Dias, Antonio Congalves
DIAS, ANTONIO CONgALVES (1823-1864), a Brazilian poet and historian, was born at the little town of Caxias, in Maranhao, with the charms of which he has made liis readers familiar. From the university of Coimbra, in Portugal, he returned to his native country well-equipped with legal lore, and obtained an official appointment at Maranhao ; but the literary tendency which \vas strong within him led him to try his fortune as an author at Rio de Janeiro. Here he wrote for the newspaper press, ventured to appear as a dramatist, and at last in 1846 established his reputation by a volume of poems - Primieros Cantos - which appealed to the national feelings of his Brazilian readers, were remarkable for their autobiographic impress, and by their beauty of expression and rhythm placed their author at the head of the lyric poets of his country. In 1818 he followed up his success by Secundos Cantos e sex IVllias de Frei Antiio, in which, as the title indicates, he puts a number of the pieces in the mouth of a simple old Dominican friar ; and in the following year, in fulfilment of the duties of his new post as professor of Brazilian history in the imperial college of Pedro II., he published an edition of Berredo, and added a sketch of the migrations of the Indian tribes. A third volume of poems, which appeared with the title of Ultimos Cantos in 1850, was practically the poet's farewell to Rio de Janeiro and the service of the muse, for he spent the next eight years engaged under Government patronage in obtaining a personal acquaintance with the scientific institutions of Europe, was appointed on his return to Brazil a member of an expedition for the exploration of the province of Ceara, was forced in 1862 by the state of his health to try the effects of another visit to Europe, and died in September 1864 on board the vessel that was bearing him once again to his native shores. While in Germany he published at Leipsic a complete collection of his lyrical poems, which has since gone through several editions ; the four first cantos of an epic poem called Os Tymbiros (1857) ; and a Diccionario da lingua Trim (1858). To the publications of the Rio de Janeiro Geographical and Historical Institute he contributed a number of papers, among which the one on Brazil and Oceania has received special notice. A complete edition of the works of Dias has made its appearance at Rio de Janeiro. See Francisco Sutero in the Rivista,/ iliaranitense, and Wolf, Brest/ Litteraire.