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Orleannais, the births are to the deaths, as one to five. Monfal. con states similar proportions in other miasmatous districts of France. There is reason to believe the same general fact to be prevailing in the whole district of the Italian Maremmes. 451.
Animals appear also to be affected by miasmatous districts, though not to the same degree as human beings. Dr. M'Culloch gives an enumeration and authorities to this purpose, 454–465. To his authorities, we would add, Lord Somerville's facts and observations on sheep, wool, &c. 3d edit. 1809. p. 23. 93. 100.
Such is our analysis of this well-timed, and important book ; for it is impossible for us, after careful perusal, to think or to speak of it otherwise. It may be considered, to a certain degree, as a medical work ; but its great importance to the police of health in our own and every other country, induces us to wish that it may be extensively perused, and well reflected on. Dr. M’Culloch may have pushed' his notions of the deleterious effects of malaria (miasma) beyond what general observation of the facts will warrant. We are not inclined, for our own part, to impute any needless exaggeration ; being well persuaded that his facts are for the most part undeniable, and his conclusions well founded ; and the sooner and the more deeply mankind are led to pay more attention than they have yet done to this branch of Hygienne; and to the subjects here discussed, the better it will be for themselves and their posterity.
We have procured and perused Dr. John Crawford's introductory lecture on the cause, seat, and cure of diseases, 1811, and his papers in the first volume of the Baltimore Medical Recorder, 1809. They contain a suggestion of his theory of the animalcular origin of diseases, but few facts or reasonings of weight. We have urged nothing in this review, in any manner derived from his papers or suggestions, or to be found among them.
Art. III.--Seleccion de Obras maestras dramaticas por Cal
deron de la Barca, Lope de Vega, y Moreto. Por F. SALES, Instructor en la Universidad de Harvard, en Cambridge. Boston: 1828. 12mo. pp. 255. Selections from the dramatic master-pieces of Calderon de la Barca, Lope de Vega, and Moreto. By F. SALES, Teacher in the University of Harvard, Cambridge. Boston: 1828.
DURING the last twenty years, several attempts have been made to promote, in the rest of Europe, a knowledge of the national
drama of Spain. The translations from Calderon, by A. W. Schlegel, and especially his lectures at Vienna, in 1809, first gave this direction to the curiosity of the lovers of literature, But, it was soon found, that the original theatre of Spain could be understood only by those, who had become familiar with it in its native language and peculiar costume; since it was too separate, idiomatic, and national, to bear translation, or to be fully illustrated by critical discussions. In consequence of this, two editions of Calderon have been for some time going on in Germany, and two selections of old Spanish plays in England, while, at the same time, Spain itself has been, by the curiosity of foreigners, so exhausted of this portion of its printed literature, that its old authors can hardly be obtained at any price; and, in Madrid, where nothing of the kind has been thought of since Huerta published his Teatro in 1784, a reprint of portions of their early dramatists has recently been undertaken, with a good prospect of success.
In our own country, our growing connexion with the Spanish character, and our growing want of the Spanish language, seem to be leading to results somewhat similar. At the south, a constant intercourse with Spanish America, has led to much cultivation of the language, while at the north, where this intercourse is necessarily less frequent, attention has been rather turned to the literature. The effects of both are already visible: many good Spanish books have been reprinted, and among them is to be numbered the volume of plays collected and published by Mr. Sales. It was printed for the use of the under graduates of Harvard College, where Spanish literature is now much cultivated, and consists of three genuinely national dramas, from the period about two centuries since, when the original Spanish theatre was at the summit of its success. The first of these dramas is, El Principe constante-The firm-hearted Prince, by Calderon, which Schlegel, Bouterwek, and Sismondi have praised so much. The second is, La Estrella de Sevilla, the Star of Seville, the best of Lope de Vega's dramas, and which has here the great merit of being reprinted, as it was originally written, and not as it has been uniformly given in Spain and England, with miserable additions and alterations, to accommodate it to the present degraded state of the Spanish stage. The last is El Desden con el Desden, Disdain met with Disdain, by Moreto, a spirited and poetical comedy, of which Moliere has made free use in his Princesse d'Elide. These three pieces, therefore, form an excellent, though certainly a small representation of the immense body constituting the old Spanish drama; and, besides being honourable to their editor, Mr. Sales, whose publications have done much to promote the progress of Spanish literature among us, they constitute a very interesting work for those who wish either to make themselves familiar with the idiomatic portions of the Spanish language, or the genuine and fearless spirit of the elder Spanish poetry:
In reading this volume, therefore, our thoughts have been naturally turned to the vast mass of the racy Spanish drama, produced between 1590 and 1700; or between the time when Lope de Vega took possession of the theatre, and the time when the Bourbon family finally crushed whatever of national spirit and poetical enthusiasm had survived the despotism of the last princes from the house of Austria. But, of this interesting portion of literary history, we have found no distinct or sufficient accounts. What is in Schlegel, Bouterwek, and Sismondi, is imperfect, partly from want of the dramatists themselves, and partly from want of familiarity with the country that produced them, and whose impress and character they so distinctly bear. These are deficiencies which cannot be soon or easily supplied. Many of the needful materials are irrecoverably lost, so that Moratin, the comic poet, now. alive, who was long employed on the subject, seems to have given it up in despair. Many more of the materials can be found only in Spain, and only in manuscripts; and all are every where obtained with difficulty. Still, the subject is so curious and interesting, that we will venture to give some of the notices which we have collected,—not with the thought of forming a history of the early Spanish drama;—but in the hope of being able to excite some attention to its peculiar spirit and characteristics, and to recommend it earnestly to the lovers of Spanish literature in our own country.
The earliest form of the drama was the same in Spain, that it was in France and England;—that of pantomimes to set forth the scenery of the Holy Sepulchre, of the Nativity, and of the great events connected with the first appearance of Christianity. The first notice we have met of these exhibitions, is in the remarkable body of laws compiled by Alonzo the wise, between 1256 and 1263,--the famous Partidas-in which it is declared that “the clergy ought not to join in such idle and lewd exhibitions, nor permit them to be represented in the churches; but rather, that they should make devout representations of the birth of our Lord, and how the angels came to the shepherds and told them he was born; and of his advent, and how the Magi kings came to worship him; and of his resurrection; how he was crucified and rose the third day.” From all which we learn, that pantomimic exhibitions of subjects drawn from those portions of our religion, which have sometimes been called its mysteries, were common in Spain in the middle of the thirteenth century, as they were elsewhere in Europe, and that in their original and more decent form, they were considered devout exercises, fit to be exhibited in the churches by priests, for the edification of the people. But the circumstances of the times, did not, in Spain, as
they did in France, favour the formation of a regular drama; and, therefore, though they continued to be represented on the great religious festivals, at Christmas, Easter, and especially the day of the Holy Sacrament, yet no written dialogue was added to them, nor any shape attempted to be given them, except that of rude pantomimic exhibitions.
On the other hand, dialogues, which were not represented, appear as soon as the country was so far prevalent in its contest against the Moors, as to give the tranquillity needful for such literary occupations. The oldest we have seen or heard of, is the Comedieta de Ponza, which we possess in manuscript, and which has never been printed. It was written by the famous Marquis of Santillana, between 1435 and 1454, and is called the Little Comedy of Ponza, because it is a moral discourse in dialogue, on the mutability of human affairs, composed in consequence of the sea-fight near Ponza, in which the kings of Arragon and Navarre were taken prisoners by the Genoese. Another dialogue, composed about 1472, full of satire on the state of the kingdom, in the latter part of the weak and dissolute reign of Henry IV., is marked with much poetical freedom and spirit. It is called Mingo Revulgo, and produced such effects, that it is noticed by Mariana, among the political troubles of the times when it appeared. The last of the written dialogues, which were not represented, that should be mentioned in connexion with the early drama, is the Celestina, or Calisto y Melibea, which was written before 1480, and was first published in 1501. It is a romance in prose dialogue, divided into twenty-one acts or parts, by two different authors, and forms a small volume. It is called a tragi-comedy, and is full of a strange variety of adventures, some of which are of such a nature, that the book has generally been severely suppressed by the Inquisition in Spain, though much sought after for the purity and spirit of its style, and, in one instance, praised by Cervantes as "a divine book."
These constant approaches to a dramatic literature, led soon to efforts at representation. The first was in 1492, when a company of players in Castile, represented Eclogues of John de la Enzina, which are partly in the manner of the ancient mysteries, and partly in the manner of Mingo Revulgo. Enzina began by translating and paraphrasing Virgil's Eclogues, some of which he has strangely altered, so as to accommodate them to the passing events of his age, and the achievements of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. He then went on and wrote eleven other pieces, entirely his own, which he, also, called Eclogues ; but which are, in fact, short dramatic compositions, sometimes on merely light and trifling subjects of love, but more frequently on subjects drawn from the New Testament, and representing or expounding the mysteries of Christianity. They profess in their VOL. IV.NO. 8.
very titles to have been represented before Fadrique de Toledo, the Duke of Alva, the Prince Don John, and other distinguished personages of the Court. Most of them are very rude, consisting of only two or three Shepherds for interlocutors; but some have five or six ; and the fifth, beginning O triste de mi cuytado, and the seventh, beginning Pascuala Dios te Mantenga, have quite a dramatic structure and movement, and something of poetical warrant. The whole constitute the first attempts at dramatic representation in Spain, which were thus contemporary with the expulsion of the Moors, and the discovery of America ; two hundred years later than similar exhibitions in France, and ninety years after the establishment at Paris, of the first patented company of actors in modern times.
A little later, or soon after the year 1500, pieces of legitimate length, and of a more dramatic character, were prepared expressly for representation. But, it was done in Italy. A Spaniard of good family, Bartolomé de Torres Naharro, having been carried into captivity by the African Moors, was rescued by the ecclesiastical power, and brought to Italy, where he received employment at the court of Leo X. and under Fabricio Colonna at Naples. While there, he wrote and caused to be represented in Spanish, eight dramatic pieces, which were afterwards published in a volume called Propaladia, or First efforts of Minerva, of which they fill nearly the whole. They are the first Spanish compositions, which are found with the title of Comedias; they are the first that, in imitation of the old French Mysteries, are divided into Jornadas or days: and they are the first that have an Introyto or Loa, an introduction partly in the nature of a prologue, praising some distinguished individual present, or the whole of the audience. The pieces are all in verse, and all divided into five days; but nothing can be more wild and perverse than their plans, and nothing more coarse than the general style of their execution. In the Serafina, we have interlocutors in four languages, with the following rude warning of it in the prologue to the audience :
But you must all keep quite awake,
But take care or they'll trouble you. In the Trofea, which is in honour of the great king Manuel of Portugal, twenty Asiatic or at least Heathen kings are brought on the stage at once, and speak by an interpreter, whose single harangue fills one entire act. In another, we have the most vulgar picture of a common soldier's life, and, in yet another, a si