DIANA. One of the few readable pastoral romances is the Spanish 'Diana) (1558) by the Portuguese Jorge de MontemOr, whose name is usually given in its Spanish form as Monte mayor. The pastoral tradition, taking its rise in the of Theocritus, the of Virgil, and the late Greek story of 'Daphnis and Chloe,' had been developed by Renaissance Italy in two directions, one dramatic, the other nar rative. The best representative of the narrative type had been the of Jacopo San nazaro (1502) (q.v.). From this work and from Spanish and Portuguese pastorals — es pecially the e Moen) (1554) of Bemar dim Ribeiro — Montemayor drew inspiration for a tale in prose and verse that should set forth his personal disappointment in love, thinly dis guising folk of a courtly world as moody rustics. His scene was no longer a literary Arcadia of conventional beauty in a time re mote, but the Spain and Portugal of his own day. His prose was allowed larger room than in the narrative of Sannazaro; and it was more carefully wrought, more pictorial, more vigor ous. In spirit, the like its prototype, i displayed an urban interest in the life of nature, but the longing for an Age of Gold, so frus trate and bitter in Sannazaro, was here absent. The drifting plot was better anchored, and the ideal of love was amplified.
Diana is a shepherdess in the fields of Leon admired by Silvano, whom she scorns, and by Sireno (the author), whom she approves. But Sireno, forced to be absent for a year, returns to find her wedded to Delio, a second rival, and to mingle his tears with those of Silvano, whom once he had feared. The woes of unrequited affection are thereafter portrayed, not only in Sireno's case, but in that of Selvaggia and a whole chain of shepherds and shepherdesses lov ing at cross purposes. Eventually they find sur
cease of woe in drinking a magic potion that induces in their breasts a love requiting and requited, the situation somewhat resembling that in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.) There are various inserted episodes, the most famous being the story of Felix and Felismena, which suggested to Shakespeare part of the plot for his 'Two Gentlemen of Verona.' Montemayor's fiction, left unfinished at his death in 1561, was continued three years later by Alonso Perez and much more agreeably by Gaspar Gil Polo, whose ranks little below the original. The Spanish rage for pastorals affected Cervantes and Lope de Vega, and touched the English, who were introduced to the 'Diana' and its sequels in a translation by Bartholomew Young in 1598. Frenchmen felt its influence even more through (L'Astree) of Honore d'Urfe, issued in several parts from 1608 to 1624. Three contributions in particular the (Diana) made to the development of prose fiction : first, it moved later writers to give rein to their feeling for landscape and their sense of nature's sympathy with man; second, it pointed the way toward the analysis of love, a love romantic and absorbing, but in trospective and sentimental rather than impas sioned; and, third, it taught a more aristocratic and gallant style than that of the romances of chivalry, offering models of courtly speech. For further information concerning the the English reader is referred to F. M. War ren's 'History of the Novel Previous to the Seventeenth Century' (1895), and to H. A. Ren nert's (Spanish Pastoral Romances' (1892).