Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VEGA, Ventura de la, Argentine poet, born in Buenos Ayres, 14 July, 1807; died in Madrid, Spain, in 1865. His father, president of the royal treasury court, remained after the declaration of independence in Buenos Ayres, where his wife possessed large property, but he died in 1812, and young Vega went to Spain in 1818 for his education. His paternal uncle sent him to study Latin in the Jesuit college of San Isidro, and he afterward entered the College of San Mateo. He founded the political society of Numantinos, which the government dissolved, notwithstanding the youth of its members, and imprisoned seven of the leaders from January till June, 1825, when they were sentenced to three months' seclusion in different convents. After his release Vega finished his studies with Alberto Lista, and in 1826 published some of his poetry. For his support he began in 1827 to translate French plays, which led him afterward to become a playwright. In January, 1836, he was appointed chief clerk of the ministry of the interior, and he soon afterward became secretary of Queen Maria Christina. In 1838 he was the teacher of the young queen and her sister, and in 1856 he was appointed director of the Royal conservatory. He is considered one of the best modern Spanish poets. Although he spent the greater part of his life in Spain, he is claimed by the Argentine Republic as a citizen, and it is proposed to erect a statue of him in Buenos Ayres. He wrote "El Cantar de los Cantares" (Madrid, 1826) ; "Cantata epitalamica" (1827); "A1 Rio Pusa" (1830) ; "La Agitacion," an ode (1834); "E1 18 de Junio" (1837); "La Defensa de Sevilla," an ode (1838); "El Hombre de Mundo," a comedy (1840); and the tragedies "La muerte de Cesar" (1842) and "Don Fernando de Antequera" (1845).
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