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LA DEVOCION DE LA CRUZ-THE WORSHIP OF THE CROSS.
By Don Pedro Calderon de la Barea. In the last Number of the Hora the stage, the least revolting to BriHispanicæ, we gave an analysis, inter- tish feelings of any with which we are mixed with extracts, of Calderon's Fa- acquainted. If there is one point of mosa Comedia, radecer y no Amar, the story not strictly in conformity together with some general remarks with the delicacy of the nineteenth upon the Spanish Theatre. We now
century, it must be remembered, in propose to treat La Devocion de la palliation of Calderon's offence, what Cruz, The Worship of the Cross, a insupportable grossness disgraced every Tragedy of the same author's, in near- other European stage in his days, and ly a similar manner. To our former long afterwards, a reproach from which general remarks we have little to add ; the Spanish drama is, if not absoluteihe marked difference between trage- ly, yet so comparatively, pure, as may dy and comedy, to which we are ac- well induce us to pardon the small customed in the literature of most violation of propriety alluded to. countries, not existing in Spain. Tha- In La Devocion de la Cruz, “ the lia there speaks the same language, buskined stage” is enlivened by a pair and occupies herself with the concerns of Graciosos, the second being the wife of personages as dignified as her of the first. These, seemingly untrageous sister, whilst Melpomene suf- gical persons, open the piece with cofers the jesting Gracioso to pour forth mic lamentations over the disaster of his quibbling buffooneries, amidst the their donkey, who appears to have “ sweeping" of her “sceptred pall;" fallen into a hole or ravine of the and last, and perhaps strangest of all, mountains ; and with mutual rethe deepest tragedies bear upon their proaches for having respectively been title-page the same extraordinary de- the occasion of the accident. Mengua, nomination of, Famosa Comedia ; so the wife, goes in search of assistance to that, literally, until we come to the extricate the fallen animal, and Gil, decisive word, “ muere," dies, or the the husband, after a ludicrous pacurtain falls, leaving everybody alive, negyric of the virtues of his Jenny we remain wholly ignorant whether ass, observing two caballeros alight we are perusing a tragedy or a come- from their horses with symptoms of dy. It is not that to this rule there warlike intentions, conceals himself to are no exceptions; we have met with watch their movements. Cowardice regular Tragedias, in heroic lines of and curiosity are, it should be obserten or eleven syllables, and in five acts, ved, equally'indispensable qualities in about Seleucus, Mithridates, Xerxes, the Gracioso. Lisardo and Eusebio and other such classical worthies ; but come on, and the former saysthese appear to be attempts at imita
No further need we seek; this sheltered ting les merveilles du Theatre Français, and not to belong to the properly na
So far retired from all frequented paths, tional drama. La Devocion de la Cruz is not ex
Suits well my purpose. Draw your sword,
Eusebio, actly the tragedy of Calderon's which
For thus I challenge men resembling you our own unassisted taste might have
To fight. selected, but it is one generally rank
Eus. Although I have sufficient cause ed amongst his best works. The high- To use my sword in being hither brought, ly-esteemed German critic, A. W. Yet fain, Lisardo, would I learn your moSchlegel, has thought it deserving of
tive, the dedication of his time and talents Say what complaint against me you can to translating it into his own language;
wage. and it affords, together with a very Lis. I have so many, that unto my curious illustration of the Spanish tongue “ Theory of Moral Sentiments,” an Utt'rance is wanting, to my reason, reaexample of the familiar introduction soning, of religion, and of actual miracles upon And to endurance, patience. I could wish
To bury them in silence, in oblivion ; When needy Caballeros equally
Cannot proportion quality and wealth, The deep offence. Eusebio, do you know Lest through a daughter's means their These papers ?
blood be dimm'd, Eus. Throw them down upon the earth, They seek the sacred shelter of a convent: I'll thence recover them.
For poverty, when known, is criminal. Lis. There; do you pause ?
So certainly this destiny awaits What moves you?
My sister Julia, that to-morrow's sun Eus. Ill betide the man who trusts Sees her a nun,
or freely,or comHis secrets unto paper! Out upon it!
peli'd. Like a flung stone, the hurling hand is And, for the pledges of such idle love known,
Suit not a consecrated virgin's hands, Where it shall light, we're ignorant. To yours I render them, blindly resolved Lis. You know them ?
From further insult to secure myself. Eus. The writing I must needs ac- Then draw, Eusebio, and upon this spot knowledge mine.
Die one of us; you, that you never more Lis, 'Twere bootless to declare myself May woo her, 1, that I may not behold Lisardo
it. Son of Lisardo Curcio, of Sienna.
Eus. Lisardo, hold your hand, and A most superfluous magnificence
since my phlegm Quickly consumed my father's property, Has lasted whilst I listen’d to your slights, Which from his fathers he inherited. Hear now my answer, and, although proHe does not know how grievously he errs,
lix Who, by extravagance, to indigence Be the relation of my fortunes, though Condemns his children. Yet, though Unreasonable seem the call on patience, poverty
Since we are here alone, perforce must Outrage nobility, it can release
fight, No single duty lofty birth imposes. And one perforce must die, lest Hearin This Julia (witness Heaven, how grievous
That I should fall, listen to prodigies To name her !) either knows not, or re. Worthy of admiration, unto wonders gards not.
That elevate the soul, and which my But Julia, ne'ertheless, remains my
death sister ;
Must not in everlasting silence bury. Would she were not ! --and you will I never knew my father, but I know t
My earliest cradle was the cross's foot, That women of her breeding are not
A stone my earliest pillow. Marvellous, wooed
As tell the shepberds, was my birth, for With amorous billets, cunning flatteries,
thus Unsanctioned gifts, nor sbameless go. They found me in the bosom of these betweens.
mountains. Wholly I blame you not, for I confess Three days they heard my moanings, but If by a lady suffered thus to woo her,
forbore, I should partake your fault. In this I Through terror of wild beast, to search
the brake That you profess yourself my friend; and In which I lay, uninjured. Who can this
doubt More guiltily includes you in her guilt. That 'twas the sacred Cross protected For if my sister pleased you as a wife And 'tis not possible, nor do I deem At length a shepherd, who through ev'ry You dared to look on her with other
Sought a strayed ewe, discovered my Nor yet with that,--for rather than be
rough bed, hold her
And bore me to the village of Eusebio, Wedded to you, by Heavens, I myself Who then, not causelessly, was there Would murder her! But, howsoe'er that
He told him all the wonders of my birth, If you desired her hand, honour required And, Heaven's clemency inspiring his, You should disclose your wishes to my He sent me to his mansion, as his son father,
There rear'd me. I, Eusebio of the Not unto her; 'twas then my father's part
Cross, To judge if upon you he would bestow Am nam'd from him, and from that her.
blessed Cross, I think he had refused; for in such cases, My earliest nurse, my earliest protector.
My genius led me to make arms my busi- her unlucky favourite ; and then learls ness;
them all away in pursuit of Eusebio, Letters became my pastime. In due rather unnaturally forgetting, as it
should seem, his own more especial Eusebio died, and left me his sole heir.
concern, the fallen donkey. Miracles enough occur in the course The next scene is in Curcio's house. of the play, to justify our omitting Julia comes on with her maid Arminabout an hundred lines of this speech, da, lamenting, in rhyme, her brother's in which Eusebio narrates all those discovery and seizure of Eusebio's letwhich the cross, stamped naturally ters. Eusebio steals into the chamupon his bosom, has already wrought ber, says apart, that he must persuade for his preservation from various pe- Julia to elope with him before she rils. He ends his discourse with a
shall hear of Lisardo's death; and imdeclaration, that he is too angry at Li- mediately proceeds to put this plan in sardo's behaviour to justify his own, as execution, by means of a longish hahe could ; that since they will not give rangue upon her father's conventual him Julia in marriage, he will make designs: With what prospect of sucher his mistress; and that no convent
cess we know not, for before Julia shall secure her from him. They then has advanced farther in her answer fight, and Lisardo falls, saying- than, “ Listen, Eusebio,” Arminda I'm wounded!
announces the approach of old Curcio, Eus. And not slain ?
and the lover is immediately and inLis. No, in my arms
evitably concealed in an adjoining Vigour enough remains.--Alas! The
The purpose of the father's earth
visit is to announce to his daughter Seems wanting to my feet.
the glad tidings that she is the next Eus. Unto thy speech
day to be wedded to the Deity. For So life is wanting.
this result of his paternal care he Lis. Let me not expire
claims her joyful gratitude: she, on Without confession.
the contrary, begins to remonstrate, Eus. Die, unwcrthy wretch ! Lis. Not unconfessed, I pray you by her right to choose her own condition
and argue, very unthankfully, upon that cross On which our Saviour died !
in life. Curcio indignantly exclaims
that she cannot be his daughter; that Eus., That single word Prevents thy slaughter. From the earth her unworthy conduct revives and arise.
confirms all his half-forgotten suspiThus by the cross adjured, my wrath sub- cions. He then turns Arminda out sides,
of the room, in order to reveal to Ju. My arm is palsied. Rise.
lia a secret he has long kept to himLis. I cannot rise.
self; and proceeds, in asonante lines, Deluged with blood no more I value life; to tell her that he had, long ago, been And judge my soul only delays her flight, sent by the Senate of Sienna upon an Because uncertain, 'midst so many open- embassy to Rome, which detained ings,
him eight months; that, upon
his Which to prefer.
turn, he had found his wife, Rosmira, Eus. Then to my arms intrust thee, near her confinement; and, although And fear not. Hard by is a hermitage she had given him notice of her situaOf penitential friars, unto them
tion in her first letters, he had immeMayst thou confess thee, if alive thou reach diately concluded that she was false Their door.
to him ;-upon what grounds he does Lis. In recompense for this compas- not explain. That he was miserable sion,
in consequence of these suspicions, I pledge my word, that if I may obtain
and determined to revenge himself ; Favour in heaven, I will implore for thee
that in order to effect this the more The boon, without confession not to die. secretly, he took his wife
hunt Eusebio carries off the wounded ing party into the mountains, separaman ; Gil issues from his hiding- ted her from the company, led her to place, gives a ludicrous and unintel. a most retired and savage spot.-The figible account of the transaction to story is here interrupted by the reMengua, and the villagers whom she turn of Arminda, followed by the vilbrings with her to assist in recovering lagers, bearing the dead body of Li
sardo. The father's grief is poured To act the barb'rous homicide. These out in stanzas of eight lines, in which paths the Gracioso Gil takes part to say that No wanderer approaches but he yields Eusebio. was the murderer. Curcio, His property and life. in a rage, declares that Julia shall re
(Bandilti return with ALBERTO. main locked up in that room with the Ricardo. Hear, captain, hear corpse until she enters her convent; The wonder that ensued when I examined
The wound inflicted. and they all leave her. Eusebio immediately rejoins her, when they re- Eusebio. Eagerly I listen.
Ricardo. I found the bullet flattened turn to simple asonancias; and, after a long discussion of her reasons for
by this book
Placed in the trav'ller's breast; the book loving and for hating him, Julia, as her
unpierced ; last proof of affection, bids her crimi.
The trav'ller fainting only with affright. nal adorer escape by a window which
See him unwounded, safe. opens into the garden, and never see
Eusebio. I'm filled with terror her more, declaring herself now most
And admiration. Venerable elder, willing to obey her father, and impri- Say who thou art, thou for whose safety son the brief remnant of her life in a
Heaven cell. Eusebio urges her rather to kill Works miracles ? him, for which act of justice he offers Alberto. I am, of living men, her his sword. She again insists upon Oh Captain, the most fortunate ; for I, his flying. He replies-
Unworthy, have deserved to be a priest; 'Twere better I should die, for if I live Have, in Bologna, four and forty years 'Twill be impossible I e'er should cease
Sacred theology taught diligently. To idolize thiy beauties. Though inclosed
His Holiness, to recompense my zeal, Within a convent's wall, ne'er shalt thou Gave me the bishopric of Trent; but I, be
Alarmed to find myself responsible From me secure.
For others' souls, when of mine own salJulia. Guard thou thy menaced life,
vation Of my security leave me the care Hardly assured, renounced both palms The conversation is broken by the
and laurels, opening of the door; Eusebio escapes
And flying from the world's deceits, came
hither through the window, Julia retires into the room in which he had been con- To seek security in solitude,
Where truth dwells naked. Rome I vi. cealed; the servants remove the dead
sited, body, and the first jornada closes. The second opens in the mountains;
And by the Pope was authorized to found
Now, a shot is heard, and Eusebio enters in
A bless'd fraternity of hermits. the character of a captain of banditti, Thy lawless fury cuts at once the thread followed by his gang. The inferior
Of happiness and life. robbers extol their leader's recent feat.
Eus. Say what this book ?
A. The fruit of all my studies, the sole Ricardo. The furious lead has passed
tribute right through his breast.
Of many years. Celio. His blood imprints his direful Eus. Tell me what it contains. tragedy
Al. A legend of the holy origin Upon the tender flowers.
Of that celestial wood, on which our Lord, Eusebio. Plant a cross
Triumphing over death, expired. 'Tis Above his grave, and God forgive his sins.
called Ricardo. Devotion is not wanting ev'n
Miracles of the Cross. in robbers.
Eus. How well entitled ! [Exeunt RICARDO and CELIO. To it has murd'rous lead displayed itself Eusebio. Since destiny has thus transla- Like wax obedient. Would to heav'n my ted me
hand Into a robber-captain, be my crimes
Had been in fire consumed before it aimed Infinite as my sorrow. My harsh country, A savage blow at its most blessed pages! | As though I'd treach'rously assassinated Bear hence thy life and property, that The fall’n Lisardo, persecutes my life.
book My lands and houses are confiscated, Only I claim. Conduct him into safety. Even a bare subsistence is denied me. Al. I'll pray incessantly that thou may'st And thus her cruelty and my resentment Compelme, in defence of mine own safety, Thine error, and repent.
Eus. If thou desirest
ed wife. Overpowered with remorseMy good, pray that I die not unconfessed. ful recollections, he dismisses his fol. Al. I will, and farther promise thee, lowers to seek farther for the banditti, 80 much
and when he remains alone, in a burst Thy clemency has touched me, that when- of sorrow, self-accusation, and repente'er
ance, not unskilfully managed, takes Thou summonest, my desert I'll forsake, up his story at the very point at which And hasten to confess thee. I'm a priest, he was interrupted in relating it to And named Alberto.
Julia. He recalls to mind his accusaEus. Dost thou promise this?
tions-Rosmira's assertions of innoA. Pledging my hand.
cence—her embracing the cross he now Eus. Grateful I kiss thy feet.
beholds as a safeguard--the wounds Alberto departs, escorted by the ban- which he had, nevertheless, sacrilegiditti who had brought him in, and ano- ously inflicted upon her, leaving her ther robber enters with intelligence for dead—his amazement when, upon that the senate of Sienna has given to returning home, he had found her there Curcio authority to execute the sen- before him unwounded, but with Julia tence passed against Eusebio, and that in her arms, whom she had brought Julia is placed in a convent. Encour« forth at the foot of the cross, and who, aged, probably by his prospect of be- in consequence, had a cross of blood ing insured leisure for repentance, con- and fire stamped upon her bosom-his fession, and absolution, Eusebio in- subsequent conviction of Rosinira's instantly determines to break into the nocence, to prove which so great a miconvent, and carry off his beloved, com- racle had been wrought-and his reforting himself farther with the judi- grets that a twin brother or sister of cious reflection, that he cannot possi- Julia's had been left upon the mounbly be much worse than, as a robber tain-Curcio's recollections are here and murderer, he already is. He sends abruptly checked by a report, that the his informant to collect the band, and, banditti had been discovered at a diswhilst he waits for them, the Gracioso tance, and he departs to join in their and Graciosa come in, filling up the
pursuit. time with Gil's boastings of the deeds In the next scene, Eusebio and a he will achieve against Eusebio, and couple of robbers appear with a ladder his terror when he recognizes the re- under the walls of Julia's convent. doubted captain of banditti. The gang The captain scales the sacred prenow return, bringing news of the ap- cincts, leaving his comrades to await proach of Curcio with a sort of posse his return, and immediately presents comitatus at his heels. Eusebio says, himself, alone, in a corridor of the that, having other business in hand, convent, saying, they will, for the present, avoid Curcio and his party. He then commands The convent I have search'd all o'er, Gil and Mengua to be tied to separate With happily unnoticed tread; trees blindfolded, that they may not be
Have peep'd through many an open door, able to betray the robbers' course, char
At many a wrinkled nun a-bed,
But her for whom I all explore, ges them with a message for Curcio touching the honourable manner in My Julia, nowhere can I find. which he had encountered and killed
Yedoubtful hopes, where would ye guide ? Lisardo, kindly procuring for him, prior How dumb this silence ! and how blind
The darkness! Upon ev'ry side to death, the means of confession, and
Wbat horrors crowd upon my mind! then leads off his troop to effect his meditated sacrilege. Gil and Mengua, And in it Julia ! All is well!
-But I see light-another cellleft by themselves, and bound at a disa
(Draws a curtain, and discovers JULIA tance from each other, wrangle humourously as to which shall first release What ! does my daring spirit
asleep.) the other, until Curcio and his subal- To speak do I now hesitate ? tern ministers of justice arrive to ren- Why pause? Or further what await ? der that service to both. The villagers What varying impulses assail dilate upon the atrocities perpetrated My soul, 'that, when my fears prevail, by Eusebio, and point out the nume- A mad audacity inspire'; rous crosses erected over the graves of When resolute, damp valour's fire his victims. Curcio looking round, With fearfulness most cowardly! instantly recognizes the spot to which New lustre do her charms acquire he had formerly betrayed his suspect- From that mean garb; for purity