« AnteriorContinuar »
jects such as are unfit to be forced upon the tyranny of the majority* certainly exceed. nation by a bare superiority of numbers ? ing any that an European King could exer.
Surely there can be no time in which it is cise. This book affords an excellent comless necessary to bring this ancient institu- mentary upon Locke; and may, perhaps, tion into question, than one in which it re- reconcile the framers of constitutions in Ger. presents generally the opinions of almost a many, as it has us, to that aristocracy which moiety of the popular representatives, and the same author describes (p. 104), in a the same at least, if not a majority, of the phrase eminently applicable to our House of popular electors; and a very large, almost Lords, as “a firm and enlightened man, who overwhelming, majority of the upper classes, never dies.” so much so, that if the Lords were replaced by an elective Chamber, chosen by gentle. men of moderate incomes, it is almost cer. tain that the votes of that Chamber would be such as they now are,—if not even less in ART. VII.— Floresta de Rimas Modernas unison with those of the representatives of
Castellanas ; o Poesias Selectas Castella. the people.
nas desde el tiempo de Ignacio de Luzan It is not in our power to describe with esta nuestros dias, con una Introduccion the accuracy without which we are unwilling historica, y con Noticias biograficas y cri. to attempt it, the alterations which have been ticas recogidas y ordenadas, por Fernando made, since Heeren wrote, in the Constitu. José Wolf, Secretario de la Biblioteca Im. tions of the several states of Germany. We · perial de Viena. 2tom. 8vo., 1837. Paris believe that they have all borrowed something
y Viena. from the Constitution of England, and they have all attempted to reconcile the growing THESE volumes cannot but form a welcome spirit of Democracy with “ the monarchical addition to the library of every lover of Span. principle.”. We are among those who pray, ish poetry. They supply well-selected speci. that that spirit may still be tempered, as in mens of all the writers who have distinguished England, by monarchy and aristocracy; and themselves in the realms of poetry from the all that we have lately heard of the most ex. commencement of the eighteenth century, tensive and unmitigated democracy that is to down to the present day; and the value of be found among established governments, the work is considerably enhanced by the confirms us in our wish that we may not be. biographical and critical sketches which ac. come entirely democratic. We have already company the specimens. noticed (vol. xv. p. 470, the work of Tocque. The period in the history of Spanish litera. ville, who has applied to the consideration of ture which the learned editor has fixed upon Democracy in Americ aa judgment singular. to commence his labors, is one of considera. ly calm and impartial. His recommenda- ble importance, and one at which a great tion of Democracy may be summed up in change began to operate, both in the form one short sentence, in which he says that, and spirit of the national poetry. It is the “ if the laws of Democracy are not always moment when Ignacio de Luzan, far from respectable, they are always respected.” (vol. being discouraged by the failure of the atü. p. 123.) When people are satisfied, or tempts made by the Marques de San Juan persuaded, that the measures of Government to introduce into his country, the poetical emanate from their own opinions and wills doctrines of the French school, as exempli. they are satisfied with them, though they fied in Corneille's tragedy of Cinna, endeavor. be, and perhaps for that reason the more, un ed, by the publication of his Poetica in 1737, wise or unjust.
to infuse new vigor into the listless veins of This consideration generates a very diffi. the Spanish muse, and to awaken his coun. cult question for a practical and conscientious trymen to a knowledge of those poetic laws statesman ; how to steer between the right which had received the authority of Aristotle, and the expedient? How far to give way to Horace, and Boileau. Not content with in. the public opinion of the moment, when sisting upon the necessity of obeying the dic. he believes that its effects will
be permanently tates of these great masters of the critical art, injurious ? Certainly, to us Englishmen, this Luzan determined himself to practise the advantage of having laws " respected though doctrines he advocated; and in this he was pot respectable”appears too dearly purchased. readily assisted by many of his friends. In Tocqueville gives one instance of this want the year 1749, a poetical society was insti. of respectability ; in the unwillingness of the tuted in Madrid, under the name of Buen House of Representatives to punish fraudu. lent bankrupts, because fraudulent bankrupt- in Sir Robert Peel's speech at Glasgow, January
See the notice of this part of Tocqueville cies are frequent; and he describes the 13th, 1837.
Gusto, over which the Condesa de Lemos | forward to resist the growing partiality for presided; and which numbered among its the French school, and recall his countrymen members, besides many other men of talent, to a love of their own national and romantic the Count Torrepalma, Augustin Montiano, style. But though reasonably gifted with Ignacio de Luzan, José Porcel, and Luis poetic powers, and strong in the virtues of a Velasquez. Of these men bers of the aca- good cause, Huerta was compelled to give demy " del Buen Gusto,” Torrepalma dis- up the field to his more numerous, though not tinguished himself by his poem of Deucalion, more skilful adversaries The classicists written in the style of Ovid; Montiano by triumphed for a time, but their triumph was his two tragedies, Virginia and Ataulfo ;- short;—the diviner spirit was wanting, for José Porcel by his Eglogas Venatorias, the poetical, like all other institutions of one much applauded at the time, but which have country, languishes and deteriorates, exag. never been published; and finally Luzan gerating only its original imperfections, when himself, by some translations and lyrical transplanted to a foreign soil : and thus the compositions. But neither the doctrines nor poetry of Spain remained but a poor reflex the example of these members of the society of that of France, containing no elements of for the promotion of poetry, exercised any vitality, and destined once more to fall into a beneficial influence upon the national taste; state of inanition. and lamentable indeed is the state of degra. But while Huerta and the advocates of the dation into which its poetical literature had French style were engaged in this combat of fallen at the close of the reign of Ferdinand opinions, in Salamanca was gradually form. the Sixth, as described by no less competent ing a native school, which inculcated the an authority than Nicolas Ferrandez de doctrines that the first principles of their na. Moratin. In fact, the only composition of tional poetry must necessarily be derived distinguished merit which appeared during from their own ancient writers; and at the the first half of the eighteenth century, was head of this school eventually appeared Juan the Satira contra los malos escritores de su Melendez Valdes. In 1785, Melendez pub. tiempo, in which, with much wit and elegance, lished the first volume of his poetical works, Jorge Pitillas vented his indignation at the displaying the result of his studies into the miserable condition of the literature of his national forms of his country's popular song. native country. This poem, the only pro. It was received with loud and general ap. duction of its clever and patriotic author plause; and the lovers of the early literature known to exist, is reprinted in the present of Spain, who saw how successfully he had collection.
followed the footsteps of Garcilasso, Leon, But the year 1737, which gave birth to and Herrera, did not hesitate to proclaim him Luzan's Poetica, (again forgotten in the year the restorer of the muse of Castile. He 1760,) gave birth to one destined to exercise was certainly the founder of a new school, a more powerful and cheering influence over not less imitative than that of Luzan and the poetical spirit of his countrymen. Nico. Moratin, but nevertheless based on national las Fernandez de Moratin, for he it was, models, and national therefore in its formliving under far more favorable circumstan. it was, in short, a new school of Spanish
and gifted with far greater poetical poetry. talents, contributed most effectually to the But though this was the prevailing, it was reformation of Castilian poetry, and to pre. by no means the only system of the time. paring the way for its regeneration. But Other writers sought for models among the the models which Moratin selecied for his poets of Italy, whose works display, in their own study, and held up to the admiration of outward forms at least, considerable resem. his countrymen, were derived from the banks blance to those of Spain. Among those who of the Seine : they lacked the fire and energy may be said to have adopted the Italians as that distinguished the nat'onal poetry of their models, are Leandro Fernandez de Spain, and substituted for those vigorous and Moratin, Juan Bautista de Arriaza, Manuel characteristic charms, the more effeminate de Arjona, and Francisco Martinez de la graces of neatness and elegance. These Rosa. however, were felt by some patriotic spirit of The works of Melendez and his followers, the day, to be but inefficient substituies for however, prepared the minds of their counthe absence of that spirit which had distin- trymen to receive and esteem the doctrines guished the earlier productions of their coun. of the new, or, as it is more frequently styled, trymen ; and they wished to see the elegance the romantic school of poetry; which, reject. of the classic school combined with the ener. ing the frigid dogmas and enslaving laws of gies of the old Spanish writers. Amongst the classicists, holds up to the admiration ar the foremost who insisted upon this necessity, imitation of the world the glorious creations Vicente Garcia de la Huerta boldly stepped of Homer, Shakspeare, Dante, Lope de Vega,
and Schiller. This taste is rapidly develop In idle war the headlong waves advance ing itself, in the literary circles of Spain, and, While, as th’ unvarying star among those who have served most effectu.
That to the trembling pilot points his ally to disseminate its beneficial principles
course, among their countrymen, Augustin Durand,
Through Aquilo and Notus try their
force, and Angel de Saavedra Duke de Rivas, She guides our wandering bark to sheltershould be especially noticed: the former by
ing havens far. “On the Influence which Modern Criticism has exercised in the Downfall of We take another specimen from this poethe Ancient Spanish Theatre;" by his " Tro-tical Address, and again see his genius vas;" and his excellent editions of the “ Ro- sinking under the prevailing and imbecile manceros," and of the “ Talea Española, o torpor of the age. Coleccion de Dramas del Antiguo Teatro Español :" and the latter no less effectually Light and mingling shade by his own poetical works which have ap. Being and birth on Painting first bestowed: peared of late years.
Beneath her hand the varying colors glowed, To illustrate the various phases of Spanish
And fair Design in long Perspective showed.
Touch alone could tell, poetry since the commencement of the pre- In the warm tablets' flowing lines, en wrought ceding century, is the purpose of these vo. With brightest hues, from living nature lumes, of which we now take our leave; first
caught, rendering our best thanks to Dr. Wolf for How deeply treasured here deception's the good laste and industry displayed in every
spell ! page, and earnestly commending them to the
All that the eyes surveyed, student of Spanish poetry, as a storehouse in All that Imagination's power could trace, which he will find many productions of the O'er the cold canvas Form, and Soul, and
Breathed in the Pencil's imitative grace: Spanish muse not readily to be met with else.
Feeling, where, and so arranged as to exhibit a per. That wondrous art infused, with power fect - view of the progress of that branch of
of life; the national literature from the era of Luzan Portrayed each pulse, each passion's might to our own days. The volumes may be said
revealing, indeed to form an indispensable companion
Sorrow, and joy, love, hatred, fear, and
strife. to the “ Floresta de Rimas Antiguas” of Though haply mute, th' eternal doubt upDon Juan Nicolas Bohl de Faber.
sprung, We must commence, however, the more Can such perfection be denied a tongue ? useful labor of translation from our few ex. tracts, which are offered with all due diffi. We proceed to give a short extract from dence, beginning with one from Luzan's Nicolas Fernandez de Moralin's "Love Lines to the Academia de las Nobles Artes. and Honor," in imitation of the ancient bal.
lads, but without either their pathos or Its ever varying sway,
energy: Inconstant fate exerts o'er all. Borne subject to successive fall
By the lovely Belerifa Each earthly state !-Fleeting the ancient 'Was Benzayde well-beloved; glory
He a Moor, discreet and gallant, Of early Greece and Rome's immortal Few of years—of strength approved. Ruins whose grandeur yet survives in He too, proud at feast and revel story,
To display his cherished flame, And treasured fondly still by long-record Broidered round his bright green mantle ing fame.
With the ciphers of his dame. Even at the touch of years that pass away,
Never from his lance he parted, Cities and empires crumble to decay! Never left the hostile field, Virtue sole remains ;
Till the forceful weapon quivered, Fair Daughter of the Mighty, in whose Piercing through the foeman's shield.
mind Perfection of all goodness rests en With his love in soft endearment, shrin'd;
Long a calm retreat he chose, And changeless still, her steadfastness Nor from such prolonged enjoyment, maintains.
Ever weariness arose.
Passed without a pause to move So 'gainst the rock 'midst raging ocean Doubt that could divide their friendship, stance
Coldness to diminish love.
TO THE SUN.
UPON SOME CANNON.
But they seek not now, nor mcet not: dern Spanish writers, and whose various How could ever cause arise,
attainments are displayed in his prose works, Thus unkindly to dissever
no less than his poetry. Hearts entwined by dearest ties! We now offer two epigrams from Francisco Gregorio de Salas.
Great parent of the universe!
Bright ruler of the lucid day i
The endless swarms of life obey.
Drinking existence from thy ray! More sweet than swan's their descant rings; Thou, who from forth the opening womb Truly suited to persuade;
Of the fair dawning chrystalline
Comest, radiant to thine Eastern shrine :-
Whilst thy resplendent Car reveals
Its rolling adamantine wheels,
That speed sublime, nor leave a trace That all the earth his rule receives ;
Through all the airy realms of space : Himself the very God of War.
Welcome thy reign !
Thy morning beams
And crown of rays,
While every gladdening bosom feels the Fool him to his heart's desire,
gleams Yield him all he can require,
Of joy and peace again ! He is but the greater liar.
Parent of treasons, perfidies, and guile, The grace and sweetness of Melendez
Flies from thy sight, Valdez afford an agreeable relief from the And far in deep abysses hides the while: general va pidity, though we fear he must And lazy Sleep, suffer much by our translatio!). He is, Her shadows, lying phantasms, and alarms, however, no way superior to his age.
A hateful train,
Melt into air; and in their place the charms Thy glances, Love,
Of lucid light and joy gay vigil keep;
And peace and pleasure visit us again.
An address to the Moon is not less mag.
nificent; though we would remark that this Or scornful turn
and the foregoing, by their juxta-position, My griefs to spurn,
subjects, and mode of treatment, recall the •Thy glances, Love,
two admirable adresses of Ferdousi :-the Destruction prove.'
first to the
Source of Creation !-Soul-exciting gem, Time was, my fair one, when inspired By light of those celestial eyes,
That givest to Day his glorious diadem! My fearless spirit but aspired
And the second to the In song to breathe its fondest sighs.
Calm, silent Lamp of darkness and of night! How oft beheld the opening dawn
In both, however, the great Persian sur. My tearful kiss thy threshold stain : passes all European competition; and it is How oft dark night her veil has drawn
singular that such poetry should be unO'er my blind grief, and thy disdain.
known even in England. We trust shortly 'Tis past :-yet still my
to offer to our readers ample speeimens bosom knows Th' undying flame it nursed of yore;
from his works confirmatory of our opinion, Nor speaks not, though its doom' be but have no room for them here, and must sealed.
contract our Spanish specimens to a few
short extracts now; the first, from Leandro I fly ;-my heart more fiercely glows; Fernandez Moratin, of little value but to
Abjure ;--yet love thee but the more:
show the general mediocrity of writers of
this sonneteering class. We turn from this lalorious trifling, the On the eighth night the voice had died labor and disgrace of a past century, to the loftier tone and inspiring grandeur of Jovel. The Gothic camp in flames supplied
Of that prolonged, ensanguined strife; lanos, one of the most distinguished of mo A torch to view the fearful sight,
Theu Roderick left the fatal heath,
“Yester-eve these lordly castles, Through devious paths unknown he fled, Spain's wide empire, owned my sway; And when Orelia sank in death
Yester-eve I was a monarch,
What, alas! am I to-day?"
Our last extracts must be taken from the
whose prose style, so elaborately elegant, is In vain his arms the torrent brave,
perhaps as little known here as his poetry. His body sleeps beneath its bed,
We select a slight but graceful
Who hath drained this cup, declare!
Doubtless it has been a Bee, ancient ballad so magnificently translated
For his venom still is there, by Lockhart.
And his sting I seem to see. « From the last and fatal battle
'Guest, no bee hath near it been, Where the Moor had won the day,
'Twas a lovely Boy, I ween.' Fled the hosts of Don Roderigo
A Boy ?-'Yes.'-Armed ?– His eyes Scattered round in wide dismay.
Enough !-the rest my breast has found. “There where Guadalete wanders, And our Lady's-harbor lay,
We must conclude with a few elegant
lines, entitled There he took his lonely way.
Come to my bidding, gentle Damsels fair
That haunt the banks of Douro and Genil ;
More fresh and pure than April balms distil.
With eyes of fire, and lips of honied power;
Let songs of love escort me to the bower.
With Love the nightingale awakes the grove;
And Earth and Heaven repeat the strain of Love,
Three centuries of ruin sleep profound,
The sullen echoes murmur Love around.
The triumphs, the emprize of proud display!
The gardens, baths, and fountains-where are they?
Where roses blossomed, brambles now o'erspread:
The broken fragments stay the passing tread.
Behold how transient pride and glory prove;
Taste happiness, and try the joys of Love.
We are satisfied, for the present, with of, more elaborate specimens for a more com. fering these few extracts, of no great interest prehensive view of the peninsular poets. generally, to the reader, and shall reserve