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Espronceda, José de / El Estudiante de Salamanca and Other Selections
Produced by Stan Goodman, Miranda van de Heijning, Renald
Levesque and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.







[Illustration: D. JOS DE ESPRONCEDA]

ESPRONCEDA

EL ESTUDIANTE
DE SALAMANCA
AND OTHER SELECTIONS

EDITED BY
GEORGE TYLER NORTHUP, PH.D.
PROFESSOR OF SPANISH LITERATURE
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO


PREFACE

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. The text of "El Estudiante de Salamanca" has
been based upon the "Poesas de D. Jos de Espronceda," Madrid, 1840,
the so-called _editio princeps_. This edition, however, cannot be
regarded as wholly authoritative. It was not prepared for the press by
the poet himself, but by his friend Jos Garca de Villalta. Though
far more authentic in its readings than later editions, it abounds in
inaccuracies. I have not followed its capricious punctuation, and have
studied it constantly in connection with other editions, notably the
edition of 1884 ("Obras Poticas y Escritos en Prosa," Madrid, 1884). To
provide a really critical text some future editor must collate the 1840
text with that version of the poem which appeared in _La Alhambra_, an
obscure Granada review, for the year 1839. "El Mendigo" and "El Canto
del Cosaco" I also base upon the 1840 edition, although the former first
appeared in _La Revista Espaola_, Sept. 6, 1834. I base the "Cancin
del Pirata" upon the original version published in _El Artista_, Vol. I,
1835, p. 43. I take the "Soneto" from "El Liceo Artstico y Literario
Espaol," 1838. For "A Teresa, Descansa en Paz," I follow the Madrid
edition of 1884. The text of this, as for the whole of "El Diablo
Mundo," is more reliable than that of the earlier poems.

I desire to thank Professors Rudolph Schevill, Karl Pietsch, and Milton
A. 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.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
THE LIFE OF ESPRONCEDA
THE WORKS OF ESPRONCEDA
"THE STUDENT OF SALAMANCA"
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
NOTES ON ESPRONCEDA'S VERSIFICATION

EL ESTUDIANTE DE SALAMANCA
CANCIN DEL PIRATA
EL CANTO DEL COSACO
EL MENDIGO
SONETO
A TERESA

NOTES
VOCABULARY




INTRODUCTION


THE LIFE OF ESPRONCEDA

Don Jos de Espronceda y Lara, Spain's foremost lyric poet of the
nineteenth century, was born on the 25th of March, 1808, the year of his
country's heroic revolt against the tyranny of Napoleon. His parents
were Lieutenant-Colonel Don Juan de Espronceda y Pimentel and Doa Mara
del Carmen Delgado y Lara. 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." This couple of such
highly satisfactory antecedents had been married four years previously.
In 1804 Don Juan, a mature widower of fifty-three, was still mourning
his first wife when he obtained the hand of Doa Mara, a young widow
whose first husband, a lieutenant in the same regiment, was recently
deceased. The marriage was satisfactory in a worldly way, for Doa Mara
brought as a dower four hundred thousand reales to be added to the two
hundred thousand which Don Juan already possessed. By his first marriage
Don Juan had had a son, Don Jos de Espronceda y Ramos, who became
ensign in his father's regiment, then studied in the Artillery School at
Segovia, and later entered the fashionable Guardia de Corps regiment.
He died in 1793 at the early age of twenty-one, soon after joining this
regiment. By the second marriage there were two other children, both of
whom died in infancy: Francisco, born in 1805, and Mara, born in 1807.
During the early months of 1808 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. We learn from his service record that he won the grade of
colonel on the field of Bailn; that a year later he recaptured the
cannon named Libertad at the battle of Consuegra (a feat which won
him the rank of brigadier), and fought gallantly at Talavera as a
brother-in-arms of the future Duke of Wellington. The mere enumeration
of the skirmishes and battles in which he participated would require
much space. In 1811 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 1815 and 1818. His family were probably permanently
established in that city, for we know that mother and son resided
there during the time that the brigadier was doing garrison duty in
Guadalajara (1820-1828), and there is no evidence that they followed him
to Corua during his term of service in that city (1818-1820). Possibly
the old soldier preferred the freedom of barrack life, where his
authority was unquestioned, to the henpecked existence he led at home.
"Ella era l y l era ella," says Patricio de Escosura in speaking of
this couple; for Doa Mara was something of a shrew. She was a good
business woman who combined energy with executive ability, as she later
proved by managing successfully a livery-stable business. But, however
formidable she may have been to her hostlers, her son Jos found her
indulgent. He, the only surviving son of a mature couple, rapidly
developed into a _nio consentido_, the Spanish equivalent of a
spoiled child. 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 1820 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. He first saw
Jos sliding down from a third-story balcony on a tin waterspout. 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." The belief that Espronceda
studied at the Artillery School of Segovia in 1821 appears to rest upon
the statement of Sols alone. Escosura, who studied there afterwards,
never speaks of his friend as having attended the same institution.
Sols may have confused the younger Jos with his deceased, like-named
brother, who, we know, actually was a cadet in Segovia. On the other
hand, Sols speaks with confidence, though without citing the source of
his information, and nothing would have been more natural than for the
boy to follow in his elder brother's footsteps, as he did later when he
joined the Guardia de Corps. 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 1820 and 1830. This was a private school patronized by sons of
the nobility and wealthy middle class. Two of the masters, Jos Gmez
Hermosilla and Alberto Lista, were poets of repute. 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." It cannot be denied that Espronceda's conduct left much to
be desired. According to Escosura he was "bright and mischievous,
the terror of the whole neighborhood, and the perpetual fever of his
mother." He soon gained the nickname _buscarruidos_, and attracted
the notice of police and night watchmen. "In person he was agreeable,
likable, agile, of clear understanding, sanguine temperament inclined
to violence; of a petulant, merry disposition, of courage rash even
bordering upon temerity, and more inclined to bodily exercise than to
sedentary study." The two friends were much influenced by Caldern at
this time. 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, 1823, 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 1828, his academic designation? The models proposed for
the youthful aspirants were the best poets of antiquity and such modern
classicists as Melndez, Cienfuegos, Jovellanos, and Quintana. 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 1826, 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
1823 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. Louis XVIII, the
Bourbon king of France, sent a force of one hundred thousand men under
the Duke of Angoulme who met with little resistance, and in short order
nullified all that had been accomplished by the Spanish liberals. Before
the end of the year Ferdinand VII, who had been virtually deposed, was
restored to his throne, and the constitution of 1820 had been abolished.
Espronceda, the son of a hero of the War of Liberation, felt that the
work of the men of 1808 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":

Oh de sangre y valor glorioso da!
Mis padres cuando nio me contaron
Sus hechos, ay! y en la memoria ma
Santos recuerdos de virtud quedaron.

But, as he says later in the poem,

El trono que erigi vuestra bravura,
Sobre huesos de hroes cimentado,
Un rey ingrato, de memoria impura,
Con eterno baldn dej manchado.
Ay! para herir la libertad sagrada,
El Prncipe, borrn de nuestra historia,
Llam en su ayuda la francesa espada,
Que segase el laurel de vuestra gloria.

These verses were written in later life; but already in 1827 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. The prime movers were Miguel Ortiz Amor and Patricio
de Escosura, who drew up its Draconic constitution. Other founders were
Espronceda, Ventura de la Vega, and Nez de Arenas. 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, 1823. 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. The father of Ortiz, the club's first
president, prudently sent him away to Oate. Escosura became the second
president, and held office until September of 1824, 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. His term was
pronounced completed after a very few weeks of confinement. That he had
a father prominent in the government service stood him in good stead,
and this probably accounts for the fact that his place of confinement
was in the city where Don Juan was garrisoned. The latter, as an old
soldier in the wars against Napoleon, sympathized in a general way with
liberal ideas; yet, placed as he was in a very difficult position, he
must have found his son's escapades compromising. His record shows that
he was "purified," that is his loyalty to the crown was certified to, on
August 8, 1824. He seems to have maintained a "correct" attitude toward
his rulers to the end, with all the unquestioning obedience of a
military man.

While undergoing this easy martyrdom Espronceda improved his time by
beginning what was to be a great patriotic epic, his _Pelayo_. Like many
another ambitious project, this was never completed. The few fragments
of it which have been printed date mostly from this time. The style is
still classic, but it is the pseudo-classicism of his model, Tasso. The
poet had taken the first step leading to Romanticism. Hence this work
was not so sterile as his earlier performances. Lista, on seeing the
fragments, did much to encourage the young author. Some of the octaves
included in the published version are said on good authority to have
come from the schoolmaster's pen. Lista's classicism was of the
broadest. He never condemned Romanticism totally, though he deplored
its unrestrained extravagances and the antireligious and antidynastic
tendencies of some of its exponents. He long outlived his brilliant
pupil, and celebrated his fame in critical articles. After his return
from exile Espronceda continued to study in a private school which Lista
had started in the Calle de Valverde. Calleja's Colegio de San Mateo had
been suppressed by a government which was the sworn enemy of every form
of enlightenment. The new seminary, however, continued the work of
the old with little change: While there Jos carried his mathematical
studies through higher algebra, conic sections, trigonometry, and
surveying, and continued Latin, French, English, and Greek. If we may
judge from later results, a course in rhetoric and poetics must have
been of greatest benefit to him.

Espronceda's schooling ended in 1826, when he began what Escosura terms
"his more or less voluntary exile." Escosura thinks he may have been
implicated in a revolutionary uprising in Estremadura, and this
conjecture is all but confirmed by a recently found report of the
Spanish consul in Lisbon, who suspected him of plotting mischief with
General Mina. If Espronceda was not a revolutionary at this time, he was
capable of enlisting in any enterprise however rash, as his past and
subsequent record proves all too clearly, and the authorities were not
without justification in watching his movements. In a letter dated
Lisbon, August 24, 1827, he writes to his mother: "Calm yourselves and
restore papa to health by taking good care of him, and you yourself stop
thinking so sadly, for now I am not going to leave Portugal." In these
words the boy seems to be informing his parents that he has given up
the idea of making a foray from Portugal into Spain as Mina was then
plotting to do. He had left home without taking leave of his parents,
made his way to Gibraltar, and taken passage thence to Lisbon on a
Sardinian sloop. The discomforts of this journey are graphically
described in one of his prose works, "De Gibraltar a Lisboa: viaje
histrico." The writer describes with cynical humor the overladen little
boat with its twenty-nine passengers, their quarrels and seasickness,
the abominable food, a burial at sea, a tempest. When the ship reached
Lisbon the ill-assorted company were placed in quarantine. The health
inspectors demanded a three-peseta fee of each passenger. Espronceda
paid out a duro and received two pesetas in change. Whereupon he threw
them into the Tagus, "because I did not want to enter so great a capital
with so little money." A very similar story has been told of Camoens,
so that Espronceda was not only a _poseur_ but a very unoriginal one at
that. Some biographers suspect that while parting with his silver he was
prudent enough to retain a purse lined with good gold _onzas_. This is
pure speculation, but it is certain that he knew he could soon expect a
remittance from home.

Portugal was at the time rent with civil war. The infanta Isabel Mara
was acting as regent, and her weak government hesitated to offend the
king of Spain. The liberal emigrants were kept under surveillance; some
were imprisoned, others forced to leave the kingdom. Espronceda was
forced to Live with the other Spanish emigrants in Santarem. There is no
evidence that he was imprisoned in the Castle of St. George, as has so
frequently been stated. He appears to have been free to go and come
within the limits assigned him by the police; but he was constantly
watched and at last forced to leave the country. It was in Portugal that
the nineteen-year-old boy made the acquaintance of the Mancha family.
Don Epifanio Mancha was a colonel in the Spanish army who, unlike the
elder Espronceda, had been unable to reconcile himself to existing
conditions. He had two daughters, one of whom, Teresa, was to play a
large part in Espronceda's life. He undoubtedly made her acquaintance at
this time. We are told that she embroidered for him an artillery cadet's
hat; but the acquaintance probably did not proceed far. The statement
that vows were exchanged, that the Mancha family preceded Espronceda to
London, that on disembarking he found his Teresa already the bride
of another, all this is pure legend. As a matter of fact, Espronceda
preceded the Manchas to London and his elopement with Teresa did not
take place until 1831, not in England but in France. All this Seor
Cascales y Muoz has shown in his recent biography.

Espronceda's expulsion from Portugal was determined upon as early as
August 14, 1827; but the execution of it was delayed. He must have
reached England sometime within the last four months of 1827. The first
of his letters written from London that has been preserved is dated
December 27 of that year. What his emotions were on passing "the immense
sea ... which chains me amid the gloomy Britons" may be observed by
reading his poem entitled "La Entrada del Invierno en Londres." In this
poem he gives full vent to his homesickness in his "present abode of
sadness," breathes forth his love for Spain, and bewails the tyrannies
under which that nation is groaning. It is written in his early classic
manner and exists in autograph form, dedicated by the "Citizen" Jos de
Espronceda to the "Citizen" Balbino Corts, his companion in exile. The
date, London, January 1, 1827, is plainly erroneous, though this fact
has never before been pointed out. We can only suppose that, like many
another, Espronceda found it difficult to write the date correctly on
the first day of a new year. We should probably read January 1, 1828.
When he assures us in the poem: "Four times have I here seen the fields
robbed of their treasure," he is not to be taken literally. Who will
begrudge an exiled poet the delight of exaggerating his sufferings?

Five letters written from London to his parents have been preserved,
thanks to the diligence of the Madrid police who seized them in his
father's house in their eagerness to follow the movements of this
dangerous revolutionary. They are the typical letters of a schoolboy.
The writer makes excuses for his dilatoriness as a correspondent,
expresses solicitude for the health of his parents, and suggests the
need of a speedy remittance. In fact _la falta de metlico_ is the
burden of his song. Living is excessively dear in London. So much so
that a suit of clothes costs seventeen pounds sterling; but there will
be a reduction of three pounds if the draft is promptly sent. He asks
that the manuscript of his "Pelayo" be sent to him, as he now has
abundant leisure to finish the poem. He asks that the remittances be
sent to a new agent whom he designates. The first agent was a brute who
refused to aid him to get credit. He wonders that his father should
suggest a call upon the Spanish ambassador. Not one word as to his
political plans, a discretion for which Don Juan must have thanked him
when these interesting documents fell into the hands of the police.

We have information that in London Espronceda became a fencing-master,
as many a French _migr_ had done in the century before. This calling
brought him in very little. He may have profited by the charity
fund which the Duke of Wellington had raised to relieve the Spanish
_emigrados_. His more pressing needs were satisfied by Antonio Herniz,
a friend with whom he had made the journey from Lisbon; but the
remittances from home came promptly and regularly, and Espronceda must
have been one of the most favored among the refugees of Somers Town. If
we may take as autobiographical a statement in "Un Recuerdo," he was
entertained for a time at the country seat of Lord Ruthven, an old
companion-in-arms of his father's. Ruthven is not a fictitious name,
as a glance into the peerage will show. During all this time he was
improving his acquaintance with Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, and other
English poets. What is more surprising is that, if we may judge from
his subsequent speeches as a deputy, he gained at least a superficial
acquaintance with English political thought and became interested in
economics. He was a convert to the doctrine of free trade.

Meanwhile the parents, who appear to have formed a bad opinion of a land
where a suit of clothes cost seventeen pounds, were urging the son to
go to France. He himself thought of Holland as a land combining the
advantages of liberty and economy. But before leaving London he required
a remittance of four thousand reales. This bad news was broken to the
family bread-winner, not by Jos himself, but by his banker Orense. The
debt, it was explained, had been incurred as the result of a slight
illness. The four thousand reales were duly sent in December, but
Espronceda lingered in London a few months longer; first because he was
tempted by the prospect of a good position which he failed to secure,
and second on account of the impossibility of obtaining a passport to
France direct. He finally made his way to Paris via Brussels, from which
city he writes, March 6, 1829. All this effectually dispels the legend
that he eloped from England with Teresa by way of Cherbourg. The arrival
in Paris of the revolutionary fencing-master put the Madrid police in a
flutter. On the seventeenth of that same month the consul in Lisbon had
reported that Espronceda was planning to join General Mina in an attack
upon Navarra; and by the middle of April the ambassador to France had
reported his arrival in Paris. It was then that the brigadier's papers
were seized. Measures were taken to prevent Espronceda's receiving
passports for the southern provinces of France, and for any other
country but England. The friendly offices of Charles X, who had
succeeded Louis XVIII on the throne of France, checked for a time the
efforts of the patriotic filibusters. The latter, therefore, must have
felt that they were aiding their own country as well as France when they
participated in the July revolution of 1830. Espronceda fought bravely
for several days at one of the Paris barricades, and wreaked what
private grudge he may have had against the house of Bourbon. After the
fall of Charles X, Louis Philippe, whom Espronceda was in after years to
term _el rey mercader_, became king of France. As Ferdinand refused to
recognize the new government, the designs of Spanish patriots were
not hindered but even favored. Espronceda was one of a scant hundred
visionaries who followed General Joaqun de Pablo over the pass of
Roncevaux into Navarra. The one hope of success lay in winning over
recruits on Spanish soil. De Pablo, who found himself facing his old
regiment of Volunteers of Navarra, started to make a harangue. The reply
was a salvo of musketry, as a result of which De Pablo fell dead. After
some skirmishing most of his followers found refuge on French soil,
among them Espronceda. De Pablo's rout, if less glorious than that of
Roland on the same battlefield, nevertheless inspired a song. Espronceda
celebrated his fallen leader's death in the verses "A la Muerte de D.
Joaqun de Pablo (Chapalangarra) en los Campos de Vera." This poem,
which purports to have been written on one of the peaks of the French
Pyrenees which commanded a view of Spanish soil, and when the poet was
strongly impressed by the events in which he had just participated,
is nevertheless a weak performance; for Espronceda in 1830 was still
casting his most impassioned utterances in the classic mold. Ferdinand
had now been taught a lesson and lost little time in recognizing the new
rgime in France. This bit of diplomacy was so cheap and successful
that Louis Philippe tried it again, this time on Russia. His government
favored a plot, hatched in Paris, for the freeing of Poland. Espronceda,
who had not yet had his fill of crack-brained adventures, enlisted in
this cause also, desiring to do for Poland what Byron had done for
Greece; but the czar, wilier than Ferdinand, immediately recognized
Louis Philippe. The plot was then quietly rendered innocuous. Espronceda
must have felt himself cruelly sold by the "merchant king."

Espronceda's literary activity was slight during these events, but his
transformation into a full-fledged Romanticist begins at this time.
Hugo's "Orientales," which influenced him profoundly, appeared in 1829,
and the first performance of "Hernani" was February 25, 1830. There
is no record that he formed important literary friendships in either
England or France, but, clannish as the _emigrados_ appear to have
been, an impressionable nature like Espronceda's must have been as much
stirred by the literary as by the political revolution of 1830; the more
so as the great love adventure of his life occurred at this time. The
Mancha family followed the other _emigrados_ to London, just when
we cannot say. In course of time Teresa contracted a marriage of
convenience with a Spanish merchant domiciled in London, a certain
Gregorio de Bayo. Churchman has discovered the following advertisement
in _El Emigrado Observador_, London, February,1829: "The daughters of
Colonel Mancha embroider bracelets with the greatest skill, gaining by
this industry the wherewithal to aid their honorable indigence." From
this it is argued that the marriage to Don Gregorio and the consequent
end of the family indigence must have come later than February, 1829.
Espronceda had met the girl in Lisbon, he may later have resumed the
acquaintance in London. She may or may not be the Elisa to whom Delio
sings in the "Serenata." According to Balbino Corts in an interview
reported by Sols, Teresa and her husband, while on a visit to Paris in
October, 1831, happened to lodge at the hotel frequented by Espronceda.
Shortly afterwards Teresa deserted her husband and an infant son and
eloped with Espronceda. She followed him to Madrid in 1833, where
a daughter, Blanca, was born to them in 1834. Within a year Teresa
abandoned Espronceda and her second child. She sank into the gutter and
died a pauper in 1839. This sordid romance occupied only about three
years of Espronceda's life, a much shorter time than had been supposed.
Churchman was the first to break the long conspiracy of silence which
withheld from the world Teresa's full name. Cascales y Muoz has since
thrown more light upon this episode. But these gentlemen have done
nothing more than to tell an open secret. Escosura, long ago, all but
betrayed it in the following pun: "Tendamos el velo de olvido sobre
esa lamentable flaqueza de un gran corazn," he says, referring to the
affair with Teresa, "y recordemos, de paso, que el sol mismo, ese astro
de luz soberano, tan sublimemente cantado por nuestro vate, _manchas_
tiene que si una parte de su esplendor anublan, a eclipsarlo no bastan."
Seor Cascales publishes a reproduction of Teresa's portrait. We see
a face of a certain hard beauty. We are struck with the elaborate
coiffure, the high forehead, the long nose, the weak mouth. The
expression is unamiable. It is the face of a termagant ready to abandon
husband and child. Espronceda seems to have returned to England for a
brief period in 1832, as we may infer from the fact that the poem
"A Matilde" is dated London, 1832. Corroboration of this belief was
discovered by Churchman, who found that the paper on which "Blanca de
Borbn" was written shows the water-mark of an English firm of that
date.

In 1833 Ferdinand VII died, and his daughter Isabel II ascended to the
throne under the regency of her mother Cristina. As the conservatives
espoused the cause of the pretender, Don Carlos, the regency was forced
to favor the liberals. The rigid press censorship was abolished, and a
general amnesty was granted all the victims of Ferdinand's tyranny. In
politics the year 1833 marks the beginning of the Carlist war, and
in literature of Spanish Romanticism. Espronceda was one of many
_emigrados_ who returned to Spain, bringing with them new ideas for the
revitalizing of Spanish literature. He did not arrive soon enough to
see his aged father. Brigadier Espronceda's death certificate is dated
January 10, 1833.

Shortly after Jos's arrival he joined the fashionable Guardia de Corps
or royal guard regiment. This step, apparently so inconsistent with
his revolutionary activities, has puzzled all his biographers. But
Espronceda was only following the family tradition. His elder brother
had done the same. Doubtless he believed, in his first enthusiasm, that
Spain was now completely liberalized. Besides, he was a dandy always
eager for social distinction, and he had to live down the fact that his
mother was proprietress of an _establecimiento de coches_. The conduct
of his fellow-Numantino, Escosura, who had found it possible to accept
a commission under Ferdinand, is far more surprising. Espronceda's
snobbishness, if he had any, cannot have been extreme, for he took up
residence with his mother over the aforementioned livery stable, in the
Calle de San Miguel. Teresa was prudently lodged under another roof.
Doa Carmen was as indulgent as ever, and especially desirous that her
son dress in the most fashionable clothes procurable. What with her
rent from the house, her widow's pension, and the yield of her business
venture, she was comfortably circumstanced. When Teresa abandoned the
child Blanca, Doa Carmen became a mother to her. When Doa Carmen died
in 1840 everything went to her son.

Espronceda's career as a guardsman was brief. As a result of reading a
satirical poem at a public banquet, he was cashiered and banished to the
town of Cullar in Old Castile. There he wrote his "Sancho Saldaa o
el Castellano de Cullar," a historical novel in the manner of Walter
Scott, describing the quarrels of Sancho el Bravo with his father
Alfonso X. This six-volume work was contracted for in 1834 and completed
and published the same year. For writing it the author received six
thousand reales. Many writers in Spain were striving to rival the Wizard
of the North at this time. Ramn Lpez Soler had set the fashion in
1830 with "Los Bandos de Castilla." Larra's "Doncel de Don Enrique
el Doliente" appeared in the same year with "Sancho Saldaa." But
Espronceda was probably most influenced by his friend Escosura, who had
printed his "Conde de Candespina" in 1832. The latter's best effort in
this genre, "Ni Rey ni Roque," 1835, was written when its author was
undergoing banishment for political reasons in a corner of Andalusia. To
employ the enforced leisure of political exile in writing a historical
novel was quite the proper thing to do. The banishment to Cullar must
have taken place in late 1833 or early 1834, for Espronceda's novel is
unquestionably inspired by his enforced visit to that town, and the
contract with his publisher is dated in Madrid, February 5, 1834. On
reading the contract it is apparent that the novel had hardly been begun
then, as it was to be paid for in installments. Whether it was written
mostly in Cullar or Madrid we do not know and care little. In January
of that year _El Siglo_ was founded, a radical journal with which
Espronceda was prominently connected. During the brief existence of this
incendiary sheet (January 21 until March 7) Espronceda contributed to it
several political articles. The last issue came out almost wholly blank
as an object lesson of the censor's activity. There follow a few
months of agitation and political intrigue, the upshot of which
was Espronceda's imprisonment for three weeks without trial. After
protesting in the press and appealing to the queen regent, he was
released and banished to Badajoz. How long he was absent from the
capital we do not know, except that this banishment, like the others,
was of short duration. During all this commotion there was produced at
the Teatro de la Cruz, in April, an indifferent play, "Ni el To ni el
Sobrino," whose authors were Espronceda and his friend Antonio Ros y
Olano. It is difficult to paint anything but a confused picture of
Espronceda's life during the remaining years of this decade. We catch
glimpses of him debating questions of art and politics at cafs and
literary _tertulias_ like the Parnasillo, where Mesonero Romanos saw him
faultlessly attired and "darting epigrams against everything existing,
past, and future." Crdoba in his memoirs bears witness that he was
still the _buscarruidos_ of old. Espronceda with Larra, Escosura, Ros
De Olano, and Crdoba constituted the "Thunder Band" of the Parnasillo
(_partida del trueno_). After a long literary discussion they would
sally forth into the streets, each armed with a peashooter and on
mischief bent. A favorite prank was to tie a chestnut vender's table to
a waiting cab and then watch the commotion which followed when the cab
started to move. On one occasion, finding the Duke of Alba's coachman
asleep on the box, they painted the yellow coach red, so altering it
that the very owner failed to recognize it when he left the house where
he had been calling. In politics Espronceda is always a leader in
revolt, fighting with pen and sword for his none-too-clearly-defined
principles. Even the Mendizbal ministry, the most advanced that Spain
has ever had, does not satisfy him. His ideal is a republic and the
downfall of "the spurious race of Bourbon." His love affairs are equally
stormy. In literature he is attempting everything, plays, a novel,
polemical articles, lyric poems, and one supreme work which is to be the
very epic of humanity.

In 1835 Espronceda became an officer in the National Militia.



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