at (he treats summer scurvily in his Auto dos Quatro Tempos) was thin. We have to accept the fact that he was over 60 when the Auto da Festa was written. But when was it written? Its editor, the Conde de Sabugosa, to whom all Vicente lovers owe so deep a debt of gratitude, assigned it to 1535, while Senhor Braamcamp Freire, who uses Vicente's age as a double-edged weapon, places it twenty years earlier, in 1515. This was indeed necessary if the year 1452 was to be maintained as the date of his birth. The theory of the exact date 1452 was due to another passage of the plays: the old man in O Velho da Horta, formerly assigned to 1512, is 60 (III. 75). Yet there is something slightly comical in stout old Gil Vicente beginning his actor's career at the age of 50 and keeping it up till he was 86. Other facts that may throw light on his age are as follows: in 1502 he almost certainly acted the boisterous part of vaqueiro in the Visita[c,]am. In 1512 he is ove
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