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ONE of the main obstacles which confront the compiler of a
Spanish chrestomathy is concerned with the matter of
accents. The difficulties are greater in Spanish than in the case
of French, owing to the constant changes of system authorized
by the Royal Spanish Academy. In a book of this kind, it is
necessary to follow the best printed editions available: these
printed editions differ in detail, one follows one system of older
tradition, another edition follows another system. At any rate,
I have accepted this as an established fact ; there is, so far as I can
see, no reason for applying rigidly the modern Academic system
of accentuation to the names of writers who often flourished
centuries before that system was invented. If this were an ex-
haustive statement of the facts, it might perhaps be possible to
find a practicable via media. But it is not an exhaustive presenta-
tion of the circumstances. It has been borne in mind that this
book is intended chiefly for English students equipped with some
knowledge of the current system. The special needs of such students
have been taken into account. For them Cervantes may be
regarded as the beginning of modern Spanish literature. Editions
of Cervantes exist in facsimile. These editions have been followed
as closely as possible; but I have not thought it necessary to puzzle
readers by reproducing mechanically old systems of spelling,
graphic accentuation and so forth in the case of most writers who
have flourished after Cervantes's time. As modern Spanish
literature begins with him, I have modernized the text of later
writers and may hope that the change has been carried out without
undue brusqueness. The text has been modernized except when
philological reasons rendered modernization out of question; the
names of writers have throughout been modernized in the main
headings; titles have been regarded as, in some sort, quotations,
and are reproduced as given by the authors in the prefatory notes
preceding each extract. In the prefatory notes the writers' names
have not usually been modernized previous to the insertion of


Calderon, whose active career, spread over the greater part of the
eighteenth century, seemed to be a good point of departure for
the introduction of the modern system. The selection of extracts
is, of course, a manifestation of individual taste, but even taste
is based to some extent on principle. The principles that have
guided me in my choice are that each extract should be mainly
characteristic of the author, and that no extract should be excluded
on the ground that the average reader may chance to be already
acquainted with it. Not so much novelty, as excellence of manner
or of substance, justifies the insertion of each fragment. Some
omissions in the present compilation may be set down to difficulties
imposed by copyright law.

It may be found that prose rather than poetry is represented
in this volume. Of Spanish lyrical verse there is already ample
illustration in a number of books. Epical verse is unrepresented
in these selections, and this absence of a whole genre is the less to
be deplored since the new ametrical theories concerning Spanish
epical verse are undiscussed, though they approximate epical
verse more closely to prose. In lyric verse Spanish is perhaps less
rich than is English: in prose Spanish attained a full development
more speedily than English. It may be doubted if we have in the
English of the fourteenth century anything that can match in
lightness of touch and gaiety of spirit the Coronica de Pero Nino,
an extract from which heads the present series of selections. This
is not the earliest specimen extant of Spanish prose far from it;
but the Coronica de Pero Nino is, in my judgment, the first Spanish
book likely to interest the foreign reader, and in substance its
matter is as novel as its style is readable at the present day.

Between Spanish and English literature there are certain
obvious parallelisms. These extend from the earliest period when
allegory perhaps borrowed in each instance from France reigns
supreme in both countries to the epoch of Italian Renaissance
which is, roughly, synchronous in both Spain and England. The
efforts of Boscan and Garcilasso de la Vega may be compared with
those of Wyatt and Surrey. Soon after this time Spanish verse
and prose attained their highwater mark of excellence and inde-
pendent treatment in the original poems of Luis de Leon, and in
the natural periods of Cervantes's best prose. We cannot quite
feel certain concerning the originality of the Celestina; still less


can we feel certain as to the origin of Amadis de Gaula. In any case
both works are anonymous, and it is not till shortly before the
appearance of Don Quixote that we can assert positively that a
Spanish book by a Spanish author has gone the round of the world.
Don Quixote at first affects the drama in France and England;
but it is not suitable to the stage conventions of either country,
and it is not till more than a century later that, guided by Fielding
and Sterne, the example of Don Quixote begins to react on the
substance of English prose. It may be possible to trace this in-
fluence through some of the later extracts given here : if so, one of
the compiler's aims has been achieved.

As there are chronological coincidences of literary productions
between Spain and England, so there are corresponding coin-
cidences of comparative sterility. The eighteenth century is a
desolate period in each country; national spirit had sunk to a
low point in Spain as in England, and French taste governed the
leaders of literary fashion in both lands. Production at this time
is thin and uninspired, and the reaction of romanticism was almost
a necessity, if literature were to survive at all. It is not for us to
estimate the attainments of Blake, Coleridge, Shelley, Byron and
Scott, or to compare the literary gifts of each of these men with
those of their conceivable Spanish compeers. Be it enough to
note that, while England is perhaps somewhat more advanced in
point of time, there has been no real solution of continuity in Spain
where the romantic spirit has never died out since the heyday of
her literary renown. Sufficient proof of this will, possibly, be
found in the present volume.

J. F.-K.

SWARDESTON, August, I<)2Q.



TIZIANO VECELLI, more generally called by some form of his first
name, is usually said to have been born about 1477 in a village
situated near Venice. The date of this event, however, is disputed,
and there seems reason to think that it should be fixed somewhere
nearer 1489. His painting attracted the attention of Pope Julius II
and later of the Doge of Venice, for both of whom as also for
Alfonso d'Este he worked. About 1532 his genius was recognized
by Charles V who appointed him court-painter, and gave him a
practical monopoly as regards imperial portraiture. Some notion of
Titian's powers may be formed at the National Gallery by those who
choose to examine his Portrait of Ariosto, and his Bacchus and Ariadne.
The one testifies to his faculty of observation, the other to his
astounding intensity of imagination. He appears to have died in 1 5 76.

From a photograph by D. Anderson, Rome.


GRANADA El Alhambra 21

From a photograph by Underwood and Underwood, Ltd.

MURILLO El Mendiguito 25

BARTOLOME ESTEBAN MURILLO (1617-1682) was a native of Seville;
here he sought and obtained the help of Velazquez. Under the influ-
ence of his master, Murillo's manner underwent considerable change:
the gradual disappearance of the semi-classical inspiration from his
early paintings and the substitution of their relative frigidity of style
by the romantic glowing effects of his religious pictures illustrate the
influence on Murillo of Velazquez, Ribera and Vandyck. Murillo's
talent is thoroughly Andalusian and is even typically Sevillan in
temperament. It is appropriate that he should have died in Seville
and should be buried in the Church of Santa Cruz.

From a photograph by Neurdein Freres, Paris.


From a photograph by J. Roig.
ZURBARAN Monje en meditation 51

FRANCISCO ZURBARAN (1598-1662) was the son of an Extremaduran
farmhand. Straying to Seville, he there acquired his realistic manner
and became celebrated for his skill in rendering the white robes of



the figures in his religious paintings. Though not one of Spain's
greatest painters, he holds a place of his own in the history of Spanish
art and this place was in part recognized officially when Zurbaran
was appointed Court-painter to Philip IV in 1630.

From a photograph by W. A. Mansell and Co.

TOLEDO Puente de Alcantara 61

From a photograph by Underwood and Underwood, Ltd.

GRANADA Cuarto de los leones 78

From a photograph by Underwood and Underwood, Ltd.

VELAZQUEZ La Rendicion de Breda 173

DIEGO DE SILVA Y VELAZQUEZ (1599-1660) was born at Seville.
Though half-Portuguese by descent, he is justifiably accounted the
chief of Spanish painters. His teachers the elder Herrera, Pacheco,
and (apparently) a pupil of El Greco were Spanish ; between
Seville and Madrid he spent most of his active life, and in Madrid he
died. About 1623 he was called to Madrid by his fellow-townsman
Olivares and at once became the fashion. Five years later Rubens
visited Madrid, and the effect of his influence is perhaps discernible
in Los Borrachos which is assigned to this date. In 1629 Velazquez
appears to have journeyed to Italy (for the first time) with the cele-
brated Spinola, the Genoese soldier ; a second Italian visit is attributed
to the year 164.8. In 1651 Velazquez was appointed Aposentador
Mayor and in 1659 ^ e was ma de a Knight of Santiago : his career
was near its close, for he died in 1660. Most of his paintings are
portraits of Philip IV, of celebrities, of court-buffoons and the like.
But his range of subject is immense, and the Surrender of Breda
(generally called Las Lanzas in Spain) has been styled not inaptly
the finest purely historical picture in existence.

From a photograph by D. Anderson, Rome.



DIEZ DE GAMES was the squire of Pero Nino, who was Count of Buelna
and was also the vainest of men. Hence Gutierre's task, the chronicling of
his master's great deeds, was no easy one. He discharged it, however, with
astonishing skill, and in the Coronica de don Pero Nino, cnnde de Buelna, we
see the hero first in battle, first in peace and first in love-affairs. The chronicler
has the wit to perceive that Pero Nino undiluted would be intolerable, and
he diversifies his work by placing the scene as often as he can abroad, by
interlarding his narrative with apt literary quotations or shrewd reflexions,
and he interests the reader by his references to the French ballads, roundelays
and love-plaints which he heard in the castle of Renaud deTroie. The French
translation of the Coronica, Le Victorial, is in some respects more satisfactory
than the Spanish printed version which omks several pages from the original
MS., notably some which include a diverting account of the marvels of
England and of the trees by the shores which bore small birds instead of fruit.


Como Ivan Principe de Gales estaba alzado, e non quiso obedescer
al Conde de Arbi, que los Ingle sesficier on Rey.

Segund que suso vos he contado que los Ingleses depusieron al
Rey Ricarte de Inglaterra, Ivan Principe de Gales era su pariente
bien cercano, e non quiso obedescer por Rey al Conde de Arbi
como los otros del Reyno; ante, con el grand pesar que ovo de su
mal, facia grand guerra al Rey, e a Londres, donde el era comarcano.
Gales es una tierra apartada al cabo del Reyno ver al norte: es
muy fuerte tierra e montanosa: es bien poblada, e de buenas
fortalezas. Estan a las entradas unos puertos que llaman las
marcas: non hay otra entrada si non aquella. El Principe vio que
tenia luenga guerra con el Rey, e derroco todas las fortalezas de
su tierra, e non dexo si non cinco castillos, que estan en lo mas
fuerte de la tierra unos cerca de otros, e fizo ir toda la gente de
su tierra morar al derredor de aquellos castillos. Dicen que es
una tierra muy sana e frutifera, e fermosa gente. E tenia alii
consigo muchos Caballeros de los del Rey Ricarte, e otras muchas
gentes, e pelean todos a caballo : traia cada uno su, vocina ; e tan
usado lo han, que quando les face menester, tan bien se entienden


unos a otros en el tocar, como por voz de ome, 6 palabra. E quando
el Rey venia a su tierra dejabale entrar las marcas, e poniase en
otros lugares donde non le podia empescer, e defendiale otros pasos;
e quando se derramaban por su tierra aquella era su ganancia ; que
el Principe e los suyos eran tan guerreros, que de noche prendian
e mataban muchas de las gentes del Rey: e despues, quando el
Rey se volvia para se ir, el Principe ibales todavia a las espaldas
faciendoles grand dano. Si el Rey se arredraba a Londres, salia
el, e pasaba las marcas al llano, e robaba la tierra: e volviase, e
pasaba las marcas. E ya el Rey avia ido tres 6 quatro veces al
pais de Gales: el Rey enviole sus Embajadores diciendo, que
mantenia grand locura, e que non le podria durar, e que se dexase
de aquella opinion, e que le f aria muchas mercedes : e respondiole,
que ficiese como mejor pudiese, que de tres nobles que se labrasen
en Londres, que suyo era el uno. Enviabale ayuda el Rey de
Francia de Ballesteros, e armas, e vino, que le non hay en Ingla-
terra. E si el Capitan de las naves de Castilla viniera a Inglaterra
en conserva de Pero Nino, segund aquella costa estaba menguada
de gente aquella sazon, ellos ganaran lugares, e ficieran muchos
rescates, e otras muchas buenas cosas, e vinieran de alia honrados,
e asaz caudalosos. E por el Capitan Pero Nino non aver mas gentes
de su nacion, le es, e debe ser, mas loado, e mejor contado quantas
buenas cosas el fizo: ca el non avia mas de tres galeras, e dos ba-
lleneres que le acompanaban ; e si el levara veinte galeras, como
otros levaron antes, e despues, es de creer que ficiera maravillosas

Como entraron las galeras en el Artamisa, que es el rio de
Londres, al puerto que llaman Antona.

Alii ovieron consejo el Capitan e Mosen Charles con sus Marean-
tes de lo que debian facer de alii adelante; e los Pilotos e los
Comitres dixeron : Senores, asaz tiempo avedes estado en esta costa,
e muchas buenas cosas avedes f echo: levades de esta tierra mucha
honra, e aun provecho. Somos yd entrante el invierno: esta mar es
muy tormentosa, quanta mas para galeras, e es yd tiempo de las
requerir, que les faltan muchas de las cosas que han perdido en las
tormentas. Otrosi esta partida es muy fria, e pasalo mat la gente
mal arropada. Nuestro consejo es que dexedes a Inglaterra, e vades
a invernar d algund puerto de Francia. E todos acordaron que
era buen consejo, e que lo ficiesen asi; pero dixo el Capitan que


ante queria ir ver a Londres : e mando facer la via de alia. E llegaron
las galeras a un puerto que llaman Antona cerca de Londres, e
fallaron alii una carraca de Geneva, que avian tornado los Ingleses
en la canal de Flandes; e las galeras tomaron la carraca; e non
tenia ninguna cosa dentro, e quisieronla traer, e non tenia velas.
Mando el Capitan que le pusiesen fuego; e a la hora llego alii la
barca de la carraca, e venian Ginoveses en ella, e pidieron merced
al Capitan que ge la dexase, que bien sabia el que los Ginoveses
eran amigos e servidores del Rey de Castilla, e que aquella carraca
ge la tomaran los Ingleses teniendo salvo conducto del Rey de
Inglaterra; e que avian andado a pleyto con ellos ante el Rey,
e que ya ge la avia mandado dar, e que por ellos estaba. E sabida
la verdad dexosela.

Londres parescia en un llano una grand cibdad: debia aver de
la mar larga a ella dos leguas. Vienele de la parte del norte un
grand rio que anda cercando la tierra donde ella esta, que llaman
el Artamisa. Es ahi luego de la otra parte una isla que llaman
Isla Duy, que es la tierra della cabe la mar muy espesa de montes,
e muy liana. El Capitan mando salir en tierra Omes escudados e
Ballesteros por saber que tierra era : e luego en ese instante vieron
tantos Frecheros, que les ficieron muy aina venir a la mar. E salio
gente de las galeras, e escaramuzaron con ellos un rato; e tanta
gente vino dellos, que se ovieron a recoger a las galeras. Aquella
isla es rica: dicen que son en ella quince mil omes, e que todos los
mas son Frecheros. E costeando la tierra parescia mucha gente.


THE chivalresque novel of Tristan de Leonis was redacted in Castilian between
about 1258 and 1343; the story appears to have been current in Spain
throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, though perhaps none of the
early allusions to it refers to the text now quoted. The legend belongs to the
Arthurian Cycle. Its original source is probably the Breton Lays of Marie
de France who told in octosyllabic verse the adventures of love and enchant-
ment of the heroes of King Arthur's Court. Other and longer poems, now
lost, must presumably have formed the link between the Lays and the Cycle.
The Legend of Tristan, complete in England in 1150, shows points of resem-
blance with classical mythology. Just as Theseus slays the Minotaur, so
Tristan fights the Morbout, the Irish monster which exacted a tribute of
young men and maidens from Cornwall. King Mark has horse's ears as had
Midas an ass's. Tristan's arrow never misses its aim, nor did that of Cephalus.
And the last haunting episode in Tristan de Leonis where Iseult falls dead on


her knight's corpse has analogies with the death of (Enone. The essence of the
legend is the passion of love, a headlong and fatal passion which masters
honour and duty. The story may possibly have filtered into Spain through
Catalonia, yet it is to be noted that the Castilian version differs from any
extant French text, while it is in many respects akin to extant Italian versions
(that contained in the old Cuento de Tristan, numbered 6428 in the Vatican
Library and the Tristano Riccardiano]. The intricate problems of sources and
manuscript relations are shrewdly discussed by Mr G. T. Northup in a paper
contributed by him to Modern Philology (1913, vol. xxviii.). Tristan de Leonis
was first printed in 1501, seven years before the oldest known edition of Amadis
de Gaula, a work which appears to have been influenced by it considerably.
The 1501 edition has been sumptuously reproduced by the Sociedad de
Bibli6filos madrilenos (1912) under the editorship of D. Adolfo Bonilla y
San Martin from whose reprint the following extract is taken.


E quando el rey Mares vio muertos a don Tristan c a la reyna,
en poco estuuo que no murio, por el gran dolor que ouo de su
muerte, y comenco a dezir: "jAy mezquino, c que gran perdida
he yo oy auido, que he perdido aquellas cosas que mas en el mundo
amaua, c nunca fue rey que tan gran perdida ouiese en vn dia
como yo he auido, c mucho mas valdria que yo fuese muerto que
no ellos!" Luego se comenco a fazer gran llanto a marauilla
por todo el castillo, c tan grande fue, que ninguno lo podria creer;
c luego vinieron todos los grandes hombres, c los caualleros de
Cornualla c de todo el reyno, c todos comencaron a hazer muy
gran duelo a marauilla c a dezir entre si mesmos : " j Ay, rey Mares,
fueras tu muerto ante que no don Tristan, el mejor cauallero del
mundo, que mantenia a toda Cornualla en paz c en sosiego, c nos
saco de subjecion, c nos hizo libres, c agora seremos todos muertos
c destruydos ante que mucho tiempo venga, c agora nos conuerna
de dar el tribute como soliamos, queramos o no, de lo qual nos
escusaua el bueno de don Tristan por sus cauallerias; mas muy mal
ge lo hemos galardonado; c el se combatio con Morlot de Yrlanda
por librar a Cornualla, que verdaderamente el merescia mejor la
corona quel rey Mares, que el la auia defendido de muchos peligros,
c eramos por el temidos c honrrados! jAy, mezquinos, que gran
perdida rescibimos nos c toda Cornualla por la muerte de don
Tristan, c agora seremos todos muertos c desonrrados, c despues
que nuestros enemigos sepan que don Tristan es muerto, luego
vernan sobre nos c nos destruyran a todos!" c tanto como con los
ojos los llorauan, con las bocas maldezian al rey Mares c Aldaret,


de manera que dos tan plafiidos ni tan denostados, no se hallan en
memoria de hombres, porque solo las senoras y damas se fallaron
para sentir esta manzilla, mas que las fijas de Priamo lloraron
por Hector, ni menos Ecuba se mostro tan dolorida quando el
cruel fuego de Grecia abrasaua sus palacios; todos los de Cornualla
eran muy tristes por la muerte de don Tristan, saluo Aldaret,
que se alegraua en su voluntad, por lo qual todos le querian gran
mal, c dezian:"avn verna cauallero que vengara la muerte de don
Tristan, que] rey Artur c todos los caualleros de la Tabla Redonda
querian muy gran bien a don Tristan, mas que a otro cauailero de
la Tabla, por sus buenas cauallerias. Por que nos creemos que
algunos de aquellos vernan a vengar su muerte"; c asi se fizo
despues. E quando en toda Cornualla se supo que don Tristan
c la reyna Yseo eran muertos, fueron muy tristes, c marauillauanse
mucho, c dezian: "jtodo el mundo fablara de su amor tan sub-
limado ! " E quando todos los caualleros fueron allegados, c muchos
perlados, c clerigos, c frayles, alii donde estaua don Tristan c la
reyna muertos, el rey fizo poner sus cuerpos, que estauan abracados,
amos en vnas andes muy ricamente, con pafios de oro, r fizolos
leuar muy honrradamente, rezando toda la clerecia, con muchas
cruzes c hachas encendidas, a Tintoyl. E quando entraron por
la ciudad, los llantos fueron muy grandes a marauilla de grandes
c de pequenos, c pusieronlos en vna cama que las duenas auian
fecho en la yglesia, c dixeronles muchas vigilias c obsequias. E el
rey Mares mando fazer vna muy rica sepultura, c hizolos alii
meter a amos: "pues ellos tanto en la vida se quisieron, scan
enterrados en vno"; c hizo la sepultura cobrir de vnas muy verdes
ondas, en medio de las quales fizo poner vna pequena barca sin
remos, cuyo mastel quebrado tenia, c la vela acostada, y en ella
vn titulo que dezia :

En esta barca de amor
y mar de vana esperanca,
es vn barquero dolor,
que, en el aprieto mayor,
al mas peligro se lane. a;
y el arbol, que es la ventura,
con vela poco segura,
en este pielago tal,
acostandose, procura
el cabo de mayor mal.


d. 1541

JUAN DE VALDES, one of the Erasmian group of cultured Spaniards of the
sixteenth century, began his literary career in 1528 by publishing anony-
mously a Didlogo de Mercuric) y Caron, in which he satirizes the clerical
abuses and Henry VIII's attempts to divorce Catalina de Arag6n. It is one
of the purest prose pieces of the century, full of shrewd and sensible argu-
ments, some of which we find repeated by Cervantes in Don Quixote's advice
to Sancho Panza when the latter is about to take up his post as governor.
Having incurred suspicion owing to his views, Valds went to Rome in 1531
and became camarero to Clement VII. At the death of the Pope, he entered
the service of Cardinal Gonzaga at Naples, where he inculcated ascetic
doctrines to a select group of distinguished men and women. The Didlogo
de la lengua, whose ascription to Valdes is now debated, perhaps without
cause, was first published anonymously in 1737. Valdes's theories on
philology, a science totally ignored in 1536 which was the probable date of
the composition, are evolved by his own instinct and common-sense. His
observations are always shrewd and sensible, whilst he invests with definite
and distinct character each of the four men who take part in the dialogue.
Valdes's style is excellent in simplicity and attractiveness and reveals a very
living personality under a quaint sense of humour.


F aides. Quanto a la gramatica, con deziros tres reglas generales

Online LibraryJames Fitzmaurice-KellyCambridge readings in Spaninsh literature → online text (page 1 of 26)