wasting generation after generation, and a single wild adventure running through whole centuries of romance and glory. We trace it, too, hardly less in their drama, which is so truly national that it seems to belong to their character, like a costume, and springs so immediately from their wants and feelings that, as we read, we are persuaded they would have invented it, if antiquity had not given them the example. 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 realizes to our fancy the gorgeous fables and traditions of the elder times.On the day preceding his inauguration, Mr. Ticknor wrote a letter to President Kirkland, giving fully his idea of the duties of the two professorships, and of the mode in which they should be fulfilled. We give some portions of it.
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