The Spanish language sprang from the vulgar Latin, which was introduced into Spain with Roman domination, and became prevalent throughout the peninsula. But vestiges still remained of ancient dialects and of idioms introduced by Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians, who founded colonies on the coast. The invasion of the Goths soon determined the corruption of the Latin; but as the conquerors had already been in extensive communication with the Romans, the corruption was not so complete as in some other provinces of the empire overrun by northern nations. Even after the Gothic rule was firmly established, the bishops of Rome retained much influence in the government, and through them the distance between the conquerors and the conquered was greatly lessened; and when they finally coalesced, the language of the latter prevailed, though somewhat disfigured. At the time of the Saracen invasion this adulterated Latin was the tongue in common use. After the destruction of the Gothic empire the national language was preserved in the fastnesses of the north, but in so corrupt a state that in the 9th century the Latin of books was no longer intelligible to any but the churchmen.
This uncultured idiom was extended gradually by conquest to the parts occupied by the Moors, where it acquired many Arabic words, which contributed materially to its vigor and richness. Such was the process of formation of the Castilian tongue, in earlier times called the Romance vulgar. The Latin continued to be the language of the cloisters and the colleges, and in it were written most of the-important works down to the 15th century, when it was superseded by the language of the people. The following are some of the more important changes in the formative part of the language. The vowels e and o of the accented penultima frequently develop into the diphthongs ie and ue, as in tiempo, bueno, fuerte, puente, from tempus, bonum, fortem, pontem. Harsh consonants show a tendency to soften, and combinations to change into single consonants, as in abrir, saber, digo, agua, edad, from aperire, sapere, dico, aqua, aetatem. Such combinations as cl, fl, pl, etc, are often changed into the liquid 11, as in llave, llama, llano, from clavis, flamma, planus; et passes into ch, as in noche, dicho, from noctem, dictum; initial f is changed into mute h, as in hacer, from facere.
These mutations occur in the accented penultima, and disappear generally with a transposition of accent, or with the addition of one or more syllables, as in tiempo, temporal, bueno, bonisimo, llamar, ex-clamar, etc. The d in the middle of a word between two vowels has often been dropped, as in creer, fiel, from credere, fidelis; and a b or d is, as in cognate languages, inserted where m, n, or l would meet with r, as nombre, from nomen; tendre, future of tener; saldre, future of salir. The introduction of the strong gutturals g (before e or i) and j (or x) is to be ascribed to Teutonic influence. In words beginning with s followed by another consonant, a euphonic e is invariably prefixed, as in estar, espiritu, escudo, from stare, spiritus, scutum. Ni, ne, nn, and gn have been often changed into the liquid n (n), as in Espana, entrana, ano, leno, from Hispania, intranea, annus, lignum. The inflections of the noun and the verb show a marked influence of the Gothic. The refined system of declension was too complicated for the northern barbarians; they used only one case ending for each of the singular and plural numbers, and this ending was supplied in the singular, not by the Latin nominative, hut by the accusative, with the rejection of the consonantal ending m, and sometimes of the syllabic ending em.
Thus the Latin nix, dux, and virtus pass into niere, duque, and virtud; but the neuter nouns corpus, tempus, and caput form cuerpo, tiempo, and cabo. The loss of cases was remedied by the use of the article, not unknown to the Goths, and obtained from the vulgar Latin, in the shape of the demonstrative pronoun ille and the numeral unus. The verb also has lost some terminations, the place of which has been supplied, though imperfectly, by the more frequent use of the auxiliaries. The composition of the future (amare instead of amar he, I have to love), and the expression of the passive voice by means of the auxiliary verbs, are the most remarkable instances of the influence of the Gothic. The words of northern origin are calculated to amount to about one tenth of the whole number, many of which refer to war and strife, or to peculiarities of the Teutonic race. From the Arabs, who maintained themselves on Spanish soil for nearly 800 years, the Spanish language received that oriental coloring which distinguishes it among the Romanic languages; but on words and forms the influence of the Arabic was slight.
The sound of z, and of c before e and i (precisely that of th in the English think), is of Arabic origin; so are most of the words beginning with al (the Arabic article), some of which, as almanaque, alcohol, etc, have passed through the Spanish into all the modern languages of Europe. Among the numerous dialects simultaneously developed in the peninsula from the amalgamation of the Latin and the Gothic languages, the Castilian gradually gained the ascendancy, and has become established as the language of Spain. All the other dialects have perished in the course of time, with the exception of the Portuguese, which has become a separate language, and the Catalan, still spoken throughout Catalonia. The Basque, which is spoken in some of the northern provinces, is supposed by philologists to be the lineal descendant of the language most in vogue in the peninsula before the Roman invasion. The territory of the Spanish language is one of the most extensive in the world, embracing, besides Spain, all of the Spanish American republics, most of the West Indies, the Philippine islands, and small portions of Africa. The Spanish language has 27 letters or signs of as many distinct sounds.
Two of these, the liquids 11 and n (pronounced respectively like li in Julia and ni in union), are peculiar to it. The language is destitute of the sound of z in zeal, the Spanish z having always the th sound, and s the sharp sound as in sun. All letters are pronounced except h, and u in the combinations gue, gui, que, qui. The six vowels do not change in sound, like the English vowels, but have always the same pronunciation, which agrees with that of the Italian. - The substantives have only two genders, masculine and feminine; but the article has three forms, el, la, and lo, the last of which is used for changing adjectives into substantives, as bueno, good, lo bueno, that which is good. The plural is formed by adding to the singular either s, as libro, libros, or es, as mes, ley, rubi, pl. meses, leyes, rubies. A declension proper does not occur, the inflections of the Latin having been lost, and being replaced by the use of prepositions, especially de and a. The Spanish is uncommonly rich in augmentative and diminutive terminations, which have gradually become the regular and very common means of adding to the original meaning of words the expression of great or small size, and feelings of admiration or contempt.
The comparative is generally formed by prefixing to the positive the adverb was (Latin magis, more), and the relative superlative by adding to the comparative the definite article; as grande, large, mas grande, larger, el or la mas grande, the largest. It has also the forms mayor, larger, and la mayor, the largest. It has retained from the Latin, like the kindred idioms of Italy and Portugal, an absolute superlative, formed by the addition of the ending isimo. In the verb the subjunctive has two more tenses than the Italian and French languages, viz. : second conditional and future conjunctive. The number of conjugations has been reduced to three, as the formation of the infinitive by discarding the final e of the Latin infinitive effaced the distinction between the second and third Latin conjugations. The Spanish has also, almost alone among the Romance languages, a double set of auxiliary verbs, habcr and tener, ser and estar, and uses the reflexive form of the verb more extensively than almost any other language of Europe. The most important of the native grammars are those of Lebrija, the first of all (Salamanca, 1492), the Spanish academy (new ed., Madrid, 1868), Salva, Rementeria, and Bello; among foreign ones, those of Mallefille (Paris, 1846) and Chantreau (Paris, 1862). The best material for a historical grammar is to be found in Origines de la len-gua espanola, by Mayans y Siscar (Madrid, 1737 and 1873). The best dictionaries are those of the Spanish academy, Salva, and Do-minguez, purely Spanish; while among the bilingual dictionaries, the most valuable are those of Salva and of Nunez de Taboada, French-Spanish; of Seckendorf (3 vols., Hamburg, 1823), Spanish-German; and of Neuman and Baretti, revised by Velazquez de la Cadena (New York, 1852), Spanish-English. A comprehensive dictionary purely Spanish, etymological and raisonne, is now (1876) in course of preparation by a society of literati in Bogota. - Literature. The literary life of the Spanish people began under the rule of the Romans, when Spain became a chief seat of Roman civilization, and produced many of the greatest writers of Latin literature.
After the Christianization of Spain and S. W. Europe in general, ecclesiastical literature found, next to Italy and Gaul, its most fertile soil in Spain. After the invasion by the Arabs, Arabian literature attained a high degree of prosperity, and the numerous Jews cultivated Hebrew literature with great success. The national literature of Spain begins in the 12th century with epic and didactic poems in Cas-tilian verse, and resting on strong national sentiments as a basis. The first of these poems in age as well as in importance is the one commonly called the "Poem of the Cid," composed probably in the second half of the 12th century. Its subject is taken from the adventures of Ruy Diaz, surnamed el Cid Campeador, " the Lord Champion," the popular hero of the chivalrous age of Spain, and the defender of his country against the Moorish invaders. It is a rhymed narrative of events in chronological order, partly historical and partly romantic, told with Homeric simplicity; and, although its verse is rude and unadorned, the poem deserves to be ranked among the finest productions of the middle ages. Before this Spain had many popular songs, both lyric and epic, but we know little of their original form, as they were not committed to writing before the 16th century.
The single manuscript which has preserved the "Poem of the Cid" contains three other poems, all like that anonymous, viz.: "The Book of Apollonius, Prince of Tyre," "The Life of our Lady, St. Mary of Egypt," and " The Adoration of the Three Holy Kings." These poems, as well as the rhymed " Lives of Saints" by the priest Gon-zalo de Berceo (died about 1260), and the anonymous poem of " Count Fernan Gonzales," a hero of the earlier period of the Christian conflict with the Moors, who is to the north of Spain what the Cid became somewhat later to Aragon and Valencia, betray the influence of the ecclesiastical poetry of those times and of the chivalric poetry of France. They are written either in stanzas of Alexandrine verse or in the indigenous rhythm of the redondillas. Berceo is the earliest Spanish poet whose name can with certainty be connected with his works, which comprised more than 13,000 lines. A great impulse to the development of literature was given by King Alfonso the Wise of Castile, who substituted the Spanish language for the Latin in the courts, and ordered the laws to be published in it. Alfonso himself was a prolific author.
In order to bring uniformity into the different systems of Spanish legislation, he compiled several codes of laws, the most celebrated of which has the title Las siete partidas. Several historical works, as a universal history of the world, a history of the crusades (La gran conquista de ultramar), and the celebrated Cronica general, a general history of Spain until the death of his father, were compiled under his direction. By these works, as well as by a translation of the Bible into Spanish, ho became the creator of Spanish prose. Some of his poetical works have also considerable merit, though in general they are most remarkable for the variety of their metres, some of which were first introduced by Alfonso into Spanish poetry. The Poema de Alejandro of Juan Lorenzo Se-gura is a work of more than 10,000 lines on the life of Alexander the Great, filled with the fables and extravagances of the times. A continuation of it, called Los votos del pavon, is now lost. Alfonso found many imitators, as author and patron of literature, among the succeeding kings and the princes of the royal family.
The most important of these works of royal origin is El conde Lucanor, by the prince Don Juan Manuel (died about 1347), a collection of 49 tales, anecdotes, and apologues, in the oriental manner, and partly taken from oriental sources. The most remarkable poet of the 14th century is Juan Ruiz, commonly called the archpriest of Hita (died about 1350). His works, embracing religious, pastoral, and erotic songs, fables, satires, and proverbs, consist of nearly 7,000 verses; and, although generally written in the four-line stanza of Berceo, they contain no fewer than 16 metrical forms, some of which are taken from the Provencal. The didactic tendency of the poetry of this period is apparent in the Consejos y documentos al rey Don Pedro, commonly called the book of Rabbi Don Santob, a curious poem, addressed by a Jew of Carrion to Pedro the Cruel on his accession to the throne, for the purpose of giving to him wise moral counsels. Another didactic poem is " The Dance of Death " (Danza general de la muerte), a kind of spiritual masquerade, in which the different ranks of society, from the pope to the young child, appear dancing with the skeleton form of death.
The formation of a courtly school of lyric poets, after the model of the troubadours, had commenced under Alfonso X.. who himself wrote lyric poems in the dialect of Galicia. A flourishing school of Provencal troubadours was formed at the court of the counts of Barcelona, and a courtly school of Castilian poets sprang up at the court of the chivalric king John II. The poetry of this school, which moved within the narrow circle of courtly gallantry, lacked vigor and variety. Their works were collected in cancioneros, the oldest of which is that of Juan Alfonso de Baena, a converted Jew and one of the secretaries of John II. The most complete collection of the kind, the Cancionero general of Fernando del Castillo (Valencia, 1511), contains (in its 10th ed., 1573) the names of 136 authors, from the beginning of the reign of John II. to the time of the emperor Charles V. Among them were the marquis of Villena, the marquis of Santillana, and Juan de Mena, who in larger didactic poems tried to imitate classical and Italian models; Diego de San Pedro, who also wrote two love novels, Carcel de amor and Cuestion de amor; and Guzman, who is also celebrated as a historian.
In opposition to the Provencal and courtly schools, a more popular literature began in the second half of the 14th century, growing directly out of the enthusiasm which had so long pervaded the whole mass of the Spanish people; and it asserted for itself a place which in some of its forms it still maintains. This popular literature may be divided into four classes, ballads, chronicles, romances of chivalry, and the drama. Of most of the old ballads, as far as the time when they were thought worthy to be written, both authors and dates are unknown; about 1,000 are extant, unequal in length and still more in merit, which have been collected in the Romancero general (13 parts, 1605-'14). The chronicles, or the half genuine, half fabulous histories of the great events and heroes of the national annals, were originally begun by authority of the state, but they were always deeply imbued with the popular feelings and character. Some of them have already been referred to; other works of this class, which evince a steady progress of the historical prose, are the chronicles of Ayala and of Juan Nunez de Villaizan, the "Chronicle of the Cid," the "Chronicle of the Travels of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo," and others.
The first and most celebrated of the romances of chivalry is the "Amadis de Gaul," originally the work of a Portuguese gentleman of the 14th century, Vasco de Lobeira, but translated into Spanish by Montalvo between 1402 and 1504. The Portuguese original can no longer be found; but the Spanish version proved one of the most successful books of this branch of literature, establishing a high reputation in every country of Europe, and having, as Don Quixote said, descendants innumerable. The Spanish drama arose out of the representations so extensively connected with the festivals of the church during the middle ages. Among the best productions of this early period of Spanish literature belong the pastoral plays of Juan de la Encina and the celebrated dramatic novel of Celestina by Fernando de Rojas. - The second period of the national literature of Spain extends from the accession of the Austrian dynasty at the beginning of the 16th century to Cervantes. Under Charles I. (V. of Germany) Spain rose suddenly from a second class kingdom of Europe to be the most powerful empire of the world; and, as in the history of other countries, the political glory reflected itself in the rapid progress of literature.
The union of Aragon and Castile led to the general adoption of the Castilian dialect as the commercial and literary language of the people. In consequence of the conquest of Naples by Gonsalvo de Cordova (1503-'4), and the increased intercourse of Spaniards with Italy, Italian literature, at that time the most advanced of Europe, began to have a marked influence on the poetry of Spain. The great Italian models, especially Dante and Petrarch, were imitated, and Italian measures, as the verses of seven and eleven syllables, and Italian forms, as the sonnets, ottave rime, and canzoni, were introduced. The first poet of this class was Juan Boscan Almogaver (died 1543), who made an experiment in Castilian of sonnets and the other forms of verse used by Italian authors. In most of these poems, although they are obvious imitations of Petrarch, a Spanish tone and spirit are perceptible, which rescue them from the imputation of being copies; yet there is an absence of the delicate and exact finish of the original. To a still greater perfection the best forms of Italian verse were carried by a friend of Boscan, Garcilaso de la Vega (died 1536), whose pastoral poems, unexcelled in Spanish literature, are remarkable for gentleness, a pleasing neatness of expression, and a rare sweetness of versification.
His sonnets, elegies, and epistles are of less poetical value. Among those who aided most in the introduction and establishment of Italian metres was Diego Hurtado de Mendoza (died 1575). His sonnets are rougher than those of his predecessors, but his epistles (cartas) are rich in sentences, portraitures, and characteristics of great excellence. Though counted among the Italian school, he often gave himself up to the old re-dondillas and quintillas, and to the national tone of feeling and reflection appropriate to these ancient forms of Castilian verse. His satirical rogues' novel, Lazarillo de Tormes, a work of genius and a wholly original conception, became in Spain the foundation of a class of fictions essentially national, under the name of the genero picaresco or rogues' style, which the " Gil Blas " of Le Sage has made famous throughout the world. Mendoza's history of the war against the Moriscoes in Granada is distinguished for manliness, vigor, truth, and picturesqueness of style. The Italian school of poets of this period includes also several Portuguese who wrote in the Castilian dialect, as Sa de Miranda (died 1558), the author of idyls, and Jorge de Montemayor (died 1562), the author of the celebrated pastoral novel Diana. The two greatest lyric poets that Spain has ever produced were Fernando de Herrera (died 1597) and Fray Luis de Leon (died 1591). Herrera wrote some excellent elegies, and the first classic odes in modern literature.
The poetry of Luis de Leon is chiefly religious and deeply imbued with mysticism. The best of his poetical compositions are odes in the old Castilian measures, with a classical purity and vigorous finish before unknown in Spanish poetry. He ranks also among the greatest masters of Spanish eloquence for his prose, which is richer and no less idiomatic than his poetry. Less original, and at present less known, are Hernando de Acuna (died 1580), a lyric poet and skilful translator, and Gil Polo (died 1572), who ably continued and completed the Diana of Montemayor. Epic poetry was cultivated with but little success, and the attempts to sing the exploits of Charles V. made by Zapata (Carlos famoso), Urrea, the translator of Ariosto (Carlos victorioso), and Samper (Carolea), were failures. Cristoval de Castillejo (died about 1556), the most efficient among the early opponents of the Italian school, wrote novels and erotic songs, which are masterpieces; but the satire with which he inveighed against the innovators was generally too exaggerated to have any effect.
Attempts made by Villalobos, Perez de Oliva, and others, to give a new impulse to dramatic poetry by the translation of old classics, were failures; but the epic elements of the old national novels led at the beginning of this period to the development of a truly national drama, of which Naharro (about 1517) must be regarded as the father. He was followed by Lope de Rueda, who, being both a dramatic writer and an actor, was the first to establish and regulate the Spanish stage; and by Juan de la Cueva (died about 1608), whose plays, mostly on historical subjects, are divided into four jornadas and written in various measures, including terza rima, blank verse, and sonnets, but chiefly in redondillas and octave stanzas. The two tragic plays of Geronimo Bermudez, which treat of the sad history of Ines de Castro, are happy imitations of the old classic tragedy. In this period arose also the ecclesiastical plays (autos sacramentales) and the burlesque interludes (entremeses y sainetes) and preludes (has), though their full development belongs to the following period. Prose literature consisted mostly of chivalric novels, formed after Italian originals, and without any intrinsic value or importance for the history of literature.
Foremost among the prose writers were Mendoza and Luis de Leon, both of whom have already been named among the poets. Geronimo Zurita, the author of a history of Aragon (Anales de la corona de Aragon), was the first of the Spanish historians as distinguished from the chroniclers, who in particular emancipated the historical literature of Spain from the monkish credulity of the old chronicles. Among the best specimens of didactic prose belong the dialogue of Oliva on the dignity of man (Dialogo de la dig-nidad del hombre) and the essays (Discursos) of Morales on subjects of practical philosophy and literature. - The golden era of Spanish literature begins in the second half of the 16th century with Cervantes (1547 - 1616), whose name and masterpiece are better known in foreign countries than those of any other Spanish author. His "Don Quixote," an ironical parody of the trashy literature of chivalric novels then in vogue, is the never equalled model of Spanish prose, the oldest classical specimen of romantic fiction, and one of the most remarkable monuments of modern genius. His Novelas ejem-plares and his Trabajos de Persiles $igismun-da inaugurated in Spain the literature of serious romantic fiction, in which he found many imitators, but none who equalled him.
His Galatea is one of the best pastoral novels of Spain. The Spanish drama was raised to the elevated position which it occupies in the modern literature of Europe by the prolific Lope de Vega (1562-1635). He fixed its several modifications, and from his times we meet with the division into ecclesiastical and secular dramas (come-dias divinas y humanas). The principal kinds of the secular drama were comedias heroicas, historical and mythological plays, and comedias de capa y espada, dramas with cloak and sword, the principal personages of which belong to the genteel portion of society, accustomed in Lope's time to the picturesque national dress of cloaks and swords. The ecclesiastical dramas were divided into vidas de santos, lives of saints, and cantos or autos sacramentales, plays at the Corpus Christi festival. In point of composition nearly all the dramas of Lope de Vega are alike; the unity of action, time, and place is little or not at all observed; acts and scenes barely connect the whole; language and representation are sometimes vigorous, sometimes weak, now noble, now common and coarse. The number of his dramas is almost fabulous, and is put by Perez de Montalvan, his intimate friend and executor, at 1,800 plays and 400 autos.
He wrote also several epic poems, as Jerusalen conquistada, Corona tragica, etc, which were far inferior to his dramas, and were soon forgotten. His minor poems, among which are some of great merit, are almost innumerable. The number of poets at this time increased amazingly, though but few of them showed any originality. Among the lyric poets, the first, as far as their general influence was concerned, were the two brothers Argensola. Many of this class of writers belonged to the school of the conceptistas, who expressed themselves in metaphors and puns, alike in the pulpit and in poetry, or to that of the cul-tos, imitators of Gongora (1561-1627), who claimed for themselves a peculiarly elegant and cultivated style of composition, and who, while endeavoring to justify their claims, ran into the most ridiculous extravagances, pedantry, and affectations. The essence of epic poetry was singularly misunderstood, as all epic poems were little more than versified history. Even the best work of the class, the Araucana of Alonso de Ercilla y Zuniga (died about 1594), though not destitute of beautiful epic machinery, is condemned as tedious and prosaic by many critics; but a talent for animated description and portraiture, and a natural and correct diction, are conceded to its author.
Of all kinds of poetry, the drama was cultivated most and with greatest success. A last attempt to write purely tragical plays was made by Cris-toval de Virues, whose Semiramis and Casan-dra were, in true expression of tragic pathos and in vigorous dialogue, superior to all former efforts; but as the people had a decided preference for the national drama, in which, as in life, tragic scenes alternate with comic, it did not succeed. Higher than all former and later tragic poets stands Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1600-'81), one of the greatest dramatists that ever lived. To the originality and overflowing imagination of his predecessors he added a greater depth of reflection and a more careful execution in details. Female characters, in particular, were delineated by him more faithfully and more ingeniously than by any other Spanish poet. In elegance of language and versification he is also unequalled. The most prominent among his numerous successors were Francisco de Rojas, Agustin Moreto, Fragoso, Diamante, Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza, Juan de la Hoz, Antonio de Solis (better known as a historian), and Agustin de Salazar y Torres, who inclines toward the "cultivated style." The decline of Spanish literature shows itself in the writings of Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas, the most learned writer of his times, some of whose works, however, as his burlesque sonnets and his prose satires, are among the best of their kind in the Spanish language.
Exaggeration and affectation vitiate the otherwise unparalleled erotic songs of Esteban Manuel de Villegas. The corruption of Spanish prose was hastened by the constant stream of bad and shallow novels, in which branch of literature the rogues' novel, Guzman de Al-farache, by Mateo Aleman, deserves an honorable mention. The only historians of note were Mariana (Historia de Espana) and Solis (Conquista de Mejico). - The fourth period, which begins with the accession of the Bourbon family at the beginning of the 18th century, embraces the collapse of the old national literature, the intrusion of foreign elements, their temporary victory over the old Spanish, and the final attempts to regenerate the old native element, and to fuse it with the best elements of modern European civilization. The first prominent advocate of the French element was Ignacio de Luzan, who in his Poetica (1737) applied the rules of French critics to native literature, and in his own poems tried to substitute brilliancy for genuine poetry. He was principally opposed by Garcia de la Huerta, whose Rahel and Agamemnon were written in the old Spanish forms, and were received, in spite of the objections of Gallicizing critics, with immense applause.
A middle "course was pursued by the school of Salamanca, which endeavored to avoid the excesses of both parties and unite their merits. Its proper founder was Melendez Valdez (1754-1817), a poet of eminent talents, whose works exceed all that had been produced in Spain since the disappearance of the great lights of the 16th and 17th centuries, and were received with general enthusiasm as the dawn of a brighter period. Under the influence of the Salamanca school were also Iglesias, Norona, Quintana, Cienfuegos, Arriaza, and Gallego, who like Valdez remained thorough patriots in sentiment, though not disdaining to follow great French, Italian, and English models. The liberal and patriotic movements of 1812, 1820, and 1834 exercised a very favorable influence on the invigoration of the Spanish mind and the progress of literature. Their fruit is to be seen in the works of Xerica, Lista, Martinez de la Rosa, Jose Joaquin de Mora, Angel de Saavedra, and Breton de los Herroros. The number of recent poets is very large; among the best of them are Tapia, Maury, Juan Bau-tista Alonso, Jacinto de Salas y Quiroga, Es-pronceda, Serafin Calderon, Zorrilla, Hartzen-busch, R. de Campoamor, Santos Lopez Pele-grin, the satirist Villergas, and Gertrudis Gomes de Avellaneda, a native of Cuba. The modern age is least successful in epic poetry, the only notable attempt in this class of composition being the unfinished Diablo mundo of Espronceda. Better results have been obtained by a recultivation of the old romance and fable, the first impulse to which was given by Saavedra, who has been followed by Mora, Zorrilla, Gregorio Romero y Larranaga, Manuel de Santa Ana, and others.
In dramatic poetry, Leandro Fernandez Moratin, a chief representative of the classic school of France, secured for himself a permanent place on the national stage, and for the school to which he belonged a great influence, which lasted until in France the romantic school became powerful. The works of that school, partly in translations, partly in imitations, controlled for some time the stage of Madrid, but were opposed by Breton de los Herreros, Martinez de la Rosa, Tapia, Saavedra, and more recently by Gil y Zarate, Hartzenbusch, Gutierrez, Es-cosura, Zorrilla Moral, Trueba, and others. A reformation of prose literature, which had been reduced by the school of the cultos to the lowest ebb, was prepared by the Benedictine Feyjoo, who returned to the simplicity of the classic models of Spain, and by the Jesuit Isla, who in his satirical novel Fray Gerundio ridiculed the trivial and bombastic pulpit eloquence of his times. Ulloa, Munoz, Capmany, Ferreras, Quintana, Navarrete, Clemencin, Toreno, Lafuente, Alcantara, Gayangos, Munoz Maldonado, and Modesto Lafuente (as a satirist known under the pseudonyme of Fray Gerun-dio) have in modern times distinguished themselves as historians.
Among the best political writers and orators are Jovellanos, Arguelles, the philosopher Balmes, Minano, Marina, Lar-ra, Alcala Galiano, Donoso Cortes, Martinez de la Rosa, Figueras, and Castelar. Novel literature began to be cultivated with great activity when the standard works of England and France became known. Among the best works of the kind are those of Humaray Salamanca, Escosura, Martinez de la Rosa, Larra, Villalta, Serafin Calderon, Gertrudis de Ave-llaneda, and Cecilia Bohl Faber de Aron ("Fer-nan Caballero"). Among the brilliant Spanish writers of the present century is the orator Emilio Castelar, who has won a wide reputation. Besides novels, he has published Dis-cursos parlamentarios, Recuerdos de Italia (translated into English as "Old Rome and New Italy"), and Vida de Lord Byron (English translation by Mrs. Arthur Arnold, London and New York, 1875-'6). - There are still many writers in the Catalan dialect, which is considered by the Catalans to be a richer language than the Castilian. Catalan literature produced its best authors in the century preceding the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Can-cionero general, compiled soon after the middle of the 15th century, is a collection of about 300 poems by 30 different Catalan writers.
The works of Ausias March (died 1460), the most noted of these, passed through four editions in the 16th century, and were translated into Latin, Italian, and Castilian, the last by Montemayor. Jaume Roig (died 1478), like March a native of Valencia, is also worthy of notice for his "Book of the Ladies," a satire on woman. In 1428 the Divina commedia was translated into Catalan by Andres Febrer; and in 1477 Bonifacio Ferrer made a translation into the same dialect of the Bible (folio, Valencia, 1478), but nearly every copy of it was destroyed by the inquisition. In the beginning of the 16th century Catalan writers began to use the Castilian, and by the middle of that century the latter had almost superseded its rival. The contemporary literature of Catalonia consists mainly of poetry, dramatical pieces, and newspaper articles. The leading writers of the present day are Lo Tam-buriner d'el Llobregaz, Victor Balaguir, Francisco Camprodon, Serrafi Pitarra, Jaime Cu-llell, and Bofarull. - Of the Spanish colonies, Cuba alone has produced some writers of enduring fame, as the poets Heredia and Placi-do, and the female poet and novelist Gertrudis Avellaneda, before mentioned.
In all of the Spanish American republics the different branches of literature, but chiefly poetry, have been and are cultivated with considerable success; but only a few of the writers have more than a local reputation. Among those whose names are known abroad, some of the most eminent are Baralt (1810-60), author of a His-toria de Venezuela; the popular Ecuadorian poet Olmedo (born 1784); the Venezuelan Bello (1780-1865), the most distinguished of Spanish American poets and grammarians; J. M. Torres Caicedo, a poet and publicist, author of Ensayos biograficos, cited below; Mora, who wrote a history of Mexico; Pedro de An-gelis, historian of the Argentine Republic; Ey-zaguirre, author of a history of Chili from the discovery to the present century; Marmol, an Argentine novelist, who wrote Amalia; Toro of Colombia, Lastarria of Chili, and Sarmiento of the Argentine Republic, the last of whom is the author of Civilization y barbarie an analysis of South American society, published in French in 1853, and of the Vida de Abran Lincoln (New York, 1865). - The best work on the national literature of Spain is the "History of Spanish Literature," by George Ticknor (3 vols. 8vo, New York and London, 1849), a Spanish translation of which, with additions and notes, by Pascual de Gayangos and Enrique de Vedia, was published in Madrid in 1851-6. See also Eugenio Ochoa, Coleccion de los mejores autores espanoles (Paris, 1852); Ferdinald Wolf, Studien zur Geschichte der spanischen und portugiesischen Nationallite-ratur (Berlin, 1859); Manuel Ovilo y Otero, Manual de biograf'ia y de bibliografia de los escritores espanoles del siglo XIX. (Paris, 1859); Amador de los Rios, Historia critica de la lite-ratura espanola (Madrid, 1862); Eugene Ba-ret, Histoire de la litterature espagnole depuis ses origines les plus reculees jusqu' a nos jours (Paris, 1863); J. M. Torres Caicedo, Ensayos biograficos y de literatura sobre los principales poetas y literates latino-americanos (3 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1863-'8); and J. M. Rojas, Biblio-teca de escritores venezolanos contemporaneos (Paris, 1875). Among older works, the German of Bouterwek and the French of Sis-mondi are valuable; they have been translated both into Spanish and English, and the former into French.