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over the remainder of this entertaining book, which is brought down to within three or four years of the author's death, an event that took place on the 13th February, 1570, thankful for the gratification it has afforded us, and trusting it may not be altogether uninteresting to our readers. His funeral was performed with great honor, attended by the whole academy of drawing, and a sermon, in praise of his life and works, and his excellent moral qualities, preached, to the satisfaction of all present.
Thus died Benvenuto Cellini, a man of great genius, and uncommon versatility of talents; caressed alike by kings, popes, and dignitaries of the church of Rome; esteemed by men of learning; lauded by the most eminent artists of his time; and beloved by all his acquaintance. Admitted into the privacy of the most elevated in rank and station, he never forgot what was due to himself as a man: he was neither servile to kings nor their mistresses; he neither flattered popes nor their favorites; he neither worshipped a cardinal's hat nor the tiara; he was bold for the right, and thought not that St. Peter's chair could sanctify wrong, or hallow injustice--he dared to speak the truth; an audacity fatal to the hopes of the followers of courts, and the aspirers to place.
But if he honored not the character of the Patriarchs of the church, he was impressed with a deep sense of religion, and not altogether free from superstition. He was of a rather capricious. nature, and his passions were fierce and vindictive.-Jealous of his rights, he hesitated not to resent, with promptitude and decision, the slightest infringement of them, and, in the spirit of the times, he seldom thought the expiation complete without violence. It must be allowed, however, that, although somewhat too impetuous and sensitive, too jealous in honor, and quick in quarrel, he was generally in the right, and disdained to chastise pusillanimity, or annihilate imbecility. Of great power of suffering; he rises in our respect, as afflictions thicken around him; we honor him for his bravery, his rigid adherence to truth, his unshrinking fortitude, his kind and affectionate heart. We triumph in his triumphs; we sympathise with his wrongs; and we sorrow, when injustice restrains the person of a man, whose mind is too elastic for chains or dungeons to fetter or confine. Indeed his fervour of imagination and sensibility of feeling frequently amounted to an extreme intensity, and gave rise to his visionary intercourse with superhuman beings—to colloquies with his guardian angel-to the invocation and imagined presence of spirits, and the halo which shone around the shadow of his head -a distinction which was first manifested in France, and which he occasionally condescended to shew to a few select friends. In all these imaginations, however, the tenor of his thoughts as an artist is conspicuous.
.? Quick, bold, ardent, and enterprising, he was eminently gifted by nature with those talents which are essential to achieve excellence'; and although confined for a great portion of his life to the humble walk of the goldsmith's business, it is evident, from his extraordinary success in bronze-casting and in sculpture, that he was equally calculated to excel in the higher departments of art. Of this, his statue of Perseus and the piece of sculpture which he executed, after his vision, of a Christ upon the cross, described by Vasari as an exquisite and wonderful performance, afford sufficient proofs. His merits as an artist, indeed, are allowed by those who were best able to appreciate them-by his friends Michael Angelo and Julio Romano. Uniting the different branches of the fine arts,—at the same time a musician, a poet, and a soldier, he seems to have been exceeded by few in the capability of his intellect, and in its various and successful application.
Art. II.-Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus, sive Hispani Scriptores qui
ab Octaviani Augusti Ævo ad Annum Christi, M.D.floruerunt.
Auctore, D. Nicolao Antonio, &c. Matriti, 1788. Biblioteca Española de D. Joseph Rodriguez de Castro. Madrid,
1786, tomo 1o Mic. Casiri. Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis. Matriti,
1760-70, 2 tom. Fo. L. J. Velasquez. Origenes de la Poesia Castellana. Malaga, 1744. Coleccion de Poesias Castellanas anteriores al siglo xv. con notas, 8c. por D. Tomas Antonio Sanchez. Bibliotecario de S. M. Tomos 4, Madrid, MDCCLXXIX-MDCCXc.
: Of the Jewish writers in Spain, of the fifteenth century, the most interesting to our poetical researches is Juan de Baena who was afterwards converted to Christianity, and became Secretary to John II., to whom he presented a collection of all the works he could gather together of the old Castilian Trobadores, among which are many pieces composed by Rabbis and Moors. These are the productions of no less than fifty-five authors, all valuable for their antiquity, many of them intrinsically valuable. The definition of poetry, with which the volume is introduced, is characteristic and curious, but who shall be weighed in such a balance, and not be found grievously wanting?
“The art of poetry, the gay science, is a most subtle and most delightful (sort of) writing or composition. It is sweet and pleasurable to those who propound and to those who reply; to utterers and to hearers. This science, or the wisdom, or knowledge dependent on it, can only be possessed, received, and acquired by the inspired Spirit of the Lord God; who communicates it, sends it and influences by it, those alone, who well and wisely, and discreetly and correctly, can create and arrange, and compose and polish, and scan and measure feet and pauses; and rhymes, and syllables, and accents, by dextrous art, by varied and by novel arrangement of words. And even then, so sublime is the understanding of this art, and so difficult its attainment, that it can only be learned, possessed, reached, and known to the man whoʻis of noble and of ready invention, elevated and pure discretion, sound and steady judgment; who has seen, and heard, and read, many and divers books and writings; who understands all languages; who has moreover dwelt in the courts of kings and nobles; and who has witnessed and practised many heroic feats. Finally, he must be of high birth, courteous, calm, chivalric, gracious; he must be polite and graceful; he must possess honey, and sugar, and salt, and facility and gaiety in his discourse."*
Almost all the poems are introduced with some account of the occasion on which they were written. The greatest number are laudatory of the Castillian princes, or celebrate the praises of the Virgin. There is among them considerable variety of versification, and we confess that a sense of their merit has grown on us from time to time, as we have turned over the pages of the collection.
* “ El arte de la poetria e gaya çiencia es una escryptura e conpusycion muy sotil e byen graciosa. E es dulce e muy agradable a todos los oponientes e rrespondientes della e conponedores e oyentes. La qual ciencia e avisacion e dotrina que della depende e es åvida e rrecevida e alcançada por graçia infusa del señor dios que la da e la enbya e influye en aquel o aquellos que byen e sabya e sotyl e derechament la saben fazer e ordenar e componer e limar e escandir e medir por sus pies e pausas e por sus consonantes e sylabas e acentos e por artes sotiles e de muy diversas e syngulares nonbranças. E ayn asy mismo es arte detan eleuado intendimiento e de tan sotil engeño que la non puede aprender nin aver nin alcanzar nin saber bien nin como deue saluo todo ome que sea de muy altas e sotiles invenciones de muy eleuada e pura discrecion e de muy sano e derecho juysio e tal que aya visto e oydo e leydo muchos e diversos libros e escripturas e sepa de todos lenguajes e.avn que aya versado cortes de rreyes e con grandes señores e que aya visto e platicado muchos fechos del mundo e finalmente que sea noble fidalgo e cortes e mesurado e gentil e gracioso e polido e donoso e que tenga miel e açucar e sal e ayre e donayre en $šu rrasonar.”
We will first give a specimen written by Moses, a Jewish physician, ont he birth of a prince. We give it ; not because he was a poet, but because he was a Rabbi, and as connected with this portion of our theme:
“A star is born, whose glories bright
Now let the lion, that was long conceald,
“Let the wild eagle wander from his nest,
The poets of this time begin to boast of their acquaintance with Greek, Latin, and Italian classics.
* “Una estrella. es nascida
Salga el leon. que estava encogido
Many a poet have I scann'd;
In this collection of Baena is a curious discussion between Pero Ferrus and the Jewish Rabbis. The latter are told that the poet travelling from Alcalá was well received in the synagogues, but was greatly horrified when one morning, just as the day dawned, “ a Rabbi, with a mighty long beard, and a great one-eyed Jew, whom the devil had killed in the midst of his guilt, and the Rabbi Judah, roused him with their dreadful cries—cries, he says, which would have upset a house." The Rabbis endeavour to get rid of this home-thrust by protesting that they were only at their usual matin devotions, “asking pardon for past sins and favors for the future.” Thus (say they) we unite in great troops at sun-rise, chanting to the holy God of Israel. Whether the poet was satisfied with their explanation does not appear. Baena's own composition (which is often inflated and absurd) consists principally of challenges to different poets of his time to come and dispute with him on divers “subtle matters.” Some he dares to answer his posing propositions, others he invites to a gracious reply, by bringing to them the most amusing and hyperbolical flattery; and he summons kings and princes to come and decide between him and his competitors; an honorary office which many of the Kings of Spain were not backward to exercise. Of the way in which these literary gauntlets were thrown down, an example will not be out of place here, though we shall have occasion again to introduce them.
“ To all who have a sharp and ready wit
* En muchos. poetas ley