El Estudiante de Salamanca y Otras Selecciones HTML version

to this portionof the book. More than to any other one person I am indebtedto Mr. Steven T.
Byington of the staff of Ginn andCompany, by whose acute and scholarly observations I
haveoften profited.
Don José de Espronceda y Lara, Spain's foremost lyric poetof the nineteenth century, was born
on the 25th of March, 1808,the year of his country's heroic revolt against the tyranny
ofNapoleon. His parents were Lieutenant-Colonel Don Juan deEspronceda y Pimentel and Doña
María del Carmen Delgadoy Lara. Both were Andalusians of noble stock, and, as we learnfrom
official documents, were held to be Christians of cleanblood "without taint of Jews, heretics,
Moors, or personspunished by the Holy Inquisition, and who neither were norhad been engaged
in mean or low occupations, but in highlyhonorable ones." This couple of such highly
satisfactory antecedentshad been married four years previously. In 1804 DonJuan, a mature
widower of fifty-three, was still mourning hisfirst wife when he obtained the hand of Doña
María, a youngwidow whose first husband, a lieutenant in the same regiment,was recently
deceased. The marriage was satisfactory in aworldly way, for Doña María brought as a dower
four hundredthousand reales to be added to the two hundred thousandwhich Don Juan already
possessed. By his first marriage DonJuan had had a son, Don José de Espronceda y Ramos,