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As a result, succeeding where Santillana had failed, Boscan acclimatized in Spain the Italian measures. He owed much to the encourage- ment of Garcilasso, to whom we are indebted for the sole book issued by Boscan : a prose version of Castiglione's CorUgiano. Boscan, though a competent prose-wnter, owes his reputation to a posthumous volume of verses : Las obras de Boscan y algunas de Garcilasso de la Vega reparlidas en quatro Itbros The fourth book contains the verses of Garcilasso, a gifted soldier who fell at Muy during the Proven9al campaign of Charles V.
GarcUasso was an Italianate by temperament as weU as by drcumstance. A friend of the great Duke of Alba, whose tutor Boscan had been, Garcilasso spent the last years of his life at Naples under the orders of Alba's uncle, the Marqufe de Villafranca. A friend of Bembo's, Garcilasso, incarnated the Renaissance spirit, and his stay at Naples enlarged his Italian sympathies. Where Boscan's persevering talent gained ground slowly, Garcilasso's genius carried aU before it. This combination was really invented by Bernardo Tasso, whose priority was long overlooked.
But such checks are relatively few with them, while their triumph was immediate, and has proved enduring. Their first important convert was Francisco SS de Miranda 26 ? Either owing to collisions with Pope Juliiis III, whose spirit was as haughty as his own, or because of his high-handed methods as Governor of Siena, Mendoza 's career as a diplomatist ended in At Trent, his industry edified pro- fessional scholars. Cetina seems to have died from wounds accidentally received in a midnight brawl at Ij s Angeles.
He is best known as the author of the. Like all his school, Acufia had a turn foi translation, rendered Boiardo in part, and in La Contienda de Ayax Telamonio y de Vlises sobre las armas de Achiles did a passage of Ovid into blank verse which he handled more dexterously than did the leaders of the school to which he had rallied. Acuna had a spice of humour, as appears in his parody of Garcilasso's lira. Not merely as a master of japes does Acuna shine : a clever society versifier, he could rise to an imposing dignity, as certain sonnets in his posthumous Varias poesias prove. On the contrary, he is the author of a satirical sonnet in which he pillories Mendoza, Garcilasso, Boscan and an obscure Captain Luis de Haro as leading Itahanates, He seems to have agreed that some reform was necessary, but argued that the desired end was not to be attained by a mere change of form.
It is not certain that Castillejo was mistaken ; it may be that the adoption of the Italian metres involved a certain loss of originabty. At any rate, there is nothing strange in CastjUejo's adhesion to the old school. But the spirit of polite compromise takes him no further : though he could write if occasion needed in Portuguese he is inflexible as regards the Italian forms, and yet, as his works were not collected till , his opposition proved ineffective. It is allowable to think that, despite his perverse contumacy, he was the truest poet of his age, and his insuccess was only relative, for though he failed to arrest the spread of Italian metres, the native measures flourished beside them and have never been extir- pated.
Villalobos had pretensions to scholarship, as appears from his translation of the AmphUruo. This same play of Plautus's was translated by Heman Perez de Oliva ? It was not to be sup- posed tlmt the supremacy of Latin would vanish at these preliminary attacks ; they merely indicate that its monopoly was threatened. Guevara won European fame as a novelist rather than a didactic writer ; his Relax de Principes was really a rival to the tale of chivalry ; if was firs't issued without the author's leave and was done into Armenian during the eighteenth century.
Guevara was likewise recog- nized as a writer of good letters, though modern taste will agree with Montaigne in refusing to them the title of Lettres dories. The success of Amadis encouraged Montalvo to produce a continuation : a fifth book, entitled Las Sergas del muy esforfado cauallero Es- plandian 40 ? The seventh book of the Amadis senes, Los grandes fechos en armas de LisuartedeGrecia fijo de Esptahdtan, y assi mesmo de los de Perion de Gaula , is almost certainly by Feliciano de Silva, at whom Cervantes poked fun.
The eighth book of the series, Lisuarte de Grecia , is by Juan Diaz, who took it on himself to kill off Amadis. This rash impertinence was resented by Silva, who resuscitated Amadis in the ninth book, the Chronica del muy valiente y esforgado principe y Cauallero de la Ardtenle Espada, Amadis de Grecia, hijo de Lisuarte de Grecia , wherein a promise of pastoralism is found. The twelftli is Don Stives de laSelva , which is ascribed to Pedro de Luxan, a Sevillan who is conjectured to have survived till The Amadis series was a good deal more popular as a whole than the Palmerin series, which begins with El libra del famoso y muy esforfado cattallero Palmerin de Oliva and Primaleon y Polendos Both books are said con- jecturally to be the work of a woman ; whether this woman was a Spaniard or a Portuguese is a matter of dispute.
The best of all these continuations is the fourth book, a favourite with Edmund Burke : Palmeirim de Inglaterra It was long supposed, on the strength of a preliminaiy acrostic, that the book was written in Spanish by Luis Hurtado ? Hurtado's Spanish version appeared nearly twenty years before the earliest extant edition in Portuguese. Nevertheless, Palmeirim de Inglaterra shows a marked preference for life in Portugal over life in Spain, and in the Spanish version embodies Lusitanianisms, admis- sible enough on the part of a Spanish youth who had befon; liim a Portuguese text.
On the other fiand, it is not to be supposed that Hurtado was capable of any really original work when he was sixteen. The better opinion is that Pal- meirim was written in Portuguese about by Francisco de Moraes Cabral ? Moraes introduced into his text the names of those ladies whom he had known in Paris. But Cervantes expresses contemporary opinion. Dgsgite many denunciations, the craze for knight- cnantries grew. TTie disease had to run its course : it ran far and wide, if a phiase in the First Pari of King Henry 1 V be correctly interpreted to mean that Shakespeare knew something of the Espejo de Princifes y Caballeros , i" which Diego Ortunez dc Uilahorra, Pedro la Sierra, and Marcos Martinez successively tooli a hand.
The genre died from degeneration. Before Ortuiiez de Calahorra's edition of the Espejo de Principes y Caballeros was printed in , an attempt to rejuvenate this type of book was made by Hieronym de Sempere, who in the Libro de cavalleria celestial del pie de la Rosa Fraganle and in the Segunda Parte de la cavalleria de las hofas de la Rosa Eragante sought to apply the chivalresque formulae to devout purposes, introducing Christ as the Knight of the Lion, the Devil as the Knight of the Serpent, and so forth.
But this brings us within sight of Don Quixote, which gave their death-blow to the languishing tales of kMght-errantry. In this book are recounted the odious experiences of Lazaro in his office as servant to a succession of masters, for instance, to a blind man, a stingy priest, a starving gentleman, and a vendor of papal bulls. Where the books of chivalry arc prolix. But there is a fine insolent realism throughout, with which the witty observation of the unknown author is well matched.
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For over forty years it had no successor. The transition from romantic invention to bald realism may have seemed too abrupt, and the heterodox savour of LazariUo de Tormes may have retarded the book's vogue. A compromise was invented by Jorge de Montemayor x? Though some pastoral notes were introduced into Amadis de Grecia by Fdiciano de Silva, the knightly basis of the fiction is unaffected.
Though La Diana may contain realistic hints, yet it belongs to an inemdicably artihdal type of story. Its allusions to living persons are so deeply veiled as to be impene- trable ; in its superfine landscapes particulars are omitted as essentially vulgar. Sireno is like Silvano, and neither of them are like the shepherds they are assumed to be. To diversify the interest a supernatural element is introduced. This element was not to the taste of Cervantes and it is not to modem taste.
Yet Montemayor — who, by the way, was a poet and a better poet than Cervantes was willing to admit— delighted his own generation in Spain and out of Spain. Monte- mayor, who was killed in Piedmont as a consequence of some love affair, is the most prominent vulgarizer of the pastoral novel.
At any rate, the Abencerraje story has no concern with La Diana : it forms the basis of a Moorish story which was destined to find more acceptance in France than in Spain. Less worldly themes preoccupied Juan de Avila ? With Juan de Avila, the repre- sentative of strenuous orthodoxy, may be paired Juan de Valdfe d. The Didlogo de Mercurio y Caron may have come into Cervantes's hands, for it contains a passage which would seem to have suggested Don Quixote's advice to Sancho Panza.
Valdfe removed to Rome in , is alleged to have been chamberlain to Clement VII, and later at Naples to have entered the household of a cardinal. At Naples Valdfe was the centre of a group which included some persons of a reforming tendency. His doctrinal writings do not concern us. He is generally held to be the author of the Didlogo de MJengua 50 , probably written during the lifetime of Garci- lasso de la Vega, though not printed till This Didlogo displays sound judgement in criticism of individual writers, and is couched in most excellent style.
Not all the chroniclers of Charles V s time followed Guevara's example in writing novels. A book of knight-errantries, Don ClaribaUe, was indeed produced by Gonzalo Hernandez de Oviedo , but such reputation as he has is due rather to his Sumario de la natural y general istoria de las Indias , and La historia natural y general de las Indtas, Islas e Tierra Firms del mar oceano 51 - Her- nandez de Oviedo had the luck to be one of the first to give an impression of the New World, but, as a writer, he is neither good nor well informed.
Las Casas had the polemical and oratorical instinct ; it is not so certain that he possessed the literary temperament ; we possess, however, but a fragment of a late draft of his Historia de las Indias i Las Casas was at any rate a trust- worthy chronicler, and his prejudices are too patent to be misleading. As the pleading in tliis work is specious and the phrasing is strong and lucid, Lopez de G6mara was read far and wide.
His book reached Guatemala, and there fell into the hands of Bemal Diaz del Castillo ? Though finished in , Diaz del Castillo's book was not printed till , when it appeared in an incorrect form. The writer's obvious uprightness made amends for any lack of literary skill on his part, and at once ended the vogue of Lopez de G6mara, which had endured for over half a century.
The oiiicial chroniclers of Charles V were no less active, though their scope was less extended, as they narrated historical events in a more or less contracted field, A word must be spared for Florian de Ocampo 55 ? The SeviUan Pero Mexia 56 ? Whatever Mexia's merits as a poet, he knew how to choose an effective subject, and how to do it justice in fluent prose. Though less favoured by fate, Mexia's Didhgos erudiios are more than ingenious exercises.
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In history he published likewise a Historia imperial y cesarea Mexia was not a great historian :. This business was even better mastered by Luis de Avila y Ziiniga, who accompanied Charles V in his retirement to Yuste, and survived him by some fifteen years. Avila's defect is an excessive appreciation of his master.
But he writes with graceful vigour in his Conten- lario. Avila's style, as befits his theme, is concise and not without a touch of martial elegance. The literature of proverbs 58 , which began to be gathered in the previous century so it is said by Santillana, received special attention during the reign of Charles V. Over four thousand proverbs were printed by Pedro Vall6s in his Libro de refranes Grave scholars did not think it beneath their dignity to amass the popular sayings : as Heman Nunez de Toledo ?
Trie vogue for printing such works unaccountably diminished in Spain. The ample harvest of Sebastian de Horozco has never been made available, and the copious Voeabulario de refranes 60 of Gonzalo Correas d. IV, pp. Espinosa, in The Romanic Review , Vol. VI, pp. Erlangen, II ; Nueva Bib. Asenjo Barbieri. Madrid, ; Canctonero de Uppsala, ed. Mitjana, Uppsala, CaSete y M.
IX and X. Menfindez y Pelayo, in Nueva Bib. Mendes dos Remedioa, Coimbra, , 3 vols. Cambridge University Press, Cotarela y Mori in Sevisia de Archivos, Sec. VII, pp. BonillaySan Martin, L. House, Chicago, igio, gj Ed. CaScte Soc. Cinco obras dramdticas ante- riores a Lope de Vega, ed. VIII, pp. IV BjbUotheca hispanica , pp. Cotarelo y Mori, Madrid, , 2 vols. Rouanet, Autos, Fatsos, Ac. Bour- land, in Revue hispanique , Vol. IX, pp. Cotarelo yMori.
Menfndez y Pelayo, Halle, Mentedez y Pelayo, Valencia, 19J1 ; Bib. Knapp, Madrid, ; Poesias, Bib. Huntington], New York, ; Bib. XXXII ; ed. Michafilis de Vaaconcellos, Halle. Knapp, in Coleecidn de iibros taros curiosos. XI ; Poesias, Bib. II, Asensio y Toledo Soc. FoulchS-Delbosc, i traducido, Madrid, 1 , , , ,.
Madrid, BonillaySan Martin. Nueva Bib. Foulchfi- Delbosc. Bibliotheca bispanica, Vol. Ill ; Bib. PP- ; Bib. Garcia de Diego, Madrid, J, Moreno Villa, Biblioteca Calleja. Madrid, ; ed. Amador delos Rios, Madrid, , 4 vols. Llorente, Paris, ; Nueva Bib, de Aut. Esp,, Vol. XXVI ; ed. Genaro Garcia. Mexico, , 2 vols, gs Coronica general de EspaRa, Madrid. XLIV, pp. Costes in Bulletin hispanique , Vol. XXIII, pp. Garcia Moreno, Caldlogoparemioldgico, Madrid, His Latin works do not call for examination here. We are chiefly con- cerned with him as a Spanish poet.
His statement that his Spanish verses were a pastime of his youth conflicts with the internal evidence of the poems, some of which refer to events that did not occur till Luis de Leon was nearly fifty. Having professed as an Augustinian at about the age of fifteen, Luis de Leon was elected to the chair of theology at Salamanca wTienTie was thirty-three.
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There he made enemies who delated him to the Inquisition. Arrested on the 37th March , Luis de Leon was imprisoned for over four years : he was charged with interpreting Scriptural texts in a rabbinical sense and with having some two years earlier translated the Sotig of Solomon for a nun. To the last accusa- tion Luis de Leon pleaded guilty.
Cruesen's assertion was not made public tUl over forty years after the alleged event. Luis de Leon did not return to his previous chair, which, during his imprisonment, had been successively occupied by two other professors. Posably this picturesque anecdote is apocryphal. Luis de Leon was not particularly popular at Salamanca : nevertheless, a provisional chair was created for him which he held till , when he was elected to a more permanent post. Perhaps owing to the allegation that he was partly of Jewish descent, he was never a favourite with the Inquisition : he was again censured by that body in because of his supposed views on predestination.
Though his austerity of manner lost him the. Nine days before his death he was elected Provincial of his order in the Province of Castile. These verses were edited by Quevedo, who hoped that they would counter- act the plague of gongorism. The remedy came too late. Though Gfingora himself was dead, the evil that he did lived after him. Most of the existing poets were affiliated to gongoristic groups ; they were not to be won over by a sUent and alnMst unique example of magnificent simphcity. None the less, Luis de Leon was speedily recognized as a very remarkable poet, and his reputation tends to increase.
He adapted Gardlasso's favourite sUva, infusing it with a spirit of devout philosophic reflection, instead of his predecessor's half-pagan, pastoral languor. Mdt subjects came alike to him. He is always simple, direct, and strong, whether he strikes the patriotic chord in the Profeda del Tajo, or is aesthetic in the lines to Salinas, or ecstatic in the Noche Serena. Seen in historical perspective, no classical Spanish poet seems greater to us than Luis de Leon. Torre, however, wholly lacked originality, and was too often content with translations of Italian originals : at his best, he is but a pallid repUca of Garcilasso.
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It is not difficult to mistake some of Torre's work for that of his friend, Francisco de Figueroa 2 ? Figueroa was perhaps the more puissant spirit of the two. He directed that his verses should be destroyed after his death ; his wishes have been disregarded, for some of his poems appeared in , and others have been recently published. Like other contemporaries, Figueroa had studied Italian models very closely, and even goes so far as to interpolate Italian verses in some of his Spanish poems.
Yet he had the good fortune to be praised by Cervantes, who also uncritically complimented Gabriel Lopez Maldonado on a mediocre Cancionero HeiTera, who was a good scholar, produced in an edition of Garcilasso, which involved him in an acrimonious controversy. Cervantes pieced together the dedication of the First Part of Don Quixote from phrases used in this edition of Garcilasso by Francisco de Medina 6 ?
This was mere hazard; for Herrera is remembered mainly as a patriotic and amatory poet. Posterity has not confirmed Cervantes's judgement on this head, but it has come near doing so in the case of the thirty- seven cantos — reduced to thirty-five in the rearrangement of — of. Tiiis is bjtAIiaisD de. Ercilla y Ziioiga This cannot be ascribed to the circumstances of its composition. The First Part was written by the light of camp fires, on scraps of leather or paper. Composed in these circumstances, the first section of La Araucana is marred by hurried workmansliip ; later sections are disfigured by tedious allegorical digressions.
Perhaps more remarkable as a man than as a poet, Ercilla must be content to rank. Sequels and imitators were not wanting. No Second Part seems to have been issued, and perhaps ErciUa's treatment of Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza was generally thought not to be inequitable. The first part of Castellanos's work appeared in ; the rest was issued in two instalments in the nineteenth century. Meanwhile, La Araucana was extolled by Voltaire, and was apparently read by the youthful Alfred Tennyson. Evidently La Diana set a fashion, Everyone who wrote fiction at all experimented in a pastoraJ : sometimes in verse, as in the case of Los diez libros de la For- tuna d'Amor , a ridiculous performance which moved Cer- vantes to ironical banter : more often in prose, as in the case of Cervantes 's friend, Luis Galvez de Montalvo, whose El Pastor.
Others are remembered with just contempt by Cervantes in Don Quixote, and the vogue of the pastoral lasted till at least , when Cervantes's possible Idnsman, Gonzalo de Saavedra, published Los Pastores dd Betis. AH these are offshoots of La Diana, and are so many variants of Montemayor's early effort. The wideness of his vogue is testified by the fact that the Carthusian Bartolami Ponce de Leon brought out a kind of pious parody'eotitled the Primera parte de la Clara Diana a lo diuino ? This was an antidote to the supposed mundane amatoriousness of Montemayor.
The exaltation of divine love is to be sought in the mystics,' of whom three thousand names are said to be recorded. It is impossible here to do more than mention a few leaders ol the mystic movement. The most eminent of these is un- questionably St. As a poet, her verses are lacking in art : hence we cannot credit her with the authorship of the famous sonnet beginning No me mueve, mi Dies, para quererte, which is often ascribed to her, as also on equally uncon- vincing grounds to Saint Ignatius of Loyola and to St.
Frauds Xavier. These attributions are conjectural. It was not from Amadis de Gaula and the hke that she learned to write. Nothing is more characteristic of her than the flexibility and the variety of her style.
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The caressing note of her letters is in curious contrast with the rapt ecstasy of the Libra de las Misericordias de Dios, the Cavtino de perfeccidn, the Conceptos del amor de Dios, and the Castillo interior. It is almost incredible that these various works are manifestations of a single spirit. There seems no reason to suppose that Santa Teresa was really interested in literature or that she even took up her pen for hterary purposes, except when outside pressure was applied to her.
Luis de Leon ascribed the accomplishment to divine inspiration : we need not accept that solution, and may be content to say that no more wonderful woman ever hved : her literary achievement is all the more astonishing in view of the fact that her health was weak and her leisure scant, for she was a reformer in her Carmelite order and was over- burdened with mundane duties.
Like many of the greatest mystics, she combined ecstasy with practical spirit. Luis de Leon's title to be regarded as a mystic has been disputed, but it is difficult to see under what rubric but mysticism his last prose work in Spanish — Los nombres de Crista — should be included. Possibly his most important book is the Guia de Pecadores , which was lugUy esteemed by St.
Francis of Sales, F6nelon, and the heterodox Marchena. John of the Cross. He is more intelligible in verse ; but his Obras espirituales display an intensely subtle and elevated intelligence. Like Luis de Leon, St. John of the Cross impregnates Garcilasso's liras with an ecstasy of devotion. Though the Historia was often reprinted, its Spanish imitations were less often written in prose than in verse. Mateo Aleman ? This is doubtful. It is, at least, certain that Aleman was the son of a doctor, like Cervantes. Like Cervantes, he was imprisoned more than once in Spain. Like Cervantes, he thought of emigrating to America ; unlike Cervantes, he was enabled to execute this 'plan.
He went to Mexico in , started as printer, and there published a treatise on printing There doubt- less he died, probably after Perhaps in jail he made closer acquaintance with the picaresque society to which he introduces us in Guzman ; this book was populariy called El Picaro, despite the author's protests.
Guzman became extraordinarily popular. Aleman took this impropriety with admirable coolness when he brought out the genuine Segunda parte de la Vida de Guzman de Alfarache, Alalaya de la vida umana : he here com- plunents the intruder on his knowledge, wit, and accomplish- ments, which he professes to envy. Mateo Aleman indulges in too many digressions and in too much moralizing ; both these pecuharities are in the taste of the time, and, for the rest, it must be admitted that the author writes with know- ledge of his subject, and proves himself a master of sombre, concentrated prose.
Cervantes was not perhaps above borrowing a hint or two from Aleman. The remaining prose-writers of this period must be sought mainly among historians or philosophers.
It would be too much to claim literary distinction for Ger6nimo Zurita But the excellence of Morales' method does not make amends for the aridity of his narrative. Mendoza wrote this book under peculiar circumstances. His oppor- tunities for first-hand observation were considerable : his judgement of men and their doings is mostly sound ; his accuracy in chronicling minor events is astonishing. But it is by the style that the Guerra de Granada survives. Crist6bal de Villalon 26 , a miscellaneous writer of much accomphshment, who perhaps is responsible for works of travel, besides El Crotalon, written about , a satire in the manner of Lucian whidi was not published till , began with La Tragedia de Mirrka It will be seen that, in this imitation of Ovid, Villalon touches on the dra- matic form which, if we are to credit Juan de la Cueva, was copiously cultivated by Juan de Mai Lara 27 , the Seville schoolmaster who is represented only by La Philosopkia vulgar, the first part of a collection of proverbs, a department of literature in which Spain is exceptionally rich, and is a link in the chain of proverb collectors, wluch extends perhaps from Santiltana to Gonzalo de Correas.
Of greater historical importance was the previously named. Juan de la Cueva 29 ? It is as a dramatist that Cueva obtains notice and remembrance. These plays of his, of extreme rarity, were not printed till He had carried out most of his theories. In the Exemplar paetico Cueva advocates the exploitation of national themes. This he had already worked out in La Comedia de..
In La Comedia del Saco de Roma, y muerte de Borbon he put to dramatic purpose the events of , and utilized a recent event in Spanish history. He was perhaps before his time, for no sequel was ever pubhshed to the Primera parte de las comedias y iragedias de Juan de la Cueva : it was sometliing that this volume of plays went into a second edition in , for though Cueva was not such an innovator as he supposed, his choice of themes and tiie metrical treatment adopted by him were novelties of a startling kind.
Slightly before Cueva in point of time, and early in and out of fashion, was the Galician Dominican, Ger6nimo Bermudez, who under the pseudonym of Antonio de Sylva issued tlic Primeras iragedias espanolas, Nise lastimosa y Nise laureada, doiia Inds de Castro y Valladares, princesa de Portugal 30 Of these the better play is the Nise lastimosa, which is little more than a translation from the Portuguese of Antonio Ferreira. Scarcely more than one specimen survives of the romantic work of Andrfe Rey de Artieda His play, Los Amantes 31 , is the oldest presentation on the boards of a subject afterwards dramatized by Tirso de MoUna, Perez de Montalvan, and Hartzenbusch.
Artieda was destined to be eclipsed by Lope de Vega, at whom he levels stinging allusions in the Dtscursos, Episloias y Epi- gramas , which he pubhshed under the pseudonym of Artemidoro. Lupercio de Aigensola is praised by Cervantes as the author of three plays which were miandal successes. Of the three, Filis is lost : the remainder are artistic failures. Perhaps Argensola deserves neither credit nor blame for the quahty of his dramas. Marianna seems to be derived from Ludovico Dolce, and the Alexandra is a convention of extravagant romanticism.
Romanticism was soon to be introduced by the masterful genius of Lope de Vega. According to lope's own account, Miguel Sanchez should be accounted among his predecessors.
Merino, Madrid, j8i6, vols. Rodriguez Marin. Madrid, ; Bib. XVII; ed. Cuervo, Madrid, ; Bib. Vol, III. Paris, Cuartero, Madrid, ; Coloquios 2 , Bib. VII : Viaje de Turquia. II ; Tragedia de Mirrha, ed. SeviUe, , 28 Ed. Rouanet, in A ulos. II Bibliotheca bispauica , pp. Carreres j Vallo, Valencia, Conde dc la Viflaza, Madrid, Rennert, Boston, As it chanced, the two greatest literary geniuses embodied by Spain came to flower during this period.
The son of a very modest surgeon, Cervantes lived a youth of comparative obscurity, and, after writing a few verses in honour of Isabel. After five years of service in Italy, he went back to Spain to seek promotion there.
On the 26th September the ship which bore him was captured by pirates, who carried him into Algiers, where he was kept in slavery for some five years. During his captivity Cervantes made frequent attempts to escape. Strange to say, his life was spared by Hassan, Dey of Algiers, who is described as a ha emato maniac. While a prisoner, Cervantes wrote plays and poems, thus beginning a practice wliich he continued long after his ransom was paid on the 19th September He at once made for Madrid, failed to find more lucrative employment, and took to writing for the stage.
According to his own account, he was not unsuccessful as a playwright, but in faciUty he was no match for Lope de Vega, who practically drove him off the boards in In he won immortality with El tngenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha. In the summer of Cervantes and others of his family were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the death o one Caspar de Ezpeleta, a rake who was attacked outside Cervantes's poor home at Valladolid and died therein.
Cervantes is next heard of at Madrid, where he was engaged in a series of complicated disputes in which his natural daughter, Isabel de Saavedra, and her husband, Luis de Molina, are concerned. This Isabel de Saavedra seems to liave been a tiresome person, and the inquiry at Valladohd threw a disagreeable light on her. During the years immediately following the issue of Don Quixote Cervantes's pen was apparently idle.
Not till did he bring out the Novelas Exetnplares. Rinconeie y Cortadillo, for example, is mentioned in the First Part of Don Quixote, This is a tale on a picaresque theme, as is likewise the Novela y Coloijuio que passb entre Cipiony Berganfa, perros del Hospital de la Resurrecim, que esid en la ciudad de Valladolid, fuera de la puerla del Campo, a quien comunmente llaman los perros de Mahudes.
It is interesting to watch Cervantes utilizing experiences in misfortune. La Tiafingida is not issued among the Novelas pubhshed by Cervantes ; the manuscript of this story was not found till , and though it has frequently been included in reprints since , the antecedent circum- stances make the attribution to Cervantes doubtful. No doubt it is difficult to suggest any Spanish contemporary who could have written it, and the shrewd arguments of Sr.
Adolfo Bonilla y San Martin go towards supporting the ascription to Cervantes. These arguments have not convinced anybody, and it has been contended that La Tia fingida is but a loose adaptation of Pietro Aretino's RagionamenH. Cer- vantes exhibits here but mediocre powers as a verifier. Verse was not his natural vehicle : the last part of the Viage is a prose postscript dated two, days later than Sancho Panza's letter to his wife. Cervantes's plays are not good, indeed, yet doubtless Chorley goes too far when he says of them that ' worse attempts, indeed, no man of transcendent genius has ever made '.
The fact that they were not acted, but printed, is not to be taken as an indication that the plays were likely to be exceptionally excellent : rather the reverse. The formal plays are mostly failures : the one exception is Pedro de Urdemalas, which embodies an attack on Lope de Vega. On the other hand, the eniremeses are often sparkling pictures of low life ; sections of existence, disconcerting and diverting. El viejo zeloso is a scabrous piece on a scabrous theme.
Yet, together with its fellows, it abounds in scenes of frequent effectiveness. As it is, he is only second to his younger con- temporary, Luis QuiBones de Benavente ? Meanwhile he was slowly finishing the sequel to Don Quixote. This might never have appeared, had Cervantes not been spurred into activity by the publication at Tarragona of a spurious ending. This point has been followed up for over two centuries, but without greater result than this : if Avellaneda be indeed a pseudonym, it may possibly conceal the personality of Alonso Femsmdez , author of certain historical and devotional works, Cervantists have often declined to see any merit in Avellaneda's work, apart from its hcentious episodes ; the apocryphal sequel is an amusing and well-written book, which was preferred to the original by Le Sage.
We need not agree with Le Sage's opinion. In the First Part of Don Quixote, Cervantes states that his purpose was to do away with the influence of books of chivalry. Possibty he set out with the intention of writing a short story ridiculing the chivairesque fiction. It has been thought that Cervantes was suggestionized by the Entremes de los Romances written about This is possible; but the framework of his story gradually grew under his liand. Little by little the tale became a transcription of experiences the most varied.
The author introduced remembrances of his captivity as a slave in Algiers ; lie intercalated picaresque embellishments sug- gested to him by scenes which he had observed when a commissary ; and there are personal touches which are directed banteringly against men to whom the writer bore some sort of grudge. Taken as a whole, Don Quixote may be regarded as an historical document, a faithful picture of Renaissance society, as complete as one could hope. All classes and conditions of men find place in Cervantes's present- ment : laymen, clerics, monks who ride along the high road lurched on mules as 'high as dromedaries, ladies who were accompanied on their journeyings by formidable Biscayans, galley-slaves with Maese Pedro among them, judges on their way to America, and who met at inns with grandees and barbers, with runaway lovers or Moorish captives.
In a word, Cervantes described all society in the First Part of Don Quixote ; he joined imagination with observance, reality with whimsy, and in the combination of fact with fancy, the medley of phantasy and realism in Don Quixote was something new. The book was the first in chronological order of modem novels ; it shuts the door on the mediaeval tale.
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Pages Training Possibilities for Ethnomusicologists.