Lope Félix de Vega Carpio. La moza de cántaro.


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655. Si fuere parte á obligaros, If it will be sufficient to oblige you.

664. Cayó el pez en el anzuelo, The fish has been hooked.

666. aquesto=esto. The old form is used now only in poetry.

695. efeto=efecto.

699. Cuando él... sido, If he should have favored me my favor would have been so (i.e. too great).

714. quisistes=quisisteis. The obsolete form continued in general usage up to the 17th century and was still used by Calderón, though a grammar gave the modern form as early as 1555. See Menéndez Pidal's Manual elemental de gramática histórica española, pp. 189, 190.

745. Adamuz is a town of about five thousand inhabitants, situated in the mountains twenty-five miles northeast of Cordova in the midst of a prosperous olive-growing country. It has a church, three schools, two inns, an Ayuntamiento and two religious communities. There is a local tradition to the effect that Adamuz, several centuries ago, boasted of a population of about twenty thousand and was one of the important centers of the Sierra Morena, and that it was swept by an epidemic which carried away almost the entire population. However, nothing exists in the archives of the Ayuntamiento to confirm or deny the tradition. (For all the information concerning the town and its vicinity, the editor is indebted to the kindness of the Reverend Señor José Melendo, curate of Adamuz.)

748. Adamuz, pueblo sin luz. This refrain is not now current in the place and its origin cannot be definitely determined. It may be a reflection upon the state of intelligence of the inhabitants of the town and a pure creation of the poet, but rather would it seem to be due to the natural features of the town, for it is situated in a fold of the mountains.

750. Sierra-Morena is a mountainous region extending from east to west from the head waters of the Guadalquivir to the Portuguese border. It is mentioned in many of the Spanish romances and is assured of immortality as the scene of some of the adventures of the "ingenioso hidalgo" Don Quijote.

768. El término perdonad. The innkeeper regarded the indiano as a person of distinction and offers apology for mentioning in his presence anything so lowly as a caballo de alabarda, "nag, hack."

770. propria=propia.

793. camino real. A good road now extends from Cordova to Adamuz, but it does not cross the Sierra Morena. If such a royal highway from Andalusia to Madrid ever existed it has long since disappeared and given place to the railways and the important "carretera" which extends up the Guadalquivir and through the Puerto de Despeñaperros.

813. Bien está lo hecho, What is done is well done.

824. Holofernes... Judit. The comparison suggested is based upon the story related in the Book of Judith of the Bible. Judith determined to free the children of Israel from the invading Assyrians under the leadership of Holofernes and for this purpose went to the camp of Holofernes who received her kindly and celebrated her coming with feasting. When he was sufficiently under the influence of wine she cut off his head and carried it back with her to her own people who pursued the leaderless and disorganized Assyrians and gained a complete victory over them.

835. érades=erais. This obsolete form of the verb was often used by Lope de Vega and his contemporaries. It is from the Latin eratis. (See Menéndez Pidal, Manual elemental de gramática histórica española, paragraph 107, I.)

838. Granada, the most historic city of Southern Spain and the last stronghold of the Moors.

868. El camino de Granada, etc. The more probable route from Granada to the capital would have taken her some distance east of Adamuz.

876. Traigo jornada más larga, I am making a longer journey. Besides its common meanings traer has that of "to be occupied in making, to have on one's hands." Jornada usually means "day's journey," cf. French étape, but it is also used in the sense of a "journey" more or less long.

877. vengo de las Indias. Hence the name "Indiano," which may mean that one is a native of the Indies or simply a Spaniard who is returning from there after having made his fortune. The term has a depreciative meaning also, and then is an equivalent of our nouveaux riches, for which we in turn are indebted to the French. (See Introduction.)

882. Porque me dicen, etc., Because they tell me that the realization of one's pretensions which one's occupation puts off, is slow in arriving, I am going to set up a household.

ACT II

917. Que tantas persecuciones, etc. Supply some introductory interrogative expression like "Can it be" or "Do you believe."

922. De Amadís, en Beltenebros. Amadís de Gaula is the title of an old romance of uncertain authorship. The oldest text of which we have record was in Spanish or Portuguese prose, and the most interesting part of it is attributed to the Portuguese, Joham de Lobeira. The incident referred to by Lope occurred in the early years of the career of Amadís, hero of the story. After a youth filled with adventure, he meets and falls in love with Oriana, daughter of Lisuarte, king of Great Britain, who returns his affection. A short time afterwards Amadís is freed from a perilous situation by a young girl named Briolania, who herself is suffering captivity. He then promises to return and deliver her. Having been successful in a number of other adventures, he sets out, with the tearful consent of Oriana, to rescue Briolania. After his departure on this mission, Oriana is erroneously informed that Amadís loves Briolania; mad with anger and despair, she sends him a letter saying that all is ended between them. Amadís, having avenged Briolania's wrongs, receives Oriana's letter and, overcome by grief, retires to a hermitage on a rock in the sea, where he receives the name of Beltenebros, which Southey translates as the "Fair Forlorn." Afterwards Oriana, undeceived, seeks a reconciliation with Amadís, and their happiness is at length realized. Amadís has remained the type of the constant lover who comes into the possession of the object of his affections only after adventures and difficulties without number.

951. Valencia is an important seaport town on the Mediterranean with a population of about 160,000. The city is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Guadalaviar in the midst of a luxuriant tropical nature. Valencia was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name and has played an important rôle in Spanish history since the time when the Romans occupied the peninsula. During the Moorish occupation it was a worthy rival of Seville, with which it is here mentioned. The gardens of Valencia have always been justly celebrated for their beauty, and Lope well knew this, for during his exile in Valencia he himself had a garden in which, as he tells us in several of his works, he passed many pleasant hours.

954. Vera de Plasencia is a small town northwest of Zaragoza, situated in the desolate Llano de Plasencia. Lope must have sojourned there at some time or have had more than a passing interest in the place, for in his Epístola á D. Michael de Solis he writes:

Si fuera por la Vera de Plasencia
Á buscar primavera al jardín mío,
Hallara tu Leonor en competencia.
Obras Sueltas, vol. I, p. 268.

960. Pues lo digo, etc. In the Valencia edition Martin says:

Quando lo digo lo sé.
Tres puntos del que los vé
Que no son puntos de vara:
Puntos, que puedo decir,
Según en su condición,
Que tres en un punto son:
Ver, desear, y morir.

The sense of the passage seems to turn on the words punto and cara. A punto or "point" is one twelfth of the antiquated French line and one one hundred and forty-fourth of an inch. By a comparison of the two editions it is clear that there is a play on this word. Cara is probably a typographical error for vara, but it may be used here in a related sense to the archaic á primera cara, which was the equivalent of á primera vista. Therefore the sense of ll. 961-2 is: "That is the size that one would take of that foot with a measure," or "That is the size that one would take by a glimpse of that foot."

971. De escarpines presumí, etc. The consonance of escarpines is with jazmines, but the contrast is with chapines above. The chapín was a heavy low shoe or sandal better suited to the use of servants, while the escarpín was an elegant thin-soled, shoe or slipper, and often with cloth top as the following verse seems to indicate. Here the sense is not very apparent and may involve some colloquialism of the time. The passage may be freely translated: "I thought you were speaking of escarpines, since the distinction depends only upon (the height of) the cotton (top)."

973. paragambas. An obsolete or colloquial word made up of the preposition para, or possibly of a form of the verb parar, "parry off, protect," and the obsolete substantive gamba, the equivalent of pierna. It was evidently applied to some covering of the leg, as a gaiter or boot. In the Valencia edition it appears as two words, para gambas.

974. á cierta dama depends upon pregunté.

975. cañafístolas=cañafístulas. The word seems to have the idea of something indicated but not named, and here may have the sense of "ridiculous adornments." It is still used colloquially as the approximate equivalent of the English "thingumajig" or "thingumbob." That the author intends it to have something of its true meaning, "purgative," is indicated by the next few lines of the text.

1009. fialle, see v. 95 and note.

1038. azules enojos, dark clouds. Lit. "blue wrath."

Lope Félix de Vega Carpio. La moza de cántaro.
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