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manca, and not of Alcala, evil tongues were not wanting to affirm that my father had cut off the heads of bodies already slain by oihers, and that he was like the man who buys dead birds in the market and then solemnly declares that he shot them himself. Well might the Hebrew sage insist on the want of novelty under the sun, when even this little device of our modern sportsmen, if it be not written by De Castro, is as old as the sixteenth century.
A propos of sportsmen, to them probably will be most interesting an enumeration, somewhat tedious to others, of what are called the good points of a horse, all of which in the Bachelor's belief meet together in his miserable hack. Several lines are expended on this subject, which go far to show the work not written by Cervantes, who in none of his writings manifests any remarkable delight or interest in this particular quadruped, of whom it has been said that, though noble himself, he makes everybody who is busied about him more or less of a blackguard. The epithet “horsey,” which is now creeping into our language, is indeed seldom complimentary. “It would be unnecessary,” says Fielding, in “ Joseph Andrews,” referring to the talk that passed between Squire Booby and his Worship the Justice—“ it would be unnecessary, if I was able, which indeed I am not, to relate the conversation between these two gentlemen, which rolled, as I have been informed, entirely on the subject of horse-racing." Cervantes would in this respect, doubtless, as in many other respects, have agreed with one of the most able of his imitators.
If the “ Buscapié” be not by Cervantes, it must be allowed to be a capital imitation of the great artist. Even Ticknor, who will have none of it in regard to authenticity, admits it to be pleasantly written, witty, and talented, showing a remarkable familiarity with the works of Cervantes, and a still more remarkable familiarity with the literature of his period. It is, indeed, full of allusions to the books of old, rare, and comparatively unknown authors, who wrote most of them towards the close of the sixteenth century. Of these, not the least noteworthy is one Doña Oliva, a learned lady, who published in the reign of Philip II. “ A New System of Philosophy concerning Human Nature, unknown to the great philosophers of antiquity, and improving the health and life of man.” De Castro declares, in a note, that medicine is indebted to her for rare discoveries in anatomy, especially that of the nervous juice, which, under the name of nervous fluid, is still a subject of lively discussion.
The style of the “ Buscapié" is, like that of “Don Quixote," a copy of the style of the old romances. We find the same intro
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duction of old words, such as alemaña, sage, and respuso, which is repeated twice, and generally throughout the book an affectation of archaic forms of expression. The customs of the time, too, are, if the work be modern, preserved with admirable skill. The Bachelor takes Cervantes for a member of the medical profession, because he is riding on a mule, an animal as necessary to procure esteem for the doctor in the eyes of his patient in the sixteenth century as a onehorse brougham at the present period. The conceit and ignorance of the Bachelor, the corruption of women, the figures of classical or Spanish heroes in the tapestry hangings of inns, are all of them photographs of the time of Cervantes. The disesteem of those professing the most noble exercise of letters to which the author casually alludes in the 6 Buscapié,” the envy which ceases not to oppress genius with a thousand incommodities, is indeed of all ages, but was perhaps especially patent in the latter half of the sixteenth century. The love of inferior verses is a characteristic of Cervantes. His pas. sion for poetry, which he tells us in his “Voyage to Parnassus" beset him in his tender years, appears in this work, as in all other works written by him, and it is, moreover, marked by his wonted carelessness, his not unfrequent inconsistencies and mistakes. indeed, is common to mankind, but the apparent inconsistency in a censure of chivalric comedies by the author of “ The House of Jealousy," and " The Woods of Ardenia," seems Cervantes' very own.
Taking into consideration the satire of “ Don Quixote," and its numerous metamorphoses which perhaps induced the author to speak of himself in the Sonnet of Gandalin to Sancho, as the Spanish Ovid, Pellicer was of opinion that Cervantes proposed to himselt as a model for his immortal romance, the “Golden Ass of Apuleius." There seems, indeed, to be between this truly modest tale and the “ Don Quixote" quite as much relation as exists between the Persiles and the “ Æthiopic History of Heliodorus." We read in the “ Golden Ass” how Lucius, the hero, coming home one night about the third watch, from a banquet, a little the worse for wine, slays with many and deadly wounds three robbers as he supposes, whom he finds attempting a burglarious entrance into the house where he is staying. After this feat, panting for breath and bathed in perspiration, he throws himself on to his bed and falls asleep. In the morning he is arrested on a charge of murder. At the trial the three corpses are introduced on a bier covered with a linen sheet. He is commanded by the judges to uncover the bodies of the murdered. He does so, and exposes three wine-skins slashed and pierced in the very parts in which he had attacked the burglars. The most unobservant reader will at once discover the resemblance between this story and that of the brave and uncommon fight which Don Quixote fought with the skins of the deep-red wine, in which the hero distinguished himself more as a utricide than a homicide. No less resemblance is there between the circumstances in the Bachelor's tale of the drop of wax falling on the breast of his beautiful mistress, and waking her, and the well-known incident of the waking of the Love God by a drop of burning oil in the drunken old woman's story of Cupid and Psyche.
The best reason for supposing the “Buscapié” apocryphal lies in the fact that although the original MS. has been frequently demanded, as would naturally be the case, from the Sr. Castro, he has never submitted it to the examination of any of the Academies of Madrid, or indeed that of any public tribunal competent to determine whether or no the MS. in his possession is to be considered a copy of a work of Cervantes. To Mr. Ticknor, all evidence of the genuineness of the “Buscapié,” external and internal alike, is unsatisfactory and suspicious. The very similarity of style to that of Cervantes, its use, word for word, of some of his favourite expressions, seem to the learned AngloAmerican, as he is called by De Castro, damning proofs of its being a forgery. The more exact resemblance it bears to other works of Cervantes, virtually says Mr. Ticknor, both in its substance and form of thought, the less probable is its genuineness. It is, he actually says, too close a copy of the great original. If evidence of this kind is to be admitted, we may, replies De Castro, other things being equal, regard the Tale of the Captive as a spurious introduction into “Don Quixote,” since it is obviously the same as that in “The Bagnios of Algiers.” So the fiftieth chapter of the first part of Don Quixote, in which the hero gives a description of the knighterrant's life to the Prebendary, very nearly parallel to that which he gives to his squire in the twenty-first, must surely be rejected. So, too, must be rejected Sancho's tale of the Knight of the Wood, about the prowess of his ancestors on his father's side in the matter of winetasting. Two of them, as the reader may remember, were asked their opinion of the quality of a certain cask of wine. One tasted the wine, the other contented himself with smelling it. The one said it tasted of iron, the other that it smelt of leather. Time went by, the wine was drunk, the cask came to be cleaned, and lo! at the bottom of it a small key hanging from a strip of goat-skin. This anecdote is, of course, but a mere repetition of that in the Entremes of the Election
of the Alcaldes of Daganzo. Nor does Mr. Ticknor's remark that Cervantes is made to speak in a disparaging way of Alcalá de Henares, his native place, appear to be an argument of very great weight against the genuineness of the “Buscapié.” The speech is placed in the mouth of the little humpbacked Bachelor whom its author delighted to ridicule. Mr. Ticknor maintains that whenever an author alludes to his birthplace, or to his contemporaries, in terms of good or evil, he is to be considered personally responsible, into the mouth of whatsoever of his puppets the allusion may be put. So, he says, it has always been, so it is, and so it is just that it should be. But the present question seems rather to refer to the meaning of the author's words than to his responsibility. Nor does it follow that because the censure of the Bachelor concerning Alcalá is not to be taken au pied de la lettre, the praise of the same place in the mouth of Don Quixote, or of Teolinda in the" Galatea," is therefore also to be taken as censure, unless indeed it be asserted that the speeches of the wise and the foolish of an author's characters are intended to have equal authority, and that he who occasionally speaks ironically is incapable ever after of saying what he really means. But the Bachelor's speech is of one web with his opinion of his horse and himself. The shortsighted rider in spectacles is mounted on his sorry jade of ignorance, which causes all who ride it to fall, and all who lead it to be laughed at. On this occasion, at least, De Castro's charge against his antagonist, that he mistakes jest for earnest, seems to be well founded. But when the Spaniard goes on to observe that all the observations of the learned Anglo-American are the daughters of levity and error; that he is mistaken about a common phrase in Spanish, and that he understands nothing at all of the matter in dispute; we must surely interpret him as speaking solely in a Pickwickian or Parliamentary sense, scattering in the path of his opponent the common flowers of literary courtesy, a delicate attention fairly merited and requited by the latter's conjecture that the text of the “Buscapié" niay have been adjusted to the notes quite as much as the notes to the text, and the Sr. Castro is without any pretence to skill in the English language.
There is no doubt, it is indeed admitted by the most learned of the Sr. Castro's opponents, that the “Buscapié" when first published was considered authentic by the best authorities in Spain. There was then no need of any Cervantes fecit in its margin. It is the opinion of Don Pascual de Gayangos that, at the present time the verdict of those most fitted to judge is generally that the work is apocryphal. To the mind of the able scholar last mentioned the “Buscapié" is a literary toy of Adolfo de Castro, who, he thinks, had doubtless in view his own diversion at the expense of his many friends and brothers in the study of letters. There is, he says, a certain literary vanity in duping those who value themselves on their critical skill and hold themselves to be masters therein, a vanity in no degree blameable when it treats of a supposed trouvaille which, like the present, affects not at all the historic and religious creed of his country. To this sentiment the Sr. Castro perhaps yielded himself, and if many literary men at first believed the “Buscapié” to be the work of the immortal Cervantes, the Sr. Castro ought to rest satisfied and well content, although others, either more incredulous or more versed in the mysteries of the Spanish language and literature, at once discovered the “Buscapié" to be nothing but a piece of banter. However the truth may be, the “Buscapié” reached more than a dozen years ago its sixth edition. It is printed with the other works of Cervantes. It has been translated several times into other tongues, and though its genuineness were satisfactorily disproved, it would yet leave to its author, in many other lands besides his own, no little fame as a writer of taste and talent, of incisive wit and rare erudition.