom I have already alluded, (Vol.
  I. p. 332, note,) who died, forty years old, in 1461, and whose
  translation of Aristotle’s Ethics was printed at Saragossa in
  1509. (Mendez, Typographia, 1796, p. 193.) The Chronicle was
  carefully prepared for publication from four manuscripts, and it
  embraces the history of Navarre from the earliest times to the
  accession of Charles III. in 1390, noticing a few events in the
  beginning of the next century. Besides the life of the author,
  it makes about 200 pages, written in a modest, simple style,
  but not so good as that of some of the contemporary Castilian
  chronicles. A few of the old traditions concerning the little
  mountain kingdom, whose early annals it records, are, however,
  well preserved; some of them being told as they are found in the
  General Chronicle of Spain, and some with additions or changes.
  The portions where I have observed most traces of connection
  between the two are in the Chronicle of the Prince of Viana, Book
  I. chapters 9-14, as compared with the latter portion of the
  General Chronicle, Part III. Sometimes the Prince deviates from
  all received accounts, as when he calls Cava the _wife_ of Count
  Julian, instead of calling her his _daughter_; but, on the whole,
  his Chronicle agrees with the common traditions and histories of
  the period to which it relates.



The last department in the literature of any country, that comes
within the jurisdiction of criticism on account of its style, is that
of Didactic Prose; since in this branch, so remote from every thing
poetical, the ornaments of manner are more accidental than they are
elsewhere, and, beyond it, are not at all to be exacted. In modern
times, the French seem to have been more anxious than any other nation,
not excepting even the Italians, to add the grace of an elegant style
to their didactic prose, while, on the other hand, none have been more
unsuccessful than the Spaniards in their attempts to cultivate it.

In one particular form of didactic composition, however, Spain
stands in advance of all other countries; I mean that of Proverbs,
which Cervantes has happily called “short sentences drawn from long
experience.”[223] Spanish proverbs can be traced back to the earliest
times. One of the best known--“Laws go where kings please they
should”--is connected with an event of importance in the reign of
Alfonso the Sixth, who died in the beginning of the twelfth century,
when the language of Castile had hardly a distinct existence.[224]
Another has been traced to a custom belonging to the days of the
Infantes de Lara, and is itself probably of not much later date.[225]
Others are found in the General Chronicle, which is one of the oldest
of Spanish prose compositions, and among them is the happy one on
disappointed expectations, cited in Don Quixote more than once: “He
went for wool and came back shorn.”[226] Several occur in the “Conde
Lucanor” of Don John Manuel,[227] and many in the poetry of the
Archpriest of Hita,[228] both of whom lived in the time of Alfonso the

  [223] Don Quixote, Parte I. c. 39.

  [224] In the great contest between the two liturgies, the Roman
  and the Gothic, which disturbed the Church of Spain for so
  long a period, Alfonso VI. determined to throw a copy of each
  into a fire duly kindled and blessed for the purpose, and give
  the supremacy to the one that should come out unconsumed. The
  Gothic MS. was successful; but the king broke his word, and
  tossed it back into the flames, thus giving rise, it is said, to
  the proverb, “Alla van leyes adonde quieren reyes”; or, freely
  translated, “Laws obey kings.” (Sarmiento, § 411.) A similar
  historical origin is given to the proverb, “Ni quito rey, ni
  pongo rey”; which is traced to the personal quarrel of Peter the
  Cruel and his brother and successor, Don Enrique. Clemencin, ed.
  Don Quixote, Tom. VI., 1839, p. 225.

  [225] Dissertation of Cortés in Mayans y Siscar, Orígenes, Tom.
  II. p. 211.

  [226] Chrónica General, 1604, Parte III. f. 61, and Don Quixote,
  Parte I. c. 7.

  [227] For example: “Ayudad vos, y Dios ayudarvos ha,”--“Help
  yourself and God will help you,”--near the end; and “El Bien
  nunca muere,”--“Good never dies,”--which is in the first tale.

  [228] “Quien en l’arenal sembra, non trilla pegujares,”--“He that
  sows on the sea-beach reaps little for himself.” Stanza 160.
  _Pegujares_, a singular word, which occurs once in Don Quixote,
  is said by Clemencin (Tom. IV. p. 34) to come from _peculio_.
  See, also, Partida IV. Título xvii. Ley 7.

Thus far, however, we have only separate and isolated sayings,
evidently belonging to the old Spanish race, and always used as
if quite familiar and notorious. But in the reign of John the
Second, and at his request, the Marquis of Santillana collected a
hundred in rhyme, which we have already noticed, besides above six
hundred, he says, such as the old women were wont to repeat in their
chimney-corners. From this period, therefore, or rather from 1508,
when this collection was published, the old and wise proverbs of the
language may be regarded as having obtained a settled place in its
didactic literature.[229]

  [229] Reprinted in Mayans, Orígenes, Tom. II. pp. 179-210. See
  also, the Proverbs from Seneca by Pero Diaz, mentioned in note 33
  to Period I. chap. 19, and pp. 376, 377, of Vol. I.

The number of proverbs, indeed, was soon so great,--not only those
floating about in the common talk of men, but those collected and
printed,--that they began to be turned to account. Garay, who was
attached to the cathedral of Toledo, and therefore lived in the centre
of whatever was peculiarly Castilian, wrote a long letter, every
sentence of which was a popular saying; to which he added two similar
letters, found, as he says, by accident, and made up, in the same way,
of proverbs.[230] But, in the middle of the century, a still higher
honor awaited the old Spanish adages. Pedro Valles, who wrote the
history of the great Marquis of Pescara, published an alphabetical
series of four thousand three hundred of them in 1549; and the famous
Greek scholar and distinguished nobleman, Hernan Nuñez de Guzman,
Professor successively at Alcalá and at Salamanca, found amusement for
his old age in making another series of them, which amounted in all to
above six thousand. To some he added explanations; to others, various
parallel sayings from different languages; but, finding his strength
fail him, he gave the task to a friend, who, like himself, was a
Professor in Salamanca, and who published the whole in 1555, two years
after the death of Nuñez; rather, as he intimates, from respect to the
person from whom he received it, than from regard to the dignity of the

  [230] I have never seen the Proverbs collected by Pedro Valles,
  the Aragonese, but Mayans y Siscar had in his library a copy
  of them, which is described in the “Specimen Bibliothecæ
  Hispano-Majansianæ, etc., ex Musæo Davidis Clementis,” Hannoveræ,
  1753, 4to, p. 67. The “Cartas de Blasco de Garay” have been often
  printed; but the oldest and most complete edition I have seen is
  that of Venice, 1553, 12mo; probably not the first. The second of
  the letters of Garay is not in proverbs, and, in this edition,
  is followed by a devout prayer; the whole being intended, as the
  author says, “to win the attention not so much of the wise as of
  those who are wont to read nothing but Celestina and such like
  books.” The “Proverbios” of Francisco de Castilla, in the volume
  with his “Theórica de Virtudes,” (1552, ff. 64-69,) are not
  proverbs, but an exhortation in verse to a wise and holy life.

  [231] “Refranes, etc., que coligio y gloso, el Comendador, Hernan
  Nuñez, Profesor de Retórica en la Universidad de Salamanca,”
  Madrid, 1619, 4to. The preface, by Leo de Castro, implies that
  the volume was printed during the life of Nuñez, who died in
  1553; but I find no edition older than that of 1555. See the note
  of Pellicer to Don Quixote, Parte II. c. 34.

Out of these proverbs, another of the friends of Hernan Nuñez--Mal
Lara, a Sevilian--selected a thousand, and, adding a commentary to
each, published them in 1568, under the not inappropriate title of
“Philosophy of the Common People”; a volume which, notwithstanding its
cumbersome learning, can be read with pleasure, both for the style in
which many parts of it are written, and for the unusual historical
anecdotes with which it abounds. Another collection, made by Palmireno,
a Valencian, in 1569, consisting of above two hundred proverbs
appropriate to the table, shows how abundant popular aphorisms must be
in a language that can furnish so many on one subject. Yet another, by
Oudin, was published at Paris in 1608, for the use of foreigners, and
shows no less plainly how much the Spanish had become spread throughout
Europe. Sorapan, in 1616 and 1617, published two collections, in which
it was intended that the condensation of popular experience and wisdom
should teach medicine, as, in the hands of Mal Lara, they had been
made to teach the philosophy of life. And, finally, in 1675, Cejudo,
a schoolmaster of Val de Peñas, gave the world about six thousand,
with the corresponding Latin adages, whenever he could find them, and
with explanations more satisfactory than had been furnished by his

  [232] “La Filosofía Vulgar de Juan de Mal Lara, Vezino de
  Sevilla,” (Sevilla, 1558, Madrid, 1618, 4to, etc.,)--a person
  of note in his time, whom we have mentioned (_ante_, II. 26)
  among the dramatic poets, and who died in 1571, forty-four
  years old. (Seman. Pintoresco, 1845, p. 34.) The collection of
  Lorenzo Palmireno is reprinted in the fourth volume of Nuñez, ed.
  Madrid, 1804, 12mo. Oudin’s collection was reprinted at Brussels
  in 1611, 12mo. Juan Sorapan de Rieros, “Medecina Española, en
  Proverbios Vulgares de Nuestra Lengua,” was printed at Granada,
  1616-17, 4to, in two parts. “Refranes Castellanos con Latinos,
  etc., por el Licenciado Gerónimo Martin Caro y Cejudo,” Madrid,
  1675, 4to; reprinted 1792. I do not notice the “Apotegmas” of
  Juan Rufo, (1596,) nor the “Floresta de Apotegmas of Santa Cruz,”
  (first printed in 1574, and often afterwards; e. g. Bruselas,
  1629,)--the last of which is a pleasant hook, praised by Lope
  de Vega in his first tale,--because both of them are rather
  jest-books than collections of proverbs. The “Proverbios Morales”
  of Christ. Perez de Herrera (Madrid, 1618, 4to) are in rhyme, and
  too poor to deserve notice, even if they had been in prose.

Still, though so many thousands have been collected, many thousands
still remain unpublished, known only among the traditions of the
humbler classes of society, that have given birth to them all. Juan
de Yriarte, a learned man, who was nearly forty years at the head
of the King’s Library at Madrid, collected, about the middle of the
eighteenth century, no less than twenty-four thousand; and yet it is
not to be supposed that a single individual, however industrious,
living in Madrid, could exhaust their number, as they belong rather to
the provinces than to the capital, and are spread everywhere among the
common people, and through all their dialects.[233]

  [233] Vargas y Ponce, Declamacion, Madrid, 1793, 4to, App., p. 93.

Why proverbs should abound so much more in Spain than in any other
country of Christendom, it is not possible to tell. Perhaps the Arabs,
whose language is rich in such wisdom, may have furnished some of
them; or perhaps the whole mass may have sprung from the original
soil of the less cultivated classes of Spanish society. But however
this may be, we know they are often among the pleasantest and most
characteristic ornaments of the national literature; and those who
are most familiar with them will be most ready to agree with the wise
author of the “Dialogue on Languages,” when he says, and repeats the
remark, that we must go to the old national proverbs for what is purest
in his native Castilian.[234]

  [234] Mayans y Siscar, Orígenes, Tom. I. pp. 188-191, and the
  Diálogo de las Lenguas, p. 12, where the author says, “In our
  proverbs, you see the purity of the Castilian language”; and
  p. 170, where he says, “The purest Castilian we have is in our
  proverbs.” The “Don Quixote” will occur to every body as a book
  that proves how much proverbs enter into Spanish literature;
  but I should rather cite the “Celestina,” where their number
  is, I think, equally great in proportion, and their _serious_
  application more effective.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning now to the proper Didactic prose of Spanish literature, the
first instance we find--after those formerly noticed as imitating the
Italian philosophical discussions of the sixteenth century--is one that
comes near to the borders of fiction. It is “The Garden of Curious
Flowers,” by Torquemada, originally published in 1570, of which the
curate, in the scrutiny of Don Quixote’s library, says, that “he does
not know whether it is more true, or, to speak strictly, less full
of lies,” than the “Olivante de Laura,” a book of chivalry by the
same author, which, for its peculiar absurdities, he sends at once
to the bonfire in the court-yard. “The Garden of Curious Flowers,”
however, is still a curious book. It consists of six colloquies between
friends, who talk for their amusement on such subjects as the monstrous
productions of nature, the terrestrial paradise, phantasms and
enchantments, the influence of the stars, and the history and condition
of those countries that lie nearest to the North Pole. It is, in fact,
a collection of whatever strange and extravagant stories a learned
man could make, beginning with such as he found in Aristotle, Pliny,
Solinus, Olaus Magnus, and Albertus Magnus, and including those told by
the most credulous of his own time. Being put into a form then popular,
and related in a pleasing style, they had no little success. They were
several times printed in the original, and, beside being translated
into Italian and French, are well known to those who are curious in the
literature of Queen Elizabeth’s time, under the much-abused name of
“The Spanish Mandeville.” It may be added, that some of Torquemada’s
accounts of spectres and visions are still pleasant reading; and that,
though Cervantes spoke slightingly of the whole book in his “Don
Quixote,” he afterwards resorted to it, both for facts and for fancies
respecting the wonders of Friesland and Iceland, when he wrote the
first part of his “Persiles and Sigismunda.”[235]

  [235] “Jardin de Flores Curiosas, etc., por Ant. de Torquemada,”
  1570, 1573, 1587, 1589. The edition of Anveres, 1575, 18mo, fills
  536 pages. “The Spanish Mandeville of Miracles, or the Garden
  of Curious Flowers,” (London, 1600, 4to,) is a translation into
  good old English, by Ferdinand Walker. The original is strictly
  prohibited in the Index Expurgatorius of 1667, p. 68. The
  “Coloquios Satíricos,” by the same author, (1553,) I have never

Christóval de Acosta, a Portuguese botanist,--who was accustomed to
call himself “the African,” because he happened to be born in one of
the African possessions of Portugal,--travelled much in the East, and
after his return published, in 1578, a work on Oriental plants and
drugs, to which he added at the end a treatise on the natural history
of the Elephant. But, though he succeeded in attracting the attention
of Europe to this publication, and though the early part of his life
had been that of a soldier, an adventurer, and a captive among pirates
and robbers, he spent many of his later years, if not all of them, in
religious retirement at home, where, besides other things, he wrote a
discourse on “The Benefits of Solitude,” and a treatise on “The Praise
of Women.” The last was printed in 1592, and, except that it is too
full of learning, may still be read with some interest, if not with

  [236] “Tractado de las Drogas y Medicinas de las Indias
  Orientales, por Christóval Acosta,” Burgos, (1578, 4to,) where
  its author was a surgeon; but there are other editions, (1582 and
  1592,) and early Italian and French translations. The “Tractado
  en Loor de las Mugeres, por Christóval Acosta, Affricano,” was
  printed at Venice, 1592, 4to, and I know no other edition.
  Barbosa, in his life of Acosta, spells his name Da Costa.

It was not, however, moral and philosophical writers, like Oliva and
Guevara, nor writers on subjects connected with natural history, like
Torquemada and Acosta, that were most favored in the reigns of Philip
the Second and his immediate successors. It was the ascetics and
mystics,--the natural produce of the soil of Spain, and, almost without
exception, faithful to the old Castilian genius.

Among the most prominent of this class was Luis de Granada,
distinguished as a Spanish preacher, but still more remarkable for
his eloquence as a mystic. His “Meditations for the Seven Days and
Nights of a Week,” his treatises “On Prayer” and “On Faith,” and his
“Memorial of a Christian Life,” were early translated into Latin,
Italian, French, and English,--one of them into Turkish, and one into
Japanese,--and, like his other Spanish works, have continued to be
printed and admired in the original down to our own times.

The most effective of them all was his “Guide for Sinners,” first
published in 1556. It makes two moderate volumes, and portions of it
are marked with a diffuse declamation, which is perhaps imitated
from that of Juan de Avila, the Apostle of Andalusia, whose friend
and follower he more than once boasts himself to have been. But its
general tone is that of a moving and harmonious eloquence, which has
made it a favorite book of devotion in Spain ever since it first
appeared, and has spread its reputation so widely, that it has been
translated into nearly all the languages of Europe, including the Greek
and Polish, and, at one time, seemed likely to obtain a place, in
the religious literature of Christendom, very near that of the great
ascetic work which passes under the name of Thomas à Kempis. In its
native country, however, the Guide for Sinners encountered at first not
a little opposition. As early as the year after it was published, it
had been placed on the Index Expurgatorius, and no edition except the
first seems to have been permitted till we find that of Salamanca, in
1570. But the very Index that condemned it became itself the subject
of condemnation; and, in the case of the Guide for Sinners, the
ecclesiastical powers went so far in the opposite direction as to grant
special indulgences by proclamation to all who should have read or
heard a chapter of the very work they had earlier so harshly censured.

Luis de Granada passed all the latter part of his life in
Lisbon,--perhaps because he had been repeatedly annoyed by the
Inquisition at home, perhaps because his duties seemed to lead him
there. But, whatever may have been the cause, it is certain that he
enjoyed much more favor in Portugal than he did in Spain; and when
he died, in 1588, eighty-four years old, he could boast that he had
refused the highest honors of the Portuguese Church, and humbly devoted
the whole of his long life to the reformation and advancement of the
Order of Preachers, of which, during his best years, he had been the
active and venerated head.[237]

  [237] Preface to Obras de Luis de Granada, Madrid, 1657, folio,
  and Preface to Guia de Pecadores, Madrid, 1781, 8vo. Antonio,
  Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 38. Llorente, Hist., Tom. III. p. 123. His
  works are numerous, and he enjoys the singular honor of having
  had an edition of them published by Planta, at the expense of the
  Duke of Alva, the minister and general of Philip II.

San Juan de la Cruz, who was in some respects an imitator of Luis
de Granada, was born in 1542, and, having spent the greater part of
his life in reforming the discipline of the Carmelite monasteries,
died in 1591, and was beatified in 1674. His works, which are chiefly
contemplative, and obtained for him the title of the Ecstatic
Doctor, are written with great fervor. The chief of them are the
allegory of “The Ascent to Mount Carmel,” and “The Dark Night of the
Soul,”--treatises which have given him much reputation for a mystical
eloquence, that sometimes rises to the sublime, and sometimes is lost
in the unintelligible. His poetry, of which a little is printed in some
of the many editions of his works, is of the same general character,
but marked by great felicity and richness of phraseology.[238]

  [238] Obras de San Juan de la Cruz, Sevilla, 1703, folio, twelfth

Santa Teresa, who was associated with Juan de la Cruz in the work of
reforming the Carmelites,--or rather with whom he was associated,
since hers was the leading spirit,--died in 1582, sixty-seven years
old. Her didactic works, the most remarkable of which are “The Path to
Perfection” and “The Interior Castle,” are less obscure than those of
her coadjutor, though more declamatory. But all she wrote, including
an account of her own life, and several discussions connected with the
religious duties to which she dedicated herself, were composed with
apparent reluctance on her part, and in obedience to the commands of
her superiors. She believed herself to be often in direct communion
with God; and as those about her shared her faith on this point, she
was continually urged by them to make known to the world what were thus
regarded as revelations of the Divine will. On one occasion she says:
“Far within, God appeared to me in a vision, as he has been wont to do,
and gave me his right hand, and said,--Behold this print of the nail;
it is a sign that, from this day forth, thou art my spouse. Hitherto,
thou hast not deserved it; but hereafter not only shalt thou regard my
honor as that of thy Creator, and King, and God, but as that of a true
spouse;--for my honor is now thine, and thine is mine.”

Living, as she undoubtedly did, under the persuasion that she was
favored with numberless revelations of this kind, she wrote boldly
and rapidly, and corrected nothing. Her style, in consequence, is
diffuse and open to objections, which, in Spain, the spirit of a merely
literary criticism is too reverent to desire to remove. But whatever
she wrote is full of earnestness, sincerity, and love; and therefore
her works have never ceased to be read by those of her own nation and
faith. During her life, she was persecuted by the Inquisition; but
after her death, her manuscripts were collected with pious care, and
published, in 1588, by Luis de Leon, who exhorts all men to follow in
the bright path she has pointed out to them; adding, “She has seen God
face to face, and she now shows him to you.”[239]

  [239] Obras de Santa Teresa, (Madrid, 1793, 2 tom. 4to,) Tom.
  I. p. 393. Of her letters I have spoken, _ante_, p. 135, and an
  excellent discussion of her character, and that of the mystical
  school to which she belonged, may be found in the Christian
  Examiner, No. 152, Boston, March, 1849. Her works are accompanied
  with many offers of indulgence to those who read a chapter or a
  letter of any of them, or hear it read. For her troubles with
  the Inquisition, see Llorente, Tom. III. p. 114. Santa Teresa
  was beatified in 1614, and canonized in 1622; besides which, in
  1617 and 1626, the Cortes chose her to be the co-patroness and
  advocate of Spain with Santiago; an honor that was long resisted,
  but was urged anew by the testament of Charles II., and confirmed
  by the Cortes of 1812, June 28, at the urgent petition of the
  Carmelites, in a spirit worthy of the age in which she lived. See
  Southey’s Peninsular War, London, 1832, 4to, Tom. III. p. 539.

This school of spiritualists, to which belonged Juan de Avila and
Luis de Leon, of whom we have before spoken, had, no doubt, a very
considerable effect on Spanish didactic prose. They raised its tone,
and did more towards placing it on the old foundations, where the
chronicles and the earlier writers of the country, like Lucena, had
left it, than had been done for nearly two centuries. Such efforts gave
dignity, if not purity or an exact finish, to the proper Castilian
style; so that, at the end of the reign of Philip the Second, it was
not only of more consequence to an author’s reputation to write well
upon any grave subject in prose than it had ever been before, but,
with such examples before him, it was easier to do so. In all this,
the movement made was in the right direction, and produced happy
results. But, on the other hand, we should remember that it confirmed
in the didactic literature of the country that tendency to a diffuse
and florid declamation, which was early one of its blemishes, and from
which, with such authority in its favor, Castilian prose has never
since been able completely to emancipate itself.

A remarkable proof of this is to be found in “The Magdalen” of Malon
de Chaide, first published in 1592, after the death of its author. It
is a religious work, and is divided into four parts; the first being
merely introductory, and the three others on the three characters
of Mary Magdalen as a sinner, a penitent, and a saint. It has a
very rhetorical air throughout, and sometimes reads almost like a
romance;--so free is its conception of the character and conversations
of the saint. But some of its discussions, like one on fashionable
dress, and one on religious pictures, are curious; and some of its
religious exhortations, like that to repent before old age comes on,
are moving and powerful. The moral tone of the whole is severe. With a
great deal of the spirit of a monk, the author is earnest against books
of chivalry; and he not only rebukes the habit of reading the ancient
classics, but even such Spanish poets as Garcilasso de la Vega, because
he thinks admiration of them inconsistent with a preservation of the
Christian character. Occasionally, he grows mystical; and then, though
his style is more than ever prodigal, his meaning is not always plain.
But, on the whole, and regarded as an exhortation to a religious life,
the Conversion of Mary Magdalen is written with so much richness of
language, and is often so eloquent, that it was much read when it first
appeared, and has not, even in recent times, ceased to be reprinted and

  [240] Malon de Chaide was an Augustinian monk, and Professor
  at Salamanca; and there are editions of his Magdalen of 1592,
  Alcalá, 12mo, of 1596, 1603, 1794, etc. A somewhat similar
  book had preceded it, “The History of the Queen of Sheba, when
  she discoursed with King Solomon in Jerusalem.” It was written
  by another Augustinian monk, Alonso de Horosco, a somewhat
  voluminous writer, and was printed at Salamanca, in 1568, 12mo.
  But it is little more than a collection of ordinary sermons, some
  of which do not mention the Queen of Sheba at all, and is to be
  regarded only as a courtly offering to Isabella, wife of Philip
  II., whose chaplain Horosco was.

Quite different from this is “The Amusing Journey” of Roxas,--a book
that hardly falls within the strict limits of any class, but one which
has always been popular in Spain. Its author was an actor; and his
travels consist of an account of some of his personal adventures and
experiences, thrown into the form of dialogues between three of his
fellow-comedians and himself, as they visit some of the principal
cities of Spain in the exercise of their profession as strolling
players. They travel on foot; and their conversations, which are little
molested by scruples of any sort, make up a very amusing book.

In some parts of it, we have sketches of the places they visit, with
notices of the local history belonging to each. In others, Roxas
himself, in a spirit that not unfrequently reminds us of Gil Blas,
relates his own previous adventures, as a soldier, as a captive in
France, and as a play-actor at home. In yet others, we have fictions,
or what seem to be such, and among them, the story on which Shakspeare
founded his Christopher Sly and the Induction to “The Taming of the
Shrew.” But, in general, it is rather an account of what relates to
the theatre and the affairs of the four gay companions at Seville,
Toledo, Segovia, Valladolid, Granada, and on the roads between all of
them, interspersed with forty or fifty _loas_, which Roxas wrote with
recognized success, and of which he is evidently very proud. It is a
pleasant book, loosely and carelessly put together, but important for
the history of the Spanish drama, and with talent enough to attract
the attention of Scarron, who took from it the hint for his “Roman
Comique.” From internal evidence, “The Amusing Journey” was written in
1602, and, at the end, a continuation is announced; but, like so many
other promises of the same sort in Spanish literature, it was never

  [241] An edition of 1583 is cited by Antonio, (Bib. Nov., Tom. I.
  p. 178,) but this cannot be. See Viage, Madrid, 1640, 12mo, f.
  66. a. The first edition must be that of Madrid, 1603, cited in
  the Index Expurgatorius, 1667, where it is roughly handled, but
  since which it has been often reprinted. Clemencin, (Don Quixote,
  Tom. III. p. 395,) when speaking of Spanish actors, rightly calls
  the Viage of Roxas “libro magistral en la materia.” Another
  work, imputed to Roxas, which I have never seen, called “El Buen
  Repúblico,” was wholly prohibited.

Perhaps the work of Roxas served, also, as a hint for the “Pasagero,”
or Traveller, of Suarez de Figueroa. At any rate, the well-known author
of the “Amarillis,” published in 1617, a half-narrative, half-didactic
work with this title, containing ten long discussions, on a great
variety of subjects, held by four persons, as they journey from Madrid
to Barcelona, in order to embark for Italy;--the discussions themselves
being called _alivios_, or rests by the way. The chief conversation
is in the hands of Figueroa, the principal person in his own drama;
and so far as he is concerned, and so far as the discussions relate to
the men of letters of his own time, the Pasagero is somewhat cynical.
His autobiography, which is contained in the eighth dialogue, is
interesting, and so are the ninth and tenth dialogues, in which he
gives his view of the state of Spain at the time he wrote, and the
means of leading an honest and honorable life there. But the most
important conversations are the third, which relates to the theatre,
and the fourth, which is on the popular and courtly mode of preaching.
The whole work is too diffuse in its style, though less declamatory
than much in the didactic prose of the period.[242]

  [242] “El Pasagero, Advertencias utilíssimas á la Vida Humana,
  por el Doctor Christ. Suarez de Figueroa,” Madrid, 1617, 12mo,
  ff. 492. Figueroa also published (Madrid, 1621, 4to) a volume
  of five hundred pages, entitled, “Varias Noticias importantes á
  la Humana Comunicacion,” which he divides into twenty essays,
  entitled “Variedades.” It is less well written than the Pasagero,
  falling more into the faults of the time. The seventeenth
  Essay, however, which is on Domestic Life, with illustrations
  from Spanish history, is pleasant. His “Plaza Universal de las
  Ciencias,” first printed at Madrid, in 1615, 4to, and reprinted
  in folio, with large changes and additions, in 1737, is an
  attempt at a compendium of human knowledge, curious in the first
  edition, as showing the state of knowledge and opinion at that
  time in Spain, but of little value in either.

  A more serious book of travels might here have been added; that
  of Pedro Ordoñez de Cevallos, entitled “Viage del Mundo,” and
  first printed at Madrid, 1614, 4to. It is an agreeable and often
  interesting autobiography of its author, beginning with his birth
  at Jaen and his education at Seville, and giving his travels, for
  thirty-nine years, all over the world, including China, America,
  many parts of Africa, and the northern kingdoms of Europe. Its
  spirit is eminently national, and its style simple and Castilian.

Some of the best portions of the didactic literature of Spain during
the seventeenth century were partly or wholly political. Marquez, a
writer in the old style of the reign of Philip the Second, published
in 1612 his “Christian Governor,” a work composed at the request of
the Duke of Feria, then viceroy of Sicily, and intended to serve as
an answer to Machiavelli’s “Prince.”[243] Vera y Zuñiga, author of a
strange epic on the conquest of Seville, who was a better minister of
Philip the Third than he was poet, published in 1620 a treatise, in
four discourses, on the character and duties of an ambassador; full
of learning, and occasionally illustrated with appropriate anecdotes
drawn from Spanish history, but citing indiscriminately books of
authority and no authority on the grave subjects he discusses, and
relying apparently with as much confidence upon an opinion of Ovid
as upon one of Comines.[244] Fernandez de Navarrete, a secretary of
the same monarch, chose his subject a little higher up, and in 1625,
under the disguise of an assumed name, and in a letter to a Polish
prime-minister who never existed, gave the world his notions of what
“a royal favorite” should be; but it is evident that Spain only was in
his thoughts when he wrote, and his little treatise is so encumbered
with ill-assorted learning and ungraceful conceits that it was soon

  [243] “El Governador Christiano, deducido de las Vidas de Moyses
  y Josua, por Juan Marquez.” There are editions of 1612, 1619,
  1634, etc., with translations into Italian and French. The same
  author wrote, also, “Dos Estados de la Espiritual Jerusalem,”
  1603. He was born in 1564, and died in 1621. Capmany (Eloquencia,
  Tom. IV. pp. 103, etc.) praises him highly.

  [244] “El Embaxador, por Don Juan Antonio de Vera y Zuñiga,”
  Sevilla, 1620, 4to, 280 leaves. I have noticed him as an epic
  poet, Vol. II. p. 500.

  [245] “El Perfecto Privado, Carta de Lelio Peregrino á Estanislao
  Bordio, Privado del Rey de Polonia.” It was first printed in
  1625, (Antonio, Bib. Nov.,) but I know it only in a collection
  called “Varios Eloquentes Libros recogidos en uno,” (Madrid,
  1726, 4to,) a volume which, besides the above work of Navarrete,
  contains the “Retrato Político del Rey Alfonso VIII.,” by Gaspar
  Mercader y Cervellon, (see Ximeno, Tom. II. p. 99,) the “Govierno
  Moral” of Polo, noticed, II. 544, III. 111, with some discussions
  which it excited, and the “Lagrimas de Heraclito defendidas,” a
  tract by Antonio de Vieyra, read before Christina of Sweden, at
  Rome, to prove that the world is more worthy of being wept over
  than laughed at; all of them attempts at wisdom and wit in the
  worst taste of their times.

Not so the “Idea of a Christian Prince,” by Saavedra Faxardo, who died
at Madrid in 1648, after having been long in the diplomatic service
of the Spanish crown. It was a higher subject than either of those
taken by Navarrete and Figueroa, and managed with more talent. Under
the awkward arrangement of a hundred ingenious Emblems, with mottoes,
that are generally well chosen and pointed, he has given a hundred
essays on the education of a prince;--his relations with his ministers
and subjects; his duties as the head of a state in its internal and
external relations; and his duties to himself in old age and in
preparation for death;--all intended for the instruction of Balthasar,
son of Philip the Fourth, to whom it is dedicated, but who died too
young to profit by its wisdom. It is written in a compact, sententious
style, with much quaint and curious knowledge of history, and with a
large and not always judicious display of learning. But in many points
it reminds us of Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Cabinet Council” and Owen
Feltham’s “Resolves”;--a measure of praise that can be given to few
such prose works in the Spanish language. Its success was great; nor is
it yet fallen into neglect. The first edition was published in 1640,
at Munster. Many others followed in the course of the century. It was
translated into all the languages of Europe, and, in Spain at least,
has continued to be printed and valued down to our own days.[246]

  [246] “Empresas Políticas, Idea de un Príncipe Christiano, por
  Diego Saavedra Faxardo.” The number of editions is very great,
  and so is that of the translations. There are, I think, two in
  English, one of which is by Sir J. Astry, London, 1700, 2 vols.
  8vo. A Latin version which appeared at Brussels in 1640, the year
  in which the original Spanish appeared at Munster, has also been

“The Divine Politics” of Quevedo, a part of which was published before
the Christian Prince and a part after it, may have suggested his
subject to Saavedra, but not the mode of treating it; and, in the same
way, the great satirist may have had some influence in determining
Antonio de Vega, the Portuguese, to write his “Political Dream of a
Perfect Nobleman,” in 1620;[247] Nieremberg, the Jesuit, to write his
“Manual for Gentlemen and Princes,” which appeared in 1629;[248] and
Benavente, his “Advice for Kings, Princes, and Ambassadors,” which
appeared in 1643.[249] But none of these works, nor any thing else in
the nature of didactic prose that appeared in the seventeenth century,
is equal to the Christian Prince of Saavedra; unless, indeed, we are
to except his own vision of a state, which he calls “The Literary
Republic,” and in which he discusses somewhat satirically, but in a
vein of agreeable criticism, the merits of the principal writers of
ancient and modern times, foreign and Spanish. The Literary Republic,
however, was not published till after its author’s death, and never
enjoyed a popularity like that enjoyed by his longer and elder work;
a work which leaves far behind every thing in the class of books of
emblems, that so long served to tax the ingenuity of the higher classes
of society in Europe.[250]

  [247] “El Perfeto Señor, etc., de Antonio Lopez de Vega,” 1626
  and 1652, the latter, Madrid, 4to. He published, also, (Madrid,
  1641, 4to,) a series of moral Dialogues, on various subjects
  connected with Rank, Wealth, and Letters, under the title of
  “Heraclito y Demócrito de nuestro Siglo,” and giving the opposite
  views of each, which the names of the interlocutors imply; a book
  that affords sketches of manners and opinions at the time it was
  written, that are often amusing, and generally delivered in an
  unaffected style. The poetry of Antonio de Vega has been noticed,
  II. 529.

  [248] “Obras y Dias, Manual de Señores y Príncipes, por Juan
  Eusebio Nieremberg,” Madrid, 1629, 4to, ff. 220. His father
  and mother were Germans, who came to Spain with the Empress
  of Austria, Doña Maria, but he himself was born at Madrid in
  1595, and died there in 1658. Antonio (Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p.
  686) and Baena (Tom. III. p. 190) give long lists of his works,
  chiefly in Latin. The “Contemplations on the State of Man,”
  published in 1684, seventeen years after the death of Jeremy
  Taylor, _as his work_, turns out to have been substantially
  taken from a treatise of Nieremberg, first published as early
  as 1654, and entitled “Diferencia de lo Temporal y Eterno”; the
  “Contemplations,” however, being a _rifacimento_ of an English
  translation of the work of Nieremberg, by Sir Vivian Mullineaux,
  published in 1672. (See an interesting pamphlet on this subject,
  “Letter to Joshua Watson, Esq., etc., by Edw. Churton, M. A.,
  Archdeacon of Cleveland,” London, 1848, 8vo.) Why the fraud
  was not earlier detected, since Heber and others had noted the
  difference between the style of this work and that of Bishop
  Taylor’s works generally, it is difficult to tell. The treatise
  of Nieremberg has always been valued in Spanish, and, besides
  being early translated into Latin, Italian, French, and English,
  was published in Arabic in 1733-34, at the Convent of St. John,
  on the Mountain of the Druses. See Brunet.

  [249] “Advertencias para Reyes, Príncipes, y Embaxadores, por Don
  Christóval de Benavente y Benavides,” Madrid, 1643, 4to, pp. 700.
  It a good deal resembles the “Embaxador” of Vera y Zuñiga; and,
  like the author of that work, Benavente had been an ambassador of
  Spain in other countries, and wrote on the subject of what may
  be considered to have been his profession with experience and
  curious learning.

  [250] His “República Literaria” is a light work, in the manner
  of Lucian, written with great purity of language, and was not
  printed till 1670. A spirited dialogue between Mercury and
  Lucian, on “The Follies of Europe,” in which Saavedra defends the
  House of Austria against the attacks of the rest of the world,
  remained in manuscript till it was produced, in 1787, in the
  sixth volume of the Seminario Erudito.

To these writers of the end of the sixteenth and the first half of the
seventeenth century a few more might be added, of less consequence.
Juan de Guzman, in 1589, published a formal treatise on Rhetoric, in
the seventh dialogue of which he makes an ingenious application of
the rules of the Greek and Roman masters to the demands of modern
sermonizing in Spain.[251] Gracian Dantisco, one of the secretaries of
Philip the Second, published in 1599 a small discourse on the minor
morals of life, which he called the “Galateo,” in imitation of Giovanni
della Casa, whose classical Italian treatise bearing the same name
was already translated into Spanish.[252] In the same year appeared a
curious work by Pedro de Andrada, on “The Art of Horsemanship,” well
written and learned, with amusing anecdotes of horses; and this was
followed, in 1605, by a similar treatise of Simon de Villalobos, but
one which, from its more military character, and from the exaggerated
importance it gives to its subject, might well have been made a part
of Don Quixote’s library.[253] Both of them bear marks of the state of
society at the time they were written.

  [251] “Primera Parte de la Rhetórica, etc., por Juan de Guzman,”
  Alcalá, 1590, 12mo, 291 leaves. It is divided affectedly into
  fourteen “Combites,” or Invitations to Feasts. Its author was a
  pupil of the famous Sanctius, “El Brocense.”

  [252] The “Galateo” was several times reprinted. It is a small
  book, containing, in the edition of Madrid, 1664, only 126 leaves
  in 18mo. Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. II. p. 17.

  [253] “Libro de la Gineta de España, por Pedro Fernandez de
  Andrada,” Sevilla, 1599, 4to, 182 leaves.--“Modo de pelear á la
  Gineta, por Simon de Villalobos,” Valladolid, 1605, 18mo, 70

Paton, the author of several works of little value, published, in
1604, a crude treatise on “The Art of Spanish Eloquence,” founded on
the rules of the ancients;[254] and, in Mexico, Aleman, while living
there, printed, in 1609, a treatise on “Castilian Orthography,” which,
besides what is appropriate to the title, contains pleasant discussions
on other topics connected with the language, over which he has himself
shown a great mastery in his “Guzman de Alfarache.”[255] A series of
conversations on miscellaneous subjects, divided into seven nights,
which their author, Faria y Sousa, intended to have called simply
“Moral Dialogues,” but which his bookseller, without his knowledge,
published in 1624 with the title of “Brilliant Nights,” are dull and
pedantic, like nearly every thing this learned Portuguese wrote; and
the second part, which he offered to the public, was never called
for.[256] And, finally, another Portuguese, Francisco de Portugal, who
died in 1632,[257] wrote a pleasant treatise on “The Art of Gallantry,”
with anecdotes showing the state of fashionable, or rather courtly,
society at the time; but it was not printed till long after its
author’s death.[258]

  [254] “Eloquencia Española en Arte, por el Maestro Bartolomé
  Ximenez Paton,” Toledo, 1604, 12mo. The extracts from old
  Spanish books and hints about their authors, in this treatise,
  are often valuable; but how wise its practical suggestions are
  may be inferred from the fact, that it recommends an orator to
  strengthen his memory by anointing his head with a compound made
  chiefly of bear’s grease and white wax.

  [255] “Ortografía Castellana, por Mateo Aleman,” Mexico, 1609,
  4to, 83 leaves.

  [256] “Noches Claras, Primera Parte, por Manoel de Faria y
  Sousa,” Madrid, 1624, 12mo, a thick volume. Barbosa, Tom. III. p.

  [257] Francisco de Portugal, Count Vimioso, left a son, who
  published his father’s poetry with a life prefixed, but I know no
  edition of the “Arte de Galantería,” etc., earlier than that of
  Lisbon, 1670, 4to.

  [258] Before we come into the period when bad taste overwhelmed
  every thing, we should slightly refer to a few authors who were
  not infected by it, and who yet are not of importance enough to
  be introduced into the text.

  The first of them is Diego de Estella, who was born in 1524, and
  died in 1578. He was much connected with the great diplomatist,
  Cardinal Granvelle, and published many works in Latin and
  Spanish, the best of which, as to style and manner, are “The
  Vanity of the World,” 1574, and “Meditations on the Love of God,”

  Several treatises in the form of biography, but really ascetic
  and didactic in their character, were published soon afterwards,
  which are written with some purity and vigor; such as the Life
  of Pius V., (1595,) by Antonio Fuenmayor, who died at the early
  age of thirty; the Life of Santa Teresa, (1599,) by Diego de
  Yepes, one of her correspondents, and the confessor of the last
  dark years of Philip II.; and the Lives of two devout women, Doña
  Sancha Carillo, and Doña Ana Ponce de Leon, (1604,) by Martin de
  Roa, a Jesuit, who long represented the interests of his Society
  at the court of Rome.

  To these may be added three other works of very different

  The “Examen de Ingenios,” or How to determine, from the Physical
  and External Condition, who are fit for Training in the Sciences,
  by Juan de Huarte, (Alcalá, 1640, 12mo, first published in 1566,)
  is one of them. It enjoyed a prodigious reputation in its time,
  was often published in Spanish, and was translated into all the
  principal languages of Europe; into English by Richard Carew,
  1594; and, as late as the middle of the eighteenth century,
  into German by a person no less distinguished than Lessing,
  whose version, entitled “Prüfung der Köpfe,” was printed for
  the second time at Wittenberg, 1785, 12mo. It is a work full of
  striking, but often wild, conjectures in physiology, written in
  a forcible, clear style, and Lessing aptly compares its author
  to a spirited horse, that, in galloping over the stones, never
  strikes fire so brilliantly as he does when he stumbles. It is
  praised by Forner, (Obras, Madrid, 1843, 8vo, Tom. I. p. 61,)
  and is on the Index Expurgatorius of 1667, p. 734. The “Examen
  de Maridos,” a spirited play of Alarcon, (see, _ante_, II. 322,)
  and the “Vexamen de Ingenios,” a lively prose satire of Cancer,
  (Obras, 1761, p. 105,) were, I suppose, understood by their
  contemporaries to have reference to the title of the “Examen de
  Ingenios,” then very popular. A work not unlike the “Examen de
  Ingenios” appeared at Barcelona, (1637, 4to,) entitled “El Sol
  Solo, etc., y Anatomía de Ingenios,” taking a view of the same
  subject more in the nature of Physiognomy, and not without an
  approach to what has since been called Phrenology. It was written
  by Estevan Pujasol, an Aragonese; and is curious for its manner
  of treating the subjects it discusses,--half anatomical, half
  spiritual; but is not otherwise interesting.

  The second is the “Historia Moral y Philosóphica” of Pero Sanchez
  of Toledo, published at Toledo, 1590, folio, when its author,
  who was connected with the cathedral there, was already an old
  man. It consists of the Lives of distinguished men of antiquity,
  like Plato, Alexander, and Cicero, and ends with a treatise
  on Death;--each of the Lives being accompanied by moral and
  Christian reflections, which are sometimes written in a flowing
  and fervent style, but are rarely appropriate, and never original
  or powerful.

  The last is by Vincencio Carducho, a Florentine painter, who,
  when quite a boy, was brought to Spain in 1585, by his brother
  Bartolomé, and died there in 1638, having risen to considerable
  eminence in his art. In 1634, he published, at Madrid, “Diálogos
  de la Pintura, su Defensa, Orígen,” etc. (4to, 229 leaves);
  but the _licencias_ are dated 1632 and 1633. It is written in
  good plain prose, without particular merit as to style, and is
  declared by Cean Bermudez, (Diccionario, Tom. I. p. 251,) in
  his notice of the author, to be “el mejor libro que tenemos de
  pintura en Castellano.” At the end is an Appendix, in which are
  attacks of Lope de Vega, Juan de Jauregui, and others, on a duty
  laid upon pictures, which, Cean Bermudez says, “the efforts of
  Carducho and his friends succeeded in removing in 1637.”

During the period embraced by the works last mentioned, a false taste
had invaded Spanish prose. It was the same unhappy taste which we have
noticed in Spanish poetry by the name of “Gongorism,” but which its
admirers called sometimes “the polite,” and sometimes “the cultivated,”
style of writing. Traces of it have been sought in the sixteenth
century among some of the best writers of the country; but for this
there seems no foundation, except in the fact, that a rigorous taste
never at any time prevailed in Spain, and that the luxuriant success
of letters towards the end of the reign of Philip the Second, and
the consequent difficulty of obtaining fashionable distinction by
authorship, had led to occasional affectations even in the style of
those who, like Cervantes and Mariana, stood foremost among the better
writers of their time.

But now, the admiration that followed Góngora almost necessarily
introduced conceits into prose writing, such as were thought so worthy
of imitation in poetry. Those, therefore, who most coveted public
favor, began to play with words, and seek to surprise by an unexpected
opposition of ideas and quaintness of metaphor, little consistent with
the old Castilian dignity, until at last they quite left the stately
constructions in which resides so much of what is peculiar to the
sonorous declamations of Luis de Leon and Luis de Granada, and by
excessive efforts at brilliancy became so involved and obscure, that
they were not always intelligible. Instances of such affectation may
be found in Saavedra and Francisco de Portugal. But the innovation
itself is older than either of their published works. It broke out with
Paravicino, who, besides imitating Góngora’s poetry, as we have already
seen, carried similar extravagances of metaphor and construction into
his oratorical and didactic prose; intimating, in a characteristic
phrase, that he claimed the honor of being the Columbus who had made
this great discovery. As early as 1620, it was matter of censure
and ridicule to Liñan, in his “Guide to Strangers in Madrid,” and
soon afterwards to Mateo Velazquez, in his “Village Philosopher”; so
that from this period we may consider _cultismo_ nearly or quite as
prevalent in Spanish prose as it was in Spanish poetry.[259]

  [259] See Declamacion, etc., of Vargas y Ponce, 1793, App., § 17;
  Marina, Ensayo, in Memorias de la Acad. de Hist., Tom. IV., 1804;
  Liñan y Verdugo, Avisos de Forasteros, 1620, noticed (_ante_, p.
  103) under the head of Romantic Fiction; and “El Filosofo del
  Aldea, y sus Conversaciones Familiares, su Autor el Alferez Don
  Baltazar Mateo Velazquez,” Zaragoza, por Diego de Ormer, 12mo,
  106 leaves, s. a.; a singular book, didactic in its main purpose,
  but illustrating with stories its homely philosophy. I find no
  notice of it, though the author, in his Dedication, intimates
  that it is not his first published work. It seems to have been
  written soon after the death of Philip III. in 1621, and its last
  dialogue is against _cultismo_, of the introduction of which into
  Spanish prose I have spoken when noticing the “Pícara Justina” of
  Andreas Perez, 1605, _ante_, p. 67.

The person, however, who settled its character, and in some respects
gave it an air of philosophical pretension, was Balthazar Gracian, a
Jesuit of Aragon, who lived between 1601 and 1658; exactly the period
when the cultivated style took possession of Spanish prose, and rose to
its greatest consideration. He began in 1630, by a tract called “The
Hero,” which is not so much the description of a hero’s character
as it is a recipe to form one, given in short, compact sentences,
constructed in the new style. It was successful, and was followed by
five or six other works, written in the same manner; after which, to
confirm and justify them all, there appeared, in 1648, his “Agudeza
y Arte de Ingenio”; a regular Art of Poetry, or rather system of
rhetoric, accommodated to the school of Góngora, and showing great
acuteness, especially in the ingenuity with which the author presses
into his service the elder poets, such as Diego de Mendoza, the
Argensolas, and even Luis de Leon and the Bachiller de la Torre.

The most remarkable work of Gracian, however, is his “Críticon,”
published in three parts, between 1650 and 1653. It is an allegory on
human life, and gives us the adventures of Critilus, a noble Spaniard,
wrecked on the desert island of Saint Helena, where he finds a solitary
savage, who knows nothing about himself, except that he has been nursed
by a wild beast. After much communication in dumb show, they are able
to understand each other in Spanish, and, being taken from the island,
travel together through the world, talking often of the leading men
of their time in Spain, but holding intercourse more with allegorical
personages than with one another. The story of their adventures is
long, and its three portions represent the three periods of human
life; the first being called the Spring of Childhood, the second the
Autumn of Manhood, and the third the Winter of Old Age. In some parts
it shows much talent; and eloquent discussions on moral subjects, and
glowing descriptions of events and natural scenery, can be taken from
it, which are little infected with the extravagances of the Cultivated
Style. Sometimes, we are reminded of the “Pilgrim’s Progress,”--as, for
instance, in the scenes of the World’s Fair,--and might almost say,
that the “Críticon” is to the Catholic religion and the notions of life
in Spain during the reign of Philip the Fourth, what Bunyan’s fiction
is to Puritanism and the English character in the age of Cromwell. But
there is no vitality in the shadowy personages of Gracian. He bodies
nothing forth to which our sympathies can attach themselves as they
do to such sharply-defined creations as Christian and Mr. Greatheart,
and, when we are moved at all by him, it is only by his acuteness and

His other works are of little value, and are yet more deformed by bad
taste; especially his “Politico-Fernando,” which is an extravagant
eulogium on Ferdinand the Catholic, and his “Discreto,” which is a
collection of prose miscellanies, including a few of his letters. It
is singular, that, in consequence of being an ecclesiastic, he thought
it proper that all his works should be printed under the name of his
brother Lorenzo, who lived at Seville; and it is yet more singular,
perhaps, that they were published, not by himself, but by his friend,
Lastañosa, a gentleman of literary taste, and a collector of ancient
works of art, who lived at Huesca in Aragon. But however indirectly
and cautiously the works of Gracian won their way into the world, they
enjoyed great favor there, and made much noise. His “Hero” went early
through six editions, and his collected prose works, most of which were
translated into French and Italian, and some of them into English and
Latin, were often reprinted in the original Spanish, both at home and

  [260] There are editions of Gracian’s Works, 1664, 1667, 1725,
  1748, 1757, 1773, etc. I use that of Barcelona, 1748, 2 tom. 4to.
  His Life is in Latassa, Bib. Nueva, Tom. III. pp. 267, etc., and
  a pleasant account both of him and of his friend Lastañosa is
  to be found in Aarsens, Voyage d’Espagne, 1667, p. 294, and in
  the dedication to Lastañosa of the first edition of Quevedo’s
  “Fortuna con Seso,” 1650. His poem on “The Four Seasons,”
  generally printed at the end of his Works, is, I believe, the
  worst of them; certainly it would be difficult to find much in
  any language more absurd and extravagant in its false taste.

From this period, the rich old prose style of Luis de Leon and
his contemporaries may be said to have been driven out of Spanish
literature. Lope de Vega and Quevedo, after resisting the innovations
of _cultismo_ for a time, had long before yielded, and Calderon was
now alternately assailing the depraved taste of his audiences and
gratifying it by running into extravagances almost as great as those
he ridiculed. The language of the most affected poetry passed into the
prose of the age, and took from it the power and dignity which, even
in its more declamatory portions, had constituted its prominent merit.
Style became fantastic, and the very thoughts that were to be conveyed
were not unfrequently covered up with ingenuities of illustration till
they disappeared. In the phrase of Sancho, men wanted better bread
than could be made of wheat, and rendered themselves ridiculous by
attempting to obtain it. Tropes and figures of all kinds were settled
into formulas of speech, and then were repeated appropriately and
inappropriately, till the reader could often anticipate, from the
beginning of a sentence, how it would inevitably end. Every thing,
indeed, in prose composition, as in poetry, announced that corrupted
taste which both precedes and hastens the decay of a literature; and
which, in the case of Spain during the latter half of the seventeenth
century, was but the concomitant of a general decline in the arts and
the gradual degradation of the monarchy.

Among those who wrote best, though still infected with the prevailing
influences, was Zabaleta. His “Moral Problems” and “Famous Errors,”
but especially his “Feast Days at Madrid,” in which he gives lively
satirical sketches of the manners of the metropolis at those periods
when idleness brings the people into the streets and places of
amusement, are worth reading. But he lived in the reign of Philip
the Fourth; and so did Lozano, whose different ascetic works on the
character of King David, if not so good as his historical romance on
the New Kings of Toledo, are better than any thing else of the kind
in the same period. They are, however, the last that can be read. The
reign of Charles the Second does not offer examples even so favorable
as these of the remains and ruins of a better taste. “The Labors of
Hercules,” by Heredia, in 1682, and the “Moral Essays on Boëthius,” by
Ramirez, in 1698, if they serve for nothing else, serve at least to
mark the ultimate limits of dulness and affectation. Indeed, if it were
not for the History of Solís, which has been already noticed, we should
look in vain for an instance of respectable prose composition after
this last and most degenerate descendant of the House of Austria had
mounted the Spanish throne.[261]

  [261] Juan de Zabaleta flourished as an author from 1653 to 1667;
  and his works, which were soon collected, have been frequently
  printed, 1667, Madrid, 1728, 4to, 1754, etc. (Baena, Tom. III.
  p. 227.)--Christóval Lozano (noticed, pp. 91, 108) was known as
  an author from 1656, by his “David Arrepentido,” to which he
  afterwards added his “David Perseguido,” in three volumes, and
  yet another work on the subject of David’s Example illustrated by
  the Light of Christianity; all of little value.--Juan Francisco
  Fernandez de Heredia wrote “Trabajos y Afanes de Hercules,”
  Madrid, 1682, 4to. He makes it a kind of book of emblems, but it
  is one of the worst of its conceited class. Latassa (Bib. Nov.,
  Tom. IV. p. 3) notices him.

  Of Antonio Perez Ramirez, I know only the “Armas contra la
  Fortuna,” (Madrid, 1698, 4to,) which is a translation of
  Boëthius, with dissertations in the worst possible taste
  interspersed between its several divisions.

  One other author might, perhaps, have been placed at the side of
  Lozano,--Joseph de la Vega,--who published (at Amsterdam in 1688,
  12mo) three dialogues, entitled, “Confusion de Confusiones,” to
  ridicule the passion for stockjobbing which came in with the
  Dutch East India Company, in 1602, and was then at the height
  of its frenzy. They are somewhat encumbered with learning, but
  contain anecdotes, ancient and modern, very well told. The author
  was a rich Jew of Antwerp, who had fled thither from Spain, and
  published several works between 1683 and 1693, but none, I think,
  of much value. Amador de los Rios, Judíos Españoles, p. 633.

Nor is this remarkable. On the contrary, it is rather to be considered
worthy of notice, that didactic prose should have had any merit or
obtained any success in Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. For the end it proposes is not, like that of poetry, to
amuse, but, like that of philosophy, to enlighten and amend; and how
dangerous in Spain was the social position of any teacher or moral
monitor, who claimed for himself that degree of independence of opinion
without which instruction becomes a dead form, needs not now to be set
forth. Few persons, in that unhappy country, were surrounded with more
difficulties; none were more strictly watched, or, if they wandered
from the permitted paths, were more severely punished.

Nor was it possible for such persons, by the most notorious earnestness
in their convictions of the just control of the religion of the state,
or any degree of faithfulness in their loyalty, to avoid sometimes
falling under the rebuke of the jealousy that watched each step of
their course; a fact sufficiently apparent, when we recollect that
nearly all the didactic writers of merit during this period, such as
Juan de Avila, Luis de Leon, Luis de Granada, Quevedo, San Juan de la
Cruz, and Santa Teresa, were persecuted by the Inquisition or by the
government, and the works of every one of them expurgated or forbidden.

Under such oppression, free and eloquent writers,--men destined
to teach and advance their generation,--could not be expected to
appear, and the few who ventured into ways so dangerous dwelt as
much as possible in generals, and became mystical, like Juan de la
Cruz, or extravagant and declamatory, like Luis de Granada. Nearly
all,--strictly prevented from using the logic of a wise and liberal
philosophy,--fell into pedantry, from an anxious desire, wherever it
was possible, to lean upon authority; so that, from Luis de Leon down
to the most ordinary writer, who, in a prefatory letter of approbation,
wished to give currency to the opinions of a friend, no man seemed to
feel at ease unless he could justify and sustain what he had to say
by citations from the Scriptures, the fathers of the Church, and the
ancient and scholastic philosophers. Thus, Spanish didactic prose,
which, from its original elements and tendencies, seemed destined to
wear the attractions of an elevated and eloquent style, gradually
became so formal, awkward, and pedantic, that, with a few striking
exceptions, it can only be said to have maintained a doubtful and
difficult existence during the long period when the less suspected and
less oppressed portions of the literature of the country--its drama and
its lyric poetry--were in the meridian of their success.



It is impossible to study with care the Spanish literature of the
seventeenth century, and not feel that we are in the presence of a
general decay of the national character. At every step, as we advance,
the number of writers that surround us is diminished. In what crowds
they were gathered together during the reigns of Philip the Second
and Philip the Third, we may see in the long lists of poets given by
Cervantes in his “Galatea” and his “Journey to Parnassus,” and by Lope
de Vega in his “Laurel of Apollo.” But in the reign of Philip the
Fourth, though the theatre, from accidental circumstances, flourished
more than ever, the other departments showed symptoms of decline; and
in the reign of Charles the Second, wherever we turn, the number of
authors sinks away, till it is obvious that some great change must take
place, or elegant literature in Spain will speedily become extinct.

The public interest, too, in the few writers that remained, was gone.
At least, that general, national interest, which alone can sustain the
life it alone can give to the literature of any country, was no longer
there; and all the favor, that Spanish poets and men of letters enjoyed
at the end of the century, came from the court and the superficial
fashion of the time, which patronized the affected style of those
followers of Góngora, whose bad taste seemed to go on increasing in
extravagance, as talent among them grew more rare.

Every thing, meanwhile, announced, that the great foundations of the
national character were giving way on all sides; and that the failing
literature of the country was only one of the phases and signs of the
coming overthrow of its institutions. The decay which was so visible
on the surface of things had, however, long mined unseen beneath what
had been thought a period of extraordinary security and glory. Charles
the Fifth, while, on the one side, by the war of the _Comuneros_, he
had crushed nearly all of political liberty that Cardinal Ximenes had
left in the old constitutions of Castile, had given, on the other, by
his magnificent foreign conquests, a false direction to the character
of his people at home;--both tending alike to waste away that vigor
and independence which the Moorish wars had nourished in the hearts
of the nation, and which had so long constituted its real strength.
Philip the Second had been less successful than his father in his
great labors to advance the permanent prosperity of the monarchy. He
had, indeed, added Portugal and the Philippine Islands to his empire,
which now comprehended above a hundred millions of human beings, and
seemed to threaten the interests of all the rest of Europe. But such
doubtful benefits were heavily overbalanced by the religious rebellion
of the Netherlands, the fatal source of unnumbered mischiefs; by the
exhausting wars with Elizabeth of England and Henry the Fourth of
France; by the contempt for labor, that followed the extraordinary
prevalence of a spirit of military adventure, and broke down the
industry of the country; by the vast increase of the ecclesiastical
institutions, which created a ruinous amount of pensioned idleness;
and by the wasteful luxury brought in with the gold of America,
which seemed to corrupt whatever it touched; so that, when that wary
prince died, he left an impoverished people, whose energies he had
overstrained and impaired by his despotism, and whose character he had
warped and misdirected by his unrelenting and unscrupulous bigotry.[262]

  [262] There is a remarkable paper, in the sixth volume of
  the “Seminario Erudito,” on the causes of the decline of
  Spain;--remarkable because, though written in the reign of
  Philip IV., by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, an ecclesiastic of
  rank, whom Charles III. afterwards asked to have canonized, it
  yet attributes the origin of the prostration under which Spain
  suffered in his time mainly to the war with the Netherlands.

His successor, feeble-minded and superstitious, was neither able
to repair the results of such mischiefs, nor to contend with the
difficulties they entailed upon his country. The power of the clergy,
grown enormous by the favor of Philip the Second and the consolidated
influence of the Jesuits, continued to gain strength, as it were of
itself; and, under the direct persuasions of this mighty hierarchy,
nearly six hundred thousand descendants of Moors--who, though
preserving, as their fathers had done for a century, the external
appearances of Christianity, were yet suspected of being Mohammedans at
heart--were now, by a great crime of state, expelled from the land of
their birth; a crime followed by injuries to the agriculture and wealth
of the South of Spain, and indeed of the whole country, from which they
have never recovered.[263]

  [263] There is a great discrepancy in the accounts of the number
  of Moriscos expelled from Spain, 1609-11,--several making it
  a million, and one reducing it so low as a hundred and sixty
  thousand. But, whatever may have been the number expelled,
  all accounts agree as to the disastrous effects produced on a
  population already decaying by the loss of so many persons, who
  had long been the most skilful manufacturers and agriculturists
  in the kingdom; effects to which the many _despoblados_ noted
  on our recent maps of Spain still bear melancholy testimony.
  (Clemencin, Notes to Don Quixote, Parte II. c. 54.) In stating
  six hundred thousand to have been the number driven out, I have
  taken the reckoning of Circourt, (Tom. III. p. 103,) which seems
  made with care.

  These unhappy persons had among them a good deal of Castilian
  culture, whose traces still remain in manuscripts, which, like
  that of the old poem of Joseph, already described, (Period I.
  chap. 5,) are composed in Spanish, but are written throughout
  in the Arabic character. Of parts of two such manuscripts I
  possess copies, through the kindness of Don Pascual de Gayangos.
  The first is a poem written in 1603, and entitled, “Discourse
  on the Light, and Descent, and Lineage of our Chief and Blessed
  Prophet, Mohammed Çalam, composed and compiled by his Servant,
  who most needs his Pardon, Mohammed Rabadan, a Native of Rueda,
  on the River Xalon.” It is divided into eight Histories, of which
  I possess the fourth, entitled, “History of Hexim,” who was one
  of the ancestors of the Prophet. It contains above two thousand
  lines in the short, Castilian ballad measure, and is remarkably
  Arabic and Mohammedan in its general tone, though with occasional
  allusions to the Greek mythology. It is, too, not without
  poetical merit, as in the following lines, which open the second
  canto, and describe the auspicious morning of Hexim’s marriage.

      Al tiempo que el alba bella
      Enseña su rostro alegre,
      Y, rompiendo las tinieblas,
      Su clara luz resplandece,
      Dando las nuevas que el dia
      En su seguimiento viene,
      Y el roxo Apolo tras ella,
      Dexando los campos verdes;
      Quando las aves nocturnas
      Se recogen en su albergue,
      Y las que la luz gobiernan
      El delgado viento hienden;
      Quando los hombres despiertan
      Y el pesado sueño vencen,
      Para dar á su Hacedor
      El debito que le deben;--
      En este tiempo la compañia
      Del hijo de Abdulmunef
      Se levantan y aperciben
      Al casamiento solemne.

  In the preface to the whole poem, the author says Allah alone
  knows how much labor it has cost him to collect the manuscripts
  necessary for his task, “scattered,” he adds, “as they were, all
  over Spain, and lost and hidden through fear of the Inquisition.”

  The other work to which I refer is chiefly in prose, and is
  anonymous. Its author says he was driven from Spain in 1610,
  and was landed at Tunis with above three thousand of his
  unhappy countrymen, who, through the long abode of their race
  in a Christian land and under the fierce persecutions of the
  Inquisition, had not only so lost a knowledge of the rites
  and ceremonies of their religion, that it was necessary to
  indoctrinate them like children, but had so lost all proper
  knowledge of the Arabic, that it was necessary to do it through
  the Castilian. The Bashaw of Tunis, therefore, sent for the
  author, and commanded him to write a book in Castilian, for the
  instruction of these singular neophytes. He did so, and produced
  the present work, which he called “Mumin,” or the Believer in
  Allah; a word which he uses to signify a city populous and
  fortified, which is attacked by the Vices and defended by the
  Virtues of the Mohammedan religion, and in which one of the
  personages relates a history of his own life, adventures, and
  sufferings; all so given as to instruct, sometimes by direct
  precept and sometimes by example, the newly arrived Moriscos in
  their duties and faith. It is, of course, partly allegorical
  and romantic. Its air is often Arabic, and so is its style
  occasionally; but some of its scenes are between lovers at grated
  windows, as if in a Castilian city, and it is interspersed with
  Castilian poems by Montemayor, Góngora, and the Argensolas, with,
  perhaps, some by the author himself, who seems to have been a man
  of cultivation and of a gentle spirit. Of this manuscript I have
  eighty pages,--about a fifth of the whole.

  Further notices on the Morisco-Spanish literature may be
  found in an account by the Orientalist, Silvestre de Sacy, of
  two manuscripts in France, like those just described (Ochoa,
  Manuscritos Españoles, 1844, pp. 6-21); but a more ample and
  satisfactory discussion of it occurs in a learned article in the
  British and Foreign Review, January, 1839.

  It should be remembered that _Morisco_ was substituted for
  _Moro_, after the overthrow of the Moorish power in Spain, as an
  expression of the contempt with which the Christian Spaniards
  have never ceased to pursue their old conquerors and hated
  enemies, from the time of the fall of Granada to the present day.

  Encouraged by the expulsion of the Jews, in 1492, and by that
  of the Moors, in 1609-11, Don Sancho de Moncada, a professor in
  the University of Toledo, addressed Philip III., in a discourse
  published in 1619, urging that monarch to drive out the Gypsies.
  But he failed. His discourse is in Hidalgo, “Romances de
  Germania,” (Madrid, 1779, 8vo,) and is translated by Borrow, in
  his remarkable work on the Gypsies (London, 1841, 8vo, Vol. I.
  chap. xi.). Salazar de Mendoza, at the end of his “Dignidades
  de Castilla,” published in 1618, says he had himself prepared a
  memorial to the same effect, for driving out the Gypsies; and he
  adds, in a true Castilian spirit, that “it is being over-nice to
  tolerate such a pernicious and perverse race.”

The easy, gay selfishness of Philip the Fourth, and the open profligacy
of his ministers, gave increased activity to the causes that were
hastening on the threatened ruin. Catalonia broke out into rebellion;
Jamaica was seized by the English; Roussillon was ceded to France;
Portugal, which had never been heartily incorporated into the
monarchy, resumed her ancient place among the independent nations of
the earth;--every thing, in short, showed how the external relations
of the state were disturbed and endangered. Its internal condition,
meanwhile, was no less shaken. The coin, notwithstanding the wise
warnings of Mariana, had been adulterated anew; the taxes had been
shamelessly increased, while the interest on the ever-growing public
debt was dishonestly diminished. Men, everywhere, began to be alarmed
at the signs of the times. The timid took shelter in celibacy and
the institutions of the Church. The bolder emigrated. At last, the
universal pressure began to be visible in the state of the population.
Whole towns and villages were deserted. Seville, the ancient capital
of the monarchy, lost three quarters of its inhabitants; Toledo one
third; Segovia, Medina del Campo, and others of the large cities, fell
off still more, not only in their numbers and opulence, but in whatever
goes to make up the great aggregate of civilization. The whole land, in
fact, was impoverished, and was falling into a premature decay.

The necessary results of such a deplorable state of things are yet
more apparent in the next reign,--the unhappy reign of Charles the
Second,--which began with the troubles incident to a long minority, and
ended with a failure in the regular line of succession, and a contest
for the throne. It was a dreary period, with marks of dilapidation and
ruin on all sides. Beginning at the southern borders of France, and
following the coast by Barcelona and Gibraltar round to Cadiz, not one
of the great fortresses, which were the keys of the kingdom, was in
a state to defend itself against the most moderate force by which it
might be assailed. On the Atlantic, the old arsenals, from which the
Armada had gone forth, were empty; and the art of ship-building had
been so long neglected, that it was almost, or quite lost.[264] And,
in the capital and at court, the revenues of the country, which had
long been exhausted and anticipated, were at last unable to provide
for the common wants of the government, and sometimes even failed to
furnish forth the royal table with its accustomed propriety; so that
the envoy of Austria expressed his regret at having accepted the place
of ambassador at a court where he was compelled to witness a misery so

  [264] Comentario de la Guerra de España, por el Marques de San
  Phelipe, Genova, s. a., 4to, Tom. I. Lib. II., año 1701.

  [265] Tapia, Hist. de la Civilizacion Española, Madrid, 1840,
  12mo, Tom. III. p. 167.

It was a new lesson to the world in the vicissitudes of empire. No
country in Christendom had, from such a height of power as that which
Spain occupied in the time of Charles the Fifth, fallen into such an
abyss of degradation as that in which every proud Spaniard felt Spain
to be sunk, when the last of the great House of Austria approached the
grave, believing himself to be under the influence of sorcery, and
seeking relief by exorcisms which would have disgraced the credulity
of the Middle Ages;--all, too, at the time when France was jubilant
with the victories of Condé, and England preparing for the age of

  [266] The details--disgusting enough--are given by L. F. Moratin,
  in the notes to his edition of the “Auto da Fé de Logroño, del
  Año 1610,” a work originally published for general edification,
  by one of the persons concerned in the _auto_ itself, and
  certified to be true by others; but reprinted (Cadiz, 1812, 12mo)
  by Moratin, the comic poet, to show the ignorance and brutality
  of all who had a hand in it. There is a play on the subject by
  Gil y Zarate, 1837; but it does not respect the truth of history.

In any country, such a decay in the national character and power would
be accompanied by a corresponding, if not an equal, decay in its
literature; but in Spain, where both had always been so intimately
connected, and where both had rested, in such a remarkable degree,
on the same foundations, the wise who looked on from a distance
could not fail to anticipate a rapid and disastrous decline of all
that was intellectual and elegant. And so, in fact, it proved. The
old religion of the country,--the most prominent of all the national
characteristics,--the mighty impulse which, in the days of the Moors,
had done every thing but work miracles,--was now so perverted from
its true character by the enormous growth of the intolerance which
sprang up originally almost as a virtue, that it had become a means of
oppression such as Europe had never before witnessed. Through the whole
period of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which we have just
gone over,--from the fall of Granada to the extinction of the Austrian
dynasty,--the Inquisition, as the grand exponent of the power of
religion in Spain, had maintained, not only an uninterrupted authority,
but, by constantly increasing its relations to the state, and lending
itself more and more freely to the punishment of whatever was obnoxious
to the government, had effectually broken down all that remained, from
earlier days, of intellectual independence and manly freedom. But this
was not done, and could not be done, without the assent of the great
body of the people, or without such an active coöperation on the part
of the government and the higher classes as brought degradation and
ruin to all who shared in its spirit.

Unhappily, this spirit, mistaken for the religion that had sustained
them through their long-protracted contest with their infidel invaders,
was all but universal in Spain during this whole period. The first and
the last of the House of Austria,--Charles the Fifth and the feeblest
of his descendants,--if alike in nothing else, were alike in the zeal
with which they sustained the Holy Office while they lived, and with
which, by their testaments, they commended it to the support and
veneration of their respective successors.[267] Nor did the intervening
kings show less deference to its authority. The first royal act of
Philip the Second, when he came from the Low Countries to assume the
crown of Spain, was to celebrate an _auto da fé_ at Valladolid.[268]
When the young and gay daughter of Henry the Second of France arrived
at Toledo, in 1560, that city offered an _auto da fé_ as part of the
rejoicings deemed appropriate to her wedding; and the same thing was
done by Madrid, in 1632, for another French princess, when she gave
birth to an heir to the crown;[269]--odious proofs of the degree to
which bigotry had stifled both the dictates of an enlightened reason
and the common feelings of humanity.

  [267] Tapia, Hist. de la Civilizacion, Tom. III. p. 77 and p.
  168. Sandoval, Hist., Tom. II. p. 657.

  [268] Llorente, Hist., Tom. II., 1817, p. 239.

  [269] Ibid., Tom. II. p. 385, Tom. IV. p. 3.

But in all this the people and their leaders rejoiced. When a nobleman,
about to die for adherence to the Protestant faith, passed the balcony
where Philip the Second sat in state, and appealed to him not to see
his innocent subjects thus cruelly put to death, the monarch replied,
that, if it were his own son, he would gladly carry the fagots for
his execution; and the answer was received at the time, and recorded
afterwards, as one worthy of the head of the mightiest empire in the
world.[270] And again, in 1680, when Charles the Second was induced
to signify his desire to enjoy, with his young bride, the spectacle
of an _auto da fé_, the artisans of Madrid volunteered in a body to
erect the needful amphitheatre, and labored with such enthusiasm, that
they completed the vast structure in an incredibly short space of
time; cheering one another at their work with devout exhortations, and
declaring that, if the materials furnished them should fail, they would
pull down their own houses in order to obtain what might be wanting to
complete the holy task.[271]

  [270] Tapia, Hist., Tom. III. p. 88.

  [271] One of the most remarkable books that can be consulted,
  to illustrate the character and feelings of all classes of
  society in Spain at the end of the seventeenth century, is the
  “Relacion,” etc., of this “Auto General” of 1680, published
  immediately afterwards at Madrid, by Joseph del Olmo, one of
  the persons who had been most busy in its arrangements. It is
  a small quarto of 308 pages, and gives, as if describing a
  magnificent theatrical pageant, the details of the scene, which
  began at seven o’clock in the morning of June 30th, and was not
  over till nine o’clock of the following morning, the king and
  queen sitting in their box or balcony, to witness it, fourteen
  hours of that time. Eighty-five grandees entered themselves as
  especial _familiares_, or servants, of the Holy Office, to do
  honor to the occasion; and the king sent from his own hand the
  first faggot to the accursed pile. The whole number of victims
  exhibited was one hundred and twenty, of whom twenty-one were
  burnt alive; but it does not appear that the royal party actually
  witnessed this portion of the atrocities. From the whole account,
  however, there can be no doubt that devout Spaniards generally
  regarded the exhibition with favor, and most of them with a much
  stronger feeling. Madame d’Aulnoy (Voyage, Tom. III. p. 154) had
  a description of the ceremonies intended for this _auto da fé_
  given to her, as if it were to be an honor to the monarchy, by
  one of the Counsellors of the Inquisition; but I think she left
  Madrid before it occurred.

Nor had the principle of loyalty, always so prominent in the Spanish
character, become less perverted and mischievous than the religious
principle. It offered its sincere homage alike to the cold severity
of Philip the Second, to the weak bigotry of Philip the Third, to
the luxurious selfishness of Philip the Fourth, and to the miserable
imbecility of Charles the Second. The waste and profligacy of such
royal favorites as the Duke of Lerma and the Count Duke Olivares,
which ended in national bankruptcy and disgrace, failed seriously to
affect the sentiments of the people towards the person of the monarch,
or to change their persuasions that their earthly sovereign was to
be addressed in words and with feelings similar to those with which
they approached the Majesty of Heaven.[272] The king--merely because
he was the king--was looked upon substantially as he had been in the
days of Saint Ferdinand and the “Partidas,” when he was accounted the
direct vicegerent of Heaven, and the personal proprietor of all those
portions of the globe which he had inherited with his crown.[273]
The Duc de Vendôme, therefore, showed his thorough knowledge of the
Spanish character, when, in the War of the Succession,--Madrid being in
possession of the enemy, and every thing seeming to be lost,--he still
declared, that, if the persons of the king, the queen, and the prince
were but safe, he would himself answer for final success.[274] In fact,
the old principle of loyalty, sunk into a submission--voluntary, it is
true, and not without grace, but still an unhesitating submission--to
the mere authority of the king, seemed to have become the only
efficient bond of connection between the crown and its subjects, and
the main resource of the state for the preservation of social order.
The nation ceased to claim its most important rights, if they came in
conflict with the rights claimed by the royal prerogative; so that
the resistance of Aragon in the case of Perez, and that of Catalonia
against the oppressive administration of the Count Duke Olivares, were
easily put down by the zeal of the very descendants of the _Comuneros_
of Castile.

  [272] See the first of Doblado’s remarkable Letters, where he
  says, “You hear from the pulpit the duties that men owe to ‘both
  their Majesties’; and a foreigner is often surprised at the hopes
  expressed by Spaniards, that ‘his Majesty’ will be pleased to
  grant them life and health for some years more.” The Dict. of the
  Academy, 1736, verb. _Magestad_, illustrates this still further.

  [273] Partida Segunda, Tit. XIII.

  [274] Tapia, Hist., Tom. IV. p. 19.

It is this degradation of the loyalty and religion of the country,
infecting as it did every part of the national character, which we
have felt to be undermining the general culture of Spain during the
seventeenth century; its workings being sometimes visible on the
surface, and sometimes hidden by the vast and showy apparatus of
despotism and superstition under which it was often concealed even
from its victims. But it is a most melancholy fact in the case, that
whatever of Spanish literature survived at the end of this period found
its nourishment in such feelings of religion and loyalty as still
sustained the forms of the monarchy,--an imperfect and unhealthy life,
wasting away in an atmosphere of death. At last, as we approach the
conclusion of the century, the Inquisition and the despotism seem to be
everywhere present, and to have cast their blight over every thing.
All the writers of the time yield to their influences, but none in a
manner more painful to witness, than Calderon and Solís; the two whose
names close up the period, and leave so little to hope for the future.
For the “Autos” of Calderon and the “History” of Solís were undoubtedly
regarded, both by their authors and by the public, as works eminently
religious in their nature; and the respect, and even reverence, with
which each of these great men treated the wretched and imbecile
Charles the Second, were as undoubtedly accounted to them by their
contemporaries for religious loyalty and patriotism. At the present
day, we cannot doubt that a literature which rests in any considerable
degree on such foundations must be near to its fall.[275]

  [275] See the end of “El Segundo Scipion,” and that of “El
  Segundo Blason de Austria,” by Calderon; and the Dedication of
  his History to Charles II., by Solís, in which, with a slight
  touch of the affectations of _cultismo_, which Solís did not
  always avoid, he tells this “king of shreds and patches”: “I
  find, in the _shadow_ of your Majesty, the _splendor_ that
  is wanting in my own works.” In the same spirit, Lupercio
  de Argensola made the canonization of San Diego a sort of
  prophetical canonization of Philip II., in a _cancion_ of no mean
  merit as a poem, but one that shocks all religious feeling, by
  recalling the apotheosis of the Roman emperors.








Charles the Second was gathered to his fathers on the first day of
November, in the year 1700. How low he left the intellectual culture
of his country, and how completely the old national literature had
died out in his reign, we have already seen. But, before there could
be any serious thought of a revival from this disastrous state of
things, a civil war was destined to sweep over the land, and still
further exhaust its resources. Austria and France, it had been long
understood, would make pretensions to the throne of Spain, so soon as
it should be left vacant by the extinction of the reigning dynasty; and
the partisans of each of these great powers were numerous and confident
of success, not only in Spain, but throughout Europe. At this moment,
while standing on the verge of the grave,--and knowing that he stood
there,--the last, unhappy descendant of the House of Austria, with
many misgivings and a heart-felt reluctance, finally announced his
preference; and, by a secret political testament, declared the Duke of
Anjou, second son of the Dauphin and grandson of Louis the Fourteenth
of France, to be sole heir to his throne and dominions.

The decision was not unexpected, and was, perhaps, as wise as a wiser
king would have made under similar circumstances. But it was not the
more likely, on either account, to be acquiesced in. Austria declared
war against the new dynasty, as soon as the will of the deceased
monarch was divulged; and England and Holland, outraged by the bad
faith of Louis the Fourteenth, who, hardly two years before, had made
an arrangement with them for a wholly different settlement of the
Spanish question, soon joined her. The war, known as “the War of the
Succession,” became general in its character; Spain was invaded by the
allied powers; and the contest for its throne was kept up on the soil
of that unfortunate country, partly by foreign troops, and partly by
divisions among its own people, until 1713, when the treaty of Utrecht
confirmed the claims of the Bourbon family, and gave peace to Europe,
wearied with blood.

As far as Spain was concerned, the results of this war were most
important. On the one hand, she lost by it nearly half of her European
dominions, and fell, if not in proportion to such a loss, yet very
greatly, in the scale of nations. But, on the other hand, the vast
resources of her American colonies still remained untouched; her people
had been roused to new energy by their exertions in defence of their
homes; and their ancient loyalty had been, to an extraordinary degree,
concentrated on a young and adventurous prince, who, though himself
a foreigner, stood before them as their defender against foreign
invasion. It seemed, therefore, as if still there were life in Spain,
and as if something remained of the old national character, on which to
build a new culture.[276]

  [276] Lord Mahon’s excellent “History of the War of the
  Succession in Spain” (London, 1832, 8vo) leaves the same general
  impression on the mind of the reader, as to the effect of that
  war on the Spanish character, that is left by the contemporary
  accounts of it. It is, no doubt, the true one.

That Philip the Fifth should desire to restore the intellectual dignity
of the country, that had so generously adopted him, was natural. But
while the war lasted, it demanded all the care of his government; and
when it was over, and he turned himself to the task, it was plain that,
in his personal relations and dispositions, he was but imperfectly
fitted for it. Notwithstanding the sincerest efforts to assimilate
himself to the people he governed, he was still a foreigner, little
acquainted with their condition, and unable to sympathize with their
peculiar nationality. He had been educated at the court of Louis the
Fourteenth; the most brilliant court in Europe, and that in which,
more than in any other, letters were regarded as a part of the pageant
of empire. His character was not strongly marked; and he expressed
no decided love for any definite form of intellectual cultivation,
though he had good taste enough to enjoy the elegance to which he had
always been accustomed, and which had been an important part of his
breeding. He was, in fact, a Frenchman; and never could forget,--what
his grandfather had unwisely told him always to remember,--that he was
such. When, therefore, he desired to encourage elegant literature, it
was natural that he should first recur to the means by which he had
seen it encouraged where, more than in any other country, it had been
successfully fostered by royal patronage; and if, in some respects, his
position was little favorable to such a use of his power, in one, at
least, it was eminently fortunate; for the earlier literature of Spain
had so nearly disappeared, that it could offer little resistance to any
attempt that might be made to introduce new forms or to infuse a new
character into the old.

At this moment, the idea of patronizing and controlling the literature
of a country by academies, established under the authority of
its government, and composed of the principal men of letters of
the time, was generally favored;--the French Academy, founded by
Cardinal Richelieu, and always the model of its class, being now at
the height of its success and fame. To establish a Spanish Academy,
which should have similar objects and reach similar results, was,
therefore, naturally the great literary project of the reign of Philip
the Fifth.[277] Probably the king himself had early entertained
it. Certainly it was formally brought to his notice, in 1713, by
the Marquis of Villena, a nobleman, who, amidst the cares of five
successive viceroyalties, had found leisure to devote himself, not only
to letters, but to some of the more severe branches of the physical
and exact sciences. His first purpose seems to have been, to form
an academy whose empire should extend, on all sides, to the limits
of human knowledge, and whose subdivisions should be substantially
made according to the system of Lord Bacon. This, however, was soon
abandoned as too vast an undertaking; and it was determined to begin
by confining the duties of the new association principally to “the
cultivation and establishment of the purity of the Castilian language.”
An Academy for this object went into operation, by virtue of a royal
decree dated the 3d of November, 1714.[278]

  [277] The Royal Library, now the National Library, at Madrid,
  which was strictly the earliest literary project of the reign of
  Philip V., was founded in 1711; but for several years it was an
  institution of little importance. El Bibliotecario y el Trovador,
  Madrid, 1841, folio, p. 3.

  [278] “Historia de la Academia,” in the Preface to the
  “Diccionario de la Lengua Castellana, por la Real Academia
  Española,” Madrid, Tom. I. 1726, folio. Sempere y Guarinos,
  Biblioteca, 1785, Discurso Preliminar, and Tom. I. p. 55.

As it was modelled almost exactly after the form of the French Academy,
the first project of its members was that of making a Dictionary. The
work was much needed. From the time of Fernando de Herrera the language
had not received large additions, but it had received some that were
of value. Mendoza and Coloma had introduced a few military terms, that
have since passed into common use; and both of them, with Ercilla,
Urrea, and many others, had been so familiar with the Italian, as
to seize some of its wealth for their own. Cervantes, however, had,
perhaps, done more than any body else. That he was insensible neither
to the danger of a too free intermixture of foreign words, nor to the
true principles that should govern their introduction when needed, he
has shown in the conversations of Don Quixote with the printers at
Barcelona, and with Sancho at the Duke’s castle; but still he felt the
rights of genius within him, and exercised them in this respect as
boldly as he did in most others. His new compounds, his Latinisms, his
restoration of old and neglected phrases, and his occasional recourse
to the Italian, have all been noted; and, in nearly every instance,
the words he adopted now enter into the recognized vocabulary of the
language. Other writers ventured in the same direction, with less
success; but still, from the glossaries added to the poems of Blasco in
1584, and of Lopez Pinciano in 1605, there can be no doubt that many
words, which were then thought to need explanation, have long since
become familiar, and that the old Castilian stock, during the reigns
of Philip the Second and Philip the Third, was receiving additions,
which ought, in some way, to be recognized as an important part of its
permanent resources.[279]

  [279] Garcés, Vigor y Elegancia de la Lengua Castellana,
  Madrid, 1791, 2 tom. 8vo, Prólogo to each volume. Mendoza used
  reluctantly such words as _centinela_, and Coloma introduced
  _dique_, etc., from his Dutch experience. Navarrete (Vida de
  Cervantes, pp. 163-169) and Garcés (loc. cit.) show the value of
  what Cervantes did, and Clemencin (ed. D. Quixote, Tom. V. pp.
  99, 292, and 357) gives a list of the Latin, Italian, and other
  words used by Cervantes, but not always naturalized, on which, in
  various notes elsewhere, he seems to look with less favor than
  Garcés does. Quite as curious as either are the words, which
  Blasco (Universal Redencion, 1584) and Lopez Pinciano (El Pelayo,
  1605) thought it necessary to put into vocabularies at the end
  of their respective poems, and to define for their readers,
  among which are _fatal_, _natal_, _fugaz_, _gruta_, _abandonar_,
  _adular_, _anhelo_, _aplauso_, _arrojarse_, _assedio_, etc.,--all
  now familiar Castilian.

But, on the other hand, during the seventeenth century, the old
language had been much abused. From the appearance of Góngora no
proper regard had been paid to the preservation of its purity or of
its original characteristics, by many of the most popular authors that
employed it. The _Latiniparla_, as Quevedo called the affectation of
his time, had brought in many Latin words and many strange phrases,
wholly repugnant to the genius of the Spanish. Such words and
constructions, too, had enjoyed much favor; and Lope de Vega, Calderon,
and the other leading spirits, who pronounced them to be affectations
and refused directly to countenance them, yet occasionally yielded to
the fashion of their time, in order to obtain the applause which was
sure to follow.[280]

  [280] It is impossible to open the works of Count Villamediana,
  and the other followers of Góngora, without finding proofs of
  their willingness to change the language of Spanish literature;
  but there is a small and very imperfect list of the words and
  phrases these innovators favored, to be found in the “Declamacion
  contra los Abusos de la Lengua Castellana,” by Vargas y Ponce, p.
  150, which will at once illustrate their general purpose.

Both to receive the words that had been rightfully naturalized in the
language, and to place a mark of disapprobation on those that were
unworthy to be adopted, a Dictionary resting on authority was wanted.
None such had been attempted in Spain. Indeed, during the whole of
the preceding century, only one Spanish Dictionary of any kind had
been produced that received, or deserved, the notice of the Academy.
This was the work of Covarrubias, whose “Tesoro,” first printed in
1611, is a curious book, full of learning, and, in the etymological
part, valuable, but often conceited, and rarely showing philosophical
acuteness in its definitions.[281] The new Academy, therefore, could
obtain little help from the labors of their predecessors, and, for
such as was worth having, were obliged to go back to Lebrixa and
his editors. But they were in earnest. They labored diligently,
and between 1726 and 1739 produced their grand work, in six folio
volumes. On the whole, it did them honor. No doubt, it shows, in
several parts, a want of mature consideration and good judgment.
Many words were omitted, that should have been inserted; many were
inserted, which were afterwards stricken out; and many were given on
unsatisfactory authorities. But its definitions are generally good; its
etymologies--though this part of the work was little regarded by its
authors--are respectable; and its citations are ample and pertinent.
In fact, all that had been done for the language, in the way of
dictionaries, since its origin, was not equal to what was now done in
this single work.

  [281] There is an edition of the Tesoro of Covarrubias, by Benito
  Remigio Noydens, (Madrid, 1674, folio,) which is better and
  ampler than the original work.

But the Academicians were not slow to perceive, that a Dictionary so
large could exercise little popular influence. They began, therefore,
soon afterwards, to prepare an abridgment, in a single folio volume,
for more general use, and published the first edition of it in 1780.
The project was judicious, and its execution skilful. It omitted the
discussions, citations, and formal etymologies of the larger work;
but it established a better vocabulary, and improved many of the
old definitions. It had, therefore, from its first appearance, a
decided authority; and, by the persevering labors of the Academy, has
continued, in its successive editions, to be the proper standard of
the language,--labors which, since the latter part of the eighteenth
century, have been always heavy, and sometimes disagreeable, from the
constant tendency of even the better writers, like Melendez and his
school, to fall into Gallicisms, which the increasing intercourse with
France had rendered fashionable in the society of their time.

Another difficulty, however, soon presented itself to the Academy,
quite as serious as the size of their Dictionary. It was that of the
orthography they had adopted. The spelling of the Castilian--partly,
perhaps, from the very various elements of which it was composed, and
partly from the popular character of its literature--had always been
more unsettled than that of the other modern languages. Lebrixa, the
great scholar of the time of Ferdinand and Isabella, first attempted to
reduce it to order, and the simplicity of his system, which appeared in
1517, seemed at first likely to secure general favor and acceptance.
But thirty treatises, that at different times followed, had--with the
exception of the acute and pleasant one printed by Aleman when he was
in Mexico, in 1609--served rather to unsettle and confuse the whole
matter, than to determine any thing in relation to it.[282]

  [282] The “Ortografía de la Lengua Castellana,” (Mexico, 1609,
  4to, ff. 83) is a pleasant and important treatise, which, as the
  novelist intimates, he began to write in Castile and finished in
  Mexico. It proposes to reverse the letter ↄ in order to express
  the soft _ch_ as in _mucho_, to be printed _muↄo_; uses two forms
  of the letter _r_; writes the conjunction _y_ always _i_, as
  Salvá now insists it should be; and claims _j_, _ll_, and _ñ_ to
  be separate letters, as they have long been admitted to be.

  In speaking of Aleman, I am reminded of his “San Antonio de
  Padua,” printed in 12mo, at Valencia, in 1607, ff. 309. It
  belongs to the same class of books with the “San Patricio” of
  Montalvan, (see, _ante_, Vol. II. p. 298,) but is more elaborate
  and more devout. The number of the Saint’s miracles that it
  records is very great. Whether he invented any of them for the
  occasion, I do not know; but they sometimes read as much like
  _novelas_ as some of his stories in the “Guzman” do, and are
  always written in the same idiomatic and unadulterated Castilian.
  It is introduced by a _cancion_ in honor of it by Lope de Vega;
  but I cannot find that it was ever reprinted;--why, it is
  difficult to say, for it is an uncommonly attractive book of its

It is not surprising, therefore, that the first attempt of the
Academy, made in the form of a short discourse, prefixed to its larger
Dictionary, produced little effect. A separate work, which appeared in
1742, did something more, but not much; and the successive editions
of it which were called for by the public rather showed the uneasy
state of opinion in relation to the points under discussion, than any
thing else. At last, in 1815, the Academy, in the eighth recension of
its treatise on Orthography, and in 1817, in the fifth of its smaller
Dictionary, began a series of important changes, which have been
generally adopted by subsequent writers of authority, and appear to
have nearly settled the spelling of the Castilian, though still it
seems open to a few further modifications, and even to invite them.[283]

  [283] The difficulties in Castilian orthography are set forth in
  the “Diálogo de las Lenguas” (Mayans y Siscar, Orígenes, Tom.
  II. pp. 47-65); but the ingenious author of that discussion is
  more severe than was necessary on Lebrixa. An anonymous writer of
  an excellent essay on the same subject, in the first volume of
  the Repertorio Americano, (Tom. I. p. 27,) is a great deal more
  judicious. But how unsettled much still remains in practice may
  be seen in the “Manual del Cajista, por José María Palacios,”
  Madrid, 1845, 18mo, where (pp. 134-154) is a “Prontuario de las
  Voces de dudosa Ortografía,” containing above 1800 words.

A Grammar, like a Dictionary, was provided for in the statutes of the
Academy. But the original members of that body, few of whom were men
of note and authority, showed a marked unwillingness to approach the
difficult discussions involved in such a work, and did not undertake
them at all till 1740. Even then, they went on slowly and with anxiety;
so that the result of their labors did not appear till 1771. For this
delay they were not wholly in fault. They had little to guide them,
except the rival Grammars of Gayoso and San Pedro, which were published
while the Academy was preparing its own, and the original attempt of
Lebrixa, which had long been forgotten. But, after so protracted a
labor, the Academicians should have produced something more worthy
of their claims; for what they gave to the world, at last, was an
unphilosophical and unpractical work, which, though subjected to
frequent revision since, is hardly an outline of what it ought to be,
and quite inferior to the Grammar of Salvá.[284]

  [284] Of Lebrixa’s Grammar I have already spoken, (Vol. I.
  p. 549,) and the memory of it was now so much revived that a
  counterfeit edition of it was published, about 1775, in small
  folio, hardly, I should judge from its appearance, with the
  intention of deceiving. But such things were not uncommon about
  that time, as Mendez says, who thinks the edition in question had
  been printed about twenty years when he published his work in
  1796. (See Typog., p. 242.) It is, however, already so rare, that
  I obtained a copy of it with difficulty.

  That of Gayoso was first printed at Madrid, in 1745, 12mo, and
  that of San Pedro in Valencia, 1769, 12mo, which last Gayoso,
  disguising himself under a sort of anagram, attacked, in his
  “Conversaciones Críticas, por Don Antonio Gobeyos,” (Madrid,
  1780, 12mo,) where he shows that San Pedro was not so original as
  he ought to have been, but treats his Grammar with more harshness
  than it deserved. Salvá’s “Gramática de la Lengua Castellana como
  ahora se halla” was first printed in 1831, and the sixth edition
  appeared at Madrid in 1844, 12mo; a striking proof of the want of
  such a book.

A History of the Castilian Language, and an Art of Poetry, which were
also expressly prescribed by the statutes of the Academy, have never
been prepared under their authority; but, instead of these tasks, they
have sometimes performed duties not originally imposed upon them. Thus
they have published careful editions of different works of recognized
authority, particularly a magnificent one of “Don Quixote,” in 1780-84.
Since 1777, they have, from time to time, offered prizes for poetical
compositions, though, as is usual in such cases, with less important
results than had been hoped. And occasionally they have printed, with
funds granted to them by the government, works deemed of sufficient
merit to deserve such patronage, and, among others, the excellent
treatise of Garcés on “The Vigor and Beauty of the Spanish Language,”
which appeared under their auspices in 1791.[285] During the whole
century, therefore, the Spanish Academy, occupied in these various
ways, continued to be a useful institution, carefully abstaining from
such claims to control the public taste as were at first made by its
model in France, and, though not always very active and efficient,
still never deserving the reproach of neglecting the duties and tasks
for which it was originally instituted.

  [285] Gregorio Garcés, whose “Fundamento del Vigor y Elegancia
  de la Lengua Castellana” was printed at Madrid, 1791, 2 tom.
  8vo, was a Jesuit, and prepared this excellent work in exile at
  Ferrara, in which city he lived above thirty years, and from
  which he returned home in 1798, under the decree of Charles IV.
  abrogating that of his father for the expulsion of the Order from
  Spain, in 1767.

One good effect that followed from the foundation of the Spanish
Academy was the establishment of other academies for kindred purposes.
These academies were entirely different from the social meetings, under
the same name, that were imitated from the Italian academies in the
time of Charles the Fifth,--one of the earliest of which was held in
the house of Cortés,[286] the conqueror of Mexico;--though still the
elder associations seem sometimes to have furnished materials, out of
which the institutions that succeeded them were constructed. At least,
this was the case with the Academy of Barcelona, which has rendered
good service to the cause of letters since 1751, after having long
existed as an idle affectation, under the title of the “Academy of the
Diffident.” The only one, however, of any consequence to the general
literature of the country, was established during the reign of Philip
the Fifth,--the Academy for Spanish History, founded in 1738; the
character and amount of whose labors, both published and unpublished,
do its members much honor.[287]

  [286] See, _ante_, Part II. c. 5, and note, Vol. I. p. 537.

  [287] For an account of these Academies, see Guarinos,
  “Biblioteca”; and for a notice of the origin of the Royal
  Academy of History, see the first volume of its Memoirs. The old
  _Academias_, in imitation of the Italian,--such as are ridiculed
  in the “Diablo Cojuelo,” Tranco IX.,--had much gone out of
  fashion and been displaced by the modern _Tertulias_, where both
  sexes meet, and which in their turn have been ridiculed in the
  _Saynetes_ of Ramon de la Cruz and Castillo.

But such associations everywhere, though they may be useful and
even important in their proper relations, can neither create a new
literature for a country, nor, where the old literature is seriously
decayed, do much to revive it. The Spanish academies were no exceptions
to this remark. All elegant culture had so nearly disappeared before
the accession of the Bourbons, and there was such an insensibility to
its value in those classes of society where it should have been most
cherished, that it was plain the resuscitation must be the work of
time, and that the land must long lie fallow before another harvest
could be gathered in. During the entire reign of Philip the Fifth,
therefore,--a reign which, including the few months of his nominal
abdication in favor of his son, extends to forty-six years,--we shall
find undeniable traces of this unhappy state of things; few authors
appearing who deserve to be named at all, and still fewer who demand a
careful notice.

Poetry, indeed, or what passed under that name, continued to be
written; and some of it, though little encouraged by the general
regard of the nation, was printed. Moraes, a Portuguese gentleman of
rank, who had lived in Spain from his youth, wrote two heroic poems
in Spanish; the first on the discovery of “The New World,” which he
published in 1701, and the other on the foundation of the kingdom of
Portugal, which was printed in 1712; both appearing originally in an
unfinished state, in consequence of the author’s impatience for fame,
and the earlier of them still remaining so. But they have been long
forgotten. Indeed, the first, which is full of extravagant allegories,
soon found the fate which its author felt it deserved; and the other,
though written with great deference for the rules of art, and more than
once reprinted, has not at last enjoyed a better fortune.

The most amusing work of Moraes is a prose satire, printed in 1734,
called “The Caves of Salamanca,” where, in certain grottos, which a
popular tradition supposed to exist, sealed up by magic, within the
banks of the Tórmes, he finds Amadis of Gaul, Oriana, and Celestina,
and discourses with them and other fanciful personages on such subjects
as his humor happens to suggest. Parts of it are very wild; parts of it
are both amusing and wise, especially what is said about the Spanish
language and academies, and about the “Telemachus” of Fénelon, then
at the height of its fame. The whole shows few of the affectations
of style that still deformed and degraded whatever there was of
literature in the country, and which, though ridiculed in “The Caves of
Salamanca,” are abundant in the other works of the same author.[288]

  [288] There is an edition of the “Nuevo Mundo,” printed at
  Barcelona, 1701, 4to, containing many blanks, which the author
  announces his intention to fill up. Of the “Alfonso, ó la
  Fundacion del Reyno de Portugal,” there are editions of 1712,
  1716, 1731, and 1737. There is a notice of the author--Francisco
  Botelho Moraes e Vasconcellos--in Barbosa, (Tom. II. p. 119,)
  and at the end of the edition of the Alfonso, Salamanca, 1731,
  4to, is a defence of a few peculiarities in its orthography. “Las
  Cuevas de Salamanca” (s. l. 1734) is a small volume, divided into
  seven books, written, perhaps, at Salamanca itself, which Moraes
  loved, and where he retired in his old age. He published one or
  two works in Spanish, besides those already mentioned, and one or
  two in Latin, but no others of consequence.

A long heroic poem, in two parts, in honor of the conquest of Peru by
the Pizarros, was printed at Lima in 1732. It is founded principally on
the prose History of the Inca Garcilasso, but is rarely so interesting
as the gossip out of which it was constructed. The author, Pedro de
Barnuevo, was an officer of the Spanish government in South America;
and he gives in the Preface a long list of his works, published
and unpublished. He was, undoubtedly, a man of learning, but not a
poet. Like Moraes, he has arranged a mystical interpretation to his
story; some parts of which, such as that where America comes before
God, and prays to be conquered that she may be converted, are really
allegorical; while, in general, the interpretation he gives is merely
an after-thought, forced and unnatural. But his work is dull and in bad
taste, and the octave stanzas in which it is written are managed with
less skill than usual.[289]

  [289] “Lima Fundada, Poema Heróico de Don Pedro de Peralta
  Barnuevo,” Lima, 1732, 4to, about 700 pages; but so ill paged
  that it is not easy to determine.

Several religious poems belong to the same period. One by Pedro de
Reynosa, printed in 1727, is on “Santa Casilda,” the converted daughter
of a Moorish king of Toledo, who figures in the history of Spain during
the eleventh century. Another, called “The Eloquence of Silence,” by
Miguel de Zevallos, in 1738, is devoted to the honor of Saint John of
Nepomuck, who, in the fourteenth century, was thrown into the Moldau,
by order of a king of Bohemia, because the holy man would not reveal
to the jealous monarch what the queen had intrusted to him under the
seal of the confessional. Both are in the octave stanzas common to
such poems, and are full of the faults of their times. Two mock-heroic
poems, that naturally followed such attempts, are not better than the
serious poems which provoked them.[290]

  [290] “Santa Casilda, Poema en Octavas Reales, por el R. P.
  Fr. Pedro de Reynosa,” Madrid, 1727, 4to. It is in seven
  cantos, and each canto has a sort of codicil to it, affectedly
  called a _Contrapunto_.--“La Eloquencia del Silencio, Poema
  Heróico, por Miguel de la Reyna Zevallos,” Madrid, 1738, 4to.
  Of the mock-heroic poems mentioned in the text, one is “La
  Prosérpina, Poema Heróico, por D. Pedro Silvestre,” Madrid,
  1721, 4to,--twelve mortal cantos. The other is “La Burromaquia,”
  which is better, but still not amusing. It is unfinished, and is
  found in the “Obras Póstumas de Gabriel Alvarez de Toledo.” The
  divisions are not called “Cantos,” but “_Brayings_.” I have seen
  very ridiculous extracts from a poem by Father Butron on Santa
  Teresa, printed in 1722, and from one on St. Jerome, by P. M.
  Lara, 1726, but I have never happened to fall in with the poems
  themselves, which seem to be as bad as any of their class.

No account more favorable can be given of the lyric and miscellaneous
poetry of the period, than of the narrative. The best that appeared, or
at least what was thought to be the best at the time, is to be found
in the poetical works of Eugenio Lobo, first printed in 1738. He was a
soldier, who wrote verses only for his amusement; but his friends, who
admired them much beyond their merit, printed portions of them, from
time to time, until, at last, he himself thought it better to permit
a religious congregation to publish the whole in a volume. They are
very various in form, from fragments of two epics down to sonnets,
and equally various in tone, from that appropriate to religious
_villancicos_ to that of the freest satire. But they are in very bad
taste; and, if any thing like poetry appears in them, it is at rare
intervals. Benegasi y Luxan, who, in 1743, published a volume of such
light verses as were called for by the gay society in which he lived,
wrote in a simpler style than Lobo, though, on the whole, he succeeded
no better. But, except these two, and a few who imitated them, such as
Alvarez de Toledo and Antonio Muñoz, we have nothing from the reign of
the first of the Bourbons, that can claim notice in either of the forms
of poetry we have thus far examined.[291]

  [291] “Obras Poéticas Lýricas, por el Coronel D. Eugenio Gerardo
  Lobo,” Madrid, 1738, 4to.--“Poesías Lýricas, y Joco-Serias,
  su Autor D. Joseph Joachim Benegasi y Luxan,” Madrid, 1743,
  4to.--Gab. Alvarez de Toledo, _ut ante_.--Antonio Muñoz,
  “Aventuras en Verso y en Prossa,” (_sic_,) no date, but licensed

More characteristic than either, however, were two collections of
verse, written, as their titles profess, by the poets of most note at
the time, in honor of the king and queen, who, in 1722, meeting the
Host, as it was passing to a dying man, gave their own carriage to the
priest who bore it, and then, according to the fashion of the country,
followed reverently on foot. The names of Zamora the dramatist, of
Diego de Torres, well known for his various accomplishments in science
and letters, and of a few other poets, who are still remembered, occur
in the first collection; but, in general, the obscurity of the authors
who contributed to it is such as we might anticipate from reading
their poetry; while, at the same time, the occasion of the whole
shows how low was the culture which could attribute any value to such

  [292] “Sagradas Flores del Parnaso, Consonancias Métricas de la
  bien Templada Lyra de Apolo, que á la reverente Católica Accion
  de haver ido accompañando sus Magestades el Ssmo Sacramento que
  iba á Darse por viatico á una Enferma el Dia 28 de Novembre,
  1722, cantaron los mejores Cisnes de España,” 4to. I give the
  title of the first collection in full, as an indication of the
  bad taste of its contents. Both collections, taken together,
  make about 200 pages, and contain poems by about fifty authors,
  generally in the worst and most affected style,--the very dregs
  of Gongorism.

A single bright spot in the poetical history of this period is only
the more remarkable from the gloom that surrounds it. It is a satire
attributed to Herbas, a person otherwise unknown, who disguised himself
under the name of Jorge de Pitillas, and printed it in a literary
journal. It was singularly successful for the time when it appeared;
a circumstance the more to be noticed, as this success seems not to
have inspired any similar attempt, or even to have encouraged the
author to venture again before the public. The subject he chose was
fortunate,--the bad writers of his age,--and in discussing it he
has spoken out boldly and manfully; sometimes calling by name those
whom he ridicules, and at other times indicating them so that they
cannot be mistaken. His chief merits are the ease and simplicity of
his style, the pungency and justness of his satire, and his agreeable
imitations of the old masters, especially Persius and Juvenal, whom
he further resembled in the commendable qualities of brevity and

  [293] The “Sátira contra los Malos Escritores de su Tiempo”
  is commonly attributed to José Gerardo de Herbas; but Tapia
  (Civilisacion, Tom. IV. p. 266) says it was written by José
  Cobo de la Torre, besides which it is inserted in the “Rebusco
  de las Obras Literarias de J. F. de Isla,” (Madrid, 1790,
  12mo,) as if it were unquestionably Isla’s. It first appeared
  in the second edition of the sixth volume of the “Diario de los
  Literatos”;--the earliest periodical work in the spirit of modern
  criticism that was published in Spain, and one so much in advance
  of the age that it did not survive its second year, having been
  begun in 1737, and gone on one year and nine months, till it made
  seven small volumes. It was in vain that it was countenanced by
  the king, and favored by the leading persons at court. It was too
  large a work; it was a new thing, which Spaniards rarely like;
  and it was severe in its criticisms, so that the authors of the
  time generally took the field against it, and broke it down.

  To the same period with the Satire of Pitillas belongs the
  poem on “Deucalion,” by Alonso Verdugo de Castilla, Count of
  Torrepalma. It is an imitation of Ovid, in about sixty octave
  stanzas, somewhat remarkable for its versification. But in a
  better period it would not be noticed.



One historical work of some consequence belongs entirely to the reign
of Philip the Fifth,--the commentaries on the War of the Succession,
and the history of the country from 1701 to 1725, by the Marquis of
San Phelipe. Its author, a gentleman of Spanish descent, was born in
Sardinia, in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and early
filled several offices of consequence under the government of Spain;
but, when his native island was conquered by the Austrian party, he
remained faithful to the French family, under whom he had thus far
served, and made his escape to Madrid. There Philip the Fifth received
him with great favor. He was created Marquis of San Phelipe,--a title
chosen by himself in compliment to the king,--and, besides being much
employed during the war in military affairs, he was sent afterwards as
ambassador, first to Genoa, and then to the Hague, where he died, on
the 1st of July, 1726.

In his youth the Marquis of San Phelipe had been educated with care,
and therefore, during the active portions of his life, found an
agreeable resource in intellectual occupations. He wrote a poem in
octave stanzas on the story in the “Book of Tobit,” which was printed
in 1709, and a history of “The Hebrew Monarchy,” taken from the Bible
and Josephus, which did not appear till 1727, the year after his
death. But his chief work was on the War of the Succession. The great
interest he took in the Bourbon cause induced him to write it, and the
position he had occupied in the affairs of his time gave him ample
materials, quite beyond the reach of others less favored. He called
it “Commentaries on the War of Spain, and History of its King, Philip
the Fifth, the Courageous, from the Beginning of his Reign to the Year
1725”; but, although the compliment to his sovereign implied on the
title-page is faithfully carried through the whole narrative, the book
was not published without difficulty. The first volume, in folio, after
being printed at Madrid, was suppressed by order of the king, out of
regard to the honor of certain Spanish families that show to little
advantage in the troublesome times it records; so that the earliest
complete edition appeared at Genoa without date, but probably in 1729.

It is a spirited book, earnest in the cause of Castile against
Catalonia; but still, notwithstanding its partisan character, it is,
the most valuable of the contemporary accounts of the events to which
it relates; and, notwithstanding it has a good deal of the lively air
of the French memoirs, then so much in fashion, it is strongly marked
with the old Spanish feelings of religion and loyalty,--feelings which
this very book proves to have partly survived the general decay of the
national character during the seventeenth century, and the convulsions
that had shaken it at the opening of the eighteenth. In style it is not
perfectly pure. Perhaps tokens of its author’s Sardinian education are
seen in his choice of words; and certainly his pointed epigrammatic
phrases and sentences often show, that he leaned to the rhetorical
doctrines of Gracian, of whom, in his narrative poem, we see that he
had once been a thorough disciple. But the Commentaries are, after
all, a pleasant book, and abound in details, given with much modesty
where their author is personally concerned, and with a picturesqueness
which belongs only to the narrative of one who has been an actor in the
scenes he describes.[294]

  [294] “Los Tobias, su Vida escrita en Octavas, por D. Vicente
  Bacallar y Sanna, Marques de San Phelipe,” etc., 4to, pp. 178,
  without date, but licensed 1709.--“Monarchia Hebrea,” Madrid,
  1727, 2 tom. 4to.--“Comentarios de la Guerra de España hasta el
  Año 1725,” Genoa, no date, 2 tom. 4to. Of the last there is a
  poor continuation, bringing the history down to 1742, entitled,
  “Continuacion á los Comentarios, etc., por D. Joséph del Campo
  Raso,” Madrid, 1756-63, 2 tom. 4to.

But, when we speak of Spanish literature in the reign of Philip the
Fifth, we must never forget that the influence of France was gradually
becoming felt in all the culture of the country. The mass of the
people, it is true, either took no cognizance of the coming change, or
resisted it; and the new government willingly avoided whatever might
seem to offend or undervalue the old Castilian spirit. But Paris was
then, as it had long been, the most refined capital in Europe; and the
courts of Louis the Fourteenth and Louis the Fifteenth, necessarily
in intimate relations with that of Philip the Fifth, could not fail
to carry to Madrid a tone which was already spreading of itself into
Germany and the extreme North.

French, in fact, soon began to be spoken in the elegant society of the
capital and the court;--a thing before unknown in Spain, though French
princesses had more than once sat on the Spanish throne. But now it
was a compliment to the reigning monarch himself, and courtiers strove
to indulge in it. Pitillas, under pretence of laughing at himself for
following the fashion, ridicules the awkwardness of those who did so,
when he says,

    And French I talk; at least enough to know
      That neither I nor other men more shrewd
      Can comprehend my words, though still endued
    With power to raise my heavy Spanish dough.

And Father Isla makes himself merry with the idea of a man who fancies
he has married an Andalusian or Castilian wife, and finds out that she
proves little better than a Frenchwoman after all.[295]

  [295] Pitillas, Sátira. Isla, Á los que degenerando del Carácter
  Español, afectan ser Estrangeros. Rebusco, p. 178.

Translations from the French followed this state of things; and, at
last, an attempt was made to introduce formally into Spain a poetical
system founded on the critical doctrines prevalent in France. Its
author, Ignacio de Luzan, a gentleman of Aragon, was born in 1702; and,
while still a child, went to Italy and received a learned education in
the schools of Milan, Palermo, and Naples; remaining abroad eighteen
years, and enjoying the society of several of the most distinguished
Italian poets of the time, among whom were Maffei and Metastasio. At
last, in 1733, he returned to Spain, a well-bred scholar, according to
the ideas of scholarship then prevalent in Italy, and with a singular
facility in writing and speaking French and Italian.

His personal affairs and his native modesty kept him for some time
in retirement on the estates of his family in Aragon. But, in the
condition to which Spanish literature was then reduced, a man of so
many accomplishments could hardly fail, in any position, to make his
influence felt. That of Luzan soon became perceptible, because he
loved to write, and wrote a great deal. In Italy and Sicily he had
published, not only Italian poetry of his own, but French. In his
native language and at home, he naturally went further. He translated
from Anacreon, Sappho, and Musæus; he fitted dramas of Maffei,
La Chaussée, and Metastasio to the Spanish stage; and he wrote a
considerable number of short poems, and one original drama, “Virtue
Honored,” which was privately represented in Saragossa.

Whatever he did was well received, but little of it was published at
the time, and not much has appeared since. His “Odes on the Conquest of
Oran” were particularly admired by his friends, and, though somewhat
cold, may still be read with pleasure. These and other compositions
made him known to the government at Madrid, and procured for him, in
1747, the appointment of Secretary to the Spanish embassy at Paris.
There he remained three years, and, from the absence of the ambassador,
acted, for a large part of the time, as the only representative of his
country at the French court. On his return home, he continued to enjoy
the confidence of the king; and when he died suddenly, in 1754, he was
in great favor, and about to receive a place of more consequence than
any he had yet held.[296]

  [296] Latassa, Bib. Nueva, Tom. V. p. 12, and Preface to the
  edition of Luzan’s Poética, by his son, 1789. His poetry has
  never been collected and published, but portions of it are
  found in Sedano, Quintana, etc. The octaves he recited at the
  opening of the Academy of Fine Arts, in 1752, and published at
  p. 21 of the “Abertura Solemne,” etc., printed in honor of the
  occasion (Madrid, folio); and the similar poems recited by him
  at a distribution of prizes by the same Academy, in 1754, and
  published in their “Relacion,” etc., (Madrid, folio, pp. 51-61,)
  prove rather the dignity of his social position than any thing
  else. Latassa gives a long account of his unpublished works.

The circumstances of the country, and those of his own education,
position, and tastes, opened to Luzan, as a critic, a career of almost
assured success. Every thing was so enfeebled and degraded, that it
could offer no effectual resistance to what he might teach. The
political importance of his country among the nations of Europe had
been crushed. Its moral dignity was impaired. Its school of poetry had
disappeared. The old system of things in Spain, as far as poetical
culture was concerned, had passed away, no less than the Austrian
dynasty, with which it had come in; and no attempt deserving the
name had yet been made to determine what should be the intellectual
character of the system that should follow it. A small effort, under
such circumstances, would go far towards imparting a decisive movement;
and, in literary taste and criticism, Luzan was certainly well
fitted to give the guiding impulse. He had been educated with great
thoroughness in the principles of the classical French school, and he
possessed all the learning necessary to make known and support its
peculiar doctrines. In 1728, he had offered to the Academy at Palermo,
of which he was a member, six critical discussions on poetry, written
in Italian; so that, when he returned to Spain, he had only to take
these papers and work them into a formal treatise, suited to what he
deemed the pressing wants of the country. He did so;--and the result
was his “Art of Poetry,” the first edition of which appeared in 1737.

The attempt was by no means a new one. The rules and doctrines of the
ancients, in matters of taste and rhetoric, had frequently before been
announced and defended in Spain. Even Enzina, the oldest of those who
regarded Castilian poetry as an art, was not ignorant of Quintilian and
Cicero, though, in his short treatise, which shows more good sense and
good taste than can be claimed from the age, he takes substantially
the same view of his subject that the Marquis of Villena and the
Provençals had taken before him,--considering all poetry chiefly with
reference to its mechanical forms.[297] Rengifo, a teacher of grammar
and rhetoric, whose “Spanish Art of Poetry” dates from 1592, confines
himself almost entirely to the structure of the verse and the technical
forms known both to the elder Castilian style of composition and to
the Italian introduced by Boscan;--a curious discussion, in which the
authority of the ancients is by no means forgotten, but one whose chief
value consists in what it contains relating to the national school and
its peculiar measures.[298]

  [297] It is prefixed to the edition of Enzina’s Cancionero, 1496,
  folio, and, I suppose, to the other editions; and fills nine
  short chapters.

  [298] “Arte Poética Española, su Autor Juan Diaz Rengifo,”
  Salamanca, 1592, 4to, enlarged, but not improved, in the editions
  of 1700, 1737, etc., by Joseph Vicens.

Alonso Lopez, commonly called El Pinciano,--the same person who
wrote the dull epic on Pelayo,--went further, and in 1596 published
his “Ancient Poetical Philosophy,” in which, under the disguise of
a friendly correspondence, he gives, with much learning and some
acuteness, his own views of the opinions of the ancient masters on
all the modes of poetical composition.[299] Cascales followed him, in
1616, with a series of dialogues, somewhat more familiar than the grave
letters of Lopez, and resting more on the doctrines of Horace, whose
epistle to the Pisos he afterwards published, with a well-written Latin
commentary.[300] Salas, on the contrary, in his “New Idea of Ancient
Tragedy,” which appeared in 1633, followed Aristotle rather than any
other authority, and illustrated his discussion--which is the ablest
in Spanish literature on the side it sustains--by a translation of the
“Trojanæ” of Seneca, and an address of the theatre of all ages to its
various audiences.[301]

  [299] “Philosophía Antigua Poética del Doctor Alonso Lopez
  Pinciano, Médico Cesareo,” Madrid, 1596, 4to.

  [300] “Tablas Poéticas del Licenciado Francisco Cascales,” 1616.
  An edition of Madrid, 1779, 8vo, contains a Life of the author
  by Mayans y Siscar. Cascales is presumptuous enough to rearrange
  Horace’s “Ars Poetica” in what he regards as a better order.

  [301] “Nueva Idea de la Tragedia Antigua, ó Illustracion Ultima
  al libro Singular de Poética de Aristóteles, por Don Jusepe Ant.
  Gonçalez de Salas,” Madrid, 1633, 4to.

All these works, however, and three or four others of less consequence,
assumed, so far as they attempted to lay their foundations in
philosophy, to be built on the rules laid down by Aristotle or the
Roman rhetoricians.[302] In this they committed a serious error.
Ancient rhetoric can be applied, in all its strictness, to no modern
poetry, and least of all to the poetry of Spain. The school of Lope de
Vega, therefore, passed over them like an irresistible flood, leaving
behind it hardly a trace of the structures that had been raised to
oppose its progress. But Luzan took a different ground. His more
immediate predecessors had been Gracian, who defended the Gongorism of
the preceding period, and Artiga, who, in a long treatise “On Spanish
Eloquence,” written in the ballad measures, had seemed willing to
encourage all the bad taste that prevailed in the beginning of the
eighteenth century.[303]

  [302] Of the treatise of Argote de Molina, prefixed to his
  edition of the “Conde Lucanor,” 1575, and of the poem of Cueva,
  I have spoken (I. 507, II. 569). A small tract, called “Libro
  de Erudicion Poética,” published in the works of Luis Carrillo,
  1611, and several of the epistles of Christóval de Mesa, 1618,
  might be added; but the last are of little consequence, and the
  tract of Carrillo is in very bad taste.

  [303] Gracian has been noticed in this volume (p. 192). The
  “Epítome de la Eloquencia Española, por D. Francisco Joseph
  Artiga, olim Artieda,” was licensed in 1725, and contains above
  thirteen thousand lines;--a truly ridiculous book, but of some
  consequence as showing the taste of the age, especially in pulpit

Luzan took no notice of either of them. He followed the poetical
system of Boileau and Lebossu, not, indeed, forgetting the masters of
antiquity, but everywhere accommodating his doctrines to the demands
of modern poetry, as Muratori had done just before him, and enforcing
them by the example of the French school, then more admired than any
other in Europe.[304] His object, as he afterwards explained it, was
“to bring Spanish poetry under the control of those precepts which
are observed among polished nations”; and his work is arranged with
judgment to effect his purpose. The first book treats of the origin and
nature of poetry, and the second, of the pleasure and advantage poetry
brings with it. These two books constitute one half of the work, and
having gone through in them what he thinks it necessary to say of the
less important divisions of the art,--such as lyric poetry, satire, and
pastorals,--he devotes the two remaining books entirely to a discussion
of the drama and of epic poetry,--the forms in which Spanish genius
had long been more ambitious of excellence than in any other. A strict
method reigns through the whole; and the style, if less rich than is
found in the older prose-writers, and less so than the genius of the
language demands, is clear, simple, and effective. In explaining and
defending his system of opinions, he shows judgment, and a temperate
philosophy; and his abundant illustrations, drawn not only from the
Castilian, the French, the Greek, and the Latin, but from the Italian
and the Portuguese, are selected with excellent taste, and applied
skilfully to strengthen his general argument and design. For its
purpose, a better treatise could hardly have been produced.

  [304] Blanco White (Life by Thom, 1845, 8vo, Vol. I. p. 21) says
  Luzan borrowed so freely from Muratori, “Della Perfetta Poesia,”
  that the Spanish treatise helped him (Mr. White) materially in
  learning to read the Italian one. But Luzan has not in fact
  copied from Muratori with the unjustifiable freedom this remark
  implies, though he has adopted Muratori’s general system, with
  abundant acknowledgment and references.

The effect was immediate and great. It seemed to offer a remedy for
the bad taste which had accompanied, and in no small degree hastened,
the decline of the national literature from the time of Góngora. It
was seized on, therefore, with eagerness, as the book that was wanted;
and when to this we add that the literature of the age of Louis the
Fourteenth, which it held up as the model literature of Christendom,
was then regarded throughout Europe with almost unmingled admiration,
we shall not be surprised that the “Poética” of Luzan exercised, from
its first appearance, a controlling authority over opinion at the court
of Spain, and over the few writers of reputation then to be found in
the country.[305]

  [305] The first edition of the “Poética” of Luzan was printed
  in folio at Saragossa, in 1737, with long and extraordinary
  certificates of approbation by Navarro and Gallinero, two of the
  author’s friends. The second edition, materially improved by
  additions from the manuscripts of Luzan, after his death, was
  printed at Madrid, in 2 tom. 8vo, in 1789. When the first edition
  appeared, it was much praised in the “Diario de los Literatos”
  (Tom. VII., 1738); but, as one of the reviewers, Juan de Iriarte,
  who wrote the latter part of the article, made a few exceptions
  to his general commendations, Luzan, who was more sensitive than
  he needed to be, replied in a small bitter tract, under the
  name of Iñigo de Lanuza, Pamplona, [1740,] 12mo, pp. 144, with
  cumbrous and learned notes by Colmenares, to whom the tract is

Something more, however, than a reformation in taste was wanted in
Spain before a sufficient foundation could be laid for advancement
in elegant literature. The commonest forms of truth had been so long
excluded from the country, that the human mind there seemed to have
pined away, and to have become dwarfed, for want of its appropriate
nourishment. All the great sciences, both moral and physical, that had
been for a hundred years advancing with an accelerated speed everywhere
else throughout Europe, had been unable to force their way through
the jealous guard which ecclesiastical and political despotism had
joined to keep for ever watching the passes of the Pyrenees. From the
days of the _Comuneros_ and the Reformation of Luther, when religious
sects began to discuss the authority of princes and the rights of the
people, and when the punishment of opinion became the settled policy of
the Spanish state, every thing in the shape of instruction that was not
approved by the Church was treated as dangerous. At the universities,
which from their foundation had been entirely ecclesiastical
corporations, and were used constantly to build up ecclesiastical
influences, no elegant learning was fostered, and very little
tolerated, except such as furnished means to form scholastic Churchmen
and faithful Catholics; the physical and exact sciences were carefully
excluded and forbidden, except so far as they could be taught on the
authority of Aristotle; and, as Jovellanos said boldly in a memorial
on the subject to Charles the Fourth, “even medicine and jurisprudence
would have been neglected, if the instincts of men had permitted them
to forget the means by which life and property are protected.”[306]

  [306] Cean Bermudez, Memorias de Jovellanos, Madrid, 1814, 12mo,
  cap. x. p. 221.

The Spanish universities, in fact, still taught from the same books
they had used in the time of Cardinal Ximenes, and by the same methods.
The scholastic philosophy was still regarded as the highest form of
merely intellectual culture. Diego de Torres, afterwards distinguished
for his knowledge in the physical sciences,--a man born and educated at
Salamanca in the first half of the century,--says, that, after he had
been five years in one of the schools of the University there, it was
by accident he learned the existence of the mathematical sciences.[307]
And, fifty years later, Blanco White declares, that, like most of
his countrymen, he should have completed his studies in theology at
the University of Seville without so much as hearing of elegant
literature, if he had not chanced to make the acquaintance of a person
who introduced him to a partial knowledge of Spanish poetry.[308]

  [307] Vida, Ascendencia, etc., del Doctor Diego de Torres
  Villaroel, Madrid, 1789, 4to;--an autobiography, written in the
  worst taste of the time, i. e. about 1743. He says of a treatise
  on the Sphere, by Padre Clavio: “Creo que fue la primera noticia
  que habia llegado á mis oidos de que habia ciencias matemáticas
  en el mundo.” (p. 34.)

  [308] Doblado’s Letters, 1822, p. 113.

Thus far, therefore, the old system of things was triumphant, and
the common forms of advancing knowledge were, to an extraordinary
and almost incredible degree, kept out of the country. On the other
hand, errors, follies, and absurdities sprang up and abounded, just
as surely as darkness follows the exclusion of light. Few persons in
Spain in the beginning of the eighteenth century were so well informed
as not to believe in astrology, and fewer still doubted the disastrous
influence of comets and eclipses. The system of Copernicus was not
only discouraged, but forbidden to be taught, on the ground that it
was contrary to Scripture. The philosophy of Bacon, with all the
consequences that had followed it, was unknown. It was not, perhaps,
true, that the healing waters of knowledge had been rolled backward
to their fountain, but no spirit of power had descended to trouble
them, and they had now been kept stagnant till life was no longer in
them and life could no longer be supported by them. It seemed as if
the faculties of thinking and reasoning, in the better sense of these
words, were either about to be entirely lost in Spain, or to be partly
preserved only in a few scattered individuals, who, by the civil and
ecclesiastical tyranny that oppressed them, would be prevented from
diffusing even the imperfect light which they themselves enjoyed.

But it could not be so. The human mind cannot be permanently
imprisoned; and it is an obvious proof of this consoling fact, that
the intellectual emancipation of Spain was begun by a man of no
extraordinary gifts, and one whose position gave him no extraordinary
advantages for the undertaking to which he devoted his life,--the quiet
monk, Benito Feyjoó. He was born in 1676, the eldest son of respectable
parents in the northwestern part of Spain, who, contrary to the
opinions of their time, did not think the law of primogeniture required
them to devote their first-born wholly to the duty of sustaining the
honors of his family and enjoying the income of the estates he was to
inherit. At the age of fourteen, his destination to the Church was
determined upon; but he loved study of all kinds, and applied himself,
not only to theology, but to the physical sciences and to medicine,
so far as means were allowed him in the low state to which all
intellectual culture was then sunk. As early as 1717, he established
himself in a Benedictine convent at Oviedo, and lived there forty-seven
years in as strict a retirement as his duties permitted, occupied only
with his studies, and relying almost entirely on the press as the means
of enlightening his countrymen.

His personal character and resources, in some respects, fitted him well
for the great task he had undertaken. He was a sincere Catholic, and
therefore felt no disposition to interfere even with abuses that were
protected by the authority of his Church; a circumstance without which
he would have been stopped at the very threshold of his enterprise.
His mind was strong and patient of labor; and if, on the one hand, his
researches were restrained by the embarrassments of his ecclesiastical
position, he had, on the other, obtained, what few Spaniards then
enjoyed, the means of knowing much of what had been done in Italy, in
France, and even in England, for the advancement of science during
the century preceding that in which he was educated. Above all, he was
honest, and seriously devoted to his work. But, as he advanced, he was
shocked to find how wide a gulf separated his own country from the
rest of Europe. Truth, he saw, had, on many important subjects, been
so completely excluded from Spain, that its very existence was hardly
suspected; and that, while Cervantes and Lope de Vega, Calderon and
Quevedo, had been rioting unrestrained in the world of imagination, the
solemn world of reality,--the world of moral and physical truth,--had
been as much closed against inquiry as if his country had been no part
of civilized Europe.

At times he seems to have been anxious concerning the result of his
labors; but, on the whole, his courage did not fail him. He was not,
indeed, a man of genius. He was not a man to invent new systems of
metaphysics or philosophy. But he was a learned man, with a cautious
judgment, somewhat obscured, but not really impaired, by religious
prejudices, from which he could not be expected to emancipate himself;
he was a man who understood the real importance of the labors of
Galileo, Bacon, and Newton, of Leibnitz, Pascal, and Gassendi; and,
what was of vastly more consequence, he was determined that his own
countrymen should no longer remain ignorant of the advancement already
made by the rest of Christendom under the influence of master-spirits
like these.

So far as the War of the Succession had served to rouse the national
character from its lethargy, and to direct the thoughts of Spaniards
to what had been done beyond the Pyrenees, it was favorable to his
purpose. But in other respects, as we have seen, it had effected
nothing for the national culture. Still, when, in 1726, Feyjoó printed
a volume of essays connected with his main purpose, he was able to
command public attention, and was encouraged to go on. He called
it “The Critical Theatre”; and in its different dissertations,--as
separate as the papers in “The Spectator,” but longer and on graver
subjects,--he boldly attacked the dialectics and metaphysics then
taught everywhere in Spain; maintained Bacon’s system of induction in
the physical sciences; ridiculed the general opinion in relation to
comets, eclipses, and the arts of magic and divination; laid down rules
for historical faith, which would exclude most of the early traditions
of the country; showed a greater deference for woman, and claimed for
her a higher place in society, than the influence of the Spanish Church
willingly permitted her to occupy; and, in all respects, came forth
to his countrymen as one urging earnestly the pursuit of truth and
the improvement of social life. Eight volumes of this stirring work
were published before 1739, and then it stopped, without any apparent
reason. But in 1742 Feyjoó began a similar series of discussions, under
the name of “Learned and Inquiring Letters,” which he finished in 1760,
with the fifth volume, thus closing up the long series of his truly
philanthropical, as well as philosophical, labors.

Of course he was assailed. A work, called the “Antiteatro Crítico,”
appeared early, and was soon followed by another, with nearly the same
title, and by not a few scattered tracts and volumes, directed against
different portions of what he had published. But he was quite able
to defend himself. He wrote with clearness and good taste in an age
when the prevailing style was obscure and affected; and, if he fell
occasionally into Gallicisms, from relying much on French writers for
his materials, his mistakes of this sort were rare; and, in general,
he presented himself in a Castilian costume, that was respectable and
attractive. Nor was he without wit, which his prudence taught him to
use sparingly, and he had always the energy which belongs to good sense
and practical wisdom; a union of qualities not often found anywhere,
and certainly of most rare occurrence in cloisters like those in which
Feyjoó passed his long life.

The attacks made on him, therefore, served chiefly to draw to his works
the attention he solicited, and in the end advanced his cause, instead
of retarding it. Even the Inquisition, to which he was more than once
denounced, summoned him in vain before its tribunals.[309] His faith
could not be questioned, and his cause was stronger than they were.
Fifteen editions of his principal work, large as it was, were printed
in half a century. The excitement it produced went on increasing as
long as he lived; and when he died, in 1764, he could look back and
see that he had imparted a movement to the human mind in Spain, which,
though it was far from raising Spanish philosophy to a level with that
of France and England, had yet given it a right direction, and done
more for the intellectual life of his country than had been done for a

  [309] Llorente, Hist. de l’Inq., Tom. II. p. 446. It may
  be deemed worthy of notice, that Oliver Goldsmith pays an
  appropriate tribute to the merits of Father Feyjoó, and relates
  an anecdote of his showing the people of a village through which
  he happened to pass that what they esteemed a miracle was, in
  truth, only a natural effect of reflected light; thus exposing
  himself to a summons from the Inquisition. (“The Bee,” No. III.,
  Oct. 20, 1759, Miscellaneous Works, London, 1812, 8vo, Vol. IV.
  p. 193.) But after Feyjoó’s death, the Inquisition ordered only
  a trifling expurgation of his “Teatro Crítico,” in one passage.
  Index, 1790.

  [310] The “Teatro Crítico” and “Cartas Eruditas y Curiosas,” with
  the discussions they provoked, fill fifteen and sometimes sixteen
  volumes. The edition of 1778 has a Life of Feyjoó prefixed to
  it, written by Campomanes, the distinguished minister of state
  under Charles III.; the same person who, on the nomination of
  Franklin, was made a member of the American Philosophical Society
  at Philadelphia. Clemencin says truly of Feyjoó, that “to his
  enlightened and religious mind is due the overthrow of many
  vulgar errors, and a great part of the progress in civilization
  made by Spain in the eighteenth century.” Note to Don Quixote,
  Tom. V., 1836, p. 35.



It can hardly be said, that, during the forty-six years of the reign
of Philip the Fifth, the intolerance which had so long blighted the
land relaxed its grasp. The progress of knowledge might, indeed, be
gradually and silently accumulating means to resist it, but its power
was still unbroken, and its activity as formidable as ever. Louis
the Fourteenth, in whom an old age of bigotry naturally ended a life
of selfish indulgence, had counselled his grandson to sustain the
Inquisition, as one of the means for insuring tranquillity to the
political government of the country; and this advice, not given without
a knowledge of the Spanish character, was, on the whole, acted upon
with success, if not with entire consistency.

At first, indeed, the personal dispositions of the king in relation
to this mighty engine of state seemed somewhat unsettled. When it was
proposed to him to celebrate an _auto da fé_, as a part of the pageant
suitable to the coming in of a new dynasty, the young monarch, fresh
from the elegance of the court of Versailles, refused to sanction its
barbarities by his presence. Even later he encouraged Macanaz, a person
high in office, to publish a work in defence of the crown against the
overgrown pretensions of the Church, and at one time he went so far as
to entertain a project for suspending the Holy Office, or suppressing
it altogether.[311]

  [311] Llorente, Hist. de l’Inquisition, Tom. IV., 1818, pp. 29,
  43. The “Papel” of Macanaz is on the Index of the Inquisition,

But these dispositions were transient. The Spanish priesthood early
obtained control of the king’s mind. In one of the sieges of Barcelona,
during the War of the Succession, he was induced to consult an image
of the Virgin, and to avow afterwards, very solemnly, that she had
given him a miraculous promise of the fidelity of the Catalonians,--a
promise, it should be added, such as would be likely to insure its own
fulfilment. The death of the queen, in 1714, which plunged him into a
deep melancholy, further contributed to give power to the clergy who
surrounded him; and, a year afterwards, when the Inquisition took firm
ground against Macanaz and the royal prerogative, the king yielded, and
Macanaz fled to France. And finally, when, in 1724, after a few months
of abdication, Philip resumed the reins of government, which he should
never have laid down, no small part of the increased energy, with
which he fulfilled the duties of his high place, was inspired by the
influence of the Church. As he grew older, he grew more bigoted; and in
his last years, when the accumulated power placed in his hands by the
destruction of the few remaining privileges of Aragon and Catalonia had
made him a more absolute monarch than ever before sat on the Spanish
throne, he seemed to rejoice, as much as any of his predecessors, in
devoting the whole of his prerogatives to advance the interests of the

  [312] Mahon, War of the Succession, 1832, p. 180. Tapia,
  Historia, Tom. IV. p. 32. San Phelipe, Comentarios, Lib. XIV.

But, from first to last, there was no real relaxation in the
intolerance of the Church. The fires of the Inquisition had burnt as
if Philip the Second were on the throne. At least one _auto da fé_
was celebrated annually in each of the seventeen tribunals into which
the country was divided; so that the entire number of these atrocious
popular exhibitions of bigotry during the reign of Philip the Fifth
exceeded seven hundred and eighty. How many persons were burnt alive
in them is not exactly known; but it is believed, that there were more
than a thousand, and that at least twelve times that number were, in
different ways, subjected to public punishments and disgrace. Judaism,
which had penetrated anew into Spain, from the period of the conquest
of Portugal, was the great crime, to be hunted down with all the
ingenuity of persecution; and undoubtedly all that could be found of
the Hebrew nation or faith was now for the second time extirpated, as
nearly as it is possible to extirpate what conscience refuses to give
up, and fear and hatred have so many ways to hide. But some men of
letters--like Belando, who wrote a civil history of part of the reign
of Philip the Fifth, which he dedicated to that monarch, and which bore
on its pages all the regular permissions to be printed--were punished
without the pretence of being guilty of heresy or unbelief; and many
more disappeared from society, who, like Macanaz, were known to
entertain political opinions offensive to the Church or the government,
but of whom nothing else was known that could render them obnoxious
to censure. On the whole, therefore, down to the death of Philip the
Fifth, the old alliance between the government of the state and the
power of the Church--an alliance supported by the general assent of
the people--must still be assumed to have continued unbroken, and
its authority must still be felt to have been sufficient to control
all freedom of discussion, and effectually to check and silence such
intellectual activity as it deemed dangerous.[313]

  [313] Llorente, Hist., Tom. II. pp. 420, 424, Tom. IV. p. 31.
  The _data_ of Llorente are not so precise as they ought to be,
  but any thing approaching his results is of most fearful import.
  In a pamphlet, however, printed in 1817, (as he declares in
  his Autobiography, p. 170,) he asserts that, between 1680 and
  1808, there perished in the fires of the Inquisition fifteen
  hundred and seventy-eight persons, and that eleven thousand
  nine hundred and ninety-eight more were subjected to degrading
  punishments, making a grand total of fourteen thousand three
  hundred and sixty-four victims, of which the fifteen hundred and
  seventy-eight burnt alive must all have perished between 1680 and
  1781, when, as we shall see in the next chapter, the last victim
  was immolated.

In the reign of Ferdinand the Sixth, which lasted thirteen years, and
ended in 1759, there is evidently an improvement in this state of
things. The seeds sown in the time of his father, if less cared for and
cultivated than they should have been, were beginning to germinate and
disencumber themselves from the cold and hard soil into which they had
been cast. Foreign intercourse, especially that with France, brought in
new ideas. Ferreras, the careful, but dull, annalist of his country’s
history; Juan de Yriarte, the active head of the Royal Library; Bayer,
his learned successor; Mayans, who had a passion for collecting and
editing books; and, above all, the wise and modest Father Feyjoó, had
not labored in vain, and still survived to see the results of their

The Church itself began slowly to acknowledge the irresistible power
of advancing intelligence, and the Inquisition, without acknowledging
it, felt its influence. Not more than ten persons were burnt alive
in the time of Ferdinand the Sixth, and these were obscure relapsed
Jews;--men whose fate is as heavy a reproach to the Inquisition as if
they had been more intelligent and distinguished, but the example of
whose punishment did not strike a terror such as that of the dying
Protestants and patriots of Aragon had once done. The persecutions of
the Holy Office, in fact, not only grew less frequent and cruel, but
became more than ever subservient to the political authority of the
country, and were now chiefly exercised in relation to Freemasonry,
which was known at this period in Spain for the first time, and caused
much uneasiness to the government. But the policy of the state,
during the reign of Ferdinand the Sixth, was in the main peaceful and
healing. Efforts, not without success, were made to collect materials
for a history of the country from the earliest times. Spaniards were
sent abroad to be educated at the public expense, and foreigners
were encouraged to establish themselves in Spain, and to diffuse the
knowledge they had acquired in their own more favored homes. Every
thing, in short, indicated a spirit of change, if it did not give proof
of much absolute progress.[314]

  [314] Noticia del Viage de España hecha de Orden del Rey, por L.
  J. Velazquez, Madrid, 1765, 4to, _passim_. Llorente, Tom. IV. p.
  51. Tapia, Tom. IV. p. 73.

The direction of the literature of the country, however, was the
same it had taken from the beginning of the century. Slight, but
unsatisfactory, attempts continued to be made to adhere to the forms of
the elder time;--such attempts as are to be seen in a long narrative
poem by the Count Saldueña on the subject of Pelayo, and two very
poor imitations of the “Para Todos” of Montalvan, one of which was by
Moraleja, and the other by Ortiz. But the amount of what was undertaken
in this way was very small, and the impulse was constantly diminishing;
for the French school enjoyed now all the favor that was given to any
form of elegant literature.[315]

  [315] “El Pelayo, Poema de D. Alonso de Solís Folch de Cardona
  Rodriguez de las Varillas, Conde de Saldueña,” etc., (Madrid,
  1754, 4to,) twelve cantos in octave stanzas, written in the
  most affected style.--Joseph Moraleja, “El Entretenido, Segunda
  Parte” (Madrid, 1741, 4to); a continuation of the Entretenido
  of Sanchez Tortoles, containing the amusements of a society of
  friends for four days; _entremeses_, stories, odds and ends of
  poetry, astronomical calculations, etc., a strange and absurd
  mixture. Baena (Hijos de Madrid, Tom. III. p. 81) has a life of
  the author. The “Noches Alegres” of Isidro Fr. Ortiz Gallardo de
  Villaroel, (Salamanca, 1758, 4to,) is a shorter book, and nearly
  all in verse. Both are worthless.

In this respect, a fashionable society, called The Academy of Good
Taste, and connected with the court of Madrid, exercised some
influence. It dates from 1749, and was intended, perhaps, to resemble
those French _coteries_, which began in the reign of Louis the
Thirteenth, at the Hotel de Rambouillet, and were long so important
both in the literary and political history of France. The Countess of
Lemos, at whose house it met, was its founder, and it gradually ranked
among its members several of the more cultivated nobility and most of
the leading men of letters, such as Luzan, Montiano, Blas Nasarre,
and Velazquez, each of whom was known, either at that time or soon
afterwards, by his published works.[316]

  [316] Luzan, Arte Poética, ed. 1789, Tom. I. pp. xix., etc.

Except Luzan, of whom we have already spoken, Velazquez was the most
distinguished of their number. He was descended from an old and noble
family, in the South of Spain, and was born in 1722; but, from his
position in society, he passed most of his life at court. There he
became involved in the political troubles of the reign of Charles the
Third, in consequence of which he suffered a long imprisonment from
1766 to 1772, and died of apoplexy the same year he was released.

Velazquez was a man of talent and industry, rather than a man of
genius. He was a member, not only of the principal Spanish academies,
but of the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, and wrote
several works of learning relating to the literature and antiquities
of his country. The only one of them now much valued was published
in 1754, under the title of “Sources of Castilian Poetry,” of which
it is, in fact, a history, coming down to his own times, or near to
them. It is a slight work, confused in its arrangement, and too short
to develope its subject satisfactorily; but it is written in a good
style, and occasionally shows acuteness in its criticism of individual
authors. Its chief fault is, that it is devoted to the French school,
and is an attempt to carry out, by means of an historical discussion,
the doctrines laid down nearly twenty years before by Luzan, in his
theory of poetical composition.[317]

  [317] Luis Joseph Velazquez, “Orígenes de la Poesía Castellana,”
  Málaga, 1754, 4to, pp. 175. J. A. Dieze, who was a Professor at
  Göttingen, and died in 1785, published a German translation of
  it in 1769, with copious and excellent notes, which more than
  double, not only the size of the original work, but its value.
  The Life of Velazquez, who was Marquis of Valdeflores, though he
  does not generally allude to his title in his printed works, is
  to be found in Sempere y Guarinos, Bib., Tom. VI. p. 139.

Mayans, a Valencian gentleman of learning, and another of those who
had a considerable influence on Spanish literature at this period,
followed a similar course in his “Retórica,” which appeared in 1757,
and is founded rather on the philosophical opinions of the Roman
rhetoricians than on the modification of those opinions by Boileau and
his followers. It is a long and very cumbrous work, less fitted to the
wants of the times than that of Luzan, and even more opposed to the
old Castilian spirit, which submitted so unwillingly to rules of any
sort. But it is a storehouse of curious extracts from authors belonging
to the best period of Spanish literature, almost always selected with
good judgment, if not always skilfully applied to the matter under

  [318] Gregorio Mayans y Siscar, who wrote and edited a great many
  books in Latin and Spanish, was born in 1699, and died in 1782.
  His life and a list of his works may be made out from the united
  accounts of Ximeno, Tom. II. p. 324, and Fuster, Tom. II. p. 98.

To these works of Mayans, Velazquez, and Luzan should be added the
Preface by Nasarre to the plays of Cervantes, in 1749, where an attempt
is made to take the authority of his great name from the school that
prevailed in his time, by showing that these unsuccessful efforts of
the author of “Don Quixote” were only caricatures ridiculing Lope de
Vega; not dramatic compositions intended for serious success in the
extravagant career which Lope’s versatile genius had opened to his
contemporaries. But this attempt was a failure, and was only one of a
long series of efforts made to discountenance the old theatre, that
must be noticed hereafter.[319]

  [319] There was a severe answer made at once to Blas Nasarre,
  by Don Joseph Carrillo, entitled “Sin Razon impugnada,” 4to,
  1750, pp. 25; besides which, his Preface was attacked by Don T.
  Zabaleta, in his “Discurso Crítico,” etc., (4to, 1750, pp. 258,)
  which is a general, loose defence of Lope and his school. But
  neither was needed. The theory of Nasarre was too absurd to win



The reign of Ferdinand the Sixth, which had been marked with little
political energy during its continuance, was saddened, at its close,
by the death of the monarch from grief at the loss of his queen. But
it had not been without beneficial influences on the country. A wise
economy had been introduced, for the first time since the discovery of
America, into the administration of the state; the abused powers of the
Church had been diminished by a _concordat_ with the Pope; the progress
of knowledge had been furthered; and Father Feyjoó, vigorous, though
old, was still permitted, if not encouraged, to go on with his great
task, and create a school that should rest on the broad principles of
philosophy recognized in England and in France.

We must not, however, be misled by such general statements. Spain,
notwithstanding half a century of advancement, was still deplorably
behind the other countries of Western Europe in that intellectual
cultivation, without which no nation in modern times can be prosperous,
strong, or honored. “There is not,” says the Marquis of Enseñada, in
a report made to the king, as minister of state,--“there is not a
professorship of public law, of experimental science, of anatomy, or
of botany, in the kingdom. We have no exact geographical maps of the
country or its provinces, nor any body who can make them; so that we
depend on the very imperfect maps we receive from France and Holland,
and are shamefully ignorant of the true relations and distances of our
own towns.”[320]

  [320] Tapia, Historia, Tom. IV. c. 15.

  Many of the best materials for the state of culture in Spain,
  during the reign of Charles III., are to be found in the
  “Biblioteca de los Mejores Escritores del Reynado de Carlos
  III., por Juan Sempere y Guarinos,” Madrid, 1785-89, 6 tom.
  8vo. When the author published it, he was about thirty-five
  years old, having been born in 1754; but he was afterwards much
  more distinguished as a political writer, by his “Observaciones
  sobre las Cortes,” (1810,) his “Historia de las Cortes,” (1815,)
  and other labors of the same kind. His first acknowledged
  work was a free translation, from Muratori, of an essay, with
  additions, which he printed at Madrid, in 1782, in 12mo, with
  the title, “Sobre el Buen Gusto,” and which he accompanied by
  an original tract, “Sobre el Buen Gusto actual de los Españoles
  en la Literatura,”--the last being afterwards prefixed, with
  alterations, to his “Biblioteca.” He was a diligent and useful
  writer, and died, I believe, in 1824. A small volume, containing
  notices of his life to the time when it appeared, probably
  derived from materials furnished by himself, was printed at
  Madrid, by Amarita, in 1821, 12mo.

Under these circumstances, the accession of a prince like Charles the
Third was eminently fortunate for the country. He was a man of energy
and discernment, a Spaniard by birth and character, but one whom
political connections had placed early on the throne of Naples, where,
during a reign of twenty-four years, he had done much to restore the
dignity of a decayed monarchy, and had learned much of the condition
of Europe outside of the Pyrenees. When, therefore, the death of his
half-brother called him to the throne of Spain, he came with a kind and
degree of experience in affairs which fitted him well for his duties in
the more important and more unfortunate kingdom, whose destinies he was
to control for above a quarter of a century. Happily, he seems to have
comprehended his position from the first, and to have understood that
he was called to a great work of reform and regeneration, where his
chief contest was to be with ecclesiastical abuses.

In some respects he was successful. His ministers, Roda,
Florida-Blanca, Aranda, and Campomanes, were men of ability. By their
suggestions and assistance, he abridged the Papal power so far, that
no rescript or edict from Rome could have force in Spain without the
expressed assent of the throne; he restrained the Inquisition from
exercising any authority whatever, except in cases of obstinate heresy
or apostasy; he forbade the condemnation of any book, till its author,
or those interested in it, had had an opportunity to be heard in its
defence; and, finally, deeming the Jesuits the most active opponents of
the reforms he endeavoured to introduce, he, in one day, expelled their
whole body from his dominions all over the world, breaking up their
schools and confiscating their great revenues.[321] At the same time,
he caused improved plans of study to be suggested; he made arrangements
for popular education, such as were before unknown in Spain; and he
raised the tone of instruction and the modes of teaching in the few
higher institutions over which he could lawfully extend his control.

  [321] Llorente, Hist. de l’Inquisition, Tom. IV. Doblado’s
  Letters, 1822, Appendix to Letters III. and VII.

But many abuses were beyond his reach. When he appealed to the
Universities, urging them to change their ancient habits, and teach
the truths of the physical and exact sciences, Salamanca answered,
in 1771, “Newton teaches nothing that would make a good logician or
metaphysician, and Gassendi and Descartes do not agree so well with
revealed truth as Aristotle does.” And the other Universities showed
little more of the spirit of advancement.

With the Inquisition his success was far from being complete. His
authority was resisted, as far as resistance was possible; but the
progress of intelligence made all bigotry every year less active and
formidable; and, whether it be an honor to his reign, or whether it be
a disgrace, it is to be recorded, that the last person who perished at
the stake in Spain, by ecclesiastical authority, was an unfortunate
woman, who was burnt at Seville for witchcraft in 1781.[322]

  [322] Sempere y Guarinos, Bibliot., Tom. IV., Art. _Planes de
  Estudios_. Tapia, Tom. IV. c. 16. Llorente, Tom. IV. p. 270. The
  Marquis de Langle, in his “Voyage d’Espagne,” (s. l. 1785, 12mo,
  p. 45,) says the poor woman burnt at Seville was “jeune et belle.”

Under the influence of a spirit like that of Charles the Third,
during a reign protracted to twenty-nine years, there was a new and
considerable advancement in whatever tends to make life desirable, of
which the country on all sides gave token. The population, which had
fled or died away, seemed to spring up afresh in places that oppression
had made desert, and having regained something under the first of the
Bourbons, it now, under the third, recovered rapidly the numbers it had
lost in the days of the House of Austria, by wars all over the world,
by emigration, by the persecution of the Jews and the expulsion of the
Moriscos, by bad legislation, and by the cruel spirit of religious
intolerance. The revenues in the same period were increased threefold,
without adding to the burdens of the people; and the country seemed to
be brought from a state of absolute bankruptcy to one of comparative
ease and prosperity. It was certain, therefore, that Spain was not
falling to ruin, as it had been in the time of Charles the Second.[323]

  [323] Tapia, Tom. IV. pp. 124, etc. When the Emperor Charles V.
  came to the throne, Spain counted ten and a half millions of
  souls; at the time of the treaty of Utrecht, it counted but seven
  millions and a half; a monstrous falling off, if we consider the
  advancement of the rest of Europe during the same period.

But all intellectual cultivation is slow of growth, and all
intellectual reform still slower. The life and health infused into the
country were, no doubt, felt in every part of its physical system,
reviving and renewing the powers that had been so long wasted away,
and that at one period had seemed near to speedy dissolution. But it
was obvious, that much time must still elapse before such healthful
circulations could reach the national culture generally, and a still
longer time before they could revive that elegant literature, which is
the bright, consummate flower of all true civilization. Yet life was
beginning to be seen. It was a dawn, if it was nothing more.

The first striking effect produced by this movement in the reigns of
Ferdinand the Sixth and Charles the Third was one quite in sympathy
with the spirit of the nation, then resisting the ecclesiastical
abuses that had so long oppressed it. It was an attack on the style
of popular preaching, which, originally corrupted by Paravicino, the
distinguished follower of Góngora, had been constantly falling lower
and lower, until, at last, it seemed to have reached the lowest point
of degradation and vulgarity. The assailant was Father Isla, who was
born in 1703 and died in 1781, at Bologna, where, being a Jesuit, he
had retired, on the general expulsion of his Order from Spain.[324] His
earliest published work is his “Triumph of Youth,” printed in 1727,
to give the nation an account of a festival, celebrated that year
during eleven days at Salamanca, in honor of two very youthful saints
who had been Jesuits, and who had just been canonized by Benedict the
Thirteenth; a gay tract, full of poems, farces, and accounts of the
maskings and bull-fights to which the occasion had given rise, and
coming as near as possible to open satire of the whole matter, but yet
with great adroitness avoiding it.

  [324] Vida de J. F. de Isla, por J. I. de Salas, Madrid, 1803,

In a work somewhat similar, he afterwards went further. It was a
description of the proclamation made in 1746, at Pamplona, on the
accession of Ferdinand the Sixth, which was attended with such
extravagant and idle ceremonies, that, being required to give some
account of them to the public, he could not refrain from indulging in
his love of ridicule. But he did it with a satire so delicate and so
crafty, that those who were its subjects failed at first to apprehend
his real purpose. On the contrary, the Council of the proud capital
of Navarre thanked him for the honor he had done them; the Bishop
and Archbishop complimented him for it; several persons whom he had
particularly noticed sent him presents; and, when the irony began to be
suspected, it became a subject of public controversy, as in the case
of De Foe’s “Shortest Way with the Dissenters,” whether the praise
bestowed were in jest or in earnest;--Isla all the time defending
himself with admirable ingenuity and wit, as if he were personally
aggrieved at the unfavorable construction put upon his compliments. The
discussion ended with his retreat or exile from Pamplona.[325]

  [325] Juventud Triunfante, Salamanca, 1727, 4to. Dia Grande de
  Navarra, 2a ed., Madrid, 1746, 4to. Semanario Pintoresco, 1840,
  p. 130.

He was, however, at this period of his life occupied with more serious
duties, and soon found among them a higher mark for his wit. From the
age of twenty-four he had been a successful preacher, and continued
such until he was cruelly expelled from his own country. But he
perceived how little worthy of its great subjects was the prevalent
style of Spanish pulpit oratory,--how much it was degraded by bad
taste, by tricks of composition, by conceits and puns, and even by
a low buffoonery, in which the vulgar monks, sent to preach in the
churches or in the public streets and squares, indulged themselves
merely to win applause from equally vulgar audiences, and increase
the contributions they solicited by arts so discreditable. It is said
that at first Father Isla was swept away by the current of his times,
which ran with extraordinary force, and that he wrote, in some degree,
as others did. But he soon recognized his mistake, and his numerous
published sermons, written between 1729 and 1754, are marked with a
purity and directness of style which had long been unknown, and which,
though wanting the richness and fervor of the exhortations of Luis de
Leon and Luis de Granada, would not have dishonored the Spanish pulpit
even in their days.[326]

  [326] Vida de Isla, § 3. Sermones, Madrid, 1792-93, 6 tom. 8vo.
  Vulgar preaching in the streets was common as early as 1680, when
  Madame d’Aulnoy was in Spain. Voyage, ed. 1693, Tom. II. p. 168.

Isla, however, was not satisfied with merely setting a good example.
He determined to make a direct attack on the abuse itself. For this
purpose, he wrote what he called “The History of the Famous Preacher,
Friar Gerund”; a satirical romance, in which he describes the life of
one of these popular orators, from his birth in an obscure village,
through his education in a fashionable convent, and his adventures
as a missionary about the country; the fiction ending abruptly with
his preparation to deliver a course of sermons in a city that seems
intended to represent Madrid. It is written throughout with great
spirit; and not only are the national manners and character everywhere
present, but, in the episodes and in the occasional sketches Isla has
given of conventual and religious life in his time, there is an air
of reality which leaves no doubt that the author drew freely on the
resources of his personal experience. Its plan resembles slightly that
of “Don Quixote,” but its execution reminds us oftener of Rabelais and
his discursive and redundant reflections, though of Rabelais without
his coarseness. It is serious, as becomes the Spanish character,
and conceals under its gravity a spirit of sarcasm, which, in other
countries, seems inconsistent with the idea of dignity, but which, in
Spain, has been more than once happily united with it, and made more
effective by the union.

The sketches of character and specimens of fashionable pulpit oratory
given in the “Friar Gerund” are the best parts of it, and are agreeable
illustrations for the literary history of the eighteenth century. Of
the preacher whom the Friar took for his model we have the following
carefully drawn portrait:--

“He was in the full perfection of his strength, just about
three-and-thirty years old; tall, robust, and stout; his limbs well set
and well proportioned; manly in gait, inclining to corpulence, with an
erect carriage of his head, and the circle of hair round his tonsure
studiously and exactly combed and shaven. His clerical dress was always
neat, and fell round his person in ample and regular folds. His shoes
fitted him with the greatest nicety, and, above all, his silken cap
was adorned with much curious embroidery and a fanciful tassel,--the
work of certain female devotees who were dying with admiration of
their favorite preacher. In short, he had a very youthful, gallant
look; and, adding to this a clear, rich voice, a slight fashionable
lisp, a peculiar grace in telling a story, a talent at mimicry, an
easy action, a taking manner, a high-sounding style, and not a little
effrontery,--never forgetting to sprinkle jests, proverbs, and homely
phrases along his discourses with a most agreeable aptness,--he won
golden opinions in his public discourses, and carried every thing
before him in the drawing-rooms he frequented.”[327]

  [327] “Historia del Famoso Predicador, Fray Gerundio de
  Campazas,” Madrid, 1813, 4 tom. 12mo, Tom. I. p. 307. In the
  first edition, as well as in several other editions, it is said
  to be written by Francisco Lobon de Salazar, a name which has
  generally been supposed to be a fictitious one; but which is, in
  fact, that of a friend, who was a parish priest at Villagarcia,
  where Father Isla, who mentions him often in his letters, wrote
  his Friar Gerund.

The style of eloquence of this vulgar ecclesiastical fop, a specimen of
which follows, is no less faithfully and characteristically given; and
was taken, as Father Isla intimates was his custom, from a discourse
that had really been preached.[328]

  [328] Cartas Familiares, 1790, Tom. VI. p. 313.

“It was well known, that he always began his sermons with some proverb,
some jest, some pot-house witticism, or some strange fragment, which,
taken from its proper connections and relations, would seem, at first
blush, to be an inconsequence, a blasphemy, or an impiety; until, at
last, having kept his audience waiting a moment in wonder, he finished
the clause, or came out with an explanation which reduced the whole to
a sort of miserable trifling. Thus, preaching one day on the mystery
of the Trinity, he began his sermon by saying, ‘I deny that God exists
a Unity in essence and a Trinity in person,’ and then stopped short
for an instant. The hearers, of course, looked round on one another,
scandalized, or, at least, wondering what would be the end of this
heretical blasphemy. At length, when the preacher thought he had fairly
caught them, he went on,--‘Thus says the Ebionite, the Marcionite, the
Arian, the Manichean, the Socinian; but I prove it against them all
from the Scriptures, the Councils, and the Fathers.’

“In another sermon, which was on the Incarnation, he began by crying
out, ‘Your health, cavaliers!’ and, as the audience burst into a broad
laugh at the free manner in which he had said it, he went on:--‘This
is no joking matter, however; for it was for your health and for mine,
and for that of all men, that Christ descended from heaven and became
incarnate in the Virgin Mary. It is an article of faith, and I prove it
thus: “Propter nos, homines, et nostram _salutem_ descendit de cœlo et
incarnatus est,”’--whereat they all remained in delighted astonishment,
and such a murmur of applause ran round the church, that it wanted
little of breaking out into open acclamation.”[329]

  [329] Fray Gerundio, Tom. I. p. 309.

The first volume of the “Friar Gerund” was printed in 1758, without the
knowledge of the author, and in twenty-four hours eight hundred copies
of it were sold.[330] Such an extraordinary popularity, however, proved
any thing but a benefit. The priests, and especially the preaching
friars, assailed it from all quarters, as the most formidable attack
yet made in Spain on their peculiar craft. The consequence was, that,
though the king and the court expressed their delight in its satire,
the license to publish it further was withdrawn, its author was
summoned before the Inquisition, and his book was condemned in 1760.
But Isla was too strong in public favor and in the respect of the
Jesuits to be personally punished, and the Friar Gerund was too true
and too widely scattered to be more than nominally suppressed.[331]

  [330] Cartas Familiares, Tom. II. p. 170.

  [331] Vida de Isla, p. 63. Llorente, Hist., Tom. II. p. 450.
  Cartas Familiares de Isla, Tom. II. pp. 168, etc., and Tom. III.
  p. 213. There are several amusing letters about Fray Gerundio
  in the second volume of the Cartas Familiares. The Inquisition
  (Index, 1790) not only forbade the work itself, but forbade any
  body to publish any thing for or _against_ it.

The second volume did not fare so well. After the censure passed on
the first, it could not, of course, be licensed, and so remained for a
long time in manuscript, a forbidden book. In fact, it first appeared
in England, and in the English language, in 1772, through the agency of
Baretti, to whom the original had been sent after its author had gone
to Italy. But an edition of the whole work in Spanish soon appeared at
Bayonne, followed by other editions in other places; and, though it
was never licensed at home till 1813,--and then only to be forbidden
anew the next year, on the return of Ferdinand the Seventh,--still few
books have been better known, all over Spain, to the more intelligent
classes of the Spanish people, than Friar Gerund, from the day of its
first publication to the present time. What is of more consequence, it
was, from the first, successful in its main purpose. The _sobriquet_
of Friar Gerund was given at once to those who indulged in the vulgar
style of preaching it was intended to discountenance, and any one who
was admitted to deserve the appellation could no longer collect an
audience, except such as was gathered from the populace of the public

  [332] Watt, Bibliotheca, art. _Isla._ Wieland, Teutsche Merkur,
  1773, Tom. III. p. 196. Baretti’s Proposals for Printing the
  Translation of Friar Gerund, prefixed to that work, London, 1772,
  2 tom. 8vo.

In consequence of the alarm and anxieties that accompanied his sudden
and violent expulsion from Spain, in 1767, Father Isla suffered on the
road an attack of paralysis, which made his health uncertain for the
remaining fourteen years of his life. Still, after his death, it was
found that in these sad years he had not been idle. Among his papers
was a poem in sixteen cantos, containing above twelve thousand lines
in octave stanzas. It is called “Cicero,” and claims to be a life of
the great Roman orator. But it is no such thing. It is a satire on
the vices and follies of the author’s own time, begun in Spain, but
chiefly written during his exile in Italy; and, though it contains
occasional sketches of an imaginary life of Cicero’s mother, they are
very inconsiderable, and, as for Cicero himself, the poem leaves him in
his cradle, only eighteen months old.

One of the subjects of its satire is the whole class of Spanish
narrative poems, of which, and especially of those devoted to the lives
of the saints, it may be regarded as a sort of parody; but its main
purpose is to ridicule the lives of modern fine ladies, and the modes
of early education then prevalent. The whole, however, is mingled with
inappropriate discussions about Italy, poetry, and a country life, and
hardly less inappropriate satire of professed musicians, theatres,
and poets who praise one another; in short, with whatever occurred to
Father Isla’s wayward humor as he was writing. From internal evidence,
it seems to have been read, from time to time as it was written, to a
society of friends,--probably some of the numerous exiles who, like
himself, had resorted to Bologna, and subsisted there on the miserable
pittance the Spanish government promised them, but often failed to pay.
For such a purpose it was not ill adapted by its clear, flowing style,
and occasionally by its pungent satire; but its cumbrous length and
endless digressions, often trifling both in matter and manner, render
it quite unfit for publication. It was, however, offered to the public
censor, and permission to print it was refused, though for reasons so
frivolous, that it seems certain the real objection was not to the
poem, but to the author.[333]

  [333] The autograph manuscript of “El Ciceron,” neatly written
  out in 219 folio pages, double columns, with the corrections
  of the author and the erasures of the censor, is in the Boston
  Athenæum. It is accompanied by three autograph letters of Father
  Isla; by the opinion of the censor, that the poem ought not to be
  published; and by an answer to that opinion;--the last two being
  anonymous. These curious and valuable manuscripts were procured
  in Madrid by E. Weston, Esq., and presented by him to the Library
  of the Athenæum, in 1844.

Others of Father Isla’s works were more fortunate. Six volumes of his
sermons were collected and published, and six volumes of his letters,
chiefly addressed to his sister and her husband, and written in a very
affectionate and gay spirit. To these, at different times, were added
a few minor works of a trifling character, and one or two that are

  [334] The works alluded to are,--“El Mercurio General,” (Madrid,
  1784, 18mo,) being extracts from accounts claimed to have been
  written by Father Isla for that journal, in 1758, of the European
  events of the year, but not certainly his;--“Cartas de Juan de la
  Enzina,” (Madrid, 1784, 18mo,) a satirical work on the follies of
  Spanish medicine;--“Cartas Familiares,” written between 1744 and
  1781; published, 1785-86, also in a second edition, Madrid, 1790,
  6 tom. 12mo;--“Coleccion de Papeles Crítico-Apologéticos,” (1788,
  2 tom. 18mo,) in defence of Feyjoó;--“Sermones,” Madrid, 1792, 6
  tom. 8vo;--“Rebusco,” etc., (Madrid, 1790, 18mo,) a collection
  of miscellanies, some of which are probably not by Father
  Isla;--“Los Aldeanos Críticos”; again in defence of Feyjoó;--and
  various papers in the Seminario Erudito, Tom. XVI., XX., and
  XXXIV., and in the supplementary volume of the “Fray Gerundio.”
  A poem, entitled “Sueño Político,” (Madrid, 1785, 18mo,) on the
  accession of Charles III., is also attributed to him; and so are
  “Cartas atrasadas del Parnaso,” a satire which is not supposed to
  have been written by him, though it reminds one sometimes of the

But what most surprised the world was his translation of “Gil Blas,”
printed in 1787, claiming the work, on which the fame of Le Sage must
always principally rest, as “stolen from the Spanish, and now,” in the
words of Father Isla’s title-page, “restored to its country and native
language by a Spaniard, who does not choose to have his nation trifled
with.”[335] The external grounds for this extraordinary charge are
slight. The first suggestion occurs in 1752, and is made by Voltaire,
who, in his “Age of Louis the Fourteenth,” declares the Gil Blas “to
be entirely taken from Espinel’s ‘Marcos de Obregon.’” This charge,
as we have seen, is not true, and we have reason to believe that it
was the result of personal ill-will on the part of Voltaire, who had
himself been attacked in the Gil Blas, and who had, in some way or
other, heard that Le Sage was indebted to Espinel. Afterwards, similar
declarations are made in two or three books of no authority, and
especially in a Biographical Dictionary printed at Amsterdam in 1771.
But this is all.

  [335] “Aventuras de Gil Blas de Santillana, robadas á España,
  adoptadas en Francia por Mons. Le Sage, restituidas á su Patria
  y á su Lengua nativa, por un Español zeloso, que no sufre que se
  burlen de su Nacion,” Madrid, 1787, 6 tom. 8vo, and often since.
  Though in great poverty himself, Isla gave any profit that might
  come from his version of the Gil Blas to assist a poor Spanish

Roused by such suggestions, however, Father Isla amused himself
with making a translation of Gil Blas, adding to it a long and not
successful continuation,[336] and declaring, without ceremony or
proof, that it was the work of an Andalusian advocate, who gave his
manuscript to Le Sage, when Le Sage was in Spain, either as a secretary
of the French embassy, or as a friend of the French ambassador. But
all this seems to be without any foundation, for the manuscript has
never been produced; the advocate has never been named; and Le Sage
was never in Spain. Still, the Spanish claim has not been abandoned.
On the contrary, Llorente, in two ingenious and learned works on the
subject, one in French and the other in Spanish, but both printed in
1822, reasserts it, with great earnestness, resting his proofs on
internal evidence, and insisting that Gil Blas is certainly of Spanish
origin, and that it is probably the work, not indeed of Father Isla’s
Andalusian advocate, but of Solís, the historian;--a suggestion, for
which Llorente produces no better reason, than that nobody else of the
period to which he assigns the Gil Blas was able, in his judgment, to
write such a romance.[337]

  [336] Another continuation of Gil Blas, less happy even than
  that of Father Isla, appeared, in 2 tom. 8vo, at Madrid, in
  1792, entitled “Genealogia de Gil Blas, Continuacion de la Vida
  de este famoso Sujeto, por su Hijo Don Alfonso Blas de Liria.”
  Its author was Don Bernardo Maria de Calzada, a person who, a
  little earlier, had translated much from the French. (Sempere,
  Biblioteca, Tom. VI. p. 231.) This work, too, the author declared
  to be a translation, and, like Isla, set forth on his title-page
  that it was “restored to the language in which it was originally
  written.” But the whole is a worthless fiction, title-page and
  all, though the attempt to make out for Gil Blas a clear and
  noble genealogy on the side of his mother must be admitted to
  be a truly Spanish fancy. (See Libros III. y IV.) The story is

  [337] Voltaire, Œuvres, ed. Beaumarchais, Tom. XX. p. 155. Le
  Sage, Œuvres, Paris, 1810, 8vo, Tom. I. p. xxxix., where Voltaire
  is said to have been attacked by Le Sage, in one of his dramas;
  besides which it is supposed Le Sage ridiculed him under the name
  of Triaquero, in Gil Blas, Lib. X. c. 5. But the most important
  and curious discussion concerning the authorship of Gil Blas is
  the one that was carried on, between 1818 and 1822, by François
  de Neufchâteau and Antonio de Llorente, the author of the History
  of the Inquisition. It began with a memoir, by the first, read
  to the French Academy, (1818,) and an edition of Gil Blas,
  (Paris, 1820, 3 tom. 8vo,) in both of which he maintains Le Sage
  to be the true author of that romance. To both Llorente replied
  by a counter memoir, addressed to the French Academy, and by
  his “Observations sur Gil Blas,” (Paris, 1822, 12mo,) and his
  “Observaciones sobre Gil Blas” (Madrid, 1822, 12mo); two works
  not exactly alike, but substantially so, and equally maintaining
  that Gil Blas is Spanish in its origin, and probably the work of
  Solís, the historian, who, as Llorente _conjectures_, wrote a
  romance in Spanish, entitled, “El Bachiller de Salamanca,” the
  manuscript of which coming into the possession of Le Sage, he
  first plundered from it the materials for his Gil Blas, which he
  published in 1715-35, and then gave the world the remainder as
  the “Bachelier de Salamanque,” in 1738. This theory of Llorente
  is explained, with more skill than is shown in its original
  framing, by the late accomplished scholar, Mr. A. H. Everett, in
  an article which first appeared in the North American Review,
  for October, 1827, when its author was Minister of the United
  States in Spain, and afterwards in his pleasant “Critical and
  Miscellaneous Essays,” published in Boston, 1845, 12mo.

But there is a ready answer to all such merely conjectural criticism.
Le Sage proceeded, as an author in romantic fiction, just as he had
done when he wrote for the public theatre; and the results at which he
arrived in both cases are remarkably similar. In the drama, he began
with translations and imitations from the Spanish, such as his “Point
of Honor,” which is taken from Roxas, and his “Don Cesar Ursino,”
which is from Calderon; but afterwards, when he better understood his
own talent and had acquired confidence from success, he came out with
his “Turcaret,” a wholly original comedy, which, far surpassed all he
had before attempted, and showed how much he had been wasting his
strength as an imitator. Just so he did in romance-writing. He began
with translating the “Don Quixote” of Avellaneda, and remodelling
and enlarging the “Diablo Cojuelo” of Guevara. But the “Gil Blas,”
the greatest of all his works of prose fiction, is the result of his
confirmed strength; and, in its characteristic merits, is as much his
own as the “Turcaret.”

On this point, the internal evidence is as decisive as the external.
The frequent errors of this remarkable romance in Spanish geography and
history show, that it could hardly have been the work of a Spaniard,
and certainly not of a Spaniard so well informed as Solís; its private
anecdotes of society in the time of Louis the Fourteenth and Louis
the Fifteenth prove it to have been almost necessarily written by a
Frenchman; while, at the same time, the freedom with which, as we go
on, we find that every thing Spanish is plundered,--now a tale taken
from “Marcos de Obregon,” now an intrigue or a story from a play of
Mendoza, of Roxas, or of Figueroa,--points directly to Le Sage’s old
habits, and to his practised skill in turning to account every thing
that he deemed fitted to his purpose. The result is, that he has,
by the force of his genius, produced a work of great brilliancy; in
which, from his entire familiarity with Spanish literature and his
unscrupulous use of it, he has preserved the national character with
such fidelity, that a Spaniard is almost always unwilling to believe
that the Gil Blas, especially now that he has it in the excellent
version of Father Isla, could have been written by any body but one of
his own countrymen.[338]

  [338] “Le Point d’Honneur” is from “No hay Amigo para Amigo,”
  which is the first play in the Comedias de Roxas, 1680;--and
  “Don Cesar Ursino” is from “Peor esta que estaba,” in Calderon,
  Comedias, 1763, Tom. III. The errors of Gil Blas in Spanish
  geography and history are constantly pointed out by Llorente as
  blunders of Le Sage in the careless use of his original; while,
  on the other hand, Fr. de Neufchâteau points out its allusions to
  Parisian society in the time of Le Sage. But of his free use of
  Spanish fictions, which he took no pains to conceal, the proof
  is abundant. I have already noticed, when speaking of Espinel,
  (_ante_, pp. 67-70,) how much Le Sage took from “Marcos de
  Obregon”; but, besides this, the adventures of Don Rafael with
  the Seigneur de Moyadas in Gil Blas (Lib. V. c. 1) are taken from
  “Los Empeños del Mentir” of Mendoza (Fenix Castellano, 1690, p.
  254);--the story of the Marriage de Vengeance in Gil Blas (Lib.
  IV. c. 4) is from the play of Roxas, “Casarse por Vengarse”;--the
  story of Aurora de Guzman in Gil Blas (Lib. IV. c. 5 and 6) is
  from “Todo es enredos Amor,” by Diego de Córdoba y Figueroa;--and
  so on. See Tieck’s _Vorrede_ to his translation of Marcos de
  Obregon (1827); Adolfo de Castro’s Poesías de Calderon y Plagios
  de Le Sage, (Cadiz, 1845, 18mo, a curious little pamphlet); and
  the fourth book of the same author’s “Conde Duque de Olivares”
  (Cadiz, 1846, 8vo). In his “Bachelier de Salamanque,” Le Sage
  goes one step further. On the title-page of this romance, first
  printed three years after the last volume of Gil Blas appeared,
  he says expressly, that “it is translated from a Spanish
  manuscript,” and yet the story of Doña Cintia de la Carrera, in
  the fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth chapters, is taken from Moreto’s
  “Desden con el Desden”; a play as well known as any in Spanish

The chief talent of Father Isla was in satire, and the great service
he performed for his country was that of driving from its respectable
churches the low and vulgar style of preaching with which they had
long been infested;--a work which the “Friar Gerund” achieved almost
as completely as the “Don Quixote” did that of destroying the insane
passion for books of chivalry which prevailed in the seventeenth

But, meanwhile, other attempts were making in other directions to
revive the literature of the country; some by restoring a taste for the
old national poetry, some by attempting to accommodate every thing to
the French doctrines of the age of Louis the Fourteenth, and some by an
ill-defined and often, perhaps, unconscious struggle to unite the two
opinions, and to form a school whose character should be unlike that of
either and yet in advance of both.

In the direction of the earlier national poetry little was done by
original efforts, but something was attempted in other ways. Huerta,
a fierce, but inconsistent, adversary of the French innovations,
printed, in 1778, a volume of poems almost entirely in the old manner;
but it was too much marked with the bad taste of the preceding century
to enjoy even a temporary success, and its author, therefore, could
boast of no follower of any note in a path which was constantly less
and less trodden.[339]

  [339] “Poesías de Don Vicente Garcia de la Huerta,” Madrid, 1778,
  12mo, and a second edition, 1786. “La Perromachia,” a mock-heroic
  on the loves and quarrels of sundry dogs, by Francisco Nieto
  Molina, (Madrid, 1765, 12mo,) is too poor to deserve notice,
  though it is an attempt to give greater currency to the earlier
  national verse,--the _redondillas_.

On the other hand, more was done with effect to recall the memory of
the old masters themselves. Lopez de Sedano, between 1768 and 1778,
published his “Spanish Parnassus,” in nine volumes; a work which,
though ill digested and not always showing good taste in its selections
and criticisms, is still a rich mine of the poetry of the country in
its best days, and contains important materials for the history of
Spanish literature from the period of Boscan and Garcilasso.[340]
Sanchez went further back, and in 1779 offered, to his countrymen, for
the first time, the greater legendary treasures of their heroic ages,
beginning with the noble old poem of the Cid, but unhappily leaving
incomplete a task for which he had proved himself so well fitted by
his learning and zeal, if not by his acuteness.[341] And finally,
Sarmiento, a friend of Feyjoó, and one of his ablest public defenders,
undertook an elaborate history of Spanish poetry, which contains
important discussions relating to the period embraced by the inquiries
of Sanchez, but which was broken off by the death of its venerable
author in 1770, and remained unpublished till five years later.[342]
These three works, though they excited too little attention at first,
were still works of importance, and have served as the foundation for a
better state of things since.

  [340] J. J. Lopez de Sedano, “Parnaso Español,” (Madrid,
  Sancha, 1768-78, 9 tom. 12mo,) was the subject, of a good deal
  of criticism soon after it appeared. The club of the elder
  Moratin--to be noticed immediately--was much dissatisfied with
  it (Obras Póstumas de N. F. Moratin, Londres, 1825, 12mo, p.
  xxv.);--Yriarte in 1778 printed a dialogue on it, “Donde las
  dan las toman,” full of severity (Obras, 1805, Tom. VI.);--and
  in 1785 Sedano replied, under the name of Juan Maria Chavero y
  Eslava de Ronda, in four volumes, 12mo, published at Málaga and
  called the “Colóquios de Espina.”

  [341] T. A. Sanchez (born 1732, died 1798) published his “Poesías
  Anteriores al Siglo XV.” at Madrid, in 4 tom. 8vo, 1779-90, but
  printed very little else.

  [342] Martin Sarmiento, “Memorias para la Historia de la Poesía
  y Poetas Españoles,” Madrid, 1775, 4to. He was born in 1692,
  and wrote a great deal, but published little. His defence of
  his master, Feyjoó, (1732,) generally goes with the “Teatro
  Crítico”; and some of his tracts are to be found in the Seminario
  Erudito, Tom. V., VI., XIX., and XX. His “Historia de la Poesía,”
  printed as the first volume of his Works, which were not further
  continued, is the more valuable, because, making his inquiries
  quite independently of Sanchez, he often comes to the same

The doctrines of the French school, somewhat modified, perhaps, by the
reproduction of the elder Spanish literature, but still substantially
unchanged, found followers more numerous and active. During the reign
of Charles the Third, Moratin the elder, a gentleman of an old Biscayan
family, who was born in 1737, and died in 1780, succeeded, in a great
degree, to the inheritance of Luzan’s opinions, and devoted himself
to the reform of the taste of his countrymen. He was the friend of
Montiano, who had himself endeavoured to introduce classical tragedy
upon the Spanish stage, and who had, probably, some share in forming
the literary character of the young poet. But the court, as usual, was
an element in the movement. Moratin was received with flattering regard
by the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, the head of the great house of the
Guzmans; by the Duke of Ossuna, long ambassador in France; by Aranda,
the wise minister of state, who rarely forgot the cause of intellectual
culture; and by the Infante Don Gabriel de Bourbon, the accomplished
translator of Sallust; and each of these persons was thus able,
through Moratin, to exercise an influence on the state of letters in

His first public effort of any consequence, except a drama that will be
noticed hereafter, was his “Poeta,” which appeared in 1764. It consists
entirely of his own shorter poems, and is among the many proofs how
small was the interest then felt in literature, since, though the
whole collection fills only a hundred and sixty pages, it was found
expedient to publish it in ten successive numbers, in order to give
it a fair opportunity to be circulated and read. This was followed,
the next year, by the “Diana,” a short didactic poem, in six books, on
the Chase, and in 1765 by a narrative poem on the Destruction of his
Ships by Cortés, to which if we add a volume published by the piety of
his son in 1821, and containing, with a modest and beautiful life of
their author, a collection of poems, most of which had not before been
published, we shall have all of the elder Moratin that can now interest

Its value is not great; and yet portions of it are not likely to
be soon forgotten. The “Epic Canto,” as he calls it, on the bold
adventure of Cortés in burning his ships, is the noblest poem of its
class produced in Spain during the eighteenth century, and gives more
pleasure than almost any of the historical epics that preceded it in
such large numbers. Some of his shorter pieces, like his ballads on
Moorish subjects, and an ode to a champion in the bull-fights,--which
Moratin constantly frequented, and of which he printed a pleasant
historical sketch,--are full of spirit. All he wrote, indeed, is marked
by purity and exactness of language and harmony of versification;
showing that, though he possessed to an extraordinary degree the power
of an improvisator, he composed carefully and finished with patience.
But his chief success was as a public teacher; laboring faithfully
in the chair of the Imperial College, where he took the place of his
friend Ayala, and rebuking the bad taste of his times by the strength
of his own modest example.[343]

  [343] Besides the poems noted in the text, I have, by Moratin the
  elder, an Ode on account of an act of mercy and pardon by Charles
  III., in 1762, and the “Egloga á Velasco y Gonzalez,” printed
  on occasion of their portraits being placed in the Academy, in
  1770; both of little consequence, but not, I believe, noticed
  elsewhere. His “Obras Póstumas” were printed at Barcelona, in
  1821, 4to, and reprinted at London, in 1825, 12mo. Moratin’s
  “Carta Sobre las Fiestas de Toros,” (Madrid, 1777, 12mo,) which
  is a slight prose tract, is intended to prove historically that
  the amusement of bull-fighting is Spanish in its origin and
  character;--a point concerning which those who have read the
  Chronicles of Muntaner and the Cid can have little doubt. Moratin
  had the power of improvisating with great effect. Obras, 1825,
  pp. xxxiv.-xxxix.

Moratin was an amiable man, and gathered the men of letters of the
Spanish capital in a friendly circle about him. They met in one of
the better class of taverns,--the Fonda de San Sebastian,--where they
maintained a club-room that was always open and ready to receive them.
Ayala, the tragic writer; Cerdá, the literary antiquarian; Rios, who
wrote the analysis of “Don Quixote” prefixed to the magnificent edition
of the Academy; Ortega, the botanist and scholar; Pizzi, the Professor
of Arabic Literature; Cadahalso, the poet and essayist; Muñoz, the
historian of the New World; Yriarte, the fabulist; Conti, the Italian
translator of a collection of Spanish poetry; Signorelli, the author
of the general history of theatres; and others,--were members of this
pleasant association, and resorted continually to its cheerful saloon.

How truly Spanish was the tone of their intercourse may be gathered
from the fact, that they had but one law to govern all their
proceedings, and that was, never to speak on any subject except the
Theatre, Bull-fights, Love, and Poetry. But in every thing they
undertook they were much in earnest. They read their works to each
other for mutual, friendly criticism, and discussed freely whatever was
written at the time, and whatever they thought would tend to revive
the decayed spirit of their country. They read, too, and examined the
literature of other nations; and, if their tendencies were more towards
the school of Boileau and the great masters of Italy, than might have
been anticipated from the spirit of their association, it should be
borne in mind, that two of their most active members were Italian men
of letters, that the court had recently come from Naples, and that the
spirit of the times much favored all that was French, and especially
the French theatre.[344]

  [344] N. F. Moratin, Obras Póstumas, 1821, pp. xxiv.-xxxi.

Among the most interesting members of this agreeable society was José
de Cadahalso, a gentleman descended from one of the old mountain
families of the North of Spain, but born at Cadiz in 1741. His
education was conducted from early youth in Paris, but before he was
twenty years old he had visited Italy, Germany, England, and Portugal,
and obtained a knowledge of the language and literature of each, and
especially of England, sufficient to emancipate him from many national
prejudices, and make him more useful to the cause of letters at home
than he would otherwise have been.

On his return to Spain he took the military dress of Santiago, and
entered the army. There he rose rapidly, till he reached the rank of
colonel; but, in all the different places to which his own choice or
the service of his regiment carried him,--Saragossa, Madrid, Alcalá de
Henares, and Salamanca,--he sought occasion to continue his earlier
pursuits, and succeeded in connecting himself with the leading spirits
of the time, such as Moratin, Iglesias, Yriarte, the wise Jovellanos,
and the young and promising Melendez Valdes. But his career, though
successful, was short. He perished at the siege of Gibraltar, struck by
a bomb, on the 27th of February, 1782, and the governor of the besieged
fortress joined in the general sorrow over the grave of an honorable
enemy who had been distinguished alike in letters and in arms.[345]

  [345] Sempere, Biblioteca, Tom. II. p. 21. Puybusque, Tom. II.
  p. 493. His name, I believe, was originally spelt _Cadalso_; but
  as that is a recognized word, meaning “scaffold,” it is softened
  in the recent Madrid editions of his Works into _Cadahalso_,
  which means “cottage” or “shanty.” Both these words, however,
  are regarded as one and the same, in the first edition of the
  Dictionary of the Academy, so that perhaps not much is gained by
  the change.

In 1772 Cadahalso published his “Eruditos á la Violeta,” or Fashionable
Learning, to which, from its considerable success, he added a
supplement the same year. The original work is a pleasant satire on
the superficial scholarship of his times, and is thrown into the form
of directions how to teach the whole circle of human knowledge in a
course of lectures, that shall just fill the seven days of the week;
the supplement giving a few further illustrations of the same subject,
and some of the results of such teachings on the unhappy scholars who
had been its victims. This, with a volume of poems printed the next
year, and containing several careful translations from the ancients,
a few satirical trifles after the manner of Quevedo, and a good many
Anacreontic songs and tales in the manner of Villegas, are all of his
works that were published during his lifetime.

But after his death there was found among his papers a collection of
letters, supposed to have been written by a person connected with an
embassy to Spain from Morocco, and addressed to his friends at home.
They belong to the large family of works of fiction, begun by Marana’s
“Turkish Spy,” and are commonly set down as imitations of Montesquieu’s
“Persian Letters,” but, in fact, show a nearer relationship with
Goldsmith’s “Citizen of the World.” The whole work, however, is more
occupied with literary discussions and temporary satire, than either
of those just referred to; and therefore, though it is written in a
pure and pleasant style, with wit and good sense, it has been far from
obtaining a place, like theirs, in the general regard of the world.
Still, like the rest of his posthumous works, which comprise a few more
compositions in prose satire and a few more poems, the best of which
are in the old short verses always so popular in Spain, “The Moorish
Letters” of Cadahalso have been often reprinted, and probably are not
destined to be forgotten.[346]

  [346] His “Eruditos á la Violeta,” and his poetry, “Ocios de mi
  Juventud,” were printed at Madrid, 1772 and 1773, 4to, under the
  assumed name of Joseph Vasquez. An edition of his Works, with an
  excellent Life by Navarrete, appeared at Madrid, in 1818, in 3
  tom. 12mo, and has been reprinted more than once since. For the
  contemporary opinion of Cadahalso, see Sempere, _loc. cit._

Another member of the society founded by Moratin, and one of the most
prominent of them, was Thomas de Yriarte, a gentleman who was born
on the island of Teneriffe in 1750, but received that part of his
education which decided the course of his life at Madrid, under the
auspices of his uncle, Don Juan de Yriarte, the learned head of the
King’s Library. The young man was known as a dramatic writer, and as
a translator of French plays for the royal theatres, from the age of
eighteen; and from the age of twenty-one, when he printed some good
Latin verses on the birth of the Infante, afterwards Charles the
Fourth, he was distinguished at court for his accomplishments both in
ancient and modern literature. Soon after this period he received a
place under the government; and, though his employments, both in the
Office of Foreign Affairs and in that of the Department of War, were
of an intellectual nature, still his time was much occupied by them,
and his opportunities for the indulgence of a poetical taste were much
diminished. Besides this, he had rivalries and troubles with Sedano,
Melendez, Forner, and some others of his contemporaries, and was
summoned before the Inquisition in 1786, as one tainted with the new
French philosophy. The result of all these trials and interruptions
was, that when, after his death, which occurred in 1791, his works were
collected and published, more than half of the eight small volumes
through which they were spread was found to consist of translations
and personal controversies; the translations made with skill, and the
quarrels managed with spirit and wit, but neither of them important
enough to be now remembered.

His original poetry is better. It is marked by purity of style,
regularity, and elegance, but not by power or elevation. The best of
what is merely miscellaneous is to be found in eleven Epistles, with
one of which, addressed to his friend Cadahalso, he dedicates to him
a translation of Horace’s “Art of Poetry.” But in two departments,
where his natural taste led him to labor with a decided preference, he
apparently made more effort than in any other, and had greater success.

The first of these was didactic poetry. His poem “On Music,”--a subject
which he chose from his considerable proficiency in that art,--appeared
in 1780, and was soon favorably known, not only at home, but in Italy
and France. It consists of five books, in which he discusses with
philosophical precision the elements of music; musical expression
of different kinds, but especially martial and sacred; the music of
the theatre; that of society; and that of man in solitude. The poem
is written in the free, national _silva_, irregular, but flowing,
and no want of skill is shown in its management. But, as a whole, it
has too little richness and vigor to give life to the cold forms of
instruction, in which it is throughout rigorously cast.[347]

  [347] As a sort of counterpart to the poem on Music, by Yriarte,
  may be mentioned one of less merit, published soon afterwards by
  Don Diego Antonio Rejon de Silva, “La Pintura, Poema Didáctico
  en Tres Cantos,” (Segovia, 1786, 8vo,) the first canto being on
  Design, the second on Composition, and the third on Coloring,
  with notes and a defence of Spanish artists. He was a gentleman
  of Murcia, who indulged himself in poetry and painting as an
  amateur, but whose serious occupations were in the Office of
  Foreign Affairs at Madrid. He died about 1796. Sempere y Guarinos
  (Biblioteca, Tom. V. pp. 1-6) gives an account of his few and
  unimportant works, and Cean Bermudez (Diccionario, Tom. IV. p.
  164) has a short notice of his life.

The other department, in which Yriarte was more successful, was that
of fables. Here he, in some degree, struck out a new path; for he not
only invented all his fictions, which no other fabulist in modern
times had done, but restricted them all, in their moral purpose, to
the correction of the faults and follies of men of learning,--an
application which had not before been thought of. Their whole number,
including a few that are posthumous, is nearly eighty, above sixty
of which appeared in 1782. They are written with great care, in no
less than forty different measures, and show an extraordinary degree
of ingenuity in adapting the attributes and instincts of animals to
the instruction, not of mankind at large, as had always been done
before, but to that of a separate and small class, between whom and
the inferior creation the resemblance is rarely obvious. The task was
certainly a difficult one. Perhaps, on this account, they are too
narrative in their structure, and fail somewhat in the genial spirit
which distinguishes Æsop and La Fontaine, the greatest masters of
Apologue and Fable. But their influence was so much needed in the age
of bad writing when they appeared, and they are besides so graceful in
their versification, that they were not only received with great favor
at first, but have never lost it since. Their author’s reputation, in
fact, now rests on them almost exclusively.[348]

  [348] Obras de Thomas de Yriarte, Madrid, 1805, 8 tom. 12mo.
  Villanueva, Memorias, Londres, 1825, 8vo, Tom. I. p. 27. Sempere,
  Biblioteca, Tom. VI. p. 190. Llorente, Histoire, Tom. II. p. 449.

Yriarte, however, had a rival, who shared these honors with him, and
in some respects obtained them even earlier. This was Samaniego, a
Biscayan gentleman of rank and fortune, who was born in 1745, and died
in 1801; having devoted his life, in the most disinterested manner,
to the welfare of his native province. He was one of the earliest
and most active members of the first of those societies sometimes
called “Friends of the Country,” and sometimes “Societies for Public
Improvement,” which began in the reign of Charles the Third, and
soon spread through Spain, exercising an important influence on the
education and public economy of the kingdom, and laboring to raise the
arts of life from the degraded condition into which they had fallen
during the latter period of the dominion of the House of Austria.

The Biscayan Society, founded in 1765, devoted itself much to the
education of the people; and, to favor this great cause, Samaniego
undertook to write fables suited to the capacity of the children taught
in the Society’s seminary. How early he began to prepare them is not
known; but in the first portion, published in 1781, and therefore
one year before those of Yriarte appeared, he speaks of Yriarte as
his model, and leaves no doubt that the fables of that poet had been
seen by him. The second part of Samaniego’s collection was published
in 1784, when that of his rival had been admired by the public long
enough to change the relations of the two authors, and bring up a
quarrel of pamphlets between them, little creditable to either. Both
parts, taken together, contain a hundred and fifty-seven fables, the
last nineteen of which and a few others are original, while the rest
are taken, partly from Æsop, Phædrus, and the Oriental fabulists, but
chiefly from La Fontaine and Gay. They succeeded at once. The children
learned them by heart, and the teachers of the children found in them
subjects for pleasant reading and reflection. They were, no doubt, less
carefully written than the fables of Yriarte, less original and less
exactly adapted to their purpose; but they were more free-hearted, more
natural, and adapted to a larger class of readers; in short, there is
a more easy poetical genius about them, and therefore, even if they
cannot claim a higher merit than those of Yriarte, they have taken a
stronger hold on the national regard.[349]

  [349] Felix María de Samaniego, “Fábulas en Verso Castellano para
  el Uso del Real Seminario Vascongado,” Nueva York, 1826, 18mo.
  There is a Life of the author, by Navarrete, in the fourth volume
  of Quintana’s “Coleccion,” and a reply to his attack on Yriarte
  in the sixth volume of Yriarte’s Works. For an account of the
  “patriotic societies,” see Sempere, Biblioteca, Tom. V. p. 135,
  and Tom. VI. p. 1.

The best of them are the shortest and simplest, like the following,
entitled “The Scrupulous Cats,” which was well suited to the time when
it appeared, and can hardly be amiss at any other.

    Two cats, old Tortoise-back and Kate,
    Once from its spit a capon ate.
    It was a giddy thing, be sure,
    And one they could not hide or cure.
    They licked themselves, however, clean,
    And then sat down behind a screen,
    And talked it over. Quite precise,
    They took each other’s best advice,
    Whether to eat the spit or no?
    “And _did_ they eat it?” “Sir, I trow,
    _They did not_! They were honest things,
    Who had a conscience, and knew how it stings.”[350]

  [350] Parte II. Lib. II. Fab. 9. He gives, also, an expanded
  version of the same fable, but the shortest is much the best,
  Πλέον ἥμισυ παντός.

Samaniego was not the only person who, without belonging to the society
of Moratin and his friends, coöperated with them in their efforts to
encourage a better tone in the literature of their country. Among
those who, from a similar impulse, but with less success, took the
same direction, were Arroyal, who, in 1784, published a collection
of poems, which he calls Odes, but which are oftener epigrams; and
Montengon, a Jesuit, who, after the expulsion of his Order from Spain,
began, in 1786, with his “Eusebio,” a work on education, partly in
imitation of the “Télémaque,” and then went on rapidly with a prose
epic called “Rodrigo,” a volume of Odes, and several other works,
written with little talent, and showing by their inaccuracies of style
that their author had been an exile in Italy till his mother tongue
had become strange to him. To these should be added Gregorio de Salas,
a quiet ecclesiastic, who wrote odes, fables, and other trifles, that
were several times printed after 1790; Ignacio de Meras, a courtier
of the worst days of Charles the Fourth, whose worthless dramas and
miscellaneous poetry appeared in 1792; and the Count de Noroña, a
soldier and diplomatist, who, besides a dull epic on the separation
of the Arabian empire in Spain from that of the East, printed, in
1799-1800, two volumes of verse so light, that they procured for him
sometimes the title of the Spanish Dorat. But all these writers only
showed a constantly increasing disposition to fall more and more into
the feebler French school of the eighteenth century; and while none of
them had the talent of the few active spirits collected at the Fonda de
San Sebastian in Madrid, none certainly exercised the sort of influence
they did on the poetry of their time.[351]

  [351] A few words should be added, on each of these last five

  1. “Las Odas de Leon de Arroyal,” Madrid, 1784, 12mo. At the
  end are a few worthless Anacreontics by a lady, whose name is
  not given; and at the beginning is a truly Spanish definition
  of lyrical poetry, namely, that “whose verses can be properly
  played, sung, or _danced_.”

  2. Pedro de Montengon, “Eusebio,” Madrid, 1786-87, 4 tom. 8vo.
  The first two volumes gave great offence by the absence of all
  injunctions to make religious instruction a part of education;
  and, though the remaining two made up for this deficiency, there
  is reason to believe that Montengon intended originally to follow
  the theory of the “Emile.” “El Antenor” (Madrid, 1788, 2 tom.
  8vo) is a prose poem on the tradition of the founding of Padua
  by the Trojans. “El Rodrigo” (Madrid, 1793, 8vo) is another
  prose epic, in one volume and twelve books, on the “Last of the
  Goths.” “Eudoxia,” Madrid, 1793, 8vo; again, a work on education;
  but on the education of women. “Odas,” Madrid, 1794, 8vo; very
  poor. Montengon, of whom these are not all the works, was born
  at Alicante, in 1745, and was alive in 1815. He was very young
  when he entered the Church, and lived chiefly at Naples, where he
  threw off his ecclesiastical robes and devoted himself to secular

  3. Francisco Gregorio de Salas, “Coleccion de Epigramas,” etc.,
  1792, 4th edition, Madrid, 1797, 2 tom. 12mo. His “Observatorio
  Rústico” (1770, tenth edition 1830) is a long dull eclogue,
  divided into six parts, which has enjoyed an unreasonable
  popularity. L. F. Moratin (Obras, 1830, Tom. IV. pp. 287 and
  351) gives an epitaph for Salas, with a pleasing prose account
  of his personal character, which he well says was much more
  interesting than his poetry; and Sempere (Biblioteca, Tom. V. pp.
  69, etc.) gives a list of his works, all of which, I believe, are
  in the collection printed at Madrid in 1797, _ut sup._ A small
  volume entitled “Parabolas Morales,” etc., (Madrid, 1803, 12mo,)
  consisting of prose apologues, somewhat better than any thing of
  Salas that preceded it, is, I suppose, later, and probably the
  last of his works.

  4. Ignacio de Meras, “Obras Poéticas,” (Madrid, 1797, 2 tom.
  12mo,) contain a stiff tragedy, called “Teonea,” in blank verse,
  and within the rules; a comedy called “The Ward of Madrid,” in
  the old _figuron_ style, but burlesque and dull; an epic canto on
  “The Conquest of Minorca,” in 1782, to imitate Moratin’s “Ships
  of Cortés”; a poem “On the Death of Barbarossa, in 1518”; and
  a number of sonnets and odes, some of the last of which should
  rather be called ballads, and some of them satires;--the whole
  very meagre.

  5. Gaspar de Noroña, whose family was of Portuguese origin, was
  bred a soldier and served at the siege of Gibraltar, where he
  wrote an elegy on the death of Cadahalso (Poesías de Noroña,
  Madrid, 1799-1800, 2 tom. 12mo, Tom. II. p. 190). He rose in
  the army to be a lieutenant-general, and, while holding that
  rank, published his Ode on the Peace of 1795, (Tom. I. p. 172,)
  by which he was first publicly known as a poet, and which,
  except, perhaps, a few of his shorter and lighter poems, is
  the best of his works. Afterwards he was sent as ambassador to
  Russia, but returned to defend his country when it was invaded
  by the French, and was made governor of Cadiz. He died in 1815,
  (Fuster, Biblioteca, Tom. II. p. 381,) and in 1816 his epic,
  entitled “Ommiada,” was published at Madrid, in two volumes,
  12mo, containing above fifteen thousand verses; as dull, perhaps,
  as any of the similar poems that abound in Spanish literature,
  but less offensive to good taste than most of them. In 1833,
  there appeared at Paris his “Poesías Asiáticas puestas en Verso
  Castellano,” translations from the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish,
  made, as he says in the Preface, to give him poetical materials
  for his epic. His “Quicaida,” a heroi-comic poem, in eight
  cantos, filled with parodies, is very tedious. It is in his
  Poesías, printed in 1800.



Both the parties, into which Spanish literature was divided about the
middle of the eighteenth century, erred by running into those extremes
of opinion which are rarely right in any thing and never in matters of
taste. Moratin was wrong in speaking with contempt of such poetry as
the fine old ballad of “Calaynos,” and Huerta was equally wrong when he
said, that the “Athalie” of Racine might be fit to be represented by
boarding-school misses, but was fit for nothing else. It was natural,
therefore, that another party, or school, should be formed, which
should endeavour to avoid the excesses of both its predecessors, and
unite their merits; one that should not be insensible to the power
and richness of the old writers of the time of the Philips, and yet,
escaping from their extravagances and bad taste, should mould itself
in some degree according to the severe state of literary opinion
then prevailing on the Continent. Such a school in fact appeared at
Salamanca in the latter part of the reign of Charles the Third and the
beginning of that of Charles the Fourth.

Its proper founder was Melendez Valdes, who was born in Estremadura,
in 1754, and at the age of eighteen was sent to study at Salamanca,
where, if he did not pass the larger remaining portion of his life, he
passed at least its happiest and best years.[352] As a versifier, he
began early, and in a bad school; writing at first in the manner of
Lobo, who was still read and admired. But he soon fell indirectly under
the influence of Moratin and his friends at Madrid, who were in every
way opposed to the bad taste of their time. By a fortunate accident
Cadahalso was carried fresh from the meetings of the club of the Fonda
de San Sebastian to Salamanca. His discerning kindness detected at
once the talent its possessor had not yet discovered. He took Melendez
into his house; showed him the merit of the elder literature of his
country, as well as that of the other cultivated nations of Europe; and
devoted himself so earnestly and so affectionately to the development
of his young friend’s genius, that it was afterwards said, with some
truth, that, among all the works of Cadahalso, the best was Melendez.
At the same period, too, Melendez became acquainted with Iglesias and
Gonzalez; and through the latter was placed in relations of friendship
with the commanding mind of Jovellanos, who exercised from the first
moment of their intercourse an obvious and salutary influence over him.

  [352] Considerable improvement took place at Salamanca in some
  departments of study while Melendez was there. But still things
  remained in a very torpid state.

His earliest public success was in 1780, when he obtained a prize
offered by the Spanish Academy for the best eclogue. Yriarte, who was
some years older, and had already become favorably known at court and
in the capital, was his most formidable rival. But the poem Yriarte
offered, which is on the pleasures of a country life, as set forth
by one disgusted with that of the city, is somewhat in the formal,
declamatory style of the less fortunate portions of the older Spanish
pastorals; while that of Melendez is fresh from the fields, and as one
of the judges said, in the discussion that followed its reading, seems
absolutely to smell of their wild flowers. It was, indeed, in sweetness
and gentleness, if not in originality and strength, such a return to
the tones of Garcilasso, as had not been heard in Spain for above a
century. Yriarte received the second honors of the contest, but was
not satisfied with such a decision, and made known his feelings by an
ill-judged attack upon the successful eclogue of his rival. The popular
favor, however, fully sustained the Academy, and its vote on that
occasion has never been reversed.

The next year Melendez came to Madrid. He was received with great
kindness by Jovellanos and his friends; and obtained new honors at
the Academy of San Fernando, by an ode “On the Glory of the Arts,”
which that Academy had been founded to foster. But his preference was
still for his old poetical haunts on the banks of the Tórmes, and,
having obtained the chair of Professor of the Humanities or Philology,
at Salamanca, he gladly returned thither, and devoted himself to its
unostentatious duties.

In 1784, at the suggestion of Jovellanos, he became a competitor for
the prize offered by the city of Madrid for a comedy, and wrote “The
Marriage of Camacho.” But his talent was not dramatic; and therefore,
though he obtained the votes of the judges, he did not, to the great
disappointment of his patron, obtain those of the public when his drama
was brought to the test of a free representation.

This failure, however, he retrieved a year afterwards, by publishing
a small volume of poetry, chiefly lyric and pastoral. Most of it is
in the short, national verse, and nearly all is marked with a great
gentleness of spirit and a truly poetical sensibility. The Anacreontics
which it contains remind us of Villegas, but have more philosophy and
more tenderness than his. The ballads, for which his talent was no less
happily fitted, if they lack the abrupt vigor of the elder times, have
a grace, a lightness, and a finish which belong to that more advanced
period of a nation’s poetry, when the popular lyre has ceased to give
forth new and original tones. But everywhere this little volume shows
traces of an active fancy and powers of nice observation, which break
forth in rich and faithful descriptions of natural scenery, and in
glimpses of what is tenderest and truest in the human heart. It was,
in fact, a volume of poetry more worthy of the country than any that
had been produced in Spain since the disappearance of the great lights
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and it was received, in
consequence, with general enthusiasm, not only for its own sake, but as
the long-looked-for dawn of a brighter day.

But his success was not altogether wisely used by Melendez. He had
been in the habit for some years of spending his vacations at court,
where he was a favorite with many persons of distinction; and, now
that he had risen so much in general consideration, he employed his
influence in soliciting for himself a place under the government,--an
old weakness in the Castilian character, which, however it might
be disguised by the loyalty of public service, has broken down the
independence and happiness of multitudes of high-minded men who have
yielded to it. Melendez, unfortunately, succeeded in his aspirations.
In 1789 he was made a judge in one of the courts of Saragossa, and in
1791 was raised to a dignified position in the Chancery of Valladolid;
thus involving himself more or less with the political government of
the country, to which, during the administration of the Prince of the
Peace, every officer it employed was in some way made subservient.

He did not, however, neglect his favorite pursuits. He fulfilled
with faithfulness and ability the duties of his place; but poetry
was still his first love, for whose service he rescued many hours
of secret and fond devotion. In 1797, he published a new edition of
his works, more than doubling their original amount, and dedicating
them to the reigning favorite,--the master of all fortunes in the
country he governed so ill. It was successful. The new portions wore a
somewhat graver and more philosophical air than his earliest lyrics and
pastorals had done, and showed more the influence of studies in English
and German literature. But this was not, on the whole, an improvement.
He felt, undoubtedly, that the tremendous revolutions he witnessed on
all sides, in the fall of kingdoms and the convulsions of society,
prescribed to poetry subjects more lofty and solemn than he had been
wont to seek; and he made an effort to rise to a requisition so severe.
Once or twice he intimates a consciousness that he was not equal to the
undertaking; and yet his “Ode to Winter,” as a season for reflection,
which shows how much he had read Thomson, his “Ode to Truth,” and his
“Ode on the Presence of God in his Works,” are not unworthy of their
lofty subjects. Several of his philosophical epistles, too, are good;
especially those to Jovellanos and the Prince of the Peace. But, in his
longer _canzones_, where he sometimes imitates Petrarch, and in his
epic canto on “The Fall of Lucifer,” which was evidently suggested
by Milton, he failed.[353] On the whole, therefore, the attempt to
introduce a new tone into Spanish poetry,--a tone of moral and, in
some degree, of metaphysical discussion, to which he was urged by
Jovellanos,--if it did not diminish the permanent fame of Melendez, did
not add to it. The concise energy and philosophical precision such a
tone requires are, in fact, foreign from the fervent genius of the old
Castilian verse, and hardly consistent with that submissive religious
faith which is one of the most important elements of the national
character. In this direction, therefore, Melendez has been little

  [353] Whether the “Caida de Luzbel” was written because a prize
  was offered by the Spanish Academy, in 1785, for a poem on that
  subject, which was to consist of not more than one hundred octave
  stanzas, I do not know; but I have a poor attempt with the same
  title, professing to be the work of Manuel Perez Valderrabano,
  (Palencia, 1786, 12mo,) and to have been written for such a
  prize, to all the conditions of which the poem of Melendez seems
  conformed. No adjudication of the prize, however, took place.

As, however, we have intimated, this new publication of his works was
successful. The Prince of the Peace was flattered by his share in it;
and Melendez received, in consequence, an important employment about
the court, which brought him to Madrid, where, his friend Jovellanos
having been made a minister of state, his position became, for a
moment, most agreeable and happy; while, for the future, a long vista
of preferment and fame seemed opening before him. But the very next
year, the virtuous and wise man on whom rested so many hopes, besides
those of Melendez, fell from power; and, according to the old custom of
the Spanish monarchy, his political friends were involved in his ruin.
At first, Melendez was exiled to Medina del Campo, and afterwards to
Zamora; but in 1802 the rigor of his persecution was mitigated, and he
was permitted to return to Salamanca, the scene of his earliest and
happiest fame.

But he returned there a saddened and disappointed man; little inclined
to poetical studies, and with little of the tranquillity of spirit
necessary to pursue them successfully. At the end of six weary years
came the revolution of Aranjuez, and he was again free. He hastened
at once to Madrid. But he was too late. The king was already at
Bayonne, and the French power was in the ascendant in the capital.
Unfortunately, he attached himself to the new government of Joseph, and
shared first its disasters and then its fate. Once he was absolutely
led out to be shot by the excited population of Oviedo, where he
had been sent as a commissioner. On another occasion, his house at
Salamanca was sacked, and his precious library destroyed, by the very
French party whose interests he served. At last, when all was lost, he
fled. But, before he crossed the frontier, he knelt down and kissed the
last spot of earth that he could call Spain; and then, as the Bidassoa
received his tears, cried out in anguish that “he should never again
tread the soil of his country.” His prophecy was fulfilled as sadly as
it was made. Four miserable years he lived as an exile in the South
of France, and then died at Montpellier, on the 24th of May, 1817, in
poverty and suffering.[354]

  [354] The death of Melendez was supposed by his physician to have
  been occasioned by the vegetable diet to which he was driven, for
  want of means to purchase food more substantial; and, from the
  same poverty, his burial was so obscure that the Duke of Frias
  and the poet Juan Nicasio Gallego with difficulty discovered his
  remains, in 1828, and caused them to be respectfully interred,
  in one of the principal cemeteries of Montpellier, with an
  appropriate monument to mark the spot. Semanario Pintoresco,
  1839, pp. 331-333; a striking and sad history.

To solace the heavy hours of his exile, he occupied himself with
preparing the materials for a final publication of all he had
written, embracing many new poems and many changes in those already
published;--all which appeared in 1820, and have constituted the basis
of the different editions of his works that have been given to the
world since. Like the previous collections, it shows, not, indeed, a
poetical genius of the first order, nor one with very flexible or very
various attributes, but certainly a genius of great sweetness; always
winning and graceful whenever the subject implies tenderness, and
sometimes vigorous and imposing when it demands power. What Melendez
wrote with success was a great advance upon the poetry of Montiano, and
even upon that of the elder Moratin. It was more Castilian, and more
full of feeling, than theirs. In style, too, it was more free, and it
has done much to settle the poetical manner that has since prevailed.
Gallicisms occasionally occur that might have been avoided, though many
of them have now become a part of the recognized resources of Spanish
poetry; but more often Melendez has revived old and neglected words and
phrases, which have thus been restored to their place in the language,
and have increased its wealth. As a general remark, his verse is not
only flowing, but well suited to his subjects; and whether we consider
what he has done himself, or what influence he has exercised over
others,--especially when we read the little volume he published in the
freshness of his youth, while he was still unknown at court and still
careless of the convulsions that were at last to overwhelm him,--there
can be no doubt that he was better fitted to form a new school and
give a guiding impulse to the national poetry than any writer that had
appeared in Spain for above a century.[355]

  [355] Juan Melendez Valdes, “Poesías,” Madrid, 1785, 12mo; 1797,
  3 tom. 18mo; 1820, 4 tom. 8vo; the last with a Life, by Quintana.
  (Puybusque, Tom. II. p. 496.) I have seen it stated, that three
  counterfeit editions of the first small volume, printed in 1785,
  appeared almost at the same time with the true one; so great
  was the first outbreak of his popularity. The first volume of
  Hermosilla (Juicio Crítico de los Principales Poetas Españoles
  de la Ultima Era, Paris, 1840, 2 tom. 12mo) contains a criticism
  of the poems of Melendez, so severe that I find it difficult to
  explain its motive. The judgment of Martinez de la Rosa, in the
  notes to his didactic poem on Poetry, is much more faithful and
  true. Melendez corrected his verse with great care; sometimes
  with too much, as may be seen by comparing some of the poems as
  he first published them, in 1785, with their last revision, in
  the edition of his Works, 1820.

Older than Melendez, but somewhat influenced by him and by Cadahalso,
who had an effect on the taste of both, was the excellent Father Diego
Gonzalez, a modest Augustinian monk, a part of whose life was spent in
active religious duties at Salamanca, where he became intimate with
the poets of the new school; a part of it at Seville, where he was
the friend of Jovellanos; and a part of it at Madrid, where he died
in 1794, about sixty years old, sincerely lamented by some of the
noblest spirits of his time. As a poet, Gonzalez adhered more to the
old Castilian school than Melendez did. But his model was the best. He
imitated Luis de Leon; and did it with such happy success, that, in
some of his odes and in some of his versions of the Psalms, we might
almost think we were listening to the solemn tones of his great master.
His most popular poems, however, were light and gay; such as his verses
“To a Perfidious Bat,” which have been very often printed; his verses
“To a Lady who had burned her Finger”; and similar trifles, in which
he showed that all the secret idiomatic graces of the old Castilian
were at his command. A didactic poem on “The Four Ages of Man,” which
he began, and in the first book of which there is a fine dedication of
the whole to Jovellanos, was never finished. Indeed, his poetry, though
much known and circulated during his lifetime, was an object of little
interest or care to himself, and was collected with difficulty after
his death, and published by his faithful friend, Juan Fernandez.[356]

  [356] “Poesías de M. T. Diego de Gonzalez,” Madrid, 1812, 12mo.
  He was a native of Ciudad Rodrigo, and was born in 1733. If he
  had been a little less modest, and a little less connected with
  Jovellanos and Melendez, we might have had a modern school of
  Seville as well as of Salamanca.

Other poets, among whom were Forner, Iglesias, and Cienfuegos, were
more under the influence of the Salamanca school than Gonzalez
was. Forner, like Melendez, was born in Estremadura, and the two
young friends were educated together at Salamanca. In his critical
opinions,--partly shown in a satire “On the Faults introduced into
Castilian Poetry,” which gained an academic prize in 1782, and partly
in his controversies with Huerta on the subject of the Spanish
theatre,--he inclines much to the stricter French school. But his
poetry is more free than such opinions would imply; and in his latter
years, when he lived as a magistrate at Seville, and studied Herrera,
Rioja, and the other old masters who were natives of its soil, he
attached himself yet more decidedly to the national manner, and
approached nearer to the serene severity of Gonzalez. Unhappily, his
life, besides being much crowded with business, was short. He died in
1797, only forty-one years old; and, except his prose works, the best
of which is a well-written defence of the literary reputation of his
country against the injurious imputations of foreigners, he left little
to give the world proof of the merits he possessed, or the influence he
really exercised.[357]

  [357] Juan Pablo Forner, “Oracion Apologética por la España y su
  Mérito Literario,” Madrid, 1786, 12mo. His critical controversies
  and discussions were chiefly under assumed names,--Tomé Cecial,
  Varas, Bartolo, etc. His poetry is best found in the “Biblioteca”
  of Mendibil y Silvela, (Burdeos, 1819, 4 tom. 8vo,) and in the
  fourth volume of Quintana’s “Poesías Selectas”;--an attempt to
  publish a collection of all his works, edited by Luis Villanueva,
  having stopped after issuing the first volume, Madrid, 1843, 8vo.

Iglesias, though his life was even shorter, was, in some respects, more
fortunate. He was born in Salamanca, and educated there under the most
favorable auspices. Offended at the low state of morals in his native
city, he indulged himself at first in the free forms of Castilian
satire;--ballads, apologues, epigrams, and especially the half-simple,
half-malicious _letrillas_, in which he was eminently successful. But,
when he became a parish priest, he thought such lightness unbecoming
the example he wished to set before his flock. He devoted himself,
therefore, to serious composition; wrote serious ballads, eclogues,
and _silvas_ in the manner of Melendez; and published a didactic poem
on theology;--all a result of a most worthy purpose, and all written
in the pure style which is one of his prominent merits; but none of
it giving token of the instinctive promptings of his genius, and none
of it fitted to increase his final reputation. After his death, which
occurred in 1791, when he was thirty-eight years old, this became at
once apparent. His works were collected and published in two volumes;
the first being filled with the graver class of his poems, and the
second with the satirical. The decision of the public was instant. His
lighter poems were too free, but they were better imitations of Quevedo
than had yet been seen, and became favorites at once; the serious poems
were dull, and soon ceased to be read.[358]

  [358] “Poesías de Don Josef Iglesias de la Casa,” Salamanca,
  1798, 2 tom. 18mo, Segunda Edicion; forbidden by the Inquisition,
  Index Expurg., 1805, p. 27. The best editions are those of
  Barcelona, 1820, and Paris, 1821; but there are several others,
  and among them one in four small volumes, 1840, the last of which
  contains a considerable number of poems not before published,
  some of which, and perhaps all, are not by Iglesias.

Cienfuegos, who was ten years younger than Melendez, was more strictly
his follower than either of the two poets last mentioned. But he had
fallen on evil times, and his career, which promised to be brilliant,
was cut short by the troubles they brought upon him. In 1798 he
published his poetical works; the miscellaneous portion consisting of
Anacreontics, odes, ballads, epistles, and elegies, which, while they
give proof of much real talent and passion, show sometimes an excess of
sentimental feeling, and sometimes a desire to imitate the metaphysical
and philosophical manner supposed to be demanded by the spirit of the
age. Both were defects, to which he had been partly led by the example
of his friend and master, Melendez, at whose feet he long sat in the
cloisters of Salamanca; and both were affectations, from which a
character so manly and decided as that of Cienfuegos might in time have
emancipated itself.

But the favor with which this publication was received procured for
him the place of editor of the government gazette, at Madrid; and,
when the French occupied that capital, in 1808, he was found firm at
his post, determined to do his duty to his country. Murat, who had
the command of the invading forces, endeavoured, at first, to seduce
or drive him into submission, but, failing in this, condemned him
to death; a sentence which would infallibly have been carried into
execution,--since Cienfuegos refused to make the smallest concession
to the French authority,--if his friends had not interfered and
procured a commutation of it into transportation to France. The change,
however, was hardly a mercy. The sufferings of the journey, in which he
travelled as a prisoner; the grief he felt at leaving his friends in
hands which had hardly spared his own life; and the anticipation of a
long exile in the midst of his own and his country’s enemies, were too
much for his patriotic and generous spirit; and he died in July, 1809,
at the age of forty-five, only a few days after he had reached the
spot assigned for his punishment.[359]

  [359] “Obras Poéticas de Nicasio Alvarez de Cienfuegos,”
  Madrid, 1816, 2 tom. 12mo. His style is complained of, both for
  neologisms and archaisms, the last of which have been made,
  though without sufficient reason, a ground of complaint against

One other person, already referred to with honor, must now be
particularly noticed, who, if his life belonged to the state, still
wrote poetry with success, and exercised over the school formed at
Salamanca an influence which belongs to the history of letters. This
person was Jovellanos, the wise magistrate and minister of Charles the
Fourth, and the victim of his master’s unworthy weakness and of the
still more unworthy vengeance of the reigning favorite. He was born in
Gijon, in Asturias, in 1744, and from his earliest youth seems to have
shown that love of intellectual cultivation, and that moral elevation
of character, which distinguished the whole of the more mature portions
of his life.

The position of his family was such, that all the means for a careful
education to be found in Spain were open to him; and, as he was
originally destined to the higher dignities of the Church, he was sent
to study philosophy and the canon and civil law at Oviedo, Avila,
Alcalá de Henares, and Madrid. But, just as he was about to take the
irrevocable step that would have bound him to an ecclesiastical life,
some of his friends, and especially the distinguished statesman, Juan
Arias de Saavedra, who was like a second father to him, interfered,
and changed his destination. The consequence of this intervention was,
that, in 1767, he was sent as a judicial magistrate to Seville, where,
by his humane spirit, and his disinterested and earnest devotion to
the duties of a difficult and disagreeable place, he made himself
generally loved and respected; while, at the same time, by his study
of political economy and the foundations of all just legislation, he
prepared the way for his own future eminence in the affairs of his

But the spirit of Jovellanos was of kindred with whatever was noble and
elevated. At Seville, he early discovered the merit of Diego Gonzalez,
and through him was led into a correspondence with Melendez. One result
of this is still to be found in the poetical Epistle of Jovellanos to
his friends in Salamanca, exhorting them to rise to the highest strains
of poetry. Another was the establishment of a connection between
himself and Melendez, which, while it was important to the young school
at Salamanca, led Jovellanos to give more of his leisure to the elegant
literature he had always loved, but from which the serious business of
life had, for some time, much separated him.

In consequence of an accidental conversation, he wrote at Seville his
prose comedy of “The Honored Criminal,” which had a remarkable success;
and in 1769 he prepared a poetical tragedy on the subject of Pelayo,
which was not printed till several years afterward. Shorter poetical
compositions, sometimes grave and sometimes gay, served to divert his
mind in the intervals of severe labor; and when, after a period of ten
years, he left the brilliant capital of Andalusia, his poetical Epistle
to his friends there shows how deeply he felt that he was leaving
behind him the happiest period of his life.

This was in 1778, when he was called to Madrid, as one of the principal
magistrates of the capital and court; a place that brought him again
into the administration of criminal justice, from which, during his
stay at Seville, he had been relieved. His duties were distasteful
to his nature, but he fulfilled them faithfully, and consoled himself
by intercourse with such men as Campomanes and Cabarrus, who devoted
themselves, as he did, to the great task of raising the condition of
their country. Of course, he had now little leisure for poetry. But,
being accidentally employed on affairs of consequence at the Paular
convent, he was so struck by the solemn scenery in which it stood, and
the tranquil lives of its recluse inhabitants, that his poetical spirit
broke out afresh in an address to Mariano Colon, one of the family of
the great discoverer of America, and afterwards its head;--a beautiful
epistle, full of the severe genius of the place that inspired it, and
of its author’s longing for a repose his spirit was so well fitted to

In 1780, he was raised to a place in the Council of Orders, where
he had more leisure, and was able to give his time to higher
objects;--some of the results of which are to be seen in his report
to the government on the military and religious Orders of Knighthood;
in his system of instruction for the Imperial College of Calatrava;
in his Discourse on the Study of History, as a necessary part of the
wise study of jurisprudence; and in other similar labors, which proved
him to be incontestably an excellent prose-writer, and the first
philosophical statesman in the kingdom.

At the same time, however, he amused himself with elegant literature,
and took great solace in collecting around him the poets and men of
letters whom he loved. In 1785, he wrote several burlesque ballads on
the quarrels of Huerta, Yriarte, and Forner about the theatre; and
the next year published two satires in blank verse and in the style
of Juvenal, rebuking the corrupted manners of his times. All of them
were received with favor; and the ballads, though not printed till
long afterwards, were perhaps only the more effective because they were
circulated in manuscript, and so became matters of great interest.

Persons who held the tone implied in such a course of public labors
might be sustained at the court of Charles the Third, but were little
likely to enjoy regard at that of his son. In 1790, two years after
Charles the Fourth ascended the throne, Count Cabarrus not only fell
from power, but was thrown into prison; and Jovellanos, who did not
hesitate to defend him, was sent to Asturias in a sort of honorable
exile, that lasted eight years. But he served his fellow-men as gladly
in disgrace as he did in power. Hardly, therefore, had he reached his
native city, when he set about urging forward all public improvements
that he deemed useful; laboring in whatever related to the mines and
roads, and especially in whatever related to the general education
of the people, with the most disinterested zeal. During this period
of enforced retirement, he made many reports to the government on
different subjects connected with the general welfare, and wrote his
excellent tract “On Public Amusements,” afterwards published by the
Academy of History, and his elaborate treatise on Legislation in
Relation to Agriculture, which extended his reputation throughout
Europe, and has been the basis of all that has been wisely undertaken
in Spain on that difficult subject ever since.

In 1797, Count Cabarrus was restored to the favor of Godoy, Prince
of the Peace, and Jovellanos was recalled to court and made Minister
of Justice. But his season of favor was short. Godoy still hated the
elevated views of the man to whom he had reluctantly delegated a small
portion of his own power; and in 1798, under the pretext of devoting
him to his old employments, he was again exiled to the mountains of
Asturias, which, like so many other distinguished men that have sprung
from them, he loved with a fond prejudice that he did not care to

This exile, however, did not satisfy the jealous favorite. In 1801,
partly through a movement of the Inquisition, and still more through a
political intrigue, Jovellanos was suddenly seized in his bed, and, in
violation both of law and decency, carried, like a common felon, across
the whole kingdom, and embarked at Barcelona for Majorca. There he was
confined, first in a convent and afterwards in a fortress, with such
rigor, that all communication with his friends and with the affairs of
the world was nearly cut off; and there he remained, for seven long
years, exposed to privations and trials that undermined his health and
broke down his constitution. At last came the abdication and fall of
his weak and ungrateful sovereign. “And then,” says Southey, in his
“History of the Peninsular War,” “next to the punishment of Godoy, what
all men most desired was the release of Jovellanos.” He was, therefore,
at once brought back, and everywhere welcomed with the affection and
respect, that he had earned by so many services and through such unjust

His infirmities, however, were very oppressive to him. He declined,
therefore, all public employments, even among his friends who adhered
to the cause of their country; he indignantly rejected the proposal of
the French invaders to become one of the principal ministers of state
in the new order of things they hoped to establish; and then slowly and
sadly retired, to seek among his native mountains the repose he needed.
But he was not permitted long to remain there. As soon as the first
central Junta was organized at Seville, he was sent to it to represent
his native province, and stood forth in its councils the leading spirit
in the darkest and most disheartening moments of the great contest of
his country for existence. On the dissolution of that body,--which was
dissolved at his earnest desire,--he again returned home, broken down
with years, labors, and sufferings; trusting that he should now be
permitted to end his days in peace.

But no man with influence such as his could then have peace in Spain.
Like others, in those days of revolution, he was assailed by the fierce
spirit of faction, and in 1811 replied triumphantly to his accusers in
a defence of what may be considered his administration of Spain in the
two preceding years, written with the purity, elegance, and gravity of
manner which marked his best days, and with a moral fervor even more
eloquent than he had shown before. As he approaches the conclusion of
this personal vindication, admirable alike for its modesty and its
power, he says, with a sorrow he does not strive to conceal:--

“And now that I am about to lay down my pen, I feel a secret trouble
at my heart, which will disturb the rest of my life. It has been
impossible for me to defend myself without offending others; and I
fear, that, for the first time, I shall begin to feel I have enemies
whom I have myself made such. But, wounded in that honor which is my
life, and asking in vain for an authority that would protect and rescue
me, I have been compelled to attempt my own defence by my own pen;
the only weapon left in my hands. To use it with absolute moderation,
when I was driven on by an anguish so sharp, was a hard task. One more
dexterous in such contests might, by the cunning of his art, have
oftener inflicted wounds, and received them more rarely; but, feeling
myself to be fiercely attacked, and coming to the contest unskilled
and alone, I threw my unprotected person into it, and, in order to
free myself from the more imminent danger before me, took no thought
of any that might follow. Indeed, such was the impulse by which I was
driven on, that I lost sight, at once, of considerations which, at
another time, might well have prevailed with me. Veneration for public
authority, respect for official station, the private affections of
friendship and personal attachment,--every thing within me yielded to
the love of justice, and to the earnest desire that truth and innocence
should triumph over calumny and falsehood. And can I, after this, be
pardoned, either by those who have assailed me, or by those who have
refused me their protection? Surely it matters little. The time has
come in which all disapprobation, except that of honorable men and the
friends of justice, must be indifferent to me. For now that I find
myself fast approaching the final limits of human life, now that I am
alone and in poverty, without a home or a shelter, what remains for me
to ask, beyond the glory and liberty of my country, but leave to die
with the good name I have labored to earn in its service?”

At the moment when this eloquent defence of himself was published,
the French, by a sudden incursion, took military possession of his
native city; and he hurried for safety on board a slight vessel,
hardly knowing whither his course should be directed. After suffering
severely from a storm of eight days’ continuance in the Bay of Biscay,
he disembarked to obtain relief at the obscure port of Vega. But his
strength was gone; and on the 27th of November, within forty-eight
hours from the time of his landing, he died. He was nearly sixty-eight
years old.

Jovellanos left behind him few men, in any country, of a greater
elevation of mind, and fewer still of a purer or more irreproachable
character. Whatever he did was for Spain and his fellow-men, to whose
service he devoted himself alike in the days of his happiness and of
his suffering;--in his influence over the school of Salamanca, when
he exhorted them to raise the tone of their poetry, no less than in
the war-cry of his odes to cheer on his countrymen in their conflict
for national independence;--in his patient counsels for the cause of
education, when he was an exile in Asturias or a prisoner in Majorca,
no less than in the exercise of his authority as a magistrate and
a minister of state to Charles the Fourth, and as the head of the
government at Seville. He lived, indeed, in times of great trouble,
but his virtues were equal to the trials that were laid upon them, and
when he died, in a wretched and comfortless inn, he had the consolation
of believing that Spain would be successful in the struggle he had
assisted to lead on, and of knowing, in his own heart, what the Cortes
afterwards declared to the world, that he was “a man well deserving of
his country.”[360]

  [360] “Coleccion de las Obras de Don Gaspar Melchior de
  Jovellanos,” Madrid, 1830-32, 7 tom. 8vo. A declamatory prose
  satire on the state of Spain in the time of Charles IV., supposed
  to have been delivered in the Amphitheatre of Madrid, in 1796,
  has been attributed to Jovellanos. It is entitled “Pan y Toros,”
  or Bread and Bull-fights, from the old Roman cry of “Panem et
  Circenses,” and was suppressed as soon as it was published,
  but has often been printed since. Among other distinctions,
  it enjoyed the singular one of being translated and privately
  printed, in 1813, on board a British man-of-war, stationed in
  the Mediterranean. But it is not the work of Jovellanos, though
  it has almost always borne his name on the successive editions.
  Jovellanos was familiar with English literature, and translated
  the first book of the “Paradise Lost,” but not very successfully.
  For notices of him, see Memorias de Jovellanos, por Don Agustin
  Cean Bermudez, Madrid, 1814, 12mo; the Life at the end of his
  collected Works; Lord Holland’s Life of Lope de Vega, 1817, Tom.
  II., where is a beautiful tribute to him, worthy of Mr. Fox’s
  nephew; and Llorente, Tom. II. p. 540, and Tom. IV. p. 122, where
  are recorded some of his shameful persecutions. The name of
  Jovellanos is sometimes written Jove Llanos; and, I believe, was
  always so written by his ancestors.

One historical work of the reign of Charles the Fourth should not be
forgotten. It was by Juan Bautista Muñoz, and was undertaken by the
especial order of Charles the Third, who demanded of its author a
complete history of the Spanish discoveries and conquests in America.
This was in 1779. But Muñoz encountered many obstacles. The members of
the Academy of History were not well disposed towards an undertaking,
which seemed to fall within their own jurisdiction; and when he had
finished the first portion, they subjected it, by the royal permission,
to an examination, which, from its length even more than its rigor,
threatened to prevent the work from being printed at all. This,
however, was stopped by a summary order from the king; and the first
volume, bringing down the history to the year 1500, was published in
1793. But no other followed it; and since the death of Muñoz, which
occurred in 1799, when he was fifty-four years old, no attempt has been
made to resume the work. It therefore remains just as he then left
it,--a fragment, written, indeed, in a philosophical spirit and with a
severe simplicity of style, but of small value, because it embraces so
inconsiderable a portion of the subject to which it is devoted.[361]

  [361] “Historia del Nuevo Mundo, por Don Juan Bautista Muñoz,”
  Madrid, 1793, small folio. Fuster, Bib., Tom. II. p. 191.
  Memorias de la Acad. de la Historia, Tom. I. p. lxv. The eulogy
  of Lebrixa, by Muñoz, in the third volume of the Memoirs of
  the Academy, a defence of his History, and two or three Latin
  treatises, are all that I know of his works, except the History.

An epic attempt of the same period is of still less importance. It
is “Mexico Conquered,” an heroic poem in twenty-six books, and about
twenty-five thousand lines, beginning with the demand of Cortés, at
Tlascala, to be received in person by Montezuma, and ending with the
fall of Mexico and the capture of Guatimozin. Its author was Escoiquiz,
who, as the tutor of Ferdinand, Prince of Asturias, and his adviser
in the troubles of the Escurial, of Aranjuez, and of Bayonne, showed
an honorable character, which at different times brought upon him
the vengeance of the Prince of the Peace, of Charles the Fourth, of
Bonaparte, and, at last, of Ferdinand himself.

The literary ambition of Escoiquiz, however, is of both an earlier and
later date than this unhappy interval, when his upright spirit was so
tried by political persecutions. In 1797 he published a translation
of Young’s “Night Thoughts”; and, while he was a prisoner in France,
from 1808 to 1814, he prepared a Spanish version of Milton’s “Paradise
Lost,” which showed, at least, with what pleasure he gave himself up to
letters, and what a solace they were to him under his privations and
misfortunes. His “Mexico” was first printed in 1798. It is cast more
carefully into an epic form than were the heroic poems that abounded
in the days of the Philips, and is sustained more than they generally
were by such supernatural Christian machinery as was first used with
effect by Tasso. But, like them, it is not without cold, allegorical
personages, who play parts too important in the action; while, on
the other hand, its faithful history of events, its unity of design,
and its regular proportions, are no sufficient compensation for its
ill-constructed stanzas and its chronicling dulness. The history
of Solís is much more interesting and poetical than this wearisome
romantic epic, which owes to that historian nearly all its facts.[362]

  [362] “Mexico Conquistada, Poema Heróico, por Don Juan de
  Escoiquiz,” Madrid, 1798, 3 tom. 8vo. A still more unhappy epic
  attempt on the subject of the Conquest of Mexico preceded that
  of Escoiquiz by about forty years. It was by Francisco Ruiz de
  Leon, and is entitled “La Hernandia, Triunfos de la Fé” (Madrid,
  1755, 4to); a poem making nearly four hundred pages, and sixteen
  hundred octave stanzas.

Leandro Moratin, son of the poet who flourished in the reign of
Charles the Third, was, in some respects, a greater sufferer from the
convulsions of the times in which he lived than Escoiquiz, and in all
respects more distinguished in the world of letters. His principal
success, however, was in the drama, where he must hereafter be more
fully noticed. Here, therefore, it is only necessary to say, that,
in his lyric and miscellaneous poetry, he was a follower of his
father, modifying his manner so far under the influence of Conti, an
Italian man of letters who lived long at Madrid, that, in his shorter
pieces, the Italian terseness is quite apparent and gives a finish
to the surface, though the material beneath may be quite Castilian.
This is particularly true of his odes and sonnets, and of a striking
Chorus of the Spirits of the Patriarchs of the Old Testament awaiting
the Appearance of the Saviour; a solemn composition, breathing the
fervent spirit of Luis of Granada. His ballads, on the other hand,
though finished with great care, are more national in their tone than
any thing else he has left us. But the poems that please us best and
interest us most are those that show his own temper and affections;
such as his “Epistle to Jovellanos,” and his “Ode on the Death of
Conde,” the historian.

In none of his personal relations, however, does Moratin appear to
such obvious advantage as in the difficult ones in which he stood
at different times with the Prince of the Peace. To that profligate
minister he owed, not only all his means for training himself as
a dramatic writer, but the position in society which insured his
success; and when the day of retribution came, and his patron fell,
as he deserved to fall, Moratin, though he suffered in every way
from his changed condition and the persecution of the enemies of the
Prince, refused to join their cry against the crushed favorite. He
said truly and nobly, “I was neither his friend, nor his counsellor,
nor his servant; but all that I was I owed to him; and, although we
have now-a-days a convenient philosophy, which teaches men to receive
benefits without gratitude, and, when circumstances alter, to pay
with reproach favors asked and received, I value my own good opinion
too much to seek such infamy.” A person who acted under the impulse
of principles so generous was not made for success in the reign of
Ferdinand the Seventh. It is not remarkable, therefore, that nearly
all the latter part of Moratin’s life was spent, either voluntarily or
involuntarily, in foreign countries, and that he died at last in want
and exile.[363]

  [363] “Obras de L. F. Moratin,” Madrid, 1830-31, four vols. 8vo,
  divided into six, prepared by himself, and published by the
  Academy of History after his death. His Life is in Vol. I., and
  his miscellaneous poems are in the last volume, where the remarks
  on the Prince of the Peace occur, at p. 335, and a notice of
  his relations with Conti at p. 342. An unreasonably laudatory
  criticism of his works is to be found in the first volume of
  Hermosilla’s “Juicio.”

The last of these miscellaneous writers of the reign of Charles the
Fourth that should be mentioned is Quintana, who, like Jovellanos,
Moratin, and Escoiquiz, suffered much from the violence of the
revolutions through which they all passed, but, unlike them, has
survived to enjoy a serene and honored old age. He was born at Madrid
in 1772, but received the most effective part of his literary education
at Salamanca, where he acknowledged the influence of Melendez and
Cienfuegos. His profession was the law; and he began the serious
business of life in the capital, kindly encouraged by Jovellanos. But
he preferred letters; and a small society of intellectual friends, that
assembled every evening at his house, soon stimulated his preference
into a passion. In 1801 he ventured to print his tragedy of “The Duke
of Viseo,” imitated from “The Castle Spectre” of Lewis; and in 1805 he
produced on the stage his “Pelayo,” intended to rouse his countrymen to
a resistance of foreign oppression, by a striking example from their
own history. The former had little success; but the latter, though
written according to the doctrines of the severer school, struck a
chord to which the hearts of the audience gladly answered.

Meantime, between these two attempts, he published, in 1802, a small
volume of poetry, almost entirely lyric, taking the same noble and
patriotic tone he had taken in his successful tragedy, and showing
a spirit more deep and earnest than was to be found in any of the
school of Salamanca, to which, in his address to Melendez, he leaves
no doubt that he now gladly associated himself. In a similar spirit
he published, in 1807, a single volume containing five lives of
distinguished Spaniards, who, like the Cid and the Great Captain, had
successfully fought the enemies of their country at home and abroad;
and almost simultaneously he prepared three volumes of selections from
the best Spanish poets, accompanying them with critical notices, which,
if more slight than might have been claimed from one like Quintana, and
less generous in the praise they bestow than they ought to have been,
are yet national in their temper, and better than any thing else of
their kind in the language. Both show a too willing imitation of the
French manner, and contain occasional Gallicisms; but both are written
in a clear and graceful prose, both were well received, as they
deserved to be, and both were, long afterwards, further continued by
their accomplished author; the first by the addition of four important
lives, and the last by extracts from the miscellaneous poets of a later
period, and from several of the best of the elder epics.

But though the taste of Quintana was somewhat inclined to the
literature of France, he was a Spaniard at heart, and a faithful one.
Even before the French invasion he had so carefully kept himself aloof
from the influence and patronage of the Prince of the Peace, that,
though belonging almost strictly to the same school of poetry with
Moratin, these two distinguished men lived at Madrid, imperfectly known
to each other, and in fact as heads of different literary societies,
whose intercourse was not so kindly as it should have been. But the
moment the revolution of 1808 broke out, Quintana sprang to the place
for which he felt himself called. He published at once his effective
“Odes to Emancipated Spain”; he threw out, in the journals of the
time, whatever he thought would excite his countrymen to resist their
invaders; he became the secretary to the Cortes and to the regency;
and he wrote many of the powerful proclamations, manifestos, and
addresses that distinguished so honorably the career of the different
administrations to which he belonged during their struggle for national
independence. In short, he devoted all that he possessed of talent or
fortune to the service of his country in the day of its sorest trial.

But he was ill rewarded for it. Much of what had been done by the
representatives of the Spanish people in the name of Ferdinand the
Seventh, during his forced detention in France, was unwelcome to
that shortsighted monarch; and, as soon as he returned to Madrid, in
1814, a persecution was begun of those who had most contributed to
the adoption of these unwelcome measures. Among the more obnoxious
persons was Quintana, who was thrown into prison in the fortress of
Pamplona, and remained there six miserable years, interdicted from the
use of writing-materials, and cut off from all intercourse with his
friends. The changes of 1820 unexpectedly released him, and raised him
for a time to greater distinction than he had enjoyed before. But,
three years later, another political revolution took from him all his
employments and influence; and he retired to Estremadura, where he
occupied himself with letters till new changes and the death of the
king restored him to the old public offices he had filled so well,
adding to his former honors that of a peer of the realm. But from the
days when he first attracted public regard by his noble Odes on the
Ocean, and on the beneficent expedition sent to America with the great
charity of Vaccination, letters have been his chosen employment;--his
pride, when he cheered on his countrymen to resist oppression; his
consolation in prison and in exile; his crown of honor in an honored
old age.[364]

  [364] “Poesías de M. J. Quintana,” Madrid, 1821, 2 tom. 8vo.
  The lyrical portion has been often reprinted since 1802, when
  the first collection of his Poems appeared at Madrid, in a thin
  beautiful volume of only 170 pages, 12mo. His life is in Wolf’s
  excellent Floresta, in Ochoa, Ferrer del Rio, etc.



The most considerable literary movement of the eighteenth century
in Spain, and the one that best marks the poetical character of the
entire period, is that relating to the theatre, which it was earnestly
attempted to subject to the rules then prevailing on the French stage.
Intimations of such a design are found in the reign of Philip the
Fifth, as soon as the War of the Succession was closed. The Marquis
of San Juan began, in 1713, with a translation of the “Cinna” of
Corneille;--the first tragedy under the French rules that appeared
in the Spanish language, and one that was probably selected for this
distinction, because it was well suited to the condition of a country,
that had so much reason to seek the clemency of its prince in favor
of many distinguished persons, whom the civil war had led to resist
his power.[365] But it was never represented, and was soon forgotten.
Cañizares, the last of the elder race of dramatists that showed any
of the old spirit, yielded more than once to the new school of taste,
and regarded his “Sacrifice of Iphigenia”--an absurd play, for which
the “Iphigénie” of Racine is very little responsible--as an imitation
of the French school.[366] Neither these, however, nor plays of an
irregular and often vulgar cast, like those written by Diego de Torres,
professor of natural philosophy, by Lobo, the military officer, and
by Salvo, the tailor, obtained any permanent favor, or were able to
constitute foundations on which to reconstruct a national drama. As far
as any thing was heard on the public stage worthy of its pretensions,
it was the works of the old masters and of their poor imitators,
Cañizares and Zamora.[367]

  [365] Montiano y Luyando, Discurso de la Tragedia, Madrid, 1750,
  12mo, p. 66.

  [366] He says, near the end, that his purpose was “to show how
  plays are written in the French style.” Plays arising from the
  circumstances of the times, and more in the forms and character
  of the preceding century, were sometimes represented, but soon
  forgotten. Of these, two may be mentioned as curious. The first
  is called, like one of Lope’s, “Sueños hay que son Verdades,”
  an anonymous drama, beginning with a dream of the king of
  Portugal and ending with its partial fulfilment in the capture of
  Monsanto, by the forces of Philip V., in 1704. The other is by
  Rodrigo Pero de Urrutia, entitled “Rey decretado en Cielo,” and
  covers a space of above six years, from the annunciation by Louis
  XIV. to the Duke of Anjou, in the first scene, that the will of
  Charles II. had made him king of Spain, down to the victory of
  Almansa, in 1707, which is its catastrophe. Both are of no value,
  and represent fairly, I believe, the merit of the few historical
  plays produced in the beginning of the eighteenth century, in

  [367] Accounts of the theatre during this sort of interregnum,
  from about 1700 to about 1790, are found in Signorelli (Storia
  Critica dei Teatri, Napoli, 1813, 8vo, Tom IX. pp. 56-236); L.
  F. Moratin (Obras, 1830, Tom. II. Parte I., Prólogo); and four
  papers by Blanco White (in Vols. X. and XI. of the New Monthly
  Magazine, London, 1824). The facts and opinions in Signorelli are
  important, because from 1765 to 1783 he lived in Madrid, (Storia,
  Tom. IX. p. 189,) and belonged to the club of the Fonda de San
  Sebastian, noticed, _ante_, p. 274, several of whose members were
  dramatic writers, and one of the standing subjects for whose
  discussions was the theatre. Obras Póstumas de N. F. Moratin,
  Londres, 1825, p. xxiv.

The Spanish theatre, in fact, was now at its lowest ebb, and wholly in
the hands of the populace, from whom it had always received much of
its character, and who had been its faithful friends in the days of
its trial and adversity. Nor could its present condition fairly claim
a higher patronage. All Spanish plays acted for public amusement in
Madrid were still represented, as they had been in the seventeenth
century, in open court-yards, with galleries or corridors that
surrounded them. To these court-yards there was no covering except
in case of a shower, and then the awning stretched over them was so
imperfect, that, if the rain continued, and those of the spectators
who were always compelled to stand during the performance were too
numerous to find shelter under the projecting seats of the corridors,
the exhibition was broken up for the day, and the crowd driven home.
There was hardly any pretence of scenery; the performance always took
place in the day-time; and the price of admission, which was collected
in money at the door, did not exceed a few farthings for each spectator.

The second queen of Philip the Fifth, Isabel Farnese, who had been
used to the enjoyment of all kinds of scenic exhibitions in Italy,
was not satisfied with this state of things. Finding an ill-arranged
theatre, in which an Italian company had sometimes acted, she caused
material additions to be made to it, and required regular operas to be
brought out for her amusement from 1737. The change was an important
one. The two old court-yards took the alarm. First one and then the
other began to erect a new and more commodious structure for theatrical
entertainments; and as they had been each other’s rivals for a century
and a half in the awkwardness of their arrangements, no less than in
their claims for public patronage, so now they became rivals in a
struggle for improvement. Under such impulses, the new “Theatre of the
Cross” was finished in 1743, and that of “The Prince,” in 1745.

But, in most respects, there was little change. True to the traditions
of their origin, the new structures were still called court-yards, and
their boxes, rooms;--the _cazuela_, or “stewpan,” was still kept for
the women, who sat there veiled like nuns, but acting very little as if
they were such;--the Alcalde de Corte, or Judge of the Municipality,
still appeared in the proscenium, with his two clerks behind him, to
keep the peace or bear record to its breach;--Semiramis wore a hooped
petticoat and high-heeled shoes, and Julius Cæsar was assassinated
in a curled periwig and velvet court coat, with a feathered Spanish
hat under his arm. The old spirit, therefore, it is plain, prevailed,
however great might be the improvements made in the external
arrangements and architecture of the theatres.

One cause of this was the exclusive favor shown to the opera by two
Italian queens, and encouraged by the new political relations of Spain
with Italy. The theatre of the Buen Retiro, where Calderon had so often
triumphed, was fitted up with unwonted magnificence, by Farinelli,
the first singer of his time, who had been brought to the Spanish
court in order to soothe the melancholy of Philip the Fifth, and who
still continued there, enjoying the especial protection of Ferdinand
the Sixth. Luzan translated Metastasio’s “Clemency of Titus” for the
opening of the new and gorgeous saloon in 1747; and both then, and
for a considerable period afterwards, all that the resources of the
court could command in poetry and music, or in the show and pomp of
theatrical machinery, was lavished on an exotic, which at last failed
to take healthy root in the soil of the country.[368]

  [368] L. F. Moratin, Prólogo, _ut sup._; and Pellicer, Orígen del
  Teatro, 1802, Tom. I. p. 264.

Meantime the national theatre, neglected by the court and the higher
classes, was given up to such writers as Francisco de Castro, an actor
who sought the applause of the lowest part of his audience by vulgar
farces,[369] and Thomas de Añorbe, the chaplain of a nunnery at Madrid,
whose “Paolino,” announced as “in the French fashion,” provoked the
just ridicule of Luzan, and whose “Virtue conquers Fate,” if no less
extravagant, has the merit of being an attack on astrology and a belief
in planetary influences.[370] With the success of such absurdities,
however, scholars and men of taste seem to have grown desperate.
Montiano, a Biscayan gentleman, high in office at court, and a member
of the Academy of Good Taste, that met at the house of the Countess
of Lemos, led the way in an attack upon them. He began, in 1750, with
a tragedy on the Roman story of Virginia, which he intended should
be a model for Spanish serious theatrical compositions, and which he
accompanied with a long and well-written discourse, showing how far
Bermudez, Cueva, Virues, and a few more of the old masters, had been
willing to be governed by doctrines similar to his own.

  [369] “Alegría Cómica,” (Zaragoza, Tom. I., 1700, Tom. II.,
  1702,) and “Cómico Festejo,” (Madrid, 1742,) are three small
  volumes of _entremeses_, by Francisco de Castro; the last being
  published after the author’s death. They are not entirely without
  wit, regarded as caricatures; but they are coarse, and, in
  general, worthless.

  [370] Thomas de Añorbe y Corregel published his “Virtud vence al
  Destino” in Madrid, 1735, and his “Paolino” in 1740. He calls
  himself “Capellan del Real Monasterio de la Incarnacion” on
  the title of the first of these plays, and inserts two absurd
  _entremeses_ of his own composition between its acts.

The tragedy itself, which comes like a sort of appendix to this
discussion, and seems intended to illustrate and enforce its opinions,
is entirely after the model of the French school, and especially after
Racine;--all the rules, as they are technically called, including
that which requires the stage never to be left vacant during the
continuance of an act, being rigorously observed. But the “Virginia”
is no less cold than it is regular, and, like the waters of the Alps,
its very purity betrays the frozen region from which it has descended.
Its versification, which consists of unrhymed iambics, is as far as
possible removed from the warmth and freedom of the ballad style in the
elder drama; its whole movement is languid; and the catastrophe, from
the fear of shocking the spectator by a show of blood on the stage,
turns out, in fact, to be no catastrophe at all. No effort, it is
believed, was made to bring it upon the stage, and as a printed poem it
produced no real effect on public opinion.

Montiano, however, was not discouraged. In 1753 he published another
critical discourse and another tragedy, with similar merits and similar
defects, taking for its subject the reign and death of Athaulpho, the
Goth, as they are found in the old chronicles. But this, too, like its
predecessor, was never acted, and both are now rarely read.[371]

  [371] “Discurso sobre las Comedias Españolas de Don Agustin
  de Montiano y Luyando,” Madrid, 1750, 12mo; Discurso Segundo,
  Madrid, 1753, 12mo. They were translated into French by Hermilly,
  and an account of them and their author is given in Lessing’s
  Werke, (Berlin, 1794, 18mo, Band XXIII. p. 95,) where we learn,
  that Montiano was born in 1697, and that he published, in 1729,
  “El Robo de Dina,” which seems to have been so much in the tone
  of a play with the same title, in the seventeenth volume of Lope
  de Vega’s “Comedias,” that I cannot help thinking Montiano,
  following the fashion of Cañizares and the other plunderers of
  the time, was indebted largely to his great predecessor, the
  enemy of whose reputation he afterwards became. The story of
  Athaulpho is from the Corónica General, Parte II. c. 22. The
  “Virginia,” both in its attempt to exhibit Roman manners and in
  its poetical power, suffers severely when compared with Alfieri’s
  tragedy on the same subject. But the truth is, Montiano was a
  slavish imitator of the French school, which he admired so much
  as to be unable to comprehend and feel what was best in his own
  Castilian. In the “Aprobacion,” which he prefixed to the edition
  of Avellaneda, published in 1732, he says, comparing the second
  part of Don Quixote, by this pretender, with the true one by
  Cervantes,--“I think no man of judgment will give an opinion in
  favor of Cervantes, if he compares the two parts together.”

The earliest comedy within the French rules that appeared in the
Spanish language was the translation of Lachaussée’s “Préjugé à
la Mode” by Luzan, which was printed in 1751.[372] It judiciously
preserved the national _asonantes_, or imperfect rhymes, throughout,
and was followed, in 1754, by the “Athalie” of Racine, rendered with
much taste, principally into blank verse, by Llaguno y Amirola,
Secretary of the Academy of History. But the first _original_ Spanish
comedy formed on French models was the “Petimetra,” or the Female
Fribble, by Moratin the elder. It was printed in 1762, and was preceded
by a dissertation, in which, while the merits of the schools of Lope
and Calderon are imperfectly acknowledged, their defects are exhibited
in the strongest relief, and the impression left, in relation to the
old masters, is of the most unfavorable character.

  [372] “La Razon contra la Moda” (Madrid, 12mo, 1751) appeared
  without the name of the translator, and contains a modest
  defence of the French rules, in the form of a Dedication to
  the Marchioness of Sarria. Utility is much insisted upon; and
  the immorality of the elder drama is vigorously, but covertly,

In the play itself, a similar kind of deference is shown to the popular
prejudices and feelings, which adhered faithfully to the old drama and
to the miserable imitations of it that continued to be produced. It
is divided into the three _jornadas_ to which the public had so long
been wonted, and is written in the national manner, sometimes with full
rhymes, and sometimes only with _asonantes_. But the compromise was
not accepted by those to whom it was offered. The principal character,
Doña Gerónima, is feebly drawn; and, though the versification and style
are always easy, and sometimes beautiful, the attempt to reconcile
the irregular genius of the elder comedy with what Moratin, on his
title-page, calls “the rigor of art” was a failure. A corresponding
effort which he made the next year in tragedy, taking the story of
Lucretia for his subject, and adopting even more fully the French
conventions, was not more successful. Neither of them obtained the
distinction of being publicly represented.

That honor, however, was gained in 1770, with much difficulty, by
Moratin’s “Hormesinda,” the first original drama, under the canons that
governed Corneille and Racine, which ever appeared in a public theatre
in Spain. It is founded on events connected with the Arab invasion and
the achievements of Pelayo, and is written, like the “Lucretia,” in
that irregular verse, partly rhymed and partly not, which in Spanish
poetry is called _silva_, and is intended to have, more than any other,
the air of improvisation.

The partial success of this drama, which, notwithstanding an improbable
plot, deserved all the favor it received, induced its author, in 1777,
to write his third tragedy, “Guzman the True,” dedicating it to his
patron, the Duke of Medina-Sidonia, who was a descendant of that famous
nobleman, and who, a few years before, had himself translated the
“Iphigénie” of Racine into Spanish. The well-known character of the
hero, who chose rather to have his son sacrificed by the Moors than to
surrender the fortress of Tarifa, if it is not drawn with the vigor of
the old Castilian chronicles or of the drama of Guevara, is exhibited,
at least, with a well-sustained consistency, that gives token of more
poetical power than any thing else produced by its author for the
theatre. But this is its only real merit; and the last tragedy of
Moratin was, on the whole, no more successful, and no more deserving of
success, than the first.

Cadahalso, the friend whom we have already noticed as much under the
influence of Moratin, went one step further in his imitation of
the French masters. His “Don Sancho Garcia,” a regular, but feeble,
tragedy, printed in 1771 and afterwards acted, is written in long
lines and rhymed couplets; an innovation which could hardly fail to
be accounted monotonous on a stage, one of whose chief luxuries had
so long been a wild variety of measures. Nor did more favor follow an
attempt of Sebastian y Latre to adjust to the theories of the time two
old dramas, still often represented,--the one by Roxas and the other
by Moreto,--which he forced within the pale of the three unities, and
for the public representations of one of which, Aranda, the minister
of state, paid the charges. Like the subsequent attempts of Trigueros
to accommodate some of Lope de Vega’s plays to the same system of
opinions, it was entirely unsuccessful. The difference between the two
different schools was so great, and the effort to force them together
so violent, that enough of the spirit and grace of the originals could
not be found in these modernized imitations to satisfy the demands of
any audience that could be collected to listen to them.[373]

  [373] I know the plays of Moratin, the elder, only in the
  pamphlets in which they were originally published, and I believe
  they have never been collected. The “Don Sancho Garcia” was
  first printed in 1771, with the name of Juan del Valle, and in
  1804 with the name of its author, accompanied the last time by
  some unfortunate prose imitations of Young’s “Night Thoughts,”
  and other miscellanies, which follow it into the third volume of
  their author’s works, 1818. Latre’s _rifacimenti_ are printed in
  a somewhat showy style, probably at the expense of the minister
  of state, Aranda, under the title of “Ensayo sobre el Teatro
  Español,” Madrid, 1773, small folio. Latassa (Bib. Nueva, Tom.
  V. p. 513) gives some account of their author, who died in 1792.
  The “Anzuelo de Fenisa” and the “Estrella de Sevilla,” as set
  to the three unities by Trigueros, were printed both in Madrid
  and London. Of the last person, Candido M. Trigueros, it may
  be added, that he enjoyed a transient reputation in the latter
  part of the eighteenth century, and that his principal work, “La
  Riada,” in four cantos of irregular verse, (Sevilla, 1784, 8vo,)
  on a disastrous inundation of Seville that had just occurred, was
  demolished by a letter of Vargas, and a satirical tract which
  Forner published under the name of Antonio Varas. I do not know
  when he died, but an account of most of his life and many of his
  works may be found in the Biblioteca of Sempere y Guarinos, Tom.

Yriarte, better known as a didactic poet and fabulist, enjoys the
distinction of having produced the first regular original _comedy_ that
was publicly represented in Spain. He began very young, with a play
which he did not afterwards think fit to place among his collected
works; and, beside translations from Voltaire and Destouches, and
three or four attempts of less consequence, he wrote two full-length
original comedies, which were better than any thing previously produced
by the school to which he belonged. One of them, called “The Flattered
Youth,” appeared in 1778, and the other, “The Ill-bred Miss,” ten years
later;--the first being on the subject of a son spoiled by a foolishly
indulgent mother, and the second on the daughter of a rich man equally
spoiled by the carelessness and neglect of her father. Both are
divided into three acts, and written in the imperfect rhyme and short
verses always grateful to Castilian ears; and both are marked by good
character-drawing and a pleasant, easy manner, not abounding in wit
nor sensibly deficient in it. But, except these plays of Yriarte and
Moratin, and an unfortunate one by Melendez Valdes in 1784,--founded on
Camacho’s wedding, in “Don Quixote,” and containing occasionally gentle
and pleasing pastoral poetry which ill agrees with the rude jesting of
Sancho,--nothing that deserves notice was done for comedy in the latter
part of the reign of Charles the Third.[374]

  [374] The “Obras de Yriarte” (Madrid, 1805, 8 tom. 12mo) contain
  all his plays, except the first one, written when he was only
  eighteen years old, and called “Hacer que Hacemos,” or Much Cry
  and Little Wool. The play of Melendez Valdes is in the second
  volume of his Works, 1797.

Tragedy fared still worse. The “Numantia Destroyed,” written by Ayala,
a man of learning and the regular censor of the public theatres of
Madrid, was acted in 1775. Its subject is the same with that of the
“Numantia” by Cervantes; but the horrors of the siege it describes
are not brought home to the sympathies of the reader by instances
of individual suffering, as they are in the elder dramatist, and
therefore produce much less effect. As an acting drama, however, it
is not without merit. Its versification, which is, again, an attempt
at a compromise with the public by giving alternate _asonantes_, but
attaching them to the long-drawn lines of the French theatre, is not,
indeed, fortunate; but the style is otherwise rich and vigorous, and
the tone elevated. Perhaps its ardent expressions of patriotic feeling,
and its fierce denunciations of foreign oppression, have done as much
to keep it on the stage as its intrinsic poetical merits.

The “Raquel” of Huerta, printed in 1778, three years after the
“Numantia,” is not so creditable to the author, and produced a less
lasting impression on the public. The story--that of the Jewess of
Toledo, which has been so often treated by Spanish poets--is taken
too freely from a play of Diamante; and though Huerta has, in some
respects, given the materials he found there a better arrangement,
and a more grave and sonorous versification, he has diminished the
spirit and naturalness of the action by constraining it within the hard
conventions he prescribed to himself, and has rendered the whole drama
so uninteresting, that, notwithstanding its considerable reputation at
first, it was soon forgotten.[375]

  [375] Ayala’s tragedy has been often printed. The “Raquel” is in
  Huerta’s Works, (Tom. I., 1786,) with his translations of the
  “Electra” of Sophocles, and the “Zaïre” of Voltaire. The original
  edition of the Raquel is anonymous, and without date or place of

The first real success of any thing in the French style on the Spanish
stage, though not in the classical forms prescribed by Boileau and
Racine, was obtained by Jovellanos. Early in life he had ventured
a tragedy, entitled “Pelayo,” in the same measure with Ayala’s
“Numantia,” and on nearly the same subject with the “Hormesinda” of
the elder Moratin. But the philosophical statesman, though he wrote
good lyric verse, was not a tragic poet. He was, however, something
better;--he was a really good man, and his philanthropy led him, in
1773, to write his “Honored Culprit,” a play, intended to rebuke the
cruel and unavailing severity of the laws of his country against
duelling, as they then existed. It is a sentimental comedy in the
manner of Diderot’s “Natural Son”; and, beside that it has the honor of
being the first attempt of the kind on the Spanish stage, it has that
of being more fortunate than any of its successors. The story on which
it is founded is that of a gentleman, who, after repeatedly refusing a
challenge, kills, in a secret duel, the infamous husband of the lady he
afterwards marries; and, being subsequently led to confess his crime
in order to save a friend, who is arrested as the guilty party, he is
condemned to death by a rigorous judge, who unexpectedly turns out to
be his own father, and is saved from execution, but not from severe
punishment, only by the royal clemency.

How many opportunities for scenes of the most painful interest such
a story affords is obvious at the first glance. Jovellanos has used
them skilfully, because he has done it in the simplest and most direct
manner, with great warmth of kindly feeling, and in a style whose
idiomatic purity is not the least of its attractions. “The Honored
Culprit,” therefore, was at once successful, and when well acted,
though its poetical power is small, it can hardly be listened to
without tears. It was first produced in one of the royal theatres,
without the knowledge of its author; then, spreading throughout Spain,
it was acted at Cadiz at the same time both in French and Spanish, and,
at last, became familiar on the stages of France and Germany. Such wide
success had long been unknown to any thing in Spanish literature.[376]

  [376] I have the eighth edition of the “Delinquente Honrado,”
  1803; still printed without its author’s name. It was so popular
  that it was several times published surreptitiously, from notes
  taken in the theatre, and was once turned into bad verse, before
  Jovellanos permitted it to appear from his own manuscript.
  (See Vol. VII. of his Works, edited by Cañedo.) It is somewhat
  singular, that, just about the time the “Delinquente Honrado”
  appeared in Spain, Fenouillet published in France a play,
  yet found in the “Théatre du Second Ordre,” with the exactly
  corresponding title of “L’Honnête Criminel.” But there is no
  resemblance in the plots of the two pieces.

But from the time when the first attempt was made to introduce regular
plays in the French manner upon the Spanish stage, an active contest
had been going on, which, though the advantage had of late been on the
side of the innovators, did not seem likely to be soon determined. In
1762, Moratin the elder published what he called “The Truth told about
the Spanish Stage”;--three spirited pamphlets, in which he attacked
the old drama generally, but above all the _autos sacramentales_, not
denying the poetical merit of those by Calderon, but declaring that
such wild, coarse, and blasphemous exhibitions, as they generally were,
ought not to be tolerated in a civilized and religious community. So
far as the _autos_ were concerned, Moratin was successful. They were
prohibited by a royal edict, June 17, 1765; and though, even in the
nineteenth century, it can hardly be said that they have been entirely
driven out of the villages, where they have been the delight of the
mass of the people from a period before that of Alfonso the Wise, yet
in Madrid and the larger cities of Spain they have never been heard
since they were first forbidden.[377]

  [377] “Desengaño al Teatro Español,” three tracts, s. l. 12mo.,
  pp. 80. Huerta, Escena Española Defendida, Madrid, 1786, 12mo, p.
  xliii. How long _autos_ maintained their place in Spain may be
  seen from the fact, that very few are forbidden in the amplest
  Index Expurgatorius,--that of 1667, (p. 84,)--and that those few
  are, I believe, all Portuguese.

But this was as far as Moratin could prevail. In the public secular
theatre, generally, his poetry and wit produced no effect. There,
two riotous parties in the two audiences of Madrid--distinguishing
themselves by favors worn in their hats and led on by vulgar
friars and rude mechanics, making up in spirit what they wanted in
decency, and readily uniting to urge an open war against all further
innovations--effectually prevented any of the regular dramas that were
written from being represented in their presence, until 1770. The old
masters they partly tolerated; especially Calderon, Moreto, and the
dramatists of the latter part of the seventeenth century; but the
popular favorites were Ibañez, Lobera, Vicente Guerrero, a play-actor,
Julian de Castro, who wrote ballads for the street beggars and died in
a hospital, and others of the same class; all as vulgar as the populace
they delighted.

After Aranda ceased to be minister, in 1773, this state of things
was somewhat modified, without being materially improved. Under his
administration, the theatres in the royal residences had been opened
for tragedy and comedy; and translations from the French had been acted
before the court in a manner suited to their subjects. The two popular
theatres of the capital, too, had not escaped his regard, and under his
influence had been provided with better scenery; and, from 1768, gave
representations in the evening.[378]

  [378] Ramon de la Cruz y Cano, Teatro, Madrid, 1786-91, 10 tom.
  12mo, Tom. IX. p. 3.

Still, every thing was in a very low state. A blacksmith was the
reigning critic to be consulted by those who sought a hearing on
either stage, and the more regular plays, whether translations that
had been acted with success at court, or tragedies and comedies of the
poets already noticed, made a strange confusion with those of the old
masters, which were still sometimes heard, and those of the favorites
of the mob, whose works prevailed over all others in the theatrical
repertories and in the general regard. But, whatever might be produced
and performed, the intervals between the acts, and much time before
and after the principal piece, were filled up with _tonadillas_,
_seguidillas_, ballads, and all the forms of _entremeses_, _saynetes_,
and dances, that had been common in the last century or invented in the
present one,--an act in a serious and poetical play being sometimes
divided, in order to give place to one or another of them, and gratify
an audience that seemed to grow more and more impatient of every thing
except popular farce.[379]

  [379] L. F. Moratin, Obras, Tom. II. Parte I., Prólogo.

In this confusion of the old and the new,--of what was stiff, formal,
and foreign with what was rudest and most lawless in the national drama
at home,--a single writer appeared, who, from the mere force of natural
talent, fell instinctively into a tone not unworthy of the theatre,
and yet one that obtained for him a degree of favor long denied to
persons of more poetical accomplishments. This was Ramon de la Cruz,
a gentleman of family and an officer of the government at Madrid, who
was born in 1731, and from 1765 to the time of his death, at the end
of the century, constantly amused the audiences of the capital with
dramas, written in any form likely to please at the palace, on the
public stages of the city, or in the houses of the nobility, who, like
the Duchess of Ossuna, or Aranda, the minister of state, were able to
indulge in such a luxury at home.

In the whole, he wrote about three hundred dramatic compositions, but
printed less than a third of that number; most of those he published
being farces designed to produce a merely popular effect. They fill
ten volumes, and are all in the short, national measure of the old
drama, mingled occasionally, though rarely, with other forms of verse.
They bear, however, very different names; some of them characteristic
and some of them not. A few he calls “Dramatic Caprices”; apparently
because no more definite title would be suited to their undefined
character. Some he calls “_Saynetes_ to be sung,” and some “Burlesque
Tragedies.” Others have no names at all, not even for their personages,
except those of the actors who represented the different parts. While
yet others pass under the old designations of _loas_, _entremeses_,
and _zarzuelas_, though often with a character which it would have
been impossible for the early representations bearing the same names
to assume. Occasionally, as in the case of the “Clementina,” he takes
pains to observe all the rules of the French drama; but they sit very
uneasily upon him, and he seldom submits to them. His great merit is
almost entirely confined to his short farces; and therefore, when
Duran, to whom the Spanish theatre owes so much, undertook to publish
what was best of the works of La Cruz, he rejected all the rest,
and, taking his materials both from manuscript sources and from what
had been already published, gives us merely a hundred and ten proper

Their subjects are various, and they are very unequal in length; but,
amidst all their varieties, one principle gave them a prevailing
character and insured their success. They are founded on the manners
of the middling and lower classes of the city, which they reflect
freshly and faithfully, whether their materials are sought in the
_tertulias_ or evening parties of persons in a decent condition of
life, where the demure _Abate_ and the authorized lover of the mistress
of the house contend for influence; or in the trim walks of the Prado,
and among the loungers of the Puerta del Sol, where the fashion of the
court is jostled by the humors of the people; or in the _Lavapies_ and
the _Maravillas_, where the lowest classes, with their picturesque
dresses and unchanging manners, reign supreme and unquestioned. But,
under all circumstances and in all situations, Ramon de la Cruz, in
this class of his dramas, is attractive and amusing; and, though there
is seldom any thought of dramatic skill in his combinations, and
often no attempt at a catastrophe,--though his style is any thing but
correct, and he is wholly careless of finish in his versification,--yet
his farces so abound in wit and faithful delineations of character,
they are so true to the manners they intend to represent, and so
entirely national in their tone, that they seem expressly made for a
pleasant and appropriate accompaniment to the longer dramas of Lope
and Calderon, in whose popular spirit they are most successfully

  [380] Teatro de Don Ramon de la Cruz. In the Preface, he replies
  to Signorelli, who, in the seventh chapter of the ninth book of
  his “Storia dei Teatri,” makes a rude attack upon him, chiefly
  for sundry translations, which La Cruz does not seem to have
  printed. The “Coleccion de Sainetes tanto impresos como inéditos
  de Don Ramon de la Cruz, con un Discurso Preliminar de Don
  Agustin Duran,” etc., was printed at Madrid in 1843, 2 tom. 8vo.
  A notice of the life of the author is in Baena, Hijos, etc., Tom.
  IV., p. 280.

  At about the same time that Ramon de la Cruz was amusing the
  society of Madrid with his popular dramas and farces, Juan
  Ignacio Gonzalez del Castillo was equally successful in the same
  way at Cadiz. He was, however, little known beyond the limits of
  Andalusia till 1845, when Don Adolfo de Castro published, in his
  native city, a collection of his “Saynetes,” filling two volumes,
  12mo. In the variety of their tone, in their faithfulness to
  the national manners, and in the gayety of their satire, they
  resemble those of La Cruz; but they are a little more carefully
  finished than his, and somewhat less rich and genial.

Meanwhile the press was not so inactive as it had been. Sedano
published his “Jael,” taken from the story in the book of Judges;
Lassala his “Iphigenia”; Trigueros his “Tradesmen of Madrid”; and
Cortés his “Atahualpa”; the last two having been written, and
successful, at the same festivities of 1784 for which Melendez composed
his “Marriage of Camacho,” and failed. Cienfuegos, too, a poet of more
original power than either of them, wrote his “Pitaco,” which opened
for him the doors of the Spanish Academy; his “Idomeneo,” from which,
in imitation of Alfieri, he excluded the passion of love; and his
“Countess of Castile,” and his “Zoraida,” taken from the old traditions
of his country’s wars and feuds; each giving proof of talent, but of
talent rather lyric than dramatic, and each showing too anxious an
adherence to Greek models, which were particularly unsuitable for the
Zoraida, whose scene is laid in the gardens of the Alhambra.[381] But
all of them--so far at least as the public stage is concerned--have
been long since forgotten.

  [381] Obras de Cienfuegos, Madrid, 1798, 2 tom. 12mo;--the only
  edition published by himself.

On the other hand, La Huerta, in 1785, published fourteen volumes of
the old full-length plays, and one volume of the old “Entremeses”;
a work intended to vindicate the national theatre of Spain in the
preceding century, and to place it as high as that of the rest of
Europe, or higher. But he was ill fitted for his task. A selection,
designed to illustrate the great masters of the Spanish stage, which,
to say nothing of other mistakes, wholly omitted Lope de Vega, began
with a capital defect; and this circumstance, together with the
arrogant tone of the editor in his Prefaces, and the contradiction
to his present opinions afforded by the example of his own “Raquel,”
which is entirely in the French manner, and to his translations of
the “Electra” of Sophocles and the “Zaïre” of Voltaire, which were
obviously made to defend the French school, prevented his “Teatro
Hespañol” from producing the effect that might otherwise have followed
its not ill-timed appearance. Still it was a work of consequence, and
was afterwards acknowledged to be such by the public.[382]

  [382] Vicente Garcia de la Huerta was born in 1734, and died in
  1787. A notice of his life, which was not without literary and
  social success,--though much disturbed by a period of exile and
  disgrace,--is to be found in the Semanario Pintoresco, (1842,
  p. 305,) and some intimation of the various literary quarrels
  in which he was engaged with his contemporaries may be seen
  in the next note. His general character is not ill summed up
  in the following epitaph on him, said to have been written by
  Yriarte, one of his opponents, which should be read, recollecting
  that Saragossa was famous for a hospital for the insane,--the
  mad-house that figures so largely in Avellaneda’s “Don Quixote.”

          De juicio sí; mas no de ingenio escaso,
          Aqui Huerta el audaz descanso goza;
          Deja un puesto vacante en el Parnaso,
          Y una jaula vacia en Zaragoza.

      In judgment,--yes,--but not in genius weak,
        Here fierce Huerta tranquil sleeps and well;
      A vacant post upon Parnassus leaves,
        In Saragossa, too, an empty cell.

The discussions it provoked were of more direct importance, and tended
to infuse new life into the theatre itself. Such discussions had
been begun immediately after the publication of the first tragedy by
Montiano, in 1750,--a date which may be regarded as the dividing point
in the history of the Spanish stage during the eighteenth century,--and
they were now resumed with great activity, partly in consequence of
the increasing interest in the national drama generally, and partly in
consequence of the personal temper of La Huerta himself. One immediate
result of this state of things was a great increase in the number of
plays, of which at least ten times more were written in the last half
of the century than in the first; and if there were less improvement
in the condition of the theatre than might have been anticipated from
such competition, still, as we have seen, poets and men of genius,
like Ramon de la Cruz, were stirred by the movement, and far-sighted
spirits, like Jovellanos, augured well for the future.[383]

  [383] Don Jaime Doms attacked Montiano in a Letter, without
  date or name of place or printer, and was answered by Domingo
  Luis de Guevara in three Letters, (Madrid, 1753, 18mo,) to
  which a rejoinder by Faustino de Quevedo appeared at Salamanca
  in 1754, 18mo;--all the names being pseudonymes, and all the
  discussions more angry than wise. The publication of the “Teatro”
  of La Huerta excited still more discussion. He himself speaks
  (Escena Hespañola Defendida, Madrid, 1786, 12mo, p. cliii.)
  of the “enorme número de folletos” that appeared in reply to
  his “Prólogo,” many of which were probably only circulated in
  manuscript, according to the fashion of the times, while others,
  like those of Cosme Damian, Tomé Cecial (i. e. J. P. Forner),
  etc., were printed in 1786, and La Huerta replied to them in his
  angry “Leccion Crítica” of the same year. (Sempere, Bib., Tom.
  III. p. 88.) The whole of this period of Spanish literature is
  filled with the quarrels of Sedano, Forner, Huerta, Yriarte, and
  their friends and rivals.

The great obstacle to the success of better dramas lay in a number of
writers, who pandered to the bad taste of the low and vulgar audiences
of their time. Among the more prominent and successful of these were
Valladares and Zavala. The first wrote above a hundred dramas on all
kinds of subjects, tragic and comic, prefixing to his “Emperor Albert”
a discourse in the spirit of Huerta, to defend the Spanish drama from
the attacks of its French neighbours. The other, Zavala, wrote about
half as many, some of which, like his “Victims of Love,” are in the
sentimental style, while others, like three on the history of Charles
the Twelfth of Sweden, are as extravagant as any thing in the worst of
the dramatists he sought to imitate. Both used the old versification,
and intended to humor the public taste in its demands for a vulgar and
extravagant drama; though occasionally, as in “The Triumphs of Love
and Friendship,” by Zavala, they wrote in prose; and occasionally, as
in “The Defence of Virtue,” they showed themselves willing to submit
to the rules of the French stage. In fact, they had neither poetical
principles nor poetical talent, and wrote only to amuse a populace more
ignorant and rude than themselves.

Somewhat better than either of these last, and certainly more
successful than either with the better classes of his contemporaries,
was Comella. Like Valladares, his fertility was great; and the ease
with which he wrote, and the ingenuity with which he invented new and
striking situations, seemed to have the same charm for his audiences
which they had had for the audiences of Lope and Calderon. But,
unhappily, Comella had not the genius of the old masters. His plots are
as involved, and sometimes as interesting, as theirs; but, generally,
they are, to a most extravagant degree, wild and absurd. Even when
he deals with subjects as well known as Christina of Sweden, Louis
the Fourteenth, and Frederic the Great, he seems to have no regard
for truth, probability, or consistency. His versification, too, is
unfortunate. In form it is, indeed, such as had always been insisted
on where the popular voice of Castile has borne sway; but it lacks
variety, as well as richness and strength. Still, his romances in
dialogue were found so interesting, and there was so much of tender
and honorable feeling in the tone of his sentiments and the incidents
of his plots, that above a hundred of his wild dramas--some of them in
prose, but more in verse, some on historical subjects, but many made
out of love-stories of his own invention--were received with applause,
and proved more profitable to the theatres of Madrid than any thing
else they could offer to the multitude on whom they depended for their

  [384] The popularity of Antonio Valladares de Sotomayor, of
  Gaspar Zavala y Zamora, and of Luciano Francisco Comella, did
  not last long enough to cause their works to be collected. But I
  have many separate plays of each of them, and of other forgotten
  authors of this period, such as Luis Moncin, Vicente Rodriguez de
  Arellano, José Concha, etc. Of Comella alone I have thirty, and I
  am ashamed to say how many of them I have read for the pleasure
  their mere stories gave me.

But while Comella was at the height of his reputation, a formidable
antagonist, both to himself and to the whole class of writers he
represented, appeared in the person of Moratin the younger, son of that
poet who first produced on the Spanish stage an original drama written
according to the French doctrines. He was born in 1760. To insure for
the child a subsistence he had with difficulty earned for himself, his
father placed him as an apprentice to a jeweller, at whose trade the
young man continued to work till he was twenty-three years old,--the
latter part of the time in order to support his mother, who had been
left a widow.

But his natural disposition for poetry was too strong to be controlled
by the hard circumstances of his situation. When seven years old he had
written verses, and at eighteen he obtained the second prize offered
by the Royal Spanish Academy for a poem to commemorate the taking of
Granada,--a circumstance which astonished nobody more than it did his
own family, for he had written it secretly, and presented it under
a feigned name. Another success of the same sort, two years later,
attracted more attention to the poor young jeweller; and at last, in
1787, by the kind intervention of Jovellanos, he was made secretary to
the Spanish embassy at Paris, and accompanied the ambassador, Count
Cabarrus, to that capital. There he remained two years, and, during
that time, became acquainted with Goldoni, and entered into relations
with other men of letters, that determined the direction of his life
and the character of his drama.

On his return to Madrid, he obtained the patronage of Don Manuel Godoy,
afterwards the all-powerful Prince of the Peace; and from this moment
his fortune seemed certain. He was sent, at the public charge, to
study the theatres of Germany and England, as well as those of Italy
and France; he had pensions and places given him at home; and, while
an honorable occupation in the department of Foreign Affairs, which
awaited his return, insured him a distinguished position in society, he
had still leisure left for that cultivation of letters which he prized
above all his prosperity and all his official honors.

This happy state of things continued till the French invasion of 1808.
His public relations then became a misfortune. The flood of events
swept him from his place, as it did his patron; and, without becoming
in any degree false to the interests of his country, he was so far
implicated in those of the new government, that, when Ferdinand the
Seventh was restored to the throne, Moratin was treated for a time with
great rigor. But this, too, passed away, and he was again protected
and favored. Still he suffered. His friends were in exile, and he
felt solitary without them. He went back to France, and, though once
afterwards he returned with a fond longing to the land of his birth, he
found every thing so changed by the triumphant despotism, that it was
no longer Spain to him, and he established himself finally at Paris,
where he died in 1828. He was buried near Molière, whom in life he had
honored and imitated.

When Moratin began his career as a dramatic poet, he found obstacles
to his success on every side. His father’s tragedy of “Hormesinda”
had been produced on the stage only in consequence of the ministerial
protection of the Count of Aranda, and in opposition to the judgment
and fears of the actors.[385] Cienfuegos, who had followed his example,
was able with difficulty to obtain a hearing for two out of his five
dramas;--one of them being listened to with partial favor because it
was on a subject familiar to all Spaniards from the days of the old
ballads, and always welcome to their hearts. Quintana, whose name was
early respected and his influence uniformly great, had failed with “The
Duke of Viseo.” Others were discouraged by such examples, and made no
effort to obtain the public notice where there was so little prospect
of success.

  [385] Obras Póstumas de N. F. Moratin, 1825, p. xvi.

This was the condition of the stage, when the younger Moratin appeared
as a candidate before the audiences of Madrid. The new school had
gained some ground, and the living representatives of the old one were
none of them more distinguished than Comella; but the taste of the
public was not changed, and the managers of the theatre were obliged,
as well as inclined, to yield to its authority and humor its fancies.

Moratin determined, however, to tread in the footsteps of his father,
for whose example and memory he always felt the sincerest reverence. He
therefore wrote his first comedy, “The Old Husband and the Young Wife,”
quite within the rules, finishing every part of it with the greatest
exactness, but dividing it, as the old Spanish plays were divided, into
three acts, and using throughout the old short verse which was always
popular. But when, in 1786, he offered his comedy for representation,
the simplicity of the action, so unlike the involved plots on which the
common people still loved to exercise their extraordinary ingenuity,
and the very quietness and decorum that reigned throughout it, made
the actors alarmed for its success. Objections were made, and these,
with other untoward circumstances, prevented it from being brought
out for four years. When it finally appeared, it was received with
a moderate applause, which satisfied neither of the extreme parties
into which the audiences at Madrid were then divided, and yet was
not perhaps unjust to the comedy, whose action is somewhat cold and
languid, though its poetical merits, in other respects, are far from
being inconsiderable.

But, whatever may have been the effect on the public, the effect on its
author was decisive. He had been heard. His merit had been, in part at
least, acknowledged; and he now determined to bring the pretensions
of the popular dramatists, who were disgracing the stage, to the test
of a public trial on the stage itself. For this purpose, he wrote his
“New Play,” as he called it, which is an exposition of the motives
of a penniless author for composing one of the noisy, extravagant
dramas then constantly acted with applause, and an account of its
first representation;--the whole related by the author himself and
his friends, in a coffee-house contiguous to the theatre, at the very
moment the fatal representation is supposed to be going on.

It is in two acts; and the catastrophe--which consists of the confusion
of the author and his family at the failure of his performance--is
brought on with skill, and with an effect much greater than the
simplicity of the action had promised. The piece, therefore, was
received with a favor which even Moratin and his friends had not
anticipated. The poet, who is its victim, was recognized at once to
be Comella. Some of the inferior characters, whether justly or not,
were appropriated to other persons who figured at the time, and the
“New Play” was acknowledged to be a brilliant satire;--severe indeed,
but well merited and happily applied. From this time, therefore, which
was 1792, Moratin, notwithstanding the exasperated opposition of the
adherents of the old school, had secured for himself a permanent place
on the national stage, and, what is more remarkable, this little
drama, almost without a regular action and founded on interests purely
local, was, for the sake of its wit and originality, translated and
successfully represented both in France and Italy.[386]

  [386] From a letter of Moratin, published in the Semanario
  Pintoresco, (1844, p. 43,) it seems that Comella and his friends
  prevented for some time the representation of the “Comedia
  Nueva,” and that the permission to act it was not granted till it
  had undergone five different examinations, and not till the very
  day for which it had been announced was come. The applause of the
  public, however, made amends to Moratin for the trouble which the
  intrigues of his rivals and enemies had given him.

“The Baron,” which is in two acts and in verse, was at first prepared
to be sung; and, without the permission of the author, was altered
to an acting drama and performed in public during his absence from
Spain. On his return, he improved it by material additions, and
produced it again in 1803. It is the least effective of his theatrical
performances; but it triumphed over a cabal, which supported a drama
written on the same subject and represented at the same time, in order
to interfere with its success.

At the moment Moratin was making arrangements for bringing out “The
Baron,” he was occupied with the careful preparation of another comedy
in verse, that was destined still further to increase his reputation.
This was “The Female Hypocrite,” which was written as early as 1791,
and was soon afterwards represented in private, but which was not
finished and acted publicly till 1804. It is an excellent specimen of
character-drawing; the two principal personages being a girl, made,
by the severity of her family, to assume the appearance of being very
religious, while her cousin, who is well contrasted with her, is
rendered frank and winning by an opposite treatment. The very subject,
however, was one that brought Moratin upon dangerous ground, and his
play was forbidden by the Inquisition. But that once formidable body
was now little more than an engine of state; so that the authority
of the Prince of the Peace was not only sufficient to prevent any
disagreeable consequences to Moratin himself, but was able soon
afterwards to indulge the public in a pleasure for which they were only
the more eager, because it had for a time been interdicted.

Moratin’s last original effort on the stage was a full-length prose
comedy in three acts, which he called the “Little Girl’s Consent,” and
which was acted in 1806. Its general movement is extremely natural, and
yet it is enlivened with a little of the intrigue and bustle that were
always so much liked on the Spanish theatre. A young girl, while in the
course of her education at a convent, becomes attached to a handsome
officer of dragoons. Her mother, ignorant of this, undertakes to bring
her home and marry her to an excellent, benevolent old gentleman,
whom the daughter has never seen, but whom, out of mere weakness, she
has been unable to refuse. At an inn on the road, where the younger
lover falls in with them on purpose to break up this match, they all
meet; and he discovers, to his dismay, that his rival is an uncle to
whom he is sincerely attached, and to whom he owes many obligations.
The mistakes and intrigues of the night they pass together at this
inn give great life to the action, and are full of humor; while the
disinterested attachment of the young lovers to each other, and the
benevolence of the uncle, add to the conflicting claims and relations
of the different parties a charm quite original in itself, and very
effective in its exhibition. The play ends by the discovery of the
real state of the daughter’s heart, and the renunciation of all the
pretensions of the uncle, who makes his nephew his heir.

Nothing on the Spanish stage had been so well received for a long
period. It was acted twenty-six nights successively to audiences who
were in the habit of demanding novelties constantly; and then it was
stopped only because Lent came to shut up the theatres. No criticism
appeared except to praise it. The triumph of Moratin was complete.

But he was not destined long to enjoy it. The troubles of his country
were already begun, and in three years the French were its temporary
masters. He prepared, indeed, afterwards two spirited translations
from Molière, with alterations that made them more attractive to his
countrymen; one from the “École des Maris,” which was acted in 1812,
and the other from the “Médecin Malgré Lui,” which was acted in 1814;
but, except these and an unfortunate prose version of Shakspeare’s
“Hamlet,” which was printed in 1798, but never performed, he wrote
nothing for the theatre except the five comedies already noticed.
These, if they form no very broad foundation for his fame, seem yet to
constitute one on which it may rest safely; and, if they have failed
to educate a school strong enough to drive out the bad imitations of
the old masters that have constantly pressed upon them, have yet been
able to keep their own place, little disturbed by the changes of the

  [387] Every thing relating to Moratin the younger is to be found
  in the excellent edition of his Works, published by the Academy
  of History. Larra (Obras, Madrid, 1843, 12mo, Tom. II. pp.
  183-187) intimates that the “Mogigata” had been proscribed anew,
  and that the “Sí de las Niñas” had been mutilated, but that both
  were brought out again, in their original form, about 1838.

That the Spanish drama, during the century which elapsed between the
establishment of the House of Bourbon on the throne and the temporary
expulsion of that house from Spain by the arms of Bonaparte, had, in
some respects, made progress, cannot be doubted. More convenient and
suitable structures for its exhibitions had been erected, not only in
the capital, but in all the principal cities of the kingdom. New and
various forms of dramatic composition had been introduced, which, if
not always consistent with the demands of the national genius, nor
often encouraged by the general favor, had still been welcome to the
greater part of the more cultivated classes, and served both to excite
attention to the fallen state of the theatre generally, and to stir
the thoughts of men for its restoration. Actors, too, of extraordinary
merit had from time to time appeared, like Damian de Castro, for whom
Zamora and Cañizares wrote parts; Maria L’ Advenant, who delighted
Signorelli in the higher characters of Calderon and Moreto; the Tirana,
whose tragic powers astonished the practised taste of Cumberland,
the English dramatist; and Maiquez, who enjoyed the friendship and
admiration of nearly all the Spanish men of letters in his time.[388]

  [388] C. Pellicer, Orígen, Tom. II. p. 41. Signorelli, Storia,
  Lib. IX. cap. 8. R. Cumberland (Memoirs of Himself, London, 1807,
  8vo, Tom. II. p. 107) speaks of the Tirana as “at the very summit
  of her art,” and adds that on one occasion, when he was present,
  her tragic powers proved too much for the audience, at whose
  cries the curtain was lowered before the piece was ended. Maiquez
  was the friend of Blanco White, of Moratin the younger, etc. (New
  Monthly Mag., Tom. XI. p. 187, and L. F. Moratin, Obras, Tom. IV.
  p. 345). His best character was that of Garcia de Castañar, in
  Roxas, which I have seen him play with admirable power and effect.

But still the old spirit and life of the drama of the seventeenth
century were not there. The audiences, who were as unlike those of
the cavalier times of Philip the Fourth as were the rude exhibitions
they preferred to witness, did as much to degrade the theatre as was
done by the poets they patronized and the actors they applauded. The
two schools were in presence of each other continually struggling
for the victory, and the multitude seemed rather to rejoice in the
uproar, than desire so to use it as to promote changes beneficial to
the theatre. On the one side, extravagant and absurd dramas in great
numbers, full of noise, show, and low buffoonery, were offered with
success. On the other, meagre sentimental comedies, and stiff, cold
translations from the French, were forced, in almost equal numbers,
upon the actors by the voices of those from whose authority or support
they could not entirely emancipate themselves. And between the two,
and with the consent of all, the Inquisition and the censors forbade
the representation of hundreds of the dramas of the old masters, and
among them not a few which still give reputation to Calderon and Lope.
The eighteenth century, therefore, so far as the Spanish theatre is
concerned, is entirely a period of revolution and change; and while,
at its conclusion, we perceive that the old national drama can hardly
hope to be restored to its ancient rights, it is equally plain that a
drama founded on the doctrines taught by Luzan, and practised by the
Moratins, is not destined to take its place.[389]

  [389] The war between the Church and the theatre was kept up
  during the whole of the eighteenth century, and till the end
  of the reign of Ferdinand VII., in the nineteenth. Not that
  plays were at any time forbidden effectually throughout the
  kingdom, or silenced in the capital, except during some short
  period of national anxiety or mourning; but that, at different
  intervals,--and especially about the year 1748, when, in
  consequence of earthquakes at Valencia, and under the influence
  of the Archbishop of that city, its theatre was closed, and
  remained so for twelve years, (Luis Lamarca, Teatro de Valencia,
  Valencia, 1840, 12mo, pp. 32-36,) and about the year 1754, when
  Father Calatayud preached as a missionary and published a book
  against plays,--there was great excitement on the subject in
  the provinces. Ferdinand VI. issued severe decrees for their
  regulation, which were little respected, and in different cities
  and dioceses, like Lérida, Palencia, Calahorra, Saragossa,
  Alicant, Córdova, etc., they were from time to time, and as late
  as 1807, under ecclesiastical influence, and, with the assent
  of the people, suppressed, and the theatres shut up. In Murcia,
  where they seem to have been prohibited from 1734 to 1789, and
  then permitted again, the religious authorities openly resisted
  their restoration, and not only denied the sacraments to actors,
  but endeavoured to deprive them of the enjoyment of some of the
  common rights of subjects, such as that of receiving testamentary
  legacies. This, however, was an anomalous and absurd state of
  things, making what was tolerated as harmless in the capital
  of the kingdom a sin or a crime in the provinces. It was a
  sort of war of the outposts, carried on after the citadel had
  been surrendered. Still it had its effect, and its influence
  continued to be felt till a new order of things was introduced
  into the state generally. Many singular facts in relation to
  it may be found scattered through a very ill-arranged book,
  written apparently by an ecclesiastic of Murcia, in two volumes
  quarto, at different times between 1789 and 1814, in which last
  year it was published there, with the title of “Pantoja, ó
  Resolucion Histórica, Teológica de un Caso Prático de Moral sobre
  Comédias”;--Pantoja being the name of a lady, real or pretended,
  who had asked questions of conscience concerning the lawfulness
  of plays, and who received her answers in this clumsy way.

  The state of the theatre, at the end of the eighteenth and
  beginning of the nineteenth century, can be well seen in the
  “Teatro Nuevo Español,” (Madrid, 1800-1, 5 tom. 12mo,) filled
  with the plays, original and translated, that were then in
  fashion. It contains a list of such as were forbidden; imperfect,
  but still embracing between five and six hundred, among which
  are Calderon’s “Life is a Dream,” Alarcon’s “Weaver of Segovia,”
  and many more of the best dramas of the old school. Duran, in
  a note to his Preface to Ramon de la Cruz, (Tom. I. p. v.,)
  intimates that this ostracism was in some degree the result of
  the influence of those who sustained the French doctrines.

  The number of plays acted or published between 1700 and 1825,
  if not to be compared with that of the corresponding period
  preceding 1700, is still large. I think that, in the list given
  by Moratin, there are about fourteen hundred; nearly all after



The reign of Charles the Fourth was not one in which a literary contest
could be carried on with the freedom that alone can render such
contests the means of intellectual progress. His profligate favorite,
the Prince of the Peace, during a long administration of the affairs
of the country, overshadowed every thing with an influence hardly less
fatal to what he patronized than to what he oppressed. The revolution
in France, first resisted, as it was elsewhere, and then corruptly
conciliated, struck the same terror at Madrid that it did at Rome
and Naples; and, while its open defiance of every thing Christian
filled the hearts of a large majority of the Spanish people with a
horror greater than it inspired even in Italy, not a few were led
away by it from their time-honored feelings of religion and loyalty,
and prepared for changes like those that were already overturning the
thrones of half Europe. Amidst this confusion, and taking advantage
of it, the Inquisition, grown flexible in the hands of the government
as a political machine, but still renouncing none of its religious
pretensions, came forth with its last “Index Expurgatorius” to meet the
invasion of French philosophy and insubordination.[390] Acting under
express instructions from the powers of the state it received against
men of letters, and especially those connected with the universities,
an immense number of denunciations, which, though rarely prosecuted
to conviction and punishment, were still formidable enough to prevent
the public expression of opinions on any subject that could endanger
the social condition of the individual who ventured to entertain them.
In all its worst forms, therefore, oppression, civil, political, and
religious, appeared to be settling down with a new and portentous
weight on the whole country. All men felt it. It seemed as if the very
principle of life in the atmosphere they breathed had become tainted
and unwholesome. But they felt, too, that the same atmosphere was
charged with the spirit of a great revolution; and the boldest walked
warily and were hushed, while they waited for changes the shock of
whose fierce elements none could willingly encounter.

  [390] The last Index Expurgatorius is that of Madrid, 1790, (4to,
  pp. 305,) to which should be added a Supplement of 55 pages,
  dated 1805; both very meagre, compared with the vast folios of
  the two preceding centuries, of which that of 1667 fills, with
  its Supplement, above 1200 pages. But the last of the race is as
  bitter as its predecessors, and, by the great number of French
  books it includes, shows the quarter from which danger was
  chiefly apprehended. To prevent any of this class from escaping,
  it is ordered that “all papers, tracts, and books, on the
  disturbances in France, which can inspire a spirit of seduction,
  shall be delivered to some servant of the Holy Office.”
  Supplement of 1805, p. 3. Burke’s “Reflections” are forbidden in
  the same Index.

At last the convulsion came. In 1807, the heir apparent was brought
into direct collision with the Prince of the Peace, and took measures
to defend his personal rights. The affair of the Escurial followed;
darker than the dark cells in which it was conceived. Ferdinand was
accused, under the influence of the favorite, with a design to dethrone
and murder his own father and mother; and, for a moment, Europe seemed
threatened with a crime which even the unscrupulous despotism of
Philip the Second had not ventured to commit. This was prevented by
the manly boldness and constancy of Escoiquiz. But things could not
long remain in the uneasy and treacherous position in which such a
rash attempt at convulsion had left them. The great revolution broke
out at Aranjuez in March, 1808; Charles the Fourth abdicated in shame
and terror; and Ferdinand the Seventh ascended the tottering throne
of his ancestors amidst the exultation of his people. But Napoleon,
then at the summit of his vast power, interfered in the troubles he
had not been unwilling to foster. Under the pretext, that such fatal
differences as had arisen between the father and son would disturb the
affairs of Europe, he drew the royal family of Spain into his toils at
Bayonne; and there, on the soil of France, the crown of the Bourbon
race in Spain was ignominiously surrendered into his hands, and by him
placed on the head of his brother, already king of Naples.

It was all the work of a few short weeks; and the fate of Spain seemed
to be sealed with a seal that no human power would be permitted to
break. But the people of that land of faith and chivalry were not
forgetful of their ancient honor in this the day of their great trial.
They boldly refused to ratify the treaty to which father and son had
alike put their dishonored names, and sprang to arms to prevent its
provisions from being fulfilled by foreign intervention. It was a
fierce struggle. For nearly six years, the forces of France were spread
over the country, sometimes seeming to cover the whole of it, and
sometimes only small portions, but seldom exerting any real control
beyond the camps they occupied and the cities they from time to
time garrisoned. At last, in 1813, under the leading of England, the
invaders were driven through the gorges of the Pyrenees; and, as a part
of the great European retribution, Ferdinand the Seventh was replaced
on the throne he had so weakly abdicated.

He was received by his people with a loyalty that seemed to belong to
the earliest ages of the monarchy. But it was lost on him. He returned
untaught by the misfortunes he had suffered, and unmoved by a fidelity
which had showed itself ready to sacrifice a whole generation and its
hopes to his honor and rights. As far as was possible, he restored all
the forms and appliances of the old despotism, and thrust from his
confidence the very men who had brought him home on their shields, and
who only claimed for their country the exercise of a salutary freedom,
without which he himself could not be maintained on the throne where
their courage and constancy had seated him.[391] Even the Inquisition,
which it had been one of the most popular acts of the French invaders
to abolish, and one of the wisest acts of the national Cortes to
declare incompatible with the constitution of the monarchy, was
solemnly reinstated; and if, during a reign protracted through twenty
sad and troubled years, any proper freedom was for a moment granted
to thought, to speech, or to the press, it was only in consequence of
changes over which the prince had no control, and of which he felt
himself to be rather the victim than the author.[392]

  [391] One of the most odious of the acts that marked the
  restoration of Ferdinand VII. related to the war of the
  _Comuneros_, nearly three centuries before. After the execution
  of Juan de Padilla and the exile of his noble wife, in 1521,
  their house was razed to the ground, and an inscription
  reproachful to their memory placed on the spot where it had
  stood. This the Cortes removed, and erected in its stead a simple
  monument in honor of the martyrs. In 1823, Ferdinand ordered
  the simple monument of the Cortes to be destroyed, and replaced
  the old inscription! But, since that time, Martinez de la Rosa
  has erected a nobler monument to their memory in his “Viuda de
  Padilla.” See Henri Ternaux, Les Comuneros, Paris, 1834, 8vo, p.
  208; an interesting work and a work of authority, relying, in
  part, on unpublished materials.

  [392] Llorente, Hist. de l’Inquisition, Tom. IV. pp. 145-154.
  Southey’s History of the Peninsular War, London, 1823, 4to, Tom.
  I. The Inquisition was again abolished by the revolution or
  change of 1820, and when the counterchange came, in 1823, failed
  to find its place in the restored order of things. It may be
  hoped, therefore, that this most odious of the institutions, that
  have sheltered themselves under the abused name of Christianity,
  will never again darken the history of Spain.

Amidst such violence and confusion,--when men slept in armour, as
they had during the Moorish contest, and knew not whether they should
be waked amidst their households or amidst their enemies,--elegant
letters, of course, could hardly hope to find shelter or resting-place.
The grave political questions, that agitated the country and shook
the foundations of society, were precisely those in which it might
be foreseen, that intellectual men would take the deepest interest
and expose themselves to sufferings and ruin, like the less favored
masses around them. And so, in fact, it proved. Nearly every poet
and prose-writer, known as such at the end of the reign of Charles
the Fourth, became involved in the fierce political changes of the
time;--changes so various and so opposite, that those who escaped from
the consequences of one were often, on that very account, sure to
suffer in the next that followed.

The young men who, during this disastrous period, were just beginning
to unfold their promise, were checked at the outset of their career.
Martinez de la Rosa, five years a prisoner of state on a rock in Africa
before he had reached the age of thirty; Angel de Rivas, still younger,
left for dead on the bloody field of Ocaña; Galiano, sentenced to the
scaffold while he was earning his daily bread by daily labor as a
teacher in London; Torreno, brought home on his bier, as he returned
from his third exile; Arriaza serving in the armies of Ferdinand;
Arjona and Barbero silenced; Xavier de Burgos plundered; Gallego,
Xerica, Hermosilla, Mauri, Mora, Tapia;--these, and many others, all
young men and full of the hopes that letters inspire in generous
spirits, were seized upon by the passions of party or the demands of
patriotism, and hurried into paths far from the pursuits to which their
talents, their taste, and their social relations would alike have
dedicated them;--pursuits on which, in fact, they had already entered,
and to which they have since owed their most brilliant and enduring
distinctions, as well as their truest happiness.

Those who were older, and had been before marked by success and
public favor, fared still worse. The eyes of men had already been
fastened upon them, and in the conflict and crush of the contending
factions they were sure to suffer, as one or another prevailed in the
long-protracted struggle. Jovellanos and Cienfuegos, as we have seen,
were almost instantly martyrs to their patriotism. Melendez Valdes sunk
a later and more miserable victim. Conde and Escoiquiz were exiled for
opposite reasons. Moratin, after having faced death in the frightful
form of want in his own country, survived to a fate in France hardly
less to be dreaded. Quintana was cast by his ungrateful sovereign into
the Bastile of Pamplona, with an apparent intention that he should
perish there. To all of them the happiness of success in letters,
to which they had been accustomed amidst the encouragement of their
friends and countrymen, was denied;--from all, the hopes of fame seemed
to be cut off. Most of them, and most of the small class to which
they belonged, passed, as voluntary or involuntary exiles, beyond the
limits of a country which they might still be compelled to love, but
which they could no longer respect. The rest were silent. It was an
interregnum in all elegant culture, such as no modern nation had yet
seen,--not even Spain herself during the War of the Succession.

But it was not possible that such a state of things should become
permanent and normal. Even while Ferdinand the Seventh was living, a
movement was begun, the first traces of which are to be found among the
emigrated Spaniards, who cheered with letters their exile in England
and France, and whose subsequent progress, from the time when the death
of that unfaithful monarch permitted them to return home, is distinctly
perceptible in their own country.[393] What precise direction this
movement may hereafter take, or where it may end, it is not given us
to foresee. Perhaps too much of foreign influence, and too great a
tendency to infuse the spirit of the North into a poetry whose nature
is peculiarly Southern, may, for a time, divert it from its true
course. Or perhaps the national genius, springing forward through all
that opposes its instincts, and shaking off whatever encumbers it with
ill-considered help, may press directly onward, and complete the canon
of a literature whose forms, often only sketched by the great masters
of its age of glory, remain yet to be filled out and finished in the
grandeur and grace of their proper proportions.

  [393] This movement, so honorable to the Spanish character,
  can be seen in the “Ocios de Españoles Emigrados,” a Spanish
  periodical work, full of talent and national feeling, published
  at London, in 7 vols. 8vo, between April, 1824, and October,
  1827, by the exiles, who were then chiefly gathered in the
  capitals of France and England.

But, whether a great advancement may soon be hoped for or not, one
thing is certain. The law of progress is on Spain for good or for evil,
as it is on the other nations of the earth, and her destiny, like
theirs, is in the hand of God, and will be fulfilled. The material
resources of her soil and position are as great as those of any people
that now occupies its meted portion of the globe. The mass of her
inhabitants, and especially of her peasantry, has been less changed,
and in many respects less corrupted, by the revolutions of the last
century, than any of the nations who have pressed her borders, or
contended with her power. They are the same race of men, who twice
drove back the crescent from the shores of Europe, and twice saved
from shipwreck the great cause of Christian civilization. They have
shown the same spirit at Saragossa, that they showed two thousand years
before at Saguntum. They are not a ruined people. And, while they
preserve the sense of honor, the sincerity, and the contempt for what
is sordid and base, that have so long distinguished their national
character, they cannot be ruined.

Nor, I trust, will such a people--still proud and faithful in its less
favored masses, if not in those portions whose names dimly shadow forth
the glory they have inherited--fail to create a literature appropriate
to a character in its nature so poetical. The old ballads will not
indeed return; for the feelings that produced them are with by-gone
things. The old drama will not be revived;--society, even in Spain,
would not now endure its excesses. The old chroniclers themselves, if
they should come back, would find no miracles of valor or superstition
to record, and no credulity fond enough to believe them. Their poets
will not again be monks and soldiers, as they were in the days when
the influences of the old religious wars and hatreds gave both their
brightest and darkest colors to the elements of social life; for the
civilization that struck its roots into that soil has died out for
want of nourishment. But the Spanish people--that old Castilian race,
that came from the mountains and filled the whole land with their
spirit--have, I trust, a future before them not unworthy of their
ancient fortunes and fame; a future full of materials for a generous
history, and a poetry still more generous;--happy if they have been
taught, by the experience of the past, that, while reverence for
whatever is noble and worthy is of the essence of poetical inspiration,
and, while religious faith and feeling constitute its true and sure
foundations, there is yet a loyalty to mere rank and place, which
degrades alike its possessor and him it would honor, and a blind
submission to priestly authority, which narrows and debases the nobler
faculties of the soul more than any other, because it sends its poison
deeper. But, if they have failed to learn this solemn lesson, inscribed
everywhere, as by the hand of Heaven, on the crumbling walls of
their ancient institutions, then is their honorable history, both in
civilization and letters, closed for ever.




(See Vol. I. pp. 11 and 47.)

The country which now passes under the name of Spain has been subjected
to a greater number of revolutions, that have left permanent traces
in its population, language, and literature, than any other of the
principal countries of modern Europe.[394] At different periods, within
the reach of authentic record, it has been invaded and occupied by the
Phœnicians, the Romans, the Goths, and the Arabs; all distinct races
of men with peculiar characteristics, and forming, in their various
combinations with each other or with the earlier masters of the soil,
still new races hardly less separate and remarkable than themselves.
From the intimate union of them all, gradually wrought by the changes
and convulsions of nearly three thousand years, has arisen the present
Spanish people, whose literature, extending back about seven centuries,
has been examined in the preceding volumes.

  [394] _Spain_, _Espagne_, _España_, _Hispania_, are evidently
  all one word. Its etymology cannot, in the opinion of W. von
  Humboldt, (Prüfung der Untersuchungen über die Urbewohner
  Hispaniens, 4to, 1821, p. 60,) be determined. The Spanish writers
  are full of the most absurd conjectures on the subject. See
  Aldrete, Orígen de la Lengua Castellana, ed. 1674, Lib. III. c.
  2, f. 68; Mariana, Hist., Lib. I. c. 12; and Mendoza, Guerra de
  Granada, ed. 1776, Lib. IV., p. 295.

But it is difficult fully to examine or understand the literature of
any country, without understanding something, at least, of the original
elements and history of the language in which it is contained, and
on which no small portion of its essential character must depend;
while, at the same time, a knowledge of the origin of the language
necessarily implies some knowledge of the nations that, by successive
contributions, have constituted it such as it is found in the final
forms of its poetry and elegant prose. As a needful appendix,
therefore, to the history of Spanish literature, a very brief account
will be here given of the different occupants of the soil of the
country, who, in a greater or less degree, have contributed to form the
present character both of the Spanish people and of their language and

The oldest of these, and the people who, since we can go back no
farther, must be by us regarded as the original inhabitants of the
Spanish Peninsula, were the Iberians. They appear, at the remotest
period of which tradition affords us any notice, to have been spread
over the whole territory, and to have given to its mountains, rivers,
and cities most of the names they still bear,--a fierce race, whose
power has never been entirely broken by any of the long line of
invaders who, at different times, have occupied the rest of the
country. Even at this moment, a body of their descendants, less
affected than we should have supposed possible by intercourse with
the various nations that have successively pressed their borders, is
believed, with a good degree of probability, to be recognized under
the name of Biscayans, inhabiting the mountains in the northwestern
portion of modern Spain. But, whether this be true or not, the
Biscayans, down to the present day, have been a singular and a separate
race. They have a peculiar language, peculiar local institutions,
and a literature which is carried back to a remoter antiquity than
that of any other people now possessing, not the soil of the Spanish
Peninsula merely, but of any part of Southern Europe. They are, in
fact, a people who seem to have been left as a solitary race, hardly
connected, even by those ties of language which outlive all others,
with any race of men now in existence or on record; some of their
present customs and popular fables claiming to have come down from an
age, of which history and tradition give only doubtful intimations.
The most probable conjecture yet proposed to explain what there
is peculiar and remarkable about the Biscayans and their language
is that which supposes them to be descended from those ancient and
mysterious Iberians, whose language seems to have been, at one period,
spread through the whole Peninsula, and to have left traces which are
recognized even in the present Spanish.[395]

  [395] On the subject of the Biscayans and the descent of their
  language from the ancient Iberian, two references are sufficient
  for the present purpose. First, “Über die Cantabrische oder
  Baskische Sprache,” by Wilhelm von Humboldt, published as an
  Appendix to Adelung and Vater’s “Mithridates,” Theil IV., 1817,
  8vo, pp. 275-360. And, second, “Prüfung der Untersuchungen über
  die Urbewohner Hispaniens vermittelst der Vaskischen Sprache,”
  etc., von W. von Humboldt, 4to, Berlin, 1821. The admirable
  learning, philosophy, and acuteness which this remarkable man
  brought to all his philological discussions are apparent in these
  treatises, both of which are rendered singularly satisfactory by
  the circumstance, that, being for some time Prussian Minister
  at Madrid, he visited Biscay and studied its language on the
  spot. The oldest fragment of Basque poetry which he found, and
  which is given in the “Mithridates,” (Theil IV. pp. 354-356,)
  is held by the learned of Biscay to be nearly or quite as old
  as the time of Augustus, to whose Cantabrian war it refers; but
  this can hardly be admitted, though it is no doubt earlier than
  any thing else we have of the Peninsular literature. It is an
  important document, and is examined with his accustomed learning
  and acuteness by Fauriel, “Hist. de la Gaule Méridionale,” 1836,
  8vo, Tom. II. App. iii. I do not speak of a pleasant treatise,
  “De la Antiguedad y Universalidad del Bascuense en España,” which
  Larramendi published in 1728, nor of the Preface and Appendix
  to his “Arte de la Lengua Bascongada,” 1729; nor of Astarloa’s
  “Apologia,” 1803; nor of Erro’s “Lengua Primitiva,” 1806, and his
  “Mundo Primitivo,” an unfinished work, 1815; for they all lack
  judgment and precision. If, however, any person is anxious to
  ascertain their contents, a good abstract of the last two books,
  with sufficient reference to the first, was published in Boston,
  by Mr. G. Waldo Erving, formerly American Minister at Madrid,
  with a preface and notes, under the title of “The Alphabet of
  the Primitive Language of Spain,” 1829. But Humboldt is to
  be considered the safe and sufficient authority on the whole
  subject, for though Astarloa’s work is not without learning and
  acuteness, yet, as both he and his follower, Erro, labor chiefly
  to prove, as Larramendi had done long before, that the Basque is
  the original language of the whole human race, they are led into
  a great many whimsical absurdities, and must be considered, on
  the whole, any thing but safe guides.

The first intruders upon the Iberians were the Celts, who, according
to Doctor Percy’s theory, constituted the foremost wave of the
successive emigrations that broke upon Europe from the overflowing
multitudes of Asia. At what precise period the Celts reached Spain,
or any other of the Western countries they overran, can no longer be
determined. But the contest between the invaders of the soil and its
possessors was, from the few intimations of it that have come down
to us, long and bloody; and, as was generally the case in the early
successful invasions of countries by wandering masses of the human
race, portions of the ancient inhabitants were driven to the fastnesses
of their mountains, and the remainder became gradually incorporated
with the conquerors. The new people, thus formed of two races that,
in antiquity, had the reputation of being warlike and powerful, was
appropriately called the Celtiberian,[396] and constituted the body
of the population which, broken into various tribes, but with similar
manners and institutions, occupied the Peninsula when it first became
known to the civilized nations of Europe. The language of the Celts, as
might be expected, is represented in the present Spanish, as it is in
the French and even in the Italian, though but slightly, of course, in
any of them.[397]

  [396] The remarkable passage in Diodorus Siculus, Bib. Hist.,
  Lib. V. c. 33, is well known; but the _phraseology_ should
  be noted for our purpose when he speaks of the union of the
  people as δυοῖν ἐθνῶν ἀλκίμων μιχθέντων. The fortieth section
  of Humboldt’s “Prüfung” should also be read; and the beginning
  of the Third Book of Strabo, in which he gives, as usual, a
  good deal that is curious about history and manners, as well as
  geography, and a good deal that is incredible, such as that the
  Turdetani had poetry and poetical laws six thousand years old.
  Ed. Casaub., 1720, p. 139. C.

  [397] In speaking of the two earliest languages of the Spanish
  Peninsula, I have confined myself to the known facts of the case,
  without entering into the curious speculations to which these
  facts have led inquisitive and philosophical minds. But those who
  are interested in such inquiries will find abundant materials
  for their study in the remarkable “Researches into the Physical
  History of Mankind, by Dr. J. C. Prichard,” 5 vols. 8vo, London,
  1836-47; and in the acute “Report” of the Chevalier Bunsen to the
  Seventeenth Meeting of the British Association, London, 1848, pp.
  254-299. If we follow their theories, the Basque may be regarded
  as the language of a race that came originally from the northern
  parts of Asia and Europe, and to which Prichard gives the name of
  Ugro-Tartarian, while the Celtic language is that of the oldest
  of the great emigrations from the more southern portions of Asia,
  which Bunsen calls the Japhetic.

Thus far, all access to Spain had been by land; for, in the earliest
periods of the world’s history, no other mode of emigration or
invasion was known. But the Phœnicians, the oldest commercial people
of classical antiquity, soon afterwards found their way thither over
the waters of the Mediterranean. At what time they arrived in Spain,
or where they made their first establishment, is not known. A mystery
hangs over this remarkable people, darker than belongs to the age in
which they lived, and connected, no doubt, with the wary spirit in
which they pursued their commercial adventures. Their position at home
made colonization the obvious and almost the only means of commercial
wealth among them, and Spain proved the most tempting of the countries
to which their power could reach. Their chief Spanish colonies were
near the Pillars of Hercules, in the neighbourhood of our present
Cadiz, which they probably founded, and about the mouth and on the
banks of the Guadalquivir. Their great object was the mines of precious
metals with which ancient Spain abounded. For Spain, from the earliest
notices of its history till the fall of the Roman Empire, was the El
Dorado of the rest of the world, and furnished a large proportion of
the materials for its circulating wealth.[398] During a long period,
too, these mines seem to have been known only to the Phœnicians, who
thus reserved to themselves the secret of a great power and influence
over the nations near them, while, at the same time,--establishing
colonies, as was their custom, to secure the sources of their
wealth,--they carried their language and manners through a considerable
part of the South of Spain, and even far round on the shores of the

  [398] The general statement may, perhaps, be taken from Mariana,
  (Lib. I. c. 15,) who gives the story as it has come down through
  tradition, fable, and history, with no more critical acumen than
  is common with the Spanish historians. But such separate facts
  as are mentioned by Livy (Lib. XXXIV. c. 10, 46, Lib. XL. c. 43,
  with the notes in Drakenborch) bring with them a more distinct
  impression of the immense wealth obtained anciently from Spain
  than any general statements whatever; even more than those of
  Strabo, Diodorus, etc. It has been supposed by Heeren, and by
  others before and since, (Ideen, 1824, Band I. Theil ii. p. 68,)
  that the Tarshish of the Prophets Ezekiel (xxvii. 12) and Isaiah
  (lx. 8, 9) was in Spain, and was, in fact, the ancient Tartessus;
  but this is denied, (Memorias de la Academia de la Historia, Tom.
  III. p. 320,) and, no doubt, if the Tarshish of the Prophets were
  in Spain, there must have been another Tarshish in Cilicia, that
  is mentioned in other parts of Scripture.

  [399] See Heeren’s Ideen, Band I. Theil ii. pp. 24-71, 4th edit.,
  1824, where the whole subject is discussed.

But the Phœnicians had still earlier founded a colony on the northern
coast of Africa, which, under the name of Carthage, was destined to
grow more powerful than the country that sent it forth. Its means
were the same; for the Carthaginians became eminently a commercial
people, and depended, in no small degree, upon the resources of their
colonies. They trod closely and almost constantly in the footsteps
of their mother country, and often supplanted her power. It was, in
fact, through the Phœnician colonies that the Carthaginians entered
Spain, whose tempting territory was divided from them only by the
Mediterranean. But for a long period, though they maintained a large
military force in Cadiz, and stretched their possessions boldly and
successfully along the Spanish shores, they did not seem inclined to
penetrate far into the interior, or to do more than occupy enough of
the country to overawe its population and control its trade. When,
however, the First Punic War had rendered Spain of more consequence
to the Carthaginians than it had ever been before, they undertook its
entire conquest and occupation. Under Hamilcar, the father of Hannibal,
about two hundred and twenty-seven years before the Christian era, they
spread themselves at once over nearly the whole country, as far as the
Iberus, and, building Carthagena and some other strong places, seemed
to have taken final possession of the Peninsula, on which the Romans
had not yet set foot.

The Romans, however, were not slow to perceive the advantage their
dangerous rivals had gained. By the first treaty of peace made between
these great powers, it was stipulated, that the Carthaginians should
advance no farther,--should neither molest Saguntum nor cross the
Iberus. Hannibal violated these conditions, and the Second Punic War
broke out, two hundred and eighteen years before the Christian era.
The Scipios entered Spain in consequence of it; and at its conclusion,
in the year B. C. 201, the Carthaginians had no longer any possessions
in Europe, though, as descendants of the Phœnicians, they left in the
population and language of Spain traces which have never been wholly

  [400] A sufficient account of the Carthaginians in Spain may
  be found in Heeren’s Ideen, Band II. Theil i. pp. 85-99, and
  172-199. But Mariana contains the more national ideas and
  traditions, (Lib. I. c. 19, etc.,) and Depping is more ample
  (Hist. Générale de l’Espagne, 1811, Tom. I. pp. 64-96).

But,[401] though, by the Second Punic War, the Carthaginians were thus
driven from the Spanish Peninsula, the Romans were far from having
obtained unmolested or secure possession of it. The Carthaginians
themselves, even when engaged in a commerce whose spirit was, on the
whole, peaceful, had never ceased to be in contest with the warlike
Celtiberian tribes of the interior; and the Romans were obliged to
accept the inheritance of a warfare to which, in their character
of intruders, they naturally succeeded. The Roman Senate, indeed,
according to their usual policy, chose to regard Spain, from the end
of the Second Punic War, both as conquered and as a province; and,
in truth, they had really obtained permanent and quiet possession of
a considerable part of it. But, from the time when the Roman armies
first entered the Peninsula until they became masters of the whole of
it,--except the mountains of the Northwest, which never yielded to
their power,--two complete centuries elapsed, filled with bloodshed
and crime. No province cost the Roman people a price so great. The
struggle for Numantia, which lasted fourteen years, the wars against
Viriates, and the war of Sertorius,--to say nothing of that between
Pompey and Cæsar,--all show the formidable character of the protracted
contest by which alone the Roman power could be confirmed in the
Peninsula; so that, though Spain was the first portion of the continent
out of Italy which the Romans began to occupy as a province, it was the
very last of which their possession was peaceful and unquestioned.[402]

  [401] Of the Greeks in Spain, it has not been thought necessary
  here to speak. Their few establishments were on the southern
  coast, and rather on the eastern part of it; but they were of
  little consequence, and do not seem to have produced any lasting
  effect on the character or language of the country. They were, in
  fact, rather a result of the influence of the rich and cultivated
  Greek colony in the South of France, whose capital seat was
  Marseilles, or of the spirit which in Rhodes and elsewhere sent
  out adventurers to the far west. (See Benedictins, Hist. Litt.
  de la France, 1733, 4to, Tom. I. pp. 71, etc.) For those who are
  curious about the Greeks in Spain, more than they will probably
  desire will be found in the elaborate and clumsy work of Masdeu,
  Hist. Crit. de España, Tom. I. p. 211, Tom. III. pp. 76, etc.
  Aldrete (Orígen de la Lengua Española, 1674, f. 65) has collected
  about ninety Spanish words to which he attributes a Greek origin;
  but nearly all of them may be easily traced through the Latin, or
  else they belong to the Northern invaders or to Italy. Marina, a
  good authority on this particular point, says: “I do not deny,
  nor can it be doubted, that, in the Spanish language, are found
  many words purely Greek, and occasional phrases and turns of
  expression that are in Attic taste; but this is because they had
  first been adopted by the Latin language, which is the mother
  of ours.” Mem. de la Real Acad., Tom. IV., Ensayo, etc., p. 47.
  There is a curious inscription in Nunes de Lião, (Origem da
  Lingoa Portugesa, Lisboa, 1784, p. 32,) from a temple erected by
  Greeks at Ampurias to Diana of Ephesus, which states, that “nec
  relicta Græcorum lingua, nec _idiomate_ patriæ Iberæ recepto, in
  mores, in _linguam_, in jura, in ditionem cessere _Romanam_, M.
  Cathego et L. Apronio Coss.” No doubt, these Greeks came from
  Marseilles, or were connected with it; and no doubt they spoke
  Latin. But the ancient Iberian language seems to be recognized
  as existing, also, among them. Ampurias, however, was generally
  in Spain held to be of Greek origin, as we may see in different
  ways, and among the rest in the following lines of Espinosa, who,
  when Alambron comes there with the Infanta Fenisa, says:--

      Juntan á la ciudad, que fué fundada
      _De cautos Griegos_, rica y bastecida.
          Segunda Parte de Orlando, ed. 1556, Canto xxxi.

  [402] Livius, Hist. Rom., Lib. XXVIII. c. 12. The _words_ are
  remarkable. “Itaque ergo prima Romanis inita provinciarum, quæ
  quidem continentis sint, postrema omnium, nostrâ demum ætate,
  ductu auspicioque Augusti Cæsaris, perdomita est.”

From the outset, however, there was a tendency to a union between the
two races, wherever the conquerors were able to establish quietness and
order; for the vast advantages of Roman civilization could be obtained
only by the adoption of Roman manners and the Latin language. This
union, from the great importance of the province, the Romans desired
no less than the natives. Forty-seven years only after they entered
Spain, a colony, consisting of a large body of the descendants from
the mingled blood of Romans and natives, was established by a formal
decree of the Senate, with privileges beyond the usual policy of their
government.[403] A little later, colonies of all kinds were greatly
multiplied; and it is impossible to read Cæsar and Livy without feeling
that the Roman policy was more generous to Spain, than it was to any
other of the countries that successively came within its control.
Tarragona, where the Scipios first landed, Carthagena, founded by
Asdrubal, and Córdova, always so important, early took the forms and
character of the larger municipalities in Italy; and, in the time of
Strabo, Cadiz, for numbers, wealth, and activity, was second only to
Rome itself.[404] Long, therefore, before Agrippa had broken the power
of the mountaineers at the North, the whole South, with its rich and
luxuriant valleys, had become like another Italy; a fact, of which the
descriptions in the third book of Pliny’s Natural History can leave
no reasonable doubt. To this, however, we should add the remarkable
circumstance, that the Emperor Vespasian, soon after the pacification
of the North, found it for his interest to extend to the whole of Spain
the privileges of the municipalities in Latium.[405]

  [403] Livius, Hist. Rom., Lib. XLIII. c. 3.

  [404] Strabo, Lib. III., especially pp. 168, 169, ed. Casaubon,
  fol., 1620; and Plin., Hist. Nat., Lib. III. §§ 2-4, but
  particularly Vol. I., ed. Franzii, 1778, p. 547. A striking proof
  of the importance of Spain, in antiquity generally, may be found
  in the fact incidentally stated by W. von Humboldt, (Prüfung,
  etc., § 2, p. 3,) that “ancient writers have left us a great
  number of Spanish names of places;--in proportion, a greater
  number than of any other country except Greece and Italy.”

  [405] Plin., Hist. Nat., Lib. VII. c. 44, where the distinction
  is spoken of as something surprising, since Pliny adds, that
  it was “an honor which our ancestors refused even to those of

Spaniards, too, earlier than any other strangers, obtained those
distinctions of which the Romans themselves were so ambitious, and
which they so reluctantly granted to any but native citizens. The first
foreigner that ever rose to the consulship was Balbus, from Cadiz,
and he, too, was the first foreigner that ever gained the honors of
a public triumph. The first foreigner that ever sat on the throne of
the world was Trajan, a native of Italica, near Seville;[406] and
indeed, if we examine the history of Rome from the time of Hannibal
to the fall of the Western Empire, we shall probably find that no
part of the world, beyond the limits of Italy, contributed so much to
the resources, wealth, and power of the capital, as Spain, and that
no province received, in return, so large a share of the honors and
dignities of the Roman government.

  [406] Plin., Hist. Nat., Lib. V. c. 5, with the note of Hardouin,
  and with Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus, fol., 1787, Lib. I.
  c. ii.

On all accounts, therefore, the connection between Rome and Spain was
intimate, and the civilization and refinement of the province took
their character early from those of the capital. Sertorius found it a
wise policy to cause the children of the principal native families to
be taught Latin and Greek, and to become accomplished in the literature
and elegant knowledge to be found in those admirable languages;[407]
and when, ten years later, Metellus, in his turn, had crushed the
power of Sertorius, and came home triumphant to Rome, he brought with
him a number of native Cordovan poets, against whose Latinity the
fastidious ear of Cicero was able to object only that their accent had
_pingue quiddam ... atque peregrinum_,--something thick, or rude, and

  [407] Plutarchus in Sertorium, c. 14.

  [408] Pro Archiâ, § 10. It should be noted especially, that
  Cicero makes them _natives_ of Córdova,--“Cordubæ _natis_ poetis.”

From this period Latin writers began to be constantly produced in
Spain.[409] Portius Latro, a native of Córdova, but a public advocate
of the highest reputation at Rome, opened in the metropolis the
earliest of those schools for Roman rhetoric, that afterwards became so
numerous and so famous, and, among other distinguished men, numbered
as his disciples Octavius Cæsar, Mæcenas, Marcus Agrippa, and Ovid.
The two Senecas were Spaniards, and so was Lucan; names celebrated
enough, certainly, to have conferred lasting glory on any city within
the limits of the Empire. Martial came from Bilbilis, and, in his old
age, retired there again to die in peace, amidst the scenes which,
during his whole life, seem to have been dear to him. Columella, too,
the best of the Roman writers on agriculture, was a Spaniard; and so,
it is probable, were Quinctilian and Silius Italicus. Many others might
be added, whose rights and reputation were fully acknowledged in the
capital of the world, during the last days of the Republic, or the best
days of the Empire, as orators, poets, and historians; but their works,
though famous in their own time, have perished in the general wreck of
the larger part of ancient literature. The great lights, however, of
Roman letters in Spain are familiar to all, and are at once recognized
as constituting an important portion of the body of the Latin classics,
and an essential part of the glory of Roman civilization.[410]

  [409] Some excellent and closely condensed remarks on this
  subject may be found in the Introduction to Amédée Thierry’s
  “Histoire de la Gaule sous l’Administration Romaine,” 8vo, 1840,
  Tom. I. pp. 211-218; a work which leaves little to be desired, as
  far as it goes.

  [410] Of Roman writers in Spain, the accounts are abundant.
  The first book, however, of Antonio’s “Bibliotheca Vetus” is
  sufficient. But, after all that has been written, it has always
  seemed singular to me that Horace should have used exactly the
  word _peritus_, when intending specifically to characterize the
  Spaniards of his time, (II. Od. xx. 19,) unless _peritus_ is used
  with reference to its relations with _experior_, rather than in
  its usual sense of _learned_. Sir James Mackintosh, speaking of
  the Latin writers produced by Spain, says they were “the most
  famous of their age.” Hist. Eng., Vol. I. p. 21, London, 1830.

After this period, no considerable change, that needs to be noticed,
took place in the Spanish Peninsula, until the final overthrow of the
Roman power.[411] Undoubtedly, at the Northwest, and especially among
the mountains and valleys of what is now called Biscay, the language
and institutions of Rome were never established;[412] but, in all
the remainder of the country, whatever there was of public policy or
intellectual refinement rested on the basis of the Roman character
and of Roman civilization. But the Roman character and civilization
decayed there, as they did everywhere, and though, during the last four
centuries in which the Imperial authority was acknowledged in Spain,
the country enjoyed more of tranquillity than was enjoyed in any other
province within the limits of the Empire, still, like the others, it
was much disturbed during the whole of this fatal period, and was
gradually yielding to the common destiny.

  [411] The story told by Aulus Gellius, (NN. AA., Lib. XIX. c.
  9,) about Antoninus Julianus, a Spaniard, who exercised the
  profession of a rhetorician at Rome, shows pleasantly that there
  was no Spanish language at that time (circa A. D. 200) except
  the Latin; for when the “Greci plusculi” at table reproached
  Antoninus with the poverty of Latin literature, they reproached
  him as one who was a party concerned, and he defended himself
  just as a Roman would have done, by quotations from the Latin
  poets. His patriotism was evidently Roman, and the _patria
  lingua_ which he vindicated was the Latin.

  [412] In the beautiful fragment of a History of England by Sir
  J. Mackintosh, he says, _ut supra_, with that spirit of acute
  and philosophical generalization for which he was so remarkable:
  “The ordinary policy of Rome was to confine the barbarians within
  their mountains.” The striking poem in Basque, given by W. von
  Humboldt, (Mithridates, Band IV. p. 354,) shows the same fact in
  relation to Biscay.

It was during this troubled interval, that another great cause of
change was introduced into Spain, and began to produce its wide effects
on whatever of intellectual culture existed in the country. This great
cause was Christianity. The precise point of time, or the precise
mode, of its first appearance in Spain cannot now be determined. But
it was certainly taught there in the second century, and seems to
have come in, through the southern coast, from Africa.[413] At first,
as elsewhere, it was persecuted, and therefore professed in secret;
but, as early as the year 300, churches had been publicly established,
and from the time of Constantine and Osius of Córdova, it was the
acknowledged and prevalent religion of large parts of the country. What
is of consequence to us is, that the language of Christianity in Spain
was the Latin. Its instructions were obviously given in Latin, and
its early literature, so far as it appeared in Spain, is found wholly
in that language.[414] This is very important, not only because it
proves the great diffusion of the Latin language there from the third
century to the eighth, but because it shows that no other language was
left strong enough to contend with it, at least through the middle and
southern portions of the country.

  [413] Depping, Tom. II. pp. 118, etc. But those who wish to see
  how absurdly even grave historians can write on the gravest
  subjects may find all sorts of inconsistencies, on the early
  history of Christianity in Spain, in the fourth book of Mariana,
  as well as in most of the other national writers who have
  occasion to touch upon it.

  [414] On the subject of early Christianity in Spain, the third
  chapter of the fourth book of Depping contains enough for all
  but those who wish to make the subject a separate and especial
  study. Such persons will naturally look to Florez and Risco,
  “España Sagrada,” and their authorities, which, however, must
  be consulted with great caution, as they are full of the
  inconsistencies alluded to in the last note.

The Christian clergy, however, it must be recollected, did little
or nothing to preserve the purity of the Latin language in Spain,
or to maintain whatever of an intellectual tone they found in the
institutions established by the Romans.[415] How early these
institutions, and especially the ancient schools, decayed there, we do
not know; but it was earlier than in some other parts of the Empire.
In the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries even the ecclesiastics were
sunk into the grossest ignorance, so that, when Gregory the Great, who
was Pope from 590 to 604, warned Licinian, Bishop of Carthagena, not
to give consecration to persons without education, Licinian replied,
that, unless it were permitted to consecrate those who knew only that
Christ had been crucified, none could be found to fill the priestly
office.[416] In fact, Isidore of Seville, the famous Archbishop and
saint, who died in 636, is the last of the Spanish ecclesiastics that
attempted to write Latin with purity; and even he thought so ill of
classical antiquity, that he prohibited the monks under his control
from reading books written by heathen of the olden time;[417] thus
taking away the only means of preserving from its threatened corruption
the language they wrote and spoke.[418] Of course this corruption
advanced, in times of confusion and national trouble, at a rapid pace,
until the spoken language of the country became, to those out of it,
an almost unintelligible jargon; and the offices of the Church, as they
were read at mass and on feast days, could no longer be understood by
the body of the worshippers. This was the result, partly of the decay
of all the Roman institutions, and, indeed, of all the principles on
which those institutions had rested, and partly of the invasion and
conquest of the country by the Northern barbarians, whose irruption,
with the violences that followed it, left for a long time neither the
quietness nor the sense of security necessary even to the humblest
intellectual culture.[419]

  [415] One reason why the clergy did little to preserve the purity
  of the Latin, and much to corrupt it, in the South of Europe,
  was, that they were obliged to hold their intercourse with the
  common people in the _degraded_ Latin. And this intercourse,
  which consisted chiefly of instructions given to the common
  people, was a large part of all the clergy did in the early ages
  of the Church. For the Christian clergy in Spain, as elsewhere,
  addressed themselves, for a long period, to the lower and more
  ignorant classes of society, because the refined and the powerful
  refused to listen to them. But the Latin spoken by those classes
  in Spain, whether it were what was called the “lingua rustica”
  or not, was undoubtedly different from the purer Latin spoken
  by the more cultivated and favored classes, just as it was in
  Italy, and even much more than it was there. In addressing the
  common people, their Christian teachers in Spain, therefore,
  very early found it expedient, and probably necessary, to use
  the _degraded_ Latin, which the common people spoke. At last, as
  we learn, no other was intelligible to them; for the grammatical
  Latin, even of the office of the Mass, ceased to be so. In this
  way, Christianity must have contributed directly and materially
  to the degradation of the Latin, and to the formation of the new
  dialects, just as it contributed to form the modern character,
  as distinguished from the ancient. Indeed, without entering
  into the much vexed questions concerning the _lingua rustica_
  or _quotidiana_, its origin, character and prevalence, I cannot
  help saying, that I am persuaded the modern languages and their
  dialects in the South of Europe were, so far as the Latin was
  concerned, formed out of the popular and vulgar Latin found in
  the mouths of the common people; and that Christianity, more than
  any other single cause, was the medium and means by which this
  change from one to the other was brought about. For the _lingua
  rustica_, see Morhof, De Patavinitate Livianâ, capp. vi., vii.,
  and ix.; and Du Cange, De Causis Corruptæ Latinitatis, §§ 13-25,
  prefixed to his Glossarium.

  [416] The passage from Licinian is given in a note to Eichhorn’s
  “Allgemeine Geschichte der Cultur,” 1799, 8vo, Band II. p. 467.
  See, also, Castro, Biblioteca Española, 1786, folio, Tom. II. p.

  [417] Isidore, as cited at length in Eichhorn’s “Cultur,” Band
  II. p. 470, note (I).

  [418] For Isidorus Hispalensis, see Antonio, Bib. Vet., Lib. V.
  capp. iii., iv.; and Castro, Bib. Esp., Tom. II. pp. 293-344. I
  judge Isidore’s Latinity chiefly from his “Etymologiarum Libri
  XX.,” and his “De Summo Bono, Libri III.,” fol., 1483, lit.
  Goth. No doubt, there are many words in Isidore of Seville, that
  are not of classical authority, some of which he marks as such,
  and others not; but, on the whole, his Latinity is respectable.
  Among the corrupt words he uses are a few that are curious,
  because they have descended into the modern Castilian; such as,
  “_astrosus_, ab astro dictus, quasi malo sidere natus,” (Etymol.,
  1483, fol. 50. a,) which appears in the present _astroso_, the
  familiar term for _unhappy_, _disastrous_, and permitted by the
  Spanish Academy;--_cortina_, of which Isidore says, “Cortinæ
  sunt aulæa, id est, vela de pellibus, qualia in Exodo leguntur,”
  (Etym., f. 97. b,) which appears in the modern Spanish _cortina_,
  for curtain;--”_camisias_ vocamus, quod in his dormimus in
  camis,” (Etym., f. 96. b,) which last word, _cama_, is explained
  afterwards to be “lectus brevis et circa terram,” (Etym., f. 101.
  a,) and both of which are now Spanish, _camisa_ being the proper
  word for shirt, and _cama_ for bed;--”_mantum_ Hispani vocant
  quod manus tegat tantum, est enim brevis amictus,” (Etym., f. 97.
  a,) which is the Spanish _manto_;--and so on with a few others.
  They are, however, only curious as corrupted Latin words, which
  _happened_ to continue in use, till the modern Spanish arose
  several centuries later.

  [419] See Eichhorn’s Cultur, Band II. pp. 472, etc.;--or, for
  more ample accounts, Antonio, Bib. Vet., Lib. V. and VI.; and
  Castro, Bib. Esp., Tom. II.

This great irruption of the Northern barbarians effected another and
most important revolution in the language of the Peninsula. It in fact
gave to it a new character. For the race of men by whom it was made was
entirely different, both in its origin, its language, and, indeed, in
all that goes to make up national character, from the four races that
had previously occupied the country. The new invaders belonged to those
vast multitudes beyond the Rhine, who had been much known to the Romans
from the time of Julius Cæsar, and who, at the period of which we
speak, had been, for above a century, leaning with a portentous weight
upon the failing barriers, which, on the banks of that glorious stream,
had long marked the limits of Roman power. Urged forward, not only
by the natural disposition of Northern nations to come into a milder
climate, and of barbarous nations to obtain the spoils of civilization,
but by uneasy movements among the Tartars of Upper Asia, which were
communicated through the Sclavonic tribes to those of Germany, their
accumulated masses burst, in the beginning of the fifth century, with
an irresistible impulse, on the wide and ill-defended borders of the
Empire. Without noticing the tumultuous attempts that preceded this
final and fatal invasion and were either defeated or turned aside,
it is enough to say, that the first hordes of the irruption which
succeeded in overthrowing the empire of the world began to pass the
Rhine at the end of the year 406, and in the beginning of 407. These
hordes, however, were pressed forward, it may be said almost without
a figure, by the merely physical weight of the large bodies that
followed them. Tribe succeeded tribe, with all the facility and haste
of a nomadic life, which knows neither local attachments nor local
interests, and with all the eagerness and violence of barbarians
seeking the grosser luxuries of civilization; so that when, at the
end of that century, the last of the greater warlike emigrations had
forced for itself a place within the limits of the Roman empire, it
may be truly said, that, from the Rhine and the British Channel on the
one side, to Calabria and Gibraltar on the other, there was hardly a
spot of that empire over which they had not passed, and few where they
were not then to be found possessors of the soil, and masters of the
political and military power.[420]

  [420] Gibbon, Chap. XXX.

In the particular character of the multitudes that finally established
themselves within its territory, Spain was certainly less unfortunate
than were most of the countries of Europe, that were in a similar
manner invaded. The first tribes that rushed over the Pyrenees--the
Franks, who came before the general invasion, and the Vandali, the
Alani, and the Suevi, who, as far as Spain was concerned, formed its
vanguard--committed, no doubt, atrocious excesses, and produced a state
of cruel suffering, which is eloquently and indignantly described in a
well-known passage of Mariana;[421] but, after a comparatively short
period, these tribes or nations passed over into Africa and never
returned. The Goths, who succeeded them as invaders, were, it is true,
barbarians, like their predecessors, but they were barbarians of a
milder and more generous type. They had already been in Italy, where
they had become somewhat acquainted with the Roman laws, manners, and
language; and when, in 411, they traversed the South of France and
entered the Peninsula, they were received rather as friends than as
conquerors.[422] Indeed, at first, their authority was exercised in the
name and on behalf of the Empire; but, before the century was ended,
the last Emperor of the West had ceased to reign; and, by a sort of
inevitable necessity, the Visigoth dynasty was established throughout
nearly the whole of Spain, and acknowledged by Odoacer, the earliest of
the barbarian kings of Italy.

  [421] Lib. V. c. 1.

  [422] Mariana, Lib. V. c. 2.

Previously, however, to the entrance of the Visigoths into Spain, they
had been converted to Christianity by the venerable Ulfilas; and, as
early as 466-484, in a period of great confusion, they had formed for
themselves a criminal code of laws, to which, in 506, they added a
civil code,--the two being subsequently made to constitute the basis of
that important body of laws which, above a century later, was compiled
by the fourth Council of Toledo.[423] But, though the Visigoths had
thus adopted some of the most important means of civilization, their
language, like that of the rest of the Northern invaders, remained
essentially barbarous. It was never, at any time, in Spain, a written
language. It was of the Teutonic stock, and had nothing, or almost
nothing, in common with the Latin. Still, the people who spoke it were
so intimately mingled with the conquered people, and each, from its
position, had become so dependent on the other, that it was no longer a
question whether they should find some medium of communication suited
to the daily and hourly intercourse of common life. They were, in
fact, compelled to do so. The same consequences, therefore, followed,
that followed in the other Roman or Romanized countries which were
invaded in the same way. A union of the two languages took place; but
not a union on equal terms. This was impossible. For on the side of
the Latin were not only the existing, though decayed, institutions of
the country, but whatever of civilization and refinement was still to
be found in the world, as well as the vast and growing power of the
Christian religion, with its organized priesthood, which refused to
be heard in any other language. So that, if the Goths, on their part,
had the political and military authority, and even a more fresh and
vigorous intellectual character, they were obliged, on the whole, to
submit to such prevalent influences, and to adopt, in a great degree,
the language through which alone they could obtain the benefits of a
more advanced state of society. The Latin, therefore, corrupted and
degraded as it was, remained in Spain, as it did in the other countries
where similar races of men came together, by far the most prominent
element in the language that grew out of their union, and was thus made
to constitute the grand basis of the modern Spanish.

  [423] Gibbon, Chap. XXXVII.; an article in the Edinburgh Review,
  Vol. XXXI., on the Gothic Laws of Spain; and Depping, Tom. II.
  pp. 217, etc.

The most considerable change effected by the invaders in the language
they found established in Spain was a change in its grammatical
structure. The Goths, like any uncivilized people, could learn the
individual words of the more cultivated language they every day heard,
easier than they could comprehend the philosophical spirit of its
grammar. While, therefore, they freely adopted the large and convenient
vocabulary of the Latin, they compelled its complicated forms and
constructions to yield to the simpler constructions and habits of their
own native dialects. This may be illustrated by the striking changes
they wrought in the established inflections of the Latin nouns and
verbs. The Romans, it is well known, had strict declensions to mark
the relations of their nouns, and strict conjugations by which they
distinguished the times of their verbs. The Goths had neither, but used
articles united with prepositions to mark the cases of their nouns, and
auxiliaries of different kinds to mark the changes in the meanings of
their verbs.[424]

  [424] In the earliest Gothic that remains to us, (the Gospels
  of Ulfilas, circa A. D. 370,) there is no indefinite article;
  and the definite does not always occur where it is used in the
  original Greek, from which, it is worthy of notice, the venerable
  Bishop made his version, and not from the Latin. But there is no
  reason, I think, to suppose that the articles of both sorts were
  not used by the Goths, as well as by the other Northern tribes,
  in the fifth century, as they have been ever since. See Ulfilas,
  Gothische Bibelübersetzung, ed. Zahn, 1805, 4to, and, especially,
  Einleitung, pp. 28-37.

When, therefore, in Spain, they received the Latin, where no article
existed, they compelled _ille_, as the nearest word they could find, to
serve for their definite article, and _unus_ for their indefinite,--so
that, in their oldest deeds and other documents, we find such phrases
as _ille_ homo, _the_ man; _unus_ homo, _a_ man; _illa_ mulier, _the_
woman; and so on,--from which the modern Spanish derives its articles
_el_ and _la_, _uno_, _una_, etc., just as the French, by a similar
process, obtained the articles _le_ and _la_, _un_ and _une_, and
the Italians _il_ and _la_, _uno_ and _una_.[425] The same sort of
compromise took place in relation to the verbs. Instead of _vici_, I
have conquered, they said _habeo victus_; instead of saying _amor_, I
am loved, they said _sum amatus_; and from such a use of _habere_ and
_esse_, they introduced into the modern Spanish the auxiliaries _haber_
and _ser_, as the Italians introduced _avere_ and _essere_, and the
French _avoir_ and _être_.[426] This example of the effect produced
by the Goths on the nouns and verbs of the Latin is but a specimen
of the changes they brought about in the general structure of that
language, by which they contributed their full share towards still
further corrupting it, as well as towards modelling it into the present
Spanish;--a great revolution, which it required above seven centuries
fairly to accomplish, and two or three centuries more entirely to carry
out into all its final results.[427]

  [425] Raynouard, Troubadours, Tom. I. pp. 39, 43, 48, etc., and
  Diez, Grammatik der Romanischen Sprachen, 1838, 8vo, Band II. pp.
  13, 14, 98-100, 144, 145.

  [426] Raynouard, Troubadours, Tom. I. pp. 76-85.

  [427] See, on the whole of this subject,--the formation of the
  modern dialects of the South of Europe,--the excellent “Grammatik
  der Romanischen Sprachen von Fried. Diez,” Bonn, 1836-38, 2 vols.
  8vo. For examples of corruptions of the Spanish language, such as
  are above referred to, take the following:--_Frates, orate pro
  nos_, instead of _Fratres, orate pro nobis_;--_Sedeat segregatus
  a corpus et sanguis Domini_, instead of _corpore et sanguine_.
  (Marina, Ensayo, p. 22, note, in Memorias de la Academia de la
  Hist., Tom. IV.) The changes in spelling are innumerable, but
  are less to be trusted as proofs of change in the language,
  because they may have arisen from the carelessness or ignorance
  of individual copyists. Specimens of every sort of them may be
  found in the “Coleccion de Cédulas,” etc., referred to in Vol. I.
  p. 47, note, and in the “Coleccion de Fueros Municipales,” by Don
  Tomas Muñoz y Romero, Madrid, 1847, fol., Tom. I.

But, in the mean time, another tremendous invasion had burst upon
Spain; violent, unforeseen, and for a time threatening to sweep away
all the civilization and refinement, that had been preserved from the
old institutions of the country, or were springing up under the new.
This was the remarkable invasion of the Arabs, which compels us now to
seek some of the materials of the Spanish character, language, and
literature in the heart of Asia, as we have already been obliged to
seek for some of them in the extreme North of Europe.

The Arabs, who, at every period of their history, have been a
picturesque and extraordinary people, received, from the passionate
religion given to them by the genius and fanaticism of Mohammed, an
impulse that, in most respects, is unparalleled. As late as the year
of Christ 623, the fortunes and the fate of the Prophet were still
uncertain, even within the narrow limits of his own wild and wandering
tribe; yet, in less than a century from that time, not only Persia,
Syria, and nearly the whole of Western Asia, but Egypt and all the
North of Africa had yielded to the power of his military faith. A
success so wide and so rapid, founded on religious enthusiasm, and so
speedily followed by the refinements of civilization, is unlike any
thing else in the history of the world.[428]

  [428] See some striking remarks on the adventures of Mohammed, in
  Prof. Smyth’s genial Lectures on Modern History, Vol. I. pp. 66,
  67, 8vo, London, 1840.

When the Arabs had obtained a tolerably quiet possession of the
cities and coasts of Africa, it was natural they should turn next
to Spain, from which they were separated only by the straits of the
Mediterranean. Their descent was made, in great force, near Gibraltar,
in 711; the battle of the Guadalete, as it is called by the Moorish
writers, and of Xerez, as it is called by the Christians, followed
immediately; and, in the course of three years, they had, with their
accustomed celerity, conquered the whole of Spain, except the fated
region of the Northwest, behind whose mountains a large body of
Christians, under Pelayo, retreated, leaving the rest of their country
in the hands of the conquerors.

But while the Christians, who had escaped from the wreck of the
Gothic power, were thus either shut up in the mountains of Biscay
and Asturias, or engaged in that desperate struggle of nearly eight
centuries, which ended in the final expulsion of their invaders, the
Moors[429] throughout the centre and especially throughout the South
of Spain were enjoying an empire as splendid and intellectual as the
elements of their religion and civilization would permit.

  [429] They were so called from their African abode, Mauritania,
  where they naturally inherited the name of the ancient _Mauri_.

Much has been said concerning the glory of this empire, and the effect
it has produced on the literature and manners of modern times. Long
ago, a disposition was shown by Huet and Massieu to trace to them
the origin both of rhyme and of romantic fiction; but both are now
generally admitted to have been, as it were, spontaneous productions
of the human mind, which different nations at different periods have
invented separately for themselves.[430] Somewhat later, Father Andres,
a learned Spaniard, who wrote in Italy and in Italian, anxious to
give to his own country the honor of imparting to the rest of Europe
the first impulse to refinement after the fall of the Roman empire,
conceived the theory, at once broader and more definite than that of
Huet, that the poetry and cultivation of the Troubadours of Provence,
which are generally admitted to be the oldest of Southern Europe in
modern times, were derived entirely and immediately from the Arabs
of Spain; a theory which has been adopted by Ginguené, by Sismondi,
and by the authors of the “Literary History of France.”[431] But they
all go upon the presumption that rhyme and metrical composition,
as well as a poetic spirit, were awakened later in Provence than
subsequent inquiries show them to have been. For Father Andres and his
followers date the communication of the Arabian influences of Spain
upon the South of France from the capture of Toledo in 1085, when,
no doubt, there was a great increase of intercourse between the two
countries.[432] But Raynouard[433] has since published the fragment of
a poem, the manuscript of which can hardly be dated so late as the year
1000, and has thus shown that the Provençal literature is to be carried
back above a century earlier, and traced to the period of the gradual
corruption of the Latin, and the gradual formation of the modern
language. The elder Schlegel, too, has entered into the discussion of
the theory itself, and left little reason to doubt that Raynouard’s
positions on the subject are well founded.[434]

  [430] See Huet, “Origine des Romans,” (ed. 1693, p. 24,) but
  especially Warton, in his first Dissertation, for the Oriental
  and Arabic origin of romantic fiction. The notes to the octavo
  edition, by Price, add much to the value of the discussions
  on these questions. Warton’s Eng. Poetry, 1824, 8vo, Vol. I.;
  Massieu (Hist. de la Poésie Françoise, 1739, p. 82) and Quadrio
  (Storia d’ Ogni Poesia, 1749, Tom. IV. pp. 299, 300) follow Huet,
  but do it with little skill.

  [431] The opinion of Father Andres is boldly stated by him in
  the following words: “Quest’ uso degli Spagnuoli di verseggiare
  nella lingua, nella misura, e nella rima degli Arabi, può dirsi
  con fondamento la prima origine della moderna poesia.” (Storia
  d’ Ogni Lett., Lib. I. c. 11, § 161; also pp. 163-272, ed. 1808,
  4to.) The same theory will be found yet more strongly expressed
  by Ginguené (Hist. Litt. d’Italie, 1811, Tom. I. pp. 187-285);
  by Sismondi (Litt. du Midi, 1813, Tom. I. pp. 38-116; and Hist.
  des Français, 8vo, Tom. IV., 1824, pp. 482-494); and in the Hist.
  Litt. de la France (4to, 1814, Tom. XIII. pp. 42, 43). But these
  last authors have added little to the authority of Andres’s
  opinion, the very last being, I think, Ginguené.

  [432] Andres, Storia, Tom. I. p. 273. Ginguené, Tom. I. pp.
  248-250, who says: “C’est à cette époque (1085) que remontent
  peut-être les premiers essais poétiques de l’Espagne, _et que
  remontent sûrement les premiers chants de nos Troubadours_.”

  [433] Fragment d’un Poème en Vers Romans sur Boèce, publié par
  M. Raynouard, etc., Paris, 8vo, 1817. Also in his Poésies des
  Troubadours, Tom. II. Consult, further, Grammaire de la Langue
  Romane, in the same work, Tom. I.

  [434] I refer to “Observations sur la Langue et la Littérature
  Provençales, par A. W. Schlegel,” Paris, 1818, 8vo, not
  published. See, especially, pp. 73, etc., in which he shows how
  completely anti-Arabic are the whole tone and spirit of the early
  Provençal, and still more those of the early Spanish poetry. And
  see, also, Diez, Poesie der Troubadours, 8vo, 1826, pp. 19, etc.;
  an excellent book.

But, though we cannot, with Father Andres and his followers, trace
the poetry and refinement of all the South of Europe in modern times
primarily or mainly to the Arabs of Spain, we must still, so far as the
Spanish language and literature are concerned, trace something to them.
For their progress in refinement was hardly less brilliant and rapid
than their progress in empire. The reigns of the two Abderrahmans, and
the period of the glory of Córdova, which began about 750 and continued
almost to the time of its conquest by the Christians in 1236, were more
intellectual than could then be found elsewhere; and if the kingdom of
Granada, which ended in 1492, was less refined, it was, perhaps, even
more splendid and luxurious.[435] The public schools and libraries
of the Spanish Arabs were resorted to, not only by those of their
own faith at home and in the East, but by Christians from different
parts of Europe; and Pope Sylvester the Second, one of the most
remarkable men of his age, is believed to have owed his elevation to
the pontificate to the culture he received in Seville and Córdova.[436]

  [435] Conde, Historia de la Dominacion de los Arabes en España,
  Madrid, 1820-21, 4to, Tom. I. and II., but especially Tom. I. pp.
  158-226, 425-489, 524-547.

  [436] Sylvester II. (Gerbert) was Pope from 999 to 1003, and was
  the first head France gave to the Church. I am aware that the
  Benedictines (Hist. Litt. de la France, Tom. VI. p. 560) intimate
  that he did not pass, in Spain, beyond Córdova, and I am aware,
  too, that Andres (Tom. I. pp. 175-178) is unwilling to allow him
  to have studied at any schools in Seville and Córdova except
  Christian schools. But there is no pretence that the Christians
  had important schools in Andalusia at that time, though the Arabs
  certainly had; and the authorities on which Andres relies assume
  that Gerbert studied with the Moors, and prove more, therefore,
  than he wishes to be proved. Like many other men skilled in
  the sciences during the Middle Ages, Gerbert was considered a
  necromancer. A good account of his works is in the Hist. Litt. de
  la France, Tom. VI. pp. 559-614.

In the midst of this flourishing empire lived large masses of native
Christians, who had not retreated with their hardy brethren under
Pelayo to the mountains of the Northwest, but dwelt among their
conquerors, protected by the wide toleration which the Mohammedan
religion originally prescribed and practised. Indeed, except that, as a
vanquished people, they paid double the tribute paid by Moors, and that
they were taxed for their Church property, these Christians were little
burdened or restrained, and were even permitted to have their bishops,
churches, and monasteries, and to be judged by their own laws and their
own tribunals, whenever the question at issue was one that related
only to themselves, unless it involved a capital punishment.[437]
But, though they were thus to a certain degree preserved as a
separate people, and though, considering their peculiar position,
they maintained, more than would be readily believed, their religious
loyalty, still the influence of a powerful and splendid empire, and
of a population every way more prosperous and refined than themselves,
was constantly pressing upon them. The inevitable result was, that, in
the course of ages, they gradually yielded something of their national
character. They came, at last, to wear the Moorish dress; they adopted
Moorish manners; and they served in the Moorish armies and in the
places of honor at the courts of Córdova and Granada. In all respects,
indeed, they deserved the name given to them, that of Mozárabes or
Muçárabes, persons who seemed to become Arabs in manners and language;
for they were so mingled with their conquerors and masters, that, in
process of time, they could be distinguished from the Arabs amidst whom
they lived by little except their faith.[438]

  [437] The condition of the Christians under the Moorish
  governments of Spain may be learned, sufficiently for our
  purpose, from many passages in Conde, e. g. Tom. I. pp. 39, 82,
  etc. But after all, perhaps, the reluctant admissions of Florez,
  Risco, etc., in the course of the forty-five volumes of the
  “España Sagrada,” are quite as good a proof of the tolerance
  exercised by the Moors, as the more direct statements taken
  from the Arabian writers. See, for Toledo, Florez, Tom. V. pp.
  323-329; for Complutum or Alcalá de Henares, Tom. VII. p. 187;
  for Seville, Tom. IX. p. 234; for Córdova and its martyrs, Tom.
  X. pp. 245-471; for Saragossa, Risco, Tom. XXX. p. 203, and Tom.
  XXXI. pp. 112-117; for Leon, Tom. XXXIV. p. 132; and so on.
  Indeed, there is something in the accounts of a great majority
  of the churches, whose history these learned men have given in
  so cumbrous a manner, that shows the Moors to have practised
  a toleration which, _mutatis mutandis_, they would have been
  grateful to have found among the Christians in the time of Philip

  [438] The meaning of the word _Mozárabe_ was long doubtful; the
  best opinion being that it was derived from _Mixti-arabes_, and
  meant what this Latin phrase would imply. (Covarrubias, Tesoro,
  1674, _ad verb._) That this was the common meaning given to it in
  early times is plain from the “Chrónica de España,” (Parte II.,
  at the end,) and that it continued to be so received is plain,
  among other proofs, from the following passage in “Los Muçárabes
  de Toledo,” (a play in the Comedias Escogidas, Tom. XXXVIII.,
  1672, p. 157,) where one of the Muzárabes, explaining to Alfonso
  VII. who and what they are, says, just before the capture of the

      Muçárabes, Rey, nos llamamos,
      Porque, entre Arabes mezclados,
      Los mandamientos sagrados
      De nuestra ley verdadera,
      Con valor y fé sincera
      Han sido siempre guardados.
                              Jornada III.

  But, amidst the other rare learning of his notes on “The
  Mohammedan Dynasties of Spain,” (4to, London, 1840, Vol. I.
  pp. 419, 420,) Don Pascual de Gayangos has perhaps settled
  this vexed, though not very important, question. _Mozárabe_,
  or _Muzárabe_, as he explains it, “is the Arabic _Musta’rab_,
  meaning a man who tries to imitate or to become an Arab in his
  manners and language, and who, though he may know Arabic, speaks
  it like a foreigner.” The word is still used in relation to the
  ritual of some of the churches in Toledo. (Castro, Biblioteca,
  Tom. II. p. 458, and Paleographía Esp., p. 16.) On the other
  hand, the Moors who, as the Christian conquests were advanced
  towards the South, remained, in their turn, inclosed in the
  Christian population and spoke or assumed its language, were
  originally called _Moros Latinados_. See “Poema del Cid,” v. 266,
  and “Crónica General,” (ed. 1604, fol. 304. a,) where, respecting
  Alfaraxi, a Moor, afterwards converted, and a counsellor of the
  Cid, it is said he was “de tan buen entendimento, e era _tan
  ladino_ que semejava Christiano.”

The effect of all this on whatever of the language and literature of
Rome still survived among them was, of course, early apparent. The
natives of the soil who dwelt among the Moors soon neglected their
degraded Latin, and spoke Arabic. In 794, the conquerors thought
they might already venture to provide schools for teaching their own
language to their Christian subjects, and require them to use no
other.[439] Alvarus Cordubensis, who wrote his “Indiculus Luminosus”
in 854,[440] and who is a competent witness on such a subject, shows
that they had succeeded; for he complains that, in his time, the
Christians neglected their Latin, and acquired Arabic to such an extent
that hardly one Christian in a thousand was to be found who could
write a Latin letter to a brother in the faith, while many were able
to write Arabic poetry so as to rival the Moors themselves.[441] Such,
indeed, was the early prevalence of the Arabic, that John, Bishop of
Seville, one of those venerable men who commanded the respect alike
of Christians and Mohammedans, found it necessary to translate the
Scriptures into it, because his flock could read them in no other
language.[442] Even the records of Christian churches were often kept
in Arabic from this period down through several succeeding centuries,
and in the archives of the cathedral at Toledo, above two thousand
documents were recently and are probably still to be seen, written
chiefly by Christians and ecclesiastics, in Arabic.[443]

  [439] Conde, Tom. I. p. 229.

  [440] Florez, España Sagrada, Tom. XI. p. 42.

  [441] The “Indiculus Luminosus” is a defence of the fanatical
  martyrs of Córdova, who suffered under Abderrahman II. and his
  son. The passage referred to, with all its sins against pure
  Latinity and good taste, is as follows:--“Heu, proh dolor!
  linguam suam nesciunt Christiani, et linguam propriam non
  advertunt Latini, ita ut omni Christi collegio vix inveniatur
  unus in milleno hominum numero, qui salutatorias fatri possit
  rationabiliter dirigere literas. Et reperitur absque numero
  multiplex turba, qui eruditè Caldaicas verborum explicet pompas.
  Ita ut metricè eruditiori ab ipsis gentibus carmine et sublimiori
  pulchritudine,” etc. It is found at the end of the treatise,
  which is printed entire in Florez (Tom. XI. pp. 221-275). The
  phrase _omni Christi collegio_ is, I suppose, understood by
  Mabillon, “De Re Diplomaticâ,” (fol., 1681, Lib. II. c. 1, p.
  55,) to refer to the clergy, in which case the statement would be
  much stronger, and signify that “not one _priest_ in a thousand
  could address a common letter of salutation to another” (Hallam,
  Middle Ages, London, 8vo, 1819, Vol. III. p. 332);--but I incline
  to think that it refers to the whole body of Christians in and
  about Córdova.

  [442] The time when John of Seville lived is not settled
  (Florez, Tom. IX. pp. 242, etc.); but that is not important
  to our purpose. The fact of the translation is in the Crónica
  General (Parte III. c. 2, f. 9, ed. 1604): “Trasladó las sanctas
  Escripturas en Arávigo e fizó las exposiciones dellas segun
  conviene a la sancta Escriptura.” And Mariana gives the true
  reason for it: “A causa que la lengua Arábiga se usaba mucho
  entre todos; la Latina ordinariamente ni se usaba, _ni se
  sabia_.” (Lib. VII. c. iii., _prope finem_.) See, also, Antonio,
  Bib. Vet., Lib. VI. c. 9; Castro, Bib. Esp., Tom. II. pp. 454,

  [443] Paleographía Española, p. 22.

Nor was this state of things at once changed when the Christians from
the North prevailed again; for, after the reconquest of some of the
central portions of the country, the coins struck by Christian kings
to circulate among their Christian subjects were covered with Arabic
inscriptions, as may be seen in coins of Alfonso the Sixth and Alfonso
the Eighth, in the years 1185, 1186, 1191, 1192, 1199, and 1212.[444]
And in 1256 Alfonso the Wise, when, by a solemn decree dated at Burgos,
18th December, he was making provision for education at Seville,
established Arabic schools there, as well as Latin.[445] Indeed, still
later, and even down to the fourteenth century, the public acts and
monuments of that part of Spain were often written in Arabic, and the
signatures to important ecclesiastical documents, though the body of
the instrument might be in Latin or Spanish, were sometimes made in the
Arabic character, as they are in a grant of privileges by Ferdinand the
Fourth to the monks of Saint Clement.[446] So that almost as late as
the period of the conquest of Granada, and in some respects later, it
is plain that the language, manners, and civilization of the Arabs were
still much diffused among the Christian population of the centre and
South of Spain.

  [444] Memorias de la Real Acad. de la Hist., Tom. IV., Ensayo de
  Marina, pp. 40-43.

  [445] Mondejar, Memorias de Alonso el Sabio, fol., 1777, p. 43.
  Ortiz y Zuñiga, Anales de Sevilla, fol., 1677, p. 79.

  [446] Mem. de la Real Acad. de la Hist., Tom. IV., Ensayo de
  Marina, p. 40.

When, therefore, the Christians from the North, after a contest the
most bitter and protracted, had rescued the greater part of their
country from thraldom, and driven the Moors before them into its
southwestern provinces, they found themselves, as they advanced,
surrounded by large masses of their ancient countrymen, Christians,
indeed, in faith and feeling, though most imperfect in Christian
knowledge and morals, but Moors in dress, manners, and language. A
union, of course, took place between these different bodies, who, by
the fortunes of war, had been separated from each other so long, that,
though originally of the same stock and still connected by some of the
strongest sympathies of our nature, they had for centuries ceased to
possess a common language in which alone it would be possible to carry
on the daily intercourse of life. But such a reunion of the two parts
of the nation, wherever and whenever it occurred, necessarily implied
an immediate modification or accommodation of the language that was to
be used by both. No doubt, such a modification of the Gothicized and
corrupted Latin had been going on, in some degree, from the time of
the Moorish conquest. But now it was indispensable that it should be
completed. A considerable infusion of the Arabic, therefore, quickly
took place;[447] and the last important element was thus added to
the present Spanish, which has been polished and refined, indeed, by
subsequent centuries of progress in knowledge and civilization, but is
still, in its prominent features, the same that it appeared soon after
what, with characteristic nationality, is called the Restoration of

  [447] For the great Arabic infusion into the language of Spain,
  see Aldrete, Orígen, Lib. III. c. 15; Covarrubias, Tesoro,
  _passim_; and the catalogue, of 85 pages, in the fourth volume
  of the Memorias de la Academia de Historia. To these may be well
  added the very curious “Vestigios da Lingua Arábica em Portugal
  per João de Sousa,” Lisboa, 1789, 4to. A general notice of the
  whole subject, but one that gives too much influence to the
  Arabic, may be found in the “Ocios de Españoles Emigrados,” Tom.
  II. p. 16, and Tom. III. p. 291.

  [448] The common and characteristic phrase, from a very early
  period, for the Moorish conquest of Spain, was “la _pérdida_
  de España,” and that for its reconquest, “la _restauracion_ de

The language, however, which was thus brought from the North by the
Christian conquerors, and became modified as it advanced among the
Moorish population of the South, was, as we have seen, by no means the
classical Latin. It was Latin corrupted, at first, by the causes which
had corrupted that language throughout the Roman empire, even before
the overthrow of the Roman power,--then by the inevitable effect of the
establishment in Spain of the Goths and other barbarians immediately
afterwards,--and subsequently by additions from the original Iberian or
Basque, made during the residence of the Christians, after the Moorish
conquest, among the mountaineers, with whom that language had never
ceased to prevail. But the principal cause of the final degradation of
the Latin at the North, after the middle of the eighth century, was, no
doubt, the miserable condition of the people who spoke it. They had
fled from the ruins of the Latinized kingdom of the Goths, pursued by
the fiery sword of the Moslem, and found themselves crowded together
in the wild fastnesses of the Biscayan and Asturian mountains. There,
deprived of the social institutions in which they had been nurtured,
and which, however impaired or ruined, yet represented and retained
to the last whatever of civilization had been left in their unhappy
country; mingled with a people who, down to that time, appear to have
shaken off little of the barbarism that had resisted alike the invasion
of the Romans and of the Goths; and pent up, in great numbers, within a
territory too small, too rude, and too poor to afford them the means of
a tolerable subsistence, the Christians at the North seem to have sunk
at once into a state nearly approaching that of savage life,--a state,
of course, in which no care or thought would be given to preserve the
purity of the language they spoke.[449] Nor was their condition much
more favorable for such purposes when, with the vigor of despair,
they began to recover the country they had lost. For they were then
constantly in arms and constantly amidst the perils and sufferings of
an exhausting warfare, embittered and exasperated by intense national
and religious hatreds. When, therefore, as they advanced with their
conquests towards the south and the east, they found themselves coming
successively in contact with those portions of their race that had
remained among the Moors, they felt that they were at once in the
presence of a civilization and refinement altogether superior to their

  [449] The Arabic accounts, which are much to be relied on,
  because they are contemporary, give a shocking picture of the
  Christians at the North in the eighth century. “Viven como
  fieras, que nunca lavan sus cuerpos ni vestidos, que no se las
  mudan, y los llevan puestas hasta que se les caen despedezados
  en andrajos,” etc. (Conde, Dominacion, etc., Parte II. c. 18.)
  The romantic and uncertain accounts, in the beginning of the
  third part of the Crónica General, and the more formal narrative
  of Mariana, (book seventh,) leave little doubt that such
  descriptions must be near the truth.

The result was inevitable. The change, which, as has been said,
now took place in their language, was governed by this peculiar
circumstance in their position. For, as the Goths, between the fifth
and eighth centuries, received a vast number of words from the Latin
because it was the language of a people with whom they were intimately
mingled and who were much more intellectual and advanced than
themselves, so now, for the same reason, the whole nation received,
between the eighth and thirteenth centuries, another increase of
their vocabulary from the Arabic, and accommodated themselves, in
a remarkable degree, to the advanced cultivation of their Southern
countrymen and of their new Moorish subjects.

At what precise period the language, since called the Spanish and
Castilian, can be said to have been formed by this union of the
Gothicized and corrupted Latin that came from the North with the Arabic
of the South, cannot now be determined.[450] Such a union was, from its
nature, brought about by one of those gradual and silent changes in
what belongs essentially to the character of a whole people, which can
leave behind them no formal monuments or exact records. But the learned
Marina, who may perhaps be safely trusted on this point, asserts that
no document in the Castilian language, with a date anterior to the
year 1140, exists, or, in his opinion, ever did exist.[451] Indeed
the oldest yet cited is a confirmation of privileges by Alfonso the
Seventh, in the year 1155, to the city of Avilés in Asturias.[452]
However gradual, therefore, and indistinct may have been the formation
and first appearance of the Castilian as the spoken language of modern
Spain, we may no doubt feel sure, that, about the middle of the twelfth
century, it had risen to the dignity of being a written language, and
had begun to appear in the important public documents of the time.

  [450] Consult Marina, Ensayo, p. 19.

  [451] Ibid., pp. 23, 24.

  [452] The Avilés document is regarded by all who have noticed it
  as of great importance for the earliest history of the Castilian.
  It is first mentioned, I believe, by Father Risco, in his
  “Historia de la Ciudad y Corte de Leon” (Madrid, 1793, 4to, Tom.
  I. pp. 252, 253); and next by Marina, in his “Ensayo” (Memorias
  de la Acad. de Historia, Tom. IV., 1805, p. 33);--both competent
  witnesses, and both entirely satisfied that it is genuine. Risco,
  however, printed no part of it, and Marina published only a
  few extracts. But in the “Revista de Madrid,” (Segunda Epoca,
  Tom. VII. pp. 267-322,) it is published entire, as part of an
  interesting discussion concerning the old codes of the country,
  by Don Rafael Gonzalez Llanos, a man of learning and a native
  of Avilés, who seems to have a strong love for the place of his
  birth and to be familiar with its antiquities.

  The document in question belongs to the class of instruments
  sometimes called “Privilegios,” and sometimes “Foros,” or
  “Fueros” (see, _ante_, Vol. I. p. 47, note 28); but where, as in
  this case, the authority of the instrument is restricted to a
  single town or city, it is more properly called “Carta Puebla,”
  or municipal charter. This Carta Puebla of Avilés contains a
  royal grant of rights and immunities to the several citizens,
  as well as to the whole municipality, and involves whatever
  regarded the property, business, and franchises of all whom it
  was intended to protect. Charters, which were so important to the
  welfare of many persons, but which still rested on the arbitrary
  authority of the crown, were, as we have previously said, (Vol.
  I. p. 47, note 27,) confirmed by succeeding sovereigns, as often
  as their confirmation could conveniently be procured by the
  communities so deeply interested in their preservation.

  The Carta Puebla of Avilés was originally granted by Alfonso VI.,
  who reigned from 1073 to 1109. It was, no doubt, written in such
  Latin as was then used; and in 1274 it was formally made known
  to Alfonso the Wise, that it had been burnt during the attack on
  that city by his son Sancho. The original, therefore, is lost,
  and we know how it was lost.

  What we possess is the translation of this Carta Puebla, made
  when it was confirmed by Alfonso VII., A. D. 1155. It is still
  preserved in the archives of the city of Avilés, on the original
  parchment, consisting of two skins sewed together,--the two
  united being about four feet and eleven inches long, and about
  nineteen inches wide. It bears the known seal of Alfonso VII.,
  and the original signatures of several persons who were bound to
  sign it with him, and several subsequent confirmations, scattered
  over five centuries. (See Revista, _ut sup._, pp. 329, 330.) So
  that in all respects, including the coarseness of the parchment,
  the handwriting, and the language, it announces its own
  genuineness with as much certainty as any document of its age. As
  printed, it fills about twelve pages in octavo, and enables us to
  judge somewhat of the state of the Castilian at the time it was

  After a caption or enrolment in bad Latin, it opens with these

  “Estos sunt los foros que deu el rey D. Alfonso ad Abilies
  cuando la poblou par foro Sancti Facundi et otorgo lo emperador.
  Em primo, per solar pinder, I solido a lo reu et II denarios a
  lo saion, é cada ano un sólido en censo per lo solar: é qui lo
  vender, de I solido á lo rai, é quil comparar dará II denarios a
  lo saion,” etc. p. 267.

  A part of one of its important regulations is as follows:--“Toth
  homine qui populador for ela villa del rey, de quant aver qui ser
  aver, si aver como heredat, dè fer en toth suo placer de vender o
  de dar, et á quen lo donar que sedeat stabile si filio non aver,
  et si filio aver del, delo á mano illo quis quiser é fur placer,
  que non deserede de toto, et si toto lo deseredar, toto lo perdan
  aquellos á quen lo der.” Revista, p. 315.

  Its concluding provisions are in these words:--“Duos homines cum
  armas derumpent casa, et de rotura de orta serrada, LX. sólidos
  al don de la orta, el medio al rei, é medio al don dela.--Homines
  populatores de Abilies, non dent portage ni rivage, desde la mar
  ata Leon.” Ibid., p. 322.

  It ends with bad Latin, denouncing excommunication on any person
  who shall attempt to infringe its provisions, and declaring him
  “cum Datam et Abiron in infernum damnatus.” Ibid., p. 329.

  By the general consent of those who have examined it, this Carta
  Puebla of Avilés is determined to be the oldest document now
  known to exist in the Castilian or vulgar dialect of the period,
  which dialect, in the opinion of Don Rafael Gonzalez Llanos,
  received its essential character as early as 1206, or six years
  before the decisive battle of the Navas de Tolosa, (see, _ante_,
  Vol. I. p. 9, note,) though not a few documents, after that date,
  abound in Latin words and phrases. Revista, _ut supra_, Tom.
  VIII. p. 197.

  I am aware that two documents in the Spanish language, claiming
  to be yet older, have been cited by Mr. Hallam, in a note to Part
  II. c. 9 of his Middle Ages, London, 1819, 8vo, Vol. III. p. 554,
  where he says: “The earliest Spanish that I remember to have seen
  is an instrument in Martene, Thesaurus Anecdotorum, Tom. I. p.
  263; the date of which is 1095. Persons more conversant with the
  antiquities of that country may possibly go farther back. Another
  of 1101 is published in Marina’s Teoria de las Cortes, Tom.
  III. p. 1. It is in a Vidimus by Peter the Cruel, and cannot, I
  presume, have been a translation from the Latin.” There can be no
  higher general authority than Mr. Hallam for any historical fact,
  and this statement seems to carry back the oldest authentic date
  for the Spanish language sixty years earlier than I have ventured
  to carry it. But I have examined carefully both of the documents
  to which Mr. Hallam refers, and am satisfied they are of later
  date than the charter of Avilés. That in Martene is merely an
  anecdote connected with the taking of “the city of Exea,” when
  it was conquered, as this story states, by Sancho of Aragon. Its
  language strongly resembles that of the “Partidas,” which would
  bring it down to the middle of the thirteenth century; but it
  bears, in truth, no date, and only declares at the end that the
  city of Exea was taken on the nones of April, 1095, from the
  Moors. Of course, there is some mistake about the whole matter,
  for Sancho of Aragon, here named as its conqueror, died June 4th,
  1094, and was succeeded by Peter I., and the person who wrote
  this account, which seems to be, after all, only an extract from
  some monkish chronicle, did not live near enough to that date to
  know so notorious a fact. Moreover, Exea is in Aragon, where it
  is not probable the earliest Castilian was spoken or written.
  Thus much for the document from Martene. That from Marina’s
  Teoria is of a still later and quite certain date. It is a
  charter of privileges granted by Alfonso VI. to the Mozárabes of
  Toledo, but translated in 1340, when it was confirmed by Alfonso
  XI. Indeed, it is so announced by Marina himself, who in the
  table of contents says especially, that it is “_translated_ into

From this period, then, we are to recognize the existence in Spain
of a language spreading gradually through the greater part of the
country, different from the pure or the corrupted Latin, and still
more different from the Arabic, yet obviously formed by a union of
both, modified by the analogies and spirit of the Gothic constructions
and dialects, and containing some remains of the vocabularies of the
Germanic tribes, of the Iberians, the Celts, and the Phœnicians,
who, at different periods, had occupied nearly or quite the whole of
the Peninsula. This language was called originally the _Romance_,
because it was so much formed out of the language of the Romans; just
as the Christians, in the northwestern mountains, were called by the
Arabs _Alromi_, because they were imagined to be descended from the
Romans.[453] Later, it was called _Spanish_, from the name taken by the
whole people, and perhaps, at last, it was even more frequently called
_Castilian_, from that portion of the country, whose political power
grew to be so predominant, as to give its dialect a preponderance over
all the other dialects, which, like the Galician, the Catalonian, and
the Valencian, were, for a longer or shorter period, written languages,
each with claims to a literature of its own.

  [453] Marina, Ensayo, p. 19.

The proportion of materials contributed by each of the languages that
enter into the composition of the Spanish has never been accurately
settled, though enough is known to permit an adjustment of their
general relations to each other. Sarmiento, who investigated the
subject with some care, thinks that six tenths of the present Castilian
are of Latin origin; one tenth Greek and ecclesiastical; one tenth
Northern; one tenth Arabic; and the remaining tenth East Indian and
American, Gypsy, modern German, French, and Italian. Probably this
estimate is not very far from the truth. But Larramendi and Humboldt
leave no doubt that the Basque should be added; and, while Marina’s
inquiries give a smaller proportion to the Arabic, those of Gayangos
raise it to an eighth. The main point, however, is one concerning which
there can be no doubt;--the broad foundations of the Castilian are to
be sought in the Latin, to which, in fact, we are to trace nearly or
quite all the contributions sometimes attributed to the Greek.[454]

  [454] The most striking proof, perhaps, that can be given of the
  number of Latin words and constructions retained in the modern
  Spanish, is to be found in the many pages of verse and prose that
  have, from time to time, been so written that they can be read
  throughout either as Latin or as Spanish. The first instance of
  this sort that I know of is by Juan Martinez Siliceo, Archbishop
  of Toledo and preceptor to Philip II., who, when he was in Italy,
  wrote a short prose dissertation that could be read in both
  languages, in order to prove to some of his learned friends in
  that country that the Castilian of Spain was nearer to the Latin
  than their Italian;--a _jeu-d’esprit_, which he printed in his
  treatise on Arithmetic, in 1514. (Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. II.
  p. 737.) Other examples occur afterwards. One may be found in
  a Spanish Grammar, published at Louvain in 1555, and entitled
  “Util y Breve Institution para aprender Lengua Hespañola”; a
  curious book, which treats the Castilian as only one of several
  languages then spoken in the Spanish Peninsula, and says of it,
  “no es otra cosa que Latin corrupto,”--adding that many letters
  had been written in Spanish words that were yet Latin letters,
  one of which he proceeds to give in proof. Other examples
  occur in a Dialogue by Fern. Perez de Oliva, and an Epistle of
  Ambrosio Morales, the historian, printed in 1585, with the works
  of the first; in a Sonnet published by Rengifo, in his “Arte
  Poética,” in 1592; and, finally, in an excessively rare volume of
  _terza rima_, by Diego de Aguiar, printed in 1621, and entitled
  “Tercetos _en Latin congruo_ y puro Castellano,” of which the
  following is a favorable specimen:--

      Scribo historias, graves, generosos
        Spiritus, divinos Heroes puros,
        Magnanimos, insignes, bellicosos;
      Canto de Marte, defensores duros
        Animosos Leones, excellentes,
        De rarâ industriâ, invictos, grandes muros,
      Vos animas illustres, præeminentes
        Invoco, etc.

  Much cannot be said for the purity of either the Castilian or
  the Latin in verses like these; but they leave no doubt of the
  near relationship of the two. For the proportions of all the
  languages that enter into the Spanish, see Sarmiento, Memorias,
  1775, p. 107;--Larramendi, Antiguedad y Universalidad del
  Bascuence, 1728, c. xvi., apud Vargas y Ponce, Disertacion, 1793,
  pp. 10-26;--Rosseeuw de St. Hilaire, Etudes sur l’Origine de
  la Langue et Romances Espagnoles, Thèse, 1838, p. 11;--W. von
  Humboldt, Prüfung, already cited;--Marina, Ensayo, in Mem. de la
  Acad. de Hist., Tom. IV., 1805;--and an article in the British
  and Foreign Review, No. XV., 1839.

The Spanish, or Castilian, language thus formed was introduced into
general use sooner and more easily than, perhaps, any other of the
newly created languages, which, as the confusion of the Middle Ages
passed off, were springing up, throughout the South of Europe, to take
the place of the universal language of the Roman world. The reasons
of this were, that the necessity for its creation and employment was
more urgent, from the extraordinary relations between the Moors, the
Muçárabes, and the Christians; that the reign of Saint Ferdinand, at
least as late as the capture of Seville in 1247, was a period, if not
of quiet, yet of prosperity and almost of splendor; and that the Latin,
both as a written and a spoken language, had become so much degraded,
that it could offer less resistance to change in Spain than in the
other countries where a similar revolution was in progress.[455] We
must not be surprised, therefore, to find, not only specimens, but even
considerable monuments, of Spanish literature soon after the first
recognized appearance of the language itself. The narrative poem of
the Cid, for instance, cannot be dated later than the year 1200; and
Berceo, who flourished from 1220 to 1240, though he almost apologizes
for not writing in Latin,[456] and thus shows how certainly he lived
in the debatable period between the two languages, has left us a large
mass of genuine Spanish, or Castilian, verse. But it is a little later,
and in the reign of Alfonso the Tenth, from 1252 to 1282, that we are
to consider the introduction of the Spanish, as a written, a settled,
and a polite language, to have been recognized and completed. By his
order, the Bible was translated into it from the Vulgate; he required
all contracts and legal instruments to be written in it, and all law
proceedings to be held in it; and, finally, by his own remarkable code,
“Las Siete Partidas,” he at once laid the foundations for the extension
and establishment of its authority as far as the Spanish race and power
should prevail.[457] From this period, therefore, we are to look for
the history and development of the Spanish language, in the body of
Spanish literature.

  [455] All the documents containing the privileges granted by St.
  Ferdinand to Seville, on the capture of the city, are in the
  vernacular of the time, the _Romance_. Ortiz y Zuñiga, Anales de
  Sevilla, fol., 1677, p. 89.

      Quiero fer una _prosa_ en _Roman paladino_,
      En qual suele el pueblo fablar a su vecino,
      Car non so tan letrado por fer _otro latino_, etc.
                          Vida de S. Domingo de Silos, St. 2.

  _Roman paladino_ means the “plain Romance language,” _paladino_
  being derived, as I think, with Sanchez, from _palam_, though
  Sarmiento (in his manuscript on “Amadis de Gaula,” referred to,
  Vol. I. p. 322, note) says, when noticing this line: “Paladino
  es de _palatino_ y este es de _palacio_.” The _otro latino_
  is, of course, the elder Latin, however corrupted. Cervantes
  uses the word _ladino_ to mean Spanish, (Don Quixote, Parte I.
  c. 41, and the note of Clemencin,) and Dante (Par., III. 63)
  uses it once to mean _plain_, _easy_; both curious instances of
  an indirect meaning, forced, as it were, upon a word. _Prosa_
  means, I suppose, _story_. Biagioli (Ad Purgatorio, XXVI. 118)
  says: “_Prosa_ nell’ Italiano e nel Provenzale del secolo xiii.
  significa precisamente _istoria o narrazione in versi_.” It may
  be doubted whether he is right in applying this remark to the
  passage in Dante, but it is no doubt applicable to the passage
  before us in Berceo, the meaning of which both Bouterwek and his
  Spanish translators have mistaken. (Bouterwek, Trad. Cortina,
  etc., 8vo, Madrid, 1829, Tom. I. pp. 60 and 119.) Ferdinand Wolf
  (in his very learned work, “Über die Lais, Sequenzen und Leiche,”
  Heidelberg, 1841, 8vo, pp. 92 and 304) thinks the use of the word
  _prosa_, here and elsewhere in early Spanish poetry, had some
  reference to the well-known use of the same word in the offices
  of the Church. (Du Cange, Glossarium, _ad verb_.) But I think the
  early Spanish rhymers took it from the Provençal, and not from
  the ecclesiastical Latin.

  [457] Mondejar, Memorias del Rey D. Alonso el Sabio, fol.,
  Madrid, 1777, pp. 450-452. Mariana, Hist., Lib. XIV. c. 7, and
  Castro, Bib., Tom. I. pp. 411, etc.



(See Vol. I. p. 128.)

As the earliest ballads were not by known authors, but were gathered at
different times, from the traditions of the people, it is impossible to
understand their history without understanding something of the history
of the Ballad-books in which they are found. A sketch of such a history
has been written, with much knowledge of the subject, by Ferdinand
Wolf, and is found in the “Jahrbücher der Literatur” (Band CXIV.,
Wien, 1846, pp. 1-72). I do not willingly enter into a discussion so
peculiarly within the province of this distinguished scholar; but, as
I possess, or have seen, several very early Ballad-books which he does
not mention, and am besides unable to agree with him as to which is
the oldest of them all, and therefore the most important, I will, as
briefly as I can, give my views of this obscure branch of bibliography;
confining myself, where it is possible to do so, to what has not
before been published, and touching the whole matter only so far as it
concerns the history of Spanish poetry.

A considerable number of ballads, printed on one or more sheets, in
black letter, for popular use, may still be found. Such are “El Conde
Alarcos”; “El Moro Calaynos”; a collection of twelve separate pieces,
and a collection of fifty-nine, sold at Heber’s sale; with others
noticed by Brunet, under the head of _Romances Séparées_, in his
article “Romanceros.” But they are all without dates; it is extremely
uncertain when any one of them was printed; and it seems to me, judging
from those I have seen, to be more probable, that they were taken from
collections now known to exist or to have existed, than that they
helped to make up those collections,--the oldest of which claims to
have been taken from the memories of the people, and from imperfect
manuscript copies circulating only for popular use.

1. The first separate collection of ballads ever published was, I
think, the one printed at Saragossa, under the title of “Silva de
Varios Romances,” by Stevan G. de Nagera, in two parts, 1550. (See
Brunet, Manuel du Libraire, ed. 1843, art. _Silva_.) I have seen a
copy of this Silva belonging, in 1838, to M. Henri Ternaux-Compans, of
Paris. In a prefatory address to the First Part, the collector says, “I
have taken the trouble in this Silva to bring together all the ballads
that have come to my knowledge”; adding afterwards, “It may be that
some, though very few, of the old ballads are wanting, which I have not
inserted, either because they did not come to my knowledge, or because
I did not find them so complete and perfect as I wished. Nor do I deny,
that, in some of those here printed, there may be an occasional error;
but this is to be imputed to the copies from which I took them, which
were very corrupt, and to the weakness of memory of some persons, who
dictated them to me, and who could not recollect them perfectly. I did
all I could to obtain the least faulty that were to be had, and had no
little trouble to collect and amend them, and add to some that were
imperfect. However, I wished they should stand in some order, and so I
placed, first, those of devotion and from the Holy Scriptures; next,
those that relate Castilian stories; next, those of Troy; and, lastly,
those that relate to affairs of love.” After these ballads, which fill
one hundred and ninety-six leaves, he gives us twenty-five leaves of
_canciones_, _villancicos_, and _chistes_, or jests, among which, at
folio 199, is the well-known witty Dialogue of Castillejo and his Pen.
At the end of the First Part, folio 221, we have the following Address
to the Reader, in which the collector has evidently changed his mind
about having obtained all but a “very few of the old ballads” known
to exist; for he now says: “Some of my friends, as they knew I was
printing this ‘Cancionero,’ brought me _many_ ballads, in order that I
might insert them; but as we were coming to the end of the printing, I
chose not to put them in, since they would interrupt the order that had
been begun; but rather to make another volume, which will be the Second
Part of this ‘Silva de Varios Romances,’ which is now in the press.

This “Segunda Parte” was published in the same year, 1550, and
consists of two hundred and three leaves of ballads, nineteen leaves
of _chistes_, and two leaves of contents, at the end of which the
“Impresor” says: “I did not wish to put into this part any more of
those short _chistes_, because, if God pleases, they will be put into
the Third Part, with other things agreeable to the curious reader.
Vale.” I know of no copy of this Third Part; but it is possible it was
printed, because, in the “Silva de Varios Romances,” of which Wolf and
Brunet mention several editions between 1578 and 1673, and of which I
possess that of 1602, the title-page declares that it contains “los
mejores romances de los _tres_ libros de la Silva.”

2. The first two parts, however, combined into one, but omitting the
_chistes_, etc., soon appeared at Antwerp, printed by Martin Nucio,
a well-known publisher, with considerable additions, but without the
date of its publication. The Preface is in nearly the same words with
that of the Silva of Nagera, Parte I.; but, when it announces the
arrangement of the ballads, it changes their order, and puts “first,
those that speak of France and the Twelve Peers; then, those that
relate Castilian stories; then, those of Troy; and, lastly, those
that treat of affairs of love.” Some of the ballads of the Saragossa
collection are omitted, and the whole is called “Cancionero de
Romances.” There is a copy of it in the Bibliothèque de l’Arsénal at
Paris; and that it is subsequent to the Saragossa Silva, and taken from
it, seems certain, because one _must_ be taken from the other, and the
note at the end of the Silva, Parte I., shows that the Saragossa Silva
was collected and printed at _different_ times; while the arrangement
of the ballads in the Cancionero of Antwerp shows that they were
necessarily all present to the editor when he put his work together.
Besides, how should Nucio collect ballads from the memories of the
people around him at Antwerp, where there were few Spaniards, except
soldiers? And how much less valuable would be any collection made there
than one made in Spain?

3. Again, a “Cancionero de Romances” occurs, printed “En Envers en
casa de Martin Nucio, MDL.,” a copy of which is in the Bibliothèque
de l’Arsenal of Paris. It has the same Preface with the one last
mentioned, from which it differs only in omitting seven of its ballads,
and inserting thirty-seven others. The errors noted in the one without
date, at folios 272. b, etc., are corrected in this one, dated
1550, and prove it to be the subsequent edition of the two,--a fact
necessarily inferred, also, from the additions it contains.

4. This edition of 1550 seems to have been issued with different
title-pages, for Wolf says there is a copy of it in the Imperial
Library at Vienna, dated 1554. But nearly all the copies now known to
exist bear the date of 1555, under which this collection is best known,
and is commonly cited. It is absolutely the same work with the copy
at the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, dated 1550, ballad for ballad, and
page for page; and as there is no appearance that the title-page of
the copy at the Arsenal has been tampered with, we are to suppose that
three editions of the collection of ballads made at Saragossa in 1550
appeared in the course of that year; two of which were published by
Martin Nucio, at Antwerp. That all three are only one work is apparent
from the circumstance, that their ballads are generally the same, and
that they have the same Preface, a little changed in the second and
third editions to meet the changes in the ballads contained in them.
They are all in 18mo. The first, taking both its parts together,
fills four hundred and thirty-six leaves; the second, two hundred and
seventy-six; and the third, three hundred. Several reprints of the last
are given by Wolf; namely, Antwerp, 1568 and 1573; Lisbon, 1581; and
Barcelona, 1587 and 1626.

Subsequent to the Silva of Saragossa, we have several collections of
ballads, that are noticed in the text,--such as those of Sepulveda,
1551, Timoneda, 1573, Linares, 1573, Padilla, 1583, Maldonado, 1586,
and Cueva, 1587,--consisting chiefly or entirely of ballads written
by their respective authors. At last, an attempt was made to gather
another Romancero from _all_ the sources, whether of books, memory,
or tradition, that were open to its collectors,--the true principle
on which the popular Spanish Romanceros have always been compiled. It
seems to have been begun at Valencia, when the first volume of the
“Flor de Varios y Nuevos Romances, Primera y Segunda Parte,” collected
by Andrés de Villalta, with a Third Part by Felipe Mey,--himself a poet
and scholar as well as a printer,[458]--were printed in one volume,
in 1593, though each of them had, probably, been printed earlier by
itself. It is cited by Duran (Romances Caballarescos, Madrid, 1832,
12mo, Tom. I., Advertencia); and from the ballads he took out of it
there can be no doubt, that its three parts differed little from the
first three parts of the “Romancero General” printed somewhat later.
The second volume of this collection, which is entitled “Quarta y
Quinta Parte de Flor de Romances,” was collected by Sebastian Velez
de Guevara, Racionero de la Colegial de Santander, and was printed
at Burgos, in 1594, 18mo, one hundred and ninety-one leaves. It is
apparently not the first edition, for the _Aprobacion_ by Pedro de
Padilla, and a permission to print it, are dated 1592, while the
permission to print the present edition is dated August 11, 1594, and
says it has been “otras veces impreso.” Probably the two parts were
originally printed separately.

  [458] Felipe Mey printed a volume of his own poems at Tarragona,
  in 1586, from which Faber, in his Floresta, Tom. II., has taken
  three sonnets of some merit. A Life of him may be found in
  Ximeno, (Tom. I. p. 249,) completed by Fuster (Tom. I. p. 213).
  As a translator of Ovid he is favorably noticed by Pellicer,
  Biblioteca de Traductores, Tom. II. p. 76.

The third volume, and the most important, is entitled “Sexta Parte de
Flor de Romances Nuevos, recopilados de muchos Autores, por Pedro de
Flores, Librero,” and was printed at Toledo, in 1594, 18mo, one hundred
and ninety leaves. It is the first edition, but the license seems to
speak of a fourth and fifth part as if also made by Flores. In a ballad
prefixed to this third volume, Flores is accused before Apollo of
having taken great pains to collect its contents.

                “De diversas flores
    Un ramillete ha juntado,
    Las quales con grande afan,
    De estrañas partes buscaron”;--

to which, in a defence immediately following, Flores replies, that
“they were _stray_ ballads [romances que andavan descarriados], which
he had brought together with great labor,” and for which the god
proceeds to reward rather than to punish him. Flores adds, that he
gives each ballad complete, and not like the street-singers, who drawl
out one half, and then say they are tired of it. The whole account
shows that many of the ballads in this Sixth Part--which is excellent
and contains a hundred and fifty-eight--were collected from the
memories of the people by Pedro Flores himself.

The fourth volume contains “Septima y Octava Parte de Flor de Varios
Romances Nuevos, recopilados de muchos Autores”; printed by Juan
Iñiguez de Lequerica, Alcalá de Henares, 1597, 18mo. There is a license
for each part; that of the first dated May 4, 1596, and recognizing it
as a reprint, and that of the second dated September 30, 1597, as if it
were the original edition, and entitling it “Flores del Parnaso, Octava
Parte.” The Seventh Part fills one hundred and sixty-eight leaves, and
the Eighth one hundred and thirty-two leaves, numbered separately.

The fifth and last volume is called “Flor de Varios Romances diferentes
de todos impresos, Novena Parte,” printed by Juan Flamenco, Madrid,
1597, 18mo, one hundred and forty-four leaves. The _Aprobacion_, 4th
September, 1597, and the _Tassa_, 22d March, 1596, speak of it as the
eighth and ninth parts; but the license, without date, is only for Part

5. From these nine parts was made, with slight changes and additions,
chiefly toward the end, the first edition of the “Romancero General,”
which was printed at Madrid, 1600, 4to; the _Tassa_ being dated 16th
December, 1599. A copy of it is in the National Library at Madrid. A
new edition--again with slight changes--appeared in 1602; and another
in 1604. This last was reprinted, without alteration, by Juan de la
Cuesta, at Madrid, in 1614. But Miguel de Madrigal had previously
published the “Segunda Parte del Romancero General y Flor de diversa
Poesía,” (Valladolid, 1605, 4to,) which may appropriately be added to
either of the last two editions of the principal work; and thus, from
nine parts, of which all four of the editions otherwise consist, extend
them to thirteen parts. All these editions are in small quarto, and
constitute the well-known “Romanceros Generales.”

The publication of so many different collections of ballads, in
the last half of the sixteenth century and the first years of the
seventeenth, leaves no doubt that ballads had then become known in
all classes of society, and were gradually finding favor with the
highest. But the Romanceros Generales were too large for popular use.
Smaller ballad-books, therefore, were printed; such as the “Jardin de
Amadores,” by Juan de la Puente, 1611; the “Primavera” of Pedro Arias
Perez, made with much judgment, and printed in 1626, 1659, etc.; the
“Maravillas del Parnaso” of Jorge Pinto de Morales, 1640; the “Romances
Varios” of Pablo de Val, 1655; and several others, to say nothing of
the many still less considerable collections, making only a sheet or
two, which are noticed by Depping and Wolf, and which were published to
meet the broad demands of the less cultivated portions of the Spanish
people, just as they have been published and republished down to our
own times. For similar reasons, though, perhaps, more to gratify
the military taste of the age, and afford amusement to the armies
in Flanders, Italy, and the Indies, selections were made from the
Romanceros Generales, and contributions obtained from other sources,
to make smaller and more convenient ballad-books of a stirring nature.
Such is the “Floresta de Romances de los Doce Pares de Francia,” by
Damian Lopez de Tortajada, the first edition of which was printed at
Alcalá in 1608, (Don Quixote, ed. Pellicer, 1797, 8vo, Tom. I. p. 105,)
and such is the “Romancero del Cid,” by Juan de Escobar, first printed
at Alcalá in 1612 (Antonio, Bib. Nov., Tom. I. p. 684); both of which
have often been reprinted since.

But towards the end of the seventeenth century, a love for the old
Spanish ballads, as well as for the rest of the elder national
literature, began to decay in the more favored classes of society; and,
with the coming in of the eighteenth century and the Bourbon family, it
disappeared almost entirely. So strong a feeling, however, and one that
had struck its roots so deeply in the popular character, could not be
extirpated. The ballads were forgotten and neglected by the courtly and
the noble, but that the mass of the nation was as faithful to them as
ever we have the plain testimony of Sarmiento, and the fact, that they
were constantly reprinted for popular use in the humblest forms,--most
frequently in what are called _broadsides_. At last, an attempt was
made to replace them on their old ground. Fernandez, in 1796, printed
two volumes of them in his collection of Castilian poetry, and Quintana
made a small, but dainty, bouquet of them for his lyrical extracts in
1807, adding to each publication a Preface, which gave them praise high
and graceful, if not such as seemed to be imbued with their own earnest
spirit. Little effect, however, was yet produced at home, but some was
soon apparent abroad. Jacob Grimm published at Vienna, in 1815, a small
collection of the best old ballads, chiefly taken from the Romancero
of 1555; and C. B. Depping published at Leipzig, in 1817, a larger
one, containing above three hundred ballads, with a Preface and notes
in German, the whole of which was republished in Spanish, first, with
slight additions and corrections, at London, in 1825, by V. Salvá,
and secondly, with very large and important additions, at Leipzig, by
Depping himself and by A. A. Galiano, in 1844;--publications of great
merit, which have done more than all that had been done previously to
make the old Spanish ballads known in Europe generally, and which have
apparently called forth the admirably spirited translations of ballads
by J. G. Lockhart, 1823, and the interesting historically-arranged
French versions in prose of nearly three hundred, by Damas Hinard, 1844.

A very important publication of Spanish ballads in later times
comes, however, as it should come, from Spain itself, and was made
by Don Agustin Duran, to whom early Spanish literature, in other
respects, owes much. He began, in 1828, with the Moorish ballads in
the Romancero General of 1614, and went on, in 1829, with two volumes
of miscellaneous ballads, ending his labors, in 1832, with two volumes
more, containing historical ballads and ballads of chivalry;--in all,
five volumes,--the last four of which are collected from all the
sources he could command earlier than the middle of the seventeenth
century, and the whole of which, with additions, have been republished
at Paris by Ochoa, in 1838, and at Barcelona by Pons, in 1840.

Still, a general, thorough, and critical collection of Spanish ballads
is wanting;--one embracing those of the known authors, like Cueva,
Padilla, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, and Góngora, as well as the untold
wealth that remains, and must always remain, anonymous in the elder
Romanceros. When we possess such a work, and not before, we can
understand and honor, as they deserve to be understood and honored,
the poetry and the nationality of the old Spanish ballads, upon which,
as upon its true foundations, rests the old Spanish drama. But to whom
shall we look for it? Is it to Duran at Madrid, or to Wolf at Vienna,
or to Huber at Berlin? I have intimations that one may be expected from
Duran, and hope they may soon be fulfilled.



(See Vol. I. p. 398.)

I have treated the “Centon Epistolario” in the text just as it has
heretofore been treated; that is, as a collection of the unstudied
letters of a simple-hearted, vain man, who, for above forty years, was
attached to the person of John the Second, and familiar with what was
done at his court. Still, the exactness and genuineness of the work
have not been entirely unquestioned. Mayans y Siscar (in his Orígenes,
Tom. I., 1737, p. 203) speaks of Antonio de Vera y Zuñiga, (see,
_ante_, Vol. II. p. 500, Vol. III. p. 184,) the well-known author and
diplomatist of the time of Philip the Fourth, sometimes called Vera y
Figueroa, and says, “Feamente adulteró las epístolas históricas del
Bachiller Fernan Gomez de Ciudad Real,”--_He shamefully adulterated
the historical letters of the Bachelor Ferdinand Gomez de Cibdareal_;
but Mayans gives no reasons or facts to support this severe charge,
and he is roundly rebuked for it by Diosdado, (in his treatise “De
Primâ Typographiæ Hispanicæ Ætate,” Romæ, 1794, p. 74,) who calls it
“an atrocious calumny.” And again, Quintana, in his Life of Alvaro de
Luna, (Vidas de Españoles Célebres, Tom. III., 1833, p. 248, note,) is
so much troubled about some of the discrepancies between the Bachelor’s
accounts of the death of the Constable and the known facts of history,
that he, too, suggests all sorts of doubts, but ends by saying that he
follows the Bachelor’s accounts as a sufficient authority where they
are not directly contradicted by others higher and safer.

My own opinion is, that the book is a forgery from beginning to end;
but a forgery so ingenious, so happy, so agreeable, that it may seem
an ungracious thing to tell the truth about it, or attempt to disturb
the position it has so long held in the Castilian literature of the
fifteenth century. The facts on which I ground my opinion are chiefly

1. No such person as the Bachelor Cibdareal is mentioned in the
chronicles or correspondence of the period during which he is supposed
to have lived, though our accounts from such sources are copious and
minute; noticing, I believe, everybody of consequence at the court of
John the Second, and certainly many persons of much less importance
than the king’s confidential physician.

2. No manuscript of the Letters is known to be in existence.

3. The first notice of them is, that they appear in an edition in small
quarto, black letter, one hundred and sixty-six pages, which claims to
have been printed at Burgos in 1499. Of this edition, few copies have
ever been seen. Antonio, who died in 1684, intimates (Bib. Vetus, Tom.
II. p. 250) a doubt about the truth of its date; Bayer, in his note on
the passage, 1788, says that learned men commonly supposed that Antonio
de Vera y Zuñiga, (who died in 1658,) published this edition; and
Mendez (in his Typographia, 1796, pp. 291 and 293) declares the edition
to be unquestionably half a century later than its pretended date;--all
three of these learned men being experts and good witnesses concerning
a fact, which, I think, must be obvious to any person familiar with the
earliest printed Spanish books, who should look on a copy of it now
before me. The name of the printer on its title-page, Juan de Rei, it
is important to add, is otherwise suspected.

4. The next edition of the Letters of Cibdareal is that of Madrid,
1775, edited by Don Eugenio Llaguno y Amirola, Secretary of the Academy
of History, who thinks the first edition could not have been printed
till after 1600;--a circumstance otherwise probable, as I am not aware
that it is cited by any author of an earlier date. Indeed, if Antonio
de Vera y Zuñiga had any thing to do with it, we must suppose it to
have been printed yet later; for in 1600 that statesman was only about
ten years old.

5. The Bachelor Cibdareal gives a date to no one of his letters; but
so completely are the facts or hints for them to be detected in the
Chronicle of John the Second, that the editor of the Letters in 1775
has been able, by means of that Chronicle, to affix its proper date
to every one, I believe, of the hundred and five letters of which the
collection consists. This would hardly be possible, if the two works
had been written quite independently of each other.

6. The style of the Letters, though certainly adapted with great skill
and felicity to its supposed period, is not uniformly true to it,
erring on the side of curious archaisms. Sometimes it goes further,
and uses words for which _no_ example can be adduced. Thus the use of
_ca_ in the sense of _than_ is wholly unjustifiable; and wherever it
so occurs in the first edition, it is altered in the edition of 1775
to _que_, in order to make sense. Other errors more trifling might be
noticed; and in the spelling there is a systematical use of _c_ for _z_
in words that never were spelt with a _c_.

7. The few words in the “Aviso al Letor,” and the still fewer that
introduce the verses at the end of the volume, profess to come from the
_Editor_, who, according to Bayer, Mendez, etc., lived after 1600, and
should, therefore, have written in the style of the period when Mariana
and Cervantes flourished. But he writes exactly in the style of the
Letters he edits, which claim to be a century and a half older; and,
what is worse, he uses in his own person the _ca_ for _que_, which, as
we have noticed, nobody else ever used, except his Bachelor.

8. All accounts represent Juan de Mena as having died at Torrelaguna
in 1456, at the age of forty-five. (Antonio, Bib. Vetus, ed. Bayer,
Tom. II. p. 266; and Romero, Epicedio, 1578, f. 486, at the end of
Hernan Nuñez, Proverbios.) Now the supposed Cibdareal (Epist. 20)
places Juan de Mena, in 1428,--when he was, of course, only seventeen
years old,--on the most familiar footing at court, and makes him
already historiographer to the king, and far advanced in his principal
poem;--a statement the more incredible when we recollect that Romero
says expressly, that Mena was twenty-three years old when he first gave
himself to “the sweet labor of good learning,”--“al dulce trabajo de
aquel buen saber.” See the notice of Juan de Mena, _ante_, Vol. I. pp.

9. The contemptuous account Cibdareal gives of Barrientos is not one
which a courtier in his position would be likely to give of a person
already of great consequence, and rising fast to the highest places
in the government. But, what is more, it is not the true account. He
represents that distinguished ecclesiastic, as we have seen, (_ante_,
Vol. I. p. 359,) to have burnt, in a very rash and reckless manner, a
large quantity of books, from the library of the Marquis of Villena,
sent to him for examination after the death of their owner, because he
had been accused, in his lifetime, of studying magic,--Barrientos, as
Cibdareal would have us believe, knowing nothing about the contents of
the books, which he burnt, at once, only because he would not take the
trouble to examine them. Now I happen to possess, in an unpublished
manuscript of Barrientos, his own account of this very matter. It is
in a learned treatise on Divination, which he wrote by order of John
the Second, and addressed to that monarch; and in the Preface to the
Second Part of which he declares that he burnt the books in question
_by the royal order_, and intimates, that, in his own opinion, they
should have been spared. “And this book,” he says, speaking of the one
called “Raziel,” to which I have alluded, (_ante_, Vol. I, p. 359,
note,) “this book is the one, which, after the death of Don Enrique
[de Villena], you, _as king_, commanded me, your servant and creature,
to burn, with many others, which I did, in presence of sundry of your
servants;--a matter in which, as in many other things, you showed
and still show the great devotion your Highness has always had for
the Christian religion. And, although this was and is to be praised,
still, for other respects, it is good in some way to preserve such
books, provided they are in the hands and power of good, trustworthy
persons, who will take heed that they be read by none but wise men,”
etc.;--a very different account certainly from the one given in the
letter of Cibdareal, and one which, being addressed to the king, who
was necessarily acquainted with the whole transaction, can hardly have
been untrue.

10. The most considerable event recorded in the Letters of Cibdareal,
and one of the most considerable occurrences in Spain during the
fifteenth century, is the execution of the Constable Alvaro de Luna,
at Valladolid, June 2, 1452. The Bachelor says, he was with the king
in that city the day it happened and the night preceding; that the
king showed great irresolution as to the fulfilment of the sentence
up to the last moment; that he had a sorrowful and sleepless night
before it occurred; and that nobody dared to tell him the execution
was absolutely over till he had eaten his dinner;--adding to these
striking statements sundry picturesque local details, as if they had
come within his own knowledge by his witnessing the execution. Now the
truth is, that the king was not in Valladolid on that day, nor for some
days before and after; and it would have been a very hard-hearted thing
if he had been there at the moment when his old friend and favorite
minister of state, to whom he never ceased to be attached, was brought
to the scaffold, in order to satisfy the turbulent nobility whom he
had oppressed. The king was, in fact, then at the siege of Maqueda, a
little town northwest of Toledo, above eighty miles off, as appears
by his letters still extant, dated May 29, June 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc.;
so that many of the circumstances recorded in Cibdareal’s letter
(the 103d) are necessarily untrue. Moreover, the supposed Cibdareal
places the execution of the Constable on the eve of Saint Mary
Magdalen,--“Víspera de la Magdalena,”--confounding it with the date of
the death of the king, which happened on that day the next year, and
thus placing it on the 21st of July, which was the eve of Saint Mary
Magdalen, instead of the 2d of June, which, after some discussion,
long since the time when these Letters were first printed, has been
determined to be the true day of the execution. This gross mistake
in the Letters about the date of the Constable’s death was made, I
suppose, in part from carelessness, and in part because that date was
not then settled, as it is now. (See Mendez, Typographia, 1796, pp.
256-260; and Quintana, Vidas, Tom. III. pp. 437-439.)

11. The age in which I suppose the Letters of Cibdareal to have been
forged was one in which such attempts were likely to be made. It was
in Spain an age of forgeries. Guevara had just before maintained
his “Marcus Aurelius” to be true history. (See, _ante_, Vol. I. p.
541.) The “Leaden Books” of Granada, and the “Chronicones” of Father
Higuera,--the first decided by the whole civil authority of the realm
to be genuine, and the second received as such by a very general
consent,--were, from 1595 to 1652, at the height of their success,
though both have long since been admitted to be gross frauds, which
acute scholars like Montano, and historians like Mariana, must, indeed,
have seen through, and were too high-minded to countenance; but which,
it should be remembered, they did not feel strong enough openly to
resist and denounce. In this state of opinion in Spain, some ingenious
scholar--perhaps Vera y Zuñiga--as clear-sighted as they were and only
a little less scrupulous, may well have been encouraged to imitate
Father Higuera in a matter which, instead of being an attempt, like
his, to bring false records concerning important affairs into the
history of the kingdom, may have been regarded merely as a literary
_jeu d’esprit_, intended to mislead nobody on any point except merely
that of the genuineness of the correspondence. (See, _ante_, Vol. III.
p. 152, note.)

Against all this may be urged the general simplicity and interesting
details of the Letters themselves, so appropriate in their tone to
the age they illustrate, and the fact, that for above two centuries
they have been cited as the highest authority for the events of which
they speak; a fact, however, whose importance is diminished when we
recollect how rarely a spirit of criticism has shown itself in Spanish
historical literature, and that even in Spanish poetry the case of
the Bachiller de la Torre is, in some respects, as strong as that of
the Bachiller de Cibdareal, and in others yet stronger. At any rate,
all we know with tolerable certainty about the Bachelor Cibdareal
is, that the first edition of his Letters is a forgery, intended to
conceal something, and more likely, I think, intended to conceal the
spuriousness of the whole than any thing else.



(See Vol. II. pp. 105, etc.)

A good deal has been said within the last seventy years, and especially
of late, (1847-49,) about a pamphlet entitled “_El Buscapié_,”--“The
Squib,” or “Search-foot,”--supposed by some persons to have been
written by Cervantes, soon after the publication of the First Part of
his Don Quixote. The subject, though not one of great consequence, is
certainly not without interest, and the facts in relation to it are, I
believe, as follows.

In the Life of Cervantes, by Vicente de los Rios, prefixed to the
magnificent edition of the Don Quixote published by the Spanish Academy
in 1780, (see, _ante_, Vol. II. p. 52,) it is stated, that, on the
appearance of the First Part of that romance, in 1605, the public
having, according to a tradition not, I think, earlier recorded,
received it with coldness or censure, the author himself _published_ an
_anonymous_ pamphlet, called “The Squib,” in which he gave a pleasant
critique on his Don Quixote, insinuating that it was a covert satire on
sundry well-known and important personages, without, however, in the
slightest degree intimating who those personages were; in consequence
of which, the public curiosity became much excited, and the Don Quixote
obtained such attention as it needed in order to insure its success.
(Tom. I. p. xvii.)

In a note appended (p. cxci.) to this statement of the tradition, we
have a letter of Don Antonio Ruydiaz,--a person of whom little or
nothing is now known, except that Don Vicente declares him to have
been a man of learning worthy of credit,--in which letter, under date
of December 16, 1775, Don Antonio asserts, that, about sixteen years
earlier, he had seen a copy of the Buscapié at the house of the Count
of Salceda, and had read it;--that it was a small _anonymous_ volume,
_printed_ at Madrid with a good type and on poor paper;--that it
pretended to be written by a person who had neglected to buy or read
the Don Quixote for some time after its first appearance, but who,
having at last bought and read it, had been filled with admiration at
its merits and resolved in consequence to make them known;--that this
Buscapié declared the characters in the Don Quixote to be, in the main,
imaginary, but yet insinuated that they had certain relations to the
designs and gallantries of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and of some
of the principal personages in his government;--and that the Count de
Salceda being dead, and the copy of the Buscapié in question having
been only lent to that nobleman by some person unknown to the writer of
the letter, he could give no further account of the matter.

This statement, differing, it will be noted, from the tradition
recorded in the text to which it is appended, in what relates to the
Emperor Charles the Fifth, was not, on the whole, deemed satisfactory.
Pellicer, besides other strong doubts, doubted whether Cervantes wrote
the pamphlet, even if all the rest related of it were true, (Don
Quixote, ed. 1797, Tom. I. p. xcvii.,) and Navarrete inclined to the
opinion, that there was some mistake about the whole affair, and that
Cervantes could never have intended to allude to the Emperor in the way
intimated (Vida de Cervantes, 1819, § 105, etc.); to which Clemencin
has since added the suggestion, that the copy of the Buscapié, alleged
to have been seen by Ruydiaz, might have been a forgery cunningly
imposed on the Count of Salceda, who was “rich and greedy”--_rico y
goloso_--in such matters (ed. D. Quixote, Tom. IV., 1835, p. 50).
Indeed, the intimations concerning Charles the Fifth were so absurd in
themselves, and the fact,--unknown when the Academy published their
edition of 1780,--that _four_ editions of the First Part of Don Quixote
were, within a year from the date of its appearance, demanded in order
to satisfy the impatient curiosity of the public, is so decisive of its
popular success from the outset, that men were, before long, disposed
to believe that there never was a Buscapié written by any body. After a
time, therefore, the discussion about it ceased, except among those who
were interested in the smallest details of the life of Cervantes.

But in 1847 the whole subject came up afresh. Don Adolfo de Castro, a
young Andalusian gentleman, much devoted to researches in early Spanish
literature, and the author of several curious historical works, which
give proof of his success, declared that he had accidentally found a
copy of the Buscapié. In 1848 he published it at Cadiz, in a duodecimo
volume, with a body of very learned notes,--the text, in large type,
making forty-six pages, and the notes one hundred and eighty-eight
pages, which, if printed with the same type, would make above two
hundred and fifty.

In the Preface, Don Adolfo declares, that the Buscapié he thus
publishes was printed from a _manuscript_ which he had obtained from
the library of Don Pascual de Gándara, a lawyer of the city of San
Fernando, which library, apparently after the death of its owner, had
been brought, less than three months before, to the city of Cadiz, the
residence of Don Adolfo, to be publicly sold;--that the title of the
manuscript, which purports throughout to be the work of Cervantes, is
“The very pleasant little Book, called the Squib, in which, besides
its much and excellent Learning, are explained all the hidden and
unexplained Matters in the Ingenious Knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha,
written by a certain Cervantes de Saavedra”;--that the manuscript in
question is not in the handwriting of Cervantes, but, as appears by
a memorandum following the title, is a copy made at Madrid, February
27, 1606, for Agostin de Molina, son of Argote de Molina, and that it
had subsequently come into the possession of the Duke of Lafões, of
the royal family of Braganza;--that it contains no allusion whatever
disrespectful to the Emperor Charles the Fifth, for whom, as Don Adolfo
believes, Cervantes had a sincere admiration;--that it was, according
to the _Aprobacion_ of Gutierre de Cetina, June 27, 1605, and that of
Thomas Gracian Dantisco, on the 6th of August following, prepared for
the press, but that it was not in fact printed, or it would not have
been needful to make a copy of it in manuscript the next year;--and
that the true and real object of the Squib was, not to attract
attention to the Don Quixote, but to defend that work against many
persons accounted learned, who, as Don Adolfo suggests, had attacked it
with some severity.

In the Buscapié, which immediately follows these statements, Cervantes
represents himself as riding on his mule one day upon the road to
Toledo, a little beyond the Puente Toledana, when he sees coming
towards him a Bachelor mounted on a sorry hack, that at last falls with
him to the ground, in the midst of a contest between the beast and his
rider, as to whether they shall go on or no. Cervantes courteously
helps the stranger to rise; and then, after a few introductory words,
they agree to spend together, under some neighbouring trees, the heat
of the day, then fast coming upon them. The Bachelor, a foolish,
conceited little fellow, with a very deformed person, produces two
books for their common entertainment. The first of them is “The
Spiritual Verses of Pedro de _Ezinas_,” which they both praise, and
of whose author Cervantes speaks as of a personal acquaintance. The
other is the Don Quixote, which the Bachelor treats very slightingly,
and which Cervantes, a little disturbed by such contempt, maintains,
in general terms, to be a book of merit, not hinting, however, to the
Bachelor that he is its author, and putting his defence on the ground,
that it is a well-intended attempt to drive the institution of chivalry
from the world.

But the vain, garrulous little Bachelor prefers to talk about himself
or to tell stories about his father, and is with difficulty brought
back to the Don Quixote, which he then assails as a book absurdly
recognizing the existence of knight-errantry at the time it was
published, and therefore at the very time when they are talking
about it,--a position which Cervantes fully admits and then defends,
alleging, in proof of its truth, the examples of Suero de Quiñones
and Charles the Fifth; while, on the other side, the Bachelor sets
forth, how glad he should be if it were really so, because he would
then turn knight himself, and come by a princess and a kingdom as
other knights had done before him;--all in a strain as crazy as that
of the hero of Cervantes, and sometimes much resembling it. Cervantes
replies, maintaining the real, actual existence of knight-errantry in
his own time by the examples of Olivier de Lamarche and others, which
are as little to the purpose as those of Quiñones and the Emperor
Charles the Fifth, already cited by him; and so the discussion goes on,
until a scene occurs between the hack of the Bachelor and the mule of
Cervantes, not unlike that between Rozinante and the horse-flesh of the
Galician carriers, in the fifteenth chapter of the First Part of Don
Quixote, and one that ends with the total overthrow and demolition of
the Bachelor’s beast. This breaks up the conversation between their two
riders, and brings the pamphlet to a conclusion,--Cervantes leaving the
unlucky Bachelor to get out of his troubles as best he may.

On closing this gay little trifle, we are at once struck with the
circumstance, that the Buscapié we have just read, avowing itself on
every page to be _the work of Cervantes_, and declared _never to have
been printed_ till the year 1848, can have nothing at all to do with
the _anonymous_ Buscapié of which a _printed_ copy is supposed to have
been seen about the year 1759;--in fact, that it involves a formal and
complete contradiction of every thing of consequence that was ever
said or supposed on the subject, before it appeared. This simplifies
the matter very much. It is as if a Buscapié had never before been
mentioned, and we are therefore to examine the one now published by
Don Adolfo de Castro as if the statement of Los Rios and the letter of
Ruydiaz had never appeared.

The next thing that occurs to us is the strangeness of the
circumstance, that the copy of such a work, not anonymous, but
professing to have been written by the greatest and most popular genius
of his nation, should, during two centuries and a half, have attracted
nobody’s notice; though, during that time, it must have travelled from
Madrid to Lisbon and from Lisbon back again to Spain, and though,
during the last seventy years, a Buscapié has been much talked about
and eagerly asked for.

Nor is the history of the individual manuscript now printed and offered
to us, so far as it professes to have a history, more satisfactory. It
claims to have been owned by three persons, and a word must be said
about each of them.

First, it is said to have been “copied from another copy in the year
1606, at Madrid, on the 27th of February of the said year, for Señor
Agustin de Argote, son of the very noble Señor (may he be in holy
glory!) Gonzalo Zatieco de Molina, a knight of Seville.”[459] Now,
that Argote Zatieco de Molina, a person I have often had occasion
to mention, (see, _ante_, Vol. I. pp. 74, 75, 77, 117, etc.,) was,
as this certificate sets forth, dead in 1606, I have no doubt. A
manuscript copy of his well-known hints for the history of Seville,
now in the possession of one of my friends, contains notices and
documents relating to his life, collected, apparently, by the early
copyist, from which we learn that Argote de Molina, by a deed dated
July 5, 1597, left to his daughter, two sisters, and a brother the
patronage of a chaplaincy he had founded in a chapel prepared by him
for his burial-place in the church of Santiago, at Seville;[460] and
that in 1600 this chapel was completed, and an inscription placed
in it, signifying that it was the burial-place of Argote de Molina,
late a chief of the Hermandad, and a Veintequatro, or Regidor, of
Seville;[461] from all which, as well as from other grounds, it appears
that Argote de Molina died between 1597 and 1600. But why is no _son_
of his mentioned in the deed of 1597, providing for the care of his
chapel and the protection of his family burial-place after his own
death? This is explained by Ortiz de Zuñiga, the very best authority
on such a point, who, when giving an account of Argote de Molina and
his manuscripts, some of which Zuñiga had then in his possession, says
that Argote de Molina had sons, but that they died before him, and
that their loss so embittered the latter part of his life, that his
reason was impaired by it.[462] What, then, are we to say about this
“Agustin,” for whom Don Adolfo’s copy of the Buscapié is certified to
have been made in 1606, _after_ the death of his father, Argote, who
died without leaving any son?

  [459] “Copióse de otra copia el año de 1606, en Madrid, 27 de
  Ebrero año dicho. Para el Señor Agustin de Argote, hijo del muy
  noble Señor (que sancta gloria haya) Gonzalo Zatieco de Molina,
  un caballero de Sevilla.” Zatieco occurs elsewhere, as part of
  the name of Argote de Molina, or of his family.

  [460] “En otra escritura de 5 de Julio de 1597 deja por patronas
  de una capellanía fundada por él en la dicha iglésia de Santiago
  á Doña Francisca Argote de Molina y Mexia, su hija, y despues
  de ella á Doña Isabel de Argote y á Doña Gerónima de Argote sus
  hermanas, y á sus hijos y descendientes, y á Juan Argote de Mexia
  su hermano y á sus hijos,” etc.

  [461] “En dicha Capilla hay una inscripcion del tenor siguiente:
  Esta capilla mayor y entierro es de Don Gonzalo Argote de Molina,
  Provincial de la Hermandad del Andalucia y Veintequatro que
  fué de Sevilla, y de sus herederos. Acabóse año de 1600.” He
  purchased this privilege, January 28, 1586, for 800 ducats.

  [462] “Tuvo hijos que le precedieron en muerte, cuyo sentimiento
  hizo infausto el último término de su vida, turbando su juizio
  que, lleno de altivez, levantaba sus pensamientos á mayor
  fortuna.” Anales de Sevilla, fol., 1677, p. 706.

  Vanflora, Hijos de Sevilla, No. II. p. 76, says: “Murió sin dexar
  hijos ni caudales y con algunas señas de demente.”

The second trace of this manuscript is, that it professes to have
been a part of the library of the Duke of Lafões; the inscription to
this effect being in Portuguese, and without a date.[463] But is it
likely that such a manuscript could have remained in such a position
unnoticed? Is it likely that João de Braganza, one of the most
cultivated and distinguished men of his time, who was born in 1719,
and died in 1806; who was the friend of the Prince de Ligne, of Maria
Theresa, and of Frederic the Great; who founded the Academy of Lisbon,
and was its head till his death; in whose family lived Correa de Serra,
and who every evening collected the chief men of letters of his country
in his saloon,--is it likely that a work avowedly by Cervantes, and
one concerning which, after 1780, the Spanish Academy had caused much
inquiry to be made, should have remained in the library of such a man
without attracting, during his long life, either his own notice or
that of the scholars by whom he was surrounded? Or, finally, as to the
third and last presumed possessor of this manuscript of the Buscapié,
is it likely that it would have wandered on without being recognized
by any body until it found its obscure way into the collection of an
Andalusian advocate,--Don Pascual de Gándara,--and that even _he_, in
the nineteenth century, when Navarrete and Clemencin were keeping alive
the discussion of the eighteenth about it, should yet know nothing
of its import or pretensions, or, knowing them, should withhold his
knowledge from all the world?

  [463] “Da Livreria do Senhor Duque de Lafões.”

Thus much for the external evidence, the whole of which, I believe,
I have examined. It is, as it seems to me, very suspicious and

Nor can the internal evidence be accounted more satisfactory than the

In the first place, the Buscapié in question is a closer imitation
of Cervantes than he would be likely to make of himself. It opens
like the Prólogo to the “Persiles and Sigismunda,” in which the
conversation that Cervantes says he held with a travelling medical
student seems to have been the model for the one he is represented
as holding with the travelling Bachelor in the Buscapié;--it then
goes on with an examination of one or two contemporary authors, and
allusions to others, in the manner of the scrutiny of Don Quixote’s
library;--and it ends with an acknowledged parallel to the story of
the Yanguese carriers and their beasts; different parts of the whole
reminding us of different works of Cervantes, but of the “Adjunta al
Parnaso” oftener than of any other. In many cases, phrases seem to be
borrowed directly from Cervantes. Thus, of an author praised in the
Buscapié, it is said, “Se atreve á competir con los mas famosos de
Italia,” (p. 20,) which is nearly the phrase applied to Rufo, Ercilla,
and Virues in the Don Quixote. In another place, (p. 22,) Cervantes
is made to say of himself, when speaking in the third person of the
author of Don Quixote, “Su autor esta mas cargado de desdichas que de
años,” which strongly resembles the more beautiful phrase he, in the
same way, applies to himself, as the author of the “Galatea”; and in
another place, (p. 10,) the little Bachelor’s shouts to his mule are
said to be as much wasted “as if they were tossed into the well of
Airon, or the pit of Cabra,”--an allusion much more appropriately made
by Cervantes in the “Adjunta al Parnaso,” where mothers are advised
to threaten their naughty children, that “the poet shall come and
toss them, together with his bad verses, into the pit of Cabra, or the
well of Airon,”--natural caves in the kingdoms of Granada and Córdova,
about which strange stories were long credited. (Semanario Pintoresco,
1839, p. 25; Diccionario de la Academia, 1726, _in verb._ Airon; Don
Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Tom. IV. p. 237; and Miñano, Diccionario
Geográfico.) But there is no need of citing parallel passages. The
Buscapié is full of them; some being happily chosen and aptly adjusted
to their new places, like three allusions to the words of Cervantes in
Don Quixote about “driving books of chivalry out of the world,” (see,
_ante_, Vol. II. p. 105, note,) and others, like those I have just
cited, being awkwardly introduced, and fitting their subjects less well
than they did those to which they were originally applied. But whether
well or ill selected, whether well or ill applied, these phrases
in the Buscapié have seldom or never the appearance of accidental
coincidences arising out of the carelessness of an author repeating
from himself. They seem rather to be words and forms of expression
carefully selected, and are so used as to give an air of constraint to
the passages where they occur, showing that the writer turns, as it
were, in a narrow circle;--an air as unlike as possible to the bold and
unfettered movement which is so eminently characteristic of Cervantes.

In the next place, the Buscapié contains many allusions to obscure
authors and long-forgotten trifles; but, with an inconsiderable
exception, which seems to be a little ostentatiously announced as
such, (p. 12, and note B,) not one, I believe, occurs, that is beyond
the reach of the singular learning of Don Adolfo, whose ample notes,
fitting with suspicious exactness to the text, drive the reader to
the conjecture, that the text may have been adjusted to the notes
quite as much as the notes to the text. Now and then, this conjecture
seems to be confirmed by a slight inaccuracy. Thus, in both text and
notes, the name of Pedro de E_n_zinas--whose poetry is cited and
examined just as I find it in my copy of the “Versos Espirituales,”
printed at Cuenca, in 1596 (see, _ante_, Vol. III. p. 13, note)--is
uniformly spelt _many times over_ Ezinas, that is, without the first
_n_, (Buscapié, pp. 19-21, and note I,)--a trifling mistake, which
a copyist might easily have made in 1606, or which Don Adolfo might
have easily made in 1847, when transcribing, as he did, from the
printed book before him, but a mistake which there is not one chance
in a thousand that _both_ should have made, if there were no other
connection between the two than the one avowed. And, again, a little
farther on, a mistake occurs which seems to have arisen from the very
excess of Don Adolfo’s recondite learning. The old Castilian proverb,
“Al buen callar llaman _sage_,”--or, “He is a wise man that knows when
to hold his tongue,”--is found in the text of the Buscapié, (p. 26,)
and Don Adolfo in the note on it (L) informs us, that, “in the same way
in which this proverb is here used by Cervantes, it is to be seen in
the Conde Lucanor,[464] and in other older works. Somebody corrupted it
into ‘Al buen callar llaman _Sancho_.’” But the idea, that Cervantes
adhered to an old form of the proverb, because he rejected or did
not know the supposed corrupt one, is not well founded. The proverb
occurs, in what Don Adolfo considers a corrupted form, as early as
the “Cartas de Garay,” in 1553, and the collection of Proverbs by the
learned Hernan Nuñez, in 1555, and _in this very form it is, in fact,
used by Cervantes himself_ (Don Quixote, Parte II. c. 43); for when
Sancho Panza is rebuked by his master for stringing together proverbs
without end, he first promises he will not utter another, and then
instantly opens his mouth with this one. Indeed, I rather think that
the word _sage_, which was in use as late as the time of Juan de Mena,
had dropped out of the current language of good society before that
of Cervantes. Nebrixa, before 1500, says it was then antiquated. (See
Diccionario de la Academia, 1739.)

  [464] I suspect Don Adolfo _may_ have made another little mistake
  here; for I have had occasion, since I read his note, to read
  the “Conde Lucanor,” and, though I kept his criticism in mind, I
  did not notice the proverb in any form in any one of the tales.
  Sometimes it occurs in later authors in another form, thus: “Al
  buen callar llaman santo”; or, “He who knows when to hold his
  tongue is a saint.” But this is rare.

The last suggestion I have to make in relation to the genuineness of
the Buscapié published by Don Adolfo de Castro is, that, though on
its title-page it professes to explain “all the hidden and unexplained
things” in the Don Quixote, it does not, in fact, even allude to one
such; and though it professes to have been written by Cervantes in
order to defend himself against certain learned adversaries, it does
not cite any one of them, and only defends him in a light, jesting
tone against the charge of the little Bachelor by admitting its
truth, and then justifying it, on the ground that knight-errantry is
still flourishing and vigorous in Spain,--a charge which no sensible
or learned man can be supposed to have made, and a defence which is
humorous, so far as it is so at all, only for its absurdity.

Other things might be mentioned, such as that Cervantes, in the
Buscapié, is made to speak in a disparaging way of Alcalá de
Henares, his native place, (pp. 13 and 41,) which, as we have seen,
(_ante_, Vol. II. p. 53,) he delighted to honor; and that he is
made to represent his imaginary Bachelor as talking about his own
painful personal deformities, (pp. 24, 25, 28, 29,) and his father’s
contemptible poltroonery, (pp. 27, 28, 34,) in a way inconsistent with
the tact and knowledge of human nature which are among the strongest
characteristics of the author of Don Quixote.

But I will go no farther. The little tract published by Don Adolfo de
Castro is, with the exception of two or three coarse passages,[465] a
pleasant, witty trifle. It shows in many parts much lively talent, a
remarkable familiarity with the works of Cervantes, and a hardly less
remarkable familiarity with the literature of the period when Cervantes
lived. If Don Adolfo wrote it, he has probably always intended, in due
time, to claim it as his own, and he may be assured that, by so doing,
he will add something to his own literary laurels without taking any
thing from those of Cervantes. If he did not write it, then he has,
I think, been deceived in regard to the character of the manuscript,
which he purchased under circumstances that made him believe it to be
what it is not. In any event, I find no sufficient proof that it was
written by Cervantes, and therefore no sufficient ground to think that
it can be placed permanently under the protection of his great name.

  [465] They are, I believe, all omitted in the translation of Miss
  Thomasina Ross, which appeared in Bentley’s Magazine, (London,
  August and September, 1848,) and in the translation by “A Member
  of the University of Cambridge,” published at Cambridge, 1849,
  with judicious notes, partly original and partly abridged from
  those of Don Adolfo de Castro.



(See Vol. II. p. 108, note, and p. 112, note.)

Whatever relates to the “Don Quixote” of Cervantes is so interesting,
that I will add here such an account of its different editions,
translations, and imitations as may serve, in some degree, to give the
just measure of its extraordinary popularity, not only in Spain, but
all over Christendom.

The first edition of the First Part of Don Quixote, of which I have a
copy, was printed with this title: “El Ingenioso Hidalgo, Don Quixote
de la Mancha, compuesto por Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, dirigido al
Duque de Bejar, Marques de Gibraleon, etc. Año 1605. Con Privilegio,
etc. En Madrid, por Juan de la Cuesta,” 4to, in one volume. Three
editions more appeared in the same year, namely, one at Madrid, one at
Lisbon, and the other at Valencia. These, with another at Brussels,
in 1607,--five in all,--are the only editions that appeared, till he
took it in hand to correct some of its errors. But he did this, as I
have intimated, very imperfectly and carelessly. Among other changes,
he did away with the division of the volume into four parts or books,
but did not take the trouble to remove from the text the proofs of such
a division, as may be seen at the end of Chapters VIII., XIV., and
XXVII., where the work was divided, and where, in all our editions, the
proofs of it still remain. Such corrections, however, as he saw fit
to make, with sometimes a different spelling of words, appeared in
the Madrid edition of 1608, 4to; of which I have a copy. This edition,
though somewhat better than the first, is yet ordinary; but, as the one
containing Cervantes’s only amendments of the text, it is more valued
and sought after than any other, and is the basis on which all the
good impressions since have been founded. After this, an edition at
Milan, 1610, and one at Brussels, 1611, are known to have been printed
before the appearance of the Second Part, in 1615. So that, in nine or
ten years, there were eight editions of the First Part of Don Quixote,
implying a circulation greater than that of the works of Shakspeare or
Milton, Racine or Molière, who, as of the same century, may be fitly
compared with him.

The first edition of the Second Part of Don Quixote, which, like the
first edition of the First Part, is poorly printed, is entitled,
“Segunda Parte del Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, por
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, _autor de su Primera Parte_, dirigida
á Don Pedro Fernandez de Castro, Conde de Lemos, etc. Año 1615. Con
Privilegio, en Madrid, por Juan de la Cuesta,” 4to. It was printed
separately, Valencia, 1616; Brussels, 1616; Barcelona, 1617; and
Lisbon, 1617; after which no separate edition is known to have

  [466] It is curious, that the Index Expurgatorius of 1667, p.
  794, and that of 1790, p. 51, direct two lines to be struck out
  from c. 36, but touch no other part of the work. The two lines
  signify that “works of charity performed in a lukewarm spirit
  have no merit and avail nothing.” These lines are carefully
  cancelled in my copy of the first edition. Cervantes, therefore,
  did not, after all, stand on so safe ground as he thought he did,
  when, in c. 20 of the same Part, he says his Don Quixote “does
  not contain even a thought that is not strictly Catholic.”

Thus, as we have seen, eight editions of the First Part were printed
in ten years, and five of the Second Part in two years. Both parts
appeared together at Barcelona in 1617, in two volumes, duodecimo;
and from this period the number of editions has been very great, both
in Spain and in foreign countries; nearly fifty of them being of
some consequence. Only five, however, need to be here particularly
noted. These are,--1. Tonson’s edition, (London, 1738, 4 vols., 4to,)
published at the instance of Lord Carteret, in compliment to the
queen, and containing the Life by Mayans y Siscar, already noticed;
the first attempt either to edit Don Quixote or to write its author’s
life with care. 2. The magnificent edition printed by the Spanish
Academy, (Madrid, 1780, 4 tom., folio,) in which the text is settled
with some skill, a few notes are added, and the Life of Cervantes and
an Analysis, or rather an extravagant eulogy and defence, of the Don
Quixote, by Don Vicente de los Rios, prefixed. It has been several
times reprinted, though not without expressions of disapprobation,
especially at the indiscriminate admiration of Los Rios, who found,
among other opponents, a very resolute one in a Spaniard by the name of
Valentine Foronda, who, in 1807, printed in London a thin octavo volume
of very captious notes on Don Quixote, written in the form of letters,
between 1793 and 1799, and entitled “Observaciones sobre Algunos
Puntos de la Obra de Don Quixote, por T. E.” Clemencin gives the name
of the author, who is otherwise unknown to me. (Ed. Don Quixote, Tom.
I. p. 305.) 3. The extraordinary edition published in two volumes,
quarto, at Salisbury, in England, in 1781, and accompanied by a third
volume, consisting of notes and verbal indexes, all in Spanish, by the
Rev. John Bowle, a clergyman in a small village near Salisbury, who
gave fourteen years of unwearied labor to prepare it for the press;
studying, as the basis of his system of annotation, the old Spanish and
Italian authors, and especially the old Spanish ballad-books and books
of chivalry, and concluding his task, or at least dating his Prefaces
and Dedication, on the 23d of April, the anniversary of Cervantes’s
death. There are few books of so much real learning, and at the same
time of so little pretension, as the third volume of this edition.
It is, in fact, the true and safe foundation on which has been built
much of what has since been done with success for the explanation
and illustration of the Don Quixote, which thus owes more to Bowle
than to any other of its editors, except Clemencin. 4. The edition of
Juan Antonio Pellicer, (Madrid, 1797-98, 5 tom., 8vo,) an Aragonese
gentleman, who employed above twenty years in preparing it. (Latassa,
Bib. Nov., Tom. VI. p. 319.) The notes to this edition contain a good
deal of curious matter, but this matter is often irrelevant; the number
of the notes is small, and they explain only a small part of the
difficulties that occur in the text. It should be observed, too, that
Pellicer is indebted to Bowle further than he acknowledges, and that he
now and then makes mistakes on points of fact. 5. The edition of Diego
Clemencin, (Madrid, 1833-39, 6 tom., 4to,) one of the most complete
commentaries that has been published on any author, ancient or modern.
It is written, too, with taste and judgment in nearly all that relates
to the merits of the author, and is free from the blind admiration
for Cervantes which marks Vicente de los Rios and the edition of the
Academy. Its chief fault is, that there is too much of it; but then, on
the other hand, it is rare to find an obscure point which it does not
elucidate. The system of Clemencin is the one laid down by Bowle; and
the conscientious learning with which it is carried out seems really to
leave little to be desired in the way of notes.

In other countries the Don Quixote is hardly less known than it is in
Spain. Down to the year 1700, it is curious to observe, that as many
editions of the _entire_ work were printed abroad as at home, and the
succession of translations from the first has been uninterrupted.
The oldest _French_ translation is of 1620, since which there have
been six or seven others, including the poor one of Florian, 1799,
which has been the most read, and the very good one of Louis Viardot,
(Paris, 1836-38, 2 tom., 8vo,) with the admirable illustrations of
Granville,--a translation, however, which has been somewhat roughly
handled by F. B. F. Biedermann, in a tract entitled “Don Quixote et la
Tâche de ses Traducteurs” (Paris, 1837, 8vo). The oldest _English_ one
is by Shelton, 1612-20, the first half of which was made, as he says
in the Dedication, in forty days, some years before, and which was
followed by a very vulgar, unfaithful, and coarse one by John Philips,
the nephew of Milton, 1687; one by Motteux, 1712; one by Jarvis, 1742,
which Smollet used too freely in his own, 1755; one by Wilmot, 1774;
and, finally, the anonymous one of 1818, which has adopted parts of
all its predecessors. Most of them have been reprinted often; and, on
the whole, the most agreeable and the best, though certainly somewhat
too free, is that of Motteux, in the edition of Edinburgh, 1822, (5
vols., 12mo,) with notes and illustrative translations, full of spirit
and grace, by Mr. J. G. Lockhart. No foreign country has done so much
for Cervantes and Don Quixote as England, both by original editions,
published there, and by translations. It may be noticed further, that,
in 1654, Edmund Gayton, a gay fellow about town, of whom Wood gives
no very dignified account, published in London a small folio volume,
entitled “Pleasant Notes upon Don Quixote,” the best of its author’s
various works, and one that was thought worth publishing again in the
next century, for the sake, I suppose, of the amusing vein in which it
is written, but not on account of any thing it contains that will serve
to explain difficult or obscure passages in the original. Some of it is
in verse, and the whole is based on Shelton’s translation.

All countries, however, have sought the means of enjoying the Don
Quixote, for there are translations in Latin, Italian, Dutch, Danish,
Russian, Polish, and Portuguese. But better than any of these is,
probably, the admirable one made into _German_ by Ludwig Tieck, with
extraordinary freedom and spirit, and a most genial comprehension of
his author; four editions of which appeared between 1815 and 1831, and
superseded all the other German versions, of which there are five,
beginning with an imperfect attempt in 1669. It ought, perhaps, to be
added, that, in the course of the last half-century, more editions of
the original have appeared in Germany than in any other foreign country.

Of imitations out of Spain, it is only necessary to allude to
three. The first is a “Life of Don Quixote, merrily translated into
Hudibrastic Verse, by Edward Ward,” (London, 1711, 2 vols., 8vo,)--a
poor attempt, full of coarse jests not found in the original. The
second is “Don Silvio de Rosalva,” by Wieland, (1764, 2 vols.,) in
ridicule of a belief in fairies and unseen agencies;--his first work
in romantic fiction, and one that never had much success. The third is
a curious poem, in twelve cantos, by Meli, the best of the Sicilian
poets, who, in his native dialect, has endeavoured to tell the story
of Don Quixote in octave stanzas, with the heroi-comic lightness of
Ariosto; but, among other unhappinesses, has cumbered Sancho with Greek
mythology and ancient learning. It fills the third and fourth volumes
of Meli’s “Poesie Siciliane” (Palermo, 1787, 5 vols., 12mo). All these,
as well as Smollet’s “Sir Launcelot Graves” and Mrs. Lenox’s “Female
Quixote,” both published in 1762, are direct imitations of the Don
Quixote, and on that account, in part, they are all failures. Butler’s
“Hudibras,” (first edition, 1663-78,) so free and so full of wit,
comes, perhaps, as near its model as genius may venture with success.

Don Quixote has often been produced on the stage in Spain; as, for
instance, in a play by Francisco de Avila, published at Barcelona, in
1617; in two by Guillen de Castro, 1621; in one by Calderon, that is
lost; and in others by Gomez Labrador, Francisco Marti, Valladares,
Melendez Valdes, and, more lately, Ventura de la Vega; some of which
were noticed when we spoke of the drama. But all of them were failures.
(Don Quixote, ed. Clemencin, Tom. IV., 1835, p. 399, note.)

As to prose imitations in Spain, except the attempt of Avellaneda,
in 1614, I know of none for above a century;--none, indeed, till the
popularity of the original work was revived. But since that period,
there have been several. One is by Christóval Anzarena,--“Empressas
Literarias del ingeniosíssimo Cavallero, Don Quixote de la Manchuela,”
(Sevilla, 12mo, without the year, but printed about 1767,)--intended to
ridicule the literary taste of the times, which, after going through
the education of the hero, breaks off with the promise of a second
part, that never appeared. Another is called “Adiciones á Don Quixote,
por Jacinto María Delgado,” (Madrid, 12mo, s. a.,) printed apparently
soon after the last, and containing the remainder of Sancho’s life,
passed chiefly with the Duke and Duchess in Aragon, where, at a very
small expense of wit, he is fooled into the idea that he is a baron.
Another, by Alonso Bernardo Ribero y Sarrea, called “El Quixote de la
Cantabria,” (Madrid, 1792, 2 tom., 12mo,) describes the travels of a
certain Don Pelayo to Madrid, and his residence at court there, whence
he returns to his native mountains, astonished and shocked that the
Biscayans are not everywhere regarded as the only true nobility and
gentlemen on earth. A fourth, “Historia de Sancho Panza,” (Madrid,
1793-98, 2 tom., 12mo,) is an unsuccessful attempt to give effect to
Sancho as a separate and independent person after Don Quixote’s death,
making him Alcalde of his native village, and sending him to figure in
the capital and get into prison there;--the whole bringing the poor
esquire’s adventures down to a very grave ending of his very merry
life. And a fifth, by Juan Siñeriz, “El Quixote del Siglo XVIII.,”
(Madrid, 1836, 4 tom., 12mo,) is an account of a French philosopher,
who, with his esquire, travels over the earth to regenerate mankind;
and, coming back just at the close of the French Revolution, which
happened while he was in Asia, is cured, by the results of that great
convulsion, of his philosophical notions; a dull, coarse book, whose
style is as little attractive as its story. Perhaps there are other
Spanish imitations of Don Quixote; but there can be none, I apprehend,
of any merit or value.

All this account, however, incomplete as it is, of the different
editions, translations, and imitations which, for above two centuries,
have been poured out upon the different countries of Europe, gives,
still, but an imperfect measure of the kind and degree of success
which this extraordinary work has enjoyed; for there are thousands
and thousands who never have read it, and who never have heard of
Cervantes, to whom, nevertheless, the names of Don Quixote and of
Sancho are as familiar as household words. So much of this kind of fame
is enjoyed, probably, by no other author of modern times.



(See Vol. II. p. 429.)

Two large collections of plays, and several small ones, much resembling
each other, both in the character of their contents and the form
of their publication, appeared in different parts of Spain during
the seventeenth century, just as the ballads had appeared a century
before; and they should be noticed with some care, because they exhibit
the peculiar physiognomy of the Spanish national drama with much
distinctness, and furnish materials of consequence for its history.

Of the first collection, whose prevailing title seems to have been
“Comedias de Diferentes Autores,” it would, I suppose, be impossible
now to form a complete set, or one even approaching to completeness. I
possess only three volumes of it, and have seen satisfactory notices
of only two more. The first of the five is the twenty-fifth volume of
the collection itself, and was printed at Saragossa, in 1633, by Pedro
Escuer. As is usual with such volumes of the old Spanish dramatists,
it is in small quarto and contains twelve plays, seven of which are
attributed to Montalvan, then at the height of his success as a living
author, and one to Calderon, who was just rising to his great fame;
but one of the seven plays of Montalvan belongs to his master, Lope
de Vega, and the only one taken from Calderon is printed from a text
grossly corrupted. The twenty-ninth volume was printed at Valencia,
in 1636, and the thirty-second at Saragossa, in 1640; but I have seen
neither of them. In the thirty-first, printed at Barcelona, in 1638,
all the twelve plays are given without the names of their authors,
though the persons who wrote most of them are still known; and the
forty-third volume was printed at Saragossa, in 1650, containing plays
by Calderon, Moreto, and Solís, with enough by more obscure authors to
make up the regular number of twelve. It is no doubt singular, that, of
a collection like this, extending to at least forty-three volumes, so
little should now be known. But such is the fact. The Inquisition and
the confessional were very busy in the latter part of the seventeenth
century, when, under the imbecile Charles the Second, the theatre
had fallen from its high estate; and in this way the oldest large
collection of plays published in Spain, and the one we should now be
most desirous to possess, was hunted down and nearly exterminated.

The next, which is the collection commonly known under the title
of “Comedias Nuevas Escogidas de los Mejores Autores,”--a title by
no means strictly adhered to in its successive volumes,--was more
fortunate. Still it is very rare. I have never seen a set of it
absolutely complete; but I possess in all forty-one volumes out of the
forty-eight, of which such a set should consist, and have sufficiently
accurate notices of the remaining seven.

The first of these volumes was published in 1652, the last in 1704;
but, in the latter part of the period embraced between these dates,
the theatre so declined, that, though at first two or three volumes
came out every year, none was issued during the twenty-three years
that followed the death of Calderon in 1681, except the very last
in the collection, the forty-eighth. Taken together, they contain
five hundred and seventy-four _comedias_, in all the forms and with
all the characteristics of the old Spanish drama; their appropriate
_loas_ and _entremeses_ being connected with a very small number of
them. Thirty-seven of these _comedias_ are given as anonymous, and
the remaining five hundred and thirty-seven are distributed among one
hundred and thirty-eight different authors.

The distribution, however, as might be anticipated, is very unequal.
Calderon, who was far the most successful writer of the period he
illustrated, has fifty-three plays assigned to him, in whole or in
part, of which it is certain not one was printed with his permission,
and not one, so far as I have compared them with the authentic
editions of his works, from a text properly corrected. Moreto, the
dramatic writer next in popularity after Calderon, has forty-six
pieces given to him in the same way; all probably without his assent,
since he renounced the stage as sinful, and retired to a monastery
in 1657. Matos Fragoso, who was a little later, has thirty-three;
Fernando de Zarate, twenty-two; Antonio Martinez, eighteen; Mira de
Mescua, eighteen; Zavaleta, sixteen; Roxas, sixteen; Luis Velez de
Guevara, fifteen; Cancer, fourteen; Solís, twelve; Lope de Vega,
twelve; Diamante, twelve; Pedro de Rosete, eleven; Belmonte, eleven;
and Francisco de Villegas, eleven. Many others have smaller numbers
assigned to them; and sixty-nine authors, nearly all of whose names are
otherwise unknown, and some of them, probably, not genuine, have but
one each.

That the dramas in this collection all belong to the authors to whom it
ascribes them, or that it is even so far accurate in its designations
as to be taken for a sufficient general authority, is not for a moment
to be supposed. Thirteen at least of the plays it contains, that bear
the name of Calderon, are not his; one known to be his, “La Banda y
la Flor,” is printed as anonymous in the thirtieth volume, with the
title of “Hazer del Amor Agravio”; and another, “Amigo Amante y Leal,”
is twice inserted,--once in the fourth volume, 1653, and once in the
eighteenth volume, 1662,--each differing considerably from the other,
and neither taken from a genuine text.

Of its carelessness in relation to other authors similar remarks
might be made. Several of the plays of Solís are printed twice, and
one three times; and in two successive volumes, the twenty-fifth
and twenty-sixth, we have the “Lorenzo me llamo” of Matos Fragoso,
a well-known and, in its time, a popular play. On all accounts,
therefore, this collection, like its predecessor, is to be regarded as
a mere bookseller’s speculation, carried on without the consent of the
authors whose works were plundered for the purpose, and sometimes,
as we know, in disregard of their complaints and remonstrances. How
recklessly and scandalously this was done may be gathered from the
facts already stated, and from the further one, that the “Vencimiento
de Turno,” in the twelfth volume, which is boldly ascribed to Calderon
on its title, is yet given to its true author, Manuel del Campo, in the
very lines with which it is ended.

Still, these large collections, with the single volumes that, from time
to time, were sent forth in the same way by the booksellers,--such as
those published by Mateo de la Bastida, in 1652; by Manuel Lopez, in
1653; by Juan de Valdes, in 1655; by Robles, in 1664; and by Zabra and
Fernandez, in 1675, all of which have been used in the account of the
theatre in the text,--give us a living and faithful impression of the
acted Spanish drama in the seventeenth century; for the plays they
contain are those that were everywhere performed on the national stage,
and they are here presented to us, not so often in the form given them
by their authors, as in the form in which they were fitted for the
stage by the managers, and plundered from the prompter’s manuscripts,
or noted down in the theatres, by piratical booksellers.



(See Vol. II. p. 533, note.)

A remarkable discussion took place in Italy in the latter part of
the eighteenth century, concerning the origin of the bad taste
in literature that existed in Spain after 1600, under the name
of “Cultismo”;--some of the distinguished men of letters in each
country casting the reproach of the whole of it upon the other. The
circumstances, which may be properly regarded as a part of Spanish
literary history, were the following.

In 1773, Saverio Bettinelli, a superficial, but somewhat popular,
writer, in his “Risorgimento d’Italia negli Studj, etc., dopo il
Mille,” charged Spain, and particularly the Spanish theatre, with the
bad taste that prevailed in Italy after that country fell so much under
Spanish control; adding to a slight notice of Lope de Vega and Calderon
the following words:--“This, then, is the taste which passed into
Italy, and there ruined every thing pure.” (Parte II. cap. 3, Tragedia
e Commedia.) Girolamo Tiraboschi, in his “Storia della Letteratura
Italiana,” first published between 1772 and 1783, maintained a similar
position or theory, tracing this bad taste, as it were, to the very
soil and climate of Spain, and following its footsteps, both in ancient
times, when, he believed, the Latin literature had been corrupted by it
after the Senecas and Martial came from Spain to Rome, and in modern
times, when he charged upon it the follies of Marini and all his
school. (Tom. II., Dissertazione Preliminare, § 27.)

Both these writers were, no doubt, sufficiently decided in the tone of
their opinions. Neither of them, however, was harsh or violent in his
manner, and neither, probably, felt that he was making such an attack
on the literature and fair fame of another country as would provoke a
reply;--much less, one that would draw after it a long controversy.

But at that period there were in Italy a considerable number of learned
Spaniards, who had been driven there, as Jesuits, by the expulsion
of their Society from Spain in 1767; men whose chief resource and
amusement were letters, and who, like true Spaniards, felt not a
whit the less proud of their country because they had been violently
expelled from it. With hardly a single exception, they seem to have
been offended by these and other similar remarks of Bettinelli and
Tiraboschi, to which they were, perhaps, only the more sensitive,
because the distinguished Italians who made them were, like themselves,
members of the persecuted Order of the Jesuits.

Answers to these imputations, therefore, soon began to appear. Two
were published in 1776;--the first by Thomas Serrano, a Valencian,
who, in some Latin Letters, printed at Ferrara, defended the Latin
poets of Spain from the accusations of Tiraboschi, (Ximeno, Tom. II.
p. 335; Fuster, Tom. II. p. 111,) and the second by Father Giovanni
Andres, who, in a Dissertation printed at Cremona, took similar ground,
which he further enlarged and fortified afterwards, in his great work
on universal literary history, (Dell’ Origine, Progresso, e Stato
Attuale di Ogni Letteratura, 1782-99, 9 tom., 4to,) where he maintains
the dignity and honor of his country’s literature on all points, and
endeavours to trace the origin of much of what is best in the early
culture of modern Europe to Arabian influences coming in from Spain,
through Provence, to Italy and France.

To the Letters of Serrano rejoinders appeared at once from Clement
Vannetti, the person to whom Serrano had addressed them, and from
Alessandro Zorzi, a friend of Tiraboschi;--and to the Dissertation of
Father Andres, Tiraboschi himself replied, with much gentleness, in
the notes to subsequent editions of his “Storia della Letteratura.”
(See Angelo Ant. Scotti, Elogio Storico del Padre Giovanni Andres,
Napoli, 1817, 8vo, pp. 13, 143, Tiraboschi, Storia, ed. Roma, 1782,
Tom. II. p. 23.)

Meantime, others among the exiled Spanish Jesuits in Italy, such as
Arteaga, who afterwards wrote the valuable “Rivoluzioni del Teatro
Musicale,” 1783, and Father Isla, who had been famous for his “Friar
Gerund” from 1758, took an interest in the controversy. (Salas, Vida
del Padre Isla, Madrid, 1803, 12mo, p. 136.) But the person who brought
to it the learning which now makes it of consequence in Spanish
literary history was Francisco Xavier Lampillas, or Llampillas, who was
born in Catalonia, in 1731, and was, for some time, Professor of Belles
Lettres in Barcelona, but who, from the period of his exile as a Jesuit
in 1767 to that of his death in 1810, lived chiefly in Genoa or its
neighbourhood, devoting himself to literary pursuits, and publishing
occasionally works, both in prose and verse, in the Italian language,
which he wrote with a good degree of purity.

Among these works was his “Saggio Storico-apologetico della Letteratura
Spagnuola,” printed between 1778 and 1781, in six volumes, octavo,
devoted to a formal defence of Spanish literature against Bettinelli
and Tiraboschi;--occasionally, however, noticing the mistakes of
others, who, like Signorelli, had touched on the same subject. In
the separate dissertations of which this somewhat remarkable book
is composed, the author discusses the connection between the Latin
poets of Spain and those of Rome in the period following the death of
Augustus;--he examines the question of the Spanish climate raised by
Tiraboschi, and claims for Spain a culture earlier than that of Italy,
and one as ample and as honorable;--he asserts that Spain was not
indebted to Italy for the revival of letters within her borders at the
end of the Dark Ages, or for the knowledge of the art of navigation
that opened to her the New World; while, on the other hand, he avers
that Italy owed to Spain much of the reform of its theological and
juridical studies, especially in the sixteenth century;--and brings
his work to a conclusion, in the seventh and eighth dissertations,
with an historical exhibition of the high claims of Spanish poetry
generally, and with a defence of the Spanish theatre from the days of
the Romans down to his own times.

No doubt, some of these pretensions are quite unfounded, and others
are stated much more strongly than they should be; and no doubt, too,
the general temper of the work is any thing rather than forbearing
and philosophical; but still, many of its defensive points are well
maintained, and many of its incidental notices of Spanish literary
history are interesting, if not important. At any rate, it produced a
good effect on opinion in Italy; and, when added to the works published
there soon afterwards by Arteaga, Clavigero, Eximeno, Andres, and other
exiled Spaniards, it tended to remove many of the prejudices that
existed among the Italians against Spanish literature;--prejudices
which had come down from the days when the Spaniards had occupied so
much of Italy as conquerors, and had thus earned for their nation the
lasting ill-will of its people.

Answers, of course, were not wanting to the work of Lampillas, even
before it was completed; one of which, by Bettinelli, appeared in the
nineteenth volume of the “Diario” of Modena, and another, in 1778, by
Tiraboschi, in a separate pamphlet, which he republished afterwards in
the different editions of his great work. To both, Lampillas put forth
a rejoinder in 1781, not less angry than his original Apology, but,
on the whole, less successful, since he was unable to maintain some
of the positions skilfully selected and attacked by his adversaries,
or to establish many of the facts which they had drawn into question.
Tiraboschi reprinted this rejoinder at the end of his own work, with a
few short notes; the only reply which he thought it necessary to make.

But in Spain the triumph of Lampillas was open and unquestioned. His
Storia Apologetica was received with distinguished honors by the
Academy of History, and, together with his pamphlet defending it, was
published first in 1782, in six volumes, and then, in 1789, in seven
volumes, translated by Doña Maria Josefa Amar y Borbon, an Aragonese
lady of some literary reputation. What, however, was yet more welcome
to its author, Charles the Third, the very king by whose command he
had been exiled, gave him an honorable pension for his defence of the
national literature, and acknowledged the merits of the work by his
minister, Count Florida Blanca, who counted among them not only its
learning, but an “urbanity” which now-a-days we are unable to discover
in it. (Sempere, Biblioteca, Tom. III. p. 165.)

After this, the controversy seems to have died away entirely, except
as it appeared in notes to the great work of Tiraboschi, which he
continued to add to the successive editions till his death, in
1794. The result of the whole--so far as the original question is
concerned--is, that a great deal of bad taste is proved to have existed
in Spain and in Italy, especially from the times of Góngora and Marina,
not without connection and sympathy between the two countries, but that
neither can be held exclusively responsible for its origin or for its



Having a little enlarged the first and second volumes for the purpose,
I am enabled here to present some of the very old and interesting
Spanish poetry, furnished to me by Don Pascual de Gayangos, but never
before published. I wish it were in my power to print more of the
manuscripts in my possession, but I have not room.

No. I.


The first of the manuscripts referred to is the one mentioned in
Vol. I. pp. 94-99, as a poem on the subject of Joseph, the son of
Jacob,--remarkable on many accounts, and, among the rest, because, in
the only copy of it known to exist,--that in the National Library,
Madrid, MSS. G. g., 4to, 101,--it is written entirely in the Arabic
character, so that, for a long time, it was regarded as an Arabic
manuscript. It has not, I believe, been deemed of a later date than
the end of the fourteenth century. Indeed, its language and general
air would seem to indicate an earlier one; but we should bear in mind
that the Moriscos, to some one of whom this poem is due, did not
make a progress in the language and culture of Spain so rapid as the
Spaniards did, by whom, long before the fall of Granada, large masses
of them were surrounded and kept in subjection. On this account we may
conjecture the poem to have been written as late as the year 1400; but
its date is uncertain.

        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·
        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·

      Jusuf seiendo chico i de pocos annos,
    Castigandolo su padre no se encubrió de sus ermanos,
    Dijoles el suenno que bido en los altos;
    Pensaronle traision é fizieronle engannos.

      Dijeronle sus ermanos, “Agamosle certero;
    Roguemos a nueso padre rogaria berdadera,
    Que nos deje a Jusuf en la comanda berdadera,
    I amostrarle emos mannas de cazar la alimanna berdadera.”

        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·
        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·

      Porque Jacab amaba á Jusuf por marabella,
    Porque el era disquito i agudo de orella,
    Porque la su madre era fermosa e bella,
    Sobre todas las otras era amada ella.

      Aquesta fue la razon porque le obieron enbidia,
    Porque Jusuf sonno un suenno una noche ante el dia,
    Suenno que entendieron sus ermanos siempre todabia,
    Que Jusuf seiendo menor abria la mejoria.

        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·
        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·

      Dijieron sus filhos, “Padre, eso no pensedes,
    Somos dies ermanos, eso bien sabedes;
    Seriamos taraidores, eso no dubdedes;
    Mas enpero, si no vos place, aced lo que queredes.

      “Mas aquesto pensamos, sabelo el Criador;
    Porque supiese mas, i ganase el nuestro amor,
    Enseñarle aiemos las obelhas e el ganado maior;
    Mas enpero, si no vos place, mandad como señor.”

      Tanto le dijeron de palabras fermosas,
    Tanto le prometieron de palabras piadosas,
    Que él les dió el ninno, dijoles las oras,
    Que lo guardasen a el de manos enganosas.

      Dioseles el padre, como no debia far,
    Fiandose en sus filhos, e no quis mas dubdar;
    Dijo, “Filhos, los mis filhos, lo que os quiero rogar,
    Que me lo catedes e me lo querais guardar.

      “E me lo bolbades luego en amor del Criador,
    A él fareis placer, i a mi mui grand fabor,
    Y en esto no fallescades, filhos, por mi amor,
    Encomiendolo a el de Allah, poderoso Señor.”

      Lebaronlo en cuello mientras su padre los bido.
    De que fueron apartados bien beredes que fueron á far;
    Bajaronlo del cuello, en tierra lo van a posar.
    Quando esto bido Jusuf por su padre fué á sospirar.

      Dejabanlo zaguero mal andante e cuitado,
    E él como era tierno quedo mui querebantado;
    Dijoles, “Atendedme, ermanos, que boi mui cansado,
    No querais que quede aqui desmamparado.

      “Dadme agua del rio o de fuente o de mar,
    No querades que muera de sete ni de fambar;
    No querades que finque de sin padre ni madre;
    Acuerdeseos lo que os dijo el cano de mi padre.”

      Esto que oyera el uno de ellos, bien beredes lo que fizo;
    Dio de mano al gua, en tierra la bacio,
    De punnos e de cozes mui mal lo firio,
    El ninno con las sobras en tierra cayo.

      Alli se fue a rencorar uno de sus ermanos,
    Jahuda tiene por nombre, mui arreciado de manos;
    Fuesele a rogar ad aquellos onrados
    No murió entonces qui sieronlo sus fados.

      Tomaron su consejo, i obieronlo por bien,
    Que lo llebasen al monte al pozo de Azraiel;
    Frio es el fosal, e las fieras ia se acian,
    Porque se lo comiesen i nunca mas lo bian.

      Pensaban, que dirian al su padre onrrado,
    Que, estando en las obelhas, bino el lobo airado,
    Estando durmiendo Jusuf a su caiado,
    Bino el lobo maldito i a Jusuf hubo matado.

      Jacub estaba aflejido por la tardanza de su fijo,
    Saliose por las carreras por oir i saber de sus fijos nuebas
    Bidolos benir, meciendo las cabezas,
    Diciendo, “O ermano Jusuf!” de tan buena manera.

      Quando los bido benir con tal apellido,
    Luego en aquella ora caio amortesido;
    Quando llegaron a él no le hallaron sentido,
    Dijeron todos, “Senor, dale el perdon cumplido.”

      Dijo Jahuda a todos sus ermanos,
    “Bolbamos por Jusuf, donde estaba encelado,
    I abremos gualardon de nueso padre onrrado;
    Io prometo de encelar quanto abemos errado.”

      Dijeron sus ermanos, “Eso no aremos;
    Somos diez ermanos, eso bien sabemos;
    Bamos a nueso padre e todo se lo contaremos,
    Que, contandole aquesto, seremos creederos.”

      Hasta poco de rato Jacob ubo recordado;
    Dijo, “Que es de mi fijo, que es de mi amado?
    Que le abedes fecho, en do lo abeis dejado?”
    E todos dijeron, “El lobo lo ha matado.”

      “No bos creio, filhos, de quanto me dezides;
    Idme a cazar el lobo de aquel donde benides,
    Que io le fare ablar corbas sus corbizes;
    Con la aiuda de Allah, el me dira si falsia me dezedes.”

      E fueronse a cazar el lobo con falsia mui grande,
    Diciendo que abia fecho una muerte tan mala;
    Traieron la camisa de Jusuf ensangrentada,
    Porque creiese Jacob aquello sin dudanza.

      Rogo Jacob al Criador, e al lobo fué á fablar.
    Dijo el lobo, “No lo manda Allah que a nabi fuese á matar;
    En tan estranna tierra me fueron á cazar,
    Anme fecho pecado, i lebanme a lazrar.”

      Dijo Jacob, “Filhos que tuerto me tenedes,
    De quanto me decides de todo me fallesedes,
    En el Allah creio, e fio que aun lo beredes
    Todas estas cosas que aun lo pagaredes.”

      E bolbiose Jacob e bolbiose llorando,
    E quedaron sus filhos como desmamparados;
    Fueronse a Jusuf donde estaba encelado,
    E lebaronle al pozo por el suelo rastrando.

      Echaronle en el pozo con cuerda mui luenga;
    Quando fue a medio ubieronla cortada,
    E caio entre una penna i una piedra airada,
    E quiso Allah del cielo, e no le nocio nada.

      Alli caio Jusuf en aquella agua fria,
    Por do pasaba gente con mercaduria,
    Que tenian sed con la calor del dia,
    I embiaron por agua alli donde el iacia.

      Echaron la ferrada con cuerda mui larga;
    No la pudieron sacar, cá mucho les pesaba
    Por razon que Jusuf en ella se trababa;
    Pusieron i esfuerzo, i salto la bella barba.

      Ellos de que bieron a tan noble criatura
    Marabillaronse de su grand fermosura;
    Llebaronle al mercader, e plaziole su figura;
    Prometioles mucho bien e mui mucha mesura.

      Asta poco de rato sus ermanos binieron
    A demandarlo, su catibo lo ferieron;
    El lo otorgo pues ellos lo quisieron;
    Jahuda los aconsejo por alla por do binieron.

      Dijo el mercader, “Amigos, si queredes
    Aquestos vente dineros por él si lo bendedes.
    Dijeron, “Contentos somos con que lo enpresionedes,
    Asta la tierra santa que no lo soltaredes.”

      E fizieron su carta, de como lo bendieron;
    E todo por sus manos por escripto lo pusieron,
    E ad aquel mercader su carta le rindieron,
    E lebaronlo encadenado ansi como punsieron.

      Quando bino el mober, Jusuf iba llorando,
    Por espedirse de sus ermanos mal iba quexando,
    Malos eran ellos, mas él acia su guisado,
    Demandó al mercader i otorgoselo de grado.

      Dijo el mercader, “Esta es marabella,
    Que ellos te an vendido como si fueses obelha,
    Diciendo que eras ladron e de mala pelelha;
    E io por tales senores no daria una arbelha.”

      Partiose Jusuf con la cadena rastrando,
    E Jahuda aquella noche estabalos belando,
    Espertolos a todos tan apriesa llorando,
    Diziendo, “Lebantadbos, recibid al torteado.”

      Dijo Jusuf, “Ermanos, perdoneos el Criador
    Del tuerto que me tenedes, perdoneos el Senor;
    Que para siempre e nunca se parta el nuestro amor.”
    Abraso á cada guno, e partiose con dolor.

      Iba con gran gente aquel mercadero;
    Alli iba Jusuf solo e sin companero;
    Pasaron por un camino por un fosal sennero,
    Do iacia la su madre acerca de un otero.

      Dio salto del camello donde iba cabalgando;
    No lo sintio el negro que lo iba guardando;
    Fuese a la fuesa de su madre a pedirla perdon doblando
    Jusuf a la fuesa tan apriesa llorando.

      Disiendo, “Madre, Sennora, perdoneos el Sennor,
    Madre, si me bidieses de mi abriais dolor;
    Boi con cadenas al cuello, catibo con sennor,
    Bendido de mis ermanos, como si fuera traidor.

      “Ellos me han bendido, no teniendoles tuerto;
    Partieronme de mi padre, ante que fuese muerto,
    Con arte, con falsia, ellos me obieron buelto;
    Por mal precio me han bendido por do boi ajado e cucito.”

      E bolbiose el negro ante la camella
    Requiriendo a Jusuf e no lo bido en ella,
    E bolbiose por el camino aguda su orella,
    Bidolo en el fosal, llorando que es marabella.

      E fuese alla el negro e obolo mal ferido,
    E luego en aquella ora caio amortesido;
    Dijo, “Tu eres malo e ladron conpilido,
    Ansi nos lo dijeron tus senores que te hubieron bendido.”

      Dijo Jusuf, “No soi malo ni ladron,
    Mas aqui iaz mi madre e bengola a dar perdon;
    Ruego ad Allah, i a el fago loaiçon
    Que, si colpa no te tengo, te enbie su maldicion.”

      Andaron aquella noche fasta otro dia;
    Entorbioseles el mundo, gran bento corria,
    Afallezioseles el sol al ora de medio dia,
    No vedian por do ir con la mercaderia.

      Aqueste mercader base marabillado
    De aquella fortuna que traia el pecado.
    Dijo el mercader, “Yo mando pribado,
    Que quien pecado a fecho que bienga acordado.

      “Que es aquesta fortuna que agora veiemos
    Por algun pecado que entre nosotros tenemos;
    Quien pecado a fecho perdone e perdonemos,
    Mejoremos ventura e todos escaparemos.”

      Dijo el negro, “Señor, io di una bofetada
    A de aquel tu catibo que se fue a la alborada.”
    Llamó el mercader a Jusuf la begada,
    Que se viniere a bengar del negro e su errada.

      Dijo Jusuf, “Eso no es de mi a far;
    Io no vengo de aquellos que ansi se quieren vengar;
    Ante bengo de aquellos que quieren perdonar;
    Por gran que seia el ierro, io ansi lo quiero far.”

      Aquesto fecho i el negro perdonado,
    Aclarecioles el dia i el mercader fue apagado.
    Dijo el mercader, “O amigo granado!
    Sino por lo compuesto soltariate de grado.”

      Mas a pocos de dias a su tierra llegaron;
    Jusuf fue luego suelto, que un rio lo bañaron;
    De purpura e de seda mui bien lo guisaron,
    E de piedras preciosas mui bien lo afeitaron.

      Quando entraron por la cibdad, las gentes se marabillaban;
    El dia era nublo e el sol no relumbraba,
    Magüer era oscuro e el la hazia calara,
    Por do quier que pasaba todo lo relonbraba.

      Decian las gentes a de aquel mercadero,
    Si era aquel angel o ombre santurero.
    Dijo, “Este es mi catibo leal e berdadero,
    Io quiero lo bender, si le hallo mercadero.”

      Dijo el mercader, que él lo benderia en mercado.
    Fizo a saber las nuebas por todo el reinado,
    Que biniese toda la gente para el dia sennalado,
    Estando Jusuf apuesto en un banco posado.

      No fincó en toda la comarca hombre ni muger,
    Ni chico ni grande, que non le fuese a ber.
    Alli bino Zaleja e dejó el comer,
    Cabalgada en una mula a quanto podia correr.

      Su peso de palata por el daba bien pesado,
    E otro que tal haria de oro esmaltado,
    E de piedras preciosas como dice el ditado,
    Mercolo el Rei por su peso de oro granado.

      Diolo el Rei a Zaleja con amor,
    Tomaronlo por filho legitimo e maior,
    Tomaronlo dambos de mui buen amor;
    Lebantose el pregonero, e pregono a sabor.

      Lebantose el pregonero, e pregono a sabor;
    Dijo, “Quien compra Profeta cuerdo e sabidor,
    Leal i berdadero i firme en el Criador,
    Ansi como parece por fecho e balor?”

      Dijo Jusuf, “Tu pregonaras, amado,
    Quien comprara catibo, torpe e abiltado?”
    Dijo el pregonero, “Eso no faré io, amado,
    Que, si aqueso pregonase, no te mercaran de grado.”

      Dijo, “Pues eso no quieres, pregona la berdad,
    E ruegote, ermano, que no la quieras negar.
    Di, Quien comprara profeta del alto lugar,
    Filhos de Jacob si lo aveis oido nombrar?”

      De que supo el mercader que era de tal altura,
    Rogo al comprador le bolbiese por mesura
    E doblarle i a el precio de su compradura,
    E él no lo quiso hacer porque ia tenia bentura.

      Besandole pies i manos que lo quisiese far,
    El por ninguna bia no lo quiso derogar,
    Tubose por mal andante; la cuenta ia le fue a tornar,
    Salbante lo que costo no lo quiso mas tomar.

      Rogo el mercader a Jusuf la sazon,
    Que rogase ad Allah del cielo de buen corazon,
    Que en doce mugeres que tenia, todas doce en amor,
    Que en todas doce le diese filhos e criazon.

      Lebantose Jusuf e fizo loacion,
    Rogo ad Allah del cielo de buen corazon,
    Que alargase la bida al buen baron,
    I emprennaronse todas, cada una a su sazon.

      Cuando bino la ora ubieron de librar,
    Quiso Allah del cielo, e todas fueron a hechar
    Mui nobles criaturas e figuras de alegrar,
    Porque nuestro Señor las quiso ayudar.

      Criolo Zaleja, mui bien lo hubo criado,
    E de corazon lo hubo guardado,
    I él como era apuesto apegose del pribado,
    Demandole el su cuerpo, e no le semejo guisado.

      Dijo a su pribada, “Ia sabes, amada,
    Como io he criado a Jusuf cada semana,
    De noche e de dia io bien lo guardaba,
    I él no me lo prezia mas que si fuese bana.

      “Dame sabiduria, a mi sapiencia clara.
    Io no puedo facer que el acate en mi cara;
    Solo que él me bediese i el luego me amara,
    E de él faria a mi guisa en lo que io le mandara.”

      Dijo su pribada, “Io bos daré un consejo;
    Bos dadme haber, i os faré un bosquejo,
    Io habre un pintor i mistorara a arrecho,
    Io faré el meter, e a que se benga a buestro lecho.”

      De quanto le demando todo lo fué bien guisado;
    Fizo fazer un palacio mui apuesto e cuadrado,
    Todo lo fizo balanco paredes e terrado,
    E fizo figurar a un pintor piribado.

      De Jusuf e de Zaleja allí hizo sus figuras,
    Que se abrazaban dambos pribados sin mesura,
    Porque semejaban bibos con seso e cordura,
    Porque eran misturados de mistura con natura.

      De que el palacio fue fecho e todo bien acabado,
    Alli bino Zaleja e asentose ia de grado,
    E embio por Jusuf luego con el mandado,
    “Jusuf, tu Señora te manda que baias mui pribado.”

      E fuese Jusuf do Zaleja salia,
    E como quiso de entrar luego sintió la falsia,
    E quisose bolber, e ella no lo consentia,
    Tarabolo de la falda, e llebolo do iacia.

      Alli quedó Jusuf con mui gran espanto;
    Afalagabolo Zaleja i el bolbiase de canto,
    Prometiendole aber e riquezas a basto.
    La ora dijo Jusuf, “Allah mandara a farto.”

      Por do quier que cataba beia figora artera;
    Deciale Zaleja, “Esta es fiera manera;
    Tu eres un catibo é io tu Sennora certera;
    Io no puedo fazer que tu guies a mi carrera.”

      Jusuf en aquella ora quisose encantar;
    El pecado lo fazia que lo queria engannar;
    E bido que no era a su padre onrrar;
    Repentido fue luego i empezo de firmar.

      Jusuf bolbió las cuestas e empezo de fuir;
    De zaga ibale Zaleja, no lo podia sofrir;
    Trabolo de la falda como oirias decir,
    Echando grandes boces, “Aqui abras de benir.”

      Oiolo su marido por do allí bino pribado;
    Falló a Jusuf llorando su mal fado;
    Rota tenia la falda en su costado,
    I el su corazon negro por miedo de pecado.

      Zaleja tenia tendidos sus cabellos,
    En manera de forzada con sus olhos bermellos;
    Diziendo al buen Rei, “Sennor, de los consellos
    Aqui son menester; cata todos tus consejos.

      “Cata aqui tu catibo, que tenias en fieldad;
    Ame caecido por sin ninguna piedad,
    Abiendolo criado con tan gran piedad
    Como faze madre á filho ansi lo quise aquesto far.”

      Dijo el Rei a Jusuf aquesta razon;
    “Como me as pensado en tan grande traision,
    Tobiendote puesto en mi corazon?”
    La ora dijo Jusuf, “No bengo de tal morgon.”

      Reutaban á Zaleja las duennas del lugar
    Porque con su catibo queria boltariar.
    Ella de que lo supo arte las fue á buscar,
    Combidolas a todas e llebolas a cantar.

      Diolas ricos comeres é binos esmerados,
    Que hijan todas agodas de dictados,
    Diolas sendas toronjas e caminetes en las manos,
    Tajantes e apuestos e mui bien temperados.

      E fuese Zaleja a do Jusuf estaba,
    De purpura e de seda mui bien lo aguisaba,
    E de piedras preciosas mui bien lo afeitaba,
    Berdugadero en sus manos a las duennas lo embiaba.

      Ellas de que lo bieron perdieron su cordura,
    Tanto era de apuesto e de buena figura;
    Pensaban que era tan angel e tornaban en locura,
    Cortabanse las manos e non se abian cura,

      Que por las toronjas la sangre iba andando.
    Zaleja quando lo bido toda se fue alegrando;
    Dijoles Zaleja que fais lo cas de sin cuidado,
    Que por buesas manos la sangre iba andando.”

      I ellas de que lo bieron sintieron su locura.
    “Que a par una bista sola tomades en locura?
    Io que debia fazer e dende el tiempo que medura?”

      Dijeronle las duennas, “A ti no te colpamos,
    Nosotras somos las ierradas que te razonamos;
    Mas antes guisaremos que él te benga a tus manos
    De manera que seais abenidos enterambos.”

      E fueronse las duennas a Jusuf a rogar;
    Bederedes cada una como lo debia far;
    Pensabase Zaleja que por ella iban á rogar,
    Mas cada guna iba para sí a recabar.

      Jusuf quando aquesto bido reclamose al Criador;
    Diziendo, “Padre mio, de mi aiades dolor;
    Son tornadas de una muchas en mi amor,
    Pues mas quiero ser preso que no ser traidor.”

      Cuando bido Zaleja la cosa mal parada,
    Que por ninguna bia no pudo haber de entrada,
    Dijo al buen Rei, “Este me a difamada
    No teniendo la culpa, mas a falsia granada.”

      Echolo en la prision aqui a que se bolbiese,
    E que por aquello a ella obedeciese;
    E entiendolo el Rei ante que muriese
    E juró que non salria mientras que él bibiese.

      E quando aquesto fue fecho, Zaleja fue repentida;
    No lo abria querido fazer en dias de su vida,
    Diziendo, “O mezquina, nunca seré guarida
    De este mal tan grande en que soi caida.

      “Que si io supiera que esto abia de benir,
    Que por ninguna bia no se ha podido complir,
    Que io no he podido de este mal guarir,
    Por deseo de Jusuf habré io de morir.”

      Alli iaze diez annos como si fuese cordero,
    Daquí á que mandó el Rei á un su portero
    Echar en la prision dos ombres i el tercero,
    El uno su escancieno e el otro un panicero;

      Porque abian pensado al Rei de far traicion,
    Que en el bino e en el pan que le echasen ponzon.
    Probado fué al panicero, e al escancieno non,
    Porque mejor supo catar e encobrir la traicion.

      Allí do estaban presos mui bien los castigaba,
    E qualquiera que enfermaba mui bien lo curaba;
    Todos lo guardaban por do quiera que el estaba,
    Porque el lo merecia, su figura se lo daba.

      Sonno el escancieno un suenno tan pesado;
    Contolo a Jusuf, i sacosele de grado.
    Dijo, “Tu fues escancieno de tu Sennor onrrado,
    Mas oi en seras a tu oficio tornado,

      “E abras perdon de tu Sennor;
    Aiudete el seso i guiete el Criador,
    I a quien Allah da seso dale grande onor;
    Bolberas á tu oficio con mui grande balor.”

      Dijo el panicero al su compannero,
    “Io dire a Jusuf que e sonnado un suenno
    De noche en tal dia, quando salia el lucero,
    I beré que me dize en su seso certero.”

      Contole el panicero el suenno que queria,
    I sacosele Jusuf é nada no le mentia;
    Dijo, “Tu fues panicero del Rei todabia,
    Mas aqui iaceras porque fiziste falsia;

      “Que al tercero dia seras tu luego suelto,
    E seras enforcado a tu cabeza el tuerto,
    E comeran tus meollos las abes del puerto;
    Alli seras colgado hasta que sias muerto.”

      Dijo el panicero, “No sonné cosa certera,
    Que io me lo dezia por ber la manera.”
    Dijo Jusuf, “Esta es cosa berdadera,
    Que lo que tu dijestes, Allah lo embió por carrera.”

      Dijo Jusuf al escancieno aquesta razon;
    “Ruegote que recuerdes al Rei de mi prision,
    Que arto me a durado esta gran maldicion.”
    Dijo el escancieno, “Plaze me de corazon.”

      Que al tercero dia salieron de grado,
    E fueron delante del Rei, su Sennor onrrado;
    E mandó el panicero ser luego enforcado,
    Dijo, “El escancieno á su oficio a tornado.”

      Olbidosele al escancieno de decir el su mandado,
    E no le membro por dos años ni le fué acordado,
    Fasta que sonnó un suenno el Rei apoderado;
    Doce annos estubo preso, e esto mal de su grado.

      Aqueste fue el suenno que el Rei ubo sonnado,
    De que salia del agua un rio granado,
    Anir era su nombre preciado e granado,
    I bido que en salian siete bacas de grado.

      Eran bellas e gordas e de lai mui cargadas,
    I bido otras siete magras, flacas, e delgadas.
    Comianse las flacas a las gordas granadas,
    E no se les parecia ni enchian las hilladas.

      E bido siete espigas mui llenas de grano,
    Berdes e fermosas como en tiempo de berano;
    E bido otras siete secas con grano bano,
    Todas secas e blancas como caballo cano.

      Comianse las secas a las berdes del dia,
    E no se les parecia ninguna mejoria;
    Tornabanse todas secas cada guna bacia,
    Todas secas e blancas como de niebla fria.

      El Rei se marabello de como se comian
    Las flacas a las gordas granadas,
    I las siete espigas secas a las berdes mojadas,
    I entendio que en su suenno abia largas palabras,
    E no podia pensar a que fuesen sacadas.

      E llamo a los sabidores e el suenno les fue a contar,
    Que se lo sacasen e no ge diesen bagar,
    E ellos le dijeron, “Nos querais aquejar,
    Miraremos en los libros o no te daremos bagar.”

      Dijeronle, “Sennor, no seais aquejado;
    No son los suennos ciertos en tiempo arrebatado.
    Los amores crecen segun noso cuidado,
    Mas a las de beras suelen tornar en falso.”

      I amansose el Rei, e dioles de mano,
    Porque el entendio que andaban en bano.
    E ubo de saber aquello el escancieno,
    E binose al Rei, e diole la mano.

      E dijole, “Sennor, io sé un sabidor onrrado
    El qual está en prision firmemente atorteado;
    Dos annos abemos que del non me e acordado,
    E fecho como torpe, e sientome ierrado.

      “Ia me saco un suenno, cierto le bi benir.”
    E el Rei le respondio, “Amigo, empieza de ir,
    E contaselo todo, como as oido dezir,
    E librarlo emos mui presto e sacarlo io de alli.”

      E fuese el escancieno a Jusuf de grado,
    E dijo, “Perdoname, amigo, que olbidé tu mandado,
    E fizolo el miedo de mi Sennor onrrado,
    Mas agora es tiempo de mandarlo doblado.

      “Mas ruegote, ermano, en amor del Criador,
    Que me saques un suenno que bido mi Sennor.”
    La ora dijo Jusuf, “Plazeme de corazon,
    Pues que no puedo salir fasta que quiera el maior.”

      E contole el suenno todo bien cumplido,
    Porque no ierrase Jusuf en lo que era sabido.
    Quando el suenno fue contado, Jusuf ubo entendido;
    Dijo Jusuf, “El suenno es cierto e benido.

      “Sabras que las siete bacas gordas e granadas,
    E las siete espigas berdes e mojadas,
    Son siete annos mui llubiesos de aguas,
    Do quiera que sembraredes todas naceran dobladas.

      “I las magras bacas e las secas espigas
    Son siete annos de mui fuertes prisas;
    Comense a los buenos bien a las sus guisas,
    Do quiera que sembraredes no ia saldran espigas.

      “Porque face menester, que sembraredes á basto
    En estos annos buenos que aberedes á farto,
    I dejaredes probiendo para bosotros e al ganado
    I alzaredes lo a otro ansi fechos llegado.

      “Ansi con su espiga sin ninguna trilladura
    E la palla sera guardada mui bien de afolladura,
    Porque no ii caiga polilla, ni ninguna podredura,
    Porque en estos tiempos secos tengades folgadura.

      “Porque en aquestos annos tengades que comer
    E buestros bestiales e las bacas de beber,
    E todos los esforzades, e poredes guarecer,
    E saldreis al buen tiempo e abreis mucho bien.”

      Cuando bió el escancieno del suenno la glosa,
    Bolbiose al Rei con berdadera cosa,
    E fizole a saber al de la barba donosa,
    Que era el suenno con razon fermosa.

      E placiole mucho al Rei, e ovo gran plazer,
    E supole malo de tal preso tener,
    Cuerdo e berdadero, complido en el saber,
    E mandó que lo traiesen, que el lo queria ber.

      E fuese el escancieno a Jusuf con el mandado,
    E dijo como el Rei por él abia embiado,
    E que fuese presto del Rei, no fuese airado.
    E dijo Jusuf, “No sere tan entorbiado;

      “Mas buelbete al Rei i dile desta manera,
    Io que feuza tendré en su merced certera,
    Que me a tubido preso doce annos en la carcel negra
    A tuerto e sin razon e a traision berdadera.

      “Mas io de su prision no quiero salir
    Fasta que me benga de quien alli me fizo ir,
    De las duennas fermosas que me fizieron fuir,
    Quant se cortaban las manos e no lo podian sentir.

      “Aplazelas el Rei pues que me dannaron,
    Que digan la berdad porque me colparon,
    O por qual razon en carcel me echaron,
    Porque entienda el Rei, porque me acolparon.

      “E quando seran ajuntadas e Zaleja con ellas,
    Demandelas el Rei berdad a todas ellas,
    E quando el bera que la culpa tienen ellas
    La ora io saldré de mui buena manera.

      Aplazolas el Rei, e demandalas la berdad;
    Ellas le dijeron, “Todas fizimos maldad,
    E Jusuf fue certero manteniendo lealtad;
    Nunca quiso boltariar ni le dió la boluntad.”

      Lebantose Zaleja, i empezo de decir,
    “A todas las duennas no es otra de mentir,
    Sino de seier firmes e la berdad dezir,
    Que io me entremeti por mi loado dezir.

      “Que todas hizimos ierro si nos balga el Criador,
    E le tenemos culpa, Allah es perdonador;
    Jusuf es fuero de ierro e de pecado maior.”
    El Rei, quando las oiera, maldiciolas con dolor.

      E fizo saber el Rei a Jusuf la manera,
    Como era quito cosa berdadera
    De todas las duennas con prueba certera;
    E la ora salio Jusuf de la carcel negra.

      E en el portal de la prision fizo fazer un escripto;
    “La prision es fuesa de los hombres bibos
    E sitio de maldicion e banco de los abismos,
    E Allah nos cure de ella a todos los amigos.”

      Embiole el Rei mui rica cabalgadura
    E gran caballeria, e abianlo a cura;
    Llebanlo en medio como Sennor de natura,
    E fueronse al palacio del buen Rei de mesura.

      E el Rei como lo bido luego se fue á lebantar,
    E el Rei se fue a él, que no solia usar,
    E asentolo cabo a él, lo que no solia far,
    E en la ora le dijo el Rei, “Mi fillol te quiero far.”

      E con setenta fablaches el Rei le obo fablado,
    E respondiole Jusuf a cadauno pribado;
    E fabló Jusuf al Rei otro fablado e el Rei no supo dar recaudo,
    E marabillose el Rei de su saber granado.

      Dijo el Rei a Jusuf, “Ruegote, ermano,
    Que me cuentes el suenno que te dijo mi escancieno,
    Que lo oiga de tu lengua, i sea io alegrado,
    I aderezaremos nuestras cosas seiendo librado.”

      E dijo Jusuf al Rei, “Encomiendote al Criador,
    Que de aqueste suenno habras mui grande onor;
    Mas tu as menester hombre de corazon,
    Que ordene tu ficienda e la guie con balor.

      “Mas adreza tu ficienda como io te he fablado,
    Que el pan de la tierra todo seia alzado,
    El de los annos buenos para el tiempo afortunado,
    Que de sede e de fambre todo el mundo sea aquejado.

      “Berná toda la gente en los tiempos faltos,
    E mercaran el pan de los tus alzados
    Por oro e plata e cuerpos e algos,
    De manera que sereis Sennor de altos i de bajos.”

      E el Rei, quando esto oiera, comenzo de pensar;
    Jusuf, como le bido, bolbiole a fablar,
    I dijole, “En eso no pensedes, que Allah lo ha de librar,
    Que io habré de ser quien lo abré de guiar.”

      Dijo el Rei, “O amigo, e como me has alegrado;
    Io te lo agradezco, de Allah habras grado,
    Que tu seras aquel por quien se ensalzara el condado,
    I que de hoi adelante te dejo el reinado.

      “Porque tu perteneces mandar el reinado
    I a toda la gente ibierno e berano;
    Todos te ubedeceremos el joben e el cano,
    Como las otras gentes quiero ser de garado.

      “Porque tu lo mereces, de Allah te benga guianza;
    Pero ruegote, amigo, que seias en amiganza,
    Que me buelbas mi reino e no pongas dudanza,
    Al cabo de dicho tiempo no finques con mala andanza.

      “Con aquesta condicion que te quedes en tu estado,
    Como Rei en su tierra mandando i sentenciando,
    Que asi lo mandare hoi por todo el reinado,
    Que io no quiero ser ia mas Rei llamado.”

      I placiole a Jusuf, hubolo de otorgar,
    I en el sitio del Rei luego se ha de sentar,
    I mando el Rei a la gente delante del humillar;
    Firmemente lo guardaban como lo debian far.

      I quando bido Jusuf la luna prima i delgada
    En el seno que se iba con planta apresurada,
    Que dentraban los annos de bentura abastada,
    Mando juntar la tierra i toda su companna.

      I de que fueron llegados todos sus basallos,
    Fizoles a saber porque eran llegados,
    Que se fuesen a sembrar los bajos i altos,
    Que sembrasen toda la tierra balles e galachos.

      I fueronse a sembrar todos con cordura,
    Asi como mandaba su Sennor de natura;
    Benian redoblados con bien e con bentura,
    I marabillaronse de su sabencia pura.

      I luego mando Jusuf a todos sus maestros,
    Que fiziesen graneros de grandes peltrechos,
    Mui anchos i largos, de mui fuertes maderos,
    Para ad alzar el pan de los tiempos certeros.

      Nunca bieron hombres estancias tamannas,
    Unas encima de otras que semejaban montannas,
    I mando segar el pan ansi entre dos tallas,
    I ligar los fachos con cuerdas delgadas.

      I facialos poner en los graneros atados,
    Ansi con sus espigas que fuese bien guardado,
    Que no i caiese polilla ni nada ubiese cuidado;
    Cada anno lo hizo facer ansi, i fizieronlo de grado.

      E tanto llego del pan que no le fallaban quantia,
    E quando bido la luna en el seno que se iba,
    Que dentraba la seca de mui mala guisa,
    Mando que no sembrasen de pues de aquel dia,

      Fasta que pasasen otros siete annos cumplidos
    Que de sete e de fambre serian fallecidos;
    E no i abia aguas de cielo nin de rios;
    Ansi como lo dijo Jusuf, asi fueron benidos.

      I puso el Rei fieles para su pan bender,
    Buenos e berdaderos segun el su saber,
    E mando que diesen el derecho, ansi lo mando fazer,
    E precio subido por el que fiz prender.

      E mando a sus fieles que bendiesen de grado,
    El uno a los de la tierra, e el otro a los de fuera del reinado,
    A cada guno demandasen nuebas de do eran pribados,
    O, si eran de la tierra, que no les diesen recaudo.

      Que a pocos de dias las tierras fueron bacias
    De todo el pan e mercaderias,
    E no ia i abia que comer en cibdades ni en billas,
    E mercaban de Jusuf el que sabian las guaridas.

      Los primeros annos con dinero e moblo mercaron,
    Llebaron plata e oro e todo lo acabaron,
    E luego en pues de aquello la criazon ia lebaron,
    E no les basto aquello, que mucha res ia llebaron.

      Que al seteno anno bendieron los cuerpos,
    E fueron todos catibos todos bibos e muertos,
    E todo bolbio al Rei las tierras e los pueblos,
    I estendiose la fambre en reinos estrangeros.

      Pues, quando lo bido Jusuf todo a su mandar,
    E todos los catibos que podia bender o dar,
    Bolbiose al Rei e fuele a fablar;
    Dijo, “Que te parece, Rei, de lo que me has bisto far.”

      E dijole el Rei, “Tu aras por el reinado,
    Porque tu mereces mandar el condado,
    Porque tu perteneces mandar el reinado,
    Que io no quiero ser ia mas Rei llamado.”

      Dijo Jusuf al Rei aquesta razon;
    “Io fago franco a todos e quito con onor
    Ia tu tu reismo con todo Sennor;”
    La ora dijo el Rei, “Eso no seria razon,

      “Que no me lo consintiria el mi corazon,
    Que tan noble sabencia fuese a baldon;
    Antes de oi adelante quiero que tu seias Sennor.”

      E bido Jusuf la fambre apoderada,
    Que por toda la tierra era tan encargada;
    Entendio que en la tierra de su padre seria llegada;
    Puso ia regimiento como la nueba fuese arribada.

      Mas a pocos de dias la fambre fue llegada
    A tierra de Jacob e su barba onrrada;
    Tenia mucha gente e una moier guardada.

      Dijo Jacob, “Filhos, io he sentido
    Que en tierras de Egito hai un Rei cunplido,
    Bueno e berdadero, franco i entendido,
    E tiene mucho pan partido e bendido.

      “Querria que tomasedes deste nuestro aber,
    E que fueseis luego ad aquel Rei a ber,
    Contadle nuestra cuita e querra bos creier,
    Con la aiuda de Allah querra a bos bender.”

      Dijeron sus filhos, “Placemos de grado;
    Iremos a beier ad aquel Rei onrrado,
    E beremos la su tierra e tambien el su reinado,
    E, con la aiuda de Allah, él nos dara recaudo.”

      De que llegaron a la tierra abistada,
    Preguntaron por el Rei do era su posada;
    Dijo un escudero, “Aqui i es su morada;
    Io bos dare del pan e tambien de la cebada.

      “Que io soi fiel del Rei, que bendo el pan alzado
    A los de fuera del reino, a los otros no me es mandado;
    Decidme de donde sois, e libraros e de grado,
    O, si sois de aquesta tierra, no bos dare recaudo.

      “Decid me de donde sois o de que lugar,
    Porque podais deste pan llebar,
    E dare a cada guno quanto querais mercar,
    Segun el dinero le hare io mesurar.”

      I ellos le dijeron todos sus nombres,
    E la tierra de do eran, e como eran ermanos,
    Filhos de Jacob e de Ishac mui amados,
    En Cherusalem alli eran fincados.

      Ed entro el escudero al Rei e contestole la razon,
    E de que logar e de qual morgon,
    E filhos de Profeta de buena generacion;
    “Sennor, si tu lo mandas librarlos e con amor.”

      E mando el Rei que entrasen delante del pribado,
    E que les diesen de comer del maior pescado,
    E que los guardasen por todo el reinado,
    E no los dejasen ir tobiesen su mandado.

      E el Rei como los bido obo placer con ellos,
    E mandose aderezar el Rei de unos bestidos bellos,
    E mil caballeros al costado esquerro e mil al derecho,
    E de una parte placer e de otra gran despecho.

      Los bestidos que traia eran de gran balor,
    Eran de oro e de seda e de fermosa labor,
    E traia piedras preciosas de que salia claror,
    Mas traia algalia e mui rico golor.

      E mando qued entrasen a beier su figura,
    E dieronle salbacion segun su catadura,
    E mandolos asentar con bien i apostura,
    E marabillaronse de su buena bentura.

      Ellos estando en piedes i el Rei parado
    E belos el Rei fieramente catando,
    I ellos no se dudaban nin de abian cuidado,
    Retrobalos el Rei de amor e de grado.

      E de que bieron al Rei bella su catadura,
    Judas dijo, “Ermanos, oid mi locura,
    Temome de este Rei e de su encontradura,
    Roguemosle que nos embie por mesura.”

      Por mucho que le dijeron él no lo quiso far,
    Fasta el tercero dia alli los fizo estar,
    Fizoles mucha onrra, quanta les pudo far,
    Ansi como a filhos los mandaba guardar.

      La mesura del pan de oro era labrada,
    E de piedras preciosas era estrellada,
    I era de ber toda con guisa enclabada,
    Que fazia saber al Rei la berdad apurada.

      Dijoles el Rei, nuebas les demandaba,
    La mesura en su mano que se la meneaba,
    Disiendoles el Rei que mirasen lo que ablaban,
    Que si dezian mentira ella lo declaraba;

      Quien con el Rei abla guardese de mentir,
    Ni en su razon no quisiere mentir,
    Porque, quando lo fazia, haciala retinir,
    I ella le dezia berdad sin cuentradecir.

      Dijoles el Rei, “De quien sedes filhos,
    O de que linage sois benidos?
    Beos io de gran fuerza fermosos e cumplidos,
    Quiero que me lo digades e seremos amigos.”

      Ellos le dijeron, “Nosotros, Sennor,
    Somos de Profeta, creientes al Criador,
    De Jacob somos filhos, creientes al Criador,
    E benimos por pan si hallamos bendedor.”

      E firio el Rei en la mesura e fizola sonar,
    Ponela a su orelha por oir e guardar;
    Dijoles, e no quiso mas dudar,
    “Segun dize la mesura berdad puede estar.”

      Dijoles el Rei, “Quantos sos, amados?”
    Ellos le dijeron, “Eramos doze ermanos,
    I al uno se comio el lobo segun nos cuidamos,
    E el otro queda con él, su amor acabado.”

      Dijoles el Rei, “Prometo al Criador,
    Sino por acatar a buestro padre e sennor,
    Io os tendria presos en cadena con dolor,
    Mas por amor del biejo enbiaros e con onor.”

      Ellos dijeron, “Sennor, rogamoste en amor,
    Por el Sennor del mundo que te dio onrra e balor,
    Nos quieras embiar a nueso padre e sennor,
    I abras galardon e merced del Criador.

      “E no cates a nos, mas al biejo de nueso padre,
    Por que es ombre mui biejo e flaco, en berdad,
    Que si tu le conocieses querriaslo onrrar,
    Porque es ombre mui sano e de buena boluntad.”

      “Io no cato a bosotros, mas a quien debo mirar;
    E por aquel ombre bueno me benides a rogar,
    Allah me traiga en tiempo que io lo pueda onrrar,
    Que, como faze filho a padre, io asi lo quiero far.

      “Saludadme al biejo, a bueso padre el cano,
    I que me embie una carta con el chico bueso ermano,
    E que fue de su tristeza que a tornado en bano,
    E si aquesto olbidas no os daremos grano.

      “Mas en bosotros no me fio, ni me caie en grado;
    Mas, porque a mi sea cierto, quede el uno restado,
    Hasta que benga la carta con el chico bueso ermano;
    I en esto echad suertes qual quedara arrestado.”

      E caio la suerte a uno que dezian Simeon,
    El que corto la soga a Jusuf la sazon,
    Quando lo echaron en el pozo i caio alli el baron,
    E ubo de fincar alli con la dicha condicion.

      E luego el Rei mando la moneda a ellos ser tornada,
    E luego a cada uno en su saco ligada,
    E ellos no se dudaban nin de abian cuidado,
    I fizolo el Rei porque tornasen de grado.

      I espidieronse del Rei, e binieron mui pagados,
    E contaron al su padre del Rei e sus condados,
    Que nunca bieron tal Rei e de tantos basallos,
    E de buena manera e de consejos sanos;

      E que se berificaba en todo su afar
    E su padre Jacob en onrra e saber,
    Quien no lo conociese e lo fuese a ber,
    Entenderia que es Profeta, abrialo a creier.

      Desataron los sacos del trigo e ubieron catado,
    Fallaron la quantia que ubieron llebado;
    Dijeron a su Padre, “Este es ombre abonado,
    Que sobre toda la onrra la quantia nos a tornado.

      “Mas sepades, Padre, que el os embia a rogar,
    Que le embies a bueso filho e non le querais tardar,
    Con una carta escripta de todo bueso afar;
    Padre, si no nos lo dades, no nos cabe mas tornar,

      “Ni nos dará del pan, ni seremos creidos.
    Padre, si nos lo dades seremos guaridos,
    Ternemos nuestra fe i seremos creidos,
    E traeremos del pan e ganaremos amigos.”

      Dijoles el Padre, “No lo podria mandar;
    Este es mi bida e con él me e de conortar,
    Ni en bosotros io no quiero fiar,
    Porque antes de agora me obiestes a falsia.

      “Quando llebastes a Jusuf, no me lo tornastes,
    Quebrantastes buestra fe e buestro omenage,
    Perdistes a mi filho como desleales;
    Io quiero me guardar de todas buestras maldades.”

      Por mucho que le dijeron el no lo quiso far,
    Ni por ninguna bia lo quiso otorgar;
    Obieronme de sofrir e no ia quisieron tornar
    Fasta que el pan fue comido e no ia abia que amasar.

      E la ora tornaron a su padre a rogar
    Que les diese a su ermano e los quiera guiar,
    Que al buen Rei prometieron de sin él no tornar,
    E quellos lo guardarian sin ninguna crueldad.

      Tanto le dijeron e le fueron a rogar,
    E biendo la gran fortuna hubolo de otorgar,
    I ellos le prometieron de mui bien le guardar,
    E de no bolber sin él, jura le fueron a far.

      I a uno de sus filhos fizo facer un escripto,
    En el qual decia, “A tu Rei de Egipto
    Salud e buen amor de Jacob el tristo;
    Io te agradezco tu fecho e tu dicto.

      “A lo que me demandas que fue de mi estado,
    Sepas que mi bejez e mi bien e logrado,
    O la mi ceguedad que ia soi quebrantado,
    Primero por favor del Criador onrrado.

      “E por Jusuf mi filho, parte de mi corazon,
    Aquel que era fuerza de mi en toda sazon,
    I era mi amparo, e perdilo sin razon,
    No sé triste si es muerto o bibo en prision.

      “Entiendo que soi majado del Rei celestial,
    I ansi que deste mi filho tomes mancilla e pesar,
    E lo que io te ruego como a Rei natural,
    Que me buelbas a mi filho que por él soi io mortal.

      “Que si no por este filho io ia seria finado,
    Que el me daba conuerto de Jusuf el mi amado;
    Io te lo embio en fe que me lo tornes pribado,
    En guardete el Allah Sennor apoderado.”

      De que la carta fue fecha, dijolos él de grado,
    “Filhos, los mis filhos, cumplid el mi mandado;
    No entreis por una puerta mas por muchas pribado,
    Porque seria major porque ansi lo e probado.”

      Despidieronse de su padre e fueron con alegria,
    Caminaron todos juntos la noche i el dia,
    E llegaron a la cibdad con la claror del dia,
    I el Rei como lo supo ubo gran mejoria.

      E mandose aderezar el Rei de ricos bestidos,
    I a toda su gente mas ricas cabalgaduras,
    En balsamiento de oro, e safomerios de gran mesura,
    De diversas maneras i oloros de gran altura.

      Quando fue acabado lo que el Rei obo mandado,
    Mando qued entrasen delante de él pribado;
    E quando ellos por la corte iban dentrando,
    Echoles palmas el chico en las golores de grado.

      E besoles por su cara e por su bestidura;
    Rautabanlo los otros que hacia gran locura,
    Diziendo, “Que haces, loco de sin cordura?
    Entiendes que por tí han puesto aquesta fermosura?”

      Dijoles, “Ermanos, ruegoos no bos quejades,
    Oid mi razon que luego lo sabredes,
    Mas combieneos, ermanos, que os aparejedes,
    Porque entienda el Rei que parientes buenos tenedes.”

      E conocieron todos que tenia razon;
    Tomaron su consejo como de buen baron,
    E fueron delante del Rei con buena condicion;
    De parte del padre era su generacion.

      Tanto era el Rei de apuesto que, no lo conocian,
    Unos certificaban i otros no podian,
    I el Rei se sonrrio e dijo, que querian,
    O de que tierra eran, que buena gente parecian.

      I ellos le dijeron del afar pasado,
    De como traian la carta con el chico su ermano,
    Ansi como prometieron con omenage dado;
    Pusieronle delante e placiole de grado.

      Traia con él una carta escripta
    Del estado de su padre e de su bida feita;
    El Rei quando la leio lloro con gran mancilla,
    I encubriose de los otros que ellos no lo beian.

      E luego mando el Rei a todos sus menesteres,
    E de enbarillamiento de oro henchesen las mesas,
    E otras tantas de plata de dibersas maneras,
    E mandoles asentar a que comiesen en ellas.

      E de que fueron sentados mando que los sirbiesen,
    E mando el Rei que de dos en dos comiesen,
    Ansi como nacieron que ansi lo fiziciesen,
    Por que a él le parecia a que no se ende estobiesen.

      De que bieron de comer entre dos una escodilla
    Hubo de fincar el chico con su mano en la mexilla,
    Porque fincaba solo triste con mancilla,
    Por tristeza de su ermano que eran de una nacida.

      E bedosele él comer por dolor de su ermano,
    Porque comia cada guno con su par ermano,
    Llorando con tristeza e el su meollo cano,
    E dejo el comer el filho del cano.

      Quando aquesto ubieron fecho caio amortecido,
    E el Rei quando lo bido a el fue arremetido,
    Tomolo de la mano i onrrole el balido.

      Dijo el Rei, “Amigo, quien te a ferido?”
    Dijo él, “Bos soi, Sennor, cumplido,
    Que me mandaste a mi ermano el balido,
    El qual mi corazon no lo echo en olbido.”

      Dijo el Rei, “Amigo, quieres me perdonar
    Que io no sabia quien eras ni de que lugar,
    Pues que tu fincas solo abrete de acompannar,
    En lugar de tu ermano con tu quiero iantar.”

      Sirbiole el Rei de buena boluntad,
    E mando que le parasen mesa de gran beldad,
    Que quiere comer con él que le abia piedad,
    Tanta fue la bondad del Rei i onrra que le fue a dar.

      Que le quito la ira e comio con él de grado;
    Sus ermanos que lo bieron tomaron mal cuidado,
    E por inbidia quisieron aberlo matado,
    Disiendo unos a otros, “Aqueste nuestro ermano

      “Allá con nuestro padre luego fará grandia
    De que seremos en nuestra tierra el todabia,
    ‘Io comi con el Rei porque lo merecia,
    I aquestos a mis piedes de noche e de dia.’”

      Dijole el Rei, si abia moier e filho;
    I él le dijo, “E moier con tres ninnos;
    Por deseo de Jusuf puseles nombres piadosos,
    El qual mi corazon no lo echa en olbido.

      “Al uno dizen Lobo, i al otro dizen Sangre,
    I al otro dizen Jusuf, filho de buena madre;
    Esto porque dijeron mis ermanos a mi padre,
    Que el lobo maldito en Jusuf se fue afartado.

      “Traieron su sangre en su camisa clara,
    E io con aquestos nombres no olbido su cara;
    Pero no le olbido de noche ni de dia encara,
    Porque el era mi bida i era mi amparo.

      “Nacimos dambos juntos en el bientre de mi madre,
    I ubose de perder en el tiempo de mi padre;
    No sé triste si es muerto o bibo en tierra o mar;
    Habeismelo mandado e fizisteme pesar.”

      I aquejosele al Rei a la ora el corazon,
    I quiso echar boces i encubrir la razon,
    I tomolo de la mano i apartolo a un rincon,
    I dijole el Rei i ablo como baron.

      Dijole el Rei, “Conoces me, escudero?”
    I él le dijo, “No a fe, caballero.”
    Dijo, “Io soi Jusuf, io soi tu ermano certero.”
    I abrazaronse dambos i andarian un millero.

      Tanto tomo del gozo con Jusuf su ermano,
    Que caio amortecido el su miollo bano,
    I el Rei como le bido tomole de la mano,
    Dijoles, “No haias miedo mientras io seia sano.”

      Apartolo el Rei i dijole esta razon;
    “Io quiero que finques con mi en toda sazon,
    No lo sabra ninguno, muger ni baron,
    Io acerlo e con buen arte e mui buena razon.

      “E por far lo mas secreto te fago sabidor,
    Porque non aias miedo ni ningun temor,
    Io mandare meter la mesura de balor
    Dentro en el tu saco, i esto por tu amor.”

      Ninguno sabia del Rei la puridad,
    I embioles a todos de buena boluntad:
    Caminaron todos juntos toda la ermandad,
    E de alli oieron boces de gran crueldad.

      E pararonse todos a ber que querian,
    E bieron que era el Rei con gente que corrian,
    Diciendo, “Guardaos, traidores, que abeis echo falta;
    Mala obra obrastes al Rei todabia.”

      Quedaronse todos cada guno espantado
    Del dicho que oieron a tan mal airado,
    E dijeron todos, “Aun ganades gran pecado
    De llamarnos ladrones, no siendo probado.

      “Decidnos que queredes o que demandades,
    O que os han furtado que ansi bos quejades.”
    E ellos les dijeron, “La mesura bos tomastes,
    La que decia al Rei todas las berdades.

      “Dela quien la tiene, i albricias le daremos,
    Un cafiz de trigo del mejor que tenemos.”
    I ellos los dijeron, “Por la fe que tenemos,
    No somos malfautores que nos no lo faremos.

      “No benimos de natura de fazer desguisado,
    No lo abemos fecho en el tiempo pasado,
    Esto bien sabedes, pues nos lo abeis probado;
    No nos aquejeis aquejamiento airado.”

      E dijo un caballero aquesta razon;
    “Amigos, si mentedes, que sera en gualardon?”
    I ellos le dijeron, “Catebo quede el ladron
    Al uso de la tierra con mui buena razon.”

      Buscaron los sacos del trigo e cada uno pribado,
    Dejaronse en tal mente el del chico atado;
    Sus ermanos de que lo bieron tomaron mal cuidado,
    Porque como su saco no le abian buscado.

      Dijeron al Rei i tambien a su caudillo,
    Porque no abian buscado el saco de su ermanillo;
    Dijeron ellos, “Antes bamos al castillo”;
    E ellos mismos le buscaron e fallaron el furtillo.

      E de que bieron ellos todos los ermanos
    Que era la mesura, quedaron espantados;
    Dijeron, “O ermano, como nos as abellado,
    Que te abe acontecido quedamos desonrrados.”

      Dijo, “Ermanos, ruegoos no bos quejedes;
    Oidme razon que luego lo beredes,
    Que io culpa no bos tengo e luego lo otorguedes;
    No lo querrio far por quanto bosotros tenedes.

      “Mas acuerdeseos, ermanos, quando fallastes la quantia
    Cada uno en su saco no supiendola aquel dia,
    Si aquello bosotros furtastes de noche o de dia
    Ansi e furtado io la mesura todabia

      “Si dezis que no sabeis, tampoco sabo io,
    Que aquesto nunca furte ni nunca tal fize io.”
    Sus ermanos que le bieron en su razonar
    E con aquello ubieron a sosegar.

      Dijeron, “Sennor, si a furtado no lo aias a marabella,
    Que un ermano tenia de mui mala pelelha;
    Quando era chico furtose una cinta bella,
    Ellos eran de una madre, e nosotros non de aquella.”

      E sonriose el Rei dentro en su corazon
    De la palabra mala dicha a sin razon;
    Dijoles el Rei, “Io bos dicho la razon,
    Que todos a mi tenedes figuras de ladron.”

      E mando que lo tomasen e lo llebasen rastrado,
    Mas no de manera que ia lo abia mandado,
    Mas porque sus ermanos fuesen certificados,
    Que lo llebaban preso i esto mal de su grado.

      E mandolo llebar el Rei a su camara real
    Fasta que sus ermanos fuesen a iantar;
    E quando fueron idos e mandados del lugar,
    El Rei se fue aprisa a su ermano a fablar.

      E tomaronse los dos luego de mano a mano,
    Disendole el Rei, “Io soi Jusuf tu ermano,
    El que fue perdido de mi padre el cano,
    El qual por mi es triste i io por él no soi sano.”

      Mandolo adereza el Rei de nobles pannos pribados,
    Los mejores que abia en todos sus reinados;
    Dijole el Rei, “Ermano acabado,
    Ruegote que te alegres e fagas lo que te mando.

      “Ir tu a nuesos ermanos i bere en que andan,
    O que querran fazer, e bere que demandan.”
    Quando el Rei fue a ellos fallolos que pensaban,
    Tristes e mal andantes con berguenza andaban.

      Firio el Rei en la mesa como de primero;
    El son escuitaba el buen Rei berdadero,
    Disendoles, “Que dize este son certero?”
    I dijeronle ellos, “No lo entendemos a fe, caballero.”

      “Dize aqueste son, que todos abeis pecado
    De setenta annos aca, que no os abeis tornado.”
    E comenzaron de plorar e dijeron, “Sennor onrrado,
    Quierenos perdonar e del maior ende abras grado.

      “E no cates a nos, que andamos en bano,
    Mas cata a nueso padre que ia es anciano,
    Que si tu le conocieses a nueso padre el cano,
    Luego le embiaras al preso nueso ermano.”

      E quando oiera el nombre de Jacob nombrar
    Afligiosele el corazon i el Rei cuido llorar;
    Dijoles, “Amigos, sino fuera por acatar
    A bueso padre Jacob, io bos faria matar.”

      Dijoles el Rei, “Id buesa carrera;
    No bos e menester por ninguna manera;
    Bueso padre me rogo por su carta berdadera
    Que luego os embiase en toda manera.”

      Bolbieronse al Rei de cabo a rogar,
    Que les diese a su ermano e los quiera guiar,
    Que a su padre prometieron de sin él no tornar,
    E que tomase al uno de ellos e lo pusiese en su lugar.

      Dijoles el Rei, “Eso no seria razon
    Que io tomase al catibo e dejase al ladron;
    Id de aqui; no me enojeis que me haiceis gran sermon,
    I empezad de caminar que no abreis mas razon.”

      I apartaronse a consejo en que manera farian,
    O a su padre que razon le darian,
    O si por fuerza de alli lo sacarian,
    E la fe que dieron como se la tendrian.

      Comenzó de dezir Judas el maior,
    “Id a bueso padre e contadle la razon,
    Que su filho ha furtado, fizo nos desonor,
    Que el Rei lo tiene preso por furto de grand balor.

      “Porque sepades, ermanos, que io de aqui no partiria,
    Que todos le prometimos de no fazerle falsia,
    Ni a nueso padre mentir no le poria;
    Fasta que el Rei lo mande, io de aqui no iria.

      “Mas fagamos tanto, si nos caie en grado,
    Bolbamos al Rei, i roguemosle pribado,
    I, si no lo quiere fazer, pongamos i a recaudo,
    Conbatiremos el castillo i en la cibdad entramos.

      “Io fallo en la cibdad nuebe barrios granados,
    I el palacio del Rei al un costado,
    Io combatiré al Rei e matarle e a recaudo,
    I bosotros a la cibdad cada uno a su barrio.”

      I dentro Judas al Rei, sannudo como un leon,
    Dijo, “Ruegote, Rei, que me des un don,
    Que me des a mi ermano, i abernos gualardon,
    I, sino lo quieres fazer, tomar no quieres onor.

      “Que si echo una boz como faze el cabron,
    No fincara en la comarca muger ni baron,
    Ni aun prennada que no crie la sazon,
    Todos amortecidos caeran a baldon.”

      Dijoles el Rei, “Faced lo que querrades,
    Que en mal grado os lo pongo, si bos no lo fazedes,
    Que si bos sois de fuerza, otros ne fallaredes,
    Que en lugar sois agora e menester lo abredes.”

      Judas se ensanno de una sanna mui airada;
    El tomo una muela mucho grande i pesada,
    I echola por cima del muro como a una manzana,
    I mandola bolber al Rei a su lugar sitiada.

      Allegose el Rei a la muela pribado,
    I puso el pie en el olhola mui irado,
    Mui alta por cima del muro denque por él no era posada,
    E la falda no era arremangada.

      Judas en aquella hora empezose de ensannar,
    I el Rei como lo conocia dejole bien hinchar,
    E, quando entendio que abia de baciar,
    Senno a su filho que lo fuese a tocar.

      E lebantose su filho e fuele a tomar,
    Delante del Rei su padre lo fue a llebar,
    E luego la sanna se le fue a quitar,
    E tambien la fuerza le fue a faltar.

      E fue a buscar a sus ermanos e non de bido cosa;
    “En mi alma me a tocado esta criazon donosa;
    Entiendo que es criazon de Jacob esta barba canosa;”
    E fuelos a buscar por la cibdad donosa.

      E quando los fallo dijo, “Ermanos, quien me a tocado?”
    Ellos le dijeron, “No nos a la fe, ermano.”
    Dijo, “Cierto sois segun mi cuidado
    De la crianza de Jacob anda por el mercado.”

      Alli fablo Jahuda a todos sus ermanos,
    “Este es el consejo de los ombres malos;
    Quando io bos decia no seiamos ierrados,
    E no me quisisteis creier, caimos en los lazos.

      “Quando io dezia algun bien, no me queriais escuchar;
    De mi padre me pesa quanto me puede pesar;
    Roguemos al Criador que nos aia piedad,
    E tambien al noble Rei que nos quiera perdonar.”

      Alli fué a ablar Judas el maior;
    “Bamos delante del Rei con mui fermosa razon,
    E de qualquiera manera demandemosle perdon,
    Querria que fuesemos fuera del Reino del Leon.”

      E fueronse al Rei e dijeronle esta razon;
    “Quieres acatar primero al Criador,
    I a nueso padre Jacob, de Allah es conocedor.”
    Dijoles el Rei, “Guerra me izistes e error.

      “Io quiseos mostrar mi fuerza i mi bentura,
    E porque todos entendiesedes con seso i cordura
    Que la nuestra fuerza sobra por natura;”
    E perdonolos el Rei i asentose la mesura.

      I ellos estaban alegres porque el Rei los abia perdonado;
    E dijoles el Rei, “Amigos, la mesura me a fablado,
    E dize que ad aquel bueso ermano en un pozo lo abeis echado,
    Io creo que lo fizistes e eso mas de grado.

      “E quando lo sacastes por mal precio fue bendido,
    Distes lo por beinte dineros como abatido.”
    “Rogamoste, Sennor, que seamos creidos,
    No creia tales malezas, de tal parte no benimos.”

      E saco el Rei una carta que tenia en alzado,
    Escripta en Ebraico del tiempo pasado,
    De como lo bendieron e lo ubieron mercado,
    E tubola guardada el balido fasta de aquel estado.

      Judas tomo la carta e leio dictados,
    Llorando de sus olhos todos marabillados,
    Disiendo, “Quien dio esta carta al Rei en sus manos?”
    Dijoles el Rei, “No seiades dudados.”

      Dijeron, “Sennor, aquesta es carta
    Del catibo que teniamos i dimosla por falta.”
    Judas leio toda aquella carta;
    Dijoles el Rei, “Sois de mui mala barta.”

      E firio el Rei en la mesa como de primero
    I el son escuitaba el buen Rei berdadero,
    Disendoles el Rei, “Dice este son certero,
    Que aquel bueso ermano es bibo e caballero.

      “E que sinifica, que el cierto no es muerto,
    E que aun bendra con mui gran conpuerto,
    E dira a todas las gentes los que le abian buelto,
    I a todos los de la tierra los que le an fecho tuerto.

      “E dira aqueste son que todos sois pecadores,
    E que a bueso padre izisteis malas labores,
    I que es la su tristeza por los buesos ierrores,
    Cada dia le entristecedes como fazen traidores.”

      I el Rei quando bido aquesto llamo a sus pribados,
    Que llamasen a los ferreros e les cortasen las manos;
    I ellos, de que los bieron con cuchillos i mazos,
    Dijeron, “Somos perdidos por nuesos pecados.”

      E dijeron al Rei, “Si nosotros lo biesemos,
    La tierra que él pisara todos la besariamos;
    Mas conbiene nos que nos remediemos,
    E mejoremos bentura e todos escaparemos.”

      E perdonolos el Rei puesque conocieron
    Que andaban ierrados, e se arrepintieron,
    E fizieron buenas obras e ansi lo prometieron,
    E fueron a su padre, e grande alegria fizieron.

      Alli se fue a quedar Judas i Simeon,
    I no fueron a su padre mas de ocho, non;
    I el padre, quando los bido, dijo aquesta razon,
    “No abedes berguenza de muger ni de baron.

      “Que son de buesos ermanos el chico e maior e menor,
    Candela de mis olhos que por él soi con dolor?”
    Dijeronle, “Padre, la mesura furto al Emperador;
    El Rei lo abria muerto sino por tu amor.

      “I quedan por tu berguenza Judas i Simon,
    No quisieron benir por ninguna razon.”
    E dijoles el Padre, “Benides con traicion,
    De guisa faredes que non de quedara morgon.

      “Cada dia menguades e crece mi tristura,
    I aun testiguades firmemente en locura,
    Que mi filho furto al Rei la mesura.”
    I dijeronle, “Padre, lo que bimos es cierto todabia.”

      E fizoles una carta para daquel Rei onrrado,
    Mas le enbiaba a dezir que buscasen a su ermano,
    A Jusuf el chico, el mal abenturado,
    Por do quiera que pasasen siempre abenturando.

      I dijeronle, “Padre, bolbes en buesa cordura;
    Agora nos i mentades de muertos sin figura.”
    Dijoles, “Fared lo que io mando, que io sé de la altura
    Lo que bosotros no sabeis, de buen Sennor de natura.”

        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·
        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·

There is little, as it seems to me, in the early narrative poetry of
any modern nation better worth reading, than this old Morisco version
of the story of Joseph. Parts of it overflow with the tenderest natural
affection; other parts are deeply pathetic; and everywhere it bears the
impress of the extraordinary state of manners and society that gave it
birth. From several passages, it may be inferred that it was publicly
recited; and even now, as we read it, we fall unconsciously into a
long-drawn chant, and seem to hear the voices of Arabian camel-drivers,
or of Spanish muleteers, as the Oriental or the romantic tone happens
to prevail. I am acquainted with nothing in the form of the old
metrical romance that is more attractive,--nothing that is so peculiar,
original, and separate from every thing else of the same class.

No. II.


The next of the Inedita is the “Danza General,” which I have noticed,
(Vol. I. pp. 89-91,) and which is found in the Library of San Lorenzo
del Escorial, MSS., Cas. IV., Let. b, No. 21. In note 27 on the passage
referred to I have suggested a reason for conjecturing that the Spanish
poem may be taken from an earlier French one; but I ought to add, that,
so far as I am aware, this ghastly fiction is not known to exist in any
earlier form, than that in which it appears in this Manuscript.

  Aqui comienza la danza general, en la qual tracta como la muerte
  dice abisa á todas las criaturas, que pare mientes en la brevedad
  de su vida, é que della mayor cabdal non sea fecho que ella
  meresce. E asy mesmo les dice é requiere que bean é oyan bien lo
  que los sabios pedricadores les disen é amonestan de cada dia,
  dandoles bueno é sano consejo, que puguen en fazer buenas obras
  por que ayan conplido perdon de sus pecados. E luego syguiente,
  mostrando por espiriençia lo que dise, llama e requiere á todos
  los estados del mundo, que vengan de su buen grado ó contra su
  boluntad. Comenzando, dise ansy.


      Yo so la muerte cierta á todas criaturas
    Que son é seran en el mundo durante;
    Demando y digo, o orbe, porque curas
    De vida tan breve en punto pasante;
    Pues non ay tan fuerte nin rescio gigante,
    Que deste mi arco se puede amparar;
    Conviene que mueras quando lo tirar
    Con esta mi frecha cruel traspasante.

      Que locura es esta tan magniesta,
    Que piensas tu, ome, que el otro morirá
    Et tu quedaras por ser bien compuesta
    La tu complysion, é que durará?
    Non eres cierto, sy en punto verná
    Sobre ty á desora alguna corrupcion
    De jandre ó carbonco ó tal ynphyçyon,
    Porque el tu vil cuerpo se desatará.

      O piensas, por ser mancebo valiente
    O niño de dias, que á lueñe estaré,
    O fasta que llegues á viejo impotente
    La mi venida me detardaré.
    Abisate bien que yo llegaré
    A ty á desora, que non he cuydado
    Que tu seas mancebo ó viejo cansado,
    Que qual te fallare tal te levaré.

      La plática muestra ser pura berdad;
    Aquesto que digo, syn otra fallencia,
    La santa escriptura con çertinidad
    Da sobre todo su firme sentencia,
    A todos disciendo, fasced penitencia,
    Que a morir avedes non savedes quando;
    Sy non ved el frayre que esta predicando,
    Mirad lo que disce de su grand sabiençia.


      Señores honrados, la santa escriptura
    Demuestra e disce, que todo ome nascido
    Gostara la muerte, maguer sea dura,
    Ca truxo al mundo un solo bocado,
    Ca Papa ó rey ó obispo sagrado,
    Cardenal ó duque ó conde excelente,
    O emperador con toda su gente,
    Que son en el mundo de morir han forçado.


      Señores, punad en fascer buenas obras;
    Non vos confiedes en altos estados,
    Que non vos valdran thesoros nin doblas
    A la muerte que tiene sus lasos parados;
    Gemid vuestras culpas, descid los pecados,
    En cuanto podades con satisfaçion,
    Sy queredes aver complido perdon
    De aquel que perdona los yerros pasados.

      Fasced lo que digo, non vos detardedes,
    Que ya la muerte encomienza á hordenar
    Una dança esquiva de que non podedes
    Por cosa ninguna que sea escapar;
    A la cual disce, que quiere levar
    A todos nosotros lançando sus redes;
    Abrid las orejas que agora oyredes
    De su charambela un triste cantar.


      A la dança mortal venit los nascidos,
    Que en el mundo sois, de qualquiera estado;
    El que no quisiere, a fuerça é amidos
    Fascer le he venir muy toste privado,
    Pues que ya el frayre vos ha predicado,
    Que todos vayais á fascer penitencia;
    El que non quisiere poner diligencia
    Por mi non puede ser mas esperado.


      Esta mi dança traye de presente
    Estas dos donçellas que vedes fermosas;
    Ellas vinieron de muy mala mente
    A oyr mis canciones que son dolorosas;
    Mas non les valdran flores ny rosas,
    Nin las composturas que poner solian;
    De mi si pudiesen partir se querrian,
    Mas non puede ser, que son mis esposas.

      A estas y á todos, por las aposturas,
    Daré fealdad la vida partida,
    E desnudedad por las vestiduras,
    Por siempre jamas muy triste aborrida.
    O, por los palacios, daré por medida
    Sepulcros escuros de dentro fedientes;
    E, por los manjares, gusanos royentes
    Que coman de dentro su carne podrida.

      E porque el santo padre es muy alto señor
    E que en todo el mundo non ay su par,
    E desta mi dança será guiador;
    Desnude su capa, comiençe á sotar,
    Non es ya tiempo de perdones dar,
    Nin de celebrar en grande aparato,
    Que yo le daré en breve mal rato;
    Dançad, padre santo, sin mas detardar.


      ¡Ay de mi triste! que cosa tan fuerte
    A yo, que tractaba tan grand preslacia,
    Aber de pasar agora la muerte,
    E non me valer lo que dar solia;
    Beneficios é honrras é gran señoria
    Tobe en el mundo, pensando vevir;
    Pues de ty, muerte, non puedo fuyr,
    Valme Jesuchristo e la virgen Maria.


      Non vos enojedes, señor padre santo,
    De andar en mi dança que tengo ordenada
    Non vos valdrá el vermejo manto;
    De lo que fuistes abredes soldada;
    Non vos aprovecha echar la cruzada,
    Proveer de obispados, nin dar beneficios;
    Aqui moriredes syn ser mas bollicios.
    Dançad, imperante, con cara pagada.


      Que cosa es esta que á tan syn pauor
    Me lleva á su dança, á fuerça, sin grado?
    Creo, que es la muerte, que non ha dolor
    De ome que sea, grande ó cuytado.
    No hay ningund rey nin duque esforçado,
    Que della me pueda agora defender;
    Acorredme todos; mas non puede ser,
    Que ya tengo della todo el seso turbado.


      Emperador muy grande, en el mundo potente,
    Non vos cuitedes, ca non es tiempo tal
    Que librar vos pueda imperio nin gente,
    Oro, nin plata, nin otro metal;
    Aqui perderedes el vuestro cabdal,
    Que athesorastes con grand tyrania,
    Faciendo batallas de noche e de dia.
    Morid, non curedes. Venga el cardenal.


      Ay, madre de Dios, nunca pensé ver
    Tal dança como esta á que me fasen yr;
    Querría, si pudiese, la muerte estorcer,
    Non sé donde vaya, comienço á thremer.
    Siempre trabajé noctar y escrevir
    Por dar beneficios á los mis criados;
    Agora mis miembros son todos torvados,
    Que pierdo la vista e non puedo oyr.


      Reverendo padre, bien vos abisé,
    Que aqui avriades por fuerça allegar
    En esta mi dança en que vos faré
    Agora ayna un poco sudar;
    Pensastes el mundo por vos trastornar
    Por llegar á papa e ser soberano;
    Mas non lo seredes aqueste verano.
    Vos, rey poderoso, venit á dançar.


      Valia, valia, los mis caballeros,
    Yo non querria yr á tan baxa dança;
    Llegad, vos con los ballesteros,
    Hamparadme todos, por fuerça de lança;
    Mas, que es aquesto que veo en balança
    Acortarse mi vida é perder los sentidos?
    El coraçon se me quiebra con grandes gemidos;
    Adios, mis vasallos, que muerte me trança.


      Ay, fuerte tirano, que siempre robastes
    Todo vuestro reyno ó fenchistes el arca;
    De fazer justicia muy poco curastes,
    Segunt es notorio por vuestra comarca;
    Venit para mi, que yo so monarca,
    Que prenderé á vos é á otro mas alto;
    Llegat á la dança cortés en un salto;
    En pos de vos venga luego el patriarca.


      Yo nunca pensé venir á tal punto,
    Nin estar en dança tan sin piedad;
    Ya me van privando, segunt que barrunto,
    De beneficios e de dignidad.
    O home mesquino! que en grand ceguedad
    Andove en el mundo non parando mientes,
    Como la Muerte, con sus duros dientes,
    Roba á todo home de qualquier edad.


      Señor Patriarca, yo nunca robé
    En alguna parte cosa que non deva;
    De matar á todos costumbre lo he;
    De escapar alguno de mi non se atreva.
    Esto vos ganó vuestra madre Eva
    Por querer gostar fruta derredada.
    Poned en recabdo vuestra cruz dorada;
    Sygase con vos el Duque antes que mas veva.


      O, que malas nuevas son estas syn falla,
    Que agora me trahen, que vaya á tal juego!
    Yo tenia pensado de faser batalla;
    Esperame un poco, Muerte, yo te ruego.
    Sy non te detienes, miedo he, que luego
    Me prendas ó me mates; abré de dexar
    Todos mis deleytes, ca non puede estar,
    Que mi alma escape de aquel duro fuego.


      Duque poderoso, ardit e valiente,
    Non es ya tiempo de dar dilaciones;
    Andad en la dança con buen continente!
    Dexad á los otros vuestras guarniciones!
    Jamas non podredes cebar los alcones,
    Hordenar las justas, nin faser torneos;
    Aqui avran fin los vuestros deseos.
    Venit, Arçobispo, dexat los sermones!


      Ay, Muerte cruel, que te merescí!
    O porque me llebas tan arrebatado?
    Viviendo en deleytes nunca te temí;
    Fiando en la vida, quedé engañado.
    Mas sy yo bien rrijera mi arçobispado,
    De ti non oviera tan fuerte temor,
    Mas siempre del mundo fuy amador;
    Bien se que el infierno tengo aparejado.


      Senor Arçobispo, pues tan mal registres
    Vuestros súbditos é cleresçia,
    Gostad amargura por lo que comistes
    Manjares diversos con grand golosya.
    Estar non podredes en Santa María
    Con palo Romano en pontifical;
    Venit á mi dança pues soes mortal!
    Pare el Condestable por otra tal vía!


      Yo vi muchas danças de lindas doncellas,
    De dueñas fermosas de alto linaje,
    Mas, segunt me paresce, no es esta dellas,
    Ca el thañedor trahe feo visaje.
    Venit, camarero! desid á mi paje,
    Que trayga el caballo, que quiero fuir,
    Que esta es la dança que disen morir;
    Sy della escapo, thener me han por saje.


      Fuyr non conviene al que ha de estar quedo;
    Estad, Condestable, dexat el caballo!
    Andad en la dança alegre muy ledo,
    Syn faser rruydo, ca yo bien me callo.
    Mas verdad vos digo que, al cantar del gallo,
    Seredes tornado de otra figura;
    Alli perderedes vuestra fermosura.
    Venit vos, Obispo, á ser mi vasallo!


      Mis manos aprieto, de mis ojos lloro,
    Porque soi venido á tanta tristura;
    Yo era abastado de plata y de oro,
    De nobles palacios é mucha folgura:
    Agora la Muerte, con su mano dura,
    Traheme en su dança medrosa sobejo;
    Parientes, amigos, ponedme consejo,
    Que pueda salir de tal angostura!


      Obispo sagrado, que fuestes pastor
    De animas muchas, por vuestro pecado
    A juicio yredes ante el Redentor,
    E daredes cuenta de vuestro obispado.
    Syempre anduvistes de gentes cargado,
    En corte de rey é fuera de ygreja,
    Mas yo gorsiré la vuestra pelleja.
    Venit, Caballero, que estades armado!


      A mi non paresce ser cosa guisada,
    Que dexe mis armas e vaya dançar
    A tal dança negra, de llanto poblada,
    Que contra los vivos quesiste hordenar.
    Segunt estas conviene dexar
    Mercedes e tierras que gané del rrey;
    Pero, á la fyn, sin dubda non sey
    Qual es la carrera que abré de levar.


      Caballero noble, ardit, é lijero,
    Fased buen semblante en vuestra persona!
    Non es aqui tiempo de contar dinero;
    Oyd mi cancion, por que modo entona!
    Aqui vos faré mover la athaona,
    E despues veredes como pone freno
    A los de la banda que roban lo ageno.
    Dançad, Abad gordo, con vuestra corona!


      Maguer provechoso só á los religiosos,
    De tal dança, amigos, yo non me contento;
    En mi celda avia manjares sabrosos,
    De ir non curava comer a convento.
    Darme hedes sygnado como non consyento
    De andar en ella, ca he grand rescelo,
    E, sy tengo tiempo, provoco y apelo;
    Mas non puede ser que ya desatiento.


      Don Abad bendicto, folgado, vicioso.
    Que poco curastes de vestir çelicio,
    Abraçadme agora, seredes mi esposo,
    Pues que deseades placeres é vicio;
    Ca yo so bien presta á vuestro servicio,
    Avedme por vuestra, quitad de vos saña,
    Que mucho me plaze en vuestra compaña.
    E vos, Escudero, venit al oficio!


      Dueñas é doncellas, aved de mi duelo!
    Que fasenme por fuerça dexar los amores,
    Echome la muerte su sotil ansuelo,
    Fasenme dançar dança de dolores;
    Non trahen por cierto firmalles nin flores
    Los que en ella dançan, mas grand fealdad;
    Ay de mi cuytado! que en grand vanidad
    Andove en el mundo sirviendo señores.


      Escudero polido, de amor sirviente,
    Dejad los amores de toda persona!
    Venit! ved mi dança é como se adona!
    E á los que dançan acompañaredes.
    Mirad su figura! tal vos tornaredes,
    Que vuestras amadas non vos querran ver.
    Abed buen conorte que ay ha de ser.
    Venit vos, Dean, non vos corrçedes!


      Que es aquesto que yo de mi seso salgo?
    Pensé de fuyr é non fallo carrera;
    Grand venta tenia é buen deanasgo
    E mucho trigo en la mi panera.
    Allende de aquesto estava en espera
    De ser proveido de algund obispado;
    Agora la Muerte enbiome mandado,
    Mala señal veo, pues fasen la sera.


      Don rico avariento, Dean muy ufano,
    Que vuestros dineros trocastes en oro,
    A pobres é á viudas cerrastes la mano
    E mal despendistes el vuestro tesoro;
    Non quiero que estedes ya mas en el coro;
    Salid luego fuera sin otra peresa!
    Yo vos mostraré venir á pobresa.
    Venit, Mercadero, á la dança del lloro!


      A quien dexaré todas mis riquesas
    E mercadurias que traygo en la mar?
    Con muchos traspasos é mas sotilesas
    Gané lo que tengo en cada lugar;
    Agora la Muerte vinome llamar:
    Que será de mi? Non se que me faga.
    O Muerte, tu sierra á mi es grand plaga!
    Adios, mercaderos, que voyme á finar!


      De oy mas non curedes de pasar en Flandes;
    Estad aqui quedo e iredes ver
    La tienda que traygo de buvas y landres;
    De gracia las do, non las quiero vender;
    Una sola dellas vos fará caer
    De palmas en tierra dentro en mi botica,
    E en ella entraredes, maguer sea chica.
    E vos, Arcediano, venid al tañer!


      O, mundo vil, malo, é fallescedero!
    Como me engañaste con tu promision;
    Prometisteme vida, de ty non la espero,
    Siempre mentiste en toda sason.
    Faga quien quisiere la vesytacion
    De mi arcedianasgo por que trabajé!
    Ay de mi cuytado! grand cargo tomé;
    Agora lo siento, que fasta aqui non.


      Arcediano, amigo, quitad el bonete!
    Venit á la dança suave e onesto!
    Ca quien en el mundo sus amores mete,
    El mesmo le faré venir a todo esto.
    Vuestra dignidad, segund dice el testo,
    Es cura de animas, é daredes cuenta;
    Sy mal las registes, abredes afruenta.
    Dançad, Abogado; dexad el digesto.


      Que fue ora, mesquino, de quanto aprendy,
    De mi saber todo é mi libelar!
    Quando estar pensé, entonçe cay;
    Çegome la muerte; non puedo estudiar;
    Resçelo he grande de yr al lugar,
    Do non me valdrá libelo nin fuero,
    Peores amigos que syn lengua muero;
    Abarcome la Muerte, non puedo fablar.


      Don falso Abogado, prevalicador,
    Que de amas las partes levastes salario,
    Venga se vos miente como syn temor
    Volvistes la foja por otro contrario;
    El chino é el Bartolo é el coletario
    Non vos libraran de mi poder mero;
    Aqui pagaredes, como buen romero.
    E vos, Canónigo, dexad el breviario.


      Vete agora, Muerte, non quiero yr contigo;
    Dexame yr al coro ganar la rracion;
    Non quiero tu dança, nin ser tu amigo;
    En folgura vivo, non he turbacion.
    Aun este otro dia obe provysion
    Desta calongya, que me dio el perlado;
    Desto que tengo soy bien pagado;
    Vaya quien quisiere á tu vocacion.


      Canonigo, amigo, non es el camino
    Ese que pensades. Dad aca la mano;
    El sobrepeliz delgado de lino
        ·   ·   ·   ·   ·   ·
    Darvos he un consejo que vos sera sano;
    Tornad vos á Dios, e fased penitencia,
    Ca sobre vos cierto es dada sentencia.
    Llegad acá, Fisico, que estades ufano.


      Myntiome, sin duda, el fin de Abicenna,
    Que me prometio muy luengo vevir,
    Rygiendome me bien á yantar é cena,
    Dexando el bever despues de dorrmir.
    Con esta esperança pensé conquerir
    Dineros é plata, enfermos curando;
    Mas agora veo que me va llevando
    La Muerte consygo; conviene sofrir.


      Pensaste vos, Fisico, que, por Galeno
    O Don Ypocras con sus inforismos,
    Seriades librado de comer del teno
    Que otros gastaron de mas sologismos?
    Non vos valdrá faser gargarismos,
    Componer xaropes, nin tener dieta;
    Non só sy lo oystes, yo só la que aprieta.
    Venid vos, Don Cura, dexad los bautismos.


      Non quiero exebçiones, ni conjugaciones;
    Con mis perrochianos quiero yr folgar;
    Ellos me dan pollos é lechones
    E muchas obladas con el pié de altar.
    Locura seria mis diesmos dexar,
    E ir a tu dança de que non se parte;
    Pero, á la fin, non se por qual arte
    Desta tu dança pudiese escapar.


      Ya non es tiempo de yaser al sol
    Con los perrochianos beviendo del vino;
    Yo vos mostraré un semifasol
    Que agora compuse de canto muy fino;
    Tal como á vos quiero aver por vecino,
    Que muchas animas tovistes en gremio;
    Segunt los registes, abredes el premio.
    Dance el Labrador, que viene del molino.


    Como conviene dançar al villano
    Que nunca la mano sacó de la reja?
    Busca, si te place, quien danse liviano.
    Deja, Muerte, con otro
    treveja, Ca yo como toçino é á veces oveja,
    E es mi oficio trabajo é afan,
    Arando la tierra para sembrar pan;
    Por ende non curo de oyr tu conseja.


      Si vuestro trabajo fue syempre sin arte,
    Non fasiendo furto en la tierra agena,
    En la gloria eternal abredes grand parte,
    E por el contrario sufriredes pena.
    Pero con todo eso poned la melena;
    Allegad vos á me, yo vos buire,
    Lo que á otros fise, á vos lo faré.
    E vos, Monje negro, tomad buen estrena.


      Loor é alabança sea para siempre
    Al alto Señor, que con piedad me lieva
    A su santo reyno, á donde contemplo
    Por siempre jamás la su magestad;
    De carcel escura vengo á claridad,
    Donde abré alegria syn otra tristura;
    Por poco trabajo abré grand folgura;
    Muerte, non me espanto de tu fealdad.


      Sy la regla santa del Monje Bendicto
    Guardastes del todo syn otro deseo,
    Sin duda temed que soes escripto
    En libro de vida, segunt que yo creo;
    Pero, si fesistes lo que faser veo
    A otros, que andan fuera de la regla,
    Vida vos daran que sea mas negra.
    Dançad, Usurero, dexad el correo!


      Non quiero tu dança nin tu canto negro,
    Mas quiero prestando doblar mi moneda;
    Con pocos dineros, que me dió mi suegro,
    Otras obras fago que non fiso Beda.
    Cada año los doblo, demas está queda
    La prenda en mi casa que está por el todo;
    Allego rriquezas y hyariendo de cobdo;
    Por ende tu danza á mi non es leda.


      Traydor Usurario, de mala concencia,
    Agora veredes lo que faser suelo;
    En fuego ynfernal sin mas detenencia
    Porné la vuestra alma cubierta de duelo;
    Allá estaredes, do está vuestro abuelo,
    Que quiso usar segund vos usastes;
    Por poca ganancia mal syglo ganastes.
    E vos, Frayre Menor, venit á señuelo!


      Dançar non conviene á maestro famoso,
    Segunt que yo so en religion;
    Maguer mendigante vivo vicioso,
    E muchos desean oyr mi sermon,
    Desidesme agora que vaya á tal son;
    Dançar non querria sy me das lugar;
    Ay de mi cuydado! que abré á dexar
    Las honrras e grado, que quiera ó que non.


      Maestro famoso, sotil, é capaz,
    Que en todas las artes fuistes sabidor,
    Non vos acuytedes, limpiad vuestra faz,
    Que á pasar abredes por este dolor;
    Yo vos levaré ante un sabidor
    Que sabe las artes syn ningunt defecto,
    Sabredes leer por otro decrepto.
    Portero de Maça, venid al tenor!


      Ay, del rey barones, acorredme agora!
    Llevame syn grado esta muerte brava;
    Non me guarde della, tornome á dessora,
    A puerta del Rey guardando estava;
    Oy en este dia al Conde esperava,
    Que me diese algo por que le dy la puerta;
    Guarde quien quisyere ó fynquese abierta,
    Que ya la mi guarda non vale una fava.


      Dexad esas vozes, llegad vos corriendo,
    Que non es ya tiempo de estar en la vela;
    Las vuestras baratas yo bien las entiendo
    A vuestra cobdicia por que modo suena;
    Cerrades la puerta de mas quando yela
    Al ome mesquino que vien á librar;
    Lo que del levastes abres á pagar.
    E vos, Hermitaño, salid de la celda!


      La Muerte reçelo, maguer que so viejo,
    Señor Jesu Christo, a ty me encomiendo;
    De los que te sirven, tu eres espejo;
    Pues yo te servi, la tu gloria atiendo;
    Sabes, que sufri lazeria viviendo
    En este desierto en contemplacion,
    De noche é de dia faziendo oracion,
    E por mas abstinencia las yerbas comiendo.


      Fazes grand cordura; llamarte ha el Señor,
    Que con diligencia pugnastes servir;
    Sy bien le servistes abredes honor
    En su santo reyno, do abes á venir;
    Pero con todo esto abredes á yr
    En esta mi dança con vuestra barvaça;
    De matar á todos aquesta es mi caça.
    Dançad, Contador, despues de dormir!


      Quien podria pensar que tan syn disanto
    Abia á dexar mi contaduría?
    Llegué á la Muerte, e vi desbarato
    Que faria en los omes con grand osadia;
    Alli perderé toda mi valía,
    Averes, é joyas, y mi grand poder;
    Faza libramientos de oy mas quien quisiere,
    Ca cercan dolores el anima mia.


      Contador, amigo, ssy bien vos catades,
    Como por favor é averes por don;
    Librastes las cuentas, razon es que ayades
    Dolor é quebranto por tal ocasyon.
    Cuento de alguarismo nin su division
    Non vos ternan pró, e yredes comigo;
    Andad aca luego asy vos lo digo.
    E vos, Diacono, venid á leccion!


      Non veo que tienes gesto de lector
    Tu que me convidas que vaya á leer;
    Non vy en Salamanca maestro nin doctor
    Que tal gesto tenga nin tal paresçer.
    Bien sé que con arte me quieres fazer,
    Que vaya á tu dança para me matar;
    Sy esto asy es, venga administrar
    Otro por mi, que yo vome á caer.


      Maravillome mucho de vos, Diacon,
    Pues que bien sabedes, que es mi doctrina
    Matar á todos por justa rraçon,
    E vos esquivades oyr mi bocina;
    Yo vos vestiré almatica fina,
    Labrada de pino en que miniestredes,
    Fasta que vos llamen en ella yredes.
    Venga el que rrecabda, é dance ayna!


      Asaz he que faga en recabdar
    Lo que por el rey me fue encomendado;
    Por ende non puedo nin devo dançar
    En esta tu dança que non he acostumbrado.
    Quiero yr agora apriessa priado
    Por unos dineros que me han prometido;
    Ca he esperado é el plazo es venido,
    Mas veo el camino del todo cerrado.


      Andad acá luego syn mas tardar,
    Pagad los cohechos que avedes levado,
    Pues que vuestra vida fue en trabajar
    Como robariedes al ome cuytado;
    Dar vos he un pago en que esteys asentado,
    E fagades las rentas que tenga dos pasos;
    Alli dares cuenta de vuestros traspasos.
    Venid, Subdiacono, alegre é pagado!


      Non he menester de yr á trocar
    Como fazen esos que traes á tu mando;
    Antes de evangelio me quiero tornar
    Estas quatro témporas, que aun seran llegando.
    En lugar de tanto, veo que llorando
    Andan todos essos, no fallan abrigo;
    Non quiero tu dança, asy te lo digo,
    Mas quiero pasar el salterio reszando.


      Mucho es superfluo el vuestro alegar;
    Por ende dexad aquesos sermones;
    Non tenes maña de andar á dançar,
    Nin comer obladas cérca los tizones;
    Non yredes mas en las proçysiones
    Do davades vozes muy altas en grito,
    Como por enero fazia el cabrito.
    Venid, Sacristan, dexad las rraçones.


      Muerte, yo te rruego, que ayas piadad
    De mi que so moço de pocos dias;
    Non conosci á Dios con mi mocedad,
    Nin quise tomar nin seguir sus vias.
    Fia de mi, amiga, como de otro fias,
    Porque satisfaga del mal que he fecho.
    A ty non se pierde jamas tu derecho,
    Ca yo yre, sy tu por mi envias.


      Don Sacristanejo, de mala picaña,
    Ya non tienes tiempo de saltar paredes,
    Nin andar de noche con los de la caña,
    Faziendo las obras que vos bien sabedes.
    Andar á rondar vos ya non podredes,
    Nin presentar joyas á vuestra señora;
    Sy bien vos quiere, quinte vos agora.
    Venit vos, Rrabi, acá meldaredes.


      Heloim e Dios de Habrahan,
    Que prometiste la redepçion!
    Non sé que me faga con tan grant afan;
    Mandadme que dançe, non entiendo el son.
    Non ha ome en el mundo de quantos y sson
    Que pueda fuyr de su mandamiento.
    Veladme, dayanes, que mi entendimiento
    Se pierde del todo con grand afliccion.


      Don Rrabi, Rrabi barbudo, que siempre estudiastes
    En el talmud é en sus doctores,
    E de la verdad jamas non curastes,
    Por lo cual abredes penas é dolores,
    Llegad vos acá con los dançadores,
    E diredes por canto vuestra beraha,
    Dar vos han possada con Rrabi aça.
    Venit, Alfaqui, dexad los sabores.


      Sy Allaha me vala, es fuerte cosa
    Esto que me mandas agora facer;
    Yo tengo muger discreta, graciosa,
    De que he garajado é ausar plazer;
    Todo quanto tengo quiero perder,
    Dexame con ella solamente estar;
    De que fuere viejo mandame levar,
    E á ella conmigo, sy a ty pluguiere.


      Venit vos, amigo, dexar el zalá,
    Ca el gameño pedricaredes
    A los veinte é siete: vuestro capellá
    Nin vuestra camisa non la vestiredes
    En Meca ni en layda, y non estaredes
    Comiendo buñuelos en alegría;
    Busque otro alfaquí vuestra moreria.
    Passad vos, Santero, veré que diredes.


      Por cierto mas quiero mi hermita vivir
    Que non yr allá do tu me dizes;
    Tengo buena vida aunque ando á pedir,
    E como á las veces pollos é perdices;
    Sé tomar al tiempo bien las codornices,
    E tengo en mi huerto asaz de repollos.
    Vete, que non quiero tu gato com pollos;
    Adios, me encomiendo y á señor San Helices.


      Non vos vale-nada vuestro recelar;
    Andad acá luego vos, Don Taleguero,
    Que non quisistes la hermita adobar;
    Fezistes alcuza de vuestro garguero;
    Non visitaredes la bota de cuero
    Con que á menudo soliades beber;
    Çurron nin talega non podres traer,
    Nin pedir gallofas como de primero.


      A todos los que aqui no he nombrado,
    De qualquier ley e estado ó condicion,
    Les mando que vengan muy toste priado
    A entrar en mi dança sin escusaçion;
    Non rescebiré jamas exebcion,
    Nin otro libelo, nin declinatoria;
    Los que bien fizieron abran syempre gloria;
    Los que al contrario abran dapnacion.


      Pues que asy es que á morir avemos
    De necesidad syn otro remedio,
    Con pura conciencia todos trabajemos
    En servir á Dios sin otro comedio;
    Ca el es Principe, fin, é el medio,
    Por do, sy le place, abremos folgura;
    Aunque la Muerte, con dança muy dura,
    Nos meta en su corro en qualquier comedio.

No. III.


The poetry of the Rabbi de Santob, whose name and title are spelt in
different ways, is here printed from the manuscript in the National
Library at Madrid, marked B. b. 82, folio, beginning at f. lxi. I have
spoken of it, (Vol. I. pp. 86, 87,) and would repeat the wish there
expressed, that the present copy should be collated with the one in the
Library of the Escurial.

  Como quiera que dize Salomon, e dize verdat, en el libro de los
  proverbios, “quien acrecienta ciencia, acrescienta dolor,” pero