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DISTRICT OF MARYLAND, 88.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on this twenty-first day of January, in the forty-third year of the Independence of the United States of America, P. Babad, D. D. of the said District, hath deposited in this office the Title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words and figures following, "A Portuguese and English Grammar, compiled from those of Lobato, Durham, Sané and Vieyra, and simplified for the use of Students. By a professor of the Spanish and Portuguese languages, in St. Mary's College.
In conformity to an act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned," and also the act entitled, "An act supplementary to the act entitled, 'An act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving and Etching, historical and other prints."
To his excellency, Don Jose Correa de Serra, Counsellor of H. M. F. M. the king of the united kingdoms of Portugal and Brazil, minister plenipotentiary near the United States of America, member of the supreme counsel of the treasury of the kingdom, commander of the order of Conception, knight of the order of Christ, &c &c.
YOUR kindness in encouraging the project I communicated to you, some time ago, of composing a short Portuguese and English Grammar, in order to facilitate to the young students of this country and to the public at large, the acquisition of the beautiful language of Camoens, Vieyra, Theodora de Almeyda, &c.; your generous condescension in guiding my trembling steps in this intricate and arduous undertaking; your constant benevolence in resolving all my doubts and difficulties, have strongly induced me to hope that you will not blame me for the liberty I take in placing under your patronage this little work, the existence, publication and general utility of which, are to be principally attributed to you.
When I first hinted to you my intention of paying you this small tribute of iny respect and gratitude, your modesty declined it and disappointed me. But now I must claim an extension of your benevolence, and beg of you to permit me, not so much to pay a debt of justice, as to secure the beneficial diffusion of a work which owes you its existence; for being as I am, unknown to the literary world, I cannot indulge the expectation of any success, but under the patronage of a name so illustrious among the literati, and of a character so exalted as yours is, which has reflected an additional lustre on that of the distinguished nation, which you so ably represent.
I have the honour to be,
with the most profound respect,
your excellency's most obedient,
As it is a well known fact, that in the East Indies from the Cape of Good Hope down to Macao, as well as in the Brazils and continental Portugal, the Portuguese language is as generally used by the people and the merchants in the transaction of business, as the Castilian is in continental Spain and in the Spanish colonies, and the Italian along the coast of the Mediterranean, the Archipelago, the Levant,&c. It follows, that in the United States, whose trade extends to every country in the commercial world, a knowledge of the Portuguese tongue cannot fail to be as important and useful as that of other languages used for the purpose of trade; besides the many and excellent works which have enriched and illustrated Portuguese literature for many centuries, at least from the age of the celebrated Camoens, will prove a great acquisition to our American literati.
This consideration induced the editor of this work to believe that he could be of some service to this country by publishing this essay, which he undertook before he knew that any of the kind was ever published, and which he has endeavoured to render as concise and cheap in price as he could, by disencumbering it of long, tedious and almost useless grammatical definitions, and merely calculating it for the purpose of conveying the knowledge of the Portuguese language to the minds of such as are already acquainted by principles, with their own, and probably with some others more; thinking that such learners only want to be well informed of the analogy and correspondence which exist between the Portuguese and their vernacular tongue or those languages which they may have acquired by study, as English, French, Spanish, &c.
This grammar, therefore, excluding the scientific and systematic definitions, commonly met with in works of this kind, is merely confined to the task of arranging the articles, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, &c. of the Portuguese lan
guage corresponding to those of the English idiom; to which are subjoined a few rules, which common use has determined, together with a few examples, which elucidate these rules.
The whole is faithfully compiled from the best Portuguese grammars, that have reached the hands of the editor: such as those of Lobato, Durham, Sané and Vieyra. Indeed most of it has been copied from the last edition of Vieyra's grammar, which very fortunately fell into the hands of the editor, when his work was half done; and here he candidly confesses that he is very much indebted to this celebrated author and grammarian for the improvement of this grammar; though on many occasions he felt himself under the necessity of deviating from some ideas of this respectable grammarian, which he did not think sufficiently correct and accurate, yet on such occasions, distrusting his own, he took the liberty of consulting men of letters eminently conversant with the genius and the rules of the Portuguese language, and especially the learned minister plenipotentiary of H. M. F. M. Mr Correa de Serra, who had always the kindness to resolve his doubts and elucidate the difficulties that presented themselves to his mind.
One of the greatest difficulties under which the editor has been labouring, arose from the necessity of marking the accents, which serve to denote both the pronunciation and quantity of syllables, in a language, the beauty and perfection of which depends so much on the harmony and melody resulting from its prosody and quantity; but in consequence of the accents wanted, not being in use in works printed in this country, the editor has endeavoured to supply the want of them by the rules laid down in this preface.
Having observed that the Castilian academy so eminently and deservedly celebrated for its successful endeavours to perfect the Castilian language, and to simplify and facilitate its orthography, well aware of this embarrassment arising from the multiplicity of accents, had happily succeeded in removing it by setting, in its treatise on orthography, some rules of pronunciation and quantity, which being easily understood and learned by students, enable them, though foreigners, to read and pronounce Spanish books and writings with correctness and propriety, he conceived it would not be impracticable and would be of great