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Title: History of Spanish and Portuguese Literature (Vol 2 of 2)
Author: Bouterwek, Friedrich
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Spanish and Portuguese Literature (Vol 2 of 2)" ***

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  Translated from the Original German,


  VOL. II.




E. Justins, Printer, 41, Brick Lane, Spitalfields.


For much of the valuable information which the following History of
Portuguese Literature contains, the author acknowledges himself to be
indebted to the communications of a learned Portuguese, with whom he
became acquainted after the materials he had previously collected were
arranged for publication. M. Bouterwek originally intended to comprise
what he had to say, on Portuguese literature, in a brief sketch, which
was to form a supplement to the preceding volume; but the assistance of
his literary friend enabled him to make the present volume a suitable
companion to his history of the sister literature of the Peninsula.
In England commercial interests may have induced many persons to make
themselves acquainted with the language of Portugal, but the literature
of that country has hitherto been studied by few. With the exception
of Camoens, even the names of the principal Portuguese authors are
scarcely known to us. The greater novelty of the subject is therefore
an advantage which this second volume possesses over the first.






  Rise of Portuguese poetry                                          1

  Gonzalo Hermiguez and Egaz Moniz, poets of the twelfth
    century                                                          5

  Early essay in epic poetry                                         8

  King Diniz of Portugal, a poet of the thirteenth century           9

  Poets of the royal family in the fourteenth century               10

  Oldest specimens of Portuguese prose                              14

  Intimate connection of the Portuguese and Galician poetry.--The
    Galician poet Macias                                            15

  The Cancioneiros Geraes                                           17

  Deficiency with regard to historical romances--little influence
    of the cultivation of Latin verse on Portuguese lyric poetry    20

  Early cultivation of historical prose in Portuguese literature    21

  Increase of Portuguese power, followed by the rapid developement
    of the national poetry, at the commencement of the
    sixteenth century                                               23

  Bernardim Ribeyro                                                 24

  His eclogues                                                      25

  His cantigas                                                      30

  His romance of Menina e Moça                                      33

  Christovaõ Falcaõ                                                 39

  Other ancient lyric poems                                         44



  CHAP. I.


  Relation of Portuguese to Spanish poetry in the sixteenth and
    seventeenth centuries                                           47

  Causes of the continued cultivation of the Spanish language in
    Portugal                                                        51

  Religious and political character of the Portuguese during this
    period                                                          54



  Tranquil adoption of the Italian style                            59

  Saa de Miranda                                                    61

  General character of his poems                                    63

  His eclogues                                                      66

  His epistles                                                      71

  His spiritual poems                                               74

  His popular songs, &c.                                            76

  His two prose comedies                                            78

  Gil Vicente                                                       85

  General character of his dramatic prose                           87

  His autos, or spiritual dramas                                    90

  His comedies, in a peculiar signification of the term             99

  His tragi-comedies                                               101

  His farces                                                       103

  Ferreira                                                         111

  General character of his poetry                                  114

  His correct style of sonnet composition                          117

  His odes                                                         119

  His elegies                                                      122

  His eclogues                                                     125

  His epistles                                                    ibid

  His epigrams, &c.                                                130

  His tragedy and his two prose comedies                           132

  Camoens                                                          139

  General character of his poetry                                  148

  Character and analysis of the Lusiad                             150

  The other poetic works of Camoens                                184

  His sonnets                                                      187

  His canções                                                      189

  His odes                                                         190

  His elegies                                                      192

  His estancias                                                    195

  His eclogues                                                     196

  His poems in redondilhas, &c.                                    197

  His dramas                                                       200

  Classical school of Saa de Miranda and Antonio Ferreira          208

  Andrade Caminha                                                  209

  Bernardes                                                        217

  Cortereal                                                        223

  Other Portuguese poets of the sixteenth century--Ferreira de
    Vasconcellos--Rodriguez de Castro--Lobo de Soropita, &c.       225

  Rodriguez Lobo                                                   226

  His Court in the Country                                         228

  His pastoral romances                                            235

  His miscellaneous poems                                          245

  Imitation of the Spanish romances in Portugal                    250

  State of Portuguese eloquence in the sixteenth century           252

  Romances and novels                                              253

  Sà Sotomayor                                                     254

  Pires de Rebello                                                 256

  Progress of the historical art                                   258

  Joaõ de Barros                                                   260

  Lopez de Castanheda--Damiaõ de Góes--Affonso d’Alboquerque       266

  Bernardo de Brito                                                268



  Decay of the ancient national energy in Portuguese literature    273

  Portuguese sonnets of the seventeenth century                    276

  Faria e Sousa                                                    277

  His sonnets                                                      279

  His treatises on poetry                                          283

  His eclogues and his theory respecting that species of
    composition                                                    286

  His commentary on the works of Camoens                           288

  Thomas de Noronha--comic sonnet poetry                           290

  Barbosa Bacellar                                                 292

  Torrezaõ Coelho                                                  295

  Freire de Andrada, an opponent of the Gongorists and
    Marinists                                                      296

  Further decline of Portuguese taste--Ribeiro de Macedo--Correa
    de la Cerda                                                    302

  Violante do Ceo                                                  304

  Didactic epistles of Alvares da Cunha                            307

  Jeronymo Bahia                                                   308

  Francisco Vasconcellos                                           311

  Telles da Sylva and Nunez da Sylva                               312

  Other sonneteers--continued intervention of the Spanish
    language in Portuguese poetry                                  315

  Portuguese eloquence during the seventeenth century              317

  Romantic prose--Matheus Ribeyro--Castanheira Turacem             318

  Historical prose--Freire Andrada’s biography of Joaõ de Castro   322

  Portuguese treatises on poetry and rhetoric written during the
    seventeenth century                                            327



  Preliminary observations                                         328

  CHAP. I.


  Total decay of Portuguese literature towards the end of the
    seventeenth century                                            329

  Establishment of the Portuguese academy in 1714                  331

  Administration of the Marquis of Pombal                          333

  Revived spirit of literature--utility of the Portuguese academy
    of sciences                                                    334



  The Conde da Ericeyra                                            336

  General character of his works                                   338

  His Henriqueida                                                  340

  Continuance of corrupt taste in Portuguese poetry--Barros
    Pereira--Antonio de Lima                                       347

  The Portuguese drama in the first half of the eighteenth
    century                                                        350

  Spurious dramas called operas                                   ibid


  Manoel da Costa                                                  357

  His successful imitation of Cantatas in the style of
    Metastasio                                                     362

  Progress of Portuguese poetry in the latter part of the
  eighteenth century                                               364

  Translations of latin classics into the Portuguese language      365

  Titles of some of the poems produced in this period              366

  Garçaõ--his imitation of Horace’s odes                           367

  His dramas in the style of Terence                               372

  The Abbot Paulino                                                375

  Dona Catharina de Sousa--Her tragedy of Osmia                    377

  Failure of Osmia on the stage--prevalence of dramatic
    imitations and translations                                    383

  Recent Portuguese poets--in particular Tolentino da Almeida      384

  Araujo de Azavedo--his translations of English poems             386



  Further decline of Portuguese eloquence                          387

  New cultivation of eloquence--Classical prose authors still
    wanting in modern Portuguese literature                        390

  Romantic prose--translations                                     391

  Portuguese criticism of the eighteenth century                  ibid

  Ericeyra’s introduction to his Henriqueida                       392

  Garçaõ’s lectures                                                395

  Philological and critical treatises of the Academicians--Joaquim
    de Foyos--Francisco Dias--Antonio das Naves, &c.               398

  Compendium of rhetoric by Antonio Teixeira de Magalhaens         402


  Comparison of Portuguese and Spanish literature                  403







That songs in the Portuguese language were sung on the banks of the
Tagus, before any kingdom of Portugal existed cannot be doubted.
Indeed even Spanish writers, who have considered the question with
impartiality, do not deny that Portuguese poetry flourished at an
earlier period than the Castilian; and all accounts of the first
dawnings of modern civilization in Portugal denote an original poetic
tendency in the national genius. That destiny, however, by which
Portugal has been from an early period politically severed from the
other parts of the Peninsula could alone have prevented the Portuguese
poetry from being like the Galician, completely absorbed and lost in
the Castilian; for the Galician and Portuguese languages and poetry,
were originally, and even after the separation of Portugal from the
Castiles, scarcely distinguishable from each other.[1]

The foreigner, who is not prepossessed by any national partiality, in
favour of either the Castilian or the Portuguese modifications of the
Hispanic romance, might, perhaps, be induced to conclude that poetry
would on the whole have sustained no essential loss, had the language
of Portugal been rejected by literature, and reduced like the Galician
dialect to the rank of a common popular idiom; for the Castilian
poetry was from its origin, so closely allied to the Portuguese, that
it is certain the former might easily have incorporated into itself
the latter without producing the slightest inconsistency in any of
its characteristic features. Still, however, to him who is capable of
feeling the more delicate relations of the beautiful in nature and in
art, it must be an increased pleasure to hear the same melody performed
on two similar, yet differently constructed instruments. The historian
of Portuguese literature ought, therefore, to direct his particular
attention to those apparently unimportant, and yet in themselves very
remarkable properties, whereby Portuguese poetry has in the varied
progress of its cultivation more or less deviated from the Castilian,
or, as it is now usually styled, the Spanish;[2] and also to the manner
in which the differences not only of the two sister languages, but of
the two nations, whose respective characters are impressed on those
languages, have constantly preserved the boundary which divides the
polite literature of Portugal and Spain, and which must otherwise have
soon been obliterated.

The harmonious softness of the Portuguese language, probably
contributed no less to its early cultivation in general than to its
applicability to poetry in particular. Even the characteristic nasal
sound, which the pronunciation of this language has in common with
the French, is in no way detrimental to the rhythm of the Portuguese
syllables; for that rhythm, as in the Spanish and Italian languages,
depends on a certain accentuation, which is a valuable remnant of the
latin syllabic forms, and which is not, as in the French, annihilated
by a new rule of orthoepy. That this ancient accentuation, and with it
the groundwork of metrical perfectibility, should be preserved in the
Portuguese language, is a circumstance rendered the more remarkable by
that of a French prince having been the founder of the first dynasty
of the kings of Portugal; for from this incidental occurrence, some
critics and philologists have endeavoured to explain the similarity
between the Portuguese and French pronunciation. The prince to whose
influence this effect has been attributed is Henry of Burgundy, who
was, in the year 1094, appointed, by his father-in-law, Alphonso
VI. of Castile, governor of the country situated at the mouth of the
Tagus, and who afterwards held that territory in sovereignty with the
title of Count; but however numerous might be the noble families,
brought by this prince from France to Portugal, neither he nor they
could be able to produce an essential change in the national language
among all classes of the people.[3] Moreover the same dialect was and
still is vernacular in Galicia, where no French prince ever ruled. It
is however not a little extraordinary, that under the dominion and
influence of French princes and nobles, Portuguese poetry should from
its origin have preserved unimpaired those romantic national forms,
in which it soon appeared perfectly to coincide with the Castilian
poetry; for notwithstanding that most of the French nobles, who settled
in Portugal, came from the south of France, whence they brought with
them the genuine poetry of the Troubadours, still the introduction of
that poetry did not impede the developement of those poetic forms,
which constituted a common source of pleasure for the Portuguese, the
Galician, and the Castilian.[4]

The favourable situation of Portugal could not fail to contribute in
a considerable degree to the early developement of the Portuguese
tongue. While the Castilians descending from their mountains, obtained
no increase of wealth until they wrested it sword in hand from the
Arabs, the Portuguese, particularly after they recovered possession
of Lisbon, enriched themselves by the peaceful pursuits of trade and
navigation. Lisbon soon became a flourishing commercial city; and the
nation learned to unite civic industry with warlike achievements.
The Portuguese, generally speaking, acquired a degree of practical
dexterity which even to this day seems to distinguish them from the
Spaniards, and which indeed is not sufficiently valued by the enemies
of the Portuguese name, amongst whom must be more particularly included
their Castilian neighbours. The benefits of civil industry, which were
widely diffused from Lisbon, fortified in the Portuguese that feeling
of self-esteem, which was necessary for the maintenance of their
independence on so small a territory. In the reign of Alphonso I. the
son of Henry of Burgundy, the Portuguese dominions acquired nearly
their present extent by conquests made from the Moors, as far as the
Algarvas. The romance dialect of Portugal now advanced southward into
the conquered districts, and thus acquired the dignity of a prevailing
national language, the formation of which proceeded from a great


These circumstances may serve to explain how two Portuguese poets
came to be celebrated at so early a period as the reign of Alphonso
I. in the twelfth century. One of these poets is Gonzalo Hermiguez,
and the other Egaz Moniz; two knights descended from the most
distinguished families of the country. The verses of these ancient
bards which have been preserved, are not wholly intelligible even to
natives of Portugal.[5] But though their meaning can only be partially
conjectured, they nevertheless merit attention; for no Spanish
cancion of that age, by any known author, now exists; and in these
oldest records of Portuguese poetry, the germ of the common character
and metrical form of the national songs of Spain and Portugal is
plainly discernible. Gonzalo Hermiguez and Egaz Moniz wrote no rhymed
chronicles or legends. They did not even compose in the Provençal
metres. Their lyric effusions, which are popular songs in the proper
sense of the term, are composed in short trochaic verses, precisely
in the style of the well-known Spanish and Portuguese ballads of
the fifteenth centuries. In the verses of Hermiguez scarcely any
regular measure is discernible.[6] But Egaz Moniz exhibits precisely
that metrical form, for which, during some succeeding centuries the
Portuguese and the Spaniards manifested a particular predilection.[7]

These oldest relics of lyric composition in the Portuguese language
seem to confirm the opinion, that the prevailing tone of romantic love,
which characterised the poetry of the Spaniards and Portuguese, until
the imitation of the Italian style was generally adopted, originated
in Portugal. To paint romantic despair, and all the storms of passion,
combined with the deepest resignation, existing not only in fancy, but
in real life, appears to have formed the poetic costume of chivalry in
Portugal even earlier than in Spain. Thus, the susceptible Egaz Moniz
is said to have survived only a short time the poetic expression of
the anguish occasioned by the infidelity of his beloved Violante.


In all literary probability, the Portuguese also preceded the Spaniards
in essays in epic, or rather in historical poetry. An old Portuguese
narrative in dactylic stanzas (_versos de arte mayor_), whose unknown
author related, as well as he was able, the history of the conquest
of Spain by the Moors, may not be so old as it is supposed to be by
Manuel de Faria y Sousa, who would refer the origin of these verses
to the very period of the Arabic invasion. They are, however, written
in such antiquated language, that they may be regarded as of a date
anterior to the Cantigas of Hermiguez and Moniz; and that they are the
surreptitious fabrication of a later writer can scarcely be supposed,
since no one could have hoped to acquire the least fame or reward by
producing a counterfeit of so little value. No opinion could be formed
of the merits of the whole narrative from the few stanzas, which are
now extant, even though the language were more intelligible than it


In general all these remains of the most ancient Portuguese poetry
must be considered only as first attempts. Throughout the whole of the
thirteenth century, the poetic art in Portugal appears to have remained
stationary in that degree of advancement to which it had arrived in
the twelfth century. The language, however, became gradually more
fixed and regular. In the latter half of the thirteenth century, king
Diniz (Dionysius) of Portugal, promoted Portuguese literature in the
same manner as his contemporary Alphonso the Wise, by his influence
and example, improved the poetry of Castile. Diniz, like Alphonso,
was himself a poet and a prose writer. His poetic compositions were,
according to the fashion of the age, collected in _Cancioneiros_ (song
books), which bore the name of the author. But from the testimony
of Portuguese writers, it appears that the poems of king Diniz are
to be found only in old manuscripts. They cannot, however, be very
few in number, for two _Cancioneiros_ are named, one containing the
spiritual, and the other the temporal works of the king. The first of
these collections bears the singular title of _Cancioneiro de Nossa
Senhora_ (Our Lady’s Song book).[9] King Diniz, in whose reign trade,
and with it the third estate particularly, flourished in Lisbon,
founded in the year 1290 the national university. This institution
was first established in the capital, but it was soon transferred to
Coimbra, where it is still maintained, in a great measure, according
to its original forms. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe.
No accounts have been preserved of any other Portuguese writers,
who, following the example of their king, may have more or less
distinguished themselves in the cultivation of the national poetry;
though at this period celebrated names might the more naturally be
expected, as two poets had flourished in the twelfth century. But
the Portuguese bards, who, in the thirteenth century delighted their
contemporaries by their poetic compositions, shared no better fate than
the writers of the oldest Spanish canciones and romances.


The fourteenth century is not much richer than the thirteenth in names,
which shed a lustre on the history of Portuguese poetry. Scarcely any
writers of verse are recorded, except those who were members of the
royal family, as if they were considered the representatives of all
the contemporary poets of their nation. Alphonso IV. who reigned from
1325 to 1357, pursued with regard to poetry the same course as his
father, King Diniz. Affonso Sanchez, a natural son of Diniz, appears
to have been gifted with a similar poetic talent.[10] But the writings
of Affonso Sanchez are not now to be found even in manuscript; and
those of King Alphonso IV. have never been printed. Pedro I., who
was the son of this last mentioned sovereign, and whose unfortunate
connection with the beautiful Inez de Castro, has given him a romantic
celebrity, seems to have found the Castilian language, which then vied
with the Portuguese in cultivation, as well adapted as his native
tongue to the poetic expression of his feelings. A Castilian poem by
Pedro I., which begins in short verses, like a cancion, and proceeds
in the measure of the Italian canzone, has been preserved, in addition
to some compositions in Portuguese, which are also attributed to that
monarch.[11] If Dom[12] Pedro’s poem be authentic, it proves that the
Italian poetry had an influence on the Portuguese, even at a period
when the Castilian had not yet fully developed itself in the old
national forms. But this early influence of Italian poetry is also
proved by some Portuguese sonnets of the fourteenth or fifteenth
century. An old sonnet, in praise of Vasco de Lobeira, the author of
Amadis de Gaul,[13] is by some writers ascribed to Alphonso IV., King
of Portugal, and by others to the Infante Dom Pedro, the son of John
I., who was born in the year 1392.[14] It is scarcely worth while to
enter into minute investigation merely for the purpose of settling this
dispute. Admitting the problematic sonnet to be really the production
of the Infante Dom Pedro, and therefore written, at the earliest in
the commencement of the fifteenth century, it is certain that at that
period no imitation of the Italian style was thought of in Castile. In
Portugal, however, the metrical form of the sonnet was not only known,
as it also was in Castile; but the Italian style was likewise imitated
in sonnets. The Infante Dom Pedro translated some of Petrarch’s sonnets
into Portuguese.[15] It may therefore without hesitation be inferred
that Dom Pedro, who has never been mentioned as having struck out a
new path on the Portuguese Parnassus, merely followed the example of
some of his countrymen who lived before him. It is probable, that the
mercantile intercourse between Lisbon and the ports of Italy, made the
Portuguese early acquainted with Italian literature. But at the period
now under consideration, the imitation of the Italian style appears
to have been very limited in Portugal; for the old lyric poetry in
the national style, began about this time more particularly to unfold
its characteristic beauties. According to the testimony of a Spanish
writer,[16] the Portuguese _Cancioneiro Geral_ contains some poems of
the fourteenth century, with the names of the authors affixed to them.


In the fourteenth century too, Portuguese prose improved in precision,
after a certain degree of literary consideration had been given to it,
in consequence of chronicles being written in the national language.
From this period the Portuguese vied with the Castilians in the
patriotic task of recording the memorable events of their national
history. The style of the Portuguese chronicles of the fourteenth
century is, however, completely in the chronicle manner.[17] Indeed
the Portuguese literature of the fourteenth century presents no prose
work, which in point of style equals those written during that period,
in the Castilian language, by the Infante Juan Manuel.


In Portugal as in Spain the fifteenth century was the period during
which the old national songs and romances flourished in the greatest
luxuriance. Since that time Portuguese and Spanish poetry have in
general occupied the same degrees of cultivation, and have lent to each
other a mutual support, though neither stood in need of the other’s
aid. The correspondence between the Castilian and the Portuguese
poetry, was at that time particularly promoted by the Galician poets,
who though faithful subjects of the Castilian monarchy, still remained
true to their mother tongue. Galicia seems to have been the land of
romantic sentiment whence the poetry of love exhibited in the lyric
compositions of Spain and Portugal was transplanted. No Portuguese or
Spaniard is so celebrated in poetic literature, for the influence of
love on his fate, as the Galician poet and knight Macias, who lived
in the first half of the fifteenth century, and of whose remarkable
history a brief sketch may properly be introduced here. Macias, who
obtained the surnames of the _enamoured_ and the _great_, distinguished
himself as a brave warrior against the Moors of Granada, and as an
accomplished writer in the literary retinue of the Marquess of
Villena.[18] But though the marquess appreciated the merits and talents
of Macias, he did not approve the romantic passion with which that
enthusiast interwove his poetic fancies into the affairs of real life.
The marquess strictly prohibited him from continuing a secret intrigue
in which he had embarked with a lady, who, through the intervention
of the marquess, had become the wife of another knight. But Macias
conceived that he could not better prove his chivalrous constancy
in love, than by boldly disobeying the commands of his patron. The
marquess, however, availing himself of his power as grand master of the
order of Calatrava, sent the refractory poet a prisoner to the kingdom
of Jaen, on the frontiers of Granada. In his captivity Macias composed
his songs of ill-fated love in the Galician language, which at the
period of their production were highly esteemed, but which are now lost
with the exception of a few trifles.[19] He contrived to forward copies
of these songs to his mistress. On the discovery of the correspondence,
the poetic boldness of Macias roused the husband of the lady to the
most furious pitch of jealousy. Armed cap-a-pee, he set out with the
intention of slaying the unfortunate poet. He proceeded to the town of
Arjonilla, where Macias was confined, and espying the prisoner at a
window, he threw a javelin at him, and killed him on the spot. Some
idea of the sensation which this affair produced may be formed from the
contents of the old Spanish _Cancionero_, in which it is frequently
mentioned. But the story has more properly its place in the history
of Portuguese poetry. The Spanish amatory poets, however extravagant
might be their extacies in verse, confined themselves, in real life,
within certain boundaries, which were consistent with the habits of
society. The Portuguese, on the contrary, and as it would appear,
the Galicians likewise, when they indulged in the poetic expression
of violent and enthusiastic feelings of love, conceived that it was
still necessary they should seek to impress the stamp of perfection
on their songs, by exhibiting all kinds of sentimental excesses in
their own personal conduct. The Spaniards seem always to have felt
convinced that they could not attain the romantic tenderness of the
Portuguese.[20] A certain simplicity and intensity in the expression of
tender sentiments, to which the language of Portugal is particularly
favourable, has always been one of the characteristic features of
Portuguese poetry, from the fifteenth century down to the present times.


But in order to pursue the comparison between the romance and lyric
poetry of Portugal and of Spain, an intimate acquaintance with
the old Portuguese _Cancioneiros geraes_ (general song books), is
indispensable. Collections of this kind seem to have appeared as early
as the fifteenth century. Writers on literature, however, usually refer
to the _Cancioneiro_, which was printed in the year 1516, by Garcia de
Resende, a man of talent, who flourished at the courts of John II. and
Emanuel the Great.[21] A later collection of the same kind, which was
edited by Father Pedro Ribeyro, professor of poetry, in the second half
of the sixteenth century, has never yet been printed. The manuscript
is dated 1577.[22] According to the statements of writers who seem to
have been acquainted with Garcia de Resende’s work, it would appear
that this old Portuguese _Cancioneiro_ contains many more poetic names
than the better known Spanish collection of the same kind, and that
among these names are several writers who lived in the fourteenth
century.[23] Here the author of this history of Portuguese literature,
who has vainly endeavoured to render himself acquainted with Garcia de
Resende’s interesting collection, must deplore that he is now compelled
to leave a chasm which cannot be easily filled up; for this certainly
is the place in which it would be most proper to endeavour to discover,
in those features, which were doubtless common to all, or at least to
most of the Portuguese lyric bards of the fifteenth century, the nature
of the original difference of Portuguese and Spanish genius. It may,
however, be presumed that the Portuguese poets, who were at this period
so much more numerous than the Spanish, had advanced no farther than
the latter in poetic refinement, for even Bernardim Ribeyro, called
the Portuguese Ennius,[24] who lived until the commencement of the
sixteenth century, and who is more celebrated than any other poetic
writer of the fifteenth century, does not surpass the authors of the
old Spanish ballads, in any thing connected with the cultivation of
genius and the improvement of poetic language. Thus in all literary
probability the Portuguese _Cancioneiro geral_ is merely a companion
work to the Spanish collection. But the preponderating number of the
poetic writers of Portugal, compared with those of Spain during the
fifteenth century, is a circumstance particularly deserving of notice,
since it proves that the soil of Portugal was then, as well as at an
earlier period, even more fertile than Spain in poetic genius. Still,
however, this indicates no peculiarly eminent talent. It is also but
fair to observe, lest the superior number of the Portuguese poets, in
proportion to the limited extent of their native land, should be too
highly estimated, that in the fifteenth century, the Castilian monarchy
was not what it now is; for it was bounded on the south by the Moorish
kingdom of Granada, and on the east by the Arragonian dominions, where
the Limosin language exclusively prevailed.


Narrative and particularly historical romances seem never to have
been so highly esteemed by the Portuguese as by the Spaniards. It
is probable that in this class of composition the Portuguese merely
imitated the Spaniards, whom they instructed, on the other hand, in
bucolic poetry.[25]

The enthusiasm with which the Portuguese devoted themselves to the
cultivation of lyric poetry in their native tongue, was not abated by
the passion for latin poetry, which towards the close of the fifteenth
century prevailed in Portugal as well as in Italy. This literary
coincidence was probably occasioned by the commercial intercourse which
then subsisted between Portugal and Italy. The fame of Angelo Poliziano
attracted one of his most ardent admirers, the ingenious Henrique
Cayado, better known by the name of Ermigius, from Portugal to Italy,
where he entered the ranks of the revivers of latin poetry. Cayado was
imitated by a considerable number of Portuguese writers who became
celebrated for the composition of latin verse.[26] But it does not
appear that the national poetry, in the vernacular language, was in any
way neglected or despised by the Portuguese nobility; and the favour of
the great exercised a more powerful influence over the poetic spirit
of the nation, than the example of the learned. There is also very
little ground for supposing that the Portuguese writers endeavoured to
form the romantic poetry of their country on the model of the antique.
A correct notion of the essential distinction between romantic and
classic composition secured at this period the Portuguese as well as
the Italians against the introduction of incongruous and spurious forms
in their poetry; and taste was not yet sufficiently cultivated to admit
of a judicious union of the classic and the romantic styles.


The general improvement of the language, and the renewed intimacy
with ancient literature, had even as early as the first half of the
fifteenth century an advantageous influence on the Portuguese chronicle
writers. At this period a very copious chronicle of the reign of King
John I. of Portugal, was written in the Portuguese language, by a
knight and statesman, named Fernando Lopes. This writer distinguished
himself as early as the reign of King Duarte, or Edward, whose
successor, Alphonso V. in the year 1449, conferred on him the dignity
of _Cronista_, or state-historiographer.[27] The narrative style of
this diligent compiler is, indeed, quite as dull and monotonous as that
of the older Portuguese chroniclers; but he obviously made efforts
to express himself with a certain degree of dignity. He neglects no
opportunity of making his historical characters deliver speeches, after
the manner of the ancient writers; and a certain degree of energetic
simplicity is to be found in some of those harangues.[28]


Meanwhile the Portuguese monarchy approached the summit of its power
and glory. While Spain, under the dominion of Ferdinand and Isabella,
began to form itself internally into a single state, the government
and people of Portugal directed their attention to discoveries and
conquests in Africa and India. A peculiar union of the heroism of
chivalry, and the industry of social life which prevailed in Portugal,
under the auspices of her enterprising sovereigns, impressed on the
nation a consciousness of power, in which the Portuguese were in no
respect inferior to the Castilians. The flag of Portugal waved along
the western coast of Africa, where Portuguese factories began to be
converted into colonies, extending towards the Cape which Vasco de
Gama doubled in the year 1498. In less than fifteen years after this
memorable event, Portuguese valour, guided by the renowned leaders
Francisco de Almeida and Alfonso de Albuquerque, succeeded in founding
a kingdom in India, of which Goa was the capital. At this period,
during the glorious reign of Emanuel, who in the series of Portuguese
sovereigns is distinguished by the surname of the Great, no Spanish
poet had attained so much celebrity as was enjoyed by the Portuguese
Bernardim, or (according to the more ancient orthography of that name)
Bernaldim Ribeyro. A comprehensive idea of the nature of that romantic
spirit, which every Portuguese poet conceived himself bound to exhibit
in the fulfilment of his poetic destination, may be gathered from an
account of the life and writings of this extraordinary man.


This poet received such a literary education as was in those times
required for the study of the law, and a subsequent residence at
court. King Emanuel, conferred on him the appointment of _moço
fidalgo_ (gentleman of the chamber). Ribeyro found at the court of
that sovereign an object capable of fixing his poetic fancy, but not
his future happiness; for from that time forward the heart of this
sentimental enthusiast appears to have been incessantly agitated by sad
emotions. Portuguese writers insinuate that the Infanta Dona Beatrice,
the king’s daughter, was the lady of whom the unfortunate Ribeyro was
enamoured. It is evident from his writings, that he has studiously
thrown a veil over the secret of his heart. We are not informed how he
reconciled this passion with his domestic relations, or whether at the
period of his marriage he had emancipated himself from those romantic
illusions which at other times exercised so powerful a dominion over
him. It is related that he frequently retired to the woods where he
passed the night alone, singing to the murmuring brooks his songs of
passion and despair. But it is also said that he tenderly loved his
wife, and after her death showed no inclination to enter, a second
time, into the married state. There is no possibility of reconciling
these psychological inconsistencies, since it is not known at what
period of his life Ribeyro retired from court. Neither is it recorded
at what period or at what age he died. But that he cherished romantic
fancies in real life, as well as in his poetry, is a fact which is
sufficiently confirmed by the accounts which have been preserved of his
conduct and by the general character of his writings.[29]

Among the poetic works of Ribeyro, so far as they are known, his
eclogues are particularly distinguished. If not the very oldest, they
are certainly among the most ancient compositions of the kind in
Portuguese and Spanish literature; and when compared with those of Juan
del Enzina, who flourished about the same time in Spain, they may, in
every respect, claim the priority. Juan del Enzina ingeniously sported
with simple ideas; but Ribeyro sang from his inmost soul. However,
even Ribeyro is poor in ideas. His language and composition are very
remote from classical correctness, and his prolixity is tedious. But
amidst the monotony of Ribeyro’s homely verses, there appears a spirit
of truth and poetic feeling, which no art or study could have produced.
The eclogues, which are unquestionably the production of Ribeyro’s
pen, are four in number; but a fifth in the same style is attributed
to him. They are all composed in _Redondilhas_, arranged in stanzas of
nine or ten lines each, called _decimas_. Like most compositions in the
class to which they belong, these eclogues assume the form of tales;
but the lyric garb in which the simple materials are clothed, is the
most interesting circumstance of the whole. Ribeyro has described in
his eclogues only the scenery of his native country. The Tagus, the
Mondego, the sea on the coast of Portugal, and even sometimes the city
of Coimbra, and other towns, are exhibited in a poetic point of view.
The names usually given to the shepherds are, Fauno, Persio, Franco,
Jano, Sylvestre; but among the shepherdesses we find, a Catharina and
a Joana introduced. Certain peculiarities and mysterious allusions
sufficiently betray the object of the poet, which was to represent
the romantic situations and events of the fashionable circles in
which he moved at the court of Lisbon, under the poetic disguise of
situations and events of pastoral life. In conformity with the notions
of the age, this kind of disguise was, from its affinity to allegory,
highly valued; and it afforded the poet an opportunity of unfolding
the sentiments of his heart, to the mistress whom he dared not name,
without the fear of compromising either her or himself. Ribeyro’s
fancy revelled in this union of truth and fact with truth of poetic
feeling. The characters in all his eclogues are nearly the same under
different names, and among them an unhappy lover is always the most
conspicuous. The fervent expression of tenderness and despair on the
part of the lover, forms the soul of these little pastoral pictures.

Ribeyro’s poetic style is in its principal features the old romance
style, only here and there somewhat more luxuriant, and occasionally
interspersed with antiquated conceits. The unaffected truth of some of
the descriptions is heightened by a peculiar kind of rural grace,[30]
and even the uniform repetitions and plays of words in the lyric
passages are, in general, not destitute of poetic interest.[31] The
enthusiast must be forgiven for the application, certainly not very
ingenious, of his own name, which he has sometimes allegorically
disguised by the word _Ribeyra_, (a river,) and sometimes introduced
as the real name of a shepherd; but the shepherd is in the same way
reminded of a beautiful river, which is intended as the allegorical
representative of a lady, who under the name of _Ribeyra_, is the
object of _Ribeyro’s_ adoration.[32] Some of these antiquated conceits
are, however, dignified by warmth of expression.[33] But upon the
whole, Ribeyro’s eclogues are nothing more than the heartfelt effusions
of a poet, who with all his tenderness and depth of sentiment had not
sufficient energy to strike out a new course for himself.[34]

The _Cantigas_ of Bernardim Ribeyro unquestionably bear the
characteristic stamp of the fifteenth century. They may be ranked on
an equality with the best pieces of the same kind in the old Spanish
_Cancionero_. Like them they paraphrase an idea which is set down at
the head of the poem, and thus appear in the form of glosses, without
being confined within a certain number of lines. The idea is as in
Spanish, called the _mote_ (motto). That which the Spaniards term
a _glosa_, is by the Portuguese denominated a _volta_ (turn); and
the title _Cantiga_, which the Portuguese give to a composition of
this kind, seems, like the Spanish term _Villancico_, to have been
borrowed from the ecclesiastical hymns.[35] One of Ribeyro’s Cantigas
is remarkable for the boldness with which the poet, in his character
of a married man, very unequivocally marks the distinction between
his wife and the lady who is the object of his regard, and assures
this lady that only his hand and not his heart is wedded.[36] If this
Cantiga be really founded on truth, a question with which the critic
has, generally speaking, little concern, it not only weakens the
authenticity of the accounts respecting Ribeyro’s tender attachment
to his wife, but also serves to explain the studied obscurity of the
allusions which prevail throughout the whole of his writings; and in
this last respect the question is of some interest to the critic.
A sextina imitated from the Italian forms, but in trochaic verses,
which are besides pure redondilhas, is likewise among the number of
Ribeyro’s poems. In addition to these Cantigas, which are, however, but
little known,[37] there has been preserved a narrative romance of the
idyllic kind, which by some favourable accident has even found a place
in one of the old Spanish Cancioneros, where it is also attributed to
Ribeyro.[38] This romance, which is allegorical, contains plays on the
name of Ribeyro, and veils the glowing anguish of the poet under a
singular obscurity of ideas and images. The romantic mysticism and deep
fervour of expression, which distinguish it, sufficiently attest its

But a work, by this author, which is of greater extent, and which
exhibits the first remarkable attempt towards the improvement of
romantic prose in the Portuguese language, remains to be noticed.
This work is a kind of romance which Ribeyro appears to have written
in his mature years, and which he did not complete. The name given
to it _Menina e Moça_, (meaning “a young and innocent maiden,”) is
a repetition of the three first words with which the story begins,
and therefore is not susceptible of precise translation in the form
of a title.[40] In point of intricacy this fragment has no parallel
in the whole range of romantic literature. The mysterious Ribeyro
has here employed all the powers of his inventive fancy, in giving
utterance to his enthusiastic feelings, and in minutely expressing
the sentiments of his heart; while at the same time he has confounded
and changed characters and events so as to secure every circumstance
and allusion against malicious interpretation. Thus a reader in the
nineteenth century is at a loss to unravel the entangled composition,
and it being merely a fragment, is a circumstance which increases the
difficulty. No alchymist ever bestowed more pains on the enigmatical
dressing of his doctrine of the philosopher’s stone, than Ribeyro has
taken to envelope his romance in a veil of obscurity. It is asserted,
nevertheless, that with all this caution he was afraid to lay it openly
before the public; and in fact the book did not become known until
after his death. It is impossible to form any probable conjecture as
to the ultimate object of the author. The commencement of the tale,
or if it must be so called, the preface, is put into the mouth of a
sentimental female character who has withdrawn from the gay world to
a wild solitary spot on the Portuguese coast. This lady, whose name
is not mentioned, relates that while she was yet _Menina e Moça_,
she was carried from her father’s house to foreign lands. From that
period, doomed to lead a life of wretchedness, alone, among the rugged
cliffs, she bewails her never-ending sorrows, beholding only on the
one hand the unchangeable mountain tops, and on the other the ever
restless waves of the sea.[41] In this manner the anonymous female
continues her narrative, and describes her inconsolable condition.
She states, that by way of amusement, though of a melancholy kind, she
has devoted herself to the task of writing “this little book,” (_este
livrinho_), which is intended to unfold her sufferings and her errors.
From this introduction the reader impatiently expects the history of
the nameless lady, who has now excited his interest. But here the
confusion and intricacy commences. The supposed authoress states, that
in her solitude she had discovered another lady no less unfortunate
than herself. She introduces this lady, who in her turn begins to
relate her history. This new character throws the first completely into
the back ground. She expatiates on the virtues befitting knights and
ladies, and sheds tears of regret for the departed days of chivalry.
She states that the wild valleys to which she has retired, were once
the scenes of memorable and brilliant events: and here the reader is
again disappointed, for instead of relating her own adventures, as is
naturally expected, she commences an intricate and romantic story of
love and heroism, the period of which is laid in the ages of chivalry.
This story is in fact the romance which Ribeyro wished to write. What
the author intended by the two-fold frame-work of his romance, and
the superfluous history related by the one lady to the other, is an
enigma that cannot be solved without a knowledge of the private life
of the poet, circumstances of which are supposed to be ingeniously
concealed under these forms of art. Ribeyro very dextrously makes his
fair narrator observe that, as a woman, she is not qualified to speak
minutely, and at length concerning the achievements of knighthood; but
that with respect to the affairs of the heart she is enabled to say all
that is necessary. Thus he has spared himself the trouble of exercising
his descriptive talent on a branch of the history, the details of which
he was not inclined to follow.

It would be impossible to furnish an abstract of the tale of love and
heroism which forms the subject of this romance. Even on a perusal of
the whole, so great is the obscurity, that nothing can be comprehended
of the circumstances, without the utmost effort of attention. That
Ribeyro has clothed in the disguise of this story, the most interesting
events of his own life, is a fact which admits of no doubt; for the
contrivance which he adopted with the view of concealing his personal
implication, by the intricate arrangement of his romance, is disclosed
with the greatest simplicity. The really artless Ribeyro, having so
far disguised himself, conceived that by transposing the letters of
real names, he did all that was necessary to avoid compromising the
individuals of his acquaintance, whom he introduced in his romance,
arrayed in the garb of ancient chivalry. Thus _Alvaro_ is converted
into _Avalor_, _Joana_ into _Aonia_, and _Bernardim_, the christian
name of Ribeyro himself, is changed into _Bimnarder_ and _Narbindel_.
The unconscious simplicity of these transpositions corresponds with the
whole tone and style of the romance. The monotony of incessant love
complaints renders the prolixity of the narrative still more tedious;
but even amidst that monotony and prolixity, it is easy to recognise
a spirit truly poetic, more remarkable, however, for susceptibility
than for energy. Some of the sentimental passages are distinguished by
the charm of a most tender and pathetic sweetness. This characteristic
appears even in the introduction, where a story is told of the death of
a nightingale, which being perched on the branch of a tree overhanging
a brook, dies while singing, and dropping into the brook is carried
away by the current, along with the fallen leaves.[42] The reader is
surprised by these delicate plays of feeling, no less than by many
occasional reflexions, which though trivial in the present day, were
at the commencement of the sixteenth century by no means common. Thus
allusion is made to the absurd notion of women in imagining they can
secure the heart of a lover by the same persevering service which
pleases themselves in the other sex.[43] By traits of this kind,
and by the simple truth of description, this old Portuguese romance
is sufficiently distinguished from the common class of romances of
chivalry, which during the sixteenth century, became in a great measure
the fashionable reading of the Spaniards and Portuguese. Spanish
literature at that period could not boast of any work written in so
cultivated a style, and yet that style soon afterwards became somewhat
antiquated. From some passages in which allusion is made to Galician
phrases, it is evident that the Portuguese in the age of Ribeyro,
carefully distinguished their native tongue as a cultivated language,
from the Galician, which had now become a common popular idiom.

In the polite literature of Portugal, Bernardim Ribeyro stands on
the boundary of the old national and the modern taste, which at the
commencement of the sixteenth century, began to be developed in
Portugal as well as in Spain, in consequence of the imitation of
the Italian style. In spite of all their defects and deformities,
Ribeyro’s verses as well as his prose romance, deserve to be honourably
remembered, since they present remarkable monuments of the romantic
character of the Portuguese at the period when the national greatness
of that poetically organized people began suddenly to decline. A
remnant of that character must, however, still be preserved, even by
the Portuguese of the present day, otherwise a new edition of Ribeyro’s
romance would not at the end of the eighteenth century, have been
presented to the Portuguese public, as a proof of the excellence of a
language in which such a work was written.[44]


Among the contemporaries of Ribeyro the most distinguished was
Christovaõ Falcaõ, or Christovam Falcam. He was a knight of the order
of Christ, an admiral, governor of Madeira, and a celebrated poet in
the age in which he lived. A long eclogue by this writer, which forms
an appendix to the works of Ribeyro,[45] so completely partakes of
the character of the poems which it accompanies, that were it not
for the separate title it might be mistaken for the production of
Ribeyro himself. It therefore proves that Ribeyro’s poetic fancies,
his romantic mysticism, not excepted, were by no means individual.
The fashionable form of the poetry of melancholy love in Portugal,
was to complain and yet ostensibly affect to conceal itself. Thus,
Christovaõ Falcaõ, by a slight change of his own christian name,
gives the name of _Crisfal_ to the shepherd who poetically represents
himself. The subject of the poem is the love of _Crisfal_ and _Maria_,
the shepherdess who is the heroine of the eclogue. This shepherdess
is evidently a real personage, and it is mentioned by writers on
literature that the poet’s mistress had the same Christian name; she
was a _Maria Brandam_. The rural scenery described in this eclogue,
like that in the poems of Ribeyro, is all national: the Tagus, the
Mondego, and the rocks of Cintra, are introduced here as in Ribeyro’s
romance. The story is simple. Two lovers are separated by the severity
of their parents. The shepherd relates his sorrows, and calls to mind
his past days of happiness. This reminiscence gives birth to a kind
of tale which is interwoven with the complaints of the shepherd. The
verses are redondilhas, and the eclogue consists of upwards of ninety
of the ten line stanzas called decimas, exclusive of some cantigas
in shorter stanzas, which are interspersed through the work. The
language and style, particularly in the lyric complaints, are even more
antiquated than Ribeyro’s. The most truly beautiful portion of the poem
is the description of a brief interview and renewed farewell between
Crisfal and Maria,[46] particularly towards the close.[47] The poet
throws a veil of mystery over the subsequent fate of Crisfal, and does
not choose to hint whether the hapless shepherd survives. A nymph who
has heard his complaints inscribes them on a poplar, in order, as it is
said, that they may grow with the tree to a height beyond the reach of
vulgar ideas.[48] So delicate a winding up of the story would not have
entered into the imagination of every amatory bard.

Portugal may therefore be regarded as the true native land of romantic
pastoral poetry, which, however, about the same period flourished in
Italy, where it assumed more cultivated forms, particularly after
Sanazzaro had written; but in Portugal alone was it properly national.
Two Portuguese writers, Saa de Miranda and Montemayor transferred this
style of poetry to Spanish literature.[49]

Among the works of Falcam, there is a kind of poetic epistle, if it may
be so called; but he wrote no didactic epistles. This poetic epistle
is in fact merely a lyric romance, which the author has addressed to
his mistress in the form of a letter, when, as the superscription
expressly mentions, he had secretly married her contrary to the will
of her parents; an act for which he incurred the penalty of five years
imprisonment. From his prison he addressed verses to his lady.[50] Thus
it also appears that this Portuguese poet, who afterwards discharged,
probably with honour to himself, the duties of admiral and governor,
wished to make the same romantic principles the basis of his conduct
and his writings.


It is probable that the lyric pieces which are annexed to the old
edition of the works of Ribeyro, and which immediately follow the
poems of Falcam, were written by the latter. They belong entirely
to the class of Villancicos in the Spanish Cancioneros. They are,
for the most part, cantigas or glossed mottos; but some are entitled
_Esparças_, or overflowings of the heart.[51] In all these songs the
plays of antiquated chivalrous wit are very affectedly blended with
genuine effusions of the heart. They are, however, like the old Spanish
canciones, throughout enlivened by a glimmering of poetic truth; and
even the old fashioned conceits successfully contribute to express
intensity of feeling. This is particularly the character of the mottos,
which appear to be more remarkable for far-fetched quaintness, than the
old Spanish compositions of a similar kind. The following may serve
as examples:--“I saw the end at the beginning; I see the beginning at
the end; so that I know not whether I am beginning or ending.”[52]
“Since in beholding you, lady, I have lost the knowledge of myself, do
not you do against me, that which for your sake I have done against
myself.”[53] “At variance with myself, great is my danger, for I
can neither live with myself nor fly from myself.”[54] Some mottos
are, however, expressed in a more simple and popular form; but it is
remarkable that those which are most inartificial, or destitute of
point, are precisely those of which the glosses are more particularly
distinguished by nature and grace.[55] The Portuguese of this age seem
to have been much less disposed than the Spaniards to pourtray in their
lyric poetry the continual conflict between passion and reason. Like
the Italians the Portuguese gave free utterance to the emotions of the
heart, and were only induced to seek after quaint ideas, by an eager
desire that the vehemence and depth of their passionate feelings should
be energetically and ingeniously expressed.

It would appear that at the commencement of the sixteenth century the
romantic pastoral and lyric styles were the only species of poetic
composition to the cultivation of which the Portuguese directed their
attention. No evidence appears to exist of any remarkable essay in
dramatic poetry, before the time of Gil Vicente, who will hereafter
be noticed. It is probable that unimportant treatises on poetry and
versification, in the style of that which Juan del Enzina wrote in
Spanish, existed at the same period in the Portuguese language; and on
a comprehensive view of the polite literature of Portugal, previous
to the introduction of the Italian style, it will be found that like
the true sister of Spanish literature, it was, in an equal degree,
susceptible of the reform which presented itself to both.





_Relation of Portuguese to Spanish Poetry in the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Centuries._

The original relationship between Portuguese and Spanish poetry paved
the way for the adoption of the Italian style by the former; for
when that style became, during the sixteenth century, naturalized in
Spain, a similar change soon followed in the national taste and poetic
forms of Portugal. The political conflicts of the two nations did not
either then, or at any former period, disturb the harmony of their
common poetic feeling. Though the distinctive features in the national
character as well as in the language of the Portuguese and Spaniards,
might be traced with more precision than heretofore, yet the general
customs of both nations remained the same, and the demands of their
respective tastes which had been awakened in nearly the same manner,
required to be satisfied by similar means. Every species of poetry was
not, however, received with equal favour in Spain and Portugal; nor
did every style of poetic composition find in each country a poet
whose genius was capable of elevating it to particular distinction.
In those nations, as elsewhere, fate has, by incomprehensible laws,
sometimes summoned the right spirit at the right hour, and has
sometimes denied the art to the artist when all external circumstances
appeared most favourable, and when the perseverance of emulative
competitors was most conspicuous. Thus Portugal cannot boast of a
Cervantes, and Spain has given birth to no Camoens.

The Portuguese had raised their country to the same height of political
glory as Spain, when their poets began to vie with the Spanish in
the ingenious imitation of the Italian forms. After Columbus had
discovered America for Spain, as Vasco de Gama had the new way to
the East Indies for his own countrymen, the Portuguese lost no time,
at least on the eastern coast of the new world, in seizing a share
of the rich booty claimed by the Spaniards. The Florentine Amerigo
Vespucci in the service of King Emanuel of Portugal, explored a part
of the new continent, the whole of which has since borne his name.
The papal line of demarcation which divided the newly discovered
heathen regions between Spain and Portugal, was equally flattering,
though circumstances prevented it from being equally advantageous
to both powers. The Portuguese was like the Spaniard, proud of his
achievements; and before the mines of Peru had given the highest
impulse to Spanish self-esteem, Portugal was already enriched by her
Indian treasures. If during the thirty years reign of John III. (from
1521 to 1557) the Portuguese government shewed itself wanting in
wisdom, it was not deficient in energy. Even the exertions made to
maintain sword in hand, the Portuguese dominion in India, against the
constant hostility of the natives, augmented the military strength of
the nation, though they proved injurious to its commercial interests.
Under these circumstances the bold spirit of commerce was in no danger
of degenerating into a petty trading spirit; and the romantic character
which Portuguese poetry had from its origin always displayed, could
without difficulty develope itself under new features, particularly
when the poet himself, like Camoens, was at once a hero and an

After the period of the highest greatness of the little kingdom of
Portugal had long passed away, its effects still operated powerfully
on the spirit and the literature of the nation. To be obliged to
become Spanish subjects, on the extinction of their old royal family,
deeply mortified the Portuguese; but the shadow of ancient national
independence which the cabinet of Madrid found it necessary to concede
to Portugal, was sufficient during the whole period in which that
country continued under Spanish domination, to maintain in full force
the old national hatred between the two countries. This was carried to
the highest pitch of exasperation in the hearts of the Portuguese, when
they found that in spite of the seeming independence of the kingdom
of Portugal, the foreign powers with whom Spain waged incessant war,
paid no attention to the distinction between Spanish and Portuguese
possessions; and that the Dutch in particular availed themselves of
the favourable opportunity to treat the Portuguese as Spaniards, and
to deprive them of those valuable possessions in India, for which
they were indebted to the enterprising spirit and courage of their
ancestors. It required no great political penetration to discover that
the most productive source of Portuguese national prosperity had thus
become obstructed, and that in all probability such a misfortune would
not have occurred had Portugal preserved her independence. Even the
nobility and the ecclesiastics, who, contrary to the express wish of
the people, had favoured the claims by which Philip II. of Spain was
declared Philip I. of Portugal, could not possibly be warm partisans
of a government which oppressed the whole country by an absurd and
despotic system of administration. During the sixty years therefore in
which Portugal felt the weight of Spanish supremacy, every patriotic
Portuguese regarded the three Philips, who ruled over his native
country, merely as kings of Portugal, unfortunately residing in Madrid.
Lisbon continued to be the real Portuguese capital. The ministerial
departments of state were still concentrated there; and in conformity
with the treaty by which the crown was ceded to Philip, all the public
offices in Portugal were filled by native Portuguese. In Lisbon, too,
the Portuguese language maintained its ancient consideration in the
courts of law, in the polite world, and in literature, though it was
not very readily adopted by Spaniards.

The national peculiarities which, even under the Spanish dominion,
continued to distinguish the Portuguese from the Spaniards, were
attended by consequences remarkably favourable to Portuguese
literature, when at last, in the year 1640, the long prepared blow was
struck, which rescued Portugal from the yoke of the Spanish sovereigns,
and placed John of Braganza on the throne amidst the acclamations
of the people. At this period, Spanish poetry had already declined,
while on the contrary Portuguese poetry once more revived. The general
re-action against every thing Spanish had an inspiring influence on the
Portuguese poets, even though they took no part in political affairs.
If no second Camoens arose in that age, it nevertheless gave birth
to several poets, whose lyric compositions honourably maintained the
reputation of their country; and they were eminently successful in
gathering the last blossoms of the poetry of romantic love, which had
taken the deepest root in Portugal.


To causes of a totally different nature and in which political
interests were but remotely concerned, must be attributed the zeal
with which the Portuguese, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries,
cultivated the language and literature of Spain, along with their
mother tongue and the learning of their own country; while the
Spaniards of the same period regarded the Portuguese poetry as a mere
scion of the Spanish, and besides, generally speaking, looked down
with contempt on the language and literature of Portugal. That this
unequal conduct of the two nations was not the effect of political
causes, is evident from the favour which the Portuguese poets extended
to the Castilian language, in the first half of the sixteenth century,
when certainly no expectation was entertained of the union of the
two kingdoms. Even at that period it was a custom, and indeed a high
style of fashion in literature for Portuguese poets to write verses
in Castilian as well as in their mother tongue. Saa de Miranda, the
poet with whom the most brilliant period of Portuguese literature
commences, also holds a place among Spanish poets. Compositions in the
Castilian language are indeed interspersed through the works of all
the Portuguese poets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; but
nothing could be more extraordinary than to find either verse or prose
written in the Portuguese language by a Spaniard.

This phenomenon, which seems to be at variance with Portuguese
patriotism, may, however, be explained by the peculiar relations
which the Castilian and Portuguese languages bear to each other. The
Castilian language has an imposing character which is wanting in the
Portuguese; and though the stateliness of the Spanish diction might
seem formal and affected to the Portuguese in general, it was likely
to make a forcible impression on their poets. The pleasing fluency of
the Portuguese tongue, could not, however, operate so favourably on
the poets of Spain, for to a Spanish ear the most elegant Portuguese
has merely the effect of broken Castilian.[56] The Portuguese were
indemnified for the Castilian guttural, which so much displeased them,
by the sonorous accentuation of the Castilian words; but the Spaniards
found much of this accentuation lost in Portuguese by abbreviations
of the very words in which it occurs in Spanish. The Castilian too
was regarded as the more dignified tongue, because its unabbreviated
words, for which it is indebted to the latin, excited more precise
recollections of the language of ancient Rome.[57] It is probable
also, that Castilian pride after the union of the Castilian and
Arragonian provinces contributed its share in rendering the Spaniards
insensible to the peculiar beauties of the Portuguese language. On the
contrary, the flexibility of the Portuguese character more readily
accommodated itself to foreign forms. Finally, the dependence of the
whole government of Portugal on the court of Madrid, during the space
of half a century, rendered the knowledge of the Castilian language
indispensable to those Portuguese who were destined to fill the first
ministerial departments in their native country; but the Spaniards had
no such inducement to learn Portuguese, as they were not permitted
to hold any public office in Portugal. Thus did the Spanish language
during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, acquire that degree of
consideration in Portuguese literature which it afterwards maintained.
It should besides be recollected, that during the period in which
Portugal continued under the dominion of Spain, a great portion of the
bookselling trade had been transferred to Lisbon, the first commercial
city in the two united kingdoms; and trifling as this circumstance may
at first sight appear, it cannot be doubted that it co-operated to the
diffusion of the Spanish language in Portuguese literature.


The polite literature of Portugal experienced no disadvantage from
certain traits of difference in the Spanish and Portuguese character
and manners. The Portuguese who were less addicted to pomp than the
Spaniards, were also less inclined to religious fanaticism. The
monarchs of Portugal, it is true, exerted their utmost endeavours
to inflame the religious prejudices of their subjects, and to teach
them to revel in the same delirium of barbarous orthodoxy as the
Spaniards. John III. in whose reign Portugal attained the highest
pinnacle of her power, did not neglect formally to introduce the
Spanish inquisition into his dominions; and the jesuits, who had now
begun to excite the alarm of every catholic monarchy, Spain excepted,
were in the year 1540, received into Portugal by the same sovereign who
proposed to avail himself of the aid of those enterprising defenders
and propagators of the old catholic faith, for the conversion of the
infidels in both Indies. He consigned to the jesuits the education of
his grandson Sebastian, who was his successor on the throne; and the
example of the monarch was doubtless imitated by many families of rank.
Thus, literary education seems to have been still more jesuitical in
Portugal than in Spain; and the dreadful pile, on which heretics were
immolated, was lighted up often enough to blunt the moral feelings of
the people. But these horrid festivals of superstition accorded less
with the Portuguese than the Spanish character. Of the two nations the
Portuguese were in disposition the more tolerant, and they continue
so to be.[58] On this account the spiritual comedies, with which the
Spanish public was never satiated, obtained only a transitory success
in Portugal. If, then, the fetters imposed on conscience proved only
slight restraints to poetic genius in Spain,[59] still less could any
considerable injury arise from such influence on polite literature in

At this period poetry and eloquence were not in Portugal much more
than in Spain indebted to support from the throne. The poetic art was
nevertheless held in esteem and honour at the court of John III. The
time had, indeed, gone by in which the kings of Portugal competed
for the laurels of Apollo, and shone conspicuous among the bards
of their native land. From the reign of Emanuel the Great, to the
period when the dynasty of that monarch became extinct, the kings
of Portugal were more disposed to encourage adventurous enterprises
in the two Indies than to devote themselves to the cultivation of
poetry. John III. however, seems to have possessed a strong taste
for dramatic amusements; at least it is related that he himself used
to perform parts in the plays of Gil Vicente, which were represented
at his court. Sebastian, the ardent disciple of the jesuits, was
occupied in the fulfilment of his presumed destiny to extend the
glory of his faith and his name by romantic achievements, until in
the fatal conflict, by which he hoped to render himself master of Fez
and Morocco, he was lost among the lifeless wreck of his defeated
army: and Camoens, the no less ardent disciple of the muses, whose
enthusiasm in his sovereign’s cause was both patriotic and poetic,
was left by Sebastian to languish in bitter poverty. Old Cardinal
Henry, though a lover of literature, found, on ascending the throne,
sufficient occupation in providing for the political welfare of the
country. That the Spanish kings who next governed Portugal bestowed
little or no attention on Portuguese poetry and eloquence, is a fact
to which it is scarcely necessary to advert. On the accession of John
of Braganza, it is probable that the government would have done more
for the national drama, which had hitherto been left to work its own
way, had not the Portuguese, after the death of the inventive Gil
Vicente, fallen further behind the Spaniards in dramatic composition
than in any other class of poetry. The royal patronage now arrived too
late. Portugal possessed no national drama like that of Spain; and
for the non-existence of that branch of literature the people and not
the government must be held responsible. The causes which prevented
dramatic poetry in Portugal from attaining that degree of excellence
to which it arrived in Spain, will be noticed in their proper place,
in so far as they can be ascertained or conjectured. The distinguished
favour, however, which the Italian opera at length obtained from the
court of Lisbon was not only unprofitable to Portuguese national
poetry, but contributed to banish it still further from the stage.
There was of course now less reason than ever to hope for the
establishment of a genuine and well cultivated national drama in

To the Portuguese nation must be attributed the excellencies and the
defects which Portuguese poetry and eloquence presented throughout the
whole of this period. In Portugal, no poet, who wished to distinguish
himself within the sphere of his art, presumed to dictate legislatorily
to the national taste. No one, by striking out a new path, sought to
explore the unbeaten regions of his native Parnassus. No sects, like
those which occasionally arose in Spain, disturbed the poetic harmony
of the Portuguese poets, whose various voices were always attuned in
national concord. The influence which the Italian poetry gained over
the Portuguese was recognised with equal willingness by the poets and
the public. It cannot, however, be denied that this national harmony
of the Portuguese poets during the most brilliant period of the
polite literature of their nation, gave rise to a certain spirit of
self-satisfaction, which though very favourable to subordinate talent,
was by no means calculated to awaken genius. The higher beauties of the
poetic art were not scrupulously demanded: to secure success it was
sufficient that an author should elevate himself in a slight degree
above the common makers of verse. Romantic ideas tolerably versified
in pleasing language were all that a Portuguese poet found necessary
in order to secure the esteem and the eulogy of that public on whose
decision his reputation depended. Eminent poetic merit could be
appreciated by very few, and it received no particular encouragement
or uncommon reward. Thus it happened that the state of poetic public
spirit among the Portuguese created no demand beyond an extensive
improvement of the national poetry. The great mass of the people
adhered to the old romance style; while the nobility, men of education,
and finally, all who wished to mingle in fashionable society, preferred
the Italian forms, on which, however, the Portuguese national impress
was always discernible. But the majority of the poets whose names
acquired celebrity, belonged to noble families;--for in Portugal, as in
Italy and Spain, every one who wished to gain distinction at court, or
in the army, or as a well educated man of the world, composed verses;
and even ecclesiastics who were anxious to gain the good graces of the
fair sex, found it necessary to lay claim to poetic cultivation. Among
the princes of the royal house, the Infante Dom Manoel, who stands in a
kind of poetic relationship with Saa de Miranda, seems to be the last
who was distinguished for writing passable verse.



_Tranquil Adoption of the Italian Style._

The introduction of the Italian style into Portuguese poetry was
unaccompanied by any remarkable struggle or sensation. No mention is
made by writers on general literature, of the existence of a party
strenuously opposed to that style in Portugal; and even the works of
the Portuguese poets present few or no traces of any literary conflict
on the subject. That a change which excited so violent a storm in Spain
passed tranquilly in Portugal, was certainly not owing to indifference
on the part of the Portuguese in matters of taste. But the Portuguese
most distinguished for cultivation, were not attached to the old
romance poetry by so decided a predilection as the Castilians. Besides,
as has already been stated, that class had become, at an early period,
acquainted with Italian poetry. Some of the Italian syllabic metres
might already be regarded as vernacular in Portugal, and the spirit of
Italian poetry was certainly not unknown to the Portuguese, since they
had, from an early period possessed translations of some of Petrarch’s
sonnets. Thus the way was already traced out for the thorough reform of
the old taste, and the natural flexibility of the Portuguese character
was more easily reconciled than Castilian stubbornness to that reform.
When, therefore, even Spanish poets had set the judicious example
of improving their national poetry, an opposition which would have
appeared the mere imitation of an unreasonable party spirit was not
to be expected in Portugal. Finally, the poet with whose works the
new epoch in Portuguese poetry commences, so successfully seized the
delicate tone by which the union of the Italian and the old Portuguese
styles was to be accomplished, that the national taste found in him
precisely what it required, and the innovation was accommodated to the
Portuguese character under the most pleasing forms.


The romantic Theocritus, Saa de Miranda, one of the most distinguished
poets of the sixteenth century, has already been noticed in the History
of Spanish Poetry.[60] He shines indeed more conspicuously among the
Spanish than the Portuguese poets; but in his native country he stands
at the head of a poetic school. The present is, therefore, the fit
place to relate the necessary particulars of his biography.[61]

Saa de Miranda, the descendant of a noble family, was born at
Coimbra, in the year 1495. His parents destined him for the study of
the law, and wished, if possible, that he might become professor of
jurisprudence in his native city. To occupy the chair of a teacher of
law was at that period considered an object worthy of the ambition
of persons of rank; and to take an interest in the prosperity of the
university of Coimbra was found to be a strong recommendation to the
favour of the sovereign. Saa de Miranda had but little taste for
jurisprudence, yet, for the sake of pleasing his parents, he pursued
his study of legal science until he obtained the degree of doctor.
He was afterwards appointed to a professorship, and is said to have
distinguished himself by his lectures. But on the death of his father,
Saa de Miranda immediately bade farewell to jurisprudence, and resolved
to live after his own taste. We are not informed what age he had
attained at this period. That his character was, however, truly poetic,
is sufficiently obvious, not only from his writings, but from several
anecdotes which are related of him. In mixed companies he often sat in
a state of silent abstraction, without observing or being aware that he
was himself observed. Tears would sometimes flow from his eyes, without
any apparent cause, and he himself was so little conscious of their
presence, or cared so little to conceal them, that if any one happened
to address him, he would, while he suffered himself to be quietly drawn
into conversation, frequently forget to dry his moistened cheeks.
He cherished a particular desire to travel; and this inclination he
gratified when filial duty no longer bound him to the professor’s
chair. He declined the offers of King John III. who, in order to
detain him would have provided for him in another way, and proceeded
to Spain, where he probably acquired a more intimate knowledge of the
Castilian language than he had before possessed. He next travelled to
Italy, and visited the cities of Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples, and
Milan, where he found sufficient opportunities for rendering himself
intimately acquainted with the Italian poetry. On his return to his
native country he was appointed to a place at court, and enjoyed the
favour of the king. He was now accounted one of the most accomplished
courtiers in Lisbon, notwithstanding the cast of melancholy which
still distinguished him. His pastoral poetry, however, peaceful as its
character was, involved him in a dispute with a Portuguese nobleman,
who discovered in an eclogue some allusions which he applied to
himself. The quarrel having become warm, the poet found it necessary
to quit the court. He retired to his estate of Tapada near Ponte de
Lima, in the province of Entre Minho e Douro, where he devoted himself
wholly to his literary studies, and to the cultivation of rural and
domestic happiness. Next to poetry, he took most interest in practical
philosophy. His acquaintance with ancient literature was sufficient to
enable him to enrich his books with passages from Homer, in the form
of marginal notes. He also understood music, and was a performer on
the violin. Notwithstanding the gentleness of his temperament, he was
fond of chivalrous exercises, and took particular delight in hunting
the wolf. He lived happily with his wife, though she was not handsome
nor even young at the period when he married her. During his life,
his poetic fame was widely spread. Several poets, who reflect honour
on their native country, particularly Antonio Ferreira and Andrade
Caminha, formed themselves chiefly on the model of Saa de Miranda.
His two comedies so highly pleased the Infante Cardinal Henry, that
they were performed in the palace of that prince, before a company of
prelates, and other persons of rank. After the poet’s decease these
comedies were printed by order of the cardinal. Having reached the
sixty-third year of his age, he died universally admired and beloved,
at Tapada, in the year 1558.

No trace of resemblance to a style produced by imitation, distinguishes
the works of Saa de Miranda from the more ancient Portuguese poetry.
What he learnt from the Italians was a genuine though not perfect
refinement of the old Portuguese style, under more beautiful forms. He
was indeed, and ever continued to be, too true a Portuguese to aim at
the highest degree of Italian correctness, though it appears, from what
he has himself stated, that he was most industrious in the revisal of
his works.[62] According to his own declaration, it also appears that
he did not rely with much more confidence on systematic criticism,
than on the fickle approbation of the public. That feeling under the
dominion of which he always lived and moved, was, in the dernier
resort, his critical rule and guide. The Italian models only directed
him to the course which he himself would naturally have adopted. To use
his own expression, he culled flowers with the muses, the loves, and
the graces.[63]

Had Saa de Miranda been in a greater degree an imitator than a
self-dependent poet, his sonnets would, doubtless, have been more
numerous; for he was peculiarly fitted, from his knowledge of the
delicacies of the Italian style, to shine in that form of composition.
But his Portuguese as well as his Spanish sonnets are few in number;
and those of the tender cast, like the sonnets of Boscan, and most
of the Spanish writers, entirely harmonize with the old national
tone. Besides indulging himself in the use of masculine rhymes, he
represented the complaints of love in the old strain of despair, and
contributed his share in pourtraying the endless conflict between
passion and reason.[64] But he particularly excelled in painting
the soft enthusiasm of love,[65] and his sonnets acquire a peculiar
colouring from the mixture of pastoral simplicity, which he could
never entirely exclude from his style of poetic representation. The
reiterated allusion to the joys and sorrows of human existence,
and the transitoriness of all things, is a grecian trait in the
compositions of this poet.[66]

The romantic pastoral world was the native sphere of Saa de Miranda’s
muse. The greater number and by far the most beautiful of his eight
eclogues are, however, in the Spanish language, for he wrote only
two in Portuguese. It can scarcely be doubted, therefore, that Saa
de Miranda considered the Spanish language to be more expressive or
more elegant than the Portuguese, or that for some other reason he
preferred it to his mother tongue; and yet as far as a foreigner
may presume to judge between the two languages, his choice ought to
have been reversed, for the Portuguese seems expressly formed for
romantic pastoral poetry. Perhaps Saa de Miranda thought, without
being himself clearly conscious of entertaining such an idea, that
it was more poetic to give dignity to the soft pastoral style, by
the help of the sonorous Castilian tongue, than to suffer it to be
altogether naturally expressed through the medium of the Portuguese
idiom. For the character of his pastoral style was to be romantic and
wholly national, to resemble the idyllic style of Theocritus only in
the simplicity of rural expression, but by no means to be popular, in
a prosaic sense. Whether Saa de Miranda’s shepherds and shepherdesses
converse in Spanish or in Portuguese, the rural scene is always laid in
Portugal. On this account the first of the two Portuguese eclogues of
this modern Theocritus, is partly unintelligible to the foreigner, who
possesses only a literary knowledge of the peculiarities of the rural
idiom of Portugal. The poet himself observes, at the conclusion of his
dedicatory stanzas to the Infante Dom Manoel, that he discourses in a
new language.[67] The new language here alluded to is produced by a
delicate blending of the turns most remarkable for graceful simplicity
in the Portuguese vernacular dialect, with a set of dignified words and
phrases approximating more nearly to the latin. But the effect of the
union is very imperfectly appreciated by a foreigner; and the finest
charm of the expression is lost in the labour of studying a poetic
language of this kind. Besides the simplicity of the composition
does not exclude from Saa de Miranda’s eclogues, those mysterious
allusions to the romantic manners of the age, which are so common in
the writings of the old Portuguese poets. The first eclogue which
he wrote in his native language, abounds in such allusions, though
it is in other respects one of the least artificial of the poet’s
productions in the class to which it belongs. It is a pastoral dialogue
in tercets concerning love and indifference, happiness and unhappiness.
Three cantigas, the first in octaves, the second in redondillas and
in the Spanish language, and the third in the syllabic measure of an
Italian canzone, form the poetic essence of this, simple composition.
The disposition to prefer the Spanish language for imagery, and the
Portuguese for reasoning, which is a striking feature in Saa de
Miranda’s poetry, plainly betrays itself in this eclogue. The romantic
conversation which forms the frame work to the cantigas in this
eclogue, consists chiefly of general observations, which in the simple
pastoral language in which they are expressed, have a very piquant
character, but which are rendered scarcely intelligible to a foreigner,
by the occurrence of broken popular phrases in a half ironical, half
serious tone.[68] To the philological obscurity of several passages is
added the enigmatical expression of suppressed pain, which, however,
is natural enough in the mouths of the persons to whom it is assigned.
In a word this eclogue is entirely national. None but a Portuguese can
justly estimate its poetic merits and demerits. To a foreigner the
cantigas are decidedly the best portion.[69]

The second Portuguese eclogue, included in the works of Saa de Miranda,
has essentially the same tone and character as the first; with this
difference, that it is versified throughout in national stanzas of
ten lines (_decimas_). Descriptions of the general instability and
transitory nature of earthly things are particularly conspicuous in
this as well as in several of Miranda’s other poems.[70] But it would
be in vain to look in these Portuguese eclogues for passages of such
exquisite beauty as those which occur in the Spanish eclogues of the
same author. It was only on the Castilian Parnassus that Saa de Miranda
established his fame as one of the most distinguished of bucolic
poets. With the exception of elegant language and versification, his
Portuguese eclogues are not much superior to the cordial effusions of

Saa de Miranda seems to have wished to display his native language to
advantage in another department of composition, in which, however, he
did not shine with equal lustre. A series of poetic epistles which in
the collection of his works follow the pastoral poems, are all, except
one, written in Portuguese. At the time of their appearance, no similar
productions existed in Portuguese literature: but they were speedily
surpassed by other writers. Nevertheless it is not merely for the
circumstance of their being first attempts that they claim attention.
They are distinguished from other poems of this class by the delicate
and characteristic union of that peculiar style of pastoral poetry
which Miranda formed for his eclogues, with a didactic diction which
indicates the disciple of Horace. At the same time Horatian ideas are
but thinly scattered through these epistles, and Miranda’s elegance
of language is far from reaching the force and precision of the latin
model. The poetry in which he endeavoured to approach the style of
Horace, is of the romantic didactic class--full of sound morality,
conveyed in ingenious reflections and pleasing representations--full
of truth and warmth of feeling--but like all romantic poetry, it is
somewhat too prolix, and its learning like the most of that which
has passed through the scholastic conduits of the cloister, is not
drawn from a very profound source. To interest by new views and ideas
in didactic poetry, was not a task suited to a catholic poet of the
sixteenth century, and least of all to one who so piously adhered to
the principles of his faith as Saa de Miranda. The most interesting
ideas of this poet, in so far as the value of such ideas is to be
considered, must be estimated by their truth and not by their novelty;
and their natural application to manners and characters within the
scope of the poet’s own observation, constitutes the basis of their
poetic merit. The verse chiefly employed consists of light redondilhas,
running in stanzas of five lines; and thus, even in metrical form,
these epistles depart considerably from the style of Horace. The two
last, which, together with those written in the Spanish language, are
versified in tercets, must in other respects be ranked in the same
class with the rest. Miranda, according to the old custom, styles
the whole series of these compositions _Cartas_ (letters), and not
_Epistolas_, the term which at a somewhat later period was properly,
though not generally employed by Portuguese writers, to designate poems
of a didactic or amusing description under the form of individual
correspondence. The first is addressed to the king. After a long
series of introductory compliments, full of the accustomed phrases
of servile devotion to the throne, the author enters into popular
reflections on the art of government, and particularly on the risk of
deception, to which sovereigns of the best intentions are constantly
exposed. Some of these reflections resolve very happily into practical
traits of didactic description.[71] Miranda must be forgiven for his
useless display of erudition which was quite in the spirit of his
age. In recompense, the legitimate character of the poet predominates
throughout the whole composition. The succeeding epistles possess more
of the light ironical tone of Horace. They are addressed to friends
and acquaintances. They relate to the advantages of rural life;--the
equivocal nature of city manners and amusements;--the mischievous
effects of luxury in Portugal since the introduction of the treasures
of India;--the value of literary occupation;--and similar subjects,
which an author, who had lived in the gay world, and afterwards retired
to solitude, might be expected to discuss in pleasing verse. Thus from
the nature of their subjects Miranda’s epistles may also be ranked
among the literary pictures of manners in the sixteenth century. The
philanthropic and patriotic poet particularly laments the insatiable
spirit of trade which prevailed in his native country. He declares
his opinion that danger was not to be apprehended from the extended
love of the arts and sciences, but from the “perfumes of the Indian
spices,” which had the melancholy effect of enervating the old national

Saa de Miranda also contributed to improve the sacred poetry of his
native country. His two hymns to the Holy Virgin were the first
compositions in Portuguese literature which were executed entirely in
the style of the Italian canzone. They cannot, however, be regarded
as lyric master pieces any more than the spiritual canzoni of the
Italians. Had a catholic poet been able to guard himself against
romantic prolixity in such hymns, still must his fancy, on any attempt
to elevate it to the poetic spirit of the ode, have again been subdued
by the humiliating idea of the guilt and unworthiness of man; and the
more truly Christian the song of praise might be, the more would it
partake of the litany character. Saa de Miranda cannot be regarded as a
model for the composition of hymns. But in his two spiritual _Canções_
he extended the sphere of Portuguese lyric poetry by the noble diction
which he introduced into them.[73] In the second _Cançaõ_ he has,
among other faults, indulged in a play on words, than which no verbal
conceit could be more antipoetic; for he finds a wonderful analogy of
contradiction between the fall of womankind and the merits of the Holy
Virgin, in the name _Eve_ and the word _Ave_ with which the angelical
salutation commences.[74] But these remains of monkish quibbling are to
be expected in spiritual, and particularly in catholic spiritual poems
of the sixteenth century.

In the series of Saa de Miranda’s lyric poems, there are several
popular songs written in some of the more ancient forms of Portuguese
poetry, which are, however, dignified by purity of language and
accuracy of expression and versification. These songs are chiefly of
the style called cantigas, or poetic mottos, with variation (_voltas_)
which are shorter than the Spanish _glossas_. They repeat the idea of
the motto differently turned or applied, but its text is not literally
interwoven with the variations; and this is precisely the difference of
form which distinguishes the older Portuguese cantigas from the Spanish
villancicos. To these lyric compositions is added a beautiful elegy in
tercets, in which Miranda with manly dignity bewails the death of his
beloved son who accompanied King Sebastian to Africa, and who fell in
the same battle in which that monarch lost his life.[75]

With Saa de Miranda the literary history of the Portuguese drama
likewise commences. Any attempts at dramatic composition which may
have been previously made in the Portuguese language, obtained no
literary celebrity, and are now forgotten. That in the time of Saa
de Miranda, theatres existed in Lisbon, in which dramas, similar to
those in the Spanish language were performed, is a fact sufficiently
evident from several allusions in Miranda’s two comedies, as well
as from the works of Gil Vicente, which will soon claim particular
notice. But no national taste for any particular species of drama
was then formed in Portugal. The Castilian style could not give the
tone to the Portuguese; for at the period in question, which was half
a century previous to the birth of Lope de Vega, the Spanish drama
was still in its infancy and wavering amidst heterogeneous forms.
Thus the Portuguese writers who turned their attention to dramatic
poetry, were not, in their choice of styles and forms, restrained by
any capricious conditions demanded by the public. These circumstances
afforded an opportunity for commencing, without any literary warfare,
the improvement of the Portuguese drama by the works of two poets,
who like Saa de Miranda and Gil Vicente trod in very different paths.
Miranda wrote two comedies in prose. They are dramas of character in
the style of Plautus and Terence:--one is entitled _Os Estrangeiros_
(the Foreigners); the other is called _Os Vilhalpandos_, from two
Spanish soldiers, who had both adopted the name Vilhalpando, which,
at that period, was probably celebrated in the military world. It has
already been mentioned that the Infante Cardinal Henry was particularly
pleased with these two dramas, that he permitted them to be performed
at his court, and that he gave orders for having them printed. How
they happened to obtain these honours is explained partly by their own
intrinsic merits and partly by contingent and temporary circumstances.
At the papal court, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, a
favourable reception had been given to the early Italian comedies in
prose, and in particular to Bibiena’s _Calandra_.[76] Miranda’s taste
had been formed in Italy, and what pleased a pope might well afford
entertainment to a cardinal. Miranda, as a dramatic poet, retraced
the footsteps of Bibiena and Ariosto; and Cardinal Henry of Portugal
followed the example of Leo X. It is, however, more than probable
that the Portuguese public was not induced by such high patronage to
manifest particular regard for this class of dramatic entertainments,
any more than the Italian public had been, by the marks of distinction
bestowed on the plays of Bibiena and Ariosto.

The two comedies of Miranda are, nevertheless, even at the present day,
worthy the attention of the critic. They are the first compositions of
their kind in Portuguese literature; and in none of the essentials of
the dramatic art are they surpassed by the subsequent productions for
which they have served as models. Both dramas exhibit highly natural,
though not ingenious delineations of character, unaffected diction, and
a pleasing and rapid flow of dialogue; and though in their composition
they really possess but little dramatic merit, still it is evident that
a dramatic spirit has governed their execution.[77] These comedies are
indeed imbued throughout with the delicate and refined spirit of a
poet, whose aversion from pedantry was equal to his feeling of delicacy
and love of nature. Miranda, as a dramatist, endeavoured to draw common
characters from the life, after the manner of Plautus and Terence, of
whom he avowed himself an imitator,[78] but he felt the necessity of
elevating, by some degree of refinement, the vulgar phraseology which
the characters he chose to pourtray actually employed in common life.
For this purpose he availed himself of the interesting popular style
in which he acquired such extraordinary facility as an idyllic poet.
Had the poetic spirit of this popular style shone as conspicuously in
his comedies as in his pastoral poems, the former, like the latter,
would have been novel and single in their kind. But Saa de Miranda was
born a pastoral poet, and only made himself a dramatist by imitation.
If he had been penetrated with the spirit of the comic dramatists of
Rome, as he was with that of the father of the Greek bucolic, he would
have endeavoured to become a Portuguese Plautus or Terence in the same
manner as he became a Portuguese Theocritus. He would not then have
transplanted foreign manners to the comic stage of his native land.
Still less would he have imitated his models in the manner of Bibiena;
a manner which even in Italy had been relinquished by Ariosto, who,
as a dramatist, struck into the same bypath, and missed the goal.
Miranda then did not, strictly speaking, follow Plautus and Terence;
but Bibiena and Ariosto, in their character of imitators of those
ancient poets, were his guides in the region of dramatic poetry,
where the spirit of modern times demanded more than he was capable
of supplying. Besides, why did this poet, who was a master in the
art of versification, write his dramas in prose? Wishing to adhere
throughout to the nature of prose, he makes the principal persons of
his dramas explain, chiefly in soliloquies, their own characters,
with a garrulity, which though certainly natural, is nevertheless low
and tedious; and the popular morality which floats in this prolix
stream of vulgar phraseology affords no pleasurable compensation
to the auditor or reader.[79] Faithful to his models, Miranda has
not, in either of his two comedies, laid the scene of action in his
native country, where he might have dramatized national customs; the
events which he describes are supposed to take place in Italy, and the
manners, and in general the characters which he paints, are Italian.
In the selection of those characters, he however follows Plautus and
Terence, without paying any apparent regard to the distinction between
different ages, by which the choice of the dramatic poet ought to be
directed. Of the principal characters there is only one perfectly
modern in the _Estrangeiros_, and in like manner only one of the same
description appears in the _Vilhalpandos_. The first is a pedantic
doctor named _Juris_; the second is a lady named _Fausta_, a hypocrite,
surrounded by a group of pretended devotees. The other characters in
Miranda’s two dramas, besides valets and waiting maids, are some old
men, ostentatious soldiers, and enamoured youths, a grumbling tutor,
(_ayo,)_ two or three merchants, a parasite, (_truhaõ_,) a match-maker,
(_casamenteiro_), and others of a still baser description, which
the author seems to have thought could not be dispensed with in any
imitation of the ancient drama. In the _Vilhalpandos_ the author has
also incidentally introduced the modern characters of a hermit and a
French page. No remarkable intricacy of events is produced by these
characters being brought in contact with each other; for Saa de Miranda
was not formed to be a writer of dramas of intrigue. His scenes are
strung together, rather than drawn out of each other. It is not worth
while more minutely to analyze the composition of these two dramas. No
highly comic scenes occur in either of them. But their general tone is
spirited; and, if well performed, they doubtless would, in the age in
which they were produced, interest an audience disposed to be pleased
with the comic delineation of character; for most of the scenes are
of a kind which might enable a player to supply by good acting that
comic force in which they are deficient. Thus it happened that though
the Portuguese public took no particular interest in dramas of this
class, no party was formed, as in Italy, avowedly hostile to them.
The bitterest portion of the satire with which Miranda invigorates,
not the comic spirit, but the morality of his dramas, is directed
against the Italian and particularly the Romish priesthood, to whose
scandalous mode of life, the basest characters are made, as the most
proper witnesses in such a case, to bear ample testimony. It appears,
therefore, that at this time satire might be openly and fearlessly
directed against the clergy, and that its application in that way was
not displeasing to the heads of the Portuguese church; for had it been
otherwise, so pious a writer as Saa de Miranda would scarcely have
ventured to indulge in such representations even if he could have made
them in secret.

Having taken a general view of the services which this memorable writer
rendered to Portuguese poetry, it can scarcely be necessary to state
that he was the first classic poet of his nation; but if it be wished
to make a more rigid application of this title and to confer it only on
writers, whose poetic cultivation, according to the classic models of
the ancients, leaves nothing farther to be desired, it were better to
abstain altogether from employing it in the history of modern poetry.
Miranda presented to his countrymen the first example of the manner in
which poetic genius aspiring to the highest pinnacle of art, ought to
study the classic poets of antiquity, in order to acquire clearness of
poetic perception, solid judgment in invention and precision, elegance
and ingenious simplicity in composition and diction, without renouncing
his individual character and the genius of his age and nation.[80]

The account of the classic school which Saa de Miranda founded in
Portuguese poetry, must be deferred until historical justice be
rendered to the genius of a less cultivated poet, who flourished at the
same period with Saa de Miranda, but who chose for himself a totally
different path on the Portuguese Parnassus.


Writers on literature have not recorded the date of the birth of Gil
Vicente, who is styled the Portuguese Plautus.[81] There is reason to
suppose that at the latest he was born within twenty years of the close
of the fifteenth century. It is known that he belonged to a family of
rank, and that he studied the law in compliance with the wish of his
family. But it appears that he speedily relinquished his juridical
studies and devoted himself wholly to the dramatic art. It is not
recorded whether or not he was regularly pensioned as a writer to the
court; but he was most indefatigable in furnishing the royal family
and the public with dramatic entertainments suited to the taste of the
age. He constantly resided at court, where his poetic talents were held
in permanent requisition for the celebration of spiritual as well as
temporal festivals; and no dramatic writer in Europe was more admired
and esteemed than Gil Vicente. His first productions were performed
with approbation at court in the reign of Emanuel the Great; but his
reputation acquired additional brilliancy in the reign of John III.
a monarch who, as has already been mentioned, did not scruple in his
younger years to perform characters in the dramas of this favourite
author. Vicente seems also to have possessed all the requisite
qualifications for a theatrical manager. We are not informed whether he
was himself an actor; but he was the tutor of the most distinguished
actress of his age, namely, his daughter _Paula_, maid of honour to the
Infanta Maria, a poetess, an amateur performer on several instruments,
and, as it appears, celebrated for every thing except beauty. Erasmus
is said to have learned Portuguese for the express purpose of reading
the comedies of Vicente in the original. There are no notices extant by
which farther insight into the personal character of this poet could be
obtained. He died in the year 1557 at Evora, and, as there is reason to
believe, at an advanced age. Five years after his death, his son Luis
Vicente edited a complete collection of his works, or at least of all
that had been preserved in manuscript.[82]

Gil Vicente would have been the Portuguese Lope de Vega, if not
something even superior, had he been born half a century later, and
had he been as much indebted to his age as the Spanish dramatist was
to that in which he flourished. But no one was less calculated than
Gil Vicente to become an improver of taste; and indeed he was far from
being ambitious of earning that honourable title. Had not the favour
of the public been continued to him and his dramas even after the
middle of the sixteenth century, when the school of Saa de Miranda had
risen and acquired the ascendancy in the polite world, he might with
propriety be ranked as the last in the series of the Portuguese poets
of the fifteenth century. His diction, as well as his whole poetic
style, belongs to that age, and to the latest period of his life he
continued faithful to the old national manner. In the conflict with the
new style introduced by Saa de Miranda’s school, Gil Vicente appeared
as the representative of the yet enduring national taste, which even
at court, where the adherents of the new party were most honourably
distinguished, preserved a co-equal authority with that party. That
each party should under such circumstances maintain its credit is not
a little remarkable. Perhaps they became accommodated to each other
merely because the Portuguese had no relish for literary feuds. It may
be presumed that each party therefore felt itself secure, and, content
with its own security, took no notice of the other.

Here we again arrive at the point, at which the historian of the
cultivation of the Portuguese and Spanish drama finds a stumbling-block
in the way of his enquiries; for the materials necessary to the right
prosecution of his labour are either entirely wanting or involved in
contradiction. In the history of the Spanish theatre it has already
been stated how little positive knowledge the Spaniards possessed
even in the age of Cervantes and Lope de Vega, respecting the early
formation of their national comedy.[83] To Torres Naharro, so strangely
overlooked by Cervantes, the honour of being the real father of the
Spanish comedy, must, on every just principle of historical criticism,
be conceded. But Gil Vicente was a contemporary of Torres Naharro; and
the dramatic compositions of the Portuguese poet, so far approximate
to the ruder forms of the Spanish comedy, as to entitle Portuguese
writers to claim for their own country the honour of the invention
of that comedy. Spanish Autos either did not exist in the beginning
of the sixteenth century, or if they did, they have disappeared from
the domain of literature. A whole series of Autos by Gil Vicente are,
however, extant; and several were written within the first ten years
of the sixteenth century. Some are entirely in the Spanish language;
others are half in Portuguese and half in Spanish, but all present,
in their radical features, the form and character of the Spanish
spiritual comedy. Was Gil Vicente then the first writer who exhibited
a kind of poetic design in dramatic entertainments for the celebration
of christian festivals, and thus raised to literary consideration
a style of composition which had previously been degraded by monks
and buffoons? Or are the corresponding works of contemporary Spanish
writers lost in oblivion? Was Gil Vicente an imitator of Torres
Naharro, or did the latter copy from the former?

The number of dramas which Gil Vicente has bequeathed to posterity is
considerable, though compared with the fertility of some of the Spanish
poets, by no means extraordinary. They are arranged in classes either
by himself, or, as is more probable, by his son, by whom they were
published; and in taking a critical view of them this classification
is very convenient. At the commencement appear the Autos or spiritual
dramas; next follow some anomalous works, which are oddly enough,
in preference to all others, styled comedies; these are succeeded
by the tragi-comedies; and last of all come the _Farsas_. Various
small poems in the Spanish and Portuguese languages form an appendix
to the collection. These works display a true poetic spirit, which,
however, accommodated itself entirely to the age of the poet, and
which disdained all cultivation. The dramatic genius of Gil Vicente
is equally manifest from his power of invention, and from the natural
turn and facility of his imitative talent. Even the rudest of these
dramas is tinged with a certain degree of poetic feeling. Scenes in
stanzas and redondilhas which, though harmonious, are of antiquated
construction, succeed each other with wonderful truth and simplicity.
But there appears in these compositions no perception of what may be
properly called the perfection of dramatic poetry; and no trace of an
endeavour to attain classic excellence, calls to mind the spirit of the
sixteenth century. Gil Vicente’s language, too, is altogether in the
old and uncultivated style.

The _Autos_, or spiritual dramas, contained in the collected works
of this poet, are sixteen in number. They cannot properly be called
_Corpus Christi_ pieces, or _Autos Sacramentales_; for most of them
were written to be performed on Christmas night, in celebration of that
festival, either before the court at Lisbon, or at royal residences in
the country, and they perfectly correspond with the object for which
they were intended. Pastoral poetry forms the basis of the whole, even
of those which, taking a totally different turn from the rest, become
alternately didactic and allegoric. By this characteristic feature
they are distinguished from most of the Autos of Spanish or posterior
origin. Accident favoured the national poetic genius of the Portuguese
in the creation of the spiritual pastoral drama. Gil Vicente while yet
a youth and a tyro in the poetic art, surprised King Emanuel and the
Queen on the birth of the Infante, afterwards King John III. by the
production of a little pastoral drama, which appears better adapted for
celebrating the festival of Christmas than the birth of a hereditary
prince, but which was, perhaps, on that very account the more
flattering to the royal family. This pastoral drama is, in consequence
of the distinction it thus obtained, placed before Vicente’s Autos,
and a notice by the son of the poet explains the reason why that
precedence is assigned to it. The little piece is written in the
Spanish language. Vicente’s son observes in his notice, that it was
received with particular favour because it was something new in
Portugal.[84] It is therefore probable that at this period Gil Vicente,
as yet unconscious of his own talent, only followed in the footsteps of
the venerable Juan del Enzina.[85] Having at the request of the royal
family altered his piece in such a way as to render it more suitable
to representation at Christmas, he was thus accidentally directed
into the path which naturally led to the union of dramatic poetry
with christian mysteries, and which he afterwards steadily explored.
Year after year with increasing taste and fancy he continued to write
Christmas pieces, which at last assumed a more enlarged form. Among
the personages introduced in these dramas there are always some of the
pastoral class, intended to represent directly, and also in a certain
degree allegorically, the shepherds at the manger of Bethlehem. But the
inventive poet soon advanced a step further. He composed dramas in the
same style for the celebration of other religious festivals, without
any admixture of pastoral poetry. Among his Autos, however, there is
one in celebration of the festival of Corpus Christi, which was one of
his earliest productions. The notice annexed to it states that it was
performed in the year 1504. It is founded on a simple incident in the
life of St. Martin, and possesses scarcely any thing of the character
of the later spiritual dramas, or _Autos Sacramentales_, properly so
called. But a far greater display of fancy and theatrical splendour,
was the result of Gil Vicente’s subsequent endeavours to dramatize the
mysteries of the catholic faith. It would appear that spiritual dramas
of this class, in which so much was to be seen and admired, had never
before been produced either on the Portuguese or the Spanish stage.
It cannot, therefore, be doubted, that Gil Vicente’s Autos had their
effect on the Spanish dramatists of the sixteenth century; and that if
they were not imitated as models, they served at least as examples for

The invention and the execution of Gil Vicente’s Autos present an
equal degree of rudeness. The least artificial are also those in which
the most decided traits of national character appear. The shepherds
and shepherdesses who are introduced into these Autos are Portuguese
and Spanish both in their names and manners. Their simple phrases and
turns of language are similar to those employed by the characters
in Saa de Miranda’s eclogues, except that their discourse is more
negligent and occasionally more coarse. In combining the appearance
of angels, the devil, the holy virgin and allegorical characters,
with popular scenes, an effect perfectly consistent with the ideas of
the audience was produced; for, according to the catholic doctrine,
the miracles with which Christianity commenced are continued without
intermission; through the mysteries of faith, the connection between
the terrestrial, celestial and infernal worlds is declared; and by
allegory that connection is rendered perceptible. The critic would
therefore judge very unfairly, were he to regard as proofs of bad
taste the consequences which a poet naturally entails on himself in
writing according to the spirit of his religion. Making allowance,
however, for that spirit, the rudeness of Gil Vicente’s Autos must be
acknowledged even by him who measuring them by the rule of critical
judgment, is perfectly disposed to view every system of religion only
on its poetic side. For instance in one of the simplest of these
Autos some shepherds who discourse in Spanish, enter a chapel, which
is decorated with all the apparatus necessary for the celebration of
the festival of Christmas. The shepherds cannot sufficiently express
their rustic admiration of the pomp exhibited in the chapel. Faith (_La
Fè_) enters as an allegorical character. She speaks Portuguese, and
after announcing herself to the shepherds as true Faith, she explains
to them the nature of faith, and enters into an historical relation
of the mysteries of the incarnation.[86] This is the whole subject of
the piece. Another Auto in which the poet’s fancy has taken a wider
range, presents scenes of a more varied nature. Mercury enters as an
allegorical character, and as the representative of the planet which
bears his name. He explains the theory of the planetary system and the
Zodiac, and cites astronomical facts from Regiomontanus, in a long
series of stanzas in the old national style. A Seraph then appears
who is sent down from heaven by God in compliance with the prayers
of Time. The Seraph, in the quality of a herald, proclaims a large
yearly fair in honour of the Holy Virgin, and invites customers to
it.[87] A Devil next makes his appearance with a little stall which he
carries before him. He gets into a dispute with Time and the Seraph,
and asserts that among men such as they are, he shall be sure to find
purchasers for his wares.[88] He therefore leaves to every customer his
free choice. Mercury then summons eternal Rome as the representative
of the church. She appears, and offers for sale peace of mind, as the
most precious of her merchandize. The Devil remonstrates; and Rome
retires. Two Portuguese peasants now appear in the market. One is very
anxious to sell his wife, and observes that if he cannot sell her,
he will give her away for nothing, as she is a wicked spendthrift.
Amidst this kind of conversation a party of peasant women enter, one of
whom, with considerable comic warmth, vents bitter complaints against
her husband.[89] The man who has already been inveighing against his
wife immediately recognizes her, and says:--“that is my slippery
helpmate.”[90] During this succession of comic scenes the action does
not advance. The Devil at last opens his little stall and displays
his stock of goods to the female peasants; but one of them who is the
most pious of the party seems to suspect that all is not quite right
with regard to the merchandize, and she exclaims: “Jesus! Jesus! True
God and man!” The Devil immediately takes to flight, and does not
re-appear; but the Seraph again comes forward and mingles with the
rustic groupes. The throng continues to increase; other countrywomen
with baskets on their heads arrive; and the market is stored with
vegetables, poultry and other articles of rural produce. The Seraph
offers virtues for sale; but they find no purchasers. The peasant girls
observe that in their village money is more sought after than virtue,
when a young man wants a wife. One of the party, however, says, that
she wished to come to the market because it happened to fall on the
festival of the mother of God; and because the Virgin does not sell
her gifts of grace (_as graças_); but she distributes them gratis (_de
graça_). This observation crowns the theological morality of the piece,
which terminates with a hymn of praise, in the popular style, in honour
of the Holy Virgin.

These specimens will afford an adequate idea of the spirit and style of
Gil Vicente’s Autos. His largest work of this class may, however, be
referred to, in proof of the little attention he bestowed on dramatic
plan in the composition of his spiritual comedies. It purports to be
“A Summary of the History of God.” After the prologue, which is spoken
by an Angel, Sir Lucifer (_Senhor Lucifer_,) enters, attended by a
numerous retinue of devils. Belial is president of his court of justice
(_meirinho de corte_), and Satan gentleman of his privy council,
(_fidalgo do conselho_). After this privy counsellor has performed
his part in the temptation of Adam and Eve in Paradise, the whole
details of which are represented on the stage, Lucifer confers on him
the dignities of duke and captain of the kingdoms of the world.[91]
Next succeeds a series of scenes which summarily represent the history
of the christian redemption. The World accompanied by Time and angels
enters as a king. The representation of the fall of man is followed by
the history of Abel, by whom a beautiful and simple hymn is sung.[92]
The next scenes exhibit the histories of Abraham, Job, and David;
and thus the Auto proceeds through the incidents of the old and new
testaments until the ascension of Christ, which is represented on the
stage amidst an accompaniment of drums and trumpets.

On comparing the Autos of Gil Vicente with those of Calderon, the
difference appears not much less considerable than that which exists
between the works of Hans Sachs and Shakespeare. But the graceful
simplicity with which many of the scenes of these spiritual dramas
are executed, raises the Portuguese poet infinitely above the poetic
shoe-maker of Nuremberg.

The most unimportant of the dramatic works of Gil Vicente are those
which the poet and his son have called comedies. One is a dramatized
novel, in which a young lady, whom her lover, a priest, has seduced,
appears on the stage in child-bed, and after long lamentations and
discussions is actually delivered of a daughter. In the second half
of the piece the child whose birth is thus announced has attained
the age of womanhood, and is in her turn introduced as a lady loving
and beloved. The action, however, is not destitute of interest. In
the first half of the drama, a Witch, who summons the Devil on the
stage, assists the unfortunate lady in child-bed, and afterwards, five
laundresses (_lavandeiras_) make their appearance. Nevertheless, amidst
much extravagance and absurdity, the author has represented several
scenes of domestic life, in a style equally pleasing and natural. No
example of the intrigue of the Spanish theatre is to be found in this
piece, but there is introduced a fool (_parvo_), or more properly a
waggish clown, a character which appears to be the rude prototype of
the Spanish _gracioso_. Pleasing songs in the Spanish language are
interspersed through the dialogue. The young girl who was born at the
commencement of the piece takes leave of the public in the character
of a princess. Several of Gil Vicente’s other works, which are styled
comedies, are dramatized novels, similar to that just described. One
which is entitled, _A Floresta de Enganos_, (the Forest or Gardens of
Deception),[93] is merely a dramatized garland of sprightly fancies
enriched with allegorical and mythological ornaments. At the head of
the dramatis personæ appears the burlesque character of a philosopher,
who, because he has reproved some wicked men for their misconduct, is,
by way of punishment, tied to a fool (_parvo_) with whom he is thus
compelled to associate. He regards this punishment as the severest
torture that could be inflicted on a philosopher. He speaks Spanish,
and the replies of the fool are more remarkable for their rudeness than
for their wit.[94]

Gil Vicente’s tragi-comedies may be regarded as rough outlines of
that kind of drama which subsequently formed a variety of the heroic
comedies[95] of the Spanish stage. They are not historical dramas, but
festival pieces adorned with a certain pomp of allegory, mythology,
magic, &c. and occasionally interspersed with pathetic scenes. They
were performed before the court on festivals or particular occasions,
which are specified. One of these dramas, entitled, _Amadis de Gaula_,
and founded on some of the incidents in the celebrated romance of
the same name, was, in spite of its inoffensive character, forbidden
to be performed in Spain in the reign of Philip II. The cause of
this prohibition probably was, that the disguise of Amadis, as a
pilgrim, was deemed a profanation of the sacred habit. This piece
which is written in the Spanish language, is destitute of all merit of
invention. Others of these dramas exhibit more traces of the poet’s
fancy; but in none is there the foundation of a genuine dramatic
plot. One entitled, _Exhortaçaõ de Guerra_, (Exhortation to War),
was doubtless a favourite with the court. A pious magician appears
who has learned necromancy in a sybil’s cave. By powerful spells
he summons to his presence some subject demons, whom he suffers to
revile him in the coarsest language.[96] He however obliges them to
conjure up the spirits of Polyxena, Penthesilea, Achilles, Scipio,
and other celebrated characters of antiquity. These spirits appear
in succession, and address fine compliments to the royal family. In
another tragi-comedy Providence is introduced as a Princess. But the
most varied of all is _Triumpho do Invierno_, (Winter’s Triumph),
in two parts. Besides a multitude of characters, among which an
allegorical personification of Winter is one of the most conspicuous,
Gil Vicente exhibited to his audience a view of the open sea, agitated
by a storm during the most inclement season of the year. The noise and
confusion among the ships in distress, and the oaths and prayers of the
Portuguese sailors expressed in rhymes and redondilhas, would naturally
be gratifying to a public who at the period when the piece was written,
took particular interest in maritime affairs.[97] Another of these
tragi-comedies is also a satire.

Gil Vicente was destined by nature to be a comic poet. His _farças_
(farces) are by far his best productions; and to them he was indebted
for the chief portion of his fame, as well as for the honourable but
ill-chosen surname which some critics have applied to him. If the
literary relationship between two dramatic writers were to be decided
by the comic strength of their works, then indeed Gil Vicente might be
truly termed a second Plautus. But neither in respect to their form
nor their spirit can Vicente’s farces be ranked in the same class with
the regular comedies of Plautus. Nevertheless the name of _farces_,
was not given to those comic dramas, on account of their irregularity
or their burlesque style. At the rise of the modern theatre in Spain
and Portugal all dramas were denominated farces,[98] and that the name
has been continued to be applied to Vicente’s comedies, is an accident
arising merely from the want of a better term of classification. It
is in like manner the result of accident, that in France, England and
Germany, the same term is still employed to distinguish precisely that
species of drama to which Gil Vicente’s farces belong. These pieces
are equally burlesque in their design and execution. They may, in a
certain sense, be styled dramas of character; for Vicente attached
great importance to the burlesque representation of some characters
which he sketched from life. But he never thought of founding his comic
interest on plot and intrigue; and in the degree of cultivation to
which he had attained, and above which he never rose, he was incapable
of designing and executing, on a comprehensive scale, a dramatic
picture of character with true delicacy of outline, and still less with
interesting truth of colouring. His farces, like his other dramas, have
no regular plot for their ground-work. They are dramatic conceptions of
scenes of real life, rapidly sketched by a glowing fancy, with genuine
comic feeling, with a certain poetic keeping, even when derived from
the commonest nature, and worked up by more or less of plastic talent,
into some form, but without any regard to correctness, and altogether
executed as a mere sportive task. In these farces the language and
metrical form are the same as in Gil Vicente’s other dramas. The
alternation of the Portuguese and Castilian idioms is seldom governed
by any other rule than the caprice of the poet. Upon the whole Gil
Vicente’s farces bear much resemblance to the _Entremeses_ which
subsequently became favourite entertainments on the Spanish stage; like
them they are not divided either into acts or scenes.

Among the eleven dramas, which in the collected works of Gil Vicente
are entitled farces, there are two festival pieces, in the popular
style, which might with equal propriety have been ranged in one of the
preceding classes. The first piece is truly a farce. Two miserable
servants, the one a Portuguese, the other a Spaniard, who are almost
starving in the service of two coxcombs, meet together in the street
at midnight, and each in his respective language complains of his sad
fate. The Portuguese describes his master as an enamoured enthusiast,
who employs himself day and night in writing silly verses, and in
singing them to his own wretched music, but who never appears to think
of eating and drinking.[99] This romantic gentleman (_escudeiro_)
soon makes his appearance with one of his own song books in his hand.
Before he begins to sing a song, he reads aloud its title, and names
himself as the author. When he has finished it he commences a new song,
first pronouncing very formally the words, “Another by the same,” in
the style of the old Cancioneiros. He proceeds to sing under the window
of his mistress Isabella, a miller’s coquetish daughter, where his
music is accompanied by the barking of dogs and the mewing of cats.
The blending of these songs, which though insipid, possess something
of the tender and melancholy character of the old cantigas, with the
conversation of the lover and his servant,--with the whisperings
of the serenaded Isabella from her lattice window,--and with the
rage of the gallant at the dogs and cats, which mortify him by the
interruption of his singing, was doubtless calculated to operate very
powerfully on the risibility of the audience, though much of the
ludicrous effect of the scene must now be supplied by the imagination
of the reader.[100] The mother of Isabella at length appears, with a
lantern in her hand, endeavouring to learn what is the cause of the
uproar. Here a change of scene commences with the lamentations of the
old woman in a burlesque caricature style.[101] She enters into a
dispute first with her coquetish daughter, who has expressed herself
pleased with the serenade, and then with the gallant, who at length
sings a farewell stanza, and departs. But this collection of songs and
dialogues is as far from having any real dramatic object as are the
other farces of Vicente, in which he sometimes introduces Witches,--at
that period objects of particular interest with the public,--performing
incantations in concert with the Devil; sometimes Frenchmen and
Italians who speak a kind of broken Portuguese, perhaps often enough
heard on the quays of Lisbon. In another of these lively entertaining
dramas, an enamoured old man is the principal character.

Of all these farces, however, that entitled _Inez Pereira_, is
distinguished by the most remarkable plot and the greatest stretch
of dramatic talent. The history of this piece serves to throw some
light on the relation in which Gil Vicente stood with respect to the
Portuguese public. Some persons, it appears, had expressed doubts of
his title to the authorship of the admired farces attributed to him,
and in order to maintain the reputation of his talent, he was desirous
that a pointed theme should be prescribed to him as a ground-work for
dramatic composition. It was accordingly suggested that he would find
a fit subject in the Portuguese proverb: “I prefer an ass that carries
me, to a horse that throws me.”[102] For the comic representation of
this proverb, Vicente chose the prettily conceived story of a young
girl, who rejects the matrimonial offer of a wealthy simpleton, because
she is resolved to marry none but a man of superior understanding and
talents. Inez at length finds a man after her own heart. She gives him
her hand, but soon grows very unhappy, because she finds that with such
a husband, his will must always be her law. She now sincerely repents
the coyness with which she had listened to the proposals of her less
gifted lover. Death soon interposes in her favour, and she becomes a
widow. Her former suitor offers himself again, and Inez triumphs in
the possession of a husband whom she finds it easy to manage. This
happily chosen fable is worked up with more care than Vicente seems
to have bestowed on his other farces. Had this poet been placed in
circumstances similar to those which a hundred and fifty years later
operated in favour of Moliere, _Inez Pereira_ would in all probability
have been made one of the best comic pieces of character in the
dramatic literature of modern times. But in this drama Gil Vicente
has contented himself with grouping his characters in a brilliant but
confused throng, stringing his scenes together like a wreath of roses,
exhibiting events, between which, days, weeks, and months intervene, in
immediate succession, like pictures in a rareeshow; and thus upon the
whole he has made little approximation towards the point of cultivated
taste.[103] But this farce supplies illustrations of the manners of
the age, which could not easily be obtained from any other source.--We
learn from it that the jews in Lisbon were then particularly celebrated
as marriage brokers (_casamenteiros_) and that they carried on this
employment as an ordinary branch of traffic. One of the suitors is
introduced by some jews of this profession to Inez Pereira.

On reverting from the dramas of Gil Vicente to the poetic works of
the classic writers, at whose head Saa de Miranda stands, the reader
will find himself transported to a totally different world. But this
transition belongs to the chronological order of the subject.


Antonio Ferreira, surnamed the Portuguese Horace, was born at Lisbon
in the year 1528. His parents, who belonged to the first class of
nobility, destined him for a statesman or public functionary. He
obtained the degree of Doctor at the University of Coimbra, where
he studied the civil law. He took however less interest in his
jurisprudential studies than in the lectures of a professor of ancient
literature, named Diogo de Tieve, who at that time possessed great
celebrity, and for whom after quitting the university he continued
to entertain a strong affection and regard. While Ferreira was
pursuing his studies at Coimbra, the works of Horace, and other
poets of antiquity, produced on him an impression totally different
from that which was experienced by the other students, who directed
their attention to ancient literature. Among the latter it was a
fashion to write verses in latin, and to look with disdain on the
Portuguese language; but Ferreira, while yet a youth, proved himself
an enthusiastic lover of his mother tongue. He resolved not to write a
line in any foreign language, not even in Spanish; and he faithfully
kept his determination. In his beautiful introductory or dedicatory
stanza, to readers after his own taste (_a os bons engenhos_) he
intimates that his poems shall belong “to those readers to whose
pure bosoms he may commit them. For himself he will be content with
the glory of having it said that he loved his native land and his
countrymen.”[104] But the patriotic spirit which thus glowed in the
soul of Ferreira was combined, in a manner then altogether uncommon,
with a similar enthusiasm for the ancient classics, and particularly
for the poetry of Horace. The example of Saa de Miranda had also its
influence in forming his taste; and he closely studied the Italian
poets from whom he learned to combine classic correctness of ideas
and language, on the model of the ancients, with a natural poetic
style, suited to the age in which he lived. The beautiful structure of
Italian verse so charmed him, that he thought no other metres possessed
sufficient dignity to entitle them to be introduced into Portuguese
poetry. He accordingly never composed in redondilhas, and, generally
speaking, in no verse in the old national style. The whole object of
his ambition was to be a classical poet, and in that character to give
to Portuguese poetry a new, and according to his taste, a more noble
diction. Inspired with the hope of accomplishing this purpose, he
laboured with so much assiduity, that before he left the university he
had composed the greater portion of the hundred and thirteen sonnets
which are contained in the collection of his poems. Whether the “Lady
of his Thoughts,” who supplies in these sonnets the place of Petrarch’s
Laura, was no imaginary character, is uncertain. It cannot, however,
be doubted, that in his fifth elegy the poet alludes to a real and
beloved Manila, who had been snatched from him by death. Ferreira was
twenty-nine years of age when he published the first collection of his
poetic works. He had previously been engaged in delivering academic
lectures, probably on jurisprudence, in the university of Coimbra. In
his poetic pursuits, he was joined by several young men of similar
talent, particularly Andrade Caminha, Jeronymo Cortereal, and Diogo
Bernardes, who, together with other poets of that age, formed a circle
of disciples and admirers of Saa de Miranda. But he grew tired of
his university studies, and visited the court where he soon acquired
distinction. He obtained the high office of _desembargador de camara
de supplicaçaõ_ (judge of the council of grace), and he was likewise
appointed a _fidalgo da casa real_ (gentleman of the royal household).
For the young poets of Portugal he now became an oracle of criticism;
and a most brilliant prospect had opened itself to him, when in the
year 1569, and at the age of forty-one, he died of the plague which
was supposed to be brought to Lisbon from the Levant. A monument was
erected to his memory in the church where he was buried; but the stone
is now much defaced.[105]

Though not a poet of the first rank, Ferreira has, as a classical
poet, been surpassed by no other in Portuguese literature, and has
in that respect also had but few equals in the literature of Spain.
His fancy was circumscribed, and to originality he seems to have put
forth no pretension; but the sound taste which he manifested from the
commencement of his poetic cultivation, was a thing totally new in
Portugal at that period. Ferreira was by no means a blind or pedantic
imitator of the ancients and the Italians. He was, however, animated
by an enthusiastic feeling for every thing truly exemplary in the
writings of the foreign poets whom he chose for prototypes; his
vigorous understanding, cherished with particular predilection the
idea of reforming the national Portuguese poetry after such models;
and patriotic zeal prompted him to complete what poetic feeling and
sound judgment had combined to suggest. Correctness of ideas as well
as of language was to him the first requisite of all poetic beauty.
He wished to banish from the poetry of his native land those traces
of orientalism which it still retained. It was not less his study to
avoid the eccentric than the common. He attached more importance to
noble than to extraordinary ideas. But to poetic energy, precision
and plenitude of picturesque expression, or what may be termed the
poetry of language, his attention was chiefly directed. This quality
he cultivated with a degree of talent and judgment, which would
have imparted to his style Horatian perfection, were it not for the
philosophic laconism peculiar to the diction of Horace, and which no
modern poet, Klopstock alone excepted, has been able to approach.
Ferreira was the first Portuguese writer who manifested a particular
interest in the poetic dignity of his native tongue. He was the first
who practically proved that the soft toned accentuation and simple
popular idiom of that language were not inconsistent either with the
energetic expression of didactic poetry, or the sonorous rhythm of the
loftier styles. In this respect he essentially departed from the manner
of Saa de Miranda; and thus his poetry lost the national colouring by
which that of his predecessor is peculiarly distinguished. The works
of Ferreira belong indeed to that class of Portuguese poetry which
is most easily intelligible to a foreigner possessing a knowledge of
latin. Ferreira’s latinity of expression extends even to metrical
scanning in which he assumed new freedoms;[106] and the title under
which he published his poems, and which they still retain, has a sort
of latin air.[107] Ferreira has therefore never been a favourite poet
with the great mass of the Portuguese public. There was indeed a
time during the seventeenth century in which he was despised even by
the polite world as a learned pedant;[108] but a later posterity has
rendered justice to his merits. Precisely such a poet as Ferreira was
wanting to create among the Portuguese that taste for sound good sense
in poetry, which they but too soon lost, and which, in these latter
times, they have tardily endeavoured to recover. Ferreira himself
takes various opportunities of explaining the principles by which he
was guided in the composition of his works. In an epistle to Diogo
Bernardes, he says--his first rule is to be as distrustful of himself
as he is of superficial censurers; to follow his natural feelings, and
to avoid a forced use of art; to respect only the judgment of those
who are capable of judging; to follow the counsel of well informed and
sincere friends; and to polish the rudeness of genius by industry and
judicious imitation.[109]

Ferreira’s sonnets which amount to a considerable number, are divided
into two books. They were all, as has already been remarked, written
by the poet at an early period of life. The study of the Petrarchian
sonnet is every where manifest in those attempts to emulate the pure
Italian style, which, though imitations, are free of all traces
of effort and affectation. In general, however, Ferreira’s tender
complaints exhibit only feeble glimmerings of the intensity and
grace of Petrarch; but on the other hand they are disfigured by
fewer extravagancies than the similar effusions of passion by other
Portuguese and Spanish poets; and the energy of the expression is
usually ennobled by classic grace of diction. Some of these amatory
sonnets may be regarded as models.[110] In others, however, the poet
speaks of “burning snow and freezing fire.”[111] Among the best are
some which occur in the second book, in which the poet laments the
death of his mistress.[112] Ferreira seems to have felt no inclination
to imitate Petrarch’s didactic sonnets probably, because he had at an
early period given to his didactic poetry a different form, and one
which bore a more decided resemblance to his favourite Horace.

In the composition of odes Ferreira unquestionably endeavoured to
form his style on the model of Horace. But among the thirteen poems,
which in the collection of Ferreira’s works are ranged under the title
of _Odas_, and which notwithstanding their scanty number are divided
into two books, there is not one which exhibits a truly lyric flight
of fancy. In all the language is excellent; the sentiment noble;
and the didactic tone and the dignity of the whole manner are in
admirable unison with the sonorous melody of the metre; but no new and
energetic ideas, no lyric boldness, which, at first sight, might seem
irregularity, surprise and charm the reader. Ferreira indeed expressly
proposed to himself to soar even as a writer of odes above “the
ignorant multitude;”[113] but by his frequent repetition of certain
pompous and sonorous phrases, he widely departs from the character
of the Horatian style.[114] Even the moral energy of sentiment which
appears in Ferreira’s odes, is not the energy of Horace.[115] It would
appear that the Italian canzoni with their superfluity of beautiful
words and phrases had influenced Ferreira to an extent of which he was
unconscious. Some of his odes have precisely the metrical form of the
canzone, with the exception of the concluding flourish or apostrophe
of the poet to his poem. Others have shorter stanzas like those of
the Spanish odes of Luis de Leon.[116] Is possible that Ferreira may
have been acted upon by the example of Luis de Leon, as they were
contemporaries and almost of equal age; or, perhaps, the Spaniard was
influenced by the Portuguese poet. This, however, is a subject to
which writers of neither country make allusion; but it is certain that
the character of Ferreira had nothing in common with the tranquil yet
captivating enthusiasm of Luis de Leon. Nevertheless in the composition
of the ode he became a model for the poets of his own nation, as Luis
de Leon was for those of Spain; and every poem to which the title of
ode has subsequently been given in Portuguese literature, exhibits
nearly the same character and metrical form of which he set the
example. In Ferreira’s odes the descriptive passages are usually the

The elegies of Ferreira, at the period at which they were written, had
also the advantage of the charm of novelty in the literature of his
country; for with the exception of the single elegy of Saa de Miranda
no poem of that class existed in the Portuguese language. Ariosto
seems to have been the model whom Ferreira particularly copied in
elegiac composition. Like Ariosto, he very happily seized the idea of
the pleasing voluptuous elegy of the ancients, which was soon after
neglected and continued long lost to modern literature. His elegy
on May is a classic masterpiece.[118] He was less successful in
plaintive elegy. Among the elegies of this kind which he composed,
several deserve only to be regarded as occasional poems on the death
of distinguished persons. Others are properly epistles, abounding in
moral reflexions and observations on the uncertainty of human affairs,
but wanting in that tone of tender melancholy which is essential to the
true plaintive elegy.[119] A few free translations from the Greek of
Moschus and Anacreon are annexed to this collection of elegies.

Ferreira’s eclogues possess little poetic merit; and, excellent as is
the diction, the style is not sufficiently bucolick. Ferreira was no
less susceptible than Saa de Miranda of the philosophic enjoyment of a
country life and the beauties of rural nature; but an ideal pastoral
world was foreign to the scope of his genius, and bucolick simplicity
was not at all reconcilable with his taste, which invariably inclined
him to masculine reflexion, clothed in a tone of didactic seriousness.
He would not, therefore, had he even possessed the natural requisites
for pastoral poetry, have been disposed to prefer that style as the
poetic form for occasional compositions, however agreeable it might
be to the individuals of the royal family to have their festivals
poetically illustrated by such contributions to the general gallantry
of the court.

Ferreira’s epistles occupy the chief portion of the first volume of his
poems; and they are, upon the whole, entitled to the first rank in the
poet’s works. It is worthy of remark, that these epistles retain the
old title of _Cartas_ instead of that of _Epistolas_, notwithstanding
Ferreira’s predilection for latinity in his choice of words. But they
differ in so many various ways from the poetic _Cartas_ of Saa de
Miranda, that they may be regarded as the first productions of their
kind in Portuguese literature. Their contents evidently shew that
they were all written when the poet had attained the age of maturity.
At that period he resided at court, and from his practical philosophy,
for which he was partly indebted to his literary studies, he deduced
the maxims which daily received confirmation from the events of real
life. Yet the more he was tied to the great world, the more valuable
did retirement appear to him. The natural nobleness of his turn of
mind was constantly at variance with the manners and characters of
the persons by whom he was surrounded. In this state of feeling he
wrote his epistles. They are for the most part addressed to men of the
first rank, with whom Ferreira was more or less intimate, and among
whose names appear those of the most celebrated poets who laboured in
common with him for the classic improvement of the national taste. The
didactic poems addressed by Ferreira to these men are nearly all in the
same strain. The delicacy of the didactic tone of Horace was not to be
attained by a poet who had to open the first path for the restoration
of classical style in a country in which the old romantic character
in poetry, and the scholastic theological spirit in philosophy,
were only beginning to yield to the influence of a more liberal
cultivation. Neither was Ferreira, with all his elegance, sufficiently
cultivated for that Horatian gaiety, which frequently rises to wanton
sportiveness, and jests with the very precepts it inculcates. The
characteristics of his philosophy are dignified gravity and sound
judgment, unalloyed by any thing like pedantry or pretension. But the
philosophic medium through which he viewed the vicissitudes of fortune
and the follies of mankind, partook more of religious austerity than
of epicurean pleasantry; and notwithstanding his general correctness
in epistolary composition, even in that respect, he falls, like almost
every other modern poet, far short of the energetic precision of the
Horatian style. As an epistolary poet, therefore, Ferreira is no more
a Portuguese Horace than the two Argensolas are Horaces in Spanish
literature.[120] But the sound judgment and noble feeling, which may
be said to form the moral soul of these poems, are expressed in that
natural, unostentatious, pleasing and varied manner, which belongs
to the true spirit of the didactic epistle; and the poet’s fancy
has scattered as many flowers on the path of ornate wisdom, as are
necessary to distinguish it from the high road of moralizing prose.
Patriotism and zeal for the national greatness of Portugal give a
peculiar colouring to these epistles. In the spirit of this feeling
Ferreira extols the union of Portuguese military glory, with the
improvement of manners and the cultivation of the understanding; and
with regard to cultivation, according to models, he says--one should
seek to “excel others in what is best, and only in other respects to
imitate.”[121] He zealously exhorts his friend Andrade Caminha not
to make the muses in Portugal speak any thing but Portuguese.[122] He
expresses his dissatisfaction at the little encouragement which in his
opinion was extended to genius at that period in Portugal. He also
inveighs against the perverted appreciation of good and bad, right and
wrong.[123] Within the limits of his faith, he himself discourses
exquisitely on the beauty of reason.[124] But the soft language of
feeling more particularly glows in those epistles in which he speaks
of the joys of friendship and the pleasures of rural life.[125]
Occasionally Ferreira’s didactic style takes an ironic jocular turn,
and then only does it present true Horatian facility.[126] Upon the
whole if the poetry of reason and sentiment be not more lightly
esteemed than the poetry of luxuriant fancy, Ferreira’s epistles must
be numbered among the best in modern literature.

Ferreira endeavoured to introduce epigrams, composed after the manner
of the ancients, into the poetry of his native country. But he did not
succeed in seizing the spirit of the ancient epigram. Ausonius was his
model; and the _epigrammas_ and _epitaphios_ which appear among the
works of Ferreira are not distinguished either by the tenderness or
the energy of the esteemed Greek poems of the same class. Their chief
merit is an elegant precision of language conveyed in the metrical form
of the Italian octaves; but it is only in a few instances that this
elegant precision is in any degree poignant and pleasing.[127] The
epitaphs are in general dedicated to the memory of men distinguished in
Portuguese history.

Ferreira is the author of a tale written in honour of a female national
saint, named _Colomba_, or, according to the popular pronunciation,
_Comba_. Beauty of language also constitutes the whole poetic merit
of this piece; and even the introduction, which is long and tedious,
sufficiently proves that when Ferreira undertook to celebrate the
virtues of St. Colomba he stepped out of his sphere. The subject of
the tale is a legend which might have formed the ground-work of a
better production. The fair saint, a Portuguese shepherdess, tending
her flocks and singing pious songs, becomes the object of the ardent
passion of a Moorish king, who discovers her in one of his hunting
excursions. The king pursues her until she has no longer any hope
of saving herself by flight. In this extremity she implores a rock
to open and receive her. The miracle takes place. The disappointed
king strikes his lance against the rock, and a clear fountain gushes
forth, the waters of which continue to possess miraculous properties.
The narrative is, however, much too cold for such a subject; and the
description given of the Moorish king is so extremely grotesque, that
it is difficult to conceive how a man of Ferreira’s taste could have
brought himself to sketch so rude a picture. He has represented the
king as being covered with shag like a bear; and in addition to this
ornament has given to one side of his head the ear of an ass, and to
the other the ear of a dog.[128]

Ferreira likewise wished to introduce into the dramatic poetry of
Portugal a classical style, approximating to that of the ancients as
closely as the difference of times and manners would permit. Among
his dramatic works there are a tragedy and two comedies. Ferreira’s
patriotic feeling induced him to borrow the subject of his tragedy
from the history of Portugal; and he selected the story of Inez de
Castro, which has since been so frequently handled by Portuguese poets,
though before Ferreira’s time it seems to have been untouched. When
it is recollected that at the same period the Dominican Bermudez was
engaged in writing a Spanish tragedy on the same story, and according
to similar principles,[129] the conclusion that one of these tragedies
in some measure owes its existence to the other is not easily avoided.
Both present a striking similarity in invention and arrangement. But
neither poet alludes in any way to his contemporary; and even the
critics who notice the one work are silent with respect to the other.
The prize of tragic art must, however, be awarded to the Inez de Castro
of Bermudez. Ferreira’s _Castro_ (for so the tragedy is briefly called
by the Portuguese) contains many beautiful passages; but throughout
the whole piece there is a deficiency of true pathos; the imitation
of the Greek style in form and manner is painfully elaborate; the
dramatic, interest of the composition is extremely feeble, and the
dignity of tragic poetry is maintained in the language alone. Inez de
Castro with her attendant or nurse (_ama_), the Infante Don Pedro with
his secretary, King Alphonso with his three inhuman counsellors, and
finally a messenger, are the acting or rather the speaking characters;
and a chorus of Coimbrian women are brought into co-operation with
these characters in the same manner as in the tragedy of Bermudez.
Ferreira, like Bermudez, deviates from the strict laws of the Greek
drama only in the neglect of the unities of time and place; and it is
evident that this liberty is by both poets only taken from necessity,
because they had not sufficient art otherwise to connect the requisite
scenes. Both tragedies contain in appearance five acts; but Ferreira
has also rendered his fifth act merely an historical appendage. In
the opening of Ferreira’s tragedy Inez enters with her attendant, and
after some preliminary complaints circumstantially relates the way
in which she became connected with the Prince, and through him with
the royal family; though it may be presumed that these particulars
must have been sufficiently well known to her confidante long before.
The scene changes, and the Infante appears accompanied by the female
chorus, which Bermudez has more suitably introduced in connection with
Inez. The Infante engages in a long discussion with his secretary on
the situation of a Prince who has to maintain a conflict between love,
and duty and policy. A hymn to love by the chorus closes the first
act. The following acts are constructed in a similar manner. At the
close of the fourth act the death of Inez is announced by the chorus;
and in the fifth a messenger relates the event to the Prince. The
lyric passages are the best in the whole tragedy, and among them the
hymn to love is particularly beautiful.[130] The lines which Inez
delivers on her first entrance indicate at once the lyric character
of the piece. The dialogue is elegant throughout, but it frequently
exhibits over-strained antitheses. The observations occasionally
delivered by the chorus, in a metre formed on the model of the sapphic,
are sufficiently moral, though they are in general of the commonest
character. The decisive scene, in which Inez appears before the king,
approaches nearest to true pathos, but never completely attains that
height.[131] Upon the whole Ferreira was not a tragic poet. He totally
failed in seizing the true idea of modern tragedy.

In spirit and in form Ferreira’s two comedies perfectly resemble those
of Saa de Miranda. One which is called “Bristo,” (_Comedia do Bristo_)
takes its name from the principal character in the piece. The other is
entitled the “Jealous Man,” (_Comedia do Cioso_). The comedy of Bristo
was the production of Ferreira’s early youth. In his dedication to the
king, he says that he wrote it during the holidays, in the course of
the few days which he was able to snatch from his more serious studies
at the university of Coimbra. To this task he was in all probability
incited by the example of Saa de Miranda. It may also be presumed that
at a subsequent period, Ferreira gave a finer polish to this comedy,
to which Portuguese writers usually refer, when they wish to prove how
admirably their native language is adapted to light and elegant prose.
But it is not merely in this philological point of view that the
merits of this work ought to be estimated. In facility, precision and
elegance of dialogue, it surpasses the comedies of Saa de Miranda, and
many which in other respects are justly ranked among the best in modern
literature. The delineation of character, so far as it goes, is natural
and decided: indeed some of the characters, among which is a hectoring
profligate knight of Rhodes, who resembles the ostentatious soldiers of
Plautus, are particularly well sustained. In the _Comedia do Cioso_,
the principal character, though somewhat overcharged, is strikingly
sketched. Both dramas contain some comic scenes; but they are upon the
whole as deficient in real comic force as they are overburthened with
common place morality; and that morality too, as in the comedies of Saa
de Miranda, is conveyed in tedious soliloquies.

But the public favour which the court conferred on the regular
dramas of Ferreira, in common with those of Saa de Miranda, and the
rude compositions of Gil Vicente, may be regarded as one of the
circumstances which operated to prevent the formation of a national
drama in Portugal. For the rise, as in Spain, of a national party,
which might rouse and incite a poet to advance from the point at which
Gil Vicente had stopped, became now much more difficult. Thus the art
of dramatic invention and composition long wavered amidst heterogeneous
forms, until the Portuguese poets who wished to write for the theatre,
had no alternative but to become imitators of the Spanish authors who
had preceded them, or entirely to renounce the formation of any thing
like a national drama. No Portuguese Lope de Vega arose; and Ferreira’s
name was only preserved in the recollection of the learned.

       *       *       *       *       *

After having perused with critical reflection the history of Portuguese
poetry and eloquence, from the introduction of the Italian style to the
present point, the reader will be prepared to recognize the rank which
Camoens holds among the poets of his country. Respecting this most
celebrated of the Portuguese poets, indeed almost the only one among
them who has obtained any celebrity beyond the limits of his native
country, all the writers of the classic school of Saa de Miranda,
Diogo Bernardes excepted, are silent, which is a sufficient proof
that they did not include him in their party. But the public voice of
Portuguese criticism, combined with the general national approbation,
has long since elevated him above those who neglected to mention his
name, though they were always ready to bestow praise on each other.
Camoens, it is true, was a poor adventurer, wandering in India, at the
period when Ferreira, Andrade Caminha, and other contemporary writers
were setting the poetic fashion at the brilliant court of Lisbon. But
the poems which he produced previously to his departure for India,
approximate in a striking degree to the classic works of the school
of Saa de Miranda; and hence it is probable that the influence of
that school, and of the older Portuguese poetry, may have operated
in an equal degree on his genius. This relationship of Camoens with
all parties in the polite literature of his native country, will be
placed in the clearest point of view by introducing him after Ferreira,
and before the other poets, who hand in hand with the latter pursued
the newly opened course. Thus the genius of Camoens, as the first of
Portuguese poets, may be considered conjointly with his merits as a
poet in the spirit of the age in which he lived.


The biography of Luis de Camões, or Camoens, again brings to
recollection that period in which the poets of Portugal considered
their character very imperfectly maintained, if their real life did
not prove a faithful mirror of the poetic joys and sorrows embodied in
their works. Camoens was born at Lisbon, probably in the year 1524.
His parents, as it appears, were not rich; but they belonged to the
class of ancient nobility, and they were enabled to give their son an
education which facilitated his entrance on the career of military
and civic honor. From his father, who was captain of a vessel, and
who lost his life in shipwreck on the coast of India, it is probable
that Camoens heard many stories, which were calculated to inspire him
with a taste for adventure and daring enterprize. Of the history of
his early youth no remarkable particulars are recorded. He attended
the university of Coimbra, where he acquired a fund of historical and
mythological knowledge. Some of his elegies and sonnets which have
descended to posterity, seem to have been written at this period,
though it does not appear that those productions gained for him the
friendship of Ferreira, and other contemporaries of eminent talent, who
were about the same time studying at Coimbra. It is probable that these
young men, who had joined in a mutual and earnest endeavour to attain
classic correctness, anticipated nothing extraordinary from the ardent
Camoens, who adopted the new style, but did not disdain the old, and
whose fancy was too restless to submit to the didactic controul of the
judgment. On quitting the university Camoens returned to Lisbon, but
with what design is not mentioned by Portuguese authors, nor has any
conjecture been formed respecting the views of success which he might
have had in that city. He soon, however, became an object of public
notoriety through his imprudent conduct in gallantry, which, next to
poetry, at that time engrossed his thoughts. The particulars of a love
affair, in which he became involved, are not accurately known; and,
therefore, how far with respect to it, he was to blame, cannot now be
ascertained. It however appears, that the object of his regard was
named Catharina de Attayda, and that she was a _dama do paço_, (lady of
honor) at the court. Either on account of this lady, or of some other
circumstance which operated unfavourably for the romantic poet, he was
banished from Lisbon; and with this event commences the second part of
the life of this extraordinary man.

Thus cut off in the age of aspiring pretension and glowing enthusiasm,
from the hope of advancing by the course usually open to youthful
ambition, Camoens remained for some time tranquilly at Santarem, the
place of his exile, in the neighbourhood of Lisbon. There instead
of considering what was now necessary to be done with a view to his
future welfare, he occupied himself in writing verses, which have been
handed down to posterity, but which only served to fix more deeply a
passion the object of which was still near him. With a caprice not
uncommon in such a state of feeling, Camoens, who cherished at once
romantic ideas of patriotism, and indignant emotions of disgust,
suddenly changed the whole system of his life. He became a soldier,
and served against the Moors as a volunteer on board the Portuguese
fleet in the Mediterranean. To be at once a hero and a poet was now
the object of his ambition. Whenever time and opportunity permitted,
he composed verses, which often, particularly those of the lyric and
elegiac class, had for their subject the recollection of his hopeless
passion. Whether he had at this period clearly conceived the plan of
his national heroic poem, or whether he was actually engaged in its
execution, are questions which, like almost every other fact relative
to the history of this poet’s talent, remain enveloped in doubt. It is
known, however, that he combated the enemies of his country in a naval
battle fought off Ceuta. During this action, in which he eminently
distinguished himself, he received a gun-shot wound in consequence of
which he lost the sight of his right eye. He now hoped to obtain, in
the character of a hero, that reward which he had failed to acquire
as a poet. He returned to Lisbon. But no individual at court took any
active interest in his welfare. All his efforts to gain an honourable
competence were unsuccessful; and he was now verging on the age of
maturity. More dissatisfied, and yet more proud than ever, he loudly
accused his country of ingratitude, while at the same time his poetic
effusions prove that his heart overflowed with the warmest feelings of
national attachment. At last, determined to leave for ever a land to
which his heart was still bound by the ties of another passion besides
patriotism, he embarked in the year 1553, at the age of twenty-nine,
for India. That his thankless country should not have even his bones,
was the sentiment which, on his departure, his indignant feelings
prompted him to exclaim in the words of Scipio:--_Ingrata patria, non
possidebis ossa mea!_

From this period the life of Camoens exhibits a chain of successive
adventures and calamities; but fate watched over him with miraculous
care, and seemed to rescue him from every danger in order that he
might complete his poetic career. The squadron with which he sailed
to India consisted of four ships. Three were lost in a storm, but
Camoens arrived on board the fourth, in the port of Goa. From this
circumstance he augured that fortune was now about to smile on him.
He soon found, however, that employment was not to be obtained at Goa,
and he entered as a volunteer in a military corps, forming part of an
expedition which the Portuguese viceroy was fitting out for the aid of
an Indian prince. On the arrival of the troops at the place of their
destination, a great portion of the Portuguese fell a sacrifice to the
insalubrity of the climate; but Camoens returned in safety to Goa after
the object of the expedition had been attained. In the situation in
which he then stood, there remained for him no other alternative than
to embark in a new expedition which was about to sail for the Red Sea
to attack the Arabian corsairs. At the island of Ormus, where he passed
the winter, Camoens again found leisure to indulge in the workings of
his imagination. His mind gave a poetic colouring to every thing which
he saw or heard; and the ardour of his patriotism continued to increase
in proportion as he became more intimately acquainted with the theatre
of the Portuguese atchievements in India. But many circumstances which
came within his observation induced him also to indulge in satirical
sports of wit. The government of Goa had hitherto done nothing for him.
He did not, however, try to promote his interest by flattery. On the
contrary, he ridiculed the _disparates na India_, (follies in India)
as he unceremoniously styled some portion of the proceedings of the
government of Goa. The viceroy, who took particular umbrage at this
satire, banished Camoens to the Chinese island of Macao. The fate of
the unfortunate hero and poet was now more deplorable than ever. He
however gained permission to quit Macao and visit the Molucca islands,
where he collected fresh materials for pictorial poetry; but he could
no longer, as the lines beneath his portrait express, “bear in one
hand the sword, in the other the pen.[132]” He was glad to accept
the very unpoetic and unheroic post of _provedor mòr dos defuntos_,
(administrator of the effects of deceased persons) by the emoluments of
which he was enabled to subsist. Whenever circumstances permitted he
turned his attention to his heroic poem, and thus indemnified himself
in the ideal world for the part which he was compelled to perform
in real life. At length, on the arrival of a new viceroy at Goa, he
obtained permission to return to that island, but in the passage
thither was shipwrecked on the coast of Camboya. With difficulty he
saved his life, and also his poem, the manuscript of which, soaked with
sea-water, he brought to land. This circumstance is noticed in the work
itself.[133] The story of his swimming ashore with his poem in one
hand, while he supported himself by the action of the other, and thus
saving his _Lusiadas_ as Cæsar saved his commentaries, has obtained
currency through the statement of a German writer, who seems to have
misunderstood a very intelligible passage of a Portuguese author.[134]
On his return to Goa, Camoens was well received; but he had not long
enjoyed the smiles of fortune, when another change took place in the
viceroyship. The new viceroy lent a ready ear to the enemies of the
poet, who was now publicly accused of malversation in the discharge
of the office which he had filled at Macao. Camoens was thrown into
prison, and there left to work out his justification. It appears he
fully cleared himself of the charges which had been brought against
him; but he was still detained because he was unable to satisfy the
demands of his creditors. A poem, which he addressed to the viceroy,
at length procured his liberation. After experiencing many other
disagreeable adventures he ardently wished to return to Europe, but
it was not in his power to defray the expence of his passage. Even
when prepared to embark he was stopped by a demand for the re-payment
of a loan, and was nearly reduced to despair, but several liberal
individuals stepped forward and provided the sum necessary for his
relief. Finally, in the year 1569, Camoens, after an absence of nearly
sixteen years, arrived at Lisbon, from the rich shores of India, well
in health, but in a state of the most abject poverty.

The third part of the history of this ill-fated poet is the most
melancholy. On his return he found Lisbon ravaged by the plague. During
this calamity it was not to be expected that much regard should be
paid to poetry, and the last hope of Camoens rested on his poem, the
only treasure which he had brought with him from India. Considerable
changes had likewise taken place at the court. King Sebastian was
concerting the plan of his unfortunate expedition to Morocco. In so
romantic an enterprise Camoens was predisposed to take an interest,
and it served to stimulate his zeal in dedicating his poem to the
youthful sovereign. The dedication was graciously received, but the
poet obtained no other reward than a wretched pension, just sufficient
to mark but not to relieve his misery. The honour was conceded to
him of constantly accompanying the court, while he wanted means to
procure the necessaries of life. It is said that a faithful slave
who had accompanied him to Europe, begged in the streets of Lisbon
at night, in order to enable the poet, whose name was now celebrated
throughout Portugal and Spain, to appear decently in public during the
day. The last blow which the patriotic heart of Camoens received, was
the fatal issue of the African expedition. The poet’s hitherto robust
constitution now sank under the pressure of sorrow and indigence. His
last hope had vanished, and overwhelmed with affliction, he withdrew
himself from the world. A few monks were the last individuals with
whom he maintained any intercourse. Shortly before his death, he is
said to have written a letter, which, if it be genuine, proves that he
himself considered his misfortunes unparalleled. He styles it a sort of
presumptuousness to attempt to oppose that fate, which had at length
compressed all his sorrows within the narrow limits of a sick-bed.
It appears that he ended his life in an hospital, in the year 1579,
at the age of fifty-five. It was not until sixteen years after his
decease that the spot where his ashes repose, was distinguished by
a monument erected by one of his admirers. During the same year the
learned Rodriguez Lobo Zurupita, who must not be confounded with the
poet Rodriguez Lobo, published the first collection of the hitherto
scattered poems of Camoens.[135]

The life of Camoens constitutes an essential part of the history
of Portuguese poetry. With the exception of Dante no poet of the
first rank has in his works so fully represented his own inward
feelings combined with every extraordinary circumstance that came
within his observation. His poems can only be perfectly intelligible
to the reader who never loses sight of the poet; for his character
is precisely theirs. But the poetry of Camoens must not on this
account be confounded with the self-subjective effusions of certain
enthusiasts who express their feelings clearly enough in verse, though
not in poetry, except, perhaps, in their own opinion. Among the poets
of all ages Camoens is one of the most eminent; and though to a
foreigner it may at first sight seem strange that he has permanently
obtained in the literature of his country the surname of _O Grande_
(the Great), a title given in history only to a few distinguished
sovereigns, yet in the unbounded homage which the Portuguese render
to the name of the man, who during his life was suffered to languish
in penury, the citizen of the world will readily recognize a general
desire to compensate for the injustice with which he was treated by
his contemporaries. On this side of the Pyrenees, indeed, however
frequently the name of Camoens may be mentioned and written, as a
poet he is still scarcely known except by name. But to form a just
appreciation of his merit, he must, like Homer, be viewed in the
spirit of his nation and his age. It was the ambition of Camoens to
be to the Portuguese what Homer was to the Greeks, the first and at
the same time the most national of poets; and if he did not entirely
attain his end, he nevertheless so far approached it that no other
modern poet has been able to combine all the national interests of his
country, with the fulness of poetic spirit exhibited in the Lusiad.
But it must be recollected that at the period when Camoens wrote, the
more correct style, formed on the ancient and Italian models, had just
penetrated into Portuguese literature, and that it had not yet taken
deep root. Under these circumstances, Camoens, in sketching the plan of
his national Epopœia, stood, as it were, severed from the age in which
he lived. Modern literature contained no similar work, and, generally
speaking, no epic poem worthy of perusal, except the chivalrous
compositions of Bojardo and Ariosto. From Trissino Camoens could
learn nothing; from Bojardo and Ariosto he might have learned much,
but assuredly not the spirit and style of a serious national heroic
poem; and Camoens was numbered with the dead before Tasso’s Jerusalem
Delivered appeared in print.[136] Camoens was the first modern who
succeeded in the production of a serious heroic poem. But with all
his endeavours to attain classic perfection, he was a Portuguese in
the spirit of his age, and too good a patriot to wish to be any thing
else. He rose to the height at which he aimed only by flights; having
reached it he sank, rose to it again, and again fell from it. He was
unable to produce a classically perfect whole of any extent. But the
more beautiful passages of his poems, particularly of his Lusiad, will
stand the test of the most rigid criticism according to the rules of
pure poetry and classic excellence.

Every style of poetic composition of which he had formed a definite
idea was attempted by Camoens. But the Lusiad rises so vastly above his
other works, and bears such powerful and various traces of the peculiar
character of his poetry, that all his lesser compositions must be
considered merely as inferior scions sprung from the same root.

The Lusiad of Camoens is a heroic poem; but so essentially different
in the unity of the epic plan from all other heroic poems, that to
avoid falling into the unwarrantable misconception with which this
noble work is every where judged except in Portugal and Spain, it is
necessary in considering it, to drop the ordinary rules of comparison,
and to proceed upon the general idea of epic poetry unmodified by any
prepossession for known models.[137] Camoens struck out a totally new
path in the region of epopœia. The style of his poem is indeed formed
chiefly on the ancient models, and in his diction he has imitated
the elegant stanzas of the Italians; but the epic idea of the work
is entirely his own; and the kind of composition, which forms its
groundwork, was something entirely new in poetic literature. The object
of Camoens was to recount in epic strains, with pure poetic feeling,
the atchievements of the heroes and great men of Portugal in general,
not of any individual in particular, and consequently not of Vasco da
Gama, who is commonly considered the hero of the Lusiad. He was not
to be satisfied with drawing up a poetically adorned official report,
like the Spanish Araucana, written at a later period by Ercilla.[138]
The title which Camoens gave to his heroic poem sufficiently denotes
the nature of its subject. He named it _Os Lusiadas_, that is to say,
the Lusitanians, or Portuguese. This choice of a title was doubtless
influenced by the prevailing taste of the Portuguese poets of that
age, to whom the common name of their nation appeared unpoetic,
and also by the popular notion that the favourite term _Lusitania_
was derived from a certain mythological hero, named _Lusus_, who
visited Portugal in company with Ulysses, and who conjointly with
the Greek warrior, built the city of Lisbon (_Ulyssipolis_). Camoens
is not to blame if the editors of his poem, wishing to reconcile its
somewhat unusual title with the names of other epic compositions, have
converted the _Lusiadas_ into the _Lusiada_.[139] But the poem may be
designated by its common title without offence to its spirit or its
subject. At the same time it must not be forgotten that the Lusiad
is a totally different kind of heroic poem from all those epopees,
whether successful or unsuccessful, in which a single hero is the main
spring of the whole epic action. According to the plan which Camoens
sketched for his national poem, he was enabled to dispense with the
choice of a hero whose atchievements should throw those of all others
into the shade, and form the sole source of epic interest. To this
plan, however, an essential beauty of epic poetry was necessarily
sacrificed. The composition lost the advantage of those little groupes
of characters which would otherwise have been assembled around the
principal character. From its plan, therefore, the Lusiad cannot be
accounted such a model of epic perfection as the Iliad, or even as the
Æneid, in which that perfection more faintly presented is still to
be found. But as a narrative poem, deriving a total effect from the
union of its parts, the Lusiad may be considered an epic whole, and
consequently, a poem entirely different in kind from the Metamorphoses
of Ovid, or even the _Divina Comedia_ of Dante. A poetic and epic
grouping of all the great and most interesting events in the annals of
his native country, was what Camoens wished to accomplish. He therefore
very happily selected the event which constitutes the most brilliant
epoch in Portuguese history, as a common keeping point for all the
different parts of his epic picture. The discovery of the passage to
India by Vasco da Gama was certainly not an heroic atchievement in
the usual sense of the term, but in that age, when such adventures
bordered on the incredible, it was a truly heroic enterprize. Camoens
made this event the groundwork of the epic unity of his poem. But
in that unity Vasco da Gama is merely the spindle round which the
thread of the narrative is wound. His dignity, as the leader of his
intrepid countrymen, renders him in some degree conspicuous; but in
other respects he is not distinguished, and the interest of the whole
poem depends no more on him than on his companions. The heroes who
shine with the greatest lustre in the Lusiad, even the Constable,
Nuno Alvarez Pereira, who is the most remarkable among them, are all
introduced in what are styled the episodes. But the Lusiad has in
reality no episode, except the short story of the giant Adamastor.
Another portion of the work, which is commonly called an episode, is
a poetic sketch from the ancient history of Portugal, and belongs as
essentially to the whole as any of the other principal parts of the
great picture. It even occupies nearly one half of the poem. It is
precisely on these parts, called episodes, that the epic grandeur
of the whole composition rests; and in them the finest passages of
the poem occur. Unless the idea of the plan of the Lusiad be rightly
seized, the composition will appear in a false light on whatever side
it may be viewed.

The Lusiad, designated as a whole, may therefore be termed an epic
national picture of Portuguese glory, something greater than a mere
gallery of poetic stories, but less than a perfect epopee. The
principles of the composition are exceedingly simple; but that they may
not be misconceived, it is necessary to understand the epic machinery
of the poem, as the poet himself would have it understood, and as
it was understood in the spirit of the age by his contemporaries.
Camoens was too truly a poet to exclude from his Lusiad the charm of
the marvellous and the co-operation of supernatural beings. But he
was either accidentally less happy than Tasso in the choice of epic
machinery for a modern heroic poem, or he purposely preferred the Greek
mythology as the most beautiful. Nothing prevented him from assigning
the necessary parts in his machinery to the good and bad agents of
popular christian belief; and the subject seems particularly calculated
for such an application as the diffusion of christianity by the
discoveries and conquests of the Portuguese is in the poem itself made
the highest merit of the nation. Camoens, however, appears to have been
of opinion that an epic poem, such as he had planned, should be adorned
with learning, and particularly mythological learning; and besides, by
the introduction of the Greek deities the whole composition seemed
to be raised to the true poetic region of the ancient epopœia. Thus
there remains the singular incongruity of the Greek mythology and the
atchievements of the Portuguese christians, who, on no occasion neglect
to act and discourse in the true spirit of their faith. But in the
mind of Camoens this incongruity was removed by the opinion, which he
shared in common with his contemporaries, that the machinery in epopœia
was merely a poetic figure, and that all the heathen deities might
be introduced as allegorical characters, in modern narrative poetry,
by the same privilege which enables Cupid to retain his place in the
lyric compositions of christian poets, without any theological or
literary offence. Thus Camoens allegorically introduced Olympus into
his poem. The erroneous opinion which misled the poet does not, it is
true, redeem this defect in the poem, though it contributes to cast a
veil over it. But if the reader admits this opinion, which he must do
in order to understand the poet in his own sense, then will even the
offence against taste be found to vanish imperceptibly. This compromise
once made, the whole poem becomes not only singular, but even wonderful
in its singularity, particularly where Vasco da Gama and his companions
sport with Thetis and her nymphs allegorically, and yet in good
earnest; and the historical material begins, as if suddenly ennobled by
magic, to shine in the full light of poetry.

The Lusiad assumes a mythological character immediately after the
introductory stanzas. Vasco da Gama with his squadron has already
doubled the Cape of Good Hope; and steering along the eastern coast
of Africa, he approaches the Indian seas. The gods are then assembled
on Olympus, to deliberate on the fate of India. Venus and Bacchus
form two parties, the former in favour of the Portuguese, and the
latter against them. In this application of the allegory, the poet,
doubtless, gratified his patriotic pride; for Portugal was, even by
the Spaniards, styled the native land of love; and temperance in the
use of wine, was a national virtue of the Portuguese. In order to give
a still higher import to this allegory, Venus is made to consider the
Portuguese as modern Romans, and to entertain for them the same regard
which she formerly extended to the people of ancient Rome: but Bacchus
recollects his expedition in India, and is indignant at the Portuguese,
whose enterprize threatens to eclipse his glory. Among the gods who
declare themselves friendly to the Portuguese, Mars is particularly
conspicuous. Meanwhile Vasco da Gama’s fleet touches at several places
on the coast of eastern Africa. Vasco endeavours to enter into amicable
relations with the King of Mombaza; but Bacchus transforms himself into
a Mahometan priest, and by treacherous tokens of friendship plans the
destruction of the Portuguese in Mombaza. Venus, however, discovers the
treachery in time to prevent it. She appeals to Jupiter. Her prayers
for the Portuguese fleet are heard. Mercury warns Vasco da Gama in a
dream, and Vasco escapes the danger that is prepared for him. He sails
onward to the African kingdom of Melinda. The King of Melinda, though
also a Mahometan, gives a hospitable reception to the Portuguese,
whose courage and national glory excite his warmest admiration. Here
the poet connects the thread of those narratives which have been
erroneously regarded as the episodes of the Lusiad. At the request
of the King of Melinda, Vasco da Gama relates the most interesting
incidents of Portuguese history, and closes his patriotic narrative
with a description of his own voyage up to the period of his arrival
at Melinda. The King of Melinda now becomes the enthusiastic friend
of the Portuguese; and here the second half of the poem commences.
Vasco da Gama proceeds on his voyage with the pilots, who are to shew
him the nearest course to India. Bacchus, however, descends to the
bottom of the sea, and implores the gods and goddesses of Neptune’s
kingdom, to assist him in destroying the Portuguese fleet before it
shall reach India. A dreadful storm arises, and seems to promise the
accomplishment of Bacchus’s wish: but at the critical moment Venus
again rescues her favourites, and the Portuguese arrive in safety at
the kingdom of Calicut, on the coast of Malabar. Vasco da Gama is at
first very favourably received by the Zamorim, or Prince of Calicut.
This opportunity is seized by Camoens to supply a sort of supplement to
the poetic narrative of the events of Portuguese history; for he makes
Paulo da Gama, the brother of the admiral, explain to the Catual, or
Indian governor of Calicut, the historical tapestries and pictures on
board the Portuguese ships. At length, Bacchus, who is not yet weary of
playing the part of a Mussulman, for the annoyance of the Portuguese,
stirs up such a misunderstanding between Vasco da Gama and the Zamorim
of Calicut, that the projected commercial treaty between Calicut and
Portugal is set aside, and the Portuguese fleet is once more exposed
to the risk of destruction. But the grand object of the voyage is now
attained, and Vasco da Gama weighs anchor, and directs his course
back to Europe. During the homeward voyage Venus prepares for the
enterprizing navigators a brilliant festival on an enchanted island in
the great ocean, where goddesses and sea nymphs, wounded by Cupid’s
darts, become enamoured of the Portuguese who land on the island. The
voluptuous magic festival, at which the goddess Thetis, or Tethys,
(for both names denote the same deity), becomes the bride of Vasco da
Gama, affords the poet the last opportunity of completing his picture
of Portuguese national glory; for a prophetic nymph relates the most
conspicuous atchievements of the Portuguese commanders in India, and
Thetis taking Vasco to the top of a high mountain, explains to him on a
magic globe the geographical positions of the different countries.

All the objections which may be urged against an epic composition of
this kind, are so very obvious, that from a mere sketch of the contents
of the Lusiad, it is impossible to conceive how a poet, even of the
most uncommon talents, could form a grand and beautiful whole on a plan
at once so trivial and so irregular. But the plan of the composition of
this poem resembles a scaffolding, which is surrounded and concealed by
the beauty and grandeur of the building; and which serves to connect
the parts in a singular kind of union, yet has no share in producing
the unity of the effect. The unity of effect, and consequently of the
poem, rests wholly and solely on the execution of the plan, out of
which only a poet like Camoens could have created a Lusiad. But the
historian of Portuguese poetry, who is not inclined to concede the just
claims which this poem possesses on the admiration of all ages, must
present to his readers another and a totally different analysis of the
work from that which has just been given. A suitable opportunity will
thus be afforded for more particularly noticing the beauties with which
the Lusiad abounds, and the faults in which it is not deficient.

The introductory stanzas mark with sufficient precision the tone which
the poem maintains to its close. “Arms and the renowned men, who from
the western shore of Lusitania, penetrated beyond Taprobana by seas
never before navigated; who amidst frightful dangers and warfare
accomplished more than could be expected from human powers, and in
a remote region of the world founded and raised a new kingdom: also
the glorious atchievements of those kings, who extended their faith
and their dominion, and spread terror through the wicked regions of
Africa and Asia; and others whose glorious deeds have raised them above
the laws of mortality;” are announced as the objects of the poet’s
strains.[140] Then follows an effusion which has more of a patriotic
than a poetic character, combined with a panegyrical dedication to
King Sebastian, containing no less than sixteen stanzas. The narrative
which commences with the nineteenth stanza opens amidst the course
of the events, and in a truly epic strain.[141] The reader may now
readily perceive that he must not expect to find in the Lusiad a work
written in the spirit and the style of classic antiquity. It betrays
indeed a certain degree of loquacity which seems to run counter to the
effect of the lofty epic. But there is something captivating in the
enthusiasm of the poet’s manner; his patriotism rouses sympathetic
feelings; we expect to find his poem the offspring of an overflowing
heart; we are charmed with the natural, elegant and noble language
of the work; and as soon as the narrative begins, the poetic point
of view seems likewise to be fixed. The mythological machinery which
Camoens conceived to be indispensably necessary to epic dignity, forms
a peculiar kind of ornament, for which indeed the reader is prepared
from the commencement of the poem. The description of the council of
the gods on Olympus, with which the narrative opens, though somewhat
at variance with the ancient costume, is nevertheless pleasing and not
devoid of dignity. Here the poetic spirit of Camoens is evinced in some
picturesque comparisons in which he vies even with Homer. All these
similies bear the impress of the poet’s powers of active perception
and representation. They are neither far fetched nor common, and they
abound in poetic truth and energy.[142] In the forty-fourth stanza,
Vasco da Gama is for the first time mentioned, and in few words
characterized as a man of “proud and lofty spirit, on whom fortune ever
smiled.”[143] But there soon occur passages in which the poetic light
of the representation is totally extinguished.[144] Passages of this
kind are afterwards frequently repeated, and their prosaic dryness is
the more displeasing when contrasted with the deep poetic spirit which
pervades the more beautiful parts of the composition. The description
of the first engagement between the Portuguese of Gama’s fleet and the
treacherous Moors of Mosambique, affords the poet another opportunity
of displaying his talent in picturesque comparison. But it becomes
obvious that this talent must have been formed on the model of Ariosto
rather than on that of Homer. There occur indeed in his representations
of the tumult of the battle, some imitations of Ariostic exuberance,
which do not strictly harmonize with the prevailing style of the

In the second canto the singularity of the mythological machinery
becomes still more remarkable, when at Mombassa, on the coast of
Africa, Bacchus assumes the disguise of a Christian priest, and on an
enchanted altar goes through the ceremony of the christian worship
for the purpose of deceiving the Portuguese.[146] But the grotesque
application of the machinery in this passage, prepares the mind for
scenes of a similar character, and thus the comic effect of subsequent
parts of the poem is in anticipation softened. The reader who enters
into the spirit of the poet becomes unconsciously accustomed to this
view of the ancient mythology; and he is even soon reconciled to the
incongruity of Vasco da Gama offering up prayers as a christian to
Providence, and those prayers being heard by Venus. The description
of Venus, who once more intercedes with Jupiter in favour of the
Portuguese, resembles Ariosto’s description of Alcina. Here the poet
for the first time evinces his predilection for voluptuous pictures of
beauty. This charming description may be said to possess a nationally
classic character.[147] The speech by which Vasco da Gama’s ambassador
gains the King of Melinda to the interests of the Portuguese is
excellent, and the pompous meeting of the king with Vasco, on board the
Portuguese admiral ship, is elegantly and picturesquely described.

At the commencement of the third canto, a new life is infused into the
poem. But to try this poetic survey of Portuguese history, as it stands
in connection with the whole, by any rule of prosaic verisimilitude,
would be to depart from the poetic spirit of the Lusiad. In order
to understand the narrative which Vasco da Gama relates to the King
of Melinda, it is necessary to possess that knowledge of the events
alluded to, which Camoens presumed every Portuguese to possess, but
which in all probability could not have been possessed by a sovereign
of Melinda. The reader who peruses this narrative without the necessary
knowledge of the history of Portugal, will be incapable of appreciating
many of the most essential beauties of the Lusiad. In so far as Camoens
may be denominated the Portuguese Homer, he is indebted for that title
to the poetic epitome he has given of the history of his country;
and this epitome is a rapid succession of pictures, which flit away
like shadows, before those who are unacquainted with their historical
ground work, for the poet evidently expected readers who would be
gratified to observe how art was capable of elevating the events of
real life to the region of epic invention. This portion of the poem,
which extends from the third to the end of the fifth canto, contains
passages, which in point of classic elegance leave nothing more to be
desired; but even here Camoens has in some instances made an unpoetic
display of his erudition. Previously to the narrative of Vasco da Gama,
the poet speaks in his own character, and patriotically elevates the
Portuguese nation above every other. Vasco’s narrative commences with
a cold geographical enumeration of the different countries of Europe,
in which the Swedes, Danes, Prussians, Russians, and Livonians are
styled _estranha gente_, (strange people) just as a modern traveller
might speak of the Ostiaks and the Samoides. Spain is denominated the
head of Europe, and Portugal the crown of that head.[148] Viewed in
the light of probability, the invectives in which Vasco da Gama at
every opportunity indulges against the Mahometans, must be supposed
offensive to the King of Melinda; but Camoens, in his patriotic
zeal, lost sight of many circumstances which would have claimed the
consideration of any other poet. Among the most beautiful passages
in these three cantos of the Lusiad, may be numbered the tribute to
the memory of Egaz Moniz, the Portuguese Regulus, who, however, ended
his career more happily than the Roman consul;[149] the description
of the battle of Ourique which laid the foundation of the kingdom
of Portugal;[150] the description of the visit of Queen Maria of
Spain to her father the King of Portugal, to implore assistance for
her husband in his contest with the Moors;[151] the relation of the
tragical fate of Inez de Castro, which is the most celebrated of all
the exquisitely beautiful passages in the Lusiad;[152] the description
of the sanguinary battle of Aljuabarrota, the greatest victory the
Portuguese ever gained over the Castilians:[153] and some others,
of the like character, which might still be enumerated. The picture
of the battle of Aljuabarrota excels all the similar descriptions
which occur even in the Lusiad, remarkable as that poem is for such
passages. The valiant Nuno Alvares, who by his eloquence and his
personal authority, no less than by his courage, saved the political
existence of Portugal, shines with such conspicuous lustre at the
head of the Portuguese warriors, that he with far more propriety than
Vasco da Grama might be denominated the hero of the Lusiad, were it a
work which ought to be judged according to the rules usually applied
to epic poetry.[154] Even in this great battle picture, the finest
touches are unquestionably copied from nature, for the poet was no
less in his place amidst the tumult of war than in the more tranquil
region of the Muses.[155] In the continuation of the narrative of
the first discoveries of the Portuguese in the east, the particular
interest which the poet took in allegoric description is again
displayed in a novel manner. The two principal rivers of India, the
Indus and the Ganges, are made to appear to King Emmanuel in a dream
under the personification of two old men. The representation is truly

In Vasco da Gama’s narrative of his own voyage, the following passages
must always be particularly distinguished: first, the description of
the farewell to the Portuguese shore:[157] secondly, a sort of didactic
episode, consisting of reflexions made by an old man on the vanity of
human ambition, quite in the spirit of that true poetry which embraces
the whole range of human existence;[158] and thirdly, another kind of
episode which introduces the giant Adamastor, whom Camoens conjured up
from the old world of fable to render him the spirit of the Cape of
Good Hope.[159] In the description of this part of the voyage, Camoens
for the first time uses the freedom of relieving the solemn seriousness
of his narrative by some comic touches. Fernaõ Velloso is the humourist
among the enterprising followers of Vasco da Gama.[160] Camoens also
occasionally breaks the poetic tone of the whole description by
a display of his mythological and historical pedantry, and by his
endeavours to express in a poetic manner things which are totally
unpoetic; as for example, in alluding to the day of the departure of
the fleet, he says:--“When the eternal orb of light had entered the
sign of the Nemæan monster, and when the decaying world in its sixth
age, moved feebly and slowly after having observed the sun’s circuitous
course repeated fourteen hundred and ninety-seven times.”[161] These
deformities sometimes injure the beauty of the finest parts of the poem.

The chief portion of the second half of the poem, from the sixth to
the tenth canto, is thrown into shade by the first half; and the
essential want of a rising interest, weakens the epic character of the
whole. But these last five cantos of the Lusiad abound in classically
beautiful passages; and that kind of unity at which the poet aimed is
on no occasion forgotten. The description of the palace of Neptune
and the sea deities in the depths of the ocean is equally charming
and novel; though it must be allowed that the portrait of Triton
degenerates into the grotesque. In order to omit no opportunity of
interweaving into the composition of the Lusiad whatever might shed a
poetic lustre on the Portuguese name, Camoens makes Velloso, for the
amusement of the ship’s crew, relate the history of the Lusitanian
knights, who according to Portuguese tradition, are called _Os doze de
Inglaterra_ (the twelve of England.) In the description of the storm
which follows, the powerful painting of the dreadful picture once more
reveals the poet who had himself passed through like scenes of danger.
The same stamp of truth is apparent in the succeeding descriptions of
Indian objects, which no great poet, except Camoens, has sketched from
nature. The poem is not injured by the long and energetic apostrophe
to the European powers, with which the seventh canto commences.
According to the view to be taken by a catholic christian, Camoens
was justified in extolling the national glory of Portugal above that
of other christian nations, on the ground that while the Portuguese
by their valour, were extending the dominion of the catholic faith,
and had not, for a considerable period waged war against any of the
European states, those states were contending against each other, and
even in a certain measure against the church of Rome. To strengthen in
some degree the poetic probability by a matter of fact, Camoens has
introduced, at the period when the intercourse between the Portuguese
and the Indian Prince of Calecut commences, a Moor named Monzayde,
whose destiny had actually conducted him over land to India. Through
this mediator, who speaks Spanish, and who finally becomes a christian,
the Indians are made acquainted with the power of the Portuguese and
Spanish arms. This Moor is also the interpreter, who, in the eighth
canto assists Paulo da Gama in explaining the historical pictures
and embroideries to the Indian ambassador. In point of poetic merit,
this supplement to the abstract of the history of Portugal is far
inferior to the narrative in the third and fifth cantos:--but Camoens
could find no other means of accomplishing his purpose; for he was
equally reluctant to omit anything which he conceived to belong to
his pictures of Portuguese national glory, or to crowd too many of
the events of former times into one part of his poem. None of these
historical descriptions, which occupy a large portion of the eighth
canto, form finished pictures; they are mere sketches, and are, in
general, deficient in poetic warmth; but the ninth canto makes ample
amends for this fault. The magic festival, which Venus prepares
to recreate her beloved navigators after the fatigues they have
encountered, is boldly conceived and charmingly executed; and in this
part of the composition the poet’s fancy has revelled with evident
delight. Camoens, like all the Portuguese poets of his age, next to the
indulgence of heroic feeling and all powerful patriotism, was fond of
luxuriantly pourtraying the passion of love. Except the fate of Inez
de Castro, and the atchievements of Nuno Alvarez Pereira at the battle
of Aljubarota, the poet has executed no portion of his poem with such
decided predilection as the visit of the navigators to the enchanted
island; and to no other part of the poem is so much space allotted in
proportion to the whole. The long description of the preparations for
the luxuriant festival, and of the festival itself, which commences
at the eighteenth stanza of the ninth, and extends into the tenth
canto, is full of picturesque beauty. Its great prolixity however,
must, even according to the incorrect plan which Camoens followed, be
accounted a defect in the composition. But the reader, like the poet
himself, soon forgets every thing except the seductive painting, which
sometimes, it must be confessed, only just respects the boundaries of
decorum, which yet upon the whole offends no elevated feeling, and
which has not been surpassed by any later poet in the same style.
The first idea of the island of love, on which Camoens makes Venus
entertain the Portuguese navigators, seems borrowed from Ariosto, but
Ariosto’s description of the magic gardens of Alcina scarcely affords
a groundwork for the scenes and situations in the Lusiad. There is,
however, little room to doubt that Tasso, when he trod in Ariosto’s
footsteps in order to describe the abode of Armida, availed himself
of the description of Camoens. In the tone of frank simplicity with
which the festival is announced, the character of the poet is again
manifested. It is described as merely “a refreshment for restoring the
exhausted strength of the navigators; some interest for those fatigues
which render short life still shorter.”[162] Venus, in her car drawn
by doves, descends from Mount Ida in quest of Cupid. She finds him
with a throng of loves employed in forging arrows. The fuel used in
the process of forging is allegorically and whimsically described to
be human hearts, and the red-hot arrows are cooled in tears. Cupid and
his little deputies are directed to wound a number of goddesses and
sea nymphs, so that every individual on board Vasco da Gama’s fleet,
shall on landing on the magic island, find himself in the situation of
a happy lover. Meanwhile Venus adorns the island with the loveliest
charms of nature.[163] On first landing, the navigators know not
where they are, but they are soon satisfied with the pleasing reality
without concerning themselves about the nature of the miracle which has
transported them to a terrestrial heaven.[164] When the festival is
drawing to a close, the poet for the first time explains the object of
the fiction, by stating it to be an allegorical representation of the
happiness which is the reward of courage and virtue. After this cold
manner of dissolving the enchantment, the unprejudiced reader feels
little interest in the conclusion of the poem. The stanzas in which the
prophetic nymph celebrates the future atchievements of the Portuguese
are historical fragments, the connection of which must be studied in
order to form a just estimate of their poetic merits and demerits. The
geographic supplement which is put into the mouth of Thetis is still
colder, notwithstanding the singular idea of the globe which hovers
in the air, and which exalts the miracle of the geographic lecture.
But thus is the sympathy of the reader the more powerfully excited by
the passage towards the end of the Lusiad, where Camoens speaks of
himself; which he had refrained from doing in the preceding part of
the work. As he approached the close of his labour he was impressed
with the conviction that no earthly happiness awaited him; and now saw
“his years descending, and the transition from summer to autumn near
at hand; his genius frozen by the coldness of fate, and he himself
borne down by sorrow into the stream of black oblivion and eternal
sleep.”[165] His heart then pours fourth the epiphonema of the poem,
consisting of a didactic apostrophe to his sovereign, full of loyalty,
but not less abounding in honest zeal for truth, justice and virtue.

An epic poem so powerfully imbued with intensity of feeling and
character as the Lusiad, naturally calls to mind Dante’s _Divina
Comedia_, and Klopstock’s Messiah. But the Lusiad bears in other
respects no more resemblance to the Messiah, than to every other great
poem in which the beauties make amends for the exercise of indulgence
towards numerous faults. The Lusiad presents a greater similarity to
the work of Dante. Both poems are epic, though neither are epopees in
the strict sense of the term. Both are singular, but truly poetic in
invention; and in both the full stream of purest poetry is incessantly
broken by false learning and various unpoetic excrescences. But with
respect to invention the Divina Comedia is, in its original plan,
trivial, and only becomes grand by the poetic filling up of the vast
divisions of hell, purgatory and heaven: the Lusiad is more poetic in
its outline, but not so rich in its internal parts. Finally, the two
poems are distinguished by the kind of feeling which prevails in each
and by a total difference of style. Dante introduced all the variety
of the terrestrial world, of which he had perfect command, into the
mystic region of a celestial and subterraneous existence, in which he,
as a Christian, placed faith; and the whole plan of his extraordinary
poem has for its object the pious apotheosis of his beloved Beatrice.
Camoens glowed with patriotism and heroism; and to avoid weakening the
patriotic and nationally heroic character of his poem, by the force
of religious interest, he preferred introducing into his terrestrial
fiction the heaven of mythology, because he felt that it afforded him
the finest imagery. Dante’s style is throughout energetic, frequently
rude, and always characteristic of the spirit of the extraordinary
writer, who stood alone, and who in a great measure himself created the
language in which he expressed his feelings. Camoens, like Ariosto, was
wholly the man of his age and his country; a fact which is sufficiently
evident from the delicate and luxuriant style, which he partly borrowed
from Ariosto, and which he only cultivated as far as was necessary for
the expression of the serious epopæia.[166]

       *       *       *       *       *

The other poetic works of Camoens, appeared even in the eyes of the
poet himself, when compared with the Lusiad, merely secondary effusions
of his feelings and his imagination. It appears, as far as the point
can be ascertained, that he never collected them himself, and many
may therefore be lost. Among those productions which were collected
and published after the death of Camoens, by his admirer Lobo de
Soropita, under the affected title of _Rhythmas_, there are several
which were not printed from the best and latest copies. Some other
poems which escaped the notice of the first collectors, and which
have only been included by modern writers among the miscellaneous
productions of Camoens, may be found in a somewhat different form
among the poems of the pious Diogo Bernardes. This writer, who was a
contemporary and admirer of Camoens, and who was the first among the
celebrated Portuguese poets of that age, to render justice to the
preponderating genius of the author of the Lusiad, is now, in spite of
all his piety, accused of gross plagiarism on that author. The writer
of a general history of modern poetry and eloquence has, however, no
occasion to take part in the controversy respecting these problematic
works; for none of the disputed poems are of a kind which was new in
Portuguese literature; and among the miscellaneous remains of Camoens
are many pieces of similar species, the authenticity of which is

But the miscellaneous poems of Camoens, are calculated to involve the
literary historian in another kind of embarrassment. They are, if
not extremely numerous, at least sufficiently various; and among the
number are many so poetically conceived, and admirably executed, that
to give merely to one of each class of these minor poems that kind of
detailed consideration which it has been thought necessary to bestow
on the Lusiad, would be to incur the risk of converting the history of
Portuguese poetry into a compendium of the history of the poetic works
of Camoens. In every species of poetic composition then practised in
Portugal, Camoens has left specimens of no common merit; and in some of
those species his example has formed and fixed the favourite style for
his native country. Indeed a careful perusal of the various productions
of the author of the Lusiad, is alone sufficient to afford a summary
notion of the whole range of Portuguese poetry in the sixteenth
century. This will account for the preponderating authority still
conceded to the works of this poet in the polite literature of his
country. To that authority Portuguese critics and writers are always
disposed to defer in discussing the merits of any poem; and when they
wish to select a model in any particular kind of poetic composition,
they invariably turn first to the works of Camoens. The predilection
of the Portuguese for the greatest of their poets, has rendered them
unjust towards the merits of others who have not chosen to compose in
his manner. But in the poetry of Camoens the national style is combined
with correctness and elegance, precisely in the manner which suited the
taste of his country: and Portuguese taste has never risen above the
degree of cultivation to which Camoens attained.

In sonnets the fancy of Camoens was particularly prolific. Like Tasso,
he seems throughout the whole of his life to have made it a rule to
compose sonnets as long as he could compose verse. The number of his
sonnets which have been preserved is three hundred and one. Some
appear to be occasional sonnets; and of these several are written in
fictitious names. It is known that, in India, Camoens was frequently
applied to for poetic aid in affairs of the heart; for according to the
spirit of the age a lover could not more elegantly recommend himself
to the good graces of a fair lady than by the composition of a tender
sonnet; and a poet, like Camoens, who was himself so often poetically
occupied with his amatory feelings, would find but little difficulty in
celebrating another lady besides his own mistress. Most of his sonnets
have love for their theme, and they are of very unequal merit: some
are full of Petrarchic tenderness and grace, and moulded with classic
correctness; others are impetuous and romantic, or disfigured by false
learning, or full of tedious pictures of the conflicts of passion with
reason. Upon the whole, however, no Portuguese poet has so correctly
seized the character of the sonnet as Camoens. Without apparent effort,
merely by the ingenious contrast of the first eight with the six last
fines, he knew how to make these little effusions convey a poetic
unity of ideas and impressions, after the model of the best Italian
sonnets, in so natural a manner, that the first lines or quartets of
the sonnet excite a soft expectation, which is harmoniously fulfilled
by the tercets or six last lines.[168] In this way he has occasionally
imparted a romantically beautiful effect to well known stories in
the sonnet form, by the introduction of a single tender idea at the
close.[169] Among these sonnets there are likewise some of a moral and
religious character.

In the series of the minor poems of Camoens, the sonnets are succeeded
by seventeen _Canções_ (songs) written on the model of Petrarch’s
canzoni. These compositions more particularly prove how deeply Camoens
was penetrated with the spirit of the Petrarchic poetry. They also
display the utmost elegance of language, combined with the soft harmony
of the Italian verse.[170] In these canções, as well as in the other
poems of Camoens, the painting of natural scenery, wherever the lyric
picture embraces it, presents a character of lively perception, which
never could be imitated in the closet by any laboured exercise of the

The canções are followed by twelve compositions styled odes. In their
essential characteristics, these pieces are but little distinguished
from the canções, though the object of the poet seems to have been
that they should approximate more nearly to the ancient style. The
structure of the verse corresponds with that which Ferreira and the
Spanish poets, since the time of Luis de Leon, selected for this class
of lyric composition. The bold fancy of Pindar, or the energy of
Horace, is not to be expected in these any more than other Portuguese
and Spanish odes. But Camoens never limited his poetry merely to
sonorous language. The first ode is particularly distinguished for
its beauty. It is addressed to the moon. The idea is mythological,
like all the lofty ideas of Camoens. But in none of his other odes has
the poet so well succeeded in combining the grace of antiquity with a
romantic tenderness of feeling free from every trace of affectation.
The commencement is in the pure ode style. The poet invokes his muse
to stem “the current of lovers’ tears, and attired in a rich and gay
robe to do homage to the goddess who converts night into day.” He then
addresses the goddess of the moon herself, she “whose silver beam
penetrates the thick clouds, and prevents night from obscuring the
image which love traces and re-traces in his heart; she whose pure
forehead is crowned and encircled with stars; she who strews the plains
with roses and with flowers, created by spring through her heavenly
influence.”[172] But a still finer passage occurs at the conclusion of
the ode, where the poet bids farewell to night, “the silent friend whom
he obeys; and, that she may listen to his complaints, presents to her
roses and fresh amaranth still wet with the tears of the fair bride of
the jealous Titan.”[173]

The odes are followed by some _Sextinas_, the artificial beauty of
which Camoens has not failed to render pleasing. His one-and-twenty
elegies are, however, more worthy of particular attention. Next
to the Lusiad these compositions may in general be numbered among
the longer poems of the author, and also among those in which the
poet is most frequently represented in his real character as a man.
Camoens had, however, no correct notion of the elegiac style. Like
Ferreira, he blended it with the epistolary. But such a junction is no
less detrimental to the tenderness than to the unity of the elegiac
character, and in general deprives elegy of half its poetic interest.
Were the language less copious and facund, this method of confounding
the boundaries of the elegiac and the epistolary styles, would be
still more striking. But the harmonious softness and rich flow of the
expression, even where it approaches to prolixity, establish, at least,
in a certain degree, a unity of character among the heterogeneous
ingredients of which the elegy of Camoens is composed.[174] The feeble
and tedious passages are readily overlooked, as they are amply
counterbalanced by others possessing real elegiac beauty:[175] and the
occasional deficiencies of these elegies in the poetry appropriate to
their class, are compensated by the inappropriate, in which the poetic
character of Camoens is every where prominent. The romantic soul of the
unfortunate poet is completely unveiled in his elegiac compositions.
His earliest productions in this class were written in his youth, when
he was exiled to Belem; the others are expressive of the feelings
which he experienced in his oriental voyages and adventures. There
he fondly cherished recollections of the tranquil happiness which he
persuaded himself he had enjoyed in his native country, though he had
indignantly abandoned it as a place to existence in which he could not
be reconciled. The common fate of humanity, which, independently of his
personal circumstances, he always viewed profoundly and poetically, was
in India more than ever present to his imagination; and in his elegies
he has poured forth, without restraint, all the feelings of his heart.
Thus is sympathy more powerfully excited by these compositions than by
many of the same class, the beauties of which are of a less prosaic
character. No other works of the poet so irresistibly command the
reader’s regret for his misfortunes, and love for him as a man.

A few poems, widely differing from each other in character, are
printed under the common title of _estancias_, (stanzas) because they
are all composed in Italian octaves. Camoens seems to have felt that
in Portuguese, as in Italian, this measure was, in universality of
application, nearly equivalent to the Greek hexameter, because it was
capable of being united and blended with most of the romantic poetic
forms, in the same manner as that hexameter with the different styles
of ancient poetry. The three first poems which occur under the title of
_estancias_, are truly poetic epistles, and at the same time faithful
mirrors of the character and principles of the poet. Through them
Camoens, in a spirit of fervent loyalty, but with a no less honest zeal
for truth and justice, addresses useful advice to his sovereign. The
estancias which immediately succeed these epistles, are glosses in the
Spanish manner on two of the author’s own sonnets. A tender epistle
addressed to a lady, is the subject of the next: and the last estancias
form an epic legend, which, with some alterations, also appears among
the works of Bernardes. It is founded on the history of St. Ursula.
Whether this epic legend be really the production of Camoens, or of
his admirer Bernardes, it far excels Ferreira’s similar talc of St.
Colomba, though the materials are less poetic.

Among the miscellaneous poems of Camoens, the eclogues occupy a
considerable space, particularly if we include those of which Bernardes
claimed to be the author. Much care appears to have been taken to give
them an elegant polish. By the Portuguese they are regarded as models;
and according to the received idea of the modern eclogue, particularly
in Spain and Portugal, they certainly deserve that distinction. But
with all their unquestionable merits, they do not reach the pure
eclogue style of Saa de Miranda. The rural character which they ought
to possess, is besides much impaired, in consequence of Camoens having,
like Ferreira, employed the bucolic form merely to give a poetic
interest to events borrowed from real life. This indeed was a custom
which had been more or less followed in Portuguese poetry since the
time of Ribeyro, and of which even Saa de Miranda did not disdain to
avail himself. But those Portuguese poets who endeavoured to form
their eclogue style after Saa de Miranda, were in general content with
pastoral names and pastoral scenes, when they wished to throw a bucolic
disguise over known characters and events; and thus the spirit of
pastoral poetry often entirely vanished in those compositions in which
its form was most ostentatiously displayed. The eclogues of Camoens
partake of this essential fault. Still, however, they are sufficiently
pleasing even without the aid of the historical key, with which the
reader would doubtless willingly dispense. The descriptive passages
are in general the best. In the expression of sentiment these eclogues
perfectly resemble the sonnets, canções, and similar poems with which
in reality they constitute one species. Passages in the Spanish
language are occasionally interspersed.

In the collected works of Camoens, a separation is made of his poems
in the Italian style and the Italian syllabic measure, from those
which are composed in redondilhas, and which afford examples of an
improved national style. In this style also he has enriched every
species of poetic composition practised in Portugal and Spain. Much
and justly celebrated are the redondilhas in which he poured forth
the inmost feelings of his soul, on his return from Macao to Goa,
after he had narrowly escaped death by shipwreck.[176] The number of
his smaller poems, in all the possible forms of the old lyric style,
proves how much, as a poet, he was attached to his native country.
Romantic, gallant and comic plays of fancy and wit, glossed mottos
in the Spanish style, voltas[177] in the genuine Portuguese manner,
and other poetic trifles in the Portuguese and Spanish languages,
appear to have been dealt out at every opportunity with a profuse
hand by Camoens. In these compositions he paid no rigid attention to
the correctness and elegance of the ideas, and indeed no mental sport
of this kind seems to have been too homely for him. He even composed
in honour of a lady, a romantic mythological _a b c_ in redondilhas,
in which, in correspondence with the initial letters, the names
Artemisia, Cleopatra, Dido, Eurydice, Phædra, (spelt Fedra, according
to the Italianized orthography of Camoens) Galatæa, &c. are played
on in succession. But in some of these compositions, the simplicity
and amenity of the old lyric style are combined with a peculiar
grace, which alternately defies[178] and disarms[179] the severity of

The same national spirit which prevented the patriotic Camoens from
rejecting the old lyric forms of the Portuguese poetry, induced him to
write several dramas, and thus to leave no kind of poetic composition
unattempted. It is not known at what period of his life these dramatic
works were produced; but it is probable that they were written
previously to his departure for India. They belong more completely to
the age of Camoens than to the poet himself. They are, however, highly
deserving of attention, though they should be merely considered as the
last proofs of the poetic versatility and plastic genius of an author
who comprised his whole age within himself, as far as a Portuguese
national poet could accommodate himself to his age. Camoens was too
much a poet to wish to supplant the national drama of his native
country, however rude it then might be, by a prosaically modelled
imitation of the ancient drama. He adhered to the party formed by the
Spanish dramatist Naharro, and his ingenious countryman Gil Vicente.
But his determination to dramatic poetry was not sufficiently decided
to enable him to fix, by his productions, the taste of the Portuguese
nation. Had the genius which animates the Lusiad, taken a dramatic
direction, Camoens would have been the Calderon of Portugal, before
a Lope de Vega had arisen in Spain. But Camoens in the composition of
his dramas contented himself with slightly overstepping the bounds
of Gil Vicente’s manner, and with refining, also, only in a slight
degree, the construction of the plot and the language. The rudest of
the three dramas, which are now attached as a supplement to the other
works of the author, is, _El Rey Seleuco_, (King Seleucus) a singular
production, founded on the well known anecdote of the history of that
monarch, who resigned his wife Stratonice to his son Antiochus, lest
the youth should fall a sacrifice to the passion of love. Camoens seems
to have had no idea of treating this delicate subject in a sentimental
way. The burlesque prelude or prologue, as it is called, in prose, is
calculated to raise the expectation of a farce rather then of a serious
drama. The theatrical manager, a lad who acts as his servant, a man of
condition, who presents himself as a spectator, and his _escudeiro_,
(attendant) are the characters in this prologue. The manager’s servant
is the _gracioso_ of the piece, and his jokes are at least so far
useful that they afford an idea of the kind of wit which was at that
time relished by the fashionable world in Lisbon. The drama itself,
to which this prologue is the introduction, is entitled a comedy in
the Spanish acceptation of the term, and is likewise denominated an
_auto_, probably because royal personages are brought upon the scene,
a circumstance which according to the Portuguese notions of poetry
in that age elevated the piece above a mere comedy. The historical
material is moulded according to the romantic forms; the composition
is not only inartificial but trivial; and in the execution the
ludicrous is quite as prevalent as the comic. The king and queen first
enter, to converse on the melancholy state of the prince, and the
king takes the opportunity of lamenting that he is no longer young
enough for so fair a consort. The prince next appears attended by his
pages, to whom he complains of his passion, but without naming the
beloved object. The king and queen in vain endeavour to ascertain the
cause of the prince’s grief, and orders are given to prepare a bed
for him. A bed is introduced on the stage, and a chamber-maid who is
engaged in making it, is surprised by her lover in disguise, who is a
_porteiro_ (usher) of the castle. This scene is altogether an interlude
in the romantic style. The prince again enters, and after many tender
complaints betakes himself to bed. A band of music arrives to sooth
him while he reposes. One of the musicians named Alexander de Fonseca,
enters into conversation with the usher and a page, concerning the
melancholy of the prince. With the consent of the prince the usher
sings a romance, and the queen again enters with an attendant. Various
scenes thus succeed each other, until the physician by feeling the
prince’s pulse, discovers the secret. The catastrophe is merely a
representation of the dose of the anecdote, without any reference to
the queen, who is resigned by the father to the son, like an article
of household furniture. The physician in this comedy is a Spaniard. He
is made a native of Castile in order that one of the characters might
speak Spanish, and thus introduce a variety into the dialogue which it
appears was agreeable to a Lisbon audience. The dialogue is in other
respects natural, and the versification in redondilhas is pleasing
and not devoid of elegance. But there is not a single excellent scene
to compensate for the grotesque frivolity of the composition. It is
impossible to consider this work as any thing else than a mere juvenile
essay of such a poet as Camoens.

The second comedy of Camoens, _Os Amphitryões_, (the Amphitryons),
was, however, a valuable contribution to the dramatic literature of
Portugal. The merit of the invention of this purely comic piece,
belongs indeed to Plautus, whose Amphitryon Camoens has freely
imitated. But even the imitation must have marked an epoch in the
history of the dramatic literature of Portugal, had the public been
inclined to favour so happy a combination of the national and ancient
forms. Any one unacquainted with the Amphitryon of Plautus would regard
the Portuguese comedy as an original. The whole story of the piece
is modernized without weakening the comic force of the situations.
Jupiter indeed remains unchanged; but Mercury who attends him in his
disguise, performs the servant in the true Portuguese style. Amphitryon
is a sea captain, according to the Portuguese idea of that character.
The servant of Amphitryon is converted into a perfect gracioso, who
speaks Spanish, but still retains the name of Sosia. The humour of
the burlesque scenes in which Sosia appears, is heightened by making
Mercury, who converses with Jupiter in Portuguese, always speak
Spanish, when he plays his part as the pseudo Sosia. It would be worth
while to ascertain whether this pleasant comedy is ever performed in

_Filodemo_, the third comedy of Camoens, is one of those dramatized
novels, of which the Spanish theatre afterwards afforded many examples.
It is not a drama of intrigue, but a variegated collection of grave
and half comic scenes, which are combined together as a whole by their
common reference to the result of a singular event. That event is the
saving of two twins, a boy and a girl, whose mother is a princess of
Denmark. A shepherd finds the twins and brings them up. Shepherds and
shepherdesses, gentlemen and ladies, a waiting woman, a hunter, and
other characters of a similar kind, form the romantic groupe. The scene
is sometimes in town in the open streets, or within a house; sometimes
in the country, and among barren mountains. The denouement is the
most trivial part of the whole composition. It is brought about by a
shepherd initiated in the art of magic, who, by his necromantic skill,
discovers the parentage of the twins, and by this discovery removes the
obstacles which impede the happy issue of two parallel love stories.
In this drama Camoens has interspersed, and evidently not without
design, scenes in prose among scenes in verse. In conformity with his
inclination to unite all manners, he was desirous of approximating
to the party, which on the pretext of adhering strictly to nature
endeavoured to banish verse from Portuguese comedy. He accordingly
gives the dialogue in prose where the conversation is entirely of a
popular character; and whenever the style becomes somewhat elevated,
redondilhas are again introduced. Some of the shepherds speak Spanish,
and among them a lad who is the _bobo_ (buffoon) of the piece. Thus
it would appear that Camoens in all his dramas, sought to exercise
the right of retaliation upon the Spanish poets, who were fond of
making their _gracioso_, or buffoon, express himself in Galician or
Portuguese. The jokes in the Spanish language which Camoens has in this
instance put into the mouth of his gracioso, would be sufficiently
unpolished even if they were less broad and spiritless.[180]


From Camoens, whose name now becomes a waymark for the whole domain
of Portuguese poetry, the historian of that poetry cannot properly
revert to the classic school of Ferreira, without previously reviving
the recollection of Jorge de Montemayor, who was a contemporary of
Camoens and Ferreira. The history of the life and writings of this
excellent poet, belongs indeed rather to the literature of Spain than
to that of Portugal.[181] But the spirit of the pastoral romance of
Diana, by which Montemayor gained immortal fame, is in fact the spirit
of Portuguese poetry transfused into the Spanish language. Without
being an imitator of Ribeyro,[182] Montemayor followed in the same
path with the same kind of susceptibility to impressions. But the
cultivated delicacy of his feeling, and the romantic enthusiasm of his
imagination, rendered him the first poet who enlarged and dignified the
plain antiquated form of the Portuguese pastoral romance. He renewed
and riveted the old link of connection between the Spanish and the
Portuguese poetry. Had he confined himself to writing in his native
tongue, he would probably have been succeeded by a Portuguese Gil
Polo;[183] and the romantic pastoral poetry of the Portuguese would
then have remained single in its kind. But Montemayor composed verses
in the Portuguese language only for the sake of variety, and not with
the view of extending the sphere of Portuguese poetry.[184]


The comparatively correct style of poetry introduced into Portuguese
literature by Saa de Miranda, and the still more coldly correct style
of Antonio de Ferreira, though favoured by that portion of the polite
world which valued a reputation for learning, were but little esteemed
by the great bulk of the public. The poets of this sect may fairly
be said to constitute a classical school, without thereby admitting
them to an equal rank with the incorrect men of genius whose irregular
effusions could scarcely fail to possess more poetic character, than
other works which are now to be noticed; such, for example, as the
poems of Andrade Caminha, who formed himself entirely on the model
of Ferreira. The efforts made by the poets of this classic school to
attain the correctness of the ancients seem to have checked their
powers of fancy, and it may be presumed that imaginations which were so
easily repressed, could not be very creative and energetic. Those who,
like some modern German writers would, in defiance of every rule of
language, render genius the measure of classic excellence, must find a
new term to designate that poetry, the greatest merit of which is the
elegant perfection and pure rounding of poetic forms after the example
of the ancients. This, which is in other respects an inferior style
of poetry, is nevertheless held in consideration by all cultivated
nations. To reject it as altogether worthless would indeed be very
unjust, since it serves to shew how judgment, talent, and taste, can by
the study of ancient models, produce, even without the aid of genius,
a certain kind of poetic beauty, which is not unmeritorious, though it
frequently presents scarcely a shadow of that pure and sublime beauty
which is the offspring of real genius. Poetry of this kind is therefore
styled classical, merely in reference to a certain degree of affinity
which its forms bear to the classical forms of Greek and Roman art.


One of the warmest friends, admirers and imitators of Ferreira, was
Pedro de Andrade Caminha, _Camareiro_ (gentleman of the chamber)
at the court of the Infante Dom Duarte, brother to King John III.
He survived his friend Ferreira six-and-twenty years. During his
life his poems seem rather to have been esteemed by a small circle
of connoisseurs and dilettanti, than to have been favourites with
the public. Thus it happened that at that period they were only
circulated in manuscript, and that afterwards, with the exception of a
few which had been admitted into spiritual collections, they totally
disappeared; they have, however, been recently discovered, and have
been printed at the expense of the Portuguese Royal Society.[185]
Andrade Caminha seems to have had no notion of any thing more perfect
in poetic composition than the works of his friend Ferreira, who,
however, barely avoided the dangerous boundary where poetry ends and
versified prose begins. Caminha’s compositions in elegant verse are,
however, still more deficient in genuine poetry, than the works of
Ferreira, and indeed they can scarcely be termed poems. His eclogues
are cold, and their coldness is the more striking, as they are intended
to express forcibly the language of romantic love. His epistles are
better deserving of attention. They possess just about as much poetic
warmth as is necessary to maintain the character of didactic poems.
In these epistles Caminha, as a painter of manners and a moralist,
alternately describes and reasons energetically and without pedantry
in the style of Ferreira, and his unassuming manner gives more effect
to the agreeable colouring of that style.[186] But Andrade Caminha is
by no means so rich in ideas as Ferreira. He limits the circle of his
free reflections, by constant reference to the relations in which he
lived. In the epistles to his brother, and in those to Ferreira, he,
however, indulges in a more unconstrained expression of feeling.[187]
Of all these epistles, the seventeenth, in which he inveighs against
impertinent critics, possesses most didactic merit.[188] Andrade
Caminha seems to have supposed that he possessed a particular talent
for elegiac poetry. Twenty of the elegies he composed are still
preserved, exclusive of many songs of complaining love in redondilhas,
to which the title of elegies is likewise given. But the sorrow
for the death of the royal personages and ingenious friends, which
is lavished in the first half of Caminha’s elegies, and the tender
anguish occasioned by the inexorableness of his beloved Phyllis, which
appears in the second half, seldom rouses any poetic sympathy in the
reader, notwithstanding the beauty of language with which the sorrow
and anguish are expressed. In some of the elegies to Phyllis, the
descriptions of natural scenery possess considerable merit.[189]

But the most remarkable of all Caminha’s works are his epitaphs
and epigrams, of which no Portuguese poet has bequeathed so many
to posterity. His _Epitafios_ which amount to eighty-one, and his
_Epigrammas_ which exceed two hundred and fifty in number, are almost
all written in octave verse. In these little pictures of reflection and
sentiment, which derive so much of their value from correctness and
elegance, a limited fancy aided by solid taste is capable of rising
above the level of prose. The labour which Andrade Caminha bestowed
on the composition of his epitaphs and epigrams, sufficiently proves
that he felt what was his proper vocation at the foot of Parnassus.
But even there he could not travel without a guide, and the spirit of
his age induced him to choose Ausonius for his conductor. He had, like
Ausonius, sufficient talent for the proper keeping of the tenderness,
precision and energy which distinguish the serious epigram of the
Greeks; but in his imitation of the style of the Greek epigram, he
missed the refined correctness of Ausonius by confounding poetic with
prosaic simplicity. Of the eighty-one epitaphs which Caminha composed
in honour of celebrated and exalted individuals, not one can claim an
equal rank with the best ancient productions of the same kind. In most
of them the reader finds only dry encomiums accompanied by trivial
reflections.[190] In others the ideas rise but very little above the
level of the commonest observation.[191] In Caminha’s epitaphs the
result of the epigrammatic compound of the ideas, where he wishes to be
uncommon, has sometimes a singularly frigid effect; as, for example,
when speaking of the hero Affonso d’Albuquerque, he pompously says: “He
sprang from kings, he honoured kings, and he subdued kings.”[192] Even
the language of powerful feeling sinks, as in the epitaph on Ferreira,
beneath the common place of the reflections.[193] The serious epigrams
are more ingenious, though even they are, for the most part, merely
agreeable plays of fancy.[194] In some the formality of the diction
produces a very happy effect; in others the epigrammatic expression of
feeling displays an astonishing degree of romantic intensity;[195] a
few are truly excellent.[196] To this last class, however, the comic
epigrams of Caminha do not belong. A truly comic turn of thought is
scarcely ever to be found in them, and it is only occasionally that
they betray a poignant conceit.[197] But it must be acknowledged that
a poet of more fertile fancy would find it difficult to write nineteen
strictly comic epigrams on an ugly face, (_a uma feissima_.)


Diogo Bernardes was the friend of Andrade Caminha, and like him an
admirer and disciple of Ferreira. He was capable of receiving more
lively impressions than Caminha, and he passed less tranquilly through
life. At first he only endeavoured to distinguish himself as a poet,
and he succeeded in gaining a degree of celebrity in his native town
Ponte de Lima, whence he is called the poet of Lima. He then wished to
become the historian of his native country, but in this undertaking
he did not experience the support on which he had calculated. It is
probable that he became intimately acquainted with Ferreira at the
court of Lisbon. Desirous of entering upon a life of active occupation,
he visited the court of Philip II. at Madrid, where he resided for
some time in quality of secretary to the Portuguese embassy. Fate at
length involved him in the unfortunate expedition of King Sebastian.
After fighting valiantly in the battle of Alcacer Seguer in Africa,
he was made prisoner by the victorious Moors. During his captivity he
composed several elegies and spiritual songs. On recovering his freedom
he returned to his native country where he lived until the year 1596.
Since his death he has been the object of severe animadversion, owing
particularly to the supposition, which has already been noticed, of
his having appropriated to himself some poems of Camoens. But were
there no reason to doubt the fact of this plagiarism, Bernardes has
sufficiently suffered for it in the esteem of posterity, by the unjust
depreciation of his poetic talent in the critical writings of some
Portuguese authors of the seventeenth century, more particularly in
those of Manoel de Faria e Sousa, with whom this tone of criticism
originated. In the eighteenth century, however, justice was rendered
both to him and to Ferreira.[198] Without striking out a new course in
poetry, and indeed without paying any rigid regard to the distinction
between poetry and prose, Bernardes evinces a far greater share of
poetic feeling than Ferreira; and, as a poet, if not as an elegant
versifier, he is far superior to Andrade Caminha. His spiritual poems
are among the very best in the class to which they belong. The title
which he gave them, namely:--“Miscellaneous poems to the good Jesus,
and the glorious Virgin his mother, &c.”[199] is quite in the spirit
of the poetry of the catholic religion. But Bernardes was not capable
of viewing catholic Christianity on its only true poetic side, that is
to say, the bold character of a miraculous working faith. He confined
himself to the representation of the inconceivable grace of the
Saviour, of the anguish of heart which the sinner should feel in the
deep consciousness of his unworthiness, and of similar dogmata, which
certainly may be expressed in poetic phrases, but which unavoidably
fetter the imagination, and convert even hymns into litanies.[200] It
is only through a pious childishness of feeling, to which catholic
Christianity gives birth, that some portion of poetic life has been
imparted to the spiritual songs, sonnets, and estancias of Bernardes.
That feeling led him to introduce into his sonnets to the holy virgin,
a mixture of romantic love; for example, when the poet complains to the
virgin that he loves something beside herself;[201] or, when he admires
her beauty in a picture, and reflects how beautiful she herself must
be. The spiritual songs in the popular style, which are included among
the works of Bernardes, are written in Spanish. The temporal songs,
elegies, and sonnets of this poet, have the same soft and infantine
character, and are therefore not inappropriately presented to the
public as an appendix to his pictures of spiritual feeling.[202] A few
elegies which he composed during his captivity among the Moors,[203]
and some _endechas_ in the old national style,[204] belong to this
class. Bernardes has also left behind him eclogues, epistles, and
numerous sonnets. His epistles shew the veneration he entertained for
the critical judgment of Ferreira, whose cold style, however, certainly
could not please him.[205] Many of his sonnets are expressive of the
homage with which he submitted his poetry to the judgment of Ferreira,
as he did his faith to the doctrines of the church. The elegy in which
he laments the death of Ferreira may, therefore, be numbered among his
sincerest effusions of the heart.[206]


In the same school of correct poetry with Andrade Caminha and
Bernardes, arose the ingenious Jeronymo Cortereal, another of those
chivalrous spirits of the sixteenth century, for whom every ordinary
sphere of life was too limited. Ambitious of doing honour to his
country and his distinguished family, he served in the Portuguese army
against the infidels in Asia and Africa. He afterwards settled on his
estate near Evora. In his residence, which was situated on a hill, and
surrounded by rude precipices, and which commanded an extensive view
of the surrounding country, he devoted himself to poetic composition;
and sometimes, for the sake of variety, turned his attention to
music and painting. This romantic abode of the muses charmed even
the cold-hearted Philip II. of Spain, when he visited his kingdom
of Portugal. Cortereal, who on that occasion, rendered homage to the
new sovereign in verse, had previously often been unfaithful to his
native tongue. He is included in the number of those Spanish poets, who
indefatigably but vainly vied with each other to convert historical
art into epic art, and to produce a Spanish national epopee.[207]--He
related in Spanish verse and in a poem of fifteen cantos, the history
of the battle of Lepanto, which has given occasion to so much Spanish
poetry of every description. In the Portuguese language, he wrote two
poems of a similar kind, which, at the time of their production were
very much esteemed. The subject of one is the siege of the Portuguese
garrison of Diu in India, which was valiantly defended by the Governor,
Mascarenhas. In the other of these works Cortereal relates in the
same style, the hapless story of Manoel de Souza and his wife, who on
their return from India were shipwrecked on the coast of Africa, and
who after wandering about for a considerable time, perished among the
savages. To impart poetic decoration to prosaic events of this kind,
borrowed from the history of the period, was the prevailing fashion of
the day in Spain and Portugal; and to banish such narrations from the
region of poetry, was an idea that never suggested itself to any poet,
still less to the public.[208]


Unconnected with this classical school, which became extinct about the
close of the sixteenth century, several Portuguese poets pursued their
own course, nearly in the same manner as Camoens, though not with the
same success. Jorge Ferreira de Vasconcellos, for example, a man of
considerable acquirements, who held a distinguished post in Lisbon,
rendered himself celebrated as the writer of several comedies which
were much esteemed. He was also the author of a new romance of the
Round Table.[209]

At a somewhat later period lived Estevam Rodriguez de Castro, a poet,
and at the same time a learned physician, who was invited to Italy by
the grand duke of Tuscany. He is the author of various sonnets, odes
and eclogues.

Fernando Rodriguez Lobo de Soropita, the publisher of the miscellaneous
poems of Camoens, likewise belongs to this age. Besides his juridical
works, he was the author of various pieces of humour in verse.

The present opportunity may be taken to mention the latin verses, which
were at this period still current in Portugal, and by the composition
of which, men of education, and even men in office of the first rank,
endeavoured to obtain a place near the ancient classics, without
interfering with the poets who adhered to their vernacular tongue. The
learned statesman Miguel de Cabedo de Vasconcellos, who resided for
several years in France, was particularly distinguished as a writer
of latin verse. Ancient literature seems, at this time, to have had a
powerful influence on the education of the Portuguese nobility; and as,
at this period, all the most celebrated Portuguese poets belonged to
noble families, it cannot be doubted that, the invisible link between
the Portuguese and latin poetry, was then much stronger than the
visible one, which never can be mistaken in the works of these poets.

To enumerate the remaining names of the Portuguese poets of the age
of Camoens, is a task which must be resigned to the writer, whose
object it may be to pursue more minutely the details of this particular
department of literature. Another Portuguese classic of the sixteenth
century, must, however, be included among the number of those poets,
who, in a general history of modern poetry and eloquence, are the more
worthy to be placed in a conspicuous light, in proportion as they are
little celebrated beyond the confines of their native land.


That Portuguese writers, who, in other instances have shewn themselves
so careful in the collection of biographic details, should be almost
silent respecting the life of such a poet as Francisco Rodriguez
Lobo, is a circumstance only to be explained by one of those sports
of fortune, through which in literature, as in life, honour is often
withheld from the most deserving, and lavished on the worthless.
Rodriguez Lobo was also a poet of noble extraction; but nothing is
known respecting the history of his life, except that he was born in
the town of Leiria, in Portuguese Estremadura, about the middle of the
sixteenth century; that by talent and industry he distinguished himself
at the university, and afterwards spent the chief portion of his life
in the country; and finally, that, in the passage of the Tagus, he
perished in that river which in his poetry he had often celebrated in
terms of romantic admiration. His remains were interred in the chapel
of a convent not far distant from the spot, where the current of the
stream cast his body on shore.[210]

To no other poet, after Saa de Miranda, Ferreira and Camoens, are the
language and literature of Portugal so much indebted as to Rodriguez
Lobo, with whom, indeed, the history of Portuguese eloquence may
be said to commence. He so highly improved romantic prose in the
Portuguese language, and laid so excellent a foundation for a pure
prose style, that in endeavouring to attain classic perfection in that
department of composition, later writers have merely followed in the
same course. His verse is no way inferior to his prose; and with all
his classical refinement he was not, like Ferreira, a poet of limited
imagination. Of all the Portuguese poets, Rodriguez Lobo is, in every
respect, entitled to the place next in rank to Saa de Miranda and
Camoens. His great erudition did not prevent him from being completely
imbued with poetic natural feeling, and in pictures drawn from the
romantic arcadian world his fancy was inexhaustible. It is indeed only
where his descriptions have a pastoral colouring that he is perfectly
in his poetic sphere. But within that sphere he occasionally draws
resources from practical good sense with a degree of adroitness which
is displayed by no previous Portuguese poet.

The writings of Rodriguez Lobo are susceptible of three divisions which
approximate to each other. To the first belongs his prose work:--“the
Court in the Country,” in which no verses are introduced. Three
connected pastoral romances form the second and most considerable
portion; here the prose is merely a beautiful combining link by
which the work is made a whole. The third comprises the author’s
miscellaneous poems.

The _Corte na Aldea, e Noites de Inverno_, (the Court in the Country,
and Winter Nights,) is the title of a book, by which Rodriguez Lobo
endeavoured to introduce a kind of Ciceronean style into Portuguese
prose, and at the same time to furnish a useful guide to the formation
of character for public life. The antiquated style of the title is in
a certain degree at variance with the classic elegance of the book
itself. It is probable that no more in this, than in his other works,
would Rodriguez Lobo have avoided the gothic ornaments of which the
romantic prose of the Spaniards and Portuguese was never entirely
divested, had he not, as a prose writer, been here guided by his
favourite Cicero, in whose footsteps he trod. Perhaps he was also
acquainted with some Italian works of a similar kind; for at this
period the Italian prose writers imitated Cicero; and _Il Cortegiano_
of Castiglione, bears in its subject at least a resemblance to Lobo’s
“Court in the Country.” But the direct imitation of Cicero’s style
is unquestionably an essential feature in this work. Precisely with
the same forms of friendly courtesy, as those which characterize
Cicero’s Tusculan and Academic discourses, but with some romantic
modifications, Rodriguez Lobo collects around him a party of friends
in the country. These friends discourse together concerning the proper
education of an elegant man of the world. As conversation occupies the
chief portion of the work, the whole is not inappropriately divided
into dialogues. Each dialogue has, however, an historical frame work.
But even though copying after Cicero’s models, it appears, that
Rodriguez Lobo could not, without difficulty, find the path of pure
prose composition. The first dialogue opens precisely in the style
of an old romance.[211] Nevertheless the long sentence with which
it commences, bespeaks, by its facility and rhetorical harmony a
cultivation of style, which is not discoverable in the works of any
earlier Portuguese prose writer. At the same time the reader is still
farther charmed by the delicate and sharp outline which is given of
the characteristic features of the assembled interlocutors.[212] The
conversation does not take the turn which might be expected; but
the natural colouring of the representation is thus augmented. The
degree of cultivation by which these gentlemen are distinguished from
the ordinary portion of society, leads them, in the first place, to
discourse of literature. One of the party very properly observes, that,
the country library of a man of their class, should consist chiefly
of works on history, poetry, and practical philosophy. This gives
rise to an encomium on the Portuguese language, which at that period
had to contend with enemies in its native land, and which was still
more vehemently attacked by the Spaniards. Cultivation of language
again becomes the subject of discussion in these dialogues; and the
epistolary style being considered more important than any other to a
gentleman who is to figure in the world, Rodriguez Lobo, through the
medium of one of the party, gives a full, and for the age in which
it was written, a new treatise of the art of correct letter-writing.
Even the external elegance of the letter comes under consideration.
The interlocutors then discuss appointments, messages and visits;
ornamental hyperboles (_encarecimentos_); the difference between love
and desire; selfishness; social decorum in manners and discourse;
social eloquence generally; the art of social anecdote in particular;
witty conversation in society; true gallantry (_cortesia_); education
at court, in the army and in the schools. The reader who forms his
judgment of this ingenious work, apart from the age in which, and for
which, it was written, will probably depreciate its intrinsic merits.
Now that the first principles of modern cultivation have become common,
the precepts of Rodriguez Lobo will be scorned as trivial by the
merest noviciates in politeness; and our students of psychology will
feel more inclined to receive instructions from a French observer of
mankind of the eighteenth century, than from this Portuguese writer.
But in the sixteenth century such a work as the _Corte na Aldea_ could
only have been written by a man initiated in the refined manners
of his age, and combining a delicate spirit of observation with an
extraordinary store of literary knowledge. In Portuguese eloquence
it had no prototype. In the descriptive passages only is the style
somewhat overcharged with antiquated and pompous phrases. The turns of
the dialogue are, like the similar passages in the writings of Cicero,
natural and pleasing, though they do not possess the poignant spirit
of more recent productions of this kind.[213] Where the exposition
of the ideas assumes a totally didactic character, the expression is
clear, decided and unostentatiously harmonious.[214] Upon the whole
the prose of Rodriguez Lobo has more of an oratorical character than
the modern style of conversation admits; but the romantic tone of
chivalrous gallantry in the sixteenth century, produced, even in the
conversational style, a certain formality and rounding of long periods,
by an influence similar to that which the oratorical prose of the forum
exercised at Rome in Cicero’s time, over every species of prosaic

But Rodriguez Lobo’s _Corte na Aldea_ is entitled to honourable
distinction, for even something more than its general merits, as the
first book in classical prose produced in Portugal. By the anecdotes
and tales which are interwoven with the dialogue and didactic passages,
it furnished the Portuguese with the first model of light narrative
style in their native tongue.[215] The letters from the Ciceronean
collections, and other ancient and modern works, which Rodriguez Lobo
has translated, and introduced as illustrations of his theory of the
epistolary style, are likewise very judiciously chosen. Finally, this
copious theory of epistolary composition is the first successful
attempt at any thing beyond a mere scholastic guide to eloquence in
Portuguese literature. Previously to the production of this work, no
rhetorical models were known in Portugal, save those of Aristotle,
which were transmitted through the second and third hand in so
barbarous a form, that a writer found it necessary to forget them in
order to learn to express himself without pedantry.

Thus a Portuguese poet was the first who made his countrymen acquainted
with the spirit of genuine and elegantly cultivated prose in their
native tongue; and, therefore, of all the writings of that poet, the
work by which he extended the boundary of the polite literature of
his nation, deserves, in the history of that literature, to hold the
most conspicuous place. But Rodriguez Lobo ranks still higher among
poets than among prose writers, though he neither introduced a new
style nor a new form of poetry into Portuguese literature. His three
connected pastoral romances, are the most luxuriant blossoms of this
old branch of Portuguese poetry. Such a treasure of romantic bucolics
as the united works present, is no where else to be found. The prose
with which Rodriguez Lobo has incorporated the pastoral poems, can only
be regarded as a poetic groundwork. In the present age these romances
would not easily find, except in Portugal, and perhaps not even there,
a reader possessing sufficient patience to peruse them throughout
with attention. Were they even two thirds shorter than they are,
their monotony would still be intolerably tiresome except to persons
accustomed,--like the polite world of Portugal and Spain, in the time
of Rodriguez Lobo,--to pastoralize their joys and sorrows, and to be
satisfied with the constant sameness of pastoral composition, if it in
some degree flatter the heart and the senses. In describing the subject
of this romance, nothing further can be said, than that this or that
shepherd and shepherdess occasionally meet, and occasionally separate.
The general story unfolds no action which excites particular interest;
and as little do the individual descriptions exhibit any character
properly fitted for originating action. It may with tolerable certainty
be inferred, that the story is a disguised picture of the romantic
events of real life, in which the author was engaged. But though the
disguises be less mysterious and singular than those of Ribeyro’s
old pastoral romance,[216] still they present not the slightest
attraction for posterity. If Lobo’s pastoral romance be compared with
Montemayor’s Diana, the monotony of its subject will be found to be
still more striking. However, notwithstanding that monotony, and also
some ornamental excrescences of the old romantic kind, this romance
well merits literary distinction, on account of the narrative and
descriptive parts, which combine the most pleasing polish of language
with a poetic tenderness of style, in which Lobo is not surpassed
by Montemayor himself. The descriptions of scenery which frequently
occur, are in particular remarkable for exquisite touches of romantic
simplicity. They are, doubtless, sketched from nature: the scene is
invariably laid in Portugal, and the country is sometimes accurately
traced out by the rivers.[217] But the parts in verse are by far the
most beautiful of the whole; and the best of the cantigas and canções
which occur in this delicate representation of romantic pastoral life,
may be regarded as classic models in their kind.

_Primavera_ (Spring) is the title of the first of Lobo’s pastoral
romances. Pastoral images of spring are here exhibited in contrast
with the complaints of unhappy love. The inexhaustible fertility which
Rodriguez Lobo has evinced in the execution of this contrast, seems
totally incredible in this prosaic age; for the same impressions
and situations are continually recurring in an ever varied form. A
descriptive song of spring, full of cheerfulness, opens the beautiful
gallery.[218] The spirit of a shepherd, who has been transformed
into a fountain, sings the history of his tender passion. Sonnets,
canções, tercets, octaves, and redondilhas, are by turns gracefully
introduced in the succeeding cantos. Sometimes at the close of these
lyric effusions the reader is surprised by ideas, which, however,
were in some degree to be expected.[219] In general the enthusiasm of
love is represented with somewhat less quaintness by Rodriguez Lobo
than by Montemayor. When plays of sentiment running through several
stanzas turn on a prevailing idea occurring in the last line of each
stanza, Lobo, like Montemayor, usually expresses this idea merely by a
simple exclamation. These plays of sentiment are also very pleasingly
combined with the usual reflections on the perishableness of all
earthly things.[220] The poetic salutations to nature, which to the
poet appeared as though she sympathized with him, present, in this
pastoral romance, all the charm of the tenderest simplicity.[221] Then
again the same melancholy reflections recur in another form.[222] In
many of these songs, however, the romantic complaints are carried to an
excessive prolixity. That which might be sufficiently well expressed
in five or six stanzas, sometimes occupies from thirty to forty. Scope
is, however, advantageously given to romantic wit in the style of the
age, by the poetic questions and answers with which Rodriguez Lobo’s
shepherds and shepherdesses occasionally maintain conversation. In this
way antiquated quaintness is successfully avoided, while the poetic
character of these sportive exercises is carefully preserved. The plays
of wit acquire indeed an augmented interest by being combined with a
kind of poetic competition. Thus, for example, the question:--Whether
love with or without hope be the truest love? is answered in two
different songs.[223] The question in what degree love and jealousy
are allied? receives three answers in three songs.[224] Rodriguez Lobo
has not been surpassed by any ancient or modern poet in the ingenious
simplicity and elegance of these fanciful compositions. But had he
been less successful in productions of this class, still the poetic
truth, intensity, delicacy and graceful ease of his pastoral cantigas
and canções would have entitled him to one of the highest places
among the lyric poets of all nations. The reader readily pardons the
tedious length of the _Primavera_, as it could not otherwise include
so many lyric poems. Even the antiquated division into _Florestas_
(flower-beds), will not displease, if the exquisite lyric effusions
which are scattered through the work, be allowed to represent the
flowers. That this romance is arranged in geographical divisions
according to the rivers of the district in which the scene is laid,
must also be excused, though such a plan may not, perhaps, appear
quite congenial with the spirit of romantic poetry.

The other two pastoral romances of Lobo are merely continuations
of his Spring, which according to the plan on which it is written,
might be protracted to infinity. The first continuation is entitled,
_O Pastor Peregrino_, (the Wandering Shepherd). It is arranged in
divisions, which, like the acts of the Spanish comedies, bear the name
of _jornadas_. The second continuation, or the conclusion of the whole
romance, is entitled, _O Desenganado_,[225] (the Disenchanted), and
its divisions are called _discursos_ (discourses). Here also a rich
harvest of lyric flowers charm the reader, though the romance itself
becomes even less interesting. Rodriguez Lobo has endeavoured to render
this last portion of his romance in a peculiar way instructive. Towards
the close, as the events become more romantic, he introduces a portion
of his geographical, historical, and physical knowledge. Still sound
judgment and a delicate spirit of observation are here manifest.

But Rodriguez Lobo who found only within the boundary or in the
vicinity of pastoral poetry the objects and impressions for the poetic
representation of which he was destined by nature, was induced to take
part with the Portuguese and Spanish poets of his age in the absurd
competition for the prize of epopœia. He wrote a work entitled, _O
Condestabre de Portugal_, (the Generalissimo of Portugal), which he
intended should be a national epic poem. It is, however, merely a
versified biography of the renowned Nuno Alvarez Pereira, whom the
Portuguese of that age eulogized with an enthusiasm equal to that with
which the Spaniards celebrated their favourite Cid. Rodriguez Lobo has
collected with all requisite patience the most remarkable events in the
life of his hero. He has arranged them chronologically, dividing the
whole into twenty cantos, and the long narrative is written in neat
octaves. But all the advantage which a story can impart to a poem is
wanting in this tedious work. It is difficult to conceive how a man of
Rodriguez Lobo’s poetic taste, could have written verses in this style
without being conscious that he was only rhyming historical prose. The
imagination has had but little or no share either in the cultivation
of the style or the painting of the situations; and the whole work
exhibits no trace of poetic invention. But it is soon evident that from
beginning to end the author is resolved never to be at variance with
historical truth. Thus Rodriguez Lobo purposely repressed his natural
poetic feeling in order to conform with the false notions of epic
composition, which were at that time firmly established in Spain and
Portugal. So much, indeed, was he under the dominion of those notions
that he has not had the courage to mingle even as much poetry with his
narrative, as the Spaniard Ercilla introduced in his Araucana.[226]
The few stanzas which Camoens in his Lusiad consecrates to Nuno
Alvarez,[227] are worth more than the twenty cantos of Lobo’s versified
biography. In a philological point of view, however, the composition
deserves praise, for the simplicity, correctness and elegance of its
language. A gleam of poetic beauty here and there distinguishes some
of the descriptive and pathetic passages, and repays the labour of a

The predilection which Rodriguez Lobo unconsciously and almost
exclusively entertained for pastoral poetry, is more than sufficiently
proved by the ten eclogues which are included among the works of this
poet, independently of the three pastoral romances already noticed.
He wished to combine didactic with bucolic poetry. On this idea he
has explained himself in a preface to his didactic eclogues. Man, he
says, has abandoned the state for which nature destined him, since he
has exchanged the quietude of his rural occupations and wishes, for a
restless and dissatisfied life by sea and by land. Abel was a shepherd,
and all the succeeding patriarchs, on whom God bestowed his favour,
devoted themselves to the care of flocks and herds. Amidst rustic
occupations the virtues of the ancient Romans were fostered; and there
have arisen in the pastoral state many great men who have been called
to fill thrones. Country life must therefore be regarded as the only
natural state of existence, and consequently it is that state to which
all the precepts of morality have reference. Thus poetry cannot be more
suitably combined with morality than through the medium of pastoral
composition. It is therefore nothing surprising that the discourse of
shepherds should be the vehicle of practical philosophy. The shepherd
in his smock-frock has not less correct notions of virtue and vice than
the courtier and man of the world. But poetry is, generally speaking,
merely the clothing of truth.[228] According to these principles which
may be regarded as a portion of the Portuguese art of poetry in the
sixteenth century, Rodriguez Lobo chose for his didactic eclogues, a
particular moral point of view. The first is directed against rudeness
and ignorance; the second against hatred and envy; the third against
avarice. In like manner each of the remaining eclogues censures some
particular vice, and the censure is conveyed in a style of rural
gentleness, while the opposite virtue is recommended by pleasing
images. The simple morality which Rodriguez Lobo puts into the mouths
of his shepherds is certainly not unnatural in their situation. Far
removed also as the critic may be from the scholastic prejudices which
formed the basis of the poetic art of the sixteenth century, and which
would render poetry a mere robe for morality, still it is impossible
entirely to reject the idea of this species of didactic eclogue. But
such a homely morality, in union with pastoral poetry, could possess
poetic interest, only at a time when the commonest remarks on moral
relations, if divested of theological and monastic forms of expression,
had all the charm of novelty. In the present age, however, when
philosophy has long nourished poetry with more invigorating aliment,
the didactic eclogues of Rodriguez Lobo cannot claim any particular
favour among readers, who justly require that morality should not
directly mix in the business of poetry, when it has nothing new to tell.

The works of Rodriguez Lobo, also include about a hundred romances,
which, with the exception of a few, are written in Spanish. The first
half contributed nothing to the advancement of Portuguese literature.
It consists of fifty-six occasional poems in redondilhas, which are
all pompous salutations of Philip III. who in the year 1619 visited
his Portuguese dominions. Such occasional poems were at the period
denominated romances. But the works of Rodriguez Lobo conclude with
some real romances in the old spirit and style, which cast a new
light on that part of Portuguese literature. They prove, that which
more ancient data leave doubtful, namely, that the epic or heroic
romance, which in Castile is as old as the Castilian language, was
never completely naturalized in Portugal.[229] The narrative romances
in particular, the subjects of which are borrowed from the history
of Moorish knights and ladies, and in which Spanish poetry is so
profusely rich, seem only to have found their way into Portugal from
Spain, and never to have been perfectly congenial with the national
taste of the Portuguese. This kind of romance seems indeed to be
essentially attached to the Castilian language. It appears that
in the age of Rodriguez Lobo, the Spaniards made it a reproach to
the Portuguese that they wanted the talent necessary for inventing
these romances. Rodriguez Lobo, who was a zealous patriot, wrote a
whole series, but only with the view of ridiculing this species of
composition which appeared to him too vain-glorious. In an introductory
romance he apostrophizes the _romancistas_ (romance writers) of his
native country. He conjures them, instead of continuing to plunder
the Spanish language, to soar to distinction by means of originality,
since where there were so many pens, wings could not be wanting. He
begs them to observe, that the laurel tree on Parnassus had been
completely stripped, since to every Spanish romancist a whole branch
had been assigned as a garland.[230] He adds, that they might roam to
the Alhambra and the Alpuxarra in quest of the fair ladies Daraja and
Celinda, Adalifa and Celidaxa.[231] Lobo follows up this satirical
address with a considerable number of Spanish romances of his own
composition, apparently with the view of proving how easy it is to
write such pieces. Indeed to a poet of Rodriguez Lobo’s talent it
certainly could not be difficult to produce an exaggerated imitation
of the style of the Spanish national romance. But such extravagant
imitation will not deprive the best of those romances of the merit
which they really possess. Lobo seems purposely to have introduced
among these compositions, some pastoral romances in the Portuguese
language; as if it were not as easy and even easier to ridicule
pastoral poetry; or as if an exuberance of pastoral poetry were to be a
proof that Portuguese literature could well dispense with the beautiful
epic romance.

Rodriguez Lobo laid the foundation of that excessive accumulation of
pastoral poetry, existing in the Portuguese language. He exerted his
utmost endeavours to fix the taste of the nation in that direction.
Before he appeared, the poetic genius of the Portuguese earnestly and
zealously sought distinction in different ways. But after the period
in which Rodriguez Lobo flourished, the Portuguese poets evinced an
exclusive predilection for the pastoral style, even in other classes of
poetic composition.


Though Portuguese poetry had now attained a degree of consideration
which in the following century it was unable to surpass, eloquence, or
the elegant literature of prose remained far behind. That no writer
of talent should have produced a work in Portuguese prose, which in
a rhetorical point of view is worthy to mark an epoch, may in some
respects be accounted for by peculiar circumstances, and must in others
be attributed merely to the caprice of chance. The same restrictions
on intellectual freedom, which in Portugal so effectually opposed the
full developement of pure eloquence, had likewise held captive the
thinking faculty in Spain. In Spain, however, a few, but still some
men of talent, who pretended to no distinction in poetry, learned to
move, even in their fetters, with rhetorical freedom and dignity, and
there was nothing to prevent the occurrence of similar instances at an
equally early period in Portugal. But it appears, that the Portuguese
authors who had no ambition to be poets, were not endowed with the
true talent for cultivating the art of rhetorical representation, and
that the poets were too much engaged with their own art, to take any
particular interest in the improvement of any other branch of polite
literature. With the single exception of Rodriguez Lobo, whose _Corte
na Aldea_ afforded in Portugal the first example how a poet could
elevate the language of common life, without confounding the boundaries
of poetry and elegant prose, no Portuguese poet of the sixteenth
century in any way contributed to the cultivation of eloquence; and the
period when Rodriguez Lobo enjoyed his utmost celebrity was not earlier
than the commencement of the seventeenth century. Now the Portuguese
language was then, as the loud complaint of Lobo sufficiently proves,
frequently denied, even in Portugal, any claim to the possession of
that accuracy and elegance, without which poetry, deficient merely in
cultivation, might indeed exist, but which is indispensably necessary
to prose composition, when it is to be elevated above the formal style
of ceremony, and the negligent expression of common life. Thus it
seems to have happened that some Portuguese historians and moralists,
who, even in the first half of the sixteenth century, had actually
formed their style to a certain extent on the ancient models, still
unconsciously fell into the rude manner of the chronicle and monastic
prose. In Spain elegant prose was afforded the opportunity of an
earlier developement, for the national pride of the Castilians had
at all times powerfully protected the Castilian language; and men of
learning who entertained a different opinion had not the deciding


The novel style was at this period not more prejudicial to true
eloquence in Portugal than in Spain. Every reader, however,
unconscious of any theoretical reasoning on such subjects, regarded
the romances and novels which were now profusely circulated as scions
from the old stock of the national poetry. They were judged according
to poetic laws; while fictitious events in forms wholly prosaic, would
have been justly declared counterfeit. But the Portuguese attributed
to themselves the peculiar merit of ingenious invention, and of an
excellent, if not a perfect, style in the relation of romantic events.
_Palmerin de Oliva_, which next to Amadis de Gaul, Cervantes spares
in his judgment on romances of chivalry, was written by Francisco de
Moràes, a Portuguese courtier and man of the world; and it has already
been mentioned, that even Amadis, in its original form, is considered
to have been the production of a Portuguese.[233] Francisco de Moràes
lived in the reign of John III. and he visited the French court in the
suite of the Portuguese ambassador. This visit may have contributed to
nurture his taste for romances of chivalry, which were then greatly in
favour with people of rank in France.


Many other Portuguese romances of different kinds were produced in
the sixteenth century. The prize awarded to Rodriguez Lobo, as author
of the most celebrated pastoral romance, had already been an object
of ambition with Eloy de Sà Sotomayor, whose _Ribeiras do Mondego_,
(Banks of the Mondego),[234] was not, however, so early known as Lobo’s
work. From the preface to the _Ribeiras_, it is quite evident that
Rodriguez Lobo had, according to the fashion of the age, introduced
into his pastoral romances a disguised picture of affairs of love which
personally interested himself. Sà Sotomayor, who was also a bachelor
of canon law, was considered one of the most successful rivals of
Rodriguez Lobo, in romantic composition. But as a poet, he was in every
respect far inferior. His narrative and descriptive styles are not
destitute of grace.[235] His verses, however, cannot bear comparison
with those of Lobo: and even his most natural pictures of sentiment
are deficient in novelty of idea and ingenious simplicity.[236]


Among the Portuguese chivalric romances, which were so assiduously
read in the sixteenth century, may be numbered _A Constante Florinda_,
(the Constant Florinda) of Gaspar Pires de Rebello, who was likewise
the author of some short didactic novels, (_novelas exemplares_) which
were published about the period at which Cervantes enriched Spanish
literature with tales of a totally different standard, though bearing
the same title.[237] Rebello entertained a very high opinion of the
usefulness of his novels;[238] but his inventions are common place; and
his unceasing display of mythological learning is as affected as are
many of his similies and images.[239]


But the historical works which were written in the Portuguese
language in the sixteenth century, are more important to the lover of
literature, as well as the politician, than the other compositions
in prose which have just been noticed. In Portugal, as well as in
Spain, relations of real events had long been completely distinguished
from romantic prose. But before the old chronicle style could become
entirely obsolete, it was necessary that the old chronicle spirit
should yield to the nobler spirit of historic art; and to this in
that age, with all its great events, there was little inducement in
Portugal. The ancient classic historians were, it is true, read and
studied; but when Portuguese writers attempted to imitate them, they
at most only succeeded in producing some resemblance to their force of
description, and in a certain degree to their elegance of expression,
but failed altogether in the arrangement of events according to the
just idea of historical utility, and in the delicacy of the shades
of an historical picture. Indeed the rude spirit of the chronicles
seemed then to belong no less essentially to the narration of modern
events, than the rhyme and the metres of romantic verse to modern
poetry. He who felt himself called to be the historian of his native
country, necessarily endeavoured to render himself no less intimate
with the old chronicles than with classic authors; and, if, fully
imbued with his subject, he took up the thread of the narrative where
an earlier chronicler had dropped it, he unconsciously fell into the
style of that chronicler. Had fate transplanted for several years to
Italy, and placed in a sphere of political and literary activity, a
Portuguese possessing the talent and energy of Diego de Mendoza, he
would probably, like that distinguished Spaniard, have there learned
to compose an historical work according to justly conceived ideas of
historical art, independently of the influence of the chronicles.[240]
But in India, to which at that time all Portuguese subjects who wished
to rise in the service of their country eagerly hastened, it was not
to be expected that a historian could be formed. Still, however, the
historical literature of the Portuguese of the sixteenth century, when
considered with reference to its rhetorical character, possesses a
degree of interest which the elegant compilations of later historians
cannot excite. The men who at that memorable epoch, either from their
own inclination, or as Cronistas in the service of the government,
related the history of their native country, and more particularly of
the Portuguese discoveries and conquests, were inspired with ardent
national feeling, and that feeling they communicated to their works.
Their narratives have character. The manner in which that character
displays itself, is doubtless too prominent in cases in which the
national interests come into conflict with claims of foreign powers.
But an endeavour to preserve historical fidelity, is in general
observable in the works of these writers. To confound them with the
common chroniclers would be doing them great injustice. They earnestly
endeavoured to introduce into their narratives as much of the style
of the ancient classics as could be united with the style of the
chronicle; and the remote traces of that historical art in which they
were deficient are to be recognized in their works. It was not so much
their object to string facts together, as to combine remarkable events
as far as they were able, under one practical point of view.


The events of India formed the favourite theme of many of the
Portuguese Cronistas of the sixteenth century. At the head of these
industrious writers stands Joaõ de Barros, whose name is not altogether
unknown in literature, beyond the boundaries of his native land. In the
early part of the sixteenth century he was distinguished by his talents
and acquirements among the young men of rank, who were educated at the
court of Emanuel the Great. At this period he seems to have applied
himself with particular delight to the study of the Roman historians,
and in particular of Livy. In his twenty-first year he produced a
romance of chivalry. King Emanuel, who on reading this romance thought
that he perceived in the youthful author a talent for historical
composition, commissioned him to draw up an account of the oriental
discoveries and conquests of the Portuguese. Barros immediately
prepared for the commencement of his arduous task; the execution of
which was, however, delayed for some time in consequence of the death
of King Emanuel. But he was speedily solicited by King John III. not to
relinquish his design, and, as an encouragement, was invested with the
lucrative but troublesome post of Treasurer to the Indian department
(_Caza da India_). Without neglecting the duties of this office, Barros
indefatigably collected materials for his great historical work, which
he commenced and continued with unremitting activity until a short
time previous to his decease. He died in the year 1570, at the age
of seventy-four. The Portuguese have surnamed him their Livy. His
historical labours sufficiently prove that he did not study Livy in
vain, and though he cannot justly claim a place near that historian,
yet are his labours well deserving of an ample notice in the history of
Portuguese literature.

The celebrated work of Joaõ de Barros is entitled “Asia, or the
Atchievements which the Portuguese performed in the Discovery and
Conquest of the Seas and Lands of the Orient.[241]” The books are,
like those of Livy’s works, distributed into decades. These decades
are four in number, and each makes a moderately sized folio volume.
In this work Barros, though he embraces only the most brilliant
portion of Portuguese history, has pursued an idea similar to that
which governed Livy, for he constantly endeavours to illustrate and
render self-evident the greatness of the Portuguese name, as Livy
does the majesty of the Roman people. Whether national pride may not
sometimes have seduced him into violations of historical truth,
is a question which the historian of eloquence cannot be required
to investigate.[242] This Portuguese Livy has to a certain degree
approached the excellence of his model in the art of historical
description. His language is sometimes not merely elegant; but
the pictures he draws exhibit an unaffected charm of intuitive
representation. These descriptions are neither disfigured by pompous
phrases nor poetic excrescences; and they still possess a lively
internal spirit as well when rural or urbane scenery is depicted,[243]
as when military events are represented.[244] But passages thus
distinguished for rhetorical beauty are only occasionally to be found
in the works of Barros. His narrative style is, upon the whole, merely
the old chronicle style, with the diction somewhat more elevated; and
even his diction abounds in expressions which were beginning to grow
antiquated at the period when he wrote. The practice of commencing
several sentences in succession by the conjunction _and_, in the manner
of the old chronicles, is not uncommon in the writings of Barros. But
he seldom attains the real flexibility of the long, yet harmoniously
articulated sentences of Livy. Barros sometimes very happily inculcates
his practical views by speeches in the manner of the ancients, which
under certain circumstances he introduces as delivered by the Public,
in order to express in the most natural way all that can be said for
and against certain enterprises; such, for example, as the continual
fitting out, under the auspices of Prince Henry, so celebrated in the
history of discoveries of vessels, for the further exploring of the new
passage to India.[245] Speeches by individuals, though seldom, are for
the most part not inappropriately introduced; but the insipid style of
the chronicles is then very unseasonably retained.[246] Least of all
did Barros understand the drawing of character; and in this respect the
difference between the Roman and the Portuguese Livy is most striking.
The monkish point of view in which this author, like every other of
his age in Portugal and Spain, regarded the faults and excellencies
of human character, rendered any thing like natural portraiture
impossible. An ancient Roman observer of human nature would not, for
instance, have deduced the courtesy and gentleness of Prince Henry,
the encourager of navigation, from the purity of that prince’s soul,
with an intimation that such a conclusion was to be drawn because he
was held to be truly virginal.[247] In the spirit of his age, Barros
seizes every opportunity for putting forward his catholic opinions,
though the result is by no means to the advantage of his historical


In order to form a correct estimate of the rhetorical merit of Barros,
with reference to the age in which he lived, it is necessary to compare
his historical works with others which were written in Portugal at
the same period and on the same subjects. In this comparison Barros
will be found to shine forth as a light of superior lustre. With
equal patriotism and industry, and with a greater sacrifice of his
own interest, Fernaõ Lopez de Castanheda composed his history of the
discovery and conquest of India by the Portuguese: a narrative of
events, which, though compendious in form, exhibits the most laborious
accuracy in the investigation of facts.[248] But whatever may be the
historical merit of this work, it is, as to rhetorical character,
merely a common chronicle. The diffuse chronicle of King Emanuel, which
was about this period edited by Damiaõ de Góes, is also interesting
only to the historian.

The life of the great Affonso d’Alboquerque, composed by his son,
Affonso d’Alboquerque, the younger, is a biographical chronicle,
which may be placed on a parallel with the works entitled, Histories,
which have just been noticed.[249] No historical work enjoys greater
esteem in Portuguese literature: and that a father so celebrated,
should have found so worthy a narrator of his atchievements in his
son, certainly was not a thing easily to be anticipated. But in the
scale of rhetorical merit, these Commentaries, as the work is usually
denominated, weigh but lightly. The language may be said to be pure,
but the style is monotonous; and upon the whole it is merely a
repetition of the old chronicle style.[250]


Bernardo de Brito, a Portuguese historian, who lived in the latter end
of the sixteenth and beginning of the seventeenth centuries, possessed
a far higher degree of historical cultivation. He was educated at
Rome, and was master of several modern languages. He devoted himself
to the ecclesiastical profession, but in the cloister he followed
his predilection for Portuguese history; and as authorized Cronista
of his convent, he undertook the arduous task of writing a complete
history of the Portuguese monarchy. He died in the year 1617, in the
forty-seventh year of his age, without having attained the object to
which he honourably aspired. But, notwithstanding his early death, he
might have succeeded in completing the history of his native country,
had not the plan on which he proceeded placed that object beyond his
reach. The idea of a history of the Portuguese monarchy, would have
been properly fulfilled by commencing with the foundation of that
monarchy, and in an introduction only, referring back somewhat beyond
the eleventh century. But Bernardo de Brito contemplated the execution
of a work of much greater magnitude. His _Monarchia Lusitana_ was
intended to be a complete history of the country, now called Portugal,
from the most remote antiquity down to the latest period.[251] The
ancient history of Portugal was with him a favourite part of his
subject. It is probable that he wished his history to rank as a
companion to the Spanish work of Florian de Ocampo, who in the reign
of Charles V. commenced on a similar plan, a history of the Spanish
monarchy from the time of the flood.[252] Brito, however, did not think
that period sufficiently remote, but chose to start from the creation
of the world. Whatever particulars are furnished by ancient authors,
concerning Lusitania and the Lusitanians of the earliest ages, he has
collected, examined, and arranged in historical connection. But a
thick folio volume, which includes the four first books, brings the
history no further than the birth of Christ; and towards the end of
the second volume, where the history of modern Portugal commences, the
work breaks off. Had it been completed, still it would not have been an
easy matter to have brought the numerous notices respecting Portuguese
antiquities, which Brito has introduced, under a point of view whereby
they might have formed an appropriate union with the heterogeneous
events of modern history. But the work is eminently distinguished for
style and descriptive talent. The ingenious author seems like many
other eminent persons of his age to have derived particular advantage
from his residence in Italy. Without deteriorating by laborious polish,
the vigorous style which is indispensable to historical composition, he
gives even dry narratives of facts in a manner totally different from
the compilers of the old chronicles; and where the internal interest
of the subject animates the description, Brito’s historical pictures
possess an impressive effect, which marks the pupil of the ancient
classic writers.[253]

Brito’s preface, in which he gives an account of the spirit and plan of
his history of the Portuguese monarchy, merits attention. He observes
that even his own countrymen advised him to write his work, if not
in Latin or Italian, at least in Spanish, in order to afford it an
opportunity of being read beyond the confines of Portugal, and also
for the sake of avoiding the vulgarity into which his native tongue
might betray him.[254] Thus, even in Portugal, during the sixteenth
century, notwithstanding the progress made by Portuguese literature,
the detractors of the Portuguese language must have been exceedingly
numerous, since their conduct is so frequently a subject of complaint
with patriotic writers. Brito was one of the patriots who most loudly
expressed his indignation against that anti-national party. The
Portuguese language, he says, has fallen into disrepute only because
Portugal cherishes “ungrateful sons, like poisonous vipers.”[255] He
expresses his regret, that though possessing a little better knowledge
of his native language, he could not write in the most brilliant style,
which is only to be done when the author bestows greater attention on
elegance of expression than on the veracity of facts, which is unworthy
of a true historian.[256]

A smaller historical work by Bernardo de Brito, from its title of
_Elogios dos reys de Portugal_, (Eulogies on the Kings of Portugal)
seems to promise to the historian of eloquence a kind of rhetorical
memoires, from which not a little might be expected. But these
eulogies are brief and dull notices, and scarcely afford groundwork
for biographical sketches. They are merely intended to illustrate the
copper-plate portraits of the kings of Portugal, which are included in
the work.[257]

The travels of Fernaõ Mendez Pinto,[258] may also be numbered among the
works written in cultivated Portuguese prose, which appeared during the
sixteenth century. It seems to have been the first book of travels, the
author of which bestowed labour on narrative and descriptive style.

The cultivation of the other departments of prosaic composition appears
to have been at this period very much neglected in Portugal. Some moral
treatises, written by the historian Barros, in the dialogue form,
perhaps merit to be again brought into notice.[259] A _Panegyrico_ by
the same author on an Infanta Maria, has also the reputation of being
eloquently written.

An art of poetry and rhetoric composed on practical principles, and
calculated to convey useful instruction, was not to be expected while
writers had still sufficient difficulty in the preliminary study of the
grammatical rules and purity of diction. To facilitate the acquisition
of both, Nunez de Liaõ wrote his book on the origin of the Portuguese
language, and his introduction to Portuguese orthography.[260]



_Decay of the ancient national energy in Portuguese Literature._

At the end of the sixteenth century the most brilliant period of
Portuguese poetry had passed away. A new epoch did not, it is true,
commence; for the style of invention and composition which during that
century was introduced, continued essentially unaltered. The influence
which the fantastic school of the Gongorists produced, in the first
half of the seventeenth century, on most of the Portuguese writers,
did not entirely repress the cultivation of the better style.[261] But
the proper place to form a resting point in the account of the second
period of the polite literature of Portugal is the present, for here
genius ceased to advance, and dextrous talent merely traded on the
stock which the sixteenth century had bequeathed. According to the plan
of a history, in which it is intended to describe circumstantially,
only the progress of poetic and rhetorical genius and taste, the
account of Portuguese poetry and eloquence in the seventeenth century
must therefore form merely a summary appendix to the preceding chapters.

At the commencement of the present book it was remarked, that the
loss of independence experienced by the kingdom of Portugal, was
attended with no immediate injury to Portuguese literature. The
Spanish language could obtain no higher consideration in Portugal than
it already enjoyed. The humbled national pride took pleasure in the
courageous defence of the national language, and the Castilian tongue
only served to remind the patriotic Portuguese of the ignominious
occupation of his country. But several circumstances concurred to
limit poetic genius in Portugal to a somewhat monotonous continuation
of the old style in a few branches of poetic composition, while in
Spain dramatic poetry, full of national boldness, rapidly advanced
in the career of well merited fame. That fate had denied a Lope de
Vega to the Portuguese language is not sufficient to account for this
contrast, the Spanish would still have been banished from the stage in
Portugal, had a Portuguese national theatre vied with that of Spain.
In that case the competition of numerous poets would, perhaps, have
ensured the cultivation of dramatic composition in the language of the
country, which, since the death of Gil Vicente, had been neglected.
But even Gil Vicente, as has been already observed, wrote his first
drama in Spanish; and in his subsequent works he interspersed the
Spanish with the Portuguese language, as if he felt that the latter
was not of itself fitted to supply dialogue throughout the whole of
a dramatic performance. The genuine Portuguese comedies of Saa de
Miranda and Antonio Ferreira were by no means sufficiently national
to excite the imitation of a poet who might wish to produce an effect
upon the great body of the Portuguese public. Meanwhile the comedies
of Lope de Vega found their way into Portugal, and since that period
this class of comedy seemed to require the Spanish language to render
it perfect. In the seventeenth century, many Spanish comedies were
written by Portuguese authors; and the Portuguese poets who adhered
to their mother tongue, sought another sphere. During the sixty years
in which there was no court in Lisbon, Portuguese poetry withdrew
entirely within the circle of private relations. The lyric forms of
romantic love, with a supplemental supply of the favourite amatory
pastoral poetry, and of versified jests of various kinds, seemed fully
to satisfy the public. That the spirit of vigorous emulation should
so suddenly have vanished among the Portuguese poets, would, however,
be inconceivable, were it not that in Spain about the same period,
every species of poetic composition, except dramatic poetry, which
flowed like an impetuous torrent, remained stationary at the point
at which it stood in the beginning of the seventeenth century. Both
the Spaniards and the Portuguese felt the paralyzing influence of the
political relations of their deeply humiliated countries; and in both
nations despotism, spiritual and temporal, finally overthrew the power
which had long kept it in equipoise. Even in Portugal, therefore, the
restoration of the independence of the kingdom in the year 1640, though
it excited new ebullitions of patriotism, could produce no new freedoms
in poetry.


In the history of Portuguese poetry, the seventeenth century may be
called _the Age of Sonnets_. Lyric art in the old national syllabic
metres was entirely abandoned in serious poetry. The composition of
sonnets formed the particular recommendation of the man of the world
in the circle of polite society; and both in spiritual and temporal
affairs, sonnets were resorted to as the means of extricating their
authors from difficulty. It would almost appear that at this period
poetic merit in Portugal was estimated solely by the inexhaustible
facility which an author displayed in the composition of these trifles.
To acquire the title of a poet certainly nothing more was necessary
than to write a few sonnets not absolutely contemptible. Thus, in the
year 1631, when the number of printed Portuguese sonnets was increasing
by thousands, Jacinto Cordeiro,[262] a minute calculator of the poetic
fame of his nation, added a supplement of thirty-eight names of
Portuguese bards to the list of Spanish and Portuguese poets, which
Lope de Vega had furnished in his celebrated _Laurel de Apolo_.[263]
Doubtless this erroneous estimate of the poetic glory of the nation
contributed to check the growth of talent which might have taken a
loftier flight, had not a few neatly turned sonnets been sufficient in
public opinion, to confer on any individual all the fame of a poet. The
limits of a general history of modern poetry are too narrow to afford
room for a detailed notice of these sonneteers; a particular account
can, therefore, only be given of a few of the most celebrated among
them, who were also the authors of other poetical works, or who in any
way assisted in improving or deteriorating the literary taste of their


Manoel de Faria e Sousa who has been so repeatedly mentioned in the
course of the present volume, and who has not been passed by unnoticed
in the history of Spanish poetry,[265] exercised an important influence
on the poetry of the Portuguese sonneteers, particularly in the first
half of the seventeenth century. Possessing uncommon faculties, which
were early disclosed, and early perverted, he distinguished himself
while yet a youth by his extraordinary talents and powers of memory.
In the year 1605, he participated, in quality of secretary, in the
official duties of one of his relations, under whom he received
the education fitting for a statesman. But neither his talents
and acquirements, nor his connection with the most distinguished
families of his native country, having conducted him to an object
commensurate with his diligence and ambition, he quitted Portugal
and visited Madrid. Though he did not realize all his expectations
in the Spanish capital, he was not entirely neglected. He obtained a
post in an embassy to Rome; and on his return to Madrid he found at
least a tolerable source of subsistence. Still, however, he continued
dissatisfied with his income, and on that account his pen was in
constant activity. He himself states that he daily wrote twelve sheets,
each page containing thirty lines. He possessed so great a facility in
rhetorical turns and flourishes, that in the space of a single day he
could compose a hundred addresses of congratulation and condolence,
all sufficiently different from each other. As an author both in
verse and in prose, he continued to labour with unabated assiduity
to the period of his death, which happened in the year 1649.[266] A
considerable portion of his numerous works will preserve his name in
honourable recollection; but the value of that portion greatly depends
on the subjects it embraces. They belong to the department of history
and statistics, but they are all written in Spanish, and therefore
cannot with propriety be farther noticed in the history of Portuguese
literature. Faria e Sousa’s poems are also chiefly in Spanish; he wrote
only sonnets and eclogues in Portuguese verse.[267] Of the six hundred,
or to use his own phrase, “the six centuries” of sonnets, which, as
it appears he selected for posterity out of a still greater number,
precisely two hundred are Portuguese. Some of these compositions
merit the praise which Faria e Sousa’s admirers have lavished on them
all;[268] and the whole collection is animated by a buoyant spirit,
which soars above ordinary and moderate elegance. But this spirit could
not long accommodate itself to sound poetic judgment, nor to the old
simplicity and natural flow of ideas and images. Without intentionally
becoming an imitator of the Italian Marinists, the Spanish Gongorists,
or the school of Lope de Vega, Faria e Sousa revelled in bold flights
of fancy, like Lope de Vega, and indulged in eccentric extravagancies
like the Marinists and Gongorists. The poetic flowers in his sonnets
are overgrown by luxuriant parasitical weeds. In the first Century of
the sonnets in the Portuguese language love is the only theme. The
introductory sonnet announces that they are intended to celebrate the
“penetrating shafts of love, which were shot from a pair of heavenly
eyes, and which after inflicting immortal wounds, issued triumphant
from the poet’s breast.”[269] This style pervades the whole collection.
In one place a tender swain, named Menalio, forbids the satyres of the
wood to steep their feet in the brook which has served as a bath to
the fair Albania, that “morning-star, who in the depth of the water is
the first of suns, where the sun himself is dazzled.”[270] On another
occasion the poet complains of the “bitter taste he experiences in his
mouth,” when he describes his pain to his mistress.[271] Sometimes it
is scarcely possible to guess the meaning of these romantic conceits.
But this style of poetic composition was by the admirers of Faria e
Sousa denominated the ingenious and the tender style. The principal
sonnets in the second Century pursue the same theme of romantic love,
but they are sometimes so charming that the beauty of the successful
passages, nearly throws into shade the distortions by which even that
beauty is more or less alloyed.[272] Among the moral sonnets in this
Century there are several which, though not abounding in ingenious
ideas, are nevertheless expressive pictures of sentiment.[273] The
_sonetos sacros_ (spiritual sonnets), with which the collection
closes, are, however, destitute of all trace of poetic merit. Whatever
deserves to be pointed out as remarkable in the twelve Portuguese
eclogues of Faria e Sousa, may with propriety be included in the notice
respecting the degree of merit which this industrious writer possessed
as a poetic theorist.

Faria e Sousa is the author of three treatises; the first, “On
the sonnet;” the second, “On the erroneous notions of the moderns
concerning poetry;” and the third, “On pastoral poetry.” These
works must not be overlooked in the history of the literary
taste of Portugal, since theoretical prolusions of this kind by
poetic writers, supplied the place of a detailed art of poetry in
Portuguese literature. All these treatises are written in the Spanish
language.[274] The first, which is entitled _Discurso de los Sonetos_,
is in itself insignificant. It merely contains a few scanty notices on
the history of sonnet poetry, and some trifling observations hastily
thrown together on the appropriateness of the sonnet metre in Spanish
and Portuguese poetry. But towards the close of the treatise Faria e
Sousa advances a very wide principle, which is exceedingly convenient
for him in its application to his peculiar style of composition. One
certainly must not, he says, grant absolution for excrescences and
licences in poetry, from the notion that elegant language is of less
importance than bold and beautiful ideas; but it is not to be forgotten
“that a great man may sometimes do what he pleases, and that it is
a great crime to call him to account for so doing, more particularly
when those by whom he is called to account are pigmies in knowledge
and judgment.”[275] That Faria e Sousa ranked himself in the class of
great men is a circumstance which admits of no doubt. In his second
treatise (_Contra la opinion moderna acerca lo que es poesia_) he has
more clearly explained the nature of the ideas which in his opinion
are more to be esteemed in poetry than elegant words. In the first
place he applies the just principle that language does not make a
poet in so loose and perverted a manner as to imply that correct
versification is but of little importance. He then reasons again on a
just principle most inconsistently, concerning the essence of poetry.
He first observes that the essence of poetry as little consists in fine
phrases and even in grand ideas, as in deep knowledge or in polished
verse, (_versos muy peinados_). He next makes this assertion,--“the
only things required in poetry are invention, imagery, pathos, and a
display of every kind of knowledge.”[276] Considered in this point
of view, he admits Marino to be far inferior to Homer, Virgil, Ovid,
Dante, Ariosto, and similar poets. But then Torquato Tasso is
scarcely a poet worth naming; for in Tasso’s poetry there is but
little learning, little invention, and a common style of composition.
Tasso is in his opinion a second Lucan, and nothing more; a historian
indeed, but no poet. Finally, he complains that allegory, which he
regards as particularly necessary to the beauty of a great poem, is
totally wanting in Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered. Faria e Sousa seems
to have picked up in Italy the opinions which form the groundwork of
his vituperation of Tasso and his Jerusalem. Having ceased to rail
against Tasso, he proceeds to declaim concerning poetry in a series
of paragraphs, which plainly shew that he was totally deficient
in clearness of ideas on the subject. Six of these paragraphs, in
immediate succession, commence with such phrases as the following:--“He
understands nothing of the matter;” or more briefly, “he is a fool,”
(_es necio_); or “he is an absolute fool (_es totalmente necio_) who
supposes,” &c. or “it is a proof of perfect ignorance,” (_purissima
ignorancia_); or “it is a proof of a total want of knowledge of
poetry to assert,” &c. And yet after all these rude sallies against
a party which perhaps did no more than earnestly resist his attacks
on correctness of ideas and language, he comes at last merely to this
conclusion, that a writer of great genius must not be restrained
by trifles, and that in his poetry he need only avoid singularity,
coarseness and unintelligibility.

In a general history of literature any particular notice of these half
true, but mainly trivial declamations, would be quite unnecessary, had
not this author been for a considerable period revered as a critical
oracle in Portugal.[277] The absurd conversion of the pastoral style
into a mere poetic figure was among other faults of Portuguese poetry,
methodically favoured and confirmed by the fallacious theories of Faria
e Sousa. The earlier Portuguese poets who availed themselves of this
inappropriate freedom merely followed a custom which had accidentally
arisen. After transforming all sorts of occasional poems into eclogues,
they at least endeavoured to give these factitious eclogues a pastoral
character. But Faria e Sousa having formed a perverted judgment on
pastoral poetry, proceeded in conformity with that judgment to exhibit
various kinds of completely disfigured eclogues. In his treatise on
his own pastoral poems, he theoretically praises himself for never
having attempted any species of poetic composition on which he did
not confer some novelty. He was accordingly less scrupulous than the
eclogue writers who had preceded him, in introducing into such poems
characters from the great and polite world. It seems with him to be
sufficient that the scene shall always be in the country. He composed,
however, a few eclogues in the true spirit and style of pastoral
life. He likewise endeavoured to introduce into pastoral poetry more
of action and interesting incident than is usually exhibited in that
species of composition, so that in this respect some of his eclogues
are brought into comparison with serious comedies. According to these
and similar principles, Faria e Sousa distinguished his love eclogues
(_eglogas amorosas_,) from hunting eclogues (_venatorias_), sea-faring
eclogues (_maritimas_), properly pastoral or rather rustic eclogues
(_rusticas_), funeral eclogues (_funebres_), and other modifications
of similar description. In pursuance of his theory he recognized even
arbitrator eclogues (_arbitrarias_), monastic eclogues (_monasticos_),
critical eclogues (_criticas_), genealogical eclogues (_genealogicas_),
hermit eclogues (_eremiticas_), and finally, as a particular species,
fantastical eclogues (_fantasticas_), the theme of which is a prophetic
vision. Of all these styles he has given specimens according to his
own fancy. The same confusion of ideas on which his art of poetry is
founded, and the same search after the uncommon at the expense of
sound judgment, pervades the whole of this collection of eclogues.
The beautiful idea which pastoral poetry presents was completely lost
in the way in which Faria e Sousa viewed it. He attached but little
importance to the representation of a poetic rural life, and still less
to ideal simplicity, his wish being to sport, after his own manner, in
bucolic forms, with crude conceits, affected pathos, and extravagant
images. His rustic eclogues are, it is true, sufficiently rural, but
not in the style of Saa de Miranda, who with the most delicate art
gave a poetic dignity to rustic manners. Faria e Sousa’s shepherds are
absolute clowns; and he accordingly makes them discourse in a kind
of low Portuguese, one half of which is unintelligible to foreigners
unacquainted with the rudest dialect of the peasantry of Portugal.[278]

Faria e Sousa crowned his efforts towards the literary cultivation of
his age by a diffuse commentary on the works of Camoens,--a production
more calculated to obscure than to illustrate the original. This
commentary is written in Spanish.[279] The value of the historical
portion would be greatly enhanced, were it separated from the critical,
so that the latter might be rejected and only the former retained.
But the historical data which Faria e Sousa has collected for the
elucidation of Camoens’s poems, and particularly the Lusiad, are
everywhere interwoven with the critical paraphrase of the text, and
that paraphrase is so overloaded with a mass of erudition not merely
superfluous, but totally unconnected with the subject, that in the
present age, a reader of the works of Camoens, might be enabled to
estimate the extent of his admiration of the poet by the degree of
patience with which he peruses the labours of this commentator. Faria
e Sousa has furnished a new example of the little profit to be derived
from critical investigation, by a man who does not commence with a
mind rightly cultivated for such a study. His admiration of Camoens
contributes nothing to the improvement of his own poetic talent, for he
always forces his own perverted views into Camoens’s poetry.

The esteem which Faria e Sousa obtained in Portuguese literature,
must have contributed not a little to promote the endless rhyming of
sonnets, and to impede the developement of the loftier style of poetry
in Portugal. The false liberality of his critical code proved very
convenient for the sonneteers, who experienced but little difficulty
in exhibiting the qualities which that critic required in their
compositions; and the unreasonable severity with which he treated Tasso
was calculated to seduce every eccentric sonneteer into the conceit
that he was himself something more than a Tasso. The pretensions
of Faria e Sousa were not, however, universally recognized on the
Portuguese Parnassus. Even in the composition of sonnets, some of the
principal Portuguese poets of the seventeenth century followed the more
pure and elevated style of Camoens. But no one thought of avoiding the
faults into which Camoens had fallen. That prince of Portuguese poets
was always regarded as faultless.


Comic sonnet poetry, in which Camoens did not distinguish himself as a
master, obtained a favourable reception from the Portuguese public on
Thomas de Noronha, a contemporary of Faria e Sousa becoming celebrated
for that kind of composition.[280] But Thomas de Noronha, though an
agreeable man of the world, was but a pretender in wit. His writings
probably acquired a particular interest from the convivial temper,
for which he was distinguished in society, and of which the reader
is reminded by his poetry. But such versified jests as this merry
companion has left behind him, could only have obtained temporary
popularity from personal and local circumstances. They want the
sprightly extravagance of the burlesque poetry of the Italians, as
well as the moral keeping and caustic delicacy of the more lofty style
of satire. Burlesque, however, they certainly are. Some approach, at
least in a coarse way, to the Italian jests of a similar kind;[281]
and in others jesting and serious feeling are blended together in a
very absurd manner. Thomas de Noronha thought fit to write a burlesque
sonnet in honour of Rodriguez Lobo, when that poet was drowned in the
Tagus. After a comic apostrophe to heaven and earth, Noronha declares
that if he can catch Æolus he will give him a flogging.[282] In
nearly the same manner he jests in comic canções and romances, and in
redondilha stanzas, (_decimas_,) which may also be termed epigrams. In
these verses the conceits frequently turn on a play of words. Many
must be altogether unintelligible to the foreign reader, particularly
in the nineteenth century.


As a writer of serious sonnets, and particularly of romantic love
sonnets in the style of Camoens, no Portuguese poet of the seventeenth
century was more successful than the elegant and ingenious Antonio
Barbosa Bacellar, who was also celebrated as one of the most skilful
disputants of the university of Coimbra. After filling various public
offices, he died in the year 1663.[283] Barbosa Bacellar’s inclination
to form his taste on the model of Camoens, is proved by several
excellent glosses, which he composed on some of that great poet’s
sonnets. He may indeed be ranked among the most distinguished writers
of poetic glosses. In all his poems, many of which are written in the
Spanish language, he has disdained those excrescences which Faria e
Sousa commends as a proof of unconstrained genius. Barbosa Bacellar was
one of the supporters of the correct style of sonnet composition, in
whom the spirit of the sixteenth century survived; but so little was
he disposed to approve the jejune correctness of Ferreira and Caminha,
that he preferred deviating into the opposite extreme, rather than
repress the spirit of his poetry by a rigid adherence to forms. He
excelled in the art of ingeniously amplifying a romantic idea without
allowing the sentimental to degenerate into the fantastic. Besides some
very charming sonnets,[284] the most remarkable productions of this
poet are the extended pictures of romantic aspiration which since his
time have been distinguished in Portuguese poetry by the untranslatable
name of _Saudades_.[285] The complaints of a lovelorn heart vented
in solitude, are the only materials which enter into the composition
of these poems; and the peculiar character of their class, which had
rapidly grown into favour, was fixed by Barbosa Bacellar. A certain
degree of prolixity is essential to these compositions. They do not
well afford opportunity for the display of a brilliant store of novel
ideas; and to employ an inexhaustible flow of words in painting the
tender longing of love was deemed a proof of the ardour of the passion.
They might very properly be classed with elegies, were it not that they
have usually a narrative form. There are also among the Spanish and
Portuguese eclogues, many poems which present the same character as
these pictures of amatory aspiration. Barbosa Bacellar seems to have
conferred on these pictures the highest degree of improvement which
they were capable of receiving, consistently with fidelity to the
style, which was then exclusively appropriated to the poetry of love in
Spain and Portugal. But the modern forms of cultivation have given, at
least on this side of the Pyrenees, a direction so totally different to
poetic susceptibility, that the endless complaining of lovers must soon
become tedious even to the readers most disposed to indulge in such
romantic sentiments. It is, however, a remarkable circumstance in the
history of the human mind, that the Portuguese taste in the seventeenth
century fondly dwelt on every little feature of such never-ending
repetitions in the expression of the same feeling. Barbosa Bacellar
devoted no small portion of labour to every line in his _Saudades_. He
is particularly successful in imparting a graceful colouring to the
romantic conversations in which the solitary lover engages with natural


A doctor of canon law, and a member of the Inquisitorial college of
Lisbon, named Simaõ Torrezaõ Coelho, vied with Barbosa Bacellar in
this new modification of romantic poetry. His pictures of passion
are, however, totally different from those of Bacellar. He imitated
the perverted style of the Marinists and Gongorists, and followed the
precepts of Faria e Sousa. He talks of “the just sensation of unjust
love;”[287]--of the living feeling of a dead soul;[288] of “the memory
that lives in the brass of the soul;”[289] and such like Marinisms and
Gongorisms. His verses appear, however, to have been very popular.[290]


Jacinto Freire de Andrade or Andrada, an ecclesiastic, who performed a
part in the political history of his native country, and nearly fell a
sacrifice to the patriotism with which he defended the claims of the
house of Braganza against the Spanish occupation of the Portuguese
throne, also endeavoured to enlarge the boundaries of comic poetry.
Wit so highly cultivated had never before shewn itself in Portuguese
verse. In the union of bold sportiveness, sustained humour and
poignant satire, with perfect correctness and elegance of language,
Andrada’s burlesque narratives of the fable of Narcissus, and the
fable of Polyphemus and Galathæa,[291] excel all the earlier specimens
of comic wit which the works of former Portuguese poets, including
even the comedies, afford. The burlesque manner of Andrada is owing
solely to a caricature style which he took no pains to avoid. From the
introductory stanzas to his Polyphemus, it appears that he merely tried
to divert himself by these plays of fancy, in the hope of forgetting
the adversities of his life. He wished, he says, “to visit the region
of folly, that he might thereby approach happiness.” He also observes,
that “with three ounces of judgment he is more loaded than an elegy,
and more solemnly sententious than a sonnet.”[292] In order to cheat
his sorrow, he makes “joy play with false dice.”[293] Had Andrada
thrown these dice more steadily, he would, without doubt, have been
one of the first comic writers in narrative poetry. But his satire was
chiefly directed against the affected poetry of the Gongorists. He
attacked other follies merely incidentally as they happened to strike
him, and while he was in the humour rather to jest than to castigate.

In his _Narcissus_, he begins with parodying the wild conceits and
romantic imagery of the fantastic sonneteers. To explain whence the
beauty of Narcissus originates, a minute detail is given of the charms
of his mother, the nymph Liriope, to whom the river god Cephissus makes
tender propositions. After describing how the nymph paints herself in
the morning, it is said of her eyes “that for boldness and honour there
are no fairer lights in heaven; that they are pirates rebelliously
fallen from the sun, which now, like the Dutch, wage war against the
stars.”[294] Of the lips of the beauteous nymph he says, that they
make “the roses wither for envy.”[295] The declaration of love, put
into the mouth of Cephissus in this parodying style, is still more
whimsical. If, says he, the eyes of the nymph should summon him to
battle, he must be immediately subdued, because he should “see the sun
divided in two eyes.”[296] He conjures her not to destroy the paper
on which he has written his declaration of love, as in that case she
will destroy “the house in which she dwells; and the altar on which
she is worshipped.”[297] He now begins to weep bitterly, upon which
Liriope observes, that if he be a true lover, the fountain of his tears
must never dry up; but that it would be better to begin by giving her
a little present, and to let “the sin go first and the tears follow
afterwards.”[298] Andrada’s conceits, though they sometimes consist of
mere plays of words, are still not of a common kind; as when he makes
the covetous nymph say, that, “the demon of the flesh, flies frightened
from the cross, but clings to the crossed;”[299] and that of “all
beautiful streams none murmur so sweetly as the Silver River (the Rio
de la Plata in South America).” At length the nymph resigns herself
to the river god, and he becomes the reputed father of Narcissus. The
reader is next entertained with a comic biography of Narcissus, which
is a satirical representation of the history of a fashionable beau.
Before he quits the cradle he is destined to become a military officer,
as it is discovered that he was born “in the sign of the lion, though
it was really the sign of the bull.”[300] The officer when grown up
is characterized as one who though _choleric_, is never _sanguine_
(sanguinary); who has “sinned against the fifth commandment in word
but not in deed;[301] and who has always displayed great gallantry
in engagements with the wine flasks.[302]” Tired of the army, he
applies himself to poetry, and writes a new Jerusalem Delivered, and
some sonnets in which the sun is so frequently introduced, that the
absurdity of the conceits or _disparates_ is, as it is said, rendered
quite transparent. Narcissus also becomes fond of tracing genealogies,
but he considers it beneath his dignity to study law, or to endeavour
to acquire any other kind of practical knowledge. Being convinced by
the heralds of his distinguished extraction, he withdraws himself from
the public eye; but at the same time takes a lively interest in all
that occurs at court, and soon becomes a minister of state. The love of
wealth being now his governing passion, he rapidly enriches himself at
the expense of the nation, and at last dies of vanity.

What this satire occasionally wants in refinement, is compensated by
its extraordinary features, in which Andrada’s wit shines with peculiar
lustre: and though the comic effusions of the ingenious author can
only rank as poetic trifles, they are nevertheless entitled to some
attention in consequence of their being chiefly directed against the
absurd style which then distinguished and disfigured Spanish and
Portuguese literature.

Andrada’s Polyphemus is a direct ridicule of the monstrous production
of Gongora which bears the same title. As an example of the kind of
ridicule employed it may just be mentioned, that in this parody the
Cyclops styles the conquering eyes of Galathæa, “Turks by land and
Dutch by sea.” The poetic works of Andrada include some comic sonnets
and romances. He is also the author of a still more remarkable prose
work which will be hereafter noticed.


During the second half of the seventeenth century, until the period
of the first imitation of the French style in Portuguese literature,
the defenders and partizans of classic correctness in Portugal seem to
have been constantly diminishing. After the kingdom was emancipated
from Spanish dominion, the old patriotic spirit of the Portuguese again
found its way into their poetry; but that poetry gained little thereby
in interior cultivation; and its boundaries were not farther extended.
A species of mythological tales in the romantic form, but very dull
and frigid, obtained some favour. In this style did Duarte Ribeiro de
Macedo, who was also a prose author, and who died in the year 1682,
after filling several distinguished posts, relate the fable of Adonis
in serious redondilhas. Undismayed by the ridicule with which Freire
Andrada had overwhelmed poems formed of such materials, he says in his
verses that “Adonis has obtained privileges from Cupid, and licences
from Diana, for punishing wild beasts and enchanting the fair; that
lightnings flash from his eyes, and arrows are shot from his hands;
that the hills and valleys at once represent lamentation and horror,
because in the former the beasts groan, and in the latter the goddesses

Fernaõ Correa de la Cerda, an ecclesiastic, who was Bishop of Oporto,
may also be numbered among the versifiers of this class. In a sonnet
on a lady who died a few days after an eclipse of the sun, he thought
it pathetic to say, that “at the death of Phillis, the whole celestial
sphere must be afflicted with deep sorrow, bitter anguish.” And then
he asks “if _an eclipsed_ sun excites so much regret, what is to be
expected from _a dead_ sun?”[304]


A poetess whose name and rank probably contributed to raise her
reputation at this period, shone conspicuously among the writers whom
Freire de Andrada ridiculed. She was called Violante do Ceo, that
is, if a name may be translated, “Violante of Heaven.” As a nun of
the order of Dominicans, she obtained the character of a pattern of
piety. Portuguese writers, moreover mention, that she was an excellent
performer on the harp, and a singer. Among her writings there are some
spiritual meditations in prose. She was born in 1601, and died in 1693,
having consequently attained the age of ninety-two. Her miscellaneous
poems were for the first time collected after her death.[305] Violante
do Ceo was certainly a woman of genius; but her genius had received
a totally false cultivation. She delighted as much as any of the
partizans of Faria e Sousa, in all the absurdities of Portuguese
Gongorism and Marinism. With her no antithesis was too far-fetched,
no play of words too trivial, if the idea she thereby expressed was,
according to her opinion, extraordinary. When wanting a poetic image,
she immediately has recourse to the sun, which constantly shines in her
pages as in these of the other Portuguese Gongorists and Marinists,
whose verses, on that account, were by the witty Andrada, pronounced
transparent. The tenderness or warmth of feeling which in female
poetry often gets the better of the judgment, is in the writings of
Violante do Ceo unnaturally represented by a false overstrained wit,
which, however, assumes the disguise of judgment. In a sonnet on a
lady, named Marianna de Luna, Violante do Ceo apostrophizes the muses,
as “the divinities, who, in the garden of the king of day, unloosing
their sweet voices, arrest Zephyr;--who, admiring the thoughts,
multiply the flowers which Apollo creates.” She implores the muses “to
abandon the society of the sun, since a moon (that is to say, Marianna
de _Luna_,) which is at once a sun and a prodigy, prepares for them a
garden of harmony.” Whether Marianna de Luna was a musician, or whether
she had really laid out a fine garden, is not clearly explained.
After some unintelligible phrases, it is in conclusion declared, that
“through the grace of the deity, this tuneful garden is secured by the
immortal wall of eternity.”[306] In this spirit and style Violante
do Ceo composed both sacred and profane poetry. One of her Spanish
sonnets on the death of a lady, closes with the idea, that, “if _for
such a sun_ the world is the region of setting, heaven on the other
hand is _for such a sun_ (the words are expressly repeated) the region
of rising.”[307] She addressed a similar sonnet to a physician, named
Arraes, a word which in the Portuguese language signifies the master of
a vessel; and she says, in allusion to his name, that he deserves to
be captain of the ship of life, which navigates the ocean of tyrannic
disease; that is to say, as the succeeding lines denote, that he ought
to be the king’s physician.[308] By her writings, after the revolution
in the year 1640, Violante do Ceo distinguished herself as a patriot,
but never as a judicious poetess.[309]


Of the extent to which the perverted taste, which in the seventeenth
century disfigured Portuguese, even more than Spanish poetry influenced
the didactic epistolary style, a judgment may be formed by reference
to the writings of Antonio Alvares da Cunha. This author, one of the
most distinguished statesmen and literary characters of the reigns of
John IV. and Alphonso VI. addressed epistles to Joaõ Nunez da Cunha,
who was appointed viceroy of the Portuguese dominions in India. To
express the trivial idea of Nunez da Cunha being about to sail from
Lisbon for India, Alvares da Cunha pompously says, that the new
viceroy will cut through “the crystal waves from the mouth of the
Tagus, to those new regions which the world descried by the waving of
the _Quinas_.”[310] The time of the sailing of the ship is described
as the time during which the viceroy’s “winged beachen trees spread
their pinions, carrying with them the wind, while they pursue their
silvery path.” He next regrets that the instrument with which he writes
does not perfectly express his ideas, observing “that though the
pen touch softly the guitar of the paper, rude thunder resounds from
that guitar.”[311] This epistle is one of the longest in Portuguese
literature; and though totally deficient in the true epistolary
character, it nevertheless contains many good ideas and sound precepts,
while at the same time it exhibits a vain display of historical


The taste of the public was, in like manner, corrupted by Jeronymo
Bahia, of whose existence in other respects no account is
preserved.[313] The old fable of Polyphemus and Galathæa had already
been so completely exhausted, that a recurrence to it might have
been expected rather to disgust than to please; and yet, as if a new
relation of that wearisomely repeated story had been all that was
necessary to establish a writer on a level with Gongora, Jeronymo
Bahia collected a store of affected phrases, and with pompous gravity
remodelled the often celebrated theme of the Cyclops and his disdainful
mistress.[314] Thus powerless had been all the pointed satire of the
more judicious party. Divested of its original heaviness, and united
with the fanciful Marinism, Gongorism now seemed to its defenders to be
raised above the reach of ridicule. Bahia, too, thought it, perhaps,
the less necessary to guard against the wit of the adverse party, since
he was himself a master in subtle witticism. He wrote numerous comic
romances, that is to say, comic tales and descriptions of travels in
redondilhas. His playful loquacity flows in an inexhaustible current in
these romances, which are not destitute of comic interest; but their
extreme length would still have rendered them tedious, even though
the author had better succeeded in catching the gay style suited
to such trivial compositions.[315] His great facility in rhyming is
recorded in a notice affixed to one of his odes. This ode was written
on a victory gained by the Portuguese during their war with Spain, and
Bahia composed it in a single day, so that it was presented to the
king on the evening of the day on which the account of the battle was
circulated. Surely no other manufacturer of rhyme would, like him,
have spun out an _Idyllio panegyrico_, on a chandelier, which the
Duchess of Savoy presented to the Queen of Portugal, to fifty octavo
pages of versified prattle. From the works of this author may also
be incidentally learned the direction which the prevailing spirit of
religion took in Portugal, when the old national energy expired, and
when the still more remarkable decline of the Spanish monarchy enabled
the Portuguese to maintain an eight-and-twenty years war against Spain,
in defence of their recovered independence. It was at this period that
the court of Lisbon resorted to the far-famed expedient of enlisting
by prayers and entreaties Saint Anthony among the Portuguese troops,
and formally investing him with the military rank of generalissimo,
in order to render the army invincible. The inhabitant of heaven
was declared to have accepted the command, and Jeronymo Bahia wrote
a song of praise in honour of King Alphonso VI. who effected this
extraordinary arrangement.[316]


The dominion of bad taste and worthless subtilty was not, however,
during the second half of the seventeenth century extended over
the whole of the Portuguese Parnassus. The writings of some poets
still evinced sound judgment and some portion of the old and nobler
style of art. Francisco de Vasconcellos of the island of Madeira,
inclined somewhat more to the side of reason than most of his
contemporaries.[317] Some of his sonnets are so free from unnatural and
overstrained thoughts,[318] that one might be induced to consider his
other productions as parodied imitations in the style of Andrada, were
it not that these outbalance the number of his correct poems, and that
his works include a new dressing of the long before overdone story of
Polyphemus and Galatæa.


Antonio Telles da Sylva was likewise distinguished among the multitude
of sonneteers by a better cultivated taste.[319] He also composed
latin verses, though he was _gentil-homem da camara_ (a gentleman of
the chamber).

But a greater share of attention is due to the poems of Andre Nunes
da Sylva, an equally unassuming and ingenious writer, who received
his first education in Brazil, and who died a Theatin monk in
Portugal.[320] His spiritual sonnets, canções, and romances, are at
least free from absurd conceits and Marinistical subtilties. It was,
however, scarcely possible at any time, but more especially at the
period of the most violent re-action against protestantism, not to
deviate from reason, in representing poetically, and with religious
fervour, the mysteries of the catholic faith, according to the opinions
alone considered orthodox in Portugal and Spain. Nevertheless among
the spiritual poems of Nunes da Sylva there are some, which though
certainly as romantic as pious, are by no means fantastic, and which
may be ranked among the best of their kind.[321] Even where the pious
writer appears to have fallen into the most extravagant metaphors
of the Marinists, as when he styles the tomb of St. Isabella “a
flower of the firmament, a star of the field;” or, shortly after, “a
nightingale, an animated jewel, an Orpheus to the ear, and a flower
to the eye,”[322] his eccentric plays of ideas have still a poetic
keeping. Among the patriotic poems, to which the war with Spain gave
birth, there are several by Nunes da Sylva, which are distinguished
for correct and picturesque representation, at least in single
passages;[323] and his sonnets and songs of love possess, with all
their faults, a considerable portion of poetic tenderness.


It is not necessary to enter into particular details respecting other
Portuguese sonneteers. Some who enjoyed celebrity lived until the
commencement of the eighteenth century, among whom the names of Diogo
de Monroy e Vasconcellos, Thomas de Sousa, and Luis Simoes de Azavedo,
deserve to be mentioned. About the same period lived Diogo Camacho,
who was the author of a lively poem, entitled a Journey to Parnassus;
the idea of which was doubtless taken from the work of Cervantes of the
same name, but which when compared with that master-piece, possesses no
great merit. On comparing the Portuguese sonnets, the authors of which
lived till the eighteenth century, with those of a somewhat older date,
an obvious, though certainly not a striking tendency of Portuguese
taste, to a more correct direction of the imagination, is, upon the
whole, perceptible. But how far this change in Portuguese literature
was effected by the increasing influence of French taste, which about
this time commenced its universal sway; or whether it is at all
attributable to the introduction of that taste, are questions not easy
to be decided. This, however, is certain, that the incorrect, silly,
and fantastic style of writing and judging poetry, still maintained
its ground in the Portuguese literature of the eighteenth century long
after the Count de Ericeira, who will soon be further noticed, had
drawn from the school of Boileau those principles by which he wished to
improve the literary taste of his countrymen.

Of the Portuguese sonneteers, who more or less contributed to transfuse
the style of the seventeenth into the eighteenth century, there was
none who did not, according to the custom of the age, pride himself
in his facility of composing verses in the Spanish language. The
recent separation of Portugal from the Spanish monarchy, had not, in
the least, diminished this old custom of the Portuguese poets. They
addressed complimentary verses in Spanish to the Queen of Portugal.
Spanish comedies were still represented in Lisbon; and even the _loas_,
or prologues, were recited in the same language. It was not until the
esteem for Spanish literature had declined throughout Europe, that the
literature of Portugal became entirely Portuguese.[324]

It is proper to observe here, that the collections of Portuguese poems
of the seventeenth century, likewise contain sonnets by a Prince Don
Pedro, and by several anonymous ladies.


All that need be said respecting the Portuguese eloquence of the
seventeenth century, may be related within the compass of a few pages.
The obstacles which had hitherto impeded the free cultivation of
energetic and reasoning prose in Portuguese literature, operated still
more fatally, when the restraints on conscience became more oppressive,
and when there was no longer any feeling of political greatness to give
excitement to the thinking mind.


Viewed in relation to the whole of Portuguese literature, romantic
prose continued nearly on the same footing on which it long had
stood. It maintained its ground; but it was long after the death of
Rodriguez Lobo before any more distinguished writer in this class of
composition arose. With regard to invention, however, some of the
Portuguese romances of the seventeenth century are not without merit.
This praise is due to a work written by Matheus Ribeyro, a priest,
who did not scruple to publish his name on the title-page, together
with an enumeration of all his ecclesiastical dignities. This romance,
which is entitled, “Retirement from Care, or the Life of Carlos and
Rosaura,”[325] is not wanting in adventures both by sea and land. The
style, however, is that of the old romance, with all its excrescences,
and is particularly fantastical in the descriptive passages.

But a more elegant and far more valuable production of fancy now
demands some notice. That this work was written with the view of
opposing fantastic ornament in polite literature, and of assisting to
restore a more natural and dignified spirit and style, would never be
suspected from its affected title, which, stripped of its antiquated
form, means, as far as it can be rendered intelligible, “The elegant
Evening Party, or the Improvement of Bad Manners.”[326] On the
title-page, and at the close of the dedicatory address, the author
styles himself Felix da Castanheira Turacem. No information respecting
him, beyond what his work affords, seems to have been preserved; but
from that it may be concluded that he was a man who moved in the
more elevated and polished ranks of society. The bad custom which he
particularly condemned was an improper extension of the liberty taken
at the season of the carnival in Lisbon. To present a picture of a
more elegant and noble style of social entertainment, he contrasts the
sprightly conversation of the company, whose manners he describes,
with the licentious tricks of the carnival (_entrudo_.) The plan of
Castanheira’s work is similar to that of Rodriguez Lobo’s “Court in the
Country;” but the composition possesses a higher degree of romantic
interest. In the party which Castanheira assembles, beautiful women
play prominent parts; and between them and the young gentlemen who most
contribute to the entertainment, attachments are formed which cross and
oppose each other. The characters by turns sing, play, tell stories,
and converse. The composition is, upon the whole, equally graceful
and natural; but the execution is in many passages less successful.
Castanheira, particularly where he begins to describe, is often drawn
unconsciously into the stream of Gongorism and Marinism, though it
appears that he was really anxious to separate himself completely
from the partisans of these styles. That this was his most serious
determination, is obvious from his spirited preface, in which he
acknowledges that he does not calculate on a very favourable reception
in the polite world. He declares that he is not ambitious of the honour
of writing verses extempore. He sought to steer clear of dulness and
bombast, the Scylla and Charybdis of the wide ocean of eloquence; and
in all his digressions never to lose sight of the haven of clearness,
as its entrance is difficult. “But deliver us from metaphor,” he
adds in latin, and in the words of the Lord’s Prayer.[327] A man
who, at this period, could so express himself in Portugal, deserves,
were it on that account only, to be distinguished in the history of
polite literature. Castanheira’s language, too, is, upon the whole,
as natural according to the manner of its cultivation, as is his
lively descriptive art. It is singular, however, that occasionally
in the course of his work, and sometimes in those very passages, the
superiority of which would otherwise be unquestionable, he falls into
the very faults which he himself ridicules.[328] On the novel style,
which is discussed in the first evening party, Cervantes appears,
by that time, to have exercised a favourable influence. The severe
criticism on the _Poesia Incuravel_ (Incurable Poetry), in the second
evening’s conversation, is certainly the best theoretical disquisition
on Gongorism and Marinism, to be found in the Portuguese literature of
the seventeenth century. It ought, also, to be stated, that the sonnets
and other poems which are scattered through the work, exhibit some
very successful passages. Occasion is taken to introduce a _Discurso
Academico_, which towards the conclusion refers to the Italian academic
system, which had long been imitated in Portugal, but which proved
of as little advantage to Portuguese as to Italian literature.[329]
Among the poems comprised in this book, there are many in the Spanish


Of the cultivation of prose style in Portuguese literature during the
seventeenth century, nothing could be said, had not a man in whom the
spirit of the sixteenth century survived, successfully pursued the path
which Barros and Brito traced out. This writer, who must be regarded
as single in his age, was Jacinto Freire de Andrada, the same who in
his comic tales already noticed, ridiculed the Gongorism and Marinism
of poetry. The reader is almost inclined to doubt the evidence of
his own eyes, when, among the Portuguese writings of the seventeenth
century, he discovers such a prose work as “the Life of Dom Joaõ de
Castro, fourth Viceroy of India, by Freire de Andrada.”[330] No
biographical work, deserving to be ranked on a level with this, had
hitherto appeared either in Portuguese or any other modern language.
Andrada is reproached with a certain degree of far-fetched elegance
and refined subtlety; and certainly his historical style might often,
with advantage, be more simple. But that this ingenious writer upon
the whole entertained the most correct notion of the rhetorical
cultivation of historical prose, and that his intention was to write
an energetic style appropriate to his subject, but by no means to make
an ostentatious display of elegant phrases, would be sufficiently
evident from the character of the whole work, even though the author
had not, in his brief preface, explained himself with sufficient
clearness on this point. He observes, that he has written his book
in the language of truth, and according to credible authorities. He
neither followed the advice of some who recommended the extension
of his work, nor adopted the opinion of others who wished him to
sacrifice the truth of nature to the fashionable ornaments of affected
cultivation. His object was not to flatter a corrupt taste; on the
contrary he wished to merit, by the unadorned language of truth, the
approbation of sensible readers, rather than to gain a name among
the great mass of a mis-judging public.[331] To a man of Andrada’s
cultivated mind, it never could appear that the duty of a faithful
historian required him to write in the chronicle style, as a means of
thereby ensuring historical truth. When he took up the pen he felt that
a demand was made upon him for the exercise of intellectual powers.
His biography of Joaõ de Castro was to be a monument in honour of that
distinguished man. Andrada, therefore, devoted no less attention to
the representation than to the distribution of the materials of his
narrative. To all appearance he did not form his style on that of
any particular author of antiquity, but he makes nearer approaches
to Sallust than to any other; and the influence which the study of
the classics must have had on the literary education of Andrada,
is sufficiently obvious. His turn for wit occasionally led him to
express himself in antitheses of too poignant a character; but in
every other respect his narrative style possesses the clearness,
precision, lightness, and moreover the deep interest of the classic
prose of antiquity. It is only necessary to read the commencement of
this biography, to enter immediately into the spirit of the whole
work.[332] Andrada’s appropriate diction never resolves into merely
elegant prolixity; and whatever be the degree of polish it receives,
its character is generally unassuming. In the biographical arrangement
of the events, little historical art is observable, but a clear
practical understanding is displayed throughout the whole work. The
character of Joaõ de Castro is exhibited even in the first accounts
given of his childhood and education. The reader afterwards finds it
developed with farther precision, but without any appearance of being
again obtruded by the historian. The dark side, which, however, should
never be wanting in an historical picture, is left by Andrada to the
imagination of his readers. But the intuitive power displayed in the
representation of the events, which is naturally and nowhere poetically
adorned, leaves nothing to be wished for in this biographical
work.[333] Andrada also proved himself a disciple of the classic
school by his predilection for the ancient custom of enlivening the
narrative, and augmenting the interest of the subject, by speeches
attributed to the principal personages who figure in the work. These
are sometimes delivered by Joaõ de Castro himself, and more frequently
by his most dangerous but interesting enemy, Coge Cofar, the general in
chief of the Mussulmans in India. Some of these speeches are decidedly
excellent, but others are rather artificial.[334] Towards the close of
the biography where documents are interpolated, the story loses some
portion of its deep interest. It was by no means a happy idea to add to
this work an appendix, which is intended as a summary recapitulation
of the whole; and at the same time as a supplemental picture of the
character of Joaõ de Castro, whose character is sufficiently portrayed
in the narrative of his achievements.

       *       *       *       *       *

Treatises in the Portuguese language, intended for the developement
of the principles of poetry and rhetoric in systematic order, or for
the extended application of some of these principles, seem either not
to have been written, or at least not to have been much known in the
seventeenth century. Practically cultivated taste and critical tact,
without which the art of poetry and rhetoric degenerates into useless
scholastic theory, must, to men like Freire Andrada, in a great measure
have supplied the place of systematic rules.




The third period of Portuguese poetry and eloquence arises so
imperceptibly out of the second, that no particular date, or remarkable
event in Portuguese literature can be said to form a dividing point
between them. The influence of the French taste on the Portuguese is
the characteristic mark of the commencement of this last period. But
even that influence never produced any thing like a revolution in the
state of polite learning in Portugal. French taste worked its way into
the language and the literature of the Portuguese, as tranquilly as
into their manners. It therefore neither forcibly supplanted the old
taste, nor caused any conflict of literary factions at all resembling
that warfare, which arose between the Gallicists and the adherents of
the old style in Spain. Thus the literature of Portugal, for the second
time, asserted its peaceful character. As in the sixteenth century no
Portuguese Boscan had to contend with an old romantic party, so in
the eighteenth century there arose no Portuguese Luzan to uphold the
French taste by methodical rules of art. There occurred, therefore,
no violent reaction of old patriotism against Gallicism, like that
experienced in Spanish literature. Under these circumstances an
opportunity was at last afforded for the English taste also to operate
quietly and imperceptibly on that of the Portuguese. The historian,
however, who finds it necessary to fix on some particular point for
the commencement of this last principal division of the history of
Portuguese poetry and eloquence, is constrained to take his departure
from the change of political relations, which has been the main cause
of Portuguese cultivation and literature becoming, in the struggle
between French and English tendencies, what they now are. Towards the
close of the seventeenth century, those conflicting tendencies which
have threatened the very existence of the kingdom of Portugal, first
began to manifest themselves.



_Total decay of Portuguese Literature towards the end of the
Seventeenth Century._

In the year 1668, when the Spanish government again recognized the
independence of the Portuguese monarchy, the difference between what
that monarchy had been, and what it then was, became palpable. It
appeared that even its new existence was not altogether assured by the
peace with Spain. The flame of patriotism no longer glowed with its
wonted ardour in Portuguese breasts; and the hope of re-conquering
those territories in India of which the Dutch had obtained possession
was extinguished. The gold and diamond mines, discovered in Brazil,
offered, it is true, a compensation for the lost sources of oriental
wealth. But the old spirit of national enterprise was no more, and the
people, as well as the government, wanted energy and talent for the
useful employment of treasures, from which the commercial policy of
England well knew how to derive advantage. A general lethargy seemed to
overspread the nation; and towards the close of the seventeenth century
the effects of that lethargy became no less manifest in the depression
of literature than in the decay of military and maritime power, of the
finances, and of all the branches of national industry. On the breaking
out of the war of the Spanish succession, the court of Lisbon inclined
sometimes to the French, and sometimes to the English party; but while
the government thus wavered, and was at a loss what to do, the nation
seemed perfectly disposed to adopt the manners introduced from France,
and French literature soon gained the same ascendancy in Portugal as
in the rest of Europe. But the Portuguese were not, at that period,
prepared to estimate the merits of French literature. Those who moved
in the polite world learned to speak and read French, and to mutilate
their mother tongue.[335] But only a few individuals of uncommon
acquirements took pleasure in cultivating their literary taste after
French models. The majority of the poets, or versifiers of Portugal
were, properly speaking, entirely destitute of taste.

In taking a comprehensive view of the state of poetry and eloquence in
Portugal, during the eighteenth century, it will be proper to follow
the thread of the national annals; for the general history of this
portion of Portuguese literature resolves into about as many sections
as the number of the reigns into which the political history of the
country is divided. The period was indeed now gone by in which the
nation formed itself, rather than suffered itself to be formed by the


During the forty-four years reign of John V. namely, from 1705 to 1750,
there was no want of institutions, calculated to raise the nation to
the point of elevation whence it had fallen. For the polite literature
of Portugal a new era seemed to have commenced, when, in the year 1714,
an _Academia Portugueza_, on the model of the French academy, was
established under the presidency of so accomplished a man as the Count
de Ericeyra. But we nowhere find an account of any advantage which the
language and literature of Portugal derived from the labours of this
academy; and the establishment was soon so completely neglected, that
it is difficult to conjecture how and when it sank into decay.[336]
Other academies on the Italian plan had their rise and decline without
producing any beneficial results; while several Portuguese poets were
satisfied with the honour of admission into the Italian academy of the
Arcadians. The academy of history, founded at Lisbon in 1720, also
promised to be useful to Portuguese eloquence, as well as to historical
science; but in the end little or nothing was effected even by this
institution. Besides, though the general character of the Portuguese,
which had always been less fanatical than that of the Spaniards,
appeared about this period to become somewhat more liberal in religious
and ecclesiastical matters, that favourable symptom was merely a
consequence of the friendly relations which Portugal was under the
necessity of maintaining with England; and these relations seemed to
place Portugal too much in a state of dependence, to be flattering to
the national feeling, or to reanimate it by the diffusion of knowledge.
The inquisition, too, continued to adopt the old precautions against
all attempts at free-thinking, after the manner of Voltaire. It was,
therefore, neither the spirit of the old nor of the new age, which,
in the reign of John V. sometimes maintained the ancient forms in
Portuguese poetry and eloquence, and sometimes endeavoured to introduce
new ones. This fluctuation was merely the result of a feeble wavering
between the old Portuguese, the French, and the Italian taste. The
better poetry was, however, still to be found in the works of the
authors, who remained faithful to the ancient manner.


The twenty-six years reign of Joseph Emanuel, from 1750 to 1777,
proved more salutary for the Portuguese nation. The rigid despotism
of the powerful Marquis de Pombal, who in the name of the king ruled
with unlimited sway, left unpleasant recollections in the minds of a
portion of the nation. Nevertheless the spirit of the higher nobility
and of the ecclesiastics was not wholly subdued by his measures. In
the dungeons which were filled with state prisoners, it is possible
that some men of talent languished. But Pombal’s iron arm roused the
slumbering nation. The despotic system of government adopted by this
state reformer, who was, perhaps, only cruel from necessity, was an
enlightening system, and his object was to restore the ancient glory
of the Portuguese name. To literature he attached but little immediate
importance. But he crippled the spiritual despotism, which held captive
the last remnant of Portuguese energy. Europe is mainly indebted
to him for the suppression of the order of the jesuits; and the
Portuguese, in particular, have to thank him for that revived feeling
of independence which soon penetrated into their literature. A taste
for the fine arts, for philosophy, and literary cultivation, became
fashionable in Portugal. The connexion with England proved, in some
respects, advantageous to the new progress of Portuguese genius, and
promoted literary improvement; for the Gallicists lost a considerable
portion of their political ascendancy, when English literature began to
be properly estimated in Portugal.


It was not until after the death of King Joseph Emanuel, that the
change which had taken place in Portugal became fully manifest.
Pombal’s institutions seemed indeed destined to be annihilated, when
his enemies triumphed. But even the new degree of favour which the
clergy enjoyed in the reign of the pious Queen Maria, had not the
effect of stifling the revived spirit of improvement in Portugal.
Young Portuguese travelled to several parts of Europe and carried back
to their native country the fruits of modern cultivation. The Prince
Regent loved and favoured literature. In the course of a few years the
Royal Academy of Sciences at Lisbon did much to rouse the nation to
new activity, and in particular to reconcile philosophic study with
enlightened views of national interest. Had that excellent institution,
especially as it existed under the judicious guidance of the Duke of
Lofoens, been left undisturbed in the pursuit of its glorious and
successful labours, the benefits produced to Portugal would have
been more extensive and direct than those which most of the European
academies have conferred on the countries to which they belong. The
cosmopolite observer will, doubtless, be less interested in what
the academy accomplished for polite literature, than in its zealous
exertions for the encouragement of science, the diffusion of just and
liberal ideas, and the consequent improvement of national industry
and public prosperity. This institution was, however, of important
service to polite literature. Prizes were offered for the best comedy
and the best tragedy, to be written in the Portuguese language. It
was endeavoured, through the influence of some of the academicians,
to restore to due consideration the Portuguese classic writers of
the sixteenth century, and also to re-introduce the language of that
better period into literature, and the business of common life. Some
volumes of academic transactions, which have in furtherance of this
object been published since the year 1792, contain, in imitation of
the French manner, essays purely literary, interspersed with articles
on national history. This was, however, only a harmless blending of
heterogeneous subjects; and the recollections of ancient times to which
it gave birth, contributed to recall to Portuguese poetry and eloquence
some portion of the old national spirit, from the revival of which the
general interests of the country had every thing to expect[337].




The first Portuguese poet remarkable for paying homage to the
French taste, was the ingenious and meritorious Francisco Xavier de
Menezes, Conde da Ericeyra, born in 1673. The family rank of this
writer doubtless added to the celebrity of the talents by which he
distinguished himself at an early period of life. This will account for
the extraordinary circumstance, that while yet in the twentieth year
of his age he was elected president of one of the academies which were
founded in Lisbon, on the model of those of Italy. He is said to have
spoken the Latin, Spanish, Italian and French languages with facility.
He made, however, no progress in Greek. At an early age he translated
Boileau’s Art of Poetry into Portuguese octaves; and from that period
he maintained a friendly intercourse with the French critic. Literary
and more particularly poetical studies continued to occupy him even
during the Spanish war of succession, in which he made several
campaigns. He rose in the Portuguese army to the rank of _mestre do
campo_ (major general.) The consideration and influence which the Count
da Ericeyra enjoyed in Portuguese literature, were rapidly augmented by
the authority attached to the offices which he filled; for in the year
1714, he was appointed rector and secretary of the Portuguese academy
which was then founded; and in the year 1721, co-director of the new
academy of history. His literary reputation soon extended beyond the
narrow limits of Portugal; and during the latter half of his life, he
held a conspicuous place among the men of his age, whose talents had
given them a general celebrity. He maintained a correspondence with
learned foreigners both in the south and north of Europe. The Pope and
the King of France bestowed on him particular marks of their esteem;
and the transactions of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences were
formally transmitted to him by that learned body. In his old age this
diligent writer bestowed the greatest share of his attention on an
epic poem, entitled, the _Henriqueida_, in which he endeavoured, as
far as possible, to fulfil all the conditions of poetic art, according
to the principles of the most celebrated critics. It would appear that
he completed his task in the year 1738, and at the age of sixty-nine
he enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing his work printed. He died
two years afterwards. The number of his works, both in verse and
prose, is considerable; and it seems that many of them still remain

The poetical works of the Count da Ericeyra, among which are several in
the Spanish language, are distinguished by a degree of polish in which
it is impossible not to recognise the disciple and admirer of Boileau.
But this nobleman was not destined to mark an epoch in Portuguese
poetry. To regard him as a mere Gallicist would be extremely unjust,
and to rank him among poets in the highest and strictest sense of the
term, would be to form an equally erroneous judgment of poetic art.
Ericeyra certainly was not a slavish imitator of the French style. He
endeavoured to form his talent by the study of all the works which he
conceived fitted to serve as models whatever might be the language in
which they were written; and this spirit of liberality in literary
cultivation was a peculiarly estimable trait in his character. In the
metrical structure, as well as in the style of his poems, he remained
faithful to the forms and spirit of the old Portuguese national poetry,
and to the school of the sixteenth century. But with all his plastic
capabilities, he was wanting in creative fancy; and with all his
endeavours to attain classic correctness, he did not avoid faults,
which are readily pardoned in the works of the older Portuguese poets,
in consideration of the poetic energy which is manifest in those
very faults. In that poetic energy all the writings of the Count da
Ericeyra are deficient. His imagination, which never of itself took a
lofty flight, was much more inclined to enlarge artificially upon any
pleasing subject, than to seize with inspiration and freely fashion
a subject of its own; and the rules of French criticism doubtless
contributed to allure him to the cultivated occasional style, as that
style may justly be denominated, which, whenever the opportunity
for an occasional poem offers, is always at the command of a writer
possessing no common share of descriptive talent. Accordingly not a few
occasional poems are to be found in the works of the Count da Ericeyra.
In compliance with the old Portuguese custom, he sometimes made choice
of the eclogue form, to record in a pleasing strain of verse, certain
events which occurred in the Royal family. In this form, for example,
he deplores, through the medium of shepherds and shepherdesses, the
death of the Infante Dom Miguel, which took place in the year 1724.
After what has already been said respecting other works of this kind,
to dwell longer on the eclogues of the Count da Ericeyra would be
a superfluous labour; but in the history of Portuguese poetry, the
Henriqueida claims a more particular notice.[339]

The Henriqueida may unquestionably be called an epic poem with far more
propriety than the _Condestabre de Portugal_ of Rodriguez Lobo.[340]
It is the work of an industrious talent, which occasionally seizes,
with happy effect, a poetic situation, and by poetic handling elevates
a series of historical events, somewhat above the sphere of prosaic
nature. But this tedious and laboured poem possesses no other merit.
Neither in the invention, highly as it has been esteemed, nor in the
execution, which is not wanting in incidental beauties, is there
displayed any thing like the captivating energy of the epic poetry
of Camoens; and even in correctness of ideas and images, Ericeyra’s
Henriqueida is very deficient. The subject is patriotically chosen.
Henry of Burgundy, the founder of the Portuguese monarchy, is the hero
of the poem. The action is not destitute of intrinsic interest, and the
epic unity belonging to it has been happily caught by Ericeyra. The
poem is divided into twelve cantos. Henry of Burgundy, the son-in-law
of Alphonso VI. King of Castile, receives the county of Portugal as a
fief, but on condition of first conquering that dowry, and afterwards
securing it by further conquests. At the commencement of the poem the
prince is waging war against the Moorish King Muley; but there appears
little probability of the conquest of Lisbon, which is still in the
hands of the Moors. Henry is informed that a Portuguese sybil lives
somewhere in the vicinity of the camp in a concealed cavern, which he
determines to explore, and for that purpose withdraws unnoticed from
his army. The rashness with which this purpose is executed, is more
characteristic of a fool-hardy adventurer than of a hero destined to be
the founder of a kingdom. After taking a desperate leap, he succeeds in
discovering the cavern and its inhabitant, who proves to be a christian
sybil. She reveals to him the secret of his destination, together
with some facts relative to the future greatness of the nation. While
he is engaged in collecting this prophetic information, his troops
suppose him to be lost. The Moors attack; the Christians are giving
way; but at the critical moment Henry arrives, and turns the tide of
victory. This first event, by which the interest of the epic action
becomes immediately attached to the hero of the poem, is succeeded
by a series of single combats, sieges, and victories, interspersed
with love adventures, and carried on until the taking of Lisbon, with
which exploit the poem concludes. The distribution of the parts is
managed with much art, so that the characters in which it is wished the
reader should take an interest, appear one after the other in their
proper lights. The situations, too, are for the most part well chosen.
Prophetic dreams, and a certain portion of fairyism still impart to
the tale the charm of the miraculous, even after the christian sybil
has divulged the general influence of the celestial powers. But the
Henriqueida is from the first to the last canto destitute of that
poetic warmth and spirit, the absence of which cannot be supplied by
the ablest descriptive talent, and without which poetic art degenerates
into mere exercises of style; for the industriously ingenious author
was deficient in energy and depth of natural feeling, as well as
in purity of ideal feeling. In his _advertencias preliminares_, or
theoretical introduction, Ericeyra declares that he has in a certain
measure endeavoured to imitate all epic poets, and to imbibe a portion
of the manner of each; but had he withheld this acknowledgment no
reader acquainted with other epic poems, could have failed to recognise
in the Henriqueida the styles of Homer, Virgil, Ariosto, Tasso, and
progressively of Lucan, Silius Italicus, and Statius, but without ever
discerning the animating spirit of genuine poetry. The tedious coldness
which pervades the whole poem destroys the effect of those incidental
beauties of style which it must be allowed to possess. The very first
stanzas give birth to an unfavourable presage;[341] and to invoke
the inspiration of the deity rather than the muses is but a frigid
conceit.[342] Even the descriptive passages, in which Ericeyra displays
most talent, are deteriorated by artificial traits which launch into
the region of Portuguese Marinism, and betray all the coldness of
study.[343] Sometimes these traits stand as abruptly forward as if
they had been interpolated by a sonnetist of the seventeenth century;
thus, in allusion to Henry of Burgundy’s descent into the sybil’s cave
amidst the fury of the conflicting elements, it is said, that “the
vivid flames of his heart dried up the waves, and set fire to the
winds.”[344] When the assembled princes sit down to hear Henry relate
what he has seen in the cave, it is said of the plumes of the military
heroes, that “they wafted glorious deeds to heaven, and inscribed
victories without the aid of letters.”[345] On another occasion,
the author describes the effect of a violent shout of the storming
troops, by saying, that “even the stones of the walls seemed touched
by the cry, and had nearly disclosed the medals which their celebrated
founders had buried beneath them.”[346] Among the poetic ornaments of
Ericeyra’s narrative style, the picturesque comparisons are for the
most part well conceived; but with all their truth they are deficient
in poetic energy;[347] and sometimes, contrary to all expectation,
they terminate quite in the Marinistic style.[348] The Henriqueida is
tolerably free of mythological decoration. Still, however, Ericeyra
could not altogether refrain from availing himself of an ornament which
he considered so essential. He has, therefore, contrary to all prosaic
probability, for the violation of which there is no adequate poetic
motive, introduced a Moorish princess in the character of a secret
adherent of the Greek mythology, and he has thus taken occasion to
describe a whole gallery of gods and goddesses. At the conclusion of
the poem, Ericeyra again summons all his powers of description, not
entirely without success, but still without avoiding those faults into
which his factitious enthusiasm had previously involved him.[349]

That such a poet as the Count da Ericeyra could, with all his
praiseworthy endeavours, succeed in restoring the ancient glory of
Portuguese poetry, or in giving a new direction to the poetic spirit
of his nation, certainly was not to be expected. But in consequence
of his labours it ceased to be taken for granted in Portugal, that
the mines of the higher poetry were exhausted, and he contributed to
encourage the idea of improvement in poetic cultivation. His name,
therefore, deserves to be held in honourable recollection. What
benefits he, as a theorist, sought to impart to the poetic art, shall
be noticed in the next chapter.



The age of the Count da Ericeyra presents, at its close, a resting
point in the history of Portuguese poetry, which, if the numerical
division of the years be not too rigidly insisted on, may form a
boundary between the first and the second halves of the eighteenth
century. It was solely during the latter half that a favourable change
became obvious in the poetic cultivation of the Portuguese. In the
former half only a few Portuguese poets of celebrity laboured to
maintain a suitable connection between the new and the old eras.

Among those poets it is not meant to include Father Antonio de Lima
Barros Pereira, who in the year 1720 published his spiritual and
temporal works, under the title of _Floresta Apollinea_, (Apollinian
Flower-garden). But this collection of miscellaneous poems ought to
be mentioned, as it serves to prove that in the beginning of the
eighteenth century the Spanish was the favourite dramatic language in
Lisbon. Among the works of Barros Pereira, his _loas_, or allegorical
preludes, are the most numerous, and are all written in Spanish. Barros
Pereira also sought to distinguish himself by those poetic rhapsodies
without plan or object, which were, both in Spain and Portugal, called
_Sylvas_ (Forests.)

The _Rasgos Metricos_ (Metrical Fragments) of a writer, named Alexandre
Antonio de Lima, which were printed in 1740, are likewise about equally
divided between the Portuguese and Spanish languages. The title-page
bears a dedication to St. Ann; and in the same spirit which dictated
that kind of address, the author, who seems to have been of a sprightly
humour, has mingled spiritual and temporal productions together; and he
has sometimes made even pieces of the most sacred character vehicles
for jokes, which, however, are meant to be pious after their own
way.[350] This singular incongruity was still considered inoffensive
by the Portuguese of that age. The miscellaneous poems of Antonio de
Lima are chiefly of a comic character. But a foreigner who has never
lived in Portugal will be unable to understand most of this writer’s
epigrammatic conceits, as they all refer to particular customs and
local relations.[351] Some of Antonio de Lima’s serious sonnets are by
no means contemptible productions.[352] In satirical prose he attempted
an imitation of Quevedo’s visions.



In the first half of the eighteenth century, a new, though not a happy
turn, became perceptible in the dramatic poetry of the Portuguese.
While the Spanish drama still supplied the place of a Portuguese
national drama, the favour of the court of Lisbon was bestowed on the
Italian opera. The general approbation which was soon extended to
operatic performances of every description, led to the introduction on
the Portuguese stage of a singular species of hybridous comedy. There
was a wish to naturalize the Italian opera; but it is probable that
few Portuguese singers were then capable of executing recitative; and
it may also be presumed, that the Portuguese had heard of the little
French operas, in which the characters speak and sing alternately.
This, however, is certain, that the public of Lisbon had always a
strong predilection for comic entertainments; and, it appears, that
with the view of fully satisfying the popular taste, it was thought
advisable to introduce the pomp of the serious Italian opera into
the comic drama of Portugal. By what practical head this idea was
suggested no Portuguese writer has thought fit to record. It seems not
improbable that it had its origin in the speculation of a theatrical
manager, who wished to venture on the experiment of amusing the
public in a new way; and who, for that purpose, availed himself of
the services of some obscure writer, who happened to have a talent
for dramatic poetry. The first essays of this theatrical novelty
were all anonymous. It is, however, likely, that the result greatly
exceeded the expectation of the speculator. The scenic decorations,
in which the new species of drama rivalled the Italian, the burlesque
humour of the pieces themselves, the effects of music, both vocal and
instrumental, captivated the great mass of the Lisbon public. The
higher ranks of society too, and even the court, took an interest in
these performances. New dramas in this spirit and style followed each
other in rapid succession, more particularly during the ten years
which elapsed between 1730 and 1740. But no poet, who had previously
acquired reputation, appears to have devoted himself to this kind of
composition; and the prolific dramatist, whose anonymous productions
were so fortunate as to obtain the chief favour of the public, had
probably at the time private reasons for wishing to remain unknown.
He was a Jew, whose name, even after it was disclosed, was seldom
mentioned, as the public, content with the antonomasia, still continued
to call him _O Judeo_, (the Jew).[353]

The popularity of the new dramas soon became so great, that manuscript
copies were eagerly procured for the purpose of private performance
or reading. From these copies collections were printed, the increase
of which fell still short of the public demand.[354] To none of the
dramas contained in these collections is the name of an author affixed.
In spirit and style they so closely resemble each other, that they
may all be considered as the production of one individual. If at this
period French taste had acquired any decided influence on Portuguese
literature, such dramas, though they might, for the sake of incident,
music, and decoration, have been tolerated on the stage, would never
have been sought for in print. It is impossible to imagine a more rude
combination of low jests, with romantic and miraculous events, partly
taken from real history, and partly from the Greek and Roman mythology.
Had this strange compound been the workmanship of cultivated as well
as of inventive talent, then, indeed, might the grotesque medley have
been rendered, by the ingenuity of composition, entertaining even to
readers of cultivated taste. But in these confused jumbles, called
comic operas, the composition is, in general, as inartificial as the
wit intended to enliven them is dull. The lowest buffoonery is blended
with singular adventures, tournaments, or ceremonies; and trivial airs
and songs are successively introduced. Some can lay no claim to any
merit of invention, either in arrangement of story or incidents, as
is exemplified in a spectacle of this class called Don Quixote, which
was represented in 1733. No fewer than thirty-six characters figure
in this compilation from the master work of Cervantes, whose spirit
is, however, banished from the composition. The _Esopaida ou Vida de
Esopo_, (Æsopeid, or Life of Æsop) is one of these pieces which seems
intended to be particularly comic. The first scene represents a fair
at Athens with all its appropriate accompaniments. The philosopher
Zeno appears with Æsop and two other slaves, all of whom he wishes
to sell. Æsop soon distinguishes himself by coarse jests and endless
quibbling.[355] Another philosopher, named Xanthus enters, accompanied
by his disciples Periander and Ennius. He puts Æsop’s wit to the test,
and purchases him.[356] The scene now changes. Filena, the daughter of
Xanthus, confides the secrets of her heart to an old and ugly female
slave, named Gerigonza. They are joined by Euripedes, the wife of the
philosopher, who reprimands her daughter, and sings a silly scolding
duet with her.[357] Æsop enters and again makes a display of his wit.
Then follows a tender scene between Filena and her lover; Gerigonza
becomes enamoured of Æsop; and the philosopher and his wife quarrel
together, singing a duet of the most vulgar character. By a succession
of scenes of this sort, the action is carried on through the first
act. In the second act King Crœsus of Lydia arrives with an army to
besiege Athens: and Themistocles appears on horse-back in the suite
of Crœsus. The scene is now alternately in Athens and in the camp
of Crœsus. Drums and fifes are kept in constant employment. Splendid
pleasure gardens adorned with statues add to the pomp of the spectacle.
But Æsop, whose puns and quibbles are inexhaustible, is always the hero
of the piece. At last, after bringing about a peace between Crœsus,
and the people of Athens, he is appointed governor of the city. Thus
ends the Æsopeid, which might with more propriety be entitled the
Buffooniad. Amidst this grotesque jumble, however, sparks of no common
fancy are occasionally elicited; but the anonymous author seems to
have been totally destitute of literary cultivation, and to have had
no higher aim than to give a humorous colouring to the rudeness of his
combinations. The rest of the Portuguese comic operas are, upon the
whole, still more rude than the Æsopeid, though some are richer in the
musical part of the composition, and possess grave or even pathetic
airs and duets in the style of the serious Italian opera.

It might, at first sight, be supposed, that a nation which could be
pleased by dramas of this kind, must be for ever excluded from the path
of higher cultivation. In Lisbon, the Italian opera-house continued to
be the real court theatre. But the Portuguese opera which stood like a
spurious child beside the Italian, maintained its ground in spite of
its parent. Had not the taste for this kind of dramatic entertainment
prevailed down to the second half of the eighteenth century, a new
edition of the Æsopeid, and other theatrical caricatures, would not
have been published in 1787. The restoration of a truly noble style in
Portuguese poetry, could not therefore be expected to derive its origin
from the drama.



To obtain this object, it was, however, only necessary that a poet
should arise, who, charmed by the renewed union of Portuguese and
Italian poetry, might be induced to place himself under the tutelage
of the early Italian poets. Thus would the Italian opera have rendered
compensation for the evils to which it had given birth. A Brazilian,
named Claudio Manoel da Costa, was one of the first writers who in
this way contributed to reintroduce an elevated style into Portuguese
poetry.[358] Born in the province of Minas Geraes, that part of Brazil
where the chief object is the working of mines, he seems not to have
been destined for the service of the muses. He indeed passed through
a course of academic studies in Europe; but he himself states that
during the five years which he spent at the university of Coimbra, no
kind of poetry was there held in esteem, save that which was composed
in the corrupt but fashionable style of the Portuguese Marinists.
That young Da Costa, while at the university of Coimbra, should have
applied himself to the study and imitation of the older Italian poets,
and of Metastasio, was a circumstance peculiarly favourable to his
improvement, while at the same time it afforded the first proof of
his being destined to arrive at a point of purer cultivation than
his contemporaries. He even ventured on the composition of Petrarchic
sonnets in the Italian language, and in this attempt he was not
unsuccessful. On his return to Brazil his poetic studies were continued
in the region of gold and diamond treasures, to which he seems to
have attached but little value; for he complains that amidst these
mountains, no Arcadian stream awakes by its sweet murmur harmonious
verse: and that the turbid waters of the brooks only serve to call to
recollection the rapacious perseverance of the miners by whose labour
they are discoloured. On his own poems he pronounces a remarkable
judgment. He observes that he was too late in learning the rules of
good taste from the Greeks, Italians and French; and that influenced
by bad example, he sinned against principles, the justice of which he
recognized. The perverted manner of the sonnetists of the seventeenth
century is certainly here and there perceptible in the writings of Da
Costa. But upon the whole, it may be said, that for nearly the space
of a century, no Portuguese writer had so well succeeded in that kind
of sonnet poetry, which most charmingly approximates to the style of
Petrarch; and that in the other compositions of this Brazilian poet,
the faults are counterbalanced by merits of the most pleasing kind.
The sonnets included in the collection of his poetic works, amount
to nearly a hundred; and among them are some in Italian, but none
in the Spanish language. The style of these sonnets, nearly all of
which have love for their subject, is, however, not altogether that
of Petrarch. They possess a certain tone of poignancy, which betrays
the spirit of modern times. Nevertheless, Da Costa’s style, alike
free from exaggeration and fantastic ornaments, exhibits the truth of
nature and of poetry so happily united with Petrarchic intensity of
feeling, and expressed in language so elegant and unostentatious, that
his sonnets may justly be numbered among the very best in Portuguese
literature.[359] While perusing them, the reader cannot fail sometimes
to fancy that he recognizes the simple tone of the old Portuguese lyric
poetry, reflected by an Italian echo.[360] Though the influence of
French taste was far less powerful than the Italian with Da Costa,
it still had some effect on his poetry. It appears to have guided
him in the choice of a metre for his _epicedios_, or elegies. These
poems, however, are not composed in Alexandrines, but in iambics of
five feet, without any complexity in the rhymes. This is a kind of
verse which is frequently used by English writers; and yet Da Costa
seems never to have turned his attention to English poetry. But though
such verse was quite uncommon, similar measures had long before been
known in Portugal, and perhaps Da Costa was not the first Portuguese
poet who in this way attempted to approximate to the French style, as
far as the diversity of the languages would, with propriety, permit
the experiment to be carried. This dull style of rhyming, appears,
however, always somewhat foreign and inharmonious in Portuguese poetry.
In other respects, these _epicedios_ possess the merit of noble,
inartificial, and pleasing expression; but they want the high charm of
the author’s sonnets, and some of his other poetic compositions.[361]
He himself appears to have attached most value to his twenty eclogues.
They are indeed written with peculiar care, and are not destitute of
beauty in some of their parts; but, like most Portuguese eclogues,
they are either occasional poems in a bucolic dress, or partly lyric
compositions, which, with the exception of pastoral names, exhibit no
trace of bucolic character. The extraordinary predilection of the more
ancient Portuguese for this species of pastoral poetry, had therefore
descended from one generation to another, down to these latter times.
One of Da Costa’s eclogues is dedicated to the prime minister, the
Marquis of Pombal, or as he was then still called, the Count of Oeyras,
with a warmth of feeling which seems to have been the genuine effusion
of the poet’s heart. From an emphatic eulogy pronounced on that
minister, it may be concluded that the Portuguese poets immediately
and sensibly felt the beneficial effects of his administration, for
the general encouragement of mental freedom was a part of Pombal’s
system. The poet says of the statesman, that he reconciled innocence
with genius, and recalled justice to the world.[362] Among Da Costa’s
other poems, the most remarkable are his masterly imitations of
canzonettas, cantatas, and other modern Italian poems for music, to
which the opera has given birth. Nothing finer in this style of poetry
is to be found even in the similar minor works of Metastasio. His
_A’ Lyra Desprezo_ (Farewell to Poetry), and the _Palinodia_, which
accompanies it, are alone sufficient to prove the perfect accordance
of the Italian and Portuguese language with respect to the laws of
musical poetry.[363] But still finer is another Farewell, entitled,
_Fileno ä Nize, despedida_, which was probably composed by Da Costa on
his return to America. Here the old romantic inexhaustibility in the
poetic amplification of a favourite idea, sustained by a constantly
recurring burthen, is united with all the magic of Metastasio’s
versification.[364] In some poems of the same class which Da Costa
composed in the Italian language, a certain degree of constraint is
observable. But his Portuguese cantatas, spiritual as well as temporal,
are not only free from that fault, but often bear the stamp of


To make a detailed report of Portuguese poetry during the last thirty
years of the eighteenth century, is a task which must be consigned
to other writers. In this general history it is sufficient briefly
to describe how the new spirit of Portuguese literature acquired,
even on its poetic side, a marked influence, though it did not unfold
itself with that energy which was necessary to reproduce the poetry
of the sixteenth century under somewhat varied features. This period
must not yet be extolled as the commencement of a second golden age
of Portuguese poetry; but the poetic talent of the Portuguese has
opened for itself a wider field; and fantastic rhyming no longer finds
admirers among the educated class of readers. The Portuguese zealously
endeavour to rival, in polite literature, as well as in science, those
nations who have, or who seem to have outstripped them. But this
rivalry is happily combined with a revived veneration for the poetry of
the sixteenth century. Thus have the old national forms of Portuguese
poetry been preserved for modern times; and the Portuguese drama alone
seems doomed to be governed by French laws.


In the first half of the last thirty years of the eighteenth century,
the desire to cultivate a correct style in Portuguese poetry was
fostered by new translations of some of the latin classics. The Odes
of Horace were translated into Portuguese by Joaquim José da Costa
e Sa;[366] the Satyres of Sulpitia by Antonio Luis de Azavedo;[367]
Ovid’s Heroides by Miguel de Couto Guerreiro;[368] and the comedies
of Terence by Leonel da Costa.[369] But it would appear that the
Portuguese did not in their wish to become more intimately acquainted
with genuine poetry, so happily commence the translation of the Greek
poets. On the other hand, several French and English works obtained a
suitable Portuguese dress. Telemachus appeared in the year 1770; and
Young’s tragedies in 1788. A circumstance which cannot fail to excite
surprize, at least in Germany, is that in the year 1791 there appeared
a Portuguese translation of the Herman of Baron Shönaich, the most
indifferent of all German epic compositions;[370] but Gessner’s Death
of Abel also appeared in the Portuguese language in the year 1785.


Among the best poems which appeared about this time in Portugal,
may be classed, The Rebuilding of Lisbon, an epic composition, by
Miguel Mauricio Ramalho;[371] Satires and Elegies, by Miguel do Couto
Guerreiro;[372] the Dream, a heroic poem, by Luis Rafael Soyé;[373] the
Triumph of Innocence, by José Anastasio da Costa e Sà;[374] Lusitania
transformed by Alvares do Oriente;[375] Gaticanea, or the War between
the Dogs and Cats, by Joaõ Jorge de Carvalho;[376] and some others.


More particular attention is due to the poetic works of Pedro Antonio
Correa Garçaõ, which were written at an earlier period, but which
were only first collected and published in the year 1778.[377] Since
Ferreira flourished, no other Portuguese poet had so decidedly formed
his taste by the imitation of Horace. Garçaõ, who for this reason
is called the second Portuguese Horace, did not content himself as
Ferreira had two hundred years before, with imitating in Portuguese
verse, the intellectual elegance and sprightly philosophy of Horace’s
odes, sermons and epistles; in the composition of his odes he
endeavoured to introduce into Portuguese poetry verse constructed on
the Horatian model. But, however distinctly the Portuguese language
may without prejudice to its abrupt pronunciation be accentuated, and
however readily it may, at first sight, seem to accommodate itself
to the ancient metres, it is in reality as little subject to their
laws as the Spanish and Italian; the reason plainly is, that the
Portuguese, like all modern languages, is totally destitute of fixed
syllabic quantity in monosyllabic words; and, that like the Spanish
and Italian languages, it is not sufficiently rich in dactylic words
to afford, in some degree, the means of concealing this deficiency. In
most of his imitations of ancient verse Garçaõ has therefore merely
strung together, in an unusual way, lines of long and short iambics.
In his sapphic odes, as he calls them, the sapphic verse is not more
obviously perceptible than in many older compositions of the same kind,
into which rhyme is admitted.[378] Garçaõ endeavoured to make an
approximation to alcaic verse by the employment of dactylic words.[379]
But whatever objections may be urged against the metrical form of
Garçaõ’s odes, they must be allowed to exhibit in their spirit and
style proofs of a bold endeavour to soar above the eternal sameness
of the sonnet and the eclogue. Of the spirit of Horatian philosophy,
they present no deeper traces than the odes of Ferreira;[380] but they
were well calculated to recall the Portuguese to the exercise of a
sound and vigorous judgment in poetry. Garçaõ’s diction is worthy of
a poet of the sixteenth century. Among the lyric works of this poet
are a Pindaric ode with strophes, antistrophes and epodes;[381] and a
dythirambic, the character of which is certainly somewhat frigid.[382]
Had Garçaõ been a pedant, he would not have devoted so much labour on
sonnets, and on canções and glosses in the old national forms. He was,
however, by his turn of mind and cultivation better fitted to succeed
in didactic satire and epistles in the manner of Horace; and in this
respect he again resembles Ferreira. But his satires and epistles,
which are among the best in modern literature, possess more of Horatian
gaiety and airyness than the kindred works of Ferreira;[383] there is
in their moral tendency occasionally something more social.[384]

Garçaõ also endeavoured to give a new direction to the dramatic poetry
of Portugal. He did not possess sufficient dramatic invention to
satisfy a public accustomed to all the extravagance of operatic and
theatric pomp. But he exerted his utmost efforts to counteract the
influence of that pomp, and of the general bad taste which seemed
to have obtained a complete dominion over the national theatre. His
theory, which will be further noticed in the next chapter, could only
be promulgated within a narrow circle. As a dramatic poet, he first
declared war against the rude opera taste, by writing a little comedy
in the style of Terence, the title of which is:--_Theatro Novo, drama_,
(The New Theatre, a drama). It is a mere dramatic trifle, with a very
simple plot. An adventurer of fallen fortune conceives the idea of
establishing a new theatre, in which speculation he is to be assisted
by his two fair daughters and a rich Englishman, _Arthur Bigodes_,
(a name formed from the English oath, “by God.”) He engages several
other individuals in his scheme. Two love affairs, the one sincere
and the other compulsory, impart comic interest and dramatic unity
to the piece. The principal scene, to which the others merely serve
as auxiliaries, is that in which each member of the dramatis personæ
delivers a critical opinion respecting the kind of pieces which ought
to be represented at the new theatre. But judicious and patriotic as
the result of the deliberation might be, it was nevertheless very
liable to be interpreted by the public of Lisbon to the prejudice
of a reformer, who consigned the execution of his plan to a ruined
adventurer. This was, however, the first step towards raising the
dignity of Portuguese comedy, and restoring it to its former rank as
a national drama. The Portuguese public was susceptible of patriotic
sentiments, and Garçaõ understood how to touch the national feeling
without having recourse to pedantry. Accordingly, he makes the manager
of the new theatre, in a comic situation, say, that his beloved native
country is not a little indebted to him for the trouble he has taken
to rescue her from the abyss of ignorance in which she lay, miserable
and infatuated, amidst wretched dramas.[385] He observes, that genuine
comedy must again become the school of manners, as it had been to the
ancients. In conclusion, he solemnly invokes the shades of Gil Vicente,
Ferreira, and Saa de Miranda.[386] This little comedy is written in
light and agreeable iambic verse, and is not destitute of dramatic

Another comedy by Garçaõ appears to have been intended as an example of
the kind of character drama which the author wished to introduce on the
Portuguese stage. It is called _Assemblea ou Partida_, (the Assembly
or the Party).[387] This modern Gallo-Portuguese title denotes that
the author intended it to be an elegant conversational piece, affording
a picture of fashionable manners. It is called merely a drama, and is
attributed to no particular species, because it consists of only one
act, which indeed is a tolerably long one. Thus it is not entirely
faithful to the plan of a regular comedy in the style of Terence. The
satire of the piece is directed against that sort of ostentatious
boasting, to realize which the finances of the fashionable braggadocio
are not always adequate. The characters are well drawn. To accommodate
the national taste in every way, Garçaõ has introduced into the piece
some well written sonnets, and a half-comic cantata, which is set to
music and performed at the party of a lady. This comedy exhibits no
trace of any particular imitation of the French style. Garçaõ wished to
reform the Portuguese drama on classic principles, but, as he himself
on another occasion observes, he wished to effect the reformation with
a due regard to modern times and manners, and consequently without any
rigorous adoption of the ancient dramatic laws in their full extent.


The ingenious prelate, Paulino Cabral de Vasconcellos, Abbot of
Jazente, who is commonly called merely the Abbot Paulino, deserves to
be honourably distinguished among those Portuguese poets, who at the
latter end of the eighteenth century reclaimed the national taste, and
brought it under the rules of classic cultivation.[388] The collection
of his poems, printed in the year 1786, consists of sonnets only; but
without having read them, it is scarcely possible to conceive that this
species of poetic composition should have acquired so many new charms
towards the close of the eighteenth century. In this collection of
two hundred and forty-five sonnets, which are probably selected from
a still greater number of compositions of the same kind by the Abbot
Paulino, there is scarcely one that can be pronounced dull or heavy;
most of them display a peculiar union of clearness, lightness and
elegance, with a tone of Horatian philosophy and irony. The study of
French literature seems to have contributed to the singular cultivation
of the Abbot Paulino. But the spirit of his poetry is by no means
French. In one poetic glance he comprehended the various situations of
real life, viewing them sometimes on the romantic, sometimes on the
rural, and sometimes on the comic side; and the pictures of sentiment
and reflection which he thus calls up, are compressed into the sonnet
form in the most pleasing and natural manner. The best of Paulino’s
sonnets are those which are conceived in a tone of elegant satire;[389]
and some which, though apparently frivolous, occasionally remind the
reader of Propertius.[390] The satire of this Portuguese poet, however,
very seldom degenerates into grossness.


But dramatic poetry in Portugal required some particular excitement
to make it keep pace with the new cultivation of the nation; and an
impulse of this kind was given when the Lisbon academy of sciences,
which, during the last twenty years of the eighteenth century, was
constantly embracing new objects, turned its attention to polite
literature. The academy offered a prize for the best tragedy in the
Portuguese language. Competitors came eagerly forward. But none of
the tragedies which have been crowned by the academy, obtained so
much popularity as the _Osmîa_ of Dona Catharina de Sousa.[391] It is
probable that no other female writer who has acquired celebrity in the
eighteenth century, could have produced such a work, though, perhaps,
in other respects she might rank higher as a poetess than Catharina de
Sousa. The fable of the tragedy, according to the conditions required
by the academy, in the year 1785, is selected from the Portuguese
national history. Three tragedies were produced within the space of
three years. In the year 1788 the academy awarded the prize to _Osmîa_;
and on opening the sealed note, in which the author’s name was supposed
to be inscribed, it was found to contain only a reference to a prize
question respecting improvements in the cultivation of the olive in
Portugal, with a request that the academy would apply to that object
the prize which was renounced for the tragedy of Osmia. But the equally
generous and ingenious authoress soon became known. The tragedy was
first printed without her name; but a second edition was published in
the year 1795. It owes its celebrity not merely from the circumstance
of its being the production of a female pen. In several scenes of
this drama, tragic pathos is, in the happiest way, combined with an
elegance which from the sex of the writer was more to be expected
than the former quality. The subject is chosen from the history of
the ancient inhabitants of Portugal, rather than of the Portuguese. A
story from the age of romance would have better fulfilled the idea of a
national tragedy; but Dona Catharina de Sousa, in the spirit of modern
cosmopolite education, in a great measure formed by French reading,
followed the Gallic taste even in a predilection for the Roman age
in tragic drama. Osmia, the heroine of the tragedy, is a Lusitanian
Princess of the race of the Turdetani, who in the second century of the
Christian era, sought to emancipate themselves from the Roman yoke.
She is, contrary to her inclination, united to Prince Rindacus, who
heads the Turdetani in their insurrection against the Romans. Osmia
combats like a heroine. The Turdetani are, however, defeated; Rindacus
disappears, and Osmia is made prisoner by the Romans. The Roman Prætor
Lælius becomes deeply enamoured of the fair captive, and she in her
turn is not indifferent to his passion. With the principal persons
thus situated the developement of the dramatic action commences. The
composition would doubtless have been much more rich and brilliant
if the authoress had not so rigorously confined herself within the
rules of French tragedy. The Roman characters appear modernized in
the French style. In this very absurd way the Prætor Lælius is drawn.
On several occasions he complains of his “poor heart” in as doleful
a strain as a hapless lover of modern times. But in the delicate
representation of the relationship of Osmia with the Prætor, and with
her rude barbarian husband, the sentiments of a noble-minded woman are
painted in such a manner as none but a woman could paint them. The
tragic grandeur of the composition rests on the character of Osmia,
who will not on any consideration render herself unworthy of her
noble descent. The loftiest pride of patriotism contends in her bosom
with love for the Roman Prætor, whom she wishes to hate, but whose
tender generosity she feels less and less power to resist.[392] The
feminine heroism of her character thus acquires a pensive gentleness,
which renders her, as a woman, more and more interesting in every
scene. The character of Osmia is forcibly relieved by contrast. A
Turdetanian prophetess, who is also among the number of the captives,
burns with national pride and hatred of the Romans; and her energetic
but unfeminine patriotism is the means of constantly producing tragic
concussions in the train of the events, until the husband of Osmia
unexpectedly re-appears. The authoress has been eminently successful
in the gradual heightening of the tragic interest.[393] She did not
venture to shed blood on the stage. The death of Osmia is related; but
at the end her husband enters wounded and dying. Notwithstanding the
simplicity of the composition, the tragedy comprises a considerable
share of action. The rapid flow of the dialogue in some of the scenes,
approximates more nearly to the tragic style of Voltaire, than to that
of Corneille and Racine. The language is dignified throughout; though
in some scenes it is deficient in poetic keeping. But according to the
rule which the authoress herself was accustomed to consider as the only
correct one in the estimation of dramatic perfection, she could not
avoid faults which she theoretically regarded as beauties. The present
is not the proper place for analysing the individual fine passages of
this tragedy. The feminine character of the whole composition, however,
well merits a minute analysis in a theory of poetry.


The great difference between such a tragedy as Osmia and the dramatic
entertainments to which the Portuguese public were accustomed,
must have impeded the good effect which under other circumstances
might have been produced by the prizes which the academy of Lisbon
continued to offer. Osmia was performed; but it did not obtain a
favourable reception from the public, and some similar tragedies
by which it was succeeded experienced nearly the same fate. The
Italian opera maintained its consideration in Lisbon; and the dramas
which have since been produced on the Portuguese stage, are for the
most part, either imitations of foreign pieces or translations. No
modern Portuguese poet seems to have attempted to pursue the path of
dramatic composition in the style of the Spanish comedy, and to carry
it forward from the point at which Gil Vicente had stopped. Of the
modern Portuguese comedies in the French style those from the pen of
Guita have the highest reputation. But the Portuguese appear still to
cherish as a favourite dramatic entertainment, the burlesque and truly
national _entremeses_ (interludes) which have either risen out of the
Spanish compositions of the same class, or have with them one common


Among the latest Portuguese poets of eminence, may be numbered Manoel
de Barbosa du Boccage, Francisco Bias Gomez, Francisco Cardoso, Alvarez
de Nobrega, Xavier de Matos, Valladares, and Nicolao Tolentino de
Almeida. The last mentioned writer seems to be greatly admired for his
poignant satires, which have for their subject various local relations
in Lisbon.[395] The wit of this poet, whose writings betray much
dissatisfaction with his lot in life, is not always intelligible to
a foreigner; but he evinces a decidedly national spirit, which when
combined with the representation of modern manners, becomes peculiarly
interesting.[396] In the works of Tolentino are revived most of the
ancient national metres of the Portuguese in redondilhas.[397]


It would be unjust to close this History of Portuguese Poetry, without
recording the name of Araujo de Azavedo, minister for foreign affairs
in Lisbon, a writer of talent and learning, and a statesman to whom his
country and its government is much indebted. His excellent translations
of Dryden’s Alexander’s Feast, some of Gray’s Odes, and the Elegy in a
Country Church-yard, are truly valuable acquisitions to the national
literature of Portugal. His object in making these translations was to
direct the attention of his poetical contemporaries to the hitherto
unexplored side of the Portuguese Parnassus; and it may be expected
that genius will readily follow the tract of such a guide.[398]



_Further Decline of Portuguese Eloquence._

Before it was possible for any thing like true eloquence to find a
place in Portuguese literature, public spirit had to revive from
that state of feebleness and apathy into which it had been plunged
by the rapid decline of Portugal from the pinnacle of national
glory. It was indispensable that a time should return in which the
human mind might move with somewhat more freedom in the trammels of
ecclesiastical tyranny. The nation had to become once more capable of
contemplating great objects. The national taste was to be reclaimed
from the affectation of pompous phraseology, and it was necessary
that the spirit of philosophy should be allowed to make suitable
approaches towards the spirit of poetry. But these, and all the other
conditions requisite for the revival of polite prose in Portugal, were
never more decidedly wanting than precisely at the period when the
introduction of French manners seemed likely to infuse a French taste
into the national literature. But reckoning from the latter end of the
seventeenth century, the imitation of French taste had operated for
a considerable time, and yet had influenced only the forms of social
life. Its presence in Portuguese literature, was scarcely perceptible.
It has already been shewn that during the first half of the eighteenth
century, Portuguese poetry, even in the hands of the few poets who were
not unwilling to learn elegance from the French, continued subject
to the style of the Gongorists and Marinists. Of course still less
was it to be expected that Portuguese writers should be capable of
imitating the polite prose of the French, since such an imitation would
pre-suppose a cultivation of the understanding which at that time was
not practicable in Portugal. The French taste in so far as it really
found admission into Portugal, doubtless contributed at first, as about
the same time its adoption did in Germany, to repress the loftier style
of eloquence, for the language became so corrupted by foreign words and
phrases, that it was difficult for the prose writer to know what tract
it was proper to follow. The poet might, if he pleased, still adhere to
the style of the sixteenth century; for his language was not like that
of prose composition, subject to the laws of fashion. But no author
could attempt classic prose, in the language of the sixteenth century,
without encountering the risk of being regarded as a pedant by his
contemporaries; and if he wished to follow the fashion, he was obliged
to disfigure the language in which he wrote.

A few works of research which were written during the first half of
the eighteenth century, are, with the exception of books of devotion,
almost the only compositions which still preserved a kind of national
prose style in Portuguese literature. Barbosa Machado’s great national
Dictionary of Learned Men, is not written without rhetorical care.
The author wished to express himself with correctness and elegance,
particularly where he uses the language of panegyric, but even then
he could not avoid frigid and pompous phraseology; and some phrases,
which he seems to have admired, are constantly recurring in the work;
as for example when he calls a poet “one of the most melodious swans
of the Portuguese Parnassus,” without considering that Parnassus is
neither a river nor a pond. A few affected metaphors were the only
recognized beauties of prose composition at this period in Portugal.
Didactic prose could no longer exist when the philosophic and
scientific cultivation of the Portuguese became daily more abridged,
and was almost limited to the small remnant which was taught in the
cloisters and the colleges of the Jesuits. The lectures which under
these circumstances were delivered in the academies, were considered
to have sufficiently fulfilled their objects if they did not lull the
auditors to sleep. The art of historical composition was now completely
extinguished in Portugal.


In the second half, and more especially during the last thirty years
of the eighteenth century, the spirit of improvement was awakened, and
began to diffuse itself into every department of Portuguese eloquence.
The admirable clearness, precision and facility of the French prose,
has at length exercised an advantageous influence on the Portuguese.
Without enforcing with pedantic rigour the restoration of all the
old forms of the sixteenth century, the best Portuguese authors now
endeavour to write their mother tongue with purity, and at the same
time to satisfy the new wants created by the progress of time and the
spirit of the age. The praiseworthy diligence which the Portuguese
now manifest in collecting scientific knowledge of every kind, and
in republishing the works of their early authors, appears, however,
to have operated indirectly to the prejudice of eloquence, for among
the men of talent, to whom Portugal is indebted for her regeneration,
none have yet distinguished themselves in prose composition. But
the Portuguese have had so many things to retrieve, that they have
scarcely had time to devote particular attention to the rhetorical
form of didactic works. An effort to avoid the bad taste of the
preceding age, and upon the whole to cultivate a clear and dignified
form of expression, is perceptible in most of the modern treatises
of the Portuguese. Empty bombast has given place to the language of
reason. The Portuguese nation have now to wish for a modern historian
qualified to tread in the footsteps of Barros, Brito and Andrada. Such
a writer might succeed in still more firmly rivetting the connecting
link between the promising present and glorious past in the hearts of
Portuguese patriots.


A new era of romantic prose might also have been commenced in Portugal,
had the poetic spirit of the old Portuguese pastoral romances been
modified, instead of being enfeebled by the introduction of the
cultivated forms of modern prose. Translations of foreign novels
seem to have too readily satisfied that portion of the Portuguese
public, whose cultivation was, through this species of reading,
gradually approximating to the taste of the other nations of Europe. A
translation from the French of Le Sage’s popular Gil Blas was supplied
by the poet Barbosa Du Boccage, who is probably descended from a French
family. This was soon followed by translations of the Moral Tales of
D’Arnaud, and of various works of a similar description.


The progress of genuine prose in Portuguese literature during the
eighteenth century, may, upon the whole, be estimated by the style of
Portuguese criticism in the same period. It may be presumed that the
authors of critical treatises on literary subjects, endeavoured by
their own prose to shew the relationship, which, according to their
opinion, ought to exist between poetry and eloquence; and it is certain
that the principles on which they wrote precisely corresponded with the
rhetorical cultivation of the age, within the boundaries of Portuguese
taste. These theoretical labours, in their relation to Portuguese
poetry and eloquence, deserve to be particularly noticed.


A new epoch in Portuguese criticism seems to commence with the critical
treatises of the Count da Ericeyra; for this writer studiously availed
himself of the principles of French criticism, and his authority gave
full effect to the example he set. But there was more of semblance
than reality in Ericeyra’s appropriation of French criticism. He had
too little feeling for the essence of poetry to be able to modify
the idea of beauty according to French principles of correctness,
without losing sight of the true foundation of that idea. With all
his critical rules, therefore, he never rose above what may be termed
the external apparatus of poetry. Within that apparatus his taste
was altogether circumscribed. His general opinions on poetry are
developed with sufficient clearness in the copious introduction to
his _Henriqueida_,[399] and in the explanatory notes which he has
attached to that epic composition. The introductory dissertation is
written in good prose; but the observations which the author makes on
the subject of epic poetry, partake more of prosaic than of poetic
views. The subject with which the Count da Ericeyra’s critical essay
commences is imitation; but, composing in the spirit of his own system,
he first speaks of the celebrated poets whose works he had imitated,
and afterwards of the imitation of nature. He speaks of Homer with
emphasis; and yet at the same time acknowledges that he was acquainted
with that poet only through Madame Dacier’s prose translation. Under
these circumstances he reasonably enough speaks with still greater
emphasis of Virgil, whose works he could read in the original. Of all
human works, Virgil’s Æneid, in the opinion of Ericeyra, approaches
nearest to perfection.[400] On the other hand, he says, that Ariosto’s
Orlando Furioso, belongs more properly to the class of romantic tales
of chivalry, than to epic poetry; but that it is nevertheless worthy
of imitation on account of its pleasing narrative style and the
“fertility of poetic genius,” which the Count acknowledges Ariosto
to possess. Voltaire’s Henriade, however, which was then the newest
epic production, is pronounced to be particularly distinguished for
its “elevated and natural poetry.” Ericeyra takes this opportunity of
more accurately defining his theory of perfection in epic poetry. It
belongs, in his opinion, to a perfect epic action, that the hero of
the poem should as much as possible be kept present in the scene of
action. On epic machinery Ericeyra pronounces nearly the same judgment
as Boileau, namely, that when a modern introduces into his poetry the
Christian system of the ancient mythology, the pleasure to be derived
from epic composition is destroyed. Even the Jerusalem Delivered, would
be a tedious work, had not Tasso enlivened the “pious melancholy of the
subject” by the introduction of magic and by other means. The example
set by Camoens, who introduced into modern poetry all the mythological
deities as allegorical characters, is recommended as highly worthy
of imitation; but nevertheless Tasso’s plan is not to be altogether
condemned. Ericeyra makes some very judicious observations on the epic
treatment of real history. Lucan, he says, was the first who disfigured
epic poetry by writing merely as a poetic historian; and he attributes
the ill success of the Spaniards in epic poetry to their having always
preferred Lucan to every other model. His remarks on the epic character
are no less correct; and his opinions on language and style are such as
might be expected from a man of sound and cultivated understanding. He
praises the dramatic style of Corneille, Racine and Moliere. From these
authors, he observes, a writer may learn how to express naturally the
heroic and tender passions in their full force, and without the false
glare which disfigures the works of many modern and also some ancient
poets. Thus the Count da Ericeyra endeavoured to vindicate his own poem
before the tribunal of the public. The most remarkable circumstance
with respect to the whole treatise is the little value which the
author attaches to poetic allegory. When it is recollected in what
esteem allegory was held by the early Portuguese critics, Ericeyra’s
treatise, though in other respects unimportant, and only interesting
in its connection with the whole of Portuguese literature, will be
recognised as at least a step gained in literary criticism.


Among the treatises of criticism by which it was hoped, about the
middle of the eighteenth century to reform the taste of the Portuguese,
some consideration is due to those written by Garçaõ, the imitator of
Horace.[401] They are in the form of lectures, and were delivered in
an assembly called the academy of the Portuguese Arcadians. On this
account they are also entitled to rank among works of oratory. In two
of these lectures, Garçaõ zealously defends the Aristotelian theory of
tragedy in its application to the modern drama. He insists on obedience
to the rule of not shedding blood on the stage. Accordingly he commends
the French drama; and notices Addison’s Cato with approbation. His
opinion, on this point, he conceives is sufficiently supported by these
two remarks--1st. That to fulfil the object of tragic art it is not
necessary to shed blood on the stage--and 2dly. That it is improper,
because at an intellectual entertainment disgusting objects should not
be presented to the eye. Garçaõ appears also to have understood in the
usual way the condition of Aristotle, that tragedy should refine the
passions of the spectator. He expatiates much on the moral utility of
a perfect tragedy, through which the theatre might, in his opinion, be
easily converted into an excellent school of morals. To this effect the
opinions of the French critics Le Bossu and Dacier, are industriously
cited in concert with those of Aristotle. Both lectures were given
in the year 1757. The main object of a third lecture which Garçaõ
delivered to the same society in the same year, is to demonstrate that
the imitation of the classic poets of antiquity is one of the most
essential requisites of modern poetry. He observes that the judicious
and the servile imitator must not be confounded together, for that the
latter is in fact merely a plagiarist. Garçaõ himself seems, however,
to have been somewhat puzzled to make out this distinction; for he
asserts that Camoens has in his pastoral poems imitated Virgil in the
same manner as Virgil has Theocritus. A skilful imitator, he says,
may excel the poet whom he imitates, as Horace has in many passages
excelled Pindar. At the same time it must be allowed, that these and
the following lectures of Garçaõ possess the merit of pure, natural,
and dignified language; and that in several passages they display
true eloquence.[402] Garçaõ, who felt a patriotic interest in the
improvement of the polite literature of his country, expected that the
academy of the Portuguese Arcadians would by its exertions revive the
good taste of the sixteenth century. Only such a society, zealously
competing for the welfare and honour of the country, can, he says,
become “the Alexander who will cut this gordian knot of bad taste,
the Achilles who will conquer this Troy.”[403] But it appears that he
appealed to his Arcadians in vain. Their literary patriotism was of a
very passive character; and the advantages which Garçaõ hoped this
society would procure, were destined to be obtained through another.


Among the literary treatises (_Memorias de Litteratura_) published
by the Royal Academy of Sciences in Lisbon,[404] are to be found the
latest contributions to Portuguese criticism and eloquence; and that
society may justly boast of the well directed efforts of its members to
promote the literary cultivation of the nation. At the head of these
literary treatises, there appeared in the year 1792 a remarkable essay
on Portuguese pastoral poetry by Joaquim de Foyos.[405] This treatise
served at once to record the unconquerable predilection with which the
Portuguese adhered to their pastoral poetry, and the new freedom of
opinion which ventured to shew itself in opposition to the oracles of
French criticism. Joaquim de Foyos asserts, that pastoral poetry must
be the oldest, and consequently the most natural and original style of
poetry. In the history of human nature, he observes, the shepherd’s
life is in the natural course of the transition from barbarism to
social cultivation. It is, he adds, precisely in this stage of the
developement of human wants and energies, that the mind is particularly
awakened to poetic activity: and as in pastoral life man is surrounded
by the sweetest tranquillity of nature, so must pastoral poetry
be the true poetry of nature. Joaquim de Foyos has indeed related
consistently with his own notions, the history of mankind and poetry in
a way which is well calculated to set forth the particular merits of
bucolic composition: otherwise history might soon have convinced him
that pastoral life has scarcely ever been the passage from the savage
state to civilization: that the kind of pastoral state which favours
the ground work of bucolic poetry, has only arisen under particular
circumstances in a few places; and has, even there been of little
advantage to poetry: that Greek poetry no more originated in Arcadia,
than German in Switzerland: that the oldest Greek poetry exhibits no
trace of the pastoral character: that Theocritus first devoted himself
to this style of composition at the voluptuous court of the Ptolemies
in Alexandria: and that its revival in the romantic age, like its birth
in Alexandria, presupposes a degree of social cultivation, whence the
human mind longingly reverts to a more natural existence, on which it
at last bestows ideal beauties. Joaquim de Foyos judges of the French
critics by more just principles. He observes, that these critics, of
whom Le Bossu may be placed at the head, deduce numerous chimerical
rules from what they term the morality of a poem. Dacier, he says, has
also misunderstood Aristotle in wishing to render the story of a poem a
sort of Æsopic fable. The ingenious and elegant Marmontel has fallen
into the same error.

A philological treatise in the form of a dictionary, by Antonio Pereita
do Figueiredo, on the genius of the Portuguese language, according
to the Decades of Barros,[406] though not immediately connected with
poetry and rhetoric, is nevertheless worthy of honourable notice,
since it is calculated to direct Portuguese writers to the study of
Barros, and the spirit of their mother tongue. Another treatise by the
same writer, has for its object to recommend Barros as a model for
Portuguese eloquence.[407]

The analysis of the poetic language and style of Saa de Miranda,
Ferreira, Bernardes, Caminha and Camoens, by Francisco Dias, is more
useful than most of the treatises of the same kind previously written
in Portuguese.[408] The investigations of this intelligent writer are
philological rather than critical; but the critical observations which
he introduces are dictated by a clear judgment and just feeling. The
improvements which Saa de Miranda effected in the poetic language
of the Portuguese are here exhibited in their true light. Even the
latinisms of Ferreira are placed in an advantageous point of view by
the author. He speaks of Camoens in terms of enthusiasm; but in the
encomiums which have lately been bestowed on Caminha, Dias does not
concur.[409] The treatise is, upon the whole, very well written.[410]

An Essay by Antonio das Naves Pereira on the proper use of the language
of the Portuguese writers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries,
abounds in judicious critical remarks.[411] It is written expressly
to condemn the gallicizing (_a Francezia_) of modern Portuguese. This
learned philologist and critic is likewise the author of a comparative
view of the language and manner of the principal Portuguese poets with
particular reference to the peculiarities of each style of poetry.[412]

The want of a work which might in the strict sense of the term be
called a complete theory of criticism, does not appear to have yet
been felt by the Portuguese. A compendium of rhetorick by Antonio
Teixeira de Magalhaens was published in the year 1782;[413] and a few
years after a French art of rhetorick by Gisbert, as translated into



On a general comparison of the treasures of the polite learning of
Spain with the poetry and eloquence of Portugal, there will appear
on the Spanish side a balance of literary riches, but not of genius
and cultivation. The heroic romances, the satire of Cervantes, and
the dramatic poetry of the Spaniards, still preponderate, though the
epic poem of Camoens, and all the beautiful and singular productions
of Portuguese pastoral poetry be weighed in the opposite scale. The
greater number of the old Portuguese lyric poets, does not, as to
intrinsic value, raise the Portuguese lyric poetry above the Spanish.
The dramatic works of Gil Vicente, which are completely thrown into
shade by those of Lope de Vega and Calderon, would still be eclipsed,
did they even possess the riper cultivation of the few dramas of Saa
da Miranda, Ferreira, and Vasconcellos; which, however, is again more
than counterbalanced by the dramatic energy and lofty poetry of the
works of Moreto, Antonio de Solis, and other Spanish authors. But
in a general view of the poetic genius of both nations, it would be
wrong to overlook the different extent of the territories to which
the two languages belong, or to forget that in the style of romantic
pastoral poetry, which shines so brilliantly in Spanish literature,
the Portuguese instructed the Spaniards, and never were excelled by
them. Generally speaking it may be said, that in no earnest literary
competition between the Portuguese and the Spaniards, have the former
ever suffered themselves to be outdone by the latter. Accidental
circumstances, not want of energy, prevented the Portuguese from
keeping pace with the Spaniards in dramatic poetry; and under these
circumstances no serious competition could arise. In the cultivation of
modern eloquence both nations have at last advanced to nearly the same
degree of improvement.

Portuguese poetry is no less national than the Spanish. The tendency
to orientalism, with which the Spaniards have been so frequently
reproached, was, in like manner, a characteristic of the poetic genius
of the Portuguese, until the general influence of French taste produced
a remarkable change in manners and in literature. To form a just
estimate of the works of Saa de Miranda, Camoens, Rodriguez Lobo, and
the other principal Portuguese poets, it is not the Greek or Latin,
and by no means the French rule of criticism, which ought to be made
the measure of poetic excellence. From a right understanding of what
really constitutes natural and ideal poetry, is derived the only true
principle whereby the judgment ought here to be guided in forming
its decision. Keeping this principle in view, attention must be paid
to local circumstances, which, whenever ancient or modern poetry has
arisen out of the poetic perception of nature and human life, rather
than out of reading, or philosophic and critical abstractions, give to
the poetic creations of the mind the true impress of reality;--and,
amidst realities, the poets of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
lived. These poets sufficiently satisfied their contemporaries and
their age, but they had no wish to recommend themselves to posterity by
a theoretically cultivated and universal style of poetry. Their poetic
world is, accordingly, something more than a mere imaginary world; and
what they only wrote to please themselves and their contemporaries,
must increase in value with every succeeding century; because the
circumstances under which such a style of poetry could arise, are
gradually becoming more and more rare.



E. Justins, Printer, 41, Brick Lane, Whitechapel.


  Page 103, l.  2 from the top, for _farcas_ read _farças_.
       110, l.  3 from the top, for _rareshow_ read _rareeshow_.
       115, l.  3 from the top, for _prediliction_ read _predilection_.
       120, l.  1 first note, for _a ode_ read _an ode_.
       134, l.  7 from the top, for _opening Ferreira’s tragedy_, read _opening of
                      Ferreira’s tragedy_.
       164, l.  2 of the note, for _hrone_ read _throne_.
       165, l.  7 from the top, for _the poetic survey_ read _this poetic survey_.
       199, l. 11 from the top, for _redondillas_ read _redondilhas_.
       211, l.  7 from the top, for _espistles_ read _epistles_.
       233, l. 10 from the top, for _exercisesd_ read _exercised_.
       252, l.  6 from the top, for _remaind_ read _remained_.
       302, l. 14 from the top, for _stile_ read _style_.
       313, l.  2 from the bottom of the second note, for _he_ read _the_.
       318, l.  6 from the bottom, for _a more natural dignified_ read _a more natural
                      and dignified_.
       324, l. 10 from the bottom, for _antithesis_ read _antitheses_.





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[1] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 12 and 17.

[2] The Portuguese of former times never resigned the common
denomination of Spaniards to the inhabitants of the Castilian monarchy.
They invariably styled the Spaniards _Castelhanos_. Even in the late
edition of the poems of Camões, that writer, who composed only a few
trifles in Castilian verse, is distinguished by the title of _Principe
dos Poetas de Hespanha_, (Prince of Spanish poets).

[3] Detailed information concerning the settling of French knights
in Portugal, under Henry of Burgundy, may be found in Manuel Faria y
Sousa’s well known work:--_Europa Portuguesa_, v. i. p. 448.

[4] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 17.

[5] Further information on this subject is contained in Manuel de Faria
y Sousa’s _Europa Portuguesa_, vol. iii. p. 378, whence all these
particulars are derived.

[6] It is difficult to collect any sense from the words. Those who
understand Portuguese may try their skill on the following specimen:--

    Tinhe rabos nom tinhe rabos
        Tal a tal ca monta?
        Tinheradesme, nom tinheradesme,
        De là vinherasdes, de cà filharedes,
        Ca amabia tudo em soma.
    Per mil goyvos trebalhando
        Oy oy vos lombrego
        Algorem se cada folgança
        Asmey cu: porque do terrenho
        Nom ha hi tal perchego.

The above fragment is contained in the _Europa Portuguesa_, vol. iii.
p. 379.--Dieze has also printed it in his Remarks on Velasquez.

[7] Two complete songs by Egaz Moniz are given in the work of Manuel
de Faria y Sousa already mentioned, vol. iii. p. 380. One commences as

    Bem satisfeita ficades
        Corpo doyro
        Alegrade a quem amardes,
        Que ei jà moyro.
    Ei bos rogo bos lembredes
        Ca bos quije
        A que dolos nom abedes
        Que bos fije.
    Cambastes a Pertigal
        Por Castilla
        A amade o mei mal
        Que dor me filha.

[8] There is no poetry in the specimens quoted by Faria y Sousa. For
example the following:--

    A Juliam et Horpas a saa grei daminhos,
        Que em sembra cò os netos de Agar fornezinhos
        Huna atimarom prasmada fazanha,
        Ca Muza, et Zariph com basta campanha
        De juso da sina do Miramolino
        Com falsa infançom et Prestes maligno
        De Cepta aduxerom ao Solar Espanha.
    Et porque era força, adarve, et foçado
        Da Betica Almina, et o seu Casteval
        O Conde por Encha, et pro comunal
        Em tarra os encreos poyarom a Saagrado,
        El Gibaraltar, maguer que adordado,
        Et co compridouro per saa defensaõ,
        Pello susodeto sem algo de afaõ
        Presto foy delles entrado et filhado.

[9] See Barbosa Machado, article _Dionis_.

[10] The changes which the name Alphonso undergoes in Spanish and
Portuguese may mislead persons who are not intimate with those
languages. In Spanish it is indiscriminately either _Alfonso_ or
_Alonzo_; the latter form, however, is chiefly used in common life.
In Portuguese, from the natural tendency of that language to omit the
letter _l_, the name is invariably pronounced and written _Affonso_.

[11] This poem is given by Barbosa Machado, under the head _D. Pedro
I._--As it is written in the Castilian language, it would be out of
place in a collection of specimens of Portuguese poetry. The Portuguese
songs of Pedro I. are included in Garcia de Resende’s _Cancioneiro_.

[12] The Spanish _Don_ becomes _Dom_ in Portuguese.

[13] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 49.

[14] Manuel de Faria y Sousa has printed it in his _Discurso de los
Sonetos_, prefixed to his _Fuente Aganippe_, that is to say, his poems,
vol. i. The language and style of this sonnet are sufficiently ancient.

    Bom Vasco de Lobeyra, e de gram sem,
        de pram que vos av des hem contado,
        o feito de Armadis, o namorado,
        sem quedar ende por contarhi rem.

    E tanto vos aprougue, e a tambem,
        que vos seredes sempre ende loado,
        eu entre os homes hos por bo mentado,
        que vos eram adeante, e que hora hem.

    Maes porque vos fizestes a fremosa
        Breoranja amarendoudo hu nom amarom
        esto, combade, e contra sà vontade.

    Ca eu hey gram dò de a ver queixosa,
        por sa gram fremosura, e sa bondade,
        e ber porque o sim amor nom lho pagarom.

[15] One of these sonnets is printed, as a specimen, in the
before-mentioned _Discurso de los Sonetos_. There is in the antiquated
diction a degree of precision which approximates to the style of the

    Vinha Amor por o campo trebelhando
        com sà fremosa Madre, e sàs donzellas;
        el rindo, e cheo de lédice entre ellas,
        ja de arco, e de sas setas nom curando.

    Brioranja hi a sazom sia pensando
        na gram coita que ella ha, e vendo aquellas
        setas de Amor, filha em sa mano huna dellas,
        e metea no arco, e vayse andando.

    Des hi volveo o rosto hu Amor sia.
        Her, disse: ay traidor que me has falido;
        en prenderey de ti crua vendita.

    Largou a mano, quedou Amor ferido:
        e catando a sa sestra endoa do grita,
        hay merce, a Brioranja que fogia.

[16] See Sarmiento’s _Obras Posthumas_, p. 323.

[17] The _Cronica do Condestabre de Portugal Nun Alvarez Pereyra_,
printed in gothic letters at Lisbon 1526, in folio, may serve for
an example. That this chronicle was composed about the end of the
fourteenth century is a fact which admits of no doubt. Though written
quite in the dry style of the chronicles, yet the author seems to have
had a vague idea of historical arrangement; and he sometimes aims at
a certain degree of skill and eloquence in antithesis. Thus in the
preface, which commences in the following manner:--

Antigamente foy costume fazerem memoria das cousas que se faziam, assi
erradas, como dos valentes e nobres feitos; dos erros, porque dellos
soubessem guardar, e dos valentes e nobres feitos, aos boõs fizessem
cobiça a ver peras cousas semelhantes fazerem.

With this artificial commencement, the simplicity of the following
passage forms a remarkable contrast:--

E por nom fazer longo prollego (_prologo_), farei aqui começo em este
virtuoso Senhor, do qual veo o valente y muy virtuoso conde estabre Dom
Nunalvaréz Pereyra. E assi dehi em diante siguiremos nossa historia.

[18] See the preceding vol. p. 74.

[19] Dieze, in his Remarks on Velasquez p. 105, has printed a
commencing stanza of one of these songs, which presents no great merit,
together with a translated passage from Argote de Molina’s _Nobleza de

[20] Even Cervantes in his Journey to Parnassus, makes Mercury assign
to _Lusitania_ the supplying of _Amores_, in order to collect together
the ingredients of romantic poetry.

[21] What is stated by Barbosa Machado shews how highly Garcia de
Resende was esteemed by his contemporaries.

[22] Barbosa Machado likewise gives an account of this collection under
the head _D. Pedro I._ p. 540, a place in which such a notice would
scarcely be looked for.

[23] This is expressly mentioned by the Spanish writer Sarmiento, who
says:--El cancionero Portuguez contiene _muchissimos mas_ poetas que el
Castellano. Este contiene solos los del siglo xv. pero aquel contiene
_algunos_ del Siglo xiv.--_Obras posth._ p. 323.

[24] It will soon be necessary to make this author the subject of a
particular notice.

[25] I have met with no notice of a _Romanceiro_ distinguished from the
Portuguese _Cancioneiro_ by any remarkable number of narrative romances.

[26] Dieze, in his Remarks on Velasquez, p. 76, has collected notices
of the lives of those Portuguese who in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries distinguished themselves by the composition of latin verse.

[27] According to the testimony of Barbosa Machado, Lopes wrote
several chronicles; only one was however printed, a damaged copy of
which I have now before me. It is entitled: _Chronica d’El Rey D.
Joaõ I. de boa memoria &c. composta por Fernam Lopes. Lisboa 1644_.
With Zurrara’s continuation it forms one thick folio volume. It is
singular enough that in these old Portuguese chronicles, the word _Rey_
(King) is always preceded by the Castilian article _El_, instead of
the Portuguese _O_. Thus _El Rey_, united as if forming one word, has
become in the official stile of Portugal the substitute for _O Rey_.

[28] The following speech, which is short, and is not badly conceived,
may be transcribed here entire as an interesting specimen of Portuguese
prose of the fifteenth century. Nuno Alvarez, who commands the
Portuguese army against the Castilians, whom his brothers have joined,
thus addresses his companions in arms:--

Amigos, eu nam sey mais que diga do que vos jà tenho dito, però ainda
vos quero responder a ìsso, que me dissestes. Quanto he o que dizeis:
que os Castellanos sam muytos, et vem grandes Capitanes, et senhores
com elles, tanto vos serà mayor honra, et louvor de serem por vós
vencidos, ca jà muytas vezes aconteceo os poucos vencerem muytos,
porque todo o vencimento he em Deos, et nam nos homens. Na outra cousa,
em que duvidaes, segundo parece, que he a vinda de meus Irmaõs em sua
companhia, a ìsso nam temais por nenhuma guisa, nem Deos quizesse tal,
que nenhum por mim fosse enganado. Ca eu naõ os hey por meus Irmanos
nesta parte, pois que vem por desviar a terra, que os gérou. E nam digo
contra meus Irmaõs, mas em verdade vos juro, que ainda que ahi viesse
meu Padre, eu seria contra elle, por serviço do Mestre meu senhor. E
pera vós verdes que he assim, se a voz praz de em esta obra sermos
todos companheiros; eu vos juro, et prometo, que eu seja o dianteiro
ante a minha bandeira, et o primeiro que comece a pelejar, et assi
podeis ver a vontade, que eu tenho contra meus Irmaõs neste feito. Mas,
naõ embargo da vossa tençaõ ser todavia qual me dissestes, aquelles,
que se quizerem hir pera suas casas, et lugares, vaõse com Deos, ea
eis, et esses poucos de boõs Portugueses, que comigo vem, lhe entendo
poer a praça.

[29] Barbosa Machado’s article under the head “Bernardim Ribeyro,” is
too short and unsatisfactory for a name so celebrated.

[30] For example in the following stanzas:--

    O dia que ally chegou
        Com seu gado et com seu fato,
        Com tudo se agasalhou
        Em huma bicada de hum mato,
        E levandoo a pascer,
        O outro dia à ribeira
        Joana acertou de hi ver,
        Que andava pela ribeira
        Do Tejo a flores colher.
    Vestido branco trazia,
        Hum pouco a frontada andava,
        Fermosa bem parecia
        Aos olhos de quem na olhava.
        Jano em vendoa foy pasmado,
        Mas por ver que ella fazia
        Escondeose entre hum prado.
        Joana flores colhia,
        Jano colhia cuidado.
    Despois que ella tene as flores
        Jà colhidas, et escolhidas
        As desvariadas cores
        Com rosas entremetidas,
        Fez dellas huma capella.
        E soltou os seus cabellos
        Que eram tam longos como ella,
        E de cada hum a Jano em vellos
        Lhe nacia huma querella.--Eglogo II.

[31] For example:--

    Triste de mi, que serà?
        O coitado que farei,
        Que nam sei onde me và,
        Com quem me consolarei?
        Ou quem me consolarà?
        Ao longo das ribeiras,
        Ao som das suas agoas,
        Chorarei muitas canceitas,
        _Minhas magoas derradeiras_,
        _Minhas derradeiras magoas_.
    Todos fogem jà de mim,
        Todos me desemporaram,
        Meus males sòs me ficaram
        Pera me darem a fim
        Com que nunca se acabaram.
        De todo bem desespero
        Pois me desespera quem
        Me quer mal que lhe nam quero,
        Nam lhe quero senam bem,
        Bem que nunca della espero.
    _O meus desditosos dias_,
        _O meus dias desditosos_,
        Como vos his saudosos,
        Saudosos de alegrias,
        D’alegrias desejosos:
        Deixaime jà descançar,
        Pois que eu vos faço tristes,
        Tristes porque meu pesar
        Me deu os males que vistes,
        E muitos mais por pasar.--Egl. III.

[32] The Spaniards cannot easily enter into the spirit of these verbal
allusions in the Portuguese language; for the word which in Portuguese
signifies a _river_, is in Spanish by the usual change in the penult
syllable _Ribera_, and signifies a _bank_. The Portuguese _Ribeira_, or
_Ribeiro_, is probably derived from _Rivus_; and the Spanish _Ribera_
from _Ripa_.

[33] For example:--

    Ribeira de meu cuidado,
    O cuidado da ribeira,
    Ribeira do bem passado.
    Pois de ti vivo apartado
    Comigo vive canseira:
    Audo com a fantesia,
    Trago huma tristeza tal,
    Que mouro con alegria,
    Tam contente sou com o mal,
    Que sempre mal ter queria.--Egl. V.

This fifth eclogue is, however, attributed to Ribeyro only by

[34] These eclogues form an appendix to the old as well as the new
edition of the prose romance of _Menina e Moça_, which will soon be
further noticed.

[35] See the preceding vol. p. 113.

[36] This very plain dealing effusion is as follows. It is without

        Nam sam casado senhora
    que ainda que dei a maõ
    nam casei ho coraçaõ
        Antes que vos conheçese
    sem errar contra vos nada
    huma soo maõ fiz casada
    sem que mais nisso metesse
    doulhe que ella se perdesse
    solteiros e vossos sam
    hos olhos e ho coraçam
        Dizem que ho bom casamento
    se a de fazer de vontade
    eu a vos a liberdade
    vos dei e o pensamento
    nisto soo me achei contento
    que se a outrem dei a maõ
    dei a vos ho coraçaõ
        Como senhora vos vi
    sem palauras de presente
    na alma vos reçebi
    onde estareis para sempre
    nam de palaura somente
    nem fiz mais que dar a maõ
    guardandovos o coraçaõ
        Caseime com meu cuidado
    e com vosso dessejar
    senhora nam sam casado
    nam mo queiras acuitar
    que servirvos e amar
    me nasçeo do coraçaõ
    que tendes em vossa maõ
        Ho casar nam fez mudança
    em meu antiguo cuidado
    nem me negou esperança
    do galardam esperado
    nam me engeiteis por casado
    que se a outro dei a maõ
    a vos dei ho coraçaõ.

[37] They may be found in the appendix to the old and scarce edition of
the tale _Menina e Moça_, (Lisboa, 1559, in 8.)

[38] In the _Cancionero de Romances, Amberes_ 1555, in 8vo. It is also
to be found in the new as well as in the old edition of the _Menina e

[39] It commences thus:--

        Ao longo de huma Ribeira,
    Que vai pello pe da serra,
    Onde me a mi fez a guerra
    Muito tempo o grande amor,
    Me levou a minha dor.
    Jà era tarde do dia
    E a agua della corria
    Por antre hum alto arvoredo,
    Onde ás vezes hia quedo
    O Rio, e ás vezes nam.
    Entrada era do veram,
    Quando começam as aves
    Com seus cantares suaves
    Facer tudo graciozo.
    Ao rogido saudozo
    Das aguas cantavam ellas;
    Toda las minhas querellas
    Se me pozeram diante; &c.

[40] The new edition of the _Menina e Moça, ou Saudades de Bernardim
Ribeyro_, published by one of the descendants of the poet, _Lisboa_
1785, in 8vo. is easier to read than the old edition, on account of
the more regular punctuation. But the old and scarce edition, which,
however, bears on the title page, the words _de novo estampada, Lisboa_
1559, in 8vo. contains, in an appendix, Ribeyro’s eclogues, and also a
collection of old Portuguese poems by other authors.

[41] She says:--

Escolhi para meu contentamento (se entre tristezas et saudades ha
algum) virme viver a este monte, onde o lugar et mingoa da conversação
da gente te fosse, como para meu cuidado cumpria: porque grande erro
fora depois de tantos nojos, quantos eu com estes meus olhos, vi
aventurarme ainda esperar do mundo o descanço, que elle nunca dè a
ninguem. Estando eu aqui ló, taõ longe dè toda a outra gente, et de mim
ainda mais longe; donde nam vejo senaõ serras de hum cabo, que se naõ
mudaõ nunca, et do outro aguas do mar, que nunca estam quedas, onde
cuidava eu jà que esquecia a desaventura, porque ella, et depois eu a
todo poder que ambas pudemos naõ leixamos em mi nada em que pudesse
nova magoa ter lugar; &c.

[42] The following is the passage:--

Nam tardou muito que estando eu assi cuidando, sobre hum verde ramo
que por sima da agua se estendia, se veyo pousar hum Rousinol, começou
a cantar tam docemente que de todo me levou a pos si o meu sentido
d’ouvir; et elle cada vez crecia mais em seus queixumes, que parecia
que como cansada queria acabar, senaõ quando tornava como que começava.
Entam (triste da avezinha) que estandose assi queixando nam sey como
se cahio morte sobre aquella agua, cahindo por entre as ramas, muitas
folhas cahiram tambem com ella; pareceo aquello sinal de pezar naquelle
arvoredo de caso tam desestrado. Levava a pos si a agua, et as folhas a
pos ella, et quizeraa eu hir tomar: mas polla corrente que alli fazia,
et pelo mato que dali para baxo acerca do rio logo estava, prestasmente
se alongou da vista; o coraçaõ me doco tanto entaõ em ver taõ asinha
morto quem dantes taõ pouco havia que vira estar cantando, que naõ pude
ter as lagrimas.

[43] This passage may be regarded as a specimen of romantic didactic

Coitadas das mulheres que porque vem que as namoram os homens com obras
cuidam que assi se devem elles tambem de namorar: et he muito pelo
contrario, que aos homens namoramnos desdeis et presunçoens, apos huma
brandura de olhos, asperesa muita de obras. Isto de seu natural lhes
deve vir, porque sam rijos, que parece nam terem em muito senam o que
trabalham muito. Nos outras boandas de nosso nacimento fazemos outra
cousa: porem se elles com nosco entrassem a juizo, que razam mostrariam
per si? Ca o amor que he senam vontade? Ella nam se dà, nem se toma por
força, mas como quer que seja, ou pela desventura das mulheres, ou pela
ventura dos homens.

[44] The publisher of the new edition of the _Menina e Moça_ (see note
p. 33.) expressly states in his preface, that by recalling public
attention to that work, he proposes to refute the censures which have
been pronounced on the Portuguese language.

[45] _Egloga de Christovam Falcam, chamado Crisfal_, annexed to the old
edition of the _Menina e Moça_. See note page 33.


    Depois de me visto ter
      e ja que me conheçia,
      lagrimas lhe vi correr
      dos olhos que nam movia:
      de mim sem nada dizer.
      Eu lhe disse: meu dessejo,
      vendoa tal com asaz dor,
      dessejo do meu amor
      crerei eu ao que vejo,
      ou crerei ao meu temor,
          A ysto bem sem prazer
      me tornou entam assi
      com voz de pouco poder:
      Crisfal que vez tu em mim
      que nam seja pera crer?
      Eu lhe respondi: perdervos
      de vos ver por tanto anno
      fazme assim temer meu dano
      que vejo meus olhos vervos,
      e temo que me engano.


    E dizendo: O mezquinha,
      como pude ser tam crua
      Bem abraçado me tinha
      a minha boca na sua
      e a sua façe na minha.
      Lagrimas tinha choradas
      que com a boca gostey,
      mas com quanto certo sey
      que as lagrimas sam salgadas,
      aquellas doçes achey.

          Soltei as minhas entam
      com muitas palauras tristes,
      e tomey por concruzam,
      alma por que nam partistes
      que bem tinheis de rezam.
      Entam ella assi chorosa
      de tam choroso me ver,
      ja pera me socorrer
      com huma voz piadosa
      comezoume assi dizer:

          Amor de minha vontade
      ora non mais! Crisfal manço
      bem sey tua lealdade.
      Ay que grande descanço
      he falar coma verdade.
      Eu sey bem que nam me mentes,
      que o menter he diferente,
      nam fala dalma quem mente.
      Crisfal nam te descontentes
      se me quereo veer contente.


    Isto que Crisfal dezia,
      Assi, como o contava,
      Huma Nymfa, o escrivia
      N’ hum alamo que alli estava,
      Que ainda entam crescia.
      Dizem, que foi seu intento
      De escrevelo en tal lugar,
      Pera por tempo se alçar
      Onde baixo pensamento
      Lhe nam pudesse chegar.

[49] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 210.

[50] These verses bear the following superscription:--_Carta do mesmo,
estando preso, que mandoa a huma Senhora con que era casado a furto
contra vontade de seus parentes_ &c.--This letter is also attached to
the old edition of the _Menina e Moça_.

[51] From the verb _Esparecer_, which is almost synonymous with the
French _Extravaguer_, the term _Esparça_ is probably derived.


    Vi o cabo no começo,
      Vejo o começo no cabo,
      De feiçaõ que nam conheço,
      Se começo, nem se acabo.


    Senhora, pois, por vos ver,
      Assi me desconheci,
      Nam me quereis vos fazer
      O que por vos fiz amim.


    Comigo me desavim;
      Vejo me em grande perigo,
      Nam posso vivir comigo,
      Nem posso fugir de mim.

[55] The following for example:--

        Nam posso dormir as noites,
    amor, nam as posso dormir.

        Desque meus olhos olharom
    em vos seu mal e seu bem,
    se algum tempo repousarem
    ja nenhum repouso tem.
    Dias vam e noutes vem
    sem vos ver nem vos ouvir.
    Como as poderei dormir?

        Meu pensamento ocupado
    na causa de seu pensar
    acorda sempre ho cuidado
    para nunca descuidar.
    As noites do repousar,
    dias sam ao meu sentir,
    noutes de meu nam dormir.

        Todo ho bem he ja passado
    e passado em mal presente;
    o sentido desvelado,
    ho coraçam descontente:
    ho juizo que ysto sente
    como se deve sentir,
    pouco leixara dormir.

        Como nam vi ho que vejo
    cos olhos do coraçam,
    nam me deito sem dessejo
    nem me erguo sem paixam;
    hos dias sem vos ver vam,
    as noites sera vos ouvir,
    eu as nam posso dormir.

[56] In illustration of this remark, the words _cor_, _paço_, _povo_,
_pay_, _may_, _por_, _ter_, may be compared with the Spanish words
_color_, _palacio_, _pueblo_, _padre_, _madre_, _poner_, _tener_,
and similar comparisons may be made of a multitude of others. Let
the reader also take into consideration the clipping pronunciation
of _o_ and _a_ when these vowels terminate words in the Portuguese
language. The Portuguese articles _o_ and _a_, abbreviated from _lo_
and _la_, together with the compounds formed from them, as _no_ and
_na_, instead of _en lo_ and _en la_, must necessarily be offensive to
the Spanish ear. It is singular, however, that the Portuguese language
has a tendency to lengthen those particular words in which the Spanish
cannot tolerate any further extension; for the Spanish _Universidad_,
_Magestad_, &c. become in Portuguese _Universidade_, _Magestade_, and
so forth.

[57] It deserves, however, to be noticed, that of all the sister
languages of Roman descent, the Portuguese alone has preserved, in
its grammatical structure, a remarkable fragment of the ancient latin
conjugation, namely, the pluperfect of the indicative, viz. _fora_,
_foras_, _fora_, from _fueram_, _fueras_, _fuerat_. But this pluperfect
has also the signification of a preterite of the subjunctive; and
through the ambiguity, which thus arises, the value of this grammatical
relic in the Portuguese language is in a great measure lost,
notwithstanding that the connection may easily mark the proper sense.
But how happens it that of all the languages claiming a Roman origin,
the Portuguese, though in other respects remarkable for a certain
simplicity of character, is, upon the whole, distinguished by the most
numerous and subtle tenses in the conjugations of its verbs?

[58] This trait of distinction between the Portuguese and Spanish
national character is still noticed by travellers. The Portuguese is a
bigot, like the Spaniard, but he is far less fanatical. The intercourse
of trade in Lisbon, requires an external appearance of tolerance.
If the English sailors refuse to take off their hats during the
catholic processions in Portugal, the populace content themselves with
exclaiming, “they are English heretics!” or uttering some other words
of reproach.

[59] See preceding vol. page 151.

[60] See the preceding vol. p. 210.

[61] All the notices extant respecting the life of this poet, are
collected in the biographical memoir prefixed to the new edition of his
_Obras Lisb._ 1784, 2 vols. 8vo. Dieze in his Remarks on Velasquez, has
merely selected the article “Saa de Miranda,” from the works of Nicolas
Antonio and Barbosa Machado.

[62] He says in his third sonnet:--

    Ando cos meus papeis em differenças.
      Sam preceitos de Horacio, me diram!
      Em al nam posso, sigoo em apparenças.
    Quem muito peleijou, como irá sam?
      Tantos ledores, tantas as sentenças.
      Cum vento vellas vem, et vellas vam.

[63] In one of the introductory stanzas of his first Portuguese
eclogue, he says, addressing the prince Dom Manoel:--

    Parecia que andava a colher flores
    Co as Musas, co as Graças, cos Amores.

[64] One of his sonnets commences at once with the description of this

    Desarrezoado Amor dentro em meu peito
      Tem guerra co a razon. Amor, que jaz
      Hi ja de muito tempo, manda e faz
      Tudo o que quer a torto ou a direito.

[65] For example in the following charming sonnet, which even derives a
peculiar air of simplicity from the recurrence of masculine rhymes:--

    Nam sey que em vós mais vejo, naõ sey que
      Mais ouço, et sinto ao vir vosso, et fallar,
      Naõ sey que entendo mais té no callar,
      Nem quando vos nam vejo alma que vee.
    Que lhe aparece em qual parte que esté,
      Olhe o Ceo, olhe a terra, ou olhe o mar,
      E triste aquelle vosso sossurar,
      Em que tanto mais vay, que direy que he?
    Em verdade naõ sey que he isto que anda
      Entre nós, ou se he ár como parece,
      Ou fogo d’outra sorte, et d’outra ley,
    Em que ando, de que vivo: et nunca abranda,
      Por ventura que á vista resplandece.
      Ora o que eu sey taõ mal como direy?

[66] What a beautiful elegiac didactic picture is presented by the
following sonnet on the setting sun:--

    O sol he grande, caem com a calma as aves
      Do tempo, em tal sazaõ que soe ser fria:
      Esta agoa que d’alto cae acordarmehia,
      Do sono naõ, mas de cuidados graves.
    Ó cousas todas vãs, todas mudaveis,
      Qual he o coraçaõ que em vós confia?
      Passando hum dia vay, passa outra dia,
      Incertos todos mais que ao vento as naves.
    En vi ja por aqui sombras et flores,
      Vi agoas, et vi fontes, vi verdura,
      As aves vi cantar todas d’amores.
    Mudo, et seco he já tudo, et de mistura,
      Tambem fazendome eu fuy d’outras cores.
      E tudo o mais renova, isto he sem cura.


    Ora provemos ja a nova lingoagem,
    E ao dar a vela ao vento boa viagem.

[68] The following passage with which this eclogue commences, affords
a fair specimen of Miranda’s style, while at the same time it presents
nothing very obscure to the foreign reader:--

    _Gonç._ Quantas cousas Ines, madrinha, et tia,
          Se me vaõ descobrindo de ora em ora,
          Inda que eu faça corpo, gesto, et ria?
        Polla alma de quem mais naõ pode, a fora
          Outros respeitos, cumpre ter paciencia,
          Té que seja da vida, ou da dór fora.
        Aos erros he devida a penetencia
          Por conta, por medida, por balança,
          Seja juiz a propria consciencia.
        Porem quando ao contrario de esperança
          Em vez de galardaõ acode pena,
          Quem terá sofrimento em abastança?
        Amor que por antolhos tudo ordena
          Bem pouco se lhe dá de que a fé sancta
          Se quebre com graõ culpa on com piquena.

[69] The following elegant and simple stanzas form the commencement of
the first cantiga which is sung by the complaining shepherd Gonçalo:--

    Onde me acolherey? tudo he tomado,
      Nam parece esperança aqui nenhuma.
      Sombras feas, et negras, mal peccado,
      Estas si que apparecem, cousa alguma
      Naõ ficou por fazer, como o passado,
      Será o que he por vir, ouçame a Luma,
      Delgada, que traspoem polo alto monte,
      Seus trabalhos cos meus coteje, et conte.
    Que se os velhos Solaos fallam verdade,
      Bem sabe ella por prova, como Amor
      Mata, et averá de mi piedade:
      Endimiaõ tam fermoso, et tal pastor,
      Entre as flores dormia em fresca idade,
      Olhando ella do Ceo perdia a cór,
      Té das flores ciosa, et d’agoa clara,
      Que o seu fermoso Amor lhe adormentára.

[70] For example:--

    Ves tu cousa, que esté queda?
      Ora he noite, ora amanhece,
      Ora corre huma moeda,
      Ora outra, tudo envelhece,
      Tudo tem no cabo a queda.
      Nas Villas hum baylo dançam
      Em que todos ao som andam,
      Huns cá, outros lá se lançam,
      Como o tanger naõ alcançam,
      Mais pés, nem braços naõ mandam.
    Do sangue, et leite empollado
      O Bezerrinho viçoso
      Corre, et salta pollo prado,
      Depois lavra preguiçoso,
      Tira o seu carro cansado,
      Cos dias, et co trabalho
      O brincar d’antes lhe esquece,
      Nam he já, o que era ao malho,
      Cortese, levese ao talho,
      O boy velho, que enfraquece.

[71] For example:--

    E por muito que os Reys olhem
      Vaõ por fora mil inchaços,
      Que ante vós Senhor se encolhem
      D’uns Gigantes de cem braços
      Com que daõ, e com que tolhem.
    Quem graça ante el Rey alcança,
      E hi falla o que naõ deve,
      Mal grande da má privança,
      Peçonha na fonte lança,
      De que toda a terra beve.
    Quem joga onde engano vay,
      Em vaõ corre, e torna atrás,
      Em vaõ sobre a face cay,
      Mal ajaõ as manhas mas
      Donde tanto dano say.
    Homem de hum só parecer,
      D’hum só rostro, huma só fé,
      D’antes quebrar, que torcer,
      Elle tudo pode ser,
      Mas de corte homem naõ he.

[72] He says in his fifth epistle:--

    Dizem dos nos sos passados
      Que os mais naõ sabiam ler,
      Eram bons, eram ousados.
      Eu nam gabo o nam saber
      Como alguns ás graças dados.
      Gabo muito os seus custumes
      Doeme se oje nam sam tais.
      _Mas das letras, ou perfumes_
      _De quais veo o dano mais?_
    _Destes mimos Indianos_
      _Ey gram medo_ a Portugal,
      Que venhaõ a fazerlhe os danos.
      Que Capua fez a Anibal
      Vencedor de tantos annos.
      A tempestade espantosa
      De Trebia de Trasimeno,
      De Canas, Capua viçosa
      Venceo em tempo piqueno.

[73] The following are the two first stanzas of the _Cançaõ à Nossa

    Virgem fermosa, que achastes a graça
        Perdida antes por Eva, onde nam chega
        O fraco entendimento chegue a Fé.
        Coytada desta nossa vista cega
        Que anda apalpando polla nevoa baça,
        E busea o que, ante si tendo, nam vé.
        Sem saber atinar, como, ou porque,
        Entrey pollos perigos
        Rodeado de imigos.
        Por piedade a vós venho, et por mercé,
        Vós que nos destes claro a tanto escuro,
        Remedio a tanto mingoa
        Me dareis lingua, et coraçaõ seguro.
    Virgem toda sem magoa, inteira, et pura,
        Sem sombra, nem d’aquella culpa herdada,
        Por todos nos, té o fim desdo começo:
        Claridade do Sol, nunca turbada,
        Sanctissima, et perfeita criatura,
        Ante quem de mi fujo, et me aborreço,
        Ey medo a quanto fiz, sey que mereço,
        Dos meus erros me espanto,
        Que me aprouveram tanto
        Agora à só lembrança desfalleço.
        Mas lembrame porem, que vòs fizestes
        Paz entre Deos, et nós,
        E a quem por vós chamou sempre a maõ destes.


    O Ceo, que Eva perdera,
    Ouem no lo abria, ficou fora de briga;
    Foy he oje entregue a chave,
    Foy o nome mudado _d’Eva_ em _Ave_.

[75] The following passage will afford a specimen of the style of this

    Cordeiro ante o throno alto de Cordeiro,
        Lavado irás no teu sangue sem magoa,
        O quem como era pay, fora parceiro!
    Diz Paulo (da Fé nosso ardente fragoa)
        Que para o filho o pay faça thesouro,
        Parece natural hum correr d’agoa.
    Nam assi aqui perto abaixa o Douro
        Ao contrario, no mar se lança escuro,
        Mondego, et Tejo das areas d’ouro,
    Quanto mais certo contra o imigo duro
        Podes, que outrem dizer, vim, vi, venci,
        Cerrando, et abrindo a maõ, posto em seguro.
    Nam se vejam mais lagrimas aqui
        Salvo se por nós forem, que em taes trevas
        Em tam cega prisam deixaste assi.
    Vayte embora, que ja nam tens que devas
        Temer, lá tudo he paz, tudo assossego,
        A quem leva o seguro, que tu levas.

[76] See the History of Italian Literature, vol. ii. p. 171.

[77] Only a short specimen can conveniently be quoted here. In the
fifth act of the _Estrangeiros_ a servant who has met with a misfortune
in the street calls aloud for justice, and an old man, named Reynaldo,
interposes his remarks. _Callidio._ Regedores, Cidadães, homens de bem,
os grandes, et os pequenos todos me acodi, todos me valei que a todos
releva, se aqui ha alguma lembrança de liberdade, et justiça.

_Reynaldo._ Tamanhas duas cousas cuydavas tu d’achar assipollas ruas?

_Callidio._ No meyo do dia, no meyo de Palermo naõ me ouve ninguem, naõ
me acode ninguem.

_Reynaldo._ Callate ora com teu mal.

_Callidio._ Que fazem aqui tantas varas de justiça?

_Reynaldo._ Que riso!

_Callidio._ Todo o mundo dorme?

_Reynaldo._ Dormes? tu sonhas? tu tresvalias?

_Callidio._ Ah cidadães que todos somos escravos.

_Reynaldo._ Ja vay entrando em seu acordo.

_Callidio._ Assi ha isto de passar? Esfoloume, açoutoume, matoume, se
me a justiça, naõ acode acaberey de entender que faz cada hum nesta
terra o que lhe vem à vontade, e farey tambem o que me a minha mais der
que faça.

[78] In his dedication of the _Estrangeiros_ to Cardinal Henry, he

A comedia qual he, tal vay, aldeaã e mal ataviada. Esta sò lembranza
lhe fiz à partida, que se naõ desculpasse de _querer as vezes arremedar
Plauto e Terencio, &c._

[79] Thus in the Vilhalpandos a young lover discourses with himself in
the following way:--

Este meu coraçaõ enlheeyro em que praticas começa entrar comigo, naõ me
queria elle pouco ha saltar do peito fóra que a naõ podia eu soffrer?
Deixoume elle mais dormir, nem assossegar? Agora que aconteceo de novo,
mandouselhe por ventura desculpar alguem, ou chora, et sospira alguem
de todos nós senaõ eu como? et tamanha injuria, et tam rezente, podelhe
lembra outra nenhuma cousa? Ainda naõ quer, ainda naõ cansa. Em quanto
ouve que dar durou o amor, voou a fazenda, voou elle juntamente. Ah,
isto he o que pintaõ ao amor com asas, voou, fugio, desappareceo, sem
nenhuma lembrança de mim se som vivo se morto. Como? et taõ pouco duro
o amor? cuytado de mim, que fazia fundamentos delle pera toda minha
vida, assi se põe tudo atras abrindo as maõs et çarrando? &c.

This is not a third part of the soliloquy.

[80] From the new edition of the works of Saa de Miranda, which has
already been mentioned, it appears that the Portuguese still appreciate
the merits of this poet, or rather that his writings have again been
restored to favour. But in this new edition the punctuation is as
faulty as in Portuguese books of older date; and thus the foreigner
experiences additional difficulty in studying a poet whose works, even
if correctly printed, would not be very easily understood.

[81] Nicolas Antonio and Barbosa Machado are the authorities for
the particulars here collected. Dieze has likewise quoted from
the above-mentioned writers, the account given in his appendix to
Velasquez, p. 86, respecting Gil Vicente, and Paula Vicente, the
daughter of the poet.

[82] The library of the University of Göttingen contains a copy of this
old edition, entitled:--

Compliaçam de todalas obras de _Gil Vicente_ &c.--Empremiose em a muy
nobre e sempre leal cidade de Lisboa, anno 1562, in folio.

The complete title may be found in Dieze’s edition of Velasquez, p.
87. The text of the dramas is printed in gothic characters, but the
introduction which precedes each piece is printed in the modern roman
type. In the dramas themselves the Portuguese and Spanish languages are
indiscriminately employed, and though the introductions are chiefly
written in Portuguese, some of them are also in Spanish. I know of no
later edition of Gil Vicente’s works. Barbosa Machado mentions none of
subsequent date. How can the Portuguese public so completely forget an
old favourite? Only a few of Gil Vicente’s Autos were printed singly in
the seventeenth century.

[83] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 282.

[84] He does not merely use the words--“por ser _cousa nova_;” but he
expressly says--“por ser _cousa nova em Portugal_.”

[85] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 130.

[86] The _Santa Fè_ speaks and the peasant _Bras_ (Blas) replies as
follows. The old orthography is, with the exception of filling up some
contractions, preserved in this and the following passages, quoted from
the Autos of Gil Vicente.

    _Fè._   A diuinal claridade
          Seja em vosso entendimento
          et vos dee conhecimento
          de sua natauidade.

    _Bras._ Mas quiem sos vos o quiem seres?

    _Fè._   Pastores eu sam a fee.

    _Bras._ Ablenhuncio satanhe,
          Sa nhi fee nho see que ses.

    _Fè._   Fee ha crer o que nam vemos
          pella gloria que esperamos,
          amar o que nam comprendemos
          nem vimos nem conhecemos
          pera que saluos sejamos.

    _Bras._ Aora lo entiendo menos.
          Rellata esso mas claro,
          que perjuro a santo Amaro
          que nhi punto os entendemos, &c.

[87] The Seraph’s proclamation is in old _versos de arte mayor_, with
the middle and ending lines short:--

        Aa feyra, aa feyra y grejas mostreyros,
    pastores das almas, papas adormidos
    compray aqui panos, muday os vestidos,
    buscay as çamarras dos outros primeyros:
    os antecesseros,
    feiray o caram que trazeis dourado,
    oo presidentes do crucificado
    lembrayuos da vida dos sanctos pastores
    do tempo passado.
        Oo principes altos, imperio facundo
    guardayuos da yra do Senhor dos ceos,
    compray grande soma do temor de Deos
    na feyra da Virgem Senhora do mundo,
    exemplo da paz.
    Pastora dos anjos, luz das estrelas,
    aa feyra da Virgem donas et donzelas,
    porque este mercados sabey que aqui traz
    as cousas mais belas. &c.

[88] The Devil speaks as follows:--

    _Diabo._  Hi ha de homens roins
        mais mil vezes que nam bõos,
        como vos muy bem sentis.
            E estes ham de comprar
        disto que trago a vender,
        que sam artes denganar
        et cousas pera esquecer
        o que deuiam lembrar:
        que o sagaz mercador
        ha de leuar ao mercado
        o que lhe compram milhor,
        porque a roim comprador
        leuarlhe roim borcado.

[89] She tells, with a humorous simplicity, that her ungrateful husband
has robbed her garden of its fruits before they were ripe; that he
never does any thing, but leads a sottish life, eating and drinking all
day, &c.

        Vayseme aas ameyxieyras
    antes que sejam maduras,
    elle quebra as cereygeyras,
    elle vendima as parreyras,
    et nam sey que faz das vuas.
    Elle nam vay aa laurada,
    elle todo dia come,
    elle toda noyte dorme,
    elle nam faz nunca nada
    et sempre me diz que ha fome.
        Jesu Jesu, posso te dizer
    et jurar, et tresjurar,
    et prouar, et reprouar,
    et andar, et reuoluer,
    que he milhor pera beber
    que nam pera maridar.
    O demo que o fez marido!
    que assi seco como he
    beberaa a torre da see,
    entam arma hum arroydo
    assi debayxo do pee.

[90] The words _Aquella he a minha froxa_ have a very comic effect in
the original Portuguese from the way in which they are introduced.


    Faço te Duque e meu capitaõ
    Dos reynos de mundo até sua fim;

Says Lucifer to Satan.

[92] It is a _Vilancete_ resembling the Spanish _Villancicos_.

        Adoray montanhas
    o Deos das alturas;
    tambem as verduras
    Adoray, desertos
    et serras floridas,
    o Deos dos secretos
    o Senhor das vidas.
    Ribeyras crecidas,
    louuay nas alturas
    Deos das criaturas.

        Louuay aruoredos
    de fruto prezado;
    digam os penedos
    Deos seja louuado.
    E louue meu gado
    nestas verduras
    o Deos das alturas.

[93] The word _Floresta_ has a two-fold meaning. In Portuguese it
usually signifies a flower garden or a park. In Spanish it also bears
the meaning of the Italian _Foresta_. Gil Vicente so frequently
confounds Spanish and Portuguese together, that in the present instance
it is necessary to guess the meaning he wishes to attach to the word
_Floresta_, which seems to be that of a flower garden.

[94] Both converse in Spanish in the following extract.

    _Filosofo._     Y porque la reprehension
      a todos es enojosa,
      me vi en grande passion
      y me hecharon en prision
      eu carcel muy tenebrosa.
      No basto, mas en depua
      de questo que oydo aueis,
      solo por esto que digo
      ataron ansi comigo
      esto bono que aqui veis.

           Que lo trayga desta suerte
      al comer y al cenar
      al dormir y platicar
      esto sopena de muerte
      que no lo pueda dexar
      hasta el morir.

    _Parvo._   Has te dir.

    _Filo._    Nome dexaraas dezir
       la causa que me ha traido.

    _Par._      Hasta la mañana.

    _Filo._     Dexame oraser oydo
       desta gente cortesana. &c.

[95] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 368.

[96] The usual titles with which the demons address the pious
necromancer, are “Thief” and “Blackguard.”

[97] The following is a specimen selected from a long nautical scene of
this kind. It is not necessary to quote the names of the characters at

    _Pilo._ Aa verdade este vento
          entra muy indiabrado.

    _Mari._ Vos piloto sois aazado
          pera perder logo o tento.
          E mais noyte tam escura.

    _Pilo._ Que quereis vos Fernam Vaz
          no mal que o inuerno faz
          tenho en culpa per ventura.

    _Mari._ Quee, et vos chorais antora.

    _Pilo._ Oo virgem da luz senhora
          sam Jorge, sam Nicolao.

    _Mari._ Acudi eramaa aa nao
          et leyxay os sanctos agora:
          Si quer manday amaynar
          ameyomasto essa vella
          et aa mezena colhella
          et huma vez segurar.

    _Apit._ Py py py.

    _Gru._            Adees?

    _Pilo._ Amayna amayna a mezena.

    _Gri._  Praz.

    _Af._         haam.

    _Gri._              mezena.

    _Pilo._ Amaynay essa mezena.

    _Gri._  Que amaynemos a mezena?

    _Pilo._ Acudi ali todos tres.

    _Gri._  E eu tambem yrey la?

    _Affò._ E eu yrey la tambem.

    _Pilo._ Oo pesar de Santarem
          o demo vos trouxeca. &c.

[98] Hence in both languages the word _farsante_ or _farçante_ is a
general term, signifying a comedian.


    _Apariço._ He o demo que me tome,
              mortemos ambos de fome
              et de lazeyra todo anno.

    _Ordonho._ Con quien biue?

    _Apa._                     que sey eu?
              viue assi per hi pelado
              como podengo escaldado.

    _Ordo._    De que sirue?

    _Apa._                   De sanden,
              Pentear et jejuar
              todo dia sem comer,
              cantar et sempre tanger
              sospirar et bocijar.
              Sempre anda falando soo,
              faz humas trouas tam frias
              tam sem graça, tam vazias
              que he cousa pera auer doo. &c.

[100] In this extract the reader will perceive the manner in which
the old Portuguese orthography represented first, the barking, and
secondly, the howling of dogs. Each forms a rhyme in the place in which
it occurs:--

    _Escu._ Senhora, isso do cabo
          medizey ante que esqueça.
          Mais resguardado estaa qui
          o meu grande amor feruente.
          Que tendes? hum pee dormente,
          oo que gram bem pera mi.
          Hi hi hi, de que me rio?
          riome de mil cousinhas
          nam ja vossas senam minhas,

    _Apa._  Olhay aquelle desuario.

    _Cães. Ham ham ham ham._

    _Escu._ Nam ouço com a cainçada.
          rapaz dalhe huma pedrada
          ou fartos eramaa de _pam_.


          Co os pedras os ajude Deos.

    _Cães. Ham ham ham ham._

    _Escu._ Pesar nam de Deos cos cães.
          rapazes nam lhes daes vos?
          Senhora nam ouço nada,
          doume oo demo que me leue.

    _Apa._  Toda esta pedra he tam leue.
          tomay la esta seyxada.

    _Cães. Hãy hãy hãy hãy._

    _Apa._  Perdoay me vos Senhor.

    _Escu._ Ora o fizeste peor
          aa pesar de minha _mãy_. &c.

[101] The old woman begins thus:--

    Rogo aa Virgem Maria
    que quem me fazer guer da cama
    que maa cama et maa dama
    et maa lama negra et fria.
    Maa mazela et maa courela
    mao regato et mao ribeyro
    mao siluado et mao outeyro
    maa carreyra et maa portela.
    Mao cortiço et mao somiço
    maos lobos et maos lagartos
    nunca de pam sejam fartos
    mao criado, mao seruiço.

These burlesque antitheses are continued in the same style throughout a
whole page.

[102] Mais quero asno que me leve, que cavallo que me derrube.

[103] The following passage is selected from one of the most burlesque
scenes. Pero Marquez, the simpleton suitor, takes his seat next his
mistress with his back turned towards her. He is about to produce some
pears, which he intended to present to her in complimentary allusion to
her name, for _Pereyra_ in Portuguese signifies a pear tree. The lover
has, however, lost the destined present:--

    _Per._  Mais gado tenho eu ja quanto,
          et o mayor de todo a gado
          digo mayor algum tanto,
          E desejo ser casado.
          Prouguesse ao Spiritu santo,
          com Ines, que eu mespanto
          quem me fez seu namorado.
          Parece moça de bem
          et eu de bem er tambem.
          ora vos er yde rendo
          se lhe vem milhor ninguem.
          a segundo o que eu entendo.
          Cuydo que lhe trago aqui
          peras da minha pereyra;
          ham destar na derradeyra.
          Tende ora Inez per hi.

    _Ines._ Eysso ey de ter na maõ?

    _Pero._ Deitay as peras no cham.

    _Ines._ As perlas pera infiar
          tres chocalhos et hum nouelo
          et as peas no capelo
          et as peras onde estam?

    _Per._  Nunca tal me aconteceo.
          Algum rapaz mas comeo,
          que as meti no capelo,
          et ficou aqui o nouelo
          et o pentem nam se perdeo:
          pois trazias de boa mente. &c.

[104] The following is the whole of the stanza:--


        A vòs sò canto, spritos bem nascidos,
    A vòs, e às Musas, offreço a lyra,
    A o Amor meus ays e me us genuidos,
    Compostos do seu fogo e da sua ira.
    Em vossos peitos saõs, limpos ouvidos
    Cayaõ meus versos, quas me Phebo inspira.
    En desta gloria sò fico contente,
    Que a minha terra amei, e a minha gente.

[105] The biographical sketch here given is collected from the well
written _Vida do Doutor Antonio Ferreira_, prefixed to the new edition
of Ferreira’s _Poemas Lusitanos_, _Lisboa_, 1771, in 2 volumes octavo.
This edition, though not remarkable for elegance, is printed with
tolerable correctness, and contains also the author’s dramas. Notices
extracted from Nicolas Antonio and Barbosa Machado, respecting the
older editions of Ferreira’s works, may be found in Dieze’s Remarks on

[106] Ferreira in scanning, avails himself of the peculiarity of the
Portuguese diphthongs, in order to omit at pleasure, as in latin verse,
the _m_ at the termination of words; for the Portuguese _m_ in that
situation is not an alphabetic character, but merely denotes the nasal
sound which may also be marked by a circumflex over the diphthongs
according to the fancy of the writer. Ferreira, for example, thus scans
a line in his beautiful elegy on spring:--

  Huns s’ou | vem, huns | nos tron | cos fi | cam escri | tos.

Here the _m_ in the word _ouvem_ concludes a metrical syllable, which
it does not in the word _ficam_.

[107] _Poemas Lusitanos_ is a title which in the sixteenth century no
Portuguese poet except Ferreira would have applied to his writings. The
word _Poema_ has never been received into the language of common life
in Portugal.

[108] Manuel de Faria y Sousa in his preface to the 4th vol. of the
_Fuente de Aganippe_, alluding to Ferreira’s eclogues, says, they
are written _con perdurable dureza y poca dicha en pensamientos y
afectos_ (with tedious frigidity and but little happiness of thought
and sentiment.) As far as regards the eclogues, this observation is
not altogether erroneous; but in general Faria y Sousa was by no means
competent to pronounce an opinion on Ferreira’s works. See History of
Spanish Literature, p. 428.


        A primeira ley minha he, que de mim
            Primeiro me guarde eu, e a mim naõ crea,
            Nem os que levemente se me rim;
        Conheça-me a mim mesmo: figa a vea
            Natural, naõ forçada: o juizo quero
            De quem com juizo, e sem paixaõ me lea.
        Na boa imitaçaõ, e uso, que o féro
            Ingenho abranda, ao inculto dá arte,
            No conselho do amigo douto espero.

        _Das Cartas Livr. I. Carta 12._

[110] For instance the following:--

    Quando entoar começo com voz branda
        Vosso nome d’amor, doce, e suave,
        A terra, o mar, vento, agoa, flor, folha, ave
        Ao brando som s’alegra, move, e abranda.
    Nem nuvem cobre o Ceo, nam na gente anda
        Trabalhoso cuidado, ou peso grave.
        Nova cor toma o Sol, ou se erga, ou lave
        No claro Tejo e nova luz nos manda.
    Tudo se ri, se alegra, e reverdece.
        Todo Mundo parece que renova,
        Nem ha triste planeta, ou dura sorte.
    A minh’ alma sò chora, e se entristece.
        Maravilha d’Amor cruel, e nova!
        O que a todos traz vida, a mim traz morte.

[111] One sonnet commences with an association of ideas of this
fantastic kind:--

    Quem vio neve queimar? Quem vio tam frio
        Hum fogo, de que eu arço? &c.

[112] These sonnets please, by the beauty of expression, even when the
thoughts are unimportant, for instance:--

    Nimphas do claro Almonda, em cujo seo
        Nasceo, e se eriou a alma divina,
        Qu’ hun tempo andou dos Ceos ea peregrina,
        Ja lá tornou mais rica, do que veo;
    Maria, da virtude firme esteo,
        Alma sancta, Real, de imperio dina
        A baiyeza deixou, de qu’ era indina,
        Ficou sem ella o Mundo escuro, e feo.
    Nimphas, que tam pouco ha qu’ os bõs amores
        Nossos cantastes cheas de alegria,
        Chorai a vossa perda, e minha mágoa.
    Naõ se cante entre vós jà, nem se ria,
        Nem dè o monte herva, nem o prado flores,
        Nem dessa fonte mais corra clara agoa.

[113] An imitation of the _Odi profanum vulgus_ forms also the overture
to Ferreira’s odes. His first ode commences thus:--

    Fuja daqui o odioso
    Profano vulgo! Eu canto
    A brandas Musas, a huns spritos dados
    Dos Ceos ao novo canto
    Heroico; &c.

[114] In an ode _A os principes D. Joaõ e a D. Joana_, every stanza
commences with the following pompous words:--

    Vivey felices, pios, vencedores!

[115] As for instance in the following passage:--

    Naõ teme, naõ espera,
        Naõ pende da fortuna, ou vaõs cuidados
        A consciencia pura
        E assi naõ desespera
        De chegar aos bons dias esperados
        Tam léda, et tam segura,
    Que o Mundo desprezando
        Consigo se enriquece, e mais descansa
        De si tam satisfeita,
        Que em si se está prezando
        De desprezar o porque o Mundo cansa.
        De ver que ella a direita
    Via seguindo vay
        A virtude levandosó por guia.
        Naõ torce, naõ duvida,
        Já mais della se fay,
        Por mais qu’ o Mundo della se desvia.

[116] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 240.

[117] The following stanzas, which form the commencement of an ode to
Spring, will afford an idea of Ferreira’s descriptive talent.

    Eis nos torna a nascer o anno fermoso,
        Zefiro brando, e doce Primavera.
        Eis o campo cheiroso:
        Eis cinge o verde Louro já a nova Hera.
        Ja do ar caydo géra
        O cristalino orvalho hervas, e flores.
        As Graças, e os Amores
        Coroados de alegria
        Em doce companhia
        De Nimphas, e Pastores ao som brando
        Doces versos de Amor vaõ revezando.
    Apôs a branda Deosa do terceiro
        Ceo, que triumphando vay de Apollo, e Marte.
        E entre elles o frexeiro
        O seu doce fogo, onde quer, reparte.
        Fogem de toda parte
        Nuvens; a neve ao Sol té entaõ dura
        Se converte em brandura,
        E d’alta, o fria serra
        Cayndo, rega a terra
        Agoa já clara: a cujo som adormece
        Toda féra serpente, é o Myrtho cresce.

[118] This elegy, which is here transcribed at length, is calculated to
banish every doubt respecting Ferreira’s poetic genius:--

    Vem Mayo de mil hervas, de mil flores
        As frontes coroado, e riso, e canto,
        Com Venus, com Cupido, cos Amores,
    Vença o prazer á dor, o riso ao pranto
        Vase longe daqui cuidado duro,
        Em quanto o lédo mez de Venus canto.
    Eis mais alva a menham, mais claro, e puro
        Do Sol o rayo: eis correm mais fermosas
        Nuvens afugentando o ar grosso e escuro.
    Sae a branda Diana entre as lumiosas
        Estrellas tal, qual já ao pastor fermoso
        Veo pagar mil horas saudosas.
    Mar brando, sereno ar, campo cheiroso,
        Foge a Tristeza, o Prazer folto voa,
        O dia mais dourado, e vagaroso.
    Tecendo as Graças vaõ nova coroa
        De Myrtho á mãy, ao filho mil Spritos.
        O fogo resplandece, a aljaba soa.
    Mil versos, e mil vozes, e mil gritos
        Todos de doce amor, e de brandura,
        Huns s’ouvem, huns nos troncos ficam escritos.
    Ali soberba vem a Fermosura,
        Apôs ella a Affeiçaõ cega, e cativa.
        Quanto huma mais chorosa, outra mais dura.
    Ah manda Amor assi: assi quer que viva
        Contente a triste, do que seu Deos manda,
        De seja inda mais dor, pena mais viva.
    Mas quanto o moço encruece, a mãy abranda,
        Ella a peçonha, e o fogo lhe tempéra:
        Assi senhora de mil almas anda.
    Ali o Engano em seu mal cego espera
        Hum’ hora doce: ali o Encolhimento
        Sem causa de si mesmo desespera.
    Aos olhos vem atádo a Pensamento,
        Naõ voa a mais qu’ao qu’ali tem presente,
        E em tanto mal, tudo he contentamento.
    E riso, em festa corre a léda gente,
        Tras o fermoso fogo, em que sempr’arde,
        Cada hum, quanto mais arde, mais contente.
    Manda Venus ao Sol menham, e tarde
        Que seus crespos cabellos loure, e estenda,
        Qu’em vir s’apresse, qu’em se tornar tarde.
    Ao brando Norte, que assopre, e defenda
        Do ardor da sesta a branda companhia,
        Em quanto alçam de Myrtho fresca tenda,
    Corre por toda parte clara, e fria
        Agoa: cae doce sombra do alto Louro,
        Canta toda ave canto d’alegria.
    Ella a neve descobre, e solta o ouro:
        Banham-na as Graças na mais clara fonte;
        Aparece d’Amor rico thesouro.
    Caem mil flores da dourada fronte,
        Arde d’Amor o bosque, arda a altra serra,
        Aos olhos reverdece o campo, e o monte.
    Despende Amor seus tiros, nenhum erra,
        Mil de baixo metal, algum do fino,
        Fica de seus despojos chea a terra.
    Vencida d’huma molher, e d’hum minino.

[119] The didactic epistolary character appears in the following
passage, from the elegy on _Luis Fernandez de Vasconcellos_, which is,
in other respects, exceedingly beautiful:--

    Naõ frias sombras, naõ os brandos leitos
        Altos spritos provam: que ociosos
        Se gastam, e como em cinza estaõ desfeitos.
    Melhor comprados foram, mais custosos
        Aquelles nomes altos, que inda soam,
        Dos que virtude, e esforço fez famosos.
    Inda entre nós de boca em boca voam
        De tanto tempo já os spritos puros:
        Inda de verdes folhas se coroam.
    Por duras armas, por trabalhos duros
        Varios costumes, varias gentes vendo
        Tornáram inda erguer fermosos muros.
    Hora a furia do bravo mar rompendo,
        Hora os lançava a sorte á praya imiga
        Quanto móres perigos, mais vencendo.

[120] See History of Spanish Literature, page 392.


        O nosso bom _Joam_ tambem guiado
            De seu sprito, viva em ti seguro,
        E nos mais, de quem he bem conselhado.
        Abrasan-se castellos, cae o muro
            Cansam forças, e braços, e ardidezas.
            No bom conselho só está o bom seguro.
        Do saber saõ as boas fortalezas.
            Escolhan-se bons zelos, bons spritos,
            Mais no Mundo soarám nossas grandezas.
        Aquelles claros feitos, altos ditos,
            De que os livros saõ cheos, desprezemos.
            Mores feitos ha cá, naõ taõ bem escritos.
        _Vençamos no melhor, o outro imitemos._

        _Livr. I. Cart. 2._


        Cuida melhor que quanto mais honraste,
            E em mais tiveste essa lingua estrangeira,
            Tanto a esta tua ingrato te mostraste.
        Volve, pois volve, Andrade, da carreira,
            Que errada levas (com tua paz o digo).
            Alcançarás tua gloria verdadeira.
        Te quando contra nós, contra ti imigo
            Te mostrarás? obrigue-te a razaõ,
            Que eu, como posso, a tua sombra sigo.
        As mesmas Musas mal te julgaraõ,
            Serás em odio a nós teus naturais,
            Pois, cruel, nos roubas o que em ti nos daõ.

        _Livr. I. Cart. 3._

[123] For example:--

        O bem sempre por mal, o mal por bem,
            Por virtude o mor vicio, e por prudencia
            O que menos o he, seguem, e crem.
        Ao vaõ prodigo dam magnificencia,
            Chamam o deshonesto, homem de damas,
            E louvam, e ham iveja a incontinencia.
        Aquelle, que tu bom, e prudente chamas,
            Que lança suas contas bem lançadas,
            E seu pouco falar, bom e raro amas,
        Frio, e malecioso; e o de danadas
            Entranhas, que c’um riso prazenteiro
            Encobre suas peçonhas simuladas,
        He só prudente, e canto: falso arteiro
            O que conhece bem, e sabe facer
            Differença do amigo ao lisongeiro.

        _Livr. I. Carta 5._

[124] As in the following lines:--

        Apareça a Rezaõ fermosos e bella,
            Criada em nossos peitos! Ah, que amores
            Nos nasceram tam vivos logo dellos!
        Cairan os perigos e os temores,
            O campo livre, o ceo claro e sereno
            Veremos sem trabalhos e sem dores.

        _Livr. I. Carta 7._

[125] For instance in an epistle to Andrade Caminha, which begins in
the following manner:--

    Deste meu peito saõ em teu saõ peito
        Candidissimo Andrade, vaõ seguras
        Minhas palavras chãs, meu nú conceito.
    Ivos daqui fingidas, ivos duras
        Linguas e condiçoes: pura clareza
        Saya de claros peitos, e almas puras.
    Riome, bom amigo, da estreiteza
        D’alguns curtos amigos, e da ousada
        D’outros livres errada, e vam largueza.
    Seja a amizade facil, confiada
        Doce, aprazivel, branda; mas honesta,
        Mas de sam liberdade acompanhada.

[126] This is exemplified in the epistle to his tutor Diogo de Teive.
It commences thus:--

        Prometti-te, meu Teive, á tua partida
            Mil prosas, e mil versos; e em mil mezes
            Huma carta té outra teras lida.
        Naõ sohiam mentir os Portuguezes.
            Entrou novo costume, e he ley antiga
            Romano en Roma, Francez cos Francezes.
        Quem queres que por força cá naõ siga
            A ley de terra? e mais tam bem guardada
            Dos que em mal nosso tem a fortuna amiga?
        Seja com tanto honrado desculpada
            Minha mentira: a sam nossa amizade
            Nunca esquecida foy, nunca mudada.
        Mas entaõ chea, em tam grã Cidade,
            Onde o sprito e a vista leva a gente,
            Quem póde ser senhor da sua vontade?
        Mora hum lá fóra alem do grã Vicente,
            Outro cá na Esperanças e ey de vér ambos,
            Foge inda o dia ao muito diligente.
        Pelas ruas mil cambos, mil recambos,
            Cargas vem, cargas vaõ, mil mós, mil traves,
            Hum arranca, outra foge, e encontro entrãbos.

        _Livr. II. Carta 8._

[127] The following is one of the best.

    Forjava em Lemno com destreza e arte
        Setas a Amor de Venus o marido:
    A branda Venus lhe poem mel d’huma parte,
        Mas d’outra parte lhe poem fel Cupido.
    Entrou brandindo o grossa lança Marte,
        Rio-se das setas. Queres ser ferido
    D’huma? (Amor diz) próva hora se te praz.
        Ferio-o; rio-se Venus: Marte jaz.


    Foy o cruel Pagaõ e monstruoso
    (Segundo aquellos gentes fama daõ)
    Grande, membrado, _e como usso velloso_,
    _E huma orelha de Asno, outra de caõ_.

[129] See History of Spanish Literature, p. 296.

[130] The following are the two first stanzas:--

    Quando Amor nasceo,
        Nasceo ao Mundo vida,
        Claros rayos ao Sol, luz ás estrellas.
        O Ceo resplandeceo,
        E de sua luz vencida
        A escuridaõ mostrou as cousas bellas.
        Aquella, que subida
        Está na terceira esphéra,
        Do bravo mar nascida
        Amor ao Mundo dá, doce amor géra.
    Por amor s’orna a terra
        D’agoas, e de verdura,
        As arvores dá folhas, cor ás flores.
        Em doce paz a guerra,
        A dureza em brandura.
        E mil odios converte em mil amores.
        Quantas vidas a dura
        Morte desfaz, renova:
        A fermosa pintura
        Do Mundo, Amor a tem inteira, e nova.

[131] A passage from this scene may be transcribed here:--

        _Rey._  Tristes foram teus fados, Dona Ines,
              Triste ventura a tua.

        _Cast._                       Antes ditosa
              Senhor, pois que me vejo antes teus olhos
              Em tempo tam estreito: poem-nos hora,
              Como nos outros soes, nesta coitada.
              Enche-os de piedade com justiça.
              Vens-me, Senhor, matar? porque me matas?

        _Rey._  Teus peccados te matam: cuida nelles.

        _Cast._ Peccados meus! ao menas contra ti
              Nenhum, meu Rey, me accusa. Contra Deos
              Me podem accusar muitos: mas elle ouve
              As vozes d’alma triste, em que lhe pede
              Piedade. O Deos justo, Deos benigno,
              Que naõ mata, podendo com justiça,
              Mas dá tempo de vida, e espera tempo
              Só pero perdoar: assi o fazes,
              Assi o fizeste sempre: pois naõ mudes
              Agora contra mim teu bom costuma.

        _Act IV._


    N’huma maõ livros, n’outra ferro e aço,
    N’huma maõ sempre a espada, n’outra a pena, &c.

[133] The allusion to this event occurs in the tenth canto of the
Lusiad, in which the goddess Thetis from the summit of a hill, points
out to Vasco de Gama the theatre of the future conquests of the
Portuguese. Thetis says, pointing to the coast of Camboya, but without
naming Camoens:--

    Este recevera placido e brando
    No seu regaço os Cantos, que molhados
    Vem de naufragia triste e miserando,
    Dos procellosos baixos escapados.

[134] Barbosa Machado, in his dictionary says of Camoens:--

Salvou se em huma taboa com o seu divino poema, imitando a Julio Cesar,
que no porto de Alexandria em huma maõ levava la espada e em a outra os
seus commentarios.

In order to render the miracle perfect in analogy, Dieze in his
appendix to Velasquez, has applied to Camoens these last words in which
Machado refers exclusively to Cæsar. Inadvertencies of this sort must
be expected occasionally to occur in the history of literature.

[135] The original source whence these biographic notices are derived
is, it must be admitted, somewhat obscure. About the middle of the
seventeenth century, a writer named Manoel Severim de Faria compiled
a biographical account of Camoens from the poet’s own works. This
biography served as a ground work for Manoel de Faria e Sousa,
who annexed a _Vida del Poeta_ to his edition of Camoens and his
commentaries on the Lusiad. The facts thus collected were afterwards
rectified and arranged by subsequent writers, and among others by
Barbosa Machado. Manoel de Faria attaches particular importance to the
noble extraction and armorial bearings of Camoens. He gives the passage
from the letter which the poet is said to have written on the approach
of death, and which Barbosa Machado has re-printed. The words are:--

Quem houvio dizer nunca, que em tam pequeno theatro, como o de hum
pobre leito, quisisse Fortuna representar tam grande desventura?

And again:--

Procurar resistir a tantos males, pareceria especie de

[136] The first edition of the Lusiad was printed in the year 1572, and
the poem itself was chiefly written in the East Indies. Tasso read it,
and praised the author in a sonnet which has been preserved. The first
edition of Jerusalem Delivered appeared in 1580, and consequently, a
year after the death of Camoens. (See the History of Italian Poetry and
Eloquence, vol. ii. p. 226.)

[137] Even the apology for Camoens which precedes Mickle’s version
of the Lusiad, defeats itself, for the English translator makes
the Homeric epic his standard, and in order to justify the Lusiad
misconstrues the machinery of the Iliad. The remarks on the Lusiad
by Voltaire, in his _Discours sur le poème épique_ are beneath
criticism; and the judgment pronounced on this poem by Von Junk in the
introduction to his Portuguese grammar, evinces a total want of poetic
taste. No one should attempt a translation of the Lusiad, who does
not possess an intimate acquaintance with the Portuguese language and
poetry, for it is otherwise impossible to seize the spirit of Camoens.
The English translation by Mickle is hitherto the only one in which it
can be said that at least the elegant dignity of Camoens’s style is

[138] See the History of Spanish Literature, p. 408.

[139] The edition with the commentaries of Faria e Sousa published in
the year 1636, has the old title of _Lusiadas_; but in the book itself
the poem is frequently styled the _Lusiada_. The latter title is,
therefore, far from being a recent innovation.

[140] Camoens was no doubt influenced by the recollection of Virgil’s
_Arma virumque_. But in his opening stanza the Portuguese poet alludes
to the heroes of his native country, without distinguishing any one in
particular; and thus at the very outset the Lusiad differs from the
Æneid. The second stanza resembles Ariosto. The two first stanzas are
here subjoined in the original:--

      As Armas, e os Barões assinalados,
    Que da Occidental praia Lusitana,
    Por mares nunca d’antes navegados,
    Passáram ainda além da Taprobana:
    Que em perigos e guerras esforçados,
    Mais do que promettia a força humana.
    Entre gente remota edificaram
    Novo Reino, que tanto sublimáram:
      E tambem as memorias gloriosas
    Daquelles Reis, que foram dilatando
    A Fé, o Imperio; e as terras viciosas
    De Africa, e de Asia, andaram devastando:
    E aquelles que por obras valerosas
    Se vaõ da lei da morte libertando;
    Cantando espalharei por toda parte,
    Se a tanto me ajudar o engenho, e arte.


      Jà no largo Oceano navegavam
    As inquietas ondas apartando;
    Os ventos brandamente respiravam,
    Das náos as vélas concavas inchando:
    Da branca escuma os mares se mostravam
    Cobertos, onde as proas vaõ cortando
    As maritimas aguas consagradas,
    Que do gado de Prótheo saõ cortadas.
      Quando os deoses no Olympo luminoso,
    Onde o governo está da humana gente,
    Se ajuntam em concilio glorioso
    Sobre as cousas futuras do Oriente:
    Pizando o crystallino Ceo formoso
    Vem pela Via Lactea juntamente,
    Convocados da parte de Tonante,
    Pelo neto gentil do velho Atlante.

[142] Thus, for example, the stormy commotion in the council of the
Gods is compared to the ragings and howlings of a whirlwind in the

            Qual Austro fero ou Boreas na espessura,
        De sylvestre arvoredo abastecida,
        Rompendo os ramos vaõ da mata escura,
        Com impeto, e braveza desmedida:
        Brama toda a montanha, o som murmura,
        Rompem se as folhas, ferve a serra erguida;
        Tal andava o tumulto levantado,
        Entre os deoses no Olympo consagrado.

        _Cant. I._ 36.


    Vasco da Gama, o forte capitaõ,
    Que a tamanhas emprezas se offerece,
    De soberbo e de altivo coraçaõ,
    A quem Fortuna sempre favorece.

[144] For example:--

             Comendo alegremente perguntavam,
        Pela Arabica lingua, donde vinham;
        Quem eram, de que terra: que buscavam;
        On que partes do mar corrido tinham.
        Os fortes Lusitanos lhe tornavam
        As discretas respostas que convinham:
        Os Portuguezes somos do Occidente;
        Imos buscando as terras do Oriente.

        _Cant. I._ 50.

[145] For example in the following description, which is in other
respects excellent:--

        Andam pela ribeira, alva, arenosa,
    Os bellicosos Mouros acenando,
    Com a adarga, e co’a hastea perigosa,
    Os fortes Portuguezes incitando.
    Naõ soffre muito a gente generosa
    Andarlh’os cães os dentes amostrando:
    _Qualquer em terra salta, taõ ligeiro,
    Que nenhum dizer póde que he primeiro._
        Qual no corro sanguino o ledo amante,
    Vendo a formosa dama desejada,
    O touro busca, e pondo-se diante,
    Salta, corre, sibila, acena, e brada;
    Mas o animal atroce nesse instante,
    Com a fronte cornigera inclinada,
    Bramando duro corre, e os olhos cerra,
    Derriba, fere, mata, e põe por terra.

A comparison such as this, which, it must be recollected is perfectly
national, atones for many faults.


    Mostrandose Christaõ, e fabricava
    Hum altar sumptuoso, que adorava.
        Alli tinha em retrato affigurada
    Do alto e Sancto Espiritu a pintura,
    A candida Pombinha debuxada
    Sobre a unica Phenis, Virgem pura, &c.

[147] The following stanzas are part of the description of the ascent
of Venus to heaven, and her appearance before the throne of Jupiter.

            Ouvio-lhe estas palavras piedosas
        A formosa Dióne, e commovida,
        De entre as Nymphas se vai, que saudosas
        Ficáram desta subita partida.
        Já penetra as estrellas luminosas;
        Já na terceita Esphera recebida
        Avante passa; e lá no sexto Ceo
        Par onde estava o Padre se moveo.

               *       *       *       *       *

            E por mais mormorar o soberano
        Padre, de quem foi sempre amada, e chara,
        Se lhe apresenta asi como ao Troiano
        Na selva Idea já se apresentára.
        Se a víra o caçador, que o vulto humano
        Perdeo, vendo a Diana na agua clara,
        Nunca os famintos galgos o matáram;
        Que primeiro desejos o acabáram.
            O crespos fios de ouro se esparziam
        Pelo colo, que a neve escurecia;
        Andando, as lacteas tetas lhe tremiam,
        Com quem Amor brincava, e naõ se via.

               *       *       *       *       *

        _Canto II._

[148] One of the stanzas commences as follows:--

    Eis aqui se descobre a nobre Hespanha,
    Como cabeça alli de Europa toda;

And another runs thus:--

    Eis aqui como cume da cabeça
    De Europa toda o Reino Lusitano.

[149] Cant. III. Estancia 35:--

Is this Egaz, or Egas Moniz, the same individual who is celebrated as
one of the earliest Portuguese poets? See p. 5.

[150] In these descriptions the poet invariably seizes every favourable
opportunity of introducing picturesque comparisons. Similies are indeed
crowded together as closely as in the battle pictures of the Iliad; for

            Qual co’os gritos e voces incitado,
        Pela montanha o rabido moloso,
        Contra o touro remette, que fiado
        Na força está do corno temeroso.
        Ora pega na orelha, ora no lado,
        Latindo mais ligeiro que forçoso.
        Até que em fim rompendo lhe a garganta,
        Do bravo a força horrenda se quebranta:
            Tal do Rei novo o estomago accendido,
        Por Deos, e pelo povo juntamente,
        O barbaro comette apercebido,
        Co’o animoso exército rompente.
        Levantam nisto os perros o alarido
        Dos gritos; tocam arma, ferve a gente:
        As lanças e arcos tomam; tubas sôam;
        Instrumentos de guerra tudo astrôam.
            Bem como quando a flamma, que ateada
        Foi nos áridos campos (assoprando
        O sibilante Boreas) animada
        Co’o vento o secco mato vai queimando.
        A pastoral companha, que deitada
        Co’o doce somno estava, despertando
        Ao estridor do fogo, que se atêa,
        Recolhe o fato, e foge para a aldêa:
            Desta arte o Mouro attonito e torvado,
        Toma sem tento as armas mui depressa;
        Naõ foge, mas espera confiado,
        E o ginete belligero arremessa.
        O Portuguez o encontra denodado,
        Pelos peitos as lanças lhe atravessa:
        Huns cahem meios mortos, e outros vaõ
        A ajuda convocando de Alcoraõ.

        _Canto III._ 47.

[151] This description commences as follows:--

            Entrava a formosissima Maria
        Pelos paternaes paços sublimados;
        Lindo o gesto, mas fóra de alegria,
        E seus olhos em lagrimas banhados:
        Os cabellos angelicos trazia
        Pelos eburneos hombros espalhados:
        Diante do pai lédo, que a agasalha,
        Estas palavras taes chorando espalha.
            Quantos povos a terra próduizio
        De Africa toda, gente fera, e estranha,
        O graõ Rei de Marrocos conduzio,
        Para vir possuir a nobre Hespanha.
        Poder tamanho junto naõ se vio,
        Despois que o falso mar a terra banha.
        Trazem ferocidade, e furor tanto,
        Que a vivos medo, e a mortos faz espanto.
            Aquelle que me déste por marido,
        Por defender sua terra amedrontada,
        Co’o pequeno poder offerecido
        Ao duro golpe está da Maura espada,
        E se naõ for comtigo soccorrido,
        Vêr-me-has delle, e do Reino ser privada:
        Viuva, e triste, e posta em vida escura,
        Sem marido, sem Reino, e sem ventura.

        _Cant. III._ 102. _etc._

[152] The first stanzas on the introduction of Inez or Ignez (for the
Portuguese orthography adopts the latter form of the name) are not to
be surpassed.

        Estavas, linda Ignez, posta em socego,
    De teus annos colhendo doce fruto,
    Naquelle engano da alma, lédo, e cego,
    Que a fortuna naõ deixa durar muto;
    Nos saudos campos do Mondego,
    De teus formosos olhos nunca enxuto,
    Aos montos ensinando, e ás hervinhas,
    O nome que no peito escripto tinhas.
        Do teu Principe alli te respondiam
    As lembranças que na alma lhe moravam;
    Que sempre ante seus olhos te traziam,
    Quando dos teus formosos se apartavam;
    De noite em doces sonhos que mentiam,
    De dia em pensamentos que voavam;
    E quanto em fim cuidava, e quanto via,
    Eram tudo memorias de alegria.

Among the succeeding stanzas it is difficult to make an election;
and as the specimens introduced in this work are intended to form a
collection for literary study, it is still more difficult to resist
the temptation of transcribing the whole episode. At all events the
following six stanzas must find a place:--

            Traziam-na os horrificos algozes
        Ante o Rei, já movido a piedade,
        Mas o povo com falsas e ferozes
        Razões à morte crua o persuade.
        Ella com tristes e piedosas vozes,
        Sahidas só da mágoa, e saudade
        Do seu principe, e filhos, que deixava,
        Que mais que a propria morte a magoava:
            Para o Ceo crystallino alevantando
        Com lagrimas os olhos piedosos;
        Os olhos, porque as maõs lhe estava atando
        Hum dos duros ministros rigorosos:
        E despois nos meninos attentando,
        Que taõ queridos tinha, e taõ mimosos,
        Cuja orphandade como mãi temia,
        Para o avô cruel assi dizia:
            Se já nas brutas feras, cuja mente
        Natura fez cruel de nascimento,
        E nas aves agrestes, que sómente
        Nas rapinas aerias tem o intento,
        Com pequenas crianças vio a gente,
        Terem taõ piedoso sentimento,
        Como co’a mãi de Nino já mostráram,
        E co’os irmaõs que Roma edificáram:
            O’tu, que tens de humano gesto, e o peito,
        (Se de humano he matar huma donzella
        Fraca, e sem força, só por ter sujeito
        O coraçaõ a quem soube vencella)
        A estas criancinhas tem respeito,
        Pois o naõ tens à morte escura della:
        Mova-te a piedade sua, e minha,
        Pois te naõ move a culpa que naõ tinha.
            E se vencendo a Maura resistencia
        A morte sabes dar com fogo, e ferro;
        Sabe tambem dar vida com clemencia
        A quem para perdê-la naõ fez erro.
        Mas se to assi merece esta innocencia,
        Poem-me em perpétuo e misero desterro,
        Na Scythia fria, ou lá na Libya ardente,
        Onde em lagrimas viva eternamente.

            Poem-me onde se use toda a feridade;
        Entre leões, e tigres, e verei
        Se nelles achar posso a piedade
        Que entre peitos humanos naõ achei,
        Alli co’o amor intrinseco, e vontade,
        Naquelle por quem mouro, criarei
        Estas reliquias suas que aqui viste,
        Que refrigerio sejam da mãi triste, _etc._

        _Canto III._

[153] The description of this battle, and the account of the internal
agitations of the kingdom, which preceded it, occupy a great portion of
the fourth canto.

[154] Here again the poet displays his command of beautiful imagery.
The following passage resembles the retreat of Ajax in the Iliad.

            Rompem-se aqui dos nossos os primeiros;
        Tantos dos inimigos a elles vaõ:
        Está alli Nuno, qual pelos outeiros
        De Ceita está o fortissimo leaõ,
        Que cercado se vê dos Cavalleiros,
        Que os campos vaõ correr de Tetuaõ:
        Perseguem-no co’as lanças, e elle iroso,
        Torvado hum pouca está, mas naõ medroso.
            Com torva vista os vê, mas a natura
        Ferina, e a ira, naõ lhe compadecem
        Que as costas dê, mas antes na espessura
        Das lanças se arremessa, que recrecem.
        Tal está o Cavalleiro, que a verdura
        Tinge co’o sangue alheio: alli perecem
        Alguns dos seus. Que o animo valente
        Perde a virtude contra tanta gente.

        _Canto IV._ 134. _etc._

[155] The description of the battle commences in the following
brilliant style:--

            Deo signal a trombeta Castelhana
        Horrendo, fero, ingente, e temeroso:
        Ouvio-o monte Artabro; e Guadiana
        Atraz tornou as ondas de medroso:
        Ouvio-o o Douro, e a terra Transtagana;
        Correo ao mar o Tejo duvidoso;
        E as mãis que o som terribil escuitáram,
        Aos peitos os filhinhos apertáram.

            Quantos rostos alli se vem sem côr,
        Que ao coraçaõ acode o sangue amigo;
        Que nos perigos grandes, o temor
        He maior muitas vezes que o perigo:
        E se o naõ he, parece-o; que o furor
        De offender, ou vencer o douro imigo,
        Faz naõ sentir que he perda grande, e rará,
        Dos membros corporaes, da vida chara.

            Começa-se a travar a incerta guerra;
        De ambas partes se move a primeira ala;
        Huus levam a defensão da propria terra,
        Outros as esperanças de ganhala:
        Logo o grande Pereira, em quem se encerra
        Todo o valor, primeiro se assinala;
        Derriba, e encontra, e a terra em fim semêa
        Dos que a tanto desejam, sendo alhêa.

            Já pelo espesso ar os estridentes
        Farpoens, settas, e varios tiros vôam:
        Debaixo dos pés duros dos ardentes
        Cavallos, treme a terra, os valles sôam:
        Espedaçam-se as lanças; e as frequentes
        Quêdas co’as duras armas tudo atrôam:
        Recrescem os imigos sobre a pouca
        Gente do fero Nuno, que os apouca.

        _Cant. IV._ 28. _&c._

[156] Canto IV. Estancia 69, &c.

[157] Canto IV. est. 90, &c.

[158] The old man exclaims:--

            Oh gloria de mandar! Oh vaã cobiça
        Desta vaidade, a quem chamamos fama!
        Oh fraudulento gusto, que se atiça
        Co’ huma aura popular, que honra se chama!
        Que castigo tamanho, e que justiça
        Faces no peito vaõ que muito te ama!
        Que mortes! Que perigos! Que tormentas!
        Que crueldades nelles exprimentas!
            Dura inquietaçaõ da alma, e da vida;
        Fonte de desamparos, e adulterios;
        Sagaz consumidora conhecida
        De fazendas, de Reinos, e de Imperios,
        Chamam-te illustre, chamam-te subida,
        Sendo digna de infames vituperios:
        Chamam-te fama, e gloria soberana;
        Nomes com quem se o povo nescio engana.

        _Cant. IV._ 95.

[159] This passage is one of the most celebrated in the Lusiad. It
commences with the following stanzas:--

        Naõ acabava, quando huma figura
    Se nos mostra no ar, robusta, e válida;
    De disforme e grandissima estatura,
    O rosto carregado, a barba esquálida:
    Os olhos encovados, e a postura
    Medonha, e má, e o cor terrena, e pálida,
    Cheos de terra, e crespos os cabellos,
    A boca negra, os dentes amarellos.
        Taõ grande era de membros, que bem posso
    Certificar-te, que este era o segundo
    De Rhodes estranhissimo Colosso,
    Que hum dos sete milagres foi do Mundo:
    Co’hum tom de voz nos falla horrendo, e grosso,
    Que pareceo sahir do mar profundo:
    Arrepiam-se as carnes, e o cabello,
    A mi, e a todos, só de ouvi-lo, e vello.

But a stanza still more admired, is that in which the gigantic spirit
describes his rage on discovering that he was embracing a rock, while
he fancied he held in his arms the goddess of whom he was enamoured:--

            Oh, que naõ sei de noja como o conte!
        Que crendo ter nos braços quem amava,
        Abraçando me achei co hum duro monte
        De aspero mato e de espessura brava.
        Estando co’hum penedo fronte a fronte,
        Que eu per o rosto angelico apertava,
        Naõ fiquei homem, naõ, mas mundo e quedo,
        E junto a hum penedo, outro penedo.

        _Canto V._

[160] Canto V. Estancia 35.--The recollection of this merry shipmate
seems to have been preserved among Portuguese seamen, from Vasco da
Gama’s time down to the age of Camoens.


        Entrava neste tempo e eterno lume
        No animal Nemeo truculento,
        E o mundo, que co o tempo se consume
        Na sexta idade andava inferno e lento;
        Nella vè, como tinha per costume,
        Cursos do Sol catorze veces cento,
        Com mais noventa e sete, en que corria,
        Quando no mar a armada se estendia.

        _Canto V. Est. 2._


        Algum repouso, em fim, com que pudesse
        Refocilar a lassa humanidade
        Dos navegantes seus, como interesse
        Do trabalho que encurta a breve idade.

        _Canto IX. est. 20._

[163] In quoting the commencement of this description it is difficult
to know where to stop:--

            Tres formosos outeiros se mostravam
        Erguidos com soberba graciosa,
        Que de gramineo esmalte se adornavam,
        Na formosa Ilha alegre, e deleitosa:
        Claras fontes, e limpidas manavam
        Do cume, que a verdura tem viçosa:
        Por entre pedras alvas se deriva
        A sonorosa lympha fugitiva.
            N’hum valle ameno, que os outeiros fende,
        Vinham as claras aguas ajuntar-se,
        Onde huma mesa fazem, que se estende,
        Taõ bella, quanto póde imaginar-se:
        Arvoredo gentil sobre ella pende,
        Como que prompto está para affeitar-se,
        Vendo-se no crystal resplandecente,
        Que em si o está pintando propriamente.
            Mil arvores estaõ ao Ceo subindo,
        Com pomos odoriferos, e bellos:
        A larangeira tem no fructo lindo
        A côr que tinha Daphne nos cabellos:
        Encosta-se no chaõ, que está cahindo
        A cidreira co’os pesos amarellos:
        Os formosos limões, alli cheirando,
        Estaõ virgineas tetas imitando.

        _Cant. IX._

The flowers of this enchanted garden are then described with the most
charming luxuriance.

[164] The festival commences with the following description of the
simulated flight of the nymphs when they first espy the Portuguese:--

            Sigamos estas deosas, e vejamos
        Se phantasticas saõ, se verdadeiras.
        Isto dito; velozes mais que gamos,
        Se lançam a correr pelas ribeiras,
        Fugindo as Nymphas vaõ por entre os ramos;
        Mas mais industriosas, que ligeiras,
        Pouco e pouco sorrindo, e gritos dando,
        Se deixam ir dos galgos alcançando
            De huma os cabellos de ouro o vento leva
        Correndo, e d’outra as faldas delicadas:
        Accende-se o desejo, que se ceva
        Nas alvas comes subito mostradas.
        Huma de industria cahe, e já releva
        Com mostras mais macias, que indignadas,
        Que sobre ella empecendo tambem caia
        Quem a seguio por a arenosa praia.
            Outros por outra parte vaõ topar
        Com as deosas despidas, que se lavam:
        Ellas começam subito a gritar
        Como que assalto tal naõ esperavam.
        Humas fingido menos estimar
        A vergonha, que a força se lançavam
        Nuas por entre o mato aos olhos dando
        O que ás maõs cobiçosas vaõ negando.

        _Cant. IX._


    Vaõ os annos descendo, e ja do Estio
    Ha pouco que passar até o Outono;
    A Fortuna me faz o engenho frio,
    De qual ja me naõ jacto, nem me abono.
    Os desgostos me vaõ levando ao rio
    Do negro esquecimento e eterno sono.

[166] The translator who undertakes to produce a good version of the
Lusiad, must, in the first place, adopt no other metre than that of
the original, for on the structure of the verse the style of the
poem materially depends. He must, moreover, diffuse over the whole
composition a character equally natural and dignified, and, where
mythological ornament is not introduced, perfectly simple. Finally, he
must avoid all antiquated and uncommon turns of expression; for the
language of Camoens is always elegant and modern.

[167] Manuel de Faria y Sousa was the first who started this question,
which is now generally decided against Diogo Bernardes. Notices on this
subject maybe found in the prefaces to the third and fourth volumes of
the new and elegant edition of the _Obras de Luis de Camoõe, segunda
edição da que se fez em Lisboa, nos annos 1779 e 1780_. Lisbon 1782, in
five small volumes. A mythological and historical index to the Lusiad,
though a very imperfect one, enhances the value of this edition. The
older editions of the works of Camoens are noticed by Dieze in his
appendix to Velasquez. Manuel de Faria y Sousa’s commentary on the
works of Camoens, pedantic as it is, contains some useful historical

[168] For instance the following, which certainly takes a very bold
flight, in order to place in a new point of view the marvellous beauty
of the lady to whom it is addressed:--

      Quando da bella vista, e doce riso,
    Tomando estaõ meus olhos mantimento,
    Taõ elevado sinto o pensamento,
    Que me faz ver na terra o Paraiso.
      Tanto do bem humano estou diviso,
    Que qualquer outro bem julgo por vento:
    Assi que em termo tal, segundo sento,
    Pouco vem a fazer quem perde o siso.
      Em louvar-vos, Senhora, naõ me fundo;
    Porque quem vossas graças claro sente,
    Sentirá que naõ póde conhecellas.
      Pois de tanta estranheza sois ao Mundo,
      Que naõ he de estranhar, Dama excellente,
      Que quem voz fez, fizesse Ceo, e Estrellas.

[169] Such, for example, is the romantic reminiscence of the fourteen
years service of the patriarch Jacob. This sonnet is particularly
esteemed, and has been glossed by other poets.

      Sete annos de Pastor Jacob servia
    Labaõ, pai de Raquel, Serrana bella,
    Mas naõ servia ao pai, servia a ella,
    Que a ella só por premio pertendia
      Os dias na esperança de hum só dia
    Passava, contentando-se com vella:
    Porém o pai, usando de cautella,
    Em lugar de Rachel lhe deo a Lia.
      Vende o triste Pastor que com enganos,
    Assi lhe era negada a sua Pastora,
    Como se a naõ tivera merecida;
      Começou a servir outros sete annos,
    Dizendo: Mais servíra, senaõ fora
    Pera taõ longo amor taõ curta a vida.

[170] Can any thing more strongly resemble Petrarch, both in spirit and
style than the following stanza? The whole cançaõ is, however, imitated
from Bembo.

        Hum naõ sei que suave respirando
    Causava hum desusado, e novo espanto,
    Que as cousas insensiveis o sentiam:
    Porque as garrulas aves entretanto
    Vozes desordenadas levantando
    Como eu em meu desejo, se encendiam.
    As fontes crystillinas naõ corriam,
    Inflammadas na vista clara, e pura:
    Florecia a verdura,
    Que andando, co’os ditosos pès tocava:
    As ramas se baixavam,
    Ou de inveja das hervas que pizavam,
    Ou porque tudo ante elles se baixava.
    O ar, o vento, o dia,
    De espiritos continuos influia.

[171] The following is a specimen of a lyric description of morning in
a lover’s taste:--

        Já a roxa manhãa clara
    As portas do Oriente vinha abrindo,
    Dos montes descobrindo
    A negra escuridaõ da luz avara.
    O Sol, que nunca pára,
    Da sua alegre vista saudoso,
    Traz ella presuroso
    Nos cavallos cansados do trabalho,
    Que respiram nas hervas fresco orvalho,
    Se estende claro, alegre, e luminoso.
    Os passaros voando,
    De raminho em raminho vaõ saltando;
    E com suave, e doce melodia
    O claro dia estaõ manifestando.
        A manhãa bella, amena,
    Seu rosto descobrindo, a espessura
    Se cobre de verdura
    Clara, suave, angelica, serena.
    Oh deleitosa pena!
    Oh effeito de amor alto, e potente!
    Pois permitte, e consente,
    Que ou donde quer que eu ande, ou donde esteja,
    O seraphico gesto sempre veja,
    Por quem de viver triste sou contentes,
    Mas tu, Aurora pura,
    De tanto bem dá graças à ventura,
    Pois as foi pôr em ti taõ excellentes,
    Que representes tanta formosura.


        Detém hum pouco, Musa, o largo pranto
    Que amor te abre do peito;
    E vestida de rico, e lédo manto,
    Demos honra, e respeito,
    A’quella, cujo objeito
    Todo o Mundo allumía,
    Trocando a noite escura em claro dia.
        O’Delia, que a pezar da nevoa grossa,
    Co’os teus raios de prata,
    A noite escura fazes que naõ possa
    Encontrar o que trata,
    Eo que na alma retrata
    Amor por teu divino
    Raio, porque endoudeço, e desatino.
        Tu, que de formosissimas estrellas
    Coròas, e rodêas
    Tua candida fronte, e faces bellas;
    E os campos formosêas
    Co’as rosas que semêas,
    Co’as boninas que gera
    O teu celeste humor na Primavera.


        Secreta noite, amiga, a que obedeço,
    Estas rosas (por quanto
    Meus queixumes me ouviste) te offereço,
    E este fresco amaranto,
    Humido inde do pranto
    E lagrimas da esposa
    Do cioso Titam, branca e formosa.

[174] The first of these elegies commences very much like versified
prose, and in a manner which would scarcely induce the reader to
suppose he was perusing even the opening of an epistle. The spirit of
the composition does not begin to manifest itself until the sixteenth

        O Poeta Simonides fallando
    Co’o Capitam Themistocles hum dia,
    Em cousas de sciencia praticando,
        Hum’ arte singular lhe promettia,
    Que entaõ compunha, com que lhe ensinasse
    A lembrar-se de tudo o que fazia;
        Onde taõ subtis regras lhe mostrasse,
    Que nunca lhe passassem da memoria
    Em nenhum tempo as cousas que passasse.
        Bem merecia, certo, fama, e gloria,
    Quem dava regra contra o esquecimento
    Que sepulta qualquer antigua historia.
        Mas o Capitam claro, cujo intento
    Bem differente estava, porque havia,
    Do passado as lembranças, por tormento;
        Oh illustre Simonides! (dizia)
    Pois tanto em teu engenho te confias,
    Que mostras á memoria nova via;
        Se me désses hum’ arte, que em meus dias
    Me naõ lembrasse nada do passado,
    Oh quanto melhor obra me farias!

[175] The following passage, which is from the beautiful fifth elegy,
must not be omitted in this collection:--

        Oh bemaventurado seja o dia
    Em que tomei taõ doce pensamento,
    Que de todos os outros me desvia!
        E bemaventurado o soffrimento
    Que soube ser capaz de tanta pena,
    Vendo que o foi da causa o entendimento.
        Faça-me quem me mata, o mal que ordena,
    Trate-me com enganos, desamores;
    Que entaõ me salva quando me condena.
        E se de taõ suaves desfavores,
    Penando vive hum’ alma consumida,
    Oh que doce penar! Que doces dores!
        E se huma condição endurecida
    Tambem me nega a morte por meu dano,
    Oh que doce morrer! Que doce vida!

[176] The principal idea of this song of sorrow, the beauties of which
are perfectly national, is the comparison of the present and the past
in the situation of the poet, with an imaginary Babylon and Sion. Sion
represents the past. The first half of the poem affords no anticipation
of the nature of the second half:--

    Sobre os rios, que vaõ
        Por Babylonia me achei,
        Onde sentado charei
        As lembranças de Siaõ,
        E quanto nelle passei.
        Alli o rio corrente
        De meus olhos foi manado,
        E todo bem comparado,
        Babylonia ao mal presente,
        Siaõ ao tempo passado.

Among the most beautiful stanzas are those in which the poet celebrates
the power of song in sorrow, and the limits of that power.

        Canta o caminhante lédo,
    No caminho trabalhoso,
    Por entre o espesso arvoredo,
    E de noite o temeroso
    Cantando refrê a o medo.
    Canta o preso docemente,
    Os duros grilhões tocando;
    Canta o segador contente;
    E o trabalhador cantando,
    O trabalho menos sente.
        Eu que estas cousas senti
    N’alma, de mágoas taõ chêa,
    Como dirá, respondi,
    Quem alheo está de si,
    Doce canto em terra alhêa?
    Como poderá cantar
    Quem em choro banha o peito?
    Porque, se quem trabalhar,
    Canta por menos cansar,
    Eu só descansos engeito.
        Que naõ parece razaõ
    Nem seria cousa idonia,
    Por abrandar a paixaõ,
    Que cantasse em Babylonia
    As cantigas de Siaõ,
    Que quando a muita graveza,
    De saudade quebrante
    Esta vital fortaleza,
    Antes morra de tristeza,
    Que por abrandá-la cante.

[177] See page 30.

[178] For example:--

              Verdes saõ os campos,
          De côr e limaõ:
          Assi saõ os olhos
          De meu coraçaõ.

        Campo, que te estendes
    Com verdura bella;
    Ovelhas, que nella
    Vosso pasto tendes;
    De hervas vos mantendes,
    Que traz o Veraõ,
    E eu das lembranças
    Do meu coraçaõ,
        Gados, que passeis
    Com contentamento,
    Vosso mantimento
    Naõ o entendeis.
    Isso que comeis,
    Naõ saõ hervas, naõ
    Saõ graça dos olhos
    Do meu coraçaõ.

[179] For example:--

                Na fonte está Leonor,
            Lavanda a talha, e chorando,
            Ás amigas perguntando:
            Vistes lá o meu amor?

        Posto o pensamento nelle,
    Porque a tudo o amor a obriga,
    Cantava, mas a cantiga
    Eram sospiros por elle.
    Nisto estava Leonor
    O seu desejo enganando,
    Ás amigas perguntando:
    Vistes lá o meu amor?
        O rosto sobre huma maõ,
    Os olhos no chaõ pregados,
    Que do chorar já cansados,
    Algum descanso lhe daõ,
    Desta sorte Leonor
    Suspende de quando em quando
    Sua dor; e em si tornando,
    Mais pezada sente a dor.
        Naõ deita dos olhos agoa,
    Que naõ quer que a dor se abrande
    Amor, porque em mágoa grande
    Sécca as lagrimas a mágoa
    Que despois de seu amor
    Soube novas perguntando,
    D’ improviso a vi chorando
    Olhai que extremos de dor!

[180] That a short specimen of Camoens’s dramatic style may not be
wanting in this collection of examples, a passage is here subjoined
from a scene which is intended to be jocular. Duriano is a spruce
country lover, and Solina is his town-bred mistress.

        _Dur._   O que vos quero m’ engana,
               Mas o que desejo naõ.
               Naõ ha aqui senaõ paredes,
               As quaes naõ fallam, nem vem.

        _Solin._ Está isso muito bem.
               Bem e vós, Senhor, naõ vedes,
               Que poderá vir alguem,

        _Dur._   Que vos custam dous abraços?

        _Solin._ Naõ quero tantos despejos.

        _Dur._   Pois que faraõ meus desejos,
               Que querem ter-vos nos braços
               E dar-vos trezentos beijos?

        _Solin._ Olhai que pouca vergonha!
               Hi-vos di, boca de praga.

        _Dur._   Eu naõ sei certo a que ponha
               Mostrardes-me a triaga,
               E virdes-me a dar peçonha.

        _Solin._ Ora ide rir á feira,
               E naõ sejas dessa laia.

        _Dur._   Se vedes minha canseira,
               Porque lhe naõ dais maneira?

        _Solin._ Que maneira?

        _Dur._   A da saia.

        _Solin._ Por minha alma, hei de vos dar
               Meia duzia de portadas.

        _Dur._   Oh que gostosas pancadas!
               Mui bem vos podeis vingar,
               Que em mim saõ bem empregadas.

        _Solin._ Ao diabo, que o eu dou.
               Como me doeo a maõ!

        _Dur._   Mostrai cá, minha affeiçaõ,
               Que essa dor me magoou
               Dentro no meu coraçaõ.

        _Filodemo_, Act. II.

[181] See preceding vol. p. 217.

[182] See present vol. p. 33.

[183] See preceding vol. p. 258.

[184] The different editions of the _Cancionero_, or the collection of
the miscellaneous poems of Montemayor, are noticed by Barbosa Machado,
under the head _Jorge de Montemayor_.

[185] This neat edition is entitled, _Poezias de Pedro de Andrade
Caminha, mandadas a publicar pela real Academia das Sciencias de
Lisboa_, _Lisb._ 1791, in 8^o. The preface contains the history of the
discovery of these poems, and notices of the manuscript copies of them
which are contained in different libraries.

[186] In his second epistle he thus addresses his own book, that is to
say, his collection of poems:--

    Cuidará, Livro, alguem que te dezejo
        Azas, com que por tudo vás voando
        E enchas o Mundo do que sinto, e vejo.
    Ciudará que te quero hir procurando
        Que sejas entre todos bem ouvido
        E que a teu nome os vás afeiçoando.
    Mas eu, Livro naõ sou descomedido;
        Conheço-te, e sei bem que o naõ mereço,
        Que nunca fui das Muzas conhecido.
    Sempre as ouvi de longe, só conheço
        Que as deve dezejar todo alto esprito,
        Que dezeja no Mundo hum alto preço.

[187] For example, he thus addresses himself to Ferreira as a friend
and pupil:--

        Antonio, quando vejo o ingenho raro,
            O puro esprito que nos vás mostrando,
            O estilo facil, alto, limpo e claro,
        Vejo que vás em tudo renovando
            Aquella antiguidade, que inda agora
            Com grande nome, e fama está espantando.
        Vejo em ti sempre maravilhas, hora
            Cantes da viva, da amorosa chamma
            Que um’ Alma faz captiva, outra senhora;
        Ou nos mostres do que baixamente ama
            Amores em baixezas só fundados,
            Destruidores máos da limpa fama;
        Hora sejam teus versos entoados
            O’ som da doce frauta, a cujo som
            Forom os do gram Titiro cantados.

        _Epist. IX._

[188] To such critics he very properly says:--

        O espirito que nom voa, nem atina
            O bem, ou mal do que se canta, e escreve,
            Quando bem, ou mal julga desatina.
        Se dá razaõ, mais fria a dá que neve,
            Sem fundamento louva, e assi reprova,
            Qu’ em juizo appressado á razaõ leve.
        A reprensaõ no mundo nom é nova,
            Mas quem melhor entende, mais d’espaço
            O máo reprende, ou o melhor approva.
        Tem as lingoas agudas mais que d’aço
            Estes que querem ser graves censores,
            Se lhes armas, caem logo em qualquer laço.
        Juízos vaõs, indontos reprensores,
            Nom sofrem as Musas ser assi tratadas,
            Nem recebem de vós inda louvores.

        _Epist. XVII._

[189] The following is the commencement of an elegy on Winter, which
was probably intended as a companion to Ferreira’s elegy on May:--

    Apos o Veram brando, o Inverno duro
        Começa triste, e cheo de asperezas,
        Importuno, pezado, frio, e escuro.
    Entra o tempo com furias, e bravezas
        Na terra, n’agoa, no ar faz movimentos
        Que ameaçaõ mil danos, e tristezas.
    Revolvem tudo os furiosos ventos,
        E parece que tem aspera guerra
        Uns com outros os grandes elementos.
    Mais pezada se torna, e grave a terra
        E tudo quanto de antes produzia
        Nega, e dentro em si mesma esconde, e encerra.
    O que hora ós olhos mostra, o que hora cria,
        Tojos, espinhos, cardos, o seccura,
        Tudo alheo de graça, e d’alegria.
    Cessou aquella varia fermosura
        De differentes rosas, varias flores
        De que se ornaõ as plantas, e a verdura.
    Das fontes nom taõ claros as liquores
        Correm, como corriaõ; turvo é tudo;
        Tem as aves silencio em seus amores.

[190] The following epitaph on Queen Maria is none of the most

    Filha de Reys, e may, e irmã; e tia,
        Avó de Reys, e de tudo isto dina,
    De qual outra outro tanto se diria
        Como dest’ alta Rainha já divina?
    Mulher de _Manoel_, grande _Maria_,
        Por quem todo alto esprito inda s’ensina.
    E pode com tudo isto a ley da Morte
        Darlhe esta estreita sepultura em sorte.

[191] As in the following epitaph on Prince Dom Duarte:--

    _Duarte_ foy, filho de _Joaõ_ Terceiro
        Este que aqui debaixo está encerrado.
    Do Pay em tudo filho verdadeiro,
        Na flor da idade da morte cortado.
    Pouco viveo, inuito mostrou primeiro,
        Com que de todos era bem amado.
    Mostrouse tarde, mas foy tam sentido,
        Como que sempre fora conhecido.


    Um corpo aqui se guarda governado
        Em outro tempo d’um tam claro Esprito:
    Que nunca poderá ser igualado
        D’ humano canto, ou de mortal escrito.
    _Affonso d’Albuquerque_ foi chamado,
        De quem levanta a Fama immortal grito:
    De Reis vem, Reis honrou, a Reis venceo,
        E de seu nome a todo mundo encheo.


    Aqui _Ferreira_ jaz, aqui _Ferreira_
        De mil, e mil amigos é chorado.
    E seu nome com fama verdadeira
        De mil, e mil espritos é cantado.
    Da Morte, no chegar sempre ligeira,
        Da vida antes de tempo foy levado.
    Seu corpo aqui, su Alma está na Gloria,
        Seu nome em todo mundo, e sua memoria.

[194] As in the epigrammatic description of Echo, or the transformed
nymph of that name:--

        Para mim nom, para outros tenho vida;
    Nom tendo corpo, occupo grandes valles;
    Nom tenho propria voz, e som ouvida;
    Nom ouvindo, respondo a bens, e males;
    Sem nunca vista ser, som conhecida;
    Lugar proprio nom tenho, e em muitos ando.
    Nisto fui transformada de improviso
    Do Amor, que a meu amor nunca foi brando.
    Foi meu nome Echo, e meu Amor _Narcizo_.
    E minha morte, a morte de _Narcizo_.

[195] In one of the epigrams he thus speaks of the wounds of love:--

        Toda chaga no peito é perigosa,
    Mortal no coraçaõ toda ferida.
    Pois como nelles deixa a venenosa
    Setta o Amor duro, e faz que dure a vida?
    Porque assim duramente o Amor ordena,
    Que dure a vida, porque dure a pena.

[196] For example, the following on a nosegay:--

        Ditosas, bem nacidas, brandas flores,
    D’uns olhos vistas, d’umas maõs tocadas,
    Que em suavidade, e cheiro, graça, e cores
    Vos teraõ cora vantajem conservadas:
    Das Graças, e do Amor e dos Amores
    Com rezaõ sereis sempre acompanhadas;
    E o vosso fermosissimo concerto,
    Trará toda Alma em grande desconcerto.

[197] The following is on an eccentric poet:--

        Dizes que o bom Poeta á de ter furia;
    Se nom á de ter mais, és bom Poeta.
    Mas se o Poeta á de ter mais que furia,
    Tu nom tens mais que furia de Poeta.

[198] The article _Diogo Bernardes_ in Barbosa Machado’s Lexicon of
learned men, is very honourable to Bernardes; and this writer is
mentioned in terms of still higher commendation in the biographical
preface to the new edition of Ferreira’s poems. (See p. 114 of the
present vol.) Barbosa Machado also gives notices of the old editions of
the various works of this poet, who is scarcely known on this side of
the Pyrenees even by name.

[199] _Varias rimas ao bom Jesus, e à virgem gloriosa sua mái, &c. Com
outras mais do honesta e proveitosa liçam. Por Diogo Bernardes, natural
de Ponte de Lima. Lisboa, 1770, 1 vol. octavo._ This new edition
proves that the recollection of Bernardes has been again revived among
the Portuguese public, and also that poetic works of devotion are still
well received in Portugal.

[200] The two following opening stanzas of a hymn by Bernardes to the
Virgin, are only a higher kind of litany:--

        Oh Virgem, das mais Sanctas a mais Sancta,
    Do inconstante mar fiel estrella,
    Porta do Paraiso, estrada, e guia,
    Volvei os olhos bellos, Virgem bella,
    Vede tanta estreiteza, magoa tanta,
    Quanta com magoa choro a noute, e o dia.
    Naõ me dexeis sumir, doce Maria,
    Neste profundo pego;
    Porque povo tam cego,
    Como se ri de mi, de vós naõ ria,
    E salba que deixastes castigarme
    Por gram peccador ser,
    E naõ por naõ poder do seu livrarme.
        Oh Virgem d’humildade, e graça chea,
    Que converteis em riso o triste pranto,
    Da triste miseravel vida nossa;
    Como vos cantarei alegre canto
    Cativo, sem repouso, em terra alheia,
    Entre barbara gente imiga vosso?
    Desatai vós esta cadea grossa,
    Que meus erros sem fim
    Forjaraõ para mim,
    Porque solto por vós, cantar vos possa
    Na ribeira do Lima sem receo,
    (Oh Madre de _Jesus_)
    Naõ de turvo Lucuz, de sangue cheo.

[201] The following is one of these romantic spiritual sonnets:--

    Oh Virgem bella, e branda, quem já vira
        Este coraçaõ meu tam inflammado
        Em vosso doce amor, que outro cuidado,
        Outro querer em si naõ consentira!
    Oh quem azas me dera que sobira,
        Das affeições humanas desatado,
        A tam seguro, e venturoso estado,
        Onde em vaõ naõ se chora, nem suspira.
    Em tanto como póde desejarvos
        Sem culpa, quem reparte o seu desejo,
        Todo devido a vós sem falar nada?
    Tal vos vejo, Senhora, e tal me vejo,
        Que sei de mi que naõ mereço amarvos,
        Merecendo vós só de ser amada.

[202] They are in this manner added to the new edition of the _Rimas ao
bom Jesus_, already mentioned.

[203] The following is a passage from one of these elegies. Bernardes
addresses the shades of the friends who fell by his side in the
unfortunate battle:--

    Oh amigos, com quem m’aventurei,
        Com quem fui sem ventura aventureiro,
        Sempre, pois vos perdi, triste serei.
    Sendo no fero assalto companheiro,
        A vós pos-vos no Ceo o fim da guerra,
        A mim em miseravel cativeiro.
    Bem vedes qual o passo nesta serra,
        Inda que naõ he justo que vejais
        Terra, que vos negou tam pouca terra;
    Terra, que quanto nella choro mais,
        Tanto mais com meu choro se endurece,
        E menos move a dôr seus naturais.
    Tudo, o que nella vejo, m’entristece,
        Triste me deixa o Sol em transmontãdo,
        Triste me torna a ver quando amanhece.
    Sempre com humor triste estou banhado
        O pé deste soberbo alto rochedo,
        Que minha dôr está accrescentando.

[204] For example, a moral composition of this kind, which commences

        Alma minha, oh alma
    De ti esquecida
    Porque das á vida
    De ti mesma a palma?
        Ella te maltrata,
    Tu tras ella corres:
    Porque tanto morres
    Pelo que te mata?
        Quanto se deseja,
    Quanto se procura,
    Doulhe que se veja,
    Que val, ou que dura?
        Naõ sei donde vem
    Desconcerto tal,
    Trocar certo bem
    Por mui certo mal.

[205] In one of these epistles he attributes all the poetic merit which
his poetry may possess, to the instructions of Ferreira:--

    Se me naõ dera ao Mundo em taõ ditosos
        Annos, de mim que fora? que por ti
        Espero de ter nome entre os famosos.
    Por mim nunca subira, onde subi,
        Meu nome com a vida s’acabára,
        O Mundo naõ soubera se nasci.
    Confesso dever tudo aquella rara
        Doutrina tua, que me quiz ser guia
        Do celebrado monte a fonte clara.
    E por te dever mais, se a luz do dia
        Te parecer, que saiaõ meus escritos,
        Na tua pena está sua valia.

[206] It is reprinted as a supplement to the new edition of Ferreira’s

[207] See preceding vol. p. 406.

[208] Barbosa Machado gives a catalogue of the writings of Cortereal.

[209] Barbosa Machado enumerates the titles of the comedies of Ferreira
de Vasconcellos. I have had no opportunity of perusing them myself.

[210] These scanty notices are furnished by Niclas Antonio and
Barbosa Machado. Dieze has collected from the same sources the
particulars respecting Rodriguez Lobo, which are contained in his
appendix to Velasquez. The works of this poet, are published under the
inappropriate title of _Obras_ politicas, moraes _e metricas do insigne
poeta Portuguez Francisco Rodriguez Lobo, &c. Lisboa_, 1723, in one
neatly printed folio volume. But even this edition which was intended
to revive the recollection of one of the best Portuguese poets,
contains no account of that poet’s life.

[211] Perto da Cidade principal da Lusitania está huma graciosa Aldea,
que com igual distancia fica situada à vista do mar Oceano, fresca no
Veram, com muytos favores da naturesa, et rica no Estio, et Inverno com
os frutos, et commodidades, que ajudam a passar a vida saborosamente;
porque com a vesinhança dos portos do mar por huma parte, et da outra
com a communicaçam de huma ribeyra, que enche os seus vales, et
outeyros de arvoredos, et verdura, tem em todos os tempos de anno, o
que em differentes lugares costuma buscar a necessidade dos homens: et
por este respeyto foy sempre o sitio escolhido, para desvio da Corte,
et voluntario desterro do trafego della: dos Corlesaõs que alli tinham
quintas, amigos, ou heranças que costumaõ ser valhacouto dos excessivos
gastos da Cidade; &c.

[212] Entre outros homens, que naquella companhia se achavam, eraõ
nella mais costumados em anoytecendo; hum letrado, que alli tinha
hum casal, et que já tivera honrados cargos do governo da Justiça na
Cidade, homem prudente, concertado na vida, douto na sua profiçam, et
lido nas historias da humanidade. Hum Fidalgo mancebo, inclinado ao
exercicio da caça, et muyto afeyçoado às cousas da Patria, em cujas
historias estava bem visto. Hum Estudante de bom engenho, que entre
os seus estudos se empregava algumas veses nos da Poesia. Hum velho
naõ muyto rico, que tinha servido a hum dos Grandes da Corte, com cujo
galardaõ se reparara naquelle lugar, homem de boa criaçam, et alem de
bem entendido, notavelmente engraçado no que dizia, et muyto natural
de huma murmuraçam que ficase entre o couro et a carne, sem dar ferida

[213] The delicacy with which one of the party apologizes for the
ill-breeding of his servant, possesses at least the merit of not being

E eu (respondeo elle) se vos naõ encontrara, ainda naõ tinha entendido
o vosso moço, porque de màneyra embaraçou o que me mandaveis dizer,
que nem por discrição pude tirar o recado; nem vos desfaçais delle
para os que forem de importancia, que val a peso de ouro; a isto se
começaraõ todos a rir, et tornou Solino: O meu moço, Senhor D. Julio,
tem disculpa em ser nescio, porque he meu moço, que se soubera mais,
eu o servira a elle. Mas os criados dos grandes, como vos, esses ande
ser discretos, pois saõ taõ bons como eu, et com tudo eu vos sey dizer
que hà aqui moço que no dar hum recado o podera fazer como ao que là
mãdey, que naõ he dos peores da sua ralé et já entremete de ler carta
mãdadeyra, mas nos recados ainda agora lè por nomes, et naõ acerta a
nenhuma cousa.

[214] As in the following reasoning concerning the fashionable
education of young men of rank at court.

Quatro maneyras de exercicios ha na Corte, que para todas as cousas
civis fazem hum homem politico, cortez, et agradavel aos outros. A
primeyra he o trato dos Principes, et a communicaçaõ das pessoas que
andaõ junto a elle: nesta consiste o principal do a que chamamos Corte,
que he conhecimento daquelle supremo tribunal da terra, do Rey, ou
Principe a quem pertence mandar, como a todos os inferiores obedecer
na conformidade das leys porque se governaõ. Tras isto o estado,
et serviço do mesmo Rey, et dos seus, a obediencia, a cortesia, a
inclinaçaõ, a mesura, a discrição no fallar, a policia no vestir, o
estylo no escrever, a confiança no apparecer, a vigilancia no servir, a
gentileza, et bizarria que para os lugares publicos se requere. O trato
do Principe no Paço, na mesa, no conselho, na caça, nos caminhos, et
occasiones, como se grangeaõ os validos, se visitaõ os Grandes, et como
se haõ de haver os cortesaõs para cõmunicar a huns et outros.

[215] The commencement of one of the stories which are interspersed
through this book may be transcribed here:--

Na Corte do Emperador de Alemanha Oton terceyro deste nome, que foy
a mais florente et frequentada de Princepes, que houve muytos annos
antes, et despois naquelle Imperio, assistio com grande satisfaçaõ
de suas partes, Aleramo filho do Duque de Saxonia, mancebo de pouca
idade, et de muyta gentilesa, magnanimo, esforçado, liberal, et tam
cheyo de graças naturaes, que nelle como em hum thesouro, parece
que as depositàra todas a naturesa. Tinha o Emperador hum filha da
mesma idade, et de tanta fermosura, que sem o que a sorte devia a seu
nascimento, merecia ter o Imperio do mundo; et se em bellesa tinha esta
ventagem a todas as Damas de Alemanha, ainda lha fazia muy to mayor na
descrição, aviso, et galantaria.

[216] See p. 34.

[217] For example:--

Pela parte por onde vem decendo o rio Lis, antes de chegar aos
espaçosos valles, que com sua corrente vay regando, toma hum estreyto
caminho entre altos arvoredos, aonde com profundo se detem atè chegar
á queda de huma alta penedia, et alli repartidas as agoas, medrosas
vaõ fugindo por entre as raizes de amargosas novigueyras, outras
offerecendose aos penedos com saudoso som estaõ nelles quebrando, et
depois ficaõ derramadas em dous ribeyros, o mayor depois de muytas
voltas se vay a encontrar primeyro com as agoas de que se apartou
entre altos ciprestes, et loureyros. O outro ao voltar de hum valle se
vay encostando a huma alta rocha por bayxo de espessas aveleyras, et
esperando as agoas humas pelas outras descobrem a boca de huma lapa
encuberta entre huns ramos, que vay por bayxo do chaõ huma legoa,
et nesta havia fama, que vivia hum sabio de muyta idade, que por
encantamento a fabricára, &c.

[218] The following are the commencing stanzas of this song:--

        Ja nasce o bello dia
    Principio do veraõ fermoso e brando,
    Que com nova alegria
    Estaõ denunciando,
    As aves namoradas
    Dos floridos raminhos penduradas.
        Jà abre a bella Aurora
    Com nova luz as portas do Oriente,
    E mostra a linda Flora
    O prado mais contente,
    Vestido de boninas,
    Aljofradas de gotas cristalinas.
        Jà o Sol mais fermoso
    Està ferindo as agoas prateadas,
    E Zefiro queyxoso
    Hora as mostra encrespadas
    A vista dos penedos,
    Hora sobre ellas move os arvoredos.
        De reluzente area
    Se mostra mais fermosa a rica prata,
    Cuja riba se arrea
    Do alemo, et da faya,
    Do freyxo, et do salgueyro,
    Do ulmo, da aveleyra, et do loureyro.

[219] For instance, at the close of a beautiful cançaõ, which a
shepherd sings in his solitude.

    Porem, se sonha fora
        Como este prado e valle inda apparece,
        Estas ramos sombrios, este onteiro,
        Que mostram ainda agora
        A verdura das folhas, que escurece
        A falta do seu sol, como primeiro?
        Como naõ foi ligeiro
        O monte, a valle, as plantas e a verdura
        Tras sua formosura!
        Porque era todo agreste;
        Solo que ella levava, era celeste.

[220] For example:--

    Passa o bem como sombra, et na memoria
        He mayor quanto foy mais desejado;
        A pena ensina a conhecer a gloria,
        Naõ se conhece o bem senaõ passado.
        Em mim o caso soube desta historia,
        E no que mostrou ja meu cuydado,
        Vejo no que naõ vejo, et no que via,
        Quaõ pouco tempo dura huma alegria,
    Quanto melhor me fora se naõ vira
        Hum enganoso, et vaõ contentamento,
        Que ainda que faltarme alli sentira,
        Era muyto menor o sentimento.
        Mas vio minha alma o bem porque suspira,
        Foy traz elle seguindo o pensamento,
        Que como era novel, naõ conhecia
        Quam pouco tempo dura huma alegria.

[221] As in the following pleasing sonnet:--

    Agoas, que penduradas desta altura
        Cahis sobre os penedos descuydadas,
        Aonde em branca escuma levantadas
        Offendidas mostrais mais fermosura;
    Se achais essa dureza tam segura,
        Para que porfiais aguas cansadas?
        Ha tantos annos ja desenganadas,
        E esta rocha mais aspera, et mais dura.
    Voltay a traz por entre os arvoredos,
        Aonde os camenhareis com liberdade,
        Atè chegar ao fim tam desejado.
    Mas ay que saõ de amor estes segredos,
        Que vos naõ valerà propria vontade,
        Como a mim naõ valeo no meu cuidado.


    Sae o Sol desejado,
        Dà aos campos a cor, o ser ao dia,
        O pasto ao manso gado.
        Correndo vem traz elle a noyte fria,
        Onde jà sua luz naõ resplandece,
        E alli quando amanhece
        Nos deyxe conhecer,
        Que para aparecer desaparece.
    Hum dia vay fugindo,
        E o que corre traz elle nos alcança,
        E todos se vaõ rindo
        De meu engano vaõ, minha esperança,
        Que por mais que a ventura me desvia,
        Vivo nesta porfia,
        Segundo meus enganos,
        Esperando em mil annos hum só dia.

[223] They must be transcribed here at length, for fragments would not
afford an idea of their spirit. It would be difficult to find any more
tender sports of fancy of this kind.

_Reposta de Ardenio à pergunta primeyra._

          Quem ama sem esperança,
          Se ama mais perfeytamente?

    Ninguem ama sem querer,
        Ninguem quer sem esperar,
        O que ama, espera, et quer,
        Poderà nunca alcançar,
        Mas sempre ha de pertender.
    Se a era lhe falta à planta,
        Em cujo tronco se arrime,
        Nem cresce, nem se alevanta,
        Que em fim naõ tem força tanta,
        Que se levante, et sublime.
    E se a amor lhe faltàra
        Esperança, que o sustente,
        Na raiz propria se cura,
        E inda naõ sey se brotàra,
        Ou se afogára a semente.
    De sorte que em qualquer peyto,
        Sem esperança ou favor
        De seu desejado objecto,
        Naõ só falta Amor perfeyto,
        Mas falta de todo Amor.

_Reposta da pastora Dinarea à mesma pergunta._

    Amor, que a proprio respeyto
        Todo o dezejo offerece
        Só por seu gosto, ou proveyto,
        Naõ se chame amor perfeyto,
        Antes perfeyto interesse.
    Amor he somente amar,
        Este he seu meyo, et seu fim,
        E o que pretende alcançar,
        Nem se ha de lembrar de sim,
        Nem do que pode esperar.
    O que he verdadeyro amante
        Naõ se funda na esperança,
        Só seu querer poem diante,
        E se por ventura alcança,
        Sem ventura he mais constante.
    Quando n’alma huma bellesa
        Mostra seu rayo invencivel,
        E amor seu preço, et grandeza,
        Naõ faz differente empreza
        Entre facil, et impossivel.
    E he ja cousa averiguada,
        Que somente este rigor
        Merece ante a cousa amada,
        E o que quizer mais de amor,
        Nem quer, nem mereceo nada.

[224] To these three competition songs a page or two must be devoted.
Fanciful compositions of this kind, though now out of date, are
curious; and ingenious simplicity in so elegant a form is seldom to be
met with even in romantic literature.

_Reposta de Riseo à tercera pergunta»_

            Que parentesco chegado
            Tem amor com o ciume.

    Amor como se presume
        Ouve por certa affeyçaõ,
        Hum filho da ocasiaõ,
        A que chàmaraõ Ciume.
    He igual ao pay, et mór,
        Que amor com muyta grandeza,
        Palreyro por natureza,
        Que em fim he filho de Amor.
    Vè muyto aonde quer que vay,
        Naõ voa, antes he pezado,
        E em qualquer parte tocado,
        Tem o topete da mãy.
    Vive de enganos que faz,
        E anda nelles de contino,
        E como Amor he menino,
        Tambem o filho he rapaz.
    Dà ao pay sempre mà vida,
        E assim naõ me maravilho,
        Que disconheçaõ por filho,
        Porque Amor mesmo duvida.

_Reposta de Egerio à mesma pergunta._

    Estes irmaõs desiguaes,
        Ambos de Venus nascèraõ,
        E tiranos se fizeraõ
        Do Imperio de seus pays.
    Nasceo de Vulcano cego
        O Ciume, et logo entaõ
        Tomou o cargo este irmaõ,
        A quem nunca deu socego.
    E parecia acertado
        Que hum filho que tal parece
        Da fermosura nascesse,
        E de hum pay desconfiado.
    Ambos nascem juntamente,
        E vivem fazendo dano,
        Hum com redes de Vulcano,
        Outro com seu fogo ardente.
    Seguem differente fim,
        E vivem sempre em perigo,
        Cada hum do outro inimigo,
        E acompanhaõ sempre assim.
    Mostre por prova melhor,
        Quem o contrario presume,
        Se vio Amor sem ciume,
        Ou ciume sem amor?

_Reposta de Lereno à mesma pergunta._

    Nestes dous naõ ha liança,
        Nem pode haver amizade,
        Que hum he filho da vontade,
        Outro da confiança.
    Hum de nobre, inda que agora
        Degenere do em que estava,
        Ciume he filho de escrava,
        E Amor filho de senhora.
    E claramente se apura
        Ser o outro escravo seu,
        Porque em dote se lhe deu,
        Casando co a fermosura.
    Servio de guia, et da fè
        Mil vezes falsa, et errada,
        E porque Amor naõ vè nada
        Lhe mostra mais do que vè.
    Da senhora, et do senhor
        Quem jà conheçe o costume,
        Sirvase bem do Ciume,
        Porque he escravo de Amor.

[225] The word _desenganado_ (in Spanish _desengañado_) is not so
happy an expression as the English _disenchanted_, or the German
_entzauberte_. It is the word commonly used to designate one who is no
longer enamoured. The _Desengaño_ (the _disenchantment_ in affairs of
love) is also employed by the Spanish poets as an allegorical character.

[226] See preceding vol. page 407.

[227] See page 171.

[228] Naõ estranheis ouvir rusticos filosofos e avisados Aldeaãs.--E
assim, como na arte do pintar representaõ as cores differentes o
natural de huma figura, e a forma della e substancia e attençaõ, porque
foy figurada, assim o que nesta minha naõ parecer que representa o modo
dos Pastores, attribui ao intento, que he, mostrar debaixo o seu barel
a condição dos vicios e o sossejo das virtudes, &c.

[229] See page 20.


        Mis señores romancistas
    Poetas de Lusitania,
    Que hurtastes las invenciones,
    A la lengua Castellana.
        Buelved ya vuestros papeles,
    Entregadlos a la fama,
    Que donde ay tan buenas plumas
    No es razon que falten alas.
        No veis que estan ya sin hojas
    Los laureles de Castalia,
    Que dana cada español
    Romancista, una grinalda, &c.


    No correremos tambien
        El Alhambra, el Alpuxarra,
        Do estan Daraxa y Celinda,
        Adalifa y Celidaxa?

[232] See preceding vol. page 306.

[233] See preceding vol. page 49.

[234] The _Ribeiras_ are here the streams which flow into the Mondego.
As, however, the word _ribeira_ also signifies a bank, the title of
this unimportant romance may in translation be more conveniently
expressed by the latter sense.

[235] The commencement of the tale may be transcribed here as a
specimen. It is preceded by an introductory song:--

Se alguem chorando canta, assi cantava hum pastor à vista do Rio
do Mondego, sentado sobre huma sepultura, cuja antiguidade a pezar
do tempo, et da inveja descobria a fama entre as ruynas de huns
derribados edificios na entrada de hum valle, a quem altos Cyprestes,
et outras funebras plantas faziaõ com carregadas sombras morada
eterna da tristeza. Corria o Rio alegre, et nunca tanto atras da
fermosa Arethusa o namorado Alpheo. Agora com appressado curso, por se
appartar das Ribeyras humildes, que o perseguem, mostrava seu furor na
crespa escuma, et logo desfazendoa jà livre dellas hia mais vagoroso.
Retratavaõse nelle (como em espelho) os frescos arvoredos, que de huma,
e doutra parte o assombravaõ em cerrada espessura.

[236] Let, for example, the following verses be compared with similar
passages in the works of Camoens and Rodriguez Lobo:--

    Faz o tempo hum breve ensayo
        Do bem, que em nacendo morre,
        E mostrame quanto corre
        Na ligeireza de hum rayo:
    Passa o bem, e o tempo assi,
        De hum, et doutro vivo ausente,
        E vejo, porque o perdi,
        Para lembrarme sòmente
        Aquelle tempo, que vi.
    Em quanto quiz a ventura,
        O que meus olhos naõ vem,
        Entaõ via sò meu bem,
        Mas hoje quam pouco dura!
    Faz o tempo o officio seu,
        E o bem no mal, a que venho,
        Larga experiencia deu,
        Este bem he o que naõ tenho,
        Que sò pude chamar meu.

[237] _Rebello_ is sometimes called _Rebelo_, and sometimes _Rabelo_.
And, in like manner, in his tales the names of _Justin_ and _Leonidas_
are occasionally written _Gustino_ and _Leonitas_, The _Constante
Florinda_ has been frequently printed. The edition which I have before
me was published so recently as the year 1722. There have also been
several editions of Rebello’s novels.

[238] In the preface he moralizes thus:--

Muytos servos há no Mundo, que sam servos do Mundo, os quais sò com
elle tratam seus negocios, metidos em os bosques de cuydades mundanos,
sustentando-se em os montes de pensamentos altivos: sem quererem tomar
conselho com hum livro espiritual que lhes ensine o que devem fazer.
Compadecido destes quis disfarçar exemplos, et moralidades com as
roupas de historias humanas. Para que vindo buscar recreaçam, para o
entendimento, em a elegancia das palavras, em o enredo das historias,
em a curiosidade das sentenças, et em a liçaõ das fabulas, achem
tambem e proveyto, que estam offerecendo, que he hum claro desengano
das cousas do Mundo, et fiquem livres dos perigos, a que estaõ muy
arriscados, cõ seus ruins conselhos.

[239] Thus, in describing melancholy, he with pompous gravity compares
it to sea sickness:--

Assim como os que navegaõ sobre as ondas do mar que enjoande em hum
navio, nem por se passarem a outro perdem a nauzea que os atormenta,
porque naõ nasce do lugar, senaõ dos ruins humores que em si trazem
levantados. Assim os tristes, et affligidos ainda que mudem o lugar,
nem por isso deyxa a fortuna de os perseguir; porque naõ lhes nascem
os males do lugar que deyxaõ, se naõ da fortuna que contra elles anda
levantada.--_Part II. cap, 5._

[240] See preceding vol. p. 205.

[241] _Asia de Joaõ de Barros, dos feitos que os Portuguezes fizeram
no descobrimento e conquista dos mares e terras do Oriente._ The first
edition of the first decade was published at Lisbon in the year 1553.
The whole work has been frequently printed since that period.

[242] For example, (in _Decad 1. livr._ iii. _cap. 2._) Barros
describes Columbus as visiting the King of Portugal with a malignant
joy on his return from his expedition to America, and as acting the
part of an empty boaster. But was the discoverer of America a braggart?

[243] The following is the commencement of the description of the city
of Ormus, which before the discovery of the new passage by the Cape of
Good Hope, was the mart for the merchandize of India in its progress to

A cidade Ormuz estâ situada em huma pequena ilha chamada Gerum, que
jaz quasi na garganta de dentro do estreito do mar Persio, taõ perto
da costa de terra de Persia, que averâ de huma â outra tres leguoas,
et dez da outra Arabia, et terà em roda pouco mais de tres leguoas:
toda mui esteril, et a major parte huma maneira de sal, et enyofre
sem naturalmente ter hum ramo ou herva verde. A cidade em si he mui
magnifica em edificios, grossa em trato por ser huma escala, onde
concorrem todalas mercadorias orientaes, et occidentaes a ella, et
as que vem da Persia, Armenia, et Tartaria que lhe jazem ao Norte:
de maneira, que naõ tendo a ilha em si cousa propria per carreto tem
todalas estimadas do mundo. Porque atè aguoa, cousa taõ cõmum, tirando
alguma de tres poços et cisternas, toda lhe vem da terra firme da
Persia, della em vasilhas, et outra solta em barcas cõ toda hortaliça,
verdura, fruta verde et sorodea que despende, que he em abastança: assi
da comarca a que elles chamaõ Mogostaõ, como destas ilhas que tem por
vinzinhas, Queixome, Larec, et outras com que a cidade he taõ vizosa
et abastada, que dizem os moradores della, que o mundo he hum anel, et
Ormuz huma pedra preciosa engastada nelle.--_Decada II. livr. ii. cap.

[244] Of this an excellent example is afforded in the description
of the perplexing situation in which the Portuguese were placed
at the taking of the Indian town of Calecut, when confined in the
narrow streets, and overpowered by the fatigues of the combat, they
were in danger of being forced to yield to an enemy far weaker than

E certo que era cousa digna de admiraçaõ, et pera se muito condoer de
taõ triste caso, porque contemplando obra de seiscentos homens que
seriaõ os nossos, entalados entre aquelles vallos: tanto sobrelevava
o fervor do sol, et a poeira dos pés, et trabalho que a noite passada
té aquelles oras tinhaõ sofrido, sobre toda a força do seu animo, que
naõ se podiaõ defender de até otienta Naires, que pela estrada os
perseguiaõ derribando poucos et poucos: et o que era maes miseravel, se
de cima dos vallos lançavaõ naquelle cardume dos nossos hum zarguncho,
huma seta, huma pedrada, nunca dava no chaõ, et qualquer que acurvava
os pés de todos trilhando o acabavaõ de matar. Finalmente aqui dous,
ali quatro, seis, oito, sempre foraõ caindo té que sairaõ daquella
estreiteza do vallo ao largo da cidade: a qual ainda que ardia em fogo,
menos sentiraõ o que nella andava, que aquella forno de morte, donde
vinhaõ afogados, et cegos de sede et pó. E vendo neste largo quaõ
poucos eraõ os imigos que os perseguiaõ fezeraõ rosto a elles: cõ que
converterão parte da soltura que traziaõ, em fugir, et naõ em cometer
como d’ante faciaõ.--_Dec. II. livr. 4. cap. 1._

[245] The Portuguese Public is introduced speaking, in order to
represent in a forcible way the disapprobation with which the
enterprizing spirit of the Infante Henry was at first regarded:--

Ora onde o Infante manda descobrir, he ja tanto dentro no fervor de
sol, que de brancos que os homems sam, se la for algum de nós, ficará
(se escapar) taõ negro como sam os Guineos vezinhos a esta quentura. Se
ao Infante parece que como ora achou estas duas ilhas que o tem maes
elevado neste descobrimento, póde achar outras terras hermas grossas et
fertiles como dizem que ellas sam: terras et maninhos ha no Reyno pera
romper, et a proveitar sem perigo de mar, nem despesas desordenadas.
E maes temos exemptos contrarios a esta sua opiniaõ, porque os Reyes
passados deste Reyno sempre dos Reynos alheos pera o seu trouxeraõ
gente a este a fazer novas povoações: et elle quer levar os naturaes
Portugueses a povoar terras hermas per tantos perigos, de mar, de fome
et sede, como vemos que passam os que lá vam.--_Dec. I. Livr. i. cap.

[246] He makes Antaõ Gonsalvez, a Portuguese admiral, thus address his
inferior officers:--

Amigos, nós temos feito parte daquillo a que somos inviados, que ora
carregar este navio: et dado que os servos muito mereçaõ em acabar
os mandados de quem os invia, mayor louvor será se fizermos o que o
Infante mais deseja, que he levarlhe alguma lingua desta terra. Porque
a sua tençaõ neste descobrimento, naõ he a fim da mercadoria que
levamos, mas buscar gente desta terra taõ remota da Igreja, et a trazer
ao baptismo: et depois ter com elles communicaçaõ et commercio pera
hõra et proveito do Reyno. E pois isto a todos he mui notorio, justa
cousa me parece trabalharmos por levar algum dos moradores desta terra:
porque a meu ver se Affonso Gonçalvez per esta comaria per onde este
rio vem achou gente, buscandonos bem per força devemos achar alguma
provoaçaõ, &c.--_Dec. I. livr. i. cap. 6._

[247] A continencia do seu vulto era assossegada, a palavra mança et
constante no que dizia, et sempre eraõ castas et honestas: et esta
religiaõ de honestidade guardou naõ somente em as obras, mas ainda nos
vestidos, trajos de sua pessoa, et serviço de casa. Todas estas cousas
procediaõ da limpeza de sua alma, porque se ere que foi virgem. Em seus
trabalhos et paixões, era mui sofrido et senhor de si: et em ambas
as fortunas humildoso, et taõ benigno em perdoar erros que lhe foi
tachado. Teve grande memoria et concelho a cerca dos negocios: et muita
authoridade pera os graves, et de muito peso.--_Dec. II. livr. i. cap.

[248] This _Historia do descobrimento e da conquista da India pelos
Portuguezes, feita por Fernaõ Lopez de Castanheda_, was on account of
its historical merit reprinted with the old orthography at Lisbon, in
the year 1797, in two octavo volumes.

[249] _Commentarios do grande Affonso d’Alboquerque, &c._ An elegant
edition was published at Lisbon in 1774, in four octavo volumes. In
order to understand this work the reader must not spare himself the
pains of learning the maritime language of Portugal. The book will
sufficiently repay this trifling labour.

[250] These celebrated Commentaries are written throughout nearly in
the style of the following passage:--

Passadas todas estas cousas, mandou o grande Afonso Dalboquerque aos
Capitães, que levassem suas amarras, e partio-se do porto de Adem
a quatro dias do mes de Agosto, e com toda sua Armada foi á vista
do cabo de Guardafum, e dali fizeram sua navegaçaõ á outra banda da
terra, e afferrâram Diolocindi, e foram correndo toda a costa de
longo, e chegáram a Diu, onde foram muito bem recebidos de Miliqueaz,
e bem festejados de dadivas, que deo a todos os Capitães, e ali
estave seis dias, e mandou concertar os bateis das náos, que vinham
muito desbaratados; e como chegou, veio logo Miliqueaz velo á nào, e
estiveram ambos praticando em cousas desapegadas.--_Parte IV. cap. 12._

[251] _Monarchia Lusitana, composta por Frey Bernardo de Brito, &c._
The edition with which I am acquainted is in two folio volumes. The
first volume was printed in the convent of Alcobaça, in the year 1597,
and the second by a bookseller of Lisbon, in 1609.

[252] See preceding vol. p. 315.

[253] In order to form a just notion of Brito’s rhetorical merit, it
is necessary to peruse the second part of his work, in which he had no
longer the opportunity of following the ancient writers; for example,
his description of the final stroke of fate which visited the Visigoth
King Roderick, who lost the decisive battle against the Arabs. He thus
describes how the king in his retreat took refuge in the church of a
deserted convent:--

Chegado el Rey a este lugar cõ desejo de achar nelle alguma consolaçaõ
pera seu spiritu, encontrou materia de mayor lastima, et dobrado
sentimento, por que os mõges atemorizados cõ a nova que chegara poucos
dias antes et solicitos por salvar os ornamentos, et cousas sagradas,
huns eraõ jà fugidos pera dentro de Merida, outros se retiraraõ
pella terra dentro buscando guarida em outros conventos, et os menos
aguardavaõ o fim do negocio dentro no mosteiro, desejando acabar a vida
pella honra et defensão da Fé Catholica dentro naquelle santuario.
Entrou el Rey na Igreja, et vendoa nua de ornamentos, et desempesada de
Religiosos, se pos em oraçaõ com tanta dòr et angustia de coraçaõ, que
desfeito em lagrimas, se naõ lembrava que podia ser ouvido de alguma
pessoa, aquem o excesso dellas desse conhecimento de quem podia ser,
et como a fraqueza de naõ ter comido alguns dias, o desfalecimento do
cerebro, pella falta do sono, et o quebrantamento de caminhar a pé,
lhe tivessem as forças debilitadas, se lhe cerraraõ os spiritus, de
maneira, que ficou em terra com hum desmayo em que esteve privado dos
sentidos a te o achar hum monge antigo, &c.--_Livr. VII. cap. 3._

The facility of the accentuation in these long sentences is
particularly remarkable.

[254] Me deziam, que--me livrara da _grosseria_ o ruim methodo de
historiar da Portugueza.

[255] Tendo dentro de si _filhos tam ingratos_, que a modo de
_venenosas viboras_ lhe rasgaô a reputaçaõ.

[256] Se alguma cousa me lastima, he ver, que a pouca noticia que della
(a lingoa Portugueza) tenho, me fara levar o estilo de historia menos
lustroso do que podera ir, sendo composto porque fizera seu fundamento
na elegancia e fermosura da pratica mais que na verdade e certeza do
que se conta; o que se naõ permitte em homem que professa nome de
historiador authentico.--_Prologo, p. 4._

[257] With regard to these portraits, it may be observed that they are
not well engraved; but according to the assurance of Brito, they were
faithfully copied from the best likenesses extant. It would not be easy
to find a portrait of Philip II. of Spain, who is here described as the
eighteenth King of Portugal, which so decidedly expresses the character
of that austere despot.

[258] I am acquainted with this work only by means of the Spanish
translation which is entitled:--_Historia oriental de las
peregrinaciones de Fernan Mendez Pinto, Portuguez. Madr. 1620. fol._

[259] They are noticed by Barbosa Machado.

[260] These works are more particularly noticed at the commencement of
the preceding volume, page 14.

[261] See preceding vol. page 431.

[262] A writer of Spanish verse, and the author of several approved
Spanish comedies.

[263] _Jacinto Cordero_ (according to the Spanish orthography and
pronunciation of _Cordeiro_), _Elogio de poetas Lusitanos_. Lisb. 1631.
Those who wish to study the progress of Portuguese poetry, will derive
no information from this book.

[264] A sufficient acquaintance with the more celebrated of these
Portuguese sonneteers, may be acquired from the collection of
Portuguese poems, edited by Matthias Pereira da Sylva, under the
following fantastical title:--_A Fenix renascida, ou Obras poeticas dos
melhores engenhos Portugueses_ (though only those of the seventeenth
century are included). _Segunda ediçaõ. Lisb._ 1746, in 3 volumes
octavo. Not one half of this collection is worth perusing.

[265] See preceding vol. page 428.

[266] Barbosa Machado notices this polygraphic author with nearly
as much enthusiasm as the Spaniards speak of Lope de Vega. He even
asserts, that, in point of style Faria y Sousa may be placed on a
parallel with the most distinguished of the ancient writers.

[267] They are included in the first and fourth volumes of his _Fuente
de Aganippe_. (Madrid, 1446).

[268] The following sonnet will afford a specimen of these
compositions. It is not indeed totally free from affected phrases; for
example, the sixth line. But that line is sufficiently atoned for by
the rest:--

        Ninfas, Ninfas, do prado, tam fermosas
    que nelle cada qual mil flores gera,
    de que se tece a humana Primavera
    com cores, como bellas, deleitosas;
        Bellezas, ô Bellezas luminosas,
    _que sois abono da constante esfera_:
    que todas me acudisseys, bem quisera,
    com vossas luzes, e com vossas rosas.
        De todas me, trazey maes abundantes,
    porque me importa neste bello dia
    a porta ornar da minha Albania bella.
        Mas vôs, de vosso culto vigilantes,
    o adorno me negays, que eu pretendia,
    porque bellas nam soys diante della.


    Cante de Amor os puntas penetrantes,
    Que de huns divinos olhos despedidas,
    Despois de dadas immortaes feridas
    Sairam do meu peito triumfantes; &c.

[270] This singular declamation is as follows:--

        Vos Satiros biformes que lavando
    neste ribeiro estays o pè ligeiro,
    deixay, deixay, o limpido ribeiro,
    que em profano exercicio ides turbando.
        Porque _os aureos cabellos vem mostrando_
    _sobre essa superficie o meu Luzeiro_,
    que là _no fundo_ della he _Sol primeiro_,
    a donde _o mesmo Sol_ està _cegando_.
        Deixayme sô na liquida corrente;
    porque nam sairà do vitreo seyo,
    se acompanhado aqui de alguem me sente.
        Assi Menalio disse de Amor cheyo:
    e o lavor do lavar a torpe Gente
    nam deixou nunca, nem Albania veyo.


    Dizerte a minha pena me recrea;
    Porem na boca sinto huma amargura,
    De que he somente conhecida cura
    A tua numerosa e doce vea; &c.

[272] For example, the following reminiscential sonnet, which is
disfigured only by the concluding phrase:--

        Sempre que torno a ver o bello prado
    onde primeira vez a soberana
    divindade encontrey con forma humana,
    ou humana esplendor deificado:
        E me acordo do talhe delicado,
    do riso donde ambrosia, e nectar mana,
    da fala, que dà vida quando engana,
    da branca maõ, e do cristal rosado:
        Do meneo suave, que fazia
    crer que de brando Zefiro tocada
    a Primavera toda se movia;
        De novo torno a ver a Alma abrasada;
    e em desejar sômente aquelle dia
    vejo a Gloria Real toda cifrada.

[273] For instance the following:--

        Passáram ja por mim loucos verdores
    do fresco Abril da humana vaidade;
    Primavera tam fora da verdade,
    que as flores sam engano, o fruto errores.
        Passáram ja por mim inuteys flores,
    o Veraõ passou jà da ardente idade:
    prazer acomodado à mocidade;
    veneno da razam em bellas cores.
        Bem creo que estou dellas retirado;
    mas nam sey se de assaltos vaõs, tiranos,
    que tem o entendimento ao jugo atado.
        Porque mal me asseguram meus enganos,
    que o fruto destas flores he passado,
    se os costumes nam fogem como os annos.

[274] They are contained in the first and fourth volumes of the _Fuente
de Aganippe_, see page 279.

[275] No es dar liberdad de consciencia, para introducir siempre
escorias y licencias, sino advertir que _un hombre grande puede hazer
tal vez lo que quisiere, y es gravissime crimen el pedirlo cuenta_; y
mas, si se lo pide algun Pigmeo en estudios y en juizio.

[276] Lo que ella (la poesia) _solamente_ quiere,--es invencion,
imagenes, affectos y _alarde de todas sciencias_.--And yet he has
declared shortly before, that learning is not essential to poetry. It
is not worth while to transcribe in the author’s own words, the other
critical judgments here quoted.

[277] Barbaso Machado, in his Lexicon of learned men, expressly says of
Faria e Sousa, that he was indebted to his extraordinary talents and
knowledge _de ser venerado por Oraculo_.

[278] Those who understand, or imagine they understand Portuguese, may
try how far it is practicable to translate verbally the commencement of
one of these eclogues:--

    _Roque._     He gram coisa bergonha ter no rosto;
           a o tella nelle antrambos ugalmente,
           agora a hum põto aqui ambos ha posto
           A poys tàmen dos dous algó nõ mente
           digeme, ò certo, se de mim Martinho
           mal falou honte a aquella boa gente.

    _Afons._     Se a todos lhe esquece o Samsodorninho,
           como lhes lembrarias? Sò tratàmos
           de dar ós bolos fim, a fim o binho.
           Em tè, maes nom querer todos folgamos.

[279] The commentary on the Lusiad is published separately. It is
entitled, _Lusiadas de Luis de Camoens, &c. commentadas por Manuel de
Faria y Sousa_. Madr. 1639, 4 parts, in 2 folio volumes. The commentary
on the miscellaneous poems of Camoens is entitled: _Rimas varias de
Luis de Camoens, &c. commentadas por Man. de Faria y Sousa_. Lisb.
1685, in 7 small folio volumes. The latter, therefore, was not printed
until thirty-six years after the death of Faria e Sousa.

[280] An abundant collection of comic sonnets, _decimas_, _canções_ and
epigrams by Noronha, may be found in the fifth volume of the _Fenix
renascida_, already quoted.

[281] A specimen shall be given here, little worthy as such fooleries
are of perusal. The sonnet is written to rhymed endings (_com
consoantes forçados_.)

        Naõ socegue eu mais, que hum bonifrate,
    De agoa sobre mim se vase hum pote,
    As galas, que eu vestir, sejaõ picote,
    Com sede me dem agua em açafate;
        Se jogar o xadrez, me dem hum mate,
    E jogando às trezentas hum capote,
    Faltemme consoantes para hum mote,
    E sem o ser me tenhaõ por orate;
        Os licores, que beba, sejaõ mornos,
    Os manjares, que coma, sejaõ frios,
    Naõ passee mais ruo, que a dos fornos;
        E para minhas chagas saltem fios,
    Na cabeça por plumas traga cornos,
    Se meus olhos por ti mais forem rios.

[282] The language of this sonnet will enable the reader to form a
right idea of the merits of the author, who was, however, much admired
in the age in which he lived!

        Desdourem-se as areas do Pactolo,
    Turvem-se as claras aguas do Canópo,
    O bebado de Bacco entorne o copo,
    Rache a guitarra o franchinote Apollo.
        Desencache-se o Ceo de polo a polo,
    A douda Venus morra, e o seu cachopo,
    Em fim pereça tudo quanto topo,
    Que a Lereno matou o villaõ de Eolo.
        Por Jesu Christo se entre maõs tomara
    Este villaõ ruim, o Rei do vento,
    Com hum vergalho de boy o debreara.
        Por S. Pedro do Ceo, que hum momento
    A miseravel alma lhe mandara
    C’um piparote ao reino do tormento.

[283] The _Obras poeticas_ of Barbosa Bacellar were printed at Lisbon
in the year 1716. The greater part consists of poems which are also
dispersed through the _Fenix renascida_.

[284] For instance, the following to a nightingale in a cage; a
favourite theme with the Portuguese sonneteers:--

    Ave gentil cativa, que os accentos
        Inda dobras com tanta suavidade,
        Como quando gozavas liberdade,
        Sendo do cãpo Amfiaõ, Orfeo dos ventos:
    Da vida livre os doces pensamentos
        Perdestes junto à clara suavidade
        De hum ribeirinho, que com falsidade
        Grilhões guardava a teus cõtentamentos.
    Eu tambem desse modo fuy cativo,
        Que amor me tinha os laços emboscados
        Na luz de huns claros olhos excellentes.
    Mas tu vives alegre, eu triste vivo,
        Com que somos conformes nos estados,
        E somos na ventura diferentes.

[285] The Portuguese _Saudades_ must by no means be confounded with
the Spanish _Soledades_ in the style of Gongora. (See preceding vol.
page 435). In the Portuguese word _Saudade_ are singularly blended the
significations of _Saùde_ (a salutation), and _Soledad_ (the Spanish
word for solitude). Hence also the untranslatable adjective _Saudoso_.

[286] In these _Saudades_ Aonio thus discourses with flowers. He
turns from one to another, and finds in each a peculiar sympathy with

        Cada flor o detinha,
    E a cada flor attento
    Sequellas inferia ao seu tormento,
        Huma rosa encarnada
    Com melindres de bella.
    Com presumpções de estrella
    Fazia aqui galante
    Ostentaçaõ de purpura brilhante:
    Aonio commovido
    Lhe disse eternecido:
    Ay fermosa memoria,
    Retrato de huma gloria,
    Que possui taõ breve,
    Nevoa ao Sol, fumo ao ar, ao vento neve,
    Mal lograda fermosa,
    Rosa defunta, quando a penas rosa.
    Em huma mata verde
    Hum jasmim odorifero nevava,
    E derramando cheiro
    Ao vento suavizava,
    Quando Aonio passando,
    As vezes a cabeça meneando,
    Disse comsigo: Ah triste!
    Quanto ha jà que me falta o brando alento
    Daquella voz branda o doce acento,
    Que alegre a meus ouvidos respirava,
    Com que a vida animava,
    Fazendo verdadeiras docemente
    Mentiras do Oriente.

But these beautiful plays of fancy are protracted to a tedious length.


    Ouvi de hum pastor triste
        De _injusto_ amor o sentimento _justo_.

[288] De huma _alma morta_ o _sentimento vivo_.


    Porem vive a memoria
        _Na bronze de alma_.

[290] Some are included in the second volume of the _Fenix renascida_,
and among them are the _Saudades de Albano_.

[291] These comic tales and other poems by Freire de Andrada, are
printed in the third volume of the _Fenix renascida_.


        Naõ mais, Plataõ, cançada fantasia,
    Que me tem cõ tres onças de discreto
    Mais carregado jà, que huma elegia,
    E mais sentencioso, que hum Soneto:
    Levar á praça quero a livraria,
    Vender da Instituta até o Decreto.
    Com os Juristas Vinnios, e Donelos,
    E os Letrados do tempo Machavelos.

        Livros a meus estudos sempre ingratos,
    Hoje vossa liçaõ deixo importuna;
    Passome ao bairro jà dos mentecatos,
    Só por avisinhar com a fortuna:
    Cuidey fosseis a meus trabalhos gratos,
    E do minhas paredes a coluna,
    Fiey muito no tempo, andey errado;
    Porque tratey o Mundo como honrado, &c.


        Ja para as Musas faço outra mudança,
    Divertindo entre burlas tanto engano,
    Que por ver, se de gosto o lança hum dia,
    Joga com dados falsos a alegria.


        Os olhos de atrevidos ou de honrados
    Naõ conhecem no Ceo luzes mais bellas.
    Piratos sam do Sol, ja rebellados,
    Outro Flandes emfim contra as estrellas.


      Corada a boca està fazendo afrontes
    As rosas que secar de inveja vemos.


    Se he que me pedem campo, estou rendido,
    Pois em dous olhos vejo o Sol partido.


    Quem a casa destroe, aonde mora?
    Muito mas o altar, onde se adora.


    Naõ das fruto às aveças, comodo errado,
    As lagrimas primeiro que o peccado.


    Que o Demonio da carne acobardado
    Foge da _Cruz_, e chega-se ao _Cruzado_.

The word _Cruzado_, which is the name of a Portuguese coin with the
impression of a cross, may likewise signify a person who is crossed, or
who bears the sign of the cross, or the cross of a military order.


    Diz, que nasceo guerreiro--
    No signo de _Leão_, que he deshumano.
    Eu sey, que no do _Tauro_, e naõ me engano.


    E se pecca no quinto mandamento,
    Somente he por palavra, ou pensamento.


        Tinha Narcisso assomos de soldado
    Animados do tinto, e do palhete,
    Porém este Annibal, este alentado
    Melhor despeja os frascos, que o mosquete.
    Sobremesa Leaõ com rosto irado,
    O campo da batalha era o bofete,
    Bizarrias nos traz já muito usadas.
    Que ergueo sempre copas, joga espadas.

        Meteo maõ trinta vezes na estacada,
    Nunca ferio ninguem co’a columbrina,
    Todos lhe sabem a cõpleiçaõ da espada,
    Que he colerica sim, mas naõ sanguina.
    Jà mais trouxe a tizona ensanguentada,
    Sempre temava seca a disciplina,
    Que he valente opilado alguem presume,
    Por naõ trazer na espada o seu costume; &c.

[303] There is only sufficient space for a short specimen of this
prattling nonsense:--

    Leva de amor privilegios
        E de Diana licenças
        Para castigo de brutos,
        Para encanto de bellezas.
    Contra as bellezas dos bosques,
        E os moradores das penhas
        Dos olhos fulmina rayos,
        E das maõs despede settas.
    Lastima, e horror a hum tempo
        Monte, e valle representa,
        Naquelle gemendo brutos,
        Neste suspirando Deosas; &c.

[304] Even this sonnet is inserted in the _Fenix renascida_ as a sample
of excellence:--

        Naõ viste, ó Licio, o ar de horror vestido
    Arrastar negras sombras enlutado?
    Melancolico o Ceo como enfiado
    No regaço da noite adormecido?
        Naõ viste, que de luz destituido
    Deo ao orbe celeste esse cuidado
    O Sol, paludamente agonizado,
    De opposiçaõ maligna comprehendido?
        Pois agora verás no mal presente
    Pela morte de Filis toda a esfera
    Padecer alta dor, grave accidente.
        Que se em fim nesta ordem, que se altera,
    Por hum Sol eclipsado isto se sente
    Por hum Sol já defunto que se espera?

[305] The collection is entitled, _Parnasso Lusitano de divinos e
humanos versos_, Lisb. 1733, in two vols. octavo. Several of Violante
do Ceo’s poems, both Portuguese and Spanish, particularly sonnets, are
included in the first volume of the _Fenix renascida_.

[306] The whole sonnet is here subjoined. Were it not for the celebrity
of the authoress, it would scarcely be worth while to augment this
collection of examples by such a specimen:--

        Musas, que no jardim do Rey do dia
    Soltando a doce voz, prendeis o vento:
    Deidades, que admirando o pensamento
    As flores augmentais, que Apollo cria;

        Deixay, deixay do Sol a companhia,
    Que fazendo invejoso o Firmamento
    Huma Lua, que he Sol, e que he portento,
    Hum jardim vos fabrica de harmonia.

        E porque naõ cuideis que tal ventura
    Póde pagar tributo á variedade
    Pelo que tem de Lua a luz mais pura:

        Sabey que por mercé da divinidade,
    Este jardim canoro se assegura
    Com o muro immortal da eternidade.


    Si fue _para tal Sol_ el mundo Occaso,
    Tambien es _de tal Sol_ el ciel Oriente.


    Tu que Arraes deves ser da vital barca
    Que navega no mar do mal tyranno,
    Novo Galeno, Apollo Lusitano,
    Medico em fim do Portuguez Monarca.

[309] The following is a patriotic sonnet in question and answer.
Violante do Ceo could not easily have paid a more affected compliment
to King John IV.

        Que logras Portugal? Hum rey perfeito.
    Quem o cõstituîo? Sacra piedade.
    Que alcançaste com elle? A liberdade.
    Que liberdade tens? Serlhe sujeito.
        Que tens na sujeição? Hõra, e proveito.
    Que he o novo Rey? Quasi deidade.
    Que ostenta nas acções? Felicidade.
    E que tem de feliz? Ser por Deos feito.
        Que eras antes delle? Hum labyrinto.
    Que te julgas agora? Hum firmamento.
    Temes alguem? Naõ temo a mesma Parca.
        Sentes alguma pena? Huma só sinto.
    Qual he? Naõ ser hum mundo, ou naõ ser cento,
    Para ser mais capaz de tal Monarca.

[310] The five escutcheons which constitute the Portuguese arms.

[311] This interminable epistle commences thus:--

        Já que haveis de surcar as crystalinas
    Aguas da Foz do Tejo áquellas prayas,
    Que o mundo vio ao tremolar das Quinas.
        Em quanto as vossas voadoras fayas
    As azas desfraldando, levaõ ao vento,
    Seguindo as suas prateadas rayas;
        Ouvi o rouco som deste instrumento,
    Que inda que toca, os pontos desentoa,
    Que he differente a voz do pensamento.
        Naõ julgueis o que he pelo que soa,
    Que se na citra do papel a penna
    Toca suave, rijamente atroa; &c.

[312] It is contained in the second vol. of the _Fenix renascida_.

[313] The fame of this Bahia must at last have totally died away.
Barbosa Machado does not mention him. The editor of the _Fenix
renascida_ seems, however, to have entertained a particular partiality
for this rhymester; for Bahia’s witticisms occupy a considerable
portion of that work.

[314] The following octave, which forms the commencement of Bahia’s
Polyphemus, may be quoted as the last specimen of this monstrous style.
These lines were afterwards parodied:--

        Donde Neptuno cõ grilhões de argento
    Prende o robusto pé do Lilibeo,
    Que ao Ceo dá gosto, á terra dá tormento,
    Gloria de Jove, inferno de Tyfeo:
    Entre hum campo, que tem no monte assento,
    Colosso o monte, o campo Colysseo,
    Cerra hum penhasco huma caverna fria,
    Donde a noite naõ sahe, nem entre o dia.

[315] Such humorous descriptions as the following, occur not
unfrequently in Bahia’s long romances of travels:--

        As mininas dos meus olhos
    Choravaõ como mininas
    Pedaços d’alma, que entaõ
    De cantaro parecia.
        Perlas netas naõ choravaõ,
    Que como saõ taõ tenrinhas,
    Inda naõ tem perlas netas,
    A penas tem perlas filhas.
        Dava-me a agua pela barba,
    E creyo se affogaria,
    O meu rosto, se o meu rosto
    Naõ nadára com bexigas.
        Mas a fim, que o dia, e hora
    Da jornada me esquecia,
    Porque sobre ingenium tardum
    Sou tambem memoria infirma; &c.

[316] This lyric eulogy is thus superscribed:--

_Ao serenissimo Rey D. Affonso, quando mandou alistar por soldado a
Santo Antonio de Lisboa._

Bahia advises his sovereign to suspend the further levying of troops.
He says:--

    Deixay mais listas, pois jà
    Santo Antonio se alistou,
    Que como suo pay livrou,
    Sua patria livrarà.

[317] Barbosa Machado notices him in an ostentatious manner, and
enumerates all his writings.

[318] In the following the idea, though false in itself, is
interestingly expressed. The poet asserts, that he who tells his pain,
suffers more than he who conceals it.

    Na queixa o sentimento se engrãdece,
        No silencio se afrouxa o sentimento,
        Que se o lembrar da dor dobra o tormento,
        Quem suffoca o pezar, menos padece.
    No silencio talvez a dor se esquece;
        Na voz naõ póde ter esquecimento,
        Com que a dor no silencio perde o alento,
        Quando a magoa na queixa reverdece.
    Se a memoria do mal dobra o penoso,
        E quem o diz desperta essa memoria,
        Mais sente, que quem dentro a pena feixa;
    Porque este no silencio tem repouso,
        E aquelle augmenta a dor, se a faz notoria,
        Pois renova o pezar, quando se queixa.

[319] The following sonnet, which is poetically conceived and executed
shall serve as an example. It is addressed to a laurel tree against
which a sun-flower reclines:--

    Aqui tens a fineza bem nascida,
        Se aqui tens Febo a queixa bem fundada,
        Pois te segue huma flor enamorada,
        Se te foge huma planta endurecida.
    Nasce huma Clicie de attençaõ vestida,
        Junto a huma Dafne de aspereza armada,
        Que onde a belleza blasonou de amada,
        Naõ se queixe a belleza de offendida.
    Eu amo, e meu amor nada consegue,
        E porque de esperanças me despoje,
        O que me desagrada me persegue:
    Oh como estamos differentes hoje,
        Que a ti te foge o tronco, a flor te segue,
        A mim me segue o tronco, a flor me foge.

[320] His works have been with great veneration preserved by different
collectors, and were published by Domingos Carneiro, under the title of
_Poesias varias da Andre Nunes da Sylva, recolhidas, &c._ Lisb. 1671,
in one vol. octavo, dedicated to the author.

[321] The following sonnet on the catholic worship of the cross may
serve as a specimen:--

    Se em golfo de sereas proceloso,
        Empenho repetido do cuidado,
        O sabio Grego, ao duro Mastro, atado
        âs Sereas escapa cauteloso.
    Eu, no mar deste mundo tormentoso
        De Sirtes et Sereas povoado,
        â vossa Cruz, Senhor, sempre abraçado
        Os perigos escape venturoso.
    Oh livraime, meu Deos, de tanto astuto
        Laberintho, de tanto cego encanto,
        Para que colha desta planta o fruto;
    Que he justo, doce Amor, em risco tanto,
        Se salva a Ulisses hum madeiro bruto,
        Que a mim me salve este madeiro Santo.


    O tumulo de Isabella,
    _Do firmamento flor, do campo estrella_.

And then again:--

    Muzico Rouxinol, _joga animada_--
    Es _Orpheo aos sentidos, flor á vista_.

[323] The following is a stanza of one of his patriotic odes:--

        Suspendese confuso o Castelhano
    De ver de Portugal o brio ouzado,
    E guarnecendo a praça, troca ufana
    O trofeo em cuidado;
    Retirarse procura,
    Porem o Luzo altivo
    A batalha o provoca vingativo;
    A hum monte se encomenda cautelozo;
    Azas o Luzo veste bellicozo,
    Hum comete feroz, outro reziste,
    Este se anima, aquelle cahe por terra,
    Tudo he mal, tudo he pena, tudo he guerra,
    Que neste duro empenho de Mavorte
    Reina a ira, arde o fogo, impéra a morte.

[324] Besides the _Fenix renascida_, which contains an account of most
of the Portuguese sonneteers of the seventeenth century, there is a
later, but upon the whole a much worse collection of the same sort,
which comprises only two volumes, though it extends beyond the close of
the eighteenth century. It is entitled:--_Eccos que o clarim da Fama
dà; Postilhaõ de Apollo, &c._ (Echos which resound from the trumpet
of Fame, or the Postillion of Apollo.) The title is still longer, and
the remainder is in still worse taste. The collection was published at
Lisbon in the year 1761.

[325] _Retiro de cuidados, e vida de Carlos e Rosaura, composto pelo
Padre Matheus Ribeyro, &c._ Lisb. 1688. 4 parts in 2 vol. oct.

[326] _Seram politico, abuso emendado, &c. por Felix da Castanheira
Turacem._ Lisb. 1704, in 4to. Some of the certificates of the Censors,
which are printed with this work, are dated in 1695. In old Portuguese
the word _Politico_, signifies all that belongs to polite manners.
Hence Rodriguez Lobo’s works are entitled, _Obras politicas_, see page
227. _Seram_ or _seraõ_ properly signifies the place where an evening
party, for some period, regularly assembles.--Felix de Castanheira’s
name does not occur in Machado’s dictionary of learned men.

[327] Escrevo entre o rasteiro, et o empolado, que saõ o Scilla, et
Charibdes no vasto mar da locuçaõ: algumas vezes me detenho a fazer
aquada no esprayado da digressão; mas faço quanto posso por naõ perder
de vista o difficil porto da clareza; com alguma me vou explicando,
_sed libera nos à metaphora_.

[328] The following passage, which will serve as an example, is the
description of the fair Isabella, an intelligent young lady, who
sustains a principal character in these evening parties.

Acompanhavaõ na mesma quinta duas primas, et huma irmã à fermosa
Isabel, belleza tam adorada nos curtos limites de Villa Franca, como
applaudida nas melhores escolas de Lisboa: contava _vinte Primaveras,
tam filhas de seu rosto, que segundo os numerava por flores, parece,
que tirava os annos das faces_; entendimento sem aquelles estrondos
que levando as mulheres a cõpositoras, lhe estragaõ o patrimonio de
sezudas: vicio introduzido em as Damas, que se passaõ da almofada à
escola, et do estrado à academia: como se natureza se deixasse vencer
da industria, ou como se no governo de hum recato, naõ tivera harto
que fazer hum entendimento. Era Isabel sezuda sem as affectaçoens de
soberba; retirada sem os melindres de presumida; &c.

[329] The discourse is not satirical, and notwithstanding the trivial
nature of the subject, it recommends itself by style and diction. It
commences thus:--

Nam ha mais dificil palestra que o do entendimento.
Nos encontros de Marte, se he varonil o animo, sempre sahe victorioso o
pulso:--nas contendas de Minerva, inda quando he claro o entendimento,
se nevoa tal vez o discurso. Naquelles atè com as cegueiras triunfa
a colera; nestas, inda com as perspicacias desatina a agudeza. Nunca
pasmou o animo o Alexandre no mais subito assalto do inimigo, et
suspendeo-se à vista do enlaçado labyrinto, que se lhe offereceo no
templo; porque o primeiro pertencia ao braço, o segundo ao engenho.
Monarca era Alexandre, naõ menos entendido, que valeroso, et para que
se visse quanto mais difficuldades encontrava o juizo, que o valor,
antes se resolveo a romper em huma temeridade, que a aconselhar huma
resolução. Cortou he huma golpe o difficultoso laço: acabou a espada, o
que temeo a agudeza.

[330] To the honour of Portugal this book has been frequently
reprinted. Its title is simply as follows:--_Vida de Dom Joaõ de
Castro, quarto Viso-Rey da India, por Jacinto Freire de Andrada_.

Barbaso Machado’s catalogue states that the first edition appeared in
folio in the year 1651. A neat pocket edition in octavo was published
by a Lisbon bookseller in Paris in the year 1759. The work was
translated into English in the seventeenth century by Henry Herringman,
and shortly afterwards a latin translation was executed by the Italian
Jesuit Del Rosso, who in reference to Andrada’s historical style,
not injudiciously observes: _Elegantiam sectatur, sed non ieiunam;
acumen, sed minime illiberale_. To men of education, wishing to learn
the Portuguese language, there is no book that I would more strongly
recommend than this excellent biography.

[331] The following are his own words:--

Outros queriam que me valesse do estrepito de vozes novas, a que
chamam Cultura, deixando a estrada limpa, por caminhos fragosos, et
trocando com estimaçam pueril, o que he melhor, pelo que mais se usa.
Mas como _nam determiney lisongear a gostos estragados_, quiz antes
com a singeleza da verdade servir ao applauso dos melhores, que à fama
popular, et errada.

[332] Escreverei a vida de Dom Joaõ de Castro, varaõ ainda mayor que
seu nome, mayor que suas victorias; cujas noticias saõ hoje no Oriente,
de pays a filhos, hum livro successivo, conservandose a fama de suas
obras sempre viva; et nòs ajudaremos o pregaõ universal de sua gloria
cõ este pequeno brádo: porque duraõ as memorias menos nas tradiçoens,
que nos escritos.

[333] One passage must be quoted as a specimen of Portuguese classical
prose: it relates to the conquest of an Indian garrison.

Entràraõ os nossos de envolta com os Mouros a Cidade, onde os
miseraveis se detinhaõ presos do amor, et lagrimas das mulheres, et
filhos, que acompanhavaõ ja com piedade inutil, mais como testimanhas
de seu sangue, que defensores d’elle; taes houve, que abraçadas com
os maridos se deixavaõ trespassar de nossas lanças, inventando os
miseraveis nova dor, como remedio novo; dos nossos soldados, huns as
roubavaõ, outras as defendiaõ; quaes seguiaõ os affectos do tempo, que
os da natureza. Algumas d’estas mulheres com desesperado amor se metiaõ
por entre as esquadras armadas a buscar os seus mortos, mostrando animo
para perder as vidas; lastimosas nas feridas alheas, sem lastima nas

[334] The following is the commencement of a speech of Coge Cofar to
the Turkish soldiers, who had followed him to India.

Companheiros, et amigos, nam vos ensinarey a temer, nem a desprezar
esses poucos Portugueses, que d’entro d’aquelles muros estais vendo
encerrados, porque nã chegaõ a ser mais que homens, inda que saõ
soldados. Em todo o Oriente atègora os acompanhou, ou servio a fortuna,
et a fama das primeiras victorias lhes facilitou as outras. Com hum
limitado poder fazem guerra ao mundo, nam podendo naturalmente durar
hum Imperio sem forças, sustentado na opiniaõ, ou fraqueza dos que lhes
saõ sugeitos. Apenas tem quinhentos homens naquella fortaleza, os mais
d’elles soldados de presidio, que sempre custumaõ ser os pobres, ou os
inuteis; por terra naõ podem ter soccorro, os do màr lhes tem cerrado o

[335] A good account of the mode in which the Portuguese language was
disfigured by the introduction of French words and phrases, may be
found in the fourth volume of the _Memorias de Litteratura Portugueza_,
(Lisb. 1793,) in a treatise by Antonio de Naves Pereira, on the
language of the best Portuguese writers of the sixteenth century.
These _Memorias_ must, in the course of the present work, be more
particularly noticed.

[336] Even a learned Portuguese, well acquainted with the literature
of his country, of whom I made enquiries respecting the fate of the
_Academia Portugueza_, could give me no further information than that
the institution was no longer in existence.

[337] _The Memorias da Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa_, in which
that academy exhibits its labours for the advancement of knowledge,
more particularly of the mathematical and physical sciences, are
totally distinct from the _Memorias de Litteratura Portugueza_, which
have been published by that academy since the year 1792. These last
_Memorias_ consist partly of philological and critical treatises on the
Portuguese language and literature, and partly investigations relating
to the ancient history and constitution of Portugal. The singular
union of two departments so essentially distinct, arose out of the
French idea of _littérature_, which had been adopted in Portugal. The
worthy members of the academy well might, as indeed they intimately
did, find it difficult to determine what was to be called literature.
To reconcile all opinions, therefore, they included under that title
national history. Germans, however, are by no means entitled to make
this mistake, a subject of reproach, while they continue to employ
the comprehensive word _literature_ to designate merely the knowledge
of books.--I have seen as yet only six volumes of the _Memorias de
Litteratura Portugueza_. The sixth was published in the year 1796.

[338] Barbosa Machado, in his dictionary of learned men, gives a
catalogue of the writings of the Count da Ericeyra, including those
which remained unprinted up to the year 1747. None of these unprinted
works have, it seems, been submitted to the press since that period,
though they comprise a whole collection of the minor _Obras Poeticas_
of the author, together with several prose works, on subjects of
general utility; as for example, a _Methodo dos Estudos_ (Plan of

[339] _Henriqueida, poema heroico, &c. composto pelo illustrissimo e
excellentissimo Conde da Ericeyra D. Francisco Xavier de Menezes, &c._
(including all the titles of the Count), _Lisboa occidental_, 1741, in
4to. The distinction of _Lisboa oriental_ and _Lisboa occidental_ is
founded on an ecclesiastical division of the city.

[340] See page 246.

[341] The poem commences thus:--

        Eu canto as Armas, e o Varaõ famoso,
    Que deo a Portugal principio Regio,
    Conseguindo por forte, e generoso,
    Em guerra, e paz o nome mais egregio;
    E animado de espirito glorioso
    Castigou dos infieis o sacrilegio
    Deixando por prudente, e por ousado,
    Nas virtudes o Imperio eternizado.
        Europa foy da espada fulminante
    Teatro illustre, victima gloriosa,
    Asia vio no seu braço a Cruz brilhante,
    E ficou do seu nome temerosa:
    De Africa a gente barbara, e triumfante
    Selhe postrou rendida, e receosa,
    Para ser fundador de hum quinto Imperio
    Que do Mundo domine outro Emisferio.


    Naõ Calliope heroica agora invoco.
    Tu me inspira, ó Deidade, &c.

[343] The following is part of the picturesque description of Henry’s
entrance into the sybil’s cave.

        Da horrenda gruta e entrada defendiaõ
    Agudas folhas da arvore do Averno,
    E enlaçadas raizes, que se uniaõ,
    Mais que de Gordio no embaraço eterno:
    Penhascos desde a terra ao Ceo sobiaõ
    Lubricos os fez tanto o frio inverno,
    Que Henrique vio, subindo resolutos,
    Precipitarse os mais velozes brutos.
        O mar, e a terra em horrida disputa
    Gritavaõ com clamores desmedidos;
    Que naõ entrassem na funesta gruta
    Os que assim o intentavaõ presumidos:
    A constancia mais forte, e resoluta,
    De ondas, e rochas tragicos bramidos,
    Temia vendo unirse em dura guerra
    Contra hum sò coraçaõ o Mar, e a Terra.


    Aves, penhascos, feras, troncos, ramas,
    O Heroe venceo, e os mesmos elementos,
    _Pois fez o coraçaõ com vivas chamas
    Secar as ondas, e acender os ventos._
    Tu, diz Henrique, ó Genio, que me inflamas,
    De sacrilegos livra os meus intentos;
    Deixarey hum perigo, que se encobre,
    Venerando ao sagrado hum medo nobre.


    Exaltando o valor, e a fermosura
    Em dous tronos os Principes sentados,
    Na sala da mais rara arquitetura
    Os Generaes esperaõ convocados:
    A ouvir da gruta a incognita aventura
    Alegres se apressaraõ, e adornados
    _De plumas, que elevando aos Ceos as glorias,
    Escreveraõ sem letras as victorias._


    No Porto as mesmas pedras das muralhas
    Pareciaõ sensiveis aos clamores,
    _E quasi descobrirão as medalhas_,
    _Que enterraraõ os claros fundadores_:
    Os povos ja taõ destros nas batalhas,
    Que igualaõ os Soldados vencedores,
    Ao pronto susto de pezar taõ alto
    Se rendem à entrepreza deste assalto.

[347] For example, in the first canto where Henry is compared to an

        Como no campo azul aves vorazes
    De sangue, e pennas em diluvio vago,
    Com o odio nativo contumazes
    A terra inundaõ no funesto estrago,
    Mas vendo do Aguia os voos efficazes,
    Fogem do seu valor regio, e presago:
    Assim vendo de Henrique o braço forte,
    Fogem os Mouros da infalivel morte.

[348] Thus, in the following stanza, where Henry, whose astonishment
is to be described, is first compared to a frozen stream; then he is
himself called a stream rich in virtues, and finally he is denominated
a statue of fire and snow.

        Rio, que corre em rapido desvelo
    Parando ao forte impulso do Austro frio
    Naõ muda o vago argente em duro gelo,
    Que só rompe a prisaõ no ardente estio:
    Como _Henrique_, que em nobre paralelo
    _He de virtudes caudeloso rio,_
    A hum perigo, a que heroico naõ se atreve,
    _Estatua ali se vio de fogo, e neve._

[349] Lest it should appear that in this collection of examples justice
had not been rendered to Ericeyra, three more stanzas, from the last
canto of his poem, are here transcribed. The following passage is from
the description of the last combat between Henry and Ali, his Moorish

        Torrente de cristal, que arrebatada
    Inunda os valles, e supèra os montes,
    Exhalaçaõ sulfurea, que inflamada
    Fulmina os torres, rasga os orisontes,
    Vento setentrional, que em furia irada
    Agita os mares, e congela as fontes,
    De Deucalion o rapido diluvio,
    Chamas do Ethna, ardores do Vesuvio.
        Ainda que com seus rapidos effeitos
    Causem no mundo estragos, e terrores,
    A tanto impulso de cair desfeitos
    Toda a izençaõ dos globos superiores,
    Naõ sey se excedem dos valentes peitos
    As nobres iras, e inclitos ardores,
    Com que se vio ao impeto iracundo
    Parar o Ceo, estremecerse o mundo.
        Recebem os escudos taõ constantes
    Os rayos nos seus globos refulgentes,
    Que com tremor os braços arrogantes
    Resistiraõ aos impetos ardentes:
    Mas se os braços tremerão inconstantes,
    Os escudos ficaraõ permanentes,
    E todos do valor pelos effeitos
    Viraõ tremer os braços, naõ os peitos.

[350] The author introduces his plays of wit in a song to the
miraculous image of _Senhor Jesus de Pedra_, (Lord Jesus of Stone),
which was celebrated for its power of exciting in sinners a feeling of
bitter repentance:--

      Nessa Cruz (meu bom Jesus)
    Dar sinal de vós quereis,
    Quando eu cuido, que fareis
    De nós o sinal da Cruz.
      Para contrições lograr
    Essa Pedra Almas desperta:
    Mas quando huma pedra acerta,
    A quem naõ fará chorar?
      Mais rica Pedra naõ deo
    A terra, que a manifesta
    Taõ única, que só esta
    Por milagre appareceo.

      Se a compungir-se haõ de vir
    Os Fieis, que vos vem buscar,
    Se trouxerem que chorar,
    Sempre levaõ que sentir, &c.

[351] Here are two of the most intelligible; the first is on a barber
who has an evil tongue:--

      Se a tua lingua trabalha
    Do credito, e honra em mingoa,
    Face-me a barba co a lingoa,
    Que corta mais que a navalha.

The following is addressed to an old man who paints his eyebrows:--

      Deixe, ó Licio, o teu cuidado
    Desse pincel o aparelho;
    Que a tua Dama por velho
    Nem te póde ver pintado.

[352] His sonnet on a rose growing over the grave of a lady, deserves
to be transcribed:--

      Se essa Flor he padraõ, que à formosura
    Erigio nesse jaspe a natureza;
    Mal recorda os triunfos da belleza,
    Se se funda no horror da sepultura.
      Se até nas cinzas ostentar procura
    Floridas producções a gentileza;
    A mesma Rosa, a quem de flor se preza,
    Que he caduco o seu ser hoje assegura;
      O quanto ao desengano nos convida,
    Ver hoje o fim, a que apressada corre
    Desde que nasce a flor da humana vida!
      Pois bem nos mostraõ (já a razaõ discorre)
    Huma flor sepultada, outra nacida,
    Quaõ perto está o que nace, do que morre.

[353] For this little notice I am indebted to the verbal information of
a literary Portuguese, through whose means I could have obtained from
Lisbon, the name of this Hebrew dramatist, had the recording it been an
object of importance.

[354] I have seen two of these collections. The oldest, printed in
the year 1746, is entitled, _Operas Portuguezas que se representaram
nos theatros publicos desta Corte, &c._ It contains eight dramas in
two octavo volumes. The latest collection is entitled _Theatro comico
Portuguez, ou Collecçaõ das Operas Portuguezas que se representaram,
&c._ in two octavo volumes, fourth edition, Lisbon, 1787. As to any
merit which may be discovered in these collections they are nearly

[355] To shew that no injustice is done to the author, it will be
sufficient to quote some of the witticisms, by which Æsop distinguishes
himself in the first act:--

_Zeno._ Donde Esopo vás? Tu naõ ouves? Com quem fallo eu?

_Esop._ He comigo?

_Zen._ Sim.

_Esop._ Eu naõ me chamo Esopo Vaz, sou Esopo só, nú, e espurio como
minha mãi me pario.

_Zen._ Aonde hias, entremetido?

_Esop._ Se eu fora entremetido perguntára a Vossa Mercé para que nos
traz hoje a esta grande feira.

_Zen._ Para vender-vos a todos tres, pois todos tres sois intoleraveis
pelas vossas manhas, porque tu és hum bebado, e tu hum ladraõ.

_Esop._ Visto isso, quem comprar a este sendo ladraõ, comprao siza, e
tudo. E eu, Senhor, quaes saõ as minhas habilidades, ou virtudes?

_Zen._ Saõ boas; primeiramente mexiriqueiro, e bacharel.

_Esop._ Se eu fora Bacharel soubera Direito; seu eu soubera. Direito eu
me endereitára, e naõ fora corcovado; naõ he por ahi que vai o gato ás
filhozes; tem mais de que se accuse? &c.

[356] The following is the commencement of the trial of wit:--

_Xant._ Está com subtileza. Ora dize-me; como te chamaõ?

_Esop._ A mim chamaõ-me como me querem chamar; naõ ha meia hora que
huns me chamáraõ Poeta, e outros carcunda.

_Xant._ Pergunto o teu nome.

_Esop._ Eu, Senhor, com perdaõ de Vossa Mercé chamo-me Esopo.

_Xant._ Donde nasceste?

_Esop._ Do ventre de minha mãi.

_Xant._ Naõ me entendes? Em que lugar nasceste?

_Esop._ Tambem naõ me disse minha mãi se me pario em lugar alto, ou
baixo; mas cuido que foi ahi a algures ao pé de alguma cousa.

_Periand._ Ennio, o escravo tem atacado ao Filosofo nosso Mestre.

_Xant._ Ou és mui simples, ou mui velhaco; pergunto-te, de donde és

_Esop._ A’ que d’El Rei, Senhor, eu sou legitimo, naõ sou natural.

_Xant._ Valha-te Deos; aonde he a tua patria?

_Esop._ Isso he outra cousa; sou de donde me vai bem, que ahi he a
minha terra.

[357] The commencement of this duet will serve as a specimen of the
verse of these operas.

    _Euripedes._ Ingrata filha!

    _Filena._    Brava mãisinha!

    _Eurip._     Sempre doudinha
               Te hei de encontrar!

    _Filen._     Sempre doudinha
               Me ha de chamar?

    _Eurip._     Tu com amores!

    _Filen._     Eu! Naõ ha tal.

    _Eurip._     Para que negas?

    _Filen._     Eu! Naõ ha tal.

    _Eurip._     Eu bem ouvia,
               Que lhe dizias,
               Que lhe querias,
               E que morrias;
               Tudo sei já.

    _Filen._     Basta mãisinha
               De consumir-me
               Ai, ouça cá.

    _Eurip._     Ai, guarda lá.

    _Amb._       Naõ quer ouvir-me?

    _Filen._     Ai, ouça cá.

    _Eurip._     Ai, guarda lá.

[358] _Obras de Claudio Manoel da Costa, &c. Coimbra_ 1768, in 8vo.
The preface in which this amiable author unaffectedly communicates some
notices respecting himself, is a very instructive contribution to the
history of Portuguese poetry.

[359] The following may serve as a specimen of the modern style of the
Portuguese sonnet:--

    Onde estou? Este sitio desconhêço:
        Quem fez taõ differente aquelle prado!
        Tudo outra natureza tem tomado;
        E em contemplallo timido esmoreço.
    Huma fonte aqui houve; eu naõ me esqueço
        De estar a ella hum dia reclinado
        Alli em valle hum monte esta mudado.
        Quanto póde dos annos o progresso!
    Arvores aqui vi taõ florescentes,
        Que faziaõ perpetua a primavera:
        Nem troncos vejo agora decadentes.
    Eu me engano: a regiaõ esta naõ era.
        Mas que venho a estranhar, se estaõ prezentes
        Meus males, com que tudo degenera.

[360] For example:--

    Nize? Nize? onde estás? Aonde espera
        Achar-te huma alma, que por ti suspira:
        Se quanto a vista se dilata, e gira,
        Tanto mais de encontrar-te dezespera!
    Ah se ao menos teu nome ouvir pudéra
        Entre esta aura suave, que respira!
        Nize, cuido, que diz; mas he mentira.
        Nize, cuidei que ouvia; e tal naõ era.
    Grutas, troncos, penhascos da espessura,
        Se o meu bem, se a minha alma em vós se esconde,
        Mostray, mostray-me a sua formozura.
    Nem ao menos o ecco me responde!
        Ah como he certa a minha desventura!
        Nize? Nize? onde estás? aonde? aonde?

[361] One of Da Costa’s epicedios on the death of a friend commences

        Commigo fallas; eu te escuto; eu vejo,
    Quanto a pezar de meu lethargo, e pejo,
    Me intentas persuadir, ò sombra muda,
    Que tudo ignora, quem te naõ estuda.
    Há poucas horas, que hum activo alento
    Te dirigia o ardente movimento;
    E em breve instante (oh dor!) em breve instante
    Se torna em luto o resplendor brilhante.
    Arrebatado em vaõ te solicito
    Por qualquer parte, que se estenda o grito:
    E aos eccos, ao clamor, que aos troncos passa,
    (Funestissimo avizo da desgraça)
    Apenas falla, apenas me responde
    O dezengano, que esta penha esconde; &c.

[362] _Tornou innocentes os genios; restituio ao mundo a justiça_, says
Da Costa, in allusion to the dreaded Pombal; for this minister’s rigid
system of judicial reform rendered him at first an object of terror.

[363] For example, the poet says to his lyre, which he proposes to

        Amei-te (eu o confesso)
    E fosse noite, ou dia,
    Já mais tua harmonia
    Me viste abandonar.
        Qualquer penozo excesso,
    Que atormentasse esta alma;
    A teu obzequio em calma
    Eu pude serenar.
        Ah! Quantas vezes, quantas
    Do somno despertando,
    Doce instrumento brando,
    Te pude temperar!
        Só tu (disse) me encantas;
    Tu só, bello instrumento,
    Tu es o meu alento
    Tu o meu bem serás.
        Vê, de meu fogo ardente,
    Qual he o activo imperio:
    Que em todo emisferio
    Se attende respirar.
        O coraçaõ que sente
    Aquelle incendio antigo,
    No mesmo mal, que sigo,
    Todo o favor me dá.

[364] For example, in this passage:--

        Sentado junto ao rio,
    Me lembro, fiel Pastora,
    Daquella feliz hora,
    Que n’alma impressa está.
        Que triste eu tinha estado,
    Ao ver teu rosto irado!
    Mas quando he, que tu viste
    Hum triste
        De Filis, de Lizarda
    Aqui entre desvelos,
    Me pede amantes zelos
    A causa de meu mal.
        Alegre o seu semblante
    Se muda a cada instante:
    Mas quando he, que tu viste
    Hum triste
        Aqui colhendo flores
    Mimosa a Ninfa cara,
    Hum ramo me prepara,
    Talvez por me agradar:
        Anarda alli se agasta;
    Dalizo aqui se affasta:
    Mas quando he, que tu viste
    Hum triste

[365] The following, which is the shortest of Da Costa’s cantatas, may
be transcribed here, as a thing perfect in its kind:--

        Naõ vejas, Nize amada,
    A tua gentileza
    No cristal dessa fonte.  Ella le engana:
    Pois retrata o suave,
    E encobre o rigorozo.    Os olhos bellos
    Volta, volta a meu peito:
    Verás, tyranna, em mil pedaços feito
    Gemer hum coraçaõ: verás huma alma
    Ancioza suspirar: verás hum rosto
    Cheyo de pena, cheyo de desgosto.
    Observa bem, contempla
    Toda a mizera estampa.   Retratada
    Em hum copia viva
    Verás distincta, e pura;
    Nize cruel, a tua formosura.
        Naõ te engane, ó bella Nize,
    O cristal da fonte amena.
    Que essa fonte he mui serena,
    He muy brando esse cristal.
        Se assim como vés teu rosto,
    Viras, Nize, os seus effeitos,
    Pode ser, que em nossos peitos
    O tormento fosse igual.

[366] _Odes de Q. Horatio Flacco, &c._ Lisb. 1781.

[367] _Satyras de Sulpicia, &c._ Lisb. 1786.

[368] _Cartas de Ovidio, chamadas Heroides, &c._ Lisb. 1789.

[369] _Comedias de Terencio, &c._ Lisb. 1788.

[370] _Arminio, ou Alemanha Libertada, trad. de Aleman do Baron
Schönaich._ Lisb. 1791.

[371] _Lisboa reedificada, poema epico, por Miguel Mauricio Ramalho._
Lisb. 1784.

[372] _Satyras e Elegias, por Miguel do Couto Guerreiro._ Lisb. 1786.

[373] _Sonho, poema heroico, por Luis Rafael Soyé._ Lisb. 1786.

[374] _Triumpho da Innocencia, poema epico, por José Anastasio da
Costa._ Lisb. 1785.

[375] _Lusitania transformada, por F. Alvares do Oriente._ Lisb. 1781.

[376] _Gaticanea, &c. por J. J. de Carvalho._ Lisb. 1781.

[377] _Obras poeticas de Pedro Antonio Correa Garçaõ._ Lisb. 1778, in
8vo. Some of the poems in this collection seem to have been written
about the middle of the eighteenth century. I have not been able to
gather any particulars respecting the life of Garçaõ.

[378] For example, in the Ode to Winter, which begins thus:--

    Vê, Silvio, como sacondido o Inverno
    As negras azas, sólta a grossa chuva!
    Cobre os outeiros das erguidas serras
        Humida nevoa.
    Na longa costa brada o mar irado
    Sobre os cachopos; borbotões de espuma
    Erguem as ondas; as crueis cabeças
        Nágoa negrejaõ.
    O frio Noto, rigido soprando
    Dobra os ulmeiros, os curraes derruba:
    E o gado junto, pavido balando
        Une os focinhos.

[379] The following passage will afford a specimen of this and also of
the didactic character of Garçaõ’s odes:--

    Cobre a Virtude co’ as azas lubricas
        O veloz tempo, logo que ao feretro
        Cede o passo a Lisonja,
        Rasgando a torpe mascara.
    Com tardos passos calcando os tumulos
        O Esquecimento, da maõ esqualida
        Sólta as confusas cinzas,
        Que espalha o vento rapido.
    Mas eu ingrato, Silvio magnanimo,
        Soffrer podia, que o canto melico
        Esquecido deixasse
        O teu nome magnifico?

[380] See page 126.

[381] It commences thus:--


    Naõ Arabico incenso, ouro luzente,
      Nem pérolas do Ganges,
    Naõ tenho que offrecer-vos reverente
    Malhas, arnezes, punicos alfanges
      Mas soberbas Phalanges
    De almos Hymnos Dirceos, q’immortaes tecem
    Mil croas á Virtude, me obedecem.


    Fuja o profano Vulgo, qual nos montes
      O rebanho medroso
    Quando vè fuzilar nos horizontes
    O farpado corisco pavoroso,
      Ouve o trovaõ ruidoso,
    Correndo pelo valle se derrama,
    E em seu balido o Pegureiro chama.


    Nos mansos ares vejo
    Já sobre as azas luzidas pezados
    Meus fogosos Etontes, que banhados.
      No doce, flavo Téjo
    Os freios de diamantes mastigavaõ
    Quando as Ninfas de rosas os croavaõ.

[382] The commencement of this dythirambic deserves, on account of its
literary singularity, to be transcribed here:--

      Os brilhantes trançados enastrando
    Com verde mirto, com cheirosas flores,
    Nos lindos olhos vivo rutilando
        O doce lume
        Do cego Nume,
        Alvas donzellas
        A quem vos ama,
        Da crespa rama
        Que Bassareu
        Ao mundo deo,
    Co’ as brancas maõs no cópo crystallino
        Lançai ligeiras
    Louro Falerno, rubido Sabino,
        Eia, voai,
        Deitai, deitai;
        Gró gró, tá tá,
        Que cheio está.
        Ora brindemos
    As gentis Graças, castos Amores:
        No mar lancemos
    Rixas, tristezas, mágoas, temores. &c.

[383] It is not easy to select a passage as a specimen; but the
following, in which Garçaõ speaks of Portuguese poetry, may be quoted
on account of its auxiliary interest.

    Naõ busques pensamentos exquisitos
      Em denegridas nuvens embrulhados;
      Naõ tragas naõ metaforas violentas,
      Imitando esse Corvo do Mondego,
      Que entre os Cisnes do Téje anda grasnando:
    Usa da pura lingua Portugueza,
      Que aprendido já tens no bom Ferreira,
      No Camões immortal, em Sousa, e Barros:
    Em Grego naõ me escrevas, nem Latim;
      Dá me conta da tua larga vida;
    Desejo que me digas se inda preza
      No pensamento trazes a Cachopa;
      Se com tres companheiros n’uma banca
      De panno verde ornada o Whist jogas;
    Se ouves fallar Francez; e se inda lavra
      O mal, de que hoje tantos adoecem;
      Fallo daquella praga desastrada
      Dos enfermos Poetas, que naõ querem
      Os remedios tomar para sararem, &c.

[384] For example, at the close of the epistle, which treats of the
difficulties of house-keeping.

      Que facil he sonhar felicidades!
    Tu já rico me crês; eu já supponho,
    Agora que te escrevo, e que te fallo:
    Mas esta Scena subito se muda;
    O Chico mostra rotos os çapatos;
    Huma quer lenços, outra quer roupinhas,
    O Nadegas dinheiro para a ceia;
    A’ porta esta batendo o Alfaiate.
    Se alguem aos caens lançou os patrios ossos;
    Se foi traidor á Patria, se he falsario,
    Seja lançado a filhos, e credores.


      Sentemo-nos Senhores;
    Que grave Tribunal! Que magestoso!
    Mal sabe o Mundo agora, que pendente
    Deste conclave está o seu destino.
    Oh quanto, amada Patria, quanto deves
    A teu bom Cidadaõ Aprigio Tafes,
    Suando, e tressuando por salvarte
    Do pélago profundo da Ignorancia,
    Onde pobre jazias, atolada,
    Entre pessimos Dramas corviqueiros! &c.

[386] The following is a part of this patriotic apostrophe:--

      Vós Manes do _Ferreira_, e de _Miranda_:
    E tu, ó _Gil Vincente_, a quem as graças
    Embaláraõ o berço, e te gravaraõ
    Na honrada campa o nome de Terencio;
    Esperai esperai, q’inda vingados,
    E soltos vos vereis do esquecimento.
    Illustres Portuguezes, no Theatro
    Naõ negueis hum lugar ás vossas Musas:
    Ellas, naõ as alheias, publicaráõ
    De vossos bons Avôs os grandes feitos,
    Que eternos soaráõ em seus Escritos:
    E podeis esperar paga taõ nobre,
    Se detestando parecer ingrato,
    Lhe defenderdes o Paterno Ninho,
    E quizerdes com honra agazalhallas.

[387] In old and genuine Portuguese the word _partida_ means parting,
and has not the signification of the French _partie_.

[388] _Poesias de Paulino Cabral de Vasconcellos_, &c. _Porto_, 1786,
in 8vo. A second volume of these poems has been printed, but I have not
seen it.

[389] For example, the following sonnet on modern judges, who are at
the same time men of fashion.

      Vós que o mundo regeis, Padres conscriptos,
    (O que eu vos naõ invéjo) e que prudentes
    De promessas encheis aos pretendentes,
    E de esperanças vans aos Réos afflictos:
      Vós que lêdes processos infinitos;
    Que soffreis cavilózos requerentes;
    Cartas, memoriaes impertinentes;
    E por fim castigaes poucos delictos;
      Vós ficai-vos em paz; porque occupados
    Naõ deveis ser com clausulas escriptas
    De quem sem pleitos vive, e sem cuidados.
      Basta-me só que ás vezes nas vizîtas.
    As vêjaõ Petimetres namorados,
    As ouçaõ sem desprêzo as Senhorîtas.

[390] For example, the following:--

      Ou fosse, Nize, em nós pouca cautella,
    Ou que alguem presentisse o nosso enleyo,
    Tudo se sábe já: tudo hé já cheio,
    Qu’ algum cuidado ha muito nos disvella.
      Dizem, qu’eu son feliz, que tu es bella;
    E ás vêzes com satirico rodeio,
    Hum murmûra, outra zomba, e sem receio
    A fama cada qual nos atropella.
      Mas se nunca se tapa a boca á gente,
    E se amôr sempre activo nos devóra,
    Porque aquella he mordaz, porque este ardente;
      Adorêmo-nos pois como até agora:
    Siga-se amôr; arraste-se a corrente;
    E se o mundo fallar, que falle embóra.

[391] _Osmîa, tragedia de assumpto Portuguez, em cinco actos, coroada
pela Academia Real das Sciencias de Lisboa, em 13 de Mayo de 1788.
Segundo ediçaõ, Lisboa, 1795, in 4to._

[392] A fragment from the scene in which Osmia first betrays a
reciprocal love for the Prætor, will afford a specimen, though an
imperfect one, of the merit of this tragedy.

    _Osmîa._              Pretor, senaõ alcanço
           Saber o que pertendo, mais naõ tenho
           Que saber, ou que ouvir. A Eledia torno,
           Que naõ longe deixei, ou tu m’a envia,
           E á minha dor me deixa em tanto entregue.

    _Lelio._ Se te agrada aggravar o duro aspecto
           Da tua situaçaõ, fallemos della:
           Naõ falta que dizer, e verás como
           Sei prestar-me a teus votos, bem que sejaõ
           Contrarios a meus proprios sentimentos.

    _Osmîa._ Ah! cruel! como vejo em teu semblante
           Reluzir a fereza que disfarças
           D’uma falsa piedade na apparencia.

    _Lelio._ Chamas falsa piedade a hum sentimento,
           Que todo me transporta?

    _Osmîa._                  Que linguagem!

    _Lelio._ E quanto soffro, Osmîa, sob o pezo
           Do rigido silencio que m’imponho!

    _Osmîa._ Mais naõ soffras, Pretor, vai explicar-te
           Onde possas melhor ser percebido.
           E que, naõ partes?

    _Lelio._                    Parto sim, Princeza!..
           E que naõ farei eu por contentar-te?
           Mas vê que o meu silencio.. a tua virtude..
           Ah! que eu me precipito!

                      _Osmîa, só._

    _Osmîa._                          Justos Deoses.
           Valei-me! E que expressões.. que modo estranho
           De persuadir!.. Que duro.. que terrivel
           Incerto estado o meu! Ah! cara Eledia....

Eledia, who is apostrophized in the concluding line, is the Turdetanian
prophetess who has begun to suspect the sentiments of Osmia.

[393] The manner in which the interest rises cannot be developed in a
fragment. One of the closing scenes may, however, be transcribed as a
specimen. Osmia has made a promise to her husband to murder the Prætor.
She meets him:--

    _Osmîa._                  Ah! porque a vida
           Naõ cortas d’uma vez, sorte inhumana!

    _Lelio._ Mas tal agitaçaõ!.... tanta amargura!

    _Osmîa._ Pretor, naõ imagines.. naõ.. naõ creias,
           Que a minha agitaçaõ.. naõ sei que digo.

    _Lelio._ Prosegue, bella Osmîa, naõ m’escondas
           O mal que teus espiritos transtorna.

    _Osmîa._ Grata a teus beneficios, mas ligada
           Com rigidas cadeias posso a penas
           Dizer-te, que a virtude me levára
           A lançar maõ de quanto m’offereces.
           Que a gloria o requeria; que meu peito
           (Sem poder desejallo) te acceitára
           Taõ illustres, taõ grandes sacrificios;
           Mas sou mais infeliz. Hum Deos irado
           Me obriga.. a que naõ parta.. que despreze,
           Lelio, teus grandes dons.. teus preciósos
           Sublimes beneficios.. sorte insana,
           Me condemna a viver infame vida....
           E que te perca (oh Deos!) e que naõ possa
           Compensar com meu sangue..

    _Lelio._                            Tu deliras?

    _Osmîa._ Naõ Pretor, naõ deliro, sô pertendo,
           Que o campo já levantes; que me deixes
           Exhalar meu espirito opprimido
           Em torno áquellas aras.. Mas naõ tardes....
           Parte, parte daquí. He precioso
           O tempo que esperdiças; naõ te exponhas....
           Naõ posso dixer mais. Em paz me deixa.

    _Lelio._ Que estranha confusão!

    _Osmîa._                        E inda naõ partes?
           Que insania te detem!.. Infeliz! vai-te....

[394] I have not had an opportunity of becoming sufficiently acquainted
either with these Portuguese interludes or the comedies of Guita. A
great number of interludes are printed at Lisbon.

[395] _Obras Poeticas de Nicolao Tolentino d’Almeida._ Lisb. 1801; 2
volumes octavo.

[396] The following sonnet on a gamester who has promised no longer
to play at the pharo-bank, is not one of the wittiest pieces of
the kind which might be selected from Tolentino’s works, but it is

_A hum Taful, que protestou, naõ apontar à Banca._

    Que tornas a apontar, prometto, e attesto,
        Que eu, passaro bisnau, sino garoto,
        Depois de já ter feito o mesmo voto,
        Jógo o que trago, e jogarei de resto.
    Seguimos os Tafues o mesmo aresto,
        Que segue nas tormentas o Piloto;
        Hum parolim desfeito, hum masto roto
        Tem produzido muito vaõ protesto.
    Ainda dos ardidos Jogadores
        Vaõ as pragas subindo sobre o vento,
        Já tornaõ para o jugo os taes Senhores.
    He caso, em que naõ liga o juramento;
        Qual parida, que grita com os dores,
        E sabe prenhe no fim do regimento.

[397] The following are a few stanzas from a satirical poem on war:--

        Dizes que se compra Quina,
    Porque altas febres desterra;
    E que em Collegios se ensina,
    Em huma Aula, a Arte da guerra,
    Em outra, a da Medicina:
        Que no frio, vasto Norte,
    Cem _Boerhaves_ eloquentes
    Enchem de oire o cofre forte,
    Porque perdidos doentes
    Arrançaõ das maõs da morte:
        Que alli mesmo grosso fruto
    Colhe _Saxe_ entre os Soldados,
    Porque em minado reducto
    Fez voar despedaçados
    Dez mil homens n’hum minuto.

[398] These translations are anonymously printed, and have never been
regularly published. The design with which they are written, renders
them, however, the more deserving of being known, since, according to
the express declaration of the author, their object is,--“to counteract
the too great predilection of the Portuguese nation for languishing
pastoral poetry.” The commencement of the translation of Alexander’s
Feast, shall now close the poetic portion of this selection of
Portuguese extracts:--

    Era a festa Real, que ao bellicozo
        Macedonio, da Persia glorioso
            Vencedor acclamava.
            Excelso o Eroe brilhava
            No solio majestozo.
    Valentes Pares seus o rodeavaõ
    Que de rosas e murta a frente ornavaõ
    (Como ao valor compete se croavaõ.)
    Thais mostrava ao regio lado airoza,
    Qual outra oriental florente esposa,
    Juventude e beldade radioza.
        Feliz, feliz donzella!
        Ninguem, se naõ o Eroe,
        Ninguem, se naõ o Eroe,
    Ninguem, se naõ o Eroe merece a bella.

[399] _Advertencias preliminares ao poema heroico da Henriqueida._ See
page 340.

[400] O tenho (sc. o poema epico de Virgilio) pela obra humana, em que
se achem menos imperfecções.

[401] These critical _Dissertações_ form an appendix to the _Obras
poeticas_ of Garçaõ, already noticed.

[402] For example, in the following passage, in which Garçaõ justifies
himself to the members of the Arcadian academy against the charge of

Naõ creio, ó Arcades, que em vossos corações se pervertesse a antiga
sinceridade de costumes com taõ violenta metamorfose, que para
reconciliar-me comvosco me seja preciso cantar a Palinodia. Vós estais
offendidos? Eu ultrajei-vos? Havera entre Nós algum espirito taõ
escravo da vangloria, que naõ possa, nem se atreva a soffrer a verdade?
Chamar-me heis atrevido, porque sou zeloso da honra, e do credito da
Arcadia? Porque naõ sei lisonjear-vos com fantasticas esperanças;
porque vos naõ attribuo, se possivel he, maior merecimento do que
o vosso? Ou finalmente porque naõ me atrevo a divulgar com soberba
jactancia, que restauràmos a boa Poesia, e a verdadeira Eloquencia? Que
peleijámos, e que vencemos? Naõ, Arcades, naõ sou taõ ingrato, que vos
julgue destituidos de piedade, e de benevolencia.

[403] This passage may likewise be transcribed, as a specimen of the
Portuguese prose of the middle of the eighteenth century:--

Corre o tempo: ateia-se a epidemia; desprezaõ-se os bons Authores; naõ
vale o exemplo da Antiguidade; apaga-se a memoria da Arte; e finalmente
se transforma o genio da Naçaõ. Se no fim desta Epoca apparecesse huma
Alma capaz de atalhar o damno, acha já com tantas forças o Inimigo,
que ainda que adquira a honra de atacallo, raras vezes cólhe os louros
do triunfo. Saõ taõ frequentes, e talvez taõ domesticos os exemplos,
que naõ devo respeitallos. Prouvera Deos, ó Arcades, que ainda hoje em
Portugal naõ avultassem mais as ruinas deste geral destroço, do que
as miseraveis reliquias da restuida Lisboa. Só huma Academia, huma
Sociedade de homens sabios, zelosos do bem, e da honra da sua Patria,
he o Alexandre que póde cortar este Nó Gordiano, he o Achilles de que
pende a expugnaçaõ de Troia.

[404] See page 335.

[405] _Sobre a Poesia bucolica dos Poetas Portugueses. Memoria I._ The
continuation does not appear to have been published.

[406] _Espirito da lingoa Portugueza, extrahido das Decadas do insigno
escritos Joaõ de Barros_, in the third volume of the _Memorias de Litt.

[407] _Joaõ de Barros, exemplar de mais solida eloquencia Portuguesa_;
in the fourth volume of the _Memorias de Litt. Port._

[408] _Analyse e combinações philosophicas sobre o elucaçaõ e estilo de
Sà de Miranda, &c._ in the fourth volume of the _Mem. de Litt. Port._

[409] See page 209.

[410] The selection of extracts contained in this work may be closed by
the following passage, which will afford a specimen of the recent style
of didactic prose in the Portuguese language. The author is speaking of
the value to be set on ancient and modern poetry.

Mas este concurso de circunstancias parece, que ainda naõ foi a causa
suficiente da perfeiçaõ das Linguas: inda alli se diviza hum vacuo,
que precisa ser occupado. Aqui vem a Poesia com toda a sua pompa e
magestade, desatando os vóos, pulindo e aperfeiçoando os Idiomas,
dando a tudo alma e vida, já elevando-se aos maiores assumptos
nos louvores do Ente Supremo, e no panegyrico dos grandes homens,
persuadindo a imitaçaõ das acções nobres, e dignas dos mais distinctos
applausos. Ella lhe abre os seus thesouros; ella os enriquece; ella
lhes dá força, elegancia, e harmonia, sem o que seriaõ huns cadaveres
seccos, e inanimados. Sem a Poesia, nada seriaõ talvez os Gregos, e
os Romanos, que tanto enchêraõ o mundo com o fama das suas victorias,
com a grandeza das suas acções, e muito mais com a perfeiçaõ, com que
cultiváraõ todas as artes de genio, de que tantos, e taõ admiraveis
testemunhos nos deixáraõ principalmente nos seus escritos. A Poesia
pois, que tendo entre os antigos hum caracter de harmonia muito diverso
da Poesia moderna, veio pela ignorancia dos Seculos a tal decadencia,
que pouco faltou para ficar inteiramente ignorada.

[411] _Ensayo critico, sobre qual seja o uso prudente das palavras &c._
In the fourth volume of the _Memorias de Litt. Port._ The continuation
is in the fifth volume.

[412] It forms the commencement of the fifth volume of the _Memorias de
Litt. Port._

[413] _Compendio de Rhetorica Portuguesa, por Antonio de Teixeira a
Magalhães._ Lisb. 1782, in 8vo. I know nothing of this work except the

[414] _Rhetorica de Gisbert, traduzida do Frances._ Lisb. 1789, in 8vo.

[Transcriber’s Note:

Corrections listed in Errata have beeen made.

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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