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blood calling for blood, and answered in its dreadful demand; but, over all and through all, the predisposing work of Almighty Wisdom is going on, and good and evil work together in preparing the way for a happier condition of society. M. de Barante, who, in his history, leaves the facts to produce their own impression upon his readers, has remarked this in his preface, and we cannot better conclude than by giving, in his own language, this testimony to a most important truth. •Etudiés isolément, les exemples de l'histoire peuvent enseigner la perversité et l'indifférence. On y peut voir la violence, la ruse, la corruption justifiées par le succès; regardée de plus haut et dans son ensemble, l'histoire de la race humaine a toujours un aspect moral ; elle montre sans cesse cette Providence qui, ayant mis au caur de l'homme le besoin et la faculté de s'améliorer, n'a point permis que la succession des événemens pút faire un instant douter des dons qu'elle a faits.' The examples of history may seem, if regarded singly, to teach perversity and indifference : violence, treachery, and corruption may there be seen justified by success. But regarded from a higher point of view, and on the general scale, the history of the human race has always a moral aspect: it displays to us, without intermission, that Providence, which, having placed in the heart of man the necessity and the power of bettering his condition, has not allowed that the course of events can for a moment render doubtful the existence of those faculties with which it is endowed. Another reflection should be added to this, and it is an awful one. The course of Providence is not more distinctly marked in the improvement of the human race, than in those lessons of collective retribution which all history holds forth; for, while the progress of mankind is thus ordained, nations, like the individuals of whom they are composed, are free to chuse between good and evil ; and individual vice does not more surely produce individual misery, than national corruption brings on, in certain consequence, the decay and downfal of states.

Art. II.-1. Espagne Poétique : Choix de Poésies Castillanes

depuis Charles-Quint jusqu'à nos Jours, mises en vers Français; avec une Dissertation comparée sur la Langue et la Versification Espagnoles ; une Introduction en Vers, des Articles biographiques, historiques, et littéraires. Par Don Juan Maria Maury. Paris. 1826. 2 tom. 8vo. 2. Sanchez, Coleccion de Poesias Castellanas anteriores al Siglo xv.

ilustradas con Notas. Madrid. Sancha. 4 toms. Svo. AFTER every drawback which may be made by pure taste and sound criticism, in estimating its comparative interest and

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excellence by that of other European nations, there is much in the range of Spanish poetry which administers to pleasure, which captivates the fancy, and engages the affections. The language itself, that union of the Latin with the vernacular Iberian, which, after the process of their fusion, continued still to receive enrichments from the Visigoths and Arabs, now gaining something in sweetness, now in stateliness and strength, has, like the Italian, an inherent charm which has been happily termed the poetry of speech. When we cast an eye upon its written character, we find that the accession of oriental words which it acquired from these later sources, gives it a physiognomy in our estimation little less poetical. The distinctive genius of many of its poets, who dealt alike in strains of touching simplicity, and periods of ambitious decoration, so as often to overlay their diction with the ornament and pomp of singularly splendid but exaggerated metaphors, combined with those traces of the early chivalry, dignity, and pride of the Spanish people, which are embodied in their more national songs, offers also great claims to our consideration, and undoubtedly imparts a character to their poetry as captivating as it is peculiar. From a very ancient time, the natives of Spain, under the languor inspired by their delicious climate, seem to have been devoted to the melodies of song. Silius Italicus, himself an Andalusian, tells us that the ancient Galicians composed and chanted verses in their native tongue; and Strabo, praising the ingenuity of the Turdetani, mentions that they, too, had annals, and even laws, in verse. After the invasion of the Romans, Spain became naturally the parent of poets, if not always the country of their residence. Hyginus, the freedman of Augustus, a Spaniard by birth, was the intimate friend of Ovid, at whose instance he composed several small poems on mythology and astronomy. Sextilius Hena lived in the same times; a poet who is reproached with his inequality, and with the bombast common to the poets of Cordoba, whose style Cicero stigmatizes as pompous and inflated to an excess. Under Nero, however, Cordoba gave birth to three celebrated writers, Lucản and the two Senecas, by the younger of whom were written the only Latin tragedies which have descended to our times. Martial of Bilbilis, now Catalayud, in Arragon, with several others whom he commemorates in his epigrams, enlivened the reign of Domitian by a wit as sprightly as his morals were licentious; from which period to the time of Constantine, their numbers became much diminished, and the quality of their verses greatly deteriorated. Yet over the fourth century, Prudentius interests us by the harmony of his verse, and the historic notices which he has transmitted to us of the Christian church,

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The fifth century was marked by the irruption of the Goths into Spain. Barbarous as were these visitors, we are not to impute to them alone the ignorance which then became so prevalent, or the entire destruction of that taste which the Romans had introduced. Superstition concurred with Vandalism to destroy the influence of letters and increase the intellectual darkness. The means of study and instruction became more difficult of attainment to the Christian poets ; oppression extinguished their enthusiasm; and all the genius they possessed was expended upon hymns, which, from the jealous orthodoxy of their frigid catechumens, are remarkable only for undeviating dulness. Yet in this, as in the following century, there occur many names that might be cited as links in the chain of her poetical history. Under Theodosius the Second, Dracontius composed a poem on the Creation of the World, and Orensius in the seventh century wrote the Commonitorium,' which has attracted the attention and engaged the pen of two commentators. But to forage in the archives of these dark ages, and to analyze the heavy works they have produced, would require as much courage as labour, without yielding a suitable recompense. A more brilliant epoch commences with the invasion of Spain by the Saracens in the eighth century, an event which effected a wonderful change in the government of the country and the spirit of the people. With their sciences and arts, the Arabs introduced an elegant genius glowing with the pomp of new imagery. Subjected by force of arms, the southern provinces of Spain received, with the Saracenic yoke, their usages and laws. By long possession of the country the conquerors introduced in it, though not throughout, their language, their literature, and even their religion. The poetic style of the Orientals captivated all fancies; the lavish genius of their compositions obtained an universal influence, and accelerated the fall of Roman poetry in Spain. Alvaro of Cordoba complains of his compatriots, that, in adopting the Arabic language, they had so far forgotten Latin, that amongst a thousand Spaniards it would be difficult to find one who could write a letter in that tongue. Such indeed became their attachment to oriental literature, that the native poeks soon wrote Arabic with remarkable purity, and composed Arabic verses with great facility. During their domination in Spain, a period of nearly eight hundred years, its different provinces, divided into several kingdoms, cultivated the eastern style of verse with equal success. The Jews, protected by the Moorish kings, contributed also to the diffusion of taste, by circulating the knowledge which they had received in the colleges of the East, where their fancy was nourished with the same images and scenes. But if they possessed over the Arabs some superiority in science, they were immeasurably behind them in enthusiasm,

which naturally developes itself in minds possessed with the double passion of glory and of love. Whilst the warriors of Castile were immortalizing themselves by a constancy faithful unto death, and were pouring forth their blood with a reckless generosity, to preserve in sacred independence some portion of the soil, the Arab muse was celebrating the exploits of Mirza, Malek-Alabez, and Tarif, was consecrating to remembrance the beauty of Fatima, the misfortunes of the Abencerrages, and inspiring a long series of poets, whose names are transmitted to us in the pages of D’Herbelot, and the collection of the Escurial manuscripts, published by Casiri. The power and the practice of song were not, however, monopolized by men; the damsel also claimed a share in the adjudication of poetical renown: several ladies, Andalusians as well as others, were smiled on by the Muses; and the most celebrated of all, Maria Alfaïsuli, the Sappho of Seville, was compelled to divide her fame with her rivals—Saphia of the same city, and Aischa of Cordoba.

We have seen that up to this period there had been in Spain four distinct people, the Romans and Goths, the Jews and Arabs, whose residence must have necessarily influenced the national genius and manners. The Spanish character and language were derived from the combination of these various elements. A fifth class of strangers, however, early invited into Spain, brought new modes of expression, and wonderfully improved the rising language. These were the Troubadours, who have formed the taste of modern poetry on both sides of the Pyrenees. Amongst these in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were Raymond Vidal and Guillaume de Berguedam, both Catalonians, and Nun de Mataplan. In this class might be also ranked Raymond Lully of Majorca ; but not to enter into any detail, we will only mention the fact recorded by Zurita in his Annals, that, towards the end of the fourteenth century, King Don Juan the Second of Arragon, himself a writer of verses, sent a formal deputation into France, to request of the College of Toulouse suitable directions and laws for the introduction of the Gay Science into his states. The monarch's wishes were acceded to, and two of the principal minstrels of Toulouse were despatched to Barcelona, and there established a Consistory of Troubadours.

The city of Valencia in the fifteenth century produced Ausias March and Iago Roig. The works of the former have been translated into Castilian verse: the latter, after bitterly satirizing the ladies in his Espil or 'the Mirror,' to regain their lost graces, sang the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. A number of other Valencian Troubadours of uncertain date are found in the Cancionero General, published at Antwerp in 1573.

These

These minstrels belonged, many of them, to the first families of the kingdom. Their manners, however, became so licentious, that the Kings Don Martin and Ferdinand, especially the latter, strenuously commenced the reformation of their courts. The exertions of Don Ferdinand were well seconded by his kinsman Don Henrique of Arragon, Marques de Villena, to whom is ascribed the “ Arte de la Gaya Sciencia.

The Muses, indeed, seem to have honoured the court of Arragon with their particular affection. At the coronation of Alphonso the Fourth in 1328, the Infante, Don Pedro, the king's brother, assisted by several other grandees, managed a series of dances and pastoral scenes composed for the occasion. The Joglar Remuset sang an Idyll of the Count's, and Novelet, another minstrel, recited six hundred of his stanzas. The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, however, an event so fortunate for the political tranquillity and settlement of Spain, was fatal to the minstrelsy of the Troubadours. The dialect of Castile became universal, and as it formed an easy passport to employments and court-honours, it was gradually adopted by the Catalans and Arragonese. The idiom of the Trobadores became thus entrenched within the limits of Valencia, where Miguel Perez and Juan de Verdancha retarded for a while, and but for a while, the progress of its absolute decay.

The degree of influence which has been exercised by these various tribes of people upon the character and formation of Spanish poetry and language, would be an interesting subject for investigation. In forming a rude estimate, as regards the language, supposing it to be divided into one hundred parts, sixty have been assigned as derived from the Latin, ten from the Greek, ten frorn the idiom of the Visigoths, ten from the Arabic and Hebrew, and from the Teutonic, the Italian, French, and words from the two Indies, a like number altogether. After the disuse of Latin verse, the cultivation of the oriental style of poetry flourished for five hundred years, when the Provençal and Valencian dialects prevailed and continued for a century. A concurrence of happy circumstances then paved the way for the Castilian, which was formed insensibly towards the twelfth century. To the commencement of the thirteenth, a time not indeed specifically declared in the work, but internally marked by its character and language, may be ascribed the production of the poem of the · Cid,' the first rude effort of the Castilian Muse. The period from the construction of this curious old poem, to the more refined productions of Boscan and Garcilaso, constitutes the first marked era of poetical history, and comprises some of those spirited ballads which paint with such simplicity the chivalric middle age of Spain, and

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