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The Petrarchan sources of "La Celestina" / by A. D. Deyermond


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ArribaAbajoIII. Borrowings from De Remediis utriusque Fortunae

De Remediis, the most widely read of Petrarch's Latin works during the time when these works commanded an audience, is systematically planned, Book I offering a remedy against good fortune, and Book II a remedy against bad. Petrarch considers good fortune to be the more dangerous, and the composition of Book I seems to have interested him more than its sequel.117 The form he chooses is ostensibly that of dialogue, Reason having Joy and Hope as adversaries in Book I, and Sorrow and Fear in Book II. The dialogue is, however, so one-sided as to be totally unconvincing: Reason's opponents are only occasionally allowed to make an effective point, and are usually confined to a repetition of rejoicing or complaint, to which Reason makes almost equally repetitive replies. The end of Book I shows a victory for Reason, with Hope now relying on the joys of the next world, but the end of Book II differs from the beginning only in change of topic: the attitudes of Sorrow, Fear, and Reason are unchanged. An exception is to be found in ii. 114, the only dialogue in which Sorrow really argues with Reason. At one point Reason makes a concession to Sorrow's arguments, and in the last third of the dialogue Sorrow begins to accept what Reason says. But this, unhappily, is an isolated case, and it is hard to find any justification in this work for Gilman's view that De Remediis represents a structural innovation in that it is a debate between equal adversaries rather than a discourse by an overwhelmingly superior to a much inferior protagonist.118 It   —51→   seems that, in emphasizing De Remediis rather than the Secretum from this point of view, Gilman is attaching too much weight to the names of the characters and too little to their function in the dialogue. In the Secretum there is real argument between Petrarch and St. Augustine, and a conclusion is reached which arises out of the argument. Yet even if there were such argument in De Remediis, it would not represent an innovation in medieval literature: the debate-poem, such as the Spanish Elena y María or the English Wynnere and Wastoure, involves a genuine contest between equal adversaries. Nor is it easy to find evidence supporting Gilman's comment that Petrarch 'dwells, often lyrically' on the pleasures and beauties of this world: lyrical passages are very rare in De Remediis (there is one in i. 57, where Reason describes farming), and only the most summary statement is, as a rule, allowed to Joy and Hope.

Book I is redeemed by the obvious sincerity and consistency with which Petrarch writes, and by the force of its unified theme: that the joys of this world cannot last. In Book II, however, it seems that Petrarch could find no consistent answer to his problem; further, the problem itself, at least in this work, does not seem to have moved him deeply. The direct response, emotional as well as intellectual, which appears in Book I is lacking here. The technique of consolation used in this second book involves several arguments, some lessening the force of others. Reason asserts that other people have undergone similar sufferings before, and he quotes exempla; that present sufferings are a preparation for death and the next world, where all will be well; that there are compensating advantages (Sorrow's wife has eloped? -but wives are a nuisance any way); and, occasionally, that some particular disaster is unlikely to happen often. In addition, he frequently emphasizes the suffering, so that at one point even the unperceptive Sorrow complains that 'Non to mihi remedium das ut soles sed periculum exaggeras'.119 Reason, indeed, concedes on one occasion that his arguments are   —52→   repetitive rather than cumulative: 'Sed omissis iocis horum omnium ratio una est'.120

Book II is, then, much weaker than Book I, and the pessimistic demolition of good fortune remains the more forceful and memorable element in the work. The atmosphere of Book I is carried over into the Preface to Book II, and in a long borrowing from this Preface we find the only mention of Petrarch's name in La Celestina: 'aquel gran orador e poeta laureado, Francisco Petrarcha'.121 Rojas goes on to quote Petrarch, in Latin and then in Spanish translation, to support Heraclitus's sententia on universal conflict which he had quoted earlier (see below). Just under half of the Prólogo is direct transcription or more or less close translation of Petrarch, being taken from the whole extent of the Preface.

Rojas's handling of his borrowed material is not, by modern standards, over-scrupulous: he quotes Heraclitus's sententia as his own discovery, which is merely corroborada by Petrarch.122 In fact, Petrarch himself uses the sententia to open his Preface, and comments on it at length: 'Sic est enim: Et sic propemodum... nobiscum omnia'. Rojas, giving this in both Latin and Spanish, makes it into a comment on a sententia of Petrarch's own ('Sine lite atque offensione nihil genuit natura parens') which comes much later in the Preface.123 Nevertheless, this cavalier treatment of borrowed material does not disguise the fact that all the first half of the Prólogo is Petrarchan, to a greater extent, and with less originality, than any other part of La Celestina.124 This can best be shown by listing the borrowings in full. The Heraclitan sententia is preceded in Petrarch by praise of its wisdom, and Rojas's praise may well be a reminiscence of this: the word memoria is common to the two authors. Petrarch then goes on:

... illud Heracliti: Omnia secundum litem fieri. (Praef. A 2-3) Todas las cosas ser criadas a manera de contienda o batalla, dize aquel gran sabio Eraclio en el modo: 'Omnia secundum litem fiunt.' (La Cel. i. l5-16; 13)

Sic est enim: Et sic propemodum universa testantur. Rapido stellae obviant firmamento: Contraria invicem elementa confligunt: Terrae tremunt: Maria fluctuant: Aer quatitur: Crepant flammae: Bellum immortale venti gerunt: Tempora temporibus concertant: Secum singula: nobiscum omnia. (Praef. A 3-6. La Cel. i. 17; 13. This is then given in Spanish translation, i. I7-18; 13-14)125

Ver humidum: Aestas arida: Mollis autumnus: Hyems hispida: Et quae vicissitudo dicitur: pugna est. Haec ipsa igitur quibus insistimus: quibus circumfovemur et vivimus: quae tot illecebris blandiuntur: quam que si irasci coeperint sint horrenda: (A 6-8) El verano vemos que nos aquexa con calor demasiado, el inuierno con frio y aspereza: assi que esto que nos parece reuolución temporal, esto con que nos sostenemos, esto con que nos criamos e biuimos, si comiença a ensoberuecerse más de lo acostumbrado, no es sino guerra. (i. 18; 14)
indicant terraemotus et concitatissimi turbines: indicant naufragia atque incendia seu coelo seu terris saevientia. (A 8-9) E quanto se ha de temer, manifiéstase por los grandes terremotos e toruellinos, por los naufragios y encendios, assi celestiales como terrenales, (i. 18; 14)
Quis insultus grandinis? Quaenam illa vis imbrium: qui fremitus tonitruum: qui fulminis impetus: quae rabies procellarum: qui fervor qui mugitus pelagi: qui torrentium fragor: qui fluminum excursus: qui nubium cursus et recursus et concursus? (A 9-12) por la fuerça de los aguaduchos, por aquel bramar de truenos, por aquel temeroso ímpetu de rayos, aquellos cursos e recursos de las nuues, (i. 18; 14)
quae res dum manifesti motus latens causa quaeritur: non minorem philosophorum in scholis: quam fluctuum ipso in pelago litem movit. (A 14-15) de cuyos abiertos mouimientos, para saber la secreta causa de que proceden, no es menor la dissension de los filósofos en las escuelas, que de las ondas en la mar. (i. 18-19: 14)   —54→  
Quid quod nullum animal bellis vacat? Pisces: ferae: volucres: serpentes: homines: una species aliam exagitat: nulli omnium quies data: leo lupum: lupus canem: canis leporem insequitur. (A 15-17) Pues entre los animales ningún género carece de guerra: pesces, fieras, aues, serpientes, de lo qual todo, vna especie a otra persigue. El leon al lobo, el lobo la cabra, el perro la liebre.... (i. 19; 14)126
quae corvorum miluorumque circa columbarum domos ac pullorum nidos vigilantia... (C 5-6) Hasta los grosseros milanos insultan dentro en nuestras moradas los domésticos pollos e debaxo las alas de sus madres los vienen a caçar. (i. 21-22; 15)
Basiliscus angues reliquos sibilo territat: adventu fugat: visu perimit. (D 11-12) Entre las serpientes el vajarisco crió la natura tan ponçoñoso e conquistador de todas las otras, que con su siluo las asombra e con su venida las ahuyenta e disparze, con su vista las mata. (i. 19; 14)
Elephantem... Multa praeterea genus hoc: atque imprimis acerrimus epotae dolor hirudinis et visi vel auditi muris fastidia offendunt: Mirum dictu: tam animal et tantarum virium tam pusilli hostis horrere conspectum. (E 1, 5-7) El elefante, animal tan poderoso e fuerte, se espanta e huye de la vista de vn suziuelo ratón, e avn sólo de oyrle toma gran temor. (i. 19; 14)
Sed sic sine lite atque offensione nil genuit natura parens. (E 7-8) Sin lid e offensión ninguna cosa engendró la natura, madre de todo. (i. 17; 13)

The sententia beginning 'Nullum tam mite animal...' (Praef. F 8-9) is in the index, whence it is borrowed in La Cel. (ii. 92; 217).

omnes prope quas terra vel aer animantium formas habet esse in aquis: cum innumerabiles ibi sint: quas aer et terra non habent... (G 10-11) pues es cosa cierta gozar la mar de tantas formas de pesces, quantas la tierra y el ayre cria de aues e animalias e muchas más. (i. 20; 15)   —55→  
Iam si credimus quod de natura viperea magni scribunt viri: Quanta rerum contrarietas: quantumque litigium: Maris caput sua quadam naturali sed effrenata dulcedine in os viperae insertum: illa praecipiti fervore libidinis amputat. Inde iam praegnans vidua cum pariendi tempus advenerit: foetu multiplici praegrayante: et velut in ultionem patris uno quoque quam primum erumpere festinante discerpitur. (I 10-14) La bíuora, reptilia o serpiente enconada, al tiempo del concebir, por la boca de la hembra metida la cabeça del macho y ella con el gran dulçor apriétale tanto que le mata e, quedando preñada, el primer hijo rompe las yjares de la madre, por do todos salen y ella muerta queda y él quasi como vengador de la paterna muerte. (i. 19-20; 14)
Esse circa mare Indicum inauditae magnitudinis avem quandam: quam Rochum nostri vocant: quae non modo singulos homines: sed tota insuper rostro praehensa navigia secum tollat in nubila: et pendentes in aere míseros navigantes advolatu ipso terribilem mortem ferat. (Q 3-5) De vna ave llamada rocho, que nace en el índico mar de Oriente, se dize ser de grandeza jamás oyda e que lleva sobre su pico fasta las nuues, no solo vn hombre o diez, pero vn nauio cargado de todas sus xarcias e gente. E como los míseros navegantes estén assí suspensos en el ayre, con el meneo de su buelo caen e reciben crueles muertes. (i. 22; 15)
Homo ipse terrestrium dux et rector animantium... (S 8) ¿Pues qué dirémos entre los hombres a quien todo lo sobredicho es subjeto? (i. 22; 15)
cum multa: tum maxima aedificiorum habituumque varietas arguit... (V 8) Aquel mudar de trajes, aquel derribar e renouar edicficios... (i. 22; 15)
Iam quae infantium bella cum lapsibus: quae puerorum rixa cum litteris amarissime serentium quod praedulciter metant? Quaenam insuper adolescentium lis cum voluptatibus: dicam verius: immo quanta secum lis affectuumque collisio? (Y 3-5) Los niños con los juegos, los moços con las letras, los mancebos con los deleytes, (i. 23; 16)
quod denique illud senum cum aetate ac morbis propinquante morte. (Y 10) los viejos con mill especies de enfermedades pelean... (i. 23; 16)   —56→  
Ad summam ergo omnia: sed imprimis omnis hominum vita lis quaedam est. (Z 1-2) [esta] noble sentencia: 'que avn la mesma vida de los hombres, si bien lo miramos, desde la primera edad hasta que blanquean las canas, es batalla'. (i. 23; 16)

There are two other passages of the Preface which seem to have suggested part of the Prólogo to Rojas, though they are not borrowed in the same way as those given above. The first,

Echinaeis semipedalis pisciculus: navim quamvis immensam ventis: undis: remis: velis actam: retinet: solus elementorum atque hominum vim retundens...,

(P 1-3)                

is obviously not the source of Rojas's long passage on this curious creature (La Cel. i. 20-21; 15), though the last part of Rojas's passage seems to be a closer reminiscence of Petrarch than of any other possible source. However, the main purpose served by Petrarch here was to remind Rojas of a similar passage in Hernán Núñez's Glosa to Mena's Laberinto de Fortuna. Once reminded of this, Rojas seems, unless he had an abnormally good memory, to have turned directly to the Glosa and (as Cejador and Castro Guisasola have pointed out) borrowed the relevant section:

Alli es mezclada gran parte de echino). Lucano (Non puppim retinens euro tendente rudentes in mediis echeneis aquis) que quiere dezir: No falta alli el pez dicho echeneis que detiene las fustas en metad del mar: quando el viento euro estiende las cuerdas. Deste pez dize Plinio enel nono libro dela hystoria natural... Aristotiles escriue... (copla 242) Aristótiles e Plinio cuentan marauillas de vn pequeño pece llamado Echeneis, quanto sea apta su propriedad para diuersos géneros de lides. Especialmente tiene vna, que si llega a vna nao o carraca, la detiene, que no se puede menear, avnque vaya muy rezio por las aguas; de lo qual haze Lucano mencion, diziendo: Non puppim retinens, Euro tendente rudentes, In mediis Echeneis aquis. 'No falta allí el pece dicho Echeneis, que detiene las fustas, quando el viento Euro estiende las cuerdas en medio de la mar.' ¡O natural contienda, digna de admiración: poder más vn pequeño pece que vn gran nauío con toda fuerça de los vientos! (i. 20-21)

The value of this section is not aesthetic -from that point of view Rojas would have done better to ignore the echeneis, or at least to be content with what Petrarch offered him; it lies in its illustration of Rojas's methods of work. It appears to have been as natural for him to turn from De Remediis to the Glosa as it was for him to turn from the Petrarch index to one of Petrarch's works; and this, indeed, emphasizes the use of the index as an autonomous work. Once he had referred to the Glosa, the quotation from Lucan and the references to Aristotle and Pliny must have proved irresistible, especially in a Prologue, where Rojas was likely to be more concerned with didactic statement and explanation than with the presentation of scene or character. However, there are two points which should be noticed, besides the blending of sources: Rojas does not quote from Aristotle or Pliny, although the quotations are in the same section of the Glosa; he knew when to stop. Secondly, he deliberately associates the borrowed passage with the Heraclitan theme of the Prólogo, introducing it with the mention of diuersos géneros de lides. In view of this, Cejador's total condemnation of the Prólogo cannot be sustained.

The second passage of Petrarch's Preface which may have had an effect on Rojas without being directly borrowed is:

Quae scriptorum praelia cum membranis: cum atramento: cum calamis: cum papyro?

(X 6)                

This association of the theme of universal strife with the labour of literary composition may possibly have suggested to Rojas the development of the last part of the Prólogo; (i. 23-26; I6-I7). It is even possible that it suggested to him a way in which Petrarch's Preface could be used to introduce La Celestina.

So much, then, for the Preface. We know that De Remediis had caught Rojas's attention by 1502 (if we accept the assumption that Rojas wrote the Prólogo);127 we know already that parts of it, borrowed from the index, appear in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina; but did either book of De Remediis figure as a source in its own right in that version?

A number of borrowings from the text of Book I, which do not occur in the index, are to be found in the sixteen-act version.


There are at least eleven, mostly of ordinary sententia length, though two are longer

Siste si potes tempus: poterit forsan et forma consistere... Cadet flava caesaries: reliquiae albescent: teneras genas et serenam frontem squalentes arabunt rugae: laetas oculorum faces et lucida sydera moesta teget nubes: leve dentium ebur ac candidum scaber situs obducet atque atteret ut non colore tamen sed tenore alio sint: recta cervix atque agiles humeri curvescent: guttur lene crispabitur: aridas manus et recurvos pedes suspiceris tuos non fuisse. Quid multa? Veniet dies quo te in speculo non agnoscas: et haec omnia quae abesse multum extimas: ne quid improvisis monstris attonitus... (i. 2 A 2, C 4-9) aquel arrugar de cara, aquel mudar de cabellos su primera e fresca color, aquel poco oyr, aquel debilitado ver, puestos los ojos a la sombra, aquel hundimiento de boca, aquel caer de dientes, aquel carecer de fuerça, aquel flaco andar, aquel espacioso comer?... Señora, ten tú el tiempo que no ande; terné yo mi forma, que no se mude. ¿No has leydo que dizen: verná el día que en el espejo no te conozcas? (i. 166, 171; 86, 89)
Est enim amor latens ignis: gratum vulnus: sapidum venenum: dulcis amaritudo: delectabilis morbus: iucundum supplicium: blanda mors. (i. 69 A 2-3) Es vn fuego escondido, vna agradable llaga, vn sabroso veneno, vna dulce e fiera herida, vna blanda muerte. (ii. 59; 189)128

The shorter borrowings are:

Iniquissima vero lex: quae non omnibus una est. (i. 1 A 7) Iníqua es la ley, que a todos ygual no es. (ii. 2io; 299)
parvo temporis in spacio non stat magna foelicitas. (i. 1 E 11) que en poco espacio de tiempo no cabe gran bienauenturança. (ii. 21; 160)
Ingratissimi mortales bona vestra vix aliter quam perdendo cognoscitis. (i. 4 A 2-3) ¡O ingratos mortales! ¡Jamás conocés vuestros bienes, sino quando dellos caresceys! (ii. 186; 283)   —59→  
pessimum nocentissimumque mali hominis membrum lingua est. (i. 9 E 7-9) No se dize en vano que el más empezible miembro del mal hombre o muger es la lengua. (i. 178; 92)
Nihil est a virtute vel a veritate remotius quam vulgaris opinio. (i. 12 B 8-9) Ninguna cosa es más lexos de verdad que la vulgar opinión. (ii. 33; 169)129
Nullum inexpugnabilem locum esse: in quem asellus onustus auto possit ascendere. (i. 35 B 2-3) No ay lugar tan alto, que vn asno cargado de oro no le suba (i. 137; 74)130
Alioquin et quaerendo cupiditas crescit et paupertas cupiendo: Ita fit ut nihil magis inopem faciat quam avari opes. (i . 36 B 2-3) Assí que adquiriendo cresce la cobdicia, e la pobreza cobdiciando, e ninguna cosa haze pobre al auariento sino la riqueza. (ii. 100; 222)
Et est omne peccatum eo maius quo et maior qui peccat et minor causa peccandi. (i. 42 B 7-8) E pues sabes que tanto mayor es el yerro quanto mayor es el que yerra... (8ii. 87; 213)131
Non parcit regum maculis vulgus loquax. (i. 42 B 10) el vulgo parlero no perdona las tachas de sus señores (ii. 34; 169)

There are two other passages of La Celestina which may be derived from De Remediis, i, though they are at most reminiscences. Both are cited by Cejador:

Ut quietum mare: tempestas turbida: lucidum mane: nubilus vesper insequitur: ut inter initia planum iter in confragosum desinit: sic prosperitatis insolentiam improvisa calamitas: et laetissimae cursum vitae moesta mors caludit... (i. 17 C 5-8) A los alegres, serenos e claros soles, nublados escuros e pluuias vemos suceder; a los solazes e plazeres, dolores e muertes los   —60→   ocupan; a las risas e deleytes, llantos e lloros e passiones mortales los siguen; finalmente, a mucho descanso e sosiego, mucho pesar e tristeza. (ii. 13; 155-6)132
Expectata puto mercium navis applicuit: periculum evasisti: extruxisti domum: exarasti aruum: putasti vineam: rigasti prata: compegisti aream: insevisti arbores: effodisti rivos: texuisti sepem: columbarium erexisti: misisti greges in pascua: apes in alvearia: sementem in sulcos: novas merces in maria: tuto loco collocatum foenus: plena arcula: dives aula: cultus thalamus: referta horrea: spumans penu: provisa dos filiae: coniugium nato empta populi gratia blando ambitu: parta suffragia: pronum ad te opibus summis atque honoribus stratum iter: O foelicem te: Restat ut gaudeas. (i. 90 B 2-8) ¿Para quién edifiqué torres? ¿Para quién adquirí honrras? ¿Para quién planté árboles? ¿Para quién fabriqué nauíos? (ii. 202; 295)133

The resemblances in these two cases are slight, and in both cases the passages deal with fairly common situations and attitudes. However, while direct borrowing of the kind dealt with earlier in this chapter does not seem to have occurred here, it may quite well be (especially in the second case) that Rojas remembered something of the Petrarchan passage without looking it up.


Book II of De Remediis yields only six definite borrowings in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina.134 The first is:

Nam et incassum niti et tristiciae materiam aucupari: par dementia est. (ii. 24 B 10) dizen que fiar en lo temporal e buscar materia de tristeza, que es ygual género de locura. (i. 117; 64)

This is the first definite Petrarchan borrowing or reminiscence in La Celestina. Sempronio's remark in introducing it, 'Lee más adelante, buelue la hoja' (i. 117; 64), is not to be taken literally: there is nothing in what Calisto has just said that comes from the preceding page of Petrarch. Calisto's assertion that 'Quantos escriuieron consuelos no dizen otra cosa' is of the kind that would provoke, from anyone who disagreed, the retort that Calisto had not read enough, or was out of date in his authorities; the retort, that is, which Sempronio gives. If any further explanation of the words is needed, it might conceivably be found in Rojas's assertion, on taking over from the author of Act I (whether that author is another person or Rojas himself when younger), that henceforth he will quote Petrarch instead of the authorities who have been cited by name in Act I. But this, while quite possible with a writer who is so consciously, and even proudly, dependent on his sources, cannot be more than a matter of conjecture, while the course of the conversation at the beginning of Act II makes this kind of pert reply by Sempronio to his master completely natural.

The other five borrowings from Book II are:

Dura duris efficacius leniuntur: et saepe medici mollioris deformior est cicatrix. (ii. 43 B 1-2) E lo duro con duro se ablanda más eficacemente. E dizen los sabios que la cura del lastimero médico dexa mayor señal... (ii. 58; 188)
Nec te praeterit: ut Propheta idem et rex filium quem languentem fleverat: non flevit extinctum: cogitans quae irrecuperabilia lugere supervacuae dementiae verius quam pietatis est... Amisisti simul et metus multos infinitamque materiam sollicitudinum et curarum: quibus ut careres vel tibi vel filio moriendum fuit. Securum patrem sola mors facit. (ii. 48 A 12-14, B 1-3)135 Que, si el propheta e rey Dauid al hijo, que enfermo lloraua, muerto no quiso llorar, diziendo que era quasi locura llorar lo irrecuperable... Agora perderé contigo, mi desdichada hija, los miedos e temores que cada día me espauorecían: sola tu muerte es la que a mí   —62→   me haze seguro de sospecha (ii. 13; 155-6)
Amens viator est qui labore viae exhaustus velit ad initium remeare. Nihil fessis gratius hospitio... Et quis sanae mentis vel quod fieri optaverit factum doleat: nisi male se optasse sentiat vel quod neque omitti neque sine multo labore agi poterat actum esse non gaudeat?... Stultus enim nihil pene amat nisi quod perdidit. (ii. 83 B 10-E 12) Loco es, señora, el caminante que, enojado del trabajo del día, quisiesse boluer de comienço la jornada para tornar otra vez aquel lugar. Que todas aquellas cosas, cuya possessión no es agradable, más vale posseellas, que esperallas. Porque más cerca está el fin dellas, quanto más andado del comienço. No ay cosa más dulce ni graciosa al muy cansado que el mesón... Porque el que de razón e seso carece, quasi otra cosa no ama, sino lo que perdió. (i. 169-70; 87-88)
Dolor dolore: clavus clavo pellitur: ut antiquo dicitur proverbio: Vix molestum aliquid sine molestia curatur. (ii. 84 C 5-6) Ten paciencia, que pocas vezes lo molesto sin molestia se cura. E vn clavo con otro se espele e un dolor con otro. (ii. 58; 188)136
Finge solacium parere: solacium erit. Opinio rem quocunque vult trahit: non ut verum mutet: sed ut iudicium regat et sensibus moderetur. (ii. 90 D 9-10)137 Finge alegría e consuelo e serlo ha. Que muchas vezes la opinión trae las cosas donde quiere, no para que mude la verdad; pero para moderar nuestro sentido e regir nuestro juyzio. (i. 118-19; 64)

Five other possible borrowings must be considered. The first is:

illius rerum dominae transeuntium atque mortalium quae fortuna dicitur. (ii. 127 C 9-10) ¡O fortuna variable, ministra e mayordoma de los temporales bienes! (ii. 202; 295)138

The verbal similarity here seems on balance too slight for this to be regarded as a a borrowing. Two others, claimed by Castro Guisasola, should also be rejected:

Vitium unum est omnibus aditus. (ii. 10 B 9) vn inconueniente es causa e puerta de muchos. (i. 121; 66)
Semper enim alterum extremorum tenet: medium vero nunquam. (i. 94 B 9-10) Son enemigas del medio; contino están posadas en los extremos. (i. 139; 75)

In the first of these cases, the resemblance is too slight to stand as convincing evidence of borrowing, and there is none of that conjunction of unusual circumstances which could strengthen a slight resemblance. The second case appears more promising at first sight, but Petrarch is talking about the common people, and Rojas about women. Further, when the word medio occurs to a writer, he is not likely to need a borrowing from another author before associating extremo with it.

Gilman also claims two borrowings which require careful scrutiny, one at the beginning of Act II and the other in Act I. The latter is the more important, and despite its length it is necessary to examine it in some detail, since, if Gilman is right in his claim, assumptions hitherto made about Act I will have to be reconsidered.139 The passages concerned are a catalogue of unpleasant   —64→   noises in the Preface to De Remediis, ii, and Pármeno's hyperbolical assertion of Celestina's fame. Gilman gives a selection from the relevant section of Petrarch (in Francisco de Madrid's version), but such a procedure, when two catalogues of this sort are being compared, is likely to emphasize the similarities and minimize the differences. It therefore seems preferable to give the passages in full, italicizing those elements which appear in both:

Quis nocturna aurium bella non pertulit? Bubones strigesque et oblatrantium limine canum supervacuas excubias: et catas in tegulis nundinantes ac tranquilla silentia horrendis occentibus et clamore tartareo infestantes: et moesti soricum occentus: et quicquid inter tenebras importunum strepit? His accedunt et nocturna ranarum coaxatio: et matutini planctus hirundinum ac minae: adesse Itym putes ac Tereum. Nam diurnam aurium quietem: et cicadae stridulae: et procaces corvi: et rudentes impediunt aselli: et balatus pecudum: et mugitus boum: et magno precio parva ova vendentium gallinarum concentus inconditus fine carens. Super omnia vero vel suillus stridor: vel vulgaris clamor et stultorum risus: quo inepto res ineptior nulla est: ut Catullus ait: Et ebriorum cantus ac gaudia quibus nihil est tristius: et litigantium querelae: et anile convitium seu garritus: et puerorum nunc praelia: nunc lamenta: et nuptiarum ullis convivia turbida vel choreae: et uxorum viros arte lugentium laeti fletus: Et parentum veri natorum in mortibus eiulatus: Adde his fore turbas ac strepitum: altercationesque mercantium et ementium: hinc contemptus: hinc   —65→   vendentium iuramenta. Adde hinc artificum laborem voce mulcentium moestos cantus: Hinc fidibus lanas ac vellera conglobata pulsantium: iniucundam musicam: et telas pectinis pererrantis: Hinc follium fabrilium raucos flatus: et acutos sonitus malleorum: quibus scissa aequis partibus hiberna nox additus: ut nullum vel quieti datum tempus litibus sit immune. Ut vero insensibilium rerum genus attingam: Quid vel cum ferro magnes habet: vel cum magnete adamas: quorum et si causa litis occultior: lis aperta est. Magnes siquidem ferrum trahit: adhibe adamantem: trahere desinet remittetque si traxerit. Utrobique vis mirabilis: seu quod pigro et informi lapidi natura quasi manus atque uncos dederit adversus rigidum ac praevalidum metallum... (ii. Praef. N 1-O 6) En los conbites, en las fiestas, en las bodas, en las cofradías, en los mortuorios, en todos los ayuntamientos de gentes, con ella passan tiempo. Si passa por los perros, aquello suena su ladrido; si está cerca las aues, otra cosa no cantan; si cerca los ganados, balando lo pregonan; si cerca las bestias, rebuznando dizen: ¡Puta vieja! Las ranas de los charcos otra cosa no suelen mentar. Si va entre los, herreros, a quello dizen sus martillos. Carpinteros e armeros, herradores, caldereros, arcadores, todo oficio de instrumento forma en el ayre su nombre. Cántanla los carpinteros, péynanla los peynadores, texedores. Labradores en las huertas, en las aradas, en las viñas, en las segadas con ella passan el afán cotidiano. Al perder en los tableros, luego suenan sus loores. Todas cosas, que són hazen, a do quiera que ella está, el tal nombre representan. ¡O qué comedor de hueuos asados era su marido! ¿Qué quieres más, sino si vna piedra toca con otra, luego suena puta vieja? (i. 68-69; 40-41)

Apart from the fundamental point that both passages are catalogues of noises, there seem to be two possible arguments for regarding this as a case of borrowing or reminiscence. The first argument is the number of elements in common: many of the noises in La Celestina occur also in Petrarch. The second is the division of both passages into noises of animals and noises of human activities. The passage in La Celestina ends with piedra, while lapidi occurs after the list of noises in Petrarch. Against this it can be argued that the purpose of the two passages is entirely different: the noises in Petrarch have no purpose outside themselves, and their effect is one of irritation; they are just one more aspect of universal strife. In La Celestina their importance is as heralds of something else, the fame of the puta vieja, which they deliberately help to spread. This use of animals or inanimate objects as an instrument of praise is a common one in many languages, and there is no need to seek one particular source for the appearance of the idea in La Celestina (still less should we seek   —66→   a source which does not use animals in this way).140 Further, the kind of catalogue given here is not peculiar to Petrarch and La Celestina: St. Isidore's Etymologiae list many of the creatures and activities involved here, and the coincidence of animals between Petrarch and St. Isidore is especially noteworthy.141 It is highly probable that any two lists of noises in town and country, or of noises made by humans and animals, would, when compiled in southern Europe in the late Middle Ages, have a considerable number of elements in common, especially when (as Bataillon points out in his review of Gilman) the authors of the two pages draw on a common rhetorical tradition. It is not so important, if Petrarch is being considered as the source of the Spanish passage, that his text contains many elements which are missing in the Spanish (almost two-thirds of the Petrarchan noises are passed over). What is more important is that nearly half the elements in La Celestina are absent from Petrarch, and that in some of the rest the coincidence appears quite fortuitous.142 Also, Petrarch quotes Catullus and refers to the mythological figures of Itys and Tereus. This is exactly the sort of classical allusion which is used both in Act I and in the rest of La Celestina,143 and we might reasonably expect to find it in the passage under discussion if it is in fact Petrarchan in origin.144 It seems, therefore, dangerous to use this passage as a basis for asserting, as Gilman does,145 that the author of Act I knew Petrarch's works but chose not to use them except on this one occasion.

The second alleged borrowing is presented by Gilamn, though   —67→   with some hesitation, as the source for Sempronio's remarks on virtue and nobility.146 There is, however, little real similarity:

Insignis nobilitas saltem ista vulgaris a parentibus est relicta. Ipsa claritas non nascendo quaeritur sed vivendo. Unum hic quoque bonum video: Familiaria virtutum exempla non deerunt et domestici duces... (i. 16 G 8-10) E dizen algunos que la nobleza es vna alabanza, que prouiene de los merecimientos e antigüedad de los padres; yo digo que la agena luz nunca te hará claro, si la propia no tienes. (i. 114; 62)

Both passages are commonplaces in a favourite medieval tradition, but there is no closer connexion.

If, then, we exclude those possible borrowings which are doubtful because of an inadequate verbal resemblance, and those which probably have the index as primary source, there are seventeen from De Remediis in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina. In the 1502 additions the number is naturally smaller. Melibea's long list of unnatural murderers is a slightly shortened version of a passage from Book I of De Remediis:

Chari inquam sunt parentes: Nonne aiunt Iuppiter Saturnum regno patrem expulit? Nicomedes Prusiam Bithyniae regem: suum patrem consilia licet necandi filii agitantem vita privavit? Et Ptolemaeus hinc Philopater dictus: patre ac matre insuper et fratre occisis: ad ultimum et uxore Eurydice interfecta: regnum Aegypti scortorum sic rexit arbitrio: ut nihil in regno proprium haberet praeter nudum et inane regis nomen? Nonne et Orestes Clytaemnestram matrem: Agrippinam Nero: Antipater Thesalonicen interfecit? Chari filii: Nonne Theseus Hippolytum castissimum: Philippus rex Macedoniae Demetrium filium adolescentem optimum iussit occidi? Nonne et Ptolemaeus alter adversum pietati nomen et ipse quoque fidissimus rex Aegypti duos? Et Herodes rex Iudeae unum: Et Constantinus Romanorum Imperator unum quoque Crispum filium interemit? Nonne Maleus dux Carthaginensium Carthalonem filium crucifixit? Quin et matres quarum amor hinc intensior: hinc mitior sexus: in filios saevierunt. Nota omnibus Medea. Quid Laodiee Cappadociaeque regina: quae regnandi cupidine filios quinque mactavit? Chari inquam parentes: repeto enim: chari filii: chari fratres. At ut uno exemplo omnis claudatur impietas: Phrates rex Parthorum omnium regum scelestissimus: omniumque mortalium regnandi non cupiditate sed rabie furiisque actus Orodem senem et affiictum patrem: ad haec et triginta fratres suos dicti regis filios: suumque insuper filium occidit: ne quis superesset in Parthia qui regnaret. (i. 52 B 7-22) ¿quién dubda que no aya auido otros más crueles contra sus padres? Bursia, rey de Bitinia, sin ninguna razón, no aquexándole pena como a mí, mató su propio padre. Tolomeo, rey de Egipto, a su padre e madre e hermanos e muger, por gozar de vna manceba. Orestes a su madre Clitenestra. El cruel emperador Nero a su madre Agripina por solo su plazer hizo matar. Estos son dignos de culpa, estos son verdaderos parricidas, que no yo; que con mi pena, con mi muerte purgo la culpa que de su dolor se me puede poner. Otros muchos crueles ouo, que mataron hijos e hermanos, debaxo de cuyos yerros el mío no parescerá grande. Philipo, rey de Macedonia; Herodes, rey de Judea; Constantino, emperador de Roma;   —68→   Laodice, reyna de Capadocia, e Medea, la nigromantesa. Todos estos mataron hijos queridos e amados, sin ninguna razón, quedando sus personas a saluo. Finalmente, me ocurre aquella gran crueldad de Phrates, rey de los Parthos, que, porque no quedasse sucessor después dél, mató a Orode, su viejo padre, e a su vnico hijo e treynta hermanos suyos. (ii. 193-4; 288-9)147

The curiously undigested form in which this and the borrowings from the Preface to Book II are used by Rojas has no parallel in the sixteen-act version. Unless the enumeration of unnatural murderers was designed to emphasize Melibea's education in an unmistakable way, and there is no adequate reason to suppose that it was, it can only suggest that by 1502 Rojas was, at times, less able or less willing to fuse a borrowing with original work so as to make the whole original; that his creative powers, or his interest, had declined. This is not, of course, the case throughout the 1502 additions (it is not true, for example, of Celestina's denunciations   —69→   of wealth, or Pleberio's warnings on the passing of time); and it certainly does not support Cejador's attempt to condemn all the interpolations on aesthetic grounds in order to ascribe them to Proaza.148

Six fragments of De Remediis, i. 53, are borrowed for Celestina's speech to Melibea on the dangers of wealth:

Vix divitem invenias qui non sibi melius fuisse in mediocritate vel honesta etiam paupertate fateatur. ...Habes rem quaesitu difficilem: custoditu anxiam: amissu flebilem. ...Servatae non te divitem sed occupatum: non dominum facient sed custodem. ...viri divitiarum quam divitiae virorum. ...Multis mortem attulere divitiae: requiem fere omnibus abstulere ...Dormierunt somnum suum et nihil invenerunt omnes viri divitiarum in manibus suis. (i. 53 A 5-6, A 8-9, B 1-2, B 5, C 2-3, C 10-11)149 el que tiene de guardar con solicitud lo que con trabajo ganó e con dolor ha de dexar. ...Apenas hallarás vn rico, que no confiese que le sería mejor estar en mediano estado o en honesta pobreza. Las riquezas no hazen rico, mas ocupado; no hazen señor, mas mayordomo. Mas son los posseydos de las riquezas que no los que las poseen. A muchos traxo la muerte, a todos quita el plazer e las buenas costumbres ninguna cosa es mas contraria. ¿No oyste dezir: dormieron su sueño los varones de las riquezas e ninguna cosa hallaron en sus manos? (i. 168; 87)

The only other possible borrowing from Book I is doubtful:

Crescente auro crescit auri sitis. (i. 55 A 5) E como sea de tal calidad aquel metal, que mientra más beuemos della más sed nos pone... (ii. 136; 215)

The metaphor of thirst rather than hunger for a solid object is unusual, but it is not conclusive evidence.

From Book II, apart from the Preface, there are two possible borrowings, but both should, on balance, be rejected. In one case,   —70→   the prefatory letter to De Rebus familiaribus is more likely to, be the source, and the only phrases which seem more to resemble the De Remediis passage are somos inciertos, ciertas señales, and improuisos:

Itaque cum oporteat ire nec liceat redire: cumque itineris sit certa necessitas: hora aiunt mortis incerta: unum est remedium: ut parati animo sitis semper et vocati respondere et iussi obtemperare. ...Alioquin improvisis et incautis eveniet... (ii. 117 E 15-20) E pues somos inciertos quándo auemos de ser llamados, viendo tan ciertas señales, deuemos echar nuestras baruas en remojo e aparejar nuestros fardeles para andar este forçoso camino; no nos tome improuisos ni de salto aquella cruel boz de la muerte. Ordenemos nuestras ánimas con tiempo, que más vale preuenir que ser preuenidos. (ii. 145; 256)150

The other passage which may have been borrowed deals with Manlius Torquatus, an exemplum of paternal sternness, but 'the wording is different from that of Rojas.151

The text of De Remediis thus provides two definite borrowings (both from Book I) for the 1502 additions, besides those which appear in the Prólogo. Both borrowings are to be found in the interpolations to the original acts.

It is not, however, correct to say, as Gilman does, that no sententiae from De Remediis are incorporated in the Tratado de Centurio. Two borrowings from this work are taken via the index (Gilman, in reaching his conclusion, lumps together borrowings from index and text), and this, especially if we remember the smallness of the figures involved, makes it unwise to draw, from the supposed absence of De Remediis material, conclusions about the nature of the Tratado de Centurio and Rojas's attitude to Petrarch.152


Including the Prólogo as one borrowing (despite its length), De Remediis contributes something to La Celestina on at least twenty occasions (thirteen from Book I, seven from Book II) which cannot be accounted for by reference to the index, and we may safely conclude that it was for Rojas (as for the fifteenth century in general) the most important single Petrarchan work, at least when he wrote the original version of La Celestina, and that Book I was more important than Book II. Besides individual borrowings and reminiscences there is the question of a more general indebtedness, but this is better left to a later chapter.


ArribaAbajoIV. Borrowings from other Petrarchan Works

De Rebus Familiaribus is a collection of Petrarch's prose letters in Latin, written over a period of many years and independently of each other, though Petrarch himself eventually assembled them into a collection. This is the only one of his major Latin prose works in the 1496 Opera which is not written round a single didactic theme, and it is, with the possible exception of the Secretum, the most personal of the major works. There are other collections of letters, but these do not rival De Rebus familiaribus in importance or reputation, and not all of them were included in the 1496 Opera.153 Early editions of the collection contain only the first eight of its twenty-six books.154 It is, therefore, these eight books which were able to provide a source for La Celestina.

Borrowings of passages from this work via the index are, as we have already seen, frequent, and in two cases they are heavily supplemented from the text: the entry concerning Amphion and the exempla of paternal fortitude, to which Rojas appears to have been led by the entries on Aemilius Paulus and Anaxagoras.155

Besides the cases of an index entry leading Rojas to the text, there are seven definite and one doubtful independent borrowings direct from the text. Three of the definite borrowings are made in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina (there is none in Act I)

Lambas de Auria: vir acerrimus atque fortissimus: dux Ianuen sium fuisse narratur: eo maritimo praelio quod primum cum Venetis habuerunt... Cunque in eo congressu filius illi unicus florentissimus   —73→   adolescens qui paternae navis proram obtinebat: sagitta traiectus: primus omnium corruisset: ac circa iacentem luctus horrendus sublatus esset: accurrit pater et non gemendi inquit: sed pugnandi tempus est. Deinde versus ad filium postquam in eo nullam vitae spem videt... proiecit in medios fluctus. (Epistola 13 C) la fuerte animosidad de Lambas de Auria, duque de los atenienses, que a su hijo herido con sus braços desde la nao echó en la mar. (ii. 208; 298)156
Scimus ergo: quia petenti modicum immensa porrigere: species est negandi. (Ep. 101 B 12-13) Que dicen que ofrescer mucho al que poco pide es especie de negar. (1. 218; 121)
labyrinthus errorum: circulatorum ludus: desertum horribile: limosa palus: senticulosa regio: vallis hispida: mons praeruptus: caligantes speluncae: habitatio ferarum: terra infoelix: campus lapidosus: vepricosum nemus: pratum herbidum plenumque serpentibus: florens hortus ac sterilis: fons curarum: fluvius lachrymarum: mare miseriarum: quies anxia: labor inefficax: conatus irritus: grata phrenesis: pondus in faustum: dulce virus: degener metus: inconsulta securitas: vana spes: ficta fabula: falsa laeticia: verus dolor. (Ep. 122 A 4-9) me pareces vn laberinto de errores, vn desierto espantable, vna morada de fieras, juego de hombres que andan en corro, laguna llena de cieno, región llena de espinas, monte alto, campo pedregoso, prado lleno de serpientes, huerto florido e sin fruto, fuente de cuydados, río de lágrimas, mar de miserias, trabajo sin prouecho, dulce ponçoña, vana esperança, falsa alegría, verdadero dolor. (ii. 204-5; 296)

The condensed selective borrowing which occurs in the last case, where out of thirty-four Petrarchan phrases (three precede labyrinthus errorum) Rojas takes eighteen (including the most effective: the contrast in florens hortus ac sterilis, and the two concluding phrases) and adds none, contrasts strongly with the possible reminiscence of De Remediis which occurs two pages earlier in Pleberio's lament.157 Castro Guisasola claims a borrowing from the prefatory letter of De Rebus familiaribus, but the thought is too   —74→   commonplace and the verbal resemblance too slight to justify such a conclusion:

ingens morbus non facile occultatur. (Praef. O 4-5) este [mal] no es para poderse encobrir. (ii. 187; 283)

The only other possible borrowing from the text of De Rebus familiaribus in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina is

variante capillo turpe est variantia non firmare consilia. (Ep. 117 E 2-3) Que variarán tus costumbres, variando el cabello. (i. 232; 130)158

This seems at first sight to be a clear case of borrowing, yet a similar passage occurs in the eighth eclogue of Bucolicum Carmen, where the area of resemblance to La Celestina is more extensive:

Consilium solet esse senum: iuvenumque voluptas...
Propositum mutat sapiens...
...studium iuvenile senectae
Displicet: et variant curae variante capillo.
(viii. 9, 12, 77-78)159
el buen consejo mora en los viejos e de los mancebos es propio el deleyte... mudarás el ruyn propósito con la tierna edad. que variarán... (i. 232; 130)

Not only is there a greater verbal similarity here: there is also a similarity of situation. In the eclogue Amyclas tells Ganymedes that he is leaving the land where Ganymedes brought him up, in order to go into his own country. Ganymedes reproaches him, and vainly tries to dissuade him. In Act VII of La Celestina there is again a younger person (Pármeno) trying to break away from the influence of an older one (Celestina); in both works the words quoted are spoken by the older person in an effort to win back the other's allegiance. It is thus evident that Rojas is here borrowing from Bucolicum Carmen. Nor, it would seem, is the borrowing confined to the original version of La Celestina, since the words interpolated in 1502 (italicized above) also appear to have been taken from the eclogue, though the resemblance is not as strong in this case.

Before describing the use of De Rebus familiaribus in I502, it is   —75→   perhaps best to conclude the examination of Bucolicum Carmen. Part of La Celestina which resembles De Remediis i. 17, has already been noted.160 There is also, however, a resemblance to some lines of the eighth eclogue:

...non una per omnes
Est hominis fortuna dies: nunc mane quietum:
Turbida lux sequitur: nunc matutina serenus
Nubila vesper agit...
(viii. 97-100)
A los alegres, serenos, e claros soles, nublados escuros e pluuias vemos suceder... (ii. 13; 155)

The case for a borrowing is certainly stronger here than with De Remediis: there is the extra coincidence of serenos, and Rojas has already (in the preceding act) borrowed from this eclogue. Nevertheless, it is unsafe, for the reason given earlier, to conclude that a borrowing definitely occurred here.

Finally, there is a possible borrowing from the fifth eclogue:

omnis mora torquet amantem. (v. 32) Toda tardança les es tormento (i. 128; 70)161

but it would be unsafe to rely on this. There can, however, be no doubt that Rojas knew and used the eighth eclogue.

Reverting, then, to De Rebus familiaribus: Rojas paid increased attention to this work when making his 1502 additions. The prefatory letter provides a good deal of Pleberio's warning to his wife on the swift passage of time:

tempora (ut aiunt) inter digitos effluxerunt. Spes nostrae veteres cum amicis saepultae sunt... Ego iam sarcinulas compono (et quod migraturi solent)... Quid enim quaeso fugacius vita est? quid morte sequacius? (Praef. A 2-3, A 10, B 16-17) Alisa, amiga, el tiempo, según me parece, se nos va, como dizen, entre las manos. Corren los días como agua de río. No hay cosa tan ligera para huyr como la vida. La muerte nos sigue e rodea, de la qual somos vezinos e hazia su vandera nos acostamos, según natura. Esto vemos muy claro, si miramos nuestros yguales, nuestros hermanos e parientes en derredor. Todos los come ya la tierra, todos están en sus perpetuas   —76→   moradas. E pues somos inciertos quándo auemos de ser llamados, viendo tan ciertas señales, deuemos echar nuestras baruas en remojo e aparejar nuestros fardeles para andar este forçoso camino... (ii. 144-5; 256)

Not all of Pleberio's warning comes from De Rebus familiaribus. The possibility of a reminiscence of De Remediis was discussed in Chapter III. 'Corren los días como agua de río' has no equivalent in this passage of Petrarch, though 'Temporis fuga fluvio comparatur' is in the index. It is very doubtful, however, whether this is the source: a river is one of the most frequent images for time.162 After 'La muerte nos sigue e rodea' (which is Petrarchan) comes an expansion of the idea which seems to be Rojas's own. There is a similar expansion of the idea of hopes and friends being buried together. The way in which borrowings are chosen and blended here to produce an elegiac effect is a strong argument against Cejador's view that the interpolations are always slavish in their use of Petrarch.163

The remaining borrowings in 1502 are:

Scio me ascendere ut descendam: virere ut arescam: ut senescam adolescere: vivere ut moriar. (Ep. 2 D 10-11) Pero bien sé que sobí para descendir, florescí para secarme, gozé para entristecerme; nascí para biuir, biuí para crecer, crecí para enuejecer, enuejecí para morirme. (ii. 44; 175-6)
Nisi enim multorum impunita scelera tulissemus: nunquam ad unum tanta licentia pervenisset ... et profecto periculosissimum est sub iniusto iudice iustam causam fovere. (Ep. 70 E 3-4, E 12-13) antes muestran que es menor yerro no condenar los mal hechores que punir los inocentes. ¡O quán peligroso es seguir justa causa delante injusto juez! (ii. 125; 242)
degeneris animi signum est in sultare minoribus... Muscae macros stimulant boves... Pauperem peregrinum canis infestat... Da illi parem adversarium: confestim ardor iste tepuerit. (Ep. 92 A 4-8, B 1) Señal es de gran couardía acometer a los menores e a los que   —77→   poco pueden. Las suzias moxcas nunca pican sino los bueyes magros e flacos; los guzques ladradores a los pobres peregrinos aquexan con mayor ímpetu... Que como dizen: el duro aduersario entibia las yras e sañas. (ii. 102-3; 224-5)

The seven definite borrowings which Rojas made from the text of De Rebus familiaribus independently of the index (three in the original version and four in 1502), and the use which he made of the text to supplement index borrowings, make this work a major source: not as important as De Remediis in the sixteen-act Celestina, but more important (though it is hazardous to judge from such small figures) in 1502.164

De Remediis, De Rebus familiaribus, and Bucolicum Carmen are the only works whose text is directly used by Rojas; they are, with the index, his only Petrarchan sources. However, Castro Guisasola and other critics have suggested further sources, and there are still more works which seem, on general grounds, likely to have attracted Rojas. Four works (Secretum, Epistolae sine Titulo, Contra Medicum, and De Vita solitaria) each contribute one sentence, via the index, to La Celestina, but in each case the source is obviously the index and not the work itself, and no doubts arise with three of these works. On the other hand, it seems proper to review in more detail the evidence for the fourth of these, De Vita solitaria, and for five other works: De Rebus memorandis, De Viris illustribus, Epistolae Rerum senilium, the Canzoniere, and the Trionfi.

De Vita solitaria, although it was so widely diffused in Spain, is unlikely, because of its general outlook, to have appealed to Rojas. On the only occasions when solitude is mentioned in La Celestina, it is as something to be avoided; Areusa, for example, says to   —78→   Elicia: 'estarás allí mucho sola, e la tristeza es amiga de la soledad' (ii. 141; 253). For Petrarch, on the other hand, it represents one of the consolations which life can offer.

De Rebus memorandis is based on Cicero's De Inventione, ii. 53, and Petrarch's original intention seems to have been to make it a long study of the cardinal virtues and, so its modern editor suggests, of vices as well.165 It remains, however, incomplete, and except for a small fragment deals only with Prudence. This it does by complicated subdivisions and the relation of numerous exempla; in practice it is above all a collection of exempla. Thus it might seem a natural source for Rojas, especially as the connexion of some of the stories with the virtue of Prudence is remote; but he has not used it in this way -not even by taking the exemplum-headings from its table of contents and using them for his catalogues of names- and when it is quoted at all, it is only to supplement the index. Castro Guisasola lists nine borrowings from the work, concluding that it is an important source; and later commentators have followed his opinion. But five of the nine passages are merely index entries with nothing added from the text, and each of the remaining four is more easily explicable as an index entry which has been checked back to the text and supplemented from it. Three of the four occur in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina: the exemplum of Adelecta, the exempla of Alcibiades and Socrates, and Anacharsis's comparison of the laws with a spider's web. In the first case, all that is added from the text is the number of Adelecta's sons, and it is even doubtful whether on this occasion Rojas followed up the index reference in the text. Further, this entry is consecutive in the index with others which are borrowed.166 La Celestina links the entries on Alcibiades and Socrates: though both occur in the index, they are separated by many pages, but they refer to chapters which are consecutive in the text of De Rebus memorandis (chapters in this work are usually very short), and a phrase found in the text but not in the index is repeated in La Celestina:

Socrates dum carcere clauderetur tertia se luce moriendum praevidit. (Index)... et nomine appellantem... (Rebus mem. IV. iii. 30) el otro via que le llamavan   —79→   nombre e murió dende a tres días. (i. 220; 122)167

However, the Alcibiades entry comes from the 'A' section of the index, from which Rojas made so many other borrowings, of exempla as well as sententiae, and this tips the balance in favour of the index as primary source. In the case of Anacharsis's sententia the text has 'imbecilla animalia involvunt' (cf. 'que no muestra su fuerça sino contra los flacos animales') and the index does not, but it is not impossible that the point of the comparison with a spider's web would have occurred to Rojas in any case, and the index entry is consecutive with two others which are borrowed.168 Finally, there is the exemplum of Ulysses, borrowed in 1502, where the text seems to have played a part, but where there is no particular reason to doubt that the index entry was the primary source.169 An additional factor to remember here is that three of the four cases are exempla, and Rojas referred back to the text much more often for exempla than for sententiae.170 The fourth case, though not an exemplum, resembles one in its use of a classical name, and may very well have had the same effect on Rojas. To sum up: it is theoretically possible that Rojas used De Rebus memorandis as a source in its own right on four occasions, but substantial parts of all four borrowings occur in the index (in two cases it is possible to explain the borrowing without reference to the text at all, though it remains likely that Rojas did refer back). In two cases the index entries are consecutive with others which are borrowed, in a third the entry comes from Rojas's favourite section of the index, and all are of the kind that Rojas would be likely to supplement from the text when the index was the primary source. De Rebus memorandis is not an independent source of La Celestina.

De Viris illustribus, or rather the Epitome printed in the 1496 Opera, consists of a number of very short chapters, each devoted to a single figure. Only one of these is mentioned in La Celestina: Titus Manlius Torquatus, the Torcato romano of Act XIV. The story as related in De Viris illustribus x is no closer to Rojas's version than is that in De Remediis.171 In both cases the resemblance   —80→   depends only on the central character and the rough outlines of the story; in neither do the details and the phrasing correspond to what is said in La Celestina. As Cejador points out, a closer resemblance is to be found in copla 216 of Mena's Laberinto de Fortuna.

Epistolae Rerum senilium, first appearing in the 1501 Opera, is a collection of letters similar in nature to De Rebus familiaribus, but written later in Petrarch's life and, on the whole, of less interest. Since Rojas used one of the major letter-collections, it would have been natural for him to use the other, but in fact he did not; nor, indeed, did he use any of the works which were first printed in 1501. Whether the 1501 volumes reached Rojas too late to provide borrowings for his 1502 interpolations, or whether he never read the new edition of the Petrarch Opera, the result is the same: only the 1496 Opera is a source of La Celestina. There is an occasional vague resemblance between La Celestina and Epistolae Rerum senilium and a fair specimen is

Proverbium vetus est nostrorum hominum. Non facit muscum sepe volutus lapis. (Bk. ix, Ep. 2) piedra mouediza que nunca moho la cobija. (ii. 143; 254)

To confirm this lack of close resemblances, we may note that Rerum senilium vi. 8 is an attack on avarice, and the last few lines of the letter take up the non divitias virorum sed viros divitiarum theme. Had Rojas used this collection at all he would have been likely to turn to this letter for Celestina's speech on the dangers of wealth, which is interpolated in 1502 (i. 168; 87), but instead he continues to draw on De Remediis, which has a similar passage.172

The possibility of borrowing by Rojas from Petrarch's Italian poetry has never been supported by actual cases of resemblance.173   —81→   It depends rather on a feeling that the Canzoniere and Trionfi were so well known in Rojas's time that, being influenced by other Petrarchan works, he cannot fail to have been influenced by these as well. There is only one piece of evidence to support such a feeling: the mention in the Prólogo (i. 17; 13) of 'aquel gran orador e poeta laureado, Francisco Petrarcha'. This was, however, a standard way of referring to Petrarch, as may be seen from manuscripts of the period, and similar formulas are used in the 1496 Opera as headings to Bucolicum Carmen and to De Remediis ii, both works familiar to Rojas.

Thus, while Rojas may have been familiar with the Canzoniere and Trionfi (he certainly owned a copy of the second work later in life), he makes no textual borrowings from them in La Celestina, his apparent reference to them has another explanation, and any general similarities of attitude between La Celestina and the Canzoniere (in fact these are slight) are likely to be due to the Petrarchan tradition in fifteenth-century Spanish poetry, if not merely to a common reflection of the tradition of Courtly Love.174

In a few passages La Celestina is, without actual borrowing or reminiscence, markedly Petrarchan in tone. In Act IV (beginning i. 164; 85) Celestina, having begun her incitement of Melibea while Alisa is present, branches off into a complaint against old age, the passing of beauty, the miseries of poverty and wealth (the latter being worse, though only for a short time is there a hint of happy poverty) and of youth. This section includes a number of borrowings, and the parts which do not come from Petrarch are assimilated in tone to those which do. The whole scene is specifically and consciously Petrarchan to a greater extent than any other large part of the work except the Prólogo, and what is added to it in 1502 is chiefly borrowing from De Remediis. All this does not mean that Rojas is slavishly following Petrarch. On the contrary, he takes Petrarchan material and blends it for his own purposes so as to produce a scene which is original and convincing, and whose ultimate moral tendency diverges sharply from Petrarch's Christian thought. In her denunciations of wealth and youth, Celestina hurriedly closes ways of escape from pessimism which Melibea has suggested:

CELESTINA.-  ...¡Jamás sentí peor ahito, que de hambre!


MELIBEA.-  Bien conozco que dize cada uno de la feria, segund le va en ella: assí que otra canción cantarán los ricos.

CELESTINA.-  Señora, hija, a cada cabo hay tres leguas de mal quebranto. A los ricos se les va la bienaventurança...

(i. 166-7; 86-87)                

MELIBEA.-  Madre, pues que assí es, gran pena ternás por la edad que perdiste. ¿Querrías boluer a la primera?

CELESTINA.-  Loco es, señora, el caminante que, enojado del trabajo del día, quisiesse boluer de comienço la jornada... (i. 168-9; 87)175

This is the technique of Reason in De Remediis i (though used here against a stronger opponent), and this seems to be the only occasion on which Rojas makes use of it in dialogue.

At the end of Act VII (i. 262-3; 149-50) Elicia expresses views on wealth and death which recall those of Celestina in Act IV, though in this case there is no actual borrowing from Petrarch, and the occasion is a monologue. Calisto's reflections on the in stability of Fortune at the end of Act XIII (ii. 111-12; 232-3) are Petrarchan in tone, perhaps simply as a result of the borrowings which they include. Similar views are expressed by Pármeno (Act VII), Melibea (Act XIX), and Pleberio (Act XXI), though here it becomes difficult to distinguish between a Petrarchan attitude to Fortune and the one generally held in the later Middle Ages.

The last case which deserves mention is an apparent reminiscence of a Petrarchan argument without any verbal debt: at the beginning of Act VII Celestina addresses Pármeno on the subject of youth's imprudence. After using borrowings from Bucolicum Carmen and from the index, she expands the argument of De Remediis, i. 1:176

Unde est: quae saepe frustra huic consulitur aetati: incredula simul et inexperta est: et contemptrix alieni consilii: inops sui. Itaque iuveniles errores licet innumerabiles et immensos his ipsis tamen occultos et incognitos quorum sunt: nil melius quam senectus detegit: et dissimulantium conniventiumque luminibus ingerit: nec prius quod esse debuistis advertitis: quam quod esse voluistis effecti estis fierque iam aliud non potestis. (i. I C 5-10) Si tú touieras memoria, hijo Pármeno, del pasado amor, que te tuue, la primera posada, que tomaste venido nueuamente en esta cibdad, auía de ser la mía. Pero los moços curays poco de los viejos. Regisvos a sabor de paladar. Nunca pensays que teneys ni haveys de tener necessidad dellos. Nunca pensays en enfermedades. Nunca pensays que os puede faltar   —83→   esta florezilla de juuentud. Pues mira, amigo, que para tales necessidades, como estas, buen acorro es vna vieja conoscida... (i. 232-3; 131)

This is the adoption of an argument remembered from a favourite section of De Remediis rather than a direct borrowing or even a verbal reminiscence. As such, it is unusual; indeed, there is no exactly parallel case elsewhere in La Celestina. When Rojas wanted to express Petrarchan views, he preferred to do so in Petrarch's own words; the number of conscious borrowings, with the consequent necessity of having Petrarch's Opera before him as he wrote, would make it much less likely that he would often recapitulate Petrarch's arguments in a new way. It would also tend to reduce the number of mere reminiscences, whose scarcity might otherwise be surprising. This, of course, applies only to the arguments in individual passages: some of the attitudes reflected in the work as a whole do derive from Petrarch.177 Finally, it is perhaps worth noting that all of the passages considered above are similar in tone to De Remediis i, a fact which helps to confirm the supremacy of that work, especially of the first book, as far as Rojas is concerned.


Note A

The Amphion entry and its expansion are given on pp. 40, 41-42. Those on Anaxagoras and Aemilius Paulus are on p. 42, and these two exempla are added by Rojas from the text:

Pericles Atheniensis dux intra quattuor dies duobus filiis orbatus: non solum non ingemuit: sed nec priorem frontis habitum mutavit...
Xenophon filii morte nunciata sacrificium (cui tunc intererat) non omisit: Coronam tantum quam capite gestabat deposuit: mox interrogans diligentius atque audiens quod strenue pugnans cecidisset: coronam ipsam capiti reposuit: ut ostenderet de cuiquam morte non dolendum: nisi turpiter et ignave morientis: quo metu verisimile est: virum sapientem vereque Socraticum: ad primum nuncii relatum de posuisse coronam.
(Ep. 12 G)
¿Qué compañía me ternán en mi dolor aquel Pericles, capitán ateniense, ni el fuerte Xenofón, pues sus pérdidas fueron de hijos absentes de sus tierras? Ni fué mucho no mudar su frente e tenerla serena e el otro responder al mensajero, que las tristes albricias de la muerte de su hijo le venía a pedir, que no recibiesse él pena, que él no sentía pesar. (ii. 206; 297)

Note B

In the eclogue Ganymedes represents Cardinal Giovanni Colonna, and Amyclas is Petrarch, the latter name being deliberately chosen for its connotations: the original Amyclas is the poor but independent fisherman of Lucan's Pharsalia, Book V, and became a favourite exemplum, the development of which is discussed by Curtius, op. cit. 60-61. The land where Amyclas was brought up is Vaucluse. This representation of real people (sometimes of allegorical figures) occurs throughout Petrarch's eclogues, and can rely for precedent on Virgil. Petrarch says in the Prologus to his Epistolae sine Titulo:

ut Bucolicum carmen: poematis genus ambigui scriberem: quod paucis intellectum: plures forsitan delectaret.

Hence it is not surprising to find marginal commentaries in many manuscripts and editions of the eclogues.

Note C

Cejador suggests Jorge Manrique's Coplas as source:

Nuestras vidas son los ríos,
que van a dar en la mar,
que es el morir.

Castro Guisasola prefers Pero López de Ayala's Rimado de Palacio:

Todas estas riquesas son niebla e roçío,
las onrras e orgullos, e aqueste loco brío,
échase ome sano e amanesçe frío,
ca nuestra vida corre como agua de río.

(copla 270)                

though without asserting that this is definitely the source. Either of these works might have provided Rojas with a reminiscence which he inserted in a mainly Petrarchan passage, but we should remember the widespread and lasting popularity of this image, which makes it hazardous to assign a definite source in the absence of very close verbal similarity. The image goes back at least as far as Heraclitus, who sees life as a stream:

You cannot step twice into the same rivers; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.

(fragment 41-2, in John Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy, 4th ed., London, 1930, 136)                

Manrique's use of it seemed to give it especial popularity in Spain; his elegiac tone is replaced by bitterness in Quevedo:

mi vida oscura: pobre y turbio río,
que negro mar con altas ondas bebe.

(Obras completas-Verso, ed. L. Astrana Marín, 3ª ed., Madrid, 1952, 485)                

and affinities with this may be noted in a modern Mexican poem, Octavio Paz's Crepúsculo de la ciudad vi (Libertad bajo palabra, México, 1949, 56). There are many other examples; among them may be cited Ovid, Ars amatoria iii, 62-4, and Horace, Epist. I, ii, 41-3 (which is closer to Heraclitus than to the other examples cited here). In XVIIc. England, Sir John Denham (Cooper's Hill, 161-4) illustrates the need for caution on this point by approaching more closely than Rojas does to Manrique's use of the image:

Thames, the most lov'd of all the Ocean's sons,
By his old sire to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.


ArribaAbajoV. The Value of the Borrowings as Evidence

The Petrarchan borrowings in La Celestina set out in the three preceding chapters number, when a final decision has been made about doubtful cases, ninety-nine. This figure is, in a way, arbitrary, since it includes as a separate borrowing each index entry taken by Rojas, but for borrowings from the text it refers only to the number of occasions on which Rojas actually used the text, even though he sometimes used two or more separate sentences. This is, for analytical purposes, the best way of classifying the borrowings, but a fairer picture of the works used by Rojas may be obtained if each group of consecutive index entries is regarded as forming a single borrowing. Even so, the numerical predominance of the index is clear:

Index (number of entries) . . . 70
(number of groups) . . . 52
De Remediis Book I . . . . 13
Book II . . . . 7
Total . . . . . . . 20
De Rebus familiaribus . . . . . 7
Bucolicum Carmen . . . . . . 2
Total borrowings . . . . . . 99

Of these borrowings, 74 occur in the sixteen-act version of La Celestina. None is deleted in 1502 (though some verbal changes are made, and the second exemplum in one borrowing is deleted -see p. 143) and 25 are added. The original material and the 1502 additions thus contain roughly the same number of borrowings in proportion to their length, if allowance is made for the total absence of borrowings in Act I. Of the 25 new borrowings 2 are in   —86→   the Prólogo, 10 in the Tratado de Centurio, and 13 in the interpolations which are made in the original acts. The borrowings may thus be further broken down:


Changes are noticeable in the use made of the various works: the index is used rather less, proportionately, in 1502, and De Rebus familiaribus increases in importance at the expense of De Remediis. The first book of De Remediis, however, remains more important than the second. It is perhaps worth noting that there is a similar, though much slighter, change in the use of De Remediis and De Rebus familiaribus in respect of index entries drawn from the two works. One point which must be borne in mind is that two of the eight index entries borrowed in the Tratado de Centurio come ultimately from De Remediis, so that there is no justification for any suggestion that Rojas found the content of De Remediis unsuitable either for the Tratado in particular or the 1502 additions in general.

The number of ways in which it would be possible to analyse the borrowings is almost limitless; the number in which it would be profitable to do so is, however, probably not greater than a further three. The first is by the characters into whose mouths the borrowings are put. Celestina has by far the greatest number of borrowings in the sixteen-act version: 32 out of a total of 74 are spoken by her. In the 1502 additions she has only 5 out of 25, but she is dead when most of the others are used.178 Sempronio comes next:

Sempronio 15 in 1499? I in 1502
Calisto 8 4
Melibea 8 4
Pleberio 6 3
Areusa 3 2
Pármeno 2 2
Elicia .. 2

The remaining two borrowings of 1502 are those in the Prólogo. Alisa, Centurio, Crito, Lucrecia, Sosia, and Tristán are not assigned any. Sixty-four of the borrowings thus occur in the speeches of the low-life characters, and thirty-three in those of the aristocrats, a proportion which effectively refutes Menéndez y Pelayo's views on Rojas's supposed pedantry in Petrarchan borrowing: most of the borrowings put into the mouths of Celestina, Sempronio, and their associates are successfully assimilated to the speech of the characters.

Division of the borrowings between sententiae and exempla may also be useful. The distinction is not always easy to make, but the only real exempla are those referring to humans. References to animals sometimes illustrate a sententia, but there are no genuine animal-stories.179 Ten of the original borrowings are exempla, but only two of those added in 1502 (one of these, however, contains no fewer than ten separate exempla: the list of unnatural murderers). The exempla borrowed in the sixteen-act version are those of

Adelecta (index) Antipater of Sidon (index)
Aemilius Paulus (index) David (De Remediis, ii)
Alcibiades (index) Hadrian (index)
Alexander (index) Lambas de Auria (De Rebus familiaribus)
Amphion (index)
Anaxagoras (index)

Four others were added when the index references were checked back to the text: Orpheus, Pericles, Socrates, and Xenophon. In 1502 Rojas borrows in addition the exempla of

Prusias et al. (De Remediis, i) Ulysses (index)

The significant points here are that most of the exempla come from the index: three-quarters of them, as compared with a little over two-thirds of the sententiae; and that far more of them have material added from the text than is the case with sententiae. In other words, Rojas was more inclined to take advantage of the index's possibilities as an index in the modern sense, and less inclined to treat it as an autonomous work, when he was dealing with exempla.


Finally, a division of the borrowings by the acts in which they occur shows a heavy concentration in some acts:


(The borrowing which occurs in Act XIV of the original version is in Act XIX in 1502, so that only Acts I and XVIII are without a borrowing). In proportion to their length, Acts IV, V, VIII, IX, XIII, XVI, and XXI have a high concentration of borrowings in the final version of La Celestina, and Acts III, XI, XV, XVII, XIX, and XX a low concentration. This variation is not surprising; it would, indeed, be surprising if there were an exactly even distribution of borrowings throughout the work. The unevenness suggests what should in any case be obvious, that Rojas borrowed as he wrote, instead of adding the borrowings later.

When the Petrarchan borrowings have been listed and their figures analysed it is possible to make some deductions about the authorship and dating of La Celestina on the basis of the evidence which they present. Such evidence comes only from a limited field, and it is important not to give it a wider application than can be justified. At the same time, it is possible under some circumstances for even the smallest piece of evidence to disprove one theory or add weight to another, and the evidence of Petrarchan borrowings does in fact do this several times.


On the fundamental question of the author's identity, such evidence can tell us virtually nothing. The overwhelming case for the existence of Fernando de Rojas and his authorship of at least the original Acts II-XVI of La Celestina rests not on the work's sources but on the documents which have been discovered and which confirm the view, generally accepted from the publication of the first edition with acrostic verses, that Rojas wrote the work.180 Even here, however, some slight confirmation is given to Rojas's authorship by the author's intensive use of Petrarch's Latin works and by Rojas's possession of Petrarca en Latin.181

Once Rojas is accepted as the author of Acts II-XVI the evidence of Petrarchan borrowings indicates beyond any reasonable doubt that he also wrote the material added in 1502. Both parts of the work use the index to Petrarch's Opera, borrowing both sententiae and exempla, borrowing both individual index entries and groups of entries; in both parts of the work material is added to some of the index entries by a reference back to the text, but in both parts independent use of the index predominates; in both parts of the work the attention paid to index entries from De Remediis, De Rebus familiaribus, and De Rebus memorandis is greater than would be expected from the amount of space which they occupy in the index. Both parts use the index more than any other Petrarchan work; both parts use, in addition, three books by Petrarch: De Remediis, De Rebus familiaribus, and Bucolicum Carmen;182 neither uses Petrarch's vernacular poetry. There are, it is true, differences in the use of Petrarch between the two parts: in the original version there is heavy concentration on the 'A' section of the index, but this feature is lacking in 1502. De Remediis is used much more often than De Rebus familiaribus in the original version,   —90→   but (though De Remediis remains an important source) De Rebus familiaribus has a slight advantage in 1502. These differences, however, are almost negligible when compared with the similarities. If Rojas did not write the 1502 additions himself, then somebody must have taken immense pains to ascertain and copy Rojas's exact procedure in his use of Petrarch (and, of course, the other sources which, as Castro Guisasola shows, are similarly used in the two parts). But even if we could imagine somebody doing this, he would then be most unlikely to diverge from Rojas's procedure in the two ways mentioned above. Cejador's theory of a corrector at once stupid and malignant, a theory supported much more recently by G. Delpy, is thus wholly untenable.183 Any faults in the interpolations are Rojas's faults, and any merits are his as well.

The question of the authorship of Act I is not so clear. There are no definite borrowings in this act, and its length makes it improbable that this is due to chance: the eighty-one pages (in Cejador's edition) of Act I and the first five of Act II form a far longer non-Petrarchan section than any other in La Celestina, and there are three separate borrowings in the next three pages of Act II. There is no reason for this absence of borrowings if this section was written by Rojas at the same time as the remainder of the work.184 It cannot, of course, be shown that the author of Act I was ignorant of Petrarch, but it can safely be said that he had not undergone the strong Petrarchan influence which marks the remainder of the work. There can be no proof that Rojas did not write Act I, but if he wrote it, he did so some time before he wrote the rest of La Celestina. The differences in the use of Petrarch between Acts II- XVI and the 1502 additions are differences in the work of one man whose approach has not changed fundamentally, but who naturally cannot repeat (and presumably   —91→   would not wish to repeat) down to the last detail his working methods of a few years earlier. The differences in the use of Petrarch between Act I (including the beginning of Act II) and the remainder of the work are not of this type: they reflect either the work of two authors or the work of one man writing at different times, having undergone a powerful literary influence in the interval.

Since Rojas draws on the index to the 1496 printed edition of Petrarch's Latin works, and since he borrowed as he wrote, Acts II-XVI must have been composed at some time between 1496 and the first edition of La Celestina; between, that is, 1496 and 1500 if Vindel is right, between 1496 and 1499 if he is wrong.185 Allowing some time for the Opera to come into Rojas's hands and for him to become thoroughly acquainted with it, 1497 or even 1498 may seem a reasonable terminus a quo. Act I, on this evidence, could have been written at any time before Rojas read Petrarch (if Rojas is the author) or at any time before the composition of Acts II-XVI (if he is not).


ArribaAbajoVI. The Stylistic Consequences of the Borrowings

An extensive knowledge of Petrarch does not necessarily involve the ability to translate him accurately at all times, and it is possible to point to some definite errors committed by Rojas. In the Adelecta exemplum (see pp. 39-40) 'diem mortis tribus versiculis' is mistranslated as 'tres días ante de su fin'. This rendering of a numeral adjective in the ablative as if it qualified a noun in the accusative is paralleled by the reading of an accusative as a nominative in Melibea's list of unnatural murderers:

Nicomedes Prusiam Bithyniae regem: suum patrem consilia licet necandi filii agitantem vita privavit? Bursia, rey de Bitinia... mató su propio padre.186

A more general misunderstanding is shown in the Aemilius Paulus exemplum:

duos [filios] extra familiam in adoptionem aliis dando ipse sibi abstulit... no me satisfaze, que otros dos le quedauan dados en adobción.187

Finally, there is a simple mistranslation of a word, where Rojas was presumably misled by a formal resemblance:

Non oportet veritatem rerum fictis adumbrare coloribus. porque la verdad no es necessario abundar de muchas colores.

A further case seems more likely to be a misreading by the printer of Rojas's manuscript. The index entry 'Amphion arbores et saxa cantu movisse perhibetur' led Rojas to look up the text:

nec fabulam Orphei vel Amphionis interseram, quorum ille baeluas immanes: hic arbores ac saxa cantu movisse: et quocunque vellet duxisse perhibetur: nonnisi propter excellentem facundiam: qua fraetus alter libidinosos ac truces: brutorumque animantium moribus simillimos... (De Rebus familiaribus, 8 C) Pues, si acaso canta, de mejor gana se paran las aues a le oyr,   —93→   que no aquel antico, de quien se dize que mouía los árboles e piedras con su canto. Siendo este nascido no alabaran a Orfeo. (i. 187; 98)

What Petrarch says about Amphion is much more closely translated than what he says about Orpheus, and it is clear that aquel antico stands for Amphion, especially as Rojas often uses aquel to introduce the name of a person in an exemplum (see p. 97, n. 2 below). There seems to be no good reason for Rojas to drop the name (he does not do this with any other Petrarchan exemplum), and since he appears to have started from the index entry under Amphion, he is most unlikely to have misread it. Mathias Gast restores the correct reading in his Salamanca 1570 edition, but his example has not been followed, and Castro Guisasola criticizes him for making the change.188 In at least one case Rojas has been misled by familiarity with Petrarch into believing that La Celestina contains something which it does not: in the sententia beginning Amicitiae causa est (see p. 143), Rojas's la in mas la sostiene does not refer to any noun in the Spanish passage, and can only refer to amicitiae in Petrarch. Such a lack of integration of a borrowing is, however, rare. So are the errors in translation: four errors in ninety-nine borrowings can scarcely cause Rojas to be condemned as a careless or superficial student of Petrarch.189

Deliberate changes introduced into the borrowings are naturally much more frequent; the majority of borrowings are changed in some way in the sixteen-act version, while in 1502 scarcely any have been translated in their original form. Rojas had always tended   —94→   to make the borrowings his own stylistically, but when making the 1502 additions to his work he carried the process a good deal farther, showing that mere transplantation no longer attracted him.190 Some of the changes are part of the normal process of translation: Rojas often, for example, uses a pair of words linked by a conjunction to translate a single word in the Latin. In the borrowings which occur in the sixteen-act version:

metitur becomes impide e ocupa a mirar (see p. 40)
adversitas " la aduersidad o necessidad (p. 40)
frequentant " se allega e... visita (p. 39)
nocere " dañar e empecer (p. 144)

In the 1502 additions:

minuit becomes afloxa e deshaze (p. 146)
stultorum " nescio e simple (p. 146)
pecus " ouejas e ganado (p. 44)
deglutire " destruyrlo y estragarlo (p. 44)
perpetua " perpetua ni durable (p. 44)
penetret " penetre e traspasse (p. 44)

This is not a full list, but it fairly represents the frequency of the procedure: there is a definite increase in 1502, and its most concentrated application is in the group of three sententiae borrowed by Rojas from the index when he was making the interpolations. Short borrowings from the index, at least in the original version, undergo this type of change more often than long borrowings from the text. This kind of amplification is, however, a very common one in medieval Spanish translations from Latin, and Rojas's failure to use it would have been much more worthy of note than is his use of it. Another feature of Rojas's translation is the use of concrete words for abstract ones, or the insertion of words to make a phrase more vivid, a tendency which was to be expected in view of earlier Spanish translations from Latin, and especially when Rojas was taking passages from didactic works for use in one directly portraying life. In the Adelecta exemplum, for instance, viro becomes viejo marido. Also in the sixteen-act version:

faex becomes hez de la tauerna (see p. 40)
animalia " bíuora (p. 41)
regimen " de sofrir (p. 144)
inexpugnabilem " alto (p. 59)

(In this case alto is more consistent with the rest of the phrase than is inexpugnabilem). In 1502

contino en la boca is inserted (p. 146)
para corromper " (p. 147)
muscae becomes suzias moxcas (p. 77)
canis " guzques ladradores (p. 77)

Occasionally, however, the reverse process may occur: quae sub oculis sunt becomes lo presente (see p. 40); or, more often, the change may have no particular stylistic effect, as when laudata is changed to perfecta (see p. 147), or foelicitas to bienauenturança (see p. 58). A special type of Rojas's preference for concrete expression, and one which cannot be attributed simply to standard translators' practice, is his insertion of numbers where Petrarch leaves the number unspecified: this occurs in the exempla of Adelecta and Anaxagoras, and at the end of Melibea's list of unnatural murderers. Another insertion of which Rojas seems fond is the 'outdoing formula', in which the subject of praise is said to surpass famous figures of antiquity.191 Petrarch uses the Adelecta exemplum to illustrate the gift of prophecy, while Rojas uses it to praise Celestina:

¿Qué más hazía aquella Tusca Adeleta, cuya fama, siendo tu viua, se perdiera?

Similarly, when Celestina is praising Calisto in her interview with Melibea, she says that his singing is better than that of aquel antico, and goes on 'Siendo este nascido no alabaran a Orfeo'.

It is not on the whole possible to find any such pattern in Rojas's omissions from Petrarchan borrowings. Sometimes part of a sententia is dropped, thus giving a more natural or more relevant comment: the italicized words are omitted when Rojas borrows from De Remediis

Nihil est a virtute vel a veritate remotius quam vulgaris opinio,

(see p. 59)                


Et est omne peccatum eo maius quo et maior qui peccat et minor causa peccandi.

(see p. 60)                

The majority of omissions are, however, in series of phrases or of exempla. Petrarch's fifteen exempla of unnatural murderers are   —96→   reduced to ten; here, as elsewhere in such series, the cut seems to be made chiefly for its own sake, rather than in accordance with any system, though it does somewhat reduce the improbability of such a list being given at such a moment.192 In these longer borrowings Rojas does not merely feel free to delete parts; he also gives much freer translations. In general, it can be said that sententiae are more closely translated than exempla, and that borrowings from the index are more closely translated than those from the text. It may perhaps be that Rojas felt the typical medieval respect for sententiae as embodiments of traditional wisdom, but regarded Petrarch's exempla as frameworks which he was free to alter.

Some changes with a definite stylistic effect have been noted by the critics who have written on La Celestina. Samonà, discussing Celestina's 'Pero bien sé que sobí para descendir' speech, points out that chiasmus, repetition, and parallelism are used to produce a crescendo effect.193 This effect is due to Rojas (Petrarch has only contrast), and is largely achieved by Rojas's insertion of 'gozé para entristecerme, nascí para biuir' and three other words. Gilman points out that in Celestina's antithetical description of love, the phrase 'vna dulce e fiera herida' is Rojas's own insertion.194 The advantage of this is that a series of phrases setting noun against adjective is interrupted by a contrast between two adjectives; the change breaks up the complete regularity of the speech and makes it more convincing. A similar change comes in Sempronio's advice to Calisto: 'Finge solacium parere: solacium erit' becomes 'Finge alegría e consuelo e serlo ha' (i. 118; 64), so that again a more natural tone is the result. In the 1502 additions Melibea's soliloquy on love includes a borrowing which, while following Petrarch's words fairly closely, changes their order:

Amor amore compensandus est: in caeteris rebus diversi generis compensatio admittitur. (De Rebus memorandis, III. ii. 52, via the index) Todas las debdas del mundo resciben compensación en diuerso género; el amor no admite sino solo amor por paga. (ii. 147-8; 257)

By keeping Melibea's explicit justification of her love until the second part of the sententia, Rojas achieves a greater impact; the Petrarchan version suffers from anticlimax. In another borrowing Rojas extends the Petrarchan image sine termino debitores sumus and achieves a more striking effect with

Deudores somos sin tiempo, contino estamos obligados a pagar luego.

(See p. 146)                

A different type of change is the insertion of an exclamation into a borrowing. Gilman discusses Rojas's use of such insertions to make the dialogue more effective, though he is considering not Petrarchan borrowings but the alteration in 1502 of material which appears in the original edition.195 Rojas heightens the emotional content of his Petrarchan phrases either by inserting an exclamatory phrase of his own, or simply by converting the sententia into an exclamation: an example of the first technique may be found in Sempronio's remarks about avarice (see p. 144) or in Areusa's out burst against servitude (see p. 146), and an example of the second when an ordinary sententia is converted in to Sempronio's exasperated cry '¡O que mala cosa es de conocer el hombre...!' (see p. 143)

Changes of this sort do not, however, mean that Rojas was trying to conceal the Petrarchan origin of what he borrowed. Appeal to authority was natural both in writing and in sententious speech of the fifteenth century, whether the authority was that of an auctor or of a proverb. There would thus be no reason for Rojas to attempt concealment -and, of course, some of the borrowings would in any case be recognized as Petrarchan by his contemporaries. Except in the Prólogo, Rojas does not mention Petrarch by name, but on the other hand (as Castro Guisasola pointed out) no authorities are named in any of the acts for which Rojas was definitely responsible. What happens very often is the introduction of a borrowing with dizen que, sabes que or a similar phrase, thus presenting the Petrarchan material as something well known to all, to which recourse can be had at any time. In this way Rojas combines a colloquial atmosphere with an acknowledge ment that the thoughts are those of received authority.196


One of Rojas's most striking successes in La Celestina is the incorporation of borrowed didactic material into the dialogue, so that only in a few cases does it seem alien and intrusive. These cases were inevitably the first to be noticed, provoking Menéndez y Pelayo's adverse comment, which has been echoed recently by Samonà.197 Samonà feels that Rojas's classical references are not assimilated, and represent a purely literary and external debt. This is true of a few borrowings, though even so he overstates the case: he maintains that Rojas accepts a list of exempla from Petrarch or some other author without trying to change it; but, to cite one example, Rojas adds to Antipater of Sidon (who comes from Petrarch-see p. 144) the exemplum of Ovid (who does not). This is an unimportant case, but it does illustrate the danger of over simplifying Rojas's technique. A much more important aspect is Rojas's ability to use borrowed material for his own creative purposes, and I shall try to show that even some of the most criticized borrowings have their part to play.198

Rojas has to treat Petrarch's sententiae and exempla, whether or not these nominally form part of a dialogue, as didactic statement coming from Petrarch himself.199 To put this into the mouths of living characters of widely differing social classes, and to make their words seem appropriate, was a difficult task. Rojas accomplished it so successfully that many of Celestina's Petrarchan sayings give the same effect as proverbs, on which old women traditionally relied in fifteenth-century Spain. Thus, although Celestina has thirty-seven of the ninety-nine definite borrowings, and the other low-life characters another twenty-seven, their   —99→   Petrarchan background is in general so little obtrusive that even a critic as perceptive as Pedro Salinas could write:

Se halla, en este punto, en la situación de tantos autores del siglo XV ...la de Fernando de Rojas, oscilantes todos entre esos dos círculos de lo expresivo, a los que me atrevería a llamar liberalmente los latines de Petrarca y el romance de las comadres, los discursos inflados de Calisto y el habla de Celestina.200

If we examine some of the borrowings, we can see how easy it was for Salinas to gain a wrong impression. A speech of Sempronio's in Act V (i. 198; 107) contains two borrowings: the first is blended with the general tone of the speech by its change from statement to exclamation (see above), while the second is even more fully assimilated:

¡Mala vieja, falsa, es ésta! ¡ El diablo me metió con ella! Mas seguro me fuera huyr desta venenosa bíuora, que tomalla. Mía fué la culpa...

A comparable degree of assimilation can be observed in 'E pues sabes que tanto mayor...' (ii. 87; 213) or '¡O ingratos mortales!...' (ii. 186; 283). Calisto's legalistic borrowing in his soliloquy after the seduction of Melibea ('antes muestran que es menor yerro...', ii. 125; 242) would be out of place in most contexts, but is fully in keeping with the section in which it appears, and it helps to build up the impression of a confused and divided mind, of a man profoundly disturbed by the passion which is to destroy him. Celestina's cluster of Petrarchan phrases in her second interview with Melibea (ii. 58; 188) gives an air of professional consultation which gratifies her and soothes her patient. The elegiac blending of borrowings and reminiscences by Pleberio in Act XVI (ii. 144-5; 256) has already been noted, and there is no need to dwell on it now; the same is true of Melibea's use of a Petrarchan sententia to rationalize her position (ii. 147-8; 257). One point which should perhaps be stressed is that when borrowings sound pompous and rhetorical they may be intended to do so. Equally, of course, they may not, and some will certainly seem dead for modern readers, as Leo Spitzer asserts.201 Yet when Celestina wants to settle herself   —100→   for a long speech to Calisto (i. 207-9; 114-15) she begins with the comfortable pomposity of a borrowing about the habits of the bee, and then indulges in the reflections which follow. Similarly, three out of Pármeno's four Petrarchan borrowings are to be found within a few lines of each other (ii. 11; 154-5), when he is feeling pompously benevolent and rather patronizing towards Sempronio; his night with Areusa has left him extremely, and rather comically, pleased with himself, and the sententiae emphasize this. Spitzer's apparent equation of sententiae in general with the deadness (for modern readers) of rhetoric thus cannot always be sustained, especially since a number of sententiae as used by Rojas show little or no trace of rhetorical technique.

Exempla are more noticeably learned than sententiae, and are less easily assimilated. They are no longer fashionable, so that modern critics find them especially obtrusive, whereas Rojas's contemporaries would have been inclined to take them for granted. Yet even when we look at them through modern eyes, they are not so out of place as has sometimes been alleged. We must remember that anyone in Calisto's position would have been educated in the rhetorical tradition of the time, and that rhetorical devices would be used in polite speech (this point is frequently made by Samonà). Thus Calisto's use of exempla is often a realistic presentation of actual speech-habits. Only four Petrarchan exempla are quoted by the low-life characters, and they are used on only two occasions, when their use seems fully justified.202 This high-flown language of Celestina and the servants when talking to Calisto and Melibea has been attacked as pedantry, and it has been defended as the social propaganda of an egalitarian.203 It is neither. It is an accurate recognition of the fact that people adjust their speech to their hearer, and the only surprising thing about Rojas's realistic presentation of speech is the century in which he wrote. Celestina and   —101→   Sempronio are, after all, quick-witted, and would naturally pick up learned allusions in their contacts with those to whom such allusions are a habit. Rojas knew perfectly well what was happening, and made Calisto attack Sempronio for it: 'No sé quién te abezó tanta filosofía, Sempronio'.204 Celestina, apart from her dealings with Calisto and others of his class, was in contact with priests (cf. ii. 45-47; 176-8). The use of Petrarchan exempla by these two, and the use of sententiae by the majority of the characters, thus enhances, rather than detracts from, the realism of Rojas's dialogue.

The mixture of styles has been commented on by Gilman: he says205 that the level of style is fixed by the poetic elevation of the content, not by the characters or by the subject, so that levels may vary within the same speech. I should be inclined to think that observation of the way in which people actually speak would be a more likely cause, but Gilman's emphasis on the variety and flexibility of the styles used by Rojas is surely correct. His division of Rojas's dialogue into speeches designed to express the speaker and those designed to impress the hearer206 is, however, open to some qualification. First, some of the most important speeches in the work cut across such a division: for example, Celestina's outburst in Act IV on the evils of poverty and old age expresses the speaker's personality and reactions in the same way as Areusa's outburst (cited by Gilman), yet is designed to have an effect on Melibea. Secondly, other classifications are possible, and Samonà207 divides at least the rhetorical speech of La Celestina into the categories of rapid, rhetorical-doctrinal, and rhetorical-sentimental. Gilman makes a number of perceptive and stimulating points about Rojas's style: his scrutiny of the interpolations and of the author's purpose in making the smaller ones (the insertion of or señor) is something that has not been attempted before, and it sheds a good deal of light on that aspect of Rojas's work.208 Again, he points out   —102→   that 'the New Comedy and ...a native tradition divided between fifteenth-century rhetoricism and the formless vitality of the Arcipreste de Talavera' are important factors in Rojas's dialogue.209 Making the necessary substitution of humanistic for New comedy (see below), this is a wholly valid point, but unfortunately Gilman does not link it to the rest of his chapter, preferring to ascribe to Rojas an almost metaphysical preoccupation with the nature of dialogue. Everything is forced into line with this preoccupation, so that cosmetics become 'plastic dialogue' and attitude and gesture 'running dialogue'.210 Eventually, dialogue usurps the central place in the work's theme, so that 'In the deepest sense Rojas' theme, like his style, characterization, and structure, is dialogic -the thematic dialogue of living itself'.211 This is really a matter for the next chapter, but it can be observed here that Gilman's underemphasis on Rojas's realism, and his misunderstanding of the true nature of Rojas's pessimism, necessarily mean that the separate parts of his comments on style are far more valuable than the whole.

When a work has undergone as extensive an influence as that of Petrarch on La Celestina, there is clearly a possibility that style as well as content has been affected. In this particular case, there is the additional possibility that the idea of writing La Celestina in dialogue was suggested by Petrarch; and this is a possibility which Gilman seems at times to favour. The objections seem, however, to be insuperable. Act I, which shows no Petrarchan influence, is in dialogue. De Remediis does not contain dialogue in any real sense (see pp. 50-51), and it is significant that Rojas borrows only from the speeches of Reason, using the work as though it were a straight-forward treatise. The Secretum is admittedly in dialogue, but of a different kind from that of La Celestina, and Rojas seems in any case to have known it only through the index. Samonà suggests that both of these works may have had some effect on Rojas's dialogue, but the passage to which he particularly points is in Act I (i. 5I-52; 31-32), and he has already expressed the belief that classical or humanistic comedy may be the true origin of dialogue in La Celestina.212 This seems, in fact, to be the solution. Difficult as it is to regard Petrarch as responsible for the form of La Celestina, it becomes almost impossible if we remember the vogue of humanistic comedy, which in some respects provides a close   —103→   parallel to this work.213 Though the subject cannot be developed here, there seems very little reason to doubt that La Celestina began as a humanistic comedy in the vernacular.

The problem of a Petrarchan influence on Rojas's style is rather more complex. It is complicated in the first instance by the fact that comparisons have been made between Rojas's style and that of Francisco de Madrid's translation of De Remediis, without any allowance being made for the Spanish tradition of translation from Latin which would produce greater similarities than the original text of Petrarch justifies. The outstanding example of this is probably Cejador's specimen of 'Estilo tomado del Petrarca'. Cejador's list gives an impression of considerable stylistic resemblance, but a glance at the Latin dispels most of this:

Tengo muy hermosa muger. -Tienes vn suntuoso y trabajoso ydolo. ...Tengo muger hermosa. -Tienes dulce ponçoña, doradas prisiones. y resplandeciente seruidumbre. (De Remediis, i. 66)

Gozo de alegres amores. -Eres fatigado de alegres asechanças. (i. 69)

Guarde tesoro para la guerra. -Guardaste cosa mala para muy peor vso... He hallado gran tesoro. -Congregaste para ti cuydados imagen invidia: espuelas para tus enemigos: y diligencia para los ladrones. (i. 100)

Espero salud. -Esperas oluidar que eres mortal. -Espero luenga vida. Y luenga carcer... Gran potencia espero. -Inuidiada miseria: riqueza pobre: y temerosa soberuia... Espero honra del pueblo. -Polvo y ruydo. (i. 120) (Valladolid, 1510)
MELIBEA.- ¿Por qué dizes, madre, tanto mal de lo que todo el mundo con tanta eficacia gozar e ver dessean?

CELESTINA.- Dessean harto mal para sí, dessean harto trabajo. Dessean llegar allá, porque llegando viuen e el viuir es dulce e viuiendo enuejescen. Assí que el niño dessea ser moço e el moço viejo e el viejo, más; avnque con dolor. Todo por viuir. (i. 165; 86)
Formosissima est uxor. -Habes domi idolum sumptuosum: operosum... Uxorem habeo formosam. -Venenum dulce: compedes aureas: splendidam servitutem.

Gratis fruor amoribus. -Gratis insidiis opprimendus.

Thesaurum in bella reposui. -Rem malam in usus pessimos. ...Magnum mihi thesaurum aggregavi. -Tibi Curas et invidiam: hostibus stimulos: furibus solicitudinem addidisti.   —104→   Valitudinem bonam spero. -Mortalitatis oblivionem. -Spero longam vitam. -Diuturnum carcerem... Magnam potentiam. -Invidio sam miseriam: opulentam inopiam: pavidam superbiam ... Honores fori. -Pulverem ac strepitum.

The verbal repetition is almost wholly Francisco de Madrid's contribution, and the alternation of short sentences which is common to Petrarch and his Spanish translator (though it is comparatively rare in De Remediis) is not to be found in the relevant passage of La Celestina. There are, nevertheless, some stylistic features which are to be found both in Rojas and in Petrarch. It is perhaps worth noting first that there is some considerable variety of style within De Remediis; Reason's speeches are usually long, but in dialogue 120 of Book I, quoted above, they are short and the style is elliptical, though the didactic superiority of Reason is unimpaired. On the other hand, Rojas's variety is much greater, and Petrarch does not attempt realistic speech. Petrarch seems, in fact, to be almost as unlikely a stimulus to varied style as he does to dialogue.

Anaphora (repetition of a word at the beginning of successive lines or clauses) is a fairly common device in fifteenth-century Spain. Samonà says that the declamatory value which this device has in classical and medieval Latin becomes purely ornamental in Spanish, but that Rojas stands out from the general trend by using it sometimes to produce a heightened emotional effect, though at other times it is scarcely noticed.214 Since Petrarch does, despite Cejador's unfortunate example, sometimes use anaphora (quot... quot... quot... quot... habes... habes in De Remediis, i. 2), it may well be that the effect of Rojas's anaphora, though not its existence, owes something to Petrarch. The technique of reasoning with an opponent by means of a logical chain of cause and effect is found in De Remediis and occasionally in La Celestina, as in Pármeno's speech:

Señor, porque perderse el otro día el neblí fué causa de tu entrada en la huerta de Melibea a le buscar, la entrada causa de la ver e hablar, la   —105→   habla engendró amor, el amor parió tu pena, la pena causará perder tu cuerpo e alma e hazienda...

(i. 121; 66)                

This, and other ways of arguing, especially with an inferior opponent, may derive from De Remediis, but would, of course, be familiar to Rojas from his training in the schools, and in default of a very close resemblance it would be dangerous to conclude that this is a case of Petrarchan influence. Reason's arguments in De Remediis are in any case far more repetitive than those of any character in La Celestina. With the use of antithesis we are again confronted by something which is a striking feature of Petrarch's style, in prose as well as verse, yet which was accessible to Rojas in other ways. Rojas's reading of fifteenth-century Spanish fiction and poetry is attested by the borrowings and reminiscences which occur in La Celestina, and antithesis took root early in this literature and continued to flourish well beyond the end of the century. On balance it seems likely that Samonà is right to regard Rojas's antithesis as Spanish in its immediate origin.215 The same is true of fire and war as images for love.216 One further technique deserves mention: that of a complex enumeration so arranged as to produce an effect of gradation or crescendo. Samonà maintains that while simple enumeration (an ordinary catalogue of objects) derives from the Corbacho, the more complex type has its origin in Petrarch and cultured medieval literature in general, but it seems that he may be thinking of Petrarchan borrowings rather than a Petrarchan stylistic influence on non-Petrarchan material, for when he returns to the subject he gives as evidence for such an influence the borrowings themselves.217 Any specifically Petrarchan influence on this type of enumeration (apart, of course, from the actual borrowings) seems improbable.

Samonà's view -and it is hard to disagree with him- is that most of Rojas's rhetorical devices come to him from the polite speech and the cultured literature of his own time and country,   —106→   though the contribution of popular speech as filtered through the Corbacho is also important. Rojas is not, of course, limited in his use of these devices to the ways in which they were used by his predecessors, and Samonà rightly notes the greater effect which many of them have in La Celestina because of the charge of emotion which they carry. Another vitally important element is Rojas's observation of real speech in all classes and contexts, though this is naturally affected in its presentation by the stylistic fashions of the time. Rojas is not tied to the rhetoric of contemporary Spanish literature, but he is affected by it, and not surprisingly it has a far stronger stylistic influence than anything which could come from Petrarch.218 The humanistic comedy, because of La Celestina's form; the Corbacho and the sentimental romances of Diego de San Pedro, because of Rojas's preferences among the Spanish works of his own century; actual speech; these are the directions in which we are most likely to find clues to the problem of Rojas's stylistic triumph. Petrarch provides at most a few devices, and perhaps not even that; the one unmistakably Petrarchan technique which survives in La Celestina outside the borrowings is Reason's blocking of ways of escape, but this is a technique of content rather than of style.219 It may seem strange that Rojas, while not substantially influenced by Petrarch's style, incorporates so much Petrarchan material and yet assimilates it so well. The answer appears to lie partly in Rojas's diversity of styles. Among the styles employed in La Celestina, as in other Spanish works of its time, are the pithily sententious (whether using proverbs or sententiae), the catalogue of exempla (Mena and Jorge Manrique in verse, el Tostado in prose,   —107→   are fond of this and are in this respect thoroughly representative figures), and the longer rhetorical passage (e. g. 'me pareces vn laberinto de errores...'). Though Petrarch is the chief source of such material for Rojas, the styles are established Spanish ones, and the Petrarchan borrowings, with the changes made by Rojas, can blend with the rest of the work. It is, of course, true that without Petrarch, Rojas would not have had as much sententious material, as many catalogues of exempla, and so on. Another part of the answer is to be found in the changes which Rojas introduces into his borrowings so as to blend them with the surrounding material. De Remediis was by its nature unlikely to change Rojas's style; what it did affect was his outlook on life.220

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