Pereira, Antonio, De Ficueiredo
Pereira, Antonio, De Ficueiredo a learned Portuguese litterateur, was born Feb. 14, 1725, in the borough of Macao. After having completed his studies in the college of the Jesuits at Villa-Vicosa, he refused to remain among them, and, as he had a taste for Inusic, he accepted the situation of organist in the monastery of the Holy Cross at Coimbra. Several months later he took the religious habit in the Congregation of the Oratorio of Lisbon (1744), and was afterwards employed to teach grammar (1752), rhetoric (1755), and theology (1761). The publication of his first articles upon the teaching of the Latin and Portuguese languages, written with much clearness, drew upon him passionate attacks on the part of the Jesuits, who were then the elementary instructors. Then the differences arose between the court of Rome and Portugal, his great reputation induced the marquis de Pombal to intrust to him the care of opposing the ultramontane doctrines, and he proved with great superiority, in his Tentativa Theologica, that the bishops have the right to grant all dispensations, and to provide for all the wants of the national Church without the aid of the holy chair. This discussion, which attracted towards Pereira as many praises as invectives, procured for him the employments of deputy to the tribunal of censure (1768), and of interpreting secretary to the minister of war (1769). Obliged to live in the world, he left the dress of the Oratorio, and aided, with all the activity and penetration with which he was gifted, the prime minister in his plans of reform. About 1774 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Lisbon, which conferred upon him in 1792 the title of dean. "He attained," says a writer, "great favor, which his talents doubtless merited; yet he was careful to preserve it by the most pompous praises lavished either upon the king or his minister. His vast erudition rendered his conversation as agreeable as instructive. In his career his manners have been above reproach; but sensible people, while admiring his talents, could never pardon him for the forgetfulness of his first vows, his animosity towards the same monks who had been his first teachers, and his too great condescension to the court. He died at Lisbon Aug. 14, 1797. He composed a very large number of theological theses and writings, dissertations and memoirs, the enumeration of which would occupy too much space. Below are his principal works: Exercicios da lingua Latina e Portugueza (Lisb. 1751, 8vo), in Latin and Portuguese: — Novo methodo de grammatica Latina (ibid. 1752-1753, 8vo, pt. ii), followed by a Defensa (1754), under the name of Francisco Sanches: — Apparato critico para a correcaao do Diccionario intitulado Prosodia" (ibid. 1755, 4to): — Breve Diccionario da Latinidade pura e impura (ibid. 1760, 8vo): — Rerum Lusitanarum ephemerides usque ad Jesuitarum expulsionem (ibid. 1761, 4to), translated into Portuguese in 1766: — Principios da historia ecclesiastica em forma de dialogo (ibid. 1765, 2 vols. 8vo); the author promised two other volumes, which were never printed: — Doctrina veteris Ecclesiae de suprema regun etiam in clericos potestate (ibid. 1765, fol.); these famous theses, printed in the Collectio thesium (1768, 1774, 8vo), have been translated into French, Traite du pouvoir des eveq-s (Par. 1772, 8vo): — Tentativa Theologica (ibid. 1766, 1,69, 4to), translated into Latin by the author (1769), into French, Italian, German, and Spanish, and followed by an Appendix (1768, 4to): — Demonstratio Theologica (ibid. 1769, 4to): — Deductio Chronologica et Analytica (ibid. 1771): — Testamento Novo e Velho em Portuguez (ibid. 1778, 1790, 23 vols. 8vo); this translation, accompanied by notes, prefaces, and various readings, was reprinted in 1794 for the third time, 4to size: — Compendio das epocas, etc. (ibid. 1782, 8vo): — Eogios dos r ys de Portugal (ibid. 1785, 4to). See Summario da Bibl.
Lusitana, vol. i; Figaniere, Bibliogroaca hist. Portlgueza; Le Monziteur univ. ann. 12; English Review, 8:106, 113.