Don Garcia of Navarre
Nothing can be more unlike The Pretentious Young Ladies or Sganarelle than Molière’s Don Garcia of Navarre. The Théâtre du Palais-Royal had opened on the 20th January, 1661, with The Love-Tiff and Sganarelle, but as the young wife of Louis XIV., Maria Theresa, daughter of Philip IV., King of Spain, had only lately arrived, and as a taste for the Spanish drama appeared to spring up anew in France, Molière thought perhaps that a heroic comedy in that style might meet with some success, the more so as a company of Spanish actors had been performing in Paris the plays of Lope de Vega and Calderon, since the 24th of July, 1660. Therefore, he brought out, on the 4th of February, 1661, his new play of Don Garcia of Navarre. It is said that there exists a Spanish play of the same name, of which the author is unknown; Molière seems to have partly followed an Italian comedy, written by Giacinto Andrea Cicognini, under the name of Le Gelosie fortunata del principe Rodrigo; the style, loftiness and delicacy of expression are peculiar to the French dramatist.