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W. OLIPHANT AND SON, EDINBURGH: R. STARK, GLASGOW :
STUDIES OF FOREIGN LITERATURE, ANCIENT AND MODERN.
Art. I.-—“ Teatro Critico, y Cartas Eruditas.” Escritos por D. Fr.
Gerónimo Feyjoó. The history of Spanish literature, and of its influence upon the general literature of Europe in the sixteenth century, as well as the peculiar conditions of the intellectual progress of that anomalous country since the reign of Philip II., must always afford subjects for profound meditation to those who believe that the real history of mankind is to be sought for elsewhere than in the records of the battles, crimes, and intrigues, which form the staple of ordinary annals. At several periods, in ancient and modern times, the Spanish race has secured for itself the leadership in the intellectual movement of humanity. Livy and Seneca, Trajan and Hadrian, the Sevillian Moor Geber, Avicenna, Raymondo Lullio, Don Juan Manuel, Cervantes, Calderon, Gacilaso and Lopez de la Vega, Mendoza, Montemayor, Gongora, Quevedo, Mariana, De Solis, and many other eminent writers, have left their “ footprints on the sands of time," and in their generation, too, modified the tone and expression of men's minds throughout the civilized world. The Spanish theatre, poetry, and novels, were “ the glass of fashion and the mould of form” in the days of Ronsard and of our own Shakspere; nor had their influence expired even in the early years of Louis XIV. or of Charles II., when St. Evremond, De Balzac, Corneille, and Dryden, frequently studied and imitated them. No doubt the taste of many of these productions was very questionable, and it is fortunate that Europe has in this respect changed “the gods of its idolatry ;” but it argues considerable merit in any exhibition of intellect when it is able
N. 8.-VOL. XII.