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some regular form, which was afterwards highly improved by the Garcilasos, Herréras, and others. He admires the Cid above all the champions of antiquity, as the subject of an heroic composition; and he laments only that this Achilles had no Homer to record his achievements; but he admits that the composition is neither destitute of poetical design and invention, nor of thought and expression.
The author has with judgment omitted the early part of the life of the Cid, prior to his banishment by Alphonso VI.; but relates his wars with the Moors, with the Count of Barcelona, his succeeding victories, the taking of Valencia, his reconciliation with his Sovereign, the insult offered to his daughters, the reparation and vengeance he sought and obtained, and his alliances with the royal houses of Arragon and Navarre, where the work concludes--slightly touching, however, upon the death of the hero.
It is seen that there are sufficient materials in such a story, and they are worked up in some parts with considerable dexterity. We would give a single specimen from this venerable relic, by which the proficient in Spanish literature will be gratified, but as to the choice, we have some difficulty: Quintana has selected the parting of the Cid and Ximena, when he was about to pay obedience to the order for his banishment, and which appears to great disadvantage in Mr. Southey's Chronicle, from the exclusion of the most beautiful passages. We shall, however, avail ourselves of the appendix to the work of the latter, for the sake of the spirited translation, which we believe is from the pen of Mr. Frere, and of the following extract that describes the sally of the Cid's champions from the Castle of Alcocer, within which his troops had been confined by a numerous
army of Moors.
" Embrazan los escudos delant los corazones :
Abaxan las lanzas apuestas de los pendones :
Tanta loriga falsa desmanchar;
Cayen en un poco de logar Moros muertos mill è trescientos ya. « Their shields before their breasts, forth at once they go,
Their lances in the rest, levell’d fair and low;
ground." If the author supply no extracts from the original poem, he introduces some of the ballads founded upon it, which afforded the immediate materials of Guillen de Castro's production. Sarmiento was of opinion that the popular ballads of the Twelve Peers, among which is the Cid, were composed soon after the time of the heroes they celebrate, and were what the Copleros, Trouveurs, and Joculars sang at the public entertainments. These, he assumes, were in the early dialect of the date of their composition ; although at a subsequent time, when committed to writing, the language was accommodated to its character at the end of the fifteenth century. Lord Holland considers, that “ El Romancero del Cid,” which contains those of which G. de Castro made such free use, was published in the sixteenth century. The entire collection of the Ballads of the Cid comprehended 102, all of them in octosyllabic verse, and under the title of "La Historia del muy valeroso Cavallero del Cid, Ruy Diez de Bivar en Romances, en lenguage antiguo, recopilado por Juan de Escobar: Sevilla, 1632.” This, in Mr. Southey's opinion," is the only separate collection, and by no means a complete one."
The ballads inserted, or referred to by his lordship, are twelve in number, and they narrate the means taken by the Cid's father to ascertain the courage of his son; the reflection of the latter on the parental injanction to chastise the Count Lozano for an irreparable affront; the death of the offender by the sword of the Cid; the interview with the father when the son brings the head of his enemy; the tumult at Burgos; and the appeal of Ximena to the justice of the King for the punishment of the murderer of her parent; the renewal of that appeal six months after the deed; and finally, the extraordinary application of this lady for the royal sanction to her marriage with the delinquent, and the solemnity and splendour of the nuptials.
Poetical translations are given of all these ballads; and they are written with so much taste and spirit as well as accuracy, that those who are unacquainted with the language, will feel a great portion of the beauties of the original, and, in some instances, what is incomplete is supplied, and what is dark is illumined.
The noble author now proceeds to the drama itself, which is introduced by the following observations.
“ Such were the sources from which Guillen de Castro drew the story and sentiments of his play. The reader will have perceived in the tenth ballad (De Rodrigo de Divar, &c.) that the proposal of marriage originates with Ximena herself. She is not, however, prompted by atly romantic or ungovernable love to so indelicate a proceeding. Her motives are of the most worldly and' sordid nature.
Que soy cierta su bazienda
The first in all this land. Nothing could be less adapted to heroic tragedy than such sentiments and conduct. Guillen de Castro bas, with great judgment, altered that part of the story. Ximena falls in love with the Cid in the first scene of his play, and the Cid is described as passionately enamoured of her before he undertakes to execute the dreadful injunctions of his father. Many other instances of Guillen: de Castro's judgment might be adduced.” (p. 58–59, vol. ii.)
The principal characters are King Fernando, holding his court at Burgos; the Queen, Don Sancho the Prince, Diego Lainez the Cid's father, Rodrigo the Cid, Count Lozano a powerful and intemperate nobleman, and Ximera Gomez his daughter. The first scene exhibits the decrepid Diego Lainez on his knees, thanking the King for knighting his son Rodrigo. The haughty temper of Prince Sancho is displayed in this scene, and affords a contrast to the calm and dignified conduct of the Cid. This ceremony being concluded, the King detains his four counsellors, Diego Lainez, Arrias Gonzalo, Peranzules and Lozano, to consult with them on an important subject. His Majesty then informs them, that Bermudes, the tutor of his son is dead, and that it has becomie necessary therefore to appoint a successor. He next assigns reasons from the respective employments of these his counsellors for rejecting three of them, and nominating Diego Lainez to the duty, Arrias Gonzalo and Peranzules readily assent to this appointment, but the indignation of Lozano is strongly excited by the preference given to an aged man, whom he represents as wholly incompetent to the office, and he thus expresses his disapprobation,
que siento y lo que çallo
de los años
mil veces hago Hacer una lapza hastillas Desalentando un caballo ?
Loz. He deserves indeed!
For I to serve thy royal son desired,
to toil shall old Diego lead,
(p. 66-68, vol. ii.) The King here interposes, and old Lainez justifies his own election.
“ Dieg. Nunca, Conde,
Diego. The haughty Count's thy name, they say :