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•*v ' 







By E. RICHMOND HODGES, M.C.P.» ^ ^^ - 


Editor 0/ " Cory'8 Ancient Fragments," " The Principia P^<^0P<fP?^ , ] 




CS'S . c h^. 

" As the mirror of a heart so fiill of love, courage, generosity, and patriotism as that 
of Camoens, The Lusiad can never fail to please us, whatever place we may assign to it 
in the records of poetical genius/' — Hallax. 




My Lord, 

The first idea of offering my Lusiad to some distinguished 
personage, inspired the earnest wish, that it might be accepted by the 
illustrious representative of that family under which my father, for 
many years, discharged the duties of a clergyman. 

Both the late Duke of Bucoleuoh, and the Earl of Dalkeith, 
distinguished him by particular marks of their favour ; and I must 
have forgotten him, if I could have wished to offer the first Dedica- 
tion of my literary labours to any other than the Duke of Bucoleugh. 

I am, with the greatest respect, 
My Lord, 

Your Grace's most devoted 

And most obedient humble servant, 


a 3 


In nndertaking, at the publishers' request, the function 
of editor of Mickle's Lnsiad, I have compared the trans- 
lation with the original, and, in some places, where another 
translation seemed preferable to, or more literal than, 
Mickle's, I have, in addition, given that rendering in a 
foot-note. Moreover, I have supplied the arguments to 
the several cantos, given a few more explanatory notes, 
and added a table of contents. 

"The late ingenious translator of the Lusiad," says 
Lord Strangford,* "has portrayed the character, and 
narrated the misfortunes of our poet, in a manner more 
honourable to his feelings as a man than to his accuracy 
in point of biographical detail. It is with diffidence that 
the present writer essays to correct his errors ; but, as the 
real circumstances of the life of Camoens are mostly to be 
found in his own minor compositions, with which Mr. 
Mickle was unacquainted, he trusts that certain information 
will atone for his presumption." 

As Lord Strangford professes to have better and more 
recent sources of information regarding the illustrious, but 

* Poems of Luii de Camoens, with Remarks on his Life and Writings, 
By Lord Yiscount Strangford. Fifth edition. London, 1808. 

viii editor's preface. 

unfortanate, bard of Portugal, I make no apology for 
presenting .to the reader an abstract of bis lordship's 
memoir. Much further information will be found, how- 
ever, in an able article contained in No. 63 of the Quarterly 
Beview for July, 1822, from the pen, I believe, of the poet 
Southey. ** The family of Camoens was illustrious," says 
Lord Strangford, "and originally Spanish. They were 
long settled at Cadmon, a castle in Ghilicia, from which 
they probably derived their patronymic appellation. How- 
ever, there are some who maintain that their name alluded 
to a certain wonderful bird,* whose mischievous sagacity 
discovered and punished the smallest deviation from con- 
jugal fidelity. A lady of the house of Cadmon, whose con- 
duct had been rather indiscreet, demanded to be tried by 
this extraordinary judge. Her innocence was proved, and, 
in gratitude to the being who had restored him to matri- 
monial felicity, the contented husband adopted his name." 
It would appear that in a dispute between the families of 
Cadmon and De Castera, a cavalier of the latter family 
was slain. This happened in the fourteenth century. A 
long train of persecution followed, to escape which, Ruy 
de Camoens, having embraced the cause of Ferdinand, 
removed with his family into Portugal, about a.d. 1370. 
His son, Vasco de Campens, was highly distinguished by 
royal favour, and had the honour of bein&r the ancestor of 
our poet, wh; descended from him in the fourth generation. 
Luis de Camoens, the author of the Lusiad, was born at, 
Lisbon about a.d. 1524. His misfortunes began with his 
birth — ^he never saw a father's smile — for Simon Vasco de 
Camoens perished by shipwreck in the very year which 

* The Camao. Formerly every well-reg^ilated family in Spain 
retained one of these terrible attendants. The infidelity of its mis- 
tress was the only circumstance which could deprive it of life. This 
odious distrust of female honour is ever characteristic of a barbarous 

editoe's PEEFACK ix 

gave being to His illustrions son. The future poet was 
sent to the university of Coimbra — then at the height of 
its fame,— "and maintained there by the provident care of 
his surviving parent." 

" Love," says Lord Strangford, " is very nearly allied 
to devotion, and it was in the exercise of the latter, that 
Camoens was introduced to the knowledge of the former. 
In the Church of Christ's Wounds at Lisbon, on 11th 
April, 1542, Camoens first beheld Dona Caterina de Atayde, 
the object of his purest and earliest attachment . . . and 
it was not long before Camoens enjoyed an opportunity of 
declaring his affection, with all the romantic ardour of 
eighteen and of a poet." The peculiar situation of the lady, 
as one of the maids of honour to the queen, imposed a 
restraint upon her admirer which soon became intolerable ; 
and he, for having violated the sanctity of the royal 
precincts, was in consequence banished from the court. 
Whatever may have been the nature of his offence, "it 
furnished a pretext to the young lady's relations for termi- 
nating an intercourse which worldly considerations rendered 
highly imprudent." 

But Love consoled his votary : his mistress, on the 
morning of his departure, confessed the secret of her long- 
concealed affection, and the sighs of grief were soon lost 
in those of mutual delight. The hour of parting was, 
perhaps, the sweetest of our poet's existence. 

Camoens removed to Santarem, but speedily returned 
to Lisbon, was a second time detected, and again driven 
into exile.* 

The voice of Love inspired our poet " with the glorious 
resolution of conquering the obstacles which fortune had 

* The laws of Portugal were peculiarly severe agaiust those who 
carried on a love-intrigue within the palace: they punished the 
offence with death. Joam I. suffered one of his favourites to be 
burnt alive for it. — Ed, 


xii editor's preface, 

vainly supplicating fourpence to pnrcliase a little coals — 
I have them not to give Mm.' The cavalier, as Sonsa 
relates, closed both his heart and his purse, and quitted 
the room. Such were the grandees of Portugal." Camoens 
sank under the pressure of penury and disease, and died 
in an alms-house, early in 1579, and was buried in the 
church of Sta. Anna of the Franciscan Friars. Over his 
grave Gonzalo Goutinho placed the following inscription : — 

" Here lies Luis de Camoens. 

He excelled all the poets of his time. 

He lived poor and miserable, and he died so. 


The translator of the Lusiad was bom, in 1734, at 
Langholm, in Dumfriesshire, where his father, a good 
French scholar, was the Presbyterian minister. At the 
age of sixteen William Julius Mickle was removed, to his 
great dislike, from school, and sent into the counting-house 
of a relation of his mother's, a brewer, where, against his 
inclination, he remained five years. He subsequently, for 
family reasons, became the head of the firm, and carried on 
the business. It is not to be wondered at, however, that 
with his dislike to business in general and to this one in 
particular, he did not succeed; and it is quite reasonable 
to suppose that the cause of his failure, and subsequent 
pecuniary embarrassments, arose from his having devoted 
those hours to his poetical studies which should have been 
dedicated to business. Mickle obtained afterwards the 
appointment of corrector of the Clarendon Press in Oxford, 
and died at Wheatly, in Oxfordshire, in 1789. 

Southey speaks of Mickle {Quarterly Review^ liii. p. 29) 
as a man of genius who had ventured upon the chance of 
living by his Utenuy labours, and says that he « did not 
over-rate the powers which he was conscious of possess- 
ing, knew that he could rely upon himself for their due 


exertion, and liad sufficient worldly prudence to look ont 
for a subject which was likely to obtain notice and 
patronage." His other poems, Pollio, Sir Martyn, etc., 
with the exception of his Gumnor Hall, are not held in 
high estimation. 

Describing the several poetic versions of the Lusiad, 
Mr. Musgraye says,* of Fanshaw's version, that "its 
language is antiquated, and in many instances it travesties 
the original, and seldom long sustains the tone of epio 
gravity suited to the poem. It is, however," says he, "more 
faithful than the translation of Mickle, but it would be 
ungenerous," he adds, " to dwell on the paraphrastic licences 
which abound in Mickle's performance, and on its many 
interpolations and omissions. Mr. Mickle thought, no 
doubt," says Musgrave, "that by this process he should 
produce a poem which in its perusal might afford a higher 
gratification. Nor am I prepared to say that by all 
readers this would be deemed a miscalculation. Let it 
not be supposed, however, that I wish to detract from 
the intrinsic merit of his translation. It is but an act of 
justice to admit, that it contains many passages of exquisite 
beauty, and that it is a performance which discovers much 
genius, a cultivated taste, and a brilliant imagination. 
Many parts of the original are rendered with great facility, 
elegance, and fidelity. In poetical elegance I presume not 
to enter into competition with him." 

For his own performance Musgrave claims the merit 
of greater fidelity to the original; but in respect of har- 
mony, in true poetic grace, and sublimity of diction, his 
translation will bear no comparison with Mickle's version ; 
for even Southey, in the article before quoted, though very 
hard upon his interpolations, admits that, " Mickle was a 

* Thomas Moore Musgrave's translation of The Lusiad is in 
blank Terse, and is dedicated to the Earl of Chichester. 1 vol. 8to. 
Muiray: 1826. 


xiv editob's pbefaoe. 

man of genius ... a man whom we admire and respect ; 
whose memory is without a spot, and whose name will 
live among the English poets." (^Quarterly Review, liii. 
p. 29.) 

It only remains for me to say, that in order to place the 
reader in a position to judge of the merits of this sublime 
effort of genius, I have distinguished Mickle's longer 
interpolations by printing them in Bk. i. p. 24, in Italics, 
and in the first 300 lines of Bk. ix. by calling the attention 
of the reader to the interpolation by means of a foot- 
note. The notes are, in general, left as written by the 
translator, except in some cases where it seemed advisable 
to curtail them. Original notes are indicated by the 
abbreviation "JE?(i." 

London, 1877. 




When the glory of the arms of Portugal had reached its meridian 
splendour, Nature, as if in pity of the literary rudeness of that 
nation, produced a great poet to record the numberless actions of 
high spirit performed by his countrymen. Except Osorius, the 
historians of Portugal are little better than dry journalists. But 
it is not their inelegance which rendered the poet necessary. It 
is the peculiar nature of poetry to give a colouring to heroic 
actions, and to express indignation against breaches of honour, in a 
spirit which at once seizes the heart of the man of feeling, and 
carries with it instantaneous conviction. The brilliant actions 
of the Portuguese form the great hinge which opened the door 
to the most important alterations in the civil history of mankind. 
And to place these actions in the light and enthusiasm of poetry 
— that enthusiasm which particularly assimilates the youthful 
breast to its own fires — was Luis de Camoens, the poet of Portugal, 

Dififerent cities have claimed the honour of his birth. But 
according to N. Antonio, and Manuel Correa, his intimate friend, 
this event happened at Lisbon in 1517.* His family was of con- 
siderable note, and originally Spanish. In 1370 Vasco Perez de 
Gaamans, disgusted at the court of Castile, fled to that of Lisbon, 
where King Ferdinand immediately admitted him into his council, 
and gave him the lordships of Sardoal, Punnete, Marano, Amendp, 
and other considerable lands; a certain proof of the eminence of 
his rank and abilities. In the war for the succession, which broke 

* A document in the archives of the Portuguese India House, on 
which Lord Strangford relies, places it in 1524, or the following year. — Ed. 


out on the death of Ferdinand, Gaamans sided with the King of 
Castile, and was killed in the battle of Aljabarrota. But though 
John I., the victor, seized a great part of his estate, his widow, the 
daughter of Gonsalo Tereyro, grand master of the Order of Christ, 
and general of the Portuguese army, was not reduced beneath her 
rank. She had three sons, who took the name of Camoens. The 
family of the eldest intermarried with the first nobility of Portugal, 
and even, according to Castera, with the blood royal. But the 
family of the second brother, whose fortune was slender, had the 
superior honour to produce the author of the Lusiad. 

Early in life the misfortunes of the poet began. In his infancy, 
Simon Vaz de Camoens, his father, commander of a vessel, was 
shipwrecked at Goa, where, with his life, the greatest part of his 
fortune was lost. His mother, however, Anne de Macedo of Santa- 
rem, provided for the education of her son Luis, at the University 
of Coimbra. What he acquired there his works discover; an 
intimacy with the classics, equal to that of a Scaliger, but directed 
by the taste of a Milton or a Pope. 

•When he left the university he appeared at court. He was 
a polished scholar and very handsome,* possessing a most engaging 
mien and address, with the finest complexion, which, added to the 
natural ardour and gay vivacity of his disposition, rendered him 
an accomplished gentleman. Courts are the scenes of intrigue, and 
intrigue was fashionable at Lisbon. But the particulars of the 
amours of Camoens rest imknown. -This only appears: he had 
aspired above his rank, for he was banished from the court ; and in 
several of his sonnets he ascribes this misfortune to love. 

He now retired to his mother's friends at Santarem. Here he 
renewed his studies, and began his poem on the discovery of India. 
John III. at this time prepared an armament against Africa. 
CamoSns, tired of his inactive, obscure life, went to Ceuta in this 
expedition, and greatly distingidshed his valour in several ten-- 
contres. In a naval engagement with the Moors in the Straits 
of Gibraltar, Camoens, in the conflict of boarding, where he was 

* The French translator gives as so fine a description of the person of 
Camoens, that it seems borrowed from the Fairy Tales. It is nniversally 
agreed, however, that he was handsome, and had a most engaging mien and 
address. He is thns described by Nicolas Antonio, " Mfdiocri statura fuit, 
et came plena, capUlis usque ad croci colorem fiavescentilyuSy maxime in 
juventute. Emin^t ei frons, et medius nasus, ccstera longus, et in fine 


among the foremost, lost his right eye. Yet neither the hurry of 
actual service, nor the dissipation of the camp, could stifle his 
genius. He continued his Lusiadas ; and several of his most 
beautiful sonnets were written in Africa, while, as he expresses it, 

'' One hand the pen, and one the sword employ'd." 

The fame of his valour had now reached the Court, and he obtained 
permission to return to Lisbon. But while he solicited an estab- 
lishment which he had merited in the ranks of battle, the malignity 
of evil tongues (as he calls it in one of his letters) was injuriously 
poured upon him. Though the bloom of his early youth was 
effaced by several years' residence under the scorching sky of 
Africa, and though altered by the loss of an eye, his presence gave 
uneasiness to the gentlemen of some fsunilies of the first rank 
where he had formerly visited. Jealousy is the characteristic of 
the Spanish and Portuguese; its resentment knows no bounds, 
and Gamoens now found it prudent to banish himself from his 
native country. Accordingly, in 1553 he sailed for Lidia, with a 
resolution never to return. As the ship left the Tagus he ex- 
claimed, in the words of the sepulchral monument of Scipio 
AMcanus, " Ingraia patrta, rum possidetis ossa mea ! " (Ungrateful 
country, thou shalt not possess my bones !) But he knew not 
what evils in the East would awaken the remembrance of his native 

When Gamoens arrived in India, an expedition was ready to 
sail to revenge the King of Cochin on the King of Pimenta. With- 
out any rest on shore after his long voyage, he joined this arma- 
ment, and, in the conquest of the Alagada Islands, displayed his 
usual bravery. But his modesty, perhaps, is his greatest praise. 
In a sonnet he mentions this expedition : " We went to punish the 
King of Pimenta," says he, " e succedeones hem " (and we succeeded 
well). When it is considered that the poet bore no inconsiderable 
share in the victory, no ode can conclude more elegantly, more 
happily than this. 

In the year following, he attended Manuel de Vasconcello in an 
expedition to the Bed Sea. Here, says Faria, as Camoens had no 
use for his sword, he employed his pen. Nor was his activity 
confined to the fleet or camp. He visited Mount FeHx, and 
the adjacent inhospitable regions of Africa, which he so strongly 
pictures in the Lusiad, and in one of his little pieces, where he 
laments the absence of his mistress. 


When lie returned to Gfoa, he enjoyed a tranquility which en- 
abled him to bestow his attention on his epic poem. But this 
serenity was interrupted, perhaps by his own imprudence. He 
wrote some satires which gave offence, and by order of the viceroy, 
Francisco Barreto, he was banished to China. 

Men of poor abilities are more conscious of their embarrassment 
and errors than is commonly believed. When men of this kind 
are in power, they affect great solenmity ; and every expression of 
the most distant tendency to lessen their dignity is held as the 
greatest of crimes. Conscious, also, how severely the man of genius 
can hurt their interest, they bear an instinctive antipathy against 
him, are uneasy even in his company, and, on the slightest pretence, 
are happy to drive him from them. Camoens was thus situated at 
Gba ; and never was there a fairer field for satire than the rulers of 
India at that time afforded. Yet, whatever esteem the prudence of 
Camoens may lose in our idea, the nobleness of his disposition will 
doubly gain. And, so conscious was he of his real integrity and 
innocence, that in one of his sonnets he wishes no other revenge on 
Barreto than that the cruelty of his exile should ever be remem- 

The accomplishments and manners of Camoens soon found him 
friends, though under the disgrace of banishment. He was ap- 
pointed Commissary of the estates of deceased persons, in the island 
of Macao, a Portuguese settlement on the coast of China. Here he 
continued his Lusiad ; and here, also, after five years residence, he 
acquired a fortune, though small, yet equal to his wishes. Don 
Constantino de Braganza was now Viceroy of India ; and Camoens, 
desirous to return to Groa, resigned his charge. In a ship, freighted 
by himself, he set sail, but was shipwrecked in the gulf near the 
mouth of the river Meekhaun, in Cochin China. All he had 
acquired was lost in the waves : his poems, which he held in one 
hand, while he swam with the other, were all he found himself 
possessed of when he stood friendless on the unknown shore. But 
the natives gave him a most humane reception ; this he has im- 

* Oastera tells us, 'Hhat posterity by no means enters into the 
resentment of our poet, and that the Portuguese historians make glorious 
mention of Barreto, who was a man of true merit." The Portuguese 
historians, however, knew not what true merit was. The brutal, uncom- 
mercial wars of Sampayo are by them mentioned as much more glorious 
than the less bloody campaigns of a Nunio, which established commerce 
and empire. 


mortalized in the prophetic song in the tenth Lusiad ; * and in the 
seventh he tells us that here he lost the wealth which satisfied his 

Agora da etperanpaja adqmrida^ etc 

" Now blest with all the wealth fond hope conld crare, 
Soon I beheld that wealth beneath the wave 

For ever lost ; 

If 7 life like Judah's Heayen-doom'd king of yore 
By miracle prolonged." 

On the banks of the Meekhaun, he wrote his beautiful paraphrase 
of the 137th Psalm, where the Jews, in the finest strain of poetry, 
are represented as hanging their harps on the willows by the rivers 
of Babylon, and weeping their exile from their native country. 
Here Camoens continued some time, till an opportunity offered to 
carry him to GKml When he arrived at that city, Don Constantino 
de Braganza, the viceroy, whose characteristic was politeness, 
admitted him into intimate friendship, and Camoens was happy 
till Count Redondo assumed the government. Those who had 
formerly procured the banishment of the satirist were silent while 
Constantino was in power. But now they exerted all their arts 
against him. Redondo, when he entered on office, pretended to be 
the friend of Camoens ; yet, with the most unfeeling indifference, 
he suffered the innocent man to be thrown into the common prison. 
After all the delay of bringing witnesses, Camoens, in a public trial, 
fiilly refuted every accusation against his conduct while commissary 
at Macao, and his enemies were loaded with ignominy and reproach. 
But Camoens had some creditors ; and these detained him in prison 
a considerable time, till the gentlemen of Groa began to be ashamed 
that a man of his singular merit should experience such treatment 
among them. He was set at liberty ; and again he assumed the 
profession of arms, and received the allowance of a gentleman- 

* Haying named the Mecon, or Meekhaun, a river of Cochin China, 
he says — 

Este recei)era placidOj e branch, 

No seu rega^ o Canto, que molhado, etc. 

Literally thns : '' On his gentle hospitable bosom (sic brando poetice) shall 
he receive the song, wet from wofal unhappy shipwreck, escaped from 
destroying tempests, from ravenous dangers, the effect of the unjust 
sentence upon him, whose lyre shall be more renowned than enriched." 
When Camoens was commissary, he visited the islands of Ternate, Timor, 
etc, described in the Lusiad. 


Tolunteer, a character at that time common in Portuguese India. 
Soon after, Pedro Barreto (appointed governor of the fort of Sofdla), 
by high promises, allured the poet to attend him thither. The 
governor of a distant fort, in a barbarous country, shares in some 
measure the fate of an exile. Yet, though the only motive of 
Barreto was, in this unpleasant situation, to retain the conversation 
of Gamoens at his table, it was his least care to render the life of 
his guest agreeable. Chagrined with his treatment, and a con- 
siderable time having elapsed in vain dependence upon Barreto, 
Camoens resolved to return to his native coimtry. A ship, on the 
homeward voyage, at this time touched at Sofdla, and several 
gentlemen * who were on board were desirous that Camoens should 
accompany them. But this the governor imgenerously endeavoured 
to prevent, and charged him with a debt for board. Anthony de 
Cabral, however, and Hector de Sylveyra, paid the demand, and 
Camoens, says Faria, and the honour of Barreto were sold together. 

After an absence of sixteen years, Camoens, in 1569, returned 
to Lisbon, imhappy even in his arrival, for the pestilence then 
raged in that city, and prevented his publishing for three years. 
At last, in 1572, he printed his Lusiad, which, in the opening of 
the first book, in a most elegant turn of compliment, he addressed 
to his prince. King Sebastian, then in his eighteenth year. The 
king, says the French translator, was so pleased with his merit, 
that he gave the author a pension of 4000 reals, on condition that 
he should reside at court. But this salary, says the same writer, 
was withdrawn by Cardinal Henry, who succeeded to the crown of 
Portugal, lost by Sebastian at the battle of Alcazar. 

But this story of the pension is very doubtful. Correa and 
other contemporary authors do not mention it, though some late 
writers have given credit to it. If Camoens, however, had a 
pension, it is highly probable that Henry deprived him of it. 
While Sebastian was devoted to the chase, his grand-uncle, the 
cardinal, presided at the coimcil board, and Camoens, in his address 
to the king, which closes the Lusiad, advises him to exclude the 
clergy from State affairs. It was easy to see that the cardinal was 
here intended. And Henry, besides, was one of those statesmen 

* According to the Portugese Life of CamoSns, preBxed to Gedron's, 
the best edition of his works, Diogo de Couto, the historian, one of the 
company in this homeward voyage, wrote annotations upon the Lusiad, 
under the eye of its author. But these, unhappily, have never appeared in 


who can perceive no benefit resulting to the public from elegant 
literature. But it ought also to be added in completion of his 
character, that under the narrow views and weak hands of this 
ELenry, the kingdom of Portugal fell into utter ruin ; and on his 
death, which closed a short inglorious reign, the crown of Lisbon, 
after a fisunt struggle, was annexed to that of Spain. Such was 
the degeneracy of the Portuguese, a degeneracy lamented in vain 
by CSamoens, whose observation of it was imputed to him as a 

Though the great * palTon of theological literature — a species 
the reverse of that of Camoens — certain it is, that the author 
of the Lusiad was utterly neglected by Henry, under whose 
inglorious reign he died in all the misery of poverty. By some, 

* Cardinal Henry's patronage of learning and learned men is mentioned 
with cordial esteem by the Portuguese writers. Happily they also tell us 
what that learning was. It was to him the Romish Friars of the £ast 
transmitted their childish forgeries of inscriptions and miracles. He 
corresponded with them, directed their labours, and received the first 
accounts of their success. Under his patronage it was discovered, that St. 
Thomas ordered the Indians to worship the cross ; and that the Moorish 
tradition of Perimal (who, having embraced Mohammedanism, divided his 
kingdom among his officers, whom he rendered tributary to the Zamorim) 
was a malicious misrepresentation, for that Perimal, having turned 
Christian, resigned his kingdom and became a monk. Such was the learn- 
ing patronized by Henry, under whose auspices that horrid tribunal, the 
Inquisition, was erected at Lisbon, where he himself long presided as 
Inquisitor-General. Nor was he content with this: he established an 
Inquisition, also, at Goa, and sent a whole apparatus of holy fathers to form 
a court of inquisitors, to suppress the Jews and reduce the native Chris- 
tians to the see of Rome. Nor must the treatment experienced by 
Buchanan at Lisbon be here omitted. John III., earnest to promote the 
cultivation of polite literature among his subjects, engaged Buchanan, the 
most elegant Latinist, perhaps, of modem times, to teach philosophy and 
the belies lettres at Lisbon. But the design of the monarch was soon 
frustrated by the clergy, at the head of whom was Henry, afterwards 
king. Buchanan was committed to prison, because it was alleged that 
he had eaten flesh in Lent, and because in his early youth, at St. Andrew's 
in Scotland, he had written a satire against the Franciscans ; for which, 
however, ere he would venture to Lisbon, John had promised absolute 
indemnity. John, with much difficulty, procured his release from a loath- 
some jail, but could not effect his restoration as a teacher. No, he only 
changed his prison, for Buchanan was sent to a monastery " to be instructed 
by the monks," of the men of letters patronized by Henry. These are thus 
characterized by their pupil Buchanan, — nee inhumanis, nee maiis, sed 
omnis reltgionis ignaris : '^ Not uncivilized, not flagitious, but ignorant of 
every religion." 



it is said, he died in an almshouse. It appears, however, that 
he had not even the certainty of subsistence which these houses 
provide. He had a black servant, who had grown old with him, 
and who had long experienced his master's humanity. This 
grateful dependant, a native of Java, who, according to some writers, 
saved his master's life in the imhappy shipwreck where he lost 
his effects, begged in the streets of Lisbon for the only man in 
Portugal on whom God had bestowed those talents which have a 
tendency to erect the spirit of a downward age. To the eye of a 
careful observer, the fate of Camoens throws great light on that 
of his country, and will appear strictly connected with it. The 
same ignorance, the same degenerate spirit, which suffered Camoens 
to depend on his share of the alms begged in the streets by his 
old hoary servant — the same spirit which caused this, sank the 
kingdom of Portugal into the most abject vassalage ever ex- 
perienced by a conquered nation. While the grandees of Portugal 
were blind to the ruin which impended over them, Camoens 
beheld it with a pungency of grief which hastened his end. In 
one of his letters he has these remarkable words, " Em fim accaherey 
d vida, e verrdm todos que/uy afeigoada a minho patria,^^ etc. — ^** I 
am ending the course of my life, the world will witness how I 
have loved my country. I have returned, not only to die in her 
bosom, but to die with her." In another letter, written a little 
before his death, he thus, yet with dignity, complains, "Who 
has seen on so small a theatre as my poor bed, such a representa- 
tion of the disappointments of Fortune. And I, as if she could 
not herself subdue me, I have yielded and become of her party ; 
for it were wild audacity to hope to surmount such accumu- 
lated evils." 

In this imhappy situation, in 1579, in his sixty-second year, 
the year after the fatal defeat of Don Sebastian, died Luis de 
Camoens, the greatest literary genius ever produced by Portugal ; 
in martial courage and spirit of honour nothing inferior to her 
greatest heroes. And in a manner suitable to the poverty in 
which he died was he buried. Soon after, however, many 
epitaphs honoured his memory; the greatness of his merit was 
imiversally confessed, and his Lusiad was translated into various 
languages.* Nor ought it to be omitted, that the man so 

* According to Gedron, a second edition of the Lnsiad appeared in the 
tame year with the first. There are two Italian and four Spanish trans- 


miserably neglected by the weak king Henry, was earnestly en- 
quired after by Philip of Spain when he assumed the crown 
of Lisbon. When Philip heard that GamoSns was dead, both 
his words and his countenance expressed his disappointment 
and grief. 

From the whole tenor of his life, and from that spirit which 
glows throughout the Lusiad, it evidently appears that the courage 
and manners of Camoens flowed from true greatness and dignity 
of soul. Though his polished conversation was often courted 
by the great, he appears so distant from servility that his impru- 
dence m this respect is by some highly blamed. Yet the instances 
of it by no means deserve that severity of censure with which some 
writers have condemned him. Unconscious of the feelings of 
a Camoens, they knew not that a carelessness in securing the 
snules of fortune, and an open honesty of indignation, are almost 
inseparable from the enthusiasm of flne imagination. The truth 
is, the man possessed of true genius feels his greatest happiness in 
the pursuits and excursions of the mind, and therefore makes 
an estimate of things very different from that of him whose 
unremitting attention is devoted to his external interest. The 
profusion of Camoens is also censured. Had he dissipated the 
wealth he acquired at Macao, his profusion indeed had been 
criminal ; but it does not appear that he ever enjoyed any other 
opportunity of acquiring independence. But Camoens was im- 
fortunate, and the unfortunate man is viewed— 

" Throngh the dim shade his fate casts o'er him : 
A shade that spreads its evening darkness o'er 
His brightest virtues, while it shows his foibles 
Crowding and obvious as the midnight stars, 
Which, in the sunshine of prosperity 
Never had been descried." 

Yet, after the strictest discussion, when all the causes are weighed 
together, the misfortimes of Camoens will appear the fault and 
disgrace of his age and country, and not of the man. His talents 

lations of it. A hundred years before Castera's version it appeared in 
French. Thomas de Faria, Bp. of Targa in Africa, translated it into Latin. 
Le P. Niceron says there were two other Latin translations. It is trans- 
lated, also, into Hebrew, with great elegance and spirit, by one Luzzatto, a 
learned and ingenious Jew, author of several poems in that language, who 
died in the Holy Land. 


would have secured him an apartment in the palace of Augustus, 
but such talents are a curse to their possessor in an illiterate 
nation. In a beautiful, digressive exclamation at the end of the 
liusiad, he affords us a striking view of the peglect which he 
experienced. Having mentioneS how the greatest heroes of 
antiquity revered and cherished the muse, he thus characterizes 
the nobility of his own age and country. 

** Alas ! on Tago's hapless shore alone 
The muse is slighted, and her charms nnknown ; 
For this, no Virgil here attunes the lyre, 
No Homer here awakes the hero's fire ; 
Unheard, in vain their native poet sings, 
And cold neglect weighs down the muse's wings." 

In such an age, and among such a barbarous nobility, what but 
wretched neglect could be the fate of a Camoens! After all, 
however, if he was imprudent on his first appearance at the court 
of John III. ; if the honesty of his indignation led him into great 
imprudence, as certainly it did, when at Goa he satirised the 
viceroy and the first persons in power; yet let it also be re- 
membered, that '' The gifts of imagination bring the heaviest task 
upon the vigilance of reason; and to bear those faculties with 
unerring rectitude, or invariable propriety, requires a degree of 
firmness and of cool attention, which doth not always attend the 
higher gifts of the mind. Yet, difi&cult as nature herself seems 
to have rendered the task of regularity to genius, it is the 
supreme consolation of dullness and of folly to point with Gothic 
triumph to those excesses whi<5h are the overflowings of faculties 
they never enjoyed. Perfectly unconscious that they are indebted 
to their stupidity for the consistency of their conduct, they plume 
themselves on an imaginary virtue which has its origin in what 
is really their disgrace. — Let such, if such dare approach the 
shrine of Camoens, withdraw to a respectful distance ; and should 
they behold the ruins of genius, or the weakness of an exalted 
mind, let them be taught to lament that nature has left the 
noblest of her works imperfect." * 

* This passage in inverted commas is cited, with the alteration of the 
name only, from Langhome's account of the life of William Collins. 




When Voltaire was in England, previous to his publication 
of his Henriade, he published in English an essay on the epic 
poetry of the European nations. In this he both highly praised, 
and severely attacked, the Lusiad. In his BVench editions of 
this essay, he has made various alterations, at different times, in 
the article on Camoens. It is not, however, improper to premise, 
that some most amazing falsities will be here detected ; the gross 
misrepresentation of every objection refuted ; and demonstration 
brought, that when Voltaire wrote his English essay, his know- 
ledge of the Lusiad was entirely borrowed from the bold, harsh, 
unpoetical version of Fanshaw. 

"While Trissino," says Voltaire, "was clearing away the 
rubbish in Italy, which barbarity and ignorance had heaped up 
for ten centuries in the way of the arts and sciences, Camoens, 
in Portugal, steered a new course, and acquired a reputation which 
lasts still among his coimtrymen who pay as much respect to his 
memory as the English to Milton.** 

Among other passages of the Lusiad which he criticises is that 
where " Adamastor, the giant of the Gape of Storms, appears to 
them, walking in the depth of the sea ; his head reaches to the 
clouds ; the st<»ins, the winds, the thunders, and the lightnings 
hang about him ; his arms are extended over the waves. It is 
the guardian of that foreign ocean, unploughed before by any ship. 
He complains of being obliged to submit to fate, and to the 
audacious undertaking of the Portuguese, and foretells them all 
the misfortunes they must undergo in the Indies. I believe 


tliat such a fiction would be thought noble and proper in all ages, 
and in all nations. 

" There is another, which perhaps would have pleased the 
Italians as well as the Portuguese, but no other nation besides: 
it is the enchanted island, called the Island of Bliss, which the 
fleet- finds in its way home, just rising from the sea, for then- 
comfort, and for their reward. Camoens describes that place, as 
Tasso some years after depicted his island of Armida. There a 
supernatural power brings in all the beauties, and presents all the 
pleasures which nature can afford, and the heart may wish for; 
a goddess, enamoured with Vasco de Guma, carries him to the 
top of a high mountain, from whence she shows him all the 
kingdoms of the earth, and foretells the fate of Portugal. 

" After Camoens hath given loose to his fancy, in the descrip- 
tion of the pleasures which Grama and his crew enjoyed in the 
island, he takes care to inform the reader that he ought to under- 
stand by this fiction nothing but the satisfaction which the 
virtuous man feels, and the glory which accrues to him, by the 
practice of virtue; but the best excuse for such an invention is 
the charming style in which it is delivered (if we may believe 
the Portuguese), for the beauty of the elocution sometimes makes 
amends for the faults of the poet, as the colouring of Rubens makes 
some defects in his figures pass unregarded. 

" There is another kind of machinery continued throughout all 
the poem, which nothing can excuse ; that is, an injudicious mixture 
of the heathen gods with our religion. Grama in a storm addresses 
his prayers to Christ, but it is Venus who comes to his relief; 
the heroes are Christians, and the poet heathen. The main 
design which the Portuguese are supposed to have (next to 
promoting their trade) is to propagate Christianity ; yet Jupiter, 
Bacchus, and Venus, have in their hands all the management 
of the voyage. So incongruous a machinery casts a blemish upon 
the whole poem ;.yet it shows at the same time how prevailing are 
its beauties since the Portuguese like it with all its faults." 

The Lusiad, says Voltaire, contains " a sort of epic poetry un- 
heard of before. No heroes are wounded a thousand different ways ; 
no woman enticed away, and the world overturned for her cause." 
But the very want of these, in place of supporting the objection 
intended by Voltaire, points out the happy judgment and peculiar 
excellence of Camoens. If Homer has given us all the fire and 
hurry of battles, he has also given us all the iminteresting, tiresome 


detaiL What reader but must be tired with the deaths of a 
thousand heroes, who are never mentioned before, nor afterwards, 
in the poem. Tet, in every battle we are wearied out with such 
Ocusette-TetamB of the slain and wounded 

'* Hector Priamides when Zetu him glory gave, 
Asssens first, AutonotLs, he slew ; 
Ophites, Dolops, Klytis' son beside; 
Opheltius also, Agelatis too, 
JEsymnus, and the battle-bide 
Hipp<5notis, chiefs on Danaian side. 
And then the multitude." 

Homer's Iliad, bk. xi. 299, et seq., 

(W. G. T. Babteb's translation.) 

And corresponding to it is Virgil's Mneid, bk. x. line 747, et 
seq.: — 

'* By Caedicus Alcathofis was slain ; 
Sacrator laid Hydaspes on the plain ; 
Ors^ the strong to greater strength must yield. 
He, with Parthenius, were by Rapo killed. 
Then brave Messapus Ericet^s slew. 
Who from Lycadn's blood his lineage drew." 

Dbyden's version. 

With such catalogues is every battle extended ; and what can be 
more tiresome than such uninteresting descriptions, and their 
imitations ! If the idea of the battle be raised by such enume- 
ration, still the copy and original are so near each other that they 
can never please in two separate poems. Nor are the greater part 
of the battles of the ^neid much more distant than those of the 
Biad. Though Virgil with great art has introduced a Camilla, 
a Pallas, and a Lausus, still, in many particulars, and in the action 
upon the whole, there is such a sameness with the Iliad, that the 
learned reader of the j^neid is deprived of the pleasure inspired by 
originality. If the man of taste, however, will be pleased to mark 
how the genius of a Virgil has managed a war after Homer, he 
will certainly be tired with a dozen epic poems in the same 
style. Where the siege of a town and battles are the subject of an 
epic, there will, of necessity, in the characters and circumstances, 
be a resemblance to Homer ; and such poem must therefore want 
originality. Happily for Tasso, the variation of manners, and his 


• •• 


masterly superiority over Homer in describing his duels, has given 
to his Jerusalem an air of novelty. Yet, with all the difference 
between Christian and pagan heroes, we have a Priam, an Agamem- 
non, an Achilles, etc., armies slaughtered, and a city besieged. 
In a word, we have a handsome copy of the Iliad in the Jerusalem 
Delivered. If some imitations, however, have been successful, how 
many other epics of ancient and modem times have hurried down 
the stream of oblivion ! Some of their authors had poetical merit, 
but the fault was in the choice of their subjects. So fully is the 
strife of war exhausted by Homer, that Virgil and Tasso could add 
to it but little novelty ; no wonder, therefore, that so many epics 
on battles and sieges have been suffered to sink into utter neglect. 
Camoens, perhaps, did not weigh these circumstances,- but the 
strength of his poetical genius directed him. He could not but 
feel what it was to read Virgil after Homer ; and the original turn 
and force of his mind led him jfrom the beaten track of Helen's 
and Lavinia's, Achilles's and Hector's sieges and slaughters, where 
the hero hews down, and drives to flight, whole armies with his 
own sword. Camoens was the first who wooed the modem Epic 
Muse, and she gave him the wreath of a first lover : a sort of epic 
poetry unheard of before; or, as Voltaire calls it, une nouvdle 
espece d'epopee ; and the grandest subject it is (of profane history) 
which the world has ever beheld.* A voyage esteemed too great 
for man to dare ; the adventures of this voyage through unknown 
oceans deemed unnavigable ; the eastern world happily discovered, 
and for ever indissolubly joined and given to the western ; the 
grand Portuguese empire in the East founded ; the humanization 
of mankind, and universal commerce the consequence ! What are 
the adventures of an old, fabulous hero's arrival in Britain, what 
are Greece and Latium in arms for a woman compared to this I 
Troy is in ashes, and even the Boman empire is no more. But 

* The drama and the epopoeia are in nothing so different as in this — 
the subjects of the drama are inexhaustible, those of the epopceia are 
perhaps exhausted. He who chooses war, and warlike charactei*s, 
cannot appear as an original. It was well for the memory of Pope that 
he did not write the epic poem he intended. It would have been only a 
copy of Virgil. Camoens and Milton have been happy in the novelty of 
their subjects, and these they have exhausted. There cannot possibly be 
so important a voyage as that which gave the eastern world to the 
western. And, did even the story of Columbus afford materials equal to 
that of Gama, the adventures of the hero, and the view of the extent of 
his discoveries most now appear as servile copies of the Lusiad. 


the effects of the Toyage, adventures, and bravery of the hot) of 
the Lufliad will be felt and beheld, and perhaps increase in im* 
portance, while the world shall remain* 

Happy in his choice, ha{^y also was the genius of Camo^ns 
in the naethod of pursuing his subject. He has not, like Tasso, 
giveii it a total appearance of fiction ; nor has he, hke Luoan, 
ozcluded allegory and poetical machinery. Whether he intended 
it or not (for his genius was sufficient to suggest its propriety), the 
judicious precept of Petronius * is the model of the Lusiad. That 
elegant writer proposes a poem on the civil war, and no poem, 
ancioit or modem, merits the character there sketched out in any 
degree comparative to the Lusiad. A truth of history is preserved ; 
yet, what is improper for the historian, the ministry of Heaven is 
employed, and the free spirit of poetry throws itself into fictions 
which makes the whole appear as an effusion of prophetic fury, and 
not like a rigid detail of fsusts, ^ven under the sanction of witnesses. 
Ciontrary to Lucan, who, in the above rules, drawn from the nature 
<^ poetry, is severely condemned by Petronius, Camoens conducts 
his poem per ambages Dwrumque ministerial The apparition, 
which in the night hovers athwart the fleet near the Cape of Gk)od 
Hope, is the grandest fiction in human composition ; the invention 
his own! In the Island of Venus, the use of which fiction in 
an epic poem is also his own, he has given the completest assem- 
blage of all the flowers which have ever adorned the bowers of 
love. And, never was the furentis animi vaticinatio more con- 
spicuously displayed than in the prophetic song, the view of the 
spheres, and the globe of the earth. Tasso's imitation of the 
Island of Yenus is not equal to the original ; and, though " Virgil's 
myrtles f dropping blood are nothing to Tasso's enchanted forest," 
what are all Ismeno's enchantments to the grandeur and horror 
of the appearance, prophecy, and vanishment of the spectre of 
GamoSns ! X It has long been agreed among critics, that the 
solemnity of religious observances gives great dignity to the his- 
torical narrative of epic poetry. GamoSns, in the embarkation 
of the fleet, and in several other places, is peculiarly happy in the 

* See his Satyricon. — Ed, f ^^ letters on Chivalry and Romance. 

X The Lusiad is also rendered poetical by other fictions. The elegant 
satire on King Sebastian, under the name of Acteon ; and the prosopopoeia 
of the populace of Portugal venting their murmurs upon the beach when 
Gama sets sail, display the richness of our author's poetical genius, and are 
not inferior to anything of the kind in the classics. 



dignity of religious allusions. Manners and character are also re- 
quired in the epic poem. But all the epics which have appeared 
are, except two, mere copies of the Iliad in these respects. Every 
one has its Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, and Ulysses ; its calm, 
furious, gross, and intelligent hero. Gamoens and Milton happily 
left this beaten track, this exhausted field, and have given us 
pictures of manners unknown in the Iliad, the ^neid, and all those 
poems which may be classed with the Thebaid. The Lusiad 
abounds with pictures of manners, from those of the highest 
chivalry to those of the rudest, fiercest, and most innocent bar- 
barism. In the fifth, sixth, and ninth books, Leonardo and Yeloso 
are painted in stronger colours than any of the inferior characters 
in Virgil. But character^ indeed, is not the excellence of the 
^neid. That of Monzaida, the Mend of Gama, is much superior 
to that of Achates. The base, selfish, perfidious and cruel character 
of the Zamorim and the Moors, are painted in the strongest colours ; 
and the character of Gama himself is that of the finished hero. 
His cool command of his passions, his deep sagacity, his fixed 
intrepidity, his tenderness of heart, his manly piety, and his high 
enthusiasm in the love of his country are all displayed in the 
superlative degree. Let him who objects the want of character 
to the Lusiad, beware lest he stumble upon its praise ; lest he only 
say, it wants an Achilles, a Hector, and a Priam. And, to the 
' novelty of the maimers of the Lusiad let the novelty of fire-arms 
also be added. It has been said that the buckler, the bow, and 
the spear, must continue the arms of poetry. Yet, however un- 
successful others may have been, Gamoens has proved that fire- 
arms may be introduced with the greatest dignity, and the finest 
effect in the epic poem. 

As the grand interest of commerce and of mankind forms the 
subject of the Lusiad, so, with great propriety, as necessary ac- 
companiments to the voyage of his hero, the author has given 
poetical pictures of the four parts of the world — in the third 
book a view of Europe; in the fifth, a view of Africa; and in 
the tenth, a picture of Asia and America. Homer and Yirgil 
have been highly praised for their judgment in the choice of 
subjects which interested their countrymen, and Statins has been 
as severely condemned for his uninteresting choice. But, though the 
subject of Gamoens be particularly interesting to his own country- 
men, it has also the peculiar happiness to be the poem of every 
trading nation. It is the epc poem of the birth of commercei 


and, in a particular manner, the epic poem of whatever country 
has the control and possession of the commerce of India.* 

An unexhausted fertility and variety of poetical description^ 
an unexhausted elevation of sentiment, and a constant tenor of the 
grand simplicity of dicUon, complete the character of the Lusiad 
of GamoSns : a poem which, though it has hitherto received from 
the public most - unmerited n^lect, and from the critics most 
flagrant injustice, was yet better imderstood by the greatest poet 
of Italy. Tasso never did his judgment more credit than when he 
confessed that he dreaded Gamoens as a rival ; or his generosity 
more honour than when he addressed the elegant sonnet to the 
hero of the Lusiad, commencing — 

** Vasco, le col felici, ardite antenne 
In contro al sol, che ne riporta 11 giomo." 

It only remains to give some account of the version of the 
Lusiad which is now offered to the public. Beside the transla- 
tions mentioned in the life of Gamoens, M. Duperron De Gastera, 
in 1735, gave, in French prose, a loose impoetical paraphrase f of 
the Lusiad. Nor does Sir Richard Fanshaw's English version, 
published during the usurpation of Gromwell, merit a better 
character. Though stanza be rendered for stanza, though at first 
view it has the appearance of being exceedingly literal, this version 
is nevertheless exceedingly unfaithful. Uncountenanced by his 
original, Fanshiftw — 

« Teems with many a dead-bom jtst." X 

Nor had he the least idea of the dignity of the epic style,§ or of 

* Hence the great interest which we as Britons either do, or ought to, 
feel in this noble epic. We are the successors of the Portngnese in the 
possession and goyemment of India ; and therefore what interested them 
most have for as, as the actual possessors, a double interest. — JEd. 

t Castera was every way unequal to his task. He did not perceive his 
author's beauties. He either suppresses or lowers the most poetical 
passages, and substitutes French tinsel and impertinence in their place. 

X Pope, Odyss. XX. 

§ Richard Fanshaw, Esq., afterwards Sir Richard, was English 
Ambassador both at Madrid and Lisbon. He had a taste for literature, 
and translated from the Italian several pieces which were of service in the 
refinement of our poetry. Though his Lusiad, by the dedication of it to 
William, Earl of Strafford, dated May 1, 1655, seems as if published by him- 
self, we are told by the editor of his Letters, that ** during the unsettled 
times of our anarchy, some of his MSS., falling by misfortune into un- 




the true spirit of poetical translation. Far tliis, indeed, no 
definite rule can be given. The translator's feelings alone must 
direct him, for the spirit of poetry is sure to evaporate in literal 

Indeed, literal translation of poetry is a solecism. You may 
construe your author, indeed, but, if with some translators you 
boast that you have left your author to speak for himself, that 
you have neither added nor diminished, you have in reality grossly 
abused him, and deceived yourself. Tour literal translation can 
have no claim to the original felicities of expression ; the energy, 
elegance, and fire of the original poetry. It may bear, indeed, a 
resemblance ; but such a one as a corpse in the sepulchre bears to 
the former man when he moved in the bloom and vigour of life. 

Nee verbum ver^ curdbis reddere, fidus 

was the taste of the Augustan age. None but a poet can trans- 
late a poet. The freedom which this precept gives, will, therefore, 
in a poet's hands, not only infuse the energy, elegance, and fire of 
his author's poetry into his own version, but will give it also the 
spirit of an original. 

He who can construe may perform all that is clidmed by the 
literal translator. He who attempts the manner of translation 
prescribed by Horace, ventures upon a task of genius. Yet, how- 
ever daring the undertaking, and however he may have failed in it, 
the translator acknowledges, that in this spirit he has endeavoured 
to give the Lusiad in English. Even farther liberties, in one or two 
instances, seemed to him advantageous But a minuteness * in 

skilful hands, were printed and published without his knowledge or consent, 
and before he could give them his last finishing strokes : such was his 
translation of the Lusiad." He can never have enough of conceits, low 
allusions, and expressions. When gathering of flowers is simply men- 
tioned (C. 9, St. 24) he gives it, '< gather'd flower» by pecks ; " and the 
Indian Regent is avaricious (C. 8, st. 95^— 

Meaning a better penny thence to get. 

But enough of these have already appeared in the notes. It may be 
necessary to add, that the version of Fanshaw, though the Lusiad very 
particularly requires them, was given to the public without one note. 

* Some liberties of a less poetical kind, however, require to be men- 
tioned. In Homer and Virgil's lists of slain warriors, Dryden and Pope 
have omitted several names which would have rendered English versifica^ 


the mention of these will not appear with a good grace in this 
edition of his work ; and hesides, the original is in the hands of 
tiie world. 

tion dull and tiresome. Several allusions to ancient history and fable 
have for this reason been abridged ; e.g. in the prayer of Gama (Book 6) 
the mention of Paul, '* thou who deliveredst Paul and defendest him from 
quicksands and wild 

Daa acyrtes arenoaas e ondas feaa — 


is omitted. However exptUent in the original, the prayer in English would 
lose both its dignity and ardour. Kor let the critic, if he find the mean- 
ing of CamoSns in some instances altered, imagine that he has found a 
blunder in the translator. He who chooses to see a slight alteration of this 
kind will find an instance, which will give him an idea of others, in Canto 
8, St. 48, and another in Canto 7, st. 41. It was not to gratify the dull few, 
wboM greatest pleasure in reading a translation is to see what the author 
exactly says; it was to give a poem that might live in the English 
langfuage, which was the ambition of the translator. And, for the same 
reason, he has not ccmfined himself to the Portuguese or Spanish pronuncia- 
tioA of proper names. Regardless, therefore, of Spanish pronunciation, the 
translator has accented Gran^a, Evdra, etc in the manner which seemed 
to him to give most digaiij to English versification. In the word Sofala 
he has even rejected the authority of Milton, and followed the more 
sonorous usage of Fanshaw. Thus Sir Richard : '* Against Sofitkla's batter'd 
fort." Which is the more sonorous there can be no dispute. 


If a concatenation of events centred in one great action — events 
which gave birth to the present commercial system of the world — 
if these be of the first importance in the civil history of mankind, 
then the Lusiad, of all other poems, challenges the attention of the 
philosopher, the politician, and the gentleman. 

In contradistinction to the Iliad and the ^neid, the Paradise 
Lost has been called the Epic Poem of Religion. In the same 
manner may the Lusiad be named the Epic Poem of Commerce. 
The happy completion of the most important designs of Henry, 
Duke of Viseo, prince of Portugal, to whom Europe owes both 
Gama and Columbus, both the eastern and the western worlds, con- 
stitutes the subject of this celebrated epic poem. But before we 
proceed to the historical introduction necessary to elucidate a poem 
founded on such an important period of history, some attention 
is due to the opinion of those theorists in political philosophy 
who lament that India was ever discovered, and who assert that 
increase of trade is only the parent of degeneracy, and the nurse 
of every vice. 

Much, indeed, may be urged on this side of the question ; but 
much, also, may be urged against every institution relative to man. 
Imperfection, if not necessary to humanity, is at least the certain 
attendant on everything human. Though some part of the traffic 
with many countries resemble Solomon's importation of apes and 
peacocks; though the superfluities of life, the baubles of the 
opulent, and even the luxuries which enervate the irresolute and 
admirdster disease, are introduced by the intercourse of navigation, 
yet the extent of the benefits which attend it are also to be considered 


before the man of cool reason will venture to pronounce that the 
world is injured, and rendered less virtuous and happy by the 
increase of commerce. 

If a view of the state of mankind, where commerce opens no 
intercourse between nation and nation be neglected, unjust con- 
clusions will certainly follow. Where the state of barbarians, and 
of countries under different degrees of civilization are candidly 
weighed, we may reasonably expect a just decision. As evidently 
as the appointment of nature gives pasture to the herds, so evidently 
is man bom for society. As every other animal is in its natural 
state when in the situation which its instinct requires, so man, 
when his reason is cultivated, is then, and only then, in the state 
proper to his nature. The life of the naked savage, who feeds on 
acorns and sleeps like a beast in his den, is commonly called the 
natural state of man ; but, if there be any propriety in this asser- 
tion, his rational faculties compose no part of his nature, and were 
given not to be used. If the savage, therefore, live in a state con- 
tanry to the appointment of nature, it must follow that he is not so 
happy as nature intended him to be. And a view of his true 
character will confirm this conclusion. The reveries, the fairy 
dreams of a Eousseau, may figure the paradisaical life of a Hottentot, 
but it is only in such dreams that the superior happiness of the 
barbarian exists. The savage, it is true, is reluctant to leave 
his manner of life ; but, imless we allow that he is a proper judge 
oi the modes of Hving, his attachment to his own by no means 
proves that he is happier than he might otherwise have been. 
His attachment only exemplifies the amazing power of habit in 
reconciling the human breast to the most imcomfortable situations. 
If the intercourse of mankind in some instances be introductive of 
vioe, the want of it as certainly excludes the exertion of the noblest 
virtues ; and, if the seeds of virtue are indeed in the heart, they 
often lie dormant, and even unknown to the savage possessor. 
The most beautiful description of a tribe of savages (which we 
may be assured is from real life) occurs in these words : * And the 
five spies of Dan '' came to Laish, and saw the people that were there, 
how they dwelt careless, affcer the manner of the Zidonians, quiet 
and secure ; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might 
put them to shame in anything ....*' And the spies said to their 
brethren, " Arise, that we may go up against them ; for we have 

» Judges xviii. 7, 9, 27, 28. 


seen the land, and, behold, it is very gcKxL . . . And they came unto 
Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure : and they ranote 
them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. And 
there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no 
business with any man." However the happy simplicity of this 
society may please the man of fine imagination, the true philoso- 
^er will view the men of Laish with other eyes. However 
virtuous he may suppose one generation, it requires an alteration 
of human nature to preserve the children of the next in the same 
generous estrangement from the selfish passions — from those 
passions which are the parents of the acts of injustice. When 
his wants are easily supplied, the manners of the savage will be 
Edmple, and often humane, for the human heart is not vicious with- 
out objects of temptation. But these will soon occur ; he that 
gathers the greatest quantity of fruit will be envied by the 
less industrious. The uninformed mind seems insensible of the 
idea of the right of possession which the labour of acquirement 
gives. When want is pressing, and the supply at hand, the only 
consideration with such minds is the danger of seizing it; and 
where there is no magistrate to put to shame in anything, de- 
predation will soon display all its horrors. Let it even be 
admitted that the innocence of the men of Laish could secure 
them from the consequences of their own unrestrained desires, 
could even this impossibility be surmounted, still are they a 
wretched prey to the first invaders, and because they have no 
business with any man, they will find no deliverer. While human 
nature is the same, the &te of Laish will always be the fate of the 
weak and defenceless; and thus the most amiable description of 
savage life raises in our minds the strongest imagery of the 
misery and impossible continuance of such a state. But if the 
view of these innocent people terminate in horror, with what con-^ 
templation shall we behold the wilds of Africa and America? 
The tribes of America^ it is true, have degrees of policy greatly 
superior to anything understood by the men of Laish. Great 
masters of martial oratory, their popular assemUies are schools 
open to all their youth. In these they not only learn the history 
of their nation, and what they have to fear from the strength and 
designs of their enemies, but they also imbibe the most ardent 
spirit of war. The arts of stratagem are their study, and the most 
athletic exercises of the field their employment and delight ; and, 
what is their greatest praise, they have ma^trates " to put them 


to shantie.^ They inflict no coxporeal punishment on thdr country- 
men, it is true ; but a reprimand firom an elder, delivered in the 
aasemblj, is esteemed by them a deeper degradation and seyerer 
punishment than any of those too often most impofitically adopted 
by civilised nations. Tet, though possessed of this advantage-~'an 
advantage impossible to exist in a large commercial empire — and 
though masters of great martial policy, their condition, upon the 
whole, is big with the most striking demonstration of the misery 
and unnatural state of such very imperfect civilization. *^ Multiply 
and replenish the earth" is an injunction of the best political 
]duk>sophy ever given to man. Nature has appointed man to 
cultivate the earth, to increase in number by the food which its 
culture gives, and by thi& increase of brethren to remove some, and 
to mitigate all, the natural miseries of human life. But in direct 
opposition to this is the political state of the wild aborigines of 
America. Their lands, luxuriant in climate, are often desolate 
wastes, where thousands of miles hardly support a few hundreds of 
savage hunters. Attachment to their own tribe constitutes their 
highest idea of virtue; but this virtue includes the most brutal 
depravity, makes them esteem the man of every other tribe as an 
enemy, as one with whom nature had placed them in a state of 
war, and had commanded to destroy.* And to this principle their 
customs and ideas of honour serve as rituals and ministers. The 
cruelties practised by the American savages on their prisoners of ' 
war (and war is their chief employment) convey every idea ex- 
presised by the word diabolical, and give a most shocking view 
of the degradation of human nature. But what peculiarly com- 
pletes the character of the savage is his horrible superstition. In 
the most distant nations the savage is, in this respect, the same. 
The terror of evil spirits continually haunts him; his GKxl is 
beheld as a relentless tyrant, and is worshipped often' with cruel 
rites, always with a heart full of horror and fear. In all the 
numerous accoimts of savage worship, one trace of filial dependence 
is not to be found. The very reverse of that happy idea is the 

* This ferocity of savage manners afibrds a philosophical account how 
the most distant and inhospitable climes were first peopled. When a 
Bomnlns erects a monarchy and makes war on his neighbours, some natu- 
rally fly to the wilds. As their families increase, the stronger commit 
depredations on the weaker ; and thus from generation to generation, they 
who either dread just punishment or unjust oppression, fly farther and 
ftkrfchet in search of that protection which is only to'be found in dvilized 

• •• 


kell of the ignorant mind. Nor is this barbarism confined alone to 
those ignorant tribes whom we call savages. The vulgar of every 
country possess it in certain degrees, proportionated to their 
opportunities of conversation with the more enlightened. Sordid 
disposition and base ferocity, together with the most unhappy 
superstition, are everywhere the proportionate attendants of 
ignorance and severe want. And ignorance and want are only 
removed by intercourse and the offices of society. So self-evident 
are these positions, that it requires an apology for insisting upon 
them ; but the apology is at hand. He who has read knows how 
many eminent writers,* and he who has conversed knows how 
many respectable names, coimect the idea of innocence and happi- 
ness with the life of the savage and the unimproved rustic. To 
fix the character of the savage is therefore necessary, ere we 
examine the assertion, that " it had been happy for both the old 
and the new worlds if the East and West Indies had never been 
discovered." The bloodshed and the attendant miseries which the 
imparalleled rapine and cruelties of the Spaniards spread over the 
new world, indeed disgrace human nature. The great and flourish-* 
ing empires of Mexico and Peru, steeped in the blood of forty 
millions of their sons, present a melancholy prospect, which must 

* The author of that voluminous work, Histoire Philosophique et 
Politique des Etablissements et du Commerce des Europeens dans lea deux 
JndeSj is one of the many who assert that savage life is happier than 
civil. His reasons are thus abridged : The savage has no care or fear for 
the future ; his hunting and fishing give him a certain subsistence. He 
sleeps sound, and knows not the diseases of cities. He cannot want what 
he does not desire, nor desire that which he does not know, and vexation or 
grief do not enter his soul. He is not under the control of a superior in 
his actions ; in a word, says our author, the savage only suffers the evils 
of nature. 

If the civilized, he adds, enjoy the elegancies of life, have better food, 
and are more comfortably defended agunst the change of seasons, it is use 
which makes these things necessary, and they are purchased by the painful 
labours of the multitude who are the basis of society. To what outrages 
is not the man of civil life exposed ? If he has property, it is in danger ; and 
government or authority is, according to our author, the greatest of all 
evils. If there is a famine in^Korth America, the savage, led by the wind 
and the sun, can go to a better clime ; but in the horrors of famine, war» 
or pestilence, the ports and barriers of civilized states place the subjects in 
a prison, where they must perish. There still remains an infinite diff(prence 
between the lot of the civilized and the savage; a difference, all entirely to 
t^e disadvantage of society, that iigustice which reigns in the inequality' 
of fortunes and condition^. 


exdte the indignation of every good heart Tet such desolation is 
not the certain consequence of discoveiy. And, even should we 
allow that the depravity of human nature is so great that the 
avaiioe of the merchant and rapacity of the soldier will overwhelm 
with misery every new-discovered coimtry, still, are there other, 
more comprehensive views, to he taken, ere we decide against the 
interoourse introduced by navigation. When we weigh the happi** 
nees of Europe in the scale of political philosophy, we are not to 
confine our eye to the dreadful ravages of Attila the Hun, or of 
Alaric the Gh)th. If the waters of a stagnated lake are disturbed 
by the spade when led into new channels, we ought not to inveigh 
against the alteration because the waters are fouled at the first ; we 
are to wait to see the streamlets refine and spread beauty and 
utiUty through a thousand vales which they never visited before. 
Such w«re the conquests of Alexander, temporary evils, but civili* 
saticm and happiness followed in the bloody track. And, though 
disgraced with every barbarity, happiness has also followed the 
conquests of the Spaniards in the other hemisphere. Though 
the villainy of the Jesuits defeated their schemes of civilization 
in many countries, the labours of that society have been crowned 
with a success in Paraguay and in Canada, which reflects upon 
their industry the greatest honour. The customs and cruelties of 
many American tribes still disgrace human nature, but in Paraguay 
and CSanada the natives have been brought to relish the blessings 
of society, and the arts of virtuous and civil life. If Mexico is 
not so populous as it once was, neither is it so barbarous ; * the 

* The innocent simplicity of the Americans in their conferences with 
ttiA Spaniards, and the horrid cruelties they suffered from them, divert our 
view iVom their complete character. Almost everything was horrid in 
their civil customs and religious rites. In some tribes, to cohabit with ' 
their mothers, sisters, and daughters was esteemed the means of domestic 
peace. In others, catamites were maintained in every village ; they went 
from house to house as they pleased, and it was unlawful to refuse them 
what victuals they chose. In every tribe, the captives taken in war were 
murdered with the most wanton cruelty, and afterwards devoured by the 
victors. Their religious rites were, if possible, still more horrid. The 
abominations of ancient Moloch were here outnumbered; children, virgins, 
slaves, and captives bled on different altars, to appease their various gods. 
If there was a scarcity of human victims, the priests announced that the 
gods were dying of thirst for human blood. And, to prevent a threatened 
^rnine, the kings of Mexico were obliged to make war on the neighbouring 
states. The prisoners of either side died by the hand of the priest. But 
the number of the Mexican sacrifices so greatly exceeded those of p.ther 



shrieks of the human yictim do not now resound horn temple 
to temple, nor does the human heart, held up reeking to the sun, 
imprecate the vengeance of Heaven on the guilty empire. And, 
however impolitically despotic the Spanish governments may be, 
still do these colonies enjoy the opportunities of improvement, 
which in every age arise from the knowledge of commerce and 
of letters — opportunities which were never enjoyed, in South 
America under the reigns of Montezuma and Atabalipa. But 
if from Spanish, we turn our eyes to British America, what a 
glorious prospect 1 Here, formerly, on the wild lawn, perhaps twice in 
the year, a few savage hunters kindled their evening fire, kindled 
it more to protect them from evil spirits and beasts of prey, than 
from the cold, and with their feet pointed to it, slept on the ground. 
Here, now, population spreads her thousands, and society appears 
in all its blessings of mutual help, and the mutual lights of in« 
tellectual improvement. " What work of art, or power, or public 
utility, has ever equalled the glory of having peopled a continent, 
without guilt or bloodshed, with a multitude of free and happy 
commonwealths ; to have given them the best arts of life and 
government 1" To have given a savage continent an image of 
the British Constitution is, indeed, the greatest glory of the British 
crown, ^* a greater than any other nation ever acquired ; " and from 
the consequences of the genius of Henry, Duke of Yiseo, did the 
British American empire arise, an empire which, unless retarded by 
the illiberal and inhuman spirit of religious fanaticism, will in a 
few centuries, perhaps, be the glory of the world. 

Stubborn indeed must be the theorist who will deny the im- 

nations, that the Tlascalans, who were hunted down for this parpose^ 
readily joined Cortez with about 200,000 men, and enabled him to make 
one great sacrifice of the Mexican nation. Who that views Mexico, steeped 
in her own blood, can restrain the emotion which whispers to him. This if 
the hand of Heaven! — By the number of these sacred butcheriesi, one 
would think that cruelty was the greatest amusement of Mexico. At the 
dedication of the temple of Yitzliputzli, ▲.D. 1486, no less than 64,080 
human victims were sacrificed in four days. And, according to the best 
accounts, the annual sacrifices of* Mexico required several thousands. The 
skulls of the victims sometimes were hung on strings which reached from 
tree to tree around their temples, and sometimes were built up in towers and 
cemented with lime. In some of these towers Andrew de Tapia one day 
counted 136,000 skulls. During the war with Cortez they increased their 
usual sacrifices, till priest and people were tired of their bloody religion.p— 
See, for ample justification of these statements, the Hittoriea of the 
Conquest itf-ifeseko and Pfru^ by Prtscott. — Hd, 


provemoit, virtue, and happiness whicli, in the result, the voyage 
of Columbus has spread over the western world. The happiness 
which Europe and Asia have received from the intercourse with 
each other, cannot hitherto, it must be owned, be compared 
either with the possession of it, or the source of its increase 
established in America. Tet, let the man of the most melan* 
dbxAy views estimate all the wars and depredations which are 
charged upon the Portuguese and other European nations, still 
will the eastern world appear considerably advantaged by the 
voyage of Gama. If seas of blood have been shed by the Por- 
tuguese, nothing new was introduced into India. War and de- 
{Hredation were no unheard-of strangers on the banks of the 
Chuiges, nor could the nature of the civil establishments of the 
eastern nations secure a lasting peace. The ambition of their 
xiative princes was only diverted into new channels, into chau'^ 
nelfl which, in the natural course of himian affairs, will cer- 
tainly lead to permanent governments, established on improved 
laws and just dominion. Yet, even ere such governments are 
farmed, is Asia no loser by the arrival of Europeans. The 
horrid massacres and unbounded rapine which, according to 
their own annals, followed the victories of their Asian con- 
querors were never equalled by the worst of their European 
vanquishers. Nor is the establishment of improved govern- 
ments in the East the dream of theory. The superiority of the 
civil and military arts of the British, notwithstanding the hate- 
ful character of some individuals, is at this day beheld in India 
with all the astonishment of admiration ; and admiration is always 
followed, though often with retarded steps, by the strong desire 
of similar improvement. Long after the fall of the Roman empire 
the Roman laws were adopted by nations which ancient Rome 
esteemed as barbarous. And thus, in the course of ages, the 
British laws, according to every test of probability, will have a 
most important effect, will fulfil the prophecy of Camoens, and 
transfer to the British the high compliment he pays to his 
countrymen — 

« Beneath their sway majestic, wise, and mild, 
Proud of her victor's laws thrice happier India smiled." 

In former ages, and within these few years, the fertile empire 
of India has exhibited every scene of human misery, under the 
undistinguishing ravages of their Mghammedan and native princes ; 


ravages only equalled in European history by those committed 
under Attila, sumamed " the scourge of God," and " the destroyer 
of nations." The ideas of patriotism and of honour were seldom 
known in the cabinets of the eastern princes till the arrival of 
the Europeans. Every species of assassination was the policy 
of their courts, and every act of unrestrained rapine and massacre 
followed the path of victory. But some of the Portuguese 
governors, and many t)f the English officers, have taught them 
that humanity to the conquered is the best, the truest policy. 
The brutal ferocity of their own conquerors is now the object of 
their greatest dread; and the superiority of the British in war 
has convinced their princes,* that an alliance with the British 
is the surest guarantee of their national peace and prosperity. 
While the English East India Company are possessed of their 
present greatness, it is in their power to diffuse over the East 
every blessing which flows from the wisest and most humane 
policy. Long ere the Europeans arrived, a failure of the crop of 
rice, the principal food of India, had spread the devastations of 
famine over the populous plains of Bengal. And never, from the 
seven years' famine of ancient Egypt to the present day, was 
there a natural scarcity in any country which did not enrich the 
proprietors of the granaries. The Mohammedan princes, and 
Moorish traders have often added all the horrors of an artificial, 
to a natural, famine. But, however some Portuguese or other 
governors may stand accused, much was left for the humanity 
of the more exalted policy of an Albuquerque, or a Castro. And 
under such European governors as these, the distresses of the 
East have often been alleviated by a generosity of conduct, and 
a train of resources formerly unknown in Asia. Absurd and 
impracticable were that scheme which would introduce the 
British laws into India without the deepest regard to the 
manners and circumstances peculiar to the people. But that 
spirit of liberty upon which they are founded, and that security 
of property which is their leading principle, must in time have 
a wide and stupendous effect. The abject spirit of Asiatic submis- 
sion will be taught to see, and to claim, those rights of nature, 
of which the dispirited and passive Hindus could, till lately, 
hardly form an idea. From this, as naturally as the noon 

* Mahommed Ali Khan, Nawab of the Carnatic, declared, ** I met the 

British with that freedom of openness which they love, and I esteem it 

-my honour as well as security to be the ally of such a nati6n of princes." 


succeeds the dawn, must the other blessings of civilization arise. 
For, though the four great castes of India are almost inaccessible 
to the introduction of other manners, and of other literature than 
their own, happily there is in human nature a propensity to 
change. Nor may the political philosopher be deemed an 
enthusiast who would boldly prophesy, that unless the British 
be driven from India the general superiority which they bear 
will, ere many generations shall have passed, induce the most 
intelligent of India to break the shackles of their absurd si^persti- 
tions,* and lead them to partake of those advantages which aris6 
from the free scope and due cultivation ef the rational powers^ 
In almost every instance the Indian institutions are contrary to 
the feelings and wishes of nature. And ignorance and bigotry, 
jtheir two chief pillars, can never secure unalterable duration. We 
have certain proof that the horrid custom of burning the wives 
along with the body of the deceased husband has continued for 
upwards of fifteen hundred years ; we are also certain that within 
these twenty years it has begun to fall into disuse. Together 
with the alteration of this most striking feature of Indian manners^ 
other assimilations to European sentiments have already taken 
place. Nor can the obstinacy even of the conceited Chinese 
always resist the desire of imitating the Europeans, a people who 
in arts and arms are so greatly superior to themselves. The use 
of the twenty-four letters, by which we can express every 
language, appeared at first as miraculous to the Chinese. Pre- 
judice cannot always deprive that people, who are not deficient 
in selfish cunning, of the ease and expedition of an alphabet ; and 
it is easy to foresee that, in the course of a few centuries, some 
alphabet will certainly take the place of the 60,000 arbitrary 
marks which now render the cultivation of the Chinese literature 
not only a labour of the utmost di£&culty, but even the attainment 
impossible beyond a very limited degree. And from the introduc- 
tion of an alphabet, what improvements may not be expected from 
the laborious industry of the Chinese ! Though most obstinately 
attached to their old customs, yet there is a tide in the manners 
of nations which is sudden and rapid, and which acts with a kind 
of instinctive fury against ancient prejudice and absurdity. It 
was that nation of merchants, the Phoenicians, which diffused the 

* Every man must follow his father's trade, and must marry a daughter 
of the same occupation. Innumerable are their other barbarous restric- 
tions of genius and inclination. 


use of letters through the ancient, and commerce will undoubtedly 
diffuse the same blesongs through the modem, world. 

To this view of the political happiness which is sure to be 
introduced in proportion to civilization, let the divine add what 
may be reasonably expected from such opportunity of the increase 
of religion. A factory of merchants, indeed, has seldom been found 
to be a school of piety ; yet, when the general manners of a people 
become assimilated to those of a more rational worship, something 
more than ever was produced by an infant mission, or the neigh- 
bourhood of an infant colony, may then be reasonably expected, 
and even foretold. . 

In estimating the political happiness of a people, nothing is of 
greater, importance than their capacity of, and tendency to, im- 
provement. As a dead lake, to continue our former illustration, 
will remain in the same state for ages and ages, so would the 
bigotry and superstitions of the East continue the same. But if the 
lake is begun to be opened into a thousand rivulets, who knows 
over what unnumbered fields, barren before, they may diffuse the 
blessings of fertility, and turn a dreary wilderness into a land of 
society and joy. 

In contrast to this, let the Gold Coast and other immense 
regions of Africa be contemplated — 

^Afric behold; alas, what altered view! 
Her lands uncultured, and her sons untrue ; 
Ungraced with all that sweetens human life, 
Savage and fierce they roam in brutal strife ; 
Eager they grasp the gifts which culture yields, 
Tet naked roam their own neglected fields. . . . 
Unnumber'd tribes as bestial grazers stray. 
By laws unformM, unform'd by Reason's sway. 
Far inward stretch the mournful sterile dales. 
Where on the parch'd hill-side pale famine wails." 

LusiAD X. 

Let us consider how many millions of these unhappy savages 
are dragged from their native fields, and cut off for ever from all 
the hopes and all the rights to which human birth entitled them. 
And who would hesitate to pronounce that negro the greatest of 
j)atriots, who, by teaching his countrymen the arts of society, 
should teach them to defend themselves in the possession of their 
fields, their families, and their own personal liberties? 


Evident, however, as it is, that the voyages of Gama and 
Columbus have already carried a superior degree of happiness, and 
the promise of infinitely more, to the eastern and western worlds ; 
yet the advantages to Europe from the discovery of these regions 
may perhaps be denied. Biit let us view what Europe was, ere 
the genius of Don Henry gave birth to the spirit of modern dis- 

Several ages before this period the feudal system had degene- 
rated into the most absolute tyranny. The barons exercised the 
most despotic authority over their vassals, and every scheme of 
public utility was rendered impracticable by their continual petty 
wars with each other ; to which they led their dependents as dogs 
to the chase. Unable to read, or to write his own name, the chief- 
tain was entirely possessed by the most romantic opinion of military 
glory, and the song of his domestic minstrel constituted his highest 
idea of fame. The classic authors slept on the shelves of the 
monasteries, their dark but happy asylum, while the life of the 
monks resembled that of the fattened beeves which loaded their 
tables. Keal abilities were indeed possessed by a Duns Scotus and 
a few others ; but these were lost in the most trifling subtleties of 
a sophistry which they dignifi^ with the name of casuistical 
divinity. Whether Adam arid Eve were created with navels? 
and How many thousand angels might at the same instant dance 
upon the point of the finest needle without one jostling another ? 
were two of the several topics of like importance which excited the 
acumen and engaged the controversies of the learned. While 
every branch of philosophical, of rational investigation, was thus 
unpursued and unknown, commerce, which is incompatible with 
the feudal system, was equally neglected and unimproved. Where 
the mind is enlarged and enlightened by learning, plans of com- 
merce will rise into action, and these, in return, will from every 
part of the world bring new acquirements to philosophy and 
science. The birth of learning and commerce may be diflferent, 
but their growth is mutual and dependent upon each other. They 
not only assist each other, but the same enlargement of mind 
which is necessary for perfection in the one is also necessary for 
perfection in the other ; and the same causes impede, and are alike 
destructive of, both. The intercourse of mankind is the parent of 
each. According to the confinement or extent of intercourse, 
barbarity or civilization proportionately prevail. In the dark, 
monkish ages, the intercourse of the learned was as much impeded 




and confined as that of the merchant. A few unwieldy vessels 
coasted the shores of Europe, and mendicant friars and ignorant 
pilgrims carried a. miserable account of what was passing in the 
world from monastery to monastery. What doctor had last dis- 
puted on the peripatetic philosophy at some university, or what 
new heresy had last appeared, not only comprised the whole of 
their literary intelligence, but was delivered with little accuracy, 
and received with as little attention. While this thick cloud of 
mental darkness overspread the western world, was Don Henry, 
prince of Portugal, bom ; bom to set mankind free from the feudal 
system, and to give to the whole world every advantage, every light 
that may possibly be diffused by the intercourse of unlimited com- 
merce ; — 

'* For then from ancient gloom emerg*d 
The rising world of trade : the genius, then, 
Of navigation, that in hopeless sloth 
Had slumbered on the vast Atlantic deep 
For idle ages, starting heard at last 
The Lusitanian prince, who, Heaven-inspir'd, 
To love of useful glory rous'd mankind, 
And in unbounded commerce mix'd the world." 


In contrast to this melancholy view of human nature, sunk 
in barbarism and benighted with ignorance, let the present state 
of Europe be impartially estimated. Yet, though the great in- 
crease of opulence and learning cannot be denied, there are some 
who assert that virtue and happiness have as greatly declined* 
And the immense overflow of riches, from the East in particular, 
has been pronounced big with destruction to the British empire. 
Everything human, it is true, has its dark as well as its bright 
side ; but let these popular complaints be examined, and it will be 
found that modem Europe, and the British empire in a very 
particular manner, have received the greatest and most solid ad- 
vantages from the modem, enlarged system of conmierce. The 
magic of the old romances, which could make the most withered, 
deformed hag, appear as the most beautiful virgin, is every day 
verified in popular declamation. Ancient days are there painted 
in the most amiable simplicity, and the modem in the most odious 
colours. Yet, what man of fortune in England lives in that 
stupendous gross luxury which every day was exhibited in the 
Gbthic castles of the old chieftains ! Four or five hundred knights 


and squires in the domestic retinue of a warlike earl was not un- 
common, nor was the pomp of embroidery inferior to the profuse 
waste of their tables ; in both instances unequalled by all the mad 
excesses of the present age. 

While the baron thus lived in all the wild glare of Gothic 
luxury, agriculture was almost totally neglected, and his meaner 
vassals fared harder, infinitely less comfortably, than the meanest 
industrious labourers of England do now; where the lands are 
uncultivated, the peasants, ill-clothed, ill-lodged, and poorly fed, 
pass their miserable days in sloth and filth, totally ignorant of 
every advantage, of every comfort which nature lays at their feet. 
He who passes from the trading towns and cultured fields of 
England to those remote villages of Scotland or Ireland which 
claim this description, is astonished at the comparative wretched- 
ness of their destitute inhabitants; but few consider that these 
villages only exhibit a view of what Europe was ere the spirit of 
commerce diffused the blessings which naturally flow from her 
improvements. In the Hebrides the failure of a harvest almost 
depopulates an island. Having little or no traffic to purchase 
grain, numbers of the young and hale betake themselves to the 
continent in quest of employment and food, leaving a few, less 
adventurous, behind, to beget a new race, the heir of the same 
fortime. Yet from the same cause, from the want of traffic, the 
kingdom of England has often felt more dreadful effects than these. 
Even in the days when her Henries and Edwards plumed them- 
selves with the trophies of France, how often has famine spread all 
her horrors over city and village ? Our modem histories neglect 
this characteristic feature of ancient days ; but the rude chronicles 
of these ages inform us, that three or four times in almost every 
reign was England thus visited. 'The failure of the crop was then 
severely felt, and two bad harvests in succession were almost insup- 
portable. But commerce has now opened another scene, has armed 
government with the happiest power that can be exerted by the 
rulers of a nation — the power to prevent every extremity * which 
may possibly arise from bad harvests; extremities, which, in 
former ages, were esteemed more dreadful visitations of the wrath 
of Heaven than the pestilence itself. Yet modem London is not 
so certainly defended against the latter, its ancient visitor, than the 

* Extremity ; for it were both highly unjust and impolitic in govern- 
ment to allow importation in such a degree as might be destructive of 
domestic agriculture. 


commonwealtb. by the means of commerce, under a just and 
humane government, is secured against the ravages of the former. 
If, from these great outlines of the happiness enjoyed by a com- 
mercial over an uncommercial nation, we turn our eyes to the 
manners, the advantages will be found no less in favour of the 

Whoever is inclined to declaim at the vices of the present age, 
let him read, and be convinced, that the Gothic ages were less 
virtuous. If the spirit of chivalry prevented eflfeminacy, it was 
the foster-father of a ferocity of manners now happily unknown. 
Rapacity, avarice, and effeminacy are the vices ascribed to the 
increase of commerce ; and in some degree, it must be confessed, 
they follow her steps. Yet infinitely more dreadful, as every 
palatinate in Europe often felt, were the effects of the two first 
under the feudal lords than can possibly be experienced imder any 
system of trade. The virtues and vices of human nature are the 
same in every age ^ they only receive different modifications, and 
are dormant, or awakened into action, under different circumstances. 
The feudal lord had it infinitely more in his power to be rapacious 
than the merchant. And whatever avarice may attend the trader, 
his intercourse with the rest of mankind lifts him greatly above 
that brutish ferocity which actuates the savage, often the rustic, 
and in general characterizes the ignorant part of mankind. The 
abolition of the feudal system, a system of absolute slavery, and 
that equality of mankind which affords the protection of property, 
and every other incitement to industry, are the glorious gifts which 
the spirit of commerce, awakened by Prince . Henry • of Portugal, 
has bestowed upon Europe in general ; and, as if directed by the 
manes of his mother, a daughter of England, upon the British 
empire in particular. In the vice of effeminacy alone, perhaps, 
do we exceed our ancestors ; yet, even here we have infinitely the 
advantage over them. The brutal ferocity of former ages is now 
lost, and the general inind is himianized. The savage breast is 
the native soil of revenge ; a vice, of aU others, peculiarly stamped 
with the character of hell. But the mention of this was reserved 
for the character of the savages of Europe. The savage of every 
country is implacable when injured ; but among some, revenge has 
its. measure. When an American Indian is murdered his kindred 
pursue the murderer; and, as soon as blood has atoned for blood, 
the wilds of America hear the hostile parties join in their mutual 
lamentations over the dead, whom, as an oblivion of malice, they 


bury together. But the measure of revenge, never to be full, was 
left for the demi-savages of Europe. The vassals of the feudal 
lord entered into his quarrels with the most inexorable rage. Just 
or imjust was no consideration of theirs. It was a family feud ; 
no farther inquiry was made ; and from age to age, the parties, 
who never injured each other, breathed nothing but mutual ran- 
cour and revenge. And actions, suitable to this horrid spirit, every- 
where confessed its virulent influence. Such were the late days 
of Europe, admired by the ignorant for the innocence of manners. 
Resentment of injury, indeed, is natural ; and there is a degree 
which is honest, and though warm, far from inhuman. But if it is 
the hard task of humanized virtue to preserve the feeling of an 
injury unmixed with the slightest criminal wish of revenge, how 
impossible is it for the savage to attain the dignity of forgiveness, 
the greatest ornament of human nature. As in individuals, a 
virtue will rise into a vice, generosity into blind profusion, and 
even mercy into criminal lenity, so civilized manners will lead 
the opulent into effeminacy. But let it be considered, this con- 
sequence is by no means the certain result of civilization. Civili- 
zation, on the contrary, provides the most eflfectual preventive of 
this evil. Where classical literature prevails the manly spirit 
which it breathes must be diffused : whenever frivolousness pre- 
dominates, when refinement degenerates into whatever enervates 
the mind, literary ignorance is sure to complete the effeminate 
character. A mediocrity of virtues and of talents is the lot of the 
great majority of mankind ; and even this mediocrity, if cultivated 
by a liberal education, will infallibly secure its possessor against 
those excesses of effeminacy which are really culpable. To be of 
plain manners it is not necessary to be a clown, or to wear coarse 
clothes ; nor is it necessary to lie on the ground and feed like the 
savage to be truly manly. The beggar who, behind the hedge, 
divides his offals with his dog has often more of the real sensualist 
than he who dines at an elegant table. Nor need we hesitate 
to assert, that he who, unable to preserve a manly elegance of 
manners, degenerates into the petit maitre, would have been, in 
any age or condition, equally insignificant and worthless. Some, 
when they talk of the debauchery of the present age, seem to 
think that the former ages were all innocence. But this is igno- 
rance of human nature. The debauchery of a barbarous age is 
gross and brutal ; that of a gloomy, superstitious one, secret, ex- 
cessive, and murderous ; that of a more polished one, much haj^ier 


for the fair sex,* and certainly in no sense so big with political 
imhappiness. If one disease has been imported from America,t 
the most valuable medicines have likewise been brought from 
these regions ; and distempers, which were thought invincible by 
our forefathers, are now cured. If the luxuries of the Indies usher 
disease to our tables the consequence is not unknown; the wise 
and the temperate receive no injury, and intemperance has been 
the destroyer of mankind in every age. The opulence of ancient 
Rome produced a luxury of manners which proved fatal to that 
mighty empire. But the effeminate sensualists of those ages were 
not men of intellectual cultivation. The enlarged ideas, the gene- 
rous and manly feelings inspired by a liberal education, were 
utterly unknown to them. Unformed by that wisdom which 
arises from science and true philosophy, they were gross barbarians, 
dressed in the mere outward tinsel of civilization.^ Where the 
enthusiasm of military honour characterizes the rank of gentlemen 
that nation will rise into empire. But no sooner does conquest 
give a continued security than the mere soldier degenerates ; and 
the old veterans are soon succeeded by a new generation, illiterate 
as their fathers, but destitute of their virtues and experience. 
Polite literature not only humanizes the heart, but also wonder- 
fully strengthens and enlarges the mind. Moral and political 
philosophy are its peculiar provinces, and are never happily culti- 
vated without its assistance. But, where ignorance characterizes 
the body of the nobility, the most insipid dissipation and the very 

* Even that warm admirer of savage happiness, the author of Histoire 
Philosophique et Politique des Etc^lissements, confesses that the wild 
Americans seem destitute of the feeling of lore. When the heat of passion, 
says he, is gratified, they lose all affectiop and attachment for their 
women, whom they degrade to the most servile offices. — A tender remem- 
brance of the first endearments, a generous participation of care and hope, 
the compassionate sentiments of honour ; all these delicate feelings, which 
arise into affection, and bind attachment, are indeed, incompatible with the 
ferocious and gross sensations of barbarians. 

t It is a question still debated among medical writers, and by no 
means yet decided, whether the disease referred to is of American origin. 
We do not read, it is true, of any such disease in the pages of the ancient 
classic writers; it has hence been inferred that it was unknown to 
them. — Ed, 

X The degeneracy of the Roman literature preceded the fate of the 
state, and the reason is obvious. The men of fortune grew fnvolous, and 
superficial in every branch of knowledge, and were therefore unable to 
hold the reigns of empire. The degeneracy of literary taste is, therefore, 
the surest proof of the general ignorance. 


idleness and effeminacy of luxury are sure to follow. Titles and 
family are then the only merit, and the few men of business who 
surround the throne have it then in their power to aggrandize 
themselves by riveting the chains of slavery. A stately grandeur 
is preserved, but it is only outward ; all is decayed within, and on 
the first storm the weak fabric falls to the dust. Thus rose and 
thus fell the empire of Rome, and the much wider one of PortugaL 
Though the increase of wealth did, indeed, contribute to that 
corruption of manners which mmerved the Portuguese, certain 
it is the wisdom of legislature might certainly have prevented 
every evil which Spain and Portugal have experienced from their 
acquisitions in the two Indies.* Every evil which they have 
suffered from their acquirements arose, as shall be hereafter demon- 
strated, from their general ignorance, which rendered them unable 
to investigate or apprehend even the first principles of civil and 
commercial philosophy. And what other than the total eclipse 
of their glory could be expected from a nobility, rude and un- 
lettered as those of Portugal are described by the author of the 
Lusiad — a court and nobility who sealed the truth of all his com- 
plaints against them by sufi*ering that great man, the light of 
their age, to die in an almshouse! What but the fall of their 
state could be expected from barbarians like these ! Nor can the 
annals of mankind produce one instance of the fall of empire 
where the character of the nobles was other than that ascribed to 
his countrymen by CamoSns. 

• The soldiers and navigators were the only considerable gainers by 
their acquirements in the Indies. Agriculture and manufactures are the 
natural strength of a nation ; these received little or no increase in Spain 
and Portugal by the great acquisitions of these crowns. 




No lesson can be of greater national importance than the history 
of the rise and the fall of a commercial empire. The view of what 
advantages were acquired, and of what might have been still 
added ; the means by which such empire might have been con- 
tinued, and the errors by wjiich it was lost, are as particularly 
conspicuous in the naval and commercial history of Portugal as 
if Providence had intended to give a lasting example to mankind ; 
a chart, where the course of the safe voyage is pointed out, and 
where the shelves and rocks, and the seasons of tempest are dis- 
covered and foretold. 

The history of Portugal, as a naval and commercial power, 
begins with the designs of Prince Henry. But as the enterprises 
of this great man, and the completion of his designs are intimately 
connected, with the state of Portugal, a short view of the progress 
of the power, and of the character of that kingdom, will be neces- 
sary to elucidate the history of the revival of commerce, and the 
subject of the Lusiad. 

During the centuries when the efifeminated Roman provinces 
of Europe were desolated by the irruptions of the northern bar- 
barians, the Saracens spread the same horrors of brutal conquest 
over the finest countries of the eastern world. The northern 
conquerors of the finer provinces of Europe embraced the Christian 
religwn as professed by the monks, and, contented with the 


luxuries of their new settlements, their military spirit soon de- 
clined. The Saracens, on the other hand, having embraced the 
religion of Mohammed, their rage for war received every addition 
which can possibly be inspired by religious enthusiasm. Not only 
the spoils of the vanquished, but Paradise itself was to be obtained 
by their sabres. Strengthened and inspired by a commission 
which they esteemed divine, the rapidity of their conquests far 
exceeded' those of the Goths and Vandals. The majority of the 
inhabitants of every country they subdued embraced their religion 
and imbibed their principles; thus, the professors of Mohanune- 
danism became the most formidable combination ever leagued 
together against the rest of mankind. Morocco and the adjacent 
countries had now received the doctrines of the Koran, and the 
arms of the Saracens spread slaughter and desolation from the 
south of Spain to Italy, and the islands of the Mediterranean. 
All the rapine and carnage committed by the Gothic conquerors 
were now amply returned on their less warlike posterity. In 
Spain, and the province now called Portugal, the Mohammedans 
erected powerful kingdoms, and their lust of conquest threatened 
destiiiction to every Christian power. But a romantic military 
spirit revived in Europe under the auspices of Charlemagne. The 
Mohammedans, during the reign of this sovereign, made a most 
formidable irruption into Europe; France in particular felt the 
weight of their fury. By the invention of new military honours 
that monarch drew the adventurous youth of every Christian 
power to his standards, which eventually resulted in the crusades, the 
beginning of which, in propriety, should be dated from his reign. 
Few indeed are the historians of this period, but enough remains 
to prove, that though the writers of the old romance seized upon 
it, and added the inexhaustible machinery of magic to the adven- 
tures of their heroes, yet the origin of their fictions was founded 
on historical facts.* Yet, however this period may thus resemble 
the fabulous ages of Greece, certain it is, that an Orlando, a Binaldo, 
a Bugero, and other celebrated names in romance, acquired great 

• Ariosto, who adopted the legends of the old romance, chose this period 
for the subject of his Orlando Furioso. Paris besieged by the Saracens, 
Orlando and the other Christian knights assemble in aid of Charlemagne, 
who are opposed in their amours and in battle by Rodomont, Ferraw, and 
other Saracen knights. That there was a noted Moorish Spaniard, named 
Ferraw, a redoubted champion of that age, we have the testimony of 
Marcus Antonius Sabellicus, a writer of note of the fifteenth century. 


honour in the wars which were waged against the Saracens, the 
invaders of Europe. In these romantic wars, by which the power 
of the Mohammedans was checked, several centuries elapsed, when 
Alonzo, King of Castile, apprehensive that the whole force of the 
Mohammedans of Spain and Morocco was ready to fall upon him, 
prudently imitated the conduct of Charlemagne. He availed him- 
self of the spirit of chivalry, and demanded leave of Philip I. of 
France, and other princes, that volunteers from their dominions 
might be allowed to distinguish themselves, imder his banners, 
against the Saracens. His desire was no sooner known than a 
brave army of volunteers thronged to his standard, and Alonzo 
was victorious. Honours and endowments were liberally distri- 
buted among the champions ; and to Henry, a yoimger son of the 
Duke of Burgundy, he gave his daughter, Teresa, in marriage, with 
the sovereignty of the countries south of Galicia as a dowry, com- 
missioning him to extend his dominions by the expulsion of the 
Moors. Henry, who reigned by the title of Count, improved every 
advantage which offered. The two rich provinces of Entro Minho 
e Douro, and Tras os Montes, yielded to his arms ; great part of 
Beira also "was subdued, and the Moorish King of Lamego became 
his tributary. Many thousands of Christians, who had lived in 
miserable subjection to the Moors, took shelter under the generous 
protection of Count Henry. Great numbers of the Moors also 
changed their religion, and chose rather to continue in the land 
where they were bom than be exposed to the severities and 
injustice of their native governors. And thus, one of the most 
beautiful * and fertile spots of the world, with the finest climate, 
in consequence of a crusade f against the Mohammedans, became 
in the end the kingdom of Portugal, a sovereignty which in course 
of time spread its influence far over the world. 

Count Henry, after a successful reign, was succeeded by his 
infant son, Don Alonzo-Henry, who, having surmounted the dangers 
which threatened his youth, became the founder of the Portu- 
guese monarchy. In 1139 the Moors of Spain and Barbary united 
their forces to recover the dominions from which they had been 
driven by the Christians. According to the accounts of the 

* Small indeed in extent, but so rich in fertility, that it was called 
Medvila Hispanicaj '*The marrow of Spain.'' — Vid. Resandii Antiq. Lusit. 
1. iii. 

f In propriety most certainly a crusade, though that term has never 
before been applied to this war. 


Portuguese writers, the Moorish army amounted to near 400,000 
men ; nor is this number incredible when we consider what armies 
they at other times have brought into the field, and that at this 
time they came to take possession of lands from which they had 
been expelled. Don Alonzo, however, with a very small army, 
gave them battle on the plains of Ourique, and after a struggle of 
six hours, obtained a most* glorious and complete victory, and one 
which was crowned with an event of the utmost importance. On 
the field of battle Don Alonzo was proclaimed King of Portugal 
by his victorious soldiers, and he in return conferred the rank of 
nobility on the whole army. The constitution of the monarchy, 
however, was not settled, nor was Alonzo invested with the 
regalia till six years after this memorable victory. The kind 
of government the Portuguese had submitted to under the 
Spaniards and Moors, and the advantages which they saw were 
derived from their own valour, had taught them the love of liberty, 
while Alonzo himself imderstood the spirit of his subjects too well 
to make the least attempt to set himself up as a despotic monarch. 
After six years spent in further victories, he called an assembly of 
the prelates, nobility, and commons, to meet at Lamego. When 
the assembly opened, Alonzo appeared seated on the throne, but 
without any other mark of regal dignity. Before he was crowned, 
the constitution of the state was settled, and eighteen statutes were 
solemnly confirmed by oath * as the charter of king and people ; 
statutes diametrically opposite to the divine right and arbitrary 
power of kings, principles which inculcate and demand the un- 
limited passive obedience of the subject. 

The foimders of the Portuguese monarchy transmitted to their 
heirs those generous principles of liberty which complete and adorn 
the martial character. The ardour of the volunteer, an ardour 
unknown to the slave and the mercenary, added to the most 
romantic ideas of military glory, characterized the Portuguese under 
the reigns of their first monarchs. Engaged in almost continual 
wars with the Moors, this spirit rose higher and higher ; and the 
desire to extirpate Mohammedanism — the principle which animated 
the wish of victory in every battle — ^seemed to take deeper root 
in every age. Such were the manners, and such the principles 
of the people who were governed by the successors of Alonzo I.— 

* The power of deposing, and of electing their kings, under certain 
circumsttnces, is vested in the people by the statutes of Lamego. 


a' succession of great men who proved themselves worthy to reign 
over so military and enterprising a nation. 

By a continued train of victories the Portuguese had the honour 
to drive the Moors from Europe. The invasions of European soil 
by these people were now requited by successful expeditions into 
Africa. Such was the manly spirit of these ages, that the 
statutes of Lamego received additional articles in favour of liberty, 
a convincing proof that the general heroism of a people depends 
upon the principles of freedom. Alonzo IV.,* though not an 
amiable character, was perhaps the greatest warrior, politician, 
and monarch of his age. After a reign of military splendour, he 
left his throne to his son Pedro, surnamed the Just. Ideas of 
equity and literature were now diffused by this great prince,t who 
was himself a polite scholar, and a most accomplished gentleman. 
Portugal began to perceive the advantages of cultivated talents, 
and to feel its superiority over the barbarous politics of the ignorant 
Moors. The great Pedro, however, was succeeded by a weak prince, 
and the heroic spirit of the Portuguese seemed to exist no more 
under his son Fernando, surnamed the Careless. 

. Under John LJ all the virtues of the Portuguese again shone 
forth with redoubled lustre. Happily for Portugal, his father had 
bestowed an excellent education upon this prince, which, added to 
his great natural talents, rendered him one of the greatest of 
monarchs. Conscious of the superiority which his own liberal 
education gave him, he was assiduous to bestow the same ad- 
vantages upon his children, and he himself often became their 
preceptor in science and useful knowledge. Fortunate in all his 
affairs, he was most of all fortunate in his family. He had 
many sons, and he lived to see them become men of parts and 
of action, whose only emulation was to show affection to his person 
and to support his administration by their great abilities. 

All the sons of John excelled in military exercises, and in the 
literature of their age; Don Edward and Don Pedro § were 

* For the character of this prince, see the note, Bk. iii. p. 96. 

f For anecdotes of this monarch, see the notes, Bk. iii. p. 99. 

X This great prince was the natural son of Pedro the Just. Some years 
after the murder of his beloved spouse, Inez de Castro (see Lusiad, Bk. iii. 
p. 96), lest his faMier, whose, severe temper he too well knew, should force 
him into a disagreeable marriage, Bon Pedro commenced an amour with a 
Galician lady, who became the mother of John I., the preserver of the Por- 
tuguese monarchy. 

§ The. sons of John, who figure in hia[tory, were £dward, Joan, Fer- 


particularly educated for the cabinet, and the mathematical 
genius of Don Henry received every encouragement which a 
king and a father could give to ripen it into perfection and public 

History was well known to Prince Henry, and his turn of mind 
peculiarly enabled him to make political observations upon it. 
The history of ancient Tyre and Carthage showed him what a 
maritime nation might hope to become ; and the flourishing colonies 
of the Greeks were the frequent topic of his conversation. Where 
Grecian commerce extended its influence the deserts became 
cultivated fields, cities rose, and men were drawn from the 
woods and caverns to imite in society. The Eomans, on the other 
hand, when they destroyed Carthage, buried in her ruins the 
fountain of civilization, improvement and opulence. They ex- 
tinguished the spirit of commerce, and the agriculture of the 
conquered nations. And thus, while the luxury of Rome con- 
sumed the wealth of her provinces, her uncommercial policy 
dried up the sources of its continuance. Nor were the inestim- 
able advantages of commerce the sole motives of Henry. All the 
ardour that the love of his country could awaken conspired to 
stimulate the natural turn of his genius for the improvement 
of navigation. 

As the kingdom of Portugal had been wrested from the Moors, 
and established by conquest, so its existence still depended on the 
superiority of force of arms ; and even before the birth of Henry, 
the superiority of the Portuguese navies had been of the utmost 
consequenre to the protection of the state. Whatever, therefore, 
might curb the power of the Moors, was of the utmost importance 
to the existence of Portugal. Such were the views and circum- 
stances which united to inspire the designs of Henry, designs which 
were powerfully enforced by the religion of that prince. Desire 
to extirpate Mohammedanism was synonymous with patriotism in 
Portugal. It "was the principle which gave birth to, and supported 
their monarchy. Their kings avowed it ; and Prince Henry always 
professed, that to propagate the Gospel and extirpate Moham- 
medanism, was the great purpose of all his enterprises. The same 

nando, Pedro, and Henry. Edward succeeded his father. Juan, distinguished 
both in the camp and cabinet, in the reign of his brother Edward had the 
honour to oppose the expedition against Tangier, which was proposed by 
his brother Fernando, in whose perpetual captivity it ended. 


principles, it is certain, inspired King Emmanuel, under whom 
the eastern world was discovered by Gama.* 

The crusades, which had rendered the greatest political service 
to Spain and Portugal, had begun now to have some effect upon 
the commerce of Europe. The Hanse Towns had received charters 
of liberty, and had united together for the protection of their trade 
against the pirates of the Baltic. The Lombards had opened a 
lucrative traffic with the ports of Egypt, from whence they 
imported into Europe the riches of India ; and Bruges, the mart 
between them and the Hanse Towns, was, in consequence, sur- 
rounded with the best agriculture of these ages,t a certain proof of 
the dependence of agriculture upon the extent of commerce. The 
Hanse Towns were liable, however, to be buried in the victories of 
a tyrant, and the trade with Egypt was exceedingly insecure 
and precarious. Europe was still enveloped in the dark mists of 
ignorance; commerce still crept, in an infant state, along the 
coasts, nor were the ships adapted for long voyages. A successful 
tyrant might have overwhelmed the system of commerce entirely, 
for it stood on a much narrower basis than in the days of Phoe- 
nician and Greek colonization. A broader and more permanent 
foundation of commerce than the world had yet seen was wanting 
to bless mankind, and Henry, Duke of Viseo, was bom to give it. 

In order to promote his designs, Prince Henry was appointed 
Commander-in-chief of the Portuguese forces in Africa. He had 
already, in 1412, three years before the reduction of Ceuta,t sent 
a ship to make discoveries on the Barbary coast. Cape Nam § (as 
its name implies) was then the ne plus ultra of European naviga- 

♦ The dominion of the Portuguese in the Indian seas cut the sinews of 
the Egyptian and other Mohammedan poTvers. 

f Flanders has been the school-mistress of husbandry to Europe. Sir 
Charles Lisle, a royalist, resided in this country several years during the 
Commonwealth ; and after the Restoration, rendered England the greatest 
service, by introducing the present system of agriculture. Where trade 
increases, men's thoughts are set in action ; hence the increase of food 
which is wanted is supplied by a redoubled attention to husbandry ; and 
hence it was that agriculture was of old improved and diffused by the 
Phoenician colonies. 

X At the reduction of Ceuta in Africa, and in other engagements. Prince 
Henry displayed military genius and valour of the first magnitude. The 
important fortress of Ceuta was in a manner won by his own sword. 

§ Nam, in Portuguese, a negative. It is now called by corruption 
Cape Nun. 


tion; the ship sent by Henry, however, passed it sixty leagues, and 
reached Cape Bojador. About a league and a half from Cape St. 
Vincent (supposed to be the Promontorium Sacrum of the Romans), 
Prince Henry built his town of Sagrez, the best planned and fortified 
town in PortugaL Here, where tide view of the ocean inspired his 
hopes, he erected his arsenals, and built and harboured his ships. 
And here, leaving the temporary bustle and cares of the State to 
his father and brothers, he retired like a philosopher from the world 
in order to promote its happiness. Having received all the informa-* 
tion he could obtain in Africa, he continued imwearied in his 
mathematical and geographical studies; the art of ship-building 
received amazing improvement imder his direction, and the correct- 
ness of his ideas of the structure of the globe is now confirmed. 
He it was who first suggested the use of the mariner's compass, 
and of longitude and latitude in navigation, and demonstrated how 
these might be ascertained by astronomical observations. Naval 
adventurers were now invited from all parts to the town of Sagrez, 
and in 1418 Juan Gonsalez Zarco and Tristran Vaz set sail on an 
expedition of discovery, the circumstances of which give us a striking 
picture of the state of navigation ere it was remodelled by the 
genius of Henry. 

Cape Bojador, so named from its extent,* runs about forty 
leagues \o the westward, and for about six leagues off land there is 
a most violent current, which, dashing upon the shallows, makes 
a tempestuous sea. This was deemed impassable, for it had not 
occurred to any one that by standing out to sea the current might 
be avoided. To pass this formidable Cape was the commission of 
Zarco and Vaz, who were also ordered to survey the African coast, 
which, according to the information given to Henry by the Moors, 
extended to the Equator. Zarco and Vaz, however, lost their 
course in a storm, and were driven to a small island, which, in 
the joy of their deliverance, they named Puerto Santo, or the Holy 
Haven. Nqr was Prince Henry less joyful of their discovery than 
they had been of their escape : sufficient proof of the miserable 
state of navigation in those days ; for this island is only a few 
days' voyage from Sagrez. 

The discoverers of Puerto Santo, accompanied by Bartholomew 
Perestrello, were, with three ships, sent out on farther trial. Pere- 
fitrello, having sown some seeds and left some cattle at Puerto 

* Cape Bojador, from the Spanish, hofar, to compass or go about. 


Santo, returned to Portugal.* Zarco and Vaz directing their course 
southward, in 1419, perceived something like a cloud on the water, 
and sailing towards it, discovered an island covered with woods, 
which from this circumstance they named Madeira.f And this 
rich and beautiful island was the first reward of the enterprises of 
Prince Henry. 

Nature calls upon Portugal to be a maritime power, and her 
naval superiority over the Moors, was, in the time of Henry, the 
surest defence of her existence as a kingdom. Yet, though all his 
labours tended to establish that naval superiority on the surest 
basis, though even the religion of the age added its authority to the 
clearest political principles in favour of Henry, yet were his enter- 
prises and his expected discoveries derided with all the insolence of 
ignorance, and the bitterness of popular clamour. Barren deserts 
like Lybia, it was said, were all that could be found, and a thousand 
disadvantages, drawn from these data, were foreseen and foretold. 
The great mind and better knowledge of Henry, however, were not 
thus to be shaken. Twelve years had elapsed since the discovery 
of Madeira in unsuccessful endeavours to carry navigation farther. 
At length, one of his captains, named Gralianez, in 1434 passed the 
Cape of Bojador, till then invincible ; an action, says Faria, not 
inferior to the labours of Hercules. 

Galianez, the next year, accompanied by Qonsalez Baldaya, 
carried his discoveries many leagues farther. Having put two 
horsemen on shore to discover the face of the country, the 
adventurers, after riding several hours, saw nineteen men armed 
with javelins. The natives fled, and the two horsemen pursued, 
till one of the Portuguese, being wounded, lost the first blood that 
was sacrificed to the new system of commerce. A small beginning, 
it soon swelled into oceans, and deluged the eastern and western 
worlds. The cruelties of Hernando Cortez, and that more horrid 
barbarian, Pizarro,t are no more to be charged upon Don Henry 

* Unluckily, he also left on this island two rabbits, whose young so 
increased that in a few years it was found not habitable, every vegetable 
being destroyed by the great increase of these animals. 

t Madeira in Portuguese signifies timber. — Ed. 

X If one would trace the true character of Cortez and the Americans, he 
must have recourse to the numerous Spanish writers, who were either 
witnesses of the first wars, or soon after travelled in these countries. [The 
reader cannot do better than refer to Prescott's History of the Conqitest of 
Mexico and Peru for information on these points. — Ed.'] In these he Will 


and ColumbuSy than the villainies of the Jesuits and the horrors of 
the Inquisition are to be ascribed to Him who commands us to 
do to our neighbour as we would wish our neighbour to do to us. 
But, if it be maintained that he who plans a discovery ought to 
foresee the miseries which the vicious will engraft upon his enter- 
prise, let the objector be told that the miseries are uncertain, while 
the advantages are real and sure. 

In 1440 Anthony Gonsalez brought some Moors prisoners to 
Lisbon. These he took two and forty leagues beyond Cape Bojador, 
and in 1442 he returned with his captives. One Moor escaped, 
but ten blacks of Guinea and a considerable quantity of gold dust 
were given in ransom for two others. A rivulet at the place of 
landing was named by Gk)nsalez, Rio del Oro, or the River of Gk>ld. 
And the islands of Adeget, Arguim, and De las Oar^as were now 

The negroes of Guinea, the first ever seen in Portugal, and the 
gold dust, excited other passions beside admiration. A company 
was formed at Lagos, under the auspices of Prince Henry, to carry 
on a trafiQc with the newly discovered countries; and, as the 

find many anecdotes which afibrd a light not to be found in onr modern 
histories. Cortez set out to take gold by force, and not by establishing 
any system of commerce with the natives, the only just reason for effecting 
a settlement in a foreign country. He was asked by various states, what 
commodities or drugs he wanted, and was promised abundant supply. He 
and his Spaniards, he answered, had a disease at their hearts, which nothing 
but gold could curp ; and he received intelligence that Mexico abounded 
with it. Under pretence of a friendly conference, he made the Mexican 
emperor, Montezuma, his prisoner, and ordered him to pay tribute to 
Charles Y. Immense sums were paid, but the demand was boundless. 
Tumults ensued. Cortez displayed amazing generalship, and some millions 
of those who boasted of the greatness of Montezuma were sacrificed to the 
disease of Cortez's heart. Pizarro, however, in the barbarity of his character, 
far exceeded him. There is a bright side to the character of Cortez, if we 
can forget that his avarice was the cause of a most unjust and most bloody 
war ; but Pizarro is a character completely detestable, destitute of every 
spark of generosity. He massacred the Peruvians because they were 
barbarians, and he himseif could not read. Atabalipa, the Peruvian 
Inca, amazed at the art of reading, got a Spaniard to write the word Dios 
(God) on his finger. On trying if the Spaniards agreed in what it signified, 
he discovered that Pizarro could not read. And Pizarro, in revenge of the 
contempt he perceived in the face of Atabalipa, ordered that prince to be 
tried for his life, for having concubines, and being an idolater. Atabalipa 
was condemned to be burned ; but on submitting to baptism, he was only 
hanged. See Prescott's Conquest of Peru. • 


Portuguese considered themselves in a state of continual hostility 
with the Moors, about two hundred of these people, inhabitants of 
the Islands of Nar and Tider, in 1444, were brought prisoners 
to Portugal. Next year Gonzalo de Cintra was attacked by the 
Moors, fourteen leagues beyond Rio del Oro, where, with seven of 
his'men, he was killed. 

This hostile proceeding displeased Prince Henry, and in 1446 
Anthony Gktnsalez and two other captains were sent to enter into a 
treaty of peace and traffic with the natives of Rio del Oro, and 
also to attempt their conversion. But these proposals were re- 
jected by the barbarians, one of whom, however, came voluntarily 
to Portugal, and Juan Fernandez remained with the natives, to 
observe their manners and the products of the country. 

In 1447 upwards of thirty ships followed the route of traffic 
which was now opened ; and John de Castilla obtained the infamy 
to stand the first on the list of those names whose villainies have 
disgraced the spirit of commerce, and afforded the loudest com- 
plaints against the progress of navigation. Dissatisfied with the 
value of his cargo, he seized twenty of the natives of Gomera (one 
of the Canaries), who had assisted him, and with whom he was in 
friendly alliance, and brought them as slaves to Portugal. But 
Prince Henry resented this outrage, and having given them some 
valuable presents of clothes, restored the captives to freedom and 
their native country. 

The reduction of the Canaries was also this year attempted ; 
but Spain having challenged the discovery of these islands, the 
expedition was discontinued. In the Canary Islands a singular 
feudal custom existed; giving to the chief man, or governor, a 
temporary right to the person of every bride in his district. 

In 1448 Fernando Alonzo was sent ambassador to the king of 
Cape Verde with a treaty of trade and conversion, i^hich was 
defeated at that time by the treachery of the natives. In 1449 the 
Azores were discovered by Gonsalo Velio ; and the coast sixty 
•leagues beyond Cape Verde was visited by the fleets of Henry. It 
is also certain that some of his commanders passed the equinoctial 

Prince Henry had now, with inflexible perseverance, prosecuted 
his discoveries for upwards of forty years. His father, John I., con- 
curred with him in his views, and gave him every assistance ; his 
brother. King Edward, during his short reign, took the same interest 
in his expeditions as his father had done ; nor was the eleven 


years' regency of his brother Don Pedro less auspicious to him.* 
But the misunderstanding between Pedro and his nephew Alonzo Y., 
who took upon him the reins of government in his seventeenth 
year, retarded the designs of Henry, and gave him much unhappi- 
ness.t At his town of Sagrez, from whence he had not moved for 
many years, Don Henry, now in his sixty-seventh year, yielded to 
the stroke of fate, in the year of our Lord 1463, gratified with the 
certain prospect that the route to the eastern world would one day 
crown the enterprises to which he had given birth. He saw with 
pleasure the naval superiority of his country over the Moors 
established on the most solid basis, its trade greatly upon the 
increase, and flattered himself that he had given a mortal wound 
to Mohammedanism. To him, as to their primary author, are due 
all the inestimable advantages which ever have flowed, or ever will 
flow from the discovery of the greatest part of Africa, and of the 
East and West Indies. Every improvement in the state and 
manners of these countries, or whatever coimtry may be yet dis- 
covered, is strictly due to him. What is an Alexander, crowned 
with trophies at the head of his army, compared with a Henry 
contemplating the ocean from his window on the rock of Sagrez ! 
The one suggests the idea of a destroying demon, the other of 
a beneyolent Deity. 

From 1448, when Alonzo V. assimied the power of government, 
till the end of his reign in 1471, little progress was made in 
maritime affairs. Cape Catherine alone was added to the former 
discoveries. But under his son, John II., the designs of Prince 
Henry were prosecuted with renewed vigour. In 1481 the Portu- 
guese built a fort on the Gold Coast, and the King of Portugal 
took the title of Lord of Guinea. Bartholomew Diaz, in 1486, reached 
the river which he named delV In/ante on the eastern side of Africa, 
but deterrftl by the storms of that coast from proceeding farther, 
on his return he had the happiness to be the discoverer of the 

* The difficulties ^e snrmcmnted, and the assistance he received, are 
sufficient proofs that an adventurer of inferior birth could never have 
carried his designs into execution. 

t Don Pedro was villainously accused of treacherous designs by his 
illegitimate brother, the first Duke of Braganza. Henry left his town of 
Sagrez to defend his brother at court, but in vain. Pedro, finding the 
young king in the power of Braganza, fled, and soon after was killed in de- 
fending himself against a party who were sent to seize him. His innocence, 
after his death, was fully proved, and his nephew, Alonzo Y., gave him 
an honourable burial. 


promontory, unknown for many ages, which bounds the south of 
Africa. From the storms he there encoimtered he named it Cape 
of Storms ; but John, elated with the promise of India, which this 
discovery, as he justly deemed, included, gave it the name of the 
Cape of Good Hope. The arts and valour of the Portuguese had 
now made a great impression on the minds of the Africans. The 
King of Congo sent the sons of some of his principal oflBcers to 
Lisbon, to be instructed in arts and religion ; and ambassadors from 
the King of Benin requested teachers to be sent to his kingdom. 
On the return of his subjects, the King and Queen of Congo, with 
100,000 of their people, were baptized. An ambassador also 
arrived from the Christian Emperor of Abyssinia, and Pedro dei 
Covillam and Alonzo de Payva were sent by land to penetrate into 
the East, that they might acquire whatever intelligence might 
facilitate the desired navigation to India. Covillam and Payva 
parted at Toro in Arabia, and took different routes. The former 
having visited Conanor, Calicut, and Goa in India, -returned to 
Cairo, where he heard of the death of his companion. Here 
also he met the EabM Aln^ham of Beja, who was employed for 
the same purpose by King John. Covillam sent the Babbi home 
with an accoimt of what countries he had seen, and he himself 
proceeded to Ormuz and Ethiopia, but, as Camoens expresses it — 

" To his native shore, 
Enrich'd with knowledge, he returned no more." 

Men, whose genius led them to maritime affairs began now to 
be possessed by an ardent ambition to distinguish themselves ; and 
the famous Columbus offered his service to King John, and was 
rejected. Every one knows the discoveries of this great adventurer, 
but his history is generally misunderstood.* The simple truth is, 

* Henry, who tindertook to extend the boundaries which ignorance had 
given to the world, had extended them much beyond the sensible horizon 
long ere Columbus appeared. Columbus indeed taught the Spaniards the 
use of longitude and latitude in navigation, but that great mathematician, 
Heniy, was the author of that grand discovery, and of the iLse of the com- 
pass. Every alteration ascribed to Columbus, had almost fifty yeai*s 
before been effected by Henry. £ven Henry's idea of sailing to India was 
adopted by Columbus. It was everywhere his proposal. When he 
arrived in the West Indies he thought he had found the Ophir of Solomon, 
and thence these islands received their general name, and on his return he 
told John II. that he had been at the islands of India. To find the Spice 
Islands of the East was his proposal at the court of Spain ; and even on his 
fourth and last voyage in 1502, three years after Gama's return, he pro- 


Golumbug, who acquired his skill in navigation among the Portu- 
guese, could be no stranger to the design, long meditated in that 
kingd<»n, of discovering a naval route to India, which, according 
to ancient geographers' and the opinion of that age, was supposed 
to be the next land to the west of Spain. And that India and the 
adjacent islands were the regions sought by Columbus is also 
certain. John, who esteemed the route to India as almost dis^ 
covered, and in the power of his own subjects, rejected the 
proposals of the foreigner. But Columbus met a more fEivoin:- 
able reception from Ferdinand and Isabella, the king and queen 
of Castile. Columbus, therefore, proposed, as Magalhaens after- 
wards did, for the same I'eason, to steer a westward course, and 
having in 1492 discovered some western islands, in 1493, on his 
retmm to Spain, he put into the Tagus with great tokens of 
the riches of his discovery. Some of the Portuguese courtiers 
(the same ungenerous minds, perhaps, who advised the rejection of 
Columbus because he was a foreigner) proposed the assassination 
of that great man, thereby to conceal from Spain the advantages of 
his navigation. But John, though Columbus rather roughly 
upbraided him, looked upon Viim now with a generous regret, 
and dismissed him with honour. The King of Portugal, however, 
alarmed lest the discoveries of Columbus should interfere with 
those of his crown, gave orders to equip a war-fleet to protect his 
rights. But matters were adjusted by embassies, and that cele- 
brated treaty was drawn up by which Spain and Portugal divided 
the western and eastern worlds between them. The eastern 
half of the world was allotted for the Portuguese, and the western 
for the Spanish navigation. A Papal Bull also, which, for obvious 
reasons, prohibited the propagation of the gospel in these bounds 
by the subjects of any other state, confirmed this amicable and 
extraordiiary treaty. 

Soon after this, however, while the thoughts of King John 
were intent on the discovery of India, his preparations were 

raised the King of Spain to find India by a westward passage. But though 
great discoveries rewarded his toils, his first and last purpose he never 
completed. It was reserved for Magalhaens to discover the westward routit 
to the Eastern world. 

Gomara and other Spanish writers relate, that while Columbus lived in 
Madeira, a pilot, the only survivor of a ship's crew, died at his house* 
This pilot, they say, had been driven to the West Indies, or America, by 
tempest, and on his death-bed communicated the journal of his voyage to 


interrupted by his death. But his earnest desires and great 
designs were inherited, together with his crown, by his cousin 
Emmanuel ; and in 1497 (the year before Columbus made the 
voyage in which he discovered the mouth of the river Oronoko), 
Vasco de Gama sailed from the Tagus for the discovery of India. 

Of this voyage, the subject of the Lusiad, many particulars are 
necessarily mentioned in the notes ; we shall therefore only allude 
to these, but be more explicit on the others, which are omitted 
by Camoens in obedience to the rules of epic poetry. 

Notwithstanding the popular clamour against the undertaking, 
Emmanuel was determined to prosecute the views of Prince Henry 
and John II. Three sloops of war and a store ship, manned with 
only 160 men, were fitted out ; for hostility was not the purpose 
of this expedition. Vasco de Gama, a gentleman of good family, 
who, in a war with the French, had given signal proofs of hi3 
naval skill, was commissioned admiral and general, and his brother 
Paul, with his Mend Nicholas Coello, were appointed to com- 
mand under him. It is the greatest honour of kings to distinguish 
the characters of their officers, and to employ them accordingly. 
Emmanuel in many instances was happy in this talent, particularly 
in the ch(»ce of his admiral for the discovery of India. All the 
enthusiasm of desire to accomplish his end, joined with the greatest 
heroism, the quickest penetration, and coolest prudence, imited to 
form the character of Gama. On his appointment he confessed 
to the king that his mind had long aspired to this expedition. 
The king expressed great confidence in his prudence and honour, 
and gave him, with his own hand, the colours which he was to 
carry. On this banner, which bore the cross of the military Order 
of Christ, Gama, with great enthusiasm, took the oath of fidelity. 

About four miles from Lisbon is a chapel on the sea side. 
To this, the day before their departure, Gama conducted the 
companions of his expedition. He was to encounter an ocean 
untried, and dreaded as unnavigable, and he knew the power of 
religion on minds which are not inclined to dispute its authority. 
The whole night was spent in the chapel in prayers for success* 
and in the rites of their devotion. The next day, when the 
adventurers marched to the fleet, the shore of Belem * presented 
one of the most solemn and affecting scenes perhaps recorded in 
history. The beach was covered with the inhabitants of Lisbon. 

* Or Bethlehem, so named from the chapel. 


A procession of priests, in their robes, sang anthems and offered up 
invocations to heaven. Every one looked on the adventurers as 
brave men going to a dreadful execution ; as rushing upon certain 
death ; and the vast multitude caught the fire of devotion, and 
joined aloud in prayers for their success. The relations, friends, 
and acquaintances of the voyagers wept; all were affected; the 
sight was general ; Gkuna himself shed manly tears on parting with 
his fidends, but he hurried over the tender scene, and hastened on 
board with all the alacrity of hope. He set sail immediately, 
and so much affected were the thousands who beheld his departure, 
that they remained immovable on the shore, till the fleet, under 
full sail, vanished from their sight. 

It was on the 8th of July when Gkima left the Tagus. The 
flag ship was commanded by himself, the second by his brother, 
the third by Goello, and the store ship by Gonsalo Nunio. 
Several interpreters, skilled in Arabic, and other oriental languages, 
went along with them. Ten malefactors (men of abilities, whose 
sentences of death were reversed, on condition of their obedience 
to Gama in whatever embassies or dangers among the barbarians 
he might think proper to employ them), were also on board. The 
fleet, favoured by the weather, passed the Canary and Cape de 
Verde islands, but had now to encoimter other fortune. Some- 
times stopped by dead calms, but for the most part tossed by 
tempests, which increased in violence as they proceeded to the 
south. Thus driven far to sea they laboured through that wide 
ocean which surrounds St. Hdena, in seas, says Faria, unknown 
to the Portuguese discoverers, none of whom had sailed so far to 
the west. IVom the 28th of July, the day they passed the isle 
of St. James, they had seen no shore, and now on November the 
4th they were happily relieved by the sight of land. The fleet 
anchored in a large bay,* and Coello was sent in search of a river 
where they might take in wood and fresh water. Having found 
one, the fleet made towards it, and Gama, whose orders were to 
acquaint himself with the manners of the people wherever he 
touched, ordered a party of his men to bring him some of the 
natives by force, or stratagem. .One they caught as hg was 
gathering honey on the side of a mountain, and brought him to 
the fleet. He expressed the greatest indifference about the gold 
and fine clothes which they showed him, but was greatly delighted 

* Now called St. HeUn's, 



with some glasses and little brass bells. These with great joy he 
accepted, and was set on shore ; and soon after many of the blacks 
came for, and were gratified with, the like trifles; in return for 
which they gave plenty of their best provisions. None of Gama's 
interpreters, however, could understand a word of their language, 
or obtain any information of India. The friendly intercourse 
between the fleet and the natives was, however, soon interrupted 
by the imprudence of Veloso, a yoimg Portuguese, which occasioned 
a skirmish wherein Gama's life was endangered. Gama and some 
others were on shore taking the altitude of the sim, when in conse* 
quence of Veloso's rashness they were attacked by the blacks with 
great fury. Gama defended himself with an oar, and received 
a dart in his foot. Several others were likewise woimded, and 
they found safety in retreat. A discharge of cannon from the 
ships facilitated their escape, and Gama, esteeming it imprudent 
to waste his strength in attempts entirely foreign to the design of 
his voyage, weighed anchor, and steered in search of the extremity 
of Africa. 

In this part of the voyage, says Osorius, "The heroism of 
Gama was greatly displayed." The waves swelled up like moun- 
tains, the ships seemed at one time heaved up to the clouds, and 
at another precipitated to the bed of the ocean. The winds were 
piercing cold, and so boisterous that the pilot's voice could seldom 
be heard, and a dismal darkness, which at that tempestuous 
season involves these seas, added all its horrors. Sometimes the 
storm drove them southward, at other times they were obliged 
to stand on the tack and yield to its fury, preserving what they 
had gained with the greatest difficulty. 

*' With such mad seas the daring Gama fought 
For many a day, and many a dreadful night. 
Incessant labouring round the stormj Cape, 
By bold ambition led.'* 


During any interval of the storm, the sailors, wearied out with 
fatigue, and abandoned to despair, surrounded Gama, and implored 
him not to suffer himself, and those committed to his care, to 
perish by so dreadful a death. The impossibility that men so 
weakened could endure much longer, and the opinion that this 
ocean was torn by eternal tempest, and therefore had hitherto 
been, and was impassable, were urged. But Gama's resolution to 



proceed was unalterable.* A conspiracy was then formed against 
his life. But his brother discovered it, and the courage and pru- 
dence of Ghuna defeated its design. He put the chief conspirators 
and all the pilots in irons, and he himself, his brother, GoeUo, and 
some others, stood night and day at the helm and directed the 
course. At last, after having many days, with unconquered mind, 
withstood the tempest and mutiny (molem perfidim) the storm 
suddenly ceased, and they beheld the Cape of Gkxxl Hope. 

On November the 20th all the fleet doubled that promontory, 
and steering northward, coasted along a rich and beautiful shore, 
adorned with large forests and numberless herds of cattle. All 
was now alacrity; the hope that they had surmounted every 
danger revived their spirits, and the admiral was beloved and 
admired. Here, and at the bay; which they named St. Bias, 
they took in provisions, and beheld these beautiful rural scenes, 
described by Camoens. And here the store sloop was burnt by 
order of the admiral. On December the 8th a violent tempest 
drove the fleet out of sight of land, and carried them to that 

* The voyage of Gams has been called merely a coasting one, and 
therefore regarded as much less dangerous and heroical than that of Co- 
Inmbus, or of Magalhaens. But this is one of the opinions hastily taken up, 
and founded on ignorance. Columbus and Magalhaens undertook to navi- 
gate unknown oceans, and so did Gama ; with this difference, that the 
ocean around the Cape of Good Hope, which Gama was to encounter, was 
believed to be, and had been avoided by Diaz, as impassable. Prince Henry 
suggested that the current of Cape Bojador might be avoided by standing 
out to sea, and thus that Cape was first passed. Gama for this reason did 
not coast, but stood out to sea for upwards of three months of tempestuous 
weather. The tempests which afflicted Columbus and Magalhaens are by 
their different historians described with circumstances of less horror and 
danger than those which attacked Gama. All the three commanders were 
endangered by mutiny ; but none of their crews, save Gama's, could Urge 
the opinion of ages, and the example of a living captain, that the dreadful 
ocean which they attempted was impassable. Columbus and Magalhaens 
always found means, after detecting a conspiracy, to keep the rest in hope ; 
but Gama's men, when he put the pilots in irons, continued in the utmost 
despair. Columbus was indeed ill obeyed ; Magalhaens sometimes little 
better ; but nothing, save the wonderful authority of Gama's command, 
could have led his crew through the tempest which he surmounted ere he 
doubled the Cape of Good Hope. Columbus, with his crew, must have re- 
turned. The expedients which he used to soothe them, would, under his 
authority, have had no avail in the tempest which Gama rode through. 
From every circumstance it is evident that Gama had determined not to 
return, unless he found India. Nothing less than such resolution to perish 
or attain his point could have led him on* 


dreadful current which made the Moors deem it impossible to 
double the Cape. Gama, however, though unlucky in the time 
of niyngating these seas, was safely carried over the current by the 
violence of a tempest ; and having recovered the sight of land, as 
his safest course he steered northward along the coast. On the 
10th of January they discovered, about 230 miles from their last 
watering place, some beautiful islands, with herds of cattle frisk- 
ing in the meadows. * It was a profound calm, and Gama stood 
near to land. The natives were better dressed and more civilized 
than those they had hitherto seen. An exchange of presents 
was made, and the black king was so pleased with the politeness 
of Gtima, that he came aboard his ship to see him. At this place, 
which he named Terra de Natal, Gama left two of the malefactors 
before mentioned to procure what information they could against 
his return. On the 15th of January, in the dusk of the evening, 
they came to the mouth of a large river, whose banks were shaded 
with trees laden with fruit. On the return of day they saw 
several little boats with palm-tree leaves making towards them, 
and the natives came aboard without hesitation or fear. Gama 
received them kindly, gave them an entertainment, and some 
silken garments, which they received with visible joy. Only one 
of them, however, could speak a little broken Arabic. From him 
Feman Martinho learned that not far distant was a country 
where ships, in shape and size like Gama's, frequently resorted. 
This gave the fleet great encouragement, and the admiral named 
this place " The River of Good Signs." 

Here, while Gama refitted his ships, the crews were attacked 
with a violent scurvy, which carried off several of his men. Having 
taken in fresh provisions, on the 24th of February he set sail, and 
on the 1st of March they descried four islands on the coast of 
Mozambique. From one of these they perceived seven vessels in 
full sail bearing to the fleet. The Rais, or captain, knew Gama's 
ship by the admiral's ensign, and made up to her, saluting her with 
loud huzzas and instruments of music. Gama received them 
aboard, and entertained them with great kindness. The interpreters 
talked with them in Arabic. The island, in which was the 
principal harbour and trading town, they said, was governed by 
a deputy of the King of Quiloa ; and many Arab merchants, they 
added, were settled here, who traded with Arabia, India, and other 
parts of the world. Gama was overjoyed, and the crew, with 
uplifted hands, returned thanks to Heaven. 


Pleased with the presents which Oama sent him, and imagining 
that the Portuguese were Mohammedans from Morocco, the governor, 
dressed in rich embroidery, came to congratulate the admiral on 
his arrival in the east. As he approached the fleet in great pomp, 
Ghima removed the sick out of sight, and ordered all those in 
health to attend above deck, armed in the Portuguese manner ; for 
he foresaw what would happen when the Mohammedans should 
discover it was a Christian fleet. During the entertainment pro- 
vided for him Zacocia seemed highly pleased, and asked several 
questions about the arms and religion of the strangers. Gkuna 
showed him his arms, and explained the force of his cannon, but he 
did not affect to know much about religion ; however he frankly 
promised to show him his hocka of devotion whenever a few days 
refreshment should give him a more convenient time. In the 
meanwhile he entreated Zacocia to send him some pilots who might 
conduct him to India. Two pilots were next day brought by the 
governor, a treaty of peace was solemnly concluded, and every 
office of mutual friendship seemed to promise a lasting harmony. 
But it was soon interrupted. Zacocia, as soon as he found the 
Portuguese were Christians, used every endeavour to destroy the 
fleet. The life of Oama was attempted. One of the Moorish 
pilots deserted, and some of the Portuguese who were on shore to 
get fresh water were attacked by the natives, but were rescued 
by a timely assistance from the ships. 

Besides the hatred of the Christian name, inspired by their 
religion, the Arabs had other reasons to wish the destruction of 
Ghtma. Before this period, they were almost the only merchants 
of the East ; they had colonies in every place convenient for trade, 
and were the sole masters of the Ethiopian, Arabian, and Indian 
seas. They clearly foresaw the consequ^ices of the arrival of 
Europeans, and every art was soon exerted to prevent such formi- 
dable rivals from effecting any footing in the East. To these 
Mohammedan traders the Portuguese gave the name of Moors. 

Immediately after the skirmish at the watering-place, Gama, 
having one Moorish pilot, set sail, but was soon driven back by 
tempestuous weather. He now resolved to take in fresh water 
by force. The Moors perceiving his intention, about two thousand 
of them rising from ambush, attacked the Portuguese detachment. 
But the prudence of Gama had not been asleep. His ships were 
stationed with art, and his artillery not only dispersed the hostile 
Moors, but reduced their town, which was built of wood, into a 


heap of ashes. Among some prisoners taken by Paulus de Gama 
was a pilot, and Zacocia begging forgiveness for his treachery, sent 
another, whose skill in navigation he greatly commended. 

A war with the Moors was now begun. Gama perceived that 
their jealousy of European rivals gave him nothing to expect 
but open hostility and secret treachery; and he knew what 
numerous colonies they had on every trading coast of the East. 
To impress them, therefore, with the terror of his arms on their first 
act of treachery, was worthy of a great commander. Nor was he 
remiss in his attention to the chief pilot who had been last sent. 
He perceived in him a kind of anxious endeavour to bear near 
some little islands, and suspecting there were unseen rocks in that 
course, he confidently charged the pilot with guilt, and ordered 
him to be severely whipped. The punishment produced a con- 
fession and promises of fidelity. And he now advised Grama to 
stand for Quiloa, which he assured him was inhabited by Christians. 
Three Ethiopian Christians had come aboard the fleet while at 
Zacocia's island, and the opnions then current about Prester John's 
country inclined Gama to try if he could find a port where he 
might obtain the assistance of a people of his own religion. A 
violent storm, however, drove the fleet from Quiloa, and being now 
near Mombas, the piloi advised him to enter that harbour, where, 
he said, there were also many Christians. 

The city of Mombas is agreeably situated on an island, formed 
by a river which empties itself into the sea by two mouths. The 
buildings are lofty and of solid stone, and the country abounds 
with fruit-trees and cattle. Gama, happy to find a harbour where 
everything wore the appearance of civilization, ordered the fleet to 
cast anchor, which was scarcely done, when a galley, in which were 
100 men in oriental costume, armed with bucklers and sabres, 
rowed up to the flag ship. All of these seemed desirous to come 
on board, but only four, who by thmr dress seemed officers, were 
admitted; nor were these allowed, till stripped of their arms. 
When on board they extolled the prudence of Gama in refusing 
admittance to armed strangers ; and by their behaviour, seemed 
de^rous to gain the good opinion of the fleet. Their country, they 
boasted, contained all the riches of India; and their king, they pro- 
fessed, was ambitious of entering into a friendly treaty with the 
Portuguese, with whose renown he was well acquainted. And, that 
a conference with his majesty and the offices of friendship might 
be rendered more convenient, Gtima was requested to enter the 


harbour*. As no place could be more commodious for the recovery 
of the sick, Gama resolved to enter the port; and in the mean- 
while sent two of the pardoned criminals as an embassy to the 
king. These the king treated with the greatest kindness, ordered 
his officers to show them the strength and opulence of his city ; 
and, on their return to the navy, he sent a present to Grama of the 
most valuable spices, of which he boasted such abundance, that 
the Portuguese, he said, if they regarded their own interest, would 
seek for no other India. 

To make treaties of conmierce was the business of Grama ; and 
one so advantageous was not to be refused. Fully satisfied by the 
report of his spies, he ordered to weigh anchor and enter the 
harbour. His own ship led the way, when a sudden violence of 
the tide made Gama apprehensive of running aground. He there- 
fore ordered the sails to be furled, and the anchors to be dropped, 
and gave a signal for the rest of the fleet to follow his exainple. 
This manoeuvre, and the cries of the sailors in executing it, alarmed 
the Mozambique pilots. Conscious of their treachery, they thought 
their design was discovered, and leaped into the sea. Some boats 
of Mombas took them up, and refusing to put them on board, set 
them safely on shore, though the admiral repeatedly demanded 
the restoration of the pilots. These proofs of treachery were 
farther confirmed by the behaviour of the King of Mombas. In 
the middle of the night Gama thought he heard some noise, and 
on examination, foimd his fleet smrounded by a great number of 
Moors, who, with the utmost secrecy, endeavoured to cut his 
cables. But their scheme was defeated; and some Arabs, who 
remained on board, confessed that no Christians were resident either 
at Quiloa or Mombas. The storm which drove them from the 
one place, and their late escape at the other, were now beheld 
as manifestations of the Divine favour, and G^ma, holding up 
his hands to heaven, ascribed his safety to the care of Providence.'*' 
Two days, however, elapsed before they could get clear of the rocky 
bay of Mombas. Having now ventured to hoist their sails, they 
steered for Melinda, a port, they had been told, where many 
merchants from India resorted. In their way thither they took a 
Moorish vessel, out of which GUuna selected fourteen prisoners, one 

* It afterwards appeared that the Moorish King of lUombeis had been 
informed of what happened at Mozambique, and intended to revenge it by 
the total destruction of the fleet. 


of .whom he perceived by his mien to be a person of distinction. 
By this Saracen, Gama was informed that he was near Melinda, 
that the king was hospitable, and celebrated for his faith, and that 
four ships from India, commanded by Christian masters, were in 
that harbour. The Saracen also offered to go as Grama's messenger 
to the king, and promised to procure him an able pilot to conduct 
him to Calicut, the chief port of India. 

As the CQast of Melinda appeared to be dangerous. Grama anchored 
at some distance from the city, and, imwilling to risk the safety 
of any of his men, he landed the Saracen on an island opposite to 
Melinda. This was observed, and the stranger was brought before 
the king, to whom he gave so favourable an account of the polite- 
ness and humanity of Grama, that a present of several sheep, and 
fruits of all sorts, was sent by his majesty to the admiral, who 
had the happiness to find the truth of what his prisoner had told 
him confirmed by the masters of the four ships from India. These 
were Christians from Cambaya. They were transported with joy 
on the arrival of the Portuguese, and gave several useful instruc- 
tions to the .admiral. 

The city of Melinda was situated in a fertile plain, surrounded 
with gardens and groves of orange-trees, whose flowers diffused a 
most grateful odour. The pastures were covered with herds ; and 
the houses, built of square stones, were both elegant and magnifi- 
cent. Desirous to make an alliance with such a state, Gama 
requited the civility of the king with great generosity. He drew 
nearer the shore, and urged his instructions as apology for not 
landing to wait upon his majesty in person. The apology was 
accepted, and the king, whose age and infirmity prevented him 
going on board, sent his son to congratulate Grama, and enter into 
a treaty of friendship. The prince, who had some time governed 
under the direction of his father, came in great pomp. His dress 
was royally magnificent, the nobles who attended him displayed 
all the riches of sUk and embroidery, and the music of Melinda 
resounded all over the bay. Grama, to express his regard, met 
him in the admiral's barge. The prince, as soon as he came up, 
leaped into it, and distinguishing the admiral by his habit, embraced 
him with all the intimacy of old friendship. In their conversation, 
which was long and sprightly, he discovered nothing of the bar- 
barian, says Osorius, but in everything showed an intelligence 
and politeness worthy of his high rank. He accepted the fourteen 
Moors, whom G^ama gave to him, with great pleasure. He seemed 


to view Gkkma with enthusiasm, and confessed that the build of 
the Portuguese ships, so much superior to what he had seen, con* 
vinced him of the greatness of that people. He gave Gama an 
able pilot, named Melemo Cana, to conduct him to Calicut ; and 
requested, that on his return to Europe, he would carry an 
ambassador with him to the court of Lisbon. During the few 
days the fleet stayed at Melinda, the mutual friendship increased, 
and a treaty of alliance was concluded. And now, on April 22, 
resigning the helm to his skilful and honest pilot. Grama hoisted 
sail and steered to the north. In a few days they passed the 
line, and the Portuguese with ecstasy beheld the appearance of 
their native sky. Orion, Ursa Major and Minor, and the other 
stars about the north pole, were how a more joyful discovery than 
the south pole had formerly been to them.* The pilot now stood 
out to the east, through the Indian ocean ; and after sailing about 
three weeks, he had the happiness to congratulate Gama on the 
view of the moimtains of Calicut, who, transported with ecstasy, 
returned thanks to Heaven, and ordered all his prisoners to be set 
at liberty. 

About two leagues from Calicut, Gama ordered the fleet to 
anchor, and was soon surrounded by a number of boats. By one 
of these he sent one of the pardoned criminals to the city. The 
appearance of an unknown fleet on their coast brought immense 
crowds around the stranger, who no sooner entered Calicut, than 
he was lifted from his feet and carried hither and thither by the 
concourse. Though the populace and the stranger were alike 

♦ Amerigo Vespncci, describing his voyage to America, says, " Having 
passed the line, ** e come desideroso cTessere* autore che segnassi la stella 
-desirous to be the namer and discoverer of the Pole-star of the 
other hemisphere, I lost my sleep many nights in contemplating the stars 
of the other pole." He then laments, that as his instruments could not 
discover any star of less motion then ten degrees, he had not the satisfac- 
tion of giving a name to any one. But as he observed four stars, in form 
of an almond, which had but little motion, he hoped in his next voyage 
he should be able to mark them out. — All this is curious, and affords a 
good comment on the temper of the man who had the art to defraud 
Columbus, by giving his own name to America ; of which he challenged 
the discovery. Near fifty years before the voyage of Amerigo Vespucci, 
the Portuguese had crossed the line ; and Diaz fourteen, and Gama nearly 
three years before, had doubled the Cape of Good Hope ; had discovered 
seven stars in the constellation of the south pole, and from the appearance 
of the four most luminous, had given it the name of **The Cross," a figure 
which it better resembles than that of an almond. 


earnest to be understood, their language was unintelligible to each 
other, till, happily for Grama, a Moorish merchant accosted his 
messenger in the Spanish tongue. The next day this Moor, who 
was named Monzaida, waited upon Gama on board his ship. He 
was a native of Tunis, and the chief person, he said, with whom 
John II. had at that port contracted for military stores. He was 
a man of abilities and great intelligence of the world, and an 
admirer of the Portuguese valour and honour. The engaging 
behaviour of Grama heightened his esteem into the sincerest attach- 
ment. Monzaida offered to be interpreter for the admiral, and 
to serve him in whatever besides he might possibly befriend him. 
And thus, by one of those unforeseen circumstances which often 
decide the greatest events, Gama obtained a friend who soon ren- 
dered him the most important services. 

At the first interview, Monzaida gave Gama the fullest informa- 
tion of the climate, extent, customs, religion, and riches of India, 
the commerce olf the Arabs, and the character of the sovereign, 
Calicut was not only the imperial city, but the greatest port. The 
king, or zamorim,* who resided here, was acknowledged as emperor 
by the neighbouring princes ; and, as his revenue consisted chiefly 
of duties on merchandise, he had always encouraged the resort 
of foreigners to his ports. 

Pleased with this promising prospect, Gama sent two of his 
officers with Monzaida to wait upon the zamorim at his palace, 
at Pandarene, a few miles from the city. They were admitted to 
the royal apartment, and delivered their embassy ; to which the 
zamorim replied, that the arrival of the admiral of so great a 
prince as Emmanuel, gave him inexpressible pleasure, and that 
he would willingly embrace the offered alliance. In the mean- 
while, as their present station was extremely dangerous, he advised 
them to bring the ships nearer to Pandarene, and for this purpose 
he sent a pilot to the fleet. 

A few days after this, the zamorim sent his first minister, or 
catual,t attended by several of the nayres, or nobility, to conduct 
Grama to the royal palace. As an interview with the zamorim 
was absolutely necessary to complete the purpose of his voyage, 
Gama immediately agreed to it, though the treachery he had 
already experienced since his arrival in the eastern seas showed 

• Properly '* Samudra-Rajah,'' King of the Sea, corrupted into 
Zamorim. — Ed. 

f '* Eotwal " signifies Superintendent of the Police. — Ed. 


him the personal danger which he thus hazarded. He gave his 
brother, Paulus, and Coello the command of the fleet in his absence. 

The revenue of the zamorim arose chiefly from the traffic of 
the Moors; the various colonies of these people were combined 
in one interest, and the jealousy and consternation which his 
arrival in the eastern seas had spread among them, were circum- 
stances well known to Cktma : and he knew, also, what he had to 
expect, both from their force and their fraud. But duty and 
honour required him to complete the purpose of his voyage. He 
left peremptory command, that if he was detained a prisoner, or 
any attempt made upon his life, they should take no step to save 
him or to reverse his fate ; to give ear to no message which might 
come in his name for such purpose, and to enter into no negotia- 
tion on his behalf. They were to keep some boats near the shore, 
to favour his. escape if he perceived treachery before being detained 
by force; yet the moment that force rendered his escape im- 
practicable they were to set sail, and carry the tidings to the king. 
As this was his only concern, he would suffer no risk that might 
lose a man, or endanger the homeward voyage. Having left 
these orders, he went ashore with the catual, attended only by 
twelve of his own men, for he would not weaken his fleet, though 
he knew the pomp of attendance would in one respect have been 
greatly in his favour at the first court of India. 

As soon as landed, he and the catual were carried in great 
ponip, in palanquins, upon men's shoulders, to the chief temple, 
and thence, amid immense crowds, to the royal palace. The 
apartment and dress of the zamorim were such as might be ex- 
pected from the luxury and wealth of India. The emperor reclined 
on a magnificent couch, surrounded with his nobility and officers 
of state. Qama was introduced to him by a venerable old man, 
the chief brahmin. His majesty, by a gentle nod, appointed the 
admiral to sit on one of the steps of his sofa, and then demanded 
his embassy. It was against the custom of his country, Gama 
replied, to deliver his instructions in a public assembly ; he there- 
fore desired that the king and a few of his ministers would grant 
him a private audience. This was complied with, and Gama, in 
a manly speech, set forth the greatness of his sovereign Emmanuel, 
the &me he had heard of the zamorim, and the desire he had to 
enter into an alliance with so great a prince ; nor were the mutual 
advantages of such a treaty omitted by the admiral. The zamorim, 
in reply, professed great esteem for the friendship of the King of 


Portugal, and declared his readiness to enter into a friendly alliance. 
He then ordered the catual to provide proper apartments for Gama 
in his own house ; and having promised another conference, he dis- 
missed the admiral with all the appearance of sincerity. 

The character of this monarch is strongly marked in the history 
of Portuguese Asia. Avarice was his ruling passion; he was 
haughty or mean, hold or timorous, as his interest rose or fell in 
the balance of his judgment ; wavering and irresolute whenever the 
scales seemed doubtful which to preponderate. He was pleased with 
the prospect of bringing the commerce of Europe to his harbours, 
but he was also influenced by the threats of the Moors. 

Three days elapsed ere Gama was again permitted to see the 
zamorim. At this second audience he presented the letter and 
presents of Emmanuel. The letter was received with politeness, 
but the presents were viewed with an eye of contempt. Gama 
noticed it, and said he only came to discover the route to India, 
and therefore was not charged with valuable gifts, before the friend^ 
ship of the state, where they might choose to traffic, was known. 
Yet, indeed, he brought the most valuable of all gifts, the offer of 
the friendship of his sovereign, and the commerce of his country. 
He then entreated the king not to reveal the contents of Emmanuel's 
letter to the Moors ; and the king, with great apparent friendship, 
desired Gama to guard against the perfidy of that people. At this 
time, it is highly probable, the zamorim was sincere. 

Every hour since the arrival of the fleet the Moors had held 
secret conferences. That one man of it might not return was their 
purpose ; and every method to accomplish this was meditated. To 
influence the king against the Portuguese, to assassinate Gama, to 
raise a general insurrection to destroy the foreign navy, and to 
bribe the catual, were determined. And the catual (the master of 
the house where "Gama was lodged) accepted the bribe, and entered 
into their interest. Of all these circiunstances, however, Gama was 
apprised by his faithful interpreter, Monzaida, whose affection to 
the foreign admiral the Moors hitherto had not suspected. Thus 
informed, and having obtained the faith of an alliance from the 
sovereign of the first port of India, Gama resolved to elude the 
plots of the Moors ; and accordingly, before the dawn, he set out 
for Pandarene, in hope to get aboard his fleet by some of the boats 
which he had ordered to hover about the shore. 

But the Moors were vigilant. His escape was immediately 
known, and the catual, by the king's order, pursued and brought 


him back by force. The catual, however (fen: it was necessary for 
their schemes to have the ships in their power), behaved with 
politeness to the admiral, and promised to use all his interest in his 

The eagerness of the Moors now contributed to the safety of 
G(ama. Their principal merchants were admitted to a formal 
audience, when one of their orators accused the Portuguese as a 
nation of fjuthless plunderers : Qama, he said, was an exiled pirate, 
who had marked his course with blood and depredation. If he 
were not a pirate, still there was no excuse for giving such warlike 
foreigners any footing in a coimtry already supplied with all that 
nature and commerce could give. He expatiated on the great 
services which the Moorish traders had rendered to Calicut ; and 
ended with a threat, that all the Moors would leave the zamorim's 
ports and find some other settlement, if he permitted these foreigners 
any share in the commerce of his dominions. 

However staggered with these arguments and threats, the 
Eamorim was not blind to the self-interest and malice of the 
Moors. He therefore ordered, that the admiral should once more 
be brought before him. In the meanwhile the catual tried many 
stratagems to get the fleet into the harbour ; and at last, in the 
name of his master, made an absolute demand that the sails and 
rudders should be delivered up, as the pledge of Grama's honesty. 
But these demands were as absolutely refused by Gama, who sent 
a letter to his brother by Monzaida, enforcing his former orders in 
the strongest manner, declaring that his fate gave him no concern, 
that he was only unhappy lest the fruits of all their fatigue and 
dangers should be lost. After two days spent in vain altercation with 
the catual, Gama was brought as a prisoner before the king. The 
king repeated his accusation ; upbraided him with non-compliance 
to the requests of his minister ; m*ged him, if he were an exile or a 
pirate, to confess freely, in which case he promised to take him into 
his service, and highly promote him on account of his abilities. 
But Grama, who with great spirit had baffled all the stratagems 
of the catual, behaved with the same \mdaimted bravery before 
the king. He asserted his innocence, pointed out the malice of the 
Moors, and the improbability of his piracy ; boasted of the safety 
of his fleet, offered his life rather than his sails and rudders, and 
concluded with threats in the name of his sovereign. The zamorim, 
during the whole conference, eyed Grama with the keenest attention, 
and clearly perceived in his unfiEdtering mien the dignity of truth. 


and the consciousness that he was the admiral of a great monarch. 
In their late address, the Moors had treated the zamorim as some- 
what dependent upon them, and he saw that a commerce with 
other nations would certainly lessen their dangerous importance. 
His ayarice strongly desired the commerce of Portugal; and his 
pride was flattered in humhling the Moors. After many proposals, 
it was at last agreed, that of his twelye attendants he should leave 
seven as hostages ; that what goods were ahoard his fleet should be 
landed ; and that Qama should be safely conducted to his ship, after 
which the treaty of commerce and alliance was to be Anally settled. 
And thus, when the assassination of Grama seemed inevitable, the 
zamorim suddenly dropped his demand for the sails and rudders, 
rescued him from his determined enemies, and restored him to 
liberty and the command of his navy. 

As aooa as he was aboard * the goods were landed, accompanied 
by a letter from Gama to the zamorim, wherein he boldly com* 
plained of the treachery of the catual. The zamorim, in answer, 
promised to make inquiry, and punish him, if guilty; but did 
nothing in the afiiedr. Gkima, who had now anchored nearer to the 
city, every day sent two or three different persons on some business 
to Calicut, that as many of his men as possible might be able to 
give some account of India. The Moors, meanwhile, every day 
assaulted the ears of the king, who now began to waver ; when 
Gama, who had given every proof of his desire of peace and friend- 
ship, sent another letter, in which he requested the zamorim to 
permit him to leave a consul at Calicut to manage the afiiEiirs of 
King EmmanueL But to this request — ^the most reasonable result 
of a commercial treaty — the zamorim returned a refusal full of 
lage and indignation. Gama, now fully master of the character of 
the zamorim, resolved to treat a man of such an inconstant, dis- 
honourable disposition with a contemptuous silence. This con- 
tempt was felt by the king, who, yielding to the advice of the 
catual and the entreaties of the Moors, seized the Portuguese goods, 
and ordered two of the seven hostages — ^the two who had the charge 
of the cargo — to be put in irons. The admiral remonstrated by means 
of Monzaida, but the king still persisted in his treacherous breach of 
faith. Repeated solicitations made him more haughty, and it was 
now the duty and interest of Gama to use force. He took a vessel, 
ia which were six nayres, or noblemen, and nineteen of their ser- 

* Faria j Sonsa. 


vants. The servants he set ashore to relate the tidings, the noble- 
men he detained. As soon as the news had time to spread through 
the city, he hoisted his sails, and, though with a slow motion, 
seemed to proceed on his homeward voyage. The city was now in 
an uproar; the friends of the captive noblemen surrounded the 
palace, and loudly accused the policy of the Moors. The king, in 
all the perplexed distress of a haughty, avaricious, weak prince, 
sent after Gama, delivered up ah the hostages, and submitted to 
his proposals ; nay, even solicited that an agent should be left, and 
even descended to the meanness of a palpable lie. The two factors, 
he said, he had put in irons, only to detain them till he might write 
letters to his brother Emmanuel, and the goods he had kept on 
shore that an agent might be sent to dispose of them. Gkuna, 
however, perceived a mysterious trifling, and, previous to any 
treaty, insisted upon the restoration of the goods. 

The day after this altercation Monzaida came aboard the fleet 
In great perturbation. The Moors, he said, had raised great oom- 
motkms, and had enraged the king against the Portuguese. The 
king's ships were getting ready, and a numerous Moorish fleet from 
Mecca was daily expepted. To delay Gama till this force arrived 
was the purpose of the Court and of the Moors, who were now 
confident of success. To this information Monzaida added, that 
the Moors, suspecting his attachment to Gama, had determined 
to assassinate him ; that he had narrowly escaped from them ; that 
it was impossible for him to recover his effects, and that his only 
hope was in the protection of Gama. Gama rewarded him with 
the friendship he merited, took him with him, as her desired, to 
Lisbon, and procured him a recompense for his services. 

Almost immediately seven boats arrived loaded with the goods, 
and demanded the restoration of the captive noblemen. Gama took 
the goods on board, but refused to examine if they were entire, and 
also refused to deliver the prisoners. He had been promised an 
ambassador to his sover^gn, he said, but had been so often deluded 
he could trust such a faithless people no longer, and would there- 
fore carry away the captives to convince the King of Portugal what 
insults and injustice his ambassador and admiral had suffered from 
the Ziamorim of Calicut. Having thus dismissed the Indians, he 
fired his cannon and hoisted his sails. A calm, however, detained 
him on the coast some days ; and the zamorim, seizing the oppor- 
tunity, sent what vessels he could fit out (sixty in all), full of 
armed men, to attack hinu Though Gama's cannon were well 


handled, confident of their numbers, they pressed on to board him^ 
when a sudden tempest arose, which Gama's ships rode out in 
safety, miserably dispersed the Indian fleet, and completed their 

After this victory the admiral made a halt at a little island 
near the shore, where he erected a cross,"** bearing the name and 
arms of his Portuguese majesty. From this place, by the hand of 
Monzaida, he wrote a letter to the zamorim, wherein he gave 
a full and circumstantial account of all the plots of the catual 
and the Moors. Still, howeyer, he professed his desire of a com* 
mercial treaty, and promised to represent the zamorim in the best 
light to Emmanuel. The prisoners, he said, should be kindly 
used, were only kept as ambassadors to his soyereign, and should 
be returned to India when they were enabled from experience to 
give an account of Portugal. The letter he sent by one of the 
captives, who by this means obtained his liberty. 

The fame of Grama had now spread over the Indian seas, and 
the Moors were everywhere intent on his destruction. As he 
was near the shore of Anchediva, he beheld the appearance of a 
floating isle, covered with trees, advance towards him. But hid 
prudence was not to be thus deceived. A bold pirate, named 
Timoja, by linking together eight vessels full of men and covered 
with green boughs, thought to board him by surprise. But 
Gama's cannon made seven of them fly ; the eighth, loaded with 
fruits and provision, he took. The beautiful island of Anchediva 
now offered a convenient place to careen his ships and refresh his 
men. While he stayed here, the first minister of Zabajo, king of 
Goa, one of the most powerful princes of India, came on board, and^ 
in the name of his master, congratulated the admiral in the Italian 
tongue. Provisions, arms, and money were offered to Gama, and 
he was entreated to accept the friendship of Zabajo. The admiral 
was struck with admiration; the address and abilities of the 
minister appeared so conspicuous. He said he was an Italian by 
birth, but in sailing to Greece, had been taken by pirates, and after 
various misfortunes, had been necessitated to enter into the service 
of a Mohammedan prince, the nobleness of whose disposition he 

* It was the custom of the first diseoverers to erect crosses at rarioug 
places remarkable in their voyage. Gama erected six : one, dedicated to St. 
Raphael, at the river of Good Signs ; one to St. George, at Mozambique ; 
one to St. Stephen, at Melinda ; one to St. Gabriel, at Calicut ; and on« 
to St. Mary, at th^. island thenoe named, near Anchediva. 

:hi8tobt of the discovbry of ikdia. Ixxxiii 

commended in the highest tenns. Tet, with all his abilities, 
G«ma perceived an artful inquisitiveness — ^that nameless something 
which does not accompany simple honesty. After a long conference, 
Gkima abruptly upbraided him as a spy, and ordered him to be put 
to the torture. And this soon brought a confession, that he was 
a Polish Jew by l^rth, and was sent to examine the strength of 
the fleet by Zabajo, who was mustering all his power to attack the 
Portuguese. Ghuna, on this, immediately set sail, and took the spy 
along with him, who soon after was baptized, and named Jasper de 
Gama, the admiral being his godfather. He afterwards became of 
great service to Emmanuel 

Gkima now stood westward through the Indian Ocean, and after 
being long delayed by calms, arrived off Magadoxa, on the coast of 
Africa* This place was a principal port of the Moors ; he therefore 
levelled the walls of the city with his cannon, and burned and 
destroyed all the ships in the harbour. Soon after this he descried 
eight Moorish vessels bearing down upon him ; his artillery, how- 
ever, soon made them use their oars in flight, nor could Gama 
overtake any of them for want of wind. The hospitable harbour 
of Melinda was the next place he reached. His men, almost worn 
out with fatigue and sickness, here received a second time every 
assistance which an accomplished and generous prince could bestow. 
And having taken an ambassador on board, he again set sail, in 
hope that he might pass the Gape of Good Hope while the favour- 
able weather continued ; for his acquaintance with the eastern seas 
now suggested to him that the tempestuous season was periodical. 
Soon after he set sail his brother's ship struck on a sand bank, and 
was burnt by order of the admiral. His brother and part of the 
crew he took into his own ship, the rest he sent on board of 
Goello's ; nor were more hands now alive than were necessary to 
man Hie two vessels which remained. Having taken in provisions 
at the island of Zanzibar (where they were kindly entertained by 
a Mohammedan prince of the same sect with the King of Melinda), 
they safely doubled the Cape of Good Hope on Apnl 26, 1499, and 
continued till they reached the island of St. lago, in favourable 
weather. But a tempest here separated the two ships, and gave 
Gkuna and Goello an opportunity to show the goodness of their 
hearts in a manner which does honour to himian nature. 

The admiral was now near the Azores, when Paulus de Gama, 
long worn with fatigue and sickness, was unable to endure the 
motion of the ship^ Yasco, therefore, put into the island of Terceta, 


in hope of his brother's recovery. And such was his affection, that 
rather than leave him he gave the command of his ship to one of 
his officers. But the hope of recovery was vain. John de Sa pro- 
ceeded to Lisbon with the flag ship, while the admiral remained 
behind to soothe the deathbed of his brother, and perform his 
funeral rites. Goello, meanwhile, landed at Lisbon, and hearing 
that Gama had not arrived, imagined he might either be ship- 
wrecked or beating about in distress. Without seeing one of his 
family he immediately set sail again, on purpose to bring relief to 
his friend and admiral. But this generous' design was prevented 
by an order from the king, ere he got out of the Tagus. 

The particulars of the voyage were now diffused by Coello, and 
the joy of- the king was only equalled by the admiration of the 
people. Tet, while all the nation was fired with zeal to express 
their esteem of the happy admiral, he himself, the man who was 
such an enthusiast to the success of his voyage that he would 
willingly have sacrificed his life in India to secure that success, was 
now in the completion of it a dejected mourner. The compliments 
of the Court, and the shouts of the street, were irksome to him ; for 
his brother, the companion of his toils and dangers, was not there 
to share the joy. As soon as he had waited on the king, he shut 
himself up in a lonely house near the seaside at Belem, from 
whence it was some time ere he was drawn to mingle in public life. 

During this important expedition, two years and almost two 
months elapsed. Of 160 men who went out, only 55 returned. 
These were all rewarded by the king. Coello was pensioned with 
100 ducats a year, and made a fidalgo, or gentleman of the king's 
household, a degree of nobility in Portugal. The title of Don was 
annexed to the family of Yasco de Gama. He was appointed 
admiral of the eastern seas, with an annual salary of 3000 ducats, 
and a part of the king's arms was added to his. Public thanks- 
givings to Heaven were celebrated throughout tte churches of the 
kingdom; while feasts, dramatic performances, and chivalrous ent^- 
tainments (or tournaments), according to the taste of that age, 
demonstrated the joy of Portugal. 

Pedro Alvarez Cabral was the second Portuguese admiral who 
sailed for India. He entered into alliance with Trimumpara, king 
of Cochin, and high priest of Malabar. (See Bk. x. p. 302.) 

Gaina, having left six ships for the protection of Cochin and 

Oananor, had sailed for Portugal with twelve ships, laden with the 

. riches of the East* As soon as his departure was made known, ike 


zamorim made great preparations to attack Cochin — a city situated 
on an island, divided by an arm of the sea from the main-land. At 
one part, however, this creek was fordable at low water. The 
zamorim having renewed the war, at length, by force of numbers 
and bribery, took the city ; and the King of Cochin, stripped of his 
dominions, but still faithful to the Portuguese, fled to the island of 
Yiopia. Francisco Albuquerque, with other commanders, having 
heard of the fate of Cochin, set sail for its relief; the garrison of 
the zamorim fled, and Trimumpara was restored to his throne. 
Every precaution by which the passage to the island of Cochin 
might be secured was now taken by Pacheco. The Portuguese 
took the sacrament, and devoted themselves to death. The King 
of Cochin's troops amounted only to 5000 men, while the army of 
the zamorim numbered 57,000, provided with brass cannon, and 
assisted by two Italian engineers. Yet this immense army,^ laying 
siege to Cochin, was defeated. Seven times the zamorim raised new 
armies ; yet they were all vanquished at the fords of Cochin, by the 
intrepidity and stratagems of Pacheco. In the later battles the 
zamorim exposed himself to the greatest danger, and was sometimes 
sprinkled with the blood of his slain attendants — a circumstance 
mentioned in the Lusiad, bk. x. p. 304. He then had recourse to 
fraud and poison; but all his attempts were bafifled. At last, in 
despair, he resigned his throne, and shut himself up for the rest of 
his days in one of the temples. 

Soon after the kingdom of Cochin was. restored to prosperity 
Pacheco was recalled. The King of Portugal paid the highest 
compliments to his valour, and gave him the government of a 
possession of the crown in Africa. But merit always has enemies : 
Pacheco was accused and brought to Lisbon in irons, where he 
remained for a considerable time chained in a dungeon. He was 
at length tried, and after a full investigation of the charges made 
against him, was honourably acquitted. His services to his country 
were soon forgotten, his merits were no longer thought of, and the 
unfortunate Pacheco ended his days in an alms-house — a circum- 
stance referred to in the Lusiad, bk. x. p. 305. 



Subject proposed 

Invocation to the Muses of the Tagus 

Address to Don Sebastian 

Assembly of the gods and goddesses 

The fleet enters the Indian Ocean 

Discovers islands there 

Description of the natives 

I ntercourse with the ships 

The governor visits Gama 

Bacchus determines on obstructing the fleet 

His stratagem for that purpose 

Attack by the Portuguese on landing to obtain water 

Bombardment of the town 

Another plot of Bacchus 

The poet's reflections 


... 1.2 


.. 3,4 










... 24, 25 




Treacherous invitation from the King of Mombas for the fleet 

to enter the harbour ... ... ... ... 31 

Messengers sent on shore by Gama to look at the town ... 32, 33 

Venus and the Nereids save the fleet from danger ... ... 35, 36 

Venus appeals to Jupiter on behalf of the expedition ... 40 

His reply ... . . ... ... ... ... ... 43 

Mercury sent to earth ... ... ... 46 

His message to Gama in a dream .. .. ... .... 47 



How the vessels escaped 

They meet two Moorish ships 

Their account of Melinda and its king 

Hospitable reception by the King of Melinda 

Gama's address 

The king's reply 

Night rejoicings in the ships and on shore 

Visit of the king to the fleet 

xxama s speecn ••• ••• ••• ••• 

The king requests Gama to describe his country and relate its 

lAlD InJXj ••• ••• ••• ••• ••• •• 









... 00 



BOOK ni. 

Invocation to Calliope .. ,. ... ... 60 

Gama commences his story ... ... .. ... 61 

Geographical description of Europe ... ... ... 62 

Ancient history of Portugal commenced ... ... ... 66 

Fidelity of Egas Moniz ... ... ... ... 70,71 

Battle of Ourique ... .. ... ... ...72 — 75 

Origin of the Portuguese shield and arms ... ... 76 

Leiria, Mafra, Cintra, Lisbon, etc. ... ... ... 76 — 78 

Palmella, etc., taken from the Moors ... ... ... 79 

Alphonso at war with the Leonese ... ... ... 79, 80 

Gathering of the Moors to invest Santarem ... ... 81 

Defeated by the Portuguese ... ... ... ... 83 

Death of Alphonso ... ... ... ... 83 

Don Sancho besieges Sylves ... .. . ... 84 

Character of Sancho n. ... ... ... ... 85 

„ „ KingDionis ... ... ... ... 87 

„ „ Alphonso rv. .. ... ... .. 87 

The Moors assemble again to invade Portugal ... ... 88 

The Queen of Spain asks aid from her father, the King of 

Portug;al ... ... ... ... ... 88 

The two allied sovereigns defeat the Moors ... ... 90 

Episode of Inez de Castro, or the " Fair Inez "... .. 92—96 

Character of King Ferdinand ... ... ... ... 100 


State of Portugal on the death of Ferdinand 
King John succeeds to the throne 
Character of Queen Leonora 





The GaBtilians assemble in aid of Beatrice, daughter of Leonora 106 

Don Ntmo Alvarez's loyalty ... ... ... ... 107 

Battle between the Portuguese and Castilians ... 113 
The latter defeated ... ... ... ... 116,117 

Alphonso, after defeating the Moors, attacks the King of 

Arragon ... ... ... ... ... 117 

Alphonso dies, and is succeeded by John 11. ... ... 118 

King John sends to explore the East by land ... ... 122 

Emmanuel succeeds; his dream of the rivers Ganges and 

Indus ... ... .. ... ... ... 123 

The king consults his council ... ... ... 125 

Entrusts the expedition to Yasoo de Gktma ... ... 125 

Yasco de Grama's preparations ... ... ... 127 

Parting of the armada with their friends ... ... ... 129 

The old man's farewell address ... ... ... 130 


Departure of the fleet from Lisbon 

Madeira^ Coast of Morocco, the Azenegues 

The river Senegal, Cape Verde, San Jago, Jalofo, Mandinga 

Dorcades, Sierra Leone, Cape Palmas ... 

St. Thomas, Congo, the river Zaire 

A waternspout described 

They land near the Tropic of Capricorn 

A native African met with ... 

Veloso's adventure on shore 

Gigantic vision of the Cape ... 

The armada lands at Sa3 Braz 

Currents encountered 

The armada touches at Natal 

Beaches Sof&la ; description of the inhabitants 

The crews attacked by scurvy 

Yasco de Gama compares his voyage with the narratives 

ancient poets, and concludes his story 
Beflections on the subject by the poet 




161, 162 


Hospitality of the King of Melinda 

G^ama takes his leave 

Bacchus descends to Neptune's abode 




Deecription thereof ... ... ... ... ... 167 

The sea-gods assembled by Neptune. Bacchus' address to 

Neptune and the other sea-gods .. ... ... 169 

Neptune orders ^olus to let loose the winds on the Portu- 
guese fleet ... ... ... ... ... 173 

The fleet on a tranquil sea ... ... ... ... 174 

Veloso, to pass the time away, relates the story of a tourna- 
ment in England ... ... ... ... 175 

A dark cloud comes over, and the storm arises .. ... 183 

Venus, the morning star, appears, and the goddess calls the 

Nereids to her aid ... ... ... ... 188 

Orithya, Galatea, and other sea-nymphs persuade Boreas to 

cease his blustering ... ... ... 189 

Morning appears, and with it the mountain-tops of the Indian 

coast .. ... ... .. ... ... 190 

Gama returns thanks to God ... ... ... ... 190 

The poet's reflections ... ... ... ... 190,191 



The Portuguese exhorted to the warfare of the cross, other 

nations being reproved ... ... ... 193 — 197 

India described ... ... ... ... 198 

The fleet anchors, and a message is sent on shore ... ... 198 

Meeting with Mozaide, who speaks Spanish ... ... 199 

Mozaide visits Gama, and describes the country ... ... 200 

Gama goes on shore... ... ... ... ... 209 

Enters with the kotw&l into an Indian temple ... ... 209 

Gama's interview with the Indian king ... ... 213 

His speech ... ... ... ... 214 

The king's reply ... ... ... ... ... 215 

Mozaide's description of the Portuguese ... ... ... 216 

Visit of the kotwal to the ships ... ... ... 217 

The poet invokes the nymphs, of the Tagus, and briefly de- 
scribes his own shipwreck and other misfortunes ... 5}18 — 221 


Description of the pictures .. ... ... ... 222 

Bacchus appears as Mohammed, to a priest in a dream . . . 238 

The king consults with the magi and the soothsayers ... 240 

The priest consults his friends ... ... ... 241 

How evil counsellors mislead kings ... ... ... 242 



The king's defiant speech and base aoonsation 244 

GUuna's answer to the king ... ... ... .. 245-247 

(xama detained prisoner in the kotw&rs house ... ... 250 


The king visits the house of the kotwal ... ... 252 

Addresses Gama, detained as a prisoner there ... ... 252 

On what conditions he may be allowed to return to his fleet 258 
G^ma's indignant reply ... ... ... ... ^53,254 

The king orders the signal to be given ... 254 
The Moorish vessels surround the fleet, and attack it with 

clouds of arrows... . ... ... ... 255 

The drums and trumpets of the fleet call to action ... ... 255 

Destruction of the Moorish vessels by the cannon of the ships 256 

Bombardment of Calicut by the fleet ... ... ... 257 

The terrified multitude implores the king to release his 

prisoner ... ... ... ... ... ... 258 

The king implores Gama to spare his city and people ... 258 

Gama's dignified reply .. ... ... ... ... 258 

The terms offered by the king rejected by Gama ... 259 
Gama directs the king to hoist the Portuguese flag and con- 
vey him to his ships... ... ... ... ... 260 

Peace restored. PresenU of Indian productions ... 261 

Mozaide had discovered to Gama the intended treachery ... 261 

C5onversion to Christianity of Mozaide ... ... ... 262 

Betum of the fleet to Portugal with the hostages ... ... 262 

Venus raises the Island of Love in the sea, to afford the sailors 
a resting-place. She summons the Nereids, and informs 

them of her intentions. Seeks her son, Cupid ... 264 
Cupid discharges the arrows of love at the sea-nymphs 269 — 271 

Approach of the Portuguese fleet ... ... ... ... 273 

The Island of Love described ... ... ... 274 — 280 

The sailors land and pursue the nymphs ... ... 280—288 

Tethys leads Gama to a palace on a lofty hill ... ... 289 

The allegory explained ... ... ... .. ... 290 


Happiness of the heroes and nymphs ... ... ... 299 

The poet apostrophizes his muse and bewails his own fate 301, 302 
The siren's prophetic song ... .. .. .. 302 



She pauses to reflect on the ill-requited bravery of Pacheco ... 305 

The siren resumes her prophetic song ... 305 

Foretells the needless cruelty of Albuquerque, who puts to 

death a soldier for a venial offence ... ... 310,311 

Soarez, Sequeyra, Menez, Mascarene, Nunio, Noronha, Souza, 

and other heroes ... ... ... ... 312 — 318 

The nymph Tethys leads them to the summit of a rugged hill, 

where the globe in miniature is displayed before them ... 319 
The Ptolemean system described ... ... ... 320 

Sketch of the geography of the world ... ... ... 325 

History of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India ... ... 331— 33.'> 

Geographical description continued ... ... 337 3.53 

Tethys bids the Portuguese farewell ... ... ... 353 

Their return home and reception at Lisbon ... ... 356 

The poet's conclusion, and patriotic exhortation to his 

sovereign ... ... ... ... ... 356,357 





Statement of the snbjeot. Livocation to the mtiBes of the Tagus. 
Herald calls an assembly of the gods. Jupiter foretells the future 
conquests of the Portuguese. Bacchus, apprehensive that the Portu- 
guese may eclipse the glory acquired by himself in the conquest of 
India, declares against them. Yenus, who sees in the Portuguese 
her ancient Romans, promises to aid their enterprise. Mars induces 
Jupiter to support them, and Mercury is sent to direct their course. 
Guma, commander of the expedition, lands at Mozambique and 
Mombas. Opposition of the Moors, instigated by Bacchus. They 
grant Gama a pilot who designs treacherously to take them to Quiloa 
to ensure the destruction of the whole expedition. 

ARMS and the Heroes, who from Lisbon's shore, 
Thro' seas * where sail was never spread before, 
Beyond where Ceylon lifts her spicy breast. 
And waves her woods above the wat'ry waste, 

' The Lusiad ; in the original, Os Lusiadas, The Lusiads, from 
the Latin name (Imsitania) of Portugal, derived from Lusus or Lysas, 
the companion of Bacchus in his travels, who settled a colony in 
Lusitania. See Plin. 1. iii. c. i. 

* Thro* seas where sail was never spread hef&re. — ^M. Duperron de 
Oastera, who has given a French prose translation, or rather para- 
phrase, of the Lusiad, has a long note on this passage, which, he tells 
us, must not be understood literally. Our author, he says, could not 
be ignorant that the African and Indian Oceans had been navigated 
before the times of the Portuguese. The Phoenicians, whose fleets 
passed the straits of Gibraltar, made frequent voyages in these seas, 
though they carefully concealed the course of their navigation that 

2 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

With prowess more than htunan forc'd their way 

To the fair kingdoms of the rising day : 

"What wars they wag'd, what seas, what dangers pass'd, 

What glorious empire crown'd their toils at last, 

Vent'rons I sing, on soaring pinions borne. 

And all my country's wars^ the song adorn ; 

What kings, what heroes of my native land 

Thnnder'd on Asia's and on Afric's strand : 

Ulustrions shades, who levell'd in the dust 

The idol-temples and the shrines of Inst : 

And where, erewhile, f onl demons were rever'd, 

To Holy Faith nnnnmber'd altars rear'd : * 

Ulnstrious names, with deathless lanrels crown'd, 

While time rolls on in every clime renown'd ! 

Let Fame with wonder name the Greek ' no more, 
What lands he saw, what toils at sea he bore ; 
Nor more the Trojan's wand'ring * voyage boast. 
What storms he brav'd on many a perilous coast : 
No more let Rome exult in Trajan's name, 
Nor Eastern conquests Ammon's ^ pride proclaim ; 
A nobler hero's deeds demand my lays 
Than e'er adom'd the song of ancient days. 
Illustrious Gama,* whom the waves obey'd, 
And whose dread sword the fate of empire sway'd. 

other nations might not become partakers of their lucrative traffic. — 
See the Periplus of Hanho, in Cory's Ancient Fragments. — Ed. 

* And all my country's wars, — He interweaves artfully the history 
of Portugal. — Voltaire. 

* To Holy Faith unnumbered altars rear'd. — ^In no period of history 
does human nature appear with more shocking, more diabolical 
features than in the wars of Gortez, and the Spanish conquerors of 
South America. Zeal for the Christian religion was esteemed, at the 
time of the Portuguese grandeur, as the most cardinal virtue, and to 
propagate Christianity and extirpate Mohammedanism were the most 
certain proofs of that zeal. In all their expeditions this was pro« 
fessedly a principal motive of the Lusitanian monarchs, and Camoens 
understood the nature of epic poetry too well to omit it. 

* triysses, who is the subject of the Odyssey. 

* The voyage of -^neas, described in the -^neid of Virgil. 

" Alexander the Great, who claimed to be the son of Jupiter 

" Vasco de Gama is, in a great measure, though not exclusively, 
the hero of the Lusiad. 


And jon, fair nymplis of Tagns, parent stream, 
If e'er your meadows were my pastoral theme, 
While yon have listen'd, and by moonshine seen 
My footsteps wander o'er yonr banks of green, 
come anspicions, and the song inspire 
With all the boldness of your hero's fire : 
Deep and majestic let the nambers flow, 
And^ rapt to heaven, with ardent fury glow, 
Unlike the verse that speaks the lover's grief, 
When heaving sighs afford their soft relirf, 
And hnmble reeds bewail the shepherd's pain ; 
Bnt Hke the warlike trumpet be the strain 
To rouse the hero's ire, and far around. 
With equal rage, your warriors' deeds resound. . 

And thou,^ bom the pledge of happier days. 
To guard our freedom and our glories raise, 

' King Sebastian, who came to the throne in his minority. Though 
the warm imagination of Gamoens anticipated the praises of the future 
hero, the young monarch, like Virgil's PoUio, had not the happiness 
to fulfil the prophecy. His endowments and enterprising genius 
promised, indeed, a glorious reign. Ambitious of military laurels, he 
led a powerful army into Africa, on purpose to replace Muley Hamet 
on the throne of Morocco, from which he had been deposed by Muley 
Molucco. On the 4th of August, 1578, in the twenty-fifth year of his 
age, he 'gave battle to the usurper on the plains of Alcazar. This 
was that memorable engagement, to which the Moorish Emperor, 
extremely weakened by sic^ess, was carried in his litter. By the 
impetuosity of the attack, the first line of the Moorish infantry was 
broken, and the second disordered. Muley Molucco on this mounted 
his horse, drew his sabre, and would have put himself at the head of 
his troops, but was prevented by his attendants. His emotion of mind 
was BO great that he fell from his horse, and one of his guards having 
caught him in his arms, conveyed him to his Htter, where, putting his 
finger on his lips to enjoin them silence, be inmiediately expired. 
Hamet Taba stood by the curtains of the carriage, opened them from 
time to time« and gave out orders as if he had received them from the 
Emperor. Victory declared for the Moors, and the defeat of the 
Portuguese- was so total, that not above fifty of their whole army 
escaped. Hieron de Mendo^a and Sebastian de Mesa relate, that 
Don Sebastian, after having two horses killed under him, was sur- 
rounded and taken ; but the party who had secured him, quarrelling 
among themselves whose prisoner he was, a Moorish oflScer rode up 
and struck the king a blow over the right eye, which brought him 
to the ground ; when, despairing of ransom, the others killed him. 
About twenty years after this fatal defeat there appeared a stranger 

4 THE LUSIAD. [book i. 

Given to tlie world to spread Religion's sway, 
And ponr o'er many a land the mental day, 
Thy fatnre hononrs on thy shield behold. 
The cross and victor's wreath emboss'd in gold : 
At thy commanding frown we trust to see, 
The Turk and Arab bend the suppliant knee : 
Beneath the mom,^ dread king, thine empire lies, 
When midnight veils thy Lusitanian* skies ; 

at Venice, who called himself Sebastian, King of Portugal, whom he 
BO perfectly resembled, that the Portuguese of that city acknowledged 
him for their sovereign. He underwent twenty-eight examinations 
before a committee of the nobles, in which he gave a distinct 
pxKiount of the manner in which he had passed his time from the fatal 
defeat at AlcazsCr. It was objected, that the successor of Muley 
Molucco sent a corpse to Portugal which had been owned as that of 
the king by the Portuguese nobility who survived the battle. To 
this he replied, that his vaUt de diambre had produced that body to 
facilitate his escape, and that the nobility acted upon the same motive, 
and Mesa and Baena confess, that some of the nobility, after their 
return to Portugal acknowledged that the corpse was so disfigured 
with wounds that it was impossible to know it. He showed natural 
marks on his body, which manyremembered on the person of the 
king whose name he assumed. He entered into a minute detail of 
the transactions that had passed between himself and the republic, 
and mentioned the secrets of several conversations with the Venetian 
ambassadors in the palace of Lisbon. He fell into the hands of the 
Spaniards, who conducted him to Naples, where they treated him 
with the most barbarous indignities. After they had often exposed 
him, mounted on an ass, to the cruel insults of the brutal mob, he was 
shipped on board a galley, as a slave. He was then carried to St. 
Lucar, from thence to a castle in the heart of Castile, and never was 
heard of more. The firmness of his behaviour, his singular modesty 
and heroical patience, are mentioned with admiration by Le Clede. 
To the last he maintained the truth of his assertions ; a word never 
slipped from his lips which might countenance the charge of imposture, 
or justify the cruelty of his persecutors. 

^ Portugal, when Camoens wrote his Lusiad, was at the zenith of 
its power and splendour. The glorious successes which had attended 
the arms of the Portuguese in Africa, had gained them the highest 
military reputation. Their fleets covered the ocean. Their dominions 
and settlements extended along the western and eastern sides of the 
vast African continent. From the Bed Sea to China and Japan, they 
were sole masters of the riches of the East; and in America, the 
fertile and extensive regions of Brazil completed their empire. 

^ * Lusitania is the Latin name of a Roman province which com- 
prised the greater part of the modem kingdom of Portugal, besides 
a considerable portion of Leon and Spanish Estremadura.— jEa. 


And wlien, descendmg in the western main, 

The snn^ still rises oh thy length'ning reigpi: 

Thon blooming scion of the noblest stem, 

Onr nation's safety, and our age's gem, 

yonng Sebastian, hasten to the prime 

Of manly yonth, to Fame's high temple climb : 

Yet now attentive hear the Mnse's lay 

While thy green years to manhood speed away : 

The yonthful terrors of thy brow suspend, 

And, oh, propitious to the song attend — 

The num'rous song,, by patriot-passion fir'd, 

And by the glories of thy race inspir'd : 

To be the herald of my country's fame 

My first ambition and my dearest aim : 

Nor conquests fabulous nor actions vain. 

The Muse's pastime, here adorn the strain : 

Orlando's fury, and Rugero's rage. 

And all the heroes of th' Aonian page,* 

The dreams of bards surpassed the world shall view, 

And own their boldest fictions may be true ; 

Surpass'd and dimm'd by the superior blaze 

Of GtAMa's mighty deeds, which here bright Truth displays. 

Nor more let History boast her heroes old, 

Their glorious rivals here, dread prince, behold : 

Here shine the valiant Nunio's deeds unfeign'd, 

Whose single arm the falling state sustain'd ; 

' The sun. — Imitated, perhaps, from Rutilius, speaking of the Koman 

Volvitur ipse tibi, qui consjncit omnia, PJuebus, 
Atque tuis ortos in tua condit equos ; 

or, more probably, from these lines of Buchanan, addressed to John III. 
King of Portugal, the grandfather of Sebastian — 

In^nie tuis Phcebus regnis orien^que cadensque 

Vix langumfesso conderet axe diem. 
Et qusecunque wigo se circv/mvolvit Olympo 
Affulget ratibus Jlamma ministra tuis. 

* i.e. poetic. Aonia was the ancient name of Bceotia, in which 
country was a fountain sacred to the Muses, whence Juvenal sings of 
a poet— 

** Enamoured of the woods, and fitted for drinking 
At the fountains of the Aonides." 

Juv. Sat. vii. 58.— i^d. 

6 THE LUSIAD. [book l 

Here fearless Egas* wars, and, Fnas, thine, 
To give full ardour to the song combine ; 
But ardour equal to your mar&il ire 
Demands the thund'iing sounds of Homer's lyre. 
To match the Twelve so long by bards renown' d, * 
Here brave Magricio atid his peers are crown'd 
(A glorious Twelve !) with deathless laurels, won 
In gallant arms before the English throne. 
Unmatched no more the QnUic Charles shall stand, 
Nor Caesar's name the first of praise command : 
Of nobler acts the crown'd Alonzo * see, 
Thy valiant sires, to whom the bended knee 
Of vanquish'd Afric bow'd. Nor less in fame, 
He who confin'd the rage of civil flame, 
The godlike John, beneath whose awful sword 
Rebellion crouch'd, and trembling own'd him lord 
Those heroes, too, who thy bold flag unfurl'd, 
And spread thy banners o'er the Eastern world. 
Whose spears subdu'd the kingdoms of the mom, 
Their names and glorious wars the song adorn : 
The daring Gama, whose unequall'd name 
(Proud monarch) shines o'er all of naval fame : 
Castro the bold, in arms a peerless knight. 
And stern Pacheco, dreadful in the fight : 
The two Almeydas, names for ever dear. 
By Tago's nymphs embalm'd with many a tear ; 
Ah, still their early fate the nymphs shall mourn. 
And bathe with many a tear their hapless urn : 
Not shall the godlike Albuquerque restrain 
The Muse's fury ; o'er the purpled plain 
The Muse shall lead him in his thund'ring car 
Amidst his glorious brothers of the war. 
Whose fame in arms resounds from sky to sky, 
And bids their deeds the power of death defy. 
And while, to thee, I tune the duteous lay. 
Assume, O potent king, thine empire's sway ; 

' To match the Twelve so long by hards renovm'd. — The Twelve 

Peers of France, often mentioned in the old romances. For the 

episode of Magricio and his eleven companions, see the sixth Lusiad. 

Afonso in Portuguese. In the first edition Mickle had Alfonso 

which he altered to Alonzo In the second edition. ^iionso, 


With tby brave liOBt througli Afrio marcli along, 
And give new triamplis to immortal song : 
On tbee with earnest eyes the nations wait, 
And, cold with dread, the Moor expects his fate ; 
The barb'rons monntaineer on Tanros' brows 
To thy expected yoke his shoulder bows ; 
Fair Thetis woos thee with her blue domain. 
Her nuptial son, and fondly yields her reign. 
And from the bow'rs of heav'n thy grandsires^ see 
Their yarious yirtues bloom afresh in thee ; 
One for the joyful days of peace renown'd, 
And one with war's triumphant laurels crown'd : 
With joyful hands, to deck thy manly brow, 
They twine the laurel and the olive-bough ; 
With joyful eyes a glorious throne they see. 
In Fame's eternal dome, reserv'd for thee. 
Yet, while thy youthful hand delays to wield 
The sceptre'd power, or thunder of the field. 
Here view thine Argonauts, in seas unknown. 
And all the terrors of the burning zone, 
Till their proud standards, rear'd in other skies. 
And all their conquests meet thy wond'ring* eyes. 

Now, far from land, o'er I^eptune's dread abode 
The Lusitanian fleet triumphant rode ; 
Onward they traced the wide and lonesome main. 
Where changeful Proteus leads his scaly train ; 
The dancing vanes before the zephyrs flow'd. 
And their bold keels the trackless ocean ploughed ; 
Unplough'd before, the green-ting'd billows rose. 
And curl'd and whiten 'd round the nodding prows. 

* Thy grandsires, — John III. King of Portugal, celebrated for a 
long and peaceful reign; and the Emperor Charles Y., who was 
engaged in almost continual wars. 

* Some critics have condemned Virgil' for stopping his narrative 
to introduce even a short observation of his own. Milton's beautiful 
complaint of his blindness has been blamed for the same reason, as 
being no part of the subject of his poem. The address of Gamoens 
to Don Sebastian at the conclusion of the tenth Lusiad has not 
escaped the same censure; though in some measure undeservedly, 
as the poet has had the art to interweave therein some part of the 
general argument of his poem. 

8 THE LUSIAD. [book i. 

When Jove, the god who with a thought controls 

The raging seas, and balances the poles, 

From heav'n beheld, and will'd, in sovereign state, 

To fix the Eastern World's depending fate. 

Swift at his nod th' Olympian herald flies, 

And calls th' immortal senate of the skies ; 

Where, from the fio v'reign throne of earth and heaven, 

Th' immutable decrees of fate are given. 

Instant the regents of the spheres of light. 

And those who rule the paler orbs of night, 

With those, the gods whose delegated sway 

The burning South and frozen North obey ; 

And they whose empires see the day-star rise. 

And evening Phoebus leave the western skies. 

All instant pour'd along the milky road. 

Heaven's crystal pavements glitt'ring as they trod : 

And now, obedient to the dread command, 

Before their awful lord in order stand. 

Sublime and dreadful on his regal throne. 
That glow'd with stars, and bright as lightning shone, 
Th' immortal Sire, who darts the thunder, sat. 
The crown and sceptre added solemn state ; 
The crown, of heaven's own pearls, whose ardent rays, 
Flam'd round his brows, outshone the diamond's blaze : 
His breath such gales of vital fragrance shed, 
As might, with sudden life, inspire the dead : 
Supreme Control thron'd in his awful eyes 
Appear'd, and mark'd the monarch of the skies. 
On seats that burn'd with pearl and ruddy gold. 
The subject gods their sov'reign lord enfold. 
Each in his rank, when with a voice that shook 
The tow'rs of heav'n, the world's dread ruler spoke : 

'* Immortal heirs of light, my purpose hear, 
My counsels ponder, and the Fates revere : 
Unless Oblivion o'er your minds has thrown 
Her dark blank shades, to you, ye gods, are known 
The Fate's decree, and ancient warlike fame 
Of that bold race which boasts of Lusus' name ; 
That bold advent'rous race, the Fates declare, 
A potent empire in the East shall rear, 


Snrpassing Babel's or tlie Persian fame, 

Prond Ghrecia's boast, or Rome's illnstrioas name. 

Oft from these brilliant seats have yon beheld 

The sons of Lnsns on the dnstj field, 

Thongh few, triumphant o'er the nnm'rons Moors, 

Till, &om the beauteous lawns on Tagus' shores 

They drove the cruel foe. And oft has heav'n 

Before their troops the proud Castilians driv'n ; 

While Victory her eagle- wings display'd 

Where'er their warriors wav'd the shining blade, 

Nor rests unknown how Lusus' heroes stood 

When Eome's ambition dyed the world with blood ; 

What glorious laurels Viriatus ^ gain'd. 

How oft his sword with Boman gore was stain'd ; 

> This braye Lnsitanian, who was first a shepherd and a famous 
hunter, and afterwards a captain of banditti, exasperated at the 
tyranny of the Romans, encoiu'aged his countrymen to revolt and 
shake off the yoke. Being appointed general, he defeated Vetilius 
the prsBtor, who commanded in Lusitania, or farther Spain. After 
this he defeated, in three pitched battles, the praetors, O. Plautius 
H3rpsseiis and Claudius Unimanus, though they led against him 
very numerous armies. For six years he continued victorious, 
putting the Romans to flight wherever he met them, and laying 
waste the countries of their allies. Having obtained such advan- 
tages over the proconsul, Servilianus, that the only choice which 
was left to the Roman army was death or slavery, the brave Viriatus, 
instead of putting them all to the sword, as he could easily have 
done, sent a deputation to the general, offering to conclude a peace 
with him on this single condition, That he should continue master of 
the country now in hia power^ and that the Bomans should remain pos- 
sessed of the rest of Spain. 

The proconsul, who expected nothing but death or slavery, 
thought these very favourable and moderate terms, and without 
hesitation concluded a peace, which was soon after ratified by the 
Roman senate and people. Viriatus, by* this treaty, completed the 
glorious design he had always in view, which was to erect a kingdom 
in the vast country he had conquered from the republic. And, had 
it not been for the treachery of the Romans, he would have become, as 
Florus calls him, the Romulus of Spain. 

The senate, desirous to revenge their late defeat, soon after this 
peace, ordered Q. Servilius Csepio to exasperate Viriatus, and force 
him, by repeated afironts, to commit the first acts of hostility. But 
this mean artifice did not succeed : Viriatus would not be provoked 
to a breach of the peace. On this the Conscript Fathers, to the 
eternal disgrace of their republic, ordered Csepio to declare war, and 
to proclaim Viriatus, who had given no provocation, an enemy to 

10 THE LUSIAD. [book I. 

And what fair palms their martial ardour crown'd, 

When led to battle by the chief renown'd. 

Who ^ f eign'd a daamon, in a deer conceal'd, 

To him the connsels of the gods reveal'd. 

And now, ambitious to extend their sway 

Beyond their conquests on the southmost bay 

Of Afric's swarthy coast, on floating wood 

They brave the terrors of the dreary flood, 

Where only black- wing'd mists have hover'd o'er, 

Or driving clouds have sailed the wave before ; 

Beneath new skies they hold their dreadful way 

•To reach the cradle of the new-bom day : 

And Fate, whose mandates unrevoked remain. 

Has will'd that long shall Lusus' ofEspriug reign 

The lords of that wide sea, whose waves behold 

The sun come forth enthroned in burning gold. 

But now, the tedious length of winter past, 

Distressed and weak, the heroes faint at last. 

What gulfs they dar'd, you saw, what storms they brav'd. 

Beneath what various heav'ns their banners wav'd ! 

Now Mercy pleads, and soon the rising land 

To their glad eyes shall o'er the waves expand ; 

As welcome friends the natives shall receive, 

With bounty feast them, and with joy relieve. 

And, when refreshment shall their strength renew, 

Thence shall they turn, and their bold route pursue." 

So spoke high Jove : the gods in silence heard. 
Then rising, each by turns his thoughts pref err'd : 
But chief was Bacchus of the adverse train ; 
Fearful he was, nor fear'd his pride in vain. 
Should Lusus' race arrive on India's shore. 
His ancient honours would be known no more ; 

Borne. To this baseness Csepio added one still greater ; he corrupted 
the ambassadors whom Viriatus had sent to negotiate with him, who, 
at the instigation of the Roman, treacherously murdered their pro- 
tector and general while he slept. — ^Univ. History. 

\ Sertorius, who was inrited by the Lusitanians to defend them 
against the Romans. He had a tame white hind, which he had 
accustomed to follow him, and from which he pretended to receive the 
instructions of Diana. By this artifice he imposed upon the super- 
stition of that people. 



No more in Njsa ^ shonld the natiye tell 

What kings, what mighty hosts before him fell. 

The fertile vales beneath the rising san 

He view'd as his, by right of victory won, 

And deem'd that ever in immortal song 

The Conqueror's title shonld to him belong. 

Tet Fate, he knew, had will'd, that loos'd from Spain 

Boldly advent'rons thro' the polar main, 

A warlike race- should come, renown'd in arms. 

And shake ihe eastern world with war's alarms, 

Whose glorious conquests and eternal fame 

In black Oblivion's waves should whelm his name. 

Urania- Venus," queen of sacred love, 
Arose and fixed her asking eyes on Jove ; 
Her eyes, well pleas'd, in Lusus' sons could trace 
A kindred likeness to the Roman race, 
For whom of old such kind regard she bore ; ' 
The same their triumphs on Barbaria's shore. 
The same the ardour of their warlike fiame, 
The manly music of their tongue the same : * 
Affection thus the lovely goddess sway'd. 
Nor less what Fate's unblotted page display'd, 

* No mare in Nysa. — An ancient city in India sacred to Bacchus. 

' UraniorVenus. — An Italian poet has given the following descrip- 
tion of the celestial Venus — 

Questa i vaga di Dio Venere heUa 
Vicina al Sole, e sopra ogni altra esteUa 
Questa k queUa heata, a cui sHnchina^ 
A cui ti volge desiando amore, 
Chiamata cui del Ciel rara e divina 
Belta che vien tra not per nostro honore, 
Per far le menti desiando al Cielo 
Obliare V aUrui col proprio velo. — Mabtel. 
' See the note in the Second Book on the following passage — 
As when in Ida^s hower she stood of yore, etc. 

* The manly music of their tongue the same. — Gamo^ns says : 

E na lingoa, na qual quando imagina, 
Com pouca corrupgao cr€ que he Latina, 

Qualifications are never elegant in poetry. Fanshaw's translation 
and the original both prove this : 

their tongue 

Which she thinks Latin, with small dross among. 

12 THE LUSIAD. [book i 

Where'er this people should their empire raise, 

She knew her altars would unnumber'd blaze, 

And barb'rous nations at her holy shrine 

Be" humaniz'd and taught her lore divine. 

Her spreading honours thus the one inspir'd. 

And one the dread to lose his worship fir'd. 

Their struggling factions shook th* Olympian state 

With all the clam'rous tempest of debate. 

Thus, when the storm with sudden gust invades 

The ancient forest's deep and lofty shades, 

The bursting whirlwinds tear their rapid course. 

The shatter'd oaks crash, and with echoes hoarse 

The mountains groan, while whirling on the blast 

The thick'ning leaves a gloomy darkness cast ; 

Such was the tumult in the blest abodes, 

When Mars, high tow'ring o'er the rival gods, 

Stepp'd forth : stem sparkles from his eye-balls glanc'd, 

And now, before the throne of Jove advanc'd. 

O'er his left shoulder his broad shield he throws, 

And lifts his helm ^ above his dreadful brows : 

Bold and enrag'd he stands, and, frowning round. 

Strikes his tall spear-sta:E on the sounding ground ; 

Heav'n trembled, and the light tum'd pale * — such dread 

His fierce demeanour o'er Olympus spread — 

When thus the warrior: " O Eternal Sire, 

Thine is the sceptre, thine the thunder's fire. 

Supreme dominion thine ; then. Father, hear. 

Shall that bold race which once to thee was dear. 

Who, now fulfilling thy decrees of old. 

Through these wild waves their fearless journey hold. 

Shall that bold race no more thy care engage. 

But sink the victims of unhallow'd rage f 

Did Bacchus yield to Reason's voice divine, 

Bacchus the cause of Lusus' sons would ioin, 

Lusus, the lov'd companion of his cares, 

His earthly toHs, his dangers, and his wars : 

* i.e. helmet. 
hJ^'^^^l^A^K^^^^L*'"'^'^ i>aZe.-The thought in the original 

Oceo tremeo, e ApoUo detorvado 
Sum patico a luz perdeo, corno ivfiado. 

l] the lusiad. 13 

But envy still a foe to worth, will prove, 

To worth, though guarded by the arm of Joy^. 

" Then thou, dread Lord of Fate, unmov'd remain, 
Nor let weak change thine awful counsels stain. 
For Lusus' race thy promis'd favour show : 
Swift as the arrow from Apollo's bow 
Let Maia*s ^ son explore the wat'ry way. 
Where, spent with toil, with weary hopes, they stray ; 
And safe to harbour, through the deep untried. 
Let him, empowered, their wand'ring vessels guide ; 
There let them hear of India's wish'd-for shore, 
And balmy rest their fainting strength restore." 

He spoke : high Jove assenting bow'd the head, 
And floating clouds of nectar'd fragrance shed : 
Then, lowly bending to th' Eternal Sire, 
Each in his duteous rank, the gods retire. 

Whilst thus in heaven's bright palace fate was weigh'd 
Right onward still the brave Ajnnada strayed : 
Right on they steer by Ethiopia's strand 
And pastoral Madagascar's * verdant land. 
Before the balmy gales of cheerful spring. 
With heav'n their friend, they spread the canvas wing , 
The sky cerulean, and the breathing air, 
The lasting promise of a calm declare. 
Behind them now the Cape of Praso ' bends. 
Another ocean to their view extends. 
Where black-topp'd islands, to their longing eyes, 
Lav'd by the gentle waves,* in prospect rise. 

* Mercury, the mesBenger of the gods. — Ed, 

* And pastoral Madagascar, — Called by the ancient geographers, 
Menuthia and Cema Ethiopica ; by the natives, the Island of the 
Moon ; and by the Portuguesie, the Isle of St. Laurence, on whose 
festival they discovered it. 

* Praso. — Name of a promontory near the Red Sea. — Ed. 

* Lav*d by the gentle waves. — The original says, the sea showed 
them new islands, which it encircled and laved. Thus rendered by 
JFanshaw — 

Neptune di8clo8*d new isles which he did play 
About, and with his billows danoH the hay. 

14 THE LXJSIAD. [book i. 

But Gama (captain of tlie vent'rous band, 

Of bold emprize, and bom for high command, 

Whose martial fires, with prudence close allied, 

Ensur'd the smiles of fortune on his side) 

Bears off those shores which waste and wild appeared, 

And eastward still for happier climates steer'd : 

When gathering round, and black'ning o'er the tide, 

A fleet of small canoes the pilot spied ; 

Hoisting their sails of palm-tree leaves, inwove 

With curious art, a swarming crowd they move : 

Long were their boats, and sharp to bound along 

Through the dash'd waters, broad their oars and strong : 

The bending rowers on their features bore 

The swarthy marks of Phaeton's ^ fall of yore : 

When flaming lightnings scorch'd the banks of Po, 

And nations blacken'd in the dread o'erthrow. 

Their garb, discover'd as approaching nigh, 

Was cotton strip'd with many a gaudy dye : 

'Twas one whole piece beneath one arm confin'd. 

The rest hung loose and flutter'd on the wind ; 

All, but one breast, above the loins was bare, 

And swelling turbans bound their jetty hair : 

Their arms were bearded darts and faulchions broad. 

And warlike music sounded as they row'd. 

With joy the sailors saw the boats draw near, 

With joy beheld the human face appear : 

What nations these, their wond'ring thoughts explore. 

What rites they follow, and what Grod adore ! 

And now with hands and 'kerchiefs wav'd in air 

The barb'rous race their friendly mind declare. 

Glad were the crew, and ween'd that happy day 

Should end their dangers and their toils repay. 

* The historical foundation of the fable of Phaeton is this. Phae- 
ton was a young enterprising prince of Libya. Crossing the Medi- 
terranean in quest of adventures, he landed at Epirus, from whence 
he went to Italy to see his intimate friend Cygnus. Phaeton was 
skilled in astrology, from whence he arrogated to himself the title 
of the son of Apollo. One day in the heat of summer, as he was 
riding along the banks of the Po, his horses took fright at a clap of 
thunder, and plunged into the river, where, together with their master, 
they perished. Cygnus, who was a poet, celebrated the death of his 
friend in verse, from whence the fable.— -Vid. Plutarch, in Vit. Pyrr. 


The lofiy masts ilie nimble youths ascend, 

The ropes thej hanj, and o'er the yard-arms bend ; 

And now their bowsprits pointing to the shore, 

(A safe moon'd bay), with slackened sails they bore : 

W ith cheerful shouts they furl the gather'd sail 

That less and less flaps quiv'ring on the gale ; 

The prows, their speed stopp'd, o'er the surges nod. 

The falling anchors dash the foaming flood ; 

When, sudden as they stopp'd, the swarthy race, 

With smiles of friendly welcome on each face. 

The ship's high sides swift by the cordage climb: 

Illustrious Gama, with an air sublime, 

Soften'd by mild humanity, receives. 

And to their chief the hand of friendship gives, 

Bids spread the board, and, instant as he said. 

Along the deck the festive board is spread : 

The sparkling wine in crystal goblets glows, 

And round and roxmd with cheerful welcome flows. 

While thus the vine its sprightly glee inspires. 

From whence the fleet, the swarthy chief enquires, 

What seas they past, what 'vantage would attain, , 

And what the shore their purpose hop'd to gain ? 

" From farthest west," the Lusian race reply, 

** To reach the golden Eastern shores we try. 

Through that unbounded sea whose billows roll 

From the cold northern to the southern pole ; 

And by the wide extent, the dreary vast 

Of Afric's bays, already have we past ; 

And many a sky have seen, and many a shore. 

Where but sea monsters cut the waves before. 

To spread the glories of our monarch's reign, 

For India's shore we brave the trackless main. 

Our glorious toil, and at his nod would brave 

The dismal gulfs of Acheron's ^ black wave. 

And now, in turn, your race, your country tell. 

If on your lips fair truth delights to dwell 

To us, unconscious of the falsehood, show 

What of these seas and India's site you know." 

» Acheron,— *I!he river of Hades, or helL— ^. 

16 THE LUSIAD. [book i. 

" Eude are tlie natives here," the Moor replied ; 
" Dark are their minds, and brute-desire their guide : 
But we, of alien blood, and strangers here. 
Nor hold their customs nor their laws revere. 
From Abram's race our holy prophet sprung,^ 
An angel taught, and heaven inspir'd his tongue ; 
Hi a sacred rites and mandates we obey. 
And distant empires own his holy sway. 
From isle to isle our trading vessels roam, 
Mozambique's harbour our commodious home. 
If then your sails for India's shore expand, 
For sultry Gunges or Hydaspes' ' strand. 
Here shall you find a pilot skill'd to guide 
Through all the dangers of the perilous tide. 
Though wide-spread shelves, and cruel rocks xmseen, 
Lurk in the way, and whirlpools rage between. 
Accept, meanwhile, what fruits these islands hold. 
And to the regent let your wish be told. 
Then may your mates the needful stores provide, 
And all your various wants be here supplied." 
• ■ 

So spake the Moor, and bearing smiles untrue 
And signs of friendship, with his bands withdrew. 
O'erpower'd with joy unhop'd the sailors stood, 
To find such kindness on a shore so rude. 

Now shooting o'er the flood his fervid blaze. 
The red-brow'd sun withdraws his beamy rays ; 
Safe in the bay the crew forget their cares. 
And peaceful rest their wearied strength repairs. 
Calm twilight now ' his drowsy mantle spreads. 
And shade on shade, the gloom still deep'ning, sheds. 

* From Abram*8 race our holy 'prophet sprung. — Mohammed, who 
was descended from Ishmael, the son of Abraham by Hagar. 

• The Hydaspes was a tributary of the river Indus. — Ed, 

' Calm twilight now, — Camoens, in this passage, has imitated 

Homer in the manner of Virgil : by diversifyiiiig the scene he has 

made the description his own. The passage alluded to is in the 
eighth Iliad — 

Xls $* 5t* iv ohpavto ll(rrpa ^actv^y i^upii (r€\rivr}v 
^^cuvcT* a^nrpcir^a, etc. 



The moon, fnll orb'd, forsakes her wat'iy cave, 

And lifts her lovelj head above the wave. 

The snowy splendours of her modest raj 

Stream o'er the glist'ning waves, and quiv'ring plaj : 

Around her, glitt*ring on the heaven's arch'd brow, 

Uminmber'd stars, enclos'd in aznre, glow, 

Thick as the dew-drops of the April dawn. 

Or May-flowers crowding o'er the daisy-lawn : 

The canvas whitens in the silvery beam, 

And with a mild pale red the pendants gleam : 

The masts' tall shadows tremble o'er the deep ; 

The peaceful winds a holy silence keep ; 

The watchman's carol, echo'd from the prows, 

Alone, at times, awakes the still repose. 

Aurora now, with dewy lustre bright. 
Appears, ascending on the rear of night. 
With gentle hand, as seeming oft to pause. 
The purple curtains of the mom she draws ; 
The sun comes forth, and soon the joyful crew, 
Each aiding each, their joyful tasks pursue. 
Wide o'er the decks the spreading sails they throw ; 
From each tall mast the waving streamers flow ; 
All seems a festive holiday on board • 

To welcome to the fleet the island's lord. 
With equal joy the regent sails to meet, 
Ajid brings fresh cates, his ofE'rings, to the fleet : 
For of his kindred race their line he deems, 
That savage race ^ who rush'd from Caspia's streams. 

Thus elegantly translated by Pope : — 

Aa when the moon, refulgent lamp of night, 
(fer heaven*8 clear azure spreads her sacred light, 
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene. 
And not a cUmd overcasts the solemn scene ; 
Around her throne the vivid planets roll. 
And stars unnumbered gild me glowing pole, 
(yer the dark trees a yellower verdure shed. 
And tip with silver every mountain's head ; 
Then shine the vales^ the rocks in prospect rise, 
A flood of glory bursts from aU the skies : 
The conscious swains^ rejoicing in the sight. 
Eye the blue vault, and bless Uie useful light, 

> The Turks, or Osmanli Turcomans. — Ed, 

18 THE LUSIAD. [book i. 

And trinmpli'd o'er tlie East, and, Asia won, 

In proud Byzantium ^ fix'd their haugMy throne. 

Brave Vasoo hails the chief with honest smiles, 

And gift for gift with liberal hand he piles. 

His gifts, the boast of Europe's heart disclose. 

And sparkling red the wine of Tagus flows. 

High on the shrouds the wond'ring sailors hung. 

To note the Moorish garb, and barb'rous tongue : 

Nor less the subtle Moor, with wonder fir'd, 

Their mien, their dress, and lordly ships admir'd : 

Much he enquires their king's, their country's name, 

And, if from Turkey's fertile shores they came ? 

What Grod they worshipp'd, what their sacred lore. 

What arms they wielded, and what armour wore ? 

To whom brave GtAMA : " Nor of Hagar's blood 

Am I, nor plough from Ismael's shores the flood ; 

From Europe's strand I trace the foamy way. 

To find the regions of the infant day. 

The God we worship stretch'd yon heaven's high bow, 

And gave these swelling waves to roll below ; 

The hemispheres of night and day He spread. 

He scoop'd each vale, and rear'd each mountain's head ; 

His Word produc'd the nations of the earth,* 

And g&yS the spirits of the sky their birth ; 

On earth, by Him, his holy lore was given. 

On earth He came to raise mankind to heaven. 

And now behold, what most your eyes desire, 

Our shining armour, and our arms of fire ; 

For who has once in friendly peace beheld. 

Will dread to meet them on the battle field." 

Straight as he spoke * the warlike stores display 'd 
Their glorious show, where, tire on tire inlaid, 

* Constantinople. 

* Straight as he spoke. — The description of the armoury, and the 
account which Vasco de Gama gives of his religion, consists, in the 
original, of thirty-two lines, which ^. Castera has reduced into the 
following sentence : Leur Governeur fait differentes questions au Capi' 
taine, qui pour le satis/aire lui explique en peu des mots la Religion que 
les Fortugais suivent, Vusage des armes dont ils se servent dans la 
guerre^ et le dessein qui les amene. 

BOOK l] the lusud. 19 

Appear'd of gliti'ring steel the carabines, 
There the pltun'd helms,^ and pond*rons brigandines ;' 
O'er the broad buckleTS scnlptnr'd orbs emboss'd 
The crooked faxdchions, dreadful blades were cross'd : 
Here clasping greaves, and plated mail-qnilts strong ; 
The long-bows here, and rattling quivers hung. 
And. like a grove the bumish'd spears were seen. 
With darts and halberts double-edged between ; 
Here dread grenadoes and tremendous bombs. 
With deaths ten thousand lurking in their wombs, 
And far around, of brown and dusky red. 
The pointed piles of iron balls were spread. 
The bombardiers, now to the regent's view 
The thund'ring mortars and the cannon drew ; 
Yet, at their leader's nod, the sons of flame 
(For brave and gen'rous ever are the same) 
Withheld their hands, nor gave the seeds of fire 
To rouse the thunders of the dreadful tire. 
For Gama's soul disdain'd the pride of show 
WTiich acts the lion o'er the trembling roe. 

His joy and wonder oft the Moor express'd, 
But rankling hate lay brooding in his breast ; 
With smiles ^obedient to his will's control. 
He veils the purpose of his treach'rous soul : 
For pilots, conscious of the Indian strand. 
Brave Yasco sues, and bids the Moor command 
What bounteous gifts shall recompense their toils ; 
The Moor prevents him with assenting smiles, 
Ercsolved that deeds of death, not words of air. 
Shall first the hatred of his soul declare ; 
Such sudden rage his rankling mind possess'd. 
When Gama's lips Messiah's name confessed. " 

' i.e., helmets. * CJoats of mail. 

• When 6ama*8 lips MessialCs name confessed. — This, and the reason 
of the Moor's hate, is entirely omitted by Castera. The original 
is, the Moor conceived hatred, "knowing they "were foUowers of 
the truth which the Son of David taught." Thus rendered by 
Fanshaw : — 

Knovjing they follow that unerring light. 
The Son of David holds out in his Book. 

Zacocia (governor of Mozambique) made no doubt but our people 

20 THE LUSIAD. [book L 

Oh depth of Heaven's dread will, that ranc'rous hate 
On Heaven's best lov'd in ev'ry clime shonld wait ! 
Now, smiling ronnd on all the wond'ring crew 
The Moor, attended by his bands, withdrew ; 
His nimble barges soon apprbach'd the land, 
And shonts of joy receiv'd him on the strand. 

From heaven's high dome the vintage-god ^ beheld 
(Whom nine long months his father's thigh conceal'd) ; * 
Well pleas'd he mark'd the Moor's determin'd hate 
And thns his mind revolv'd in self -debate : — 

" Has Heaven, indeed, snch glorions lot ordiain'd. 
By Lnsus' race such conquests to be gain'd 
O'er warlike nations, and on India's shore, 
Where I, unrivall'd, claim'd the palm before ? 
I, sprung from Jove! And shall these wand'ring few, 
• What Ammon's son ^ unconquer'd left, subdue 
Ammon's brave son who led the god of war 
His slave auxiliar at his thund'ring car ? 
Must these possess what Jove to him denied, 
Possess what never sooth'd the Roman pride ? 
Must these the victor's lordly flag display 
With hateful blaze beneath the rising day. 
My name dishonour'd, and my victories stain'd, 
O'ertum'd my altars, and my shrines profan'd ? 
No ; be it mine to fan the Regent's hate ; 
Occasion seiz'd commands the action's fate. 
'Tis mine — this captain, now my dread no more. 
Shall never shake his spear on India's shore." 

were of some Mohammedan country. The mutual exchange of good 
offices between our people and these islanders promised a long con- 
tinuance of friendship, but it proved otherwise. No sooner did 
Zacocia understand they were Christians, than all his kindness was 
turned into the most bitter hatred ; he began to meditate their ruin, 
and sought to destroy the fleet. — Osobio, Bp. of Sylves, Hist, of the 
Portug. Discov. 

* Bacchus, god of wine. 

' Whom nine long months his father's thigh conceaVd. — Bacchus was 
nourished during his infancy in a cave of mount Meros, which in 
Greek signifies a thigh. Hence the fable. 

* Alexander the Great, who on visiting the temple of Jupiter 
Ammon, was hailed as son of that deity by his priests. — Ed, 

BOOK l] the lusiad. 21 

So spake tlie Power,^ and with the lightning's flight 
For Afcric darted thro* the fields of light. 
His form divine he cloth'd in human shape, ' 
And msh'd impetuons o'er the rocky cape : 
In the dark semblance of a Moor he came 
For art and old experience known to fame : 
Him all his peers with hnmble deference heard, 
And all Mozambique and its prince rever*d : 
The prince in haste he sought, and thus exprcss'd 
His guileful hate in friendly counsel dress*d : 

" And to the regent of this isle alone 
Are these adventurers and their fraud unknown ? 
Has Fame conceal'd their rapine from his ear ? 
Nor brought the groans of plundered nations here ? 
Yet still their hands the peaceful olive bore 
Whene'er they anchor'd on a foreign shore : 
But nor their seaming nor their oaths I trust, 
For Afric knows them bloody and unjust. 
The nations sink beneath their lawless force, 
And fire and l^lood have mark'd their deadly course. 
We too, unless kind Heav'n and thou prevent, 
Must fall the victims of their dire intent, 
And, gasping in the pangs of death, behold 
Our wives led captive, and our daughters sold. 
By stealth they come, ere morrow dawn, to bring 
The healthful bev'rage from the living spring : 
Arm'd with his troops the captain wiU appear ; 
For conscious fraud is ever prone to fear. 
To meet them there select a trusty band, 
And, in close ambush, take thy silent stand ; 
There wait, and sudden on the heedless foe 
Rush, and destroy them ere they dread the blow. 
Or say, should some escape the secret snare, 
Saved by their fate, their valour, or their care, 
Yet their dread fall shall celebrate our isle, 
If Fate consent, and thou approve the guile. 

' Bacchus. 

* His form divine he clothed in human shape — 

Alecto torvamfaciem etfurialia memhra 
JExuit : in vtHtus sese transformat aniles, 
M/rontem dbscasnum rugis arat YiB. ^n. vii. 

22 THE LUSIAD. [book t 

Give then a pilot to their wand'ring fleet, 

Bold in his art, and tutor'd in deceit ; 

Whose hand advent'rons shall their helms misguide, 

To hostile shores, or whelm them in the tide." 

So spoke the god, in semblance of a sage 
Renowned for counsel and the craft of age. 
The prince with transport glowing in his face 
Approved, and caught him in a kmd embrace : 
And instant at the word his bands prepare 
Their bearded darts and implements of war. 
That Lusus' sons might purple with their gore 
The crystal fountain which they sought on shore : 
And, still regardful of his dire intent, 
A skilful pilot to the bay he sent. 
Of honest mien, yet practised in deceit. 
Who far at distance on the beach should wait, 
And to the 'scaped, if some should 'scape the snare 
Should ofEer friendship and the pilot's care, 
But when afc sea, on rocks should dash their pride. 
And whelm their lofty vanes beneath the tide, 

Apollo ^ now had left his wat'ry bed. 
And o'er the mountains of Arabia spread 
His rays that glow'd with gold ; when GtAMA rose, 
And from his bands a trusty squadron chose : 
Three speedy barges brought their casks to fill 
From gurgling fountain, or the crystal rill : 
Full arm'd they came, for brave defence prepar*d. 
For martial care is ever on the guard : 
And secret warnings ever are imprest 
On wisdom such as wak'd in GtAMa's breast. 

And now, as swiftly springing o'er the tide 
Advanc'd the boats, a troop of Moors they spied ; 
O'er the pale sands the sable warriors crowd, 
And toss their threat'ning darts, and shout aloud. 

* To be identified with the Sun, in the opinion of later mytholo- 
gists ; but not so in Homer, with whom Helios (the Sun) is himself 
a deity. — Ed, 


Yet seeming artless, tliongli they dar'd the fight, 

Their eager hope they plac'd in artful flight, 

To lead brave Gaha where, nnseen by day. 

In dark-brow'd shades their silent ambnsh lay. 

With scomfnl gestures o'er the beach they stride, 

And push their levell'd spears with barb'rous pride, 

Then fix the arrow to the bended bow. 

And strike their sounding shields, and dare the foe. 

With gen'rous rage the Lusian race beheld. 

And each brave l^east with indignation swell'd. 

To view such foes, like snarling dogs, display 

Their threat'ning tusks, and brave the sanguine fray : 

Together with a bound they spring to land. 

Unknown whose step first trod the hostile strand. 

Thus, when to gain his beauteous charmer's smile, 
The youthful lover dares the bloody toil,^ 
Before the nodding bull's stem front he stands, 
He leaps, he wheels, he shouts, and waves his hands : 
The lordly brute disdains the stripling's rage. 
His nostrils smoke, and, eager to engage, 
His homed brows he levels with the ground. 
And shuts his flaming eyes, and wheeling round 
With dreadful bellowing rushes on the foe. 
And lays the boastful gaudy champion low. 
Thus to the sight the sons of Lusus sprung. 
Nor slow to fall their ample vengeance hung : 
With sudden roar the carabines resound, 
And bursting echoes from the hills rebound ; 
The lead flies hissing through the trembling air, 
And death's fell dsemons through the flashes glare. 
Where, up the land, a grove of palms enclose. 
And cast their shadows where the fountain flows, 
The lurking ambush from their treach'rous stand 
Beheld the combat burning on the strand : 

^ 0[%u8y when to gain his heauteotis charmer*8 smile, 
The youthful lover dares the bloody toil. 

This simile is taken from a favourite exercise in Spain, where it is 
usual to see young gentlemen of the best families entering the lists 
to fight with a bull, adorned with ribbons, and armed with a javelin 
or knid of cutlass, which the Spaniards call Machete, 

24 THE LUSIAD. [book i. 

They see the flash with sudden lightnings flare, 

And the bine smoke slow rolling on the air : - 

They see their warriors drop, and starting hear 

The lingering thnnders bursting on their ear. 

Amaz'd, appall'd, the treach'rons ambnsh fled, 

And rag'd,^ and enrs'd their birth, and qnak'd with dread. 

The bands that vaunting showed their threatened might, 

With slaughter gor'd, precipitate in flight ; 

Yet oft, though trembling, on the foe they turn 

Their eyes that red with lust of vengeance bum : 

Aghast with fear, and stem with desperate rage 

The flying war with dreadful howls they wage, 

Flints, clods, and javelins hurling as they fly. 

As rage * and wild despair their hands supply : 

And, soon dispersed, their bands attempt no more 

To guard the fountain or defend the shore : 

O'er the wide lawns no more their troops appear : 

Nor sleeps the vengeance of the victor here ; 

To teach the nations what tremendous fate 

From his right arm on perjur'd vows should wait, 

He seized the time to awe the Eastern world. 

And on the breach of faith his thunders hurl'd. 

From his hlack ships the sudden^ lightnings blaze, 

And o^er old Ocean flash their dreadful rays : 

White clouds on clouds inrolVd the smohe ascends, 

The bursting tv/mult hea/oen^s wide concave rends : 

The bays and caverns of the winding shore 

Bejpeat the cannon's and the mortar's roar : 

* e maldizia 

velho inerte^ e a mdy^ que a fiXko cria. 

Thus translated by Fanshaw — 

curst their iU luck, 

TW old Devil and the Dam that gave them suclc, 

* Flints, clods, and javelins hurling as they fly. 
As rage, &o. — 

Jamque faces et saxa volant, furor arma ministrat. 

ViRQ. Mn, i. 

The Spanish commentator on this place relates a very extraordi- 
nary instance of the furor arma ministrans. A Portuguese soldier at 
the siege of Diu in the Indies, being surrounded by the enemy, and 
haTipg no ball to charge his musket, pulled out one of his teeth, and 
with it supplied the place of a bullet. 


The homhsy far-flarnvng, hiss along the sJey, 
Andj whvrrmg through the air, the bullets fly ; 
The wounded air, with hollow deafened sound, 
Groans to the direful strife, and trembles round. 

Now from the Moorish town the sheets of fire. 
Wide blaae succeeding blaze, to heaven aspire. 
Black rise the clouds of smoke, and by the gales 
Borne down, in streams hamg hov*ring d^er the vales ; 
And slowly floaivng round the mowntain^s head 
Thevr pitchy mantle o'er the landscape spread, 
Tlrmvmber d seor-f owl. rising from the shore. 
Beat rovmd in whirls ai every cannorCs roar; 
Where o'er the smoke the m^asts* tall heads appear. 
Hovering they screa/m, then dart with sudden fear ; 
On trembling wings far round and round they fly. 
And fill with dismal clwng their native sky. 
Thus fled in rout confused the treachWous Moors 
From field tofield,^ then, hast'nmg to the shores, 
Some trast in boats their wealth and lives to save, 
And, wild with dread, they plunge into the wave ; 
Some spread their arms to swim, and some beneath 
The whelming billows, struggling, pant for breath. 
Then whirrd aloft their nostrils spont the brine ; 
While show'ring still from many a carabine 
The leaden hail their sails and vessels tore. 
Till, straggling hard, they reached the neighboring shore : 
Due vengeance thus their perfidy repaid. 
And G-ama's terrors to the East displayed. 

Imbrown'd with dust a beaten pathway shows 
Where 'midst umbrageous palms the fount-ain flows ; 
From thence, at will, they bear the hquid health ; 
And now, sole masters of the island's wealth, 
With costly spoils and eastern robes adom'd, 
The joyful victors to the fleet retum'd. 

With hell's keen fires still for revenge athirst 
The regent burns, and weens, by fraud accurst, 

* The italics indicate that there is nothing in the original corre- 
sponding to these lines. — JEd, 

26 THE LTJSIAD. [book L 

To strike a surer yet a secret blow, 

And in one general death to whelm the foe. 

The promised pilot to the fleet he sends 

And deep repentance for his crime pretends. 

Sincere the herald seems, and while he speaks, 

The winning tears steal down his hoary cheeks. 

Brave Gama, tonch'd with gen'rous woe, believes. 

And from his hand the pilot's hand receives : 

A dreadful gift ! instructed to decoy, 

In gulfs to whelm them, or on rocks destroy. 

The valiant chief, impatient of delay, 
For India now resumes the wat'ry way ; 
Bids weigh the anchor and unfurl the sail. 
Spread full the canvas to the rising gale. 
He spoke : and proudly o'er the foaming tide, 
Borne on the wind, the full-wing'd vessels ride ; 
While as they rode before the bounding prows 
The lovely forms of sea-bom nymphs arose. 
The while brave Yasco's unsuspecting mind 
Yet fear'd not ought the crafty Moor designed : 
Much of the coast he asks, and much demands 
Of Afric's shores and India's spicy lands. 
The crafty Moor by vengeful Bacchus taught 
Employ'd on deadly guile his baneful thought ; 
In his dfirk mind he plann'd, on Gama's head 
Full to revenge Mozambique and the dead. 
Yet all the chief demanded he reveal'd, 
Nor aught of truth, that truth he knew, conceal' 
For thus he ween'd to gain his easy faith. 
And gain'd, betray to slavery or death. 
And now, securely trusting to destroy. 
As erst false Sinon^ snar'd the sons of Troy, 
" Behold, disclosing from the sky," he cries, 
" Far to the north, yon cloud-like isle arise : 
From ancient times the natives of the shore 
The blood-stain'd image on the cross adore." 
Swift at the word, the joyful Gama cried : 
"For that fair island turn the helm aside ; 

» See Virgil's Mneid, bk. ii.— JSa, 


bring my vessels where the Christiana dwell, 
And thy glad lips my gratitude shall tell." 
With sullen joy the treach'rous Moor complied, 
And for that island tnrn'd the helm aside. 
For well Qniloa's ^ swarthy race he knew, 
Their laws and faith to Hagar's offspring true ; 
Their strength in war, through all the nations round, 
Above Mozambique and her powers renown'd ; 
He knew what hate the Christian name they bore. 
And hop'd that hate on Vasco's bands to pour. 

B*ight to the land the faithless pilot steers, 
Bight to the land the glad Armada bears ; 
But heavenly Love's fair queen,^ whose watchful care 
£[ad ever been their guide, beheld the snare. 
A sudden storm she rais'd : loud howl'd the blast, 
The yard-arms rattled, and each groaning mast 
Bended beneath the weight. Deep sunk the prows, 
Aoid creaking ropes the creaking ropes oppose ; 
In vain the pilot would the speed restrain, 
The captain shouts, the sailors toil in vain ; 

* Quilqa is an island, with a town of the same name, on the east 
coast of Africa. — Ed. 

* But heavenly Love*8 fair queen. — ^When Gama arrived in the 
East, the Moors were the only people who engrossed the trade of those 
parts. Jealous of such formidable rivals as the Portuguese, they 
employed every artifice to accomplish the destruction of Gama's fleet. 
As the Moors were acquainted with these seas and spoke the Arabic 
language, Gama was obliged to employ them both as pilots and inter- 
preters. The circumstance now mentioned by Camoens is an histo- 
rical fact. *' The Moorish pilot," says De Barros, " intended to conduct 
the Portuguese into Quiloa, telling them that place was inhabited by 
Christians ; but a sudden storm arising, drove the fleet from that 
shore, where death or slavery would have been the certain fate of 
Gama and his companions. The villainy of the pilot was afterwards 
discovered. As Gama was endeavouring to enter the port of Mom- 
baz his ship struck on a sand-bank, and finding their purpose of 
bringing him into the harbour defeated, two of the Moorish pilots 
leaped into the sea and swam ashore. Alarmed at this tacit acknow- 
ledgment of guilt, Gama ordered two other Moorish pilots who 
remained on board to be examined by whipping, who, after some 
time, made a full confession of their intended villainy. This discovery 
greatly encouraged Gama and his men, who now interpreted the 
sudden storm which had driven them from Quiloa as a miraculous 
interposition of Divine Providence in their favour. 

28 THE LUSIAD. [book l 

Aslope and gliding on the leeward side, 
The bonnding vessels cut the roaring tide : 
Soon far they pass'd ; and now the slacken'd sail 
Trembles and bellies to the gentle gale : 
Now many a league before the tempest toss'd 
The treacherous pilot sees his purpose cross'd : 
Yet vengeful still, and still intent on guile, 
Behold, he cries, yon dim emerging isle : 
There live the votaries of Messiah's lore 
In faithful peace, and friendship with the Moor. 
Yet all was false, for there Messiah's name. 
Reviled and scom'd, was only known by fame. 
The grovelling nafives there, a brutal herd, 
The sensual lore of Hagar's son ^ pref errM. 
With joy brave G-ama hears the artful tale. 
Bears to the harbour, and bids furl the sail. 
Yet, watchful still, fair Love's celestial queen 
Prevents the danger with a hand unseen ; 
Now past the bar his vent'rous vessel guides, 
And safe at anchor in the road he rides. 

Between the isle and Ethiopia's land 
A narrow current laves each adverse strand ; 
Close by the margin where the green tide flows. 
Full to the bay a lordly city rose ; 
With fervid blaze the glowing evening pours 
Its purple splendours o'er the lofty towers ; 
The lofty towers with milder lustre gleam, 
And gently tremble in the glassy stream. 
Here reign'd a hoary king of ancient fame ; 
Mombas the town, Mombas the island's name. 

As when the pilgrim, who with weary pace 
Thro' lonely wastes untrod by human race, 
For many a day disconsolate has stray'd. 
The turf his bed, the wild-wood boughs his shade, 
O'erjoy'd beholds the cheerful seats of men 
In grateful prospect rising on his ken : 
So Gama joy'd, who many a dreary day 
Had traced the vast, the lonesome, wat'ry way, 

1 t.6. Mohammed. — Ed, 


Had seen new stars, nnknown to Europe, rise. 
And bray'd the horrors of the polar skies : 
So joy'd his bounding heart when, proudly rear'd. 
The splendid city o'er the wave appeared. 
Where Heaven's own lore, he trusted, was obey'd, 
And Holy Faith her sacred rites display'd. 
And now, swift crowding through the homed bay. 
The Moorish barges wing'd their foamy way. 
To Gaha's fleet with friendly smiles they bore 
The choicest products of their cultur'd shore. 
But there fell rancour veil'd its serpent-head, 
Though festive roses o'er the gifts were spread. 
For Bacchus, veil'd in human shape, was here. 
And pour'd his counsel in the sov'reign's ear. 

O piteous lot of man's uncertain state ! 
What woes on Life's unhappy journey wait ! 
When joyful Hope would grasp its fond desire. 
The long-sought transports in the grasp expire. 
By sea what treach'rous calms, what rushing storms. 
And death attendant in a thousand forms ! 
By land what strife, what plots of secret guile. 
How many a woxind from many a treach'rous smile ! 
Oh where shall man escape his num'rous foes, 
And rest his weary head in safe repose ! 


30 THE LUSIAD. [book IL 



Arrival of the expedition at Mombas. Bacchus plots their de- 
struction by new artifices. They are deceived into the belief that the 
natives are, like themselves, Christians : Bacchus assumes the charac- 
ter of a priest, and worships the god of the Christians. At the invitation 
of the king of Mombas, Gama enters the port, and reaches the place 
intended for his destruction. Venus, aided by the Nereids, effects 
their deliverance ; and Gama sails away, fearing treachery. Venus 
hastens to Olympus to seek Jove's aid. Jupiter assures her of the 
future glory of the Portuguese, and commands Mercury to conduct 
the expedition to Melinda. The king of Melinda asks from Gau a an 
historical account of his nation. 

THE fervent Instre of the evening ray 
Behind the western hills now died away, 
And night, ascending from the dim-brow 'd east. 
The twBight gloom with deeper shades increased, 
When G-AMA heard the creakmg of the oar, 
And mark'd the white waves length'ning from the shore. 
In many a skiff the eager natives came, 
Their semblance friendship, but deceit their aim. 
And now by Gama's anchored ships they ride. 
And " Hail, illustrious chief ! " their leader cried, 
" Your fame already these our regions own, 
How yonr bold prows from worlds to us unknown 
Have brav'd the horrors of the southern main. 
Where storms and darkness hold their endless reign, 
Whose whelmy waves our westward prows have barr'd 
From oldest times, and ne'er before were dar'd 

Booxn.] THE LUSIAD. 31 

By boldest leader : earnest to behold 

The wondrous hero of a toil so bold. 

To yon the sovereign of these islands sends 

The holy vows of peace, and hails yon friends. 

If friendship yon accept, whatever kind Heaven 

In varions bounty to these shores has given, 

Whate'er your wants, your wants shall here supply, 

And safe in port your gallant fleet shall lie ; 

S^e from the dangers of the &tithless tide, 

-Aiid sudden bursting storms, by you untried ; 

Yours every bounty of the fertile shore. 

Till bahny rest your wearied strength restore. 

Or, if your toils and ardent hopes demand 

The various treasures of the Indian strand, 

The fragrant cinnamon, the glowing clove, 

And all the riches of the spicy grove ; 

Or drugs of power the fever's rage to bound, 

And give soft languor to the smarting wound ; 

Or, if the splendour of the diamond's rays. 

The sapphire's azure, or the ruby's blaze, 

Invite your sails to search the Eastern world. 

Here may these sails in happy hour be furl'd : 

For here the splendid treasures of the mine, 

And richest offspring of the field combine 

To give each boon that human want requires, 

And every gem that lofty pride desires ; 

Then here, a potent Idng your gen'rous friend, 

Here let your perilous toils and wandering searches * end." 

He said : brave Gama smiles with heart sincere, 
And prays the herald to the king to bear 
The thanks of grateful joy : " But now," he cries, 
" The black'ning evening veils the coast and skies. 
And thro' these rocks unknown forbids to steer ; 
Yet, when the streaks of milky dawn appear, 
Edging the eastern wave with silver hoar. 
My ready prows shall gladly point to shore ; 

* After Gama had been driven from Quiloa by a sudden storm, 
the assurances of the Mozambique pilot, that the city was chiefly 
inhabited by Christians, strongly inclined him to enter the harbour 
of Mombas. 

32 THE LUSIAD. [book u. 

Asstir'd of friendship, and a kind retreat, 

Assnr'd and proffer'd by a ting so great." 

Yet, mindful still of what his hopes had cheer'd, 

That here his nation's holy shrines were rear'd, 

He asks, if certain, as the pilot told, 

Messiah's lore had flonrish'd there of old, 

And floorish'd still. The herald mark'd with joy 

The pious wish, and, watchful to decoy, 

" Messiah here," he cries, " has altars more 

Than all the various shrines of other lore." 

O'erjoy'd, brave Yasco heard the pleasing tale, 

Yet f ear'd that fraud its viper-sting might veil 

Beneath the glitter of a show so fair. 

He half believes the tale, and arms against the snare. 

With Gama sail'd a bold advent'rous band,^ 
Whose headlong rage had urg'd the guilty hand : 
Stem Justice for their crimes had ask'd their blood, 
And pale, in chains condemned to death, they stood ; 
But, sav'd by Gama from the shameful death. 
The bread of peace had seal'd their plighted faith ^ 
The desolate coast, when order'd, to explore, 
And dare each danger of the hostile shore : 
From this bold band he chose the subtlest two, 
The port, the city, and its strength to view, 

* "There were," says Osorius, "ten men in the fleet nnder sen- 
tence of death, whose lives had been spared on condition that, wher- 
ever they might be landed, they should explore the country and make 
themselves acquainted with the manners and laws of the people." 

During the reign of Emmanuel, and his predecessor John II., 
few criminals were executed in Portugal. These great and political 
princes employed the lives which were forfeited to the public in 
the most dangerous undertakings of public utility. In their foreign 
expeditions the condemned criminals were sent upon the most hazar- 
dous undertakings. If death was their fate, it was the punishment 
they had merited : if successful in what was required, their crimes 
were expiated; and often they rendered their country the greate^ 
atonement for their guilt which men in their circumstances could 
possibly make. What multitudes every year, in the prime of their 
life, end their days in Great Britain by the hands of the executioner I 
That the legislature might devise means to make the greatest part 
of these lives useful to society is a fact, which surely cannot be 
disputed; though, perhaps, the remedy of an evil so shocking to 
humanity may be at some distance. 


il] the lusiad. 33 

To mark if frand its secret Head betray 'd, 
Or if the rites of Heaven were there display'd. 
With costly gifts, as of their truth secure, 
The pledge that Gama deemed their faith was pure. 
These two, his heralds, to the king he sends : 
The faithless Moors depart as smiling friends. 
Now, thro' the wave they cut their foamy way. 
Their cheerful songs resounding through the bay ; 
And now, on shore the wond*ring natives greet, 
And fondly hail the strangers from the fleet. 
The prince their gifts with friendly vows receives. 
And joyful welcome to the Lusians gives ; 
Where'er they pass, the joyful tumult bends, 
And through the town the glad applause attends. 
But he whose cheeks with youth immortal shone, 
The god whose wondrous birth two mothers ^ own. 
Whose rage had still the wand'ring fleet annoy*d, 
Now in the town his guileful rage employed. 
A Christian priest he seem'd ; a sumptuous * shrine 
He rear'd, and tended with the rites divine : 
O'er the fair altar wav'd the cross on high, 
Upheld by angels leaning from the sky ; 
Descending o'er the Virgin's sacred head 
So white, so pure, the Holy Spirit spread 
The dove-like pictur'd wings, so pure, so white ; 
And, hov'ring o'er the chosen twelve, alight 
The tongues of hallow'd fire. Amaz'd, oppress'd. 
With sacred awe their troubled looks conf ess'd 
The inspiring godhead, and the prophet's glow. 
Which gave each language from their lips to flow 

^ Semele was the mother of Bacchus, but, as he was prematurely 
bom, Jupiter, his father, sewed him up, in his thigh until he came 
to maturity. — Ed, 

• On tf, the picture of that shape he placed, 
In which the Holy Spirit did alight , 
The picture of the dove, so white, so chaste. 
On the blest Virginia head, so chaste, so white. 

In these lines, the best of all Fanshaw's, the happy repetition " so 
chaste, so white," is a beauty which, though not contained in the 
original, the present translator was unwilling to lose. 

34 THE LUSIAD. [bookh. 

Where ^thns the guileful Power his magic wrought 
De Gama's heralds by the guides are brought : 
On bended knees low to the earth they fall, 
And to the Lord of heaven in transport call, 
While the f eign'd priest awakes the censer's fire, 
And clouds of incense round the shrine aspire. 
With cheerful welcome, here caress'd, they stay 
Till bright Aurora, messenger of day, 
Walk'd forth ; and now the sun's resplendent rays, 
Yet half emerging o'er the waters, blaze, 
When to the fleet the Moorish oars again 
Dash the curl'd waves, and waft the guileful train : 
The lofty decks they mount. With joy elate. 
Their friendly welcome at the palace-gate. 
The king's sincerity, the people's care. 
And treasures of the coast the spies declare : 
Nor pass'd untold what most their joys inspir'd. 
What most to hear the valiant chief desir'd. 
That their glad eyes had seen the rites divine, 
Their ^ country's worship, and the sacred shrine. 

* See the Preface. 

' When Gama lay at anchor among the islands of St. George, near 
IMozambique, " there came three Ethiopians on board (says Farla y 
Sousa) who, seeing St. Gabriel painted on the poop, fell on their knees 
in token of their Christianity, which had been preached to them in 
the primitive times, though now corrnpted." Barros, c. 4, and 
Castaneda, 1. i. c. 9, report, that the Portuguese found two or three 
Abyssinian Christians in the city of Mombas, who had an oratory 
in their house. The following short account of the Christians of the 
East may perhaps be acceptable. In the south parts of Malabar, 
about 200,000 of the inhabitants professed Christianity before the 
arrival of the Portuguese. They use the Syriac language in their 
services, and read the Scriptures in that tongue, and call themselves 
Christians of St. Thomas, by which apostle their ancestors had been 
converted. For 1300 years, they had been under the Patriarch of 
Babylon, who appointed their mutran^ or archbishop. Dr. Geddes, 
in his History of the Church of Malabar, relates that Francisco Roz, 
a Jesuit missionary, complained to Menezes, the Portuguese arch- 
bishop of Goa, that when he showed these people an image of the 
Virgin Mary, they cried out, " Away with that filthiness, we are 
Christians, and do not adore idols." 

Dom Frey Aleixo de Menezes, archbishop of Goa, ** endeavoured 
to thrust upon the church of Malabar the whole mass of popery, 
which they were before unacquainted with." — Millar's History of the 
Propag. of Christianity. 


Tlie pleasing tale tlie joyful Qama Hears ; 
Dark f^nd no more his gen'rons bosom fears : 
As friends sincere, himself sincere, he gives 
The hand of welcome, and the Moor's receives. 
And now, as conscions of the destin'd prey, 
The faithless race, with smiles and gestnres gay. 
Their aldSa forsaking, Gama's ships ascend, 
And deep to strike the treach'rons blow attend. 
On shore the truthless monarch arms his bands, 
And for the fleet's approach impatient stands ; 
That, soon as anchor'd in the port they rode 
Brave Gama's decks might reek with Lusian blood : 
Thus weening to revenge Mozambique's fate. 
And give full surfeit to the Moorish hate ; 
And now their bowsprits bending to the bay 
The joyful crew the pond'rous anchors weigh, 
Their shouts the while resounding. To the gale 
With eager hands they spread the foremast sail. 
But Love's fair queen ^ the secret fraud beheld : 
Swift as an arrow o'er the battle-field. 
From heav'n she darted to the wat'ry plain. 
And call'd the sea-bom nymphs, a lovely train, 
From Nereus sprung ; the ready nymphs obey, 
Proud of her kindred birth,^ and own her sway. 

* Venus. 

' Frotid of her kindred hirth. — The French translator has the fol- 
lowing note on this place : — " This is one of the places which discover 
our author's intimate acquaintance with mythology, and at the same 
time how much attention his allegory requires. Many readers, on 
finding that the protectress of the Lusians sprung from the sea, would 
be apt to exclaim, Behold, the birth of the terrestrial Venus I How 
can a nativity so infamous be ascribed to the celestial Venus, who 
represents Eeligion? I answer, that Camoens had not his eye on 
those fables; which derive the birth of Venus from the foam of the 
waves, mixed with the blood which flowed from the dishonest wound 
of Saturn : he carries his views higher ; his Venus is from a fable 
more noble. Nigidius relates that two fishes one day conveyed an 
egg to the seashore. This egg was hatched by two pigeons whiter 
than snow, and gave birth to the Assyrian Venus, which, in the 
pagan theology, is the same with the celestial. She instructed man- 
kind in religion, gave them the lessons of virtue and the laws of 
equity. Jupiter, in reward of her labours, promised to grant her 
whatever she desired. She prayed him to give immortality to the two 
fishes, who had been instrumental in her birth, and the fishes were 

36 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 

Slie tells what ruin threats her f av'rite race ; 
Unwonted ardonr glows on every face ; 
With keen rapidity they bound away ; 
Dash'd by their silver limbs, the billows grey 
Foam round : Fair Doto, fir'd with rage divine, 
Darts through the wave ; and onward o'er the brine 
The lovely Nyse and Nerine ^ spring 
With all the vehemence and speed of wing. 
The curving billows to their breasts divide 
And give a yielding passage through the tide. 
With furious speed the goddess rush'd before, 
Her beauteous form a joyful Triton bore, 
Whose eager face with glowing rapture fir'd, 
Betray'd the pride which such a task inspired. 
And now arriv'd, where to the whistling wind 
The warlike navy's bending masts reclin'd, 
As through the billows rush*d the speedy prows. 
The nymphs dividing, each her station chose. 
Against the leader's prow, her lovely breast 
With more than mortal force the goddess press'd ; 
The ship recoiling trembles on the tide. 
The nymphs, in help, pour round on every side. 
From the dread bar the threaten'd keels to save ; 
The ship bounds up, half lifted from the wave. 
And, trembling, hovers o'er the wat'ry grave. 

accordingly placed in the Zodiac, the sign Pisces. . . This fable agrees 
perfectly with Religion, as I could clearly show ; but I think it more 
proper to leave to the ingenious reader the pleasure of tracing the 

* Doto, Nyse, and Nerine. — Cloto, or Clotho, as Castera observes, has 
by some error crept into almost all the Portuguese editions of the 
Lusiad. Clotho was one of the Fates, and neither Hesiod, Homer, 
nor Virgil has given such a name to any of the Nereids • but in the 
ninth iJSneid Doto is mentioned — 

-magniqtie juheho 

^quoris esse Deas, qualis Nereta Doto 

Et Galatea secant spumantem pectore pontum. 

The Nereids, in the Lusiad, says Castera, are the virtues divine 
and human. In the first book they accompany the Portuguese fleet — 

before the hounding prows 

The lovely forms of sea-bom nymphs arose. 


As when alann'd, to save tlie hoarded grain, 
The care-eam'd store for winter's dreary reign, 
So toil, so tug, so pant, the lab'ring emmet train, ^ 
So toil'd the nymphs, and strain'd their panting force 
To turn * the navy from it^ fatal conrse : 
Back, back the ship recedes ; in vain the crew 
With shouts on shouts their various toils renew ; 
In vain each nerve, each nautic art they strain, 
And the rough wind distends the sail in vain : 
Enraged, the sailors see their labours cross*d ; 
From side to side the reeling helm is toss*d : 
High on the poop the skilful master stands ; 
Sadden he shriets aloud, and spreads his hands. 
A lurking rock its dreadful rifts betrays, 
And right before the prow its ridge displays ; 
Loud shrieks of horror from the yard-arms rise, 
And a dire general yell invades the skies. 
The Moors start, fear-struck, at the horrid sound, 
As if the rage of combat roar'd around. 
Pale are their lips, each look in wild amaze 
The horror of detected guilt betrays. 
Pierc'd by the glance of Gama's awful eyes 
The conscious pilot quits the helm and flies, 
From the high deck he plunges in the brine ; 
His mates their safety to the waves consign ; 
Dash'd by their plunging falls on every side 
Foams and boils up around the rolling tide. 
Thus ' the hoarse tenants of the sylvan lake, 
A Lycian race of old, to flight betake, 

^ The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in 
the summer. — Pboverbs xxx. 25. — Ed, 

* Imitated from Virgil — 

Cymothoe simuly et Triton adnixua acuto 
Detrudunt naves scopulo. — Virg. -^n. i. 

• Latona, says the fable, flying from the serpent Python, and 
faint with thirst, came to a pond, where some Lycian peasants were 
cutting the bulrushes. In revenge of the insults which they offered 
her in preventing her to drink, she changed them into frogs. This 
fable, says Gast^a, like almost all the rest, is drawn from history. 
Philocorus, as cited by Boccace, relates, that the Hhodians having 
declared war against the Lycians, were assisted by some troops from 
Delos, who carried the image of Latona on their standards. A detach- 

38 THE LUSIAD. [book a 

At ev'ry sonnd they dread Latona's hate, 
And doubled vengeance of their former fate ; 
All sudden plunging leave the margin green, 
And but their heads above the pool are seen. 
So plung'd the Moors, when, horrid to behold ! 
From the bar*d rock's dread jaws the billows roU'd, 
Opening in instant fate the fleet to whelm, 
When ready Vasco caught the stagg'ring helm : 
Swift as his lofty voice resounds aloud. 
The pond'rous anchors dash the whit'ning flood. 
And round his vessel, nodding o'er the tide. 
His other ships, bound by their anchors, ride. 

ment' of these going to drink at a lake in Lycia, a crowd of peasants 
endeavoured to prevent them. An encounter ensued; the peasants 
fled to the lake for shelter, and were there slain. Some months after- 
wards their companions came in search of their corpses, and finding an 
unusual quantity of frogs, imagined, according to the superstition 
of their age, that the souls of their friends appeared to them under 
that metamorphosis. 

To some it may, perhaps, appear needless to vindicate Gamoens, in 
a point wherein he is supported by the authority of Homer and Virgil. 
Yet, as many readers are infected with the sang froid of a Bossu or 
a Perrault, an observation in defence of our poet cannot be thought 
impertinent. If we examine the finest effusions of genius, we shall 
find that the most genuine poetical feeling has often dictated those 
similes which are drawn from familiar and low objects. The sacred 
writers, and the greatest poets of every nation, have used them. We 
may, therefore, conclude that the criticism which condemns them is 
a refinement not foimded on nature. But, allowing them admissible, 
it must be observed, that to render them pleasing requires a peculiar 
happiness and delicacy of management. When the poet attains this 
indispensable point, he gives a striking proof of his elegance, and of 
his mastership in his art. That the similes of the emmets and of 
the frogs in Camoens are happily expressed and applied, is indis- 
putable. In that of the frogs there is a peculiar propriety, both in 
the comparison itself, and in the allusion to the fable, as it was the 
intent of the poet to represent not only the flight, but the baseness 
of the Moors. The simile he seems to have copied from Dante, Inf. 

Cant. 9— 

Come le rane innanzi a la nemica 
JBuda per V acqua si dileguarC tutte 
Fin che a la terra cioMuna i ahbuxi. 

And Cant. 22— 

E come a V orlo de V acqua cT un fosso * 
Stan' li ranocchi pur col muso fuori 
Si^ che celano i piedi, e V altro grosso. 


And now revolving in his piercing thought 

These various scenes with hidden import fraught : 

The boastful pilot's seK-accusuig flight, 

The former treason of the Moorish spite ; 

How headlong to the rock the furious wind, 

The boiling current, and their art combined ; 

Yet, though the groaning blast the canvas swell'd, 

Some wondrous cause, unknown, their speed withheld : 

Amaz*d, with hands high rais'd, and sparkling eyes, 

"A 1 miracle ! " the raptur*d Gama cries, 

"A miracle! O hail, thou sacred sign, 

Thou pledge illustrious of the care diviue ! 

Ah ! foaudful malice ! how shall wisdom's care 

Escape the poison of thy gilded snare ? 

The front of honesty, the saintly show. 

The smile of friendship, and the holy vow 

All, all conjoin'd our easy faith to gain. 

To whelm us, shipwreck'd, in the ruthless main ; 

But where our prudence no deceit could spy, 

There, heavenly Guardian, there thy watchful eye 

Beheld our danger : still, oh still prevent. 

Where human foresight fails, the dire intent, 

The lurking treason of the smiling foe ; 

And let our toils, our days of length'ning woe, 

Our weary wand'rings end. If still for thee, 

To spread thy rites, our toils and vows agree. 

On India's strand thy sacred shrines to rear. 

Oh let some friendly land of rest appear : 

If for thine honour we ihese toils have dar'd, 

These toils let India's long-sought shore reward." 

So spoke the chief : the pious accents move 
The gentle bosom of celestial Love : 
The beauteous Queen ^ to heaven now darts away ; 
In vain the weeping nymphs implore her stay : 

' Barros and Castaneda, in relating this part of the voyage of Gama, 
say that the fleet, just as they were entering the port of Mombas, 
were driven back as it were by an invisible hand. By a subsequent 
note it will appear that the safety of the Armada depended upon this 

' Venus. 

40 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 

Behind her now the morning star she leaves, 
And the ^ sixth heaven her lovely form receives. 
Her radiant eyes such living splendours cast, 
The sparkling stars were brighten'd as she pass'd ; 
The frozen pole with sudden streamlets flow*d. 
And, as the burning zone, with fervour glow*d. 
And now confess'd before the throne of Jove, 
In all her charms appears the Queen of Love : 
Flush'd by the ardour of her rapid flight 
Through fields of rother and the realms of light. 
Bright as the blushes of the roseate mom, 
New blooming tints her glowing cheeks adorn ; 
And all that pride of beauteous grace she wore. 
As * when in Ida's bower she stood of yore, 
When every charm and every hope of joy 
Enraptured and allur'd the Trojan boy. 
Ah ! * had that hunter, whose unhappy fate 
The human visage lost by Dian's hate, 

^ As the. planet of Jupiter is in the sixth heaven, the author has 
with propriety there placed the throne of that god. — Castera. 

* " I am aware of the objection, that this passage is by no means 
applicable to the celestial Venus. I answer once for all, that the 
names and adventures of the pagan divinities are so blended and 
uncertain in mythology, that a poet is at great liberty to adapt them 
them to his allegory as he pleases. Even the fables, which may 
appear as profane, even these contain historical, physical, and moral 
truths, which fully atone for the seeming licentiousness of the letter. 
I could prove this in many instances, but let the present suffice. 
Paris, son of Priam, king of Troy, spent his first years as a shepherd 
in the country. At this time Juno, Minerva, and Venus disputed for 
the apple of gold, which was destined to be given to the most beau- 
tiful goddess. They consented that Paris should be their judge. 
His equity claimed this honour. He saw them aU naked. Juno 
promised him riches, Minerva the sciences, but he decided in favour 
of Venus, who promised him the possession of the most beautiful 
woman. What a ray of light is contained in this philosophical fable ! 
Paris represents a studious man, who, in the silence of solitude, seeks 
the supreme good. Juno is the emblem of riches and dignities; 
Minerva, that of the sciences purely human; Venus is that of 
religion, which contains the sciences both human and divine; the 
charming female, which she promises to the Trojan shepherd, is that 
divine wisdom which gives tranquillity of heart. A judge so philo- 
sophical as Paris would not hesitate a moment to whom to give tho 
apple of gold." — Castera. 

' " The allegory of Camotins is here obvious. If Acteon, and the 


Had he beheld this fairer goddess move 

Not hounds had slain him, but the fires of love. 

Adown her neck, more white than virgin snow, 

Of softest hne the golden tresses flow ; 

Her heaving breasts of purer, softer white 

Than snow hills glist'ning in the moon's pale light, 

Except where covered by the sash, were bare, 

And^ Love, unseen, smU'd soft, and panted there : 

ISTor less the zone the god's fond zeal employs, 

The zone awakes the names of secret joys. 

As ivy- tendrils round her limbs divine 

Their spreading arms the young desires entwine : 

Below her waist, and quiv'ring on the gale. 

Of thinnest texture flows the silken veil : 

(Ah ! where the lucid curtain dimly shows. 

With doubled fires the roving fancy glows !) 

The hand of modesty the foldings threw, 

Nor all conceal'd, nor all was given to view ; 

slaves of their violent passions, could discover the 'beauties of true 
religion, they would be astonished and reclaimed : according to the 
expression of Seneca, * Si virtus cemi posset oculis corporeis, omnes 
ad amorem suum pelliceret.* " — Castera. 

* "That is Divine love, which always accompanies religion. 
Behold how our author insinuates the excellence of his moral ! " 
— Castera. 

As the French translator has acknowledged, there is no doubt 
but several readers will be apt to decry this allegorical interpretation 
of the machinery of Camocns. Indeed there is nothing more easy 
than to discover a system of allegory in the simplest narrative. The 
reign of Henry VIII. is as susceptible of it as any fable in the heathen 
mythology. Nay, perhaps, more so. Under the names of Henry, 
More, Wblsey, Cromwell, Pole, Cranmer, etc., all the war of the 
passions, with their different catastrophes, might be delineated. 
Though it may be difficult to determine how far, yet one may venture 
to affirm that Homer and Virgil sometimes allegorised. The poets, 
however, who wrote on the revival of letters have left us in no doubt; 
we have their own authority for it that their machinery is allegorical. 
Not only the pagan deities, but the more modem adventures of en- 
chantment were used by them to delineate the affections, and the 
trials and rewards of the virtues and vices. Tasso published a 
treatise to prove that his Gerusalemme Liberata is no other than the 
Christian spiritual warfare. And Camoens, as observed in the pre- 
face, has twice asserted that his machinery is allegorical. The poet's 
assertion, and the taste of the age in which he wrote, sufficiently 
vindicate and explain the allegory of the Lusiad. 

42 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 

Yet her deep grief lier lovely face betrays, 

Thougli on her cheek the soft smile falt'ring plays. 

All heaven was mov'd — as when some damsel coy, 

Hurt by the rudeness of the am'rons boy, 

OfEended chides and smiles ; with angry mien 

Thus mixt with smiles, advanced the plaintive queen ; 

And ^ thus : " O Thunderer ! O potent Sire ! 

Shall I in vain thy kind regard require ? 

Alas ! and cherish still the fond deceit. 

That yet on me thy kindest smiles await. 

Ah heaven ! and must that valour which I love 

Awake the vengeance and the rage of Jove ? 

Yet mov'd with pity for my fav'rite race 

I speak, though frowning on thine awful face, 

I mark the tenor of the dread decree. 

That to thy wrath consigns my sons and me. 

Yes ! let stem Bacchus bless thy partial care, 

His be the triumph, and be mine despair. 

The bold advent'rous sons of Tago*s cHme 

I loved — alas ! that love is now their crime : 

O happy they, and prosp'rous gales their fate. 

Had I pursued them with relentless hate ! 

Yes ! let'my woeful sighs in vain implore. 

Yes ! let them perish on some barbarous shore, 

For I have lov'd them." Here the swelling sigh 

And pearly tear-drop rushing in her eye. 

As morning dew hangs trembling on the rose. 

Though fond to speak, her further speech oppose — 

Her lips, then moving, as the pause of woe 

Were now to give the voice of grief to flow ; 

When kindled by those charms, whose woes might move 

And melt the prowling tiger's rage to love. 

The thundering-god her weeping sorrows eyed, 

And sudden threw his awful state aside : 

With * that mild look which stills the driving storm. 

When black rolled clouds the face of heaven deform ; 

* The following speech of Venus and the reply of Jupiter, are a 
fine imitation from the first ^neid, and do great honour to the 
classical taste of the Portuguese poet. 

* Imitated from Virg. Mn, i. — 

Olli avbridens hominum sator atque Deorum, 
Vuttu^ quo ccdlum tempestatesque serenatf 
Oscula libavit natss 


With tliat mild visage and benignant mien 
Whicli to the sky restores the blue serene, 
Her snowy neck and glowing cheek he press'd, 
And wip'd her tears, and clasp'd her to his breast ; 
Yet she, still sighing, dropp'd the trickling tear. 
As the chid nursling, mov*d with pride and fear, 
Still sighs and moans, though fondled and caress'd ; 
Till thus great Jove the Fates' decrees confessed : 
'* O thou, my daughter, still belov'd as fair, 
Vain are thy fears, thy heroes claim my care : 
No power of gods could e*er my heart incline. 
Like one fond smile, one powerful tear of thine. 
"Wide o'er the eastern shores shalt thou behold 
Thy flags far streaming, and thy thunders roU'd ; 
Where nobler triumphs shall thy nation crown. 
Than those of Roman or of Greek renown. 

" If by mine aid the sapient Gh?eek ^ could brave 
Th' Ogygian seas, nor sink a deathless slave ; " 
If through th' Illyrian shelves Antenor bore. 
Till safe he landed on Timavus' shore ; 
If, by his fate, the pious Trojan ^ led. 
Safe through Charybdis' * barking whirlpools sped : 
Shall thy bold heroes, by my care disclaim' d. 
Be left to perish, who, to worlds unnam'd 
By vaunting Rome, pursue their dauntless way ? 
No — soon shalt thou with ravish'd eyes survey, 
From stream to stream their lofty cities spread, 
And their proud turrets rear the warlike head : 
The stern-brow'd Turk shall bend the suppliant knee. 
And Indian monarchs, now secure and free. 
Beneath thy potent monarch's yoke shall bend, 
And thy just laws wide o'er the East extend. 

* Ulysses, king of Ithaka. — Ed. 

' t.e., the slave of Calypso, who offered Ulysses immortality on 
condition that he would live with her. 

» MT1QQ.S.—Ed. 

* " Far on the right her dogs foul Scylla hides, 
Charybdis roaring on the left presides, 
And in her greedy whirlpool sucks the tides." 

Dryden*8 Virg. ^n. iii. — Ed. 

44 THE LUSIAD. [bookh. 

Thy cliief, wlio now in error's circling maze, 
For India's shore through shelves and tempests strays ; 
That chief shalt thou behold, with lordly pride, 
O'er Neptune's trembling realm triumphant ride. 
O wondrous fate ! when not a breathing ^ gale 
Shall curl the billows, or distend the sail. 
The waves shall boil and tremble, aw'd with dread, 
And own the terror o'er their empire spread. 
That hostile coast, with various streams supplied. 
Whose treach'rous sons the fountain's gifts denied ; 
That coast shalt thou behold his port supply, 
Where oft thy weary fleets in rest shall He. 
Each shore which weav'd for him the snares of death, 
To him these shores shall pledge their ofEer'd faith ; 
To him their haughty lords shall lowly bend. 
And yield him tribute for the name of friend. 
The Red-sea wave shall darken in the shade 
Of thy broad sails, in frequent pomp display'd ; 
Thine eyes shall see the golden Ormuz ' * shore. 
Twice thine, twice conquer'd, while the furious Moor, 
Amaz'd, shall view his arrows backward ® driven, 
Shower'd on his legions by the hand of Heaven. 
Though twice assail'd by many a vengeful band, 
Unconquer'd still shall Dio's ramparts stand. 

* After the Portuguese had made great conquests in India, Gama 
had the honour to be appointed Viceroy. In 1524, when sailing 
thither to take possession of his government, his fleet was so becalmed 
on the coast of Cambaya that the ships stood motionless on the water, 
when in an instant, without the least change of the weather, the 
waves were shaken with a violent agitation, like trembling. The 
ships were tossed about, the sailors were terrified, and in the utmost 
confusion, thinking themselves lost. Gama, perceiving it to be the 
effect of an earthquake, with his wonted heroism and prudence, 
exclaimed, " Of what are you afraid f Do you not see how the ocean 
trembles under its sovereigns!" Barros, 1. 9, c. 1, and Faria, c. 9, 
say, that such as lay sick of fevers were cured by the fright. 

2 Ormuz, or Hormuz, an island at the entrance of the Persian 
Gulf, once a great commercial depot. — Ed. 

' Both Barros and Castaneda relate this fact. Albuquerque, 
during the war of Ormuz, having given battle to the Persians and 
Moors, by the violence of a sudden wind the arrows of the latter were 
driven back upon themselves, whereby many of their troops were 


Snch prowess tbere shall raise the Lnsian name 
That Mars shall tremble for his blighted fame ; 
There shall the Moors, blaspheming, sink in death, 
And curse their Prophet with their parting breath. 

" Where Gt)a's warlike ramparts frown on high, 
Fleas'd shalt thou see thy Lnsian banners fl j ; 
The pagan tribes in chains shall crowd her gate, 
While the snblime shall tower in regal state. 
The fatal sconrge, the dread of all who dare 
Against thy sons to plan the future war. 
Though few thy troops who Conanour sustain, 
The foe, though numerous, shall assault in vain. 
Great Calicut,^ for potent hosts renown'd, 
By Lisbon's sons assail'd shall strew the ground : 
What floods on floods of vengeful hosts shall wage 
On Cochin's walls their swift-repeated rage ; 
In vain : a Lusian hero shall oppose 
His dauntless bosom and disperse the foes, 
As high-swelled waves, that thunder'd to the shock. 
Disperse in feeble streamlets from the rock. 
When * black'ninsr broad and far o'er Actium's tide 
Augustus' fleets the slave of love ' defied. 
When that fallen warrior to the combat led 
The bravest troops in Bactrian Scythia bred. 
With Asian legions, and, his shameful bane. 
The Egyptian queen, attendant in the train ; 

' Calicut was a seaport town of Malabar, more properly Colicodu, 

' Hinc ope harharicaj variisque Antonius armiSj 
Victor ah Auroras populis et littore ruhrOy 
Mgyptum^ viresque OrientiSt et ultima secum 
Bactra vehit : sequiturque nefas ! JEgyptia conjux. 
Una omnes ruerCf ac totum spumarey reductis 
Convuhum remis rostrisque tridentihus, asquor, 
Alta petunt : pelago credos innare revuUas 
Cycladas, aut monies concurrere mmdihua altos : 
Tanta mx)le viri turritis puppibus instant. 
Stuppeafiamma manu felisqu^ volatile ferrum 
Spargitur : arva nova Neptunia casde rubescunt. 

Ssevit medio in certamine Mavors. 

ViRG. -^n. vili. 

' Antony. 


46 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 

Thongh Mars rag'd high, and all his fury pour'd, 
Till with the storm the boiling surges roar'd, 
Tet shall thine eyes more dreadful scenes behold, 
On burning surges burning surges roll'd, 
The sheets of fire far billowing o'er the brine, 
While I my thunder to thy sons resign. 
Thus many a sea shall blaze, and many a shore 
Resound the horror of the combat's roar, 
While thy bold prows triumphant ride along 
By trembling China to the isles unsung 
By ancient bard, by ancient chief unknown. 
Till Ocean's utmost shore thy bondage own. 

" Thus from the Ganges to the Q-adian^ strand, 
From the most northern wave to southmost land : 
That land decreed to bear the injur'd name 
Of Magalhaens, the Lusian pride and shame ; ^ 
From all that vast, though crown'd with heroes old. 
Who with the gods were demi-gods enroll'd : 
From all that vast no equal heroes shine 
To match in arms, O lovely daughter, thine." 

So spake the awful ruler of the skies, 
And Maia's ^ son swift at his mandate flies : 
His charge, from treason and Mombassa's * king 
The weary fleet in friendly port to bring. 
And, while in sleep the brave De Gama lay. 
To warn, and fair the shore of rest display. 
Fleet through the yielding air Cyllenius * glides, 
As to the light the nimble air divides. 

* Gades, now Cadiz, an ancient and still flourishing seaport of 
Spain. — Ed. 

* The Lusian pride, etc. — Magalhaens, a most celebrated navigator, 
neglected by Emmanuel, king of Portugal, offered his service to the 
king of Spain, under whom he made most important discoveries round 
the Straits which bear his name, and in parts of South America. 
Of this 'hero see further, Lusiad X., in the notes. 

' Mercury. 

* Mombas, a seaport town on an island of the same name off the 
coast of Zanguebar, East Africa. — Ed. 

* Mercury, so called from Oyllene, the highest mountain in the 
Peloponnesus, where he had a temple, and on which spot he is said 
to have been born. — Ed, 

bookil] the lusiad. 47 

The mystic helmet * on his head he wore, 
And in his hand the fatal rod ' he hore ; 
That rod of power • to wake the silent dead, 
Or o'er the lids of care soft slnmhers shed. 
And now, attended by the herald Fame, 
To fair Melinda's gate, conceal'd, he came ; 
And soon loud rumonr echo*d through the town, 
How from the western world, from waves unknown, 
A noble band had reach'd the -^thiop shore. 
Through seas and dangers never dar'd before : 
The godlike, dread attempt their wonder fires. 
Their gen'rous wonder fond regard inspires, 
And all the city glows their aid to give. 
To view the heroes, and their wants relieve. 

'Twas now the solemn hour when midnight reigns. 
And dimly twinkling o*er the ethereal plains. 
The starry host, by gloomy silence led, 
O'er earth and sea a glimm'ring paleness shed ; 
When to the fleet, which hemmed with dangers lay. 
The silver- wing'd Cyllenius * darts away. 
Each care was now in soft oblivion steep'd. 
The watch alone accustom' d vigils kept ; 
E'en Oama, wearied by the day's alarms. 
Forgets his cares, reclin'd in slumber's arms. 
Scarce had he clos'd his careful eyes in rest. 
When Maia's son * in vision stood conf ess'd : 
And " Fly," he cried, " O Lusitanian, fly ; 
Here guile and treason every nerve apply : 
An impious king for thee the toil prepares. 
An impious people weaves a thousand snares : 

^ Petasus. 

* The caduceus, twined with serpents. — Ed, 

' ** But first he grasps within his awful hand 
The mark of sovereign power, the magic wand: 
With this he draws the ghosts from hollow graves, 
With this ho drives them down the Stygian waves, 
With this he seals in sleep the wakeful sight, 
And eyes, though closed in death, restores to light." 

^NEiD, iv. 242. (Dryden's Trans.) 

* Mercury. 

48 THE LUSIAD. [bookii. 

Oh fly these shores, unfurl the gathered sail, 
Lo, Heaven, thy guide, commands the rising gale. 
Hark, loud it rustles ; see, the gentle tide 
Invites thy prows ; the winds thy lingering chide. 
Here such dire welcome is for thee prepared 
As ^ Diomed's unhappy strangers shar'd ; 
His hapless guests at silent midnight bled. 
On their torn limbs his snorting coursers fed. 
Oh fly, or here with strangers* blood imbrued 
Busiris' altars thou shalt find renew'd : 
Amidst his slaughter'd guests his altars stood 
Obscene with gore, and bark*d with human blood: 
Then thou, belov'd of Heaven, my counsel hear ; 
Right by the coast thine onward journey steer, 
Till where the sun of noon no shade begets. 
But day with night in equal tenor sets.* 
A sov'reign there, of gen'rous faith unstain'd, 
With ancient bounty, and with joy unfeign'd 
Your glad arrival on his shore shall greet. 
And soothe with every care your weary fleet. 
And when again for India's golden strand 
Before the prosperous gale your sails expand, 
A skilful pilot oft in danger tried, 
Of heart sincere, shall prove your faithful guide." 

Thus Hermes ® spoke ; and as his flight he takes 
Melting in ambient air, De Gama wakes. 
Chiird with amaze he stood, when through the night 
With sudden^ ray appeared the bursting light ; 
The winds loud whizzing through the cordage sigh'd, 
" Spread, spread the sail ! " the raptured Yasco cried ; 

* Diomede, a tyrant of Thrace, who fed his horses with humau 
flesh ; a thing, says the grave Castera, almost incredible. Busiris was 
a king of Egypt, who sacrificed strangers. 

Quia .... illaudati nescit Busiridu aras 9 

ViRQ. Geor. iii. 

Hercnles vanquished both these tyrants, and put them to the same 
punishments which their cruelty had inflicted on others. Isocrates 
composed an oration in honour of Busiris; a masterly example of 
Attic raillery and satire. 

* i.e. the equator. 

■ Hermes is the Greek name for the god Mercury. 


*' Aloft, aloft, this, this the gale of heayen, 

By Heaven our guide, th' auspicious sign is given ; 

Mine eyes beheld the messenger divine, 

* O fly,' he cried, * and give the fav'ring sign. 

Here treason lurks.' " Swift as the captain spake 

The mariners spring bounding to the deck. 
And now, with shouts far-echoing o'er the sea. 
Proud of their strength the pond'rous anchors weigh. 
When ^ Heaven again its guardian care display'd ; 
Above the wave rose many a Moorish head, 
Conceal' d by night they gently swam along, 
And with their weapons saw'd the cables strong, 
That by the swelling currents whirl'd and toss'd, 
The navy's wrecks might strew the rocky coast. 
But now discover'd, every nerve they ply, 
And dive, and swift as frighten'd vermin fly. 

Now through the silver waves that curling rose, 
And gently murmur'd round the sloping prows. 
The gallant fleet before the steady wind 
Sweeps on, and leaves long foamy tracts behind ; 
While as they sail the joyful crew relate 
Their wondrous safety from impending fate ; 
And every bosom feek how sweet the joy 
When, dangers past, the grateful tongue employ. 

The sun had now his annual journey run. 
And blazing forth another course begun, 
When smoothly gliding o'er the hoary tide 
Two sloops afar the watchful master spied j 
Their Moorish make the seaman's art display'd ; 
Here Gama weens to force" the pilot's aid : 
One, base with fear, to certain shipwreck flew ; 
The keel dash'd on the shore, escap'd the crew. 
The other bravely trusts the gen'rous foe. 
And yields, ere daughter struck the lifted blow, 

* Having mentioned the escape of the Moorish pilots, Osorins 
proceeds : Rex deinde homines magno cum ailentio scaphis et lintri- 
Dus submittebat, qui securibus anchoralia nocto prseciderent. Quod, 
nisi fuisset k nostris singulari Gamse industria vigilatum, et insidiis 
Bcelerati illius regis occursum, nostri in summum yiUs disorimen 


50 THE LUSIAD. [book a 

Ere Vulcan's thunders bellow'd. Yet agam 

The captain's prudence and his wish were vain ; 

No pilot here his wand'ring course to guide, 

No lip to tell where rolls the Indian tide ; 

The voyage calm, or perilous, or afar. 

Beneath what heaven, or which the guiding star : 

Yet this they told, that by the neighb'ring bay 

A. potent monarch reign'd, whose pious sway 

For truth and noblest bounty far renown'd. 

Still with the stranger's grateful praise was crown'd. 

O'erjoyed, brave Gama heard the tale, which seal'd 

The sacred truth that Maia's ^ son reveal'd ; 

And bids* the pilot, wam'd by Heaven his guide, 

For fair Melinda * turn the helm aside. 

'Twas now the jovial season, when the mom 
From Taurus flames, when Amalthea's horn 
O'er hill and dale the rose-crown'd Flora pours. 
And scatters com and wine, and fruits and flowers. 
Right to the port their course the fleet pursu'd. 
And the glad dawn that sacred day' renew 'd, 
Whdn, with the spoils of vanquish'd death adom'd, 
To heaven the Victor * of the tomb retum'd. 
And soon Melinda's shore the sailors spy ; 
From every mast the purple streamers fly ; 
Rich-figur'd tap'stry now'suppHes the sail. 
The gold and scarlet tremble in the gale ; 
The standard broad its briUiant hues bewrays. 
And floating on the wind wide-billowing plays ; 
Shrill through the air the quiv'ring trumpet sounds. 
And the rough drum the rousing march rebounds. 
As thus, regardful of the sacred Hay, 
The festive navy cut the wat'ry way, 
Melinda's sons the shore in thousands crowd, 
And, offering joyful welcome, shout aloud : 
And truth the voice inspir'd. Unaw'd by fear, 
With warlike pomp adom'd, himself sincere, 

* Mercury. 

' A city and kingdom of the same name on the oast ooast of 

» Ascension Day. * Jesus Christ. 


Now in tlie port the gen'rous Gama rides ; 
His stately vessels range their pitchy sides 
Around their chief ; the bowsprits nod the head, 
And the barb'd anchors gripe the harbour's bed. 
Straight to the king, as friends to gen'rous friends, 
A. captive Moor the valiant Gama sends. 
The Lusian fame, the king already knew, 
WTiat gulfs unknown the fleet had laboured through, 
WTiat shelves, what tempests dar*d. His liberal mind 
Exults the captain's manly trust to find ; 
With that ennobling worth, whose fond employ 
Befriends the brave, the monarch owns his joy, 
Entreats the leader and his weary band 
To taste the dews of sweet repose on land, 
And all the riches of his cultur'd fields 
Obedient to the nod of Gama yields. 
His care, meanwhile, their present want attends. 
And various fowl, and various fruits he sends ; 
The oxen low, the fleecy lambkins bleat. 
And rural sounds are echo'd through the fleet. 
His gifts with joy the valiant chief receives, 
And gifts in turn, confirming friendship, gives. 
Here the proud scarlet darts its ardent rays. 
And here the purple and the orange blaze ; 
O'er these profuse the branching coral spread, 
The coral ^ wondrous in its wat'ry bed ; 
Soft there it creeps, in curving branches thrown, 
In air it hardens to a precious stone. 
With these a herald, on whose melting tongue 
The copious rhetoric* of Arabia hung. 
He sends, his wants and purpose to reveal, 
And holy vows of lasting peace to seal. 
* The monarch sits amid his splendid bands, 
Before the regal throne the herald stands, 

* Vimen erat dum stagna eubit, processerat undU 
Gemma fuit Claud. 

8to et eoralium, quo primum eontigit auras^ 

Tempore durescit, mollis fuit herha tub undis, Ovn>. 

* There were on board Gama's fleet several persons skilled in the 
Oriental languages. — Osob. 

52 THE LUSIAD. {book a 

And thus, as eloqnence his lips inspired, 
" O king," lie cries, '* for sacred truth admir'd, 
Ordain 'd by heaven to bend the stubborn knees 
Of haughtiest nations to thy just decrees ; 
Pear'd as thou art, yet sent by Heaven to prove 
That empire's strength results from public love : 
To thee, O king, for friendly aid we come ; 
Nor lawless robbers o'er the deep we roam : 
No lust of gold could e'er our breasts inflame 
To scatter fire and slaughter where we came ; 
Nor sword, nor spear our harmless hands employ 
To seize the careless, or the weak destroy. 
At our most potent monarch's dread command 
We spread the sail from lordly Europe's strand ; 
Through seas unknown, through gulfs untried before, 
We force our journey to the Indian shore. 

" Alas, what rancour fires the human breast ! 
By what stern tribes are Afric's shores possess'd I 
Blow many a wile they tried, how many a snare ! 
Not wisdom sav'd us, 'twas the Heaven's own care : 
Not harbours only, e'en the barren sands 
A place of rest denied our weary bands : 
From us, alas, what harm could prudence fear ! 
From us so few, their num'rous friends so near I 
While thus, from shore to cruel shore long driven, 
To thee conducted by a guide from heaven, 
We come, monarch, of thy truth assur'd, 
Of hospitable rites by Heaven secnr'd ; 
Such rites ^ as old Alcinous* palace grac'd. 
When 'lorn Ulysses sat his favour'd guest. 
Nor deem, O Hng, that cold Suspicion taints 
Our valiant leader, or his wish prevents ; 
Great is our monarch, and his dread command 
To our brave captain interdicts the land | 

Till Indian earth he tread. What nobler cause i 

Than loyal faith can wake thy fond applause, j 

O thou, who knowest the ever-pressing weight 
Of kingly office,* and the cares of state ! 

' See the Eighth Odyssey, etc. 

* Casiera's note on this place is so oharaoieristio of a French* 


And hear, ye conscions heavens, if Gama's heari 
Forget thy kindness, or from truth depart, 
The sacred light shall perish from the san, 
And rivers to the sea shall cease to run."^ 
He spoke ; a mnrmur of applanse sacceeds. 
And each with wonder own'd the.varrons deeds 
Of that bold race, whose flowing vanes had wav'd 
Beneath so many a sky, so many an ocean brav'd. 
Nor less the king their loyal faith reveres, 
And lisboa's lord in awfnl state appears. 
Whose least command on farthest shores obey'd, 
His sovereign grandeur to the world displayed. 
Elate with joy, uprose the royal Moor, 
And smiling thus, — " welcome to my shore ! 

man, that the reader will perhaps be pleased to see it transcribed. 
In his text he says, " Toi qui occupes at dignement le rang supreme." 
*'ie Poete dit" says he, in the note, " Tens de Bey o officio^ Toi qui sais le 
metier de Roi. (The poet says, tJiou who holdest the business of a king.') 
I confess," he adds, "I found a strong inclination to translate this sen- 
tence literally. I find much nobleness in it. However, I submitted 
to the opinion of some friends, who were afraid that the ears of 
Frenchmen would be shocked at the word business applied to a king. 
It is true, nevertheless, that Boyalty is a business. Philip II. of 
Spain was convinced of it, as we may discern from one of his letters. 
Hallo, says he, me muy embara^ado, &c. I am so entangled and en- 
cumbered with the muUiplicity of business, that I have not a moment 
to myself. In truth, we kings hold a laborious office (or trade) ; Hiere 
is little reason to envy us." 

* The propriety and artfulnesa of Homer*s speeches have been 
often and justly admired. Gamo6ns is peculiarly happy in the same 
department of the Epopssa. The speech of Gama's herald to the 
King of Melinda is a striking instance of it. The compliments with 
which it begins have a direct tendency to the favours afterwards to be 
asked. The assurances of the innocence, the purpose of the voyagers, 
and the greatness of their king, are happily touched. The exclama- 
tion on the barbarous treatment they had experienced — " Not wisdom 
saved us, but Heaven's own care " — are masterly insinuations. Their 
barbarous treatment is again repeated in a manner to move com- 
passion : Alas I what could they fear ? etc., is reasoning joined with 
pathos. That they were conducted to the King of Melinda by 
Heaven, and were by Heaven assured of his truth, is a most delicate 
compliment, and in the true spirit of the epic poem. The apology 
for Gama's refusal to come on shore is exceeding artful. It conveys 
a proof of the greatness of the Portuguese sovereign, and affords a 
compliment t6 loyalty, which could not fail to be acceptable to a 



If yet in yon the fear of treason dwell, 

Far from your thoughts th* ungen'rous fear expel : 

Still with the brave, the brave will honour finc^ 

And equal ardour will their friendship bind. 

But those who spum'd you, men alone in show, 

Biude as the bestial herd, no worth they know ; 

Such dwell not here : and since your laws require 

Obedience strict, I yield my fond desire. 

Though much I wish'd your chief to grace my board. 

Fair be his duty to his sovereign Lord : 

Yet when the mom walks forth with dewy feet 

My barge shall waft me to the. warlike fleet; 

There shall my longing eyes the heroes view. 

And holy vows the mutual peace renew. 

What from the blust'ring winds and lengthening tide 

Your ships have suffered, shall be here supplied. 

Arms and provisions 1 myself will send. 

And, great of skill, a pilot shall attend." 

So spoke the king : and now, with purpled ray, 
Beneath the shining wave the god of day 
Retiring, left the evening shades to spread ; 
And to the fleet the joyful herald sped : 
To find such friends each breast with rapture glows, 
The feast is kindled, and the goblet flows ; 
The trembling comet's imitated rays ^ 
Bound to the skies, and trail a sparkling blaze : 
The vaulting bombs awake their sleeping fire. 
And, like the Cyclops' bolts, to heaven aspire : 
The bombardiers their roaring engines ply. 
And earth and ocean thunder to the sky. 
The trump and fife's shrill clarion far around 
The glorious music of the fight resound ; 
Nor less the joy Melinda's sons display. 
The sulphur bursts in many an ardent ray. 
And to the heaven ascends, in whizzing gyres, 
And ocean flames with artificial fires. 
In festive war the sea and land engage. 
And echoing shouts confess the joyful rage. 

> Rockets. 

BOOK n.] THE LU8IAD. 65 

So pass'd the night : and now, with silv'ry ray, 

The star of morninff ushers in the day. 

The shadows fly before the roseate hours, 

And the chill dew hangs glitt*ring on the flowers. 

The pruning-hook or humble spade to wield. 

The cheerful lab'rer hastens to the field ; 

When to the fleet, with many a sounding oar, 

The monarch sails ; the natives crowd the shore ; 

Their various robes in one bright splendour join, 

The purple blazes, and the gold stripes shine ; 

Nor as stem warriors with the quiv'ring lance. 

Or moon-arch'd bow, Melinda's sons advance ; 

Green boughs of palm withjoyful hands they wave, 

An omen of the meed that crowns the brave : 

Fair was the show the royal barge displayed. 

With many a flag of glist'ning silk array'd, 

Whose various hues, as waving thro' the bay, 

Retum'd the lustre of the rising day : 

And, onward as they came, in sovereign state 

The mighty king amid his princes sat : 

His robes the pomp of Eastern splendour show, 

A proud tiara decks his lordly brow : 

The various tissue shines in every fold. 

The silken lustre and the rays of gold. 

His purple mantle boasts the dye of Tyre,^ 

And in the sunbeam glows with living fire. 

A golden chain, the skilful artist's pride. 

Hung from his neck ; and glittering by his side 

The dagger's hilt of star-bright diamond shone. 

The girfing baldric * bums with j)recious stone ; 

And precious stone in studs of gold enchas'd. 

The shaggy velvet of his buskins grac'd : 

Wide o'er his head, of various silks inlaid, 

A fair umbrella cast a grateful shade. 

A band of menials, bending o'er the prow. 

Of horn wreath'd round the crooked trumpets blow ; 

And each attendant barge aloud rebounds 

A barb'rous discord of rejoicing sounds. 

* The Tynan purple, obtained from the mureXy a species of shell- 
fish, was very famous among the ancients. — Ed. 

^ A girdle, or ornamented belt, worn over one shoulder and acrosil 
the breast. — Ed, 

56 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 

With eqnal pomp the captain leaves the fleet, 
Melinda's monarch on the tide to greet : 
His barge nods on amidst a splendid train, 
Himself adom'd in ^ all the pride of Spain : 
With fair embroidery shone his armed breast, 
For polish'd steel supplied the warrior's vest ; 
His sleeves, beneath, were silk of paly blue, 
Above, more loose, the purple's brightest hue 
Hung as a scarf in equal gath'rings roU'd, 
With golden buttons and with loops of gold : 
Bright in the sun the polish'd radiance bums. 
And the dinmi'd eyebsdl from the lustre turns. 
Of crimson satin, dazzling to l^hold. 
His cassock swell'd in many a curving fold ; 
The make was Grallic, but the lively bloom 
Confess'd the labour of Venetia's loom. 
Gk)ld was his sword, and warlike trousers lac'd 
With thongs of gold his manly legs embrac'd. 
With graceful mien his cap aslant was tum'd. 
The velvet cap a nodding plume adom'd. 
His noble aspect, and the purple's ray. 
Amidst his train the gallant chief bewray. 
The various vestments of the warrior train. 
Like flowers of various colours on the plain, 
Attract the pleas'd beholder's wond'ring eye, 
And with the splendour of the rainbow vie. 
Now Gama's bands the quiv'ring trumpet blow. 
Thick o'er the wave the crowding barges row, 
The Moorish flags the curling waters sweep, 
The Lusian mortars thunder o'er the deep ; 
Again the fiery roar heaven's concave tearsj 
The Moors astonished stop their wounded ears ; 
Again loud thunders rattle o'er the bay, 
And clouds of smoke wide-rolling blot the day ; 
The captain's barge the gen'rous king ascends. 
His arms the chief enfold, the captain bends, 

^ Oamoens seems to have his eye on the picture of Gama, which is 
thus described by Faria y Sousa : " He is painted with a black cap, 
cloak, and breecnos edged with velvet, all slashed, through which 
appears the crimson lining, the doublet of crimsou satin, and over it 
his armour inlaid with gold.*' 



(A rev'rence to the scepter'd grandeur due) : 

In silent awe the monarch's wond'ring view 

Is fix'd on Vasco's noble mien ; ^ the while 

His thoughts with wonder weigh the hero's toil. 

Esteem and friendship with his wonder rise, 

And free to Gama all his kingdom lies. 

Though never son of Lusus' race before 

Had met his eye, or trod Melinda's shore 

To him familiar was the mighty name, 

And much his talk extols the Lusian fame ; 

How through the vast of Afric's wildest bound 

Their deatMess feats in gallant arms resound ; 

When that fair land where Hesper's offspring reign'd, 

Their valour's prize the Lusian youth abtain'd. 

Much stiU he talk'd, enraptur'd of the theme, 

Though but the faint vibrations of their fame 

To him had echo'd. Pleas'd his warmth to view, 

Cpnvina'd his promise and his heart were true, 

The illustrious Gama thus his soul express'd 

And own'd the joy that labour'd in his breast : 

" Oh thou, benign, of all the tribes alone. 

Who feel the rigour of the burning zone. 

Whose piety, with Mercy's gentle eye 

Beholds our wants, and gives the wish'd supply, 

Our navy driven from many a barb'rous coast, 

On many a tempest-harrow 'd ocean toss'd, 

At last "with thee a kindly refuge finds, 

Safe from the fury of the howSng winds. 

O gen'rous king, may He whose mandate rolls 

The circling heavens, and human pride controls. 

May the Great Spirit to thy breast return 

That needful aid, bestow'd on us forlorn ! 

And while yon sun emits his rays divine, 

And while the stars in midnight azure shine, 

Where'er my sails are stretch'd the world around. 

Thy praise shall brighten, and thy name resound." 

^ The admiration and friendship of the King of Melinda, so much 
insisted on hy Gamoens, is a judicious imitation of Virgil's Dido. In 
hoth cases such preparation was necessary to introduce the long 
episodes which follow. 

5d THE LUSIAD. [bo<« u^ 

He spoke ; the painted barges swept tlie flood, 
Where, proudly gay, the anchored navy rode ; 
Earnest the king the lordly fleet surveys ; 
The mortars thunder, and the trumpets raise 
Their martial sounds Melinda's sons to greet, 
Melinda's sons with timbrels hail the fleet. 
And now, no more the sulphury tempest roars, 
The boatmen leaning on the rested oars 
Breathe short ; the barges now at anchor moor'd, 
The king, while silence listened round, implor'd 
The glories of the Lusian wars to hear, 
Whose faintest echoes long had pleas'd his ear : 
Their various triumphs on the JuEric shore 
O'er those who hold the son of Hagar*s lore 
Fond he demands, and now demands again 
Their various triumphs on the western main 
Again, ere readiest answer found a place, 
He asks the story of the Lusian race; 
What god was founder of the mighty line. 
Beneath what heaven their land, what shores adjoin ; 
And what their climate, where the sinking, day 
Gives the last glimpse of twilight's silv'ry ray. 
" But most, O chief," the zealous monarch cries, 
" What raging seas you brav'd, what low'ring skies ; 
What tribes, what rites you saw ; what savage hate 
On our rude Afric prov'd your hapless fate : 
Oh tell, for lo, the chilly dawning star 
Yet rides before the morning's purple car ; 
And o'er the wave the sun's bold coursers raise 
Their flaming fronts, and give the opening blaze ; 
Soft on the glassy wave the zephyrs sleep. 
And the still billows holy silence keep. 
Nor less are we, undaunted chief, prepar'd 
To hear thy nation's gallant deeds declar'd ; 
Nor think, tho' scorch'd beneath the car of day, 
Our minds too dull the debt of praise to pay ; 
Melinda's sons the test of greatness know, 
And on the Lusian race the palm bestow. 

* The Moors, who are Mohammedans, disciples of the Arabian 
prophet, who was descended from Abraham through the line of 
Bagar. — Ed, 


u.] THE LUSIAD. 59 

" If Titan's giant brood with impious arms 
Shook high Olympus* brow with rude alarms ; 
If Theseus and Pirithoiis dar'd invade 
The dismal horrors of the Stygian shade, 
Nor less your glory, nor your boldness less 
That thus exploring Neptune's last recess 
Contemns his waves and tempests. If the thirst 
To live in fame, though famed for deeds accurs'd, 
Could urge the caitiff, who to win a name 
GJave Dian's temple to the wasting flame : ^ 
If such the ardour to attain renown, 
How bright the lustre of the hero's crown, 
Whose deeds of fair emprize his honours raise. 
And bind his brows, like thine, with deathless bays ! " 

* The famous temple of the goddess Diana at Ephesus. — Ed. 


60 THE LUSIAD. [book nz. 

BOOK m. 


Gkuna, in reply to the King of Melinda, describes the various 
countries of Europe ; narrates the rise of the Portuguese natioa. His- 
tory of Portugal. Battle of Guimaraens. Egas offers himself with his 
wife and family for the honour of his country. Alonzo pardons him. 
Battle of Ourique against the Moors ; great slaughter of the M6ors. 
Alonzo proclaimed King of Portugal on the battle-field of Ourique. 
At Badajoz he is wounded and taken prisoner : resigns the kingdom 
to his son, Don Sancho. Hearing that thirteen Moorish kings, headed 
by the Emperor of Morocco, were besieging Sancho in Santarem, he 
hastens to deliver his son : gains a great battle, in which the Moorish 
Emperor is slain. Victories of Sancho; capture of Sylves from the 
the Moors, and of Tui from the King of Leon. Conquest of Alcazar 
do Sul by Alfonso II. Deposition of Sancho II. Is succeeded by 
Alphonso ni., the conqueror of Algarve; succeeded by Dionysius. 
founder of the University of Coimbra. His son, Alfonso the Brave. 
Affecting story of the fair Inez, who is crowned Queen of Portugal 
after her assassination. Don Pedro, her husband, rendered desperate 
by the loss of his mistress, is succeeded by the weak and effeminate 
Ferdinand. His wife Eleonora, torn from the arms of her lawful 
husband, dishonours his reign. 

OH now, Calliope, thy potent aid ! 
What to the long th' illustrious Gama said 
Clothe in immortal verse. With sacred fire 
My breast, if e*er it loved thy lore, inspire : 
So may the patron ^ of the healing art. 
The god of day to thee consign his heart ; 

* Apollo. 


From thee, the mother of his darling son/ 
May never wand'ring thought to Daphne run : 
May never Clytia, nor Leucothoe*s pride 
Henceforth with thee his changeful love divide. 
Then aid, O fairest nymph, my fond desire, 
And give my verse the Lusian warlike fire : 
rir*d by the song, the listening world shall know 
That Aganippe's streams from Tagus flow. 
Oh, let no more the flowers of Pindus shine 
On thy fair breast, or round thy temples twine : 
On Tago's banks a richer chaplet blows. 
And with the tuneful god my bosom glows : 
I feel, I feel the mighty power infuse. 
And bathe my spirit in Aonian ' dews 1 

Now silence woo*d the illustrious chief's reply, 
And keen attention watch'd on every eye ; 
When slowly turning with a modest grace, 
The noble Vasco rais'd his manly face ; 

mighty king (he cries), at thy ' command 
The martial story of my native land 

1 tell ; but more my doubtful heart had joy'd 
Had other wars my praiseful lips employ' d. 
When men the honours of their race commend, 
The doubts of strangers on the tale attend : 
Yet, though reluctance falter on my tongue, 
Though day would fail a narrative so long. 
Yet, well assur'd no fiction's glare can raise, 
Or give my country's fame a brighter praise ; 

* CkiUtope.— The Muse of epic poesy, and mother of Orpheus. 
Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus, flying from Apollo, was turned 
into the laurel. Clytia was metamorphosed into the sun-flower, and 
Leiicothoe, who was buried alive by her father for yielding to the 
solicitations of Apollo, was by her lover changed into an incense 

* A fountain of Boeotia sacred to the Muses. — Ed, 

* The preface to the speech of Gama, and the description of 
Europe which follows, are happy imitations of the manner of Homer. 
When Oamoens describes countries, or musters an army, it is after the 
example of the great models of antiquity : by adding some character- 
isticai feature of the climate or people, he renders his narrative 
pleasing, picturesque, and poetical. 

62 THE LUSIAD. [book m 

Though less, far less, whatever my lips can say, 
Than truth must giye it, I thy will obey. 

Between that zone where endless winter reigns 
And that where flaming heat consumes the plains ; 
Array'd in green, beneath indulgent skies, 
The queen of arts and arms, fair Europe lies. 
Around her northern and her western shores, 
Throng'd with the finny race old ocean roars ; 
The midland sea,^ where tide ne'er swell'd the waves, 
Her richest lawns, the southern border, laves. 
Against the rising mom, the northmost bound 
The whirling Tanais * parts from Asian ground, 
As tumbling from the Scythian mountains cold 
Their crooked way the rapid waters hold 
To dull MeBotis' * lake. Her eastern line 
More to the south, the Phrygian waves confine : 
Those waves, which, black with many a navy, bore 
The Grecian heroes to the Dardan shore ; 
Where now the seaman, rapt in mournful joy, • 
Explores in vain the sad remains of Troy. 
Wide to the north beneath the pole she spreads ; 
Here piles of mountains rear their rugged heads, 
Here winds on winds in endless tempests roll, 
The valleys sigh, the lengthening echoes howl. 
On the rude clifEs, with frosty spangles grey, 
Weak as the twilight, gleams the solar ray ; 
Each mountain's breast with snows eternal shines, 
The streams and seas eternal frost confines. 
Here dwelt the num'rous Scythian tribes of old, 
A dreadful race ! by victor ne'er controll'd. 
Whose pride maintain'd that theirs the sacred earth, 
Not that of Nile, which first gave man his birth. 
Here dismal Lapland spreads a dreary wild, 
Here Norway's wastes, where harvest never smil'd, 
Whose groves of fir in gloomy horror frown. 
Nod o'er the rocks, and to the tempest groan. 
Here Scandia's clime her rugged shores extends. 
And, far projected, through the ocean bends ; 

» The Mediterranean. « The Don.— JE^. » The Sea of Azof.— ^d. 


Whose sons' dread footsteps yet Ausonia^ weais, 
And jet prond Borne in mournful ruin bears. 
When summer bursts stem winter's icj chain, 
Here the bold Swede, the Prussian, and the Dane 
Hoist the white sail and plough the foamy way, 
Cheer'd by whole months of one continual day : 
Between these shores and Tanais' * rushing tide 
Livonia's sons and Russia's hordes reside. 
Stem as their clime the tribes, whose sires of yore 
The name, far dreaded, of Sarmatians bore. 
Where, fam'd of old, th' Hercynian* forest lower'd, 
Oft seen in arms the Polish troops are pour'd 
Wide foraging the downs. The Saxon race. 
The Hungar dext'rous in the wild-boar chase, 
The various nations whom the Rhine's cold wave 
The Elbe, Amasis, and the Danube lave, 

* Italy. In the year 409 the city of Rome was sacked, and Italy 
laid desolate by Alaric, king of the Gothic tribes. In mentioning this 
circumstance Camoens has not fallen into the common error of little 
poets, who on every occasion bewail the outrage which the Goths and 
Vandals did to the arts and sciences. A complaint founded on 
ignorance. The Southern nations of Europe were sunk into the most 
contemptible degeneracy. The sciences, with every branch of manly 
literature, were almost unknown. For near two centuries no poet of 
note had adorned the Roman empire. Those arts only, the abuse of 
which have a certain and fatal tendency to enervate the mind, the arts 
of music and cookery, were passionately cultivated in all the refine- 
ments of effeminate abuse. The art of war was too laborious for their 
delicacy, and the generous warmth of heroism and patriotism was 
incompatible with their effeminacy. On these despicable Sybarites * 
the North poured her brave and hardy sons, who, though ignorant of 
polite literature, were possessed of all the manly virtues in a high 
degree. Under their conquests Europe wore a new face, which, how- 
ever rude, was infinitely preferable to that which it had lately worn. 
And, however ignorance may talk of their barbarity, it is to them 
that England owqs her constitution, which, as Montesquieu observes, 
they brought from the woods of Saxony. 

* The river Don. 

' This was the name of an extensive forest in Germany. It exists 
now under different names, as the Black Forest, the Bohemian and the 
Thuringian Forest, the Hartz, etc. — Ed. 

* Sybaris, a city in Magna Grecia (South Italy), whose Inhabitants were so 
effeminate, that they ordered all the cocka to be kiUed, that they might not be dis- 
turbed by their early crowing. 

64 THE LXJSIAD. [book ul 

Of varions tongnes, for variotis princes known, 

Their mighty lord the German emperor own. 

Between the Danube and the Incid tide 

Where hapless Helle left her name/ and died : 

The dreadful god of battles* kindred race, 

Degenerate now, possess the hills of Thrace. 

Mount Hadmus ^ here, and Bihodope renown'd. 

And proud Byzantium,* long with empire crown'd ; 

Their ancient pride, their ancient virtue fled. 

Low to the Turk now bend the servile head. 

Here spread the fields of warlike Macedon, 

And here those happy lands where genius shone 

In all the arts, in all the Muses' charms, 

In all the pride of elegance and arms, 

Which to the heavens resounded Grecia's name, 

And left in every age a deathless fame. 

The stem Dalmatians till the neighboring ground ; 

And where Antenor anchored in the sound 

Proud Venice, as a queen, majestic towers. 

And o*er the trembling waves her thunder pours. 

For learning glorious, glorious for the sword, 

While Rome's proud monarch reign'd the world's dread lord, 

Here Italy her beauteous landscapes shows ; 

Around her sides his arms old ocean throws ; 

The dashing waves the ramparts aid supply ; 

The hoary Alps high tow'ring to the sky, 

From shore to shore a rugged barrier spread, 

And lower destruction on the hostile tread. 

But now no more her hostile spirit bums, 

There now the saint, in humble vespers mourns 

To Heaven more grateful than the pride of war, 

And all the triumphs of the victor's car. 

Onward fair Gallia opens to the view 

Her groves of olive, and her vineyards blue : 

Wide spread her harvests o'er the scenes renown'd, 

Where Julius * proudly strode with laurel crown' d. 

* The Hellespont, or Straits of the Dardanelles.—^. 

' The Balkan Mountains separating Greece and Macedonia from 
the basin of the Danube, and extending from the Adriatic to the Black 
Sea.— ^. 

* Now Oonstantinople. 

* Julius 0»sar, the conqueror of Gaul, or France. — Ed, 


Here Seine, bow fair wlien glistening to the moon ! 

Rolls his white wave, and here the cold Guroon ; 

Here the deep Rhine the flow'ry margin laves, 

And here the rapid Rhone impervious raves. 

Here the gruff mountains, faithless to the vows 

Of lost Pyrene ^ rear their cloudy brows ; 

Whence, when of old the flames their woods devoured. 

Streams of red gold and melted silver pour'd. 

And now, as head of all the lordly train 

Of Europe's realms, appears illustrious Spain. 

Alas, what various fortunes has she known ! 

Yet ever did her sons her wrongs atone ; 

Short was the triumph of her haughty foes. 

And still with fairer bloom her honours rose. 

Where, lock*d with land, the struggling currents boil 

Fam'd for the godlike Theban's latest toil,* 

Against one coast the Punic strand extends. 

Around her breast the midland ocean bends. 

Around her shores two various oceans swell, 

And various nations in her bosom dwell. 

Such deeds of valour dignify their names. 

Each the imperial right of honour claims. 

Proud Aragon, who twice her standard rear'd 

In conquered Naples ; and for art rever'd, 

Ghlicia's prudent sons ; the fierce Navarre, 

And he far dreaded in the Moorish war, 

The bold Asturian ; nor Sevilia's race. 

Nor thine, Granada, claim the second place. 

Here too the heroes who command the plain 

By Betis * water'd ; here the pride of Spain, 

* Faithless to the vows of lost Pyrene^ etc. — She was daughter to 
Bebryx, a king of Spain, and concubine to Hercules. Having wandered 
one day from her lover, she was destroyed by wild beasts, on one of 
the mountains which bear her name. 

2 Hercules, says the fable, to crown his labours, separated the 
two mountains Calpe and A by la, the one in Spain, the other in 
Africa, in order to open a canal for the benefit of commerce ; on which 
the ocean rushed in, and formed the Mediterranean, the ^^gean, and 
Euxine seas. The twin mountains Abyla and Calpe were known to 
the anci^^nts by the name of the Pillars of Hercules. — See Cory's 
Ancient Fragments. 

• The river Guadalquivir ; i.e., in Arabic, the great river. — Ed. 


66 THE LUSIAD. [book in, 

The brave Castilian pauses o'er his sword, 

His country's dread deliverer and lord. 

Proud o'er the rest, with splendid wealth array'd. 

As crown to this wide empire, Europe's head, 

Fair Lusitania smiles, the western bound. 

Whose verdant breast the rolling waves surround, 

Where gentle evening pours her lambent ray. 

The last pale gleaming of departing day ; 

This, this, O mighty kinff, the sacred earth, 

This the loved parent-sou. that gave me birth. 

And oh, would bounteous Heaven my prayer regard, 

And fair success my perilous toils reward. 

May that dear land my latest breath receive, 

And give my weary bones a peaceful grave. 


Sublime the honours of my native land. 
And high in Heaven's regard her heroes stand ; 
By Heaven's decree 'twas theirs the first to quell 
The Moorish tyrants, and from Spain expel ; 
Nor could their burning wilds conceal their flight. 
Their burning wilds confess'd the Lusian might. 
From Lusus famed, whose honour'd name we bear, 
(The son of Bacchus or the bold compeer). 
The glorious name of Lusitania rose, 
A name tremendous to the Roman foes. 
When her bold troops the valiant shepherd ^ led. 
And foul with rout the Roman eagles fled ; 
When haughty Rome achiev'd the treach'rous blow. 
That own'd her terror of the matchless foe.^ 
But, when no more her Yiriatus fought. 
Age after ago her deeper thraldom brought ; 
Her broken sons by ruthless tyrants spum'd. 
Her vineyards languish'd, and her pastures moum'd ; 
Till time revolving rais'd her drooping head, 
And o'er the wond'ring world her conquests spread. 
Thus rose her power : the lands of lordly Spain 
Were now the brave Alonzo's wide domain ; 
Great were his honours in the bloody fight. 
And Fame proclaim'd him champion of the right. 

* Viriatus. — See the note on Book I. p. 9. 

* The assassination of Viriatus. — See the note on Book I. p. 9. 


And oft the groaning Saracen's ^ prond crest 

And shattered mail his awful force confessed. 

From Calpe's snmmits to the Caspian shore 

Lond-tongued renown his godlike actions bore. 

And many a chief from distant regions * came 

To share the laurels of Alonzo's fame ; 

Yet, more for holy Faith's unspotted cause 

Their spears they wielded, than for Fame's applause. 

Great were the deeds their thund'ring arms display'd, 

And still their foremost swords the battle sway'd. 

And now to honour with distinguish'd meed 

Each hero's worth the ffen'rous king decreed. 

The first and bravest of the foreign bands 

Hungaria's younger son, brave Henry ' stands. 

* The name of Saracen is derived from the Arabic Es-shurkj the 
Eastf and designates the Arabs who followed the banner of Moham- 
med. — Ed. 

^ Don Alonzo, king of Spain, apprehensive of the superior number 
of the Moors, with whom he was at war, demanded assistance from 
Philip I. of France, and the Duke of Burgundy. According to the 
military spirit of the nobility of that age, no sooner was his desire 
known than numerous bodies of troops thronged to his standard. 
These, in the course of a few years, having shown signal proofs of 
their courage, the king distinguished the leaders with diflferent marks 
of his regard. To Henry, a younger son of the Duke of Burgundy, he 
gave his daughter Teresa in marriage, with the sovereignty of the 
countries to the south of Galicia, commissioning him to enlarge his 
boundaries by the expulsion of the Moors. Under the government 
of this great man, who reigned by the title of Count, his dominion 
was greatly enlarged, and became more rich and populous than before. 
The two provinces of Entre Minho e Douro, and Tras os Montes, were 
subdued, with that part of Beira which was held by the Moorish king 
of Lamego, whom he constrained to pay tribute. Many thousands of 
Christians, who had either lived in miserable subjection to the Moors, 
or in desolate independency in the mountains, took shelter under the 
protection of Count Henry. Great multitudes of the Moors also chose 
rather to submit, than be exposed to the severities and the continual 
feuds and seditions of their own governors. These advantages, added 
to the great fertility of the soil of Henry's dominions, will account for 
the numerous armies, and the frequent wars of the first sovereigns of 

' Camoens, in making the founder of the Portuguese monarchy a 
younger son of the King of Hungary, has followed the old chronologist 
Galvan. The Spanish and Portuguese historians differ widely in their 
accounts of the parentage of this gallant stranger. Some bring hira 
from Comitantinople, and others from the house of Lorraine. But the 

68 THE LUSIAD. [book in. 

To him are given the fields where Tagus flows, 
And the glad king his daughter's hand bestows ; 
The fair Teresa shines his blooming bride, 
And owns her father's love, and Henry's pride. 
With her, besides, the sire confirms in dower 
Whate'er his sword might rescue from the Moor ; 
And soon on Hagar's race ^ the hero pours 
His warlike fury — soon the vanquish'd Moors 
To him far round the neighb'ring lands resign. 
And Heaven rewards him with a glorious line. 
To him is bom. Heaven's gift, a gallant son, 
The glorious founder of the Lusian throne. 
Nor Spain's wide lands alone his deeds attest, 
Deliver'd Judah Henry's might " conf ess'd 
On Jordan's bank the victor-hero strode. 
Whose hallo w'd waters bath'd the Saviour- God ; 
And Salem's ' gate her open folds display'd, 
When Godfrey * conquer'd by the hero's aid. 

clearesiand most probable account of him is in the chronicle of Fleury, 
wherein is preserved a fragment of French history, written by a 
Benedictine monk in the beginning of the twelfth century, and in the 
time of Count Henry. By tnis it appears, that he was a younger son 
of Henry, the only son of Robert, the first duke of Burgundy, who 
was a younger brother of Henry I. of France. Fanshaw having an eye 
to this history, has taken the unwarrantable liberty to alter the fact as 
mentioned by his author. 

Amongst these Henry^ saith the history, 

A younger son of France^ and a brave prince, 

Had Portiigal in lot. 

And the same Mng did his own datighter tie 
To him in wedlock^ to infer from thence 
His firmer love. 

Nor are the historians agreed on the birth of Donna Teresa, the spouse 
of Count Henry. Brandam, and other Portuguese historians, are at 
great pains to prove she was the legitimate daughter of Alonzo and 
the beautiful Ximena de Guzman. But it appears from the more 
authentic chronicle of Fleury, that Ximena was only his concubine. 
And it is evident from all the historians, that Donna Urraca, the 
heiress of her father's kingdom, was younger than her half-sister, the 
wife of Count Henry. 

* The Mohammedan Arabs. 

* Delivered Judah Henry's might confessed. — His expedition to the 
Holy Land is mentioned by some monkish writers, but from the other 
parts of his history it .is highly improbable. 

» Jerusalem. * Godfrey of Bouillon. 


But now no more in tented fields oppos'd, 
By Tagns' stream his honoured age he clos'd ; 
Yet still his dauntless worth, his virtue lived, 
And all the father in the son survived. 
And soon his worth was prov*d, the parent dame 
Avow*d a second hymeneal flame.^ 
The low-bom spouse assumes the monarch's place, 
And from the throne expels the orphan race. 
But young Alphonso, like his sires of yore 
(His grandsire's virtues, as his name, he bore), 
Arms for the fight, his ravish'd throne to win, 
And the lac'd helmet grasps his beardless chin. 
Her fiercest firebrands Civil Discord wav*d. 
Before her troops the lustful mother rav'd ; 
Lost to maternal love, and lost to shame, 
Unaw'd she saw Heaven's awful vengeance flame ; 
The brother's sword the brother's bosom tore. 
And sad Guimaria's * meadows blush'd with gore ; 
With Lusian gore the peasant's cot was stain'd, 
And kindred blood the sacred shrine profan'd. 

Here, cruel Progne, here, Jason's wife, 
Yet reeking with your children's purple life, 
Here glut your eyes with deeper guilt than yours ; 
Here fiercer rage her fiercer rancour pours. 
Your crime was vengeance on the faithless sires, 
But here ambition with foul lust conspires. 

* Don Alonzo Enriquez, son of Count Henry, had only entered 
into his third year when his father died. His mother assumed the 
reins of government, and appointed Don Fernando Perez de Traba 
to be her minister. When the young prince was in his eighteenth 
year, some of the nobility, who either envied the power of Don Perez, 
or suspected his intention to marry the queen, and exclude the lawful 
heir, easily persuaded the young Count to take arms, and assume the 
sovereignty. A battle ensued, in which the prince was victorious. 
Teresa, it is said, retired into the castle of Legonaso, where she was 
•' taken prisoner by her son, who condemned her to perpetual imprison- 
ment, and ordered chains to be put upon her legs. That Don Alonso 
made war a.gainst his mother, vanquished her party, and that she died 
in prison about two years after, a.d. 1130, are certain. But the cause 
of the war, that his mother was married to, or intended to marry, Don 
Perez, and that she was put in chains, are uncertain. 

' Guimaraens was the scene of a very sanguinary battle. — Ed, 

70 THE LUSIAD. [book in. 

*Twas rage of love, O Scylla, urged the knife ^ 

That robb'd thy father of his fated life ; 

Here grosser rage the mother's breast inflames, 

And at her guiltless son the vengeance aims. 

But aims in vain ; her slaughtered forces yield, 

And the brave youth rides victor o'er the field. 

No more his subjects lift the thirsty sword, 

And the glad realm proclaims the youthful lord. 

But ah, how wild the noblest tempers run ! 

His filial duty now forsakes the son ; 

Secluded from the day, in clanking chains 

His rage the parent's aged limbs constrains. 

Heaven frown' d — Dark vengeance lowering on his brows. 

And sheath' d in brass, the proud Castilian rose, 

B;esolv'd the rigour to his daughter shown 

The battle should avenge, and blood atone. 

A numerous hofffc against the prince he sped, 

The valiant prince his little army led : 

Dire was the shock ; the deep-riven helms resound, 

And foes with foes lie grappling on the ground. 

Yet, though around the stripling's sacred head 

By angel hands etherial shields were spread ; 

Though glorious triumph on his valour smiled, 

Soon on his van the baffled foe recoil'd : 

With bands "more num'rous to the field he came. 

His proud heart burning with the rage of shame. 

And now in turn Guimaria's * lofty wall. 

That saw his triumph, saw the hero fall ; 

Within the town immured, distress'd he lay, 

To stern Castilia's sword a certain prey. 

When now the guardian of his infant years. 

The valiant Egas, as a god appears ; 

To proud Castile the suppliant noble bows. 

And faithful homage for his prince he vows. 

* The Scylla here alluded to was, according to fable, the daughter 
of Nisus, king of Megara, who had a purple lock, in which lay the fate 
of his kingdom. Minos of Crete made war against him, for whom 
Scylla conceived so violent a passion, that she cut off the fatal lock 
while her father slept. Minos on this was victorious, but rejected the 
love of the unnatural daughter, who in despair flung herself from a 
rock, and in the fall was changed into a lark. 

* Guimaraens, the scene of a famous battle. — Ed. 


The proud Castile accepts his honour'd faith, 
And peace succeeds the dreadful scenes of death. 
Yet well, alas, the generous Egas knew 
His high-soul*d prince to man would never sue : 
Would never stoop to brook the servile stain, 
To hold a borrowed, a dependent reign. 
And now with gloomy aspect rose the day, 
Decreed the plighted senole rights to pay ; 
When Egas, to redeem his faith's disgrace. 
Devotes himself, his spouse, and infant race. 
In gowns of white, as sentenced felons clad, 
When to the stake the sons of guilt are led. 
With feet unshod they slowly moved along, 
And from their necks the knotted halters hung. 
" And now, O king," the kneeling Egas cries, 
" Behold my perjured honour's sacrifice : 
If such mean victims can atone thine ire, 
Here let my wife, my babes, myself expire. 
If gen'rous bosoms such revenge can take. 
Here let them perish for the father's sake : 
The guilty tongue, the guilty hands are these, 
Nor let a common death thy wrath appease ; 
For us let all the rage of torture burn. 
But to my prince, thy son, in friendship turn." 

He spoke, and bow'd his prostrate body low, 
As one who waits the lifted sabre's blow ; 
When o'er the block his languid arms are spread, 
And death, foretasted, whelms the heart with dread : 
So great a leader thus in humbled state, 
So firm his loyalty, his zeal so great. 
The brave Alonzo's kindled ire subdu'd, 
And, lost in silent joy, the monarch stood ; 
Then gave the hand, and sheath'd the hostile sword, 
And, to such honour honour'd peace ^ restor'd. 

Oh Lusian faith ! oh zeal beyond compare I 
What greater danger could the Persian dare, 

* Some historians having related this story of Egas, add, " All this 
is very pleasant and entertaining, but we see no sufficient reason to 
affirm that there is one syllable of it true." 

72 THE LUSIAD. [bo<« m. 

Whose prince in tears, to view his mangled woe, 
Forgot the joy for Babylon's ^ o'erthrow. 
And now the youthful hero shines in arms, 
The banks of Tagus echo war's alarms : 
O'er Ourique's wide campaign his ensigns wave, 
And the proud Saracen to combat brave. 
Though prudence might arraign his fiery rage 
That dar'd with one, each hundred spears engage, 
In Heaven's protecting care his 6ourage lies, 
And Heaven, his friend, superior force supplies. 
Five Moorish kings against him march along, 
Ismar the noblest of the armed throng ; 
Yet each brave monarch claim'd the soldier's name. 
And far o'er many a land was known to fame. 
In all the beauteous glow of blooming years * 
Beside each king a warrior nymph appears ; 
Each with her sword her valiant lover guards. 
With smiles inspires him, and with smiles rewards. 
Such was the valour of the beauteous maid,* 
Whose warlike arm proud Ilion's * fate delay'd. 
Such in the field the virgin warriors ' shpne, 
Who drank the limpid wave of Thermodon.® 

'Twas morn's still hour, before the dawning grey 
The stars' bright twinkling radiance died away, 

* Wlien Darius laid siege to Babylon, one of his lords, named 
Zopyrus, having cut off his own nose and ears, persuaded the enemy that 
he had received these indignities from the cruelty of his master. 
Being appointed to a chief command in Babylon, he betrayed the city 
to Darius. — Vid. Justin's History. 

^ Spanish and Portuguese histories afford several instances of the 
Moorish chiefs being attended in the field of battle by their mistresses, 
and of the romantic gallantry and Amazonian courage of these ladies. 

8 Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, who, after having signalized 
her valour at the siege of Troy, was killed by Achilles. 

* The Greek name of Troy. — Ed. * The Amazons. 

* Thermodon, a river of Scythia in the country of the Amazons. 

Quales ThrelcisR cum flumina Thermodontis 

Fuhant et pictis bellantur Amazones armis : 

Seu circum Mippolyten^ seu cum se Martia curru 

Penthesilea refert : magnoque ulidante tumultu 

Fosminea exsultant lunatia agmina peUis. Vibg. Mn, xi. 659* 


When lo, resplendent in the heaven serene, 
High o'er the prince the sacred cross was seen ; 
The godlike prince with Faith's warm glow inflam'd, 
** Oh, not to me, my bounteous God ! '' exclaim'd, 
" Oh, not to me, who well thy grandeur know, 
But to the pagan herd thy wonders show." 

The Lusian host, enraptur'd, mark'd the sign 
That witness'd to their chief the aid divine : 
Right on the foe they shake the beamy lance. 
And with firm strides, and heaving breasts, advance ; 
Then burst the silence, " HaiJ, O king ! " they cry ; 
" Our king, our king ! " the echoing dales reply : 
Fir'd at the sound, with fiercer ardour glows 
The Heaven-made monarch ; on the wareless foes 
Rushing, he speeds his ardent bands along : 
So, when the chase excites the rustic throng, 
Rous'd to fierce madness by their mingled cries, 
On the wild bull the red-eyed mastiff flies. ♦ 

The stem-brow'd tyrant roars and tears the ground 
His watchful horns portend the deathful wound. 
The nimble mastiff springing on the foe, 
Avoids the furious sharpness of the blow ; 
Now by the neck, now by the gory sides 
Hangs fierce, and all his bellowing rage derides : 
In vain his eye-balls burn with living fire. 
In vain his nostrils clouds of smoke respire. 
His gorge torn dowu, down falls the furious prize 
With hollow thund'ring sound, and raging dies : ^ 

* It may, perhaps, be agreeable to the reader, to see the description 
of a bull-fight as given by Homer. 

Aa when a lion^ rushing from his deny 
Amidst the plain of some wide-watered fen, 
( Where numWous oxen, as at ease they feed. 
At large expatiate o*er the ranker mead ;) 
Leaps on the herds before the herdsman^s eyes : 
The trembling herdsman far to distance flies : 
Some lordly bull (the rest dispersed and fled) 
He singles out, arrests, and lays him dead. 
Thusfrmn the rage of Jove-like Hector flew 
All Greece in heaps ; hut one he seized, and slew 
Mycenian Periphas, 

POPB, n. XV. 

74 THE LUSIAD. [book in. 

Thus, on tlie Moors the hero msh'd along, 

Th' astonish'd Moors in wild confusion throng ; 

They snatch their arms, the hasty trumpet sounds, 

With horrid yell the dread alarm rebounds ; 

The warlike tumult maddens o'er the plain. 

As when the flame devours the bearded grain : 

The nightly flames the whistling winds inspire, 

Fierce through the braky thicket pours the fire : 

Rous'd by the crackling of the mounting blaze 

From sleep the shepherds start in wild amaze ; 

They snatch their clothes with many a woeful cry. 

And, scattered, devious to the mountains fly : 

Such sudden dread the trembling Moors alarms. 

Wild and confused, they snatch the nearest arms ; 

Yet flight they scorn, and, eager to engage. 

They spur their foamy steeds, and trust their furious rage : 

Amidst the horror of the headlong shock, 

With foot unshaken as the living rock 

Stands the bold Lusian firm ; the purple wounds 

Gush horrible ; deep, groaning rage resounds ; 

Reeking behind the Moorish backs appear 

The shining point of many a Lusian spear ; 

The mailcoats, hauberks,^ and the harness steeVd, 

Bruis'd, hack'd, and torn, lie scattered o'er the field ; 

Beneath the Lusian sweepy force o'erthrown, 

Cmsh'd by their batter'd mails the wounded groan ; 

Burning with thirst they di*aw their panting breath, 

And curse their prophet * as they writhe in death. 

Arms sever'd from the trunks still grasp the steel,® 

Heads gasping roll ; the fighting squadrons reel ; 

Fainty and weak with languid arms they close. 

And stagg'ring, grapple with the stagg'ring foes. 

* A shirt of mail, formed of small iron rings. * Mohammed. 

' There is a passage in Xenophon, upon which perhaps Camoens 
had his eye. Eirei S4 eXrf^ev rj fi^XVf tfop^f iSetV, rrjv jxiv yfiv cdfxari 
ireipvp/xfyriVf &c. "When the battle was over, one might behold 
through the whole extent of the field the ground purpled with blood ; 
the bodies of friends and enemies stretched over each other, the shields 
pierced, the spears broken, and the drawn swords, some scattBred on the 
earth, some plunged in the bosoms of the slain, and some yet grasped 
in the hands of the dead soldiers." 


m.] THE LUSIAD. 75 

So, when an oak falls headlong on the lake, 

The troubled waters slowly settHng shake : 

So faints the languid combat on the plain, 

And settling, staggers o'er the heaps of slain. 

Again the Lusian fury wakes its fires, 

The terror of the Moors new strength inspires : 

The scatter'd few in wild confusion fly, 

And total rout resounds the yelling cry. 

Defil'd with one wide sheet of reeking gore, 

The verdure of the lawn appears no more : 

In bubbling streams the lazy currents run, 

And shoot red flames beneath the evening sun. 

With spoils enrich*d, with glorious trophies ^ crown'd. 

The Heaven-made sovereign on the battle ground 

* This memorable battle was fought in the plains of Ourique^ in 
1139. The engagement lasted six hours; the Moors were totally 
routed with incredible slaughter. On the field of battle Alonzo was 
proclaimed King of Portugal. The Portuguese writers have given 
many fabulous accounts of this victory. Some affirm that the Moorish 
army amounted to 380,000, others, 480,000, and others swell it to 
600,000, whereas Don Alonzo's did not exceed 13,000. Miracles must 
also be added. Alonzo, they tell us, being in great perplexity, sat 
down to comfort his mind by the perusal of the Holy Scriptures. 
Having read the story of Gideon, he sunk into a deep sleep, in which 
he saw a very old man in a remarkable dress come into his tent, and 
assure him of victory. His chamberlain coming in, awoke him, and 
told him there was an old man very importunate to speak with him. 
Don Alonzo ordered him to be brought in, and no sooner saw him than 
he knew him to be the old man whom he had seen in his dream. This 
venerable person acquainted him that he was a fisherman, and had 
led a life of penance for sixty years on an adjacent rock, where it had 
been revealed to him, that if the count marched his army the next 
morning, as soon g.s he heard a certain bell ring, he should receive the 
strongest assurance of victory. Accordingly, at the ringing of the 
bell, the count put his army in motion, and suddenly beheld in the 
eastern sky the figure of the cross, and Christ upon it, who promised 
him a complete victory, and commanded him to accept the title of 
king, if it were offered him by the army. The same writers add, that 
as a standing memorial of this miraculous event, Don Alonzo changed 
the arms which his father had given, of a cross azure in a field argent, 
for five escutcheons, each charged with five bezants, in memory of the 
wounds of Christ. Others assert, that he gave, in a field argent, five 
escutcheons azure in the form of a cross, each charged with five 
bezants argent, placed saltierwise, with a point sable, in memory of five 
wounds he himself received, and of five Moorish kinps slain in the 
battle. There is an old record, said to be written by Don Alonzo, in 

76 THE LUSIAD.. [book m. 

Three days encamp'd, to rest his weary train, 

Whose dauntless valour drove the Moors from Spain. 

And now, in honour of the glorious day. 

When five proud monarchs fell, his vanquish'd prey, 

On his brosid buckler, unadorn'd before. 

Placed as a cross, five azure shields he wore, 

In grateful memory of the heav'nly sign. 

The pledge of conquest by the aid divine. 

Nor long his falchion in the scabbard slept, 
His warlike arm increasing laurels reap'd : 
From Leyra*s walls the baffled Ismar tffes. 
And strong Arroncha falls his conquer 'd prize ; 
That honoured town, through whose Elysian groves 
Thy smooth and limpid wave, O Tagus, roves. 
Th' illustrious Santarene confessed his pow^er. 
And vanquish'd Mafra yields her proudest tower. 
The Lunar mountains saw his troops display 
Their marching banners and their brave array : 
To him submits fair Cintra's cold domain. 
The soothing refuge of the Naiad train. 
When Love's sweet snares the pining nymphs would shun : 
Alas, in vain, from warmer climes tliey run : 
The cooling shades awake the young desires. 
And the cold fountains cherish love's soft fires. 
And thou, famed Lisbon, whose embattled wall 
Rose by the hand that wrought proud Ilion's ^ fall ; * 
Thou queen of cities, whom the seas obey. 
Thy dreaded ramparts own'd the hero's sway. 
Far from the north a warlike navy bore 
From Elbe, from Rhine, and Albion's misty* shore ; 

which the story of the vision is related upon his majesty's oath. The 
Spanish critics, however, have discovered many inconsistencies in it. 
They find the language intermixed with phrases not then in use : and 
it bears the date of the year of our Lord, at a time when that era had 
not been introduced into Spain. 

» Troy. 

' The tradition, that Lisbon was built by Ulysses, and thence 
called Olympolis, is as common as, and of equal authority with, that 
which says, that Brute landed a colony of Trojans in England, and 
gave the name of Britannia to the island. 

* The conquest of Lisbon was of the ntmost importance to the 


To rescue Salem's ^ long-polluted shrine 

Their force to great Alonzo*s force they join : 

Before Ulysses' walls the navy rides, 

The joyful Tagus laves their pitchy sides. 

Five times the moon her empty horns conceal'd, 

Five times her broad effulgence shone reveal'd, 

When, wrapt in clouds of dusfc, her mural pride 

Falls thund'ring, — black the smoking breach yawns wide. 

As, when th' imprison'd waters burst the mounds, 

And roar, wide sweeping, o'er the cultur'd grounds ; 

Nor cot nor fold withstand their furious course ; 

So, headlong rush'd along the hero's force. 

The thirst of vengeance the assailants fires. 

The madness of despair the Moors inspires ; 

Each lane, each street resounds the conflict's roar, 

And every threshold reeks with tepid gore. 

Thus fell the city, whose unconquer'd * towers 
Defied of old the banded Gothic powers. 
Whose harden'd nerves in rig'rous climates train'd 
The savage courage of their souls snstain'd : 
Before whose sword the sons of Ebro fled, 
And Tagus trembled in his oozy bed ; 
Aw'd by whose arms the lawns of Betis' shore 
The name Yandalia from the Yandals bore. 

infant monarchy. It is one of the finest ports in the world, and before 
the invention of cannon, was of great strength. The old Moorish wall 
was flanked by seventy-seven towers, was about six miles in length, 
and fourteen in circumference. When besieged by Don Alonzo, ac- 
cording to some, it was garrisoned by an army of 200,000 men. This 
is highly incredible. However, that it was strong and well garrisoned 
is certain, as also that Alonzo owed the conquest of it to a fleet of 
adventurers, who were going to the Holy Land, the greater part of 
whom were English. One Udal op Rhys, in his tour through Por- 
tugal, says, that Alonzo gave them Almada, on the side of the Tagus 
opposite to Lisbon, and that Villa Franca was peopled by them, which 
they called Comualla, either in honour of their native country, or from 
the rich meadows in its neighbourhood, where immense herds of cattle 
are kept, as in the English Cornwall. 

* Jerusalem. 

' Unconquer'd towers. — This assertion of Camoens is not without 
foundation, for it was by treachery that Herimeneric, the Goth, g:ot 
possession of Lisbon. 

78 THE LUSIAD. [book in. 

When Lisbon's towers before the Lnsian fell, 
What fort, what rampart might his arms repel ! 
Estremadura*s region owns him lord, 
And Torres- vedras bends beneath his sword ; 
Obidos hnmbles, and Alamquer yields, 
Alamquer famous for her verdant fields, 
Whose murm'ring riv'lets cheer the traveller's way, 
As the chill waters o'er the pebbles stray. 
Elva the green, and Monra's fertile dales. 
Fair Serpa's tillage, and Alcazar's vales 
Not for himself the Moorish peasant sows ; 
For Lusian hands the yellow harvest glows : 
And you, fair lawns, beyond the Tagus' wave, 
Your golden burdens for Alonzo save ; 
Soon shall his thund'ring might your wealth reclaim, 
And your glad valleys hail their monarch's name. 

Nor sleep his captains while the sov'reign wars ; 
The brave Giraldo's sword in conquest shares, 
Evora's frowning walls, the castled hold 
Of that proud Roman chief, and rebel bold, 
Sertorious dread, whose labours still remain ; ^ 
Two hundred arches, stretch' d in length, sustain 
The marble duct, where, glist'ning to the sun. 
Of silver hue the shining waters run. 
Evora's frowning walls now shake with fear. 
And yield, obedient to Giraldo's spear. 
Nor rests the monarch while his servants toil, 
Around him still increasing trophies smile, 
And deathless fame repays the hapless fate 
That gives to human life so short a date. 
Proud Beja's castled walls his fury storms, 
And one red slaughter every lane deforms. 
The ghosts, whose mangled limbs, yet scarcely cold) 
Heap'd, sad Trancoso's streets in carnage roU'd, 
Appeas'd, the vengeance of their slaughter see. 
And hail th' indignant king's severe decree. 

* The aqueduct of Sertorius, here mentioned, is one of the grandest 
remains of antiquity. It was repaired by John III. of Portugal about 
A.D. 1540. 

BOOK ul] the lusiad. 79 

Palmela trembles on her mountain's height, 

And sea-laved Zambra owns the hero's might. 

Nor these alone confessed his happy star, " 

Their fated doom produced a nobler war. 

Badaja's ^ king, a haughty Moor, beheld 

His towns besieg'd, and hasted to the field. 

Four thousand coursers in his army neigh'd, 

Unnumber*d spears his infantry displayed ; 

Proudly they march'd, and glorious to behold, 

In silver belts they shone, and plates of gold. 

Along a mountain's side secure they trod, 

Steep on each hand, and rugged was the road ; 

When, as a bull, whose lustful veins betray 

The madd'ning tumult of inspiring May ; 

If, when his rage with fiercest ardour glows, 

When in the shade the fragrant heifer lows, 

If then, perchance, his jealous burning eye 

Behold a careless traveller wander by, 

With dreadful bellowing on the wretch he flies. 

The wretch defenceless, torn and trampled dies. 

So rush'd Alonzo on the gaudy train. 

And pour'd victorious o'er the mangled slain ; 

The royal Moor precipitates in flight. 

The mountain echoes with the wild affright 

Of flying squadrons ; down their arms they throw, 

And dash from rock to rock to shun the foe. 

The foe ! what wonders may not virtue dare ! 

But sixty horsemen wag'd the conqu'ring war.* 

The warlike monarch still his toil renews, 

New conquest still each victory pursues. . 

To him Badaja's lofty gates expand. 

And the wide region owns his dread command. 

When, now enraged, proud Leon's king beheld 

Those walls subdued, which saw his troops expell'd ; 

Enrag'd he saw them own the victor's sway. 

And hems them round with battailous array. 

With gen'rous ire the brave Alonzo glows ; 

By Heaven unguarded, on the num'rous foes 

* Badajoz. 

' The history of this battle wants authenticity. 

80 THE LUSIAD. [book m 

He rushes, glorying in his wonted force, 

And spurs, with headlong rage, his furious horse ; 

The combat burns, the snorting courser bounds. 

And paws impetuous by the iron mounds : 

O'er gasping foes and sounding bucklers trod 

The raging steed, and headlong as he rode 

Dash'd the fierce monarch on a rampire bar — 

Low grovelling in the dust, the pride of war, 

The great Alonzo lies. The captive's fate 

Succeeds, alas, the pomp of regal state. 

" Let iron dash his limbs," his mother cried, 

" And steel revenge my chains : " she spoke, and died ; 

And Heaven assented — Now the hour was come, 

And the dire curse was fallen Alonzo*s doom.^ 

No more, O Pompey, of thy fate complain, 
No more with sorrow view thy glory's stain ; 
Though thy tall standards tower'd with lordly pride 
Where northern Phasis * rolls his icy tide ; 
Though hot Syene,* where the sun's fierce ray 
Begets no shadow, own'd thy conqu'ring sway ; 
Though from the tribes that shiver in the gleam 
Of cold Bootes' wat'ry glist'ning team ; 
To those who parch'd beneath the burning line. 
In fragrant shades their feeble limbs recline, 
The various languages proclaim'd thy fame. 
And trembling, own'd the terrors of thy name ; 

* Ab already observed, there is no authentic proof that Don 
Alonzo used such severity to his mother as to put her in chains. 
Brandan says it was reported that Don Alonzo was bom with both his 
legs growing together, and that he was cured by the prayers of his 
tutor, Egas Nunio. Legendary as this may appear, this however is 
deducible from it, that from his birth there was something amiss 
about his legs. When he was prisoner to his son-m-law, Don Fernando, 
king of Leon, he recovered his liberty ere his leg, which was fractured 
in the battle, was restored, on condition that as soon as he was able to 
mount on horseback, he should come to Leon, and in person do homage 
for his dominions. This condition, so contrary to his coronation 
agreement, he found means to avoid. He ever after affected to drive 
in a calash, and would never mount on horseback more. The supersti- 
tious of those days ascribed this infirmity to the curses of his mother. 

' Phasis. — A river of Colchis. 

* A frontier town on the Nile, bordering on Nubia. 


Thongh ricli Arabia, and Sarmatia bold, 
And Colchis,^ famous for the fleece of gold ; 
Thougb Jndab's land, whose sacred rites implop'd 
The One true God, and, as be tanght, ador*d ; 
Though Cappadocia's realm thy mandate sway'd, 
And base Sophenia's sons thy nod obey'd ; 
Though vex'd Cilicia*s pirates wore thy bands, 
And those who cultur'd fair Armenia's lands. 
Where from the sacred mount two rivers flow, 
And what was Eden to the pilgrim show ; 
Though from the vast Atlantic's bounding wave 
To where the northern tempests howl and rave 
Bound Taurus' lofty brows : though vast and wide 
The various climes that bended to thy pride ; 
No more with pining anguish of regret 
Bewail the horrors of Pharsalia's fate : 
For great Alonzo, whose superior name 
Unequall'd victories consign to fame. 
The great Alonzo fell — like thine his woe ; 
From nuptial kindred came the fatal blow, 

When now the hero, humbled in the dust. 
His crime aton'd, confessed that Heaven was just, 
Again in splendour he the throne ascends : 
Again his bow the Moorish chieftain bends. 
Wide round th' embattrd gates of Santareen 
Their shining spears and banner'd moons are seen. 
But holy rites the pious king preferr'd ; 
The martyr's bones on Vincent's Cape interr'd 
(His sainted name the Cape shall ever bear), * 
To Lisbon's walls he brought with votive care. 
And now the monarch, old and feeble grown. 
Resigns the falchion to his valiant son. 
O'er Tagus' waves the youthful hero pass'd. 
And bleeding hosts before him shrunk aghast. 
Chok'd with the slain, with Moorish carnage dy'd, 
Sevilia's river roll'd the purple tide. 

* Colchi8,--A country of Asia Minor bordering on the Black 
Sea.— ^. 

*Tu quoque liUoribus nostris, Mneia nutrix, 
Mtemam moriens famam, Caieta dedisti. ViBG. Mn. yiU 



Burning for victory, the warlike "boy 
Spares not a day to tbongbtless rest or joy. 
Nor long bis wish nnsatisfied remains : 
With the besiegers' gore he dyes the plains 
That circle Beja's wall : yet still nntam'd, 
With all the fierceness of despair inflam'd, 
The raging Moor collects his distant might ; 
Wide fiom the sbores of Atlas' starry height^ 
From Ampbelnsia's cape, and Tingia's ^ bay, 
Where stem Antasns held his bmtal sway, 
The Manritanian trumpet sounds to arms ; 
And Juba's realm returns the hoarse alarms ; 
The swarthy tribes in bumish'd armour shine, 
Their warlike march Abyla's shepherds join. 
The great Miramolin * on Tagus' shores 
Far o'er the coast his banner'd thousands pours ; 
Twelve kings and one beneath his ensigns stan^ 
And wield their sabres at his dread command. 
The plund*ring bands far round the region haste, 
The mournful region lies a naked waste. 
And now, enclos'd in Santareen's high towers, 
The brave Don Sancho shuns th' unequal powers ; 
A thousand arts the furious Moor pursues, 
And ceaseless, still the fierce assault renews. 
Huge clefts of rock, from horrid engines whirl'd, 
In smould'ring volleys on the town are hurl'd ; 
The brazen rams the lofty turrets shake, 
And, mined beneath, the deep foundations quake ; 
But brave Alonzo's son, as danger grows, 
His pride inflam'd, with rising courage glows ; 
Each coming storm of missile darts he wards. 
Each nodding turret, and each port he guards. 

In that fair city, round whose verdant meads 
The branching river of Mondego ' spreads. 
Long worn with warlike toils, and bent with years, 
The king reposed, when Sancho's fate he hears. 

* i.e. Tangiers, opposite to Gibraltar. — Ed, 

* This should be Emir eil Moumeneen, ».e., Commander of the 

» The Mondego is the largest river having its rise within the 
kingdom of Portugal and entering no other state. — Ed. 


His limbs forget the feeble steps of age, 
And the hoar warrior burDS with youthful rage. 
His danng vet'rans, long to conquest train'd, 
He leads — the ground with Moorish blood is stain'd ; 
Turbans, and robes of various colours wrought, 
And shiver'd spears in streaming carnage float. 
In harness gay lies many a welt'ring steed, 
And, low in dust, the groaning masters bleed. 
As proud Miramolin ^, in horror fled, 
Don Sancho's javelin stretch'd him with the dead. 
In wild dismay, and torn with gushing wounds. 
The rout, wide scattered, fly the Lusian bounds. 
Their hands to heaven the joyful victors raise, 
And every voice resounds ttie song of praise ; 
** Nor was it stumbling chance, nor human might ; 
**'Twas guardian Heaven," they sung, "that ruled the 

This blissful day Alonzo's glories crown*d ; 
But pale disease now gave the secret wound ; 
Her icy hand his feeble limbs invades. 
And pining languor through his vitals spreads. 
The glorious monarch to the tomb descends, 
A nation's grief the funeral torch attends. 
Each winding shore for thee, Alonzo,^ mourns, 
Alonzo's name each woeful bay returns ; 
For thee the rivers sigh their groves among. 
And funeral murmurs wailing, roll along ; 
Their swelling tears o'erflow the wide campaign ; 
With floating heads, for thee, the yellow grain, 

^ Miramolin, — ^Not the name of a person, but a title, qucut Bidtan ; 
the Emperor of the FaithfuL 

' In this poetical exclamation, expressive of the sorrow of Portugal 
on the death of Alonzo, Gamoens has happily imitated some passages 
of Virgil. 

—IpssB te, Tityre, pinus, 

Ipsi tefonteSf ipsa Juec arhuUa voedbant Eol. i. 

Eurydicen vox ipsa etfrigida lingua^ 

Ah miseram Enrydicen, anima ftigiente, vocahat: 
Eurydicen tola referebant fiumine ripm, Geobg. iv. 

liUus^ Hylat Byla, omne sonaret, Eol. tL 

84 THE LUSIAD. Ibook nt 

For thee the willow-bowers and cops^ weep, 
A^ their tall boughs lie trembling on the deep ; 
Adown the streams the tangled vine-leaves flow, 
And all the landscape wears the look of woe. 
Thus, o'er the wondering world thy glories spread, 
And thns thy monmf ol people bow the head ; 
While still, at eve, each dale Alonzo sighs. 
And, oh, Alonzo ! every hill replies ; 
And still the mountain- echoes tnll the lay. 
Till blushing mom brings on the noiseful day. 

The youthful Sancho to the throne succeeds. 
Already far renown'd for val'rous deeds ; 
Let Betis',^ ting*d with blood, his prowess tell, 
And Beja's lawns, where boastful Afric fell. 
Nor less when king his martial ardour glows. 
Proud Sylves' royal walls his troops enclose ! 
Fair Sylves' lawns the Moorish peasant ploughed. 
Her vineyards cultur'd, and her valleys sow'd ; 
But Lisbon's monarch reap'd. The winds of heaven * 
Roar'd high — and headlong by the tempest driven, 
In Tagus* breast a gallant navy sought 
The sheltering port, and glad assistance brought. 
The warlike crew, by Frederic the B;ed,' 
To rescue Judah's prostrate land were led ; 
When Guido's troops, by burning thirst subdu'd. 
To Saladin, the foe, for mercy su'd. 
Their vows were holy, and the cause the same. 
To blot from Europe's shores the Moorish name. 
In Sancho's cause the gallant navy joins. 
And royal Sylves to their force resigns. 
Thus, sent by Heaven, a foreign naval band 
Gave Lisbon's ramparts to the sire's command, 

* The Guadalquiver, the largest river in Spain. — Ed. 

' The Portuguese, in their wars with the Moors, were several times 
assisted by the English and German crusaders. In the present instance 
the fleet was mostly English, the troops of which nation were, accord- 
ing to agreement, rewarded with the plunder, which was exceeding 
rich, of the city of Silves. Nuniz de Leon as cronicat dos Beta de 
Forty A.D. 1189.— JSa. 

' Barbarossa, a.d. 1189. — Ed. 


Nor Moorish trophies did alone adorn 
The hero's name ; in warlike camps though bom, 
Though fenc'd with mountains, Leon's martial race 
Smile at the battle-sign, yet foul disgrace 
To Leon's haughty sons his sword achiev'd : 
Proud Tui's neck his servile yoke receiv'd ; 
And, far around, falls many a wealthy town, 
O valiant Sancho, humbled to thy frown. 

While thus his laurels flourish'd wide and fair 
He dies : Alonzo reigns, his mnch-lov'd heir. 
Alcazar lately conquer'd from the Moor, 
Beconquer'd, streams with the defenders' gore. 

Alonzo dead, another Sancho reigns : 
Alas, with many a sigh the land complains 1 
Unlike his sire, a vain unthinking boy, 
His servants now a jarring sway enjoy. 
As his the power, his were the crimes of those 
Whom to (fispense that sacred power he chose. 
By various counsels waver'd, and confus'd 
By seeming friends, by various arts, abus'd; 
Long undetermin'd, blindly rash at last, 
Enrag'd, unmann'd, untutor'd by the past. 
Yet, not like Nero, cruel and unjust, 
The slave capricious of unnatural lust. 
Nor had he smil'd had flames consum'd his Troy ; 
Nor could his people's groans afford him joy ; 
Nor did his woes from female manners spring, 
Unlike the Syrian,^ or Sicilia's king. 
No hundred cooks his costly meal prepar'd, 
As heap'd the board when Rome's proud tyrant far'd.* 
Nor dar'd the artist hope his ear to ^ gain, 
By new-f orm'd arts to point the stings of pain. 
But, proud and high the Lusian spirit soar'd, 
And ask'd a godlike hero for their lord. 

* Unlike the Syrian (rather ^««ynan).— Sardanapalus. 

* When Brnne^s proud tyrant far' d, — Heliogabalus, infamous for his 

* Alluding to the history of Phalans. 


To none aocnstom'd but » hero's swmj, 
Grest must he be whom that bold imee ofaef . 

Compbdnt, loud mnimiir'd, ererj city fillB, 
Compliant, lond echo'd, mnrmais throngh the hilla. 
Alann'd, Bolonia's warlike Earl ^ awakes. 
And from his listless brother's minions takes 
The awfol soeptre. — Soon was jo j lestor'd. 
And soon, bj jnst saocession, Lisbon's lord 
Beloved, Alonzo, nam'd the Bold, he reigns; 
Nor maj the limits of his sire's domains 
Confine his mounting spirit. When he led 
His smiling consort to the bridal bed, 

* Camoens, who was quite an enthndafli for the honour of his 
oonntry, has in this instuioe disguised the truth of history. Don 
Sancho was by no means the weak prinee here represented, nor did 
the miseries of his reign proceed fiom himself. The clergy were the 
sole anthers of his, and the public, calamities. The Roman See was 
then in the height of its power, which it exerted in the most tyrannical 
manner. The ecclesiastical courts had long claimed the sole right to 
try an ecclesiastic: and, to prohibit a priest to say mass for a twelve- 
month, was by the brethren, his judges, esteemed a sufficient punish- 
ment for murder, or any other capital crime. Alonzo IL, the father of 
Don Sancho, attempted to establish the authority of the king's courts 
of justice over the offending clergy. For this the Archbishop of 
Braga excommunicated GronzaJo Mendez, the chancellor; and Honorius, 
the pope, excommunicated the king, and put his dominions under an 
interdict. The exterior offices of religion were suspended, the people 
fell into the utmost dissoluteness of manners ; Mohammedanism made 
great advances, and public confusion everywhere prevailed. By this 
policy the Church constrained the nobUity to urge the king to a 
full submission to the papal chair. While a negotiation for this 
purpose was on foot Alonzo died, and left his son to struggle with an 
enraged and powerful clergy. Don Sancho was just, affable, brave, 
and an enamoured husband. On this last virtue faction first fixed its 
envenomed fangs. The queen was accused of arbitrary influence 
over her husband ; and, according to the superstition of that age, she 
was believed to have disturbed his senses by an enchanted draught. 
Such of the nobility as declared in the king's favour were stigmatized, 
and rendered odious, as the creatures of the queen. The confusions 
which ensued were fomented by Alonso, Earl of Bologna, the king's 
brother, by whom the king was accused as the author of them. In 
short, by the assistance of the clergy and Pope Innocent IV., Sancho 
was deposed, and soon after died at Toledo. The beautiful queen. 
Donna Mencia, was seized upon, and conveyed away by one Raymond 
Portoocurrero, and was never heard of more. Such are the triumphs of 
faction t 


" Algarbia's realm," he said, " shall prove thy dower," 

And, soon Algarbia, conquered, own'd his power. 

The yanqnish'd Moor with total rout expell*d, 

All Lusas' shores his might nnrivall'd held. 

And now brave Diniz reigns, whose noble fire 

Bespoke the gennine lineage of his sire. 

Now, heavenly peace wide wav'd her olive bongh. 

Each vale display'd the labonrs of the plough. 

And smil'd with joy : the rooks on every shore 

Itesonnd the dashing of the merchant-oar. 

Wise laws are form'd, and constitutions weighed. 

And the deep-rooted base of Empire laid. 

Not Ammon's son ^ with larger heart bestow'd, 

Nor such the grace to him the Muses owed. 

From Helicon the Muses wing their way, 

Mondego's* flow*ry banks invite their stay. 

Now Coimbra shines Minerva's proud abode ; 

And fir'd with joy, Parnassus' bloomy god 

Beholds another dear-lov'd Athens rise, 

And spread her laurels in indulgent skies ; 

Her wreath of laurels, ever green, he twines 

With threads of gold, and baccaris ■ adjoins. 

Here castle walls in warlike grandeur lower, 

Here cities swell, and lofty temples tower : 

In wealth and grandeur each with other vies : 

WTien old and lov'd the parent-monarch dies. 

His son, alas,- remiss in filial deeds. 

But wise in peace, and bold in fight, succeeds, 

The fourth Alonzo : Ever arm'd for war 

He views the stem Castile with watchful care. 

Yet, when the Libyan nations cross'd the main, 

And spread their thousands o'er the fields of Spain, 

The brave Alonzo drew his awful steel, 

And sprung to battle for the proud Castile. 

' Alexander the Great. 

* Mondego, the largest exclusively Portuguese river. — Ed, 

* The haccaris, or Lady's glove, a herb to which the Druids and 
anoient poets ascribed magical virtues. 

Baccare fronlem 

OingUe, ne vati noeeat mala lingua futwo, 

ViRG. Eel. vii. 

88 THE LT7BIAD. [book m 

When Babel's lianghty queen ^ nnsheath'd the iaword, 
And o'er Hydaspes' lawns her legions' ponr'd ; 
When dreadful Attila,^ to whom was given 
That fearful name, " the Scourge of angrj Heaven," 
The fields of trembling Italy o'erran 
With many a Gt)thic tribe, and northern clan ; 
Not such unnumber'd banners then were seen, 
As now in fair Tartesia's dales convene ; 
Numidia's bow, and Mauritania's spear. 
And all the might of Hagar's race was here ; 
G-ranada's mongrels join their num'rous host, 
To those who dar'd the seas from Libya's coast. 
Aw'd by the fury of such pond'rous force 
The proud Castilian tries each hop'd resource ; 
Yet, not by terror for himself inspir'd, 
For Spain he trembl'd, and for Spain was fir'd. 
His much-lov'd bride,* his messenger, he sends, 
And, to the hostile Lusian lowly bends. 
The much-lov'd daughter of the king implor'd, 
Now sues her father for her wedded lord. 
The beauteous dame approach'd the palace gate, 
Where her great sire was thron'd in regal state : 
On her fair face deep-settled grief appears, 
And her mild eyes are bath'd in glist'ning tears ; 
Her careless ringlets, as a mourner's, flow 
Adown her shoulders, and her breasts of snow : 
A secret transport through the father ran, 
While thus, in sighs, the royal bride began : — 

" And know'st thou not, warlike king," she cried, 
" That furious Afric pours her peopled tide — 
Her barb' reus nations, o'er the fields of Spain ? 
Morocco's lord commands the dreadful train. 
Ne'er since the surges bath'd the circling coast. 
Beneath one standard march'd so dread a host : 

* Semiramis, who is said to have invaded India. — Ed, 

' Attila, a king of the Huns, sumamed " The Scourge of Gk)d.'' 
He lived in the fifth century. He may be reckoned among the greatest 
of conquerors. 

• HU much-lov'd hride, — The Princess Mary. She was a lady 
of great beauty and virtue, but was exceedingly ill used by her 
husband, who was violently attached to his mistresses, though he owed 
his crown to the assistance of his father-in-law, the King of Portugal. 


Snch tlie dire fierceness of their brntal rage. 

Pale are our bravest yonth as palsied age. 

"By night onr fathers shades confess their fear/ 

Their shrieks of terror from the tombs we hear : 

To stem the rage of these nnnumber'd bands, 

Alone, O sire, my gallant hnsband stands ; 

His little host alone their breasts oppose 

To the barb'd darts of Spain's innum'rons foes : 

Then haste, O monarch, thou whose conquering spear 

Has chill'd Malucca's * sultry waves with fear : 

Haste to the rescue of distressed Castile, 

(Oh ! be that smile thy dear affection's seal !) 

And speed, my father, ere my husband's fate 

Be fix'd, and I, deprived of regal state. 

Be left in captive solitude forlorn, 

My spouse, my kingdom, and my birth to mourn." 

In tears, and trembling, spoke the filial queen. 
So, lost in grief, was lovely Venus ® seen. 
When Jove, her sire, the beauteous mourner pray'd 
To grant her wand'ring son the promised aid. 
Great Jove was mov'd to hear the fair deplore, 
Guve all she ask'd, and griev'd she ask'd no more. 
So griev'd Alonzo's noble heart. And now 
The warrior binds in steel his awful brow ; 
The glitt'ring squadrons march in proud array. 
On bumish'd shields the trembling sunbeams play : 
The blaze of arms the warlike rage inspires. 
And wakes from slothful peace the hero's firea 
With trampling hoofs Evora's plains rebound. 
And sprightly neighings echo far around ; 

* By night ourfafhera* shades confess (heir fear, 
Their shrieks of terror from the tombs we hear, — 

Gamoens says, "A mortos faz espanto;" to give this elegance in English 
required a paraphrase. There is something wildly great, and agree- 
able to the superstition of that age, to suppose that the dead were 
troubled in their graves on the approach of so terrible an army. The 
French translator, contrary to the original, ascribes this terror to the 
ghost of only one prince, by which this stroke of Camoens, in the spirit 
of Shakespeare, is reduced to a piece of unmeaning frippery. 

' The Muliya, a river of Morocco. — Ed. 

' See the first .ZEhieid. 

ride, \ 
ide. j 

90 THE LUSIAD. [book nt 

Far on eacli side tlie clouds of dust arise, 

The dram's rough rattling rolls along the skies ; 

The trumpet's shrilly clangor sounds alarms, 

And each heart bums, and ardent, pants for arms. 

Where their bright blaze the royal ensigns pour'd. 

High o'er the rest the great Alonzo tower'd ; 

High o'er the rest was his bold front admir'd. 

And his keen eyes new warmth, new force inspir'd. 

Proudly he march'd, and now, in Tarif 's plain 

The two Alonzos join their martial train : 

Bight to the foe, in battle-rank updrawn. 

They pause — ^the mountain and the wide-spread lawn 

AiEord not foot-room for the crowded foe : 

Aw'd with the horrors of the lifted blow 

Pale look'd our bravest heroes. Swell'd with pride. 

The foes already conquer'd Spain divide, 

And, lordly o'er the field the promis'd victors stride. 

So, strode in Elah's vale the tow'ring height 

Of Gtith's proud champion;^ so, with pale afEright, 

The Hebrews trembled, while with impious pride 

The huge-limb'd foe the shepherd boy * defied : 

The valiant boy advancing, fits the string, 

And round his head he whirls the sounding sling ; 

The monster staggers with the forceful wound. 

And his huge bulk lies groaning on the ground. 

Such impious scorn the Moor's proud bosom swell'd. 

When our thin squadrons took the battle-field ; 

Unconscious of the Power who led us on, 

That Power whose nod confounds th' eternal throne ; 

Led by that Power, the brave Castilian bar'd 

The shining blade, and proud Morocco dar'd 

His conqu'ring brand the Lusian hero drew. 

And on Granada's sons resistless flew ; 

The spear-staffs crash, the splinters hiss around, 

And the broad bucklers rattle on the ground : 

With piercing shrieks the Moors their prophet's name. 

And ours, their guardian saint, aloud acclaim. 

Wounds gush on wounds, and blows resound to blows 

A lake of blood the level plain o'erflows ; 

* Goliath, the Philistine champion. — Ed, 
' David, afterwards king of Israel. — Ed. 


Tlie wounded, gasping in tlie purple tide, 
Now find the death, the sword bnt half supplied. 
Though wove ^ and quilted by their ladies' hands, 
Vain were the mail-plates of Granada's bands. 
With such dread force the Lusian rush'd along, 
Steep'd in red carnage lay the boastful throng. 
Yet now, disdainful of so light a prize. 
Fierce o'er the field the thund'ring hero flies ; 
And his bold arm the brave Castilian joins 
In dreadful conflict with the Moorish lines. 

The parting sun now pour'd the ruddy blaze. 
And twinkling Vesper shot his silv'ry rays 
Athwart the gloom, and clos'd the glorious day. 
When, low in dust, the strength of Afric lay. 
Such dreadful slaughter of the boastf al Moor 
Never on battle-field was heap'd before ; 
Not he whose childhood vow'd ' eternal hate 
And desp'rate war against the Boman state : 
Though three strong coursers bent beneath the weight 
Of rings of gold (by many a Roman knight. 
Ere while, the badge of rank distinguish'd, worn). 
From their cold hands at CanneB's ® slaughter torn ; 
Not his dread sword bespread the reeking plain 
With such wide streams of gore, and hills of slain ; 
Nor thine, O Titus, swept from Salem's land 
Such floods of ghosts, rolled down to death's dark strand ; 
Though, ages ere she fell, the prophets old 
The dreadful scene of Salem's fall foretold, 
In words that breathe wild horror : nor the shore. 
When carnage chok'd the stream, so smok'd with gore, 

^ Though wove, — ^It may perhaps be objected that this is ungram<* 
matical. But — 


Quern penes arbitrium est, et jus et norma loquendi. 

and Dryden, Pope, etc., often use wove as a participle in place of the 
harsh-sounding woven^ a word almost incompatible with the elegance 
of versification. 

' Hannibal, who, as a child, was compelled to swear perpetual 
hostility to the Romans. — Ed. 

* Where the last great battle between Hannibal and the Bomans 
took place, in which the Bomans sustained a crushing defeat. — Ed, 

92 THE LUSIAD. Ebook m. 

When Marios' fkinting legions dnnk the flood. 
Yet warm, and purpled with Ambronian ^ blood ; 
Not such the heaps as now the plains of Tarif strew'd. 

While gloiy, thns, Alonzo's name adom'd. 
To Lisbon's diores the happj chief retom'd. 
In glorions peace and well-deserr'd repose. 
His conrse of fame, and hononr'd age to close. 
When now, O king, a damsel's fate * serere, 
A fate which ever claims the woeful tear, 

Disgraced his hononrs On the nymph's 'lorn head 

Relentless rage its bitterest ranoonr shed : 
Yet, snch the zeal her princely lover bore, 
Her breathless corse the crown of Lisbon wore. 
'Twas thon, O Love, whose dreaded shafts control 
The hind's rnde heiurt, and tear the hero's soul ; 
Thon, ruthless power, with bloodshed never doy'd, 
'Twas thou thy lovely votary destroy'd. 
Thy thirst still burning for a deeper woe. 
In vain to thee the tears of beauty flow ; 

' When the soldiers of Marius oomplamed of thirst, he pointed to 
a river near the camp of the Ambrones. " There,** says he, " you may 
drink, but it must be purchased with blood." " Lead us on," they replied, 
*' that we may have something liquid, though it be blood." The Romans, 
forcing their way to the river, the channel was filled with the deaa 
bodies of the slain.— Vid. Plutarch's Lives. 

' This unfortunate lady, Donna Liez de Castro, was the daughter 
of a Gastilian gentleman, who had taken refuge in the court of Portu- 
gal. Her beauty and accomplishments attracted the regard of Don 
Pedro, the king's eldest son, a prince of a brave and noble disposition. 
La Neufville, Le Clede, and other historians, assert that she was 
privately married to the prince ere she had any share in his bed. 
Nor was his conjugal fidelity less remarkable than the ardour of his 
passion. Afraid, however, of his father's resentment, the severity of 
whose temper he knew, his intercourse with Donna Inez passed at the 
court as an intrigue of gallantry. On the accession of Don Pedro thd 
Cruel to the throne of Castile many of the disgusted nobility were 
kindly received by Don Pedro, through the interest of his beloved 
Inez. The favour shown to these Castilians gave gieeX uneasiness to 
the politicians. ^ A thousand evils were foreseen from the prince's 
attachment to his Castilian mistress : even the murder of his children 
by his deceased spouse, the princess Constantia, was surmised ; and 
the enemies of Donna Inez, finding the king willing to listen, omitted 
no opportunity to increase his resentment against the unfortunate 
lft<ly. The prince was about his twenty-eighth year when his amour 
with his beloved Inez oommemoed. 


The breast that feels thy purest flames divine, 

With spouting gore must bathe thy cruel shrine. 

Such thy dire triumphs 1 — Thou, O nymph, the while, 

Prophetic of the god's unpitying guile. 

In tender scenes by love-sick fancy wrought, 

By fear oft shifted, as by fancy brought. 

In sweet Mondego's ever-verdant bowers, 

Languish'd away the slow and lonely hours : 

WhUe now, as terror wak'd thy boding fears. 

The conscious stream received thy pearly tears ; 

And now, as hope reviv'd the brighter flame. 

Each echo sigh'd thy princely lover's name. 

'Not less could absence from thy prince remove 

The dear remembrance of his distant love : 

Thy looks, thy smiles, before him ever glow, 

And o'er his melting heart endearing flow : 

By night his slumbers bring thee to his arms, 

By day Jiis thoughts still wander o'er thy charms : 

By night, by day, each thought thy loves employ. 

Each thought the memory, or the hope, of joy. 

Though fairest princely dames invok'd his love, , 

No princely dame his constant faith could move : 

For thee, alone, his constant passion bum'd. 

For thee the proffer'd royal maids he scom'd. 

Ah, hope of bliss too high — the princely dames 

Refus'd, dread rage the father's breast inflames ; 

He, with an old man's wintry eye, surveys 

The youth's fond love, and coldly with it weighs 

The people's murmurs of his son's delay 

To bless the nation with his nuptial day. 

(Alas, the nuptial day was past unknown. 

Which, but when crown'd, the prince could dare to own.) 

And, with the fair one's blood, the vengeful sire 

Resolves to quench his Pedro's faithful fire. 

Oh, thou dread sword, oft stain'd with heroes' gore. 

Thou awful terror of the prostrate Moor, 

What rage could aim thee at a female breast, 

Unarm'd, by softness and by love possess'd ! 

Dragg'd from her bower, by murderous ruffian hands, 
Before the frowning king fair Inez stands ; 

94 THE LUSIAD. [book m; 

Her tears of artless innocence, lier air 

So mild, so lovely, and her face so fair, 

Mov'd the stem monarch ; when, with eager zeal. 

Her fierce destroyers nrg'd the public weaJ ; 

Dread rage again the tyrant's sonl possess'd. 

And his dark brow his cm el thoughts confessed '^ 

O'er her fair face a sudden paleness spread. 

Her throbbing heart with gen'rous ang^uish bled. 

Anguish to view her lover's hopeless woes, 

And all the mother in her bosom rose. 

Her beauteous eyes, in trembling tear-drops drown'd, 

To heaven she lifted (for her hands were bound) ; * 

Then, on her infants tum'd the piteous glance. 

The look of bleeding woe ; the babes advance, 

Smiling in innocence of infant age, 

TJnaw'd, unconscious of their grandsire's rage ; 

To whom, as burstiug sorrow gave the flow, 

The native heart-sprung eloquence of woe. 

The lovely captive thus : — " O monarch, hear, 

If e'er to thee the name of man was dear. 

If prc^ling tigers, or the wolf's wild brood 

(Inspir'd by nature with the lust of blood), 

Have yet been mov'd the weeping babe to spare, 

Nor left, but tended with a nurse's care. 

As Rome's great founders " to the world were given ; 

Shalt thou, who wear'st the sacred stamp of Heaven, 

The human form divine, shalt thou deny 

That aid, that pity, which e'en beasts supply ! 

Oh, that thy heart were, as thy looks declare. 

Of human mould, superfluous were my prayer ; 

Thou couldst not, then, a helpless damsel slay, 

Whose sole offence in fond affection lay, 

In faith to him who first his love confess'd, 

Who first to love allur'd her virgin breast. 

In ihese my babes shalt thou thine image see. 

And, still tremendous, hurl thy rage on me ? 

* Ad ecdum tendens ardentia lumina fruitm, 
Lumina nam tenercu areebant vineula pcdmas, 

ViBG. Mq, IL 

* BomuluB and BemuB, who were said to have been suckled by a 

wolf.— jsa. 


Me, for their sakes, if yet thou wilt not spare, 

Oh, let these infants prove thy pions care ! * 

Yet, Pity's lenient current ever flows 

From^that brave breast where genuine valour glows ; 

That thou art brave, let vanquished Af ric tell. 

Then let thy pity o'er mine anguish swell ; 

Ah, let my woes, unconscious of a crime, 

Procure mine exile to some barbarous clime : 

Give me to wander o'er the burning plains 

Of Libya's deserts, or the wild domains 

Of Scythia's snow-clad rocks, and frozen shore ; 

There let me, hopeless of return, deplore : 

Where ghastly horror fills the dreary vale, 

Where shrieks and bowlings die on every gale. 

The lion's roaring, and the tiger's yell. 

There, with mine infant race, consign'd to dwell, 

There let me try that piety to find. 

In vain by me implor'd from human kind : 

There, in some dreary cavern's rocky womb. 

Amid the horrors of sepulchral gloom. 

For him whose love I mourn, my love shall glow, 

The sigh shall murmur, and the tear shall flow : 

All my fond wish, and aU my hope, to rear 

These infant pledges of a love so dear. 

Amidst my griefs a soothing glad employ, 

Amidst my fears a woeful, hopeless joy." 

In tears she utter'd — as the frozen snow 
Touch'd by the spring's mild ray, begins to flow, 

^ It has been observed by some critics, that Milton on every occa- 
sion is fond of expressing his admiration of music, particularly of the 
song of the nightingale, and the full woodland choir. If in the same 
manner we are to judge of the favourite taste of Homer, we shall find 
it of a less delicate kind. He is continually describing the feast, the 
huge chine, the savoury viands on the glowing coals, and the foaming 
bowl. The ruling passion of Gamoens is also strongly marked in his 
writings. One may venture to affirm, that there is no poem of equal 
length that abounds with so many impassioned encomiums on the fair 
sex as the Lusiad. The genius of Gamoens seems never so pleased as 
when he is painting the variety of female charms ; he feels all the 
magic of their allurements, and riots in his descriptions of the happi- 
ness and miseries attendant on the passion of love. As he wrote &om 
his feelings, these parts of his works have been particularly honoured 
with the attention of the world. 

96 THE LUSIAD. i;iiOOK m. 

So, just began to melt his stubborn soul, 

As mild-ray'd Pity o'er the tyrant stole ; 

But destiny forbade : with, eager zeal 

(Again pretended for the public weal), 

Her fierce accusers urg*d her speedy doom ; 

Again, dark rage diffused its horrid gloom 

O'er stem Alonzo's broyr : swift at the sign, 

Their swords, unsheath'd, around her brandish'd shine. 

O foul disgrace, of knighthood lasting stain. 

By men of arms a helpless lady ^ slain ! 

Thus Pyrrhus,' burning with unmanly ire, 
Fulfilled the mandate of his furious sire ; 
Disdainful of the frantic matron's ® prayer, 
On fair Polyxena, her last fond care. 
He rush'd, his blade yet warm with Priam's gore. 
And dash'd the daughter on the sacred floor ; 
While mildly she her raving mother eyed, 
Resign'd her bosom to the sword, and died. 
Thus Inez, while her eyes to heaven appeal, 
Resigns her bosom to the murd'ring steel : 

' To give the character of Alphonso IV. will throw light on this 
inhuman transaction. He was an undutiful son, an unnatural brother, 
and a cruel father, a great and fortunate warrior, diligent in the exe- 
cution of the laws, and a Macchiavellian politician. His maxim was 
that of the Jesuits ; so that a contemplated good might be attained, 
he cared not how villainous might be the means employed. When the 
enemies of Inez had persuaded him that her death was necessary to 
the welfare of the state, he took a journey to Ooimbra, that he might 
see the lady, when the prince, his son, was absent on a hunting party. 
Donna Inez, with her children, threw herself at his feet. The king 
was moved with the distress of the beautiful suppliant, when his three 
counsellors, Alvaro Gonsalez, Diego Lopez Pacheco, and Pedro Coello, 
reproaching him for his disregard to the state, he relapsed to his former 
resolution. She was then dragged from his presence, and brutally mur- 
dered by the hands of his three counsellors, who immediately returned 
to the king with their daggers reeking with the innocent blood of his 
daughter-in-law. Alonzo, says La Neufville, avowed the horrid assas- 
sination, as if he had done nothing of which he ought to be ashamed. 
' Pyrrhus, son of Achilles : he was also called Neoptolemus. He 
sacrificed Polyxena, daughter of Priam king of Troy, to the manes of 
his father. Euripides and Sophocles each wrote a tragedy having 
the sacrifice of Polyxena for the subject. Both have unfortunately 
perished. — Ed. 

* Hecuba, mother of Polyxena, and wife of Priam.— ^, 


That snow J neck, whose matchless form sustained 
The loveliest face where all the graces reign'd, 
Whose charms so long the gallant prince enflam'd, 
That her pale corse was Lisbon's qneen ^ proclaimed, 
That snowy neck was stain'd with spouting gore. 
Another sword her lovely bosom tore. 
The flowers that glistened with her tears bedew'd, 
Now shrunk and languished with her blood embru'd. 
As when a rose, ere-while of bloom so gay, 
Thrown from the careless virgin's breast away, 
Lies f^ded on the plain, the living red. 
The snowy white, and all its fragrance fled ; 
So from her cheeks the roses died away, 
And pale in death the beauteous Inez lay : 
With dreadful smiles, and crimsoned with her blood, 
Bound the wan victim the stem murderers stood, 
Unmindful of the sure, though future hour. 
Sacred to vengeance and her lover's power. 

Sun, couldst thou so foul a crime behold, 
Nor veil thine head in darkness, as of old * 
A sudden night unwonted horror cast 
0*er that dire banquet, where the sire's repast 
The son's torn limbs supplied ! — ^Yet you, ye vales I 
Ye distant forests, and ye flow'ry dales ! 
When pale and sinking to the dreadful fall. 
You heard her quiv'ring lips on Pedro call ; 
Your faithful echoes caught the parting sound, 
And Pedro ! Pedro ! mournful, sigh'd around. 
Nor less the wood-nymphs of Mondego's groves 
Bewail'd the memory of her hapless loves : 
Her griefs they wept, and, to a plaintive rill 
Transform'd their tears, which weeps and murmurs still. 
To give immortal pity to her woe 
They taught the riv'let through her bowers to flow, 

* The fair Inez was crowned Queen of Portugal after her in- 

^ Atreus, having slain the sons of Thyestes, cut them in pieces, and 
served them up for a repast to their own father. The sun, it is said, 
hid his face rather than shine on so barbarous a deed. — Ed, 

98 THE LUSIAD. [book m. 

And still, tlirongli violet-beds, the fonntain poars 

Its plaintive wailing, and is named Amours/ 

Nor long her blood for vengeance cried in vain : 

Her gallant lord begins his awfnl reign, 

In vain her mnrd'rers for refnge fly, 

Spain's wildest hills no place of rest snpply. 

The injai*'d lover's and the monarch's ire. 

And stem-brow 'd Jnstice in their doom conspire : 

In hissing flames they die, and yield their souls in fire.* 

* At an old royal castle near Mondego, there is a rivulet called the 
fountain of Amours. According to tradition, it was here that Don 
Pedro resided with his beloved Inez. The fiction of Camoens, founded 
on the popular name of the rivulet, is ia the spirit of Homer. 

* When the prince was informed of the death of his beloved Inez, 
he was transported into the most violent fury. He took arras against 
his father. The country between the rivers Minho and Doura was 
laid desolate : but, by the interposition of the queen and the Arch- 
bishop of Braga, the prince relented, and the further horrors of a civil 
war were prevented. Don Alonzo was not only reconciled to his son, 
but laboured by every means to oblige him, and to efface from his 
memory the injury and insult he had received. The prince, however, 
still continued to discover the strongest marks of affection and grief. 
When he succeeded to the crown, one of his first acts was a treaty with 
the King of Castile, whereby each monarch engaged to give up such 
malcontents as should take refuge in each other's dominions. In 
consequence of this, Pedro Coello and Alvaro Gonsalez, who, on the 
death of Alonzo had fled to Castile, were sent prisoners to Don 
Pedro. Diego Pacheco, the third murderer, m^e his escape. The other 
two were put to death with the most exquisite tortures, and most 
justly merited, if torture is in any instance to bo allowed. After 
this the king, Don Pedro, summoned an assembly of the states at 
Cantanedes. Here, in the presence of the Pope*s nuncio, he solemnly 
swore on the holy Gospels, that having obtained a dispensation from 
Home, he had secretly, at Braganza, espoused the Lady Inez de Castro, 
in the presence of the Bishop of Guarda, and of his master of the 
wardrobe ; both of whom confirmed the truth of thi3 oath. The Pope's 
Bull, containing the dispensation, was published ; the body of Inez 
was lifted from the grave, was placed on a magnificent throne, and 
with the proper regalia, crowned Queen of Portugal. The nobility 
did homage to her skeleton, and kissed the bones of her hand. The 
corpse was then interred at the royal monastery of Alcobaca, with a 
pomp before unknown in Portugal, and with all the honours due to a 
queen. Her monument is still extant, where her statue is adorned 
with the diadem and the royal robe. This, with the legitimation of 
her children, and the care he took of all who had been in her service, 
consoled him in some degree, and rendered him more conversable than 
he had Litherto been ; but the cloud which the death of Inez brought 


Nor tbis alone bis stedfast sonl displayed: 
Wide o'er the land he wav'd the awful blade 
Of red-arm 'd Justice. From the shades of night 
He dragg'd the foul adulterer to light : 
The robber from his dark retreat was led, 
And he who spilt the blood of mnrder, bled. 
Unmov'd he heard the proudest noble plead ; 
Where Justice aim'd her sword, with stubborn speed 
Pell the dire stroke. Nor cruelty inspir'd, 
Noblest humanity his bosom fir'd. 
The caitiff, starting at his thoughts, repressed 
The seeds of murder springing m his breast. 
His outstretched arm the lurking thief withheld, 
For fix'd as fate he knew his doom was seal'd. 
Safe in his monarch's care the ploughman reap'd, 
And proud oppression coward distance kept. 
Pedro the Just ^ the peopled towns proclaim, 
And every field resounds her monarch's name. 

over the natural cheerfulness of his temper, was never totally dispersed. 
A circumstance strongly characteristic of the rage of his resent- 
ment must not be omitted. When the murderers were brought before 
him, he was so transported with indignation, that he struck Pedro 
Coello several blows on the face with the shaft of his whip. 

' Pedro (he Just. — History cannot afford an instance of any prince 
who has a more eminent claim to the title of just than Pedro I. His 
diligence to correct every abuse was indefatigable, and when guilt was 
proved his justice was inexorable. He was dreadful to the evil, and 
beloved by the good, for he respected no persons, and his inflexible 
severity never digressed from the line of strict justice. An anecdote 
or two will throw some light on his character. A priest having killed 
a mason, the King dissembled his knowledge of the crime, and left the 
issue to the ecclesiastical court, where the priest was punished by 
one year's suspension from saying mass. The king on this privately 
ordered the mason's son to revenge the murder of his father. The 
young man obeyed, was apprehended, and condemned to death. When 
his sentence was to be confirmed by the king, Pedro enquired, what 
was the young man's trade. He was answered, that he followed his 
father's. " Well then," said the king, ** 1 shall commute his punishment, 
and interdict him from meddling with stone or mortar for a twelve- 
month." After this he fully established the authority of the king's 
courts over the clergy, whom he punished with death when their 
crimes were capital. When solicited to refer the causes of such 
criminals to a higher tribunal, he would answer very calmly, ** That ia 
what I intend to do : I will send them to the highest of all tribunals, 
to that of their Maker and mine." Against adulterers he iv^ 

100 THE LUSIAD. [book in,. 

Of this brare prince the soft degenerate son, 
Fernando the Remiss, ascends the throne. 
With ftrm unnerv'd the listless soldier lay 
And own'd the influence of a nerveless sway : 
The stern Castilian drew the vengeful brand, 
And strode proud victor o'er the trembling land. 
How dread the hour, when injured heaven, in rage. 
Thunders its vengeance on a guilty age ! 
Unmanly sloth the king, the nation stain'd ; 
And lewdness, foster'd by the monarch, reign'd : 
The monarch own'd that first of crimes unjust, 
The wanton revels of adult'rous lust : 
Such was his rage for beauteous ^ Leonore, 
Her from her husband's widow'd arms he tore : 
Then with unbless'd, unhallow'd nuptials stain'd 
The sacred altar, and its rites profan'd. 
Alas ! the splendour of a crown, how vain, 
From Heaven's dread eye to veil the dimmest stain ! 
To conqu'ring Greece, to ruin'd Troy, what woes. 
What ills on ills, from Helen's rape arose ! 
Let Appius own, let banish'd Tarquin tell 
On their hot rage what heavy vengeance fell. 

particularly severe, often declaring it as his opinion, that conjugal 
infidelity was the source of the greatest evils, and that therefore to 
restrain it was the interest and duty of the sovereign. Though the 
fate of his beloved Inez chagrined and soured his temper, he was so 
far from being naturally sullen or passionate, that he was rather of a 
gay and sprightly disposition ; he was affable and easy of access ; 
delighted in music and dancing ; was a lover of learning, a man of 
letters, and an elegant poet. — ^Vide Le Clede, Mariana, Faria. 

* This lady, named Leonora de Tellez, was 'the wife of Don Juan 
Lorenzo Acugna, a nobleman of one of the most distinguished families 
in Portugal. After a sham process this marriage was dissolved, and 
the king privately espoused to her, though, at this time, he was pub- 
licly married by proxy to Donna Leonora of Arragon. A dangerous 
Insurrection, headed by one Velasquez, a tailor, drove the king and 
his adulterous bride from Lisbon. Soon after, he caused his marriage 
to be publicly celebrated in the province of Entre Douro e Minho. 
Henry, king of Castile, being informed of the general discontent that 
reigned in Portugal, marched a formidable army into that kingdom, to 
revenge the injury offered to some of his subjects, whose ships had 
been unjustly seized at Lisbon. The desolation hinted at by Gamoens 
ensued. After the subjects of both kingdoms had severely suffered, 
the two kings ended the war, much to their mutual satisfaction, by ^ 
intermarriage of their illegitimate children. 

BOOK ni.] THE LUSIAD. 101 

One female, ravisli'd,* Gibeah's streets ^ bebeld, 
O'er Gibeah's streets the blood of thousands swell'd 
In vengeance of the crime ; and streams of blood 
The gmlt of Zion's sacred bard * pursued. 

Yet Love, full oft, with wild delirium blinds, 
And fans his basest fires in noblest minds ; 
The female garb the great Alcides * wore, 
And for his Omphale the distal * bore. 
For Cleopatra's frown the world was lost : 
The Boman terror, and the Punic boast, 
CannsB's great victor,* for a harlot's smile^ 
Resign'd the harvest of his glorious toil. 
And who can boast he never felt the fires. 
The trembling throbbings of the young desires, 
When he beheld the breathing roses glow. 
And the soft heavings of the living snow ; 
The waving ringlets of the auburn hair. 
And all the rapt'rous graces of the fair 1 
Oh ! what defence, if fii'd on him, he spy 
The languid sweetness of the stedfast eye ! 
Ye who have felt the dear, luxurious smart, 
When angel-charms oppress the powerless heart, 
In pity here relent the brow severe. 
And o'er Femando's weakness drop the tear. 

' Judges, chap. xiz. and zx. 

^ 2 Samuel, chap. xii. 10, ** The sword shall never depart from 
thine house." 
' Hercules. 
* Love compelled Hercules to spin wool. — Ovm. * Hannibal. 

To conclude the notes on this book, it may not be unnecesseu^ to 
observe that Camoens, in this episode, has happily adhered to a prin- 
cipal rule of the Epopea. To paint the manners and characters of the 
age in which the action is placed, is as requisite in the epic poem as 
it is to preserve the unity of the character of an individuaL That 
gallantry of bravery and romantic cast of the military adventures, 
which characterised the Spaniards and Portuguese during the Moorish 
wars, is happily supported by Camoens in its most just and striking 
colours. In storming the citadel of Arzila, the Count de Marialva, a 
brave old officer, lost his life. The king, leading his only son, the 
Prince Don Juan, to the body of the count, while the blood yet 
streamed from his wounds: '^Behold," he cried, 'Hhat great man I 
May God grant you, my son, to imitate his virtues. May your honour, 
like his, be complete \" 

102 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 




Beatrice, daughter of Fernando, not acknowledged by the Portu- 
guese, the throne is occupied by Don John, a natural brother of 
Fernando. A Spanish prince having married Beatrice, the Spaniards 
invade Portugal, which they claim by right of marriage. The Porti^ 
g^ese, divided in council, are harangued in an eloquent speech by Don 
Nano Alvarez Pereyra ; he raUies the nobility around the king, who 
conquers the Castilians on the gory field of Aijubarota. Nunc Alva- 
rez, following up his victory, penetrates as far as Seville, where he 
dictates the terms of peace to the haughty Spaniards. Don John 
carries war against the Moors into Africa. His son, Edward, renews 
hostilities with the African Moors : his brother, Don Fernando, sur- 
named the Inflexible, taken prisoner, prefers death in captivity to the 
surrender of Ceuta to the Moors, as the price of his ransom. Alfonso 
V. succeeds to the throne of Portugal ; is victorious over the Moors, 
but conquered by the Castilians. John II., the thirteenth king of 
Portugal, sends out adventurers to find a way, by land, to India ; they 
perish at the mouth of the Indus. Emmanuel, succeeding to the 
throne, resolves on continuing the discoveries of his predecessors. The 
rivers Indus and Ganges, personified, appear in a vision to Emmanuel, 
who, in consequence, makes choice of Yasco de Gama to command on 
expedition to the East. 

AS the toss'd vessel on the ocean rolls, 
When dark the night, and lend the tempest howls. 
When the 'lorn mariner in every wave 
That breaks and gleams, forebodes his wat'ry grave ; 
But when the dawn, all silent and serene. 
With sof t-pae'd ray dispels the shades obscene^ 

BOi>K ivj THE LUSIAD. 103 

Witli grateful transport sparkling in each eye, 
The joyful crew the port of safety spy ; 
Such darkling tempests, and portended fate, 
While weak Fernando liv'd, appall'd the state ; 
Such when he died, the peaceful morning rose, 
The dawn of joy, and sooth*d the public woes. 
As blazing glorious o'er the shades of night. 
Bright in his east breaks forth the lord of light, 
So, valiant John with dazzling blaze appears. 
And, from the dnst his drooping nation rears. 
Though sprung from youthful passion's wanton loves,* 
Great Pedro's son in noble soul he proves ; 
And Heaven announc'd him king by right divine ; — 
A cradled infant gave the wondrous sign.* 
Her tongne had never lisp'd the mother's name. 
No word, no mimic sonnd her lips could frame. 
When Heaven the miracle of speech inspir'd : 
She raised her little hands, with rapture tir'd, 
"Let Portugal," she cried, "with joy proclaim 
The brave Don John, and own her monarch's name." 

The burning fever of domestic rage 
Now wildly rav'd, and mark'd the barb'rous age ; 
Through every rank the headlong fury ran. 
And first, red slaughter in the court began. 
Of spousal vows, and widow'd bed defil'd. 
Loud fame the beauteous Leonore revil'd. 
The adult'rous noble in her presence bled. 
And, torn with wounds, his num'rous friends lay dead. 

' Dom John was a natural brother of Fernando, being an ille- 
gitimate son of Pedro. — Ed. 

* A cradled in/ant gave {he wondrous sign. — ^No circumstance has 
ever been more ridiculed by the ancient and modem pedants than 
Alexander's pretensions to divinity. Some of his courtiers expostulat- 
ing with him one day on the absurdity of such claim, he replied, " I 
know the truth of what you say, but these," (pointing to a crowd of 
Persians) " these know no better.** The report tliat the Grecian army 
was commanded by a son of Jupiter spread terror through the East, 
and greatly facilitated the operations of the conqueror. The miracu- 
lous speech of the infant, attested by a few monks, was adapted to the 
superstition of the age of John I. and, as he was illegitimate, was of 
infinite service to his cause. The pretended fact, however, is differently 

104 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 

• ■ • 

No more those ghastly, deathf nl nights amase, 
When Eiome wept tears of blood in Scylla's days : 
More horrid deeds Ulysses' towers ^ beheld : 
Each cruel breast, where rankling envy swell'd, 
Accas'd his foe as minion of the queen ; 
Accus'd, and murder closed the dreary scene. 
All holy ties the frantic transport brav'd, 
Nor sacred priesthood, nor the altar sav'd. 
Thrown from a tower, like Hector's son of yore, 
' The mitred head * was dash'd with brains and gore. 
Ghastly with scenes of death, and mangled limbs. 
And, black with clotted blood, each pavement swims. 

With all the fierceness of the female ire. 
When rage and grief to tear the breast conspire, 
The queen beheld her power, her honours lost,* 
And ever, when she slept, th' adulterer's ghost, 

^ Lisbon, or Ulyssipolis, supposed to be founded by Ulysses. — Ed. 

^ The mitred head. — Don Martin, bishop of Lisbon, a man of exem- 
plary life. He was by birth a Gastilian, which was esteemed a' suffi> 
cient reason to murder him, as of the queen's party. He was thrown 
from the tower of his own cathedral, whither he had fled to avoid tikie 
popular fury, 

■ The qtteen beheld her powers her honours lost. — ^Possessed of great 
beauty and great abilities, this bad woman was a disgrace to her sex, 
and a curse to the age and country which gave her birth. Her sister. 
Donna Maria, a lady of unblemished virtue, had been secretly married 
to the infapt, Don Juan, the king's brother, who was passionately 
attached to her. Donna Maria had formerly endeavoured to dissuade 
her sister from the adulterous marriage with the king. In revenge of 
this, the queen, Leonora, persuaded Don Juan that her sister was 
unfaithful to his bed. The enraged husband hastened to his wife, and, 
without enquiry or expostulation, says Mariana, dispatched her with 
two strokes of his dagger. He was afterwards convinced of her inno- 
cence. Having sacrified her honour, and her first husband, to a king, 
(says Faria), Leonora soon sacrificed that king to a wicked gallant, a 
Castilian nobleman, named Don Juan Fernandez de Andeyro. An un- 
just war with Castile, wherein the Portuguese were defeated by sea and 
land, was the first fruits of the policy of the new favourite. Andeyro one 
day being in a great perspiration, by some military exercise, the queen 
tore her veil, and publicly gave it him to wipe his face. The grand 
master of Avis, the king's illegitimate brother, afterwards John I., and 
some others, expostulated with her on the indecency of this behaviour. 
She dissembled her resentment, but, soon after, they were seized and 
committed to the castle of Evora, where a forged order for their execu- 
tion was sent; but the governor suspecting some fi^Eiud, showed* it to 


All pale, and pointing at his bloody shroud, 
Seem'd ever for revenge to scream aloud. 

the king. Yet, such was her ascendancy over Fernando, that though 
convinced of her guilt, he ordered his brother to kiss the queen's 
hand, and thank her for his life. Soon after, Fernando died, but not 
till he was fully convinced of the queen's conjugal infidelity, and had 
given an order for the assassination of the gallant. Not long after the 
death of the king, the favourite Andeyro was stabbed in the palace by 
the grandmaster of Avis, and Don Buy de Pereyra. The queen ex- 
pressed all the transport of grief and rage, and declared she would 
undergo the trial-ordeal in vindication of his, and her, innocence. But 
this she never performed : in her vows of revenge, however, she was 
more punctual. Don Juan, king of Castile, who had married her only 
daughter and heiress, at her earnest entreaties invaded Portugal, and 
was proclaimed king. Don John, grand master of Avis, was pro- 
claimed by the people protector and regent. A desperate war ensued. 
Queen Leonora, treated with indifference by her daughter and son-in- 
law, resolved on the murder of the latter, but the plot was discovered, 
and she was sent prisoner to Castile. The regent was besieged 
in Lisbon, and the city reduced to the utmost extremities, when 
an epidemic broke out in the Castilian army, and made such de- 
vastation, that the king suddenly raised the siege, and abandoned 
his views on Portugal. The happy inhabitants ascribed their deliver- 
ance to the valour and vigilance of the regent. The regent reproved 
their ardour, exhorted them to repair to their churches, and return 
thanks to God, to whose interposition he solely ascribed their safety. 
This behaviour increased the admiration of the people ; the nobility of 
the first rank joined the regent's party, and many garrisons in the 
interest of the king of Castile opened their gates to him. An assembly 
9f the states met at Coimbra, where it was proposed to invest the 
regent with the regal dignity. This he pretended to decline. Don 
John, son of Pedro the Just and the beautiful Inez de Castro, was by 
the people esteemed their lawful sovereign, but was, and had been 
long, detained a prisoner by the King of Castile. If the states would 
declare the infant, Don John, their king, the regent professed his wil- 
lingness to swear allegiance to him, that he would continue to expose 
himself to every danger, and act as regent, till Providence restored to 
Portugal her lawful sovereign. The states, however, saw the necessity 
that the nation should have a head. The regent was unanimously 
elected king, and some articles in favour of liberty were added to those 
agreed upon at the coronation of Don Alonzo Enriquez, the first king 
of Portugal. 

Don John I., one of the greatest of the Portuguese monarchs, was 
the natural son of Pedro the Just, by Donna Teresa Lorenza, a Galician 
lady, and was born some years after the death of Inez. At seven years 
of age he was made grand master of Avis, where he received an excellent 
education, which, joined id his great parts, brought him out early on 
the political theatre. He was a brave commander, and a deep poli- 
tician, yet never forfeited the character of Q^dour and honour. To be 

106 THE LUSIAD. Lbook rT. 

Castile's proud monarch to tbe nuptial bed, 
In happier days, her royal daughter ^ led. 
To him the farions queen for vengeance cries, 
Implores to vindicate his lawful prize, 
The Lnsian sceptre, his by spousal right ; 
The proud Castilian'arms, and dares the fight. 
To join his standard as it waves along, 
The warlike troops from various regions throng : 
Those who possess the lands by Rodrick given,* 
What time the Moor from Turia's banks was driven ; 
That race who joyful smile at war's alarms. 
And scorn each danger that attends on arms ; 
"Whose crooked ploughshares Leon's uplands tear, 
Now, cas'd in steel, in glitt'ring arms appear. 
Those arms erewhile so dreadful to the Moor : 
The Vandals glorying in their might of yore 
March on ; their helms, and moving lances gleam 
Along the flow'ry vales of Betis' stream : 
Nor stay'd the Tyrian islanders' behind. 
On whose proud ensigns, floating on the wind, 
Alcides' pillars • tower'd : Nor wonted fear 
Withheld the base Galician's sordid spear ; 
Though, still, his crimson seamy scars reveal 
The sure-aimed vengeance of the Lusian steel. 

humble to his friends, and haughty to his enemies, was his leading 
maxim. His prudence gained him the confidence of the wise; his 
steadiness and gratitude the friendship of the brave ; his liberality the 
bulk of the people. He was in the twenty-seventh year of his age 
when declared protector, and in his twenty-eighth when proclaimed 

The following anecdote is much to the honour of this prince when 
regent. A Gastilian officer, having six Portuguese gentleman prisoners, 
out off their noses and hands, and sent them to Don John. Highly 
incensed, the protector commanded six Gastilian gentlemen to be 
treated in the same manner. But, before the officer, to whom he gave 
the orders, had quitted the room, he relented. *' I have given enough 
to resentment," said he, ^* in giving such a command. It were infamous 
to put it in execution. See that the Gastilian prisoners receive no 

* Beatrice. 

* By Rodrick given. — The celebrated hero of Gomeille's tragedy 
of the Gid. 

' Gadiz : in ancient times a Phoenician colony, whose coins bear 
the emblem of two pillars — the pillars of Hercules (Alcides). — EdL 


Where, tambling down Cnenca's mountain aide, 
The mnrin'ring Tagos rolls his foamy tide, 
Along Toledo's lawns, the pride of Spain, 
Toledo's warriors join the martial train • 
Nor less the furious lust of war inspires 
The Biscayneer,^ and wakes his barb'rous fires, 
Which ever burn for vengeance, if the tongue 
Of hapless stranger give the fancied wrong. 
Nor bold Asturia, nor Guipuscoj^'s shore. 
Famed for their steely wealth, and iron ore, 
Delay'd their vaunting squadrons ; o'er the dales 
Cas'd in their native steel, and belted mails. 
Blue gleaming from afar, they march along. 
And join, with many a spear, the warlike throng. 
As thus, wide sweeping o'er the trembling coast, 
The proud Castilian leads his num'rous host ; 
The valiant John for brave defence prepares, 
And, in himself collected, greatly dares : 
For such high valour in his bosom glow'd, 
As Samson's locks * by miracle bestow'd : 
Safe, in himself resolv'd, the hero stands. 
Yet, calls the leaders of his anxious bands : 
The council summon'd, some with prudent mien. 
And words of grave advice their terrors screen. 
By sloth debas'd, no more the ancient fire 
Of patriot loyalty can now inspire ; 
And each pale lip seem'd opening to declare 
For tame submission, and to shun the war ; 
When glorious Nunio, starting from his seat, 
Claim'd every eye, and clos'd the cold debate : 
Singling his brothers from the dastard train. 
His rolling looks, that flash'd with stem disdain, 
On them he fix'd, then snatch'd his hilt in ire. 
While his bold speech * bewray'd the soldier's fib^, 

' The Gascons or Basques, a very ancient and singular people. 
Their language lias no relation to that of any other people. They are 
regarded as the earliest inhabitants of the Spanish peninsula. — Ed, 

* See Judges xvi. 17 — 19. 

' This speech in the original has been much admired by foreign 
critics, as a model of military eloquence. The critic, it is hoped, 
will perceive that the translator nas endeavoured to support the 
character of the speaker. 

108 THE LUSIAD. [book IT. 

Bold and nnpolisli'd ; wliile his burning eyes 
Seem'd as he dar'd the ocean, earth, and skies. 

" Heavens ! shall the Lnsian nobles tamely yield ! 
Oh, shame ! and yield, nntried, the martial field ! 
That land whose genius, as the god of war, 
Was own'd, where'er approach'd her thundering car ; 
Shall now her sons their faith, their love deny, 
And, while their country sinks, ignobly fly ; 
Ye tim'rous herd, are ye the genuine line 
Of those illustrious shades, whose rage divine. 
Beneath great Henry's standards aw'd the foe, 
For whom ye tremble and would stoop so low ! 
That foe, who, boastful now, then basely fled, 
When your undaunted sires the hero led, 
When seven bold earls, in chains, the spoil adom'd. 
And proud Castile through all her kindreds mourn'd, 
Castile, your awful dread — yet, conscious, say, 
When Diuiz reign'd, when his bold son bore sway. 
By whom were trodden down the bravest bands 
That ever march'd from proud Castilia's lands ? 
'Twas your brave sires — and has one languid reign 
Fix'd in your tainted souls so deep a stain, 
That now, degen'rate from your noble sires, 
The last dim spark of Lusian flame expires ? 
Though weak Fernando reign'd, in war unskilled, 
A godlike king now calls you to the field. 
Oh I could like his, your mounting valour glow, 
Vain were the threat'nings of the vaunting foe. 
Not proud Castile, oft by your sires o'erthrown, 
But ev'ry land your dauntless rage should own. 
Still, if your hands, benumb'd by female fear. 
Shun the bold war, hark ! on my sword I swear. 
Myself alone the dreadful war shall wage. 
Mine be the fight" — and, trembling with the rage 
Of val'rous fire, his hand half-drawn display'd 
The awful terror of his shining blade, — 
" I and my vassals dare the dreadful shock ; 
My shoulders never to a foreign yoke 
Shall bend ; and, by my sovereign's wrath I vow, 
And, by that loyal faith renounc'd by you, 


My native land unconqner'd shall remain, 

And all my monarcli's foes shall heap the plain." 

The hero pans'd — 'Twas thus the youth of Borne, 
The trembling few who 'reaped the bloody doom 
That dy'd with slaughter Cannae's purple field, 
Assembled stood, and bow'd their necks to yield ; 
When nobly rising, with a like disdain. 
The young Cornelius rag'd, nor rag'd in vain : * 
On his dread sword his daunted peers he swore, 
(The reeking blade yet black with Punic gore) 
While life remained their arms for Rome to wield. 
And, but with life, their conquer'd arms to yield. 
Such martial rage brave Nunio's mien inspired ; 
Fear was no more : with rapt'rous ardour fir'd, 
" To horse, to horse 1 " the gallant Lusians cried ; 
Rattled the belted mails on every side. 
The spear-staff trembled ; round their necks they wav'd 
Their shining falchions, and in transport rav'd, 
" The king our guardian ! " — ^loud their shouts rebound. 
And the fierce commons echo back the sound. 
The mails, that long in rusting peace had hung, 
Now on the hammer'd anvils hoarsely rung : 
Some, soft with wool, the plumy helmets line. 
And some the breast-plate's scaly belts entwine : 
The gaudy mantles some, and scarfs prepare. 
Where various lightsome colours gaily flare ; 
And golden tissue, with the warp enwove. 
Displays the emblems of their youthful love. 

* This was the famous P. Com. Scipio-Africanns. The fact, some- 
what differently related by Livy, is this. After the defeat at CannsB, 
a considerable body of Romans fled to Gannsium, and appointed Scipio 
and Ap. Claudius their commanders. While they remained there, it 
was told Scipio, that some of his chief officers, at the head of whom 
was Csecilius Metellus, were taking measures to transport themselves 
out of Italy. He went immediately to their assembly ; and drawing 
his sword, said, I sfioear that I unU not desert the Commonwealth of 
Bomef nor suffer any other citizen to do it. The same oaih I require of 
you, Ccedlius, and of all present; whoever refuses, let him know that 
this sword is drawn against him. The historian adds, that they were 
as terrified by this, as if they had beheld the face of their conqueror, 
Hannibal. They all swore, and submitted themselves to Scipio. — ^Yid. 
Livy, bk. 22. c. 53. 

110 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 

The valiant John, begirt with warlike state, 
Now leads his bands from fair Abrantes' gate ; 
Whose lawns of green the infant Tagas laves, 
As from his spring he rolls his cooly waves. 
The daring van, in Nunio's care, conld boast 
A general worthy of th' unnnmber'd host, 
Whose gaudy banners trembling Greece defied. 
When boastfal Xerxes lash'd the Sesfcian^ tide : 
Nnnio, to prond Castile as dread a name, 
As erst to Gtinl and Italy the fame 
Of Attila's impending rage. The right 
Brave Roderic led, a chieftain trained in fight ; 
Before the left the bold Almada rode ; 
And, proudly waving o'er the centre, nod 
The royal ensigns, glitt'ring from afar. 
Where godlike John inspires and leads the war. 

'Twas now the time, when from the stubbly plain 
The lab'ring hinds had borne the yellow grain ; 
The purple vintage heap'd the foamy tun. 
And fierce, and red, the sun of August shone ; 
When from the gate the squadrons march along : 
Crowds press'd on crowds, the walls and ramparts throng. 
Here the sad mother rends her hoary hair. 
While hope's fond whispers struggle with despair : 
The weeping spouse to Heaven extends her hands : 
And, cold with dread, the modest virgin stands, 
Her earnest eyes, suffus'd with trembling dew, 
Far o'er the plain the plighted youth pursue : 
And prayers, and tears, and all the female wail, 
And holy vows, the throne of Heaven assail. 

Now each stern host full front to front appears. 
And one joint shout heaven's airy concave tears : 
A dreadful pause ensues, while conscious pride 
Strives on each face the heart-felt doubt to hide. 
Now wild, and pale, the boldest face is seen ; 
With mouth half open, and disorder'd mien, 

* BestoB was a city of Thrace, on the Dardanelles, opposite 
Abydos. — Ed, 


Each warrior feels his creeping blood to freeze. 

And languid weakness trembles in the knees. 

And now, the clansror of the trumpet sonnds, 

And the rough rattling of the drum rebounds : 

The fife's shrill whistling cuts the gale, on high 

The flourish'd ensigns shine, with many a dye 

Of blazing splendour : o'er the ground they wheel 

And choose their footing, when the proud Castile 

Bids sound the horrid charge ; loud bursts the sound, 

And loud Artabro's rocky clifFs rebound : 

The thund'ring roar rolls round on every side, 

And trembling, sinks Guidana's ^ rapid tide ; 

The slow-pac'd Durius * rushes o'er the plain. 

And fearful Tagus hastens to the main : 

Such was the tempest of the dread alarms. 

The babes that prattled in their nurses' arms 

Shriek'd at the sound : with sudden cold impress'd, 

The mothers strain'd their infants to the breast. 

And shook with horror. Now, far round, begin 

The bow-strings* whizzing, and the brazen * <Bn 

Of arms on armour rattling ; either van 

Are mingled now, and man oppos'd to man : 

To guard his native fields the one inspires. 

And one the raging lust of conquest tires : 

Now with fix'd teeth, their writhing lips of blue. 

Their eye-balls glaring of the purple hue, 

Each arm strains swiftest to impel the blow; 

Nor wounds they value now, nor fear they know, 

Their only passion to offend the foe. 

In might and fury, like the warrior god. 

Before his troops the glorious Nunio rode : 


* The Guadiana, one of the two great rivers of Spain. — Ed, 
« The Douro. 

* Homer and Virgil have, with great art, gradually heightened 
the fury of every battle, till the last efforts of their genius were 
lavished in describing the superior prowess of the hero in the decisive 
engagement. Gamoens, in like manner, has bestowed his utmost 
attention on this his principal battle. The circumstances preparatorv 
to the engagement are happily imagined, and solemnly conducted, 
and the fury of the combat is supported with a poetical heat, and a 
variety of imagery, which, one need not hesitate to affirm, would do 
honour to an ancient classic author. 

112 THE LUSIAD. [bookiv* 

That land, tlie proud invaders claim'd, lie sows 
With their spilt blood, and with their corpses strews ; 
Their forceful volleys now the cross-bows pour, 
The clouds are darkened with the arrowy shower ; 
The white foam reeking o'er their wavy mane. 
The snorting coursers rage, and paw the plain ; 
Beat by their iron hoofs, the plain rebounds. 
As distant thunder through the mountains sounds : 
The ponderous spears crash, splint'ring far around ; 
The horse and horsemen flounder on the ground ; 
The ground groans, with the sudden weight oppress'd. 
And many a buckler rings on many a crest. 
Where, wide around, the raging Nunio's sword 
With furious sway the bravest squadrons gor'd, 
The raging foes in closer ranks advance. 
And his own brothers shake the hostile lance.^ 

* And his ovm brothers shake the hostile lance. — The just indignation 
^th which Camoens treats the kindred of the brave Nunio Alvaro de 
Pereyra, is condemned by the French translator. " The Pereyras," 
says he, "deserve no stain on their memory for joining the. King of 
Castile, whose title to the crown of Portugal was infinitely more just and 
solid than that of Don John." Castera, however, is grossly mistaken. 
Don Alonzo Enriquez, the first King of Portugal, was elected by the 
people, who had recovered their liberties at the glorious battle of 
Ourique. At the election the constitution of the kingdom was settled 
in eighteen short statutes, wherein it is expressly provided, that none 
but a Portuguese can be king of Portugal; that if an infanta marry a 
foreign prince, he shall not, in her right, become King of Portugal, 
and a new election of a king, in case of the failure of the male line, 
is, by these statutes, supposed legal. By the treaty of marriage 
between the King of Castile and Donna Beatrix, the heiress of 
Fernando of Portugal, it was agreed, that only their children should 
succeed to the Portuguese crown ; and that, in case the throne became 
vacant ere such children were bom, the Queen-dowager, Leonora, 
should govern with the title of Regent. Thus, neither by the original 
constitution, nor by the treaty of marriage, could the King of Castile 
succeed to the throne of Portugal. And any pretence he might found 
on the marriage contract was already forfeited ; for he caused himself 
and his queen to be proclaimed, added Portugal to his titles, coined 
Portuguese money with his bust, deposed the queen regent, and after- 
wards sent her prisoner to Castile. The lawful heir, Don Juan, the 
son of Inez de Castro, was kept in prison by his rival, the King of 
Castile ; and, as before observed, a new election was, by the original 
statutes, supposed legal in cases of emergency. These facts, added to 
the consideration of the- tyranny of the King of Castile, and the great 
services which Don John had rendered his country, fully vindicate the 
indifi^nation of Camoens against the traitorous Pereyraa 


Oh, horrid sight ! yet not the ties of blood, 
Nor yearning memory his rage withstood ; 
With prond disdain his honest eyes behold 
Whoe'er the traitor, who his king has sold. 
Nor want there others in the hostile band 
Who draw their swords against their native land ; 
And, headlong driv'n, by impious rage accmrs'd, 
In rank were foremost, and in fight the first. 
So, sons and fathers, by each other slain, 
With horrid slaughter dyed Pharsalia's ^ plain. 
Te dreary ghosts, who now for treasons foul, 
Amidst the gloom of Stygian darkness howl ; 
Thon Catiline, and, stem Sertorius, tell 
Tonr brother shades, and soothe the pains of hell ; 
With triumph tell them, some of Lusian race 
Like you have earn'd the traitor's foul disgrace. 

As waves on waves^ the f oes^ increasing weight 
Boars down our foremost ranks, and shakes the fight ; 
Yet, firm and undismayed great Nunio stands, 
And braves the tumult of surrounding bands. 
So, from high Ceuta's ' rocky mountains stray'd, 
The ranging lion braves the shepherd's shade ; 
The shepherds hastening o'er the Tetuan* plain. 
With shouts surround him, and with spears restrain: 
He stops, with grinning teeth his breath he draws, 
Nor is it fear, but rage, that makes him pause ; 
His threatening eyeballs bum with sparkling fire, 
And, his stern heart forbids him to retirp : 
Amidst the thickness of the spears he flings, 
So, midst his foes, the furious Nunio springs : 
The Lusian grass with foreign gore disfcain'd. 
Displays the carnage of the hero's hand. 

[An ample shield the brave Qiraldo bore, 
Which from the vanquish'd Perez' arm he tore ; 

' Near Pharsalns was fought the decisive battle between Giesar 
and Pompey, b.c. 48. — Ed. 

2 Geuta, a small Spanish possession on the Mediterranean coast of 
Morocco. — Ed. 

' Tetuan, a city of Morocco. — Ed, 


114 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 

Pierc'd tbroxigh that shield, cold death invades his eye, 

And dying Perez saw his victor die. 

Edward and Pedro, emnlons of fame, 

The same their friendship, and their youth the same, 

Through the fierce Brigians ^ hew'd their bloody way. 

Till, in a cold embrace, the striplings lay. 

Lopez and Vincent rush'd on glorious death. 

And, midst their slaughtered foes, resigned their breath. 

Alonzo, glorying in his youthful might, 

Spurr'd his fierce courser through the stagg'ring fight : 

Shower'd from the dashing hoofs, the spatter'd gore 

Flies round ; but, soon the rider vaunts no more : 

Five Spanish swords the murm'ring ghosts atone, 

Of five Castilians by his arm o'erthrown. 

Transfix'd with three Iberian spears, the gay, 

The knightly lover, young Hilario lay : 

Though, like a rose, cut off in op'ning bloom, 

The hero weeps not for his early doom ; 

Yet, trembling in his swimming eye appears 

The pearly drop, while his pale cheek he rears ; 

To call his lov'd Antonia's name he tries. 

The name half utter'd, down he sinks, and dies.] ' 

Now through his shatter'd ranks the monarch strode, 
And now before his rallied squadrons rode : 
Brave Nunio's danger from afar he spies. 
And instant to his aid impetuous flies. 
So, when returning from the plunder'd folds. 
The lioness her empty den beholds, 
Enrag'd she stands, and listening to the gale, 
She hears her whelps low howling in the vale ; 
The living sparkles flashing from her eyes, 
To the Massylian ® shepherd-tents she flies ; 

* Throfigh the fierce Brigians.— The Castilians, so called from 
one of their ancient kings, named Brix, or Brigus, whom the monkish 
writers call the grandson of Noah. 

* These lines are not in the common editions of Camoens. They 
consist of three stanzas in the Portuguese, and are said to have been 
left out by the author himself in his second edition. The translator, 
however, as they breathe the true spirit of Virgil, was willing to 
preserve them with this acknowledgment. 

* Massylia, a province in Numidia, greatly infested with lions, 
particularly that part of it called Oa sete monies frmoos, the seven 


She groans, she roars, and echoing far around 
The seven twin-mountains tremble at the sound : 
So, rag'd the king, and, with a chosen train, 
He pours resistless o'er the heaps of slain. 
" Oh, bold companions of my toils," he cries, 
" Our dear-lov'd freedom on our lances lies ; 
Behold your friend, your monarch leads the way, 
And dares the thickest of the iron fray. 
Say, shall the Lusian race forsake their king, 
Where spears infuriate on the bucklers ring ! " 

He spoke ; then four times round his head he whirl'd 
His pond'rous spear, and midst the foremost hurl'd ; 
Deep through the ranks the forceful weapon pass'd. 
And many a gasping warrior sigh'd his last.^ 
With noble shame inspir'd, and mounting rage, 
His bands rush on, and foot to foot engage ; 
Thick bursting sparkles from the blows aspire ; 
Such flashes blaze, their swords seem dipp'd in fire ; ' 
The belts of steel and plates of brass are riv'n. 
And wound for wound, and death for death is giv'n. 

* And many a gasping warrior sigVd his last, — This, which is 
almost literal from — 

Muitos lanfarad o ultimo suspiro^ — 

and the preceding circumstance of Don John's brandishing his lance 
four times — 

E sopesando a langa quatro vet^^ 

are poetical, and in the spirit of Homer. Besides Maldonat, Gastera 
has, in this battle, introduced several other names which have no 
place in Gamoens. Garrillo, Bobledo, John of Lorca, Salazar of Seville 
were killed, he tells us : And, " Yelasques and Sanches, natives of 
Toledo, Galbes, somamed the * Soldier without Fear,' Montanches, 
Oropesa, and Mondonedo, all six of proved valour, fell by the hand of 
young Antony, who brought to the fight either more address, or better 
fortune than these." Not a word of this is in the Portuguese. 

* Their swords seem dipped in fire. — This is as literal as the idiom of 
the two languages would allow. Dryden has a thought like that of 
this couplet, but which is not in his original : — 

** Their bucklers clash ; thick blows descend from high. 
And flakes of fire from their hard helmets fiy.'' 

Dbyd. Virg. Mn. xii. 

116 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 


The first in honour of Saint Jago's band,^ 
A naked ghost now sought the gloomy strand ; 
And he of Calatrave, the sovereign knight, 
Girt with whole troops his arm had slain in fight, 
Descended mumi'ring to the shades of night. 
Blaspheming Heaven, and gash'd with many a wound, 
Brave Nunio's rebel kindred gnaw'd the ground. 
And curs'd their fate, and died. Ten thousand more 
Who held no title and no office bore, 
And nameless nobles who, promiscuous fell, 
Appeas*d that day the foaming dog of hell. ' 
Now, low the proud Castilian standard lies 
Beneath the Lusian flag ; a vanquished prize. 
With furious madness fired, and stem disdain, 
The fierce Iberians " to the fight again 
Rush headlong ; groans and yellings of desp^r 
With horrid uproar rend the trembling air. 
Hot boils the blood, thirst bums, and every breast 
Pants, every limb, with fainty weight oppressed, 
Slow now obeys the will's stem ire, and slow 
From every sword descends the feeble blow : 
Till rage grew languid, and tir'd slaughter found 
No arm to combat, and no breast to wound. 
Now from the field Castile's proud monarch flies,* 
In wild dismay be rolls his madd'ning eyes, 

* Grand master of the order of St. James, named Don Pedro Nanio. 
Ho was not killed, however, in this battle, which was fought on the 
plains of Aljubarota, but in that of Yalverda, which immediately 
followed. The reader may, perhaps, be surprised to find that every 
soldier mentioned in these notes is a Don, a Lord. The following 
piece of history will account for the number of the Portuguese nobles. 
Don Alonzo Enriquez, Count of Portugal, was saluted king by his army 
at the battle of Ourique ; in return, his majesty dignified every man 
in his army with the rank of nobility. — Vide the 9th of the Statutes 
of Lamego. 

* Cerberus. • The Spaniards. 

* This tyrant, whose unjust pretensions to the crown of Portugal 
laid his own, and that, kingdom in blood, was on his final defeat over- 
whelmed with all the frenzy of grief. In the night after the decisive 
battle of Alj ubarota, he fled upwards of thirty miles upon a mule. Don 
Laurence, archbishop ot Braga, in a letter written in old Portuguese to 
Don John, abbot of Alcobaza, gives this account of his behaviour : 
''The constable has informed me that he saw the King of Castile 
at Sautaren, who behaved as a madman, cursing his eustonce, aud 


And leads the pale-lipp'd flight, swift wing'd with fear, 
As drifted smoke ; at distance disappear, 
The dusty squadrons of the scattered rear ; 
Blaspheming Heaven, they fly, and him who first 
Forg*d murd'ring arms, and led to horrid wars accurs'd. 

The festive days by heroes old ordain'd * 
The glorious victor on the field remain'd. 
The funeral rites, and holy vows he paid : 
Yet, not the while the restless Nunio stay'd ; 
O'er Tago's waves his gallant bands he led, 
And humbled Spain in every province bled : 
Sevilia's standard on his spear he bore. 
And Andalusia's ensigns, steep'd in gore. 
Low in the dust, distress'd Castilia moum'd, 
And, bath'd in tears, each eye to Heav'n was tum'd ; 
The orphan's, widow's, and the hoary sire's ; 
And Heav'n relenting, quench'd the raging fires 
Of mutual hate : from England's happy shore 
The peaceful seas two lovely sisters bore.* 

tearing the hairs of his beard. And, in good faith, my good friend, 
it is better that he should do so to himself than to us ; the man 
who thus plucks his own beard, would be much better pleased to 
do so to others." The writer of this letter, though a prelate, fought 
at the battle of Aljubarpta, where he received on the face a large wound 
from a sabre. 

* j[%6 festive days by heroes old ordained, — ^As a certain proof 
of the victory, it was required, by the honour of these ages, that the 
victor should encamp three days on the field of battle. By this 
knight-errantry the advantages which ought to have been pursued 
were frequently lost. Don John, however, though he complied with 
the reigning ideas of honour, sent Don Nunio, with a proper army, to 
reap the fruits of his victory. 

* John of Portugal, about a year after the battle of Aljubarota, 
married Philippa, eldest daughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, 
son of Edward III. who assisted the king, his son-in-law, in an 
irruption into Castile, and, at the end of the campaign, promised to 
return with more numerous forces for the next. But this was pre- 
vented by the marriage of his youngest daughter, Gatalina, with Don 
Henry, eldest son of the King of Castile. The King of Portugal on 
this entered Galicia, and reduced the cities of Tui and Salvaterra. 
A truce followed. While the tyrant of Castile meditated a new war. 
he was killed by a fall from his horse, and, leaving no issue by his 
queen, Beatrix (the King of Portugal's daughter), all pretension to 
toat orown ceased. The truce was now prolonged for fifteen years, 

118 THE LUSIAD. Ibookit. 

The rival monarchs to the nuptial bed, 

In joyf ol hour, the royal virgins led, 

And holy peace assum'd her blissful reign. 

Again the peasant joy'd, the landscape smiled again. 

But, John's brave breast to warlike cares inur'd, 
With conscious shame the sloth of ease endu'rd, 
When not a foe awak*d his rage in Spain, 
The valiant hero brav'd the foamy main ; 
The first,. nor meanest, of our kings who bore 
The Lusian thunders to the Afric shore. 
O'er the wild waves the victor-banners flow'd, 
Their silver wings a thousand eagles show'd ; 
And, proudly swelling to the whistling gales, 
The seas were whiten'd with a thousand sails. 
Beyond the columns by Alcides ^ plac'd 
To bound the world, the zealous warrior pass'd. 
The shrines of Hagar's race, the shrines of lust, 
And moon-crown'd mosques lay smoking in the dast. 
O'er Abyla's high steep his lance he rais'd. 
On Ceuta's lofty towers his standard blaz'd : 
Ceuta, the refuge of the traitor train. 
His vassal now, insures the peace of Spain. 

But ah, how soon the blaze of glory dies ! * 
Illustrious John ascends his native skies. 

and, though not strictly kept, yet, at last the influence of the English 
queen, Gatalina, prevailed, and a long peace, happy for both kingdoms, 

1 The Pillars of Hercules, or Straits of Gibraltar.— JES. 

* The character of this great prince claims a place in these notes, 
as it affords a comment on the enthusiasm of Gamoens, who has made 
him the hero of his episode. His birth, excellent education, and 
masterly conduct when regent, have already been mentioned. The 
same justice, prudence, and heroism always accompanied him when 
king. He had the art to join the most winning affability with all 
the manly dignity of the sovereign. To those who were his friends, 
when a private man, he was particularly attentive. His nobility 
dined at his table, he frequently made visits to them, and introduced 
among them the taste for, and the love of, letters. As he felt the 
advantages of education, he took the utmost care of that of his 
children. He had many sons, and he himself often instructed them 
in solid and useful knowledge, and was amply repaid. He lived to 
see them men, men of parts and of action, whose^ only emulation was 


His gallant offspring prove their genuine strain, 
And added lands increase the Lnsian reign. 

Tet, not the first of heroes Edward shone 
His happiest days long hours of evil own. 
He saw, secluded from the cheerful day. 
His sainted brother pine his years away. 
O glorious youth, in captive chains, to thee 
What suiting honours may thy land decree ! ^ 

to show affection to his person, and to support his administration by 
their great abilities. One of his sons, Don Henry, duke of Viseo, was 
that great prince whose ardent passion for maritime affairs gave birth 
to all the modem improvements in navigation. The clergy, who had 
disturbed almost every other reign, were so convinced of the wisdom 
of his, that they confessed he ought to be supported out of the 
treasures of the church, and granted him the church plate to be 
coined. When the pope ordered a rigorous inquiry to be made into 
his having brought ecclesiastics before lay tribimals, the clergy had 
the singular honesty to desert what was styled the church immunities, 
and to own that justice had been impartially administered. He died 
in the seventy-sixth year of his age, and in the forty-eighth of his 
reign. His affection to his queen, Philippa, made him fond of the 
English, whose friendship he cultivated, and by whom he was 
frequently assisted. 

^ Camoens, in this instance, has raised the character of one brother 
at the other's expense, to give his poem an air of solemnity. 
The siege of Tangier was proposed. The king's brothers differed in 
their opinions: that of Don Femand, though a knight-errant 
adventure, was approved of by the young nobility. The infants, 
Henry and Femand, at the head of 7000 men, laid siege to Tangier, 
and were surrounded by a numerous army of Moors, some writers say 
six hundred thousand. On condition that the Portuguese army 
should be allowed to return home, the infants promised to surrender 
Ceuta. The Moors gladly accepted of the terms, but demanded one 
of the infants as a hostage. Femand offered himself, and was left. 
The king was willing to comply with the terms to relieve his brother, 
but the court considered the value of Ceuta, and would not consent. 
The pope also interposed his authority, that Ceuta should be kept as 
a check on the infidels, and proposed to raise a crusade for the de- 
livery of Femand. In the meanwhile large offers were made for his 
liberty. These were rejected by the Moors, who would accept of 
nothing but Ceuta, to whose vast importance they were no strangers. 
When negotiations failed, King Edward assembled a large army to 
effect his brother's release, but, just as he was setting out, he was 
seized with the plague, and died, leaving orders with his queen to 
deliver up Ceuta for the release of his brother. This, however, was 
never perfoirmed. Don Femand remained with the Moors till his 
death. The magnanimity of his behaviour gained him their esteem 

120 THE LUSIAD. Cbook it. 

Thy nation proffer'd, and the foe with joy, 
For Ceuta's towers, prepared to yield the boy ; 
The princely hostage nobly spurns the thought 
Of freedom, and of life so dearly bought : 
The raging vengeance of the Moors defies, 
GKves to the clanking chains his limbs, and dies 
A dreary prison-death. Let noisy fame 
No more unequaU'd hold her Coins' name ; 
Her Regulus, her Curtius boast no more, 
Nor those the honour'd Decian name who bore. 
The splendour of a court, to them unknown, 
Exchang'd for deathful Fate's most awful frown, 
To distant times, through every land, shall blaze 
The self -devoted Lusian's nobler praise. 

Now, to the tomb the hapless king descends, 
His son, Alonzo, brighter fate attends. 
Alonzo ! dear to Lusus' race the name ; 
Nor his the meanest in the rolls of fame. 
His might resistless, prostrate Afric own'd. 
Beneath his yoke the Mauritanians ^ groan'd, 
And, still they groan beneath the Lusian sway. 
'Twas his, in victor-pomp, to bear away 
The golden apples from Hesperia's shore, 
Which but the son of Jove had snatch'd before. 

and admiration, nor is there good proof that he received any very 
rigorous treatment; the contrary is rather to be inferred from the 
romantic notions of military honour which then prevailed among the 
Moors. Don Femand is to this day esteemed as a saint and martyr 
in Portugal, and his memory is commemorated on the fifth of Juno. 
King Edward reigned only five years and a month. He was the 
most eloquent man in his dominions, spoke and wrote Latin elegantly, 
was author of several books, one on horsemanship, in which art he 
excelled. He was brave in the field, active in business, and rendered 
his country infinite service by reducing the laws to a regular oode. 
He was knight of the Order of the Garter, which honour was conferred 
upon him by his cousin, Henry Y. of England. In one instance he 
gave great offence to the superstitious populace. He despised the 
advice of a Jew astrologer, who entreated him to delay his coronation 
because the stars that day were unfavourable. To this the misfortune 
of Tangier was ascribed, and the people were always on the alarm, as 
if some terrible disaster were impending over them. 
> The Moors. 


The palm, and laurel, round his temples bound, 
Display'd his triumphs on the Moorish ground. 
When proud Arzilla's strength, Alcazer's towers, 
And Tingia, boastful of her numerous powers, 
Beheld their adamantine walls o'ertum'd, 
Their ramparts levell'd, and their temples bum'd. 
Great was the day : the meanest sword that fought 
Beneath the Lusian flag such wonders wrought 
As from the muse might challenge endless fame, 
Though low their station, and untold their name. 

Now, stung with wild ambition's madd'ning fires, 
To proud Castilia's throne the king ^ aspires. 
The Lord of Arragon, from Cadiz' walls, 
And hoar Pyrenees * sides his legions calls ; 
The. numerous legions to his standard throng. 
And war, with horrid strides, now stalks along. 
With emulation fir'd, the prince ® beheld 
His warlike sire ambitious of the field ; 
Scornful of ease, to aid his arms he sped, 
Nor sped in vain : The raging combat bled : 
Alonzo's ranks with carnage gor'd, Dismay 
Spread her cold wings, and shook his firm array ; 
To flight she hurried ; while, with brow serene. 
The martial boy beheld the deathful scene. 
With curving movement o'er the field he rode, 
Th' opposing troops his wheeling squadrons mow'd : 
The purple dawn, and evening sun beheld 
His tente encamp'd assert the conquer'd field. 
Thus, when the ghost of Julius * hover'd o'er 
Philippi's plain, appeas'd with Roman gore, 
Octavius' legions left the field in flight. 
While happier Marcus triumph' d in the fight. 

^ When Henry lY. of Castile died, he declared that the infanta 
Joanna, was his heiress, in preference to his sister, Donna Isabella, 
married to Don Ferdinand, son to the King of Arragon. In hopes to 
attain the kingdom of Castile, Don Alonzo, king of Portugal, obtained 
a dispensation from the pope to marry his niece, Donna Joanna. 
After a bloody war, the ambitious views of Alonzo and his courtiers 
were defeated. 

* The Pyrenees which separate France from Spain. — Ed, 
> The Prince of Portugal ' * Julius CsBsar. 

122 THE LUSIAD. [book iv. 

When endless night had seaFd his mortal eyes, 
And brave Alonzo's spirit songht the skies, 
The second of the name, the valiant John, 
Onr thirteenth monarch, now ascends the throne. 
To seize immortal fame, his mighty mind, 
(What man had never dar'd before), design'd ; 
That glorious labour which I now pursue. 
Through seas unsail'd to find the shores that view 
The day-star, rising from his wat'ry bed, 
The first grey beams of infant morning shed. 
Selected messengers his will obey ; 

Through Spain and France they hold their vent'rous way. 
Through Italy they reach the port that gave 
The fair Parthenope ^ an honoured grave ; ' 
That shore which oft has felt the servile chain. 
But, now smiles happy in the care of Spain. 
Now, from the port the brave adventVers bore. 
And cut the billows of the Rhodian shore ; 
Now, reach the strand where noble Pompey ^ bled ; 
And now, repair'd with rest, to Memphis sped ; 
And now, ascending by the vales of Nile, 
(Whose waves pour fatness o*er the grateful soil), 
Through Ethiopia's peaceful dales they stray. 
Where their glad eyes Messiah's rites * survey : 
And now they pass the fam'd Arabian flood. 
Whose waves of old in wondrous ridges stood. 
While Israel's f avour'd race the sable '^ bottom trod 
Behind them, glist'ning to the morning skies. 
The mountains nam'd from Ishmael's offspring •rise ; 
Now, round their steps the blest Arabia spreads 
Her groves of odour, and her balmy meads ; 
And every breast, inspir'd with glee, inhales 
The grateful fragrance of Sabesa's gales : 

^ Naples. 

' Parthenope was one of the Syrens. Enraged because she oould 
not allure Ulysses, she threw herself into the sea. Her corpse was 
thrown ashore, and buried where Naples now stands. 

' The coast of Alexandria. 

* Among the Christians of Abyssinia. 

* Sandy, the French sable = sand. — Md. 

* The Nabathean mountains ; so named from Nabaoth, the son of 



Now, past the Persian gulf their route ascends 

Where Tigris* wave with proud Euphrates blends ; 

Illustrious streams, where still the native shows 

Where Babel's haughty tower unfinish'd rose : 

From thence, through climes unknown, their daring course 

Beyond where Trajan forced his way, they force ; ^ 

Carmanian hordes, and Indian tribes they saw, 

And many a barb'rous rite, and many a law * 

Their search explor'd ; but, to their native shore, 

Enrich'd with knowledge, they return'd no more. 

The glad completion of the fate's decree. 

Kind Heaven reserved, Emmanuel, for thee. 

The crown, and high ambition of thy ® sires, 

To thee descending, wak*d thy latent fires. 

And, to command the sea from pole to pole, 

With restless wish inflam'd thy mighty soul. 

Now, from the sky, the sacred light withdrawn, 
O'er heaven's clear azure shone the stars of dawn, 
Deep silence spread her gloomy wings around. 
And human griefs were wrapp'd in sleep profound. 
The monarch slumber'd on his golden bed. 
Yet, anxious cares possess'd his thoughtful head ; 
His gen'rous soul, intent on public good. 
The glorious duties of his birth review'd. 
When, sent by Heaven, a sacred dream inspir'd 
His lab'ring mind, and with its radiance fir'd : 
High to the clouds his tow'iing head was rear'd. 
New worlds, and nations fierce, and strange, appeared ; 
The purple dawning o'er the mountains flow'd. 
The forest-boughs with yellow splendour glow'd ; 
High, from the steep, two copious glassy streams 
RoU'd down, and glitter'd in the morning beams ; 

* Beyond where Trajan. — The Emperor Trajan extended the bounds 
of the Boman Empire in the East far beyond any of his predecessors. 
His conquests reached to the river Tigris, near which stood the city 
of Gtesiphon, which he subdued. The Boman historians boasted that 
India was entirely conquered by him; but they could only mean 
Arabia Felix. — Vid. Dion. Cass. Euseb. Chron. p. 206. 

* Q^i mores hominum multorum vidit. — Hob. 

* Emmanuel was cousin to the late king, John II. and grandson to 
king Edward, son of John I. 

124 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 

Here, varions monsters of tlie wild were seen, 
And birds of plumage azure, scarlet, green : 
Here, various herbs, and flow'rs of various bloom ; 
There, black as night, the forest's horrid gloom, 
Whose shaggy brakes, by human step untrod, 
Darkened the glaring lion's dread abode. 
Here, as the monarch fix'd his wond'ring eyes. 
Two hoary fathers from the streams arise ; 
Their aspect rustic, yet, a reverend grace 
* Appear'd majestic on their wrinkled face : 
Their tawny beards uncomb'd, and sweepy long, 
Adown their knees in shaggy ringlets hung ; 
From every lock the crystal drops distil. 
And bathe their limbs, as in a tnckHng rill ; 
Gay wreaths of flowers, of fruitage, and of boughs, 
(Nameless in Europe), crown'd their furrow 'd brows. 
Bent o'er his stafE, more silver'd o'er with years, 
Worn with a longer way, the one appears ; 
Who now slow beck'ning with his wither'd hand, 
As now advanc'd before the king they stand : — 

" thou, whom worlds to Europe yet unknown, 
Are doom'd to yield, and dignify thy crown ; 
To thee our golden shores the Fates decree ; 
Our necks, unbow'd before, shall bend to thee. 
Wide thro' the world resounds our wealthy fame ; 
Haste, speed thy prows, that fated wealth to claim. 
From Paradise my hallow'd waters spring ; 
The sacred Ganges I, my brother king 
Th' illustrious author ^ of the Indian name : 
Yet, toil shall languish, and the fight shall flame ; 
Our fairest lawns with streaming gore shall smoke. 
Ere yet our shoulders bend beneath the yoke ; 
But, thou shalt conquer : all thine eyes survey, 
With all our various tribes, shall own thy sway." 

He spoke ; and, melting in a silv'ry stream, 
Both disappear'd ; when waking from his dream. 
The wond'ring monarch, thrill'd with awe divine, 
Weighs in his lofty thoughts the sacred sign. 

> The river Indus, which gave name to India. 


Now, morning bursting from the eastern sky, 
Spreads o'er the clouds the blushing rose's dye, 
The nations wake, and, at the sovereign's call, 
The Lnsian nobles crowd the palace hall. 
The vision of his sleep the monarch tells ; 
Each heaving breast with joyful wonder swells : 
" Fulfil," they cry : " the sacred sign obey ; 
And spread the canvas for the Indian sea." 
Instant my looks with troubled ardour bum'd, 
When, keen on me, his eyes the monarch tum*d : 
What he beheld I know not, but I know, 
Big swell'd my bosom with a prophet's glow : 
And long my mind, with wondrous bodmgs fir'd, 
Had to the glorious, dreadful toil aspir'd : 
Yet, to the king, whate'er my looks betray'd, 
My looks the omen of success display 'd. 
When with that sweetness in his mien expressed, 
Which, unresisted, wins the gen'rous breast, 
" Ghreat are the dangers, great the toils," he cried, 
"Ere glorious honours crown the victor's prido. 
If in the glorious strife the hero fall. 
He proves no danger could his soul appal ; 
And, but to dare so great a toil, shall raise 
Each age's wonder, and immortal praise. 
For this dread toil, new oceans to explore. 
To spread the sail where sail ne'er flow'd before, 
For this dread labour, to your valour due, 
From all your peers I name, O Vasco,^ yoiL 
Dread as it is, yet light the task shall be 
To you my Gama, as perform'd for me." 
My heart could bear no more : — " Let skies on fire, 
Let frozen seas, let horrid war conspire, 
I dare them all," I cried, " and, but repine 
That one poor life is all I can resign. 
Did to my lot Alcides' * labours fall, 
For you my joyful heart would dare them all ; 

> Vasco de Gama, who is, in a certain sense, the hero of the 
Lnsiad, was horn in 1469, at Sines, a fishing town on the Atlantic, 
midway between Lisbon and Cape St. Vincent, where, in a small 
church on a cliff, built by the great navigator after his appointment 
as Viceroy of India, is an inscription to his memory. — Ed, 

* Hercules. 

126 THE LUSIAD. [book it. 

The gbastly realms of deatb, could man invade, 
For you my steps should trace the ghastly shade." 

While thus, with loyal zeal, my bosom swell'd, 
That panting zeal my prince with joy beheld : 
Honoured with gifts I stood, but, honour'd more 
By that esteem my joyful sovVeign bore. 
That gen'rous praise which fires the soul of worth, 
And gives new virtues unexpected birth. 
That praise, e'en now, my heaving bosom fires, 
Inflames my courage, and each wish inspires. 

Mpv'd by affection, and allur'd by fame, 
A gallant youth, who bore the dearest name, 
Paulus, my brother, boldly su'd to share 
My toils, my dangers, and my fate in war ; 
And, brave Coello urg*d the hero's claim 
To dare each hardship, and to join our fame : 
For glory both with restless ardour bum'd, 
And silken ease for horrid danger spum'd ; 
Alike renown'd in council, or in field. 
The snare to baffle, or the sword to wield. 
Through Lisbon's youth the kindling ardouj ran. 
And bold ambition thrill'd from man to man ; 
And each, the meanest of the vent'rous band. 
With gifts stood honour'd by the sovereign's hand. 
Heavens ! what a fury swell'd each warrior's breast. 
When each, in turn, the smiling king address'd ! 
Fir'd by his worda the direst toils they scom'd, 
And, with the horrid lust of danger fiercely burn'd. 

With such bold rage the youth of Mynia glow'd, 
When the first keel the Euxine surges plough'd ; 
When, bravely vent'rous for the golden fleece, 
Orac'lous Argo ^ sail'd from wondering Greece. 
Where Tago's yellow stream the harbour laves. 
And slowly mingles with the ocean waves, 

* Orae^lous Argo. — According to the fable, the vessel of tlie 
Argonauts spoke and prophesied. See The Argonautics of Apolloniii& 
Rhodiiis. — Ed. 


In warlike pride, my gallant navy rode, 
And, proudly o'er the beach my soldiers strode. 
Sailors and landsmen, marshall'd o'er the strand, 
In garbs of various hue around me stand ; 
Each earnest, first to plight the sacred vow, 
Oceans unknown, and gulfs untried to plough : 
Then, turning to the ships their sparkling eyes, 
With joy they heard the breathing winds arise ; 
Elate with joy, beheld the flapping sail. 
And purple standards floatiag on the gale : 
While each presag*d, that great as Argo's fame, 
Our fleet should give some starry band a name. 

Where foaming on the shore the tide appears, 
A sacred fane its hoary arches rears : 
Dim o'er the sea the ev'ning shades descend. 
And, at the holy shrine, devout, we bend : 
There, while the tapers o'er the altar blaze. 
Our prayers, and earnest vows to Heav'n we raise. 
" Safe through the deep, where every yawning wave 
Still to the sailor's eye displays his grave ; 
Thro' howling tempests, and thro* gulfs untried, 
mighty God ! be thou our watchful guide." 
While kneeling thus, before the sacred shrine, 
In holy faith's most solemn rite we join ; 
Our peace with Heav'n the bread of peace confirms, 
And meek contrition ev'ry bosom warms : 
Sudden, the lights extinguish'd, all around 
Dread silence reigns, and midnight-gloom profound ; 
A sacred horror pants on every breath. 
And each firm breast devotes itself to death. 
An offer'd sacrifice, sworn to obey 
My nod, and follow where I lead the way. 
Now, prostrate round the hallow'd shrine we lie,^ 
Till rosy mom bespreads the eastern sky ; 

' This fact is according to history : Aberat Olysippone prope littus 
quatuor passuum millia templum san^ religiosum et sanctum ab 
Henrico in honorem Sanctissimso Yirginis editicatum. ...... In id 

Gama pridie illius diei, quo erat navem c^onscensums, se recepit, ut 
noctem cum religiosis hominibus qui in sBdibus templo conjunctis 
habitaban^, in precibus et votis consumeret. Sequenti die cum multi 
non illius tantUm gratia, sod aliorum etiam, qui illi comites erant, 


128 . THE LUSIAD. [bOox if. 

Then, breathing fix'd resolves, my daring mates 

March to the ships, while pour'd from Lisbon's gates, 

Thousands on thousands crowding, press along, 

A woful, weeping, melancholy throng. 

A thousand white-rob'd priests our steps attend, 

And prayers, and holy vows to Heav'n ascend ; 

A scene so solemn, and the tender woe 

Of parting friends, constrained my tears to flow. 

To weigh our anchors from our native shore — 

To dare new oceans never dar'd before^ 

Perhaps to see my native coast no more^ 

Forgive, O king, if as a man I feel, 

I bear no bosom of obdurate steeL 

2ie godlike hero here suppress'd the sigh, 
d wip'd the tear-drop from his manly eye ; 
Then, thus resuming) — All the peopled shore 
An awful, silent look of anguish wore ; 
AfEection, friendship, all the kindred ties 
Of spouse and parent languish'd in their eyes: 
As men they never should again behold, 
Self-offer'd victims to destruction sold. 
On us they fix'd the eager look of woe. 
While tears o'er ev'ry cheek began to flow,; 
When thus aloud, "Alas ! my son, my son," 
A hoary sire exclaims, " oh ! whither run. 
My heart's sole joy, my trembling age's stay. 
To yield thy limbs the dread sea-monster's prey ! 
To seek thy burial in the raging wave. 
And leave me cheerless sinking to the grave ! 
Was it for this I watch'd thy tender years, 
And bore each fever of a father's fears ! 
Alas, my boy ! " — His voice is heard no more, 
The female shriek resounds along the shore : 
With hair dishevell'd, through the yielding crowd 
A lovely bride springs on, and screams aloud ; 
" Oh ! where, my husband, where to seas unknown, 
Where wouldst thou fly, me and my love disown ! 

conyenissent, fuit ab omnibus in soaphiB deduotns. Neqne solhm 
homines religiosi, sed reliqui omnes voce maxima cum laorymis It Deo 
precabantur, ut henh et prosper^ ilia tam periculosa navigatit) omnibus 
eveniret, et universi re ben^ gesta, incolumes in patnam redirent. 

BOOK nr.] THE LUSIAD. 129 

And wilt then, cruel, to the deep consign 
That valued life, the 3*07, the soul of mine ! 
And must our loves, and all the. kindred train 
Of rapt endearments, all expire in vain ! 
All the dear transports of the warm embrace, 
When mutual love inspired each raptur'd face ! 
Must ajl, alas 1 be scattered in the wind, 
Nor thou bestow one lingering look behind ! " 

Such, the 'lorn parents' and the spouses' woes, 
Such, o'er the strand the voice of wailing rose ; 
From breast to breast the soft contagion crept. 
Moved by the woful sound the children wept ; 
The mountiain-echoes catch the big swoU'n sighs, 
And, through the dales, prolong the matron's cries ; 
The yellow sands with tears are silver 'd o'er. 
Our fate the mountains and the beach deplore. 
Yet, firm we march, nor turn one glance aside 
On hoary parent, or on lovely bride. 
Though glory fir'd our hearts, too well we knew 
What soft affection, and what love could do. 
The last embrace ihe bravest worst can bear : 
The bitter yearnings of the parting tear 
Sullen we shun, unable to sustain 
The melting passion of such tender pain. 

Now, on the lofty decks, prepar'd, we stand, 
When, tow'ring o'er the crowd that veil'd the strand, 
A reverend figure * fix'd each wond'ring eye, 
And, beck'ning thrice, he wav'd his hand on high, 

' By thib old man is personified the populace of Portugal. The 
endeavours to discover the East Indies by the Southern Ocean, for 
about eighty years had been the favourite topic ctf oomplaint, and 
never was any measure of government more unpopular than the 
expedition of Gama. EmmanueFs council were almost unanimous 
against the attempt. Some dreaded the introduction of wiealth, and 
its attendants, luxury and effeminacy ; while others affirmed, that no 
adequate advantages could arise from so perilous and remote a naviga- 
tion. The expressions of the thousands who crowded the shore when 
Gama gave his sails to the wind, are thus expressed by Osorius: "A 
multis tamen interim is fletus atque lamentatio fiebat, un funus 
efferre viderentur. Sic enim dicebant: En quo miseros mortalcs 
provexit cupiditaa et ambitio? Potuitne gravius supplioium homiuiuus 


130 THE LUSIAD. [book ir. 

And thrice liis hoary curls he sternly shook, 

While grief and anger mingled in his look ; 

Then, to its height his faltering voice he rear'd. 

And through the fleet these awful words were heard : ^ 

" frantic thirst of honour and of fame. 
The crowd's blind tribute, a fallacious name ; 
What stings, what plagues, what secret scourges curs'd, 
Torment those bosoms where thy pride is nurs'd ! 
What dangers threaten, and what deaths destroy 
The hapless youth, whom thy vain gleams decoy ! 

istis constitui, si in se scelestum aliquod facinus admislssent ? Est 
enim illis immensi maris longitude peragranda, fluctus immanes dif- 
ficillima navigatione superandi, vitse discrimen in locis iniinitis 
obeundum. Non fuit multo tolerabiliuSf in terra quovis genere mortis 
absumi, qukm tam procul h patria marinis fluctibus sepeliri. Hsbc et 
alia multa in banc sententiam dicebant, cimi omnia multo tristiora 
fingere prsB metn cogerentur." The tender emotion and fixed resolu- 
tion of Gama, and the earnest passion of the multitudes on the shore, 
are thus added by the same venerable historian : ^' Gamatamen quamvis 
lacrymas suorum desiderio funderet, rei tamen ben^ gerendse fiducia 
confirmatus, alacriter in navem faustis ominibus conscendit. . . . 
Qui in littore consistebant, non prius abscedere voluerunt, qukm 
naves vento secimdo plenissimis velis ab omnium conspectu remotse 

1 More literally rendered by Capt. R. Burton: — 

" He spoke 

From a full heart, and skill*d in worldly lore, 
In deep, slow tones this solemn warning, fraught 
With wisdom, by long-suffering only taught : 
' O passion of dominion I O fond lust 
Of that poor vanity which men call fame I 
O treacherous appetite, whose highest gust 
Is vulgar breath that taketh honour's name ! 
O fell ambition, terrible but just 
Art thou to breasts that cherish most thy flame 1 
Brief life for them is peril, storm, and rage ; 
This world a hell, ana death their heritage. 

*'* Shrewd prodigal 1 whose riot is the dearth 
Of states and principalities oppressed, 
Plunder and rape are of thy loathly birth, 
Thou art alike of life and soul the pest. 
High titles greet thee on this slavish earth, 
Yet, none so vile but they would fit thee best. 
But Fame, forsooth, and Glory thou art stylM, 
And the blind herd is by a sound beguil'd.' " 


By thee, dire tyrant of the noble mind, 

What dreadful woes are ponr*d on hnman kind : 

Kingdoms and empires in confusion hurl'd, 

What streams of gore have drenched the hapless world ! 

Thou dazzling meteor, vain as fleeting air, 

What new-dread horror dost thou now prepare ! 

High sounds thy voice of India's pearly shore, 

Of endless triumphs and of countless store : 

Of other worlds so tower'd thy swelling boast, 

Thy golden dreams when Paradise was lost. 

When thy big promise steep'd the world in gore, 

And simple innocence was known no more. 

And say, has fame so dear, so dazzling charms ? 

Must brutal fierceness, and the trade of arms, 

Conquest, and laurels dipp'd in blood, be priz'd, 

WhUe life is scorn'd, and all its joys despis'd ? 

And say, does zeal for holy faith inspire 

To spread its mandates, thy avow'd desire ? 

Behold the Hagarene ^ in armour stands. 

Treads on thy borders, and the foe demands : 

A thousand cities own his lordly sway, 

A thousand various shores his nod obey. 

Through all these regions, all these cities, scom'd 

Is thy religion, and thine altars spum'd. 

A foe renown'd in arms the brave require ; 

That high-plum'd foe, renown'd for martial fire. 

Before thy gates his shining spear displays. 

Whilst thou wouldst fondly dare the wat'ry maze, 

Enfeebled leave thy native land behind. 

On shores unknown a foe unknown to find. 

Oh ! madness of ambition ! thus to dare 

Dangers so fruitless, so remote a war ! 

That Fame's vain flattery may thy name adorn, 

And thy proud titles on her jflag be borne : 

Thee, lord of Persia, thee, of India lord. 

O'er Ethiopia's vast, and Araby ador'd ! 

" Curs'd bo the man who first on floating wood. 
Forsook the beach, and braved the treach'rous flood ! 

> The Moor.— JEa. 

132 THE LUSIAD. [book n; 

Oh ! never, never may the sacred Nine,^ 

To crown his brows, the hallow'd wr^h entwine ; 

Nor may his name to future times resound ; 

Oblivion be his meed, and hell profound ! 

Curs'd be the wretch, the fire of heaven who stole, 

And with ambition first debauch'd the soul ! 

What woes, Prometheus,* walk the frightened earth ! 

To what dread slaughter has thy -pride giv'n birfch ! 

On proud Ambition's pleasing gales upborne. 

One boasts to guide the chariot of the mom ; 

And one on treach'rous pinions soaring high,* 

O'er ocean's waves dar'd sail the liquid sky : 

Dash'd from their height they mourn'd their blighted arar; 

One gives a river, one a sea the name ! 

Alas ! the poor reward of that gay meteor, fame I 

Yet, such the fury of the mortal race. 

Though fame's fair promise ends in foul disgrace, 

Though conquest stUl the victor s hope betrays. 

The prize a shadow, or a rainbow-blaze. 

Yet, still through fire and raging seas they run 

To catch the gilded shade, and sink undone ! " 

» The Muses.— i!a. 

' Prometheus is said to have stolen fire from heaven. — Ed, 
' Alluding to the fables of Phaeton and Icarus; the former 
having obtained from Helios, his father, permission to guide the 
chariot of the sun for one day, nearly set the world on &re. He 
perished in the river Eridanus (the Po.) Icarus, the sun having 
melted the wax with which his wings were cemented, fell into that 
part of the ^gean which, from his misfortune, was coJled tide Icarian 
Sea.— Ed. 





Departure of the expedition tinder the command of Yasoo db 
Gama (a.d. 1497). Mountains of Portugal, C^tra, Morocco. Madeira ; 
the burning shores of the Desert of Zanhagan ; passage of the Tropic- 
cold waters of the dark river Senegal. 8an Jago; pass the rocky 
coasts of Sierra Leone, the island of St. Thomas, the kingdom of 
Congo, watered by the great riyer Zaire. They cross the line and 
behold the magnificent eonstellation of the Southern Cross, not yisible 
in the northern hemisphere. After a voyage of five months, with 
continued storms, they arrive in the latitude of the Cape. Apparition 
of Adamastor, the giant of the Cape of Storms. His prophecy. The 
King of Melinda confirms, by the tradition of his people, the weird 
story of the Cape-giant told him by Gama. Narrative of the 
voyage continued; arrival of the expedition at the Port of Good 
Promise ; pass by the ports of Mozambique and Mombas, and arrive 
at Melinda. 

WHILE on tlie beach the hoaiy father stood, 
And spoke the murmnrs oi the multitude, 
We spread the canvas to the rising gales, 
The gentle winds distend the snowy sails. 
As from our dear-lov'd native shore we fly 
Our votive shouts, redoubled, rend the sky ; 
" Success, success ! " far echoes o'er the tide, 
While our broad hulks the foamy waves divide. 
From Leo ^ now, the lordly star of day. 
Intensely blazing, shot his fiercest ray ; 
When, slowly gKding from our wishful eyes, 
The Lusian mountains mingled with the skies ; 

' The sun is in the constellation Leo in Ju\y. ^Ed, 

131 THE LUSIAD. [book ▼. 

Tago's lov'd stream, and Cintra's ^ motmtams cold 
Dim fading now, we now no more behold ; 
And, still with yearning hearts oar eyes explore, 
Till one dim speck of land appears no more. 
Our native soil now far behind, we ply 
The lonely dreary waste of seas, and boundless sky 
Through the wild deep our vent'rous navy bore, 
Where but our Henry plough'd the wave before ; ' 
The verdant islands, first by him descried. 
We pass'd; and, now in prospect op'ning wide, 
Far to the left, increasing on the view, 
Bose Mauritania's ' hills of paly blue : 
Far to the right the restless ocean roar'd, 
Whose bounding surges never keel explored : 
If bounding shore (as reason deems) divide 
The vast Atlantic from the Indian tide/ 

JSTam'd from her woods,* with fragrant bowers adom'd, 
From fair Madeira's purple coast we tum'd : * 
Cyprus and Paphos' vales the smiling loves 
Might leave with joy for fair Madeira's groves ; 
A shore so flow'ry, and so sweet an air, 
Venus might build her dearest temple there. 
Onward we pass Massilia's barren strand, 
A waste of wither'd grass and burning sand ; 
Where his thin herds the meagre native leads, 
Where not a riv'let laves the doleful meads ; 
Nor herds, nor fruitage deck the woodland maze ; 
O'er the wild waste the stupid ostrich strays. 
In devious search to pick her scanty meal, 
Whose fierce digestion gnaws the temper'd steel. 
From the green verge, where Tigitania ends. 
To Ethiopia's line the dreary wild extends. 

' The Serra de Gintra, situated about 15 miles N.W. of Lisbon. — EdL 
' See the life of Don Henry, prince of Portugal, in the preface. 

• Morocco. 

* The discovery of some of the West Indian islands by Columbus was 
made in 1492 and 1493. His discovery of the continent of America 
was not till 1498. The fleet of Gama sailed from the Tagus in 1497. 

' Galled by the ancients InstdsB Purpurariss. Now Madeira, and 
Porto Santo. The former was so named by Juan Gonzales, and 
Tristan Vaz, from the Spanish word maderay wood. These discoverers 
were sent out by the great Don Henry. 


Now, past the limit, which his course divides,* 

When to the north the sun's bright chariot rides, 

We leave the winding bays and swarthy shores, 

Where Senegal's black wave impetuous roars ; 

A flood, whose course a thousand tribes surveys, 

The tribes who blacken'd in the fiery blaze 

When Phaeton, devious from the solar height, 

Gave Afric*s sons the sable hue of night. 

And now, from far the Libyan cape is seen, 

Now by my mandate named the Cape of Green ; * 

Where, midst the billows of the ocean, smiles 

A flow'ry sister-train, the happy isles,' 

Our onward prows the murm'ring surges lave ; 

And now, our vessels plough the gentle wave, 

Where the blue islands, named of Hesper old, 

Their fruitful bosoms to the deep unfold. 

Here, changeful Nature shows her various face. 

And frolics o'er the slopes with wildest grace : 

Here, our bold fleet their pond'rous anchors threw, 

The sickly cherish, and our stores renew. 

From him, the warlike guardian pow'r of Spain, 

Whose spear's dread lightning o'er th' embattled plain 

Has oft o'erwhelm'd the Moors in dire dismay, 

And fix'd the fortune of the doubtful day ; 

From him we name our station of repair. 

And Jago's name that isle shall ever bear. 

The northern winds now curl'd the black'ning main, 

Our sails unfurl'd, we plough the tide again : 

Round Afric's coast our winding course we steer, 

Where, bending to the east, the shores appear. 

Here Jalofo * its wide extent displays. 

And vast Mandinga shows its num'rous bays ; 

> The Tropic of Cancer.—^. 

• Called by Ptolemy Caput Assinarium, now Gape Verde. 
' The Canaries, called by the ancients InsuLsB Fortunaim, 

* The province of Jalofo lies between the two rivers, the Gambia 
and the Zanago. The latter has other names in the several countries 
through which it runs. In its course it makes many islands, 
inhabited only by wild beasts. It is navigable for 150 leagues, at the 
end of which it is crossed by a stupendous ridge of perpendicular 
rocks, over which the river rushes with such violence, that travellers 
pass under it without any other inconvenience than the prodigious 
noise. The Gambia, or Rio Grande, runs 180 leagues, but is not so 

136 THE LUSIAD. [book t. 

Whose mountaiiis' sides, though parch'd and barren, hold, 

In copious store, the seeds of beamy gold.^ 

The Gambia here his sei^nt- journey takes. 

And, thro' the lawns, a thousand windings makes ; 

A thousand swarthy tribes his current laves 

Ere mix his waters with th* Atlantic waves. 

The Gorgades we pass'd, that hated shore,^ 

Fam'd for its terrors by the bards of yore ; 

Where but one eye by Phorcus' daughters shar'd. 

The 'lorn beholders into marble star'd ; 

Three dreadful sisters ! down whose temples roU'd 

Their hair of snakes in many a hissing fold. 

And, scatt'ring horror o'er the dreary strand. 

With swarms of vipers sow'd the burning sand. 

Still to the south our pointed keels we guide. 

And, thro' the austral gulf, still onward ride ; 

Her palmy forests mingUng with the skies, 

Leona's' rugg'd steep behind us flies ; 

The Cape of Palms ^ that jutting land we name. 

Already conscious of our nation's ' fame. 

far navigable. It carries more water, and rnns with less noise than 
the other, though filled with many rivers which water the country of 
Mandinga. Both rivers are branches of the Niger. Their waters 
have this remarkable quality ; when mixed together they operate as 
an emetic, but when separate do not. They abound with goe^t 
variety of fishes, and their banks are covered with horses, crocodiles, 
winged serpents, elephants, ounces, wild boars, with great numbers of 
others, wonderful for the variety of their nature and different forms. 
— Fabia y Sousa. 

* Timbtustu^ the mart of Mandinga gold, was greatly resorted to by the 
merchants of Grand Cairo, Timis, Oran, Tlemicen, Fez, Morocco, etc. 

' Contra hoc promontorium (Hesperionceras) Grorgades insul» 
narrantur, Gorgouum quondam domus, bidui navigatione distantes a 
continente, ut tradit Xenophon Lampsacenus. Penetravit in eas 
Hanno Poenorum imperator, prodiditque hirta foeminarum corpora viros 
pemicitate evasisse, duarumque Gorgonum cutes argumenti et miraculi 
gratia in Junonis templo posuit, spectatas usque ad Cartliaginem 
oaptam. — ^Plin. Hist. Nat. 1. 6. c. 31. 

* Sierra Leone. * Cape Palmas. — Ed. 

' During the reign of John n. the Portuguese erected several 
forts, and acquired great power in the extensive regions of Guiiiea. 
Azambuja, a Portuguese captain, having obtained leave from Caramansa, 
a negro prince, to erect a fort on his territories, an unlucky acoideat 
had almost proved fatal to the discoverers. A huge rock lay very oom- 
modious for a quarry ; the workmen began on it ; but this rock, as the 


Where the vex*d waves against our bulwarks roar, 
And Lnsian towers overlook the bending shore : 
Our sails wide swelling to the constant blast> 
Now, by the isle from Thomas nam'd we pass'd ; 
And Congo's spacious realm before us rose. 
Where copious Layra's limpid billow flows ; 
A flood by ancient hero never seen, 
Where many a temple o*er the banks of green,^ 
Bear'd by the Lusian heroes, through the night 
Of pagan darkness, pours the mental light. 

O'er the wild waves, as southward thus we stray, 
Our port unknown, unknown the wat'ry way. 
Each night we see, impressed with solemn aw£, 
Our guiding stars, and native skies withdraw, 
In the wide void we lose their cheering beams. 
Lower and lower still the pole-star gleams. 
Till past the limit, where the car of day 
Roll'd o'er our heads, and pour'd the downward ray : 
We now disprove the faith of ancient lore ; 
Bootes shining car appears no more. 
For here we saw Calisto's ' Btar retire 
Beneath the waves, unaw'd by Juno's ire. 

devil would have it, happened to be a negro god. The Portnguese were 
driven away by the enraged worshippers, who were afterwards with diflS- 
culty ptkcified by a profusicm of such presents as they most esteemed. 

^ The Portuguese, having brought an ambassador from. Congo to 
Lisbon, sent him back instructed in the faith. By this means the 
king, queen, and about 100,000 of the people were baptized ; the 
idols were destroyed and churches built. Soon after, the prince, who 
was then absent at war, was baptized by the name of Alonzo. His 
younger brother, Aquitimo, however, would not receive the faith, and 
the father, because allowed only one wife, turned apostate, and left 
the crown to his pagan son, who, with a great army, surrounded his 
brother, when only attended by some Portuguese and Christian blacks, 
in all only thirty-seven. By the bravery of these, however, Aquitimo 
was defeated, taken, and slain. One of Aquitimo*s officers declared, 
they were not defeated by the thirty-seven Christians, but by a glorious 
army who fought under a shining eross. The idols were again de- 
stroyed, and iJonzo sent his sons, grandsons, and nephews to Portugal 
to study ; two of whom were afterwards bishops in Congo. — Extracted 
from Faria y Sousa. 

^ Accoraing to fable, Calisto was a nymph of Diana. Jupiter having 
assumed the figure of that goddess, completed his amorous desires. 
On the discovery of her pregnancy, Diana drove her from her train. 

138 THE LUSIAD. [book t« 

Here, while the snn his polar journeys takes, 

His visit doubled, donble season makes ; 

Stem winter twice deforms the changeful year, 

And twice the spring's gay flowers their honours rear. 

Now, pressing onward, past the burning zone. 

Beneath another heaven and stars unknown. 

Unknown to heroes and to sages old, 

With southward prows our pathless course we hold: 

Here, gloomy night assumes a darker reign, 

And fewer stars emblaze the heavenly plain ; 

Fewer than those that gild the northern pole. 

And o'er our seas their glitt'ring chariots roll : 

While nightly thus, the lonely seas we brave. 

Another pole-star ^ rises o'er the wave : 

FuU to the south a shining cross * appears. 

Our heaving breasts the blissful omen cheers : 

Seven radiant stars compose the hallow'd sign 

That rose still higher o'er the wavy brine. 

Beneath this southern axle of the world 

Never, with daring search, was flag unfurl'd ; 

Nor pilot knows if bounding shores are plac'd, 

Or, if one dreary sea o'erflow the lonely waste. 

While thus our keels still onward boldly stray'd, 
Now toss'd by tempests, now by calms delay 'd, 
To tell the terrors of the deep untried, 
What toils we sufEer'd, and what storms defied ; 
What rattling deluges the black clouds pour'd. 
What dreary weeks of solid darkness lower'd ; 

She fled to the woods, where she was delivered of a son. Juno 
changed them into bears, and Japiter placed them in heaven, where 
they form the constellations of Ursa Major and Minor. Juno, still 
enraged, entreated Thetis never to suffer Oalisto to bathe in the sea. 
This is founded on the appearance of the northern pole-star, to the 
inhabitants of our hemisphere; but, when 6am a approached the 
austral pole, the northern, of consequence, disappeared under the waves. 

* The Southern Cross. 

' The constellation of the southern pole was called The Cross by the 
Portuguese sailors, from the appearance of that figure formed by seven 
stars. In the southern hemisphere, as Gamoens observes, the nights 
are darker than in the northern, the skies being adorned with much 
/ewer stars. 

BOOK v.] THE LUSIAD. 13ff 

What moTmtain-snrges mountain-surges lash'd, 

What sadden hurricanes the canvas dash'd ; 

What bursting lightnings, with incessant flare, 

Kindled, in one wide flame, the burning air ; 

What roaring thunders beUow'd o'er our head, 

And seem'd to shake the reeling ocean's bed : 

To tell each horror on the deep reveal'd, 

Would ask an iron throat with tenfold vigour steel'd : * 

Those dreadful wonders of the deep I saw, 

Which fill the sailor's breast with sacred awe ; 

And which the sages, of their learning vain, 

Esteem the phantoms of the dreamful brain : 

That living fire, by seamen held divine,* 

Of Heaven's own care in storms the holy sign, 

Which, midst the horrors of the tempest plays, 

And, on the blast's dark wings will gaily blaze ; 

These eyes distinct have seen that living fire 

Glide through the storm, and round my sails aspire. 

And oft, while wonder thrill'd my breast, mine eyes 

To heaven have seen the wat'ry columns rise. 

Slender, at first, the subtle fume appears. 

And writhing round and round its volume rears : 

Thick as a mast the vapour swells its size, 

A curling whirlwind lifts it to the skies ; 

The tube now straightens, now in width extends, 

And, in a hov'ring cloud, its summit ends : 

' Nan, mihi si linguas centum sunt, oraque centum, 
Ferrea vox, omnes scelerum comprendere formcts. — ^^n. vi. 

* That living fire, hy seamen held divine. — The sulphureous 
vapours of the air, after being violently agitated by a tempest, unite, 
and when the humidity begins to subside, as is the case when the 
storm is almost exhausted, by the agitation of their atoms they take 
fire, and are attracted by the masts and cordage of the ship. Being 
thus, naturally, the pledges of the approtiching calm, it is no wonder 
that the superstition of sailors should in all ages have esteemed them 
divine, and — 

Of heaven* 8 own care in storms the holy sign. 

In the expedition of the Golden Fleece, in a violent tempest these 
fires were seen to hover over the heads of Castor and Pollux, who 
were two of the Argonauts, and a calm immediately ensued. After 
the apotheoses of these heroes, the Grecian sailors invoked these fires 
by the names of Castor and Pollux, or the sons of Jupiter, The 
Athenians called them ^wrripes, Saviours, 

140 THE LUSIAD. Cbook v. 

Still, gulp on gnlp in sncks the rising tide, 

And now the cloud, with ciunbrons weight supplied, 

Full-gorg'd, and black'ning, spreads, and moves, more slow. 

And waving trembles to the waves below. 

Thus, when to shun the summer'« sultry beam 

The thirsty heifer seeks the cooling stream, 

The eager horse-leech fixing on her lips, 

Her blood with ardent throat insatiate sips. 

Till the gorg'd glutton, swell'd beyond her size. 

Drops from her wounded hold, and bursting, dies. 

So, bursts the cloud, o'erloaded with its freight, 

And the dash'd ocean staggers with the weight. 

But say, ye sages, who can weigh the cause, 

And trace the secret springs of nature's laws, 

Say, why the wave, of bitter brine erewhile. 

Should to the bosom of the deep recoil 

Bobb'd of its salt, and, from the cloud distil, 

Sweet as the waters of the limpid ^ rill ? 

Ye sons of boastful wisdom, famed of yore. 

Whose feet unwearied wander'd many a shore, 

From nature's wonders to withdraw the veil, 

Had you with me unfurled the daring sail, 

Had view'd the wondrous scenes mine eyes surveyed. 

What seeming miracles the deep displayed. 

What secret virtues various nature show'd. 

Oh ! heaven ! with what a fire your page had glow'd ! 

And now, since wand'ring o/er the foamy spray, 
Our brave Armada held her vent'rous way, 

^ In this book, particularly in the description of Massilia, the 
Gorgades, the fires called Castor and Pollux, and the water-spoot, 
Camoens has happily imitated the manner of Lucan. It is probable 
that Gamoens, in his voyage to the East Indies, was an eye witness 
of the phenomena of the fires and water-spout. The latter is thus 
described by Pliny, 1. 2. c. 51. Fit et caligo^ hdlum similis nubea dira 
navigantibus vocatur ^ colwnna, eum gpissatus humor rigensque ipse se 
Bwtinet, et in hngam veluti fistulam nubes aquam trdhit When the 
violent heat attracts the waters to rise in the form of a tube, the 
marine salts are left behind, by the action of rarefaction, being too 

fross and fixed to ascend. It is thus, when the overloaded vapour 
nrsts, that it descends — 

StDeet as the waters of the limpid rill. 


Five times tlie cliangef nl empress of the night 
Had fill'd her shining horns with silver light, 
When sudden, from the maintop's airy round, 
" Land ! land ! " is echoed. At the joyful sound, 
Svrift to the crowded decks the boun&ig crew 
On wings of hope and flutt'ring transport flew, 
And each strain'd eye with aching sight explores 
The wide horizon of the eastern abores : 
As thin blue clouds the mountain summits rise, 
And now, the lawns salute our joyful eyes ; 
Loud through the fleet the echoing shouts prevail, 
We drop the anchor, and restrain the sail ; 
And now, descending in a spacious bay. 
Wide o'er the coast the vent'rous soldiers stray, 
To spy the wonders of the savage shore. 
Where stranger's foot had never trod before. 
I and my pilots, on the yellow sand, 
Explore beneath what sky the shores expand. 
That sage device, whose wondrous use proclaims 
Th' immortal honour of its authors' ^ names. 
The sun's height measured, and my compass scann'd, 
The painted globe of ocean and of land. 
Here we perceiv'd our vent'rous keels had past 
Unharm'd the southern tropic's howling blast ; 
And now, approach'd dread Neptune's secret reign, 
• Where the stem power, as o'er the austral main 
He rides, wide scatters from the polar star 
Hail, ice, and snow, and all the wintry war. 
While thus attentive on the beach we stood. 
My soldiers, hast'ning from the upland wood^ 
Bight to the shore a trembling negro brought, 
Whom, on the forest-height, by force they caught. 
As, distant wander'd from the cell of home. 
He suck'd the honey from the porous comb. 

' That sage device, — The astrolabe, an insfnunent of infinite ser- 
vice in navigation, by which tbe aliitnde of the sun, and distance of 
the stars is taken. It was invented in Portugal during the reign 
of John n. by two Jewish physicians, named Roderic and Joseph. Tt 
is asserted by some that they were assisted by Martin of Bohemia, 
a celebrated mathematician. — ParUy from Gastera. Yid. Barros, 
Dec. 1. lib. iv. c. 2. 

142 THE LUSIAD. [book r. 

Horror glar'd in his look, and fear extreme, 

In mien more wild than iDrntal Polypheme : 

No word of rich Arabia's tongue ^ he knew, 

No sign conld answer, nor onr gems would view : 

From garments strip'd with shining gold he tum'd,^ 

The starry diamond and the silver spum'd. 

Straight at my nod are worthless trinkets brought ; 

Bound beads of crystal, as a bracelet wrought, 

A cap of red, and, dangling on a string. 

Some little bells of brass before him ring : 

A wide-mouth'd laugh confessed his barb'rous joy, 

And, both his hands he raised to grasp the toy. 

Pleased with these gifts, we set the savage free, 

Homeward he springs away, and bounds with glee. 

Soon as the gleamy streaks of purple mom 
The lofty forest's topmost boughs adorn, 
Down the steep mountain's side, yet hoar with dew, 
A naked crowd, and black as night their hue. 
Come tripping to the shore : Their wishful eyes 
Declare what tawdry trifles most they prize : 
These to their hopes were given, and, void of fear 
(Mild seem'd their manners, and their looks sincere), 
A bold rash youth, ambitious of the fame 
Of brave adventurer, Yeloso his name. 
Through pathless brakes their homeward steps attends, 
And, on his single arm, for help depends. 
Long was his sfeiy : my earnest eyes explore, 
When, rushing down the mountain to the shore 
I mark'd him ; terror urged his rapid strides, 
And soon Coello's skiff the wave divides. 
Yet, ere his friends advanc'd, the treach'rous foe 
Trod on his latest steps, and aim'd the blow. 
Moved by the danger of a youth so brave, 
Myself now snatch'd an oar, and sprung to save : 
When sudden, black'ning down the mountain's height, 
Another crowd pursu'd his panting flight ; 
And, soon an arrowy, and a flinty shower 
Thick o'er our heads the fierce barbarians pour. 

* Arabic, one of the most copious and wide-spoken of languages. — Ed, 


Nor pour'd in vain ; a featber'd arrow stood 
Fix'd ^ in my leg, and drank the gushing blood. 
Vengeance, as sudden, ev*rj wound repays, 
Full on their fronts our flashing lightnings blaze ; 
Their shrieks of horror instant pierce the sky, 
And, wing'd with fear, at fullest speed they fly. 

* Camoens, in describing the adventure of Fernando Velosd, by 
departing from the truth of history, has shown his judgment as a 
poet. The place where the Portuguese landed they named the Bay 
of St. Helen. They caught one of two negroes, says Faria, who were 
busied in gathering honey on a mountain. Their behaviour to this 
savage, whom they gratified with a red cap, some glasses and bells, 
induced him to bring a number of his companions for the like trifles. 
Though some who accompanied Gama were skilled in the various 
African languages, not one of the natives could understand them. A 
commerce, however, was commenced by signs and gestures. Gama 
behaved to them with great civility ; the fleet was cheerfully supplied 
with fresh provisions, for which the natives received cloths and 
trinkets. But this friendship was soon interrupted by a young, rash 
Portuguese. Having contracted an intimacy with some of the negroes, 
he obtained leave to penetrate into the country along with them, to 
observe their habitations and strength. They conducted him to their 
huts with great good nature, and placed before him, what they 
esteemed an elegant repast, a sea-calf dressed in the way of their 
country. This so much disgusted the delicate Portuguese, that he 
instantly got up and abruptly left them. Nor did they oppose his 
departure, but accompanied him with the greatest innocence As 
fear, however, is always jealous, he imagined they were leading him 
as a victim to slaughter. No sooner did he come near the ships, than 
he called aloud for assistance. Goello's boat immediately set off for 
his rescue. The Africans fled to the woods; and now esteeming 
the Portuguese as a band of lawless plunderers, they provided them- 
selves with arms, and lay in ambush. Their weapons were javelins, 
headed with short pieces of horn, which they throw with great 
dexterity. Soon after, while Gama and some of his oflScers were on 
the shore taking the altitude of the sun by the astrolabe, they were 
suddenly and with great fury attacked by the ambush from the 
woods. Several were much wounded, multos convulnerant, inter quoa 
Gama in pede vulnus accepit, and Gama received a wound in the toot. 
The admiral made a speedy retreat to the fleet, prudently choosing 
rather to leave the negroes the honour of the victory, than to risk the 
life of one man in a quarrel so foreign to the destination of his 
expedition, and where, to impress the terror of his arms could be of- 
no service to his interest. When he came nearer to the East Indies 
he acted in a different manner. He then made himself dreaded 
whenever the treachery of the natives provoked his resentment. 
— Collected from Faria and Osorius. 

144 THE LUSIAD. [fiooK ▼. 

Long tracks of gore their scatter'd flight betray 'd, 

And now, Yelosd to the fleet convey'd, 

His sportful mates his brave exploits demand, 

And what the curious wonders of the land : 

" Hard was the hill to climb, my valiant friend, 

But oh ! how smooth and easy to descend ! 

Well hast thou prov'd thy swiftness for the chase, 

And shown thy matchless merit in the race ! " 

With look unmov'd the gallant youth replied, 

" For you, my friends, my fleetest speed was tried ; 

Twas you the fierce barbarians meant to slay ; 

For you I f ear*d the fortune of the day ; 

Tour danger great without mine aid I knew. 

And, swift as lightning, to your rescue flew." ^ 

' The critics have vehemently declaimed agaimtt the least mixture 
of the comic, with the dignity of the epic poem. It is needless to 
enter into any defence of this passage of Camoens, farther than to 
observe that Homer, Yirgil, and Milton have offended the critics in 
the same manner, and that this piece of raillery in the Lusiad is by 
much the politest, and the least reprehensible, of anything of the kind in 
the four poets. In Homer are several strokes of low raillery. Patroclus 
having killed Hector's charioteer, puns thus on his sudden fall : H 
is a pity he is not nearer the sea ! He would soon catch abundance of 
oysters, nor would the storms frighten him. See how he dives from^ hit 
chariot dovm to the sand I What excellent divers are the Trojans! 
Virgil, the most judicious of all poets, descends even to burlesque, 
where the commander of a galley tumbles the pilot into the sea : — 

Segnemque Mencefen 

In mare pnecipitem puppi deturhat ah alta. 
At gravis ut sundo vix tandem redditus imo est 
Jam senior, madidaque fluens in veste Mencstes, 
Snmma petit scopuli siccaque in rupe resedit, 
lUum et labentem Teucri, et risere natantem; 
M salsos rident revomentem peotore fluctus. 

And, though the character of the speakers, the ingenious defence which 
has been offered for Milton, may, in some measure, vindicate the 
raillery which he puts into the mouths of Satan and Belial, the low- 
ness of it, when compared with that of Camoens, must still be acknow- 
ledged. Talking of the execution of the diabolical artillery among 
.the good angdb, they, says Satau — 

** Flew off, and into strange vagaries fell 
As they would dance, yet for a dance they seem'd 
Somewhat extravagant and wild, perhaps 
For joy of offered peace. — — 


He now the treason of the foe relates, 

How, soon as past the mountain's upland straits, 

They changed the colonr of their friendly show, 

And force forbade his steps to tread below : 

How, down the coverts of the steepy brake 

Their larking stand a treach'rons ambush take ; 

On ns, when speeding to defend his flight. 

To rush, and plunge us in the shades of night ; 

Nor, while in friendship, would their lips unfold 

Where India's ocean laved the orient shores of gold. 

Now, prosp'rous gales the bending canvas swell'd ; 
From these rude shores our fearless course we held : 
Beneath the glist'ning wave the god of day 
Had now five times withdrawn the parting ray, 
When o'er the prow a sudden darkness spread, 
And, slowly floating o'er the mast's tall head 
A black cloud hover'd : nor appear'd from far 
The moon's pale glimpse, nor faintly twinkling star ; 
So deep a gloom the low'ring vapour cast, 
Transfix'd with awe the bravest stood aghast. 
Meanwhile, a hollow bursting roar resounds. 
As when hoarse surges lash their rocky mounds ; 
Nor had the black'ning wave, nor frowning heav'n 
The wonted signs of gath'ring tempest giv'n. 
Amaz'd we stood. " O thou, our fortune's guide. 
Avert this omen, mighty God ! " I cried ; 
" Or, through forbidden climes adventurous stray'd. 
Have we the secrets of the deep survey'd. 
Which these wide solitudes of seas and sky 
Were doom'd to hide from man's unhallow'd eye ? 
Whate'er this prodigy, it threatens more 
Than midnight tempests, and the mingled roar. 
When sea and sky combine to rock the marble shore." 

To whom thus Belial, in like gamesome mood. 
Leader, the terms we sent were terms of weight. 
Of hard (contents, and full of force urg*d home, 
Such as we might perceive amus'd them all. 

And stumbled many 

this gift they have beside, 

They show us when our foes walk not upright." 

146 THE LUSIAD. [book V. 

I spoke, when rising tlirough the darken'd air, 
Appall*d, we saw a hideous phantom glare ; 
High and enormous o'er the flood he tower*d, 
And 'thwart our way with sullen aspect lower'd : 
An earthy paleness o'er his cheeks was spread. 
Erect uprose his hairs of wither'd red ; 
Writhing to speak, his sable lips disclose, 
Sharp and disjoin'd, his gnashing teeth's blue rows ; 
His haggard beard flow'd quiv'ring on the wind, 
Eevenge and horror in his mien combin'd ; 
His clouded front, by with'ring lightnings scar'd, 
The inward anguish of his soul declar'd. 
His red eyes, glowing from their dusky caves. 
Shot livid fires : far echoing o'er the waves 
His voice resounded, as the cavem'd shore 
With hollow groan repeats the tempest's roar. 
Cold gliding horrors thrill'd each hero's breast. 
Our bristling hair and tott'ring knees confess'd 
Wild dread, the while with visage ghastly wan, 
His black lips trembling, thus the fiend began :• — * 

" O you, the boldest of the nations, fir'd 
By daring pride, by lust of fame inspir'd. 
Who, scornful of the bow'rs of sweet repose. 
Through these my waves advance your fearless prows, 
Regardless of the length'ning wat'ry way. 
And all the storms that own my sov'reign sway. 
Who, mid surrounding rocks and shelves explore 
Where never hero brav'd my rage before ; 
Ye sons of Lusus, who with eyes profane 
Have view'd the secrets of my awful reign. 
Have pass'd the bounds which jealous Nature drew 
To veil her secret shrine from mortal view; 
Hear from my lips what direful woes attend, 
And, bursting soon, shall o'er your race descend* 

" With every bounding keel that dares my rage, 
Eternal war my rocks and storms shall wage, 

* The translator in reply to the critics will venture the assertion, 
that the fiction of the apparition of the Gape of Tempests, in sub- 
limity and awful grandeur of imagination, stands unsurpassed in 
human composition. 


The next prond fleet * that throngh my drear dozaain, 
With daring search shall hoist the streaming vane, 
That gallant navy, by my whirlwinds toss*d, 
And raging seas, shall perish on my coast : 
Then he, who first my secret reign descried, 
A naked corpse, wide floating o*er the tide^ 

Shall drive Unless my heart's full raptures fail, 

O Lnsus ! oft shalt thou thy children wail ; 

Each year thy shipwreck'd sons shalt thou deplore. 

Each year thy sheeted masts shall strew my shore. 

" With trophies plum'd behold a hero come,* 
Ye dreary wiids, prepare his yawning tomb. 
Though smiling fortune bless'd his youthful mom, 
Though glory's rays his laurell'd brows adorn. 
Full oft though he beheld with sparkling eye 
The Turkish moons ® in wild confusion fly, 
While he, proud victor, thunder*d in the rear, 
All, all his mighty fame shall vanish here, 
Quiloa's sons, and thine, Mombaz, shall see 
Their conqueror bend his laurelFd head to me ; 

^ Hie next proud fleet. — On the return of Gaua to Portugal, a 
fleet of thirteen sail, under the command of Pedro Alvarez Cabral, was 
sent out on the second voyage to India, where the admiral with only 
six ships arrived. The rest were mostly destroyed by a terrible tem- 
pest at the Cape of Good Hope, which lasted twenty days. " The day- 
time/' says Faria, *^ was so dark that the sailors could scarcely see each 
other, or hear what was said for the horrid noise of the winds. Among 
those who perished was the celebrated Bartholomew Diaz, who was the 
first modern discoverer of the Gape of Good Hope, which he named the 
Cape of I'empests. 

^ Behold a hero come, — ^Don Francisco de Almeyda. He was the 
first Portuguese viceroy of India, in which country he obtained several 
great victories over the Mohammedans and pagans. He was the first 
who conquered Quiloa and Mombas, or Mombaz. On his return to 
Portugal he put into the bay of Saldanha, near the Cape of Gk)od 
Hope, to take in water and provisions. The rudeness of one of his 
servants produced a quarrel with the Caffres, or Hottentots. His 
attendants, much against his will, forced him to march against the 
blacks. " Ah, whither," he exclaimed, ** will you carry the infirm 
man of sixtv years ? " After plundering a miserable village, on the 
return to their ships they were attacked by a superior number of 
Caffres, who fought with such fury in rescue'of their.children, whom 
the Portuguese had seized, that the viceroy and fifty of his attendants 
were slain. 

' The orescent, the symbol of MohammedanisnL — Ed. 

148 THE LUSIAD. [bocwlv. 

While, prondly mingling with the tempest's sound, 
Their shouts of joj from every cliff rebound. 

** The howling blast, ye slumbering storms prepare, 
A youthful lover, and his beauteous fair, 
Triumphant sail from India's ravag'd land ; 
His evil angel leads him to my strand. 
Through the torn hulk the dashing waves shall roar, 
The shattered wrecks shall blacken all my shore. 
Themselves escaped, despoil'd by savage hands, 
Shall, naked, wander o'er the burning sands, 
Spar'd by the waves far deeper woes to bear. 
Woes, e'en bj^ me, acknowledg'd with a tear. 
Their infant race, the promis'd heirs of joy. 
Shall now, no more, a hundred hands employ ; 
By cruel want, beneath the parents' eye. 
In these wide wastes their infant race shall die ; 
Through dreary wilds, where never pilgrim trod, 
Where caverns yawn, and rocky fragments nod, 
The hapless lover and his bride shall stray, 
By night unshelter'd, and forlorn by day. 
In vain the lover o'er the trackless plain 
Shall dart his eyes, and cheer his spouse in vain. 
Her tender limbs, and breast of mountain snow, 
Where, ne'er before, intruding blast might blow, 
Parch'd by the sun, and shrivell'd by the cold 
Of dewy night, shall he, fond man, behold. 
Thus, wand ring wide, a thousand ills o'erpast. 
In fond embraces they shall sink at last ; 
While pitying tears their dying eyes o'eiAow, 
And the last sigh shall wail each other's woe.^ 

^ This poetical description of the miserable catastrophe of Don 
Emmanuel de Souza, and his beautiful spouse, Leonora* de Sk, is by 
no means exaggerated. He was several years governor of Diu in 
India, where he amassed immense wealth. On his -return to hiB 
native country, the ship in which was his lady, all his riches, aud five 
hundred men, his sailors and domestics, was dashed to pieces on the 
rocks at the Gape of Good Hope. Don Emmanuel, his lady, and 
three children, with four hundred of the crew escaped, haring only 
saved a few arms and provisions. As they marched through the wild 
uncultivated deserts, some died of famine, of thirst, and fatigue; 
others, who wandered from the main body in search of water, were 


^* Some few, the sad companions of their fate, 
Shall yet survive, protected by my hate, 
On Tagus' banks the dismal i^e to telT, 
How, blasted by my frown, yonr heroes fell." 

He pans'd, in act still farther to disclose 
A long, a dreary prophecy of woes : 
When springing onward, lond my voice resounds, 
And midst his rage the threatening shade confounds. 
" What art thou, horrid form, that rid'st the air ? 
By Heaven's eternal light, stem fiend, declare." 
His lips he writhes, his eyes far round he throws, 
And, from his breast, deep hollow groans aro^ 
Sternly askance he stood : with wounded pride 
And anguish torn, " In me, behold," he cried. 
While dark-red sparkles from his eyeballs rolFd, 
" In me the Spirit of the Cape behold. 
That rock, by you the Cape of Tempests nani'd, 
By Neptune's rage, in horrid earthquakes framed, 
When Jove's red bolts o'er Titan's offspring flam'd. 


murdered by the savages, or destroyed by the wild beasts. They 
arrived, at last, at a village inhabited by African banditti. At first 
they were courteously received, but the barbarians, having un- 
expectedly seized their arms, stripped the whole company naked, 
and left them destitute to the mercy of the desert. The wretchedness 
of the delicate and exposed Leonora was increased by the brutal 
insults of the negroes. Her husband, unable to relieve, beheld her 
miseries. After having travelled about 300 leagues, her legs swelled, 
her feet bleeding at every step, and her strength exhausted, she sunk 
down, and with the sand covered herself to the neck, to conceal her 
nakedness. In this dreadful situation, she beheld two of her children 
expire. Her own death soon followed. Her husband, who had beeii 
long enamoured of her beauty, received her last breath in a distracted 
embrace. Immediately, he snatched his third child in his arms, and 
uttering the most lamentable cries, he ran into the thickest of the 
wood, where the wild beasts were soon heard to growl over their prey. 
Of the whole four hundred who escaped the waves, only six and 
twenty arrived at another village, whose inhabitants were more 
civilized, and traded with the merchants of the Bed Sea, from 
whence they found a passage to Europe, and brought the tidings of 
the unhappy fate of their companions. Jerome de CJortereal, a Por- 
tuguese poet, has written an affecting poem on the shipwreck, and 
deplorable catastrophe of Don Enmianuel, and his beloved spouse. 
— Fartly from Gastera. 

150 THE LUSIAD. [book t. 

With wide-stretch'd piles I gnard the pathless strand. 

And Afric's southern monnd, nnmov'd, I stand : 

Nor Roman prow, nor daring Tjrian oar 

Ere dash'd the white wave foaming to my shore ; 

Nor Greece, nor Carthage ever spread the sail 

On these my seas, to catch the trading gale. 

Yon, you alone have dar*d to plough my main, 

And, with the human voice, disturb my lonesome reign." 

He spoke, and deep a lengthened sigh he drew, 
A doleful sound, and vanish'd from the view : 
The frighten*d billows gave a rolling swell. 
And, distantrfar, prolong*d the dismal yell. 
Faint, and more faint the howling echoes die. 
And the black cloud dispersing, leaves the sky. 
High to the angel-host, whose guardian care 
Had ever round us watch'd, my hands I rear. 
And Heaven's dread King implore : " As o'er our head 
The fiend dissolv'd, an empty shadow fled ; 
So may his curses, by the winds of heav'n, 
Far o'er the deep, their idle sport, be driv'n ! " 

With sacred horror thrill'd; Melinda's lord 
Held up the eager hand, and caught the word. 
" Oh, wondrous faith of ancient days," he cries, 
" Conceal'd in mystic lore and dark disguise ! 
Taught by their sires, our hoary fathers tell, 
On these rude shores a giant-spectre fell, 
What time, from heaven the rebel band were thrown : ^ 
And oft the wand'ring swain has heard his moan. 
While o'er the wave the clouded moon appears 
To hide her weeping face, his voice he rears 
O'er the wild storm. Deep in the days of yore, 
A holy pilgrim trod the nightly shore ; 
Stem groans he heard ; by ghostly spells controll'd, 
His fate, mysterious, thus the spectre told : 
'By forceful Titan's warm embrace compress'd. 
The rock-ribb'd mother, Earth, his love confess'd : 

» The giants or Titans ; called " sons of God" in Gen. vi. 2.— £U. 


The handred-handed giant ^ at a birth, 

And me, she bore, nor slept my hopes on earth ; 

My heart avow*d, my sire's ethereal flame ; 

Great Adamastor, then, my dreaded name. 

In my bold brother's glorions toils engaged, 

Tremendous war against the gods I waged : 

Yet, not to reach the throne of heaven I try, 

With mountain pil'd on mountain to the sky ; 

To me the conquest of the seas befel, 

In his green realm the second Jove to quell. 

Nor did ambition all my passions hold, 

'Twas love that prompted an attempt so bold. 

Ah me, one summer in the cool of day, 

I saw the Nereids on the sandy bay, 

With lovely Thetis from the wave, advance 

In mirthful frolic, and the naked dance. 

In all her charms reveal'd the goddess trod, 

With fiercest fires my struggling bosom glow'd ; 

Yet, yet I feel them burning in my heart, 

And hopeless, languish with the raging smairt. 

For her, each goddess of the heavens I scom'd, 

For her alone my fervent ardour bum*d. 

In vain I woo*d her to the lover's bed, 

From my grim form, with horror, mute she fled, 

Madd'ning with love, by force I ween to gain 

The silver goddess of the blue domain ; 

To the hoar mother of the Nereid band * 

I tell my purpose, and her aid command : 

By fear impeird, old Doris tries to move, 

And, win the spouse of Peleus to my love. 

The silver goddess with a smile replies, 

" What nymph can yield her charms a giant's prize I 

Yet, from the horrors of a war to save, 

And guard in peace our empire of the wave. 

Whatever with honour he may hope to gain, 

That, let him hope his wish shall soon attain." 

* Briareus. 

* Doris, the sister and spouse of Kerens, and mother of the 
Nereides. By Nereus, in the physical sense of the fable, is under- 
stood the water of the sea, and by Doris, the bitterness or salt, the 
supposed cause of its prolific quality in the generation of fishes. 

132 THE LUSIAD. [booit. 

Tho promised grace infaa'd a bolder fire, 

And shook mj mighty limbs with fierce desire. 

Bat ah, what error spreads its dreadful nighty 

What phantoms hover o*er the lover's sight ! 

The war resign d, my steps by Doris led, 

While gentle eve her shadowy mantle spread. 

Before my steps the snowy Thetis shone 

In all her charms, all naked, and alone. 

Smft as the wind with open arms I spmng. 

And, round her waist with joy delirions climg : 

In all the transports of the warm embrace, 

A hnndred kisses on her angel face, 

On all its various charms my rage bestows, 

And, on her cheek, my cheek enraptur'd glows. 

When, oh, what anguish while my shame I tell f 

What fix*d despair, what rage my bosom swell I 

Hero was no goddess, here no heaVnly charms, 

A rugged mountain fiird my eager arms. 

Whoso rocky top, o'erhung with matted brier. 

Received the kisses of my am'rous fire. 

Wak'd from my dream, cold horror freez'd my blood ; 

Fix'd as a rock, before the rock I stood ; 

" fairest goddess of the ocean train. 

Behold the triumph of thy proud disdain ; 

Yet why," I cried, " with all I wish'd decoy, 

And, when exulting in the dream of joy, 

A horrid mountain to mine arms convey ! " 

Madd'ning I spoke, and furious, sprung away. 

Far to the south I sought the world unknown, 

Where I, unheard, unscom'd, might wail alone, 

My foul dishonour, and my tears to hide. 

And shun the triumph of the goddess' pride. 

My brothers, now, by Jove's red arm o'erthrown. 

Beneath huge mo^Btains, pil'd on mountams groan ; 

And I, who taught each echo to deplore, 

And tell my sorrows to the desert shore, 

I felt the hand of Jove my crimes pursue, 

My stifE'ning flesh to earthy ridges grew. 

And my huge bones, no more by marrow warm'd, 

To horrid piles, and ribs of rock transform' d. 

Yon dark-brow'd cape of monstrous size became, 

Where, round me still, in triumph o'er my shame, 


The silv'ry Thetis bids her surges roar, 
And waft my groans along the dreary shore. 

> » 

Melinda's monarch thus the tale pursu'd, 
Of ancient faith, and Gama thus renew'd : — 

Now, from the wave the chariot of the day, 
Whirl'd by the fiery coursers, springs away, 
When, f uU in view, the giant Cape appears. 
Wide spreads its limbs, and high its shoulders rears ; 
Behind us, now, it curves the bending side. 
And our bold vessels plough the eastern tide. 
Nor long excursive off at sea we stand, 
A cultur'd shore invites us to the land. 
Here their sweet scenes the rural joys bestow, 
And give our wearied minds a lively glow.^ 
The tenants of the coast, a festive band, 
With dances meet us on the yellow sand ; 
Their brides on slow-pac'd oxen rode behind ; 
The spreading horns with flow*ry garlands twin*d, 
Bespoke the dew-lapp'd beeves their proudest boast^ 
Of all their bestial store they valued most. 
By turns the husbands, and the brides, prolong 
The various measures of the rural song. 
Now, to the dance the rustic reeds resound ; 
The dancers' heels, light-quiv'ring, beat the ground ; 
And now, the lambs around them bleating stray, 
Feed from their hands, or, round them frisking play. 

* And give our wearied minds a lively glow, — ^Variety is no less 
delightful to the reader than to the traveller, and the imagination of 
Camoens gave an abundant supply. The insertion of this pastoral 
landscape, between the terrific scenes which precede and follow, has 
a fine -effect. ** Variety," says Pope, in one of his notes on the 
Odyssey, " gives life and delight ; and it is much more necessary in 
epic, than in comic or tragic, poetry, sometimes to shift the scenes, to 
diversify and embellish the story." 

The Portuguese, sailing upon the Atlantic Ocean, discovered the 
most southern point of Africa: here they found an immense sea, 
which carried them to the East Indies. The dangers they encountered 
in the voyage, the discovery of Mozambique, of Meliuda, and of Calecut, 
have been sung by Camoens, whose poem recalls to our minds the 
charms of the Odyssey, and the magnificence of the iE!neid. — ^Mon- 
tesquieu, Spirit of Laws, bk. zxi. c 21. 


Methought I saw the sylvan reign of Pan, 

And heard the mnsic of the Mantoan swan : ^ 

With smiles we hail them, and with joy behold 

The blissful manners of the age of gold. 

With that mild kindness, by their looks displayed, 

Fresh stores they bring, with cloth of red repaid ; 

Yet, from their Hps no word we knew conld flow, 

Nor sign of India s strand their hands bestow. 

Fair blow the winds ; again with sails nnf url'd 

We dare the main, and seek the eastern world. 

Now, round black Af ric's coast our navy veer'd, 

And, to the world's mid circle, northward steer'd : 

The southern pole low to the wave declin'd. 

We leave the isle of Holy Cross * behind : 

That isle where erst a Lusian, when he pass'd 

The tempest-beaten cape, his anchors cast, 

And own*d his proud ambition to explore 

The kingdoms of the mom could dare no more. 

From thence, still on, our daring course we hold 

Thro' trackless gulfs, whose billows never roU'd 

Around the vessel's pitchy sides before ; 

Thro' trackless gulfs, where mountain surges roar, 

For many a night, when not a star appear'd. 

Nor infant moon's dim horns the darlmess cheer'd ; 

For many a dreary night, and cheerless day, 

In calms now fetter'd, now the whirlwind's play, 

By ardent hope still fir'd, we forc'd our dreadful way. 

Now, smooth as glass the shining waters lie. 

No cloud, slow moving, sails the azure sky ; 

Slack from their height the sails unmov'd decline^ 

The airy streamers form the downward line ; 

No gentle quiver owns the gentle gale, 

Nor gentlest swell distends the ready sail ; 

Fix'd as in ice, the slumb'ring prows remain. 

And silence wide extends her solemn reign. 

Now to the waves the bursting clouds descend, 

And heaven and sea in meeting tempests blend ; 

> VirgU. 

' A small island, named Santa Oruz by Bartholomew Diaz, who 
discovered it. According to Faria y Sousa, he went twentv-fiye 
leagues further, to the river Del Infante, which, till passed by Gama, 
was the utmost extent of the Portuguese discoveries. 



The black- wing*d whirlwinds o'er the ocean sweep, 
And from his bottom roars the stagg'ring deep. 
Driv*n by the yelling blast's impetuons sway 
Stagg'ring we bonnd, yet onward bonnd away : 
And now, escaped the fury of the storm, 
New danger threatens in a various form ; 
Though fresh the breeze the swelling canyas swell'd, 
A current's headlong sweep our prows withheld : 
The rapid force impress'd on every keel, 
Backward, o'erpower'd, our rolling vessels reel : 
When from their southern caves the winds, enraged. 
In horrid conflict with the waves engaged ; 
Beneath the tempest groans each loaded mast, 
And, o'er the rushing tide our bounding navy pass'd.^ 

Now shin'd the sacred mom, when from the east 
Three kings * the holy cradled Babe address'd, 
And haird him Lord of heaven : that festive day' 
We drop our anchors in an opening bay ; 
The river from the sacred day we name,* 
And stores, the wand'ring seaman's right, we claim : 
Stores we receiv'd ; our dearest hope in vain, 
No word they utter'd could our ears retain ; 
Nought to reward our search for India's sound. 
By word or sign our ardent wishes crown'd.* 

^ It was the force of this rushing current which retarded the fur- 
ther discoveries of Diaz. Gama got over it by the assistance of a 
tempest. The seasons when these seas are safely navigable, are now 
perfectly known. 

* The wise men of the East, or magi, whom the Roman Catholic 
writers will have to have been kings. — Ed. 

» The Epiphany.— ^c?. 

* Dos Reis, t.6., of the kings. — Ed, 

' The frequent disa{>pointments of the Portuguese, when they expect 
to hear some account of India, is a judicious imitation of several parts 
of Virgil ; who, in the same manner, magnifies the distresses of the 
Trojans in their search for the fated seat of Empire : — 


Infeliz ! cui te exitio fortuna reservati 
Septima post TrqjsB excidiumjam vertitur sestas ; 
Cum freta^ cum terras omnes, tot inhospita saxa 
Sideraque emensx ferimur : dum per mare magnum 
Itaiiam seguimur fugientem^ et volvimur undia, Ms, y. 625. 

156 THE LUSIAD. [book y. 

Behold, O king, how many a shore we tried ! 
How many a fierce barbarian's rage defied 1 
Yet still, in vain, for India's shore we try. 
The long-sought shores our anxious search defy. 
Beneath new heavens, where not a star we knew, 
Through changing climes, where poison'd air we drew ; 
Wandering new seas, in gulfs unknown, forlorn, 
By labour weaken'd, and by feimine worn ; 
Our food cormpted/pregnint with disease, 
And pestilence on each expected breeze ; 
Not even a gleam of hope's delusive ray 
To lead us onward through the devious way — 
That kind delusion ^ which full oft has cheer'd 
The bravest minds, till glad success appeared; 
Worn as we were, each night with dreary care. 
Each day, with danger that increased despair ; 
Oh ! monarch, judge, what less than Lusian fire 
Could still the hopeless scorn of fate inspire ! 
What less, O king, than Lusian faith withstand, • 
When dire despair and famine gave command 
Their chief to murder, and with lawless power 
Sweep Afric's seas, and every coast devour ! 
What more than men in wild despair still bold ! 
These, more than men, in these my band behold ! 
Sacred to death, by death alone subdued. 
These, all the rage of fierce despair withstood ; * 

» Hop 

^ It had been extremely impolitic in Gama to mention the mutiny 
of his followers to the King of Melinda. The boast of their loyalty, 
besides, has a good effect in the poem, as it elevates the heroes, and 
gives uniformity to the character of bravery, which the dignity of the 
epopea required to be ascribed to them. Historv relates the matter 
diflferently. In standing for the Cape of Good Hope, Gama gave the 
highest proofs of his resolution. The fleet seemed now tossed to the 
clouds, ut modo nuhea contingere, and now sunk to the lowest whirl- 
pools of the abyss. The winds were insufferably cold, and, to the rage 
of .the tempest was added the horror of an almost continual darkness. 
The crew expected every moment to be swallowed up in the deep. At 
every interval of the storm, they came round Gama, asserting the 
impossibility to proceed further, and imploring him to return. This 
he resolutely refused. A conspiracy against his life was formed, but 
was discovered by his brother. He guarded against it with the greatest 
courage and prudence ; put all the pilots in chains, and he himself, 
with some others, took the management of the helms. At last, after 


Firm to their faath, tlLOngli fondest Hope no more 
Could give the promise of their native shore ! 

Now, the sweet waters of the stream we leave, 
And the salt waves our gliding prows receive : 
Here to the left, between the bending shores, 
Torn by the winds the whirling billow roars ; 
And boiling raves against the sounding coast, 
Whose mines of gold Sof ala's merchants boast : 
Full to the gulf the show'ry south- winds howl, 
Aslant, against the wind, our vessels roll : 
Far from the land, wide o'er the ocean driv'n. 
Our helms resigning to the care of heav'n. 
By hope and fear's keen passions toss'd, we roam. 
When our glad eyes beheld the surges foam 
Against the beacons of a cultur'd bay, 
Where sloops and barges cut the watVy way. 
The river's opening breast some upward plied. 
And some came gliding down the sweepy tide. 
Quick throbs of transport heav'd in every heart 
To view the knowledge of the seaman's art ; 
For here, we hop'd our ardent wish to gain. 
To hear of India's strand, nor hop'd in vain. 
Though Ethiopia's sable hue they bore 
No look of wild surprise the natives wore : 
Wide o'er their heads the cotton turban swell'd. 
And cloth of blue the decent loins conceal'd. 
Their speech, though rude and dissonant of sound, 
Their speech a mixture of Arabian own'd. 
Fernando, skill'd in all the copious store 
Of fair Arabia's speech, and flow'ry lore. 
In joyful converse heard the pleasing tale. 
That, o'er these seas, full oft, the frequent sail, 
And lordly vessels, tall as ours, appear'd. 
Which, to the regions of the morning steer'd, 
And, back returning, to the southmost land 
Convey'd the treasures of the Indian strand ; 

having many days withstood the tempest, and a pelrfidious conspiracy, 
invicto animo, with an unconquered mind, a favourahle change of 
weather revived the spirits of the fleet, and allowed them to douhle the 
Gape of Good Hope. — Extr.from Osorius's Historia. 


158 THE LUSIAD. [bochl T4 

Whose clieerfnl crews, resembling ours, display 

The kindred face and colour of the day.^ 

Elate with joy we raise the glad acclaim, 

And, " River of good signs," " the port we name : 

Then, sacred to the angel guide," who led 

The young Tobiah to the spousal bed. 

And safe retum'd him through the perilous way, 

We rear a column * on the friendly bay. 

Our keels, that now had steer'd through many a clime, 
By shell-fish roughen'd, and incased with slime,. 
Joyful we clean, while bleating from the field 
The fleecy dams the smiling natives yield : 
But while each face an honest welcome shows. 
And, big with sprightly hope, each bosom glows, 
(Alas ! how vain the bloom of human joy ! 
How soon the blasts of woe that bloom destroy !) 
A dread disease its rankling horrors shed, 
And death's dire ravage through mine army spread. 
Never mine eyes such dreary sight beheld. 
Ghastly the mouth and gums enormous swell'd ; * 
And instant, putrid like a dead man's wound, 
Poisoned with foetid steams the air around. 
No sage physician's ever- watchful zeal. 
No skilful surgeon's gentle hand to heal. 
Were found : each dreary mournful hour we gave 
Some brave companion to a foreign grave. 

* Gama and his followers were, from the darkness of the Portu- 
guese complexion, thoiight to be Moors. When Gama arrived in the 
East, a considerable commerce was carried on between the Indies 
and the Bed Sea by the Moorish traders, by whom the gold mines of 
Sofala, and the riches of East Africa were enjoyed. The traffic was 
brought by land to Cairo, from whence Europe was supplied by the 
Venetian and Antwerpian merchants. 

* " O nome Ihe ficou dos Bons-Signais." 

» Baphael. See Tobit, ch. v. and xii. — Ed. 

* It was the custom of the Portuguese navigators to erect crosses on 
the shores of new-discovered countries. Gama carried materials for 
pillars of stone with him, and erected six crosses during his expedition. 
They bore the name and arms of the king of Portugal, and were in- 
tended as proofs of the title which accrues from first discovery. 

' This poetical description of the scurvy is by no means exaggerated. 
It is what sometimes really happens in the course of a long voyage. 


A grave, the awful gift of every shore !- 

Alas ! what weary toils with us they bore ! 
Long, long endear'd by fellowship in woe, 
0*er their cold dnst we give the tears to flow ; 
And, in their hapless lot forbode our own, 
A foreign burial, and a grave unknown ! 

Now, deeply yearning o'er our deathf ul fate. 
With joyful hope of India's shore elate, 
We loose the hawsers and the sail expand, 
And, upward coast the Ethiopian strand. 
What danger threatened at Quiloa's isle, 
Mozambique's treason, and Mombassa's guile : 
What miracles kind HeaVn our guardian wrought, 
Loud fame already to thine ears has brought : 
Kind Heaven again that guardian care display*d, 
And, to thy port our weary fleet convey'd, 
Where thou, O king. Heaven's regent power below, 
Bidd'st thy full bounty and thy truth to flow ; 
Health to the sick, and to the weary, rest, 
And sprightly hope reviv'd in every breast, 
Proclaim thy gifts, with grateful joy repaid. 
The brave man's tribute for the brave man's aid« 
And now, in honour of thy fond command. 
The glorious annals of my native land ; 
And what the perils of a route so bold, 
So dread as ours, my faithful lips have told. 
Then judge, great monarch, if the world before 
Ere saw the prow such length of seas explore ! 
Nor sage Ulysses,^ nor the Trojan " pride 
Such raging gulfs, such whirling storms defied ; 
Nor one poor tenth of my dread course explor'd. 
Though by the muse as demigods ador'd. 

O thou whose breast all Helicon inflam'd,* 
Whose birth seven vaunting cities proudly claim'd ; 
And thou whose mellow luto and rural song,* 
Li softest flow, led Mincio's waves along, 
Whose warlike numbers, as a storm impell'd. 
And Tiber's surges o'er his borders swell'd ; 

> King of Ithaca. « JSneas. » Homor, * VirgiL 

160 THE LUSIAD. Cbook^ 

Let all PamassxLS lend creatiye fire, 
And all the Nine ^ with all their warmth inspire ; 
Your demigods conduct through every scene 
Cold fear can paint, or wildest fancy feign ; 
The Syren's guileful lay, dire Circe's spell,* 
And all the horrors of the Cyclop's cell ; ' 
Bid Scylla's barking waves their mates overwhelm 
And hurl the guardian pilot from the helm,* 
Give sails and oars to fly the purple shore. 
Where love of absent friend awakes no more ;* 
In all their charms display Calypso's smiles. 
Her flow'ry arbours and her am'rous wiles ; 
In skins confin'd the blust'ring winds control,® 

> Tho Miises. * Homer's Odyssey, bk. x. 460. 

» See the Odyssey, bk. ix. * See Mn. v. 833 

* The Lotophagi, so named from the lotus, are thus described by 
Homer : — 

" Not prone to ill, nor strange to foreign guest, 
They eat, they drink, and Nature gives the feast ; 
The trees around them all their fruit produce ; 
Lotos the name ; divine, nectareous juice ; 
(Thence calFd Lotophagi) which whoso tastes. 
Insatiate, riots in the sweet repasts. 
Nor other home, nor other care intends, 
But quits his home, his country, and his friends : 
The three we sent, from off th* enchanting ground 
We dragged reluctant, and by force we bound : 
The rest in haste forsook the pleasing shore. 
Or, the charm tasted, had returned no more." 

Pope, Odyss. ix. 103. 

The Libyan lotus is a shrub like a bramble, the berries like the 
myrtle, purple when ripe, and about the size of an olive. Mixed 
with bread-corn, it was used as food for slaves. They also made an 
agreeable wine of it, but which would not keep above ten days. See 
Pope's note in loco, 

• In shins confined the hlusfring winds control. — The gift of iBolus 
to Ulysses. 

" The adverse winds in leathern bags he brac*d, 
Compressed their force, and lock'd each struggling blast : 
For him the mighty sire of gods assign'd, 
The tempest's lord, the tyrant of the wind ; 
His word alone the list'ning storms obey. 
To smooth the deep, or swell the foamy sea. 
These, in my hollow ship the monarch hung, 
Seoiurely fetter'd by a silver thong ; 


Or, o'er tlie feast bid loathsome harpies ^ prowl ; 

And lead your heroes through the dread abodes 

Of tortur'd spectres and infernal ' gods ; 

Give ev'ry flow'r that decks Aonia's hill 

To grace yonr fables with divinest skill ; 

Beneath the wonders of my tale they fall, 

Where truth, all unadorn'd and pure, exceeds them all. 

While thus, illustrious Gama c^iarm'd their ears, 
The look of wonder each Melindian wears, 
And pleased attention witnessed the command 
Of every movement of his lips, or hand. 
The king, enraptur'd, own'd the glorious isune 
Of Lisbon's monarchs and the Lusian name ; 
What warlike rage the victor-kings inspir'd ! 
Nor less their warriors' loyal faith admir'd. 
Nor less his menial train, in wonder lost, 
Repeat the gallant deeds that please them most, 
Each to his mate ; while, fix'd in fond amaze, 
The Lusian features every eye surveys ; 
While, present to the view, by fancy brought. 
Arise the wonders by the Lusians wrought^ 
And each bold feature to their wond'ring sight 
Displays the raptur'd ardour of the fight. 

Apollo now withdrew iihe cheerful day, 
And left the western sky to twilight grey ; 
Beneath the wave he sought fair Thetis' bed. 
And, to the shore MelincUt's sov'reign sped. 

What boundless joys are thine, O just Benown, 
Thou hope of Virtue, and her noblest crown ! 

tils: [ 

Bat Zephyrus exempt, with friendly gales 
He charg'd to fill, and guide the swelling sails : 
Bare gift 1 but oh, what gift to fools avails ? 

PoPB, Odyss. X. 20. 

The oompanions of UlysBes imagined that these bags contained some 
valuable treasure, and opened them while their leader slept. The 
tempests bursting out, drove the fleet from Ithaca, which was then in 
sight, and was the cause of a new train of miseries. 

* See the third JSneid. 

* See the sixth JSneid, and the eleventh Odyssey. 


162 THE LUSIAD. [booit, 

6^ thee the seeds of conscious worth are fir'd, 

]^ro bj hero, fame by fame inspired : 

Without thine aid how soon the hero dies ! 

Bj thee upborne, his name ascends the skies. 

This Ammon ^ knew, and own'd his Homer's Ijre 

The noblest glory of Pelides' ire.* 

This knew Augustus, and from Mantua's shade 

To courtly ease the Roman bard convey'd ; • 

And soon exulting flow'd the song divine, 

The noblest glory of the Roman line. 

Dear was the Muse to Julius ; ever dear 

To Scipio, though the pond'rous, conquering spear 

Roughen'd his hand, th' immortal pen he knew, 

And, to the tented field the gentle Muses drew. 

Each glorious chief of Greek or Latian line. 

Or barVrous race, adom'd the Aonian shrine ; 

Each glorious name, e'er to the Muse endear'd. 

Or woo'd the Muses, or, the Muse rever'd. 

Alas, on Tago's hapless shores alone 

The Muse is slighted, and her charms unknown ; 

For this, no Virgil here attunes the lyre, 

No Homer here awakes the hero's fire. 

Ou' Tago's shores are Scipios, CsBsars bom. 

And Alexanders Lisbon's clime adorn ; 

But, Heaven has stamp'd them in a rougher mould, 

Nor gave the polish to their genuine gold. 

Careless and rude, or to be Imown or know, 

In vain, to them, the sweetest numbers flow : 

Unheard, in vain their native poet sings. 

And cold neglect weighs down the Muse's wings, 

Ev'n he whose veins the blood of G-ama warms,* 

Walks by, unconscious of the Muse's charms : 

For him no Muse shall leave her golden loom. 

No palm shall blossom, and no wreath shall bloom : 

Yet, shall my labours and my cares be paid 

By fame immortal, and by Gama's sliade : 

' Alexander the Great. — Ed. 

* Achilles, son of Peleus. — Ed. 

* Virgil, bom at Mantua. — Ed, 

* Don Francisco de Gama, grandson of Yasco de Gama, the hero 
of the Lusiad.— JEU. 


Him shall the song on ev'ry shore proclaim, 

The first of heroes, first of naval fame. 

Rnde, and nngrateful, though my conntry be. 

This proud example shall be taught by me — 

" Where'er the hero's worth demands the skies. 

To crown that worth some gen'rous bard shall rise ! " 


164 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 



Gkima's long recital being concluded, the poet resumes the thread 
of his story in his own person. The Portuguese admiral enters into an 
alliance with the King of Melinda, assures him that the vessels of hig 
nation will always in future anchor on his shores. Grama receives from 
the monarch a faithful pilot to conduct him to India. Bacchus, now has 
recourse to Neptune, at whose palace the divinities of the sea assemble. 
The gods of the sea consent to let loose the winds and waves against 
the daring navigators. During the night the sailors on the watch 
relate to each other amusing stories. Yeloso urges them to relate 
some proud feats of war. The history of the contest of the twelve 
knights of England with the twelve of Portugal is then told. A 
violent tempest assails the fleet. Vivid picture of a storm at sea. 
Gkuna addresses his prayer to God ; and Venus, with her nymphs so 
captivates the storm-gods that a calm ensues. The boy at the mast- 
head raises a joyful cry of Land I reechoed by the whole crew. The. 
pilot informs the Portuguese that they are now approaching the 
kingdom of Calicut. The poet's reflections. 

WITH heart sincere the royal pagan joy'd, 
And hospitable rites each hour employed, 
For much the king the Lnsian band admir'd, 
And, much their friendship and their aid desir'd ; 
Each hour the gay festivity prolongs, 
Melindian dances, and Arabian songs ; 
Each hour in mirthful transport steals away, 
By night the banquet, and the chase by day ; 
And now, the bosom of the deep invites, 
And all the pride of Neptune's festive rites ; 


Their silken baimeTB waving o'er the tide, 

A jovial band, the painted galleys ride ; 

The net and angle varions hands employ, 

And Moorish timbrels sound the notes of joy. 

Such was the pomp, when Egypt's beauteous ^ queen 

Bade all the pride of naval show convene. 

In pleasure's downy bosom, to beguile 

Her love-sick warrior : " o'er the breast of Nile, 

Dazzling with gold, the purple ensigns iiow'd. 

And to the lute the gilded barges row'd ; 

While from the wave, of many a shining hue. 

The anglers' lines the panting fishes drew. 

Now, from the West the sounding breezes blow. 
And far the hoary flood was yet to plough : 
The fountain and the field bestow'd their store, 
And friendly pilots from the friendly shore, 
Train'd in the Indian deep, were now aboard. 
When G-AMA, parting from Melinda's lord. 
The holy vows of lasting peace renew'd, 
!For, still the king for lasting friendship sued ; 
That Lusus' heroes in his port supplied. 
And tasted rest, he own'd his dearest pride. 
And vow'd, that ever wlnle the seas they roam. 
The Lusian fleets should find a bounteous home. 
And, ever from the gen'rous shore receive 
Whate'er his port, whate'er his land could give.* 

^ Cleopatra. 

' Every display of eastern Inxury and magnifloenoe was lavished 
in the fishing parties on the Nile, with which Cleopatra amused Mark 
Antony, when at any time he showed symptomB of imeasiness, ot 
seemed inclined to abandon the effeminate life which he led with his 
mistress. At one of these parties, Mark Antony, having procured 
divers to put fishes upon his hooKis while under the water, he very 
gallantly boasted to his mistress of his great dexterity in angling. 
Cleopatra perceived his art, and as gallantly ontwittea him. Some 
other divers received her orders, and in a little while Mark Antony's 
line brought up a fried fish in place of a live one, to the vast entertain- 
ment of the queen, and all the convivial company. Octavins was at 
this time on ms march to decide who should be master of the world. 

' The friendship of the Portuguese and Melindi^ns was of kmg 
continuance. Alvaro Cabral, the second admiral who made the 
voyage to India, in an engagement with the Moors off the coast of 
Sofala, took two ships ricUy freighted fh>m the mines of that 

166 THE LUSIAD. CuoOKn. 

Nor less his 307 the grateful chief declar'd ; 

And now, to seize the valued hours prepar'd. 

Full to the wind the swelling sails he gave, 

And, his red prows divide the foamj wave : 

Full to the rising sun the pilot steers, 

And, far from shore through middle ocean bears. 

The vaulted sky now widens o'er their heads, 

Where first the infant mom his radiance sheds. 

And now, with transport sparkling in his eyes, 

Keen to behold the Iiidian mountains rise, 

High on the decks each Lusian hero smiles. 

And, proudly in his thoughts reviews his toils. 

When the stem demon, burning with disdain, 

Beheld the deet triumphant plough the main : 

The powers of heav'n, and heav'n's dread lord he knew, 

Itesolv'd in Lisbon glorious to renew 

The Roman honours — raging with despair 

From high Olympus' brow he cleaves the air, 

On earth new hopes of vengeance to devise. 

And sue that aid denied him in the skies ; 

Blaspheming Heav'n, he pierc'd the dread abode 

Of ocean's lord, and sought the ocean's god. 

Deep, where the bases of the hills extend. 

And earth's huge ribs of rock enormous bend, 

Where, roaring through the caverns, roll the waves 

Responsive as the aerial tempest raves, 

The ocean's monarch, by the Nereid train. 

And wat'ry gods encircled, holds his reign. 

Wide o'er the deep, which line could ne'er explore, 

Shining with hoary sand of silver ore. 

Extends the level, where the palace rears 

Its crystal towers, and emulates the spheres ^ 

So, starry bright, the lofty turrets blaze. 

And, vie in lustre with the diamond's rays. 

coimtrj. On finding that Xeqnes Fonteyma, the commander, was 
unole to the King of Melinda, he restored the valnahle prize, and 
treated him with the utmost courtesy. Their good offices were 
reciprocal By the information of the King of Melinda, Oabral 
escaped the treachery of the King of Calicut. The Kings of Mombaz 
and Quiloa, irritated at the alliance with Portugal, made several 
depredations on the subjects of Melinda, who in return were effectually 
reyenged by their European allies. 


Adorn' d with pillars, and with roofs of gold, 

The golden gates their massy leaves nnfold : 

In wrought with pearl the lordly pillars shine, 

The scnlptnr'd walls confess a haiid divine. 

Here, various colours in confusion lost. 

Old Chaos' face and troubled image boast. 

Here, rising from tho mass, distinct and clear, 

Apart, the four fair elements appear. 

High o'er the rest ascends the blaze of fire, 

Nor, fed by matter did the rays aspire^ 

But, glow'd SBtherial, as the living flame, 

Which, stol'n from heav'n, inspired the vital frame. 

Next, all-embracing air was spread around, 

Thin as the light, incapable of wound ; 

The subtle power the burning south pervades, . 

And penetra.tes the depth of polar shades. 

Here, mother Earth, with mountains crown'd, is seen, 

Her trees in blossom, and her lawns in green ; 

The lowing beeves adorn the clover vales, 

The fleecy dams bespread the sloping dales ; 

Here, land from land the silver streams divide ; 

The sportive fishes through the crystal tide, 

Bedropt with gold their shining sides display : 

And here, old Ocean rolls his billows gray : 

Beneath the moon's pale orb his current flows. 

And, round the earth his giant arms he throws. 

Another scene displayed the dread alarms 

Of war in heav'n, and mighty Jove in arms ; 

Here, Titan's race their swelling nerves distend 

Like knotted oaks, and from their bases rend 

And tower the mountains to the thund'ring sky. 

While round their heads the f orky lightnings fly ; 

Beneath huge Etna vanquish'd Typhon lies,^ 

And vomits smoke and fire against the darken'd skies. 

Here, seems the pictur'd wall possess'd of life : 

Two gods contending ' in the noble strife, 

1 A giant. 

' Ttoo god$ contending, — ^According to the fable, Neptnne and 
Minerva disputed the honour of giving a name to the city of Athens. 
They agreed to determine the contest by a display of their wisdom 
and power, in conferring the most beneficial gift on mankind. Neptune 


The clioicest boon to ImmaDldiid to give,. 
Their toils to lighten, or their wants relieve : 
While Pallas here appears to wave her hand,^ 
The peaceful olive's silver boughs expand : 
Here, while the ocean's god indignant frown'd, 
And rais'd his trident from the wounded ground, 
As yet entangled in the earth, appears 
The warrior horse ; his ample chest he rears, 
His wide red nostrils smoke, his eje-balls glare, 
And his fore-hoofs, high pawing, smite the air. 

Though wide, and various, o'er the sculptur'd stone * 
The feats of gods, and godlike heroes shone ; 
On speed the vengeful demon views no more : 
Forward he rushes through the golden door. 
Where ocean's king, enclos'd with njmphs'^vine, 
In regal state receives the king of wine : ' 

struck the earth with his trident and produced the horse, whose 
bounding motions are emblematical of the agitation of the sea. 
Pallas commanded the olive-tree, the symbol of peace, and of 
riches, to spring forth. The victory was adjudged to the goddess, 
from whom the city was named Athens. The taste of the ancient 
Grecians clothed almost every occurrence in mythological allegory. 
The founders of Athens, it is most probable, disputed whether their 
new city should be named from the fertility of the soil or from the 
marine situation of Attica. The former opinion prevailed, and the 
town received its name in honour of the goddess of the olive-tree — 

^ While FoXUm here appears to wave her hand. — As Neptone struck 
the earth with his trident, Minerva, says the fable, struck the earth 
with her lance. That she waved her hand while the olive bougha 
spread, is a fine poetical attitude, and varies the picture from that 
of Neptime, which follows. 

* Though wide, and varums, o*er the sculptured stone. — The descrip- 
tion of palaces is a favourite topic several times touched upon by 
the two great masters- of epic poetry, in which they have been 
happily imitated by their three greatest disciples among the modems, 
Gamoens, Tasso, and Milton. The description, of the palace of 
Neptune has great merit. Nothing can be more in place than the 
picture of chaos and the four elements. The war of the gods, and 
the contest of Neptune and Minerva are touched with the tone bold« 
ness of poetical colouring. To show to the English reader that the 
Portuguese poet is, in his manner, truly classical, is the intention of 
many of these notes. 

* Bacchus. 


" O Neptnne ! '* instant as he came, he cries, 
" Here let my presence wake no cold surprise. 
A friend I come, your friendship to implore 
Against the Fates unjnst, and Fortune's power ; 
Beneath whose shafts the great Celestials bow, 
Yet ere I more, if more you wish to know, 
The wat'ry gods in awful senate call, 
For all should hear the wrong that touches all." 
Neptune alarm'd, with instant speed commands 
From ev'ry shore to call the wat'ry* hands : 
Triton, who boasts his high Neptimian race, 
Sprung from the god by Salac^'s ^ embrace, 
Attendant on his sire the trumpet sounds, 
Or, through the yielding waves, his herald, bounds : 
Huge is his bulk, deform'd, and dark his hue ; 
His bushy beard, and hairs that never knew 
The smoothing comb, of seaweed rank and long, 
Around his breast and shoulders dangling hung, 
And, on the matted locks black mussels clung 


* The description of Triton, who, as Fanshaw says — 

*^ Was a great nJEisty clown," 

is in the style of the classics. His parentage is differently related. 
Hesiod makes him the son of Neptnne and Amphitrite. By Triton, 
in the physical sense of the fable, is meant the noise, and by Salace', 
the mother by some ascribed to him, the salt of the ocean. The 
origin of the fable of Triton, it is probable, was founded on the appear- 
ance of a sea animal, which, according to some ancient naturalists, 
iu the tipward parts resembles the human figure. Pausanias 
relates a wonderful story of a monstrously large one, which often 
came ashore on the meadows of Boeotia. Over his head was a kind 
of finny cartilage, which, at a distance, appeared like hair; the 
body covered with brown scales ; the nose and ears like tho 
human ; the mouth of a dreadful width, jagged with the teeth of a 
panther ; the eyes of a greenish hue ; the hands divided into fingers, 
the nails of which were crooked, and of a shelly substance. This 
monster, whose extremities ended in a tail like a dolphin's, devoured 
both men and beasts as they chanced in his way. The citizens of 
Tanagra, at last, contrived his destruction. They set a large vessel 
full of wine on the sea shore. Triton got drunJc with it, and fell 
into a profound sleep, in which condition the Tanagrians beheaded 
him, and afterwards, with great propriety, hung up his body in 
the temple of Bacchus ; where, says Pausanias, it continued a long 

170 THE LUSIAD. [book Tl. 

A shell of purple on his head he bore,^ 

AroTUid his loins no tangling garb he wore, 

But all was cover'd with the slimy brood, 

The snaily offspring of the nnctuoiis flood ; 

And now, obedient to his dreadf ol sire. 

High o'er the wave his brawny arms aspire ; 

To his black mouth his crooked shell appUed, 

The blast rebellows o'er the ocean wide : 

Wide o'er their shores, where'er their waters flow, 

The wat'ry powers the awful summons know ; 

And instant, darting to the palace hall. 

Attend the founder of the Dardan wall ; " 

Old Father Ocean, with his num'rous race 

Of daughters and of sons, was flrst in place. 

Nereus and Doris, from whose nuptials sprung 

The lovely Nereid train, for ever young, 

Who people ev'ry sea on ev'ry strand, 

Appear'd, attended with their filial band ; 

And changeful Proteus, whose prophetic mind ' 

The secret cause of Bacchus' rage divin'd, 

Attending, left the flocks, his scaly charge, 

To graze the bitter, weedy foam at large. 

In charms of power the raging waves to tame, 

The lovely spouse of ocean's sov'reign came.^ 

Prom Heaven and Vesta sprung the birth divine, 

Her snowy limbs bright through the vestments shine. 

Here, with the dolphin, who persuasive led 

Her modest steps to Neptune's spousal bed. 

Fair Amphitrit^ mov'd, more sweet, more gay 

Than vernal fragrance, and the flowers of May ; 

Together with her sister-spouse she came, 

The same their wedded lord, their love the same ; 

' A shell of purple on his head he bore. — ^In the Portiig^< 
Na cabeya por gorra tinha posta 
Huma mui grands easco de lagosta. 

Thus rendered by Fanshaw — 

" He had (for a montera *) on his orown 
The shell of a red lobster overgrown." 

* Keptune. 

■ And changeful Proteus, whose prophetic mind, — The fallest and 
best account of the fable of Proteus is in the fourth Odyssey. 

* Thetis. 

• Montera, the Spanish word for a hnntsman's cap. 


The same the brightness of their sparkling eyes, 
Bright as the san, and azure as the skies. 
She, who, the rage of Athamas to shnn,^ 
Plong'd in the billows with her infant son ; 
A goddess now, a god the smiling boy, 
Together sped ; and Glancus lost to joy," 
Cnrs'd in his love by vengefnl Circ6's hate, 
Attending, wept his Scylla's hapless fate. 

And now, assembled in the hall divine, 
The ocean gods in solemn council join ; 
The goddesses on pearl embroid'ry sat, 
The gods, on sparkling crystal chairs of state. 
And, proudly honoured, on the regal throne, 
Beside the ocean's lord, Thyoneus * shone. 
High from the roof the living amber glows,* 
High from the roof the stream of glory flows, 

^ She who (he rage of Athamas to shim. — Ino, the daughter of 
Cadmus and Hermione, and second spouse of Athamas, king of 
Thebes. The fables of her fate are various. That which Camoens 
follows is the most common. Athamas, seized with madness, imagined 
that his spouse was a lioness, and her two sons young lions. In this 
frenzy he slew Learchus, and drove the mother and her other son, 
Melicertus, into the sea. The corpse of the mother was thrown 
ashore on Megara and that of the son at Corinth. They were after- 
wards deified, the (me as a sea goddess, the other as Ihe god of 

^ And Glaucua lost to Joy, — ^A fisherman, says the fable, who, on 
eating a certain herb, was turned into a sea god. Cird^ was enamoured 
of him, and in revenge of her slighted love, poisoned the fountain 
where his mistress usually bathed. By the force of the enchantment 
the favoured Scylla was changed into a hideous monster, whose loins 
were surrounded with the ever-barking heads of dogs and wolves. 
Scylla, on this, threw herself into the sea, and was metamorphosed 
into the rock which bears her name. The rock Scylla at a distance 
appears like the statue of a woman. The furious dashing of the waves 
in the cavities, which are level with the water, resembles the barking 
of wolves and dogs. 

' Thyoneus, a name of Bacchus. 

* High f rem. the roof the living amber glows. — 

" From the arched roof, 
Pendent by subtle magic, many a row 
Of starry lamps, and blazing cressets, fed 
With naptha and asphaltus, yielded iight 
As from a sky.'' "S/Lilton. 

172 THE LUSIAD. Oookti. 

And, riclier fragrance far aronnd exhales 

Than that which breathes on fair Arabia's gales. 

Attention now, in list'ning silence waits : 
The power, whose bosom rag'd against the Fates, 
Biising, casts ronnd his vengefnl eyes, while rage 
Spread o'er his brows the wrinkled seams of age . 
** O thou," he cries, " whose birthright sov'reign sway, 
From pole to pole, the raging waves obey ; 
Of human race 'tis thine to fix the bounds, 
And fence the nations with thy wat'ry mounds : 
And thou, dread power, O Father Ocean, hear. 
Thou, whose wide arms embrace the world's wide sphere, 
'Tis thine the haughtiest victor to restrain, 
And bind each nation in its own domain : 
And you, ye gods, to whom the seas are giv'n, 
Your just partition with the gods of heav'n ; 
You who, of old unpunish'd never bore 
The daring trespass of a foreign oar ; 
You who beheld, when Earth's dread offspring strove^ 
To scale the vaulted sky, the seat of Jove : 
Indignant Jove deep to the nether world 
The rebel band in blazing thunders hurl'd, 
Alas ! the great monition lost on you. 
Supine you slumber, while a roving crew, 
With impious search, explore the wat'ry way. 
And, unresisted, through your empire stray : 
To seize the sacred treasures of the main. 
Their fearless prows your ancient laws disdain : 
Where, far from mortal sight his hoary head 
Old Ocean hides, their daring sails they spread. 
And their glad shouts are echo'd where the roar 
Of mounting billows only howl'd hefore. 
In wonder, silent, ready Boreas ' sees 
Your passive languor, and neglectful ease ; 
Ready, with force auxiliar, to restrain 
The bold intruders on your awful reign ; 
Prepar'd to burst- his tempests, as of old. 
When his black whirlwinds o'er the ocean roU'd, 

1 The Titans. ? The nor^ wind. 


'^i^d rent the Mjnian^ sails, whose impioas pride 
First brav*d their fury, and yonr power defied. 
Nor deem that, fraudfol, I mj hope deny ; 
My darkened glory sped me from the sky. 
How high my honours on the Indian shore ! 
How soon these honours mnst avail no more ! 
Unless these rovers, who with donbled shame 
To stain my conqnests, bear my vassal^s' name, 
Unless they perish on the billowy way. 
Then ronse, ye gods, and vindicate yoor sway. 
The powers of heaven, in vengeful anguish, see 
The tyrant of the skies, and Sute^s decree ; 
The <&ead decree, that to the Lusian train 
Consigns, betrays your empire of the main : 
Say, shall your wrong alarm the high abodes P 
Are men exalted to the rank of gods ? 
O'er you exalted, while in careless ease 
You yield the wrested trident of the seas, 
Usurp'd your monarchy, your honours stain'd. 
Tour birthright ravish'd, and your waves profon'd i 
Alike the daring wrong to me, to you^ 
And, shall my lips in vainryour vengeance sue 1 

This, this to sue from high Olympus bore " 

More he attempts, but rage permits no more. 
Fierce, bursting wrath the wat'ry gods inspires, 
And, their red eye-balls bum with livid fires : 
Heaving and panting struggles evr'y breast, 
With the fierce billows of hot ire oppressed. 
Twice from his seat divining Proteus rose. 
And twice he shook, enrag'd, his sedgy brows : 
In vain ; the mandate was already giv'n, 
From Neptune sent, to loose the winds of heav'n : 
In vain ; though prophecy his lips inspir'd, 
The ocean's queen his sdlent lips required. 
Nor less the storm of headlong rage denies, 
Or counsel to debate, or thought to rise. 
And now, the G-od of Tempests swift unbinds 
From their dark caves the various rushing winds : 

* And rent the Mynian satU, — The sails of the ArgonautB, inhabit- 
ants of Mynia. 

' See the first note on the first book of the Lnsiad. 

174 THE LUSIAD. [booktl 

High o'er the storm the power impetnons rides, ♦ 

His howling voice the roaring tempest guides ; 

Bight to the dauntless fleet their rage he ponrs, 

And, first their headlong outrage tears the shores : 

A deeper night involves the darken'd air. 

And livid flashes through the mountains glare : 

Uprooted oaks, with all their leafy pride, 

Boll thund'ring down the groaning mountain's side ; 

And men and herda in elam'rous uproar run. 

The rocking towers and crashing woods to shun. 

While, thus, the council of the wat'ry state 
Enrag'd, decreed the Lusian heroes' fate, 
The weary fleet before the gentle gale 
With joyful hope display'd the steady sail ; 
Thro' the smooth deep they plough'd the length'ning way; 
Beneafch the wave the purple car of day 
To sable night the eastern sky resign'd, 
And, o'er the decks cold breath'd the midnight wind. 
All but the watch in warm pavilions slept. 
The second watch the wonted vigils kept : 
Supine their limbs, the mast supports the head. 
And the broad yard-sail o'er their shoulders spread 
A grateful cover from the chilly gale. 
And sleep's soft dews their heavy eyes assail. 
Languid against the languid power they strive. 
And, sweet discourse preserves their thoughts alive. 
When Leonardo, whose enamour'd thought 
In every dream the plighted fair one sought— 
" The dews of sleep what better to remove 
Than the soft, woful, pleasing tales of love ? " 
** Ill-timed, alas ! " the brave Vbloso cries, 
" The tales of love, that melt the heart and eyes. 
The dear enchantments of the fair I know. 
The fearful transport, and the rapturous woe : 
But, with our state ill suits the grief or joy ; 
Let war, let gallant war our thoughts employ : 
With dangers threaten'd, let the tale inspire 
The scorn of danger, and the hero's fire." 
His mates with joy the brave Veloso hear. 
And, on the youth the speaker's toil confer. 


The brave Veloso takes the word with joy, 

" And truth," he cries, ** shall these slow hours decoy. 

The warlike tale adorns our nation's fame, 

The twelve of England give the noble theme. 

** When Pedro's gallant heir, the valiant John, 
Gave war's full splendour to the Lusian throne, 
In haughty England, where the winter spreads 
His snowy mantle o'er the shining meads,^ 
The seeds of strife the fierce Erynnis sows ; * 
The baleful strife from court dissension rose. 
With ev'ry charm adom'd, and ev*ry grace, 
That spreads its magic o'er the female face. 
Twelve ladies shin'd the courtly train among. 
The first, the fairest of the courtly throng; 
But, Envy's breath revil'd their iniur'd name. 
And stain'd the honour of their yi^in &me. 
Twelve youthful barons own'd the foul report, 
The charge at first, perhaps, a tale of sport. 
Ah, base the sport that lightly dares defame 
The sacred honour of a lady's name ! 
What knighthood asks the proud accusers yield. 
And, dare the damsels' champions to the field.' 

' In haughty England^ where the winter nnreads 
His 8nowy mantle o*er the shining meads. — 

In the original — 

La na grande InglaterrOy que de neve 
Boreal sempre abunda ; 

that is, "In illustrious England, always covered with northern snow." 
Though the translator was willing to retain the manner of Homer, he 
thought it proper to correct the error in natural history fallen into by 
Camoens. Fanshaw seems to have been sensible of the mistake of his 
author, and has given the following (nncountenanced by the Portu- 
guese) in place of the eternal snows ascribed to his country : — 

" In merry England, which (&om cliffs that stand 
Like hills of snow) once Albion's name did git." 

* Eris, or Discordia, the goddess of contention. — ^Yiboil, iBneid 
ii. 337.— JEa. 

' What knighthood asks, the proud accusers yield. 
And, dare the damsels* champions to Icefield, — 

The translator has not been able to discover the slightest vestige of 

176 THE LUSIAD. [book Ti. 

' There let the cause, as honour wills, be tried, 
And, let the lance and ruthless sword decide.' 
The lovely dames implore the courtly train, 
With tears implore them, but implore in vain. 
So fam'd, so dreaded tower'd each boastful knight, 
The damsels' lovers shunn'd the proffer'd fight. 
Of arm unable to repel the strong. 
The heart's each feeling conscious of the wrong, 
When, robb'd of all the female breast holds dear, 
Ah Heaven, how bitter flows the female tear ! 
To Lancaster's bold duke the damsels sue ; 
Adown their cheeks, now paler than the hue 

this chivalrous adventure in any memoirs of the English history. It is 
probable, nevertheless, that however adorned with romantic ornament, 
it is not entirely without foundation in truth. Gastera, who unhappily 
does not cite his authority, gives the names of the twelve Portuguese 
champions : Alvaro Yaz d'Almada, afterwards Count d'Avranohes 
in Normandy; another Alvaro d'Almada, sumamed the Juster, from 
his dexterity at that warlike exercise; Lopez Fernando Paoheoo; 
Pedro Homen d' Acosta ; Juan Augustin Pereyra ; Luis Gonfalez de 
Malafay; the two brothers Alvaro and Bodrigo Mendez de Cerveyra; 
Buy Gomex de Sylva ; Soueyro d*Acosta, who. gave his name to the 
river Acosta in Africa ; Martin Lopez d'Azevcdo ; and Alvaro Gonfolez 
de Coutigno, sumamed Magricio. The names of the English champions, 
and of the ladies, he confesses are unknown, nor does history positively 
explain the injury of which the dames complained. It must, however, 
he adds, have been such as required the atonement of blood ; UfaUoit 
qu^elle/ut mnglante, since two sovereigns allowed to determine it by 
the sword. " Some critics," says Gastera, " may perhaps condemn thid 
episode of Camoens ; but for my part," he continues, *• I think the 
adventure of Olindo and Sophronia, in Tasso, is much more to be 
blamed. The episode of the Italian poet is totally exuberant, whereas 
that of the Portuguese has a direct relation to his proposed subject: 
the wars of his country, a vast field, in which he has admirably suc- 
ceeded, without prejudice to the first rule of the epopea, the unity of 
the action." The severest critic must allow that the episode related 
by Veloso, is happily introduced. To one who has ever been at sea, 
the scene must be particularly pleasing. The fleet is under sail, they 
plough the smooth deep — 

" And o*er the decks cold breath'd the midnight wind.** 

All but the second watch are asleep in their warm pavilions; the 
second watch sit by the mast, sheltered from the chilly gale by a 
broad sail-cloth ; sleep begins to overpower them, and they tell stories 
to entertain one another. For beautiful, picturesque simplicity there 
is no sea-scene equal to this in the Odyssey, or ^neid. 


Of snowdrops trembling to the chilly gale, 

The slow-pac'd crystal tears their wrongs bewail. 

When down the beanteons face the dew-drop flows, 

What manly bosom can its force oppose ! 

His hoary curls th' indignant hero shakes, 

And, all his yonthfnl rage restor'd, awakes : 

* Thongh loth,' he cries, * to plnnge my bold compeers 
In civil discord, yet, appease your tears : 

From Lnsitania ' — ^for, on Imsian ground 
Brave Lancaster had strode with laurel crown'd ; 
Had mark'd how bold the Lusian heroes shone. 
What time he claim'd the proud Castilian throne,^ 
How matchless pour'd the tempest of their might. 
When, thund'ring at his side, they rul'd the fight : 
Nor less their ardent passion for the fair, 
Gen'rous and brave, he view'd with wondering care. 
When, crown'd with roses, to. the nuptial bed 
The warlike John his lovely daughter led — 

* From Lusitania's clime,* the hero cries, 

' The gallant champions of your fame shall rise. 

Their hearts will bum (for well their hearts I know) 

To pour your vengeance on the guilty foe. 

Let courtly phrase the heroes' worth admire. 

And, for your injur'd names, that worth require : 

Let all the soft endearments of the fair. 

And words that weep your wrongs, your wrongs declare. 

Myself the heralds to the chiefs will send. 

And to the king, my valiant son, commend.' 

He spoke ; and twelve of Lusian race he names 

All noble youths, the champions of the dames. 

The dames, by lot, their gallant champions choose,' 

And each her hero's name, exulting, views. 

* What time Tie claimed the proud Castilian throne. — John of Gatint, 
duke of Lancaster, claimed the crown of Castile in the right of his 
wife, Donna Gonstantia, daughter of Don Pedro, the late king. 
Assisted by his son-in-law, John I. of Portugal, he entered Galicia, 
and was proclaimed king of Castile at the city of St. Jago de Compo- 
stella. He afterwards relinquished his pretensions, on the marriage 
of his daughter, Catalina, with the infant, Don Henry of Castile. 

' TJie dames hy lot their gallant champions choose. — The ten 
champions, who in the fifth book of Tasso s Jerusidem are sent by 


178 THE LUSLAD. Ciio<» vi. 

Each in a varions letter hails her chief, 

And, earnest for his aid, relates her grief : 

Each to the king her conrtly homage sends. 

And valiant Lancaster their canse commends. 

Soon as to Tagus' shores the heralds came, 

Swift throngh the palace poors the sprightly flame 

Of high-soul'd chivalry ; the monarch glows 

First on the listed field to dare the foes ; 

Bnt regal state withheld. Alike their fires. 

Each courtly noble to the toil aspires : 

High on his helm, the envy of his peers. 

Each chosen knight the plnme of combat wears. 

In that proud port, half circled by the wave, 

Which Portugallia to the nation gave, 

A deathless name,^ a speedy sloop receives 

The sculptured bucklers, and the clasping greaves, 

The swords of Ebro, spears of lofty size. 

And breast-plates, flaming with a thousand dyes, 

Helmets high plum'd, and, pawing for the fight. 

Bold steeds, whose harness shone with silv'ry light 

Dazzling the day. And now, the rising gale 

Invites the heroes, and demands the sail. 

When brave Magricio thus his peers address'd, 

* Oh, friends in arms, of equal powers confessed. 

Long have I hop'd through foreign climes to stray. 

Where other streams than Douro wind their way ; 

To note what various shares of bliss and woe 

From various laws and various customs flow ; 

Nor deem that, artful, I the fight decline ; 

England shall know the combat shall be mine. 

By land I speed, and, should dark fate prevent, 

(For death alone shall blight my firm intent), 

Small may the sorrow for my absence be, 

For yours were conquest, though unshar'd by me. 

Godfrey for the assistance of Armida, are chosen bv lot. Tasso, who 
had read the Lusiad, and admired its author, unaoubtedly had the 
Portuguese poet in his eye. 

* In that proud port Judf circled by the uxxve, 
Which FortugaUia to the nation gave^ 
A. deathless name. — 

Oporto, called by the Romans CkUle, Hence PoriugaL 



Yet, sometlimg more than hnman warms mj breast, 
And sudden Whispers,^ In our fortunes blest, 
Nor envious chance, nor rocks, nor v^helmy tide, 
Shall our glad meeting at the list divide.' 

'^ He said; and now, the rites of parting friends 
Sufficed, through Leon and Castile he bends. 
On many a field, enrapt, the hero stood, 
And the proud scenes of Lusian conquest view'd. 
Navarre he pass'd, and pass'd the dreary wild, 
Where rocks on rocks o*er yawning glens are pil'd ; 
The wolf's dread range, where, to the ev'ning skies 
In clouds involved, the cold Pyrenians rise. 
Through Gallia's flow'ry vales, and wheaten plains . 
He strays, and Belgia now his steps detains. 
There, as forgetful of his vow'd intent, 
In various cares the fleeting d^s he spent : 
His peers, the while, direct to England's strand. 
Plough the chill northern wave ; and now, at land, 
Adorn'd in armour, and embroid'ry gay, 
To lordly London hold the crowded way : 
Bold Lancaster receives the knights with joy ; 
The feast, and warlike song each hour employ. 
The beauteous dames, attending, wake their Are, 
With tears enrage them, and with smiles inspire. 
And now, with doubtful blushes rose the day. 
Decreed the rites of wounded fame to pay. 
The English monarch gives the listed bounds. 
And, flz'd in rank, with shining spears surrounds. 
Before their dames the gallant knights advance, 
(Each like a Mars), and shake the beamy lance : 
The dames, adorn'd in silk and gold, display 
A thousand colours glitt'ring to the day : 

' Tet something more than htmian warms my hreagtj 
And sudden whispers,-^ 

In the Portuguese — 

MaSy se a verdade o espirito me adevinha. 

Literally, "But, if my spirit truly divine." Hius rendered by 
Fanshaw — 

But, in my auguring ear a bird doth sing. 

180 THE LUSIAIX Cbo(«ti. 

Alone in tears, and doleful monming, came, 
Unhononr*d by her knight, Magricio's dame. 

* Fear not onr prowess,' cry the bold eleven, 

* In numbers, not in might, we stand uneven. 
More could we spare, secure of dauntless might, 
When for the injur'd female name we fight.' 

" Beneath a canopy of regal state. 
High on a throne, the English monarch sat, 
All round, the ladies and the barons bold, 
Shining in proud array, their stations hold. 
Now, o'er the theatre the champions pour. 
And facing three to three, and four to four, 
Flourish their arms in prelude. From the bay 
Where flows the Tagus to the Indian sea, 
The sun beholds not, in his annual race, 
A twelve more sightly, more of manly grace 
Than tower'd the English knights. With frothing jaws^ 
Furious, each steed the bit restrictive gnaws, 
And, rearing to approach the rearing foe. 
Their wavy manes are dash'd with foamy snow : 
Cross-darting to the sun a thousand rays. 
The champions' helmets as the crystal blaze. 
Ah now, the trembling ladies' cheeks how wan ! 
Cold crept their blood ; when, through the tumult ran 
A shout, loud gath'ring ; tum'd was ev'ry eye 
Where rose the shout, the sudden cause to spy. 
And lo, in shining arms a warrior rode. 
With conscious pride his snorting courser trod ; 
Low to the monarch, and the dames he bends. 
And now, the great Magricio joins his friends. 
With looks that glow'd, exulting rose the fair. 
Whose wounded honour claim'd the hero's care. 
Aside the doleful weeds of mourning thrown. 
In dazzling purple, and in gold she shone. 
Now, loud the signal of the fight rebounds, 
Quiv'ring the air, the meeting shock resounds 
Hoarse, crashing uproar ; griding splinters spring 
Far round, and bucklers dash'd on bucklers ring. 
Their swords flash lightning ; darkly reeking o'er 
The shining mail-plates flows the purple gore. 

«00K ▼!.] THE LUSIAD. 181 

Tom by the spur, the loosen'd reixis at large, 

Furlons, the steeds in thnnd'riDg plunges charge ; 

Trembles beneath their hoofs the solid gronnd, 

And, thick the fiery sparkles flash around, 

A dreadful blaze ! With pleasing horror thrill'd, 

The crowd behold the terrors of the field. 

Here, stunn'd and stagg'ring with the forceful blow, 

A bending champion grasps the saddle-bow ; 

Here, backward bent, a idling knight reclines. 

His plumes, dishonoured, lash the courser's loins. 

So, tir'd and stagger'd toil'd the doubtful fight, 

When great Magricio, kindling aU his might, 

Gave all his rage to bum : with headlong force, 

Conscious of victory, his bounding horse 

Wheels round and round the foe ; the hero's spear 

Now on the front, now flaming on the rear. 

Mows down their firmest battle : cnroans the CTonnd 

Beneath his courser's smiting h^&i far ron^ 

The cloven helms and splinter'd shields resound. 

Here, torn and trail'd in dust the harness gay, 

From the f all'n master springs the steed away ; 

Obscene with dust and gore, slow from the ground 

B/ising, the master rolls his eyes around, 

Pale as a spectre on the Stygian coast. 

In all the rage of shame confus'd, and lost : 

Here, low on earth, and o'er the riders thrown, 

The wallowing coursers and the riders groan : 

Before their glimm'ring vision dies the light, 

And, deep descends the gloom of death's eternal night. 

They now who boasted, * Let the sword decide,' 

Alone in flight's ignoble aid confide : 

Loud to the skies the shout of joy proclainiB 

The spotless honour of the ladies' names. 

*' In painted halls of state, and rosy bowers, 
The twelve brave Lusians crown the festive hours. 
Bold Lancaster the pidncely feast bestows. 
The goblet circles, and the music flows ; 
And ev'ry care, the transport of their joy, 
To tend the knights the lovely dames employ ; 


182 THE LUSIAD. [bookyl 

The green-bongh'd forests by the lawns of Thames 

Behold the yictor-champions, and the dames 

Boose the tall roe-bnck o'er the dews of mom. 

While, through the dales of Kent resounds the bngle-hom. 

The snltry noon the princely banquet owns, 

The minstrel's song of war the banquet crowns : 

And, when the shades of gentle ev'ning &rll, 

Loud with the dance resounds ihe lordly hall : 

The golden roofs, while Vesper shines, prolong 

The trembling echoes of the harp and song. 

Thus pass'd the days on England's happy strand. 

Till the dear mem'ry of their natal land 

Sigh'd for the banks of Tagus. Yet, the breast 

Of brave Magricio spurns the thoughts of rest. 

In G-aul's proud court he sought the listed plain, 

In arms, an injur'd lady's knight again. 

As Rome's Corvinus ^ o'er the field he strode, 

And, on the foe's huge cuirass proudly trod. 

No more by tyranny's proud tongue revil'd. 

The Flandrian countess on her hero smil'd.* 

The Bhine another pass'd, and prov'd his might,' 

A fraudf ul German dar'd him to the fight. 

^ As Bome^s Corvinus, — ^Valerius Maximus, a Boman tribune, who 
fought and slew a Graul of enormouB stature, in single combat. During 
the duel a raven perched on the helmet of his antagonist, sometimes 
pecked his face and hand, and sometimes blind^ him with the 
flapping of his wings. The victor was thence named Corvinus, from. 
Corvus. Vid. Livy, 1. 7, c. 26. 

* The Flcmdrian countew on her hero smiVd. — ^The princess, for 
whom Magricio signalized his valour, was Isabella of Portugal, and 
spouse to Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, and earl of Flanders. 
Some Spanish chronicles relate that Charles VII. of France, having 
assembled the states of his kingdom, cited Philip to appear with his 
other vassals. Isabella, who was present, solemnly protested that the 
earls of Flanders were not obliged to do homage. A dispute arose, on 
which she offered, according to the custom of that age, to appeal to 
the fate of arms. The proposal was accepted, and Magricio the 
champion of Isabella, vanquished a French chevalier, appointed by 
Charles. Though our authors do not mention this adventure, and 
though Emmanuel de Faria, and the best Portug^iese writers treat it 
with doubt, nothing to the disadvantage of Camoens is thence to be 
inferred. A poet is not obliged always to follow the truth of history. 

' The Rhine another wui^d, and proi^d his might, — This was Alvaio 
Yaz d'Almada. The cnroniole of Gkuibay relates, that at Basle he 

BOOK yi.] THE LUSIAD. 183 

Strain'd in his grasp, the fraudfnl boaster fell " 

Here sndden stopp'd the youth ; the distant jell 
Of gathering tempest sounded in his ears, 
Unheard, unheeded by his listening peers. 
Earnest, at fnll^ they urge him to relate 
Magricio's combat, and the German's fate. 
When, shrilly whistling throngh the decks, resounds 
The master's call, and loud his voice rebounds : 
Instant from converse, and from slumber, start 
Both bands, and instant to their toils they dart. 
" Aloft, oh speed, down, down the topsails ! " cries 
The master : " sudden from my earnest eyes 
Vanished the stars ; slow rolls the hollow sigh. 
The storm's dread herald." To the topsails fly 
The bounding youths, and o'er the yardarms whirl 
The whizzing ropes, and swift the canvas furl ; 
When, from their grasp the bursting tempests bore 
The sheets half-gather'd, and in fragments tore. 
" Strike, strike the mainsail ! " loud again he rears 
His echoing voice ; when, roaring in their ears, 
As if the starry vault, by thunders riv'n, 
B/Ush'd downward to the deep the walls of heav'n, 
With headlong weight a fiercer blast descends. 
And, with sharp whirring crash, the mainsail rends ; 

received from a German a challenge to measure swords, on condition 
that each should fight with the right side unarmed ; the German by 
this hoping to be victorious, for he was left-handed. The Portuguese, 
suspecting no fraud, accepted. When the combat began he perceived 
the inequality. His right side unarmed was exposed to the enemy, 
whose left side, which was nearest to him was defended with half a 
cuirass. Notwithstanding all this, the brave Alvaro obtained the 
victory. He sprang upon the German, seized him, and, grasping him 
forcibly in his arms, stifled and crushed him to death ; imitating the 
conduct of Hercules, who in the same manner slew the cruel Anteus. 
Here we ought to remark the address of our author; he describes at 
length the injury and grief of the English ladies, the voyage of the 
twelve champions to England, and the prowess they there displayed. 
When Yeloso relates these, the sea is calm ; but no sooner does it 
begin to be troubled, than the soldier abridges his recital : we see him 
follow by degrees the preludes of ^ the storm, we perceive the anxiety 
of his mind on the view of the approaching danger, hastening Mb 
narration to an end. Behold the strokes of a master! — This note, and 
the one preceding, are from Ckutera, 

184 THE LUSIAD. [book.ti. 

Loud shrieks of horror throngh the fleet resound; 

Bursts the torn cordage ; rattle f&r aronnd 

The splintered yardarms ; from each bending mast, 

In many a shred, far streaming on the blast 

The canvas floats ; low sinks the leeward side. 

O'er the broad vessels rolls the swelling tide : 

** Oh strain each nerve ! " the frantic pilot cries — 

" Oh now ! " — and instant every nerve applies. 

Tugging what cumbrons lay, with strainf ol force ; 

Dash'd by the pond'rons loads, the surges hoarse 

Roar in new whirls : the dauntless soldiers ran 

To pump, yet, ere the groaning pnmp began 

The wave to vomit, o'er the decks o'erthrown 

In grovelling heaps, the stagger'd soldiers groan : 

So rolls the vessel, not the boldest three. 

Of arm robustest, and of firmest knee, 

Can guide the starting rudder ; from their hands 

The helm bursts ; scarce a cable's strength commands 

The stagg'ring fury of its starting bounds, 

While to the f orcef nl, beating surge resounds 

The hollow crazing hulk : with kindling rage 

The adverse winds the adverse winds engage, 

As, from its base of rock their banded power 

Strove in the dust to strew some lordly tower, 

Whose dented battlements in middle sky 

Frown on the tempest and its rage defy ; 

So, roar'd the winds : high o'er the rest upborne 

On the wide mountain- wave's slant ridge forlorn^ 

At times discover'd by the lightnings blue. 

Hangs G-ama's lofty vessel, to the view 

Small as her boat ; o'er Paulus' shatter'd prore 

Falls the tall mainmast, prone, with crashing roar ; 

Their hands, yet grasping their uprooted hair. 

The sailors lift to heaven in wild despair, 

The Saviour- God each yelling voice implores. 

Nor less from bravo Coello's war-ship pours 

The shriek, shrill rolling on the tempest's wings : 

Dire as the bird of death at midnight sings 

His dreary bowlings in the sick man's ear. 

The answ ring shriek from ship to ship they hear. 


Now, on the moniitaiii-billoWB upward driv'n, 
The navy mingles with the clonds of heay'n ; 
Now, rushing downward with the sinking waves, 
Bare they behold old Ocean's vanity caves. 
The eastern blast against the western pours, 
Against the southern storm the northern roars : 
From pole to pole the flashy lightnings glare, 
One pale, blue, twinkling sheet enwraps the air ; 
In swift succession now the volleys fly, 
Darted in pointed curvings o'er the sky ; 
And, through the horrors of the dreadful night, 
O'er the torn waves they shed a ghastly light ; 
The breaking surges flame with burning red. 
Wider, and louder still the thunders spread, 
As if the solid heav'ns together crush'd. 
Expiring worlds on worlds expiring rush'd. 
And dim-brow'd Chaos struggled to regain 
The wild confusion of his ancient reign. 
Not such the volley when the arm of Jove 
From heav'n's high gates the rebel Titans drove ; 
Not such fierce lightnings blaz'd athwart the flood. 
When, sav'd by Heaven, Deucalion's vessel rode 
High o'er the delug'd hills. Along the shore 
The halcyons, mindful of their fate, deplore ; ^ 
As beating round, on trembling wings they fly, 
Shrill through the storm their wof ul clamours die. 

* The halcyanSj mindful of Iheirfate, deplore. — Ceyx, king of Tra- 
chinia, son of Lucifer, married Alcyone, the daughter of Eolus. On 
a voyage to consult the Delphic Oracle, he was shipwrecked. His 
corpse was thrown ashore in the view of his spouse, who, in the agonies 
of her love and despair, threw herself into the sea. The gods, in pity 
of her, pious fidelity, metamorphosed them into the birds which Sear 
her name. The halcyon is a little bird about the size of a thrush, 
its plumage of a beautiful sky blue, mixed with some traits of white 
ana carnation. It is vulgarly called the kingfisher. The halcyons 
very seldom appear but in the finest weather, whence they are fabled 
to build their nests on the waves. The female is no less remarkable 
than the turtle, for her conjugal affection. She nourishes and attends 
the male when sick, and survives his death but a few days. When 
the halcyons are surprised in a tempest, they fiy about as in the utmost 
terror, with the most lamentable and doleful cries. To introduce 
them, therefore, iu the picture of a storm is a proof, both of the taste 
and judgment of Gamoena. 

186 THE LUSIAD. [book tl 

So, from the tomb, when midnight veils the plains, 
With shrill, faint voice, th' nntimely ghost complains.^ 

* With shrill, faint voice, 1h* untimely ghost complains, — ^It may not 
perhaps be unentertaining to cite Madame Dacier and Mr. Pope on Ubid 
voices of the dead. It wiB, at least, afford a critical observation which 
appears to have escaped them both. *'The shades of the snitors," 
observes Dacier, ''when they are summoned by Mercury out of the 
palace of Ulyssed, emit a feeble, plaintive, inarticulate sound, TpiQov<rt^ 
strident : whereas Agamemnon, and the shades that have been long in 
the state of the dead, speak articulately. I doubt not but Homer 
intended to show, by the former description, that when the soul is 
separated from the organs of the body, it ceases to act after the same 
manner as while it was joined to it ; but how the dead recover their 
voices afterwards is not easy to understand. In other respects Yirgil 
paints after Homer : — 

Pars toUere vocem 
Exiguam: inceptus clamor frustratur hiantes,** 

To this Mr. Pope replies, "But why should we suppose, with 
Dacier, that these shades of the suitors (of Penelope) have lost the 
faculty of speaking ? I rather imagine that the sounds they uttered 
were signs of complaint and discontent, and proceeded not from an 
inability to speak. After Patroclus was slain he appears to Achilles, 
and speaks very articulately to him ; yet, to express his sorrow at hi£ 
departure, he acts like these suitors : for Achilles — 

' Like a thin smoke beholds the spirit fly, 
And hears a feeble, lamentable cry.' 

Dacier conjectures that the power of speech ceases in the dead, till 
they are a(unitted into a state of rest ; but Patroclus is an instance to 
the contrary in the Iliad, and Elpenor in the Odyssey, for they both 
speak before their funereal rites are performed, and consequently 
before they enter into a state of repose amongst the shades of the 

The critic, in his search for distant proofs, often omite the most 
material one immediately at hand. Had Madame Dacier attended to 
the episode of the souls of the suitors, the world had never seen her 
ingenuity in these mythological conjectures ; nor had Mr. Pope any 
need to bring the case of Patroclus or Elpenor to overthrow her 
system. Amphimedon, one of the suitors, in the very episode which 
gave birth to Dacier's conjecture, tells his story very articulately to 
the shade of Agamemnon, though he had not received the funereal 
rites: — 

" Our mangled bodies, now deform'd with gore. 
Gold and neglected spread the marble floor : 
No friend to bathe our wounds I or tears to shed 
O'er the pale corse I the honours of the dead." 

Odys. xxiv. 
On the w]iole, the defence of Pope is almost as idle as the oonjecturee 

BOOK yl] the lusiad. 187 

The am'rons dolphins to their deepest cayes 

In vain retreat, to fly the f nrions waves ; 

High o'er the monntein-capes the ocean flows, 

And tears the aged forests from their brows : 

The pine and oak's hnge, sinewy roots nptom. 

And, from their beds the dnsky sands npbome 

On the rude whirlings of the billowy sweep, 

Imbrown the surface of the boiling deep. 

High to the poop the valiant Gama springs. 

And all the rage of grief his bosom wrings, 

Grief to behold, the while fond hope enjoy'd 

The meed of all his toils, that hope destroy'd. 

In awful horror lost, the hero stands, 

And rolls his eyes to heav'n, and spreads his hands, 

While to the clouds his vessel rides the swell. 

And now, her black keel strikes the gates of hell ; 

" O Thou," he cries, " whom trembling heav'n obeys. 

Whose will the tempest's furious madness sways. 

Who, through the wild waves, ledd'st Thy chosen race. 

While the high billows stood like walls of brass : * 

O Thou, while ocean bursting o'er the world 

Boar'd o'er the hills, and from the sky down hurl'd 

Bush'd other headlpng oceans ; oh, as then 

The second father of the race of men^ 

Safe in Thy care the dreadful billows rode, 

Oh ! save us now, be now the Saviour- God ! 

Safe in Thy care, what dangers have we pass'd ! 

And shalt Thou leave us, leave us now at last 

To perish here — our dangers and our toils 

To spread Thy laws unworthy of Thy smiles ; 

of Dacier. The plain truth is, poetry delights in personification ; 
everything in it, as Aristotle says of the Iliad, has manners ; poetry 
must therefore personify according to our ideas. Thus in Milton : — 

" Tears, such as angels weep, hurst forth." 

And thus in Homer, while the suitors are conducted to hell :-^ 

" Tremhling, the spectres glide, and plaintive vent 
Thin, hollow screams, along the deep descent : " 

and, unfettered with mythological distinctions, either shriek or arti- 
culately talk, according to the most poetical view of their supposed 

1 Exod. xiv. 29. « Noah. 

188 THE LUSIAD. [bookti. 

Our vows unheard ? Heavy with all thy weight, 
Oh horror, come ! and come, eternal night ! " 

He pans'd ; — ^then ronnd his eyes and arms he threw 
In gesture wild, and thus : " Oh happy you 1 
You, who in Afric fought for holy faith. 
And, pierc'd with Moorish spears, in glorious death 
Beheld the smiling heav'ns your toils reward. 
By your brave mates beheld the conquest shar'd ; 
Oh happy you, on every shore renown'd ! 
Your vows respected, and your wishes crown'd." 

He spoke ; redoubled rag'd the mingled blasts ; 
Through the torn cordage and the shatter*d masts 
The winds loud whistled, fiercer lightnings blaz'd, 
And louder roars the doubled thunders rais'd, 
The sky and ocean blending, each on fire, 
Seem'd as all Nature struggled to expire. 
When now, the silver star of liove appeared,* 
Bright in the east her radiant front she rear'd ; 
Fair, through the horrid storm, the gentle ray 
Announc'd the promise of the cheerful day ; 
Prom her bright throne Celestial Love beheld 
The tempest burn, and blast on blast impelled : 
" And must the furious demon still," she cries, 
" Still urge his rage, nor all the past suffice ! 

Yet, as the past, shall all his rage be vain " 

She spoke, and darted to the roaring main ; 
Her lovely nymphs she calls, the nymphs obey. 
Her nymphs the virtues who confess her sway ; 
Bound ev'ry brow she bids the rose-buds twine, 
And ev'ry flower adown the locks to shine. 
The snow-white lily, and the laurel green. 
And pink and yellow as at strife be seen. 
Instant, amid their golden ringlets strove 
Each flow'ret, planted by the hand of Love ; 
At strife, who first th' enamour'd powers to gain, 
Who rule the tempests and the waves restrain : 
Bright as a starry band the Nereids shone, 
InstiEint old Eolus' sons their presence ' own ; 

^ VenuB. * Fot the fable of Eolas see the tenth Odf ssey. 


The winds die faintly, and, in softest sighs, 
Each at his fair one's feet desponding lies : 
The bright Orithia, threatening, sternly chides 
The f orions Boreas, and his faith derides ; 
The furious Boreas owns her powerful bands : 
Fair Galatea, with a smile commands 
The raging Notus, for his love, how true, 
His fervent passion and his faith she knew. 
Thus, every nymph her various lover, chides ; 
The silent winds are fettered by their brides ; 
And, to the goddess of celestial loves. 
Mild as her look, and gentle as her doves, 
In flow*ry bands are brought. Their am'rous flame 
The queen approves, and " ever burn the same," 
She cries, and joyful on the nymphs* fair hands, 
Th* Eolian race receive the queen's commands, 
And vow, that henceforth her Armada's sails 
Should gently swell with fair propitious gales.* 

^ And vow, that henceforth her Armada^s saiU 
Should gently swell vdth fair propitious gales. 

In innumerable instances Gamoens discovers himself a judicious 
imitator of the ancients. In the two great masters of the epic are 
several prophecies oracular of the fate of different heroes, which give 
an air of solemn importance to the poem. The fate of the Armada 
thus obscurely anticipated, resembles in particular the prophecy of 
the safe return of Ulysses to Ithaca, foretold by the shade of Tiresias, 
which was afterwards fulfilled by the Phseacians. It remains now to 
make some observations on the machinery used by Gamoens in this 
book. The necessity of machinery in the epopea, and the, perhaps, 
insurmountable difficulty of finding one unexceptionably adapted to a 
poem where the heroes are Ghristians, or, in other words, to a poem 
whose subject is modem, have already been observed in the preface. 
The machinery of Gamoens has also been proved, in every respect, to 
be less exceptionable than that of Tasso in his Jerusalem, or that of 
Voltaire in his Henriade. The descent of Bacchus to the palace of 
Keptune, in the depths of the sea, and his address to the watery gods, 
are noble imitations of Virgil's Juno in the first ^neid. The descrip- 
tion of the storm is also masterly. In both instances the conduct of 
the ^neid is joined with the descriptive exuberance of the Odyssey. 
The appearance of the star of Venus through the storm is finely 
imagined ; the influence of the nymphs of that goddess over the winds, 
and their subsequent nuptials, are in the spirit of the promise of Juno 
to EoluB : — 

Sunt mihi his septum prsestanti oorpore nymphm : 
QiMrwn, qu» forma pulcherrima ; Deiopeiam 

190 THE LUSIAD, [book vi. 

Now, mom, serene, in dappled grey arose 
O'er the fair lawns where murm'ring Gunges flows ; 
Pale shone the wave beneath the golden beam, 
Bine, o*er the silver flood, Malabria's mountains gleam ; 
The sailors on the main-top's airy round, 
" Land, land ! " aloud with waving hands resound ; 
Aloud the pilot of Melinda cries, 
" Behold, O chief, the shores of India rise ! " 
Elate, the joyful crew on tip-toe trod, 
And every breast with swelling raptures glow'd ; 
G-ama's great soul confess'd the rushing swell. 
Prone on his manly knees the hero fell ; 
" O bounteous heav'n ! " he cries, and spreads his hands 
To bounteous heav'n, while boundless joy commands 
No further word to flow. In wonder lost. 
As one in horrid dreams through whirlpools toss'd, 
Now, snatch'd by demons, rides the flaming air, 
And howls, and hears the bowlings of despair ; 
Awak'd, amaz'd, confus'd with transport glows. 
And, trembling still, with troubled joy o'erflows ; 
So, yet affected with the sickly weight 
Left by the horrors of the dreadful night, 
The hero wakes, in raptures to behold 
The Indian shores before his prows unfold : 
Bounding, he rises, and, with eyes on fire, 
Surveys the limits of his proud desire. 

O glorious chief, while storms and oceans rav'd. 
What hopeless toils thy dauntless valour brav'd ! 
By toils like thine the brave ascend to heav'n. 
By toils like thine immortal fame is giv'n. 
Not he, who daily moves in ermine gown. 
Who nightly slumbers on the couch of down ; 
Who proudly boasts through heroes old to trace 
The lordly lineage of his titled race ; 

Connubio jungam stabUi, propHamque dicabo : 

Omnes ut tecum mentis pro talibtts anno8 

Exigatf et puJchra fousiat te prole pdrentem, — ^Virgil, Mn. bk. i. 

And the fiction itself is an allegory, exactly in the manner of Homer. 
Orithia, the daughter of Erecteus, and queen of the Amazons, was 
ravished and carried away by Boreas. 

BOOK yi.] THE LUSIAD. 19r 

Prond of the smiles of every courtier lord, 

A welcome guest at every courtier's board ; 

Not he, the feeble son of ease, may claim 

Thy wreath, O Gama, or may hope thy fame. 

*Tis he, who nurtured on the tented field, 

From whose brown cheek each tint of fear expell'd, 

With manly face unmov*d, secure, serene, 

Amidst the thunders of the deathful scene. 

From horror's mouth dares snatch the warrior's crown, 

His own his honours, all his fame his own : 

Who, proudly just to honour's stem commands, 

The dogstar's rage on Afric's burning sands, 

Or the keen air of midnight polar skies. 

Long watchful by the helm, alike defies : 

Who, on his front, the trophies of the wars. 

Bears his proud knighthood's badge, his honest scars ; 

Who, cloth'd in steel, by thirst, by famine worn, 

Through raging seas by bold ambition borne, 

Scornful of gold, by noblest ardour fir'd. 

Each wish by mental dignity inspir'd, 

Prepar'd each iU to suffer, or to dare, 

To bless mankind, his great, his only care ; 

Him whom her son mature Experience owns, 

Him, him alone Heroic Glory crowns. 

Once more the translator is tempted to confess his opinion, that 
the contrary practice of Homer and Virgil affords, in reality, no reason- 
able objection against the exclamatory exuberances of Camoens. 
Homer, though the father of the epic poem, has his exuberances, 
which violently trespass against the first rule of the epopea, the unity 
of the action. A rule which, strictly speaking, is not outraged by the 
digressive exclamations of Camoens. The one now before us, as the 
severest critic must allow, is happily adapted to the subject of 
the book. The great dangers which the hero had hitherto encountered 
are particularly described. He is afterwards brought in safety to 
the Indian shore, the object of his ambition, and of all his toils. 
The exclamation, therefore, on the grand hinge of the -poem has its 
propriety, and discovers the warmth of its author's genius. It must 
also please, as it is strongly characteristic of the temper of our military 
poet. The manly contempt with which he speaks of the luxurious, 
inactive courtier, and the delight and honour with which he talks of 
the toils of the soldier, present his own active life to the reader of 
sensibility. His campaigns in Africa, where in a gallant attack he 
lost an eye, his dangerous life at sea, and the military fatigues, and 

192 THE LUSIAD. {book tt 

the battles in whioh he bore an honoiirable share in India, rise 
to our idea, and possess us with an esteem and admiration' of our 
martial poet, who thus could look back with a gallant enthusiasm 
(though his modesty does not mention himself) on all the hardships 
he haid endured; who thus could brayely esteem the dangers to 
which he had been exposed, and by which he had severely swfiTered. 
as the most desirable occurrences of his life, and the ornament of 
his name. 



BOOK vn 


The poei, hftTMg expatiated on the glorious aohieyements of the 
Portuguese, describes the Germans, English, French, and Italians, 
reproaching them for their profane wars and luxury, while they ought 
to have been employed in opposing the enemies of the Christian faith. 
He then describes the western peninsula of India — the shores of 
Malabar — and Calicut, the capital of the Zamorim, where Gama had 
landed. Monsaide, a Moor of Barbary, is met with, who addresses in Spanish, and offers to serve him as interpreter. Monsaide 
gives him a particular account of everything in India. The Zamorim 
invites Gama to an audience. The catual, or prime minister, with his 
officers, visits the ships, and embraces the opportunity of asking Gama 
to relate to him the history of Portugal. 

HAIL glorions chief ! ^ where never chief before 
Forced his bold way, all hail on India's shore ! 
Ajid hail, ye Lnsian heroes, fair and wide 
What groves of palm, to hanghty Home denied, 
For you by Granges' length'ning banks unfold ! 
Whafc laurel-forests on the shores of gold 
For you their honours ever verdant rear, 
Proud, with their leaves, to twine the Lusian spear ! 

Ah Heav'n ! what fury Europe's sons controls ! 
What self-consuming discord fires their souls ! 
'Guinst her own breast her sword Germania turns, 
Through all her states fraternal rancour bums ; * 

' Vasco de Gama. 

• This refers to the Catholic persecutions of Protestants whom they 
had previously condemned at the Diet of Spires. War was declared 
against the Protestants in 1546. It lasted for six years, when a treaty 
of peace was signed at Passau on the Danube, in 1552. — Ed. 


194 THE LUSIAD. [book yh. 

Some, blindly wand'ring, lioly faith disclaim,^ 

And, fierce throngh all, wild rages civil flame. 

High sound the titles of the English crown, 

" King of Jerusalem,"* his old renown ! 

Alas, delighted with an airy name, 

The thin, dim shadow of departed fame, 

England's stem monarch, sunk in soft repose, 

Luxurious riots mid his northern snows : 

Or, if the starting burst of rage succeed. 

His brethren are his foes, and Christians bleed ; 

While Hagar's brutal race his titles stain, 

In weeping Salem unmolested reign. 

And with their rites impure her holy shrines profane. 

And thou, O Graul,* with gaudy trophies plum*d. 

" Most Christian " nam'd ; alas, in vain assum'd ! 

What impious lust of empire steels thy breast * 

From their just lords the Christian lands to wrest ! 

While holy faith's hereditary foes * 

Possess the treasures where Cynifio flows ; • 

And all secure, behold their harvests smile 

In waving gold along the banks of Nile. 

And thou, O lost to glory, lost to fame. 

Thou dark oblivion of thy ancient name, 

* Some "blindly wandHng, "holy faiih disclaim. — At the time when 
Camoens wrote, the German empire was plunged into all the miseries 
of a religious war, the Catholics using every endeavour to rivet the 
chains of Popery, the adherents of Luther as strenuously endeavouring 
to shake them off. 

' High sound the titles of the English croum, 
King of Jerusalem, — 

The title of " King of Jerusalem " was never assumed by the kings of 
England. Kobert, duke of Normandy, son of William the Conqueror, 
was elected King of Jerusalem by the army in Syria, but declined it 
in hope of ascending the throne of England. Henry YIII. filled the 
throne of England when our author wrote : his luxury and oonjogal 
brutality amply deserved the censure of the honest poet. 

• France. 

^ What impious lust of empire steels thy breast. — The French trans- 
lator very cordially agrees with the Portuguese poet in the strictures 
upon Germany, England, and Italy. 

* The Mohammedans. 

• Where Cynifio flows. — A river in Africa, near Tripoli — ^Viboil, 
Georg. iU. 811.— iBtf. 


BOOK vn.] THE LUSIAD. 195 

By every vicious Inxnry debas'd, 
Each noble passion from thy breast eras'd, 
Nerveless in sloth, enfeebling arts thy boast, 
O Italy, how fallen, how low, how lost ! ^ 
In vain, to thee, the call of glory sounds, 
Thy sword alone thy own soft bosom wounds. 

Ah, Europe's sons, ye brother-powers, in you 
The fables old of Cadmus * now are true ; 

* Italy I how fdirn, how lowy how lost /—However these severe 
reflections on modem Italy may displease the admirers of Italian 
manners, the picture on the whole is too just to admit of confutation. 
Kever did the history of any court afford such instances of villainy 
and all the baseness of intrigue as that of the pope's. That this view 
of the lower ranks in the pope's dominions is just, we have the in- 
dubitable testimony of Addison. Our poet is justifiable in his censures, 
for he only follows the severe reflections of the greatest of the Italian 
poets. It were easy to give fifty instances ; two or three, however, 
shall suffice. Dante, in his sixth canto, del Purg. — 

Ahif serva Italia^ di dolore osteUo, 
Nave senza nocchiero in gran tempegta, 
Non donna di provindey bordeMo, 

<' Ah, slavish Italy, the inn of dolour, a ship without a pilot in a 
horrid tempest: — not the mistress of provinces, but a brothel 1" 
Ariosto, canto 17 : — 

(T ogni vitiofetida sentina 
Dormi Italia imbrixioo, 

" O inebriated It€tly, thou sleepest the sink of every filthy vice ! " 
And Petrarch : — 

BeC empia BahtUmia, ond^ i/uggita 
Ogni vergogna, ond^ ogni bene efuori, 
JUbergo di dolor, madre d^ errori 
SonfuggiV io per aUungar la vita, 

*^From the impious Babylon (the Papal Court) from whence all shame 
and all good are fled, the inn of dolour, the mother of errors, have I 
hastened away to prolong my life." 

' The fables old of Cadmus. — Cadmus having slain the dragon 
which guarded the fountain of Dirce, in Boeotia, sowed the teeth of 
the monster. A number of armed men immediately sprang up, and 
surrounded Cadmus, in order to kill him. By the counsel of Minerva 
he threw a precious stone among them, in striving for which they 
slew one another. Only five survived, who afterwards assisted hun 
to build the city of Thebes.— Vid. Ovid. Met. iv. 

TerrigensB pereunt per mutua wlnera fratrei. 

196 THE LUSIAD. [book Td. 

Fierce rose the brothers from the dragon teeth, 
And each fell, crimson'd with a brother's death. 
So, fall the bravest of the Christian name,^ 
While dogs unclean ' Messiah's lore blaspheme, 
And howl their curses o'er the holy tomb, 
While to the sword the Christian race they doom. 
From age to age, from shore to distant shore, 
By various princes led, their legions pour ; 
United all in one determin'd aim. 
From ev'ry land to blot the Christian name. 
Then wake, ye brother-powers, combin'd awake, 
And, from the foe the great example take. 
K empire tempt ye, lo, the East expands. 
Fair and immense, her summer-garden lands : 
There, boastful Wealth displays her radiant store ; 
Pactol and Hermus' streams, o'er golden ore. 
Boll their long way ; but, not for you they flow, 
Their treasures blaze on the stem sultan's brow : 
For him Assyria pHes the loom of gold. 
And Afric's sons their deepest mines unfold 
To build his haughty throne. Ye western powers, 
To throw the mimic bolt of Jove is yours. 
Yours all the art to wield the arms of fire, 
Then, bid the thunders of the dreadful tire 
Against the walls of dread Byzantium * roar, 
Till, headlong driven from Europe's ravish'd shore 
To their cold Scythian wilds, and dreary dens, 
By Caspian mountains, and uncultur'd fens, 
(Their fathers' seats beyond the Wolgian Lake,^) 
The barb'rous race of Saracen betake. 
And hark, to you the wof ul Greek exclaims ; 
The Georgian fathers and th' Armenian dames, 

> 80 faU the bravest of the Christian name^ 
While dogs wtclean, — 

Imitated from a fine pe^sage in Lucan, beginning — 

Quis furor, Gives! qtus tarda lioentia ferti^ 
GhrUibtu invisis Latium prt^)ere oruorem f 

* The Mohammedans. 

* Constantinople. 

* Beyond tlie Wolgian Lake, — The Caspian Sea, so called from the 
large river Volga, or Wolga, which empties itself into it. 

BOOK vil] the lusiad. 197 

Their fairest o^pring from their bosoms torn, 
(A dreadful tribute !) ^ loud imploring mourn. 
Alas, in vain ! their ofEspring captive led, 
In Hagar's * sons* unhallow'd temples bred. 
To rapine train'd, arise a brutal host, 
The Christian terror, and the Turkish boast. 

Yet sleep, ye powers of Europe, careless sleep, 
To you in vain your eastern brethren weep ; 
Yet, not in vain their woe- wrung tears shall sue, 
Though small the Lusian realms, her legions few. 
The guardian oft by Heav*n ordain'd before, 
The Lusian race shall guard Messiah's lore. 
When Heav*n decreed to crush the Moorish foe 
Heav'n gave the Lusian spear to strike the blow. 
When Heav'n's own laws o'er Afric's shores were heard. 
The sacred shrines the Lusian heroes rear'd ; * 
Nor shall their zeal in Asia's bounds expire, 
Asia, subdu'd, shall fume with hallow'd fire. 
When the red sun the Lusian shore forsakes. 
And on the lap of deepest west ^ awakes, 
O'er the wild plains, beneath unincens'd skies 
The sun shall view the Lusian altars rise. 
And, could new worlds by human step be trod. 
Those worlds should tremble at the Lusian nod.' 

' Their f aired off tpring from their bo9om$ torn, 
(^ dreadftd tribute /)— 

By this barbaFooB policy the tyranny of the Ottomans was long 
sustained. The troops of the Turkish infantry and cavalry, known by 
the name of Janissaries and Spahis, were thus supported. ^* The sons 
of Christians— and those the most completely furnished by nature — 
were taken in their childhood from their parents by a levy made every 
five years, or oftener, as occasion requireo." — Sandys. 

* Mohammedans. 

• O'er Afru?8 shore$ 
The Mcred shrines the Lusian heroes reai'd,-^ 

See the note on book y. p. 137. 

* Of deepest west. — ^Alludes to the disoovery and conquest of the 
Brazils by me Portuguese. 

' The poet, having brought his heroes to the shore of India, in- 
dulges himself with a review of the state of the western and eastern 
worlds; the latter of which is now, by the labour of his heroes, 

198 THE LUSIAD. [bo(« tr. 

And now, their ensigns blazing o'er the tide, 
On India's shore the Losian heroes ride. 
High to the fleecy clonds resplendent far 
Appear the regal towers of Malabar, 
Imperial Calicut,^ the lordly seat 
Of the first monarch of the Indian state. 
Right to the port the valiant Gama bends, 
With joyful shouts, a fleet of boats attends : 
Joyful, their nets they leave and finny prey. 
And, crowding round the Lusians, point the way. 
A herald now, by Vasco's high command 
Sent to the monarch, treads the Indian strand ; 
The sacred staff he bears, in gold he shines, 
And tells his office by majestic signs. 
As, to and fro, recumbent to the gale. 
The harvest waves along the yellow dale, 

rendered accessible to the former. The purpose of his poem is also 
strictly kept in view. The west and the east he considers as two great 
empires; the one of the true religion, the other of a false. The 
professors of the true, disunited and destroying one another; the 
professors of the false one, all combined to extirpate the other. He 
upbraids the professors of the true religion for their vices, particularly 
for their disunion, and for deserting the interests of holy faith. His 
countrymen, however, he boasts, have been its defenders and planters, 
and, without the assistance of their brother powers, will plant it in 

" The Crusaders," according to Voltaire, " were a band of vagabond 
thieves, who had agreed to ramble from the heart of Europe in order 
to desolate a country they had no right to, and massacre, in cold 
blood, a venerable prince, more than fourscore years old, and his whole 
people, against whom they had no pretence of complaint." 

To prove that the Crusades were neither so unjustifiable, so im- 
politic, nor so unhappy in their consequences as superficial refers of 
history are accustomed to regard them, would not be difficult. 

Upon the whole, it will be found that the Portuguese poet talks of 
the political reasons of a Crusade with an accuracy in the philosophy 
of history as superior to that of Voltaire, as the poetical merit of the 
Lusiad surpasses that of the Henriade. And the critic in poetry must 
allow, that, to suppose the discovery of Gama the completion of all 
the endeavours to overthrow the great enemies of the true religion, 
gives a dignity to the poem, and an importance to the hero, similar to 
that which Voltaire, on the same supposition, allows to the subject of 
the Jerusalem of Tasso. 

^ Calicut is the name of a famous sea-port town in the province of 


So, rotLnd tHe herald press the wond'ring throng, 

Becumbent waving as they pour along, 

And much his manly port and strange attire, 

And much his fair and ruddy hue admire : 

When, speeding through the crowd, with eager haste. 

And honest smSes, a son of Afric press'd : 

Enrapt with joy the wond'ring herald hears 

Castilia's manly tongue salute his ears.^ 

" What friendly angel from thy Tago's shore 

Has led thee hither ? " cries the joyful Moor. 

Then, hand in hand (the pledge of faith) conjoin'd — 

" Oh joy beyond the dream of hope to find, 

To hear a kindred voice," the Lusian cried, 

" Beyond unmeasur'd gulfs and seas untried ; 

Untried, before our daring keels explor'd 

Our fearless way ! O Heav*n, what tempests roar*d. 

While, round the vast of Afric's southmost land, 

Our eastward bowsprits sought the Indian strand ! " 

Amaz'd, o'erpower'd, the friendly stranger stood — 

" A path now open'd through the boundless flood ! 

The hox)e of ages, and the dread despair, 

Accomplish'd now, and conquered ! " — ^StifE his hair 

Rose thrilling, while his laboring thoughts pursued 

The dreadful course by Q-ama's fate subdued. 

Homeward, with gen'rous warmth o'erflow'd, he leads 

The Lusian guest, and swift the feast succeeds ; 

The purple grape, and golden fruitage smile ; 

And each choice viand of the Indian soil 

Heap'd o'er the board, the master's zeal declare ; 

The social feast the guest and master share : 

^ The herald hears 
CastUia^s mardy tongue salute his ears, — 

This is according to the truth of history. While the messenger sent 
ashore by Gama was borne here and there, and carried off his feet 
by the throng, who understood not a word of his language, he was 
accosted in Spanish by a Moorish merchant, a native of Tunis, who, 
according to Osorius, had been the chief person with whom Bang 
Ferdinand had formerly contracted for military stores. He proved 
himself an honest agent, and of infinite service to Gama ; he returned 
to Portugal, where, according to Faria, he died in the Christian com- 
munion. He was named Monzaida. 

200 THE LUBIAD. [book ▼& 

The sacred pledge of eastern faith ^ approT'd, 
By wrath unalter'd, and by wrong nnmov'd. 
Now, to the fleet the joyful herald bends, 
With earnest pace the Heav'n-sent friend attends : 
Now, down the river's sweepy stream they glide, 
And now, their pinnace cnts the briny tide : 
The Moor, with transport sparkling in his eyes, 
The well-known make of Qaha's navy spies. 
The bending bowsprit, and the mast so tall. 
The sides black, frowning as a castle wall. 
The high-tower*d stem, the lordly nodding prore, 
And the broad standard slowly waving o'er 
The anchor's moony * fangs. The skiS he leaves, 
Brave Gama's deck his bounding step receives ; 
And, " Hail ! " he cries : in transport G-ama sprung. 
And round his neck with friendly welcome hung ; 
Enrapt, so distant o'er the drea^Eul main. 
To hear the music of the tongue of Spain. 
And now, beneath a painted shade of state, 
Beside the admiral, the stranger sat. 
Of India's clime, the natives, and the laws. 
What monarch sways them, what religion awes P 
Why from the tombs devoted to his sires 
The son so far ? the valiant chief inquires. 
In act to speak the stranger waves his hand. 
The joyful crew in silent wonder stand. 
Each gently pressing on, with greedy ear. 
As erst the bending forests stoop'd to hear 

* The sacred pledge of eastern faUk. — To eat together was, and still 
is, in the east looked upon as the inviolable pledge of protection. As 
a Persian nobleman was one day walking in his garaen, a wretch in 
the utmost terror prostrated himself before him, and implored to be 
protected from the rage of a multitude who were in pursuit of him, 
to take his life. The nobleman took a peach, eat part of it, and gave 
the rest to the fugitive, assuring him of safety. As they approached 
the house, they met a crowd who carried the murdered corpse of the 
nobleman's beloved son. The incensed populace demanded the 
murderer, who stood beside him, to be delivered to their fury. The 
father, though overwhelmed with grief and anger, replied, " We have 
eaten together, and I will not betray him.*^ He protected the 
murderer of his son from the fury of his domestics and neighbours, and 
in the night facilitated his escape. 

» f.e. crescent-shaped. — Ed, 

BOOK vilJ the LUSIAD. 201 

In Rhodope,* when Orpliens' heavenly strain, 
Deplor'd his lost Eurydice in vain ; 
While, with a mien that gen'rous friendship won 
From ev'ry heart, the stranger thus began : — 

" Your glorious deeds, ye Lusians, well I know, 
To neighboring earth the vital air I owe ; 
Yet — though my faith the Koran's lore revere ; 
So taught my sires ; my birth at proud Tangier, 
A hostile clime to Lisbon's awful name— 
I glow, enraptur'd, o'er the Lusian fame ; 
Proud though your nation's warlike glories shine. 
These proudest honours yield, O chief, to thine ; 
Beneath thy dread achievements low they fall, 
And India's shore, discover'd, crowns them all. 
Won by your fame, by fond affection sway'd, 
A friend I come, and offer friendship's aid. 
As, on my lips Castilia's language glows, 
So, from my tongue the speech of India flows : 
Mozaide my name, in India's court belov'd. 
For honest deeds (but time shall speak) approved. 
When India's monarch greets his court again, 
(For now the banquet on the tented plain : 
And sylvan chase his careless hours employ),* 
When India's mighty lord, with wond'rLg joy, 
Shall hail you welcome on his spacious shore 
Through oceans never plough'd by keel before, 
Myself shaU glad interpreter attend. 
Mine ev'ry office of the faithful friend. 
Ah ! but a stream, the labour of the oar, 
Divides my birthplace from your native shore; 
On shores unknown, in distant worlds, how sweet 
The kindred tongue, the kindred face, to greet 1 

' In Rhodope. — ^The beautiful fable of the descent of Orpheus to 
hell, for the recovery of his beloved wife, Eurydice, will be found in 
Virgil's Georgics, bk. iv., lines 460-80. —JSa. 

' (For now the banquet on flie tented plain, 
And tylvan chase his careless howrs employ), — 

The great Mogul, and other eastern sovereigns, attended by their 
courtiers, spend annually some months of the finest season in en- 
campments in the field, in hunting parties, and military amusements. 

\,^^V^ ™^ LUSIAD. 205 

^ Of^^ftV^^^ lore remain'd to fall : 

)/ ioO^^^^yV ' of kings ' he made, 

^^li f ^^^ !^^^ ^ groat Zamoreem, 

^ tio^ ^^e , w supreme, 

tb^ii^ f ai - 9 his reign, 

"OekViai ^goin: 

whog -; ,; • \ 

deem the b^ • • '^ 

jj.ere by the mouths, ». 
^pengala's beauteous Eden ,. 
Unrivaird smile her fair luxuri,. 
And here Cambaya' spreads her pai^ '^--. 

A warlike realm, where still the martial i\. 
From Poms,* fam'd of yore, their lineage tracv. ' kings, 

Narsinga '^ here displays her spacious line, 
In native gold her sons and ruby shine : 
Alas, how vain ! these gaudy sons of fear, 
Trembling, bow down before each hostile spear. 
And now, behold ! " — and while he spoke he rose, 
Now, with extended arm, the prospect shows, — 

* As wild traditions teU. — ^Pliny, imposed upon by some €^v. 
who pretended to have been in India, relates this fable. — ^Yide >w 
Hist. lib. 12. ^'**- 

« Is fondly plae*d in Ganged holy wave, — ^Almost all the Indian 
nations attribute to the Ganges the virtue of cleansing the soul from 
the stains of sin. They have such veneration for this river, that if 
any one in their presence were to throw any filth into the stream 
an instant death would punish his audacity. 

* Cambaya, the ancient Camanes of Ptolemy, gives name to the 
gulf of that name at the head of which it is situated. It is the 
principal seaport of Guzerat. — Ed. 

* Porus was king of part of the Punjaub, and was conquered by 
Alexander the Great. — Ed, 

* Narsinga. — The laws of Narsinga oblige the women to throw 
themselves into the funeral pile, to be burnt with their deceased 
husbands. An infallible secret to prevent the desire of widowhood. 
— Oasteba from Barros, Deo. i. 

202 THE LUSIAD. [book m 

Such now my joy ; and sncli, O Heav'n, be yours ! 

Yes, bonnteons Heav'n yonr glad success secures. 

Till now impervious, Heav'n alone subdued 

The various horrors of the trackless flood : 

Heav'n sent you here for some great work divine, 

And Heav'n inspires my breast your sacred toils to join. 

*^ Vast are the shores of India's wealthf ul soil ; 
Southward sea-girt she forms a demi-isle : 
HiH cavern'd cliffs with dark-brow'd forests crown'd, 
Hemodian Taurus ^ frowns her northern bound : 
From Oaspia's lake th' enormous mountain ^ spreads, 
And, bending eastward, rears a thousand heads : 
Far to extremest sea the ridges thrown. 
By various names, through various tribes are known : 
Here down the waste of Taurus' rocky side 
Two infant rivers pour the crystal tide, 
Indus the one, and one the Granges nam'd. 
Darkly of old through distant nations f am'd : 
One eastward curving holds his crooked way. 
One to the west gives his swoll'n tide to stray : 
Declining southward many a land they lave. 
And, widely swelling, roll the sea-like wave. 
Till the twin offspring of the mountain sire 
Both in the Indian deep engulf 'd expire : 
Between these streams, fair smiling to the day. 
The Indian lands their wide domains display. 
And many a league, far to the south they bend, 
From the broad region where the rivers end. 
Till, where the shores to Ceylon's isle oppose. 
In conic form the Indian regions close. 
To various laws the various tribes incline. 
And various are the rites esteom'd divine : 
Some, as from Heav'n, receive the Koran's lore. 
Some the dread monsters of the wild adore ; 

' Th* enormous mountain. — The Himalaya range, which is a con- 
tinuation of an immense chain of mountains girdling the northern 
regions of the earth and known by various names, as Caucasus, 
Hemodus, Paropamissus, Imaus, etc., and from Imaus extended through 
Tartary to the sea of Kamschatka. Not the range of mountains so 
called in Asia Minor. — Ed. 


Some bend to wood and stone the prostrate head. 
And rear nnhallow'd altars to the dead. 
By Gtuiges* banks, as wild traditions tell,^ 
Of old the tribes liv'd healthfnl by the smeU ; 
No food they knew, such fragrant vapours rose 
Rich from the flow'ry lawns where Gfanges flows : 
Here now the Delhian, and the fierce Pathan, 
Feed their fair flocks ; and here, a heathen clan, 
Stem Dekhan*s sons the fertile valleys till, 
A clan, whose hope to shun eternal ill, 
Whose trust from ev*ry stain of guilt to save, 
Is fondly placed in Granges' holy wave; ' 
If to the stream the breathless corpse be giv'n 
They deem the spirit wings her way to heav'n. 
Here by the mouths, where hallow'd Gh>nges ends, 
Bengala's beauteous Eden wide extends, 
Unrivaird smile her fair luxurious vales : 
And here Oambaya ' spreads her palmy dales ; 
A warlike realm, where still the martial race 
From Porus,* fam'd of yore, their lineage trace. 
Narsinga '^ here displays her spacious line. 
In native gold her sons and ruby shine : 
Alas, how vain ! these gaudy sons of fear. 
Trembling, bow down before each hostile spear. 
And now, behold ! " — and while he spoke he rose. 
Now, with extended arm, the prospect shows, — 

* As toild traditions teU. — ^Pliny, imposed upon by some Greeks, 
who pretended to have been in India, relates this fahle. — ^Yide Nat. 
Hist. lib. 12. 

* Is fondly plae*d in Ganges* holy wave. — ^Almost all the Indian 
nations attribute to the Ganges the virtue of cleansing the soul from 
the stains of sin. They have such yeneration for this river, that if 
any one in their presence were to throw any filth into the stream, 
an instant death would punish his audacity. 

' Cambaya, the ancient Camanes of Ptolemy, gives name to the 
gulf of that name at the head of which it is situated. It is the 
principal seaport of Guzerat. — Ed, 

* Porus was king of part of the Punjaub, and was conquered by 
Alexander the Great. — Ed. 

* Narsinga. — The laws of Narsinga oblige the women to throw 
themselves into the funeral pile, to be burnt with their deceased 
husbands. An infallible secret to prevent the desire of widowhood. 
—Gasteba from Banos, Deo. 4. 

204 THE LUSIAD. [90(IK m 

" BeHold these mountain tops of various size 
Blend their dim ridges with the fleecy skies : 
Nature's rude wall, against the fierce Canar ^ 
They guard the fertile lawns of Malabar. 
Here, from the mountain to the surgy main, 
Fair as a garden, spreads the smiling plain : 
And lo, the empress of the Indian powers, 
Their lofty Calicut, resplendent towers ; 
Hers ev'ry fragrance of the spicy shore. 
Hers ev'ry gem of India's countless store : 
Great Samoreem, her lord's imperial style, 
The mighty lord of India's utmost soil : 
To him the kings their duteous tribute pay. 
And, at his feet, confess their borrow'd sway. 
Yet higher tower'd the monarchs ancients boast, 
Of old one sov'reign rul'd the spacious coast. 
A votive train, who brought the Koran's lore, 
(What time great Perimal the sceptre bore). 
From blest Arabia's groves to In<£a came ; 
Life were their words, their eloquence a flame 
Of holy zeal : fir'd by the powerful strain. 
The lofty monarch joins the faithful train. 
And vows, at fair Medina's ^ shrine, to close 
His life's mild eve in prayer, and sweet repose. 
Gifts he prepares to deck the prophet's tomb, 
The glowing labours of the Indian loom, 
Orissa's spices, and Golconda's gems ; 
Yet, e'er the fleet th' Arabian ocean stems. 
His final care his potent regions claim, 
Nor his the transport of a father's name : 
His servants, now, the regal purple wear. 
And, high enthron'd, the golden sceptres bear. 
Proud Cochim one, and one fair Chal6 sways, 
The spicy isle another lord obeys ; 
Coulam and Oananoor's luxurious fields. 
And Oranganore to various lords he yields. 
While these, and others thus the monarch grac'd, 
A noble youth his care unmindful pass'd : 

1 The Ganarese, who inhabit Ganara, on the west coast of India. 

— ja. 

3 Medina, a city of Arabia, famous as being the burial-place of 
Mohammed, and hence esteemed sacred. — Ed. 


Save Calicut, a city poor and small, 

Though, lordly now, no more remained to fall : 

Griev'd to behold such merit thus repaid, 

The sapient youth the ' king of kings ' he made, 

And, honoured with the name, great Zamoreem, 

The lordly, titled boast of power supreme. 

And now, great Perimal ^ resigns his reign. 

The blissful bowers of Paradise to gain : 

Before the gale his gaudy navy flies, 

And India sinks for ever from his eyes. 

And soon to Calicut's commodious port 

The fleets, deep-edging with the wave, resort : 

Wide o'er the shore extend the warlike piles. 

And all the landscape round luxurious smiles. 

And now, her flag to ev'ry gale urifurrd. 

She towers, the empress of the eastern world : 

Such are the blessings sapient kings bestow. 

And from thy stream such gifts, O Commerce, flow. 

" From that sage youth, who first reign'd *king of kings. 
He now who sways the tribes of India springs. 
Various the tribes, all led by fables vain. 
Their rites the dotage of the dreamful brain. 
All, save where Nature whispers modest care, 
Naked, they blacken in the sultry air. 
The haughty nobles and the vulgar race 
Never must join the conjugal embrace ; 
Nor may the stripling, nor the blooming maid, 
(Oh, lost to joy, by cruel rites betray'd !) 
To spouse of other than their father's art, 
At Love's connubial shrine unite the heart : 
Nor may their sons (the genius and the view 
Confin'd and fetter'd) other art pursue. 
Vile were the stain, and deep the foul disgrace, 
Should other tribe touch one of noble race ; 
A thousand rites, and washings o'er and o'er, 
Can scarce his tainted purity restore. 

* According to tradition, Perimal, a soyereign of India, embraced 
Islamism about 800 years before Gama*s voyage, divided his dominions 
into different kingdoms, and ended his days as a hermit at Mecca. — jE%?. 

206 THE LUSIAD. [book vn. 

Poleas * the laboring lower clans are nain'd : 
By the proud Nayres the noble rank is claim'd ; 
The toils of culture, and of art they scorn, 
The warrior's plumes their haughty brows adorn ; 
The shining falchion brandish'd in the right, 
Their left arm wields the target in the fight ; 
Of danger scornful, ever arm'd they stand 
Around the king, a stem barbarian band. 
Whate'er in India holds the sacred name 
Of piety or lore, the Brahmins claim : 
In wildest rituals, vain and painful, lost, 
Brahma,' their founder, as a god they boast.' 

^ t.0. pariahs, outcasts. 

' Bregma their founder as a god they hocut — ^Antiquity has talked 
much, but knew little with certainty of the Brahmins, and their 
philosophy. Porphyry and others esteem them the same as the 
Gymnosophists of the Greeks, and divide them into several sects, the 
Samanffii, the Germanes, the Pramnsa, the GymnetsB, etc. Brahma is 
the head of the Hindu triad which consists of Brahma, Vishnu 
and Siva.— -Ea. 

' Almost innumerable, and sometimes as whimsically absurd as the 
'* Arabian Nights' Entertainments," are the holy legends of India. The 
accounts of the god Brahma, or Brimha, are more various than those 
of any fable in the Grecian mythology. According to Father Bohours, 
in his life of Xavier, the Brahmins hold, that the Great Grod having a 
desire to become visible, became man. In this state he produced three 
sons, Mayso, Yisnu, and Brahma ; the first, bom of his mouth, the 
second, of his breast, the third, of his belly. Being about to return to 
his invisibility, he assigned various departments to his three sons. To 
Brahma he gave the third heaven, with the superintendence of the 
rites of religion. Brahma having a desire for children, begat the 
Brahmins, who are the priests of India, and who are believed by the 
other tribes to be a race of demi-gods, who have the blood of heaven 
running in their veins. Other accounts say, that Brahma produced 
the priests from his head, the more ignoble tribes from his breast, 
thighs, and feet. 

According to the learned Kircher's account of the theology of the 
Brahmins, the sole and supreme god Vishnu, formed the secondary god 
Brahma, out of a flower that floated on the surface of the great deep 
before the creation. And afterwards , in reward of the virtue, fidelity, 
and gratitude of Brahma, gave him power to create the universe. 

Hesiod's genealogy of the gods, though refined upon by the schools 
of Plato, is of the same class with the divine genealogies of the 
Brahmins. The Jewish fables, foolish questions and genealogies, 
reproved by Saint Paul (epist. Tit.), were probably of this kind, for the 
Talmudical legends were not then sprung up. Binah, or Under- 
standing, said the cabalists, begat Kcihmah, or Wisdom, etc, tiU at 


To crown their meal no meanest life expires, 
Pulse, fruit, and herbs alone their board requires : 

last comes Miloah, the Kingdom, who begat Shekinah^ the Divine 
Presence. In the same manner the Christian Gnostics, of the sect of 
Yalentinus, held their IIA^pw/ia, and their thirty Mans. Ampsiu and 
Aurcuin, they tell us, i.e» Proftmdity and Silence, begat Bacua and 
Tharthuu, Mind and Truth ; these begat TJhwma and Thardeadie, Word 
and Life, and these Merexa and Atarbarba, Man and Church. The 
other conjunctions of their thirty ^ons are of similar ingenuity. The 
prevalence of the same spirit of mythological allegory in such different 
nations, affords the philosopher a worthy field for speculation.. 

Almost as innumerable as their legends are the dreadful penances 
to which the Hindus submit themselves for the expiation of sins. 
Some hold the transmigration of souls, and of consequence abstain 
from all animal food.* Yet, however austere in other respects, they 
freely abandon themselves to every species of debauchery, some of them 
esteeming the most unnatural abominations as the privilege of their 
sanctity. The cow they venerate as sacred. If a dying man can lay 
hold of a cow's tail, and expire with it in his hands, his soul is sure to 
be purified, and perhaps will enjoy the signal favour to transmigrate 
into the body of one of those animals. The temples of India, which 
are numerous, are filled with innumerable idols of the most horrid 
figures. The Brahmins are allowed to eat nothing but what is cooked 
by themselves.' Astrology is their principal study ; yet, though they 
are mostly a despicable set of fortune-tellers, some of them are excellent 
moralists, and particularly inculcate the comprehensive virtue of 
humanity, which is enforced by the opinion, that Divine beings often 
assume the habit of mendicants, in order to distinguish the charitable 
from the inhuman. They have several traditions of the virtuous, on 
these happy trials, being translated into heaven ; the best designed 
incitement to virtue, perhaps, which their religion contains. Besides 
the Brahmins, the principal sect of that vast region called India, there 
are several others, who are divided and subdivided, according to in-' 
numerable variations, in every province. In Cambaya, the Banians, a 
sect who strictly abstain from all animal food, are numerous. 

The sacred books of the Hindoos are written in a dead language, 
the Sanskrit, which none but the Brahmins are allowed to study. So 
strict in this are they, says Mr. Dow, that only one Mussulman was 
ever instructed in it, and his knowledge was obtained by fraud. 
Mahummud Akbar, emperor of India, though bred a Mohammedan, 
studied several religions. In the Christian he was instructed by a 
Portuguese. But, finding that of the Hindoos inaccessible, he had 
recourse to art. A boy named Feizi, was, as the orphan of a Brahmin, 

* Though from the extracts given by Mr. Dow, the philosopher Ooutam appears to 
have been a very Duns Scotus or Aquinas in metaphysics, the Pythagorean reason why 
the Brahmins abstain from animal food, is a convincing proof of their ignorance in 
natural philosophy. Some will let vermin overrun them ; some of the Banians cover 
their mouth with a cloth, lest they should suck in a gnat with their breath ; and some 
carefully sweep the floor ere they tread upon it, lest they dislodge the soul of an insect. 
And yet they do not know that in the water they drink, and & every salad they eat, 
they cause the death of innumerable living creatures. 


208 THE LUSIAD. [book vn. 

Alone, in lewdness riotous and free, 

No sponsal ties withhold, and no degree : 

Lost to the heart-ties, to his neighbour's arms, 

The willing husband yields his spouse's charms : 

In unendear'd embraces free they blend ; 

Yet, but the husband's kindred may ascend 

The nuptial couch : alas, too blest, they know 

Nor jealousy's suspense, nor burning woe ; 

The bitter drops which oft from dear afEection flow. 

But, should my lips each wond'rous scene unfold, 

Which your glad eyes will soon amaz'd behold, 

Oh, long before the various tale could run. 

Deep in the west would sink yon eastern -sun. 

In few, all wealth from China to the Nile, 

All balsams, fruit, and gold on India's bosom smile." 

While thus, the Moor his faithful tale reveal'd, 
Wide o'er the coast the voice of Rumour swell'd ; 
As, first some upland vapour seems to float 
Small as the smoke of lonely shepherd cote, . 
Soon o'er the dales the rolling darkness spreads. 
And wraps in hazy clouds the mountain heads, 
The leafless forest and the utmost lea ; 
And wide its black wings hover o'er the sea : 
The tear-dropp'd bough hangs weeping in the vale, 
And distant navies rear the mist- wet sail. 
So, Fame increasing, loud and louder grew, 
And to the sylvan camp resounding flew : 
** A lordly band," she cries, " of warlike mien, 
Of face and garb in India never seen, 
Of tongue unknown, through gulfs undar'd before, 
Unknown their aim, have reach'd the Indian shore." 
To hail their chief the Indian lord prepares. 
And to the fleet he sends his banner'd Nayres : 
As to the bay the nobles press along, 
The wond'ring city pours th' unnumber'd throng. 

put under the care of one of the most eminent of these philosophers, 
and obtained full knowledge, of their hidden religion. But the fraud 
being discovered, he was laid under the restraint of an oath, and 
it does not appear that he ever communicated the knowledge thus 

BOOK yii.] THE LUSIAD. 209 

And now brave Gaha, and his splendid train, 

Himself adom'd in all the pride of Spain, 

In gilded barges slowly bend to shore, 

While to the lute the gently falling oar 

Now, breaks the surges of the briny tide. 

And now, the strokes the cold fresh stream divide. 

Pleas'd with the splendour of the Lusian band, 

On every bank the crowded thonsands stand. 

Begirt with high-plum*d nobles, by the flood 

The first great minister of India stood, 

The Catual ^ his name in India's tongue : 

To Gama swift the lordly regent sprung ; 

His open arms the valiant chief enfold, 

And now he lands him on the shore of gold : 

With pomp unwonted India's nobles greet 

The fearless heroes of the warlike fleet. 

A couch on shoulders borne, in India's mode, 

(With gold the canopy and purple glow'd), 

Receives the Lusian captain ; equal rides 

The lordly catual, and onward guides. 

While Gama's train, and thousands of the throng 

Of India's sons, encircling, pour along. 

To hold discourse in various tongues they try ; 

In vain ; the accents unremember'd die. 

Instant as uttered. Thus, on Babel's plain 

Each builder heard his mate, and heard in vain. 

Gama the while, and India's second lord, 

Hold glad j'esponses, as the various word 

The faithful Moor unfolds. The city gate • 

They pass'd, and onward, tower'd in sumptuons state, 

Before them now the sacred temple rose ; 

The portals wide the sculptured shrines disclose. 

The chiefs advance, and, enter'd now, behold 

The gods of wood, cold stone, and shining gold ; 

Various of figure, and of various face. 

As the foul demon will'd the likeness base. . 

Taught to behold the rays of godhead shine 

Fair imag'd in the human face divine, 

* Kotw&l, tho chief oflScer of police in a town.— Forbes' Hindustani 


210 THE LUSIAD. [book vn. 

With sacred horror thriU'd, the Lnsians view'd 
The monster forms, Chimera-like, and rude.^ 
Here, spreading horns a human yisage bore , 
So, frown'd stem Jove in Lybia's fane of yore. 
One body here two various faces rear'd ; 
So, ancient Janus o'er his shrine appeared. 
A hundred arms another brandish'd wide ; 
So, Titan's son * the race of heaven defied. 
And here, a dog his snarling tusks display'd ; 
Anubis, thus in Memphis' hallo w'd shade 
Grinn'd horrible. "With vile prostrations low 
Before these shrines the blinded Indians bow." 
And now, again the splendid pomp proceeds ; 
To India's lord the haughty regent leads. 
To view the glorious leader of the fleet 
Increasing thousands swell o'er every street ; 

' The monster forma, Chimera-like, and rude. — Chimera, a monster 
Blain by Bellerophon. 

" First, dire Chimera's conquest was enjoin'd, 

A mingled monster of no mortal kind ; 

Behind, a dragon's fiery tail was spread, 

A goat's rough body bore a lion's head ; 

Her pitchy nostrils flaky flames expire. 

Her gaping throat emits infernal fire." 

Pope's XL vi. 
60 Titan* s son. — Briareus. 
' Before these shrines the blinded Indians how. — In this instance, 
Camoens has, with great art, deviated from the truth of history. As it 
was the great purpose of his hero to propagate the law of hearten 
in the East, it would have been highly absurd to have represented 
Gama and his attendants as on their knees in a pagan temple. This, 
however, was the case. " Gama, who had been told," says Osorius, 
" that there were many Christians in India, conjectured that the 
temple, to which the catual led him, was a Christian church. At 
their entrance they were met by four priests, who seemed to make 
crosses on their foreheads. The walls were painted with many images. 
In the middle was a little round chapel, in the wall of which, opposite 
to the entrance, stood an image which could hardly be discovered. 
The four priests ascending, some entered the chapel by a little brass 
door, and pointing to the benighted image, cried aloud, *Mary, Mary!* 
The catual and his attendants prostrated themselves on the ground, 
while the Lusians on their bended knees adored the blessed virgin." 
Thus Osorius. Another writer says, that a Portuguese, having some 
doubt, exclaimed, *^ If this be the devil's image, I however worship 


High o'er the roofs the strnggling youths ascend, 
The hoary fathers o'er the portals bend, 
The windows sparkle with the glowing blaze 
Of female eyes, and mingling <£amond's rays. 
And now, the train with solemn state and slow, 
Approach the royal gate, through many a row 
Of fragrant wood- walks, and of balmy bowers, 
Radiant with fruitage, ever gay with flowers. 
Spacious the dome its pillar'd grandeur spread. 
Nor to the burning day high tower'd the head ; 
The citron groves around the windows glow'd. 
And branching palms their grateful shade bestow 'd ; 
The mellow light a pleasing radiance cast ; 
The marble walls DsQdalian sculpture grac'd 
Here India's fate,^ from darkest times of old. 
The wondrous artist on the stone enroll'd ; 

of King Latinus ; — 

Tectum augustum, ingenSy centwn sublime columnisj 
TJrbefuit summa, etc. 

" The palace built by Picus, vast and proud,' "^ 

Supported by a hundred pillars stood, Y 

And round encompassed with a rising wood. J 

The pile o'erlook'd the town, and drew the sight. 
Surprised, at once, with reverence and delight. .... 
Above the portal, carv'd in cedar wood, 
Placed in their ranks their godlike grandsires stood. 
Old Saturn, with his crooked scythe on high ; 
And I talus, that led the colony : 
And ancient Janus with his double face, 
And bunch of keys, the porter of the place. 
There stood Sabinus, planter of the vines. 
On a short pruning-hook his head reclines ; 
And studiously surveys his gen'rous wines. 
Then warlike kings who for their country fought, 
And honourable wounds from battle brought. 
Around the posts hung helmets, darts, and spears ; 
And captive chariots, axes, shields, and bars ; 
And broken beaks of ships, the trophies of their wars 
Above the rest, as chief of all the band 
Was Picus placed, a buckler in his hand ; 
His other wav*d a long divining wand. 

Girt in his Gabin gown the hero sate " 

Dbtdxn, ^n. vii. 


212 THE LX7SIAD. [book th. 

Here, o'er the meadows, by Hydaspes* stream, 
In fair array the marshall*d legions seem : 
A youth of gleeful eye the squadrons led. 
Smooth was his cheek, and glow'd with purest red : 
Around his spear the curling vine-leaves wav'd ; 
And, by a streamlet of the river lav'd, 
Behind her founder, Nysa*s walls were rear'd ; ^ 
So breathing life the ruddy god appear'd, 
Had Semele beheld the smiling boy,* 
The mother's heart had proudly heav'd with joy. 
Unnumber'd here, were seen th' Assyrian throng, 
That drank whole rivers as they march'd along : 
Bach eye seem'd earnest on their warrior queen,* 
High was her port, and furious was her mien; 
Her valour only equaJl'd by her lust ; 
Fast by her side her courser paw'd the dust, 
Her son's vile rival ; reeking to the plain 
Fell the hot sweat-drops as he champ'd the rein. 
And here display'd, most glorious to behold. 
The Grecian banners, op'ning many a fold, 
Seem'd trembling on the gale ; at distance far 
The Gunges lav'd the wide-extended war. 
Here, the blue marble gives the helmets' gleam ; 
Here, from the cuirass shoots the golden beam. 
A proud-eyed youth, with palms unnumber'd gay, 
Of the bold veterans led the brown array ; 
Scornful of mortal birth enshrin'd he rode, 
Call'd Jove his father,' and assum'd the god. 

* Behirid her founder Nffta^a tcoKs %oere recu'd 

-€U distance far 

The Ganges lav*d the vnde-extended war, — 

This IB in tho perspective manner of the beautiful descriptions of 
the figures on the shield of Achilles. — II. xviiL 

' Had Semele beheld the tmiUng hoy. — The Theban Bacchus, to 
whom the Greek fabulists ascribed the Indian expedition oi Sesostris, 
king of Egypt. 

* Semiramis. 

* CkdVd Jove his father, — ^The bon-mot of Olymplas on this pre- 
tension of her son Alexander, was admired by the ' ancients. ^^This 
hot-headed youth, forsooth, cannot be at rest unless he embroil me in 
a quarrel with Juno." — Quint. Gubt. 

BOOK vilJ the lusiad. 213 

While dauntless Gama and his train snrvey'd 
The sculptured walls, the lofty regent said : 
" For nobler wars than these you wond'ring see 
That ample space th' eternal fates decree : 
Sacred to these th' unpictur'd wall remains, 
Unconscious yet of yanquish'd India's chains. 
Assur'd we know the awful day shall come. 
Big with tremendous fate, and India's doom. 
The sons of Brahma, by the god their sire 
Taught to illume the dread divining fire, 
From the drear mansions of the dark abodes 
Awake the dead, or call th' infernal gods ; 
Then, round the flame, while glimm'ring ghastly blue, 
Behold the future scene arise to view. 
The sons of Brahma, in the ma^c hour, 
Beheld the foreign foe tremendous lower ; 
Unknown their tongue, their {ace, and strange attire, 
And their bold eye-balls bum'd with warlike ire : 
They saw the chief o'er prostrate India rear 
The glitt'ring terrors of his awful spear. 
But, swift behind these wint'ry days of woe 
A spring of joy arose in liveliest glow, 
Such gentle manners, leagued with wisdom, reign'rf^ 
In the dread victors, and their rage restrain'd. 
Beneath their sway majestic, wise, and mild, 
Proud of her victors' laws, thrice histppier India smil'd. 
So, to the prophets of the Brahmin train 
The visions rose, that never rose in vain." 

The regent ceas'd ; and now, with solemn pace, 
The chiefs approach the regal hall of grace. 
The tap'stried walls with gold were pictur'd o'er, 
And flow'ry velvet spread the marble floor.^ 
In all the grandeur of the Indian state, 
High on a blazing couch, the m:onarch sat, 
With starry gems the purple curtains shin'd, 
And ruby flowers and golden foliage twin'd 

' The tap*8tried toaUs loith gold were pictur'd der^ 
Andfiyvfry vdvet spread the marhie floor. — 

According to Osorius. 

214 THE LUSIAD. [book tcl 

Around the silver pillars : high, o'er Head 
The golden canopy its radiance shed : 
Of cloth of gold the sov'reign's mantle shone, 
And, his high turban flam'd with precious stone 
Sublime and awful was his sapient mien. 
Lordly his posture, and his brow serene. 
A hoary sire, submiss on bended knee, 
(Low bow'd his head), in Lidia's luxury, 
A leaf, ^ all fragrance to the glowing taste. 
Before the king each little while replaced. 
The patriarch Brahmin (soft and slow he rose). 
Advancing now, to lordly Gaha bows. 
And leads him to the throne ; in silent state 
The monarch's nod assigns the captain's seat ; 
The Lusian train in humbler distance stand : 
Silent, the monarch eyes the foreign band 
With awful mien ; when valiant Gama broke 
The solemn pause, and thus majestic spoke : — 

" From where the crimson sun of ev'ning laves 
His blazing chariot in the western waves, 
I come, the herald of a mighty king. 
And, Iroly vows of lasting friendship bring 
To thee, O monarch, for resounding Fame 
Far to the west has borne thy princely name ; 
All India's sov'reign thou I Nor deem I sue. 
Great as thou art, the humble suppliant's due. 
Whate'er from western Tagus to the Nile, 
Lispires the monarch's wish, the merchant's toil. 
From where the north-star gleams o'er seas of frost, 
To Ethiopia's utmost burning coast, 
Whate'er the sea, whate'er the land bestows. 
In my great monarch's realm unbounded flows. 
Pleas'd thy high grandeur and renown to hear. 
My sov'reign offers friendship's bands sincere : 
Mutual he asks them, naked of disguise, 
Then, every bounty of the smiling skies 
Shower'd on his shore and thine, in mutual flow. 
Shall joyful Commerce on each shore bestow. 

> A lea/,— The Betel. 

BOOK vil] the lusiad. 215 

Our might in war, wliat yanqtiisli'd nations iell 
Beneath our spear, let trembling Afric tell ; 
Survey my floating towers, and let thine ear, 
Dread as it roars, our battle-thunder hear. 
If friendship then thy honest wish explore, 
That dreadful thunder on thy foes shall roar. 
Our banners o'er the crimson field shall sweep. 
And our tall navies ride the foamy deep. 
Till not a foe against thy land shall rear 
Th* invading bowsprit, or the hostile spear : 
My king, thy brother, thus thy wars shall join, 
The glory his, the gainful harvest thine." 

Brave Gama spake ; the pagan king replies, 
" From lands which now behold the morning rise, 
"While eve's dim clouds the Indian sky enfold. 
Glorious to us an ofEer'd league we hold. 
Yet shall our will in silence rest unknown. 
Till what your land, and who the king you own. 
Our council deeply weigh. Let joy the while. 
And the glad feast, the fleeting hours beguile. 
Ah ! to the wearied mariner, long toss'd 
O'er briny waves, how sweet the long-sought coastj 
The night now darkens ; on the friendly shore 
Let soft repose your wearied strength restore, 
Assur'd an answer from our lips to bear. 
Which, not displeas'd, your sovereign lord shall hear. 
More now we add not." ^ From the hall of state 
Withdrawn, they now approach the regent's gate ; 
The sumptuous banquet glows ; all India's pride 
Heap'd on the board the royal feast supplied. 
Now, o'er the dew-drops of the eastern lawn 
Gleam'd the pale radiance of the star of dawn, 
The valiant Gama on his couch repos'd. 
And balmy rest each Lusian eye-lid clos'd : 
When the high catual, watchful to fulfil 
The cantious mandates of his sov'reign's will. 
In secret converse with the Moor retires ; 
And, earnest, much of Lusus' sons inquires ; 

* More now we add not — The tenor of this first conversation 
between the zamorim and Gama^, is according to the truth of history. 

216 THE LUSIAD. [book Tit. 

What laws, what holy rites, what monarch sway'd 
The warlike race ? When thus the jnst Mozaide : — 

" The land from whence these warriors well I know, 
(To neighboring earth my hapless birth I owe) 
Illastrions Spain, along whose western shores 
Grey-dappled eve the dying twilight pours. — 
A wondrous prophet gave their holy lore. 
The godlike seer a virgin mother bore, 
Th' Eternal Spirit on the human race 
(So be they taught) bestow 'd such awful grace. 
In war unmatch d, they rear the trophied crest : 
What terrors oft have thrill'd my infant breast^^ 
When their brave deeds my wond'ring fathers told ; 
How from the lawns, where, crystalline and cold. 
The Guadiana rolls his muixa'ring tide. 
And those where, purple by the Tago's side, 
The lengthening vineyards glisten o*er the field, 
Their warlike sires my routed sires expelled : 
Nor paus'd their rage ; the furious seas they brav'd, 
Nor loftiest walls, nor castled mountains saved ; 
Round Afric*s thousand bays their navies rode. 
And their proud armies o'er our armies trod. 
Nor less, let Spain through all her kingdoms own, 
O'er other foes their dauntless valour shone : 
Let Gaul confess, her mountain-ramparta wild, 
Nature in vain the hoar Pyrenians pil'd. 
No foreign lance could e'er their rage restrain, 
Unconquer'd still the warrior race remain. 
More would you hear, secure your care may trust 
The answer of their lips, so nobly just, 

* What terrors oft have thriWd my infant breast. — The enthusiasm 
with which Monzaida, a Moor, talks of the Portuguese, may perhaps 
to some appear unnatural. Oamoens seems to be aware of this by 
giving a reason for that enthusiasm in the first speech of Monzaida to 
Gama — 

Heav*n sent you here for some great work diviney 

And Heaven inspires my breast your sacred toih to join. 

And, that this Moor did conceive a great affection to Gama, whose 
xeUgion he embraced, and to whom he proved of the utmost service, is 
aooording to the truth of history. 


Conscious of inward worth, of maimers plain. 
Their manly souls the gilded lie disdain. 
Then, let thine eyes their lordly might admire. 
And mark the thunder of their arms of fire : 
The shore, with trembling, hears the dreadful sound. 
And rampir'd walls lie smoking on the ground. 
Speed to the fleet ; their arts, their prudence weigh, 
How wise in peace, in war how dread, survey.'* 

With keen desire the craf tful pagan bum'd 
Soon as the mom in orient blaze retum'd. 
To view the fleet his splendid train prepares ; 
And now, attended by the lordly Nayres, 
The shore they cover, now the oarsmen sweep 
The foamy surface of the azure deep : 
And now, brave Paulus gives the friendly hand. 
And high on Gama*s lofty deck they stand. 
Bright to the day the purple sail-cloths glow, 
Wide to the gale the silken ensigns flow ; 
The pictur*d flags display the warlike strife ; 
Bold seem the heroes, as inspired by life. 
Here, arm to arm, the single combat strains. 
Here, burns the combat on the tented plains 
General and fierce ; the meeting lances thrust, 
And the black blood seems smoking on the dust* * 
With earnest eyes the wond'ring regent views 
The pictured warriors, and their history sues. 
But now the ruddy juice, by Noah found,^ 
In foaming goblets circled swiftly round. 
And o'er the deck swift rose the festive board ; 
Yet, smiling oft, refrains the Indian lord : 
His faith forbade with other tribe to join 
The sacred meal, esteem'd a rite divine." 

* The ruddy juice hy Noah found, — Gten. ix. 20. " And Noah 
began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard, and he drank 
of the wine," etc. 

' His faith forbade vnth other tr^e to join 
The mcred meaZ, esteemed a rite divine, — 

The opinion of the sacredness of the table is very ancient in the East. 
It is plainly to be discovered in the history of Abraham. When 
Melchizedek, a king and priest, blessed Abraham, it is said, '* And he 

218 THE LUBIAD. [book vn. 

In bold vibrations, thrilling on the ear, 
Tbe battle sonnds the Lnsian tmmpets rear ; 
Lond burst the thunders of the arms of fire. 
Slow round the sails the clouds of smoke aspire. 
And rolling their dark volumes o*er the day 
The Lusian war, in dreadful pomp, display. 
In deepest thought the careful regent weigh'd 
The pomp and power at Gama's nod bewray'd ; 
Yet, seem'd alone in wonder to behold 
The glorious heroes, and the wars half told 
In silent poesy. — Swift from the board 
High crown'd with wine, uprose the Indian lord ; 
Both the bold Gamas, and their gen'rous peer, 
The brave Ooello,.rose, prepared to hear 
Or, ever courteous, give the meet reply : 
Fix'd and inquiring was the regent's eye : 
The warlike image of a hoary sire, 
Whose name shall live till earth and time expire, . 
His wonder fix'd, and more than human glow'd 
The hero's look ; his robes of Grecian mode ; 
A bough, his ensign, in his right he wav'd, 
A leafy bough. — But I, fond man depraved ! 
Where would I speed, as madd'ning in a dream. 
Without your aid, ye Nymphs of Tago's stream ! 
Or yours, ye Dryads of Mondego's bowers 1 
Without your aid how vain my wearied powers ! 
Long yet, and various lies my arduous way 
Through lowering tempests and a boundless sea. 

brought forth bread and wine and he blessed him." — Gen. xiv. 18. The 
patriarchs only drank wine, according to Dr. Stukely, on their more 
solemn festivals, when they were said to rejoice be/ore the Lord. Other 
customs of the Hindoos are mentioned by Camoens in this book. If a 
noble should touch a person of another tribe — 

A thousand ritesy and washings o*er and o*erj 
Can scarce his tainted purity restore. 

Nothing, says Osorius, but the death of the unhappy commoner can 
wipe off the pollution. Yet we are told by the same author, that 
Hindoo nobility cannot be forfeited, or even tarnished by the basest 
and greatest of crimes ; nor can one of mean bii-th become great or 
noble by the most illustrious actions. The noblemen, says the same 
writer, adopt the children of their sisters, esteeming there can be no 
other certainty of the relationship of their heirs. 

BOOK ynj THE LU8IAD. 219 

Oh then, propitious hear your son implore. 

And guide my vessel to the happy shore. 

Ah ! see how long what perilous days, what woes 

On many a foreign coast around me rose, 

Aj3, dragg'd by Fortune's chariot-wheels along, 

I sooth'd my sorrows with the warlike song :^ 

Wide ocean's horrors lengthening now around. 

And, now my footsteps trod the hostile ground ; 

Yet, mid each danger of tumultuous war 

Your Lusian heroes ever claim'd my care : 

As Oanace ' of old, ere self-destroy' d. 

One hand the pen, and one the sword employed, 

Degraded now, by poverty abhorr'd, 

The guest dependent at the lordling's board : 

Now blest with all the wealth fond hope could crave. 

Soon I beheld that wealth beneath the wave 

For ever lost ; ' myself escap'd alone, 

On the wild shore all friendless, hopeless, thrown ; 

My life, like Judah's heaven-doom'd king of yore,* 

By miracle prolong'd ; yet not the more 

To end my sorrows : woes succeeding woes 

Belied my earnest hopes of sweet repose : 

In place of bays around my brows to shed 

Their sacred honours, o'er my destin'd head 

Foul Calumny proclaim'd the fraudful tale, 

And left me mourning in a dreary jail.* 

* The warlike song. — Though Camoens began his Lusiad in Por- 
tugal, almost the whole of it was written while on the ocean, while 
in AMca, and in India. — See his Life. 

' As CancLce. — Daughter of Bolus. Her father, having thrown her 
incestuous child to the dogs, sent her a sword, with which she slew 
herself. In Ovid she writes an epistle to her husband-brother, where 
she thus describes herself : — 

Dextra tenet calamumt strictum tenet cUtera ferrum. 

* Soon I beheld that wecUth beneath the wa/ee 
For ever lost, — 

See the Life of Camoens. 

* My life, like Judah^s Heaven-doomed king of yore, — Hezekiah. — See 
Isaiah xxxviii. 

* And left me mourning in a dreary JaiL-^ThiBj and the whole 
paragraph from — 

Degraded naWy by poverty abhorred, 

220 THE LUSIAD. I>oos Tsx. 


Such was the meed, alas ! on me bestow'd, 
Bestow'd by those for whom my numbers glow*d, 
By those who to my toils their laurel honours ow'd. 

Ye gentle nymphs of Tago's rosy bowers, 
Ah, see what lettered patron-lords are yours ! 
Dull as the herds that graze their flow'ry dales, 
To them in vain the injured muse bewails : 
No fostering care their barb'rous hands bestow, 
Though to the muse their fairest fame they owe. 
Ah, cold may prove the future priest of fame 
Taught by my fate : yet, will I not disclaim 
Your smiles, ye muses of Mondego's shade ; 
Be still my dearest joy your happy aid I 
And hear my vow : Not king, nor loftiest peer 
Shall e'er from me the song of flatt'ry hear ; 
Nor crafty tyrant, who in office reigns. 
Smiles on his king, and binds the land in chains ; 
His king's worst foe : nor he whose raging ire. 
And raging wants, to shape his course, conspire ; 
True to the clamours of the blinded crowd. 
Their changeful Proteus, insolent and loud : 
Nor he whose honest mien secures applause. 
Grave though he seem, and father of the laws, 
Who, but Imlf-patriot, niggardly denies 
Each other's merit, and withholds the prize : 
Who spurus the muse,^ nor feels the raptur'd strain, 
Useless by him esteem'd, and idly vain : 

alludes to his fortunes in India. The latter oircumstanoe relates 
particularly to the base and inhuman treatment. he received on his 
return to Goa, after his unhappy shipwreck.— See his Life. 

* Who spurns the muse. — Similarity of condition has produced 
similarity of sentiment in Camoens and Spenser. Each was the 
ornament of his country and his age, and each was cruelly neglected 
by the men of power, who, in truth, were incapable to judge of their 
merit, or to relish their writings. We have seen several of the 
strictures of Camoens on the barbarous nobility of Portugal. The 
similar complaints of Spenser will show, that neglect of genius, how- 
ever, was not confined to the court of Lisbon : — 

^* O grief of griefs t O gall of all good hearts ! 
To see that virtue should despised be 
Of such as first were raised for virtue's parts, 

BOOK vn.] THE LU8IAD. 221 

For him, for these, no wreath my hand shall twine ; 
On other brows th' immortal rays shall shine : 
He who the path of hononr ever trod, 
True to his king, his country, and his God, 
On his blest head my hands shall fix the crown 
Wove of the deathless laurels of renown. 

And now, broad spreading like an aged tree, 
Let none shoot up that nigh them planted be. 
O let not those of whom the muse is scom'd. 
Alive or dead be by the muse adom'd. " 

BuiNS OF Time. 

It is thought Lord Burleigh, who withheld the bounty intended by 
Queen Elizabeth, is here meant. But he is more clearly stigmatized 
in these remarkable lines, where the misery of dependence on court 
favour is painted in colours which must recal several strokes of the 
Lusiad to the mind of the reader : — 

*' Full little knowest thou that hast not tried, 
What hell it is, in suing long to bide ; 
To lose good days, that might be better spent. 
To waste long nights in pensive discontent; 
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow. 
To feed on hope, to pine with fear and sorrow ; 
To have thy princess' grace, yet want her peers' ; 
To have thy asking, yet wait many years . 
To fret thy soul with crosses and with cares, 
To eat thy heart thro* comfortless despairs ; 
To fawn, to crouch, to wait, to ride, to run. 
To spend, to give, to want, to be undone." 

Mother Hubberd's Talb. 

These lines exasperated still more the inelegant, illiberal Burleigh. 
So true is the observation of Mr. Hughes, that, " even the sighs of a 
miserable man are sometimes resented as an affiront by him that is the 
occasion of them." 


222 THB LUSIAP. [book ym. 



Description of the pictures, given by Paulus. The heioes of 
Portugal, from Lusus, one of the companions of Bacchus (who gave 
his name to Portugal), and Ulysses, the founder of Lisbon, down to 
Don Pedro and Don Henrique (Henry), the conquerors of Oeuta, are 
all represented in the porhuits of Gama, and are characterized by 
appropriate verses. Meanwhile the zamorim has recourse to the 
oracles of his false gods, who make him acquainted with the future 
dominion of the Portuguese over India, and the consequent ruin of 
his empire. The Mohammedan Arabs conspire against the Portuguese. 
The zamorim questions the truth of Gama's statement, and charges 
him with being captain of a band of pirates. Gama is obliged to 
give up to the Indians the whole of his merchandise as ransom, 
when he obtains permission to re-embark. He seizes several mer- 
chants of Calicut, whom he detains on board his ship as hostages for 
his two factors, who were on land to sell his merchandise. He after- 
wards liberates the natives, whom he exchanges for his two companions. 
In Mickle's translation this portion of the original is omitted, and the 
factors are released in consequence of a victory gained by Gama. 

WITH eye miinov'd the silent Catual ^ view^'d 
The pictured sire ' with seeming life endn'd ; 
A verdant vine-bough waving in his right, 
Smooth flow'd his sweepy beard of glossy white, 
When thus, as swift the Moor unfolds the word, 
The valiant Paulus to the Indian lord : — 

** Bold though these figures frown, yet bolder far 
Those godlike heroes shin'd in ancient war. 

> Kotw&l, a sort of superintendent or inspector of police. — Fobbbs' 
Hindustani Dictionary. * Lusus. 

BOOK yiii.] THE LUSIAD. 223 

In that hoar sire, of mien serene, august, 

liusus behold, no robber-chief unjust ; 

His cluster'd bough — the same which Bacchus bore ^ — 

He waves, the emblem of his care of yore ; 

The friend of savage man, to Bacchus dear, 

The son of Bacchus, or the bold compeer, 

What time his yellow locks with vine-leaves curl'd, > 

The youthful god subdued the savage world, 

Bade vineyards glisten o'er the dreary waste. 

And humaniz'd the nations as he pass'd. 

Lusus, the lov'd companion of the god, 

In Spain's fair bosom fix'd his last abode. 

Our kingdom founded, and illustrious reign'd 

In those fair lawns, the bless'd Elysium feign'd,' 

* His cltiHer'd houghf the same which Bticchus bore. — Camoens 
immediately before, and in the former book, calls the ensign of Lusus 
a bough ; here he calls it the green thyrsus of Bacchus : — 

verde Tyrsofoi de Bacco tisado. 

The thjrrsus, however, was a javelin twisted with ivy-leaves, used in 
the sacrifices of Bacchus : 

* In those fair lawns the Nested Elysium feign*d. — In this assertion 
our author has the authority of Strabo, a foundation sufficient for a 
poet. Nor are there wanting several Spanish writers, particularly 
Barbosa, who seriously affirm that Homer drew the fine description of 
Elysium, in his fourth Odyssey, from the beautiful valleys of Spain, 
where, in one of his voyages, they say, he arrived. Egypt, however, 
seems to have a better title to this honour. The fable of Charon, 
and the judges of hell, are evidently borrowed from the Egyptian 
rites of burial, and are older than Homer. After a ferryman had 
conveyed the corpse over a lake, certain judges examined the life 
of the deceased, particularly his claim to the virtue of loyalty, and, 
according to the report, decreed or refused the honours of sepulture. 
The place of the catacombs, according to Diodorus Siculus, was 
surrounded with deep canals, beautiful meadows, and a wilderness of 
groves. It is universally known that the greatest part of the Grecian 
fables were fabricated from the customs and opinions of Egypt. 
Several other nations have also claimed the honour of affording the 
idea of the fields of the blessed. Even the Scotch challenge it. 
Many Grecian fables, says an author of that country, are evidently 
founded on the reports of the Phoenician sailors. That these 
navigators traded to the coasts of Britain is certain. In the middle of 
summer, the season when the ancients performed their voyages, for 
about six weeks there is no night over the Orkney Islands ; the disk 
of the sun, during that time, scarcely sinking below the horizon. This 
appearance, together with the calm which usually prevails at that 

224 THE LUSIAD. [book Tin. 

Where, winding oft, the G-nadiana roves, 

And Doupo mnrmurs through the flow'ry groves. 

Here, with his bones, he left his deathless fame, 

And Lnsitania's clime shall ever bear his name. 

That other chief th' embroider'd silk displays, 

Toss*d o'er the deep whole years of weary days. 

On Tago's banks, at last, his vows he paid : 

To wisdom's godhke power, the Jove-bom maid,^ 

Who fir'd his Hps with eloquence divine. 

On Tago's banks he rear'd the hallow'd shrine. 

Ulysses he, though fated to destroy, 

On Asian ground, the heav'n-built towers of Troy,' 

On Europe's strand, more grateful to the skies, 

He bade th' eternal walls of Lisbon rise."® 

season, and the beautiful verdure of the islands, could not fail to excite 
the admiration of the Phoenicians; and their accounts of the place 
naturally afforded the idea that these islands were inhabited by the 
spirits of the just. This, says our author, is countenanced by Homer, 
who places his *' islands of the happy " at the extremity of the ocean. 
That the fables of Scylla, the Gorgones, and several others, were 
founded on the accounts of navigators, seems probable ; and, on this 
supposition, the InsulsB Fortunatie, and Purpurarise, now the Canary 
and Madeira islands, also claim the honour of giving colours to the 
description of Elysium. The truth, however, appears to be this : That 
a place of happiness is reserved for the spirits of the good is the 
natural suggestion of that anxiety and hope concerning the future 
which animates the human breast. All the barbarous nations of 
Africa and America agree in placing their heaven in beautiful islands, 
at an immense distance over the ocean. The idea is universal, and is 
natural to every nation in a state of barbarous simplicity. 

* The goddess Minerva. 

• The Jieav^n-built towers of Troy. — ^Alluding to the fable of 
Keptune, Apollo, and Laomedon. 

' On Europe's strand, more grateftd to the skieSf 
He bade th^ eternal walls of Lisbon rise. — 

For some account of this tradition, see the note on Lusiad, bk. ilL 
p. 76. Ancient traditions, however fabulous, have a good effect in 
poetry. Virgil has not scrupled to insert one, which required an 
apology : — 

Prisca fides factOy sedfama perennis. 

Spenser has given us the history of* Brute and his descendants at full 
length in the Faerie Qneene ; and Milton, it is known, was so fond of 
that absurd legend, that he intended to write a poein on the subject ; 
and by this fondness was induced to mention it as a truth in the 
introduction to his History of England. 


" But who that godlike terror of the plain, 
Who strews the smoking field with heaps of slain ? 
What num'rous legions fly in dire dismay, 
Whose standards wide the eagle's wings display ? " 
The pagan asks : the brother chief ^ replies : — 
"Unconqner'd deem'd, proud Rome's dread standard flies. 
His crook thrown by, fir'd by his nation's woes. 
The hero-shepherd Viriatus rose ; 
His country sav'd proclaim*d his warlike fame. 
And Rome's wide empire trembled at his name. 
That gen'rous pride which Rome to Pyrrhus bore,^ 
To him they show'd not ; for they fear'd him more^ 
Not on the field o'ercome by manly force. 
Peaceful he slept ; and now, a murder'd corse. 
By treason slain, he lay. How stem, behold, 
That other hero, firm, erect, and bold : 
The power by which he boasted he divin'd, 
Beside him pictured stands, the milk-white hind : 
Injur'd by Rome, the stem Sertorius fled 
To Tago's shore, and Lusus' offspring led ; 
Their worth he knew ; in scatter'd flight he drove 
The standards painted with the birds of Jove. 
And lo, the flag whose shining colours own 
The glorious founder of the Lusian throne 1 
Some deem the warrior of Hungarian race,^ 
Some from Lorraine the godlike hero trace. 
From Tagus' banks the haughty Moor expelled, 
Gralicia's sons, and Leon's warriors quell'd, 
To weeping Salem's * ever-hallow*d meads, 
His warlike bands the holy Henry leads ; 
By holy war to sanctify his crown. 
And, to' his latest race, auspicious waft it down." 

^ The brother chief. — ^Paulus de Gama. 

* That genWous pride which Borne to Pyrrhus bore. — When 
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, was at war with the Romans, his physician 
offered to poison him. The senate rejected the proposal, and ac- 
quainted Pyrrhus of the designed treason. Florus remarks on the 
infamous assassination of Viriatus, that the Roman senate did him 
great honour ; ut videretur aliter vinci non potuisse ; it was a confession 
that they could not otherwise conquer him. — Vid. Flor. 1. 17. For a 
fuller account of this great man, see the note on Lusiad, bk. i. p. 9. 

' Some deem the warrior of Hungarian race. — See the note on the 
Lusiad, hk. iii. p. 67. * Jerusalem. 


226 THE LUSIAD. [book Tin. 

*• And who this awful chief ?" aloud exclaiuis 
The wond'ring regent. " O'er the field he flames 
In dazzling steel ; where'er he bends his course 
The battle sinks iDeneath his headlong force : 
Against his troops, though few, the numerous foes 
In vain their spears and tow'ry walls oppose. 
With smoking blood his armour sprinkled o'er, 
High to the knees his courser paws in gore : 
O'er crowns and blood-stain'd ensigns scatter'd round 
He rides ; his courser's brazen hoofs resound." 
"In that great chief," the second Gama cries, 
"The first Alonzo^ strikes thy wond'ring eyes. 
From Lusus' realm the pagan Moors he drove ; 
Heav'n, whom he lov'd, bestow 'd on him such love, 
Beneath him, bleeding of its mortal wonnd, 
The Moorish strength lay prostrate on the ground. 
Nor Ammon's son, nor greater Julius dar'd 
With troops so few, with hosts so num'rous warr'd : 
Nor less shall Fame the subject heroes own : 
Behold that hoary warrior's ragef ul frown ! 
On his young pupil's flight * his burning eyes 
He darts, and, ' Turn thy flying host,' he cries, 
* Back to the field ! ' The vet'ran and the boy 
Back to the field exult with furious joy : 
Their ranks mow'd down, the boastful foe recedes, 
The vanquish'd triumph, and the victor bleeds. 
Again, that mirror of unshaken faith, 
Egaz behold, a chief self-doom'd to death.' 

* The first AUmzo. — King of Portugal. 

^ On his young pupiVs flight — " Some, indeed most, writers say, 
that the queen advancing with her anny towards Guimaraez, the 
king, without waiting till his governor joined him, engaged them 
and was routed : but that afterwards the remains of his army, being 
joined by the troops under the command of Egaz Munitz, engaged the 
army of the queen a second time, and gained a complete victory." — 
Univ. Hist. 

' Egaz beholdj a chief self-doomed to death. — See the same story, in 
bk. iii. p. 71. Though history affords no authentic document of this 
transaction, tradition, the poet's authority, is not silent. And the 
monument of Egaz in the monastery of Pa9o de Souza gives it 
countenance. Egaz and his family are there represented, in baa relief, 
in the attitude and garb, says Gastera, as described by OBunoena. 

BOOK vm.] THE LUSIAD. 227 

Beneath Castilia's sword his monarch lay; 
Homage he vow*d his helpless king shoidd pay ; 
His haughty king reliev'd, the treaty spurns, 
With conscious pride the noble Egaz bums ; 
His comely spouse and infant race he leads, 
Himself the same, in sentenced felons' weeds, 
Around their necks the knotted halters bound. 
With naked feet they tread the flinty ground ; 
And, prostrate now before Castilia's throne. 
Their offer'd lives their monarch's pride atone. 
Ah Rome ! no more thy gen'rous consul boast.^ 
Whose 'lorn submission sav'd his ruin'd host : 
No father's woes assail'd his stedfast mind ; 
The dearest ties the Lusian chief resign'd. 

" There, by the stream, a town besieged behold, 
The Moorish tents the shatter'd walls enfold. 
Fierce as the lion from the covert springs. 
When hunger gives his rage the whirlwind's wings ; 
From ambush, lo, the valiant Fuaz pours, 
And whelms in sudden rout th' astonish'd Moors. 
The Moorish king ^ in captive chains he sends ; 
And, low at Lisbon's throne, the royal captive bends. 
Fuaz again the artist's skill displays ; 
Far o'er the ocean shine his ensign's rays : 
In crackling flames the Moorish galleys fly, , 

And the red blaze ascends the blushing sky : 
O'er A Vila's high steep the flames aspire, 
And wrap the forests in a sheet of fire : 

* Ah Rome I no more thy generous consul hoa4it. — Sc. PosthnmuB, 
vho, overpowered by the Sanmitea, submitted to the indignity of pass- 
ing under the yoke. 

* The Moorish king. — The Alcaydes, or tributary governors under 
the Miramolin * or Emperor of Morocco, are often by the Spanish and 
Portuguese writers styled kings. He who was surprised and taken 
prisoner by Don Fuaz Eoupinho was named Gama. Fuaz, after having 
gained the first naval victory of the Portuguese, also experienced their 
first defeat. With one and twenty sail he attacked fifty-four large 
galleys of the Moors. " The sea," says Brandan, " which had lately 
furnished him with trophies, now supplied him with a tomb." 

* This should be (and is evidently oaly a corruption of), Emir-eUMumenUh i.e. in 
Arabic, Commander of the believerB.-^^. 

228 THE LUSIAD. [book viil 

There seem the waves beneath the prows to boil ; 
And distant, far around for many a mile, 
The glassy deep reflects the ruddy blaze ; 
Far on the edge the yellow light decays, 
And blends with hov'ring blackness. Great and dread 
Thus shone the day when first the combat bled, 
The first our heroes battled on the main, 
The glorious prelude of our naval reign. 
Which, now the waves beyond the burning zone, 
And northern Greenland's frost-bound billows own. 
Again behold brave Fuaz dares the fight ! 
0'erpower*d he sinks beneath the Moorish might ; 
SmiHng in death the martyr-hero lies. 
And lo, his soul triumphant mounts the skies. 
Here now, behold, in warlike pomp portray'd, 
A foreign navy brings the pious aid.^ 
Lo, marching from the decks the squadrons spread. 
Strange their attire, their aspect firm and dread. 
The holy cross their ensigns bold display, 
To Salem's aid they ploughed the wat'ry way : 
Yet first, the cause the same, on Tago's shore 
They dye their maiden swords in pagan gore. 
Proud stood the Moor on Lisbon's warlike towers. 
From Lisbon's walls they drive the Moorish powers : 
Amid the thickest of the glorious fight, 
^o, Henry falls, a gallant German knight, 
A martyr falls : that holy tomb behold. 
There waves the blossom'd palm, the boughs of gold : 
O'er Henry's grave the sacred plant arose, 
And from the leaves,* Heav'n's gift, gay health redundant 

" Aloft, unfurl ! " the valiant Paulas cries. 
Listant, new wars on new-spread ensigns rise 

* A foreign navy "brings the pious aid. — A navy of crusaders, mostly 

- And from the leaves. — This legend is mentioned by some ancient 
Portuguese chronicles. Homer would have availed himself, as Camoens 
has done, of a tradition so enthusiastic, and characteristic of the age. 
Henry was a native of Bonneville near Cologne. " His tomb," says 
Castera, " is still to be seen in the monastery of St. Vincent, but without 
the palm." 

BOOK yjnj THE LUSIAD. 229 

" In robes of white behold a priest advance ! ^ 

His sword in splinters smites the Moorish lance : 

Arronchez won revenges Lira's fall : 

And lo, on fair Savilia's batter'd wall, 

How boldly calm, amid the crashing spears. 

That hero-form the Lusian standard rears. 

There bleeds the war on fair Yandalia*s plain : 

Lo, rushing through the Moors, o'er hills of slain 

The hero rides, and proves by genuine claim 

The son of Egas,^ and his worth the same. 

Pierc'd by his dart the standard-bearer dies ; 

Beneath his feet the Moorish standard lies : 

High o'er the field, behold the glorious blaze ! 

The victor-youth the Lusian flag displays. 

Lo, while the moon through midnight azure rides, 

From the high wall adown his spear-staff glides 

The dauntless Gerald : ^ in his left he bears 

Two watchmen's heads, his right the falchion rears : 

The gate he opens, swift from ambush rise 

His ready bands, the city falls his prize : 

Evora still the grateful honour pays. 

Her banner' d flag the mighty deed displays : 

There frowns the hero ; in his left he bears 

The two cold heads, his right the falchion rears. 

^ In robes of white behold a priest advance. — Thestonius, prior of, 
the regulars of St. Augustine of Conymbra. Some ancient chronicles 
relate this circumstance as mentioned by Camoens. Modem writers 
assert, that he never quitted his breviary. — Casteba. 

* The son of Egos. — He was named Mem Moniz, and was son of 
Egas Moniz, celebrated for the surrender of himself and family to the 
King of Castile, as already mentioned. 

' ITie dauntless Gerald. — " He was a man of rank, who, in order to avoid 
the legal punishment to which several crimes rendered him obnoxious, 
put himself at the head of a party of freebooters. Tiring, however, 
of that life, he resolved to reconcile himself to his sovereign by some 
noble action. Full of this idea, one evening he entered Evora, which 
then belonged to the Moors. In the night he killed the sentinels of one 
of the gates, which he opened to his companions, who soon became 
masters of the place. This exploit had its desired effect. The king 
pardoned Gerald, and made him governor of Evora. A knight with a 
sword in one hand, and two heads in the other, from that time becamp 
the armorial bearing of the city." — Casteba. 

230 THE LUSIAD. [book vhl 

Wrong'd by. his king/ and burning for revenge, 

Behold his arms that proud Castilian change ; 

The Moorish bucklet on his breas't he bears, 

And leads the fiercest of the pagan spears. 

Abrantes falls beneath his raging force. 

And now to Tagus bends his furious course. 

Another fate he met on Tagus' shore, 

Brave Lopez from his brows the laurels tore ; 

His bleeding army strew'd the thirsty ground, 

And captive chains the rageful leader bound. 

Resplendent far that holy chief behold ! 

Aside he throws the sacred staff of gold, 

And wields the spear of steel. How bold advance 

The numerous Moors, and with the rested lance 

Hem round the trembling Lusians. Calm and bold 

Still towers the priest, and lo, the skies unfold : ^ 

Cheer'd by the vision, brighter than the day, 

The Lusians trample down the dread array 

Of Hagar's legions : on the reeking plain 

Low, with their slaves, four haughty kings lie slain. 

In vain Alcazar rears her brazen walls. 

Before his rushing host Alcazar falls. 

There, by his altar, now the hero shines. 

And, with the warrior's palm, his mitre twines. 

That chief behold : though proud Castilia's host 

He leads, his birth shall Tagus ever boast. 

As a pent flood bursts headlong o'er the strand 

So pours his fury o'er Algarbia's land : 

Nor rampir'd town, nor castled rock afford 

The refuge of defence from Payo's sword. 

* Wronged by his king. — Don Pedro Fernando de Castro, injured by 
the family of Lara, 'and denied redress by the King of Castile, took the 
infamous revenge of bearing arms against his native country. At the 
head of a Moorish army he committed several outrages in Spain ; but 
was totally defeated in Portugal. 

* And lo, the skies unfold. — " According to some ancient Portuguese 
histories, Don Matthew, bishop of Lisbon, in the reign of Alonso L 
attempted to reduce Alcazar, then in possession of the Moors. His 
troops, being suddenly surrounded by a numerous party of the enemy, 
were ready to fly, when, at the prayers of the bishop, a venerable old 
man, clothed in white, with a red cross on his breast, appeared in the 
air. The miracle dispelled the fears of the Portuguese ; the Moors were 
defeated, and the conquest of Alcazar crowned the victory." — Oastera. 

BOOK vm.] THE LUSIAD. 231 

B J night-veird art proud Sylves falls his prey, 

And Tavila's high walls, at middle day. 

Fearless he scales : her streets in blood deplore 

The seven brave hunters murder'd by the Moor.^ 

These three bold knights how dread ! * Thro* Spain and 

At joust and tourney with the tilted lance 
Victors they rode : Castilia*s court beheld 
Her peers overthrown ; the peers with rancour swell'd : 
The bravest of the three their swords surround ; 
Brave Ribeir strews them vanquished o'er the ground. " 
ISTow let thy thoughts, all wonder and on fire, 
That darling son of warlike Fame admire. 
Prostrate at proud Castilia's monarch's feet 
His land lies trembling : lo, the nobles meet : 
Softly they seem to breathe, and forward bend 
The servile neck ; each eye distrusts his friend ; 
Fearful each tongue to speak; each bosom cold: 
When, coloured with stern rage, erect and bold. 
The hero rises : * Here no foreign throne 
Shall fix its base ; my native king alone 
Shall reign.' Then, rushing to the fight, he leads ; 
Low, vanquish'd in the dust, Castilia bleeds. 
Where proudest hope might deem it vain to dare, 
God led him on, and crown'd the glorious war. 

^ Her streets in blood deplore 
The seven brave hunters murdered by the Moor, — 

'' During a truce with the Moors, six cavaliers of the order of St. James 
were, while on a hunting party, surrounded and killed by a numerous 
body of the Moors. During the fight, in which the gentlemen sold 
their lives dear, a common carter, named Garcias Rodrigo, who chanced 
to pass that way, came generously to their assistance, and lost his life 
along with them. The poet, in giving all seven the same title, shows 
us that virtue constitutes true nobility. Don Payo de Correa, grand 
master of the order of St. James, revenged the death of these brave 
unfortunates by the sack of Tavila, where his just rage put the garri- 
son to the sword." — Castera. 

2 These three bold knights how dread. — Nothing can give us a 
stronger picture of the romantic character of their age, than the man- 
ners of these champions, who were gentlemen of birth ; and who, in 
the true spirit of knight-errantry, went about from court to court in 
quest of adventures. Their names were, Goncalo Ribeiro ; Fernando 
Martinez de Santarene; and Vasco Anez, foster-brother to Mary, 
queen of Castile, daughter of Alonzo IV. of Portugal. 

232 THE LUSIAD. [book \m. 

Thongli fierce, as num'rous, are the kosts tliat dwell 

By Betis' stream, these hosts before him fell. 

The fight behold : while absent from his bands, 

Press'd on the step of flight his army stands, 

To call the chief a herald speeds away : 

Low, on his knees, the gallant chief survey ! 

He pours his soul, with lifted hands implores. 

And Heav'n's assisting arm, inspired, adores. 

Panting, and pale, the herald urges speed : 

With holy trust of victory decreed. 

Careless he answers, ' Nothing urgent calls : ' 

And soon the bleeding foe before him falls. 

To Numa, thus, the pale patricians fled — 

' The hostile squadrons o'er the kingdom spread ! ' 

They cry ; unmov'd, the holy king replies — 

* And I, behold, am ofE'ring sacrifice ! ' ^ 

Earnest, I see thy wond'ring eyes inquire 

Who this illustrious chief, his country's sire ? 

The Lusian Scipio well might speak his fame. 

But nobler Nunio shines a greater name : ^ 

On earth's green bosom, or on ocean grey, 

A greater never shall the sun survey. 

" Known by the silver cross, and sable shield. 
Two Knights of Malta ' there command the field ; 

^ And I, heholdf am offering sacrifice. — This line, the simplicity of 
which, I think, contains great dignity, is adopted from Fanshaw — 

" And I, ye see, am offering sacrifice ; " 

who has here caught the spirit of the original — 

A qu&m Ihe a dura nova estava dandoy 
Pois eu responde estou sacrificando ; 

i.e. To whom when they told the dreadful tidings, " And I," Jie replies, 
' am sacrificing." The piety of Numa was crowned with victory. — Vid. 
Tlut. in vit. Numsa. 

2 The Lusian Scipio weU might speak his fame, 
But nobler Nunio shines a greater name. — 

Castera justly observes the happiness with which Camoens introduces 
the name of this truly great man. " II va" says he, " le nommer tout it 
Vheure avec une adresse et une magnificence digne d*un si beau sujet." 

* Two knights of Malta. — These knights were first named Knights 
Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem, afterwards Knights of Bh(xles, 

BOOK vm.] THE LUSIAD. 233 

From Tago's banks they drive the fleecy prey, 
And the tir'd ox lows on his weary way : 
When, as the falcon through the forest glade 
Darts on the lev'ret, from the brown-wood shade 
Darts Roderic on their rear ; in scattered flight 
They leave the goodly herds the victor's right. 
Again, behold, in gore he bathes his sword ; 
His captive friend, ^ to liberty restored, 
Glows to review the cause that wrought his woe, 
The cause, his loyalty, as taintless snow. 
Here treason's well^eam'd meed allures thine eyes,* 
Low, grovelling in the dust, the traitor dies ; 
Great Elvas gave the blow. Again, behold. 
Chariot and steed in purple slaughter roll'd : 
Great Elvas triumphs ; wide o'er Xeres' plain 
Around him reeks the noblest blood of Spain. 

from whence they were driven to Messina, ere Malta was assigned to 
them. By their oath of knighthood they were bound to protect the 
Holy Sepulchre from the profanation of infidels; immediately on 
taking this oath, they retired to their colleges, where they lived on 
their revenues in all th^ idleness of monkish luxury. Their original 
habit was black, with a white cross; their arms guleSf a cross, 

* Hi8 captive friend. — Before John I. mounted the throne of Portu- 
gal, one Vasco Porcallo was governor of Villaviciosa. Roderic de 
Landroal and his friend, Alvarez Cuytado, having discovered that he 
was in the interest of the King of Castile, drove him from his town and 
fortress. On the establishment of King John, Porcallo had the art to 
obtain the favour of that prince; but, no sooner was he -re-instated in 
the garrison, than he deUvered it up to the Castilians ; and plundered 
the house of Cuytado, whom, with his wife, he made prisoner and, 
under, a numerous party, ordered to be sent to Oliven^a. Koderic de 
Landroal, hearing of this, attacked and defeated the escort, and set his 
friend at liberty. — Castera. 

^ Here treason^s well-eam^d meed allures thine eyes. — ^While the 
kingdom of Portugal was divided, some holding with John the newly 
elected king, and others with the King of Castile, Roderic Marin, 
governor of Campo-Major, declared for the latter. Fernando d'Elvas 
endeavoured to gain him to the interest of his native prince, and a 
conference, with the usual assurances of safety, was agreed to. Marin, 
at this meeting, seized upon Elvas, and sent him prisoner to his castle. 
Elvas having recovered his liberty, a few days after met his enemy in 
the field, whom, in his turn, he made captive ; and the traitorous 
Marin, notwithstanding the endeavours of their captain to save his 
life, met the reward of his treason from the soldiers of Elvas. — Partly 
from Castera. 

234 THE LUSIAD. [book vm. 

" Here Lisbon's spacious harbour meets tbe view : 
How vast the foe's, the Lusian fleet how few ! 
Castile's proud war-ships, circling roand, enclose 
The Lusian galleys ; through their thund'ring rows, 
Fierce pressing on, Pereira fearless rides, 
His hook'd irons grasp the adm'ral's sides : 
Confusion maddens : on the dreadless knight 
Castilia's navy pours its gather'd might : 
Pereira dies, their self-devoted prey, 
And safe the Lusian galleys speed away.^ 

" Lo, where the lemon- trees from yon green hill 
Throw their cool shadows o'er the crystal rill ; 
There twice two hundred fierce Castilian foes 
Twice eight, forlorn, of Lusian race enclose ; 
Forlorn they seem ; but taintless flow'd their blood 
From those three hundred who of old withstood ; 
Withstood, and from a thousand Romans tore 
The victor- wreath, what time the shepherd ^ bore 
The leader's staff of Lusus : equal flame 
Inspir'd these few,® their victory the same. 
Though twenty lances brave each single spear, 
Never the foes superior might to fear 
Is our inheritance, our native right, 
Well tried, well prov'd in many a dreadful fight. 

" That dauntless earl behold ; on Libya's coast, 
Far from the succour of the Lusian host,* 

^ And safe the Lusian galleys speed away. — A numerous fleet of the 
Castilians being on their way to lay siege to Lisbon, Ruy Pereyra, 
the Portuguese commander, seeing no possibility of victory, boldly 
attacked the Spanish admiral. The fury of his onset put the Castilians 
in disorder, and allowed the Portuguese galleys a safe escape In this 
brave piece of service the gallant Pereyra lost his life. — Castera. 

* The shepherd. — Viriatus. 

^ Equal flame inspired these few. — The Castilians having laid siege 
to Almada, a fortress on a moimtain near Lisbon, the garrison, in the 
utmost distress for water, were obliged at times to make sallies to the 
bottom of the hill in quest of it. Seventeen Portuguese thus employed 
were one day attacked by four hundred of the enemy. They made a 
brave defence, and effected a happy retreat into their fortress. — Castera. 

* Far from the succour of the Lusian host. — When Alonzo V. took 
Ceuta, Don Pedro de Menezes was the only officer in the army who 

BOOK vra.] THE LU8IAD. 235 

Twice hard besieg'd, he holds the Ceatan towers 
Against the banded might of Afric's powers. 
That other earl ; ^ — behold the port he bore, 
So, trod stern Mars on Thracia's hills of yore. 
What groves of spears Alcazar's gates surround ! 
There Afric's nations blacken o'er the ground. 
A thousand ensigns, glitt'ring to the day. 
The waning moon's slant silver horns display. 
In vain their rage ; no gate, no turret falls, 
The brave De Vian guards Alcazar's walls. 
In hopeless conflict lost his king appears ; 
Amid the thickest of the Moorish spears » 
Plunges bold Vian : in the glorious strife 
He dies, and dying saves his sov'reign's life. 

" Illustrious, lo, two brother-heroes shine,* 
Their birth, their deeds, adorn the royal line ; 
To ev'ry king of princely Europe known. 
In ev'ry court the gallant Pedro shone. 
The glorious Henry ^ — kindling at his name 
Behold my sailors' eyes all sparkle flame ! 

was willing to become governor of that fortress ; which, on account of 
the uncertainty of succour from Portugal, and the earnest desire of 
the Moors to regain it, was deemed untenable. He gallantly defended 
his post in two severe sieges. 

^ Thai other earl. — He was the natural son of Don Pedro de Menezes. 
Alonzo V. one day, having ridden out from Ceuta with a few attendants, 
was attacked by a numerous party of the Moors, when De Vian, and 
some others under him, at the expense of their own lives, purchased 
the safe retreat of their sovereign. 

^ Two hrother-heroes shine. — The sons of John I. Don Pedro was 
called the Ulysses of his age, on account both of his eloquence and 
his voyages. He visited almost every court of Europe, but he prin- 
cipally distinguished himself in Germany, where, under the standards 
of the Emperor Sigismond, he signalized his valour in the war against 
the Turks.— Casteba. 

^ The glorious Henry. — In pursuance of the reasons assigned in the 
preface, the translator has here taken the liberty to make a transposi- 
tion in the order of his author. In Camoens, Don Pedro de Menezes, 
and his son Do Vian, conclude the description of the pictured ensigns. 
Don Henry, the greatest man perhaps that ever Portugal produced, 
has certainly the best title to close this procession of the Lusian heroes. 
And, as he was the father of navigation, particularly of the voyage of 
Gama, to sum up the narrative with his encomium has even some 
critical propriety. [These 

236 THE LUSIAD. [book vm. 

Henry the chief, who first, by Heav'n inspir'd, 

To deeds unknown before, the sailor fir'd, 

The conscious sailor left the sight of shore, 

And dar'd new oceans, never ploughed before. 

The various wealth of ev*ry distant land 

He bade his fleets explore, his fleets command. 

The ocean's great discoverer he shines ; 

Nor less his honours in the martial lines : 

The painted flag the cloud- wrapt siege displays. 

There Ceuta's rocking wall its trust betrays. 

Black yawns the breach ; the point of many a spear 

Gleams through the smoke ; loud shouts astound the ear. 

Whose step first trod the dreadful pass ? whose sword 

Hew*d its dark way, first with the foe begor'd ? 

'Twas thine, O glorious Henry, first to dare 

The dreadful pass, and thine to close the war. 

Taught by his might, and humbled in her gore. 

The boastful pride of Afric tower'd no more. 

" Numerous though these, more numerous warriors shine 
Th' illustrious glory of the Lusian line. 
But ah, forlorn, what shame to barb'rous pride ! ^ 
Friendless the master of the pencil died ; 

These observations were suggested by the conduct of Camoens, 
whose design, like that of Virgil, was to write a poem which might 
contain aU the triumphs of his country. As the shield of ^neas sup- 
plies what could not be introduced in the vision of Elysium, so the 
ensigns of Gama complete the purpose of the third and fourth Lusiads. 
The use of that long episode, the conversation with the King of 
Melinda, and its connection with the subject, have been already 
observed. The seeming episode of the pictures, while it fulfils the 
promise — 

ATid aU my country's loars the song adorn, 

is also admirably connected with the conduct of the poem. The 
Hindoos naturally desire to be Informed of the country, the history, 
and power of their foreign visitors, and Paulus sets it before their 
eyes. In every progression of the scenery the business of the poem 
advances. The regient and his attendants are struck with the warlike 
grandeur and power of the strangers, and to accept of their friend- 
ship, or to prevent the forerunners of so martial a nation from carrying 
home the tidings of the discovery of India, becomes the great object of 
their consideration. 

* But ah, forlorn, what shame to harhWous pride. — In the original. — 

BOOK vm.] THE LU8IAD. 237 

Immortal fame his deathless labours gave ; 
Poor man, he sunk neglected to the grave ! " 

The gallant Paulus faithful thus explained 
The various deeds the pictured flags contained. 
Still o'er and o'er, and still again antir'd, 
The wond'ring regent of the wars inquir'd : 
Still wond'ring, heard the various pleasing tale. 
Till o'er the decks cold sigh'd the ev'ning gale : 
The faUing darkness dimm'd the eastern shore, 
And twilight hover'd o'er the billows hoar 
Far to the west, when, with his noble band. 
The thoughtful regent sought his native strand. 

O'er the tall mountain-forest's waving boughs 
Aslant, the new moon's slender horns arose ; 
Near her pale chariot shone a twinkling star, 
And, save the murm'ring of the wave afar, 
Deep-brooding silence reign'd ; each labour clos'd, 
In sleep's soft arms the sons of toil repos'd. 
And now, no more the moon her glimpses shed, 
A sudden, black- wing'd cloud the sky o'erspread, 
A sullen murmur through the woodland groan'd, 
In woe-swoU'n sighs the hollow winds bemoan'd : 
Borne on the plaintive gale, a patt'ring shower 
Increas'd the horrors of the'e^ hour. 

Mas faUamlhes pincelf faltamlhes cores, 
Honray premio, favor, que as artes crido. 

" But the pencil was wanting, colours were wanting, honour, reward, 
favour, the nourishers of the arts." This seemed to the translator as 
an impropriety, and contrary to the purpose of the whole speech of 
Paulus, which was to give the catual a high idea of Portugal. In the 
fate of the imaginary painter, the Lusian poet gives us the picture of 
his own, and resentment wrung this impropriety from him. The 
spirit of the complaint, however, is preserved in the translation. The 
couplet — 

" Immortal fame his deathless labours gave ; 
Poor man, he sunk neglected to the grave 1 " 

is not in the original. It is the sigh of indignation over the unworthy 
fate of the unhappy Camoens. 

238 THE LUSIAD. [book viii. 

Thus, when the God of earthquakes rocks the ground, 

He gives the prelude in a dreary sound ; 

O'er nature's face a horrid gloom he throws, 

With dismal note the cock unusual crows, 

A shrill- voic'd howling trembles thro' the air, 

As passing ghosts were weeping in despair ; 

In dismal yells the dogs confess their fear, 

And shiv'ring, own some dreadful presence near. 

So, lower'd the night, the sullen howl the same. 

And, 'mid the black- wing'd gloom, stem Bacchus came ; 

The form, and garb of Hagar's son he took. 

The ghost-like aspect, and the threat'ning look.^ 

Then, o'er the pillow of a furious priest. 

Whose burning zeal the Koran's lore profess'd, 

Reveal'd he stood, conspicuous in a dream. 

His semblance shining, as the moon's pale gleam : 

"And guard," he cries, "my son, O timely guard. 

Timely defeat the dreadful snare prepar'd : 

And canst thou, careless, unaffected, sleep, 

While these stem, lawless rovers of the deep 

Fix on thy native shore a foreign throne. 

Before whose steps thy latest race shall groan ! " 

He spoke ; cold horror shook the Moorish priest ; 

He wakes, but soon reclines in wonted rest : 

An airy phantom of the slumb'ring brain 

He deem'd the vision ; when the fiend again, 

With sterner mien, and fiercer accent spoke : 

" Oh faithless ! worthy of the foreign yoke ! 

And know'st thou not thy prophet sent by Heav'n, 

By whom the Koran's sacred lore was giv'n, 

God's chief est gift to men : and must I leave 

The bowers of Paradise, for you to grieve, 

For you to watch, while, thoughtless of your woe, 

Ye sleep, the careless victims of the foe ; 

The foe, whose rage will soon with cruel joy, 

If unoppos'd, my sacred shrines destroy? 

Then, while kind Heav'n th' auspicious hour bestows, 

Let ev'ry nerve their infant strength oppose. 

^ The ghost-like aspect <md the threafning look. — ^Mohammed, by some 
historians described as of a pale livid complexion, and trux aspectus 
et vox terribUiSf of a fierce threatening aspect, voice, and demeanoor. 

BOOK vra.] THE LUSIAD. 239 

When, softly nslier'd by tlie milky dawn, 
The sun first rises ^ o'er the daisied lawn. 
His silver lustre, as the shining dew 
Of radiance mild, unhurt the eye may view : 
But, when on high the noon- tide flaming rays 
Give all the force of living fire to blaze, 

* Wherij softly ushered hy the milky dawn. 
The sun first rises. — 

** I deceive myself greatly," says Castera, " if this simile is not the 
most noble and the most natural that can be found in any poem. 
It has been imitated by the Spanish comedian, the illustrious Lopez 
de Vega, in his comedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, act i. sc. 1 : — 

Como mirar ptiede ser 

El sol al amanecer, 

I quando se endende^ no" 

Castera adds a very loose translation of these Spanish lines in French 
verse. The literal English is. As the sun may he beheld at its rising, 
hut, when illustriously kindled, cannot. Naked, however, as this is, the 
imitation of Camoens is evident. As Castera is so very bold in his 
encomium of this fine simile of the sun, it is but justice to add his 
translation of it, together with the original Portuguese, and the trans- 
lation of Fanshaw. Thus the French translator : — 

Les yeux peuvent soutenir la clart^ du soleil naissant, mais lorsquHl 
s'est avance' dans sa carriere lumineuse, et que ses rayons rfpandent les 
ardeurs du midi, on tucherait en vain de Venvisa>ger ; un 'prompt aveugle- 
ment serait le prix de cette auda^. 

Thus elegantly in the original : — 

" Em quanto he fraca a for9a desta gente, 
Ordena como em tudo se resista, 
Porque quando o Sol sahe, facilmente 
Se pode nolle por a aguda vista : 
Porem despois que sobe claro, & ardente, 
Se a agudeza dos olhos o conquista 
Tao cega fica, quando ficareis, 
Se raizes criar Ihe nao tolheis." 

And thus humbled by Fanshaw : — 

" Now whilst this people's strength is not yet knit, 
Think how ye may resist them by all ways. 
For when the Sun is in his nonage yit. 
Upon his morning beauty men may gaze ; 
But let him once up to his zenith git. 
He strikes them blind with his meridian rays / 
So blind will ye be, if ye look not too*t, 
If ye permit these ced^irs to take root." 

240 THE LUSIAD. [book vm. 

A giddy darkness strikes the conqner'd sight, 
That dares, in all his glow, the lord of light. 
Such, if on India's soil the tender shoot 
Of these proiid cedars fix the stubborn root. 
Such, shall your power before them sink decayed, 
And India's strength shall wither in their shade." 

He spoke ; and, instant from his vot'ry's bed 
Together with repose, the demon fled ; 
Again cold horror shook the zealot's frame, 
And all his hatred of Messiah's name 
Bum'd in his venom'd heart, while, veil'd in night. 
Right to the palace sped the demon's flight. 
Sleepless the king he found, in dubious thought ; 
His conscious fraud a thousand terrors brought : 
All gloomy as the hour, around him stand. 
With haggard looks, the hoary Magi band : ^ 
To trace what fates on India's wide domain 
Attend the rovers from unheard-of Spain, 
Prepar'd, in dark futurity, to prove 
The hell-taught rituals of infernal Jove : 
Mutt'ring their charms, and spells of dreary sound, 
With naked feet they beat the hollow ground ; 
Blue gleams the altar's flame along the walls. 
With dismal, hollow groans the victim falls ; 
With earnest eyes the priestly band explore 
The entrails, throbbing in the living gore. 
And lo, permitted by the power divine, 
The hov'ring demon gives the dreadful sign." 

^ Around him standf 
With haggard looks, the hoary Magi hand, — 

The Brahmins, the diviners of India. Ammianus Marcellinus, 1. 23, 
says, that the Persian Magi derived their knowledge from the Brach- 
manes of India. And Anrianus, 1. 7, expressly gives the Brahmins 
the name of Magi. The Magi of India, says he, told Alexander, on 
his pretensions to divinity, that in everything he was like other men, 
except that he took less rest, and did more mischief. The Brahmins 
are never among modem writers called Magi. 

* The hov'ring demon gives the dreadful sign. — This has an allusion 
to the truth of history. Barros relates, that an augur being brought 
before the Zamorim, " Em hum vaso de agua The mostrara huntu fuu>8, 
qu£ vin ham 4e muy longe para a India, e que a gerUe d*eUa8 seria total 

BOOK vm.] THE LUSIAD. 241 

Here fnrioTis War her gleamy falchion draws, 

Here lean-ribb'd Famine writhes her falling jaws ; 

Dire as the fiery pestilential star 

Darting his eyes, high on his trophied car, 

Stem Tyranny sweeps wide o'er India's ground ; 

On vnlture-wings fierce Rapine hovers round ; 

Ills after ills, and India's fetter'd might, 

Th' eternal yoke.^ Loud shrieking at the sight, 

The starting wizards from the altar fly, 

And silent horror glares in ev'ry eye : 

Pale stands the monarch, lost in cold dismay. 

And, now impatient, waits the ling'ring day. 

With gloomy aspect rose the ling'ring dawn. 
And dropping tears flow'd slowly o'er the lawn ; 
The Moorish priest, with fear and vengeance fraught. 
Soon as the light appear'd his kindred sought ; 
Appall' d, and trembling with ungen'rous fear. 
In secret council met, Ms tale they hear ; 
As, check'd by terror or impell'd by hate, 
Of various means they ponder and debate, 

destruigam doa Mouros de aquellas paries. — In a vessel of water he 
showed him some ships which from a great distance came to India, the 
people of which would effect the utter subversion of the Moors." 
Camoens has certainly chosen a more poetical method of describing 
this divination, a method in the spirit of Virgil ; nor in this is he 
inferior to his great master. The supernatural flame which seizes on 
Lavinia while assisting at the sacrifice alone excepted, every other 
part of the augury of Latinus, and his dream in the Albunean forest, 
whither he went to consult his ancestor, the god Faunus, in dignity 
and poetical colouring, cannot come in comparison with the divination 
of the Magi, and the appearance of the demon in the dream of th^ 
Moorish priest. 

* Th* eternal yoke, — This picture, it may perhai>s be said, is but a 
bad compliment to the heroes of the Lusiad, and the fruits of their 
discovery. A little consideration, however, will vindicate Camoens. It 
is the demon and the enemies of the Portuguese who procure this 
divination ; everything in it is dreadful, on purpose to determine the 
zamorim to destroy the fleet of Gama. In a former prophecy of the 
conquest of India (when the catual desQribes the sculpture of the 
royal palace), our poet has been careful to ascribe the happiest effects 
to the discovery of his heroes : — 

" Beneath their sway majestic, wise, and mild. 
Proud of her victors* laws, thrice happier India smil'd." 

242 THE LUSIAD. [book vm. 

Against tlie Lnsian train wliat arts employ, 

By force to slanghter, or by frand destroy ; 

Now black, now pale, their bearded cheeks appear, 

As boiling rage prevails, or boding fear ; 

Beneath their shady brows, their eye-balls roll, 

Nor One soft gleam bespeaks the gen'rons soul ; 

Through quiv'ring lips they draw their panting breath. 

While their dark fraud decrees the works of death ; 

Nor unresolved the power of gold to try 

Swift to the lordly catual's gate they hie. — 

Ah, what the wisdom, what the sleepless care 

Efl&cient to avoid the traitor's snare ; 

What human power can give a king to know 

The smiling aspect of the lurking foe ! 

So let the tyrant plead.^ — The patriot king 

Knows men, knows whence the patriot virtues spring ; 

From inward worth, from conscience firm and bold, 

(Not from the man whose honest name is sold). 

He hopes that virtue, whose unalter'd weight 

Stands fix'd, unveering with the storms of state* 

Lur'd was the regent with the Moorish gold, 
And now agreed their fraudf ul course to hold. 
Swift to the king the regent's steps they tread ; 
The king they found o'erwhelm'd in sacred dread. 
The word they take, their ancient deeds relate, 
Their ever faithful service of the state ; * 

^ 80 let the tyrant 'plead. — In this short declamation, a seeming 
excrescence, the business of the poem in reality is carried on. The 
zamorim, and his prime minister, the catual, are artfully characterised 
in it ; and the assertion — 

iMr'd VKL8 the regent with the Moorish gold, 

is happily introduced by the declamatory reflections which immediately 
precede it. 

• The Moors their ancient deeds reUUe, 

Their ever-faithful service of the sttUe, — 

An explanation of the word Moor is here necessary. When the 
East afforded no more field for the sword of the conqueror, the 
Baraceus, assisted by the Moors, who had embraced their religion, 
laid the finest countries in Europe in blood and desolation. As 
their various embarkations were from the empire of Morocco, the 

BOOK vraj THE LUSIAD. 243 

** For ages long, from shore to distant shore 

For thee our ready keels the traffic bore : 

For thee we dar'd each horror of the wave ; 

Whatever thy treasures boast our labours gave. 

And wilt thou now confer our long-eam*d due, 

Confer thy favour on a lawless crew ? 

The race they boast, as tigers of the wold 

Bear that proud sway, by justice uncontroU'd. 

Yet, for their crimes, expell'd that bloody home, 

These, o*er the deep, rapacious plund'rers roam. 

Their deeds we know ; round Af ric's shores they came, 

And spread, where'er they pass'd, devouring flame ; 

Mozambique's towers, enroU'd in sheets of fire, 

Blaz'd to the sky, her own funereal pyre. 

Imperial Calicut shall feel the same. 

And these proud state-rooms feed the funeral flame ; 

While many a league far round, their joyful eyes 

Shall mark old ocean reddening to the skies. 

Such dreadful fates, o'er thee, O king, depend, 

Yet, with thy fall our fate shall never blend : 

Ere o'er the east arise the second dawn 

Our fleets, our nation from thy land withdrawn, 

In other climes, beneath a kinder reign 

Shall fix their port : yet may the threat be vain ! 

Europeans gave the name of Moors to all the professors of the 
Mohammedan religion. In the same manner the eastern nations 
blended all the armies of the Crusaders under one appellation, 
and the Franksy of whom the army of Godfrey was mostly composed, 
became their common name for all the inhabitants of the West. 
Before the arrival of Gama, as already observed, all the traffic of 
the East, from the Ethiopian side of Africa to China, was in the 
hands of Arabian Mohammedans, who, without incorporating with the 
pagan natives, had their colonies established in every country 
commodious for commerce. These the Portuguese called Moors ; and 
at present the Mohammedans of India are called the Moors, of 
Hindostan by our English writers. The intelligence these^ Moors 
gave to one another, relative to the actions of Gama ; the general 
terror vnth which they beheld the appearance of Europeans, whose 
rivalship they dreaded as the destruction of their power ; the various 
frauds and arts they employed to prevent the return of one man of 
Gama's fleet to Europe, and their threat to withdraw from the 
dominions of the zamorim, are all according to the truth of history. 
The speeches of the zamorim and of Gama, which follow, are also 
founded in truth. 

244 THE LUSIAD. Hbook jm. 

If wiser thon with, us thy powers employ, 
Soon shall our powers the robber-crew destroy. 
By their own arts and secret deeds o'ercome, 
Here shall they meet the fate escaped at home." 

While thns the priest detained the monarch's ear, 
His cheeks confessed the quiv'ring pulse of fear. 
Unconscions of the worth that fires the brave. 
In state a monarch, but in heart a slave. 
He view'd brave Yasco, and his gen'rous train. 
As his own passions stamp'd the conscious stain : 
Nor less his rage the fraudf ul regent fir'd ; 
And valiant Gama's fate was now conspired. 

Ambassadors from India GtAHA sought, 
And oaths of peace, for oaths of friendship brought ; 
The glorious tale, 'twas all he wish'd, to tell ; 
So Hion's ^ fate was seal'd when Hector fell. 

Again convoked before the Indian throne. 
The monarch meets him with a ragef ul frown ; 
" And own," he cries, " the naked truth reveal. 
Then shall my bounteous grace thy pardon seal. 
Feign'd is the treaty thou prefcend'st to bring : 
No country owns thee, and thou own'st no long. 
Thy life, long roving o'er the deep, I know — 
A lawless robber, every man thy foe. 
And think'st thou credit to thy tale to gain ? 
Mad were the sov'reign, and the hope were vain, 
Through ways unknown, from utmost western shore, 
To bid his fleets the utmost east explore. 
Great is thy monarch, so thy words declare ; 
But sumptuous gifts the proof of greatness bear : 
Kings thus to kings their empire's grandeur show ; 
Thus prove thy truth, thus we thy truth allow. 
If not, what credence will the wise alEord ? 
What monarch trust the wand'ring seaman's word ? 
No sumptuous gift thou bring'st.* — ^Yet, though some crime 
Has thrown thee, banish'd from thy native clime, 

1 Troy. 

' No sumptuous gift thou hring'st, — ^'As the Portuguese did not 


(Such oft of old the hero's fate has been), 
Here end thy toils, nor tempt new fates unseen : 
Each land the brave man nobly calls his home : 
Or if, bold pirates, o'er the deep you roam, 
Skill'd the dread storm to brave, O welcome here ! 
Fearless of death, or shame, confess sincere : 
My name shall then thy dread protection be, 
My captain thou, unrivall'd on the sea." 

Oh now, ye Muses, sing what goddess fir'd 
Gama's proud bosom, and his lips inspir'd. 
Fair Acidalia, love's celestial queen,^ 
The graceful goddess of the fearless mien. 
Her graceful freedom on his look bestow'd. 
And all collected in his bosom glow'd. 
** Sov'reign," he cries, " oft witness'd, well I know 
The rageful falsehood of the Moorish foe : 
Their fraudful tales, from hatred bred, believ'd, 
Thine ear is poison'd, and thine eye deceiv'd. 
What light, what shade the courtier's mirror gives. 
That light, that shade the guarded king receives. 
Me hast thou view'd in colours not mine own, 
Yet, bold I promise shall my truth be known. 
If o'er the seas a lawless pest I roam, 
A blood-stain'd exile from my native home. 
How many a fertile shore and beauteous isle. 
Where Nature's gifts, nnclaim'd, unbounded, smile, 

expect to find any people but savages beyond the Cape of Good Hope, 
they only brought with them some preserves and confections, With 
trinkets of coral, of glass, and other trifles. This opinion, however, 
deceived them. In Melinda and in Calicut they found civUized 
nations, where the arts flourished ; who wanted nothing ; who were 
possessed of all the refinements and delicacies on which we value 
ourselves. The King of Melinda had the generosity to be contented 
with the present which Gama made ; but the zamorim, with a dis- 
dainful eye, beheld the gifts which were offered to him. The present 
was this : Four mantles of scarlet, six hats adorned with feathers, 
four chaplets of coral beads, twelve Turkey carpets, seven drinking 
cups of brass, a chest of sugar, two barrels of oil, and two of honey." — 

^ Fair Acidalia, Lovers celestial queen. — Castera derives Acidalia- 
from a/cTjS^s, which, he says, implies to act without fear or restraint. 
Acidalia is one of the names of Venus, in Virgil ; derived from 
Acidalus, a fountain sacred to her in Boeotia. 

246 THE LUSIAD. [book tiii. 

Mad have I left, to dare the burning zone, 

And all the horrors of the gulfs unknown 

That roar beneath the axle of the world, 

"Where ne'er before was daring sail nnfurl'd ! 

And have I left these beanteous shores behind. 

And have I dar'd the rage of ev'ry wind. 

That now breath'd fire, and now came wing'd with- frost, 

Lur*d by the plunder of an unknown coast ? 

Not thus the robber leaves his certain prey 

For the gay promise of a nameless day. 

Dread and stupendous, more than death-doom'd man 

Might hope to compass, more than wisdom plan, 

To thee my toils, to thee my dangers rise : 

Ah ! Lisbon's kings behold with other eyes. 

Where virtue calls, where glory leads the way, 

No dangers move them, and no toils dismay. 

Long have the kings of Lusus' daring race 

Resolv'd the limits of the deep to trace, 

Beneath the morn to ride the furthest waves, 

And pierce the farthest shore old Ocean laves. 

Sprung from the prince,^ before whose matchless power 

The strength of Afric withei'd as a flower 

Never to bloom again, great Henry shone, 

Each gift of nature and of art his own ; 

Bold as his sire, by toils on toils untir'd. 

To find the Indian shore his pride aspir'd. 

Beneath the stars that round the Hydra shine. 

And where fam'd Argo hangs the heav'nly sign. 

Where thirst and fever bum on ev'ry gale 

The dauntless Henry rear'd the Lusian sail. 

Embolden'd by the meed that crown'd his toils, 

Beyond the wide-spread shores and numerous isles. 

Where both the tropics pour the burning day, 

Succeeding heroes forc'd th' exploring way ; 

That race which never view'd the Pleiad's car, 

That barb'rous race beneath the southern star, 

Their eyes beheld. — Dread roar'd the blast — the wave 

Boils to the sky, the meeting whirlwinds rave 

O'er the torn heav'ns ; loud on their awe-struck ear 

Great Nature seem'd to call, ' Approach not here ! ' 

* Sprung from the prince^ — John L 

BOOK vm.] THE LUSIAD. 247 

At Lisbon's court they told their dread escape, 
And from her raging tempests, nam'd the Cape.^ 
' Thou sonthmost point/ the joyful king exclaim'd, 
* Cape of Good Hope, be thou for ever nam'd ! 
Onward my fleets shall dare the dreadful way, 
And find the regions of the infant day.' 
In vain the dark and ever-howling blast 
Proclaim 'd, * This ocean never shall be past ; ' 
Through that dread ocean, and the tempests' roar, 
My king commanded, and my course I bore. 
The pillar thus of deathless fame, begun 
By other chiefs,* beneath the rising sun 
In thy great realm, now to the skies I raise, 
The deathless pillar of my nation's praise. 
Through these wild seas no costly gift I brought ; 
Thy shore alone and friendly peace I sought. 
And yet to thee the noblest gift I bring 
The world can boast — ^the friendship of my king. 
And mark the word, his greatness shall appear 
When next my course to India's strand I steer. 
Such proofs I'll bring as never man before 
In deeds of strife, or peaceful friendship bore. 
Weigh now my words, my truth demands the light, 
For truth shall ever boast, at last, resistless might." 

Boldly the hero spake with brow severe, 
Of fraud alike unconscious, as of fear : 

* And from her raging tempests^ nam^d the Cape. — Bartholomew 
Diaz, was the first who discovered the southmost point of Africa. He 
was driven back by the storms, which on these seas were thought 
always to continue, and which the learned of former ages, says Osorius, 
thought impassable. Diaz, when he related his voyage to John II. 
called the southmost point the Cape of Tempests. The expectation of 
the king, however, was kindled by the account, and with inexpressible 
joy, says the same author, he immediately named it the Cape of Good 

' The pillar thus of deafhleta fame^ begun 
By other chiefs, etc. — 

" TiU I now ending what those did begin. 
The furthest pillar in thy realm advance ; 
Breaking the element of molten tin. 
Through horrid storms I lead to thee the dance." 


248 THE LUSLA.D. [book vin^ 

His noble confidence with tmtli impress'd 

Sunk deep, unwelcome, in the monarch's breast, 

Nor wanting charms his avarice to gain 

Appear'd the commerce of illustrious Spain. 

Yet, as the sick man loathes the bitter draught, 

Though rich with health he knows the cup comes fraught ; 

His health without it, self-deceiv'd, he weighs, 

Now hastes to quafE the drug, and now delays ; 

Beluctant thus, as wav'ring passion veer*d, 

The Indian lord the dauntless Qama heard : 

The Moorish threats yet sounding in his ear, 

He acts with caution, and is led by fear. 

With solemn pomp he bids his lords prepare 

The friendly banquet ; to the regent's care 

Commends brave Gama, and with pomp retires : 

The regent's hearths awake the social fires ; 

Wide o'er the board the royal feast is spread. 

And, fair embroidered, shines De Gama's bed. 

The regent's palace high o'erlook'd the bay 

Where Gama's black-ribb'd fleet at anchor lay.* 

Ah, why the voice of ire and bitter woe 
O'er Tago's banks, ye nymphs of Tagus, show ? 
The flow'ry garlands from your rineflets torn, 
Why wand-ring wild with ta-emblin| steps forlorn ? 
The demon's rage you saw, and mark'd his flight 
To the dark mansions of eternal night : 
You saw how, howling through the shades beneath. 
He wak'd new horrors in the realms of death. 
What trembling tempests shook the thrones of hell. 
And groan'd along her caves, ye muses, tell. 
The rage of baffled fraud, and all the fire 
Of powerless hate, with tenfold flames conspire ; 
From ev'ry eye the tawny lightnings glare, 
And hell, illumin'd by the ghastly flare, 
(A drear blue gleam), in tenfold horror shows 
Her darkling caverns ; from his dungeon rose 

* The regents palace high o'erlook'd I3ie hay, 
Where Gama's black-ribb*d fleet at anchor lay,-' 

The resemblance of this couplet to many passages in Homer, must 
be obvious to the intelligent critic. 

BOOK vm.] THE LXBIAD. 249 

Hagar's stem son : pale was his earthy hue, 

And from his eye- balls flash'd the lightnings blue ; 

Convuls'd with rage the dreadful shade demands 

The last assistance of th' infernal bands. 

As when the whirlwinds, sudden bursting, bear 

Th' autumnal leaves high floating through the air ; 

So, rose the legions of th' infernal state. 

Dark Fraud, base Art, fierce Bage, and burning Hate : 

Wing'd by the Furies to the Indian strand 

They bend ; the demon leads the dreadful band, 

And, in the bosoms of the raging Moors 

All their collected, living strength he pours. 

One breast alone against his rage was steel'd, 

Secure in spotless Truth's celestial shield. 

One evening past, another evening clos'd, 
The regent still brave Gama's suit oppos'd ; 
The Lusian chief his guarded guest detain' d. 
With arts on arts, and vows of friendship feign'd. 
His fraudful art, though veil'd in deep disguise, 
Shone bright to Gama's manner-piercing eyes. 
As in the sun's bright^ beam the gamesome boy 
Plays with the shining steel or crystal toy, 

* As in fhe 8un*8 bright beam. — Imitated from Virgil, who, by the 
same simile, describes the fluctuation of the thoughts of ^neas, on the 
eve of the Latian war : — 

" Laomedontius heros 
Cnncta vLdens, magno curarum fluctuat 89stu, 
Atque animum nunc hue celerem, nunc dividit illuc, 
In partesque rapit yarias, perque omnia versat. 
Sicut aqusB tremulum labris ubi lumen ahenis 
Sole repercussum, aut radiantis imagine Lunse, 
Otnnia pervolitat late loca : jamque sub auras 
Erigitur, simimique ferit laquearia tecti." 

" This way and that he turns his anxious mind, 
Thinks, and rejects the counsels he designed ; 
Explores himself in vain, in ev*ry part. 
And gives no rest to his distracted heart : 
So when the sun by day or moon by night 
Strike on the polish'd brass their trembling light, 
The glitt'ring species here and there divide, 
And cast their dubious beams from side to side ; 
Now on the walls, now on the pavement play, 
And to the ceiling flash the glaring day.'' 


250 THE LUSIAD. [book vm. 

Swift and irregnlar, by sudden starts, 
Tlie living ray with viewless motion darts, 
Swift o'er the wall, the floor, the roof, by turns 
The sun-beam dances, and the radiance bums : 
In quick succession, thus, a thousand views 
The sapient Lusian's lively thought pursues ; 
Quick as the lightning ev*ry view revolves. 
And, weighing all, fix'd are his dread resolves. 
0*er India's shore the sable night descends. 
And Gama, now, secluded from his friends, 
Detained a captive in the room of state. 
Anticipates in thought to-morrow's fate ; 
For just Mozaide no gen'rous care delays. 
And Vasco's trust with friendly toils repays. 

Ariosto has also adopted this simile in the eighth book of his 
Orlando Furioso : — 

*' Qnal d'acqua chiara il tremolante lume 
Dal Sol per percossa, o da* nottumi rai. 
Per gli ampli tetti vk con lungo salto 
A destra, ed a sinistra, e basso, ed alto.** 

" So from a water clear, the trembling light 
Of Phoebus, or the silver ray of night, 
Along the spacious rooms with splendour plays, 
Now high, now low, and shifts a thousand ways.*' 


But the happiest circumstance belongs to Gamoens. The velocity and 
various shiftings of the sun-beam, reflected from a piece of crystal or 
polished steel in the hand of a boy, give a much stronger idea of the 
violent agitation and sudden shiftings of thought than the image of 
the trembling light of the sun or moon reflected from a vessel of water. 
The brazen vessel, however, and not the water, is only mentioned by 
Dryden. Nor must another inaccuracy pass unobserved. That the 
reflection of the moon flashed the glaring day is not countenanced by 
the original. 

We have already seen the warm encomium paid by Tasso to his 
contemporary, Gamoens. That great poet, the ornament of Italy, has 
also testified his approbation by several imitations of the Lusiad. 
Yirgil, in no instance, has more closely copied Homer, than Tasso has 
imitated the appearance of Bacchus, or the evil demon, in the dream 
of the Moorish priest. The enchanter Ismeno thus appears to the 
sleeping Solyman : — 

"Soliman* Solimano, i tuoi silenti 
Biposi k miglior tempo homai riserva : 

BOOK vin.] THE LUSIAD. 251 

Che sotto il giogo de straniere genti 
La patria, ove regnasti, ancor' e serva. 
In qnesta terra dormi, e non rammenti, 
Ch* insepolte de* tuoi I'ossa conserva ? 
Ore si gran* yestigio e del tuo scomo, 
Tu neghittoso aspetti il nuovo giomo? " 

Thus elegantly translated by Mr. Hoole : — 

"Oh 1 Solyman, regardless chief, awake ! 
In happier hours thy grateful slumber take : 
Beneath a foreign yoke thy subjects bend, 
And strangers o*er thy land their rule extend ; 
Here dost thou -sleep ? here close thy careless eyes, 
While uninterr'd each lov'd associate lies ? 
Here where thy fame has felt the hostile scorn, 
Canst thou, unthinking, wait the rising mom ? ** 

The conclusion of this canto has been slightly altered by the trans- 
lator. Camoens, adhering to history, makes Gama (when his factors are 
detained on shore) seize upon some of the native merchants as hostages. 
At the intreaty of their wives and children the zamorim liberates his 
captives ; while Gama, having recovered his men and the merchandise, 
sailed away, carrying with him the unfortunate natives, whom he had 
seized as hostages. 

As there is nothing heroic in this dishonourable action of Gaha*s, 
Mickle has omitted it, and has altered the conclusion o^ the canto. 


252 THE LXJBIAD. [] 



The liberation of Gama's fiActors is effected by a great victory over 
the Moorish fleet, and by the bombardment of Calient. Gama retnms 
in oonseqnence to his ships, and weighs anchor to retnm to Enrope 
with the news of his great discoveries. Gamoens then introdnces a 
very singular, bnt agreeable episode, reconnting the love adventures of 
his heroes in one of the islands of the ocean. Venus, in search of her 
son, journeys through all his realms to implore his aid, and at leng^ 
arrives at tiie spot where Love's artillery and arms are forged. Venus 
intercedes with her son in favour of the Portuguese. The island of 
Love, like that of Delos, floats on the ocean. It is then explained by 
the poet that these seeming realities are only allegoricaL 

RED ^ rose the dawn ; roU'd o'er the low'ring sky, 
The scattering clouds of tawny pnrple fly. 
While yet the day-spring struggled with the gloom, 
The Indian monarch sought the regent's dome. 
In all the luxury of Asian state. 
High on a star-gemm'd couch the monarch sat : 
Then on th' illustrious captive, bending down 
His eyes, stern darken'd with a threat'ning frown, 
** Thy truthless tale," he cries, **thy art appears, 
Confess'd inglorious by thy captious fears. 
Yet, still if friendship, honest, thou implore. 
Yet now command thy vessels to the shore : 

' Mickle, in place of the first seventeen stanzas of this canto, has 
inserted about three hundred lines of his own composition ; in this 
respect availing himself of the licence he had claimed in his preface. 


Gen'rous, as to thy friends, thy saik resign, 
My will commands it, and the power is mine : 
In vain thy art, in vain thy might withstands, 
Thy sails, and rudders too, my will demands : * 
Such be the test, thy boasted truth to try. 
Each other test despis'd, I fix'd deny. 
And has my regent sued two days in vain ! 
In vain my mandate, and the captive chain ! 
Yet not in vain, proud chief, ourself shall sue 
From thee the honour to my friendship due : 
Ere force compel thee, let the grace be thine. 
Our grace permits it, freely to resign. 
Freely to trust our friendship, ere too late 
Our injur'd honour fix thy dreadful fate." 

While thus he spake, his changeful look declared 
In his proud breast what starting passions warr'd. 
No feature mov'd on Gama*s face was seen ; 
Stem he replies, with bold yet anxious m.ien, 
" In me my sov'reign represented see. 
His state is wounded, and he speaks in me ; 
Unaw*d by threats, by dangers uncontroU'd, 
The laws of nations bid my tongue be bold. 
No more thy justice holds the righteous scale. 
The arts of falsehood and the Moors prevail ; 
I see the doom my favoured foes decree, 
Yet, though in chains I stand, my fleet is free. 
The bitter taunts of scorn the brave disdain ; 
Few be my words, your arts, your threats are vain. 
My sovereign's fleet I yield not to your sway ; " 
Safe shall my fleet to Lisboa*s strand convey 
The glorious tale of all the toils I bore, 
Afric surrounded, and the Indian shore 

^ Thy sails, and rudders too, my vnU d&mands, — ^According to 

* My sov' reign* s fleet I yield not to your sway. — The circumBtance 
of Gam* AS refusing to put his fleet into the power of the zamorim, ia 
thus rendered by Fanshaw : — 

'* The Malabar protests that he shall rot 
In prison, if he send not for the ships. 
He (constant, and with noble anger hot) 
His haughty menace weighs not at two chips." 

254 THE LUSIAD. [B(y>K ix. 

Discover'd. These I pledg'd my life to gain, 
These to my country shall my life maintain. 
One wish alone my earnest heart desires, 
The sole impassioned hope my breast respires ; 
My finish'd labours may my sov'reign hear ! 
Besides that wish, nor hope I know, nor fear. 
And lo, the victim of your rage I stand, 
And bare my bosom to the murd'rer's hand." 

With lofty mien he spake. In stem disdain, 
" My threats," the monarch cries, "were never vain : 
Swift give the sign." — Swift as he spake, appear'd 
The dancing streamer o'er the palace rear'd ; 
Instant another ensign distant rose. 
Where, jutting through the flood, the mountain throws 
A ridge enormous, and on either side 
Defends the harbours from the furious tide. 
Proud on his couch th' indignant monarch sat. 
And awful silence fiU'd the room of state. 
With secret joy the Moors, exulting, glow'd. 
And bent their eyes where Gama's navy rode. 
Then, proudly heav'd with panting hope, explore 
The wood-crown'd upland of the bending shore. 
Soon o'er the palms a mast's tall pendant flows, 
Bright to the sun the purple radiance glows ; 
In martial pomp, far streaming to the skies. 
Vanes after vanes in. swift succession rise, 
And, through the opening forest-boughs of green, 
The sails' white lustre moving on is seen ; 
When sudden, rushing by the point of land 
The bowsprits nod, and wide the sails expand ; 
Full pouring on the sight, in warlike pride, 
Extending still the rising squadrons ride ; 
O'er eyerj deck, beneath the morning rays. 
Like melted gold, the brazen spear-points blaze ; 
Each prore surrounded with a hundred oars. 
Old Ocean boils around the crowded prores : 
And, five times now in number Gama's might, 
Proudly their boastful shouts provoke the fight ; 
Far round the shore the echoing peal rebounds. 
Behind the hill an answ'ring shout resounds : 


Still bj tlie point new-spreading sails appear, 

Till seven times Gama's fleet conclndes the rear. 

Again the shout triumphant shakes the bay ; 

Form'd as a crescent, wedg'd in firm array, 

Their fleet's wide horns the Lusian ships enclasp. 

Prepared to crush them in their iron grasp. 

Shouts echo shouts. — With stern, disdainful eyes 

The Indian king to manly Gama cries, 

" Not one of thine on Lisboa's shore shall tell 

The glorious tale, how bold thy heroes fell." 

With alter'd visage, for his eyes flash'd fire, 

" God sent me here, and God's avengeful ire 

Shall blast thy perfidy," great Vasgo cried, 

" And humble in the dust thy wither'd pride." 

A prophet's glow inspir'd liis panting breast, 

Indignant smiles the monarch's scorn confess'd. 

Again deep silence fills the room of state. 

And the proud Moors, secure, exulting wait : 

And now inclasping Gama's in a ring. 

Their fleet sweeps on. — Loud whizzing from the string 

The black- wing' d arrows float along the sky, 

And rising clouds the falling clouds supply. 

The lofty crowding spears that bristling stood 

Wide o'er the galleys as an upright wood, 

Bend sudden, levell'd for the closing fight, 

The points, wide- waving, shed a gleamy light. 

Elate with joy the king his aspect rears, 

And valiant Gama, thrill'd with transport, hears 

His drums' bold rattling raise the battle sound ; 

Echo, deep-ton'd, hoarse, vibrates far around ; 

The shiv'ring trumpets tear the shrill- voic'd air, 

Quiv'ring the gale, the flashing lightnings flare. 

The smoke rolls wide, and sudden bursts the roar, 

The lifted waves fall trembling, deep the shore 

Groans ; quick and quicker blaze embraces blaze 

In flashing arms ; louder the thunders raise 

Their roaring, rolling o'er the bended skies 

The burst incessant ; awe-struck Echo dies 

Falt'ring and deaf en'd ; from the brazen throats, 

Cloud after cloud, enroU'd in darkness, floats. 

256 THE LU8IAD. Cbook iz. 

Curling their snlph'rons folds of fiery blue. 
Till their hnge volames take the fleecy hue, 
And roll wide o'er the sky ; wide as the sight 
Can measure heav'n, slow rolls the cloudy white : 
Beneath, the smoky blackness spreads afar 
Its hov'ring wings, and veils the dreadful war 
Deep in its horrid breast ; the fierce red glare, 
Cheq'ring the rifted darkness, fires the air, 
Each moment lost and kindled, while around. 
The mingling thunders swell the lengthen'd sound. 
When piercing sudden through the dreadful roar 
The yelling shrieks of thousands strike the shore : 
Presaging horror through the monarch's breast 
Crept cold ; and gloomy o'er the distant east. 
Through Grata's hills ^ the whirling tempest sigh'd. 
And westward sweeping to the blacken'd tide, 
Howl'd o'er the tremblmg palace as it past. 
And o'er the gilded walls a gloomy twil%ht cast ; 
Then, furious, rushing to the darken'd bay, * 
Resistless swept the black- wing'd night away, 
With all the clouds that hover'd o'er the fight^ 
And o'er the weary combat pour'd the light. 

As by an Alpine mountain's pathless side 
Some traveller strays, unfriended of a guide ; 
If o'er the hills the sable night descend. 
And gath'ring tempest with the darkness blend. 
Deep from the cavern'd rocks beneath, aghast 
He hears the howling of the whirlwind's blast ; 
Above, resounds the crash, and down the steep 
Some rolling weight grpans on with f ound'ring sweep ; 

1 Through Gata*8 htUs. — ^The hills of Gktta or Gkite, mountains 
which form a natural harrier on the eastern side of the kingdom of 

*' Nature's rude wall, against the fierce Canar 
They gusurd the fertile walls of Malabar." 

LufilAD, Til 

• Then, furious^ rushing to the darkened bay. — For the circumstances 
of the battle, and the tempest which then happened, see the Life of 


Aghast he stands, amid the shades of night, 
And all his soul implores the friendly light : 
It comes ; the dreadful lightning's quiv'ring blaze 
The yawning depth beneath his lifted step betrays ; 
Instant nnmann'd, aghast in*horrid pain, 
His knees no more their sickly weight sustain ; 
Powerless he sinks, no more his heart-blood flows ; 
So sunk the monarch, and his heart-blood froze ; 
So sunk he down, when o'er the clouded bay 
The rushing whirlwind pour'd the sudden day : 
Disaster's giant arm in one wide sweep 
Appear'd, and ruin blacken 'd o'er the deep ; 
The sheeted masts drove floating o'er the tide, 
And the torn hulks roll'd tumbling on the side ; 
Some shatter'd plank each heaving billow toss'd. 
And, by the hand of Heav'n, dash'd on the coast 
Groan'd prores ingulf 'd ; the lashing surges rave 
O'er the black keels upturn' d, the swelling wave 
Kisses the lofty mast's reclining head ; 
And, far at sea, some few torn galleys fled. 
Amid the dreadful scene triumphant rode 
The Lusian war-ships, and their aid bestow'd : 
Their speedy boats far round assisting ply*d, 
Where plunging, struggling, in the rolling tide, 
Grasping the shatter'd wrecks, the vanquish'd foes 
Rear'd o'er the dashing waves their haggard brows. 
No word of scorn the lofty Gama spoke, 
Nor India's king the dreadful silence broke. 
Slow pass'd the hour, when to the trembling shore, 
In awful pomp, the victor-navy bore : 
Terrific, nodding on, the bowsprits bend, 
And the red streamers other war portend : 
Soon bursts the roar ; the bombs tremendous rise, 
And trail their black'ning rainbows o'er the skies ; 
O'er Calicut's proud domes their rage they pour, 
And wrap her temples in a sulph'rous shower. 

'Tis o'er In threat'ning silence rides the fleet : 

Wild rage, and horror yell in ev'ry street ; 
Ten thousands pouring round the palace gate. 
In clam'rous uproar wail their wretch'd fate : 


258 THE LUSIAD. Cbook n. 

While round the dome, with lifted hands, they kneel'd, 
" Give justice, justice to the strangers yield — 
Our friends, our husbands, sons, and fathers slain ! 
Happier, alas, than these that yet remain — 
Curs'd be the counsels, and the arts unjust — 
Our friends in chains — our city in the dust — 

Yet, yet prevent " 

The silent Vasco saw 
The weight of horror, and overpowering awe 
That shook the Moors, that shook the regent's knees. 
And sunk the monarch down. By swift degrees 
The popular clamour rises. Lost, unmanned, 
Around the king the trembling council stand ; 
"While, wildly glaring on each other's eyes. 
Each lip in vain the tremlbling accent tries ; 
With anguish sicken'd, and of strength bereft, 
Earnest each look inquires, What hope is left I 
In all the rage of shame and grief aghast, 
The monarch, falt'ring, takes the word at last : 
" By whom, great chief, are these proud war-ships sway'd, 
Are there thy mandates honour'd and obey'd ? 
Forgive, great chief, let gifts of price restrain 
Thy just revenge. Shall India's gifts be vain ! — 
Oh spare my people and their doom'd abodes — 
Prayers, vows, and gifts appease the injur'd gods : 
Shall man deny ? Swift are the brave to spare : 
The weak, the innocent confess their care — 
Helpless, as innocent of guile, to thee 
Behold these thousands bend the suppliant knee — 
Thy navy's thund'ring sides black to the land 
Display their terrors — ^yet mayst thou command " 

O'erpower'd he paus'd. Majestic and serene • 

Great Vasco rose, then, pointing to the scene 
Where bled the war, " Thy fleet, proud king, behold 
O'er ocean and the strand in carnage roU'd I 
So, shall this palace, smoking in the dust, 
And yon proud city, weep thy arts unjust. 
The Moors I knew, and, for their fraud prepar'd, 
I left my fix'd command my navy's guard :* 

' I left my fix*d command my navy* a guard, — See the Life of Gama. 



Whate'er from shore my name or seal convey'd 

Of other weight, that fix'd command forbade ; 

Thus, ere its birth destroy 'd, prevented fell 

What frand might dictate, or what force compel. 

This morn the sacrifice of Frand I stood, 

Bnt hark, there lives the brother of my blood. 

And lives the friend, whose cares conjoin'd control 

These floating towers, both brothers of my sonl. 

' If thrice,' I said, * arise the golden mom, 

Ere to my fleet yon mark my glad retnm, 

Dark Fraud with all her Moorish arts withstands, 

And force, or death withholds me- from my bands i 

Thus judge, and swift unfurl the homeward sail, 

Catch the first breathing of the eastern gale. 

Unmindful of my fate on India's shore : ^ 

Let but my monarch know, I wish no more.' 

Each, panting while I spoke, impatient cries, 

The tear-drop bursting in their manly eyes, 

' In all but one thy mandates we obey. 

In one we yield not to thy gen'rous sway : 

Without thee, never shall our sails return ; 

India shall bleed, and Calicut shall bum — 

Thrice shall the mom arise ; a flight of bombs 

Shall then speak vengeance to their guilty domes : 

Till noon we pause ; then, shall our thunders roar, 

And desolation sweep the treach'rous shore.' 

Behold, proud king, their signal in the sky, 

Near his meridian tower the sun rides high. 

O'er Calicut no more the ev'ning shade 

Shall spread her peaceful wings, my wrath unstaid ; 

Dire through the night her smoking dust shall gleam. 

Dire thro' the night shall shriek the female scream." 

" Thy worth, great chief," the pale-lipp'd regent cries, 
" Thy worth we own : oh, may these woes suffice ! 
To thee each proof of India's wealth we send ; 

Ambassadors, of noblest race, attend " 

Slow as he falter'd, Gama caught the word, 
" On terms I talk not, and no truce afford : 

* Unmindful of my fate on India* 8 shore. — This most magnanimoua 
resolution, to sacrifice his own safety or his life for the safe return of 
the fleet, is strictly true. — See the Life of Gama. 

260 THE LUSIAD. [bookiz. 

Captives enongli shall reach the Lnsian shore : 
Once you deceiv'd me, and I treat no more. 
E'en now my faithful sailors, pale with rage, 
Gnaw their blue lips, impatient to engage ; 
Rang'd by their brazen tubes, the thundering band 
Watch the first movement of my brother's hand ; 
E'en now, impatient, o'er the dreadful tire 
They wave their eager canes betipp'd with fire ; 
Methinks my brother's anguish'd look I see, 
The panting nostril and the trembling knee. 
While keen he eyes the sun. On hasty strides. 
Hurried along the deck, Coello chides 
His cold, slow ling'ring, and impatient cries, 
' Oh, give the sign, illume the sacrifice, 
A brother's vengeance for a brother's blood " 

He spake ; and stem the dreadful warrior stood ; 
So seem'd the terrors of his awful nod, 
The monarch trembled as before a god ; 
The treach'rous Moors sank down in faint dismay, 
And speechless at his feet the council lay : 
Abrupt, with outstretched arms, the monarch cries, 

" What yet " but dar'd not meet the hero's eyes, 

" What yet may save ! " ^ — Great Vasco stern rejoins, 
" Swift, undisputing, give th' appointed signs : 
High o'er thy loftiest tower my flag display, 
Me and my train swift to my fleet convey : 

Instant command — ^behold the sun rides high " 

He spake, and rapture glow'd in ev'ry eye ; 
The Lusian standard o'er the palace flow'd, 
Swift o'er the bay the royal barges row'd. 
A dreary gloom a sudden whirlwind threw ; 
Amid the howling blast, enrag'd, withdrew 
The vanquished demon. Soon, in lustre mild 
As April smiles, the sun auspicious smil'd : 

* Abrupt — the monarch cries — " What yet may save!" — Gama's de- 
claration, that no message from him to the fleet could alter the orders 
he had already left, and his rejection of anyfurther treaty, have a neoes* 
sary effect in the conduct of the poem. They hasten the catastrophe, 
and giye a yerisimilitade to the abnq>t ana full submission of the 


Elate with joy, the shoxLting thousands trod. 
And Gama to his fleet triumphant rode. 

Soft came the eastern gale on balmy wings : 
Each joyful sailor to his labour springs ; 
Some o'er the bars their breasts robust recline, 
And, with firm tugs, the rollers * from the brine, 
Reluctant dragg'd, the slime-brown'd anchors raise ; 
Each gliding rope some nimble hand obeys ; 
Some bending o'er the yard-arm's length, on high, 
With nimble hands, the canvas wings untie ; 
The flapping sails their wid'ning folds distend. 
And measur'd, echoing shouts iheir sweaty toils attend. 
Nor had the captives lost the leader's care, 
Some to the shore the Indian barges bear ; 
The noblest few the chief detains, to own 
His glorious deeds before the Lusian throne ; 
To own the conquest of the Indian shore : 
Nor wanted ev'ry proof of India's store. 
What fruits in Ceylon's fragrant woods abound, 
With woods of cinnamon her hills are crown'd : 
Dry'd in its flower, the nut of Banda's grove, 
The burning pepper, and the sable clove ; 
The clove, whose odour on the breathing gale, 
Far to the sea, Molucca's plains exhale ; 
All these, provided by the faithful Moor, 
All these, and India's gems, the navy bore : 
The Moor attends, Mozaide, whose zealous care 
To Gama's eyes unveil'd each treach'rous snare : ' 

' The rollers — t.e. the capstans. — The capstan is a cylindrical 
windlass, worked with bars, which are moved from hole to hole as it 
turns round. It is used on board ship to weigh tiie anchors, raise the 
masts, etc. The versification of this passage in the original affords a 
most noble example of imitative harmony: — 

" Mas ja nas naos os bons trabalhadores 
Yolvem o cabrestante, & repartidos 
Pello trabalho, huns puxao pella amarro, 
Outros quebrao co peito duro a barra.** 

' Mozaide^ whose zealous care 
To Gama*s eyes reveaVd each treachWous snare, — 

Had this been mentioned sooner, the inteirest of the catastrophe of the 

262 THE LUSIAD. [book vl 

So bam'd his breast with Heay'n-illnmiii'd flame. 
And holj rev'rence of Messiah's name. 
O, favonr'd African, by Heaven's own light 
Caird &om the dreary shades of error's night ! 
What man may dare his seeming ills arraign, 
Or what the grace of Heayen's designs explain ! 
Far didst thon &om thy friends a stranger roam, 
•There wast thon call'd to thy celestial home.^ 

With rustling sonnd now swell'd the steady sail ; 
The lofty masts reclining to the gale. 
On full-spread wings the navy springs away, 
And, far behind them, foams the ocean grey : 
Afar the less'ning hills of Grata fly, 
And mix their dim blue summits with the sky : 
Beneath the wave low sinks the spicy shore. 
And, roaring through the tide, each nodding prore 
Points to the Cape, great Nature's southmost bound, 
The Cape of Tempests, now of Hope renown'd. 

poem must have languished. Though he is not a warrior, the unex- 
pected Mend of Gama bears a much more considerable part in the 
action of the Lusiad than the faithful Achates, the friend of the heio, 
bears in the business of the Mneid. 

^ There toast thou caWd to thy celestial home, — This exclamatory 
address to the Moor Monzaida, however it may appear digressive, has 
a double propriety. The conversion of the Eastern world is the great 
purpose of the expedition of Gama, and Monzaida is the first fruits of 
that conversion. The good characters of the victorious heroes, however 
neglected by the great genius of Homer, have a fine effect in making 
an epic poem interest us and please. It might have been said, that 
Monzaida was a traitor to his friends, who crowned his villainy 
with apostacy. Gamoens has, therefore, wisely drawn him with other 
features, worthy of the friendship of Gama. Had this been neglected, 
the hero of the Lusiad might have shared the fate of the wise Ulysses 
of the Iliad, against whom, as Voltaire justly observes, every reader 
bears a secret 3l will. Nor is the poetical character of Monzaida un- 
supported by history. He wa^not an Arab Moor, so he did not desert 
his countrymen. These Moors had determined on the destruction of 
Gama ; Monzaida admired and esteemed him, and therefore generously 
revealed to him his danger. By his attachment to Gama he lost all 
his effects in India, a circumstance which his prudence and knowledge 
of affairs must have certainly foreseen. By the known dangers he 
encountered, by the loss he thus voluntarily sustained, and by his after 
oonstanoy, his sincerity is undoubtedly proved. 


Their glorious tale on Lisboa's shore to tell 
Inspires each bosom with a rapt'rous swell ; 
Now through their breasts the chillj tremors glide, 
To dare once more the dangers dearly tried. — 
Soon to the winds are these cold fears resigned, 
And all their country rushes on the mind ; 
How sweet to view their native land, how sweet 
The father, brother, and the bride to greet ! 
While list'ning round the hoary parent's board 
The wond'ring kindred glow at ev'ry word ; 
How sweet to tell what woes, what toils they bore, 
The tribes, and wonders of each various shore ! 
These thoughts, the traveller's lov'd reward, employ, 
And swell each bosom with unutter'd ]oy.^ 

The queen of love, by Heaven's eternal grace, 
The guardian goddess of the Lusian race ; 
The queen of love, elate with joy, surveys 
Her heroes, happy, plough the wat'ry maze : 
Their dreary toils revolving in her thought. 
And all the woes by vengeful Bacchus wrought ; 

* The joy of the fleet mi the homeward departure from India. — ^We 
are now come to that part of the Lusiad, which, in the conduct of the 
poem, is parallel to the great catastrophe of the Iliad, when, on the 
death of Hector, Achilles thus addresses the Grecian army — 

" Ye sons of Greece, in triumph bring 
The corpse of Hector, and your pseons sing : 
Be this the song, slow moving toward the shore, 
* Hector is dead, and Ilion is no more.* " 

Our Portuguese poet, who in his machinery, and many other instances, 
has followed the manner of Virgil, now forsakes him. In a very bold 
and masterly spirit he now models his poem by the steps of Homer. 
What of the Lusiad yet remains, in poetical conduct (though not »in 
an imitation of circumstances), exactly resembles the latter part of the 
Iliad. The games at the funeral of Patroclus, and the redemption of 
the body of Hector, are the completion of the rage of Achilles. In the 
same manner, the reward of the heroes, and the consequences of their 
expedition complete the unity of the Lusiad. I cannot say it appears 
that Milton ever read our poet (though Fanshaw's translation was 
published in his time) ; yet no instance can be given of a more striking 
resemblance of plan and conduct, than may be produced in two prin- 
cipal parts of the poem of Gamoens, and of the Paradise Lost. — See the 
Dissertation which follows this book. 

264 THE LUSUD. [book IX, 

These toils, these woes, her yearning cares employ, 

To bathe, and balsam in the streams of joy. 

Amid the bosom of the wat'ry waste, 

Near where the bowers of Paradise were plac'd,* 

An isle, array'd in all the pride of flowers. 

Of fruits, of fountains, and of fragrant bowers, 

She means to offer to their homeward prows, 

The place of glad repast and sweet repose ; 

And there, before their raptur'd view, to raise 

The heav'n-topp'd column of their deathless praise. 

The goddess now ascends her silver car, 
(Bright was its hue as love's translucent star) ; 
Beneath the reins the stately birds,* that sing 
Their sweet-ton'd death-song spread the snowy wing ; 
The gentle winds beneath her chariot sigh. 
And virgin blushes purple o'er the sky : 
On milk-white pinions borne, her cooing doves 
Form playful circles round her as she movesj 
And now their beaks in fondling kisses join. 
In am'rous nods their fondling necks entwine. 
O'er fair Idalia's bowers the goddess rode. 
And by her altars sought Idalia's god : 
Th.e youthful bowyer of the heart was there ; 
His falling kingdom claimed his earnest care.' 

* Near where the towers of Paradise were placed- — Between the 
mouth of the Ganges and Euphrates. 

'^ Swans. 

* His falling kingdom claimed his earnest care, — This fiction, in 
poetical conduct, bears a striking resemblance to the digressive his- 
tories with which Homer enriches and adorns his poems, particularly 
to the beautiful description of the feast of the gods with *^ the blameless 
Ethiopians.'* It also contains a masterly commentary on the machinery 
of the Lusiad. The Divine Love conducts Gama to India. The same 
Divine Love is represented as preparing to reform the corrupted world, 
when its attention is particularly called to bestow a foretaste of im- 
mortality on the heroes of the expedition which discovered the eastern 
world. Nor do the wild fantastic loves, mentioned in this little 
episode, afford any objection against this explanation, an explanation 
which is expressly given in the episode itself. These wild fantastic 
amours signify, in the allegory, the wild sects of different enthusiasts, 
which spring up under the wings of the best and most rational insti- 
tutions ; and which, however contrary to each other, all agree iu 
deriving their authority from the same source. 


His bands he musters, throagli the myrtle groyes 
On buxom wings he trains the little loves. 
Against the world, rebellious and astray, 
He means to lead them, and resume his sway : 
For base-bom passions, at his shrine, 'twas told, 
Each nobler transport of the breast controird. 
A young Actaeon,^ scornful of his lore. 
Mom after morn pursues the foamy boar, 

^ A young Acts&on, — The French translator has the following 
characteristic note: *'This passage is an eternal monument of the 
freedoms taken by Oamoens, and at the same time a proof of the im- 
prudence of poets ; an authentic proof of that prejudice which some- 
times blinds them, notwithstanding all the hght of their genius. The 
modem Actseon of whom he speaks, was King Sebastian. He loved 
the ch£ise ; but, that pleasure, which is one of the most innocent and 
one of the most noble we can possibly taste, did not at all interrupt 
his attention to the affairs of stote, and did not render him savage, as 
our author pretends. On this point the historians are rather to be 
believed. And what would the lot of princes be, were they allowed no 
relaxation from their toils, while they allow that privilege to their 
people? Subjects as we are, let us venerate the amusements of our 
sovereigns ; let us believe that the august cares for our good, which 
employ them, follow them often even to the very bosom of their 

Many are the strokes in the Lusiad which must endear the charac- 
ter of Camoens to every reader of sensibility. The noble freedom and 
manly indignation with which he mentions the foible of his prince, 
and the flatterers of his court, would do honour to the greatest names 
of Greece or Rome. While the shadow of freedom remained in Portu- 
gal, the greatest men of that nation, in the days of Lusian heroism, 
thought and conducted themselves in the spirit of Camoens. A noble 
anecdote of thid brave spirit offers itself. Alonzo lY., sumamed the 
Brave, ascended the throne of Portugal in the vigour of his age. The 
pleasures of the chase engrossed all his attention. His confidants and 
favourites encouraged, and allured him to it. His time was spent in 
the forests of Gintra, while the affairs of government were neglected 
or executed by those whose interest it was to keep their sovereign in 
ignorance. His presence, at last, being necessary at Lisbon, he entered 
the council with all the brisk impetuosity of a young sportsman, and 
vnth great familiarity and gaiety entertained his nobles with the his- 
tory of a whole month spent in hunting, in fishing, and shooting. 
When he had finished his narrative, a nobleman of the first rank rose 
up : " Courts and camps," said he, " were allotted for kings, not woods 
and deserts. Even the affairs of private men suffer when recreation is 
preferred to business. But when the whims of pleasure engross the 
thoughts of a king, a whole nation is consigned to ruin. We came here 
for other purposes than to hear the exploits of the chase, exploits which 
are only intelligible to grooms and falconers. If your majesty will 


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Of these lov'd dogs that now his passions sway, 
Ah, may he never fall the hapless prey ! 

Enrag'd, he sees a venal herd, the shame 
Of hnman race, assume the titled name ; ^ 

be agreeable. "Several Portuguefie writers have remarked," says 
he, " that the wish — 

* Of these lov'd dogs that now his passions sway. 
Ah ! may he never fall the hapless prey ! * 

Had in it an air of prophecy ; and fate, in effect, seemed careful to 
accomplish it, in making the presaged woes to fall upon Don Sebas< 
tian. If he did not fall a prey to his pack of hounds, we may, how- 
ever, say that he was devoured by his favourites, who misled his 
youth and his great soul. But at any rate our poet has carried the 
similitude too far. It was certainly injurious to Don Sebastian, who 
nevertheless had the bounty not only not to punish this audacity, but 
to reward the just eulogies which the author had bestowed on him in 
other places. As much as the indiscretion of Camoens ought to sur- 
prise us, as much ought we to admire the generosity of his master." 

This foppery, this slavery in thinking, cannot fail to rouse the 
indignation of every manly breast, when the facts are fairly stated. 
Don Sebastian, who ascended the throne when a child, was a prince 
of great abilities and great spirit, but his youth was poisoned with 
the most romantic ideas of military glory. The affairs of state 
were left to his ministers (for whose character see the next note), his 
other studies were neglected, and military exercises, of which he not 
unjustly esteemed the chase a principal, were almost his sole employ. 
Camoens beheld this romantic turn, and in a genteel allegorical satire 
foreboded its consequences. The wish, that his prince might not fall 
the prey of his favourite passion, was in vain. In a rash, ill-con- 
certed expedition into Africa, Don Scibastian lost his crown in his 
twenty-fifth year, an event which soon after produced the fall of the 
Portuguese empire. Had the nobility possessed the spirit of Camoens, 
had they, like him, endeavoured to check the quixotism of a young 
generous prince, that prince might have reigned long and happy, and 
Portugal might have escaped the Spanish yoke, which soon followed 
his defeat at Alcazar ; a yoke which sunk Portugal into an abyss of 
misery, from which, in all probability, she will never emerge into her 
former splendour. 

^ Enraged, lie sees a venal "herd, the shame 
Of human race, aswme the titled name, — 

" After having ridiculed all the pleasures of Don Sebastian, the author 
now proceeds to his courtiers, to whom he has done no injustice. 
Those wjio are acquainted with the Portuguese history, will readily 
acknowledge this. — Casteba, 


And eacli, for some base interest of his own. 

With Flatt'ry's manna'd lips assail the thione. 

He sees the men, whom holiest sanctions bind 

To poYertj, and love of human kind ; 

While, soft as drop the dews of balmy May, 

Their words preach yirtne, and her charms display. 

He sees with lost of gold their eyes on fire. 

And ev'ry wish to lordly state aspire ; 

He sees them trim the lamp at night's mid honr, 

To plan new laws to arm the regal power ; 

Sleepless, at night's mid honr, to raze the laws. 

The sacred bulwarks of the people's canse. 

Framed ere the blood of hard-eam'd victory 

On their brave fathers' helm-hack'd swords was dry. 

Nor these alone ; each rank, debas'd and rude, 
Mean objects, worthless of their love, pursued : 
Their passions thus rebellious to his lore, 
The god decrees to punish and restore. 
The Httle loves, light hov'ring in the air, 
Twang their silk bow-strings, and their aims prepare : 
Some on th' immortal anvils point the dart, 
With power resistless to inflame the heart ; 
Their arrow heads they tip with soft desires. 
And aU the warmth of love's celestial fires ; 
Some sprinkle o'er the shafts the tears of woe. 
Some store the quiver, some steel-spring the bow ; 
Each chanting as he works .the tuneful strain 
Of love's dear joys, of love's luxurious pain ; 
Oharm'd was the lay to conquer and refine. 
Divine the melody, the song divine. 

Already, now, began the vengeful war. 
The witness of the god's benignant care ; 
On the hard bosoms of the stubborn crowd * 
An arrowy shower the bowyer train bestow'd ; 

* (H the hard hotoms of ihe stubborn eroufd. — ^There is an elegance 
in the original of this Ime, which the flnglish language will not 
admit: — 

** Nos duTOs cora^oens de plebe dura," — 

i,e,, In the hard hearts of the hard vulgar. 


Pierced by the whizzing shafts, deep sighs the air, 
And answering sighs the wounds of love declare. 
Though various featur'd, and of various hue, 
Each nymph seems loveliest in her lover's view ; 
Fir'd by the darts, by novice archers sped, 
Ten thousand wild, fantastic loves are bred : 
In wildest dreams the rustic hind aspires. 
And haughtiest lords confess the humblest fires. 

The snowy swans of love's celestial queen 
Now land her chariot on the shore of green ; 
One knee displayed, she treads the flow'ry strand, 
The gather*d robe falls loosely from her hand ; 
Half- seen her bosom heaves the living snow, 
And on her smiles the living roses glow. 
The bowyer god,^ whose subtle shafts ne'er fly 
Misaim'd, in vain, in vain on earth or sky. 
With rosy smiles the mother power receives ; 
Around her climbing, thick as ivy leaves, 
The vassal loves in fond contention join 
Who, first and most, shall kiss her hand divine. 
Swift in her arms she caught her wanton boy. 
And, " Oh, my son," she cries, " my pride, my joy ! 
Against thy might the dreadful Typhon f ail'd. 
Against thy shaft nor heav'n, nor Jove prevail'd ; 
Unless thine arrow wake the young desires. 
My strength, my power, in vain each charm expires : 
My son, my hope, I claim thy powerful aid, 
Nor be the boon thy mother sues delay'd : 
Where'er — so will th' eternal fates — where'er 
The Lusian race the victor standards rear, 
There shall my hymns resound, my altars flame. 
And heav'nly Love her joyful lore proclaim. 
My Lusian heroes, as my Romans, brave. 
Long toss'd, long hopeless on the storm-torn wave, 
Wearied and weak, at last on India's shore 
Arriv'd, new toils, repose denied, they bore ; 
For Bacchus there with tenfold rage pursued 
My dauntless sons, but now his might subdued, 

" » Oupid. 

270 THE LVSIAD. [book iz. 

Amid these raging seas, the scene of woes, 

Theirs shall be now the bahn of sweet repose ; 

Theirs ev'ry joy the noblest heroes claim. 

The raptnr'd foretaste of immortal fame. 

Then, bend thy bow and wound the Nereid train. 

The lovely daughters of the azure main ; 

And lead them, while they pant with am'rons fire, 

Itight to the isle which aU my smiles inspire : 

Soon shall my care that beauteous isle supply, 

Where Zephyr, breathing love, on Flora's lap shall sigh. 

There let the nymphs the gallant heroes meet. 

And strew the pink and rose beneath their feet : 

In crystal halls the feast divine prolong. 

With wine nectareous and immortal song : 

Let every nymph the snow-white bed prepare, 

And, &irer far, resign her bosom there ; 

There, to the greedy riotous embrace 

Resign each hidden charm with dearest grace. 

Thus, from my native waves a hero line 

Shall rise, and o'er the East illustrious shine ; ^ 

Thus, shall the rebel world thy prowess know. 

And what the boundless joys our friendly powers bestow.** 

She said ; and smiling view'd her mighty boy ; 
Swift to the chariot springs the god of joy ; 
His ivory bow, and arrows tipp'd with gold, 
Blaz'd to the sun-beam as the chariot roll'd : 
Their silver harness shining to the day. 
The swans, on milk-white pinions, spring away. 
Smooth gliding o'er the clouds of lovely blue ; 
And Fame* (so will'd the god) before them flew : 

> ThwfTcm my native ttavet a hero lime 
Shall rise, and o*er the Eatt iUmttriaut tkime. 

«* By the line of heroes to be produced by the union of the PorturaeM 
with the Nereids, is to be understood the other PortugueBe wh^^^ 
lowing the steps of Gama, established iUustrious ooloiiies in'inSiL"-- 


stance ^ _ 

Fame is in his eye. 

rarne is m nw cj^ --- — --»..«. *», « « irgu, m tug i>gg| imitation. 

copies after Homer. He adopts some circumstances, but. bT^SSST 

others, he makes a new picture, which jusUy may ^ii^S.^^ 



A giant goddess, whose xmgovern'd tongue 
With equal zeal proclaims or right or wrong ; 
Oft had her lips the god of love blasphemed, 
And oft with tenfold praise his conquests nam'd : 
A hundred eyes she rolls with ceaseless care, 
A thousand tongues what these behold declare : 
Fleet is her flight, the lightning's wing she rides. 
And, though she shifts her colours swift as glides 
The April rainbow, still the crowd she guides. 
And now, alof fc her wond'ring voice she rais'd, 
And, with a thousand glowing tongues, she prais'd 
The bold discoverers of the eastern world — 
In gentle swells the list'ning surges curl'd. 
And murmured to the sounds of plaintive love 
Along the grottoes where the Nereids rove. 
The drowsy power on whose smooth easy mien 
The smiles of wonder and delight are seen. 
Whose glossy, simp'ring eye bespeaks her name, 
Credulity, attends the goddess Fame. 
Fir*d by the heroes' praise, the wat'ry gods,^ 
With ardent speed forsake their deep abodes ; 
Their rage by vengeful Bacchus rais'd of late, 
Now stung remorse, and love succeeds to hate. 
Ah, where remorse in female bosom bleeds, 
The tend'rest love in all its glow succeeds. 
When fancy glows, how strong, O Love, thy power ! 
Nor slipp'd the eager god the happy hour ; 
Swift fly his arrows o'er the billowy main, 
Wing'd with his fires, nor flies a shaft in vain : 

* The wafry gods, — To mention the gods in th^ masculine gender, 
and immediately to apply to them — 

" O peito feminil, que levemente 
Muda quaysquer propositos tomados." — 

The ease with which the female breast changes its resolutions, may 
to the hypercritical appear reprehensible. The expression, however, iq 
classical, and therefore retained. Virgil uses it, where ^neas is con- 
ducted by Venus through the flames of Troy : — 

" Descendo, ac ducente Deo, flammam inter et hostes 

This is in the manner of the Greek poets, who use the word Qehs for 
god or goddess. 

272 THE LUSIAD. Cb(X« a. 

Thas, ere the face the loyer's breast inspires, 
The voice of fame awakes the soft desires. 
While from the bow-string start the shafts divine, 
His ivorj moon's wide horns incessant join, 
Swift twinkling to the view : and wide he poars. 
Omnipotent in love, his arrowy showers. 
E'en Thetis' self confess'd the tender smart. 
And pour'd the murmnrs of the wonnded heart : 
Soft o'er the billows pants the am'rons sigh ; 
With wishful languor melting on each eye 
The love-sick nymphs explore the tardy sails 
That waft the heroes on the ling'ring gales. 

Give way, ye lofty billows, low subside. 
Smooth as the level plain, your swelling pride, 
Lo, Venns comes ! Oh, soft, ye surges, sleep, 
Smooth be the bosom of the azure deep, 
Lo, Venus comes ! and in her vig'rons train 
She brings the healing balm of love-sick pain. 
White as her swans,^ and stately as they rear 
Their snowy crests when o'er the lake they steer, 
Slow moving on, behold, the fleet appears. 
And o'er the distant billow onward steers. 
The beauteous Nereids, flush'd in all their charms, 
Surround the goddess of the soft alarms : 
Right to the isle she leads the smiling train, 
And all her arts her balmy lips explain ; 
The fearful languor of the asking eye. 
The lovely blush of yielding modesty. 
The grieving look, the sigh, the fav'ring smile. 
And all th' endearments of the open wile, 
She taught the nymphs — in willing breasts that heav'd 
To hear her lore, her lore the nymphs receiv'd. 

^ White as her stoans. — A distant fleet compared to swans on a lake 
is certainly a happy thought. The allusion to the pomp of Venus 
whose agency is immediately concerned, gives it besides a peculiar 
propriety. This simile, however, is not in the originaL It is adopted 
from an uncommon liberty taken by Fanshaw : — 

*^ The pregnant tails on Neptune's surface creep, 
Like her own swanSf in gate, out-eheHf and/wbW'.*' 


As now triumpliant to their native sliore 
Through the wide deep the joyful navy bore, 
Earnest the pilot's eyes sought cape or bay, 
For long was yet the various wat'ry way ; 
Sought cape or isle, from whence their boats might bring 
The healthful bounty of the crystal spring : 
When sudden, all in nature's pride array 'd, 
The Isle of Love its glowing breast displayed. 
O'er the green bosom of the dewy lawn 
Soft blazing flow'd the silver of the dawn, 
The gentle waves the glowing lustre share, 
Arabia's balm was sprinkled o'er the air. 
Before the fleet, to catch the heroes' view, 
The floating isle fair Acidalia drew : 
Soon as the floating verdure caught their sight,* 
She fix'd, unmov'd, the island of delight. 
So when in child-birth of her Jove-sprung load, 
The sylvan goddess and the bowyer god. 
In friendly pity of Latona's woes,* 
Amid the waves the Delian isle arose. 
And now, led smoothly o'er the furrow'd tide. 
Right to the isle of joy the vessels glide : 
The bay they enter, where on ev'ry hand, 
Around them clasps the flower-enamell'd land ; 
A safe retreat, where not a blast may shake 
Its flutt'ring pinions o'er the stilly lake. 

* Soon as the floating verdure caught their sight, — ^As the departure 
of Gama from India was abrupt, he put into one of the beautiful islands 
of Anchediva for fresh water. " While he was here careening his 
ships/' says Faria, " a pirate named Timoja, attacked him with eight 
small vessels, so linked together and covered with bonghs, th^t they 
formed the appearance of a floating island." This, says Oastera, 
afforded the fiction of the floating island of Venus. " The fictions of 
Camoens," says he, " are the more marvellous, because they are all 
founded in history. It is not difficult to find why he makes his island 
of Anchediva to wander on the waves; it is an allusion to a singular 
event related by Barros." He then proceeds to the story of Timoja, 
as if the genius of Gamoens stood in need of so weak an assistance. 

* In friendly pity of Latona*8 woee. — Latona, pregnant by Jupiter, 
was persecuted oy Juno, who sent the serpent Python in pursuit 
of her. Neptune, in pity of her distress, raised the island of Delos 
for her refuge, where she was delivered of Apollo and Diana. — 
Ovm, Met. 


274 THE LUSIAD. . [booth. 

With pnrple shells, transfns'd as marble veins, 
The yellow sands celestial Venus stains. 
With graceful pride three hills of softest green 
Rear their fair bosoms o'er the sylvan scene ; 
Their sides embroidered boast the rich array 
Of flow'ry shrubs in all the pride of May ; 
The purple lotus and the snowy thorn, 
And yellow pod-flowers ev'ry slope adorn. 
From the green summits of the leafy hiQs 
Descend, with murm'ring lapse, three limpid rills : 
Beneath the rose-trees loit'ring, slow they glide, 
Now, tumbles o*er some rock their crystal pride ; 
Sonorous now, they roll adown the glade, 
Now, plaintive tinkle in the secret shade. 
Now, from the darkling grove, beneath the beam. 
Of ruddy mom, like melted silver stream, 
Edging the painted margins of the bowers, 
And breathing liquid freshness on the flowers. 
Here, bright reflected in the pool below, 
The vermeil apples tremble on the bough ; 
Where o'er the yellow sands the waters sleep 
The primros'd banks, inverted, dew-drops weep ; 
Where murm'ring o'er the pebbles purls the stream 
The silver trouts in playful curvings gleam. 
Long thus, and various, ev'ry riv'let strays, 
Till closing, now, their long meand'ring maze. 
Where in a smiling vale the mountains end, 
Form'd in a crystal lake the waters blend : * 
Fring'd was the border with a woodland shade. 
In ev'ry leaf of various green array'd. 
Each yellow-ting'd, each mingling tint between 
The dark ash-verdure and the silv'ry green. 

* Formed in a crystal lake the waters hlend. — Castera also attributes 
this to history. " The Portuguese actually found in this island," says 
he, " a fine piece of water ornamented with hewn stones and magnifi- 
cent aqueducts ; an ancient and superb work, of which nobody knew 
the author." 

In 1505 Don Francisco Almeyda built a fort in this island. In 
digging among some ancient ruins he found many crucifixes of black 
and red colour, from whence the Portuguese conjectured, says Osorius, 
that the Anchedivian islands had in former agesT been inhabited by 
Christians*. — Vid. Osor. 1. iv. 


The trees, now bending forward, slowly sbake 
Their lofty honours o'er the crystal lake ; 
Now, from the flood the graceful boughs retire 
With coy reserve, and now again admire 
Their various liv'ries, by the summer dress'd, 
Smooth-gloss'd and soften'd in the mirror's breast. 
So, by her glass the wishful virgin stays. 
And, oft retiring, steals the lingering gaze. 
A thousand boughs aloft to heav'n display 
Their fragrant apples, shining to the day ; 
The orange here perfumes the buxom air, 
And boasts the golden hue of Daphne's hair.^ 
Near to the ground each spreading bough descends, 
Beneath her yellow load the citron bends ; 

* Tlie orange here perfumes the huxom air. 
And toasts the golden hue of Daphne^s hair, — 

Frequent allusions to the fables of the ancients form a characteristic 
feature of the poetry of the 16th and 17th centuries. A profusion of 
it is pedantry ; a moderate use of it, however, in a poem of these times 
pleases, because it discovers the stages of composition, and has in it- 
self a fine effect, as it illustrates its subject by presenting the classical 
reader with some little landscapes of that country through which he 
has travelled. The description of forests is a favourite topic in poetry. 
Chaucer, Tasso, and Spenser, have been happy in it, but both have 
copied an admired passage in Statius ; — 

" Oadit ardua fagus, 
Chaoniumque nemus, brumseque illsesa cnpressus ; 
Procumbunt picesB, flammis alimenta supremis, 
Ornique, ilicesBque trabes, metuandaque sulco 
Taxus, et infandos belli potura cruores 
Fraxinus, atque situ non expugnabile robur : 
Hinc audax abies, et odoro vulnere pinus 
Scinditur, acclinant intonsa cacimiina terrsa 
AInus arnica fretis, nee inhospita vitibus ulmus." 

In rural descriptions three things are necessary to render them poeti- 
cal : the happiness of epithet, of picturesque arrangement, and of little 
landscape views. Without these, all the names of trees and flowers, 
though strung together in tolerable numbers, contain no more poetry 
than a nurseryman or a florist's catalogue. In Statius, in Tasso and 
Spenser's admired forests (Ger. Liber, c. 3. st. 75, 76, and F. Queen, 
b. 1. c. 1. St. 8, 9), the poetry consists entirely in the happiness of the 
epithets. In Camoens, all the three requisites are admirably attained 
and blended together. 

276 THE ixauix 

The bsgixELt I^moa Kmts tlte rodfy grofv; 
F»ir M (when rrp'nici^ fi>r tfce dkra of love) 
TIk Tir^in's breaaa the eeode swell kvow^ 
So, the twin fruitage sweQ on erecr bovgh. 
Wild toTvOr-xreee the mo nnf in sides azn^d 
With ctzrUa^ foliage uid tonantie Thaifa : 
Here spnsda the poplar, to AI«-iiij« de«r; 
And dear to Phcebos. ct^ Terdant h«e. 
The laurel joins the bowers for em' giuui. 
The mjTtle bowers faebyr'd of txmatr's qaeai. 
To JoTc the oak his wid^-tpmd bnncfaes mmta ; 
And h^h to hear'n the fra^nott cedar bears; 
Where thrmigfa the glwiea appear the caTem'd loi 
The lofty pine-tree wsTes Ikt saUe kMb ; 
Sacred to CjhRS the whisp'ring pae 
I^res the inld grottoes where tlw white cKfla shi 
Here towers the cypress, preacher to the wn^ 
Leai'iiing from enrth her spiral hoaiaars rise. 
Till, as a spear-pcnnt rear'd, the topnost sprax 
PiHuts to the Edea of eternal daj. 
Here roimd h^ fost'iing elm the mnnii^ yia^ 
In food embraces, gives her arms to twin^ 
The imm'rotts clusters pendant from the boughs. 
The ereen here ^iatens, here the purple ^ws ; 
For, here the genial seasons of the year 
Danc'd hand in hand, no place for wint^ here ; 
His grisly risage from the shore eipdl'd, 
XTnited ew&j the nmili'ng seasons held. 
Anmnd the swelling frnits of deepening red, 
Therr snowy hues the fragrant Uoseoms spread ; 
Setween the bnreti ng bads of hund green 
The apple's ripe rermilion blnsh is seen ; 
For here each ^t Pomona's hand bestows 
Id cnltnr'd garden, free, nncnltnr'd fiowB, 
The Bavcnrr sweeter, and the hoe more bir, 
- Than e'er was foster'd by the hand of care. 
The cherry here in whining crimson glows ; 
And, stain'd with lover's Uood,' in poident rowa. 

BOOK ul] the lusiad. 277 

The bending bonghs the mnlberries o'erload ; 

The bending boughs caress'd by Zephyr nod. 

The gen'rons peach, that strengthens in exile 

Far from his native earth, the Persian soil, 

The velvet peach, of softest glossy blue, 

Hangs by the pomegranate of orange hue. 

Whose open heart a brighter red displays 

Than that which sparkles in the ruby's blaze. 

Here, trembling with their weight, the branches bear, 

Delicious as profuse, the tap'ring pear. 

For thee, fair fruit, the songsters of the grove 

With hungry bills from bower to arbour rove. 

Ah, if ambitious thou vdlt own the care 

To grace the feast of heroes and the fair. 

Soft let the leaves, with grateful umbrage, hide 

The green-tinged orange of thy mellow side. 

A thousand flowers of gold, of white and red. 

Far o'er the shadowy vale ^ their carpets spread, 

Of fairer tap'stry, and of richer bloom. 

Than ever glow'd in Persia's boasted loom : 

As glitt'ring rainbows o'er the verdure thrown, 

O'er every woodland walk th' embroid'ry shone. 

Here o'er the wat'ry mirror's lucid bed 

Narcissus, self-enamour'd, hangs the head ; 

And here, bedew'd with love's celestial tears. 

The woe-mark'd flower of slain Adonis rears , 

Puniceo tingit pendentia mora colore 

At tu quo ramis arbor miserabile corpus 
Nunc tegis unius, mox es tectura duorum ; 
Signa tene csBdis : pullosque et lectibus aptos 
Semper habe foetus gemini monumenta cruoris." 

Ovm, Met. 

* The shadowy vaU. — ^Literal from the original, — O sombrio vaUe — ' 
which Fanshaw, however, has translated, " the gloomy valley," and 
thus has given us a funereal, where the author intended a festive, land- 
scape. It must be confessed, however, that the description of the 
island of Venus, is infinitely the best part all of Fanshaw's transla- 
tion. And indeed the dullest prose translation might obscure, but 
could not possibly throw a total eclipse over, so admirable an original. 

2 The woe-marked flower of slain Adonis — watered by the tears of love, 
— The Anemone. " This," says Castera, " is applicable to the celestial 
Venus, for, according to my theology, her amour with Adonis had 

278 THE LI^IAD. 

Its pnrple head, prophetic of the Teign 

When lo6t Adoriis shall reTire again. 

At strife appear the lawns and porpled skies. 

Which from each other stole the beauteous dyes : ^ 

The lawn in all Aurora's Instre glows, 

Aurora steals the bloshes of the rose, 

The rose displays the bloshes that adorn. 

The spotless virgin on the nuptial mom. 

Zephyr and Flora emulous conspire 

To breathe their graces o'er the field's attire ; 

The one gives healthful freshness, one the hue 

Fairer than e'er creative pencil drew. 

Pale as the love-sick hopeless maid they dye 

The modest violet ; from the curious eye 

The modest violet tarns her gentle head. 

And, by the thorn, weeps o'er her lowly bed. 

Bending beneath the tears of pearly dawn 

The snow-white lily glitters o'er the lawn ; 

nothing in it impure, bnt was only the love which nature bears to the 
nm," The febles of antiquity have generaUy a threefold interraeta- 
tion,an nifitoncal allnsion, a physical and a metaphvsical allesotrv In 
the latter view, the fable of Adonis is only appUc^ble to th^^i^stial 
Venus. A divine youth is outrageously slain, but shall i«^^ !!»{« 
at the restoration of ^he gold^ age."^ ^r^nl^nT^^l"^ 
known, under different names, celebrated the Mysteries *ii. Ihi^ ♦{! 
and resurrection of Adonis ; among whom were the BH««ik t^T*^ 
we are told by Dr. Stukely. In the same manner Cwi^^^^^Vf 
of Psyche, is interpreted by mythologists, to ^^^^^ ^^ ?^^* 
weeping over the degeneracy of hum^ naturT ^ I>ivine Love 

* it^^^^ ^PP^^ ^ 2ati?iM and purpled «Jt£^ 

nhofrom each other stole the heauUous dy^_ 

On this passage Castera has the following sensibl** *\. 

-ThU thoughV Bays he, " U ti^en ftS^^TMyi^i'^ targxd,note: 

the rose : — *^jrxinim of Anaonius on 

* Ambigeres raperetne rosis Aurora mborem 
An daret, et flores tingere torta dies.' ^^ 

Camoens who had a genius rich of itself still f«wi. 

the expense of the ancients. BehoW what maV^^' ©iiHohed it at 

Those who pretend to give us nothing but th^l^.,&^t authors! 

f^^fff^/^*^ ^^« **^« li*«« rivulete^hLh d^^^^*? o«L «^ei^ own 

^vtZli^ ^''^ a hundred rivers, and which ev**^^^*^® *^t"te 
carry their waves triumphant to the ocean," ^^ ^ *h© dog-days 

BOOK rx.] THE LUSIAD. 279 

Low from the bongh reclines tlie damask rose, 
And o'er the lily's milk-white bosom glows. 
Fresh in the dew, far o'er the painted dales, 
Each fragrant herb her sweetest scent exhales. 
The hyacinth bewrays the doleful Ai^ 
And calls the tribute of Apollo's sigh ; 
Still on its bloom the mournful flower retains 
The lovely blue that dy'd the stripling's veins. 
Pomona, fir'd with rival envy, views 
The glaring pride of Flora's darling hues ; 
Where Flora bids the purple iris spread. 
She hangs the wilding's blossom white and red ; 
Where wild-thyme purples, where the daisy snows 
The curving slopes, the melon's pride she throws ; 
Where by the stream the lily of the vale. 
Primrose, and cowslip meek, perfume the gale, 
Beneath the lily, and the cowslip's bell. 
The scarlet strawberries luxurious swell. 
Nor these alone the teeming Eden yields. 
Each harmless bestial crops the flow'ry fields ; 
And birds of ev'ry note, and ev'ry wing. 
Their loves responsive thro' the branches sing : 
In sweet vibrations thrilling o'er the skies. 
High pois'd in air, the lark his warbling tries ; 
The swan, slow sailing o'er the crystal lake. 
Tunes his melodious note ; from ev'ry brake 
The glowing strain the nightingale returns. 
And, in the bowers of love, the turtle mourns. 
Pleas'd to behold his branching horns appear. 
O'er the bright fountain bends the fearless deer; 
The hai*e starts trembling from the bushy shade. 
And, swiftly circling, crosses oft the glade. 

* The hyacinth hewrays the doleful Ai. — ^Hyacinthus, a youth be- 
loved of Apollo, by whom he was accidentally slam, and afterwards 
turned into a flower: — 

" Tyrioque nitentior ostro 
Flos oritur, formamque capit, quam lilia : si non, 
Purpureus color huic, argenteus esset in illis. 
Non satis hoc Phsebo est : is enim fuit auctor honoris. 
Ipse sues gemitus foliis inscribit ; et Ai, Al, 
Flos habet inscriptum : funestaque littera ducta est. 

Ovm, Met. 

280 theT lusiad. 

Where from the rocks the bubbling f onnts distil. 

The milk-white lambs come bleating down the hill ; 

The dappled heifer seeks the yales below. 

And from the thicket springs the bounding doe. 

To his loVd nest, on fondly flntt'ring wings. 

In chirping bill the little songster brings 

The food nntasted ; transport thrills his breast ; 

'Tis nature's toach, 'tis instinct's heaVn-like feast. 

Thus bower and lawn were deck'd with Eden's flowers. 

And song and joj imparadis'd the bowers. 

And soon the fleet their ready anchors threw : 
Lifted on eager tip-toe at the view, 
On nimble feet that bounded to the strand 
The second Argonauts ^ elance to land. 
Wide o'er the beauteous isle * the lovely fair 
Stray through the distant glades, devoid of care. 

* The second Argonauts. — ^The expedition of the Golden Fleece was 
esteemed, in ancient poetry, one of the most daring adventiires, the 
success of which was accounted miraculous. The allusions of Gamoens 
to this Yoyage, though in the spirit of his age, are by no means 

* Wide o'er the heavieous ide the lovely fair. — ^We now come to the 
passage condemned by Voltaire as so laisciyious, that no nation in 
Europe, except the Portuguese and Italians, could bear it. The fate 
of Camoens has hitherto been Tery peculiar. The mixture of Pagan 
and Christian mythology in his machinery has been anathematized 
and his island of love represented as a brotheL ^ Yet both accusations 
are the arrogant assertions of the most superficial acquaintance with 
his works. His poem itself, and a comparison of its parts with the 
similar conduct of the greatest modem poets, will clearly evince, that 
in both instances no modem epic writer of note has given less offence 
to true criticism. 

Not to mention Ariosto, whose descriptions will often admit of no 
palliation, Tasso, Spenser, and Milton, have always b^n esteemed 
among the chastest of poets, yet in that delicacy of warm description 
which Milton has so finely exemplified in the nuptials of onr first 
parents, none of them can boast the continued uniformity of the Portu- 
guese poet. Though there is a warmth in the colouring of Gamoens 
which even the genius of Tasso has not reached ; and though the 
island of Armida is evidently copied from the Lusiad, yet those who 
are possessed of the finer feelings, will easily discover an essential 
difference between the love-scenes of the two poets, a difference greatly 
in favour of the delicacy of the former. Though the nymphs in 
Camoens are detected naked in the woods, and in the stream, and 
though desirous to captivate, still their behaviour is that of the virgin 


From lowly valley and from mountain grove 
The lovely nymphs renew the strains of love. 

who hopes to be the spouse. They act the part of offended modesty ; 
even when they yield they are silent, and b^iaye in every respect like 
Milton's Eve in the state of innocence, who — 

".What was honour knew," 
And who displayed — 

** Her virtue, and the conscience of her worth, 
That would be wooed, and not unsought be won." 

To sum up all, the nuptial sanctity draws its hallowed curtains, and 
a masterly allegory shuts up the love-scenes of Camoens. 

How different from all this is the island of Armida in Tasso, and 
its translation, the bower of Acrasia in Spenser 1 In these virtue is 
seduced ; the scene therefore is less delicate. The nymphs, while they 
are bathing, in place of the modesty of the bride as in Camoons, em- 
ploy all the arts of the lascivious wanton. They stay not to be wooed ; 
but, as Spenser gives it — 

The amorous sweet spoils to greedy eyes reveal. 

One stanza from our English poet, which, however, is rather fuller 
than the original, shall here suffice : — 

" Withal she laughed and she blush'd withal, 
That blushing to her laughter gave more grace. 
And laughter to her blushing, as did fall. 
Now when they spy*d the knight to slack his pace, 
Them to behold, and in his sparkling face 
The secret signs of kindled lust appear, 
Their wanton merriments they did increase, 
And to him beckon'd to approach more near, 
And showed him many sights, that courage cold could rear* 

This and other descriptions — 

" Upon a bed of roses she was laid 
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin " — 

present every idea of lascivious voluptuousness. The allurements of 
speech are also added. Songs, which breathe every persuasive, are 
heard ; and the nymphs boldly call to the beholder : — 

W dolce campo di hattaglia il letto 

Fiaviy e Vherbetta morbida d^ prati. — Tasso. 

" Our field of battle is the downy bed. 
Or flowery turf amid the smiling mead." — Hoole. 

These, and the whole scenes in the domains of Armida and Acrasia, 
are in a turn of manner the reverse of the island of Venus. In these 
the expression and idea are meretricious. In Camoens, though the 
colouring is even warmer, yet the modesty of the Venus de Medicis is 
still preserved. In everything he describes there is still something 

282 THE LUSIAD. « [sbOK uL 

Here from the bowers that crown the plaintive rill 
The solemn harp's melodious warblings thrill ; 
Here from the shadows of the upland grot 
The mellow lute renews the swelling note. 
As fair Diana, and her virgin train, 
Some gaily ramble o*er the flow'ry plain, 
In f eign'd pursuit of hare or bounding roe. 
Their graceful mien and beauteous limbs to show ; 
Now seeming careless, fearful now and coy, 
(So, taught the goddess of unutter'd joy), 
And, gliding through the distant glades, display- 
Each limb, each movement, naked as the day. 
Some, light with glee, in careless freedom take 
Their playful revels in the crystal lake ; 
One trembling stands no deeper than the knee 
To plange reluctant, while in sportful glee 
Another o*er her sudden laves the tide ; 
In pearly drops the wishful waters glide. 
Reluctant dropping from her breasts of snow ; 
Beneath the wave another seems to glow ; 
The am'rous waves her bosom fondly kiss'd. 
And rose and fell, as panting, on her breast. 
Another swims along with graceful pride. 
Her silver arms the glistening waves divide. 
Her shining sides the fondling waters lave. 
Her glowing cheeks are brightened by the wave, 
Her hair, of mildest yellow, flows from side 
To side, as o'er it plays the wanton tide. 
And, careless as she turns, her thighs of snow 
Their tap 'ring rounds in deeper lustre show. 

Some gallant Lusians sought the woodland prey, 
And, thro' the thickets, forc'd the pathless way ; 

strongly similar to the modest attitude of the arms of that celebrated 
statue. Though prudery, that usual mask of the impurest minds mav 
condemn him, yet those of the most chaste, though less gloomy turn 

will allow, that in comparison with others, he might say, FirotniZmi 

pueriaque canto, ^ ^^ 

Spenser also, where he does not follow Tasso, is often gross • and 

even in some instances, where the expression is most delioatA f ho 

picture is nevertheless indecently lascivious. . ' ^"® 


Where some, in shades impervious to the beam, 

Supinely listened to the murm'ring stream : 

When sadden, through the boughs, the various dyes 

Of pink, of scarlet, and of azure rise. 

Swift from the verdant banks the loit'rers spring, 

Down drops the arrow from the half-drawn string : 

Soon they behold 'twas not the rose's hue. 

The jonquil's yellow, nor the pansy's blue : 

Dazzling the shades the nymphs appear — the zone 

And flowing scarf in gold and azure shone. 

Naked as Yenus stood in Ida's bower. 

Some trust the dazzling charms of native power ; 

Through the green boughs and darkling shades they show 

The shining lustre of their native snow. 

And every tap'ring, every rounded swell 

Of thigh, of bosom, as they glide, reveal. 

As visions, cloth'd in dazzling white, they rise, 

Then steal unnoted from the flurried eyes : 

Again apparent, and again withdrawn. 

They shine and wanton o'er the smiling lawn. 

Amaz'd and lost in rapture of surprise, 

" All joy, my friends ! " the brave Veloso cries, 

" Whate'er of goddesses old fable told. 

Or poet sung of sacred groves, behold. 

Sacred to goddesses divinely bright 

These beauteous forests own their guardian might. 

From eyes profane, from ev'ry age conceal'd, ' 

To us, behold, all Paradise reveal'd ! 

Swift let us try if phantoms of the air. 

Or living charms, appear divinely fair ! " 

Swift at the word the gallant Lusians bound. 

Their rapid footsteps scarcely touch the ground ; 

Through copse, through brake, impatient of their prey, 

Swift as the wounded deer, they spring away : 

Fleet through the winding shades, in rapid flight. 

The nymphs, as wing'd with terror, fly their sight ; 

Fleet though they fled, the mild reverted eye 

And dimpling smile their seeming fear deny. 

Fleet through the shades in parted rout they glide : 

If winding path the chosen pairs divide, 

284 THE LU8IAD. [book o. 

Anotlier patli hj sweet mistake betrays, 
And throws the lover on the lover's gaze : 
If dark-brow'd bower conceal the lovely fair, 
The laugh, the shriek, confess the charmer there. 

Lnxarious here the wanton zephyrs toy. 
And ev'ry fondling fav'ring art employ. 
Fleet as the fair ones speed, the busy gale 
In wanton frolic lifts the trembling veil ; 
White though the veil, in fairer brighter glow. 
The lifted robe displays the living snow : 
Quick fluttering on the gale the robe conceals, 
Then instant to the glance each charm reveals ; 
Reveals, and covers &om the eyes on fire, 
Reveals, and with the shade inflames desire. 
One, as her breathless lover hastens on, 
With wily stumble sudden lies o'erthrown ; 
Confus'd, she rises with a blushing smile ; 
The lover falls the captive of her guile : 
Tripp'd by the fair, he tumbles on the mead. 
The joyful victim of his eager speed. 

Afar, where sport the wantons in the lake, 
Another band of gallant youths betake ; 
The laugh, the shriek, the revel and the toy. 
Bespeak the innocence of youthful joy. 
The laugh, the shriek, the gallant Lusians hear 
As through the forest glades they chase the deer ; 
For, arm*d, to chase the bounding roe they came, 
Unhop'd the transport of a nobler game. 
The naked wantons, as the youths appear. 
Shrill through the woods resound the shriek of fear. 
Some feign such terror of the forc'd embrace. 
Their virgin modesty to this gives place, 
Naked they spring to land, and speed away 
To deepest shades unpierc'd by glaring day ; 
Thus, yielding freely to the am'rous eyes 
What to the am'rous hands their fear denies. 
Some well assume Diana's virgin shame. 
When on her naked sports the hunter ^ came 

' The hunter. — Aoteon. 


Unwelcome — plnnging in the crystal tide, 

In vain they strive their beanteoas limbs to hide ; 

The lucid waves ('twas all they could) bestow 

A milder lustre and a softer glow. 

As, lost in earnest care of future need, 

Some to the banks, to snatch their mantles, speed, 

Of present view regardless ; ev'ry wile 

Was yet, and ev'ry net of am'rous gnile. 

Whate'er the terror of the feign'd alarm. 

Displayed, in various force, was ev'ry charm. 

Nor idle stood the gallant youth ; the wing 

Of rapture lifts them, to the fair they spring ; 

Some to the copse pursue their lovely prey ; 

Some, cloth'd and shod, impatient of delay. 

Impatient of the stings of fierce desire. 

Plunge headlong in the tide to quench the fire. 

So, when the fowler to his cheek uprears 

The hollow steel, and on the mallard bears. 

His eager dog, ere bursts the flashing roar. 

Fierce for the prey, springs headlong from the shore, 

And barking, cuts the wave with furious joy : 

So, mid the billow springs each eager boy. 

Springs to the nymph whose eyes &om all the rest 

By singling him her secret wish conf ess'd. 

A son of Mars was there, of gen'rous race, 
His ev'ry elegance of manly grace ; 
Am'rous and brave, the bloom of April youth 
Glow'd on his cheek, his eye spoke simplest truth ; 
Yet love, capricious to th' accomplish'd boy. 
Had ever turn'd to gall each promised joy. 
Had ever spum'd his vows ; yet still his heart 
Would hope, and nourish stiU the tender smart : 
The purest delicacy f ann'd his fires. 
And proudest honour nurs*d his fond desires. 
Not on the first that fair before him glow'd. 
Not on the first the youth his love bestow'd. 
In all her charms the fair Ephyre came, 
And Leonardo's heart was all on flame. 
Affection's melting transport o'er him stole, 
And love's all gen'rous glow entranced his soul ; 

]286 THE LUSIAD. [book el 

Of selfish joy tm conscious, ev'ry thouglit 

On sweet delirium's ocean streamed afloat. 

Pattern of beauty did Ephyre shine, 

Nor less she wished these beauties to resign : 

More than her sisters long'd her heart to yield, 

Yet, swifter fled she o*er the smiling field. 

The youth now panting with the hopeless chase, 

" Oh turn," he cries, " oh turn thy angel face : 

False to themselves, can charms like these conceal 

The hateful rigour of relentless steel ? 

And, did the stream deceive me, when I stood 

Amid my peers reflected in the flood ? 

The easiest port and fairest bloom I bore — 

False was the stream — while I in vain deplore. 

My peers are happy ; lo, in ev'ry shade. 

In ev'ry bower, their love with love repaid ! 

I, I alone through brakes, through thorns pursue 

A cruel fair. Ah, still my fate proves true, 

True to its rigour — who, fair nymph, to thee 

Reveal'd 'twas I that sued ! unhappy me ! 

Bom to be spum'd though honesty inspire. 

Alas, I faint, my languid sinews tire ; 

Oh stay thee — powerless to sustain their weight 

My knees sink down, I sink beneath my fate ! " 

He spoke ; a rustling urges thro' the trees. 

Instant new vigour strings his active knees. 

Wildly he glares around, and raging cries, 

" And must another snatch my lovely prize ! 

In savage grasp thy beauteous limbs constrain ! 

I feel, I madden while I feel the pain ! 

Oh lost, thou fli'st the safety of my arms, 

My hand shall guard thee, softly seize thy charms, 

No brutal rage inflames me, yet I burn ! 

Die shall thy ravisher. O goddess, turn, 

And smiling view the error of my fear ; 

No brutal force, no ravisher is near ; 

A harmless roebuck gave the rustling sounds, 

Lo, from the thicket swift as thee he bounds 1 

Ah, vain the hope to tire thee in the chase ! 

I faint, yet hear, yet turn thy lovely face. 

Vain are thy fears ; were ev'n thy will to yield 

The harvest of my hope, that harvest field 


My fate would guurd, and walls of brass would rear 

Between my sickle and the golden ear. 

Yet fly me not ; so may thy youthful prime 

Ne'er fly thy cheek on the grey wing of time. 

Yet hear, the last my panting breath can say, 

Nor proudest kings, nor mightiest hosts can sway 

Fate's dread decrees ; yet thou, O nymph, divine. 

Yet thou canst more, yet thou canst conquer mine. 

Unmov*d each other yielding nymph I see ; 

Joy to their lovers, for they touch not thee ! 

But thee ! — oh, every transport of desire. 

That melts to mingle with its kindred fire. 

For thee respires — alone I feel for thee 

The dear wild rage of longing ecstasy : 

By all the flames of sympathy divine 

To thee united, thou by right art mine. 

From thee, from thee the hallow 'd transport flows 

That sever' d rages, and for union glows : 

Heav'n owns the claim. Hah, did the lightning glare : 

Yes, I beheld my rival, though the air 

Qrew dim ; ev'n now I Jbeard him softly tread. 

Oh rage, he waits thee on the flow'ry bed ! 

I see, I see thee rushing to his arms. 

And sinking on his bosom, all thy charms 

To him resigning in an eager kiss. 

All I implor'd, the whelming tid^ of bliss ! 

And shall I see him riot on thy ckarms, 

Dissolv'd in joy, exulting in thine arms ? 

Oh burst, ye lightnings, round my destin'd head. 

Oh pour your flashes " Madd'ning as he said,* 

^ Maddening as he said. — At the end of his Homer Mr. Pope has 
given an index of the instances of imitative and sentimental har- 
mony contained in his translations. He has also often even in his notes 
pointed out the adaptation of sound to sense. The translator of the 
Lusiad hopes he may for once say, that he has not been inattentive 
to this great essential of good versification : how he has succeeded the 
judicious only must determine. The speech of Leonard to the cursory 
reader may perhaps sometimes appear careless, and sometimes turgid 
and stiff. That speech, however, is an attempt at the imitative and 
sentimental harmony, and with the judicious he rests its fate. As 
the translation in this instance exceeds the original in length, the 
objection of a foreign critic requires attention. An old pursy Abbe, 
(and critics are apt to judge by themselves) may indeed be surprised 

288 THE LUSIAD. [book ix. 

Amid the windings of tke bow'ry wood ' 
His trembling footsteps still the nymph pnrsned. 
Woo'd to the flight she wing'd her speed to hear 
His am'rons accents melting on her ear. 
And now, she tarns the wild walk's serpent maze ; 
A roseate bower its velvet conch displays ; 
The thickest moss its softest verdnre spread, 
Grocns and mingling pansy fring'd the bed. 
The woodbine dropped its honey from above, 
And varions roses crown'd the sweet alcove. 
Here, as she hastens, on the hopeless boy 
She turns her face, all bath'd in smiles of joy ; 
Then, sinking down, her eyes snfhised with love 
Glowing on his, one moment lost reprove. 
Here was no rival, all he wish'd his own ; 
Lock'd in her arms soft sinks the stripling down. 
•Ah, what soft mnrmnrs panting thro' the bowers 
Sigh'd to the raptures of the paramours ! 
The wishful sigh, and melting smile conspire, 
Devouring kisses fan the fiercer fire ; 
Sweet violence, with dearest grace, assails. 
Soft o'er the purpos'd frown the smile prevails, 
The purpos'd frown betrays its own deceit. 
In well-pleas'd laughter ends the rising threat ; 
The coy delay glides ofE in yielding love. 
And transport murmurs thro' the sacred grove. 
The joy of pleasing adds its sacred zest, 
And all is love, embracing and embraced. 

The golden mom beheld the scenes of joy ; 
Nor, sultry noon, mayst thou the bowers annoy ; 
The sultry noon-beam shines the lover's aid. 
And sends him glowing to the secret shade. 
O'er evr'y shade, and ev'ry nuptial bower 
The love-sick strain the virgin turtles pour; 

that a man out of breath with nmning should be able to talk so long. 
But, had he consulted the experiences of others, he would have found 
it was no wonderful matter for a stout and young cavalier to talk 
twice as much, though fatigued with the chase of a couple of miles, 
provided the supposition be allowed, that he treads on the last steps 
of his flying mistress. 

BOOK IX.] raiE LUSIAD. 289 

For nuptial faith and holy rites combined, 
The Lusian heroes and the nymphs conjoin'd. 
With flow'ry wreaths, and laurel chaplets, bound 
With ductile gold, the nymphs the heroes crown'd : 
By ev'ry spousal holy ritual tied. 
No chance, they vow, shall e'er their hands divide, 
In life, in death, attendant as their fame ; 
Such was the oath of ocean's sov'reign dame : 
The dame (from heav'n and holy Vesta sprung, 
For ever beauteous and for ever young), 
Enraptur'd, views the chief whose deathless name 
The wond'ring world and conquer'd seas proclaim. 
With stately pomp she holds the hero's hand. 
And gives her empire to his dread command, 
By spousal ties confirm'd ; nor pass'd untold 
What Fate's unalter'd page had will'd of old : 
The world's vast globe in radiant sphere she show'd, 
The shores immense, and seas unknown, tmplough'd ; 
The seas, the shores, due to the Lusian keel 
And Lusian sword, she hastens to reveal. 
The glorious leader by the hand she takes, 
And, dim below, the flow'ry bower forsakes. 
High on a mountain's starry top divine 
Her palace walls of living crystal shine ; 
Of gold and crystal blaze the lofty towers ; 
Here, bath'd in joy, they pass the blissful hours : 
Engalf 'd in tides on tides of joy, the day 
On downy pinions glides unknown away. 
While thus the sov'reigns in the palace reign, 
Like transport riots o'er the humbler plain, 
Where each, in gen'rous triumph o'er his peers. 
His lovely bride to ev'ry bride prefers. 

" Hence, ye profane ! " ^ — the song melodious rose. 
By mildest zephyrs wafted through the boughs. 
Unseen the warblers of the holy strain — 
" Far from these sacred bowers, ye lewd profane ! 

^ Hence, ye profane. — ^We have already observed, that in every other 
poet the love scenes are generally described as those of guilt and remorse. 
The contrary character of those of Camoens not only gives them a deli- 
cacy unknown to other modems, but, by the fiction of the spouBal rites, 
the allegory and machinery of the poem are most happily oondocted; 


290 THE LUSIAD. [book ix. 

Hence each unhallow'd eye, each vulgar ear ; 

Chaste and divine are all the raptures here. 

The nymphs of ocean, and the ocean's queen, 

The isle angelic, ev*ry raptur'd scene, 

The charms of honour and its meed confess, 

These are the raptures, these the wedded bliss : 

The glorious triumph and the laurel crown, 

The ever blossom'd palms of fair renown. 

By time unwither'd, and untaught to cloy ; 

These are the transports of the Isle of Joy. 

Such was Olympus and the bright abodes ; 

Renown was heav'n, and heroes were the gods. 

Thus, ancient times, to virtue ever just, 

To arts and valour rear'd the worshipp*d bust. 

High, steep, and rugged, painful to be trod. 

With toils on toils immense is virtue's road ; 

But smooth at last the walks umbrageous smile, 

Smooth as our lawns, and cheerful as our isle. 

Up the rough road Alcides, Hermes, strove, 

All men like you, Apollo, Mars, and Jove : 

Like you to bless mankind Minerva toil'd ; 

Diana bound the tyrants of the wild ; 

O'er the waste desert Bacchus spread the vine ; 

And Ceres taught the harvest-field to shine. 

Fame rear'd her trumpet ; to the blest abodes 

She rais'd, and hail'd them gods, and sprung of gods. 

" The love of fame, by heav'n's own hand impress'd. 
The first, and noblest passion of the breast, 
May yet mislead. — Oh guard, ye hero train. 
No harlot robes of honours false and vain, 
No tinsel yours, be yours all native gold, 
Well-earn'd each honour, each respect you hold : 
To your lov'd king return a guardian band. 
Return the guardians of your native land ; 
To tyrant power be dreadful ; from the jaws 
Of fierce oppression guard the peasant's cause. 
If youthful fury pant for shining arms. 
Spread o'er the eastern world the dread alarms ; ^ 

* Spread o*er the eastern world the dread alarms. — This admoni- 
tion placeB the whole design of the poem before ns. To extirpate 


There bends the Saracen the hostile bow, 
The Saracen thy faith, thy nation's foe ; 
There from his cruel gripe tear empire's reins. 
And break his tyrant-sceptre o'er his chains. 
On adamantine pillars thus shall stand 
The throne, the glory of your native land ; 
And Lusian heroes, an immortal line, 
Shall ever with us share our isle divine." 

Mohammedanism, and propagate Christianity, were professed as the 
principal purpose of the discoveries of Prince Henry and King Em- 
manuel. In the beginning of the seventh Lusiad, the nations of 
Europe are upbraided for permitting the Saracens to erect and possess 
an empire, which alike threatened Europe and Christianity. The 
Portuguese, however, the patriot poet concludes, will themselves over- 
throw their enormous power : an event which is the proposed subject 
of the Lusiad, and which is represented as, in effect, completed in 
the last book. On this system, adopted by the poet, and which on 
every occasion was avowed by their kings, the Portuguese made 
immense conquests in the East. Yet, let it be remembered, to the 
honour of Gama, and the first commanders who followed his route, that 
the plots of the Moors, and their various breaches of treaty, gave rise 
to the first wars which the Portuguese waged in Asia. On finding 
that all the colonies of the Moors were combined for their destruction, 
the Portuguese declared war against the eastern Moors, and their 
allies, wherever they found them. The course of human things, how- 
ever, soon took place, and the sword of victory and power soon became 
the sword of tyranny and rapine. 

292 THE LUSIAD. [book n. 




From the earliest ages, and in the most distant nations, palaces, forests 
and gardens, have been the favourite themes of poets. And though, 
as in Homer's island of Rhadamanthus, the description is sometimes 
only cursory ; at other times they have lavished all their powers, and 
have vied with each other in adorning their edifices and landscapes. 
The gardens of Alcinous in the Odyssey, and Elysium in the .^hieid, 
have excited the ambition of many imitators. Many instances of 
these occur in the later writers. Thepe subjects, however, it must 
be owned, are so natural to the genius of poetry, that it is scarcely 
fair to attribute to an imitation of the classics, the innumerable 
descriptions of this kind which abound in the old romances. In these, 
under different allegorical names, every passion, every virtue and vice, 
had its palace, its enchanted bower, or its dreary cave. Among the 
Italians, on the revival of letters, Pulci, Boiardo, and others, borrowed 
these fictions from the Gothic romancers ; Ariosto borrowed from them, 
and Spenser has copied Ariosto and Tasso. In the sixth and seventh 
books of the Orlando Furioso, there is a fine description of the island 
and palace of Alcina, or Vice ; and in the tenth book (but inferior to 
the other in poetical colouring), we have a view of the country of 
Logistilla, or Virtue. The passage, of this kind, however, where 
Ariosto has displayed the richest poetical painting, is in the xxxiv. book, 
in the description of Paradise, whither he sends Astolpho, the English 
duke, to ask the help of St. John to recover the wits of Orlando. 
The whole is most admirably fanciful. Astolpho mounts the clouds 
on the winged horse, sees Paradise, and, accompanied by the Evange- 
list, visits the moon; the adventures in which orb are almost literally 
translated in Milton's Limbo. But the passage which may be said to 
bear the nearest resemblance to the descriptive part of the island of 
Venus, is the landscape of Paradise, of which the ingenious Mr. Hoole, 
to whose many acts of friendship I am proud to acknowledge myself 
indebted, has obliged me with this translation, though only ten books 
of his Ariosto are yet published. 

" 0*er the glad earth the blissful season pours 
The vernal beauties of a thousand flowers 
In varied tints : there show'd the ruby's hue, 
The yellow topaz, and the sapphire blue. 

BOOK ixj THE LU8IAD. 293 

The mead appears one intermingled blaze 

Where pearls and diamonds dart their trembling rays. 

Not emerald here so bright a verdure yields 

As the fair turf of those celestial fields. 

On ev*ry tree the leaves imfading grow, 

The fruitage ripens and the flow'rets blow 1 

The frolic birds, gay-plum'd, of various wing 

Amid the boughs their notes melodious sing : 

Still lakes, and murm'ring streams, with waters olear, 

Charm the fix'd eye, and lull the listening ear. 

A softening genial air, that ever seems 

In even tenor, cools the solar beams 

With fanning breeze ; while from the enamell'd field, 

Whatever the fruits, the plants, the blossoms yield 

Of grateful scent, the stealing gales dispense 

The blended sweets to feed th' immortal sense. 

" Amid the plain a palace dazzling bright, 
Like living flame, emits a streamy light, 
And, wrapped in splendour of refulgent day, 
Outshines the strength of ev'ry mortal ray. 

" Astolpho gently now directs his speed 
To where the spacious pile enfolds the mead 
In circuit wide, and views with eager eyes 
Each nameless charm that happy soil supplies. 
With this compared, he deems the world below 
A dreary desert and a seat of woe ! 
By Heaven and Nature, in their wrath bestow'd,* 
In evil hour, for man's unblest abode. 

" Near and more near the stately walls he drew. 
In steadfast gaze transported at the view : 
They seem*d one gem entire, of purer red 
Than deep*ning gleams transparent rubies shed. 
Stupendous work ! by art DsBdalian rais'd. 
Transcending all by feeble mortals prais'd ! 
No more henceforth let boasting tongues proclaim 
Those wonders of the world, so chronicled by fame ! " 

Camoens read and admired Ariosto ; but it by no means follows 
that he borrowed the hint of his island of Venus from that poet. The 
luxury of flowery description is as common in poetry as are the tales 
of love. The heroes of Ariosto meet beautiful women in the palace of 
Alcina : — 

" Before the threshold wanton damsels wait, 
Or, sport between the pillars of the gate : 
But, beauty more had brightened in their face 
Had modesty attempered ev*ry grace ; 

294 THE LUSIAD. [book ix. 

In yestures green each damsel swept the ground^ 
Their temples fair, with leafy garlands crown'd. 
These, with a courteous welcome, led the knight 

To this sweet Paradise of soft delight 

Enamoured youths and tender damsels seem 

To chant their loves beside a purling stream. 

Some by a branching tree, or mountain's shade, 

In sports and dances press the downy glade, 

While one discloses to his friend, apart, 

The secret transport of his am'rous heart." — ^Book vL 

But these descriptions also, which bring the heroes of knight-errantry 
into the way of beautiful wantons, are as common in the old romances 
as the use of the alphabet ; and indeed the greatest part of these 
love-adventures are evidently borrowed from the fable of Circe. 
Astolpho, who was transformed into a myrtle by Alcina, thus informs 
Bogero : — 

" Her former lovers she esteemed no more, 
For many lovers she possessed before ; 

I was her joy 

Too late, alas, I found her wav'ring mind 
In love inconstant as the changing wind I 
Scarce had I held two months the fairy's grace, 
When a new youth was taken to my place : 
Rejected, then, I join'd the banish'd herd 
That lost her love, as others were preferr'd, . . 
Some here, some there, her potent charms retain, 
In "diverse forms imprisoned to remain ; 
In beeches, olives, palms, or cedars clos'd, 
Or, such as me, you here behold exposed ; 
In fountains some, and some in beasts confin'd, 
As suits the wayward fairy's cruel mind." 

HooLE, At. bk. vi. 

When incidents, character, and conduct confess the resemblance, 
we may, with certainty, pronounce from whence the copy is taken. 
Where only a similar stroke of passion or description occurs, it belongs 
alone to the arrogance of dulness, to tell us on what passage the poet 
had his eye. Every great poet has been persecuted in this manner : 
Milton in particular. His commentators have not left him a flower of 
his own growth. Yet, like the creed of the atheist, their system is 
involved in the deepest absurdity. It is easy to suppose that men of 
poetical feelings, in describing the same thing, should give us the 
same picture. But, that the Paradise Lost, which forms one animated 
whole of the noblest poetry, is a mere cento, compiled from innumer- 
able authors, ancient and modern, is a supposition which gives Milton 
a cast of talents infinitely more extraordinary and inexplicable than 
the greatest poetical genius. When Gaspar Poussin painted clouds 
and trees in his landscapes, he did not borrow the green and the blue of 


the leaf and the sky from Claude Lorraine. Neither did Gamoens, when 
he painted his island of Venus, spend the half of his life in collecting 
his colours from all his predecessors who had described the beauties 
of the vernal year, or the stages of passion. Gamoens knew how others 
had painted the flowery bowers of love ; these formed his taste, and 
corrected his judgment. He viewed the beauties of nature with 
poetical eyes, from thence he drew his landscapes ; he had felt all the 
allurements of love, and from thence he describes the agitations of 
that passion. 

Nor is the description of fairy bowers and palaces, though most 
favourite topics, peculiar to the romances of chivalry. The poetiy of 
the orientals also abounds with them, yet, with some characteristic 
differences. Like the constitutions and dress of the Asiatics, the 
landscapes of the eastern muse are warm and feeble, brilliant and 
slight, and, like the manners of the people, wear an eternal sameness. 
The western muse, on the contrary, is nervous as her heroes, some- 
times flowery as her Italian or English fields, sometimes majestically 
great as her Runic forests of oak and pine ; and always various, as the 
character of her inhabitants. Yet, with all these differences of feature, 
several oriental fictions greatly resemble the island of Girce, and the 
flowery dominions of Alcina. In particular, the adventures of Prince 
Agib, or the third Calender, in the Arabian Tales, afford a striking 
likeness of painting and catastrophe. 

If Ariosto*s, however, seem to resemble any eastern fiction, the island 
of Venus in Gamoens bears a more striking resemblance to a passage 
in Ghaucer. The following beautiful piece of poetical painting occurs 
in the Assembly of the Fowles : — 

** The bildir oak, and eke the hardie ashe, 
The pillir elme, the coffir unto caraine. 
The boxe pipetre, the holme to whippis lasshe, 
The sailing firre, the cypres deth to plaine. 
The shortir ewe, the aspe for shaftis plaine. 
The olive of pece, and eke the dronkin vine. 
The victor palme, the laurir to divine. 
A gardein sawe I full of blossomed bowis, 
Upon a river, in a grene mode 
There as sweetness evirmore inough is. 
With flouris white, and blewe, yelowe, and rede, 
And colde and clere wellestremis, nothing dede, 
That swommin full of smale fishis light. 
With finnis rede, and scalis silver bright. 

On every bough the birdis herd I syng 

With voice of angell, in ther harmonic 

That busied *hem, ther birdis forthe to bryng, 

And little pretie conies to ther plaie gan hie ; 

And furthir all about I gan espie 

The dredful roe, the buck, the hart and hind, 

Squirils, and bestis smal of gentle kind. 

296 THK LUSIAD. [book n 

Of instmmentes of stringis, in aooorde 
Herd I so plaie a rayishyng swetnesse, 
That God, that makir is of all and Lcnde, 
Ne herd nevir a better, as I gesse, 
There with a winde, unneth it might be lease. 
Made in the leyis grene a nois^ soft 
Accordant to the foulis song en loft. 

The aire of the place so attempre was. 
That ner was there greyannce of hot ne cold— 
♦ ♦♦♦♦• 

Under a tre beside a well I seye 
Cupid our lorde his arrowes forge and file, 
And at his fete his bowe all redie laye, 
And well his doughtir temprid all the while 
The heddis in the well, and with her wile 
She couchid *hem aftir as thei should serve, 
Some for to flea, and some to wound and carve. 

And upon pillirs grete of Jaspir long 
I saw a temple of Brasse ifoundid strong. 

And about the temple dauncid alwaie 
Women inow, of which some there y were 
Faire of 'hemself, and some of 'hem yfexe gaie, 
In kirtils all disheveled went thei there, 
That was ther office er from yere to yere, 
And on the temple sawe I white and faire 
Of dovis sittyng many a thousande paire.* 


Here we have Cupid forging his arrows, the woodland, the streams 
the music of instruments and birds, the frolics of deer and othei 
animals ; and women enow. In a word, the island of Venus is here 
sketched out, yet Chaucer was never translated into Latin or any lan- 
guage of the continent, nor did Camoens understand a line of English 
The subject was common, and the same poetical feelings in Chaucei 
and Camoens pointed out to each what were the Keauties of landscapes 
and of bowers devoted to pleasure. 

Yet, though the fiction of bowers, of islands, and palaces, was nc 
novelty in poetry, much, however, remains to be attributed to the 
poetical powers and invention of Camoens. The island of Venus con- 
tains, of all others, by much the completest gradation, and fullest 
assemblage of that species of -luxuriant painting. Nothing in the 
older writers is equal to it in fulness. Nor can the island of Armida, 
in Tasso, be compared to it, in poetical embroidery or passionate 
expression ; though Tasso as undoubtedly built upon the model oi 
Camoens, as Spenser appropriated the imagery of Tasso when he 
described the bower of Acrasia, part of which he has literally tran»- 


lated from the Italian poet. The beautiful fictions of Armida and 
Acrasia, however, are much too loDg to be here inserted, and they are 
" well known to every reader of taste. 

But the chief praise of our poet is yet unmentioned. The introduc- 
tion of so beautiful a fiction as an essential part of the conduct and 
machinery of an epic poem, does the greatest honour to the invention 
of Camoens. The machinery of the former part of the poem not Only 
acquires dignity, but is completed by it. And the conduct of Homer 
and Virgil has, in this, not only received a fine imitation, but a mas- 
terly contrast. In the finest allegory the heroes of the Lusiad receive 
their reward ; and, by means of this allegory, our poet gives a noble 
imitation of the noblest part of the ^neid. Li the tenth Lusiad, Gaha 
and his heroes hear the nymphs in the divine palace of Thetis sing 
the triumphs of their countrymen in the conquest of India : after this 
the goddess shows Gama a view of the eastern world, from the Gape of 
Good Hope to the furthest islands of Japan. She poetically describes 
every region, and the principal islands, and concludes, " All these are 
given to the western world by you." It is impossible any poem can be 
summed up with greater sublimity. The Fall of Troy is nothing to 
this. Nor is this all : .the most masterly fiction, finest compliment, 
and ultimate purpose of the ^neid is not only nobly imitated, but the 
conduct of Homer, in concluding the Iliad, as already observed, is 
paralleled, without one circumstance being borrowed. Poetical conduct 
cannot possibly bear a stronger resemblance, than the reward of the 
heroes of the Lusiad, the prophetic song, and the vision shown to Gaha 
bear to the games at the funeral of Patroclus and the redemption of 
the body of Hector, considered as the completion of the anger of 
Achilles, the subject of the Iliad. Nor is it a greater honour to re- 
semble a Homer and a Virgil, than it is to be resembled by a Milton. 
Milton certainly heard of Fanshaw*s translation of the Lusiad, though 
he might never have seen the original, for it was published fourteen 
vears before he gave his Paradise Lost to the world. But, whatever he 
knew of it, had the last book of the Lusiad been two thousand years 
known to the learned, every one would have owned that the two last 
books of the Paradise Lost were evidently formed upon* it. But 
whether Milton borrowed any hint from Camoens is of little conse- 
quence. That the genius of the great Milton suggested the conclhsion 
of his immortal poem in the manner and with the machinery of the 
Lusiad, is enough. It is enough that the part of Michael and Adam 
in the two last books of the Paradise Lost are, in point of conduct, 
exactly the same with the part of Thetis and Gama in the conclusion 
of the Lusiad. Yet, this difference must be observed ; in the narrative 
of his last book, Milton has fiagged, as Addison calls it, and fallen 
infinitely short of the untired spirit of the Portuguese poet. 


298 THE LUSIAD. [bookx. 



In the opening of this, the last canto, the poet resumes the allegory 
of the Isle of Joy, or of Venus : the faii;, nymphs conduct their 
lovers to their radiant palaces, where delicious wines sparkle in every 
cup. Before the poet describes the song of a prophetic siren, who 
celebrates the praise of the heroes who are destined to ennoble the 
name of their country, he addresses himself to his muse in a tone of 
sorrow, which touches us the more deeply when we reflect upon the 
unhappy situation to which this great poet was at last reduced. In 
the song of the siren, which follows, is afforded a prophetic view from 
the period of Grama's expedition down to Gamoens' own times, in which 
Pacheco, and other heroes of Portugal, pass in review before the eye of 
the reader. When the siren has concluded her prophetic song, Thetis 
conducts Gama to the top of a mountain and addresses him in a set 
speech. The poem concludes with the poet's apostrophe to King 

FAR o'er the western ocean's distant bed 
Apollo now his fiery coursers sped ; 
Far o'er the silver lake of Mexic ^ roll'd 
His rapid chariot wheels of burning gold : 

* Far &er the stiver lake of Mexic, — The city of Mexico is environed 
with an extensive lake ; or, according to Cortez, in his second narration 
to Charles V., with two lakes, one of fresh, the other of salt water, 
in circuit about flfty leagues. This situation, said the Mexicans, was 
appointed by their God Vitzliputzli, who, according to the explanation 
of their picture-histories, led their forefathers a journey of foursoore 
years, in search of the promised land. Four of the principal priests 
carried the idol in a coffer of reeds. Whenever they halted they built 


The eastern sky was left to dusky grey, 

And o'er the last hot breath of parting day, 

Cool o'er the sultry noon's remaining flame, 

On gentle gales the grateful twilight came. 

Dimpling the lucid pools, the fragrant breeze 

Sighs o'er the lawns, and whispers thro' the trees ; 

Refresh'd, the lily rears the silver head. 

And opening jasmines o'er the arbours spread. 

Fair o'er the wave that gleam'd like distant snow, 

Graceful arose the moon, serenely slow ; 

Not yet full orb'd, in clouded splendour dress'd, 

Her married arms embrace her pregnant breast. 

Sweet to his mate, recumbent o'er his young. 

The nightingale his spousal anthem sung ; 

From ev'ry bower the holy chorus rose. 

From ev'ry bower the rival anthem flows. 

Translucent, twinkling through the upland grove, 

In all her lustre shines the star of love ; 

Led by the sacred ray from ev'ry bower, 

A joyful train, the wedded lovers pour : 

Each with the youth above the rest approv'd, 

Each with the nymph above the rest belov'd, 

They seek the palace of the sov'reign dame ; 

High on a mountain glow'd the wondrous frame : 

Of gold the towers, of gold the pillars shone, 

The walls were crystal, starr'd with precious stone. 

Amid the hall arose^ the festive board, 

With nature's choicest gifts promiscuous stor'd : 

So will'd the goddess to renew the smile 

Of vital strength, long worn by days of toil. 

On crystal chairs, that shin'd as lambent flame, 

Each gallant youth attends his lovely dame ; 

Beneath a purple canopy of state 

The beauteous goddess and the leader sat : 

The banquet glows — Not such the feast, when all 

The pride of luxury in Egypt's hall 

a tabernacle for their god in the midst of their camp, where they 
placed the coffer and the altar. They then sowed the land, and their 
stay or departure, without regard to the harvest, was directed by the 
orders received from their idol, till at last, by his command, they fixed 
their abode on the site of Mexico. 

300 THE LUBIAD. [boo* x. 

Before the love-sick Roman ^ spread tlie boast 

Of ev'ry teeming sea and fertile coast. 

Sacred to noblest worth and Virtne's ear, 

Divine, as genial, was the banquet here ; 

The wine, the song, by sweet returns inspire, 

Now wake the lover's, now the hero's fire. 

On gold and silver from th' Atlantic main, 

The sumptuous tribute of the sea's wide reign, 

Of various savour, was the banquet pil'd ; 

Amid the fruitage mingling roses smil'd. 

In cups of gold that shed a yellow light, 

In silver, shining as the moon of night. 

Amid the banquet flow'd the sparkling wine, 

Nor gave Falemia's fields the parent vine : 

Falernia's vintage, nor the fabled power 

Of Jove's ambrosia in th' Olympian bower 

To this compare not ; wild, nor frantic fires, 

Divinest transport this alone inspires. 

The bev'rage, foaming o'er the goblet's breast. 

The crystal fountain's cooling aid conf ess'd ; ^ 

The while, as circling flow'd the cheerful bowl. 

Sapient discourse, the banquet of the soul. 

Of richest argument and brightest glow, 

Array'd in dimpling smiles, in easiest flow 

Pour'd all its graces : nor in silence stood 

The powers of music, such as erst subdued 

The horrid frown of hell's profound domains,* 

And sooth'd the tortur'd ghosts to slumber on their chains. 

* Before the love-sick Roman. — Mark Antony. 

* The beverage — the fountain* 8 cooling aid confessed. — It was a custom 
of the ancients in warm climates to mix the coolest spring water with 
their wine, immediately before drinking ; not, we may suppose, to 
render it less intoxicating, but on account of the cooling flayour it 
thereby received. Homer tells us that the wine which Ulysses gave 
to Polyphemus would bear twenty measures of water. Modern luxury 
has substituted preserved ice, in place of the more ancient mixture. 

* Music, such as erst suhdtied the horrid frown of hell, etc. — Alluding 
to the fable of Orpheus. Fanshaw's translation, as already observed, 
was published fourteen years before the Paradise Lost. These lines 

of MUton — 


" What could it less, when spirits immortal sung ? 
Their song was partial, but the harmony 


To mnsic's sweetest chords, in loftiest vein, 

An angel siren joins the vocal strain ; 

The silver roofs resonnd the living song, 

The harp and organ's lofty mood prolong 

The hallow'd warblings ; listening Silence rides 

The sky, and o'er the bridled winds presides ; 

In softest niurmnrs flows the glassy deep. 

And each, lull'd in his shade, the bestials sleep. 

The lofty song ascends the thrilling skies. 

The song of godlike heroes yet to rise ; 

Jove gave the dream, whose glow the siren fir'd. 

And present Jove the prophecy inspired. 

Not he, the bard of love-sick Dido's board, 

Nor he, the minstrel of Phesacia's lord. 

Though fam'd in song, could touch the warbling string, 

Or, with a voice so sweet, melodious sing. 

And thou, my muse, O fairest of the train. 

Calliope, inspire my closing strain. 

No more the summer of my life remains,^ 

My autumn's length'ning ev'nings chill my veins ; 

Down the black stream of years by woes on woes 

Wing'd on, I hasten to the tomb's repose. 

Suspended hell, and took with ravishment 
The thronging audience," 

bear a resemblance to these of Fanshaw — 

** Musical instruments not wanting, such 
As to the damn'd spirits once gave ease 
In the dark vaults of the infernal hall." 

To slumber amid their punishment, though omitted by Fanshaw, is 
literal : — 

" Fizerao descauQar da etema pena." 

* No more the summer of my life remains. — It is not certain when 
Camoens wrote this. It seems, however, not long to have preceded the 
publication of his poem, at which time he was in his fifty-fifth year. 
This apostrophe to his muse may, perhaps, by some be blamed as 
another digression; but, so little. does it require defence, that one 
need not hesitate to affirm that, had Homer, who often talks to his 
muse, introduced, on these favourable opportunities, any little picture 
or history of himself, these digressions would have been the most 
interesting parts of his works. Had any history of Homer complained, 
like this of Camoens, it would have been bedewed with the tears of 

302 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

The port whose deep, dark bottom shall detam 
My anchor, never to be weighed again, 
Never on other sea of life to steer 
The human course. — Yet thou, O goddess, hear, 
Yet let me live, though round my silver'd head 
Misfortune's bittVest rage unpitying shed 
Her coldest storms ; yet, let me live to crown 
The song that boasts my nation's proud renown. 

Of godlike heroes sung the nymph divine. 
Heroes whose deeds on Gama's crest shall shine ; 
Who through the seas, by Gama first explored. 
Shall bear the Lusian standard and the sword. 
Till ev'ry coast where roars the orient main. 
Blest in its sway, shall own the Lusian reign ; 
Till ev'ry pagan king his neck shall yield, 
Or vanquished, gnaw the dust on battle-field. 

** High Priest of Malabar," the goddess sung, 
" Thy faith repent not, nor lament thy wrong ; ^ 
Though, for thy faith to Lusus' gen'rous race. 
The raging zamoreem thy fields deface : 
From Tagus, lo, the great Pacheco sails 
To India, wafted on auspicious gales. 
Soon as his crooked prow the tide shall press, 
A new Achilles shall the tide confess ; 
His ship's strong sides shall groan beneath his weight, 
And deeper waves receive the sacred freight.^ 

* Thy faith repent noty nor lament thy wrong. — P. Alvarez Gabral 
the second Portuguese commander who sailed to India, entered into 
a treaty of alliance with Trimumpara, king of Cochin, and high priest 
of Malabar. The zamorim raised powerful armies to dethrone him. 
His fidelity to the Portuguese was unalterable, though his affairs 
were brought to the lowest ebb. — See the history in the Preface. 

* His ship* 8 strong sides shall groan "beneath his weighty 
And deeper waves receive the sacred freight — 

Thus Virgil :— 

*' Simul accipit alveo 
Ingentem iBneam. Gemuit sub pondere cymba 
Sutilis, et multam accepit rimosa paludem.'* — ^n. vi. 412. 

That the visionary boat of Charon groaned under the weight of 
^neas is a .fine poetical stroke ; but that the crazy rents let in the 


Soon as on India's strand ho shakes His spear, 
The burning east shall tremble, chiird with fear ; 
Reeking with noble blood, Cambalao's stream 
Shall blaze impnrpled on the evening beam ; 
Urg'd on by raging shame, the monarch brings, 
Banded with all their powers, his vassal kings : 
Narsinga*s rocks their cruel thousands pour, 
Bipur*s stern king attends, and thine, Tanore : 
To guard proud Calicut's imperial pride 
All the wide North sweeps down its peopled tide : 
Join'd are the sects that never touch'd before, 
By land the pagan, and by sea the Moor. 
O'er land, o'er sea the great Pacheco strews 
The prostrate spearmen, and the founder'd proas.* 
Submiss and silent, palsied with amaze. 
Proud Malabar th' unnumber'd slain surveys : 
Yet bums the monarch ; to his shrine he speeds ; 
Dire howl the priests, the groaning victim bleeds ; 
The ground they stamp, and, from the dark abodes, 
With tears and vows, they call th' infernal gods. 
Enrag'd with dog-like madness, to behold 
His temples and his towns in flames enroU'd, 

water is certainly lowering the image. The thought, however, as 
managed in Camoens is mucli grander than in Virgil, and affords 
a happy instance where the hyperbole is truly poetical. 

The Lusiad affords many instances which must be highly pleasing 
to the Portuguese, but dry to those who are unacquainted with their 
history. Nor need one hesitate to assert that, were we not acquainted 
with the Roman history from our childhood, a great part of the-^neid 
would appear to us intolerably uninteresting. Sensible of this disad- 
vantage which every version of historical poetry must suffer, the 
translator has not only in the notes added every incident which might 
elucidate the subject, but has also, all along, in the episode in the 
third and fourth books, in the description of the painted ensigns in 
the eighth, and in the allusions in the present book, endeavoured 
to throw every historical incident into that universal language, the 
picturesque of poetry. "When Hector storms the Grecian camp, when 
Achilles marches to battle, every reader understands and is affected 
with the bold painting. But when Nestor talks of his exploits at the 
funeral games of Araarynces (Iliad xxiii.) the critics themselves 
cannot comprehend him, and have vied with each other in inventing 

^ Proas^ or paraos, Indian vessels which lie low on the water, are 
worked with oars, and carry 100 men and upwards apiece. 

304 THE LXJ8IAD. [ 

Secure of promis'd victory, again 
He fires the war, the lawns are heap'd with slain. 
With stem reproach he brands his routed Najres, 
And for the dreadful field himself prepares ; 
His hamess*d thousands to the fight he leads ; 
And rides exulting where the combat bleeds : 
Amid his pomp his robes are sprinkled o'er, 
And his proud face dash'd, with his menials' gore : * 
From his high conch he leaps, and speeds to flight 
On foot inglorious, in his army's sight. 
Hell then he calls, and all the powers of hell, 
The secret poison, and the chanted spell ; 
Vain as the spell the poison'd rage is shed, 
For Heav'n defends the hero's sacred head. 
Still fiercer from each wound the tyrant bums, 
Still to the field with heavier force returns ; 
The seventh dread war he kindles ; high in air 
The hills dishonour'd lift their shoulders bare ; 
Their woods, roll'd down, now strew the river's side, 
Now rise in mountain turrets o'er the tide ; 
Mountains of fire, and spires of bick'ring flame, 
While either bank resounds the proud acclaim, 
.Come floating down, round Lusus' fleet to pour 
Their sulph'rous entrails ^ in a burning shower. 
Oh, vain the hope. — Let Rome her boast resign ; 
Her palms, Pacheco, never bloom'd like thine ; 
Nor Tiber's bridge,* nor Marathon's red field. 
Nor thine, Thermopylss, such deeds beheld ; 
Nor Fabius' arts such rushing storms repell'd. 

* His robes are sprinkled o*er. 
And his proud face dasKd^ wiih his menials* gore, — 
See the history in the Preface. 

' Bound Lusus* fleet to pour their sulph*rous entrails. — ^How Paoheoo 
avoided this formidable danger, see the history in the preface. 

' Nor Til>er*s bridge. — When Porsenna besieged Rome, Hbratios 
Codes defended the pass of a bridge till the Romans destroyed it 
behind him. Having thus saved the pass, heavy armed as he was, 
he swam across the Tiber to his companions. Roman history, however, 
at this period, is often mixed with fable. Miltiades obtained a g^reat 
victory over Darius at Marathon. The stand made by Leonidas at 
ThermopylsB is well known. The battles of Pacheco were in defence 
of the fords by which alone the city of Cochin could be entered. The 
numbers he withstood b^ land and sea, and the victories he obtained^ 
are much more astonishing than the defence of Thermopylie. 



Swift as, repuls'd, the famisli'd wolf returns 
Fierce to the fold, and, wounded, fiercer burns ; 
So swift, so fierce, seven times, all India's might 
Returns unnumber'd to the dreadful fight ; 
One hundred spears, seven times in dreadful stower, 
Strews in the dust all India's raging power." 

The lofty song (for paleness o'er her spread) 
The nymph suspends, and bows the languid head ; 
Her f altering words are breathed on plaintive sighs : 
"Ah, Belisarius, injur'd chief," she cries, 
" Ah, wipe thy tears ; in war thy rival see, 
Injur'd Pacheco falls despoil'd like thee ; 
In him, in thee dishonour'd Virtue bleeds. 
And Valour weeps to view her fairest deeds, — 
Weeps o'er Pacheco, where, forlorn he lies 
Low on an alms-house bed, and friendless dies. 
Yet shall the muses plume his humble bier. 
And ever o'er him pour th' immortal tear ; 
Though by the king, alone to thee unjust. 
Thy head, great chief, was humbled in the dust. 
Loud shall the* muse indignant sound thy praise — 
* Thou gav'st thy monarch's throne its proudest blaze.' 
While round the world the sun's bright car shall ride. 
So bright shall shine thy name's illustrious pride ; 
Thy monarch's glory, as the moon's pale beam, 
Eclips'd by thine, shall shed a sickly gleam. 
Such meed attends when soothing flatt'ry sways, 
And blinded State its sacred trust betrays ! " 

Again the nymph exalts her brow, again 
Her swelling voice resounds the lofty strain : 
** Almeyda comes, the kingly name he bears. 
Deputed royalty his standard rears : 
In all the gen'rous rage of youthful fire 
The warlike son attends the ^warlike sire. 
Quiloa's blood-stain'd tyrant now shall feel 
The righteous vengeance of the Lusian steel. 
Another prince, by Lisbon's throne belov'd. 
Shall bless the land, for faithful deeds approv'd. 

306 THE LUSIAD. [booci. 

Mombaz shall now her treason's meed behold, 

When curling flames her proudest domes enfold : 

Involved in smoke, loud crashing, low shall fall 

The mounded temple and the castled wall. 

0*er India's seas the young Almeyda pours. 

Scorching the withered air, his iron show'rs ; 

Tom masts and rudders, hulks and canvas riv'n. 

Month after month before his prows are driv'n ; 

But Heav'n's dread will, where clouds of darkness rest. 

That awful will, which knows alone the best, 

Now blunts his spear :• Cambaya's squadrons join'd 

With Egypt's fleets, in pagan rage combin'd, 

Engrasp him round ; red boils the stagg'ring flood. 

Purpled with volleying flames and hot with blood : 

Whirl'd by the cannon's rage, in shivers torn, 

His thigh, far scatter'd, o'er the wave is borne. 

Bound to the mast the godlike hero stands,^ 

Waves his proud sword, and cheers his woful bands. 

Though winds and seas their wonted aid deny. 

To yield he knows not, but he knows to die : 

Another thunder tears his manly breast : 

Oh fly, blest spirit, to thy heav'nly rest ! 

Hark ! rolling on the groaning storm I hear. 

Resistless vengeance thund'ring on the rear.- 

I see the transports of the furious sire. 

As o'er the mangled corse his eyes flash fire. 

Swift to the fight, with stem though weeping eyes, 

Fix'd rage fierce burning in his breast, he flies ; 

Fierce as the bull that sees his rival rove 

Free with the heifers through the mounded grove. 

On oak or beech his madd'ning fury pours ; 

So pours Almeyda's rage on Dabul's towers. 

^ Bound to the mast the godlike hero stands. — English history 
affords an instance of similar resolution in Admiral Bembo, who wad 
supported in a wooden frame, and continued the engagement after his 
legs and thighs were shivered in splinters. Contrary to the advioe of 
his oflficers, the young Almeyda refused to bear off, though almost 
certain to be overpowered, and though both wind and tide were 
against him. His father had sharply upbraided him for a former 
retreat, where victory was thought impossible. He now fell the 
victim of his father's ideas of military glory. 


His vanes wide waving o'er the Indian sky, 

Before his prows the fleets of India fly ; ^ 

On Egypt's chief his mortars' dreadful tire 

Shall vomit all the rage of prison'd fire : 

Heads, limbs, and trunks shall choke the struggling tide, 

Till, ev'ry surge with reeking crimson dy'd, 

Around the young Almeyda's hapless urn 

His conqueror's naked glaosts shall howl and mourn. 

As meteors flashing through the darken'd air 

I see the victors' whirling falchions glare ; 

Dark rolls the sulph'rous smoke o'er Dio's skies. 

And shrieks of death, and shouts of conquest rise, 

In one wide tumult blended. The rough roar 

Shakes the brown tents on Granges' trembling shore ; 

The waves of Indus from the banks recoil ; 

And matrons, howling on the strand of Nile, 

By the pale moon, their absent sons deplore : 

Long shall they wail ; their sons return no more. 

" Ah, strike the notes of woe ! " the siren cries ; 
" A dreary vision swims before my eyes. 
To Tagus' shore triumphant as he bends, 
Low in the dust the hero's glory ends : 
Though bended bow, nor thund'ring engine's hail, 
Nor Egypt's sword, nor India's spear prevail, 

* The fleets of India fly.^^Miei having cleared the Indian seas, 
the viceroy, Almeyda, attacked the combined fleets of Egypt, Cambaya, 
and the zamorim, in the entrance and harbour of Dlu, or Dio. The 
fleet of the zamorim almost immediately fled. That of Melique Yaz, 
Lord of Diu, suffered much ; but the greatest slaughter fell upon the 
Egyptians and Turks, commanded by Mir-Hocem, who had defeated 
and killed the young Almeyda. Of 800 Mamelukes, or Turks, who 
fought under Mir-Hocem, only 22, says Osorius, survived this engage- 
ment. Melique Yaz, says Faria y Sousa, was born in slavery, and 
descended of the Christians of Roxia. The road to preferment is 
often a dirty one ; but Melique*s was much less so than that of many. 
As the King of Cambaya was one day riding in state, an unlucky kite 
dunged upon his royal head. His majesty in great wrath swore he 
would give all he was worth to have the offender killed. Melique, 
who was an expert archer, immediately despatched an arrow, which 
brought the audacious hawk to the ground. For the merit of this 
eminent service he was made Lord of Diu, or Dio, a considerable city, 
the strongest and most important fortress at that time in all India. 
— See Faria, 1. 2, c. 2. 

308 THE LUSIAD. . [book x. 

Fall shall the chief before a naked foe, 

Rough clubs and rude-hurl'd stones shall strike the blow ; 

The Cape of Tempests shall his tomb supply, 

And in the desert sands his bones shall He, 

No boastful trophy o*er his ashes rear'd : 

Such Heav'n*s dread will, and be that will rever'd ! 

" But lo, resplendent shines another star," 
Loud she resounds, " in all the blaze of war ! 
Great Cunia ^ guards Melinda's friendly shore, 
And dyes her seas with Oja*s hostile gore ; 
Lamo and Brava's tow'rs his vengeance tell : 
Green Madagascar's flow'ry dales shall swell 
His echoed fame, till ocean's southmost bound 
On isles and shores unknown his name resound. 

" Another blaze, behold, of fire and arms ! 
Great Albuquerque awakes the dread alarms : 
O'er Ormuz' walls his thund'ring flames he pours. 
While Heav'n, the hero's guide, indignant show'rs 
Their arrows backward * on the Persian foe, 
Tearing the breasts and arms that twang'd the bow. 
Mountains of salt and fragrant gums in vain 
Were spent untainted to embalm the slain. 
Such heaps shall strew the seas and faithless strand 
Of Gerum, Mazcate,^ and Calayat's land. 
Till faithless Ormuz own the Lusian sway. 
And Barem's * pearls her yearly safety pay. 

" What glorious palms on Goa's isle I see,* 
Their blossoms spread, great Albuquerque, for thee ! 

* Great Cunia. — Tristan da Cunha, or d'Acugna. 

* Heaven indignant showers their arrows backward. — Some writers 
relate that, when Albuquerque besieged Ormuz, a violent wind 
drove the arrows of the enemy backward upon their own ranks. 
Osorius says, that many of the deftd Persians and Moors were found 
to have died by arrows. But as that weapon was not used by the 
Portuguese he conjectures that, in their despair of victory, many of 
the enemy had thus killed themselves, rather than survive the defeat 

' Muscat. - 

* Bahrein, in the Persian Gulf. 

* Wliat glorious palms on Goo's isle I see. — This important place 


Through castled walls the hero breaks his way, 

And opens with his sword the dread array 

Of Moors and pagans ; through their depth he rides, 

Through spears and show 'ring fire the battle guides. 

As bulls enrag'd, or lions smear'd with gore, 

His bands sweep wide o'er Goa's purpled shore. 

Nor eastward far though fair Malacca ^ lie, 

Her groves embosom'd in the morning sky ; 

Though with her am'rous sons the valiant,line 

Of Java's isle in battle rank combine, 

Though poison'd shafts their pond'rous quivers store ; 

Malacca's spicy groves and golden ore, 

Great Albuquerque, thy dauntless toils shall crown ! 

Yet art thou stain'd."^ Here, with a sighful frown, 

was made an archbishopric, the capital of the Portuguese empire 
in the east, and the seat of their viceroys ; for which purposes it is 
advantageously situated on the coast of Dekhan. It still remains in 
the possession of the Portuguese. 

* Malacca. — The conquest of this place was one of the greatest 
actions of Albuquerque. It became the chief port of the eastern part 
of Portuguese India, and second only to Goa. Besides a great many 
pieces of ordnance which were carried away by the Moors who 
escaped, 3000 large cannon remained the prize of the victors. When 
Albuquerque was on the way to Malacca, he attacked a large ship ; 
but, just as his men were going to board her, she suddenly appeared 
all in flames, which obliged the Portuguese to bear oflF. Three days 
afterwards the same vessel sent a boat to Albuquerque, offering an 
alliance, which was accepted. The flames, says Osorius, were only 
artificial, and did not the least damage. Another wonderful adven- 
ture immediately happened. The admiral soon after sent his long- 
boats to attack a ship commanded by one Nehoada Beeguea. The 
enemy made an obstinate resistance. Nehoada himself was pierced 
with several mortal wounds, but lost not one drop of blood till a 
bracelet was taken off his arm, when immediately the blood gushed 
out. According to Osorius, this was said to be occasioned by the 
virtue of a stone in the bracelet, taken out of an animal called Cabrisia, 
which, when worn on the body, could prevent the effusion of blood 
from the most grievous wounds. 

^ Yet art thou stairCd. — A detail of all the great actions of Albu- 
querque would have been tedious and unpoetical. Camoens has 
chosen the most brilliant, and has happily suppressed the rest by a 
displaj' of indignation. The French translator has the following 
note on this passage: "Behold another instance of our author's 
prejudice ! The action which he condemns had nothing in it blame - 
able : but, as he was of a most amorous constitution, he thought every 
fault which could plead an amour in its excuse ought to be pardoned ; 

810 THE LUSIAD. [bo(« x. 

The goddess pans'd, for much remain'd unsung, 
Bat blotted with a humble soldier's wrong. 

but true heroes, such as Albuquerque, follow other maxims. This 
great man had in his palace a beautiful Indian slave. He viewed 
her with the eyes of a father, and the care of her education was his 
pleasure. A Portuguese ^ oldier, named Buy Diaz, had the boldness 
to enter the generaFs apartment, where he succeeded so well with the 
girl that he obtained his desire. When Albuquerque heard of it, he 
immediately ordered him to the gallows." • 

Camoiins, however, was no such undistinguishing libertine as this 
would represent him. In a few pages we find him praising the con- 
tinence of Don Henry de Meneses, whose victory over his passions he 
calls the highest excellence of youth. Nor does it appear by what 
authority the Frenchman assures us of the chaste paternal* aJSection 
which Albuquerque bore to this Indian girl. It was the great aim 
of Albuquerque to establish colonies in India, and, for that purpose, he 
encouraged his soldiers to marry with the natives. The most sightly 
girls were selected, and educated in the religion and household arts 
of Portugal, and portioned at the expense of the general. These he 
called his daughters, and with great pleasure he used to attend their 
weddings, several couples being usually joined together at one time. 
At one of these nuptials, says Faria, the festivity having continued 
late, and the brides being mixed together, several of the bridegrooms 
committed a blunder. The mistakes of the night, however, as they 
were all equal in point of honour, were mutually forgiven in the 
morning, and each man took his proper wife whom he had received 
at the altar. This delicate anecdote of Albuquerque's sons and 
daughters is as bad a commentary on the note of Castera as it is on 
the severity which the commander showed to poor Diaz. Nor does 
Camoens stand alone in the condemnation of the general. The 
historian agrees with the poet. Mentioning the death of D. Antonio 
Noronha, "This gentleman," says Faria, "used to moderate the 
violent temper of his uncle, Albuquerque, which soon after showed 
itself in rigid severity. He ordered a soldier to be hanged for an 
amour with one of the slaves whom he called daughters, and whom 
he used to give in marriage. When some of his officers asked him 
what authority he had to take the poor man's life, he drew his sword, 
told them that was his commission, and instantly broke them." To 
marry his soldiers with the natives was the plan of Albuquerque : his 
severity, therefore, seems unaccountable, unless we admit the * perhaps' 
of Camoens, ou de cioso, perhaps it was jealousy. -^But, whatever in- 
censed the general, the execution of the soldier was contrary to the 
laws of every nation; * and the honest indignation of Camoens against 
one of the greatest of his countrymen, one who was the grand archi- 
tect of the Portuguese empire in the East, affords a noble instance of 
that manly freedom of sentiment which knows no right by which 
king or peer may do injustice to the meanest subject. Nor can we 

* * OsoriuB relates tbe affair of Diaz with some other circumstances ; but with no 
difference that affects this assertion. 


*' Alas," she ciies, " when war's dread horrors reign, 
And thnnd'ring batteries rock the fiery plain. 
When ghastly famine on a hostile soil, 
When pale disease attends on weary toil; 
When patient nnder all the soldier stands, 
Detested be the rage which then demands 
The hnmble soldier's blood, his onlv crime 
The am'rons frailty of the yonthful prime I 
Incest's cold horror here no glow restrain'd, 
Nor sacred nnptial bed was here profaned, 
Nor here nnwelcome force the virgin seiz'd ; 
A slave, lascivious, in his fondling pleas'd. 
Resigns her breast. Ah, stain to Lnsian fame ! 
('Twas Inst of blood, perhaps 'twas jealous flame ;) 
The leader's rage, unworthy of the brave. 
Consigns the youthful soldier to the grave. 
Not Ammon ^ thus ApeUes' love repaid. 
Great Ammon's bed resign'd the lovely maid ; 
Nor Cyrus thus reprov'd Araspas' fire ; 
Nor haughtier Carlo thus assum'd the sire, 
Though iron Baldwin to his daughter's bower. 
An ill-match'd lover, stole in secret hour : 
With nobler rage the lofty monarch glow'd. 
And Flandria's earldom on the knight bestow'd." * 

omit the observation, that the above note of Castera is of a piece with 
the Frenct devotion we have already seen him pay to the name of king, 
a devotion which breathes the true spirit of the blessed advice given 
by Father Paul to the republic of Venice : " When a nobleman com- 
mits an offence against a subject," says the Jesuit, " let every means 
be tried to justify him. But, if a subject has offended a nobleman, 
let him be punished with the utmost severity." 

* Not Ammon. — Gampaspe, the most beautiful concubine of Alex- 
ander the Great, was given by that monarch to Apelles, whom he 
perceived in love with her. Araspas had strict charge of the fair 
captive, Panthea. His attempt on her virtue was forgiven by Cyrus. 

* And Flandria's earldom on the knight hestov^d. — " Baldwin, sur- 
named Iron-arm, Grand Forester of Flanders, being in love with 
Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald, and widow of Ethelwolf, 
king of England, obtained his desire by force. Charles, though at 
first he highly resented, afterwards pardoned his crime, and consented 
to his marriage with the princess."— -Castera. 

This digression in the song of the nymph bears, in manner, a 
striking resemblance to the histories which often, even in. the heat 

312 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

Again tbe nymph the song of fame resounds : 
" Lo, sweeping wide o'er Ethiopia's bounds, 
Wide o'er Arabia's purple shore, on high 
The Lusian ensigns blaze along the sky : 
Mecca, aghast, beholds the standards shine. 
And midnight horror shakes Medina's shrine ; ^ 
Th' unhallow'd altar bodes th' approaching foe, 
Foredoom'd in dust its prophet's tomb to strew. 
Nor Ceylon's isle, brave Soarez, shall withhold 
Its incense, precious as the burnish'd gold. 
What time o'er proud Columbo's loftiest spire 
Thy flag shall blaze : Nor shall th' immortal lyre 
Forget thy praise, Sequeyra ! To the shore 
Where Sheba's sapient queen the sceptre bore,* 

of battle, the heroes of Homer relate to each other. That these 
little episodes have their beauty and propriety in an epic poem will 
strongly appear from a view of M. de la Motte*s translation of the 
Iliad into French verse. The four and twenty books of Homer he 
has contracted into twelve, and these contain no more lines than about 
four books of the original. A thousand embellishments which the 
warm poetical feelings of Homer suggested to him are thus thrown 
out by the Frenchman. But what is the consequence of this im- 
provement? The work of La Motte is unread, even by his own 
countrymen, and despised by every foreigner who has the least 
relish for poetry and Homer. 

^ And midnight horror shakes Medina^s shrine. — Medina, the city 
where Mohammed is buried. About six years after Gama's dis- 
covery of India, the Sultan of Egypt sent Maurus, the abBot of the 
monks at Jerusalem, who inhabit Mount Sion, on an embassy to Pope 
Julius n. The sultan, with severe threats to the Christians of the 
East in case of refusal, entreated the Pope to desire Emmanuel, king 
of Portugal, to send no more fleets to the Indian seas. The Pope 
sent Maurus to Emmanuel, who returned a very spirited answer to 
his holiness, assuring him that no threats, no dangers, oould make 
him alter his resolutions, and lamenting that it had not yet been in 
his power to fulfil his purpose of demolishing the sepulchre and 
erasing the memorials of Mohammed from the earth. This, he says, 
was the first purpose of sending his fleets to India. It is with great 
art that Camoens so often reminds us of the grand design of the 
expedition of his heroes to subvert Mohammedanism, and found a 
Christian empire in the East. But the dignity which this gives to 
his poem has already been observed in the preface. 

^ Where Sheba*8 sapient queen the sceptre bore. — The Abyssinians 
contend that their country is the Sheba mentioned in the Scripture, 
and that the queen who visited Solomon bore a son to that monarch, 
from whom their royal family, to the present time, is descended. 


Braving the Red Sea's dangers slialt thou force 
To Abyssinia's realm thy novel course ; 
And isles, by jealous Nature long conceal'd, 
Shall to the wond'ring world be now reveal'd. 
Great Menez next the Lusian sword shall bear ; 
Menez, the dread of Afric, high shall rear 
His victor lance, till deep shall Ormuz groan, 
And tribute doubled her revolt atone. 

" Now shines thy glory in meridian height " — 
And loud her voice she rais'd — " O matchless knight ! 
Thou, thou, illustrious Gama, thou shalt bring 
The olive bough of peace, deputed king ! 
The lands by thee discovered shall obey 
Thy sceptred power, and bless thy regal sway. 
But India's crimes, outrageous to the skies, 
A length of these Saturnian days denies : 
Snatch'd from thy golden throne,^ the heav'ns shall claim 
Thy deathless soul, the world thy deathless name. 

" Now o'er the coast of faithless Malabar 
Victorious Henry * pours the rage of war ; 
Nor less the youth a nobler strife shall wage. 
Great victor of himself though green in age ; 
No restless slave of wanton am'rous fire, 
No lust of gold shall taint his gen'rous ire. 
While youth's bold pulse beats high, how brave the boy 
Whom harlot- smiles nor pride of power decoy ! 

* Snatched from thy golden throne. — Gama only reigned three 
months viceroy of India. During his second voyage, the third which 
the Portuguese made to India, he gave the zamorim some considerable 
defeats by sea, besides his victories over the Moors. These, however, 
are judiciously omitted by Camoens, as the less striking part of his 

The French translator is highly pleased with the prediction of 
Gama's death, delivered to himself at the feast. " The siren," says 
he, "^ persuaded that Gama is a hero exempt from weakness, does not 
hesitate to mention the end of his life. Gama listens without any 
mark of emotion; the feast and the song continue. If I am not 
deceived, this is truly great." 

^ Victorious Henry, — Don Henry de Menezes. He was only 
twenty-eight when appointed to the government of India. He 
died in his thirtieth year, a noble example of the most disinterested 

314 THE LU8IAD. [book x. 

Immortal be bis name ! Nor less tby praise. 

Great Mascarene/ sball fntnre ages raise : 

Tbongb power, unjust, witbbold tbe splendid ray 

Tbat dignifies tbe crest of sovereign sway, 

Tby deeds, great cbief, on Bintam's bumbled sbore 

(Deeds snob as Asia never view'd before) 

Sball give tby bonest fame a brigbter blaze 

Tban tyrant pomp in golden robes displays. 

Tbougb bold in war the fierce usurper sbine, 

Tbougb Cutial's potent navy o'er tbe brine 

Drive vanquish 'd : tbougb tbe Lusian Hector's sword * 

For bim reap conquest, and confirm bim lord ; 

Tby deeds, great peer, tbe wonder of tby foes, 

Tby glorious chains unjust, and gen'rous woes, 

Sball dim tbe fierce Sampayo's fairest fame, 

And o'er bis honours thine aloud proclaim. 

Thy gen'rous woes ! Ah gallant injur'd chief, 

Not thy own sorrows give the sharpest grief. 

Thou seest tbe Lusian name her honours stain. 

And lust of gold her heroes' breasts profane ; 

Thou seest ambition lift the impious head, 

Nor God's red arm, nor lingering justice dread ; 

O'er India's bounds thou seest these vultures prowl. 

Full gorged with blood, and dreadless of control ; 

Thou seest and weepst thy country's blotted name, 

The gen'rous sorrow thine, but not the shame. 

Nor long the Lusian ensigns stain'd remain : 

Great Nunio* comes, and razes every stain. 

Though lofty Gale's warlike towers he rear ; 

Though haughty Melic groan beneath his spear ; 

All these, and Diu yielded to his name. 

Are but th' embroid'ry of his nobler fame. 

Far haughtier foes of Lusian race he braves ; 

The awful sword of justice high he waves : 

Before his bar the injur'd Indian stands. 

And justice boldly on bis foe demands, 

* Great Mascarine. — ^Pedro de Mascarenhas. The injustice done 
to this brave officer, and the usurpation of his government by Lopez 
Vaz de Sampayo, afford one of the most interesting periods of the 
history of the Portuguese in India. 

' Great Nunio. — Nunio de Cunha, one of the most worthy of the 
Portuguese governors. 



The Lnsian foe ; in wonder lost, the Moor 

Beholds proud rapine's vnltnre grip restore ; 

Beholds the Lnsian hands in fetters bonnd 

By Lnsian hands, and wonnd repaid for wonnd. 

Oh, more shall thus by Nnnio's worth be won, 

Than conquest reaps from high-plum*d hosts overthrown. 

Long shall the gen'rous Nunio's blissful sway 

Command supreme. In Dio's hopeless day 

The sovereign toil the brave Noronha takes ; 

Awed by his fame^ the fierce-soul'd Rumien shakes, 

And Dio*s open'd walls in sudden flight forsakes. 

A son of thine, O Gama,* now shall hold 

The helm of empire, prudent, wise, and bold : 

Malacca sav'd and strengthened by his arms. 

The banks of Tor shall echo his alarms ; 

His worth shall bless the kingdoms of the mom, 

For all thy virtues shall his soul adorn. 

When fate resigns thy hero to the skies, 

A vet 'ran, fam'd on Brazil's shore ® shall rise : 

The wide Atlantic and the Indian main. 

By turns, shall own the terrors of his reign. 

His aid the proud Cambayan king implores, 

His potent aid Cambaya's king restores. 

The dread Mogul with all his thousands flies. 

And Dio's towers are Souza's well-earn'd prize. 

Nor less the zamorim o'er blood-stain'd ground * 

Shall speed his legions, torn with many a wound, 

* Awed by his fame. — That brave, generous spirit, which prompted 
Caraoens to condemn the great Albuquerque for injustice to a common 
soldier, has here deserted him. In place of poetical compliment, on 
the terrors of his name, Noronha deserved infamy. The siege of Dio, 
it is true, was raised on the report of his approach, but that report 
was the stratagem of Coje Zofar, one of the general officers of the 
assailants. The delays of Noronha were as highly blamable as his 
treatment of his predecessor, the excellent Nunio, was unworthy of a 

* A son of thine, Gama, — Stephen de Gama. 

' A vefran, fam*d on JBraziVs shore. — Martin Alonzo de Souza. He 
was celebrated for clearing the coast of Brazil of several pirates, who 
were formidable to that infant colony. 

* O'er hlood-stain*d ground. — This is as near the original as elegance 
will allow — de sangtie cheyo — which Fanshaw has thus punned : — 

310 THE LU8IAD. Cbook x- 

In headlong rout. Nor shall the boastfal pride 
Of IiuHh'h iiavj, tlioagh the shaded tide 
Around the Kqnadron'd masts appear the do'wii 
Of some wide foi'est, other fate renown. 
Load rattling through the hills of Cape Canjiore ^ 
I hear the tempest of the battle roar ! 
Clung to the splintered masts I see the dead 
}3adala's shore with horrid wreck bespread ; 
Bnticala infiam'd by treacherous hate, 
Provokes the horrors of Badala's fate : 
Her seas in blood, her skies enwrapt in fire. 
Confess the sweeping storm of Souza's ire. 
No hostile spear now rear'd on sea or strand. 
The awful sceptre graces Souza's hand; 
Peaceful he reigns, in counsel just and wise ; 
And glorious Castro now his throne supplies : 
Castro, the boast of gen'rous fame, afar 
From Die's strand shall sway the glorious war. 
Madd'ning with rage to view the Lusian band, 
A troop so few, proud Die's towers command. 
The cruel Ethiop Moor to heav'n complains, 
And the proud Persian's languid zeal arraigns. 
The Rumien fierce, who boasts the name of Rome,* 
With these conspires, and vows the Lusians' doom. 

" With no little loss, 
Sending him home again by Weeping-Crosa " — 

a place near Banbury in Oxfordshire. 

* Cape Comorin, the southernmost point of India. — Ed, 
' Tlie liumien fierce, icho boasts the name of Rome. — ^When the vic- 
tories of the Portuguese began to overspread the East, several Indian 
princes, by the counsels of the Moors, applied for assistance to the Sul- 
tan of Egypt, and the Grand Siguier. The troops of these Mohamme- 
dan princes were in the highest reputation for bravery, and though, 
composed of many different nations, were known among the orientals 
by one common name. Ignorance delights in the marvellous. The 
history of ancient Rome made the same figure among the easterns, as 
that of the fabulous, or heroic, ages does with us, with this difference, 
it was better believed. The Turks of Roumania pretended to be the 
descendants of the Roman conquerors, and the Indians gave them 
and their auxiliaries the name of Rumes, or Romans. In the same 
manner, the fame of Godfrey in the East conferred the name of Franks 
on all the western Christians, who, on their part, gave the name of 
Moors to all the Mohammedans of the East. 


A thousand barb'rous nations join their powers 

To bathe with Lusian blood the Dion towers. 

Dark rolling sheets, forth belch'd from brazen wombs, 

And bor*d, like show'ring clonds, with hailing bombs, 

O'er Die's sky spread the black shades of death ; 

The mine's dread earthquakes shake the ground beneath. 

No hope, bold Mascarene,^ mayst thou respire, 

A glorious fall alone, thy just desire. 

When lo, his gallant son brave Castro sends — 

Ah heav'n, what fate the hapless youth attends ! 

In vain the terrors of his falchion glare : 

The cavern'd mine bursts, high in pitchy air 

Rampire and squadron whirl'd convulsive, borne 

To heav'n, the hero dies in fragments torn. 

His loftiest bough though fall'n, the gen'rous sire 

His living hope devotes with Roman ire. 

On wings of fury flies the brave Alvar 

Through oceans howling with the wintry war. 

Through skies of snow his brother's vengeance bears ; 

And, soon in arms, the valiant sire appears : 

Before him vict'ry spreads her eagle wing 

Wide sweeping o'er Cambaya's haughty king. 

In vain his thund'ring coursers shake the ground, 

Cambaya bleeding of his might's last wound 

Sinks pale in dust : fierce Hydal-Kan * in vain 

Wakes war on war ; he bites his iron chain. 

* No hope, hold Mascarene. — The commander of Diu, or Dio, during 
this siege, one of the most memorable in the Portuguese history. 

* Fierce Hydal-Kan. — The title of the lords or princes of Decan, who 
in their wars with the Portuguese have sometimes brought 400,000 
men into the field. The prince here mentioned, after many revolts, 
was at last finally subdued by Don John de Castro, the fourth viceroy 
of India, with whose reign our poet judiciously ends the prophetic 
song. Albuquerque laid the plan, and Castro completed the system 
of the Portuguese empire in the East. It is with propriety, therefore, 
that the prophecy given to Gama is here summed up. Nor is the 
discretion of Camoens in this instance inferior to his judgment. He 
is now within a few years of his own times, when he himself was upon 
the scene in India. But whatever he had said.of his contemporareis 
would have been liable to misconstruction, and every sentence would 

• have been branded with the epithets of flattery or malice. A little 
poet would have been happy in such an opportunity to resent his 
wrongs. But the silent contempt of Camoens does him true honour. 


318 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

O'er Indas' banks, o'er Granges' smiling vales, 
No more the hind his plunder'd field bewails : 
O'er ev'ry field, O Peace, thy blossoms glow. 
The golden blossoms of thy olive bough ; 
Firm bas'd on wisest laws great Castro crowns, 
And the wide East the Lusian empire owns. 

" These warlike chiefs, the sons of thy renown, 
And thousands more, O Vasco, doom'd to crown 
Thy glorious toils, shall through these seas unfold 
Their victor-standards blaz'd with Indian gold ; 
And in the bosom of our flow'ry isle, 
Embath'd in joy shall o'er their labours smile. 
Their nymphs like yours, their feast divine the same, 
The raptur'd foretaste of immortal fame." 

So sang the goddess, while the sister train 
With joyful anthem close the sacred strain : 
" Though Fortune from her whirling sphere bestow 
Her gifts capricious in unconstant flow, 
Yet laureird honour and immortal fame 
Shall ever constant grace the Lusian name." 
So sung the joyful chorus, while around 
The silver roofs the lofty notes resound. 
The song prophetic, and the sacred feast, 
Now shed the glow of strength through ev'ry breast. 
When with the grace and majesty divine. 
Which round immortals when enamour'd shine. 
To crown the banquet of their deathless fame. 
To happy Gama thus the sov'reign dame : 
" O lov'd of Heav'n, what never man before. 
What wand'ring science never might explore, 
By Heav'n's high will, with mortal eyes to sec 
Great nature's face unveil'd, is given to thee. 

In this historical song, as already hinted, the translator has been 
attentive, as much as he could, to throw it into these universal lan- 
guages, the picturesque and characteristic. To convey the sublimest 
instruction to princes, is, according to Aristotle, the peculiar province 
of the epic muse. The striking points of view in which the different 
characters of the governors of India are here placed, are in the most 
happy conformity to this ingenious canon of the Stagyrite. 


Thoa and thy warriors follow where I lead : 
Firm be your steps, for arduous to the tread, 
Through matted brakes of thorn and brier, bestrew'd 
With splinter'd flint, winds the steep slipp'ry road." 
She spa^, and smiling caught the hei*o's hand^ 
And on the mountain's summit soon they stand ; 
A beauteous lawn with pearl enamell'd o'er. 
Emerald and ruby, as the gods of yore 
Had sported here. Here in the fragrant air 
A wondrous globe appeared, divinely fair ! 
Through ev'ry part the light transparent flow'd. 
And in the centre, as the surface, glow'd. 
The frame ethereal various orbs compose, 
In whirling circles now they fell, now rose ; 
Yet never rose nor fell,^ for still the same 
Was ev'ry movement of the wondrous frame; 
Each movement still beginning, still complete, 
Its author's type, self-pois'd, perfection's seat. 

Great Yasco, thrill'd with reverential awe. 
And rapt with keen desire, the wonder saw. 
The goddess mark'd the language of his eyes, 
"And here," she cried, "thy largest wish suffice. 

* In whirling circles novo tJiey feU, now rose^ 
Yet never rose rwrfell. — 

The motions of the heavenly bodies, in every system, bear at all times 
the same uniform relation to each other ; these expressions, therefore, 
are strictly just. The first relates to the appearance, the second to 
the reality. Thus, while to us the sun appears to go down, to more 
western inhabitants of the globe he appears to rise, and while he 
rises to us, he is going down to the more eastern ; the difference being 
entirely relative to the various parts of the earth. And in this the 
expressions of our poet are equally applicable to the Ptolemaic and 
Copemican systems. The ancient hypothesis which made our earth 
the centre of the universe, is the system adopted by Gamoens, a happi- 
ness, in the opinion of the translator, to the English Lusiad. The 
new system is so well known, that a poetical description of it would 
have been no novelty to the English reader. The other has not only 
that advantage in its favour : but this description is perhaps the 
finest and fullest that ever was given of it in poetry, that of Lucretius, 
1. V. being chiefly argumentative, and therefore less picturesque. 

Our author studied at the university of Coimbra, where the ancient 
system and other doctrines of the Aristotelians then, and long after- 
ward, prevailed. 

320 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

Great nature's fabric thou dost liere behold, 

Th' ethereal, pure, and elemental mould 

In pattern shown complete, as nature's God 

Ordain'd the world's great frame, His dread abode ; 

For ev'ry part the Power Divine pervades, * 

The sun's bright radiance, and the central shades ; 

Yet, let not haughty reason's bounded line 

Explore the boundless God, or where define, 

Where in Himself, in uncreated light 

(While all His worlds around seem wrapp'd in night), 

He holds His loftiest state.^ By primal laws 

Impos'd on Nature's birth (Himself the cause), 

By her own ministry, through ev'ry maze, 

Nature in all her walks, unseen. He sways. 

These spheres behold ; * the first in wide embrace 

Surrounds the lesser orbs of various face ; ' 

The Empyrean this, the holiest heav'n 

To the pure spirits of the bless'd is giv'n : 

No mortal eye its splendid rays may bear, 

No mortal bosom feel the raptures there. 

The earth, in all her summer pride array'd, 

To this might seem a drear sepulchral shade. 

Unmov'd it stands ; within its shining frame, 

In motion swifter than the lightning's flame. 

Swifter than sight the moving parts may spy, 

Another sphere whirls round its rapid sky. 

Hence motion darts its force,® impulsive draws. 

And on the other orbs impresses laws ; 

* He holds His loftiest state. — Called by the old philosophers and 
Bchool diviifes the sensorium of the Deity. 

* These spheres hehold. — According to the Peripatetics, the universe 
consisted of eleven spheres inclosed within each other ; as Fanshaw 
has familiarly expressed it by a simile which he has lent our author. 
The first of these spheres, he says — 

" Doth (as in a nest 
Of boxes) all the other orbs comprise." 
In their accounts of this first-mentioned, but eleventh, sphere, which 
they called the Empyrean, or heaven of the blest, the disciples of 
Aristotle, and the Arab Moors, gave loose to all the warmth of 
imagination. And several of the Christian fathers applied to it the 
descriptions of heaven which are found in the Holy Scripture. 

' Hence motion darts its force. — This is the tenth sphere, the 
Primum Mobile of the ancient system. To account for the appearances 


The STin's bright car attentive to its force 

Gives night and day, and shapes- his yearly conrse ; 

Its force stupendous asks a pond'rous sphere 

To poise its fury, and its weight to bear : 

Slow moves that pond'rous orb ; the stiff, slow pace 

One step scarce gains, while wide his annual race 

Two hundred times the sun triumphant rides ; 

The crystal heav'n is this, whose rigour guides 

And binds the starry sphere r^ That sphere behold, 

With diamonds spangled, and emblaz'd with gold ! 

What radiant orbs that azure sky adorn. 

Fair o'er the night in rapid motion borne ! 

Swift as they trace the heav'n's wide circling line, 

Whirl'd on their proper axles, bright they shine. 

Wide o'er this heav'n a golden belt displays 

Twelve various forms ; behold the glitt'ring blaze ! 

of the heavens, the Peripatetics ascribed a doable motion to it. While 
its influence drew the other orbs from east to west, they supposed it 
had a motion of its own from west to east. To effect this, the pon- 
derous weight and interposition of the ninth sphere, or crystalline 
heaven, was necessary. The ancient astronomers observed that the 
stars shifted their places. This they called the motion of the cry- 
stalline heaven, expressed by our poet at the rate of one pace during 
two hundred solar years. The famous Arab astronomer, Abulhasan, 
in his Meadows of Gold, calculates the revolution of this sphere to 
consist of 49,000 of our years. But modem discoveries have not only 
corrected the calculation,* but have also ascertained the reason of the 
apparent motion of the fixed stars. The earth is not a perfect sphere ; 
the quantity of matter is greater at the equator; hence the earth 
turns on her axis in a rocking motion, revolving round the axis of the 
ecliptic, which is called the procession of the equinoxes, and makes 
the stars seem to shift their places at about the rate of a degree in 72 
years ; according to which all the stars seem to perform one revolution 
in the space of 25,920 years, after which they return exactly to the 
same situation as at the beginning of this period. However imper- 
fect in their calculations, the Chaldean astronomers perceived that the 
motions of the heavens composed one great revolution. This they 
called the annus magnus, which those who did not understand them 
mistook for a restoration of all things to their first originals. 

* And hinds the starry sphere. — This was called the firmament, or 
eighth heaven. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Apollo, Venus, Mercury, and 
Diana, were the planets which gave name to, and whose orbits coni- 
posed, the other spheres or heavens. 

* However deficient the astronomy of Abulhasan may be, it is nothing to the calcula- 
tion of his prophet Mohammed, vtho tells his disciples, that the stars were each about 
the bigness of a house, and hung from the sky on chains of gold. 


322 THE LUSIAD, [bookx* 

Throngh these the snn in annnal journey towers. 
And o'er each clime their various tempers pours ; 
In gold and silver of celestial mine 
How rich far round the constellations shine I 
Lo, bright emerging o'er the polar tides, 
In shining frost the Northern Chariot rides ; * 
Mid treasured snows here gleams the grisly Bear, 
And icy flakes incmst his shaggy hair. 
Here fair Andromeda, of heav!n belov'd ; 
Her vengeful sire, and, by the gods reprov'd. 
Beauteous Cassiope. Here, fierce and red. 
Portending storms, Orion lifts his head ; 
And here the Dogs their raging fury shed. 
The Swan, sweet melodist, in death he sings. 
The milder Swan here spreads his silver wing^. 
Here Orpheus' Lyre, the melancholy Hare, 
And here the watchful Dragon's eye-balls glare ; 
And Theseus' ship, oh, less renown'd than thine, 
Shall ever o'er these skies illustrious shine. 
Beneath this radiant firmament behold 
The various planets in their orbits roll'd : 

* In shining frost the Northern Chariot rides, — Commonly called 
Charles* Wain. Andromeda was the daughter of Cepheus, king of 
Ethiopia, and of Cassiope. Cassiope boasted that she and her daughter 
were more beautiful than Juno and the Nereids. AndromecUt, 
to appease the goddess, was, at her father's command, chained to a 
rook to be devoured by a sea monster, but was saved by Perseus, 
who obtained of Jupiter that all the family should be placed ammig 
the stars. Orion was a hunter, who, for an attempt on Diana, wai 
stung to death by a serpent. The star of his name portends -tempests. 
The Dogs ; fable gives this honour to those of different hunters. The 
faithful dog of Erigone, however, that died mad- with grief for the 
death of his mistress, has the best title to preside over the dog-days. 
The Swan ; whose form Jupiter borrowed to enjoy Leda. The Hare, 
when pursued by Orion, was saved by Mercury, and placed in heaven, 
to signify that Mercury presides over melancholy dispositiona The 
Lyre, with which Orpheus charmed Pluto. The Dragon which guarded 
the golden apples of the Hesperides, and the ship Argo, complete the 
number of the constellations mentioned by Camoens. If our author 
has blended the appearances of heaven with those of the painted 
artificial sphere, it is in the manner of the classics. Ovid, in particu* 
lar, thus describes the heavens, in the second book of his Metamor- 




Here, in cold twilight, hoary Saturn rides ; 
Here Jove shines mild, here fiery Mars presides ; 
Apollo here, enthron'd in light,, appears 
The eye of heav'n, emblazer of the spheres ; 
Beneath him beauteons glows the Qaeen of Love — 
The proudest hearts her sacred influence prove ; 
Here Hermes, f am'd for eloquence divine, 
And here Diana's various faces shine ; 
Lowest she rides, and, throngh the shadowy night, 
Pours on the glist'ning earth her silver light. 
These various orbs, behold, in various speed 
Pursue the journeys at their birth decreed. 
Now, from the centre far impell'd they fly, 
Now, nearer earth they sail a lower sky, 
A shorten'd course : Such are their laws impress'd 
By God's dread will,^ that will for ever best. 

' Such are their laws imprest^d hy GocTs dread wiU, — ^Though a 
modern narrative of gallant adventures by no means requires the 
supposition of a particular Providence, that supposition, however, is 
absolutely necessary to the grandeur of an epic poem. The great 
examples of Homer and Virgil prove it ; and Oamoens understood and 
felt its force. While his fleet combat all the horrors of unploughed 
oceans, we do not view his heroes as idle wanderers; the care of 
heaven gives their voyage the greatest importance. When Gama falls 
on his knees and spreads his hands to heaven on the discovery of 
India, we are presented with a figure infinitely more noble than that 
of the most successful conqueror who is supposed to act under the 
influence of fatalism or chance. The human mind is conscious of its 
own weakness. It expects an elevation in poetry, and demands a 
degree of importance superior to the caprices of unmeaning accident. 
The poetical reader cannot admire the hero who is subject to such 
blind fortuity. He appears to us with an abject, uninteresting little- 
ness. Our poetical ideas of permanent greatness demand a Gama, a 
hero whose enterprises and whose person interest the care of Heaven 
and the happiness of his people. Nor must this supposition be con- 
fined merely to the machinery. The reason why it pleases, also 
requires, that the supposition should be uniform throughout the whole 
poem. Virgil, by dismissing Eneas through the ivory gate of Elysium, 
has hinted that all his pictures of a future state were merely dreams, 
and has thus destroyed the highest merit of the compliment to his 
patron Augustus. But Gamoens has certainly been more happy. A 
fair opportunity offered itself to indulge the opinions of Lucretius and 
the Academic Grove ; but Gamoens, in ascribing the government of 
the universe to the will of God, has not only preserved the philosophy 
of his poem perfectly uniform, but has also shown that the Peripatetic 
system is, in this instance, exactly conformable to the Newtonian. 

324 THE LUSIAD. [bookx. 

" The yellow eartb, the centre of the whole, 
There lordlj rests sastain'd on either pole. 
The limpid air enfolds in soft embrace 
The pond'rons orb, and brightens o'er her face. 
Here, softly floating o'er th' aerial blue, 
Fringed with the purple and the golden hue, 
The fleecy clouds their swelling sides display ; 
From whence, fermented by the sulph'rous ray, 
The lightnings blaze, and heat spreads wide and rare ; 
And now, in fierce embrace with frozen air, 

Though the Author of nature has placed man in a state of moral agency, 
and made his happiness and misery to depend upon it, and though 
every page of human history is stained with the tears of injured inno- 
cence and the triumphs of guilt, with miseries which must affect a 
moral, or thinking beiug, yet we h&ve been told, that God perceiveth 
it not, and that what mortals call moral evil vanishes from before His 
more perfect sight. Thus the appeal of injured innocence, and the 
tear of bleeding virtue fall unregarded, unworthy of the attention of 
the Deity.* Yet, with what raptures do these philosophers behold the 
infinite wisdom and care of Beelzebub, their god of flies, in the admir- 
able and various provision he has made for the preservation of the 
eggs of vermin, and the generation of maggots.t 

Much more might be said in proof that our poet's philosophy does 
not altogether deserve ridicule. And those who allow a general, but 
deny a particular providence, will, it is hoped, excuse Camoens, on 
the consideration, that if we estimate a general moral providence by 
analogy of that providence which presides over vegetable and animal 
nature, a more particular one cannot possibly be wanted. If a par- 
ticular providence, however, is still denied, another consideration 
obtrudes itself ; if one pang of a moral agent is unregarded, one tear 
of injured innocence left to fall unpitied by the Deity, if Ludit tn 
humanis Divina potentia rehuSy the consequence is, that the human 
oonception can form an idea of a much better God. And it may 
modestly be presumed we may hazard the laugh of the wisest philoso- 
pher, and without scruple assert, that it is impossible that a created 
mind should conceive an idea of perfection superior to that which if 
possessed by the Creator and Author of existence. 

* Perhaps, like Lncretios, some philosophers think this would be too modi tnmMB 
to the Deity. But the idea of trouble to the Divine Nature, is much the same as another 
argument of the same philosopher, who having asserted, that before the creation the 
gods could not know what seed would produce, fi-om thence wisely ooncliideB that the 
world was made by chance. 

f Ray, in his Wisdom of Ood in the Creation (though he did not deny • 
Providence), has carried this extravagance to the highest pitch. ** To give life," sajs he, 
"is the intention uf the creation ; and how wonderful does the goodness of God af^petf 
in this, that the death and putrefaction of one animal is the life of thousands.** 80. thi 
misery of a family on the death of a parent is nothing, for ten thoosand maggots an 
made happy oy it.— Philosophy, when wilt thou forget the dreams of tbj sliuilNn 
In Bedlam! 


Their wombs, compress'd, soon feel parfcnrient throws, 

And white wing'd gales bear wide the teeming snows. 

Thns, cold and heat their warring empires hold, 

Averse yet mingling, each by each controU'd, 

The highest air and ocean's bed they pierce. 

And earth's dark centre feels their straggles fierce. 

" The seat of man, the earth's fair breast, behold ; 
Here wood-crown'd islands wave their locks of gold. 
Here spread wide continents their bosoms green, 
And hoary Ocean heaves his breast between. 
Yet, not th' inconstant ocean's furions tide 
May fix the dreadfnl bonnds of human pride. 
What madd'ning seas between these nations roar ! 
Yet Lnsus' hero-race shall visit ev'ry shore. 
What thousand tribes, whom various customs sway. 
And various rites, these countless shores display ! 
Queen of the world, supreme in shining arms. 
Hers ev'ry art, and hers all wisdom's charms. 
Each nation's tribute round her foot-stool spread. 
Here Christian Europe ^ lifts the regal head. 
Af ric behold,* alas, what alter'd view ! 
Her lands uncultur'd, and her son's untrue ; 
Ungraced with all that sweetens human life, 
Savage and fierce they roam in brutal strife ; 
Ea^er they grasp the gifts which culture yields, 
Yet, naked roam their own neglected fields. 
Lo, here enrich'd with hills of golden ore, 
Monomotapa's empire hems the shore. 
There round the Cape, great Afric's dreadful bound. 
Array 'd in storms (by you first compass'd round), 
Unnumber'd tribes as bestial grazers stray. 
By laws unf orm'd, unform'd by reason's sway : 

* Here Christian Europe, — Vh Europa Chrigtian, ^Aa Europe is 
already described in the third Lusiad, this short account of it has as 
great propriety, as the manner of it contains dignity. 

* Afric behold. — This just and strongly picturesque description of 
Africa is finely contrasted with the character of Europe. It contains 
also a masterly compliment to the expedition of Gama, which is all 
along represented as the harbinger and diffuser of the blessings of 

326 THE LUSIAB. [book z. 

Far inward sireich the monrnf al sterile dales, 

Where, on the parch'd hill-side, pale Famine wails. 

On gold in vain the naked savage treads ; 

Low, clay-built hnts, behold, and reedj sheds, 

Their dreary towns. Gonzalo's zeal shall glow ' 

To these dark minds the path of light to show : 

His toils to humanize the barb'rous mind 

Shall, with the martyr's palms, his holy temples bind. 

Great Naya,' too, shall glorious here display 

His God's dread might : behold, in black array, 

Num'rous and thick as when in evil hour 

The feather'd race whole harvest fields devour. 

So thick, so num'rous round Sofdla's towers 

Her barb'rous hordes remotest Africa pours : 

In vain ; Heav'n's vengeance on their souls impress'd, 

They fly, wide scatter'd as the driving mist. 

Lo, Quama there, and there the fertile Nile 

Curs'd with that gorging fiend, tbe crocodile, 

Wind their long way : the parent lake behold. 

Great Nilus' fount, unseen, unknown of old. 

From whence, diffusing plenty as he glides. 

Wide Abyssinia's realm the stream divides. 

In Abyssinia Heav'n's own altars blaze,' 

And hallow'd anthems chant Messiah's praise« 

* Cronsalo^s zeal shaU glow. — Gonsalo de Sylveyra, a Portug^ead 
Jesuit, in 1555, sailed from Lisbon on a mission to Monomotapa. His 
labours were at first successful ; but ere he effected any regpilar estab- 
lishment he was murdered by the barbarians. — Gasteba. 

* Great Naya^ too, — Don Pedro de Naya. ... In 1505 he erected 
a fort in the kingdom of Sofala, which is subject to Monomotapa. Six 
thousand Moors and Caffres laid siege to this garrison, which he 
defended with only thirty-five men. After having several times suf- 
fered by unexpected sallies, the barbarians fled, exclaiming to their 
king that he had led them to fight against God. — Gastera. 

^ In Abyssinia Heaven* s ovm altars blaze. — Ghristianity was planted 
here in the first century, but mixed with many Jewish rites onused 
by other Ghristians of the East. This appears to give some counte- 
nance to the pretensions of their emperors, who claim their desoeni 
from Solomon and the Queen of Sheoa, and at least reminds us of 
Acts viii. 27, where we are told, that the treasurer of the Queen of 
Ethiopia came to worship at Jerusalem. Numerous monasteries, we 
are told, are in this country. But the clergy are very ignorant, and 
the laity gross barbarians. Much has been said of the hUl Amara — 


In Nile's wide breast the isle of MSr5d see ! 
Near these rude shores a hero sprung from thee, 
Thy son, brave Gama,* shall his lineage show 
In glorious triumphs o'er the paynim * foe. 
There by the rapid Ob, her friendly breast 
Melinda spreads, thy place of grateful rest. 
Cape Aromata there the gulf defends. 
Where by the Red Sea wave great Afric ends. 
Illustrious Suez, seat of heroes old, 
Fam'd Hierapolis, high-tower'd, behold. 
Here Egypt's shelter'd fleets at anchor ride. 
And hence, in squadrons, sweep the eastern tide. 
And lo, the waves that aw'd by Moses' rod. 
While the dry bottom Israel's armies trod. 
On either hand roll'd back their frothy might, 
And stood, like hoary rocks, in cloudy height. 
Here Asia, rich in ev'ry precious mine. 
In realms immense, begins her western line. 

''Where Abyssin kings their issue guard • • « 
... by some supposed, 
True Paradise, under the Ethiop line 
By Nilus head, inclos'd with shining rock, 
A whole day*s journey high " — Milton ; 

and where, according to TJrreta (a Spanish Jesuit), is the library 
founded by the Queen of Sheba, and enriched with all those writings 
of which we have either possession or only the names. The works 
of Noah, and the lectures on the mathematics which Abraham read in 
the plains of Mamre, are here. And so many are the volumes, that 
200 monks are employed as librarians. It is needless to add, that 
Father Urreta is a second Sir John Mandevylle. 

* Thy «m, brave Gama. — When Don Stephen de Gama was gover-f 
nor of India, the Christian Emperor and Einpress^mother of Ethiopia 
solicited the assistance of the Portuguese against the usurpations of 
the pagan King of Zeyla. Don Stephen sent his brother, Don Chris- 
toval with 500 men. The prodigies of their valour astonished the 
Ethiopians. But after having twice defeated the tyrant, and reduced 
his great army to the last extremity, Don Christoval, urged too far by 
the impetuosity of his youthful valour, was taken prisoner. He was 
brought before the usurper, and put to death in the most cruel manner* 
Waxed threads were twisted with his beard and afterwards set on fire< 
He was then dipped in boiling wax, and at last beheaded by the hand 
of the tyrant. The Portuguese esteem him a martyr, and say that 
his torments and death were inflicted because he would not renounce 
the faith.— See Faria y Sousa. 

^ Infidel, pagan. 

328 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

Sinai bebold, whose trembling cli£Fs of yore 

In fire and darkness, deep pavilion'd, bore 

The Hebrews' God, while day, with awful brow, 

Gleam'd pale on Israel's wand'ring tents below. 

The pilgrim now the lonely bill ascends, 

And, when the ev'ning raven homeward bends, 

Before the virgin-martyr's tomb ^ he pays 

His mournful vespers, and his vows of praise. 

Jidda behold, and Aden's parch'd domain 

Girt by Arzira's rock, where never rain 

Yet fell from heav'n ; where never from the dftle 

The crystal riv'let murmur'd to the vale. 

The three Arabias here their breasts unfold. 

Here breathing incense, here a rocky wold ; 

O'er Dofar's plain the richest incense breathes. 

That round the sacred shrine its vapour wreathes ; 

Here the proud war- steed glories in his force, 

As, fleeter than the gale, he holds the course. 

Here, with his spouse and household lodg'd in wains. 

The Arab's camp shifts, wandering o'er the plains, 

The merchant's dread, what time from eastern soil 

His burthen'd camels seek the land of Nile. 

Here Rosalgate and Farthac stretch their arms, 

And point to Ormuz, fam'd for war's alarms ; 

Ormuz, decreed full oft to quake with dread 

Beneath the Lusian heroes' hostile tread. 

Shall see the Turkish moons,* with slaughter gor'd, 

Shrink from the lightning of De Branco's sword.* 

• Before the virgin-martyr's tamh. — He must be a dull reader in- 
deed who cannot perceive and relish the amazing variety which pre- 
vails in our poet. In the historical narrative of wars, where it is most 
necessary, yet from the sameness of the subject, most difficult, to attain, 
our author always attains it with the most graceful ease. In the 
description of countries he not only follows the manner of Homer 
and Virgil, not only distinguishes each region by its most striking cha- 
racteristic, but also diversifies his geography with other incidents 
introduced by the mention of the place. St. Catherine, virgin and 
martyr, according to Romish histories, was buried on Mount Sinai, 
and a chapel was erected over her grave. It is now the Monastery 
of St. Catherine.— jEa. 

• The crescent, the sign of Turkish supremacy. — Ed. 

• De Branco*8 sword, — Don Pedro de Castel-Branco. He obtained 
a great victory, near Ormuz, over the combined fleets of the Moors, 
Turks, and Persians. 


There on the gnlf that laves the Persian shoi*e, 

Far throngh the surges bends Cape Asabore. 

There Barem's isle ; ^ her rocks with diamonds blaze, 

And emulate Aurora's glitt'ring rays. 

From Barem's shore Euphrates' flood is seen, 

And Tigris' waters, through the waves of green 

In yellowy currents many a league extend, 

As with the darker waves averse they blend. 

Lo, Pei'sia there her empire wide unfolds ! 

In tented camp his state the monarch holds : 

Her warrior sons disdain the arms of fire,* 

And, with the pointed steel, to fame aspire ; 

Their springy shoulders stretching to the blow, 

Their sweepy sabres hew the shrieking foe. 

There Gerum's isle the hoary ruin wears 

Where Time has trod : ' there shall the dreadful spears 

Of Sousa and Menezes strew the shore 

With Persian sabres, and embathe with gore. 

Carpella's cape, and sad Carmania's strand. 

There, parch'd and bare, their dreary wastes expand. 

A fairer landscape here delights the view ; 

From these green hills beneath the clouds of Wue, 

The Indus and the Granges roll the wave. 

And many a smiling field propitious lave. 

* There BarenCa isle. — The island of Bahrein is situated in the Per- 
sian Gulf. It is celebrated for the plenty, variety, and fineness of its 

* Her warrior sons disdain the arms of fire. — This was the character 
of the Persians when Gaha arrived in the East. Yet, though they 
thought it dishonourable to use the musket, they esteemed it no dis- 
grace to rush from a thicket on an unarmed foe. This reminds one of 
the spirit of the old romance. Orlando having taken the first invented 
cannon from the King of Friza, throws it into the sea with the most 
heroic execrations. Yet the heroes of chivalry think it no disgrace to 
take every advantage afforded by invulnerable hides and enchanted 

• There GeruirCs isle the hoary rtitw wears 
Where Time has trod, — 

Presuming on the ruins which are found on this island, the natives 
pretend that the Armuzia of Pliny and Strabo was here situated. But 
this is a mistake, for that city stood on the continent. The Moors, 
however, have built a city in this isle, which they call by the ancient 


ddO THE LUSIAD. [bochl & 

Luxarions here, TJlcinda's bajrvesis smile, 
And here, disdaiDfol of the seaman's toil, 
The whirling tides of Jaqnet furious roar ; 
Alike their rage when swelling to the shore. 
Or, tumbling backward to the deep, they force 
The boiling fury of their gulfy course : 
Against their headlong rage nor oars nor sails, 
The stemming prow alone, hard toil'd, prevails. 
Cambaya here begins her wide domain ; 
A thousand cities here shall own the reign 
Of Lisboa's monarchs. He who first shall crown 
Thy labours, Gama,^ here shall boast his own. 
The lengthening sea that washes India's strand 
And laves the cape that points to Ceylon's land 
(The Taprobanian isle," renown'd of yore), 
Shall see his ensigns blaze from shore to shore. 
Behold how many a realm, array'd in green. 
The Ganges' shore and Indus' bank between ! 
Here tribes unnumber'd, and of various lore. 
With woful penance fiend-like shapes adore ; 
Some Macon's orgies ; ' all confess the sway 
Of rites that shun, like trembling ghosts, the day, 
Narsinga's fair domain behold ; of yore 
Here shone the gilded towers of Meliapore. 
Here India's angels, weeping o'er the tomb 
Where Thomas sleeps,* implore the day to come, 
The day foretold, when India's utmost shore 
Again shall hear Messiah's blissful lore. 

* He who first shall crown thy labours, Gama. — Pedro de Cabral, of 
whom see the preface. 

* Ceylon 

* Some MacorCs orgies. — Macon, a name of Mecca, the birthplaod 
of Mohammed. 

* The tomb where Thomas «Ze^.— There is (to talk in the Indian 
style) a caste of gentlemen, whose hearts are all impartiality and 
candour to every religion, except one, the most moral which ever the 
world heard of. A tale of a Brahmin, or a priest of Jupiter, would 
to them appear worthy of poetry. But to introduce an apostle—^ 
Common sense, however, will prevail ; and the episode of St. Thomas 
will appear to the true critic equal in dignity and propriety. 

To renew and complete the labours of the apostle, the messenger 
of Heaven, is the great design of the hero of the poem, and of the 





Bj Indus' banks the holy prophet trod, 

And Granges heard him preach the Savionr-God ^ 

future miseions, in eonsequence of the diBOoveries which are the sub- 
ject of it. 

The Christians of St. Thomas, found in Malabar on the arrival of 
Gama, we have already mentioned. The Jesuit missionaries have 
given most pompous accounts of the Christian antiquities of India 
and China. When the Portuguese arrived in India, the head of the 
Malabar Christians, named Jacob, styled himself Metropolitan of 
India and China. And a Syriao breviary * of the Indian Christians 
offers praise to God for sending St. Thomas to India and China. In 
1625, in digging for a foundation near Sigansu, metropolis of the pror 
vinoe of Xensi, was found a stone with a cross on it, full of Chinese, 
and some Syriac characters, containing the names of bishops, and an 
account of the Christian religion, *' that it was brought from Judea ; 
that having been weakened, it was renewed under the reign of the great 
Tam " (cir. a.d. 630). But the Christians, say the Jesuits, siding with 
the Tartars, cir. a.d. 1200, were extirpated by the Chinese. In 1543, 
Femand Pinto, observing some ruins near Peking, was told by the 
people, that 200 years before, a holy man who worshipped Jesus Christy 
l>om of a virgin, lived there ; and being murdered, was thrown into a 
river, but his body would not sink; and soon after the city was destroyed 
by an earthquake. The same Jesuit found people at Caminam who knew 
the doctrines of Christianity, which they said were preached to their 
fathers, by John, the disciple of Thomas. In 1635, some heathens, by 
night passing through a village in the province of Fokien, saw some 
stones which emitted light, under which were found the figure of 
crosses. From China, St. Thomas returned to Meliapore in Malabar, 
at a time when a prodigious beam of timber floated on the sea near 
the coast. The king endeavoured to bring it ashore, but all the force 
of men and elephants was in vain. St. Thomas desired leave to build 
a church with it, and immediately dragged it to shore with a single 
thread. A church was built, and the king baptized. This enraged 
the Brahmins, the chief of whom killed his own son, and accused 
Thomas of the murder. But the saint, by restoring the youth to life, 
discovered the wickedness of his enemies. He was afterwards killed 
by a lance while kneeling at the altar; after, according to tradition, 
he had built 3300 stately churches, many of which were rebuilt, cir. 800, 
by an Armenian named Thomas Cananeus. In 1533, the body of the 
apostle, with the head of the lance beside him, was found in his church 
by D. Duarte de Meneses ; and in 1558 was, by D. Constantine de 
Braganza, removed to Goa. To these accounts, selected from Faria y 
Sousa, let two from Osorius be added. When Martin Alonzo de Souza 
was viceroy, some brazen tables were brought to him, inscribed with 
unusual characters, which were explained by a learned Jew, and im- 
ported that St. Thomas had built a church at Meliapore. And by an: 

• The existence of this breviary is a certain tact. These Christians had the Scrip- 
ture also in the Syriac language. 

832 THE LUSIAD. .[bookz. 

Where pale disease erewbile the cheek oonsnm'd. 
Health, at his word, in ruddy fragrance bloom'd ; 
The grave's dark womb his awful voice obej'd. 
And to the cheerful day restored the dead ; 
By heavenly power he rear'd the sacred shrine, 
And gain'd the nations by his life divine. 
The pric&ts of Brahma's hidden rites beheld. 
And envy's bitt'rest gall their bosom's swell'd. 
A thouKand dcathf ul snares in vain they spread ; 
When now the chief who wore the triple thread,* 

aooount Bent to GardiDal Henrico, by the Bishop of Cochin, in 15G2, 
when tho I'ortugucsc repaired the ancient chapel of St. Thomas,* 
there was found a stone cross with sereral characters on it, which the 
hcst antiquarians could not interpret, till at last a Brahmin translated 
it, '* That in the reign of Sagam, Thomas was sent by the Son of Gk)d, 
whose disciple he was, to teach the law of heaven in India ; that he 
built a church, and was killed by a Brahmin at the altar." 

A view of Portuguese Asia, which must include the labonrs of the 
Jesnits, forms a necessary part in the comment on the Lusiad : this note, 
therefore, and some obvious reflections upon it, are in place. It is tf 
easy to bury an inscription and find it again, as it is to invent a silly tale ; 
but, though suspicion of fraud on the one hand, and silly absurditj on 
the other, lead us to despise the authority of the Jesuits, yet one ftct 
remains indisputable. Christianity had been much better known in 
the East, several centuries before, than it was at the arrival of Qama. 
Where the name was unknown, and where the Jesuits were nnoon- 
cemed, crosses were found. The long existence of the Christians of 
St. Thomas in the midst of a vast pagan empire, proves that the 
learned of that kingdom must have some knowledge of their doctrines. 
And these facts give countenance to some material conjectures oon- 
oeming the religion of the Brahmins. 

* When now the chief who wore {he triple thread. — Of this, thuB 
Osorius : " Tema fila ah humero dextero in lattts finistrum gerttrUy tU 
designent trinam in natura divina rationem. — They (the Brahmins) 
wear three threads, which reach from the right shoulder to the left 
side, as significant of the trinal distinction in the Divine Nature.** 
That some sects of the Brahmins wear a symbolical tessera of 
three threads is acknowledged on all hands ; but, from whatever the 
custom arose, it is not to be supposed that the Brahmins, who have 
thousands of ridiculous contradictory legends, should agree in their 
accounts or explanations of it. l^hey have various accounts of a 
Divine Person having assumed human nature. And the god Brahma, 
as observed by Cudworth, is generally mentioned as united in the 
government of the universe with two others, sometimes of different 
names. They have also images with three heads rising out of one body, 

* This was a very ancient building, in the very first style of Christian ohuTcbet. 
The Portuguese have now disfigured it with their repairs «Dd newboildings. 


Fir'd by the rage that gnaws the conscious breast 
Of holy fraud, when worth shines forth confessed, 
Hell he invokes, nor hell in vain he sues ; 
His son*s life-gore his withered hands imbrues ; 

which they say represent the Divine Nature.* But are there any 
traces of these opinions in the accounts which the Greek and Roman 
writers have given us of the Brahmins ? And will the wise pay any 
credit to the authority of those books which the public never saw, and 
which, by the obligation of their keepers, they are never to see ; and 
some of which, by the confession of their keepers, since the appearance 
of Mohammed, have been rejected ? The Platonic idea of a trinity of 
divine attributes was well known to the ancients, yet perhaps the 
Athanasian controversy offers a fairer field to the conjecturist. That 
controversy for several ages engrossed the conversation of the East. 
All the subtilty of the Greeks was called forth, and no speculative 
contest was ever more universally or warmly disputed ; so warmly, that 
it is a certain fact that Mohammed, by inserting into his Koran some 
declarations in favour of the Arians, gained innumerable proselytes to 
his new religion. Abyssinia, Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Armenia were 
perplexed with this unhappy dispute, and from the earliest times these 
countries have had a commercial intercourse with India. The num- 
ber, blasphemy, and absurdity of the Jewish legends of the Talmud 
and Targums, bear a striking resemblance to the holy legends of the 
Brahmins. The Jews also assert the great antiquity of their Tal- 
mudical legends. Adam, Enoch, and Noah are named among their 
authors ; but we know their date ; Jerusalem, ere their birth, was 
destroyed by Titus. We also know, that the accounts which the 
Greek writers give of the Brahmins fall infinitely short of those ex- 
travagances which are confessed even by their modern admirers. 
And Mohammedanism does not differ from Christianity, more than the 
account which even these gentlemen give, does from that of Porphyry. 
That laborious philosopher, though possessed of all the knowledge of 
his age, though he mentions their metempsychosis and penances, has 
not a word of any of their idols, or the legends of Brahma or his 
brothers. On the contrary, he represents their worship as extremely 
pure and simple. Strabo's account of them is similar. And Eusebius 
has assured us they worshipped no images.f Yet, on the arrival of 
the modern Europeans in India, innumerable were their idols ; and all 
the superstition of ancient Egypt, in the adoration of animals and 
vegetables, seemed more than revived by the Brahmins. Who that 
considers this striking alteration in their features, can withhold his 
contempt when he is told of the religious care with which these philo- 
sophers have these four thousand years preserved their sacred rites. 

* To these undoubted facts the author will not add the authority of a Xavier, who ' 
tells us, that he prevailed upon a Brahmin to explain to him some part of their hidden 
religion ; when to his surprise, the Indian, in a low voice, repeated the Ten Command- 

-f* . . . xtXtddev KoWat t&¥ Xeyofi^wiav BpaX^iavMv, otrtvet Kara napaiiaov r&v 
wpofovuv Kat vofitiVt outc ^ovevovaivt OYTE SOANA Z£BONTAI. — ^EOSKB. Prep. Evan, 
lib. 6, c. 10, p. 275. Ed. Paris, 1628. 


334 THE LUSIAD. {book z. 

Then, bold assnming the vindictive ire, 

And all the passions of the wofal sire, 

Weeping, he bends before the Indian throne, 

Arraigns the holy man, and wails his son : 

A band of hoary priests attest the deed. 

And India's king condemns the seer to bleed. 

Inspired by Heav*n the holy victim stands. 

And o'er the mnrder'd corse extends his hands : 

* In God's dread power, thou slaughter'd youth, arise, 

And name thy murderer,' aloud he cries. 

When, dread to view, the deep wounds instant close, 

And, fresh in life, the slaughter'd youth arose. 

And nam'd his treach'rous sire. The conscious air 

Quiver'd, and awful horror raised the hair 

On ev'ry head. From Thomas India's king 

The holy sprinkling of the living spring 

Receives, and wide o'er all his regal bounds 

The God of Thomas ev'ry tongue resounds. 

Long taught the holy seer the words of life ; 

The priests of Brahma still to deeds of strife 

(So boil'd their ire) the blinded herd impell'd. 

And high, to deathful rage, their rancour swell'd. 

'Twas on a day, when melting on his tongue 

Heav'n'g offer'd mercies glow'd, the impious throng, 

Rising in madd'ning tempest, round him shower'd 

The splinter'd flint ; in vain the flint was pour'd : 

But Heav'n had now his finish'd labours seal'd ; 

His angel guards withdraw the etherial shield ; 

A Brahmin's javelin tears his holy breast 

Ah Heav'n, what woes the widow'd land express'd ! 
Thee, Thomas, thee, the plaintive Ganges mourn'd,* 
And Indus' banks the murm'ring moan retum'd ; 

' l^ieA, Thomas, thee, the plaintive Ganges mounCd. — ^The versifioa- 
tion of the original is here exceedingly fine. Even those who aro 
unacquainted with the Portuguese may perceive it. 

" Choraradte Thom^, o Gange, o Indo, 
Choroute toda a terra, que pizaste ; 
Mas mais te chor&o as almas, que vestindo 
Se hi&o dk Santa Fe, que Ihe ensinaste ; 
Mas OS anjoB do ceo cantando, & rindo, 
Te recebem na gloria que ganhaste." 


O'er ev'ry valley where thy footsteps stray'd, 

The hollow winds the gliding sighs convey'd. 

What woes the mournful face of India wore, 

These woes in living pangs his people bore. 

His sons, to whose illumin'd minds he gave 

To view the ray that shines beyond the grave, 

His pastoral sons bedew'd his corse with tears. 

While high triumphant through the heav'nly spheres, 

With songs of joy, the smiling angels wing 

His raptur'd spirit to the eternal King. 

O you, the followers of the holy seer, 

Foredoom'd the shrines of Heaven's own lore to rear, 

You, sent by Heav*n his labours to renew, 

Like him, ye Lusians, simplest Truth pursue.* 

' Like him^ ye Lusians, simplest Truth pursue. — It is now time 
to sum up what has been said of the lal^urs of the Jesuits. Diamet- 
rically opposite to this advice was their conduct in every Asiatic 
country where they pretended to propagate the gospel. Sometimes 
we find an individual sincere and pious, but the great principle 
which always actuated them afi a united body was the lust of power 
and secular emolument, the possession of which they thought could 
not be better secured than by rendering themselves of the utmost 
importance to the see of Bome. In consequence of these principles, 
wherever they came their first care was to find what were the great 
objects of the fear and adoration of the people. If the sun was 
esteemed the giver of life, Jesus Christ was the Son of that luminary, 
and they were his younger brethren, sent to instruct the ignorant. 
If the barbarians were in dread of evil spirits, Jesus Christ came 
on purpose to banish them from the world, had driven them from 
Europe,* and the Jesuits were sent to the East to complete his 
unfinished mission. If the Indian converts still retained a veneration 
for the powder of burned cow-dung, the Jesuits made the sign of the 
cross over it, and the Indian besmeared himself with it as usual. 
Heaven, or universal matter, they told the Chinese, was the God of 
the Christians, and the sacrifices of Confucius were solemnized in 
the churches of the Jesuits. This worship of Confucius, Voltaire, 
with his wonted accuracy, denies. But he ought to have known 
that this, with the worship of tien, or heaven, had been long com- 
plained of at the court of Bome (see Dupin), and that after the 
strictest scrutiny the charge was fully proved, and Clement XI., in 
1703, sent Cardinal Toumon to the small remains of the Jesuits 

• This trick, it is said, has been played in America within these twenty years, 
where the notion of evil spirits gives the poor Indians their greatest misery. The 
French Jesuits told the Six Kations, that Jesus Christ was a Frenchman, and had driven 
all evil demons from France ; that he had a great love for the Indians, whom he 
intended also to deliver, but taking England in his way, he was crucified by the wicked 

886 THE LUSIAD. [bo(» z. 

Vain is the impions toil, with boirow'd grace, 
To deck one featare of her angel face ; 

in the East with a papal decree to reform these abuses. Bnt the 
cardinal, soon after his arrival, was poisoned in Siam by the holy 
fathers. Xavier, and the other Jesuits who succeeded him, by the 
dexterous use of the great maxims of their master Loyala. Omnibui 
omntay et omnia munda mundis^ gained innumerable pros^ytes. 
They contradicted none of the favourite opinions of their converts, 
they only baptized, and gave them crucifixes to worship, and all was 
well. But their zeal in uniting to the see of Rome the Christians 
found in the East descended to the minutest particulars. And the 
native Christians of Malabar were so violently persecuted as heretics 
that the heathen princes took arms in their defence in 1570 (see 
Geddes, Hist. Malabar), and the Portuguese were almost driven from 
India. Abyssinia, by the same arts, was steeped in Mood, and two 
or three Abyssinian emperors lost their lives in endeavouring to 
establish the pope's supremacy. An order at last was given from the 
throne to hang every missionary, without trial, wherever appre- 
hended, the emperor himself complaining that he could not enjoy a 
day in quiet for the intrigues of the Romish friars. In China, also, 
they soon rendered themselves insufferable. Their skill in mathe- 
matics and the arts introduced them to great favour at court, bnt all 
their cunning could not conceal their villainy. Their unwillingness 
to ordain the natives raised suspicions against a profession thus 
monopolized by strangers ; their earnest zeal in amassing riches, and 
their interference with, and deep designs on, secular power (the fatal 
rock on which they have so often been shipwrecked), appeared, and 
their churches were levelled with the ground. About 90,000 of the 
new converts, together with their teachers, were massacred, and their 
religion was prohibited. In Japan the rage of government even 
exceeded that of China, and in allusion to their chief object of 
adoration, the cross, several of the Jesuit fathers were crucified by the 
Japanese, and the revival of the Christian name was interdicted by 
the severest laws. Thus, in a great measure, ended in the East the 
labours of the society of Ignatius Loyola, a society which might have 
diffused the greatest blessings to mankind, could honesty have been 
added to their great learning and abilities. Had that indefatigable 
zeal which laboured to promote the interests of their own brotherhood 
and the Roman see been employed in the real interests of humanity 
and civilization, the great design of diffusing the law of Heaven, 
challenged by its author as the purpose of the Lusiad, would have 
been amply completed, and the remotest hordes of Tartary and Africa 
ere now had been happily civilized. But though the Jesnits have 
failed, they have afforded a noble lesson to mankind. 

" Though fortified with all the brazen mounds 
That art can rear, and watched by eagle eyes, 
Still will some rotten part betray the structure 
That is not bas*d on simple honesty." 



Behind the veil's broad glare she glides awaj, 
And leaves a rotten form, of lifeless, painted claj. 

" Much have yon view'd of future Lusian reign; 
Broad empires yet, and kingdoms wide, remain. 
Scenes of your future toils and glorious sway — 
And lo, how wide expands the Gangic bay ! 
Narsinga here in num'rous legions bold. 
And here Oryxa boasts her cloth of gold. 
The Ganges here in many a stream divides, 
DifEusing plenty from his fatt*ning tides. 
As through Bengala's rip'ning vales he glides ; 
Nor may the fleetest hawk, untir'd, explore 
Where end the ricy groves that crown the shore. 
There view what woes demand your pious aid ! 
On beds and litters, o*er the margin laid. 
The dying ^ lift their hollow eyes, and crave 
Some pitying hand to hurl them in the wave. 
Thus Heav*n (they deem), though vilest guilt they bore 
Unwept, unchanged, will view that guilt no miore. 
There, eastward, Arracan her line extends ; 
And Pegu's mighty empire southward bends : 
Pegu, whose sons (so held old faith) confess'd 
A dog their sire ; * their deeds the tale attest, 
A pious queen their horrid rage restrain 'd ; ® 
Yet, still their fury Nature's God arraign'd. 

* The dying. — The innumerable superstitions performed on the 
banks of the river Ganges, afford a pitiable picture of the weakness 
of humanity. The circumstances here mentioned are literally true. 
It is no uncommon scene for the English ships to be surrounded with 
the corpses which come floating down this hallowed stream. 

^ PegUf whose aona (80 Tield oidfaiUi) cxmfeaid 
A dog their sire, — 

The tradition of this country boasted this infamous and Impossible 
original. While other nations pretend to be descended of demi-gods, 
the Peguans were contented to trace their pedigree from a Chinese 
woman and a dog ; the only living creatures which survived a ship- 
wreck on their coast. — See Faria, 

• A jpiovs queen their horrid rage restrairCd. — Thus in the original : 

" Aqui soante arame no instrumento 
Da g^ra^ko costumio, o que usar&o 
For manha da Baynha, que inventando 
Tal uso, deitou fdra o error nefando.** 


838 THE LUSIAD. Oo(» x. 

Ah, mark the thunders rolling o'er the sky ; 
Yes, bath'd in gore, shall rank pollution lie, 

" Where to the mom the towers of Tava shiney 
Begins great Siam's empire's far-stretch'd line. 
On Qaeda's fields the genial rays inspire 
The richest gnst of spicery's fragrant fire. 
Malacca's castled harbour here survey, 
The wealthful seat foredoom'd of Lusian sway. 
Here to their port the Lusian fleets shall steer. 
From ev'ry shore far round assembling here 
The fragrant treasures of the eastern world : 
Here from the shore by rolling earthquakes hurl'd. 
Through waves all foam, Sumatra's isle was riv'n, 
And, mid white whirlpools, down*the ocean driv'n.* 
To this fair isle, the golden Chersonese, 
Some deem the sapient monarch plough'd the seas ; 
Ophir its Tyrian name.* In whirling roars 
How fierce the tide boils down these clasping shores ! 
High from the strait the length'ning coast afar 
Its moonlike curve points to the northern star, 
Opening its bosom to the silver ray 
When fair Aurora pours the infant day. 
Patane and Pam, and nameless nations more. 
Who rear their tents on Menam's winding shore. 
Their vassal tribute yield to Siam's throne ; 
And thousands more,^ of laws, of names unknown, 

* And *fntd white tohtrlpooU doum the ocean driven. — See the same 
account of Sicily, Virg. ^n. iii. 

* Ophir its Tyrian no«ie.— Sumatra has been by some esteemed the 
Ophir of the Holy Scriptures ; but the superior fineness of the gold of 
Sofala, and its situation, favour the claim of that Ethiopian isle. — See 
Bochart. Greog. Sacr. 

* And thousands more. — The extensive countries between India 
and China, where Ptolemy places his man-eaters, and where Mande- 
vylle found " men without heads, who saw and spoke through holes in 
their breasts," continues still very imperfectly known. The Jesuiti 
have told many extravagant lies of the wealth of these provinces. 
By the most authentic accounts they seem to have been peopled by 
colonies from China. The religion and manufactures of the Siamese, 
in particular, confess the resemblance. In some districts, however, 
they have greatly degenerated from the civilization of the mother 


That vast of land inhabit. Proud and bold, 
Proud of their numbers, here the Laos hold 
The far-spread lawns ; the skirting hills obey 
The barb'rous Avas', and the Brahma's sway, 
Lo, distant far, another mountain chain 
Rears its rude cliffs, the Guio's dread domain ; 
Here brutaliz'd the human form is seen. 
The manners fiend-like as the brutal mien : 
With frothing jaws they suck the human blood, 
And gnaw the reeking limbs,^ their sweetest food ; 

* And gnaw the reeking limbs. — Much has been said on this subject, 
some denying and others asserting the existence of anthropophagi or 
man-eaters. Porphyry (de Abstin. i. 4 § 21 *) says that the Massa- 
getflB and Derbices (people of north-eastern Asia), esteeming those 
most miserable who died of sickness, when their parents and rela^ 
tions grew old, killed and ate them, holding it more honourable 
thus to consume them than that they should be destroyed by vermin. 
St. Jerome has adopted this word for word, and has added to it an 
authority of his own : " Quid loquar," says he, (Adv. Jov. 1. 2, c. 6), " de 
Cfieteris nationibus ; cum ipse adolescentulus in Gallia viderim Scotos, 
gentem Britannicam, humanis vesci camibus, et cum per sylvas por- 
corum greges et armentorum, pecudumque reperiant, pastorum nates, 
et fseminarum papillas solere abscindere, et has solas ciborum delicias 
arbitrari?" Mandevylle ought next to be cited. "Aftirwarde men 
gon be many yles be see unto a yle that men clepen Milhe : there is a 
full cursed peple : thei delyten in ne thing more than to fighten and 
to fle men, and to drynken gladlyest mannes blood, which they clepen 
Dieu." — P. 235. Yet, whatever absurdity may appear on the face of 
these tales ; and what can be more absurd than to suppose that a few 
wild Scots or Irish (for the name was then proper to Ireland), should 
so lord it in Graul, as to eat the breasts of the women and the hips of 
the shepherds ? Yet, whatever absurdities our Mandevylles may have 
obtrudcKi on the public, the evidence of the fact is not thereby wholly 
destroyed. Though Dampier and other visitors of barbarous nations 
have assured us that they never met with any man-eaters, and though 
Voltaire has ridiculed the opinion, yet one may venture the assertion 
of their existence, without partaking of a credulity similar to that of 
those foreigners, who believed that the men of Kent were bom with 
tails like sheep (see Lambert's Peramb.), the punishment inflicted 
upon them for the murder of Thomas k Becket. Many are the 
credible accounts, that different barbarous nations used to eat their 
prisoners of war. According to the authentic testimony of the best 
Portuguese wtiters, the natives of Brazil, on their high festivals, 
brought forth their captives, and after many barbarous ceremonies, 

* lirropovvrai yovv Maaaaf^rat Kat Aep/SvKet aOXivrdrovt fif6^<fOai t&v oiKeittv 
TOUT iivrofxaTow reXevrfjaavTai' iio Kai ^(fdcravres KaraOuovatv Kai kariCovTou tmv 
^tKrdrmv rovf '^eytipaKorat. 

340 THE LUSIAD. [book z. 

Horrid, with fignr'd seams of burning stee!. 
Their wolf -like frowns their ruthless lust reveaL 
Cambaja there the blue-tinged Mecon laves, 
Mecon the eastern Nile, whose swelling waves, 
' Captain of rivers ' nam*d, o'er many a clime, 
In annual period, pour their fatt*ning slime. 
The simple natives of these lawns beHeve 
That other worlds the seals of beasts receive ; ^ 

at last roasted and greedily devoured their mangled limbs. During 
his torture the unhappy victim prided himself in his manly Goorage, 
upbraiding their want of skill in the art of tormenting, and telling 
his murderers that his belly had been the grave of many of their 
relations. Thus the fact was certain long before a late voyage 
discovered the horrid practice in New Zealand. To drink human 
blood has been more common. The Grauls and other ancient nations 
practised it. When Magalhaens proposed Christianity to the King 
of Subo, a north-eastern Asiatic island, and when Francis de Caste) 
discovered Santigana and other islands, a hundred leagues north of 
the Moluccas, the conversion of their kings was confirmed by eacJi 
party drinking of the blood of the other. Our poet Spenser tells us, in 
his View of the State of Ireland, that he has seen the Irish drink 
human blood, particularly, he adds, '* at the execution of a notable 
traitor at Limerick, called Murrogh O'Brien* I saw an old woman, who 
was his foster-mother, take up his head whilst he was quartering and 
suck up all the blood that run thereout, saying, that the earth was not 
worthy to drink it, and therewith also steeped her face and breast 
and tore her hair, crying out and shrieking most terribly." It is 
worthy of regard that the custom of marking themselves with hot 
irons, and tattooing, is characteristic both of the Guios of Camoens 
and of the present inhabitants of New Zealand. And if, as its 
animals indicate, the island of Otaheite was first peopled by a ship- 
wreck, the friendship existing in a small society might easily 
obliterate the memory of one custom, while the less unfriendly one 
of tattooing was handed down, a memorial that they owed their origin 
to the north-eastern parts of Asia, where that custom particularly 

* Other worlds the souls of beasts receive, — That Queen Elizabeth 
reigned in England, is not more certain than that the most ignorant 
nations in all ages have had the idea of a state after death. The 
same faculty which is conscious of existence whispers the wish for it; 
and, so little acquainted with, the deductions of reasoning have some 
tribes been, that not only their animals, but even the ghosts of 
their domestic utensils have been believed to accompany them to 
the islands of the blessed. Long ere the voice of philosophy was 
heard, the opinion of an after state was popular in Greece. The works 
of Homer bear incontestable evidence of this. And there is not a fea- 
ture in the history of the human mind better ascertained, than that no 
sooner did speculation seize upon the topic, than belief declined, and, 


Where the fierce murd'rer-wolf , to pains decreed, 
Sees the mild lamb enjoy the heav'nlj mead. 
Oh gentle Mecon,^ on thy friendly shore 
Long shall the muse her sweetest off'rings ponr 1 
When tyrant ire, chaf 'd by the blended Inst 
Of pride outrageous, and revenge unjust, 
Shall on the guiltless exile burst their rage. 
And madd'ning tempests on their side engage, 
Preserv'd by Heav'n the song of Lusian fame. 
The song, O Vasco, sacred to thy name. 
Wet from the whelming surge, shall triumph o*er 
The fate of shipwreck on the Mecon's shore. 
Here rest secure as on the muse's breast ! 
Happy the deathless song, the bard, alas, unblest ! 

" Chiampa there her fragrant coast extends. 
There Cochin- China's cultur'd land ascends : 
From Anam Bay begins the ancient reign 
Of China's beauteous art-adom'd domain ; 

as the great Bacon observes, the most learned, became the most 
atheistical ages. The reason of this is obvious. While the human 
mind is all simplicity, popular opinion is cordially received ; but, when 
reasoning begins, proof is expected, and deficiency of demonstration 
being perceived, doubt and disbelief naturally follow. Yet, strange as 
it may appear, if the writer's memory does not greatly deceive him, 
these certoin facts were denied by Hobbes. If he is not greatly 
mistaken, that gentleman, who gave a wretched, a most unpoetical 
translation of Homer, has so grossly misunderstood his author, as to 
assert that his mention of a future state was not in conformity to the 
popular opinion of his age, but only his own poetical fiction. He might 
as well have assured us, that the sacrifices of Homer had never any 
existence in Greece. But, as no absurdity is too gross for some 
geniuses, our murderer of Homer, our Hobbes, has likewise asserted, 
that the belief of the immortality of the human soul was the child 
of pride and speculation, unknown in Greece till long after the 
appearance of the Iliad. 

^ Oh gentle Mecon. — It was on the coast of Cochin-China, at the 
mouth of this, river, the Maekhaun, or Camboja of modem writers, 
that Gamoens suffered the unhappy shipwreck which rendered him 
the sport of fortune during the remainder of his life. The literal 
rendering of the Portuguese, which Mickle claims the liberty of 
improving, is, *^ On his gentle, hospitable bosom shall he receive the 
song, wet from woful, unhappy shipwreck, escaped from destroying 
tempests, from ravenous dangers, the effect of the imjust sentence 
upon him whose lyre shall be more renowned than enhched." — EcU 

342 THE LUSIAD. [book z. 

Wide from tlie bnming to the frozen skies, 
Overflow 'd with wealth, the potent empire lies. 
Here, ere the cannon's rage in Europe roar'd,* 
The cannon's thunder on the foe was poured : 

* Here ere the eannon^s rage in Europe roared. — Acoording to 
Le Comte's memoirs of China, and those of other travellers, the 
mariner's compass, fire-arms, and printing were known in that empire, 
long ere the invention of these arts in Europe. But the accounte of 
Du Halde, Le Gomte, and the other Jesuits, are by no means to be 
depended on. It was their interest (in order to gain credit in Europe 
and at the court of Home) to magnify the splendour of the empire 
where their mission lay, and they have magnified it into romance itself. 
It is pretend^, that the Chinese used fire-arms in their wars with 
Zenghis Khan, and Tamerlane ; but it is also said that the Sogdians 
used cannon against Alexander. The mention of any sulphurous 
composition in an old writer is, with some, immediately converted into 
a regular tire of artillery. The Chinese, indeed, on the first arrival 
of Europeans, had a kind of mortars, which they called fire-pans, but 
they were utter strangers to the smaller fire-arms. Verbiest, a Jesuit, 
was the first who taught them to make brass cannon, set upon wheels* 
And, even so late as the hostile menace which Anson gave them, 
they knew not how to level, or manage, their ordnance to any advantage. 
Their printing is, indeed, much more ancient than that of Europe, but 
it does not deserve the same name, the blocks of wood with which 
they stamp their sheets being as inferior to as they are different from 
the movable types of Europe. The Chinese have no idea of the 
graces of fine writing ; here, most probably, the fault exists in their 
language; but the total want of nature in their painting, and of 
symmetry in their architecture, in both of which they have so long been 
experienced, afford a heavy accusation against their genius. But, in 
planning gardens, and in the art of beautifying the face of their 
country, they are unequalled. Yet, even in their boasted gardening 
their genius stands accused. The art of ingrafting, so long known to 
Europe, is still unknown to them. And hence their fruits are vastly 
inferior in flavour to those of the western world. The amazing waU 
of defence against the Tartars, though 1500 miles in extent, is a 
labour inferior to the canals, lined on the sides with hewn stone, 
which everywhere enrich, and adorn their country ; some of which 
reach 1000 miles, and are of depth to carry vessels of burthen. These 
grand remains of antiquity prove that there was a time when the 
Chinese were a much more accomplished people than at present. 
Though their princes for many centuries have discovered no such efforts 
of genius as these, the industry of the people still remains, in whidi 
they rival, and resemble, the Dutch. In every other respect they are 
the most unamiable of mankind. Amazingly uninventive, for, though 
possessed of them, the arts have made no progress among the Chinese 
these many centuries : even what they were taught by the Jesuits is 
almost lost. So false in their dealings, they boast that none but 
a Chinese can cheat a Chinese. The crime which disgraces human 


And here tlie trembling needle songbt the north, 
Ere Time in Europe brought the wonder forth. 

nature, is in this nation of atheists, and most stupid of all idolaters* 
common as (hat chartet'd libertine^ (he air. Destitute, even in idea, of 
that elevation of soul which is expressed by the best sense of the 
word piety, in the time of calamity whole provinces are desolated by 
self-nlurder ; an end, as Hume says, of some of the admired names of 
antiquity, not unworthy of so detestable a character. And, as it is 
always found congenial to baseness of heart, the most dastardly 
cowardice completes the description of that of the Chinese. 

Unimproved as their arts is their learning. Though their language 
consists of few words, it is almost impossible for a stranger to attain 
the art of speaking it. And what a European learns ere he is seven 
yeaxB old, to read, is the labour of the life of a Chinese. In place of 
our 24 letters, they have more than 60,000 marks, which compose their 
writings ; and their paucity of words, all of which may be attained in 
a few hours, requires such an infinite variety of tone and action, that 
the slightest mistake in modulation renders the speaker unintelligible. 
And in addressing a great man, in place of ** my Lord,'* you may call 
him a beast, the word being the same, all the difference consisting in 
the tone of it. A language like this must ever be a bar to the progress 
and accomplishments of literature. Of medicine they are very ignorant. 
The ginseng, which they pretended was a universal remedy, is found 
to be a root of no singular virtue. Their books consist of odes 
without poetry, and of moral maxims, excellent in themselves, but 
without investigation or reasoning. For, to philosophical discussion 
and metaphysics they seem utterly strangers ; and, when taught 
mathematics by the Jesuits, their greatest men were lost in astonish- 
ment. Whatever their political wisdom has been, at present it is nar- 
row and barbarous. Jealous lest strangers should steal their arts — arts 
which are excelled at Dresden, and other parts of Europe — ^they preclude 
themselves from the great advantages which arise from an intercourse 
with civilized nations. Yet, in the laws which they impose on every 
foreign ship which enters their ports for traffic, they even exceed the 
cunning and avarice of the Dutch. In their internal policy the military 
government of Rome under the emperors is revived, with accumulated 
barbarism. In every city and province the military are the constables 
and peace officers. What a picture is this I Nothing but Chinese or 
Dutch industry could preserve the traffic and population of a coimtry 
under the control of armed ruffians. But, hence the emperor has 
leisure to cultivate his gardens, and to write despicable odes to his 

Whatever was their most ancient doctrine, certain it is that 
the legislators who formed the present system of China presented to 
their people no other object of worship than Tien Kamti, the material 
heavens and their influencing power; by which an intelligent principle 
is excluded. Yet, finding that the human mind in the rudest breasts 
is conscious of its weakness, and prone to believe the occurrences of 
life under the power of luoky or unlucky obgervanoes, they permitted 

844 THE LXTSIA0. [i 

No more let Egypt lx>a8t her mountain pjres ; 
To prouder fame yon bounding wall aspireSy 

their people the use of saorifioes to these lioeietian gode of snper- 
■titioiu fear. Nor was the principle of doTOtion, imprinted bj Heawi 
In the human heart, alone perverted; another mieztingiiishaUe pasrisn 
was also misled. On tablets, in every fietmily, are written the munM of 
the last three of their ancestors, added to each, **Here rests his ml ; " 
and before these tablets they bum inoense, and pay adoratipii. GonfociaBi 
who, according to their histories, had been in the West aboiit 500 
years before the Christian era, appears to be only the eonfimer of 
their old opinions ; but the accounts of him and his doctrine are involved 
in uncertainty. In their places of worship, however, boards are set vp^ 
inscribed, " This is the seat of the soul of Confucius," and to thess, 
and their ancestors, they celebrate Bolemn sacrifices, without seeming to 
possess any idea of the Intellectual existence of the departed sooL 
The Jesuit Ricci, and his brethren of the Chinese mission, swy 
honesUy told their converts, that Tien was the God of the Christiaiis, 
and that the label of Confucius was the term by which they exjMessed 
His divine majesty. But, after a long and severe scrutiny at the oomt 
of Rome, Tien was founa to signify nothing more than Aeosen^ or 
^inivertal matter^ and the Jesuits of China were ordered to renoimeo 
this heresy. Among all the sects who worship diff<Mrent idols in China, 
there is only one which has any tolerable idea of the immortality of 
the soul; and among these, says Leland, Christianity at present 
obtains some footing. But the most interesting particular of China 
yet remains to be mentioned. Conscious of uie obvious tendency, 
Voltaire and others have triumphed in the great antiquity of the 
Chinese, and in the distant period they ascribe to the creation. But 
the bubble cannot bear the touch. If some Chinese accounts fix. the 
era of creation 40000 years ago, others are contented with no less than 
884958. But who knows not that every nation has its QeofOry of 
Monmouth? And we have already observed the legends which took 
their rise from the Annus Magnus of the Chaldean and Egyptian 
astronomers, an apparent revolution of the stars, which in reality has 
no existence. To the fanciful who held this Annus Magnus, it seemed 
hard to suppose that our world was in its first revolution of the great 
year, and to suppose that many were past was easy. And, that this 
was the case, we have absolute proof in the doctrines of the Brahmins, 
who, though they talk of hundreds of thousands of years which are 
past, vet confess, that this, the fourth world, has not yet attained its 
6000th year. And much within this compass are all the crediUa 
proofs of Chinese antiquity comprehended. To three heads all these 
proofs are reduceable — their form of government, which, till the 
conquest of the Tartars in 1644, bore the marks of the highest 
antiquity; their astronomical observations ; and their history. 

Bimply and purely patriarchal, every father was the magistrate 
in his own family ; and the emperor, who acted by his substitutes, the 
Mandarins, was venerated and obeyed as the fSather of alL The 
most passive submissioa to authority thus branched out mm in- 


A prouder boast of regal power displays 
Than all the world beheld in ancient days. 

culcated by Confucius, and their other philoBophers, as the greatest 
duty of morality. But, if there is an age in saored or profane 
history where the manners of mankind are thus delineated, no 
superior antiquity is proved by the form of Chinese government. 
Their ignorance of the very. ancient art of ingrafting fruit-trees, and 
the state of their language (like the Hebrew in its paucity of 
words), a paucity characteristic of the ages when the ideas of men 
required few syllables to clothe them, prove nothing farther than the 
early separation of the Chinese colony * ftom the rest of mankind ; 
nothing farther, except that they have continued till very lately 
without any material intercourse with the other nations of the 

A continued succession of astronomical observations, for 4000 
years, was claimed by the Chinese, when they were first visited by 
the Europeans. Voltaire, that son of truth, has often with great 
triumph mentioned the indubitable proofs of Chinese antiquity; 
but at these times he must have received his information from the 
same dream which told him that Camoens accompanied his friend 
Gama in the voyage which discovered the East Indies. If Voltaire 
and his disciples will talk of Chinese astronomy, and the 4000 years 
antiquity of its perfection, let them enjoy every consequence which 
may possibly result from it. But let them allow the same liberty to 
others. Let them allow others to draw their inferences from a few 
stubborn facts, facts which demonstrate the ignorance of the Chinese 
in astronomy. The earth, they imagined, was a great plain, of which 
their country was the midst ; and so ignorant were they of the cause 
of eclipses, that they believed the sun and moon were assaulted, and 

• The Chinese colony! Tea, let philosophy smile; let her talk of the different 
medes oi men which are found in every country ; let her brand as absurd the opinion 
of Montesquieu, which derives all the human race from one family. Let her ei\joy her 
triumph. Peace to her insolence, peace to her dreams and her reveries. But let com- 
mon sense be contented with the demonstration (See Whiston, Bentley, etc.) that a 
creation in every country ia not wanted, and that one feunily is sufficient in every 
respect for the purpose. If philosophy will talk of black and white men as difTerent in 
species, let common sense ask her for a demonstration, that climate and manner of life 
cannot produce this difference ; and let her add, that Uiere is Uie strongest presumptive 
experimental proof that the difference thus happens. If philosophy draw her infer- 
ences f^om the different passions of different tribes ; let common sense reply, that stripped 
of every accident of brutalization and urbanity, the human mind in all its faculties, all 
its motives, hopes and fears, is most wonderfully the same in every age and country. 
If philosophy talk of the impossibility of peopling distant islands and continents from 
<nie fBonily, let common sense tell her t9 read Bryant's Mythology^ If philosophy 
assert that the Kelts wherever they came found aborigines, let common sense reply, 
there were tyrants enough almost 2000 years before their emigrations, to drive the 
wretched survivors of slaughtered hotits to the remotest wilds. She may also add, that 
many islands have been found wliich bore not one trace of mankind, and that even 
Otaheite bears the evident marks of receiving its inhabitants from a shipwreck, its only 
^malii being the hog, the dog, and the rat. In a word, let common sent>e say to phllo- 
Bophy, ** 1 open my egg with a pen-knife, but you open yonn with the blow <^ a sledgt 


d46 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

Not built, created seems the frowning monnd ; 
O'er loftiest mountain tops, and vales profound 
Extends the wondrous length, with warlike castles crown 
Immense the northern wastes their horrors spread ; ^ 
In frost and snow the seas and shores are clad. 


in danger of being devoured by a huge dragon. The stars were 
considered as the directors of human affairs, and thus their boasted 
astronomy ends in that silly imposition, judicial astrology. - Thou^ 
they had made some observations on the revolutions of the pl|metS| 
and though in the emperor's palace there was an observatory, the 
first apparatus of proper instruments ever known in China was 
introduced by Father Yerbiest. After this it need scarcely be added, 
that their astronomical observations which pretend an antiquity oi 
4000 years, are as false as a Welch genealogy, and that the Chinese 
themselves, when instructed by the Jesuits, were obliged to own that 
their calculations were erroneous and impossible. The great credit 
and admiration which their astronomical and mathematical know- 
ledge procured to the Jesuits, afford an indubitable confirmation of 
these facts. 

Ridiculous as their astronomical, are their historical antiquities. 
After all Voltaire has said of it, the oldest date to which their history 

Eretends is not much above 4000 years. During this period 236 kings 
ave reigned, of 22 different families. The &:8t king reigned 100 
years, then we have the names of some others, but without any 
detail of actions, or that concatenation of events which distinguishes 
authentic history. That mark of truth does not begin to appear for 
upwards of 2000 years of the Chinese legends. Little more than the 
names of kings, and these often interrupted with wide chasms, 
compose all the annals of China, till about the period of the Christian 
era. Something like a history then commences, but that is again 
interrupted by a wide chasm, which the Chinese know not how to 
fill up otherwise, than bv asserting that a century or two elapsed in 
the time, and that at such a period a new family mounted the throne. 
Such is the history of China, full brother in every family feature to 
those Monkish tales, which sent a daughter of Pharoah to be queen 
of Scotland, which sent Brutus to England, and a grandson of Noah 
to teach school among the mountains in Wales. 

* Immense the northern wastes their horrors spread. — Tartary, 
Siberia, Samoyada, Eamtchatka, etc. A short account of the Grand 
Lama of Thibet Tartary shall complete our view of the superstitions 
of the East. While the other pagans of Asia worship the most u^y 
monstrous id9ls, the Tartars of Thibet adore a real living god. He 
sits cross-legged on his throne, in* the great temple, adorned with 
gold and diamonds. He never speaks, but sometimes elevates his 
hand in token that he approves of the prayers of his worshippers. 
He is a ruddy well-looking young man, about 25 or 27, and is the 
most miserable wretch on earth, being the mere puppet of his priests, 
who dispatch him whenever age or sickness make any alteration in 
his features; and another, instructed to act his part, is put in his 


These shores forsake, to fntnre ages due : 

A world of islands claims thy happier view, 

Where lavish Nature all her bounty pours, 

And flowers and fruits of ev'ry fragrance showers. 

Japan behold ; beneath the globe's broad face 

Northward she sinks, the nether seas embrace 

Her eastern bounds ; what glorious fruitage there, 

Illustrious Gama., shall thy labours bear ! 

How Jbright a silver mine ! ^ when Heav'n's own lore 

From pagan dross shall purify her ore. 

" Beneath the spreading wings of purple mom, 
Behold what isles these glist'ning seas adorn ! 
'Mid hundreds yet unnam'd, Temate behold ! 
By day, her hills in pitchy clouds inroll'd. 
By night, like rolling waves, the sheets of fire 
Blaze o'er the seas, and high to heav'n aspire. 
For Lusian hands here blooms the fragrant clove, 
But Lusian blood shall sprinkle ev'ry grove. 
The golden birds that ever sail the skies 
Here to the sun display their shining dyes. 
Each want supplied, on air they ever soar ; 
The ground they touch not * till they breathe no more. 

place. Princes of very distant provinces send tribute to this deity 
and implore his blessing, and, as Voltaire has merrily told us, think 
themselves secure of benediction if favoured with something from his 
godship, esteemed more sacred than the hallowed cow-dung of the 

* How bright a silver mine. — By this beautiful metaphor (omitted 
by Gastera) Gamoens alludes to the great success, which in his time 
attended the Jesuit missionaries in Japan. James I. sent an embassy 
to the sovereign, and opened a trade with this country, but it was 
soon suffered to decline. The Dutch are the only Europeans who 
now traffic with the Japanese, which it is said they obtain by 
trampling on the cross and by abjuring the Ghristian mame. In 
religion the Japanese are much the same as their neighbours of Ghina, 
And in the frequency of self-murder, says Voltaire, they vie with 
their brother islanders of England. 

* The ground they touch not. — These are commonly called the birda 
of Paradise. It was the old erroneous opinion that they always 
soared in the air, and that the female hatched her young on the back 
of the male. Their feathers bear a mixture of the most beautiful 
azure, purple, and golden colours, which have a fine effect in the rays 
of the sun. 

348 THE LtTBIAD. [booki. 

Here Banda*s isles tbeir fair embroid'rj spread 
Of varioas fruitage, asnre, white, and red ; 
And birds of ey*rj beauteooB plume display 
Their glitt'ring radiance, as, from spray to spray, 
From bower to bower, on bnsy wings they rove. 
To seize the tribute of the spicy grove. 
Borneo here expands her ample breast, 
By Nature's hand in woods of camphor dress'd ; 
The precious liquid, weeping from the trees. 
Glows warm with health, the balsam of discttueie. 
Pair are Timora's dales with groves array'd. 
Each riv'let murmurs in the fragrant shade. 
And, in its crystal breast, displays the bowers 
Of Sanders, blest with health-restoring powers. 
Where to the south the world's broad surface bends, 
Lo, Sunda's realm her spreading arms extends. 
From hence the pilgrim brings the wondrous tale,^ 
A river groaning through a dreary dale 
(For all is stone around) converts to stone 
Whate'er of verdure in its breast is thrown. 
Lo, gleaming blue, o'er fair Sumatra's skies, 
Another mountain's trembling flames arise ; 
Here from the trees the gum * all fragrance swells, 
And softest oil a wondrous fountain wells. 
Nor these alone the happy isle bestows. 
Fine is her gold, her silk resplendent glows. 
Wide forests there beneath Maldivia's tide ' 
From with'ring air their wondrous fruitage hide. 

* From hence the pilgrim brings (he wondrous tale. — Streams of this 
kind are common in many countries. Gastera attributes this quality to 
the excessive coldness of the waters, but this is a mistake. The waters 
of some springs are impregnated with sparry particles, which adhering 
to the herbage, or the clay, on the banks of their channel, harden into 
stone, and incrust the original retainers. 

' Herefrom the trees the gum. — Benzoin, a species of frankinoense. 
The oil mentioned in the next line, is that called the rock oil, petroleumi 
a black fetid mineral oil, good for bruises and sprains. 

• Wide forests there beneath Maldivia*s tide. — A sea plant, re- 
sembling the palm, grows in great abundance in the bays about the 
Maldivian islands. The boughs rise to the top of the water, and bear 
a kind of apple, called the coco of Maldivia, which is eeteemed an 
antidote against poison. 


The green-liair'd Nereids tend the bow'ry dells, 
Whose wondrous fruitage poison's rage expels. 
In Ceylon, lo, how high yon mountain's brows ! 
The sailing clouds its middle height enclose. 
Holy the hill is deem'd, the hallo w'd tread 
Of sainted footstep ^ marks its rocky head. 
Lav'd by the Red Sea gulf, Socotra's bowers 
There boast the tardy aloe's beauteous flowers. 
On Afric's strand, foredoom'd to Lusian sway, 
Behold these isles, and rocks of dusky gray ; 
From cells unknown here bounteous ocean pours 
The fragrant amber on the sandy shores. 
And lo, the Island of the Moon ' displays 
Her vernal lawns, and num'rous peaceful bays : 
The halcyons ' hov'ring o'er the bays are seen, 
And lowing herds adorn the vales of green. 

" Thus, from the cape where sail was ne'er unf url'd. 
Till thine, auspicious, sought the eastern world. 
To utmost wave, where first the morning star 
Sheds the pale lustre of her silver car. 
Thine eyes have view'd the empires and the isles, 
The world immense, that crowns thy glorious toils — 
That world where ev'ry boon is shower'd from Heav'n, 
Now to the West, by thee, great chief, is giv'n.* 

* The tread of sainted footstep, — The imprint of a human foot is found 
on the high mountain, called me Pic of Adam. Legendary tradition 
says, that Adam, after he was expelled from Paradise, did penanoe 
300 years on this hill, on which he left the print of his footstep. This 
tale seems to be Jewish, or Mohammedan ; for the natives, according to 
Captain Knox (who was twenty years a captive in Ceylon), pretend 
the impression was made by the god Budha, when he ascended to 
heaven, after having, for the salvation of mankind, appeared on the 
earth. His priests beg charity for the sake of Budha, whose worship 
they perform among groves of the Bogahah-tree, under which, when 
on earth, they say he usually sat and taught. 

' And lo, the Island of the Moon, — Madagascar is thus named by the 

* The kingfishers. 

* Now to the West, hy thee, greai chief, is given. — The sublimity 
of this eulogy on the expedition of the Lusiad has been already 
observed. What follows is a natural completion of the whole ; andf, 
the digressive excUmation at the end excepted, is exactly similar to 
the maimer in which Homer has concluded the Iliad. 

850 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

" And still, blest, tliy peerless honoiirs grow, 
New op'ning views the smiling fates bestow. 
With alter'd face the moving globe behold ; 
There ruddy ev'ning sheds her beams of gold. 
While now, on Afric's bosom faintly die 
The last pale glimpses of the twilight sky, 
Bright o'er the wide Atlantic rides the mom, 
And dawning rays another world adorn : 
To farthest north that world enormous bends, 
And cold, beneath the southern pole-star ends. 
Near either pole ^ the barb'rous hunter, dress'd 
In skins of bears, explores the frozen waste : 
Where smiles the genial sun with kinder rays. 
Proud cities tower, and gold-roof *d temples blaze. 
This golden empire, by the heav*n*s decree. 
Is due, Castile, favoured power, to thee ! 
Even now, Columbus o'er the hoary tide 
Pursues the ev'ning sun, his navy's guide. 
Yet, shall the kindred Lusian share the reign. 
What time this world shall own the yoke of Spain. 
The first bold hero * who to India's shores 
Through vanquish'd waves thy open'd path explores, 
Driv'n by the winds of heav'n from Afric's strand. 
Shall fix the holy cross on yon fair land. 
That mighty realm, for pui'ple wood renown'd. 
Shall stretch the Lusian empire's western bound, 
Fir'd by thy fame, and with his king in ire. 
To match thy deeds shall Magalhaens aspire.^ 

* Near either pole. — We are now presented with a beautiful view 
of the American world. Columbus discovered the West Indies before, 
but not the continent till 1498 — the year after Gama sailed from 

* The first hold hero. — Cabral, the first after Gama who sailed to 
India, was driven hj tempest to the Brazils, a proof that more ancient 
voyagers might have met with the same fate. He named the oonntry 
Santa Cruz, or Holy Cross ; it was afterwards named Brazil, from the 
colour of the wood with which it abounds. It is one of the finest 
countries in the new world. . 

' To match thy deeds shall MagaJJuiens aspire. — Camoens, though he 
boasts of the actions of Magalhaens as an honour to Portugal, yet 
condemns his defection to the King of Spain, and calls him — 

B00K3L] ' THE LU8IAD. 351 

In all but loyalty, of Lnsian soul, 

No fear, no danger shall his toils control. 

MdgaJhaens, nofeito com verdade 
Fortuguez, porim nad na lealdade. 

'* In deeds truly a Portuguese, but not in loyalty." And others have 
bestowed upon him the name of traitor, but perhaps undeservedly. 
Justice to the name of this great man requires an examination of the 
charge. Ere he entered into the service of the King of Spain by a 
solemn act, he unnaturalized himself. Osorius is very severe against 
this unavailing rite, and argues that no injury which a prince may 
possibly give, can authorize a subject to act the part of a traitor 
against his native country. This is certainly true, but it is not 
strictly applicable to the case of Magalhaens. Many eminent services 
performed in Africa and India entitled him to a certain allowance, 
which, though inconsiderable in itself, was esteemed as the reward of 
distinguished merit, and therefore highly valued. For this Magal- 
haens petitioned in vain. He found, says Faria, that the malicious 
accusations of some men had more weight with his sovereign than all 
his services. After this unworthy repulse, what patronage at the 
court of Lisbon could he hope? And though no injury can vindicate 
the man who draws his sword against his native country, yet no moral 
duty requires that he who has some important discovery in meditation 
should stifle his design, if uncountenanced by his native prince. It 
has been alleged, that he embroiled his country in disputes with 
Spain. But neither is this strictly applicable to the neglected Magal- 
haens. The courts of Spain and Portugal had solemnly settled the 
limits within which they were to make discoveries and settlements, 
and within these did Magalhaens and the court of Spain propose that 
his discoveries should terminate. And allowing that his calculations 
might mislead him beyond the bounds prescribed to the Spaniards, 
still his apology is clear, for it would have been injurious to each 
court, had he supposed that the faith of the boundary treaty would 
be trampled upon by either power. If it is said that he aggrandized 
the enemies of his country, the Spaniards, and introduced them to a 
dangerous rivalship with the Portuguese settlements ; let the sentence, 
of Faria on this subject be remembered : "Let princes beware," says he, 
" how by neglect or injustice they force into desperate actions the men 
who have merited rewards." 

In the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries, the 
spirit of discovery broke forth in its greatest vigour. The East and 
the West had been visited by Gama and Columbus ; and the bold idea 
of sailing to the East by the West was revived by Magalhaens. 
Revived, for misled by Strabo and Pliny, who place India near to the 
west of Spain, Columbus expecting to find the India of the ancients 
when he landed on Hispaniola, thought he had discovered the Ophir 
of Solomon. And hence the name of Indies was given to that and 
the neighbouring Islands. Though America and the Moluccas were 
now found to be at a great distance, the genius of Magalhaens still 
suggested the possibility of a western passage. And aocordingly, 


AloDg these regions, from the baming lone 

To deepest south, he dares the course unknown. 

While, to the kingdoms of the rising day, 

To rival thee he holds the western way, 

A land of giants ^ shall his eyes behold, 

Of camel strength, surpassing human mould : 

poflBeased of his great design, and neglected with oontempt at haoB, 
ne offered his service to the court of Spcdn, and was accepted. Witk 
five ships and 250 men he sailed from Spain in Septemb^, 1519, tad 
after many difficulties, occasioned by mutiny and the extreme cold, ke 
entered the great Pacific Ocean or South Seas by those straits wldeh 
bear his Spanish name Magellan. From these straits, in the 52| 
degree of southern latitude, he traversed that great ocean, till in the 
lOUi degree of north latitude he landed on the island of Subo or 
Marten. The king of this country was then at war with a neigh- 
bouring prince, and Magalhaens, on condition of his oonversioa to 
Christianity, bcicame his auxiliary. In two battles the Spaniards were 
victorious, but in the third, Magalhaens, together with one Martinho^ 
a judicial astrologer, whom he usually consulted, was unfortunately 
killed. Chagrined with the disappointment of promised victory, the 
new baptised king of Subo made peace with his enemies, and having 
invited to an entertainment the Spaniards on shore, he treaoheroiisly 
poisoned them all. The wretched remains of the fleet arrived at the 
Portuguese settlements in the isles of Banda and Temate, where they 
were received, says Faria, as friends, and not as intruding strangers; 
a proof that the boundary treaty was esteemed sufficiently sacred. 
Several of the adventurers were sent to India, and from thence to 
Spain, in Portuguese ships, one ship only being in a condition to 
return to Europe by the Cape of Grood Hope. This vessel, named the 
Victoria, however, had the honour to be the first which ever sur- 
rounded the globe ; an honour by some ignorantly attributed to the 
ship of Sir Francis Drake. Thus unhappily ended, says Osorius, the 
expedition of Magalhaens. But the good bishop was mistaken, for a 
,few years after he wrote, and someyrhat upwards of fifty after the return 
of the Victoria, Philip II. of Spain availed himself of tiie discoveries of 
"Magalhaens. And the navigation of the South Seas between Spanish 
America and the Asian Archipelago, at this day forms the basis of the 

g)wer of Spain : a basis, however, which is at the mercy of Qreat 
ritain, while her ministers are wise enough to preserve her great 
naval superiority. A Gibraltar in the South Seas is only wanting. 
But when this is mentioned, who can withhold his eyes from the 
isthmus of Darien — the rendezvous appointed by nature for the fleets 
which may one day give law to the Pacific and Atlantic Oceana : a 
settlement which t(>4ay might have owned subjection to Great Britain, 
if justice and honour had always presided in the cabinet of William 
the Third ? 

' A land of giants. — The Patagonians. Various are the fables of 
navigators concerning these people. The Spaniards who went with 


And, onward still, thy fame his proud heart's guide 
Haunting him unappeas'd, the dreary tide 
Beneath the southern star's cold gleam he braves, 
And stems the whirls of land-surrounded waves. 
For ever sacred to the hero's fame, 
These foaming straits shall bear his deathless name. 
Through these dread jaws of rock he presses on, 
Another ocean's breast, immeuse, unknown. 
Beneath the south's cold wings, unmeasur'd, wide. 
Receives his vessels ; through the dreary tide 
In darkling shades, where never man before 
Heard the waves howl, he dares the nameless shore. 

" Thus far, O favour'd Imsians, bounteous Heav'n 
Tour nation's glories to your view has giv'n. 
What ensigns, blazing to the morn, pursue 
The path of heroes, open''d first by you1 
Still be it yours the first in fame to shine : 
Thus shall your brides new chaplets still entwine. 
With laurels ever new your brows enfold, 
And braid your wavy locks with radiant gold. 

" How calm the waves, how mild the balmy gale 1 
The halcyons call ; ye Lusians, spread the sail ; 
Old ocean, now appeas'd, shall rage no more. 
Haste, point the bowsprit to your native dhore : 
Soon shall the transports of the natal soil 
O'erwhelm, in bounding joy, the thoughts of ev'ry toil." 

The goddess spake * ; and yASCO wav*d his hand, 
And soon the joyful heroes crowd, the strand. 

Hagalhaens affinned they were about ten feet in height, since which 
voyage they have risen and fallen in their stature, according to the 
di£Eerent humours of our sea wits. 

* The goddess spake, — ^We are now come to the conclusion of the 
-fiction of the island of Venus, a fiction which is divided into three 
rprineipal parts. In each of these the poetical merit is obvious, 
-nor need we fear to assert, that the happiness of our author, in 
.uniting all these parts together in one great episode, would have 
excited the admiration of^Longinus. The heroes of the Lusiad 
receive their reward in the Island of Love. They are led to the 
palace of Thetis, where, during a divine feast, they near the glorious 



The port whose d- 
My anchor, never- 
Never on other s« ; 
The human cours:. 
Yet let me live, ili 
Misfortune's bill*! 
Her coldest storm 
The song that bu::. 

Of godlike hero* 
Heroes whose deeil 
Who through the j- 
Shall bear the Lusi 
Till ev'ry coast wli< 
Blest in its sway, s!. 
Till ev'ry pagan kii: 
Or vanquished, gnau 

" High Priest of y. 
" Thy faith repent n* 
Though, for thy fail! 
The raging zamorcet 
From TaguB, lo, the 
To India, wafted on 
Soon as his crooked 
A new Achilles shall 
His ship's strong sid 
And deeper waves r-. 

' Thy faith repent ?<- 
the second Portuguese - 
a treaty of alliance with 
of Malabar. The zainor 
His fidelity to the Fori 
were brought to the low( 

' His ihip*8 strowi 
And deeper wav' 

Thus Virgil :— 

Ingentem iBncai.' 
Sutilis, et multtii: 

That the visionary l^>.- 
iBneas is a. fine poetic. 

Booit X.] THE LUSIAD. 355 

Nor leave the youths their lovely brideff behind. 
In wedded bands, while time glides on, conjoin'd; 
Fair as immortal fame in smiles array'd, 
In bridal smiles, attends each lovely maid. 

It most also be owned by the wannest admirer of the Paradise Lost, 
that the description of America in Camoens — 

'* Yedes a grande terra, que contina 
Yai de Calisto ao sen contrario pol 

To farthest north that world enormous bends, 
And cold beneath the southern pole-star ends," 

conveys a bolder and a grander idea than all the names enumerated 
by MUton. 

Some short account of the writers whose authorities have been 
adduced in the course of these Botes may not now be improper. 
Fernando Lopez de Castagneda went to India on purpose to do 
honour to his countrymen, by enabling himself to record their actions 
and conquests in the East. As he was one of the first writers on that 
subject, his geogn4)hy is often imperfect. This defect is remedied in 
the writings of John de Barros, who was particularly attentive to 
this head. But the two most eminent, as well as fullest, writers on 
the transactions of the Portuguese in the East, are Manuel de Faria y 
Soosa, knight of the Order of Christ, and Hieronimus Osorius,'bishop 
of Sylves. Faria, who wrote in Spanish, was a laborious inquirer, and 
is very full and circumstantial. With honest indignation he rebukes 
the rapine of commanders and the errors and unworthy resentments 
of kings. But he is often so drily particular, that he may rather be 
called a journalist than an .Mstorian. And by this uninteresting 
minuteness, his style, for the greatest part, is rendered inelegant. 
The Bishop of Sylves, however, claims a different character. His 
Latin is elegant, ahd his manly and sentimental manner entitles him 
to the name of historian, even where a Livy or a Tacitus are men- 
tioned. But a sentence &om himself^ unexpected in a father of the 
communion of Borne, will characterize the liberality of his mind. 
Talking of the edict of King Emmanuel, which compelled the Jews to 
•embrace Christianity under severe i)ersecution : " Nee ex lege, nee ex 
religione factum . . . tibi assumas," says he, " ut libertatem volun- 
tatis impedias, et vincula mentibus effrenatis injicias ? At id neque 
fieri potest, neque Christi sanctissimum numen approbat. Volun- 
tarium enim sacrificium non vi male coactum ab hominibus expetit : 
fieque vim mentibus inferri, sed voluntates ad studium verss religionis 
allici et invitari jubet." 

It is said, in the preface to Osorius, that his writings were highly 
esteemed by Queen Mary of England, wife of Philip 11. What a pity 
is it, that this manly indignation of the good bishop against the 
impiety of religious persecution, made no impression on the mind of 
that bigoted princess J 

356 THB LUSIAD.' [book x. 

0*er India's sea, wing*d on by balmy gales 

That whisper'd peace, soft swell'd the steady sails : 

Smooth as on wing nnmov'd the eagle flies. 

When to his eyrie clifE be sails the skies, 

Swift o'er the gentle billows of the tide. 

So smooth, so soft, the prows of Gama glid^ ; 

And now their native fields, for ever dear. 

In all their wild transporting charms appear ; 

And Tago*s bosom, while his banks repeat 

The sounding peals of joy, receives the fleet. 

With orient titles and immortal fame 

The hero band adorn their monarch's name ; 

Sceptres and crowns beneath his feet they lay. 

And the wide East is doom'd to Lusian sway.^ 

Enough, my mnse, thy wearied wing no more 
Mnst to the seat of Jove triumphant soar. 
Chiird by my nation's cold neglect, thy fires 
Glow bold no more, and all thy rage expires. 
Yet thon, ^ebastian, thou, my king, attend ; 
Behold what glories on thy throne descend f 
Shall haughty Gaul or sterner Albion boast 
That all the Lusian fame in thee is lost ! 
Oh, be it thine these glories to renew. 
And John's bold path and Pedro's course pursue : * 
Snatch from the tyrant-noble's hand the sword, 
And be the rights of humankind restor'd. 
The statesman prelate to his vows confine, 
Alone auspicious at the holy shrine ; 
The priest, in whose meek heart Heav'n pours its fires, 
Alone to Heav'n, not earth's vain pomp, aspires. 
Nor let the muse, great king, on Tago's shore, 
In dying notes the barb'rous age deplore. 

* And the vnde East is doomed to Lusian away, — Thus, in all the 
force of ancient simpliciiy, and the true sublime, ends the poem of 
Camoens. What follows is one of those exuberances we have already 
endeavoured to defend in our author, nor in the strictest sense is this 
concluding one without propriety. A part of the proposition of the 
poem is artfully addressed to King Sebastian, and he is now called 
upon in an adckess (which is an artful second part to the former), to 
behold and preserve the glories of his throne. 

• And John^a bold path and Fedro*» course pursue, — John I. and 
Pedro the Just, two of the greatest of the Portuguese monarohB. 


The king or hero to the mnse Ti]ijn»t 
Sinks as the nameless slave, extinct in dnst. 
Bnt such the deeds thy radiant mom portends, 
Aw'd by thy frown ev n now old Atlas bends 
His hoary head, and Ampelaza's fields 
Expect thy sounding steeds and rattling shields. 
And shall these deeds nnsnng, unknown, expire ! 
Oh, would thy smiles relume my fainting ire ! 
I, then inspired, the wond'ring world should see 
Great Ammon's warlike son revived in thee ; 
Reviv'd, unenvied ^ of the muse's flame 
That o'er the world resounds Pelides' ' name. 

' Beinv*dj unenvied, — Thus imitated, or rather translated into 
Italian by Guarini : — 

** Con si sublime stil* forse cantato 
Hayrei del mio Signor Tarmi e Thonori, 
Ch' or non havria de la Meonia tromba 
Da invidiar Achille." 

Similarity of condition, we have already observed, produced 
similarity of complaint and sentiment in Spenser and Gamoens. Each 
was unworthily neglected by the grandees of his age, yet both their 
names will live, when the remembrance of the courtiers who spurned 
them shall sink beneath tlieir mountain Uymbn. These beautiful stanzas 
from Pbinehas Fletcher on the memory of Spenser, may also serve as 
an epitaph for Camoens. The unworthy neglect, which was the lot of the 
Portuguese bard, but too well appropriates to him the elegy of Spenser. 
And every reader of taste, who has perused the Lusiad, will think of 
the Cardinal Henrico, and feel the indignation of these manly lines :. — 

" Witness our Colin*, whom tho* all the Graces 
And all the Muses nurst ; whose well-taught son<g 
Parnassus' self and Glorian t embraces, 
And all the leam'd and all the shepherds throng ; 
Tet all his hopes were crost, all suits denied ; 
Discouraged, scom'd, his writings vilified : 
Poorly (poor man) he liv'd ; poorly (poor man) he died. 

" And had not that great hart (whose honoured head { 
All lies fall low) pitied thy woful plight, 
There hadst thou lien unwept, unburied, 
Unblest, nor graced with any common rite ; 
Tet shalt thou live, when thy great foe || shall sink 
Beneath his mountain tombe, whose fame shall stink ; 
And time his blacker name shall blurre with blackest ink. 

* Oolin Clout, Spenser. f Glorian, Elisabeth in the Faerie Qaeen. 

X The Earlof Eaaex. I Lord Burleigh. 

358 THE LUSIAD. [book x. 

'^ O let th' Iambic Muse revenge that wrong 
Which cannot slnmber in thy sheets of l^id ; 
Let thy abused honour crie as long 
As there be quills to write, or eyes to reade : 
On his rank name let thine />wn votes be tum'd, 
Oh may that man that hafh i^ Mu9e8 8com*d 
AtwCf nor dead, he ever of a Mtue adom*d" 

^ Achilles, son of Peleus. 




■■ j 



VoKK Strket, CoVx.nt Garden, 
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