JUAN DE MENA AND HIS WORKS; A STUDY IN FIFTEENTH-CENTURY SPANISH POETRY

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Xerox University Microfilms 300 North Z eeb R oad Ann Arbor, M ichigan 48106

LD3907 s ! 0G7 X u p o l o s , James J 1910" ' , 19^0 J u a n de Mena a n d h i s w o r k s ; a s t u d y j >X9 . in f i f t e e n t h - c e n t u r y Spanish p o e try . j New Y o r k , 195>0« v i i , 1{J\$ t y p e w r i t t e n l e a v e s . 2 9 cm. T h e 3i s ( P h . D . ) - New Y ork U n i v e r ­ s i t y , G raduate School, 1950. B i b l i o g r a p h y : p.lj.36-li45« C57660

r

Xerox University Microfilm s,

S M I List

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106

THIS DISSERTATION HAS BEEN MICROFILMED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED.

LIBRARY OP FE5? YORK UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS

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U-'

JUAN DE MENA AND HIS WORKS A S tu d y in F if t e e n t h - C e n t u r y S p a n ish P o e tr y by James J . X u polos

A D i s s e r t a t i o n i n th e D epartm ent o f Romance Languages S u b m itted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t o f t h e R e q u ir e ­ m ents f o r th e D egree o f D o cto r o f P h ilo s o p h y at New York U n i v e r s i t y F eb ru ary 1950

TABLE OF CONTENTS C hapter

Page P r e fa c e ........................................................................

I

iii

I n t r o d u c t io n .................................................................................

1

A. From M e d ie v a lism to H um anism ......................

2

The E s s e n c e o f H um an ism ...........................

5

B. The N atu re o f F if t e e n t h - C e n t u r y S p an ish P o e t r y ...................................................................

11

C. John I I — K ing and P a tr o n o f th e A rts . .

14

II

The L i f e o f Juan de Mena ....................................................

22

III

The P r o s e Works o f Juan de Mena; H is R ead in gs .

38

IV

Mena’ s P o e t i c W o r k ..................................................................

51

V

E l L a h e r in to de F o r tu n a : Mena’s P r in c ip a l L it e r a r y A ch ievem en t .....................................................

74

A.

S y n o p s is o f E l L a b e r in to .................................

79

B.

The I n f lu e n c e s on Juan de Mena .....................

103

VI

S t y l i s t i c F e a tu r e s o f th e L a b e r in to .........................

113

V II

The A r te Mayor T echnique ....................................................

139

V III

The C l a s s i c Commentators ...................................................

159

IX X

A.

E l Oomendador G riego .......................................

160

B.

E l B r o c e n se .............................................................

168

Juan de Mena’ s A dm irers and C r i t i c s .........................

181

C o n c lu s io n s

197

...................................................................................

T ext o f E l L a b e r in to de For tu n a.........................................

199

Forew ord: N o te s to E l L a b e r in to de F ortu na ...............

252

N o te s t o E l L a b e r in to de F ortu n a ..........................

256

G l o s s a r y ..............................................................................................

351

In d ex o f P rop er Names ...............................................................

425

B i b l i o g r a p h y ........................................

4 36

PREFACE In th e many h i s t o r i e s o f S p a n ish l i t e r a t u r e t h a t I h ave e x ­ amined th e r e i s an i m p l i c i t or e x p l i c i t assu m p tion t h a t Juan de Mena’s p r i n c i p a l c o m p o s itio n s a r e too d i f f i c u l t to be r e a d and t h a t o n ly c e r t a i n e p is o d e s o f th e L a b er in to de F ortu n a a r e w o rth w h il e .

C o n s e q u e n tly , th e r e a d e r has had to c o n te n t h im s e lf w it h

a seco n d -h a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f th e work a s a w h o le .

On th e

o th e r hand, th e few modern s p e c i a l i z e d s t u d i e s on t h a t p o e t f o r th e m ost p a r t p r e su p p o se t h a t t h e r ea d er i s w e l l a c q u a in te d w it h th e s u b j e c t ; i s

e x c e l l e n t l y eq u ip p ed to j u g g le a m u lt it u d e o f

G reek, L a t in , I t a l i a n , F ren ch and S p a n ish names— i n a s many l a n g ­ u a g e s — ; and h a s r e a d Mena’ s poem s, or a t l e a s t th e L a b e r in to de F o r tu n a , w it h a d e q u a te u n d e r s ta n d in g . To make th e s u b j e c t e v en more i n a c c e s s i b l e , th e r e i s a d e a r th o f p r a c t i c a l e d i t i o n s o f Mena’ s poem s.

Twice Foulch& -

D e lb o sc p u b lis h e d th e L a b e r in to de F o r tu n a : f i r s t a s a s e p a r a t e book, th en l a t e r p l a c in g i t ,

t o g e t h e r w ith Mena’ s o t h e r co m p o si­

t i o n s , b a r r e n ly in th e C a n cio n ero C a s te lla n o d e l S i g l o XV o f th e Nueva B i b l i o t e o a de A u to re s E s p a fio le s . was n a r r o w ly l i m i t e d

(The 1904 Macon e d i t i o n

to one hundred tw en ty c o p i e s .)

In e i t h e r

form th e y a r e n o t v e r y s e r v i c e a b l e to m ost E n g lis h -s p e a k in g s t u ­ d e n ts.

W ithout c o m m en ta ries, th e L a b er in to de F ortu na i s a s -iii-

iv

u n d e r s ta n d a b le a s a prob lem in advanced c a lc u lu s to a s t u d e n t o f p la n e g e o m e try . S u r p r is in g a s i t may seem , o n ly one book on Mena and h is im m ortal poem has b een p u b lis h e d s in c e E o u lc h ^ -D e lb o s c ’ s l im i t e d e d itio n .

In 1943 th e r e app eared an e d i t io n by Jos6 M anuel B le -

cua e n t i t l e d E l L a b e r in to de F ortu na o l a s T r e s o ie n t a s . e v en S r . B le c u a ’s e d i t i o n i s f a r from a d e q u a te .

But

In th e f i r s t

p l a c e , th e a u th o r p r o b a b ly had b een com p elled to l i m i t h i s work by th e f a c t t h a t i t was t o form p a r t o f a s e r i e s — th e C la s io o s C a s t e l l a n o s — w h ich i s n o t known f o r e x h a u s tiv e c o v e r a g e . th e se c o n d p l a c e , to t h e poem.

In

i t i s e n t i r e l y in S p a n ish , in c lu d in g t h e n o t e s

N o tw ith s ta n d in g i t s many in a c c u r a c ie s , h o w ev er, i t

has become th e m ost p r a c t i c a l book a v a ila b le on t h i s s u b j e c t f o r stu d e n ts. C on vin ced p r im a r ily o f th e im portance o f Juan de M ena,'3' and c o g n iz a n t o f th e l a c k o f s u f f i c i e n t a v a ila b le r e a d in g m a tte r i n E n g lis h c o n c e r n in g t h a t p o e t , I have u n dertak en to s u p p ly a m u lti fa ce ted n eed.

More than a n y th in g e l s e ,

I have so u g h t to p rod u ce

a s tu d y s u i t a b l e f o r E n g lis h - s p e a k in g p e r so n s i n t e r e s t e d in a c ­ q u a in tin g th e m s e lv e s more f u l l y w ith f i f t e e n t h - c e n t u r y S p a n ish lite r a tu r e .

A t th e same tim e I have sp ared no e f f o r t to c o m p ile

more u s e f u l p e r t i n e n t m a t e r ia l than has h e r e t o f o r e been b ro u g h t t o g e t h e r i n an y work on t h i s same them e.

1 . In h i s I n tr o d u c e i6 n y Programs de L it e r a t u r e E sp a n o la (M adrid, 1 9 3 4 ) , Men&ndez y P e la y o p r o v id e s an e n t i r e l e s s o n ( 40) f o r th e s tu d y o f Juan de Mena and a l l h i s p o e t r y .

V

S i m p l i f i c a t i o n and c l a r i f i c a t i o n have been my w atch w ord s, f o r th e r e i s n o th in g more p u r p o s e le s s th a n pomp and o s t e n t a ­ t i o n t h a t c a n n o t b e red u ced to i n t e l l i g i b l e d en o m in a to rs; as a c o r o l l a r y , by t h i s p o l i c y o f e l u c i d a t i o n I have s t r i v e n to d e m o n str a te t h a t b ehin d Mena’s d i s p l a y o f e r u d i t io n l i e su b ­ s t a n c e and v ig o r u n p o s s e s s e d by o th e r w r i t e r s o f h i s a g e .

Take

away th e v e i l t h a t o b s c u r e s h i s p o e tr y and Mena becom es i n t e r e s t ­ in g , even f a s c in a t in g .

In one poem a lo n e he has compounded

enough d a ta to ta x th e mind o f h i s m ost le a r n e d countrym en down th ro u g h t h e c e n t u r i e s .

H is w r it in g s c h a lle n g e th e im a g in a tio n

and are a t th e same tim e h ig h ly in f o r m a tiv e .

In them we s e e

th e c r o s s r o a d s o f m e d ie v a l and R e n a issa n c e S p a in ; we s e e n o t o n ly th e h i s t o r y o f t h a t c o u n tr y , b u t a l s o th e h i s t o r y a n d .g e o ­ g ra p h y and wi3dom o f a n t i q u i t y ; we s e e a man n o b ly s t r i v i n g to i n f u s e p a t r i o t i s m and m o r a lit y in a c o u n tr y t h a t so s o r e l y need ed them ; we s e e th e S p a n ish la n g u a g e in fo r m a tio n and how Mena so a b u n d a n tly c o n t r ib u t e d to i t s e v o l u t i o n . The e v e r - i n c r e a s in g r e s p e c t and a d m ir a tio n shown to Mena i s n o t w ith o u t fo u n d a tio n .

But to e ste e m and ap p lau d him

th r o u g h h e a r s a y i s a t on ce p u e r ile and s e l f - d e b a s i n g ; and m e r e ly t o r e p e a t l i k e an autom aton th e e n c o m ia s tic u t t e r a n c e s o f o th e r s b e sto w s no c r e d i t upon o n e s e l f and i s c o n tr a r y to in d u c t iv e th in k in g . I t i s hoped t h a t from th e m a t e r ia l p r e s e n te d i n t h i s d i s ­ s e r t a t i o n th e E n g lis h -s p e a k in g r ea d er w i l l e i t h e r g a in an a p p re­

vi

c i a t i o n o f Juan de Mena, o r , a t l e a s t , w i l l be e n a b le d to judge him In d e p e n d e n tly and i n t e l l i g e n t l y .

No a tte m p t i s made to

g l o r i f y th e p o e t , f o r t h i s would i n e v i t a b l y b r in g t h i s stu d y down to a s u b j e c t i v e l e v e l w hich has no p la c e i n a t h e s i s . The f o l lo w in g f e a t u r e s a re d e sig n e d to p r e s e n t a w e l l rounded p i c t u r e : ample background m a t e r i a l, e s p e c i a l l y on th e s u b j e c t o f humanism (w hich I deem o f s i g n a l im p ort i n u n d er­ s t a n d in g M ena), i s found in th e I n t r o d u c t io n ; a d e t a i l e d a n a ly ­ s i s o f th e L a b e r in to de F ortuna i s in c lu d e d , t o g e t h e r w ith Eng­ l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s o f many s ta n z a s ; a l s o , a summary o f th e Coro­ n a t io n ; t h e " a r te mayor" v e r s i f i c a t i o n i s c l e a r l y d e f in e d ; th e r e i s an e n t i r e c h a p te r on the l i v e s o f two men who w ere c h i e f l y in s tr u m e n ta l in f o c u s in g a t t e n t i o n on th e g r e a t n e s s o f Mena and th u s in p e r p e tu a t in g h i s memory— Herndn Nunez de Guzman and F r a n c is c o S an ch ez de l a s B r o z a s.

Of e s p e c i a l im p ortan ce i s th e

f a c t t h a t I have t r a n s la t e d in t o E n g lis h p r a c t i c a l l y a l l n o te s t o th e t e x t o f th e L a b e r in to de F ortu n a foun d i n S r . B le c u a ’ s book.

H owever, f in d in g them in a d e q u a te f o r th e p u rp o se s o f

th e p r e s e n t s t u d y , I have reSxam ined th e g l o s s e s o f th e a b o v e m en tion ed c l a s s i c com m entators, e x t r a c t i n g th e r e fr o m many more n o t e s in te n d e d to illu m in a t e th e t e x t , and I have l i k e w i s e t r a n s ­ l a t e d m o st o f them in t o E n g lis h . S p a n is h , i t

I f some o f them f e r e l e f t in

i s b e c a u se a t r a n s l a t i o n w ould have d e t r a c te d from

th e ir e ffe c tiv e n e s s .

F u rth erm ore, i n some c a s e s w here an an ­

c i e n t name i s m en tion ed i n th e n o t e s , a b r i e f b io g r a p h ic a l n o te i s added.

Not o n ly i s th e b ib lio g r a p h y on Juan de Mena

v ii

m ost c o m p le te , b u t i t i s a l s o g e a r e d t o t h e n e e d s o f E n g lis h sp e a k in g r e a d e r s , whose i n t e r e s t s h ave b e e n o f paramount con ­ c er n i n t h e c o m p ilin g o f t h i s w ork.

For t h e i r c o n v e n ie n c e , I

have t r a n s l a t e d m ost comments, o b s e r v a t io n s and o t h e r d a ta foun d i n v a r io u s la n g u a g e s ; and I have added a com p reh en sive S p a n is h -E n g lis h g l o s s a r y o f th e L a b e r in to de F o r tu n a . The t e x t o f th e L a b e r in to de F ortu n a i s from S r . B le c u a ’ s e d i t i o n , b u t I have c o l l a t e d and ch eck ed i t w it h t h a t o f F o u lc h e -D e lb o s c in th e C an oion ero C a s t e lla n o d e l S i g l o XV and w it h th e f i r s t e d i t i o n s o f th e c l a s s i c

com m en tators.

In t h i s

c o u n tr y , t h e m ost com p lete c o l l e c t i o n o f Juan de Menaf s works i s fou n d in th e L ib r a ry o f th e H is p a n ic S o c i e t y o f A m erica, in New Y ork C it y . I sh ou ld l i k e to e x p r e s s my s i n c e r e a p p r e c ia t io n t o P r o f e s s o r H arry C l i f t o n H eaton , whose g e n e r o u s g u id a n ce h a s been o f im m easurable a s s i s t a n c e i n l e a d in g me th rou gh t h i s s t i m u l a t i n g la b y r in t h .

CHAPTER X INTRODUCTION Juan de Mena was no o r d in a r y d e n iz e n o f f i f t e e n t h - c e n t u r y S p a in .

To th o s e o f u s w hose t h in k in g i s govern ed m a in ly by

n a tu r a lis m and r e a lis m , h i s w r i t i n g s a r e d i f f i c u l t t o stom ach. He was not a sim p le w r it e r : t h e m eaning o f some o f h i s p r o se and p o e tr y i s s t i l l n o t q u it e c l e a r .

But why sh o u ld he s t i l l

be th e s u b j e c t o f l i v e l y d i s c u s s i o n and th e o b j e c t o f e m o tio n ­ a l c r itic is m ?

What i s t h e r e a b ou t h i s w r i t i n g s t h a t f a i l s t o

r a i s e him t o t h e l e v e l o f u n i v e r s a l p o p u l a r it y e n jo y ed b y so many o th e r p o e t s , and y e t , p a r a d o x ic a lly enough, w hat makes him a p i l l a r in th e b e a u t i f u l A c r o p o lis o f S p a n ish l i t e r a t u r e ? The answ er to t h e s e q u e s t io n s w i l l become ap p aren t p i e c e ­ m e a l.

B e fo re a c t u a l l y d e l v in g i n t o h i s l i f e

and h i s work in

p r o se and p o e t r y , i t w i l l be w e l l to v ie w th e panorama o f th e tim e s In w h ich Juan de Mena l i v e d .

W ith ou t t h i s background

m a t e r i a l, Mena i s u n i n t e l l i g i b l e ; w ith i t ,

he i s se e n a s a

g ia n t in th e p a t t e r n o f S p a n ish l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y . From th e b e g in n in g t o th e end o f th e f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y th e b a la n c e was tr e m b lin g b etw een two k in d s o f c u lt u r e , w hich a r e d e s ig n a te d a s m e d ie v a l and h u m a n is tic . -1 -

The c le a v a g e was

2

n o t sudden nor w e l l d e f in e d and d em arcated .

But a s se e n i n a

modern l i g h t , t h e so o n e r humanism e x t r i c a t e d i t s e l f from th e slo u g h o f m e d ie v a lis m , th e more a c c e le r a t e d cou ld he th e p ace tow ard th e ad van cem en ts o f p r e s e n t - d a y c i v i l i z a t i o n .

And th u s

anyone in s tr u m e n ta l in fo m e n tin g humanism in th o s e ’’Dark A g e s” c o u ld be c o n s id e r e d a f r i e n d o f c i v i l i z a t i o n .

R eason in g in

t h i s m anner, modern s o c i e t y i s in d e b te d t o Juan de Mena, f o r he was th e o u t s t a n d in g S p a n is h h u m an ist o f h i s c e n tu r y . A. From M e d ie v a lism t o Humanism B oth t h e p r o s e and t h e p o e t r y o f S p a in , from t h e v e r y b e ­ g in n in g s o f t h e c o u n tr y ’ s h i s t o r y , have m a n ife s te d n a t i o n a l c h a r a c te r is tic s .

T here was a v a r ie d p r o d u c tio n in t h e v e r n a c u ­

l a r n a r r a tin g th e f e a t s o f Ruy D faz de V iv a r , th e Campeador, a g a in s t th e A lm o r a v id e s, w h ich shows th e e a r n e s t d e s i r e o f t h o s e S p a n ia r d s who w anted t o e j e c t th e M oslem s from t h e I b e r ia n p e n in s u la .

S p a n is h f a n t a s y , h ow ever, was n o t e n t i r e l y s a t i s ­

f i e d by t h o s e p a r t l y h i s t o r i c a l and p a r t l y le g e n d a r y e x p l o i t s . S u b s e q u e n tly a new ty p e o f h ero w as c r e a t e d , s l i g h t l y i n f e r i o r t o th e C id , and p u r e ly n a t i o n a l in c h a r a c te r : Bernardo d e l C a rp i o , who i n t r e p i d l y f a c e d R oland i n th e b a t t l e o f R o n c e sv a lle f. The "rom anceros” d id j u s t i c e t o B ernardo; th e b e s t modern pub­ l i c i t y a g e n t c o u ld n o t h ave done b e t t e r in p o p u la r iz in g t h a t w a r r io r .

O ther S p a n ish s o l d i e r s , t o o , w ere beamed i n t o e x a g ­

g e r a te d prom inence by t h a t form o f c o m p o s itio n . In t h e s u l t r i n e s s o f t h e m e d ie v a l p e r io d , h ero ism and r e -

3

l i g i o u s f a i t h com bine and d e v e lo p in a s p e c i a l way in t h e Span­ i s h m ind.

F a it h i s n o t o n ly t h e f i r s t b e g in n in g and u l t i m a t e

end; n o t m e r e ly a p a r t o f man who, in p a r t ic u la r m om ents, may r e c o g n iz e an o m n ip o te n t d i v i n i t y a s th e d ir e c t o r o f t h e U n iv e r s e , but a l s o a g u id e th r o u g h o u t l i f e .

In f a c t , a s f a r a s man i s

c o n c er n e d , th e work o f H eaven i s m a n ife s t i n e v e r y phenom enon; e v e r y t h in g t h a t may o c c u r i s a t r a n s i t o r y th in g o f t h i s w o r ld , a w arning o f t h e i n f i n i t e and b l e s s e d e x is t e n c e a f t e r d e a t h . That i s t h e r e a s o n why m y s tic and r e l i g i o u s p o e t r y was v i t a l and a lw a y s w e l l r e c e i v e d .

That i s why th e le g e n d o f a

s a i n t , th e p r a y e r s t o God, th e p r a is e o f th e V ir g in , a l l h ave t h e i r r e a so n f o r e x i s t i n g s i d e by s id e w ith th e l i t e r a t u r e e x ­ t o l l i n g t h e w a r r io r . R e l ig i o n p la y e d an im p o r ta n t r o le in S p a n ish l i t e r a t u r e fo r c e n t u r i e s , epoch.

a lth o u g h a d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t p e r v a d e s any g iv e n

The s p i r i t o f t h e M id dle A ges was d r e a r y .

One w r i t e r

d i s t i n g u i s h e d h i m s e l f n o t o n l y a s a p o e t o f S t . M ary, b u t a l s o a s a man o f l e a r n i n g i n g e n e r a l .

A lfo n so th e W ise ill u m i n a t e d

th e t h i r t e e n t h c e n tu r y by c u l t i v a t i n g t h e a r t s and s c i e n c e s . He c o n v e r te d h i s p a la c e i n t o a k in d o f i n t e l l e c t u a l work c e n t e r , su rr o u n d in g h i m s e l f w it h i l l u s t r i o u s men o f e v e r y f i e l d

of

human en d eavor and s e r v in g a s a so u rce o f i n s p i r a t i o n t o th em . There was no s c i e n c e n or a r t i n w hich t h a t monarch d id n o t show an a c t i v e i n t e r e s t .

A lfo n s o X was a p r e c u r so r o f t h e

R e n a iss a n c e i n S p a in , bu t h i s r e l i g i o u s b e n t, c o u p le d w it h

4

th e f a c t t h a t th e I t a l i a n in f lu e n c e s o f humanism had n o t y e t l e f t t h e i r im p a ct on t h a t la n d , e x c lu d e s him from th e ran k s o f g r e a t S p a n is h h u m a n ists .

We have no p r o o f o t h e r th a n t h a t

he was unaware o f or i n d i f f e r e n t t o Greek and Roman c o n t r ib u ­ t i o n s to k n o w led g e. A lfo n s o d ie d i n 1 2 8 4 .

H is nephew, don Juan M anuel, w rote

commendable f a b l e s , b u t d is p la y e d no t r a c e s o f humanism.

R a th e r ,

he a d o p ted a c e r t a i n gen u s o f o r i e n t a l (A rab ian ) l i t e r a t u r e , th e f a b l e o r a p o lo g u e .

But l i t t l e

by l i t t l e

new c u sto m s , new

ways o f t h in k in g and o f v ie w in g t h in g s , w ere r e p la c in g t h e o ld cu sto m s and i d e a s .

L i t t l e by l i t t l e

th e R e n a is s a n c e was ap p roach ­

in g . A t th e s t a r t o f th e fo u r te e n th c e n tu r y , m e d ie v a l s o c i e t y was a lr e a d y d i s i n t e g r a t i n g .

Though th e Church s t i l l m a in ta in e d

i t s d o g m a tic a u t h o r i t y , r e l i g i o n had become r e l a x e d . s t i l l b e lie v e d ,

P e o p le

but th e y d id n o t l i v e a c c o r d in g t o t h e i r f a i t h .

The m onarchy had weakened c o n s id e r a b ly .

M orals had d e g e n e r a te d

to su ch v a g u e n e ss t h a t i t was u n c e r ta in what was p r e s c r ib e d and w hat w as p r o h i b it e d . M y ste r y w as b e in g r e p la c e d by s c i e n c e .

S c h o l a s t i c and r e ­

l i g i o u s e r u d i t i o n was g i v in g way to c l a s s i c and pagan e r u d i t i o n . Juan R u iz and P ero Ldpez de A yala d e p ic te d S p a n is h s o c i e t y , th e form er a s a human comedy and th e l a t t e r a s i n n eed o f r e fo r m . As a h u m a n ist,

th e A r c ip r e s t e de H ita i s o u ts ta n d in g among h i s

c o n t emporar i e s . The f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y was th e t r a n s i t i o n p e r io d b etw een th e

5

M iddle A ges and th e R e n a is s a n c e .

E x a o tly when one ended and

t h e o t h e r began cannot be d e te r m in e d , n o r n eed i t b e .

But i t

was i n th e f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y t h a t th e d e p a r tu r e from m e d ie v a l­ ism was so m arked, and th e a d v e n t o f humanism so d i s t i n g u i s h e d , t h a t w orks o f a r t , l i t e r a t u r e and s c i e n c e a r e b rou gh t i n t o r e ­ l i e f by t h e d eg r ee o f t h e i r a d h eren ce t o t h e o ld s u b j e c t m a tte r and s p i r i t . The E sse n c e o f Humanism We have spoken o f humanism a s so m eth in g good and m e d ie v a l­ ism a s a s ta g e t o be g o t t e n o v e r .

Today humanism i s g e n e r a l l y

v iew ed a s a s te p p in g s to n e betw een m e d ie v a l and modern t im e s . M ild ly s t a t e d , i t was an epoch-m aking movement t h a t r e p r e s e n t e d an e x t e n s i v e change in a r t , l i t e r a t u r e , and th o u g h t t h a t to o k p la c e i n w e ste r n E u rop e.

U n d e r ly in g i t w ere th e p h a se s o f a

com m ercial r e v o l u t i o n — an in c r e a s e in t r a d e , w e a lth , b a n k in g , a c c u m u la tio n by r ic h i n d i v i d u a l s and t a x a t i o n by g overn m en ts. I t a l y ' s predom inance in t h e r i s e o f humanism i s due to th e f a c t t h a t i t was th e r e t h a t abundant commerce and lu x u r io u s c o u r t s f i r s t a p p ea red .

Such a movement c o u ld ta k e p la c e m ost

e f f e c t i v e l y i n a consu m ers' c i v i l i z a t i o n Who were th e e a r l y h u m a n ists?

su ch a s t h e I t a l i a n .

In "the m ain, t h e y w ere th e s e c ­

r e t a r ie s , lib r a r ia n s , te a c h e r s , c o u r tie r s , o f f i c i a l s , p r in c e s , p r e l a t e s and g r e a t m erch an ts o f th e c i t i e s and c o u r t s . The e s s e n c e o f humanism was an augm ented i n t e r e s t in t h e G reek and L a tin c l a s s i c s .

In th e b e g in n in g o f humanism t h e r e

6

was n o t much e v id e n c e o f p rofou n d or i n v e n t i v e m en ta l a c t i v i t y — i n i m it a t i o n o f th e g r e a t a n c ie n t w r i t e r s ;

i t w as, r a t h e r , t h e i r

a lm o st b o u n d le ss v a r i e t y o f c o n t e n t , th e p e r f e c t i o n o f form and th e freed om o f th o u g h t t h a t w ere s e i z e d upon and u t i l i z e d by th e awakened and c r i t i c a l minds o f M ed iterra n ea n E u rop e.

It is

n a t u r a l t h a t th e I t a l i a n s who l i v e d on th e same s o i l a s th e w r it e r s o f Roman a n t i q u i t y , sh o u ld have f e l t th e m s e lv e s t h e i r d i r e c t d e s c e n d a n ts .

The Roman la n g u a g e o f th e c l a s s i c a l age

was th e la n g u a g e o f m e d ie v a l l e a r n i n g , law and th e Church. To q u o te from th e a n c ie n t w r i t e r s was a fr e q u e n t and f a m ilia r m e d ie v a l p r a c t i c e , and what th e a n c ie n t s had known c o n s t i t u t e d th e b u lk o f th e knowledge o f th e M iddle A g e s. H owever, in th e M iddle A g e s, t h i s a n c ie n t l o r e was su b o r­ d in a te d t o th e d o c t r in e , th e d i s c i p l i n e and t h e p h ilo s o p h y o f th e C h r is t ia n ch u rch , t o th e s c h o l a s t i c i s m t h a t dom inated th e u n iv e r s itie s ,

to th e maze o f s u p e r s t i t i o n and t o th e d e v o tio n

o f more tim e f o r r e l i g i o u s i n t e r e s t s than f o r a n y th in g e l s e . In r e a d in g t h e th o u g h ts o f g r e a t w r i t e r s o f th e M iddle A g es, we c a n n o t but be s t r u c k , n o t o n ly w ith t h e i r ig n o r a n c e o f th e m a t e r ia l w o r ld , bu t a l s o w ith t h e i r ig n o r a n c e o f t h e i r ig n o r a n c e . But in a w orld o f broader i n t e r e s t s , i n th e R e n a iss a n t w o r ld , p e o p le s tu d ie d th e c l a s s i c s in a d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t .

They

f e l t a new a p p r e c ia t io n fo r t h e i r l i t e r a r y b e a u ty , t h e ir v a r i e t y o f s u b j e c t and t h e ir l e s s i n h i b i t e d o u tlo o k on l i f e .

In th a t

o u t lo o k , an in t im a te r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t e d b etw een th e m se lv e s and th e a n c ie n t w r i t e r s .

7

The ranks o f t h o s e who d e d ic a t e d th e m s e lv e s t o th e stu d y o f th e c l a s s i c s s w e lle d p r o g r e s s i v e l y ; th e y came from o u t s id e th e Church and, a t f i r s t , w ere u n a f f i l i a t e d w ith th e u n i v e r s i ­ tie s .

Those t e a c h e r s , w r i t e r s , s t u d e n t s and o t h e r s e a g e r ly

so u g h t o u t and d is c o v e r e d many m a n u sc r ip ts w hich th e y c o p ie d , r e c o p ie d , e d i t e d , c r i t i c i z e d , t r a n s l a t e d in t o L a tin and I t a l i a n , and t o them modern s c h o la r s h ip i s d e e p ly in d e b te d . I t i s a m a tte r o f d is p u te w h eth er th e v a r ie d s u b j e c t m a tte r o f h u m a n istic w r i t i n g s was more im p ortan t th a n e i t h e r s c h o l a r ­ sh ip o r s t y l e .

H owever, th e d i v e r s i t y o f s u b j e c t s t r e a t e d by

th e a n c ie n t s was s e i z e d upon by th e h u m a n ists and im it a t e d w ith u n u su a l e n th u sia sm ; a l s o t h e l a t t e r had ta k e n a renew ed and keen i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r own a g e .

E v ery c o n c e iv a b le i n t e r e s t o c c u p ie d

th e ir w r itin g s . But t h e i r i n t e n s i f i e d p r e o c c u p a tio n w ith form i s w e l l u n d e r ­ sc o r e d by Mark P a t t i s o n : In th e f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y w as r e v e a le d t o a w orld w h ich had h i t h e r t o b een t r a in e d t o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s , t h e b e a u ty o f l i t e r a r y form . The c o n c e p tio n o f s t y l e or f i n i s h e d e x p r e s s io n had d ie d o u t w ith th e pagan s o h o o ls o f r h e t o r i c . I t was n o t th e d e s p o t ic a c t o f J u s t in i a n in c l o s i n g t h e s c h o o ls o f A th en s w hich had su p p r e sse d i t . The s e n s e o f a r t in la n g u a g e d e c a y ed from th e same g e n e r a l c a u se s w h ich had b e e n f a t a l t o a l l a r ­ t i s t i c p e r c e p tio n . B a n ish ed from th e Roman Empire i n th e s i x t h c e n tu r y or e a r l i e r , t h e c l a s s i c a l c o n c e p tio n o f b e a u ty o f form r e e n te r e d t h e c i r c l e o f id e a s a f t e r n e a r ly a th o u sa n d y e a r s o f o b l i v i o n and a b e y a n c e . C ic e r o and V i r g i l , L iv iu s and O vid , had been t h e r e a l l a lo n g , bu t th e id e a o f c o m p o site harmony on w hich

8

t h e i r w orks w ere c o n s t r u c t e d was w an t­ in g . The r e s t o r e d c o n c e p tio n , a s i f t o reco u p i t s e l f f o r i t s lo n g su p p r e s­ s i o n , to o k e n t i r e p o s s e s s io n o f th e mind o f E u rop e. The f i r s t p e r io d o f th e R e n a is s a n c e p a s se d i n a d o r a tio n o f th e awakened b e a u ty , and in e f f o r t s t o cop y and m u l t i p l y i t . 1 The M iddle A ges w ere a p p a r e n tly b lin d t o th e e x p r e s s io n s o f b e a u ty , b o th i n th e human form and in l i t e r a t u r e , o f th e G reeks and t h e i r i m i t a t o r s .

The m ost c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t h i n g

about th e h u m a n ists was t h e i r s p i r i t .

Humanism was c o m p a r a tiv e ly

u n i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e o l o g y , i n sharp c o n t r a s t t o th e p i e t y or e c :c l e s i a s t i o i s m o f th e M id dle A g e s.

I t o f t e n showed i t s e l f unm ind­

f u l o f th e Church, som etim es m e tin g o u t h a rsh c r i t i c i s m a g a i n s t th e l a t t e r . The b a s e , u n s c i e n t i f i c ,

su b je c t-d e p e n d e n c 6 o f th e M id dle

A ges on a u t h o r i t y was u n sh ared by th e h u m a n ists, who, in f a c t , d e p a r te d so r a d i c a l l y from th e C h r is t ia n d i s c i p l i n e o f th e M iddle A ges t h a t humanism was in one r e s p e c t i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from p a g a n ism .

T h is w as p a r t l y a t t r i b u t a b l e to th e in f l u e n c e

o f th e a n c ie n t w r i t e r s . I t w as im p o s s ib le t o read a s s id u o u s ly and r e c e p t i v e l y t h e w r i t i n g s o f men who w ere e i t h e r a g n o s t i c s o r whose god s w ere f a r away and u n r e a l and r e ­ t a i n any c o n v i c t i o n o f th e e x i s t e n c e o f a p e r s o n a l, i n t e r e s t e d C h r is t ia n d e ity . But t h e freed om o f s p i r i t o f humanism was a l s o a r e v o l t from s a c e r d o -

1 . Mark P a t t i s o n , I s a a c Casaubon (London, 1 8 7 5 ), p p . 5 0 6 -5 0 7 .

9

t a l i s m , a laym an’ s r e b e l l i o n a g a in s t th e ty r a n n y o f t h e churchmen, a d e c ­ l a r a t i o n o f in d ep en d en ce o f th o u g h t from t h e r e s t r i c t i o n s o f e c c l e s i a s t i ­ c a l a u t h o r it y .2 E d u c a tio n had an em in en t r o le in t h e d ev elo p m en t o f humanism. In h u m a n is tic s c h o o ls th e t e a c h in g c o n s i s t e d o f l e c t u r e s ,

exer­

c i s e s and d i s c u s s i o n s on th e c l a s s i c s ; b o th th e c o n t e n t and th e form o f t h e a n c ie n t w r i t e r s w ere s tu d ie d : The grammar, e ty m o lo g y , v o c a b u la r y and e v e n th e s t y l e o f t h e L a tin and Greek la n g u a g e s and l i t e r a t u r e would n e v e r have c r e a t e d th e e n th u sia sm t h a t marked th e h u m a n istic s c h o o ls . The t e a c h e r s l e c t u r e d on geograp h y, p o l i t i c s , h i s t o r y and even m e d ic in e and s c ie n c e a s t h e y met th o s e su b ­ j e c t s in t h e a n c ie n t w r i t e r s . I t was t h i s v a r ie d m a t e r ia l t h a t gave t o th e c l a s s i c s t h e i r p r e fe r r e d p o s i ­ t i o n i n a l l l a t e r e d u c a tio n , even a f t e r c o n t e n t had become su b o r d in a te t o form and e v en a f t e r o th e r s u b j e c t s o f e d u c a t io n a l v a lu e unknown t o th e h u m a n ists had b een d i s c o v e r e d .3 E a r ly h u m a n is tic t r a i n i n g , how ever, was m ost a p p r o p r ia te f o r men o f w e a lth and n o b i l i t y .

Those o f lo w e r r a n k , a s w e l l

a s m e r c h a n ts , c o u ld h ave done w ith a more p r a c t i c a l t r a i n i n g . T here was an u n d e n ia b le a r i s t o c r a t i c ten d e n o y in a l l h u m a n istic e d u c a t io n .

He who p u rsu ed su ch stu d y was e i t h e r a man o f

s t a t i o n or was e x p e c te d t o become o n e . I m i t a t i o n o f th e c l a s s i c s a r o se from r e v e r e n t a d m ir a tio n

2. Edward P . C heyney, E n c y c lo p e d ia o f t h e S o c i a l S c i e n c e s ( 1 9 4 2 ) , V o l. V I I , p . 5 5 8 . 5 . I b i d . , p p . 5 5 8 -5 3 9 .

10

o f them .

And s i n c e I t a l y was th e b ir t h p la c e and n u r s in g ground s

o f t h e R e n a is s a n c e , i t was o n ly n a tu r a l t h a t I t a l i a n j o y enorm ous p r e s t i g e abroad.

sh o u ld e n ­

But ev en a s a l i t e r a r y la n g u a g e ,

th e I t a l i a n u sed by D a n te, P d tr a rc h and B o c o a c c io w as secon d in im p o r ta n c e t o L a t in .

To u se L a tin s k i l l f u l l y and e lo q u e n t l y

s u f f i c e d t o earn th e u s e r a fo rm id a b le r e p u t a t i o n .

Im p ortan t

d ip lo m a t ic and p o l i t i c a l p o s t s were c o n fe r r e d upon men whose p r i n c i p a l v i r t u e was t h e i r d e x t e r i t y in th e em ploym ent o f L a t in f o r c o r r esp o n d en ce and docum ents.

Juan de M en a's p r o ­

f i c i e n c y in t h a t la n gu age earn ed f o r him th e p o s i t i o n o f S e c ­ r e t a r y o f L a tin L e t t e r s , and, a s we s h a l l s e e i n l a t e r c h a p t e r s , h i s in t im a c y w ith I t a l i a n i s c l e a r l y in d ic a t e d in h i s p o e t r y . The h i s t o r y o f humanism c u s to m a r ily b e g in s w it h D ante ( 1 2 6 5 -1 3 2 1 ) and P e tr a r c h ( 1 3 0 4 -1 3 7 4 ), th e fo r m e r , b e c a u se o f h i s p o e t i c s u b lim it y , b e in g u n d o u b ted ly th e g r e a t e r .

H owever,

D ante w as m e r e ly th e p r e c u r s o r o f humanism w h ile i t was P e tr a r c h who i n i t i a t e d t h e movement and le d i t on to s u c c e s s .

W hile D ante

t a k e s t h e S c h o l a s t i c s a s h i s g u id e s in m a t t e r s o f r e a l im p o r ta n c e , P etr a rc h i s

i n t e r e s t e d o n ly i n th e a n c ie n t s and in p o e t r y , u n ­

e a r t h in g l o n g - l o s t m a n u sc r ip ts o f th e c l a s s i c s , and c o l l e c t i n g a n c i e n t m e d a ls and c o in s .

The c l a s s i c a l w r i t e r s — e s p e c i a l l y

h i s g u id in g s t a r s , V i r g i l and C ic e r o — s e r v e n o t m e r e ly t o i n s t r u c t and to charm him , b u t a l s o t o s t i r him to i m i t a t i o n .

H is c h i e f

d i s c i p l e and f r i e n d , B o c c a c c io (1 3 1 3 -1 3 7 5 ), w as h on ored in h i s l i f e t i m e n o t f o r h i s Decam eron, but f o r h i s L a tin w orks w h ich h e lp e d sp r e a d humanism.

i

11

B. The N a tu re o f F if t e e n t h - C e n t u r y S p a n ish P o e t r y B oth la n g u a g e and v e r s i f i c a t i o n a r e more f u l l and v ig o r o u s th a n h i t h e r t o in th e v e r s e s w r it t e n by th e p o e t s o f th e f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y .

And t h i s p r o g r e s s i s n o t s u r p r i s i n g in v ie w o f th e m ul­

t i t u d e o f c ir c u m sta n c e s w h ich a t t h a t tim e co n c u r re d t o fa v o r p o e try .

The f l o r a l gam es, e s t a b l i s h e d a t T o u lo u se in th e m idd le

o f th e p r e c e d in g c e n tu r y and in tr o d u c e d by t h e k in g s o f Aragon i n t o t h e i r s t a t e s tow ard s th e c o n c lu s io n o f t h a t cen tu ry-, th e a sse m b ly o f w i t s who con ten d ed f o r p r i z e s p ro p o sed a t t h e s e s o l e m n i t i e s ; t h e cerem o n ies o b se r v e d in them ; t h e rank and c o n ­ s i d e r a t i o n g iv e n t o th e a r t o f son g; th e fa v o r o f p r in c e s ; a more e x te n d e d know ledge of a n c ie n t book s; t h e l i g h t w hich now broke f o r t h from a l l p a r t s and d is p e r s e d th e dark m i s t s o f so many b a rb a ro u s c e n t u r i e s ; a grow ing a c q u a in ta n c e w ith I t a l y w h ich had b een e n lig h t e n e d b e fo r e the r e s t o f E u r o p e ;— a l l c o n tr ib u te d p o w e r f u lly t o th e fa v o r a b le r e c e p t io n o f t h i s a r t . H en ce, a s we exam ine th e a n c ie n t C a n c io n e r o s in w hich th e p o e t r y o f t h i s p e r io d was c o l l e c t e d , th e f i r s t t h i n g t h a t s t r i k e s u s i s t h e m u ltitu d e of a u th o r s , and se c o n d , t h e i r q u a l i t y .

John

t h e S eco n d , who found much p le a s u r e in l i s t e n i n g to t h e i r rhymes and who h im s e lf o c c a s i o n a ll y t r i e d h i s hand a t rhym ing, i n t r o ­ d u ced t h i s t a s t e i n t o h i s c o u r t, and th u s a l l th e g r a n d e e s, in i m i t a t i o n o f him , e i t h e r p a tr o n iz e d or c u l t i v a t e d i t .

The Con­

s t a b l e Don A lv a r o de Luna w rote v e r s e s ; th e Duque de A rjona w rote v e r s e s ; th e c e le b r a t e d Don E nrique de V i l l e n a w ro te p o e tr y ; th e

12

Marques de S a n t i ll a n a d id , t o o ;

in f a c t , a hundred o th e r s more

or l e s s i l l u s t r i o u s th a n t h e y to o k t o th e a r t . 4 The form o f v e r s i f i c a t i o n w h ich had now become c u r r e n t was much l e s s im p e r fe c t th a n t h a t o f form er a g e s .

C op las de a r t e

mayor^and o c t o s y l l a b i c v e r s e s p r e v a il e d o v e r th e t e d io u s h e a v i ­ n e s s o f th e A le x a n d r in e ; t h e i r c r o s s e d rhym es, w h ich p o s s e s s e d some e le g a n c e and g r a c e , w ere more p l e a s i n g to t h e ear and more v o lu m in o u s.

The a u s t e r e a s p e c t w h ich p o e t r y had h i t h e r t o p r e ­

s e n te d was m ellow ed by t h e w r i t e r s o f th e new p o e t i c p e r io d . They abandoned th e le n g t h y poem s, d e v o t io n a l le g e n d s , and w e a r i­ some s e r i e s o f d r y p r e c e p t s and b a ld s e n t e n c e s , and d e v o te d them ­ s e l v e s t o s u b j e c t s more p r o p o r tio n e d t o t h e i r p o w ers.

I n s te a d o f

f o llo w in g th e p a th made by t h e i r more p io u s f o r e b e a r s , th e y p r e f e r a b ly c u l t i v a t e d th e lo v e - s o n g and e l e g y .

A more g e n e r a l

r e a d in g o f th e L a tin w r i t e r s ta u g h t them t h e mode o f im it a t io n and fu r n is h e d t h o s e ornam ents o f sp e e c h w h ich se r v e d t o e m b e llis h th e ir v erse. L et u s e s s a y a com p arison b e tw e en t h e f i f t e e n t h - c e n t u r y p o e t r y o f S p ain and t h a t o f E n g la n d .

I f t h i s c o u ld be done s u c ­

c e s s f u l l y , how much more f a m i l i a r t h e E n g lis h -s p e a k in g rea d er m ig h t f e e l w it h h i s s u b j e c t !

How much e a s i e r to "weigh" th e

4. More th a n 200 S p a n is h p o e t s f l o u r is h e d in th e r e ig n o f John I I a c c o r d in g to M a r c e lin o Menendez y P e la y o , H is t o r i a de l a P o e s la C a s te lla n a en l a Edad M ed ia. V o l. I I (M adrid, 1 9 1 4 ), p . 2 7 . 5 . S ee b elo w , C hapt. V I I , "The A r te Mayor T ech n iq u e."

13

m e r it s and d e m e r its o f S p a n ish l i t e r a t u r e !

How much more s e l f -

a ssu r a n c e co u ld be g a in e d from d e v e lo p in g a p o s i t i v e c r i t e r i o n l S p a n ish p o e t r y up t o and in c lu d in g t h i s p e r io d , i f p la c e d by th e s id e o f w hat had b e e n a c co m p lish ed by th e a r t o f E n g la n d , would n o t s u f f e r much from th e co m p a riso n .

N e ith e r L yd gate n o r

Gower can be th o u g h t t o e x c e l t h e a u th o r o f th e C id .

And a l ­

though what we m ost adm ire in th e s a t i r e o f th e A r c h p r ie s t o f H ita and th e T a le s i n th e Conde Lucanor i s combined i n C h aucer, and su r p a sse d b y h i s p u ngent w it and p ic tu r e s q u e n a r r a t i v e s , we m ust n o t f o r g e t t h a t C haucer w as a s much in d e b te d t o B o c c a c c io a s Juan de Mena w as t o P e t r a r c h , B o c c a c c io and p e r h a p s D a n te . A lso we must b ea r in mind t h a t t h e la n g u a g e and v e r s i f i c a t i o n o f Mena a re much more r e f i n e d and harm onious th an t h e w r i t i n g s o f h i s c o n te m p o r a r ie s in E n g la n d .

F u rth erm ore, t h e l o v e - l a y s

o f Juan Manuel or S a n t i l l a n a , and M a n riq u e's e le g y , may c la im a p e r f e c t e q u a l i t y w it h , o r r a th e r a b s o lu t e s u p e r i o r i t y o v e r , th e am atory e f f u s i o n s o f Lord S u r r e y and th e to u c h in g "Adieu" o f th e youn ger W yatt t o h i s L u t e .6 W ith t h e s e im p r e s s io n s on h i s m ind, an in d u lg e n t c r i t i c , who lo o k s back upon th e im p e r fe c t p r o d u c tio n s o f t h i s f i r s t p e r io d o f th e a r t in S p a in w i l l a s c r ib e much in them o f what i s tir e s o m e in n a r r a t i v e and d u l l i n s u b j e c t t o th e le g e n d a r y

6. The s u b s ta n c e o f t h i s and th e f o llo w in g paragraph i s found in W iffe n ’ s r e v ie w o f Espagne P o e t i q u e , by Juan M arla Maury, in th e F o r e ig n R e v ie w , Y o l. I (London, 1 8 5 8 ), p p . 5 7 -5 8 .

14

and m o n a s tic s p i r i t o f th e a g e; much o f what i s in a n im a te and rude i n s t y l e ,

t o th e w ild n e s s o f an u n f ix e d la n g u a g e , w h ich

t a k e s , a s i t a d v a n c e s, a to n e o f g r e a t e r pomp and com pass; and f i n a l l y , he w i l l o v e r lo o k th e c o n s ta n t want o f u n i t y o f th e lo n g e r poem s. C. John I I —K ing and P a tr o n o f t h e A r ts John th e Second a scen d ed th e th r o n e o f Leon and C a s t i l e in 1 4 0 6 , when l e s s than two y e a r s o l d . ?

7/hen he became o f ag e he

to o k th e r e i n s o f govern m en t, b u t n e i t h e r w ere a f f a i r s o f s t a t e t o h i s l i k i n g nor was he c a p a b le o f d i r e c t i n g them j u d i c i o u s l y . P r e f e r r in g t o d e v o te h im s e lf t o m usic and p o e t r y , he u n rem o rsef u l l y handed t h e t a s k o f g o v e r n in g t o Don A lv a ro de Luna, o f t e n spoken o f a s th e C o n sta b le (E l C o n d e sta b le ) o f C a s t i l e . The m o n a r ch 's m a n if e s t w ea k n ess in t h e hands o f t h e Con­ s t a b le a r o u se d t h e en m ity o f t h e n o b le s , w ith th e r e s u l t t h a t two m ajor p a r t i e s w ere form ed.

One, o f c o u r s e , was head ed by

Don A lv a r o ; in o p p o s it io n were th e i n f a n t e s E n r iq u e , Juan and

7. H is f a t h e r , E n riq u e I I I , had a p p o in te d a s h i s g u a r d ia n s b o th t h e q u een m o th e r, Dona C a t a lin a , and th e i n f a n t e Don F e r ­ nando, J o h n ’ s u n c l e . The l a t t e r , f o r r e a s o n s o f s e c u r i t y and i n a c c o r d a n c e w it h h i s d e c e a s e d b r o t h e r ’ s e x p r e s s e d w is h e s , d i ­ v id e d t h e governm ent o f th e kingdom in t o two p a r t s , t a k in g f o r h im s e lf t h e a d m in is t r a t io n o f C a s t i l l a l a Nueva and th e A n dalu­ s ia n p r o v in c e s , and g i v i n g to Dona C a t a l i n a ’ s c a re C a s t i l l a l a V i e j a . B ut upon th e d e a th o f Don M a r tin , k in g o f A ragon, Don Fernando w as c h o sen f o r t h a t th r o n e , w ith th e r e s u l t t h a t h i s g u a r d ia n sh ip o f n e c e s s i t y became r e la x e d . Soon t h e r e a f t e r he d ie d . T hereupon Dona C a ta lin a became a b s o lu t e r u le r o f th e e n ­ t i r e kingdom . T h is a b s o lu t e a u t h o r it y l a s t e d o n ly two y e a r s , a f t e r w h ich t h e queen p a s se d away. Joh n , who w as th e n o n ly t h i r t e e n , f o r t u n a t e l y became th e ward o f Don A lv a r o de Luna, who h e ld a g r e a t a f f e c t i o n f o r t h e young p r in c e .

15

P e d r o , th e so n s o f Fernando de A n teq u era , who in t r ig u e d r e l e n t ­ l e s s l y and c e a s e l e s s l y a g a in s t t h e C o n s ta b le .

Even when th e

k in g w as a mere b o y , E nrique had su cc ee d e d i n c a p tu r in g him , b u t Don A lv a ro managed t o c a r r y John o f f i n t o th e p r o t e c t i v e c u sto d y o f b e t t e r com pany.8 John t h e Second had m arried Mar£a de A ragon, and when sh e d ie d th e C o n sta b le p ro p o sed t h a t he sh o u ld ta k e I s a b e l o f P o r t u ­ g a l fo r a w i f e .

Don A lv a ro b e l ie v e d t h a t th e p r i n c e s s w ould

t h u s be in d e b te d t o him fo r th e crow n.

Her r e a c t i o n , h ow ever,

was d i a m e t r i c a l l y c o n tr a r y to h i s e x p e c t a t i o n s .

J e a lo u s o f A l­

v a r o ’ s i n f l u e n c e , th e new queen q u ic k ly showed h e r s e l f t o be h i s b i t t e r enemy and i t was sh e a lo n e who was t o c a u se h i s d o w n f a l l - so m e th in g w h ich t h e g r a n d e e s o f C a s t i l e had b een u n a b le t o a c h ie v e by t h i r t y y e a r s o f c o n s p ir a c y and c i v i l w a r s. The K in g, who, u n t i l t h e n , had been weak and c o w a r d ly , a c te d u n g r a t e f u l l y and c r u e l l y : he d e c re ed th e im p rison m en t o f h i s f a i t h f u l c o u n s e lo r and a d m in is t r a t o r .

Soon t h e r e a f t e r a c o u n c il

c o m p r is in g h i s o p p o n e n ts h a s te n e d to s e n te n c e Don A lv a ro t o be d e c a p it a t e d ”a s a ty r a n t and u su r p e r o f th e r o y a l a u t h o r i t y . ” On t h e s c a f f o l d , he tu r n e d t o a s e r v a n t o f p r in c e E n riq u e and spoke h i s l a s t w ords: ’’T e l l t h y

m a ster t o rew ard h i s l o y a l s e r ­

v a n t s u n lik e th e way th e K ing i s r e w a r d in g m e .”

The e x e c u t io n

t o o k p l a c e in V a l la d o lid i n 1453#

8. Juan R iz z o y R am irez, J u l c io C r l t i c o y S i g n i f i c a c i o n P o l i t l c a de D. A lv a r o de Luna (M hdrid, 1 8 6 5 ) , Ch. I I .

16

Tliat was th e en d o f t h i s e x tr a o r d in a r y man, t h i s m on ster o f f o r t u n e , who had a t t a in e d th e peak o f power and p o s s e s s e d th e t r e a s u r e s o f th e crow n . The v i c t i m o f th e m onarch’ s i m b e c i l i t y and o f th e in g r a t it u d e o f th e new q u een , he was " b e n e v o le n tly ” b u r ie d i n th e C em etery o f E v ild o e r s . . . . In 1658 th e C o u n c il o f C a s t i l e d e c la r e d him in n o c e n t .^ An o n -t h e s c e n e w i t n e s s , F ernan P e r e z de Guzman, d e s c r ib e s th e C o n sta b le a s s e l f i s h , e x c e s s i v e l y a m b it io u s , pow er-hungry and a v a r i c i o u s ; b u t he d e p i c t s t h e o p p o s i t i o n , th e g r a n d e e s, as e v e n more u n sc ru p u lo u s and u n p a t r i o t i c .

The c h r o n i c l e r b e lie v e d

t h a t t h e y w ere r e a l l y g la d to s e e su ch a weak K ing upon th e t h r o n e , f o r t h i s en a b led them t o ta k e a d v a n ta g e o f th e d is o r d e r t o e n r ic h th e m s e lv e s .

I f t h e i r own c o u n s e l c o u ld p r e v a i l upon

t h e m onarch, in s t e a d o f Luna’ s , t h e y w ould become " w ea lth y f i s h e r ­ men i n th e tu r b u le n t r i v e r ."

As a r e s u l t ,

. . . c o u n t le s s w r o n g d o in g s, i n j u r i e s , u p r i s i n g s , im p r iso n m e n ts, b a n ish m e n ts , c o n f i s c a t i o n s , u s u r p a t io n s o f d i g n i t i e s , r i o t s , v i l l a n i e s , r o b b e r i e s , s c o r c h in g s o f t h e e a r th and w a rs w it h th e Moors f o llo w e d hard on on e a n o t h e r . Who c o u ld r e c o u n t a l l t h i s ? . . . The a n c ie n t and p r a is e w o r th y ways o f t h e C a s t i l i a n s had r e a c h e d th e p o in t w h ere, i n o r d e r to s e ­ cu re th e p o s s e s s i o n s o f t h e i r r e l a t i v e o r f r i e n d , t h e y w ould p e r m it him t o be im p r iso n e d or k i l l e d . 10

9. A le ja n d r o Gomez R anera, H i s t o r i a de Espana (M adrid, 1 8 4 8 ), 6 th e d . , p . 133. 10. F ernan P e r e z de Guzman, "De Don A lv a r o de Luna, C o n d esta b le de C a s t i l l a y M aestre de S a n tia g o ," G e n e r a o io n e s y sem b lan zas e o b r a s de l o s e x c e l e n t e s r e y e s de E sp an a, in B i b l i o t e c a de A u to r e s E s p a n o le s , V o l. 6 8 , Ch. XXXIV, pp. 7 1 5 -7 1 9 .

17

The pomp, lu x u r y and sp le n d o r o f K ing J o h n ’s c o u r t were c a r r ie d to su ch an extrem e t h a t , a s one r e a d s a d e s c r i p t io n o f th e b a l l s , to u r n e y s , b a n q u ets and p a r t i e s o f e v e r y k in d w h ich took up so much o f h i s t im e , i t i s hard to s u s p e c t th a t m is e r y was r i f e among th e p e o p le .

Y e t t h e s i t u a t i o n o f th e

m a sses was a k in to th a t o f th e F ren ch d u rin g th e c r i t i c a l p e r io d o f L ou is X IV 's r e i g n , a lth o u g h o t h e r c o n d it io n s were n o t r ip e f o r a major s o c i a l r e v o l u t i o n . A year a f t e r th e e x e c u t io n o f A lv a r o , John h i m s e l f , op­ p r e s s e d by rem orse and th e i n s o l e n c e o f th e n o b le s , w hich m ounted w ith th e d eath o f th e C o n s t a b le , p a s s e d on. The in t e r n a l s t r u g g l e s , th e s t a t e o f an a rch ism c r e a te d by th e n o b le s , th e l a x i t y o f m orals i n C a s t i l e i n th e tim e o f John I I , were p a r t l y com p en sated by t h e b r ig h t gleam o f human­ ism o f her p r e l a t e s , her h i s t o r i a n s and her p o e t s .

What John I I

la c k e d as a p o l i t i c i a n and s ta t e s m a n , he made up fo r a s a p a tro n of le tte r s .

H is i n c l i n a t i o n s

tow ard s books and h i s know ledge o f

L a t in , p o e tr y and p h i lo s o p h ic a l w orks c la s h e d w ith th e c h u r l is h ­ n e s s o f th e upper c l a s s e s .

H is c o u r t was a haven f o r w is e men

and p o e t s , and many o f h i s c o n te m p o r a r ie s were i l l u s t r i o u s men o f l e t t e r s who made th e C a s t i l i a n c o u r t a l i t e r a r y c e n t e r .

It

may have been a c o in c id e n c e t h a t around John I I an a p p r e c ia b le number o f p r a ise w o r th y w r i t e r s g a t h e r e d .

A s i m i l a r phenomenon

c o u ld o ccu r w ith any a b s o lu t e m onarch who p a t r o n iz e d l e t t e r s . T hat i s a m a tter o f s p e c u l a t i o n .

But be t h a t a s i t may, King

John p la y e d h o s t to a c l u s t e r o f men o f l e t t e r s who w i l l alw ays

18

have t o be reck o n ed w ith in a su r v e y o f S p a n ish l i t e r a t u r e .

P uy-

m a ig r e ^ has s t u d ie d th e l i t e r a r y c o u r t o f th e C a s t i l i a n monarch and Menendez y P e la y o h a s evoked th e h i s t o r i c a l a s p e c t s o f A lv a ro de Luna d u rin g th e p e r io d o f th e L a b e r in to . B e sid e s Juan de Mena, th e p e r io d saw su ch o u ts ta n d in g men as Pedro de C a rta g en a , F ernan P e r e z de Guzman, M icer F r a n c is c o Im­ p e r i a l , V illa s a n d in o , I n ig o Lopez de Mendoza (t h e Marques de S a n t i l l a n a ) , th e g r e a t E n riqu e de V i l l e n a , necrom ancer par e x c e l l e n c e , and A lvaro de Luna h i m s e l f .

I f th e l e t t e r ’s s c a f f o l d was an a l t a r

o f g lo r y f o r th e man o f a c t i o n , h i s q u a l i t i e s a s a h u m an ist a r e e s p e c i a l l y r e v e a le d in h i s b e a u t i f u l L ib ro de l a s C la r a s e v i r tu o s a s m u.jeres, in f lu e n c e d by th e B o c c a c c io o f th e l a t e r y e a r s . The l i t e r a r y c o u r t o f John I I f l o u r is h e d among l i t e r a r y s c h o o ls o f a s i m i la r s p i r i t .

H is r e i g n c o in c id e s a lm o st e x a c t l y

w ith t h a t o f A lfo n s o V o f Aragon who o c c u p ie d th e th ron e from 1416 to 1 4 5 8 , th e p e r io d o f th e c o n q u e s t o f N a p les and o f th e im­ p o r t a t io n o f th e p r i n c i p a l m o t i f s o f th e I t a l i a n R e n a iss a n c e in t o th e I b e r ia n p e n in s u la .

In d e e d , a l l S p a in was in t h i s p e r io d open

to th e in f l u e n c e s o f humanism.

Menendez y P e la y o q u it e a c c u r a t e l y

s a y s : ’’The c o u r t o f A lfo n s o V i s th e p o r t i c o o f our R e n a is s a n c e , th e f i r s t s c h o o l o f th e S p a n is h h u m a n is ts .

lp

1 1 . Comte de P u ym aigre, La cour l i t t £ r a i r e de don Juan I I , R oi de C a s t i l l e ( P a r i s , 1 8 7 3 ) , 2 v o l s . 1 2 . M. Menendez y P e la y o , H i s t o r i a de l a p o e s ia c a s t e l l a n a en l a edad m e d ia ; e d i c i o n ordenada y an o ta d a por don A d o lfo B o n illa y San M artin (M adrid, 1 9 1 4 ) , p . 2 4 9 .

19

The ep och was s p e llb o u n d by Greek and L a tin p o e t s and by th e m ost d e l i c a t e form s o f th e f i r s t I t a l i a n R e n a is s a n c e .

In

th e p r o lo g u e to th e C ron ica de Juan I I th e w r it e r sp ea k s o f ’’th o s e d e s e r v in g e t e r n a l rem em brance.”

The c h r o n ic le r q u o te s

T itu s L i v i u s , S u e to n iu s and P lu t a r c h , who w r o te e l e g a n t l y th e life

and works o f c e le b r a t e d s a v a n t s o f G reece and Rome a l i k e .

He q u o tes from th e p o e t s L ucan, V i r g i l , Homer, and from t h a t m aster o f s t o i c i s m w hose i n f l u e n c e on th e C a s t i l i a n M id dle Ages had n o t c e a s e d — S e n e c a .

He c i t e s t h i s maxim: ”He who d o es n o t

s e e t h in g s p a s t l o s e s l i f e ;

and he who d oes n o t p u t s to c k in

th e f u t u r e e n t e r s i n t o a l l t h in g s l i k e a w is e m an.” J oh n ’ s r e i g n l a s t e d from 1406 to 1 4 5 4 .

The new g e n e r a t io n

c o in c id e d w ith th e G o th ic p e r io d c a l l e d ”fla r a m ife r o u s," i n w h ich e m b e llish m e n ts ad orn ed and tr a n sfo r m ed th e s e v e r e s p i r i t o f th e s t y l e o f th e t h i r t e e n t h and f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s .

In th e f i f ­

te e n th c e n tu r y th e w rought m e ta l to w ers o f th e Burgos C a th e d r a l w ere b u i l t , and a r ic h n e s s o f form and d e t a i l s su p p la n te d th e o g iv a l a r t .

John I I and h i s w i f e l i e b en ea th th e b e a u t i f u l s to n e

m o sa ic s o f th e s e p u lc h r e s o f G il de S i l o e — o f th e C a r th u sia n Or­ der o f M ir a f lo r e s . The d e l i c a t e to u c h o f th e s i l v e r s m i t h ap p ea rs in th e T r e z ie n ta s.

Juan d e Mena in h i s g r e a t poem d e s c r ib e s a f ig u r e o f John I I

t h a t r e c a l l s t h e s t y l i z e d s c u lp t u r e s o f th e ”f lo w e r y G oth ic p e r io d ” : ’’th e r i g h t hand adorned w ith a m ig h ty s w o r d ,” he i s s e a t e d on a c h a ir " o f c o l o r f u l fa n c y c a r v in g s ” w h ich makes one th in k o f th e c h o ir b en ch es o f th e f i f t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c a t h e d r a l s ,

20

on w h ich a r e engraved the d eeds o f form er Icin gs. wood i s adorned w i t h many c o l o r s ;

T h is e n g ra v ed

i t a p p e a r s l i k e an " i r i s w it h

a l l i t s v i v i d h u e s ." From the a f o r e m e n tio n e d Cr6n i c a comes t h i s p l a s t i c v i s i o n a p p r o p r ia t e to th e c h a r a c t e r and s p i r i t o f th e C a s t i l i a n monarch: This i l l u s t r i o u s King was o f l a r g e and handsome s t a t u r e , f a i r and m o d e r a t e ly ru d d y, o f v e r y n o b le ap p earan ce; h i s h a i r was t h e c o l o r o f a r i p e h a z e l n u t , h i s n o s e a t r i f l e u p tu r n e d , h i s e y e s b etw een g r e e n and b l u e ; h i s head i n ­ c l i n e d a l i t t l e ; he had e x tr e m e ly g r a c e ­ f u l l e g s , f e e t and han ds. He was a v e r y f e t c h i n g man, v e r y fr a n k and g r a c i o u s , v e r y d e v o u t , and v e r y v i g o r o u s . He was g i v e n much t o r e a d in g books o f p h i l o s ­ ophy and e n jo y e d th e p o e t s ; he was l e a r n e d i n th e L a t in la n g u a g e , and h on ored p e r s o n s o f s c i e n t i f i c a t t a i n m e n t s . He had many n a t u r a l g i f t s ; he was a g r e a t m u s i c i a n , he p l a y e d , sa n g , made v e r s e s and d an ced v e r y w e ll. The r e l a t i o n s w i t h I t a l y w ere c o n t i n u a l .

Mena, S e c r e t a r y

o f L a t i n L e t t e r s o f John I I , had a v e r y im p o r ta n t m i s s i o n i n c a rin g fo r in te r -p e n in s u la r a f f a i r s .

The I t a l i a n hu m anist

Leonardo A r e t in o was w r i t i n g e p i s t l e s t o t h e monarch o f C a s t i l e w hich w ere im p regn ated w i t h A r i s t o t e l i a n m oral c o n c e p ts; and the A u g u s t in ia n f r i a r M artin de Cdrdoba, i n c o r d i a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h Don A lv a r o de Luna, composed works i n w hich th e B o c c a c c io o f th e De C a sib u s Virorum and De C l a r i s M u lie r ib u s was a d o p te d t o con­ tem p orary s u b j e c t s and s i t u a t i o n s .

The f a m i l y o f S a n ta M aria,

c o n v e r t e d J ew s, gave to t h i s p e r io d v e r y i l l u s t r i o u s h u m a n is t s , c h i e f among them b e i n g th e B ish op o f B u rgos, A lo n so de C a r ta g e n a . The l a t t e r was an e x p e r t i n Greek and L a t i n , t r a n s l a t o r and com-

21

m e n t a t o r o f S e n e c a , p o l i t i c i a n and a s t a u n c h f r i e n d ,

in I t a l y ,

o f E n ea s S i l v i o P i c c o l o m i n i ( t h e f u t u r e Pope P i u s I I ) , and o f L e o n a r d o A r e t i n o , and o f t h e S p a n i a r d s , H e r n a n P ^ r e z de Guzman and t h e M a rq u es de S a n t i l l a n a . A l l t h i s e r u d i t e , h u m a n is tic f lo w e r i n g had n e c e s s a r i l y g iv en a c o u r t l y p r o f i l e to th e p e r i o d .

E l e g a n t l y - s t y l e d p o e t r y w h ic h

f o u n d s u i t a b l e f o r m s i n a l l e g o r y p r e d o m i n a t e d , w i t h t h e more p r e v a l e n t i n f l u e n c e o f D a n t e ’ s P a r a d i s o a nd t h e T r i o n f i o f P etrarch .

Some w r i t e r s ,

s u c h a s t h e M arq ues de S a n t i l l a n a ,

p o ssessed abundant l i b r a r i e s ,

and o t h e r s ,

l i k e J u a n de Mena, r e ­

i n f o r c e d t h e i r s t y l e by g i v i n g p r o s e a n d v e r s e a c l a s s i c a l t o n e , in c l u d i n g th e use o f L a t in h y p e rb a to n . The d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e hum an ism o f S p a i n and t h a t o f I t a l y d u r i n g t h a t p e r i o d was o n l y one o f d e g r e e ,

i nasm u c h a s

S p a n i a r d s o f n o t e w en t t o I t a l y t o s t u d y a nd l i v e — j u s t a s A m e r i c a n s t u d e n t s and s c h o l a r s o f m e d i e v a l c u l t u r e t r a v e l l e d t o Germany i n t h e f i r s t d e c a d e s o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y - - a n d i n t h e I t a l i a n c i t i e s t h e y a b s o r b e d t h e ’’l a t e s t ” s t y l i s t i c , tific

a nd l i t e r a r y v o g u e s a s w e l l a s a new tempo o f l i v i n g .

scien­ But

t h o s e e a r l y t r a v e l l e r s w ere b o t h i n s u f f i c i e n t i n number a n d i n ­ f l u e n c e t o b r i n g t h e C a s t i l i a n way o f l i f e of I t a l y .

to t h e l e v e l o f t h a t

What t h e y d i d c a r r y o v e r was f e l t p r i n c i p a l l y i n th e

fie ld of lite r a tu r e .

T heir c o n tr ib u tio n s

y e t b e e n f u l l y an d a d e q u a t e l y s t u d i e d .

t o humanism h a v e n o t

But when t h e s u b j e c t i s

t r e a t e d p r o p e r l y , J u a n de L e n a w i l l u n d o u b t e d l y s t i l l s t a n d o u t as the fo rem o st hum anist of h i s tim e.

CHAPTER I I THE LIFE OF JUAN DE MENA In t h e c o u r t o f John I I the g r e a t n a t i o n a l p o e t and r e p ­ r e s e n t a t i v e o f s t y l e was w i t h o u t d o u b t Juan de Mena, a u th o r o f th e L a b e r in to de For t u n a .

The l i m i t e d b i o g r a p h i c a l d a ta

now e x t a n t on t h i s p o e t n a r r o w ly r e s t r i c t any a tte m p t t h a t can be made to p a i n t a w e l l d e f i n e d p i c t u r e o f th e man.

In­

s t e a d , th e r e s u l t m ust n e c e s s a r i l y be an i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c l i k e ­ n e s s , l e a v i n g th e r e a d e r to i n f e r c a u s e s and e f f e c t s . P a r a d o x i c a l l y , h i s works w ere p r i n t e d o v e r and o v e r n o t t o o lo n g a f t e r t h e y w e re

w r i t t e n , andth e S p a n is h bard a t t a i n e d

u n u su a l renown among h i s c o n t e m p o r a r ie s . Even d u rin g t h e Gold­ en Age o f S p a n is h l i t e r a t u r e h i s name was in v o k ed i n t h e a c r i d d e b a t e s betw een th e f o l l o w e r s o f Lope de Vega and the G o n g o r i s t s . To comprehend th e r e a s o n s f o r ou r l a c k o f p e r s o n a l in fo r m a ­ t i o n , a c c o u n t m ust be t a k e n o f th e t u r b u l e n t p e r io d i n w h ich Mena l i v e d .

In c o n t r a s t t o t h e men abou t him, our p o e t d e v o t e d

h i m s e l f a lm o s t e n t i r e l y t o s t u d y , s i b l e from the p o l i t i c a l com p anion s.

and

he w ith d re w w henever p o s ­

m a c h in a tio n s o f h i s more a m b itio u s c o u r t

In t h e a g i t a t i o n and i n t r i g u e s o f th e g r a n d e e s and

f e u d a l l o r d s Mena saw an a n t i - s o c i a l , u n p a t r i o t i c movement. -2 2 -

He

23

r o u n d ly s c o r e d th e p u r p o s e l e s s s p i l l i n g o f b lo o d a s a r e s u l t o f th e c i v i l w a r s; o f t e n t i m e s he v o i c e d a p r e a c h e r ’s e x h o r t a t i o n a g a i n s t t h i s s e n s e l e s s b lo o d s h e d , bu t h i s v o i c e n e v e r c a r r i e d e f f e c t u a l w e i g h t , f o r th e c o n t e s t a n t s w ere i n no mood to s e t t l e t h e i r g r i e v a n c e s and q u e l l t h e i r s e l f i s h a m b it io n s v i a p o e t r y . I n s t e a d o f t h i s d e a d l y s t r i f e , Mena urged a l l S p a n ia r d s t o u n i t e i n d r i v i n g t h e Moors from th e la n d .

The p r e s e n c e o f t h e

Moors r e p r e s e n t e d , i n th e p o e t ’ s e s t i m a t i o n , an a f f r o n t to S p a n is h d i g n i t y .

Thus, th e l o t o f th e S p a n ia r d was b a t t l e ,

w h eth er a g a i n s t h i s b r o t h e r s or a g a i n s t the M oors. H i s t o r i o g r a p h e r s , c h r o n ic le r s and n a r r a t o r s o f t h e tim e s d e d i c a t e d t h e m s e lv e s t o e x t o l l i n g the upper n o b i l i t y and d e ­ s c r i b i n g t h e i r f e a t s i n b a t t l e ; t h e y sp urned o t h e r s who d id n o t d i s t i n g u i s h t h e m s e lv e s i n th e f i e l d , su ch as Mena.

M oreover,

t h e y w ere

u n u s u a l l y p a r t i s a n and w ere

o f t e n p a id t o

be s o .

From

th e m a n u s c r ip ts o f Dr. Luis

Ramirez C asas

D eza , Ga-

■jQ

l l a r d o ° g a t h e r e d a number o f p e r s o n a l n o t e s on Juan de Mena. I t i s known, h o w ever, t h a t L u is Ramirez was i n p o s s e s s i o n o f many a u to g r a p h s w r i t t e n by Dr. Yaca de A lf a r o and t h a t t h e l a t ­ t e r a l s o w r o t e a Vida o f Mena i n the p r e s s

1663

which p r o b a b ly n e v e r r ea c h e d

and w h ic h nobody g i v e s e v id e n c e o f h a v in g

r e a d . Rami­

r e z may a l s o h a ve come i n t o p o s s e s s i o n o f t h a t b io g r a p h y and u s e d

13. B artolo m £ J o s e G a lla r d o , Ensayo de una b l b l i o t e c a e s p a h o la de l i b r o s r a r o s y c u r l o s o s formado con l o s a p u n ta m ie n to s de don B artolom e J o sb G a lla r d o , c o o r d in a d o s y aumentados por D. M. R. Zarco d e l V a l l e y D. J . Sancho Rayon. Tomb prim ero (M adrid, 1 863).

24

i t to e x t r a c t h i s c u r io u s n o t e s .

Dr. Vaca de A l f a r o ,

i t s h o u ld

be p o i n t e d o u t h e r e , was r e l a t e d to Mena th ro u g h t h e l a t t e r ’s m a rr ia g e . 2 Some b i o g r a p h i c a l m a t e r i a l w r i t t e n by th e Comendador G riego^ i s fo u n d i n th e i n t r o d u c t o r y s e c t i o n o f h i s S e v i l l e th e T r ez ie n ta s

e d itio n of

( 1 4 9 9 ) — m a t e r i a l w hich d o e s n o t rea p p e a r i n su b ­

sequent e d it io n s .

There a r e a l s o some d a ta i n s e v e r a l s t a n z a s

o f a r t e mayor e n t i t l e d ’’E p ic e d io ” w h ich V a l e r i o F r a n c i s c o Romero composed a t th e d eath o f th e Comendador and i n c lu d e d a t th e end o f t h e l a t t e r * s R e fr a n e s o p r o v e r b io s en romance ( 1 5 5 5 ) .

Only

a f e w s c a n t r e f e r e n c e s found i n c h r o n i c l e s a r e o f p o s i t i v e v a lu e i n th r o w in g l i g h t upon Mena. As f o r t h e a n e c d o t e s o f the a p o c r y p h a l Centon E p i s t o l a r i o . a s w e l l a s th e d a ta f u r n i s h e d by th e V i t a B e a ta o f Juan de Lucena, i t i s p a t e n t t h a t th e form er work i s u t t e r l y u n r e l i a b l e , 4 w h i l e

2 . R a f a e l Ramirez de A r e l l a n o , Ensayo de un cat& lo go b i o g r a f i c o de e s c r i t o r e s de l a p r o v in c ia y d i o c e s i s de Cordoba. Tomo I (M adrid, 1 9 2 1 ) , p . 3 2 3 . 3 . S e e b e lo w , Chapter V I I I , ’’The C l a s s i c C om m entators.” 4 . E l Centdn e p i s t o l a r i o d e l B a c h i l l e r F ernan Gomez de Cibdad R e a l . The w r i t e r c la im e d t o be t h e p e r s o n a l p h y s i c i a n oif King John I I , and th e work was su pp osed to b e e d i t e d and p r i n t e d by a Juan de R e i i n Burgos i n 1 4 9 9 . In th e f i r s t p l a c e , t h e r e n e v e r was any p r i n t e r by t h a t name e i t h e r i n Burgos o r i n any o t h e r p l a c e a t t h e tim e i n d i c a t e d . The book was f i r s t m en tion ed i n 1647 by G il G onzalez D d v ila and in 1649 by P e l l i c e r O ssau y Tovar. The C enton c o m p r is e s some 105 l e t t e r s to th e m ost im p o rtan t p e r s o n a g e s o f J o h n ’ s r e i g n i n c lu d i n g t h e K ing h i m s e l f : Juan de C o n t r e r a s , A rch bish op o f T oledo; Lope de B a r r i e n t o s , B ish o p o f S e g o v i a , and Juan de Mena. The C ron ica de don Juan I I is . f a i t h ­ f u l l y f o l l o w e d to su ch a d e g r ee t h a t th e e r r o r s a p p e a r in g i n t h a t work a r e r e p e a t e d i n th e C en ton . F u r th e rm o re , though t h e w r i t e r

25

t h e l a t t e r i s n o th in g more th a n a f r e e v e r s i o n o f t h e t r e a t i s e De v i t a e f e l i c i t a t e , o f B a r t o lo m ^ - P a z z io , i n w hich th e S p a n ish a u th o r r e p la c e d th e I t a l i a n p e r s o n a g e s o f th e d i a l o g u e w ith S p a n is h c h a r a c t e r s . A part from t h i s , t h e r e i s no o t h e r b i o g r a p h i c a l so u r c e on th e p o e t o f t h e L a b e r in t o . life

is

The p a u c i t y o f in f o r m a t io n on h i s

f u r t h e r e x p la in e d by th e f a c t t h a t h i s o r i g i n was r e ­

l a t i v e l y m odest and h i s e x i s t e n c e q u i e t .

Juan de Lucena, auth or

o f t h e L ibro de V it a B e a t a , d e l i n e a t e s th e c h a r a c t e r o f Juan de Mena: "Emaciated by u n m itig a t e d s t u d y , p a l l i d i n c o u n te n a n c e , o b l i v i o u s o f t e r r e s t r i a l t h i n g s and a b so r b e d by the p l e a s u r e o f p o e t i c i n s p i r a t i o n — even m i n d le s s o f e a t i n g — he c o n c e i v e s him­ s e l f in g lo r y ."

Mena wrote o f h i m s e l f :

ca n i sg donde me moro,

n i aun en qu£ mundo me v i v o . Romera-Navarro seem s to be aware o f t h i s p a u c i t y o f b i o ­ g r a p h i c a l d ata when he s a y s :

"Juan de Mena s h o u ld be c o n s id e r e d

our f i r s t p r o f e s s i o n a l w r i t e r : no o t h e r a c t i v i t y ,

n e i t h e r arms,

governm ent nor th e p r i e s t h o o d , d i s t r a c t e d him from t h i s , h i s o n l y o c c u p a t i o n ."

c a l l s h i m s e l f a p h y s i c i a n , h i s know ledge o f f i f t e e n t h - c e n t u r y m e d ic in e i s a n a c h r o n i s t i c . P erhaps t h e m ost i n t e r e s t i n g l e t t e r s a r e t h e t w e lv e t o Juan de Mena, but t h e y c o n t a i n an abundance o f m i s t a k e s . Mena, a t th e age o f s e v e n t e e n , i s supposed t o have g r e a t p r e s t i g e a t the Court and i s c a l l e d " d o c to ." Y et i t i s known t h a t he was born i n 1411 or 1412 and began h i s s t u d i e s in Cordoba when t w e n t y - t h r e e . The p o e t i s d e s c r i b e d a s o f f i c i a l h i s t o r i a n (h i s t o r i a d o r de cdmara) much b e f o r e he c o u ld p o s s i b l y have b e e n p rep ared to under ta k e ""such work. Juan Hurtado y J . de l a Serna y A ngel G onzalez P a l e n c i a , H i s t o r i a de l a l i t e r a t u r a e s pafiola (Madrid, 1 9 4 3 ) , 5 th e d . , pp . 7 1 4 - 7 1 5 . 5. M. Romera-Navarro, A n t o lo g i a de l a L i t e r a t u r a Espafiola (New York, 1 9 3 3 ) , p . 51.

26

Mena was born i n Cordova i n 1411 o r 1 4 1 2 .

Proud o f h i s

n a t i v e c i t y , he sa n g i t s p r a i s e s i n p r o s e and v e r s e :

0 f l o r de s a b e r e de c a v a l i e r l a , Cordova madre, t u f i j o perdona s i en l o s c a n t a r e s que ag ora pregona non d i v u lg a r e tu s a b i d u r l a : de s a b i o s v a l i e n t e s l o a r t e p o d r l a , que fu e r o n e s p e j o muy m a r a v i l l o s o ; por s e r de t i mesma, s e r e s o s p e c h o s o , d ir a n que l o s p i n t o mas b ie n que d e v i a . I n the p r o lo g u e t o th e I l i a d a e n rom an ce, d e d i c a t e d t o John I I , he d e c l a r e s w i t h o b e i s s a n c e : Vengo y o , v u e s t r o u rn ill s i e r v o y na­ t u r a l a v u e s t r a c le m e n c ia b e n ig n a , non de E t i o p l a con r e lu m b r a n te s p i e d r a s , non de A s i r i a con oro p o l v o , non de A f r i c a con b e s t i a s m o n str u o sa s y f i e r a s , mas de a q u e l l a v u e s t r a c a b a l l e r o s a Cordova. E como q u i e r que de Cordova^ a q u e l l o s dones n i n s e m b la n t e s de a q u e l l o s que fl o s mayores y mas a n t ig u o s p a d r e s de a q u ella a lo s g lo r io s o s p r in c ip e s v u e st r o s a n t e c e s o r e s y a l o s que a g o r a so n y aun d e sp u e s s e r a n , b a s t a r o n o f r e s c e r y p r e s e n t e r : como s y d ix e s s e m o s de S en eca e l m o ra l, de Lucano su s o b r i n o , de Abenr r u y s , de A vicen n a y o t r o s non p o cos . . . . ” And sp e a k in g o f S en eca i n th e C o r o n a c io n . h e w r i t e s : V i a Homero y Lucano en a q u e l l o s e n t r e m e s e s , con V e r g i l i o Mantuano, S en eca V a n d a lia n o , e otros sa b io s co rd o u eses: p u e s t o que d ig a n de m i, porque en Cordoua n a s c i ,

6 . E l L a b e r in to de F o r t u n a , s t a n z a 1 2 4 . 7. M. Menendez y P e l a y o , H is t o r i a de l a p o e s l a o a s t e l l a n a en l a edad m e d ia , V o l. I I (Madrid, 1 9 1 4 ) , p . 1 4 9 .

27

quen l o o r s u p lo su s menguas, c a l l e n , c a l l e n m alas le n g u a s pues s e sa b e s e r a s s i . 8 S u f f e r i n g from t h i s narrow amor p a t r i a e , he la b o r e d under th e b e l i e f t h a t Cordova was a l s o A r i s t o t l e ’ s n a t i v e c i t y .

Mena

r a tio n a liz e d as fo llo w s: S i n c e the b i r t h p l a c e o f p h i lo s o p h y in S p a in was C ordova, we must n e e d s be­ l i e v e t h a t a l l o r m ost p h i l o s o p h e r s who l e f t S p a in were e i t h e r born i n Cordova or a c q u ir e d t h e i r l e a r n i n g i n t h a t c i t y . We must t h e r e f o r e c o n c lu d e t h a t A r i s t o t l e came from S p a i n , where he was born, a c c o r d ­ in g t o P l i n y i n h i s N a t u r a l H i s t o r y and Lucas de Tui i n h i s C r o n ic a s . . . . ’’9 This a c c i d e n t o f b i r t h p l a c e , a s we s h a l l s e e b e lo w , was t o p l a y a r o l e i n f a s h i o n i n g Mena’s l i t e r a r y t a s t e s . Our o n ly s o u r c e r e g a r d i n g M ena's f a m i ly and e d u c a t io n i s th e " E p iced io" c i t e d a b o v e .

In V a l e r i o F r a n c i s c o Romero's v e r s i f i e d

cumbersome and b e l a t e d o b i t u a r y , he s a y s : Los C o rd o u eses a q u l l e pagaron e l a m ista d que a su g e n t e t e n i a , que d e l Iuan de Mena nunca s e p a r t l a , y a l i a en s u a p o s e n to l o a p o s e n t a r o n , Los dos c l a r o s S e n e c a s l o c o ro n a ro n , y s u s o b r i n o Lucano e l p o e t a , y Iuan de Mena de vena p e r f e t a , con mas C o r d o u e s e s , que a l l ! s e h a l l a r o n . Y a s s l l e ord en aron l a f i e s t a cumplida d e l monte c e r c a r con gran p r o c e s s i o n ; y que Iuan de Mena p r e d iq u e e l sermon, con su d u lc e vena t a n r i c a y s u b i d a . Quiso p a g a l l e l a deuda c r e c i d a que e l Comendador l e h i z o b i v i e n d o , su l a b i r i n t h o ta n c i e g o e x p o n ie n d o , a muchos T h eseos m ostrando s a l i d a .

8 . S ta n z a 3 7 , F o u l c h S - D e l b o s c ' s e d i t i o n i n th e NBAE, V o l. XIX. 9 . G lo ss to th e C o r o n a c lo n . s t a n z a 3 7 .

28

And l a t e r i n th e same poem: Fud Juan d e Mena a n d a lu z , n a t u r a l De Cordoba, c a s a de l a p o e s i a , F lo r de sa b e r y c a b a l l e r i a , De p h i l o s o p h i a n a t u r a l y m oral, N i e t o d e un hombre, seh or p r i n c i p a l , D e l la R e^ente y s u p u b l i c s c o s a , Rui F ernan dez llam ado de P e n a lo s a , Sehor de Alm enara, de e s t i m a , y c a u d a l. Fud h i j o de P e d r a r ia s lla m a d o , De e s t a d o m ed iano, de buena n a c io n , D ic h o s o s por c i e r t o en g e n e r a c io n , P ues tuvo un t a l h i j o , y tan s e n a l a d o . De padre y de madre fud p r e s t o p r iv a d o E l y una hermana r e c i e n t e n a c i d o , Por donde e n t r e deudos f u e s o s t e n i d o : Con que t r a t a m i e n t o no me e s a n u n c ia d o . De v e i n t e y t r e s anos ya s ie n d o s e d io A1 d u l c e t r a b a j o d e a q u e l buen s a b e r : En Cdrdoba em pieza prim ero a p r e n d e r , De a l i i a S alam an ca, do e s t a , y s e paso A Roma d e sp u e s de a y c o n v o lo , Dandose en to d o s l u g a r e s y p a r t e s , A l a s in g e n u a s d o c t r i n a s y a r t e s , Por donde en l o s s i g l o s por sie m p r e quedo. Caso con l a hermana de dos c iu d a d a n o s , G arcia de Vaca y Lope de Vaca: H ij o s no t u v o , que i n u t i l f u e y f l a c a Su g e n e r a c i o n en p a r t o s humanos. Mas t r e s e n g e n d r o , que s e r so b e r a n o s No dudo, en l o s s i g l o s que tern d n m emoria, Q.ue so n t r e s poemas que h i z o de g l o r i a , Que to d o s tenem os hoy e n t r e l a s manos. Fud v e i n t e y q u atro y p r i n c i p a l se n a d o r En e l p r e l u s t r e cord obds c o n s i s t o r i o , Do s o n l o s R e g e n te s de i l u s t r e a b o l o r i o , P a d r es i l u s t r e s , con d ign o de h o n o r. S e c r e t a r i o L a t in o d h i s t o r i a d o r , De s u p r e p o t e n t e D. Juan e l seg u n d o ; Q uarenta y c in c o a n o s v i v i d en e s t e mundo E l d ig n o tiem p o d e l v i e j o N e s t o r . in Murid de r a b i o s o d o lo r d e c o s t a d o Y fud s e p u l t a d o en T ordelaguna

10. The c a u s e o f h i s d e a t h , w h ic h o c c u r r e d i n 1 4 5 6 , h a s n o t b een d e ter m in e d d e f i n i t e l y . A c co r d in g t o Gonzalo F ernando de O v ie d o , i n t h e Q uincuagenas ( P a r t I I , s t a n z a 1 3 ) : "De s u m uerte hay d i v e r s a s o p i n i o n e s , e l o s mas c o n c lu y e n que una mula l e

29

(do c e r c a yo he e s ta d o con t a n t a f o r t u n e , que v i a c e r c a n o c a s i e l u lt im o hado) Y ju n to a l a l t a r mayor, p o r mandado En l a memorable D i d c e s i s t o l e d a n a , Y a c o s t a d e l P r i n c ip e de S a n t i l l a n a , Don I n i g o Lopez por e l ta n c a n t a d o . Fud hombre e lo q u e n t e de buen r a z o n a r , Heroyco p o e ta de mucha co rd u ra De e s t i l o s u b lim e , y de t a l a l t u r a , Que a n u e s t r o Lucano l e q u ie r o y g u a l a r , Aqui q u is o aora remunerar A l Comendador e l don r e c i b i d o , Y a s s i en un c o l l a d o v i s t o s o s u b id o Lodndole empie 9 a a s s i a p r e d i c a r . H Thus from th e " E p iced io" we a r e g i v e n t o b e l i e v e t h a t Juan de Mena was th e gran d son o f Rui F ernandez de P e n a lo s a o f Almenara and th e s o n o f P e d r a r i a s , m a g i s t r a t e o f t h e c i t y o f C ordova.

At

an e a r l y a g e he was orphaned and was t a k e n i n and r a i s e d by r e l a ­ tiv e s.

I t was n o t u n t i l he was t w e n t y - t h r e e y e a r s o l d t h a t he

began h i s s t u d i e s , f i r s t i n h i s n a t i v e c i t y , and f i n a l l y i n Rome.

th e n i n Salam an ca,

Ip

He m a rried i n t o a f a m i l y named Vaca, bu t

had no o f f s p r i n g , b e in g im p o t e n t .

Upon Mena’ s r e t u r n from

I t a l y , John I I a p p o in t e d him S e c r e t a r y o f L a t i n L e t t e r s and

a r r a s t r o , y cayo d e l l a de t a l manera que m uri 6 en l a v i l l a de T o r r e l a g u n a . ” (S ee Amador de l o s R i o s , H i s t o r i a c r i t i c a de l a l i t e r a t u r a e s p a h o l a , V I, p . 9 5 . ) O v ie d o ’ s vague la n g u a g e b e t r a y s th e u n c e r t a i n t y o f th e c ir c u m s t a n c e s , f o r i f t h e mule had dragged him f i r s t , how c o u ld Mena f a l l from i t w i t h o u t h a v in g b een on i t ? I f we a l l o w th e f o l l o w i n g t r a n s l a t i o n , thou gh i t seems th e most l o g i c a l , we may be t a k i n g t o o much l i c e n s e : ” 0 f h i s d e a t h , t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l o p i n i o n s , b u t m ost c o n c lu d e t h a t he was d ragged by a m u le , h a v in g f a l l e n from i t i n su ch a manner t h a t he d i e d i n th e v i l l a g e o f T o r r e la g u n a .” Menendez y P e la y o b e l i e v e s t h a t h i s d e a t h by a mule may v e r y w e l l be a t r a d i t i o n a l t a l e i n s p i r e d by M en a's s a t i r i c a l and p o p u la r l i n e s c o n c e r n in g ”Un macho que comprd de un a r c i p r e s t e . ” A n t o l o g i a . V o l . 5 , pp . CLI-CLII (Madrid, 1919). 1 1 . C op ied from t h e Salamanca e d i t i o n ( 1 5 7 8 ) . 1 2 . Menendez y P e la y o somehow i n v e r t s t h e o r d e r o f t h e s e two c itie s . C f . H i s t o r i a de l a p o e s i a c a s t e l l a n a . V o l. I I , p . 144; A n t o lo g i a de p o e t a s l i r i c o s . V o l . 5. p . CL.

30

Alderman ^

o f Cordova.

These h o n ors were bestow ed upon Mena b e c a u se o f h i s r e p u t a ­ t i o n a s a h u m a n ist, s i n c e h i s fame a s a p o e t came l a t e r .

When

he d i d become c e l e b r a t e d a s a p o e t , o th e r hon ors were heaped upon him , su ch as the p o s i t i o n o f t h e K in g ’ s c h r o n i c l e r .

Above

a l l , he p r i z e d th e c l o s e and l o y a l f r i e n d s h i p o f th e m ost o u t ­ s t a n d i n g men o f h i s tim e , e s p e c i a l l y th e Marques de S a n t i l l a n a , who h on ored him b o th i n l i f e and i n d e a t h .

He w a s, m oreover,

th e f a v o r i t e p o e t o f K ing John I I and Don A lv a ro de Luna.

In

s p i t e o f h i s a d u l a t i o n o f th e K in g , i t can n o t be t r u t h f u l l y a v e r r e d t h a t he bought such f a v o r and p r o t e c t i o n w ith i n g r a t i a t ­ i n g e u l o g i e s , s i n c e t h e r e d id n o t e x i s t a more r o b u s t v o i c e or a more w h o le h e a r te d s p i r i t to denounce th e e v i l s and s c a n d a ls o f th e r e i g n . The p o l i t i c a l v e r s e s o f Juan de Mena e s t a b l i s h h i s i n c o r ­ r u p tib le lo y a lt y .

O th e r s , l i k e S a n t i l l a n a , a t tim e s s i d e d w ith

and a t tim e s a g a i n s t t h e t h r o n e .

Mena, on t h e o t h e r hand, was

c o n s i s t e n t th r o u g h o u t th e y e a r s .

Many b e l i e v e t h a t th e poem

,TAy Panadera" was composed by Mena and n o t , a s A rg o te de Molina s t a t e d , by I n i g o O r t iz de S t u n i g a .

I f t h i s c o u ld be shown to

be t r u e , i t would p ro ve " t h a t th e a u th o r o f t h e T r e s o le n t a s em­ p lo y e d h i s p o ig n a n t s a t i r e to i n d i c a t e h i s p a t r i o t i c i n d i g n a t i o n a g a i n s t t h e e v e r - p r e s e n t a g i t a t o r s and e n em ies o f th e t r a n q u i l i t y o f the kingdom . " 14 1 3 . V e i n t i o u a t r o o r one o f th e t w e n t y - f o u r p e r s o n s who c o n s t i ­ t u t e d t h e governm ent o f the c i t y . 1 4 . Menendez y P e l a y o , o p . c j t . .

p. 145.

31

H is p o l i t i c a l t h i n k i n g was i n c l o s e harmony w it h t h a t o f Don A lv a ro de Luna, who was a t v a r ia n c e w ith t h e Marques de S a n tilla n a .

N o t w it h s t a n d i n g t h i s h o s t i l i t y . Mena h e ld th e

f r i e n d s h i p and e ste e m o f b o th men.

In th e L a b e r in to he p r e s e n t s

an a p o lo g y o f t h e f o r m e r , and to the l a t t e r , Mena d e d i c a t e d h i s C oro n a cion . There a r e s e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s and a n sw e r s, more a p p r o p r i a t e l y termed r i d d l e s , b etw een th e Marques and Mena, w hich a r e v a lu e d a s s m a ll b i o g r a p h i c a l docum ents r a th e r than fo r t h e i r p o e t i c a l w orth .

Among them i s t h e f o l l o w i n g " in tr o d u c to r y " s t a n z a i n

which Mena e x p r e s s e s h i s h ig h r e g a r d f o r S a n t i l l a n a : S i gran f o r t a l e z a , t e m p l a ^ a y sa b er pueden p r e s t a r n o s , varon muy a p u e s t o , s i e s e s s o bueno l o que es muy h o n e s t o , b i e n se yo lu e g o q u ie n v os podeys s e r . Soys e l que a tod o p e s a r y p l a z e r f a z e d e s vn g e s t o a l e g r e y s e g u r o ; s o y s f o r t a l e z a de ta n r i c o muro que a t o d a f o r t u n e pod eys a t e n d e r . & And i n th e f o l l o w i n g l i n e s w hat Mena a s c r i b e s to S a n t i l l a n a i s more p r o p e r ly a p p l i c a b l e t o h i m s e l f : Nunca v o s h a l l o mas acompanado que quando v o s s o l o e s t a y s r e t r a y d o , e l p u nto d e l tiem p o por o c c i o t e n i d o , a q u e s s e vos f a z e muy mas n e g o c ia d o ; dades a l d i a d i u e r s o cuydado, f a z e y s que l a noche p a d e sc a t a l q u ie b r a , que quando l o s o t r o s e s t a n en t i n i e b r a , e n to n c e v o s h a l l o muy mas alumbrado.^®

1 5 . F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c , NBAE, V o l. XIX, pp. 1 9 8 -1 9 9 . 16. I b i d ., pp. 1 9 7-198.

32

I n r e p ly , t o Mena’ s e u l o g i e s t h e Marques composed a c o m p li­ m entary v e r s e p r e d i c t i n g t h a t the Cordovan’ s p o e t r y would e q u a l t h a t o f D a n te, P e t r a r c h and B o c c a c c io : La v u e s t r a e lo q u e n c ia es f u e n t e que mana d u l 9ura de m etro s y nunca r e t r o g a : l a mi obra c i a y l a v u e s t r a boga por l o s a l t o s m ares, con g l o r i a mundana. S i l a mi pluma l a verd ad e s p l a n a , yo no dubdo lu e g o que p r e s t o s e r e s m er ita m e n te y g u a l de l o s t r e s que en l a p o e s i a so n l u z d i a f a n a . S a n t i l l a n a ' s s e c r e t a r y , Diego de B u rgos, i n h i s T r iu n fo d e l M arques, a l s o p l a c e s Juan de Mena s i d e by s i d e w it h D a n te, P e t r a r c h and B o c c a c c io ; and he r e c a l l s t h e i n t i m a t e f r i e n d s h i p b etw een th e two S p a n is h p o e t s : S i Dios en e l mundo, amigo muy c a r o , por tiem pos muy lu e n g o s b e u ir t e d e x a r a , ;o qu£ poema tan n o b le y ta n c l a r o d e l c l a r o Marques tu pluma p i n t a r a ! D i x o : ”No p i e n s e s que e so b a s t a r a n i y o , n i p e r so n a d e l tiem po p r e s e n t e ; s u extrem a v i r t u d , su v i d a e x c e l e n t e i n g e n i o s l a t i n o s y g r i e g o s c a n s a r a . T’-'-8 To u n d e r s c o r e Mena’ s p o p u l a r i t y a t c o u r t , i t i s i n t e r e s t ­ in g to n o t e t h a t John I I h i m s e l f r e p l i e d i n v e r s e to th e p o e t ' s c o p l a s upon t h e o c c a s i o n o f th e K in g 's g o in g to g i v e b a t t l e t o the P r i n c e o f A r e v a lo : MENA TO THE KING S a n c ta p a z , s a n e t o m y s t e r i o , trium pho v i r i l de g l o r i a , c o n c o r d ia s i n v i t u p e r i o ,

17. I b i d . , p. 199. 1 8 . NBAE. X X II, 547 a.

33

de ambas p a r t e s v i c t o r i a , d e l o s p u e b lo s r e f r i g e r i o , v u e str o s b ie n e s acarrean que l o s s e n o r e s no se a n de s u s s i e r u o s c a p t i u e r i o . THE KING’ S REPLY Juan de Mena, q u a l im p e r io no f a r i s i n s e c u t o r i a o q u a l s e s o de V a l e r i o no negara su memoria: dando a v nos s i n p a h e r i o , dando a o t r o s porque cre a n que jamas nunca se vean en l a c a s a d e l la z e r io .^ -^ Mena e n jo y e d fame among monarchs abroad, t o o .

P r i n c e Dom

P edro o f P o r t u g a l , f u l l o f a d m ir a tio n , w r o te t o him r e q u e s t i n g h i s w o r k s.

In r e p l y , Mena a v a i l e d h i m s e l f o f h i s a r t t o f l a t t e r

th e p rin ce: P r in p e p e to d o v a l y e n t e , em l o s f e c h o s muy medydo, e l s o l que naape en o r y e n te se t y e n e por o f e n d id o de v u e s t r o nombre temydo, t a n t o l u z e en o p y d e n te . S o e s de quyen nunca o s vydo amado p u b ly c a m e n te , ta n p r e f e t o e s c la r e p y d o , que, p or s y r d e s byen r r e g y d o , D io s v o s f y z o su r r e g y e n t e . Vos de r r e y s engendrado y de r r e y s engendrador, h y jo dyno, muy lo a d o de r r e y s a n t o , ven p ed or, l y n a j e de emperador, cabepa de gram sen a d o . De l e a l t a d y de amor tarn gram f r u t o a v e s m o str a d o , que a v u e s t r o gram onor d o s r r e y e s y huum senh or son y e s muy o b lig u a d o .

1 9 . F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c , NBAE, V o l. XIX, pp . 2 1 5 - 2 1 6 .

34

Nunoa fu e d e s p u e s , ny a n t e , quyen v y e s s e l o s a t a u l o s e s e c r e t o s de L e u a n te , s u s m o n te s, j u s s o a s y r r a y o s , su s c a lo r e s y ssus f r i o s , como v o s , senhor j f a n t e . E n tre moros y j u d i o s e s t a gram v i r t u d se c a n t e ; en tre tod os t r e s g e n tio s cantaram l o s m etr o s myos v u e s t r a p e r fe y y o n d e l a n t e . FYM

Vos de my no dar l o o r e s , mas r r e y e b y r l o s d e u e y s , v o s , gran senh or de s e n h o r e s , que a u e y s f e c h o y f a z e y s t a n t o , que g r a n d e s a u t o r a s muy ocupados t e n e y s . En d ez y r v u e s t r o s d u l y o r e s , porque syen p re v o s lham eys p r i n 9 epe de l o s m e j o r e s , porque creyan l o s l a u o r e s de e s s e rre y n o p o r tu g u es.^ ® I t i s v e r y p r o b a b le t h a t E nrique de V i l l e n a was Mena’ s good f r i e n d , f o r i n t h e L a b e r in to i t a p p e a r s t h a t t h e a u th o r lam ented h i s d e a t h and th e l o s s o f h i s l i b r a r y . ^

T h e ir common bond was

t h e i r d e v o t i o n to t h e c l a s s i c s , e s p e c i a l l y t o V i r g i l and Homer.

2 0 . I b i d . , p . 221. T h is i s Mena’ s r e p l y t o ”Do i n f a n t e Dom P e d r o , E ylho d e l Rey Dom Joam, en l o o r de Joam de M ena,” i n t h e C a n o io n e ir o de R esende (L is b o n , 1 5 1 6 ) , f o l . 7 2 . 2 1 . S t a n z a s 1 2 6 - 1 2 8 . F lo r a n e s r e f e r r e d t o V i l l e n a a s M ena's Coracle" and a v e r r e d t h a t t h e l a t t e r was E n r i q u e ' s " p a r a s i t e and a d m ir e r ." The c r i t i c w rote t h a t he p o s s e s s e d a m a n u sc r ip t c la im i n g t h a t on May 2 1 , 1422 V i l l e n a s e n t h i s b r i e f t r e a t i s e on A o ja m ien to ( s o r c e r y , enchantm ent) t o Mena, w i t h t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t o n l y t h e p o e t a p p r e c ia t e d h i s l e t t e r s (que v o s s o l o de m is ca rta s os p a g a is ). "La v i d a l i t e r a r i a d e l C a n c i l l e r P ero Lopez de A y a l a ," i n t h e C o l e c c io n de Dooumentos I n e d l t o s para l a H i s ­ t o r i a de E sp a n a ,Tfol. XX (M adrid, 1 8 5 2 ) , p p . 2 6 2 - 2 6 3 . In 1422 Mena was no more th a n e l e v e n y e a r s o l d !

35

When Juan de Mena d i e d , h i s many a d m ir e r s m a n i f e s t e d s i n ­ c e r e m ourning and made i t th e o c c a s i o n f o r e x p r e s s i n g t h e i r e u lo g ie s.

Gomez Manrique w r o te : E sta m uerte que condena a buenos e com unales me le u o a Juan de Mena, cuya pluma fu e ta n buena que v i p oco s su s y g u a l e s . 2

G r ie v in g o v e r h i s d e a t h , Anton de Montoro s a id : S e n e c a , i f o l g a r a s ya? Goza de g l o r i a s i n pena^ f u e l g a , p u es t i e n e s a l i a t u p r im o g e n ito M e n a . 2 3 Of M ena's d e a th , th e man who c o n t in u e d h i s "C opies c o n tr a l o s p e c a d o s m o r t a l e s ," Eray Jeronim o de O l i v a r e s , w ro te: La m uerte de t u 909 obra no puedo l o a r por b u en a, p u e s l l e v a s t e a Juan de Mena do t a n t o dano se cob ra; p u e s do t a n t a f a l t a sob ra no s e yo en que c o n c lu y a , s i n o en l o a r l a m uerte suya e l no acabar de su o b r a . 2 4 S t i l l more v ig o r o u s i n h i s p r a i s e i s Juan de Lucena, who g r a c e s Mena w ith th e r e g a l t i t l e

" P r in c e o f P o e t r y . ”

a l s o a l l e g e s t h a t t h e B ish op o f Burgos s a id :

" . . .

n u e s t r a e d a t , n i conoscem os p o e t a mayor de t i ,

Lucena

mas en

n i sem e,)ante.

2 2 . P l a n t o de l a s v l r t u d e s e p o e s i a por e l M a g n if ic o sen o r don I n i g o Lopez de Mendopa. i n t h e NBAE, XXII, p . 79b. 2 3 . Amador de l o s R i o s , H i s t o r i a c r i t i c a de la l i t e r a t u r a E s p a n o l a , V o l. VI (Madrid, 1 8 6 5 ) , p . 154 ( n o t e ) . 2 4 . La C o ron aoion , V a l l a d o l i d e d i t i o n

( 1 5 3 6 ) , f o l . XXV v .

36

Tu j u r i s c o n s u l t o , t u m e t a f i s i c o y grand v i r g i l i s t a .

No c a l e

andar f l o r e a n d o . " ^ Mena’ s tom bstone i n T o r r e la g u n a , i n t h e San F r a n c i s c o M on astery , b o re th e e p it a p h : P a t r i a f e l i z , d i c h a b u en a, e s c o n d r i j o de l a m u e r te , p u es que t e cupo p o r s u e r t e e l P o e ta Juan de M e n a . 26 In 1 7 8 1 , when P on z2? v i s i t e d Mena’ s g r a v e , t h e h e a d s to n e w it h i t s i n s c r i p t i o n was s t i l l t h e r e , th o u g h i n d i l a p i d a t e d c o n d i ­ tio n .

But th e most r e s p e c t e d p o e t o f h i s tim e was su pp osed t o

have r e c e i v e d a sumptuous b u r i a l , f o r , a s we have se e n i n th e " E p ic e d io ," i t was none o t h e r th a n t h e Marques de S a n t i l l a n a who d e f r a y e d t h e in te r m e n t e x p e n s e s . G onzalo Fernandez de O viedo w r e s t l e d w i t h h i s i n g e n u i t y t o produce a s u b s t i t u t e e p i t a p h , w i t h t h e f o l l o w i n g f e e b l e r e su lt: D ic h o sa T o rd ela g u n a que t i e n e s a Johan de Mena, cuya fama t a n t o su en a s i n sem e^ante n in g u n a . $1 d e j o t a n t a memoria en e l v e r s o c a s t e l l a n o , que t o d o s l e dan l a mano. ID ios l e de a e l su g l o r i a ! 28 2 5 . V i t a B e a t a . op . c i t . , p . 1 1 4 . 2 6 . Las o b r a s d e l fam oso p o e t a Juan de Mena, e d . Sanchez (Salam anca, 1 5 8 2 ) , f . 6 v . 2 7 . A n to n io Ponz, V ia g e en Espafia (M adrid, 1 7 8 7 ) , V o l. X, p . 5 8 . 2 8 . Q n in cu a g en a s. See Menendez y P e l a y o , A n t o lo g i a de p o e t a s l i r l c o s c a s t e l l a n o s , V o l. 5 , p . CLII. The l a s t l i n e o f B l e c u a ’ s c i t a t i o n o f t h i s e p i t a p h r e a d s : ID io s l e de g l o r i a se g u r a !

37

In t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y th e rem a in s o f Juan de Mena were removed to the Chapel o f A c t o r s and Comedians o f th e San S e b a s t ia n Church i n Madrid; and i n 1941 t h e y were p la c e d i n a m e ta l c o n t a i n e r i n t h e N a t i o n a l Museum o f A r c h e o l o g y . ^

2 9 . B le c u a , o p . c i t . . p . 2X7.

CHAPTER I I I THE PROSE WORKS OF JUAN DE MENA: HIS READINGS1 In s p i t e o f h i s o f f i c i a l t i t l e as c h r o n i c l e r , Mena p r o b ­ a b l y to ok no p a r t i n w r i t i n g t h e Cronioa de D. Juan I I .

Com­

pared w ith M ena's i n v o l v e d p r o s e , th e s t y l e o f the a u th o r or a u th o r s o f t h a t c h r o n i c l e i s

smooth and l u c i d .

Mena i s r e p u t e d

to be th e a u th o r o f Las memorias de a lg u n o s l i n a .j e s a n t i g u o s e n o b le s de C a s t i l l a que va e s c r i b i e n d o Juan de Mena . 2

But t h i s

m a n u sc rip t i s s o ir r e m e d i a b l y m u t i l a t e d t h a t , a c c o r d in g t o Menendez y P e l a y o ,

i t i s n e x t to im p o s s ib le to render an i n ­

t e l l i g e n t o p i n i o n on the v a lu e o f th e work. A s id e from t h e s e e s s a y s , t h e p o e t ' s o n l y o t h e r e x i s t i n g p r o s e works a r e two:

th e commentary to h i s poem e n t i t l e d C oro-

1 . The r e a d i n g s and s o u r c e s o f Mena are f u r t h e r d i s c u s s e d b e ­ low i n the c h a p t e r EL LABERINTO—MENA'S PRINCIPAL LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT. 2. C o d ice K. 106 o f t h e B i b l i o t e c a N a c io n a l. P e l a y o , H i s t o r i a , C L I II .

C f. Menendez y

3 . However, V albuena P r a t a t t r i b u t e s to Mena a s h o r t t r a c t t h a t c o u ld be c a l l e d De l o s rem ed ios de amor. "The s t y l e and la n g u a g e a r e c l e a r l y h i s , b u t r e v e a l a g r e a t e r c o n t r o l o f c h o i c e , a g r a c e f u l n e s s h i t h e r t o seld o m a t t a i n e d . " H i s t o r i a de l a l i t e r a ­ tu r a e s p a n o l a . V o l . I ( B a r c e lo n a , 1 9 4 7 ) , p . 225. I t i s l i k e l y t h a t a l a r g e p a r t o f both h i s p r o s e and p o e t r y n e v e r r ea ch ed p r i n t . In th e C a n c io n e ir o g e r a l de R esende th e c o m p ile r w r i t e s : "Comien 9an l a s o b r a s de Juan de mena que comunm ente no anda e s c r i t a s . " F a c s i m i l e f o r Archer M. H u n tin g to n , 1904, f o l i o x x i i . -3 8 -

39

n a c io n ; and h i s b r i e f summary4 o f the I l i a d under th e h e a d in g I l i a d a e n rom ance 5 ta k e n from th e P e r io c h a e o f A u son iu s and the e p ito m e o f th e pseudo ’’P in d ar o f T h e b e s .”® T h is compendium, i n which he a t t e m p t s to e s t a b l i s h Homer’ s b ir th p la c e a s C a s t ile , sid e r a tio n .

7

i s h i s o n l y p r o s e w orthy o f s e r i o u s c o n -

Y e t i t i s w r i t t e n i n a s t y l e and manner e n t i r e l y

d e v o id o f H e l l e n i c t a s t e .

I t s m e r i t l i e s c h i e f l y i n th e v e n e r a ­

t i o n w i t h w h ic h Mena sp e a k s o f Homer’s I l i a d ;

the S p a n is h p o e t

r e c o g n i z e d t h e g r e a t n e s s o f the work, b u t c o u ld n o t fath om i t e n tir e ly .

Mena was e n th u s e d by the immortal poem and d e d i c a t e d

h i s v e r s i o n t o th e k i n g . The I l i a d a en romanoe was p u b lis h e d f o r th e f i r s t tim e in V a l l a d o l i d , by Arnao G u illd n de B r o ca r , i n 1 5 1 9 .

How many o t h e r

works o f Mena, we are tem p ted t o a s k , n e v e r r e a c h e d th e p r i n t shop?

Why d i d G u illd n de Brocar p u b l i s h the I l i a d a ?

B ecau se

he was r e q u e s t e d to do so by A lv a ro R od riguez de T u d e la , who s e n t t h e work t o Don Hernando E n riq u ez f o r h i s s o n s t o r e a d ,

4 . I t has e r r o n e o u s l y b e e n l a b e l e d a t r a n s l a t i o n . 5 . A ls o c a l l e d Homero romanzado or romanoeado. Menendez y P e la y o s a y s : ’’There a r e a t l e a s t s i x c o d i c e s o f t h i s I l i a d a . f i v e i n th e B i b l i o t e c a N a c io n a l and one i n my p r i v a t e l i b r a r y . ” H i s t o r i a de l a p o e s i a c a s t e l l a n a en l a edad m e d ia , Vo1 . I I , p . 147. O nly fr a g m e n ts o f t h i s v e r s i o n have been p u b l i s h e d .

6 . He may a l s o have p o s s e s s e d the c o m p lete v e r s i o n by P i e t r o Candido D ecem brio. 7 . We a r e , o f c o u r s e , assum ing t h a t he d id n o t w r i t e John I I ’ s C h r o n ic le .

40

f o r the l a t t e r w ere g o in g t o make th e m s e lv e s p r o f i c i e n t i n th e m ilita r y a r ts . As m en tio n ed a b o v e , i t

i s n o t a d i r e c t v e r s i o n from th e

Greek but from A u s o n iu s ’ L a t in e x t r a c t s c a l l e d P e r io c h a e i n Homeri I l i a d e m e t O disseam .

Mena h i m s e l f c o n f e s s e d th e i n ­

adequ acy o f a t r a n s l a t i o n b a sed on a L a t in r e n d i t i o n o f th e Greek, e s p e c i a l l y i n t o th e "harsh and b arren rom ance. "

He

says: Osadia tem erosa e s t r a d u c i r una s a n ta e s e r a p h i c a obra como l a I l i a d a de Omero, de g r i e g o sa c a d a en la't'fn, y de l a t i n en n u e s t r a m aterna y c a s t e l l a n a len g u a . . . l a qu al obra pudo apenas tod a l a g r a m a tic e y aun e l o c u e n c i a l a t i n a comprehender y en s i r e s c e b i r l o s h e r o i c o s c a n t a r e s d e l v a t i c i n a n t e p o e ta Omero. ^Pues cu a n to mas f a r a e l r u d o 'y d e s i e r t o romance? A c a e s c e r a p o r e s t a c a u sa a l a om erica I l i a d a como a l a s d u l c e s y s a b r o s a s f r u t a s en l a f i n d e l v e r a n o , que a l a p rim era agua s e daaan y l a segunda s e p i e r d e n . Y a s s i e s t a obra r e c i b i r a dos a g u a c e r o s . E l uno en la t r a d u c c i o n l a t i n a , y e l mas danoso y mayor en l a i n t e r p r e t a c i o n a l romanoe T his i s

th e r e a s o n why, he g o e s on t o s a y , he has c h o se n n o t t o

t r a n s l a t e th e t w e n t y - f o u r books o f th e o r i g i n a l , b u t to make a summary o f them. The work i n g e n e r a l has r e c e i v e d u n f a v o r a b le c r i t i c i s m . F i t z m a u r i c e - K e l l y sa y s o f i t : Mena’ s summary o f t h e I l i a d , and th e commentary to h i s poem th e C o r o n a tio n , c o n v i c t him o f b e in g t h e w o r s t p r o s e w r ite r in a l l C a s tilia n l it e r a t u r e . S i m p l i c i t y and v u l g a r i t y were f o r him synonym ous, and he c a r r i e s h i s d o c t r i n e

41

t o i t s l o g i c a l extrem e by a d o p t in g im­ p o s s i b l e c o n s t r u c t i o n s , by w r en ch in g h i s s e n t e n c e s a su n d er by e x a g g e r a t e d i n v e r s i o n s , and by a d d in g a b su rd L a t i n ism s to h i s v o c a b u l a r y . 8 Menendez y P e la y o i s a l s o s e v e r e i n h i s

judgment:

But i f h a v in g t r a n s l a t e d Homer o r a b r id g e d him i n h i s f a s h i o n p r o v e s , a s do s o many o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n the l i t e r a r y l i f e o f Juan de Mena, a g e n e ro u s a s p i r a t i o n t o t h e h i g h e s t c u l t u r e and to th e p o s s e s s i o n o f th e m ost c l a s s i c b e a u t y , th e s t y l e and manner i n w h ic h he a c c o m p lis h e d t h i s can n o t be f a r t h e r from a l l H e l l e n i c t a s t e , and th e r e can h a r d ly be found i n t h e e n ­ t i r e p e d a n t ic l i t e r a t u r e o f t h e f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y , even i n c l u d i n g th e works o f Don Enrique de V i l l e n a , a monument o f i n f l a t i o n and bombast e q u a l to t h i s v e r s i o n , and, above a l l , t o h i s p r e f a c e o r d e d i c a t o r y to John I I . 9 In d e f e n s e o f Mena, B lecu a a f f i r m s : To b e s u r e , t h e Homero romanzado i s by no means a m odel o f C a s t i l i a n p r o s e , s i n c e Juan de Mena, l i k e a lm o s t a l l o t h e r w r i t e r s o f h i s g e n e r a t i o n , s o u g h t to t r a n s f e r th e s t y l i s t i c d e v i c e s o f L a t i n t o th e rom an ce. However, i n th e same p r o lo g u e so r e v i l e d by Don M a r c e lin o , t h e r e i s a baroque v i s i o n f u l l o f p l a s t i c i t y and s e n s u a l e l e m e n t s . In a d d i t i o n , an a c c o m p lis h e d e x o t i c i s m and an e x c e p t i o n a l l y p r o f u s e v o c a b u la r y compel us t o a l t e r , t o some e x t e n t , th e h a r sh judgment o f Menendez y P e l a y o . He c i t e s an exam ple t o b o l s t e r th e p o i n t :

8. James E i t z m a u r i c e - K e l l y , H is t o r y o f S p a n is h L i t e r a t u r e (New York, 1 9 0 4 ) , p . 1 0 2 . 9* H i s t o r i a , p . 1 4 8 . Valbuena P r a t c o n s i d e r s Menendez y P e la y o to o s e v e r e a c r i t i c o f Mena. See b e lo w , C hapter X. 1 0 . Juan de Mena (Madrid, 1 9 4 3 ) , p . x x i .

42

Traen a v u e s t r a a l t e z a l o s o r i e n t a l e s i n d i o s l o s e l e f a n t e s m a n so s, con l a s a r g o l l a s de oro y carg ad os de l i n a l o e s , l o s q u a le s l a c r e s c i e n t e de l o s q u atro r i o s por grandes a l u v i o n e s de a l i a donde mana d e s t i r p a y somueve; t r a e n vos e s t o s mesraos l o s r elu m b ra n tes p i r o p o s , l o s n u b i f e r o s d c a t e s , l o s duros d ia m a n te s , l o s c la r o s r r u b l s y o t r o s d i u e r s o s l i n a j e s de p i e d r a s , l o s q u a le s l a c ir c u n d a n 9 a de l o s s o l a r e s r r a y o s en a q u e l l a t i e r r a mas brunen y c l a r i f i c a n . The p r o s e com m entaries on the C oron acion have l i k e w i s e b een th e t a r g e t o f a c r i d c r i t i c i s m .

But t h e s e w r i t i n g s do have a p o s ­

i t i v e s i d e w hich can be a p p r e c ia t e d when t h e y a r e view ed i n a d iffe r e n t p e r sp e c tiv e . te r ia l,

More than c o n s t i t u t i n g a n t h o l o g i c a l ma­

t h e y a r e o f paramount v a l u e i n i l l u s t r a t i n g th e i d e o l o g y

and m ost c u r r e n t r e a d in g s o f Juan de Mena, a s w e l l a s some o f h i s v e r y c u r io u s i n c l i n a t i o n s . H is s t y l e i n t h a t work i n c l u d e s su c h d e v i c e s a s t o evoke u n f a v o r a b le r e a c t i o n i m m e d i a t e l y . ^ 1 9

h y p e r b a ta , ~ p u re L a t i n i s m s ,

'X

Among them a r e c l a s h i n g

and th e u se o f th e p r e s e n t

p a r t i c i p l e i n r e l a t i v e or g e ru n d iv e senses-*-^ w it h much g r e a t e r f r e q u e n c y than i n t h e o t h e r p r o s e w r i t e r s o f th e f i f t e e n t h

1 1 . C f. Amador, o p . c l t . , V o l. VI, p . 107; Menendez y P e l a y o , H is t o r i a . . . , V o l . I I , pp. 1 8 5 -1 8 6 ; B u c e ta , "Algunos a n t e c e d e n t e s d e l c u l t e r a n i s m o ," The Romanic R e v ie w . V o l . X I, No. 4 , pp. 333348. The f o l l o w i n g exam ples w ere n o t e d i n t h e s e s o u r c e s . 1 2 . "Quanto mas e s fo r ^ n d o m e en a q u e l l a de S e n eca p a la b r a " ; "mayormente que q u a lq u ie r a de l o s de l a humana g e n t e e s t a d o s . " 1 3 . C o la u d a r, e x o r d io c o m e n tu a l, n o v e r c a , b a s i s . 14. " P e r e g r in a n te p r i n c i p i o " ; " f u e n te d e e l o q u e n c i a l a c t e a emanant e " ; " l a s f u e r 9 as de l o s t o r o s b u f a n t e s . "

43

cen tu ry .

Added- to t h i s a r e Mena’ s r e p e a t e d e x p l a n a t i o n s o f th e

Greek f a b l e s and m yths.

The r e s u l t h a s b e e n an a d v e r s e r e a c t i o n

from e v en th e most e r u d i t e o f a l l t i m e s .-1-5 A c a r e f u l r e a d i n g , how ever, w i l l r e v e a l t h e books p r e f e r r e d b y Mena, h i s m e d ie v a l and R e n a is s a n c e o u t l o o k , and th e i n f l u e n c e o f B envenu to da Im ola and o t h e r s . I n d u b i t a b l y Mena was one o f th e b e s t r e a d e r s o f h i s t im e — a p r e t e n t i o u s b o a s t f o r any p e r s o n i n t h a t c e n t u r y o f d e l v i n g in to lit e r a t u r e .

'

S a n t i l l a n a , who p o s s e s s e d one o f t h e l a r g e s t

and m ost c o m p le te l i b r a r i e s and who i s e v e n more renowned nowadays, o f f e r s a poor com parison w i t h Mena r e g a r d i n g t h e L a t i n c l a s s i c s . W hile S a n t i l l a n a c o n f e s s e d t h a t h i s know ledge o f L a t i n was none t o o go od ,-1-^ Juan de Mena knew d i r e c t l y and by h e a r t p a r t s o f th e works o f V i r g i l , Lucan and e s p e c i a l l y O vid .

The la s t -n a m e d

a u th o r i s t h e m ost f r e q u e n t l y q u oted i n th e com m en taries t o th e

1 5 . F r a n c i s c o S a n ch ez, i n a l e t t e r t o h i s f r i e n d , Juan Vasquez d e l Marmol, d a t e d May 2 0 , 1 580 , w r o te ; ”In o n l y one t h i n g I c a n ­ n o t co n cu r i n t h e o p i n i o n o f your f r i e n d : i n p u t t i n g i n t h e e n ­ t i r e g l o s s o f Juan de Mena, b e c a u se a s i d e from b e i n g v e r y p r o l i x , i t s romance i s e x tr e m e ly poor and i t c o n t a i n s n o t a few i d l e c o n c e i t s (which i s th e term t h a t must be a p p l i e d to them ). I t would have b e e n b e t t e r had t h e y n ev e r appeared i n t h i s w o r ld , b e c a u s e i t seems i m p o s s i b l e t h a t su ch good strophes* w ere composed by su ch p e r v e r s e u n d e r s t a n d in g . I am l e a v i n g no sto n e u n tu rn ed t o up hold h i s honor by a v o i d i n g m en tio n t h a t he h i m s e l f had comm ented.” B artolom e J o s e G a lla r d o , E n sa y o , V o l . IV, column 4 5 4 . Sanchez o m it t e d Mena’ s " b o b e r £ a s .” 1 6 . A b i b l i o g r a p h y o f h i s l i b r a r y i s foun d i n V o l. 153 o f th e B i b l i o t h e q u e de l ’ E c o le d e s H a u te s E t u d e s , ”La B i b l i o t h e q u e du M arquis de S a n t i l l a n e , ” by Mario S c h i f f ( P a r i s , 1 9 0 5 ) . 1 7 . He a d m itte d t h i s i n a l e t t e r t o h i s s o n , a s t u d e n t a t S alam an ca. See Menendez y P e l a y o , A n t o l o g l a , p . LXXXII.

44

C o r o n a c io n .

I t i s from h i s M etam orphoses t h a t Mena t a k e s t h e

l a r g e s t number o f myths and c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s .

In en u m eratin g

t h e w o rk s o f Ovid t h a t he i s a c q u a i n t e d w i t h , Mena d e c l a r e s t h a t "They s a y t h a t he w r o te o t h e r b o o k s, b u t I have n o t s e e n t h e m .” I n h i s poem, t h e "Razonamiento . . . con l a m u e r t e ,” Ovid and Dante are g i v e n e q u a l rank a s " a u t h o r i t i e s . " More th a n any o t h e r w r i t e r , Mena adm ired Y i r g i l .

He w rote:

V i r g i l i o f u e e l mas e x c e l e n t e p o e t a que e n t r e l o s l a t i n o s o u o . ^E fu e de l a c iu d a d de Mantua, segu n e l c a n ta d i z i e n d o : ”Heu m is e r a Mantua, t i b i v i c i n a Crem onae.” D e l c u a l V i r g i l i o en l o o r y g l o r i a e l s e r a f i c o Dante en l a p rim era comedia e s c r i u e d i z i e n ­ do: "Tu s e ’ l o mio m a e s tr o e i l mio a u t o r e ; tu s e ’ s o l o c o l u i , da c u i i o t o l s i l o b e l l o s t i l e che m’ha f a t t o o n o r e . ” E a s s £ mesmo, e l a l t o V i r ­ g i l i o , O uidio no l o o l v i d a en l o s argum entos que h i z o a l a E n e id a d i ­ z ie n d o : "Nec me p r e la tu m t i b i c u p io f e r t p o e t a s i t e su b seq u a r hoc s a t i s e s t . . . ”18 Among h i s c o n te m p o r a r ie s Mena was e stee m ed a s a c o n o i s s e u r o f th e Mantuan’ s p o e t r y and a s a g r e a t L a t i n i s t .

In t h e V i t a

B e a t a , a s we have a l r e a d y m e n tio n e d , Lucena c la i m s t h a t th e B ish o p o f B u rgos c a l l s Mena a " gran t v i r g i l i s t a . "

The Marques

de S a n t i l l a n a had p r e v i o u s l y w r i t t e n t o t h e B ish op in fo r m in g him t h a t ”s i con lo a n de Mena f a b l a s e s a s o l a s l a t i n o sermon r a z o n a r l a s . ”^9

1 8 . G lo s s t o s t a n z a 37 o f th e C o r o n a c io n . changed t h e I t a l i a n o r th o g r a p h y . 1 9 . V i t a B e a t a . op . c i t . , p.. 1 1 3 .

The w r i t e r has

45

A f t e r V i r g i l , h i s f a v o r i t e p o e t was Lucan. was p r o b a b ly due t o two r e a s o n s :

T h is p r e f e r e n c e

one, p a t r i o t i c , h i s d ev o tio n to

e v e r y t h i n g Cordovan; and t h e o t h e r , l i t e r a r y , f o r i t was Lucan who had r e a l i z e d c o m p le t e ly Menaf s dream o f c r e a t i n g an u n u su a l p o e t i c la n g u a g e . These t h r e e c l a s s i c a l a u t h o r s l e f t t h e d e e p e s t im p r e s s io n s on t h e s p i r i t and work o f Juan de Mena. But he a l s o c i t e d B o e t h iu s and S e n e c a , b o th o f whom had a g r e a t i n f l u e n c e on th e l i t e r a t u r e o f t h e f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y . A f t e r l i s t i n g t h e i r b o o k s, he adds: "Otro l i b r o que f i z o c o n tr a s u p e r s t i c i o n e s ; a q u e s te l i b r o yo nunca he v i s t o , p e r o Sant Au­ g u s t i n en e l s e x t o l i b r o de C i u i t a t e D e i muchas v e z e s l o a l l e g a . " He was f a m i l i a r w ith th e books o f S t . I s i d o r e , whom he v e r y o f t e n c i t e s a s an a u t h o r i t y , and t o whom he r e f e r s when d i s c u s s ­ in g t h e m ost v a r i e d s u b j e c t s . from V a l e r i u s

We can a l s o f i n d d i r e c t q u o t a t io n s

Maximus, Sallust and P l i n y , whose N a t u r a l H is t o r y

he m ust have known th o r o u g h ly .

He c i t e s E u s t a t h i u s , whom we

a l s o f i n d i n th e L a b e r i n t o ; t h e E p itom e I n s t i t u t i o n u m R e i m i l i t a r i s by V e g e t i u s ; T r a b e t ’ s Commentaries on B o e t h i u s ; t h e t r e a t i s e De ju r e n a t u r a l l by J u s t i n i a n ; t h e com m entaries o f S t . Thomas on A r i s t o t l e .

O nly once i s t h e name o f Horace found;

M a r t i a l i s a l s o m en tioned b u t o n c e .

I t i s v ery p o s s ib le th at

he knew d i r e c t l y , o r th r o u g h V in c e n t o f B e a u v a is , t h e works o f S t . Anselm , e s p e c i a l l y t h e Imago m undi, where Hernan Nunez and eJ ' B r o ce n se found th e so u rc e o f numerous s t a n z a s o f th e L a b e r in t o 0

46

I t a p p e a r s t h a t he was a c q u a in t e d w ith some A r i s t o t e l i a n t r e a ­ t i s e on p h y s i c s and t h e s o u l , and he a l s o q u o te s P l a t o . H is c o n t a c t w it h I t a l i a n s gave him a d i r e c t a c q u a in ta n c e w i t h D a n te, t o g e t h e r w ith th e com m en taries o f Benvenuto da Im o la , who were th e so u r c e o f many i d e a s o f th e f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y . He must have known t h o r o u g h ly t h e works o f B o c c a c c i o , but he c i t e s o n l y t h e book De C l a r i s m u l l e r i b u s .

And he c o u ld n o t

have a v o id e d knowing t h e works o f P e t r a r c h , e s p e c i a l l y th e T r io n f o d e l l a Morte and De R e m e d ii s , whose s u c c e s s i n S p ain was e x t r a o r d i n a r y .

I t i s t o be su pp osed t h a t , l i k e h i s f r i e n d

S a n t i l l a n a , he knew a l s o o t h e r I t a l i a n and F rench w r i t e r s , whose mark ap p ears i n th e L a b e r in t o . In th e com m entaries on t h e C oro n a cion we a l s o f i n d M ena's i d e a s on p o e t i c s t y l e s .

L ike S a n t i l l a n a , he d i v i d e s p o e t i c

s t y l e s i n t o t h r e e groups: " t r a g i c , " " s a t i r i c " and "com ic." T r a g e d ic o e s d ic h a l a e s c r i t u r a que f a b l a de a l t o s h e c h o s , y por brauo y s o b e r u io y a lto e s t i lo . La q u a l manera s i g u i e r o n Homero, V e r g i l i o , Lucano y S t a c i o por l a e s c r i p t u r a t r a g e d i c a , p u e s t o que com ien za en a l t o s p r i n c i p i o s , su manera de a c a bar en t r i s t e s y d e s a s t r a d o s f i n e s . Sat y r a e s e l segundo e s t i l o de e s c r i u i r , l a n a t u r a l e z a de l a q u a l e s c r i p t u r a y o f i c i o suyo e s r ep r e h e n d e r l o s v i c i o s ; d e l q u a l e s t i l o v sa r o n H o r a c io , P e r s i o e J u u e n a l. E l t e r c e r o e s t i l o e s co m ed ia, l a c u a l t r a c t a de c o s a s b a x a s y p e q u e n a s, y por baxo y hum ilde e s t i l o , e comien^a en t r i s t e s p r i n c i p i o s e f e n e s c e en a l e g r e s f i n e s d e l q u a l v s o T e r e n c io . . . . De l o s q u a le s e s t i l o s mas la r g a m e n te p on ien d o su s d e r i v a c i o n e s e s i g n i f i c a d o s h a b la e l oomendador sob re l a comedia d e l D a n te , en e l q u arto pream bulo.

47

F o llo w in g t h i s h i n t , P o s t ‘d th e p a s s a g e q u oted by Mena.

found i n B envenuto da Im o la ^ l

The a l t o y s o b e r v i o e s t i l o o f

t r a g e d y i s a t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e p h r a s e T r a g o e d ia e s t s t y l u s a lt u s e t superbus.

And t o t h e t h r e e p o e t s m en tioned by th e

I t a l i a n , Mena adds t h e name o f Lucan.

S a t i r e i s d e f i n e d th e

same a s i n B e n v e n u to 's c o m m en taries, and th e same p o e t s are drawn upon f o r e x a m p les.

The d e f i n i t i o n o f comedy, y por baxo

y hum ilde e s t i l o , i s a t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e p h ra se Comedia e s t s t y l u s b a s s u s e t h u m i l i s ; and t h e e x p r e s s i o n l a q u a l t r a c t a de c o s a s baxas e p equ en as i s a r e n d i t i o n o f t r a c t a t enim v u l g a r i a e t v i l i a f a c t a r u r a liu m . e t c . On a n o th e r o c c a s i o n ,

s p e a k in g o f t h e l a u r e l w rea th and i t s

m eaning, a f t e r c i t i n g th e a u t h o r i t y o f S t . I s i d o r e , he w r i t e s : "E o t r o s i l o s c r i u e por e s t e n s o d e l comentador de l a Comedia d e l Dante en l o s s u s p ream b u lo s."

From th e p r e a m b les o f Benvenuto

da Im ola come t h o s e w it h w h ich Mena p r e f a c e s t h e C o r o n a c io n . But a lt h o u g h th e C oron acio n i s a t y p i c a l poem o f t h e f i f ­ t e e n t h c e n t u r y , b a sed on t h e i d e a o f w o r l d l y fame, M ena's com­ m e n t a r ie s are a c u r i o u s m ix tu r e o f humanism and m e d ie v a lis m . The e n t i r e m y t h o l o g i c a l o s t e n t a t i o n and th e r e f e r e n c e s t o an­ t i q u i t y have a c l e a r l y R e n a is s a n c e f l a v o r , and were le a r n e d from

2 0 . C. R. P o s t , "The S o u r c e s o f Juan de Mena” i n th e Romanic R e v ie w . V o l. I l l ( 1 9 1 2 ) , pp . 2 6 8 - 2 6 9 . 2 1 . I t a l i a n commentator o f Dante who i n t e r p r e t e d th e D iv in e Comedy and th e P h a r s a l i a . Born c i r c a 1 3 3 6 , d ie d 13 90.

48

su ch book s a s th e M etam orphoses and th e A e n e id *

But behind th e

hum anist i s t h e man p r o f o u n d ly p r e o c c u p ie d w ith m oral p rob lem s. I f we read th e poem b e r e f t

o f th e C o m e n ta r lo s. we run

r i s k o f r e m a in in g w i t h a wrong i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .

th e

Behind th e

myth o f Progne and P h ilo m e n a , t o l d a c c o r d in g t o O v id ’ s v e r s i o n , a p p e a r s th e f i n e m o r a l i t y o f th e Cordovan g i v i n g h i s e t h i c a l in te rp re ta tio n .

M yth ology was u s e d a s a f a b l e and an exam ple.

The w orld o f t h e e .je m p la r io s o f

t h e f o u r t e e n t h c e n tu r y had

been

r e p la c e d by a R e n a is s a n t w o r ld ;

b u t u n d e rn ea th i t a l l , a m o r a l i z ­

i n g t e n d e n c y p e r s i s t e d and d id n o t d is a p p e a r e n t i r e l y i n th e f o l l o w i n g c e n tu r y . d iv in e

V i S IQ AT

The phenomenon i s s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f the

o f a p o e t or o f a book o f c h i v a l r y .

Here i s an example: Through Orpheus we can u n d e rsta n d t h e i n ­ t e l l i g e n c e or t h e judgm ent and u n d e r s t a n d ­ i n g o f t h e man o f honor . . . . With r e s p e c t t o t h e f a b l e w h ic h sa y s t h a t th e r i v e r s w ould s t o p f l o w i n g tow ard t h e s e a when t h e y heard t h i s tro u b a d o u r s i n g i n g , we can i n t e r p r e t t h i s t o mean th e men who are cau gh t i n th e r i v e r s , t h a t i s t o s a y , t h e i r s i n s , w h ich do n o t s t o p f l o w i n g t o ­ ward th e s e a , w h ich i s t o be ta k e n a s th e in fe rn o . The co m m en ta ries, m o reo v er, show u s t h e deep i n c l i n a t i o n o f Juan de Mena toward p h i l o l o g y , w h ich i s q u i t e to be e x p e c te d i n a hu m anist who s p e n t s e v e r a l y e a r s o f h i s y o u th i n t h e I t a l y o f t h e c l a s s i c a l s c h o l a r , Lorenzo V a l l a .

H is fo n d n e s s f o r

p e n e t r a t i n g i n t o t h e m eaning o f a word and f o r g i v i n g i t i t s j u s t and e x a c t v a lu e i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y .

R a r e ly do we p a s s a

49

page on w hich we do n o t f i n d t h e e t y m o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n o f a word. body.

’’H em isphere may be s a i d o f e i t h e r h a l f o f a round In Greek a p e l l e t o r a n y t h in g round i s c a l l e d a s p h e r e .

Thus hem isph ere came from t h i s word sp h e re and i t means h a l f sp h ere. ” With t h e e a r n e s t c o n s i s t e n c y o f an a c a d e m ic ia n , whenever he can he b r i n g s o u t an e ty m o lo g y , "Polymnia means .

even i n p r o p e r names:

. . g i v e r o f many t h i n g s " ; "Melpomene by

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n means an in s tr u m e n t t h a t t e a c h e s u s t o sp eak s w e e t l y . 11 I n s o f a r a s o t h e r p r o s e i s c o n c e r n e d , we have a l r e a d y s t a t e d t h a t M ena's w r i t i n g s have n o t a l l been c o l l e c t e d ; and i n some i n s t a n c e s t h e anon ym ity or u n c e r t a i n a u t h o r s h ip o f a work h a s l e d h i s t o r i a n s t o i d e n t i f y t h e Cordovan w i t h i t . i s t h e c a s e w i t h th e im m ortal La O e l e s t i n a .

Such

H ere, how ever,

t h e r e i s a much more s u b s t a n t i a l b a s i s f o r l i n k i n g Mena w it h it.

In t h e P r o lo g u e t h e a u th o r sa y s t h a t w h ile he was a s t u d e n t

a t Salam anca, t h e f i r s t a c t , a t t r i b u t e d t o e i t h e r Juan de Mena or t o R o d rig o de C o ta , was b e i n g c i r c u l a t e d among h i s f r i e n d s . I t i s g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d , h ow ev er, t h a t t h e a u th o r was Fernando de R o j a s .

A p e r f u n c t o r y com p arison b etw een th e p r o s e o f t h a t

tr a g i- c o m e d y and Mena’ s w r i t i n g s w i l l q u i c k ly r u l e the l a t t e r o u t a s th e one r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e f i r s t a c t . 22

N e v e r th e le ss ,

22. Menendez y P e la y o s a y s : "Above a l l , we must l a y a s i d e a s a bad th o u g h t t h e g r e a t f r e q u e n c y w i t h w hich sa id f i r s t a c t h a s been a t t r i b u t e d t o Juan de Mena, who was w ith o u t doubt a g r e a t p o e t w i t h i n h i s s c h o o l and t i m e , but a m ost unhappy p r o se w r i t e r ,

among t h e s o u r c e s o f La C e l e s t i n a a r e p r o b a b ly t o be in c lu d e d t h e L a b e r in t o and th e P e c a d o s M o r t a l e s .

a s i s e a s i l y p r o v e d i n h i s g l o s s w h ich he h i m s e l f w ro te t o h i s poem, t h e C o r o n a c io n . and i n t h e compendium o f Homer’ s I l l i a d . There cannot be a n y t h in g more p e d a n t i c , more r e p l e t e w i t h i n ­ v e r s i o n s and l a t i n i s m s , sh ow in g a g r e a t e r l a c k o f g r a c e and e a s e , i n b r i e f , a n y t h in g more c o n t r a r y t o t h e s t y l e and c h a r a c ­ t e r o f th e p r o s e o f La C e l e s t i n a , i n i t s f i r s t a c t a s w e l l a s i n a l l t h e r e s t . ” E s t u d i o s y d i s c u r s o s de c r l t i c a h i s t o r i c a y l i t e r a r i a , V o l. I I (M adrid, 1 9 4 1 ) , p p . 2 4 0 -2 4 1 .

CHAPTER IV MENA’S POETIC WORK Three t y p i c a l c u r r e n t s o f S p a n ish p o e t r y o f the f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d i n Juan de Mena’ s c o m p o s i t i o n s . In th e f i r s t p l a c e , t h e r e i s am orous, s a t i r i c a l and d a r in g p o e t r y v i t a l l y l i n k e d w i t h t h a t o f G a la ic o -P o r t u g u e s e and P r o v e n z a l p o e t r y ; i n t h e se co n d p l a c e , a group o f a l l e g o r i c a l poems i n t h e I t a l i a n f a s h i o n ; and, f i n a l l y , a ty p e o f d o c t r i n a l , s e n t e n t i o u s p o e t r y o f w hich t h e r e a r e th r e e or fo u r c o m p o s i t i o n s o f r e a l and l a s t i n g i n t e r e s t . There i s no d o u b t t h a t the Marques de S a n t i l l a n a s u r p a s s e d by f a r e v e r y contem p orary p o e t who t r i e d h i s hand a t w r i t i n g lo v e p o e try .

N e v e r t h e l e s s Mena a l s o produced some s u c c e s s f u l

sp e c im e n s o f t h i s g e n r e w hich Menendez y P e la y o c la im s was n o t s u i t e d t o h i s tem p eram en t.^

I t i s g e n e r a lly agreed t h a t h is

most a c c o m p lis h e d and m ost e l e g a n t gem o f l i g h t p o e t r y i s th e v e r y b r i e f c o m p o s it io n e n t i t l e d Canoion que h i z o Juan de Mena e s ta n d o m a l: Donde yago en e s t a cama, l a mayor pena de m i, e s p e n s a r quando p a r t i de e n t r e b r a z o s d e mi dama.

1. K is to r ia

. . . , p. 151. -5 1 -

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A v u e l t a s d e l mal que s i e n t o de mi p a r t i d a , par D i o s , t a n t a s v e c e s me a r r e p i e n t o , q u a n ta s me miembro de v o s ; Tanto que me h azen fama que de a q u e l l a a d o l e s c i , l o s que sab en que p a r t i de e n t r e b r a z o s de mi dama. Aunque p a d ezco y me o a l l o por e s s o mis t r i s t e s qu exas, no menos c e r c a l o s f a l l o que v u e s t r o s b i e n e s de l e x o s . S i l a f i n e s que me lla m a , ; 0 h , qu4 m uerte que p e r d i En v i v i r quando p a r t i De e n t r e b r a z o s de mi dama! There i s a p p a re n t h e r e an e x a g g e r a t i o n and a f f e c t a t i o n t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e t h i s typ e o f c o m p o s it io n i n th e o t h e r p o e t s o f th e c e n t u r y .

I t was e s s e n t i a l to be s u p e r l a t i v e i n d e s c r i p ­

t i o n , t h a t i s , i t was n o t enough to d e c l a r e m e r e ly t h a t on a c c o u n t o f o n e ’s l a d y l o v e "I s u f f e r e d more than o t h e r s " ; t h e p a in and a n g u is h a r i s i n g th e r e fr o m must be un eq ualed and un­ e q u a b le .

L ik e w is e h e r b e a u ty i s u n su rp a ssed and u n s u r p a s s a b l e .

Any c o n t a c t w ith h e r i s e l e c t r i c , d is a r m in g , and i n t e n s e l y m a g n e t ic .

T h is i s

th e burden o f the r u n - o f - t h e - m i l l poems t h a t

f lo w e d c o p i o u s l y from th e p e n s o f th e m u lt it u d e o f d a b b le r s i n th e a r t .

A fe w o f t h e i r c o m p o s i t i o n s , how ever, l i k e t h e s e -

r r a n l l l a by t h e Marques de S a n t i l l a n a which b e g in s Moza ta n ferm osa non v i en l a f r o n t e ra como una vaquera de l a F i n o j o s a , e t c . , e t c . , a r e d e l i g h t f u l , r e f r e s h i n g , and i n d i c a t i v e o f s u p e r i o r s k i l l and s e n s i b i l i t y . Mena, t o o , produ ced some commendable v e r s e s , such a s t h i s e str ib illo :

53

,

Desque vos mirS e v o s a ml" v i s t e s nunoa m alogr^; t a l pena me d i s t e s que d e l l a morr 6 . Las c u i t a s y d o l o r e s oon que s o y penado so n m a les de amores que me a u e y s causad o; a s s l que d i r e que mal me f i z i s t e s ; s e g u n t vos m ire t a l pena me d i s t e s que d e l l a morr 6 .

From an u n t i t l e d s e l e c t i o n come t h e s e e x t r a c t s : Kuy mas c l a r a que l a lu n a , s o l a una, en e l mundo v os n a c i s t e s t a n g e n t i l que no o u i s t e s n i to u iste s compe t i d o r a n in g u n a . Desde n i h e z en l a cuna c o b r a s t e s fama, b e ld a d , con t a n t a g r a c i o s i d a d que v o s d o to l a For tuna . . . .

iQ u ie n vos d io t a n t o lu g a r de r o b a r l a hermosura d e l mundo, que e s un mis t e r i o seg u n d o , tan profundo que no l e s 6 d e c l a r a r ? 2 These e x t r a c t s a r e v e r y g r a c e f u l and charming f o r t h e i r m e t r i c c a p r i c c i o and d e l i g h t f u l r e f i n e m e n t .

In a n o t h e r , l o n g e r com-

p o s i t i o n , b e g i n n in g Ya no s u f r e mi c u id a d o , Mena shows an e x ­ t r a o r d i n a r y c o r d i a l i t y and g a l la n t r y ,,

I t i s an a f f e c t e d la m en ta ­

t i o n i n w h ich Menendez y P e la y o f i n d s e v id e n c e o f t h e p o e t ’ s

2. A l l o f Mena’ s poems a r e ta k e n from th e C an oion ero C a s t e l l a n o d e l S ite lo XV. a rra n g ed by R. F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c (M adrid, 1 9 1 2 ) .

54

c l a s s i c l e a n i n g s , s e v e r a l l i n e s b ein g a l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n from th e L a t i n . c u r io s ity ,

The e n d in g o f t h a t poem, as a p o i n t o f

is: Y v u e s t r a i r a so b r a r no q u ie r a n i t a n t a pena, mas v u e s t r o g a la r d o n a r p l e g a de t a n t o p e s a r de l i b r a r un Juan de Mena.

A nother o f h i s poems b e lo n g in g to t h i s gen re c o n c lu d e s i n th e f o llo w in g s im ila r v e in : Yo vos s u p l i c o y vos ruego me l i b r e d e s d e s t a p en a, ca s i muero en e s t e f u e g o , no q u iz a f a l l a r ^ y s lu e g o cada d i a un Juan de Mena. T h is o b v io u s d i s p l a y o f v a n i t y i s a l s o i n d i c a t i v e o f h i s p r e d i ­ l e c t i o n f o r th e m a n ip u la t io n o f w o rd s, w hich so m etim es r e a c h e d su c h ab su rd p r o p o r t i o n s t h a t th e id e a became s u b o r d i n a t e t o th e s o u n d - e f f e c t o f th e w o r d s.

For exam ple:

S i yo p u d ie r a poder d e s t e r r a r de mi d e s t i e r r o , no f u e r a f e r i d o a f i e r r o mi p l a c e r d e l d e s p l a c e r . He was n o t a l o n e i n t h i s p r a c t i c e .

Of t h e more than two hundred

S p a n is h p o e t s who f l o u r i s h e d d u r in g th e r e i g n o f John I I , l e s s th a n a h a n d f u l went beyond the w r i t i n g o f t r i v i a l c o m p o s it io n s la d e n w i t h a f f e c t a t i o n and " g a la s " — the b e l a b o r i n g o f a word u n t i l th e " j u i c e i s

e x tr a c te d ."

Perhaps the m ost extrem e o f

t h e s e was A lf o n s o A lv a r e z V i l l a s a n d i n o , who f o i s t e d th e f o l l o w i n g g i b b e r i s h upon h i s h e a r e r s :

3 * H isto r ia

. . .,

p. 153.

55

Andando cuydando en meu ben cuyde Que yo cuydara r r e n d e s t e c u y d a r , Cuydando, o u y ta d o , como me mate S por ende cuydo cuydar en p e n s s a r : Que s y o v y e s s quen de ml c u y d a s s e , Lo que non cuydo cuydar c u y d a r la Un t a l cuydado, porque me l e x a s s e De meu g r a n t cuydado cuydar to d a v i a . I n Don Q u ix o t e ’ s m ost extrem e r a v in g h e u s e s t h e same m annerism.

R e c a l l h i s v e r y famous "The r e a s o n o f t h e r e a s o n ­

l e s s i n j u r y w h ich i s i n f l i c t e d on my r e a s o n , e n f e e b l e s my r e a s o n so much t h a t i t i s n o t w ith o u t r e a s o n t h a t I com p la in o f your b e a u t y ." books

C e r v a n te s w a s, o f c o u r s e , r i d i c u l i n g th e

o f c h i v a l r y w hich i n tu r n had been f i l l e d w i t h th e same

s t y l i s t i c d e v ice s

so c u r r e n t i n the f o u r t e e n t h c e n t u r y .

A lth o u g h Mena a t one p e r io d i n h i s l i f e was g u i l t y o f w r itin g t h i s ty p e o f p o e tr y , h is v e r s e s are n o t w ith o u t grace and t h e y do show s k i l l i n p r o d u c in g rhythm . The s t y l i s t i c d e v i c e s as w e l l as t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r o f f o u r t e e n t h - c e n t u r y S p a n is h p o e t r y stemmed from form er c e n t u r i e s and from w r i t e r s o f o t h e r l a n d s .

Puymaigre^ s u g g e s t s t h a t Mena

4 . Kane t a k e s th e t r o u b le t o i n t e r p r e t t h i s s t a n z a a s f o l l o w s : W hile c o n t i n u in g c a r i n g f o r m y s e l f may I w e l l ta k e c a r e That I s h o u ld n o t c a r e a t a l l f o r t h i s c a r i n g , For b e in g so ca re d I m ig h t k i l l m y s e l f from c a r i n g And t h e r e f o r e I c a r e t o tak e c a r e i n t h i s ; I f t h e r e w ere someone t h a t would c a r e f o r me He would c a r e f o r t h a t w h ich I d id n o t c a r e t o c a r e f o r With su ch c a r e t h a t he would f r e e me From my g r e a t c a r e i n c a r i n g s t i l l . E l i s h a K. Kane, Gongorism and th e Golden Age (The U n i v e r s i t y o f N orth C a r o lin a P r e s s , 1 9 2 8 ) , pp. 2 6 7 - 2 6 8 . 5. Comte de P uym aigre, La cour l i t t & r a i r e de Don Juan I I ( P a r i s , 1 8 7 3 ) , V o l. I I , p p . 5 8 -1 1 7 .

56

was a c q u a i n t e d w i t h F r e n c h t r o u b a d o u r s and I t a l i a n p o e t s , b u t i s r e l u c t a n t t o blam e them f o r t h e p o e t i c e x c e s s e s c o m m i t t e d by t h e S p a n i a r d s .

’’The a n c i e n t I t a l i a n p o e t s a r e s i m p l e i n

c o m p a r i s o n w i t h J u a n de Mena and h i s r i v a l s . ” ® The F r e n c h i n f l u e n c e was n e v e r t h e l e s s s t r o n g l y f e l t i n w h at i s c a l l e d t h e Provenzal school,

b u t i t was ’’l e s s f r o m t h e t r o u b a d o u r s t h a n

f ro m t h e T r a n s - A l p i a n p o e t s t h a t h a d come t h e amorous e x a g g e r a t i o n s and a u d a c i o u s m i x t u r e o f e r o t i c

t h o u g h t s an d h o l y t h i n g s . ”

P u y m a i g r e i n d i c a t e s t h a t D a n te ha d a l s o m ix ed t h e two and t h a t t h e s e i d e a s may be fo u n d i n Mena, who w r o t e : Dubdo s i e l S o b e r a n o s e p u s i e s e con s u n a n o con q u a n t o p o d e r a l c a n a , f a c e r v u e s t r a semejan e cts i n w h ic h i t d i f f e r s f r o m t h e o r d i n a r y G a l ic ia n type o f h i s tim e .

Post further

declares th at

Mena’ s l o v e v e r s e was m o d e l l e d s p e c i f i c a l l y on P e t r a r c h ’ s Rime. His C laro escu ro i s a s e r i e s o f s e v e n te e n s t a n z a s ,

every

a l t e r n a t i n g one o f which e x p r e s s e s s e n t i m e n t a l amorous d e s p a i r , 6 . I b i d . , p . 62. 7 . I b i d . , p . 60 . 8 . I b i d . , p . 62. 9. P ost,

’’The S o u r c e s o f J u a n de M e n a , ” o p. c i t . , p p . 2 7 3 - 2 7 7 .

57

w h il e th e o t h e r s , o f lo n g e r l i n e s , p r e s e n t many c l a s s i c a l e x ­ am ples o f e a ch c o n f l i c t .

"The c h i e f c o n c e i t s , t h a t h i s l i f e

i s o n l y d e a t h i n l i f e and t h a t a c t u a l d e a t h i s p r e f e r a b l e , a r e P e t r a r c h i a n p l a t i t u d e s . ”10 The f i r s t cop l a o f s h o r t e r l i n e s d e m o n s tr a t e s th e extrem es to w hich Mena— as w e l l a s t h e o th e r S p a n is h p o e t s — w ent i n im ita tin g P etrarch : Quando v i m o rir mi v id a y v i d a dar a mis m a le s , cuya v id a e s d e s p e d id a de q u ie n f u 6 d e s c o n o s c i d a 6 m is penas d e s i g u a l e s : e n to n c e s b ie n me p e n s 6 , p e n s e que mi p e n sa m ie n to ta n to f u e r t e , no t u u i e r a s o b r e qu 6 , s o b r e que darme to r m e n to , s o b r e m u e r te . The t h e o r y o f D antesque d e r i v a t i o n o f Mena’ s En l o o r de una dama i s a l s o d i s c l a i m e d by P o s t , who s e e s i n i t a l s o th e e le m e n ts o f P e t r a r c h i a n s t y l e , u n d e r l i n i n g the f a c t t h a t w h i l e th e Sp aniard nowhere a l l u d e s to Dante he does d i r e c t l y c i t e L a u r a ’s e x t o l l e r i n a n o th e r poem: iQ u i 6n s i n vos no m e r e s 9 i 6 de v i r t u d e s s e r monarcha? Quanto b i e n d i x o P e t r a r c h a , por vos l o p r o f e t i z o . i l Dante must have e x e r c i s e d a t l e a s t an i n d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e on Mena, and P o s t does not f a i l to p o i n t t h i s o u t .

10. I b i d ., p . 274. 1 1 . I b i d . , pp . 2 7 5 - 2 7 6 .

Though Ovid i s

58

th e s o u r c e o f Mena’ s myths and c l a s s i c a l a l l u s i o n s , t h e s e are f i t t e d i n t o a l l e g o r i c a l form w hich stemmed e i t h e r from D a n te ’s poems o r from h i s i m i t a t o r s . The C laro e s o u r o , w h ic h we have a l r e a d y m en tio n e d , and A1 hi.jo muy c l a r o de H ip e r i o n a r e a s t r a n g e m ix tu r e o f a l l e g o r i s m , the u t i l i z a t i o n o f c l a s s i c a n t i q u i t y and t h e i n t e r s p e r s i o n o f l y r i c v e r s e i n th e G a l i c i a n s t r a i n .

The p o ly m e te r i s unique

i n the e n t i r e f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; h e r e i s a f u r t h e r example tak en from th e C laro e s c u r o : T r i c i p i t e s s i e r p e s y brauos v e s t i g l o s , c i c u t a s , pon 9 o nas y t i g r e s muy f i e r a s , d e l s i g l o mas hondo de to d o s l o s s i g l o s l o s rayo s t r i f o r m e s y a r d i e n t e s h o g u e r a s ; c i c l a d o s y s i r t e s y hondas 9 a f e r a s , que son l o s p e l i g r o s d e l mar Eminoco, to d o s a q u e s t o s t o u i e r a yo en p o c o , segun m is p a s s i o n e s de muchas m aneras. D e s s e o , b e ld a d agena que v e d e s que me l e u o a m orir en t a l cad en a , pudo menos que mi pena y mucho mds que no y o . Q,uien no me q u is o q u e r e r , q u er e r mudar no q u i s i e s s e su ta la n te ; que b i e n p u d i e r a h a z e r , h a z e r con que me h i z i e s s e b i e n a n d a n te . I n t h i s poem, c o n t r a r i l y t o what we f i n d i n the A1 hi.jo muy c l a r o de H i p e r i o n . each s t a n z a o f e i g h t t w e l v e - s y l l a b l e l i n e s i s f o l ­ low ed by an o th er o f e l e v e n v e r s e s w i t h two broken f e e t (a b a a b c d e c d e).

B le c u a d e s c r i b e s t h i s poem a s a v e h i c l e through

w hich ’’th e c u l t u r e d , h id d e n manner o f Mena, a s in th e o t h e r com­ p o s i t i o n , s e r v e s as a b a r o q u e, o r c h e s t r a l and d e c o r a t i v e

back­

59

ground."

12

In t h e C la r o e s o u r o t h e t e c h n iq u e o f th e a r t e mayor

i s v e r y s i m i l a r to t h a t o f th e L a b e r in t o .

There i s a p r a i s e ­

w orthy a l l i t e r a t i o n : Nunca L a e r t e s , n i L e le x N e r i c i o , A t i s , P l e n x i p o , Em athion, P h in e o , nunca M e n e c io , n i I d a s , n i C l i c i o , A c a s t o , P h o r b a n te , J o l a o , H ia n th e o ; nunca C eneo, n i Leo, Cepheo . . . . In two d i f f e r e n t s t a n z a s app ear t h e s e p e n u ltim a te l i n e s : . . . n i v i e r o n p a s s a d o s , n i v iu o s oyeron . . . n i c u b r e n t i n i e b r a s , n i lumbre d e l s o l w hich shows how th e a c c e n t o f the f i r s t h e m i s t i l c h f a l l s on th e same vow el as t h a t o f th e s e c o n d , w ith a n o th e r i d e n t i c a l v o w e l fo llo w in g . This deep s t y l i s t i c Mena i n h i s l a t e r y e a r s .

p r e o c c u p a t i o n d im in is h e d i n Juan de He must have r e a l i z e d w e l l t h a t t h e

h i g h l y p o l i s h e d form s and L a t in is m s would n o t go w e l l i n poems of d o c trin a l ty p e .

This can be o b ser v ed i n h i s fam ous, incom­

p l e t e poem "Contra l o s p e c a d o s m o r ta le s " a l s o c a l l e d "Debate de l a Raz 6n c o n t r a l a V o lu n ta d ."

Here,, he v e r y c l e a r l y s t a t e s :

Fuyd o c a l l a d , s e r e n a s , que e n l a mi hedad p a sa d a , t a l d u lq u ra enpon^ohada d e r r a m a s te s p or mis v e n a s ; m is e n t r a h a s , que eran l l e n a s de p e r u e r s o fun dam ento, q u ie r a e l d i u i n a l a l i e n t o de m alas f a z e r ya buenas . . . . No s e g a s t e mas p a u i l o en s a b e r q u i£ n f u 6 P e g a s o , l a s dos cumbres de P e r n a s o ,

12. J o s6 B lecu a , op. c i t . . p . x x x v i i i .

60

l o s s y e t e b r a 9os d e N i l o ; p u e s nos l l e g a m o s a l f i l o y s a b e n o s que de nos j u z g a n d o r e s c i b e Dios mds l a o b r a q u e l e s t i l o . The e n t i r e poem i s ism s.

devoid o f s y n t a c t i c

c la sh e s or extrem e L a t i n -

T h e r e a r e a f e w c u l t i s m o s , b u t t h e y a r e p r o p e r l y em p lo yed:

m u ere l o v i u i f i c a n t e and p u g n i t i v o p e n s a m i e n t o .

He e v i d e n t l y

s t r i v e s i n t h i s c o m p o s itio n to e l i m i n a t e c u ltis m o s even a t t h e e x p e n s e o f u s i n g t r i t e p h r a s e s , s u c h a s : a unos d a r de l a e s p u e l a , v a o tro s tener la rie n d a .

In b r ie f ,

i t i s one o f h i s m o s t r e a d ­

a b le poems. T h i s c o m p o s i t i o n was Mena’ s l a s t e x t e n d e d a l l e g o r i c a l poem. I t i s c l a s s e d w i t h i n t h e same t r a d i t i o n a s t h e o t h e r m e d i e v a l d e b a t e s , s u c h a s ’’t h e A l e x a n d r e , t h e s e r i e s o f d e b a t e s b e t w e e n Body a n d S o u l , o r p a r t i c u l a r l y ,

th e d e b a te s of j u s t such p e r ­

s o n i f i c a t i o n s a s R e a s o n and D e s i r e i n t h e w orks o f Ruy P a e s de R ibera.

Reason s t r u g g l e s d i a l e c t i c a l l y w ith m o r ta l s i n s ,

t h e s e b e i n g P r i d e , A v a r i c e , L u s t , W ra th , G l u t t o n y , Envy, and S loth.

In m a g is tr a l sta n z a s th e p o e t d e p ic ts th e s e v ic e s . For

e x a m p l e , h e r e i s t h e f a c e o f W ra th : Con l o s d i e n t e s r e g a h a d o s dem ostro su q u a rto g e s to a t o d o dano d i s p u e s t o ; sus sentidos a lte ra d o s, l o s sus o jo s derram sdos p r o c u r a n d o l a v e n g a n 9a , desechada l a tem plan^a y sus abtos o lu id ad o s.

13. P o s t , ’’The S o u r c e s o f l u a n de M e n a , ” o p . o i t . , p . 272. Here, as elsew h ere, P o s t seeks to prove t h a t th e evidence of D ante’s in flu e n c e is flim s y .

61

These s e v e n e v i l s a r e ty p e d ad m irab ly w e l l . P e r v a d in g th e poem th ro u g h o u t i s a profound m e la n c h o ly sm acking o f t h e n o s t a l g i a t h a t Jorge Manrique h a s so w e l l i n ­ fu s e d i n t o h i s C o p la s .

A t t im e s Mena’ s n o s t a l g i c e x p r e s s i o n

i s i n no w i s e i n f e r i o r : La v id a p asada e s p a r t e d e l a m uerte a d u e n i d e r a ; e s pasado por e s t a a r t e l o que por v e n i r s e e s p e r a ; i q u i e n no muere a n t e s que muera? que l a m uerte no e s m o r ir , pues c o n s i s t s e n e l b e u ir , mas e s f i n d e l a c a m e r a .

Breue don e s ferm osura p or poco tiem p o p r e s t a d o ; en momento a r r e b a ta d o s e f u y e to d a f i g u r a ; no e s ora t a n se g u r a n i d i a t a n s i n e n o jo que no robe a lgu n d d e sp o jo d e l a ferm osa f e c h u r a . I n s p i t e o f t h i s B i b l i c a l and m e d ie v a l n o t e , Mena a l s o shows h i m s e l f t o be advan ced i n h i s t h i n k i n g .

In th e f o l l o w i n g

s t a n z a he e x p r e s s e s c l e a r l y R e n a is s a n c e i d e a s : No s o la m e n t e no b a s ta que v e n g a s de n o b le g e n t e ; l a bondad d e l a s i m i e n t e tu so b eru ia t e la g a sta ; y la v ir tu d se oon trasta que por e l l i n a j e c o b r a s , s y no r e sp o n d e n tu s obras a l a t u t a n n o b le c a s t a . Puym aigre s o n n e t s on

p o in ted out

in

t h i s poemth e i n f l u e n c e s

o f th e

th e M o rta l S i n s

by

F a z io d e g l i U b e r t i . But

P ost

p o i n t s o u t m e r e ly th e c o in c e d e n c e o f two or t h r e e v e r s e s .

62

Mena n e v e r c o m p le te d t h i s D e b a t e ; h i s p o r t i o n t e r m i n a t e s w i t h R e a s o n ’ s t i r a d e a g a i n s t Wrath.

A f t e r the a u t h o r ’ s d e a th

th e poem was c o n tin u e d f i r s t by one o f the c h i e f l i t e r a r y l i g h t s o f th e d a y, Gomez M anrique, who, in tu r n , was f o l l o w e d by P ero G u i l l e n and Jeronim o de A r t e s .

F ray J e r o n im o ’ s f a t h e r

had b e e n an e n t h u s i a s t i c adm irer o f Mena.

These f a c t s a t t e s t

t o th e im p o r ta n c e o f th e c o m p o s i t i o n . The m e l a n c h o li c n o t e m en tio n ed above i s a l s o p e r c e i v e d in th e R azonam iento que f a z e Johan de Mena con l a M u e r te , a poem c l e a r l y bound up w ith th e m ed iev a l Dance o f D e a th .

Death

p e r s o n i f i e d d e c l a r e s t o the p o e t h e r s t r i c t i m p a r t i a l i t y , and he r e p l i e s by c i t i n g th e many g r e a t p e r s o n s who have b een her v ic tim s.

From t h a t poem comes t h i s

t r u l y i n s p i r i n g s t a n z a w hich

p r o b a b ly i n f l u e n c e d l a t e r p o e t s to u t i l i z e the theme t h a t r e a l i t y i s n ot w it h in th e sphere o f s e n s e p e r ce p tio n : No ap rov ech a n l o s s a b e r e s , n i n l a s a r t e s , n i n l a s manas, n in p r o e z a s, n in fa z a n a s, g ra n d es p o n p a s, n i n p o d e r e s , grandes c a s a s , n in a u e r e s, p u e s que tod o a de qu ed ar, s a l u o e l s o l o b ie n o b r a r , M u e rte, quando t u v i n i e r e s . P o s s i b l y C a ld e r o n saw i n t h a t s t a n z a th e theme t h a t ’’l i f e i s a dream," b u t t h i s i s even more d i r e c t l y d e v e lo p e d i n a n o th e r poem by Mena.

In t h e D e z lr que f i z o Juan de Mena s o b r e l a Rus­

t i c i a e l o s p l e y t o s , e de l a g r a n t van id ad d e s t e mundo. we f i n d th is stan za:

63

(Jiego t r a s ) h e x a s y l l a b l e s ; o r ,

o t h e r w i s e s t a t e d , a l i n e o f two h e m i s t i c h i e a c h , w it h a c e s u r a between them. many u n s k i l l e d v e r s i f i e r s ,

However, i n th e hands o f so

th e a r t e mayor was o f t e n f a s h io n e d

i n t o a " f o r m le s s s k e i n o f s y l l a b l e s , " P edro H en riq u ez Ureha.

of s ix sy lla b le s

t o borrow a p h r a s e from

P o e t s t o o k many l i c e n s e s w ith t h i s type

5. R. F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c , Juan de Mena y e l A rte Mayor, t r a n s l a t e d a n n o t a t e d and p r e c e d e d by a p r o lo g u e by A d o lfo B o n i l l a y San Mar­ t i n (M adrid, 1 9 0 3 ) , p . 3 . Most o f what f o l l o w s i n th e p r e s e n t c h a p t e r i s b a s e d on t h i s s t u d y w h ich o r i g i n a l l y ap p eared i n the Revue H isp a n iq u e (1902) under th e t i t l e "Etude su r l e l a b e r i n t o de Juan de Mena." On th e a r t e m ayor, s e e a l s o P . S a r m ie n to , Mem o ria para l a h i s t o r i a de l a p o e s i a . y p o e t a s e s p a n o l e s . (Madrid, 1 7 7 5 ) ; F . H a n ssen , "El A rte mayor de Juan de Mena," i n th e A n ales de l a U n iv e r s i d a d de C h i l e , V o l. LKVIII ( 1 9 0 6 ) ; and E. M ele, " II m etro d e l primo co ro d e l l ' A d e l c h i e i l m etro d ' a r t e mayor," i n th e S t u a i de F i l o l o g i a Mpderna, V o l. I ( 1 9 0 8 ) , pp. 9 3 - 1 0 1 . 6 . H e n r i q u e z U rerla, o p . c i t . ,

p . 6.

142

o f c o m p o sitio n

a

w hich made i t d i f f i c u l t to a n a ly z e and e s t a b l i s h

a workable fo rm u la .

A l f r e d M o r e l- F a t io c r i t i c a l l y examined the

problem8 but h i s fo r m u la s and c o n c l u s i o n s were s u b s e q u e n t l y d i s ­ proved by F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c , - who f i n a l l y s e t t l e d the problem d e ­ f i n i t i v e l y and e s t a b l i s h e d the tru e r u l e s o f the a r t e m ayor. This d i s t i n g u i s h e d French H i s p a n i s t dem onstrated t h a t t h e v e r s e forms o f the a r t e mayor can v a r y betw een n in e and t h i r t e e n sy lla b le s.

F u r th e rm o re , t h e c r i t i c a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d t e x t o f h i s

e d i t i o n o f the L a b e r in t o de F o rtu n e (Macon, 1904) e n a b le d him to fo rm u la te the most l o g i c a l and c o m p lete c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f v e r s e ty p e s o f th e a r t e mayor a s used by Juan de Mena.

A cco rd in g to

F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c , t h e r e a r e s e v e n t y - e i g h t d i f f e r e n t ty p e s o f a r t e mayor v e r s e (some p r o v e d by ex a m p les and o t h e r s w hich are c a p a b le o f e x i s t i n g ) .

I t sh o u ld be remembered t h a t Juan de Mena

was the i n d i s p u t a b l e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h a t m e te r , u se d th r o u g h ­ o u t th e T r e s c i e n t a s , t h e m ost im p o r ta n t poem o f the f i f t e e n t h c e n tu r y , and t h a t a f t e r Mena th e a r t e mayor gave way to o t h e r m e t r i c a l fo r m s.

Thus i t

i s l o g i c a l t h a t a s tu d y o f the Cordovan

a lon e can cover a l l a s p e c t s o f th e a r t e mayor. In h i s a f o r e m e n tio n e d a r t i c l e , M o r e l- F a t io a l l e g e s t h a t a

7. These l i b e r t i e s a r e s u c c i n c t l y d e s c r i b e d by Andres 3 e l l o i n h i s P r i n c i p i o s de l a Q r t o l o ,j ia i M e t r ic s de la Lengua C a s t e l l a n a . 8 . "L’a r t e mayor e t 1 ’h e n d l c a s y l l a b l e dans l a p o e s i e c a s t i l l e n e du XVe s i e c l e e t du commencement du XVIe s i e c l e , " Romania ( 1 8 9 4 ) , pp. 2 0 9 -2 3 1 . 9. F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c , o p .

c it.

143

c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the a r t e mayor i s a s e p a r a t i o n or t r u e p au se a f t e r th e f i f t h

accented s y lla b le ;

thus i n c l u d e f i v e ,

the two eq u al h e m i s t i c h e s

s i x or se v e n s y l l a b l e s a c c o r d in g a s t h e y end

in an o x y t o n e , p a r o x y to n e or p r o p a r o x y to n e .

In d is a g r e e m e n t ,

F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c e m p h a s iz e s t h a t th e two h e m i s t i c h e s a r e n o t a l ­ ways e q u a l but a r e a lw a y s e q u i v a l e n t . o f o n ly fou r s y l l a b l e s , c r i t i c o f m etr ic a r t .

One o f th e two may c o n s i s t

a c ir c u m sta n c e h i t h e r t o n o t n o te d by any A v e r s e i s n ev e r formed by two p r o p a r o x y -

t o n i c s e v e n - s y l l a b l e h e m i s t i c h e s , as e r r o n e o u s l y su p p o se d by Fadre S a r m ie n t o ,

who c i t e d th e 7-7 or 1 4 - f o o t v e r s e c o m b in a tio n ,

but w ith no exam ple to j u s t i f y i t . t h is m ista k e , c o m p le te i f

V ic e n te Salva'*''*' a l s o commits

s t a t i n g t h a t t h e 1 4 - s y l l a b l e v e r s e form would be

th e l a s t words o f t h e two h e m i s t i c h e s w ere p r o p a r o x y -

to n e s , as in t h is lin e : P a sa ra n l a s a g u i l a s / d e G a lia l o s t e r m i n o s . F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c d o e s n o t know where S a lv a o b t a in e d t h i s l i n e , u n h e s ita tin g ly la b e ls

i t fa lse .

The number o f s y l l a b l e s ,

but

he a d d s,

does n o t depend s o l e l y on the c h a r a c t e r o f the f i n a l word o f the h e m istich .

There a r e , he p o i n t s o u t , o x y to n e h e m i s t i c h e s t h a t do

n o t have f i v e s y l l a b l e s , p a r o x y to n e s t h a t do n o t c o n s i s t o f s i x s y l l a b l e s and p r o p a r o x y to n e s t h a t a r e n o t composed o f s e v e n .

1 0 . P adre S a r m ie n to , Memorias para l a h i s t o r i a de l a p o e s i a y p o e ta s e s p a r io le s (M adrid, 1 7 7 5 ) , pp. 193 f f . 1 1 . V i c e n t e S a lv a y P&rez, in th e P rosod y s e c t i o n o f h i s Gram&tica de l a le n g u a c a s t e l l a n a ( P a r i s , 1 8 3 5 ) , p . 4 2 0 .

144

Padre S a r m ie n to , a c c o r d in g t o ivior e l - F a t i o ,

" g iv es th e f o r ­

m ulas o f a l l p o s s i b l e c o m b in a tio n s o f th e a r t e mayor v e r s e d iv id e d i n t o two e q u a l h e m i s t i c h e s , so t h a t th e l i n e may c o n t a i n from 10 t o 14 s y l l a b l e s . "

However, F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c remarks t h a t Sarm ien to

onljr g i v e s the fo r m u la s o f n in e c o m b in a t io n s , one o f w h ic h , a s m en tio n e d ab ove (7 -7 or 1 4 - f o o t ) , co m b in a tio n s. sy lla b le s,

is fa ls e ,

th u s le a v in g e ig h t

There a r e many more c o m b in a t io n s , an d , a s f o r

t h e i r number v a r i e s n o t from t e n to f o u r t e e n , but from

n in e t o t h i r t e e n . M o r e l - F s t i o q u e s t io n s w h eth er a s i d e from t h e two e s s e n t i a l a c c e n t s th e a r t e mayor l i n e a l s o b e a r s o t h e r r h y th m ic a c c e n t s . He q u o t e s R e n g ifo a s s a y i n g t h a t i n o r d e r t o have good rhythm th e a r t e mayor r e q u i r e s an a c c e n t on th e secon d and e i g h t h s y l ­ la b le s.

F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c c o r r e c t s

t h i s , a s s e r t i n g t h a t th e

p a r t i c u l a r v e r s e m en tio n e d by R e n g if o c o n t a i n s fo u r a c c e n t s , and r e q u o t e s th e l a t t e r c o r r e c t l y a s f o l l o w s : i s composed o f two h e x a s y l l a b i c

"The a r t e mayor v e r s e

(r e d o n d i l l a m enor) l i n e s , and

n o t o f a l l t h o s e which we have m en tio n e d b u t o f o n l y t h o s e w hich h ave th e s t r e s s on th e second o f th e f i r s t fo u r s y l l a b l e s

. . . ." 1 2

L e a v in g th e o l d t r e a t i s e s on v e r s i f i c a t i o n , M o r e l- F a t io p r o -

12. Menendez y P e la y o a d o p ts a s i m i l a r d e f i n i t i o n when he sp e a k s o f t h e " d o d e c a s y l l a b l e o f fo u r c a d e n c e s w i t h a c e s u r a b etv/een , a r ­ r anged i n s t a n z a s o f e i g h t l i n e s and commonly c a l l e d a r t e mayor m e t e r ." (A n t o l o g i a , IV, p . CXC.) I t i s , i n e f f e c t , th e d e f i n i t i o n t h a t a p p l i e s t o m ost o f t h e s e v e r s e s . F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c u n d e r s c o r e s t h a t t h i s i s th e d o d e c a s y l l a b i c form m ost f r e q u e n t l y used by modern p o e t s , b u t t h a t i t i s a v e r s e o f a r t e mayor and n o t t h e v e r s e o f a r t e m ayor, f o r th e r e a r e numerous o t h e r t y p e s .

145

c e e d s to d i s c u s s a n o th e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f th e a r t e mayor. F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c s a r c a s t i c a l l y n o t e s t h a t h i s countryman d e v o t e s more than o n e - t h i r d o f h i s s t u d y t o t h e f o l l o w i n g a s p e c t : Mere­ l y by g l a n c i n g through th e T r e s c i e n t a s or any o t h e r c o m p o s itio n i n a r t e mayor o f th e f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y , one f i n d s v e r s e s w hich i n no w i s e conform to the known s ta n d a r d v e r s i f i c a t i o n schem e, i.e .,

l i n e s w ith the s t r e s s on th e f o u r t h s y l l a b l e o f the f i r s t

h e m i s t i c h and th e f i f t h s y l l a b l e o f th e se co n d h e m i s t i c h .

Ex­

am ples o f t h i s i n c o n f o r m it y a r e th e f o l l o w i n g l i n e s from t h e L a b e r in to : Dandome a l a s — de don v i r t u o s o

(sta n za 3 ) .

Vayan de g e n t e s - - s a b i d o s en g e n t e ( s t a n z a 3 ) . Q,uanto mas p r e s t o — l o mal f a b r i c a d o ( s t a n z a 5 ) . Dame l i c e n c i a - - mudable f o r t u n a ( s t a n z a 7 ) . Kaz a tu s o b r a s - - como s e co n c o rd en ( s t a n z a 7 ) . Son a m ig a b le s — de forma mas una ( s t a n z a 7 ) . Mira l a grande — c o n s t a n c i a d e l n o r t e ( s t a n z a 8 ) . In h i s a tte m p t t o e x p l a i n t h e s e l i n e s , M o r e l- F a t io sa y s t h a t th e y a r e d e c a s y l l a b l e s w i t h o u t a s e p a r a t i o n and w i t h o u t a p a u se , a c ­ c e n t e d on th e f o u r t h and t e n t h s y l l a b l e s ; b u t he im m e d ia te ly p e r ­ c e i v e s th e in a d eq u a c y o f su ch an e x p l a n a t i o n , f o r , he a s k s , what would c a u se a p o e t to mix t h e s e i n t h e same s t a n z a w ith l i n e s a c c e n t e d on t h e f i f t h s y l l a b l e o f e a c h h e m i s t i c h ?

Such a m ix­

t u r e , he c o n c e d e s , would b e t h e n e g a t i o n o f a l l rhythm. M ila y F on tan als^ ® i s r e s p o n s i b l e fo r t h a t t h e o r y , w hich

1 3 . Obras c o m p l e t a s . V o l . V, p p . 3 3 5 - 3 3 6 .

146

was a c c e p t e d by Men^ndez y P e l a y o . ^ 4

The form er w r o te t h a t

th e C a s t i l i a n tr o u b a d o u r s would mix t h e a n a p e s t i c h e n d e c a s y l l a b l e l i n e s w i t h t h e i r d o d e c a s y l l a b i c s , a s embodied i n t h i s s t a n z a o f Juan de Mena where t h e r e a r e no few er than t h r e e e x ­ am ples: Ca h e v i s t o , d i c e , S e ilo r , n u evos y e r r o s La noche p a sa d a h a c e r l o s p l a n e t a s Con c r i n e s t e n d i d o s a r d e r l o s c o m e ta s, Bar nueva lumbre l a s armas y h i e r r o s , Ladrar s i n h e r id a l o s c a n e s y p e r r o s , T r i s t e p r e s a g i o h a c e r de p e l e a s Las a v e s n o c t u r n a s y l a s f u n e r e a s For l a s a l t u r a s , c o l l a d o s y c e r r o s . ^ " I n d u b it a b ly ,'' c o n t i n u e s M ila y F o n t a n a l s , "th e tro u b a d o u r s s o u g h t g r e a t e r p l e a s u r e f o r t h e m s e l v e s and v a r i e t y f o r th e m onotonous s t a n z a s i n such s h o r t e n e d a o d e c a s y l l a b l e s , d o u b t l e s s l y p r o n o u n c in g th e f i r s t p e n t a s y l l a b i c h e m i s t i c h e s w i t h a c e r t a i n r e l a t i v e s l o w ­ n e ss ."

T h is t w i c e e x p r e s s e d c e r t a i n t y a p p a r e n t ly b e t r a y s h i s

sp e c u la tiv e u n c e r ta in ty . R e c o g n iz in g t h a t su c h m ix tu r e o f v e r s e s i m p l ie s th e n e g a ­ t i o n o f a l l rhythm , Iv lo r e l-F a tio g r o p e s f o r a sounder e x p l a n a t i o n . F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c c a t e g o r i c a l l y p ro n o u n ces t h e t h e o r y u n t e n a b le and o f f e r s a n o th e r w hich h a s , s i n c e t h a t w r i t i n g , r e c e i v e d u n i ­ v e r s a l a ccep ta n ce: In r e a l i t y , accen ts,

i f t h e f i r s t h e m i s t i c h has two

the f i r s t a c c e n t can f a l l on t h e secon d s y l l a b l e

1 4 . A n t o l o g i a , V o l . V, p . CXCVI. 15. Stanza 164.

(th e

147

m ost f r e q u e n t c a s e ) , on th e f i r s t syllable-*-® (a c a s e w hich M o r e l- F a t io i n v e s t i g a t e d ) , and even on t h e t h i r d s y l l a b l e ( t h i s l a t t e r c a s e had b e e n p a s s e d u n n o tic e d u n t i l F o u l c h e D e lb o sc w r o te h i s b r i l l i a n t s t u d y ) ; and t h e s e form s o f h em i­ s t i c h e s have th e same rh yth m ic v a l u e . v/ould be a v o id e d i f ,

A ll p o s s i b l e c o n fu s io n

i n s t u d y in g th e a r t e m ayor, th e a c c e n t e d

s y l l a b l e s w ere n o t d e s i g n a t e d a c c o r d in g to t h e p l a c e t h e y occu py i n r e l a t i o n t o th e f i r s t s y l l a b l e o f t h e l i n e . M o r e l- F a t io d id o f f e r a n o th e r p o s s i b l e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r th e m e t r i c a l m ix tu r e n o te d i n t h e a r t e m ayor.

He w r o te t h a t

a " l y r i c c e su r a " m ig h t be r e c o g n i z e d l i k e th e one i n F rench or F r o v e n z a l l y r i c p o e t r y , nam ely, t h a t the rh y th m ic a c c e n t v/ould f a l l on an a t o n i c s y l l a b l e . Those v e r s e s would t h e n have th e f o l l o w ­ i n g rhythm: Dandome a l a s — de don v i r t u o s o Vayan de g e n t 6 s — sa b id o s en g e n t e ,

16. Menendez y P e l a y o , aware t h a t Mena’ s v e r s e s h ave t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , m i s t a k e n l y b e l i e v e s t h a t i t i s n o t found i n th e works o f Pedro de P a d i l l a ( e l C a r tu j a n o ), Los doze triu m p h o s de l o s d o z e A p o s t o l e s and E l R e t a b lo de l a Vida de C h r i s t o . "Both poem s," he sa y s (A n to lo g T a , V o l. V I, pp. CCXLIV-CCXLV), "are w r i t t e n i n a r t e mayor s t a n z a s , l i k e th o s e o f Juan de Mena; b u t a l l t h e v e r s e s a r e s t r i c t l y d o d e c a s y l l a b i c , w it h o u t a p p a r e n t l y s y s t e m a t i c m e t r i c i r r e g u l a r i t y found in t h e T r e s c i e n t a s ." How­ e v e r , none o f t h e f o l l o w i n g l i n e s , c i t e d by Menendez y P e l a y o , c o u ld p a s s f o r " s t r i c t l y d o d e c a s y l l a b i c " : C a l l o l a s c o s a s d e l mundo l i v i a n a s . . . . Dejo l o s h e c h o s romanos a p a r t e . . . . Huyan, por e n d e , l a s musas danadas A l a s E s t i g i a s do r e i n a P lu to n . . . . Saco mis t a b l a s por c u a tr o c a n a l e s . . . . L len a de s a n g r e l a boca sag ra d a , F r i o s l o s p i e s , y s u p u ls o p e r d id o . . . . P ie r d e n su lumbre l o s s i g n o s d e l c i e l o . . . .

148

and t h i s a l t e r n a t i o n o f the p h o n e t i c s would depend upon the m usic . . . . S u r e l y m usic can have a p a r t i n i t , and e s p e c i a l l y i n t h i s poem by Mena from w h ich I have taken my e x a m p les, b e c a u s e we know from good a u t h o r i t y t h a t i t was sung . . . . I must remark t h a t w h a t would make th e i n f l u e n c e o f m usic i n t h i s c l a s s l i k e l y i s t h a t th e a t o n i c s e p a r a ­ t i o n i s seld o m , i f a t a l l , found i n th e a r t e mayor c o m p o s itio n s meant f o r r e a d i n g . T h is e x p l a n a t i o n i n t r o d u c e s an e n t i r e l y new a n g l e : t h a t t h e L a b e r in t o was composed to be su ng. p e r em p to r ily r e j e c t s t h is h y p o th e s is , t h o r i t y " to

i t im p lie s

F o u lc h e-D elb o sc

t r a c i n g th e ’’good a u ­

F r a n c i s c o de S a l i n a s 1 ^ who w ro te

had h e a r d the f i r s t s t r o p h e o f th e poem

i n 1577

t h a t he

sung i n h i s y o u t h ,

d oes n o t s t a t e w h e th e r th e L a b er in to was sung i n i t s

bu t

e n tir e ty .

Even though t h i s w ere d e m o n stra te d , i t would s t i l l be n e c e s s a r y to prove n o t o n l y t h a t t h e L a b er in to was sung d u r in g th e p e r io d i n w h ich i t was w r i t t e n , t h a t i s , about a c e n t u r y b e f o r e S a­ l i n a s ’ "youth", b u t , above a l l , i n order t h a t M o r e l - F a t i o Ts h y p o th e sis

( " t h i s a l t e r n a t i o n o f the p h o n e t i c s would depend upon

th e m u sic" ) can be s u s t a i n e d , t h a t i t was w r i t t e n a c c o r d in g t o a m elo d y or s e r i e s o f m e lo d ie s e x i s t i n g p r i o r t o i t s c o m p o s i t i o n . Such a s u p p o s i t i o n is o b j e c t e d t o by F o u l c h e - D e l b o s c on t h e ground s t h a t i f m u sic had some p a r t in th e r e d u c t i o n o f some h e m istic h e s,

i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t i n each s tr o p h e t h e s e s h o r t e n e d

h e m i s t i c h e s m ust a lw a y s be e n c o u n te r e d in th e same p l a c e , is,

th at

i n t h e p l a c e where th e m u s ic a l rhythm demanded i t s u s e .

17. l i b . V I.

That

F r a n c i s c o de S a l i n a s , De Musioa (Salam anca, 1 5 7 7 ) , Ch. X I,

149

i s one o f t h e i n d i s p e n s a b l e c o n d i t i o n s o f t h e h y p o t h e s i s and th e m o st c u r s o r y e xa m in ation r e v e a l s t h a t i t h a s n o t been f u l ­ fille d .

In e f f e c t , some s t r o p h e s have a v e r s e o f t h i s k in d ,

w h i l e o t h e r s t a n z a s have s e v e r a l and s t i l l o t h e r s none a t a l l ; t h e f i r s t h e m i s t i c h i s a s q u i c k ly r ed u c e d a s th e s e c o n d ; some­ t i m e s b oth a r e d im in is h e d ; th e l i n e o f t h e s h o r t e n e d h e m i s t i c h may o ccu p y a n y p l a c e in th e s t r o p h e .

T h ese many c o m b in a tio n s

n a t u r a l l y a l l o w f o r a v e r y g r e s t d i v e r s i t y i n t h e s t r o p h e s , and c o n se q u e n tly i t m e lo d y .

i s i m p o s s i b l e to a d a p t them a l l t o th e same

The h y p o t h e s i s t h a t t h e r e may h a v e b een as many m e lo d ie s

a s th e r e a r e v a r i e t i e s of strop h es

(th e se v a r i e t i e s are very

n u m e r o u s ), and t h a t the p o e t d o c i l e l y a d a p te d h i s v e r s e s to a l o n g s e r i e s o f m e l o d i e s , would be even more i n a d m i s s i b l e than t h e h y p o t h e s i s o f a s i n g l e m elo d y.

In b r i e f , F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c

r e f u s e s to d eg ra d e Mena to th e l e v e l o f a common l y r ic - m a k e r f o r " p r e f a b r i c a t e d ” m u sic , and even d o u b ts t h a t th e L a b e r in to was sung i n i t s e n t i r e t y in any p e r i o d .

The n o te d Frenchman

c o n s i d e r s th e poem a s e s s e n t i a l l y b e l o n g i n g t o th e c a t e g o r y o f a r t e mayor c o m p o s itio n s " d e s t in a d a s a l a l e c t u r a , " t o q u o te a p h r a s e from S a l i n a s . A con tem p orary o f t h e l a t t e r , M ig u el S a n ch ez de Lima,'*'8 w r o t e t h a t " h iz o Mena c o p la s que s e han d e l e e r a d e s c a n s a d a s ." As we p o i n t e d o u t i n th e p r e c e d in g c h a p t e r , th e L a b e r in to i s t h o r o u g h l y and d e l i b e r a t e l y r e c o n d i t e and d e s ig n e d f o r the "ente n d id o s."

Mena p l a i n l y s a y s :

1 8 . M ig u e l Sanchez de Lima, A rte p o e t i o a

( A l c a l a , 1 5 8 0 ) , f o l . 13 v .

150

S i c o p l a s , o p a r t e s , o l a r g a s d i i j io n e s non b ie n so n a r e n de a q u e l l o e[ue f a b l o , miremos a l s e s o mas non a l v o c a b lo . . . . P o e t s o f t h i s mind c o u ld h a r d ly be c o n c e i v e d a s w r i t e r s o f l y r i c a l verse.

But F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c o v e r l o o k e d a s t i l l more c o g e n t c i t a ­

t i o n t o su p p o r t h i s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h e L a b e r in t o was n o t su n g. N e b r ij a ( 1 4 4 4 - 1 5 2 2 ) , a lm o s t a c o n tem p o ra ry o f Mena ( 1 4 1 1 - 1 4 5 6 ) , i n g i v i n g th e ety m o lo g y o f " P r o so d y ," w r o t e : Por que, como d i z e B o e c io en l a M u sic a , e l que h a b l a , que e s o f i c i o p r o p r io d e l ombre, y e l que r e z a v e r s o s , que llamam os p o e t a , e l que c a n t a , que d ezim os m u s ic o , to d o s ca n ta n en su m anera. Canta e l p o e ­ t a , no como e l que h a b l a , n i menos como e l que c a n t a , mas en una m edia manera; y a s s i d ix o V i r g i l i o en e l p r i n c i p l e de s u E n eid a: "Canto l a s armas y e l va ron " ; y n u e s t r o Juan de Mena: Tus c a s o s f a l a c e s , F o r t u n a , c a n ta m o s ; y en o t r o lu g a r : C anta, t u , c r i s t i a n a Musa: y a s s i e l que h a b l a , por que a lq a unas s i l a bas y abaxa o t r a s , en a lg u n a manera c a n t a . 0 Thus f i g u r a t i v e l y a sp e a k e r and a p o e t and a m u s ic ia n ( s i n g e r ) are pu t on a f o o t i n g o f e q u a l i t y — b u t m e r e ly on th e b a s i s t h a t t h e y a l l s t r e s s some s y l l a b l e s and f a i l t o s t r e s s o t h e r s .

Now, in th e

s e l e c t i o n j u s t qu oted t h e r e i s a t on ce an e x p r e s s e d and i m p l i c i t d i s t i n c t i o n betw een s p e a k e r s and s i n g e r s on th e one hand, and

1 9 . C f. a b o v e, p . 1 1 7 , S ta n z a 3 3 , t r a n s l a t i o n . 20. E l i o A n ton io de N e b r i j a , G ram atica de l a le n g u a c a s t e l l a n a T e d i t e d w it h an I n t r o d u c t i o n by Ig"i G o n 'zalez-L lu b era (Oxford U n iv e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 926), p. 47.

151

p o e t s on t h e o t h e r ( l i k e w i s e ,

b etw een t h e f i r s t tw o ):

"The

p o e t s i n g s , n o t l i k e th e s p e a k e r , nor l e s s l i k e th e s i n g e r , but b e t w i x t th e tw o."

N e b r i j a c u l l e d two v e r s e s from th e

L a b e r in to to i n d i c a t e t h a t Mena u sed " ca n ta r" w ith th e l e g i t i ­ mate p o e t i c a l m eanings o f "to compose v e r s e " or "to r e c i t e i n v e r s e " or "to c e l e b r a t e i n v e r s e . " id e n t i t y as a p o e t.

If,

Mena th u s m a in t a in s h i s

h o w ever, th e L a b e r in to had been c u r ­

r e n t l y su n g or had been p o p u l a r l y i d e n t i f i e d a s a l y r i c a l poem o f th e tr o u b a d o u r s, then N e b r i j a would have s e l e c t e d a p o e t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f c o m p o s i t i o n s w hich were n o t s e t to m u s ic . T h e r e f o r e , s i n c e he d id c h o o s e Mena, we a r e i n c l i n e d t o b e ­ lie v e

t h a t the S p a n is h grammarian d id n o t a s s o c i a t e the L a b e r in ­

to w it h m usic o r , w hat i s t h e same, w ith tr o u b a d o u r s . To r e c a p i t u l a t e , f o u r major p o i n t s have been s t r e s s e d : 1 . There i s no n e g a t i o n o f rhythm i n th e a r t e m ayor, as a more th orou gh know ledge o f a c c e n t p o s i t i o n s i n the h e m i s t i c h e s w i l l p rov e; 2. In t h e h e m i s t i c h c o n t a i n i n g two a c c e n t s t h e r e are t h r e e ways o f p l a c i n g the a c c e n t and s t i l l m a i n t a i n i n g the rhythm ic b a la n c e ; 3 . Only by a c a r e f u l s t u d y o f th e a r t e mayor can the v e r s e forms be d e s i g n a t e d p r o p e r l y , and n o t by h o l d i n g up one o f th e t h r e e a f o r e m e n t io n e d c a s e s a s th e norm fo r th e v e r s e o f th e p e r i o d ; and 4 . I t i s more l i k e l y t h a t Mena d id n o t w r i t e th e Labe­ r i n t o a s a l y r i c a l poem f o r " p r e f a b r ic a t e d " m usic and t h a t m usic does n o t e x p l a i n t h e m ixed m e t e r .

152

From h i s t e x t o f th e L a b e r i n t o , F o u lc h e - D e lb o s c e s t a b l i s h e d t h e r u l e s o f t h e a r t e mayor as u se d by Mena.

They a r e r e l a t i v e l y

s im p le in s p i t e o f t h e i r a p p a re n t c o m p l e x i t y . There a r e two k in d s o f h e m i s t i c h e s : one w ith two a c c e n t s , th e o th e r

( v e r y r a r e ) w i t h o n l y one a c c e n t .

The h e m i s t i c h w i t h two a c c e n t s c o n t a i n s from fo u r to s e v e n sy lla b le s:

i t i s composed e s s e n t i a l l y o f a q u a d r i s y l l a b l e group

formed by an a c c e n t e d s y l l a b l e , a ccen ted s y l l a b l e

(—

— ).

c o n s t i t u t e s th e h e m i s t i c h ;

it

two u n a c c e n te d s y l l a b l e s and an Som etim es t h i s group by i t s e l f

i s a lm o s t alw ays p r e ce d e d or f o l ­

lowed by one or two u n a c c e n t e d s y l l a b l e s .

The f o l l o w i n g e i g h t

c o m b in a tio n s a r e found: A i—' — B