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Of the style -adopted by Mr. Southey in his translation, we shall say little, but that it is, in our opinion, very judicipusly chosen, with the exception, perhaps, of a few words and phrases which ought to have been avoided as obsolete, or not easily intelligible, and wearing an appearance of unseasonable affectation, e. g. ' orgullrus,' for 'the nonce,' 'Pagandom,'' guidage' (for guidance,)' to dispeed him. self! hight' (for called, or named,) · Alvar Fañez, you are Şib to the damsels,' . he was their father's brother, and had been their Ayo,' and he downed with the dead man,' to prink and prank,' “ Arbalisters,' for cross-bow-men, &c. &c. &c.; but these are not of very frequent occurrence. Mr. Southey must not misunderstand us. We do not object to þim the offence of coining, but of using obsolete, unusual and harsh expressions when there is no reason for it, and when he actually goes out of his way to find them. In p. 31 on the word cilicio, translated • sackcloth," Mr. Southey remarks in a note.
. The cilicio was howeyer made sometimes of such materials, that to call it either hair-cloth or sack-cloth would be a contradic. tiun in terms. In a future work, therefore, wherein it will frequently be necessary to mention it, I shall venture to anglicize the original word, which in all probability has already been done by some of our Catholic writers. I believe there are few words in any European language for which a precise term may not be found in • our own ; but our dictionaries are miserably imperfect. The Rem views have more than once censured me for having introduced new words, when not my English but their own ignorance was in' fault.
We are in too good a humour with Mr. Southey for the high entertainment he has afforded us, to notice with any asperity this little instance of pettishness on his part, which we shall pass over by simply observing that there is but a slight sbade of difference between coining words and einploying words which have been so long disused as to bear the appearance of new coinage ; nor does he at all shift the fault from his own shoulders by pretending to fix it on those of his monitors ; since it is not a mark of very gross igno: rance, even in the censors of modern literature, not to be aware of every word existing in Wickliff's Bible or Trevisa's Chronicle. Besides, to use an obsolete word without reference to any authority, and then to fa!l foul of an unlucky wight who has ventured to condemn it for Birmingham, wears too much the appearance of ' a trap to catch the knowing ones;' an: we think too highly of Mr. Southey to suppose that he would triumph in the success of such an expedient,
If we are not much mistaken, another and a much more serious charge will be presented against Mr. Southey, on account of the style of his translation, by those over-righteous censors who are always on the watch' for victims of their inquisitorial zeal, and to fix, by a forced construction, the imputation of impiery, blasphemy, and atheism, on the most innocent opinions or expressions. We apprehend that Mr. Southey bas either from want of foresight, or from an utter, contempt of their malice, laid himself open to some of these charitable conclusions; and shall not be at alt surprised to hear it roundly stated that “ the Chronicle of the Cid,' is an · open and scandalous attack upon revealed religion. The truth is, that Mr. Southey, in antiquating his phraseology has fallen into a very close imitation of the scriptural histopieal siyle. Nothing can be more true than that this style is, of all others, the inoșt simple, the most pure, and, in every respect, the best model that our language affords, of clear unornamental narrative. This alone, we conceive would be a sufficient justification of Mr. Southey for adopting it. But if a further defence should be thought requisite let us apply to any one of these pious gentlevien who happens to understaud Latin, and request him to take up an old chronicle of the 13th or 14th century, and turn it literally into English, using only such words and phrases as were current two centuries ago. He will very soon start back with religious horror upon the discovery that he has, una · wares, been prophuning the sacred language of our translated , Bible. The truth is, it was the object of the authors of that translation to give to the public a plain version of the scriptares, in that style and language which were inost-familiar to every description of bearers; and therefore a professed imia tator of the common phraseology of the Toth century can Tesort to po model so sate and unquestionable. Nevertheless, we think Mr. Southey would have done more wisely to avoid the recurrence of a few peculiar modes of expression, which, without doing him any great service, may have ap. peared the must obnoxious to truly orthodox censoriousness.
We now proceed to give our readers, by examples, some idea of the nature of the entertainment they may 'expect to derive from a perysal of the work.
Rodrigo (or' Ruy) Piaz, was born at the little town of Bivar near Burgos, in the year 1026, of the family of the allcient counts of Castile, but a short time before that district, under the vew tiile of a kingdom, was united to Leon by King Ferdinand I. His first exploit in arms was that which is so celebraļed as the subject of the chef d'oeuvre of Cora
neille; and on that account the detail of it here given, on
which the tragedy was founded, must be in some degree in· teresting to all our readers : :
At this time it came to pass that there was strife between Cuunt don Gomez, the lord of Gormaz, and Diego Laynez the father of Rodrigo : and the Count insulted Diego and gave him a blow. Now Diegu was a man in years, and his strength had passed from bim, so that he could not take vengeance, and he reiired to his home tu dwell there in solitude and lament over his dishonour. And he took no pleasure in his food, neither could he sleep by night: por would, he lift up his eyes from the ground, nor stir out of his house, nor coinmune with his friends, but turned from them in silence, as if the breath of his shame would taint them. Rodrigo was yet but a youth, and 'the Count was a mighty man in arms, one who gave his voice first in the Cortes, and was held to be best in the war, and so powerful that he had a thousand friends among the mountains. Howbeit all these things appeared as nothing to Rodrigo when he thought of the wrong done to his father, the first which had ever been offered to the blood of Layn Calvo. He asked nothing but justice from heaven, and of man he asked only a fair field ; and his father seeing of how good heart he was, gave him his sword and his blessing. The sword had been the sword of Mudarrar in former times, and when Rodrigo held its cross in his band, he thought within himself that his arm was not weaker than Mudarra's. And he went out and defied the count and he slew him, and smote off his head, and carried it home to his father. The old man was sitting at table, the food lying before him untasted, when Rodrigo returned, and pointing to the head which hung from the horse's collar, dropping blood, he bade him look up, for there was the herb which should restore him to his appelite, tlie. tongue, quoth he, which insulted you, is no longer a tongue, and the hand wbich wrouged you is no longer a hand. And the old man arose and embraced his son and placed him at the table, saying that he who had brought him that head should be the head of the house of Layn Calvo.'
From what follows shortly after, it will appear that the poet has taken great liberties with the history, but no more than were absolutely necessary for the sake of dramatic effect.
King Don Fernando was going through Leon, putting the king, dom in order, when listings reached him of the good speed which Rodrigo had had against the Moors. And at the same time there came before him Ximena Gomez, the daughter of the cuunt, who fell on her knees before him and said, “Sir, I am the daughter of count Don Gomez of Gormaz, and Rodrigo of Bivar has slain the count, my father, and of three daughters whom he has left I am the youngest. And, Sir, I come to crave of you a boon, that you will give me Ro
drigo of Bivar, to be my husband, with whom I shall 'hold myself well married, and greatly honored; for certain I am that his possessions will one day be greater than those of any man in your dominions. Certes, Sir, it behoves you to do this, because it is for God's service, and because I may pardon Rodrigo with a good will.'. The king held it good to accomplish her desire, and forthwith ordered letters to be drawn up to Rodrigo of Bivar, wherein he enjoined and commanded him that he should come incontinently to Palencia, for he had much to communicate to him upon an affair which was greatly to God's service, and his own welfare and great honour.
• When Rodrigo saw the letters of his lord the king, he greatly rejoiced in them, and said to the messengers that he would fulfil the king's pleasure, and go incontinently at his command. And he dight himself full gallantly and well, and took with him many knights both his own, and of his kindred, and of his friends. And he took also many new arms, and came to Palencia to the king with two hundred of his peers in arms, in festival guise; and the king went out to meet him, and received him right well, and did him honour; and ai this were all the counts displeased. And when the king thought it a fit season, he spake to him and said, that Donna Ximena Gow mez, the daughter of the count whom he had slain, had come to ask him for her husband, and world forgive him her father's death ; wherefore he besougbt him to think it good to take her to be his wife in which case he would show bim great favour. When Rodrigo heard this it pleased him well, and he said to the king that he would do his bidding in this, and in all other things which he might command, and the king thanked him much. And he sent for ike bishop of Palencia, and took their vows and made them plight themselves, each to the other, according as the law direcis. And when they were espoused the king did them great honour, and gave them, many noble gifts; and added to Rodrigo's lands more than he had till then possessed ; and he loved him greatly in his heart, because he saw that he was obedient to his cominands, and for all that he had heard him say:
• So Rodrigo departed from the king, and took his spouse with him to the house of his mother, and gave her to bis mother's keep. ing. And forthwith he made a vow in her hands that he would never accompany with her, neither in the desert nor in the inhabited place, till he had won five battles in the field. And he besought his mother ihat she would love her even as she loved him himself, and that she would do good to her and shew her great honour, for which he should ever serve her with the better good will. And his mother promised him so do; and then he departed from them and went out against the frontier of the Moors.'
This proceeding on the part of the lady must, we fear, seem rather shocking to decency, if not to probability, in the eyes of modern refinement; and there appear, indeed, to be some considerable doubts attending the whole story. Ms. Southey, however, is inclined to admit its truth without qualification. The marriage proved a most fortunate one. Ximena Gomez brought the Cid two daughters, the wives first, of the Infantes of Carrion, and afterwards of the Kings of Arragon and Navarre, She was the partaker of all his pros. perous and evil fortunes ; and throughout the work there oc, cur several traits of domestic affection and tenderness, which are far from the least interesting passages contained in it. She survived her husband a few years, and was buried with bim in the monastery of Cardeña.
! When the French were in Spain during the last war, nothing excited their curiosity till they came to Burgos, and heard that Chi. mene was buried at Cardeña : but then every day parties were made who visited her tomb, and spouted over it passages from Corneille.?
We have seldom met with a more entertaining trait of French nationality. Mudarra, mentioned in the extract, was one of the Infantęs of Lara, a romantic brotherhood, whose history is detailed very much at large in Mr. Southey's notes.
After his action with the five Moorish kings, the reputaa tion of Ruy Diaz was fixed at the court of Castile; and, du.. sing the remainder of Ferdinand's reign, he was the firmest support of the throne ; and the most active champion of the Christian cause, in the several wars against the Moors of Estremadura and Portugal. On one of his expeditions a signal instance of the reward of charity is recorded, which, it is presumed, will hardly obtain inplicit credit at the present day among us herelics; but which, even now, it would pro. bably be a sin of the first magnitude to doubt of in the latia tude of Burgos, He and his companions met on the road a leper struggling in a quagmire, who prayed them for the love of God to help bin. The rest passed by with silent compassion ; but Rodrigo not only extricated the poor wretch from his peril, set him before him on his horse, and brought him to the inn where he lodged for the night, but made him partake of we same dish and of the same bed with himself. Christian charity certainly never extended further than this; and it had its desert ; for in the iniddle of the i night there stood before Rodrigo' one in white garments, breathing celestial odours, who said,
I am St. Lazarus; and know that I was the leper to whom thou didst so much good and so great honour for the love of God: and because thou didst this for his sake,hath God now granted thee a great gift ; for whensoever that breath which thou hast felt shalt come up. on thee, tvhatever thing thou desirest to do, and shalt then begin,