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Prof. Alexander G. Fits 

Short Histories of the Literatures 

of the World 
Edited by Edmund Gosse 










Printed in the United States of America 




SPANISH literature, in its broadest sense, might include 
writings in every tongue existing within the Spanish 
dominions ; it might, at all events, include the four chief 
languages of Spain. Asturian and Galician both pos- 
sess literatures which in their recent developments are 
artificial. Basque, the spoiled child of philologers, has 
not added greatly to the sum of the world's delight ; and 
even if it had, I should be incapable of undertaking a 
task which would belong of right to experts like Mr. 
Wentworth Webster, M. Jules Vinson, and Professor 
Schuchardt. Catalan is so singularly rich and varied 
that it might well deserve separate treatment : its in- 
clusion here would be as unjustifiable as the inclusion 
of Provengal in a work dealing with French literature. 
For the purposes of this book, minor varieties are 
neglected, and Spanish literature is taken as referring 
solely to Castilian the speech of Juan Ruiz, Cervantes, 
Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, Quevedo, and Calderon. 
At the close of the last century, Nicolas Masson de 
Morvilliers raised a hubbub by asking two questions in 
the Encyclopedic Methodique : "Mais que doit-on a 
1'Espagne ? Et depuis deux siecles, depuis quatre, depuis 
six, qu'a-t elle fait pour 1'Europe ?" I have attempted an 

i , 



answer in this volume. The introductory chapter has been 
written to remind readers that the great figures of the 
Silver Age Seneca, Lucan, Martial, Quintilian were 
Spaniards as well as Romans. It further aims at tracing 
the stream of literature from its Roman fount to the 
channels of the Gothic period ; at defining the limits of 
Arabic and Hebrew influence on Spanish letters ; at 
refuting the theory which assumes the existence of 
immemorial romances, and at explaining the interaction 
between Spanish on the one side and Provencal and 
French on the other. It has been thought that this 
treatment saves much digression. 

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


My debts to predecessors will be gathered from the 
bibliographical appendix. I owe a very special acknow- 
ledgment to my friend Sr. D. Marcelino Menendez y 
Pelayo, the most eminent of Spanish scholars and critics. 
If I have sometimes dissented from him, I have done so 
with much hesitation, believing that any independent view 
is better than the mechanical repetition of authoritative 
verdicts. I have to thank Mr. Gosse for the great care 
with which he has read the proofs ; and to Mr. Henley, 
whose interest in all that touches Spain is of long stand- 
ing, I am indebted for much suggestive criticism. For 
advice on some points of detail, I am obliged to Sr. D. 
Ram6n Menendez Pidal, to Sr. D. Adolfo Bonilla y San 
Martin, and to Sr. D. Rafael Altamira y Crevea. 






(1220-1300) 57 

IV. THE DIDACTIC AGE (1301-1400) 74 

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


(I454-I5I6) 109 

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

VIII. THE AGE OF FELIPE II. (1556-1598) l6$ 

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


(I62I-I700) 275 

XI. THE AGE OF THE BOURBONS (l70O-l8o8) .... 343 




INDEX 413 




THE most ancient monuments of Castilian literature 
can be referred to no time later than the twelfth cen- 
tury, and they have been dated earlier with some 
plausibility. As with men of Spanish stock, so with 
their letters : the national idiosyncrasy is emphatic 
almost violent. French literature is certainly more 
exquisite, more brilliant ; English is loftier and more 
varied ; but in the capital qualities of originality, force^s^/ 
truth, and humour, the Castilian finds no superior. * 
The Basques, who have survived innumerable onsets^, 
(among them, the ridicule of Rabelais and the irony 
of Cervantes), are held by some to be representatives 
of the Stone-age folk who peopled the east, north-east, 
and south of Spain. This notion is based mainly upon 
the fact that all true Basque names for cutting instru- 
ments are derived from the word aitz (flint). Howbeit, 
the Basques vaunt no literary history in the true sense. 
The Leloaren Cantua (Song of Leld) has been accepted as 


a contemporary hymn written in celebration of a Basque 
triumph over Augustus. Its date is uncertain, and its 
refrain of " Lelo" seems a distorted reminiscence of the 
Arabic catchword La ildh ilia 'lldh; but the Leloaren 
Cantua is assuredly no older than the sixteenth century. 
A second performance in this sort is the Altobiskarko 
Cantua (Song of Altobiskar). Altobiskar is a hill near 
Roncesvalles, where the Basques are said to have de- 
feated Charlemagne ; and the song commemorates the 
victory. Written in a rhythm without fellow in the 
Basque metres, it contains names like Roland and 
Ganelon, which are in themselves proofs of French 
origin ; but, as it has been widely received as genuine, 
the facts concerning it must be told. First written in 
French (circa 1833) by Franois Eugene Garay de 
Monglave, it was translated into very indifferent Basque 
by a native of Espelette named Louis Duhalde, then 
a student in Paris. The too-renowned Altobiskarko 
Cantua is therefore a simple hoax : one might as well 
attribute Rule Britannia to Boadicea. The conquerors 
of Koncesvalles wrote no triumphing song : three 
centuries later the losers immortalised their own over- 
throw in the Chanson de Roland, where the disaster 
is credited to the Arabs, and the Basques are merely 
mentioned by the way. Early in the twelfth century 
there was written a Latin Chronicle ascribed to Arch- 
bishop Turpin, an historical personage who ruled the 
see of Rheims some two hundred years before his false 
Chronicle was written. The opening chapters of this 
fictitious history are probably due to an anonymous 
Spanish monk cloistered at Santiago de Compostela; 
and it is barely possible that this late source was utilised 
by such modern Basques as Jose" Maria Goizcueta, who 


retouched and " restored " the Altobiskarko Cantua in 
ignorant good faith. 

However that may prove, no existing Basque song is 
much more than three hundred years old. One single 
Basque of genius, the Chancellor Pero Lopez de Ayala, 
shines a portent in the literature of the fourteenth cen- 
tury ; and even so, he writes in Castilian. He stands 
alone, isolated from his race. The oldest Basque book, 
well named as Lingua Vasconum Primitice, is a collec- 
tion of exceedingly minor verse by Bernard Dechepare, 
cure of Saint-Michel, near Saint-Jean Pied de Port; 
and its date is modern (1545). Pedro de Axular is the 
first Basque who shows any originality in his native 
tongue ; and, characteristically enough, he deals with 
religious matters. Though he lived at Sare, in the Basses 
Pyrn6es, he was a Spaniard from Navarre ; and he 
flourished in the seventeenth century (1643). It is true 
that a small knot of second-class Basques the epic poet 
Ercilla y Zuniga, and the fabulist Iriarte figure in 
Castilian literature; but the Basque glories are to be 
sought in other fields in such heroic personages as 
Ignacio Loyola, and his mightier disciple Francisco 
Xavier. Setting aside devotional and didactic works, 
mostly translated from other tongues, Basque litera- 
ture is chiefly oral, and has but a formal connection 
with the history of Spanish letters. Within narrow 
geographical limits the Basque language still thrives, 
and on each slope of the Pyrenees holds its own against 
forces apparently irresistible. But its vitality exceeds 
its reproductive force : it survives but does not multiply. 
Whatever the former influence of Basque on Castilian 
an influence never great it has now ceased ; while 
Castilian daily tends to supplant (or, at least, to supple- 


ment) Basque. Spain's later invaders Iberians, Kelts, 
Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Alani, Suevi, Goths, 
and Arabs have left but paltry traces on the prevailing 
form of Spanish speech, which derives from Latin by a 
descent more obvious, though not a whit more direct, 
than the descent of French. So frail is the partition 
which divides the Latin mother from her noblest 
daughter, that late in the sixteenth century Fernando 
P6rez de Oliva wrote a treatise that was at once Latin 
and Spanish : a thing intelligible in either tongue and 
futile in both, though held for praiseworthy in an age 
when the best poets chose to string lines into a poly- 
glot rosary, without any distinction save that of antic 

For our purpose, the dawn of literature in Spain 
begins with the Roman conquest. In colonies like 
Pax Augusta (Badajoz), Caesar Augusta (Zaragoza), and 
Emerita Augusta (M6rida), the Roman influence was 
strengthened by the intermarriage of Roman soldiers 
with Spanish women. All over Spain there arose the 
odiosa cantio, as St. Augustine calls it, of Spanish 
children learning Latin ; and every school .formed a 
fresh centre of Latin authority. With their laws, the 
conquerors imposed their speech upon the broken 
tribes ; and these, in turn, invaded the capital of Latin 
politics and letters. The breath of Spanish genius 
informs the Latinity of the Silver Age. Augustus 
himself had named his Spanish freedman, Gains Julius 
Hyginus, the Chief Keeper of the Palatine Library. 
Spanish literary aptitude, showing stronger in the pro- 
digious learning of the Elder Seneca, matures in the 
altisonant rhetoric and violent colouring of the Younger, 
in Lucan's declamatory eloquence and metallic music, 


in Martial's unblushing humour and brutal cynicism, 
in Quintilian's luminous judgment and wise senten- 

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

" Animula vagula blandula, 
Hospes comesque carports, 
Qua nunc abtbis in loca, 
Pallidula rigida nudula, 
Nee, ut soles, dabis jocos?" 

himself an exquisite in art and in letters became the 
master of the world. Gibbon declares with justice that 
the happiest epoch in mankind's history is " that which 
elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of 
Commodus " ; and the Spaniard, accounting Marcus 
Aurelius as a son of C6rdoba, vaunts with reasonable 
pride, that of those eighty perfect, golden years, three- 
score at least were passed beneath the sceptre of the 
Spanish Caesars. 

Withal, individual success apart, the Spanish utterance 
of Latin teased the finer ear. Cicero ridiculed the accent 


aliquid pingue of even the more lettered Spaniards 
who reached Rome ; Martial, retired to his native Bilbi- 
lis, shuddered lest he might let fall a local idiom ; and 
Quintilian, a sterner purist than a very Roman, frowned 
at the intrusion of his native provincialisms upon the 
everyday talk of the capital. In Rome incorrections of 
speech were found where least expected. That Catullus 
should jeer at Arrius the forerunner of a London type 
in the matter of aspirates is natural enough ; but even 
Augustus distressed the nice grammarian. A fortiori, 
Hadrian was taunted with his Spanish solecisms. Inno- 
vation won the day. The century between Livy and 
Tacitus shows differences of style inexplicable by the 
easy theory of varieties of temperament; and the two 
centuries dividing Tacitus from St. Augustine are 
marked by changes still more striking. This is but 
another illustration of the old maxim, that as the speed 
of falling bodies increases with distance, so literary de- 
cadences increase with time. 

As in Italy and Africa, so in Spain. The statelier sermo 
urbanus yielded to the sermo plebeius. Spanish soldiers 
had discovered " the fatal secret of empire, that emper- 
ors could be made elsewhere than at Rome " ; no less fatal 
was the discovery that Latin might be spoken without 
regard for Roman models. As the power of classic forms 
waned, that of ecclesiastical examples grew. Church 
Latin of the fourth century shines at its best in the verse 
of the Christian poet, the Spaniard Prudentius : with 
him the classical rhythms persist as survivals. He 
clutches at, rather than grasps, the Roman verse tradi- 
tion, and, though he has no rhyming stanzas, he verges 
on rhyme in such performances as his Hymnus ad Galli 
Cantum. Throughout the noblest period of Roman 


poetry, soldiers, sailors, and illiterates had, in the versus 
saturnius, preserved a native rhythmical system not quan- 
titative but accentual ; and this vulgar metrical method 
was to outlive its fashionable rival. It is doubtful whether 
the quantitative prosody, brought from Greece by lit- 
erary dandies, ever flourished without the circle of pro- 
fessional men of letters. It is indisputable that the im- 
ported metrical rules, depending on the power of vowels 
and the position of consonants, were gradually super- 
seded by looser laws of syllabic quantity wherein accent 
and tonic stress were the main factors. 

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


within a brief space, almost the entire peninsula was 
subdued. The more warlike Spaniards, 

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

foregathered with Pelayo by the Cave of Covadonga, 
near Oviedo, among the Pyrenean chines, which they 
held against the forces of the Berber Alkamah and the 
renegade Archbishop, Don Opas. " Confident in the 
strength of their mountains," says Gibbon, these high- 
landers " were the last who submitted to the arms of 
Rome, and the first who threw off the yoke of the Arabs." 
While on the Asturian hillsides the spirit of Spanish 
nationality was thus nurtured amid convulsions, the less 
hardy inhabitants of the south accepted their defeat. 
The few who embraced Islamism were despised as 
Muladies ; the many, adopting all save the religion of 
their masters, were called Muzarabes, just as, during 
the march of the reconquest, Moors similarly placed in 
Christian provinces were dubbed Mud6jares. 

The literary traditions of Seneca, Lucan, and their 
brethren, passed through the hands of mediocrities like 
Pomponius Mela and Columella, to be delivered to Gaius 
Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus, who gave a rendering of the 
gospels, wherein the Virgilian hexameter is aped with 
a certain provincial vigour. Minor poets, not lacking 
in marmoreal grace, survive in Baron Hiibner's Corpus 
Inscriptionum Latinorum. Among the breed of learned 
churchmen shines the name of St. Damasus, first of 
Spanish popes, who shows all his race's zeal in heresy- 
hunting and in fostering monkery. The saponaceous 
eloquence that earned him the name of Auriscalpius 
matronarum (" the Ladies' Ear-tickler ") is forgotten ; but 


he deserves remembrance because of his achievement 
as an epigraphist, and because he moved his friend, St. 
Jerome, to translate the Bible. To him succeeds Hosius 
of Cordoba, the mentor of Constantine, the champion 
of Athanasian orthodoxy, and the presiding bishop at 
the Council of Nicaea, to whom is attributed the incor- 
poration in the Nicene Creed of that momentous clause, 
" Genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri" 

Prudentius follows next, with that savour of the terrible 
and agonising which marks the Spagnoletto school of art; 
but to all his strength and sternness he adds a sweeter, 
tenderer tone. At once a Christian, a Spaniard, and a 
Roman, to Prudentius his birthplace is everfelix Tarraco 
(he came from Tarragona) ; and he thrills with pride 
when he boasts that Caesar Augusta gave his Mother- 
Church most martyrs. Yet, Christian though he be, the 
imperial spirit in him fires at the thought of the multitu- 
dinous tribes welded into a single people, and he plainly 
tells you that a Roman citizen is as far above the brute 
barbarian as man is above beast. Priscillian and his 
fellow-sufferer Latrocinius, the first martyrs slain by 
Christianity set in office, were both clerks of singular 
accomplishment. As disciple of St. Augustine, and 
comrade of St. Jerome, Orosius would be remembered, 
even were he not the earliest historian of the world. 
Like Prudentius, Orosius blends the passion of universal 
empire with the fervour of local sentiment. Good, 
haughty Spaniard as he is, he enregisters the battles 
that his fathers gave for freedom ; he ranks Numancia's 
name only below that of the world-mother, Rome ; 
and his heart softens towards the blind barbarians, 
their faces turned towards the light. Cold, austere, 
and even a trifle cynical as he is, Orosius' pulses 


throb at memory of Caesar ; and he glows on thinking 
that, a citizen of no mean city, he ranges the world 
under Roman jurisdiction. And this vast union of 
diverse races, all speaking one single tongue, all re- 
cognising one universal law, Orosius calls by the new 
name of Romania. 

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


scarcely less notable are the composers of the noble 
Latin-Gothic hymnal, the makers of the Breviarum 
Gothicum of Lorenzana and of Arevalo's Hymnodia 

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


whom Duns Scotus acknowledges as his master ; and 
that of Judah ben Samuel the Levite (b. 1086), whom 
Heine celebrates in the Roman-zero: 

" Rein und ivahrhaft, sender Makel 
War sein Lied, wie seine Seele." 

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

But the Spanish Jews and Spanish Arabs gained their 
chief distinction in philosophy. Of these are Ibn Bajjah 
or Avempace (d. 1138), the opponent of al-Gazali and his 
mystico-sceptical method ; and Abu Bakr ibn al-Tufail 
(1116-85), the author of a neo - platonic, pantheistic 
romance entitled Risdlat Haiy ibn Yaksdn, of which the 
main thesis is that religious and philosophic truth are but 
two forms of the same thing. Muhammad ibn Ahmad 
ibn Rushd (1126-98), best known as Averroes, taught 
the doctrine of the universal nature and unity of the 
human intellect, accounting for individual inequalities 
by a fantastic theory of stages of illumination. Arab 
though he was, Averroes was more reverenced by Jews 
than by men of his own race ; and his permanent vogue 
is proved by the fact that Columbus cites him three 
centuries afterwards, while his teachings prevailed in 
the University of Padua as late as Luther's time. A 
more august name is that of "the Spanish Aristotle," 
Moses ben Maimon or Maimonides (1135-1204), the 
greatest of European Jews, the intellectual father, so 


to say, of Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas of Aquin. 
Born at C6rdoba, Maimonides drifted to Cairo, where N 
he became chief rabbi of the synagogue, and served 
as Saladin's physician, having refused a like post in 
the household of Richard the Lion-hearted. It is 
doubtful if Maimonides was a Jew at heart ; it is un- 
questioned that at one time he conformed outwardly 
to Muhammadanism. A stinging epigram summarises 
his achievement by saying that he philosophised the 
Talmud and talmudised philosophy. It is, of course, 
absurd to suppose that his critical faculty could accept 
the childish legends of the Haggadah, wherein rabbis 
manifold report that the lion fears the cock's crow, 
that the salamander quenches fire, and other incredible 
puerilities. In his Yad ha-Hazakah (The Strong Hand) 
Maimonides seeks to purge the Talmud of its pilpulim or 
casuistic commentaries, and to make the book a sufficient 
guide for practical life rather than to leave it a dust-heap 
for intellectual scavengers. Hence he tends to a rational- 
istic interpretation of Scriptural records. Direct com- 
munion with the Deity, miracles, prophetic gifts, are 
not so much denied as explained away by means of 
a symbolic exegesis, infinitely subtle and imaginative. 
Spanish and African rabbis received the new teaching 
with docility, and in his own lifetime Maimonides' 
success was absolute. A certain section of his followers 
carried the cautious rationalism of the master to extremi- 
ties, and thus produced the inevitable reaction of the 
Kabbala with its apparatus of elaborate extravagances. 
This reaction was headed by another Spaniard, the 
Catalan mystic, Bonastruc de Portas or Moses ben 
Nahman (1195-1270); and the relation of the two 
leaders is exemplified by the rabbinical legend which 


tells that the soul of each sprang from Adam's head : 
Maimonides, from the left curl, which typifies severity 
of judgment; Moses ben Nahman from the right, which 
symbolises tenderness and mercy. 

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


therefore long before any Arab reached Europe. It 
is significant that no Arabist believes the legend of the 
" Arab influence " ; for Arabists are not more given 
than other specialists to belittling the importance of 
their subject. 

In sober truth, this Arab myth is but a bad dream 
of yesterday, a nightmare following upon an un- 
digested perusal of the Thousand and One Nights. 
Thanks to Galland, Cardonne, and Herbelot, the 
notion became general that the Arabs were the great 
creative force of fiction. To father Spanish romances 
and Provencal trobas upon them is a mere freak of 
fancy. The tacit basis of this theory is that the Span- 
iards took a rare interest in the intellectual side of Arab 
life ; but the assumption is not justified by evidence. 
Save in a casual passage, as that in the Cronica General 
on the capture of Valencia, the Castilian historians 
steadily ignore their Arab rivals. On the other hand, 
there is a class of romances fronterizos (border ballads), 
such as that on the loss of Alhama, which is based on 
Arabic legends ; and at least one such ballad, that of 
Abenamar, may be the work of a Spanish-speaking Moor. 
But these 1 are isolated cases, are exceptional solely as 
regards the source of the subject, and nowise differ in 
form from the two thousand other ballads of the Roman- 
ceros. To find a case of real imitation we must pass to the 
fifteenth century, when that learned lyrist, the Marques 
de Santillana, deliberately experiments in the measures 
of an Arab zajal, a performance matched by a surviving 
fragment due to an anonymous poet in the Cancionero de 
Linares. These are metrical audacities, resembling the 
revival of French ballades and rondeaux by artificers like 
Mr. Dobson, Mr. Gosse, and Mr. Henley in our own day. 


On the strength of two unique modern examples in the 
history of Castilian verse, it would be unjustifiable to 
believe, in the teeth of all other evidence, that simple 
strollers intuitively assimilated rhythms whose intricacy 
bewilders the best experts. This is not to say that 
Arabic popular poetry had no influence on such popular 
Spanish verse as the capias, of which some are appa- 
rently but translations of Arabic songs. That is an 
entirely different thesis ; for we are concerned here with 
literature to which the halting coplas can scarcely be said 
to belong. 

The " Arab influence " is to be sought elsewhere in 
the diffusion of the Eastern apologue, morality, or maxim, 
deriving from the Sanskrit. M. Bedier argues with 
extraordinary force, ingenuity, and learning, against the 
universal Eastern descent of the French fabliaux. How- 
ever that be, the immediate Arabic origin of such a col- 
lection as the Disciplina Clericalis of Petrus Alfonsus 
(printed, in part, as the Fables of Alfonce, by Caxton, 
1483, in The Book of the subtyl Historyes and Fables of 
Esope), is as undoubted as the source of the apologue 
grafted on Castilian by Don Juan Manuel, or as the 
derivation of the maxims of Rabbi Sem Tom of Carri6n. 
To this extent, in common with the rest of Europe, 
Spain owes the Arabs a debt which her picaresque 
novels and comedies have more than paid ; but here 
again the Arab acts as a mere middleman, taking the 
story of Kalilah and Dimna from the Sanskrit through 
the Pehlev! version, and then passing it by way of Spain 
to the rest of the Continent. Nor should it be over- 
looked that Spaniards, disguised as Arabs, shared in 
the work of interpretation. 

It is less easy to determine the extent to which col- 


loquial Arabic was used in Spain. Patriots would per- 
suade you that the Arabs brought nothing to the stock 
of general culture, and the more thoroughgoing insist 
that the Spaniards lent more than they borrowed. But 
the point may be pressed too far. It must be admitted 
that Arabic had a vogue, though perhaps not a vogue 
as wide as might be gathered from the testimony of 
Paulus Alvarus Cordubiensis, whose Indiculus Lumi- 
nosus, a work of the ninth century, taunts the writer's 
countrymen with neglecting their ancient tongue for 
Hebrew and Arabic technicalities. The ethnic influ- 
ence of the Arabs is still obvious in Granada and 
other southern towns ; and intermarriages, tending to 
strengthen the sway of the victor's speech, were common 
from the outset, when Roderic's widow, Egilona, wedded 
Abd al-Aziz, son of Musa, her dead husband's con- 
queror. An Alfonso of Le6n espoused the daughter of 
Abd Allah, Emir of Toledo ; and an Alfonso of Castile 
took to wife the daughter of an Emir of Seville. " The 
wedding, which displeased God," of Alfonso the Fifth's 
sister with an Arab (some say with al-Mansur), is sung in 
a famous romance inspired by the Cronica General. 

In official charters, as early as 804, Arabic words find 
place. A local disuse of Latin is proved by the fact 
that in this ninth century the Bishop of Seville found it 
needful to render the Bible into Arabic for the use of 
Muzdrabes ; and still stronger evidence of the low estate 
of Latin is afforded by an Arabic version of canonical 
decrees. It follows that some among the very clergy 
read Arabic more easily than they read Latin. Jewish 
poets, like Avicebron and Judah ben Samuel the Levite, 
sometimes composed in Arabic rather than in their native 
Hebrew ; and it is almost certain that the lays of the 


Arab rdwis radically modified the structure of Hebrew 
verse. Apart from the evidence of Paulus Alvarus Cor- 
dubiensis, St. Eulogius deposes that certain Christians 
he mentions Isaac the Martyr by name spoke Arabic 
to perfection. Nor can it be pleaded that this zeal was 
invariably due to official pressure : on the contrary, a 
caliph went the length of forbidding Spanish Jews and 
Christians to learn Arabic. Neither did the fashion die 
soon : long after the Arab predominance was shaken, 
Arabic was the modish tongue. Alvar Faftez, the Cid's 
right hand, is detected signing his name in Arabic 
characters. The Christian dinar, Arabic in form and 
superscription, was invented to combat the Almoravide 
dinar, which rivalled the popularity of the Constanti- 
nople besant ; and as late as the thirteenth century 
Spanish coins were struck with Arabic symbols on the 
reverse side. 

Yet, even so, the rude Latin of the unconquered north 
remained well-nigh intact. Save in isolated centres, it 
was spoken by countless Christians and by the Spaniards 
who had escaped to the African province of Tingitana. 
Vast deduction must be made from the jeremiads of 
Paulus Alvarus Cordubiensis. As he bewails the time 
wasted on Hebrew and Arabic by Spaniards, so does 
Avicebron lament the use of Arabic and Romance by 
Jews. " One party speaks Idumean (Romance), the other 
the tongue of Kedar (Arabic)." If the Arab flood ran 
high, the ebb was no less strong. Arabs tended more 
and more to ape the dress, the arms, the customs of the 
Spaniards ; and the Castilian-speaking Arab the moro 
latinado multiplied prodigiously. No small proportion 
of Arab writers Ibn Hazm, for example was made up 
of sons or grandsons of Spaniards, not unacquainted 


with their fathers' speech. When Archbishop Raimundo 
founded his College of Translators at Toledo, where 
Dominicus Gundisalvi collaborated with the convert 
Abraham ben David (Johannes Hispalensis), it might 
have seemed that the preservation of Arabic and Hebrew 
was secure. There and then, there could not have 
occurred such a blunder as that immortal one of the 
Capuchin, Henricus Seynensis, who lives eternal by mis- 
taking the Talmud " Rabbi Talmud " for a man. But 
no Arab work endures. And as with Arab philosophy 
in Spain, so with the Arabic language : its soul was 
required of it. Hebrew, indeed, was not forgotten ; 
and for Arabic, a revival might be expected during the 
Crusades. Yet in all Europe, outside Spain, but three 
isolated Arabists of that time are known William of 
Tyre, Philip of Tripoli, and Adelard of Bath ; and in 
Spain itself, when Boabdil surrendered in 1492, the tide 
had run so low that not a thousand Arabs in Granada 
could speak their native tongue. Nearly two centuries 
before (in 1311-12) a council under Pope Clement V. 
advised the establishment of Arabic chairs in the univer- 
sities of Salamanca, Bologna, Paris, and Oxford. Save 
at Bologna, the counsel was ignored ; and in Spain, 
where it had once swaggered with airs official, Arabic 
almost perished out of use. 

Save a group of technical words, the sole literary legacy 
bequeathed to Spain by the Arabs was their alphabet. 
This they used in writing Castilian, calling their transcrip- 
tion aljamia (a/ami = foreign), which was the original 
name of the broken Latin spoken by the Muzarabes. 
First introduced in legal documents, the practice was 
prudently continued during the reconquest, and, besides 
its secrecy, was further recommended by the fact that a 


special sanctity attaches to Arabic characters. But the 
peculiarity of aljamia is that it begot a literature of its 
own, though, naturally enough, a literature modelled on 
the Spanish. Its best production is the Poema de Yusuf; 
and it may be noted that this, like its much later fellow, 
La Alabama de Mahoma (The Praise of Muhammad), is 
in the metre of the old Spanish " clerkly poems" (pocslas 
de clereda). So also the Aragonese Morisco, Muhammad 
Rabadan, writes his cyclic poem in Spanish octosyllabics; 
and in his successors there are hendecasyllabics mani- 
festly imitated from a characteristic Galician measure 
(de gaita gallega). The subjects of the textos aljamiados 
are frankly conveyed from Western sources : the Com- 
pilation of Alexander, an orientalised version of the 
French ; the History of the Loves of Paris and Viana, a 
translation from the Provencal; and the Maid of Arca- 
yona, based on the Spanish poem Apolonio. In the 
/Cancionero de Baena appears Mahomat-el-Xartosse, with- 
/ out his turban, as a full-fledged Spanish poet ; and the 
old tradition of servility is continued by an anonymous 
\ refugee in Tunis, who shows himself an authority on the 
\ plays and the lyric verse of Lope de Vega. 

It is therefore erroneous to suppose that the northern 
Spaniards on their southward march fell in with nume- 
rous kinsmen, of wider culture and of a higher civilisa- 
tion, whose everyday speech was unintelligible to them, 
and who prayed to Christ in the tongue of Muhammad. 
Such cases may have occurred, but as the rarest excep- 
tions. Not less unfounded is the theory that Castilian 
is a fusion of southern academic Arabic with barbarous 
northern Latin. In southern Spain Latin persisted, as 
Greek, Syriac, and Coptic persisted in other provinces 
of the Caliphate ; and in the school founded at Cordoba 


by the Abbot Spera-in-Deo, Livy, Cicero, Virgil, Quin- 
tilian, and Demosthenes were read as assiduously as 
Sallust, Horace, and Terence were studied in the northern 
provinces. Granting that Latin was for a while so much 
neglected that it was necessary to translate the Bible 
into Arabic, it is also true that Arabic grew so forgotten* 
that Peter the Venerable was forced to translate the ^> 
Ku'ran for the benefit of clerks. Lastly, it must be 
borne in mind that the variety of Romance which finally 
prevailed in Spain was not the speech of the northern 
highlanders, but that of the Muzarabes of the south and 
the centre. Long before "the sword of Pelagius had 
been transformed into the sceptre of the Catholic kings," 
the linguistic triumph of the south was achieved. The 
hazard of war might have yielded another issue ; and 
to adopt another celebrated phrase of Gibbon's, but for 
the Cid and his successors, the Ku'ran might now be 
taught in the schools of Salamanca, and her pulpits 
might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity 
and truth of the revelation of Muhammad. As it chanced, 
Arabic was rebuffed, and the Latin speech (or Romance) 
survived in its principal varieties of Castilian, Galician, 
Catalan, and bable (Asturian). 

Gallic Latin had already bifurcated into the langue 
cToni and the langue d'oc, though these names were not 
applied to the varieties till near the close of the twelfth 
century. Two hundred years before Roderic's over- 
throw a Spanish horde raided the south-west of France, 
and, in the corner south of the Adour, reimposed 
a tongue which Latin had almost entirely supplanted, 
and which lingered solely in the Basque Provinces and 
in Navarre. In the eighth century this Basque invasion 
was avenged. The Spaniards, concentrating in the 


north, vacated the eastern provinces, which were there- 
upon occupied by the Roussillonais, who, spreading as far 
south as Valencia, and as far east as the Balearic Islands, 
gave eastern Spain a new language. Deriving from the 
langue d'oc, Catalan divides into pld Catald and Lemosi 
the common speech and the literary tongue. Vidal de 
Besalu calls his own Provencal language limosina or 
Umozi, and the name, taken from his popular treatise 
Dreita Maneira de Trobar, was at first limited to literary 
Provencal ; but endless confusion arises from the fact 
that when Catalans took to composing, their poems 
were likewise said to be written in lengua lemosina. 

The Galician, akin to Portuguese, though free from 
the nasal element grafted on the latter by Burgundians, 
is held by some for the oldest though clearly not the 
most virile form of Peninsular Romance. It was at 
least the first to ripen, and, under Prove^al guidance, 
Galician verse acquired the flexibility needed for metrical 
effects long before Castilian ; so that Castilian court- 
poets, ambitious of finer rhythmical results, were driven 
to use Galician, which is strongly represented in the 
Cancionero de Baena, and boasts an earlier masterpiece 
in Alfonso the Learned's Cantigas de Santa Maria, re- 
cently edited, as it deserved, after six centuries of wait- 
ing, by that admirable scholar the Marques de Valmar. 
Galician, now little more than a simple dialect, is artifici- 
ally kept alive by the efforts of patriotic minor poets ; 
but its literary influence is extinct, and the distinguished 
figures of the province, as Dona Emilia Pardo Bazan, 
naturally seek a larger audience by writing in Castilian. 
So, too, bable is but another dialect of little account, 
though a poet of considerable charm, Teodoro Cuesta 
(1829-95), has written in it verses which his own loyal 


people will not willingly let die. The classification of 
other characteristic sub-genera Andalucian, Aragonese, 
Leonese belongs to philology, and would be, in any 
event, out of place in the history of a literature to which, 
unlike Catalan and unlike Galician, they have added 
nothing of importance. What befell in Italy and France 
befell in Spain. Partly through political causes, partly 
by force of superior culture, the language of a single 
centre ousted its rivals. As France takes its speech 
from Paris and the lie de France, as Florence domi- 
nates Italy, so Castile dictates her language to all the 
Spains. The dominant type, then, of Spanish is the 
Castilian, which, as the most potent form, has outlived 
its brethren, and, with trifling variations, now extends, 
not only over Spain, but as far west as Lima and Val- 
paraiso, and as far east as the Philippine Islands : in 
effect, "from China to Peru." And the Castilian of 
to-day differs little from the Castilian of the earliest 

The first allusion to any distinct variety of Romance 
is found in the life of a certain St. Mummolin who 
was Bishop of Noyen, succeeding St. Eloi in 659. 
A reference to the Spanish type of Romance is found 
as far back as 734 ; but the authenticity of the docu- 
ment is very doubtful. The breaking-up of Latin in 
Spain is certainly observable in Bishop Odoor's will 
under the date of 747. The celebrated Strasburg Oaths, 
the oldest of Romance instruments, belong to the year 
842 ; and, in an edict of 844, Charles the Bald mentions, 
as a thing apart, " the customary language " usitato 
vocabulo of the Spaniards. There is, however, no exist- 
ing Spanish manuscript so ancient, nor is there any 
monument as old, as the Italian Carta di Capua (960). 


The British Museum contains a curious codex from the 
Convent of Santo Domingo de Silos, on the margin of 
which a contemporary has written the vernacuhr equiva- 
lent of some four hundred Latin words ; but this is no 
earlier than the eleventh century. The Charter called 
the Fuero de Avttts of 1155 (which is in bable or Asturian, 
not Castilian), has long passed for the oldest example of 
Spanish, on the joint and several authority of Gonzalez 
Llanos, Ticknor, and Gayangos ; but Fernandez-Guerra 
y Orbe has proved it to be a forgery of much later 

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

To judge by the analogy of other literatures, it is safe 


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

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

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

Soon the separation between combatants and singers 
became absolute: the division has been effected in the 
interval which divides the Iliad from the Odyssey. 
Achilles himself sings the heroes' glories ; in the 
Odyssey the aotSo? or professional singer appears, to be 
succeeded by the rhapsode. Slowly there evolve in 
Spain, as elsewhere, two classes of artists known as 


trovadores and juglares. The trovadores are generally 
authors ; the juglares are mere executants singers, 
declaimers, mimes, or simple mountebanks. Of these 
lowlier performers one type has been immortalised in 
M. Anatole France's Le Jongleur de Notre Dame, a 
beautiful re-setting of the old story of El Tumbeor. But 
between trovadores and juglares it is not possible to 
draw a hard-and-fast line : their functions intermingled. 
Some few trovadores anticipated Wagner by eight or 
nine centuries, composing their own music-drama on 
a lesser scale. In cases of special endowment, the 
composer of words and music delivered them to the 

Subdivisions abounded. There were the juglares or 
singing-actors, the remendadores or mimes, the cazurros or 
mutes with duties undefined, resembling those of the 
intelligent "super." Gifted juglares at whiles produced 
original work ; a trovador out of luck sank to delivering 
the lines of his happier rivals ; and a stray remendador 
struggled into success as a juglar. There were juglares 
de boca (reciters) and juglares de ptftola (musicians). 
Even an official label may deceive ; thus a " Gomez 
trovador" is denoted in the year 1197, but the likeli- 
hood is that he was a mere juglar. The normal rule 
was that the juglar recited the trovador 's verses ; but, 
as already said, an occasional trovador (Alfonso Alvarez 
de Villasandino, at Seville, in the fifteenth century, is 
a case in point) would declaim his own ballad. In 
the juglar' s hands the original was cut or padded to 
suit the hearers' taste. He subordinated the verses to 
the music, and gave them maimed, or arabesqued with 
estribillos (refrains), to fit a popular air. The mono- 
tonous repetition of epithet and clause, common to all 


early verse, is used to lessen the strain on the juglar's 
memory. The commonest arrangement was that the 
juglar de boca sang the trovador's words, the juglar de 
ptfiola accompanying on some simple instrument, while 
the remendador gave the story in pantomime. 

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

"Aun merced te pido par el tu trobador" 
(Thy favour I irrplore for this thy troubadour.) 

But, though a priest and a trovador proud of his double 
office, Berceo claims his wages without a touch of false 


shame. In his Vida del glorioso Confesor Sancto Domingo 
de Silos he proves the overlapping of his functions by 
styling himself the saint's juglar ; and in the opening of 
the same poem he vouches for it that his song "will be 
well worth, as I think, a glass of good wine " : 

" Bien valdrd, comma creo, un vaso de bon vino" 

As popularity grew, modesty disappeared. The tro- 
vador, like the rest of the world, failed under the trials 
of prosperity. He became the curled darling of kings 
and nobles, and haggled over prices and salaries in the 
true spirit of "our eminent tenor." In a rich land like 
France he was given horses, castles, estates ; in the 
poorer Spain he was fain to accept, with intermittent 
grumblings, embroidered robes, couches, ornaments 
" muchos patios e sillas / guarnimientos nobres." He was 
spoon-fed, dandled, pampered, and sedulously ruined 
by the disastrous good-will of his ignorant betters. 
These could not leave Ephraim alone : they too must 
wed his idols. Alfonso the. Learned enlisted in the corps 
of trovadores, as Alfonso II. of Arag6n had done before 
him ; and King Diniz of Portugal followed the example. 
To pose as a trovador became in certain great houses 
a family tradition. The famous Constable, Alvaro de 
Luna, composes because his uncle, Don Pedro, the 
Archbishop of Toledo, has preceded him in the school. 
Grouped round the commanding figure of the Marques 
de Santillana stand the rivals of his own house-top : 
his grandfather, Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza ; his father, 
the Admiral Diego Furtado de Mendoza, a picaroon 
poet, spiteful, brutal, and witty ; his uncle, Pedro Velez 
de Guevara, who turns you a song of roguery or 
devotion with equal indifference and mastery. Santi- 


liana's is "a numerous house, with many kinsmen gay" ; 
still, in all save success, his case typifies a dominant 

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

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

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

Not every man could hope to be a knight ; but all ranks 
and both sexes could and did sing of God and love. 
To emperors and princes must be added the lowlier 
figures of Berceo, in Spain, or to go afield for the 
extremest case the Joculator Domini, the inspired 


madman, Jacopone da Todi, in Italy. With the juglar 
strolled the primitive actress, the juglaresa, mentioned 
in the Libre del Apolonio, and branded as " infamous " in 
Alfonso's code of Las Siete Partidas. At the court of 
Juan II., in the fifteenth century, the eccentric Garci 
Ferrandes of Jerena, a court poet, married a juglaresa, 
and lived to lament the consequences in a cantica of 
the Cancionero de Baena (No. 555). In northern Europe 
there flourished a tribe of jovial clerics called Goliards 
(after a mythical Pope Golias), who counted Catullus, 
Horace, and Ovid for their masters, and blent their 
anacreontics with blasphemy as in the Confessio Golia, 
wrongly ascribed to our Walter Map. The repute of 
this gentry is chronicled in the Canterbury Tales : 

" He was a jangler and a goliardeis, 
And that -was of most sin and harlotries" 

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

The prosperity of trovador *x\& juglar could not endure. 
First of foreign trovadores to reach Spain, the Gascon 
Marcabru treats Alfonso VII. (1126-57) almost as an 
equal. Raimbaud de Vaquerias, in what must be among 
the earliest copies of Spanish verse (not without a Galician 


savour), holds his head no less high ; and the apotheosis 
of ihejuglar is witnessed by Vidal de Besalu at the court 
of Alfonso VIII. (1158-1214). 

" Unas novas vos vuelh comtar 
Que auzi dir a unjoglar 
En la cort del pus savi rei 
Que ancfos de neguna lei" 

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

The foreign singer had received the half-pence ; the 
native received the kicks. And in the last decline the 
executants were blind men who sang before church- 
doors and in public squares, lacing old ballads with what 
they were pleased to call "emendations," or, in other 
words, intruding original banalities of their own. This 
decline of material prosperity had a most disastrous 
effect upon literature. A popular cantar or song was 
written by a poor man of genius. Accordingly he sold 
his copyright : that is to say, he taught his cantar to 
reciters, who paid in cash, or in drink, when they had it 


by heart, and thus the song travelled the country over- 
long with no author's name attached to it. More : re- 
peated by many lips during a long period of years, the 
form of a very popular cantar manifestly ran the risk 
of change so radical that within a few generations the 
original might be transformed in such wise as to be 
practically lost. This fate has, in effect, overtaken the 
great body of early Spanish song. 

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

In the thirteenth century, romanz or romance acquires 


a fresh meaning in Spain, begins to be used as an equi- 
valent for cat/tar, and ends by supplanting the word 
completely. Hence, by slow degrees, romance comes to 
have its present value, and is applied to a lyrico-narra- 
tive poem in eight-syllabled assonants. The Spanish 
Romancero is, beyond all cavil, the richest mine of ballad 
poetry in the world, and it was once common to declare 
that it embodied the oldest known examples of Castilian 
verse. As the assertion is still made from time to time, it 
becomes necessary to say that it is unfounded. It is true 
that the rude cantar was never forgotten in Spain, and 
that its persistence partly explains the survival of asso- 
nance in Castilian long after its abandonment by the rest 
of Europe. In his historic letter to Dom Pedro, Constable 
of Portugal, the Marques de Santillana speaks with a 
student's contempt of singers who, "against all order, 
rule, and rhythm, invent these romances and cantares 
wherein common lewd fellows do take delight." But 
no specimens of the primitive age remain, and no exist- 
ing romance is older than Santillana's own fifteenth 

The numerous Cancioncros from Baena's time to the 
appearance of the Romancero General (the First Part 
printed in 1602, with additions in 1604-14 ; the Second 
Part issued in 1605) present a vast collection of admirable 
lyrics, mostly the work of accomplished courtly versifiers. 
They contain very few examples of anything that can 
be justly called old popular songs. Alonso de Fuentes 
published in 1550 his Libro de los Cuarenta Cantos de 
Diversas y Peregrinas Historias, and in the following year 
was issued Lorenzo de Sepulveda's selection. Both pro- 
fess to reproduce the "rusticity" as well as the "tone 
and metre" of the ancient romances ; but, in fact, these 


songs, like those given by Escobar in the Romancero del 
Cid (1612), are either written by such students as Cesareo, 
who read up his subject in the chronicles, and imitated 
the old manner as best he could, or they are due to 
others who treated the oral traditions and pliegos sueltos 
(broadsides) of Spain with the same inspired freedom 
that Burns showed to the local ditties and chapbooks 
of Scotland. The two oldest romances bearing any 
author's name are given in Lope de Stiiftiga's Cancionero, 
and are the work of Carvajal, a fifteenth-century poet. 
Others may be of earlier date ; but it is impossible to 
identify them, inasmuch as they have been retouched 
and polished by singers of the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries. If they exist at all a matter of grave un- 
certainty they must be sought in the two Antwerp 
editions of Martin Nucio's Cancionero de Romances (one 
undated, the other of 1550), and in Esteban de Najera's 
Silva de Romances, printed at Zaragoza in 1550. 

There remains to say a last word on the disputed 
relation between the early Castilian and French litera- 
tures. Like the auctioneer in Middlemarch, patriots 
"talk wild" : as Amador de los Rios in his monu- 
mental fragment, and the Comte de Puymaigre in his 
essays. No fact is better established than the universal 
vogue of French literature between the twelfth and 
fourteenth centuries, a vogue which lasted till the real 
supremacy of Dante and Boccaccio and Petrarch was 
reluctantly acknowledged. It is probable that Frederic 
Barbarossa wrote in Provencal ; his nephew, Frederic II., 
sedulously aped the Provencal manner in his Italian 
verses called the Lodi delta donna amata. Marco Polo, 
Brunetto Latini, and Mandeville wrote in French for 
the same reason that almost persuaded Gibbon to w r rite 


his History in French. The substitution of the Gallic 
for the Gothic character in the eleventh century ad- 
vanced one stage further a process begun by the French 
adventurers who shared in the reconquest. 

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

" E lo Rets castelds tank qden manje per dos, 
Quar dos regismes ten, ni per Pun non es pros" 

1 See Mila y Fontanals, Los Trovadores en Espafta (Barcelona, 1889), and th* 
same writer's Resenya hist6rica y crilica dels antichs poetas Catalans in the 
third volume of his Obras completes (Barcelona, 1890). 


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

Among French minstrels traversing Spain are Pere 
Vidal, who vaunts the largesse of Alfonso VIII., and 
Guirauld de Calanson, who lickspittles the name of Pedro 
II. of Arag6n. Upon them followed Guilhem Azemar, 
a de'dasse' noble, who sank to earning his bread as a 
common jongleur, and later on there comes a crowd of 
singing-quacks and booth-spouters. It is usual to lay 
stress upon the influx of French among the pilgrims of 
the Milky Way on the road to the shrine of the national 
St. James at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia ; and 
it is a fact that the first to give us a record of this pious 
journey is Aimeric Picaud in the twelfth century, who 
unkindly remarks of the Basques, that "when they eat, 
you would take them for hogs, and when they speak, 
for dogs." This vogue was still undiminished three 
hundred years later when our own William Wey (once 
Fellow of Eton, and afterwards, as it seems, an Augus- 
tinian monk at Edyngdon Monastery in Wiltshire) wrote 
his Itinerary (1456). But though the pilgrimage to 
Santiago is noted as a peculiarly " French devotion " 
by Lope de Vega in his Francesilla (1620), it is by no 
means clear that the French pilgrims outnumbered 
those of other nations. Even if they did, this would 
not explain the literary predominance of France. This 
is not to be accounted for by the scampering flight of a 
horde of illiterate fakirs anxious only to save their souls 
and reach their homes : it is rather the natural result 
of a steady immigration of clerks in the suites of French 
bishops and princes, of French monks attracted by the 
spoil of Spanish monasteries, of French lords and knights 


and gentlemen who shared in the Crusades, and whose 
jongleurs, mimes, and tumblers came with them. 

Explain it as we choose, the influence of France 
on Spain is puissant and enduring. One sees it best 
when the Spaniard, natural or naturalised, turns crusty. 
Roderic of Toledo (himself an archbishop of the Cluny 
clique) protests against those Spanish juglares \vho cele- 
brate the fictitious victories of Charlemagne in Spain ; 
and Alfonso the Learned bears him out by deriding the 
songs and fables on these mythic triumphs, since the 
Emperor " at most conquered somewhat in Cantabria." 
A passage in the Cronica General goes to show that some, 
at least, of the early French jongleurs sang to their audi- 
ences in French clearly, as it seems, to a select, patrician 
circle. And this raises, obviously, a curious question. 
It seems natural to admit that in Spain (let us say in 
Navarre and Upper Aragon) poems were written by 
French trouveres and troubadours in a mixed hybrid 
jargon ; and the very greatest of Spanish scholars, 
D. Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo, inclines to believe in 
their possible existence. There is, in L' Entree en Espagne, 
a passage wherein the author declares that, besides the 
sham Chronicle of Turpin, his chief authorities are 

"dous dons clerges Can-gras et Gauteron, 
Can de Navaire et Gaulier d'Arragon." 

John of Navarre and Walter of Aragon may be, as 
Seftor Menendez y Pelayo suggests, two "worthy clerks" 
who once existed in the flesh, or they may be imaginings 
of the author's brain. More to the point is the fact that, 
unlike the typical chanson de geste, this Entree en Espagne 
has two distinct types of rhythm (the Alexandrine and 
the twelve-syllable line), as in the Poema del Cid ; and 


not less significant is the foreign savour of the language. 
All that can be safely said is that Senor Menendez y 
Pelayo's theory is probable enough in itself, that it is 
presented with great ingenuity, that it is backed by the 
best authority that opinion can have, and that it is in- 
capable of proof or disproof in the absence of texts. 

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

" Vos non trovades como proenqal" 

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

" Quer 1 eu, en maneyra de proen$al, 
Fazer agora um cantar (famor" 


And Alfonso's own Cantigas, honeycombed with Galli- 
cisms, are frankly Provengal in their wonderful variety 
of metre. Nor should we suppose that the Provengaux 
fought the battle alone : the northern trouveres bore 
their part. 

The French school, then, is strong in Spain, omni- 
potent in Portugal, and, were the Spanish Cancioneros 
as old as the Portuguese Song-book in the Vatican, we 
should probably find that the foreign influence was but 
a few degrees less marked in the one country than in 
the other. As it is, Alfonso the Learned ranks with 
any Portuguese of them all ; and it is reasonable to 
think that he had fellows whose achievement and names 
have not reached us. For Spanish literature and our- 
selves the loss is grave ; and yet we cannot conceive 
that there existed in early Castilian any examples com- 
parable in elaborate lyrical beauty to the cantars d'amigo 
which the Galician-Portuguese singers borrowed from 
the French ballettes. In the first place, if they had 
existed, it is next to incredible that no example and 
no tradition of them should survive. Next, the idea is 
intrinsically improbable, since the Castilian language was 
not yet sufficiently ductile for the purpose. Moreover, 
from the outset there is a counter-current in Castile. 
The early Spanish legends are mostly concerned with 
Spanish subjects. Apart from obvious foreign touches 
in the early recensions of the story of Bernaldo de 
Carpio (who figures as Charlemagne's nephew), the 
tone of the ballads is hostile to the French, and, as is 
natural, the enmity grows more pronounced with time. 
That national hero, the Cid, is especially anti-French. 
He casts the King of France in gaol ; he throws away 
the French King's chair with insult in St. Peter's. Still 


more significant is the fact that the character of French 
women becomes a jest. Thus, the balladist emphasises 
the fact that the faithless wife of Garci-Fernandez is 
French ; and, again, when Sancho Garcia's mother, like- 
wise French, appears in a romance, the singer gives her 
a blackamoor an Arab as a lover. This is primitive 
man's little way, the world over : he pays off old scores 
by deriding the virtue of his enemy's wife, mother, 
daughter, sister ; and in primitive Spain the French- 
woman is the lightning - conductor of international 
scandals, tolerable by the camp-fire, but tedious in 

In considering early Spanish verse it behoves us to 
denote facts and to be chary in drawing inferences. 
Thus, while we admit that the Poema del Cid and the 
Chanson de Roland belong to the same genre, we can 
go no further. It is not to be assumed that similarity 
of incident necessarily implies direct imitation. The 
introduction of the fighting bishop in the Cid poem is 
a case in point. His presence in the field may be 
almost certainly is an historic event, common enough 
in days when a militant bishop loved to head a charge ; 
and the chronicler may well have seen the exploits which 
he records. It by no means follows, and it is extravagant 
to suppose, that the Spanish juglar merely filches from 
the Chanson de Roland. That he had heard the Chanson 
is not only probable, but likely ; it is not, to say the 
least, a necessary consequence that he annexed an epi- 
sode as familiar in Spain as elsewhere. Nothing, if you 
probe deep enough, is new, and originality is a vain 
dream. But some margin must be left for personal 
experience and the hazard of circumstance ; and if we 
take account of the chances of coincidence, the debt of 


Castilian to French literature will appear in its due 
perspective. Nor must it be forgotten that from a very 
early date there are traces of the reflex action of 
Castilian upon French literature. They are not, indeed, 
many ; but they are authentic beyond carping. In the 
ancient Fragment de la Vie de Saint Fides dAgen, which 
dates from the eleventh century, the Spanish origin is 
frankly admitted : 

" Canson audi que bellantresca 
Quefo de razon espanesca" 

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

More directly and more characteristically Spanish in 
its origin is the royal epic entitled Ans/i's de Carthage. 
Here, after the manner of your epic poet, chronology 
is scattered to the winds, and we learn that Charlemagne 
left in Spain a king who dishonoured the daughter of 
one of his barons ; hence the invasion by the Arabs, 
whom the baron lets loose upon his country as avengers. 
The basis of the story is purely Spanish, being a some- 
what clumsy arrangement of the legend of Roderic, 
Cora, and Count Julian ; the city of Carthage standing, 
it may be, for the Spanish Cartagena. Hence it is 
clear that the mutual literary debt of Spain and France 
is, at this early stage, unequally divided. Spain, like 


the rest of the world, borrows freely ; but, with the 
course of time, the position is reversed. Moliere, the 
two Corneilles, Rotrou, Sorel, Scarron, and Le Sage, to 
mention but a few eminent names at hazard, readjust 
the balance in favour of Spain ; and the inexhaustible 
resources of the Spanish theatre, which supply the 
arrangements of scores of minor French dramatists, 
are but a small part of the literature whose details are 
our present concern. 



IN Spain, as in all countries where it is possible to 
observe the origin and the development of letters, the 
earliest literature bears the stamp of influences which 
are either epic or religious. These primitive pieces are 
characterised by a vein of popular, unconscious poetry, 
with scarce a touch of personal artistry ; and the ascrip- 
tion which refers one or other of them to an individual 
writer is, for the most part, arbitrary. Insufficiency of 
data makes it impossible to identify the oldest literary 
performance in Spanish Romance. Jews like Judah 
ben Samuel the Levite, and trovadores like Rambaud de 
Vaqueiras, arabesque their verses with Spanish tags and 
refrains ; but these are whimsies. Our choice lies rather 
between the Misterio de los Reyes Magos (Mystery of the 
Magian Kings) and the so-called Poema del Cid (Poem 
of the Cid). Experts differ concerning their respective 
dates ; but the liturgical derivation of the Misterio inclines 
one to hold it for the elder of the two. If Lidforss were 
right in attributing it to the eleventh century, the play 
would rank among the first in any modern language. 
Amador de los Ri'os dates it still further back. As 
these pretensions are excessive, the known facts may 
be briefly given. The Misterio follows upon a com- 


mentary on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, written by 
a canon of Auxerre, Gilibert 1'Universel, who died in 
1134; and its existence was first denoted at the end 
of the last century by Felipe Fernandez Vallejo, Arch- 
bishop of Santiago de Compostela between 1798 and 
1800, who correctly classified it as a dramatic scene 
to be given on the Feast of the Epiphany, and con- 
sidered it a version from some Latin original. Both 
conjectures have proved just. Throughout Europe the 
Christian theatre derives from the Church, and the early 
plays are but a lay vernacular rendering of models 
studied in the sanctuary. Simplified as the liturgy now 
is, the Mass itself, the services of Palm Sunday and 
Good Friday, are the unmistakable debris of an elabo- 
rate sacred drama. 

The Spanish Misterio proceeds from one of the Latin 
offices used at Limoges, Rouen, Nevers, Compiegne, and 
Orleans, with the legend of the Magi for a motive ; and 
these, in turn, are dramatic renderings of pious tradi- 
tions, partly oral, and partly amplifications of the apo- 
cryphal Protevangelium Jacobi Minoris and the Historia 
de Nativitate Maries et de Infantid Salvatoris. 1 These 
Franco-Latin liturgical plays, here mentioned in the 
probable order of their composition during the eleventh 
and twelfth centuries, reached Spain through the Bene- 
dictines of Cluny ; and as in each original redaction there 
is a distinct advance upon its immediate predecessor, so 
in the Spanish rendering these primitive exemplars are 
developed. In the Limoges version there is no action, 
the rudimentary dialogue consisting in the allotment of 
liturgical phrases among the personages ; in the Rouen 

1 Joannes Karl Thilo, Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti. Lipsiee, 1833. 
Pp. 254-261, 388-393. 


office, the number of actors is increased, and Herod, 
though he does not appear, is mentioned ; a still later 
redaction brings the shepherds on the scene. The 
Spanish Misterio reaches us as a fragment of some 
hundred and fifty lines, ending at the moment when the 
rabbis consult their sacred books upon Herod's appeal to 

" the prophecies 
Which Jeremiah spake" 

Us provenance is proved by the inclusion of three Virgilian 
lines] (sEneid, viii. 112-114), lifted by t ne arranger of the 
Orleans rite. The Magi are mentioned by name, and 
one speech is given by Caspar : important points which 
help to fix the date of writing. A passage in Bede speaks 
of Melchior, senex et canus ; of Baltasar, fuscus, integre 
barbatus ; of Caspar, juvenis imberbis ; but this appears 
to be interpolated. The names likewise appear in the 
famous sixth-century mosaic of the Church of Sant' 
Apollinare della Citta at Ravenna ; and here, again, 
the insertion is probably a pious afterthought. If 
Hartmann be justified in his contention, that the tradi- 
tional names of the Magi were not in vogue till after 
the alleged discovery of their remains at Milan in 1158, 
the Spanish Misterio can be, at best, no older than the 
end of the twelfth century. 

Enough of it remains to show that the Spanish work- 
man improved upon his models. He elaborates the 
dramatic action, quickens the dialogue with newer life, 
and gives his scene an ampler, a more vivid atmos- 
phere. Led by the heavenly star, the three Magi first 
appear separately, then together ; they celebrate the 
birth of Christ, whom they seek to adore, at the end 
of their thirteen days' pilgrimage. Encountering Herod, 


they confide to him their mission ; the King conjures 
his "abbots" (rabbis), counsellors, and soothsayers to 
search the mystic books, and to say whether the Magis' 
tale be true. The passages between Herod and his 
rabbis are marked by intensity and passion, far ex- 
ceeding the Franco-Latin models in dramatic force ; 
and there is a corresponding progress of mechanism, 
distribution, and rapidity. 

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

This misnamed epic, no unworthy fellow to the Chan- 
son de Roland, is the first great monument of Spanish 
literature. Like the Misterio de los Reyes Magos, like so 
many early pieces, the Poema del Cid reaches us maimed 


and mutilated. The beginning is lost ; a page in the 
middle, containing some fifty lines following upon verse 
2338, has gone astray from our copy ; and the end has 
been retouched by unskilful fingers. The unique manu- 
script in which the cantar exists belongs to the four- 
teenth century : so much is now settled after infinite 
disputes. The original composition is thought to date 
from about the middle third of the twelfth century 
(1135-75), som e fifty years after the Cid's death at 
Valencia in 1099. Hence the Poem of the Cid stands 
almost midway between the Chanson de Roland and the 
Niebelungenlied. Nevertheless, in its surviving shape it 
is the result of innumerable retouches which amount to 
botching. Its authorship is more than doubtful, for the 
Per Abbat who obtrudes in the closing lines is, like the 
Turoldus of Roland, the mere transcriber of an unfaithful 
copy. Our gratitude to Per Abbat is dashed with regret 
for his slapdash methods. The assonants are roughly 
handled, whole phrases are unintelligently repeated, are 
transferred from one line to another, or are thrust out 
from the text, and in some cases two lines are crushed 
into one. The prevailing metre is the Alexandrine or 
fourteen-syllabled verse, probably adopted in conscious 
imitation of that Latin chronicle on the conquest of 
Almerfa which first reveals the national champion under 
his popular title 

" Ipse Rodertcus, Mio Cid semper vocatus, 
De quo cantatur, quod ab hostibus haud superatus'^ 

However that may be, the normal measure is repro- 
duced with curious infelicity. Some lines run to twenty 
syllables, some halt at ten, and it cannot be doubted 
that many of these irregularities are results of careless 


copying. Still, to Per Abbat we owe the preservation of 
the Cid cantar as we owe to Sanchez its issue in 1779, 
more than half a century before any French chanson de 
gcste was printed. 

The Spanish epic has a twofold theme the exploits 
of the exiled Cid, and the marriage of his two (mythical) 
daughters to the Infantes de Carri6n. Diffused through 
Europe by the genius of Corneille, who conveyed his 
conception from Guillen de Castro, the legendary Cid 
differs hugely from the Cid of history. Uncritical scep- 
ticism has denied his existence ; but Cervantes, with his 
good sense, hit the white in the first part of Don Quixote 
(chapter xlix.). Unquestionably the Cicl lived in the flesh : 
whether or not his alleged achievements occurred is 
another matter. Irony has incidentally marked him for 
its own. The mercenary in the pay of Zaragozan emirs 
is fabled as the model Spanish patriot ; the plunderer of 
churches becomes the flower of orthodoxy ; the cunning 
intriguer who rifled Jews and mocked at treaties is trans- 
figured as the chivalrous paladin ; the unsentimental 
trooper who never loved is delivered unto us as the 
typical jeune premier. Lastly, the mirror of Spanish 
nationality is best known by his Arabic title (Sidi = 
lord). Yet two points must be kept in mind : the facts 
which discredit him are reported by hostile Arab his- 
torians ; and, again, the Cid is entitled to be judged by 
the standard of his country and his time. So judged, 
we may accept the verdict of his enemies, who cursed 
him as " a miracle of the miracles of God and the con- 
queror of banners." Ruy Diaz de Bivar to give him 
his true name was something more than a freebooter 
whose deeds struck the popular fancy : he stood for 
unity, for the supremacy of Castile over Le6n, and his 


example proved that, against almost any odds, the 
Spaniards could hold their own against the Moors. In 
the long night between the disaster of Alarcos and the 
crowning triumph of Navas de Tolosa, the Cid's figure 
grew glorious as that of the man who had never de- 
spaired of his country, and in the hour of victory the 
legend of his inspiration was not forgotten. From his 
death at Valencia in 1099, his memory became a national 
possession, embellished by popular poetic fancy. 

In the Poema the treatment is obviously modelled 
upon the Chanson de Roland. But there is a fixed intent 
to place the Spaniard first. The Cid is pictured as more 
human than Roland : he releases his prisoners without 
ransom ; he gives them money so that they may reach 
their homes. Charlemagne, in the Chanson, destroys the 
idols in the mosques, baptizes a hundred thousand Sara- 
cens by force, hangs or flays alive the recalcitrant ; the 
Cid shows such humanity to a conquered province that 
on his departure the Moors burst forth weeping, and 
pray for his prosperous voyage. The machinery in both 
cases is very similar. As the archangel Gabriel appears 
to Charlemagne, he appears likewise to the Cid Cam- 
peador. Bishop Turpin opens the battle in Roland, and 
Bishop Jerome heads the charge for Spain. Roland and 
Ruy Diaz are absolved and exhorted to the same effect, 
and the resemblance of the epithet curunez applied to 
the French bishop is too close to the coronado of the 
Spaniard to be accidental. But allowing for the fact 
that the Spanish juglar borrows his framework, his per- 
formance is great by virtue of its simplicity, its strength, 
its spirit and fire. Whether he deals with the hungry 
loyalty of the Cid in exile, or his reception into favour 
by an ingrate king ; whether he celebrates the overthrow 


of the Count of Barcelona or the surrender of Valencia ; 
whether he sings the nuptials of Elvira and Sol with 
the Infantes de Carri6n, or the avenging Cid who seeks 
reparation from his craven son-in-law, the touch is 
always happy and is commonly final. 

There is an unity of conception and of language which 
forbids our accepting the Poema as the work of several 
hands ; and the division of the poem into separate 
cantares is managed with a discretion which argues a 
single artistic intelligence. The first part closes with the 
marriage of the hero's daughters ; the second with the 
shame of the Infantes de Carri6n, and the proud an- 
nouncement that the kings of Spain are sprung from 
the Cid's loins. In both the singer rises to the level 
of his subject, but his chief est gust is in the recital of 
some brilliant deed of arms. Judge him when, in a 
famous passage well rendered by Ormsby, he sings the 
charge of the Cid at Alcocer : 

" With bucklers braced before their breasts, with lances pointing low, 
With stooping crests and heads dent down above the saddle-bow, 
All firm of hand and high of heart they roll upon the foe. 
And he that in a good hour was born, his clarion "voice rings out, 
And clear above the clang of arms is heard his battle-shout, 
' Among them, gentlemen ! Strike home for the love of charity ! 
The Champion of Bivar is here Ruy Diaz I am hef 
Then bearing where Bermuez still maintains unequal fight, 
Three hundred lances down they come, their pennons flickering 


Down go three hundred Moors to earth, a man to every blow; 
And, when they wheel, three hundred more, as charging back they go. 
It was a sight to see the lances rise and fall that day ; 
The shivered shields and riven mail, to see how thick they lay; 
The pennons that went in snow-white come out a gory red; 
The horses running riderless, the riders lying dead; 
While Moors call on Muhammad, and ' St. James / ' the Christians 



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

Even more fantastic is the personality of Ruy Diaz as 


rendered by the anonymous compiler of the Cronica 
Rimada (Rhymed Chronicle of Events in Spain from the 
Death of King Pelayo to Ferdinand the Great, and more 
especially of the Adventures of the Cid). The composi- 
tion which bears this clumsy and inappropriate title is 
better named the Cantar de Rodrigo, and consists of 
1125 lines, preceded by a scrap of rugged prose. Not 
till after digressions into other episodes, and irrelevant 
stories of Miro and Bernardo, Bishops of Palencia, pro- 
bably fellow-townsmen of the compiler, does the Cid 
appear. He is no longer, as in the Poema, a popular 
hero, idealised from historic report ; he is a purely ima- 
ginary figure, incrusted with a mass of fables accumulated 
in course of time. At the age of twelve he slays G6mez 
G6rmaz (an almost impossible style, compounded of a 
patronymic and the name of a castle belonging to the 
Cid), is claimed by the dead man's daughter, weds her, 
vanquishes the Moors, and leads his King's Fernando's 
troops to the gates of Paris, defeating the Count of 
Savoy upon the road. One legend is heaped upon 
another, and the poem, the end of which is lost, breaks 
off with the Pope's request for a year's truce, which 
Fernando, acting as ever upon the Cid's advice, mag- 
nanimously extends for twelve years. It is hard to say 
whether the Cantar de Rodrigo as we have it is the 
production of a single composer, or whether it is a 
patchwork by different hands, arranged from earlier 
poems, and eked out by prose stories and by oral tradi- 
tions. The versification is that of the simple sixteen- 
syllabled line, each hemistich of which forms a typical 
romance line. This in itself is a sign of its later date, 
and to this must be added the traces of deliberate imita- 
tion of the Poema, and the writer's familiarity with such 


modern devices as heraldic emblems. Further, the use 
of a Provencal form like gensor, the unmistakable tokens 
of French influence, the anticipation of the metre of 
the clerkly poems, the writer's frank admission of earlier 
songs on the same subject, the metamorphosis of the Cid 
into a feudal baron, and, above all, the decadent spirit of 
the entire work : these are tokens which imply a relative 
modernity. Much of the obscurity of language, which 
has been mistaken for archaism, is simply due to the 
defects of the manuscript ; and the evidence goes to 
show that the Rodrigo, put together in the last decade 
of the twelfth century or the first of the thirteenth, was 
retouched in the fourteenth by Spanish juglares humili- 
ated by the recent French invasions. Even so, much 
of the primitive pastiche remains, and the Rodrigo, which 
is mentioned in the General Chronicle, interests us as being 
the fountain-head of those romances on the Cid whose 
collection we owe to that enthusiastic and most learned 
investigator, Madame Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcellos. 
Far inferior in merit and interest to the Poema, the 
Rodrigo ranks with it as representative of the submerged 
mass of cantares de gesta, and is rightly valued as the 
venerable relic of a lost school. 

To these succeed three anonymous poems, the Libra 
de Apolonio (Book of Apollonius), the Vida de Santa Maria 
Egipdaqua (Life of St. Mary the Egyptian), and the 
Libre dels Tres Reyes dorient (Book of the Three Eastern 
Kings), all discovered in one manuscript in the Escurial 
Library by Pedro Jose Pidal, and first published by him 
in 1844. The story of Apollonius, supposed to be a trans- 
lation of a Greek romance, filters into European literature 
by way of the Gesta Romanorum, is found even in Ice- 
landic and Danish versions, and is familiar to English 


readers ot Pericles. The nameless Spanish arranger of 
the thirteenth century (probably a native of Arag6n) 
gives the story of Apollonius' adventures with force and 
clearness, anticipating in the character of Tarsiana the 
type of Preciosa, the heroine of Cervantes' Gitanilla and 
of Weber's opera. Unfortunately the closing tags of 
moralisings on the vanity of life destroy the effect which 
the writer has produced by his free translation. His 
text is suffused with Provengalisms, and his mono- 
rhymed quatrains of fourteen syllables are evidence of 
French or Provencal origin. This metrical novelty, 
extending over more than six hundred stanzas, is pro- 
perly regarded by the author as his chief distinction, 
and he implores God and the Virgin to guide him in the 
exercise of the new mastery (nueva maestrid). It is fair 
to add that his experiment has the interest of novelty, 
that it succeeded beyond measure in its time, and that 
its monotonous vogue endured for some two hundred 

To the same period belongs the Vida de Santa Maria 
Egipciaqua, the earliest Castilian example of verses of 
nine syllables. In substance it is a version of the Vie 
de Saint Marie tEgyptienne, ascribed without much 
reason to the veritable Bishop of Lincoln, Robert 
Grosseteste (? 1175-1253), among whose Carmtna Anglo- 
Normannica the French original is interpolated. The 
Spanish version follows the French lead with almost 
pedantic exactitude ; but the metre, new and well suited 
to the common ear, is handled with an easy grace re- 
markable in a first effort. As happens with other works 
of this time, the title of the short Libre dels Tres Reyes 
dorient is misleading. The visit of the Magi is briefly 
dismissed in the first fifty lines, the poem turning chiefly 


upon the Flight into Egypt, the miracle wrought upon 
the leprous child of the robber, and the identification 
of the latter with the repentant thief of the New 
Testament. Like its predecessor, this legend is given 
in nine-syllabled verse, and is undoubtedly borrowed 
from a French or Provencal source not yet discovered. 

In the Disputa del Alma y el Cuerpo (Argument be- 
twixt Body and Soul), a subject which passes into 
all mediaeval literatures from a copy of Latin verses 
styled Rixa Animi et Corporis, there is a recurrence, 
though with innumerable variants of measure, to the 
Alexandrine type. Thus it is sought to reproduce the 
music of the model, an Anglo-Norman poem, written in 
rhymed couplets of six syllables, and wrongly attributed 
to Walter Map. With it should go the Debate entre el 
Agua y el Vino (Debate between Water and Wine), and 
the first Castilian lyric, Razon feita cfAmor (the Lay of 
Love). Composed in verses of nine syllables, the poem 
deals with the meeting of two lovers, their colloquy, 
interchanges, and separation. Both pieces, discovered 
within the last seventeen years by M. Morel-Fatio, are 
the productions of a single mind. It is tempting to 
identify the writer with the Lope de Moros mentioned 
in the final line, "Lupus me fe$it de Moros" \ still the 
likelihood is that, here as elsewhere, the copyist has but 
signed his transcription. Whoever the author may 
have been and the internal evidence tends to show 
that he was a clerk familiar with French, Provencal, 
Italian, or Portuguese exemplars he shines by virtue 
of qualities which are akin to genius. His delicacy and 
variety of sentiment, his finish of workmanship, his 
deliberate lyrical effects, announce the arrival of the 
equipped artist, the craftsman no longer content with 


rhymed narration, the singer with a personal, distinctive 
note. Here was a poet who recognised that in literature 
the least moral of the arts the end justifies the 
means ; hence he transformed the material which he 
borrowed, made it his own possession, and conveyed 
into Castile a new method adapted to her needs. But 
time and language were not yet ripe, and the Spanish 
lyric flourished solely in Galicia : it was not to be trans- 
planted at a first attempt. Yet the attempt was worth 
the trial ; for it closes the anonymous period with a 
triumph to which, if we except the Poema del Cid t it 
can show no fellow. 




IF we reject the claim of Lope de Moros to be the 
author of the Razon feita a" A mor, the first Castilian poet 
whose name reaches us is GONZALO DE BERCEO (?ii98- 
? 1264), a secular priest attached to the Benedictine 
monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla, in the diocese of 
Calahorra. A few details are known of him. He was 
certainly a deacon in 1220, and his name occurs in 
documents between 1237 and 1264. He speaks of his 
advanced age in the Vida de Santa Oria, Virgen, his latest 
and perhaps most finished work ; and his birthplace, 
Berceo, is named in his Historia del Setter San Milldn 
de Cogolla, as in his rhymed biography of St. Dominic of 
Silas. His copiousness runs to some thirteen thousand 
lines, including, besides the works already named, the 
Sacrificio de la Misa (Sacrifice of the Mass), the Martirio 
de San Lorenzo (Martyrdom of St. Lawrence), the Loores 
de Nuestra Settora (Praises of Our Lady), the Signos que 
aparscerdn ante del Juicio (Signs visible before the Judg- 
ment), the Milagros de Nuestra Senora (Miracles of Our 
Lady), the Duelo que hizo la Virgen Maria el dia de la 
Pasidn de su hijo Jesucristo (The Virgin's Lament on the 
day of her Son's Passion), and three hymns to the 



Holy Ghost, the Virgin, and God the Father. In most 
editions of Berceo there is appended to his verses a poem 
in his praise, attributed to an unknown writer of the 
fourteenth century. This poem is, in fact, conjectured 
to be an invention of Tomas Antonio Sanchez, the 
earliest editor of Berceo's complete works (1779). The 
chances are that Berceo and his writings had passed out 
of remembrance within two hundred years of his death, 
and he was evidently unknown to Santillana in the 
fifteenth century. But a brief extract from him is given 
in the Mois/n Segundo (Second Moses) of Ambrosio 
G6mez, published in 1653. With the exception of the 
Martirio de San Lorenzo, of which the end is lost, all 
Berceo's writings have been preserved, and he suffers 
by reason of his exuberance. 

He sings in the vernacular, he declares, being too 
unlearned in the Latin ; but he has his little pretensions. 
Though he calls himself -zjuglar, he marks the differences 
between his dictados (poems) and the cantares (songs) 
of a plain juglar, and he vindicates his title by that 
monotonous metre the cuaderna via which was taken 
up in the Libro de Apolonio and became the model 
of all learned clerks in the next generations. Berceo 
uses the rhythm with success, and if his results are not 
splendid, it was not because he lacked perseverance. 
On the contrary, his industry was only too formidable. 
And, as a little of the mono-rhymed quatrain goes far, 
he must have perished had he depended upon execution. 
Beside Dante's achievement, as Puymaigre notes, the 
paraphrases of Berceo in the Sacrificio de la Misa (stanzas 
250-266) seem thin and pale ; but the comparison is 
unfair to the earlier Castilian singer, who died in his 
obscure hamlet without the advantage of Dante's splendid 


literary tradition. Berceo is hampered by his lack of 
imagination, by the poverty of his conditions, by the 
absence of models, by the narrow circle of his sub- 
jects, and by the pious scruples which hindered him 
from arabesquing the original design. Yet he pos- 
sesses the gifts of simplicity and of unction, and amid 
his long digressions into prosy theological commonplace 
there are flashes of mystic inspiration unmatched by 
any other poet of his country and his time. Even 
when his versification, clear but hard, is at its worst, 
he accomplishes the end which he desires by popular- 
ising the pious legends which were dear to him. He 
was not never could have been a great poet. But in 
his own way he was, if not an inventor, the chief of a 
school, and the necessary predecessor of such devout 
authors as Luis de Leon and St. Teresa. He was a 
pioneer in the field of devout pastoral, with all the 
defects of the inexperienced explorer ; and, for the most 
part, he had nothing to guide him but his own uncul- 
tured instinct. Some specimen of his work may be 
given in Hookham Frere's little-known fragmentary 
version of the Vida de San Milldn : 

" He walked those mountains -wild, and lived within that nook 
For forty years and more, nor ever comfort took 
Of offered food or alms, or human speech a lookj 
No other saint in Spain did such a penance brook. 

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

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


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

" En Seixons . . . un liuro a todo cheo 
de miragres." 

There were doubtless earlier Latin collections 
amongst others, Vincent de Beauvais' Speculum histo- 
riale and Pothon's Liber de miraculis Sanct<z Dei Genitricis 
Maria which both Berceo and Alfonso used. But since 
Alfonso, a middle-aged man when Berceo died, knew 
the Soissons collection, it seems possible that Berceo 
also handled it. A close examination of his text con- 
verts the bare possibility into something approaching 
certainty. Of Berceo's twenty-five Marian legends, 
eighteen are given by Gautier de Coinci, whose total 
reaches fifty-five. This is not by itself final, for both 
writers might have selected them from a common 
source. Yet there are convincing proofs of imitation in 
the coincidences of thought and expression which are 
apparent in Gautier and Berceo. These are too nume- 
rous to be accidental ; and still more weight must be 
given to the fact that in several cases where Gautier 


invents a detail of his own wit, Berceo reproduces it. 
Taken in conjunction with his known habit of strict 
adherence to his text, it follows that Berceo took Gautier 
for his guide. He did what all the world was doing in 
borrowing from the French, and in the Virgin's Lament 
he has the candour to confess the northern supremacy. 

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


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

So much for verse. Castilian prose develops on paral- 
lel lines with it. A very early specimen is the didactic 
treatise called the Diez Mandamientos, written by a Navar- 
rese monk, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
for the use of confessors. Somewhat later follow the 
Anales Toledanos, in two separate parts (the third is much 
more recent), composed between the years 1220 and 1250. 
Rodrigo Jimdnez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo (1170- 
1247), wrote a Latin Historia Gothica, which begins with 
the Gothic invasion, and ends at the year 1 243. Under- 
taken at the bidding of St. Ferdinand of Castile, this 
work was summarised, and done into Castilian, probably 
by Jimenez de Rada himself, under the title of the His- 
toria de los Godos. Its date would be the fourth decade 
of the thirteenth century, and to this same time (1241) 
belongs the Fuero Juzgo (Forum Judicuni). This is a 
Castilian version of a code of so-called Gothic laws, sub- 
stantially Roman in origin, given by St. Ferdinand (1200- 
1252) to the Spaniards settle'd in C6rdoba and other 
southern cities after the reconquest; but though of ex- 
treme value to the philologer, its literary interest is too 
slight to detain us here. Two most brilliant specimens of 


early Spanish prose are the letters supposed to have 
been written by the dying Alexander to his mother ; and 
the accident of their being found in the manuscript copied 
by Lorenzo Segura de Astorga has led to their being 
printed at the end of the Libra de Alexandre. There is 
good reason for thinking that they are not by the author 
of that poem ; and, in truth, they are mere transla- 
tions. Both letters are taken from Hunain ibn Ishdk 
al-'Ibddl's Arabic collection of moral sentences; the 
first is found in the Boniunt (so called from its author, a 
mythical King of Persia), and the second on the Castilian 
version of the Secretum Secretorum, of which the very 
title is reproduced as Poridat de las Poridades. Further 
examples of progressive prose are found in the Libro de 
los doce Sabios, which deals with the political education 
of princes, and may have been drawn up by the direction 
of St. Ferdinand. But the authorship and date of these 
compilations are little better than conjectural. 

These are the preliminary essays in the stuff of Spanish 
prose. Its permanent form was received at the hands 
of ALFONSO THE LEARNED (1226-84), who followed his 
father, St. Ferdinand, to the Castilian throne in 1252. Un- 
lucky in his life, balked of his ambition to wear the title 
of Emperor, at war with Popes, his own brothers, his chil- 
dren, and his people, Alfonso has been hardly entreated 
after death. Mariana, the greatest of Spanish historians, 
condenses the vulgar verdict in a Tacitean phrase : Dum 
ccelum considerat terra amissit. A mountain of libellous 
myth has overlaid Alfonso's fame. Of all the anecdotes 
concerning him, the best known is that which reports 
him as saying, " Had God consulted me at the crea- 
tion of the world, He would have made it differently." 
This deliberate invention is due to Pedro IV. (the Cere- 


monious) ; and if Pedro foresaw the result, he must have 
been a scoundrel of genius. Fortunately, nothing can 
rob Alfonso of his right to be considered, not only as 
the father of Castilian verse, but as the centre of all 
Spanish intellectual life. Political disaster never caused 
his intellectual activity to slacken. Like Bacon, he took 
all knowledge for his province, and in every department 
he shone pre-eminent. Astronomy, music, philosophy, 
canon and civil law, history, poetry, the study of lan- 
guages : he forced his people upon these untrodden 
roads. To catalogue the series of his scientific enter- 
prises, and to set down the names of his Jewish and 
Arab collaborators, would give ample work to a biblio- 
grapher. Both the Tablas Alfonsis and the colossal 
Libros del Saber de Astronomla (Books on the Science 
of Astronomy) are packed with minute corrections of 
Ptolemy, in whose system the learned King seems to 
have suspected an error ; but their present interest lies 
in the historic fact, that with their compilation Castilian 
makes its first great stride in the direction of exactitude 
and clearness. 

Similar qualities of precision and ease were developed 
in encyclopaedic treatises like the Septenario^ which, 
together with the Fuero Juzgo, Alfonso drew up in his 
father's lifetime ; and in practical guides such as the 
Juegos de A$edrex, Dados, et Tablas (Book of Chess, Dice, 
and Chequers). This miraculous activity astounded 
contemporaries, and posterity has multiplied the wonder 
by attributing well-nigh every possible anonymous work 
to the man whose real activity is a marvel. It has been 

1 So called because it embraced the seven subjects of learning : the trivia 
(grammar, logic, and rhetoric), and the quadrivio (music, astrology, physics, 
and metaphysics). 


sought to prove him the author of the Libra de Alex- 
andre, the writer of Alexander's Letters, the compiler 
of treatises on the chase, the translator of Kalilah and 
Dimnah, and innumerable more pieces. Not one of 
these can be brought home to him, and some belong 
to a later time. Ticknor, again, foists on Alfonso two 
separate works each entitled the Tesoro, and the author- 
ship has been accepted upon that authority. It is 
therefore necessary to state the real case. The one 
Tesoro is a prose translation of Brunette Latini's Li 
Livres dou Tre"sor made by Alfonso de Paredes and 
Pero Gomez, respectively surgeon and secretary at the 
court of Sancho, Alfonso's son and successor ; the 
other Tesoro, with its prose preamble and forty-eight 
stanzas, is a forgery vamped by some parasite in the 
train of Alonso Carrillo, Archbishop of Toledo, during 
the fifteenth century. 

Alonso de Fuentes, writing three hundred years after 
Alfonso's death, names him as author of a celebrated 
romance "/ left behind my native land" \ the rhythm 
and accentuation prove the lines to belong to a fifteenth- 
century maker whose attribution of them to the King is 
palpably dramatic. Great authorities accept as authen- 
tic the Libra de Querellas (Book of Plaints), which is 
represented by two fine stanzas addressed to Diego 
Sarmiento, " brother and friend and vassal leal " of 
"him whose foot was kissed by kings, him from whom 
queens sought alms and grace." One is sorry to lose 
them, but they must be rejected. No such book is 
known to any contemporary ; the twelve - syllabled 
octave in which the stanzas are written was not in- 
vented till a hundred years later ; and these two stanzas 
are simply fabrications by Pellicer, who first published 


them in the seventeenth century in his Memoir on the 
House of Sarmiento, with a view to flattering his patron. 

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

Sancho Panza, as Governor of Barataria, could not 
have bettered the counsels of the Siete Partidas, whose 
very titles force a smile : " What things men should 


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

In history, too, Alfonso sought distinction ;_ and he 
found it. The Crdnica or Estoria de Espanna, com- 
posed between the years 1260 and 1268, the General e 
grand Estoria, begun in 1270, owe to him their inspira- 
tion. The latter, ranging from the Creation to Apo- 
stolic times, glances at such secular events as the 
Babylonian Empire and the fall of Troy ; the former 
extends from the peopling of Europe by the sons of 
Japhet to the death of St. Ferdinand. Rodrigo Jimenez 
de Rada and Lucas de Tuy are the direct authorities, 
and their testimonies are completed by elaborate refer- 
ences that stretch from Pliny to the cantares de gesta. 
Moreover, the Arab chronicles are avowedly utilised in 
the account of the Cid's exploits : "thus says Abenfarax 
in his Arabic whence this history is derived." A singular 


circumstance is the inferiority of style in these render- 
ings from the Arabic. Elsewhere a strange ignorance 
of Arabs and their history is shown by the compiler's 
inclusion of such fables as Muhammad's crusade in 
Cordoba. The inevitable conclusion is that the Esto- 
rt'as, like the Siete Partidas, are compilations by several 
hands ; and the idea is supported by the fact that the 
prologue to the Estoria de Espanna is scarcely more 
than a translation of Jimenez de Rada's preface. 

Late traditions give the names of Alfonso's colla- 
borators in one or the other History as Egidio de 
Zamora, Jofre de Loaysa, Martin de Cordoba, Suero 
Perez, Bishop of Zamora, and Garci Fernandez de 
Toledo ; and even though these attributions be (as 
seems likely) a trifle fantastical, they at least indicate a 
long-standing disbelief in the unity of authorship. It 
is proved that Alfonso gathered from C6rdoba, Seville, 
Toledo, and Paris some fifty experts to translate Ptolemy's 
Quadri partitum and other astronomic treatises ; it is 
natural that he should organise a similar committee to 
put together the first history in the Castilian language. 
Better than most of his contemporaries, he knew the 
value of combination. As with astronomy so with his- 
tory : in both cases he conceived the scheme, in both 
cases he presided at the redaction and stamped the 
crude stuff with his distinctive seal. Judged by a 
modern standard, both Estorias lend themselves to a 
cheap ridicule ; compared with their predecessors, they 
imply a finer appreciation of the value of testimony, 
and this notable evolution of the critical sense is 
matched by a manner that rises to the theme. Side 
by side with a greater care for chronology, there is a 
keener edge of patriotism which leads the compilers to 


embody in their text whole passages of lost cantares de 
gesta. And these are no purple patches : the expression 
is throughout dignified without pomp, and easy without 
familiarity. Spanish prose sheds much of its uncouth- 
ness, and takes its definitive form in such a passage as 
that upon the Joys of Spain : " More than all, Spain 
is subtle, ay ! and terrible, right skilled in conflict, 
mirthful in labour, stanch to her lord, in letters studious, 
in speech courtly, fulfilled of gifts ; never a land the 
earth overlong to match her excellence, to rival her 
bravery ; few in the world as mighty as she." It may 
be lawful to believe that here we catch the personal 
accent of the King. 

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


de Belenoi, Nat de Mons, Calvo, Riquier, Lunel, and 

That Alfonso wrote in Provencal seems probable 
enough, especially as he derides the incapacity in this 
respect of his father's trovador, Pero da Ponte ; still, the 
two Provengal pieces which bear his name are spurious, 
and are the work of Nat de Mons and Riquier. How- 
beit, the Provencal spell mastered him, and drove him to 
reproduce its elaborate rhythms. The first impression 
given by the Cantigas is one of unusual metrical re- 
source. Verses of four syllables, of five, octosyllabics, 
hendecasyllabics, are among the singer's experiments. 
From the popular coplas, not unlike the modern segui- 
dillas, he strays to the lumbering line of seventeen 
syllables ; in five strophes he commits an acrostic as 
the name Maria; and half a thousand years before 
Matilda's lover went to Gottingen, he anticipates Can- 
ning's freak in the Anti-Jacobin by splitting up a word 
to achieve a difficult rhyme ; he abuses the refrain by 
insistent repetition, so as to give the echo of a litany, 
or fit the ready-made melody of a juglar (clxxii.) ; 
puerilities perhaps, but characteristic of a school and 
an epoch. Subjects are taken as they come, preference 
being given to the more universal version, and local 
legends taking a secondary place. A living English 
poet has merited great praise for his Ballad of a Nun. 
Six hundred years before Mr. Davidson, Alfonso gave 
six splendid variants of the famous story. Two men of 
genius have treated the legend of the statue and the 
ring Prosper Me'rimee in his Vtnus d'llle, and Heine in 
Les Dieux en Exile with splendid effect. Alfonso (xlii.) 
anticipated them by rendering the story in verses of in- 
comparable beauty, pregnant with mystery and terror. 


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

His example in so many fields of intellectual exercise 
was followed. What part he took (if any) in preparing 
Kalilah and Dimnah is not settled. The Spanish ver- 
sion, probably made before Alfonso's accession to the 
throne, derives straight from the Arabic, which, in its turn, 
is rendered by Abd Allah ibn al-Mukaffa (754-775) from 
Barzoyeh's lost PehlevI (Old Persian) translations of the 
original Sanskrit. This last has disappeared, though its 
substance survives in the remodelled Panchatantra, and 
from it descend the variants that are found in almost all 
European literatures. The period of the Spanish render- 
ing is hard to determine exactly, but 1251 is the generally 
accepted date, and its vogue is proved by the use made 
of it by Raimond de Beziers in his Latin version (1313). 


It does not appear to have been used by Raimond Lull 
(1229-1315), the celebrated Doctor tlluminatus, in his 
Catalan Beast-Romance, inserted in the Libre de Mara- 
velles about the year 1286. The value of the Spanish 
lies in the excellence of the narrative manner, and in its 
reduction of the oriental apologue to terms of the ver- 
nacular. Alfonso's brother, Fadrique, followed the lead 
in his Engannos / Assayamientos de las Mogieres (Crafts 
and Wiles of Women), which is referred to 1253, and is 
translated from the Arabic version of a lost Sanskrit 
original, after the fashion of Kalilah and Dimnah. 

Translation is continued at the court of Alfonso's son 
and successor, SANCHO IV. (d. 1295), who, as already 
noted, commands a version of Brunetto Latini's Tesoro ; 
and the encyclopaedic mania takes shape in a work entitled 
the Lu$idarto, a series of one hundred and six chapters, 
which begins by discussing "What was the first thing 
in heaven and earth ? " and ends with reflections on 
the habits of animals and the whiteness of negroes' 
teeth. The Gran Conquista de Ultramar (Great Conquest 
Oversea) is a perversion of the history originally given 
by Guillaume de Tyr (d. 1184), mixed with other fabu- 
lous elements, derived perhaps from the French, and 
certainly from the Provencal, which thus comes for 
the first time in direct contact with Castilian prose. 
The fragmentary Provencal Chanson dAntioche which 
remains can scarcely be the original form in which 
it was composed by its alleged author, Gregoire de 
Bechada : at best it is a rifacimento of a previous 
draught. But that it was used by the Spanish trans- 
lator has been amply demonstrated by M. Gaston Paris. 
The translator has been identified with King Sancho 
himself ; the safer opinion is that the work was unde 


taken by his order during his last days, and was finished 
after his death. 

With these should be classed compilations like the 
Book of Good Proverbs, translated from Hunain ibn 
Ishak al-'Ibadl ; the Bonium or Bocados de Oro, from 
the collections of Abu '1 Wafa Mubashshir ibn Fatik, part 
of which was Englished by Lord Rivers, and thence 
conveyed into Caxton's Dictes and Sayings of the Philo- 
sophers ; and the Flowers of Philosophy, a treatise com- 
posed of thirty-eight chapters of fictitious moral sentences 
uttered by a tribe of thinkers, culminating fitly enough 
for a Spanish book in Seneca of Cordoba. In dealing 
with these works it is impossible to speak precisely 
as to source and date : the probability is that they 
were put together during the reign of Sancho, who was 
his father's son in more than the literal sense. Like 
Alfonso's, his ambition was to force his people into 
the intellectual current of the age, and in default of 
native masterpieces he supplied them with foreign models 
whence the desired masterpieces might proceed ; and, 
like his father, Sancho himself entered the lists with his 
Castigos y Documentos (Admonitions and Exhortations), 
ninety chapters designed for the guidance of his son. 
This production, disfigured by the ostentatious erudition 
of the Middle Ages, is saved from death by its shrewd 
common-sense, by its practical counsel, and by the ad- 
mirable purity and lucidity of style that formed the 
most valuable asset in Sancho's heritage. With him the 
literature of the thirteenth century comes to a dramatic 
close : the turbulent fighter, whose rebellion cut short 
his father's days, becomes the conscientious promoter 
of his father's literary tradition. 



ONLY the barest mention need be made of a "clerkly 
poem" called the Vida de San Ildefonso (Life of St. Ilde- 
phonsus), a dry narrative of over a thousand lines, pro- 
bably written soon after 1313, when the saint's feast 
was instituted by the Council of Penafiel. Its author 
declares that he once held the prebend of tTbeda, and 
that he had previously rhymed the history of the Mag- 
dalen. No other information concerning him exists ; 
nor is it eagerly sought, for the Prebendary's poem is a 
colourless imitation of Berceo, without Berceo's visitings 
of inspiration. More merit is shown in the Proverbios 
en Rimo de Salomon (Solomon's Rhymed Proverbs), 
moralisings on the vanity of life, written, with many 
variations, in the manner of Berceo. The author of 
these didactic, satiric verses is announced in the oldest 
manuscript copy as one Pero G6mez, son of Juan Fer- 
nandez. He has been absurdly confounded with an 
ancient " G6mez, trovador" and, more plausibly, with 
the Pero G6mez who collaborated with Paredes in 
translating Brunetto Latini's Tesoro ; but the name is 
too common to allow of precise opinion as to the real 
author, whom some have taken for Pero Lopez de Ayala. 



Whoever the writer, he possessed a pleasant gift of 
satirical observation, and a knowledge of men and 
affairs which he puts to good use, with few lapses upon 
the merely trite and banal. 

Of more singular interest is the incomplete Poema 
de Jose or Historia de Yusuf, named by the writer, 
Al-hadits de Jusuf. This curious monument, due doubt- 
less to some unconverted Mudejar of Toledo, is the 
typical example of the literature called aljamiada. The 
language is correct Castilian of the time, and the 
metre, sustained for 312 stanzas, is the right Bercean : 
the peculiarity lies in the use of Arabic characters 
in the phonetic transcription. A considerable mass 
of such compositions has been discovered (and in the 
discovery England has taken part) ; but of them all 
the Historia de Yusuf is at once the best and earliest. 
It deals with the story of Joseph in Egypt, not accord- 
ing to the Old Testament narrative, but in general con- 
formity with the version found in the eleventh sura of 
the Ku'ran, though the writer does not hesitate to intro- 
duce variants and amplifications of his own invention, 
as (stanza 31) when the wolf speaks to the patriarch 
whose son it is supposed to have slain. The persecution 
of Joseph by Potiphar's wife, who figures asZulija (Zulei- 
kah), is told with considerable spirit, and the mastery 
of the cuaderna via (the Bercean metre of four fourteen- 
syllabled lines rhymed together) is little short of amazing 
in a foreigner. At whiles an Arabic word creeps into 
the text, and the invocation of Allah, with which the 
poem opens, is repeated in later stanzas ; but, taken as 
a whole, apart from the oriental colouring inseparable 
from the theme, there is a marked similarity of tone 
between the Historia de Yusuf and its predecessors the 


"clerkly poems." An oriental subject handled by an 
Arab gave the best possible opportunity for introducing 
orientalism in the treatment ; the occasion is eschewed, 
and the lettered Arab studiously follows in the wake of 
Berceo and the other Castilian models known to him. 
There could scarcely be more striking evidence of the 
irresistible progress of Castilian modes of thought and 
expression. The Arabic influence, if it ever existed, was 
already dead. 

JUAN Ruiz, Archpriest of Hita, near Guadalajara, is 
the greatest name in early Castilian literature. The 
dates of his birth and death are not known. A line 
in his Libra de Cantares (stanza 1484) inclines us to 
believe that, like Cervantes, he was a native of Alcala 
de Henares ; but Guadalajara also claims him for her 
own, and a certain Francisco de Torres reports him as 
living there so late as 1415. This date is incompatible 
with other ascertained facts in Ruiz' career. We learn 
from a note at the end of his poems that " this is the book 
of the Archpriest of Hita, which he wrote, being im- 
prisoned by order of the Cardinal Don Gil, Archbishop 
of Toledo." Now, Gil Albornoz held the see between 
the years 1337 and 1367 ; and another clerk, named 
Pedro Fernandez, was Archpriest of Hita in 1351. Most 
likely Juan Ruiz was born at the close of the thirteenth 
century, and died, very possibly in gaol, before his suc- 
cessor was appointed. On the showing of his own writ- 
ings, Juan Ruiz was a cleric of irregular life at a time 
when disorder was at its worst, and his thirteen years in 
prison proclaim him a Goliard of the loosest kind. He 
testifies against himself with a splendid candour ; and 
yet there have been critics who insisted on idealising 
this libidinous clerk into a smug Boanerges. There was 


never a more grotesque travesty, a more purblind mis- 
understanding of facts and the man. 

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

Much that he wrote is lost, but the seventeen hundred 
stanzas that remain suffice for any reputation. Juan Ruiz 
strikes the personal note in Castilian literature. To dis- 
tinguish the works of the clerkly masters, to declare with 
certainty that this Castilian piece was written by Alfonso 
and that by Sancho, is a difficult and hazardous matter. 
Not so with Ruiz. The stamp of his personality is un- 


mistakable in every line. He was bred in the old tradi- 
tion, and he long abides by the rules of the mester de 
clereda ; but he handles it with a freedom unknown 
before, imparts to it a new flexibility, a variety, a speed, 
a music beyond all precedent, and transfuses it with a 
humour which anticipates Cervantes. Nay, he does 
more. In his prose preface he asserts that he chiefly 
sought to give examples of prosody, of rhyme and com- 
position : "Daralgunas lecciones, 2 muestra de versificar, et 
rimar et trobar" And he followed the bent of his natural 
genius. He had an infinitely wider culture than any of 
his predecessors in verse. All that they knew he knew 
and more ; and he treated them in the true cavalier spirit of 
the man who feels himself a master. His famous descrip- 
tion of the tent of love is manifestly suggested by the 
description of Alexander's tent in the Libro de Alexandre. 
The entire episode of Dona Endrina is paraphrased 
from the Liber de Amore, attributed to the Pseudo-Ovid, 
the Auvergnat monk who hides beneath the name of 
Pamphilus Maurilianus. 

French fableaux were rifled by Ruiz without a scruple, 
though he had access to their great originals in the Dis- 
ciplina clericalis of Petrus Alphonsus ; for to his mind the 
improved treatment was of greater worth than the mere 
bald story. He was familiar with the Kalilah and Dimnah, 
with Fadrique's Crafts and Wiles of Women, perhaps 
with the apologues of Lull and Juan Manuel. Vast as 
his reading was, it had availed him nothing without his 
superb temperament, his gift of using it to effect. Vaster 
still was his knowledge of men, his acquaintance with 
the seamy side of life, his interest in things common and 
rare, his observation of manners, and his lyrical endow- 
ment. The name of " the Spanish Petronius " has been 


given to him ; yet, despite a superficial resemblance be- 
tween the two, it is a misnomer. Far nearer the truth, 
though the Spaniard lacks the dignity of the Englishman, 
is Ticknor's parallel with Chaucer. Like Chaucer, Ruiz 
had an almost incomparable gust for life, an immitigable 
gaiety of spirit, which penetrates his transcription of the 
Human Comedy. Like Chaucer, his adventurous curio- 
sity led him to burst the bonds of the prison-house and 
to confer upon his country new rhythms and metres. His 
four cdnticas de serrana, suggested by the Galician makers, 
anticipate by a hundred years the serranillas and the 
vaqueiras of Santillana, and entitle him to rank as the 
first great lyric poet of Castile. Ruiz, likewise, had a 
Legend of Women ; but his reading was his own, and 
Chaucer's adjective cannot be applied to it. His ambi- 
tion is, not to idealise, but to realise existence, and he 
interprets its sensuous animalism in the spirit of pica- 
resque enjoyment. Jewesses, Moorish dancers, the 
procuress Trota-conventos, her finicking customers, the 
loose nuns, great ladies, and brawny daughters of the 
plough, Ruiz renders them with the merciless exactitude 
of Velazquez. 

The arrangement of Ruiz' verse, disorderly as his life, 
foreshadows the loose construction of the picaresque 
novel, of which his own work may be considered the first 
example. One of his greatest discoveries is the rare value 
of the autobiographic form. Mingled with parodies of 
hymns, with burlesques of old cantares de gesta, with glori- 
fied paraphrases of both Ovids (the true and the false), 
with versions of oriental fables read in books or gathered 
from the lips of vagrant Arabs, with peculiar wealth of 
popular refrains and proverbs with these goes the tale 
of the writer's individual life, rich in self-mockery, gross 


in thought, abundant in incident, splendid in expression, 
slyly edifying in the moral conclusion which announces 
an immediate relapse. Poet, novelist, expert in observa- 
tion, irony, and travesty, Ruiz had, moreover, the sense 
of style in such measure as none before him and few 
after him, and to this innate faculty of selection he joined 
a great capacity for dramatic creation. Hence the im- 
possibility of exhibiting him in elegant extracts, and 
hence the permanence of his types. The most familiar 
figure of Lazarillo de Tormes the starving gentleman 
is a lineal descendant of Ruiz' Don Furon, who is scru- 
pulous in observing facts so long as there is nothing to 
eat ; and Ruiz' two lovers, Melon de la Uerta and Endrina 
de Calatayud, are transferred as Calisto and Melibea to 
Rojas' tragi-comedy, whence they pass into immortality 
as Romeo and Juliet. Lastly, Ruiz' repute might be 
staked upon his fables, which, by their ironic apprecia- 
tion, their playful wit and humour, seem to proceed from 
an earlier, ruder, more virile La Fontaine. 

Contemporary with Juan Ruiz was the Infante JUAN 
MANUEL (1282-1347), grandson of St. Ferdinand and 
nephew of Alfonso the Learned. In his twelfth year 
he served against the Moors on the Murcian frontier, 
became Mayordomo to Fernando IV., and succeeded 
to the regency shortly after that King's death in 1312. 
Mariana's denunciation of " him who seemed born solely 
to wreck the state" fits Juan Manuel so exactly that it 
is commonly applied to him ; but, in truth, its author in- 
tended it for another Don Juan (without the " Manuel"), 
uncle of the boy-king, Alfonso XI. Upon the regency 
followed a spell of wars, broils, rebellions, assassinations, 
wherein King and ex-Regent were pitted against each 
other. Neither King nor soldier bore malice, and the 


latter shared in the decisive victory of Salado and 
perhaps with Chaucer's Gentle Knight in the siege of 
Algezir (Algeciras). Fifty years of battle would fill most 
men's lives ; but the love of literature ran in the blood 
of Juan Manuel's veins, and, like others of his kindred, 
he proved the truth of the old Castilian adage : " Lance 
never blunted pen, nor pen lance." 

He set a proper value on himself and his achievement. 
In the General Introduction to his works he foresees, so 
he announces, that his books must be often copied, and he 
knows that this means error: "as I have seen happen in 
other copies, either because of the transcriber's dulness, 
or because the letters are much alike." Wherefore Juan 
Manuel prepared, so to say, a copyright edition, with 
a prefatory bibliography, whose deficiencies may be 
supplemented by a second list given at the beginning 
of his Conde Lucanor. And he closes his General 
Introduction with this prayer: "And I beg all those 
who may read any of the books I made not to blame 
me for whatever ill-written thing they find, until they 
see it in this volume which I myself have arranged." 
His care seemed excessive : it proved really insufficient, 
since the complete edition which he left to the monastery 
at Penafiel has disappeared. Some of his works are lost 
to us, as the Book of Chivalry f a treatise dealing with 
the Engines of War, a Book of Verses, the Art of Poetic 
Composition (Rpglas como se debe Trovar), and the Book 
of Sages. The loss of the Book of Verses is a real 
calamity ; all the more that it existed at Penafiel as 
recently as the time of Argote de Molina (1549-90), 
who meant to publish it. Juan Manuel's couplets and 

1 The contents of this work are summarised in the author's Book of States 
(chap. xci.). 


quatrains of four, eight, eleven, twelve, and fourteen 
syllables, his arrangement (Enxemplo XVI.} of the octo- 
syllabic redondilla in the Conde Lucanor, prove him an 
adept in the Galician form, an irreproachable virtuoso in 
his art. It seems almost certain that his Book of Verses 
included many remarkable exercises in political satire ; 
and, in any case, his example and position must have 
greatly influenced the development of the courtly school 
of poets at Juan II.'s court. 

A treatise like his Libra de Caza (Book of Hawking), 
recently recovered by Professor Baist, needs but to 
be mentioned to indicate its aim. His histories are 
mere epitomes of Alfonso's chronicle. The Libra det 
Caballero et del Escudero (Book of the Knight and 
Squire), in fifty-one chapters, of which some thirteen 
are missing, is a didacticism, a fabliella, modelled upon 
Ram6n Lull's Libre del Orde de Cavalleria. A hermit 
who has abandoned war instructs an ambitious squire 
in the virtues of chivalry, and sends him to court, whence 
he returns "with much wealth and honour." The 
inquiry begins anew, and the hermit expounds to his 
companion the nature of angels, paradise, hell, the 
heavens, the elements, the art of posing questions, the 
stuff of the planets, sea, earth, and all that is therein 
birds, fish, plants, trees, stones, and metals. In some 
sort the Tratado sobre las Armas (Treatise on Arms) is 
a memoir of the writer's house, containing a powerful 
presentation of the death of Juan Manuel's guardian, 
King Sancho, passing to eternity beneath his father's 

Juan Manuel follows Sancho's example by prepar- 
ing twenty - six chapters of Castigos (Exhortations), 
sometimes called the Libra infinido, or Unfinished 


Book, addressed to his son, a boy of nine. He repro- 
duces Sancho's excellent manner and sound practical 
advice without the flaunting erudition of his cousin. 
The Castigos are suspended to supply the monk, Juan 
Alfonso, with a treatise on the Modes of Love, fifteen in 
number ; being, in fact, an ingenious discussion on friend- 
ship. Juan Manuel is seen almost at his best in his Libra 
de los Estados (Book of States), otherwise the Book of the 
Infante, and thought by some to be the missing Book 
of Sages. The allegorical didactic vein is worked to 
exhaustion in one hundred and fifty chapters, which 
relate the education of the pagan Morovan's son, 
Johas, by a certain Turin, who, unable to satisfy his 
pupil, calls to his aid the celebrated preacher Julio. 
After interminable discussions and resolutions of theo- 
logical difficulties, the story ends in the baptism of 
father, son, and tutor. Gayangos gives us the key ; 
Johas is Juan Manuel ; Morovan is his father, Manuel : 
Turin is Pero L6pez de Ayala, grandfather of the future 
Chancellor ; and Julio represents St. Dominic (who, as 
a matter of fact, died before Juan Manuel's father was 
born). This confused philosophic story, suggestive of 
the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, is in truth the 
vehicle for conveying the author's ideas on every sort 
of question, and it might be described without injustice 
as the carefully revised commonplace book of an omni- 
vorous reader with a care for form. A postscript to the 
Book of States is the Book of Preaching Friars, a summary 
of the Dominican constitution expounded by Julio to 
his pupil. A very similar dissertation is the Treatise 
shoiving that the Blessed Mary is, body and soul, in Paradise, 
directed to Remon Masquefa, Prior of Penafiel. 

Juan Manuel's masterpiece is the Conde Lucanor (also 


named the Book of Patronio and the Book of Examples), 
in four parts, the first of which is divided into fifty-one 
chapters. Like the Decamerone, like the Canterbury Tales 
but with greater directness the Conde Lucanor is the 
oriental apologue embellished in terms of the vernacular. 
The convention of the " moral lesson " is maintained, and 
each chapter of the First Part (the others are rather un- 
finished notes) ends with a declaration to the effect 
that "when Don Johan heard this example he found it 
good, ordered it to be set down in this book, and added 
these verses" the verses being a concise summary of 
the prose. The Conde Lucanor is the Spanish equivalent 
of the Arabian Nights, with Patronio in the part of 
Scheherazade, and Count Lucanor (as who should say 
Juan Manuel) as the Caliph. Boccaccio used the frame- 
work first in Italy, but Juan Manuel was before him by 
six years, for the Conde Lucanor was written not later than 
1342. The examples are taken from experience, and 
are told with extraordinary narrative skill. Simplicity of 
theme is matched by simplicity of expression. The story 
of father and son (Enxemplo //.), of the Dean of Santiago 
and the Toledan Magician {Enxemplo XI.}, of Ferrant 
Gonzalez and Nufto Laynez, a model of dramatic pre- 
sentation {Enxemplo XVI.}, are perfect masterpieces in 

Juan Manuel is an innovator in Castilian prose, as 
is Juan Ruiz in Castilian verse. He lacks the merri- 
ment, the genial wit of the Archpriest ; but he has the 
same gift of irony, with an added note of cutting sarcasm, 
and a more anxious research for the right word. He 
never forgets that he has been the Regent of Castile, 
that he has mingled with kings and queens, that he has 
cowed emirs and barons, and led his troopers at the 


charge ; and it is well that he never unbends, since his 
unsmiling patrician humour gives each story a keener 
point. In mind as in blood he is the great Alfonso's 
kinsman, and the relation becomes evident in his treat- 
ment of the prose sentence. He inherited it with many 
another splendid tradition, and, while he preserves entire 
its stately clearness, he polishes to concision ; he sets 
with conscience to the work, sharpening the edges of 
his instrument, exhibits its possibilities in the way of 
trenchancy, and puts it to subtler uses than heretofore. 
In his hands Castilian prose acquires a new ductility and 
finish, and his subjects are such that dramatists of genius 
have stooped to borrow from him. In him (Enxemplo 
XL V.) is the germ of the Taming of the Shrew (though 
it is scarcely credible that Shakespeare lifted it direct), 
and from him Calder6n takes not merely the title Count 
Lucanor of a play, but the famous apologue in the first 
act of Life is a Dream, an adaptation to the stage of 
one of Juan Manuel's best instances (Enxemplo XXXI?). 
Pilferings by Le Sage are things of course, and Gil Bias 
benefits by its author's reading. Translations apart 
and they are forthcoming the Conde Lucanor is one of 
the books of the world, and each reading of it makes 
more sensible the loss of the verses which, one would 
fain believe, might place the writer as high among poets 
as among prose writers. 

The Poem a de Alfonso Onceno, also known as his 
Rhymed Chronicle, was unearthed at Granada in 1573 
by Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, and an extract from 
it, printed fifteen years later by Argote de Molina, 
encouraged the idea that Alfonso XL wrote it. That 
King's sole exploit in literature is a handbook on venery, 
often attributed to Alfonso the Learned. The fuller, 


but still incomplete text of the Poema, first published 
in 1864, discloses (stanza 1841) the author's name as 
RODRIGO YANEZ or Yannes. It is to be noted that he 
speaks of rendering Merlin's prophecy in the Castilian 
tongue : 

" Yo Rodrigo Yannes la nott 
En lenguaje caste llano." 

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


rare and distant intervals. But the step that costs is 
taken, and a place is prepared for the young romance in 

No precise information offers concerning Rabbi SEM 
TOB of Carri6n, the first Jew who writes at length in 
Castilian. His dedication to Pedro the Cruel, who 
reigned from 1350 to 1369, enables us to fix his date 
approximately, and to guess that he was, like others of 
his race, a favourite with that maligned ruler. Written 
in the early days of the new reign, Sem Tob's Proverbio? 
Morales, consisting of 686 seven-syllabled quatrains, are 
more than a metrical novelty. His collection of senten- 
tious maxims, borrowed mainly from Arabic sources and 
from the Bible, is the first instance in Castilian of the 
versified epigram which was to produce the brilliant 
Proverbs of Santillana, who praises the Rabbi as a writer 
of "very good things," and reports his esteem as a. 
" grand trovador." In Santillana's hands the maxims 
are Spanish, are European ; in Sem Tob's they are 
Jewish, oriental. The moral is pressed with insistence, 
the presentation is haphazard ; while the extreme con- 
cision of thought, the exaggerated frugality of words, 
tends to obscurity. Against this is to be set the exalted 
standard of the teaching, the daring figures of the writer, 
his happiness of epithet, his note of austere melancholy, 
and his complete triumph in naturalising a new poetic 

It has been sought to father on Sem Tob three other 
pieces : the Treatise of Doctrine, the Revelation of a Hermit, 
and the Danza de la Muerte. The Treatise, a catechism in 
octosyllabic triplets with a four-syllabled line, is by Pedro 
de Berague, and is only curious for its rhythm, imitated 
from the rime coute, and for being the first work of its 


kind. Sem Tob was in his grave when the ancient sub- 
ject of the Argument between Body and Soul was re- 
introduced by the maker of the Revelation of a Hermit, 
wherein the souls are figured as birds, gracious or 
hideous as the case may be. The third line of this 
didactic poem gives its date as 1382, and this is con- 
firmed by the evidence of the metre and the presence of 
an Italian savour. In the case of the anonymous Danza 
de la Muerte the metre once more fixes the period of 
composition at about the end of the fourteenth century. 
Most European literatures possess a Danse Macabrt of 
their own ; yet, though the Castilian is probably an imi- 
tation of some unrecognised French original, it is the 
oldest known version of the legend. It is not rash to 
assume that its immediate occasion was the last terrific 
outbreak of the Black Death, which lasted from 1394 
to 1399. Death bids mankind to his revels, and forces 
them to join his dance. The form is superficially 
dramatic, and the thirty-three victims pope, emperor, 
cardinal, king, and so forth, a cleric and a layman always 
alternating reply to the summons in a series of octaves. 
Whoever composed the Spanish version, he must be 
accepted as an expert in the art of morbid allegory. 
Odd to say, the Catalan Carbonell, constructing his 
Dance of Death in the sixteenth century, rejects this fine 
Castilian version for the French of Jean de Limoges, 
Chancellor of Paris. 

A writer who represents the stages of the literary evo- 
lution of his age is the long-lived Chancellor, PERO LOPEZ 
DE AYALA (1332-1407). His career is a veritable romance 
of feudalism. Living under Alfonso XI., he became the 
favourite of Pedro the Cruel, whom he deserted at the 
psychological moment. He chronicles his own and his 


father's defection in such terms as Pepys or the Vicar 
of Bray might use: "They saw that Don Pedro's affairs 
were all awry, so they resolved to leave him, not intend- 
ing to return." Pedro the Cruel, Enrique II., Juan I., 
Enrique III. Ayala served all four with profit to his 
pouch, without flagrant treason. Loyalty he held for 
a vain thing compared with interest ; yet he earned his 
money and his lands in fight. He ever strove to be on 
the winning side, but luck was hostile when the Black 
Prince captured him at Najera (1367), and when he was 
taken prisoner at Aljubarrota (1385). The fifteen months 
spent in an iron cage at the castle of Oviedes after the 
second defeat gave Ayala one of his opportunities. He 
had wasted no chance in life, nor did he now. It were 
pleasant to think with Ticknor that some part of Ayala's 
Rimado de Palacio " was written during his imprisonment 
in England," pleasant, but difficult. To begin with, it 
is by no means sure that Ayala ever quitted the Penin- 
sula. More than this : though the Rimado de Palacio was 
composed at intervals, the stages can be dated approxi- 
mately. The earlier part of the poem contains an allu- 
sion to the schism during the pontificate of Urban VI., 
so that this passage must date from 1378 or afterwards ; 
the reference to the death of the poet's father, Hernan 
Perez de Ayala, brings us to the year 1385 or later ; and 
the statement that the schism had lasted twenty-five 
years fixes the time of composition as 1403. 

Rimado de Palacio (Court Rhymes) is a chance title 
that has attached itself to Ayala's poem without the 
author's sanction. It gives a false impression of his 
theme, which is the decadence of his age. Only within 
narrow limits does Ayala deal with courts and courtiers ; 
he had a wider outlook, and he scourges society at large. 


What was a jest to Ruiz was a woe to the Chancellor. 
Ruiz had a natural sympathy for a loose-living cleric ; 
Ayala lashes this sort with a thong steeped in vitriol. 
The one looks at life as a farce ; the other sees it as a 
tragedy. Where the first finds matter for merriment, the 
second burns with the white indignation of the just. The 
deliberate mordancy of Ayala is impartial insomuch as 
it is universal. Courtiers, statesmen, bishops, lawyers, 
merchants he brands them all with corruption, simony, 
embezzlement, and exposes them as venal sons of Belial. 
And, like Ruiz, he places himself in the pillory to 
heighten his effects. He spares not his superstitious 
belief in omens, dreams, and such-like fooleries ; he dis- 
covers himself as a grinder of the poor man's face, a 
libidinous perjurer, a child of perdition. 

But not all Ayala's poem is given up to cursing. In 
his yo5th stanza he closes what he calls his sermdn with 
the confession that he had written it, "being sore 
afflicted by many grievous sorrows," and in the re- 
maining 904 stanzas Ayala breathes a serener air. In 
both existing codices that of Campo-Alange and that 
of the Escorial this huge postscript follows the Rimado 
de Palacio with no apparent break of continuity ; yet 
it differs in form and substance from what precedes. 
The cuaderna via alone is used in the satiric and auto- 
biographical verses ; the later hymns and songs are 
metrical experiments echoes of Galician and Provencal 
measures, redondillas of seven syllables, attempts to 
raise the Alexandrine from the dead, results derived 
from Alfonso's Cantigas and Juan Ruiz' loores. In his 
seventy-third year Ayala was still working upon his 
Rimado de Palacio. It was too late for him to master 
the new methods creeping into vogue, and though in the 


Cancionero de Baena (No. 518) Ayala answers Sanchez 
Talavera's challenge in the regulation octaves, he harks 
back to the cuaderna via of his youth in his paraphrase 
of St. Gregory's Job. If he be the writer of the Pro- 
verbios en Rimo de Salomon a doubtful point his pre- 
ference for the old system is there undisguised. Could 
that system have been saved, Ayala had saved it : not 
even he could stay the world from moving. 

His prose is at least as distinguished as his verse. A 
treatise on falconry, rich in rarities of speech, shows 
the variety of his interests, and his version of Boc- 
caccio's De Casibus Virorum illustrium brings him into 
touch with the conquering Italian influence. His refer- 
ence to Amadis in the Rimado de Palacio (stanza 162), 
the first mention of that knight-errantry of Spain, proves 
acquaintance with new models. Translations of Boetius 
and of St. Isidore were pastimes ; a partial rendering of 
Livy, done at the King's command, was of greater value. 
In person or by proxy, Alfonso the Learned had opened 
up the land of history ; Juan Manuel had summarised 
his uncle's work ; the chronicle of the Moor Rasis, other- 
wise Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Musa, had 
been translated from the Arabic ; the annals of Alfonso 
XL and his three immediate predecessors were written by 
some industrious mediocrity perhaps Fernan Sanchez 
de Tovar, or Juan Nunez de Villaizdn. These are not 
so much absolute history as the raw material of history. 
In his Chronicles of the Kings of Castile, Ayala considers 
the reigns of Pedro the Cruel, Enrique II., Juan I., and 
Enrique III., in a modern scientific spirit. Songs, 
legends, idle reports, no longer serve as evidence. 
Ayala sifts his testimonies, compares, counts, weighs 
them, checks them by personal knowledge. He borrows 


Livy's framework, inserting speeches which, if not 
stenographic reports of what was actually said, are 
complete illustrations of dramatic motive. He deals 
with events which he had witnessed : plots which his 
crafty brain inspired, victories wherein he shared, battles 
in which he bit the dust. The portraits in his gallery are 
scarce, but every likeness, is a masterpiece rendered with 
a few broad strokes. He records with cold-blooded im- 
partiality as a judge ; his native austerity, his knowledge 
of affairs and men, guard him from the temptations of 
the pleader. With his unnatural neutrality go rare in- 
stinct for the essential circumstance, unerring sagacity in 
the divination and presentment of character, unerring 
art in preparing climax and catastrophe, and the gift 
of concise, picturesque phrase. A statesman of genius 
writing personal history with the candour of Pepys : 
as such the thrifty MeYimee recognised Ayala, and, in 
his own confection, so revealed him to the nineteenth 




AYALA'S verse, the conscious effort of deliberate artistry, 
contrasts with those popular romances which can be 
divined through the varnish of the sixteenth century. 
Few, if any, of the existing ballads date from Ayala's 
time ; and of the nineteen hundred printed in Duran's 
Romancero General the merest handful is older than 
1492, when Antonio de Nebrija examined their structure 
in his Arte de la Lengua Castellana. Yet the older 
romances were numerous and long-lived enough to sup- 
plant the cantares de gesta, against which chronicles and 
annals made war by giving the same epical themes with 
more detail and accuracy. In turn these chronicles 
afforded subjects for romances of a later day. An illus- 
tration suffices to prove the point. Every one knows the 
spirited close of the first in order of Lockhart's Ancient 
Spanish Ballads : 

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

The original is founded on Pedro de Corral's Cronica de 
Don Rodrigo (chapters 207, 208), which was not written 



till 1404, and from the same source (chapters 238-244) 
comes the substance of Lockhart's second ballad : 

" // was when the King Rodrigo had lost his realm of Spain" 

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

Representative of these innovations is the grandson of 
Enrique II., ENRIQUE DE VILLENA (1384-1434), upon 
whom posterity has conferred a marquisate which he never 
possessed in life. 1 His first production is said to have 
been a set of coplas written, as Master of the Order of 
Calatrava, for the royal feasts at Zaragoza in 1414 ; his 
earliest known work is his Arte de trovar (Art of Poetry), 
given in the same year at the Consistory of the Gay 
Science at Barcelona. Villena, of whose treatise mere 
scraps survive, shows minute acquaintance with the 
works of early trovadores ; of general principles he says 
naught, losing himself in discursive details. Early in 
1417 followed the Trabajos de Hercules (Labours of Her- 
cules), first written in Catalan by request of Pero Pardo, 
and done into Castilian in the autumn of the year. This 
tedious allegory, crushed beneath a weight of pedantry, 
is unredeemed by ingenuity or fancy, and the style is 
disfigured by violent and absurd inversions which bespeak 
long, tactless study of Latin texts. Juan Manuel's digni- 
fied restraint is lost on his successor, itching to flaunt 

i Strictly speaking, this writer should be called Enrique de Aragon ; but, 
since this leads to confusion with his contemporary, the Infante Enrique de 
Arag6n, it is convenient to distinguish him as Enrique de Villena. He was 
not a marquis, and never uses the title. 


inopportune learning with references to Aristotle, Aulus 
Gellius, and St. Jerome. In 1423, at the instance of 
Sancho de Jaraba, Villena wrote his twenty chapters on 
carving the Arte cisoria, an epicure's handbook to the 
royal table, compact of curious counsels and recipes 
expounded with horrid eloquence by a pedant who 
tended to gluttony. Still odder is the Libra de Aoja- 
miento (Dissertation on the Evil Eye) with its three 
" preventive modes," as recommended by Avicenna and 
his brethren. Translations of Dante and Cicero are lost, 
and three treatises on leprosy, on consolation, and on 
the Eighth Psalm are valueless. Villena piqued himself 
on being the first in Spain he might perhaps have said 
the first anywhere to translate the whole j<Eneid ; but 
he marches to ruin with his mimicry of Latin idioms, 
his abuse of inversion, and his graces of a cart-horse in 
the lists. No contemporary was more famed for uni- 
versal accomplishment ; so that, while he lived, men 
held him for a wizard, and, when he died, applauded 
the partial burning of his books by Lope de Barrientos, 
afterwards Bishop of Segovia, who put the rest to his 
private uses. Santillana and Juan de Mena assert that 
Villena wrote Castilian verse, and Baena implies as much ; 
if so, he was probably a common poetaster, the loss of 
whose rhymes is a stroke of luck. A Castilian poem on 
the labours of Hercules, ascribed to him by Pellicer, is a 
rank forgery. Measured by his repute, Villena's works 
are disappointing. But if we reflect that he translated 
Dante, that he strove to naturalise successful foreign 
methods, and that in his absurdest moments he proves 
his susceptibility to new ideas, we may explain his 
renown and his influence. Nor did these end with his 
life ; for Lope de Vega, Alarc6n, Rojas Zorrilla, and 


Hartzenbusch have brought him on the boards, and he 
has appealed with singular force to the imaginations of 
both Quevedo and Larra. 

To Villena's time belong two specimens of the old 
encyclopaedic school: the Libra de los Gatos, translated 
from the Narrationes of the English monk, Odo of 
Cheriton ; and the Libra de los Enxemplos of Clemente 
Sanchez of Valderas, whose seventy-one missing stories 
were brought to light in 1878 by M. Morel-Fatio. San- 
chez' collection, thus completed, shows the entrance 
into Spain of the legend of Buddha's life, adapted by 
some Christian monk from the Sanskrit Lalita- Vistara, 
and popular the world over as the Romance of Barlaam 
and Josaphat. The style is carefully modelled on Juan 
Manuel's manner. 

The Cancionero de Baena, named after the anthologist 
Juan Alfonso de Baena above mentioned, contains the 
verses of some sixty poets who flourished during the reign 
of Juan II., or a little earlier. This collection, first pub- 
lished in 1851, mirrors two conflicting tendencies. The old 
Gr.lician school is represented by Alfonso Alvarez de Villa- 
sandino (sometimes called de Illescas), a copious, foul- 
mouthed ruffian, with gusts of inspiration and an abiding 
mastery of technique. To the same section belong the 
Archdeacon of Toro, a facile versifier, and Juan Rodriguez 
de la Camara, whose name is inseparable from that of 
Maci'as, ElEnamorado. Mac/as has left five songs of slight 
distinction, and, as a poet, ranks below Rodriguez de la 
Camara. Yet he lives on the capital of his legend, the type 
of the lover faithful unto death, and the circumstances 
of his passing are a part of Castilian literature. The tale 
is (but there are variants), that Maci'as, once a member 
of Villena's household, was imprisoned at Arjonilla, 


where a jealous husband slew the poet in the act of 
singing his platonic love. Quoted times innumerable, 
this more or less authentic story of Macfas' end ensured 
him an immortality far beyond the worth of his verses : 
it fired the popular imagination, and enters into literature 
in Lope de Vega's Porfiar hasta morir and in Larra's 
El Doncel de Don Enrique el Doliente. 

A like romantic memory attaches to Macias' friend, 
Juan Rodriguez de la Camara (also called Rodriguez 
del Padron), the last poet of the Galician school, re- 
presented in Baena's Candonero by a single cdntica. 
The conjectures that make Rodriguez the lover of 
Juan II.'s wife, Isabel, or of Enrique IV.'s wife, Juana, 
are destroyed by chronology. None the less it is 
certain that the writer was concerned in some myste- 
rious, dangerous love-affair which led to his exile, 
and, as some believe, to his profession as a Franciscan 
monk. His seventeen surviving songs are all erotic, 
with the exception of the Flama del divino Rayo, his best 
performance in thanksgiving for his spiritual conversion. 
His loves are also recounted in three prose books, of 
which the semi-chivalresque novel, El Siervo libre de 
Amor, is still readable. But Rodriguez interests most as 
the last representative of the Galician verse tradition. 

Save Ayala, who is exampled by one solitary poem, 
the oldest singer in Baena's choir is Pero Ferrus, the 
connecting link between the Galician and Italian schools. 
A learned rather than an inspired poet, Ferrus is remem- 
bered chiefly because of his chance allusion ioAmadis in 
the stanzas dedicated to Ayala. Four poets in Baena's 
song-book herald the invasion of Spain by the Italians, 
and it is fitting that the first and best of these should 
be a man of Italian blood, Francisco Imperial, the son 


of a Genoese jeweller, settled in Seville. Imperial, aa 
his earliest poem shows, read Arabic and English. He 
may have met with Gower's Confessio Amantis before 
it was done into Castilian by Juan de la Cuenca at 
the beginning of the fifteenth century being the first 
translation of an English book in Spain. Howbeit, he 
quotes English phrases, and offers a copy of French 
verses. These are trifles : Imperial's best gift to his 
adopted country was his transplanting of Dante, whom 
he imitates assiduously, reproducing the Florentine note 
with such happy intonation as to gain for him the style 
of poet as distinguished from trovador from Santi- 
llana, who awards him " the laurel of this western land." 
Thirteen poems by Ruy Pdez de Ribera, vibrating with 
the melancholy of illness, shuddering with the squalor 
of want, affiliate their writer with Imperial's new expres- 
sion, and vaguely suggest the realising touch of Villon. 
At least one piece by Ferrant Sanchez Talavera is 
memorable the elegy on the death of the Admiral Ruy 
Dfaz de Mendoza, which anticipates the mournful march, 
the solemn music, some of the very phrases of Jorge 
Manrique's noble coplas. In the Dantesque manner is 
Gonzalo Martfnez de Medina's flagellation of the cor- 
ruptions of his age. Baena, secretary to Juan II., in 
eighty numbers approves himself a weak imitator of 
Villasandino's insolence, and is remembered simply as 
the arranger of a handbook which testifies to the defini- 
tive triumph of the compiler's enemies. 

A poet of greater performance than any in the Can- 
cionero de Baena is the shifty politician, fsigo Lopez de 
Mendoza, Marque's de SANTILLANA (1398-1458), towns- 
man of Rabbi Sem Tob,the Jew of Carri6n. Oddly enough, 
Baena excludes Santillana from his collection, and San< 


tillana, in reviewing the poets of his time, ignores Baena, 
whom he probably despised as a parasite. A remarkable 
letter to the Constable of Portugal shows Santillana as a 
pleasant prose-writer ; in his rhetorical Lamentation en 
Prophe^ia de la segunda Destruygion de Espana he fails in 
the grand style, though he succeeds in the familiar with 
his collection of old wives' fireside proverbs, Refranes que 
di^en las Viejas tras el Huego. His Centiloquio, a hundred 
rhymed proverbs divided into fourteen chapters, is grace- 
fully written and skilfully put together ; his Comedieta de 
Ponza is reminiscent of both Dante and Boccaccio, and 
its title, together with the fact that the dialogue is allotted 
to different personages, has led many into the error of 
taking it for a dramatic piece. Far more essentially 
dramatic in spirit is the Didlogo de Bias contra Fortuna, 
which embodies a doctrinal argument upon the advan- 
tages of the philosophic mind in circumstances of adver- 
sity ; and grouped with this goes the Doctrinal de Privados, 
a fierce philippic against Alvaro de Luna, Santillana's 
political foe, who is convicted of iniquities out of his own 

It is impossible to say of Santillana that he was an 
original genius : it is within bounds to class him as a 
highly gifted versifier with extraordinary imitative powers. 
He has no " message " to deliver, no wide range of ideas : 
his attraction lies not so much in what is said as in his 
trick of saying it. He is one of the few poets whom 
erudition has not hampered. He was familiar with 
writers as diverse as Dante and Petrarch and Alain 
Chartier, and he reproduces their characteristics with a 
fine exactness and felicity. But he was something more 
than an intelligent echo, for he filed and laboured till he 
acquired a final manner of his own. Doubtless to his 


own taste his forty-two sonnets -fechos al itdlico mode, as 
he proudly tells you were his best titles to glory ; and 
it is true that he acclimatised the sonnet in Spain, sharing 
with the Aragonese, Juan de Villapando, the honour 
of being Spain's only sonneteer before Boscan's time. 
Commonplace in thought, stiff in expression, the sonnets 
are only historically curious. It is in his .lighter vein that 
Santillana reaches his full stature. The grace and gaiety 
of his decires, serranillas and vaqueiras are all his own. 
If he borrowed suggestions from Provencal poets, he is 
free of the Provencal artifice, and sings with the simpli- 
city of Venus' doves. Here he revealed a peculiar aspect 
of his many-sided temperament, and by his tact made a 
living thing of primitive emotions, which were to be done 
to death in the pastorals of heavy-handed bunglers. The 
first-fruits of the pastoral harvest live in the house where 
Santillana garnered them, and those roses, amid which 
he found the milkmaid of La Finojosa, are still as sweet 
in his best known and perhaps his best ballad as on 
that spring morning, between Calateveflo and Santa 
Maria, some four hundred years since. Ceasing to be 
an imitator, Santillana proves inimitable. 

The official court-poet of the age was JUAN DE MENA 
(1411-56), known to his own generation as the "prince 
of Castilian poets," and Cervantes, writing more than a 
hundred and fifty years afterwards, dubs him "that great 
C6rdoban poet." A true son of C6rdoba, Men a has all 
the qualities of the Cordoban school the ostentatious 
embellishment of his ancestor, Lucan, and the unintel- 
ligible preciosity of his descendant, G6ngora. The Italian 
travels of his youth undid him, and set him on the hope- 
less line of Italianising Spanish prose. A false attribution 
enters the Annals of Juan II. under Mena's name : the 

MENA 101 

mere fact that Juan II.'s Cronica is a model of correct 
prose disposes of the pretension. Mena's summary of the 
Iliad, and the commentary to his poem the Coronation, 
convict him of being the worst prose-writer in all Cas- 
tilian literature. Simplicity and vulgarity were for him 
synonyms, and he carries his doctrine to its logical ex- 
treme by adopting impossible constructions, by wrench- 
ing his sentences asunder by exaggerated inversions, and 
by adding absurd Latinisms to his vocabulary. These 
defects are less grave in his verse, but even there they 
follow him. Argote de Molina would have him the 
author of the political satire called the Coplas de la Pana- 
dera ; but Mena lacked the lightness of touch, the wit 
and sparkle of the imaginary baker's wife. If he be read 
at all, he is to be studied in his Laberinto, also known as 
the Trescientas, a heavy allegory whose deliberate obscu- 
rity is indicated by its name. The alternative title, Tres- 
cientaSj is explained by the fact that the poem consisted 
of three hundred stanzas, to which sixty-five were added 
by request of the King, who kept the book by him of 
nights and hankered for a stanza daily, using it, maybe, 
as a soporific. The poet is whisked by the dragons in 
Bellona's chariot to Fortune's palace, and there begins 
the inevitable imitation of Dante, with its machinery of 
seven planetary circles, and its grandiose vision of past, 
present, and future. The work of a learned poet taking 
himself too seriously and straining after effects beyond 
his reach, the Laberinto is tedious as a whole ; yet, though 
Mena's imagination fails to realise his abstractions, though 
he be riddled with purposeless conceits, he touches a high 
level in isolated episodes. Much of his vogue may be 
accounted for by the abundance with which he throws off 
striking lines of somewhat hard, even marmoreal beauty, 


and by the ardent patriotism which inspires him in his 
best passages. A poet by flashes, at intervals rare and 
far apart, Mena does himself injustice by too close a 
devotion to aesthetic principles, that made failure a cer- 
tainty. Careful, conscientious, aspiring, he had done far 
more if he had attempted much less. 

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


but, as an authentic presentment of a misunderstood 

After much violent controversy, it may now be taken 
as settled that the Cronica del Cid is based upon Alfonso's 
Estoria de Espanna. But it comes not direct, being 
borrowed from Alfonso XL's Cronica de Castillo,, a tran- 
script of the Estoria. The differences from the early 
text may be classed under three heads : corruptions of 
the early text, freer and exacter quotations from the 
romances, and deliberate alterations made with an eye 
to greater conformity with popular legends. Valuable 
as containing the earliest versions of many traditions 
which were to be diffused through the Romanceros, the 
Cronica del Cid is of small historic authority, and Alfonso's 
stately prose loses greatly in the carrying. 

Ayala's nephew, FERNAN PREZ DE GUZMAN (1378- 
1460), continues his uncle's poetic tradition in the forms 
borrowed from Italy, as well as i-n earlier lyrics of the 
Galician school ; but his mediocre performances as a 
poet are overshadowed by his brilliant exploit as a 
historian. He is responsible for the Mar de Historias 
(The Sea of Histories), which consists of three divisions. 
The first deals with emperors and kings ranging from 
Alexander to King Arthur, from Charlemagne to Godfrey 
de Bouillon ; the second treats of saints and sages, their 
lives and the books they wrote ; and both are arrange- 
ments of some Ffench version of Guido delle Colonne's 
Mare Historiarum. The third part, now known as the 
Generaciones y Semblanzas (Generations and Likenesses), 
is Pdrez de Guzman's own workmanship. Foreign critics 
have compared him to Plutarch and to St. Simon ; and, 
though the parallel seems dangerous, it can be maintained. 
This amounts to saying that Perez de Guzman is one of 


the greatest portrait-painters in the world ; and that pre- 
cisely he is. He argues from the seen to the unseen with 
a curious anticipation of modern psychological methods; 
and it forms an integral part of his plan to draw his 
personages with the audacity of truth. He does his share, 
and there they stand, living as our present-day acquaint- 
ances, and better known. Take a few figures at random 
from his gallery : Enrique de Villena, fat, short, and fair, 
a libidinous glutton, ever in the clouds, a dolt in practice, 
subtle of genius so that he came by all pure knowledge 
easily ; Nunez de Guzman, dissolute, of giant strength, 
curt of speech, a jovial roysterer ; the King Enrique, 
grave - visaged, bitter - tongued, lonely, melancholy ; 
Catherine of Lancaster, tall, fair, ruddy, wine-bibbing, 
ending in paralysis ; the Constable LxSpez Davalos, a 
self-made man, handsome, taking, gay, amiable, strong, 
a fighter, clever, prudent, but as man must have some 
fault cunning and given to astrology. With such por- 
traits P6rez de Guzman abounds. The picture costs him no 
effort : the man is seized in the act and delivered to you, 
with no waste of words, with no essential lacking, classified 
as a museum specimen, impartially but with a tendency to 
severity ; and when Perez de Guzman has spoken, there 
is no more to say. He is a good hater, and lets you see 
it when he deals with courtiers, whom he regards with the 
true St. Simonian loathing for an upstart. But history has 
confirmed the substantial justice of his verdicts, and has 
thus shown that the artist in him was even stronger than 
the malignant partisan. It is saying much. And to his 
endowment of observation, intelligence, knowledge, and 
character, Perez de Guzman joins the perfect practice of 
that clear, energetic Castilian speech which his forebears 
bequeathed him. 


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

Knight-errantry was, indeed, beginning to possess the 
land, and, as it chances, an account of the maddest, 
hugest tourney in the world's history is written for us 
by an eye-witness, Pero Rodriguez de Lena, in the Libra 
del Paso Honroso (Book of the Passage of Honour). 
Lena tells how the demon of chivalry entered into Suero 
de Quiflones, who, seeking release from his pledge of 


wearing in his lady's honour an iron chain each Thurs- 
day, could hit on no better means than by offering, with 
nine knightly brethren, to hold the bridge of San Marcos 
at Orbigo against the paladins of Europe. The tilt 
lasted from July 10 to August 9, 1434, and is described 
with simple directness by Lena, who looks upon the 
six hundred single combats as the most natural thing 
in the world : but his story is important as a " human 
document," and as testimony that the extravagant inci- 
dents of the chivalrous romances had their counterparts 
in real life. 

The fifteenth century finds the chivalrous romance 
established in Spain : how it arrived there must be left 
for discussion till we come to deal with the best example 
of the kind Amadis de Gaula. Here and now it suffices 
to say that there probably existed an early Spanish version 
of this story which has disappeared ; and to note that 
the dividing line between the annals, filled with impos- 
sible traditions, and the chivalrous tales, is of the finest : 
so fine, in fact, that several of the latter for example, 
Florisel de Niquea and Amadis de Grecia take on his- 
torical airs and call themselves cronicas. The mention 
of the lost Castilian Amadis is imperative at this point 
if we are to recognise one of the chief contemporary 
influences. For the moment, we must be content to 
note its practical manifestations in the extravagances 
of Suero de Quiflones, and of other knights whose 
names are given in the chronicles of Alvaro de Luna 
and Juan II. The spasmodic outbursts of the craze 
observable in the serious chapters of Diaz Gamez are 
but the distant rumblings before the hurricane. 

While Amadis de Gaula was read in courts and palaces, 
three contemporary writers worked in different veins. 


priest of Talavera, and chaplain to Juan II., is the author 
of the Reprobation del Amor mundano, otherwise El 
Corbacho (The Scourge). The latter title, not of the 
author's choosing, has led some to say that he borrowed 
from Boccaccio. The resemblance between the Repro- 
bation and the Italian Corbaccio is purely superficial. 
Martinez goes forth to rebuke the vices of both sexes 
in his age ; but the moral purpose is dropped, and he 
settles down to a deliberate invective against women and 
their ways. Amador de los Ri'os suggests that Martinez 
stole hints from Francisco Eximenis' Carro de la donas, 
a Catalan version of Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus: as 
the latter is a panegyric on the sex, the suggestion is 
unacceptable. The plain fact stares us in the face that 
Martinez' immediate model is the Archpriest of Hita, 
and in his fourth chapter that jovial clerk is cited. In- 
discriminate, unjust, and even brutal, as Martinez often 
is, his slashing satire may be read with extraordinary 
pleasure : that is, when we can read him at all, for his 
editions are rare and his vocabulary puzzling. He falls 
short of Ruiz' wicked urbanity ; but he matches him in 
keenness of malicious wit, in malignant parody, in pica- 
resque intention, while he surpasses him as a collector 
of verbal quips and popular proverbs. The wealth of 
his splenetic genius (it is nothing less) affords at least 
one passage to the writer of the Celestina. Last of all 
and this is an exceeding virtue Martinez' speech main- 
tains a fine standard of purity at a time when foreign 
corruptions ran riot. Hence he deserves high rank 
among the models of Castilian prose. 

Another chaplain of Juan II., JUAN DE LUCENA (fl. 1453), 
Is the author of the Vita Beata, lacking in originality, but 


notable for excellence of absolute style. He follows 
Cicero's plan in the Definibus bonorum et malorum, intro- 
ducing Santillana, Mena, and Garcia de Santa Maria 
(the probable author, as we have seen, of the King's 
Crdnicd). In an imaginary conversation these great per- 
sonages discuss the question of mortal happiness, arriving 
at the pessimist conclusion that it does not exist, or 
sorry alternative that it is unattainable. Lucena adds 
nothing to the fund of ideas upon this /-ackneyed theme, 
but the perfect finish of his manner lends attraction to 
his lucid commonplaces. 

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




THE literary movement of Juan II.'s reign is overlapped 
and continued outside Spain by poets in the train of 
Alfonso V. of Aragon, who, conquering Naples in 1443, 
became the patron of scholars like George of Trebizond 
and jEneas Sylvius. It is notable that, despite their 
new Italian environment, Alfonso's singers write by pre- 
ference in Castilian rather than in their native Catalan. 
Their work is to be sought in the Cancionero General, in 
the Cancionero de burlas provocantes d risa, and especially 
in the Cancionero de Stuniga, which derives its name from 
the accident that the first two poems in the collection 
are by Lope de Stuniga, cousin of that Suero de Quiftones 
who held the Paso Honroso, mentioned under Lena's name 
in the previous chapter. Stuniga prolongs the courtly 
tradition in verses whose extreme finish is remarkable. 
Juan de Tapia, Juan de Andujar, and Fernando de la 
Torre practise in the same school of knightly hedonism ; 
and at the opposite pole is Juan de Valladolid, son of the 
public executioner, a vagabond minstrel, who passed his 
life in coarse polemics with Ant6n de Montero, with 
Gomez Manrique, and with Manrique's brother, the 



Conde de Paredes. A notorious name is that of Pero 
Torrellas, whose Coplas de las calidadcs de las donas won 
their author repute as a satirist of women, and begot 
innumerable replies and counterpleas : the satire, to 
tell the truth, is poor enough, and is little more than 
violent but pointless invective. The best as well as the 
most copious poet of the Neapolitan group is CARVAJAL 
(or CARVAJALES), who bequeaths us the earliest known 
romance, and so far succumbs to circumstances as to pro- 
duce occasional verses in Italian. In Castilian, Carvajal 
has the true lyrical cry, and is further distinguished by a 
virile, martial note, in admirable contrast with the insipid 
courtesies of his brethren. 

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

A companion piece of far greater merit is found in 
thirty-two octosyllabic stanzas entitled Coplas de Mingo 
Revulgo. Like the Coplas del Provincial, this satirical 
eclogue has been referred to Rodrigo Cota, and, like 
many other anonymous works, it has been ascribed to 
Mena. Neither conjecture is supported by evidence. 


and Sarmiento's ascription of Mingo Revulgo to Her- 
nando del Pulgar, who wrote an elaborate commentary 
on it, rests on the puerile assumption that " none but the 
poet could have commented himself with such clearness." 
Two shepherds Mingo Revulgo and Gil Aribato re- 
present the lower and upper class respectively, discussing 
the abuses of society. Gil Aribato blames the people, 
whose vices are responsible for corruption in high 
places ; Mingo Revulgo contends that the dissolute King 
should bear the blame for the ruin of the state, and 
the argument ends by lauding the golden mean of the 
burgess. The tone of Mingo Revulgo is more moderate 
than that of the Provincial ; the attacks on current evils 
are more general, more discreet, and therefore more 
deadly ; and the aim of the later satire is infinitely 
more serious and elevated. Cast in dramatic form, 
but devoid of dramatic action, Mingo Revulgo leads 
directly to the eclogues of Juan del Encina, so often 
called the father of the Spanish theatre ; but its im- 
mediate interest lies in the fact that it is the first of 
effective popular satires. 

Among the poets of this age, the Jewish convert, 
ANT6N DE MONTORO, el Ropero (1404- 71480), holds a 
place apart. A fellow of parts, Montoro combined 
verse-making with tailoring, and his trade is frequently 
thrown in his teeth by rivals smarting under his bitter 
insolence. Save when he pleads manfully for his kins- 
folk, who are persecuted and slaughtered by a blood- 
thirsty mob, Montoro's serious efforts are mostly failures. 
His picaresque verses, especially those addressed to Juan 
de Valladolid, are replenished with a truculent gaiety 
which amuses us almost as much as it amused Santillana ; 
but he should be read in extracts rather than at length. 


He is suspected of complicity in the Coplas del Provincial, 
and there is good ground for thinking that to him belong 
the two most scandalous pieces in the Cancionero de burlas 
provocantes d risa namely, the Pleito del Manto (Suit of 
the Coverlet), and a certain unmentionable comedy which 
purports to be by Fray Montesino, and travesties Mena's 
Trescientas in terms of extreme filthiness. Montoro's short 
pieces are reminiscent of Juan Ruiz, and, for all his in- 
decency, it is fair to credit him with much cleverness and 
with uncommon technical skill. His native vulgarity 
betrays him into excesses of ribaldry which mar the 
proper exercise of his undeniable gifts. 

A better man and a better writer is JUAN ALVAREZ 
GATO (71433-96), the Madrid knight of whom G6mez 
Manrique says that he "spoke pearls and silver." It is 
difficult for us to judge him on his merits, for, though 
his cancionero exists, it has not yet been printed ; and 
we are forced to study him as he is represented in 
the Cancionero General, where his love-songs show a 
dignity of sentiment and an exquisiteness of expression 
not frequent in any epoch, and exceptional in his own 
time. His sacred lyrics, the work of his old age, lack 
unction : but even here his mastery of form saves his 
pious -villancicos from oblivion, and ranks him as the best 
of Encina's predecessors. His friend, Hernan Mexi'a, 
follows Pero Torrellas with a satire on the foibles of 
women, in which he easily outdoes his model in mis- 
chievous wit and in ingenious fancy. 

GOMEZ MANRIQUE, Senor de Villazopeque (1412-91), 
is a poet of real distinction, whose entire works have been 
reprinted from two complementary cancioneros discovered 
in 1885. Sprung from a family illustrious in Spanish 
history, Gomez Manrique was a foremost leader in the 


rebellion of the Castilian nobles against Enrique IV. In 
allegorical pieces like the Batalla de amores, he frankly 
imitates the Galician model, and in one instance he 
replies to a certain Don Alvaro in Portuguese. Then 
he joins himself to the rising Italian school, wherein his 
uncle, Santillana, had preceded him ; and his experiments 
extend to adaptations of Sem Tob's sententious moralis- 
ings, to didactic poems in the manner of Mena, and to 
coplas on Juan de Valladolid, in which he measures 
himself unsuccessfully with the rude tailor, Montoro. 
Humour was not Gomez Manrique's calling, and his 
attention to form is an obvious preoccupation which 
diminishes his vigour: but his chivalrous refinement 
and noble tenderness are manifest in his answer to 
Torrellas' invective. His pathos is nowhere more touch- 
ing than in the elegiacs on Garcilaso de la Vega ; while 
in the lines to his wife, Juana de Mendoza, Gomez Man- 
rique portrays the fleetingness of life, the sting of death, 
with almost incomparable beauty. 

His Representation del Nadmiento de Nuestro Senor, the 
earliest successor to the Misterio de los Reyes Magos, is a 
liturgical drama written for and played at the convent 
of Calabazanos, of which his sister was Superior. It 
consists of twenty octosyllabic stanzas delivered by the 
Virgin, St. Joseph, St. Gabriel, St. Michael, St. Raphael, 
an angel, and three shepherds, the whole closing with a 
cradle-song. Simple as the construction is, it is more 
elaborate than that of a later play on the Passion, wherein 
the Virgin, St. John, and the Magdalen appear (though 
the last takes no part in the dialogue). The refrain or 
estribillo at the end of each stanza goes to show that this 
piece was intended to be sung. These primitive essays 
in the hieratic drama have all the interest of what was 


virtually a new invention, and their historical importance 
is only exceeded by that of a secular play, written by 
G6mez Manrique for the birthday of Alfonso, brother of 
Enrique IV., in which the Infanta Isabel played one of 
the Muses. In all three experiments the action is of the 
slightest, though the dialogue is as dramatic as can be 
expected from a first attempt. The point to be noted 
is that G6mez Manrique foreshadows both the lay and 
sacred elements of the Spanish theatre. 

His fame has been unjustly eclipsed by that of his 
nephew, JORGE MANRIQUE, Seftor de Belmontejo (1440- 
1478), a brilliant soldier and partisan of Queen Isabel's, 
who perished in an encounter before the gates of Garci- 
Munoz, and is renowned by reason of a single master- 
piece. His verses are mostly to be found in the Cancionero 
General, and a few are given in the cancioneros of Seville 
and Toledo. Like that of his uncle, G6mez, his vein 
of humour is thin and poor, and the satiric stanzas to 
his stepmother border on vulgarity. In acrostic love- 
songs and in other compositions of a like character, Jorge 
Manrique is merely clever in the artificial style of many 
contemporaries is merely a careful craftsman absorbed 
in the technical details of art, with small merit beyond 
that of formal dexterity. The forty-three stanzas entitled 
the Coplas de Jorge Manrique por la muerte de su padre, 
have brought their writer an immortality which, outliving 
all freaks of taste, seems as secure as Cervantes' own. 
An attempt has been made to prove that Jorge Manrique's 
elegiacs on his father are not original, and that the elegist 
had some knowledge of Abu '1-Baka Salih ar-Rundi's 
poem on the decadence of the Moslem power in Spain. 
Undoubtedly Valera has so ingeniously rendered the 
Arab poet as to make the resemblance seem pronounced : 


but the theory is untenable, for it is not pretended that 
Jorge Manrique could read Arabic, and lofty common- 
places on death abound in all literature, from the Bible 

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

" Behold of what delusive worth 
The bubbles we pursue on earth, 

The shapes we chase 
Amid a world of treachery ; 
They "vanish ere death shuts the eye, 
And leave no trace. 

Time steals tJtem from us, chances strange^ 
Disastrous accidents, and change, 
That come to all; 


Even in the most exalted state, 
Relentless sweeps the stroke of fate; 
The strongest fall. 

Tell me, the charms that lovers seek 
In the clear eye and blushing cheek, 

The hues that play 
Oer rosy lip and brow of snow, 
When hoary age approaches slow, 

Ah, where are they? . . . 

Tourney and joust, that charmed the eye, 
And scarf, and gorgeous panoply, 

And nodding plume, 
What were they but a pageant scene f 
What but the garlands gay and green. 

That deck the tomb ? . . . 

Death, no more, no more delay ; 
My spirit longs to flee away, 

And be at rest; 
The will of Heaven my will shall be, 

1 bow to the divine decree, 

To God's behest. . . . 

His soul to Him who gave it rose : 
God lead it to its long repose, 

Its glorious rest! 

And though the warrior's sun has set, 
Its light shall linger round us yet, 

Bright, radiant, blest." 

By the side of this achievement the remaining poems 
of Enrique IV.'s reign seem wan and withered. But 
mention is due to the Sevillan, Pedro Guillen de Segovia 
(1413-74), who, beginning life under the patronage of 
Alvaro de Luna, Santillana, and Mena, passes into the 
household of the alchemist-archbishop Carrillo, and pro- 
claims himself a disciple of G6mez Manrique. His chief 
performance is his metrical version of the Seven Peni- 


tential Psalms, which is remarkable as being the first 
attempt at introducing the biblical element into Spanish 

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


history it professes to be, and is valuable mainly because 
of its picturesque, yet simple and natural digressions on 
the social life of Spain. 

The very year of the Catholic King's accession (1474) 
coincides with the introduction of the art of printing into 
Spain. Ticknor dates this event as happening in 1468, 
remarking that " there can be no doubt about the matter." 
Unluckily, the book upon which he relies is erroneously 
dated. Les Trobes en lahors de la Verge Maria the first 
volume printed in Spain is a collection of devout verses 
in Valencian, by forty-four poets, mostly Catalans. Of 
these, Francisco de Castellvi, Francisco Barcelo, Pedro 
de Civillar, and an anonymous singer Hum Castelld sens 
nom write in Castilian. From 1474 onward, printing- 
presses multiply, and versions of masters like Dante, 
Boccaccio, and Petrarch, made by Pedro Fernandez 
de Villegas, by Alvar G6mez, and by Antonio de 
Obreg6n, are printed in quick succession. Hencefor- 
ward the best models are available beyond a small 
wealthy circle ; but the results of this popularisation 
are not immediate. 

Inigo de Mendoza, a gallant and a Franciscan, appears 
as a disciple of Mena and G6mez Manrique in his Vita 
Christiy which halts at the Massacre of the Innocents. 
Fray f fiigo is too prone to digressions, and to misplaced 
satire mimicked from Mingo Revulgo, yet his verses have 
a pleasing, unconventional charm in their adaptation to 
devout purpose of such lyric forms as the romance and 
the villancico. His fellow-monk, Ambrosio Montesino, 
Isabel's favourite poet, conveys to Spain the Italian 
realism of Jacopone da Todi in his Visitacidn de Nuestra 
Seftora, and in hymns fitted to the popular airs preserved 


in Asenjo Barbieri's Cancionero Musical de los siglos xv.y 
xvi. This embarrassing condition, joined to the writer's 
passion for conciseness, results in hard effects ; yet, at 
his best, he pipes "a simple song for thinking hearts," 
and, as Menendez y Pelayo, the chief of Spanish critics, 
observes, Montesino's historic interest lies in his suffus- 
ing popular verse with the spirit of mysticism, and in 
his transmuting the popular forms of song into artistic 

Space fails for contemporary authors of esparsas, decires> 
resquestas, more or less ingenious ; but we cannot omit 
the name of the Carthusian, JUAN DE PADILLA (1468- 
71522), who suffers from an admirer's indiscretion in 
calling him "the Spanish Homer." His Retablo de la 
Vida de Cristo versifies the Saviour's life in the manner 
of Juvencus, and his more elaborate poem, Los doce 
triunfos de los doce Apostoles, strives to fuse Dante's 
severity with Petrarch's grace. Rhetorical out of season, 
and tending to abuse his sonorous vocabulary, Padilla 
indulges in verbal eccentricities and in sudden drops from 
altisonance to familiarity ; but in his best passages his 
journey through hell and purgatory, guided by St. Paul 
he excels by force of vision, by his realisation of the 
horror of the grave, and by his vigorous transcription of 
the agonies of the lost. The allegorical form is again 
found in the Infierno del A -mor of Garci Sanchez de Bada- 
joz, who ended life in a madhouse. His presentation 
of Macias, Rodriguez del Padr6n, Santillana, and Jorge 
Manrique in thrall to love's enchantments, was to the 
taste of his time, and a poem with the same title, Infierno 
del Amor, made the reputation of a certain Guevara, 
whose scattered songs are full of picaresque and biting 
wit. For the rest, Sdnchez de Badajoz depends upon 


his daring, almost blasphemous humour, his facility in 
improvising, and his mastery of popular forms. 

Of the younger poetic generation, PEDRO MANUEL DE 
URREA (1486-? 1530) is the most striking artist. His 
Peregrinacidn d Jersuattn and his Penitencia de Amor are 
practically inaccessible, but his Cancionero displays an 
ingenious and versatile talent. Urrea's aristocratic spirit 
revolts at the thought that in this age of printing his 
songs will be read "in cellars and kitchens," and the 
publication of his verses seems due to his mother. His 
Fiestas de Amor, translated from Petrarch, are tedious, 
but he has a perfect mastery of the popular d&ima, and 
his villancicos abound in quips of fancy matched by 
subtleties of expression. Urrea fails when he closes a 
stanza with a Latin tag a dubious adonic, such as 
Dominus tecum. He fares better with his modification 
of Jorge Manrique's stanza, approving his skill in modu- 
latory effects. His most curious essay is his verse 
rendering of the Celestina's first act ; for here he antici- 
pates the very modes of Lope de Vega and of Tirso de 
Molina. But in his own day he was not the sole prac- 
titioner in dramatic verse. 

A distinct progress in this direction is made by 
RODRIGO COTA DE MAGUAQUE (fl. 1490), a convert Jew, 
who incited the mob to massacre his brethren. Wrongly 
reputed the author of the Coplas del Provincial, of Mingo 
Revulgo, and of the Celestina, Cota is the parent of fifty- 
eight quatrains, in the form of a burlesque wedding-song, 
recently discovered by M. Foulche-Delbosc. But Cota's 
place in literature is ensured by his celebrated Didlogo 
entre el Amor y un Viejo. In seventy stanzas Love and 
the Ancient argue the merits of love, till the latter yields 
to the persuasion of the god, who then derides the hoary 


amorist. The dialogue is eminently dramatic both in 
form and spirit, the action convincing, clear, and rapid, 
while the versification is marked by an exquisite melody. 
It is not known that the Didlogo was ever played, yet it 
is singularly fitted for scenic presentation. 

The earliest known writer for the stage among the 
moderns was, as we have already said, G6mez Man- 
rique; but earlier spectacles are frequently mentioned in 
fifteenth-century chronicles. These may be divided into 
entremeses, a term loosely applied to balls and tourneys, 
accompanied by chorus-singing ; and into momos, enter- 
tainments which took on a more literary character, and 
which found excuses for dramatic celebrations at Christ- 
mas and Eastertide. G6mez Manrique had made a step 
forward, but his pieces are primitive and fragmentary 
compared to those of JUAN DEL ENCINA (1468-1534). 
A story given in the scandalous Pleito del Manto reppjris 
that Encina was the son of Pero TorreTfas, arid another 
idle tale declares him to be Juan de Tamayo. The latter 
is proved a blunder; the former is discredited by Encina's 
solemn cursing of Torrellas. Encina passed from the 
University of Salamanca to the household of the Duke 
of Alba (1493), was present next year at the siege of 
Granada, and celebrated the victory in his Triunfo^de^ 
fama. Leaving for Italy in 1498, he is found at Rome in 
1502, a favourite with that Spanish Pope, Alexander VI. 
He returned to Spain, took orders, and sang his first 
mass at Jerusalem in 1519, at which date he was ap- 
pointed Prior of the Monastery of Le6n. He is thought 
to have died at Salamanca. 

Encina began writing in his teens, and has left us over 
a hundred and seventy lyrics, composd before he was 
twenty-five years old. Nearly eighty pieces, with musical 



settings by the author, are given in Asenjo Barbieri's 
Cancionero Musical. His songs, when jundisfigured by 
deliberate conceits, are full of devotional charm. Still, 
Enema abides with us in virtue of his eclogues, the 
first two being given in the presence of his patrons at 
Alba de Tormes, probably in 1492. His plays are four- 
teen in number, and were undoubtedly staged. Ticknor 
would persuade us that the seventh and eighth, though 
really one piece, " with a pause between," were separated 
by the poet " in his simplicity." Even Encina's simpli- 
city may be overstated, and Ticknor's "pause" must 
have been long : for the seventh eclogue was played in 
1494, and the eighth in 1495. His eclogues are eclogues 
only in name, being dramatic presentations of primitive 
themes, with a distinct but simple action. The occasion 
is generally a feast-day, and the subject is sometimes 
sacred. Yet not always so : the Egloga de Fileno dra- 
matises the shepherd's passion for Lefira, and ends 
with a suicide suggested by the Celestina. In like wise, 
Encina's Pldcida y Vitoriano, involving two attempted 
suicides and one scabrous scene, introduces Venus and 
Mercury as characters. Again, the Aucto del Repelon 
dramatises the adventures in the market-place of two 
shepherds, Johan Paramas and Piernicurto ; while Cris- 
tinoy Febea exhibits the ignominious downfall of a would- 
be hermit in phrases redolent of Cota's Didlogo. Simple 
as the motives are, they are skilfully treated, and the ver- 
sification, especially in Pldcida y Vitoriano, is pure and 
elegant. Encina elaborates the strictly liturgical drama 
to its utmost point, and his younger contemporary, Lucas 
Fernandez, makes no further progress, for the obvious 
reason that no novelty was possible without incurring 
a charge of heresy. As Sr. Cotarelo y Mori has pointed 


out, the sacred drama remains undeveloped till the lives 
of saints and the theological mysteries are exploited by 
men of genius. Meanwhile, Encina has begun the move- 
ment which culminates in the autos of Calderon. 

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

Cervantes' Barber, classing the book as "the best in 
that kind," saved it from the holocaust, and posterity 
has accepted the Barber's sentence. Amadls is at least 
the only chivalresque novel that man need read. The 
style is excellent, and, though the tale is too long- 
drawn, the adventures are interesting, the supernatural 
machinery is plausibly arranged, and the plot is skil- 
fully directed. Later stories are mostly burlesques of 


Amadis : the giants grow taller, the monsters fiercer, the 
lakes deeper, the torments sharper. In his Sergas de 
Esplandidn, Montalvo fails when he attempts to take 
up the story at the end of Amadis. One tedious sequel 
followed another till, within half a century, we have 
a thirteenth Amadis. The best of its successors is Luis 
Hurtado's (or, perhaps, Francisco de Moraes') Palmerin 
de Inglaterra, which Cervantes' Priest would have kept 
in such a casket as " that which Alexander found among 
Darius' spoils, intended to guard the works of Homer." 
Nor is this mere irony. Burke avowed in the House of 
Commons that he had spent much time over Palmerin, 
and Johnson wasted a summer upon Felixmarte de Hir- 
cania. Wearisome as the kind was, its popularity was so 
unbounded that Hieronym Sempere, in the Caballeria 
cristiana, applied the chivalresque formula to religious' 
allegory, introducing Christ as the Knight of the Lion, 
Satan as the Knight of the Serpent, and the Apostles as 
the Twelve Knights of the Round Table. Of its class, 
Amadis de Gaula is the first and best. 

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

ROJAS 125 

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

The tale is briefly told. Calisto, rebuffed by Melibea, 
employs the procuress Celestina, who arranges a meeting 
between the lovers. But destiny works a speedy expia- 
tion : Celestina is murdered by Calisto's servants, Calisto 
is accidentally killed, and Melibea destroys herself before 
her father, whom she addresses in a set speech suggested 
by the Cdrcel de Amor. Celestina is developed from 
Ruiz' Trota-conventos ; Rojas' lovers, Calisto and Meli- 
bea, from Ruiz' Mel6n and Endrina ; and some hints are 
drawn from Alfonso Martinez de Toledo. But, despite 
these borrowings, we have to deal with a completely 
original masterpiece, unique in its kind. We are no 
longer in an atmosphere thick with impossible monsters 
in incredible circumstances : we are in the very grip of 
life, in commerce with elemental, strait passions. 

Rojas is the first Spanish novelist who brings a con* 


science to his work, who aims at more than whiling 
away an idle hour. He is not great in incident, his plot 
is clumsily fashioned, the pedantry of his age fetters him ; 
but in effects of artistry, in energy of phrasing, he is un- 
matched by his coevals. Though he invented the comic 
type which was to become the gracioso of Calder6n, his 
humour is thin ; on the other hand, his realism and 
his pessimistic fulness are above praise. Choosing for 
his subject the tragedy of illicit passion, he hit on the 
means of exhibiting all his powers. His purpose is to 
give a transcript of life, objective and impersonal, and 
he fulfils it, adding thereunto a mysterious touch of 
sombre imagination. His characters are not Byzantine 
emperors and queens of Cornwall : he traffics in the 
passions of plain men and women, the agues of the love- 
sick, the crafts of senile vice, the venality and vauntings 
of picaroons, the effrontery of croshabells. Hence, from 
the first hour, his book took the world by storm, was 
imprinted in countless editions, was continued by Juan 
Sedefto and Feliciano da Silva the same whose " reason 
of the unreasonableness" so charmed Don Quixote 
was imitated by Sancho Muft6n in Lisandro y Roselia, 
was used by Lope de Vega in the Dorotea, and was 
passed from the Spanish stage to be glorified as Romeo 
and Juliet. 

Between the years 1508-12 was composed the anony- 
mous Cuestidn de Amor, a semi-historical, semi-social 
novel wherein contemporaries figure under feigned 
names, some of which are deciphered by the industry 
of Signer Croce, who reveals Belisena, for example, as 
Bona Sforza, afterwards Queen of Poland. Though 
much of its first success was due to the curiosity which 
commonly attaches to any roman a clef, it still interests 


because of its picturesque presentation of Spanish 
society in Italian surroundings, and the excellence of 
its Castilian style was approved by that sternest among 
critics, Juan de Valdes. 

History is represented by the Historia de los Reyes 
catdlicos of Andres Bernaldez (d. 1513), parish priest of 
Los Palacios, near Seville, who relates with spirit and 
simplicity the triumphs of the reign, waxing enthusiastic 
over the exploits of his friend Columbus. A more am- 
bitious historian is HERNANDO DEL PULGAR (1436-? 1492), 
whose Claras Varones de Castillo, is a brilliant gallery of 
portraits, drawn by an observer who took Perez de 
Guzman for his master. Pulgar's Crdnica de los Reyes 
catolicos is mere official historiography, the work of a 
flattering partisan, the slave of flagrant prejudice ; yet 
even here the charm of manner is seductive, though the 
perdurable value of the annals is naught. As a portrait- 
painter, as an intelligent analyst of character, as a wielder 
of Castilian prose, Pulgar ranks only second to his im- 
mediate model. He is to be distinguished from another 
Hernando del Pulgar (1451-1531), who celebrated the 
exploits of the great captain, Gonzalo de C6rdoba, at the 
request of Carlos V. In this case, as in so many others, 
the old is better. 

One great name, that of Christopher Columbus or 
CRISTOBAL COLON (1440-1506) is inseparable from those 
of the Catholic kings, who astounded their enemies by 
their ingratitude to the man who gave them a New 
World. Mystic and adventurer, Columbus wrote letters 
which are marked by sound practical sense, albeit 
couched in the apocalyptic phrases of one who holds 
himself for a seer and prophet. Incorrect, uncouth, and 
rugged as is his syntax, he rises on occasion to heights 


of eloquence astonishing in a foreigner. But it is per- 
haps imprudent to classify such a man as Columbus 
by his place of birth. An exception in most things, he 
"was probably the truest Spaniard in all the Spains ; and 
by virtue of his transcendent genius, visible in word as 
in action, he is filed upon the bede-roll of the Spanish 



WITH the arrival of printing-presses in 1474 the diffusion 
of foreign models became general throughout Spain. 
The closing years of the reign of the Catholic Kings 
were essentially an era of translation, and this movement 
was favoured by high patronage. The King, Fernando, 
was the pupil of Vidal de Noya; the Queen, Isabel, 
studied under Beatriz Galindo, la latina ; and Luis Vives 
reports that their daughter, Mad Juana, could and did,/'^)^ 
deliver impromptu Latin speeches to the deputies of the 
Low Countries. Throughout the land Italian scholars 
preached the gospel of the Renaissance. The brothers 
Geraldino (Alessandro and Antonio) taught the children 
of the royal house. Peter Martyr, the Lombard, boasts 
that the intellectual chieftains of Castile sat, at his feet ; 
and he had his present reward, for he ended as Bishop 
of Granada. From the Latin chair in the University 
of Salamanca, Lucio Marineo lent his aid to the good 
cause ; and, in Salamanca likewise, the Portuguese, 
Arias Barbosa, won repute as the earliest good Penin- 
sular Hellenist. Spanish women took the fever of foreign 
culture. Lucia de Medrano and Juana de Contreras 
lectured to university men upon the Latin poets of the 
Augustan age. So, too, Francisca de Nebrija would 


serve as substitute for her father, ANTONIO DE NEBRIJA 
(1444-1522), the greatest of Spanish humanists, the 
author of the Arte de la Lengua Castellana and of a 
Spanish-Latin dictionary, both printed in 1492. Nebrija 
touched letters at almost every point, touching naught 
that he did not adorn ; he expounded his principles in 
the new University of Alcald de Henares, founded in 
1508 by the celebrated Cardinal Francisco Jimenez de 
Cisneros (1436-1517). Palencia had preceded Nebrija 
by two years with the earliest Spanish-Latin diction- 
ary ; but Nebrija's drove it from the field, and won 
for its author a name scarce inferior to Casaubon's or 

The first Greek text of the New Testament ever printed 
came from Alcala de Henares in 1514. In 1520 the re- 
nowned Complutensian Polyglot followed ; the Hebrew 
and Chaldean texts being supervised by converted Jews 
like Alfonso de Alcala, Alfonso de Zamora, and Pablo 
Coronel ; the Greek by Nebrija, Juan de Vergara, 
Demetrio Ducas, and Hernan Nunez, "the Greek Com- 
mander." Versions of the Latin classics were in all 
men's hands. Palencia rendered Plutarch and Josephus, 
Francisco Vidal de Noya translated Horace, Virgil's 
Eclogues were done by Encina, Caesar's Commentaries 
by Diego L6pez de Toledo, Plautus by Francisco L6pez 
Villalobos, Juvenal by Jer6nimo de Villegas, and Apuleius' 
Golden Ass by Diego Lopez de Cartagena, Archdeacon 
of Seville. Juan de Vergara was busied on the text of 
Aristotle, while his brother, Francisco de Vergara, gave 
Spaniards their first Greek grammar and translated 
Heliodorus. Nor was activity restrained to dead lan- 
guages : the Italian teachers saw to that. Dante was 
translated by Pedro Fernandez de Villegas, Archdeacon 


of Burgos ; Petrarch's Trionfi by Antonio Obreg6n and 
Alvar Gomez ; and the Decamerone by an anonymous 
writer of high merit. 

If Italians invaded Spain, Spaniards were no less ready 
to settle in Italy. Long before, Dante had met with 
Catalans and had branded their proverbial stinginess : 
"I'avara poverta di Catalogna." A little later, and 
Boccaccio spurned Castilians as so many wild men : 
" semibarbari et efferati homines." Lorenzo Valla, chief 
of the Italian scholars at Alfonso V.'s Neapolitan court, 
denounced the King's countrymen as illiterates : " a 
studiis hmnanitatis abhorrentes'' Benedetto Gareth of 
Barcelona (1450-? 1514) plunged into the new current, 
forswore his native tongue, wrote his respectable Rime 
in Italian, and re-incarnated himself under the Italian 
form of Chariteo. A certain Jusquin Dascanio is re- 
presented by a song, half-Latin, half-Italian, in Asenjo 
Barbieri's Cancionero Musical de los Siglos xv. y xvi. 
(No. 68), and a few anonymous pieces in the same 
collection are written wholly in Italian. The Valencian, 
Bertomeu Gentil, and the Castilian, Tapia, use Italian in 
the Cancionero General of 1527, the former succeeding 
so far that one of his eighteen Italian sonnets has been 
accepted as Tansillo's by all Tansillo's editors. The 
case of the Spanish Jew, Judas Abarbanel, whom Chris- 
tians call Le6n Hebreo, is exceptional. Undoubtedly 
his famous Dialoghi di amore, that curious product of 
neo - platonic and Semitic mysticism which charmed 
Abarbanel's contemporaries no less than it charmed 
Cervantes, reaches us in Italian (1535). Yet, since it 
was written in 1502, its foreign dress is the chance result 
of the writer's expulsion from Spain with his brethren 
in 1492. It is unlikely that Judas Abarbanel should 


have mastered all the secrets of Italian within ten years : 
that he composed in Castilian, the language most familiar 
to him, is overwhelmingly probable. 

But the Italian was met on his own ground. The 
Neapolitan poet, Luigi Tansillo, declares himself a 
Spaniard to the core : " Spagnuolo cPaffezione" And, 
later, Panigarola asserts that Milanese fops, on the 
strength of a short tour in Spain, would pretend to 
forget their own speech, and would deliver themselves 
of Spanish words and tags in and out of season. Mean- 
while, Spanish Popes, like Calixtus III. and Alexander VI., 
helped to bring Spanish into fashion. It is unlikely that 
the epical Historia Parthenopea (1516) of the Sevillan, 
Alonso Hernandez, found many readers even among the 
admirers of the Great Captain, Gonzalo de C6rdoba, 
whose exploits are its theme ; but it merits notice as 
a Spanish book issued in Rome, and as a poor imitation 
of Mena's Trescientas, with faint suggestions of an Italian 
environment. A Spaniard, whom Encina may have met 
upon his travels, introduced Italians to the Spanish 
theatre. This was KAKTOLOME TORRES NAHARRO, a 
native of Torres, near Badajoz. Our sole information 
concerning him comes from a Letter Prefatory to his 
works, written by one Barbier of Orleans. The dates of 
his birth and death are unknown, and no proof supports 
the story that he was driven from Rome because of his 
satires on the Papal court. Neither do we know that he 
died in extreme poverty. These are baseless tales. What 
is certain is this : that Torres Naharro, having taken 
orders, was captured by Algerine pirates, was ransomed, 
and made his way to Rome about the year 1513. Further, 
we know that he lived at Naples in the service of Fabrizio 
Colonna, and that his collected plays were published at 


Naples in 1517 with the title of Propaladia, dedicated 
to Francisco Davalos, the Spanish husband of Vittoria 
Colonna. That Torres Naharro was a favourite with 
Leo X. rests on no better basis than the fact that in the 
Pope's privilege to print he is styled dilectus filius. 

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

Of the comedia de fantasia Torres Naharro is the 
earliest master. He adventures on the allegorical drama 
in his Trofea, which commemorates the exploits of 
Manoel of Portugal in Africa and India, and brings 
Fame and Apollo upon the stage. The chivalresque 


drama is represented by him in such pieces as the 
Serafina, the Aquilana, the Himenea ; while he examples 
the play of manners by the Jacinta and the Soldadesca, 
Each piece begins with an in troy to or prologue, wherein 
indulgence and attention are requested ; then follows 
a concise summary of the plot ; last, the action opens. 
The faults of Torres Naharro's theatre are patent enough: 
his tendency to turn comedy to farce, his inclination to 
extravagance, his want of tact in crowding his stage as 
in the Tinellaria with half-a-dozen characters chattering 
in half-a-dozen different languages at once. 

Setting aside these primitive humours, it is impos- 
sible to deny that Torres Naharro has a positive, as 
well as an historic value. His versification, always in 
the Castilian octosyllabic metre, with no trespassing on 
the Italian hendecasyllabic, is neat and polished, and, 
though far from splendid, lacks neither sweetness nor 
speed ; his dialogue is pointed, opportune, dramatic ; 
his characters are observed and are set in the proper 
light. His verses entitled the Lamentaciones de Amor are 
in the old, artificial manner ; his satirical couplets on the 
clergy are vigorous and witty attacks on the general life 
of Rome ; his devout songs are neither better nor worse 
than those of his contemporaries ; and his sonnets two 
in Italian, one in a mixture of Italian and Latin are 
mere curiosities of no real worth, yet they testify to the 
writer's uncommon versatility. Versatile Torres Naharro 
unquestionably was, and his gift serves him in the plays 
for which he is remembered. He is the first_Srjaniard 
to realise his personages, to create character on the 
boardsj the first to build a plot, to maintain an interest 
of action by variety of incident, to polish an intrigue,, 
to concentrate his powers within manageable limits, to... 


view stage-effects from before the curtain. In a word, 
Torres Naharro knew the stage, its possibilities, and its 
resources. For his own age and for his opportunities 
he knew it even too well ; and his Himenea the theme 
of which is the love of Himeneo for Febea, with the 
interposition of Febea's brother, petulant as to the 
"point of honour" is an isolated masterpiece, unrivalled 
tilTthe time of_Lo_p_e de_Veg_a.. The accident that Torres 
Naharro's Propaladia was printed in Italy ; the misfor- 
tune that its Spanish reprints were tardy, and that his 
plays were too complicated for the primitive resources 
of the Spanish stage : these delayed the development of 
the Spanish theatre by close on a century. Yet the fact 
remains : to find a match for the Himenea we must pass 
to the best of Lope's pieces. 

Thus the Spaniard in Italy. In Portugal, likewise, he 
made his way. GIL VICENTE (1470-1540), the Portuguese 
dramatist, wrote forty-two pieces, of which ten are wholly 
in Castilian, while fifteen are in a mixed jargon of Cas- 
tilian and Portuguese which the author himself ridicules 
as aravia in his Auto das Fadas. An important histori- 
cal fact is that Vicente's earliest dramatic attempt, the 
Monologo da Visitaqdo, is in Castilian, and that it was 
actually played the first lay piece ever given in Portu- 
gal on June 8, 1502. Its simplicity of tone and elegance 
of manner are reminiscent of Encina, and it can scarce 
be doubted that Vicente's imitation is deliberate. Still 
more obvious is the following of Encina's eclogues in 
Vicente's Auto pastoril Castelhano and the Auto dos Reis 
Matgos, where the legend is treated with Encina's curious 
touch of devotion and modernity, the whole closing with 
a song in which all join. Once again Encina's influence 

is manifest in the Auto da Sibilla Cassandra, wherein 


Cassandra, niece of Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah, is wooed 
by Solomon. In Amadis de Gaula and in Dom Duardos 
there is a marked advance in elaboration and finish ; and 
in the Auto da F/ Vicente proves his independence by 
an ingenuity and a fancy all his own. Here he displays 
qualities above those of his model, and treats his subject 
with such brilliancy that, a century and a half later, 
Calder6n condescended to borrow from the Portuguese 
the idea of his auto entitled El Lirio y la Azucena. Gil 
Vicente is technically a dramatist, but he is not dra- 
matic as Torres Naharro is dramatic. His action is slight, 
his treatment timid and conventional, and he is more 
poetic than inventive ; still, his dramatic songs are of 
singular beauty, conceived in a tone of mystic lyricism 
unapproached by those who went before him, and sur- 
passed by few who followed. That Vicente was ever 
played in Spain is not known ; but that he influenced 
both Lope de Vega and Calder6n is as sure as that he 
himself was a disciple of Encina. 

A more immediate factor in the evolution of Spanish 
letters was the Catalan Boscd, whom it is convenient to 
call by his Castilian name, JUAN BoscAN ALMOGAVER 
(? 1490-1542). A native of Barcelona, Boscan served 
as a soldier in Italy, returned to Spain in 1519, and, as 
we know from Garcilaso's Second Eclogue, was tutor 
to Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, whom the world 
knows as the Duque de Alba. Roseau's earliest verses 
are all in the old manner ; nor does he venture on 
the Italian hendecasyllabic till the year 1526, just 
before resigning his guardianship of Alba. His con- 
version was the work of the Venetian ambassador, 
Andrea Navagiero, an accomplished courtier, ill repre- 
sented by his Viaggiofatto in Spagna. Being at Granada 


in the year 1526, Navagiero met Boscan, who has left us 
an account of the conversation : "Talking of wit and 
letters, especially of their varieties in different tongues, 
he inquired why I did not try in Castilian the sonnets 
and verse-forms favoured by distinguished Italians. He 
not only suggested this, but pressed me urgently to the 
attempt. Some days later, I made for home, and, be- 
cause of the length and loneliness of the journey, think- 
ing matters over, I returned to what Navagiero had said, 
and thus I first attempted this sort of verse ; finding 
it hard at the outset, since it is very intricate, with many 
peculiarities, varying greatly from ours. Yet, later, I 
fancied that I was progressing well, perhaps because we 
all love our own essays ; hence I continued, little by 
little, with increasing zeal." This passage is a locus 
classicus. Ticknor justly observes that no single foreigner 
ever affected a national literature more deeply and more 
instantly than Navagiero, and that we have here a first- 
hand account, probably unique in literary history, of the 
first inception of a revolution by the earliest, if not the 
most conspicuous, actor in it. We have at last reached 
the parting of the ways, and Boscan presents himself as 
a guide to the Promised Land. The astonishing thing 
is that Boscan, a Barcelonese by birth and residence, 
ignores Auzi'as March. 

There were many Italianates before Boscan as 
Francisco Imperial and Santillana ; but their hour was 
not propitious, and Boscan is with justice regarded as 
the leader of the movement. He was not a poet of 
singular gifts, and he had the disadvantage of writing 
in Castilian, which was not his native language ; but 
Boscan had the wit to see that Castilian was destined 
to suoremacy, and he mastered it for his purpose with 


that same dogged perseverance which led him to under- 
take his more ambitious attempt unaided. He does not, 
indeed, appear to have sought for disciples, nor were 
his own efforts as successful as he believed : "perhaps 
because we all love our own essays." His Castilian 
prose is evidence of his gift of style, and his translation 
of Castiglione's Cortegiano is a triumph of rendering fit 
v ' to take its place beside our Thomas Hoby's version of 
the same original. But, it must be said frankly, that 
Boscan's most absolute success is in prose. Herrera 
bitterly taunts him with decking himself in the precious 
robes of Petrarch, and with remaining, spite of all that 
he can do, "a foreigner in his language." And the 
charge is true. In verse Boscan's defects grow very 
visible: his hardness, his awkward construction, his un- 
refined ear, his uncertain touch upon his instrument, his 
boisterous execution. Still, it is not as an original 
genius that Boscan finds place in history, but rather as 
an initiator, a master-opportunist who, without persua- 
sion, by the sheer force of conviction and example, led 
a nation to abandon the ancient ways, and to admit 
the potency and charm of exotic forms. That in itself 
constitutes a title, if not to immortality at least, to 

Boscan's influence manifested itself in diverse ways. 
His friend, Garcilaso de la Vega, sent him the first 
edition of Castiglione's Cortegiano, printed at Venice in 
1528. This "the best book that ever was written 
upon good breeding," according to Samuel Johnson- 
was triumphantly translated into Castilian by Boscan at 
Garcilaso's prayer ; and, though Boscan himself held 
translation to be a thing meet for " men of small 
parts," his rendering is an almost perfect performance. 


Moreover, it was the single work published by him 
(1534), for his poems appeared under his widow's care. 
Once more, in an epistle directed to Hurtado de Men- 
doza, Boscan re-echoes Horace's note of elegant sim- 
plicity with a faithfulness not frequent in his work ; 
and, lastly, it is known that he did into Castilian an 
Euripidean play, which, though licensed for the press, 
was never printed. Truly it seems that Boscan was 
conscious of his very definite limitations, and that he 
felt the necessity of a copy, rather than a direct model. 
If it were so, this would indicate a power of conscious 
selection, a faculty for self-criticism which cannot be 
traced in his published verses. His earlier poems, written 
in Castilian measures, show him for a man destitute 
of guidance, thrown on his own resources, a perfectly 
undistinguished versifier with naught to sing and with 
no dexterity of vocalisation. Yet, let Boscan betake 
himself to the poets of the Cinque Cento, and he flashes 
forth another being : the dauntless adventurer sailing 
for unknown continents, inspired by the enthusiasm of 
immediate suggestion. 

His Hero y Leandra is frankly based upon Musaeus, 
and it is characteristic of Boscan's mode that he expands 
Musaeus' three hundred odd hexameters into nigh three 
thousand hendecasyllabics. Professor Flamini has de- 
monstrated most convincingly that Boscan followed 
Tasso's Favo/a, but he comes far short of Tasso's variety, 
distinction, and grace. He annexes the Italian blank verse 
the versi sciolti as it were by sheer force, but he never 
subdues the metre to his will, and his monotony of 
accent and mechanical cadence grow insufferable. Not 
only so : too often the very pretence of inspiration dis- 
solves, and the writer descends upon slothful prose, 


sliced into lines of regulation length, honeycombed with 
flat colloquialisms. Conspicuously better is the Octava 
Rima an allegory embodying the Court of Love and 
the Court of Jealousy, with the account of an em- 
bassage from the former to two fair Barcelonese rebels. 
Of this performance Thomas Stanley has given an 
English version (1652) from which these stanzas are 
taken : 

" In the bright region of the fertile east 

Where constant calms smooth Aeav'n's unclouded brow, 
There lives an easy people, vovJd to rest, 

Who on love only all their hours bestow : 
By no unwelcome discontent opprest, 

No cares save those that from this passion flow, 
Here reigns, here ever uncontrolled did reign; 
The beauteous Queen sprung from the foaming main. 

Her hand the sceptre bears, the crown her head, 
Her willing vassals here their tribute pay : 

Here is her sacred power and statutes spread, 
Which all with cheerful forwardness obey : 

The lover by affection hither led, 
Receives relief, sent satisfied away : 

Here all enjoy, to give their last flames ease, 

The pliant figure of their mistresses . . . 

Love every structure offers to the sight, 
And every stone his soft impression wears. 

The fountains, moving pity and delight, 

With amorous murmurs drop persuasive tears. 

The rivers in their courses love invite, 
Love is the only sound their motion bears. 

The winds in whispers soothe these kind desires, 

And fan with their mild breath LovJs glowing fires" 

Ticknor ranks this as "the most agreeable and original 
of Boscan's works," and as to the correctness of the first 


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

His is the foremost post in point of time. In point 
of absolute merit he is easily outshone by his younger 


comrade, GARCILASO DE LA VEGA (1503-36), the 
bearer of a name renowned in Spanish chronicle and 
song. Grandson of Perez de Guzman, Garcilaso entered 
the Royal Body-guard in his eighteenth year. He 
quitted him like the man he was in crushing domestic 
rebellion, and, despite the fact that his brother, Pedro, 
served in the insurgent ranks, Garcilaso grew into favour 
with the Emperor. 

At Pavia, where Francis lost all save honour, Gar- 
cilaso distinguished himself by his intrepidity. For a 
moment he fell into disgrace because of his connivance 
at a secret marriage between his cousin and one of the 
Empress' Maids of Honour : interned in an islet on 
the Danube, Danubio, rio divino, he calls it, he there 
composed one of his most admired pieces, richly charged 
with exotic colouring. His imprisonment soon ended, 
and, with intervals of service before Tunis, and with spells 
of embassies between Spain and Italy, his last years were 
mostly spent at Naples in the service of the Spanish 
Viceroy, Pedro de Toledo, Marque's de Villafranca, father 
of Garcilaso's friend, the Duque de Alba. In the Pro- 
ven9al campaign the Spanish force was held in check by 
a handful of yeomen gathered in the fort of Muy, between 
Draguignan and Fre"jus. Muy recalls to Spanish hearts 
such memories as Zutphen brings to Englishmen. In 
itself the engagement was a mere skirmish : for Garci- 
laso it was a great and picturesque occasion. The ac- 
counts given by Navarrete and Garcfa Cerezeda vary in 
detail, but their general drift is identical. The last of the 
Spanish Caisars named his personal favourite, the most 
dashing of Spanish soldiers and the most distinguished of 
Spanish poets, to command the storm ing-party. Doffing 
his breastplate and his helmet that he might be seen 


by all beholders by the Emperor not less than by the 
army Garcilaso led the assault in person, was among 
the first to climb the breach, and fell mortally wounded in 
the arms of Jer6nimo de Urrea, the future translator of 
Ariosto, and of his more intimate friend, the Marques de 
Lombay, whom the world knows best as St. Francis 
Borgia. He was buried with his ancestors in his own 
Toledo, where, as even the grudging Gongora allows, 
every stone within the city is his monument. 

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

Garcilaso is eminently a poet of refinement, distinction, 
and cultivation. What Boscan half knew, Garcilaso knew 

f-fwr vu*s*r Jr**** *~ 


to perfection, and his accomplishment was wider as well 
as deeper. 1 Living his last years in Naples, Garcilaso 
had caught the right Renaissance spirit, and is beyond 
all question the most Italianate of Spanish poets in form 
and substance. He was not merely the associate of 
such expatriated countrymen as Juan de Valdes : he was 
the friend of Bembo and Tansillo, the first of whom 
calls him the best loved and the most welcome of all 
the Spaniards that ever came to Italy. To Tansillo, Gar- 
cilaso was attached by bonds of closest intimacy, and 
the reciprocal influence of the one upon the other is 
manifest in the works of both. This association would 
seem to have been the chief part of Garcilaso's literary 
training. His few flights in the old Castilian metres, his 
songs and villancicos, are of small importance ; his finest 
efforts are cast in the exotic moulds. It is scarcely 
an exaggeration to say that fundamentally he is a Nea- 
politan poet. 

The sum of his production is slight : the inconsider- 
able villanctcos, three eclogues, two elegies, an epistle, 
five highly elaborated songs, and thirty-eight Petrarchan 
sonnets. Small as is his work in bulk, it cannot be 
denied that it was like nothing before it in Castilian. 

1 Garcilaso's forty-eight Latin stanzas, written after the Danubian imprison- 
ment, are sufficiently unknown to justify a brief quotation here. They occur 
in Antonius Thylesius' Opera (Naples, 1762), pp. 128-129: Garcilassi di 
Vega Toletani ad Antonium Thylcsium : 

" Uxore, natis, fratribus et solo 
Exul relictis, frigida per loca 
Musarum alumnus, barbarorum 
Ferre superbiam, et insolenles 

Mores coactusjam didici, et invia 
Per saxa voce in geminantia 
Fletusque, sub rauco querelas 
Murmure Danubii levare." 


Auzi'as March, no doubt, had earlier struck a similar 
note in Catalan, and Garcilaso, who seems to have 
read everything, imitates his predecessor's harmonies and 
cadences. His trick of reminiscence is remarkable. 
Thus, his first eclogue is plainly suggested by Tansillo ; 
his second eclogue is little more than a rendering in 
verse of picked passages from the Arcadia of Jacopo 
Sannazaro ; while the fifth of his songs La Flor de 
Gnido is a most masterly transplantation of Bernardo 
Tasso's structure to Castilian soil. And almost every 
page is touched with the deliberate, conscious elegance of 
a student in the school of Horace. In simple execution 
Garcilaso is impeccable. The objection most commonly 
made is that he surrenders his personality, and converts 
himself into the exquisite echo of an exhausted pseudo- 
classic convention. And the charge is plausible. 

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

" Tomando ora la espada, ora lapluma." 


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

"Here ceased the youth his Doric madrigal, 
And sighing, with his last laments let fall 
A shower of tears ; the solemn mountains round, 
Indulgent of his sorrow, tossed the sound 
Melodious from romantic steep to steep, 
In mild responses deep; 

Sweet Echo, startingjrom her couch of moss, 
Lengthened the dirge; and tenderest Philomel, 
As pierced with grief and pity at his loss, 
Warbled divine reply, nor seemed to trill 
Less than Jove's nectar from her mournful bill. 
What Nemoroso sang in sequel, tell, 
Ye sweet-voiced Sirens of the sacred hill? 

This is, in a sense, " unnatural " ; but if_we jrgLJto. 
condemn it as such, we must even reject the whole 
school of pastoral, a convention of which the six- 
teenth century was enamoured. When Garcilaso intro- 
duced himself as Salicio, and, under the name of 
Nemoroso, presented Boscan (or, as Herrera will have 
it, Antonio de Fonseca), he but took the formula as he 
found it, and translated it in terms of genius. He was 
'- consciously returning upon nature ; not upon the mate- 
rial facts of existence as if is, but upon a figmentary 
nature idealised into a languid and ethereal beauty. He 
sought for effects of suavest harmony, embodying in 
his song a mystic neo-platonism, the morbidezza of " love 
in the abstract," set off by grace and sensibility and 
elfin music. It may be permissible for the detached 
critic to appreciate Garcilaso at something less than his 


secular renown, but this superior attitude were unlawful 
and inexpedient for an historical reviewer. 

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



sweet-voiced, amatorious paladin leaves an abiding im- 
press upon the character of his national literature. 

An early sectary of the school is discovered in the 
person of the Portuguese poet, FRANCISCO DE SA DE 
MIRANDA (1495-1558), who so frequently forsakes his 
native tongue that of 189 pieces included in Mine. Caro- 
lina Michaelis de Vasconcellos' edition, seventy-four are 
in Castilian. S3. de Miranda's early poems written before 
1532 the Fdbula de Mondego, the Can-do d Virgeni, and 
the eclogue entitled Aleixo are in the old manner. His 
later works, such as Nemoroso, with innumerable sonnets 
and the three elegies composed between 1552 and 1555, 
are all undisguised imitations of Boscan and Garcilaso, for 
whom the writer professes a rapturous enthusiasm. Sa 
de Miranda ranks among the six most celebrated Portu- 
guese poets; and, stranger though he be, even in Castilian 
literature he distinguishes himself by his correctness of 
form, by his sincerity of sentiment, and by a genuine 
love of natural beauty very far removed from the falsetto 
admiration too current among his contemporaries. 

The soldier, GUTIERRE DE CETIXA (1520-60) is an- 
other partisan of the Italian school. Serving in Italy, 
he pursued his studies to the best advantage, and won 
friendship and aid from literary magnates like the Prince 
of Ascoli, and Diego Hurtado de Mendoza ; but sol- 
diering was little to his taste, and, after a campaign in 
Germany, Cetina retired to his native Seville, whence he 
passed to Mexico about the year 1550. He is known to 
have written in the dramatic form, but no specimen of 
his drama survives, unless it be sepultured in some ob- 
scure Central American library. Cetina is a copious 
sonneteer who manages his rhyme-sequences with more 
variety than his predecessors, and his songs and madri- 


gals are excellent specimens of finished workmanship. 
His general theme is Arcadian love the beauty of 
Aman'ilida, the piteous passion of the shepherd Silvio, 
the grief of the nymph Flora for Menalca. His treat- 
ment is always ingenious, his frugality in the matter of 
adjectives is edifying, though it scandalised the exuberant 
Herrera, who, as a true Andalucian, esteems emphasis 
and epithet and metaphor as the three things needful. 
Cetina's sobriety is paid for by a certain preciosity of 
utterance near akin to weakness ; but he excels in the 
sonnet form, which he handles with a mastery superior 
to Garcilaso's own, and he adds a touch of humour un- 
common in the mannered school that he adorns. . 

FERNANDO DE ACUNA (? 1500-80) comes into notice 
as the translator of Olivier de la Mar6he's popular 
allegorical poem, the Chevalier De'lib/re, a favourite with 
Carlos Quinto. The Emperor is said to have amused 
himself by translating the French poem into Spanish 
prose, and to have commissioned Acuna to a poetic 
version. A courtier like Van Male gives us to under- 
stand that some part of Acufla's Caballero determinado is 
based upon the Emperor's prose rendering, and the 
insinuation is that Acuna and his master should share 
the praise of the former's exploit. This pleasant tale 
is scarce plausible, for we know that the Caesar never 
mastered colloquial Castilian, and that he should shine 
in its literary exercise is almost incredible. Be that as 
it may, Acufla's Caballero determinado, a fine example 
of the old quintillas, met with wide and instant appre- 
ciation ; yet he never sought to follow up his triumph 
in the same kind. The new influence was irresist- 
ible, and Acuna succumbed to it, imitating the lira of 
Garcilaso to the point of parody, singing as " Damon in 


absence," practising the pastoral, aspiring to Homer's 
dignity in his blank verses entitled the Contienda de 
Ayax Telamonio y de Ulises. Three Castilian cantos of 
Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato won applause in Italy ; 
but Acufla's best achievements are his sonnets, which 
are almost always admirable. One of them contains a 
line as often quoted as any other in all Castilian verse : 

" Un Monarca, un Imperio^ y una Espada" 

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

A more powerful and splendid personality is that of 
the illustrious DIEGO HURTADO DE MENDOZA (1503- 
J/ I 575)> one f t ne greatest figures in the history of 
Spanish^ politics and letters. Educated for the Church 
at the University of Salamanca, Mendoza preferred the 
career of arms, and found his opportunity at Pavia and 
in the Italian wars. Before he was twenty-nine he was 
named Ambassador to the Venetian Republic, became 
the patron of the Aldine Press, and studied the classics 
with all the ardour of his temperament. One of the 
few Spaniards learned in Arabic, Mendoza was a dis- 
tinguished collector : he ransacked the monastery of 
Mount Athos for Greek manuscripts, secured others from 
Sultan Suliman the Magnificent, and had almost all 
Bessarion's Greek collection transcribed for his own 
library, now housed in the Escorial. The first complete 
edition of Josephus was printed from Mendoza's copies. 
He represented the Emperor at the Council of Trent, 
and saw to it that Cardinals and Archbishops did what 
Spain expected of them. In 1547 he was appointed 


Plenipotentiary to Rome, where he treated Pope Julius: 
III. as cavalierly as his Holiness was accustomed to treat 
his own curates. In 1554 Mendoza returned to Spain, 
and the accession of Felipe II. in 1556 brought his public 
career to a close. He is alleged to have been Ambassador 
to England ; and one would fain the report were true. 

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

The greatest rebel against the invasion was CRISTOBAL 
DE CASTILLEJO (? 1494-1556), who passed thirty years ^ 
abroad in the service of Ferdinand, King of Bohemia. 
Mush, of Jiis Jife was actually spent in Italy, but he 
kept his national spirit almost absolutely free from the 
foreign influence. If he compromises at all, the furthest 


he can go is in adopting the mythological machinery 
favoured by all contemporaries, and even for this he 
could plead respectable Castilian precedent ; _but in 
the matter of form, Castillejo is cruelly intransigent. 
Boscan is his especial butt. 

" El mismo confesarA 
Que no sabe donde vet " 

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

In one of his sonnets, conceived in the most mis- 
chievous spirit of travesty, Castillejo singles out for 
reprobation a poet named Luis de Haro, as one of the 
Italian agitators. Unluckily Haro's verses have prac- 
tically disappeared from the earth, and the few speci- 
mens preserved in Naj era's Cancionero are banal exercises 
in the old Castilian manner. A practitioner more after 
p Castillejo's heart was the ingenious Antonio de Villegas 

(fl. 1551), whose Inventario, apart from tedious para- 
phrases of the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe in the style 


of Bottom the Weaver, contains many excellent society- 
verses, touched with conceits of extreme sublety, and 
a few more serious efforts in the form of d/cimas, not 
without a grave urbanity and a penetration of their own. 
Francisco de Castilla, a contemporary of Villegas, vies 
with him in essaying the hopeless task of bringing the 
old rhythms into new repute ; but his Teorica de virtudes, 
dignified and elevated in style and thought, had merely 
a momentary vogue, and is now unjustly considered a 
mere bibliographical curiosity. 

A student in both schools was the Portuguese GRE- 
GORIO SILVESTRE (1520-70), choirmaster and organist 
in the Cathedral of Granada, who, beginning with a boy's 
admiration for Garci Sanchez and Torres Naharro, prac- 
tised the redondilla with such success as to be esteemed 
an expert in the art. A certain Pedro de Caceres y Espi- 
nosa, in a Discurso prefixed to Silvestre's poems (1582), 
tells us that his author "imitated Crist6bal de Castillejo, 
in speaking ill of the Italian arrangements," and that he 
cultivated the novelties for the practical reason that they 
were popular. It is certain that Silvestre is as attractive 
in the new as in the old kind, that his elegance never 
obscures his simplicity, that he shows a rare sense of 
ordered outline, an exceptional finish in the technical 
details of both manners. His conversion is the last that 
need be recorded here. The villancico still found its 
supporters among men of letters, and, as late as the 
seventeenth century, both Cervantes and Lope de Vega 
profess a platonic attachment to it and kindred metres ; 
but the public mind was set against a revival, and Cer- 
vantes and Lope were forced to abandon any idea (if, 
indeed, they ever entertained it) of breathing life into 
these dead bones. 


Didactic prose was practised, according to the old tra- 
dition, by Juan L6pez de Vivero Palacios Rubios, who 
published in 1524 his Tratado del esfuerzo btflico heroico, a 
pseudo-philosophic inquiry into the origin and nature 
of martial valour, written in a clear and forcible style. 
Francisco L6pez de Villalobos (1473-1549), a Jewish 
convert attached to the royal household as physician, 
began by translating Pliny's Amphitruo in such fashion 
as to bring down on him the thunders of Herndn 
Nuftez. Villalobos works the didactic vein in his 
rhymed Sumario de Medicina which Ticknor ignores, 
though he mentions its late derivatives, the Trescientas 
preguntas of Alonso L6pez de Corelas (1546) and the 
Cuatrocientas respuestas of Luis de Escobar (1552). But 
the witty physician's most praiseworthy performance is 
his Tratado de las tres Grandes namely, talkativeness, 
obstinacy, and laughter where his familiar humour, his 
frolic, fantasy, and perverse acuteness far outshine the 
sham philosophy and the magisterial intention of his 
other work. A graver talent is that of Fernando Perez 
de Oliva (1492-1530), once lecturer in the University of 
Paris, and, later, Rector of Salamanca, who boasts of 
having travelled three thousand leagues in pursuit of 
culture. His Didlogo de la Dignidad del H ombre, written 
to show that Castilian is as good a vehicle as the more 
fashionable Latin for the discussion of transcendental 
matters, is an excellent example of cold, stately, Cice- 
ronian prose, and the continuation by his friend, Fran- 
cisco Cervantes de Salazar, is worthy of the beginning ; 
but the hold of ecclesiastical Latin was too fast to be 
loosed at a first attempt. 

Oliva's reputation is strictly Spanish : not so that 
of Carlos Quinto's official chronicler, ANTONIO DE 


GUEVARA (d. 1545), a Franciscan monk who held the 
bishopric of Mondonedo. His Reloj de Principes (Dial 
of Princes), a didactic novel with Marcus Aurelius for 
its hero, was originally composed to encourage his own 
patron to imitate the virtues of the wisest ancient. Un- 
luckily, however, Guevara passed his book off as authentic 
history, alleging it to be a translation of a non-existent 
manuscript in the Florentine collection. This brought 
him into trouble with antagonists as varied as the court- 
fool, Francesillo de Zuftiga, and a Sorian professor, the 
Bachelor Pedro de Rhua, whose Cartas censorias un- 
masked the imposture with malignant astuteness. But 
this critical faculty was confined to the Peninsula, 
and North's English translation, dedicated to Mary 
Tudor, popularised Guevara's name in England, where 
he is believed by some authorities to have exercised 
considerable influence on the style of English prose. 
This, however, is not the place to discuss that most 
difficult question. An instance of Guevara's better 
manner is offered by his D/cada de los CSsares, though 
even here he interpolates his own unscrupulous inven- 
tions and embellishments, as he also does in his Familiar 
Epistles, Englished by Edward Hellowes, Groom of the 
Leash, from whose version an illustration may be bor- 
rowed: "The property of love is to turn the rough into 
plain, the cruel to gentle, the bitter to sweet, the un- 
savoury to pleasant, the angry to quiet, the malicious 
to simple, the gross to advised, and also the heavy to 
light. He that loveth, neither can he murmur of him that 
doth anger him : neither deny that they ask him : neither 
resist when they take from him : neither answer when 
they reprove him : neither revenge if they shame him : 
neither yet will he be gone when they send him away." 


These pompous commonplaces abound in the Familiar 
Epistles, which, though still the most readable of Guevara's 
performances, are tedious in their elaborate accumula- 
tion of saws and instances, unimpressively collected from 
the four quarters of the earth. But the rhetorical letters 
went the round of the world, were translated times out 
of number, and were commonly called "The Golden 
Letters," to denote their unique worth. 

More serious and less attractive historians are Pedro 
Mexia (1496-1552), whose Historia Imperial y Cesdrea is 
a careful compilation of biographies of Roman rules 
from Caesar to Maximilian, and Floriin de Ocampo 
(1499-1555), canon of Zamora, and an official chronicler, 
who, taking the Deluge as his starting-point, naturally 
enough fails to bring his dry-as-dust annals later than 
Roman times, and endeavours to follow the critical 
canons of his time with better intention than perform- 
ance. The Comentarios de la Guerra en Alemania of 
Luis de Avila y Ziifiiga are valuable as containing the 
evidence of an acute, direct observer of events ; but 
Avila's exaggerated esteem for his master causes him to 
convert his history into an elaborate apology. Carlos 
Quinto's own dry criticism of the book is final : "Alex- 
ander's achievements surpassed mine but he was less 
lucky in his chronicler." The conquest of America 
begot a crowd of histories, of which but few need be 
named here. Gonzalez Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes 
(1478-1557), once secretary to the Great Captain, gives an 
official picture of the New World in his Historia general 
y natural de Indtas, and a similar study from an opposed 
and higher point of view is to be found in the work of 
Bartolome" de las Casas, Bishop of Chiapa (1474-1566), 
whose passionate eloquence on behalf of the American 


Indians is displayed in his Brevisima relation de la de- 
struction de Indias (1552) ; but here again history declines 
into polemics, the offices of judge and advocate over- 
lapping. The' famous HERNAN CORTES (1485-1554), El 
Conquistador, was a man of action ; but his official 
reports on Mexico and its affairs are drawn up with 
exceeding skill, and in energy of phrase and luminous 
concision may stand as models in their kind. Cortes 
found his panegyrist in his chaplain, Francisco Lopez 
de G6mara (1519-60), whose interesting Conquista de 
Mejico is an uncritical eulogy on his chief, .whom he 
extols at the expense of his brother adventurers. The 
antidote was supplied by BERNAL DIAZ DEL CASTILLO 
(fl. 1568), whose Historia verdadera de la conquista de la 
Nueva Esparta is a first-class example of military indig- 
nation. "Here the chronicler G6mara in his history 
says just the opposite of what really happened. Whoso 
reads him will see that he writes well, and that, with 
proper information, he could have stated his facts 
correctly : as it is, they are all lies." The manifest 
honesty and simplicity of the old soldier, who shared in 
one hundred and nineteen engagements and could not 
sleep unless in armour, are extremely winning ; his 
prolix ingenuousness has been admirably rendered in 
our day by a descendant of the Conquistadores, M. Jose 
Maria Heredia, whose French version is a triumph of 
translation. V* A 

Incredible tales from the Western Indies stimulated 
the popular appetite for miracles in terms of fiction. 
Paez de Ribera added a sixth book to Amadis, under the 
title of Florisando (1510); Feliciano de Silva wrote a 
seventh, ninth, tenth, and eleventh Lisuarte (1510), 
Amadis de Gretia (1530), Florisel de Niquea (1532), and 


Rogcl de Grecia; and he would certainly have supplied 
the eighth book had he not been anticipated by Juan 
Diaz with a second Lisuarte. Parallel with Amadis ran 
the series of Palmerin de Oliva (1511), which tradition 
ascribes to an anonymous lady of Augustobriga, but 
which may just as well be the work of Francisco Vazquez 
de Ciudad Rodrigo, as it is said to be in its first descend- 
ant Primaledn (1512). Polindo (1526) continues the tale, 
and an unknown author pursues it in the Cronica del 
muy valiente Platir (1533), while Palmerin de Inglaterra 
(1547-48) closes the cycle. Curious readers may study 
this last in the English version of Anthony Munday 
(1616), who commends it as an excellent and stately 
history, "wherein gentlemen may find choice of sweet 
inventions, and gentlewomen be satisfied in courtly ex- 
pectations." These are but a few of the extravagances of 
the press, and the madness spread so wide that Carlos 
Quinto, admirer as he was of Don Belianis de Grecia, was 
forced to protect the New World against invasion by 
books of this class. Scarcely less numerous are the 
continuations of the Celestina, due to the indefatigable 
Feliciano de Silva, to Caspar G6mez de Toledo, to 
Sancho Mufloz, and others. 

A new species begins with the first picaroon novel, 
Lazarillo de Tonnes y long ascribed to Diego Hurtado de 
Mendoza, an attribution now commonly rejected on the 
authority of that distinguished Spanish scholar, M. Alfred 
Morel-Fatio. There is something to be said in favour 
of Mendoza's claim which may not be said for lack of 
space. As to Lazarillo de Tormes, authorship, date and 
place of publication are all uncertain : the three earliest 
editions known appeared at Antwerp, Burgos, and Alcala 
de Henares in 1554. It is the autobiography of Lazaro, 


son of the miller, Tome Gonzalez, and the trull, Antonia 
Perez. He describes his adventures as leader of a blind 
man, as servant to a miserly priest, to a starving gentle- 
man, to a beggar-monk, to a vendor of indulgences, to a 
signboard painter, to an alguazil, ending his career in a 
Government post un oficio real as town-crier of Toledo. 
There we leave him " at the height of all good fortune." 
Lazaro's experience with the hungry hidalgo may be 
quoted from the admirable archaic rendering by David 
Rowland, of Anglesea : 

" It pleased God to accomplish my desire and his 
together, for when as I had begun my meat, as he 
walked, he came near to me, saying : ' Lazaro, I pro- 
mise thee thou hast the best grace in eating that ever 
I did see any man have ; for there is no man that seest 
thee eat, but seeing thee feed, shall have appetite, although 
they be not a-hungered.' Then would I say to myself, 
' The hunger which thou sustainest causeth thee to think 
mine so beautiful.' Then I trusted I might help him, 
seeing that he had so helped himself, and had opened 
me the way thereto. Wherefore I said unto him, ' Sir, 
the good tools make the workmen good : this bread hath 
good taste, and this neat's-foot is so well sod, and so 
cleanly dressed, that it is able, with the flavour of it only, 
to entice any man to eat of it.' 'What ? is it a neat's- 
foot ? ' ' Yes, sir.' ' Now, I promise thee it is the best 
morsel in the world : there is no pheasant that I would 
like so well.' ' I pray thee, sir, prove of it better and see 
how you like it.' . . . Whereupon he sitteth down by 
me, and then began to eat like one that hath great need, 
gnawing every one of those little bones better than any 
greyhound could have done for life, saying, 'This is a 
singular good meal : by God, I have eaten it with a good 


stomach, as if I had eaten nothing all this day before.' 
Then I, with a low voice, said, ' God send me to live long 
as sure as that is true.' And, having ended his victuals, 
he commanded me to reach him the pot of water, which 
I gave him even as full as I had brought it from the 
river. . . . We drank both, and went to bed, as the 
night before, at that time well satisfied. And now, to 
avoid long talk, we continued after this sort eight or nine 
days. The poor gentleman went every day to brave it 
out in the street, to content himself with his accustomed 
stately pace, and always I, poor Lazaro, was fain to be 
his purveyor." 

Written in the most debonair, idiomatic Castilian, 
Lazarillo de Tonnes condenses into nine chapters the 
cynicism, the ...wit, and the resource of an observer of 
genius. After three hundred years, it survives all its 
rivals, and may be read with as much edification and 
amusement as on the day of its first appearance. It 
set a fashion, a fashion that spread to all countries, and 
finds a nineteenth-century manifestation in the pages of 
Pickwick ; but few of its successors match it in satirical 
humour, and none approach it in pregnant concision, 
where_no word is superfluous, and where every word 
tells with consummate effect. Whoever wrote the book, 
he fixed for ever the type of the comic prose epic as 
rendered by the needy, and he did it in such wise as to 
defy all competition. Yet ill-advised competitors were 
found : one, who has the grace to hide his name, at 
Antwerp, continuing Lazaro's adventures by exhibiting 
the gay scamp as a tunny, and a certain Juan de Luna, 
who, so late as 1620, converted Lazaro to a sea-monster 
on show. 

Mysticism finds two distinguished exponents, of whom 

JUAN DE AVILA fry/vc ' 161 

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

In the opposite camp is JUAN DE VALDES (d. 1541), 
attached in some capacity to the court of Carlos Quinto, 
and suspect of heterodox tendencies in the eyes of all 
good Spaniards. Francisco de Encinas reports that 
Valdes found it convenient to leave Spain on account 
of his opinions ; but, as his twin-brother, Alfonso, con- 
tinued in the service of Carlos Quinto, and as Juan 
himself lived unmolested at Rome and Naples from 1531 
to his death, this story cannot be accepted. None the 
less is it certain that Valdes, possibly through his friend- 
ship with Erasmus, was drawn into the current of the 
Reformation. His earliest work, written, perhaps, in col- 
laboration with his brother, is the anonymous Didlogo de 
M er curio y Caron (1528), an ingenious fable in Lucian's 
manner, abounding in political and religious malice, 


charged with ridicule of abuses in Church and State. 
Apart from its polemical value, it is indisputably the 
finest prose performance of the reign. Boscdn's ver- 
sion of the Cortegiano most nearly vies with it ; but 
Valds excels Boscan in the artful construction of his 
periods, in the picturesqueness and moderation of his 
epithets, in the variety of his cadence, and in the re- 
fined selection of his means. It is possible that Cer- 
vantes, at his best, may match Valdes ; but Cervantes is 
one of the most unequal writers in the world, while 
Valdc's is one of the most scrupulous and vigilant. 
Hence, sectarian prejudice apart, Valdes must be ac- 
counted, if not absolutely the first, at least among the 
very first masters of Castilian prose. 

A curious fact in connection with one of Valdes' most 
popular works, the Ciento y diez Consideraciones divinas, 
is that it has never been printed in its original Castilian. 1 
Even so the book was translated into English by Nicholas 
Farrer (1638), and found favour in the eyes of George 
Herbert, who commends Signior lohn Valdesso as "a 
true servant of God," " obscured in his own country," 
and brought by God " to flourish in this land of light 
and region of the Gospel, among His chosen." It may 
be expedient to give an illustration of Valdes from the 
version to which Herbert stood sponsor : " Here I will 
add this. That, as liberality is so annexed to magna- 
nimity that he cannot be magnanimous that is not liberal, 
so hope and charity are so annexed unto faith that it is 
impossible that he should have faith who hath not hope 
and charity ; it being also impossible that one should be 

1 Bochmer gives thirty -nine Consuieracidnes in the Tratatidos (Bonn, 1880); 
for the sixty-fifth see Mene'ndez y Pelayo, Historia de los Heterodoxos Espailoles 
/Madrid, 1880), vol. ii. p. 375. 


just without being holy and pious. But of these Chris- 
tian virtues they are not capable who have not experience 
in Christian matters, which they only have who, by the 
gift of God and by the benefit of Christ, have faith, hope, 
and charity, and so are pious, holy, and just in Christ.'* 
The Arian flavour of this work explains its non-appear- 
ance in Castilian, and we must suppose that Herbert 
esteemed it for its austere doctrinal asceticism rather than 
its crude anti-trinitarianism. A Quaker before his time, 
Valdes owes no small part of his recent vogue to Wiffen, 
who first heard of the Consideraciones through a Friend 
as an "old work by a Spaniard, which represented es- 
sentially the principles of George Fox." Whatever its 
defects, it is the one logical presentation of the dogmas 
of German mysticism, at the same time that it is a 
powerful, searching psychological study of the springs 
of motives and the innermost recesses of the human 

In another and a less contested field, we owe to Valdes 
the admirable Didlogo de la Lengua, written at Naples in 
1535-36. The personages are four : two Italians, named 
Marcio and Coriolano ; and two Spaniards, Vald6s him- 
self, and a Spanish soldier, called indifferently Pacheco 
and Torres. For all purposes this dialogue is as im- 
portant a monument of literary criticism as was the 
conversation in Don Quixote's library between the Priest 
and the Barber. In almost every case posterity has rati- 
fied the personal verdict of Valdds, who approves himself 
the earliest, as well as one of the most impartial and 
most penetrating among Spanish critics. Moreover, he 
conducts his dialogue with extraordinary dramatic skill 
in the true vein of highest comedy. The courtly grace 
of the two Italians, the military swagger of Pacheco, the 


unwearied sagacity, the patrician wit and disdainful 
coolness of Valde"s himself, are given with incomparable 
lightness of touch and felicity of accent. For the first 
time in Castilian literature we have to do with a man 
of letters, urbane from study, and accomplished from 
commerce with a various world. Vald^s overtops all the 
literary figures of Carlos Quinto's reign in natural gift 
and acquired accomplishment ; nor in later times do we 
easily find his match. 



IN Spain, as elsewhere, the secular battle waged between 
classicism and romanticism. As poets sided with Boscan 
and Garcilaso, or with Castillejo, so dramatists declared 
for the uso antiguo or for the uso nuevo. The partisans 
of the " old usage " put their trust in prose translations. 
We have already seen that the roguish Villalobos trans- 
lated the Amphitruo of Plautus, and Perez de Oliva not 
only repeated the performance, but gave a version of 
Euripides' Hecuba. Encina's successor was found in the 
person of Miguel de Carvajal, whose Josefina deals, in 
classic fashion, with the tale of Joseph and his brethren. 
Carvajal draws character with skill, and his dialogue 
lives ; but he is best remembered for his division of the 
play into four acts. Editions of Vasco Diaz Tanco de 
Fregenal are of such extreme rarity as to be practically 
inaccessible. So are the Vidriana of Jaime de Huete 
and the Jacinta of Agusti'n Ortiz two writers who are 
counted as followers of Torres Naharro. A farce by 
the brilliant reactionary, Crist6bal de Castillejo, entitled 
Costanza, is only known in extract, and is as remark- 
able for ribaldry as for good workmanship. The Preteo y 
Tibaldo of Pero Alvarez de Ayllon and the Silviana of 

Luis Hurtado are insipid pastorals. Many contemporary 



plays, known only by rumour, have disappeared sup- 
pressed, no doubt, because of their coarseness. Torres 
Naharro's Propaladia was interdicted in 1540, and, eight 
years later, the Cortes of Valladolid petitioned that a 
stop be put to the printing of immoral comedies. The 
prayer was heard. Scarce a play of any sort survives, 
and the few that reach us exist in copies that are almost 
unique. The time for the stage was not yet. It is 
possible that, had Carlos Quinto resided habitually in 
some Spanish capital, a national theatre might have 
grown up ; but the lack of Court patronage and the 
classical superstition delayed the evolution of the Spanish 
drama. This comes into being during the reign of 
Felipe el Prudente. 

Encina's precedence in the sacred pastoral is granted ; 
but his eclogues were given before small, aristocratic 
audiences. We must look elsewhere for the first popular 
dramatist, and Lope de Vega, an expert on theatrical 
matters, identifies our man. "Comedies," says Lope, 
" are no older than Rueda, whom many now living have 
heard." The gold-beater, LOPE DE RUEDA (fl. 1558), was 
a native of Seville. A prefatory sonnet to his Medora, 
written by Francisco Ledesma, informs us that Rueda 
died at C6rdoba, and Cervantes adds the detail that he 
was buried in the cathedral there. This would go to 
show that a Spanish comedian was not then a pariah ; 
unluckily, the cathedral archives do not corroborate the 
story. Taking to the boards, Lope de Rueda rose to be 
an autor de comedias an actor-manager and playwright. 
Cervantes, who speaks enthusiastically of Rueda's acting, 
describes the material conditions of the scene. " In the 
days of this famous Spaniard, the whole equipment of 
an autor de comedias could be put in a bag : it consisted 


of four white sheepskins edged with gilt leather, four 
beards and wigs, and four shepherd's-staves, more or 
less. . . . No figure rose, or seemed to rise, from the 
bowels of the earth or from the space under the stage, 
which was built up by four benches placed square-wise, 
with four or six planks on top, about four hand's-breadths 
above ground. Still less were clouds lowered from the 
sky with angels or spirits. The theatrical scenery was 
an old blanket, hauled hither and thither by two cords. 
This formed what they called the vestuario, behind which 
were the musicians, who sang some old romance without 
a guitar." This account is substantially correct, though 
official documents in the Seville archives go to prove 
that Cervantes unconsciously exaggerated some details 
a thing natural enough in a man recalling memories fifty 
years old. A passage in the Cronica del Condestable Miguel 
Lucas Iranzo implies that women appeared in the early 
momos or entremeses. But Spaniards inherited the Arab 
notion that women are best indoors. The fact that 
Rueda was the first man to choose his pitch in the 
public place, and to appeal to the general, would explain 
his substitution of boys for girls in the female characters. 
Rueda was the first in Spain to bring the drama into 
the day. One of his personages in Eufemia the servant 
Vallejo makes a direct appeal to the public : "Ye who 
listen, go and dine, and then come back to the square, 
if you wish to see a traitor's head cut off and a true 
man set free." Thenceforward the theatre becomes a 
popular institution. 

Lope de Rueda is often called el excelente poeta, and his 
verse is exampled in the Prendas de Amor, as also in the 
Didlogo sobre la Invention de las Calzas. The Farsa del 
Sordo t included by the Marques de la Fuensanta del 



Valle in his admirable new edition of Rueda's works, is 
almost certainly due to another hand. Cervantes com- 
mends Rueda's versos pastoriles, but these only reach us 
in the fragment which Cervantes himself quotes in Los 
Bafios de ArgeL Still, it is not as a poet that Rueda lives : 
he is rightly remembered as the patriarch of the Spanish 
stage. For his time and station he was well read : Lopez 
Madera will have it that he knew Theocritus, and it may 
be so. More manifest are the Plautine touches in the 
paso which Moratfn names El Rufidn Cobarde, with its 
bully, Sigtienza, a lineal descendant of the Miles Glo- 
riosus. It has been inferred that, in choosing Italian 
themes, Rueda followed Torres Naharro. This gives a 
wrong impression, for his debt to the Italians is far more 
direct. The Eufemia takes its root in the Decamerone, 
being identical in subject with Cymbeline ; the Armelina 
is compounded of Antonio Francesco Ranieri's Attilia, 
with Giovanni Maria Cecchi's Servigiale ; the Engaflos 
is a frank imitation of Niccolo Secchi's Commedia degli 
Inganni; and the Medora is conveyed straight from Gigio 
Arthenio Giancarli's Zingara. 1 

Neither in his fragments of verse nor in his Italian 
echoes is the true Rueda revealed. His historic im- 
portance lies in his invention of the paso a dramatic 

1 The sources are carefully traced by L. A. Stiefel in the Zeitschrift fur 
Romanischc Philologie (vol. xx. pp. 183 and 318). One specimen suffices 
here : 

GlANCARLI, iii. 1 6. 

Falisco. Padrone, o che la imagi- 
natione m'inganna, o pur quella e la 
vuestra Madonna Angelica. 

Cassandra. Sarebbe gran cosa che 

RUEDA, Escena iii. 

Falisco. Senor, la vista 6 la imagi- 
nacion me engaua 6 es aquella vuestra 
muy querida Angelica. 

Casandro. Gran cosa seria si la 

laimaginationeinganassameanchora, imaginacion no te enganase, antes 
perch' io voleva dirloti, etc. \ yo te lo queria decir, etc. 


interlude turning on some simple episode : a quarrel 
between Torubio and his wife Agueda concerning the 
price of olives not yet planted, an invitation to dinner 
from the penniless licentiate Xaquima. Rueda's most 
spirited work is given in the Deleitoso Compendia (1567)^ 
and in the Registro de Representantes (1570), both pub- 
lished by his friend, Juan de Timoneda. In a longer 
flight the effect is less pleasing ; the prose Coloquio de 
Camila and its fellow, the Coloquio de Timbrta, are long 
PUSOS, complicated in development and not drawn to 
scale. Still, even here there is a keen dramatic sense of 
situation ; while the comic extravagance of the themes 
farcical incidents in picaresque surroundings is set off 
by spirited dialogue and vigorous style. Rueda_Jiad 
clearlyread the Celestina to his profit ; and his prose, 
with its archaic savour, is of great purity and power. 
The patriotic Lista comes as near flat blasphemy as a 
good Spaniard may by mentioning Rueda in the same 
breath as Cervantes, and that the latter learned much 
from his predecessor is manifest ; but the point need 
be pressed no further. Considerable as were Rueda's 
positive qualities of gay wit and inventive resource, his 
highest merit lies in this, that he laid the foundation- 
stone of the actual Spanish theatre, and that his dramatic 
system became a capital factor in his people's intellectual 

He found instant imitators : one in a brother actor- 
manager, Alonso de la Vega (d. 1566), whose Tolomea is 
adapted from Medora ; the other in Luis de Miranda 
(fl. 1554), who dramatised the story of the Prodigal, to 
which, in a monstrous fit of realism, he gave a contem- 
porary setting. Of Pedro Navarro or Naharro, whom 
Cervantes ranks after Rueda, naught survives. Francisco 


de Avendafto's verse comedy concerning Floriseo and 
Blancaflor had long since been forgotten were it not for 
the fact that here, for the first time, a Spanish play is 
divided into three acts a convention which has en- 
dured, and for which later writers, like Artieda, Virues, 
and Cervantes, ingenuously claimed the credit. JUAN DE 
TIMONEDA (d. ? 1598), the Valencian bookseller who 
printed Rueda's pasos, is a sedulous mimic in every sort. 
He began by arranging Plautus' Comedy of Errors in 
Los Menecmos ; his Cornelia is based upon Ariosto's 
Nigromante ; and his Oveja Perdida adapts an early 
morality on the Lost Sheep with scarcely a suggestion 
of original treatment. Torres Naharro is the inspira- 
tion of Timoneda's Aurelia; but his chief tempter \vas 
Lope de Rueda. In the volume entitled Turiana (1565), 
issued under the anagrammatic name of Joan Diamonte, 
he attempts the paso (which he also calls the entremes) 
to good purpose. An imitator he remains ; but an 
imitator whose pleasant humour takes the place of 
invention, and whose lively prose dialogue is in ex- 
cellent contrast with his futile verse. His Patraiiuelo, 
a collection of some twenty traditional stories, is a 
well-meant attempt to satisfy the craving created by 
Lazarillo de Tormes. If Timoneda experimented in 
every field, it is not unjust to infer that, taking the 
tradesman's view of literature, he was moved less 
by intelligent curiosity than by the desire to supply 
his customers with novelties. Withal, if he be not 
individual, his unpolished drolleries are vastly more 
engaging than the ambitious triflings of many con- 

Pacheco, the father-in-law of Veldzquez, notes that 
Juan de Malara (1527-71) composed "many tragedies" 


both in Latin and Castilian ; and Cueva, in his Ejemplar 
poetico, gives the number hyperbolically : 

" En el teatro mil tragedias puso" 

That Malara, or any one save Lope de Vega, " placed a 
thousand tragedies on the boards," is incredible ; but by 
general consent his fecundity was prodigious. None of 
his plays survives, and we are left to gather, from a 
chance remark of the author's, that he wrote a tragedy 
entitled Absalon and another drama called Locusta. His 
repute as a poet must be accepted, if at all, on autho- 
rity ; for his extant imitations of Virgil and renderings 
of Martial are mere technical exercises. For us he is 
best represented by his Filosofia vulgar (1568), an ad- 
mirable selection made from the six thousand proverbs 
brought together by Hernan Nunez, who thus continued 
what Santillana had begun. A contemporary, Blasco de 
Garay (fl. 1553), had striven to prove the resources of 
the language by printing, in his Cartas de Refranes, three 
ingenious letters wholly made up of proverbial phrases ; 
and in our own day the incomparable wealth of Cas- 
tilian proverbs has been shown in Sbarbi's Refranero 
General and in Haller's Altspanische SpricJitworter. But 
no later and fuller collection has supplanted Malara's 
learned and vivacious commentary. 

His friend, JUAN DE LA CUEVA DE GAROZA of Seville 
(71550-? 1606), matched Malara in productiveness, and 
perhaps surpassed him in talent. Little is known of 
Cueva's life, save that he had certain love passages with 
Bri'gida Lucia de Belmonte, and that he became almost 
insane for a short while after her death. He distin- 
guishes himself by his independence of the Senecan 
example, which he roundly declares to be at once in- 


artistic and tedious (cansada cosa), and by urging the 
Spanish dramatists to abjure abstractions and to treat 
national themes without regard for Greek and Latin 
superstitions. Incident, character, plot, situation, variety : 
these are to be developed with small regard for " the 
unities" of the classic model. And Cueva carried out 
his doctrines. Ignoring Carvajal, he took a special pride 
in reducing plays from five acts to four, and he enriched 
the drama by introducing a multitude of metrical forms 
hitherto unknown upon the stage. The cunning fable 
of the people la ingeniosa fdbula de Espafia is illus- 
trated in his Siete Infantes de Lara, in his Cerco de 
Zamora (Siege of Zamora), where he utilises subjects 
enshrined in romances which half his audience knew by 
heart. It is literally true that he had been preceded by 
Bartolome Palau, who, as far back as 1524, had written 
a play on a national subject the Historia de la gloriosa 
Santa Orosia, published in 1883 by Fernandez-Guerra y 
Orbe ; but this was an isolated, fruitless essay, whereas 
Cueva's was a deliberate, well-organised attempt to shape 
the drama anew and to quicken it into active life. Nor 
did Cueva's mission end with indicating the possibilities 
of dramatic motive afforded by heroico-popular songs 
and legends. His Saco de Roma y Muerte de Borbon 
exploits an historical actuality by dramatising Carlos 
Quinto's Italian triumphs (1527-30) ; and his El In- 
famador (The Calumniator) not merely foreshadows the 
comedia de capa y espada, but gives us in his libertine, 
Leucino, the first sketch of the type which Tirso de 
Molina was to eternalise as Don Juan. 

It is certain that Cueva was often less successful in per- 
formance than in doctrine, and that his gods and devils, 
his saints and ruffians, too often talk in the same lofty 


vein the vein of Juan de la Cueva. It is no less certain 
that he improvises recklessly, placing his characters in 
difficulties whence escape is impossible, and that he takes 
the first solution that offers a murder, a supernatural 
interposition with no heed for plausibility. But his 
bombast is the trick of his school, and, to judge by his 
epical Conqiiista de la Betica (1603), he showed remark- 
able self-suppression in his plays. In his later years, 
after visiting the Western Indies, he seems to have 
abandoned the theatre which he had so courageously 
developed, and to have wasted himself upon his epic 
and the poor confection of old ballads which he pub- 
lished in the ten books entitled Coro Febeo de Romances 
historiales. Yet, despite these backslidings, he merits 
gratitude for his dramatic initiative. 

The Galician Dominican, Ger6nimo Bermudez (1530- 
89), apologises for his presentation in Castilian of the 
Nise Lastimosa, which he published under the name of 
Antonio de Silva in 1577. Bermudez has seemingly done 
little more than rearrange the Inez de Castro of the dis- 
tinguished Portuguese poet, Antonio Ferreira, who had 
died eight years earlier. Though this " correct " play has 
tirades of remarkable beauty in the Senecan manner, its 
loose construction unfits it for the stage. All that it 
contains of good is due to Ferreira, and its continuation 
the Nise Laureada is a mere collection of incoherent 
extravagances and brutalities, conceived in Thomas Kyd's 
most frenzied mood. 

The Captain ANDRES KEY DE ARTIEDA (1549-1613) is 
said to have been born at Valencia, and he certainly died 
there ; yet Lope de Vega, once his friend, speaks of him 
as a native of Zaragoza. Artieda was a brilliant soldier, 
who received three wounds at Lepanto, and his con- 


spicuous bravery was shown in the Low Countries, 
where he swam the Ems in mid-winter under the enemy's 
fire, with his sword between his teeth. 'He is known to 
have written plays entitled Amadis de Gaula and Los 
Encantos de Merlin, but his one extant drama is Los 
Amantes : the first appearance on the stage of those 
lovers of Teruel who were destined to attract Tirso 
de Molina, Montalban, and Hartzenbusch. Artieda is 
essentially a follower of Cueva's, and he has something 
of his model's clumsy manipulation ; but his dramatic 
instinct, his pathos and tenderness, are his personal en- 
dowment. In his own day he was an innovator in his 
kind : his opposition to the methods of Lope made him 
unpopular, and condemned him to an unmerited neglect, 
which he bitterly resented in the miscellaneous Discursos, 
eplstolas y epigramas, published by him (1605) under the 
name of Artemidoro. 

Another dramatist and friend of Lope de Vega's was 
the Valencian Captain CRISTOBAL DE VlRUfis (1550-1610), 
Artieda's comrade at Lepanto and in the Low Countries. 
Unfortunately for himself, Viru6s had his share of 
learning, and misused it in his Semiramis, an absurd 
medley of pedantry and horror. His Atila Furioso, 
involving more slaughter than many an outpost en- 
gagement, is the maddest caricature of romanticism. 
He appears to think that indecency is comedy, and 
that the way to terror lies through massacre. It is the 
eternal fault of Spain, this forcing of the note ; and it 
would seem that Virues repented him in Elisa Dido, 
where he returns to the apparatus of the Senecan school. 
Yet, with all their defects, his earlier attempts were 
better, inasmuch as they presaged a new method, and 
a determination to have done with a sterile formula. He 


essayed the epic in his Historia del Monserrate, and once 
more courted disaster by his choice of subject : the 
outrage and murder of the Conde de Barcelona's daughter 
by the hermit Juan Gan'n, the Roman pilgrimage of the 
assassin, and the miraculous resurrection of his victim. 
As in his plays, so in his epic, Virues is an inventor 
without taste, brilliant in a single page and intolerable 
in twenty. His tactless fluency bade for applause at any 
cost, and his incessant care to startle and to terrify 
results in a monstrous monotony. Yet, if he failed 
himself, his exaggerated protest encouraged others to 
seek a more perfect way, and, though he had no direct 
influence on the stage, he is interesting as an embodied 

His mantle was caught by Joaqum Romero de Cepeda 
of Badajoz (fl. 1582), whose Selvajia is a dramatic 
arrangement of the Celestina, with extravagant episodes 
suggested by the chivalresque novels ; and in the oppo- 
site camp is the Aragonese LUPERCIO LEONARDO DE 
ARGENSOLA (1559-1613), whom Cervantes esteemed 
almost as good a dramatist as himself which, from 
Cervantes' standpoint, is saying much. Cervantes praises 
Argensola, not merely because his plays " delighted and 
amazed all who heard them," but for the practical reason 
that "these three alone brought in more money than 
thirty of the best given since their time." If it be un- 
charitable to conceive that this aims at Lope de Vega, 
we are bound to suppose that Argensola's popularity 
was immense. It was also fleeting. His Fills has dis- 
appeared, and his Isabela and Alejandro, were not printed 
till 1772, when Lopez de Sedano included them in his 
Parnaso Espaiiol. The Alejandro, is a tissue of butcheries, 
and the Isabela is scarcely better, the nine chief charac- 


ters being killed out of hand. Argensola's excuse is that 
he was only a lad of twenty when he perpetrated these 
iniquities ; where, for the rest, he already proves him- 
self endowed with that lyrical gift which was to win for 
him the not excessive title of "the Spanish Horace." 
But he was never reconciled to his defeat as a drama- 
tist, and he avenged himself in 1597 by inditing a 
spiteful letter to the King, praying that the prohibition 
of plays on the occasion of the Queen of Piedmont's 
death should be made permanent. The urbanity of 
men of letters is, it will be seen, constant everywhere. 

The school founded by Boscdn and Garcilaso spread 
into Portugal, and bifurcated into Spanish factions settled 
in Salamanca and in Seville. BALTASAR DE ALCAZAR 
(1530-1606), who served under that stout sea-dog the 
Marques de Santa Cruz, is technically an adherent of 
the Sevillan sect ; but his laughing muse lends herself 
with an ill grace to artificial sentiment, and is happiest 
in stinging epigrams, in risky jests, and in gay romances. 
DiEGO GiR6N (d. 1590), a pupil of Malara's, is an ardent 
Italianate : prompt to challenge comparison with Gar- 
cilaso by reproducing Corydon and Tirsis from the 
seventh Virgilian eclogue, to mimic Seneca "him of 
C6rdoba dead" or to echo the note of Giorolamo 
Bosso. His verses, mostly hidden away among the 
annotations made by Herrera in his edition of Garcilaso, 
deserve to be better known for specimens of sound 

The greatest poet of the Sevillan group is indisputably 
FERNANDO DE HERRERA (1534-97), who comes into 
touch with England as the writer of an eulogy on Sir 
Thomas More. Cleric though he were, Herrera dedi- 


cated much of his verse (1582) to Leonor de Milan, 
Condesa de Gelves, wife of Alvaro de Portugal, himself 
a fashionable versifier. Herrera being a clerk in minor 
orders, the situation is piquant, and opinions differ as 
to whether his erotic songs are, or are not, platonic. 
It is another variant of the classic cases of Laura and 
Petrarch, of Catalina de Atayde and Camoes. All good 
Sevillans contend that Herrera, as the chief of Spanish 
petrarquistas, indited sonnets to his mistress in imitation 
of the master : 

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

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

" Now sorrow passes : now at length I live" 

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

Fine as are isolated passages in these "vain, amato- 
rious" rhapsodies, the true Herrera is best revealed in 
his ode to Don Juan de Austria on the occasion of the 
Moorish revolt in the Alpujarra, in his elegy on the 
death of Sebastian of Portugal at Alcazar al-Kebir, in 
his song upon the victory of Lepanto. In patriotism 
Herrera found his noblest inspiration, and in these three 
great pieces he attains an exceptional energy and con- 
ciseness of form. He sings the triumph of the true 


faith with an Hebraic fervour, a stateliness derived from 
biblical cadences, as he mourns the overthrow of Chris- 
tianity, "the weapons of war perished," in accents of 
profound affliction. His sincerity and his lyrical splen- 
dour place him in the foremost rank of his country's 
singers ; and hence his title of El divino. 

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

" Deep sea, whose thundering waves in tumult roar, 
Call forth thy troubled spirit bid him rise, 
And gaze, with terror pale, and hollow eyes, 

On floods all flashing fire, and red with gore. 

Lo ! as in list enclosed, on battle-floor 

Christian and Sarzan, life and death the prize, 
Join conflict : lo ! the battered Paynim flies; 

The din, the smouldering flames, he braves no more. 

Go, bid thy deep-toned bass with voice of power 
Tell of this mightiest victory under sky, 
This deed of peerless valour's highest strain; 

And say a youth achieved the glorious hour, 

Hallowing thy gulf with praise that ner shall die, 
The youth of Austria, and the might of Spain" 

Herrera takes up the tradition of his forerunner, per- 
fects his form, imparts a greater sonority of expression, 
a deeper note of pathos and dignity. The soldier, with 
his languid sentiment, might be the priest ; the priest, 
with his martial music, might be the soldier. Yet 
Herrera's fealty never wavers ; for him there is but one 
model, one pattern, one perfect singer. " In our Spain," 
he avers, "Garcilaso stands first, beyond compare." And 


in this spirit, aided by suggestions from the poet's son- 
in-law, Puerto Carrero, aided also by illustrations from 
the whole Sevillan group, Francisco de Medina, Diego 
Giron, Francisco Pacheco, and Crist6bal Mosquera de 
Figueroa, Herrera undertook his commentary, Anota- 
ciones d las obras de Garcilaso de la Vega (1580). Its 
publication caused one of the bitterest quarrels in 
Spanish literary history. 

Four years earlier Garcilaso had been edited by the 
learned Francisco Sanchez (1523-1601), commonly called 
El Brocense, from Las Brozas, his birthplace, in Extre- 
madura ; and an excitable admirer of the poet, Fran- 
cisco de los Cobos, denounced Sanchez for exhibiting 
his author's debts by means of parallel passages. The 
partisans of Sanchez took Herrera's commentary as a 
challenge, and were not mollified by the fact that He- 
rrera nowhere mentioned Sanchez by name. It had been 
bad enough that an Extremaduran pundit should edit 
a Castilian poet ; that a mere Andaluci'an should repeat 
the outrage was insufferable. It was as though an Eng- 
lishman edited Burns. The Clan of Clonglocketty (or 
of Castile) rose as one man, and Herrera was flagellated 
by a tribe of scurrilous, illiterate patriots. Among his 
more urbane opponents was Juan Fernandez de Velasco, 
Conde de Haro, son of the Constable of Spain, who 
published his Observaciones under the pseudonym of 
Prete Jacopi'n, and was rapturously applauded for calling 
Herrera an ass in a lion's skin. It is discouraging to 
record that Haro's impertinence went through several 
editions, while Herrera's commentary has never been 
reprinted. 1 Yet this monument of enlightened learning 

1 I learn that D. Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo is preparing a new edition 
of the Anotaciones. 


reveals its author, not only as the best lyrist, but as the 
acutest critic of his age. Cervantes knew it almost by 
heart, and he honoured it by writing his dedication of 
Don Quixote to the Duque de Bejar in the very words 
of Medina's preface and of Herrera's epistle to the 
Marques de Ayamonte. So that, since countless readers 
have admired a passage from the Anotaciones without 
knowing it, Herrera the prose-writer has enjoyed a 
vicarious immortality. 

The most eminent poet of the Salamancan school is 
Luis PONCE DE LE<5N (1529-91), a native of Belmonte 
de Cuenca, who joined the Augustinian order in his 
eighteenth year, and became professor of theology at 
the University of Salamanca in 1561. He soon found 
himself in the midst of a theological squabble as to the 
comparative merits of the Septuagint and the Hebrew 
MSS. Rivals spread the legend fatal in Spain that 
he was of Jewish descent, and that he conspired with the 
Hebrew professors, Martinet de Cantalapiedra and Grajal, 
in interpreting Scripture accbrding to Jewish traditions* 
His chief opponent was Le6n de Castro, who held the 
Greek chair. Public discussions were the fashion, and 
debates waxed acrimonious, after the custom of pro- 
fessors at large. On one occasion Luis de Leon went 
so far as to threaten Castro with the public burning of 
the latter's treatise on Isaiah. Castro was not the man 
to flinch, and anticipated his enemy by denouncing Fray 
Luis to the Inquisition. The matter would doubtless 
have ended here, had it not been discovered that Fray 
Luis had translated the Song of Solomon into Castilian : 
a grave offence in the eyes of the Holy Office, which, 
rejecting the Lutheran formula of "every man his own 
pope," forbade the circulation of Bibles in the verna- 


cular. In March 1572 Luis de Leon was arrested, and 
was kept a prisoner by the local authorities for four and 
a half years, during which he was baited with questions 
calculated to convict him of heresy and to involve his 
friend Benito Arias Montano. Notwithstanding the 
efforts of Bartolome Medina and his brother-Domini- 
cans, Fray Luis was acquitted on December 7, 1576. 
Judged by modern standards, he was harshly treated ; 
but toleration is a modern birth, begotten by indif- 
ference and fear. In the sixteenth century men believed 
what they professed, and acted on their beliefs the 
Spaniards by imprisoning their own countryman, Luis 
de Leon ; Calvin by burning Harvey's forerunner, the 
Spaniard Miguel Servet. Fray Luis was the last of men 
to whine and whimper : he was judged by the tribunal 
of his own choosing, the tribunal with which he had 
menaced Castro: and the result vindicated his choice. 1 
Ex forti dulcedo. The indomitable nobility of his char- 
acter is visible in the first words he uttered on his 
return to the chair which Salamanca had kept for him : 
"Gentlemen, as we were saying the other day." In 
1591 he was elected Vicar-General of Castile, was chosen 
Provincial of his order, and was then commanded, 
against his will, to publish all his writings. He died 
ten days later. 

In prison Fray Luis wrote his celebrated treatise, the 
greatest of Spanish mystic books, Los Nombres de Cristo, 
a series of dissertations, in Plato's manner, on the sym- 
bolic value of such names of Christ as the Mount, the 
Shepherd, the Arm of God, the Prince of Peace, the 
Bridegroom. Published in 1583, the exposition is cast 

1 For a full and very able account of the proceedings, see Alejandro Arango 
y Escandon's Ensayo histArico (Mejico, 1866). 


in the form of a dialogue, in which Marcelo, Sabino, 
and Julian examine the theological mysteries implied 
by the subject. With Fray Luis's theology we have 
no concern ; nor with his learning, save in so far as 
it is curious to see the Hellenic-Alexandrine leaven 
working through in his imitation of St. Clement's Epistle 
to the Corinthians. But his concise eloquence and his 
classic purity of expression rank him among the best 
masters of Castilian prose. The like great qualities are 
shown in his Exposicidn del libro de Job, drawn up by 
request of Santa Teresa's friend, Sor Ana de Jesus, and 
in his rendering of and commentary on the Song of 
Solomon, which he holds for an emblematic eclogue to 
be interpreted as a poetic foreshadowing of the Divine 
Espousal of the Church with Christ. A book still held 
in great esteem is his Perfecta Casada (The Perfect 
Wife), suggested, it may be, by Luis Vives' Christian 
Woman, and composed (1583) for the benefit of Maria 
Varela Osorio. It is not, indeed, 

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

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

Great in prose, Luis de Le6n is no less great in verse. 
With San Juan de la Cruz he heads the list of Spain's 
lyrico-mystical poets. Yet he set no value on his 
poems, which he regarded as mere toys of childhood : 
so that their preservation is due to the accident of 
his collecting them late in life to amuse the leisure 


of the Bishop of C6rdoba. We owe their publication 
to Quevedo, who issued them in 1631 as a counterblast 
to culteranismo. Of the three books into which they are 
divided, two consist of translations from Virgil, Horace, 
Tibullus, Euripides, and Pindar ; and from the Psalms, 
the Book of Job, and St. Thomas of Aquin's Pange 
lingua. " I have tried," says Fray Luis of his sacred 
renderings, "to imitate so far as I might their simple 
origin and antique flavour, full of sweetness and majesty, 
as it seems to me ; " and he succeeds as greatly in the 
primitive unction of the one kind as in the faultless 
form of the other. Still these are but inspired imita- 
tions, and the original poet is to be sought for in the 
first book. Some idea of his ode entitled Noche Serena 
may be gathered from Mr. Henry Phillips' version of the 
opening stanzas : 

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

With love and pain assailed, with anxious care, 
A thousand troubles in my breast appear, 

My eyes turn to a flowing rill, 

Sore sorrow's tearful floods distil, 
While saddened, mournful words my woes declare. 

Oh, dwelling fit for angels ! sacred fane / 
The hallowed siirine where youth and beauty reign! 
Why in this dungeon, plunged in night, 
The soul thafs born for Heaven's delight 
Should cruel Fate withiioldfrom its domain ? " 

In his Profeda del Tajo (Prophecy of the Tagus) Luis de 
Le6n displays a virility absent from his other pieces, and 


the impetuosity of the verse matches the speed which 
he attributes to the Saracenic invaders advancing to 
the overthrow of Roderic ; and, if he still abide by his 
Horatian model, he introduces an individual treatment, 
a characteristic melody of his own invention. A famous 
devout song, A Cristo Crucifijado (To Christ Crucified), 
appears in all editions of Fray Luis ; but as its authen- 
ticity is disputed some ascribing it to Miguel Sanchez 
its quotation must be foregone here. The ode Al 
Apartamiento (To Retirement) exhibits the contemplative 
vein which distinguishes the singer, and, as in the Ode 
to Salinas, seems an early anticipation of Wordsworth's 
note of serene simplicity. Luis de Le6n is not splendid 
in metrical resource, and his adherence to tradition, 
his indifference to his fame, his ecclesiastical estate, all 
tend to narrow his range of subject ; yet, within the 
limits marked out for him, he is as great an artist and 
as rich a voice as Spain can show. 

In the same year (1631) that Quevedo issued Luis de 
Le6n's verses, he also published an exceedingly small 
volume of poems which he ascribed to a Bachelor named 
FRANCISCO DE LA TORRE (1534-? 1594). From this arose 
a strange case of mistaken identity. Quevedo's own 
account of the matter is simple : he alleges that he found 
the poems " by good luck and for the greater glory of 
Spain" in the shop of a bookseller, who sold them 
cheap. It appears that the Portuguese, Juan de Almeida, 
Senhor de Couto de Avintes, saw them soon after Torre's 
death, that he applied for leave to print them, and that 
the official licence was signed by the author of La 
Araucana, Ercilla y Zuftiga, who died in 1595. For 
some reason Almeida's purpose miscarried, and, when 
Quevedo found the manuscript in 1629, Torre was gene- 


rally forgotten. Quevedo solved the difficulty out of 
hand in the high editorial manner, evolved the facts 
from his inner consciousness, and assured his readers 
that the author of the poems was the Francisco de la 
Torre who wrote the Vision deleitablel- 

Ticknor lays it down that "no suspicion seems to 
have been whispered, either at the moment of their 
first publication, or for a long time afterwards," of the 
correctness of this attribution ; and he implies that the 
first doubter was Luis Jose Velazquez, Marques de 
Valdeflores, who, when he reprinted the book in 1753, 
started the theory that the poems were Quevedo's own. 
This is not so. Quevedo's mistake was pointed out by 
Manuel de Faria y Sousa in his commentary to the 
LusiadaSj printed at Madrid in 1639. That Quevedo 
should make a Bachelor of a man who had no uni- 
versity degree, that he should call the writer of the 
Vision deleitable Francisco when in truth his name was 
Alfonso, were trifles : that he should antedate his author 
by nearly two centuries this was a serious matter, 
and Faria y Sousa took pains to make him realise it. 
It must have added to the editor's chagrin to learn that 
Torre had been friendly with Lope de Vega, who could 
have given accurate information about him ; but Lope 
and Quevedo were not on speaking terms, owing to 
the mischief-making of the former's parasite, Perez de 
Montalban. Quevedo had made no approach to Lope ; 
Lope saw the blunder, smiled, and said nothing in 
public. Through Pe"rez de Montalban the facts reached 
Faria y Sousa, who exulted over a mistake which was, 
indeed, unpardonable. The discomfiture was complete : 
for the first and last time in his life Quevedo was dumb 

1 The Christian name of the author of the Visi6n ddeiiable was Alfonso. 


before an enemy. Meanwhile, Velazquez' theory has 
found some favour with L6pez Sedano and with many 
foreign critics : as, for example, Ticknor. 

What we know of Francisco de la Torre is based 
upon the researches of Quevedo's learned editor, Aure- 
liano Ferndndez-Guerra y Orbe. 1 A native of Torre- 
laguna, he matriculated at Alcala de Henares in 1556, 
fell in love with the " Fills rigurosa" whom he sings, 
served with Carlos Quinto in the Italian campaigns, 
returned to find Filis married to an elderly Toledan 
millionaire, remained constant to his (more or less) 
platonic flame, and ended by taking orders in his 
despair. The unadorned simplicity of his manner is at 
the remotest pole from Quevedo's frosty brilliancy. No 
small proportion of his sonnets is translated from the 
Italian. Thus, where Benedetto Varchi writes " Questa 
e, Tirsi, quel fonte in cut solea" Torre follows close with 
" Jista es, Tirsi, la fuente do solia]" and when Giovanni 
Battista Amalteo celebrates " La viva neve e le vermiglie 
rose" the Spaniard echoes back " La blanca nieve y la 
purpiirea rosa" Schelling finds the light fantastic rap- 
ture of the Elizabethan lover expressed to perfection in 
the eighty-first of Spenser's Amoretti : line for line, and 
almost word for word, Torre's twenty-third sonnet is 
identical, and, when we at length possess a critical 
edition of Spenser, it will surely prove that both poems 
derive from a common Italian source. Such examples 
are numerous, and are worth noting as germane to 
the general question. No man in Europe was more 
original than Quevedo, none less disposed to lean on 

1 See the second volume (pp. 79-104) of the Discursos leidos en las re- 
cepcionts fiiblicas que ha celebrado desde 1847 la Real Academia Espafiola 
(Madrid, 1861). 


Italy. To conceive that he should seek to reform 
culteranismo by translating from Italians of yesterday, 
or to suppose that he knowingly passed as original 
work imitations made by a man who ex hypothesi 
died before his models were born, is to believe 
Quevedo a clumsy trickster. That conclusion is un- 
tenable ; and Torre deserves all credit for his graceful 
renderings, as for his more original poems gallant, 
tender, and sentimental. He is one of the earliest 
Spanish poets to choose simple, natural themes the 
ivy fallen to the ground, the widowed song-bird, the 
wounded hind, the charms of landscape and the 
enchantment of the spring. A smaller replica of 
Garcilaso, with a vision and personality of his own : so 
Francisco de la Torre appears in the perspective of 
Castilian song. 

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


fied much in Italian appears from Juan Verzosa's 
evidence : 

"El lingua perges alterna pangere versus." 

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

Ariosto's vigorous epical manner is faintly suggested 
in twelve cantos of the Angelica, by a Seville doctor, Luis 


BARAHONA DE SOTO (fl. 1586). Lope de Vega, in the 
Laurel de Afolo, praises 

" The doctor admirable 
Whose page of gold 
The story of Medora told," 

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

The epic's fascination also seduced the C6rdoban, 
JUAN RUFO GUTIERREZ. We know the date of neither 
his birth nor his death, but he must have lived long if 
his collection of anecdotes, entitled Las seiscientas Apo- 
tegmas, were really published in 1548. His Austriada, 
printed in 1584, takes Don Juan de Austria for its hero, 
and contains some good descriptive stanzas ; but Rufo's 
invention finds no scope in dealing with contemporary 
matters, and what might have been a useful chronicle is 
distorted to a tedious poem. Great part of the Austriada 
is but a rhymed version of Mendoza's Guerra de Granada, 
which Rufo must have seen in manuscript. When, 
leaving Ariosto in peace, he becomes himself, as in the 


verses at the end of the Apotegmas, he gives forth a 
natural old-world note, reminiscent of earlier models 
than Boscdn and Garcilaso. Since Luis de Zapata 
(1523-? 1600) wrote an epic history of the Emperor, 
the Carlos famoso, he must have read it ; and it is 
possible that Cervantes (who delighted in it) was familiar 
with its fifty cantos, its forty thousand lines. It is 
more than can be said of any later reader. Zapata 
wasted thirteen years upon his epic, and witnessed its 
failure ; but he was undismayed, and lived to maltreat 
Horace it sounds incredible beyond all expectation. 
It is another instance of a mistaken calling. The writer 
knew his facts, and had a touch of the historic spirit. 
Yet he could not be content with prose and history. 

A nearer approach to the right epical poem is the 
Araucana of ALONSO DE ERCILLA Y ZUNIGA (1533-95), 
who appeared as Felipe II.'s page at his wedding with 
Mary Tudor in Winchester Cathedral. From England 
he sailed for Chile in 1554, to serve against the Arau- 
canos, who had risen in revolt ; and in seven pitched 
battles, not to speak of innumerable small engagements, 
he greatly distinguished himself. His career was ruined 
by a quarrel with a brother-officer named Juan de 
Pineda ; he was judged to be in fault, was condemned 
to death, and actually mounted the scaffold. At the 
last moment the sentence was commuted to exile at 
Callao, whence Ercilla returned to Europe in 1562. 
With him he brought the first fifteen cantos of his 
poem, written by the camp-fire on stray scraps of 
paper, leather, and skin. The first book ever printed 
in America was, as we learn from Seflor Icazbalceta, 
Juan de Zumdrraga's Breve y compendiosa Doctrina 
Cristiana. The first literary work of real merit com- 


posed in either American continent was Ercilla's 
Araucana. It was published at Madrid in 1569 ; and 
continuations, amounting to thirty-seven cantos in all, 
followed in 1578 and 1590. Ercilla never forgave what 
he thought the injustice of his general, Garcia Hurtado 
de Mendoza, Marques de Canete, and carefully omits 
his name throughout the Araucana. The omission cost 
him dear, for he was never employed again. 

His is an exceeding stately poem on the Chilian 
revolt ; but epic it is not, whether in spirit or design, 
whether in form or effect. In the Essay Prefatory 
to the Henriade, Voltaire condescends to praise the 
Araucana, the name of which has thus become familiar 
to many ; and, though he was probably writing at 
second hand, he is justified in extolling the really 
noble speech which Ercilla gives to the aged chief, 
Colocolo. It is precisely in declamatory eloquence that 
Ercilla shines. His technical craftsmanship is sound, 
his spirit admirable, his diction beyond reproach, or 
nearly so ; and yet his work, as a whole, fails to im- 
press. Men remember isolated lines, a stanza here and 
there ; but the general effect is blurred. To speak 
truly, Ercilla had the orator's temperament, not the 
poet's. At his worst he is debating in rhyme, at his 
best he is writing poetic history ; and, though he has 
an eye for situation, an instinct for the picturesque, the 
historian in him vanquishes the poet. He himself was 
vaguely conscious of something lacking, and he strove 
to make it good by means of mythological episodes, 
visions by Bellona, magic foreshadowings of victory, 
digressions defending Dido from Virgil's scandalous 
tattle. But, since the secret of the epic lies not in 
machinery, this attempt at reform failed. Ercilla's first 


part remains his best, and is still interesting for its 
martial eloquence, and valuable as a picture of heroic 
barbarism rendered by an artist in ottava rima who was 
: also a vigilant observer and a magnanimous foe. His 
omission of his commander's name was made good by 
<4 copious Chilian poet, Pedro de Ona, in his Arauco 
domado (1596), which closed with the capture of " Richerte 
Aquines " (as who should say Richard Hawkins) ; and, 
in the following year, Diego de Santisteban y Osorio 
added a fourth and fifth part to the original Araucana. 
Neither imitation is of real poetic worth, and, as versi- 
fied history, they are inferior to the Elegias de Varones 
ilustres de Indias of Juan de Castellanos (? 1510-? 1590), 
a priest who in youth had served in America, and 
who rhymed his reminiscences with a conscientious 
regard for fact more laudable in a chronicler than a 

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

" O God, Thou art the object of my love, 
Not for the hopes of endless joys above, 
Nor for the fear of endless pains below 
Which those -who love Thee not must undergo : 
For me, and such as me, Thou once didst bear 
The ignominious cross, the nails, the spear, 
A thorny crown transpierced Thy sacred brow, 
IVhat bloody sweats from every member flow ! 
For me, in torture Thou resign* st Thy breath, 
Nailed to the cross, and sav'dst me by Thy death : 
Say, can these sufferings fail my heart to move? 
What but Thyself can now deserve my love? 


Such as then was and is Thy love to me, 
Such is, and shall be still, my love to Thee. 
Thy love, O Jesus, may I ever sing, 
O God of love, kind Parent, dearest King." 

The authorship is referred to Ignacio Loyola, to Fran- 
cisco Xavier, to Pedro de los Reyes, and to the Seraphic 
Mother, SANTA TERESA DE JESUS, whose name in the 
world was Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada (1515-82). 
None of these attributions can be sustained, and No me 
mueve, mi Dios, para quererte must be classed as anony- 
mous. 1 Yet its fervour and unction are such as to suggest 
its ascription to the Saint of the Flaming Heart. Santa 
Teresa is not only a glorious saint and a splendid figure 
in the annals of religious thought : she ranks as a miracle 
of genius, as, perhaps, the greatest woman who ever 
handled pen, the single one of all her sex who stands 
beside the world's most perfect masters. Macaulay has 
noted, in a famous essay, that Protestantism has gained 
not an inch of ground since the middle of the sixteenth 
century. Ignacio Loyola and Santa Teresa are the life 
and brain of the Catholic reaction : the former is a great 
party chief, the latter belongs to mankind. 

Her life in all its details may be read in Mrs. Cunning- 
hame Graham's minute and able study. Here it must 
suffice to note that she sallied forth to seek martyrdom at 
the age of seven, that she entered literature as the writer 
of a chivalresque romance, and that in her sixteenth year 
she made her profession as a nun in the Carmelite con- 
vent of her native town, Avila. Years of spiritual aridity, 
of ill-health, weighed her down, aged her prematurely. 
But nothing could abate her natural force ; and from 

1 A very able discussion of these ascriptions is presented by M. Foulch^- 
Delbosc in the Revue hispanique (1895), vo '- " PP- 120-45. 


1558 to the day of her death she marches from one 
victory to another, careless of pain, misunderstanding, 
misery, and persecution, a wonder of valour and devotion. 

" Scarce has she blood enough to make 
A guilty sword blush for her sake; 
Yet has a heart dares hope to prove 
How much less strong is Death than Love , . . 
Love toucKt her heart, and lo ! it beats 
High, and burns with such brave heats, 
Such thirst to die, as dares drink up 
A thousand cold deaths in one cup." 

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

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

" O 'tis not Spanish but 'tis Heaven she speaks." 


Her masterpiece is the Castillo interior, of which Fray 
Luis writes : " Let naught be blotted out, save when 
she herself emended : which was seldom." And once 
more he commends her to her readers, saying : " She, 
who had seen God face to face, now reveals Him unto 
you." With all her sublimity, her enraptured vision of 
things heavenly, her " large draughts of intellectual day," 
Santa Teresa illustrates the combination of the loftiest 
mysticism with the finest practical sense, and her style 
varies, takes ever its colour from its subject. Familiar 
and maternal in her letters, enraptured in her Conceptos 
del Amor de Dios, she handles with equal skill the trifles 
of our petty lives and to use Luis de Le6n's phrase 
"the highest and most generous philosophy that was 
ever dreamed." And from her briefest sentence shines 
the vigorous soul of one born to govern, one who 
governed in such wise that a helpless Nuncio denounced 
her as "restless, disobedient, contumacious, an inven- 
tress of new doctrines tricked out with piety, a breaker 
of the cloister-rule, a despiser of the apostolic precept 
which forbiddeth a woman to teach." 

Santa Teresa taught because she must, and all that she 
wrote was written by compulsion, under orders from her 
superior. She could never have understood the female 
novelist's desire for publicity ; and, had she realised it, 
merry as her humour was, she would scarcely have 
smiled. For she was, both by descent and temperament, 
a gentlewoman de sangre muy limpia, as she writes 
more than once, with a tinge of satisfaction which 
shows that the convent discipline had not stifled her 
pride of race any more than it had quenched her 
gaiety. She always remembers that she comes from 
Castile, and the fact is evidenced in her writings, with 


their delicious old-world savour. Boscan and Garcilaso 
might influence courtiers and learned poets ; but they 
were impotent against the brave Castilian of Sor Teresa 
de Jesus, who wields her instrument with incomparable 
mastery. It were a sin to attempt a rendering of her 
artless songs, with their resplendent gleams of ecstasy 
and passion. But some idea of her general manner, 
when untouched by the inspiration of her mystic 
nuptials, may be gathered from a passage which Froude 
has Englished : 

"A man is directed to make a garden in a bad soil 
overrun with sour grasses. The Lord of the land roots 
out the weeds, sows seeds, and plants herbs and fruit- 
trees. The gardener must then care for them and water 
them, that they may thrive and blossom, and that the 
Lord may find pleasure in his garden and come to visit 
it. There are four ways in which the watering may be 
done. There is water which is drawn wearily by hand 
from the well. There is water drawn by the ox-wheel, 
more abundantly and with greater labour. There is 
water brought in from the river, which will saturate the 
whole ground ; and, last and best, there is rain from 
heaven. Four sorts of prayer correspond to these. The 
first is a weary effort with small returns ; the well may 
run dry : the gardener then must weep. The second 
is internal prayer and meditation upon God ; the trees 
will then show leaves and flower-buds. The third is 
love of God. The virtues then become vigorous. We 
converse with God face to face. The flowers open and 
give out fragrance. The fourth kind cannot be described 
in words. Then there is no more toil, and the seasons 
no longer change ; flowers are always blowing, and fruit 
ripens perennially. The soul enjoys undoubting certi- 


tude ; the faculties work without effort and without 
consciousness ; the heart loves and does not know that 
it loves ; the mind perceives, yet does not know that it 
perceives. If the butterfly pauses to say to itself how 
prettily it is flying, the shining wings fall off, and it 
drops and dies. The life of the spirit is not our life, but 
the life of God within us." 

And, as Santa Teresa excelled in spiritual insight, so 
she has the sense of affairs. Durtal, in M. Joris-Karl 
Huysmans' En Route, first says of her : " Sainte Terese 
a explore plus a fond que tout autre les regions in- 
connues de 1'ame ; elle en est, en quelque sorte, la 
geographe; elle a surtout dress6 la carte de ses poles, 
marque les latitudes contemplatives, les terres interi- 
eures du ciel humain." And he shows the reverse of 
the medal : " Mais quel singulier melange elle montre 
aussi, d'une mystique ardente et d'une femme d'affaires 
froide ; car, enfin, elle est a double fond ; elle est 
contemplative hors le monde et elle est 6galement un 
homme d'etat : elle est le Colbert feminin des cloitres." 
The key to Durtal's difficulties is given in the Abbe 
GeVresin's remark, that the perfect balance of good sense 
is one of the distinctive signs of the mystics. In Santa 
Teresa's case the sign is present. An uninquiring world 
may choose to think of her as a fanatic in vapours and 
in ecstasies. Yet it is she who writes, in the Camino de 
Perfection : " I would not have my daughters be, or 
seem to be, women in anything, but brave men." It 
is she who holds that " of revelations no account should 
be made " ; who calls the usual convent life " a short- 
cut to hell" ; who adds that "if parents took my advice, 
they would rather marry their daughters to the poorest 
of men, or keep them at home under their own eyes." 


Her position as a spiritual force is as unique as her 
place in literature. It is certain that her "own dear 
books " were nothing to her ; that she regarded litera- 
ture as frivolity ; and no one questions her right so to 
regard it. But the world also is entitled to its judg- 
ment, which is expressed in different ways. Jeremy 
Taylor cites her in a sermon preached at the opening 
of the Parliament of Ireland (May 8, 1661). Protestant 
England, by the mouth of Froude, compares Santa 
Teresa to Cervantes. Catholic Spain places her manu- 
script of her own Life beside a page of St. Augustine's 
writing in the Palace of the Escorial. 

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


spiritual ravishment, of daring abandonment, which is 
not all lost in Mr. David Lewis' unrhymed version of 
the Noche oscura del Alma (Dark Night of the Soul) : 

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

In that happy night, 

In secret, seen of none, 

Seeing nought but myself, 

Without other light or guide 

Save that which in my heart was burning. 

That light guided me 

More surely than the noonday sun 

To the place where he was waiting forme 

Whom I knew well, 

And none but he appeared. 

O guiding night ! 

O night more lovely than the dawn I 

night that hast united 
The lover with his beloved 
And charged her with her love. 

On my flowery bosom, 
Kept whole for him alone, 
He reposed and slept : 

1 kept him, and the waving 
Of the cedars fanned him. 

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


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

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

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

" La Guide des pe"cheurs est encore un bon livre : 
Cest la qu'en peu de temps on apprend a bien vivre." 

\ his 

Unluckily for Granada, his Guia de Pecadores and 
Tratado de la Oracion y Meditacidn were placed on the 
Index, chiefly at the instigation of that hammer of 
heretics, Melchor Cano, the famous theologian of the 


Council of Trent. Certain changes were made in the 
text, and the books were reprinted in their amended 
form ; but the suspicion of iluminismo long hung over 
Granada, whose last years were troubled by his rash 
simplicity in certifying as true the sham stigmata of 
a Portuguese nun, Sor Maria de la Visitaci6n. The 
story that Granada was persecuted by the Inquisition 
is imaginary. 

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

"This desire which doth hold many so resolutely to 
their studies, and this love of science and knowledge 
under pretence to help others, is too much and super- 
fluous. I call it a love too much and desire superfluous ; 
for when it is moderate and according to reason, it is not 
a temptation, but a laudable virtue and a very profitable 
exercise which is commended in all kind of men, but 
especially in young men who do exercise their youth in 
that study, for by it they eschew many vices and learn 
that whereby they will counsel themselves and others. 


But unless it be moderately used it hurteth devotion. . . . 
There be some that would know for this end only, that 
they might know and it is foolish curiosity. There be 
some that would know, that they might be known and it 
is foolish vanity ; and there be some that would know, 
that they might sell their knowledge for money or for 
honours and it is filthy lucre. There be also some that 
desire to know, that they may edify and it is charity. 
And there are some that would know, that they may be 
edified and it is wisdom. All these ends may move the 
desire, and, in choice of these, a man is often deceived, 
when he considereth not which ought especially to move ; 
and this error is very dangerous." 

This distrust of profane letters is yet more marked 
in the Augustinian, PEDRO MAL6N DE CHAIDE of Cas- 
cante (1530-? 1590), who compares the "frivolous love- 
books" of Boscdn, Garcilaso, and Montemor and the 
"fabulous tales and lies" of chivalresque romance to a 
knife in a madman's hand. His practice clashes with 
his theory, for his Conversion de la Magdalena, written for 
Beatriz Cerdan, is learned to the verge of pedantry, and 
his elaborate periods betray the imitation of models 
which he professed to abhor. More ascetic than mystic, 
Mal6n de Chaide lacks the patrician ease, the tolerant 
spirit of Juan de Avila, Granada, and Leon ; but his 
austere doctrine and sumptuous colouring have ensured 
him permanent popularity. His admirable verse para- 
phrases of the Song of Solomon have much of the 
unction, without the sensuous exaltation, of Juan de 
la Cruz. A better representative of pure mysticism is 
the Extremaduran Carmelite, JUAN DE LOS ANGELES 
(fl. 1595), whose Triumphos del Amor de Dios is a pro- 
found psychological study, written under the influence 


of Northern thinkers, and not less remarkable for beauty 
of expression than for impassioned insight. With him 
our notice of the Spanish mystics must close. It is 
difficult to estimate their number exactly ; but since at 
least three thousand survive in print, it is not surprising 
that the most remain unread. A breath of mysticism is 
met in the few Castilian verses of the brilliant humanist, 
BEXITO ARIAS MONTANO (1527-98), who gave up to 
scholarship and theology what was meant for poetry. 
His achievement in the two former fields is not our 
concern here, but it pleases to denote the ample inspi- 
ration and the lofty simplicity of his song, which is 
hidden from many readers, and overlooked even by 
literary historians, in Bohl de Faber's Floresta de rimas 

The pastoral novel, like the chivalresque romance, 
reaches Spain through Portugal. The Italianised Spaniard, 
Jacopo Sannazaro, had invented the first example of this 
kind in his epoch-making Arcadia (1504) ; and his earliest 
follower was the Portuguese, Bernardim Ribeiro (? 1475- 
71524), whose Menina e mo$a transplants the prose 
pastoral to the Peninsula. This remarkable book, which 
derives its title from the first three words of the text, is 
the undoubted model of the first Castilian prose pastoral, 
the unfinished Diana Enamorada. This we owe to the 
Portuguese, JORGE DE MONTEM6R (d. 1561), whose name 
is hispaniolised as Montemayor. There is nothing strange 
in this usage of Castilian by a Portuguese writer. We 
have already recorded the names of Gil Vicente, Sa de 
Miranda, and Silvestre among those of Castilian poets ; 
the lyrics and comedies of Camoes, the Austriada of 
Jeronimo Corte Real, continue a tradition which begins 


as early as the General Cancioneiro of Garcia de Resende 
(1516), wherein twenty-nine Portuguese poets prefer 
Castilian before their own language. A Portuguese 
writer, Innocencio da Silva, has gone the length of 
asserting that Montemdr wrote nothing but Castilian. 
This only proves that Silva had not read the Diana, 
which contains two Portuguese songs, and Portuguese 
prose passages spoken by the shepherd, Danteo, and 
the shepherdess, Duarda. Nor is Silva alone in his 
bad eminence ; the date of the earliest edition of 
the Diana is commonly given as 1542. Yet, as it 
contains, in the Canto de Orpheo, an allusion to the 
widowhood of the Infanta Juana (1554), it must be later. 
The time of publication was probably 1558-59,! some 
four or five years after the printing of his Cancionero 
at Antwerp. 

Little is known of Montemdr's life, save that he was a 
musician at the Spanish court in 1548. He accompanied 
the Infanta Juana to Lisbon on her marriage to Dom 
Joao, returning to Spain in 1554, when he is thought to 
have visited England and the Low Countries in Felipe 
II.'s train. He was murdered in 1651, apparently as the 
result of some amour. Faint intimations of pastoralism 
are found in such early chivalresque novels as Florisel 
de Niquea, where Florisel, dressed as a shepherd, loves 
the shepherdess, Sylvia. Ribeiro had introduced his 
own flame in Menina e moqa in the person of Aonia, 
and Montem6r follows with Diana. The identification 
of Aonia with the Infanta Beatriz, and with King 
Manoel's cousin, Joana de Vilhena, has been argued 
with great heat: in Montemor's case the lady is said to 

1 The question is discussed in the J?evue hispanique (1895), v l- " PP- 


have been a certain Ana. Her surname is withheld by 
the discreet Sepiilveda, who records that she was seen 
at Valderas by Felipe III. and his queen in 1603. 

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

" Of this high grace with bliss conjoined 

No further debt on me is laid, 
Since that is self-same metal coin'd, 

Sweet lady, you remain u< ell paid. 
For, if my place give me great pleasure, 
Having before me Nature's treasure, 
In face and eyes unmatched being. 
You have the same in my hands, seeing 
What in your face mine eyes do measure. 


Nor think the match unevenly made. 
That of those beams in you do tarry ; 

The glass to you but gives a shade ; 
To me mine eyes the true shape carry : 

For such a thought most highly prized. 

Which ever hath Love 's yoke despised. 
Better than one captiv'dperceiveth^ 
Though he the lively form receiveth, 

The other sees it but disguised" 

Montem6r closes with the promise of a sequel, which 
never appeared. But, as his popularity continued, pub- 
lishers printed new editions, containing the story of 
Abindarraez and Jarifa, boldly annexed from Villegas' 
Inventario, which was licensed so early as 1551. The 
tempting opportunity was seized by Alonso Perez, a 
Salamancan doctor, whose second Diana (1564) is ex- 
tremel/dull, despite the singular boast of its author that 
it contains scarcely anything "not stolen or imitated 
from the best Latins and Italians." Perez alleges that 
he was a friend of Montemor's ; but, as that was his 
sole qualification, his third Diana written, though " not 
added here, to avoid making too large a volume " has 
fortunately vanished. In this same year, 1564, appeared 
Caspar Gil Polo's Diana, a continuation which, says Cer- 
vantes, should be guarded "as though it were Apollo's" 
the praise has perplexed readers who missed the pun 
on the author's name. The merits of Polo's sequel, 
excellent in matter and form, were recognised, as Pro- 
fessor Rennert notes, by Jer6nimo de Texeda, whose 
Diana (1627) is a plagiary from Polo. Though the 
contents of the one and the other are almost identical, 
Ticknor, considering them as independent works, finds 
praise for the earlier book, and blame for the later. An 
odd, mad freak is the versified Diez libros de Fortuna de 


Amor (1573), wherein Frexano and Floricio woo For- 
tuna and Augustina in Arcadian fashion. Its author, the 
Sardinian soldier, Antonio Lo Frasso, shares with Ave- 
llaneda the distinction of having drawn Cervantes' fire 
his one title to fame. Artificiality reaches its full height 
in the Pastor de Filida (1582) of Luis Galvez de Mont- 
alvo, who presents himself, Silvestre, and Cervantes 
as the (Dresden) shepherds Siralvo, Silvano, and Tirsi. 
Almost every Spanish man of letters attempted a pastoral, 
but it were idle to compile a catalogue of works by 
authors whose echoes of Montemor are merely mechani- 
cal. The occasion of much ornate prose, the pastoral 
lived partly because there was naught to set against it, 
partly because born men of action found pleasure in 
literary idealism and in "old Saturn's reign of sugar- 
candy." Its unreality doomed it to death when Aleman 
and others took to working the realistic vein first 
struck in Lazarillo de Tormes. Meanwhile the spec- 
tacle of love-lorn shepherds contending in song scan- 
dalised the orthodox, and the monk Bartolome Ponce 
produced his devout parody, the Clara Diana d lo 
divino (1599) in the same edifying spirit that moved 
Sebastian de Cordoba (1577) to travesty Boscan's and 
Garcilaso's works d lo divino, trasladadas en materias 

Didactic prose is practised by the official chronicler, 
JERONIMO DE ZURITA (1512-80), author of the Anales 
de la Corona de Aragon, six folios published between 
1562 and 1580, and ending with the death of Fernando. 
Zurita is not a great literary artist, nor an historical 
portrait-painter. Men's actions interest him less than 
the progress of constitutional growth. His conception 
of history, to give an illustration from English literature, 


is nearer Freeman's than Froude's, and he was admirably 
placed by fortune. Simancas being thrown open to him, 
he was first among Spanish historians to use original 
documents, first to complete his authorities by study 
in foreign archives, first to perceive that travel is the 
complement of research. Science and Zurita's work 
gain by his determination to abandon the old plan of 
beginning with Noah. He lacks movement, sympathy, 
and picturesqueness ; but he excels all predecessors in 
scheme, accuracy, architectonics qualities which have 
made his supersession impossible. Whatever else be 
read, Zurita's Anales must be read also. His con- 
temporary, AMBROSIO DE MORALES (1513-91), nephew 
of PeYez de Oliva, was charged to continue Ocampo's 
chronicle. His nomination is dated 1580. His authori- 
tative fragment, the result of ten years' labour, combines 
eloquent narrative with critical instinct in such wise as to 
suggest that, with better fortune, he might have matched 

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


lucky accident we owe the Guerra de Granada, written in 
the neighbourhood of the war. 

Mendoza writes for the pleasure of writing, with no 
polemical or didactic purpose. His plain-speaking con- 
cerning the war, and the part played in it by great 
personages whom he had no cause to love, accounts 
for the tardy publication of his book, which should be 
considered as a confidential state-paper by a diplomatist 
of genius. Yet, though he wrote chiefly to pass the time, 
he has the qualities of the great historian knowledge, 
impartiality, narrative power, condensation, psychological 
insight, dramatic apprehension, perspective and elo- 
quence. His view of a general situation is always just, 
and, though he has something of the credulity of his 
time, his accuracy of detail is astonishing. His style is 
a thing apart. He had already shown, in a burlesque 
letter addressed to Feliciano de Silva, an almost unique 
capacity for reproducing that celebrity's literary manner. 
In his Guerra de Granada he repeats the performance 
with more serious aim. One god of his idolatry is 
Sallust, whose terse rhetoric is repeatedly echoed with 
unsurpassable fidelity. Another model is Tacitus, whose 
famous description of Germanicus finding the unburied 
corpses of Varus' legions is annexed by Mendoza in 
his account of Arcos and his troops at Calalm. This is 
neither plagiarism nor unconscious reminiscence ; it is 
the deliberate effort of a prose connoisseur, saturated in 
antiquity, to impart the gloomy splendour of the Roman 
to his native tongue. To say that Mendoza succeeded 
were too much, but he did not altogether fail ; and, 
despite his occasional Latinised construction, his Guerra 
de Granada lives not solely as a brilliant and picturesque 
transcription. It is also a masterly example of idiomatic 


Castilian prose, published without the writer's last 
touches, and, as is plain, from mutilated copies. 1 Men- 
doza may not be a great historian : as a literary artist 
he is extremely great. 

1 See two very able studies in the Revue hispanique (vol. i. pp. 101-65, 
and vol. ii. pp. 208-303), by M. Foulche-Delbosc, whose edition of the Guerra 
de Granada is now printing. 




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

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

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

There was the solitary stroller, the bululu, tramping 


from village to village, declaiming short plays to small 
audiences, called together by the sacristan, the barber, 
and the parish priest, who pidiendo limosna en un som- 
brero passed round the hat, and sped the vagabond 
with a slice of bread and a cup of broth. A pair 
of strollers (such as Rojas himself and his colleague 
Ri'os) was styled a Plaque, and did no more than spout 
simple entremeses in the open. The cangarilla was on a 
larger scale, numbering three or four actors, who gave 
Timoneda's Oveja Perdida, or some comic piece wherein 
a boy played the woman's part. Five men and a woman 
made up the carambaleo, which performed in farmhouses 
for such small wages as a loaf of bread, a bunch of grapes, 
a stew of cabbage ; but higher fees were asked in larger 
villages six maravedfs, a piece of sausage, a roll of flax, 
and what not. Though " a spider could carry " its pro- 
perties, says Rojas, yet the carambaleo contrived to fill 
the bill with a set piece, or two autos, or four entremeses. 
More pretentious was the garnacha, with its six men, 
its "leading lady," and a boy who played the ingenue. 
With four set plays, three autos, and three entremeses 
it would draw a whole village for a week. A large 
choice of pieces was within the means of the seven men, 
two women, and a boy that made up the bojiganga, 
which journeyed from town to town on horseback. 
Next in rank came the fardndula, the stepping-stone 
to the lofty compania of sixteen players, with fourteen 
"supers," capable of producing fifty pieces at short 
notice. To such a troupe, no doubt, belonged the 
Toledan Naharro, famous as an interpreter of the bully, 
and as the foremost of Spanish stage-managers. " He 
still further enriched theatrical adornment, substituting 
chests and trunks for the costume-bag. Into the body 


of the house he brought the musicians, who had hitherto 
sung behind the blanket. He did away with the false 
beards which till then actors had always worn, and he 
made all play without a make-up, save those who per- 
formed old men's parts, or such characters as implied a 
change of appearance. He introduced machinery, 
clouds, thunder, lightning, duels, and battles ; but this 
reached not the perfection of our day." 

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


yields two facts concerning him : that he was incurably 
deaf, and that he was poor. 

Cervantes' birthday is unknown. He was baptized at 
the Church of Santa Marfa Mayor, in Alcala de Henares, 
on Sunday, October 9, 1547. One Tomas Gonzalez 
asserted that he had found Cervantes' name in the 
matriculation lists of Salamanca University ; but the 
entry has never been verified since, and its report lacks 
probability. If Cervantes ever studied at any university, 
we should expect to find him at that of his native town, 
Alcala de Henares. His name does not appear in the 
University calendar. Though he made his knowledge 
go far, he was anything but learned, and college witlings 
bantered him for having no degree. No information 
exists concerning his youth. He is first mentioned in 
1569, when a Madrid dominie, Juan L6pez de Hoyos, 
speaks of him as " our dear and beloved pupil " ; and 
some conjecture that he was an usher in Hoyos' school. 
His earliest literary performance is discovered (1569) in 
a collection of verses on the death of Felipe II.'s third 
wife. The volume, edited by Hoyos, is entitled the His- 
toriay relation verdadera de la enfermedad,felidsimo trdnsito 
y suntuosas exequias funebres de la Serenisima Reina de 
Espana, Dona Isabel de Valois. Cervantes' contributions 
are an epitaph in sonnet form, five redondillas, and an 
elegy of one hundred and ninety-nine lines : this last 
being addressed to Cardinal Diego de Espinosa in the 
name of the whole school en nombre de todo el estudio. 
These poor pieces are reproduced solely because Cer- 
vantes wrote them : it is very doubtful if he ever saw 
them in print. He is alleged to have been guilty of 
lese-majestt in Hurtado de Mendoza's fashion ; but this 
is surmise, as is also a pendant story of his love pas- 


sages with a Maid of Honour. It is certain that, on 
September 15, 1569, a warrant was signed for the arrest 
of one Miguel de Cervantes, who was condemned to 
lose his right hand for wounding Antonio de Sigura in 
the neighbourhood of the Court. There is nothing to 
prove that our man was the culprit ; but if he were, 
he had already got out of jurisdiction. Joining the 
household of the Special Nuncio, Giulio Acquaviva, he 
left Madrid for Rome as the Legate's chamberlain in 
the December of 1568. 

He was not the stuff of which chamberlains are made ; 
and in 1570 he enlisted in the company commanded 
by Diego de Urbina, captain in Miguel de Moncada's 
famous infantry regiment, at that time serving under 
Marc Antonio Colonna. It is worth noting that the 
Galatea is dedicated to Marc Antonio's son, Ascanio 
Colonna, Abbot of St. Sophia. In 1571 Cervantes fought 
at Lepanto, where he was twice shot in the chest and had 
his left hand maimed for life : " for the greater honour 
of the right," as he loved to think and say with justifiable 
vainglory. That he never tired of vaunting his share 
in the great victory is shown by his frequent allusions 
to it in his writings ; and it should almost seem that he 
was prouder of his nickname the Cripple of Lepanto 
than of writing Don Quixote. He served in the engage- 
ments before Navarino, Corfu, Tunis, the Goletta ; and 
in all he bore himself with credit. Returning to Italy, 
he seems to have learned the language, for traces of 
Italian idioms are not rare even in his best pages. From 
Naples he sailed for Spain in September 1575, with 
recommendatory letters from Don Juan de Austria and 
from the Neapolitan Viceroy. On September 26, his 
caravel, the Sol, was attacked by Moorish pirates, and, 


after a brave resistance, all on board were carried as 
prisoners into Algiers. There for five years Cervantes 
abode as a slave, writing plays between the intervals of 
his plots to escape, striving to organise a general rising 
of the thousands of Christians. Being the most danger- 
ous, because the most heroic of them all, he became, in 
some sort, the chief ot his tellows, and, after the failure 
of several plans for flight, was held hostage by the Dey 
for the town's safety. His release was due to accident. 
On September 19, 1580, the Redemptorist, Fray Juan 
Gil, offered five hundred gold ducats as the ransom of 
a private gentleman named Jer6nimo Palafox. The sum 
was held insufficient to redeem a man of Palafox's posi- 
tion ; but it sufficed to set free Cervantes, who was 
already shipped on the Dey's galley bound for Con- 
stantinople. 1 He is found at Madrid on December 19, 
1580, and it is surmised that he served in Portugal and 
at the Azores. There are rumours of his holding some 
small post at Oran : however that may be, he returned 
to Spain, at latest, in the autumn of 1582. And hence- 
forth he belongs to literature. 

The plays written at Algiers are lost ; but there survive 
two sonnets of the same period dedicated to Rufino de 
Chamber/ (1577). A rhymed epistle to the Secretary of 
State, Mateo Vazquez, also belongs to this time. We 
must suppose Cervantes to have written copiously on re- 
gaining his liberty, since Galvez de Montalvo speaks of 
him as a poet of repute in the Pastor de Filida (1582) ; 
but the earliest signs of him in Spain are his eulogistic 
sonnets in Padilla's Romancero and Rufo Gutierrez' Austri- 
ada, both published in 1583. Padilla repaid the debt by 

1 In Felipe II. 's time the normal value of an esctido de oro was 8s. 4^d. 
The actual exchange value varied between seven and eight shillings. 


classing the sonneteer among " the most famous poets of 
Castile." In December 1584, Cervantes married Catalina 
de Palacios Salazar y Vozmediano, a native of Esquivias, 
eighteen years younger than himself. It is often said 
that he wrote the Galatea as a means of furthering his 
suit. It may be so. But the book was not printed by 
Juan Gracian of Alcala de Henares till March 1585, 
though the aprobacion and the privilege are dated Feb- 
ruary i and February 22, 1584. In the year after his 
marriage, Cervantes' illegitimate daughter, Isabel de 
Saavedra, was born. We shall have occasion to refer 
to her later. Our immediate concern is with the Primera 
Parte de Galatea, an unfinished pastoral novel in six books, 
for which Cervantes received 1336 reales from Bias de 
Robles ; a sum which, with his wife's small dowry, en- 
abled him to start housekeeping. 1 As a financial specula- 
tion the Galatea failed : only two later editions appeared 
during the writer's lifetime, one at Lisbon in 1590, the 
other at Paris in 1611. Neither could have brought him 
money ; but the book, if it did nothing else, served to 
make him known. 

He trimmed his sails to the popular breeze. Montemor 
had started the pastoral fashion, Perez and Caspar Gil 
Polo had followed, and Gdlvez de Montalvo maintained 
the tradition. Later in life, in the Coloquio de los Perros 
(Dialogue of the Dogs), Cervantes made his Berganza 
say that all pastorals are "vain imaginings, void of truth, 
written to amuse the idle " ; yet it may be doubted if 
Cervantes ever lost the pastoral taste, though his sense of 
humour forced him to see the absurdity of the convention. 

1 One real de vel!6n = 34 maravedis = 2 pence, 2 farthings, and f of a 
farthing. One real de plata = 2 reales de velldn. Unless otherwise stated, a 
real may be taken to mean a real de plata. 


It is very certain that he had a special fondness for the 
Galatea: he spared it at the burning of Don Quixote's 
library, praised its invention, and made the Priest exhort 
the Barber to await the sequel which is foreshadowed in 
the Galatea's text. This is again promised in the Dedica- 
tion of the volume of plays (1615), in the Prologue to 
the Second Part of Don Quixote (1615), and in the 
Letter Dedicatory of Persiles y Sigismunda, signed on the 
writer's deathbed, April 19, 1616. For thirty-one years 
Cervantes held out the promise of the Galatea's Second 
Part : five times did he repeat it. It is plain that he 
thought well of the First, and that his liking for the genre 
was incorrigible. 

His own attempt survives chiefly because of the name 
on its title-page. Pastorals differ little in essentials, 
and the kind offers few openings to Cervantes' peculiar 
humoristic genius. Like his fellow - practitioners, he 
crowds his stage with figures : he presents his shep- 
herds Elicio and Erastro warbling their love for 
Galatea on Tagus bank ; he reveals Mirenio enamoured 
of Silveria, Leonarda love-sick for Salercio, Lenio in the 
toils of Gelasia. Hazlitt, in his harsh criticism of 
Sidney's Arcadia, hits the defects of the pastoral, and his 
censures may be justly applied to the Galatea. There, as 
in the English book, we find the " original sin of allitera- 
tion, antithesis, and metaphysical conceit " ; there, too, 
is the "systematic interpolation of the wit, learning, 
ingenuity, wisdom, and everlasting impertinence of the 
writer." Worst of all are "the continual, uncalled-for 
interruptions, analysing, dissecting, disjointing, murder- 
ing everything, and reading a pragmatical, self-sufficient 
lecture over the dead body of nature." But if Cervantes 
sins in this wise, he sins of set purpose and in good com- 


pany. In his Fourth Book, he interpolates a long dis- 
quisition on the Beautiful which he calmly annexes from 
Judas Abarbanel's Dialoghi. As Sannazaro opens his 
A rcadia with Ergasto and Selvaggio, so Cervantes thrusts 
his Elicio and Erastro into the foreground of the Gala- 
tea ; the funeral of Meliso is a deliberate imitation of the 
Feast of Pales ; and, as the Italian introduced Carmosina 
Bonifacia under the name of Amaranta, the Spaniard 
perforce gives Catalina de Palacios Salazar as Galatea. 
Nor does he depart from the convention by placing him- 
self upon the scene as Elicio, for Ribeiro and Montemdr 
had preceded him in the characters of Bimnardel and 
Sereno. Lastly, the idea and the form of the Canto de 
Caliope, wherein the uncritical poet celebrates whole tribes 
of contemporary singers, are borrowed from the Canto del 
Turia, which Gil Polo had interpolated in his Diana. 

Prolixity, artifice, ostentation, monotony, extravagance, 
are inherent in the pastoral school ; and the Galatea 
savours of these defects. Yet, for all its weakness, it 
lacks neither imagination nor contrivance, and its em- 
broidered rhetoric is a fine example of stately prose. 
Save, perhaps, in the Persiles y Sigismunda, Cervantes 
never wrote with a more conscious effort after excellence, 
and, in results of absolute style, the Galatea may com- 
pare with all but exceptional passages in Don Quixote. 
Yet it failed to please, and the author turned to other 
fields of effort. His verses in Pedro de Padilla's Jardin 
Espiritual (1585) and in L6pez Maldonado's Cancionero 
(1586) denote good-nature and a love of literature; and 
in both volumes Cervantes may have read companion- 
pieces written by a marvellous youth, Lope de Vega, 
whom he had already praised as he praised everybody 
in the Canto de Caliope. He could not foresee that in the 


person of this boy he was to meet his match and more. 
Meanwhile in 1587 he penned sonnets for Padilla's 
Grandezas y Excelencias de la Virgen, and for Alonso de 
Barros' Filosofia cortesana. Verse-making was his craze ; 
and, in 1588, when the physician, Francisco Diaz, pub- 
lished a treatise on kidney disease Tratado nuevamente 
impreso acerca de las enfermedades de los rifiones the 
unwearied poetaster was forthcoming with a sonnet pat 
to the strange occasion. 

Still, though he cultivated verse with as sedulous a 
passion as Don Quixote spent on Knight - Errantries, 
he recognised that man does not live by sonneteering 
alone, and he tried his fate upon the boards. He died 
with the happy conviction that he was a dramatist of 
genius ; his contemporaries ruled the point against him, 
and posterity has upheld the decision. He tells us that 
at this time he wrote between twenty and thirty plays. 
We only know the titles of a few among them the Gran 
Turquesca, the Jerusale'n, the Batalla Naval (attributed by 
Morati'n to the year 1584), the Amaranta and the Basque 
Amoroso (referred to 1586), the Arsinda and the Confusa (to 
1587). It is like enough that the Batalla Naval was con- 
cerned with Lepanto, a subject of which Cervantes never 
tired ; the Arsinda existed so late as 1673, when Juan de 
Matos Fragoso mentioned it as "famous" in his Corsaria 
Catalana; and our author himself ranked the Confusa as 
" good among the best." The touch of self-complacency 
is amusing, though one might desire a better security than 

Two surviving plays of the period are El Trato de 
Argel and La Numancia, first printed by Antonio de 

Sancha in 1784. The former deals with the life of the 
<^t* w 

Christian slaves in Algiers, and recounts the passion 


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

A finer example of Cervantes' dramatic power is the 
Numana'a f on which Shelley has passed this generous judg- 
ment : " I have read the Numancza, and, after wading 
through the singular stupidity of the First Act, began to 
be greatly delighted, and at length interested in a very 
high degree, by the power of the writer in awakening 
pity and admiration, in which I hardly know by whom 
he is excelled. There is little, I allow, to be called poetry 
in this play ; but the command of language and the har- 
mony of versification is so great as to deceive one into 
an idea that it is poetry." Nor is Shelley alone in his ad- 
miration. Goethe's avowal to Humboldt is on record: 
" Sogar habe ich . . . neulich das Trauerspiel Numancia 
von Cervantes mit vielem Vergniigen gelesen;" but eight 


years later he confided a revised judgment to Riemer. 
The gushing school of German Romantics waxed deli- 
rious; in praise. Thus Friedrich Schlegel surpassed him- 
self by calling the play "godlike"; and August Schlegel, 
not content to hold it for a dramatic masterpiece, would 
persuade us to accept it for great poetry. Even Sismondi 
declares that " le frisson de 1'horreur et de 1'effroi devient 
presque un supplice pour le spectateur." 

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

Marquino. " What! Dost not answer? Dost not live again, 
Or haply hast thou tasted death once more? 
Then will I quicken thee anew with pain, 
And for thy good t^e gift of speech restore. 
Since thou art one of us, do not disdain 
To speak and answer \ as I now implore; . . . 


Ye spirits vile, it worketh not ye trust ! 
But wait, for soon the enchanted water here 
Will show my will to be as strong and just 
As yours is treacherous and insincere. 
And though tiiis flesh were turned to very dust, 
Yet being quickened by this lash austere, 
Which cuts with cruel rigour like a knife, / 
It will regain a new though fleeting life. 
Thou rebel soul, seek now the home again 
Thou leftest empty these few hours ago. 
The Body. Restrain the fury of thy reckless pain ; 
Suffice it, O Marquino, man of woe, 
What I do suffer in the realms obscure, 
Nor give me pangs more fearful to endure. 
Thou errest, if thou thinkest that I crave 
This painful, pinched, and narrow life I have, 
Which even now is ebbing fast away, . . . 
Since Death a second time, with bitter sway, 
Will triumph over me in life and soul, 
And gain a double palm, beyond control. 
For he and others of the dismal band, 
Who do thy bidding subject to thy spell, 
Are raging round and round, and waiting stand, 
Till I shall finish what I have to tell. . . . 
The Romans ne'er shall victory obtain 
O'er proud Numantia ; still less shall she 
A glorious triumph o'er her foemen gain ; 
^Twixt friends and foes, both have to a degree, 
Think not that settled peace shall ever reign 
Where rage meets rage in strife eternally. 
The friendly hand, with homicidal knife, 
Will slay Numantia and will give her life. 

[He hurls himself into the sepulchre, and says : 
I say no more, Marquino, time is fleet; 
The Fates will grant to me no more delay, 
And, though my wort's may seem to thee deceit, 
Thou' It find at last the truth of what I say" 

Even in translation still more in the original the 
rhetoric of this passage is imposing ; yet we perceive 
rhetoric to be contagious when Ticknor asserts that 


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

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


Here, once more, we are dealing with a passage which 
gains by detachment from its context. To speak plainly, 
the interest of the Numanda is not dramatic, and its ver- 
sification, good of its kind, may easily be overpraised, as 
it was by Shelley. First and last, the play is a devout 
and passionate expression of patriotism ; and, as such, 
the writer's countrymen have held it in esteem, never 
claiming for it the qualities invented by well-meaning 
foreigners. Lope de Vega and Calder6n still hold the 
stage, from which Cervantes, the disciple of Viru^s, was 
driven three centuries ago ; and they survive, the one as 
an hundredfold more potent dramatist, the other as an 
infinitely greater poet. Yet, like the ghost raised by 
Marquino, Cervantes was to undergo a momentary 
resurrection. When Palafox (and Byron's Maid) held 
Zaragoza, during the War of Independence, against the 
batteries of Mortier, Junot, and Lannes, the Numanda 
was played within the besieged walls, so that Spaniards 
of the nineteenth century might see that their fathers had 
known how to die for freedom. The tragedy was re- 
ceived with enthusiasm ; the marshals of the world's 
Greatest Captain were repulsed and beaten ; and Cer- 
vantes' inspiriting lines helped on the victory. In life, 
he had never met with such a triumph, and in death 
no other could have pleased him better. 

He asserts, indeed, that his plays were popular, and 
he may have persuaded himself into that belief. His 
idolaters preach the legend that he was driven from the 
boards by that " portent of genius," Lope de Vega. This 
tale is a vain imagining. Cervantes failed so wretchedly 
in art that in 1588 he left the Madrid stage to seek work 
in Seville ; and no play of Lope's dates so early as that, 
save one written while he was at school. In June 1588, 


Cervantes became Deputy-Purveyor to the Invincible 
Armada, and in May 1590 he petitioned for one of four 
appointments vacant in Granada, Guatemala, Cartagena, 
and La Paz. But he never quite abandoned literature. 
In 1591 he wrote a romance for Andre's de Villalba's Flor 
de varios y nuevos romances, and, in the following year, 
he contracted with the Seville manager, Rodrigo Osorio, 
to write six comedies at fifty ducats each no money 
to be paid unless Osorio should rank the plays " among 
the best in Spain." No more is heard of this agreement, 
and Cervantes disappears till 1594, when he was ap- 
pointed tax-gatherer in Granada. Next year he com- 
peted at a literary tournament held by the Dominicans 
of Zaragoza in honour of St. Hyacinth, and won the 
first prize three silver spoons. His sonnet to the 
famous sea-dog, Santa Cruz, is printed in Cristobal 
Mosquera de Figueroa's Comentario en breve Compendia 
de Disciplina militar (1596), and his bitter sonnet on 
Medina Sidonia's entry into Cadiz, already sacked and 
evacuated by Essex, is of the same date. 

In 1597, being in Seville about the time of Herrera's 
death, Cervantes wrote his sonnet in memory of the great 
Andalucian. In September of this year the sonneteer 
was imprisoned for irregularities in his accounts, due to 
his having entrusted Government funds to one Sim6n 
Freire de Lima, who absconded with the booty. Re- 
leased some three months later, Cervantes was sent 
packing by the Treasury, and was never more employed 
in the public service. Lost, as it seemed, to hope and 
fame, the ruined man lingered at Seville, where, in 1598, 
he wrote two sonnets and a copy of quintillas on Felipe 
II.'s death. Four years of silence were followed by the 
inevitable sonnet in the second edition of Lope de 


Vega's Dragontea (1602). It is certain that all this while 
Cervantes was scribbling in some naked garret ; but his 
name seemed almost forgotten from the earth. In 1603 
he was run to ground, and served with an Exchequer 
writ concerning those outstanding balances, still unpaid 
after nearly eight years. He must appear in person at 
Valladolid to offer what excuse he might. Light as his 
baggage was, it contained one precious, immediate jewel 
the manuscript of Don Quixote. The Treasury soon 
found that to squeeze money from him was harder 
than to draw blood from a stone : the debt remained 
unsettled. But his journey was not in vain. On his 
way to Valladolid, he found a publisher for Don Quixote. 
The Royal Privilege is dated September 26, 1604, and 
in January 1605 the book was sold at Madrid across the 
counter of Francisco de Robles, bookseller to the King. 
Cervantes dedicated his volume, in terms boldly filched 
from Herrera and Medina, to the Duque de Be"jar. In a 
previous age the author's kinsman had anticipated the 
compliment by addressing a gloss of Jorge Manrique's 
Coplas to Alvaro de Stuftiga, second Duque de Bejar. 

It is difficult to say when Don Quixote was written ; 
later, certainly, than 1591, for it alludes to Bernardo de 
la Vega's Pastor de Iberia, published in that year. Legend 
says that the First Part was begun in gaol, and so Lang- 
ford includes it in his Prison Books and their Authors. 
The only ground for the belief is a phrase in the Pro- 
logue which describes the work as "a dry, shrivelled, 
whimsical offspring . . . just what might be begotten in 
a prison." This may be a mere figure of speech ; yet 
the tradition persists that Cervantes wrote his master- 
piece in the cellar of the Casa de Medrano at Arga- 
masilla de Alba. Certain it is that Argamasilla is Don 


Quixote's native town. The burlesque verses at the end 
indicate precisely that "certain village in La Mancha, 
the name of which," says Cervantes dryly, " I have no 
desire to recall." Quevedo witnesses that the fact was 
accepted by contemporaries, and topography puts it 
beyond doubt. The manuscript passed through many 
hands before reaching the printer, Cuesta: whence a 
double mention of it before publication. The author 
of the Picara Justina, who anticipated Cervantes' poor 
device of the versos de cabo roto truncated rhymes in 
Don Quixote, ranks the book beside the Celestina, Laza- 
rillo de Tormes, and Guzman de Alfarache ; yet the Picara 
Justina was licensed on August 22, 1604. The title falls 
from a far more illustrious pen : in a private letter 
written on August 14, 1604, Lope de Vega observes that 
no budding poet " is so bad as Cervantes, none so silly 
as to praise Don Quixote" There will be occasion to 
return presently to this much-quoted remark. 

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


Brown have industriously proved Sancho Panza to be 
Pedro Franqueza, and the whole novel to be a burlesque 
on contemporary politics. 1 

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

1 See The Athenaum, April 12, April 19, and May 3, 1873. 


he chose; nor is he potent as a purely intellectual in- 
fluence. He is immortal by reason of his creative power, 
his imaginative resource, his wealth of invention, his 
penetrating vision, his inimitable humour, his boundless 
sympathy. Hence the universality of his appeal : hence 
the splendour of his secular renown. 

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

" Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away; 

A single laugh demolished the right arm 
Of his own country; seldom since that day 

Has Spain had heroes. While Romance could charm, 
The world gave ground before her bright array; 

And therefore have his volumes done such harm, 
That all their glory, as a composition, 
Was dearly purchased by his land 's perdition? 

The chivalresque madness was well-nigh over when our 


author made his onset : he but hastened the end. After 
the publication of Don Quixote, no new chivalresque 
romance was written, and only one the Caballero del 
Febo (1617) was reprinted. And the reason is obvious. 
It was not that Cervantes' work was merely destructive, 
that he was simply a clever artist in travesty : it was that 
he gave better than he took away, and that he revealed 
himself, not only to Spain, but to the world, as a great 
creative master, and an irresistible, because an universal, 

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



" When I was marked for suffering, Love forswore 
All knowledge of my doom : or else at ease 
Love grows a cruel tyrant, hard to please; 
Or else a chastisement exceeding sore 
A little sin hath brought me. Hush ! no more ! 
Love is a god! all things he knows and sees, 
And gods are bland and mild ! Who then decrees 
The dreadful woe I bear and yet adore ? 
If I should say, O Phyllis, that 'twas thou, 

I should speak falsely, since, being wholly good 

Like Heaven itself, from thee no ill may come. 
There is no hope; I must die shortly now, 
Not knowing why, since sure no witch hath brewed 
The drug that might avert my martyrdom" 

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


and Don Quixote, with Hamlet and the Iliad, belongs to 
universal literature, and is become an eternal pleasaunce 
of the mind for all the nations. 

Cervantes had his immediate reward in general 
acceptance. Reprints of his book followed in Spain, 
and in 1607 the original was reproduced at Brussels. 
The French teacher of Spanish, Cesar Oudin, inter- 
polated the tale of the Curious Impertinent between the 
covers of Julio Ifriguez de Medrano's Silva Curiosa, 
published for the second time at Paris in 1608 ; in the 
same year Jean Baudouin did this story into French, 
and in 1609 an anonymous arrangement of Marcela's 
story was Gallicised as Le Meurtre de la Fid/lit/ et la 
Defense de I* Honneur. This sufficed for fame : yet Cer- 
vantes made no instant attempt to repeat his triumph. 
For eight years he was silent, save for occasional copies 
of verse. The baptism of the future Felipe IV., and the 
embassy of Lord Nottingham best known as Howard of 
Effingham, the admiral in command against the Invin- 
cible Armada are recorded in courtly fashion by the 
anonymous writer of a pamphlet entitled Reladon de lo 
sucedido en la Ciudad de Valladolid, G6ngora, who dealt 
with both subjects, flouts Cervantes as the pamphleteer ; 
but the authorship is doubtful. Cervantes is next heard 
of in custody on suspicion of knowing more than he 
chose to tell concerning the death of Caspar de Ezpeleta, 
in June 1605. Legend makes Ezpeleta the lover of Cer- 
vantes' natural daughter, Isabel de Saavedra : " the point 
of honour" at once suggests itself, and the incident has 
inspired both dramatists and novelists. A conspiracy of 
silence on the part of biographers has done Cervantes 
much wrong, and is responsible for exaggerated stories 
of his guilt. He was discharged after inquiry, and seems 


to have been entirely innocent of contriving Ezpeleta's 
end. Many romantic stories have gathered about the 
personality of Isabel: she has been passed upon us as the 
daughter of a Portuguese " lady of high quality," and the 
prop of her father's declining days. These are idolatrous 
inventions : we now know for certain that her mother's 
name was Ana Franca de Rojas, a poor woman married 
to Alonso Rodriguez, and that the girl herself (who in 
1605 was unable to read and write) was indentured as 
general servant to Cervantes' sister, Magdalena de Soto- 
mayor, in August 1599.* Thence she passed to Cervantes' 
household, and it is even alleged that she was twice 
married in her father's lifetime. She has been so pic- 
turesquely presented by imaginative " Cervantophils," 
that it is necessary to state the humble truth here and 
now, for the first time in English. Thus the grotesque 
travesty of Cervantes as a plaster saint returns to the 
Father of Lies, who begat it. Confirmation of his ex- 
ploits as a loose liver in gaming-houses is afforded by 
the Memorias de Valladolid, now among the manuscripts 
in the British Museum. 2 

Such diversions as these left him scant time for litera- 
ture. The space between 1605 and 1608 yields the 
pitiful show of three sonnets in four years : To a 
Hermit, To the Conde de Saldana t To a Braggart turned 
Beggar. Even this last is sometimes referred to Quevedo. 
It should hardly seem that prosperity suited Cervantes. 
Meanwhile, his womenfolk gained their bread by taking 
in the Marques de Villafranca's sewing. Still, he 
made no sign : the author of Don Quixote sank lower 

1 See Cristobal Perez de Pastor's Documentor cervantinos hasta ahora 
inidilos (Madrid, 1897), pp. 135-137. 
J British Museum Add. MSS., 20, 812. 


and lower, writing letters for illiterates at a small fee. 
The Letter to Don Diego de Astudillo Carrillo, the Story 
of what happens in Seville Gaol (a sequel to Cristobal de 
Chaves' sketch made twenty years before), the Dialogue 
between Sillenia and Selanto, the three entremeses entitled 
Dona Justtna y Calahorra, Los Mirones, and Los Re- 
franes all these are of doubtful authenticity. In April 
1609, Cervantes took a thought and mended : he joined 
Fray Alonso de la Purificaci6n's new Confraternity of 
the Blessed Sacrament, and in 1610 wrote his sonnet in 
memory of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. In 1611 he 
entered the Academia Selvaje, founded by that Fran- 
cisco de Silva whose praises were sung later in the 
Viaje del Parnaso, and he prepared that unique com- 
pound of fact and fancy, the rarest humour and the most 
curious experience his twelve Novelas Exemplares, which 
were licensed on August 8, 1612, and appeared in 1613. 

These short tales were written at long intervals of time, 
as the internal evidence shows. In the forty-seventh 
chapter of Don Quixote there is mention by name of 
Rinconete y Cortadillo, a picaresque story of extraordinary 
brilliancy and point included among the Exemplary 
Novels; and a companion piece is the Coloquio de los 
Perros, no less a masterpiece in little. Monipodio, master 
of a school for thieves ; his pious jackal, Ganchuelo, who 
never steals on Friday ; the tipsy Pipota, who reels as 
she lights her votive candle these are triumphs in the 
art of portraiture. Not even Sancho Panza is wittier in 
reflection than the dog Berganza, who reviews his many 
masters in the light of humorous criticism. No less 
distinguished is the presentation, in El Casamiento En- 
ganoso, of the picaroons Campuzano and Estefania de 
Caicedo ; and as an exercise in fantastic transcription 


of mania the Licenciado Vidriera lags not behind Don 
Quixote. So striking is the resemblance that some have 
held the Licentiate for the first sketch of the Knight ; but 
an attentive reading shows that he was not conceived 
till after Don Quixote was in print. In 1814, Agustfn 
Garcfa Arrieta included La Tiafingida (The Mock Aunt) 
among Cervantes' novels, and, in a more complete form, 
it now finds place in all editions. Admirable as the story 
is, the circumstance of its late appearance throws doubt 
on its authenticity ; yet who but Cervantes could have 
written it ? Perhaps the surest sign of his success is 
afforded by the quality and number of his northern 

" The land that cast out Philip and his God 
Grew gladly subject where Cervantes trod" 

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

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

and from his tale entitled La Fuerza de la Sangre, Middle- 
ton's Spanish Gipsy derives. From Cervantes, too, Weber 
takes his opera Preciosa, and from Cervantes comes 
Hugo's Esmeralda. In Las dos Doncellas Fletcher, who 
had already used Don Quixote in the Knight of the Burning 
Pestle, finds the root of Love's Pilgrimage ; from El Casa- 
miento Enganoso he takes his Rule a Wife and Have a Wife; 
and from La Seflora Cornelia he borrows his Chances. 
And, as Fielding had rejoiced to own his debt to Cer- 
vantes, so Sir Walter has confessed that " the Novelas of 


that author had first inspired him with the ambition of 
excelling in fiction." 

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

Moreover, the success of the Novelas induced him to 
try the theatre again. In 1615 he published his Ocho 
Comedias,y ocho Entremeses nuevos. The eight set pieces 


are failures ; and when the writer tries to imitate Lope 
de Vega, as in the Laberinto de Amor, the failure is con- 
spicuous. Nor does the introduction of a Saavedra 
among the personages of El Gallardo Espailol save a 
bad play. But Cervantes believed in his eight comedias, 
as he believed in the eight entremeses which are imitated 
from Lope de Rueda. These are sprightly, unpreten- 
tious farces, witty in intention and effect, interesting in 
themselves and as realistic pictures of low life seen and 
rendered at first hand. Of these farcical pieces one, 
Pedro de Urdemalas, is even brilliant. 

While Cervantes was writing the fifty-ninth chapter of 
Don Quixote's Second Part, he learned that a spurious 
continuation had appeared (1614) at Tarragona under 
the name of Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda. This 
has given rise to much angry writing. Avellaneda is 
doubtless a pseudonym. The King's confessor, Aliaga, 
has been suspected, on the ground that he was once 
nicknamed Sancho Panza, and that he thus avenged 
himself : the idea is absurd, and the fact that Avellaneda 
makes Sancho more offensive and more vulgar than 
ever puts the theory out of court. Lope de Vega is also 
accused of being Avellaneda, and the charge is based on 
this : that (in a private letter) he once spoke slightingly 
of Don Quixote, The personal relations between the two 
greatest Spanish men of letters were not cordial. Cer- 
vantes had ridiculed Lope in the Prologue to Don 
Quixote, had belittled him as a playwright, and had 
shown hostility in other ways. Lope, secure in his high 
seat, made no reply, and in 1612 (in another private 
letter) he speaks kindly of Cervantes. " Cervantophils " 
insist upon being too clever by half. They first assert 
that the outward form of Avellaneda's book was an 


imitation of Don Quixote, and that the intention was " to 
pass off this spurious Second Part as the true one " ; 
they then contend that Avellaneda's was " a deliberate 
attempt to spoil the work of Cervantes." These two 
statements are mutually destructive : one must necessarily 
be false. It is also argued, first, that Avellaneda's is a 
worthless book ; next, that it was written by Lope, the 
greatest figure, save Cervantes, in Spanish literature. 
Lope had many jealous enemies, but no contemporary 
hints at such a charge, and no proof is offered in sup- 
port of it now. Indeed the notion, first started by 
Mainez, is generally abandoned. Other ascriptions, in- 
volving Blanco de Paz, Ruiz de Alarcdn, Andres Perez, 
are equally futile. The most plausible conjecture, due 
to D. Marcelino Menendez y Pelayo, is that Avellaneda 
was a certain Aragonese, Alfonso Lamberto. Lamberto's 
very obscurity favours this surmise. Had Avellaneda 
been a figure of great importance, he had been unmasked 
by Cervantes himself, who assuredly was no coward. 

We owe to Avellaneda a clever, brutal, cynical, amus- 
ing book, which is still reprinted. Nor is this our only 
debt to him : he put an end to Cervantes' dawdling and 
procured the publication of the second Don Quixote. 
Cervantes left it doubtful if he meant to write the sequel ; 
he even seems to invite another to undertake it. Nine 
years had passed, during which Cervantes made no sign. 
Avellaneda, with an eye to profit, wrote his continuation 
in good faith, and his insolent Preface is explained by his 
rage at seeing the bread taken out of his mouth when the 
true sequel was announced in the Preface to the Novelas. 
Had not his intrusion stung Cervantes to the quick, the 
second Don Quixote might have met the fate of the second 
Galatea promised for thirty years and never finished. 


As it is, the hurried close of the Second Part is below the 
writer's common level, as when he rages at Avellaneda, 
and wishes that the latter's book be " cast into the lowest 
pit of hell." But this is its single fault, which, for the 
rest, is only found in the last fourteen chapters. The 
previous fifty-eight form an almost impeccable master- 
piece. As an achievement in style, the Second excels 
the First Part. The parody of chivalresque books is less 
insistent, the interest is larger, the variety of episode is 
ampler, the spirit more subtly comic, the new characters 
are more convincing, the manner is more urbane, more 
assured. Cervantes' First Part was an experiment in 
which he himself but half believed ; in the Second he 
shows the certainty of an accepted master, confident of 
his intention and his popularity. So his career closed 
in a blaze of triumph. He had other works in hand : 
a play to be called El Engano d los Ojos, the Semanas 
del Jar din, the Famoso Bernardo, and the eternal second 
Galatea. These last three he promises in the Preface to 
Los Trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda (1617), a pos- 
thumous volume "that dares to vie with Heliodorus," 
and was to be " the best or worst book ever written in 
our tongue." Ambitious in aim and in manner, the 
Persiles has failed to interest, for all its adventures and 
scapes. Yet it contains perhaps the finest, and cer- 
tainly the most pathetic passage that Cervantes ever 
penned the noble dedication to his patron, the Conde 
de Lemos, signed upon April 19, 1616. In the last grip 
of dropsy, he gaily quotes from a romance remembered 
from long ago : 

" Puesio ya el pit en el estribo " 
" One foot already in the stirrup." With these words he 


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

In his own day Cervantes was shone down by the 
ample, varied, magnificent gifts of LOPE FELIX DE VEGA 
CARPIO (1562-1635) : a very "prodigy of nature," as his 
rival confesses. A prodigy he was from his cradle. At 
the age of five he lisped in numbers, and, unable to write, 
would bribe his schoolmates with a share of his break- 
fast to take down verses at his dictation. He came of 
noble highland blood, his father, Felix de Vega, and his 
mother, Francisca Fernandez, being natives of Carriedo. 
Born in Madrid, he was there educated at the Jesuit 
Colegio Imperial, of which he was the wonder. All the 
accomplishments were his : still a child, he filled his 
copy-books with verses, sang, danced, handled the foil 
like a trained sworder. His father, a poet of some ac- 
complishment, died early, and Lope forthwith determined 
to see the world. With his comrade, Hernando Muftoz, 
he ran away from school. The pair reached Astorga, 
and turned back to Segovia, where, being short of money, 
they tried to sell a chain to a jeweller, who, suspecting 
something to be wrong, informed the local Dogberry. 


The adventurous couple were sent home in charge of 
the police. Lope's earliest surviving play, El verdadero 
Amante, written in his thirteenth year, is included in 
the fourteenth volume of his theatre, printed in 1620. 
Nicolas de los Rfos, one of the best actor-managers of 
his time, was proud to play in it later ; and, crude as it is 
in phrasing, it manifests an astonishing dramatic gift. 

The chronology of Lope's youth is perplexing, and the 
events of this time are, as a rule, wrongly given by 
his biographers, even including that admirable scholar, 
Cayetano Alberto de la Barrera y Leirado, whose Nueva 
Biografia is almost above praise. In a poetic epistle to 
Luis de Haro, Lope asserts that he fought at Terceira 
against the Portuguese: "in my third lustre" en tres 
lustros de mi edad primera : and Ticknor is puzzled to 
reconcile this with facts. It cannot be done. Lope was 
fifteen in 1577, and the expedition to the Azores occurred 
in 1582. The obvious explanation is that Lope was in 
his fourth lustre, but that, as cuatro would break the 
rhythm of the line, he wrote tres instead. Some little 
licence is admitted in verse, and literal interpreters are 
peculiarly liable to error. At the same time, it should 
be said that Lope is coquettish as regards his age. 
Thus, he says that he was a child at the time of the 
Armada, being really twenty-six ; and that he wrote the 
Dragontea in early youth, when, in fact, he was thirty- 
five. This little vanity has led to endless confusion. It 
is commonly stated that, on Lope's return from the 
Azores, he entered the household of GenSnimo Manrique, 
Bishop of Avila, who sent him to Alcala de Henares. 
That Lope studied at Alcala is certain ; but under- 
graduates then matriculated earlier than they do now. 
When Lope's first campaign ended he was twenty-one, 



and therefore too old for college. He was a Bachelor 
before ever he went to the wars. The love-affair, re- 
counted in his Dorotea, is commonly said to have pre- 
vented his taking orders at Alcala : in truth, he never 
saw the lady till he came back from the Azores ! He 
became private secretary to Antonio Alvarez de Toledo y 
Beaumont, fifth Duque de Alba, and grandson of the 
great soldier ; but the date cannot be given precisely. 
As far back as 1572 he had translated Claudian's Rape of 
Proserpine into Castilian verse, and we have already 
seen him joined with Cervantes in penning compliment- 
ary sonnets for Padilla and L6pez Maldonado(i584). It 
may be that, while in Alba's service, he wrote the poems 
printed in Pedro de Moncayo's Flor de varios romances 

The history of these years is obscure. It is usually 

asserted that, while in Alba's service, about the year 
1584-5, Lope married, and that he was soon afterwards 
exiled to Valencia, whence he set out for Lisbon to join 
the Invincible Armada. This does not square with Lope's 
statement in the Dedication of Querer la propia Desdicha 
to Claudio Conde. There he alleges that Conde helped 
him out of prison in Madrid, a service repaid by his 
helping Conde out of the Serranos prison at Valencia, 
and he goes on to say that " before the first down was 
on their cheeks " they went to Lisbon to embark on the 
Armada. He nowhere alleges that they started from 
Valencia, or that the journey followed the banishment. 
In an eclogue to the same Conde, Lope avers that he 
joined the Armada to escape from Filis (otherwise 
Dorotea), and he adds : " Who could have thought that, 
returning from the war, I should find a sweet wife ? " 
The question would be pointless if Lope were already 


married. Moreover, Barrera's theory that the intrigue 
with Dorotea ended in 1584 is disproved by the fact that 
the Dorotea contains allusions to the Conde de Melgar's 
marriage, which, as we know from Cabrera, took place 
in 1587. What is certain is that Lope went aboard the 
San Juan, and that during the Armada expedition hz 
used his manuscript verses in Filis's praise for gun- 

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

Returned to Spain, Lope composed his pastoral novel, 
the Arcadia, which, however, remained unpublished till 
1598. Ticknor believed it "to have been written almost 
immediately " after Cervantes' Galatea : this cannot be, 
for the Arcadia refers to the death of Santa Cruz, which 
occurred in 1588, and it discusses in the conventional 
manner Alba's love-affairs of 1589-90. The Arcadia, 
where Lope figures as Belardo, and Alba as Amfris 



makes no pretence to be a transcript of manners or life, 
and it is intolerably prolix withal. Yet it goes beyond 
its fellows by virtue of its vivid landscapes, its graceful, 
flowing verse, and a certain rich, poetic, Latinized prose, 
here used by Lope with as much artistry as he showed 
in his management of the more familiar kind in the 
Dorotea. Its popularity is proved by the publication of 
fifteen editions in its author's lifetime. About the year 
1590 he married Isabel de Urbina, a distant connection 
of Cervantes' mother, and daughter of Felipe II.'s King- 
at-Arms. Hereupon followed a duel, wherein Lope 
wounded his adversary, and, earlier escapades being 
raked up, he was banished the capital. He spent some 
time in Valencia, a considerable literary centre ; but in 
1594 he signed the manuscript of his play, El Maestro de 
danzar, at Tormes, Alba's estate, whence it is inferred that 
he was once more in the Duke's service. A new love- 
affair with Antonia Trillo de Armenta brought legal 
troubles upon him in 1596. His wife apparently died 
in 1597. 

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

"Drake lies in his hammock till the great Armadas come . . . 
Slung at-ween the round shot, listeniri for the drum . . . 
Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound, 

Call him when ye sail to meet the foe; 
Where the old trades plyirf and the oldjlagflyin\ 

They shall find him *ware an' waking, as they found him long ago" 

Odd to say, though, Lope has been censured for not 


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

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

" Laugh of the mountain ! lyre of bird and tree / 

Pomp of the meadow ! mirror of the morn! 

The soul of April, unto whom are born 
The rose and jessamine, leaps wild in thee ! 
Although, wherever thy devious current strays, 

The lap of earth with gold and silver teems, 

To me thy clear proceeding brigJiter seems 
Than golden sands that charm each shepherd's gaze. 


How without guile thy bosom, all transparent 

As the pure crystal, lets the curious eye 

Thy secrets scan, thy smooth, round pebbles count ! 
How, without malice murmuring, glides thy current! 

sweet simplicity of days gone by ! 

Thou shurist the haunts of man, to dwell in limpid 'fount '/" 

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

" Exactis nondum complevit mensibus annum" 

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

To 1604 belong the five prose books of the Peregrino en 
su patria, a prose romance of Panfilo's adventures by sea 
and land, partly experienced and partly contrived ; but it 
is most interesting for the four autos which it includes, 
and for its bibliographical list of two hundred and thirty 
plays already written by the author. His quenchless 
ambition had led him to rival Ariosto in the Angelica: 
in the twenty cantos of his Jerusalen Conquistada he 

dares no less greatly by challenging Tasso. Written 


in 1605, the Jerusalen was withheld till 1609. Styled 
a " tragic epic " by its creator, it is no more than a 
fluent historico-narrative poem, overlaid with embellish- 
ments of somewhat cheap and obvious design. In 1612 
appeared the Four Soliloquies of Lope de Vega Carpio : 
his lament and tears while kneeling before a crucifix begging 
pardon for his sins. These four sets of redondillas with 
their prose commentaries were amplified to seven when 
republished (1626) under the pseudonym of Gabriel 
Padecopeo, an obvious anagram. The deaths of Lope's 
wife and of his son Carlos inspired the Pastores de Bel/n, 
a sacred pastoral of supreme simplicity, truth, and 
beauty as Spanish as Spain herself which contains 
one of the sweetest numbers in Castilian. The Virgin 
lulls the Divine Child with a song in Verstegan's manner, 
which Ticknor has rendered to this effect : 

" Holy angels and blest, 

Through those palms as ye sweep 
Hold their branches at rest, 
For my babe is asleep. 

And ye Bethlehem palm-trees^ 

As stormy winds rush 
In tempest and fury, 

Your angry noise hush; 
More gently, more gently, 

Restrain your wild sweep j 
Hold your branches at rest, 

My babe is asleep. 

My babe all divine, 

With earths sorrows oppressed^ 
Seeks in slumber an instant 

His grievings to rest; 
He slumbers, he slumbers, 

Oh, hush, then, and keep 
Your branches all still, 

My babe is asleep ! 


Cold blasts wheel about kirn, 

A rigorous storm, 
And ye see how, in vain, 

I would skelter his form. 
Holy angels and blest, 

As above me ye sweep, 
Hold these branches at rest, 

My babe is asleep ! " 

Lope lived a life of gallantry, and troubled his wife's 
last years by his intrigue with Marfa de Lujan. This 
lady bore him the gifted son, Lope Felix, who was 
drowned at sea, and the daughter Marcela, whose 
admirable verses, written after her profession in the 
Convent of Barefoot Trinitarians, proclaim her kinship 
with the great enchanter. A relapsing, carnal sinner, 
Lope was more weak than bad : his rare intellectual 
gifts, his renown, his overwhelming temperament, his 
seductive address, his imperial presence, led him into 
temptation. Amid his follies and sins he preserved 
a touching faith in the invisible, and his devotion 
was always ardent. Upon the death of his wife in 1612 
or later, he turned to religion with characteristic im- 
petuosity, was ordained priest, and said his first mass 
in 1614 at the Carmelite Church in Madrid. It was an 
ill-advised move. Ticknor, indeed, speaks of a " Lope, 
, no longer at an age to be deluded by his passions " ; 
but no such Lope is known to history. While a 
Familiar of the Inquisition the true Lope wrote love- 
letters for the loose -living Duque de Sessa, till at 
last his confessor threatened to deny him absolution. 
Nor is this all : his intrigue with Marta de Nevares 
Santoyo, wife of Roque Hernandez de Ayala, was 
notorious. The pious Cervantes publicly jeered at the 
fallen priest's "continuous and virtuous occupation," 


forgetting his own coarse pranks with Ana de Rojas ; 
and G6ngora hounded his master down with a copy 
of venomous verses passed from hand to hand. Those 
who wish to study the abasement of an august spirit 
may do so in the filtimos Amores de Lope de Vega 
Carpio, forty-eight letters published by Jos6 Ibero Ribas 
y Canfranc. 1 If they judge by the standard of Lope's 
time, they will deal gently with a miracle of genius, 
unchaste but not licentious ; like that old Dumas, who, 
in the matters of gaiety, energy, and strength is his 
nearest modern compeer. His sin was yet to find him 
out. He vanquished every enemy : the child of his old 
age vanquished him. 

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

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


once seen and heard, Lope ruled Castilian literature as 
Napoleon ruled France. 

His Filomena (1621) contains a poetic defence of him- 
self (the Nightingale) against Pedro de Torres Ramila 
(the Thrush), who, in 1617, had violently attacked Lope 
in his Spongia, which seems to have vanished, and is 
only known by extracts embodied in the Expostulatio 
Spongicz, written by Francisco L6pez de Aguilar Coutino 
under the name of Julius Columbarius. Polemics apart, 
the chief interest of the Filomena volume lies in its short 
prose story, Las Fortunas de Diana, an experiment which 
the author repeated in the three tales La Desdicha por 
la honra, La prudente Venganza, and Guzman el Bravo 
appended to his Circe (1624), a poem, in three cantos, 
on Ulysses his adventures. The five cantos of the 
Triunfos divinos are pious exercises in the Petrarchan 
manner, with forty-four sonnets given as a postscript. 
Five cantos go to make up the Corona Trdgica (1627), 
a religious epic with Mary Stuart for heroine. Lope has 
been absurdly censured for styling Queen Elizabeth a 
Jezebel and an Athaliah, and for regarding Mary as a 
Catholic martyr. This criticism implies a strange intel- 
lectual confusion ; as though a veteran of the Armada 
could be expected to write in the spirit of a Clapham 
Evangelical ! Religious squabbles apart, he had an old 
score to settle ; for 

" Where are the galleons of Spain?" 

was a question which troubled good Spaniards as 
much as it delighted Mr. Dobson. Dedicated to Pope 
Urban VIII., the poem won for its author the Cross 
of St. John and the title of Doctor of Divinity. Three 
years later he issued his Laurel de Apolo, a cloying 


eulogy on some three hundred poets, as remarkable for 
its omissions as for its flattering of nonentities. The 
Dorotea (1632), a prose play fashioned after the model 
of the Celestina, was one of Lope's favourites, and is 
interesting, not merely for its graceful, familiar style, 
retouched and polished for over thirty years, but as a 
piece of self-revelation. The Rimas del licenciado Tomd 
de Burguillos (1634) closes with the mock-heroic Gato- 
maquia, a vigorous and brilliant travesty of the Italian 
epics, replenished with such gay wit as suffices to keep it 
sweet for all time. 

Lope de Vega's career was drawing to its end. The 
elopement, with a court gallant, of his daughter, Antonia 
Clara, broke him utterly. 1 He sank into melancholy, 
sought to expiate by lashing himself with the discipline 
till the walls of his room were flecked with his blood. 
Withal he wrote to the very end. On August 23, 1635, 
s he composed his last poem, El Siglo de Oro. Four days 
later he was dead. Madrid followed him to his grave, 
and the long procession turned from the direct path 
to pass before the window of the convent where his 
daughter, Sor Marcela, was a nun. A hundred and 
fifty-three Spanish authors bewailed the Phoenix in the 
Fama pdstuma, and fifty Italians published their laments 
at Venice under the title of Essequie poetiche. 

Lope left no achievement unattempted : the epic, 
Homeric or Italian, the pastoral, the romantic novel, 
poems narrative and historical, countless eclogues, 
epistles, not to speak of short tales, of sonnets innu- 
merable, of verses dashed off on the least occasion. His 

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


voluminous private letters, full of wit and malice and 
risky anecdote, are as brilliant and amusing as they are 
unedifying. It is sometimes alleged that he deliberately 
capped Cervantes' work ; and, as instances in this sort, 
we are bid to note that the Galatea was followed by 
Dorotea, the Viaje del Parnaso by the Laurel de Apolo. 
In the first place, exclusive "spheres of influence" are 
not recognised in literature ; in the second, the observa- 
tion is pointless. The Galatea is a pastoral novel, the 
Dorotea is not; the first was published in 1585, the 
second in 1632. Again, the Viaje del Parnaso appeared 
in 1614, the Laurel de Apolo in 1630. The first model 
was the Canto del Turia of Gil Polo. It would be as 
reasonable that is to say, it would be the height of 
unreason to argue that Persiles y Sigismunda was an 
attempt to cap the Peregrino en su patria. The truth 
is, that Lope followed every one who made a hit : 
Heliodorus, Petrarch, Ariosto, Tasso. A frank success 
spurred him to rivalry, and the difficulty of repeating 
it was for him a fresh stimulus. Obstacles existed to be 
vanquished. He was ever ready to accept a challenge ; 
hence such a dexterous tour deforce as his famous Sonnet 
on a Sonnet ', imitated in a well-known rondeau by Voiture, 
translated again and again, and by none more successfully 
than by Mr. Gibson : 

" To "write a sonnet doth Juana press me, 

I've never found me in such stress and pain j 
A sonnet numbers fourteen lines 'tis plain, 
And three are gone ere I can say, God bless me / 
/ thought that spinning rhymes might sore oppress me, 
Yet here Fin midway in the last quatrain; 
And, if the foremost tercet I can gain, 
The quatrains need not any more distress me. 


To the first tercet I have got at last, 
And travel through it with such right good-will. 
That with this line I've finished it, / ween. 

I'm in the second 'now ', and see how fast 

The thirteenth line comes tripping from my quill 
Hurrah, 'tis done ! Count if there be fourteen / " 

The foregoing list of Lope's exploits in literature, cur- 
tailed as it is, suffices for fame ; but it would not suffice 
to explain that matchless popularity which led to the 
publication suppressed by the Inquisition in 1647 of a 
creed beginning thus : " I believe in Lope de Vega the 
Almighty, the Poet of heaven and earth." So far we have 
but reached the threshold of his temple. His unique 
renown is based upon the fact that he created a national 
theatre, that he did for Spain what Shakespeare did for 
England. G6mez Manrique and Encina led the way 
gropingly ; Torres Naharro, though he bettered all that 
had been done, lived out of Spain ; Lope de Rueda and 
Timoneda brought the drama to the people ; Artieda, 
Virues, Argensola, and Cervantes tore their passions to 
tatters in conformity with their own strange precepts, 
which the last-named would have enforced by a literary 
dictatorship. Moreover, Argensola and the three veterans 
of Lepanto wrote to please themselves : Lope invented a 
new art to enchant mankind. And he succeeded beyond 
all ambition. Nor does he once take on the airs of 
philosopher or pedant : rather, in a spirit of self- 
mockery, he makes his confession in the Arte Nuevo de 
hacer Comedias (New Mode of Playwriting), which his 
English biographer, Lord Holland, translates in this 
wise : 

" Who writes by rule must please himself alone, 
Be damrid without remorse, and die unknown. 


Such force has habit for the untaught fools, 
Trusting their own, despise the ancient rules. 
Yet true it is, I too have written plays. 
The wiser few, who judge with skill, might praise j 
But when I see how show (and nonsense) draws 
The crowds and more than all the fair's applause, 
Who still are forward with indulgent rage 
To sanction every master of the stage, 
I, doontd to write, the public taste to hit, 
Resume the barbarous taste 'twas vain to quit : 
I lock up every rule before I write, 
Plautus and Terence drive from out my sight, . . . 
To vulgar standards then I square my play, 
Writing at ease; for, since the public pay, 
'Tis just, methinks, we by their compass steer, 
And write the nonsense that they love to hear" 

Thus Lope in his bantering avowal of 1609. Yet what 
takes the form of an apology is in truth a vaunt ; for it 
was Lope's task to tear off the academic swaddling-bands 
of his predecessors, and to enrich his country with a 
drama of her own. Nay, he did far more : by his single 
effort he dowered her with an entire dramatic literature. 
The very bulk of his production savours of the fabulous. 
In 1603 he had already written over two hundred plays ; 
in 1609 the number was four hundred and eighty-three ; 
in 1620 he confesses to nine hundred ; in 1624 he reaches 
one thousand and seventy ; and in 1632 the total amounted 
to one thousand five hundred. According to Montalban, 
editor of the Fama ptistuma, the grand total, omitting 
entremeses, should be one thousand eight hundred plays, 
and over four hundred autos. Of these about four hun- 
dred plays and forty autos survive. If we take the figures 
as they stand, Lope de Vega wrote more than all the 
Elizabethan dramatists put together. Small wonder that 
Charles Fox was staggered when his nephew, Lord 


Holland, spoke of Lope's twenty million lines. Facility 
and excellence are rarely found together, yet Lope com- 
bined both qualities in such high degree that any one 
with enough Spanish to read him need never pass a 
dull moment so long as he lives. 

Hazlitt protests against the story which tells that Lope 
wrote a play before breakfast, and in truth it rests on no 
good authority. But it is history that, not once, but an 
hundred times, he wrote a whole piece within twenty- 
four hours. Working in these conditions, he must needs 
have the faults inseparable from haste. He repeats his 
thought with small variation ; he utilises old solutions 
for a dramatic impasse ; and his phrase is too often more 
vigorous than finished. But it is not as a master of 
artistic detail that Lope's countrymen place him beside 
Cervantes. First, and last, and always, he is a great 
creative genius. He incarnates the national spirit, adapts 
popular poetry to dramatic effects, substitutes characters 
for abstractions, and, in a word, expresses the genius of 
a people. It is true that he farely finds a perfect form 
for his utterance, that he constantly approaches perfection 
without quite attaining unto it, that his dramatic instinct 
exceeds his literary execution. Yet he survives as the 
creator of an original form. His successors improved 
upon him in the matter of polish, yet not one of them 
made an essential departure of his own, not one invented 
a radical variant upon Lope's method. Tirso de Molina 
may exceed him in force of conception, as Ruiz de 
Alarc6n outshines him in ethical significance, in exposi- 
tion of character ; yet Tirso and Alarc6n are but develop- 
ing the doctrine laid down by the master in El Castigo 
sin Venganza the lesson of truth, realism, fidelity to the 
actual usages of the time. Tirso, Alarc6n, and Calder6n 


are a most brilliant progeny ; but the father of them all 
is the unrivalled Lope. He seized upon what germs of 
good existed in Torres Naharro, Rueda, and Cueva ; but 
his debt to them was small, and he would have found his 
way without them. Without Lope we should have had 
no Tirso, no Calderon. 1 

Producing as he produced, much of his work may be 
considered as improvisation ; even so, he takes place 
as the first improvisatore in the world, and compels 
recognition as, so to say, "a natural force let loose." 
He imagined on a Napoleonic scale ; he contrived inci- 
dent with such ease and force and persuasiveness as 
make the most of his followers seem poor indeed ; and 
his ingenuity of diversion is miraculously fresh after 
nearly three hundred years. His gift never fails him, 
whether he deal with historical tragedy, with the heroic 
legend, with the presentation of picaresque life, or with 
the play of intrigue and manners the comedia de capa 
y espada. This last, "the cloak and sword play" is 
as much his personal invention as is the gracioso the 
comic character as is the enredo the maze of plot as is 
the " point of honour," as is the feminine interest in his 
best work. Hitherto the woman had been allotted a 
secondary, an incidental part, ludicrous in the entremh, 
sentimental in the set piece. Lope, the expert in gallantry, 
in manners, in observation, placed her in her true 
setting, as an ideal, as the mainspring of dramatic 
motive and of chivalrous conduct. He professed an 
abstract approval of the classic models ; but his natural 

1 Lope's popularity spread as far as America. Three of his plays were 
translated into the nahuatl dialect by Bartolome" Alba. See Jose Mariano 
Beristain de Souza's Biblioteca Hispano- Americana (Mexico, 1816), voL L 
p. 64. 


impulse was too strong for him. An imitatoi" he 
could not be, save in so far as he, in his own phrase, 
" imitated men's actions, and reproduced the manners 
of the age." He laid down rules which in practice he 
flouted ; for he realised that the business of the scene 
is to hold an audience, is to interest, to surprise, to move. 
He could not thump a pulpit in an empty hall : he 
perceived that a play which fails to attract is for the 
playwright's purpose a bad play. He can be read 
with infinite pleasure ; yet he rarely attempted drama 
for the closet. Emotion in action was his aim, and he 
achieved it with a certainty which places him among the 
greatest gods of the stage. 

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


Teodor^ Show more of gentleness and modesty ; 

Of gentleness in walking quietly, 

Of modesty in looking only down 

Upon the earth you tread. 

Belisa. ' Tis what I do. 

Teodora, What ? When you're looking straight towards that man? 
Belisa. Did you not bid me look upon the earth ? 

And what is he but just a bit of it? 
Teodora. / said the earth whereon you tread, my niece. 
Belisa. But that whereon I tread is hidden quite 

With my own petticoat and walking-dress. 
Teodora. Words such as these become no well-bred maid. 

But, by your mother's blessed memory, 

r II put an end to all your pretty tricks; 

What ? You look back at him again. 

Belisa. Who? If 

Teodora. Yes, you; and make him secret signs besides. 
Belisa. Not I ! 'Tis only that you troubled me 

With teasing questions and perverse replies, 

So that I stumbled and looked round to see 

Who would prevent my fall. 
Riselo (to Lisardo). She falls again. 

Be quick and help her. 
Lisardo (to Belisa). Pardon me, lady, 

And forgive my glove. 

Teodora. Who ever saw the like ? 

Belisa. / thank you, sir; you saved me from a fall. 
Lisardo. An angel, lady, might have fallen so, 

Or stars that shine with heaven's own blessed light. 
Teodora. /, too, can fall; but 'tis upon your trick. 

Good gentleman, farewell to you ! 
Lisardo. Madam, 

Your servant. (Heaven save us from such spleen /) 
Teodora. A pretty fall you made of it ; and now I hope 

You'll be content, since they assisted you. 
Belisa. And you no less content, since now you have 

The means to tease me for a week to come. 
Teodora. But why again do you turn back your head? 
Belisa. Why, sure you think it wise and wary 

To notice well the place I stumbled at, 

Lest I should stumble there when next I pass. 


Teodora. Mischief befall you ! But I knoiv your ways ! 

You'// not deny this time you looked upon the youth ? 
Belisa. Deny it? No! 

Teodora. You dare confess it, then ? 

Belisa. Be sure I dare. You saw him help me; 

And would you have me fail to thank him for it? 
Teodora. Go to ! Come home ! come home ! " 

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

Yet has he all the defects of his facility. In an indif- 
ferent mood, besieged by managers for more and more 
plays, he would set forth upon a piece, not knowing 
what was to be its action, would indulge in a triple plot 
of baffling complexity eked out by incredible episodes. 
Even his ingenuity failed to find escape from such 
unprepared situations. Still it is fair to say that such 
instances are rare with him : time upon time his dra- 
matic instinct saved him where a less notable inventor 
must have succumbed. He could create character ; he 
was an artist in construction ; he knew what could, and 
could not, be done upon the stage. Like Dumas, he 
needed but " four trestles, four boards, two actors, and a 
passion " ; and, at his best, he rises to the greatest occa- 


sion. In a single scene, in an act entire, you shall read 
him with wonder and delight for his force and truth and 
certainty. Yet the trail of carelessness is upon his last 
acts, and his conscience sometimes sleeps ere his cur- 
tain falls. The fact that he thought more of a listener 
than of ten readers comes home to a constant student. 
Lope had few theories as to style, and he rarely aims at 
sheer beauty of expression, at simple felicity of phrase. 
Hence his very cleverness grows wearisome at last. 
But, after all, he must be judged by the true historic 
standard : his achievement must be compared with what 
preceded, not with what came after him. Tirso de 
Molina and Calderon and Moreto grew the flower from 
Lope's seed. He took the farce as Lope de Rueda left 
it, and transformed its hard fun by his humane and 
sparkling wit. He inherited the cold mediaeval morality, 
and touched it into life by the breath of devout imagina- 
tion. He re-shaped the crude collection of massacres 
which Virues mistook for tragedy, and produced effects 
of dread and horror with an artistry of his own devising, 
a selection, a conscience, a delicate vigour all unknown 
until he came. And for the comedia de capa y espada, it 
springs direct from his own cunning brain, unsuggested 
and even unimagined by any forerunner. 

It were hopeless to analyse any part of the immense 
theatre which he bequeathed to the world. But among 
his best tragedies may be cited EL Castigo sin Venganza, 
with its dramatic rendering of the Duke of Ferrara sen- 
tencing his adulterous wife and incestuous son to death. 
Among his historic dramas none surpasses El Me/or 
Alcalde el Key, with its presentation of the model Spanish 
heroine, Elvira ; of the feudal baron, Tello ; and of the 
King as the buckler of his people, the strong man doing 


justice in high places : a most typical piece of character, 
congenial to the aristocratic democracy of Spain. A 
more morbid version of the same monarchical senti- 
ment is given in La Estrella de Sevilla, the argument of 
which is brief enough for quotation. King Sancho el 
Bravo falls enamoured of Busto Tavera's sister, Estrella, 
betrothed to Sancho Ortiz de las Roelas. Having vainly 
striven to win over Busto, the King follows the advice 
of Arias, corrupts her slave, enters Estrella's room, is 
there discovered, is challenged by Busto, and escapes 
with a sound skin. The slave, confessing her share in 
the scheme, is killed by the innocent heroine's brother. 
Meanwhile, the King determines upon Busto's death, 
summons Sancho Ortiz, and bids him slay a certain 
criminal guilty of lese-majesti. Herewith the King offers 
Sancho a guarantee against consequences. Sancho 
Ortiz destroys it, saying that he asks for nothing better 
than the King's word, and ends by begging the sovereign 
to grant him the hand of an unnamed lady. To this 
the King accedes, and he hands Sancho Ortiz a paper 
containing the name of the doomed man. After much 
hesitation and self-torment, Sancho Ortiz resolves to do 
his duty to his King, slays Busto, is seized, refuses 
to explain, undergoes sentence of death, and is finally 
pardoned by King Sancho, who avows his own guilt, 
and endeavours to promote the marriage between Sancho 
Ortiz and Estrella. For an obvious reason they refuse, 
and the curtain falls upon Estrella's determination to get 
her to a nunnery. 

Thus baldly told, the story resembles a thousand 
others ; under Lope's hand it throbs with life and 
movement and emotion. His dialogue is swift and 
strong and appropriate, whether he personifies the blind 


passion of the King, the incorruptibility of Busto, the 
feudal ideal of Sancho Ortiz, or the strength and 
sweetness of Estrella. Of dialogue he is the first and 
best master on the Spanish stage : more choice, if less 
powerful, than Tirso ; more natural, if less altisonant, 
than Calderon. The dramatic use of certain metrical 
forms persisted as he sanctioned it : the decimas for 
laments, the romance for exposition, the lira for heroic 
declamation, the sonnet to mark time, the redondilla for 
love-passages. His lightness of touch, his gaiety and 
resourcefulness are exampled in La Dama Melindrosa 
(The Languishing Lady), as good a cloak-and-sword 
play as even Lope ever wrote. His gift of sombre 
conception is to be seen in Dineros son Calidad (Money 
is Rank), where his contrivance of the King of Naples' 
statue addressing Octavio is the nearest possible 
approach to Tirso's figures of the Commander and of 
Don Juan. 

Whether or not Tirso took the idea from Lope 
cannot well be decided ; but if he did so, he was no 
worse than the rest of the world. For ages dramatists 
of all nations have found Lope de Vega "good to steal 
from," and in many forms he has diverted other countries 
than the Spains. Alexandre Hardy is said by tradition 
to have exploited him vigorously, and probably we 
should find the imitations among Hardy's lost plays. 
Jean Mairet is reputed to have borrowed generously, 
and an undoubted follower is Jean Rotrou, many of 
whose pieces from the early Occasions perdues and La 
belle. Alfrede to his last effort, Don Lope de Cardonne 
are boldly annexed from Lope. D'Ouville, in Les Moris 
vivants and in Aimer sans savoir qui, exploited Lope 

to the profit of French playgoers. It is a rash con- 


jecture which identifies the Wild Gallant with the Galdn 
cscarmentado, inasmuch as the latter play is even still 
" inedited," and could scarcely have reached Dryden ; 
but it cannot be doubted that when the sources of our 
Restoration drama are traced out, Lope will be found 
to rank with Calder6n, and Moreto, and Rojas Zorrilla. 

Yet his chief glory must, like Burns's, be ever local. 
Cervantes, for all his national savour, might conceivably 
belong to any country ; but Lope de Vega is the in- 
carnate Spains. His gaiety, his suppleness, his adroit 
construction, his affluence, his realism, are eminently 
Spanish in their strength ; his heedless form, his jour- 
nalistic emphasis, his inequality, his occasional incoher- 
ence, his anxiety to please at any cost, are eminently 
Spanish in their weakness. He lacks the universal note 
of Shakespeare, being chiefly for his own time and not 
for all the ages. Shakespeare, however, stands alone 
in literature. It is no small praise to say that Lope 
follows him on a lower plane. There are two great 
creators in the European drama : Shakespeare founds 
the English theatre, Lope de Vega the Spanish, each 
interpreting the genius of his people with unmatched 
supremacy. And unto both there came a period of 
eclipse. That very generation which Lope had be- 
wildered, dominated, and charmed by his fantasy turned 
to the worship of Calder6n. Nor did he profit by the 
romantic movement headed by the Schlegels and by 
Tieck. For them, as for Goethe, Spanish literature 
was incarnated by Cervantes and by Calder6n. The 
immense bulk of Lope's production, the rarity of his 
editions, the absence of any representative translation, 
caused him to be overlooked. To two men to 
Augustfn Duran in Spain and to Grillparzer in Germany 


he owes his revival ; l and, in more modest degree, 
Lord Holland and George Henry Lewes have furthered 
his due recognition. The present tendency is, perhaps, 
to overrate him, and to substitute uncritical adoration 
for uncritical neglect. Yet he deserves the fame which 
grows from day to day ; for if he have bequeathed us 
little that is exquisite in art as Los Pastores de Betin 
the \vorld is his debtor for a new and singular form 
of dramatic utterance. In so much he is not only a 
great executant in the romantic drama, a virtuoso of 
unexcelled resource and brilliancy. He is something 
still greater : the typical representative of his race, the 
founder of a great and comprehensive genre. The genius 
of Cervantes was universal and unique ; Lope's was 
unique but national. Cervantes had the rarer and more 
perfect endowment. But they are immortals both ; and, 
paradox though it may seem, a second Cervantes is a 
likelier miracle than a second Lope de Vega. 

In 1599, the year following upon the issue of Lope's 
Dragontea, the picaresque tradition of Lazarillo de Tormes 
was revived by the Sevillan MATEO ALEMAN (fl. ? 1550- 
1609) in the First Part of his Atalaya de la Vida humana: 
Vida del Ptcaro Guzman de Alfarache. The alternative 
title the Watch-Tower of Human Life was rejected by 
the reading public, which, to the author's annoyance, 
insisted on speaking of the Picaro or Rogue. Little is 
known of Aleman's life, save that he took his Bachelor's 
degree at Seville in 1565. He is conjectured to have 
visited Italy, perhaps as a soldier, is found serving in the 
Treasury so early as 1568, and, after twenty years, left 

1 See M. Farinelli's learned study, Grillparztr und Lope de Vega (Berlin, 


the King's service as poor as he entered it. A passage 
in his Ortografla Castellana, published at Mexico in 1609, 
is thought to show that he was a printer ; but this is 
surmise. That he emigrated to America seems certain ; 
but the date of his death is unknown. 

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

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

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

The pragmatical cant and the moral reflections which 
weary us as much as they wearied the French trans- 
lator, Le Sage, were clearly to the liking of Ben Jonson 
and his contemporaries. Guzman's experiences as boots 
at an inn, as a thief in Madrid, as a soldier at Genoa, as a 
jester at Rome, are told with a certain impudent spirit ; 
but the "moral intention" of the author obtrudes itself 


with an insistence that defeats its own object, and the 
subsidiary tales of Dorido and Clorinia, of Osmi'n and 
Daraja a device imitated in Don Quixote are digres- 
sions of neither interest nor relevancy. The popularity 
of the book was so great as to induce imitation. While 
Aleman was busied with his devout Vida de San Antonio 
de Padua (1604), or perhaps with his fragmentary versions 
of Horace, a spurious sequel was published (1601) by a 
Valencian lawyer, Juan Marti, who took the pseudonym 
of Mateo Lujan de Sayavedra. Marti had somehow man- 
aged to see Aleman's manuscript of the Second Part, and, 
in so much, his trick was far baser than Avellaneda's. 
Aleman's self-control under greater provocation contrasts 
most favourably with Cervantes' petulance. In the true 
Second Part he good-humouredly acknowledges his com- 
petitor's "great learning, his nimble wit, his deep judg- 
ment, his pleasant conceits"; and he adds that "his 
discourses throughout are of that quality and condition 
that I do much envy them, and should be proud that 
they were mine." And having thus put his rival in the 
wrong, Aleman proceeds to introduce among his person- 
ages a Sayavedra who would pass himself off as a native 
of Seville : " but all were lies that he told me ; for he 
was of Valencia, whose name, for some just causes, I 
conceal." Sayavedra figures as Guzman's bonnet and 
jackal till he ends by suicide, and he is made to supply 
whatever entertainment the book contains. Far below 
Lazarillo de Tormes in caustic observation and in humour, 
Guzman de Alfarache is a rapid and easy study of black- 
guardism, forcible and diverting despite its unctuousness, 
and written in admirable prose. 

So much cannot be claimed for the Picara Justina 
(1605) of Francisco Lopez de TJbeda, who is commonly 


identified as the Dominican, ANDRS PREZ, author of a 
Vida de San Raymundo de Peftafort and of other pious 
works. His Picara Justina was long in maturing, for he 
confesses to having "augmented after the publication 
of the admired work of the picaro," Guzman ; whom 
Justina, in fact, ends by marrying. Pe"rez has acquired a 
notorious reputation for lubricity ; yet it is hard to say 
how he came by it, since he is no more indecent than 
most picaresque writers. He lacks wit and invention ; 
his style, the most mannered of his time, is full of 
pedantic turns, unnatural inversions and verbal eccen- 
tricities wherewith he seeks to cover his bald imagi- 
nation and his witless narrative. But his freaks of 
vocabulary, his extravagant provincialisms, lend him a 
certain philological importance which may account for 
the reprints of his volume. It may be added that, in 
his Picara, P6rez anticipates Cervantes' trifling find of 
the versos de cabo roto ; and, from the angry attack upon 
the monk in the Viaje del Pamaso, it seems safe to infer 
that Cervantes resented being forestalled by one who 
had probably read the Quixote in manuscript. 1 

A more successful attempt in the same kind is the 
Reladones de la Vida del Escudero Marcos de Obregon by 
Vicente Espi.nel (? 1544-1634), a poor student at Sala- 
manca, a soldier in Italy and the Low Countries, and 
finally a priest in Madrid. His Diversas Rimas (1591) 
are correct, spirited exercises, in new metrical forms, 
including versions of Horace which, in the last century, 
gave rise to a bitter polemic between Iriarte and L6pez 
de Sedano. Moreover, Espinel is said to have added a 

1 It seems probable that Cervantes and Pe*rez were both anticipated by 
Alonso Alvarez de Soria, who was finally hanged. See Bartolome Jose 
Gallardo, Ensayo de una Bibliottca Espaftola (Madrid, 1863, vol. i., col. 285). 


fifth siring to the guitar. But it is by his Marcos de 
Obrezon (1618) that he is best knnwn. Voltaire alleged 
that Gil Bias was a mere translation of Marcos de 
Obregon, but the only foundation for this pretty exercise 
in fancy is that Le Sage borrowed a few incidents from 
Espinel, as he borrowed from Velez de Guevara and 
others. The book is excellent of its kind, brilliantly 
phrased, full of ingenious contrivance, of witty obser- 
vation, and free from the long digressions which disfigure 
Guzman de Alfarache. Espinel knew how to build a 
story and how to tell it graphically, and his artistic 
selection of incident makes the reading of his Marcos 
a pleasure even after three centuries. 

As the picaresque novel was to supply the substance 
of Charles Sorel's Francion and of Paul Scarron's Roman 
Comzque, so the Almahide of Mile. d,e Scudery and the 
Zayde of Mme. de Lafayette find their root in the 
Hispano-Mauresque historical novel. This invention we 
owe to GINKS PEREZ DE HITA of Murcia (ft*. 1604), a 
soldier who served in the expedition against the Moris- 
cos during the Alpujarra rising. His Guerras civiles de 
Granada was published in two parts the first in 1595, 
and the second, which is distinctly inferior, in 1604. 
The author's pretence of translating from the Arabic of 
a supposititious Ibn Hamin is refuted by the fact that the 
authority of Spanish chroniclers is continually cited as 
final, and the fact that the point of view is conspicuously 
Christian. Some tittle of history there is in Perez de 
Hita, but the value of his work lies in his own fantastic 
transcription of life in Granada during the last weeks 
before its surrender. Challenges, duels between Moorish 
knights, personal encounters with Christian champions, 
harem intrigues, assassinations, jousts, sports, and festivals 


held while the enemy is without the gates such circum- 
stances as these make the texture of the story, which is 
written with extraordinary grace and ease. Archaeolo- 
gists join with Arabists in censuring Perez de Hita's 
detail, and historians are scandalised by his disdain for 
facts ; yet to* most of us he is more Moorish than the 
Moors, and his vivid rendering of a great and ancient 
civilisation on the eve of ruin is more complete and 
impressive than any that a pile of literal chronicles can 
yield. As a literary artist he is better in his first part 
than in his second, where he is embarrassed by a 
knowledge of events in which he bore a part ; yet, 
even so, he never fails to interest, and the beauty of 
his style would alone suffice for a reputation. A story 
of doubtful authority represents Scott as saying that, 
if he had met with the Guerras civiles de Granada in 
earlier days, he would have chosen Spain as the scene 
of a Waverley Novel. Whatever be the truth of this 
report, we cannot doubt that Sir Walter must have read 
with delight his predecessor's brilliant performance in 
the province of the historical novel. 

The Rototancefo General, published at Madrid in 1600, 
and amplified in the reprint of 1604, is often described 
as a collection of old ballads, made in continuation of 
the anthologies arranged by Nucio and Najera. Old, as 
applied to romances, has a relative meaning ; but even 
in the lowest sense the word can scarcely be used of the 
songs in the Romancero General, which is very largely 
made up of the work of contemporary poets. Another 
famous volume of lyrics is Pedro Espinosa's Flares de 
Poetas ilustres de Espafla (1605), which includes specimens 
of Camoes, Barahona de Soto, Lope de Vega, G6ngora, 
Quevedo, Salas Barbadillo, and others of less account. 


Of minor singers, such as L6pez Maldonado, the friend 
of Cervantes and of Lope, there were too many ; but 
Maldonado's Cancionero (1586) reveals a combination of 
sincerity and technical excellence which distinguishes 
him from the crowd of fluent versifiers typified by 
Pedro de Padilla. Devout songs, as simple as they are 
beautiful, are found in the numbers of Juan L6pez de 
tlbeda and of Francisco de Ocana, who may be studied 
in their respective cancioneros (1588, 1604), or much 
more briefly, and perhaps to better purpose in Rivade- 
neyra's Romancero y Cancionero sagrados. The chief 
of these pious minstrels was JOSE DE VALDIVIELSO 
(? 1560-1636), the author of a long poem entitled Vida, 
Excelencias y Muerte del gloriosisimo Patriarca San Jose" ; 
but it is neither by this tedious sacred epic nor by his 
twelve autos that Valdivielso should be judged. His 
lyrical gift, scarcely less sweet and sincere than Lope's 
own, is best manifested in his Romancero Espiritual, with 
its romances to Our Lady, its pious villancicos on Christ's 
birth, which anticipate the mingled devotion and famili- 
arity of Her rick's Noble Numbers. 

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


weighty sententiousness of his aphorisms, and by his 
unblushing revelation of baseness and cupidity. 

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

Contemporary with Cervantes and Lope de Vega was 
the greatest of all Spanish historians, JUAN DE MARIANA 
(1537-1624). The natural son of a canon of Talavera, 
Mariana distinguished himself at Alcah^de Henares, was 
brought under the notice of Diego Lainez, General of 

the Jesuits, and joined the order, whose importance was 


whence he passed to Sicily and Paris. In 1574 he re- 


^\ /growing daily. At twenty-four Mariana was appointed 

professor of theology at the great Jesuit College in Rome, 


turned to Spain, and was settled in the Society's house 
at Toledo. He was appointed to examine into the 
charges made by Leon de Castro against Arias Montano, 
whose Polyglot Bible appeared at Antwerp in 1569-72. 
Montano was accused of adulterating the Hebrew text, 
and among the Jesuits the impression of his trickery was 
general. After a careful examination, extending over 
two years, Mariana pronounced in Montano's favour. 


In 1599 there appeared his treatise entitled De Rege, with 
official sanction by his superiors. No Spaniard raised 
his voice against the book ; but its sixth chapter, which 
laid it down that kings may be put to death in certain 
circumstances, created a storm abroad. It was sought 
to prove that, if Mariana had never written, Ravaillac 
would not have assassinated Henri IV.; and, eleven years 
after publication, Mariana's book was publicly burned 
by the hangman. His seven Latin treatises, published 
at Koln in 1609, do not concern us here ; but they must 
be mentioned, since two of the essays one on immor- 
tality, the other on currency questions led to the writer's 

The main work of Mariana's lifetime was his Historia 
de Espana y written, as he says, to let Europe know what 
Spain had accomplished. It was not unnatural that, 
with a foreign audience in view, Mariana should address 
it in Latin ; hence his first twenty books were published 
in that language (1592). But he bethought him of his 
own country, and, in a happy hour, became his own 
translator. His Castilian version (1601) almost amounts 
to a new work ; for, in translating, he cut, amplified, 
and corrected as he saw fit. And in subsequent editions 
he continued to modify and improve. The result is a 
masterpiece of historic prose. Mariana was not minute 
in his methods, and his contempt for literal accuracy 
comes out in his answer to Lupercio de Argensola, who 
had pointed out an error in detail : " I never pretended 
to verify each fact in a history of Spain ; if I had, I 
should never have finished it." This is typical of the 
man and his method. He makes no pretence to special 
research, and he accepts a legend if he honestly can : even 
as he follows a common literary convention when he 


writes speeches in Livy's manner for his chief personages. 
But while a score of writers cared more for accuracy 
than did Mariana, his work survives not as a chronicle, 
but as a brilliant exercise in literature. His learning is 
more than enough to save him from radical blunders ; 
his impartiality and his patriotism go hand in hand ; his 
character-drawing is firm and convincing ; and his style, 
with its faint savour of archaism, is of unsurpassed dig- 
nity and clearness in his narrative. He cared more for 
the spirit than for the letter, and time has justified him. 
"The most remarkable union of picturesque chronicling 
with sober history that the world has ever seen " in 
such words Ticknor gives his verdict ; and the praise is 
not excessive. 



./ ^3~ rf 


THE reign of Felipe IV. opens with as fair a promise 
of achievement as any in history. At Madrid, in the 
third and fourth decades of the seventeenth century, 
the court of the Grand Monarque was anticipated 
and perhaps outdone. We are inclined to think of 
Felipe as Velazquez has presented him, on his " Cordo- 
bese barb, the proud king of horses, and the fittest 
horse for a king " ; and to recall the praise which 
William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, lavished 
on his horsemanship : " The great King of Spain, 
deceased, did not only love it and understand it, but 
was absolutely the best horseman in all Spain." Yet 
is it a mistake to suppose him a mere hunter. Art 
and letters were his constant care ; nor was he 
without a touch of individual accomplishment. He 
was not content with instructing his Ministers to 
buy every good picture offered in foreign markets : 
his own sketches show that he had profited by seeing 
Velazquez at work. It is no small point in his favour 
to have divined at a glance the genius of the unknown 
Sevillan master, and to have appointed him scarcely 
out of his teens court-painter. He likewise collated 




the artist, Alonso Cano, to a canonry at Granada, and, 
when the chapter protested that Cano had small Latin 
and less Greek, the King's reply was honourable to his 
taste and spirit : " With a stroke of the pen I can 
make canons like you by the score ; but Alonso Cano 
is a miracle of God." He would even stay the course 
of justice to protect an artist. Thus, when Velazquez's 
master, the half-mad Herrera, was charged with coin- 
ing, the monarch intervened with the remark : " Remem- 
ber his St. Hermengild." Music becalmed the King's 
fever, and the plays at the Buen Retiro vied with the 
masques of Whitehall. His antechambers were thronged 
with men of genius. Lope de Vega still survived, his 
glory waxing daily, though the best part of his life's 
work was finished. Velez de Guevara was the royal 
chamberlain ; Gongora, the court chaplain, hated, envied, 
and admired, was the dreaded chief of a combative poetic 
school ; his disciple, Villamediana, struck terror with his 
vitriolic epigrams, his rancorous tongue ; the aged Maria- 
na represented the best tradition of Spanish history ; 
Bartolome' de Argensola was official chronicler of Arag6n; 
Tirso de Molina, Ruiz de Alarc6n, and Rojas Zorrilla filled 
the theatres with their brilliant and ingenious fancies ; 
the incorruptible satirist, Quevedo, was private secre- 
tary to the King ; the boyish Calder6n was growing into 
repute and royal favour. 

Of the Aragonese playwright, Lupercio Leonardo de 
Argensola, we have already spoken in a previous chapter. 


(1562-1631), took orders, and, through the influence o 
the Duque de Villahermosa, was named rector of the 
town whence his patron took his title. His earliest work, 
the Conquista de las Islas Molucas (1609), written by 


order of the Conde de Lemos, is uncritical in conception 
and design ; but the matter of its primitive, romantic, 
and even sentimental legends derives fresh charm from 
the author's apt and polished narrative. In 1611 he 
and his brother accompanied Lemos to Naples, thereby 
stirring the anger of Cervantes, who had hoped to be 
among the Viceroy's suite, as appears from a passage 
in the Viaje del Parnaso, which roundly insinuates that 
the Argensolas were a pair of intriguers. The dis- 
appointment was natural ; yet posterity is even grateful 
for it, since a transfer to Naples would certainly have 
lost us the second Don Quixote. Doubtless the Argen- 
solas, who were of Italian descent, were better fitted than 
Cervantes for commerce with Italian affairs, and Barto- 
lome made friends on all sides in Naples as in Rome. On 
his brother's death in 1613, he became official chronicler 
of Arag6n, and, in 1631, published a sequel to Zurita, 
the Angles de Arag6n, which deals so minutely with the 
events of the years 1516-20 as to become wearisome^ 
dejscite all Argensola's grace of manner, i'he &imas 
of the two brothers, published posthumously in 1634 by 
Lupercio's son, Gabriel Leonardo de Albi6n, was stamped 
with the approval of the dictator, Lope de Vega, who 
declared that the authors "had come from Arag6n to 
reform among our poets the Castilian language, which 
is suffering from new horrible phrases, more puzzling 
than enlightening." 

This is an overstatement of a truth, due to Lope's 
aversion from Gongorism in all its shapes. Horace is 
the model of the Argensolas, whose renderings of the 
two odes Ibam forte via sacra and Beatus ille are among 
the happiest of versions. Their sobriety of thought is 
austere, and their classic correctness of diction is in 


curious contrast with the daring innovations of their 
time. Lupercio has a polite, humorous fancy, which 
shows through Mr. Gibson's translation of a well-known 
sonnet : 

" / must confess, Don John, on due inspection, 
That dame Elvira 's charming red and white, 
Though fair they seem, are only hers by right, 

In that her money purchased their perfection ; 

But thou must grant as well, on calm reflection, 
That her sweet lie hath such a lustre bright, 
As fairly puts to shame the paler light, 

And honest beauty of a true complexion ! 

And yet no wonder I distracted go 

With such deceit, when 'tis within our ken 
That nature blinds us with the self-same spell; 

For that blue heaven above that charms us so, 
Is neither heave nor blue ! Sad pity then 
That so much beauty is not truth as well" 

manifold interests in politics, in history, 
and in the theatre left him little time for poetry, and a 
large proportion of his verses were destroyed after his 
/ / Jp death ; still, partially represented as he is, the pretty wit, 
the pure idiom, and elegant form of his lyrical pieces 
vindicate his title to rank among Castilian poets of the 
second order. As for Bartolome', he resembles his brother 
in natural faculty, but His fibre is stronger. A hard, dog- 
matic spirit, a bigot in his reverence for convention, an 
idolater of Terence, with a stern, patriotic hatred of 
novelties, he was regarded as the standard-bearer of the 
anti-Gongorists. Too deeply ingrained a doctrinaire to 
court popularity, he was content with the applause of a 
literary clique, and had practically no influence on his 

* * -i _ _________ """ "* "" '" ' *^ ^* 

age._ Yet his precept was valuable, and his practice, 
always sound, reaches real excellence in such devout 
numbers as his Sonnet to Providence. 


Much meritorious academic verse is found in the 
works of other contemporary writers, though most rivals 
lapse into errors of taste and faults of expression from 
which the younger "Argensola is honourably free. But 
no great leader is formed in the school of prudent cor- 
rectness, and by temperament, as well as by training, the 
Rector of Villahermosa was unfit to cope with so virile and 
so combative a genius as Luis DE ARGOTE Y G6NGORA>*r-"- 
(1561-1627), the ideal chief of an aggressive movement.. 
Son of Francisco de Argote, Corregidor of Cordoba, and 
of Leonora de G6ngora, he adopted his mother's name, 
partly because of its nobility and partly because of its 
euphony. In his sixteenth year G6ngora left his native 
C6rdoba to read law at Salamanca, with a view to follow- 
ing his father's profession ; but his studies were never 
serious, and, though he took his bachelor's degree, he 
gave most of his time to fencing and to dancing. To 
the consternation of his family, he abandoned law and 
announced himself as a professional poet. So early as 
1585 Cervantes names him in the Canto de Caliope as 
a rare and matchless genius raro ingenio sin segundo 
and, though flattery from Cervantes is too indis- 
criminating to mean much, the mention at least implies 
that G6ngora's promise was already recognised. Few 
details of his career are with us, though rumour tells of 
platonic love-passages with a lady of Valencia, Luisa de 
Cardona, who finally entered a convent in Toledo. His 
repute as a poet, aided by his mother's connection with 
the ducal house of Almod6var, won for him a lay canonry 
in 1590, and this increase of means enabled him to visit 
the capital, where he was instantly hailed as a wit and as 
a brilliant poet. His fame had hitherto been local ; with 
the publication of his verses in Espinosa's Floresde Poetas. 


ilustres (1605), it passed through the whole of Spain. In 
the same year, or at latest in 1606, G6ngora was ordained 
priest. His private life was always exemplary, and this, 
together with his natural harshness, perhaps explains 
his intolerance for the foibles of Cervantes and of 
Lope. When the favourite, the Duque de Lerma, fell 
from power, G6ngora attached himself to Sandoval, who 
nominated him to a small prebend at Toledo. As chap- 
lain to the King, the poet's circle of friends enlarged, 
and his literary influence grew correspondingly. In 
1626 he had a cerebral attack, during which the phy- 
sicians of the Queen attended him. The story that he 
died insane is a gross exaggeration : he lingered on 
a year, having lost his memory, died of apoplexy at 
Cordoba on May 23, 1627, and is buried in the St. 
Bartholomew Chapel of the cathedral. 

An entremes entitled La destrucci6n de Troya, a play 
called Las Firmezas de Isabela (written in collaboration 
with his brother, Juan de Argote), and a fragment, the 
Comedia Venatoria, remain to show that Gongora wrote 
for the stage. Whether he was ever played is doubtful, 
and, in any case, his gift is not dramatic. He was so 
curiously careless of his writings that he never troubled 
to print or even to keep copies of them, and a remark 
which he let fall during his last illness goes to show his 
artistic dissatisfaction : " Just as I was beginning to 
know something of the first letters in my alphabet does 
God call me to Himself: His will be done!" His 
poems circulated mostly in manuscript copies, which 
underwent so many changes that the author often knew 
not his own work when it returned to his hands ; and, 
but for the piety of Juan L6pez de Vicuna, G6ngora 
might be for us the shadow of a great name. Lopez de 



Vicuna spent twenty years in collecting his scattered 
verse, which he published in the very year of the poet's 
death, under the resounding title of Works in Verse of 
the Spanish Homer. A later and better edition was pro- 
duced by Gonzalo de Hoces y Cordoba (1633). 

G6ngora began with the lofty ode, as a strict observer 
of literary tradition, a reverent imitator of Herrera's 
heroics. His earliest essays are not very easy to dis- 
tinguish from those of his contemporaries, save that his 
tone is nobler and that his execution is more conscien- 
tious. He was a craftsman from the outset, and his 
technical equipment is singularly complete. So far was 
he from showing any freakish originality, that he is open 
to the reproach of undue devotion to his masters. His 
thought is theirs as much as are his method, his form, 
his ornament, his ingenuity. An example of his early 
style is his Ode to the Armada, of which we may quote a 
stanza from Churton's translation : 

" O Island, once so Catholic, so strong, 

Fortress of Faith, now Heresy's foul shrine, 
Camp of trained war, and Wisdom's sacred school ; 

The time hath been, such majesty was thine, 
The lustre of thy crown was first in song. 
Now the dull weeds that spring by Stygian pool 
Were fitting wreath for thee. Land of the rule 
Of Arthurs, Edwards, Henries ! Where are they? 
Their Mother where, rejoicing in their sway, 
Firm in the strength of Faith f To lasting shame 
Condemned, through guilty blame 
Of her who rules thee now. 
O hateful Queen, so hard of heart and brow, 

Wanton by turns, and cruel, fierce, and lewd, 
Thou distaff on the throne, true virtues bane, 

Wolf-like in every mood, 
May Heaven 's just fiame on thy false tresses rain/* 


This is excellent of its kind, and among all Herrera's 
imitators none comes so near to him as Gongora in 
lyrical melody, in fine workmanship, in ji certain clear 
distinction of utterance. Yet already there are hints of 
qualities destined to bear down their owner. Not con- 
tent with simple patriotism, with denunciation of schism 
and infidelity, G6ngora foreshadows his future self as 
a very master of gibes and sneers. The note of alti- 
sonance, already emphatic in Herrera, is still more forced 
in the young Cordoban poet, who adds a taste for far- 
fetched conceits and extravagant metaphor, assuredly not 
learned in the Sevillan school. Rejecting experiments in 
the stately ode, he for many years continued his practice 
in another province of verse, and by rigorous discipline 
he learned to excel in virtue of his fine simplicity, his 
graceful imagery, and his urbane wit. It should seem 
that intellectual self-denial cost him little, for his trans- 
formations are among the most complete in literary 
history. Consider, for instance, the interval between 
the emphatic dignity of his Armada ode and the charm- 
ing fancy, the distinguished cynicism of Love in Reason, 
as Archdeacon Churton gives it : 

" / love thee, but let love be free : 

I do not ask, 1 would not learn, 
What scores of rival hearts for thee 
Are breaking or in anguish burn. 

You die to tell, but leave untold, 
The story of your Red- Cross Knight, 

Who proffered mountain-heaps of gold 
If he for you might ride and fight; 

Or how the jolly soldier gay 

Would wear your colours, all and some; 

But you disdain \i their trumpefs bray, 
And would not hear their tuck of drum. . 


We love ; but 'tis the simplest case : 
The faith on which our hands have met 

Isjix'd, as wax on deeds of grace, 
To hold as grace, but not as debt. 

For well I wot that nowadays 

Lovers conquering bow is soonest bent 
By him whose valiant hand displays 

The largest roll of yearly rent. . . , 

So let us follow in the fashion, 

Let love be gentle, mild, and cool : 
For these are not the days of passion, 

But calculation's sober rule. 

Your grace will cheer me like the sun; 

But I can live content in shades. 
Take me : you'll find when all is done, 

Plain truth, and fewer serenades." 

Even in translation the humorous amenity is not alto- 
gether lost, though no version can reproduce the 
technical perfection of the original. For refined wit 
and brilliant effect Gongora has seldom been exceeded ; 
yet his fighter pieces i ailed to bring mm trie renown 
and the high promotion which he expected. He feigned 
to despise popularity, declaring that he " desired to 
do something that would not be for the general " ; but 
none was keener than he in courting applause on any 
terms. He would dazzle and surprise, if he could not 
enchant, his public, and forthwith he set to founding .-+ 
the school which bears the name of culteranismo. We ;r ' 
do not know precisely when he first practisecTuT this 
vein ; but it seems certain that he was anticipated by 
a young soldier, Luis de Carrillo y Sotomayor (1583- 
1610), whose posthumous verses were published by his 
brother at Madrid in 1611. Carrillo had served in Italy, 
where he came under the spell of Giovanni Battista 


Marino, then at the height of his influence ; and the 
Obras of Carrillo contain the first intimations of the 
new manner. Many of Carrillo's poems are admirable 
for their verbal melody, his eclogues being distinguished 
for simple sincerity of sentiment and expression. But 
these passed almost unnoticed, for Carrillo was only 
doing well what Lope de Vega was doing better ; and in 
fact it seems likely that the merits of the dead soldier- 
poet were unjustly overlooked by a generation which 
was content with two editions of his works. 

He found, however, a passionate admirer in Gongora, 
who perceived in such work as Carrillo's Sonnet to the 
Patience of his Jealous Hope the possibilities of a revolu- 
tion^ When Carrillo writes of " the proud sea bathing 
the blind forehead of the deaf sky," he is merely setting 
down a tasteless conceit, which gains nothing by a forced 
inversion of phrase ; but, as it happened, conceit of 
this sort was a novelty in Spain, and G6ngora, who had 
already shown a tendency to preciosity in Espinosa's 
collection, resolved to develop Carrillo's innovation. 
Few questions are more debated and less understood 
than this of Gongorism. So good a critic as Karl 
Hillebrand gives forth this strange utterance : " Not 
only Italian and German Marinists were imitators of 
Spanish Gongorists : even your English Euphuism of 
Shakespeare's time had its origin in the culteranismo 
of Spain." One hardly likes to accuse Hillebrand. of 
writing nonsense, but he certainly comes near, perilously 
near it in this case. Lyly's Euphues was published in 
1579, while Gongora was still a student at Salamanca, 
and Shakespeare died nearly twelve years before a line 
of G6ngora's later poems was in print. Spanish scholars, 
indeed, disclaim responsibility for Euphuism in any 


shape. They refuse to admit that Lord Berners' or 
North's translations of Guevara could have produced 
the effects ascribed to them ; and they argue with much 
reason that Gongorism is but the local form of a disease 
which attacked all Europe. However that may be, 
there can exist no possible connection between English 
Euphuism and Spanish Gongorism, save such as comes 
from a common Italian origin. Gongorism derives 
directly from the Marinism propagated in Spain by 
Carrillo, though it must be confessed that Marino's 
extravagances pale beside those of Gongora. 

This, in fact, is no more than we should expect, for 
Marino's conceits were, so to say, almost natural to 
him, while Gongora's are a pure effect of affectation. 
He wilfully got rid of his natural directness, and g:ive 
himself to cultivating artificial antithesis, violent inver- 
sions of words and phrases, exaggerated metaphors 
piled upon sense tropes devoid of meaning. Other 
poets appealed to the vulgar : he would charm the 
cultivated los cultos. Hence the name culteranismo. 1 
At the same time it is fair to say that he has been 
blamed for more crimes than he ever committed. 
Ticknor, more than most critics, loses his head when- 
ever he mentions Gongora's name, and holds the 
Spaniard up to ridicule by printing a literal translation 
of his more daring flights. Thus he chooses a passage 
from the first of the Soledades, and asserts that G6ngora 
sings the praise of " a maiden so beautiful, that she 
might parch up Norway with her two suns, and bleach 
Ethiopia with her two hands." Perhaps no poet that 

1 According to Lope de Vega, the word culteranismo was invented by 
Jimenez Paton, Villamediana's tutor. 


ever lived would survive the test of such bald, literal 
rendering as this, and a much more exact notion of the 
Spanish is afforded by Churton : 

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

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

" This offering to the world by Bavia brought 

Is poesy, by numbers unconfined; 

Such order guides the masters march of mind, 
Suck skill refines the rich-drawn ore of thought. 
The style, the: matter, gray experience tauglit, 

Arfs rules adorn' d what metre might not bind: 

The tale halh baffled time, that thief unkind, 
And from Oblivion 's bonds with toil hath brought 


Three helmsmen ofihe sacred barque ; the pen, 
That so these heavenly wardens doth enhance, 

No pen, but rather key of 'Fame 's proud dome, 

Opening her everlasting doors to men, 

Is no poor drudge recording things of chance, 

Which paints her shadowy forms on trembling foam" 

Still, when all allowance is made, it must be confessed 
that G6ngora excels in hiding his meanings. By many 
his worst faults were extolled as beauties, and there was 
formed a school of disciples who agreed with Le Sage's 
Fabrice in holding the master for "le plus beau gnie 
que 1'Espagne ait jamais produit." But G6ngora was 
not to conquer without a struggle. One illustrious writer 
was an early convert : Cervantes proclaimed himself an 
admirer of the Polifemo, which is among the most diffi- 
cult of G6ngora's works. Pedro de Valencia, one of 
Spain's best humanists, was the first to denounce G6n- 
gora's transpositions, licentious metaphors, and verbal 
inventions as manifested in the Soledades (Solitary 
Musings), round which the controversy Taged hottest. 
Within twenty-five years of Gongora's death the first 
Soledad found an English translator in the person of 
Thomas Stanley (1651), who renders in this fashion: 

"'Twos now the blooming season of the year, 
And in disguise Europas ravisher 
{His brow arm d with a crescent, with such beams 
Encompast as the sun unclouded streams 
The sparkling glory of the zodiac.') led 
His numerous herd along the azure mead. 

When he, whose right to beauty might remove 
The youth of Ida from the cup of Jove, 
ShipwrecKt, rcpulJd, and absent, did complain 
Of his hard fate and mistress's disdain; 
With such sad sweetness that the winds, and sea, 
In sighs and murmurs kept him company. . . . 


By this time night begun fungild the skies, 

/fills from the sea, seas from the hills arise, 

Confusedly unequal; when once more 

The unhappy youth invested in the poor 

Remains of his late shipwreck, through sharp briars 

And dusky shades up the high rock aspires. 

The steep ascent scarce to be reacKd by aid 

Of wings he climbs, less weary than afraid. 

At last he gains the top ; so strong and high 
As scaling dreaded not, nor battery, 
An equal judge the difference to decide 
' Twixt the mute load and ever-sounding tide. 
His steps now move secured; a glimmering light 
(The Pharos of some cottage} takes his sight." 

And so on in passages where the darkness grows denser 
at every line. "Cest 1'obscurite qui en fait tout le 
merite," as Fabrice observes when Gil Bias fails to 
understand his friend's sonnet. 

Valencia's protest was followed by another from the 
Sevillan, Juan de Jauregui, whose preface to his Rimas 
(1618) is a literary manifesto against those poems "which 
only contain an embellishment of words, being phan- 
toms without soul or body." Jauregui returned to the 
attack in his Discurso poetico (1623), a more formal and 
elaborate indictment of the whole Gongoristic move- 
ment. This treatise, of which only one copy is known 
to exist, has been reprinted with some curtailments by 
Sr. Menendez y Pelayo in his Histona de las Ideas Esttticas 
en Espaila. It deserves study no less for its sound doc- 

I trine than for the admirable style of the writer, whose 
courtesy of tone makes him an exception among the 
polemists of his time. As Jauregui represents the oppo- 
sition of the Seville group, so Manuel Faria y Sousa, the 
editor of the Lusiadas, speaks in the name of Portugal. 
Faria y Sousa's theory of poetics is the simplest possible : 


there is but one great poet in the world, and his name is 
Camoes. Faria y Sousa transforms the Lusiadas into a 
dull allegory, where Mars typifies St. Peter ; he writes 
down Tasso as " common, trivial, not worth mentioning, 
poor in knowledge and invention " ; and, in accordance 
with these principles, he accuses Gdngora of being no 
allegorist, and protests that to rank him with Camoes is 
to compare " Marsyas to Apollo, a fly to an eagle." 

A more formidable opponent for the Gongorists was 
Lope de Vega, who was himself accused of obscurity 
and affectation. Bouhours, in his Maniere de bien penser 
dans les ouvrages d'esprit (1687), tells that the Bishop of 
Belley, Jean-Pierre Camus, meeting Lope in Madrid, 
cross-examined him as to the meaning of one of his 
sonnets. With his usual good-nature, the poet listened, 
and " ayant left et releu plusieurs fois son sonnet, avoua 
sincerement qu'il ne 1'entendoit pas luy mesme." It 
must have irked his inclination to take the field against 
Gongora, for whom he had a strong personal liking : 
" He is a man whom I must esteem and love, accepting 
from him with humility what I can understand, and 
admiring with veneration what I cannot understand." 
Yet he loved truth (as he understood it) more than he 
loved Socrates. " You can make a culto poet in twenty- 
four hours : a few inversions, four formulas, six Latin 
words, or emphatic phrases and the trick is done," 
he writes in his Respuesta ; and he follows up this plain 
speaking with a burlesque sonnet. 

Of Faria y Sousa and his like, G6ngora made small 
account : he fastened upon Lope as his victim, pursuing 
him with unsleeping vindictiveness. There is something 
pathetic in the Dictator's endeavours to soften his perse- 
cutor's heart. He courts Gongora with polite flatteries in 


print; he dedicates to G6ngora the play, Amor secreto ; 
he writes G6ngora a private letter to remove a wrong 
impression given by one Mendoza ; he repeats G6ngora's 
witty sayings to his intimates ; he makes personal over- 
tures to G6ngora at literary gatherings ; and, if G6ngora 
be not positively rude, Lope reports the fact to the 
Duque de Sessa as a personal triumph : " Estd mas 
humane conmigo, que le debo de haber parepdo mas ombre 
de bien de lo que tt me ymaginava " (" He is gentler with 
me, and I must seem to him a better fellow than he 
thought "). Despite all his ingratiating arts, Lope failed 
to conciliate his foe, who rightly regarded him as the 
chief obstacle in culteranismd s road. The relentless 
riddlemonger lost no opportunity of ridiculing Lope 
and his court in such a sonnet as the following, which 
Churton Englishes with undisguised gusto : 

" Dear Geese, whose haunt is where weak waters flow, 

From rude Castilian well-head, cheap supply, 

That keeps your flowery Vega never dry, 
True Vega, smooth, but somewhat flat and low ; 
Go ; dabble, play, and cackle as ye go 

Down that old stream of gray antiquity; 

And blame the waves of nobler harmony, 
Where birds, whose gentle grace you cannot know, 
Are sailing. Attic wit and Roman skill 

Are theirs; no swans that die in feeble song, 
But nursed to life by Heliconian rill, 

Where Wisdom breathes in Music. Cease your wrong, 
Flock of the troubled pool : your vain endeavour 
Will doom you else to duck and dive for ever." 

The warfare was carried on with singular ferocity, the 
careless Lope offering openings at every turn. " Remove 
those nineteen castles from your shield," sang G6ngora, 
deriding Lope's foible in blazoning his descent. The 


amour with Marta Nevares Santoyo was the subject of 
obscene lampoons innumerable. A passage in the Filo- 
mena volume arabesques the story of Perseus and Andro- 
meda with a complimentary allusion to an anonymous 
poet whose name Lope withheld : " so as not to cause 
annoyance." G6ngora's copy of the Filomena exists with 
this holograph annotation on the margin: "If you 
mean yourself, Lopillo, then you are an idiot without 
art or judgment." Yet, despite a hundred brutal per- 
sonalities, Lope went his way unheeding, and on G6n- 
gora's death he penned a most brilliant sonnet in praise 
of that " swan of Betis," for whom his affection had 
never changed. 

Gongora lived long enough to know that he had 
triumphed. Tirso de Molina and Calder6n, with most 
of the younger dramatists, show the culto influence in 
many plays ; Jauregui forgot his own principles, and 
accepted the new mode ; eyen_Lqpe himself^ in _ passages 
of his later writings, yielded to preciosity. Quevedo 
began by quoting Epictetus's aphorism : Scholasticum 
esse animal quod ab omnibus irridetur. And he renders 
the Latin in his own free style : " The culto brute is a 
general laughing-stock." But the " culto brute " smiled 
to see Quevedo given over to conceptismo, an affectation 
not less disastrous in effect than G6ngora's own. Mean- 
while enthusiastic champions declared for the Cordoban 
master. Martin de Angulo y Pulgar published his Epis- 
tolas satisfactorias (1635) in answer to the censures of 
the learned Francisco de Cascales ; Pellicer preached 
the Gongoristic gospel in his Lecciones solemnes (1630) ; 
the Defence of the Fable of Pyramus and Thisbe fills a 
quarto by Cris!6bal de Salazar Mardones (1636) ; Garcia 
de Salcedo Coronel's huge commentaries (1636-46) are 

I u. 


perhaps, more obscure than anything in his author's 
text ; and, so far away as Peru, Juan de Espinosa 
Medrano, Rector of Cuzco, published an Apologetico en 
favor de Don Luis de Gongora, Principe de los Poetas 
Lyricos de Espana (1694). There came a day when, as 
Salazar y Torres informs us, the Polifemo and the Sole- 
dades were recited on Speech-Day by the boys in Jesuit 

It took Spain a hundred years to rid her veins of the 
Gongoristic poison, and Gongorism has now become, in 
Spain itself, a synonym for all that is bad in literature. 
Undoubtedly G6ngora did an infinite deal of mischief : 

I rty* s tricks f transposition were too easily learned by 
t V^ those hordes of imitators who see nothing but the 
obvious, and his verbal audacities were reproduced by 
men without a tithe of his taste and execution. And 
yet, though it be an unpopular thing to confess, one has 
a secret sympathy with him in his campaign. Lope de 
Vega and Cervantes are as unlike as two men may be ; 
but they are twins in their slapdash methods, in their 
indifference to exquisiteness of form. Their fatal faci- 
lity is common to their brethren : threadbare phrase, 
accepted without thought and repeated without heed, is, 
as often as not, the curse of the best Spanish work. 
It was, perhaps, not altogether love of notoriety which 
seduced G6ngora into Carrillo's ways. He had, as his 
earliest work proves, a sounder method than his fellows 
and a purer artistic conscience. No trace of care- 
lessness is visible in his juvenile poems, written in an 
obscurity which knew no encouragement. It is just to 
believe that his late ambition was not all self-seeking, 
and that he aspired to renew, or rather to enlarge, the 
poetic diction of his country. 

<f _ 


The aim was excellent, and, if G6ngora finally failed/ ' 
he failed partly because his disciples burlesqued his 
theories, and partly because he strove to make words 
seryejinstead_ of ideas. That his endeavour was praise- 
worthy in itself is as certain as that he came at last 
to regard his principles as almost sacred. He doubt- 
less found some pleasure in astounding and annoy- 
ing the burgess ; but he aimed at something beyond 
making readers marvel. And though he failed to im- 
pose his doctrines permanently, it is by no means 
certain that he laboured in vain. If any later Spaniard 
has worked in the conscious spirit of the artist, seeking 
to avoid the commonplace, to express high thoughts 
in terms of beauty though he knows it not, he owes 
a debt to G6ngora, whose hatred of the commonplace 
made Castilian richer. The Soledades and the Poli- 
femo have passed away, but many of the words and 
phrases for which G6ngora was censured are now in 
constant use ; and, culteranismo apart, G6ngora _ranks 
among the best lyrists of his land. Cascales, who was 
at once his friend and his opponent, said that there 
were two G6ngoras one an angel of light, the other 
an angel of darkness ; and the saying was true in so far 
as it implied that in all circumstances his air of distinction 
never quits him. Still the earlier G6ngora is the better, 
and before we leave him we should quote, as an example 
of that first happy manner, inimitable in its grace and 
humour, Churton's not too unsuccessful version of The 
Country Bachelors Complaint: 

" Time was, ere Love play'd tricks -with me t 

I lived at ease, a simple squire, 
And sang my praise-sang, fancy free, 
At matins in the village quire. . . . 


/ rambled by the mountain side, 

Down sylvan glades where streamlets pass 

Unnumbered, glancing as they glide 
Like crystal serpents through the grass. . . . 

And there the state I ruled from far, 

And bade the winds to blow for me, 
In succour to our ships of war, 

That ploughed the Britorts rebel sea; 

Oft boasting how the might of Spain 

The world's old columns far outran, 
And Hercules must come again, 

And plant his barriers in Japan. . . . 

' Twas on St. Luke's soft, quiet day, 

A vision to my sight was borne, 
Fair as the blooming almond spray, 

Blue-eyed, with tresses like the morn. . . . 

Ah / then I saw what love could do, 

The power that bids us fall or rise, 
That wounds the firm heart through and through^ 

And strikes, like Ccesar, at men's eyes. 

I saw how dupes, that fain would run, 

Are caught, their breath and courage spent ', 

Chased by a foe they cannot shun, 
Swift as Inquisitor on scent. . . . 

Yet Pve a trick to cheat Lovers search. 

And refuge find too long delayed; 
ril take the vows of Holy Church, 

And seek some reverend cloister 's shade" 

Among G6ngora's followers none is better known 
than Juan de Tassis y Peralta, the second CONDE DE 
T^VlLLAMEDiANA (1582-1622), whose ancestors came from 
Bergamo. His great-grandfather, Juan Bautista de 
Tassis, entered the service of Carlos Quinto ; his grand- 
father, Raimundo de Tassis, was the first of his race to 
live in Spain, where he married into the illustrious family 
of Acuna ; his father, Juan de Tassis y Acufla, rose ta 


be Ambassador in Paris and Special Envoy in London. 
Villamediana's tutors were two well-known men of letters : 
Bartolome Jimenez Paton, author of Mercurius Trisme- 
gistusy and Tribaldos de Toledo, whom we already know 
as editor of Figueroa and Mendoza. After a short stay 
at Salamanca, Villamediana was appointed to the King's 
household, and in 1601 married Ana de Mendoza y de 
la Cerda, grand-daughter in the fifth generation of 
Santillana. His reputation as a gambler was of the 
worst, and his winning thirty thousand gold ducats at 
a sitting led to his expulsion from court in 1608. He 
joined the army in Italy, returned to Spain in 1617, and 
at once launched into epigrams and satires against all 
and sundry. The court favourites were his special mark 
Lerma, Osuna, Uceda, Rodrigo Calder6n. In 1618 
he was again banished, but returned in 1621 as Lord- 
in-Waiting to the Queen, Isabel de Bourbon, daughter 
of Henry of Navarre. At her request Villamediana 
wrote a masque, La Gloria de Niquea, in which the 
Queen acted on April 8, 1622, before Lord Bristol. 
If report speak truly, the performance led him to his 
death. When the second act opened, an overturned 
lamp set the theatre ablaze, and as Villamediana seized 
the Queen in his arms, and carried her out of danger, 
scandal declared the fire to be his doing, and gave 
him out as the Queen's lover. There is a well-known 
story that Felipe IV., stealing up behind the Queen 
one day, placed his hands on her eyes ; whereon " Be 
quiet, Count," she said, and so unwittingly doomed 
Villamediana. The tale is even too well known. Bran- 
tome had already told it in Les Dames galantes 
before Felipe was born, and it really dates from the 
sixth century. Even so, Villamediana's admiration for 



the Queen was openly expressed. He appeared at a 
tournament covered with silver reales, and used the 
motto, "Mis amores son reales" (My love is royal). The 
King's confessor, Baltasar de Zufliga, warned him that 
his life was in danger, and Villamediana laughed in 
his face. It was no joke, for he had contrived to make 
more dangerous enemies in four months than any other 
man has made in a lifetime. On August 21, 1622, as 
he was alighting from his coach, a stranger ran him 
through the body ; "/Jesus ! esto es hecho ! " (" My God ! 
done for ! ") said Villamediana, and fell dead. The word 
was passed round that the assassin, Ignacio Mendez, 
should go free ; tongues that had hitherto wagged were 
still. It is almost certain that the murder was done by 
the King's order. If it were so, Felipe IV. had more 
spirit at seventeen than he ever showed afterwards. 

Villamediana had many of Gongora's qualities : his 
courage, his wit, his sense of form, his preciosity. In 
his Fdbula de Faet6n, as in his Fdbula de la Fe'nix, he 
outdoes his master in eccentricity and verbal foppery : 
fish become " swimming birds of the cerulean seat," 
water is " liquid nutriment," time " gnaws statues and 
digests the marble " ; and by hyperbaton and word- 
juggling he proves himself as culto as he can. But it 
is fair to say that when it pleases him he is as simple 
and direct as the early Gongora. It must suffice here 
to quote Churton's rendering of a sonnet on the pro- 
posed marriage of the Infanta Dofta Maria to the Prince 
of Wales : 

" By Heresy upborne, that giantess 

Whose pride heaveris battlements infancy scales^ 
With Villiers his proud Admiral^ Charles of Wales 
To Mary's heavenly sphere would boldly press. 


A heretic he is, he must confess 

Heaven 's light nfer led his knighthood's roving sails; 

But the bright cause his error counter-vails, 
And heavenly beauty pleads for love's excess. 
So now the lamb with cub of wolf must mate; 

The dove must take the raven to her nest; 
Our palace, like the old ark, must shelter all : 
Confusion, as of Babylon the Great, 

Is round us, and the faith of Spain, oppressed 
By fine State-reason, trembles to its fall" 

This expresses much more clearly than the Gloria 
de Niquea the true feeling of Gongora and his circle 
towards Steenie and Baby Charles. 

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

" Divine Hortensio, whose exalted strain, 

Sweet, pure, and witty, censure cannot wound, 
The Cyril and the Chrysostom of Spain'' 

The divine Hortensio was court-preacher to Felipe IV., 
and enchanted his congregations by preaching in the 
culto style. His verses exaggerate Gongora' s worst faults, 
arid are" disfigured by fulsome flattery of his leader, be- 
fore whom, as he says, he is dumb with admiration. 
As thus : " May my offering in gracious cloud, in equal 
wealth of fragrance, bestrew thine altars." Paravicino, 
whose works were published under the name of Arteaga, 
was a powerful centre of Gongoristic influence, and did 
more than most men tojbrce culteranismo jnto fashion. 
In sermons, poems, and a masque entitled Gridonia, 
he never ceases to spread the plague, which lasted for 
a century, attacking writers as far apart as Ambrosio 


Roca y Serna (whose Luz del Alma appeared in 1623), 
and Agusti'n de Salazar, the author of the Citara de 
Apolo (1677). 

Meanwhile a few held out against the mode. The 
Sevillan, Juan de Arguijo (? d. 1629), continued the tradi- 
tion of Herrera, writing in Italian measures with a smooth- 
ness of versification and a dignified correctness which drew 
applause from one camp and hissing from the other. His 
N/"townsman, JUAN DE TAuREGUi Y AGUILAR (? 1570-1650), 
came into notice with his version of Tasso's Aminta (1607), 
one of the best translations ever made, deserving of the 
high praise which Cervantes bestows on it and on Cris- 
t6bal de Figueroa's rendering of the Pastor Fido : " They 
make us doubt which is the translation and which the 
original." In his Aminfa, as in his original poems, 
Jauregui's style is a model of purity and refinement, as 
might be expected from the Discurso portico launched 
later against G6ngora ; but the tide was too strong for 
him. His Orfeo (1624) shows signs of wavering, and in 
his translation, the Farsalia, which was not published till 
1684, he is almost as extreme a Gongorist as the worst. 
Still it should be remembered that Lucan also was a 
Cordoban, practising early Gongorism at Nero's court, 
and a translator is prone to reproduce the defects of his 
original. Jauregui has some points of resemblance with 
Rossetti, was a famous artist in his day, and is said, on 
the strength of a dubious passage in the prologue to the 
Novelas, to have painted Cervantes. 

ESTEBAN MANUEL DE VJLLEGAS > ( 1596-1 669) shows rare 
poetic qualities in his Eroticas 6 Amatorias (1617), in which 
he announces himself as the rising sun. Sicut sol matu- 
tinus is printed on his title-page, where those waning 
stars, Lope, Calder6n, and Quevedo, are also supplied 


with a prophetic motto: Me surgente, quid istcz? His 
imitations of Anacreon and Catullus are done with amaz- 
ing gusto, all the more wonderful when we remember 
that his " sweet songs and suave delights " were written 
at fourteen, retouched and published at twenty. But 
Villegas is one of the great disappointments of Castilian 
literature : he married in 1626, deserted verse for law, 
and ended life a poor, embittered attorney. The Sevillan 
canon and royal librarian, FRANCISCO DE RIOJA (? 1586- 
1659), follows the example of Herrera, his sonnets and 
silvas being distinguished for their correct form and 
their philosophic melancholy. But Rioja has been un- 
lucky. One poem, entitled Las Ruinas de Itdlica, has 
won for him a very great reputation ; and yet, in fact, as 
Fernandez-Guerra y Orbe has proved, the Ruinas is due 
to Rodrigo Caro (1573-1647), the archaeologist who wrote 
the Memorial de Utrera and the Antigiiedades de Sevilla. 
Adolfo de Castro goes further, ascribing the Epistola 
moral d Fabio to Pedro Fernandez de Andrado, author 
of the Libro de la Gineta. Thus despoiled of two admir- 
able pieces, Rioja is less important than he seemed thirty 
years since ; yet, even so, he ranks, with the Prfncipe 
de Esquihche (1581-1658) and the Conde de Rebolledo 
(1597-1676), among the sounder influences of his time. 

The Segovian poet, Alonso de Ledesma Buitrago 
(1552-1623), founded the school of conceptismo with its 
metaphysical conceits, philosophic paradoxes, and sen- 
tentious moralisings, as of a Seneca gone mad. His 
Concept os espirituales and Juegos de la Noche Buena (1611) 
lead up to the allegorical gibberish of his Monstruo 
Imaginado (1615), and to the perveried f _jj^Qr^iity of 
Alonso de Bonilla's Nuevo Jardin de Flores divinas (1617). 
Conceptismo was no less an evil than culteranismo, but it 


was less likely to spread : the latter played with words, 
the former with ideas. A bizarre vocabulary was enough 
for a man to pass -asculto; the conceptista must he equipped 
with various learning, and must have a smattering of 
philosophy. Under such chiefs as Ledesina and Bonilla 
the new mania must have died ; but conceptismo was in 
the air, and, as Carrillo seduced G6ngora, so Ledesma 
(1580-1645): (it should be said, however, that Quevedo 
nowhere mentions Ledesma by name). Like Lope, like 
Calder<5n, Quevedo was a highlander. His family boasted 
the punning motto : " I am he who stopped el que vedo 
the Moors' advance." His father (who died early) and 
mother both held posts at court. At Alcali de Henares, 
from 1596 onwards, Quevedo took honours in theology, 
law, French, Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew. He 
is also said to have studied medicine ; and certainly 
he hated Sangrado as Dickens hated Bumble. When 
scarcely out of his teens he corresponded with Justus 
Lipsius, who hailed him as /xeya KvSos 'Ifirjptov, and at 
Madrid he speedily became the talk of the town. Strange 
stories were told of him : that he had pinked his man at 
Alcala, that he ran Captain Rodrfguez through the body 
rather than yield him the wall, that he put an escaped 
panther to the sword, that he disarmed the famous 
fencing-master, Pacheco Narvaez. This last tale is true, 
and is curious in view of Quevedo's physical defects. 
His reply to Vicencio Valerio in Su Espada por Santiago 
is well known: "He says I hobble, and can't see. I 
should lie from head to foot if I denied it : my eyes 
and my gait would contradict me." 

For all his short sight and clubbed feet, he was ever 
too ready with his rapier. On Maundy Thursday, 1611, 


he witnessed a scuffle between a man and woman during 
Tenebrae in St. Martin's Church. He intervened, the 
argument was continued outside, swords were crossed, 
and Quevedo's opponent fell mortally wounded. As the 
man was a noble, Quevedo prudently escaped from 
possible consequences to Sicily. He returned to his 
estate, La Torre de Juan Abad, in 1612, but soon wearied 
of country life, and was sent on diplomatic missions to 
Genoa, Milan, Venice, and Rome. On Osuna's promotion 
to Naples, Quevedo became Finance Minister, proving 
himself a capable administrator. In 1618 he meddled 
in the Spanish plot which forms the motive of Otway's 
Venice Preserved, and, disguised as a beggar, escaped 
from the bravos told off to murder him. His public 
career ended at this time, for his subsequent appoint- 
ment as Felipe IV.'s secretary was merely nominal. In 
1627 he shared in a furious polemic. Santa Teresa was 
canonised in 1622, and, at the joint instance of Carmelites 
and Jesuits, was made co-patron of Spain with Santiago. 
The Papal Bull (July 31, 1627) divided Spain into two 
camps. Quevedo, who was of the Order of Santiago 
" red with the blood of the brave " took up the cudgels 
for St. James, was branded a " hypocritical blackguard " 
by one party, and was extolled by the other as the 
" Captain of Combat," " the Ensign of the Apostle." He 
shamed Pope, King, Olivares, the religious, and half the 
laity, and the Bull was withdrawn (June 28, 1630). The 
victory cost him a year's exile, and when Olivares offered 
him the embassy at Genoa, he refused it, on the ground 
that he did not wish to have his mouth thus closed. 
After his unlucky marriage to Esperanza de Mendoza, 
widow of Juan Ferndndez de Heredia, he began a cam- 
paign against the royal favourite. Olivares' turn came 


in December 1639, when the King found by his plate 
a copy of verses urging him to cease his extravagance and 
to dismiss his incapable ministers. Quevedo was per- 
haps rightly suspected of writing these lines, was arrested 
at midnight, and was whisked away, half dressed, to the 
monastery of St. Mark in Le6n. For four years he was 
imprisoned in a cell below the level of the river, and, 
when released after Olivares' fall in 1643, his health 
was broken. A flash of his old humour appears in his 
reply to the priest who begged him to arrange for music 
at his funeral : " Nay, let them pay that hear it." 

As a prose writer he began with a Life of St. Thomas 
of Villanueva (1620), and ended with a Life of St. Paul 
the Apostle (1644). These, and his other moralisings 
Virtue Militant, the Cradle and the Tomb call for no 
notice here. The Politica de Dios (1618) is apparently an 
abstract plea for absolutism ; in fact, it exposes the weak- 
ness of Spanish administration just as the Marcus Brutus 
(1644) is a vehicle for opinions on contemporary politics. 
Learned and acute, these treatises show Quevedo's con- 
cern for his country's future, and a passage in his sixty- 
eighth sonnet forecasts the future of the Spanish colonies : 
" 'Tis likelier far, O Spain ! that what thou alone didst 
take from all, all will take from thee alone "- 

" Y es mdsfacil! oh Espana fen muchas modas 
Que lo que d todos les quitaste sola, 
Te puedan d ti sola guitar todos" 

The prophecy is just being fulfilled, and the chief interest 
of Quevedo's prose treatises lies in their conceptismo 
the flashy epigram, the pompous paradox, the strained 
antithesis, the hairsplitting and refining in and out of 
season. It was vain for Quevedo to edit Luis de Leon 


and Torre as a protest against Gongorism, for in his own 
practice he substituted one affectation for another. 

The true and simpler Quevedo is to be sought else- 
where. His picaresque Historia de la Vida del Buscon, 
best known by its unauthorised title, El Gran Tacano 
(The Prime Scoundrel), though not published till 1626, 
was probably written soon after 1608. Pablo, son of 
a barber and a loose woman, follows a rich schoolfellow 
to Alcali, where he shines in every kind of devilry. 
Thence he passes into a gang of thieves, is imprisoned, 
lives as a sham cripple, an actor, a bravo, and finally 
his author being weary of him emigrates to America. 
There is no attempt at creating character, no vulgar ob- 
trusion of Alemdn's moralising tone : such amusement as 
the novel contains is afforded by the invention of heartless 
incident and the acrid rendering of villany. The harsh 
jeering, the intense brutality, the unsympathetic wit and 
art of the Buscon, make it one of the cleverest books in 
the world, as it is one of the cruellest and coarsest in its 
misanthropic enjoyment of baseness and pain. No less 
characteristic of Quevedo are his Suenos (Visions), printed 
in 1627. These fantastic pieces are really five in number, 
though most collections print seven or eight ; for the 
Infierno Enmendado (Hell Reformed) is not a vision, but 
is rather a sequel to the Politica de Dios ; the Casa de 
Locos de Amor is probably the work of Quevedo's friend, 
Lorenzo van der Hammen ; and the Fortunacon Seso was 
not written till 1635. Quevedo himself calls the SueHo 
de la Muerte (Vision of Death) the fifth and last of the 
series. Satire in Lucian's manner had already been in- 
troduced into Spanish literature by Valde"s in the Didlogo 
de Mercurio y Caron, in the Crotalon (which most autho- 
rities ascribe to Crist6bal de Villal6n), and in the Coloquio 


de los Perros. In witty observation and ridicule of whole 
sections of society, Quevedo almost vies with Cervantes, 
though his unfeeling cynicism gives his work an indi- 
vidual flavour. His lost poets are doomed to hear each 
other's verses for eternity, his statesmen jostle bandits, 
doctors and murderers end their careers as brethren, 
comic men dwell in an inferno apart lest their jokes 
should damp hell's fires, grim jests which may be read 
in Roger L'Estrange's spirited amplification. 

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

" Up and answered Sancho Panza; 

List to what he said or sung, 
With an accent rough and ready 

And a forty-parson tongue: 
"Tt's not reason, good my master, 

When thou goest forth, I wis, 
To account to thy Creator, 

Thou shouldst utter stuff like this} 
As trustees, name thou the Curate 

Who confesscth thee betimes, 
And Per Anton, our good Provost, 

And the goat-herd Gaffer Grimes; 
Make clean sweep of the Esplandians, 

Who have dinned us with their clatter; 
Call thou in a ghostly hermit, 

Who may aid thee in the matter} 


' Well thou speakest] up and answered 

Don Quixote, nowise dumb ; 
' Hie thee to the Rock of Dolour ; 

Bid Beltenebros to come ! ' " 

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

Quevedo was not, however, known as a dramatist to 
the same extent as the Valencian, GUILLEN DE CASTRO Y 
BELLVIS (1569-1631), an erratic soldier who has achieved 
renown in and out of Spain. Castro is sometimes cre- 
dited with the Prodigio de los Monies, whence Calder6n 
derived his Mdgico Prodigioso, but the Prodigio is almost 
certainly by Lope. Castro's fame rests on his Mocedades 
del Cid(T\\& Cid's First Exploits), a dramatic adaptation of 
national tradition in Lope's manner. Ximena, daughter 
of Lozano, loves Rodrigo before the action begins, and, 
on Lozano's death by Rodrigo's hand, her passion and 


her duty are in conflict. Rodrigo's victories against the 
Moors help to expiate his crime : on a false rumour of his 
death, Ximena avows her love for him, and patriotism 
combines with inclination to yield a dramatic ending. 
Corneille, treating Castro's play with the freedom of a 
man of genius, founded the French school of tragedy ; 
but not all his changes are improvements. By limiting 
the time of action he needlessly emphasises the difficulty 
of the situation. Castro's device is sounder when he 
prolongs the space which shall diminish Ximena's filial 
grief and increase her admiration of the Cid. The strife 
between love and honour exists already in the Spanish, 
and Corneille's merit lies in his suppression of Castro's 
superfluous third act, in his magnificent rhetoric, be- 
side which the Spaniard's simplicity seems weak. But 
though Castro wrote no masterpiece, he begot one 
based upon his original conception, and some of Cor- 
neille's most admired tirades are but amplified trans- 

Less remarkable as a playwright than as a novelist, 
the lawyer, TJTTIS_ .Vjjjijgz^njjt. ^ TTEV ^M_( T 57 Q - T ^43); is 
reputed to have written no fewer than four hundred 
pieces for the stage. Of these, eighty survive, mostly on 
historic themes, which as in El Valor no tiene Edad are 
treated with tiresome extravagance ; but the most diffi- 
cult critics have found praise for Mas peso, el Key que 
la Sangre (King First, Blood Second). The story is that, 
in the thirteenth century, Guzman the Good held Tarifa 
for King Sancho ; the rebel Infante, Don Juan, called 
upon him to surrender under pain of his son's death ; 
for answer, Guzman threw his dagger over the battle- 
ment, and saw the boy murdered before his eyes. Rarely 
has the old Castilian tradition of loyalty to the King been 


presented with more picturesque force, and few scenes 
in any dramatic literature surpass that last one on the 
raising of the siege, when Guzman points to his child's 
corpse. Velez de Guevara collaborated with Rojas Zo- 
rrilla and Mira de Amescua in The Devil's Suit against the 
Priest of Madrilejos, a play in which a lunatic girl saves 
her life by pleading demoniacal possession. The idea 
is characteristic of Guevara's uncanny invention ; but the 
Inquisition frowned upon stage representatives of exor- 
cism, and, though the author's orthodoxy was not ques- 
tioned, the play was withdrawn. He is best remembered 
for his satire El Diablo Cojuelo (1641), which describes 
observations taken during a flight through the air by a 
student who releases the Lame Devil from a flask, and 
is repaid by glimpses of life in courts and slums and 
stews. Le Sage, in his Diable Boiteux, has greatly im- 
proved upon the first conception ; but the original is 
of excellent humour, and the style is as idiomatic as 
the best Castilian can be. Felipe IV. is said to have 
smiled only three times in his life twice at quips by 
Guevara, who was his chamberlain. 

Of all Lope's imitators the most undisguised is the 
son of the King's bookseller, Doctor JUAN PEREZ DE 
MONTALBAN (1602-38), who became a priest of the Con- 
gregation of St. Peter in 1625. His father was plain 
Juan Perez (as who should say John Smith), and the 
son was cruelly bantered for his airs and graces: "Put 
Doctor in front and Montalban behind, and plebeian 
Perez shines an aristocrat." It was rumoured that his 
Orfeo (1624), written to compete with Jduregui, was really 
Lope's work, given by the patriarch to start his favourite 
in life. The story is probably false, for the verse lacks 
Lope's ease and grace ; but the Orfeo won Montalban 


a name, and there is no such luck for modern minor 
poets in 1625 a Peruvian merchant expressed his ad- 
miration by settling a pension on the young priest. 
Montalban lived in closest intimacy with Lope, who 
taught his young admirer stagecraft, and helped him 
with introductions to managers. Unluckily he sought 
to rival his master in fecundity as well as in method, 
and the effort broke him. He is often credited with 
writing the Tribunal of Just Vengeance, a work which 
describes Quevedo as " Master of Error, Doctor of 
Impudence, Licentiate of Buffoonery, Bachelor of Filth, 
Professor of Vice, and Archdevil of Mankind." Quevedo, 
on his side, had a grievance, inasmuch as Perez, the 
bookseller, had pirated the Buscon. He prophesied that 
Montalbin would die a lunatic, and, in fact, his words 
came true. 

Pellicer credits Montalban with literary theories of his 
own, but they are mere repetitions of Lope's precepts in 
the Arte Nuevo. Like his master, Montalban has a keen 
eye for a situation, for the dramatic value of a popular 
story, as he shows in his Amantes de Teruel, those eternal 
types of constancy ; but he writes too hurriedly, with 
more ambition than power, is infected with culteratusmo, 
and, though he apes Lope with superficial success in his 
secular plays, fails utterly when he attempts the sacred 
drama. His own age thought most highly of No hay 
Vida como la Honra, one of the first pieces to have a 
"run" on the Spanish stage; but the Amantes is his 
best work, and its vigorous dialogue may still be read 
with emotion. 

These lovers of Teruel were also staged by a man of 
genius whose pseudonym has completely overshadowed 
his family name of Gabriel Tellez. The career of TiRSO 


DE MOLINA (1571-1648) is often dismissed in six lines 
packed with errors ; but the publication of Sr. Cotarelo 
y Mori's study has made such summary treatment im- 
possible in the future. Writers whose imagination 
does service for research have invented the fables that 
Tirso led a scandalous, stormy life, and that the repent- 
ant sinner took orders in middle age. These legends 
are baseless, and are conceived on the theory that Tirso's 
outspoken plays imply a deep knowledge of human 
nature's weak side and of the shadiest picaresque cor- 
ners. It appears to be forgotten that Tirso spent years 
in the confessional : no bad position for the study of 
frailty. It seems certain that he was born at Madrid, 
and that he studied at Alcala is clear from Mati'as de los 
Reyes' dedication of El Agravio agraviado. The date 
of his profession is not known ; but he is named as a 
Mercenarian monk and as " a comic poet " by the actor- 
manager, Andres de Claramonte y Corroy, in his Letania 
moral, written before 1610, though not printed till 1613. 
His holograph of Santa Juana is dated in 1613 from 
Toledo, where he also wrote his Cigarrales. Passages 
in La Gallega Mari Hernandez imply a residence in 
Galicia. That he lived in Seville, and visited the island 
of Santo Domingo, is certain, though the dates are not 
known. In 1619 he was Superior of the Mercenarian 
convent at Trujillo, an appointment which implies that 
he was a monk of long standing. In 1620 Lope dedi- 
cated to him Lo Fingido verdadero, and in the same year 
Tirso returned the compliment by dedicating his Villana 
de Vallecas to Lope. Though he competed in 1622 at 
the Madrid feasts in honour of St. Isidore, he failed to 
receive even honourable mention. Ten years later he 
became official chronicler of his order, and showed his 


opinion of his predecessor, Alonso Rem6n with whom 
he has been confounded, even by Cervantes by re- 
writing Rem6n's history. In 1634 ne was ma de Definidor 
General for Castile, and his name reappears as licenser 
of books, or in legal documents. He died on March 21, 
1648, being then Prior at Soria, renowned as a preacher 
of most tranquil, virtuous life, the very opposite of what 
ignorant fancy has feigned of him. He is known to 
have written plays so recently as 1638, for the holograph 
of his Quinas de Portugal bears that date ; but the pre- 
face to the Deleitar Aprovechado shows that his popularity 
was on the wane in 1635. His last years were given to 
writing a Genealogia del Conde de Sdstago and the chronicle 
of the Mercenarian Order. 

Tirso's earliest printed volume is his Cigarralesde Toledo 
(1621 or 1624), so called from a local Toledan word 
for a summer country-house set down in an orchard. 
The book is a collection of tales and verse, supposed to 
be recited during five days of festivity which have fol- 
lowed a wedding. Tirso, indeed, announces stories and 
verse which shall last twenty days ; yet he breaks off at 
the fifth, announcing a Second Part, which never ap- 
peared. Critics profess to find in Tirso's tales some 
traces of Cervantes, who is praised in the text as the 
" Spanish Boccaccio " : the influence of the Italian 
Boccaccio is far more obvious throughout, and save 
for a tinge of Gongorism Los Tres Maridos burlados 
might well pass as a splendid adaptation from the 
Decamerone, Still, even in the Cigarrales the born play- 
wright asserts himself in C6mo han de ser los Amigos, in 
El Celoso prudente, and in one of Tirso's most brilliant 
pieces, El Vergonsoso en Palacio. A second collection 
entitled Deleitar Aprovechado (Business with Profit), 


issued in 1635, contains three pious tales of no great 
merit, and several autos, one of which El Colmenero 
divino is Tirso's best attempt at religious drama. 

Essentially a dramatist, he is to be but partially studied 
in his theatre, of which the first part appeared in 1627, 
the third in 1634, the second and fourth in 1635, and 
the fifth in 1637. A famous play is the Condenado por 
Desconfiado (The Doubter Damned), of which some would 
deprive Tirso ; yet the treatment is specially charac- 
teristic of him. Paulo, who has left the world for a 
hermitage, prays for light as to his future salvation, 
dreams that his sins exceed his merits, and is urged by 
the devil to go to Naples to seek out Enrico, \vhose 
ending will be like his own. Paulo obeys, discovers 
Enrico to be a rook and bully, and in despair takes to 
a bandit's life. Meanwhile Enrico shows a hint of virtue 
by refusing to slay an old man whose appearance re- 
minds the bully of his own father, and kills the master 
who taunted him with flinching from a bargain. He 
escapes to where Paulo and his gang are hidden. Garbed 
as a hermit, Paulo vainly exhorts Enrico to confess, 
though the criminal finally repents, and is seen by 
Pedrisco Paulo's servant passing to heaven. Duped 
by the devil, Paulo refuses to believe Pedrisco's story, 
and dies damned through his own distrust and pride. 
The substance of this play, which is contrived with 
abounding skill and theological knowledge, is the old 
conflict between free-will and predestination. Some 
would ascribe the play to Lope, because the pastoral 
scenes are in his manner, but the notion that Lope would 
publish under Tirso's name is untenable. Sr. Menendez 
y Pelayo will not be suspected of a prejudice against 
Lope ; and he avers, in so many words, that the only 


playwright in Spain with enough theology to write the 
Condenado was Tirso, who, had he written nothing else, 
would rank among the greatest Spanish dramatists. 

The piece which has won Tirso immortality is his 
Burlador de Sevilla y Convidado de Piedra (The Seville 
Mocker and the Stone Guest), first printed at Barcelona 
in 1630 as the seventh of Twelve New Plays by Lope de 
Vega Carpio y and other Authors ; and the omission of 
the Burlador from all authorised editions has led critics 
of authority to question Tirso's authorship. 1 The dis- 
covery in 1878 of a new version caused Manuel de la 
Revilla to declare that the play was by Calder6n, on 
the ground that Calder6n's name is on the title-page, 
and that Calderdn never trespassed on other men's 
property. This is an overstatement : to mention but 
a few instances, Calderon's A Secreto Agravio Secreta 
Venganza is rearranged from Tirso's Celoso prudent e ; 
his Secreto d Voces from Tirso's Amar por Arte mayor, 
while the second act of Calder6n's Cabellos de Absalon 
is lifted, almost word for word, from the third act of 
Tirso's Venganza de Tamar. On the whole, then, Tirso 
may be taken as the creator of Don Juan. No analysis 
is needed of a play with which Mozart, the most Athenian 
of musicians, has familiarised mankind ; nor is transla- 
tion possible in the present corrupt state of the text. 
Whether or not there existed an historic Don Juan at 
Plasencia or at Seville is doubtful, for folklorists have 
found the story as far away from Spain as Iceland is ; 
but it is Tirso's glory to have so treated it that the 
world has accepted it as a purely Spanish conception. 
The Festin de Pierre (1659) by Dorimond, the Fils 

1 See M. Farinelli's learned study, Don Giovanni: Note critiche (Torino, 
1896), pp. 37-39. 


Criminel (1660) of De Villiers, the Dom Juan (1665) of 
Moliere, the Nouveau Festin de Pierre (1670) of Rosi- 
mond, and the arrangement of Thomas Corneille, are 
but pale reflections of the Spanish type which passes 
onward from Shadwell's Libertine (1676) till it reaches 
the hands of Byron and Zorrilla and Barbey d'Aur6- 
villy and Flaubert (whose posthumous sketch comes 
closer back to the original). Of these later artists not 
one has succeeded in matching the patrician dignity, the 
infernal, iniquitous valour of the original. To have 
created a universal type, to have imposed a character 
upon the world, to have outlived all rivalry, to have 
achieved in words what Mozart alone has expressed 
in music, is to rank among the great creators of all 

If Tirso excelled in sombre force, he was likewise a 
master in the lighter comedy of El Vergonzoso en Palacio, 
where Mireno, the Shy Man at Court, is rendered with 
rare sympathetic delicacy, and in the farcical intrigue 
of Don Gil de las Calzas verdes (Don Gil of the Green 
Breeches), where the changes of Juana to Elvira or 
to Don Gil are such examples of subtle, gay ingenuity 
as delight and bewilder the reader no less than the 
comic trio of the Villana de Vallecas, or the picture of 
unctuous hypocrisy in Marta la piadosa. Tirso's fate was 
to be forgotten, not merely by the public, but by the 
very dramatists who used his themes ; and, as in Lope's 
case, the neglect is partly due to the rarity of his 
editions. Yet, even so, his eclipse is unaccountable, 
for his various gifts are hard to match in any litera- 
ture. He has not the disconcerting cleverness of Lope, 
nor has he Lope's infinite variety of resource ; more- 
over, his natural frankness has won him a name for 


indecency. Yet has he imagination, passion, individual 
vision, knowledge of dramatic effect. He could create 
character, and his women, if less noble, are more real 
than Lope's own in their frank emotion and seductive 
abandonment. At whiles his diction tends to Gongor- 
ism, as when in El Amor y la Amistad a personage, 
at sight of a mountain, babbles of " the lofty daring of 
the snow, the pyramid of diamond " ; but this is ex- 
ceptional, and his hostility to culteranismo inspired G6n- 
gora to write more than one stinging epigram. Tirso 
had not Lope's matchless facility, and, considering the 
maturity of the Spanish genius, it is strange that he 
should have written no play before 1606 or 1608. 
Moreover, he composed by fits and starts in moments 
snatched from duty, and, beginning late, he ended 
early. Even in these circumstances he could boast in 
1621 that he had produced three hundred plays a 
number afterwards raised to four hundred. Only some 
eighty survive : in other words, four-fifths of his theatre 
has vanished, and the loss is surely great for those 
who would fain know every aspect of his genius. But 
enough remains to justify his high position, and his 
fame, like Lope's, grows from day to day. 

Of such dramatists as the courtly Antonio Hurtado 
de Mendoza (? 1590-1 644), and the festive Luis Belmontey 
Bermudez (1587-? 1650) mere mention must suffice : the 
former's Querer por sdlo querer may be read in an excel- 
lent version made by Sir Richard Fanshawe during his 
imprisonment " by Oliver, after the Battail of Worcester." 
Antonio Mira de Amescua (? 1578-1640), chaplain of 
Felipe IV., mingled the human with the divine, was 
praised by all contemporaries from Cervantes onwards, 
had the right lyrical note, and, if his plays were collected, 


might prove himself worthy of his dramatic fame; as it 
is, he is best known as a playwright from whom Calder6n, 
Moreto, and Corneille have borrowed themes. A more 
original talent is shown by JUAN Ruiz DE ALARCON 
(? 1581-1639), whose father was administrator of the 
Tlacho mines in Mexico. Ruiz de Alarcdn left Mexico 
for Spain in 1600, and studied at Salamanca for five 
years ; he returned to America in 1608 in the hope of 
being elected to a University chair, but the deformity 
a hunched back with which he was taunted his life long 
was against him, and he made for Spain in 1611. He 
entered the household of the Marques de Salinas, wrote 
some laudatory decimas for the Desengano de la Forluna 
in 1612, and next year produced his first play, the 
Seme/ante de si mismo, founded, like Tirso's Celosa de si 
misma, on the Curious Impertinent. It was no great 
success, but it made him known and hated. He was 
far too ready to attack others, being himself most vulner- 
able. Cristobal Suarez de Figueroa, who had jeered at 
Cervantes for " writing prologues and dedications when 
at death's door," spoke for others besides himself when 
he lampooned Alarc6n as "an ape in man's guise, an 
impudent hunchback, a ludicrous deformity." Tirso 
befriended the Mexican, while Mendoza, Lope, Quevedo, 
and the rest scourged him mercilessly ; and when his 
Antecristo (which Voltaire used in Mahomet] was played, 
a band of rioters ruined the performance by squirting 
oil on the spectators and firing squibs in the pit. Yet 
the women always crowded the house when his name 
was in the bill, and they made his fortune by contriving 
that his play, Siempre aynda la Verdad probably written 
in collaboration with Tirso should be given at court in 
1623. Three years later he was named Member of 


Council for the Indies. His collected pieces were pub- 
lished in 1628 and 1634. 

Ruiz de Alarc6n was never popular in the sense that 
Lope and Calder6n were popular ; still, he had his 
successes, and no Spanish dramatist is better reading. 
Compared with his rivals he was sterile, for the total of 
his plays is less than thirty, even if we accept all the 
doubtful pieces ascribed to him. Lope excels him in 
invention, Tirso in force and fun, Calder6n in charm ; 
Ruiz de Alarc6n is less intensely national than these, 
and the very individuality the extraileza which Mont- 
alban noted with perplexity, makes him almost better 
appreciated abroad than at home. Corneille has based 
French tragedy upon Guillen de Castro's Mocedades del 
Cid; French comedy is scarcely less influenced by his 
adaptation of the Menteur from Ruiz de Alarcon's Verdad 
Sospechosa (Truth Suspected). Garcia has lied all his life, 
lies to his father, his friends, his betrothed, lies to him- 
self, and defeats his own purpose by his ingenuity. He 
would speak the truth if he could, but he has no talent 
that way. Why trouble with truth when lying comes 
easier ? His father, Beltrdn, perceives that the miser 
enjoys money, that murder slakes vengeance, that the 
drunkard grows glorious with wine ; but his son's failing 
is beyond him. The noble Philistine has not the artist's 
soul, and cannot understand why Garcfa should lie for 
lying's sake, against his own interest. Throughout the 
play Ruiz de Alarc6n is never once at fault, and the gay 
ingenuity with which he enforces the old moral, that 
honesty is the best policy, is equalled by his masterly 
creation of character. Ethics are his preoccupation ; 
yet, though almost all his plays seek to enforce a lesson, 
he nowhere descends to pulpiteering or merges the dra- 


matist in the teacher. While in Las Paredes Oyen (Walls 
have Ears) and in El Examen de Maridos (Husbands 
Proved) the triumph of the Verdad Sospechosa is re- 
peated, the more national play is admirably exampled 
in El Tejedor de Segovia (The Weaver of Segovia) and 
Ganar Amigos (How to Win Friends). 

There are greater Spanish playwrights than Ruiz de 
Alarcon : there is none whose work is of such even 
excellence. In so early a piece as the Cuevade Salamanca, 
though there is manifest technical inexperience, the mere 
writing is almost as good as in La Verdad Sospechosa. 
The very infertility at which contemporaries mocked is 
balanced by equality of execution. Lope and Calder6n 
have written better pieces, and many worse : no line that 
Ruiz de Alarcon published is unworthy of him. While his 
contemporaries were content to improvise at ease, he sat 
aloof, never joining in the race for money and applause, 
but filing with a scrupulous conscience to such effect 
that all his work endures. His chief titles to fame are 
his power of creating character and his high ethical aim. 
But he has other merits scarcely less rare : his versifica- 
tion is of extreme finish, and his spirited dialogue, free 
from any tinge of Gongorism, is a triumph of fine idiom 
over perverse influences which led men of greater natural 
endowment astray. His taste, indeed, is almost unerring, 
and it goes to form that sober dignity, that individual 
tone, that uncommon counterpoise of faculties which 
place him below and a little apart from the two or 
three best Spanish dramatists. 

If there be an exotic element in the quality of Ruiz de 
Alarcon's distinction as in his frugal dramatic method, 
the espanolismo of the land is incarnate in the genius of 


Y RiAfJo (1600-1681), the most representative Spaniard 
of the seventeenth century. His father was Secretary to 
the Treasury, and, on this side, CaldenSn was ahighlander, 
like Santillana, Lope, and Quevedo ; he inherited a strain 
of Flemish blood through his mother, who claimed de- 
scent from the De Mons of Hainault. He was educated 
at the Jesuit Colegio Imperial in Madrid, and fond bio- 
graphers declare that he studied civil and canon law at 
Salamanca; this is mere assertion, unsupported by any 
proof. Though he is said to have written a play, El 
Carro del Cielo, at thirteen, he was not very precocious 
for a Spaniard, his first authentic appearances being 
made at the Feast of St. Isidore in 1620 and 1622. On 
the latter occasion he won the third prize, and was 
praised by the good-natured Lope as one " who in his 
tender years earns the laurels which time commonly 
awards to grey hairs." His Boswell, Vera Tasis, reports 
that he served in Milan and Flanders from 1625 to 
1635 ; but there must be an error of date, for in 1629 
he is found at Madrid drawing his sword upon the 
actor, Pedro de Villegas, who had treacherously stabbed 
Calderon's brother, and who fled for sanctuary to the 
Trinitarian Church. The Gongorist preacher, Paravi- 
cino, referred to the matter in public ; Calder6n replied 
by scoffing at "sermons of Barbary," and was sent to 
gaol for insulting the cloth. Pellicer signals another 
outburst in 1640, when the dramatist whipped out his 
sword at rehearsal and came off second best. These are 
pleasing incidents in a career of sombre respectability, 
though one half fears that the second is fiction. In 1637 
Calder6n was promoted to the Order of Santiago, and 
in 1640 he served with his brother knights against the 
Catalan rebels, hastily finishing his Certamen de Amor 


y Celos (Strife of Love and Jealousy) so as to share in 
the campaign. He was sent to Madrid on some mili- 
tary mission in 1641 ; received from the artillery fund 
a monthly pension of thirty gold crowns ; was ordained 
priest in 1651 ; was made chaplain of the New Kings at 
Toledo in 1653 ; became honorary chaplain to Felipe IV. 
in 1663, when he joined the Congregation of St. Peter, 
which elected him its Superior in 1666. On taking orders, 
Calderon's intention was to forsake the secular stage, but 
he yielded to the King's command, and, so late as 1680, 
celebrated Carlos II.'s wedding with Marie Louise de Bour- 
bon. " He died singing, as they say of the swan," wrote 
Soli's to Alonso Carnero. When death took him he was 
busied with an auto, which was finished by Melchor de 
Le6n a fit ending to a happy, blameless life. 

Calder6n's prose writings are small in volume and in 
importance. The description (written under the name 
of his colleague, Lorenzo Ramirez de Prado) of the entry 
into Madrid of Felipe IV.'s second queen is an official 
performance. More interest attaches to a treatise on 
the dignity of painting, first printed in the fourth volume 
of Francisco Mariano Nifo's Cajon de Sastre literato 
(1781): "Painting," says Calder6n, "is the art of arts, 
dominating all others and using them as handmaids." 
He had an admirable gift of appreciation, and he 
proves it by rescuing from the oblivion of the Cancionero 
General such a ballad as Escriba's, which he quotes in 
Manos Blancos no ofenden, and again in El Mayor Mon- 
struo de los Celos. Churton's version of the song is not 
unhappy : 

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


Come, sudden as the lightning-ray, 
When skies are calm and air is still; 

E'en from the silence of its way, 
More sure to strike where'er it will. 

Such let thy secret coming be. 

Lest -warning make thy summons vain, 

And joy to find myself with thee 
Call back life's ebbing tide again" 

A great lyric poet, his lyrics are mostly included in his 
plays. One ballad, supposed to be a description of 
himself, written at a lady's request, is often quoted, and 
has been well Englished by Mr. Norman MacColl ; it is, 
however, unauthentic, being due to a Sevillan contem- 
porary, Carlos Cepeda y Guzman. 1 The earliest play 
printed with Calder6n's name is El Astrologo fingido 
(1632), and from 1633 onwards collected editions of his 
works were published ; but he had no personal concern 
in these issues, which so presented him that, as he pro- 
tested, he could not recognise himself. Though he printed 
a volume of autos in 1676, he was so indifferent as to the 
fate of his secular plays that he never troubled to collect 
them. Luckily, in 1680 he drew up a list of his pieces 
for the Duque de Veragua, the descendant of Columbus, 
and upon this foundation Vera Tasis constructed a 
posthumous edition in nine volumes. Roughly speak- 
ing, we possess one hundred and twenty formal plays, 
and some seventy autos, with a few entremeses of no great 

Calderon has been fortunate in death as in life ; for 
though his vogue never quite equalled that of his great 
predecessor, Lope, it proved far more enduring. From 

1 Cp. Mr. Norman MacColl's Select Plays of Calderon (London, 1888), 
pp. xxvi.-xxx., and Gallardo's Ensayo de una Biblioteca Espanola (Madrid, 
1866), vol. ii. col. 367, 368. 


Lope's death to the close of the seventeenth century, 
Calder6n was chief of the Spanish stage ; and, though 
he underwent a temporary eclipse in the eighteenth 
century, his sovereignty was restored in the nineteenth 
by the enthusiasm of the German Romantics. He has 
suffered more than most from the indiscretion of ad- 
mirers. When Sismondi pronounced him simply a 
clever playwright, " the poet of the Inquisition," he 
was no further from the truth than the extravagant 
Friedrich Schlegel, who proclaimed that "in this great 
and divine master the enigma of life is not merely 
expressed, but solved " : thus placing him above 
Shakespeare, who (so raved the German) only stated 
life's riddle without attempting a solution. James the 
First once said to the ambassador whom Ben Jonson 
called " Old ^Esop Gondomar : " I know not how, but 
it seems to be the trade of a Spaniard to talk rodo- 
montade." It was no less the trade of the German 
Romantic, who mistook lyrism for scenic presentation. 
Nor were the Germans alone in their enthusiasm. 
Shelley met with Calderon's ideal dramas, read them 
"with inexpressible wonder and delight," and was 
tempted "to throw over their perfect and glowing 
forms the grey veil of my own words." The famous 
speech of the Spirit replying, in the Mdgico Prodigioso, 
to Cyprian's question, " Who art thou, and whence 
comest thou?" has become familiar to every reader of 
English literature : 

" Since thou desires t, I will then unveil 
Myself to thee ; -for in myself I am 
A world of happiness and misery; 
This I have lost, and that I must lament 
For ever- In my attributes I stood 


So high and so heroically great, 

In lineage so supreme, and with a genius 

Which penetrated with a glance the world 

Beneath my feet, that was by my high merit. 

A King whom I may call the King of kings, 

Because all others tremble in their pride 

Before the terrors of his countenance 

In his high palace roofed with brightest gems 

Of living light call them the stars of heaven 

Named me his counsellor. But the high praise 

Stung me with pride and envy, and I rose 

In mighty competition, to ascend 

His seat, and place my foot triumphantly 

Upon his subject thrones. Chastised, I know 

The depth to which ambition falls : too mad 

Was the attempt, and yet more mad were now 

Repentance of the irrevocable deed ; 

Therefore I close this ruin with the glory 

Of not to be subdued, before the shame 

Of reconciling me with him who reigns 

By coward cession. Nor was I alone, 

Nor am I now, nor shall I be alone; 

And there was hope, and there may still be hope, 

For many suffrages among his vassals 

Hailed me their lord and king, and many still 

Are mine, and many more shall be. 

Thus vanquished, though in fact victorious, 

I left his seat of empire" 

This " grey veil " serves but to heighten the noble 
poetic quality which turned a cooler head than Shelley's. 
Goethe was moved to tears, and, though towards the end 
he perceived the mischief wrought in Germany by the 
uncritical idolatry of Calder6n, he never ceased to ad- 
mire the only Spanish poet that he really knew. And in 
our time men like Schack and Schmidt have dedicated 
their lives to the propagation of the Calderonian gospel. 
Some part of the poet's fame is due to his translators, 


some also to the fact that for a long time there was 
no rival in the field. To the rest of Europe he has stood 
for Spain. Readers could not divine (and in default of 
editions they could not contrive to learn) that Calder6n, 
great as he is, comes far short of Lope's freshness, force, 
and invention, far short of Tirso's creative power and 
impressive conception. But Spaniards know better than 
to give him the highest place among their dramatic gods. 
He is too brilliant to be set aside as a mere follower of 
Lope's, for he rises to heights of poetry which Lope never 
reached ; yet it is simple history that he did but develop 
the seed which Lope planted. He made no attempt 
and there he showed good judgment to reform the 
Spanish drama ; he was content to work upon the old 
ways, borrowing hints from his predecessors, and, in 
a lazy mood, incorporating entire scenes. If we are to 
believe Viguier and Philarete Chasles, he went so far 
as to annex Corneille's Heraclius (1647), and publish it in 
1664 as En esta vida todo es verdad y todo es mentira (In 
this Life All's True and All's False) ; but, as he knew no 
French, the chances are that both plays derive from a 
common source Mira de Amescua's Rueda de lafortuna 
(1614). In attempts to create character he almost always 
fails, and when he succeeds as in El Alcalde de Zala- 
mea he succeeds by brilliantly retouching Lope's first 
sketch. Goethe hit Calder6n's weak spot with the re- 
mark that his characters are as alike as bullets or leaden 
soldiers cast in the same mould ; and the constant lyrical 
interruptions go to show that he knew his own strength. 
Others might match and overcome him as a playwright : 
there was none to approach him in such magnificent 
lyrism as he allots to Justina in El Mdgico Prodigioso to 
be quoted here in FitzGerald's rendering : 


" Who that in his hour of glory 

Walks the kingdom of the rose, 
And misapprehends the story 

Which through all the garden blows; 
Which the southern air who brings 
It touches, and the leafy strings 

Lightly to the touch respond; 
And nightingale to nightingale 

Answering a bough beyond. . . . 

Lo! the golden Girasolt, 

That to hint by whom she burns, 
Over heaven slowly, slowly, 

As he travels, ever turns, 
And beneath the wat*ry main 
When he sinks, would follow fain, 

Follow fain from west to east, 
And then from east to west again. . . . 

So for her who having lighted 

In another heart the fire, 
Then shall leave it unrequited 

In its ashes to expire : 
After her that sacrifice 
Through the garden burns and cries, 
In the sultry, breathing air, 
In the flowers that turn and stare. . . " 

Such songs as these are, perhaps, better to read than to 
hear, and Calder6n is careful to supply a more popular 
interest. This he finds in three sentiments which are 
still most characteristic of the Spanish temperament : 
personal loyalty to the King, absolute devotion to the 
Church, and the "point of honour." Through good 
report and evil, Spain has held by the three principles 
which have made and undone her. These three sources 
of inspiration find their highest expression in the theatre 
of Calder6n. A favourite with Felipe IV., a courtly 
poet, if ever one there were, he becomes the mouth- 
piece of a nation when he deifies the King in the 


Principe Constante, in La Banda y la Flor (The Scarf 
and the Flower), in Gudrdate de la Agua mansa (Beware 
of Still Water), and in a score of plays. Ticknor 
speaks of " CaldenSn's flattery of the great " : he over- 
looks the social condition implied in the title of Rojas 
Zorrilla's famous play, Del Rey abajo Ninguno (Nobody, 
under the King). A titular aristocracy, shorn of all 
power, counted for less than a foreigner can conceive 
in a land where half the population was noble, and 
the reverence which was centred on the person of the 
Lord's anointed evolved into a profound devotion, a 
fantastic passion as exaggerated as anything in Amadis. 
A Church which had inspired the seven-hundred-years' 
battle against the Moors, which had produced miracles 
of holiness and of genius like Santa Teresa and San 
Juan de la Cruz, which had stemmed the flood of the 
Reformation and rolled it back from the Pyrenees, was 
regarded as the one moral authority, the sole possible 
form of religion, and as the symbol of Latin unity under 
Spain's headship. 

The "point of honour" the vengeance wrought by 
husbands, fathers, and brothers in the cases of women 
found in dubious circumstances is harder to explain, 
or, at least, to justify ; yet even this was a perverted 
outcome of chivalresque ideals, very acceptable to men 
who esteemed life more cheaply than their neighbours. 
Calder6n's treatment of such a situation may be followed 
in FitzGerald's version of El Pintor de su Deshonra. The 
husband, who has slain his wife and her lover, confronts 
her father and friends : 

Prince. " Whoever dares 

Molest him, answers it to me. Open the door. 

But what is this f [Belardo unlocks the door. 


Juan (coming out). A picture 

Done by the Painter of his own Dishonour, 

In blood. 

I am Don Juan Roca. Such revenge 

As each would have of me now let him take 

As far as our life holds Don Pedro, who 

Gave me that lovely creature for a bride, 

And 1 return him a bloody corpse; 

Don Luis, who beholds his bosom 's son 

Slain by his bosom friend; and you, my lord, 

Who, for your favours, might expect apiece 

In some far other style than this. 

Deal with me as you list; 'twill be a mercy 

To swell this complement of death with mine; 

For all I had to do is done, and life 

Is worse than nothing now. 

Prince. Get you to horse 

And leave the wind behind you. 

Luis. Nay, my lord; 

Whom should he fly from ? Not from me at least, 
Who lotfd his honour as my own, and would 
Myself have helped him in a just revenge 
Et?n on an only son. 

Pedro. I cannot speak, 

But I bow down these miserable grey hairs 
To other arbitrament than the sword, 
Eitn to your Highness* justice. 

Prince. Be it so. 


Juan. Meanwhile, my lord, let me depart '/ 

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

Pnnce. Depart 

In peace. 
Juan. In peace! Come, Leonelo? 


Similar motives are used by Lope de Vega and Tirso 
de Molina, both priests and grey-beards ; but the effect 
is more emphatic in Calder6n, and so early as 1683 his 
"immorality" was severely censured on the occasion 
of Manuel de Guerra y Ribera's eulogistic aprobacion. 
In this matter, as in most others, he is satisfied to 
follow and to exaggerate an existing convention. His 
heroes are untouched by Othello's sublime jealousy : 
they kill their victims in cold blood as something due 
to the self-respect of gentlemen placed in an absurd 
position. He rehandles the theme in A Secreto Agravio 
Secreta Venganza and in El Medico de su Honra ; but the 
right emotion is rarely felt by the reader, since Calderon 
himself is seldom fired by real passion, and writes his 
scene as a splendid exercise in literature. 

His genius is most visible in his autos sacramentales, a 
dramatic form peculiar to Spain. The word auto is first 
applied to any and every play ; then, the meaning be- 
coming narrower, an auto is a religious play, resembling 
the mediaeval Mysteries (Gil Vicente's Auto de San 
Martinho is probably the earliest piece of this type). 
Finally, a far more special sense is developed, and an 
auto sacramental comes to mean a dramatised exposition 
of the Mystery of the Blessed Eucharist, to be played in 
the open on Corpus Christi Day. The Dutch traveller, 
Frans van Aarssens van Sommelsdijk, has left an account 
of the spectacle as he saw it when Calder6n was in his 
prime. Borne in procession through the city, the Host 
was followed by sovereigns, courtiers, and the multitude, 
with artificial giants and pasteboard monsters tarascas 
at their head. Fifers, bandsmen, dancers of decorous 
measures accompanied the train to the cathedral. In 
the afternoon the assembly met in the public square, 



and the auto was played before the King, who sat beneath 
a canopy, the richer public, which lined the balconies, and 
the general, which rilled the road. Even for an educated 
Protestant nothing is easier than to confound an auto 
sacramental with a comedia devota or a comedia de santos : 
thus Bouterwek, in his History, and Longfellow, in his 
Outre- Her, have mistaken the Devocidn de la Cruz for an 
auto. The distinction is radical. The true auto has no 
secondary interest, has no mundane personages : its one 
subject is the Eucharistic Mystery exposed by allegorical 
characters. Denis Florence M'Carthy's version of Los 
Encantos de la Culpa (The Sorceries of Sin) enables English 
readers to judge the genre for themselves : 

Sin. "... Smell, come here, and with thy sense 

Test this bread, this substance, tell me 

Is it bread or flesh ? 
The Smell. Its smell 

Is the smell of bread. 
Sin. Taste, enter; 

Try it thou. 
The Taste. Its taste 

Is plainly that of bread. 
Sin, Touch, come; -why tremble f 

Say whafs this thou touchest. 

The Touch Bread. 

Sin. Sight, declare what thou discernest 

In this object. 

The Sight. Bread alone. 

Sin. Hearing, thou, too, break in pieces 

This material, 'which, as flesh, 

Faith proclaims, and penance preacheth; 

Let the fraction by its noise 

Of their error undeceive them : 

Say, is it so ? 
The Hearing. Ungrateful Sin, 

Though the noise in truth resembles 

That of bread when broken, yet 


Faith and Penance teach us better. 
It is fleshy and what they call it 
I believe : that Faith asserteth 
Aught, is proof enough thereof. 

The Understanding. This one reason brings contentment 
Unto me. 

Penance. O man, why linger, 

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

The Man. Yes, thou'rt right, O Understanding; 

Lead in safety hence my senses. 

All. Let us to our ship; for here 

All is shadowy and unsettled? 

As a writer of autos Calder6n is supreme. Lope, who 
outshines him at so many points, is far less dexterous 
than his successor when he attempts the sacramental 
play. This kind of drama would almost seem created 
for the greater glory of Calderon. The personages 
of his worldly plays, and even of his comedias devotas, 
tend to become personifications of revenge, love, pride, 
charity, and the rest. His set pieces are disfigured by 
want of humour and by over-refinement faults which 
turn to virtues in the autos, where abstractions are 
wedded to the noblest poetry, where the Beyond is 
brought down to earth, and where doctrinal subtleties 
are embellished with miraculous ingenuity. To assert 
that Calderon is incomparably great in the autos is to 


imply some censure of his art in his secular dramas. 
The monotony and artifice of his sacramental plays 
might be thought inherent to the species, were not 
these two notes characteristic of his whole theatre. Nor 
is it an explanation to say that much writing of autos 
had affected his general methods ; for not merely are 
the secular plays more numerous they are also mostly 
earlier than the autos, whose real defects are a lack of 
dramatic interest, an appeal to a taste so local and so 
temporary that they are now as extinct in Spain as are 
masques in England. Still the passing fashions xvhich 
produced Comus in the north, and the Encantos de la 
Culpa or the Cena de Baltasar in the south, are justified 
to all lovers of great poetry. The autos lingered on the 
stage till 1765, but their genuine inspiration ended with 
Calder6n, who, in all but a literal sense, may be held for 
their creator. 

Lope de Vega is the greatest of Spanish dramatists ; 
Calder6n is amongst those who most nearly approach 
him. Lope incarnates the genius of a nation ; Calderon 
expresses the genius of an age. He is a Spaniard t;> 
the marrow, but a Spaniard of the seventeenth century 
a courtier with a turn for culteranisnw, averse from 
the picaresque contrasts which lend variety to Lope's 
scene and to Tirso's. His interpretation of existence is 
so idealised that his stage becomes in some sort the 
apotheosis of his century. His characters are not so 
much men and women, as allegorical types of men 
and women as Calder6n conceived them. It is not 
real life that he reveals, for he regarded realism as 
ignoble and unclean : he offers in its place a brilliant 
pageant of abstract emotions. He is not a universal 
dramatist : he ranks with the greatest writers for the 


Spanish stage, inasmuch as he is the greatest poet using 
the dramatic form. And, leaving aside his anachronisms 
and jumblings of mythology, he is a scrupulous artist, 
careful of his literary form and of his construction. 
The finished execution of his best passages is so irre- 
sistible that FitzGerald declared Isabel's characteristic 
speech in the Alcalde de Zalamea to be " worthy of the 
Greek Antigone " : " Oh, never, never might the light 
of day arise and show me to myself in my shame ! O 
fleeting morning star, mightest thou never yield to the 
dawn that even now presses on thine azure skirts ! And 
thou, great Orb of all, do thou stay down in the cold 
ocean foam ; let Night for once advance her trembling 
empire into thine ! For once assert thy voluntary power 
to hear and pity human misery and prayer, nor hasten 
up to proclaim the vilest deed that Heaven, in revenge 
on man, has written on his guilty annals. Alas ! even 
as I speak, thou liftest thy bright, inexorable face above 
the hills." Contrast with this impassioned lament (a 
little toned down in FitzGerald's version) the aphoristic 
wisdom of Pedro Crespo's counsel to his son in the 
same play : " Thou com'st of honourable if of humble 
stock ; bear both in mind, so as neither to be daunted 
from trying to rise, nor puffed up so as to be sure 
to fall. How many have done away the memory of a 
defect by carrying themselves modestly, while others, 
again, have gotten a blemish only by being too proud 
of being born without one. There is a just humility 
that will maintain thine own dignity, and yet make thee 
insensible to many a rub that galls the proud spirit. 
Be courteous in thy manner, and liberal of thy purse ; 
for 'tis the hand to the bonnet, and in the pocket, that 
makes friends in this world, of which to gain one good, 


all the gold the sun breeds in India, or the universal 
sea sucks down, were a cheap purchase. Speak no evil 
of women ; I tell thee the meanest of them deserves our 
respect ; for of women do we not all come ? Quarrel 
with no one but with good cause. ... I trust in God 
to live to see thee home again with honour and 
advancement on thy back." 

Had Calder6n always maintained this level, he would 
be classed with the first masters of all ages and all 
countries. His blood, his faith, his environment were 
limitations which prevented his becoming a world-poet; 
his majesty, his devout lyrism, his decorative fantasy 
suffice to place him in the foremost file of national 
poets. But he was not so national that foreign 
adaptors left him untouched : thus D'Ouville annexed 
the Dama Duende under the title of L Esprit follet, 
which reappears as Killigrew's Parson's Wedding ; thus 
Dryden's Evening's Love is Calder6n done from Cor- 
neille's French ; thus Wycherley's Gentleman Dancing 
Master derives from El Maestro de danzar. Yet, though 
Calderdn's plots may be conveyed, his substance cannot 
be denationalised, being, as he is, the sublimest Catholic 
poet, as Catholicism and poetry were understood by the 
Spaniards of the seventeenth century : a local genius of 
intensely local savour, exercising his dramatic in local 

Archbishop Trench has suggested that in the three 
great theatres of the world the best period covers h'ttle 
more than a century, and he proves his thesis by a 
reference to dates. ^Eschylus was born B.C. 525, and 
Euripides died B.C. 406 : Marlowe was born in 1564, 
and Shirley died in 1666 : Lope was born in 1562, and 
Calder6n died in 1681. With Calder6n the heroic age 


of the Spanish theatre reached a splendid close. He 
chanced to outlive his Toledan contemporary, FRANCISCO _ 
DE RQJAS ZORRILLA (1607-? 1661), from whose Traicion ff" 
busca el Castigo Le Sage has arranged his Trattre punt, 
and Vanbrugh his False Friend. A courtly poet, and 
a Commander of the Order of Santiago, Rojas Zorrilla 
collaborated with fashionable writers like Velez de 
Guevara, Mira de Amescua, and Calder6n, of whom he 
is accounted a disciple, though his one great tragedy has 
real individual power. His two volumes of plays (1640, 
1645) reveal him as a most ingenious dramatist, who 
carries the " point of honour " further than Calder6n in 
his best known play, Del Rey abajo ninguno, a charac- 
teristically Spanish piece. Garcia de Castanar, appa- 
rently a peasant living near Toledo, subscribes so 
generously to the funds for the expedition to Algeciras 
that King Alfonso XI. resolves to visit him in disguise. 
Garcia gets wind of this, and receives his guests honour- 
ably, mistaking Mendo for Alfonso. Mendo conceives 
a passion for Blanca, Garcfa's wife, and is discovered by 
the husband at Blanca's door. As the King is inviolate 
for a subject, Garcia resolves to slay Blanca, who escapes 
to court. Garcia is summoned by the King, finds his 
mistake, settles matters by slaying Mendo in the palace, 
and explains to his sovereign (and his audience) that 
none under the King can affront him with impunity. 
Rojas Zorrilla's style occasionally inclines to cultera- 
nismo ; but this is an obvious concession to popular 
taste, his true manner being direct and energetic. His 
clever construction and witty dialogue are best studied 
in Lo que son Mujeres (What Women are) and in Entre 
Bobos anda el Juego (The Boobies' Sport). 

A very notable talent is that of AGUSTIN MORETO Y 


CAVA&A (1618-69), whose popularity as a writer of cloak- 
and-sword plays is only less than Lope's. In 1639 Moreto 
graduated as a licentiate in arts at Alcala de Henares. 
Thence he made his way to Madrid, where he found a 
protector in Calder6n. He published a volume of plays 
in 1654, and is believed to have taken orders three years 
later. Moreto is not a great inventor, but so far as con- 
cerns stage-craft he is above all contemporaries. In 
El Desctin con el Desctin (Scorn for Scorn) he borrows 
Lope's Milagros del Desprecio (Scorn works Wonders), 
and it is fair to say that the rifacimento excels the ori- 
ginal at every point. Diana, daughter of the Conde 
de Barcelona, mocks at marriage : her father surrounds 
her with the neighbouring gallants, among whom is the 
Conde de Urgel. Urgel's affected coolness piques the 
lady into a resolve to captivate him, and she so far 
succeeds as to lead him to avow his love for her : he 
escapes rejection by feigning that his declaration was 
a jest, and the dramatic solution is brought about by 
Diana's surrender. The plot is ordered with consum- 
mate skill, the dialogue is of the gayest humour, the 
characters more life-like than any but Alarcon's ; and 
as evidence of the playwright's tact, it is enough to say 
that when Moliere, in his Princesse (flide, strove to 
repeat Moreto's exploit he met with ignominious disaster. 
In the delicacy of touch with which Moreto handles a 
humorous situation he is almost unrivalled ; and in the 
broader spirit of farce, his graciosos comic characters, 
generally body-servants to the heroes are admirable for 
natural force and for gusts of spontaneous wit. In El 
Undo Don Diego he has fixed the type of the fop con- 
vinced that he is irresistible, and the presentation of 
fatuity which leads Don Diego into marriage with a 


serving-wench (whom he mistakes for a countess) is 
among the few masterpieces of high comedy. Moreto's 
historical plays are of less universal interest ; in this kind, 
El Rico Hombre de Alcald is a powerful and sympathetic 
picture of Pedro the Cruel the strong man doing justice 
on the noble, Tello Garcia from the standpoint of the 
Spanish populace, which has ever respected el Rey justi- 
ciero. In his later years Moreto betook him to the comedia 
devota; his San Francisco de Sena is extravagantly and 
almost ludicrously devout, as in the scenes where Fran- 
cisco wagers his eyes, loses, is struck blind, and repents 
on recovering his sight. The devout play was not 
Moreto's calling : in his first and best manner, as a 
master of the lighter, gayer comedy, he holds his own 
against all Spain. 

Among the followers of Calder6n are Antonio Cuello 
(d. 1652), who is reported to have collaborated with 
Felipe IV. in El Conde de Essex ; Alvaro Cubillo de 
Aragon (fl. 1664), whose Perfecta Casada is a good piece 
of work ; Juan Matos Fragoso (? 1614-92), who bor- 
rowed and plagiarised with successful audacity ; but 
these, with many others, are mere imitators, and the 
Spanish theatre declines lower and lower, till in the 
hands of Carlos II.'s favourite, Francisco Antonio Bances 
Candamo (1662-1704), it reaches its nadir. The last 
good playwright of the classic age is ANTONIO DE SOLIS 
Y RIVADENEIRA (1610-86), who, by the accident of his 
long life, lends a ray of renown to the deplorable reign 
of Carlos II. His dramas are excellent in construction 
and phrasing, and his Amor al uso was popular in France 
through Thomas Corneille's adaptation. 

But his title to fame rests, not on verse, but on 
prose. His Historia de la Conquista de Mejico (1684) is 


a most distinguished performance, even if we compare 
it with Mariana's. Seeing that Solfs lived through the 
worst periods of Gongorism, his style is a marvel of 
purity, though a difficult critic might well condemn its 
cloying suavity. Still, his work has never been displaced 
since its first appearance, for it deals with a very pic- 
turesque period, is eloquent and clear, and is almost 
excessively patriotic in tone and spirit. Gibbon, in his 
sixty-second chapter, mentions "an Aragonese history 
which I have read with pleasure " the Expedition de los 
catalanes y aragoneses contra turcos y griegos by Francisco 
de Moncada, Conde de Osuna (1586-1635). "He never 
quotes his authorities," adds Gibbon ; and, in fact, Mon- 
cada mostly translates from Ramon Muntaner's Catalan 
Crdnica, though he translates in excellent fashion. Diego 
de Saavedra Fajardo (1584-1648) writes with force and 
ease in his uncritical Corona Gdtica, and in his more 
interesting literary review, the Republica literaria ; his 
freedom from Gongorism is explained by the fact that 
he passed most of his life out of Spain. The Portuguese, 
FRANCISCO MANUEL DE MELO (1611-66), is ill repre- 
sented by his Historia de los Movimientos, Separation y 
Guerra de Cataluna (1645), where he is given over to both 
Gongorism and conceptisnto : in his native tongue as in 
his Apologos Dialogaes he writes with simplicity, strength, 
and wit. Melo's life was unlucky : when he was not being 
shipwrecked, he was in jail on suspicion of being a mur- 
derer ; and being out of jail, he was exiled to Brazil. His 
reward is posthumous : both Portuguese and Spaniards 
hold him for a classic, and Sr. Menendez y Pelayo even 
compares him to Quevedo. 

Another man of Portuguese birth has won immortality 
outside of literature ; yet there is ground for thinking that 


had the sense for language as for paint. His Memoria de 
las Pinturas (1658) exists in an unique copy published 
at Rome under the name of his pupil, Juan de Alfaro, 
though its substance is unscrupulously embodied in 
Francisco de los Santos' Description Breve of the Escorial. 
Formally, it is a catalogue ; substantially, it expresses the 
artist's judgment on his great predecessors. Thus, of 
Paolo Veronese's Wedding Feast he writes : " There 
are admirable heads, and almost all of them seem por- 
traits. Not that of the Virgin : she has more reserve, 
more divinity : though very beautiful, she corresponds 
fittingly to the age of Christ, who is beside her a point 
which most artists overlook, for they paint Christ as a 
man, and His Mother as a girl." The great realist speaks 
once more in describing Veronese's Purification: "The 
Virgin kneels . . . holding on a white cloth the Child 
naked, beautiful, and tender with a restlessness so suited 
to his age that He seems more a piece of living flesh than 
something painted." And, in the same spirit, he writes 
of Tintoretto's Washing of the Feet: "It is hard to 
believe that one is looking at a painting. Such is the 
truth of colour, such the exactness of perspective, that 
one might think to go in and walk on the pavement, 
tessellated with stones of divers colours, which, diminish- 
ing in size, make the room seem larger, and lead you to 
believe that there is atmosphere between each figure. 
The table, seats (and a dog which is worked in) are truth, 
not paint. . . . Once for all, any picture placed beside it 
looks like something expressed in terms of colour, and 
this seems all the truer." Strangely enough, this writing 
of Velazquez is ignored by most, perhaps by all, of his 
biographers; yet it deserves a passing reference as a 


model of energetic expression in a time when most pro- 
fessional men of letters were Gongorists or conceptistas. 

A certain directness of style is found in Ger6nimo de 
Alcala Yanez y Ribera's Alonso, Mozo de muchos Amos 
(1625), in Alonso de Castillo Sol6rzano's Gardufia de 
Seville (the Seville Weasel, 1634), m * ne Siglo Pitagorico 
(1644) of the Segovian Jew, Antonio Enn'quez G6mez, 
and in the half-true, half -invented Vida y Hechos de 
Estebanillo Gonzdlez (1646) all picaresque tales, clever, 
amusing, and improper, on the approved pattern. But 
the pest of preciosity spread to fiction, is conspicuous in 
the Espanol Gerardo of Gonzalo de Cespedes y Meneses, 
and steadily degenerates till it becomes arrant nonsense 
in the Varies Efectos de Amor (1641) of Alonso de Alcald y 
Herrera five stories, in each of which one of the vowels 
is omitted. Alcala, however, had neither talent nor 
influence. The Aragonese Jesuit, BALTASAR GRACiAn. 
(1601-58), had both, and his vogue is proved by nume- 
rous editions, by translations, by such references as that 
in the Entretiens of Bouhours, who proclaims him " le 
sublime'' Addison thrice mentions him with respect in 
the Spectator, and it is suggested that Rycaut's rendering 
of the Criticon may have given Defoe the idea of Man 
Friday. In the present century Schopenhauer vowed 
that the Criticon was " one of the best books in the 
world," and Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff, taking his cue 
from Schopenhauer, has extolled Gracian with some 

Gracian seems to have been indifferent to popularity, 
and his works, published somewhat against his will by 
his friend, Vincencio Juan de Lastanosa, were mostly 
issued under the name of Lorenzo Gracian. His first 
work was El Hfroe (1630), an ideal rendering of the 


<l V. ~ 

GRACIAN f 339 

Happy Warrior, as El Discrete (1647) is the ideal of the 
Politic Courtier ; more important than either is the 
Agudeza y Arte de Ingenio (1642), a conceptista Art of 
Rhetoric, of singular learning, subtlety, and catholic 
taste. The three parts of the Criticdn, which appeared 
between 1650 and 1653, correspond to "the spring of 
childhood," "the summer of youth," and "the autumn 
of manhood." In this allegory of life the shipwrecked 
Critilo meets the wild man Andrenio, who finally learns 
Spanish and reveals his soul to Critilo, whom he accom- 
panies to Spain, where he communes with both allegorical 
figures and real personages on all manner of philosophic 
questions. The general tone of the Criticdn goes far 
towards explaining Schopenhauer's admiration ; for the 
Spaniard is no less a woman-hater, is no less bitter, sar- 
castic, denunciatory, and pessimistic than the German. 
Gracian, to use his own phrase, "flaunts his unhappi- 
ness as a trophy" in phrases whose laboured ingenuity 
begins by impressing, and ends by fatiguing, the reader. 
It is difficult to believe that Gracian's attitude towards 
life is more than a pose ; but the pose is dignified, and 
he puts the pessimistic case with vigour and skill. His 
Ordculo Manual 6 Arte de Prudencia (1653), a reduction 
of his gospel to the form of maxims, has found admirers 
(and even an excellent translator in the person of Mr. 
Joseph Jacobs). The reflection is always acute, and 
seems at whiles to anticipate the thought of La Roche- 
foucauld doubtless because both drew from common 
sources ; but though the doctrine and spirit be almost 
identical, Gracidn nowhere approaches La Rochefou- 
cauld's metallic brilliancy and concise perfection. He is 
not content to deliver his maxim, and have done with it : 
he adds so to say elaborate postscripts and epigram- 


matic amplifications, which debase the maxim to a plati- 
tude. Mr. John Morley's remark, that " some of his 
aphorisms give a neat turn to a commonplace," is 
scarcely too severe. Yet one cannot choose but think 
that Gracidn was superior to his work. He had it in 
him to be as good a writer as he was a keen observer, 
and in many passages, when he casts his affectations from 
him, his expression is as lucid and as strong as may be ; 
but he would posture, would be paradoxical to avoid 
being trite, would bewilder with his conceit and learn- 
ing, would try to pack more meaning into words than 
words will carry. No man ever wrote with more care 
and scruple, with more ambition to excel according to 
the formulae of a fashionable school, with more scorn 
for Gongorism and all its work. Still, though he avoided 
the offence of obscure language, he sinned most griev- 
ously by obscurity of thought, and he is now forgotten 
by all but students, who look upon him as a chief among 
the wrong-headed, misguided conceptistas. 

A last faint breath of mysticism is found in the Tra- 
tado de la Hermosura de Dios (1641) by the Jesuit, Juan 
Eusebio Nieremberg (1590-1658), whose prose, though 
elegant and relatively pure, lacks the majesty of Luis 
de Leon's and the persuasiveness of Granada's. More 
familiar in style, the letters of Felipe IV.'s friend, Maria 
Coronel y Arana (1602-65), known in religion as Sor 
MARIA DE JESUS DE AGREDA, may still be read with 
pleasure. Professed at sixteen, she was elected abbess 
of her convent at twenty-five, and her Mistica Ciudad de 
Dios has gone through innumerable editions in almost 
all languages; her Correspondencia con Felipe IV. extends 
over twenty-two years, from 1643 onwards, and is as re- 
markable for its profound piety as for its sound appre- 


ciation of public affairs. The common interest of King 
and nun began with the doctrine of the Immaculate 
Conception, which both desired to have denned as an 
article of faith ; domestic and foreign politics come 
under discussion later, and it soon becomes plain that 
the nun is the man. While Felipe IV. weakly laments 
that " the Cortes are seeking places, taking no more 
notice of the insurrection than if the enemy were at 
the Philippines," Sor Marfa de Jesus strives to steady 
him, to lend him something of her own strong will, by 
urging him to "be a King," "to do his duty." There is 
a curious reference to the passing of Cromwell "the 
enemy of our faith and kingdom, the only person whose 
death I ever desired, or ever prayed to God for." Her 
practical advice fell on deaf ears, and when she died, 
no man seemed left in Spain to realise that the country 
was slowly bleeding to death, becoming a cypher in 
politics, in art, in letters. 

One single ecclesiastic rises above his fellows during 
the ruinous reign of Carlos the Bewitched, and his 
renown is greater out of Spain than in it. MIGUEL DE 
MOLINOS (1627-97), the founder of Quietism, was a 
native of Muniesa, near Zaragoza ; was educated by the 
Jesuits ; and held a living at Valencia. He journeyed 
to Rome in 1665, won vast esteem as a confessor, and 
there, in 1675, published his famous Spiritual Guide in 
Italian. Mr. Shorthouse, an English apostle of Quietism, 
mentions a Spanish rendering which "won such popu- 
larity in his native country that some are still found who 
declare that the Spanish version is earlier than the 
Italian." It is almost certain that Molinos wrote in 
Spanish, and to judge by the translations, he must have 
written with admirable force. But, as a matter of fact, 


no Spanish version was ever popular in Spain, for the 
reason that none has ever existed. This is not the place 
to discuss the personal character of Molinos, who stands 
accused of grave crimes ; nor to weigh the value of his 
teaching, nor to follow its importation into France by 
Mme. de la Mothe Guyon ; nor to look into the contro- 
versy which wrecked Fe"nelon's career. Still it should 
be noted as characteristic of Carlos II.'s reign, that a 
book by one of his subjects was influencing all Europe 
without any man in Spain being aware of it. 



LETTERS, arts, and even rational politics, practically died 
in Spain during the reign of Carlos II. Good work was 
done in serious branches of study : in history by Caspar 
Ibanez de Segovia Peralta y Mendoza, Marques de Mon- 
dejar ; in bibliography by Nicolas Antonio ; in law by 
Francisco Ramos del Manzano ; in mathematics by Hugo 
de Omerique, whose analytic gifts won the applause of 
Newton. But all the rest was neglected while the King 
was exorcised, and was forced to swallow a quart of holy 
oil as a counter-charm against the dead men's brains 
given him (as it was alleged) by his mother in a cup of 
chocolate. Nor did the nightmare lift with his death on 
November i, 1700 : the War of the Succession lasted till 
the signing of the Utrecht Treaty in 1713. The new 
sovereign, Felipe V., grandson of Louis XIV., interested 
himself in the progress of his people ; and being a 
Frenchman of his time, he believed in the centralisation 
of learning. His chief ally was that Marques de Villena 
familiar to all readers of St. Simon as the major-domo 
who used his wand upon Cardinal Alberoni's skull : " II 
leve son petit baton et le laisse tomber de toute sa force 
dru et menu sur les oreilles du cardinal, en 1'appelant petit 
coquin, petit faquin, petit impudent qui ne meritoit que 

23 343 


les etrivieres." But even St. Simon admits Villena's rare 
qualities: "II savoit beaucoup, et il etoit de toute sa 
vie en commerce avec la plupart de tous les savants des 
divers pays de 1'Europe. . . . C'etait un homme bon, doux, 
honnete, sense . . . enfin 1'honneur, la probite, la valeur, 
la vertu meme." In 1711 the Biblioteca Nacional was 
founded ; in 1714 the Spanish Academy of the Lan- 
guage was established, with Villena as "director," and 
soon set to earnest work. The only good lexicon pub- 
lished since Nebrija's was Sebastidn de Covarrubias y 
Horozco's Tesoro de la Lengua castellana (1611): under 
Villena's guidance the Academy issued the six folios 
of its Dictionary, commonly called the Diccionario de 
Autoridades (1726-39). Accustomed to his Littre, his 
Grimm, to the scientific methods of MM. Arsene Dar- 
mesteter, Hatzfeld, and Thomas, and to that monu- 
mental work now publishing at the Clarendon Press, the 
modern student is too prone to dwell on the defects 
manifest enough of the Spanish Academy's Dictionary. 
Yet it was vastly better than any other then existing in 
Europe, is still of unique value to scholars, and was so 
much too good for its age that, in 1780, it was cut down 
to one poor volume. The foundation of the Academy of 
History, under Agustfn de Montiano, in 1738, is another 
symptom of French authority. 

Mr. Gosse and Dr. Garnett, in previous volumes of the 
present series, have justly emphasised the predominance 
of French methods both in English and Italian literature 
during the eighteenth century. In Germany the French 
sympathies of Frederick the Great and of Wieland were to 
be no less obvious. Sooner or later, it was inevitable that 
Spain should undergo the French influence ; yet, though 
the French nationality of the King is a factor to be taken 


into account, his share in the literary revolution is too 
often exaggerated. Long before Felipe V. was born 
Spaniards had begun to interest themselves in French 
literature. Thus Quevedo, who translated the Intro- 
duction a la Vie Devote of St. Francois de Sales, showed 
himself familiar with the writings of a certain Miguel d 
Montana, more recognisable as Michel de Montaigne. 
Juan Bautista Diamante, apparently ignorant of Guillen ^ 
de Castro's play, translated Corneille's Cid under the 
title of El Honrador de su padre (1658) ; and in March 
1680 an anonymous arrangement of the Bourgeois Gentil- 
homme was given at the Buen Retiro under the title of 
El Labrador Gentilhombre. Still more significant is an 
incident recalled by Sr. Menendez y Pelayo : the staging 
of Corneille's Rodogune and Moliere's Les Femmes Sa- 
vantes at Lima, about the year 1710, in Castilian ver- 
sions, made by Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo. Compared 
with this, the Madrid translations of Corneille's Cinna 
and of Racine's Iphige"nie, by Francisco de Pizarro y 
Piccolomini, Marques de San Juan (1713), and by Jose 
de Canizares (1716), are of small moment. The latter 
performances may very well have been due in great part 
to the personal influence of the celebrated Madame des 
Ursins, an active French agent at the Spanish court. 

Readers curious as to the Spanish poets of the eight- 
eenth century may turn with confidence to the masterly 
and exhaustive Historia Critica of the Marques de Valmar. 
Their number may be inferred from this detail : that more 
than one hundred and fifty competed at a poetic joust 
held in honour of St. Aloysius Gonzaga and St. Stanislaus 
Kostka in 1727. But none of all the tribe is of real im- 
portance. It is enough to mention the names of Juan 
Jose" de Salazar y Hontiveros, a priestly copromaniac, 


like his contemporary, Swift ; of Jose Le6n y Mansilla, 
who wrote a third Soledad in continuation of G6ngora ; 
and of Sor Maria del Cielo, a mild practitioner in lyrical 
mysticism. A little later there follow Gabriel Alvarez de 
Toledo, a representative conceptista ; Eugenio Gerardo 
Lobo, a romantic soldier with a craze for versifying ; 
Diego de Torres y Villarroel, an encyclopaedic professor 
at Salamanca, who, half-knowing everything from the 
cedar by Lebanon to the hyssop that groweth on the 
wall, showed critical insight by the contempt in which 
he held his own rhymes. The Carmelite, Fray Juan de 
la Concepcion, a Gongorist of the straitest sect, was the 
idol of his generation, and proved his quality, when he 
was elected to the Academy in 1744, by returning thanks 
in a rhymed speech : an innovation which scandalised 
his brethren, and has never been repeated. 

A head and shoulders over these rises the figure of 
(1702-54), who, spending his youth in Italy, was so it 
is believed a pupil of Giovanni Battista Vico at Naples, 
where he remained during eighteen years. For his cen- 
tury, Luzan's equipment was considerable. His Greek 
and Latin were of the best ; Italian was almost his native 
tongue ; he read Descartes and epitomised the Port- 
Royal treatise on logic ; he was versed in German, and, 
meeting with Paradise Lost probably during his resi- 
dence as Secretary to the Embassy in Paris (1747-50) 
he first revealed Milton to Spain by translating select 
passages into prose. His verses, original and translated, 
are insignificant, though, as an instance of his French 
taste, his version of Lachaussee's Prejuge' a la Mode is 
worthy of notice : not so the four books of his Po^tica 
(1737). So early as 1728, Luzan prepared six Ragiona- 


menti sopra la poesia for the Palermo Academy, and on 
his return to Spain in 1733 he re-arranged his treatise 
in Castilian. The Pottica avowedly aims at "subjecting 
Spanish verse to the rules which obtain among cultured 
nations " ; and though its basis is Lodovico Muratori's 
Delia perfetta poesia, with suggestions borrowed from 
Vincenzo Gravina and Giovanni Crescimbeni, the general 
drift of Luzan's teaching coincides with that of French 
doctrinaires like Rapin, Boileau, and Le Bossu. It seems 
probable that his views became more and more French^* 7> 
with time, for the posthumous reprint of the Pottica 
(1789) shows an increase of anti-national spirit ; but on 
this point it is hard to judge, inasmuch as his pupil and 
editor, Eugenic de Llaguno y Amfrola (a strong French 
partisan, who translated Racine's Athalie in 1754), is sus- 
pected of tampering with this text, as he adulterated that 
of Diaz Gamez' Cronica del Conde de Buelna. 

Luzan's destructive criticisms are always acute, and 
are generally just. Lope is for him a genius of amazing 
force and variety, while Calder6n is a singer of exquisite 
music. With this ingratiating prelude, he has no diffi- 
culty in exposing their most obvious defects, and his 
attack on Gongorism is delivered with great spirit. It is 
in construction that he fails : as when he avers that the 
ends of poetry and moral philosophy are identical, thut 
Homer was a didactic poet expounding political and 
transcendental truths to the vulgar, that epics exist for 
the instruction of monarchs and military chiefs, that the 
period of a play's action should correspond precisely 
with the time that the play takes in acting. Luzan's 
rigorous logic ends by reducing to absurdity the didac- 
tic theories of the eighteenth century ; yet, for all his 
logic, he had a genuine love of poetry, which induced 


him to neglect his abstract rules. It is true that he 
scarcely utters a proposition which is not contradicted 
by implication in other parts of his treatise. Neverthe- 
less, his book has both a literary and an historic value. 
Written in excellent style and temper, with innumerable 
parallels from many literatures, the Pottica served as a 
manifesto which summoned Spain to fall into line with 
academic Europe ; and Spain, among the least academic 
because among the most original of countries, ended by 
obeying. Her old inspiration had passed away with her 
wide dominion, and Luzan deserves credit for lending 
her a new opportune impulse. 

He was not to win without a battle. The official 
licensers, Manuel Gallinero and Miguel Navarro, took 
public objection to the retrospective application of his 
doctrines, and a louder note of opposition was sounded 
in a famous quarterly, the Diario de los Literates de 
Espafta, founded in 1737 by Juan Martinez Salafranca 
and Leopoldo Ger6nimo Puig. Though the Diario was 
patronised by Felipe V., though its judgments are now 
universally accepted, it came before its time : the bad 
authors whom it victimised combined against it, and, 
as the public remained indifferent, the review was soon 
suspended. Even among the contributors to the Diario, 
Luzan found an ally in the person of the clerical lawyer, 
1742), author of the popular Sdtira contra los nialos 
Escritores de su Ttemfo. Hervs, who took the pseu- 
donym of Jorge Pitillas, wrote with boldness, with critical 
sense, with an ease and point and grace which engraved 
his verse upon the general memory ; so that to this day 
many of his lines are as familiar to Spaniards as are 
Pope's to Englishmen. They err who hold with Ticknor 


that Hervas imitated Persius and Juvenal: in style and 
doctrine his immediate model was Boileau, whom he 
adapts with rare skill, and without any acknowledg- 
ment. He carries a step further the French doctrines, 
insinuated rather than proclaimed in the Poetica, and, 
though he was not an avowed propagandist, his sarcastic 
epigrams perhaps did more than any formal treatise to 
popularise the new doctrines. 

A reformer on the same lines was the Benedictine, X^//I 
whose Teatro crltico and Cartas eruditas y curiosas were 
as successful in Spain as were the Tatler and Spectator in 
England. Feij6o's style is laced with Gallicisms, and 
his vain, insolent airs of infallibility are antipathetic ; / 
yet though his admirers have made him ridiculous byTXt. 
calling him " the Spanish Voltaire," his intellectual 
curiosity, his cautious scepticism, his lucid intelligence, 
his fine scent for a superstitious fallacy, place him 
among the best writers of his age. A happy instance - 
of his skill in exposing a paradox is his indictment ofA'^r? 
Rousseau's Discours sur les Sciences et les Arts. His be* 
rancorous tongue raised up crowds of enemies, who 
scrupled not to circulate vague rumours as to his 
heretical tendencies : in fact, his orthodoxy was as 
unimpeachable as were the services which he rendered / 
to his country's enlightenment. His cause, and the 
cause of_learning generally, were championed by the 
Galician, Pedro Jose Garcia y Balboa, best known as 
MARTIN SARMIENTO (1695-1772), the name which he 
bore in the Benedictine order. Sarmiento's erudition 
is at least equal to Feijoo's, and his industry is matched 
by the variety of his interests. As a botanist he won 
the admiration and friendship of Linn6 ; Feij6o's Teatro 


critico owes much to his unselfish supervision ; yet, 
while his name was esteemed throughout Europe, he 
shrank from domestic criticism, and withheld his mis- 
cellaneous works from the press. He owes his place 
in literature to his posthumous Memorias para la historia 
de la Poesiay Poetas espafioles, which, despite its excessive 
local patriotism, is not only remarkable for its shrewd 
insight, but forms the point of departure for all later 
studies. Not less useful was the life's work of GREGORIO 
MAYANS Y SISCAR (1699-1781), who was the first to print 
Juan de Valdes' Didlogo de la Lengua, who was the first 
biographer of Cervantes, and who edited Luis Vives, 
Luis de Le6n, Monde 1 jar, and others. Though much of 
Mayans' writing has grown obsolete in its methods, he 
is honourably remembered as a pioneer, and his Origenes 
de la Lengua castellana is full of wise suggestion and acute 


Prominent among Luzan's followers in the self-con- 
stituted Academia del Buen Gusto is BLAS ANTONIO 
NASARRE Y FERRIZ (1689-1751), an industrious, learned 
polygraph who carried party spirit so far as to reproduce 
Avellaneda's spurious Don Quixote (1732), on the specific 
ground that it was in every way superior to the genuine 
sequel. Cervantes, indeed, was an object of pitying 
contempt to Nasarre, who, when he reprinted Cervantes' 
plays in 1749, contended that they not only were the 
worst ever written, but that they were a heap of follies 
deliberately invented to burlesque Lope de Vega's 
theatre. Of the same school is Lope's merciless foe, 

AGUSTfN MONTIANO Y LUYANDO (1697-1765), author of 
two poor tragedies, the Virginia and the Atanlfo, models 
of dull academic correctness. Yet he found an illus- 
trious admirer in the person of Lessing, who, by his 

ISLA 351 

panegyric on Montiano in the Theatralische Bibliotek, 
remains as a standing example of the fallibility of the 
greatest critics when they pronounce judgment on 
foreign literatures. Even more exaggerated than Mon- 
tiano was the Marques de Valdeflores, Luis JOSE VELAZ- 
QUEZ DE VELASCO (1722-72), whom we have already 
seen ascribing Torre's poems to Quevedo, an error 
almost sufficient to ruin any reputation. Velazquez 
expressed his general literary views in his Origenes de 
la Poesia castellana (1749), which found an enthusi- 
astic translator in Johann Andreas Dieze, of Gottingen. 
Velazquez develops and emphasises the teaching of his 
predecessors, denounces the dramatic follies of Lope 
and Calder6n, and even goes so far as to regret that 
Nasarre should waste his powder on two common, 
discredited fellows like Lope and Cervantes. It is im- 
possible for us here to record the polemics in which 
Luzan's teaching was supported or combated ; defective 
as it was, it had at least the merit of rousing Spain from 
her intellectual torpor. 

Some effect of the new criticism is seen in the works 
of the Jesuit, JOSE FRANCISCO DE ISLA (1703-81), whose 
finer humour is displayed in his Triunfo del Amor y de 
la Lealtad (1746), which professes to describe the pro- 

clamation at Pamplona of Ferdinand VI.'s accession. 
The author was officially thanked by Council and 
Chapter, and some expressed by gifts their gratitude 
for his handsome treatment. As Basques joke with 
difficulty, it was not until two months later that the 
Triunfo (which bears the alternative title of A Great 
Day for Navarre) was suspected to be a burlesque of 
the proceedings and all concerned in them. Isla kept 
his countenance while he assured his victims of his entire 


good faith ; the latter, however, expressed their slow- 
witted indignation in print, and brought such pressure 
to bear that the lively Jesuit who kept up the farce of 
denial till the last day of his life was removed from 
Pamplona by his superiors. The incorrigible wag de- 
parted to become a fashionable preacher; but his sense of 
humour accompanied him to church, and was displayed 
at the cost of his brethren. Paravicino, as we have 
already observed, introduced Gongorism into the pulpit, 
and his lead was followed by men of lesser faculty, who 
reproduced " the contortions of the Sibyl without her 
inspiration." By degrees preaching almost grew to be 
a synonym for buffoonery, and by the middle of the 
eighteenth century it was as often as not an occasion 
for the vulgar profanity which pleases devout illiterates. 
It is impossible to cite here the worst excesses ; it is 
enough to note that a " cultured " congregation applauded 
a preacher who dared to speak of "the divine Adonis, 
Christ, enamoured of that singular Psyche, Mary ! " 
Bishops in their pastorals, monks like Feijoo in his 
Cartas eruditas, and laymen like Mayans in his Orador 
Cristiano (1733), strove ineffectually to reform the abuse : 
where exhortation failed, satire succeeded. Isla had 
witnessed these pulpit extravagances at first hand, and 
his six quarto volumes of sermons none of them in- 
spiring to read, however impressive when delivered 
show that he himself had begun by yielding to a mode 
from which his good sense soon freed him. 

His Historia del famoso Predicador Fray Gerundio de 
Campazas, alias Zotes (1758), published by Isla under the 
name of his friend, Francisco Lob6n de Salazar, parish 
priest of Aguilar and Villagarcia del Campo, is an attempt 
to do for pulpit profanity what Don Quixote had done for 


chivalresque extravagances. It purports to be the story 
of a peasant-boy, Gerundio, with a natural faculty for 
clap-trap, which leads him to take orders, and gains for 
him no small consideration. A passage from the sermon 
which decided Gerundio's childish vocation may be 
quoted as typical : " Fire, fire, fire ! the house is a-flame ! 
Domus mea, domus orationis vocabitur. Now, sacristan, 
peal those resounding bells : in cymbalis bene sonantibus. 
That's the style : as the judicious Picinelus observed, a 
death-knell and a fire-tocsin are just the same. Lazarus 
amicus noster dormit. Water, sirs, water ! the earth is 
consumed quis dabit capiti meo aquam. . . . Stay ! what 
do I behold ? Christians, alas ! the souls of the faithful 
are a-fire \-fidelium anima. Molten pitch feeds the 
hungry flames like tinder : requiescat in pace, id est t in 
pice, as Vetablus puts it. How God's fire devours ! ignis 
a Deo Hiatus. Tidings of great joy ! the Virgin of Mount 
Carmel descends to save those who wore her holy 
scapular : scapulis suis. Christ says : ' Help in the 
King's name ! ' The Virgin pronounceth : ' Grace be 
with me !' Ave Maria." And so forth at much length. 

Isla fails in his attempt to solder fast impossibilities, to 
amalgamate rhetorical doctrine with farcical burlesque ; 
nor has his book the saving quality of style. Still, though 
it be too long drawn out, it abounds with an emphatic, 
violent humour which is almost irresistible at a first 
reading. The Second Part, published in 1770, is a work 
of supererogation. The First caused a furious contro- 
versy in which the regulars combined to throw mud at 
the Jesuits with such effect that, in 1760, the Holy Office 
intervened, confiscated the volume, and forbade all argu- 
ment for or against it. Ridicule, however, did its work 
in surreptitious copies ; so that when the author was 


expelled from Spain with the rest of his order in 1765, 
Fray Gerundio and his like were reformed characters. 
In 1787 Isla translated Gil Bias, under the impression 
that he was " restoring the book to its native land." The 
suggestion that Le Sage merely plagiarised a Spanish 
original is due in the first place to Voltaire, who 
made it, for spiteful reasons of his own, in the famous 
Siecle de Louis XIV. (1751). As some fifteen or twenty 
episodes are unquestionably borrowed from Espinel and 
others, it was not unnatural that Spaniards should (rather 
late in the day) take Voltaire at his word ; none the less, 
the character of Gil Bias himself is as purely French as 
may be, and Le Sage vindicates his originality by his 
distinguished treatment of borrowed matter. Isla's ver- 
sion is a sound, if unnecessary, piece of work, spoiled by 
the inclusion of a worthless sequel due to the Italian, 
Giulio Monti. 

The action of French tradition is visible in NICOLAS 
FERNANDEZ DE MoRATfN (1737-80), whose Hormesinda 
(1770), a dramatic exercise in Racine's manner, too highly 
rated by literary friends, was condemned by the public. 
His prose dissertations consist of invectives against Lope 
and Calderon, and of eulogies on Luzan's cold verse. 
These are all forgotten, and Morati'n, who remained a 
good patriot, despite his efforts to Gallicise himself, sur- 
vives at his best in his brilliant panegyric on bull-fighting 
the Fiesta de Toros en Madrid whose spirited quin- 
tillas, modelled after Lope's example, are in every 
Spaniard's memory. 

Moratm's friend, JOSE DE CADALSO__Y VAZQUEZ (1741- 

lr 1782), a colonel in the Bourbon Regiment, after passing 

most of his youth in Paris, travelled through England, 

Germany, and Italy, returning as free from national 


prejudices as a young man can hope to be. A certain 
elevation of character and personal charm made him a 
force among his intimates, and even impressed strangers ; 
as we may judge by the fact that, when he was killed 
at the siege of Gibraltar, the English army wore 
mourning for him. His more catholic taste avoided 
the exaggerations of Nasarre and Moratin ; he found 
praise for the national theatre, and many of his verses 
imply close study of Villegas and Quevedo. Even so, 
his attachment to the old school was purely theoretical. 
His knowledge of English led him to translate in verse 
as Luzan had already translated in prose passages from 
Paradise Lost ; his sepulchral Noches Lugubres, written 
upon the death of his mistress, the actress Maria Ignacia 
Ibanez, are plainly inspired by Young's Night Thoughts ; 
his Cartas Marruecas derive from the Lettres Persanes ; 
his tragedy, Don Sancho Garcia, an attempt to put in 
practice the canons of the French drama, transplants 
to Spain the rhymed couplets of the Parisian stage. 
The best example of Cadalso's cultivated talent is his 
poem entitled Eruditos d la Violeta, wherein he satirises 
pretentious scholarship with a light, firm touch. In 
curious contrast with Cadalso's Don Sancho Garcia is the 
Raquel (1778) of his friend VICENTE ANTONIO GARCIA^/ 
DE LA HUERTA Y MuNOZ (1734-87), whose troubles 
would seem to have affected his brain. Though Huerta 
brands Corneille and Racine as a pair of lunatics, 
he is a strait observer of the sacred " unities " : in all 
other respects in theme, monarchical sentiment, sono- 
rity of versification Raquel is a return upon the ancient 
classic models._ Its disfavour among foreign critics is 
inexplicable, for no contemporary drama equals it in 
national savour. Huerta's good intention exceeds his 


performance in the Theatro Hespailol, a collection (in 
seventeen volumes) of national plays, arranged without 
much taste or knowledge. 

This involved him in a bitter controversy, which pro- 
bably shortened his life. Prominent among his enemies 
was the Basque, FELIX MARIA DE SAMANIEGO (1745- 
1801), whose early education was entirely French, and who 
regarded Lope much as Voltaire regarded Shakespeare. 
Though Huerta's intemperance lost him his cause, Sama- 
niego's real triumph was in another field than that of 
controversy. His Fdbulas (1781-94), mostly imitations 
or renderings of Phaedrus, La Fontaine, and Gay, are 
almost the best in their kind simple, clear, and forc- 
ible. A year earlier than Samaniego, the Jesuit Lasala, 
of Bologna, had translated the fables of Lukman al- 
Haklm into Latin, and, in 1784, Miguel Garcia Asensio 
published a Castilian version. It does not appear that 
Samaniego knew anything of Lasala, nor was he dis- 
turbed by Garcia Asensio's translation. Before the latter 
was in print, he was annoyed at finding himself rivalled by 
TOMAS DE IRIARTE Y OROPESA (1750-91), who had begun 
his career as a prose translator of Moliere and Voltaire, 
and had charmed or at least had drawn effusive compli- 
ments from Metastasio with a frigid poem, La Miisica 
(1780). In the following year Iriarte published his 
Fdbulas literarias, putting the versified apologue to doc- 
trinal uses, censuring literary faults, and expounding 
what he held to be true doctrine. He took most pride 
in his plays, El SeHorito mimado and La Seflorita mat 
criada ; yet the Spoiled Young Gentleman and the Ill- 
bred Young Lady are forgotten somewhat unjustly by 
all but students, while the wit and polish of the fables have 
earned their author an excessive fame. Iriarte was, in the 

f, n 


best sense, an " elegant " writer. Unluckily for himself 
and us, much of his short life was, after the eighteenth- 
century fashion, wasted in polemics with able, learned 
ruffians, of whom Juan Pablo Forner (1756-97) is the 
most extreme type. Forner's versified attack on Iriarte, 
El Asno erudito, is one of the most ferocious libels ever 
printed. Literary men the world over are famous for 
their manners : Spain is in this respect no better than 
her neighbours, and the abusive personalities which form 
a great part of her literary history during the last century 
are now the driest, most vacant chaff imaginable. 

In pleasing contrast with these irritable mediocrities is 
the figure of CASPAR MELCHOR DE JOVE-LLANOS (1744- 
1811), the most eminent Spaniard of his age. Educated 
for the Church, Jove- Llanos turned to law, was appointed 
magistrate at Seville in his twenty-fourth year, was trans- 
ferred to Madrid in 1778, became a member of the Council 
of Orders in 1780, was exiled to Asturias on the fall of 
Cabarriis in 1790, and seven years later was appointed 
Minister of Justice. The incarnation of all that was best * 
in the liberalism of his time, he was equally odious to re- 
actionaries and revolutionists. A stern moralist, he strove ' 
to end the intrigue between the Queen and the notorious 
Godoy, Prince of the Peace, and at the latter's instance 
was dismissed from office in 1798. He passed the years 
1801-8 a prisoner in the Balearic Islands, returning to 
find Spain under the heel of France. His prose writings, 
political, economic, and didactic, do not concern us here, 
though their worth is admitted by good judges. Jove- 
Llanos is most interesting because of his own poetic 
achievement, and because of his influence on the group 
of Salamancan poets. His play, El Delincuente Honrado 
(1774), is a doctrinaire exercise in the manner of Diderot's 


Fits Naturel; it shows considerable knowledge of dramatic 
effect, and its sentimental, sincere philanthropy persuaded 
audiences in and out of Spain to accept Jove-Llanos for 
a dramatist. At most he is a clever playwright. Yet, 
though not an artist in either prose or verse, though far 
from irreproachable in diction, he occasionally utters a 
pure poetic note, keen and vibrating in satire, noble and 
austere in that Epistle to the Duque de Veragua, which, by 
common consent, best reflects the tranquil dignity of his 

Jove-Llanos' official position, his high ideals, his know- 
ledge, discernment, and wise counsel were placed at the 
service of JUAN MELENDEZ VALDES (1754-1817), the chief 
poet of the Salamancan school, who came under his influ- 
ence in or about 1777. Jove-Llanos succeeded by sheer 
force of character : Mel6ndez was a weather-cock at the 
mercy of every breeze. A writer of erotic verses, he 
thought of taking orders ; a pastoral poet, he turned to 
philosophy by Jove-Llanos' advice; unfortunate in his 
marriage, discontented with his professorship at Sala- 
manca, he dabbled in politics, becoming, through his 
friend's patronage, a government official : and when Jove- 
Llanos fell, Melendez fell with him. It is hard to decide 
whether Melendez was a rogue or a weakling. Upon 
the French invasion, he began by writing verses calling 
his people to arms, and ended by taking office under 

, * the foreign government. He fawned upon Joseph Bona- 
parte, whom he vowed "to love each day," and he hailed 
. the restoration of the Spanish with patriotic enthusiasm. 

> Finally, the dishonoured man fled for very shame and 
safety. Loving iniquity and hating justice, he died in 
exile at Montpellier. 

He, typifies the fluctuations of his time. His natural 



bent was towards pastoralism, as his early poems, 
modelled on Garcilaso and on Torre, remain to prove; 
he took to liberalism at Jove-Llanos' suggestion, as he 
would have taken to absolutism had that been the craze 
of the moment ; he read Locke, Young, Turgot, and 
Condorcet at the instance of his friends. " Obra soy tuya " 
("I am thy handiwork"), he writes to Jove-Llanos. He 
was ever the handiwork of the last comer : a shadow of ,, 
insincerity, of pose, is over all his verse. Yet, like his 
countryman Lucan, Melendez demonstrates the truth 
that a worthless creature may be, within limits, a genuine 
poet. He has neither morals nor ideas; he has fancy, 
ductility, clearness, music, charm, and a picturesque 
vision of natural detail that have no counterpart in his 
period. Compared with his brethren of the Salaman can '"55(1 
school with Diego Tadeo Gonzalez (1733-94), with 
Jos6 Iglesias de la Casa (1753-91), even with Nicasio 
Alvarez de Cienfuegos (1764-1809) Melendez appears 
a veritable giant. He was not quite that any more than 
they were pigmies ; but he had a spark of genius, while 
their faculty was no more than talent. 1 

His one distinct failure was when he ventured on the 
boards with his Wedding 1 Feast of Camacho, founded on 
Cervantes' famous story, though even here the pastoral 
passages are pleasing, if inappropriate. It is to his credit 
that his theme is national, while his general dramatic sym- 
pathies were, like those of his associates, French. Luzan 
and his followers found it easier to condemn the ancient 
masterpieces than to write masterpieces of their own. 
Their function was negative, destructive ; yet when the 

1 For two singularly acute critical studies by M. E. Merime'e on Jove- Llanos 
and Melendez Valdes, see the Revue hispanique (Paris, 1894). vol. i. pp. 34-68, 
and pp. 217-235. 

?> C^_ LSI**-/ 

prohibition of az/tar was procured in 1765 by Jose 
Clavijo y Fajardo (1730-1806) whose adventure with 
Louise Caron, Beaumarchais' sister, gave Goethe a sub- 
ject they hoped to force a hearing for themselves. 
They overlooked the fact that there already existed a 
national dramatist named RAM6N DE LA CRUZ Y CAXO 
(1731-? 95), who had the merit of inventing a new 
genre, which, being racy of the soil, was to the popular 
taste. Convention had settled it that tragedies should 
present the misfortunes of emperors and dukes ; that 
comedies should deal with the middle class, their senti- 
mentalities and foibles. Cruz, a government clerk, with 
sufficient leisure to compose three hundred odd plays, 
f became in some sort the dramatist of the needy, the 
/ A . disinherited, the have-nots of the street. He might 
very well sympathise with them, for he was always 
v pinched for money, and died so destitute that his 
widow had not wherewith to bury him. Beginning, 
like the rest of the world, with French imitations and 
renderings, he turned to representing the life about him 
in short farcical pieces called sainetes a perfect develop- 
ment of the oldpasos. In the prologue to the ten-volume 
edition of his sainetes (1786-91), Cruz proclaims his own 
merit in a just and striking phrase " I write, and truth 
dictates to me." His gaiety, his picaresque enjoyment, 
his exuberant humour, his jokes and puns and quips, 
lend an extraordinary vivacity to his presentation of the 
most trifling incidents. He might have been as he 
began by being a pompous prig and bore, preaching 
high doctrine, and uttering the platitudes, which alone 
were thought worthy of the sock and buskin. He chose 
the better part in rendering what he knew and under- 
stood and saw, in amusing his public for thirty years, 


and in bequeathing a thousand occasions of laughter 
to the world. He wrote with a reckless, contagious 
humour, with a comic brio which anticipates Labiche ; 
and, unambitious and light-hearted as Cruz was, we may 
learn more of contemporary life from El Prado por la 
Noche and Las Tertulias de Madrid than from a moun- 
tain of serious records and chronicles. 

In the following generation LEANDRO FERNANDEZ DE 
MORATIN (1760-1828) won deserved repute as a play- 
wright. His father, the author of Hormesinda, made a 
jeweller's apprentice of the boy who, in 1779 and 1782, 
won two accesits from the Academy. He thus attracted 
the notice of Jove-Llanos, who secured his appointment 
as Secretary to the Paris Embassy in 1787. His stay in 
France, followed by later travels through England, the 
Low Countries, Germany, and Italy, completed his educa- 
tion, and obtained for him the post of official translator. 
His exercises in verse are more admirable than his prose 
version of Hamlet, which offended his academic theories 
in every scene. Moliere, who w r as his ideal, has no more 
faithful follower than the younger Moratfn. His transla- 
tions of LEcole des Maris and Le Medecin malgre" lui 
belong to his later years ; but his theatre, including 
those most striking pieces El Si de las Ninas (The 
Maids' Consent) and La Mojigata (The Hypocritical 
Woman), reflects the master's humour and observa- 
tion. The latter comedy (1804) brought him into 
trouble with the Inquisition ; the former (1806) estab- 
lished his fame by its character-drawing, its grace- 
ful ingenuity, and witty dialogue. His fortunes, which 
seemed assured, were wrecked by the French war. 
Moratfn was always timid, even in literary combats : he 
now proved himself that very rare thing among Spaniards 


a physical coward. He neither dared declare for his 
country nor against it, and went into hiding at Vitoria. 
He finally accepted the post of Royal Librarian to 
Joseph Bonaparte, and when the crash came he de- 
camped to Peniscola. These events turned his brain. 
All efforts to help him (and they were many) proved 
useless. He wandered as far as Italy to escape imagi- 
nary assassins, and finally settled in Bordeaux, where 
he believed himself safe from the conspirators. El Si 
de las Ninas is an excellent piece among the best, and 
is sufficient to persuade the most difficult reader that 
Leandro Moratfn was one of nature's wasted forces. 
He must have won distinction in any company : in this 
dreary period he achieves real eminence. 

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



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

affect Spain more. 



It is a striking fact that the great national poet of the 
War of Independence should be indisputably French in 
.-; all but patriotic sentiment. MANUEL Jos QUINTANA 
(1772-1857) was an offshoot of the Salamancan school, 
a friend of Jove-Llanos and of Melendez Valdes, a fol- 
lower of Raynal and Turgot and Condorcet, a " philo- 
sopher" of the eighteenth-century model. Too much 
stress has, perhaps, been laid on his French construc- 
tions, his acceptance of neologisms : a more radical fault 
is his incapacity for ideas. Had he died at forty his 
fame would be even greater than it is ; for in his last 
years he did nothing but repeat the echoes of his youth. 
At eighty he was still perorating on the rights of man, as 
though the world were a huge Jacobin Convention, as 
though he had learned and forgotten nothing during 
half a century He died, as he had lived, convinced 
that a few changes of political machinery would ensure 
a perpetual Golden Age. It is not for his Duque de 
Viseo, a tragedy based on M. G. Lewis's Castle Spectre, 
nor by his Ode to Juan de Padilla, that Quintana is re- 
membered. The partisan of French ideas lives by his 
Call to Arms against the French, by his patriotic cam- 
paign against the invaders, by his prose biographies of 
the Cid, the Great Captain, Pizarro, and other Spaniards 
of the ancient time. We might suspect, if we did not 
know, Quintana's habit of writing his first rough drafts 
in prose, and of translating these into verse. Though 
he proclaimed himself a pupil of Melendez, nature and 
love are not his true themes, and his versification is 
curiously unequal. Patriotism, politics, philanthropy 
are his inspirations, and these find utterance in the lofty 
rhetoric of such pieces as his Ode to Guzman the Good 
and the Ode on the Invention of Printing. Unequal, un- 


restrained, never exquisite, never completely admirable 
for more than a few lines at a time, Quintana's pas- 
sionate pride of patriotism, his virile temperament, his 
individual gift of martial music have enabled him to 
express with unsurpassed fidelity one very conspicuous 
aspect of his people's genius. 

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

Time has misused the work of FRANCISCO MARTINEZ 
DE LA ROSA (1788-1862) who at one time was held by / 
Europe as the literary representative of Spain. No small 
part of his fame was due to his prominent position in 
Spanish politics ; but the disdainful neglect which has 
overtaken him is altogether unmerited. Not being an 
original genius, his lyrics are but variations of earlier 


melodies : thus the Ausencia de la patria is a metrical 
exercise in Jorge Manrique's manner ; the song which 
commemorates the defence of Zaragoza is inspired by 
Quintana ; the elegy On the Death of the Duquesa de Frias, 
far short of Gallego's in pathos and dignity, is redolent 
of Melendez. His novel, Doila Isabel de So/is, is an 
artless imitation of Sir Walter Scott ; nor are his de- 
clamatory tragedies, La Viuda de Padilla and Moraima, 
of perdurable value any more than his Moratinian plays, 
such as Los Celos Infundados. Martinez de la Rosa's 
exile passed in Paris led him to write the two pieces 
by which he is remembered : his Conjuracion de Venecia 
(1834), and his Aben-Humeya (the latter first written 
f --in French, and first played at the Porte Saint-Martin 
ijr in 1830) denote the earliest entry into Spain of French 
romanticism, and are therefore of real historic import- 
ance. Fate was rarely more freakish than in placing 
this modest, timorous man at the head of a new lite- 
rary movement. Still stranger it is that his two late 
romantic experiments should be the best of his manifold 

But he was not fitted to maintain the leadership which 
circumstances had allotted to him, and romanticism found 
a more popular expi tent in Angel de Saavedra, DUQUE 
V DE RIVAS (i79i-i865),|"he very type of the radical noble. 
His exile in France and in England converted him from 
a follower of Melendez and Quintana to a sectary of 
Chateaubriand and Byron. His first essays in the new 
vein were an admirable lyric, Al faro de Malta, and El 
Moro expdsito, a narrative poem undertaken by the advice 
of John Hookham Frere. Brilliant passages of poetic dic- 
tion, the semi-epical presentation of picturesque national 
legends, are Rivas' contribution to the new school. He 


went still further in his famous play, Don Alvaro (1835), 
an event in the history of the modern Spanish drama 
corresponding to the production of Hcrnani at the 
Theatre Franais. The characters of Alvaro, of Leonor, 
and of her brother Alfonso Vargas are, if not inhuman, all 
but titanic, and the speeches are of such magniloquence 
as man never spoke. But for the Spaniards of the third 
decade, Rivas was the standard-bearer of revolt, and : f 
Don Alvaro, by its contempt for the unities, by its 
alternation of prose with lyrism, by its amalgam of the 
grandiose, the comic, the sublime, and the horrible, en- 
chanted a generation of Spanish play-goers surfeited 
with the academic drama. 

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

" Mysterious light ! When our first parent knew 
Thee, from report divine, and heard thy name, 
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame, 
This glorious canopy of light and blue ? 
Yet 'neath a curtain of translucent dew 
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame, 
Hesperus, with the host of heaven, came, 
And lo ! Creation -widened in man's view. 

Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed 

Within thy beams, O Sun f or who could find, 
Whilst fly, and leaf, and insect stood revealed, 

That to such countless orbs thou madest us blind? 
Why do we then shun death with anxious strife? 
If light can thus deceive, wherefore not life? " 


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

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


Returning to Madrid, Espronceda was soon con- 
cerned in more conspiracies, and escaped to Gibraltar, 
whence he passed to Lisbon. A suggestion of the 
Byronic pose is found in the story (of his own telling) 
that, before landing, he threw away his last two pesetas, 
" not wishing to enter so great a town with so little 
money." In Lisbon he met with that Teresa who figures 
so prominently in his life ; but the Government was 
once more on his track, and he fled to London, where 
Byron's poems came upon him with the force of a 
revelation. In England he found Teresa, now married, 
and eloped with her to Paris, where, on the three 
"glorious days" of July 1830, he fought behind the 
barricades. The overthrow of Charles X. put such heart 
into the Spanish emigrados that, under the leadership 
of the once famous Chapalangarra Joaqufn de Pablo 
they determined to raise all Spain against the monarchy. 
The attempt failed, Chapalangarra was killed in Navarre, 
and Espronceda did not return to Spain till the amnesty 
of 1833. He obtained a commission in the royal body- 
guard, and seemed on the road to fortune, when he was 
cashiered because of certain verses read by him at a 
political banquet. He turned to journalism, incited the 
people to insurrection by articles and speeches, held the 
streets against the regular army in 1835-36, shared in the 
liberal triumph of 1840, and, on the morrow of the suc- 
cessful revolution which he had organised, pronounced 
in favour of a republic. He was appointed Secretary 
to the Embassy at the Hague in 1841, returning to 
Spain shortly afterwards on his election as deputy for 
Almerfa. He died after four days of illness on May 23, 
1842, in his thirty-third year, exhausted by his stormy 
life. A most formidable journalist, a demagogue of con- 


summate address, a man-at-arms who had rather fight 
than not, Espronceda might have cut out for himself a 
new career in politics or might have died upon the 
scaffold or at the barricades. But, so far as concerns 
poetry, his work was done: an aged Espronceda is 
as inconceivable as an elderly Byron, a venerable 

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

" A I necio audaz de corazdn de cieno, 
A quien Human el Conde de Toreno." 

The gibe was ill-natured, but Espronceda's resentment 
goes to show that he felt its plausibility. If Toreno meant 
that Espronceda, like Heine, Musset, Leopardi, and Push- 
kin, took Byron for a model, he spoke the humble truth. 
Like Byron, Espronceda became the centre of a legend, 
and so to say he made up for the part. He advertised 
his criminal repute with manifest gusto, and gave the 
world his own portrait in the shape of pale, gloomy, 
splendid heroes. Don Felix de Montemar, in El Estu- 
diante de Salamanca, is Don Juan Tenorio in a new 
environment "fierce, insolent, irreligious, gallant, 
haughty, quarrelsome, insult in his glance, irony on his 
lips, fearing naught, trusting solely to his sword and 
courage." Again, in the famous declamatory address 
To Jarifa, there is the same disillusioned view of life, the 
same lust for impossible pleasures, the same picturesque 


mingling of misanthropy and aspiration. Once more, 
the Fabio of the fragmentary Diablo Mundo is replen- 
ished with the Byronic spirit of defiant pessimism, the 
Byronic intention of epical mockery. And so through- 
out all his pieces the protagonist is always, and in all 
ess-jntials, Jose de Espronceda. 

Whether any writer or, at all events, any but the 
very greatest has ever succeeded completely .in shed- 
ding his own personality is doubtful. Espronceda, at 
least, never attempted it, and consequently his dramatic 
pieces Dofia Blanco, de Borbon, for example were fore- 
doomed to fail. But this very force of temperament, 
this very element of artistic egotism, lends life and 
colour to his songs. The Diablo Mundo, the Estudiante 
de Salamanca, ostensibly formed upon the models of 
Goethe, and Byron, and Tirso de Molina, are utterances, 
of individual impressions, detached lyrics held together 
by the merest thread. Scarcely a typical Spaniard in 
life or in art, Espronceda is, beyond all question, the 
most distinguished Spanish lyrical poet of the century. 
His abandonment, his attitude of revolt, his love of 
love and licence one might even say his turn for 
debauchery and anarchy are the notes of an epoch 
rather than the characteristics of a country ; and, in 
so much, he is cosmopolitan rather than national. 
But the merciless observation of El Verdugo (The 
Executioner), the idealised conception of Elvira in El 
Estudiante de Salamanca, are strictly representative of 
Quevedo's and of Calderdn's tradition; while his arti-^ 
ficial but sympathetic rhetoric, his resonant music, his; 
brilliant imagery, his uncalculating vehemence, bear, 
upon them the stamp of all his race's faults and virtues. 
In this sense he speaks for Spain, and Spain repays him 


by ranking him as the most inspired, if the most unequal, 
of her modern singers. 

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

Espronceda's direct successor was JOSE ZORRILLA 
(1817-1893), whose life's story may be read in his own 
Recuerdos del tiempo viejo (Old-time Memories). It was 
his misfortune to be concerned in politics, for which he 
was unfitted, and to be pinched by continuous poverty, 
which drove him in 1855 to seek his fortune in Mexico, 
whence he returned empty-handed in 1866. His closing 
years were somewhat happier, inasmuch as a pension of 
30,000 reales, obtained at last by strenuous parliamentary 
effort, freed him from the pressure of actual want. 
It may be that it came too late, and that Zorrilla's work 
suffers from his straitened circumstances ; but this is diffi- 
cult to believe. He might have produced less, might have 


escaped the hopeless hack-work to which he was com- 
pelled ; but a finished artist he could never have become, 
for, by instinct as by preference, he was an improvisatore. 
The tale that (like Arthur Pendennis) he wrote verses to 
fit engravings is possibly an invention ; but the inventor 
at least knew his man, for nothing is more intrinsically 
probable. ^v*x-^ m-., 

His carelessness, his haste, his defective execution are 
superficial faults which must always injure Zorrilla in 
the esteem of foreign critics ; yet it is certain that the 
charm which he has exercised over three generations of 
Spaniards, and which seems likely to endure, implies the 
possession of considerable powers. And Zorrilla had 
three essential qualities in no common degree : national 
spirit, dramatic insight, and lyrical spontaneity. He is 
an inferior Sir Walter, with an added knowledge of the 
theatre, to which Scott made no pretence. His Leyenda 
de Alkamar, his Granada, his Leyenda del Cid were popu- 
lar for the same reason that Marmion and the Lady of the 
Lake were popular : for their revival of national legends 
in a form both simple and picturesque. The fate that 
overcame Sir Walter's poems seems to threaten Zorrilla's. 
Both are read for the sake of the subject, for the brilliant 
colouring of episodes, more than for the beauty of treat- 
ment, construction, and form ; yet, as Sir Walter sur- 
vives in his novels, Zorrilla will endure in such of his 
plays as Don Juan Tenorio, in El Zapatero y el Rey, and 
in Traidor, inconfeso, y mdrtir. His selection of native 
themes, his vigorous appeal to those primitive sentiments 
which are at least as strong in Spain as elsewhere 
courage, patriotism, religion have ensured him a vogue 
so wide and lasting that it almost approaches immor- 
tality. In the study Zorrilla's slap-dash methods are 


often wearisome ; on the stage his impetuousness, his 
geniality, his broad effects, and his natural lyrism make 
him a veritable force. Two of Zorrilla's rivals among 
contemporary dramatists may be mentioned : ANTONIO 
GARCIA GUTIERREZ (1813-1884), the author of El Tro- 
vador, and JUAN EUGENIC HARTZENBUSCH (1806-1880), 
whose Amantes de Teruel broke the hearts of senti- 
mental ladies in the forties. Both the Trovador and 
the Amantes are still reproduced, still read, and still 
praised by critics who enjoy the pleasures of memory 
and association ; but a detached foreigner, though he 
take his life in his hand when he ventures on the con- 
fession, is inclined to associate Garcfa Gutierrez and 
Hartzenbusch with Sheridan Knowles and Lytton. 

A much superior talent is that of the ex-soldier, 
humour and fancy are his own, while his system is that 
of the younger Moratin. His Escuela del Matrimonio is 
the most ambitious, as it is the best, of those innumer- 
able pieces in which he aims at presenting a picture of 
average society, relieved by alternate touches of ironic 
and didactic purpose. Bret6n de los Herreros wrote far 
too much, and weakens his effects by the obtrusion of 
a flagrant moral ; but even if we convict him as a cari- 
caturist of obvious Philistinism, there is abundant re- 
compense in the jovial wit and graceful versification of 
his quips. To him succeeds Tomas Rodriguez Rubi 
(1817-1890), who aimed at amusing a facile public in 
such a trifle as El Tejado de Vidrio (The Glass Roof), or 
at satirising political and social intriguers in La Rueda 
de Fortuna (Fortune's Wheel). 

j,^. A Cuban like GERTRUDIS GO"MEZ DE AVELLANEDA (1816- 
1873), who spent most of her life in ^pain, may for our 


purposes be accounted a Spanish writer. The proverbial 
gallantry of the nation and the sex of the writer account 
for her vogue and her repute. If such a novel as Sab, 
with its protest against slavery and its idealised presenta- 
tion of subject races, be held for literature, then \ve must 
so enlarge the scope of the word as to include Uncle 
Tom's Cabin. Another novel, Espatolino, reproduces 
George Sand's philippics against the injustice of social 
arrangements, and re-echoes her lyrical advocacy of 
freedom in the matter of marriage. The Sra. Ave- 
llaneda is too passionate to be dexterous, and too 
preoccupied to be impressive ; hence her novels have 
fallen out of sight. That she had real gifts of fancy and 
melody is shown by her early volume of poems (1841), 
and by her two plays, Alfonso Munio and Baltasar ; yet, 
on the boards as in her stories, she is inopportune, 
or, in plainer words, is a gifted imitator, following the 
changes of popular taste with some hesitation, though 
with a gracefulness not devoid of charm. With her may 
be mentioned Carolina Coronado (b. 1823), a refined 
poetess with mystic tendencies, whose vogue has so 
diminished that to the most of Spaniards she is scarcely 
more than an agreeable reminiscence. 

It is possible that the adroit politician, ADELARDO LOPEZ 
DE AYALA (1828-1879), who passed from one party to 
another, and served a monarch or a republic with equal 
suppleness, might have won enduring fame as a drama- 
tist and poet had he been less concerned with doctrines 
and theses. He was so intent on persuasion, so mindful of 
the arts of his old trade, so anxious to catch a vote, that 
he rarely troubled to draw character, contenting himself 
with skilful construction of plot and arrangement of 

incident. His Tanto por Ciento and his Consuelo are 


astute harangues in favour of high public and private 
morals, composed with extraordinary care and laudable 
purpose. If mere cleverness, a scrupulous eye to detail, 
a fine ear for sonorous verse could make a man master 
of the scene, L6pez de Ayala might stand beside the 
greatest. His personages, however, are rather general 
types than individual characters, and the persistent sar- 
casm with which he ekes out a moral degenerates into 
ponderous banter. None the less he was a force during 
many years, and, though his reputation be now some- 
what tarnished, he still counts admirers among the 

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


dramatic creation, and a metrical ingenuity which en- 
chanted and bewildered those who heard and those who 
read him. ^Ic-t 

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

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


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

During the nineteenth century Spain has produced 
no more brilliant master of prose than MARIANO Jos 
DE LARRA (1809-1837), son of a medical officer in the 

LARRA 379 

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

An essayist of more patriotic tone is SERAFIN ESTE- 
BANEZ CALDERON (1799-1867), whose biography has 

1 M. Morel-Fatio points out that Figaro, which seems so Castilian by 
association, is not a Castilian name. See his Etudes stir fEspagne (Paris, 
1895), vo '- i- P-76. If it be not Catalan, if Beaumarchais invented it, it is 
among the most successful of his coinage. 


been elaborately written by his nephew, Antonio 
Canovas del Castillo, the late Prime Minister of Spain. 
Estebanez' verses are well-nigh as forgotten as his 
Conquista y Pdrdida de Portugal, and his Escenas Anda- 
luzas (1847) have never been popular, partly through 
fault of the author, who enamels his work with local 
or obsolete words in the style of Wardour Street, and 
who assumes a posture of superiority which irritates 
more than it amuses. A record of Andalucfan manners 
and of fading customs, the Escenas has special value as 
embodying the impression of an observer who valued 
picturesqueness valued it so highly, in fact, that one 
is haunted (perhaps unjustly) by the suspicion that he 
heightened his tones for the sake of effect. Another 
series of " documents " is afforded by RAM6N DE MESO- 
NERO ROMANOS (1803-82), who is often classed as a 
follower of Larra, whereas the first of his Esctnas Matri- 
tenses appeared before Larra's first essays. He has no 
trace of Larra's energetic condensation, tending, as he 
does, to a not ungraceful diffuseness ; but he has be- 
queathed us a living picture of the native Madrid before 
it sank to being a poor, pale copy of Paris, and has 
enabled us to reconstruct the social life of sixty years 
since. Mesonero, who has none of Estebanez' airs and 
graces, though he is no less observant, and is probably 
more accurate, writes as a well-bred man speaks simply, 
naturally, directly ; and those qualities are seen to most 
advantage in his Memorias de un Setenton, which are as 
interesting as the best of reminiscences can be. 

These records of customs and manners influenced a 
writer of German origin on her father's side, Cecilia 
Bohl de Faber, who was thrice married, and whom it 
is convenient to call by her pseudonym, FERNAN CABA- 


LLERO (1796-1877), a village in Don Quixote's country. 
Her first novel, La Gaviota (1848), has probably been 
more read by foreigners than any Spanish book of the 
century, and, with all its sensibility and moralisings, we 
can scarcely grudge its vogue ; for it is true to common 
life as common life existed in an Andalucian village, and 
its style is natural, if not distinguished. Even in La 
Gaviota there is an air of unreality when the scene is 
shifted from the country to the drawing-room, and the 
suspicion that Fernan Caballero could invent without 
observing deepens in presence of such a wooden lay-figure 
as Sir George Percy in dementia. Her didactic bent 
increased with time, so that much of her later work is 
bedevilled with sermons and gospellings ; yet so long 
as she deals with the rustic episodes which were her 
earliest memories, so long as she is content to report 
and to describe, she produces a delightful series of pic- 
tures, touched in with an almost irreproachable refine- 
ment. She is not far enough from us to be a classic ; 
but she is sufficiently removed to be old-fashioned, and 
she suffers accordingly. Still it is safe to prophesy that 
La Gaviota will survive most younger rivals. 

In all likelihood PEDRO ANTONIO DE ALARCON (1833- 
1891), who, like most literary Spaniards, injured his work 
by meddling in politics, will live by his shorter, more 
unambitious stories. His Escdndolo (1875), after creating 
a prodigious sensation as a defence of the Jesuits from 
an old revolutionist, is already laid aside, and La Prddiga 
is in no better case. The true Alarc6n is revealed in 
El Sombrero de tres Ptcos, a picture of rustic manners, 
rendered with infinite enjoyment and merry humour ; in 
the rapid, various sketches entitled Historietas Nacionales; 
and in that gallant, picturesque account of the Morocco 


campaign called the Diario de un Testigo de la Guerra en 
Africa as vivid a piece of patriotic chronicling as these 
latest years have shown. 

Of graver prose modern Spain has little to boast. 
Yet the Marques de Valdegamas, JUAN DONOSO CORTS 
(1809-1853) has written an Ensayo sobre el Catolicismo, el 
Liberalismo y el Socialismo, which has been read and ap- 
plauded throughout Europe. Donoso, the most intoler- 
ant of Spaniards, overwhelms his readers with dogmatic 
statement in place of reasoned exposition ; but he writes 
with astonishing eloquence, and with a superb convic- 
tion of his personal infallibility that has scarcely any 
match in literature. At the opposite pole is the Vich 
priest, JAIME BALMES Y USPIA (1810-48), whose Cartas 
a un Esceptico and Criteria are overshadowed by his Pro- 
testantismo comparado en el Catolicismo t a performance of 
striking ingenuity, among the finest in the list of modern 
controversy. Donoso denounced man's reason as a gin 
of the devil, as a faculty whose natural tendency is 
towards error. Balmes appeals to reason at every step 
of the road. With him, indeed, it is unsafe to allow 
that two and two are four until it is ascertained what he 
means to do with that proposition ; for his subtlety is 
almost uncanny, and his dexterity in using an opponent's 
admission is surprising. If anything, Balmes is even too 
clever, for the most simple-minded reader is driven to 
ask how it is possible that any rational being can hold 
the opposite view. Still, from the Catholic standpoint, 
Balmes is unanswerable, and in Spain at least he has 
never been answered, while his vogue abroad has been 
very great. Setting aside its doctrinal bearing, his treatise 
is a most striking example of destructive criticism and of 
marshalled argument. 



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

No Spaniard would contest the title of the Asturian, 
considered as the actual doyen of Spanish literature. He 
purposed entering the Society of Jesus in his youth, then 


turned to medicine as his true vocation, and finally gave 
himself up to poetry and politics. A fierce conservative, 
Campoamor has served as Governor of Alicante and 
Valencia, and has combated democracy by speech and 
pen ; but he has never been taken seriously as a politician, 
and his few philosophic essays have caused his ortho- 
doxy to be questioned by writers with an imperfect sense 
of humour. His controversy with Valera on metaphysics 
and poetry is a manifest joke to which both writers 
have lent themselves with an affectation of profound 
solemnity ; and it may well be doubted if Campoamor's 
professed convictions are more than occasions for 
humoristic ingenuity. 

He has attempted the drama without success in such 
pieces as El Palacio de la Verdad and in El Honor. So 
also in the eight cantos of a grandiose poem entitled El 
Drama Universal (1873) he has failed to impress with 
his version of the posthumous loves of Honorio and 
Soledad, though in the matter of technical execution 
nothing finer has been accomplished in our day. His 
chief distinction, according to Peninsular critics, is that 
he has invented a new poetic genre under the names of 
doloras, humoradas or pequenos poemas (short poems). It 
is not, however, an easy matter to distinguish any one 
of these from its brethren, and Campoamor's own 
explanation lacks clearness when he lays it down that 
a dolora is a dramatised humorada, and that a pcqueno 
poema is an amplified dolora. This is to define light in 
terms of darkness. An acute critic, M. Peseux-Richard, 
has noted that this definition is not only obscure, but 
that it is an evident after-thought. 1 The dolora is the 
first in order of invention, and it is also the performance 

1 See the Revue hispaniqut (Paris, 1894), vol. i. pp. 236-257. 


upon which, to judge by his Pottica, Campoamor sets 
most value. What, then, is a dolora ? It is, in fact, a 
" transcendental " fable in which men and women, their 
words and acts, are made to typify eternal "verities": 
a poem which aims at brevity, delicacy, pathos, and 
philosophy in an ironical setting. The "transcendental" 
truth to be conveyed is the supreme point : exquisiteness 
of form is unimportant. 

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


with all his distinguished scepticism, his picturesque 
pessimistic pose, and his sound workmanship, he is 
more likely to be remembered for a score of brilliant 
apophthegms than for any essentially poetic quality. 

It was as a poet that JUAN VALERA Y ALCALA GALIANO 
(b. 1827) made his first appearance in literature in 1856. 
Few in Europe have seen more aspects of life, or have 
snatched more profit from their opportunities. Born at 
C6rdoba, educated at Malaga and Granada, Valera has 
so enjoyed life from the outset that his youth is now the 
subject of a legend. Passing from law to diplomacy, he 
learned the world in the legations at Naples, Lisbon, Rio 
Janeiro, Dresden, St. Petersburg ; he helped to found 
El Contemporanto, once a journal of great influence ; he 
entered the Cortes, and became minister at Frankfort, 
Washington, Brussels, and Vienna. His native subtlety, 
his cosmopolitan tact, have served him no less in literature 
than in affairs. To literature he has given the best that 
is in him. He has protested, with the ironical humility 
in which he excels, against the public neglect of hi& 
poems ; and when one reflects upon what has found 
favour in this kind, the protest is half justified. Valera's 
verses, falling short as they do of inspired perfection, are 
wrought with curious delicacy of technique. But his 
very cultivation is against him : such poems as Sueiios or 
Ultimo Adios or El Fuego divino, admirable as they are, 
recall the work of predecessors. Memories of Luis de 
Le6n, traces of Dante and Leopardi, are encountered on 
his best page ; and yet he brings with him into modern 
verse qualities which, in the actual stage of Spanish 
literature, are of singular worth repose and refinement 
and dignity and metrical mastery. 

As a critic his diplomatic training has been a hin- 


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

But whatever reserves may be made in praising the 
poet and the critic, Valera's triumph as a novelist is in- 
contestable. Mr. Gosse has so introduced him to English 
readers as to make further criticism almost superfluous. 
Valera, for all his polite scepticism, is a Spaniard of the 
best : a mystic by intuition and inheritance, a doubter 
by force of circumstances and education. He himself has 
told us in the Comendador Mendoza how Pepita Jimenez 
came into life as the result of much mystic reading, 
which held him fascinated but not captive ; and were 
we to accept his humorous confession literally, we should 
take it that he became a novelist by accident. It is, how- 
ever, true that when he wrote Pepita Jimenez he still had 
much to learn in method. Writers with not a tithe of 
his natural gift would have avoided his obvious faults 
his digressions, his episodes which check the current of 
his story. But Pepita Jim/nez, whatever its defects, is of 
capital importance in literary history, for from its publi- 


cation dates the renaissance of the Spanish novel. Here 
at last was a book owing nothing to France, taking its 
root in native inspiration, arabesquing the motives of 
Luis de Granada, Le6n, Santa Teresa, displaying once 
more what Coventry Patmore has well described as 
" that complete synthesis of gravity of matter and gaiety 
of manner which is the glittering crown of art, and 
which, out of Spanish literature, is to be found only 
in Shakespeare, and even in him in a far less obvious 

And Valera has continued to progress in art. In 
construction, in depth, in psychological insight, Dona 
Luz exceeds its predecessor, as the Comendador Mendoza 
outshines both in vigour of expression, in tragic con- 
ception, in pathetic sincerity. Las Ilusiones del Doctor 
Faustina has found less favour with critics and with 
general readers, perhaps because its humour is too re- 
fined, its observation too merciless, its style too subtle. 
Nor is Valera less successful in the short story, and in 
the dialogue, in which sort Asclepigenia may be held for 
an absolute masterpiece in little. His work lies before 
us, complete for all purposes ; for though he still pub- 
lishes for our delight, advancing age compels him to 
dictate instead of writing a harassing condition for an 
artist whose talent is free from any touch of declamation. 
It is hard for us who have undergone the spell of Prospero, 
who have been fascinated by his truth and grace and 
sympathy, to judge him with the impartiality of posterity. 
But we may safely anticipate its general verdict. It may 
be that some of his improvisations will lack durability; 
but these are few. Valera, like the rest of the world, is 
entitled to be judged at his best, and his best will be 
read as long as Spanish literature endures ; for he is 


not simply a dexterous craftsman using one of the 
noblest of languages with an exquisite delicacy and 
illimitable variety of means, nor a clever novelist exer- 
cising a superficial talent, nor even (though he is that 
in a very special sense) the leader of a national revival. 
He is something far rarer and more potent than an 
accomplished man of letters : a great creative artist, 
and the embodiment of a people's genius. 

A less cosmopolitan, but scarcely less original talent 
is that of JOSE MARIA DE PEREDA (b. 1834), who comes, 
like so many distinguished Spaniards, from " the moun- 
tain." Born at Polanco, trained as a civil engineer in 
his province of Santander, Pereda was and, perhaps, 
still is, theoretically a stout Carlist, an intransigent 
ultramontane whose social position has enabled him to 
despise the politics of expediency. His earliest essays 
in a local newspaper, La Abeja Montanesa, attracted no 
attention ; nor was he much more fortunate with his 
amazingly brilliant Escenas Montaftesas (1864). Fernan 
Caballero, and a gentle sentimentalist now wholly for- 
gotten, Antonio Trueba (1821-89), satisfied readers 
with graceful insipidities, beside which the new-comer's 
manly realism seemed almost crude. The conventional 
villager, simple, Arcadian, and impossible, held the field ; 
and Pereda's revelation of unveiled rusticity was esteemed 
displeasing, unnecessary, inartistic. He had to educate 
his public. From the outset he found a few enthusiasts 
to appreciate him in his native province ; and, by slow 
degrees, he succeeded in imposing himself first upon the 
general audience, and then, with much more difficulty, 
upon official critics. It is commonly alleged against him 
that even in his more ambitious novels in Don Gonzalo 
Gonzalez de la Gonzolera, in Pedro Sanchez, where he deals 


with town life, and in Sotileza, which is salt with the sea 
his personages are local. The observation is intended 
as a reproach ; but, in truth, Pereda's men and women 
are only local as Sancho Panza and Maritornes are local 
local in particulars, universal as types of nature. His 
true defects are his tendency to abuse his knowledge of 
dialect, to insist on a moral aim, to caricature his villains. 
These are spots on the sun. On the whole, he pictures 
life as he sees it, with unblenching fidelity; his people live 
and move ; and not least he is a master of nervous, 
energetic phrase. No writer outdoes him as a landscape- 
painter in rendering the fertile valleys, the cold hills, the 
vexed Cantabrian sea, to which he returns with the inti- 
mate passion of a lover. 

The representative of a younger school is BENITO 
PEREZ GALDOS (b. 1845), who left the Canary Islands in 
his nineteenth year with the purpose of reading law in 
Madrid. A brief trial of journalism, previous to the 
revolution of 1868, led to the publication of his first 
novel, La Fontana de Oro (1870), and since 1873 he has 
shown a wondrous persistence and suppleness of talent. 
His Episodios Nacionales alone fill twenty volumes, and as 
many more exist detached from that series. He has com- 
posed the modern national epic in the form of novels: 
novels which have for their setting the War of Independ- 
ence, and the succeeding twenty years of civil combat ; 
novels in which not less than five hundred characters are 
presented. Gald6s is in singular contrast with his friend 
Pereda. The prejudiced Tory has educated his public ; 
the Liberal reformer has been educated by his contem- 
poraries. Gald6s has always had his fingers on the general 
pulse ; and when the readers in the late seventies wearied 
of the historico-political novel, Gald6s was ready with La 


Familia de Leon Roch, with Gloria, and with Dona Per- 
fecta, in which the religious difficulty is posed ten years 
before Robert Elsmere was written. His third stage of 
development is exampled in Fortuna y Jacinta, a most 
forcible study of contemporary life. A prolific inventor, 
a minute observer of detail, Galdos combines realism 
with fantasy, flat prose with poetic imagination, so that 
he succeeds best in drawing psychological eccentricities 
like Angel Guerra. He is perhaps too Spanish to endure 
translation, too prone to assume that his readers are 
familiar with the minutiae of Peninsular life and history, 
and his construction, broad as it is, lacks solidity ; but 
that he deserves the greater part of his fame is unques- 
tionable, and if there be doubters, Fortuna y Jacinta and 
Angel Guerra are at hand to vindicate the judgment. 

In all the length and breadth of Spain no writer (with 
the possible exception of that slashing, incorrigible, 
brilliant reviewer, Antonio de Valbuena) is better known 
and more feared than LEOPOLDO ALAS (b. 1852), who / 
uses the pseudonym of Clarin. Alas is often accused 
of fierce intolerance as a critic"; and the charge has this 
much truth in it that he is righteously, splendidly in- 
tolerant of a pretender, a mountebank, or a dullard. He 
may be right or wrong in judgment ; but there is some- 
thing noble in the intrepidity with which he handles an 
established reputation, in the infinite malice with which 
he riddles an enemy. An ample knowledge of other 
literatures than his own, a catholic taste, as pretty a wit 
as our days have seen, and a most combative, gallant 
spirit make him a critical force which, on the whole, is 
used for good. He is not mentioned here, however, as 
the formidable gladiator of journalism, but as the author 

of one of the best contemporary novels. La Regenta 

I ./ f i V . 


(1884-1885) is, in the first place, a searching analysis of 
criminal passion, marked by fine insight ; and the exami- 
nation of false mysticism which betrays Ana Ozores is 
among the subtlest, most masterly achievements in recent 
literature. Gald6s is realistic and persuasive : Alas is 
real and convincing. He has not the cunning of the con- 
triver of situations, and as he never condescends to the 
novelist's artifice, he imperils his chance of popularity. 
In truth, far from enjoying a vulgar vogue, La Regenta 
has had the distinction of being condemned by critic- 
asters who have never read it. Su unico Hijo, and the 
collection of short stories entitled Pipd, interesting and 
finished in detail, are of slighter substance and value. 
The duties of a law professorship at the University of 
Oviedo, the tasks of journalism, have occupied Alas during 
the last four years. Literature in Spain is but a poor 
crutch, and even the popular Valera has told us that he 
must perish did he depend upon his pen. Spanish men 
of letters have to be content with fame. Meanwhile, 
it is known that Alas is at work upon the long-promised 
EsperaindeOj in which we may fairly hope to find a com- 
panion to La Regenta. 

Of ARMANDO PALACIO VALORS (b. 1853) it can hardly 
be said that he has fulfilled the promise of Marta y 
Maria and La Hermana de San Sulpicio. Alas, with 
whom Palacio Vald^s collaborated in a critical review 
of the literature of 1881, has succeeded in absorbing the 
good elements of the modern French naturalistic school 
without losing his Spanish savour. Palacio Valdes has 
surrendered great part of his nationality in Espuma and 
in La Fe, which might, with a change of names, be 
taken for translations of French novels. He has abun- 
dant cleverness, a sure hand in construction, a distinct 


power of character-drawing, which have won him more 
consideration out of Spain than in it, and he has a 
fair claim to rank as the chief of the modern naturalistic 
school. His most distinguished rival is the Galician, the 
Sra. Quiroga, better known by her maiden name of 
EMILIA PARDO BAZAN (b. 1851), the best authoress that 
Spain has produced during the present century. Her 
earliest effort was a prize essay on Feij6o (1876), followed 
by a volume of verses which I have never seen, and 
upon which the writer is satisfied that oblivion should 
scatter its poppy. She pleases most in picturesque de- 
scription of country life and manners in her province, of 
scenes in La Coruna, which she glorifies in her writings 
as Marineda. Her foundation of a critical review, the 
Nuevo Teatro Critico, written entirely by herself, showed 
confidence and enterprise, and enabled her to propagate 
her eclectic views on life and art. Women have hitherto 
been more impressionable than original, and Dona Emilia 
has been drawn into the French naturalistic current in 
Los Pazos de Ulloa (1886) and in La Madre Naturaleza 
(1887). Both novels contain episodes of remarkable 
power, and La Madre Naturaleza is an almost epical 
glorification of primitive instincts. But Spain has a 
native realism of her own, and it is scarcely probable 
that the French variety will ever supersede it. It is as a 
naturalistic novelist that the Sra. Pardo Bazan is gener- 
ally known ; but the fashion of naturalism is already 
passing, and it is by the rich colouring, the local know- 
ledge, the patriotic enthusiasm, and the exact vision of 
such transcripts of local scene and custom as abound 
in De mi tierra that she best conveys the impressions of 
an exuberant and even irresistible temperament. What 
Pereda has accomplished for the land of the mountain 


the Sra. Pardo Bazan has, in lesser measure, done tor 

One must hold it against her that she should have 
aided in establishing the trivial vogue of the Jesuit, 
Luis COLOMA (b. 1851), whose Pequefleces (1890) caused 
more sensation than any novel of the last twenty years. 
Palacio Vald6s has been severely censured for writing, in 
Espuma, of "society" in which he has never moved. 
"What," asked Isaac Disraeli, "what does my son know 
about dukes ? " The Padre Coloma's acquaintance with 
dukes is extensive and peculiar. Born at Jerez de la 
Frontera, he came under the influence of Fernan Caba- 
llero, whom he has pictured in El Viernes de Dolores, and 
with whom he collaborated in Juan Miseria. His lively 
youth was spent in drawing-rooms where Alfonsist plots 
were hatched ; and when, at the age of twenty-three, 
he joined the Society of Jesus after receiving a mys- 
terious bullet-wound which brought him to death's door, 
he knew as much of Madrid "society" as any man in 
Spain. His literary mission appears to be to satirise 
the Spanish aristocracy, and Pequefteces is his capital 
effort in that kind. An angry controversy followed, in 
which Valera made one of his few mistakes by taking the 
field against Coloma, who, with all his superficial smart- 
ness, is a special pleader and not an artist. A roman a 
clef is always sure of ephemeral success, and readers 
were too intent on identifying the originals of Currita 
Albornoz and Villamelon to observe that Pequeneces was a 
hasty improvisation, void of plot and character and truth 
and style. Certain scenes are good enough to pass as 
episodical caricatures, and had the Padre Coloma the 
endowment of wit and gaiety and distinction, he might 
hope to develop into a clerical Gyp. As it is, he has 


shot his bolt, achieved a notoriety which is even now 
fading, and is in a fair way to be dethroned from his 
position by Vicente Blasco Ibdnez, the author of Flor de 
Mayo, and by Juan Ochoa, the writer of Un Alma de Dios. 
These two novelists, the rising hopes of the immediate 
future, are rapidly growing in repute as in accomplish- 
ment. Narcis Oiler y Moragas (b. 1846) has shown 
singular gifts in such tales as L'Escanya-pobres, Vilaniu, 
and Viva Espanya. But, as he writes in Catalan, we have 
no immediate concern with him here. 

Of the modern Spanish theatre there is little originality 
to report. Tamayo's successor in popular esteem is 
Josfi ECHEGARAY (1832), who first came into notice as a 
mathematician, a political economist, a revolutionary 
orator, and a minister of the short - lived republic. 
Writing under the obvious anagram of Jorge Hayeseca, 
Echegaray first attempted the drama so late as 1874, and 
has since then succeeded and failed with innumerable 
pieces. He is essentially a romantic, as he proves in La 
Esposa del Vengador and in Locura 6 Santidad ; but 
there is nothing distinctively national in his work, which 
continually reflects the passing fashions of the moment. 
His plays are commonly well constructed, as one might 
expect from a mathematician applying his science to the 
scene, and he has a certain power of gloomy realisation, 
as in El Gran Galeoto, which moves and impresses ; yet 
he has created no character, he delights in cheap effects, 
and when he betakes himself to verse, is prone to a 
banality which is almost vulgar. A delightfully middle- 
class writer, his appreciation by middle-class audiences 
calls for no special comment. It even speaks for 

The drama has also been attempted by CASPAR NUNEZ 


DE ARCE (b. 1834), whose Haz de Lefla, in which Felipe 
II. figures, is the most distinguished historical drama of 
the century, written with a reserve and elegance rare on 
the modern Spanish stage. Nunez de Arce, however, 
though he began with a successful play in his fifteenth 
year, was well advised when he forsook the scene and 
gave himself to pure lyrism. His disillusioning political 
experiences as Secretary of State for the Colonies have 
reduced him to silence during the last few years. He 
was born to sing songs of victory, to be the poet of 
ordered liberty, and circumstances have cast his lot in 
times of disaster and revolutionary excess. He has had 
no opportunity of celebrating a national triumph, and 
his hopes of a golden age, to be brought about by a 
few constitutional changes, have been grievously dis- 
appointed. Yet it is as a political singer that he has 
won a present fame and that he will pass onward to 
renown. His Idilio is a rustic love story of fine sim- 
plicity, of an impressive, pure realism which lifts it 
above the common level of pastoral poems, and its 
sincerity, its austere finish, are characteristic of the 
poet, who is always a scrupulous artist, a passionate 
devotee and observer of nature, as he has proved 
once more in La Pesca. In Raimundo Lulio, Nunez 
de Arce's superb execution is displayed with a superb 
result which almost tempts the coldest reader into 
pardoning the confusion of two separate themes alle- 
gory and amorism. But a political poet he remains, 
and the famous Gritos de Combate (1875), in which he 
denounces anarchy, pleads for freedom and for concord, 
with a civic courage beyond all praise, is a lasting monu- 
ment in its kind. Modern Castilian shows no poetic 
figure to compare with him, and the only promises of 



our time are Jacinto Verdaguer and Joan Maragall, two 
Catalan singers who fall without our limit. 

The present century has produced no great Spanish 
historian, though there has been an active movement of 
historical research, headed by scholars like Fidel Fita, 
specialists like Cardenas, Azcarate, Costa, Perez Pujol, 
Ribera, Jimenez de la Espada, Fernandez Duro, and 
Hinojosa, all of whom have produced brilliant mono- 
graphs, or have accumulated valuable materials for the 
Mariana of the future. In criticism also there has been 
a marked advance of scholarship and tolerance, thanks 
to the example of MARCELINO MENENDEZ Y PELAYO (b. 
1856), whose extraordinary learning and argumentative 
acuteness were first shown in his Ciencia Espanola (1878), 
and his Historia de los Heterodoxos Espailoles (i 880-81). 
Since then the slight touch of acerbity, of provincial 
narrowness, has disappeared, the writer's talent has 
matured, and, starting as the standard-bearer of an 
aggressive party, anxious to recover lost ground, his 
sympathies have widened as his erudition has taken 
deeper root, till at the present moment he is accepted by 
his ancient foes as the most sagacious and accomplished 
of Spanish critics. His Odas, Epistolas y Tragedias, is a 
signal instance of technical excellence in versification, 
containing as good a version of the Isles of Greece as any 
foreigner has achieved. But, after all, it is not as poet, 
but as critic, as literary historian, that he is hailed by 
his countrymen as a prodigy. He has, perhaps, under- 
taken too much, and the editing of Lope de Vega may cause 
the Historia de las Ideas Esteticas en Espana to remain an 
unfinished torso ; but his example and influence have 
been wholly exercised for good, and are evident in the 
excellent work of the younger generation the work of 


Emilio Cotarelo y Mori, of Rafael Altamira y Crevea, of 
Ramon Mene"ndez Pidal. It would be a singular thing if 
the bright, improvident Spain, which to most of us stands 
for the embodiment of reckless romanticism, were to 
produce a race of writers of the German type, a breed 
absorbed in detail and minute observation ; and as a 
nation's genius is no more subject to change than is the 
temperament of individuals, the development may not 
come to pass. But, as the century closes, the tendency 
inclines that way. 


GEORGE TlCKNOR'S great History of Spanish Literature (Boston, 
1872) is the widest survey of the subject ; it should be read in the 
Castilian version of Pascual de Gayangos and Enrique de Vedia 
(I85I-56), 1 or in the German of Nikolaus Heinrich Julius (Leipzig, 
1852), both of which contain valuable supplementary matter. Ludwig 
Gustav Lemcke shows taste and learning and independence in his 
Handbuch der spanischen Literatur (Leipzig, 1855-56). On a smaller 
scale are Eugene Baret's Histoire de la literature espagnole (1863), 
the volume contributed by Jacques Claude Bemogeot to Victor 
Duruy's series entitled Histoire des literatures etrangtres (1880), 
Licurgo Cappelletti's Letteratura spagnuola (Milan, 1882), and Mr. 
H. Butler Clarke's Spanish Literature (1893). Ferdinand Wolfs 
Studien zur Geschichte der spanischen und portugiesischen National- 
literatur (Berlin, 1859) is a most masterly study of the early period ; 
the Castilian version by D. Miguel de Unamuno, with notes by D. 
Marcelino Mene"ndez y Pelayo (1895-96), corrects some of Wolfs 
conclusions in the light of recent research. The Darstellung der 
spanischen Literatur im Mittelalter (Mainz, 1846), by Ludwig Clarus, 
whose real name was Wilhelm Volk, is learned and suggestive, 
though too enthusiastic in criticism. Josd Amador de los Rfos' seven 
volumes, entitled Historia critica de la literatura espanola (1861-65), 
end with the reign of the Catholic Kings : an alphabetical index 
would greatly increase the value of this monumental work. The 
Comte Theodore Joseph Boudet de Puymaigre's two volumes, Les 
uieux auteurs castillans (1888-90), give the facts in a very agreeable, 
unpretentious way. 

Among current handbooks by Spanish authors, those by Antonio 
Gil y Zdrate (1844), Manuel de la Revilla and Pedro de Alcantara 

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



Garcia (1884), F. Sdnchez de Castro (1890), and Prudencio Mudarra 
y Pdrraga (Sevilla, 1895), are well-meant, and are, one hopes, useful 
for examination purposes. Jose Ferndndez-Espino's Curso historico- 
critico (Sevilla, 1871) is excellent ; but it ends with Cervantes' prose 
works, and makes no reference to the Spanish theatre. 

On the drama there is nothing to match Adolf Friedrich von 
Schack's Geschichte der dramatischen Literatur und Kunst in 
Spanien (Berlin, 1845-46) and his Nachtrage (Frankfurt am Main, 
1854). Romualdo Alvarez Espino's Ensayo histdrico-critico del teatro 
espanol (Cddiz, 1876), containing long extracts from the chief drama- 
tists, is serviceable to beginners. The late Cayetano Barrera's Catd- 
logo bibliogrdfico y biogrdfico del teatro antiguo espanol (1860) is in- 
valuable : lack of funds causes the supplement to remain " inedited." 

In bibliography Castilian is richer than English. Nicola's Antonio's 
Bibliotheca Hispana Nova (1783-88) and Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus 
(1788) are wonderful for their time. Bartolome" Jos Gallardo's 
Ensayo de una Biblioteca espanola de libros raros y curiosos (1863-89) 
owes much to its editors, the Marque's de la Fuensanta del Valle and 
D. Jose" Sancho Raydn. For old editions Pedro Salvd y Mallen's 
Catdlogo de la biblioteca de Salvd (Valencia, 1872) may be consulted. 
An admirable monthly bibliography of new books is issued by D. 
Rafael Altamira y Crevea in his Revista critica de historia y litera- 
tura espaiiolas, portuguesas e" hispano-americanas. Murillo's monthly 
Bolettn is a mere sale list. 

M. Foulche"-Delbosc's Revue hispanique and Sr. Altamira's Revista 
critica are specially dedicated to our subject ; the zeal and self- 
sacrifice of both editors have earned the gratitude of all students of 
Spanish literature. MM. Gaston Paris' and Paul Meyer's Romania 
frequently contains admirable essays and reviews by MM. Morel- 
Fatio, Cornu, Cuervo, and others ; as much may be said for Gustav 
Grober's Zeitschrift fur romanische Philologie (Halle), and for the 
Giomale storico della letteratura italiana (Torino), edited by MM. 
Francesco Novati and Rodolfo Renier. 

Sr. Menendez y Pelayo's Historia de las Ideas esteticas en Espana 
(1883-91) touches literature at many points, and abounds in acute 
and suggestive reflections. Two treatises by M. Arturo Farinelli, Die 
Beziehungen zwischen Spanien und Deutschland in der Litteratur der 
beiden Lander (Berlin, 1892), and Spanien und die spanische Litteratur 
im Lichte der deutschen Kritik und Poesie (Berlin, 1892), are remark- 
able for curious learning and appreciative criticism. 

The best general collection of classics is Manuel Rivadeneyra's 


Biblioteca de Au tores espanoles (1846-80), which consists of seventy- 
nine volumes. Sr. Menendez y Pelayo's Antologia de poetas Uricos 
castellanos (1890-96) is supplied with very learned and elaborate 


The Leloaren Cantua and Altobiskar Cantua are given, with 
English renderings, in Mr. Wentworth Webster's admirable Basque 
Legends (1879); an exposure of the Altobiskar hoax by the same 
great authority is printed in the Academy of History's Boletin (1883). 
Rafael and Pedro Rodriguez Mohedano display much discursive, un- 
critical erudition in their ten-volumed Historia literaria en Espaiia 
(1768-85), which deals only with the early period. A recent study 
(1888) on Prudentius by the Conde de Vinaza deserves mention. 
Migne's Patrologia Latina includes the chief Spanish Fathers. In 
the fourth volume of Charles Garner's and Arthur Martin's Nouveaux 
Melanges d'archeologie, d'histoire, et de litterature sur le moyen dge 
(1877) there is a brilliant essay on the Gothic period by the Rev. 
Pere Jules Tailhan, to whom we also owe a splendid edition of the 
Rhymed Chronicle, the Epitoma Imptratorum (Paris, 1885), by the 
Anonymous Writer of Cordoba. 

For the Spanish Jews, Hirsch Gratz' Geschichte der Juden von den 
dltesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart (Leipzig, 1865-90) is the best 
guide. Salomon Munk's Melanges tie philosophie juivc et arabe 
(1857) is not yet superseded, and Abraham Geiger's Divan des Casti- 
lier Abu 'I Hassan Juda ha Levi (Breslau, 1851) contains information 
not to be found elsewhere. M. Kayserling's Biblioteca Espanola 
PortugezaJudaica (Strassburg, 1890) is extremely valuable. 

Two works by Reinhart Pieter Anne Dozy are authoritative as 
regards the Arab period : the Histoire des Rfussulmans d'Espagne 
(Leyde, 1861), and the Recherches sur thistoire politique et litte'raire 
de r Espagne pendant le moyen dge (1881). The first edition of the Re- 
cherches (Leyde, 1849) embodies many suggestive passages cancelled in 
the reprints. Schack's Poesie und Kunst der Araber in Spanien und 
Sicilien (Stuttgart, 1877) is a good general survey, a little too enthu- 
siastic in tone ; it greatly gains in the Castilian version, made from , 
the first edition, by D. Juan Valera (1867-71). Nicolas Lucien 
Leclerc's Histoire de la me'decine arabe (1876) is of much wider scope 
than its title implies, and may be profitably consulted on Arab 
achievements in other fields. Francisco Javier Simonet states the 


case against the predominance of Arab culture in the preface to his 
Glosario de voces ibe"ricas y latinas usadas entre los Muzdrabes (1888). 
D. Julian Ribera's learned Ortgenes de la justicia en Aragdn (Zara- 
goza, 1897) deals with the facts in a more judicial spirit. Of special 
monographs Ernest Renan : s Averroes et F Averroiisme (1866) is a 
recognised classic. The greater part of the codex from the Convent 
of Santo Domingo de Silos, now in the British Museum (Add. MSS. 
30, 853), has been published by Dr. Joseph Priebsch in the Zeitschrijt, 
vol. xix. 

As regards the Provencal influence in the Peninsula, Manuel MiM 
y Fontanals' 'Irovadores en Espana (Barcelona, 1887) is a definitive 
work. Eugene Baret's Espagne et Provence (1857) is pleasing but 
superficial. Theophilo Braga's learned introduction to the Cancioneiro 
Portuguez da Vaticana (Lisbon, 1878) is brilliantly suggestive, though 
inaccurate in detail. The counter-current from Northern France, as 
it affects the epic, is treated in Mila y Fontanals' Poesia heroico- 
popular castellana (Barcelona, 1874). 


The Misterio de los Reyes Magos is most accessible in Amador de 
los Rfos' Historia, vol. iii. pp. 658-60, and in K. A. Martin Hart- 
mann's dissertation, Ueber das altspanische Dreikonnigsspiel { Bautzen, 
1879). The Swedish scholar, Eduard Lidforss, printed the Misterio 
in the Jahrbuch fiir romanische und englische Literatur (Leipzig, 
1871), vol. xii., and Professor Georg Baist's diplomatic edition ap- 
peared at Erlangen in 1 879. Arturo Grafs Studii drammatici (Torino, 
1878) contains an interesting essay on the Magi play ; M. Morel- 
Fatio's article in Romania, vol. ix., and Baist's review in the Zeii- 
schrift, vol. iv., are both important. D'Ancona's Origini dd teatro 
italiano (Torino, 1891) discusses the question of the play's date with 
much shrewdness and caution. 

The most convenient reference for the Poema del Cid is to Riva- 
deneyra, vol. Ivii. D. Ramon Menendez Pidal's edition (1898) super- 
sedes all others : next, in order of merit, come Karl Vollmoller's 
(Halle, 1879), Eduard Lidforss', called Cantares de Myo Cid (Lund, 
1895), and Mr. Archer Huntington's (New York, 1897). The Cantar 
de Rodrigo is in Rivadeneyra, vol. xvi. ; vol. Ivii. contains the Apolonio, 
the Vida de Santa Maria Egipciacqua, and the Tres Reyes dorient. 
The sources of Santa Maria Egipciacqua are indicated by Adolf 


Mussafia in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy of Sciences, 
vol. clxiii. For the Disputa del Alma y Cuerpo see the Zeitschrift, 
vol. Ix. M. Morel-Fatio edited the Debate entre el Agua y el Vino 
and the Razon feita de Amor in Romania, vol. xvi. Most of the 
foregoing may be read in extract in Egidio Gorra's excellent antho- 
logy, Lingua e Letteratura Spagnuola delle origini (Milan, 1898). 


Most of the writers referred to in this chapter are included in 
Rivadeneyra, vols. li. and Ivii. A valuable article on Berceo by D. 
Francisco Fernandez y Gonzalez, now Dean of the Central Univer- 
sity, was published in La Razon (1857) : a translated fragment of 
Berceo is given by Longfellow in Outre-Mer. Gautier de Coinci's 
Les tirades de la Sainte Vierge were edited by the Abbe Alexandre 
Eusebe Poquet (1857) in a somewhat prudish spirit. M. Morel- 
Fatio's study on the Libro de Alexandre, printed in the fourth volume 
of Romania, is an extremely thorough performance. 

Alfonso's Siete Partidas (1807) and the Fuero Juzgo (1815) have 
been issued by the Spanish Academy ; his scientific work is partially 
represented by Manuel Rico y Sinobas' five folios entitled Libras del 
Saber de Astronomia (1863-67). There is no modern edition of his 
histories, and a reprint is greatly needed : the inaugural speech of 
D. Juan Facundo Riano, read before the Academy of History (1869), 
traces the sources with great ability and learning. The translations 
in which Alfonso shared are best read in Hermann Knust's Mittei- 
lungen aus dem Eskorial (vol. cxli. of the publications issued by the 
Stuttgart Literarischer Verein), and in Knust's Dos Obras diddcticas y 
dos Leyendas (1878). Alfonso's Cantigas de Santa Maria have been 
published by the Spanish Academy (1889) in two of the handsomest 
volumes ever printed ; the Marque's de Valmar has edited the text, 
and supplied an admirable introduction and apparatus. 

Fadrique's Engannos e Assayamientos de las Mogieres is to be 
sought in Domenico Comparetti's Ricerche intorno al libro di Sin- 
dibad( Milan, 1869). The questions arising out of the Gran Conquista. 
de Ultramar are discussed by M. Gaston Paris, with his usual lucidity 
and learning, in Romania, vols. xvii., xix., and xxii. 



Most of the poems mentioned are printed in Rivadeneyra, vol. Ivii. 
Solomon 's Rhymed Proverbs are included by Antonio Paz y Melia in 
Opusculos literarios de los siglos XIV.-XVJ. (1892). The Poema de 
/os/ has been reproduced in Arabic characters by Heinrich Morf 
(Leipzig, 1883) as part of a Gratulationsschrift from the University 
of Bern to that of Zurich. 

Juan Manuel's writings were edited by Gayangos in Rivadeneyra, 
vol. li. : we owe his Libro de Caza to Professor Georg Baist (Halle, 
1880), and a valuable edition of the Libro del Caballero et del Escudero 
to S. Grafenberg (Erlangen, 1883). Alfonso XL's handbook on 
hunting is given by Gutierrez de la Vega in the third volume of the 
Biblioteca Venatoria (Madrid, 1879). Ayala's history forms vols. i. 
and ii. of Eugenic de Llaguno Amirola's Cronicas Espanolas (Madrid, 


The Comte de Puymaigre's La Cour litte"raire de Don Juan IL 
(1873) is an excellent general view of the subject. D. Emilio Cotarelo 
y Mori's Don Enrique de Villena (1896) is a very learned and interest- 
ing study. Villena's Arte Cisoria was reprinted so recently as 1879. 
The Libro de los Gatos and Clemente Sanchez' Enxemplos are in 
Rivadeneyra, vol. li. ; the latter were completed by M. Morel-Fatio 
in Romania^ vol. vii. Mr. Thomas Frederick Crane's Excmpla of 
Jacques Vitry (published in 1890 for the Folk- Lore Society) will be 
found useful by English readers. 

Baena's Candonero (1851) was edited by the late Marque's de Pidal : 
the large-paper copies contain a few loose pieces, omitted from the 
ordinary edition which was reprinted by Brockhaus in a cheap form 
at Leipzig in 1860. D. Antonio Paz y Melia's Obras de Juan Rodri- 
guez de la Cdmara (1884) is a good example of this scholar's con- 
scientious work. Amador de los Rfos' edition of the Obras del 
Marque's de Santillana (1852) is complete and minute in detail. 

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


Juan II.'s Crdnica is printed by Rivadeneyra, vol. Iviii. ; the others 


those of Clavijo, Gdmez, Lena are in Llaguno y Amirola's Crdnicas 
Espanolas, already named. Llaguno also reprinted Pe"rez de Guzman's 
Generaciones at Valencia in 1790. 

No modern editor has had the spirit to reissue Martinez de Toledo's 
Corbacho, nor did even Ticknor possess a copy. The edition of 
Logrono (1529) is convenient. The Visidn deleitable is in Rivade- 
neyra, vol. xxxvi. I know no later edition of Lucena's Vita Beata 
than that of Zamora, 1483. 


Hernando del Castillo's Cancionero General should be read in the 
fine edition (1882) published by the Sociedad de Bibliofilos Espafioles ; 
the Cancionero de burlas in Luis de Usoz y Rio's reprint (London, 
1841). The Marques de la Fuensanta del Valle and D. Jose Sancho 
Rayon edited Lope de Stuniga's Cancionero in 1872. While the 
present volume has been passing through the press, M. Foulche'- 
Delbosc has, for the first time, published the entire text of the Coplas 
del Provincial in the Revue hispanique, vol. v. The Coplas de Mingo 
Revulgo, Cota's Didlogo, and Jorge Manrique's Coplas are best read 
in D. Marcelino Mene*ndez y Pelayo's Antologia, vols. iii. and iv. 
An additional piece of Cota's, discovered by M. Foulche"-Delbosc, has 
been printed in the Revue hispanique, vol. i. ; and to D. Antonio Paz 
y Melia is due the publication of G6mez Manrique's Cancionero (1885). 
Inigo de Mendoza and Ambrosio Montesino are represented in Riva- 
deneyra, vol. xxxv. Miguel del Riego y Nunez' edition of Padilla 
appeared at London in 1841 in the Coleccidn de obras poSticas espanolas. 
Pedro de Urrea's Cancionero (1876) forms the second volume of the 
Biblioteca de Escritores Aragoneses. Encina's Teatro complete has 
been admirably edited (1893) by Francisco Asenjo Barbieri : a sug- 
gestive and penetrating criticism by Sr. Cotarelo y Mori appeared in 
Espaiia Moderna (May 1894). 

Palencia is to be studied sufficiently in his Dos Tratados (1876), 
arranged by D. Antonio Maria Fable". The Cronica of Lucas Iranzo 
was given by the Academy of History (1853) in the Memorial his I orico 
espanol, Amadis de Gaula is most easily read in Rivadeneyra, vol. 
xl., which is preceded by a very instructive preface, the work of 
Gayangos. The derivation of the Amadis romance is ably discussed 
from different points of view by Eugene Baret in his Etudes sur la 
redaction espagnole de F Amadis de Gaule (1853); by Theophilo 
Braga in his Historia das novelas portuguezas de cavalleria (Portft, 


1873) ; an d by Luclwig Braunfels in his Kritischer Versuch iiber den 
Roman Amadis von Gallien (Leipzig, 1876). The fourth volume of 
Ormsby's Don Quixote (1885) contains an exhaustive bibliography of 
the chivalresque novels, most of which are both costly and worth- 
less. Of the Celcstina. there are innumerable editions ; the handiest 
is that in Rivadeneyra, vol. iii. A reprint of Mabbe's splendid English 
version (1631) was included by Mr. Henley in his Tudor Translations 
(1894). D. Marcelino Mene"ndez y Pelayo's brilliant essay on Rojas 
is reprinted in the second series of his Estudios de critica literaria 
(1895). Bernaldez' Historia de los Reyes catolicos (Granada, 1856) has 
been carefully produced by Miguel Lafuente y Alcantara. Pulgar's 
Claras Varones was inserted at the end of Llaguno y Amirola's edition 
of the Centon epistolario (1775). It is quite impossible to give any 
notion of the immense mass of literature concerning Columbus ; but 
anything bearing the names of Martin Fernandez de Navarrete or of 
Mr. Henry Harrisse is entitled to the greatest respect. 


M. Morel-Fatio's DEspagne au 16' el 17' sihle (Heilbronn, 1878) 
is invaluable for this period and the succeeding century. Dr. Adam 
Schneider's Spaniens Anteil an der deutschen Litteratur des 16. und 
17. Jahrhunderts (Strassburg, 1898) is a work of immense industry, 
containing much curious information in a convenient form. English 
readers will find an excellent summary of the literary history of this 
time in Mr. David Hannay's Later Renaissance (1898). 

Manuel Cafiete, whose Teatro espanol del siglo XVI. (1885) is 
useful but ill arranged, included a single volume of Torres Naharro's 
Propaladia among the Libras de Antaiio so long ago as 1880; the 
second is still to come, and those who would read this dramatist must 
turn to the rare sixteenth-century editions. Perhaps the best reprint 
of Gil Vicente is that issued at Hamburg in 1834 by Jose" Victorino 
Barreto Feio and Jose" Gomes Monteiro ; a most complete account 
of Vicente, his environment and influence, is given by Theophilo 
Braga in the seventh volume of his learned Historia de la littera- 
tura portuguesa (Porto, 1898). Boscdn's Castilian version of the 
Cortegiano was reissued in 1873 ; the completest edition of his verse 
is that published by Professor Knapp (of Yale University), issued at 
Madrid in 1 873. Professor Flamini's Studi di storia letteraria italiana 
e straniera (Livorno, 1895) contains a very scholarly essay on the 


debt of Boscdn to Bernardo Tasso. The poems of Garcilaso are in 
Rivadeneyra, vols. xxxii. and xlii. ; but a far pleasanter book to handle 
is Azara's edition (1765). Benedetto Croce's study entitled Intorno 
al soggiorno di Garcilaso de la Vega in Italia (1894) appeared origin- 
ally in the Rassegna storica napoletana di lettere ed arte (a magazine 
which deserves to be better known in England than it is). Croce's 
researches have been printed apart, and we may look forward to 
his publishing others no less important. Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen's 
biography and translation of Garcilaso (1823) are defective, but 
nothing better exists in English. Few poets in the world have been 
so fortunate in their editors as Sa de Miranda. Mme. Carolina 
Michaelis de Vasconcellos' reprint (Halle, 1881), with its very learned 
apparatus of introduction, notes, and variants, is a real achievement 
unsurpassed in the history of editing. A fine edition of Gutierre de 
Cetina has been published (Seville, 1895) with a scholarly introduction 
by D. Joaquin Hazanas y la Rua. Acuna's works appeared at Madrid 
in 1804 ; his Contienda de Ayax is in the second volume of Ldpez de 
Sedano's Parnaso Espaiiol (1778). Concerning Mendoza, the reader 
may profitably turn to Charles Graux' Essai sur les origines du fona 
grec de PEscorial (1880), published in the Bibliotheque de FEcole des 
Hautes Etudes. Professor Knapp edited Mendoza's verses in 1877: 
a creditable piece of work, though inferior to his edition of Boscan. 
Castillejo and Silvestre are exampled in Rivadeneyra, vol. xxxii. Of 
Villegas' Inventario there is no modern reprint. 

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

The most important historians of the Indies are reprinted by 
Rivadeneyra, vols. xxii. and xxvi. Amador de los Rios edited Oviedo 
for the Academy of History in 1851-55. Very full details con- 
cerning Corte"s are given by Prescott in his classic book on Peru, 
and Sir Arthur Helps' Life of Las Casas (1868) is a pleasing piece of 

Lazarillo de Tormes should be read in Mr. Butler Clarke's beautiful 
reproduction of the princeps (1897). M. Morel-Fatio's essay in the 
first series of his Etudes surPEspagne (1895) is exceedingly ingenious, 
but, like all negative criticism, it is somewhat unconvincing. His 
guess that Lazarillo was written by some one connected with the 
Valde"s clique does not seem very happy, but even a conjecture by 
M. Morel-Fatio carries great weight. 

Eduard Bohmer gives a very full bibliography of Juan de Valdes 


in his Biblioteca Wiffeniana (Strassburg, 1874). Benjamin Barren 
Wiffen had for Valde"s a kind of cult which found partial expression 
in his quarto Life and Writings of Juan Valdh^ otherwise Valdesio 
(1865). But it is impossible to give more minute references to the 
voluminous literature which deals with Valdes and his brother Alfonso. 
An historical essay by Manuel Carrasco, published at Geneva in 1880, 
is interesting as the work of a modern Spanish Protestant. 


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

Torre's verses are most accessible in Velazquez* edition (1753). 
Of Figueroa there is no recent reprint, though a poor selection is 
offered by Rivadeneyra, vol. xlii., which also includes Rufo Gutierrez' 
minor verse : his Austriada is given in vol. xxix., and Ercilla's 
Araucana in vol. xvii. The Catdlogo razonado biogrdfico y biblio- 
grdfico of the Portuguese authors who wrote in Spanish is due (1890) 
to Domingo Garcia Peres. The Barcelona reprint (1886) of Montemor 
is easily found: Professor Hugo Albert Rennert's monograph, 1 he 
Spanish Pastoral Romances (Baltimore, 1892), is extremely thoroiv -h. 
Zurita is best read in the princeps* A new edition of Mendoza's 


Guerra de Granada is urgently called for, and is now being passed 
through the press by M. Foulche-Delbosc. Mendoza's burlesque of 
Silva will be found in Paz y Melia's Sales Espanolas (1890). 


Henceforward the task of the bibliographer is lighter ; for, though 
Cervantes, Lope, and later writers are the subjects of an enormous 
mass of literature, and are reprinted in editions out of number, it will 
only be necessary to name the most important. The twelve quartos 
which 'form the Obras Completas (1863-64) of Cervantes are open to 
much damaging criticism ; but they contain all his writings, except 
the conjectural pieces gathered together by D. Adolfo de Castro in 
his Varias obras ineditas de Cervantes (1874). For a most exhaustive 
bibliography of Cervantes' writings (Barcelona, 1895) we are indebted 
to the late D. Leopoldo Rius y Llosellas : a posthumous volume is to 
follow, but even in its present incomplete state Rius' book is worth 
more than all previous attempts put together. Editions of Don 
Quixote abound, and of these Diego Clemencin's (1833-39) deserves 
special mention for its very learned commentary. A new edition, in 
course of issue by Mr. David Nutt (1898), presents a text freed from 
arbitrary emendations which have crept in without authority. Fer- 
nndez de Navarrete's biography (1819) is still unequalled. Shelton's 
early English version (1612-20) has been reprinted by Mr. Henley 
in his series of Tudor Translations (1896). Of later renderings John 
Ormsby's (1885) is much the best, and is prefaced by a very judicious 
account of Cervantes and his work. Duffield (1881) and Mr. H. E. 
Watts (1894) have translated Don Quixote in a spirit of enthusiasm. 
The Numantia (1885) and Viaje del Parnaso (1883) were both admir- 
ably rendered by the late James Young Gibson. Sr. Mene*ndez y 
Pelayo's paper on Avellaneda appeared in Los Lunes de El Impartial 
(February 15, 1897). 

The Obras of Lope, now printing under the editorship of D. 
Marcelino Mendndez y Pelayo, will be definitive ; but as yet only eight 
quartos (including Barrera's Nueva Biografia) are available. Lope's 
Obras sueltas (1776-79) fill twenty-one volumes; but the best refer- 
ence for readers is to Rivadeneyra, vols. xxiv., xxxv., xxxvii., xli., and 
xlii., where Lope is incompletely but sufficiently exhibited. M. Arturo 
Farinelli's Grillparzer und Lope de Vega (Berlin, 1894) is most excel- 


lent. Edmund Borer's Die Lope-de- Vega Litteratur in Deutschland 
(1877) is a praiseworthy compilation. Ormsby's article in the Quarterly 
Review (October 11894) is, as might be expected from him, most exact 
and learned. I am especially indebted to it. 

As to the picaresque novels, Guzntdn is in Rivadeneyra, vol. iii. ; 
the Picara Justina in vol. xxxiii., and Marcos de Gbregdn in vol. xviii. 
A thoughtful and appreciative study on Mateo Alema'n has been 
privately printed at Seville (1892) by D. Joaquin Hazanas y la Rua. 
Antonio Pe"rez and Gine"s Pe'rez de Hita are to be read in Rivade- 
neyra, vols. xiii. and iii. : Mariana fills vols. xxx. and xxxi., but the two 
noble folios of 1780 are in every way preferable. 


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

Hartzenbusch's twelve-volume edition of Tirso de Molina (1839-42) 


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

Calderon's editions are numerous, but none are really good. Keil's 
(Leipzig, 1827) is the most complete ; Hartzenbusch's, which fills 
vols. vii., ix., xii., and xiv. of Rivadeneyra, is the easiest to obtain, 
and is sufficient for most purposes. Mr. Norman MacColl's Select 
Plays of Calderon (1888) deserves special mention for its excellent 
introduction and judicious notes. M. Morel- Fatio's edition of El 
MAgico Prodigioso is a model of skill and accuracy. Two small col- 
lections of Calderon's verse were published at Ccidiz, 1845, and at 
Madrid, 1881. Archbishop Trench's monograph (1880) and Miss 
E. J. Hasell's study (1879) are deservedly well known. D. Marcelino 
Mene"ndez y Pelayo's lectures, Calderon y su Teatro (1881) are full of 
sound, impartial criticism. Friedrich Wilhelm Valentin Schmidt's 
Die Schauspiele Calderon 's (Elberfeld, 1857) maintains its place by 
virtue of its sound and sympathetic criticism. The history of the autos 
is fully given by Eduardo Gonzalez Pedroso in Rivadeneyra, vol. Iviii. 
Edmund Borer's Die Calderon- Litleratur in Deutschland (Leipzig, 

1881) is useful and unpretending. D. Antonio Sanchez Moguel's 
study (1881) of the relation between the Mdgico Prodigioso and 
Goethe's Faust is learned and ingenious, and D. Antonio Rubio y 
Lluch's Sentimiento del }lonor en el Teatro de Calderon (Barcelona, 

1882) is a very suggestive essay. 

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


An almost complete record of eighteenth-century literature is sup- 
plied by Sr. D. Leopoldo Augusto de Cueto, Marques de Valmar, in 
his Historica Critica de lapoesia caste liana en el siglo XVIII. (1893), 
a revised and augmented edition of the classic preface to Rivadeneyra, 


vols. Ixi., Ixiii., and Ixvii. D. Emilio Cotarelo y Mori's invaluable 
Iriarte y su e"poca (1897) sheds much light on the literary history of 
the period, and D. Marcelino Mene"ndez y Pelayo's Historia de las 
Ideas esttticas en Espana (vol. iii. part ii., 1886) should be read as a 
complement to all other works. Antonio Maria Alcald Galiano's 
Historia de la literatura espanola, francesa, tnglesa, / italiano en el 
siglo XVI I I. (1845) is acute, but somewhat obsolete. I should 
recommend as an honest, useful monograph the life of Sarmiento 
published under the title of El Gran Gallego (La Coruna, 1895) by 
D. Antolin Lopez Pelaez. 


The only summary of the period is Padre Francisco Blanco Garcfa's 
Literatura Espaiiola en el siglo XIX. (1891): it is extremely un- 
critical, and is marred by violent personal prejudices intemperately 
expressed. But it has the merit of existing, and embodies useful 
information in the way of facts. Gustave Hubbard's Histoire de la 
literature conttmporaine en Espagne (1876) and Boris de Tannen- 
berg's La Pohie castellane contemporaine (1892) are pleasant but 
slight. Pedro de Novo y Colsdn's Autores dramdticos contemporaneos 
yjoyas del teatro espanol del siglo XIX. (1881-85), w 'th a preface by 
Antonio Canovas del Castillo, is conscientiously put together, and will 
be found very serviceable. 


ABARBANEL, Judas, 131, 219 
Abraham ben David, 19 
Acuna, Fernando de, 149-150 
Adenet le Roi, 41 
Alabanza de Mahoma, 20 
Alarcon, Pedro Antonio de, 381-382 
Alas, Leopoldo, 391-392 
Alba, Bartolome, 257 
Alcala, Alfonso de, 130 
Alcala y Herrera, Alonso de, 338 
Alcazar, Baltasar de, 176 
Aleman, Mateo, 264-267 
Alexander, Letters of, 63, 65 
Alexandre, Libra de, 62, 63, 65 
Alfonso II. of Aragon, 28, 29 
Alfonso the Learned, 28, 30, 38, 60, 


Alfonso XL, 85 
Aljamia, 19-20 

Altamira y Crevea, Rafael, 398 
Altobiskarko CantTta, 2 
Al-Tufail, 12 

Alvarez de Ayllon, Pero, 165 
Alvarez de Cienfuegos, Nicasio, 359 
Alvarez de Toledo, Gabriel, 346 
Alvarez de Villasandino, Alfonso, 
/ 26, 31 

Alvarez Gato, Juan, 112 
Amadisde Gaula, 91, 97, 106, 123-124 
Amadis de Grecia, 1 06, 157 
Amador de los Rios, Jose, 34, 43, 107 
Amalteo, Giovanni Battista, 186 
Anales Toledanos, 62 
Andujar, Juan de, 109 
Angeles, Juan de los, 202 

Angulo y Pulgar, Martin de, 291 

Ansfis de Carthage, 41 

Antonio, Nicolas, 343 

Apolonio, Libra de, 20, 30, 38, 53-54 

Arab influence, 14-19 

Arevalo, Faustino, II 

Argensola. See Leonardo de Argensola 

Argote, Juan de, 280 

Argote y G6ngora, Luis, 143, 233, 250, 
270, 276, 279-294 

Arguijo, Juan de, 298 

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

Artieda. See Rey de Artieda 

Asenjo Barbieri, Francisco, 19, 131, 

Avellaneda. See Fernandez de Avel- 

Avellaneda. See Gomez de Avel- 

Avempace, 12 

Avendano, Francisco de, 170 

Averroes, 12 

Avicebron, n, 17, 18 

Avila, Juan de, 161 

Avila y Zuniga, Luis, 156 

Aviles, Fuero de, 24 

Axular, Pedro de, 3 

Ayala. See Lopez de Ayala 

Azemar, Guilhem, 36 

BAENA, Juan Alfonso de, 95, 96 

Baist, Professor, 82 

Balbus, 5 

Balmes y Uspia, Jaime, 382 




Bances Candamo, Francisco Antonio, 


Barahona de Soto, Luis, 189, 270 
Barcelo, Francisco, 118 
Barlaam and fosaphat, Legend of, 

Barrera y Leirado, Cayetano Alberto 

de la, 242, 244 
Barrientos, Lope de, 95. 
Basque influence, 3-4 
Baudouin, Jean, 233 
Bavia, Luis de, 286 
Bechada, Gregoire de, 72 
Be"cquer, Gustavo Adolfo, 377-378 
Bedier, M. Joseph, 16 
Belianls de Grecia, 1 58 
Belmonte y Bermudez, Luis, 314 
Bembo, Pietro, 144 
Berague, Pedro de, 87 
Berceo, Gonzalo de, 27, 28, 29, 

Beristain de Souza Fernandez de 

Lara, Jose Mariano, 257 
Bermudez, Geronimo, 173 
Bernaldez, Andres, 127 
Blanco, Jose" Maria, 367-368 
Blasco Ibanez, Vicente, 395 
Bocados de Oro. See Boniufn 
Bohl de Faber, Cecilia. See Caba- 


Bohl de Faber, Johan Nikolas, 203 
Bohmer, Eduard, 162 
Bonilla, Alonso de, 299 
Bonium, 63, 73 
Boscan Almogaver, Juan, 136-141, 


Bouterwek, Friedrich, 289 
Braulius, St., 10 

Breton de los Herreros, Manuel, 374 
Burke, Edmund, 124 
Byron, Lord, 230, 313, 370 

CABALLERO, Fernan, 380-381, 389 
Cabanyes, Manuel de, 372 

Cabo roto, Versos de, 228, 268 
Caceres y Espinosa, Pedro de, 153 
Cadalso y Vazquez, Jose de, 355 
Calanson, Guirauld de, 36 
Calderon de la Barca Henao de la 

Barreda y Riano, Pedro, 85, 136, 

225, 250, 256, 261, 276, 317-332 
Camoes, Luis de, 115, 177, 203, 270 
Campoamor y Campoosorio, Ramon 

de, 383-386 

Camus, Jean-Pierre, 289 
Cancioneiro Portuguez da Vaticana, 

30, 71 

Cancionero de Baena, 30, 33, 96-98 
Cancionero de bur las, 109, 112, 124 
Cancionero de Linares, 15 
Cancionero de Lope de Stuniga t 34 
Cancionero General, 109 
Cancionero Musical, 119, 122, 131 
Canizares, Jose de, 345 
Cano, Alonso, 276 
Cano, Melchor, 200 
Cantilenas, 24-25 
Canzoniere Colocci-Brancufi, 123 
Carlos Quinto, 142, 149 
Caro, Rodrigo, 249 
Carrillo, Alonso, 65, 114 
Carrillo y Sotomayor, Luis de, 28^-* 


Carvajal, 34, no. 
Carvajal, Miguel de, 165, 172 
Casas, Bartolome" de las, 156 
Cascales, Francisco de, 291, 293 
Castellanos, Juan de, 192 
Castellvi, Francisco de, 118 
Castilla, Crdnica de, 103 
Castilla, Francisco de, 153 
Castillejo, Cristobal de, 151-152, 165 
Castillo Solorzano, Alonso de, 338 
Castro, Adolfo de, 299 
Castro y Bellvis, Guillen de, 305-306 
Cecchi, Giovanni Maria, 168 
Celestina, 107, 120, 125-126 
Centon Epistolario, 272 



Cepeda y Guzman, Carlos, 320 
Cervantes de Salazar, Francisco, 154 
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, 180, 

215-241, 249, 253, 267, 268, 276, 

278, 289, 350 
Cespedes y Meneses, Gonzalo de, 


Cetina, Gutierre de, 148-149 
Chaves, Cristobal de, 235 
Chivalresque novels, 157-158 
Churton, Edward, 178, 281, 282-283, 

286, 290, 319-320 
Cid, Crdnica dd, 103 
Cid, Poema del, 24, 25, 40, 46-51 
Cienfuegos. See Alvarez de Cien- 


Civillar, Pedro de, 118 
Claramonte y Corroy, Andres, 309 
Claude, Bishop, 10 
Clavijo. See Gonzalez de Clavijo 
Clavijo y Fajardo, Jose, 360 
Cobos, El Padre, 377 
Cobos, Francisco de los, 179 
Coloma, Luis, 394 
Columbarius, Julius, 251 
Columbus, Christopher, 12, 127-128 
Columella, Lucius Junius Modera- 

tus, 8 

Concepcion, Juan de la, 346 
Conceptismo, 299-300 
Contreras, Juana de, 129 
Cordoba, Martin de, 68 
Cordoba, Sebastian de, 207 
Corneille, Pierre, 306, 345 
Corneille, Thomas, 313, 335 
Cornu, Professor, 86 
Coronado, Carolina, 375 
Coronel, Pablo, 130 
Corral, Pedro de, 93 
Corte Real, Jeronimo, 203 
Cortes, Hernan, 157 
Cota de Maguaque, Rodrigo de, HO, 


Cotarelo y Mori, Emilio, 122, 309, 398 

Covarrubias y Horozco, Sebastian, 


Croce, Benedetto, 126 
Crotaidn, El, 303 

Cruz, San Juan de la, 182, 198-200 
Cruz y Cano, Ramon de la, 360-361 
Cubillo de Aragon, Alvaro, 335 
Cuello, Antonio, 335 
CuestiSn de Amor, 126-127 
Cueva de la Garoza, Juan de la, 171- 


Culteranismo, 283-285 
Cunninghame Graham, Mrs., 193 

DAM ASUS, St., 8-9 

Danza de la Muerte, 87-88 

Dascanio, Jusquin, 131 

Davidson, Mr. John, 70 

Debate entre el Agiiay el Vino, 55 

Dechepare, Bernard, 3 

Defoe, Daniel, 228 

Diamante, Juan Bautista, 345 

Diario de los Literates de Espafia, 


Diaz del Castillo, Bernal, 157 
Diaz Gamez, Gutierre, 105, 106, 347 
Diaz Tanco de Fregenal, Vasco, 164 
Diez Mandamientos, 62 
Diniz, King of Portugal, 28, 38 
Disputa del Almay el Cuerpo, 55 
Dobson, Mr. Austin, 15, 251 
Doce Sabios, Libra de los, 63 
Dominicus Gundisalvi, 19 
Donoso Cortes, Juan, 382 
D'Ouville, Antoine Le Metel, 263, 


Dryden, John, 192, 264, 332 
Ducas, Demetrio, 130 
Duhalde, Louis, 2 
Duran, Agustin, 93, 264 

ECHEGARAY, JoSC, 376, 395 

Encina, Juan del, in, 121-123, I 3> 



Enrique IV., Cr6nica de, 117 
Enriquez del Castillo, Diego, 117 
Enriquez Gomez, Antonio, 338 
Ercilla y Zufriga, Alonso de, 3, 184, 


Ertnitaflo, Revelacion de un, 88 
Escobar, Juan de, 34 
Escobar, Luis de, 154 
Escriba, Comendador de, 319 
Espinosa, Pedro de, 189, 270, 279 
Espinosa Medrano, Juan de, 291 
Espronceda, Jos de, 368-372 
Esquilache, Principe de (Francisco 

de Borja), 299 
Este"banez Calder6n, Serafin, 379- 

3 8o 
Estebanillo Gonzdles, Vida y Hechos 

de, 338 

Eugenius, St., 10 
Eulogius, St., 1 8 
Eximenis, Francisco, 107 

FADRIQUE, the Infante, 72, 78 

Fanshawe, Richard, 314 

Faria y Sousa, Manuel, 185, 288- 

Farinelli, M. Arturo, 265, 312 

Feijoo y Montenegro, Benito Ger6- 
ninio, 349 

Ferdinand, St., 35, 62, 63 

Ferndn Gonzalez, Poema de, 35 

Fernandez, Lucas, 122 

Fernandez de Andrado, Pedro, 299 

Fernandez de Avellaneda, Alonso, 
238-240, 350 

Fernandez de Moratm, Leandro, 361 

Fernandez de Moratin, Nicolas Mar- 
tin, 354 

Fernandez de Oviedo y Valds, Gon- 
zalez, 156 

Fernandez de Palencia, Alfonso, 117, 

Fernandez de Toledo, Garci, 68 
Fernandez de Villegas, Pedro, 118, 

Fernandez-Guerra y Orbe, Aureliano, 

24, 172, 299 

Fernandez Vallejo, Felipe, 44 
Ferreira, Antonio, 173 
Fernis, Pero, 97 
Figueroa, Francisco de, 187 
FitzGerald, Edward, 323, 324, 325, 

326, 331, 332 
Flamini, Professor, 139 
Flaubert, Gustave, 313 
Florisando, 157 
Florisel de Niquea, 106, 157 
Forner, Juan Pablo, 357 
Foulche"-Delbosc, M. R., 120, 193, 


French influence, 35-42 
Frere, John Hookham, 59 
Froude, James Anthony, 196-197 
Fuentes, Alonso de, 33, 65 
Fuero fuzgo, 62 
Furtado de Mendoza, Diego, 28 

GALLEGO, Juan Nicasio, 365 

Gallinero, Manuel, 348 

Galvez de Montalvo, Luis, 207, 216 

Garay, Blasco de, 171 

Garay de Monglave, Fra^ois Eugene, 


Garcia Arrieta, Agustin, 237 
Garcia Asensio, Miguel, 356 
Garcia de la Huerta y Munoz, Vicente 

Antonio, 355-356 
Garcia de Santa Maria, Alvar, 102, 

1 08 

Garcia Gutierrez, Antonio, 374 
Gareth, Benedetto, 131 
Garnett, Dr. Richard, 344 
Gatos, Libra de las, 96 
Gautier de Coinci, 60, 6 1 
Gayangos, Pascual de, 24, 83 



Gentil, Bertomeu, 131 
Geraldino, Alessandro, 129 
Geraldino, Antonio, 129 
Giancarli, Gigio Arthenio, 168 
Gibson, James Young, 222, 223, 224, 

253, 278, 304 
Girard d' Amiens, 41 
Giron, Diego, 176, 179 
Goethe, Johan Wolfgang von, 221, 

230, 323 

Goizcueta, Jose Maria, 2 
G6mara. See Lopez de Gomara 
G6mez, 26, 74 
Gomez, Alvar, 118, 131 
Gomez, Ambrosio, 58 
Gomez, Pero, 65, 74 
Gomez de Avellaneda, Gertrudis, 


Gomez de Cibdareal, Fernan, 272 
Gomez de Quevedo y Villegas, Fran- 
cisco, 96, 183, 184, 185, 1 86, 187, 
228, 270, 277, 291, 300-305, 308, 


Gongora. See Argote y Gongora 
Gonzalez, Diego Tadeo, 359 
Gonzalez de Avila, Gil, 272 
Gonzalez de Clavijo, Ruy, 105 
Gonzalez de Mendoza, Pedro, 28 
Gonzalez Llanos, Rafael, 24 
Gosse, Mr. Edmund, 15, 231, 344, 387 
Gower, John (the first English author 

translated into Castilian), 98 
Gracian, Baltasar, 338-340 
Gran Cvnquit-ta de Ultramar, 72 
Granada, Luis de, 200-202 
Grant Duff, Sir M. E., 33-8 
Grillparzer, Franz, 265 
Grosseteste, Robert, 54 
Guarda, Estevam del, 30 
Guerra y Ribera, Manuel de, 327 
Guevara, 119 

Guevara, Antonio de, 154-156 
Guevara, Luis. See Velez Guevara 
Guillen de Segovia, Pedro, 116 

HADRIAN, 5, 6 

Hammen, Lorenzo van der, 303 

Hardy, Alexandra, 263 

Haro, Conde de, 179 

Haro, Luis de, 152 

Hartzenbusch, Juan Eugenic, 96, 174, 


Hebreo, Le6n. See Abarbanel 
Hellowes, Edward, 155 
Henley, Mr. William Ernest, 15 
Henricus Seynensis, 19 
Herbert, George, 162 
Heredia, Jose* Maria, 157 
Hernandez, Alonso, 132 
Herrera, Fernando, 138, 146, 149, 

176-180, 281, 282 
Hervas y Cobo de la Torre, Jose" 

Gerardo de, 348-349 
Hervas y Panduro, Lorenzo, 362 
Hoces y Cordoba, Gonzalo de, 281 
Holland, Lord, 254, 256, 265 
Hosius, 9 

Hiibner, Baron Emil, 8 
Huete, Jaime de, 165 
Hurtado, Luis, 124, 165 
Hurtado de Mendoza, Antonio, 314 
Hurtado de Mendoza, Diego, 139, 

148, 150-151, 189, 208-210, 235 
Hussain ibn Ishak, 63, 73 
Huysmans, M. Joris-Karl, 197 
Hyginus, Gaius Julius, 4 

IBN HAZM, 12, 18 
Icazbalceta, Joaquin Garcia, 190 
Iglesias de la Casa, Jose, 359 
Imperial, Francisco, 97-98, 137 
Iniguez de Medrano, Julio, 233 
Iranzo y Crdnica del Condestable Miguel 

Lucas, 117, 167 
Iriarte y Oropesa, Tomas de, 3, 268, 


Isaac the Martyr, 1 8 
Isidore, St., 10 


Isidore Pacensis, II 

Isla, Francisco Jose 1 de, 351-354 

y AGUILAR, Juan de, 288, 
298, 307 

Jimenez de Cisneros, Francisco, 130 
Jimenez de Rada, Rodrigo, 62, 67, 68 
Jimenez Paton, Bartolome, 285, 295 
Johnson, Samuel, 124, 138 
Jose, Poema de. See Yusuf 
Josephus, 150 
Jove-Llanos, Caspar Melchor de, 357- 


Juan II., Cr6nica de, 100-101 
Juan Manuel, 16, 80-85 
Judah ben Samuel the Levite, 12, 14, 

17, 43 

Juglares, 2631 
Juvencus, Vettius Aquilinus, 8 

Kabbala, the, 13 

Kalilah and Dimnah, 65, 71, 78 

Killigrew, Thomas, 332 

LAFAYETTE, Madame de, 269 
Lamberto, Alfonso, 239 
Landor, Walter Savage, 228 
Larra, Mariano Jose de, 96, 97, 378- 


Latini, Brunetto, 65 
Latrocinius, 9 

Lazarillo de Tormes, 80, 158-160 
Ledesma, Francisco, 166 
Ledesma Buitrago, Alonso de, 299 
Leloaren Canlua, 1-2 
Lena. See Rodriguez de Lena 
Leon, Luis Ponce de, 180-184, I 9-n 


Le6n y Mansilla, Jose, 346 
Leonardo de Albion, Gabriel, 277 
Leonardo de Argensola, Bartolome, 

Leonardo de Argensola, Lupercio, 

175-1/6, 276-278 

Lesage, 42, 85, 269, 307, 354 

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, 350, 351 

L'Estrange, Roger, 304 

Lewes, George Henry, 265 

Licinianus, 10 

Lidforss, Professor, 43 

Lista, Alberto, 169, 368 

Lisuarte, 157, 158 

Llaguno y Amirola, Eugenio, 347 

Lo Frasso, Antonio, 207 

Loaysa, Jofre de, 68 

Lobeira, Joham, 123, 153 

Lobo, Eugenio Gerardo, 346 

Lockhart, James Gibson, 93 

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 115, 


Lope de Moros, 55, 57 
Lope de Vega. See Vega Carpio 
Lopez de Aguilar Coutino. See 


Lopez de Ayala, Adelardo, 375-376 
L6pez de Ayala, Pero, 3, 74, 88-92 
Lopez de Cartagena, Diego, 130 
Lopez de Corelas, Alonso, 1 54 
Lopez de Gomara, Francisco, 157 
Lopez de Sedano, Jose 1 , 175, 187, 


Lopez de Toledo, Diego, 130 
Lopez de Ubeda, Francisco. See 

Perez, Andres 
Lopez de Ubeda, Juan, 271 
Lopez de Vicuna, Juan, 280-281 
Lopez de Villalobos, Francisco, 130, 


Lorenzana y Buitron, Francisco An- 
tonio, II 

Lorenzo Segura de Astorga, Juan, 63 

Loyola, St. Ignacio, 3, 193 

Lucan, 4, 8 

Lucena, Juan de, 107, roS 

Lujan de Sayavedra, Maleo. See 

Lull, Ram6n, 73, 82 

Luna, Alvaro de, 28 



Luna, Cronica de Alvaro de, 102- 

Luzan Claramunt de Suelves y 

Gurrea, Ignacio, 346-348 

M'CARTHY, Denis Florence, 328- 


MacColl, Mr. Norman, 320 
Macfas, 96-97, 119 
Magos, Misterio de los Reyes, 24, 35, 


Mahomet-el-Xartosse, 20 
Maimonides, 12-14 
Mainez, Ramon Leon, 239 
Mairet, Jean, 263 
Malara, Juan de, 170-171, 176 
Maldonado, L6pez, 219, 243 
Malon de Chaide, Pedro, 202 
Manrique, Gomez, 112-114, 2 54 
Manrique, Jorge, 114-116, 1 19, 227 
Maragall, Joan, 397 
Marcabrii, 30 

March, Auzias, 12, 136, 145 
Marche, Olivier de la, 149 
Marcus Aurelius, 5 
Maria de Jesus de Agreda, Sor, 340 
Maria del Cielo, Sor, 346 
Maria Egipciacqua, Vida de Santa, 


Mariana, Juan de, 63, 272-274, 276 
Marineo, Lucio, 129 
Marti, Juan, 267 
Martial, 5, 6 
Martin of Dumi, St., 10 
Martinez, Fernan, 67 
Martinez de la Rosa, Francisco, 365- 


Martinez de Medina, Gonzalo, 98 
Martinez de Toledo, Alfonso, 107 
Martinez Salafranca, Tuan, 348 
Martyr, Peter, 128 
Matos Fragoso, Juan de, 220, 335 
Mayans y Siscar, Gregorio, 350, 352 

Medina, Francisco, 179 

Medrano, Lucia, 129 

Mela, Pomponius, 8 

Melendez Valdes, Juan, 358-359 

Melo, Francisco Manuel de, 336 

Mena, Juan de, 100-102 

Mendoza, friigo de, 118 

Menendez Pidal, Ramon, 32, 51, 398 

Menendez y Pelayo, Marcelino, 37, 

38, 117, 179, 239, 288, 311, 336, 

345. 372, 397-39* 
Meres, Francis, 201 
Merimee, Ernest, 359 
Mesonero Romanos, Ramon de, 380 
Mexia, Hernan, 1 12 
Mexia, Pedro, 156 
Michaelis de Vasconcellos, Mme., 86, 

Mila y Fontanals, Manuel, 35, 38, 


Milton, John, 346, 355 
Mingo Revulgo, Coplas de, in 
Mira de Amescua, Antonio, 307, 314 
Miranda, Luis de, 169 
Moliere, 42, 258, 313, 334, 345, 361 
Molina, Argote de, 81, 101 
Molinos, Miguel de, 341-342 
Moncada, Francisco de, 336 
Mondejar, Marques de, 343 
Montalban. See PeVez de Montalban 
Montalvo. See Ord6nez de Montalvo 
Montemor, Jorge, 115, 203-206 
Montesino, Ambrosio, 118 
Monti, Giulio, 354 
Montiano y Luyando, Agustin, 344 
Montoro, Anton de, in, 112 
Moraes, Francisco de, 124 
Morales, Ambrosio de, 208 
Moratin. See Fernandez de Moratfn 
Morel-Fatio, M. Alfred, 55, 96, 158, 

Moreto y Cavana, Agustin, 261, 333- 

Morley, Mr. John, 340 



Mosquerade Figueroa, Cristobal, 179, 


Muhammad Rabadan, 20 
Munday, Anthony, 158 
Mufion, Sancho, 126 
Muntaner, Ramon, 336 

NAHARRO, Pedro, 169, 212 
Nahman, Moses ben, 13-14 
Najera, Esteban de, 34, 152, 270 
Nasarre y Ferruz, Bias Antonio, 350 
Navagiero, Andrea, 136, 137 
Navarro, Miguel, 348 
Nebrija, Antonio de, 93, 130 
Nebrija, Francisca de, 129 
Nieremberg, Juan Eusebio, 340 
Nifo, Francisco Mariano, 319 
North, Thomas, 155 
Nucio, Martin, 34, 270 
Nunez, Hernan, 130, 154, 171 
Nunez de Arce, Caspar, 395-396 
Nunez de Villaizan, Juan, 91 

OBREG6N, Antonio, 131 

Ocampo, Florian de, 156 

Ocana, Francisco de, 271 

Ochoa, Juan, 395 

Odo of Cheriton, 96 

Olid, Juan de, 117 

Oliva. See Perez de Oliva 

Oiler y Moragas, Narcis, 395 

Omerique, Hugo de, 343 

Ona, Pedro de, 192 

Ordonez de Montalvo, Garcia, 123- 


Ormsby, John, 50 
Orosius, Paulus, 9-10 
Ortiz, Agustin, 165 
Oudin, Cesar, 233 
Oviedo. See Fernandez de Oviedo 

PACHECO, Francisco, 170, 179 

Padilla, Juan de, 1 19 

Padilla, Pedro de, 216, 219, 243 

Paez de Ribera, 157 

Paez de Ribera, Ruy, 98 

Palacio Valdes, Armando, 392-393 

I'alacios Rubios, Juan Lopez de 

Vivero, 154 
Palau, Bartolome, 172 
Palencia. See Fernandez de Palencia 
Palmtrin de Inglaterra, 1 58 
Palmerin de Oliva, 1 58 
Panadera, Capias de la, 101 
Paravicino y Arteaga, Hortensio 

Felix, 297, 319 

Pardo Bazan, Emilia, 22, 393-394 
Paredes, Alfonso de, 65 
Paris, M. Gaston, 72 
Patmore, Coventry, 200 
Paulus Alvarus Cordubiensis, 17, 18 
Pellicer, Casiano, 318 
Pellicer de Salas y Tobar, Jose, 65, 

95, 291, 308 
Per Abbat, 47 

Peralta Barnuevo, Pedro de, 345 
Pereda, Jose Maria de, 389-390 
Pe"rez, Alonso, 206 
Pe"rez, Andres, 228, 239, 268 
PeVez, Antonio, 271-272 
Perez, Suero, 68 
Pe"rez de Guzman, Fernan, 103-104, 


Perez de Hita, Gines, 269-270 
P6rez de Montalban, Juan, 307-308 
Perez de Oliva, Fernando, 4, 154 
Perez Galdos, Benito, 390-391 
Peseux-Richard, M. H., 384, 385 
Peter the Venerable, 21 
Petrus Alphonsus, 16, 78 
Phillips, Mr. Henry, 183 
Picaud, Aimeric, 36 
Pitillas, Jorge. See Hervas y Cobo 

de la Torre 

Platir, Crdnica del muy valiente, 158 
Pleito del Manto, 112, 121 
Polindo, 158 
Polo, Caspar Gil, 206 



Ponce, Bartolome, 207 

Ponte, Pero da, 38 

Poridat de las Poridades, 63 

Prete Jacopin. See Haro, Conde de 

Pftmaleon, 158 

Priscillian, 9 

Proverbs, Spanish, 171 

Provincial, Capias del, IIO, 112, 117 

Prudentius, Clemens Aurelius, 6, 9 

Prudentius Galindus, 10 

Puig, Leopoldo Geronimo, 348 

Pulgar, Hernando del, in, 127 

Puymaigre, Comte de, 34, 58 

Querellas, Libra de, 65 
Quevedo. See G6mez de Quevedo 
Quintana, Manuel Jose, 364-365 
Quintilian, 5, 6 

RACINE, Jean, 345 

Raimundo, 19 

Ramirez de Prado, Lorenzo, 319 

Ramos del Manzano, Francisco, 343 

Ranieri, Antonio Francesco, 168 

Rasis, 91 

Rebolledo, Conde de, 299 

Rernon, Alonso, 310 

Rennert, Professor, 206 

Resende, Garcia de, 205 

Revilla, Manuel de la, 312, 376 

Rey de Artieda, Andres, 173-174 

Reyes, Matias de los, 309 

Reyes, Pedro de los, 193 

Rhua, Pedro de, 155 

Ribas y Canfranc, Jos Ibero, 250 

Rioja, Francisco de, 299 

Rivas, Duque de, 366-367 

Rivers, Lord, 73 

Roca y Serna, Ambrosio, 297 

Rodrigo, Cantar de, 51-53 

Rodriguez de la Camara, Juan, 96, 

97, "9 
Rodriguez de Lena, Pero, 105 

Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, 

Diego, 337-338 
Rodriguez Rubi, Tomas, 374 
Rogel de Grecia, 158 
Rojas, Agustin de, 211 
Rojas, Fernando de, 125-126 
Rojas Zorrilla, Francisco de, 95, 276, 

307, 325, 333 

Romancero General, 33, 93, 270 
Romances, Spanish, 32-34 
Romero de Cepeda, Joaquin, 175 
Roswitha, 11 
Rotrou, Jean, 263 
Rowland, David, 159-160 
Rueda, Lope de, 166-169, 254, 261 
Rufo Gutierrez, Juan, 189-190, 216 
Ruiz, Jacobo, 67 
Ruiz, Juan, 30, 76-80, 84, 107 
Ruiz de Alarcon y Mendoza, Juan, 

95. 239, 256, 276, 315-317 

SA DE MIRANDA, Francisco de, 148 
Saavedra Fajardo, Diego de, 336 
Salas Barbadillo, Alonso de, 270 
Salazar Mardones, Cristobal de, 291 
Salazar y Hontiveros, Jose de, 345 
Salazar y Torres, Agustin de, 291- 


Salcedo Coronel, Garcia de, 291 
Salom6n, Proverbios en Rimo de, 75 


Samaniego, Felix Maria de, 356 
San Juan, Marques de, 345 
Sanchez, Clemente, 96 
Sanchez, Francisco, 179 
Sanchez, Miguel, 184 
Sanchez, Tomas Antonio, 48, 58 
Sanchez de Badajoz, Garci, 119 
Sanchez de Tovar, Fernan, 91 
Sanchez Talavera, Ferrant, 91, 98 
Sancho IV., 72-73 
Sannazaro, Jacopo, 145 
Santillana, Marques de, 15, 28, 33, 
58, 79, 98-100, 119, 137 



Santisteban y Osorio, Diego, 192 

Sarmiento, Martin, ill, 349 

Sbarbi, Jose Maria, 171 

Scarron, Paul, 42, 269 

Schack, Adolf Friedrich von, 14, 323 

Schopenhauer, Arthur, 338 

Scott, Sir Walter, 270, 366 

Scudery, Mile, de, 269 

Secchi, Niccolo, 168 

Sedeno, Juan, 1 26 

Selgas y Carrasco, Jose, 377 

Sem Tob, 16, 87, 113 

Sempere, Hieronym, 124 

Seneca, the Elder, 4 

Seneca, the Younger, 4, 8, IO, 73> 


Sepulveda, Lorenzo, 33 
Shakespeare, William, 205 
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 46, 221, 321- 


Sidney, Philip, 143, 205 
Siete Partidas, Las, 66-67 
Silva, Feliciano de, 126, 157, 158 
Silvestre, Gregorio, 115, 153 
Sisebut, 7 
Solis y Riradeneira, Antonio de, 

Sordello, 35 
Sorel, Charles, 42, 269 
Spera-in-Deo, 21 
Stanley, Thomas, 140, 287 
Stuniga, Lope de, 34, 109 
Suarez de Figueroa, Cristobal, 315 

TAMAYO Y BAUS, Manuel, 376-377 

Tansillo, Luigi, 132, 144 

Tapia, Juan de, 109 

Taylor, Jeremy, 198 

Tellez, Gabriel See Tirso de Molina 

Teresa, Santa, 182, 193-198, 301 

Tesoro, the, 65, 72 

Texeda, Jeronimo de, 206 

Theodolphus, Bishop, 10 

Thylesius, Antonius, 144 

Ticknor, George, 24, 65, 89, 118, 

122, 137, 140, 154, 206, 242, 244, 

247, 249, 258, 259, 274, 285, 325, 


Timoneda, Juan de, 170 
Tirso de Molina, 174, 256, 261, 263, 

267, 308-314, 3'5 
Todi, Jacopone da, 30, 118 
Torre, Alfonso de la, 108 
Torre, Francisco de la, 184-187 
Torrellas, Pero, no, 112, 121 
Torres Naharro, Bartolome, 132-135, 

1 66, 1 68, 170, 254 
Torres Ramila, Pedro de, 251 
Torres y Villarroel, Diego de, 346 
Trajan, 5 
Tribaldos de Toledo, Luis, 187, 208, 


Trovadores, 26-31 
Trueba, Antonio, 389 
Turpin, Archbishop, 2 
Tuy, Lucas de, 67 

URREA, Jeronimo de, 143 
Urrea, Pedro Manuel de, 120 

VALBUENA, Antonio de, 391 

Valdes, Juan de, 126-127, 144, 161- 
164, 33 

Valdivielso, Jose de, 271 

Valencia, Pedro de, 287, 288 

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

Valerius, St., no 

Valladolid, Juan de, 109, in 

Valmar, Marques de, 22 

Vanbrugh, John, 333 

Vaqueiras, Raimbaud de, 30, 43 

Varchi, Benedetto, 186 

Vazquez de Ciudad Rodrigo, Fran- 
cisco, 158 

Vega, Alonso de, 169 

Vega, Bernardo de la, 227 



Vega, Garcilaso de la, 136, 138, 141- 

148, 178-179, 207 
Vega Carpio, Lope Felix de, 20, 97, 

J 36, !75> !85, 189, 219, 225, 226, 

238, 239, 241-265, 270, 280, 350 
Velazquez. See Rodriguez de Silva y 

Velazquez de Velasco, Luis Jose, 69, 

185, 35 
Velez de Guevara, Luis, 269, 276, 


Venegas de Henestrosa, Luis, 115 
Verdaguer, Jacinto, 397 
Vergara, Francisco de, 130 
Vergara, Juan de, 130 
Vicente, Gil, 135 
Vidal, Pere, 36 

Vidal de Besalu, Ramon, 22, 29 
Vidal de Noya, Francisco, 129, 130 
Vierge Maria, Trobes en lahors de 

la, 118 

Villalobos. See Lopez de Villalobos 
Villalon, Cristobal de, 303 
Villamediana, Conde de, 276 
Villapando, Juan de, 100 
Villasandino. See Alvarez de Villa- 


Villegas, Antonio de, 152-153, 206 
Villegas, Esteban Manuel de, 298- 


Villegas, Jeronimo, 130 
Villena, Enrique de, 94-96 
Villena, Marques de, 343-344 
Virues, Cristobal de, 170, 174-175, 

254, 261 

Vives, Luis, 129, 182 
Voiture, Vincent de, 255 
Voltaire, 191, 269, 315, 354 

WEY, William, 36 
Wiflfen, Benjamin Barren, 163 
Wiffen, Jeremiah Holmes, 146 
Wycherley, William, 332 

XAVIER, St. Francisco, 3, 193 

YANEZ, Rodrigo, 86 

Yanez y Ribera, Ger6nimo de Alcala. 


Young, Bartholomew, 299 
Yusuf, Poema de, 20, 75 

ZAMORA, Alfonso de, 130 
Zamora, Egidio de, 68 
Zapata, Luis de, 190 
Zorrilla, Jose, 313, 372-374 
Zumarraga, Juan de, 190 
Zuniga, Francesillo de, 155 
Zurita, Jeronimo, 207-208 




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