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4M. Menédez Pelayo, Estudios y discursos de crítica histórica y literaria, Vol. Ill: Teatro: Lope, Tirso, Calderón, ed. Enrique Sánchez Reyes (Santander: Aldus, S.A., 1941), p. 197. 5 Conrad Haebler, Bibliografía Ibérica del Siglo XV (The Hague-Leipzig, 1903-1917), No.(266. 6 "Another Possible Source for Tirso's Condenado por desconfiado." To be published in Hispanófila. 'Henry E. Huntington Library, No. PR 9509.94x/87244. Used with permission. 8 Nicholas Fersin, The Florentine 'Fior di virtu of 1491 (Philadelphia: Edward Stern & Co. for the Library of Congress, 1953), p. SOME OBSERVATIONS ON LOPE'S LA VIUDA VALENCIANA Frederick A. de Armas, Louisiana State University Two recent articles by Joseph G. FuciUa have shed some Hght on Lope de Vega's use of BandelHan material in the composition of his play, La viuda valenciana* and on the possible influence of this comedia on Calderón.2 It is my beHef, however, that some of Fucilla's statements deserve further analysis. I will Hmit myself to two subjects mentioned in these articles: Leonarda's motivation, and the parallels that can be found between Lope's comedia and La dama duende. Discussing Leonarda's motivation, this critic states: While in the Bandello story it is Love who decides to intervene in order to cause the widow to fall in love ... in the play it is JuHa who acts by presenting Leonarda a mirror instead of the sacred image she had requested. The temptation takes the conventional form of the carpe diem.2 Let us reconsider the widow's motivation taking into account the purpose of the first four scenes of the play. As the comedia opens, we find Leonarda, a widow, reading devotional literature. JuHa, the criada, praises her religious Viéndote en esos traspasos, No será mucha lisonja Apostar que de ser monja No has estado dos mil pasos, (p. 69)4 It is also revealed from the conversation between the widow and her maid that since the death of Leonarda's husband , Camilo, she has remained virtuous and has rejected all advances by a host of would-be suitors. These suitors are drawn by her beauty and riches. JuHa again praises her lady:¿Quién no se goza De ver que, tan beUa moza, Tan santas costumbres cría? (p. 69) Yet, Leonarda must be constantly on her guard to preserve her virtue. Even her maid tempts her. Leonarda's reaction to temptation is entirely within the Christian tradition — she must redouble her devotional efforts: "Tráeme la imagen acá/Que compré de aquel pintor." (p. 69) Instead of the image, JuHa brings Leonarda a mirror, and the temptation, as Fucilla has declared, takes the form of the carpe diem: Acábate de ver: Verás lo que has de llorar, No lo pudiendo cobrar, Si aquí lo dejas perder, (p. 70) In spite of the persuasiveness of JuHa's action, the widow's resolution is not broken as Fucilla would have us beHeve: Leonarda does not want to hold the mirror, and as Lucencio arrives we perceive that her resolution has only been strengthened. Lucencio serves the same purpose in scene IV as JuHa had served in the first three scenes : he praises Leonarda's virtue but at the same time "tempts" her. He states that in spite of all her precautions , people will discover some reason to slander her since they are envious; she should thus marry. Leonarda rejects this argument as forcefully as she had rejected the carpe diem temptation :¿A este daño me acomodas Si todos que han escrito Han reprendido infinito Simpre las segundas bodas ? La viudez casta y segura¿No es de todos alabada? Si es de la envidia infamada, Este engaño poco dura; Que al fin vence la verdad Y vuela la buena fama, Que es fénix que de su llama Nace para nueva edad. (p. 70) As can be seen, the first four scenes of Lope de Vega's La viuda valenciana serve to present the audience a portrait of a woman whose virtue is praised by all. She has decided not to change what she claims to be the state...


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