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244 ANCIENT PORTUGUESE BALLADS.
and the product of its national genius is not of the bulk and importance of that of Spain. Its national characteristics were similar, so that independent study was not incited by original features, while the difference in language was sufficient to be a barrier to all except special scholars. The country was in a measure overwhelmed and overshadowed by Spain, although possessing independent and interesting features of its own, and has been regarded as a province rather than as an original country. Very little attention has been paid in foreign countries to Portuguese popular literature, although some French and German scholars have included it in their studies, and there is no volume in English, so far as I am aware, which deals with it. At the same time it is well worth attention in its richness and value in all the qualities which make a high order of popular poetry, and in those elements of chivalric feeling, dramatic incident, and intensity of passion which characterize Spanish poetry of the same period. Fortunately Portugal itself has shared in that interest, which has spread through all the civilized countries of Europe in ancient popular literature and folk-song, and its national scholars have devoted a painstaking care and interest to collecting and elucidating its ancient ballads. The pioneer in this work was Almeida Garrett, himself a distin-