APPENDIX

§ I
Literature of the People

SIDE by side with literature proper there has always existed in Portugal a literature of the people. Indeed, before Portuguese poetry was written it flourished on the lips of the people, in the songs of the women. Sometimes this popular literature almost coalesced with written literature, as in the case of the cossantes in the thirteenth century. Its poetry lent a glow and magic to the work of Gil Vicente and later to some of the lyrics of Camões; its proverbial lore was reproduced in Jorge Ferreira de Vasconcellos' prose plays and later by D. Francisco Manuel de Mello; in indigenous folk-tales Trancoso found part of his material. Eighteenth-century writers neglected it, but Filinto Elysio returned to popular sources, and in the nineteenth century they inspired two great poets, Almeida Garrett and João de Deus. Literature and illiteracy have often gone hand in hand. In Ferreira de Vasconcellos' Eufrosina (Act III, sc. ii) we read of the workwoman (lavrandeira) who 'sings de solao, composes songs, loves to learn trovas by heart, gives a schoolboy farthings to buy cherries in return for reading autos to her'; and the, Pratica de Tres Pastores gives us a picture of an old peasant reading out from the Bible1 of an evening to the whole village:

Esse velhinho
Tinha hum cartapolinho
Feito de letra de mão
Em papel de pergaminho,
E chamava-se o feitinho
Do livro da creação.

____________________
1
The whole Bible in Portuguese was not translated until the eighteenth century, by JOÃO FERREIRA DE ALMEIDA, O Novo Testamento ( Amsterdam, 1681), Do Velho Testamento, 2 vols. ( Batavia, 1748, 53). This is the version still commonly in use. Another translation, entitled Biblia Sagrada, was made from the Vulgate at the end of the eighteenth century by ANTONIO PEREIRA DE FIGUEIREDO ( 1725-97), author of some fifty theological and historical works in Latin and Portuguese, and a paraphrase ( Historia Evangelica, 1777, 78, Historia Biblica, 1778-82) by Frei FRANCISCO DE JESUS MARIA SARMENTO ( 1713-90). See C. Michaëlis de Vasconcellos et S. Berger, Les Bibles Portugaises in Romania, xxviii ( 1899), pp. 543-8: La littérature portugaise est en matière de traductions bibliques d'une Pauvreté désespérante. The Parocho Perfeito ( 1675) speaks of os parochos que não tiverem Biblias (p. 19). See also G. L. Santos Ferreira, A Biblia em Portugal, 1495- 1850 (L. 1906).

-338-

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Portuguese Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 8
  • Introduction 13
  • I - 1185-1325 22
  • II - 1325-1521 58
  • III - The Sixteenth Century [1502-80] 106
  • IV - 1580-1706 251
  • V - 1706-1816 270
  • VI - 1816-1910 287
  • Appendix 338
  • Index 359
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