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Thomas Davidson, Esquire,
Clerk of the Peace for the
County of Northumberland,
A TOKEN OF RESPECT AND ESTEEM
BY HIS FAITHFUL AND OBLIGED
FRIEND AND SERVANT,
Newcastle upon Tyne, 9th March, 1820.
CAMOENS, o'er thy bright immortal lays
The changes of thy destiny severe
I mark with sadly sympathetic tear,
And can but sigh for what was thine to prove.
Brav'd the ill-omen'd stars of either Pole,
Who knows THY fate, and high immortal strain!
Soneto de J. X. de Mattos translated by Dr. J. Leyden.
THE object of the present undertaking is to give such information respecting the life and writings of
Luis de Camoens, as could be collected from the details of his former biographers assisted by a perusal of his own works, and by a diligent research amongst articles of more than ordinarily rare occurrence. In pursuing this plan, the condition of the University at which he studied, the state of poetry at that time in Portugal, and the immediate predecessors and contemporaries of the Bard severally became the subject of enquiry.
These volumes contain the Life of the Portuguese Poet, with memoirs of his writings; a bibliographical account of the several translations of the Lusiad, with notices concerning the Translators; and as accurate a list of the Editions of the various works of Camoens as the author had the means to procure. From these preliminary observations it will be seen, that the present work sets up for itself little, if any, claim beyond that of a compilation, in the most material part of which, namely the Life of Camoens, it has been endeavoured to make the poet as much as possible his own biographer.
Camoens is generally known as the author of the Lusiad, the most celebrated poem in the Portuguese language; and although the leading features of his eventful life have been oftentimes submitted to the British public, yet many interesting incidents are to be met with in that part of his works