« AnteriorContinuar »
AND T. CADELL, STRAND, LONDON.
The play from which our extracts Hauteroche, under the title of L'Esprit are taken, is one of that class of Cal. Follet, exists upon the French stage. deron's dramas which, on the Spanish Of our translations, we shall only stage, have received the title of Come- remark that our chief object has been dies of the Cloak and Sword, from the scrupulous fidelity ; every line being important part which disguises and rendered as nearly as possible by its duels occupy in the complication and equivalent in English. The occaevolution of the plot. They are dra- sional extravagances of metaphor, and mas turning on the Spanish national the exaggerations or over-refinements character and manners, and the scene of sentiment, as well as the very inis generally. laid on Spanish ground; different jests, which are unquestionor, if occasionally the locality be trans- ably of frequent occurrence in the oriplanted to Germany, Italy, or France, ginal, we give as we find them; for, so all the peculiarities of Spanish feeling, far as our slender powers permit
, we with its code of love, honour, and pride, 'wish to exhibit Calderon to the Engand all the refinements and Orientale lish reader as he is. The Spanish isms of its language of gallantry, are drama is a national and peculiar, but transferred to the foreign personages self consistent creation, which deserves of the scene. The GOBLIN LADY ap- to be studied in its beauties and its pears, from an allusion in the first defects; and for that purpose a literal scene to the festivities in honour of the translation, not a dexterous adaptation baptism of the Prince of Asturias, to to English tastes, is required. have been produced about the year For the same reason we have ad. 1623, at the time when Calderon's hered, in our translation, to the same dramatic power and invention were measures as those which have been most vigorous, and his style had in a made use of in the original. So much great measure emerged from the taint of the impression produced by the of that Euphuism by which it had Spanish drama depends on the musibeen at first deformed, and into which, cal effect of its versification, that to in the decline of his career, it relapsed. attempt to render the Spanish redonThe play, from the numerous allusions dillas by English blank verse, would to it in Calderon's own works, as well be to alter entirely their character. as those of his dramatic rivals and con- The ordinary dramatic verse of the temporaries, appears to have obtained · Spanish stage is trochaic, and consists immediate and extraordinary popula. either in assonances — or imperfect rity in Spain. An imitation of it by rhymes, (where the vowels rhyme
NO. CCXCI, VOL. XLVII.
but not the consonants,)-orin conso- though consisting of several hundred nantes or complete rhymes, (the first lines, would render its adoption too line rhyming with the fourth, and the irksome to be practicable in English second with the third.) These are oc- poetry. We have therefore substi casionally varied by the introduction tuted, for the assonances of the origi. of other forms of versification, many of nal, unrhymed trochaics as the nearest a very intricate and complex nature. approach to the effect of the Spanish; Even the sonnet is frequently employed the other forms of versification which in soliloquies, or in those effusions of occur in the original, we have endeagallantry which are so frequent in the voured to transfer to our translation. Spanish drama.
After many experi- A few words of explanation, added ments, we feel satisfied that the as- to the names of the characters, will sonance, as used on the Spanish stage, be sufficient to give an idea of their is undistinguishable in English, while position at the commencement of the the principle which requires that the play: after which the development of same assonance, if once begun, shall the action proceeds simply and rapidbe continued throughout the scene, ly. The personages of the play are,
Don MANUEL, (in love, without knowing her, with)
(a young widou', the sister, and living in the house of) Don JUAN, (the friend and former companion in arms of Don
Manuel, and the brother of) Don Luis,
(in love, but without success, willi) — Dona BEATRICE, (the cousin and friend of Angela-in love with Don JUAN,
and beloved by him in turn.) ISABEL,
(the servant of Dona ANGELA.) Clara,
(the servant of Dona BEATRICE.) Cosme,
(the servant of Don MANUEL.) RODRIGO,
(the servant of Don Luis.) The opening of the play affords a good instance of the skill with which Calderon at once introduces the reader into the action of the play, and excites, from the first moment, an interest in the fortunes of his personages, w
which goes on incre ing to the last. The scene is a Street in Madrid ; the time November 1623, being the baptismal day of the Infante Balthazar, the son of Philip IV.
Don Manuel and his servant Cosme appear in travelling dresses.
Cosm. Well, since we have miss'd the revels
D. Man. 'Tis Don Juan de Toledo,
He became my ensign; then
D. Ang. If, as your look announces,
Cosm. Was't a lady or a whirlwind ?
What mean you,
D. Man. And need you ask me ?
Cosm. Well-your purpose ?
D. Man. First, by some device to stay him :But, if that be unavailing,