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and with La Mancha, the region of pride and poverty whimsically combined-all must have served him as mines whence he derived his matchless treasures that still, and will, while man exists on earth, enrich the world.

From the Memoir before us, we must here cite a few passages which not only illustrate some curious usages and points of history, but make the reader acquainted with the personal condition of Cervantes in a variety of capacities. It is stated that in the year 1605,

"Don Juan Fernandez de Velasco, constable of Castile, had been sent to England, to negociate a peace. James I., in return for this high compliment, despatched Admiral Lord Howard to present the treaty of peace to the king of Spain, and to congratulate him on the birth of his son. Lord Howard landed at Corunna with six hundred English, and entered Valladolid, May 26th, 1605. He was received with all the magnificence that the court of Spain could display. Among the religious ceremonies, the bull-fights, the masked-balls, the reviews, and the games or tourneys, where the king himself ran at the ring, and all the fêtes, which were lavished on the admiral, mention is made of a dinner given to his lordship by the constable of Castile, where twelve hundred dishes were served of meat and fish, without mentioning the dessert, and a super-abundance of other delicacies. The Duke of Lerma had an account of these ceremonies written, which was printed at Valladolid in the same year. Cervantes is believed to be the author; at least an epigrammatic sonnet of Gongora, who was an eye witness, seems to give proof of it. It was in the train of these rejoicings, that an unhappy event occurred to distress the family of Cervantes, and conduct him, for the third time, to prison. A knight of St. James's, named Don Gaspar de Ezpeleta, wishing to pass, on the night of the 27th of June, 1605, over the wooden bridge of the Esqueva, was prevented by a stranger; a quarrel ensued, and the two combatants drawing their swords, Don Gaspar was pierced with several wounds. Crying for help, he took refuge, covered with blood, in one of the neighbouring houses: one of the two apartments on the first floor of this house was occupied by Donna Luisa de Montoya, widow of the historion Esteban de Garibay, with her two sons, and the other by Cervantes and his family. At the cries of the wounded man, Cervantes hastened to him, with one of the sons of his neighbour; they found Don Gaspar lying under the portico, his sword in one hand, and his shield in the other, and they took him in to widow Garibay's, where he expired on the following day. An inquest was immediately held by the alcalde de casa y corte, Cristobal de Villaroel; they took the depositions of Cervantes, of his wife, Donna Catalina de Palacios Salazar, of his natural daughter, Donna Isabel de Saavedra, then twenty years of age, of his sister, Donna Andrea de Cervantes, a widow, having a daughter twenty-eight years of age, called Donna Constanza de Ovando, of a nun, Donna Magdalena de Sotomayor, who was also said to be the sister of Cervantes, of his servant, Maria de Cevallos, and, lastly, of two friends, who happened to be in the house, Senor de Cigales, and a Portuguese named Simon Mendez. Supposing, whether right or wrong, that Don Gaзpar had been killed in a love affair with the daughter or the niece of Cervantes, the judge had those ladies arrested, as well as Cervantes himself,

and his sister, the widow Ovando. It was not till the end of eight or ten days, after examinations and hearing witnesses, and even giving bail, that the four prisoners were released. The depositions to which this disagreeable incident gave rise, prove that, at this time, to sustain the burden of four women, of whom he was the only support, Cervantes still occupied himself with agencies, and mixed with the cultivation of literature the dull, but less barren, pursuits of business. It may be presumed that Cervantes followed the court to Madrid in 1606, and that he fixed his residence, from that time forward, in that capital, where he was near to his relations at Alcala, to those of his wife at Esquevias, and well placed at the same time for his literary engagements and his business agencies. It has been lately established, that in June 1609, he lived in the street De la Magdalena, and shortly afterwards behind the College of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette; in June 1610, in the street Del Leon, No. 9; in 1614, in the street Las Huertas ; afterwards in the street Duc d'Albe, at the corner of that of San Isidoro; thence he is traced to the spot, whence he took his final departure in 1616, in the street Del Leon, No. 20, at the corner of that of Francos, where he died."

Shortly before his death, Cervantes completed his romance of "Persiles and Sigismonda," in the dedication of which to his old patron, the Conde de Lemos, then absent from the country, appear certain remarkable words, strongly characteristic of the writer. After saying, in the words of an old Spanish proverb, that he had "one foot in the stirrup," in allusion to the long journey on which he was about to enter, he adds-" Yesterday I received the extreme unction; but now that the shadows of death are closing around me, I still cling to life, from the love of it, as well as from the desire to behold you again. But if it is decreed otherwise (and the will of Heaven be done), your Excellency will at least feel assured, there was one person, whose wish to serve you was greater than the love of life itself."

We now proceed to offer a very few observations concerning the literary history of Cervantes, and especially to direct attention to some circumstances connected with his greatest work. In the course of our statements, certain notices and extracts relative to the condition and character of contemporaneous Spanish literature will also naturally occur.

We have alluded to some of the vicissitudes which occurred in the checquered career of Cervantes, and to some of the sources whence he drew those materials which his genius has fashioned into unrivalled shapes. Among the first of his productions was a pastoral fiction, the "Galatea," which has been deservedly admired; but belonging to an insipid class of literature, it afforded nothing like adequate opportunities for the display of its author's very peculiar powers. He wrote also a great number of plays, upon which, however, his fame never attained any sure footing. The period of the publication of his great work, the Don Quixote, is that of the

rth of Philip IV., which took place at Valladolid, April 8, 1605Cervantes tells us that the First Part, which alone appeared at this time, was begun in prison, where he was confined, not on account of crime or debt, although we do not learn what was the nature of the alleged offence. It was a bold and novel attempt which the author made, when he launched his matchless satire against the inveterate prejudices of his countrymen, and therefore he came forward under the powerful auspices of the Duke de Bejar, to whom the Don was dedicated, and who would gladly have dispensed with the sponsorship-probably having doubts regarding the manner in which the public would receive the work. It is reported that this Castilian grandee invited certain persons, whom he considered were competent judges, to listen to a specimen, and that after having heard the first chapter read, they insisted on hearing the whole of the romance. No sooner was it published than its success was unprecedented. Four editions in the course of the first year were thrown off at Madrid, one at Valencia, and one at Lisbon. That it became a favourite among the most enlightened and influential in the land, is established by the anecdote of Philip III. saying, when he saw some one laughing immoderately over a volume, "The man must be either out of his wits, or reading Don Quixote." Still Cervantes was not the recipient of prompt royal favour, nor speedily relieved from pecuniary embarrassments, although the Count of Lemos and the Archbishop of Toledo proved to be substantial friends. At the period of which we speak, the theatre was the grand channel of popularity and profit in Spain to men of letters : where that miracle among prolific authors, Lope de Vega, was the idol of his countrymen; for he is said to have furnished the national theatre with 1800 regular plays, and 400 religious dramas-all acted, besides many other works, almost too numerous for the imagination to contemplate, were nothing more than the mere act of transcribing the lines to be taken into account. The profits which this man received for his productions were enormous for that age; and the great in the land thought they did themselves honour by lavishing their smiles upon him. He lived in princely style, while Cervantes was struggling in the same city for subsistence by the labours of his pen. But whatever may have been the caresses which a contemporary age bestowed upon the spoiled child of fortune, posterity has completely reversed the judgment; and while the dramatist is neglected, the genius of the author of Don Quixote is ever acquiring a richer harvest of renown.

Not only had Cervantes to combat adverse circumstances, but the criticisms which plentifully abound in his works brought down upon him the envenomed literary weapons of inferior men, which, probably for a time, in some measure, poisoned his peace, and tended to obstruct the streams of patronage. However this may be,

one thing is clear, viz. that neither poverty, nor the jealousy of rivals could blunt the edge of our author's satire, or serve in any other way to affect its delicacy and pungency, than by infusing into it the most finished displays which his rare and cultured genius has ever produced, as witnessed in the Second Part of Don Quixote. This portion of the work did not appear speedily after the publication of the First Part, for it was at the close of 1615 when it saw the light. But seldom have continuations so happily sustained the interest created by an author's former effort, as was now unanimously pronounced; for while Cervantes had to compete with himself, he so palpably had benefited by study and by the criticisms to which he had previously been subjected, as to stamp the clearest tokens of his mastership upon the portion in question.

Some short time before the appearance of the Second Part, the public was informed that "Don Quixote was already booted." But an incident occurred which precipitated the publication; and this was nothing less than the irritating and unworthy act of a stranger, who came forward as a continuator of the Don's exploits. The attempt proved a failure, but the motives which prompted this imitation during the life of Cervantes, were not more barefacedly gross, than the chastisement was signal, towards the close of the work as it now stands, which the legitimate parent of the Hidalgo de la Mancha inflicted upon him, who had so rashly encroached upon such a province.

It only remains for us now to turn to the circumstances which led to the composition of Don Quixote, and to its peculiar character as a work of imagination. These circumstances were found in abundance, in the follies and caprices which distinguished Spain among all the countries of Europe, both at the age when Cervantes appeared and for generations before; and arose from the sentiments of romantic gallantry, which even in the thirteenth century obtained in a code of Alfonso the Tenth many minute regulations; as, for instance, where the good knight is enjoined "to invoke the name of his mistress in the fight, that it may infuse new ardour into his soul, and preserve him from the commission of unknightly actions." Nor were these laws a dead letter. Spanish knights visited the different courts of Europe," to seek honour and reverence."

This taste for romantic extravagances naturally fostered a corresponding relish for the perusal of tales of chivalry, till the passion not only for such mad feats, as well as for such unprofitable reading, called down legislative enactments. Here, however, we cannot do better than quote from the part of Cervantes' Memoir before us, which brings the follies alluded to fully to the light, and the occasion of the unrivalled satire we have been considering. This long extract, and the note appended to it, conveniently close the hasty sketch regarding Don Quixote, the history of its author, and the

contemporaneous condition of Spanish literature which has now been presented.

"How can we be astonished at the passion evinced for books of chivalry, in a country where the examples set forth in them had been actually reduced to practice? Don Quixote was not the first madman of his kind, and the fictitious hero of La Mancha had had living precursors, models of flesh and blood. If we open the Illustrious Men of Castile,' by Hernando del Pulgar, we shall there see the well known extravagance of Don Suéro de Quinonès, son of the chief magistrate of the Asturias, spoken of with praise; who, having agreed to break three hundred lances, in order to ransom himself from the chains cast around him by his lady, defended during thirty days the pass of Orbigo, as did Rodomont the bridge of Montpelier. The same chronicler, without departing from the reign of John II. (from 1407 to 1454), mentions a crowd of warriors personally known to him, such as Gonzalo de Guzman, Juan de Merlo, Gutierre Quejada, Juan de Polanco, Pero Vazquez de Sayavedra, Diego Varela, who not only visited their neighbours, the Moors of Grenada, but traversed foreign countries, like true knights-errant, France, Germany, and Italy, offering to break a lance, in honour of their ladies, with any who would accept of their challenge. This immoderate taste for romance of chivalry soon bore its fruits. Young persons estranged from the study of history, which did not offer sufficient matter for their ill-regulated curiosity, took the books of their choice, offering as models both in language and manners. Obedience to the caprice of women, adulterous amours, false points of honour, sanguinary vengeance for the most trivial injuries, unbridled luxury, contempt for social order, all these were brought into practice, and books of chivalry thus became not less fatal to good maaners, than to good taste. These fatal consequences excited at first the zeal of the moralists. Lois Vivés, Alexo Venegas, Diego Gracian, Melchor Cano, Fray Luis de Grenada, Malon de Chaïde, Arias-Montano, and other sensible and pious writers, expressed aloud their indignation at the evil effects produced by such reading. The laws afterwards came to their aid. A decree of Charles V., issued in 1543, ordered the viceroys and courts of the New World not to suffer, by either Spaniard or Indian, any romance of chivalry to be printed, sold, or read. In 1555, the Cortes of Valladolid claimed, in a very energetic petition, the same prohibition for the Peninsula, and still more, demanded that all the books of that description then in existence, should be collected and burnt. Queen Jane promised a law on this subject, which, however, never appeared.* But

"The following are some of the passages contained in this curious petition-We further say that the mischief is most notorious which has been done, and is now doing, to the youth of both sexes, by the reading of books of lies and vanities, such as Amadis,' and all the books of like character, published since that period. For as young men and young women, from idleness, principally occupy themselves with these, they imbibe a taste for those reveries and adventures of which they read, as well in love as in war, and at the same time fall into ot her follies; and

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