Guevara, Antony De

, a Spanish writer, was born in the province of Alaba, towards the end of the fifteenth century, and was brought up at court. After the death of Isabella, queen of Castile, he turned Franciscan monk, but afterwards having made himself known at court, became preacher and historiographer to Charles V. He was much admired for his politeness, eloquence, and great parts, but his preaching and conversation proved very superior to his writing. His style was found to be extravagantly figurative, and full of antitheses, but this was trifling, compared with his notions of writing history, and the liberty he took to, falsify whatever he pleased, and to advance as matter of fact the inventions of his own brain, and when censured for it, alleged by way of excuse, that no history, excepting the Holy Scripture, is certain enough to be credited. Being in the emperor’s retinue he had an opportunity of visiting a great part of Europe, an4 was made bishop of Guadix, in | the kingdom of Granada, and then bishop of Mondonedo, in Galicia. He died in 1544, or 1548. He was the author of several works in Spanish, the most famous of which is his “Dial of Princes, or Life of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus,” which has been translated into all the languages of Europe. Vossius says it “has nothing in it of Antoninus, but is all a fiction, and the genuine offspring of Guevara himself, who scandalously imposes upon the reader, plainly against the duty of an honest man, but especially of a bishop. In the mean time he has many things not unuseful nor unpleasant, especially to a prince, whence it is entitled The Dial of Princes’.” Those who may be supposed to have spoken of Guevara in the most indulgent manner, have yet been forced to set him in a most scandalous light. “It deserves our pity rather than our censure,” says Nicolas Antonio, “that a writer of such fame should think himself at liberty to forge ancient facts, and to play with the history of the world, as with Æsop’s Fables or Lucian’s Monstrous Stories.” Among Guevara’s works must be ranked his “Epistles,” with which some have been so charmed, that they have not scrupled to call them Golden Epistles; but Montaigne says, “Whoever gave them this title, had a very different opinion of them from what I have, and perhaps saw more in them than I do.” Bayle had such a contempt for Guevara as an author, as to speak with surprize of “the eagerness of foreigners in translating some of his works into several languages.” Mr. Hay ley, however, remarks, that if we may judge of his personal character from his “Letters,” he appears to have been an amiable man. In one he reproves a female relation, with good nature, for intemperate sorrow on the death of a little dog and in another he draws the character of a true friend, with great energy of sentiment and expression. One of Guevara’s sayings, that heaven is filled with those that have done good works, and hell with those that have resolved to do them," has been, under a different form of expression, ascribed to other writers. 1


Gen. Dict.-Antonio Bibl. Hisp.-—Moreri.-Hayley’s Life of Cowper, preface.