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Home > Mezzofanti > Eminent linguists > Spanish and Portuguese linguists > Lope de Vega
One of Del Rio's most distinguished contemporaries, the celebrated dramatic poet, Lope de Vega, although his celebrity rests upon a very different foundation, was also a very respectable linguist, so far, at least, as regards the modern languages. The extraordinary fecundity of this author, especially when we consider his extremely chequered and busy career as a secretary, a soldier, and eventually a priest, would seem to preclude the possibility of his having applied himself to any other pursuit than that of dramatic literature. The mere physical labour of committing to paper (putting composition out of view altogether) his fifteen hundred versified plays, three hundred interludes and sacred dramas, ten epic poems, and eight prose novels, besides an infinity of essays, prefaces dedications, and other miscellaneous pieces, would appear more than enough to occupy the very busiest human life. Yet not-withstanding all this prodigious labour Lope de Vega con-trived to find time for the acquisition of Greek, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, French, and probably Engish ! Well might Cervantes call him " a Prodigy of Nature!
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