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Vega Carpio

lope, spanish and scarcely

VEGA CARPIO, Felix Lope de, Spanish poet and dramatist: b. Mad rid, 25 Nov. 1562; d. there, 26 Aug. 1635. After studying at Alma he joined the army, and in 1588 accompanied the Invincible Armada. About 1612 he became a priest, and subsequently Pope Urban VIII made him a Knight of Malta and a doctor of theology. He had already writ ten and published various poems, but his produc tions were now multiplied with extraordinary rapidity. Scarcely a year passed in which he did not print a poem, and in general scarcely a month, or indeed scarcely a week, passed in which he did not produce a piece for the theatre. He informs us that he had more than a hundred times composed a piece and brought it on the state within 24 hours. The fame that he en joyed during his lifetime was immense. The people idolized him, and he received marks of distinction from the king of Spain and Pope Urban VIII. The latter, in return for the dedi cation of a tragedy on Mary Stuart, conferrred on him the title of doctor of theology and sent him the cross of the order of Malta. The profits that accrued from his works corre sponded to his fame. About 450 of his dra

matic productions have been printed. They reveal an inexhaustible but ill-regulated imagi nation, a strange mixture of the beautiful and the ridiculous the sublime and the trivial, a rare mastery of dialogue and extraordinary facility in versification. He has been described, prob ably with more epigrammatic force than strict accuracy, as the dramatist who has written the greatest number of good scenes and the greatest number of bad pieces. The Spanish Academy began a collection of his works in 1893. (See STAR OF SEVILLE, THE). Consult Lord Hol land, Some Account of the Life and Writ ings of Lope Felix de Vega Carpi& (1806-17); Ticknor, 'History of Spanish Literature' (Vol. II, 1849; 6th Am. ed., 1:::) ; Lewes, The Span ish Drama: Lope de Vega and Calderon' (1846); Forster, Some French and Spanish Men of Letters) (1891) ; Farinelli, (Grillparzer and Lope de Vega) (1894) ; Ludwig,