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النشر الإلكتروني

An Attempt at an Impartial Biography

BY

HENRY DWIGHT SEDGWICK

"Biography, the most interesting perhaps of every species of
composition, loses all its interest with me, when the shades and
lights of the principal character are not accurately and faith-
fully detailed; ... I can no more sympathize with a mere
eulogist, than I can with a ranting hero upon the stage.”

WALTER SCOTT.

New York

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1923

All rights reserved

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PREFACE

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ANOTHER biography of Ignatius Loyola requires, perhaps, an apology or justification; if so, there is one, as it seems to me, ready to hand. In the fewest possible words it is this: The Society of Jesus has played an extraordinary rôle in the world during the last four centuries, and still plays an important one; that Society cannot be judged with fairness apart from a knowledge of its founder; and there is not, at present, any adequate biography of Loyola in English; therefore, an attempt, in the light of recent scholarship, to tell the story of his life as it is presented in the original sources, is neither superfluous nor presumptu

But as this compendious apology cannot embrace all the respects that make Loyola a great figure, I must ask leave to enlarge upon it, and that in a more or less roundabout fashion.

During two centuries Spain was in the race for the foremost position in Europe, and in her days of high prosperity led all competitors. If one were to make a list of the half dozen men that gave to Spain her strength and swiftness in the race for glory, there would be no very great divergence of opinion, except in so far as the chooser's taste might lead him to rank war, adventure, art, literature, or religion as the matter of chief interest. But at the head of every discriminating list three names would stand-Cervantes, Velasquez, and Ignatius Loyola. Don Quixote is read wherever European books are read. The paintings of Velasquez make the Prado one of the chief shrines of art, and pictures, over which critics dispute whether they may be his or not, are treasured by the great galleries in Europe and America. Nevertheless, lovers of art who make a pilgrimage to see the Surrender of Breda, Las Meninas, or the listless face of Philip IV, are to be reckoned by hundreds only, and readers of Don Quixote by thousands at the most,

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