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Without entering into a minute deron's Famosa Comedia, AGRADECER investigation of the chronological pro- Y NO AMAR, which may be paraphrased gress of the drama, from mysteries by The Renowned Comedy of Courand moralities to regular tragedies and TESY NOT Love, as the work of an comedies, in the different countries of author highly and deservedly celebraEurope, we may boldly assert that the ted by foreigners and rivals, as well as Spanish theatre is the only one which by his own countrymen-although we can compete with ourown in antiquity; must confess ourselves absolutely asit alone, like ours, burst at once from tounded at Schlegelscomparing him to its shapeless chrysalis state, in full Shakespeare--and as a fair specimen of beauty and vigour, whilst those most of the characteristics of its species of France, Germany, &c. had, like -most, not all-did we venture to prosome marine insects, to pass through duce one of the many scenes in which various minor, unornamental, inter- sacred beings are brought upon the mediate changes, previous to attain- Spanish stage, we should, in fancy, ing their perfect form. Whether this feel ourselves in the fangs of the Soshould be beneficial or detrimental to ciety for the Suppression of Vice at the art, w

we are not now to inquire; least, if not of the more authorized it is sufficient to mention the fact, executive officers. As a brief abstract, that in the very infancy of the Spanish with a few

scenes, could hardly give a stage, and nearly contemporaneous full idea of the original, we must say with Shakespeare, arose Lope de Vega, two or three words upon these general and his immediate successor Calderon, characteristics, particularly the versisince whose days no dramatist has ap- fication, before proceeding to the indi. peared at all capable of rivalling their vidual Fumosa Comedia. fame. During the period in which Of these, the most striking is that to these authors flourished, the great which we have already alluded ; a fapreponderance of the power of Spain miliarity with all we deem too holy to naturally rendered Spanish the preva. be even mentioned lightly, amountlent European language, and the Spa- ing, according to our English ideas, nish theatre may, in consequence, be to blasphemy. The chief of the rejustly regarded as the parent stock of mainder are such a profusion of inci. the modern Continental theatres ; a dent, such an almost inextricable comcircumstance which, independently of plication of plot, as give great spirit to its original and peculiar characteristics, the conduct of the piece, and create an entitles it to more attention than it has eager rather than an intense interest hitherto met with in this country. For in its progress and developement ;--a the purpose of making it better known style even prodigally poetical, and into our readers, we have selected Cale dulging in descriptions more properly Vol. XVII.


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epic than dramatic, intermixed with ship, establish, having, magic, Cardiff,
considerable liveliness of dialogue- and a sad kiss, would be said to aso-
little pathos-little depth or strength nar. This species of versification could,
of passion-and such a total absence in English, scarcely bear a semblance
of discrimination or individuality of of metre or rhythm, and accordingly
character, that the personages are usu- we have, in translating, abstained
ally designated, in addition to their from any attempt at imitation, boldly
names, by the words Barba, Galan, substituting our natural blank verse.
Dama, &c. meaning, literally, old In Spanish, after a little habit, it sa-
man, gallant, lady, but bearing more tisfies the ear, but when it does so, its
analogy to the Pere Noble, Premier effect is, to us, decidedly lyrical, and
Amoureur, &c. to be found in the consequently anti-dramatic; an effect
composition of French companies of heightened by a frequent, apparently
comedians, if not in French Dramatis most arbitrary, deviation into rhyme
Personæ, than to aught within the of all sorts ; couplets, triplets, and
sphere of British theatrical know- stanzas of every possible length and
ledge. In this enumeration of cha- structure, being promiscuously inter-
racters, if such they can be called, must spersed. Examples of this,-of an odd
not be omitted the indispensable one Spanish custom of pulling a song to
of the Gracioso, who is a sort of mon- pieces, in order to use it in the dia-
grel between Shakespeare's Clown and logue,--and of the sort of punning,
the French Scapin. The ordinary ver- quibbling jests of the Gracioso, as far
sification of Spanish plays was, until as this last is practicable in translation,
imitated of late years by some of the shall be given in our extracts.
living German tragic authors, unlike We now proceed to la Famosa Co-
that of any known theatre. These media itself, and shall begin by pre-
dramas are commonly written in lines senting our readers with the first scene
of eight syllables, in trochaic metre, -considering first scenes as usually
and with what are called asonante ter- characteristic of the genus. The Prin-
minations ; that is to say, that the two cess Flerida and her ladies, equipped
last syllables of the alternate lines con- for hunting, or rather, we should
sist of the same vowels, without pay- think, for shooting, hurry on to the
ing any regard to the consonants; thus stage, and the Princess speaks
the words rapid, maxim, artist, hard-

Run, hasten, that we all may reach the castle
Ere he can overtake us; he, the man
Who dares pursue us thus.

Ismenia. Inpossible !
Already is he close upon our steps.

Flora. I hear the very trampling of his feet.

Ismenia. Madam, he is so near, that on our shadows
He now is treading

Flora. If your highness fears
His sight, permit me with this gun


I'll undertake, despite his eagerness,
His progress to arrest.

Flerida. Hold, Flora, hold !
Although concealment be my wish, I would not
Purchase it at so high a price; and since,
Fair Lisida, thou art so newly come,
Thou needs must be unknown, do thou remain.
Await him in this pass-bid him begone!
Should he refuse obedience, then, resolved
And firm, fire boldly at him, and prevent
His overtaking me, lest he discover
It was myself he saw within the wood,
In idle negligence, scarce half attired. (All ept Lisida hurry off)

Lisida. Withdraw ye then, leaving that care to me;
I'll answer for't he shall not follow you !

him ;

Enter Lorenzo.
Lorenzo. Stay, stay, ye beautiful divinities!

Though monstrous be my fortunes, I myself .
Am not so monstrous, that you thus should fly me.

Lisida. Whate'er thou art, forbear! since more as man
Than monster thou awak'st our fears. And mark,
Should'st thou advance a step-should'st thou presume
To make the least reply, this gun shall speak
My answer-But, ah me unfortunate!
What do I see !

Lorenzı). Though the strange prodigy
Of finding thee upon these mountains—thee,
Oh thou ingrate, thou traitress, thou inhuman,
Thou foe to my existence! might provoke
My wonder, it subsides, since I perceive
Thou'rt for my death prepared. When I behold thee
Hurling against me fire and thunderbolts,
I doubt no longer, nor perplex my thoughts
Why thou cam'st hither, but conclude at once
Thou cam'st to kill me. Therefore, unacquainted
With any motive why thou sought'st these wilds,
Or why thus standest sentinel, or why
Such ostentatious cruelty displayest,
I will retire, nor further seek to know
Than that thou dost forbid my onward steps,
To turn them backwards ; fearing, not the fires
Which that foul monster, form'd of flint and steel
And powder, in its hateful womb incloses,
But those which in thy perjured breast lie brooding;
Thy breast, of treasonous passages a mine,
A fierce volcano.

Lisida. Oh that 'twere allowed,
Lorenzo, to unravel to thy view,
All the deceptions that entangle thee!
And oh that I might tell thee what sad fortunes
Heav'n has decreed I should for thee endure !
But since the present season offers not
Sufficient leisure, some fair future day
Shall grant it to my prayer; then shalt thou know
How much erroneously thou here dost tax
As fickle, constancy, as treach'rous, truth,
And lavish kindness, call'st ingratitude.

Lorenzo. Could'st thou by new professions satisfy
My doubts, it must be long ere thou succeedest.

Lisida. That I deny not; for should I succeed
Upon the instant, I should deem it long;
The rather that I now perforce must leave
Thy base suspicions unconvinced of falsehood,
Until occasion offers, when again
We may discourse.--Remain thou here, Lorenzo ;
Follow me not ; farewell.

Lorenzo. Merciful Heaven !
How many various contrarieties
War in my fancy, and besiege my judgment !
Unfortunate! Ay, and a thousand times
Unfortunate! Who had believed that she,
The very cause of my seclusion here,
’Midst savage rocks, the courtier of their steeps,
Companion of their craggy ridges, poor,
Subdued and miserable, should even here
Encounter me !

Roberto, (the Gracioso, without.) What! ho ! Lorenzo ! ho !
say, Lorenzo!
Lorenzo. 'Tis Roberto's voice.

Roberto, (without.) Lorenzo, ho !
Lorenzo. Roberto, I am here.

Roberto, (without.) And where is here, my lord ? My feet discover No here, but here, whence I am like to fall.

ROBERTO appears upon the point of a rock.
Lorenzo. Where art ?

Roberto. Upon this bald rock's highest peak.
A rock so bald it cannot even yield
Space upon which a lock of hair might grow.
Lorenzo. What took thee thither?

Roberto. 'Twas the devil, sir,
Who lately has been subject to the weakness
Of raising low-born men.

Lorenzo. Come quickly down.
Roberto. Must I then tumble? So should I come quickest.
Lorenzo. Come down ; the mountain-path hitherward leads.

Roberto. But if I seek it here, will it not shift
Some otherward ?- It cannot now, I have it.

Lorenzo. Descend then ; wherefore dost thou now sit down? Roberto. Is't not a lesser ill to bruise the flesh, Than risk those fragile quills the legs and feet ? (Rolls down. Heav'n help me! Curses on the man who first Invented climbing mountains, piercing forests, In stupid chase of rabbits, where the first Will not await you, where you miss the second, And do not hit the third ; the fourth escapes, Wounded, because the muzzle was quite close; The fifth leaps on to peaks beyond your reach; The sixth is killed, but lost amongst the bushes ; And finally, if one's secured, he costs, In powder and in ammunition, more Than if a man should naturally go, And buy him in the market peaceably,

Lorenzo. Roberto, slander not the chase, since here 'Tis that alone provides our sustenance.

Roberto. If you thus silence me, explain, my lord,
Whether that ribbon be your morning's game;
I see no other produce of your sport.

Lorenzo. This is indeed the only recompense
Of my day's chase.

Roberto. Then quickly let us go
And make a savoury stew on't. Mountain ribbon
Must needs afford us a delicious meal.
Besides, although fresh kill'd, I nothing doubt
But 'twill be tender.

Lorenzo. Do pot jest, Roberto.

Roberto. What ails your lordship? What new grief increases
A sorrow unincreasable ?

Lorenzo. A grief
So strange it passes credibility.

Roberto. What is't?
Lorenzo. What would'st thou say should I affirm
I had seen Lisida amongst these wilds ?

Roberto. What vile fortune
Has thrown her after us in our retreat ?

Lorenzo. I know not-
Roberto. Said you not you'd spoken with her ?
Lorenzo. I did.
Roberto. What spoke you of, if not of that?

Lorenzo. Listen, Roberto; thou hast yet to hear
Another accident, more wonderful.

Roberto. This one will not be easily surpassed.

Lorenzo. When first the sun through clouds of gold
Brighten'd the forest, plain, and fold,
My course I tow'rds the mountains bent ;
I went, but not alone I went,
Nor sad-for, in my company
I bore my cares, and for my sadness,
'Tis now become a part of me,
No more a passion or a madness.
I went to claim from earth and air,
That scanty necessary fare,
Which both were mortgaged to supply,
When heaven pronounced the mighty word
That, clothing beast and clothing

In furs and plumes of various dye,
Filld with new life, dead empty space,
And gave it to the human race.
Thence no injustice they endure,
Though we with net, with snare obscure,
With weapons breathing dreadful fires,
Arrest the bird's aerial flight,
Or close the stag's full eye in night,
As urgent appetite requires.
But he who, weary of his leisure,
Idly pursues the hunter's joys,
These harmless creatures who destroys,
Unurged by need, and seeking pleasure,
Robbing the earth and air of ev'ry beauty-
He is a cruel man, untouch'd by love or duty.

Roberto. Proceed, it were unjust to waste our time
In moralizing, since you've proved already
That in these woods we live like beasts of prey,
Who cannot feed till they their dinner slay.

Lorenzo. Then, or by cruelty or pity led,
I left at morning's dawn our wretched farm,
Bearing, constrain'd, to earn our scanty bread,
Those toils by many deem'd life's greatest charm.
But not a single step could I advance,
That, or my negligence, or my mischance,
Perverted not. Thus pass'd hour after hour,
The day's unsated spite gaining fresh pow'r,
Till, wearied with my fruitless

chase, I saw
The sunbeams gild alike the loftiest heads
Of rocks, and lowly huts, by nature's law,
Which, when proud man upon his shadow treads,
Equally pours o'er all the flood of light.
Then fainting with the heat, exhausted quite,
I heard a stream's inviting sound,
And on the banks of this swift rill,
That rushes from the neighb'ring hill,
Coolness and shade I sought and found.
There, in a palace form’d

of flowers,
Canopied by o'er-arching bowers,
Temp’ring the sun's meridian beam,
I lay and listen'd to the stream,
And would have courted soft repose ;
But busy thought recall’d my woes.
When, as by chance, my roving eye
Glanced on the waters murm’ring by,
I saw upon their bosom fair
This ribbon, which the crystal thief
Thought to the ocean, his great chief,
A trophy of his feats to bear.


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