document 87

Autor: 
Washington Irving
Destinatario: 
Juan Nicolás Böhl de Faber
Lugar de origen: 
Sevilla, España
04/07/1829
Letter
English
Washington_Irving

4-1, 2-3
Seville, April 7th 1829
My dear Sir,
I have lately had the pleasure of
reading the manscript of the Marchioness
of arcohermoso; although written in so small
a hand, I was so much interested with
it that I hurried through it in the
course of a night and a day. I have
since re-read parts of it more quietly &
leisurely. It contains a great variety of
very interesting and characteristic sketches
and observations, thrown off with great freedom
and spirit. I am pecularly charmed
with the warmth and purity of heart that
shine throughout it: an unwordly
spirit, rarely met with in one who has
mingled so much with the world. The
Marchioness delights me continually by
..........
the freshness and vivacity of her
feelings and the zeal with which she
expresses them, on all subjects in which
she takes a real interest. The intercourse
of polite society is so prone to chill or check
all this, and to superinduce that cool, knowing,
derisive way of talking on all occasions. But
I can see that the Marchioness was formed
at home, before she mingled with the world;
and I find she is continually operated upon
by the correspondence of yourself and Mrs
Bohl. What a delight it must be to you
to have children who richly repay you
for all that you have implanted in their
hearts and minds. The Marchioness read
me a few days since a note of Mrs Bohls in
reply to a letter she had received from a
gentleman containing all the rules for the
construction of an ode. I think her reply
worth all the rules & maxims that were ever
laid down for the encouragement of ##
- real rhymers- and I think with her
..........
that the grand law of poetical composition
is that it must be written from the heart and
to the heart. I reccollect a letter written in
a passion by Lord Byron to Murray in reply
to some of those canting critics who wished him
to write according to rigid rule- I have written,
said he, from the fullness of my head and the
fullness of my heart.- This was the secret
of Lord Byrons power over his readers.
I presume you have seen the Count Cortinas
translation of a part of Benterwacks history of
Spanish Literature. The Marchioness tells me it
is likely to be roughly handled by some Spanish
critic. I am sorry for it, as I think the
reading world is obliged to the Count for supply-
ing the deficiencies of Benterwacks work, and
giving a variety of additional information
upon a branch of literature, until lately so
imperfectly unknown. The work might
perhaps have been better done, but the
Count had not probably time to write a
complete original work, and it is better
he should have done it thus than not at all.
..........
The Spanish literates seem vexed that one
of their numbers should take pains to translate
and augment a history of their literature
written by foreigner- They are singulary
capricious and touchy on this subject. They
turn their backs upon their old writers
and then are feigned when they find
strangers appreciate them more than they do
themselves. They are like some husbands
who neglect their wives, but are ready to draw
their swords the moment they detect a stranger
o
Should I find any of the old works you
mention in your letter I shall not fail to
secure them for you, though just now I
am not much on the way of discoveries of the
kind.
Present my kindest remembrances to Mrs
Bohl, and believe me, my dear Sir
every your attached & obliged friend
Washington Irving

4-1, 2-3
Seville, April 7th 1829
My dear Sir,
I have lately had the pleasure of
reading the manscript of the Marchioness
of arcohermoso; although written in so small
a hand, I was so much interested with
it that I hurried through it in the
course of a night and a day. I have
since re-read parts of it more quietly &
leisurely. It contains a great variety of
very interesting and characteristic sketches
and observations, thrown off with great freedom
and spirit. I am pecularly charmed
with the warmth and purity of heart that
shine throughout it: an unwordly
spirit, rarely met with in one who has
mingled so much with the world. The
Marchioness delights me continually by
..........
the freshness and vivacity of her
feelings and the zeal with which she
expresses them, on all subjects in which
she takes a real interest. The intercourse
of polite society is so prone to chill or check
all this, and to superinduce that cool, knowing,
derisive way of talking on all occasions. But
I can see that the Marchioness was formed
at home, before she mingled with the world;
and I find she is continually operated upon
by the correspondence of yourself and Mrs
Bohl. What a delight it must be to you
to have children who richly repay you
for all that you have implanted in their
hearts and minds. The Marchioness read
me a few days since a note of Mrs Bohls in
reply to a letter she had received from a
gentleman containing all the rules for the
construction of an ode. I think her reply
worth all the rules & maxims that were ever
laid down for the encouragement of ##
- real rhymers- and I think with her
..........
that the grand law of poetical composition
is that it must be written from the heart and
to the heart. I reccollect a letter written in
a passion by Lord Byron to Murray in reply
to some of those canting critics who wished him
to write according to rigid rule- I have written,
said he, from the fullness of my head and the
fullness of my heart.- This was the secret
of Lord Byrons power over his readers.
I presume you have seen the Count Cortinas
translation of a part of Benterwacks history of
Spanish Literature. The Marchioness tells me it
is likely to be roughly handled by some Spanish
critic. I am sorry for it, as I think the
reading world is obliged to the Count for supply-
ing the deficiencies of Benterwacks work, and
giving a variety of additional information
upon a branch of literature, until lately so
imperfectly unknown. The work might
perhaps have been better done, but the
Count had not probably time to write a
complete original work, and it is better
he should have done it thus than not at all.
..........
The Spanish literates seem vexed that one
of their numbers should take pains to translate
and augment a history of their literature
written by foreigner- They are singulary
capricious and touchy on this subject. They
turn their backs upon their old writers
and then are feigned when they find
strangers appreciate them more than they do
themselves. They are like some husbands
who neglect their wives, but are ready to draw
their swords the moment they detect a stranger
o
Should I find any of the old works you
mention in your letter I shall not fail to
secure them for you, though just now I
am not much on the way of discoveries of the
kind.
Present my kindest remembrances to Mrs
Bohl, and believe me, my dear Sir
every your attached & obliged friend
Washington Irving

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