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scribed. The ardour and benevolence of her nature, her cheerfulness, and frankness, added a zest to her other good qualities, and few ap proached her without being touched with admiration and esteem, as none were intimate without being imbued with feelings of love and affection.

When her habitual infirmities are recollected, it will appear extraor dinary that she should have been so long able to struggle against them, During some weeks or months of every winter she was almost wholly incapacitated for mental exertion; and, in the most propitious season, she never could devote to her pen more than four or five hours a day.' Yet in fifteen years she produced fifteen volumes: a striking example of what may be achieved by patience, energy, and perseverance.


MR. WIFFEN, who has announced a somewhat elaborate translation of La Gierusalemme Liberata, has published in the mean time a translation of the works of Garcilasso. He does this probably by way of experiment, as aeronauts send up a small balloon to try the currents of the wind before they make the larger venture of their own lives. We cannot blame him; for the public taste-we had nearly written caprice seems to be almost as changeable as the wind, while the bold author who trusts himself to it has less chance of escaping than even the aeronaut; he has no ballast of sand-bags, no valve by which he can let out his superfluous gas, but may congratulate himself infinitely if he descends from his perilous elevation only frightened and not hurt.

For the purpose to which we have alluded Mr. Wiffen's essay seems well enough qualified; but, for the intrinsic merit of the author he has selected, we think his pains have been somewhat lavishly bestowed. The poetry of Garcilasso is only interesting to Spaniards, because it is a sort of morning star in the literary hemisphere of their nation. It has no universal claims to notice; it is not of that character of true poesy which 18 'for all time.' His personal character gives to his works a chivalrous interest, something like that which we feel for our own Sir Philip Sidney; and the Spaniard is of much the same literary calibre. He was a young man of noble family, descended from the old hero of that famous ballad, so familiar to all readers, in which the gigantic Pagan who tied the Ave Maria to his horse's tail was killed by a youth of sixteen: 'Garcilasso de la Vega

They the youth did henceforth call,
For his duel in the Vega

Of Granada chanced to fall.'

He was one of Charles the Fifth's soldiers, and distinguished himself particularly at the taking of Tunis. He afterwards was employed in the war with France, and was killed, at the age of thirty-three, at Muy, near Frejus, in an attempt to take a tower filled with some armed rustics.

The most meritorious, and, at the same time, the most valuable part of the work before us, is the essay on Spanish poetry, which commences the volume. The following character of Garcilasso, and the effect which he produced on Spanish feeling, is well given:

A youth who died at the age of thirty-three, devoted to the bearing of arms, without any regular studies, with ouly his native genius, assisted

by application and good taste, drew Spanish poetry suddenly forth from its infancy, guided it happily by the footsteps of the ancients, and of the most celebrated moderns then known; and, coming into rivalry with each in turn, adorned it with graces and appropriate sentiments, and taught it to speak a language, pure, harmonious, sweet, and elegant! His genius, more delicate and tender than strong and sublime, inclined him by preference to the sweet images of the country, and to the native sentiments of the eclogue and elegy. He had a vivid and pleasing fancy, a mode of thought noble and decorous, an exquisite sensibility; and this happy natural disposition, assisted by the study of the ancients, and intercourse with the Italians, produced those compositions which, though so few, conciliated for him instantly an estimation and a respect, which succeeding ages have not ceased to confirm.

"There are some who wish that he had given himself up more fully to his own ideas and sentiments; that, studying the ancients with equal devotedness, he had not allowed himself to be led away so much by the taste of translating them; that he had not abandoned the images and emotions which his own fine talent could suggest, for the images and emotions of others; that, as for the most part he is a model of purity and elegance, he had caused some traces which he keeps of antique rudeness and negligence to disappear: they wish, lastly, that the disposition of his eclogues had preserved inore unity and connexion between the persons and the objects introduced in them. But these defects can

not counterbalance the many beauties which his poetry contains, and it is a privilege allowed to all that open a new path, to err without any great diminution of their glory. Garcilasso is the first that gave to Spanish poetry wings, gentility, and grace; and for this was needed, beyond all comparison, more talent, than to avoid the errors into which his youth, his course of life, and the imperfection of human powers, caused him to fall.

To the supreme endowments which he possesses as a poet, is added that of being the Castilian writer who managed in those times the language with the most propriety and success. Many words and phrases of his cotemporaries have grown old and disappeared: the language of Garcilasso, on the contrary, if we except some Italianisms, which his constant intercourse with that nation caused him to contract, is still alive and flourishing, and there is scarcely one of his modes of speech which cannot be appropriately used at the present day.

So many kinds of merit, united in a single man, excited the admiration of his age, which instantly gave him the title of the Prince of Castilian poets. Foreigners call him the Spanish Petrarch; three celebrated writers have illustrated and written comments on him: he has been printed times, innumerable, and all parties and poetical sects have respected him. His beautiful passages pass from lip to lip with all who relish tender thoughts and soothing images; and if not the greatest Castilian poet, he is at least the most classical, and the one that has conciliated the most votes and praises, who has maintained this his reputation the most inviolate, and who will probably never perish whilst Castilian language and Castilian poetry endure.'

The poems from which we now proceed to give extracts are eclogues, odes, songs, and sonnets. The first are distinguished for that quality which is the highest excellence of which the pastoral style is capable

elegant simplicity. The following extract, which is one of the most beautiful parts, may illustrate this assertion:

'Albanio. Temperate, when, winter waves its snowy wing, Is the sweet water of this sylvan spring;


And when the heats of summer scorch the grass,
More cold than snow: in your clear looking-glass,
Fair waves! the memory of that day returns,
With which my soul still shivers, melts, and burns ;
Gazing on your clear depth and lustre pure,
My peace grows troubled, and my joy obscure;
Recovering you, I lose all self-content:

To whom, alas, could equal pains be sent !
Scenes that would sooth another's pangs to peace,
Add force to mine, or sooth but to increase,
This lucid fount, whose murmurs fill the mind,
The verdant forests waving with the wind,
The odours wafted from the mead, the flowers
In which the wild bee sits and sings for hours,
These might the moodiest misanthrope employ,
Make sound the sick, and turn distress to joy:
I only in this waste of sweetness pine

To death! oh beauty, rising to divine!

Oh curls of gold! oh eyes that laugh with light!!
Oh swanlike neck! oh hand as ivory white!
How could an hour so mournful ever rise
To change a life so blest to tears and sighs,
Such glittering treasures into dust! I range
From place to place, and think, perhaps, the change,
The change may partly temper and control
The ceaseless flame that thus consumes my soul.
Deceitful thought! as though so sharp a smart
By my departure must itself depart :

Poor languid limbs, the grief is but too deep
That tires you out! Oh that I could but sleep
Here for a while! the heart awake to pain,

Perchance in slumbers and calm dreams might gain

Glimpse of the peace with which it pants to meet,

Though false as fair, and fugitive as sweet.
Then, amiable kind Sleep, descend, descend!

To thee my wearied spirit I commend.

How highly he may rate

His fortunate estate,

Who, to the sweets of solitude resigned,
Lives lightly loose from care,

At distance from the snare

Of what encumbers and disturbs the mind!
He sees no thronged parade,

No pompous colonnade

Of proud grandees, nor greedy flatterers vile,
Ambitious each to sport

In sunshine of a court;

He is not forced to fawn, to sue, to smile,
To feign, to watch of power each veering sign,
Noticed to dread neglect, neglected to repine.
But, in calm idlesse laid
Supine in the cool shade

Of oak or ilex, beech or pendant pine,

Sees his flocks feeding stray,
Whitening a length of way,

Or numbers up his homeward-tending kine :
Store of rich silks unrolled,
Fine silver, glittering gold,

To him seem dross, base, worthless, and impure;
He holds them in such hate,


That with their cumbrous weight

He would not fancy he could live secure;
And thinking this, does wisely still maintain
His independent ease, and shuns the shining bane.
Him to soft slumbers call

The babbling brooks, the fall

Of silver fountains, and the unstudied hymns
Of cageless birds, whose throats

Pour forth the sweetest notes;

Shrill through the crystal air the music swims;
To which the humming bee

Keeps ceaseless company,

Flying solicitous from flower to flower,
Tasting each sweet that dwells

Within their scented bells;

Whilst the wind sways the forest, bower on bower,
That evermore, in drowsy murmurs deep,

Sings in the silent ear, and aids descending sleep.'

Of the odes, the following, written in exile, appears to us the best:
With the mild sound of clear swift waves the Danube's arms of foam
Circle a verdant isle which Peace has made her chosen home;
Where the fond poet might repair from weariness and strife,
And in the sunshine of sweet song consume his happy life.
Here evermore the smiling Spring goes scattering odorous flowers,
And nightingales and turtle-doves in depths of myrtle bowers,
Turn disappointment into hope, turn sadness to delight,
With magic of their fond laments, which cease not day nor night.
Here am I placed, or sooth to say, alone, 'neath foreign skies
Forced in arrest, and easy 'tis in such a paradise

To force a meditative man, whose own desires would doom
Himself with pleasure to a world all redolence and bloom.
One thought alone distresses me, if I whilst banished sink
'Midst such misfortunes to the grave, lest haply they should think
It was my complicated ills that caused my death, when I
Know well that if I die, 'twill be because I wish to die.
River divine, rich Danube! thou the bountiful and strong,
That through fierce nations roll'st thy waves rejoicingly along,
Since only but by rushing through thy drowning billows deep,
These scrolls can hence escape to tell the noble words I weep,
If wrecked in undeciphered loss on some far foreign land,
They should by any chance be found upon thy desert sand,
Since they upon thy willowed shore must drift, where'er they err,
Their relics let the kind blue waves with murmured hymns inter.
Ode of my melancholy hours! last infant of my lyre!
Although in booming waves it be thy fortune to expire,
Grieve not, since I, howe'er myself from holy rites debarred,
Have seen to all that touches thee with catholic regard.

Less, less had been thy life if thou hadst been but ranked among
Those without record that have risen and died upon my tongue;
Whose utter want of sympathy and haughtiness austere
Has been the cause of this, from me thou very soon shalt hear!'

Of sonnets the ordinary computation may be, that for one good there shall be twenty bad, and this calculation holds of those of Gar cilasso. We have selected only three from nearly forty, and we almost doubt whether they deserve to be so remembered:


• With keen desire to see what the fine swell
Of thy white bosom in its core keeps shrined,
If the interior graces of the mind

Its outward shape and loveliness excel,
I have my sight fixed on it; but the spell

Of its voluptuous beauty holds mine eyes
In such enchantment, that their curious spies
Pass not to mark the spirit in its cell,
And thus stay weeping at the portal, made
To grieve me by that hiding hand which even
Holds its own bosom's beauty unforgiven:
So I behold my hope to death betrayed,
And Love's sharp lances, rarely known to fail,
Serve not to pierce beyond its muslin mail.'


'Boscan! the sword, the shout, and trumpet shrill
Of Mars, who, watering with his own red blood
The Lybian soil in this tremendous feud,
Makes our green Roman laurel flourish stili,-
Have to my memory brought the ancient skill,
And old Italian valour, by whose force
All Africa was shook, from the coy source
Of Nile's young fountain to far Atlas' hill.
Here, where the steady Roman's conquering brand
And fiery torch tipt with licentious flame,
Have left poor Carthage nothing but a name,
Love with his whirling thoughts on every hand
Wounds and inflames me in his fearful sway,
And I in tears and ashes waste away.'


Loud blew the winds in anger and disdain,
And raged the waves, when to his Sestian maid,
Leander, ardent of her charms, essayed

For the last time to swim the stormy main.
Conquered with toil, o'erwearied, and in pain,
More for the bliss which he should lose by death
Than sorrowful to breathe out his sweet breath

On the vext surge he buffeted in vain,—

Feebly, 'twas all he could, the dying boy


Called to the waves, (but never word of woe
Was heard by them,) if me you must destroy,
This melancholy night, look not so stern;
Vent as you will your rage on my return,
But spare, kind waters, spare me as I go." ?.

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Although we feel compelled to bear testimony to the skill with which Mr. Wiffen has executed the poetical part of his labours, we can by no means extend our commendations to his prose. It would be difficult to point out more rugged and obscure composition than his Essay and his Life of Garcilasso present, and it would be still more difficult to discover the reason which should make so agreeable le and easy

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