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himself in one of his dramas to be thoroughly imbued with the pestilent superstition of his country. El dichoso Rufian is one of those monstrous compositions which nothing but the antichristian fables of the Romish church could have produced.
Landor, however, supposes that Cervantes intended to satirize a favourite dogma of the Spaniards. The passage occurs in his thirteenth conversation.
“ The most dexterous attack ever made against the worship among catholics, which opens so many sidechapels to pilfering and imposture, is that of Cervantes.
“ Leopold. I do not remember in what part.
“ President. Throughout Don Quixote. Dulcinea was the peerless, the immaculate, and death was denounced against all who hesitated to admit the assertion of her perfections. Surely your highness never could have imagined that Cervantes was such a knight-errant as to attack knight-errantry, a folly that had ceased more than a century, if indeed it was any folly at all; and the idea that he ridiculed poems and romances founded on it is not less improbable, for they contained all the literature of the nation, excepting the garniture of chapterhouses, theology, and pervaded, as with a thread of gold, the beautiful histories of this illustrious people. He delighted the idlers of romance by the jokes he scattered amongst them on the false taste of his predecessors and of his rivals; and he delighted his own heart by this solitary archery; well knowing what amusement those who came another day would find in picking up his arrows and discovering the bull's-eye hits.
“ Charles V. was the knight of La Mancha, devoting his labours and vigils, his wars and treaties, to the chimerical idea of making all minds, like watches, turn their indexes by a simultaneous movement to one point. Sancho Panza was the symbol of the people, possessing sound sense in all other matters, but ready to follow the most extravagant visionary in this, and combining implicit belief in it with the grossest sensuality. For religion, when it is hot enough to produce enthusiasm, burns up and kills every seed intrusted to its bosom.” — Imaginary Conversations, vol. i. 187.
Benedetto di Virgilio, the Italian ploughman, thus describes the course of Loyola's reading, in his heroic poem upon that Saint's life.
Mentre le vote indebolite vene
Quinci comanda, che i volumi ornati
solean tai libri prima,
I volumi vergati in dolci canti
Il volume, che spiega in ogni parte
Tutto giocondo à contemplar s'appiglia
Contempla dopo il Serafico Magno
Quinci ritrova il Celestin, che spande
Quivi s'avisa, come il buon Norcino
Legge come Brunone al divin Regge
Chiara tra l'altre nota e Caterina,
E tra i Romiti mira Ilarione,
il Natal di Christo hebbe la morte ;
Mentre in questo penetra e meglio intende
Qual duro ghiaccio sovra i monti alpini
Com' altri nel cristallo, o nel diamante
Ignatio Loiola. Roma, 1647. Canto 2.
The Jesuits, however, assure us, that Loyola is not the author of their society, and that it is not allowable either to think or say so.
Societas Jesu ut à S. Ignatio de Loiola non ducit nomen, ita neque originem primam, et aliud sentire aut loqui, nefas. (Imago primi Sæculi Soc. Jesu. p. 64.) Jesus primus ac præcipuus auctor Societatis is the title of a chapter in this their secular volume, which is a curious and very beautiful book. Then follows Beata Virgo nutrix, patrona, imò altera velut auctor Societatis. Lastly, Post Christum et Mariam Societatis Auctor et Parens sanctus Ignatius.
“ On the 26th August 1794, the French plundered the rich church of Loyola, at Azpeitia, and proceeding to Elgoibas, loaded five carts with the spoils of the church of that place. This party of marauders consisted of 200. The peasants collected, feil upon them, and after an obstinate conflict of three hours, recovered the whole booty, which they conveyed to Vittoria in triumph. Among other things, a relic of Loyola