A Brazilian poet, born of a white father and a negro mother at Rio Janeiro in 1740; died in Lisbon, 9 November, 1800. Trained at the Jesuit college in Rio Janeiro, he developed a power of literary improvisation which he indulged at the expense of the Portugese whites and thereby stirred them up against him. His enemies had him forcibly enrolled in a body of troops setting forth for the colony of Sacramento, where he remained until 1762. Returning to Rio Janeiro he soon embarked for Portugal, and there obtained the patronage of two nobles of the Vasconcellos family, the Conde de Pombeiro and the Marquez de Castello Melhor. Taking minor orders he received a religious benefice, being attached as chaplain to the Casa da Supplicaçáo.
Although he was a mulatto, he obtained entrance into high society in the Portugese capital, chiefly because he was a clever entertainer who could improvise cantigas and play his own accompaniment on the viol. Hence the somewhat humiliating sobriquet of cantor de viola which was given to him. Well aware that his social status was an uncertain one, he retained his self possession even in the face of the insulting attitude of the poet Bocage and others. With most of the Portugese poets of the time he had pleasant relations, consorting with them in one or another literary academy. His cantigas acquired great popularity, and it is sometimes difficult to single out his compositions from the mass of those claimed by the people as their own. Yet he was not a great genius; he was rather a minor poet of a facile vein, able to express himself simply, and to avoid the bombast and the sensuality so common in his age. His poetical definition of the characteristically Portugese quality of saudades remains famous.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online