The greatest of Spanish writers, Cervantes, was born at Alcala de Henares, and baptized in the otherwise insignificant church of S.
Cervantes was undoubtedly present, and had his left hand shattered by a Turkish bullet.
The truth of the matter, however, has been expressed by Cervantes, through the mouth of the Canon in Don Quixote: " There is no doubt there was such a man as the Cid, but much doubt whether he achieved what is attributed to him."
Manzanares is one of the chief towns of La Mancha, and thus in the centre of the district described by Cervantes in Don Quixote.
The feelings with which they were regarded are admirably shown by Cervantes (who shared them to the full) in his "Conversation of the Two Dogs."
Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra >>
Like Cervantes and like Moliere, he is always sincere and direct.
There can, however, be no hesitation in accepting Cervantes' verdict on Amadis de Gaula as the "best of all the books of this kind that have ever been written."
It expressed itself at last in the monumental work of Don Quixote, which places Cervantes beside Rabelais, Ariosto and Shakespeare as one of the four supreme exponents of the Renaissance.
What Ariosto is for Italy, Cervantes for Spain, Erasmus for Holland, Luther for Germany, Shakespeare for England, that is Rabelais for France.
To name the Palmeirim d'Inglaterra of Moraes (q.v.) is to mention a famous book from which, we are told, Burke quoted in the House of Commons, while Cervantes had long previously declared that it ought to be guarded as carefully as the works of Homer.
He had some odd dislikes, and could find nothing in Aristophanes, Cervantes, Shelley, Scott, Miss Austen, Dickens.
The most important compositions of this period of Mackenzie's life were the Quartette in E flat for piano and strings, Op. 11, and an overture, Cervantes, which owed its first performance to the encouragement and help of von Billow.
The townsfolk contend that the great Cervantes was a native of Alcazar; and, although this claim must be disallowed, much of the action of his masterpiece, Don Quixote, takes place in the neighbourhood.
Local antiquaries even identify the knight with Don Rodrigo de Pacheco, whose portrait adorns the parish church; and the same authorities hold that part of the romance was written while Cervantes was a prisoner in their town.
It lay not in the German genius to escape from the preoccupations and the limitations of the middle ages, for this reason mainly that what we call medieval was to a very large extent Teutonic. But on the Spanish peninsula, in the masterpieces of Velazquez, Cervantes, Camoens, Calderon, we emerge into an atmosphere of art, definitely national, distinctly modern, where solid natural forms stand before us realistically modelled, with light and shadow on their rounded outlines, and where the airiest creatures of the fancy take shape and weave a dance of rhythmic, light, incomparable intricacy.