El Estudiante de Salamanca and Other Selections by George Tyler Northup


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Page 1

I desire to thank Professors Rudolph Schevill, Karl Pietsch, and Milton
A. Buchanan for helpful suggestions, and the latter more particularly
for the loan of rare books. The vocabulary is almost entirely the
work of my wife Emily Cox Northup, whose collaboration is by no means
restricted to this portion of the book. More than to any other one
person I am indebted to Mr. Steven T. Byington of the staff of Ginn
and Company, by whose acute and scholarly observations I have often
profited.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
THE LIFE OF ESPRONCEDA
THE WORKS OF ESPRONCEDA
"THE STUDENT OF SALAMANCA"
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
NOTES ON ESPRONCEDA'S VERSIFICATION

EL ESTUDIANTE DE SALAMANCA

EL CANTO DEL COSACO
EL MENDIGO
SONETO
A TERESA

NOTES
VOCABULARY




INTRODUCTION


THE LIFE OF ESPRONCEDA


nineteenth century, was born on the 25th of March, 1808, the year of his
country's heroic revolt against the tyranny of Napoleon. His parents

del Carmen Delgado y Lara. Both were Andalusians of noble stock, and, as
we learn from official documents, were held to be Christians of clean
blood "without taint of Jews, heretics, Moors, or persons punished by
the Holy Inquisition, and who neither were nor had been engaged in mean
or low occupations, but in highly honorable ones." This couple of such
highly satisfactory antecedents had been married four years previously.
In 1804 Don Juan, a mature widower of fifty-three, was still mourning

whose first husband, a lieutenant in the same regiment, was recently

brought as a dower four hundred thousand reales to be added to the two
hundred thousand which Don Juan already possessed. By his first marriage

ensign in his father's regiment, then studied in the Artillery School at
Segovia, and later entered the fashionable Guardia de Corps regiment.
He died in 1793 at the early age of twenty-one, soon after joining this
regiment. By the second marriage there were two other children, both of

During the early months of 1808 the Bourbon cavalry regiment in which
Don Juan served was stationed in the little hamlet of Villafranca de los
Barros, Estremadura, and there the future poet was born. We do not know
where the mother and son found refuge during the stormy years which
followed. The father was about to begin the most active period of his
career. We learn from his service record that he won the grade of

cannon named Libertad at the battle of Consuegra (a feat which won
him the rank of brigadier), and fought gallantly at Talavera as a
brother-in-arms of the future Duke of Wellington. The mere enumeration
of the skirmishes and battles in which he participated would require
much space. In 1811 he distinguished himself at Medina Sidonia and
Chiclana, and sought promotion to the rank of field-marshal, which was
never granted. After the Peninsular War he seems to have been stationed
in Madrid between 1815 and 1818. His family were probably permanently
established in that city, for we know that mother and son resided
there during the time that the brigadier was doing garrison duty in
Guadalajara (1820-1828), and there is no evidence that they followed him

the old soldier preferred the freedom of barrack life, where his
authority was unquestioned, to the henpecked existence he led at home.


business woman who combined energy with executive ability, as she later
proved by managing successfully a livery-stable business. But, however

indulgent. He, the only surviving son of a mature couple, rapidly

spoiled child. Parallels are constantly being drawn between Byron and
Espronceda. It is a curious fact that both poets were reared by mothers
who were alternately indulgent and severe.

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