Page images
PDF
EPUB

At the university of Coimbra, and the “ The taste for poetry is not yet numerous literary institutions at Lif- extinct in this country. Portugal juitly bon, no occafional publications appear. boats of having produced the greatest It is very customary, however, for a pocts of the peninsula, and is without young man, who wishes to obtain a all doubt superior to Spain. For what place that requires scientific know- is Ercilla, what are all the epic poets ledge, or to pursue his studies at the ex of Spain, compared to Camoens, pepse of the government, to write some who may rival the first poets of Italy? short treatise or differtation. Thus a Nur dues Camoens stand alone, though wretched short sketch of anatomy was he fo far eclipses the rest, that these are published, by a furgeon who wanted feldom named in foreign countries. to be appointed lecturer in anatomy, The Ulyslipo, by De Sousa Macedo, in a new inftitution; and one Constan- may still be considered as equal to Erço, who had studied physic at Edin- cilla's Araucana. But this is not the burgh, and afterwards at Paris, at the place to describe the Portugueze poets, expense of the government, wrote a whom our literary men have too long thort treatise on the culture of foda. neglected. Even now, half the works Instead of numerous establishments and publithed consist of books of moral regulations, the government should and religious instruction, and poems. take care that more occasional works Young people are very much addicted of this kind would be published, in to poetry; and the fair tex love both order to accustom the nation by de- poetry and poets. One, two, or three grees to reading of books of science veries are sometimes, by way of amuseand information.

ment, thrown out in company, to “In a country where so little atten- which an extempore composition is to tion is paid to literature, journals might be made, concluding with those lines. not at first fucceed. In Lisbon, how- The concluding verses first produced ever, is published a weekly paper, call are called mote, and the remainder ed o Almocreve de Petas, which is gloza. Such motes and glozas are very much read, and contains amusing found in the collection of Camoens' anecdotes, incidents, poems, &c. Al poems. In the new they sometimes mocreve in Portugueze, like arreiro in occupy one half of all the fonnets. Spanish, fignifies a carrier or mule- Even persons of condition are fond of driver, who conveys goods from place poetry, and it will perhaps give my to place, and peta is a bagatelle; the compatriots pleasure to learn, that the title therefore tignifies the post of baga- Dowager Countess of Oeynhausen, telles. The incidents are generally fat, daughter of the Marquis of Alorno, the anecdotes ill-chosen, and no better and a native of Portugal, has very haptold; though it cannot be denied, that pily translated several cantos of Wieamong a great number, fome few are land's Oberon into Portugueze. It is Very good. They are feldoin without only to be lamented that the cannot yet fome personal allufion; and I perceive be prevailed on to make them public. the author even ventures to be pleasant « Epic, and in general all great on the monastery here and there, and poems, continually become more rare, their trifiing irregularities. The tales are and plays are foarcely erer original, nearly in the following manner: “A boy most of them being imitations and was sent by his master to the convent translations from the French, and espeof Chelas (a convent fo called near cially from the Italian. The English Lisbon). The nuns gave him a basket are less common and worse executed.

of sweetmeats, together with an un Neither are fatires frequent. Except * sealed letter, saying, “ The present a few fatirical fonnets, I know of no is for your criado' (a word lignity- great poem of this class. Modern lite‘ing both a servant and a fuitor). The rature has however produced a comicoboy being unfortunately able to read, heroic poem, entitled, Gaticanea, ou thought the tweetmeats were for him- cruelistima guerra entre os caēs e os • self, and devoured them. His master gatos: Poema escrito por Joao Jorge • flew in a passion,' &c. Such are in de Carvalho. Lisb. 1794. 8vo. This general most of the tales, which are poem was much approved, and has rarely enriched with any happy stroke many comic passages, but, as a whole, of satire. The poetry excels the prote, is too flat; nor are the points fuffiand sometimes is not bad.

ciently delicate and triking. The most Vol. V.~No. L.

commor

[ocr errors]

common species of poetry are sonnets, ‘N’um turbilhao de luzes, odes, fongs, and paftorals. The fon • Sobes aos aftros nitidos.' net, however, as in Spain, is the kind

“ Those who would scan Portugueze of poetry chiefly in favour; moft occa- verfe must recollect, that, like the fional poems and all extempories being Spanith and Italian, a final vowel is of that class. The first artless expref- cut off when the next word begins with fions of paflion, every ebullition of the

a vowel or an h. Thus aos, properly heart, which leaves no time for coolly

a os, forms but one fyllable in verse. deliberating on regular plans, the Por

“ Another poet thinks to succeed tugueze throws into this form; and a

with mere iambics. He says, confiderable collection of excellent sonnets might indubitably be formed, as

• Ja se transformao em montanhas rigiwell from the new as from the old Por

das, tugueze poets.

• Do vasto pelago as campinas cerulas, “ Bucolic poetry has ever been a fa • In Neptuno fanhoso vourite with this nation. Excellent

• Mil bocas abre por tragar a terra.' examples of it may be seen in Camoens's “ It also appears that odes are called collection; and with him are claffed fix Alcaic if the strophes have nearly the other writers of eclogues, who, though proper length; to the long or short they do not entirely equal him, have fyllables no very ftri&t attention is paid; produced fome excellent fpecimens. the authors being satisfied if they do Indeed I cannot but think that great not too much violate the pronunciation mafter has led his country into a taste of the language." P.476. for this kind of poetry. Nothing is “ There is no scarcity of Portugueze read but such amorous complaints as translations, almost all the French resemble those of Camoens; and the works of merit in the belles lettres, great uniformity, the constant repeti- where religion will permit, being transtion of the same or fimilar thoughts, lated, and some not ill executed. Borender the readers insensible to many cage, for instance, has translated Gil a beautiful description of later poets. Blas very well. Adelaide and ThecThat fimplicity, which gives fuch dore, the panegyrics of Thomas, and charms to this species of poetry, is here many others, will certainly contribute always wanting.

to the improvement of Portuguese writ“ Among the odes and songs, espe- ing. Spanish works are rarely transcially the soft tender fonnets, are some lated, the two languages being too excellent pieces. Portugueze literature nearly alike ; perhaps alto the irreconis also rich in blank-verse poems, and cilable national hatred may have some attempts are frequently made to imi- influence, as it is utterly impoffible for tate the metre of the ancients. In a Portugueze to bcftow praife on any every collection, Alcaic and Sapphic thing Spanish. From the Italian they odes are rarely wanting. The transla- have nothing but plays, por do they tions of the ancients, of which there is often transate English works, except a no want, are always in blank iambic few dramas, a few books of travels (as verse, owing to the restraint of trant for instance Murphy's), and medical lating into rhyme. The metrical art, writings. I know of no books trans. however, of the Portugueze poets is lated immediately from the German. not very far advanced, nor have they Through the medium of the French at all attempted hexameters. They they have in Portugueze, as in almost mutilate the metre of the ancients, as all modern languages, two of our did formerly our German poets, who poems, one of the best and one of the imagined our language would not ad- worst. The reader will anticipate that

mit of a close imitation. Hence in I allude to Schonaich's Hermann, and : their Sapphic odes they change the Gefiner's Death of Abel.

dactyl in the third cæfura into a tro “ Novels are still very poor, the chee, and in the Alcaic make the fourth Portugueze being in this respect far instrophe fimilar to the third, and com, ferior to the Spaniards. Of translations pose it entirely of iambics.---The fol- they have only the old and bad French lowing is an example of the last-men- novels, and a few English, which are tioned metre:

also by no means the best. There is : Mas tu, ditoso, placido espirito, collection of novels, under the title of • Entre os risonhos coros angelicos, Lances da Ventura, Acalos de desgraça,

e Heroilmos

[ocr errors]

e Heroismos da virtude; Novellas of- Many ancient documents are there fercidas a naçao Portugueza para seu printed, and many elucidate the old divertimento, s tom. 1794. The title and new constitutions of the country. is fufficient to show in what style it is They are therefore indispensably newritten, and with what ideas the col- cessary to the historian *. Except this, lection has been made. The Historia the new works on the history of Puin de Carlos Magno, on dos doze pares tugal are inconsiderable, nor is there de França, is a favourite novel both one that contains an animated descrip. with the higher and lower classes, and tion. new editions of it constantly appear.

“ Philology is in a melancholy 'ftate. Burlesque bombast appears to great In Spain, from time to time, appear advantage in this language, certainly magnificent editions of the clallics; as much and more than in Spanish, and but in Portugal, onlyinsignificant faulty the agreeable nonsense is perused with impreflions for school-boys. The profe pleasure. The portraits of the twelve translations made with the same view peers of France are always to be seen deserve no notice; the poetical versions among the pictures fold about the are in part better, and here and there treets for children, together with the are passages extremely well translated, formofiffima Floripes, the giant Fera- which it was the more easy to attain, bras, the Duque de Borgonha, Rinaldo, because the Portugueze is closer to the and the rest of the knights errant. Latin than any other language. Friar

“ The prints and pictures that are Joao de Sousa is a good Orientalist. His fold about the streets, remind me of the Vestigios da lingoa Arabica em Portucaricatures. What is the object of gal, and his Documentos Arabicos, are, these? In London the ministry and in the judgment of the learned and ju. opposition ; at Paris gaming, fashions, dicious counsellor Tychsen, very good and fashionable amusements; and at works. Lisbon assassination: all which objects “ The philosophy of the Portugueze they are contrived to render laughable. was for a long time the mere obscure I have one before me, where a man cant of the schools; but Pombal bacomes to another, with a stiletto in his nished it from the learned institutions, hand, and demands the money due to nor do even the profefforships of logic him; upon which the latter is going to and metaphysics remain at Coimbra. answer with the filetto, and a third Since that time I scarcely know of a coming up, says, Agora accomodamse single publication in which any object (Ah! now you are reconciled). Cer- of philosophy, properly so called, is tainly a nation must be much depraved treated.” P. 487, when assassinations become an object “Mathematics, like all other abstı ule of mirth and satire.

sciences, that require close and con" From this short digression I return tinued application to first principles, to Portugueze literature. Even lite- are at a very low ebb. Stockler, the rary history itself has been much neg- author of an introduction to the Theolected since the celebrated work of ry of Fluxions, is a good mathematiBarbosa Machado; and the late Sum- cian, though in that work he says no. mario da Bibliotheca Lusitana is but a thing that is new to our German promeagre extract from that work. In fessors. In the Memorias da Academia the Memorias da Litteratura Portugue- de Lisboa are fome good mathematical za, in 7 vols, published by the acade. papers, though the academy, in promy, little or nothing is said of literary poling mathematical prize questions history; and a history of bucolic poetry, too easily answered, somewhat exposed contained in these treatises, afterwards themselves to a charge of ignorance. reprinted in the larger Memorias of the Steph. Cabral is a good practical geoacademy, is also extremely poor and metrician; but astronomy is totally meagre.

neglected, nor have any observations “ The Memorias da Litteratura Por- been published, or perhaps made, since tugueza abound in papers on Portu- thof the Memorias da Academia; gueze hiftory, some of them composed and the Efemerides nauticas are copied. with great industry and accuracy.- Their observatories are walls destitute

*“To this must be added the Collecça de livros ineditos de historia Portuqueza, &c. 3 vols. fol. likewise published by the academy.”

3 K 2

P. 493•

COMPARATIVE VIEW OF THE SPANISH

AND PORTUGUEZE LANGUAGES.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of instruments. All the geographical considering too many or too crowded publications since the great and cele- consonants as a defect, and to gutturals brated work of De Lima are but meagre most nations are particularly averfe

. extracts from that book; and it is a simple vowels have also on the whole disgrace that there is no map of Portu a clearer and more pleafing found than gal except that of Lopez,, in which are diphthongs; but on the other hand too great errors as to places most common- many vowelsandthe want of diphthongs ly known. This evil however will be give too much uniformity, which is corrected: for the Prince Regent has equally unpleasing. Thus the language sent out some geographers to make a of Otaheite would appear ridiculous journey through Portugal, for the im- to most nations, and even the Italian? provement of the maps. These gentle- has the fame monotonous defeat; the men have begun to take observations continual terminations in a, e, i, ando, on both sides of the Tagus, of Serra being tiresome even in recitative. A de Estrella, and Serra de Foia. The language may also appear aficcted by Prince has also folemnly opened a geo- too great an abundance of vowels on : graphical academy, the benefits of too loft a pronunciation of ine cono, whose labours are still expected.” nants, as for inftance, the Smith, in

which k is pronou!!cotliteti"

“ The Spanii. pofition of harmony, havmg Tilda

minations, and a ftizo “ THE Portugueze is one of those than the Italian. languages that spring from the Latin, to diphthongs, and which most of its words belong, though French; but its te it assumed a totally different and nor give it a great pief

io tie latter, thern character, like the Spanish, Ita. the terminatic: sora lian, French, and even the modern frequently cace, łonious. li may be Greek. Most of the words are but lamented that j and xids gu wrals to little different from the Latin, but the unless the pronunciaron of Eftrema, syntax, the auxiliary verbs, to have and dura I, where they arı founded nearly to be *, the use of the article, &c. are

like h, were general, northern. The whole language very

“I wi here add few remarks on nearly approximates to the Spaniili

, the Spanish pronunciation, which I but has a very different pronunciation, have rainly fought in grammars. The and many words peculiar to itself. d between two vowels, as at the end “ It is very difficult to compare two

of a word, is not founded at all; for languages in regard to harmony, as though this rule has been linated to this depends much on being accuftom. participles in ado and ido, it is ano ed to them; for we naturally consider general. Mr. Fither, in his Travels that as beautiful, to which we Irave through Spain, bas remarked it of the been habituated from early youth; words Prado and Guadalquivir; but it while ftrange founds are frequently also applies to Badajoz Merida, and unpleasant. Yet all nations agree in

others ). The pronunciation of ct is *“ The author probably means the using them as figns of tenses, those verta and their inflexions being almost entirely Latin. T.”

+ “ The author has forgotten that g before e and i is also an aspirated guttee ral: but provincial pronunciations and dishgurations are no real objections to the beauty and harmony of a language. The strong and numerous guttural-c: the German, Irish, Welll, &c. are a real deformity, especially when they teta minate a word, as they frequently do in those languages, thereby render 3 them wholly unadapted to music; but the softer and rather gutturals of the Spanish, where they scarcely ever terminate a word, are rather an ornamental variety."

I " oft throughout Spain the gutturals are aspirated in good society bl.? little stronger than h; and at most with one soft vibration of the threat. T."

g « The author furely means that the d is pronounced in these words, fuch being the general practice, though in Prado it is oftener mute in familiar cole vertation, T."

hard like tsch * in German ; the most (sh): thus mais is pronounced maisch, refined Spaniards pronounce it nearly and Lisboa almost Lischboe. This like zi in German, in a manner difficult pronunciation however is not so comto iinitate. The z is almost always mon in the provinces and among the lifped, but in a much more refined lower classes as in the metropolis and manner than the Englith tht.

among the higher orders; and feeins “ The Spanish language may be ac to be originally a species of affectation. cused of a species of affectation. The I was told this affectation is very re't is often coupled with i when it pre- cent, having been unknown twenty cedes an e, and an e in the middle of a years ago, and that it originated from word is often preceded by an i, as tier- the English. As I received this account ra, tiniebras, tiene. To the u an e is from a man of much information, I am frequently subjoined I, as in Duero, convinced I may rely on its accuracy. neustro, puente: also the conversion “ On the whole, the Portugueze, of the Latin pl into ll and the pronun- especially as it is now spoken, is not ciation of the z may be included under fo fonorous as the Spanish. It is inthis head. But when the ear is accuf- deed without gutturals, but, on the tomed to it, all affectation diminishes. other hand, abounds in nasal sounds,

“ With this affectation the Portu- mute terminations, and too much fibilgueze cannot be reproached, for the i lation.” P. 497. is omitted every where, even where it “ For ease in convcrsation the Porappears necessary; ue is restored to o, tugueze is preferable to the Spanish. and the z is not lisped. It is also free. It is shorter; the pronunciation requires from gutturals, both j and x being less exertion, is far removed from all pronounced like the French j, and the affectation, and resembles a libillating ch like the same letters in French. It whilper. To these advantages may be also possesses a greater variety by means added a greater facility in addreiling of various diphthongs. Thus ai is pro one another in conversation. The nounced as in German, ei as it is pro- Spaniards express the word you by nounced by the Livonians, and ao final usted (pronounced oostay) which is a as aung; on the other hand, it has contradiction of vuestra merced, and nafal sounds like the French, viz. a), to omit this word is an extreine affront, em, om, where the m is founded like fimilar to using du (thou) in German ng, which cannot be considered as as a mark of contempt. Persons of pleasing. But it is a great defect to rank are addressed with uffia (a conwant those grand and full-toned termi- traction for vuestra senoria ). The nations, in which the Spanish abounds; Portugueze has no such contractions ; for the last fyllables in Portugueze the words voffa mercé, voila fenhoria, found mute, and as it were swallowed; voila excellencia, being always spoken and even when they end in a and o at length, though pronounced with these vowels are pronounced fo ihort, great rapidity; but then it is not polite that a mere mute e is heard. To this often to repeat them, the third person may be added the ugly custom of pro- being used without further addition, nouncing the s at the end both of and these phrases only at the beginning words and of syllables as a weak fch of a conversation, or in some particular

* " Or as in the English word church. The pronunciation, like the German zi, the translator does not remember to have heard in Spain. T.”

† “ In the capital, and where the language is the purest, the z is pronounced like the English ih, beginning with the tongue between the teeth, as is the c before e and i, or when thus written (9) before other vowels. Thed is also pronounced beginning with the tongue fomewhat between the teeth. This is difficult to initate, and induces a habit of lisping other languages. T.”

I“ Or rather the Latin o is changed into ue, particularly in the commencement of words. T." 1! “ And uslencia, which is a contraction for vuestra excellencia. T.

" In addressing a Portugueze who is not noble, the phrase roffa mercé is used; to a noble without a title s vossa senhoria; to counts, marquisfes, &c. voila excellencia. More courtesy'is however shown to the ladies; every one who is noble, though untitled, being addrefled by volla excellencia.” § “ Like the German vons."

cases.

« PreviousContinue »