Note 1. I know not how it may seem to others, but to me this sonnet, by Boccage, on Nelson, appears to possess unusual merit, and Mr. J. J. Aubertin has given us a very admirable rendering. The two opening lines of the sestet
Incarnadined with blood I left the wave,
A bolt upon the furious Gaul I threw
are excellent, as also are the lines which close the sonnet
He to whom Victory vast regions gave
Envies the man who did one race subdue.
The author, Manoel Maria de Barbosa du Boccage, was born at Setubal in the year 1766. After his education was finished he obtained a commission in the infantry of Setubal, but subsequently entered the naval service. He is said to have acquired a high reputation as an improvisatore, and as a poet he appears to have been especially remarkable for his powers of satire. After an absence of five years in India, during which time he lost the manuscript of the first volume of his works through shipwreck, he returned to Lisbon, and was well received. Unfortunately, he afterwards became associated with dissolute company, and was ordered to be imprisoned by the Inquisition. The Marquesses of Ponte de Lima and of Abrantes obtained his release, but he soon returned to his old habits, and died at the age of thirty-nine in the year 1805. Some bald translations of his sonnets will be found in Adamsons Lusitania Illustrata, published at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1842. [back]