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Baltasar Gracián

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Baltasar Gracián y Morales was born in Belmonte de Gracián in 1601 and died in Tarazona in 1658. The son of a civil servant, he studied at the Jesuit college at Calatayud and the University of Huesca. In 1619 he joined the Company of Jesus. He was ordained priest in 1635. He confessed to Viceroy Nochera, and accompanied him to Madrid where he became friendly with the poet Hurtado de Mendoza. His enemies within the Jesuit order made sure that he was sent to Lerida to defy the Catalan rebellion. He was Philip IV's brief secretary. His health deteriorated long after he was punished for eating bread and water imposed by Jacinto Piquer, in the province of Aragon (a religious official in the province). The influence of his work, beautiful and hopeless, continued until post-modern times.

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