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The selections from Espronceda included in this volume have been edited for the benefit of advanced Spanish classes in schools and universities. The study of Espronceda, Spain's greatest Romantic poet, offers the best possible approach to the whole subject of Romanticism. He is Spain's "representative man" in that movement. Furthermore, the wealth of meters he uses is such that no other poet provides so good a text for an introduction to the study of Spanish versification.

The editor has therefore treated the biography of Espronceda with some degree of completeness, studying his career as one fully representative of the historical and literary movements of the period.

A treatment of the main principles of Spanish versification was also considered indispensable. It is assumed that the text will be used only in classes where the students are thoroughly familiar with the rudiments of Spanish grammar.

Therefore only the more difficult points of grammar are dealt with in the notes, and little help, outside of the vocabulary, is given the student in the translating of difficult passages.

The editor makes no pretense to having established critical texts of the poems here printed, although he hopes that some improvement will be noted over previous editions. A critical edition of Espronceda's works has never been printed.

Espronceda himself gave little attention to their publication. Hartzenbusch and others intervened as editors in some of the earliest editions. Their arbitrary changes have been repeated in all subsequent editions.

This edition, however, cannot be regarded as wholly authoritative. Though far more authentic in its readings than later editions, it abounds in inaccuracies. To provide a really critical text some future editor must collate the text with that version of the poem which appeared in La Alhambra , an obscure Granada review, for the year I, , p.

The text of this, as for the whole of "El Diablo Mundo," is more reliable than that of the earlier poems. Buchanan for helpful suggestions, and the latter more particularly for the loan of rare books.

The vocabulary is almost entirely the work of my wife Emily Cox Northup, whose collaboration is by no means restricted to this portion of the book. More than to any other one person I am indebted to Mr. Steven T. Byington of the staff of Ginn and Company, by whose acute and scholarly observations I have often profited. Both were Andalusians of noble stock, and, as we learn from official documents, were held to be Christians of clean blood "without taint of Jews, heretics, Moors, or persons punished by the Holy Inquisition, and who neither were nor had been engaged in mean or low occupations, but in highly honorable ones.

He died in at the early age of twenty-one, soon after joining this regiment. During the early months of the Bourbon cavalry regiment in which Don Juan served was stationed in the little hamlet of Villafranca de los Barros, Estremadura, and there the future poet was born. We do not know where the mother and son found refuge during the stormy years which followed. The father was about to begin the most active period of his career. The mere enumeration of the skirmishes and battles in which he participated would require much space.

In he distinguished himself at Medina Sidonia and Chiclana, and sought promotion to the rank of field-marshal, which was never granted. After the Peninsular War he seems to have been stationed in Madrid between and Possibly the old soldier preferred the freedom of barrack life, where his authority was unquestioned, to the henpecked existence he led at home.

She was a good business woman who combined energy with executive ability, as she later proved by managing successfully a livery-stable business. Parallels are constantly being drawn between Byron and Espronceda. It is a curious fact that both poets were reared by mothers who were alternately indulgent and severe. In the Espronceda family occupied an apartment in the Calle del Lobo. It was there and then that Patricio de Escosura firmed his intimacy with the future poet.

He describes graphically his first meeting with the youth who was to be his lifelong friend. In the light of later years Escosura felt that in this boyish prank the child was father of the man. The boy who preferred waterspouts to stairways, later in life always scorned the beaten path, and "the illogical road, no matter how venturesome and hazardous it was, attracted him to it by virtue of that sort of fascinating charm which the abyss exercises over certain eminently nervous temperaments.

Escosura, who studied there afterwards, never speaks of his friend as having attended the same institution. However, the matter is of slight moment, for if he studied in Segovia at all he cannot have remained there for more than a few weeks. What little education Espronceda was able to acquire in the course of his stormy life was gained mostly in the Colegio de San Mateo between the years and This was a private school patronized by sons of the nobility and wealthy middle class.

Lista was the best teacher of his time in Spain. The wide range of his knowledge astonished his pupils, and he appeared to them equally competent in the classics, modern languages, mathematics, philosophy and poetics, all of which subjects he knew so well that he never had to prepare a lecture beforehand.

Plainly Lista was not a specialist of the modern stamp; but he was something better, a born teacher. In spite of an unprepossessing appearance, faulty diction, and a ridiculous Andalusian accent, Lista was able to inspire his students and win their affection.

It is no coincidence that four of the fellow students of the Colegio de San Mateo, Espronceda, Felipe Pardo, Ventura de la Vega, and Escosura, afterwards became famous in literature.

Espronceda's school reports have been preserved. We learn that he studied sacred history, Castilian grammar, Latin, Greek, French, English, mythology, history, geography, and fencing, which last he was later to turn to practical account.

He showed most proficiency in French and English, and least in Greek and mathematics. His talent was recognized as unusual, his industry slight, his conduct bad. Calleja, the principal, writes in true schoolmaster's fashion: "He is wasting the very delicate talent which nature gave him, and is wasting, too, the opportunity of profiting by the information of his distinguished professors.

According to Escosura he was "bright and mischievous, the terror of the whole neighborhood, and the perpetual fever of his mother. The height of their ambition was to be like the gallants of a cape-and-sword play, equally ready for a love passage or a fight. Lista's influence upon his pupils was not restricted to class exercises.

In order to encourage them to write original verse and cultivate a taste for literature, he founded in April, , the Academy of the Myrtle, modeled after the numerous literary academies which throve in Italy and Spain during the Renaissance period and later.

Lista himself presided, assuming the name Anfriso. Was Delio, the name Espronceda assumed in his "Serenata" of , his academic designation? Two of Espronceda's academic exercises have been preserved. They are as insipid and jejune as Goethe's productions of the Leipzig period. As an imitator of Horace he was not a success.

What he gained from the Academy was the habit of writing. The Academy lasted until , when many of its members had been driven into exile; but its later meetings must have seemed tame to spirited boys engrossed in the exciting political events of those times.

The year is famous in Spanish history for the crushing out of liberalism. This was effected by means of the Holy Alliance, an infamous association of tyrants whose main object was to restore absolutism. Before the end of the year Ferdinand VII, who had been virtually deposed, was restored to his throne, and the constitution of had been abolished.

Espronceda, the son of a hero of the War of Liberation, felt that the work of the men of had been undone. They had exchanged a foreign for a domestic tyrant. What his feelings were we may gather from his ode in commemoration of the uprising of the Madrid populace against the troops of Murat, "Al Dos de Mayo":.

These verses were written in later life; but already in he dates a poem "fourth year after the sale of Spanish liberty. It was an age of political conspiracy and secret societies. Many liberals were members of Masonic lodges, and in addition there were circles like the Friends of Liberty, the Friends of the Constitution, the Cross of Malta, the Spanish Patriot, and others. Nothing more natural than that boys whose age made them ineligible to join these organizations should form one of their own.

The result was La Sociedad de los Numantinos. All told, the society had about a dozen members. Their first meetings were held in a sand-pit, until the curiosity of the police forced them to seek safer quarters. One of the members was an apothecary's apprentice, who, unknown to his master, installed the club in the shop cellar.

There they built an altar bearing all the romantic paraphernalia of skull and cross-bones, swords, and pistols. The members stood wrapped in black garments, their faces muffled with their long Spanish capes, wearing Venetian masks, each one grasping a naked dagger. There they swore binding oaths and delivered fiery orations. Red paper lanterns cast a weird light over the scene. How tame the sessions of the Myrtle must have seemed by comparison!

Yet the two organizations throve simultaneously. With the return of Ferdinand in September the persecution of the liberals began.

The boys witnessed the judicial murder of Riego, the hero of the constitutional movement, November 8, This made the impression upon them that might have been expected. That night an extraordinary session of the Numantinos was held at which Espronceda delivered an impassioned oration. Then all signed a document in which the king's death was decreed. Some of the members' parents seem to have learned what was happening. Escosura became the second president, and held office until September of , when his father sent him to France.

Espronceda then became the club's third president, but his term was brief. The boys had made the mistake of admitting one member of mature years whose name we do not know; for, in spite of his treachery, the Numantinos even in their old age chivalrously refrained from publishing it.

This Judas betrayed the secrets of his fellow-members, and placed incriminating documents, among them the king's "death warrant," in the hands of the police. The latter, however, displayed less rigor and more common sense than usual. While all the youths implicated were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment in various monasteries scattered throughout Spain, nothing more was intended than to give the conspirators a salutary scare. They were all released after a few weeks of nominal servitude.

Ortiz and Escosura, the ringleaders, were sentenced to six years of seclusion, and Espronceda received a term of five years to be served in the Monastery of San Francisco de Guadalajara in the city of Guadalajara.

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La Alhambra : (los cuentos)

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The selections from Espronceda included in this volume have been edited for the benefit of advanced Spanish classes in schools and universities. The study of Espronceda, Spain's greatest Romantic poet, offers the best possible approach to the whole subject of Romanticism. He is Spain's "representative man" in that movement. Furthermore, the wealth of meters he uses is such that no other poet provides so good a text for an introduction to the study of Spanish versification. The editor has therefore treated the biography of Espronceda with some degree of completeness, studying his career as one fully representative of the historical and literary movements of the period. A treatment of the main principles of Spanish versification was also considered indispensable.

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