11 MARCH 1922, Page 23

Portuguese Literature. By Aubrey F. G. Bell. (Clarendon Press. 21s.

net.)—Mr. Aubrey Bell is one of the few Englishmen who have made a serious study of Portuguese literature, and his learned and well-written book deserves a respectful welcome. No Portuguese author, save Luis de Camoes with 0.9 Lueiadas, has achieved a European reputation, but Mr. Bell shows that those who care to master the by no means difficult language will find much of interest in the early poetry—the cancioneiros unearthed during the last century—and in the chronicles of the Portuguese in the Indies, which have been gradually recovered from neglect, and a number of which have been translated for the Hakluyt Society. Mr. Bell says frankly that there has not been a reading public in Portugal and that the numerous authors have lacked wholesome and well directed criticism. Much Portuguese writing is simply a pale reflection of Spanish or French or English work. The chapter on Camoes is of special interest. He wrote his "great lyrical hymn in praise of

Portugal" at Goa or at Mozambique, where he suffered from poverty and sickness. All that his country gave him was a common soldier's pension, equivalent to about £50 year, and even that was irregularly paid. He died of plague in 1580 at the age of fifty-six.