86. NERI DA SILVA, Agostinho. Nova grammatica da lingua Ingleza, ou a arte de fallar, e escrever com propriedade, e correcção o idioma Inglez…
First edition of this scarce English grammar for Portuguese speakers. In his dedication to Pedro III of Portugal, the author Agostinho Neri Da Silva notes the increasing commercial relations between England and Portugal.
Throughout the eighteenth century English merchants were very active in trading with the Portuguese and there was a considerable expatriate mercantile presence in Lisbon and Oporto. This grammar, printed at Lisbon, would have assisted the Portuguese in communicating with these English visitors. It includes a vocabulary ordered by subject matter, and “familiar phrases” and “familiar dialogues” under such headings as “at an inn”, “to buy cloth” and “to swim”. Most unusual is a twenty page section of dialogues for lovers under the heading “between a lady, and her lover”, in which readers are taught to say such things as:
“How came you to be her slave, she would not make you so sure, if she be so good as you speak her?
… You have a very bad opinion of men, I perceive madam … To another door good Mr.Crocodile,
for this will by no means be opened”.
Alston II, 594, noting “no copy located”. Not in ESTC which lists a single copy only of the third edition (1800) at the British Library.