Macedo, Francis

, a Portuguese Jesuit, and most indefatigable writer, born at Coimbra, in 1596, quitted that order after a time to take the habit of a cordelier. He was strongly in the interest of the duke of Braganza when he seized the crown of Portugal. Being sent to Rome, he acquired for a time the favour of pope Alexander the Vllth, and was preferred by him to several important offices. The violence of his temper however soon embroiled him with this patron, and he went to Venice, where he disputed de omni scibili; and gaining great reputation, obtained the professorship of moral philosophy at Padua. Afterwards, having ventured to interfere in some state matter at Venice, where he had been held very high, he was imprisoned, and died in confinement, in 1681, at the age of 85. He is said, in the “Bibliotheque Portugaise,” to have published 109 different works: and in one of his own books he boasts that he had pronounced 53 public panegyrics, 60 Latin discourses, and 32 funeral orations; that he had written 48 epic poems, 123 elegies, 115 epitaphs, 212 dedications, 700 familiar letters, 2600 poems in heroic verse, 3000 epigrams, 4 Latin comedies, and had written or pronounced 150,000 verses | extemporaucously. Yet the man who could declare all this, is hardly known by name in the greater part of Europe; and of the enormous list of his printed works, not more than five are thought worthy of mention by the writers of his life- To write much, is far easier than to write well. The works specified by his biographers are, 1. “Clavis Augustiniana liberi arbitrii,” a book written against father, afterwards cardinal Noris. The disputants were both silenced by authority; but Macedo, not to seem vanquished, sent his antagonist a regular challenge to a verbal controversy, which by some biographers has been mistaken for a challenge to fight. The challenge may be found in the “Journal Etranger” for June 1757. 2. “Schema Sanctae Congregationis,1676, 4to a dissertation on the inquisition, full of learning and absurdity. 3. “Encyclopaedia in agonem literatorum,1677, folio. 4. “Praise of the French,” in Latin, 1641, 4to; a book on the Jansenian controversy. 5. “Myrothecium Morale,” 4to. This is the book in which he gives the preceding account of what he had written and spoken, &c. He possessed a prodigious memory, and a ready command of language; but his judgment and taste were by no means equal to his learning and fecundity. 1


Gen. Dict. NiowHi, vol. XXXI. —Moreri. Antonio Bibl. Hisp.