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the patricii, who were then signified by the term populus, Valerius ordered the fasces to be lowered.*
Our prescribed limits warn us to stop, notwithstanding the delightful nature of the subject. Niebuhr's power in delineating characters, his manly vigorous style, and the elevation of sentiments which pervades his whole work, are almost merits of a secondary consideration in a work which abounds in novel researches, in original views, and in scientific results of a most interesting nature. We are glad to have been the first to have laid open his true merits before our countrymen.
Art. VII.--Résumé de l'Histoire Littéraire du Portugal, suivi
du Résumé de l'Histoire Littéraire du Brésil. Par Ferdinand
Denis. Paris. 1826. THE author of this summary has been preceded by several writers 1. whose labours, nevertheless, are incomplete. The Abbate Andres, Bouterwek, Sismondi, and Sané, together with a few of the most noted Portuguese critics, such as Barbosa, Suarez de Brito, and the authors of the Dictionary of the Portuguese language, a publication commenced under the auspices of the Academy of Lisbon, (but unfortunately not yet advanced beyond the letter A,) were, until M. Denis wrote, the only authorities to be consulted for information on this interesting portion of southern literature. The above-named gentleman, however, presents us, in his volume, with a review of Portuguese literature, possessing systematic arrangement, and excellent, though concise, references for the guidance of students. We proceed to give some account of its contents ; our intention, however, is not to confine ourselves to its limits, but to draw from his literary predecessors, or insert those observations which we have collected ourselves during our studies.
The predilection of the Portuguese for the Castilian, may be almost traced to the period of the first formation of their tongue : but like the Castilians and Estremadurians, and even the Anda
* The question about the war of Porsenna is decided by a passage in Tacitus, Hist. iii. 72, which Beaufort was, we believe, the first to notice. What Livius or the annalists wished to conceal, Tacitus candidly acknowledges-Rome was actually conquered by Porsenna. Niebuhr very properly asks, how could Rome be reduced to starvation by an enemy who was encamped on the right bank of the Tiber, on the Janiculum ? When three hundred patricians determined to assassinate Porsenna, be reminds us of the three hundred gentes, so that every gens could boast of a gallant hero. He shows also, that a third of the territory, or ten regions, were lost. The grand epopæia of Tarquin closes with the Homeric battle at the Regillus, where all the heroes meet in single combat, and at which, if we are to believe the current histories, Tarquin must have charged at the head of his cavalry, at the age of almost a hundred. Even Homer does not venture this : old Nestor does not mix in actual conflict.
lusians, they used the Galician dialect in their love-songs and ballads, a species of poetry in which nearly all the primitive monuments of Portuguese literature consist. This dialect was formed from the Latin, and from the language which the Suevi introduced, when they founded the monarchy, the dominion of which comprised, in Spain, all that is now called Galicia, and in Portugal all the territory extending from Galicia to the outward boundary of Braga. The Spanish language was formed from the Latin, combined with the dialects of the Visigoths, who, expelling the Alani, the Silingi, and the Vandals, made themselves, masters of the rest of Spain ; and one hundred and seventy years subsequently, in the reign of Leovigildo, took possession also of the Suevo-Galician monarchy. Here, then, we perceive the disstinction between the Castilian and the Portuguese, considered as Roman languages. The Galician, however, felt the influence of the French, when, in the eleventh century, Alonso VI., king of Castile and Leon, gave the whole of that province, with the part of Lusitania which was then free from the Moorish dominions, to his son-in-law, Count Henry of Burgundy ; an act by which he laid the foundation of the Portuguese kingdom, which acquired independence, and became enlarged and organised by the aid of the French knights who accompanied the Count and his son Alonso, the first king of Portugal. The indications of these new elements derived from the French, or the language of Oui, which, with this event, became engrafted on the primitive Galician, are not to be mistaken. The nasal intonation which, to this day, forms so strong a character in the Portuguese pronunciation, bears testimony to the admixture, in the same manner as the Arabic element is marked by the guttural sounds of the Spanish.
The Peninsular troubadours composed their songs in the Galician and Portuguese languages : and this is an obvious reason, why the Portuguese collections of such songs known under the name of cancioneros, are more numerous than the Castilian of the same class. The Marquis of Santillana mentions having read, when a boy, a very ancient cancionero, which, among other songs, contained several of the compositions of King D. Dionisio, and of Juan Suarez de Paiva. This last-mentioned troubadour is unquestionably the most ancient, after Egas Moñiz Coello, and Gonzalo Hermignez, contemporaries of the Burgundian Count, Don Henrique. Paiva became enamoured of an Infanta of Portugal; and, in consequence of this passion, was compelled to leave the court, and die an exile in Galicia. · Duarte Nuñez de Leon, in his Chronicles of the reign of Dionisio, says, that this king was nearly the first who wrote verses in the Portuguese tongue. This Dionisio, at once monarch, poet, moralist, legislator, avowed protector of letters,
and of the arts, founder of the university of Lisbon, (afterwards transferred to Coimbra,) and encourager of the translations into the Portuguese of the most esteemed works of the age which closed the thirteenth century, was, in all these respects, the emulator of his illustrious grandfather, Don Alonso of Castile, surnamed the Wise. Don Pedro, count of Barcelos, the natural son of King Dionisio, made the first step towards historical writing by his . Nobiliario,' or book of Genealogy. Under the reign of Don Pedro, (of tragic memory, by reason of his unhappy amour with Doña Ines de Castro,) poetry received a fresh stimulus from the example of that prince. He delighted in composing verses, as well in the Castilian as Portuguese ; and many fragments of his compositions in both languages are extant to this day. Of those in the Castilian, it may be observed, that they have both the form, and the style of the Italian canzone. This circumstance, concurring with the existence of certain sonnets of the fourteenth and fifteenth century, induces the belief that Italian poetry had very early an influence over the Portuguese.
King Ferdinand created the first Portuguese historian, by charging Fernan Lopez with the task of composing the chronicles of the kingdom.
Next came King Duarte, who ennobled the language by a wonderful variety of writings, many of them on moral subjects, and all remarkable for excellence of style. Alfonso IV., who was anterior to Duarte, is also supposed to have been a poet, since to him is attributed the sonnet in praise of the author of • Amadis de Gaul;' and Alfonso V., who succeeded Duarte, and who encouraged the sciences and navigation, and who wrote himself on the subject of astronomy and tactics, contributed much to the refinement of manners, and greatly advanced the culture of historical literature, by ordering the composition of the history of Portugal in Latin, and by sending Gomez Eannez de Azarara to Africa, for the purpose of collecting documents relative to the expedition which he sent out to that quarter. Azarara succeeded Fernan Lopez in the office of chronicler and keeper of the archives of the Torre del Trombo. He acquitted himself most satisfactorily, and the chronicle which he left behind him is most estimable for the style and arrangement, and fidelity of his narrative. Incorporated in his work, is a Memoir on the arrival of Columbus at Lisbon, when he returned from his first voyage to the New World. It was written by Ruiz da Pina, and contains a lively picture of the regret felt by the King of Portugal at having neglected the opportunity of securing to himself that intrepid navigator, and of reaping the obvious advantage derivable from his important discoveries. During the regency which governed Portugal, in the name of this same
Alfonso V., and with which his uncle, the Infant Don Pedro, was invested, letters enjoyed especial favour. The regent himself cultivated them with ardour, and composed songs in Portuguese, and a poem in Castilian, entitled “Contempto del Mundo. He, at the same time, kept up a close intimacy with Juan de Mena, to whom he often addressed verses, requesting that poet to send him compositions in return. Similar demands were made on the Marquis of Santillana, by the regent's son, the Constable Don Pedro, who also was a poet, as we may infer from the reply of the Marquis.
After claiming Macias, the Enamorado, for the Portuguese, on account of his Galician productions, M. Denis proceeds to observe, that pastoral poetry was much cultivated in Portugal. There was even a period, and that coeval with the origin of the language, in which the poets confined themselves, exclusively, to this department. They sang their amours, and rural delights, ere they celebrated their conquests; and although, in the remembrance of their wars with the Moors, and even with the people of Castile and Leon, there was no dearth of glorious traditions, calculated to kindle their enthusiasm, and inspire the lofty lyric; they yet preferred, to such subjects, the pleasing scenes presented to them by a lovely country, less agitated than the rest of the Peninsula by the turmoils of war, more blessed in its aptitude for maritime commerce, and in the friendly relations which, from a very early period, it cultivated with the people of Italy. Hence, we see, that, by how much the Portuguese surpass the Spaniards, in the abundance and elegance of the Coplas,' which form their stock of poetry; so much, and even more, are they inferior to their neighbours in other kinds of compositions. We allude to the Romanceros, in which the most glorious events of the national history, and of the heroic times of the Spanish monarchy, are narrated in flowing and vigorous verses. As a counterpoise to this advantage, the Portuguese Coplas, indeed, treat their amorous and bucolic subjects with a simplicity much preferable to the subtleties and forced allegories which form the medley of the Spanish Cancioneros, whatever be their theme, whether the delights of love, or some mystery, or the life of a saint. Both nations, in fact, imitate the Italians, but the Portuguese, even in their imitations, are inspired more by their feelings, and, not contenting themselves, like the Spaniards, with observing mere outward forms, with putting into metre factitious and far-fetched thoughts, present a happy variety of scenes and personages, and animate their descriptions with a greater air of truth, and, generally speaking, with a more faithful picture of nature.
After these models were formed, towards the end of the fifteenth century came the tender and elegant Bernardino Ribeiro. He
confirmed the bucolic turn in poetry, and in prose set the first example of the pastoral tale, so much imitated by the succeeding poets of Spain, as well as Portugal. He was a gentleman of the bedchamber to King Manuel, and had become desperately enamoured of that monarch's daughter, the Infanta Donna Beatrice. Obliged to suppress the pangs of a passion, as violent as its gratification was beyond his reach, he retired to a life of solitude, and there impressed on his writings that character of truth, feeling, and melancholy, which so highly distinguish his eclogues, and his pastoral romance of Menina e Moza.
The infancy of Portuguese literature passes away with Ribei ro. It effected a wonderful progress in the sixteenth century. Contemporaneous, however, with Ribeiro may deservedly be placed Cristobal Falcam, a native of Madeira, equally unfortunate in his amours, which cost him five years' imprisonment. The writings of these two men of genius, with those works, of which we have above treated, and the celebrated romance of Amadis de Gaul, attributed to Vasco de Lobeira, although, according to the more plausible opinion, it was written, or at least first sent into the world, in Castilian, in the fourteenth century, together with the early and happy attempts at the historical, romantic, pastoral, and didactic in prose, and at the lyrical, erotic, and bucolic in poetry, form the foundations of Portuguese literature, whose structure was raised by the great writers of the reign of Don Manuel, and Don Juan III. These gave to their epic poetry such an elevation that Italy alone can dispute with it; to the drama, an impulse, which, though unsuccessful itself, contributed to form the theatres of Lope de Vega and Calderon; and to historical prose, a noble and dignified character, which increased the strength and completed the structure of that language which flows so sweetly from the harp of Camoens.
The author of the Lusiades sets the first example of calling the muse of patriotism to life, and of blending the truth of national history with the charms of poetry. His contemporaries and immediate successors, as well as those poets who followed him after the interval of a century, and even those who, in our days, have attempted the same lofty strain, have all continued to render the history of Portugal eminently heroic and poetical. Thus the glorious achievements performed in Africa and the Indies, are celebrated in the Lusiad of Camoens; in the Shipwreck of Sepulveda, and the Second Siege of Diu, of Cortereal; in the Elegiada, or the Catastrophe of King Sebastian, by Luis Pereira Brandon ; in the Conquest of Malacca, by Francisco Saa de Meneses ; in Alphonso the African, by Manzinho Quebedo; in the Oriente of José Augustin Mazedo; and in the Zarqueida, or Discovery of Madeira, by Zargo de Medina e Vasconcellos. The glorious