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ing in all things their divine Author. The fields, the running waters, and the flowers were his books of divinity; oftentimes while he was absorbed in these studies the hours passed unperceived, and he returned home at evening with his scrip full and his stomach empty; '—and he walked beside his cattle instead of riding them, because, he said, the labour of the day had been enough for them. But the poem on the whole is even more loose and rambling than the Angelica or the Jerusalem;the saint is favoured with a long theological discourse by an angel, in which, as one of our old authors says, edification becomes tedification,-and he makes a journey in a dream through the Holy Land, which the uňmerciful poet describes step by step.

When the beatification of Isidro was effected, great rejoicings were made at Madrid, and among other festivities a justa poetica, or poetical tournament was celebrated. Prizes were proposed in nine contests,-according to the number of the Muses. The first was for a cancion, or lyrical poem, which was to be in imitation of a favourite poem of Garcilaso; the subject was a procession which the people of Madrid made with the body of Isidro to the church of our Lady of Atocha in order to procure rain after a three years' drought, the object being of course immediately and effectually obtained. The muse Calliope offered as a reward for the best piece on this theme, a silver fountain of the value of four hundred reals; for the second, an image of the saint illuminated and adorned with gold, of the value of twenty crowns; and for the third, a piece of plate worth an hundred and fifty reals. For a sonnet upon the miracle of the angels ploughing for Isidro while he was at mass, Clio offered as her three prizes, a jar of dead silver worth five-and-twenty ducats, an escritoire of ebony and ivory worth sixteen, and a pair of pearlcolour silk stockings, with white garters and open-work of gold. The muse Erato required four decimas upon the miracle of the fountain which Isidro produced when his master was thirsty; the prizes were, two silver candlesticks worth thirty ducats; a gold emblem of the Trinity, valued at a hundred and fifty reals; and six ells of satin, three black and three lion-coloured,-a colour which it would be in vain to inquire for in these days by that name. The fourth subject was the procession of the saint's body to Casarrubios, when he was called in to the king; this was Thalia's subject; it was to be celebrated in fuur octave stanzas, and the prizes were, a golden cord worth thirty ducats; a golden book (probably for a comfit-box) worth sixteen; and six ells of pearl-coloured taffeta. For the tifth, Melpomene proposed four lines to be glosed, a golden Agnus Dei weighing thirty ducats ; a chain, de resplandor de precio, which would go twice round the neck and was worth twenty ducats ; and a belt of gold embroidery, valued at a hundred and fifty reals. с 8

The

a

The prizes in the sixth contest were for painted hieroglyphics, emblematic of any of Isidro's miracles or excellencies. Terpsichore was the lady patroness of this department, though she might with more propriety have inspected a trial in dancing; the rewards were, a golden girdle, worth three hundred reals ; a silver apple of two hundred ; and an article of dress, which we are not sufficiently skilful in the vocabulary of the wardrobe to understand, further than that it appertained to the doublet, and that the material was black silk, un corte de jubon de tirela negra de cien reales. The seventh subject was a ballad in which four natives of Madrid were to be celebrated, Pope Damasus, Pope Melchiades, Isidro, and his reigning Majesty, Philip III. the prescribed length was forty verses, and the prizes, a belt of gold enamel worth twenty crowns ; a cup of silver gilt worth a hundred and fifty reals; and six ells of green satin :-a winning poet, in his green satin, his embroidered girdle, his pearl-colour stockings, and his white garters with gold open-work, must have been as fine as the fore-horse in a team. This was Euterpe's prize. Polyhymnia proposed the eighth ; a little boat of silver gilt worth twenty crowns; a trinket (brinco) of silver gilt and enamelled, worth a hundred and fifty reals; and writing stand of ebony and ivory, valued at an hundred. The last prizes were, three purses perfumed with amber, and containing the one fifteen crowns, the second ten, and the third six; proposed by Urania for glosing the following lines :

Es bien Isidro que holgando

Esteys en el campo vos,

Y los Angeles de Dios
Esten por vos trabaxando ?'
While

you
take

your ease in the field
Is it seemly Isidro, I ask,

That the Angels of God

Should be doing your task ? These were to be burlesque verses, but in that strain of modest and decorous merriment which the subject, the place, and the day required.

The place was the parochial church of St. Andres, where Isidro had attended mass every day during the latter years of his life, and into which he had been translated forty years after his death when he did not choose to lie any longer in the church-yard. The church was hung with the richest tapestries from the royal palaces. The altars were drest with ornaments of dead silver offered by the merchants of Madrid; and in the middle of the capella mayor, or great chapel, was the body of the beatified Isidro in a silver shrine, placed upon the plough on which it had been carried in procession the day of his beatification; the shrine was given by the silversmiths of the city,

and

and vied in value and in workmanship with the most splendid pieces of its kind. In the church-yard, and near that part of it where Isidro had been interred till he became too great a personage to lie out of doors, a temporary building was constructed, connected with the church. Here were the benches and table of the judges, arranged as in a tribunal, and furnished in the richest manner; opposite the judges were a seat and table for the person who read the verses; and on one side the prizes were suspended by pearl-colour strings over a cloth of crimson velvet fringed with gold. A festival so characteristic of the age and country deserves to be thus minutely described. When the audience had assembled, consisting, as we are told, of 'lords, religioners, lawyers, humanists, ladies, and common people ; forming altogether as cheerful a spectacle as a spring garden with its variety of flowers,' Lope de Vega took the speaker's chair, and after a prelude of music, began the sports of the day by reading a string of ridiculous advertisements, soliciting alms for the poets in the hospital, who were very numerous and in extreme necessity,--for a poet, who had lost the use of his hands by biting his nails, for a poetess who could not attend mass for want of a mantle, and other such easy jests upon the trite subjects of poetry and poverty: when this is compared with the privileges, ordinances, and notices sent by Apollo to the Spanish poets, in Cervantes's Viage del Parnaso, the comparison is very much to Lope's disadvantage. He then recited about eight hundred lines of his own in honour of Isidro by way of prelude; after which he read the regulations of the contest, and finally exercised his indefatigable lungs in reading all the poems which were given in ; these he published in one volume with the title of Justa Poetica, and it forms part of the collection of his Miscellaneous Works.

Among the persons who wrote for these prizes were Francisco Lopez de Zarate, D. Juan de Jauregui, the Conde de Villamediana, Vicente Espinel, D. Antonio de Mendoza, Alonso de Ledesma, Anastasio Pantaleon, Miguel Sylveira, Montalvan the dramatist, and others whose names are still well known. The last

poem

in every contest was read as the production of Master Burguillos; according to one of the regulations no person could receive a prize if he had written under a feigned name; all the pieces of this personage were burlesque, and as he did not appear to claim the prize for any of them, it is expressly stated in this publication that, according to the general opinion, it was a character introduced by Lope himself. The festival was concluded by a vituperative poem in his name, composed upon occasion of an extraordinary prize being awarded to him for having written upon all the nine contests, _this prize was a draft for two hundred crowns upon the banks or, Flanders—which are like the banks of Newfoundland; and in his

C4

indignation

indignation at such treatment he imprecates some extraordinary maledictions upon Lope, if he has been aiding and abetting in the jest. He wishes that he may never reach the top of Parnassus either by a trot or gallop ; that in his intercourse with the muses they may be to him like the temptations of St. Anthony; and that instead of having all precious and fashionable things named after him, every thing vile and abominable may be called Lope; such as the worst doses of physic and the vilest implements of the apothecary, diseases and deformities, bad wine, useless relatives, dead dogs and cats, long leagues, the prison, the itch, and the French disease.

This appears to be the first occasion in which the name of Burguillos was brought forward. It was afterwards frequently used on similar occasions, and, in 1634, Lope published a volume under the title of Rimas Humanas y Divinas del Licenciado Tome de Burguillos. From the manner in wbich this character is spoken of by Lope in the Justa Poetica, every one would infer that it is a fictitious personage devised by Lope himself for the obvious

purpose of giving utterance to lighter and more ludicrous strains than were consistent with his profession and character; and this is confirmed by what Joseph de Valdivielso and Quevedo (both poets themselves and competent judges) say in their official approbation of the Rimas. It is stated still more explicitly in the commendatory verses of D. Garcia de Salcedo Coronel; the verses, it is there said, are written with a feather of the phenix of Spain—the false name may deceive but not the true light, for no artifice can hide that sun for which the whole Castilian world is but a scanty orient; and he puns at the conclusion upon the name of Vega, (which signifies a plain,) according to the custom of Lope's encomiasts. It cannot be supposed that Lope would have printed these verses if such a person as Tomé de Burguillos really had existed; the portrait of the poet therefore which he has prefixed to the collection, and the statement that he had been his school-fellow, and was well known in the Jousts, though he took care not to be seen because he was shabbily drest, are manifestly deceptions of that kind which deceive nobody and in which no deceit is intended. Nevertheless D. Ramon Fernandez, who has reprinted these poems as the eleventh volume of his collection of the Spanish poets, affirms that Burguillos was a real personage, and says that he had written a long dissertation in proof of his existence. This dissertation, we believe, has not been published. D. Ramon Fernandez reprints in his preface, Lope's account of the imaginary author as if it were serious, but he has not reprinted the approbations and the complimentary verses which so plainly affiliate the poems upon Lope himself. Our opinion concurs with that of Lord Holland,

that

4

that there seems to be no ground for depriving Lope of compositions which his contemporaries, as well as subsequent writers, have all concurred in attributing to him.'

The pieces which Lope de Vega published under this nom de guerre consist of nearly two hundred sonnets, a inock beroic called La Gatomaquia, and a few miscellaneous poems. The sonnets are chiefly satirical, and the satire is mostly directed against what is called the culto, or ornale style, which Gongora had at this time rendered fashionable; sometimes however it is more general. The following specimens will show the character of Lope's raillery ;it is very far from exaggerating the folly which it, ridicules. The first is entitled an eclogue, neither in imitation of Theocritus, Pomponius, Nemesiavus, Bocaccio, nor Calphurnius.

Beneath a rugged rock on whose bald side
The scorching summer let no herbage grow,
Albeit against the sun its lofty pride
Served as a helmet to the vale below,
Sate Damon with his flask and his rebec,
(The flask that he might better bear his part)
And there, his rival in the tuneful art,
Sate Thirsis, with his cedar violin.
Eliso was the judge, whose hand should deck
With poplar wreath the conqueror's honoured brow.
Attentive Zephyr stole the Echoes now,
And up stood Thirsis ready to begin.
Melampus bark’d; the wolf! Antander cried

And till another day the song was laid aside. *
The second is more immediately aimed at Gongora's exagge-
rating and unexaggerable style.
To a Comb, the poet not knowing whether it was of box or of ivory.

Sail thro' the red waves of the sea of love,
O bark of Barcelona, and between
The billows of those ringlets proudly move,
And now be hidden there, and now be seen!
What golden surges Love, who lurks beneath,
Weaves with the windings of that splendid hair!
Be grateful for thy bliss and leave him there
In joyance, unmolested by thy teeth.
O tusk of elephant, or limb of box,

Gently unravel thou her tangled locks,
Egloga sin imitacion de Theocrito, Ponponio, Nemessiano, Bocacio ni Calphurnio.
Al pie del jaspe da un feroz penasco, Con un violin de cedro de Daniasco;
Pelado por la fuerza del estio,

Juez Eliso, que de un verde pobo
Dosel de un

verde campo, tan sombrio A falta de laurel premio texia,
Que contra Febo le sirvio de casco; Zefiro hizo de los ecos robo,
Damon con su rabel, y al lado el frasco, Mas quando Tirsi comenzar queria,
Para cantar mejor en desafio,

Ladro Melampo, y dixo Antandro, al lobo!
Y Tirsi, claro honor de nuestro rio, Y el canto se quedó para otro dia.

Gently

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