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not accept less than one thousand crowns purpose of maintaining his Majesty's for Cervantes, and unless he were paid authority, and securing the public tranthis sum forthwith he would most as- quillity, by repressing any disturbance suredly take him with him to Constanti. which might occur, Rodrigo de Cernople, whither he was about to proceed, vantes served in this army, and Miguel the period of his governmet having ex- resolved to enter it also, believing that pired. He agreed at last to accept five by no better way could he forward his hundred crowns, and our hero was dis- views at Court. embarked on the 19th of September, the We will not follow Cervantes in all very same day that his former master set his military exploits by sea and by sail for Turkey.
| land, while under the conduct of the But although breathing once more Marquis of Santa Cruz, the greatest "the free glad air of heaven," the trials of Spanish sea-captain of the age. Suffice Cervantes were not yet over. We have it to state, in the words of one of his before mentioned Juan Blanco de Paz, biographers, that “the Marquis of who acquired an infamous notoriety Santa Cruz most felicitously and glori. among the Christians for his treachery ously terminated this campaign, and in revealing to the Dey the projected entered Cadiz on the 15th of September, escape in Giron's armed frigate. This 1582, amid the applause and acclamaman's jealousy and hatred of Cervantes tions of all good Spaniards." led him to fabricate many gross false- The Portuguese character made a hoods, relative to his conduct while in favourable impression on the mind of captivity; particularly, it seems, as to Cervantes. He speaks of the inhabihis being untrue to the Christian reli- tants of Lisbon as being all “ agreeable, gion.
courteous, liberal," and of the “beauty Cervantes, desirous that his character of the women inspiring admiration and should not only wear the garb of inno- love ;" and he ever afterwards retained cence in reality, but also in seeming, an affectionate memory of Portuguese demanded that the strictest investiga- kindness and hospitality. tions should forthwith be made as to his It is wonderful that our author could conduct whilst in Algiers. As might have found time for composition amid be anticipated, the result was a bright a life of such strange vicissitudes. His triumph of truth over falsehood; and first prose work, the “Galatea," was proved that he had not only kept his published in 1584, a pastoral romance, own faith pure from infidei assaults, wherein he celebrates the praises of a but that he had ever wisely counselled lady he shortly after married. This work and earnestly exhorted those who had was warmly welcomed by the contemthus yielded to temptation. Amidst | porary literati. the wavering and the faint-hearted, he On the 12th of December, in the same had 'still remained constant and un- 1 year, Miguel de Cervantes married Dona shaken, ready at all times to strengthen Catalina de Palacios Salazar y Voz Meand console those who required advice diano, of one of the most illustrious and consolation. In fine, his reputation families of Esquivias. Our author dewas triumphantly established, as a cided upon Esquivias as his place of “true Christian and a good Catholic." residence, and from its proximity to
This affair having been terminated Madrid, it is probable that he passed so much to his satisfaction, Cervantes, much of his time in the capital, as we with several of his friends, also re-hear of his enjoying friendly intercourse deemod, set sail for Spain at the close with Vicente Espinel, Juan de Barros, of the year 1580. To use his own heart and other distinguished men, there resiwarm words-"This world can give no dent. A literary academy, on the plan deeper joy, than the return to one's of those in Italy, was founded here, native land, safe and sound, after long which formed a rallying point for the years of dire captivity : for there is on young literary aspirants of the day. earth no transport comparable to that The next works of Cervantes were of long-lost liberty regained."
dramatic. He produced in succession, At the time of his return, Philip II. "El Trato do Argel" (Life in Algiers), was at Badajoz, occupied with the con- | the “Numancia," and the “Naval Enquest of Portugal, in which kingdom he gagement," and several other plays had entered on the 5th of December. The which he had the satisfaction of seeing Castilian army remained there for the performed amid great applause in the
theatres of Madrid. His popularity as He left Seville during the succeeding a dramatist was not, however, of long year, and it is a generally received tracontinuance; for the rising star of Lope dition that he departed from thence for de Vega presently eclipsed all lesser La Mancha, “ with a commission that lights in the firmament of dramatic dis- occasioned him great perplexity and play. Our author was not slow in per- persecution ; and which ended in his ceiving the direction of the public taste. being thrown into jail, where he wrote He accordingly abandoned play-writing, the first part of his “Don Quixote." and began to seek anxiously for some It is not known what was the precise permanent employment, to aid in the cause of this imprisonment, but the maintenance of his family. His mili- grounds of his incarceration were, withtary services had never been worthily out doubt, unjust, or Cervantes could rewarded, and he found himself above never have mentioned the circumstance, forty years of age, without any regular as he does, with that serenity and noble profession or adequate means of sup- unconcern which conscious innocence port.
alone can inspire.” Had it been otherEarly in 1588, he removed to Seville, wise, his numerous rivals and enemies where Antonio de Guevara was com- would have been only too glad to take missary of the fleets, &c., for the Indies, advantage thereof, but they never even with the right of appointing four as- refer to it. sistant commissioners. Cervantes ob- These misfortunes of Cervantes retained a situation as commissioner, call to our recollections similar pashoping, doubtless, that it might lead to sages in the life of the illustrious something better. In 1590, he ad- Portuguese, Camoens. dressed a petition to the King, praying! It is supposed that Cervantes spent for some appointment in India. This about four years in La Mancha. But petition was referred to the President of this is only conjecture. One of his Council for the Indies. Nothing, how- Spanish biographers thinks, indeed, that ever, came of it. He continued at Se- the accuracy with which the great roville until 1597, when he was impri- mancist has depicted the topography of soned for debt, having unfortunately this district, and the peculiarities of its trusted a merchant, named Simon inhabitants, a sufficient evidence that Freire, with a sum of money amounting he must have resided there for some to 7,400 reals, which he had collected time, and that he consequently wrote in his capacity as commissioner, This thus from personal observations. money Freire engaged to pay at Madrid; In 1603 he removed to Valladolid, but instead of this, he failed and ab- where the court had been established sconded. “The exigencies of the Trea- for two years. His many claims upon sury, resulting from the enormous ex- the government of his country never penses attending the conquest of Por- having been satisfied as yet, he solicited tugal and the Terceira Islands, and the the patronage of the Duke of Lermo, cost of the unfortunate Armada directed then a favourite and all-powerful minagainst England, called “the Invin-ister. From him, however, he received cible;" the continued changes in the a rude repulse; and thus, in the evening constitution of the revenue and its tri- of his days, he was thrown entirely bunals; the new duties and taxes upon his own resources. Well-perhaps which were laid, and the want of a well- in the end-it was well that it should regulated system, contributed to em- be so. He had certainly the less to thank barrass the finance department, and to others for, and the more cause for pride introduce distrust, compulsion, seques- and rejoicing in those scintillations of tration, arrests and other judicial pro- his genius, which flashed forth so ceedings among the persons employed brightly, even amid circumstances so in the different branches of collection.'| dark and adverse. Cervantes was soon released from prison, He now applied vigorously to compoin order that he might present himself sition, and hastened the completion of at Madrid, to finish the settlement of the “Don Quixote," the first part of his affairs, but we know not with what which appeared in 1605, dedicated to success. Here he remained until the the Duke of Bejar. It was received at close of the following year, and after the first with the utmost indifference. Many death of the King (Philip II.), which oc-treated the work with ridicule and concurred on the 13th of September, 1598. tempt; and the author perceiving that it was misunderstood by those who read tioning it in the second part of his own it, and entirely disregarded by those immortal work. It does not appear, who were capable of appreciating it, re- from all we can learn, that Avellaneda's solved upon a very ingenius method of work was ever really popular in Spain. exciting the public attention. He pub. It was translated by Le Sage, in 1704. lished an anonymous critique upon his The lively Frenchman, however, took own book, under the title of " El Bus- great liberties with his original, altering ca-pie.” In this clever little brochure and improving it greatly, and lending it he explained that the “Don Quixote "the graces of his own inimitable style. was intended as an instructive satire The second part of the true "Don upon the ill effects resulting from the Quixote" was published in 1615, with inordinate reading of the tales of chi- a dedication to the Count of Lemos, valry; and that the characters although who proved a very kind friend and powimaginary, yet held some relation to erful protector to Cervantes, during the certain persons in real life; particularly last years of his life. Although his to Charles V. and the paladins of his writings were so universally popular, court, and to other persons in authority. it does not appear that either Cervantes This little book produced the desired or his family reaped thence any great effect, in attracting curiosity, and draw- pecuniary advantage. Philip III. ing attention to the work it was in- himself acknowledged the irresistible tended to illustrate; and forthwith “Don charm which invested the history of the Quixote” became extremely popular; “ ingênioso hidalgo;" and on remarking and four editions were issued in 1605, from a balcony, a student reading a book, the year in which it was first published. and bursting into involuntary fits But although warmly approved by the of laughter, he exclaimed,—" The man majority, Cervantes suffered much perse-must either be mad, or reading “Don cution from those who believed them- Quixote !" Yet neither the monarch selves comprehended in the satirical nor his ministers thought fit to withremarks on contemporary writers which draw from obscurity and indigence an abound in the “Quixote."
| author who was the glory of all Spain, The court was again restored to Ma- and her most illustrious son. drid, in 1606; and here once more our The poetry of the age having become author fixed his residence. Being now | degenerate, laden with extravagant oradvanced in years, he resolved from this nament and worthless concetti, Certime to live retired from the world, and vantes sought to elevate the public entirely devoted to literature and reli- taste by the publication of his • Viaje gious exercises.
al Parnaso," or Journey to Parnassus, In 1612 the “Novelas Ejemplares," | a work of more ingenuity than beauty or Exemplary Tales, were published or power. Our author, who was exwith a dedication to the Count of Lemos.ceedingly anxious to secure a high poetBoccaccio's “ Decamerone" suggestedical reputation, was greatly mortified by the idea of these stories. Cervantes the neglect with which his later poems proposed to himself to write twelve and plays were received. He offered tales, equal in elegance of style and in some comedies to a bookseller named teresting incident to those of the Italian, Juan de Villaroel, who assured him combined with higher aims and supe- that “he would have bought them, had rior moral tendencies. To these “No he not been told by an eminent author, velas” we shall again revert in our that much reliance might be placed critical examination of the works of upon his prose, but none upon his Cervantes.
poetry.” Villaroel came to terms, at In 1614, some nameless person pub- last, and published eight of our author's lished a continuation of the “ Don comedies, in 1615, which were received Quixote," although its author was still with indifference by both public and living, and had announced the second managers. part of his book as being nearly com- The last work of Miguel de Cervantes pleted. The continuation, an ignorant, was la romance, entitled “The Sufferings worthless attempt, with a libellous pro- of Persiles and Sigismunda," upon which logue, appeared under the fictitious he bestowed much time and care. It signature of the Licentiate Avellaneda. was ndver quite finished, and did not Cervantes himself has rescued this pro- appear until after his death. This duction from deserved oblivion by men- book was, above all his works, tlie author's favourite, and he was earnestly' as I requested, and we continued our engaged in its completion when he was journey at a moderate pace. In the arrested by the disease which shortly course of conversation, we talked of my after proved fatal. The preface, written 'illness, but the worthy student gave me only a few days before his death, is a ; but little hope, saying, “This illness is wonderful instance of his naturally gay, a hydropsy, which all the water in the careless temperament, and unfading ocean would not cure, if you could drink energy of mind, which all his poverty it; you must drink less, Senor Cervantes, and misfortunes had been powerless to and not forget to eat, for this alone can repress. It gives us, besides, the only cure you!' Several people told me details we possess with reference to his this,' I replied, but it is as difficult for last illness. We are tempted to extract me to refrain from drinking, as if I had the whole :
been born for nothing else. My life “It so happened, beloved reader, that draws near its close, and to judge by as myself and two friends were journey. my pulse, I cannot live longer. than ing from Esquivias, a famous place for next Sunday. You have made my acfifty reasons, but particularly for its quaintance at an unfortunate time, for noble families and capital wines, I heard I shall not live long enough to show my a man approaching behind, vigorously gratitude for your expressions of kindwhipping his nag, and apparently very ness and good-will.' Just then we aranxious to overtake us. He presently rived at the bridge of Toledo, over which shouted for us to stop, which we did; I was to pass, while he departed for and when he came up to us, we found that of Segovia. As to my history I that he was a country student, attired leave that in the hands of fame; my in brown, with round-toed shoes and friends, doubtless, will be eager to narspatter dashes. He had a sword in an rate it, and I should have the greatest immense sheath, with a tape-tied band; pleasure in hearing it. We embraced he had only two tapes, so that his band again, and once more I offered my got sadly out of place, which he was at services. He spurred his ass, and left great pains to rectify. • Without doubt, me as little inclined to prosecute my Senors,' said he, you seek to obtain journey, as he was well disposed for his; some office or prebendal stall, from my he had supplied my pen with ample Lord of Toledo or the king, to judge materials for pleasantry, but all times by the haste with which you journey; are not the same. Perhaps even yet for in truth my ass, hitherto considered the day may arrive when taking up this a famous trotter, has not been able to broken thread, I may supply that which overtake you.' To which answered one is now wanting. Adieu, gaiety! Adieu, of my companions, The fault lies with humour! Adieu, pleasant friends! I the stout nag of Senor Miguel de Cer- must now die, hoping soon to see you vantes, for he is somewhat quick in his all well contented in another world." paces.' No sooner had the student heard A sad picture this of our author's the name of Cervantes than throwing physical infirmities, albeit the record himself from his ass, his cloak-bag fall- is penned in that cheerful, almost joyous ing on one side, and his portmanteau spirit which seems to have distinguished on the other, he sprang forwards and him at all times, and under all circumseized me by the left hand, exclaiming stances. His illness greatly increasing - This, then, is the famous one-handed he received extreme unction, on the 18th author, the merry writer, the favourite of April. The day following he still of the muses! When I heard him thus preserved the same serenity of mind; pour forth my praises, I thought myself and anxious to testify his regard for his obliged in politeness to respond; so em- friend, the Count of Lemos, as a last bracing his neck, whereby I managed to tribute, Cervantes dedicated to him his pick off his bands altogether, I said, posthumous work, the “ Persiles y Sigis* This is an error in which many, being munda." This dedication, singular and kindly disposed have fallen; Senor, I touching, from the fact of its being am indeed Cervantes, but not the fa written at such a period, abounds with vourite of the muses, nor any one of the noble sentiment and lofty expression. other fine things you have said of me. The dying man commences with the Mount your ass again, and we will con- remark that he might well address his verse together for the short remainder friend in the words of the antique of our journey.' The good student did rhyme:
Puesto ya el pié en el estribo,
own portrait in a few graphic words. Con las ansias de la muerte,
The passage will be found in his Gran Senor, esta te escribó.
preface to the “Novelas":-“ Him With foot already in the stirrup,
whom you here observe with the In the agonies of death, I write you this, my lord.
lean countenance, chestnutlocks, smooth
and open forehead, lively eyes, wellHe continues—"Yesterday I received proportioned aquiline nose, beard silextreme unction; the time is short; my very, that was golden some twenty years pain increases; my hopes diminish.
ago; large moustache, small mouth, the Yet do I greatly wish that life could be teeth, of which he has but six, in bad so prolonged that I might see you once condition and worse placed, so that they again on Spanish ground." The Count have no correspondence one with the of Lemos was then on his way home other; of clear complexion, rather infrom Naples.
clined to fair than dark; the figure of Four days after writing thus, Miguel middle size, somewhat stooping in the de Cervantes Saavedra died, aged sixty-shoulders, and not very light of foot; seven years, on the 23rd of April, 1616; this, I say, is the author of the Galaon the death-day of our own Shakspere, tea' and `of Don Quixote,' this is he according to some; but as the Gregorian who performed the journey to Parnassus, Calendar was not adopted in England and is commonly styled Miguel de Ceruntil 1754, it follows thence that the English poet survived Cervantes twelve We will now proceed to a critical days.
examination of our author's literary No monumental stone proclaims the labours. It were a mere waste of words spot where in deep-tomb silence repose to give a detailed analysis of a work so the earthly remains of Spain's most widely known, and so universally apprenoble son. He desired to be interredciated as the “Don Quixote.” We have in the church belonging to the monks | all journied with the faithful Rosinante, of the Holy Trinity. This conventual enjoyed the sublime hallucinations of establishment was removed in 1633 to a the “ingenioso hidalgo," and heartily new church in the Calle de Cantaranas, laughed over the broader drolleries and and it is supposed that here is the resting- less refined absurdities of that model of place of the mortal remains of Miguel attendant squires, Sancho Panza. It de Cervantes.
was our good fortune never to have Our author was ever cheerful and read a translation of the book until affable in manners; thoroughly kind after the perusal of the inimitable ori. hearted; a man of warm and earnest ginal, which is written in a style of such sympathies, and of high-toned chivalric matchless grace and beauty, that it is feeling. Without bigotry, he was rigour- | quite impossible to gain any worthy ous in the discharge of all the duties en-idea thereof through the medium of a joined by religion ; particularly in the foreign language. When some time observances of the Church of Spain. after we looked into an English version, A few years before his death he became we were perfectly astonished at the difone of a society of religious persons ference. It was not that any of the established under the name of the original ideas were lost in the transla“Oratory of Olivaror de Canizares.”tion. These were, for the most part, This association seems to have been well preserved. But it was a certain highly fashionable, being patronized by exquisite and all-pervading grace which Philip III., and the principal nobility of had evaporated. *This singular influhis court.
ence regarding style may be compared Although Cervantes experienced so to the wonderful magic of light upon a much neglect from his own countrymen, varied landscape; and the translation he was always treated with distinguished to the same combinations of nature, regard and attention by foreigners who with the sun behind a cloud - the visited Madrid. They gazed after him scenery, indeed, has undergone no mawith interest and curiosity, as he passed terial change, but an indiscribable along the streets, and anxiously sought charm is fled, and it requires the aid of every opportunity of introduction to the magician to touch it into beauty and an author so illustrious.
glory again. As to his personel, Cervantes has The romance of Cervantes was written very characteristically sketched his in ridicule of the extravagant tales of