Charles Frederick Holder.

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f e w of the
most brilliant
are not yet middle-aged, and from their
constant growth in power, seem to
have a yet wider future before them.

Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, one of
the early leaders of fin-de-siecle real-
ism in Spain, distinguished himself as
among the very first to rid himself
of the common Spanish dependence




JOSE ZORRILLA



50



SOME SPANISH AUTHORS.



51




upon French novels and npon the
romances of Scott. Alarcon is essen-
tially Spanish in his wonderful story
of the ' ' Three Cornered Hat, ' ' which
contains
main' excel-
lent individu-
al descrip-
tions and
incidents.
Take as an
example this
picture of the
handsome
Sena Fras-
q u i t a , the
miller's wife :

PEDRO ANTONIO DE ALARCON.

Her features
were lighted up

beautifully by five dimples : two on one
cheek, one on the other, another very
small, near the left side of her roguish
lips ; and the last and a very big one in
the cleft of her rounded chin. Add to
this her sly glances, her pretty pouts,
and the various attitudes of her head
with which she emphasized her discourse,
and you will have an idea of that face
full of vivacity and beauty, and always
radiant with health and happiness. Lastly,
Frasquita's voice was as sweet as a flute, and
her laugh so merry and so silvery that it
seemed like the singing of birds on Easter
Eve.

Then see how she flirts with the
Corregidor, and ends the scene much
to the poor dignitary's discomfiture.

" There is no woman like you," he says.

''Well, see here, — there's nothing false
here," replied Frasquita, rolling up the
sleeve of her bodice, and displaying to the
Corregidor the rest of her arm, whiter than
a lily and a fit model for a sculptor.

The Corregidor attempted to seize the
bare arm which Frasquita was actually
thrusting into his eyes ; but she, without
losing her self-possession in the least ex-
tended her hand, just touched the Cor-
regidor's chest, ancl threw him sprawling
on the ground, chair and all.

" Ave Maria Purissima .' '" exclaimed
Frasquita, laughing until she could laugh
no longer. " It seems that chair must have
been broken."

' Why, what's the matter with the Cor-
regidor ? Is he injured ? " cries Uncle Luke,
Frasquita's husband, as he slides down from
the tree where his mirth-loving wife had
hidden him, and helps the frightened Cor-
regidor to get up.
Vol. IV— 4



Juan Valera is best known out of
Spain by his novel, " Pepita Jimenez,"
the theme of which is the conflict
between the earthly and the mystic
love of a young man. Don Luis is a
theologue who becomes enamored of a
lively village seiiorita. Such an acci-
dent is quite alarming to the conscien-
tious young fellow, who has always
looked forward to a life of sacerdotal
celibacy. For susceptible Don Luis,
the result is not long doubtful. The
mystic dreams and the aspirations
toward martyrdom, which with him
were never rooted in very deep earth,
wither quickly away ; and the novel
closes with a picture of a young hus-
band happy in the possession of Pepita
and a thriving group of children.

"Pepita Jimenez" is brilliantly
and originally written, and deserves
its world-wide popularity, but, on
account of its defects in construction,
is far from being a model for writers.
The transitions are seldom gradual
enough, and the real end of the book
comes before the pen is laid down.
A writer of Valera's power might
easily have gotten rid of these failings.
Yet we have to remember that Valera
is distinguished in Spain perhaps
even more as a critic than as a nov-
elist.

" Pequeneces," a satire by El P.
Luis Coloma, a Jesuit, has also met
with enormous sales, and has been
parodied, although the parody has not
had the success of the original. The
author of "Pequeneces" is a fair
describer of religious experiences, and
evidently understands the principal
types of human nature, being well
adapted thus far to the writing of
a novel. To an exact observation he
adds a method cold and analytic as
that of a man of science in his labor-
atory. His characters are neatly and
precisely drawn — they are, as it were,
etched upon his pages. Currita, the
leading one, is seen clearly to be an
ambitious, heartless woman, without
a single trace of benevolence or con-
scientiousness. This fact is a key
to Father Coloma' s style, and to the



52



SOME SPANISH AUTHORS.



degree of his insight. It is human
nature in its angles that we see in
" Pequeneces," rather than character
as a vital whole. No woman was
ever so wholly bad, we all believe ;
and we seem sometimes in reading
' ' Pequeneces, " to be listening, not to
actual life, but to the tales of a con-
fessional. "Pequeneces" has also
artistic defects. The author is apt to
be a partisan in such religious objects
as the extension and justification of
Jesuitism — a bias hardly helpful to a




PEREZ CAiiHiS.

novelist, whether his readers be Cath-
olic or Protestant.

According to the author, the work
is intended primarily as a sermon ;
but one is apt to imagine that very
low readers peruse it to receive instruc-
tion. As to the truth of the facts,
competent critics say that Father
Coloma knows pretty well the high
Madrid society he denounces. Still,
if his view be true, few can admit it as
the only one possible ; he allows only
shadows to appear, but no light.

Emilia Pardo-Bazau, an author of
international reputation as a critic of
society and of literature, excels as a
novelist in pictures of middle-class
life. Her stories abound in original
touches and homely descriptions. A
specimen of her individuality is the



portrait of the old gentleman, Don
Gaspar, in " Morrifia."

With exquisite taste and consummate art,
the centenarian had caused his wig to be
made of hair white as snow, and the coro-
net of light, white curls which encircled his
ivory brow was like a majestic aureole, very
different from the thick patch of hair with
which would-be young old men persist in
striving to repair the irreparable damages of
time.

Rogelio, the young fellow full of
comical exuberance, only son of a
petting mother, is a figure that seems
as familiar in our acquaintance as it is
uncommon in fiction.

He loved to torment the Galicians (stable
keepers) his compatriots, whom he was
never tired of teasing. He would say :

"I, too, swift charioteer, am a Galician-
— a Galician of the Galicians."

To which they would answer, " What a
droll seno*ito."

Whenever he went to engage a carriage
for his mother, the moment they caught
sight of him, if he were a block away, they
would laugh and wink at one another.
And he would appear upon the scene, ad-
dreatiiig them somewhat in this fashion :

" Winged Antomedon, touch your fiery
courser with the whip, that he may fly to
my enchanted palace. Already the gener-
ous steed, impatient, champs the golden bit.
Behold him flecked with snowy foam. But
what were you thinking of that you did not
perceive my approach ? "

" I was "reading 'La Correspondencia,'
st-nori/o."

"What name have thy sacrilegious lips
pronounced ? By the tail of Satan ! A revo-
lutionary, an anarchistic, a nihilistic sheet !
Quick ! Cast away that venom before thou
comest near the honorable dwelling of
peaceful citizens. Hasten, run, fly, coach-
man ! Hurrah, Cossack of the desert ! On
drunkard, demagogue ! "

And the more extravagant the absurdities
he strung together, the more delighted were
the drivers.

Perez Galdos, until very lately the
foremost Spanish novelist, is one of
the few idealists of his time ; though
even he, a few years ago, turned to
realism. He is also one of the few
writers who have lately shown them-
selves capable of dealing in a sustained
manner with tragic subjects. In

*A cant, satirical word, almost equivalent to rustic,
sometimes. The natives of Galicia are considered
stupid by the Spanish society of the cities.






SOME SPANISH AUTHORS.



53




JUAN VALERA.

Galdos' world of imagination we see
usually a terrible conflict, ending in
death or moral shipwreck, often both.
Some of his books, however, such
as " Marianela," are full of spiritual
beauty shining out through the som-
bre clouds of actuality. The rich,
blind boy says to the poor, ugly girl
who leads him about :

" Yes, you are the most perfect beauty im-
aginable. How could it be possible that
your goodness and innocence, your freshness
and grace, your imagination, your sweet
and lovely soul, which have all combined
to enliven and comfort my dark and melan-
choly life — how, I say, could it be possible
that they should not be embodied in a .per-
son as lovely? " Nela, Nela," and his voice
trembled with anxiety, " are you not very
beautiful — very pretty ? "

At the end is the appropriate epi-
taph :

MARIA MANUELA TELLEZ.

RECALLED TO HEAVEN.
OCTOBER THE I2TH, 1 86-.



Perfecta is a most narrow religious
bigot, who desires to part her daugh-
ter, Rosario, from her accepted lover,
Pepe Rey, a thoroughly skeptical man
of science. The intrigue is very intri-
cate, and in the end becomes as fatal to
the principal parties as the old Span-
ish drama of the ' ' Cloak and the
Sword."

In "Gloria," also, Galdos takes as
his subject the battle in Spain between
the church and the advance of scien-
tific ideas. There is in " Gloria " ex-
ceeding interest, as the drama takes
place in the mind of an innocent and
passionate girl of sixteen. Mentally
Gloria is not a girl — she is a woman
by the southern maturity of her in-
tellect and feelings ; and while she
retains a childish impulsiveness, she
delights in attempts to settle in her own
peculiar way the disputes of the age.
You have, then, a young creature —
bright, sincere, susceptible, intellect-
ual — what more interesting heroine
could be imagined ? Gloria, however,
is not perfect, even to Galdos ; and
though she is housekeeper, we are
not surprised to hear her father call-




Galdos' insight and sense of reality
are exhibited still more vividly when
his works deal with problems of society
or of religion. In " Dona Perfecta, "
he exemplifies the conflict between sci-
ence and religion, not abstractly, but
as a fierce struggle between two per-
sons for the possession of a third. Dona



EMILIA I'ARDO ISA /.AN.



ing, " Gloria, Gloria, my child, are we
to have no dinner to-day ? ' '

But Galdos has not the vogue m
Spain which he had once. This change
is due partly to his general gloomi-
ness of tone, but principally to the



54



SOME SPANISH AUTHORS.



presence in him of artistic defects.
Galdos is apt to run to types ; his
figures have not the variety which
living, breathing beings have. He
also tends to monotony in passing
from one character to another. Pepe
Rey in " Dona Perfecta," and Daniel
Morton in " Gloria " believe too nearly
the same tenets. His women, also —
Gloria, Rosario, Dona Perfecta — are
all morally weak. Another defect is,
that Galdos holds a brief for science
against religion ;• and a novelist, to
be permanently successful, never can
be such a partisan.

In all these particulars, Galdos is in-
ferior to the other chief light of con-
temporary Spanish literature, Don
Armando Palacio Valdes, who has a
greater popularity not only among his
countrymen, but abroad as well. And
Valdes is worth reading, not only for
his humor and his bright bits of de-
scription, but because he is evidently
a man of character. On the artistic
side, to be sure, he is easily open to
criticism. He frequently tries to do
too much; to push his natural powers
too far and attempt to describe the
indescribable, as well as (what is a
more serious fault) to make too many
episodes prominent at the cost of weak-
ening his central theme. Examples
of this last defect are found in his
novels, "Maximina" and "I/Bspu-
ma ; " he has happily escaped from it
in " L,a Hermana San Sulpicio." But
in any of his stories, from either the
moral or the intellectual point of view,
Valdes may well be read by any-
body.

In the preface to " Sister San Sul-
pice," Valdes gives a frank account of
his literary methods, that is interest-
ing both to the writer and to the
reader. His preliminary announce-
ment is : "What I am about to say
is not the truth — it is my truth." He
then discusses from his point of view
the comparative merits of romanticism
and realism, and nowhere, perhaps,
have they been more clearly and fairly
stated. " It has seemed to me," he
says, " that realism is not superior to



the romantic or to the classic art ; nor
is it inferior. These have been the
perfect expression of the ideas dom-
inant in their epoch, as realism is in
ours."

Valdes, however, is careful to de-
fine his notion of realism as being dis-
tinct from that of the naturalistic
school. "There are," he continues,
"a number of shades of love which
are not criminal, and which are easily
capable of being made interesting.
The chief element of the novel is the
character-drawing, and in proportion
as this is lofty and complete, the
greater gifts and the greater vigor are
required of the artist to give life to
his work. What constitutes the nov-
elist as such, is the knowledge and at
the same time the sense of human pas-
sions ; or, what is the same thing,
the soul of the novelist, like that of
the dramatic author, must contain all
chords. External customs and the
nature of a country constitute for the
novelist only the background of his
painting. As to effectivism, it de-
serves severe censure," and Valdes
lias had the honesty and the courage
to condemn it publicly when he finds
it in his own writings.

His reverence for his gift of humor
is of the same high order. " I would
sooner break my pen in pieces," he
exclaims passionately, " than know-
ingly make sport of the good, the
sacred or the beautiful." And Valdes
finds in the idea of the beautiful
wherever it exists, a legitimate model
for his imitation. "We .should not
copy the language of the classic
writers ; what we should imitate is
the beautiful and perfect accord which
exists in all great writings between
thought and expression."

"Scum," like Coloma's " Pequen-
eces," is a satire on the upper crust
of Madrid society. A good illustra-
tion of Valdes' power in exposing
dishonesty is found in the character of
the Duke of Requeila, a not altogether
pleasing example, even to his friends.
of the successful and wealthy man of
business.



SOME SPANISH AUTHORS.



55



For a few moments the only words to be
heard in the room were " Seiior Duque, Sefior
Duque, O Sefior Duque ! "

Hardly replying to the greetings and
smiles, he only muttered rudely, " Poof, a
perfect furnace!" and added a Valencian
expletive more vehement than choice.

At the same time he unbuttoned his over-
coat. Twenty hands were laid on it to help
to" take it off.

A conversation on matters of busi-
ness soon takes place between the
Duke and another broker.

"I have a heap of Londres," said Cal-
deron. " Do you want them? I will let
you have them cheap."

" No, I don't want them at present.
What do you ask for them ? "

" Forty-seven."

11 Are there many of them? "

" Eight thousand pounds in all."

"Well, I don't really want them, but it is
a good bargain. Good-bye."

He went to the bank, assisted at the meet-
ing, and went out with his friend, Moreton,
another of the great Madrid bankers. On
reaching the Puerta del Sol, they shook
hands to part,

"Which way are you going?" said Sal -
abert.

" I am going to Calderon's office to see if
he happens to be able to help me to some
Londres."

" Quite useless," said the other promptly,
" I have just bought up all he had."

"That is unlucky. What did you give
for them?"

" Forty -seven, ten."

" Sot very cheap. But I need them badly,
so I should have taken them."

" Do you really need them ? " said Sala-
bert, putting his arm on the other's shoul-
ders.

"I do, indeed."

" Then I will be your—"

"My dear fellow, I cannot allow it. You
want them yourself."

" Not so much as you do ; and even if I
did, you know my friendship for you."

They shook hands once more, Moreton
pouring out a flood of grateful thanks.

The Duke instantlv got into a coach.

" Drive to Calle de San Felipe Neri ! "—

"Julian, Julian," he shouted, before
opening the door into Calderon's office, " I
have come to do you a service. You are in
luck, you wretch. Send me home those
Londres."

" Ha ! ha ! so you really want them ? "

"Yes, my dear fellow, yes. I always
want the thing you want to get rid of.
Good-bye."

And the banker went away with as much
satisfaction after committing this piece of
rascality, after cheating his friend of so



many pesetas, as the righteous man does
after doing a deed of justice or charity.

" Sister San Sulpice,"one of Valdes'
strongest stories, is written in the form
of an autobiography ; and a good
many details, as well as the general
atmosphere, indicate that the mate-
rial was drawn from the author's own
personal experience. The hero, San-
jurjo, is by calling a lyric poet, char-




ARMANDO PAI.ACIO VALDfeS.

acterized by the emotion of the poetic
spirit, and apt to take himself pretty
seriously ; but possessed also of the
abundant energy of the man of sense.
The story opens at Marmelejo, a
town of Moorish aspect, famous for its
mineral waters. Here Sanjurjo meets
two people who play a prominent part
in the rest of the romance ; for such
the story has good claims to be called.
One is Daniel Suarez, a vulgar fellow,
with the assurance and the rudeness
of his tribe. The other is the heroine
—a girl running over with mirth, and
inclined to be a little wild. Among
the rest of her inconsistencies, she has
tried to harmonize her animal spirits
with the dress and the habits of a nun.
Of course, the results are laughable in
the extreme. Sanjurjo gets his intro-
duction to her at one of the springs,
where he happens to tumble in, much
to the delight and merriment of the
sister. Their acquaintance continues,
with rapid love-making on the part
of Sanjurjo, and considerable jesting
from Sister San Sulpice, who asks him



56



SOME SPANISH AUTHORS.



if he isn't aware that it is a sin to
natter a nun. Becoming bolder he at
length inquires :

" What is your true name ? "

"Heavens! my true name! then have I

a false one ? "

Finally through Suarez he learns
that her name is Gloria, and that she
is heiress to a couple of millions.
This fact is not without influence on
Sanjurjo; for as he afterwards owns,
although he tells Gloria that her
money gives her no additional attrac-
tion, he naively admits that he did
not tell quite the truth. When she
leaves the watering-place, he, like a
true Spaniard, follows her to Seville,
trying all the reckless devices for com-
municating with her that enter his
head. At first his bold visit to the
head of the convent is met with re-
verses, and meanwhile, as he is making
friends and strengthening his position,
there are a great many minor affairs
of interest.

ValdeV description of Seville, with
its majestic river, its towers on the
hills, and the fields and orange groves
around it, has obtained enthusiastic
admiration from ValdeV foreign critics.
Another well-drawn picture is the
cigar factory of Seville with the squab-
ble of the cigarreras. Very amusing
again is the summing up of Joaquinita.

Woman's desire to be married has three
stages: from fifteen to twenty the little ap-
petite ; from twenty to twenty-five the
greater appetite ; and from twenty-five to
thirty the huge appetite. Joaquinita was
already well along in the third stage.

At last, Sanjurjo moves the " powers
that be," and gets his beloved out of
the convent. We next see him before
her house, making love through the
grating of the window at eleven in the
evening, or occasionally staying at
the same place two or three hours
later. Reverses and slights occur now
and then ; but the most threatening
is made way with by a reconciliation
in a trip down the river planned by a
cousin of Gloria's. At length the
girl's scheming mother concludes that



the penniless young man has gone
far enough ; and Gloria is actually
being carried off, when Sanjurjo,
having been warned, raises an outcry
in genuine romantic style, and a po-
liceman and a judge are dragged
in before Gloria is finally rescued.
On this the obstinate relatives yield,
and Sanjurjo and Gloria's mother
have their business, talk, in which
the financial arrangements for the
transfer of Gloria's wealth are con-
cluded. The novel ends with a visit
to Sister Sulpice's former convent.
When the nuns express their doubt
of Sister Sulpice being married, Gloria
at once throws her arms impulsively
about her husband's neck and kisses
him heartily, before the eyes of the
discomfited sisters, who fly with fright-
ened squeals in all directions.

On the whole, the method of char-
acter development in " Sister San Sul-
pice " is at once individual and
admirable. The best as well as the
best-natured eharaeters, Sanjurjo and
Gloria, appear less pleasing at first ;
while those that are inferior, Joa-
quinita and the Countess of Padul,
attract on their first appearance, but
the reader, like Sanjurjo, soon tires of
them.

The outlook for the future of Span-
ish literature, particularly the novel,
seems good. The attempts of twenty-
five years ago, not always successful
from the point of view of sincerity,
even when made by professional nov-
elists, have been followed by such
an advance towards perfection, that
good novels are now written by writers,
primarily critics, such as Valera and
Bazan ; and steady advance in concep-
tion and in results has been made by
those who occupy themselves chiefly,
as Yaldes does, With the writing of
novels. For Americans who either
love a good story for itself or have
ambition to enrich our own literature
on the side of the novel, there is and
apparently will be for some time to
come a great deal in contemporary
Spain worthy of their attention. It
was the opinion of the late Walt Whit-



THE DOCTOR'S STORY.



57



man that as there is a Spanish element
in our nationality, there should be a
Spanish influence upon our literature.
As a matter of history, Spain has
always been a favorite field for Amer-
ican poets and .scholars. Longfellow,
Lowell, Ticknor, Prescott, and recently
Howells as a critic have enlightened
their own countrymen or awakened
the gratitude of Spanish hearts by



their interest in Spanish literature and
Spanish history. For the Spanish
nature, misrepresented as unfortunate-
ly it has often been by those who know
it only at second hand, or through
religious or race prejudices, is as beau-
tiful and attractive as its tales, not
only long ago, but still to-day, are
romantic, and its novelists full of all
that is humane and sincere.



THE DOCTOR'S STORY.



BY DANIEL MORGAN.



THERE had been a faculty meeting,
and after the discussion as to
various matters pertaining to the
advancement of the interests of the
college, a few of the hoary-headed
professors remained for social confab.
Among them was a man not more
than forty years of age whose ethereal
features wore a strange look of mel-
ancholy. He was a favorite among
his older companions, and in fact his
sweet, kindly nature won all who
knew him.

The professors sat chatting and
prodding each other with personal
jokes and incidents of a busy practi-
tioner's life, when one of them said,
" I'll venture none of you ever had
a more interesting experience in the
daily rounds of practice than I have
had lately, and since the lady con-
cerned will never be known to you, I
am disposed to tell it."

-" We're always ready to hear any-
thing interesting," replied one of his
friends.

Then the doctor commenced his
story, and was allowed to proceed
without interruption.

' ' I met her first in the sick room of
a patient — a woman who was ad-
vanced in years and suffering from
feeble heart action. Upon entering the
room on this occasion, I hurried at once
to the bedside, and saw at a glance that



the invalid's life hung by a slender
thread. She was partially conscious,
but very pale and exhausted. Standing
beside her was a woman whose face was
full of strength and intelligence, and
who interested me at once. Her fingers
were gently pressing the feeble pulse,
and the look with which she greeted
me was expressive of the greatest
relief and thankfulness. She had
evidently been subjected to a severe
mental strain.

"'Doctor," she said, quietly, 'I



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