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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 16: (search)
ample. And finally we see it in the individual lives of their authors, which have been, to an unparalleled degree, lives of adventure and hazard,—in Garcilaso, whose exquisite pastorals hardly prepare us for the heroic death he died, before the face of his Emperor; in Ercilla, who wrote the best of Spanish epics at the feet of the Andes, amidst the perils of war, and in the wastes of the wilderness; in Lope de Vega on board the Armada, and in Cervantes, wounded at Lepanto, and a slave in Barbary; in Quintana's prison, and Moratin's exile. Indeed, like its own Alhambra,—which was not merely the abode of all that was refined and graceful and gentle in peace and in life, but the fearful fortress of military pride and honor, amidst whose magnificent ruins the heart still treasures up long recollections of gallantry and glory,—the poetry of Spain seems to identify itself with achievements that belong rather to its history; and, as it comes down to us through the lapse of ages, almost r<