A WORD regarding the circumstances under which this translation was made will be pardoned by all children of dear mothers.
Mrs. Cornelia Frances Bates (1826-1908), a graduate of Mount Holyoke in the days of Mary Lyon and the widow of a Congregational minister, took up the study of Spanish at the age of seventy-one. Until her death ten years later, the proverbial ten years of "labor and sorrow," her Spanish readings and translations were a keen intellectual delight. Her Spanish Bible, from which she had committed many passages to memory, was found at her death no less worn than her English one. Even a few hours before dying, she repeated in Spanish, without the failure of a syllable, the Shepherd's Psalm and the Lord's Prayer.
So youthful was her spirit that, of the various modern Spanish works with which she became acquainted, nothing fascinated her so much as Becquer's strange, romantic tales. The wilder they were, the brighter would be the eager face, under its soft white cap, bent over the familiar little green volumes and the great red dictionary. Seeing the pleasure she took in these legends and learning that no complete English translation existed, I suggested that we unite in a "Becquer Book." Her full share of the work was promptly done; mine was delayed; and the volume -- which we had meant to inscribe to my sister -- becomes her own memorial.
Gratitude for helpful suggestions is due to the late Mr. Frederick Gulick of Auburndale, Mass., formerly of San Sebastian, and to Señorita Carolina Marcial, formerly of Seville and now of Wellesley College. Especial and most cordial acknowledgment is made of the critical reading given the entire manuscript by Miss Alice H. Bushée of the Colegio Internacional, Madrid.
K. L. B.

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  • Print Length: 426 Pages
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