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The Lusiad or The Discovery of India, an Epic Poem   By: (1524-1580)

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First Page:

THE LUSIAD.

[Illustration: Image of Camoëns]

THE LUSIAD;

OR,

THE DISCOVERY OF INDIA.

AN EPIC POEM.

TRANSLATED FROM THE PORTUGUESE OF LUIS DE CAMOËNS.

WITH A LIFE OF THE POET.

BY WILLIAM JULIUS MICKLE.

FIFTH EDITION, REVISED,

BY E. RICHMOND HODGES, M.C.P.,

HON. LIBRARIAN TO THE SOCIETY OF BIBLICAL ARCHÆOLOGY,

Editor of "Cory's Ancient Fragments," "The Principia Hebraica," etc., etc.

LONDON: GEORGE BELL AND SONS, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

1877.

"As the mirror of a heart so full of love, courage, generosity, and patriotism as that of Camoëns, The Lusaid can never fail to please us, whatever place we may assign to it in the records of poetical genius." HALLAM.

[ORIGINAL DEDICATION, 1776.]

TO THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUGH.

MY LORD,

The first idea of offering my LUSIAD to some distinguished personage, inspired the earnest wish, that it might be accepted by the illustrious representative of that family under which my father, for many years, discharged the duties of a clergyman.

Both the late Duke of BUCCLEUGH, and the Earl of DALKEITH, distinguished him by particular marks of their favour; and I must have forgotten him, if I could have wished to offer the first Dedication of my literary labours to any other than the Duke of BUCCLEUGH.

I am, with the greatest respect, My Lord, Your Grace's most devoted And most obedient humble servant,

WILLIAM JULIUS MICKLE.

EDITOR'S PREFACE.

In undertaking, at the publishers' request, the function of editor of Mickle's Lusiad, I have compared the translation with the original, and, in some places, where another translation seemed preferable to, or more literal than, Mickle's, I have, in addition, given that rendering in a foot note. Moreover, I have supplied the arguments to the several cantos, given a few more explanatory notes, and added a table of contents.

"The late ingenious translator of the Lusiad," says Lord Strangford,[1] "has portrayed the character, and narrated the misfortunes of our poet, in a manner more honourable to his feelings as a man than to his accuracy in point of biographical detail. It is with diffidence that the present writer essays to correct his errors; but, as the real circumstances of the life of Camoëns are mostly to be found in his own minor compositions, with which Mr. Mickle was unacquainted, he trusts that certain information will atone for his presumption."

As Lord Strangford professes to have better and more recent sources of information regarding the illustrious, but unfortunate, bard of Portugal, I make no apology for presenting to the reader an abstract of his lordship's memoir. Much further information will be found, however, in an able article contained in No. 53 of the Quarterly Review for July, 1822, from the pen, I believe, of the poet Southey. "The family of Camoëns was illustrious," says Lord Strangford, "and originally Spanish. They were long settled at Cadmon, a castle in Galicia, from which they probably derived their patronymic appellation. However, there are some who maintain that their name alluded to a certain wonderful bird,[2] whose mischievous sagacity discovered and punished the smallest deviation from conjugal fidelity. A lady of the house of Cadmon, whose conduct had been rather indiscreet, demanded to be tried by this extraordinary judge. Her innocence was proved, and, in gratitude to the being who had restored him to matrimonial felicity, the contented husband adopted his name." It would appear that in a dispute between the families of Cadmon and De Castera, a cavalier of the latter family was slain. This happened in the fourteenth century. A long train of persecution followed, to escape which, Ruy de Camoëns, having embraced the cause of Ferdinand, removed with his family into Portugal, about A.D. 1370. His son, Vasco de Camoëns, was highly distinguished by royal favour, and had the honour of being the ancestor of our poet, who descended from him in the fourth generation... Continue reading book >>




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