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Lord Strangford's prefatory introduction to his version of some of the minor poems of Camoens contains some interesting remarks on his life and writings. But the Memoirs, published by Mr. Adamson, present the fựllest, the most satisfactory and most valuable information, that has hitherto been industriously collected, and judiciously arranged, to illustrate both the affecting · incidents in the poet's chequered career, and the splendid and various productions of his Muso.

In his own country, the life of Camoens has been written by many authors of celebrity, and numerous dissertations have been published on the Lusiad and his other poems.

But as the Portugueze language has here been comparatively but little cultivated for literary purposes, it is the less necessary to allude to them. It may, however, be proper to mention, that Mr. Adamson has translated the most recent Essay on the Lusiad, by the late Don Jozé Maria de Sousa. It will be found in the excellent Memoirs to which I have alluded; and though allowance must be made for a predilection which has naturally biassed the judgment of the critic in favor of a native poet, yet it presents a pleasing and enlightened analysis, which may be perused with much interest.

German and French literature are pursued with such ardor, that the very valuable works of Bouterwek and Sismondi can scarcely fail to be generally known, and no one can have read, without great satisfaction, their masterly criticisms on the Lusiad, and the very interesting notices they contain relative to Camoens. These enlightened authors have ably and impartially conducted their critical analysis; but the comments of Duperon de Castera and La Harpe are far less judicious. The former is lavish in the distribution of indiscriminate praise, and the judgment of the latter is more censorious than just.

What I have stated will sufficiently show, that the omission of a life of the poet and an essay on the poem is of little importance, since both have been very adequately supplied by others more competent than myself to do ample justice to these subjects. In the Notes, however, many remarks are interspersed, which are not limited to a mere explanation of the passages to which they refer. Opinions are occasionally hazarded on various parts of the Lusiad, which appeared to invite a due portion of applause, or to demand a just measure of only qualified approbation.

Without presuming to place myself on the tribunal of critical justice, I may, perhaps, after having, as it were, accompanied Vasco da Gama to India, participated in all his dangers, triumphed in his success, and sympathized with those feelings of honorable exultation which his great discoveries could not fail to inspire, be allowed to make a very few general observations on the claims of the Lusiad to the admiration which it has received, and which, in my estimation, it will continue to receive, contemporaneously with the existence of the language in which it is composed.

It must, however, be, in the first place, admitted, that there are two striking defects in this poem-the machinery of an incongruous mythology-and its allegorical mismanagement.

All that has been urged by the ingenuity of Mickle, and all the arguments advanced in its defence by Don Jozé Maria de Sousa, must still fail in the justification of this agency. If Pagan mythology had been introduced, for the mere purpose of occasional illustration, and with Milton's skill in its employment, many objections to its use might, perhaps, be reasonably withdrawn. But, in Camoens, these mythological agents are in full personal activity, and seem to be so blended with the other characters in the epic action, that a correction of the incongruity appears to have forced itself upon the poet himself, compelling him to declare what, without the declaration, he might suspect was not sufficiently palpable--that these Pagan deities are only allegorical beings! At the close of their agency, such a discovery would have been less misplaced; but, after the removal of the veil, the same figurative personages reappear in conducting and terminating the action of the poem. To defend this defect is more than I should venture to attempt; but I cannot refrain from making a few remarks on the circumstances which might have led the poet to adopt a machinery, that may

be deemed unsuited to all but the more ancient inspirations of the Muse.

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At the time when the Lusiad was composed, there

was no regularly epic composition in any European language. The recent revival of learning had produced an exclusive admiration of the great models of antiquity. These were, therefore, the only models that presented themselves for imitation. The Æneid was evidenly chosen by Camoens; and in many parts of the structure of his poem, as well as in many of its passages, he has followed too closely the prototype which he had selected for his classical guide. The revival of learning was not unaccompanied with an admixture of pedantry, and a display of mythological knowledge exhibited no discrepancy with the prevailing taste. To blend fable with truth was a pardonable parade of scholastic acquirement, and its incongruity was then less distinctly seen than in later times, since the canons of criticism have been established upon a more solid foundation. Mere learning is not now the standard; it has been modified by cultivated taste and sound philosophy. If, therefore, there was nothing to guide Camoens in the selection of his machinery, but the great epic productions of antiquity and the prevailing taste of his own period, it is the less astonishing that his taste should not be in accordance with the more correct judgment of a later age. This, however, is only an apology for the pagan machinery of the Lusiad, and by no means a justification of its adoption. Nothing can reconcile to modern taste the blending of Grecian and Roman mythology with the real personages who figure in the most important events in modern history. No one can now be prevailed upon to admit the allegorical propriety of the interference of Jupiter and Bacchus in human affairs; and, to couple their names with those heroes who have at any time, since the fall of paganism, acquired distinguished fame, is an inconsistency that must be condemned.

If Camoens, however, be censured for this error, it must be admitted that the machinery of almost every epic production that has been composed, since the publication of the Lusiad, may also be deemed questionable. Tasso, it is true, chose for his admirable poem the events of an era more remote than the discovery of India, and the incantations of magic were then matters of popular belief. Still, it requires some indulgence to overlook the incongruous union of magical agency with ordinary human achievements, and the palpable interference of celestial and infernal spirits, in aiding or opposing the warlike personages, who, upon historical evidence, were actually engaged at the siege and capture of Jerusalem.

In this simple point of congruity, even the great Milton himself has failed, by occasionally giving to immateriality a corporeal existence. The allegory of Sin and Death is faulty in this respect, for their figurative character is lost in the employment which the poet has assigned to them, in constructing the means of communication between chaos and the newly created world.

What can be more defective than the machinery in the Henriade of Voltaire ? Can taste and propriety be more glaringly violated than in the personification of

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