Lope Félix de Vega Carpio. La moza de cántaro.
LA MOZA DE CÁNTARO
LOPE DE VEGA
EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
(Docteur de l'Université de Grenoble)
Professor of Romance Languages in West Virginia University
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
LA MOZA DE CÁNTARO
ESCENA PRIMERA, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV
ESCENA PRIMERA, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI
ESCENA PRIMERA, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII
The vast number of the works of Lope de Vega renders the task of selecting one of them as an appropriate text for publication very difficult, and it is only after having examined a large number of the works of the great poet that the editor has chosen La Moza de Cántaro, not only because it is one of the author's most interesting comedies, but also because it stands forth prominently in the field in which he is preëminent—the interpretation of Spanish life and character. It too is one of the few plays of the poet which have continued down to recent times in the favor of the Spanish theater-going public,—perhaps in the end the most trustworthy critic. Written in Lope's more mature years, at the time of his greatest activity, and probably corrected or rewritten seven years later, this play contains few of the inaccuracies and obscure passages so common to many of his works, reveals to us much of interest in Spanish daily life and in a way reflects the condition of the Spanish capital during the reign of Philip IV, which certainly was one of the most brilliant in the history of the kingdom.
The text has been taken completely, without any omissions or modifications, from the Hartzenbusch collection of Comedias Escogidas de Lope de Vega published in the Biblioteca de Autores Españoles and, where it varies from other texts with which it has been compared, the variation is noted. The accentuation has been changed freely to conform with present usage, translations have been suggested for passages of more than ordinary difficulty and full notes given on proper names and on passages that suggest historical or other connection. Literary comparisons have been made occasionally and modern forms or equivalents for archaic words and expressions have been given, but usually these have been limited to words not found in the better class of dictionaries commonly used in the study of such works.
The editor is especially indebted to Sr. D. Eugenio Fernández for aid in the interpretation of several passages and in the correction of accentuation, to Professor J. D. M. Ford for valuable suggestions, and to Sr. D. Manuel Saavedra Martínez, Professor in the Escuela Normal de Salamanca, for information not easily accessible.
West Virginia University.
I. LIFE OF LOPE DE VEGA
The family of Lope de Vega Carpio was one of high rank, if not noble, and had a manor house in the mountain regions of northwestern Spain. Of his parents we know nothing more than the scanty mention the poet has given them in his works. It would seem that they lived a while at least in Madrid, where the future prince of Spanish dramatists was born, November 25, 1562. Of his childhood and early youth we have no definite knowledge, but it appears that his parents died when he was very young and that he lived some time with his uncle, Don Miguel del Carpio.
From his own utterances and those of his friend and biographer, Montalvan, we know that genius developed early with him and that he dictated verses to his schoolmates before he was able to write. In school he was particularly brilliant and showed remarkable aptitude in the study of Latin, rhetoric, and literature. These school days were interrupted once by a truant flight to the north of Spain, but at Astorga, near the ancestral estate of Vega, Lope, weary of the hardships of travel, turned back to Madrid.
Soon after he left the Colegio de los Teatinos, at about the age of fourteen, Lope entered the service of Don Jerónimo Manrique, Bishop of Ávila, who took so great an interest in him that he sent him to the famous University of Alcalá de Henares, where he seems to have spent from his sixteenth to his twentieth year and on leaving to have received his bachelor's degree. The next five years of his life are shrouded in considerable obscurity. It was formerly believed, as related by Montalvan, that he returned from the University of Alcalá to Madrid about 1582, was married and, after a duel with a nobleman, was obliged to flee to Valencia, where he remained until he enlisted in the Invincible Armada in 1588, but recent research  has proved the case to be quite otherwise. It would seem that, on leaving the University about 1582, he became Secretary to the Marqués de las Navas and that for four or five years he led in Madrid a dissolute life, writing verses and frequenting the society of actors and of other young degenerates like himself and enjoying the favor of a young woman, Elena Osorio, whom he addressed in numberless poems as "Filis" and whom he calls "Dorotea" in his dramatic romance of the same name. In the latter work he relates shamelessly and with evident respect for truth of detail many of his adventures of the period, which, as Ticknor says, "do him little credit as a young man of honor and a cavalier."
In the light of the recent information cited above, we know also that Lope's career immediately after 1587 was quite different from what his contemporary Montalvan had led the world long to believe. In the Proceso de Lope de Vega por libelos contra unos Cómicos, it is shown that the poet, having broken with "Filis," circulated slanderous verses written against her father, Jerónimo Velázquez, and his family. The author was tried and sentenced to two years' banishment from Castile and eight more from within five leagues of the city of Madrid. He began his exile in Valencia, but soon disobeyed the decree of banishment, which carried with it the penalty of death if broken, and entered Castile secretly to marry, early in 1588, Doña Isabel de Urbina, a young woman of good family in the capital. Accompanied by his young wife, he doubtless went on directly to Lisbon, where he left her and enlisted in the Invincible Armada, which sailed from that port, May 29, 1588. During the expedition, according to his own account, Lope fought bravely against the English and the Dutch, using, as he says, his poems written to "Filis" for gun-wads, and yet found time to write a work of eleven thousand verses entitled la Hermosura de Angélica. The disastrous expedition returned to Cadiz in December, and Lope made his way back to the city of his exile, Valencia, where he was joined by his wife. There they lived happily for some time, the poet gaining their livelihood by writing and selling plays, which up to that time he had written for his own amusement and given to the theatrical managers.
Of the early literary efforts of Lope de Vega, such as have come down to us are evidently but a small part, but from them we know something of the breadth of his genius. In childhood even he wrote voluminously, and one of his plays, El Verdadero Amante, which we have of this early period, was written at the age of twelve, but was probably rewritten later in the author's life. He wrote also many ballads, not a few of which have been preserved, and we know that, at the time of his banishment, he was perhaps the most popular poet of the day.
The two years following the return of the Armada, Lope continued to live in Valencia, busied with his literary pursuits, but in 1590, after his two years of banishment from Castile had expired, he moved to Toledo and later to Alba de Tormes and entered the service of the Duke of Alba, grandson of the great soldier, in the capacity of secretary. For his employer he composed about this time the pastoral romance Arcadia, which was not published until 1598. The remaining years of his banishment, which was evidently remitted in 1595, were uneventful enough, but this last year brought to him a great sorrow in the death of his faithful wife. However, he seems to have consoled himself easily, for on his return to Madrid the following year we know of his entering upon a career of gallant adventures which were to last many years and which were scarcely interrupted by his second marriage in 1598 to Doña Juana de Guardo.