Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

the rudiments of his education at Mariana, he was sent to the Jesuit College at Rio Janeiro to study Philosophy, Latin, &c., and afterwards he went to Portugal, and spent five years at the University of Coimbra, where talent was then almost unknown, learning at a very low ebb, and poetry only tolerated when in the fantastic tinsel style of the Gongorists. These circumstances were serious obstacles to the formation of a poet; but Manoel da Costa did not require to form himself, he was born with the feeling of poetry; and though he could not entirely free himself from the contagion of the bad taste reigning around him, yet only a few traces of it are to be found in his writings; his judgment was too good to revel in conceits and extravagancies.

While at Coimbra Da Costa studied Canon Law; but what was more to the purpose of a poet, he learned Italian, and took great delight in Petrarch and Metastasio. He subsequently returned to Brazil, and continued his poetical pursuits among the mines, lamenting the sordid spirit of pelf that pervaded his country. His poems are admired for the sweetness, elegance, and flow of their language (which must necessarily suffer by translation), for their grace and sensibility, and their pleasing imagery. His Portuguese sonnets are considered some of the best that had appeared in that language for a century; he also wrote several in Italian, but none in Spanish, contrary to the fashion of the time. His elegies (epicidios) are pleasing and natural in sentiment, but dull in versification. His eclogues are admitted to contain many beauties, but are somewhat monotonous, and pastorals have now but little interest. His lyrics, written in the Italian style, are the most generally admired of his productions. An essential difference between the works of Ericeyra and Da Costa is, that the former are compositions, the latter effusions; the first were the offspring of the mind, the others of the heart.

But we must now attempt some translations from Da Costa, though we feel we cannot do him justice :



Love! 'tis short time since I with joy receiv'd
Thy glorious visions that my soul delighted,
No fear of treachery then my pleasures blighted,
But all thy sweet-voic'd flatteries I believ'd,
Myself wax'd equal to my bliss-high heav'd

My heart. and, as my hope's increas'd, expanded,
And in thy proffers, tender'd liberal handed,
1 deem'd life's chiefest, dearest weal achiev'd.

But happiness soon fail'd me, past and gone-
Delusion's splendid fabric, ruin'd, void
I saw, by disenchanting, Truth o'erthrown,

How slightly built! how easily destroy'd!
But ah! why marvel at my hopes' decay,
When in capricious Beauty's hands they lay!

The following sonnet, on the altered feelings with which Da Costa looked upon a once familiar and favorite scene, will remind the reader of the similar sentiments expressed on a similar occasion by Sir Walter Scott in his pleasing stanzas beginning with,

"The Sun upon the Wierdlaw Hill,

In Ettrick's Vale is sinking sweet."

The Scotchman and the Brazilian both complain that the landscape has lost its former beauties; and both discover that the change is not in the scene but in their own feelings.



Where am 1?-where?-on unfamiliar ground?
How alter'd is the scene-I cannot trace

One well-known feature here on Nature's face,

As sad and timidly I gaze around.

Here play'd a fountain with its lulling sound;
Once, Mem'ry tells me, by its side I lay-
Where stood dark heights a vale is seen to-day,
Time in thy lapse what wond'rous change is found.
The trees, that flourishing so fresh and fair

Made Spring eternal, I no longer see.

Not e'en remains one trunk decay'd and bare,

I err: my once lov'd scene this cannot be.

Heart! marvel not-my griefs are with me here,
And by their fatal spell all things deform'd appear.

Here is a strain of pretty and earnest invocation



Inez!-where art thou, Inez !-where, oh where
Can'st thou by this adoring heart be found?
The more with searching gaze I look around,
The more, alas! to s e thee I despair.

Could I, at least, upon this balmy air

Hear but thy name, floating like Music's strain,
"Inez!" methought it breath'd-delusion vain!-

"Inez," I heard it-nay, no voice was there.
Caves, hollow trees, thickets so close and green,
If in your shade she hides her from mine eye,
Reveal the lovely one, withdraw your screen;
Vainly I call: no echo deigns reply.

The pangs of absence am I doom'd to bear?

Inez, where art thou?-Inez! where, oh where ?

Da Costa had been elected "ultra marine" or (beyond sea) member of the Arcadia, by the very ugly name of Glauceste Suturnio, (Glauceste from the Sea-God Glauces, we suppose,) and as the theme of the Academy was "Love still love," he was bound by his membership to find, or to fancy, a nymph

for his homage; but from the earnestness of his strains, we incline to think his Inez was something more than an Arcadian vision.

[blocks in formation]

We shall now attempt a specimen of Da Costa's playful style.

My Shepherd maid! I sit alone

Beside the gushing river,


And think upon an hour that's gone,
Yet fresh in memory ever.

I griev'd to mark thy scornful air;
My hopes in dust were lying:
But did'st thou e'er

Heed love's despair.
Or list a lover's sighing?

Thou, that art cause of all my grief
Dost watch me, close and zealous;
Of many a Nymph, but Philis chief,
Who fain would charm me, jealous.
What changes o'er thy face so fair

Fleet, with each moment flying;

But wilt thou ne'er
Heed love's despair
Nor, list a lover sighing?

Anita graceful, mild, and gay,
Collecting flowery treasure,
Takes sweetest bud, and greenest spray
And groups them for my pleasure.
Rose would with smiles my heart ensnare;
To pout is Julia trying;

While thou dost ne'er
Heed love's despair,
Nor list thy lover's sighing.

There are some plaintive stanzas addressed by Da Costa to his lyre, at a later period of his life, which we should wish to present to the reader on account of their grace and pathos; they have been so charmingly rendered in Sismondi's Literature of the South of Europe, (by Roscoe) that for us to attempt another version of them would be worse than superfluous; we shall, therefore, beg leave to borrow the above named* translation for the reader's satisfaction; and thus appropriately close our notice of Da Costo with his farewell.


Yes! I have lov'd thee, O my Lyre!

My day, my night-dream, lov'd thee long!
When thou would'st pour thy soul of song
When did I turn away?

All the other translations in these two papers are by the writer.-ED.

'Tis thine, with thy bewitching wire,
To charm my sorrow's wildest mood,
To calm again my feverish blood,
Till peace resumes her sway.

How oft with fond and flattering tone

I woo'ed thee through the still midnight,
And chasing slumbers with delight,

Would vigils hold with thee;

Would tell thee I am all thine own,

That thou, sweet Lyre, shalt rule me still;
My love, my pride, through every ill,

My world of bliss to me.

Thine are these quenchless thoughts of fire,
The beamings of a burning soul,

That cannot brook the world's control,

Or breathe its sickening air.

And thine the raptures that inspire

With antique glow my trembling frame,
That bid me nurse the wasting flame,

And court my own despair.

For the present we lay aside our Portuguese Decline and Fall, but we shall perhaps again return to the history of the literature of Portugal; a literature far more noble and interesting than those unacquainted with its beauties and its importance can at all imagine.


1. Grand Traité de l'Esprit du Bienheureux Saint François de Sales. Paris, MDCLXIII.

2. Le Directeur Désintéressé. Paris, 1680.

3. La Vie Symbolique Du Bienheurieux François De Sales, Eveque et Prince de Geneve. Comprise sous le voile de 52. Emblemes, qui Marquent le caractere de ses principales vertus, arec autant de Meditations, ou Reflexions pieuses, pour exciter les ames Chrestiennes et Religieuses à l'amour et à la pratique des mesmes vertus. Par M. Adrien Gambart, Prestre a Paris, Aux frais de l'Auteur pour l'usage des Religieuses de la visitation, et à la disposition de celles du Faux-bourg saint Jacques. MDCLXIV.

Jean-Pierre Camus, Bishop of Belley, and the friend and biographer of Saint Francis de Sales, was not more unlike the Saint than was James Boswell unlike great old Samuel Johnson; and yet the kindliness with which the Saint and the Sage regarded their worshippers was as remarkable, as its results were important to posterity.

St. Francis de Sales was born at the Castle of Sales, in the diocese of Geneva, August 21st, 1567. He was descended from one of the most ancient and noble families of Savoy. Having taken a doctor of law's degree at Padua, he was first advocate at Chambery, then Provost of the Church of Geneva, at Annecy. Claudius de Granier, his bishop, sent him as a missionary into the valleys of his diocese, to convert the Zuinglians and Calvanists, and his sermons were attended with wonderful success. The Bishop of Geneva chose him afterwards for his coadjutor, but was obliged to use authority before he could be persuaded to accept the office. Religious affairs called him afterwards into France, where he was universally esteemed; and Cardinal du Perron said, "There were no heretics whom he could not convince, but M. de Geneva must be employed to convert them."

Henry IV., being informed of his merit, made him considerable offers, in hopes of detaining him in France; but he chose rather to return to Savoy, where he arrived in 1602, and found bishop Granier had died a few days before. St. Francis then undertook the reformation of his diocese, where piety and virtue soon flourished through his zeal; he restored regularity in the monasteries, and instituted the order of the Visitation in 1610,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »