25 JANUARY 1896, Page 12

The Cid Campeador. Translated from the Spanish of Antonio de

Trueba y la Quintana. (Longmans, Green, and Co.)—The Cid Campeador, Ruy Diaz de Bivar, is, as the translator of this history says in his preface, the great popular hero of Spain ; but he does not at all occupy the place which King Arthur occupies in English legend, nor did he, as the translator seems to think, in the least resemble that worthy. The Cid was a popular hero in the strictest as well as the widest sense of the word. He repre- sented the proud independence of the Castilian, and stood out, above all things, as a champion of freedom and a rebel against the tyranny of Kings. Wherefore his great and abiding popu- larity with the Spanish people. The true history of the Cid will never be written, so lost is the memory of his real exploits in the fiction with which legend and popular song have enveloped it, for which reason Don Antonio de Trueba is well advised to put his story into the form of a romantic novel which hardly lays any claim to historical veracity, and comes to a somewhat abrupt conclusion after the famous oath of Alfonso, King of Castile, in the church of Santa Gadea. Don Antonio has followed the lines of the " Rhymed Chronicle " the source of most of the fifteenth and sixteenth century ballads that relate the doings of the Cid, rather than the more scanty records of the " General Chronicle " which contains but little more than feats celebrated in the famous "Poema de Myo Cid." He relates with great spirit the story of Ximena and her father, the prowess of his hero on the battlefield and in single combat, and the feuds that he carried on with the Counts of Carrion and Cabra. The translation fairly preserves the grandiloquent language of the original, and the book is one to be commended to romantic boyhood. But no novel can inspire the same sentimeLt as the swing of the rugged lines of the old poem.